Thursday, February 2, 2012

January 2, 2012 - 34th Thursday After Pentecost


The Presentation of Our Lord and Savior in the Temple
Gabriel the New Martyr of Constantinople
Jordan the New Martyr
Agathadoros the Martyr of Cappadocia


The Reading is from Luke 2:25-32
At that time, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Symeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, "Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel."

Κατὰ Λουκᾶν 2.25-32
Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, ἦν ἄνθρωπος ἐν Ἱερουσαλήμ, ᾧ ὄνομα Συμεών, καὶ ὁ ἄνθρωπος οὗτος δίκαιος καὶ εὐλαβής, προσδεχόμενος παράκλησιν τοῦ Ἰσραήλ, καὶ πνεῦμα ἦν ἅγιον ἐπʼ αὐτόν. Καὶ ἦν αὐτῷ κεχρηματισμένον ὑπὸ τοῦ πνεύματος τοῦ ἁγίου, μὴ ἰδεῖν θάνατον πρὶν ἢ ἴδῃ τὸν χριστὸν κυρίου. Καὶ ἦλθεν ἐν τῷ πνεύματι εἰς τὸ ἱερόν· καὶ ἐν τῷ εἰσαγαγεῖν τοὺς γονεῖς τὸ παιδίον Ἰησοῦν, τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτοὺς κατὰ τὸ εἰθισμένον τοῦ νόμου περὶ αὐτοῦ, καὶ αὐτὸς ἐδέξατο αὐτὸ εἰς τὰς ἀγκάλας αὐτοῦ, καὶ εὐλόγησεν τὸν θεόν, καὶ εἶπεν, Νῦν ἀπολύεις τὸν δοῦλόν σου, δέσποτα, κατὰ τὸ ῥῆμά σου, ἐν εἰρήνῃ· ὅτι εἶδον οἱ ὀφθαλμοί μου τὸ σωτήριόν σου, ὃ ἡτοίμασας κατὰ πρόσωπον πάντων τῶν λαῶν· φῶς εἰς ἀποκάλυψιν ἐθνῶν, καὶ δόξαν λαοῦ σου Ἰσραήλ.

The Reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 7:7-17
BRETHREN, it is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior. Here tithes are received by mortal men; there, by one whom it is testified that he lives. One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him. Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become a priest, not according to a legal requirement concerning bodily descent but by the power of an indestructible life. For it is witnessed of him, "Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek."

Πρὸς Ἑβραίους 7:7-17
Ἀδελφοί, χωρὶς δὲ πάσης ἀντιλογίας, τὸ ἔλαττον ὑπὸ τοῦ κρείττονος εὐλογεῖται. Καὶ ὧδε μὲν δεκάτας ἀποθνῄσκοντες ἄνθρωποι λαμβάνουσιν· ἐκεῖ δέ, μαρτυρούμενος ὅτι ζῇ. Καί, ὡς ἔπος εἰπεῖν, διὰ Ἀβραὰμ καὶ Λευῒ ὁ δεκάτας λαμβάνων δεδεκάτωται· ἔτι γὰρ ἐν τῇ ὀσφύϊ τοῦ πατρὸς ἦν, ὅτε συνήντησεν αὐτῷ ὁ Μελχισεδέκ. Εἰ μὲν οὖν τελείωσις διὰ τῆς Λευϊτικῆς ἱερωσύνης ἦν - ὁ λαὸς γὰρ ἐπʼ αὐτῇ νενομοθέτητο - τίς ἔτι χρεία, κατὰ τὴν τάξιν Μελχισεδὲκ ἕτερον ἀνίστασθαι ἱερέα, καὶ οὐ κατὰ τὴν τάξιν Ἀαρὼν λέγεσθαι; Μετατιθεμένης γὰρ τῆς ἱερωσύνης, ἐξ ἀνάγκης καὶ νόμου μετάθεσις γίνεται. Ἐφʼ ὃν γὰρ λέγεται ταῦτα, φυλῆς ἑτέρας μετέσχηκεν, ἀφʼ ἧς οὐδεὶς προσέσχηκεν τῷ θυσιαστηρίῳ. Πρόδηλον γὰρ ὅτι ἐξ Ἰούδα ἀνατέταλκεν ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν, εἰς ἣν φυλὴν οὐδὲν περὶ ἱερωσύνης Μωϋσῆς ἐλάλησεν. Καὶ περισσότερον ἔτι κατάδηλόν ἐστιν, εἰ κατὰ τὴν ὁμοιότητα Μελχισεδὲκ ἀνίσταται ἱερεὺς ἕτερος, ὃς οὐ κατὰ νόμον ἐντολῆς σαρκικῆς γέγονεν, ἀλλὰ κατὰ δύναμιν ζωῆς ἀκαταλύτου· μαρτυρεῖ γὰρ ὅτι Σὺ ἱερεὺς εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα κατὰ τὴν τάξιν Μελχισεδέκ.

The Reading is from Luke 2:22-40
At that time, the parents brought the child Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord") and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "a pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons." Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Symeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
"Lord, now let your servant depart in peace,according to your word;for my eyes have seen your salvationwhich you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,a light for revelation to the Gentiles,and for glory to your people Israel."
And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him; and Symeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity, and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

Κατὰ Λουκᾶν 2.22-40
Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, ἀνήγαγον αὐτὸν εἰς ῾Ιεροσόλυμα παραστῆσαι τῷ Κυρίῳ,καθὼς γέγραπται ἐν νόμῳ Κυρίου ὅτι πᾶν ἄρσεν διανοῖγον μήτραν ἅγιον τῷ Κυρίῳ κληθήσεται,καὶ τοῦ δοῦναι θυσίαν κατὰ τὸ εἰρημένον ἐν νόμῳ Κυρίου, ζεῦγος τρυγόνων ἢ δύο νεοσσοὺς περιστερῶν.Καὶ ἰδοὺ ἦν ἄνθρωπος ἐν ῾Ιεροσολύμοις ᾧ ὄνομα Συμεών, καὶ ὁ ἄνθρωπος οὗτος δίκαιος καὶ εὐλαβής, προσδεχόμενος παράκλησιν τοῦ ᾿Ισραήλ, καὶ Πνεῦμα ἦν ῞Αγιον ἐπ᾿ αὐτόν·καὶ ἦν αὐτῷ κεχρηματισμένον ὑπὸ τοῦ Πνεύματος τοῦ ῾Αγίου μὴ ἰδεῖν θάνατον πρὶν ἢ ἴδῃ τὸν Χριστὸν Κυρίου.καὶ ἦλθεν ἐν τῷ Πνεύματι εἰς τὸ ἱερόν· καὶ ἐν τῷ εἰσαγαγεῖν τοὺς γονεῖς τὸ παιδίον ᾿Ιησοῦν τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτοὺς κατὰ τὸ εἰθισμένον τοῦ νόμου περὶ αὐτοῦ,καὶ αὐτὸς ἐδέξατο αὐτὸν εἰς τὰς ἀγκάλας αὐτοῦ καὶ εὐλόγησε τὸν Θεὸν καὶ εἶπε·
νῦν ἀπολύεις τὸν δοῦλόν σου, δέσποτα, κατὰ τὸ ῥῆμά σου ἐν εἰρήνῃ, ὅτι εἶδον οἱ ὀφθαλμοί μου τὸ σωτήριόν σου, ὃ ἡτοίμασας κατὰ πρόσωπον πάντων τῶν λαῶν, φῶς εἰς ἀποκάλυψιν ἐθνῶν καὶ δόξαν λαοῦ σου ᾿Ισραήλ.
καὶ ἦν ᾿Ιωσὴφ καὶ ἡ μήτηρ αὐτοῦ θαυμάζοντες ἐπὶ τοῖς λαλουμένοις περὶ αὐτοῦ.καὶ εὐλόγησεν αὐτοὺς Συμεὼν καὶ εἶπε πρὸς Μαριὰμ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ· ἰδοὺ οὗτος κεῖται εἰς πτῶσιν καὶ ἀνάστασιν πολλῶν ἐν τῷ ᾿Ισραὴλ καὶ εἰς σημεῖον ἀντιλεγόμενον.καὶ σοῦ δὲ αὐτῆς τὴν ψυχὴν διελεύσεται ῥομφαία, ὅπως ἂν ἀποκαλυφθῶσιν ἐκ πολλῶν καρδιῶν διαλογισμοί.Καὶ ἦν ῎Αννα προφῆτις, θυγάτηρ Φανουήλ, ἐκ φυλῆς ᾿Ασήρ· αὕτη προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς, ζήσασα ἔτη μετὰ ἀνδρὸς ἑπτὰ ἀπὸ τῆς παρθενίας αὐτῆς,καὶ αὐτὴ χήρα ὡς ἐτῶν ὀγδοήκοντα τεσσάρων, ἣ οὐκ ἀφίστατο ἀπὸ τοῦ ἱεροῦ νηστείαις καὶ δεήσεσι λατρεύουσα νύκτα καὶ ἡμέραν·καὶ αὕτη αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ ἐπιστᾶσα ἀνθωμολογεῖτο τῷ Κυρίῳ καὶ ἐλάλει περὶ αὐτοῦ πᾶσι τοῖς προσδεχομένοις λύτρωσιν ἐν ῾Ιερουσαλήμ. Καὶ ὡς ἐτέλεσαν ἅπαντα τὰ κατὰ τὸν νόμον Κυρίου, ὑπέστρεψαν εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν εἰς τὴν πόλιν ἑαυτῶν Ναζαρέτ.Τὸ δὲ παιδίον ηὔξανε καὶ ἐκραταιοῦτο πνεύματι πληρούμενον σοφίας, καὶ χάρις Θεοῦ ἦν ἐπ᾿ αὐτό.

Τῇ Β' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, ἡ Ὑπαπαντὴ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ἐν ᾗ ἐδέξατο αὐτὸν εἰς τὰς ἀγκάλας αὐτοῦ ὁ δίκαιος Συμεών.
Κόλπους Πατρὸς τυποῦσι τοῦ σοῦ, Χριστέ μου,
Τοῦ Συμεὼν αἱ χεῖρες, αἱ φέρουσί σε.
Δέξατο δευτερίῃ Χριστὸν Συμεὼν παρὰ Νηῷ.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου Μάρτυρος Ἀγαθοδώρου.
Ἀγαθοδώρῳ δῶρον ἐξ ἐμῶν λόγων,
Δωρῶ, δοθέντι τῷ Θεῷ δι' αἱμάτων.
Αὐτῷ τῷ Θεῷ ἡ δόξα καὶ τὸ κράτος εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας. Ἀμήν.
When the most pure Mother and Ever-Virgin Mary's forty days of purification had been fulfilled, she took her first-born Son to Jerusalem on this, the fortieth day after His birth, that she might present Him in the temple according to the Law of Moses, which teaches that every first-born male child be dedicated to God, and also that she might offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons, as required by the Law (Luke 2:22-24; Exod. 13:2; Lev. 12:6-8). On this same day, a just and devout man, the greatly aged Symeon, was also present in the temple, being guided by the Holy Spirit. For a long time, this man had been awaiting the salvation of God, and he had been informed by divine revelation that he would not die until he beheld the Lord's Christ. Thus, when he beheld Him at that time and took Him up into his aged arms, he gave glory to God, singing: "Now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, O Master. . ." And he confessed that he would close his eyes joyfully, since he had seen the Light of revelation for the nations and the Glory of Israel (Luke 2:25-32). From ancient times, the Holy Church has retained this tradition of the churching of the mother and new-born child on the fortieth day and of the reading of prayers of purification.
The Apodosis of the Feast of the Meeting in the Temple is usually on the 9th of February. This, however, may vary if the Feast falls within the period of the Triodion. Should this occur, the Typicon should be consulted for specific information concerning the Apodosis of the Feast.

Apolytikion in the First Tone
Χαῖρε κεχαριτωμένη Θεοτόκε Παρθένε, ἐκ σοῦ γὰρ ἀνέτειλεν ὁ Ἥλιος τῆς δικαιοσύνης, Χριστὸς ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν, φωτίζων τοὺς ἐν σκότει. Εὐφραίνου καὶ σὺ Πρεσβύτα δίκαιε, δεξάμενος ἐν ἀγκάλαις τὸν ἐλευθερωτὴν τῶν ψυχῶν ἡμῶν, χαριζόμενος ἡμῖν καὶ τὴν Ἀνάστασιν.
Rejoice, thou who art full of grace, O Virgin Theotokos, for from thee hath risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, enlightening those in darkness. Rejoice, thou also, O righteous Elder, as thou receivest in thine arms the Redeemer of our souls, Who also granteth unto us the Resurrection.

Kontakion in the First Tone
Ὁ μήτραν παρθενικὴν ἁγιάσας τῶ τόκω σου, καὶ χείρας τοῦ Συμεὼν εὐλογήσας ὡς ἔπρεπε, προφθάσας καὶ νὺν ἔσωσας ἡμᾶς Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός. Ἀλλ' εἰρήνευσον ἐν πολέμοις τὸ πολίτευμα, καὶ κραταίωσον Βασιλεῖς οὓς ἠγάπησας, ὁ μόνος φιλάνθρωπος.
Your birth sanctified a Virgin's womb and properly blessed the hands of Symeon. Having now come and saved us O Christ our God, give peace to Your commonwealth in troubled times and strengthen those in authority, whom You love, as only the loving One.
Μία από τις Δεσποτικές εορτές της Εκκλησίας, τις εορτές δηλαδή τις αφιερωμένες στον Δεσπότη Χριστό, είναι και η εορτή της Υπαπαντής, την οποία επιτελεί σήμερα η Εκκλησία. Ο Ευαγγελιστής Λουκάς διηγείται και περιγράφει τα περιστατικά του καθαρισμού της Παναγίας, σαράντα ημέρες μετά τη θεία Γέννηση, και της αφιερώσεως του Ιησού στον Θεό, "κατά τον νόμον Μωϋσέως". Ούτε το ένα ούτε το άλλο ήταν ανάγκη να γίνη. Τι να καθαρισθή η πανάχραντη Θεοτόκος; Και σε ποιόν να αφιερωθή ο Θεός; Όμως γίνονται και τα δύο· "Ο παλαιός ημερών, νηπιάσας σαρκί, υπό μητρός Παρθένου τω ιερώ προσάγεται του οικείου νόμου πληρών το επάγγελμα". Συμμορφώθηκε ο Ιησούς Χριστός προς το νόμο και υποβλήθηκε η Παναγία στις διατάξεις του καθαρισμού, για να φανή πως όλοι χωρίς εξαίρεση οφείλουν νά εκτελούν με ταπεινό φρόνημα ό,τι εντέλλεται ο Θεός και ορίζει η Εκκλησία.
Ἡ Ὑπαπαντὴ τοῦ Κυρίου
Τὸ γεγονὸς αὐτὸ ἐξιστορεῖ ὁ εὐαγγελιστὴς Λουκᾶς στὸ κεφάλαιο στ´, στ. 22-35. Συνέβη σαράντα μέρες μετὰ τὴν γέννηση τοῦ παιδιοῦ Ἰησοῦ. Σύμφωνα μὲ τὸ Μωσαϊκὸ νόμο, ἡ Παρθένος Μαρία, ἀφοῦ συμπλήρωσε τὸ χρόνο καθαρισμοῦ ἀπὸ τὸν τοκετό, πῆγε στὸ Ναὸ τῆς Ἱερουσαλὴμ μαζὶ μὲ τὸν Ἰωσήφ, γιὰ νὰ ἐκτελεσθεῖ ἡ τυπικὴ ἀφιέρωση τοῦ βρέφους στὸ Θεὸ κατὰ τὸ «πᾶν ἄρσεν διανοῖγον μήτραν (δηλαδὴ πρωτότοκο) ἅγιον τῷ Κυρίῳ κληθήσεται» καὶ γιὰ νὰ προσφέρουν θυσία, ποὺ ἀποτελοῦνταν ἀπὸ ἕνα ζευγάρι τρυγόνια ἢ δυὸ μικρὰ περιστέρια. Κατὰ τὴν μετάβαση αὐτή, δέχθηκε τὸν Ἰησοῦ στὴν ἀγκαλιά του ὁ ὑπερήλικας Συμεών, ὅπως θὰ ἐξιστορίσουμε αὔριο στὴ μνήμη του. Αὐτὸ τὸ γεγονὸς ἀποτελεῖ ἄλλη μία ἀπόδειξη ὅτι ὁ Κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς δὲν ἦλθε νὰ καταργήσει τὸν Μωσαϊκὸ νόμο, ὅπως ἰσχυρίζονταν οἱ ὑποκριτὲς Φαρισαῖοι καὶ Γραμματεῖς, ἀλλὰ νὰ τὸν συμπληρώσει, νὰ τὸν τελειοποιήσει. Κατὰ τὴν ὁλονυκτία τῆς Ὑπαπαντῆς στὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη, οἱ βασιλεῖς συνήθιζαν νὰ παρευρίσκονται στὸ Ναὸ τῶν Βλαχερνῶν. Ἡ συνήθεια αὐτὴ ἐξακολούθησε μέχρι τέλους τῆς βυζαντινῆς αὐτοκρατορίας.

Ὁ Ἅγιος Ἀγαθόδωρος
Μαρτύρησε στὰ Τύανα τῆς Καππαδοκίας. Στὴν ἀρχὴ τοῦ ξεῤῥίζωσαν τὰ δόντια, ἔπειτα τοῦ ἔκοψαν τὴν γλῶσσα, καὶ κατόπιν τοῦ ἀφαίρεσαν μὲ ξυράφι τὸ δέρμα. Ἀλλὰ ἡ πίστη του πρὸς τὸν Χριστό, ἔμεινε ἀκέραια καὶ ἀκλόνητη, καταντροπιάζοντας τοὺς ἄγριους βασανιστές. Τέλος πέθανε, ἀφοῦ του διαπέρασαν τὰ μυαλὰ μὲ πυρωμένα σουβλιά, ἀπὸ τὰ ὁποῖα ὅμως φλογερώτερος ἀπέμεινε ὁ ζῆλος τῆς εὐσέβειας καὶ τῆς ἀγάπης του πρὸς τὸν Χριστό.

Ὁ Ἅγιος Ἰορδάνης ὁ ἐκ Τραπεζοῦντος
Καταγόταν ἀπὸ τὴν Τραπεζοῦντα καὶ ὅταν παντρεύτηκε ἐγκαταστάθηκε στὸν Γαλατὰ τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως. Τότε ἦταν 40 χρονῶν. Κάποτε λοιπόν, διασκέδαζε μὲ κάποιους Ὀθωμανοὺς συμπατριῶτες του, παίζοντας μαζί τους ἕνα παιγνίδι. Σὲ κάποια στιγμή, ἕνας συμπαίκτης του, εἶπε κοροίδευτικα στὰ ἑλληνικά: «Ἅγιε Νικόλα ψωριάρη, βοήθησέ με νὰ νικήσω». Ὁ Ἰορδάνης τότε ἀπάντησε παρόμοια, εἰς βάρος ὅμως τοῦ Μωάμεθ. Τὴν ἑπόμενη μέρα, ἕνας ἀπὸ τὴν παρέα του τὸν κατηγόρησε σὰν ὑβριστὴ τῆς θρησκείας τοῦ Μωάμεθ. Ὁδηγήθηκε λοιπὸν στὸν Βεζίρη καὶ πιέστηκε νὰ δεχθεῖ τὸν μουσουλμανισμὸ γιὰ νὰ ἀποφύγει τὴν τιμωρία τοῦ θανάτου. Ὁ Ἰορδάνης, ὅμως, παρέμεινε σταθερὸς στὴν ἀγάπη του πρὸς τὸν «γλυκύτατο Ἰησοῦ» καὶ ἔτσι ὁδηγήθηκε ἀπὸ τὸν ἔπαρχο στὸ Κουτζοὺκ Καραμάνι, τὸν τόπο τῆς ἐκτέλεσης. Ἐνῷ ἦταν ἕτοιμος ὁ δήμιος νὰ ἀποκεφαλίσει τὸν μάρτυρα, ἔφθασε ἀγγελιοφόρος τοῦ Βεζίρη καὶ εἶπε μυστικὰ στὸν Ἰορδάνη: «Ὁ Βεζίρης σὲ συμβουλεύει νὰ λυπηθεῖς τὴν ζωή σου καὶ πὲς φανερὰ ὅτι τουρκεύεις καὶ ἔπειτα πήγαινε ὅπου θέλεις νὰ ζήσεις χριστιανικά». Ὁ Ἰορδάνης ἀπάντησε: «Εὐχαριστῶ τὸν Βεζίρη, ἀλλὰ αὐτὸ δὲν θὰ τὸ κάνω ποτέ». Ἔτσι ὁ δήμιος ἔκοψε τὸ κεφάλι τοῦ ἔνδοξου αὐτοῦ μάρτυρα, στὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη 2 Φεβρουαρίου 1650 (κατ᾿ ἄλλους 1651). Τὴ νύκτα πῆγαν οἱ συγγενεῖς καὶ οἱ φίλοι του στὸν ἔπαρχο, καὶ ἀφοῦ τοῦ ἔδωσαν ἀρκετὰ χρήματα, πῆραν τὸ ἱερὸ λείψανό του καὶ τὸ ἔθαψαν εὐλαβικὰ στὴν τοποθεσία Μπέγιογλου. Μαρτύριο τοῦ Ἁγίου αὐτοῦ συνέγραψαν ὁ Ἰ. Καρυοφύλλης, Μέγας Λογοθέτης τῆς Μεγάλης Ἐκκλησίας καὶ ὁ Μελέτιος Συρίγου.

Ὁ Νέος Ὁσιομάρτυς Γαβριήλ ὁ ἐν Κωνσταντινουπόλει
Καταγόταν ἀπὸ τὴν Ἀλλωνή της Προκοννήσου. Ἔγινε μοναχὸς καὶ ὑπηρετοῦσε σὰν κήρυκας τῆς ἐνορίας τοῦ Πατριαρχείου Κωνσταντινουπόλεως. Κατηγορήθηκε σὰν ὑβριστὴς τῆς μουσουλμανικῆς θρησκείας, φυλακίστηκε καὶ βασανίστηκε στὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη. Παρέμεινε ὅμως σταθερὸς στὴν πίστη του καὶ ἐπειδὴ δὲν δέχτηκε νὰ γίνει μουσουλμάνος, ἀποκεφαλίστηκε στὴ πόλη αὐτὴ 2 Φεβρουαρίου 1676. Τὸ λείψανο τοῦ Ἁγίου ῥίχτηκε στὴ θάλασσα ἀπὸ τοὺς Τούρκους. Τὸ μαρτύριο τοῦ Ἁγίου συνέγραψε ὁ Ἰωάννης Καρυοφύλλης.
The Meeting of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ
When the ever-virgin Mary's forty days of purification were passed, according to the Law of Moses she took her son Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem, to dedicate him to God as her first-born son. At the temple the Lord's parents offered the sacrifice of a pair of doves (Luke 2:22-23), from which we learn that they were poor, since those who were able were required to offer a lamb. At the Temple, the Lord was met by Zacharias, father of St John the Baptist, and by the aged, righteous Symeon, who had awaited the salvation of God for many years. (Sts Symeon and Anna are commemorated tomorrow.) We are told that some Pharisees, seeing the child Jesus recognized as the Messiah of Israel, were enraged, and went to tell King Herod. Realizing that this must be the child of whom he had been warned, Herod immediately sent soldiers to kill Him. But the righteous Joseph, warned in dream, fled with the child and his wife, the most holy Theotokos, into Egypt, and they were preserved.
The Feast of the Meeting of the Lord was observed in Jerusalem at least from the fourth century. Its observance was brought to Constantinople by the Emperor Justinian in 542. In the West it is called the Feast of the Purification of the Mother of God, or Candlemas Day.

Menologion 3.0
On the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord, the Church commemorates an important event in the earthly life of our Lord Jesus Christ (Lk 2: 22-40). On the 40th day after birth the God-Infant was taken to the Jerusalem Temple -- the centre of religious life of the God-chosen nation. By the Law of Moses (Lev 12) a woman, having given birth to a child of the male gender, was forbidden for 40 days to enter into the Temple of God. After this interval the mother came to the Temple with the child, so as to offer to the Lord thanksgiving and a purification sacrifice. The MostHoly Virgin, the Mother of God, did not have need for purification, since without defilement she had given birth to the Source of purity and sanctity, but in profound humility she submitted to the precepts of the Law.
At this time there lived at Jerusalem the righteous elder Simeon (the account about him is located under the day of his commemoration -- 3 February). It had been revealed to him that he would not die until he should behold Christ the Saviour. By inspiration from above, the pious elder went to the Temple at that very moment when the MostHoly Mother of God and Righteous Joseph had brought there the Infant Jesus, so as to fulfill the ritual ceremony of the Law. The God-Bearer Simeon took the God-Infant in his arms, and having given thanks to God, he uttered a prophecy about the Saviour of the world: "Now lettest Thou Thy servant depart, O Lord, with peace according to Thy word, wherefore hath mine eyes beheld Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to the enlightening of gentiles and the glory of Thy people Israel" (Lk 2: 29-32). Righteous Simeon said to the MostHoly Virgin: "Behold, This One is set for the fall and rising up of many in Israel and for the sign spoken against, and for Thee Thyself a sword shalt pierce the soul, so that the thoughts of many hearts might be revealed" (Lk 2: 35).
At the Temple also the 84 year old widow Anna the Prophetess, daughter of Phanuel (Comm. 3 February), "who did not leave the temple, serving God both day and night in fasting and prayer. And she also at that time, having drawn near, glorified the Lord and spake about Him (the God-Infant) to all awaiting deliverance at Jerusalem" (Lk 2: 37-38).
Before the Birth of Christ, all righteous men and women lived by faith in the Future Messiah the Saviour of the world, and they awaited His coming. The final righteous ones of the closing Old Testament -- Righteous Simeon and the Prophetess Anna -- were deemed worthy to meet at the Temple the Bearer of the New Testament, in the Person of Whom both Divinity and humanity do meet.
The Feast of the Meeting of the Lord is among the most ancient feasts of the Christian Church. It is known, that on the day of this solemnity were proclaimed sermons by Sainted Bishops Methodios of Patara (+ 312), Cyril of Jerusalem (+ 360), Gregory the Theologian (+ 389), Amphylokios of Iconium (+ 394), Gregory of Nyssa (+ 400), and John Chrysostom (+ 407). But in spite of its early origin, this feast was not so solemnly celebrated until the VI Century. During the reign of Justinian in the year 528, a catastrophe befell Antioch -- an earthquake, in which many people perished. And upon this misfortune there followed others. In the year 544 there appeared a pestilential plague, daily carrying off several thousand people. During these days of widespread travail, it was revealed to a certain pious christian that the celebration of the Meeting of the Lord should be done more solemnly.
When at the day of the Meeting of the Lord the all-night vigil was finally made with church procession, the disasters at Byzantium ceased. In thanksgiving to God, the Church established in 544 that the Meeting of the Lord should be done more solemnly.
Church melodists adorned this feast with many a church work of song: in the VII Century -- Sainted Andrew ArchBishop of Crete; in the VIII Century -- Sainted Cosma Bishop of Maium, Monk John Damascene, Sainted Germanos Patriarch of Constantinople; and in the IX Century -- Sainted Joseph the Studite, ArchBishop of Thessalonika.
With the event of the Meeting of the Lord is associated the icon of the MostHoly Mother of God named: "the Softening of Evil Hearts" or "Simeon's Prophecy", which it is necessary to distinguish from the icon "Seven Arrows".
The icon "Simeon's Prophecy" symbolises the fulfillment of the prophecy of the righteous elder Simeon: "for Thee Thyself a sword shalt pierce the soul" (Lk 2: 35).

The fortieth day after His birth, the All-Holy Virgin brought her Divine Son into the Temple of Jerusalem, in accordance with the Law, to dedicate Him to God and to purify herself. "Consecrate to me every first-born that opens the womb among the Israelites both of man and beast, for it belongs to me" (Exodus 13:2). "Tell the Israelites: when a woman has conceived and gives birth to a boy, she shall be unclean for seven days, with the same uncleanness as at her menstrual period. On the eighth day, the flesh of the boy's foreskin shall be circumcised, and then she shall spend thirty-three days more in becoming purified of her blood; she shall not touch anything sacred nor enter the sanctuary till the days of her purification are fulfilled. If she gives birth to a girl, for fourteen days she shall be as unclean as at her menstruation, after which she shall spend sixty-six days in becoming purified of her blood. When the days of her purification for a son or for a daughter are fulfilled, she shall bring to the priest at the entrance of the meeting tent a yearling lamb for a holocaust and a pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering. The priest shall offer them up before the Lord to make atonement for her, and thus she will be clean again after her flow of blood. Such is the law for the woman who gives birth to a boy or a girl child" (Leviticus 12:2-7). Even though neither the one nor the other was necessary, nevertheless the Lawgiver did not, in anyway, want to transgress His own Law whom He had given through Moses, His servant and prophet. At that time, the high-priest Zaccharias, the father of John the Forerunner [Precursor], was on duty in the Temple["serving as a priest before God in the order of his division" St. Luke 1:8]. Zaccharias placed the Virgin, not in the temple area reserved for women but rather in the area reserved for virgins. On this occasion, two unusual persons appeared in the Temple: the Elder Simeon and Anna, the daughter of Phanuel. The righteous Simeon took the Messiah in his arms and said: "Now, Master, You may let Your servant go in peace, according to Your word, for my eyes have seen Your salvation" (St. Luke 2: 29-30). Simeon also spoke the following words about the Christ-child: "Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel" (St. Luke 2:34). Then Anna, who from her youth served God in the Temple by fasting and prayers, recognized the Messiah and glorified God and proclaimed to the inhabitants of Jerusalem about the coming of the long-awaited One. The Pharisees present in the Temple, who having seen and heard all, became angry with Zacharias because he placed the Virgin Mary in the area reserved for virgins and reported this to King Herod. Convinced that this is the new king about whom the Magi from the east spoke, Herod immediately sent his soldiers to kill Jesus. In the meantime the Holy Family had already left the city and set out for Egypt under the guidance of an angel of God. The Feast of the Meeting of our Lord in the Temple was celebrated from earliest times but the solemn celebration of this day was established in the year 544 A.D. during the reign of Emperor Justinian.

Jordan, born in Trebizond, was a coppersmith by trade. Because he openly defended his faith in Christ and unmasked the faith of Islam, Jordan suffered at the hands of the Turks in 1650 A.D. at Galata in Constantinople. The monk Gabriel, a Canonarch of the Great Church in Constantinople [St. Sophia], suffered in the same manner in the year 1672 A.D.

When winter encounters spring,
The aged Simeon was of good fortune:
He encountered the long-awaited One,
Who, by the prophets, was foretold,
Him, the mine of all heavenly riches -
As naked, he [Simeon] the young child saw,
And in this manner, Simeon prophesied:
The evening has descended upon my life;
This One, lay down to conquer many
Or to raise many. Thus the spirit speaks -
The Prophecy of old was fulfilled:
Jesus became the measure and the standard,
The source of happiness, peace and joy,
But also the target of disputes and maliciousness.
One He uplifts, the other He overturns
And Paradise and Hades He opens to men.
Let everyone choose whatever their hearts speak,
In Paradise with Christ! Our heart desires.

Speaking about the spread and celebration of Christmas, St. John Chrysostom says: " Magnificent and noble trees when planted in the ground shortly attain great heights and become heavily laden with fruit; so it is with this day." So it is with the day of the Meeting of our Lord in the Temple. In the beginning this day was discussed among Christians but the solemn celebration began from the period of the great Emperor Justinian. During the reign of this emperor, a great pestilence afflicted the people in Constantinople and vicinity so that about five-thousand or more people died daily. At the same time a terrible earthquake occurred in Antioch. Seeing the weakness of man's ability to prevent these misfortunes the emperor, in consultation with the patriarch, ordered a period of fast and prayer throughout the entire empire. And, on the day of the Meeting [The Presentation] itself, arranged great processions throughout the towns and villages that the Lord might show compassion on His people. And truly, the Lord did show compassion; for the epidemic and earthquake ceased at once. This occurred in the year 544 A.D. Following this and from that time one, the Feast of the Presentation [Meeting] began to be celebrated as a major feast of the Lord. The tree, in time, grew and began to bring forth-abundant fruit.

To contemplate the Lord Jesus as Health:
1. As Health of our mind; for with Him we think healthily;
2. As Health of our heart; for with Him we feel healthy;
3. As the Health of our will; for with Him we act healthily;
4. As the Health of family, the Church, the school, the people and every institution.

About the guidance of the Spirit of God
"Filled with the HolySpirit, Jesus returnedfrom the Jordan andwas led by the Spiritinto the desert" (St. Luke 4:1).
You see, brethren, what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit of God. Without the Spirit of God, man is filled with worries: where he will go and how he will go. But with the Spirit of God man is without those worries. For then the Spirit instructs man where he will walk and how he will act and man becomes sinless in his movement and in his actions because the Holy Spirit is sinless Who leads and guides him. Man cannot walk justly nor act righteously if the All-omnipotent and All-omniscient Spirit of God does not inform him. Whoever is not led by the Holy Spirit of God is led, either by his own individual spirit or by the evil spirit of the demon. As a result of this he becomes helpless, bitter, remorseful, angry and despondent. We cannot endure the Spirit of God in the fullness as Christ the Lord, but we can receive the Spirit of God as much as needed in order to know where, what and how. According to the purity of the heart, the Holy Spirit settles in the heart and from the heart directs man.
That is why the Church often repeats this prayer to the Holy Spirit: "O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth! Come and abide in us."
O God, the Holy Spirit,