Saturday, September 24, 2011

September 24, 2011 - 15th Week After Pentecost (1st Week of Luke)

FEASTS AND SAINTS CELEBRATED TODAY:

Thekla the Protomartyr & Equal-to-the-Apostles
St. Silouan of Athos
Coprios the Righteous
Juvenaly & Peter the Aleut, New Martyrs of Alaska

Τῇ ΚΔ' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, Μνήμη τῆς Ἁγίας Μεγαλομάρτυρος καὶ Ἰσαποστόλου Θέκλης.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Κόπριος.
Μνήμη τοῦ γεγονότος θαύματος παρὰ τῆς Θεομήτορος ἐν τῇ νήσῳ Κυθήρων, ἔνθα ἡ ἐν τοῖς μυρτιδίοις εὑρεθεῖσα εἰκὼν τῆς Θεοτόκου ἤγειρε τὸν παράλυτον.



READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:

The Reading is from St. Paul's Second Letter to Timothy 3:10-15
TIMOTHY, my son, you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions, my sufferings, what befell me at Antioch, at lconion, and at Lystra, what persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Πρὸς Τιμόθεον β' 3:10-15
Τέκνον Τιμόθεε, παρηκολούθηκάς μου τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ, τῇ ἀγωγῇ, τῇ προθέσει, τῇ πίστει, τῇ μακροθυμίᾳ, τῇ ἀγάπῃ, τῇ ὑπομονῇ, τοῖς διωγμοῖς, τοῖς παθήμασιν, οἷά μοι ἐγένετο ἐν Ἀντιοχείᾳ, ἐν Ἰκονίῳ, ἐν Λύστροις, οἵους διωγμοὺς ὑπήνεγκα· καὶ ἐκ πάντων με ἐρρύσατο ὁ κύριος. Καὶ πάντες δὲ οἱ θέλοντες εὐσεβῶς ζῇν ἐν χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ διωχθήσονται. Πονηροὶ δὲ ἄνθρωποι καὶ γόητες προκόψουσιν ἐπὶ τὸ χεῖρον, πλανῶντες καὶ πλανώμενοι. Σὺ δὲ μένε ἐν οἷς ἔμαθες καὶ ἐπιστώθης, εἰδὼς παρὰ τίνος ἔμαθες, καὶ ὅτι ἀπὸ βρέφους τὰ ἱερὰ γράμματα οἶδας, τὰ δυνάμενά σε σοφίσαι εἰς σωτηρίαν διὰ πίστεως τῆς ἐν χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ.

The Reading is from Luke 10:38-42, 11:27-28
At that time, Jesus entered a village; and a woman called Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she went to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve you alone? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her." As he said this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, "Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts that you sucked!" But he said, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"

Κατὰ Λουκᾶν 10.38-42, 11.2
Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, εἰσῆλθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς κώμην τινά· γυνὴ δέ τις ὀνόματι Μάρθα ὑπεδέξατο αὐτὸν εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτῆς. καὶ τῇδε ἦν ἀδελφὴ καλουμένη Μαρία, ἣ καὶ παρακαθίσασα παρὰ τοὺς πόδας τοῦ ᾿Ιησοῦ ἤκουε τὸν λόγον αὐτοῦ. ἡ δὲ Μάρθα περιεσπᾶτο περὶ πολλὴν διακονίαν· ἐπιστᾶσα δὲ εἶπε· Κύριε, οὐ μέλει σοι ὅτι ἡ ἀδελφή μου μόνην με κατέλιπε διακονεῖν; εἰπὲ οὖν αὐτῇ ἵνα μοι συναντιλάβηται.ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῇ ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς· Μάρθα Μάρθα, μεριμνᾷς καὶ τυρβάζῃ περὶ πολλά· ἑνὸς δέ ἐστι χρεία· Μαρία δὲ τὴν ἀγαθὴν μερίδα ἐξελέξατο, ἥτις οὐκ ἀφαιρεθήσεται ἀπ᾿ αὐτῆς. ᾿Εγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ λέγειν αὐτὸν ταῦτα ἐπάρασά τις γυνὴ φωνὴν ἐκ τοῦ ὄχλου εἶπεν αὐτῷ· μακαρία ἡ κοιλία ἡ βαστάσασά σε καὶ μαστοὶ οὓς ἐθήλασας.αὐτὸς δὲ εἶπε· μενοῦνγε μακάριοι οἱ ἀκούοντες τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ φυλάσσοντες αὐτόν.



READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:

Thekla the Protomartyr & Equal-to-the-Apostles
This saint was from the city of Iconium. When she was eighteen years of age, she was instructed in the Faith of Christ and the hope of the resurrection by the Apostle Paul, whom also she followed, forsaking her betrothed and espousing a life of virginity for the sake of the Heavenly Bridegroom. Having preached Christ in various cities and suffered many things, she reposed in Seleucia of Cilicia at the age of 90.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
O Lord Jesus, unto Thee Thy lamb doth cry with a great voice: O my Bridegroom, Thee I love; and seeking Thee, I now contest, and with Thy baptism am crucified and buried. I suffer for Thy sake, that I may reign with Thee; for Thy sake I die, that I may live in Thee: accept me offered out of longing to Thee as a spotless sacrifice. Lord, save our souls through her intercessions, since Thou art great in mercy.

Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
O glorious virgin, thou wast entrusted with an apostolate, while shining brightly with virginal beauty and adorned with crowns of martyrdom. And, O Thecla, thou also didst subdue the bull's fury and change the fire to dew by thine entreaties, O first contestant among all womankind.
The Holy First-Martyress and Equal-to-the-Apostles Thekla was born in the city of Iconium. She was the daughter of rich and illustrious parents, and moreover she was distinguished by extraordinary beauty. At 18 years of age they betrothed her to an eminent youth. But having heard the preaching of the holy Apostle Paul about the Saviour, Saint Thekla with all her heart came to love the Lord Jesus Christ, and she steadfastly resolved not to enter into marriage, but rather to devote all her life to preaching the Gospel. The mother of Saint Thekla was opposed to her daughter's plans and demanded that she enter into marriage with the bridegroom betrothed to her. Saint Thekla's fiancee likewise made a complaint to the governor of the city against the Apostle Paul, accusing him of turning his bride against him. The governor locked up Saint Paul in prison. During the night Saint Thekla secretly ran away from her house, and she bribed the prison guards, giving them all her gold ornaments, and so made her way into the prison to the prisoner. For three days she sat at the feet of the Apostle Paul, hearkening to his fatherly precepts. The disappearance of Thekla was discovered, and servants were sent out everywhere in search of her. Finally they found her in the prison and brought her home by force.
At his trial the Apostle Paul was sentenced to banishment from the city. And with Saint Thekla they again began urging her to consent to the marriage, but she would not change her mind. Neither the tears of her mother, nor her wrath, nor the threats of the governor were able to separate Saint Thekla from her love for the Heavenly Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ. Her mother in a insane rage demanded from the judges a death sentence against her unyielding daughter, and Saint Thekla was sentenced to burning. Without flinching, the holy martyress went into the bon-fire and made the sign of the cross over herself. At this moment the Saviour appeared to her, blessing her present deed, and inexpressible joy filled her holy soul. The flames of the bon-fire shot up high, but the martyress was surrounded by an halo and the flames did not touch her. Thunder boomed, and a strong downpour of rain with hail extinguished the bon-fire. The torturers scattered in fear. Saint Thekla, kept safe by the Lord, quit the city and with the help of a certain Christian youth searched out the Apostle Paul. The holy apostle and his companions, among which was also the Disciple Barnabas, were hidden away in a cave not far from the city, praying fervently, that the Lord would give strength to Saint Thekla in her sufferings.
After this, Saint Thekla went together with them preaching the Gospel in Antioch. In this city she was pursued by a certain dignitary named Alexander, who was captivated by her beauty. Saint Thekla refused his offer to enter into marriage, and so for being a Christian she was condemned to death. Twice they set loose upon her hungry wild animals, but they would not touch the holy virgin, but instead lay down meekly and licking at her feet. The Providence of God preserved the holy martyress unharmed through all her torments. Finally, they tied her to two oxen and began to chase after her with red-hot rods, but the strong cords broke asunder like cob-webs, and the oxen ran off, leaving Saint Thekla unharmed. And the people began shouting: "Great is the God of the Christians!" The governor himself became terrified, reasoning it out finally, that the holy martyress was being kept safe by the Almighty God, Whom she served. He then gave orders to set free the servant of God Thekla.
With the blessing of the Apostle Paul, Saint Thekla then settled in the desolate surroundings of Isaurian Seleucia and dwelt there for many years, constantly preaching the Word of God and healing the sick through her prayer. Saint Thekla converted many pagans to Christ, and the Church names her worthily as "Equal-to-the-Apostles" ("Ravnoapostol'na"). Even a pagan priest, seeking to assault her purity and punished for his impudence, was brought by her to holy Baptism. More than once the enemy of the race of man tried to destroy Saint Thekla through people blinded by sin, but the power of God always preserved this faithful servant of Christ.
When Saint Thekla was already a 90 year old woman, pagan sorcerers became incensed at her for treating the sick for free. They were unable to comprehend that the saint was healing the sick by the power of the grace of Christ, and they presumed that the virgin-goddess Artemis (Diana) was her especial patroness. Out of envy against Saint Thekla, they sent their followers to defile her. When they had already approached quite close to her, Saint Thekla cried out for help to Christ the Savior, and the hill split open and hid the holy virgin, the bride of Christ. And thus did Saint Thekla offer up her holy soul to the Lord.
Holy Church glorifies the "First-Suffering" Thekla as "of women the glory and guide for suffering, opening up the way through every torment". From of old many a temple was dedicated to her, one of which was built at Tsargrad (Constantinople) by the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Constantine (Comm. 21 May). And then too, the name of the First-Martyress Equal-to-the-Apostles Thekla, a prayer intercessor for the ascetic, is remembered during the tonsure of women into monasticism.

The Monk Nikandr of Pskov (at Baptism Nikon) was born on 24 July 1507 into the peasant family of Philip and Anastasia in the village of Videlebo in the Pskov lands.
From childhood he dreamed of continuing the ascetic exploits of his fellow villager -- the Monk Evphrosyn of Spasoeleazarsk, the original Pskov wilderness-dweller (Comm. 15 May). The first in Nikon's family to accept monasticism was his older brother Arsenii. After the death of his father, the seventeen year old Nikon was able to convince his mother also to disperse the property and withdraw into a monastery, where she lived til her own end. Having made the rounds of the monasteries in the Pskov lands, and having venerated at the relics of the Monk Evphrosyn and his disciple the Monk Savva of Krypetsk (Comm. 28 August), Nikon became firmly convinced in his striving for the hermit's life.
In order to have possibility to read the Word of God, Nikon took employ as a worker for the Pskov inhabitant Philip, who to reward his ardour sent him off for studying to an experienced teacher. Seeing the zeal of the youth, the Lord Himself directed him to the place of ascetic effort. Intensely praying in one of the Pskov churches, he heard a voice from the altar commanding him to go into the wilderness place, which the Lord would point out through His servant Theodore (Feodor). The peasant Theodore led him off to the River Dem'yanka, betwixt Pskov and Porkhov. (Afterwards both Philip and Theodore, who helped the Monk Nikandr attain his commanded goal, were themselves to enter upon the path of monasticism, and tonsured at the Krypetsk monastery with the names Philaret and Theodosii (Feodosii).
Having spent several years in silence and severe ascetic deeds, emaciating his flesh, Nikon went to the monastery founded by the Monk Savva of Krypetsk. The hegumen, seeing his weakened body, would not at once agree to accept him, fearing that the difficulties of monastic life would be too much for him. Nikon thereupon, falling down at the crypt of the Monk Savva, began as though to one alive beseeching him to take him into his monastery. The hegumen relented and tonsured Nikon with the name Nikandr.
The Monk Nikandr lived through many a temptation and woe on the straitened path of asceticism. Blessed Nikolai (Comm. 28 February) while still at Pskov foretold him about the "wilderness sufferings". Through the prayers of all the Pskov Saints and the Monk Alexander of Svirsk (Comm. 30 August and 17 April), who twice appeared to him, guiding and strengthening him, and with the help of the grace of God, he overcame all the manifold snares of the evil one. By the power of prayer the monk conquered the weakness of flesh, human failings and diabolical apparitions. One time robbers nearly killed him, running off with the hermit's sole and very precious possessions -- his books and icons. Through the prayers of the saint, two of them, taking fright at the sudden death of one of their comrades, repented of their wicked deeds and received forgiveness from the starets-elder.
The Monk Nikandr did not long live at the Krypetsk monastery, and with a blessing he returned to his own wilderness. Afterwards he once again came to live at the Krypetsk monastery, where he fulfilled the obediences of rubrics-regulator and cellerer of supplies, and then thereafter again he went off into the wilderness and lived there in fasting and prayer, meditating the Word the God. Once a year during Great Lent the Monk Nikandr came to the Damianov monastery, where he made his confession and communed the Holy Mysteries of Christ. Eight years before his end he accepted there the monastic great-schema. Many people began to come to the monk "for benefit", since in the words of the Monk John of the Ladder, "monastic life is a light for all mankind". Believers turned to the Monk Nikandr for prayerful help, since the Lord had bestown on him many gifts of grace. The wilderness-dweller with love and concern had regard for all the needs of the visitors and he even built for them for night-lodging "the guest-house at the oak", and which he provided heat for. The monk did not permit himself to show off his spiritual gifts. Going secretly to his cell, people always heard that he prayed with bitter weeping. And he, perceiving the people nearby, immediately began entreaty, concealing from them the gift of tears that he had received.
The Monk Nikandr to the end of his life remained a wilderness-dweller (and thus they praise him as "Monk Nikandr the Wilderness-Dweller"), but he gave final instructions that after his death the place of his ascetic efforts not be forsaken, promising his protection to the settlers of a future monastery. The monk gave final directions to the deacon Peter of the Porkhov women's monastery to build a church at his grave and transfer thither the icon of the Annunciation of the MostHoly Mother of God from the Tishanka church-cemetery. He foresaw his own death, predicting that he would die when enemies invaded the fatherland, and foretelling them of this immanent assault. On 24 September 1581, during the time of invasion by the army of the Polish king Stefan Bathory, a certain peasant found the monk dead: he lay on his cot with hands in cruciform position. From Pskov came out clergy and people who revered the monk, and among whom was also the deacon Peter, and they performed the rite of Christian burial.
In 1584 at the graced place of the ascetic deeds of the Monk Nikandr, sanctified by his almost half-century of prayer, there was built a monastery, which they began to call the Nikandrov wilderness-monastery. The builder of this monastery was the monk Isaii (Isaiah), who had been healed through prayer to the saint. Under Patriarch Joakim in 1696 occurred the glorification of the Monk Nikandr and the feastdays in his memory were established for 24 September, the day of his repose, and on the temple feast of the monastery -- the Annunciation of the MostHoly Mother of God. During a reconstruction of the monastery cathedral church the relics of the Monk Nikandr were discovered, concealed in a wall: 29 June is celebrated as the day of the uncovering of his venerable relics. And at present strong bonds of prayers connect believers with the Monk Nikandr, whom they deeply venerate in the Pskov lands.

The MonkMartyr Galaktion of Vologda: Fearing the wrath of tsar Ivan the Terrible, kinsmen of the disgraced prince Ivan Ivanovich Bel'sky secretly conveyed his seven year old son Gavriil (Gabriel) to the city of Staritsa. In the years of his growing up, and seeing the malice of the tsar towards his family, the young prince withdrew to Vologda and settled in with a shoemaker, from whom he learned the cobbler's craft. And his marriage was not for long, since his wife soon died, leaving prince Gavriil to raise his infant daughter.
The adversities of his earthly life strengthened in him the intent to devote himself to God. Having sought out a place at the River Sodima, he dug himself a pit and made his cell round about a church in the Name of the MostHoly Trinity, and having taken monastic vows with the name Galaktion, he began to asceticise in fasting and prayer. The ascetic did not give up on his cobbler's craft, and the money which he received from the work he divided into three portions: one part he dedicated to God, another portion he gave to the poor, and the third part provided him sustenance.
Advancing in spiritual life, the Monk Galaktion secluded himself in his cell, having chained himself to the wall. God-fearing Christians provided him food through a small window. The ascetic rested little, on his knees and holding on the chain, and he ate only dry bread and water. In the cell of the Monk Galaktion was nothing, besides old matting with which he covered himself.
People soon began to come to the hermit for spiritual guidance. And he received both the rich and the poor; his words were filled with spiritual power, whereof he consoled the grieving and brought to their senses the proud. In prayer the Monk Galaktion achieved an especial spiritual grace. One time, when the Vologda region had gone a long time without rain, bishop Antonii with a church procession came to the church of the Holy Trinity and dispatched a request to the hermit to pray together with everyone for deliverance from the common woe. The Monk Galaktion obediently left his cell and prayed in the church, and the Lord sent abundant rain upon the parched earth. The ascetic had a revelation from God about impending Vologda misfortunes. He emerged from his cell in his chains, went to an earthen hut and declared: "Sins have called forth the Poles and Lithuanians upon us. Let there be undertaken fasting and prayer, and preparation to build a temple in honour of the Sign (Znamenie) of the Mother of God, so that the Heavenly Queen as before Novgorod (the commemoration of the Sign Icon of the Mother of God of Novgorod is 27 November) might deliver Vologda from the wrath of God". One of those present, Nechai Proskurov, said: "Not for us, but for himself is he concerned; he doth but want to have a church near him. And what will become of the temple when thou die, starets?" The Monk Galaktion answered gravely: "Wrath is nigh to Vologda. As for me, there at my place God is glorified -- and there also wilt be built a monastery", -- and he said moreover, that the Trinity church built by Nechai, would be burnt and the house of Nechai laid waste. And going on past the church in honour of the Monk Dimitrii of Prilutsk (Comm. 11 February), he said: "The Wonderworker Dimitrii hath prayed the Saviour for the city, but they pay him insult -- around his church they set up shops and noise about their wares. And this church wilt be destroyed".
The prophecy of the righteous one was soon fulfilled. In September 1612 the Polish and Lithuanians stormed into Vologda, and they killed many of the inhabitants, they defiled and plundered the churches of God, and they set afire the city and its surroundings. As the Monk Galaktion predicted, the house and church built by Nechai were burnt, as was also the city church named for the Monk Dimitrii.
The Monk Galaktion was murdered by the invaders on 24 September 1612. Pious Christians buried the body of the monkmartyr in his cell. Over the place of his burial began to occur miraculous healings. During the time of bishop Varlaam (1627-1645), over the relics of the MonkMartyr Galaktion was built a church in honour of the Sign (Znamenie) Icon of the Mother of God, and a monastery was founded. With the blessing of archbishop Markell (1645-1663), at the monastery was built a cathedral church in the Name of the Holy Spirit, and the monastery took its name from this church.

The Monk Koprios was found as a newborn infant by monks of the monastery of the Monk Theodosios in Palestine. He lay upon a dung-hill (in Greek "kopria"), where his mother left him, in fleeing pursuit during an invasion of the Hagarites (i.e. Arabs). The monks took up the infant, named him Koprios, fed him goat's milk and raised him in their monastery. Saint Koprios afterwards accepted monastic tonsure and spent his whole life in his native monastery. Having attained to an high degree of virtue and the gift of wonderworking, the Monk Koprios died peacefully at 90 years of age.

Ἡ Ἁγία Θέκλα ἡ Ἰσαπόστολος
Γεννήθηκε ἀπὸ εἰδωλολατρικὴ οἰκογένεια στὸ Ἰκόνιο. Μνηστεύθηκε μὲ κάποιο νέο, τὸ Θάμυρη, μὲ τὸν ὁποῖο ἔμελλε νὰ συζευχθεῖ. Ἐν τῷ μεταξὺ ἦλθε στὸ Ἰκόνιο ὁ Ἀπόστολος Παῦλος καὶ κήρυττε τὸ λόγο τοῦ Θεοῦ στὸ σπίτι ἑνὸς εὐσεβοῦς ἄνδρα, τοῦ Ὀνησιφόρου, μετέπειτα ἀποστόλου (+ 7 Σεπτεμβρίου). Ἡ συνεχὴς προσέλευση στὸ θεῖο κήρυγμα προσείλκυσε τὴν προσοχὴ τῆς Θέκλας. Καὶ κάποια νύκτα, μέσα στὸ ἀκροατήριο ἦταν καὶ αὐτή. Τὰ λόγια ποὺ ἄκουσε τὴν τράβηξαν τόσο πολύ, ὥστε τὴν ἔκαναν νὰ ἐπανέλθει πολλὲς φορὲς νὰ ἀκούσει τὸν Ἀπόστολο Παῦλο. Αὐτό, ὅμως, ὅταν τὸ ἔμαθαν ἡ μητέρα της καὶ ὁ μνηστῆρας της, προκειμένου νὰ τὴν ἐπαναφέρουν στὴν εἰδωλολατρία, συκοφάντησαν τὸν Ἀπόστολο Παῦλο, μὲ ἀποτέλεσμα ὁ ἡγεμὼν Καστίλλιος νὰ τὸν φυλακίσει καὶ στὴ συνέχεια νὰ τὸν διώξει ἀπὸ τὴν πόλη. Ἀλλὰ ἡ Θέκλα εἶχε πάρει τὴν ἀπόφαση νὰ δοθεῖ ὁλοκληρωτικὰ στὴ διακονία τοῦ Εὐαγγελίου. Συγγενεῖς καὶ πρώην φίλοι τῆς τὴν πολέμησαν ἀνελέητα. Αὐτὴ ὅμως, εἶχε στὴ θύμησή της τὰ λόγια του διδασκάλου της Ἀποστόλου Παύλου: «Θύρα μοι ἀνέωγε μεγάλη καὶ ἐνεργής, καὶ ἀντικείμενοι πολλοί». Μοῦ ἀνοίχτηκε, δηλαδή, πόρτα μεγάλη, γιὰ καρποφόρα ἱεραποστολικὴ δράση. Καὶ γι᾿ αὐτό, λόγω τοῦ φθόνου ποὺ ἔχει ὁ σατανᾶς γιὰ κάθε καλό, πολλοὶ καὶ τώρα παρουσιάζονται ἐνάντιοι καὶ πολέμιοι. Τελικὰ ἡ Θέκλα στὴν πορεία τῆς Ἱεραποστολικῆς της δράσης πέρασε πολλὰ μαρτύρια, ἀπὸ τὰ ὁποῖα, ὅμως, μὲ θαυματουργικὸ τρόπο βγῆκε ἄθικτη. Πέθανε 90 χρονῶν σὲ κάποιο ὄρος τῆς Σελεύκειας.

Ὁ Ὅσιος Κόπρις
Ἐπονομάσθηκε ἔτσι, διότι ἡ μητέρα του σὲ καιρὸ διωγμοῦ καὶ ἐπιδρομῆς βαρβάρων, ἐνῷ ἔτρεχε καὶ αὐτὴ νὰ φύγει, τὴν ἔπιασαν οἱ πόνοι τοῦ τοκετοῦ στὸ δρόμο καὶ γέννησε τὸν ὅσιο πάνω σὲ κοπριά! Ὁ Ὅσιος Κόπρις ἦταν σύγχρονος τοῦ ἁγίου Θεοδοσίου τοῦ Κοινοβιάρχου ἐπὶ βασιλέως Λέοντος τοῦ μεγάλου. Διακρινόταν γιὰ τὴν εὐσέβειά του, τὴν ἁγνότητά του καὶ τὴν σωφροσύνη του. Ἐπίσης ἦταν τύπος μεγάλης προθυμίας καὶ ταπεινοφροσύνης, καὶ ἔνιωθε μεγάλη εὐχαρίστηση ὅταν πρόσφερε τὶς ὑπηρεσίες του σὲ μικροὺς καὶ μεγάλους. Καὶ ὅταν κανεὶς τοῦ ἔλεγε ὅτι ταπεινοφρονεῖ, αὐτὸς ἀπαντοῦσε: «Πράγματι, πῶς νὰ μὴ ταπεινοφρονῶ; ὁ τόπος ποὺ γεννήθηκα (δηλ. ἡ κοπριά) δείχνει τὴν ἀξία μου». Ἔτσι ἔζησε καὶ πέθανε, πιστὸς πάντοτε, ταπεινὸς ὑπηρέτης τῶν συνανθρώπων του. Ἔτσι καὶ ὁ Θεὸς τὸν ἀνύψωσε. Γιὰ τὴν πίστη του, τὴν διακονία του, τὴν ταπεινοφροσύνη του, δίκαια ἡ Ἐκκλησία τὸν κατάταξε στὸ χορὸ τῶν Ἁγίων της.

Μνήμη θαύματος τῆς Θεοτόκου καὶ Ἀειπαρθένου Μαρίας τῆς Μυρτιδιώτισσας
Τὸ γεγονὸς ἔλαβε χώρα στὸν Ἱερὸ Ναὸ τῶν Μυρτιδίων στὸ νησὶ Κύθηρα, ὅταν θεράπευσε παράλυτο. Λεπτομέρειες γιὰ τὸ γεγονὸς αὐτό, καθὼς καὶ γιὰ τὶς παραδόσεις τῆς εὑρέσεως τῆς ἁγίας εἰκόνας τῆς Παναγίας τῆς Μυρτιδιώτισας, βλέπε στὸν Συναξαριστὴ τοῦ Ματθαίου Λαγγῆ, αὐτὴ τὴν μέρα, τόμος 9ος σελίδα 514, ἔκδοση 5η 1992.

Ὁ Ἅγιος Σιλουανὸς ὁ Ἁγιορείτης
Ἔγινε γνωστὸς πρὶν ἀκόμα ἁγιοποιηθεῖ ἀπὸ τὴν Ὀρθόδοξη Ἐκκλησία μὲ τὸ βιογραφικὸ ἔργο «Ὁ γέροντας Σιλουανὸς τοῦ Ἄθω», ποὺ τὸ συνέγραψε μὲ ὡραῖο τρόπο ὁ Ἡγούμενος τῆς Μονῆς Τιμίου Προδρόμου στὸ Ἔσσεξ τῆς Ἀγγλίας Ἀρχιμανδρίτης Σωφρόνιος, ποὺ ἔζησε κοντὰ στὸν Ἅγιο γιὰ πολὺ καιρὸ στὸν Ἄθω. Σύμφωνα λοιπὸν μὲ τὸν Σωφρόνιο, ὁ Ἅγιος Σιλουανὸς ἀσκήθηκε στὸ Ἅγιον Ὄρος γιὰ 46 ὁλόκληρα χρόνια καὶ συγκεκριμένα στὴ Μονὴ τοῦ Ἁγίου Παντελεήμονα. Γεννήθηκε τὸ 1866 στὸ χωριὸ Σόβοκ τῆς ἐπαρχίας Λεμπεντιάσκ τῆς Ρωσίας καὶ τὸ κοσμικό του ὄνομα ἦταν Συμεὼν Ἰβάνοβιτς Ἀντόνωφ. Στὴ Ρωσία ἐξασκοῦσε τὸ ἐπάγγελμα τοῦ ξυλουργοῦ. Στὸ Ἅγιον Ὄρος ἦλθε τὸ 1892 καὶ ἀφιερώθηκε ὁλοκληρωτικὰ στὴν ἄσκηση καὶ τὴν προσευχή. Τὸ 1911 ἔγινε μεγαλόσχημος καὶ στολίστηκε μὲ πολλὲς ἅγιες ἀρετὲς καὶ γέμισε ὅλος ἀπὸ θεῖο φῶς. Τὸ 1905 βγῆκε γιὰ λίγο ἀπὸ τὸ Ἅγιον Ὄρος καὶ ἐπισκέφθηκε τὰ μοναστήρια τῆς πατρίδας του. Ἀπεβίωσε στὶς 24 Σεπτεμθρίου τοῦ 1938 καὶ ἡ Ὀρθόδοξη Ἐκκλησία πρόσφατα τὸν ἁγιοποίησε.

Τῇ ΚΔ' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, Μνήμη τῆς Ἁγίας Μεγαλομάρτυρος καὶ Ἰσαποστόλου Θέκλης.
Αὐτὸς σε σῴζει Θέκλα ῥήξας τὴν πέτραν,
Οὗ τῷ πάθει πρὶν ἐρράγησαν αἱ πέτραι.
Πέτρη ἀμφὶ τετάρτην εἰκάδα δέξατο Θέκλην.

Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Κόπριος.
Οὐκ ἦν ὁ Κόπρις κόπρις, ἀλλ' ἄλλος βότρυς,
Καλὸν κυπρισμὸν προσφέρων τῷ Κυρίῳ.

Μνήμη τοῦ γεγονότος θαύματος παρὰ τῆς Θεομήτορος ἐν τῇ νήσῳ Κυθήρων, ἔνθα ἡ ἐν τοῖς μυρτιδίοις εὑρεθεῖσα εἰκὼν τῆς Θεοτόκου ἤγειρε τὸν παράλυτον.

Ταῖς αὐτῶν ἁγίαις πρεσβείαις, ὁ Θεός, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.

Διαβάζομε στις Πράξεις των Αποστόλων ότι, όταν οι Ιουδαίοι έδιωξαν από την Αντιόχεια τον Παύλο και τον Βαρνάβα, οι Απόστολοι του Χριστού επήγαν στο Ικόνιο, όπου "ικανόν... χρόνον διέτριψαν παρρησιαζόμενοι επί τω Κυρίω...". Μέσα σε εκείνους που ήκουσαν το κήρυγμα των αγίων Αποστόλων ήταν κι η μεγαλομάρτυς και ισαπόστολος Θέκλα, της οποίας η Εκκλησία σήμερα γιορτάζει την μνήμη. Η αγία Θεκλα είναι από τις γυναίκες εκείνες, που και στα χρόνια του Ιησού και στα χρόνια των αγίων Αποστόλων και στα χρόνια των ιερών Πατέρων και μέχρι σήμερα, πάντα με ένα ιδιαίτερο τρόπο, που οφείλεται στη λεπτότητα των γυναικείων συναισθημάτων, δέχονται το κήρυγμα του Ευαγγελίου. Νέες από γένος, με κατάσταση και με σωματική ωραιότητα, αφήκαν τις τερπνότητες του βίου για το Νυμφίο Χριστό. Αυτό δεν είναι μόνο μια συναισθηματικότης, είναι μια θυσία "εις οσμην ευωδίας".

Ἀπολυτίκιον, Ἦχος δ´
Ἡ ἀμνάς σου Ἰησοῦ, κράζει μεγάλη τῇ φωνῇ. Σὲ Νυμφίε μου ποθῶ, καὶ σὲ ζητοῦσα ἀθλῶ, καὶ συσταυροῦμαι καὶ συνθάπτομαι τῷ βαπτισμῷ σου· καὶ πάσχω διὰ σέ, ὡς βασιλεύσω σὺν σοί, καὶ θνήσκω ὑπὲρ σοῦ, ἵνα καὶ ζήσω ἐν σοί· ἀλλ᾽ ὡς θυσίαν ἄμωμον προσδέχου τὴν μετὰ πόθου τυθεῖσάν σοι. Αὐτῆς πρεσβείαις, ὡς ἐλεήμων, σῶσον τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν.

Κοντάκιον, Ἦχος πλ. δ´. Ὡς ἀπαρχὰς
Τῆς παρθενίας τῷ κάλλει ἐξέλαμψας, μαρτυρίου στεφάνῳ κεκόσμησαι, ἀποστολὴν πιστεύῃ Παρθένε ὡς ἔνδοξος, καὶ τοῦ πυρὸς μὲν τὴν φλόγα, εἰς δρόσον μετέβαλες, τοῦ ταύρου δὲ τὸν θυμόν, προσευχῇ σου ἡμέρωσας ὦ Πρωτόαθλε.



WORD FROM THE DESERT:

Piamoun was a virgin who lived with her mother spinning flax and eating only every other day at evening. She was deemed worthy of the gift of prophecy, a case in point being the time the river overflowed in Egypt and one village attacked another. They were fighting about the water distribution and this resulted in blows and even murder. A more powerful town attacked her village, and a crowd of men was coming with spears and cudgels to devastate her village.
An angel appeared to her and revealed their attack. So she sent for the elders of the village and said to them, "Go out and talk with those who are coming here from that village, lest you all die along with the populace, and tell them to put an end to their hatred."
Now the elders were afraid, and they fell at her feet, begging her, and said, "We cannot come to an agreement with them, for we know their drunkenness and frenzy. But if you have mercy on the whole town and your own home, go out and make peace with them yourself." She did not agree to this, but she did go to her own abode and she stood all night praying, never bending her knees. She besought the Lord, praying, "Lord, who judges the world, whom nothing unjust pleases, now when this prayer reaches You, may Your power fix them to the place wherever it may find them."
And long about the first hour, when they were about three miles away, they were fixed to the spot and could not budge. It was made known to them that this hindrance was due to her intercession. So they sent to the village, suing for peace, making it clear that this was "because of God and the prayers of Piamoun, for they stopped us."
Palladius, Historia Lausiaca 31