Wednesday, November 22, 2017

"Main Posts" after Saint or Feast of the Day

Please be sure to scroll down past the Saint or Feast of the day.

After the Saint or Feast of the day I post my "Main Posts". These may be anything including original articles, book reviews, adding new blogs to my web page and just about anything new I may wish the reader to read.

Please note I do not always have "Main Posts" posted.

I tend to leave "Main Posts" up for several days.

Sophocles

Martyr Menignus at Parium



The Holy Martyr Menignus was a simple worker, a linen-bleacher. The Lord granted him His special mercy. Twice in his life, he heard a voice from Heaven calling on him to suffer for Christ.
During the persecution of Christians under the emperor Decius (249-251) a miracle occurred: an angel led Christians out of prison. Having learned of this, Saint Menignus rejoiced and loved the Savior with all his heart. Calling to mind the heavenly summons to suffer for Christ, he tore up the decree of the impious Decius which hung in the city square, and which ordered the persecution of Christians. The saint declared himself a follower of Christ. For this he was arrested and after fierce tortures he was beheaded.

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SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!):

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple

November 21

Reading

According to the tradition of the Church, the Theotokos was brought to the Temple at three years of age, where she was consecrated to God and spent her days until she was fourteen or fifteen years old; and then, as a mature maiden, by the common counsel of the priests (since her parents had reposed some three years before), she was betrothed to Joseph.

APOLYTIKION OF THE ENTRY OF THE THEOTOKOS

Fourth Tone

Today is the prelude of God's pleasure and the proclamation of man's salvation. The Virgin is clearly made manifest in the temple of God and foretells Christ to all. Let us also cry out to her with mighty voice, "Hail, fulfillment of the Creator's dispensation."

KONTAKION OF THE ENTRY OF THE THEOTOKOS

Fourth Tone

Today, the most pure temple of the Savior, the precious bridal chamber and Virgin, the sacred treasure of God, enters the house of the Lord, bringing the grace of the Divine Spirit. The Angels of God praise her. She is the heavenly tabernacle.

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SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!):

Monday, November 20, 2017

Proclus, Archbishop of Constantinople

November 20

Reading

Saint Proclus lived during the reign of Saint Theodosius the Younger. A disciple and scribe of Saint John Chrysostom, he was ordained Bishop of Cyzicus about the year 426, but because the people there unlawfully elected another bishop before his arrival, he remained in Constantinople. In 429, Nestorius, who had been Archbishop of Constantinople for about a year, and had already begun his blasphemous teaching that it is wrong to call the holy Virgin "Theotokos," invited Bishop Proclus to give a sermon on one of the feasts of our Lady, which he did, openly defending in Nestorius' presence the name "Theotokos," that is, "Mother of God." Saint Proclus was elevated to the throne of Archbishop of Constantinople in 434. It was he who persuaded Emperor Theodosius the Younger and his holy sister Pulcheria to have the most sacred relics of his godly teacher Saint John Chrysostom brought back from Comana, and triumphantly received them upon their return to the imperial city (see Jan. 27 and Nov. 13). He reposed in peace in 447.

APOLYTIKIOIN OF PROCLUS, ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE

Fourth Tone

O God of our Fathers, ever dealing with us according to Thy gentleness: take not Thy mercy from us, but by their entreaties guide our life in peace.

KONTAKION  OF PROCLUS, ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE

Fourth Tone

On this day, thy ven'rable departure from us, O wise Proclus blest of God, is celebrated fittingly with joy by her that in very truth is the most honoured of cities in all the world.

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SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!):

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Martyr Azes of Isauria and 150 Soldiers with him



The Holy Martyr Azes and with him 150 Soldiers suffered at Isauria, in Asia Minor, under the emperor Diocletian (284-305). For his confession of the Christian Faith, the saint was arrested and brought to trial before the eparch, Aquilinus.

One hundred and fifty soldiers had been sent to arrest the saint, but they were converted to the path of salvation and they accepted holy Baptism with water that sprang forth through the prayer of Saint Azes. The martyr persuaded them to fulfill the commandment to obey those in authority, and therefore to bring him before the eparch.

The soldiers and the saint confessed their Christian faith before Aquilinus, and for this they were all beheaded. With them the eparch executed his own wife and daughter, who had come to believe in Christ, seeing the steadfastness of Saint Azes under torture.

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SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!):

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Martyr Romanus the Deacon of Caesarea

Commemorated on November 18

Information concerning Saint Romanus is found in Books 3 and 12 of the CHURCH HISTORY of Eusebius. Saint Romanus was born in Palestine, and served as a deacon in Caesarea. At the time of the persecution against Christians, he was living in Antioch. Through his preaching, he encouraged the faithful to stand firm in their confession of Christ when the Eparch Asclypiades wanted to raze the church to its foundations. Saint Romanus told the people that they must fight to prevent the destruction of the house of God, assuring them that even if they died in their efforts they would sing a hymn of victory in heaven.

At that time there a festival was being celebrated in honor of the idols, and Saint Romanus went to the pagan temple to upbraid the Eparch and the unbelievers for their impiety. As Asclypiades was about to enter the temple, Saint Romanus fearlessly proclaimed that the idols were not gods, and that only Jesus Christ was truly God.

Asclypiades ordered the saint to be beaten, and even tried to persuade him to deny Christ. When this failed, the Eparch ordered that Saint Romanus be tortured. He was suspended and beaten, and his sides were scraped with metal blades. Bravely enduring these torments, Saint Romanus confessed Christ, and chastised Asclypiades for his obstinate refusal to see the truth.

Then Saint Romanus was condemned to death by fire. As soon as the fire was lit, however, a rain fell and put it out. Then the Eparch ordered the saint’s tongue to be cut out, because he still confessed Christ and reviled the idolaters. Even after his tongue was cut out, the saint continued to speak as before.

Finally, Saint Romanus was nailed to a keg, and he was strangled in his prison cell. Having completed his contest for Christ, he was found worthy of the heavenly Kingdom, where he continuously glorifies the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit throughout all ages.

TROPARION - TONE 4

Your holy martyrs Platon and Romanus, O Lord, / Through their sufferings have received incorruptible crowns from You, our God. / For having Your strength, they laid low their adversaries, / And shattered the powerless boldness of demons. / Through their intercessions, save our souls!

KONTAKION - TONE 3

Your holy memory delights the universe, / Bringing us together to honor you in our joy. / We praise your great deeds with hymns, O Romanus, / Crying out to you with faith: / O holy one, save our land from its enemies!

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SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!):

Friday, November 17, 2017

St. Gregory the Wonderworker of Neocaesarea

Commemorated on November 17

Saint Gregory the Wonderworker, Bishop of Neocaesarea, was born in the city of Neocaesarea (northern Asia Minor) into a pagan family. Having received a fine education, from his youth he strived for Truth, but the thinkers of antiquity were not able to quench his thirst for knowledge. Truth was revealed to him only in the Holy Gospel, and the youth became a Christian.

For the continuation of his studies Saint Gregory went to Alexandria, known then as a center for pagan and Christian learning. The youth, eager for knowledge, went to the Alexandrian Catechetical School, where the presbyter Origen taught. Origen was a famous teacher, possessing a great strength of mind and profound knowledge. Saint Gregory became a student of Origen. Afterwards, the saint wrote about his mentor: “This man received from God a sublime gift, to be an interpreter of the Word of God for people, to apprehend the Word of God, as God Himself did use it, and to explain it to people, insofar as they were able to understand it.” Saint Gregory studied for eight years with Origen, and was baptized by him.

The ascetic life of Saint Gregory, his continence, purity and lack of covetousness aroused envy among his conceited and sin-loving peers, pagans that they were, and they decided to slander Saint Gregory. Once, when he was conversing with philosophers and teachers in the city square, a notorious harlot came up to him and demanded payment for the sin he had supposedly committed with her. At first Saint Gregory gently remonstrated with her, saying that she perhaps mistook him for someone else. But the profligate woman would not be quieted. He then asked a friend to give her the money. Just as the woman took the unjust payment, she immediately fell to the ground in a demonic fit, and the fraud became evident. Saint Gregory said a prayer over her, and the devil left her. This was the beginning of Saint Gregory’s miracles.

Having returned to Neocaesarea, the saint fled from the worldly affairs into which influential townsmen persistently sought to push him. He went into the desert, where by fasting and prayer he attained to high spiritual accomplishment and the gifts of clairvoyance and prophecy. Saint Gregory loved life in the wilderness and wanted to remain in solitude until the end of his days, but the Lord willed otherwise.

The bishop of the Cappadocian city of Amasea, Thedimos, having learned of Saint Gregory’s ascetic life, decided to have him made Bishop of Neocaesarea. But having foreseen in spirit the intent of Bishop Thedimos, the saint hid himself from the messengers of the bishop who were entrusted to find him. Then Bishop Thedimos ordained the absent saint as Bishop of Neocaesarea, beseeching the Lord that He Himself would sanctify the unusual ordination. Saint Gregory perceived the extraordinary event as a manifestation of the will of God and he did not dare to protest. This episode in the life of Saint Gregory was recorded by Saint Gregory of Nyssa (January 10). He relates that Saint Gregory of Neocaesarea received the episcopal dignity only after Bishop Thedimos of Amasea performed all the canonical rites over him.

During this time, the heresy of Sabellius and Paul of Samosata began to spread. They taught falsely concerning the Holy Trinity. Saint Gregory prayed fervently and diligently imploring God and His most pure Mother to reveal to him the true faith. The All-Holy Virgin Mary appeared to him, radiant like the sun, and with Her was the Apostle John the Theologian dressed in archepiscopal vestments.

By the command of the Mother of God, the Apostle John taught the saint how to correctly and properly confess the Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. Saint Gregory wrote down everything that Saint John the Theologian revealed to him. The Mystery of the Symbol of the Faith, written down by Saint Gregory of Neocaesarea, is a great divine revelation in the history of the Church. The teaching about the Holy Trinity in Orthodox Theology is based on it. Subsequently it was used by the holy Fathers of the Church: Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and Gregory of Nyssa. The Symbol of Saint Gregory of Neocaesarea was later examined and affirmed in the year 325 by the First Ecumenical Council, showing his enduring significance for Orthodoxy.

Having become a bishop, Saint Gregory set off to Neocaesarea. Along the way from Amasea he expelled devils from a pagan temple, the priest of which he converted to Christ. The convert was witness to still another miracle of the saint, at his word a large stone shifted from its place.

The preaching of the saint was direct, lively and fruitful. He taught and worked miracles in the name of Christ: he healed the sick, he helped the needy, he settled quarrels and complaints. Two brothers sharing an inheritance were not able to agree over the property of their dead father. There was a large lake over which they argued, for each of the brothers wanted the lake for himself. They both gathered their friends together, and were ready to come to blows. Saint Gregory persuaded them to delay their fight until the following day, and he himself prayed all night long at the shore of the lake which sparked the quarrel. When dawn broke, everyone saw that the lake had dried up or gone underground. Through the intense prayer of the saint, now there was only a stream, and its course defined the boundary line. Another time, during the construction of a church, he commanded a hill to move and make room at the place of the foundation.

When a persecution against Christians began under the emperor Decius (249-251), Saint Gregory led his flock to a faraway mountain. A certain pagan, knowing about the hiding place of the Christians, informed the persecutors. Soldiers surrounded the mountain. The saint went out into an open place, raised up his hands to heaven and ordered to his deacon to do the same. The soldiers searched the whole mountain, and they went several times right past those praying, but not seeing them, they gave up and went away. In the city they reported that there was nowhere to hide on the mountain: no one was there, and only two trees stood beside each other. The informer was struck with amazement, he repented of his ways and became a fervent Christian.

Saint Gregory returned to Neocaesarea after the end of the persecution. By his blessing church Feasts were established in honor of the martyrs who had suffered for Christ.

By his saintly life, his effective preaching, working of miracles and graced guiding of his flock, the saint steadily increased the number of converts to Christ. When Saint Gregory first ascended his cathedra, there were only seventeen Christians in Neocaesarea. At his death, only seventeen pagans remained in the city.

TROPARION - TONE 8

You became worthy of your name through your way of life: / through your vigilance in prayer and your constant works of mercy. / Therefore, O Father Gregory, beseech Christ God to enlighten our minds, / that we may not sleep in sin, which leads to death!

KONTAKION - TONE 2

You received the power to perform miracles, / frightening the devils and healing the sick through your wonderworking. / All-wise Father Gregory, / your deeds truly entitle you to be called “Wonderworker”!

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SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!):

Thursday, November 16, 2017

St. Sergius of Malopinega



Saint Sergius of Malopinega (in the world Simeon), was born in 1493. His father, Markian Stephanovich Nekliud, was descended from Novgorod nobles. Together with other fellow citizens they left their native-place setting off “to the side of the icy sea,” when Great Novgorod was finally subjugated to the power of Moscow by Ivan III. There in the northlands, Markian Stephanovich married Apollinaria, a maiden from a rich and noble family. The pious spouses raised their son Simeon in the fear of God, they gave him a fine education, and inculcated in him the love for “book-learning.” Having grown old, Markian and Apollinaria by mutual agreement went to monasteries. Markian (in monasticism Matthew) was afterwards igumen of the Resurrection monastery in the city of Keurola. Apollinaria died a schemanun with the name Pelagia.

Simeon was ordained presbyter at the canonical age of thirty to serve the churches of the Transfiguration of the Lord and the Great Martyr George in the Malopinega district. The holy presbyter Simeon with love finished his pastoral service at age sixty-two. With apostolic zeal he labored over the conversion of the pagan Chud people. The rare personal qualities of the pastor contributed much to the success of his preaching. As the Chronicle notes, he possessed a kindly soul and pure mind, a courageous heart, humility and quiet strength, love for truth, and was merciful to the poor to the point of self-denial.

In the final year of his life, the monk took the schema with the name Sergius and died on November 16, 1585. Following the saint’s final instructions, they buried him near the altar of the Transfiguration church. Later, a chapel was built over his grave. The old hand-written manuscript tells about the numerous miracles which occurred at the grave of the saint.

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SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!):

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Holy Martyrs and Confessors Gurias, Samonas and Habibus of Edessa

 Martyr and Confessor Gurias of Edessa



Commemorated on November 15

During the persecution against Christians under the emperors Diocletian (284-305) and Maximian (305-311). The two friends Gurias and Samonas, preachers of the Word of God, were arrested in the city of Edessa.

The saints refused to offer sacrifice to the gods, and boldly confessed their faith in Christ. For this they were subjected to cruel tortures: they were beaten, hung up by their hands, heavy weights were tied to their feet, and they were cast into a stifling prison.

The martyrs endured everything with firmness and Samonas uttered a prayer to the Lord, which one of the witnesses to their death wrote down: “O Lord my God, against Whose will not a single sparrow falls into the snare. It was You Who made room for David in his sorrow (Ps. 4:1), Who proved the Prophet David stronger than lions (Dan. ch. 6), and granted a child of Abraham to be victor over torture and flames (Dan. ch. 3, ch. 14). You know also, Lord, the infirmity of our nature, You see the struggle set before us. Our foe strives to snatch us, the work of Your right hand, away from You and to deprive us of the glory which is in You. With Your compassionate eye watching over us, preserve in us the inextinguishable light of Your Commandments. Guide our steps by Your light, and make us worthy of Your Kingdom, for You are blessed unto ages of ages.” By night, they took the martyrs out beyond the city and beheaded them (+ 299-306). Christians buried their holy bodies with reverence.

After some years, the last pagan emperor, Licinius (311-324), began a persecution against Christians. Habibus, a deacon of the Church of Edessa whom the emperor ordered to be arrested for his zealous spreading of the true Faith, presented himself before the executioners when he learned they were searching for him. The saint confessed his faith in Christ and was sentenced to be burned alive. The martyr went willingly into the fire and with a prayer surrendered his soul to the Lord. When the fire went out, the mother and relatives of the saint found his body unharmed. They buried the martyr next to Saints Gurias and Samonas.

After the death of the saints, numerous miracles were wrought by them for those who entreated their help with faith and love. Once, a certain Gothic soldier, sent to serve at Edessa, took the pious virgin Euphemia as his wife. Before this the barbarian vowed to her mother Sophia at the graves of the Martyrs Gurias, Samonas and Habibus that he would do his spouse no harm, and would never insult her, but would always love and cherish her.

At the completion of his service in Edessa, he took Euphemia with him back to his native land. It turned out that he had deceived her, for he already had a wife at home, and Euphemia became her slave. Her evil husband threatened to kill her if she revealed to anyone that they were married. Euphemia suffered much abuse and humiliation. When she gave birth to a son, the jealous Gothic woman poisoned him. Euphemia turned with prayer to the holy Martyrs Gurias, Samonas and Habibus, the witnesses to the perjurer’s oath, and the Lord delivered Euphemia from her suffering and miraculously returned her to Edessa, where she was welcomed by her mother.

After a certain while the Goth was again sent to serve in Edessa. The whole city learned of his misdeeds after he was denounced by Sophia. The Goth was executed by order of the prefect of the city.

In an Akathist, the Holy Church addresses the martyrs: “Rejoice, Gurias, Samonas and Habibus, Heavenly Patrons of honorable marriage.” We pray to them for deliverance from family turmoil, and from marital difficulties, especially where one spouse hates the other without cause.

TROPARION - TONE 5

Christ our God, You have granted us the miracles of Your holy martyrs / Gurias, Samonas and Abibas, / as a stronghold and protection. / Through their prayers, strengthen those in authority in every good deed, / for You alone are merciful and the Lover of mankind!

KONTAKION - TONE 2

Podoben: “Seeking the highest...” / You received grace from on high, all-praised martyrs, / and you intercede for those in the midst of temptations! / Therefore, holy ones, you freed a young woman from bitter death. / You are indeed the glory of Edessa and the joy of the world!

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SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!):

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

St. Gregory Palamas the Archbishop of Thessalonica

Commemorated on November 14

Saint Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica, was born in the year 1296 in Constantinople. Saint Gregory’s father became a prominent dignitary at the court of Andronicus II Paleologos (1282-1328), but he soon died, and Andronicus himself took part in the raising and education of the fatherless boy. Endowed with fine abilities and great diligence, Gregory mastered all the subjects which then comprised the full course of medieval higher education. The emperor hoped that the youth would devote himself to government work. But Gregory, barely twenty years old, withdrew to Mount Athos in the year 1316 (other sources say 1318) and became a novice in the Vatopedi monastery under the guidance of the monastic Elder Saint Nicodemus of Vatopedi (July 11). There he was tonsured and began on the path of asceticism. A year later, the holy Evangelist John the Theologian appeared to him in a vision and promised him his spiritual protection. Gregory’s mother and sisters also became monastics.

After the demise of the Elder Nicodemus, Saint Gregory spent eight years of spiritual struggle under the guidance of the Elder Nicephorus, and after the latter’s death, Gregory transferred to the Lavra of Saint Athanasius (July 5). Here he served in the trapeza, and then became a church singer. But after three years, he resettled in the small skete of Glossia, striving for a greater degree of spiritual perfection. The head of this monastery began to teach the young man the method of unceasing prayer and mental activity, which had been cultivated by monastics, beginning with the great desert ascetics of the fourth century: Evagrius Pontikos and Saint Macarius of Egypt (January 19).

Later on, in the eleventh century Saint Simeon the New Theologian (March 12) provided detailed instruction in mental activity for those praying in an outward manner, and the ascetics of Athos put it into practice. The experienced use of mental prayer (or prayer of the heart), requiring solitude and quiet, is called “Hesychasm” (from the Greek “hesychia” meaning calm, silence), and those practicing it were called “hesychasts.”

During his stay at Glossia the future hierarch Gregory became fully imbued with the spirit of hesychasm and adopted it as an essential part of his life. In the year 1326, because of the threat of Turkish invasions, he and the brethren retreated to Thessalonica, where he was then ordained to the holy priesthood.

Saint Gregory combined his priestly duties with the life of a hermit. Five days of the week he spent in silence and prayer, and only on Saturday and Sunday did he come out to his people. He celebrated divine services and preached sermons. For those present in church, his teaching often evoked both tenderness and tears. Sometimes he visited theological gatherings of the city’s educated youth, headed by the future patriarch, Isidore. After he returned from a visit to Constantinople, he found a place suitable for solitary life near Thessalonica the region of Bereia. Soon he gathered here a small community of solitary monks and guided it for five years.

In 1331 the saint withdrew to Mt Athos and lived in solitude at the skete of Saint Sava, near the Lavra of Saint Athanasius. In 1333 he was appointed Igumen of the Esphigmenou monastery in the northern part of the Holy Mountain. In 1336 the saint returned to the skete of Saint Sava, where he devoted himself to theological works, continuing with this until the end of his life.

In the 1330s events took place in the life of the Eastern Church which put Saint Gregory among the most significant universal apologists of Orthodoxy, and brought him great renown as a teacher of hesychasm.

About the year 1330 the learned monk Barlaam had arrived in Constantinople from Calabria, in Italy. He was the author of treatises on logic and astronomy, a skilled and sharp-witted orator, and he received a university chair in the capital city and began to expound on the works of Saint Dionysius the Areopagite (October 3), whose “apophatic” (“negative”, in contrast to “kataphatic” or “positive”) theology was acclaimed in equal measure in both the Eastern and the Western Churches. Soon Barlaam journeyed to Mt Athos, where he became acquainted with the spiritual life of the hesychasts’. Saying that it was impossible to know the essence of God, he declared mental prayer a heretical error. Journeying from Mount Athos to Thessalonica, and from there to Constantinople, and later again to Thessalonica, Barlaam entered into disputes with the monks and attempted to demonstrate the created, material nature of the light of Tabor (i.e. at the Transfiguration). He ridiculed the teachings of the monks about the methods of prayer and about the uncreated light seen by the hesychasts.

Saint Gregory, at the request of the Athonite monks, replied with verbal admonitions at first. But seeing the futility of such efforts, he put his theological arguments in writing. Thus appeared the “Triads in Defense of the Holy Hesychasts” (1338). Towards the year 1340 the Athonite ascetics, with the assistance of the saint, compiled a general response to the attacks of Barlaam, the so-called “Hagiorite Tome.” At the Constantinople Council of 1341 in the church of Hagia Sophia Saint Gregory Palamas debated with Barlaam, focusing upon the nature of the light of Mount Tabor. On May 27, 1341 the Council accepted the position of Saint Gregory Palamas, that God, unapproachable in His Essence, reveals Himself through His energies, which are directed towards the world and are able to be perceived, like the light of Tabor, but which are neither material nor created. The teachings of Barlaam were condemned as heresy, and he himself was anathemized and fled to Calabria.

But the dispute between the Palamites and the Barlaamites was far from over. To these latter belonged Barlaam’s disciple, the Bulgarian monk Akyndinos, and also Patriarch John XIV Kalekos (1341-1347); the emperor Andronicus III Paleologos (1328-1341) was also inclined toward their opinion. Akyndinos, whose name means “one who inflicts no harm,” actually caused great harm by his heretical teaching. Akyndinos wrote a series of tracts in which he declared Saint Gregory and the Athonite monks guilty of causing church disorders. The saint, in turn, wrote a detailed refutation of Akyndinos’ errors. The patriarch supported Akyndinos and called Saint Gregory the cause of all disorders and disturbances in the Church (1344) and had him locked up in prison for four years. In 1347, when John the XIV was replaced on the patriarchal throne by Isidore (1347-1349), Saint Gregory Palamas was set free and was made Archbishop of Thessalonica.

In 1351 the Council of Blachernae solemnly upheld the Orthodoxy of his teachings. But the people of Thessalonica did not immediately accept Saint Gregory, and he was compelled to live in various places. On one of his travels to Constantinople the Byzantine ship fell into the hands of the Turks. Even in captivity, Saint Gregory preached to Christian prisoners and even to his Moslem captors. The Hagarenes were astonished by the wisdom of his words. Some of the Moslems were unable to endure this, so they beat him and would have killed him if they had not expected to obtain a large ransom for him. A year later, Saint Gregory was ransomed and returned to Thessalonica.

Saint Gregory performed many miracles in the three years before his death, healing those afflicted with illness. On the eve of his repose, Saint John Chrysostom appeared to him in a vision. With the words “To the heights! To the heights!” Saint Gregory Palamas fell asleep in the Lord on November 14, 1359. In 1368 he was canonized at a Constantinople Council under Patriarch Philotheus (1354-1355, 1364-1376), who compiled the Life and Services to the saint.

TROPARION - TONE 8

O light of Orthodoxy, teacher of the Church, its confirmation, / O ideal of monks and invincible champion of theologians, / O wonder-working Gregory, glory of Thessalonica and preacher of grace, / always intercede before the Lord that our souls may be saved.

KONTAKION - TONE 8

Holy and divine instrument of wisdom, / joyful trumpet of theology, / together we sing your praises, O God-inspired Gregory. / Since you now stand before the Original Mind, guide our minds to Him, O Father, / so that we may sing to you: “Rejoice, preacher of grace.”

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SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!):

Monday, November 13, 2017

Martyr Nicephorus of Caesarea, in Palestine with Saints Antoninus and Germanus

Commemorated on November 13

Saint Nicephorus was beheaded with Saints Antoninus and Germanus in Caesarea of Palestine during the reign of Maximian by the ruler Firmilian. 
















Martyr Nicephorus

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SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!):

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Menas of Egypt

November 11

READING

Saint Menas, who had Egypt as his fatherland, contested in Cotyaeion of Phrygia in 296 during the reign of Diocletian and Maximian. A soldier distinguished for his valour in war, he renounced his rank and withdrew to devote himself to ascetical struggles and prayer in the mountains. Filled with zeal and more than human courage, he presented himself in the midst of a pagan festival in Cotyaeion and declared himself to be a Christian. After terrible torments which he endured with astonishing courage, he was beheaded. His martyrium in Egypt became a place of universal pilgrimage; evidence of ancient journeys to his shrine have been found as far away as Ireland. The glory and refuge of the Christians of Egypt, he has been revealed to be a worker of great miracles and a swift defender for all who call on him with faith; besides all else, he is also invoked for help in finding lost objects.

APOLYTIKION OF MARTYR MENAS

Plagal of the First Tone

With great valour of soul, thou didst strive in martyrdom, and having fought the good fight, O divine Great Martyr Menas, thou from Heaven hast received the gift of miracles; for God hath shown thee to the world as a worker of great signs, and He made thee our protector and a swift help in afflictions and ever-vigilant defence from harm.

KONTAKION OF MARTYR MENAS

Plagal of the Fourth Tone

As godly-minded athletes and Martyrs who strove for piety, the Church doth honour and glorify this day the godly contests and travails of Menas the prizewinner, noble Victor, brave Vincent, and valiant Stephanie, and lovingly doth cry out and glorify Christ, the Friend of man.

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SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!):

Friday, November 10, 2017

Founding of the Church of St George



Georgia was enlightened with the Christian faith by the holy Equal of the Apostles Nino (January 14), a kinswoman of the holy Great Martyr George the Victory-Bearer (April 23). Therefore, Georgia has special veneration for Saint George as its patron saint.

The name Georgia is derived from George (this name is preserved now in many languages of the world). Saint Nino established a feastday in his honor. It is celebrated in Georgia on November 10, in remembrance of the sufferings of Saint George. In 1891, near the village of Kakha in the Zakatalsk region of the Caucasus, a new church in place of the old was built in honor of the holy Great Martyr George the Victory-Bearer, and many of the heterodox Bogomils came in droves to it.

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Thursday, November 09, 2017

Martyr Alexander of Thessalonica



The Martyr Alexander of Thessalonica was arrested by pagans for confessing the Christian Faith. Under the emperor Maximian (284-305)he not only admitted being a Christian, but when told to offer sacrifice to the gods, he overturned the idolatrous sacrifice in indignation. The emperor gave orders to behead the saint.

When the execution was done, the emperor and the executioner saw how an angel came forth bearing the soul of the holy Martyr Alexander up to the heavens. The emperor permitted Christians to bury the body of the saint with honor in the city of Thessalonica, which they did with joy.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and the Other Bodiless Powers Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Salaphiel, Jegudiel, & Barachiel
















 Archangel Gabriel


Commemorated on November 8

 The Synaxis of the Chief of the Heavenly Hosts, Archangel Michael and the Other Heavenly Bodiless Powers: Archangels Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Selaphiel, Jehudiel, Barachiel, and Jeremiel was established at the beginning of the fourth century at the Council of Laodicea, which met several years before the First Ecumenical Council. The 35th Canon of the Council of Laodicea condemned and denounced as heretical the worship of angels as gods and rulers of the world, but affirmed their proper veneration.

A Feastday was established in November, the ninth month after March (with which the year began in ancient times) since there are Nine Ranks of Angels. The eighth day of the month was chosen for the Synaxis of all the Bodiless Powers of Heaven since the Day of the Dread Last Judgment is called the Eighth Day by the holy Fathers. After the end of this age (characterized by its seven days of Creation) will come the Eighth Day, and then “the Son of Man shall come in His Glory and all the holy Angels with Him” (Mt. 25:31).

The Angelic Ranks are divided into three Hierarchies: highest, middle, and lowest. 

The Highest Hierarchy includes: the Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones.


The six-winged SERAPHIM (Flaming, Fiery) (Is 6:12) stand closest of all to the Most Holy Trinity. They blaze with love for God and kindle such love in others.
The many-eyed CHERUBIM (outpouring of wisdom, enlightenment) (Gen 3:24) stand before the Lord after the Seraphim. They are radiant with the light of knowledge of God, and knowledge of the mysteries of God. Through them wisdom is poured forth, and people’s minds are enlightened so they may know God and behold His glory.
The THRONES (Col 1:16) stand after the Cherubim, mysteriously and incomprehensibly bearing God through the grace given them for their service. They are ministers of God’s justice, giving to tribunals, kings, etc. the capacity for righteous judgment.
The Middle Angelic Hierarchy consists of three Ranks: Dominions, Powers, and Authorities:
DOMINIONS (Col 1:16) hold dominion over the angels subject to them. They instruct the earthly authorities, established by God, to rule wisely, and to govern their lands well. The Dominions teach us to subdue sinful impulses, to subject the flesh to the spirit, to master our will, and to conquer temptation.
POWERS (1 Pet 3:22) fulfill the will of God without hesitation. They work great miracles and give the grace of wonderworking and clairvoyance to saints pleasing to God. The Powers assist people in fulfilling obediences. They also encourage them to be patient, and give them spiritual strength and fortitude.
AUTHORITIES (1 Pet 3:22, Col 1:16) have authority over the devil. They protect people from demonic temptations, and prevent demons from harming people as they would wish. They also uphold ascetics and guard them, helping people in the struggle with evil thoughts.
The Lowest Hierarchy includes the three Ranks: Principalities, Archangels, and Angels:
PRINIPALITIES (Col 1:16) have command over the lower angels, instructing them in the fulfilling of God’s commands. They watch over the world and protect lands, nations and peoples. Principalities instruct people to render proper honor to those in authority, as befits their station. They teach those in authority to use their position, not for personal glory and gain, but to honor God, and to spread word of Him, for the benefit of those under them.
ARCHANGELS (1 Thess 4:16) are messengers of great and wondrous tidings. They reveal prophecies and the mysteries of the faith. They enlighten people to know and understand the will of God, they spread faith in God among the people, illuminating their minds with the light of the Holy Gospel.
ANGELS (1 Pet 3:22) are in the lowest rank of the heavenly hierarchy, and closest to people. They reveal the lesser mysteries of God and His intentions, guiding people to a virtuous and holy life. They support those who remain steadfast, and they raise up the fallen. They never abandon us and they are always prepared to help us, if we desire it.
All the Ranks of the Heavenly Powers are called angels, although each has its own name and position by virtue of their service. The Lord reveals His will to the highest ranks of the angels, and they in turn inform the others.

Over all the Nine Ranks, the Lord appointed the Holy Archangel Michael (his name in Hebrew means “who is like unto God”), the faithful servitor of God, as Chief Commander. He cast down from Heaven the arrogantly proud Lucifer and the other fallen spirits when they rebelled against God. Michael summoned the ranks of angels and cried out, “Let us attend! Let us stand aright before our Creator and do not consider doing what is displeasing unto God!”

According to Church Tradition, and in the church services to the Archangel Michael, he participated in many other Old Testament events.
During the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt he went before them in the form of a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Through him the power of the Lord was made manifest, annihilating the Egyptians and Pharaoh who were in pursuit of the Israelites. The Archangel Michael defended Israel in all its misfortunes.
He appeared to Joshua Son of Navi and revealed the will of the Lord at the taking of Jericho (Josh 5:13-16). The power of the great Chief Commander of God was manifest in the annihilation of the 185 thousand soldiers of the Assyrian emperor Sennacherib (4/2 Kings 19:35); also in the smiting of the impious leader Heliodorus (2 Macc. 3: 24-26); and in the protection of the Three Holy Youths: Ananias, Azarias and Misail, thrown into the fiery furnace for their refusal to worship an idol (Dan 3:22-25).
Through the will of God, the Chief Commander Michael transported the Prophet Habbakuk (December 2) from Judea to Babylon, to give food to Daniel in the lions’ den (Dan. 14:33-37).
The Archangel Michael disputed with the devil over the body of the holy Prophet Moses (Jude 1:9).
The holy Archangel Michael showed his power when he miraculously saved a young man, cast into the sea by robbers with a stone about his neck on the shores of Mt Athos. This story is found in the Athonite Paterikon, and in the Life of St Neophytus of Docheiariou (November 9).
From ancient times the Archangel Michael was famed for his miracles in Rus. In the Volokolamsk Paterikon is a narrative of St Paphnutius of Borov with an account of Tatar tax-gatherers concerning the miraculous saving of Novgorod the Great: “Therefore Great Novgorod was never taken by the Hagarenes... when... for our sins the godless Hagarene emperor Batu devoured and set the Russian land aflame and came to Novgorod, and God and the Most Holy Theotokos shielded it with an appearance of Michael the Archangel, who forbade him to enter into it. He [Batu] was come to the Lithuanian city and came toward Kiev and saw the stone church, over the doors of which the great Archangel Michael had written and spoken to the prince his allotted fate, ‘By this we have forbidden you entry into Great Novgorod’.”
Intercession for Russian cities by the Most Holy Queen of Heaven always involved Her appearances with the Heavenly Hosts, under the leadership of the Archangel Michael. Grateful Rus acclaimed the Most Pure Mother of God and the Archangel Michael in church hymns. Many monasteries, cathedrals, court and merchant churches are dedicated to the Chief Commander Michael.
In old Kiev at the time of the accepting of Christianity, a cathedral of the Archangel was built, and a monastery also was named for him. Archangel cathedrals are found at Smolensk, Nizhni Novgorod, Staritsa, at Great Ustiug (beginning of the thirteenth century), and a cathedral at Sviyazhsk. In Rus there was not a city, where there was not a church or chapel dedicated to the Archangel Michael.
One of the chief temples of the city of Moscow, the burial church in the Kremlin, is dedicated to him. Numerous and beautiful icons of the Chief Commander of the Heavenly Hosts are also in his Cathedral. One of these, the Icon “Blessed Soldiery,” was painted in the Dormition Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. The saintly soldiers, Russian princes, are depicted under the leadership of the Archangel Michael.
We invoke St Michael for protection from invasion by enemies and from civil war, and for the defeat of adversaries on the field of battle. He conquers all spiritual enemies.
Holy Scripture and Tradition give us the names of the Archangels:
Gabriel: strength (power) of God, herald and servitor of Divine omnipotence (Dan 8:16, Luke 1:26). He announces the mysteries of God.
Raphael: the healing of God, the curer of human infirmities (Tobit 3:16, 12:15)
Uriel: the fire or light of God, enlightener (3 Ezdras 5:20). We pray for him to enlighten those with darkened minds.
Selaphiel: the prayer of God, impelling to prayer (3 Ezdras 5:16). He prays to God for mankind.
Jehudiel: the glorifying of God, encouraging exertion for the glory of the Lord and interceding for the reward of efforts.
Barachiel: distributor of the blessings of God for good deeds, entreats the mercy of God for people.
Jeremiel: the raising up to God (3 Ezdras 4:36)
On icons the Archangels are depicted in according to the character of their service:
Michael tramples the devil underfoot, and in his left hand holds a green date-tree branch, and in his right hand a spear with a white banner (or sometimes a fiery sword), on which is outlined a scarlet cross.
Gabriel with a branch from Paradise, presented by him to the Most Holy Virgin, or with a shining lantern in his right hand and with a mirror made of jasper in his left.
Raphael holds a vessel with healing medications in his left hand, and with his right hand leads Tobias, carrying a fish for healing (Tobit 5-8).
Uriel in his raised right hand holds a naked sword at the level of his chest, and in his lowered left hand “a fiery flame.”
Selaphiel in a prayerful posture, gazing downwards, hands folded on the chest.
Jehudiel holds a golden crown in his right hand, in his left, a whip of three red (or black) thongs.
Barachiel is shown with a white rose on his breast.
Jeremiel holds balance-scales in his hand.
Each person has a guardian angel, and every nation also receives its own guardian angel from God (Dan. 10:13). When a church is consecrated, it also receives a guardian angel (Palladius, Dial. Ch. 10).

TROPARION - TONE 4

Commanders of the heavenly hosts, / we who are unworthy beseech you, / by your prayers encompass us beneath the wings of your immaterial glory, / and faithfully preserve us who fall down and cry to you: / “Deliver us from all harm, for you are the commanders of the powers on high!”

KONTAKION - TONE 2

Commanders of God’s armies and ministers of the divine glory, / princes of the bodiless angels and guides of mankind, / ask for what is good for us, and for great mercy, / supreme commanders of the Bodiless Hosts.

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Sunday, November 05, 2017

Repose of St Jonah the Archbishop of Novgorod

Commemorated on November 5

Saint Jonah, Archbishop of Novgorod, in the world named John, was left orphaned early in life and was adopted by a certain pious widow living in Novgorod. She raised the child and sent him to school. Blessed Michael of Klops Monastery (January 11), who chanced to meet John on the street, foretold that he would become Archbishop of Novgorod. John received tonsure at the Otnya wilderness-monastery, 50 versts from the city, and he became igumen of this monastery. It was from here that the people of Novgorod chose him as their archbishop in 1458, after the death of Saint Euthymius (March 11).

Saint Jonah enjoyed great influence at Moscow, and during his time as hierarch, the Moscow princes did not infringe upon the independence of Novgorod. Saint Jonah, Metropolitan of Moscow (1449-1461), was a friend of the Novgorod Archbishop Saint Jonah, and wanted him to become his successor.

In 1463, Archbishop Jonah built the first church dedicated to Saint Sergius of Radonezh in the Novgorod region. Concerning himself over reviving traditions of the old days in the Novgorod Church, he summoned to Novgorod the renowned compiler of Saints’ Lives, Pachomius the Logothete, who wrote both the services and history of the best known Novgorod Saints, based on local sources.

And to this time period belongs also the founding of the Solovki monastery. Saint Jonah rendered much help and assistance in the organizing of the monastery. To Saint Zosimas he gave a special land-grant (in conjunction with the secular authorities of Novgorod), by which the whole of Solovki Island was granted to the new monastery.

The saint, after his many toils, and sensing the approach of his end, wrote a spiritual testament to bury his body at the Otnya monastery. On November 5, 1470, after he received the Holy Mysteries, the saint fell asleep in the Lord.

There has survived to the present day a Letter of Saint Jonah to Metropolitan Theodosius, written in 1464. The Life of the saint was written in the form of a short account in the year 1472 (included in the work, Memorials of Old Russian Literature, and also in the Great Reading Menaion of Metropolitan Macarius, under November 5). In 1553, after the uncovering of the relics of Archbishop Jonah, an account of this event was written by Saint Zenobius of Otnya (October 30). A special work relating the miracles of the saint is found in manuscripts of the seventeenth century.

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Thursday, November 02, 2017

St. Marcian of Cyrrhus

Commemorated on November 2

Saint Marcian of Cyrrhus lived during the fourth century. He went into the desert, where he lived for many years in solitude, unceasing prayer, and strict fasting. He built a small cell, and settled in it. The saint never lit candles for reading at night when he fulfilled his Rule of prayer, for the cell was filled with a divine light.

After several years the monk accepted two disciples, settling them beside him, but he continued to live as a hermit. The Patriarch Flavian of Antioch (February 18) and other bishops entreated the monk to abandon his strict solitude for the benefit of Christians, but he would not agree.

However, while not quitting his cell, he taught those coming to him for instruction and he turned many away from heresy and led them to the Orthodox Faith. Before his end, Saint Marcian instructed his disciple Eusebius to bury him secretly far from his cell, in order to shun posthumous glory and avoid contention among those wanting his relics for nearby churches. Saint Marcian died in the year 388.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Martyrs Caesarius, Adrian, Dacius, Savas, Sabinian, Agrippa, and Thomas at Damascus



Saint Caesarius suffered martyrdom with Saints Adrian, Dacius, Savas, Sabinian, Agrippa, and Thomas at Damascus in the seventh century.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Holy Martyr Epimachus of Egypt

OCTOBER 31

READING

The Martyr Epimachus, who was from Egypt, had lived the ascetical life on Mount Pelusium. He came to Alexandria during the reign of Decius, and was arrested by Apellianus the Governor. He suffered martyrdom in the year 251.

APOLYTIKION OF EPIMACHUS OF ALEXANDRIA

FOURTH TONE

Thy Martyrs, O Lord, in their courageous contest for Thee received as the prize the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since they possessed Thy strength, they cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by their prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

KONTAKION OF EPIMACHUS OF ALEXANDRIA

THIRD TONE

Of thine own accord didst thou go to contend for the right Faith, and thou, O Epimachus, didst bravely cry to the lawless: I am come to strive in contest for truth eternal and to mock the graven images of perdition. And when thou hadst been beheaded, thou wast arrayed in a crown of glory and life.

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Apostle Justus of the Seventy



Saint Justus, called Barsaba, a son of Saint Joseph the Betrothed, was chosen with Matthias to replace Judas. He was a bishop and died a martyr’s death at Eleutheropolis.

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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Martyr Anastasia the Roman

Commemorated on October 29

The Martyr Anastasia the Roman lost her parents in infancy, and was then taken to be reared by the abbess of a women’s monastery, named Sophia. She raised Anastasia in fervent faith, in the fear of God and obedience.

The persecution against Christians by the emperor Decius (249-251) began at that time. The city administrator, Probus, on the orders of the emperor commanded that Anastasia be brought to him. Blessed by her abbess to suffer for Christ, the young martyr Anastasia humbly came out to meet the armed soldiers. Seeing her youth and beauty, Probus first attempted flattery to make her deny Christ.

“Why waste your youth, deprived of pleasure? What is there to gain by enduring tortures and death for the Crucified? Worship our gods, marry a handsome husband, and live in glory and honor.”

The saint steadfastly replied, “My spouse, my riches, my life and my happiness are my Lord Jesus Christ, and you will not turn me away from Him by your deceit!”

Probus subjected Anastasia to fierce tortures. The holy martyr bravely endured them, glorifying and praising the Lord. In anger the torturers cut out her tongue.

The people, seeing the inhuman and disgusting treatment of the saint, became indignant, and the ruler was compelled to end the tortures by beheading the martyr. In this manner, Saint Anastasia received the crown of martyrdom.

The body of the saint was thrown out beyond the city to be eaten by wild animals, but the Lord did not permit her holy relics to be dishonored. At the command of a holy angel, Abbess Sophia went to find Saint Anastasia’s mutilated body. With the help of two Christians, she buried it in the earth.

TROPARION - TONE 4

Your lamb Anastasia, calls out to You, O Jesus, in a loud voice: / “I love You, my Bridegroom, and in seeking You I endure suffering. / In baptism I was crucified so that I might reign in You, / and I died so that I might live with You. / Accept me as a pure sacrifice, / for I have offered myself in love.” / Through her prayers save our souls, since You are merciful.

KONTAKION - TONE 3

Purified by the waters of virginity, / righteous Anastasia, you were crowned by the blood of martyrdom. / You grant healing and salvation to those in need, / and who call on you from their hearts, / for Christ gives you strength, pouring out on you ever-flowing grace!

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Saturday, October 28, 2017

Our Righteous Father Steven the Sabbaite

October 28

READING

Saint Steven passed his life in ascetical discipline in the Monastery of Saint Sabbas, from whence also he received the name Sabbaite. He was consecrated bishop and reposed about the year 790, bequeathing to the Church a number of melismatic troparia.

APOLYTIKION OF STEVEN THE SABBAITE

PLAGAL OF THE FOURTH TONE

You are a guide of Orthodoxy, a teacher of piety and modesty, a luminary of the world, the God inspired pride of monastics. O wise Steven, you have enlightened everyone by your teachings. You are the harp of the Spirit. Intercede to Christ our God for the salvation  of our souls.

KONTAKION  OF STEVEN THE SABBAITE

FOURTH TONE

Planting a paradise of flourishing virtues, which with the streams of thy divine tears was watered, O all-famed Steven, thou didst gain the Tree of Life. Wherefore, by thy fervent prayers, save thy flock from corruption; them that warmly honour thee do thou save from temptation, for we have all obtained thee, O wise Saint, through faith and love as our most mighty advocate.

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Monday, October 23, 2017

St. Ignatius the Patriarch of Constantinople



Saint Ignatius, Patriarch of Constantinople (847-857; 867-877), in the world Nicetas, was of imperial lineage. When his father, the emperor Michael I (811-813), was deposed from the imperial throne by Leo the Armenian (813-820), the fifteen-year-old youth Ignatius was imprisoned in a monastery. Life in the monastery strengthened Saint Ignatius in faith and in piety. Soon he was made igumen of the monastery, and later he was chosen Patriarch of Constantinople.

When Michael III (855-867) ascended the throne he was still a minor, so the country was actually governed by his uncle, Bardas, an impious and unchaste man. Patriarch Ignatius urged Bardas to forsake his sinful life and when he refused, Ignatius boldly denounced him for his iniquity.

Bardas attempted to force Saint Ignatius to tonsure the holy Empress Theodora, mother of the emperor, in order to remove her from governance of the realm. Patriarch Ignatius did not consent to this, and also publicly excommunicated Bardas. Bardas had Ignatius tortured for fifteen days to force him to resign, and then they sent him into exile. When the new emperor came to power, Saint Ignatius was recalled from prison and was Patriarch for another ten years. He died in the year 877 in a monastery.

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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Saints Paul and Theodore of Rostov



Saints Paul and Theodore of Rostov founded a monastery at the River Ust, not far from Rostov, in honor of the holy Martyrs Boris and Gleb (May 2). Saint Theodore (November 28) first came to the site of the future monastery from the Novgorod region. Saint Paul came three years later for ascetic struggles.

Saint Sergius of Radonezh (September 25 and July 5) came to Rostov, his native region, in 1363. Learning of this, Saints Theodore and Paul went to the great ascetic for spiritual counsel. Saint Sergius visited their wilderness monastery and blessed them to build a church there named for the holy Passion-Bearers Boris and Gleb. Already during the construction of this first church, monks began gathering around the ascetics. The igumen, Saint Theodore, joyfully accepted all who came. Soon a second temple was built in honor of the Annunciation of the Theotokos.

Setting the Borisoglebsk monastery in order, Saint Theodore entrusted its direction to Saint Paul. Then he himself took several disciples and withdrew into the Vologda forest. Here at White Lake, near to the confluence of the River Kouzha into it, he founded a monastery and lived an ascetic life for several years. He built a church dedicated to Saint Nicholas, set the monastery in order, and appointed an igumen for it.

After receiving a revelation about his impending death, he returned to the Boris and Gleb monastery, where he died on October 22, 1409. Saint Paul directed the two monasteries for a certain time, then he also died at the Monastery of Saints Boris and Gleb.

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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Venerable Theophilus and Venerable James the Abbots of Omutch, Pskov



Saint Theophilus and James, Abbots of Omutch in Pskov, lived the ascetic life on the island of Konev with Saint Arsenius (June 12). In the year 1396, in the Pskov diocese at the River Omutch, not far from the city of Porkhov, Saints Theophilus and James established a wilderness monastery in honor of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos. They fell asleep in the Lord about the year 1412.

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Friday, October 20, 2017

Venerable Matrona of Chios



Saint Matrona was born in the village of Volissos on Chios of wealthy and pious parents, Leon and Anna sometime in the fourteenth century. From her youth she showed an inclination for monasticism. One day she left her parents and went to live in an unpopulated area, where she founded a small monastery for women. Soon other nuns joined her in her ascetical struggles.

Saint Matrona worked many miracles both during her life and after her death, and was revered throughout Chios for her virtuous life and holiness. She showed charity to the poor, and was able to heal the sick.

The service to Saint Matrona was composed by Metropolitan Niketas of Rhodes. It was found in a codex from 1455, which would indicate that she died sometime before this date.

Saint Matrona is also commemorated on July 15 (the finding of her head).

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Venerable Julian the Hermit of Mesopotamia



Saint Julian the Hermit of Mesopotamia lived an ascetic life of fasting and prayer near the River Euphrates.

Once, as he was praying, he heard a voice saying that the emperor Julian the Apostate would soon perish. Soon the prophecy was fulfilled. Through the efforts of Saint Julian, a church was built on Mount Sinai in memory of the obtaining of the tablets of the Law by the holy Prophet Moses on the spot where Moses was standing when he received the tablets.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Monkmartyr Andrew of Crete

Commemorated on October 17

The Hieromartyr Andrew of Crete lived during the reign of the iconoclast emperor Constantine Kopronymos (741-775), who ordered Christians, under penalty of death, to remove the holy icons from their churches and homes. Believers, who fearlessly resisted the impious iconoclast, and held firmly to the traditions of the holy Fathers, were locked in prison. When the venerable Andrew heard that the emperor was throwing virtuous and pious Christians into prison instead of thieves and robbers, he went to the Church of the Great Martyr Mamas (September 2) in Constantinople and in front of everyone, denounced the heretic for persecuting the true Faith.

In an attempt to justify himself the emperor said that it was folly to bestow veneration on wood and paint. To this the monk replied that whoever suffers for holy icons suffers for Christ, but whoever reviles the icon upon which Christ is depicted, offers insult to Christ Himself. The enraged iconoclast gave orders to torture Saint Andrew without mercy.

As he was being dragged through the streets to the place of execution, someone cut off the saint’s feet. As a result, Saint Andrew was freed from his torments by death. A hundred years later a Canon was written to the saint by Saint Joseph the Hymnographer (April 4). The saint heals those afflicted with seizures.

TROPARION - TONE 4

 Trained in asceticism on the mountain, / with the weapon of the Cross you destroyed the spiritual assaults of the hostile powers, all-blessed one; / Again you bravely prepared for combat / and slew Copronymus with the sword of faith; / for both struggles you have been crowned by God, monk-martyr Andrew of eternal memory.

KONTAKION - TONE 3

 Today the Queen of cities / celebrates the radiant feast of your light-bearing memory, / and invites every city and country to join her. / She rejoices for she has gained a great treasure: / your body which sustained many struggles, martyr Andrew, beacon of Orthodoxy.

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Saint Domna of Tomsk

Commemorated on October 16

The holy fool Saint Domna (Karpovna) was born into a noble family in the central Ukraine around the beginning of the nineteenth century. Orphaned at an early age, Saint Domna grew up in her aunt’s house. She received an excellent education, and was able to speak several languages. She was a beautiful girl, and therefore she had many suitors who hoped to marry her. The righteous one, however, desired to preserve her virginity for the Lord’s sake. When she discovered that her relatives wished to force her to be married, she left the house in secret, dressed in plain clothing, and she went on pilgrimage to the holy places. Since she had no documents to prove her identity, she was arrested and exiled to Siberia, where she settled in the city of Tomsk. There she undertook the exploit of foolishness for the sake of Christ.

Saint Domna had no permanent home, and she often spent her days and nights in the open air. Her clothes consisted of various items in different sizes, which hung from her almost naked body. Saint Domna often counted them instead of the knots on a prayer rope, thereby concealing her unceasing prayer from human sight. When compassionate people gave her coats during the severe winters, she accepted them with gratitude, but a few hours later she would give them to some other beggar, while she continued to suffer from the cold. Knowing about the difficult stay of the prisoners in the Tomsk police station, Domna began to walk among them and sing spiritual songs, for which she herself was detained. Upon learning of this, the Tomsk merchants, who revered Domna, carried loads of her cakes, bliny, tea and sugar, which she meted out to the distressed prisoners.

Remembering the words of Holy Scripture: “A righteous man pities the lives of his animals” (Proverbs 12:10, Septuagint), the saint also took care of stray animals and watchdogs. She often fed them, and she was fond of the dogs, about whom the owners did not care, turning them loose at will. Animals also loved the righteous one and by night a multitude of them surrounded her. But even among dumb animals Domna Karpovna did not forget about God. The residents of Tomsk, amid the howling of dogs, often heard her prayer in the darkness: “Most Holy Theotokos, save us!”

The Eldress began to dress in rags and assumed the ascetical life of holy foolishness. Bags of all sorts hung from her body, filled with bits of glass, incense, bread, sugar, shoes, ropes, stones, and other things. The local people loved her. She loved animals and they loved her in return, following her as she walked.

The blessed one prayed intensely and fervently in the temple, but only when there were just a few people present. One eyewitness described her prayer: “Once I glanced into the side chapel of the church, and there I saw Domna Karpovna, kneeling, and praying. Oh, how she prayed! And the tears, the tears! They flowed from her eyes in two streams.” But as soon as she noticed someone was looking at her, she began to behave like a fool again, moving from place to place, talking, and extinguishing candles.

Through her exploit of foolishness Saint Domna preserved her virginity, voluntarily enduring poverty, suffering from the heat and cold, and putting the sinful passions to death. At the end of her life she received the gift of clairvoyance from the Lord, which served for the spiritual benefit of others. She surrendered her soul to God on October 16, 1872, and she was buried in the convent of Saint John the Baptist in Tomsk.

The Church of Russia glorified Saint Domna in 1984. She is also commemorated on June 10, the Synaxis of All Saints of Siberia. Some sources give December 16 as the day of her repose. Today, not far from Saint Domna’s burial place, a chapel was built and dedicated to her.

TROPARION - TONE 1

Hearing the voice of Thine Apostle Paul say: “We are fools for Christ;” / Thy handmaiden Mother Domna, O Christ God, was a fool on earth for Thy sake; / therefore, honoring her memory, / we entreat Thee: “O Lord, save our souls!”

SOURCE:

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!):

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Commemoration of the Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council

Commemorated on October 15

Today the Church remembers the 350 holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council under the holy Patriarch Tarasius (February 25).

The Synod of 787, the second to meet at Nicea, refuted the Iconoclast heresy during the reign of Empress Irene and her son Constantine VI.

The Council decreed that the veneration of icons was not idolatry (Exodus 20:4-5), because the honor shown to them is not directed to the wood or paint, but passes to the prototype (the person depicted). It also upheld the possibility of depicting Christ, Who became man and took flesh at His Incarnation. The Father, on the other hand, cannot be represented in His eternal nature, because “no man has seen God at any time” (John 1:18).

In Greek practice, the holy God-bearing Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council are commemorated on October 11 (if it is a Sunday), or on the Sunday which follows October 11. According to the Slavic MENAION, however, if the eleventh falls on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, the service is moved to the preceding Sunday.

TROPARION - TONE 8

Most glorious are You, O Christ our God! / You have established the Holy Fathers as lights on the earth! / Through them you have guided us to the true faith! / O greatly Compassionate One, glory to You!

KONTAKION - TONE 6

The Son who shone forth from the Father / Was ineffably born, two-fold in nature, of a woman. / Having beheld Him, we do not deny the image of His form, / But depict it piously and revere it faithfully. / Thus, keeping the True Faith, / The Church venerates the icon of Christ Incarnate.

SOURCE:

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!):