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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Saint Theophanes the Myrrhgusher, Bishop of Solea in Cyprus (+ 1550)

St. Theophanes of Solea (Feast Day - May 17)


Blessed Theophanes longed for his Bridegroom,
departing from this world empty of glory.
The Monastery of the Forerunner rejoices and is glad,
having you venerable one as a divine protector.
On the seventeenth Theophanes united with God.

Saint Theophanes lived in Cyprus during the Venetian occupation (1489-1571). We do not have information about his parents, his origins and his education. The information we have is little, but important, because it is handed down by a contemporary of the Saint and an eyewitness of the exhumation of his Holy Relic, Stefano Lusignan (1537–1590), a Dominican monk and vicar of the Latin Archdiocese of Cyprus, in his work "The Chorography of the Island of Cyprus". This work, which is considered an important source of information on the medieval history of Cyprus, was published first in Italian (1573) and then in French (1580). The second edition, which is more elaborate, completes the first.

Third Homily for the Sunday of the Paralytic (St. Luke of Simferopol)

 By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered in 1958)

Our Lord Jesus Christ came to Jerusalem for the feast. At the Sheep Gate of this city stood a pool, called in Hebrew Bethesda, which means "the House of Mercy". This pool was surrounded by five covered passages, in which lay a huge number of sick, blind, lame, withered, waiting for the movement of water, which from time to time was made by an angel descending into the pool. And then every sick person, who was first to descend into the water, was miraculously healed of their illness, whatever it was. Who, if not the Eternal Son of the God of mercy and the Father of bounties, should enter the House of Mercy?

Monday, May 16, 2022

Second Homily for the Sunday of the Paralytic (St. Luke of Simferopol)

 By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered on May 20, 1951)

One evening, the Holy Prophet David was on the roof of his house, and from the height of the roof in the neighboring courtyard he saw an extremely beautiful woman bathing. He was inflamed with passion for her, and sent his servants to bring her to his house. The king questioned her and learned that she was the wife of Uriah, a brave warrior who fought against the Ammonites and the Syrians. He took her for himself. He called for the commander under whose authority Uriah was, and ordered to put Uriah in the most dangerous place and move away so that he would be killed. A messenger came from the field and reported what was done according to his word - and Uriah died.

Synaxis of All the Holy Venerable Fathers of Meteora

On the Sunday of the Paralytic, it has been established in Meteora and Kalambaka to commemorate the Synaxis of All the Holy Venerable Fathers of Meteora, whose asceticism for the love of God shine as a bright example for our own sanctification.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

First Homily for the Sunday of the Paralytic (St. Luke of Simferopol)

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea 
(Delivered on April 30, 1950) 
"There is a pool in Jerusalem at the sheep gate, called in Hebrew Bethesda, in which there were five covered passages. In them lay a great multitude of the sick, the blind, the lame, the withered, waiting for the movement of the water. For the angel of the Lord went down at times into the pool, and disturbed the waters; and whoever first entered it after the disturbance of the water, recovered, no matter what disease was possessed" (John 5:2-4).

I think that the whole world, that all mankind is like this pool of Bethesda: you need to know that this Hebrew word means "house of mercy." In it, in this house of mercy, lay many sick, crippled, lame, blind.

This is the image of our world. Is there not in it a huge number of sick people who lay at the pool at the Sheep Gate: lame, crippled, blind, withered and paralyzed?

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