FEASTS AND SAINTS CELEBRATED TODAY:
Hosea the Prophet
Holy Martyrs Cosmas and Damian of Arabia
Andrew the Righteous Monk-martyr of Crete
Άγιος Ανδρέας ο Οσιομάρτυρας «Ὁ ἐν τὴ Κρίσει»
Άγιοι Κοσμάς, Δαμιανός, Λεόντιος, Άνθιμος και Ευπρέπιος οι Ανάργυροι
Ανακομιδή του Ιερού Λειψάνου του Αγίου και Δικαίου Λαζάρου
Κατάθεσις του Ιερού Λειψάνου του Αγίου και Δικαίου Λαζάρου στην Κωνσταντινούπολη
READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:
The Reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Romans 9:18-33
BRETHREN, God has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens the heart of whomever he wills. You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" But who are you, a man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me thus?" Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for beauty and another for menial use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience the vessels of wrath made for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for the vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? As indeed he says in Hosea, "Those who were not my people I will call 'my people,' and her who was not beloved I will call 'my beloved."' "And in the very place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' they will be called 'sons of the living God."'And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved; for the Lord will execute his sentence upon the earth with rigor and dispatch." And as Isaiah predicted, "if the Lord of hosts had not left us children, we would have fared like Sodom and been made like Gomorrah." What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteoueness have attained it, that is, righteousness through faith; but that Israel who pursued the righteousness which is based on law did not succeed in fulfilling that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it through faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written, "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone that will make men stumble, a rock that will make them fall; and he who believes in him will not be put to shame."
Πρὸς ῾Ρωμαίους 9:18-33
Ἀδελφοί, ὃν θέλει ἐλεεῖ· ὃν δὲ θέλει σκληρύνει. Ἐρεῖς οὖν μοι, Τί ἔτι μέμφεται; Τῷ γὰρ βουλήματι αὐτοῦ τίς ἀνθέστηκεν; Μενοῦνγε, ὦ ἄνθρωπε, σὺ τίς εἶ ὁ ἀνταποκρινόμενος τῷ θεῷ; Μὴ ἐρεῖ τὸ πλάσμα τῷ πλάσαντι, Τί με ἐποίησας οὕτως; Ἢ οὐκ ἔχει ἐξουσίαν ὁ κεραμεὺς τοῦ πηλοῦ, ἐκ τοῦ αὐτοῦ φυράματος ποιῆσαι ὃ μὲν εἰς τιμὴν σκεῦος, ὃ δὲ εἰς ἀτιμίαν; Εἰ δὲ θέλων ὁ θεὸς ἐνδείξασθαι τὴν ὀργήν, καὶ γνωρίσαι τὸ δυνατὸν αὐτοῦ, ἤνεγκεν ἐν πολλῇ μακροθυμίᾳ σκεύη ὀργῆς κατηρτισμένα εἰς ἀπώλειαν· καὶ ἵνα γνωρίσῃ τὸν πλοῦτον τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ σκεύη ἐλέους, ἃ προητοίμασεν εἰς δόξαν, οὓς καὶ ἐκάλεσεν ἡμᾶς οὐ μόνον ἐξ Ἰουδαίων, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐξ ἐθνῶν; Ὡς καὶ ἐν τῷ Ὡσηὲ λέγει, Καλέσω τὸν οὐ λαόν μου λαόν μου· καὶ τὴν οὐκ ἠγαπημένην ἠγαπημένην. Καὶ ἔσται, ἐν τῷ τόπῳ οὗ ἐρρήθη αὐτοῖς, Οὐ λαός μου ὑμεῖς, ἐκεῖ κληθήσονται υἱοὶ θεοῦ ζῶντος. Ἠσαΐας δὲ κράζει ὑπὲρ τοῦ Ἰσραήλ, Ἐὰν ᾖ ὁ ἀριθμὸς τῶν υἱῶν Ἰσραὴλ ὡς ἡ ἄμμος τῆς θαλάσσης, τὸ κατάλειμμα σωθήσεται· λόγον γὰρ συντελῶν καὶ συντέμνων ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ· ὅτι λόγον συντετμημένον ποιήσει κύριος ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς. Καὶ καθὼς προείρηκεν Ἠσαΐας, Εἰ μὴ κύριος Σαβαὼθ ἐγκατέλιπεν ἡμῖν σπέρμα, ὡς Σόδομα ἂν ἐγενήθημεν, καὶ ὡς Γόμορρα ἂν ὡμοιώθημεν. Τί οὖν ἐροῦμεν; Ὅτι ἔθνη τὰ μὴ διώκοντα δικαιοσύνην, κατέλαβεν δικαιοσύνην, δικαιοσύνην δὲ τὴν ἐκ πίστεως· Ἰσραὴλ δέ, διώκων νόμον δικαιοσύνης, εἰς νόμον δικαιοσύνης οὐκ ἔφθασεν. Διὰ τί; Ὅτι οὐκ ἐκ πίστεως, ἀλλʼ ὡς ἐξ ἔργων νόμου· προσέκοψαν γὰρ τῷ λίθῳ τοῦ προσκόμματος, καθὼς γέγραπται, Ἰδοὺ τίθημι ἐν Σιὼν λίθον προσκόμματος καὶ πέτραν σκανδάλου· καὶ πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων ἐπʼ αὐτῷ οὐ καταισχυνθήσεται.
The Reading is from Luke 9:18-22
At that time, it happened that as he was praying alone the disciples were with him; and he asked them, "Who do the people say that I am?" And they answered, "John the Baptist; but others say, Elijah; and others, that one of the old prophets has risen." And he said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" And Peter answered, "The Christ of God." But he charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, "The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised."
Κατὰ Λουκᾶν 9.18-22
Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτὸν προσευχόμενον καταμόνας, συνῆσαν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταί, καὶ ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτοὺς λέγων· τίνα με λέγουσιν οἱ ὄχλοι εἶναι; οἱ δὲ ἀποκριθέντες εἶπον· ᾿Ιωάννην τὸν βαπτιστήν, ἄλλοι δὲ ᾿Ηλίαν, ἄλλοι δὲ ὅτι προφήτης τις τῶν ἀρχαίων ἀνέστη. εἶπε δὲ αὐτοῖς· ὑμεῖς δὲ τίνα μὲ λέγετε εἶναι; ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Πέτρος εἶπε· τὸν Χριστὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ. ῾Ο δὲ ἐπιτιμήσας αὐτοῖς παρήγγειλε μηδενὶ λέγειν τοῦτο, εἰπὼν ὅτι δεῖ τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου πολλὰ παθεῖν καὶ ἀποδοκιμασθῆναι ἀπὸ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων καὶ ἀρχιερέων καὶ γραμματέων, καὶ ἀποκτανθῆναι, καὶ τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ ἐγερθῆναι.
READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:
Τῇ ΙΖ' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, Μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου Προφήτου Ὡσηέ.
Θεὸν τυποῖς μνηστῆρα γῆς πορνευτρίας,
Πόρνῃ συναφθείς, ὃν Προφήτα νῦν βλέπεις.
Ἑβδομάτῃ δεκάτῃ Ὡσηὲ νέκυν κτερέϊξαν.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου Ὁσιομάρτυρος, Ἀνδρέου τοῦ ἐν τῇ Κρίσει.
Ἀμφοῖν ποδῶν σῶν Ἀνδρέα τμηθεὶς ἕνα,
Ἀθλήσεως σῆς ἐκπεραίνεις τὸν δρόμον.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τῆς ἀνακομιδῆς τοῦ τιμίου λειψάνου τοῦ Ἁγίου καὶ Δικαίου Λαζάρου.
Αἴρουσα Χριστοῦ τῷ φίλῳ Πόλις πύλας,
"Λάζαρε δεῦρο" χριστομιμήτως λέγει.
Εἰς τὴν κατάθεσιν τοῦ Λειψάνου τοῦ αὐτοῦ Ἁγίου Λαζάρου.
Κρύπτουσα νεκρὸν Λαζάρου Ῥώμη Νέα,
Ἄλλη παρ' ἡμῖν δείκνυται Βηθανία.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων αὐταδέλφων Μαρτύρων καὶ Ἀναργύρων, Κοσμᾶ καὶ Δαμιανοῦ, Λεοντίου, Ἀνθίμου, καὶ Εὐτροπίου.
Ἐκ τοῦ γένους Ἄραβας, ἐκ δὲ τοῦ ξίφους,
Θείους ἀριστεῖς οἶδα τούς, Ἀναργύρους.
Λεοντίου τμηθέντος, ὤλετο πλάνος,
Λεοντομήρμυξ, ὡς Ἰὼβ βίβλος λέγει.
Ἄνθιμος, Εὐτρόπιος ἐκτετμημένοι,
Ἀνθοῦσι λαμπρὸν καὶ πανευπρεπὲς μάλα.
Ταῖς αὐτῶν ἁγίαις πρεσβείαις, ὁ Θεός, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.
Hosea the Prophet - According to some, Hosea, whose name means "God is help," was from the tribe of Issachar, or more likely, from that of Reuben; he was the son of Beeri. He is the first in order of the twelve minor Prophets and the most ancient of all. He prophesied in the days of the divided Kingdom; the Lord told him to take a harlot to wife (Hosea 1:2), and then an adulteress (ibid., 3:1). The harlot, a known sinner, was a figure of the Kingdom of Israel in Samaria, which openly worshipped idols; the adulteress, lawfully married yet sinning secretly with her lovers, was a figure of the Kingdom of Judah in Jerusalem, which, while having the Temple, and the priesthood, and the divine worship according to the Law, stealthily served the idols also. The Prophet Hosea prophesied for sixty years, and lived for some ninety years, from 810 to 720 B.C. His book is divided into fourteen chapters.
Apolytikion in the Second Tone
As we celebrate the memory of Thy Prophet Hosea, O Lord, through him we beseech Thee to save our souls.
Τού Προφήτου σου Ωσηέ τήν μνήμην, Κύριε, εορτάζοντες, δι' αυτού σε δυσωπούμεν, Σώσον τάς ψυχάς ημών.
Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Initiated by divine illumination, thou wast deemed worthy of the lofty gift of prophecy and foretoldest of the promise of grace, O Prophet. O Hosea, since thou dwellest in God's glory now, do thou rescue from all manner of adversity us who cry to thee: Rejoice, thou vessel of grace divine.
Τή θεαυγεί μαρμαρυγή μυσταγωγούμενος, Προφητικής θεηγορίας κατηξίωσαι, Τάς τής χάριτος προλέγων επαγγελίας. Αλλα' ώς θείας Ωσηέ ευκλείας σύσκηνος, πολυτρόπων συμφορών ημάς απάλλαξον, τούς βοωντάς σοι, Χαίροις σκεύος τού Πνεύματος.
Andrew the Righteous Monk-martyr of Crete - Saint Andrew was from the island of Crete, where he lived the monastic life. During the reign of Constantine Copronymus, he came to Constantinople and suffered many things in defence of the veneration of the holy icons. Finally, he was dragged through the market, bound by the feet, one of which was severed by a fishmonger wielding a cleaver, and thus the Saint surrendered his spirit unto God in the year 761. His sacred relics were buried at a certain place called "The Judgment."
Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Trained on the mountain in ascetical labours, with the whole armour of the Cross thou didst vanquish the spiritual arrays of unseen enemies; and when thou hadst stripped thyself with great courage for contest, thou didst slay Copronymus with the sword of the true Faith. For both these things hast thou been crowned by God, O righteous Martyr, blest Andrew of great renown.
Ασκητικώς προγυμνασθείς εν τώ όρει, τάς vοητάς τώv δυσμενώv παρατάξεις, τή πανοπλία ώλεσας παμμάκαρ τού Σταυρού, αύθις δέ πρός άθλησιν, ανδρικώς απεδύσω, κτείνας τόν Κοπρώνυμον, τώ τής πίστεως ξίφει, καί δι' αμφοίν εστέφθης εκ Θεού, οσιομάρτυς Ανδρέα αοίδιμε
Kontakion in the Third Tone
On this day the Church of Christ with great rejoicing observeth the resplendent festival of thine illustrious mem'ry summoning all of the faithful to come together. She is glad, for she possesseth the precious treasure of thy much-afflicted body, O Martyr Andrew, light of the Orthodox Faith.
Εορτάζει σήμερον, η Βασιλεύουσα πόλις, εορτήv υπέρλαμπρον, τής φωτοφόρου σου Μvήμης, άπασαv προσκαλουμένη πόλιv καί χώραv, χαίρει γάρ, ως κτησαμένη θησαυρόv μέγαν, τό πολύαθλόν σου σώμα, Ανδρέα Μάρτυς, ορθοδοξίας φωστήρ
Δύο φορές στα ιερά Ευαγγέλια ο Κύριος Ιησούς Χριστός επανέλαβε τα χαρακτηριστικά κι αξιομνημόνευτα λόγια του Προφήτου Ωσηέ, του οποίου η Εκκλησία σήμερα γιορτάζει την μνήμη. "Έλεον θέλω και ου θυσίαν"λέει ο Θεός με το στόμα του Προφήτου και τα λόγια αυτά πετά κατά πρόσωπο των φαρισαίων ο Ιησούς Χριστός, εκείνων που δεν μπορούσαν και δεν ήθελαν να καταλάβουν πως η αληθινή θρησκεία είναι πολύ παραπάνω από την τυπική εκτέλεση τελετουργικών πράξεων. Οι τελετουργικές πράξεις και η τυπική λατρεία, χωρίς αγάπη, χωρίς έλεος και συμπάθεια στους ανθρώπους, χωρίς γνώση του Θεού και υπακοή στο θέλημά του, είναι πράξεις χωρίς περιεχόμενο και χωρίς εσωτερική δύναμη· μάλλον μαγεία και θέατρο, παρά πνευματική και λογική λατρεία. Γνώση του θείου θελήματος, υπακοή στο Θεό κι αγάπη προς τους ανθρώπους, είναι η αληθινή θρησκεία και λατρεία. "Έλεον θέλω και ου θυσίαν".
Ἀπολυτίκιον τῆς Μάρτυρος, 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 γ´ . Ἡ Παρθένος σήμερον
Ἑορτάζει σήμερον, ἡ Βασιλεύουσα πόλις, ἑορτὴv ὑπέρλαμπρον, τῆς φωτοφόρου σου Μvήμης, ἄπασαv προσκαλουμένη πόλιv καὶ χώραv, χαίρει γὰρ, ὡς κτησαμένη θησαυρὸv μέγαν, τὸ πολύαθλόν σου σῶμα, Ἀνδρέα Μάρτυς, ὀρθοδοξίας φωστήρ
Ὁ Προφήτης Ὠσηέ
Ἦταν γιὸς τοῦ Βεηρεῖ ἀπὸ τὴν Βελεμὼθ τῆς φυλῆς Ἰσαχὰρ καὶ ἔζησε τὸν ὄγδοο αἰῶνα πρὸ Χριστοῦ, ἐπὶ βασιλέων τοῦ Ἰούδα, Ὀζίου, Ἰωάθαμ, Ἄχαζ, Ἐζεκία καὶ τοῦ Ἰσραὴλ Ἱεροβοὰμ Β´. Στὴν Παλαιὰ Διαθήκη εἶναι ὁ πρῶτος ἀπὸ τοὺς δώδεκα μικροὺς λεγόμενους προφῆτες. Ὁ Ὠσηὲ ἦταν ψυχὴ γεμάτη ἀπὸ ζῆλο γιὰ τὸ θεῖο Νόμο, γι᾿ αὐτὸ καὶ στὸ προφητικό του βιβλίο καταγγέλλει εὐθέως τὸ λαὸ τοῦ Ἰσραήλ, ποὺ εἶχε μολυνθεῖ ἀπὸ τὴν εἰδωλολατρία. Οἱ συμβολισμοί του θεωροῦνται δυσεξήγητοι, ἀλλὰ σαφέστατα ἐκδηλώνει τὴν πίστη του στὸ Σωτῆρα Χριστό. Μάλιστα, ὁ ἴδιος ὁ Κύριός μας χρησιμοποίησε μία σπουδαία φράση τοῦ Ὠσηέ, πρὸς τοὺς Φαρισαίους (Ματθ. θ´ 13), ἡ ὁποία λέει: «Ἔλεος θέλω καὶ οὐ θυσίαν καὶ ἐπίγνωσιν Θεοῦ ἢ ὁλοκαυτώματα». Δηλαδή, λέει ὁ Θεὸς μέσῳ τοῦ Ὠσηέ: «Προτιμῶ τὴν εἰρηνικὴ ἀγάπη σας πρὸς ἐμένα καὶ ὄχι τὶς τυπικὲς θυσίες, καὶ θέλω νὰ ἔχετε ἐπίγνωση τοῦ θείου θελήματος περισσότερο, παρὰ τὰ χωρὶς νόημα καὶ οὐσία ὁλοκαυτώματα ποὺ προσφέρετε». Ἐπίσης, φράσεις τοῦ Ὠσηὲ χρησιμοποίησαν καὶ οἱ Ἀπόστολοι Πέτρος καὶ Παῦλος στὶς ἐπιστολές τους. Ὁ Ὠσηὲ λέγεται ὅτι ἔζησε 75 χρόνια, καὶ μετὰ παρέδωσε στὸ Θεὸ τὴν δίκαιη ψυχή του.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Ἀνδρέας Ὁσιομάρτυρας «ὁ ἐν τῇ Κρίσει»
Ὁ τολμηρὸς καὶ ἐλεύθερος στὸ φρόνημα καὶ τὸ λόγο Ὁσιομάρτυρας Ἀνδρέας, καταγόταν ἀπὸ τὴν Κρήτη καὶ ἔζησε τὸν 8ο αἰῶνα μ.Χ. ἐπὶ αὐτοκράτορος Κωνσταντίνου Ε´ τοῦ Κοπρωνύμου. Ὅταν αὐτὸς ξεκίνησε διωγμὸ κατὰ τῶν ἁγίων εἰκόνων, ὁ Ἀνδρέας πληροφορήθηκε τὰ ἔκτροπα ποὺ γίνονταν ἐναντίον ἐκείνων ποὺ τὶς προσκυνοῦσαν, γι᾿ αὐτὸ ἄφησε τὴν Κρήτη καὶ πῆγε στὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη. Καὶ ὅταν εἶδε ἀπὸ κοντὰ τὴ βία κατὰ τῶν ὀρθοδόξων, αἰσθάνθηκε τὴν ἀνάγκη ἀπὸ ἱερὴ ἀγανάκτηση νὰ ἐλέγξει τὸν ἴδιο τὸν αὐτοκράτορα. Καὶ ἡ εὐκαιρία τοῦ δόθηκε ὅταν ὁ Κωνσταντῖνος ὁ Ε´ βγῆκε ἀπὸ τὸ παλάτι· στὴν ἐπιστροφὴ ὁ Ἀνδρέας παραφύλαξε καὶ μὲ θάῤῥος τὸν πλησίασε καὶ τὸν ῥώτησε: «ἄρα χριστιανὸς εἶ, βασιλεῦ;». Ὁ Κωνσταντῖνος ἔμεινε ἐμβρόντητος στὴν ἀρχή. Ἀλλ᾿ ἔπειτα ἐξοργισμένος διέταξε νὰ τὸν συλλάβουν. Ἡ διαταγὴ ἐκτελέστηκε καὶ μάλιστα ἕνας ἀπὸ τοὺς ὑπασπιστὲς κτύπησε τὸν Ἀνδρέα καὶ συγχρόνως τὸν ῥώτησε: «οὕτως ἐδιδάχθης ἀτιμάζειν τὸν βασιλέα;». Καὶ ὁ Ἀνδρέας τοῦ ἀπάντησε μὲ τὸν ἑξῆς ἀθάνατο λόγο: «οὐδεὶς ἁμαρτάνει βασιλέα ἐλέγχων παρανομοῦντα». Θυμωμένος τότε ἀκόμα περισσότερο ὁ βασιλιάς, διέταξε καὶ μαστίγωσαν ἄγρια τὸν Ἀνδρέα. Ἔπειτα τὸν παρέδωσαν σὲ ὄχλο εἰκονομάχων, ποὺ τὸν ἔσυραν ἐπάνω σὲ κοφτερὲς πέτρες. Κατόπιν κάποιος ἀγροῖκος ψαρᾶς μὲ κοφτερὸ τσεκούρι, ἔκοψε τὸ πόδι τοῦ ἁγίου καὶ ἔτσι μετὰ ἀπὸ λίγο πέθανε. Τὸ λείψανό του τὸ ἔριξαν σὲ ἀκάθαρτο τόπο, ἀλλ᾿ ὀρθόδοξα χέρια τὸ πῆραν νύκτα καὶ τὸ ἔθαψαν εὐλαβικὰ σὲ τόπο ὀνομαζόμενο «τῆς Κρίσεως». (Ἡ μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου αὐτοῦ ἐπαναλαμβάνεται καὶ τὴν 21ὴν Ὀκτωβρίου, μετὰ τῶν Ἁγίων Στεφάνου, Παύλου καὶ Πέτρου).
Ἀνακομιδὴ τοῦ Λειψάνου τοῦ Ἁγίου καὶ Δικαίου Λαζάρου
Ὅπως γνωρίζουμε ἀπὸ τὴν Καινὴ Διαθήκη ἦταν ὁ φίλος τοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ τὸν ὁποῖο ἀνάστησε (βλ. Κυριακὴ Βαΐων). Αὐτὸς λοιπὸν πῆγε στὴν Κύπρο, ὅπου χειροτονήθηκε ἀπὸ τοὺς Ἁγίους Ἀποστόλους ἐπίσκοπος Κιτίου καὶ δίδασκε τὸ λόγο τοῦ Θεοῦ. Ἀφοῦ ἐπὶ πολλὰ χρόνια ποίμανε θεάρεστα τὸ ποίμνιο τοῦ Χριστοῦ, ἀπεβίωσε εἰρηνικά, κάνοντας πολλὰ θαύματα. Μετὰ ἀπὸ πολλὰ χρόνια, τὸ 890, ὁ αὐτοκράτορας τοῦ Βυζαντίου Λέων ὁ ΣΤ´, ἀφοῦ ἔκτισε μεγαλόπρεπο Ναὸ καὶ Μοναστήρι στὸ ὄνομα τοῦ Ἁγίου καὶ Δικαίου Λαζάρου, ἔδωσε διαταγὴ καὶ ἀνακομίστηκε τὸ ἱερὸ λείψανο τοῦ Ἁγίου, ἀπὸ τὴν πόλη τῶν Κιτιαίων, στὸν προαναφερθέντα Ναὸ στὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη.
Οἱ Ἅγιοι Κοσμᾶς, Δαμιανός, Λεόντιος, Ἄνθιμος καὶ Εὐπρέπιος οἱ Ἀνάργυροι
Ἦταν μεταξύ τους κατὰ σάρκα, ἀλλὰ καὶ κατὰ πνεῦμα ἀδέλφια ἀπὸ τὴν Ἀραβία. Εὐσεβεῖς καὶ οἱ πέντε, ἀπὸ τὸν αὐτὸ ἐμπνεόμενοι θεῖο ζῆλο καὶ ἀπὸ τὰ αὐτὰ κινούμενοι φιλάνθρωπα αἰσθήματα, ὄχι μόνο πολλὲς ἀγαθοεργίες εἶχαν ἐπιτελέσει μὲ τὴν ἰατρική τους τέχνη, ἀλλὰ καὶ πολλοὺς εἶχαν ἑλκύσει στὴ χριστιανικὴ πίστη. Καταγγέλθηκαν γι᾿ αὐτὸ καὶ συνελήφθηκαν κατὰ τὸν ἐπὶ Διοκλητιανοῦ διωγμὸ στὴ Λυκία ἀπὸ τὸν ἡγεμόνα ἐν Αἰγαῖς Λυσία. Μετὰ ἀπὸ πολλὰ βασανιστήρια, ὑπέστησαν τὸν διὰ ἀποκεφαλισμοῦ θάνατο.
The Holy Prophet Hosea was descended from the tribe of Issachar. He lived during the IX Century before the Birth of Christ, and he lived in the Israelite kingdom. He was a contemporary of the holy Prophets Isaiah, Micah (Mikhei) and Amos. During this time many of his fellow Israelites, having forgotten the True God, worshipped idols. The holy Prophet Hosea by his wise guidances attempted to turn them again to the ancient piety. Denouncing the iniquities of the people of Israel [i.e. the northern kingdom Israel], the prophet proclaimed to them great misfortunes from a foreign people and their removal into captivity by Assyria. Almost a thousand years before the coming of the Saviour, and through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the prophet foretold the cessation of the Old Testament sacrificial offering and of the priesthood of Aaron (Hos. 3: 4-5), and that through all the earth would spread knowledge of the True God (Hos. 2: 20-23). Hosea spoke also about Christ, that He would return from out of Egypt (Hos. 11: 1; compare Mt. 2: 15), that He would be resurrected on the third day (Hos. 6 and especially Hos. 6: 2; compare with 1 Cor. 15: 4), and that He would conquer death (Hos. 13-14, especially Hos. 13: 14; compare 1 Cor. 15: 54-55). The prophesies of Saint Hosea are included in the books of Holy Scripture, in the Book of Hosea. The prophetic service of Saint Hosea continued for more than 60 years. The God-inspired prophet died in extreme old age, having devoted all his life to fulfilling the Will of God.
The MonkMartyr Andrew of Crete lived during the reign of the iconoclast emperor Constantine Kopronymos (741-775), who under penalty of death ordered Christians to throw out the holy icons from their churches and homes. Believers, who fearlessly resisted the impious iconoclast, and cleaving firmly to the tradition of the holy fathers, -- were locked up into prison. When the Monk Andrew heard, that the emperor was throwing into prison not the thieves and robbers, but virtuous and pious Christians instead, he went to Constantinople and in front of everyone, in the church of the holy Martyr Mamant, he denounced the heretic for persecuting the true faith. In justifying himself the emperor said, that it is folly to bestow veneration on wood and paint. To this the monk answered, that whosoever suffers for holy icons suffers for Christ, but whosoever reviles the icon upon which Christ is imaged, offers insult to Christ Himself. The enraged iconoclast gave orders to torture Saint Andrew without mercy. Along the way to the place of execution the martyr expired to the Lord. An hundred years later a canon was written to the saint by the Monk Joseph the Melodist. Through the prayers to the saint are healed seizures.
The Monk Antonii (Anthony) of Leokhnovsk, Novgorod, was from the Tver lineage of the Veniaminov boyar-nobles. The monk lived as an hermit not far from Novgorod, in the Rublev wilderness, at the River Perekhoda. In about the year 1556 he resettled with the wilderness-dweller Tarasii, who lived beyond Lake Il'men at Leokhnovo, not far from Stara Rus', and from him received monastic tonsure. Thus began the wilderness monastery in honour of the Transfiguration of the Lord, afterwards called the Leokhnovsk or Ivetsk-Antoniev monastery. The Monk Antonii lived into old age, having acquired the gift of perspicacity.
In the year 1611, when the Swedes had laid waste the surroundings of Novgorod, the monk on the invitation of metropolitan Isidor resettled to Novgorod. He died on 14 September 1611 at age 85 and was buried nearby the church of the holy Evangelist Luke, on the side towards the Saint Sophia church. Before his death and in the presence of many the monk said, that his body would rest in his wilderness-monastery. A disciple of the monk, named Gregory, having returned to the place of the monastery laid waste and burnt by the Swedes, made a cell there with a chapel and remained there to live. The Monk Antonii thrice appeared to him in a dream and said: "Brother Grigorii, go to Novgorod, tell metropolitan Kiprian and the elders of the city, that they should put me in the place of my monastery". After the report of Gregory, the metropolitan made a church procession to the grave of the Monk Antonii. The uncovered incorrupt relics were transferred to the Leokhnovsk monastery on 13 July 1620. At the uncovering of the relics, a blind man named Iosif gained his sight, and many other miracles occurred.
There is an especial order of commemorations, celebrated by the churches in the name of the Monk Antonii of Leokhnovsk, both in the village of Leokhnovo (not far from Stara Rus") and in the Rublevsk wilderness-monastery. On the Second Friday after the feast of the First-Ranked Apostles Peter and Paul (29 June) is remembered the Uncovering and Transfer of the Relics of the Relics of the Monk Antonii from Novgorod to the Leokhnovsk monastery. On the Ascension of the Lord is remembered the coming of the Monk Antonii from the Rublev wilderness to Leokhnovo. On 17 October -- is the memory of the Repose of the Saint, who died on the feast of the Exaltation of the Venerable Cross, on the 9th hour of the evening. At the Rublevsk wilderness monastery was celebrated likewise the memory of the Consecration of the church in the name of the Monk Antonii -- on 30 August (1873).
The Holy Martyrs and UnMercenaries Cosmas and Damian of Arabia walked through the cities and the villages, preaching Christ and healing the sick by the power of Christ. The saints would not take any sort of payment for the help they rendered. In Cilicia pagans seized hold of the holy physicians and led them before the governor named Lysias. For their refusal to renounce the Christian faith, the governor gave orders for the saints to be brutally beaten, and then to drown them in the sea. But an Angel of God conveyed them from the deeps to shore. The pagans then beheaded the saints. Together with the holy physicians were martyred also their brothers Leontios, Anthymos and Eutropios. (The UnMercenary Saints Cosmas and Damian of Arabia ought not to be confused with UnMercenary Saints Cosmas and Damian of Asia Minor -- Comm. 1 November, or the Unmercenary Saints Cosmas and Damian of Rome -- Comm. 1 July).
PROLOGUE FROM ORCHID
1. The Holy Prophet Hosea
Hosea was the son of Beeri of the tribe of Issachar. Hosea lived and prophesied more than eight hundred years before the birth of Christ. His divinely inspired words are found in his book, which contains fourteen chapters. He strongly rebuked Israel and Judah for their idolatry and also foretold God's punishment for their sins, the destruction of Samaria and Israel for their apostasy, and God's mercy on the tribe of Judah. He foretold the abolition and the end of the sacrifices of the Old Testament. He foretold the coming of the Lord, and the richness of gifts that He would bring with Him to earth. He lived to a very old age and entered peacefully into rest.
2. The Holy Martyrs Cosmas and Damian, the Unmercenaries
There are three pairs of holy physicians by the name of Cosmas and Damian. The first entered into rest peacefully on November 1, the second pair was stoned in Rome on July 1, and the third was from Arabia; and it is these that we speak of under today's date. They were physicians by profession, and when they received the Christian Faith, they healed the sick in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. They became widely known for their miraculous healings. The malicious pagans seized them, and took them before Governor Lysias in the town of Aegea. Since neither of these brothers would renounce Christ at any cost, they were cast into the sea, then into fire, but the omnipotent God saved them from both the water and the fire. An angel of the Lord appeared to them and saved them. The pagan governor ascribed this to their alleged sorcery but they answered: ``We know nothing of sorcery nor do we need sorcery, but we possess the power of Christ-which saves us and all who invoke His Most-holy Name.'' The pagans struck them with stones but the stones bounced off them; they shot them with arrows, but the arrows rebounded as well. Finally, they were beheaded with the sword. Saints Leontius, Anthimus and Eutropius also suffered with them, and received heavenly wreaths of glory. They suffered in the time of Diocletian and Maximian. Many miracles were manifested from their holy relics, even as miracles abounded from them during their life.
3. The Venerable Martyr Andrew
St. Andrew was a Cretan by birth and a Christian priest. In the time of the iconoclastic persecution, he showed himself to be a great defender of the veneration of icons. Andrew went to Constantinople to denounce the wicked Emperor Copronymus. As the emperor stood in the Church of the Holy Martyr Mamas, Andrew entered the church, stood before him, and openly rebuked him before all. ``It would be better for you, O Emperor, to attend to military matters and to govern the people, than to persecute Christ and His servants.'' For this, St. Andrew was beaten severely, tortured and dragged through the streets, where a heretic struck him with an axe and killed him. Thus, Andrew rendered his holy soul to God in the year 767. His relics gave healing to the sick.
4. Saint Lazarus the Four-days-dead
Lazarus's principle feasts are on March 17 and Lazarus Saturday during Great Lent. Under today's date is commemorated the translation of his relics from the island of Cyprus to Constantinople. This occurred when Emperor Leo the Wise built the Church of St. Lazarus in Constantinople, and translated Lazarus's relics there in the year 890. When, after almost a thousand years, Lazarus's grave in the town of Kition on Cyprus was unearthed, a marble tablet was found with the inscription: ``Lazarus of the Four Days, the friend of Christ.''
HYMN OF PRAISE
The Holy Prophet Hosea
The discerning Prophet Hosea cried out
And prophesied tribulation to the sinful nation:
``The Lord, the Lord saith: Mercy is dear to Me,
But sacrifices, filthy and rotten, are not dear.
Ye transgress the Law, as did Adam of old,
Ye worship lies, and a falsehood is lord over you.
Your sacrifices are finished; I will not accept them.
Now I shall prepare the greatest sacrifice for Myself.
Ye have planted godlessness; iniquity have ye reaped.
Ye have sown wind, and harvested a storm.
But if ye now plant righteousness, ye will reap mercy-
And to Me, ye will be a holy people again.
But ye are ashamed of Me and love idols.
Ye encourage adultery, ye encourage sin!
That is why ye shall wander throughout the world,
And every nation shall be more powerful than you.
And I will raise up a New Israel:
A new Kingdom-a Kingdom of saints.
It will be as the dew and as a blossoming lily,
And its most wondrous fragrance shall fill the world.
I am the Lord, the Lord; whatever I desire I can do!
Blessed are those who worship Me, the Living God.''
The second appearance of the Holy Martyr Longinus: When Longinus appeared to the blind widow whose son had died, he promised to restore her sight and to reveal her son in great glory. Finding the relics of the holy martyr and touching them with her hands, the widow immediately regained her sight, and thus, one promise was fulfilled. The following night, St. Longinus appeared to the widow in radiant attire, holding her son by the hand, who was also clothed resplendently. Caressing the child like a father, Longinus said: ``Woman, behold your son for whom you weep so much! Look at the honor and glory given him; look and be comforted. God has numbered him among the heavenly ranks who live in His Kingdom. I have now brought him from the Savior, and he will never be parted from me. Take my head and your son's body, and bury them together in one coffin. Mourn your son no longer, and let not your heart be troubled, for great glory, joy, and endless rejoicing is given him from God.'' Seeing and hearing all this, the woman was filled with great joy, and she returned to her home, saying to herself: ``I asked for bodily eyes and I found spiritual eyes. I was saddened at the death of my son, and now I have him in heaven, where he remains in glory with the prophets and rejoices with them unceasingly.''
Contemplate the wondrous vision of St. Stephen the Archdeacon and Protomartyr (Acts 7):
1. How Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, saw the heavens opened;
2. How he said: Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God (Acts 7:56);
3. How the Jews stoned him.
On the festering wounds of sin
My wounds are foul and festering because of my foolishness (Psalm 38:5).
The prophet speaks of the wounds of sins that he himself committed, and from which he sensed in himself the stench of sin. As much as this acknowledgment reveals the impurity of previous sins, so is the subsequent purity of the repentant one also shown. For as long as man follows the corrupt path of sin, he does not sense its suffocating stench; but when he withdraws from this path and sets off on the pure path of righteousness, he senses the inexpressible difference between purity and impurity, between the path of virtue and the path of vice. Imagine a man who has spent the night in a stinking tavern and finds himself in a garden of roses the next morning. In the former there was stench, poison, debasement of soul and body, anger, discord, and the tormenting of himself and others. In the latter is God's great sun overhead, beautiful flowers everywhere, fresh air, wondrous fragrance, serenity and health. Imagine this, and understand that there is an even greater difference between the path of sin and the path of God. My wounds are foul and festering. Thus the great king describes the fruits of his sinful past. Nothing is as foul as sin, nothing festers as much and nothing spreads as much as sin. The stench of bodily wounds suggests, in only a small way, the unbearable stench of a sinful soul. That is why every holy thing distances itself from such a soul. The pure heavenly spirits hide from such a one, and the impure spirits of hades seek its company. Every new sin is a fresh wound on the soul; every sin is corruption and stench. How does sin arise? From my foolishness explains the prophet. A mind derailed from its divine track leads man to sin. Until the mind is cleansed, man cannot be cleansed. But we have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16), says the Apostle. In other words, we have a mind put back on track, as was Adam's mind before the sinful stench. Hence brethren, all Orthodox teaching on asceticism concentrates on one main point: on the mind of man; on the cleansing and correcting of the mind.
O Lord Jesus Christ, Purity and eternal Source of purity, help us to reject our foolishness; help us to reason according to Thy mind.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.