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Sunday, June 30, 2019

Synaxis of the Holy Twelve Apostles: Gospel and Epistle Reading


Synaxis of the Holy Twelve Apostles

June 30th

Prokeimenon. Mode Plagal 4.
Psalm 18:4,1
Their voice has gone out into all the earth.
Verse: The heavens declare the glory of God.

Προκείμενον. Ήχος πλ. δ'.
Ψαλμοί 18:4,1
Εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν γῆν ἐξῆλθεν ὁ φθόγγος αὐτῶν.
Στίχ. Οἱ οὐρανοὶ διηγοῦνται δόξαν Θεοῦ.

St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 4:9-16

English

Brethren, God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are ill-clad and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become, and are now, as the refuse of the world, the off-scouring of all things. I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me.

Second Sunday of Pentecost: Gospel and Epistle Reading


Second Sunday of Pentecost
or
Second Sunday of Matthew

Jesus Calls His First Disciples

St. Paul's Letter to the Romans 2:10-16

English

Brethren, glory and honor and peace for every one who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality. All who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

Second Gospel Reading of Matins


Second Sunday Gospel Reading of Matins
(Second Eothinon of Orthros)

Myrrhbearers at the Empty Tomb

Mark 16:1-8

English

When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint Jesus. And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?" And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back, for it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed. And he said to them, "Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you." And they went out and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them; and they said nothing to any one, for they were afraid.

Greek

Καὶ διαγενομένου τοῦ σαββάτου Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ καὶ Μαρία ἡ τοῦ ᾿Ιακώβου καὶ Σαλώμη ἠγόρασαν ἀρώματα ἵνα ἐλθοῦσαι ἀλείψωσιν αὐτόν. καὶ λίαν πρωῒ τῆς μιᾶς σαββάτων ἔρχονται ἐπὶ τὸ μνημεῖον, ἀνατείλαντος τοῦ ἡλίου. καὶ ἔλεγον πρὸς ἑαυτάς· τίς ἀποκυλίσει ἡμῖν τὸν λίθον ἐκ τῆς θύρας τοῦ μνημείου; καὶ ἀναβλέψασαι θεωροῦσιν ὅτι ἀποκεκύλισται ὁ λίθος· ἦν γὰρ μέγας σφόδρα. καὶ εἰσελθοῦσαι εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον εἶδον νεανίσκον καθήμενον ἐν τοῖς δεξιοῖς, περιβεβλημένον στολὴν λευκήν, καὶ ἐξεθαμβήθησαν. ὁ δὲ λέγει αὐταῖς· μὴ ἐκθαμβεῖσθε· ᾿Ιησοῦν ζητεῖτε τὸν Ναζαρηνὸν τὸν ἐσταυρωμένον· ἠγέρθη, οὐκ ἔστιν ὧδε· ἴδε ὁ τόπος ὅπου ἔθηκαν αὐτόν. ἀλλ᾿ ὑπάγετε εἴπατε τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ καὶ τῷ Πέτρῳ ὅτι προάγει ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν· ἐκεῖ αὐτὸν ὄψεσθε, καθὼς εἶπεν ὑμῖν. καὶ ἐξελθοῦσαι ἔφυγον ἀπὸ τοῦ μνημείου· εἶχε δὲ αὐτὰς τρόμος καὶ ἔκστασις, καὶ οὐδενὶ οὐδὲν εἶπον· ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ.


Saturday, June 29, 2019

Homily on the Day of the Foremost Apostles Peter and Paul (St. John of Kronstadt)


By St. John of Kronstadt

We magnify you, o holy foremost apostles Peter and Paul,
who have enlightened the whole world with your teachings
and brought all the ends of it to Christ.

The Lord worthily exalted the names of the holy Apostles throughout the universe: for they were the disciples and fellow laborers with Christ God, the ones who enlightened the entire world with their teachings, the world that was in darkness and in the shadow of death, they brought countless souls from the worship of idols to the knowledge of true God and from dishonor to righteous life, they lived on earth in a heavenly manner, like bodiless angels, having disdained all earthly things as corruptible and temporary, vain and sinful; they worked innumerable miracles, undertook unbelievably great labors, and finally gave their souls for the faith in their Lord. These, in general terms, are the merits of the holy Apostles, and especially of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

Passion of the Apostles (A Hymn of St. Ambrose of Milan)


By St. Ambrose of Milan

Blest day by suff’ring sanctified:
Christ’s chosen high apostles died.
Today St. Peter wins renown.
Today St. Paul accepts the crown.

Together, equally, they bled:
Together: the victorious dead.
They followed God and sacrificed
And now their faith is crowned by Christ.

St. Peter holds the highest place,
Yet Paul is not the less by grace.
An equal faith was giv’n to Paul:
The chosen vessel of God’s call.

St. Peter, downward crucified—
To honor God in how he died—
Securely tied, he sees unfold
The death his Shepherd once foretold.

On such foundations Rome may claim
The highest service of God’s name.
His noble blood has dignified
The city where this prophet died.

Let all the world, then, run to Rome.
Let families of nations come!
The head of nations teaches there
Beside the nations’ teacher's chair.

O Lord, we ask that we may be
In their exalted company,
And with our princes sing Your praise
Forever, to unending days.

Source


Friday, June 28, 2019

Holy Martyr Macedonius

St. Macedonius the Martyr (Feast Day - June 28)

Verses

Your fingers and toes Martyr Macedonius,
Were cut off by bloodthirsty men.

The Holy Martyr Macedonius met his end by having the fingers of his hands and the toes of his feet cut off.


Venerable Oulkianos

Venerable Oulkianos (Feast Day - June 28)

Verses

Enter rejoicing all-blessed Oulkianos,
For Christ has opened to you the gates of heaven.

Venerable Oulkianos met his end in peace.


Holy Two Child Martyrs

Holy Two Child Martyrs (Feast Day - June 28)

Verses

At the time when the two Children were crucified,
Children were painting on their writing boards.

The Holy Two Child Martyrs met their end by crucifixion.


Saint Donagos, Bishop of Libya

St. Donagos of Libya (Feast Day - June 28)

Verses

Cover the fire Donagos. Your head,
having declared Christ, has not completely perished of its hair.

Saint Donagos, Bishop of Libya, met his end by fire.


Holy Three Martyrs of Galatia

Holy Three Martyrs of Galatia (Feast Day - June 28)

Verses

We are three men, but we agree in word,
Behold the three advance towards the sword.

The Holy Three Martyrs of Galatia met their end by a sword.


Venerable Magnus

Venerable Magnus (Feast Day - June 28)

Verses

While in prayer you expired divine Magnus,
Being visibly in the end as he was a suppliant in life.

Venerable Magnus met his end in peace while praying.


Thursday, June 27, 2019

Saint Martin of Turov (+ 1150)

St. Martin of Turov (Feast Day - June 27)

Venerable Martin of Turov served as a cook under the Bishops of the Diocese of Turov Simeon, Ignatius, Joachim (1144-1146), and George. Though he labored in a kitchen all day, he did not cease to pray, in imitation of the Bishops he served. Bishop George made Saint Martin retire because of his age. But the old man did not want to leave the monastery (the bishops lived at the Monastery of Saints Boris and Gleb), and so he accepted monasticism. Like the other monks of this monastery, he lived in a separate cell, and the monks came together for worship.

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Anektos of Caesarea

St. Anektos of Caesarea (Feast Day - June 27)

Verses

Anektos did not hide having endured,
To the end death on behalf of Christ.

He contested during the reign of Emperor Diocletian, when Urban was governor of Caesarea in Cappadocia, in the year 298. Because he taught the Christians and implored them to not fear torture, but to resist the Greeks for the sake of truth, and die on behalf of their faith in Christ, for this reason he was accused before the governor. He was thus arrested and first put in prison. Then he stood before the governor, who urged him to sacrifice to the idols. By his prayers the Saint overturned the idols and they fell to the ground. For this the Martyr had the four parts of his body stretched out, and ten soldiers beat him with sticks, which were the wood used to beat on drums. He was then suspended on a wooden pole, they cut off the fingers of his hands with a razor, and scraped his entire body with an iron claw. Then an Angel of the Lord appeared to him, freed him from being tortured, and restored his health. When he was taken down from the wooden pole, his ankles were pierced with iron forks, and on his chest they put a fiery skillet. They then had him sit in a very fiery iron vessel. After this they wounded his legs with iron spits, and cast him into prison. Again an Angel of the Lord appeared, unbound his fetters, and made him healthy, When many Greeks saw that he was healthy, they went to him, were baptized by him, and at the same time they were released from their sicknesses.

Venerable Luke the Hermit

Venerable Luke the Hermit (Feast Day - June 27)

Verses

Luke passed away, but for me his words,
And life are as a continuous sounding trumpet.

Venerable Luke the Hermit met his end in peace.


Holy Martyrs Markios and Markia

Sts. Markios and Markia (Feast Day - June 27)

Verses

Markios and Markia were united in their calling,
And were joined together in being decapitated by a sword.

The Holy Martyrs Markios and Markia met their end by a sword.

Concerning Saint Markios, he was brought before the ruler Perinios of Iconium, and having confessed Christ, his body was flayed, then put on a fiery grill. After they cut out his tongue, he was finally beheaded.


Holy Hieromartyr Pierius, Presbyter of Antioch


Verses

Pierius as a priest O Word,
Was burnt alive for you by the impious with coal.

The Holy Hieromartyr Pierius, Presbyter of Antioch, met his end by fire. Some sources also mention his brother Isidore.


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The Myth of the "Calvinist Patriarch"


This article was reproduced and edited from the Orthodox Christian Information Center in response to a Protestant publication called Credenda Agenda in their articles "Confessio Fidei" and "The Reformation that Failed" (by Chris Schlect; see Vol. 6, No. 5). It is a pretty good summary of the issue. For more information, see the Saint Cyril Loukaris Resource Page.

By Archbishop Chrysostomos of Etna

Just as today one must see the Orthodox world in its greater historical context, so in Patriarch Kyrillos’ day, too, Orthodoxy existed in a world of political reality that must be carefully studied, in order to see what implications rise above his specific witness and faithfully address Orthodoxy at a general level. To this end, let me just say, as a general observation, that with the fall of Constantinople the Orthodox East fell under Latin domination and the Turkish Yoke. Its survival threatened, its spiritual and intellectual primacy relinquished to the West, Orthodoxy in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries took on an historical character that cannot be applied universally to the Church’s experience and ethos, and especially, again, without careful examination and precision.

Venerable Anthion

Venerable Anthion (Feast Day - June 26)

Verses

Anthion was like a divine tree with beautiful petals,
Which sheds its leaves like he let go of the flesh.

Venerable Anthion met his end in peace.


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Saint Dionysios, Builder of the Athonite Monastery of the Forerunner, Now Known as Dionysiou (+ 1388)

Sts. Dionysios and Dometios the Athonites (Feast Day - June 25)

Verses

To Dionysios.
As a builder of the Monastery of the great Forerunner,
You show yourself to now dwell in celestial mansions.

To Dometios.
Dometios passed in dwellings here below,
Now he dances in the palaces above.

Our Venerable Father Dionysios was born in 1316, in the village of Koressos, near Kastoria. His pious and virtuous parents were simple farmers. As a child he had a meager education, but he was intelligent by nature, and being wise, he fled from temporal pleasures while contemplating on that which is heavenly and eternal.

Dionysios had an older brother named Theodosios, and they bore a strong resemblance to each other. Their resemblance was not only physical, but they also bore a resemblance when it came to virtue and character. When Theodosios was eighteen, he hoped to go to Constantinople to meet virtuous men and benefit from their words. Therefore, while Dionysios was still a child, Theodosios set off for the Queen City.

Saint Methodios of Nivritos


Verses

You put to shame all the methods of the enemy,
With the perfect methods of asceticism Father.
On the twenty-fifth Methodios departed to the city of God.

Venerable Methodios was born in Rethymno on the island of Crete during the Arab occupation (818-961). Not much else is known about his life, except from the time he lived as an ascetic on the mountains of Nivritos with his elder Euthymios. Here he aimed to acquire all the virtues and live a God-pleasing life. At one point he also met Saint Nicholas Kourtaliotis (Sep. 1), who lived as an ascetic on a neighboring mountain (it should be noted that some identify Saint Methodios and Saint Nicholas as being one and the same person, but this theory needs to be examined further).

Commemoration of God Helping the Queen City Against Godless Saracens

Commemoration of God Delivering Constantinople from the Saracens
(Feast Day - June 25)

Commemoration of the help given beyond reason and all hope, by our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ, through the intercessions of our All-Immaculate Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, who bore Him without seed, against the encircling of the the earth and sea of our Queen City by the godless Saracens, and from giving it up to utter destruction and complete extermination.

Holy Venerable Martyrs Leonida, Liby and Eutropia

Sts. Leonida, Liby and Eutropia (Feast Day - June 25)

Verses

To Leonida.
Leap Leoni into the fire of the furnace,
As a hungry lioness leaping towards her food.

To Liby.
As with hair dye the bride of the Lord,
Liby is dyed by the sword with her neck fettered.

To Eutropia.
Eutropia mocks those who dwell in the world,
Submitting her bent neck for decapitation.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Homily on the Birth of John the Baptist (Leontios of Constantinople)


The following homily was delivered by Leontios the Presbyter of Constantinople around Christmas of 557, when on the 16th of December the Annunciation to Zechariah is commemorated. It has come down to us in only two manuscripts, and therefore only partially, as can be seen in the last paragraph. This sermon probably influenced the later sermon on the subject by Ps.-Chrysostom.

Righteous Youths John and Jacob of Meniugi (+ 1560's)

Sts. John and Jacob of Meniugi (Feast Day - June 24)

John and Jacob were brothers by birth, children of the pious couple Isidore and Barbara. They lived in the village of Meniugi, which is in Novgorod. The eldest of the brothers was John and he was five years old, while Jacob was the youngest and he was three.

One autumn day Isidore and Barbara were out in the field working, then Isidore went and killed a ram to be prepared for a meal. Meanwhile the two brothers were left unsupervised, and when they saw their father slaughter the ram, they decided to play a game and imitate him. The elder brother therefore took a stick and struck his younger brother in the head, not foreseeing any bad consequence, as they were doing it all in fun. With this blow Jacob fell to the ground and died.

Homily on the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist (St. John Maximovitch)


By St. John Maximovitch

Among the Church's feasts, there are three in honor of God's saint which in their significance stand out from the others devoted to the saints and are numbered among the great feasts of the Church of Christ. These feasts glorify the economy of God for our salvation.

These three feasts are the Nativity of St. John the Forerunner, his Beheading, and the feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

The apparition of the holy Archangel Gabriel to the priest Zacharias in the Temple, with the announcement of the birth to him and the righteous Elizabeth, of a son who would prepare the way for the Lord, the Savior of the world, and the subsequent fulfillment of this premise, are the first of the events related by the Evangelists.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

First Sunday of Pentecost: Gospel and Epistle Reading


First Sunday of Pentecost
or
First Sunday of Matthew

Sunday of All Saints

St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 11:33-40; 12:1-2

English

Brethren, all the saints through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were killed with the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated - of whom the world was not worthy - wandering over deserts and mountains and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.

First Gospel Reading of Matins


First Sunday Gospel Reading of Matins
(First Eothinon of Orthros)

The Great Commission

Matthew 28:16-20

English

At that time, the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshipped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age. Amen."

Greek

Οἱ δὲ ἕνδεκα μαθηταὶ ἐπορεύθησαν εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν, εἰς τὸ ὄρος οὗ ἐτάξατο αὐτοῖς ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς. καὶ ἰδόντες αὐτὸν προσεκύνησαν αὐτῷ, οἱ δὲ ἐδίστασαν. καὶ προσελθὼν ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς λέγων· ἐδόθη μοι πᾶσα ἐξουσία ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς. πορευθέντες μαθητεύσατε πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, βαπτίζοντες αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ ῾Αγίου Πνεύματος, διδάσκοντες αὐτοὺς τηρεῖν πάντα ὅσα ἐνετειλάμην ὑμῖν· καὶ ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ μεθ᾿ ὑμῶν εἰμι πάσας τὰς ἡμέρας ἕως τῆς συντελείας τοῦ αἰῶνος. ἀμήν.


Encomium on All the Martyrs and Saints (St. Proclus of Constantinople)


Encomium on All the Martyrs and Saints
(or Homily 34)

By St. Proclus of Constantinople

1. The champions of piety not only crowned themselves (as victors) from the games, but also prepared those who honour them to attain the very same virtues.

2. For some, having delivered up their bodies to tortures, pluck from their very sufferings honour as fruit. And others, having displayed a like purpose of mind and surrendered themselves to toils and pains as a result of vigils, nevertheless receive a reward worthy of their zeal, even if it is not the season for those struggles.

3. For it is doubtless clear that he, who with fervent love, and readily, rushed into the present hardships, would also set himself upon greater (hardships) if he would look upon (the) present (hardships).

Saturday, June 22, 2019

A 12-Minute Documentary on Elder Philotheos Zervakos


This is a 12-minute documentary about Elder Philotheos Zervakos with various photos associated with his life, film footage without sound shot in May of 1979 on the island of Paros, as well as footage from his funeral in May of 1980. The voice of Elder Philotheos can be heard throughout the film, either speaking or chanting. Among the hymns he chants is the Apolytikion to his spiritual father Saint Nektarios of Aegina, as well as "All Who Have Been Baptized Into Christ", "Christ is Risen", and the Doxastikon of the Praises to Saint John the Theologian for whom he had a special devotion. Among the words of the Elder is his reading of the Catechetical Homily of Pascha by Saint John Chrysostom, some words from a homily on repentance, and a tearful prayer for the cessation of the earthquake of Thessaloniki in 1978. There is also testimony from someone who was healed by Saint Nektarios. The documentary ends with the chanting of "Eternal Memory" done at the Elder's Forty Day Memorial.

Holy Martyrs Pompianos, Galation, Juliana and Satorninos

Sts. Pompianos, Galation, Juliana and Satorninos (Feast Day - June 22)

Verses

To Pompianos.
Pompianos performs a strange procession,
From the sea towards the wide heavens.

To Galation.
The water of the sea was salty Galation,
For sweetness it seems to have had milk.

To Juliana and Satorninos.
The youth of Juliana and her child,
Blossoms just as the fire consumes.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Homily on the Immortality of the Soul (St. Sebastian Dabovich)


By St. Sebastian Dabovich

God is not the God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto Him. (Luke 20:38)

There are many proofs testifying to the immortality of the soul, and they differ by degrees of strength, and the source from whence they proceed. There are proofs of supposition, then positive ones, and, finally, decisive proofs. We have some in visible nature, others are had from the attributes of God's being, and from the nature of our soul, and then there are open and experimental proofs.

What do we see in nature? A change of one and the same being from one condition to another higher form of existence. This is observed more clearly, especially, in the world of insects. Take, for an instance, the creeping worm and the flying butterfly, etc. In the same manner does man here on earth undergo two principal forms of life, to say nothing of his ages.

First he is formed and lives unconsciously in his mother's womb, then, on being born into the world, he lives on the earth. This life is incomparatively higher than the first, yet here the days for man are exchanged by dark nights; after days of good fortune there come days of misfortune. It is natural for him to await a third and better life, when he will freely move in the space over the earth, where it is eternal day, and where there is no sorrow nor sighing.

Holy Martyr Luarsab II, King of Georgia (+ 1622)

St. Luarsab of Georgia (Feast Day - June 21)

The Holy Martyr Luarsab II, Emperor of Georgia, was born in 1587. He was the son of George X (1600-1603), poisoned by the Persian shah Abbas I (1584-1628). After the death of his father Luarsab remained with his two sisters, Choreshan and Helen. He was still a child, but distinguished himself by his intellect and piety. Despite his youthful age, he was crowned with the name Luarsab II at the age of fourteen. In 1609 Georgia suffered invasion by a Turkish army under the leadership of Deli-Mamad-khan. The young emperor gave decisive battle to the Turks near the village of Kvenadkotsi (between Gori and Surami). On the eve of battle the 14,000 Georgians spent all night in prayer. In the morning after Divine Liturgy and having received the Holy Mysteries, the Georgian forces put 60,000 enemy soldiers to flight in a heroic battle.

Holy Martyr Archil II, King of Georgia (+ 744)

St. Archil of Georgia (Feast Day - June 21)

The Holy Martyr Archil II, King of Georgia, belonged to the dynasty of the Chosroid, and he was a direct descendant of the holy emperor Saint Mirian (+ 342).

During the reign of Archil II, Georgia was subjected to a devastating invasion by Murvana-Kru (“the Wild”), so called by the Georgian people for his inexorable cruelty. The position of the Georgian people was desperate, and the emperor Archil II, together with his brother Myro, the ruler of Western Georgia, tearfully implored the intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos, and she showed forth her mercy.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

A Miracle That Took Place Every Tuesday in Constantinople


The most famous and revered icon in Constantinople was the depiction of the Theotokos as the Hodegetria. This was a full-bodied image of the Mother of God holding the Christ Child in her arms. According to tradition it was the first icon painted by the Apostle Luke. It was said to have been brought to Constantinople from the Holy Land by Eudocia, the wife of Emperor Theodosius II (408–450). It was displayed in the Monastery of the Panagia Hodegetria in Constantinople (otherwise known as Hodegon Monastery), which was built specially to contain it. The icon was double-sided, with a crucifixion scene on the other side. For hundreds of years it played a role of a palladium of the Roman Empire. It is widely believed that the icon was destroyed when the Ottomans invaded Constantinople in 1453, though some Russians and Italians claim to have the original.

Holy Two Ascetics of the Desert

Holy Two Ascetics of the Desert (Feast Day - June 20)

Verses

Both of you with unwashed flesh and sleeping on the ground,
Washed your souls, and dwell in celestial heights.

The Holy Two Ascetics of the Desert met their end in peace.

It is not known exactly who these two ascetics were, as there are a number of possibilities, nonetheless we offer the following beneficial tale about two anonymous ascetics recorded by Palladius in the Lausiac History (Ch. 36), who may or may not be the two ascetics commemorated today:

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Dossier for the Canonization of Elder Gervasios Paraskevopoulos Submitted


On Thursday 30 June 2017, Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Patras revealed that he was preparing the relevant dossier to submit to the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for the official recognition of Elder Gervasios as a saint of the Church.

On Sunday 16 June 2019, Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Patras revealed to the parish of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Patras that he had submitted the dossier for the canonization of Elder Gervasios to the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece. Upon hearing this news, the people uniformly broke out in applause, revealing the great reverence they have for the Teacher of Patras.

In Orthodox Worship David is First and Middle and Last


By St. John Chrysostom

In the churches there are vigils, and David is first and middle and last.

In the singing of early morning hymns, David is first and middle and last.

In funeral processions of those who have reposed, David is first and middle and last.

What a thing of wonder!

Saint Barlaam of Shenkursk (+ 1462)

St. Barlaam of Shenkursk (Feast Day - June 19)

In the world he was known as Basil, was married and had two sons, though according to another version he had two daughters and eight sons. In 1456, having left his office as Novgorodian mayor, he left for the ancestral lands, the Vazhki country of the Arkhangelsk Province where he enlightened the Zavolochie with Christianity and constructed many temples. Within 15 versts [9.9 miles] from the city of Shenkursk, according to a special revelation of God, he constructed a monastery in the name of the Holy Apostle John the Theologian (which in the middle of the 15th century was destroyed), was accepted there into monasticism with the name Barlaam, being in this calling the strict executor of all monastic obediences and serving the brethren as if he was the last servant. Saint Barlaam died on June 19, 1462. In 1552 his relics were found incorrupt and became glorified for many miracles. They repose in the temple of his monastery, now a parish.


Holy Hieromartyr Asynkritos

St. Asynkritos the Hieromartyr (Feast Day - June 19)

Verses

Asynkritos was slain for his longed for Lord,
Worthily he is crowned with an incomparable crown.

The Holy Hieromartyr Asynkritos met his end by a knife. His Synaxis was celebrated in the Martyrium Temple of Saint Isidore inside the Temple of Hagia Eirene near the sea in Constantinople.


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Aitherios

St. Aitherios the Martyr (Feast Day - June 18)

Verses

You accepted many torments Aitherios,
For which you were widely rewarded in the ether.

He contested during the reign of Emperor Diocletian in the year 300. After being accused of being a Christian, he was brought before the ruler Eleusios. When he confessed Christ he was stretched out and burned with lit lamps. They burned his armpits, back and chest with iron and fiery thistles. After this, they put an iron hook in his nose, then they laid him over a fiery iron bed. The Saint was preserved unharmed from the above torments by a divine Angel. Finally they beheaded him, and the renowned one received the crown of martyrdom.


Venerable Erasmus

Venerable Erasmus (Feast Day - June 18)

Verses

Erasmus died, "I have pleasure" he said,
"My death is lovely."

Venerable Erasmus met his end in peace.


Holy Two Martyrs of Cyprus

Holy Two Martyrs of Cyprus (Feast Day - June 18)

Verses

Having endured for one hour the burning of their feet,
The two Martyrs rejoice for eternity.

The Holy Two Martyrs of Cyprus met their end by having their feet burned.


Venerable Leontios the Shepherd

St. Leontios the Shepherd (Feast Day - June 18)

Verses

You are a shepherd who now stands before the Shepherd,
The Arch-Shepherd O right-minded Leontios.

On this day we commemorate our Venerable Father Leontios the Shepherd, who reposes beyond the town.


Monday, June 17, 2019

Synaxarion of our Venerable Father Hypatios of Rufinianes


Verses

Hypatios was laid next to the sea,
And is obedient with the friends of God above.

This Saint lived during the reign of Honorius (395-423) and Arcadius (395-408), was born in Phrygia, and having been educated by his father he was also beaten by him. When he was eighteen years old, he left his parents and went to Thrace. There he went to a cenobium and became a monk, and his virtues rendered him venerable and revered by all, for he never drank wine.

And at one time he battled against the demon of fornication, for which he went eight days without eating or drinking at all. When the superior of the monastery learned of this, he gave him with his own hands a cup of wine and a bread, to eat and drink after compline, before all the brothers. Having eaten and drank, he was freed of the battle, for which he thanked God, as well as his teacher and abbot.

Pentecost: The Gospel of the Descent of the Holy Spirit


By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

When seed is sown, the power of warmth and light must descend upon it to make it grow.

When a tree is planted, the power of the wind must come in order to make it strong.

When a householder builds his house, he has recourse to the power of prayer, in order to sanctify it.

Our Lord Jesus Christ has sown a most select seed in the field of this world. The power of the Holy Spirit had to descend in order to warm and sanctify that seed, so that it would grow and prosper.

God the Son planted the tree of life in the overgrown field of death. The mighty wind of God the Holy Spirit had to sweep through, in order to strengthen the tree of life.

Third Homily on Pentecost (St. Leo the Great)


Sermon 77
(On Pentecost, III)
31 May 442(?)

By St. Leo the Great

I. The Holy Spirit's work did not begin at Pentecost, but was continued because the Holy Trinity is One in action and in will

Today's festival, dearly-beloved, which is held in reverence by the whole world, has been hallowed by that advent of the Holy Spirit, which on the fiftieth day after the Lord's Resurrection, descended on the Apostles and the multitude of believers , even as it was hoped. And there was this hope, because the Lord Jesus had promised that He should come, not then first to be the Indweller of the saints, but to kindle to a greater heat, and to fill with larger abundance the hearts that were dedicated to Him, increasing, not commencing His gifts, not fresh in operation because richer in bounty. For the Majesty of the Holy Spirit is never separate from the Omnipotence of the Father and the Son, and whatever the Divine government accomplishes in the ordering of all things, proceeds from the Providence of the whole Trinity. Therein exists unity of mercy and loving-kindness, unity of judgment and justice: nor is there any division in action where there is no divergence of will. What, therefore, the Father enlightens, the Son enlightens, and the Holy Spirit enlightens: and while there is one Person of the Sent, another of the Sender, and another of the Promiser, both the Unity and the Trinity are at the same time revealed to us, so that the Essence which possesses equality and does not admit of solitariness is understood to belong to the same Substance but not the same Person.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

First Homily on Pentecost (St. Leo the Great)


Sermon 75
(On Pentecost, I)
23 May 443

By St. Leo the Great

I. The giving of the Law by Moses prepared the way for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit

The hearts of all Catholics, beloved, realize that today's solemnity is to be honored as one of the chief feasts, nor is there any doubt that great respect is due to this day, which the Holy Spirit has hallowed by the miracle of His most excellent gift. For from the day on which the Lord ascended up above all heavenly heights to sit down at God the Father's right hand, this is the tenth which has shone, and the fiftieth from His Resurrection, being the very day on which it began , and containing in itself great revelations of mysteries both new and old, by which it is most manifestly revealed that Grace was fore-announced through the Law and the Law fulfilled through Grace. For as of old, when the Hebrew nation were released from the Egyptians, on the fiftieth day after the sacrificing of the lamb the Law was given on Mount Sinai, so after the suffering of Christ, wherein the true Lamb of God was slain, on the fiftieth day from His Resurrection, the Holy Spirit came down upon the Apostles and the multitude of believers, so that the earnest Christian may easily perceive that the beginnings of the Old Testament were preparatory to the beginnings of the Gospel, and that the second covenant was founded by the same Spirit that had instituted the first.

Holy Forty Martyrs of Rome

Holy Forty Martyrs of Rome (Feast Day - June 16)

Verses

Five plus five, five plus five nobles in the fire,
And five plus five plus five, with five are burned.

The Holy Forty Martyrs of Rome met their end by fire.


Holy Five Martyrs of Nicomedia

Holy Five Martyrs of Nicomedia (Feast Day - June 16)

Verses

Five great pillars fall as fellow athletes,
The shaking drove to confusion the sword of the executioner.

The Holy Five Martyrs of Nicomedia met their end by the sword.


Saturday, June 15, 2019

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Doulas of Cilicia

St. Doulas of Cilicia (Feast Day - June 15)

Verses

Doulas did not give reverence as a servant to images,
As God's servant he endured the scraping of his flesh.

He was from Zephyrium, which is located in the province of Cilicia. Having confessed Christ as the true God, he was brought before the governor Maximus, and beaten harshly. The Saint narrated the Greek myth, of how Apollo fell in love with Daphne, chased after her, but did not achieve his desire. This moved the governor to greater anger. He had him beaten again on his stomach, having been placed on his back on a fiery gridiron. Then he was put on another gridiron, and wetting his hair with oil, they put him over burning coals. After this they cut into his back with iron, and the wounds from the cuts were rubbed with brick and vinegar. Then they struck his jaw and head.

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