FEASTS AND SAINTS CELEBRATED TODAY:
Righteous Theodosios the Cenobiarch
Vitalis of Gaza
Afterfeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
Ο ΟΣΙΟΣ ΘΕΟΔΟΣΙΟΣ ο κοινοβιάρχης
Ο ΟΣΙΟΣ ΘΕΟΔΟΣΙΟΣ ο Θεσσαλονικεύς ηγούμενος Μονής Φιλόθεου εν Άθω
Η ΣΥΝΑΞΗ ΤΩΝ ΜΥΡΙΩΝ ΑΓΓΕΛΩΝ
ΟΙ ΑΓΙΟΙ ΣΤΕΦΑΝΟΣ ο εν Πλακιδιαναίς, ΘΕΟΔΩΡΟΣ και ΑΓΑΠΙΟΣ ο Αρχιμανδρίτης
Ο ΑΓΙΟΣ ΜΑΪΡΟΣ
Ο ΟΣΙΟΣ ΒΙΤΑΛΙΟΣ
ΕΓΚΑΙΝΙΑ ΤΗΣ ΜΕΓΑΛΗΣ ΕΚΚΛΗΣΙΑΣ ΤΟΥ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ ΣΤΗ ΘΕΣΣΑΛΟΝΙΚΗ
Ο ΑΓΙΟΣ ΜΙΧΑΗΛ της μονής Κλόπς του Νόβγκοροντ (Ρώσος)
READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:
The Reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 13:7-16
Brethren, remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their lives, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings; for it is well that the heart be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited their adherents. We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go forth to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Πρὸς Ἑβραίους 13:7-16
Ἀδελφοί, μνημονεύετε τῶν ἡγουμένων ὑμῶν, οἵτινες ἐλάλησαν ὑμῖν τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ· ὧν ἀναθεωροῦντες τὴν ἔκβασιν τῆς ἀναστροφῆς, μιμεῖσθε τὴν πίστιν. Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς χθὲς καὶ σήμερον ὁ αὐτός, καὶ εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας. Διδαχαῖς ποικίλαις καὶ ξέναις μὴ παραφέρεσθε· καλὸν γὰρ χάριτι βεβαιοῦσθαι τὴν καρδίαν, οὐ βρώμασιν, ἐν οἷς οὐκ ὠφελήθησαν οἱ περιπατήσαντες. Ἔχομεν θυσιαστήριον, ἐξ οὗ φαγεῖν οὐκ ἔχουσιν ἐξουσίαν οἱ τῇ σκηνῇ λατρεύοντες. Ὧν γὰρ εἰσφέρεται ζῴων τὸ αἷμα περὶ ἁμαρτίας εἰς τὰ ἅγια διὰ τοῦ ἀρχιερέως, τούτων τὰ σώματα κατακαίεται ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς. Διὸ καὶ Ἰησοῦς, ἵνα ἁγιάσῃ διὰ τοῦ ἰδίου αἵματος τὸν λαόν, ἔξω τῆς πύλης ἔπαθεν. Τοίνυν ἐξερχώμεθα πρὸς αὐτὸν ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς, τὸν ὀνειδισμὸν αὐτοῦ φέροντες. Οὐ γὰρ ἔχομεν ὧδε μένουσαν πόλιν, ἀλλὰ τὴν μέλλουσαν ἐπιζητοῦμεν. Διʼ αὐτοῦ οὖν ἀναφέρωμεν θυσίαν αἰνέσεως διὰ παντὸς τῷ θεῷ, τοῦτʼ ἔστιν, καρπὸν χειλέων ὁμολογούντων τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ. Τῆς δὲ εὐποιΐας καὶ κοινωνίας μὴ ἐπιλανθάνεσθε· τοιαύταις γὰρ θυσίαις εὐαρεστεῖται ὁ θεός.
The Reading is from Matthew 11:27-30
The Lord said to his disciples, "All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Κατὰ Ματθαῖον 11.27-30
Εἶπεν ὁ Κὐριος τοῖς ἑαυτοῦ μαθηταῖς· Πάντα μοι παρεδόθη ὑπὸ τοῦ πατρός μου· καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐπιγινώσκει τὸν υἱὸν εἰ μὴ ὁ πατήρ, οὐδὲ τὸν πατέρα τις ἐπιγινώσκει εἰ μὴ ὁ υἱὸς καὶ ᾧ ἐὰν βούληται ὁ υἱὸς ἀποκαλύψαι.Δεῦτε πρός με πάντες οἱ κοπιῶντες καὶ πεφορτισμένοι, κἀγὼ ἀναπαύσω ὑμᾶς.ἄρατε τὸν ζυγόν μου ἐφ᾿ ὑμᾶς καὶ μάθετε ἀπ᾿ ἐμοῦ, ὅτι πρᾷός εἰμι καὶ ταπεινὸς τῇ καρδίᾳ, καὶ εὑρήσετε ἀνάπαυσιν ταῖς ψυχαῖς ὑμῶν·ὁ γὰρ ζυγός μου χρηστὸς καὶ τὸ φορτίον μου ἐλαφρόν ἐστιν.
READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:
Τῇ ΙΑ' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, Μνήμη τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Θεοδοσίου τοῦ Κοινοβιάρχου καὶ Καθηγητοῦ τῆς ἐρήμου.
Κοινοῦ Θεοδόσιος Ἡγεμὼν βίου,
Κοινὴ Μονασταῖς ἐκβιώσας ζημία.
Ἑνδεκάτῃ ὀλοὸν βίοτον λίπε Κοινοβιάρχης.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, ἡ Σύναξις τῶν μυρίων Ἁγίων Ἀγγέλων. Τελεῖται δὲ ἐνδὸν τοῦ Μαρτυρίου τῆς Ἁγίας Ἀναστασίας ἐν τοῖς Δομνίνου ἐμβόλοις, καὶ Μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου Στεφάνου, τοῦ ἐν Πλακιδιναῖς, καὶ τοῦ Ἁγίου Θεοδώρου καὶ Ἀγαπίου τοῦ Ἀρχιμανδρίτου.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, ὁ Ἅγιος Μάϊρος αἰκιζόμενος τελειοῦται.
Μάϊρος ἐκραύγαζεν, ὢν ἐν αἰκίαις.
Μὴ δειλιᾷς Μάϊρε, πλήττου καὶ στέφου.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, ὁ Ὅσιος Βιτάλιος ἐν εἰρήνῃ τελειούται.
Καὶ πνεῦμα δόντα Βιτάλιε Κυρίῳ,
Τὰ πνεύματα φρίττει σε τῆς πονηρίας.
Ταῖς αὐτῶν Ἁγίαις πρεσβείαις, ὁ Θεός, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.
Apolytikion in the First Tone
Ἐν Ἰορδάνῃ βαπτιζομένου σου Κύριε, ἡ τῆς Τριάδος ἐφανερώθη προσκύνησις, τοῦ γὰρ Γεννήτορος ἡ φωνὴ προσεμαρτύρει σοί, ἀγαπητὸν σὲ Υἱὸν ὀνομάζουσα, καὶ τὸ Πνεῦμα ἐν εἴδει περιστεράς, ἐβεβαίου τοῦ λόγου τὸ ἀσφαλές. Ὁ ἐπιφανεῖς Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός, καὶ τὸν κόσμον φωτίσας δόξα σοί.
When Thou wast baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest; for the voice of the Father bare witness to Thee, calling Thee His beloved Son. And the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of the word. O Christ our God, Who hast appeared and hast enlightened the world, glory be to Thee.
Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Ἐπεφάνης σήμερον τὴ οἰκουμένη, καὶ τὸ φῶς σου Κύριε, ἐσημειώθη ἐφ' ἡμᾶς, ἓν ἐπιγνώσει ὑμνούντάς σε. Ἦλθες ἐφάνης τὸ Φῶς τὸ ἀπρόσιτον.
You appeared to the world today, and Your light, O Lord, has left its mark upon us. With fuller understanding we sing to You: "You came, You were made manifest, the unapproachable light."
This Saint had Cappadocia as his homeland. He lived during the years of Leo of Thrace, who reigned from 457 to 474. The Saint established in the Holy Land a great communal monastery, wherein he was the shepherd of many monks. While Saint Sabbas was the head of the hermits of Palestine, Saint Theodosios was governor of those living the cenobitic life, for which reason he is called the Cenobiarch. Together with Saint Sabbas, towards whom he cherished a deep brotherly love in Christ, he defended the whole land of Palestine from the heresy of the Monophysites, which was championed by the Emperor Anastasius and might very well have triumphed in the Holy Land without the opposition of these two great monastic fathers and their zealous defense of the Holy Council of Chalcedon. Having lived for 103 years, he reposed in peace.
Apolytikion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Ταίς τών δακρύων σου ροαίς, τής ερήμου τό άγονον εγεώργησας, καί τοίς εκ βάθους στεναγμοίς, εις εκατόν τούς πόνους εκαρποφόρησας, καί γέγονας φωστήρ, τή οικουμένη λάμπων τοίς θαύμασι, Θεοδόσιε Πατήρ ημών, Όσιε, Πρέσβευε Χριστώ τώ Θεώ, σωθήναι τάς ψυχάς ημών.
With the streams of thy tears, thou didst cultivate the barrenness of the desert; and by thy sighings from the depths,thou didst bear fruit a hundredfold in labours; and thou becamest a luminary, shining with miracles upon the world, O Theodosios our righteous Father. Intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.
Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Πεφυτευμένος ἐν αὐλαῖς ταὶς τοῦ Κυρίου σου, τὰς φανοτάτας ἀρετὰς τερπνῶς ἐξήνθησας, καὶ ἐπλήθυνας τὰ τέκνα σου ἐν ἐρήμῳ, τῶν δακρύων σου τοὶς ὄμβροις ἀρδευόμενα, ἀγελάρχα τῶν Θεοῦ θείων ἐπαύλεων, ὅθεν κράζομεν. Χαίροις Πάτερ Θεοδόσιε.
As being planted in the courts of Christ thy Lord and God, with holy virtues thou delightfully didst blossom forth and didst multiply thy children amid the desert, who were watered with the showers of thy fervent tears, O chief shepherd of the godly sheepfold of our God. Hence we cry to thee: Rejoice, O Father Theodosios.
Σ' ένα του λόγο ο άγιος Ιωάννης ο Χρυσόστομος λέει για τα ιερά πρόσωπα των Αγίων τα εξής· "τα των αγίων ανδρών ουχί τα ρήματα μόνον, αλλά και αυτά τα πρόσωπα πνευματικής γέμει χάριτος". Το αισθανόμαστε και το ζούμε αυτό, όταν βλέπωμε την εικόνα του οσίου Θεοδοσίου του Κοινοβιάρχου, του οποίου η Εκκλησία σήμερα τιμά την μνήμη. Στο ιερό πρόσωπο του Οσίου, έτσι όπως η μορφή του σώζεται στην παράδοση της ορθοδόξου εικονογραφίας, διαλάμπει πραγματικά μια πνευματική χάρη, μια ψυχική ηρεμία και γαλήνη και μια εσωτερική ομορφιά, καρπός και απόκτημα πολυχρονίου ασκήσεως και βίου καθαρού - τέτοια ιλαρότητα και τέτοια χάρη δεν την έχουν οι ομορφιές "της σαρκός". Στο Αστέρι, το μοναστηράκι του Υμηττού, υπάρχει μία τέτοια εικόνα του οσίου Θεοδοσίου, που κάποιο βέβηλο χέρι της έχει καταστρέψει τα μάτια. Και χωρίς τα μάτια που είν' ο καθρέπτης της ψυχής, το πρόσωπο του Οσίου "πνευματικής γέμει χάριτος".
Ὁ Ὅσιος Θεοδόσιος ὁ κοινοβιάρχης
Διέπρεψε στὰ χρόνια του Λέοντα τοῦ Μεγάλου (457-474). Τὸ χωριὸ Μωγαρισσὸς ἢ Μαγαρισσὸς τῆς Καππαδοκίας εἶναι ὁ τόπος ὅπου γεννήθηκε, ἀπὸ γονεῖς πολὺ πιστούς, τὸν Προαιρέσιο καὶ τὴν Εὐλογία. Ὅταν ἔγινε μοναχός, διακρίθηκε ἀπὸ πολὺ νωρὶς γιὰ τὸ φλογερό του ζῆλο στὶς τελειότητες τῆς χριστιανικῆς ἀρετῆς. Ἐκεῖνο, ὅμως, ποὺ τὸν συγκινοῦσε περισσότερο, ἦταν ἡ μελέτη τοῦ Εὐαγγελίου, καὶ ἰδιαίτερα οἱ συγκινητικὲς σκηνὲς ἀπὸ τὸ Πάθος τοῦ Σωτῆρα μας Χριστοῦ. Γι᾿ αὐτό, ἐπισκέφθηκε τοὺς Ἁγίους Τόπους στὴν Ἱερουσαλήμ, ὅπου ψηλάφησε καὶ προσκύνησε τὰ χώματα ὅπου διαδραματίστηκαν τὰ μεγάλα γεγονότα τῶν Παθῶν τοῦ Κυρίου μας. Ὁ Θεοδόσιος, ἀφοῦ ἀσκήτεψε κοντὰ σὲ μεγάλους ἀσκητές, ὅπως τὸ Συμεὼν τὸ Στυλίτη καὶ τὸν ἡσυχαστὴ Λογγῖνο, ἀποσύρθηκε σὲ ἰδιαίτερο ἡσυχαστήριο, διδάσκοντας μὲ λόγια καὶ ἔργα ὁποῖο διαβάτη περνοῦσε ἀπὸ ἐκεῖ. Ὅμως, πολλοὶ ἀπ᾿ αὐτοὺς ποὺ δίδαξε γύρισαν ἀπὸ τὸν κόσμο κοντά του. Ἡ ὑπερβολικὴ αὔξηση τῶν ἀδελφῶν ἀνάγκασε τὰ Θεοδόσιο νὰ ἱδρύσει ἕνα μεγάλο καὶ εὐρύχωρο κοινόβιο μοναστήρι. Σὰν κοινοβιάρχης ἐφάρμοσε πρότυπα σὰν ἐκεῖνα τῆς πρώτης Ἐκκλησίας τῶν χριστιανῶν. Δηλαδὴ «ὅλοι, χωρὶς ἐξαίρεση, οἱ πιστοί, μὲ μία καρδιὰ καὶ μία ψυχή, ἦταν μεταξὺ τοὺς ἑνωμένοι, σὰν μέλη τῆς ἴδιας οἰκογένειας, καὶ τὰ εἶχαν ὅλα κοινά». Σὲ προχωρημένη, πλέον, ἡλικία ὁ Θεοδόσιος, ἀφοῦ γαλούχησε μὲ συμβουλὲς αἰωνίου ζωῆς χιλιάδες ψυχές, παρέδωσε τὸ πνεῦμα του.
Ὁ Ὅσιος Θεοδόσιος ὁ Θεσσαλονικεὺς ἡγούμενος Μονῆς Φιλόθεου ἐν Ἄθῳ
Ὁ Ὅσιος αὐτὸς Θεοδόσιος ἦταν μεγαλύτερος ἀδελφὸς τοῦ ὁσίου Διονυσίου, κτήτορος τῆς ἱερᾶς Μονῆς Τιμίου Προδρόμου τοῦ Ἁγίου Ὄρους. Δεκαοκτὼ ἐτῶν ὁ Θεοδόσιος ἐγκατέλειψε τὰ ἐγκόσμια καὶ ἔγινε μοναχὸς στὴ Μονὴ Φιλοθέου του Ἁγίου Ὄρους, ὅπου ἀργότερα γιὰ τὴν ἐνάρετη ζωή του ἔγινε καὶ ἡγούμενος αὐτῆς. Ἐπίσης γιὰ τὴν μεγάλη του ἀρετή, τὸν κάλεσαν γιὰ τὴν διακυβέρνηση τῆς Μονῆς Μαλάνων καὶ ἀπὸ αὐτὴ ἐκλέχτηκε μητροπολίτης Τραπεζοῦντας τὸ ἔτος 1370. Διακρίθηκε γιὰ τὴν μεγάλη του ἁγιότητα καὶ πέθανε εἰρηνικὰ κατὰ τὸ 1392.
Ἡ Σύναξις τῶν Μυρίων Ἀγγέλων
Γιατί γινόταν ἡ σύναξη αὐτὴ τῶν Μυρίων Ἀγγέλων, κανένα σχετικὸ σχόλιο δὲν βρήκαμε. Ὑπάρχει μόνο ἡ φράση: «Τελεῖται ἔνδον τοῦ Μαρτυρίου τῆς ἁγίας Ἀναστασίας ἐν τῆς Δομνίκου».
Οἱ Ἅγιοι Στέφανος ὁ ἐν Πλακιδιαναῖς, Θεόδωρος καὶ Ἀγάπιος ὁ Ἀρχιμανδρίτης
Ὁ Ἅγιος Μάϊρος
Μαρτύρησε ἀφοῦ ἄγρια κακοποιήθηκε.
Ὁ Ὅσιος Βιτάλιος
Δὲν ὑπάρχει ἰδιαίτερο βιογραφικὸ ὑπόμνημα γι᾿ αὐτὸν τὸν Ὅσιο. Γνωρίζουμε μόνο γιὰ κάποιο ἀσκητὴ Βιτάλιο, ποὺ γίνεται λόγος στὴ βιογραφία του Ἁγίου Ἰωάννη τοῦ Ἐλεήμονος, ὅτι ἦταν ἀπὸ τὴν Μονὴ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σερίδου καὶ ὅταν πήγαινε στὴν Ἀλεξάνδρεια γιὰ νὰ πουλήσει τὰ ἐργόχειρά του, ἔδινε τὰ χρήματα ποὺ κέρδιζε σὲ μία πόρνη, παρακαλῶντας την νὰ μὴ ἁμαρτάνει, καθὼς ἀφηγεῖται ὁ Ὅσιος Νικόδημος ὁ Ἁγιορείτης.
Our Holy Father Theodosius the Cenobiarch (519)
"This Saint had Cappadocia as his homeland. He lived during the years of Leo of Thrace, who reigned from 457 to 474. The Saint established in the Holy Land a great communal monastery wherein he was the shepherd of many monks. While saint Sabbas was the head of the hermits of Palestine, Saint Theodosius was governor of those living the cenobitic life, for which reason he is called the Cenobiarch. Together with Saint Sabbas, towards whom he cherished a deep brotherly love in Christ, he defended the whole land of Palestine from the heresy of the Monophysites, which was chanpioned by the Emperor Anastasius and might very well have triumphed in the Holy Land without the opposition of these two great monastic fathers and their zealous defence of the holy Council of Chalcedon. Having lived for 103 years, he reposed in peace." (Great Horologion)
The Venerable Vitalis (5th c.)
He lived for many years as a monk in Palestine, then went to Alexandria to labor for the salvation of women living as prostitutes. He worked with his hands by day, keeping only a tenth of his earnings for himself. By night, he would take the rest of his earnings to the prostitutes' quarter and offer his money to one of them, on condition that she would not give herself up to sin that night, but instead stay with him, praying all night for his salvation. When he left her, he would make her promise to tell no one of this arrangement. Not surprisingly, complaints soon reached the Patriarch, St John the Merciful (November 12) about this monk who was causing scandal by his immoral life; but the Patriarch, discerning Vitalis' heart, did nothing. When St Vitalis died, a writing tablet was found near his body, on which was written: "Inhabitants of Alexandria, judge not before the time, until the coming of the Day of the Lord." Then many women who had been converted from an immoral life by the Saint came forward and told of his good deeds. The people of Alexandria honored him with a lavish funeral.
Saint Vitalis shows us in at least two ways that the wisdom of the holy is foolishness to the world: He never sought to justify himself in the eyes of the world, but on the contrary did everything he could to hide his virtues; and, for all his holiness, he counted himself more sinful than the "fallen," , asking them to pray for his salvation.
Venerable Michael of Klops, Fool for Christ (1456)
In 1412, the monks of the Monastery of Klops (near Novgorod) found an unknown man, dressed as a monk, in the church, reading from the Epistles by candle-light. After the service they found him writing in one of the cells. He would not identify himself, but only repeated the questions that they asked him. They were about to eject him from the monastery, but the abbot, who was gifted with spiritual discernment, ordered that he be given a cell and allowed to remain. From that day on he lived in strict obedience and ascesis — he would eat only bread and water on Sundays, keeping a complete fast the rest of the week — but would never reveal his name or background.
In 1419 Prince Constantine Dimitrievitch, brother of Basil I, Grand Prince of Moscow, visited the monastery. During the meal, the still-unknown monk was assigned to read from the Lives of the Saints, and Prince Constantine immediately recognized him as Michael, son of his cousin Maxim, who had disappeared without a trace many years earlier. Constantine revealed his identity to the abbot; this same Constantine later became a monk himself.
Monk Michael lived for many more years at the monastery. In later years he was granted gifts of prophecy: once, meeting a young boy in the street, he accurately predicted that the boy would become Archbishop Jonas; he foretold the deaths of princes and archbishops, and predicted, years before the fact, that Novgorod would lose its independence. He reposed in peace in 1456.
The Monk Theodosios the Great lived during the V-VI Centuries, and was the initiator of common-life (coenobitic) monasteries. He was born in Cappadocia of pious parents. Endowed with a splendid voice, he zealously toiled at church reading and singing. And the Monk Theodosios prayed fervently, that the Lord would guide him on the way to salvation. In his early years he visited the Holy Land and met with the Monk Simeon the Stylite ("Pillar-Dweller", + 459, Comm. 1 September), who blessed him and predicted future pastoral service for him. Yearning for the solitary life, Saint Theodosios settled in Palestine into a desolate cave, -- in which by tradition, the three Magi had spent the night, having come to worship at the Nativity of the Saviour of the world. In it he dwelt for 30 years in great abstinence and unceasing prayer. Steadily there began to throng to the ascetic those wanting to live under his guidance. When the cave could no more hold all the gathered monks, the Monk Theodosios began to pray, that the Lord Himself would point out the place for the monks. Taking with him a censer with cold unlit coals, the monk went into the wilderness. At a certain spot the coals fired up and set the incense smoke to rising. Here also the monk founded the first common-life monastery, or Lavra [Greek "Laura" meaning "broad" or populous"; in Russia were four such: Trinity-Sergeev, Kievo-Pechersk, Alexander-Nevsk and Pochaev], under the ustav-rule of Saint Basil the Great (+ 379, Comm. 1 January). Soon the Lavra of the Monk Theodosios became reknown, and up to 700 monks gathered at it. According to the final testament of the Monk Theodosios, the Lavra rendered service to neighbour, giving aid to all the poor and providing shelter for wanderers.
The Monk Theodosios was extremely compassionate. One time when there was a famine in Palestine and a multitude of people gathered at the monastery, the monk gave orders to allow everyone into the monastery enclosure. His disciples were annoyed, knowing, that the monastery did not have the means to feed all those who had come. But when they went into the bakery, they saw that then through the prayers of the abba, that it was filled with bread. And suchlike a miracle was repeated every time, when the Monk Theodosios wanted to give help to the destitute.
At the monastery the Monk Theodosios built an home for taking in strangers, separate infirmaries for monks and laymen, and also a shelter for the dying. Seeing that at the Lavra were gathered people from various lands, the monk arranged for Divine-services in the various languages -- Greek, Gruzian (Georgian) and Armenian. For communing the Holy Mysteries all gathered in the large church, where Divine-services were done in Greek.
During the reign of the Constantinople emperor Anastasias (491-518) there arose the heresy of Eutykhios and Severus, which recognised neither the sacraments nor the clergy. The emperor joined in with the false-teaching, and the Orthodox began to suffer persecution. The Monk Theodosios stood firmly in defense of Orthodoxy and on behalf of the wilderness monks wrote a missive to the emperor, in which they denounced him and refuted the condemned heresy with the teachings of the OEcumenical Councils. He affirmed moreover, that the wilderness-dwellers and monks would firmly support the Orthodox confession. The emperor showed restraint for a short while, but then he renewed persecution of the Orthodox. The holy elder then manifest great zeal for the truth. Leaving the monastery, he came to Jerusalem and in the "Great" church, stood at the high place and cried out for all to hear: "Whoever honoureth not the four OEcumenical Councils, let them be anathema!". For this bold deed the monk was sent to prison, but soon returned after the death of the emperor.
The Monk Theodosios during his life accomplished many healings and other miracles, coming to the aid of the needy. One time by prayer he destroyed locusts that were devastating the fields in Palestine; also by his intercession, soldiers were kept from perishing, and he saved both those perishing in shipwreck and those lost in the desert.
One time the monk gave orders to strike the signal, so that the brethren would gather at prayer, and said: "The wrath of God draweth near the Eastern land". After several days it became known, that a strong earthquake had destroyed the city of Antioch at that very hour, when the monk had summoned the brethren to prayer. Before his death, the Monk Theodosios summoned to him three beloved bishops and revealed to them, that he would soon expire to the Lord. After three days he died at the age of 105, in the year 529. The body of the saint was buried with reverence in the cave, in which he lived at the beginning of his ascetic deeds.
The Monk Michael of Klopsk was descended of boyar (noble) lineage, and he was a kinsman of GreatPrince Dimitrii Donskoi (1363-1389). He took upon himself the exploit of Fool-for-Christ: he left Moscow and in rags he arrived at the Klopsk monastery, near Novgorod. No one knew, how he got into the locked cell of the priest-monk Makarii, who then was making a censing at the 9th Ode of the Canon and was going round the cell censing. But there sat a man in monastic garb and beneathe a candle he wrote copying from the Acts of the holy Apostles. After the finish of matins the hegumen with brethren came and started to ask the stranger: who is he and of what name? But he answered only by a repeating of the questions and did not reveal his origin. In church the saint sang in the choir and read the Epistle, and at meals he read the Saint-Lives. All who listened were moved by the beauty and spirituality of his reading. On the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, the Klopsk monastery was visited by prince Konstantin Dimitrievich (son of GreatPrince Dimitrii Donskoi). After Communion he together with the princess was at the refectory, during the time of which the unknown stranger read from the Book of Job. Hearing the reading, the prince approached the reader and, having looked him over, he bowed down to him, calling him by name his kinsman Mikhail Maksimovich. The fool remarked: "The One Only Creator knoweth of me, who I be", but confirmed that his name was Michael. The Monk Michael soon set example for the brethren in all the monastic efforts. He lived at the Klopsk monastery for 44 years, exhausting his body in work, vigils and various deprivations, and he received from the Lord the gift of perspicacity. He denounced the vices of people, not fearing the powerful of this world. He predicted the birth on 22 January 1440 of GreatPrince Ivan III (1462-1505), and the taking of Novgorod by him. He denounced prince Dimitrii Shemyaka for blinding his brother the GreatPrince Vasilii the Dark (1425-1462).
On a sandy spot the Monk Michael summoned forth a spring of water, having written upon the earth: "I shalt take up the cup of salvation (Ps. 115 : 13), let shew forth on this spot the well-spring". And during a time of famine, the supplies of bread at the monastery granary did not diminish, though they distributed grain abundantly to the hungry.
Having directed beforehand the place of his burial, the monk died on 11 January (+ c. 1453-1456).
The Monk Theodosios of Antioch in his early years left the rich home of his illustrious parents and entered upon the strait and arduous path of asceticism. He settled into a small cell on the shore of the Gulf of Isska, in the surroundings of the city of Ossos. The saint vexed his body with the making of poklons (prostrations) and by laying upon the bare ground; he wore an hairshirt and heavy iron chains. His hair grew out such, that it covered his feet. By continuous feats of fasting and prayer he conquered the fleshly and spiritual passions, he quieted his temper, drove away unclean thoughts; he toiled much, tilling his garden and occupying himself with the plaiting of rope. In his native land the Monk Theodosios founded a monastery (Skupela). He imparted to the monks a love for bodily toil and for spiritual deeds. The Monk Theodosios with especial solicitude had concern for strangers. The sublime life of the saint was known even far beyond the bounds of the monastery. Both Christians and pagans knew him. Seafarers in time of peril called out for help from the God "of Theodosios". It happened that from the mere name of the Monk Theodosios the waves of the sea were calmed. Brigands feared and respected him, and besought his prayers. Fleeing the praise of people, the saint settled near the village of Maraton, founding here the Maratoneia monastery. In it the great ascetic peacefully finished the days of his God-pleasing life (+ c. 412).
Sainted Theodosios, Hegumen of Athos, Metropolitan of Trapezund, was born in the village of Koritsa, near the Kastorian hills. At 18 years of age he accepted monasticism at Constantinople and set off to Athos, to the Philotheion monastery, in which he led a strict ascetic life. He was chosen hegumen of the monastery, and afterwards was made metropolitan of the Trapezund Church, and he died in the city of Trapezund in the XIV Century.
THE PROLOGUE FROM ORCHID:
1. VENERABLE THEODOSIUS THE GREAT [THE CENOBIARCH]
Theodosius was the first founder and organizer of the cenobitic way of monastic life. He was born in the province of Cappadocia in the village of Mogarissus of devout parents. As a child, he visited St. Simeon the Stylite who blessed him and prophesied great and spiritual honors about him. With a thurible [censer] in which he placed unburned charcoal and incense, Theodosius sought out a place where he could settle and establish his monastery and stopped when the charcoal fired up on its own. Here, he settled and began to live the ascetical life. Soon, he gathered around him many monks of various nationalities. He built a church for each nationality so that, at the same time, services and hymns were offered to God in Greek, Armenian, Georgian, etc. But, on the day of Holy Communion, all the brotherhood gathered in the great church in which the Greek language was used. There was a communal table for all, communal property, communal penance, communal labor, communal patience and, not too rare, communal hunger. Theodosius was an exalted model of life to all the monks; an example in labor, prayer, fasting, watchfulness and in all Christian virtues. God granted him the gift of working miracles by which he was able to heal the sick, to appear from a distance, to tame wild beasts, to discern the future and to cause bread and wheat to multiply. Prayer was on his lips day and night. He died peacefully in the Lord in the year 529 A.D., the one-hundred fifth year after his birth.
2. BLESSED MICHAEL, A FOOL FOR CHRIST
Blessed Michael was a Russian of a princely family. He made himself appear foolish so as to conceal his virtues from the world and to avoid the praise of men. Thus, he prepared himself for praise before God. He died in the year 1453 A.D. in the Klops Monastery near Novgorod where his relics repose.
HYMN OF PRAISE
Those who with fear stand before God,
Those who fear the Living God only,
Only they can witness
That the righteous one receives that for which he prays to God.
By true prayer, God does for people -
The dawn glows to the one who turns to the dawn.
Saint Theodosius, by his prayers
Helped many and also helped us.
For he lives even now as he once did
And works miracles, as he once did and does now -
The Lord bestowed upon him power, because of his faith,
And love for God; love immeasurable.
Wonderful Theodosius, zealot of truth,
Wondrous organizer of the monastic life,
Let him be praised by us, who is glorified by God,
Now a glorious citizen of the Kingdom of Christ
To be bribable means to be not a Christian. The Orthodox Fathers of the Church were not given to bribery nor to be intimidation. Bribery in matters of the Faith is equal to Judas's betrayal of Christ for money. Such bribery was characteristic only of certain heretics. When Emperor Anastasius succumbed to the heresy of Euthychius, Emperor Anastasius rose up against the decisions of the Fourth Ecumenical Council (Chalcedon, 451 A.D) and wanted to outlaw those decisions. In order to win over the most distinguished representatives of the Church for himself, the emperor began to send them various gifts. St. Theodosius, by his fame, was the first in all of Palestine. The emperor sent him thirty liters of gold as a gift, supposedly for the needs of the monastery. By this, Theodosius immediately understood that the emperor wanted to bribe him. How wisely this saint of God acted! He did not want to keep the money for the monastery even though it was in great need; neither did he want to return it to the emperor so that the emperor would not become more embittered against Orthodoxy; thus he immediately distributed all the gold to the poor in the emperor's name. This charity strengthened his prayer to God for the correction of the emperor and return to the true path.
To contemplate the weeping of the Lord Jesus:
1. The weeping and sorrow over the lifeless Lazarus as well as over the fate of Jerusalem;
2. The weeping and sorrow in the Garden of Gethsemane because of man's bondage to sin, to the demon and to death.
About the progressive growth in spiritual development
"Everyone who lives on milk lacks experience of theword of righteousness, for heis a child. But solid foodis for the mature, for thosewhose faculties are trainedby practice to discern goodand evil" (Hebrews 5:13-14).
Those who feed on the food of the milk of sensual reflection cannot easily distinguish between good and evil. They usually come to the conclusion that all Faiths are equally the same in value; that sin is the indispensable shadow of virtue; that evil, in general, is the unavoidable companion of good. A true Christian cannot come to such erroneous conclusions. A true Christian is a mature person who is not fed of milk, one who is distrustful of the senses, one who judges much finer and makes a finer distinction between the values of all that is and all that was. To the Christian, indeed, is given clear distinction of God's Revelation for distinguishing good from evil; nevertheless, for him [the Christian] a long and laborious study is necessary in order that he, as being perfect, could in every given case know what is good and what is evil. This knowledge should pass over into feeling in order to be trustworthy and without error. Both good and evil wish to touch the heart of man. That is why man should be trained, with his feeling in the heart, to immediately recognize what approaches him in the same manner, as with his tongue he immediately senses the salty and the unsalty, the sweet and the bitter.
Brethren, let us endeavor every day and every moment to sharpen our heart that the heart could always distinguish good and evil. For everything that happens to us, the question is posed: What is good and what is evil? Precisely everything that happens to us, happens to us so that we could realize what is good and to follow after good. We place ourselves in such temptations even a hundred times a day. He who has eyes to see, let him see.
O Lord, Lover of mankind, warm our hearts with good which is from You. Make us wise, O Lord, to be able to distinguish good from evil. O Master, strengthen us that we should always embrace good and discard evil for the sake of Your glory, O Lover of mankind, and for the sake of our salvation.