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October 19, 2017

Holy Prophet Joel

Holy Prophet Joel (Feast Day - October 19)


On earth Joel was made known through tragic suffering,
From earth he went to a place having power over suffering.
On the nineteenth Joel met his fate in the grave.

The Prophet Joel, whose name means "Yahweh is God," was of the tribe of Reuben, the son of Bathuel, and lived from 810 to 750 B.C. (but some say in the 7th century B.C.). His book is divided into three chapters, and is the second in order of the so-called minor prophets.

Joel prophesied the misfortunes of the people of Israel, and the Babylonian Captivity because of the sins they had committed in the sight of God. He called the people to fasting and the priests to tearful penitential prayer, that God would have mercy on them: "Sanctify a fast … and cry unto the Lord" (Joel 1:14); "Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar" (Joel 2:17). The central message of the Book is thus that “the day of The Lord draws near” (Joel 1:15) and that repentance is needed. The Prophet calls for the trumpet to sound in Zion and for a proclamation to be made in the mountain. All must be made aware of the darkness and gloom that is to come. He calls for the people to turn back to God with all their hearts because He is merciful and compassionate. Repentance will save the Lord’s people from captivity.

He also foretold the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Joel 2:28, and quoted by the Apostle Peter in Acts 2:17), and the saving power of the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Joel 2:32). Further he prophesied and described the Dread Judgment of God, and also prophesied the glory of God's Holy Church.

The Prophet Joel reposed in peace, and he is to be distinguished from the other Prophet Joel commemorated on March 30th.

Apolytikion in the Second Tone
As we celebrate the memory of Thy Prophet Joel, O Lord, through him we beseech Thee to save our souls.

Another Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Thou wast revealed as a treasure of sacred virtues; God's Prophet by the grace of the Spirit. Thou didst foretell the outpouring of the fountain of godliness from the House of the Lord, for us who lovingly honour thee, O holy Prophet Joel.

Kontakion in the First Tone
Since thou hadst seen the glory of God in the Spirit, thou truly didst foreknow His divine dispensation; for as thou didst say, God's Spirit is poured forth upon all flesh that believeth in Him Who appeared to the earthborn in a servant's form and made thee wondrous for ever, O Joel, thou seer of God.