Monday, October 16, 2017

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Longinus the Centurion

St. Longinus the Centurion (Feast Day - October 16)

Verses

Prior to his beheading Longinus once again,
Called on you O Christ as the Son of God.
On the sixteenth Longinus was slaughtered with the sword.

This Saint lived during the reign of Tiberius Caesar (14-37), and was from the area of Cappadocia. He was a centurion according to office, under Pilate the governor of Judea. By him he was ordered to serve at the honorable and salvific Passion of Christ, together with the soldiers subject to him, and to guard the sealed tomb. When he beheld the miracles that took place at the Crucifixion of the Lord, namely the earthquake, the darkening of the sun, the tearing from top to bottom of the veil of the Temple, the ripping apart of the rocks, the opening of the tombs when many of the reposed Saints rose and appeared to many, and having as I said seen these things, he cried out with a loud voice and said, "Truly He was the Son of God." This is commonly testified by the three divine Evangelists Matthew, Mark and Luke. Because of this, when the Jews offered him silver coins to speak falsehood concerning the Resurrection of the Lord, and to say that He was stolen by His disciples, the renowned one did not accept the silver coins. Instead he along with two of his soldiers who he later was martyred with returned these coins.

Saint Longinus the Gatekeeper of the Kiev Caves

St. Longinus the Gatekeeper of the Kiev Caves (Feast Day - October 16)

Saint Longinus, the Gatekeeper of the Far Kiev Caves, made his monastic obedience at the Lavra of the Kiev Caves. His prayerful fervor and humble love for work were rewarded by the Lord. The venerable gatesman was granted the gift of discernment. He encouraged the people who came to the Lavra with good intent, but he denounced those inclined to wickedness and urged them to repentance.

Saint Domna of Tomsk, the Fool for Christ (+ 1872)

St. Domna of Tomsk (Feast Day - 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, 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 under the name of Maria Slepchenko 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 Gall, Enlightener of Switzerland (+ 646)


It was in Ireland that St. Gall was born, just about the time that St. Comgall founded his famous monastery of Bangor (c. 555) where St. Gall was sent by his parents to be educated. There the young Cellach (St. Gall's name at birth) became well-versed in both Sacred Scripture and poetry.

St. Comgall was a strict and righteous ascetic who guided several thousand monks. Among his disciples was St. Columban (not to be confused with St. Columba or Columcille of Iona) who ordained St. Gall to the priesthood after the latter had spent some years in ascetic labors. With St. Comgull's blessing, St. Gall was chosen together with eleven other monks to accompany St. Columban on a missionary venture.

Saints and Feasts of October 16


On the sixteenth Longinus was slaughtered with the sword.

Holy Martyr Longinus the Centurion

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Longinus the Centurion

Holy Martyr Longinus the Centurion


Two Soldiers Killed With Saint Longinus

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Longinus the Centurion

Holy Martyr Longinus the Centurion


Venerable Gall, Enlightener of Switzerland

Saint Gall, Enlightener of Switzerland (+ 646)


Venerable Longinus the Gatekeeper of the Kiev Caves

Saint Longinus the Gatekeeper of the Kiev Caves


Holy New Martyr John of Tourkoleka

Holy New Martyr John of Tourkoleka (+ 1816)


Saint Domna of Tomsk, the Fool for Christ

Saint Domna of Tomsk, the Fool for Christ (+ 1872)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Saint Sabinus the Wonderworker, Bishop of Catania (+ 760)

St. Sabinus of Catania (Feast Day - October 15)

Verses

Sabinus lived a life equal to the Angels,
In death he joined the chorus of Angels.

Synaxis of All Saints of Kios

Synaxis of All Saints of Kios (Feast Day - Sunday Between October 11 and 17)

On the first Sunday after October 10th, the God-bearing Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Synod are honored and celebrated, which took place in Nicaea of Bithynia in Asia Minor. At this Synod it was decided to restore the Holy Icons and Iconoclasm was condemned. On this same day are commemorate all the Saints who were from Kios in Asia Minor. These are Saint Eustathios the Bishop of Kios (Mar. 29), Venerable Martyr Ignatios of Kios (Oct. 8), Venerable Martyr Makarios the New who was martyred in Prousa in the year 1590 (Oct. 6), and Holy New Martyr Athanasios (July 24).

Gospel Commentary for the Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost (St. Theophylact of Ochrid)


Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost (or Fourth Sunday of Luke)
The Parable of the Sower

Luke 8:5-15

From The Explanation of the Gospel of St. Luke

By Blessed Theophylact, Archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria

4-10. And when many people were gathered together, and were come to Him out of every city, He spake by a parable: "A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the way; and it was trodden down, and the winged creatures of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold." And when He had said these things, He cried, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." And His disciples asked Him, saying, "What might this parable be?" And He said, "Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand."

Saints and Feasts of the Sunday Between October 11 and 17


Commemoration of the Seventh Ecumenical Synod

Commemoration of the Seventh Ecumenical Synod


Synaxis of All Saints of Kios

Synaxis of All Saints of Kios

Saints and Feasts of October 15


On the fifteenth Lucian died devoured by hunger.

Holy Hieromartyr Lucian, Presbyter of the Church of Antioch

Saint Lucian the Hieromartyr of Antioch

The Orthodoxy of Lucian of Antioch


Saint Sabinus the Wonderworker, Bishop of Catania

Saint Sabinus the Wonderworker, Bishop of Catania (+ 760)


Saint Euthymios the New of Peristera Monastery

Saint Euthymios the New of Peristera Monastery (+ 894)


Icon of the Mother of God the Multiplier of Wheat

Icon of the Mother of God the Multiplier of Wheat

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Finding of the Relics of Saints Gervasios and Protasios by Saint Ambrose of Milan

Relics of Sts. Ambrose, Gervasios and Protasios in Milan

Saint Ambrose in a letter to his sister gives an account of the finding of the bodies of Saints Gervasios and Protasios, and of his addresses to the people on that occasion. Preaching from Psalm 19, he allegorically expounded the "heavens" to represent the martyrs and apostles, and the "day" he takes to be their confession. They were humbled by God, and then raised again. He then gives an account of the state in which their bodies were found, and of their translation to the basilica. In another address he speaks of the joy of the Catholics and the malice of the Arians who denied the miracles that were being wrought, as the Jews used to do, and points out that their faith is quite different from that of the martyrs, and that since the devils acknowledge the Trinity, and they do not, they are worse than the very devils themselves.

Saint Kosmas the Poet, Bishop of Maiuma

St. Kosmas the Poet (Feast Day - October 14)

Verses

Kosmas departed where there is all delight,
Leaving behind his music for the delight of the Church.

Our Venerable Father Kosmas the Poet, Bishop of Maiuma, is also known as the Hagiopolites ("of the Holy City"), namely of Jerusalem. When he was very young, he was left an orphan, therefore he was adopted by the father of Saint John of Damascus, whose name was Sergius, and he made him his foster-son. Because Sergius was a man of high rank and great wealth in that city, he took into his home a wise and learned teacher, whose name was also Kosmas. This Kosmas, also known as Kosmas the Monk, was from Sicily where he became a monk, and having been captured there in a raid by the Saracens, he was brought to Damascus, where he was bought by Sergius. Kosmas the Monk taught young John and Kosmas every form of divine and human wisdom. In a short time they had a complete knowledge of grammar and philosophy, as well as astronomy, music and geometry. In this way they became revered and respected by all. After they received a well-rounded education, the two brothers went to Jerusalem in 743 to become monks at the Lavra of Saint Savvas.

Holy Hieromartyr Silvanus the Elder of Gaza

St. Silvanus the Martyr of Gaza (Feast Day - October 14)

Verses

To Silvanus.
Silvanus approached for his neck to be cut off by the sword,
Hence Silvanus was seen to cut off error.

To the Forty Martyrs of Egypt and Palestine.
Two times twenty Martyrs endured the sword,
Endured by Egypt and Palestine.


The History of the Martyrs in Palestine

By Eusebius of Caesarea

The Confession of Silvanus and of Those With Him

In the Eighth Year of the Persecution of our Days (A.D. 310).

Saints and Feasts of October 14


On the fourteenth Nazarios and the three with him were beheaded.

Holy Martyrs Nazarios, Gervasios, Protasios and Celsus

Four Martyrs of Milan - Nazarios, Gervasios, Protasios and Celsus

The Finding of the Relics of Saints Gervasios and Protasios by Saint Ambrose of Milan


Venerable Kosmas the Poet, Bishop of Maiuma

Saint Kosmas the Poet, Bishop of Maiuma


Holy Hieromartyr Silvanus the Elder

Holy Hieromartyr Silvanus the Elder of Gaza


Holy Forty Martyrs of Egypt and Palestine

Holy Hieromartyr Silvanus the Elder of Gaza


Holy Martyr Peter the Absalamite

Holy Martyr Peter the Absalamite


Venerable Paraskevi the New of Epivato

Saint Paraskevi the New of Epivato

Saint Paraskevi the New and Her Feast Day in Romania


Saint Ignatios Agallianos, Metropolitan of Mithymna, the Wonderworker

Saint Ignatios Agallianos, Metropolitan of Mithymna, the Wonderworker (+ 1566)


Venerable Pachomios of Chios

Life and Spiritual Counsels of Saint Pachomios of Chios (+ 1905)

The Miracle of St. Paraskevi in 1442 on the Island of Chios


Feast of Svetistkholoba (Life-Giving Column) in Georgia

Thousands Gather in Georgia for Svetistkholoba

Friday, October 13, 2017

Synaxis of Panagia Eleftherotria in Salamina


The Church of Panagia Eleftherotria (the Liberator) is located on the hill Patrice on the Saronic island of Salamina. The church was a solemn promise of the island's people for their liberation from the Germans in World War 2. At this hill many were killed because the hill was a minefield.

Holy Hieromartyr Benjamin the Deacon of Persia

St. Benjamin the Deacon of Persia (Feast Day - October 13)

Verses

Benjamin is a sheep but not a wolf,
Who was seized by wolves and sacrificed but does not sacrifice.

By Theodoret of Cyrus

Ecclesiastical History (Bk. 5, Ch. 38)

At this time Isdigirdes, King of the Persians, began to wage war against the churches and the circumstances which caused him so to do were as follows. A certain bishop, Abdas by name, adorned with many virtues, was stirred with undue zeal and destroyed a Pyreum, Pyreum being the name given by the Persians to the temples of the fire which they regarded as their God.

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyrs Karpos, Papylos, Agathadoros and Agathonike

Sts. Karpos, Papylos, Agathodoros and Agathonike (Feast Day - October 13)

Verses

To Karpos and Papylos.
Karpos and Papylos both fruits of God,
By your beheading the celestial tent opened.

To Agathodoros.
The numerous gifts of Agathodoros strengthens,
The numerous who contest with terrible scourging.

To Agathonike.
No one hinders you Martyr Agathonike,
A female from going to the divine by an end from the sword.

On the thirteenth Karpos and Papylos were slain by the sword.

Saint Benjamin of the Kiev Caves

St. Benjamin of the Kiev Caves (Feast Day - October 13)

Saint Benjamin of the Kiev Caves lived during the fourteenth century, and before accepting monasticism was an important and wealthy merchant. Once at the time of divine services Saint Benjamin applied to his own case the words of the Psalmist about "the mouth that speaks lies and the tongue that has set forth deceit" (Ps. 11:3; 49:19). "Where is the merchant," he said to himself, "who has never told a lie and who will be able to escape punishment?" A little later he felt deeply in his heart the words of the Savior: "It is difficult for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God" (Mt. 19:23). After distributing his wealth to the needy, Saint Benjamin became a monk at the Kiev Caves Lavra, “pleasing the Lord by fasting and prayer and poverty and obedience even unto death.” He was buried in the Far Caves of Saint Theodosius.

Saints and Feasts of October 13


On the thirteenth Karpos and Papylos were slain by the sword.

Holy Martyrs Karpos, Papylos, Agathadoros and Agathonike

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyrs Karpos, Papylos, Agathadoros and Agathonike


Holy Martyr Florentios

Saint Florentios the Martyr of Thessaloniki


Holy Hieromartyr Benjamin the Deacon, Who Was Martyred in Persia

Holy Hieromartyr Benjamin the Deacon of Persia


Venerable Benjamin of the Kiev Caves

Saint Benjamin of the Kiev Caves


Holy Neomartyr Chryse (Zlata) of Meglen

Holy New Martyr Chryse of Meglen (+ 1796)

Holy New Martyr Zlata of Meglen (+ 1796)

Holy Neomartyr Chryse as a Model for our Lives


Holy Hieromartyr Jacob of Hamatoura

Holy Hieromartyr Jacob of Hamatoura

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Holy Martyrs Provos, Tarachos and Andronikos

Sts. Provos, Tarachos and Andronikos (Feast Day - October 12)

Verses

Tarachos, Andronikos and Provos by a sword,
Were taken up victoriously advancing beyond disturbance.
On the twelfth Provos, Tarachos and Andronikos were beheaded.

These three Holy Martyrs contested during the reign of Emperor Diocletian (284-305). They were Tarachos (Tarachus), a Roman who was a native of Claudiopolis in Isauria and a former soldier, the plebeian Provos (Probus) of Side in Pamphylia, and the patrician Andronikos (Andronicus), who belonged to a prominent family of Ephesus. The three were brought before the governor Numerian Maximus for being Christians, and they boldly confessed Christ. For this they were horribly tortured three times in various cities, including Tarsus, Mopsuestia, and Anazarbus of Cilicia.

Holy Martyr Anastasia the Virgin

St. Anastasia the Virgin (Feast Day - October 12)

Verses

Welcoming being conducted to her beheading,
Was the right-victorious Martyr Anastasia.

This Saint lived during the reign of the emperors Decius (249-251) and Valerian (253-260). She was from Rome, and lived in asceticism from her youth in a monastery together with four other virgins, that was directed by a woman named Sophia. Anastasia was accused of being a Christian and insulting the pagan gods to Governor Probus, and she was brought before him bound in iron chains. Having boldly confessed before him her Christian faith, and being unmoved by flatteries and threats alike, she was given over to torture.

The Life of Saint Symeon the New Theologian in Iconography


Young St. Symeon being taught by his elder, St. Symeon the Devout

Saints and Feasts of October 12


On the twelfth Provos, Tarachos and Andronikos were beheaded.

Holy Martyrs Provos, Tarachos and Andronikos

Holy Martyrs Provos, Tarachos and Andronikos

Saints Provos, Tarachos and Andronikos as Models for our Lives


Holy Martyr Domnina of Anazarbus

Saint Domnina of Anazarbus


Holy Martyr Anastasia the Virgin

Holy Martyr Anastasia the Virgin


Venerable Symeon the New Theologian

Saint Symeon the New Theologian Resource Page


Venerable Theosevios of Arsinoe in Cyprus

Saint Theosevios of Arsinoe in Cyprus


Holy Thief of Golgotha

Why The Good Thief Was Pardoned

Did Only One Thief Insult Christ on the Cross?

The Miraculous Healing of St. Porphyrios of Gaza by the Thief on the Cross

The First Chapel Dedicated to the Holy Thief of Golgotha


Translation of the Relics of Saint Savvas the Sanctified from Rome to Jerusalem (1965)

Saint Savvas the Sanctified Resource Page


Synaxis of All Saints of Athens

Synaxis of All Saints of Athens


Synaxis of Panagia Eleftherotria in Salamina

Synaxis of Panagia Eleftherotria in Salamina


Saint Symeon the New Theologian Resource Page

St. Symeon the New Theologian (Feast Day - October 12)

Verses

Before you had a tongue instead of books,
Whereas now instead of your tongue, we also have your books.

About

The Life of Saint Symeon the New Theologian in Iconography

Saint Symeon the New Theologian as a Model for our Lives

On St. Symeon the New Theologian's First Vision of Uncreated Glory

The Core Theological Message of St. Symeon the New Theologian

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Commemoration of the Miracle of the Icon of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Beirut


At the fourth session of the Seventh Ecumenical Synod in 787, Saint Peter, Bishop of Nicomedia, in defending the necessity of icon veneration, presented an account attributed to Saint Athanasius the Great about a miracle which occurred in the city of Beirut (Berytus) of Phoenicia.

In this city, near the Jewish synagogue, lived a certain Christian. When he moved to another place, he left behind an icon of our Lord Jesus Christ. A Jew, who moved into the house, paid no attention to the icon. Once, his friend noticed the image of Jesus Christ on the wall, and said to the homeowner, “Why do you, a Jew, have an icon in your house?” He then went to the synagogue and reported this transgression of Jewish law.

Holy Martyrs Zenaida and Philonella the Sisters

Sts. Zenaida and Philonella (Feast Day - October 11)

Verses

The friends of peace reposed in peace,
Both Zenais together with Philonella.

The holy sisters Zenaida (or Zenais) and Philonella were born in the district of Tarsus early in the first century. They were cousins of the Apostle Paul and were born into a highly educated Jewish family. Both sisters had a natural intelligence and a love for learning. When they entered the famous school at Tarsus to study philosophy, the sisters were instantly attracted to the lectures of the medical theorists. Their cousin Jason, Bishop of Tarsus, was an early convert to Christianity and a follower of their kinsman, the Apostle Paul.

Saint Leonid of Optina (+ 1841)

St. Leonid of Optina (Feast Day - October 11)

Leo Nagolkin, the future Saint Leonid, was born in Karachev in the Orlov Province in 1768. As a young man he worked for a merchant, making long and frequent trips on his employer’s business. He met all sorts of people, and this experience helped him later in life when visitors of diverse backgrounds would come to him for spiritual advice.

Leo first entered Optina Monastery in 1797, but remained for only two years. Then he went to White Bluff monastery in the Orlov diocese, where Hieromonk Basil (Kiskin) was abbot. He tonsured Leo as a monk in 1801, giving him the new name Leonid. In December of that year, Father Leonid was ordained as a deacon and then as a priest.

Synaxarion of Saint Theophilos the Confessor

St. Theophilos the Confessor (Feast Day - October 10)

Verses

By your works Theophilos you showed forth your calling,
For you contested on behalf of the divine-human icon.

Our blessed Father Theophilos was born three stades from Tiberiopolis, which in Bulgarian is known as Strumica, to pious and Orthodox parents. He was baptized when he was three years old. His parents then took him to a mountain called Selention,* and there they found our Holy Father Stephen, received his blessing, and returned again to their home. From that time the sacred child occupied himself with sacred letters.

Saints and Feasts of October 11


Philip the liturgist received his reward on the eleventh.

Holy Apostle Philip of the Seventy, One of the Seven Deacons

Holy Apostle Philip of the Seventy, One of the Seven Deacons


Holy Confessor Theophanes the Graptos, Bishop of Nicaea

Saint Theophanes the Graptos, Who Was Branded With Twelve Iambic Verses


Holy Martyrs Zenaida and Philonella the Sisters

Holy Martyrs Zenaida and Philonella the Sisters


Saint Jonah of Pergamos in Cyprus

Saint Jonah the Hermit of Pergamos


Saint Philotheos Kokkinos, Patriarch of Constantinople

Saint Philotheos Kokkinos (+ 1379)


Saint Savvas of Vatopaidi

Saint Savvas of Vatopaidi, the Fool for Christ (+ 1349)


Venerable Leonid of Optina

Saint Leonid of Optina (+ 1841)

On Prayer For Those Who Commit Suicide and For the Departed Non-Orthodox


Commemoration of the Miracle of the Icon of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Beirut

Commemoration of the Miracle of the Icon of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Beirut


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Saint Bassianos at Constantinople

St. Bassianos (Feast Day - October 10)

Verses

Bassianos is absent from life below,
Rejoicing as he advances above.

Our Venerable Father Bassianos (or Bassian, Basianus) was from Syria, and during the reign of Emperor Marcian (450-457) he came to Constantinople and founded a monastery. There he gained fame for his virtues and miracles, so that Emperor Marcian built a church in his name to honor him. His disciples increased to three hundred in number.

Saint Ambrose of Optina (+ 1891)

St. Ambrose of Optina (Feast Day - October 10)

Alexander Michailovich Grenkov was born November 23, 1812 in the Russian province of Tambov. His parents raised him strictly and with fervent piety. Since he was of a priestly family, it was no surprise when he entered the Tambov Theological Seminary in 1830. He did well in his studies and was ranked among the top students.

About a year before graduation Alexander became seriously ill. He promised that if God healed him, he would become a monk. Although his prayer was answered, Alexander seemed to forget his promise.

Saint Pinytus, Bishop of Knossos

St. Pinytus of Knossos (Feast Day - October 10)

Saint Pinytus was the Bishop of Knossos in Crete in the late second century. He was considered one of the foremost ecclesiastical writers of his time by Eusebius of Caesarea.

Saints and Feasts of October 10


On the tenth Eulampios was beheaded with his sister.

Holy Martyrs Eulampios and Eulampia the Siblings

Saints Eulampios and Eulampia the Siblings


Holy Two Hundred Martyrs

Saints Eulampios and Eulampia the Siblings


Saint Pinytus, Bishop of Knossos

Saint Pinytus, Bishop of Knossos


Venerable Bassianos at Constantinople

Saint Basianos at Constantinople


Venerable Theophilos the Confessor

Synaxarion of Saint Theophilos the Confessor


Venerable Longinus the Stylite

Synaxarion of Saint Theophilos the Confessor


Holy Twenty-Six Venerable Martyrs of Zographou

26 Holy Martyrs of Zographou Monastery

The Holy 26 Martyrs of Zographou as Models for our Lives


Saint Dionysios the Philosopher

Saint Dionysios the Philosopher (+ 1611)


Holy New Martyr Dionysios of Vatopaidi

Holy New Martyr Dionysios of Vatopaidi (+ 1822)


Venerable Ambrose of Optina

Saint Ambrose of Optina (+ 1891)


Monday, October 9, 2017

The Patristic Interpretation of the Seduction of Lot By His Two Daughters


By John Sanidopoulos

Genesis 19:30-38 describes how Lot's two daughters, shortly after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, got their father drunk on wine, engaged in sexual intercourse with him on two successive nights, though he was unaware due to intoxication, and became pregnant, and eventually gave birth to two sons Moab and Benammi. Their sons, born of incest, are described as founding the Moabite and Ammonite nations, which became continuous enemies of Israel.

This scandalous event in the Book of Genesis has long troubled interpreters, especially when one considers the fact that Ruth was a descendant of Moab, and her offspring became a descendant of Jesus Christ. This means that one of the descendants of Christ was born through incest, between Lot and his oldest daughter. It also troubles readers because they don't know what to make of it, since incest seems so obviously wrong on many levels.

Synaxarion of the Holy and Righteous Abraham and Lot

Righteous Abraham and Lot (Feast Day - October 9)

Verses

To Abraham.
When Abraham died, what abode did he go to?
For there is no other bosom, than the abode of Lazarus.

To Lot.
For Lot heaven was like a new Zoar,
Which he arrived at after fleeing the fire of this life.

Who Was the Apostle James the Son of Alphaeus?

St. James the son of Alphaeus (Feast Day - October 9)

James, the son of Alphaeus, was an Apostle of Christ and was numbered among the Twelve Disciples. In the three Synoptic Gospels, his name is listed in the list of twelve (Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:15), but other information about him is not reported. He was perhaps the brother of the Apostle Jude and/or the brother of the Apostle Matthew, though we are never explicitly told that James son of Alphaeus had a brother.

Some believe, according to tradition, that James was a tax collector, who after Pentecost preached in Judea, and then went to Edessa with the Apostle Andrew. He then preached the gospel in Gaza and Eleutheropolis.

Orthodox Images of the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah


"Your children who follow you in later generations and foreigners who come from distant lands will see the calamities that have fallen on the land and the diseases with which the Lord has afflicted it. The whole land will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur—nothing planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboyim, which the Lord overthrew in fierce anger." (Deuteronomy 29:22-23)

Saint Paisios the Athonite On How Abraham Used His Mind Properly


From the book With Pain and Love for Contemporary Man, which contains teachings of Saint Paisios the Athonite to his spiritual daughters, compiled and published by the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian in Souroti, Greece.

- In other words, Elder, we should use our mind against the passions?

- Not only that, but more generally, we should take notice of God’s beneficence and of the universe all around us and give Him thanks and praise. You see, it was Abraham that first sought God, not the other way around.

Saints and Feasts of October 9


On the ninth James was stretched out on the cross.

Holy Apostle James, the Son of Alphaeus, of the Twelve

Holy Apostle James, the Son of Alphaeus

Who Was the Apostle James the Son of Alphaeus?


Venerable Andronikos and His Wife Athanasia

Saint Andronikos and His Wife Athanasia

The Church of Saints Andronikos and Athanasia in Frenaros


Venerable Poplia the Confessor

Saint Poplia the Confessor, Who Confronted Julian the Apostate With Spiritual Songs


Righteous Abraham and Lot His Nephew

Righteous Abraham and Lot Resource Page


Holy Hieromartyr Denis, Bishop of Paris, With His Companions Rusticus and Eleutherius

Saint Denis, First Bishop of Paris


Righteous Abraham and Lot Resource Page

Righteous Abraham and Lot (Feast Day - October 9)

Verses

To Abraham.
When Abraham died, what abode did he go to?
For there is no other bosom, than the abode of Lazarus.

To Lot.
For Lot heaven was like a new Zoar,
Which he arrived at after fleeing the fire of this life.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

On the Repentance of the Anonymous Harlot of Antioch (St. John Chrysostom)


Chrysostom's c. 390 sermon below mentions an anonymous (but apparently famous) actress and prostitute "from a wicked city in Phoenice" (possibly Heliopolis in Syria) who seduced "the empress's brother" but converted "in our own day". This reference is most likely to Saint Pelagia the Courtesan (Oct. 8). Constantius II's wife Eusebia had two brothers, Eusebius and Hypatius, joint consuls in 359, who both lived for many years in Antioch. In his account, attempts were made to lure her back to her former life by the Roman prefect and some of his soldiers, a role played by Satan in the hagiography. The mention of a meeting of the Syrian bishops is unhelpful for dating, as more than thirty Synods of Antioch were conducted in late antiquity.

By St. John Chrysostom

(From Homily 67 on the Gospel of Matthew)

Jesus said to them, "Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him." (Matthew 21:31-32)

Saint Pelagia the Virgin (St. Ambrose of Milan)


By St. Ambrose of Milan

Letter 37

But amongst us, even maidens through desire of death have mounted even up to heaven by the lofty steps of virtue. Why should I mention Thekla, Agnes, or Pelagia, who sprouting forth as noble tendrils have hastened to death as if to immortality? The virgin exulted among lions, and dauntlessly beheld the roaring beasts. And to compare our history with that of the Indian philosophers, what Calanus boasted in words holy Laurence proved by his acts, for he was burnt alive, and surviving the flames said, 'Turn me and eat me.' Nor did the youths of the race of Abraham or the sons of the Maccabees strive less boldly; the former sung while in the midst of the flames, and the latter, during their punishment, asked not to be spared, but reproached their persecutor in order to enrage him more. The wise man therefore is free.

Gospel Commentary for the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost (St. Theophylact of Ochrid)


Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost (or Third Sunday of Luke)
Raising of the Son of the Widow of Nain

Luke 7:11-16

From The Explanation of the Gospel of St. Luke

By Blessed Theophylact, Archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria

11-16. And it came to pass the day after, that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and much people. Now when He came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her, and said unto her, "Weep not." And He came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And He said, "Young man, I say unto thee, Arise." And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And He delivered him to his mother. And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, that "a great prophet is risen up among us;" and, "that God hath visited His people."

Saint and Feasts of the Second Sunday of October


Synaxis of Panagia Nafpaktiotissa

Panagia Nafpaktiotissa and the Battle of Lepanto

Saints and Feasts of October 8


On the eighth Pelagia fled a life in a sea of troubles.

Venerable Pelagia, Who Was Formerly A Courtesan

The Life of Saint Pelagia of Antioch, the Nun Who Was Once a Courtesan

Saint Pelagia of Antioch: A Repentant Courtesan

On the Repentance of the Anonymous Harlot of Antioch (St. John Chrysostom)

Three Holy Responses to Sexual Immorality: Pelagia the Virgin, Pelagia the Courtesan and Thais the Harlot


Saint Pelagia the Virgin

Saint Pelagia the Virgin Martyr of Antioch

Saint Pelagia the Virgin (St. Ambrose of Milan)

Three Holy Responses to Sexual Immorality: Pelagia the Virgin, Pelagia the Courtesan and Thais the Harlot


Saint Taisia, Who Was Formerly a Harlot

Saint Taisia, Who Was Formerly a Harlot

The Discovery of the Relics of Saints Serapion the Sindonite and Thais the Former Harlot

Three Holy Responses to Sexual Immorality: Pelagia the Virgin, Pelagia the Courtesan and Thais the Harlot


Saint Philip, Bishop of Gortyna

Saint Philip of Gortyna


Venerable New Martyr Ignatios the New

Venerable New Martyrs Akakios of Neochorion, Euthymios of Peloponnesos and Ignatios the New

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Holy Martyrs Julian the Presbyter and Caesarius the Deacon

Sts. Julian the Presbyter and Caesarius the Deacon (Feast day - October 7)

Verses

To Julian and Caesarius.
In a sack in the depths you were given by God the Word,
A double return of joy in sacks O athletes.

To Leontios the Proconsul.
Leontios left his rule below,
Peacefully finding honor above.

To Eusebius the Presbyter and Felix.
Eusebius and Felix the grace of martyrdom,
By the sword you found the grace of martyrdom.

The Life and Passion of the Holy Martyrs Sergius and Bacchus

Sts. Sergius and Bacchus (Feast Day - October 7)

Verses

Brazen as sinews Bacchus was forced to the sinews,
And with fire in his heart Sergius went to the sword.
On the seventh Sergius was killed by the sword, Bacchus by sinews.

1. When the tyrant Maximianus was emperor great error had seized the race of men; for they worshipped wood and stone, the creations of man, and feasted on impure sacrificial offerings. Moreover those who were unwilling to offer sacrifice were forced by the infliction of violent punishments and penalties to serve the demons. Thus an edict containing the severest threat was publicly posted in every city. Thereupon the clean air was polluted by the diabolic stench from the altars, and the darkness of diabolic error was thought an opportunity to meet friends. Then, like earth-bound stars, Sergius and Bacchus exercised great influence in support of Christianity in the palace, and were honoured by the emperor Maximianus. Indeed blessed Sergius was the primicerius and commander of the schola gentilium, a friend of the emperor and trusted by him so much that he acceded swiftly to his requests.

Saints and Feasts of October 7


On the seventh Sergius was killed by the sword, Bacchus by sinews.

Holy Martyrs Sergius and Bacchus

The Life and Passion of the Holy Martyrs Sergius and Bacchus

Saints Sergius and Bacchus as Models for our Lives

Patriarchal Pilgrimage to the Church of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus in Constantinople


Holy Martyrs Julian the Presbyter and Caesarius the Deacon

Holy Martyrs Julian the Presbyter and Caesarius the Deacon


Holy Martyr Leontios the Proconsul

Holy Martyrs Julian the Presbyter and Caesarius the Deacon


Holy Martyrs Eusebius the Presbyter and Felix

Holy Martyrs Julian the Presbyter and Caesarius the Deacon


Holy Hieromartyr Polychronios

Saint Polychronios the Hieromartyr


Venerable John the Hermit and the Ninety-Eight Fathers of Crete (otherwise known as the Ninety-Nine Fathers of Crete

Saint John the Hermit and the 98 Fathers of Crete


Uncovering of the Sacred Relics of Venerable John Triantaphyllides the Presbyter, the New Chrysostom and Merciful, of Chaldia in Asia Minor (1906)

Saint John Triantaphyllides, the New Chrysostom and Merciful (+ 1903)


Friday, October 6, 2017

"Indication of the Way Into the Kingdom of Heaven" (St. Innocent of Alaska)


Indication of the Way Into the Kingdom of Heaven

By St. Innocent of Alaska

Introduction

People were not created merely to live here on earth like animals that disappear after their death, but to live with God and in God, and to live not for a hundred or a thousand years, but to live eternally.

But only Christians can live with God; that is to say, those who rightly believe in Jesus Christ. Everyone, whoever he may be, desires and seeks prosperity and happiness.

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