FEASTS AND SAINTS CELEBRATED TODAY:
Luke the Evangelist
Marinos the Martyr
Άγιος Λουκάς ο Ευαγγελιστής
Άγιος Μαρίνος ο Γέρων
Όσιος Ιουλιανός «ὁ ἐν τῷ Εὐφράτῃ ποταμῷ»
Άγια Σαράντα Παιδιά
Άγιοι Γαβριήλ και Κυρμιδώλης οι Νεομάρτυρες «οἱ ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ»
Όσιοι Συμεών, Θεόδωρος κτήτορες της Ιεράς Μονής του «Μεγάλου Σπηλαίου» οι θαυματουργοί και Ευφροσύνη η ποιμενίδα η θαυματουργός
READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:
The Reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Colossians 4:5-11, 14-18
BRETHREN, conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer every one. Tychicos will tell you all about my affairs; he is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him Onesimos, the faithful and beloved brother, who is one of yourselves. They will tell you of everything that has taken place. Aristarchos my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions if he comes to you, receive him), and Jesus who is called Justos. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you. Give my greetings to the brethren at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. And when this letter has been read among you, have it read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you read also the letter from Laodicea. And say to Archippos, "See that you fulfill the ministry which you have received in the Lord." I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my fetters. Grace be with you. Amen.
Πρὸς Κολοσσαεῖς 4:5-11,14-18
Ἀδελφοί, ἐν σοφίᾳ περιπατεῖτε πρὸς τοὺς ἔξω, τὸν καιρὸν ἐξαγοραζόμενοι. Ὁ λόγος ὑμῶν πάντοτε ἐν χάριτι, ἅλατι ἠρτυμένος, εἰδέναι πῶς δεῖ ὑμᾶς ἑνὶ ἑκάστῳ ἀποκρίνεσθαι. Τὰ κατʼ ἐμὲ πάντα γνωρίσει ὑμῖν Τυχικός, ὁ ἀγαπητὸς ἀδελφὸς καὶ πιστὸς διάκονος καὶ σύνδουλος ἐν κυρίῳ· ὃν ἔπεμψα πρὸς ὑμᾶς εἰς αὐτὸ τοῦτο, ἵνα γνῷ τὰ περὶ ὑμῶν καὶ παρακαλέσῃ τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν· σὺν Ὀνησίμῳ τῷ πιστῷ καὶ ἀγαπητῷ ἀδελφῷ, ὅς ἐστιν ἐξ ὑμῶν. Πάντα ὑμῖν γνωριοῦσιν τὰ ὧδε. Ἀσπάζεται ὑμᾶς Ἀρίσταρχος ὁ συναιχμάλωτός μου, καὶ Μᾶρκος ὁ ἀνεψιὸς Βαρνάβᾳ, περὶ οὗ ἐλάβετε ἐντολάς - ἐὰν ἔλθῃ πρὸς ὑμᾶς, δέξασθε αὐτόν· καὶ Ἰησοῦς ὁ λεγόμενος Ἰοῦστος, οἱ ὄντες ἐκ περιτομῆς· οὗτοι μόνοι συνεργοὶ εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ, οἵτινες ἐγενήθησάν μοι παρηγορία. Ἀσπάζεται ὑμᾶς Λουκᾶς ὁ ἰατρὸς ὁ ἀγαπητός, καὶ Δημᾶς. Ἀσπάσασθε τοὺς ἐν Λαοδικείᾳ ἀδελφούς, καὶ Νυμφᾶν, καὶ τὴν κατʼ οἶκον αὐτοῦ ἐκκλησίαν. Καὶ ὅταν ἀναγνωσθῇ παρʼ ὑμῖν ἡ ἐπιστολή, ποιήσατε ἵνα καὶ ἐν τῇ Λαοδικαίων ἐκκλησίᾳ ἀναγνωσθῇ, καὶ τὴν ἐκ Λαοδικείας ἵνα καὶ ὑμεῖς ἀναγνῶτε. Καὶ εἴπατε Ἀρχίππῳ, Βλέπε τὴν διακονίαν ἣν παρέλαβες ἐν κυρίῳ, ἵνα αὐτὴν πληροῖς. Ὁ ἀσπασμὸς τῇ ἐμῇ χειρὶ Παύλου. Μνημονεύετέ μου τῶν δεσμῶν. Ἡ χάρις μεθʼ ὑμῶν. Ἀμήν.
The Reading is from Luke 10:16-21
The Lord said to his disciples, "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me." The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name! " And he said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. " In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will."
Κατὰ Λουκᾶν 10.16-21
Εἶπεν ὁ Κὐριος τοῖς ἑαυτοῦ μαθηταῖς· ῾Ο ἀκούων ὑμῶν ἐμοῦ ἀκούει, καὶ ὁ ἀθετῶν ὑμᾶς ἐμὲ ἀθετεῖ· ὁ δὲ ἐμὲ ἀθετῶν ἀθετεῖ τὸν ἀποστείλαντά με. ῾Υπέστρεψαν δὲ οἱ ἑβδομήκοντα μετὰ χαρᾶς λέγοντες· Κύριε, καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια ὑποτάσσεται ἡμῖν ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου. Εἶπε δὲ αὐτοῖς· ἐθεώρουν τὸν σατανᾶν ὡς ἀστραπὴν ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ πεσόντα. ἰδοὺ δίδωμι ὑμῖν τὴν ἐξουσίαν τοῦ πατεῖν ἐπάνω ὄφεων καὶ σκορπίων καὶ ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ ἐχθροῦ, καὶ οὐδὲν ὑμᾶς οὐ μὴ ἀδικήσῃ. πλὴν ἐν τούτῳ μὴ χαίρετε, ὅτι τὰ πνεύματα ὑμῖν ὑποτάσσεται· χαίρετε δὲ ὅτι τὰ ὀνόματα ὑμῶν ἐγράφη ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς. ᾿Εν αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ ἠγαλλιάσατο τῷ πνεύματι ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν· ἐξομολογοῦμαί σοι, πάτερ, κύριε τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ τῆς γῆς, ὅτι ἀπέκρυψας ταῦτα ἀπὸ σοφῶν καὶ συνετῶν, καὶ ἀπεκάλυψας αὐτὰ νηπίοις· ναί, ὁ πατήρ, ὅτι οὕτως ἐγένετο εὐδοκία ἔμπροσθέν σου.
READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:
Τῇ ΙΗ' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, Μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου Ἀποστόλου καὶ Εὐαγγελιστοῦ Λουκᾶ.
«Εἰς Ἐμμαοὺς βλέπειν σε κἂν πρὶν εἰργόμην,
(Λουκᾶς λέγει), τρανῶς σε νῦν Χριστὲ βλέπω».
Ὀγδοάτῃ δεκάτῃ πέρατος βίου ἔμμορε Λουκᾶς.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου Μάρτυρος Μαρίνου τοῦ γέροντος.
Γέρων Μαρῖνος ἐξελέγχει γραῦν πλάνην,
Τόλμη νεάζων, καὶ τελειοῦται ξίφει.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Ἰουλιανοῦ τοῦ ἐν τῷ Εὐφράτῃ.
Ἐκ τοῦ παρατρέχοντος ὡς ὄναρ βίου,
Ἰουλιανὸς ἄσμενος παρατρέχει.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Μνάσων ἐπίσκοπος Κύπρου, καὶ οἱ Ἅγιοι τεσσαράκοντα παῖδες ξίφει τελειοῦνται.
Μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων νεοφανῶν Μαρτύρων Γαβριὴλ καὶ Κυρμιδώλη τῶν ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ ἀθλησάντων τῷ 1522.
Ταῖς αὐτῶν ἁγίαις πρεσβείαις, ὁ Θεός, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.
Luke the Evangelist - This Apostle was an Antiochean, a physician by trade, and a disciple and companion of Paul. He wrote his Gospel in Greek after Matthew and Mark, after which he wrote the Acts of the Apostles, and dedicated both works to Theophilus, who, according to some, was Governor of Achaia. He lived some eighty-six years and died in Achaia, perhaps in Patras, the capital of this district. His emblem is the calf, the third symbolical beast mentioned by Ezekiel (1:10), which is a symbol of Christ's sacrificial and priestly office, as Saint Irenaeus says.
Apolytikion in the Third Tone
O Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke, intercede with the merciful God that He grant unto our souls forgiveness of offences.
Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
As a disciple of the Word of God, with Paul you illuminated all the earth and dispelled the gloom in writing Christ's divine Gospel.
"Ασπάζεται υμάς Λουκάς ο ιατρός ο αγαπητός", γράφει σε μια του επιστολή ο Απόστολος Παύλος για τον άγιο απόστολο και Ευαγγελιστή Λουκά, του οποίου η Εκκλησία σήμερα γιορτάζει την μνήμη. Ο Απόστολος Λουκάς, που δεν είναι από τους "αυτόπτας" του Λόγου, έλλην την καταγωγή και την ανατροφή, έγινε συνέκδημος και συνοδός του Αποστόλου Παύλου και μας άφησε δύο βιβλία στην Καινή Διαθήκη, το τρίτο Ευαγγέλιο και τις Πράξεις των Αποστόλων. Ο άγιος Λουκάς ονομάζεται Ευαγγελιστής της Παναγίας, γιατί περισσότερο από τους άλλους Ευαγγελιστάς μας μιλεί για την υπεραγία Θεοτόκο στην αρχή του Ευαγγελίου του. Τον Ευαγγελισμό της Παναγίας, την επίσκεψη της Μαρίας στην Ελισάβετ την μητέρα του τιμίου Προδρόμου, το "μεγαλύνει η ψυχή μου τον Κύριο..." κι άλλα περιστατικά από την παιδική ηλικία του Ιησού Χριστού, τα γνωρίζομε μόνο από το Ευαγγέλιο του αγίου Λουκά.
Ἀπολυτίκιον, Ἦχος γ΄.
Ἀπόστολε Ἅγιε, καὶ Εὐαγγελιστὰ Λουκᾶ, πρέσβευε τῷ ἐλεήμονι Θεῷ, ἵνα πταισμάτων ἄφεσιν, παράσχῃ ταῖς ψυχαῖς ἡμῶν.
Κοντάκιον, Ἦχος δ΄. Ἐπεφάνης σήμερον
Μαθητὴς γεvόμενος τοῦ Θεοῦ Λόγου, σὺν τῷ Παύλῳ ἅπασαν, ἐφωταγώγησας τὴv γῆν, καὶ τὴν ἀχλὺν ἀπεδίωξας, τὸ θεῖον γράψας, Χριστοῦ Εὐαγγέλιον.
The Holy Disciple and Evangelist Luke, was a native of Syrian Antioch, a Disciple from amongst the Seventy, a companion of the holy Apostle Paul (Phil. 1: 24, 2 Tim. 4: 10-11), and a physician enlightened in the Greek medical arts. Hearing about Christ, Luke arrived in Palestine and here he fervently accepted the preaching of salvation from the Lord Himself. Included amidst the number of the Seventy Disciples, Saint Luke was sent by the Lord with the others for the first preaching about the Kingdom of Heaven while yet during the earthly life of the Saviour (Lk. 10: 1-3). After the Resurrection, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to Saints Luke and Cleopas on the road to Emmaus.
The Disciple Luke took part in the second missionary journey of the Apostle Paul, and from that time they were inseparable. At a point when all his co-workers had left the Apostle Paul, the Disciple Luke stayed on with him to tackle all the toiling of pious deeds (2 Tim. 4: 10-11). After the martyr's death of the First-Ranked Apostles Peter and Paul, Saint Luke left Rome to preach in Achaeia, Libya, Egypt and the Thebaid. In the city of Thebes he finished his life in martyrdom.
Tradition ascribes to him the writing of the first icons of the Mother of God. "Let the grace of He born of Me and My mercy be with these icons", -- said the All-Pure Virgin in beholding the icons. Saint Luke wrote likewise icons of the First-Ranked Apostles Peter and Paul. His Gospel was written by Saint Luke in the years 62-63 at Rome, under the guidance of the Apostle Paul. Saint Luke in the preliminary verses (1: 3) spells out exactly the aim of his work: he recorded in greater detail the chronological course of events in the framework of everything known by Christians about Jesus Christ and His teachings, and by doing so he provided a firmer historical basis of Christian hope (1: 4). He carefully investigated the facts, and made generous use of the oral tradition of the Church and of what the All-Pure Virgin Mary Herself had told him (2: 19, 51).
In the theological content of the Gospel of Luke there stands out first of all the teaching about the universal salvation effected by the Lord Jesus Christ, and about the universal significance of the preaching of the Gospel [Lat. "evangelum" with Grk. root "eu-angelos" both mean "good-news"].
The holy disciple likewise wrote in the years 62-63 at Rome, the Book of the Acts of the Holy Apostles. The Acts, which is a continuation of the Four Gospels, speaks about the works and effects of the holy Apostles after the Ascension of the Saviour. At the centre of the narrative -- is the Council of the holy Apostles at Jerusalem (year 51 A.D.), a Church event of great critical significance, with a dogmatic basis for the distancing of Christianity from Judaism and its independent dispersion into the world (Acts 15: 6-29). The theological objective of the Book of Acts is that of the Dispensation-Economy of the Holy Spirit, actualised in the Church founded by the Lord Jesus Christ, from the time of the Ascension and Pentecost to the Second Coming of Christ.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Λουκᾶς ὁ Εὐαγγελιστής
Ὁ εὐαγγελιστὴς Λουκᾶς καταγόταν ἀπὸ τὴν Ἀντιόχεια, καὶ ἡ ἐθνικότητά του ἦταν ἑλληνική. Ὁ Ἀπόστολος Παῦλος μᾶς πληροφορεῖ ὅτι τὸ ἐπάγγελμα τοῦ Λουκᾶ ἦταν γιατρός. Ἐπίσης, γνώριζε νὰ ζωγραφίζει, καὶ ὅπως εἶναι γνωστό, σ᾿ αὖτον ἀποδίδονται οἱ εἰκόνες τῆς Παναγίας, ἀπὸ τὶς ὁποίες μία ὑπάρχει μέχρι σήμερα στὴ Μονὴ τοῦ Μεγάλου Σπηλαίου. Ὁ Λουκᾶς μπορεῖ νὰ μὴν ὑπῆρξε ἕνας ἀπὸ τοὺς δώδεκα Ἀποστόλους, ἔδρασε, ὅμως, σὰν Ἀπόστολος, ὅπως καὶ οἱ δώδεκα, διότι ἔλαμψε σὰν ἄριστος συνεργάτης τῆς διακονίας τοῦ Ἀποστόλου Παύλου. Αὐτὸ φαίνεται κατὰ τὴν δεύτερη φυλάκιση τοῦ Ἀποστόλου Παύλου στὴ Ῥώμη, ὅταν ὁ ἴδιος στὴ δεύτερη πρὸς Τιμόθεον ἐπιστολή του (δ´ 11) γράφει: «Λουκᾶς ἐστὶ μόνος μετ᾿ ἐμοῦ». Μόνος ὁ Λουκᾶς εἶναι μαζί μου. Δηλαδὴ τὸν προβάλλει σὰν παράδειγμα τέλειας ἀφοσίωσης, στὸν ἀγῶνα του γιὰ τὴν διάδοση τοῦ Εὐαγγελίου. Ἐπίσης, ὁ Λουκᾶς ἔγραψε τὸ τρίτο κατὰ σειρὰ Εὐαγγέλιο στὴν Καινὴ Διαθήκη, καθὼς καὶ τὶς Πράξεις τῶν Ἀποστόλων, ποὺ ἀποτελοῦν ὑπηρεσία ἀνυπολόγιστα μεγάλης ἀξίας. Σύμφωνα μὲ διάφορες πηγές, ὁ Λουκᾶς μετὰ τὸ θάνατο τοῦ Ἀποστόλου Παύλου, δίδαξε τὸ Εὐαγγέλιο στὴ Δαλματία, Ἰταλία, ἀρχαία Γαλλία, Ἀχαΐα καὶ Βοιωτία. Λέγεται ὅτι πέθανε μὲ μαρτυρικὸ θάνατο, καὶ τὸ 357, τὸ λείψανό του μετακομίσθηκε στὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη, στὸ ναὸ τῶν Ἁγίων Ἀποστόλων.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Μαρίνος ὁ Γέρων
Ἦταν ἀπὸ τὴν Ταρσὸ τῆς Κιλικίας στὰ χρόνια τοῦ Διοκλητιανοῦ (284-304). Συνελήφθη διότι ἦταν χριστιανὸς καὶ ὁδηγήθηκε στὸν ἄρχοντα τοῦ τόπου Λυσία, ὁ ὁποῖος, ἀφοῦ δὲν μπόρεσε νὰ ἐπαναφέρει τὸν Μαρίνο στὴν εἰδωλολατρία, μὲ διάφορα σκληρὰ βασανιστήρια, τελικὰ τὸν ἀποκεφάλισε.
Ὁ Ὅσιος Ἰουλιανός «ὁ ἐν τῷ Εὐφράτῃ ποταμῷ»
Παιδὶ φτωχῆς οἰκογένειας ὁ Ὅσιος Ἰουλιανός, ἔζησε τὸν 4ο αἰῶνα μ.Χ. Ἂν καὶ ἀγράμματος, μὲ τὴν ζωντανή του εὐσέβεια εἶχε εὐλογηθεῖ ἀπὸ τὴν θεία χάρη, ὥστε νὰ ἀποκτήσει ἄφθονη πνευματικὴ κατὰ Χριστὸν φιλοσοφία τῆς ὀρθῆς πίστης, τῆς λεπτῆς διάκρισης καὶ τῆς καθαρῆς ζωῆς. Θαυμάσιος στὴν ἐγκράτεια, τὴν ὀλιγάρκεια, τὴν σωφροσύνη, τὴν διάγνωση ψυχικῶν νοσημάτων καὶ κινδύνων, τὴν συνετὴ ὁδηγία καὶ στὴν κατάλληλη συμβουλή. Νέος ἀκόμα μοναχός, εἶχε γίνει πασίγνωστος γιὰ τὴν σοφία καὶ τὴν ἀρετή του. Καὶ στὸ ἀσκητήριό του, ποὺ ἦταν στὶς ὄχθες τοῦ Εὐφράτη πόταμου, ἔτρεχαν μορφωμένοι ἄνδρες γιὰ νὰ πάρουν τὴν συμβουλή του καὶ νὰ ὠφεληθοῦν ἀπὸ τὰ λόγια του. Πῆγε στὸ θεοβάδιστο ὄρος Σινᾶ, ὅπου ἀσκήτεψε γιὰ ἀρκετὸ χρόνο. Ἀλλὰ ἐπέστρεψε πάλι στὸ ἀσκητήριό του στὶς ὄχθες τοῦ Εὐφράτη, καὶ εἵλκυσε πολλοὺς νέους μαθητὲς στὴ ζωὴ τῆς γνήσιας μετάνοιας. Στὰ χρόνια τοῦ Ἰουλιανοῦ τοῦ Παραβάτη, ὁ Ὅσιος Ἰουλιανὸς στήριξε καὶ παρηγόρησε πολλὲς ψυχές. Ἡ φήμη του εἶχε ἐξαπλωθεῖ τόσο πολύ, ὥστε ὁ Ἱερὸς Χρυσόστομος τὸν ἐγκωμιάζει λέγοντας ὅτι τὸ ὄνομά του εἶναι λαμπρότερο ἀκόμα καὶ ἀπ᾿ αὐτὸ τῶν βασιλέων. Ἔτσι ἅγια ἀφοῦ κύλησε ἡ ζωή του, εἰρηνικὰ παρέδωσε στὸ Θεὸ τὴν μακάρια ψυχή του.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Κυριακὸς ὁ Ἱερομάρτυρας
Αὐτὸς λέγεται ὅτι φανέρωσε τὸν τίμιο Σταυρὸ στὴν Ἁγία Ἑλένη καὶ πίστεψε στὸν Χριστό. Ἀργότερα ἔγινε ἐπίσκοπος Ἱεροσολύμων, μετὰ τὸν θάνατο τοῦ Μακαρίου. Στὰ γεράματα τὸν βρῆκε ὁ Ἰουλιανὸς (360-363), ὅταν μέσῳ τῶν Ἱεροσολύμων ἐξεστράτευσε κατὰ τῶν Περσῶν. Ὅταν ἔμαθε ὅτι ὁ Κυριακὸς μὲ ἐπιστολές του παρότρυνε τοὺς εἰδωλολάτρες νὰ ἐπιστρέψουν στὴ χριστιανικὴ πίστη, τοῦ ἔκοψε τὸ δεξὶ χέρι καὶ ἀφοῦ σκληρὰ τὸν βασάνισε, στὸ τέλος τὸν θανάτωσε μαζὶ μὲ τὴν μητέρα του Ἄννα. (Ἡ μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου Κυριακοῦ ἐπαναλαμβάνεται καὶ τὴν 28η Ὀκτωβρίου, ὅπου καὶ ἡ μνήμη τῆς μητέρας του).
Οἱ Ἅγιοι Γαβριήλ καὶ Κυρμιδώλης Νεομάρτυρες «οἱ ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ»
Οἱ Ἅγιοι αὐτοὶ μαρτύρησαν στὴν Αἴγυπτο στὶς 18 Ὀκτωβρίου 1522. Καὶ οἱ δυὸ ἦταν νέοι, πολὺ μορφωμένοι καὶ κατάγονταν ἀπὸ εὐσεβεῖς γονεῖς. Συκοφαντήθηκαν στὸν Ἐμίρη τῆς Αἰγύπτου Χάερ Μέκ, ὅτι ἔριχναν ἀποῤῥίμματα καὶ ἀκαθαρσίες σὲ κάποιο Τούρκικο Τέμενος. Ὁδηγήθηκαν δεμένοι στὸ Διοικητήριο, ὅπου τοὺς ζητήθηκε νὰ δεχτοῦν τὸν Ἰσλαμισμὸ γιὰ ν᾿ ἀποφύγουν τὰ βασανιστήρια. Ἐπειδὴ ὅμως αὐτοὶ ὁμολόγησαν σταθερὰ τὸν Χριστό, παραδόθηκαν στὸν κριτή. Ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐκεῖ ἔμειναν ἀκλόνητοι στὴν πίστη τους, παρὰ τὶς κολακεῖες, καὶ ὑπέστησαν φρικτὰ βασανιστήρια. Ἔτσι καὶ οἱ δυὸ μαρτύρησαν στὸ 25ο ἔτος τῆς ἡλικίας τους. Ὁ μὲν Κυρμιδώλης θανατώθηκε μὲ μαχαίρια καὶ πέτρες, ὁ δὲ Γαβριὴλ μὲ ἀποκεφαλισμό. Τὰ μαρτυρικά τους λείψανα, τὰ ἔβαλαν οἱ Τοῦρκοι δυὸ φορὲς στὴ φωτιά, ἀποτεφρώθηκαν καὶ τὰ διασκόρπισαν. Διασώθηκαν μόνο αὐτὰ τῆς κάρας τοῦ μάρτυρος Γαβριήλ. Ἀκολουθία αὐτῶν βρίσκεται στὸν κώδικα 379 τῆς Πατριαρχικῆς βιβλιοθήκης τοῦ Καΐρου.
THE PROLOGUE FROM ORCHID:
1. The Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke
Luke was born in Antioch. In his youth, he excelled in his studies of Greek philosophy, medicine and art. During the ministry of the Lord Jesus on earth, Luke came to Jerusalem, where he saw the Savior face to face, heard His saving teaching and was witness to His miraculous works. Coming to belief in the Lord, St. Luke was numbered among the Seventy Apostles, and was sent out to preach. With Cleopas, he saw the resurrected Lord on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24). After the descent of the Holy Spirit, Luke returned to Antioch and there became a fellow worker of the Apostle Paul and traveled to Rome with him, converting Jews and pagans to the Christian Faith. Luke, the beloved physician, … greets you, writes the Apostle Paul to the Colossians. (Colossians 4:14). At the request of Christians, he wrote his Gospel in about the year 60. Following the martyrdom of the great Apostle Paul, St. Luke preached the Gospel throughout Italy, Dalmatia, Macedonia and other regions. He painted icons of the Most-holy Theotokos-not just one, but three-and icons of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. Hence, St. Luke is considered to be the founder of Christian iconography. In old age, he visited Libya and Upper Egypt. From Egypt he returned to Greece, where he continued to preach and convert many with great zeal despite his old age. In addition to his Gospel, St. Luke wrote the Acts and dedicated both works to Theophilus, the governor of Achaia. Luke was eighty-four years old when the wicked idolaters tortured him for the sake of Christ and hanged him from an olive tree in the town of Thebes, in Boethia. The miracle-working relics of this wonderful saint were transported to Constantinople in the reign of Emperor Constantius, the son of Constantine.
3. Saints Julian and Didymus the Blind
St. Julian, called the ``Hermit,'' was a Persian and an unlearned peasant, but because of the purity of his heart he was a vessel of the grace of the Holy Spirit. He lived a life of asceticism beside the Euphrates River in Mesopotamia, and possessed the gift of clairvoyance. In the same moment that Julian the Apostate perished, St. Julian discerned this in the spirit, and declared it to his disciples. St. Didymus the Blind was his contemporary. He lived in Alexandria, and also perceived in the spirit the death of Julian. St. Didymus was at prayer during the night when a voice came to him from heaven, saying: ``Today the Emperor Julian is no more, inform Patriarch Athanasius of this.'' St. Anthony the Great greatly respected this wondrous blind saint who had the spirit of discernment. He stayed with him and prayed to God with him whenever he came to Alexandria from the desert. Both St. Julian and St. Didymus, wonderful servants of God, entered into rest some time after the year 362.
HYMN OF PRAISE
Saint Luke the Apostle and Evangelist
The divine Luke, both wise and learned,
Was tortured willingly for the Lord.
He could have avoided mockery and torture,
But the world would not have had the great Luke.
The young Luke beheld God's truth
And surrendered his heart to the Son of God.
He hearkened to the Teacher, beheld the Wonderworker,
And in Him he recognized the Immortal Creator.
He beheld the Resurrected One, and spoke with Him,
And worked miracles in His name.
Christ became his only joy,
And Luke sacrificed his mind, wealth and youth to Him.
When Luke became old, he was young in Christ,
And gave to the world what he received from the Lord.
And when he had given the world all he could give,
Then the world, fulfilling the Scripture, repaid him with contempt.
From an old olive tree the aged Luke hung,
With a smile on his face and his arms folded crosswise.
And the hand of Christ came down from heaven
And received the soul of His Evangelist.
Now, in radiant Paradise with the other apostles,
St. Luke prays for the Holy Church.
Can a sinner repent of his sins in ten days? According to the immeasurable compassion of God he can. During the reign of Emperor Maurice, there was a well-known bandit in the vicinity of Constantinople. He inspired fear and trembling both within the capital and without. One day, the Emperor Maurice himself sent the robber a cross as a sign of faith that he would do him no harm if he surrendered. The robber took the cross and surrendered. Arriving in Constantinople, he fell before the feet of the emperor and begged for forgiveness. The emperor kept his word, had mercy on him and released him. Immediately after that, the robber became gravely ill and sensed that death was drawing near. He bitterly repented of all his sins and tearfully prayed to God that He forgive him, as the emperor had forgiven him. He shed so many tears at prayer that his handkerchief was completely soaked. After ten days of weeping and praying, the repentant man reposed. The same night he passed away, his physician saw a wondrous vision in a dream: when the robber had given up his soul, there gathered around him black, manlike demons with pieces of paper on which were written all his sins. Two radiant angels also appeared. The angels set a scale between them, and the joyful demons placed all those papers on it, weighing down their side of the scale; but the other side was empty. The angels held counsel: ``What shall we place on it? Let us seek something good in his life!'' And then that handkerchief soaked with tears of repentance appeared in the hands of one angel. The angels quickly placed it on their side of the scale and it outweighed all the demons' papers. Then the black demons fled, howling sorrowfully, and the angels took the soul of the repentant thief and carried it to Paradise, glorifying the man-loving God.
Contemplate the miracle of the Apostle Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8):
1. How an angel guided Philip from Samaria to the road into Gaza;
2. How Philip saw the eunuch of Queen Candace, explained to him the prophecy of Isaiah, and baptized him;
3. How an angel made Philip invisible to the eunuch, and transported him instantly to the town of Azotus.
on the sins of the tongue
I said, I will guard my ways, lest I sin with my tongue (Psalm 39:1).
The sin of the tongue is the most common and most frequent sin. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, says the Apostle James (James 3:2). When a penitent sets out on God's path-when he begins to live according to God's commandments-he should first strive to avoid sin with the tongue. That was the rule that the penitent David laid down for himself. He vowed especially to remain silent before his adversaries: I will restrain my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked are before me (Psalm 39:1). Behold a most wonderful rule for one who is being healed of sin. When he is accused, he does not reply; when he is slandered, he remains silent. In truth, what does it help to speak with an enraged, unrighteous man who does not love God more than himself? If you speak to him of evil, you will enrage him even more. If you speak to him of good, you will make him a mocker of holy things. Before Pilate Christ remained silent. Pilate said: Answerest Thou nothing? (Mark 15:4). What can He reply to you, when you do not have ears to hear or a mind to understand? Behold, the silence of the righteous one before the unrighteous one can still have the best influence on the unrighteous one. Left to interpret the silence of the righteous one by himself, the unrighteous one can interpret it for the benefit of his soul; while any other answer, good or bad, will be interpreted for evil, to the condemnation of others and to the justification of himself. Blessed is he who learns to govern his tongue.
O Lord Jesus Christ our God, Thou Who hast shown us by example how and when to speak, Thou hast shown us by example how and when we should be silent. Help us, by Thy Holy Spirit, that we not sin with the tongue.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.