Friday, October 21, 2011

October 20, 2011 - 19th Week After Pentecost (5th of Luke)

FEASTS AND SAINTS CELEBRATED TODAY:



Artemios the Great Martyr of Antioch

Gerasimos of Cephalonia

Matrona the Righteous of Chios



Άγιος Αρτέμιος ο Μεγαλομάρτυρας

Οσία Ματρώνα η Χιοπολίτιδα, η θαυματουργή

Ανακομιδή Ιερών λειψάνων του Οσίου Γερασίμου του Νέου Ασκητή, του Πελοποννήσιου

Άγιοι Εβόρης και Ενόης

Άγιοι Ζεβινάς, Γερμανός, Νικηφόρος και Αντωνίνος

Αγία Μαναθώ η παρθένος



READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:



The Reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Philippians 1:20-27

BRETHREN, I shall not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If it is to be life in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again. Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ.



Πρὸς Φιλιππησίους 1:20-27

Ἀδελφοί, ἐν οὐδενὶ αἰσχυνθήσομαι, ἀλλ᾿ ἐν πάσῃ παρρησίᾳ, ὡς πάντοτε, καὶ νῦν μεγαλυνθήσεται Χριστὸς ἐν τῷ σώματί μου εἴτε διὰ ζωῆς εἴτε διὰ θανάτου. ᾿Εμοὶ γὰρ τὸ ζῆν Χριστὸς καὶ τὸ ἀποθανεῖν κέρδος. Εἰ δὲ τὸ ζῆν ἐν σαρκί, τοῦτό μοι καρπὸς ἔργου, καὶ τί αἱρήσομαι οὐ γνωρίζω. Συνέχομαι δὲ ἐκ τῶν δύο, τὴν ἐπιθυμίαν ἔχων εἰς τὸ ἀναλῦσαι καὶ σὺν Χριστῷ εἶναι· πολλῷ γὰρ μᾶλλον κρεῖσσον· τὸ δὲ ἐπιμένειν ἐν τῇ σαρκὶ ἀναγκαιότερον δι᾿ ὑμᾶς. Καὶ τοῦτο πεποιθὼς οἶδα ὅτι μενῶ καὶ συμπαραμενῶ πᾶσιν ὑμῖν εἰς τὴν ὑμῶν προκοπὴν καὶ χαρὰν τῆς πίστεως, ἵνα τὸ καύχημα ὑμῶν περισσεύῃ ἐν Χριστῷ ᾿Ιησοῦ ἐν ἐμοὶ διὰ τῆς ἐμῆς παρουσίας πάλιν πρὸς ἡμᾶς. Μόνον ἀξίως τοῦ εὐαγγελίου τοῦ Χριστοῦ πολιτεύεσθε, ἵνα εἴτε ἐλθὼν καὶ ἰδὼν ὑμᾶς εἴτε ἀπὼν ἀκούσω τὰ περὶ ὑμῶν, ὅτι στήκετε ἐν ἑνὶ πνεύματι, μιᾷ ψυχῇ συναθλοῦντες τῇ πίστει τοῦ εὐαγγελίου,



The Reading is from Luke 9:49-56

At that time, one of Jesus' disciples came to him and said, "Master, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he does not follow with us." But Jesus said to him, "Do not forbid him; for he that is not against you is for you." When the days drew near for him to be received up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him; but the people would not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, "Lord, do you want us to bid fire come down from heaven and consume them?" But he turned and rebuked them. And they went on to another village.



Κατὰ Λουκᾶν 9.49-56

Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, προσελθὼν τῷ Ἰησοῦ εἶς τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ εἶπεν αὐτῷ· ᾽Επιστάτα, εἴδομέν τινα ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί σου ἐκβάλλοντα δαιμόνια, καὶ ἐκωλύσαμεν αὐτόν, ὅτι οὐκ ἀκολουθεῖ μεθ᾿ ἡμῶν. καὶ εἶπε πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς· μὴ κωλύετε· οὐ γάρ ἐστι καθ᾿ ὑμῶν· ὃς γὰρ οὐκ ἔστι καθ᾿ ὑμῶν, ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐστιν. ᾿Εγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ συμπληροῦσθαι τὰς ἡμέρας τῆς ἀναλήψεως αὐτοῦ καὶ αὐτὸς ἐστήριξε τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ τοῦ πορεύεσθαι εἰς ῾Ιερουσαλήμ, καὶ ἀπέστειλεν ἀγγέλους πρὸ προσώπου αὐτοῦ. καὶ πορευθέντες εἰσῆλθον εἰς κώμην Σαμαρειτῶν, ὥστε ἑτοιμάσαι αὐτῷ· καὶ οὐκ ἐδέξαντο αὐτόν, ὅτι τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ἦν πορευόμενον εἰς ῾Ιερουσαλήμ. ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ᾿Ιάκωβος καὶ ᾿Ιωάννης εἶπον· Κύριε, θέλεις εἴπωμεν πῦρ καταβῆναι ἀπὸ οὐρανοῦ καὶ ἀναλῶσαι αὐτούς, ὡς καὶ ᾿Ηλίας ἐποίησε; στραφεὶς δὲ ἐπετίμησεν αὐτοῖς καὶ εἶπεν· οὐκ οἴδατε ποίου πνεύματός ἐστε ὑμεῖς· ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου οὐκ ἦλθε ψυχὰς ἀνθρώπων ἀπολέσαι, ἀλλὰ σῶσαι. καὶ ἐπορεύθησαν εἰς ἑτέραν κώμην.



READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:



Τῇ Κ' τοῦ αὐτού μηνός, Μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου Μεγαλομάρτυρος Ἀρτεμίου.

Ὁ πάντα λαμπρὸς Ἀρτέμιος ἐν βίῳ,

Τμηθεὶς ἀπῆλθεν εἰς ὑπέρτατον κλέος.

Εἰκάδι Ἀρτέμιος πυκινόφρων αὐχένα τμήθη.

Μνήμη τοῦ Ὁσίου καὶ θεοφόρου πατρὸς ἡμῶν Γερασίμου τοῦ νέου, τοῦ ἐκ Τρικάλων τῆς Πελοποννήσου, οὗ τὸ σεπτὸν καὶ ἅγιον λείψανον σῴζεται ἄφθορον ἐν Κεφαλληνίᾳ.

Γεράσιμος κάλλιστον ἤρατο κλέος

Ἐκ τῆς ἄνωθεν ἀγλαῆς εὐκοσμίας.

Ἕκτῃ πιννυτὸς ἔφθανε φῶς δεκάτῃ Γεράσιμος.

Τῷ αὐτῷ Μηνί, τῆς Ὁσίας Μητρὸς ἡμῶν Ματρώνης τῆς θαυματουργοῦ.

Λιποῦσα κόσμον ἔμπλεων ἀκοσμίας.

Χριστῷ πρόσεισι νυμφικῶς ἡ παρθένος.

Εἰκάδι Ματρώνης δέμας γαῖα κάλυψε θανούσης.

Οἱ Ἅγιοι Μάρτυρες Ἐβόρης, Ἐνόης, Ζεβινᾶς, Γερμανός, Νικηφόρος, Ἀντωνῖνος, καὶ ἡ Ἁγία Μάρτυς Μαναθὼ ἡ παρθένος, ξίφει καὶ πυρὶ τελειοῦνται.

Λίθοις Ἐβόρην καὶ σύναθλον Ἐνόην,

Λίθων λάτραι κτείνουσιν ἀθλητοκτόνοι.

Ξίφος Ζεβινᾶν, Γερμανόν, Νικηφόρον

σὺν Ἀντωνίνῳ δεικνύει νικηφόρους.

Τί καὶ καθαρθῇς εἰς τὸ πῦρ βεβλημένη,

Ἁγνὴ Μαναθώ, πνεῦμα σῶμα παρθένε;

Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Βασιλείου, ἐπισκόπου Τραπεζούντος, ζήσαντος ἐπὶ βασιλείας Λέοντος τοῦ Σοφοῦ.

Ταῖς τῶν σῶν Ἁγίων πρεσβείαις, Χριστὲ ὁ Θεὸς ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.



Saint Artemios lived during the years of Saint Constantine the Great, and was appointed by him to be Governor of Alexandria; later, he was honoured with the rank of patrician. During the reign of Julian the Apostate, in the year 361, Artemios appeared before the Emperor and censured him for his apostasy. For this, he endured many torments and was finally beheaded.



Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone

Ο Μάρτυς σου Κύριε, έν τή αθλήσει αυτού, τό στέφος εκομίσατο τής αφθαρσίας, εκ σού τού Θεού ημών, έχων γάρ τήν ισχύν σου, τούς τυράννους καθείλεν, έθραυσε καί δαιμόνων, τά ανίσχυρα θράση, αυτού ταίς ικεσίαις Χριστέ, σώσον τάς ψυχάς ημών.



Thy Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for Thee received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since he possessed Thy strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.



Kontakion in the Second Tone

Τόν ευσεβή καί στεφηφόροv Μάρτυρα, τόν κατ' εχθρών νίκης αράμενον τρόπαια, συvελθόντες επαξίως vύν, εν υμνωδίαις ευφημήσωμεv, Αρτέμιον τόν μέγιστον εν Μάρτυσι, θαυμάτων τε δοτήρα πλουσιώτατον, πρεσβεύει γάρ Κυρίω υπέρ πάντων ημών.



Let us now gather and worthily acclaim with hymns the pious and crowned Martyr Artemios, the greatest among Martyrs and richest bestower of miracles, who raised the trophies of victory over the enemy; for he intercedeth with the Lord for us all.



Saint Gerasimos was from the Peloponnesus, the son of Demetrios and Kale, of the family of Notaras. He was reared in piety by them and studied the Sacred writings. He left his country and went throughout various lands, and finally came to Cephalonia, where he restored a certain old church and built a convent around it, where it stands to this day at the place called Omala. He finished the course of his life there in asceticism in the year 1570. His sacred relics, which remain incorrupt, are kept there for the sanctification of the faithful.



Apolytikion in the First Tone

Τών Ορθοδόξων προστάτην καί εν σώματι άγγελον, καί θαυματουργόν θεοφόρον νεοφανέντα ημίν, επαινέσωμεν πιστοί θείον Γεράσιμον, ότι αξίως παρά Θεού απείληφεν, ιαμάτων τήν αέναον χάριν, ρώννυσι τούς νοσούντας καί δαιμονώντας ιάται. Διό καί τοίς τιμώσιν αυτόν, βρύει ιάματα.



Let us the faithful praise the divine Gerasimus, who hath been newly revealed to us as a protector of the Orthodox, an angel in the flesh, and a God-bearing wonderworker. For he worthily received from God the unfailing gift of healing; he restoreth the ailing and healeth demoniacs. Wherefore, he poureth forth healings upon them that honour him.



Kontakion in the Third Tone

Ευχαρίστοις άσμασι, τών Κεφαλλήνων η νήσος, προσκαλείται σήμερον, τών Ορθοδόξων τά πλήθη, μέγιστον, νοφανέντα εγκωμιάσαι, καύχημα, Ορθοδοφίας αναφανέντα, τόν Γεράσιμον τόν θείον, τόν ρύστην ταύτης ομού καί πρόμαχον.



Now doth Cephalonia, with sacred songs of thanksgiving, call upon the multitudes of all the Orthodox Christians to extol the boast and glory of Orthodoxy, the divine and great Gerasimos, who is truly her deliverer and champion, who doth preserve her from all the harm of her foes.



Η Εκκλησία είναι η βασιλεία του Χριστού, της οποίας, όπως ομολογούμε στο Σύμβολο της πίστεως, "ουκ έσται τέλος". Ούτε έπαψε ούτε θα πάψη να υπάρχη η Εκκλησία, μέσα στην οποία αναδεικνύονται Όσιοι και Μάρτυρες σε κάθε εποχή.Ο Ιησούς Χριστός υποσχέθηκε πως ο Παράκλητος, το Άγιον Πνεύμα, θα μένη μέσα στην Εκκλησία "εις τον αιώνα", για να την οδηγή "εις πάσαν την αλήθειαν". Αλήθεια της Εκκλησίας και γνώρισμά της είναι η άθληση των Μαρτύρων και η άσκηση των Οσίων. Όπου δεν υπάρχουν Μάρτυρες και Όσιοι, δεν υπάρχει Εκκλησία. Αλλά δόξα τω Θεώ! Δεν έλειψαν και δεν θα λείψουν οι Άγιοι στην Εκκλησία, γιατί δεν μπορεί να διαψευσθή ο λόγος του Θεού. Στα νεώτερα χρόνια, μέσα στους νέους Ασκητάς είναι ο άγιος Γεράσιμος, του οποίου σήμερα γιορτάζομε την μνήμη και του οποίου το ιερό λείψανο φυλάγεται ακέραιο και θαυματουργεί στη νήσο Κεφαλληνία.



Ὁ Ἅγιος Ἀρτέμιος ὁ Μεγαλομάρτυρας

Ἦταν διακεκριμένος πολιτικὸς τοῦ Βυζαντίου καὶ εὐσεβέστατος χριστιανός. Ὁ Μέγας Κωνσταντῖνος, ἐκτιμῶντας τὰ ἠθικὰ καὶ πολιτικά του χαρίσματα, τοῦ ἔδωσε τὸ ἀξίωμα τοῦ πατρικίου καὶ τὸν διόρισε Δούκα καὶ Αὐγουστάλιο της Ἀλεξανδρείας. Ὅταν ὁ Ἀρτέμιος ἄκουσε ὅτι ὁ Ἰουλιανὸς ὁ Παραβάτης βασάνιζε τοὺς χριστιανοὺς στὴν Ἀντιόχεια, ἦλθαν στὰ χείλη του τὰ λόγια τοῦ ψαλμῳδοῦ Δαβὶδ πρὸς τὸ Θεό: «Κύριε, πνεύματι ἡγεμονικῷ στήριξόν με». Κύριε, στήριξέ με μὲ σκέψεις σταθερὲς καὶ θέληση ἰσχυρή, ποὺ νὰ κυριαρχεῖ μέσα μου καὶ νὰ μὲ κατευθύνει στὴν ὑπεράσπιση τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ με θάῤῥος. Πράγματι, ὁ Ἀρτέμιος, μὲ τὴν δύναμη ποὺ τοῦ ἔδωσε ὁ Θεός, πῆγε ἀμέσως στὴν Ἀντιόχεια καὶ μὲ παῤῥησία ἤλεγξε εὐθέως τὸν Ἰουλιανὸ γιὰ τὶς παρανομίες του κατὰ τῶν χριστιανῶν. Ὁ Ἰουλιανός, ποὺ δὲν περίμενε τέτοια στάση ἀπὸ ἀξιωματοῦχο, τὸν συνέλαβε καὶ τὸν μαστίγωσε ἀλύπητα. Ἔπειτα τοῦ ἔσπασε τὰ κόκαλα μὲ πέτρες, καὶ τελικὰ τὸν ἀποκεφάλισε. Τὸ ἱερὸ λείψανο τοῦ Ἀρτεμίου παρέλαβε κάποια διακόνισσα, ἡ Ἀρίστη, ποὺ τὸ μετέφερε στὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη, στὸ ναὸ τοῦ προφήτου Προδρόμου.



Οἱ Ἅγιοι Ἐβόρης καὶ Ἐνόης

Μαρτύρησαν διὰ λιθοβολισμοῦ. (Ὁρισμένοι Συναξαριστὲς τοὺς ἀναφέρουν σὰν Ἁγίες Ἐβόρη καὶ Ἐνόη. Ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον, πρόκειται περὶ τῶν μαθητῶν τοῦ Ἁγίου Μίλου, Ἐβόρη καὶ Σενοεῖ. Βλέπε σχετικῶς τὴν 10η Νοεμβρίου).



Ἡ Ὁσία Ματρώνα ἡ Χιοπολίτιδα, ἡ θαυματουργή

Ὀνομαζόταν Μαρία καὶ γεννήθηκε στὸ χωριὸ Βολισσὸς τῆς Χίου ἀπὸ γονεῖς εὐσεβεῖς καὶ πλουσίους, τὸν Λέοντα καὶ τὴν Ἄννα. Ἕξι ἄλλες ἀδελφὲς τῆς Μαρίας, μεγαλύτερές της, παντρεύτηκαν ἡ μία μετὰ τὴν ἄλλη, περιζήτητες νύφες γιὰ τὴν ὀμορφιά, τὴν ἀνατροφὴ καὶ γιὰ τὴν καλὴ προῖκα τους. Ἡ μικρότερη ἀφοσιώθηκε στὴ μελέτη τῶν θείων καὶ ἀσχολεῖτο θερμὰ μὲ φιλανθρωπικὰ καθήκοντα. Ἔτσι θέλησε νὰ ἀκολουθήσει ἄλλο δρόμο. Ἡ τακτικὴ ἐπαφή της μὲ τὶς καλογριὲς τῶν γυναικείων μοναστηριῶν τοῦ νησιοῦ, ἔκανε τὴν Μαρία νὰ ποθήσει τὴν ἁγνὴ μοναχικὴ ζωή. Ἀλλ᾿ ἡ ἀγάπη πρὸς τοὺς γονεῖς της, τὴν συγκρατοῦσε στὸ πατρικό της σπίτι. Ὅταν ὅμως αὐτοὶ πέθαναν, ἡ Μαρία δοκίμασε τὴν μοναχικὴ ζωὴ κοντὰ σὲ μία εὐσεβὴ χῆρα, ποὺ ἀσκήτευε μὲ τὶς δυὸ θυγατέρες της. Μετὰ ἀπ᾿ αὐτὴν τὴν μοναχικὴ ἐμπειρία, ἀποφάσισε νὰ προσχωρήσει στὶς μοναχικὲς τάξεις. Χειροτονήθηκε λοιπὸν μοναχὴ καὶ μετονομάσθηκε σὲ Ματρώνα. Ἡ διαγωγή της μέσα στὴ μικρὴ ἀδελφότητα ἦταν ἄριστη. Ἡ διάθεσή της πάντοτε ἀγαθή, φιλάδελφη, ταπεινὴ καὶ ἐγκάρδια. Μάλιστα, ἀπὸ τὰ ἔσοδα τῆς πώλησης τῆς περιουσίας της, κτίστηκε στὸ μοναστήρι ὡραιότατος ναός. Μετὰ ἀπὸ κάποιο χρόνο, πέθανε ἡ γυναῖκα ποὺ κοντά της ἡ Ματρώνα γυμνάστηκε στὴ μοναχικὴ ζωή. Τότε ὅλες οἱ μοναχὲς ἀπὸ κοινοῦ, ἐξέλεξαν ἡγουμένη -παρὰ τὴ θέλησή της- τὴν Ματρώνα. Ὑπὸ τὶς ὁδηγίες της ἡ ἀδελφότητα ζοῦσε μὲ πολλὴ ἐγκράτεια, ὑπακοὴ καὶ εὐσέβεια. Τὸ 1462 ἡ Ματρώνα πέθανε, ἀφοῦ ἔζησε ζωὴ πραγματικὰ ἁγία. [Ἄλλες πηγὲς ὑπολογίζουν τὸν χρόνο κοιμήσεως τῆς Ἁγίας 100 περίπου χρόνια πρὶν τὸ 1462, διότι ἡ πρώτη βιογραφία της γράφτηκε ἀπὸ τὸν Μητροπολίτη Ῥόδου Νεῖλο (1357)].



Ὁ Ὅσιος Γεράσιμος ὁ νέος ἀσκητής, ὁ Πελοποννήσιος (Μνήμη ἀνακομιδῆς ἱερῶν λειψάνων του)

Γεννήθηκε τὸ 1509 στὰ Τρίκαλα τῆς Κορινθίας. Καταγόταν ἀπὸ τὴν ἐπίσημη οἰκογένεια τῶν Νοταράδων καὶ ἦταν γιὸς τοῦ Δημητρίου καὶ τῆς Καλῆς. Ἀπὸ μικρὸς ἔλαβε χριστιανικὴ καὶ ἀρχοντικὴ ἀνατροφὴ καὶ διακρινόταν στὸ σχολεῖο γιὰ τὴν εὐστροφία καὶ τὴν εὐφυΐα τοῦ μυαλοῦ του. Εὐγενικὴ ψυχὴ ὁ Γεράσιμος, συμπαθοῦσε τοὺς φτωχοὺς συμμαθητές του καὶ τοὺς βοηθοῦσε μὲ κάθε τρόπο. Ὅταν ἔφτασε σὲ ὥριμη ἡλικία, περιηγήθηκε διάφορα μέρη, ὅπως τὴν Ζάκυνθο, τὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη καὶ τὰ γύρω ἀπ᾿ αὐτή, τὸ Ἅγιον Ὄρος, διάφορες Μονὲς τῆς Ἀνατολῆς γιὰ νὰ μείνει στὴν Ἱερουσαλήμ. Ἐκεῖ ὑπηρέτησε σὰν νεωκόρος γιὰ ἕνα χρόνο στὸν Ναὸ τῆς Ἀναστάσεως καὶ χειροτονήθηκε Διάκονος καὶ ἀργότερα Πρεσβύτερος, ἀπὸ τὸν Πατριάρχη Ἱεροσολύμων Γερμανό. Κατόπιν ἔφυγε καὶ ἀπὸ κεῖ καὶ κατέληξε στὴν τοποθεσία Ὁμαλά της Κεφαλονιᾶς, ὅπου ἔκτισε γυναικεῖο Μοναστήρι καὶ τὸ ὀνόμασε Νέα Ἱερουσαλήμ. Στὴ Μονὴ αὐτὴ λοιπόν, ἀφοῦ ἔζησε ἀσκητικὰ καὶ ἀνέπτυξε μεγάλες ἀρετές, βοηθῶντας πνευματικὰ καὶ ὑλικὰ τοὺς κατοίκους τῆς Κεφαλονιᾶς, ἀπεβίωσε εἰρηνικὰ στὶς 15 Αὐγούστου τοῦ 1579, σὲ ἡλικία περίπου 70 ἐτῶν. (Κυρίως αὐτὴ τὴν μέρα ἑορτάζεται ἡ μνήμη τῆς ἀνακομιδῆς τῶν ἱερῶν λειψάνων του 1580-81).



Οἱ Ἅγιοι Ζεβινᾶς, Γερμανός, Νικηφόρος καὶ Ἀντώνιος (ἢ Ἀντωνῖνος)

Οἱ Ἅγιοι αὐτοὶ μαρτύρησαν ἐπὶ Μαξιμιανοῦ (286-305). Καὶ ὁ μὲν Ἀντωνῖνος ἦταν γέροντας, οἱ δὲ ὑπόλοιποι τρεῖς, νέοι. Συνελήφθησαν ἐπειδὴ ἦταν χριστιανοί, ἀπὸ κάποιον Μάζο στὴν Καισαρεία καὶ ἀποκεφαλίστηκαν. (Ἡ μνήμη τους ἐπαναλαμβάνεται καὶ τὴν 12η Νοεμβρίου, μαζὶ μὲ τὴν πιὸ κάτω Ἁγία, ποὺ ἐσφαλμένα ἐκεῖ ἀναφέρεται ὡς Μαραθώ).



Ἡ Ἁγία Μαναθώ ἡ παρθένος

Μαρτύρησε καὶ αὐτὴ στὰ χρόνια τοῦ Μαξιμιανοῦ (286-305). Συνελήφθη ἐπειδὴ ἦταν χριστιανὴ στὴ Σκυθούπολη τῆς Παλαιστίνης καὶ ἀφοῦ τὴν ἔσυραν γυμνὴ μέσα στὴν πόλη, τελικὰ τὴν ἔκαψαν ζωντανή.



Holy Great Martyr Artemius (362)

He came from a noble family, and was appointed military Governor of Alexandria and Egypt by the Emperor Constantine the Great. Some years later, the Emperor Julian the Apostate strove to restore pagan idolatry as the official religion of the Empire. He also entered into a war with Persia, and established Antioch as his headquarters for pursuing the war. In Alexandria, Artemius received an order to come to Antioch with the military forces under his command. Artemius reported to the apostate Emperor just in time to see him ordering the cruel execution of two pious Christians, Eugenius and Macarius. Fearlessly, St Artemius immediately denounced the Emperor, telling him to his face that his anti-Christian policy was of demonic origin. The enraged Emperor instantly had Artemius stripped of all official rank and thrown into prison. The following day, he had Artemius brought before him and promised him high Imperial office if he would only renounce Christ and worship the idols. When Artemius forcefully refused to do this, he was publicly tortured to death. A pious noblewoman secretly recovered the Saint's relics and took them to Constantinople, where they were venerated and wrought many miracles for several centuries.



St Gerasimus the New, ascetic of Cephalonia (1579)

He was born in southern Greece. As a young man he left home and, after traveling to seek out guides in the ascetic life, he came to Mt Athos, where he was tonsured as a monk. Some years later he went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and there was ordained to the priesthood by Patriarch Germanus of Jerusalem. Once, while living in Jerusalem, he went into the Jordanian desert for forty days of fasting and prayer, in imitation of the Lord. After more travels through Sinai and Egypt, he came to the Greek island of Zakynthos, where he lived alone in an isolated cave, sustaining himself only on vegetables. But his holiness soon attracted many of the faithful, who came to him for blessing and counsel. Mindful of the advice that nothing is more harmful to a monk as the praise of men, he fled to the island of Cephalonia, where he again took up life in a secluded cave. But once again he became known, and even more pilgrims gathered around him in search of spiritual nurture. This time, God made known to him that he must leave his beloved solitude in order to minister to others; so he founded a monastery called New Jerusalem on the island. St Gerasimus lived to a great age, and was granted foreknowledge of the day of his death. His relics are preserved on Cephalonia, "complete and incorrupt, as if he were asleep," according to the Synaxarion.



The Holy GreatMartyr Artemios was a prominent military leader during the reign of the Equal-to-the-Apostles emperor Constantine the Great (306-337, Comm. 21 May), and later -- also of his son and successor Constantius (337-361). Artemios held many awards for distinguished service and courage, and he was appointed viceroy of Egypt. In this official position he did much for spreading and strengthening Christianity in Egypt. The emperor Constantius was succeeded on the throne by Julian the Apostate (361-363). Julian in his desire to restore paganism carried on an implacable struggle with Christianity, sending hundreds to their death.At Antioch he ordered the torture of two bishops unwilling to forsake the Christian faith. During this time Saint Artemios arrived in the city and publicly denounced Julian for his impiety. The enraged Julian subjected the saint to terrible tortures, after which they threw the Great-martyr Artemios into prison. During the time of prayer which the saint offered to the Lord, Christ Himself appeared to him surrounded by angels and said: "Take courage, Artemios! I am with thee and wilt preserve thee from every hurt which the tormentors may inflict upon thee, and already have I preared thy crown of glory. Wherefore as thou hast confessed Me before the people on earth, so also shalt I confess thee before Mine Heavenly Father. Therefore, take courage and rejoice, -- thou shalt be with Me in Mine Kingdom". Hearing this of the Lord Himself, Artemios rejoiced and began fervently to offer up glory and thanksgiving to Him.

On the following day Julian demanded that the Great-martyr Artemios honour the pagan gods. Meeting with steadfast refusal, the emperor resorted to torture. The saint endured all without a single moan. The saint then predicted to Julian that he would soon receive just recompense for the evil done by him to Christians. Julian became furious and resorted to even more fiercesome tortures, but they did not break the will of the saint, and finally the Great-martyr Artemios was beheaded (+ 362).

His remains were buried by Christians.

And after the death of the holy Great-martyr Artemios, his prophecy about the impending perishing of Julian the Apostate came true.

Julian left Antioch for a war with the Persians. Near the Persian city of Ctesiphon he came upon an elderly Persian, who agreed to betray his countrymen and guide Julian's army. But the old man deceived Julian and led his army into an impassable place in the Karmanite wilderness, where there was neither food nor water. Worn down by hunger and thirst, the Graeco-Roman army of Julian had to do battle against fresh Persian forces.

Divine retribution caught up here with Julian the Apostate. At the time of battle he was mortally wounded by an unseen hand and an unseen weapon. Julian groaned deeply, and dying, he said: "Thou hast conquered, Gallileian!" After the perishing of the apostate-emperor, the relics of the Great-martyr Artemios were transferred with honour from Antioch to Constantinople.





THE PROLOGUE FROM ORCHID:



1. The Holy Great-martyr Artemius

This glorious saint was an Egyptian by birth and the chief commander under Emperor Constantine the Great. When the victorious Cross, surrounded by stars, appeared to Emperor Constantine, Artemius also saw that Cross, believed in the Lord Christ and was baptized. Later, during the reign of Emperor Constantius, this emperor sent him to Greece to remove the relics of St. Andrew from Patras and St. Luke from Thebes, and to take them to Constantinople. Commander Artemius carried this out with joy. After that, Artemius was appointed as augustalis and imperial prefect in Egypt. He remained in this position during the reign of Constantius, and for a period of time under Emperor Julian the Apostate. When the apostate emperor went to war against the Persians, he came through Antioch and commanded Artemius to come to Antioch with his army. Artemius came. Then the emperor subjected two Christian priests, Eugenius and Macarius, to torture. Seeing this, Artemius became greatly disturbed and, facing the emperor, said: ``Why, O Emperor, why do you inhumanly torture these innocent and dedicated men of God, and why do you force them to renounce the Orthodox Faith?'' Artemius continued, prophesying: ``Your death is near.'' The enraged emperor sent those two honorable priests into exile to Arabia, where they died shortly thereafter. He then stripped Commander Artemius of his military rank and ordered him to be flogged and torn asunder. Thoroughly wounded and bloodied, Artemius was thrown into prison, where the Lord Jesus Christ Himself appeared to him, and healed and comforted him. Then the emperor commanded that he be spread out on a stone, and that another heavy stone be placed upon him, so that his body would be smashed flat as a board. Finally, St. Artemius was beheaded. It was the year 362. Emperor Julian went out against the Persians and perished dishonorably, as St. Artemius had foretold.



2. The Holy Righteous Artemius

Artemius was born in 1532, the son of Russian peasants Cosmas and Apollinaria, from the village of Verkola in the region of Dvina. Even at the age of five, he differed from other children by his rare piety and meekness. When he was thirteen, the child walked with his father through a great forest in severe weather and reposed there. Unable to dig a grave, his grieving father covered his body with branches and departed. Twenty-eight years later, a man saw an unearthly light in the forest. Upon approaching the light, he found the body of Artemius intact and incorrupt. Many of the sick were healed of illnesses as soon as they touched the body of St. Artemius. His holy relics repose in a monastery near Pinega, in the Province of Archangelsk.



3. The Venerable Gerasimus the New

Gerasimus was from Trikala in the Peloponnese of the prominent Notaras family. He was born in 1509. He lived a life of asceticism on Mount Athos, and then in Palestine, where he fasted for forty days. After that, he settled on the island of Cephalonia, where he founded a convent. By his prayer he brought down rain, healed the sick, and foretold the future. He rested in the Lord on August 15, 1579. Gerasimus was a miracle-worker both during his life and after his repose.



4. The Venerable New Martyr Ignatius

Ignatius was from the Bulgarian region of Eski-Zagora. This is that glorious region of Zagora that has given the Church of God many holy ascetics and martyrs. He lived a life of asceticism in the Skete of St. John the Forerunner on Mount Athos. He willingly gave himself to the Turks to be tortured for Christ, and was hanged in Constantinople on October 8, 1814. His relics are miracle-working, and his head is honorably preserved in the Monastery of St. Panteleimon on Mount Athos.



HYMN OF PRAISE

The Holy Great-martyr Artemius

St. Artemius the commander

Did not hide his faith before the emperor,

But proclaimed his faith with great courage

And glorified Christ God before the emperor.

This apostate emperor forgot God,

And subjected his commander to torment.

The saint dedicated his mind to God

And little felt the cruel tortures,

Since there is a greater suffering for the sinner who tortures

Than for the righteous one being tortured!

The emperor beheaded this glorious commander

But the Lord glorified His servant

And raised him up to the Heavenly Kingdom.

He gave him power to drive out demons,

Grace to heal every sickness and suffering-

All by the power of God, without labor or word.

Whoever loves and believes in Christ,

Has a champion in St. Artemius.



REFLECTION

The compassionate God wonderfully guides those who give themselves over to His holy will and care. Just as a candle-maker makes whatever kind of candle he wants from soft wax, so the All-wise God makes immortal lights in the Heavenly Kingdom of His devoted servants. St. Ignatius the New Martyr was totally devoted to God, even as a child. He yearned to become a monk and to be a martyr for the Faith. During the Karageorge uprising, the Turkish army was conscripting men throughout Bulgaria to fight against the Serbs, and even came to the house of Ignatius's father, George, to see if anyone there was fit for military service. Seeing that George was a well-built and strong man, they wanted to take him into the army. But George resolutely said: ``I cannot fight against my fellow Christians.'' The infuriated Turks killed him on the spot. The young Ignatius hid in a neighboring house, then fled to Romania, but his desire for monasticism took him to the Holy Mountain. Even so, he wanted something more than monasticism-he desired martyrdom. He prayed with tears one night before the icon of the Most-holy Theotokos, imploring her to grant him the path of martyrdom. He heard a sound in front of him, and opened his eyes to see the glowing halo detach itself from the icon and rest upon his head. Shortly after that, he suffered martyrdom at the hands of the Turks, and received the wreath of eternal glory.



CONTEMPLATION

Contemplate the Lord's wondrous appearance to the Apostle Ananias and to Saul (Acts 9):

1. How the Lord appeared to Ananias and directed him to Saul in the street called Straight;

2. How, at that very moment, in a vision, Saul saw Ananias healing him of his blindness.



HOMILY

on old and new tales of God's wonders

We have heard with our ears, O God; Our fathers have told us, what work Thou didst in their days, in the times of old (Psalm 44:1).

Thus King David speaks in the name of his people, and enumerates several great works that God performed for Israel. We, brethren, have also heard of all these works, from Holy Scripture, and of many more works and kinds of works than those of which David had heard, for they took place after him! Have we not heard of incomparably more miraculous and greater works of God's providence and God's love for mankind than all that David heard? The Son of God became incarnate of the Most-pure Virgin and lived as a man among men, poured out wisdom, worked miracles, destroyed death, put the devil to shame, and gave power to His followers. David did not hear of these things, but we have heard, for they have been revealed to us by our spiritual Fathers: the apostles and evangelists, martyrs and righteous ones, and all the ranks of saints from ancient times to the present day. Not only did they reveal it to us, but the Holy Spirit reveals it to us every day through the Holy Church, through the grace-filled Mysteries and through countless miracles. Behold, here is a reason for great joy, but also for great fear, for much is given to us and much will be required of us. We have been given more spiritual riches than all those who lived before Christ-more wisdom and understanding, more of God's glory and power, and more, many more examples of God's love for man and man's love for God. Ask yourselves, you richest of the rich, what have you given and what are you giving to God for all of this? You should strive to not be put to shame at God's Judgment. As a dream soon slips away, so will all your days on earth soon slip away, and the sound of the angel's trumpet will soon summon all nations and people to the Dread Judgment of God. Strive that you not then be ashamed, for you will not be able to excuse yourself with ``We did not know,'' or ``We did not have!'' You know, and you have had more revealed to you, than even David and Solomon had; and more will be required of you than of them.

O Son of God, our great and wonderful Lord, God and Savior, remind us every day and every hour of Thy Precious Blood, shed for us, that we do not forget, O Lord, and that we not be eternally condemned.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.