Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 30, 2011 - 25th Wednesday after Pentecost (11th of Luke)

FEASTS AND SAINTS CELEBRATED TODAY:

Andrew the First- Called Apostle
Froumentios, Archbishop of Abyssina

Τοῦ Ἁγίου καί Ἐνδόξου Ἀποστόλου Ἀνδρέου τοῦ Πρωτοκλήτου.

READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:

The Reading is from Matthew 2:13-23
When the wise men departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him." And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, "Out of Egypt have I called my son."
Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: "A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they were no more." But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead." And he rose and took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaos reigned over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. And he went and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, "He shall be called a Nazarene."

Κατὰ Ματθαῖον 2.13-23
᾿Αναχωρησάντων δὲ αὐτῶν ἰδοὺ ἄγγελος Κυρίου φαίνεται κατ᾿ ὄναρ τῷ ᾿Ιωσὴφ λέγων· ἐγερθεὶς παράλαβε τὸ παιδίον καὶ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ καὶ φεῦγε εἰς Αἴγυπτον, καὶ ἴσθι ἐκεῖ ἕως ἂν εἴπω σοι· μέλλει γὰρ ῾Ηρῴδης ζητεῖν τὸ παιδίον τοῦ ἀπολέσαι αὐτό.῾Ο δὲ ἐγερθεὶς παρέλαβε τὸ παιδίον καὶ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ νυκτὸς καὶ ἀνεχώρησεν εἰς Αἴγυπτον,καὶ ἦν ἐκεῖ ἕως τῆς τελευτῆς ῾Ηρῴδου, ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν ὑπὸ τοῦ Κυρίου διὰ τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος· ἐξ Αἰγύπτου ἐκάλεσα τὸν υἱόν μου. Τότε ῾Ηρῴδης ἰδὼν ὅτι ἐνεπαίχθη ὑπὸ τῶν μάγων, ἐθυμώθη λίαν, καὶ ἀποστείλας ἀνεῖλε πάντας τοὺς παῖδας τοὺς ἐν Βηθλεὲμ καὶ ἐν πᾶσι τοῖς ὁρίοις αὐτῆς ἀπὸ διετοῦς καὶ κατωτέρω, κατὰ τὸν χρόνον ὃν ἠκρίβωσε παρὰ τῶν μάγων.τότε ἐπληρώθη τὸ ῥηθὲν ὑπὸ ῾Ιερεμίου τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος· φωνὴ ἐν ῾Ραμᾷ ἠκούσθη,θρῆνος καὶ κλαυθμὸς καὶ ὀδυρμὸς πολύς·῾Ραχὴλ κλαίουσα τὰ τέκνα αὐτῆς,καὶ οὐκ ἤθελε παρακληθῆναι, ὅτι οὐκ εἰσίν. Τελευτήσαντος δὲ τοῦ ῾Ηρῴδου ἰδοὺ ἄγγελος Κυρίου κατ᾿ ὄναρ φαίνεται τῷ ᾿Ιωσὴφ ἐν Αἰγύπτῳλέγων· ἐγερθεὶς παράλαβε τὸ παιδίον καὶ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ καὶ πορεύου εἰς γῆν ᾿Ισραήλ· τεθνήκασι γὰρ οἱ ζητοῦντες τὴν ψυχὴν τοῦ παιδίου.ὁ δὲ ἐγερθεὶς παρέλαβε τὸ παιδίον καὶ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς γῆν ᾿Ισραήλ.ἀκούσας δὲ ὅτι ᾿Αρχέλαος βασιλεύει ἐπὶ τῆς ᾿Ιουδαίας ἀντὶ ῾Ηρῴδου τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ, ἐφοβήθη ἐκεῖ ἀπελθεῖν· χρηματισθεὶς δὲ κατ᾿ ὄναρ ἀνεχώρησεν εἰς τὰ μέρη τῆς Γαλιλαίας,καὶ ἐλθὼν κατῴκησεν εἰς πόλιν λεγομένην Ναζαρέτ, ὅπως πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ τῶν προφητῶν ὅτι Ναζωραῖος κληθήσεται.

The Reading is from St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 4:9-16
BRETHREN, God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are ill-clad and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become, and are now, as the refuse of the world, the off-scouring of all things. I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me.

Πρὸς Κορινθίους α' 4:9-16
Ἀδελφοί, ὁ θεὸς ἡμᾶς τοὺς ἀποστόλους ἐσχάτους ἀπέδειξεν ὡς ἐπιθανατίους· ὅτι θέατρον ἐγενήθημεν τῷ κόσμῳ, καὶ ἀγγέλοις, καὶ ἀνθρώποις. Ἡμεῖς μωροὶ διὰ χριστόν, ὑμεῖς δὲ φρόνιμοι ἐν χριστῷ· ἡμεῖς ἀσθενεῖς, ὑμεῖς δὲ ἰσχυροί· ὑμεῖς ἔνδοξοι, ἡμεῖς δὲ ἄτιμοι. Ἄχρι τῆς ἄρτι ὥρας καὶ πεινῶμεν, καὶ διψῶμεν, καὶ γυμνητεύομεν, καὶ κολαφιζόμεθα, καὶ ἀστατοῦμεν, καὶ κοπιῶμεν ἐργαζόμενοι ταῖς ἰδίαις χερσίν· λοιδορούμενοι εὐλογοῦμεν· διωκόμενοι ἀνεχόμεθα· βλασφημούμενοι παρακαλοῦμεν· ὡς περικαθάρματα τοῦ κόσμου ἐγενήθημεν, πάντων περίψημα ἕως ἄρτι. Οὐκ ἐντρέπων ὑμᾶς γράφω ταῦτα, ἀλλʼ ὡς τέκνα μου ἀγαπητὰ νουθετῶ. Ἐὰν γὰρ μυρίους παιδαγωγοὺς ἔχητε ἐν χριστῷ, ἀλλʼ οὐ πολλοὺς πατέρας· ἐν γὰρ χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ διὰ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου ἐγὼ ὑμᾶς ἐγέννησα. Παρακαλῶ οὖν ὑμᾶς, μιμηταί μου γίνεσθε.

The Reading is from John 1:35-52
At that time, John was standing with two of his disciples; and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!" The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them, "What do you seek?" And they said to him, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "Where are you staying?" He said to them, "Come and see." They came and saw where he was staying; and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first found his brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said, "So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas" (which means Peter).
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. And he found Philip and said to him, "Follow me." Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, "We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see." Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! " Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you." Nathanael answered him, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!" Jesus answered him, "Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these." And he said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man."

Κατὰ Ἰωάννην 1.35-52
Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, εἱστήκει ὁ ᾽Ιωάννης καὶ ἐκ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ δύο,καὶ ἐμβλέψας τῷ ᾽Ιησοῦ περιπατοῦντι λέγει, ῎Ιδε ὁ ἀμνὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ. Καὶ ἤκουσαν οἱ δύο μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος καὶ ἠκολούθησαν τῷ ᾽Ιησοῦ. Στραφεὶς δὲ ὁ ᾽Ιησοῦς καὶ θεασάμενος αὐτοὺς ἀκολουθοῦντας λέγει αὐτοῖς, Τί ζητεῖτε; οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτῷ, ῾Ραββί (ὃ λέγεται μεθερμηνευόμενον Διδάσκαλε), ποῦ μένεις;λέγει αὐτοῖς, ῎Ερχεσθε καὶ ὄψεσθε. ἦλθαν οὖν καὶ εἶδαν ποῦ μένει, καὶ παρ᾽ αὐτῷ ἔμειναν τὴν ἡμέραν ἐκείνην· ὥρα ἦν ὡς δεκάτη. Ἦν ᾽Ανδρέας ὁ ἀδελφὸς Σίμωνος Πέτρου εἷς ἐκ τῶν δύο τῶν ἀκουσάντων παρὰ ᾽Ιωάννου καὶ ἀκολουθησάντων αὐτῷ·εὑρίσκει οὗτος πρῶτον τὸν ἀδελφὸν τὸν ἴδιον Σίμωνα καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ, Εὑρήκαμεν τὸν Μεσσίαν [ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον Χριστός]·ἤγαγεν αὐτὸν πρὸς τὸν ᾽Ιησοῦν. ἐμβλέψας αὐτῷ ὁ ᾽Ιησοῦς εἶπεν, Σὺ εἶ Σίμων ὁ υἱὸς ᾽Ιωάννου· σὺ κληθήσῃ Κηφᾶς [ὃ ἑρμηνεύεται Πέτρος]. Τῇ ἐπαύριον ἠθέλησεν ἐξελθεῖν εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν, καὶ εὑρίσκει Φίλιππον. καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ ᾽Ιησοῦς, ᾽Ακολούθει μοι. Ἦν δὲ ὁ Φίλιππος ἀπὸ Βηθσαϊδά, ἐκ τῆς πόλεως ᾽Ανδρέου καὶ Πέτρου. Εὑρίσκει Φίλιππος τὸν Ναθαναὴλ καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ, ὃν ἔγραψεν Μωϋσῆς ἐν τῷ νόμῳ καὶ οἱ προφῆται εὑρήκαμεν, ᾽Ιησοῦν υἱὸν τοῦ ᾽Ιωσὴφ τὸν ἀπὸ Ναζαρέτ. Καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ναθαναήλ, ᾽Εκ Ναζαρὲτ δύναταί τι ἀγαθὸν εἶναι; λέγει αὐτῷ Φίλιππος, ῎Ερχου καὶ ἴδε. Εἶδεν ὁ ᾽Ιησοῦς τὸν Ναθαναὴλ ἐρχόμενον πρὸς αὐτὸν καὶ λέγει περὶ αὐτοῦ, ῎Ιδε ἀληθῶς ᾽Ισραηλίτης ἐν ᾧ δόλος οὐκ ἔστιν. Λέγει αὐτῷ Ναθαναήλ, Πόθεν με γινώσκεις; ἀπεκρίθη ᾽Ιησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ, Πρὸ τοῦ σε Φίλιππον φωνῆσαι ὄντα ὑπὸ τὴν συκῆν εἶδόν σε. Ἀπεκρίθη αὐτῷ Ναθαναήλ, ῾Ραββί, σὺ εἶ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ, σὺ βασιλεὺς εἶ τοῦ ᾽Ισραήλ. Ἀπεκρίθη ᾽Ιησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ, Ὅτι εἶπόν σοι ὅτι εἶδόν σε ὑποκάτω τῆς συκῆς πιστεύεις; μείζω τούτων ὄψῃ. Καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ, ᾽Αμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ὄψεσθε τὸν οὐρανὸν ἀνεῳγότα καὶ τοὺς ἀγγέλους τοῦ Θεοῦ ἀναβαίνοντας καὶ καταβαίνοντας ἐπὶ τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.

READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:

Τῇ Λ' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, Μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου ἐνδόξου καὶ πανευφήμου Ἀποστόλου, Ἀνδρέου τοῦ Πρωτοκλήτου.
Ἀντίστροφον σταύρωσιν Ἀνδρέας φέρει,
Φανεὶς ἀληθῶς οὐ σκιώδης ἀντίπους.
Σταυρὸν κακκεφαλῆς τριακοστῇ Ἀνδρέας ἔτλη.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Φρουμεντίου, Ἐπισκόπου Ἰνδίας.
Φρουρούμενος χάριτι Σεπτῆς Τριάδος,
Φρουμέντιος δέδειχε φροῦδον τὴν πλάνην.
Ταῖς τῶν Ἁγίων σου πρεσβείαις, ὁ Θεός, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.

This Saint was from Bethsaida of Galilee; he was the son of Jonas and the brother of Peter, the chief of the Apostles. He had first been a disciple of John the Baptist; afterwards, on hearing the Baptist's witness concerning Jesus, when he pointed Him out with his finger and said, "Behold the Lamb of God, Which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1.29,36), he straightway followed Christ, and became His first disciple; wherefore he is called the First-called of the Apostles. After the Ascension of the Saviour, he preached in various lands; and having suffered many things for His Name's sake, he died in Patras of Achaia, where he was crucified on a cross in the shape of an "X," the first letter of "Christ" in Greek; this cross is also the symbol of Saint Andrew.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Ὡς τῶν Ἀποστόλων Πρωτόκλητος, καὶ τοῦ Κορυφαίου αὐτάδελφος, τὸν Δεσπότην τῶν ὅλων Ἀνδρέα ἱκέτευε, εἰρήνην τὴ οἰκουμένη δωρήσασθαι, καὶ ταὶς ψυχαὶς ἡ μῶν τὸ μέγα ἔλεος.
As the first-called of the Apostles, and brother of their leader, O Andrew, entreat the Master of all that peace be granted unto the world and great mercy to our souls.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
Τόν τής ανδρείας επώνυμον θεηγόρον, καί μαθητών τόν πρωτόκλητον τού Σωτήρος, Πέτρου τόν σύγγονον ευφημήσωμεν, ότι ως πάλαι τούτω καί νύν ημίν εκέκραγεν, Ευρήκαμεν δεύτε τόν ποθούμενον.
Let us praise the namesake of bravery, the divinely eloquent and first to be called of the Disciples of Christ, the kinsman of Peter. As he called out to him in days of old, so now he calls to us, "Come, we have found Him for whom we yearned."

Ο πρώτος που κάλεσε ο Χριστός από τους ψαράδες της Γαλιλαίας για να τον αναδείξη απόστολο και κήρυξα του Ευαγγελίου είναι ο Ανδρέας, του οποίου η Εκκλησία σήμερα γιορτάζει την μνήμη. Ο πρωτόκλητος Ανδρέας είναι αδελφός του πρωτοκορυφαίου Πέτρου, γιος του Ιωνά από τη Βηθσαϊδά. Δυο μεγάλες ελληνικές πόλεις συνδέονται με την αποστολική δράση του Αποστόλου Ανδρέα, το Βυζάντιο και η Πάτρα. Στην Πάτρα μαρτύρησε με σταυρικό θάνατο και μάλιστα ανάποδα, δηλαδή με το κεφάλι προς τα κάτω. Παρ' όλο που ο Ανδρέας, σαν ψαράς, ήταν ένας απλός άνθρωπος, όμως δεν έπαυε νάχη πνευματικά διαφέροντα, να είν' από κείνους, που ερευνώντας στον Μωϋσή και τους άλλους προφήτας, περίμεναν την εκπλήρωση των επαγγελιών του Θεού. Γι' αυτό όχι μόνο πρωτόκλητος είναι ο Ανδρέας αλλά και πρώτος που ανάγγειλε θριαμβικά την παρουσία του Χριστού: "Ευρήκαμεν τον Μεσσίαν!".

Ὁ Ἅγιος Ἀνδρέας ὁ Ἀπόστολος, ὁ Πρωτόκλητος
Ὁ Ἀνδρέας, ψαρὰς στὸ ἐπάγγελμα καὶ ἀδελφὸς τοῦ Ἀποστόλου Πέτρου, ἦταν ἀπὸ τὴν Βηθσαϊδὰ τῆς Γαλιλαίας. Ἐπειδὴ κλήθηκε ἀπὸ τὸν Κύριο πρῶτος στὴν ὁμάδα τῶν μαθητῶν, ὀνομάστηκε πρωτόκλητος. Ἡ ἱστορία τῆς ζωῆς τοῦ Ἀνδρέα μέχρι τὴν Σταύρωση, τὴν Ἀνάσταση καὶ τὴν Ἀνάληψη τοῦ Κυρίου, ὑπῆρξε σχεδὸν ἴδια μὲ ἐκείνη τῶν ἄλλων μαθητῶν. Μετὰ τὸ σχηματισμὸ τῆς πρώτης Ἐκκλησίας, ὁ Ἀνδρέας κήρυξε στὴ Βιθυνία, Εὔξεινο Πόντο, Θρᾴκη, Μακεδονία καὶ Ἤπειρο. Τε-λικά, κατέληξε στὴν Ἀχαΐα. Ἐκεῖ ἡ διδασκαλία του καρποφόρησε καὶ μὲ τὶς προ-σευχές του θεράπευσε θαυματουργικὰ πολλοὺς ἀσθενεῖς. Ἔτσι, ἡ χριστιανικὴ ἀλήθεια εἶχε μεγάλες κατακτήσεις στὸ λαὸ τῆς Πάτρας. Ἀκόμα καὶ ἡ Μαξιμίλλα, σύζυγος τοῦ ἀνθυπάτου Ἀχαΐας Αἰγεάτου, ἀφοῦ τὴν θεράπευσε ὁ Ἀπόστολος ἀπὸ τὴν βαρειὰ ἀῤῥώστια ποὺ εἶχε, πίστεψε στὸ Χριστό. Τὸ γεγονὸς ἐκνεύρισε τὸν ἀνθύπατο, καὶ μὲ τὴν παρότρυνση τῶν εἰδωλολατρῶν ἱερέων συνέλαβε τὸν Ἀνδρέα καὶ τὸν σταύρωσε σὲ σταυρὸ σχήματος Χ. Ἔτσι, ὁ Ἀπόστολος Ἀνδρέας «παρέστησε τὸν ἑαυτό του στὸ Θεὸ δόκιμον ἐργάτην», δηλαδὴ δοκιμασμένο καὶ τέλειο ἐργάτη τοῦ Εὐαγγελίου. Τὸ λείψανό του ἔθαψε μὲ εὐλάβεια ὁ πρῶτος ἐπίσκοπος Πατρῶν Στρατοκλῆς.

Ὁ Ἅγιος Φρουμέντιος ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Ἀβησσυνίας (Αἰθιοπίας)
Στὰ χρόνια τοῦ μεγάλου Κωνσταντίνου (330), κάποιος φιλόσοφος ἀπὸ τὴν Τύρο, ποὺ ὀνομαζόταν Φρουμέντιος, πῆγε στὴν Ἀβησσυνία (Αἰθιοπία) γιὰ νὰ συλλέξει ἱστορικὰ στοιχεῖα γι᾿ αὐτὴν τὴ χώρα. Ἔγινε γνωστὸς στὴ βασιλικὴ αὐλὴ γιὰ τὴν λογιότητά του καὶ διορίστηκε σὲ ἀνώτερη διοικητικὴ θέση. Τὴ θέση καὶ τὴν ἐπιῤῥοή του χρησιμοποίησε γιὰ τὴν ἔναρξη διάδοσης τοῦ χριστιανισμοῦ. Κατόπιν ἐπέστρεψε στὴν Ἀλεξάνδρεια, ὅπου ἀνακοίνωσε στὸν τότε ἀρχιεπίσκοπο Μέγα Ἀθανάσιο, ὅτι μία πιὸ συστηματικὴ χριστιανικὴ ἐργασία σ᾿ αὐτὴν τὴ χώρα θὰ εἶχε ἀποτελέσματα καρποφόρα. Ὁ Μέγας Ἀθανάσιος συμφώνησε καὶ τοῦ ἀνέθεσε τὴν ἱεραποστολὴ ἐκείνη, ἀφοῦ τὸν χειροτόνησε ἐπίσκοπο (τὸ ἔτος 341) μὲ τὸν τίτλο «Ἀξώμης». Καὶ ἡ ἱεραποστολὴ ἐκείνη, μὲ βοηθὸ τοῦ Φρουμεντίου τὸν Αἰδέσιο, ἔφερε πράγματι ἀρκετὴ καρποφορία.

Ὁ Ἅγιος Ἀλέξανδρος Μηθύμνης
Ὁ ἅγιος Ἀλέξανδρος, σύμφωνα μὲ τὴν παράδοση, ἦτο ἐπίσκοπος Μηθύμνης, ὁ πρῶτος ἴσως ἐπίσκοπος αὐτῆς τῆς Μητροπόλεως, καὶ μάλιστα ἔλαβε μέρος στὴν Α´ Οἰκουμενικὴ Σύνοδο τὸ ἔτος 325 μ.Χ. Ἐπίσης, λέγεται, ὅτι ἵδρυσε μοναστήρι στὴν περιφέρεια τῆς Κοινότητος Λαφιώνας, ὅπου πέρασε τὰ τελευταῖα χρόνια της ζωῆς του. Γιὰ τὸ ἔργο, ἐπίσης, τοῦ ἁγίου Ἀλεξάνδρου δὲν ἔχομε ἄλλες πληροφορίες, ἐκτὸς ἀπὸ αὐτὲς ποὺ μᾶς δίνει ἡ ἀκολουθία ποὺ ψάλλεται τὴν ἡμέρα τῆς ἑορτῆς τοῦ ἁγίου, στὶς 30 Νοεμβρίου. Ἐκεῖ ἐγκωμιάζεται ὁ ἅγιος Ἀλέξανδρος «φωστὴρ ἀκοίμητος, ποιμὴν ὁ πραότατος, ἐν εὐσεβείᾳ συγκρατήσας τὸ ποίμνιον, ὁδηγήσας τε καὶ ποιμάνας ἐν χάριτι, λύκους ὡς τροπωσάμενος δεινῶς αἱρετίζοντας» καὶ στὴ συνέχεια ὡς «πολύφωτος ἀστὴρ μοναζόντων» καὶ σὲ ἄλλο σημεῖο ὅτι «ἰατρεῖον παθῶν ἀναδέδεικται ἡ σορὸς τῶν ἁγίων λειψάνων αὐτοῦ».

Holy, Glorious and Illustrious Apostle Andrew the First-Called
He was the brother of the Apostle Peter, from Bethsaida on the shore of Lake Gennesaret. Andrew left his fisherman's trade to become a disciple of St John the Baptist. Soon after the Forerunner had baptized Jesus, he said to Andrew and his other disciple John the Theologian, "Behold the Lamb of God!" At this, both disciples followed after Jesus. After conversing with Christ, Andrew hurried home and told his brother Simon Peter, "We have found the Messiah." For being the first to recognize Jesus as the Christ, St Andrew is called the First-Called.
  After Pentecost, Andrew was appointed to preach the Gospel around the Black Sea and in Thrace and Macedonia, traveling as far as Lazica in the Caucasus. According to Slavic tradition his travels took him even further, into the land that was later to be called Russia.
  In later travels the Apostle preached throughout Asia Minor with St John the Theologian, then traveled to Mesopotamia, then back to Sinope on the Black Sea, and finally to Patras in the Peloponnese, where he soon established a large community of Christians. One of his converts was Maximilla, the wife of Aegeates, the Proconsul of that region. Aegeates was so angered by his wife's conversion that he had the Apostle arrested and crucified head downwards on a cross in the shape of an "X." The holy Apostle rejoiced to be allowed to suffer the same death as his Master.
  The holy relics of St Andrew, after various travels, were returned to Patras in 1964, where they are now venerated.
  In the West, St Andrew is venerated as the patron of Scotland: in the Middle Ages, more than eight hundred churches in Scotland were dedicated to him.

Our Venerable Father Frumentius, first Bishop of Ethiopia (4th c.)
During the reign of St Constantine the Great, an explorer named Meropus set out to explore lands along the Red Sea, previously unknown to the Roman world. The expedition's ship was attacked by pirates and all the company killed except two young men named Frumentius and Edesius. They were sold into slavery in the court of the Ethiopian King of Axum, where they distinguished themselves so well that they became palace stewards and were able to obtain freedom of Christian worship for merchants trading in the Kingdom.
  Eventually the young men returned to Roman territory, and Frumentius went to St Athanasius the Great of Alexandria to tell him of his travels and of the great thirst of the Ethiopian people for the Gospel of Christ. Saint Athanasius consecrated Frumentius as first Bishop of Abyssinia and sent him back to Axum to establish the Church in that kingdom.
  Through his apostolic zeal, tireless travels, and miracles and healings, the holy Bishop was able convert many pagans and establish many churches in Ethiopia, though the Kingdom did not become officially Christian until the sixth century. Saint Frumentius reposed in peace in his adopted country, and his relics worked many miracles.
  The Church of Ethiopia traces its origin to the apostolic work of the Ethiopian eunuch baptized by the Apostle Philip in the Book of Acts, who "went on his way rejoicing" to Ethiopia and first proclaimed the Gospel there. Thus, it seems there was already a Christian presence in the country when Frumentius arrived: this may be the source of the statement in his biography that he found the Ethiopian people thirsty for the Good News.

The Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called (Pervozvyannii) was the first of the Apostles to follow Christ, and he afterwards brought to Christ his own brother the holy Apostle Peter (Jn. 1: 35-42). The future apostle was from Bethsaida, and from the time of his youth he turned with all his soul to God. He did not enter into marriage, and together with his brother he worked as a fisherman. When upon Israel thundered the voice of the holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord John, Saint Andrew became his closest disciple. Saint John the Baptist himself sent off to Christ his own two disciples, the future Apostles Andrew and John the Theologian, declaring Christ to be the Lamb of God.
After the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, Saint Andrew set off preaching the Word of God to the Eastern lands. He went through Asia Minor, Thrace, Macedonia, he reached along the River Dunaj (Danube), went along the coast of the Black Sea, through Crimea, the Black Sea Region and along the River Dniepr he climbed to the place, where now stands the city of Kiev. He stopped overnight on the hills of Kiev. Rising in the morning, he said to those disciples that were with him: "See ye these hills? Upon these hills will shine forth the beneficence of God, and there wilt be here a great city, and God shalt raise up many churches". The apostle went up around the hills, blessed them and set up a cross. Having prayed, he went up even further along the Dniepr and reached a settlement of the Slavs, where Novgorod was built. From here the apostle went through the land of the Varangians towards Rome for preaching, and again he returned to Thrace, where in the small village of Byzantium -- the future mighty Constantinople, he founded the Church of Christ. The name of the holy Apostle Andrew connects the mother -- the Church of Constantinople, together with the daughter -- the Russian Church.
On his journeys the First-Called Apostle endured many sufferings and torments from pagans: they cast him out from their cities and they beat him. In Sinope they pelted him with stones, but remaining unharmed, the persevering disciple of Christ continued to preaching about the Saviour to people. Through the prayers of the apostle, the Lord worked miracles. From the labours of the holy Apostle Andrew there emerged Christian Churches, for which he established bishops and clergy. The final city to which the First-Called Apostle came, and where it was allotted him to accept a martyr's end, was the city of Patra.
The Lord manifest many a miracle through His disciple in Patra. The infirm were made whole, and the blind received their sight. Through the prayers of the apostle, the illustrious citizen Sosios recovered from serious illness; by the placing on of apostolic hands was healed Maximilla, wife of the governor of Patra, and his brother Stratokles. The miracles accomplished by the apostle and his fiery speech enlightened with the true faith almost all the citizens of the city of Patra. Few pagans that remained at Patra, but among them was the governor of the city, Aegeatos. The Apostle Andrew repeatedly turned to him with the words of Good-News [meaning of Euangelium, or Gospel]. But even the miracles of the apostle did not convince Aegeatos. The holy apostle with love and humility appealed to his soul, striving to reveal to him the Christian mystery of life eternal, through the wonderworking power of the Holy Cross of the Lord. The angry Aegeatos gave orders to crucify the apostle. The pagan thought to undo the preaching of Saint Andrew, if he were to give him over to death on the cross, which however the apostle glorified. Saint Andrew the First-Called accepted the decision of the governor with joy and with prayer to the Lord he himself went willingly to the place of execution. In order to prolong the suffering of the saint, Aegeatos gave orders not to nail down the hands and feet of the saint, but to tie them to the cross. From up on the cross for two days the apostle taught the citizens who gathered about. The people, in listening to him, with all their souls pitied him and tried to take the holy apostle down from the cross. Fearing a riot of the people, Aegeatos gave orders to stop the execution. But the holy apostle began to pray that the Lord would grant him death on the cross. Just as the soldiers tried to take hold of the Apostle Andrew, they lost control of their hands. The crucified apostle, having given glory to God, uttered: "Lord Jesus Christ, receive Thou my spirit". Then a blazing ray of Divine light illumined the cross and the martyr crucified upon it. When the shining ceased, the holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called had already given up his holy soul to the Lord (+ 62). Maximilla, wife of the governor, had the body of the Apostle taken down from the cross, and buried him with honour.
A few centuries later, under the emperor Constantine the Great, the relics of the holy Apostle Andrew were solemnly transferred to Constantinople and placed in the church of the Holy Apostles alongside the relics of the holy Evangelist Luke and Apostle Paul's disciple -- the Disciple Timothy.


THE PROLOGUE FROM ORCHID:

1. The Holy Apostle Andrew the First-called
Andrew, the son of Jonah and brother of Peter, was born in Bethsaida and was a fisherman by trade. At first he was a disciple of St. John the Baptist, but when St. John pointed to the Lord Jesus, saying, Behold the Lamb of God! (John 1:36), Andrew left his first teacher and followed Christ. Then, Andrew brought his brother Peter to the Lord. Following the descent of the Holy Spirit, it fell by lot to the first apostle of Christ, St. Andrew, to preach the Gospel in Byzantium and Thrace, then in the lands along the Danube and in Russia around the Black Sea, and finally in Epirus, Greece and the Peloponnese, where he suffered. In Byzantium, he appointed St. Stachys as its first bishop; in Kiev, he planted a Cross on a high place and prophesied a bright Christian future for the Russian people; throughout Thrace, Epirus, Greece and the Peloponnese, he converted multitudes of people to the Faith and ordained bishops and priests for them. In the city of Patras, he performed many miracles in the name of Christ, and won many over to the Lord. Among the new faithful were the brother and wife of the Proconsul Aegeates. Angered at this, Aegeates subjected St. Andrew to torture and then crucified him. While the apostle of Christ was still alive on the cross, he gave beneficial instructions to the Christians who had gathered around. The people wanted to take him down from the cross but he refused to let them. Then the apostle prayed to God and an extraordinary light encompassed him. This brilliant illumination lasted for half an hour, and when it disappeared, the apostle gave up his holy soul to God. Thus, the First-called Apostle, the first of the Twelve Great Apostles to know the Lord and follow Him, finished his earthly course. St. Andrew suffered for his Lord in the year 62. His relics were taken to Constantinople; his head was later taken to Rome, and one hand was taken to Moscow.

2. Saint Frumentius the Enlightener of Abyssinia
In the time of Emperor Constantine the Great, a learned man from Tyre by the name of Meropius traveled to India. He took with him two young Christians, the brothers Edesius and Frumentius. On the journey, their boat was shipwrecked in a storm off the coast of Abyssinia, and the wild Abyssinians killed everyone on the boat except these two brothers. They lived in Abyssinia for several years, and managed to enter into service in the imperial court of the Abyssinian king. Frumentius began to preach the Christian Faith, initially very cautiously, and was convinced that this land would be fruitful for such preaching. The two brothers then took ship: Edesius to Tyre, to his parents, and Frumentius to Alexandria, to Patriarch Athanasius the Great. Frumentius explained the situation in Abyssinia to the Patriarch, and sought pastors for those newly converted to the Faith. St. Athanasius consecrated Frumentius to the episcopacy. St. Frumentius returned to Abyssinia where, by his zeal and his miracles, he converted all of Abyssinia to the Christian Faith in his own lifetime. This great shepherd of the flock of Christ, the enlightener of Abyssinia, reposed peacefully in the year 370 and went to live in the Kingdom of his Lord.

HYMN OF PRAISE
The Holy Apostle Andrew the First-called
St. Andrew, by the Spirit enlightened,
And the First-called Apostle of Christ,
Proclaimed the Lord day after day,
And baptized the people with the Cross.
Like a gardener in his own garden,
Through village and town he walked,
And skillfully grafted wild trees,
Watering them with Living Water,
Until he came to the end of his days,
And saw the Cross awaiting him.
Joyful Andrew said to the Cross:
``Greetings, O Cross! God sanctified thee,
Christ sanctified thee with His body.
O Cross, be thou my resting place.
From the dust of the earth, take me;
To God in the highest, raise me up,
And let Christ take me from thee-
The very Christ Who, because of me, was crucified on thee.''
Disciple of the holy Baptist,
And apostle of Christ the Savior
O Andrew, first-called star,
By your prayers, help us.

REFLECTION
St. John Chrysostom says: ``All is given to the Apostles.'' That is, all gifts, all power, all the fullness of grace which God gives to the faithful. We see this in the life of the great apostle, St. Andrew the First-called: He was an apostle, evangelist, prophet, pastor and teacher (Ephesians 4:11). As an evangelist, he carried the good news of the Gospel to the four corners of the earth; as a prophet, he prophesied the baptism of the Russian people and the greatness of Kiev as a city and a Christian center; as a pastor, he established and organized many churches; as a teacher, he tirelessly taught people right up to and during his crucifixion, when he taught from the cross until his last breath. In addition to this, he was a martyr, which is also according to the gift of the Holy Spirit, and is not given to everyone. And so we see in this apostle, as in the others, the fullness of the grace of the Spirit of God. And every great work that a follower of Christ performs must be ascribed to that grace. St. Frumentius testifies this to us. When he returned from Alexandria to Abyssinia as a consecrated bishop, he began to perform the greatest miracles, thus converting great masses of people to the Faith. Then the amazed king asked him:``So many years have you lived among us and never have we seen you perform such miracles. How is it that you do so now?'' To this, the Blessed Frumentius replied to the emperor: ``This is not my work, but the work of the grace of the priesthood.'' The saint then explained to the king how he had forsaken parents and marriage and the whole world for the sake of Christ, and how he had-by the laying on of hands by St. Athanasius-received the grace of the priesthood: miracle-working grace.

CONTEMPLATION
Contemplate the spiritual fall of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3):
1. How the serpent provoked greed and pride in Eve;
2. How the greedy and proud woman transgressed God's command and ate of the Tree of Knowledge;
3. How Eve sinned, not in the midst of poverty or need, but in an abundance of all things.

HOMILY
on the ignorance and hardheartedness of the pagans
The gentiles walk in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart (Ephesians 4:17-18).
What is vanity, my brethren? All that is seen outside God, cut off from God and done without the fear of God. What is vanity of the mind, my brethren? To live and interpret life, not by God's law but rather by one's own passing thoughts and desires. Whence, my brethren, does this evil come to men? From hardness of heart and from inner ignorance. What does hardness of heart mean, brethren? It means a heart empty of love for God and fear of God, and filled with lustfulness and fear of everything for the body's sake. Brethren, what is born of hardness of heart? Ignorance-complete ignorance of divine things, divine ways and divine laws; a heart completely dulled to spiritual life and spiritual thought. What is the final consequence, brethren, of hardness of heart and ignorance of divine truth? A darkened understanding and alienation from the Living God. Darkened understanding occurs when the mind of man becomes as darkened as the body, and the light that is in man becomes darkness. Oh, such a darkness! A darkened understanding is a darkened mind. A darkened mind knows the meaning of nothing, or denies the meaning of everything. In such a condition, a man is alienated from the life of God, and he withers and dies like a body part cut off from the body. Such are the pagans, such are the godless, and such are those of little faith or false Christians. But even dry wood, when it is watered with the life-creating water of Christ, comes to life and bursts forth in greenery. Even the dried-up pagan world was raised up and brought to life by Christ the Lord. How much more so would it be for repentant Christian sinners!
Let us look at ourselves, my brethren. Let us do so every day. Let us ask ourselves every day whether we have become darkened and alienated from the life of God because of our vanity. Soon there will be death, the end and judgment. The dry wood will be cast into the unquenchable fire.
O Lord Jesus, our Mind and our Life, help us to think with Thee, and to live with Thee.
 To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.