Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Punishment of God and a Miracle of Saint Basil of Ostrog

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

God does not punish sinners because it gives Him gratification to destroy men. If that gave Him gratification, He would not have created man out of nothing. He punishes man out of more important constructive reasons, of which two are most apparent to us: First, that by punishment He corrects them and leads him on the true path of salvation; second, to frighten others from sinning. St. Isaac also thinks this when he says, "The just wise man is similar to God, for he punishes man, not to reproach him for his sin but either to correct man or to instill fear in others."

On Gaining Riches as a Pretext for Almsgiving

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

You will hear this kind of justification from many who pursue riches: "When I become rich, I will be able to perform good works!" Do not believe them, for they deceive both you and themselves. St. John Climacus knew in depth the most secret motives of men's souls when he said, "The beginning of love of money is the pretext of almsgiving and the end of it is hatred of the poor" (Step 16). This is confirmed by all lovers of money, the rich or the less rich. The average man says, "If only it were that I had money, I would carry out this and that good work!" Do not believe him. Let him not believe himself. Let him look at himself, as in a mirror, at those who have money and who are not willing to do this or that good work. That is how he would be if he acquired some money.

Saints and Feasts of March 20

On the twentieth the Abbas from the earth went far to the heavens.

Venerable Fathers Slain at the Monastery of Saint Savvas 
by the Barbarians known as the Blacks

Holy Fathers Slain at the Monastery of Saint Savvas in 797 A.D.

Holy Martyrs Alexandria, Claudia, Euphrasia, Matrona, 
Juliana, Euphemia and Theodora

Holy Martyrs Alexandria, Claudia, Euphrasia, Matrona, Juliana, Euphemia and Theodora of Aminsus

Venerable Niketas the Confessor, Bishop of Apolloniada

Synaxarion of our Holy Father Niketas the Confessor, Bishop of Apolloniada

Saint Cuthbert the Wonderworker, Bishop of Lindesfarne

Saint Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindesfarne, Wonderworker of Britain (+ 687)

Holy New Martyr Myron of Crete

Holy New Martyr Myron the Tailor of Heraklion, Crete (+ 1793)

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Tomb of Saints Chrysanthos and Daria in Rome (St. Gregory of Tours)

By St. Gregory of Tours

(Glory of the Martyrs 37)

According to the history of his suffering, after the martyr Chrysanthos received the crown of martyrdom with the virgin Daria he graciously performed many healings for people. For this reason a crypt of wonderful workmanship was constructed over their tombs.* The crypt was vaulted in the manner of arches and stood on a very solid foundation. When a crowd of people gathered for his festival, an evil emperor had a wall constructed across the entrance to the crypt to trap the people inside and ordered that the shrine be covered by sand and rocks. A large mound was built on top. The records of the martyr's struggle clearly state that this is what happened. For a long time the crypt remained buried by this covering. Finally the city of Rome discarded its idols and yielded to Christ the Lord. Already during previous years no one knew the location of this mausoleum, until the Lord Jesus revealed and exposed it. A wall divided the place; on one side the tombs of the martyrs Chrysanthos and Daria were separated, on the other side the bodies of the other saints were placed in one tomb. But the builder left an open window in this wall that had been placed in the middle, so that a panorama was available for viewing the bodies of the saints.

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyrs Chrysanthos and Daria

On the nineteenth of this month, we commemorate the Holy Martyrs and Couple Chrysanthos and Daria.


Although the living ones expired entering the pit,
Chrysanthos and Daria live in the heavens.
On the nineteenth the couple shared the same sepulchral mound.

These Saints lived during the reign of Emperor Numerian (283-284). Chrysanthos was the son of a ruling senator in Alexandria, whose name was Polemonos, while Daria was from Athens. Because Chrysanthos was catechized in the faith of Christ by a certain Bishop who was hidden in a cave, and baptized by him, for this reason he preached Christ. When the father of the Saint learned of this, he had him imprisoned, and punished him by starving him for many days. Because the Saint remained unshaken in his faith in Christ, his father brought a beautiful maiden from Athens, whose name was Daria, and who was a philosopher, and compelled his son Chrysanthos to take her as his wife, in order that by falling passionately in love, he would change from his faith in Christ. When the Saint saw her, he treated her like a sister and not a wife. They therefore both agreed to remain virgins until death. Hence instead of Daria persuading Chrysanthos, Chrysanthos persuaded Daria with his teachings. Wherefore she renounced her ancestral impiety, believed in Christ and received Holy Baptism.

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