Monday, May 14, 2012

May 15, 2012 - 5th Tuesday of Pascha


Pachomius the Great
Achillius the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Larissa
Barbaros the Myrrhbearer of Kerkyra
Andrew the Hermit & Wonderworker

Τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρός ἡμῶν Παχωμίου τοῦ Μεγάλου.
Τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρός ἡμῶν Ἀχιλλείου, Ἀρχιεπισκόπου Λαρίσης.
Ἐπανακομιδή τῆς Τιμίας Κάρας τοῦ Ἀποστόλου Τίτου.


The Reading is from Acts of the Apostles 12:25; 13:1-12
IN THOSE DAYS, Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their mission, bringing with them John whose other name was Mark. Now in the Church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia; and from there they sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John to assist them. When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet, named Bar-Jesus. He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) withstood them, seeking to turn away the proconsul from the faith. But Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, "You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind and unable to see the sun for a time." Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand. Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.

Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων 12:25;13:1-12
Ἐν ταῖς ἡμεραῖς ἐκείναις, Βαρνάβας δὲ καὶ Σαῦλος ὑπέστρεψαν εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ, πληρώσαντες τὴν διακονίαν, συμπαραλαβόντες καὶ Ἰωάννην τὸν ἐπικληθέντα Μάρκον.
Ἦσαν δέ τινες ἐν Ἀντιοχείᾳ κατὰ τὴν οὖσαν ἐκκλησίαν προφῆται καὶ διδάσκαλοι, ὅ τε Βαρνάβας καὶ Συμεὼν ὁ καλούμενος Νίγερ, καὶ Λούκιος ὁ Κυρηναῖος, Μαναήν τε Ἡρῴδου τοῦ τετράρχουN σύντροφος, καὶ Σαῦλος. Λειτουργούντων δὲ αὐτῶν τῷ κυρίῳ καὶ νηστευόντων, εἶπεν τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον, Ἀφορίσατε δή μοι τὸν Βαρνάβαν καὶ τὸν Σαῦλον εἰς τὸ ἔργον ὃ προσκέκλημαι αὐτούς. Τότε νηστεύσαντες καὶ προσευξάμενοι καὶ ἐπιθέντες τὰς χεῖρας αὐτοῖς, ἀπέλυσαν. Οὗτοι μὲν οὖν, ἐκπεμφθέντες ὑπὸ τοῦ πνεύματος τοῦ ἁγίου, κατῆλθον εἰς τὴν Σελεύκειαν· ἐκεῖθεν δὲ ἀπέπλευσαν εἰς τὴν Κύπρον. Καὶ γενόμενοι ἐν Σαλαμῖνι, κατήγγελλον τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς τῶν Ἰουδαίων· εἶχον δὲ καὶ Ἰωάννην ὑπηρέτην. Διελθόντες δὲ τὴν νῆσον ἄχρι Πάφου, εὗρόν τινα μάγον ψευδοπροφήτην Ἰουδαῖον, ᾧ ὄνομα Βαρϊησοῦς, ὃς ἦν σὺν τῷ ἀνθυπάτῳ Σεργίῳ Παύλῳ, ἀνδρὶ συνετῷ. Οὗτος προσκαλεσάμενος Βαρνάβαν καὶ Σαῦλον ἐπεζήτησεν ἀκοῦσαι τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ. Ἀνθίστατο δὲ αὐτοῖς Ἐλύμας, ὁ μάγος - οὕτως γὰρ μεθερμηνεύεται τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ - ζητῶν διαστρέψαι τὸν ἀνθύπατον ἀπὸ τῆς πίστεως. Σαῦλος δέ, ὁ καὶ Παῦλος, πλησθεὶς πνεύματος ἁγίου, καὶ ἀτενίσας εἰς αὐτὸν εἶπεν, Ὦ πλήρης παντὸς δόλου καὶ πάσης ῥᾳδιουργίας, υἱὲ διαβόλου, ἐχθρὲ πάσης δικαιοσύνης, οὐ παύσῃ διαστρέφων τὰς ὁδοὺς κυρίου τὰς εὐθείας; Καὶ νῦν ἰδού, χεὶρ κυρίου ἐπὶ σέ, καὶ ἔσῃ τυφλός, μὴ βλέπων τὸν ἥλιον ἄχρι καιροῦ. Παραχρῆμα δὲ ἐπέπεσεν ἐπʼ αὐτὸν ἀχλὺς καὶ σκότος, καὶ περιάγων ἐζήτει χειραγωγούς. Τότε ἰδὼν ὁ ἀνθύπατος τὸ γεγονὸς ἐπίστευσεν, ἐκπλησσόμενος ἐπὶ τῇ διδαχῇ τοῦ κυρίου.

The Reading is from John 8:51-59
The Lord said to the Jews who came to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, if any one keeps my word, he will never see death." The Jews said to him, "Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, as did the prophets; and you say, 'If any one keeps my word, he will never taste death.' Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you claim to be?" Jesus answered, "If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing; it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say that he is your God. But you have not known him; I know him. If I said, I do not know him, I should be a liar like you; but I do know him and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day; and he saw it and was glad." The Jews then said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am." So they took up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.

The Reading is from John 8:51-59
The Lord said to the Jews who came to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, if any one keeps my word, he will never see death." The Jews said to him, "Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, as did the prophets; and you say, 'If any one keeps my word, he will never taste death.' Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you claim to be?" Jesus answered, "If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing; it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say that he is your God. But you have not known him; I know him. If I said, I do not know him, I should be a liar like you; but I do know him and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day; and he saw it and was glad." The Jews then said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am." So they took up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.


Τῇ ΙΕ' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, Μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων Μαρτύρων καὶ Ὁμολογητῶν Γουρία, Σαμωνᾶ καὶ Ἀβίβου.
Ξίφος τελειοῖ Σαμωνᾶν καὶ Γουρίαν,
Καὶ φλὸξ Ἄβιβον, οἷς χαρὰ φλὸξ καὶ ξίφος.
Πῦρ πέμπτῃ δεκάτῃ, Ἄβιβον πέφνε, χαλκὸς ἑτάρους.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, μνήμη τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Κυντιριανοῦ, Ἐπισκόπου Σελευκείας, καὶ μνήμη τῶν εὐσεβῶν βασιλέων, Ἰουστίνου καὶ Θεοδώρας, καὶ τοῦ Ἁγίου Θωμᾶ, Πατριάρχου Κωνσταντινουπόλεως τοῦ νέου.
Ζωὴν ὁ Θωμᾶς ἐκλιπὼν μετρουμένην,
Ζωὴν πρεπόντως εὗρεν οὐ μετρουμένην.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων Μαρτύρων, Ἐλπιδίου, Μαρκέλλου, Εὐστοχίου, καὶ τῶν σὺν αὐτοῖς.
Πῦρ, Ἐλπίδιε, σὺν δυσὶ στέγειν φίλοις,
Ἡ τῶν ἐπάθλων ἐλπὶς ἠρέθιζέ σε.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου Μάρτυρος Δημητρίου.
Ὁ Δημήτριος, χειρὶ τμηθεὶς δημίου,
Δήμοις ἀθλητῶν συγχορεύει Κυρίου.
Ταῖς αὐτῶν ἁγίαις πρεσβείαις, ὁ Θεός, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.

Saint Pachomius was born of pagan parents in the Upper Thebaid of Egypt. He was conscripted into the Roman army at an early age. While quartered with the other soldiers in the prison in Thebes, Pachomius was astonished at the kindness shown them by the local Christians, who relieved their distress by bringing them food and drink. Upon inquiring who they were, he believed in Christ and vowed that once delivered from the army, he would serve Him all the days of his life. Released from military service, about the year 313, he was baptized, and became a disciple of the hermit Palamon, under whose exacting guidance he increased in virtue and grace, and reached such a height of holiness that "because of the purity of his heart," says his biographer, "he was, as it were, seeing the invisible God as in a mirror." His renown spread far, and so many came to him to be his disciples that he founded nine monasteries in all, filled with many thousands of monks, to whom he gave a rule of life, which became the pattern for all communal monasticism after him. While Saint Anthony the Great is the father of hermits, Saint Pachomius is the founder of the cenobitic life in Egypt; because Pachomius had founded a way of monasticism accessible to so many, Anthony said that he "walks the way of the Apostles." Saint Pachomius fell asleep in the Lord before his contemporaries Anthony and Athanasius the Great, in the year 346. His name in Coptic, Pachom, means "eagle."

Apolytikion in the Plagal of the First Tone
Ταῖς τῶν δακρύων σου ῥοαῖς, τῆς ἐρήμου τὸ ἄγονον ἐγεώργησας· καὶ τοῖς ἐκ βάθους στεναγμοῖς, εἰς ἑκατὸν τοὺς πόνους ἐκαρποφόρησας· καὶ γέγονας φωστὴρ τῇ οἰκουμένῃ, λάμπων τοῖς θαύμασιν, Παχώμιε Πατὴρ ἡμῶν ὅσιε, πρέσβευε Χριστῷ τῷ Θεῷ, σωθῆναι τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν.
Thou didst prove a chief pastor of the Chief Shepherd, Christ, guiding the flocks of monastics unto the heavenly fold, whence thou learntest of the habit and the way of life that doth befit ascetic ranks; having taught this to thy monks, thou now dancest and rejoicest with them in heavenly dwellings, O great Pachomius, our Father and guide.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
Τὴν τῶν Ἀγγέλων ἐν στόματι πολιτείαν, ἐπιδεξάμενος Παχώμιε θεοφόρε, τούτων καὶ τῆς εὐκλείας ἠξίωσαι, τῷ τοῦ Δεσπότου θρόνῳ, σὺν αὐτοῖς παριστάμενος, καὶ πᾶσι πρεσβεύων θείαν ἄφεσιν.
Since thou hadst shown forth the life of the Angels while in a body, O God-bearing Pachomius, thou wast also counted worthy of their glory; and with them thou standest before the Lord's throne, interceding that divine forgiveness be granted unto all.

Saint Achillius was one of the 318 God-bearing Fathers who were present at the First Ecumenical Council; after returning to Larissa he cast down many pagan temples, delivered many from the demons, and raised up churches to the glory of God. He reposed about the middle of the fourth century.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
A model of faith and the image of gentleness, the example of your life has shown you forth to your sheep-fold to be a master of temperance. You obtained thus through being lowly, gifts from on high, and riches through poverty. Achilles, our father and priest of priests, intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.

Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Let us all praise with hymns and songs divine Achillius, the brightly shining and unwaning star of all the world, who is Larissa's unsleeping and loving shepherd. Let us cry to him: Since thou hast boldness with the Lord, do thou rescue us from every raging storm of life, that we may cry to thee: Rejoice, O Father Achillius.

Την μνήμη ενός από τους μεγαλυτέρους οσίους γιορτάζει σήμερα η Εκκλησία, του αγίου Παχωμίου, που είναι ο ιδρυτής του κοινοβιακού μοναχικού βίου. Στο τροπάριο, που έχει αφιερωμένο η Εκκλησία στους οσίους Ασκητάς, ψάλλει τα εξής λόγια· "Ταις των δακρύων σου ροαίς της ερήμου το άγονον εγεώργησας... ". Και πραγματικά η προσευχή, η εργασία, η υπακοή και η αγιωσύνη του βίου των αγίων Ασκητών εγεώργησαν όχι μόνο την έρημο της Αιγύπτου και του Ιορδάνου στην αρχαία εκείνη εποχή, μα και εκαλλιέργησαν τις άγονες καρδίες και εξημέρωσαν τα άγρια ήθη των ανθρώπων. Όπως οι γεωργοί και οι κηπουροί, έτσι και οι αρχαίοι μοναχοί, που είναι η δόξα της Εκκλησίας, με την εργασία τους και με την αρετή τους, υπήρξαν οι "κοπιώντες και καλλιεργούντες" στον πνευματικό αγρό του Θεού. Στον καθέναν απ' αυτούς ανήκει το "Ευ, εργάτα του αμπελώνος Χριστού".

Ὁ Ὅσιος Παχώμιος
Ἡ Ἄνω Θηβαΐδα τῆς Αἰγύπτου εἶναι ὁ τόπος ὅπου γεννήθηκε ὁ Παχώμιος ἀπὸ γονεῖς εἰδωλολάτρες, τὸ 292 μ.Χ. Σὲ ἡλικία 20 χρονῶν, κατατάχθηκε στὸν αὐτοκρατορικὸ στρατό, ὅπου συνδέθηκε μὲ χριστιανοὺς στρατιῶτες καὶ ἔτσι γνώρισε τὴν χριστιανικὴ θρησκεία. Ὅταν ἀπολύθηκε ἀπὸ τὶς τάξεις τοῦ στρατοῦ, βαπτίσθηκε. Ἡ ψυχή του, ὅμως, ἐπιθυμοῦσε κάτι περισσότερο καὶ ἀνώτερο πνευματικά. Πῆγε, λοιπόν, κοντὰ σὲ ἕναν φημισμένο ἡσυχαστή, τὸν Παλαίμονα, ὅπου κοντά του προόδευσε στὴν ἄσκηση, τὴν ἀρετὴ καὶ ἰδιαίτερα στὴ βαθειὰ ταπεινοφροσύνη. Ὅταν πέθανε ὁ Παλαίμονας, μὲ τὴν χάρη τοῦ Θεοῦ ὁ Παχώμιος ἔκτισε δικό του κελλὶ στὸν τόπο Ταβενησία, κοντὰ στὸ Νεῖλο. Μὲ τὸ χρόνο σχηματίσθηκε ἀδελφότητα, καὶ ἔτσι ἔγινε ἐκεῖ ὁλόκληρη Μονή. Καταπληκτικὰ ὀργανωτικὸ πνεῦμα ὁ Παχώμιος καὶ μὲ βοηθὸ τὴν ταπεινοφροσύνη, κατόρθωσε νὰ δημιουργήσει ἄριστο κοινοβιακὸ σύστημα καὶ διοικοῦσε ἁρμονικότατα τοὺς 3.000 περίπου μοναχοὺς ποὺ ἦταν γύρω ἀπ᾿ αὐτόν. Θεωρεῖται, μάλιστα, καὶ ὁ ἱδρυτὴς τῆς κοινοβιακῆς ζωῆς. Ὁ Παχώμιος δὲν ἦταν καὶ τόσο πολὺ ἐγγράμματος, ἀλλὰ αὐτὸ δὲν τὸν ἐπηρέαζε, διότι πάντα εἶχε κατὰ νοῦ τὴν συμβουλὴ τοῦ Ἀποστόλου Πέτρου: «Τὴν ταπεινοφροσύνην ἐγκομβώσασθε· ὅτι ὁ Θεὸς ταπεινοῖς δίδωσι χάριν». Δηλαδή, κουμπωθεῖτε σὰν ἄλλο ῥοῦχο τὴν ταπεινοφροσύνη, διότι ὁ Θεὸς στοὺς ταπεινοὺς δίνει χάρη. Ἔτσι καὶ ὁ Παχώμιος, μὲ τὸ ταπεινὸ φρόνημα εἶχε τὴν χάρη νὰ συζητᾷ κατὰ τὸν καλύτερο δυνατὸ τρόπο τὰ θεολογικὰ ζητήματα. Τὸ Μάιο τοῦ 348, προσβλήθηκε ἀπὸ πανώλη καὶ πέθανε.

Ὁ Ὅσιος Ἀχίλλειος ἐπίσκοπος Λαρίσης
Καταγόταν ἀπὸ τὴν Καππαδοκία καὶ ἔζησε στὰ χρόνια του Μεγάλου Κωνσταντίνου. Ὁ νεανικός του πόθος τὸν ἔφερε στοὺς ἅγιους Τόπους καὶ κατόπιν στὴ Ῥώμη. Ἐκεῖ ἐπιδόθηκε στὸ ἱερὸ ἔργο τοῦ ἱεροκήρυκα, διδάσκοντας ἀκατάπαυστα τὸ θεῖο λόγο σὲ πόλεις καὶ χωριά, ἀψηφῶντας ἀνάγκες, βρισιές, διωγμοὺς καὶ ταλαιπωρίες. Οἱ μεγάλες καὶ σπουδαῖες ὑπηρεσίες του, τὸν ἀνέδειξαν ἐπίσκοπο Λαρίσης. Ἀπὸ τὴν νέα του θέση ὁ Ἀχίλλειος ὑπῆρξε ὁ πνευματικὸς ἀρχηγὸς καὶ διδάσκαλος, αὐτὸς ποὺ ἔλεγε καὶ ἔπραττε. Κήρυττε κάθε μέρα, βοηθοῦσε τὶς χῆρες, προστάτευε τὰ ὀρφανά, ἀνακούφιζε τοὺς φτωχούς, ὑπεράσπιζε τοὺς ἀδικημένους, ἦταν ὁ ἄγρυπνος φύλακας καὶ φρουρὸς τῆς παρακαταθήκης τῆς πίστεως καὶ τοῦ ποιμνίου ποὺ τοῦ ἐμπιστεύτηκαν. Ὁ Ἀχίλλειος διακρίθηκε καὶ στὴν Α´ Οἰκουμενικὴ σύνοδο στὴ Νίκαια, ἐναντίον τοῦ Ἀρείου. Καὶ τότε ὁ μέγας Κωνσταντῖνος, ἐκτιμῶντας τὶς ἀρετές του, τοῦ ἔδωσε μεγάλη χρηματικὴ δωρεὰ τὴν ὁποία, ὅταν ὁ Ἀχίλλειος ἐπέστρεψε στὴ Λάρισα, διέθεσε γιὰ νὰ κτίσει ναοὺς καὶ γιὰ τὴν μέριμνα τῶν ἀσθενῶν καὶ τῶν φτωχῶν. Ὅταν προαισθάνθηκε τὸ θάνατό του, κάλεσε κοντά του ὅλους τοὺς ἱερεῖς τῆς ἐπισκοπῆς του καὶ τοὺς ἔδωσε πατρικὲς συμβουλὲς γιὰ τὰ καθήκοντά τους. Τὸ λείψανό του, μέχρι τὸν 10ο αἰῶνα κοσμοῦσε τὴν Λάρισα. Τὸ ἅρπαξαν ὅμως οἱ Βούλγαροι ὅταν εἰσέβαλαν στὴ Θεσσαλία.

Ὁ Ἅγιος Βάρβαρος ὁ Μυροβλύτης
Στοὺς Συναξαριστὲς δὲν ὑπάρχουν στοιχεῖα γιὰ τὴν ζωή του, μόνο ὅτι μαρτύρησε διὰ ξίφους. Στὸν Λαυριωτικὸ ὅμως Κώδικα 70φ. 244 ὑπάρχουν τὰ ἑξῆς: Ὁ Ἅγιος αὐτὸς ἦταν βάρβαρος, λεηλατοῦσε καὶ ἔτρωγε σάρκες ἀνθρώπων. Κάποιος ἱερέας ὅμως, μαζὶ μ᾿ ἕναν βοηθό του, ἦλθαν σὲ ἕνα τόπο ποὺ ὀνομαζόταν Νῆσα γιὰ νὰ λειτουργήσει στὸν ἐκεῖ ναὸ τοῦ Ἁγίου Γεωργίου. Κατὰ τὴν ὥρα τῆς Θείας Λειτουργίας, ὅρμησε ὁ Βάρβαρος γιὰ νὰ τοὺς φάει, ἀλλὰ ὁ Θεὸς ἄνοιξε τὰ μάτια του καὶ εἶδε Ἄγγελο Κυρίου νὰ συλλειτουργεῖ μὲ τὸν ἱερέα. Τότε μετανόησε γιὰ ὅλα καὶ τέθηκε ὑπὸ τὴν πνευματικὴ καθοδήγηση τοῦ ἱερέα, ἀφοῦ κατηχήθηκε καὶ βαπτίστηκε χριστιανός. Τότε μὲ τὴν ἄδεια τοῦ πνευματικοῦ του, γιὰ τρία χρόνια βάδιζε σὰν τετράποδο καὶ ἔτρωγε χόρτα καὶ ῥίζες ἀπὸ διάφορα φυτά. Κάποτε ὅμως, ἕνας γεωργὸς τὸν πέρασε γιὰ ἀρκούδα καὶ τὸν χτύπησε θανάσιμα στὴ δεξιά του πλευρά, καὶ ἔτσι παρέδωσε τὴν ἁγία του ψυχὴ στὸν Θεό. Στὸν τόπο ὅπου μαρτύρησε ἀναβλύζει μύρο καὶ γίνονται ἰάσεις ἀσθενειῶν.

Ὁ Ὅσιος Ἀνδρέας ὁ Ἐρημίτης καὶ Θαυματουργός
Ἄγνωστος στοὺς Συναξαριστές. Στοιχεῖα γιὰ τὴν ζωή του καθὼς καὶ τὴν Ἀκολουθία του, ἔγραψε ὁ Ἀνδρέας ὁ Ἱδρωμένος ὁ Ὑπάργιος (+ 1847). Σύμφωνα λοιπὸν μὲ τὰ στοιχεῖα αὐτά, ὁ Ὅσιος αὐτὸς καταγόταν ἀπὸ τὸ χωριὸ Μονοδένδρι τῆς Ἠπείρου καὶ ὑπῆρξε στὰ χρόνια του βασιλιᾶ Μιχαὴλ Β´ τοῦ Κομνηνοῦ δεσπότη τῆς Ἠπείρου (1237-1271). Ὁ Ὅσιος Ἀνδρέας, ἀφοῦ ἐγκατέλειψε ἡδονὲς χρημάτων, περιουσίας καὶ συζύγου, κατοίκησε στὴν ἔρημο. Ἐκεῖ, μὲ ἄσκηση καὶ προσευχὴ ἁγίασε τὴν ζωή του καὶ ἀπεβίωσε εἰρηνικά.

St Pachomius the Great, founder of cenobitic monasticism (346)
His name in his native Coptic, Pachom, means "eagle." He was an Egyptian pagan who entered the Roman army at a young age. While quartered at Thebes, he was amazed at the kindness of the local Christians, who brought food and drink to the soldiers. Learning who they were, he believed in Christ and vowed, once released from the army, to serve him for the rest of his life. At the end of his military service, he was baptised and became the disciple of the hermit Palamon, with whom he lived for ten years.
  At a place called Tabennisis an angel appeared to him dressed in the robes of a monk and gave him a tablet on which was written a rule for a cenobitic monastery — one in which the brethren live communally rather than as hermits, something that had not been seen before among Christians. The angel commanded him to found such a monastery. Pachomius set to work, building many cells though there was no one to live there but himself and his brother John. When John questioned the unnecessary building, Pachomius only said that he was following God's command, without saying who would live there or when.
  But soon men began to assemble there, and in time so many came to be his disciples that he eventually founded nine monasteries housing thousands of monks. The rule that he gave (or had been given) for these monasteries became the model for all communal Christian monasticism thereafter. St Pachomius reposed in 346, before his great Egyptian fellow-strugglers St Anthony the Great and St Athanasius the Great.
  Entertaining angels unawares: Christian believers' simple acts of kindness toward their pagan oppressors may have seemed foolish to many, but it was such acts that opened the eyes of Pachomius to the light of Christ, and which bore incalculably great fruit: the founding of the monastic life which is still the backbone of Christ's Church.

Our Father among the Saints Achillius, Bishop of Larissa (330)
He was born in Cappadocia, and was one of the 318 God-bearing Fathers who attended the First Ecumenical Council. At the council, Achillius took up a stone and said to the Arians, 'If Christ is a creature of God, as you say, tell oil to flow from this stone.' When the heretics kept silent, Achilleus went on, 'And if the Son of God is equal to the Father, as we believe, let oil flow from this stone,' at which oil flowed out. Returning to Larissa, the holy bishop cast down many pagan temples, built many churches, cast out many demons, and reposed in peace.

Menologion 3.0
The Monk Pachomios the Great, together with Anthony the Great (Comm. 17 January), Makarios the Great (Comm. 19 January), and Euthymios the Great (Comm. 20 January), was both an exemplar of wilderness dwelling, and a founder of the monastic "life-in-common" coenobitism in Egypt. The Monk Pacholios was born in the III Century in the Thebaid (Upper Egypt). His parents were pagans and he received an excellent secular education. From youth he had the traits of good character, he was prudent of sensible in mind. When Pacholios reached age 20, he was called up into the army of the emperor Constantine (apparently, in the year 315). They settled the new conscripts into the edifice of a city prison under a guard of sentries. The local Christians came with supplies of food, they fed the soldiers and they took sincere care of them. When the youth learned, that these people acted thus for the sake of their God, fulfilling His commandment about love for neighbour, this made a deep impression upon his pure soul. Pacholios made a vow to become a Christian. Having returned from the army after the victory, Pacholios accepted holy Baptism, resettled himself into the lonely settlement of Shenesit and immediately he began to lead a strict ascetic life. Sensing the need for spiritual guidance, he turned to the Thebaid wilderness dweller Palamon. He was fondly accepted by the elder, and he began to proceed through monastic efforts on the example of his instructor.
One time, after 10 years of wilderness life, the Monk Pacholios was making his way through the desert, when he halted at the ruins of the former village of Tabennis and here he heard a Voice, ordering him to form at this place a monastery. Pachomios reported about this to the elder Palamon, and they both considered the words heard to be a command from God. They set out to Tabennis and began by building there a small monastic hovel. The holy elder Palamon blessed the beginning foundations of the monastery and made a prediction of its future glory. But soon also the Monk Palamon expired to the Lord. An Angel of God then appeared to Saint Pacholios in the form of a schemamonk and entrusted to him an ustav-rule of monastic life. And soon his own elder brother John came and settled there together with him.
The Monk Pachomios underwent many a temptation and assault from the enemy of the race of man, but the Monk Pachomios bravely warded off all the temptations by his prayer to God and endurance.
Gradually there began a gathering of followers to the Monk Pachomios. Their teacher impressed everyone by his love for work, whereby he managed to accomplish all kinds of monastic tasks: he cultivated a garden, he conversed with those that arrived seeking guidance, and he tended to the sick. The Monk Pachomios introduced a monastic rule of "life-in-common", making everything the same for everyone in food and attire. The monks of the monastery were to toil at the obediences assigned them for the common good of the monastery. Among the various obediences was the re-copying of books. The monks were not to possess their own money nor to accept anything from their kinsfolk. The Monk Pachomios considered that an obedience, fulfilled with zeal, was higher than fasting or prayer, and he demanded from the monks an exact observance of the monastic rule, strictly chastising flaggards.
To the Monk Pachomios one time came his sister Maria, who for a long time had wanted to see her brother. But the strict ascetic refused seeing her and via the gate-keeper he gave her the blessing to enter upon the path of monastic life, promising his help with this. Maria wept, but did as her brother had ordered. The Tabennis monks built her an hut on the opposite side of the River Nile. And to Maria also there began to gather nuns, and soon there was formed a women's monastery with a strict monastic rule, provided by the Monk Pachomios.
The number of monks at the monastery grew quickly, and it necessitated the building of 7 more monasteries in the vicinity. The number of monks reached 7,000, -- all under the guidance of the Monk Pachomios, who visited at all the monasteries and administered them. But at the same time Saint Pachomios remained a deeply humble monk, who was always ready to comply with and accept the remarks of each brother.
Severe and strict towards himself, the Monk Pachomios had great kindness and condescension towards the spiritually immature deficiencies of monks. One of the monks was ardent for the deed of martyrdom, but the Monk Pachomios swayed him from this yearning and instructed him quietly to fulfill his monastic obedience, taming the pride in himself and training him in humility. One time a monk would not heed his advice and went off from the monastery, during which time he was set upon by brigands, who under the threat of death forced him to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. Filled with despair, the monk returned to the monastery. The Monk Pachomios ordered him to pray intensely night and day, keep strict fast and live in complete solitude. The monk followed his advice, and this saved his soul from despair.
The monk taught to avoid against judging others and he himself feared to be judgemental of anyone even in thought.
It was with an especial love that the Monk Pachomios concerned himself over the sick monks. He visited them, he cheered up the disheartened, he urged them to be thankful to God and put their hope in His holy will. For the sick he lightened the fasting, if this should aid in their recovery of health. One time in the absence of the monk, the cook did not prepare the monks any cooked food, on the presumption that the brethren loved to fast. Instead of doing his obedience, this monk plaited 500 mats, something which the Monk Pachomios had not encouraged. In punishment for the disobedience, all the mats prepared by the cook were ordered burnt.
The Monk Pachomios always taught the monks to have hope only upon the help and mercy of God. At the monastery it happened that there was an insufficiency of grain. The saint spent the whole night at prayer, and in the morning there came from the main city a large quantity of bread for the monastery, at no expense. The Lord granted the Monk Pachomios the gift of wonderworking and healing the sick.
The Lord revealed to him the ultimate fate of monasticism. The monk learned, that successive monks would not have such zeal in their efforts as did the first, and they would walk in the darkness of not having experienced guides. Prostrating himself upon the ground, the Monk Pachomios wept bitterly, calling out to the Lord and imploring mercy for them. In answer he heard a Voice: "Pachomios, be mindful of the mercy of God. About the monks to come, know that they shalt receive recompense, since that they too shalt have occasion to suffer the life burdensome for the monk".
Towards the end of his life the Monk Pachomios likewise fell ill from a pestilence that afflicted the region. His closest and beloved disciple, the Monk Theodore (Comm. 17 May), tended to him with a filial love. The Monk Pachomios died in about the year 348 at age 53, and he was buried on an hill near the monastery.

The Monk Isaiah was among the other Kievo-Pechersk Saints that asceticised during the XI and beginning XII Centuries. His basic exploit in life was his quietness and his unflagging toil, for which he is named a "lover-of-work". The holy ascetic died in the year 1115, and his relics are in the Nearer Caves of the Kievo-Pechersk Lavra. The celebration of the Monk Isaiah is made on 15 May, 28 September and on the 2nd Sunday of Great Lent.

The Monk Pakhomii of Nerekhtsk, in the world Yakov, was born into the family of a priest at Vladimir on the Klyaz'ma. At age 7 he was sent for schooling, since from childhood he well knew the Holy Scriptures. Finding burdensome the bustle of the perishing world, he accepted tonsure at the Vladimir Nativity monastery and without murmur at the monastery he progressed through the various obediences. Yearning for solitary wilderness life, the ascetic secretly left the monastery and withdrew to the outskirts of Nerekhta. Here, at the River Gridenka, he found a suitable place for monastic life -- a raised semi-island in the deep forest. The monk recoursed to the people about Nerekhta to establish and build a monastery in the vicinity of Sypanovo, on the Kostroma frontier. The Nerekhta people happily consented and took a significant part in the construction of the monastery. The Monk Pakhomii wrote an icon in the image of the Holy Trinity, and with the singing of a molieben he carried it to that place, whereat he was to erect the church in the Name of the Holy Trinity. Finishing with the construction of the temple, Saint Pakhomii concerned himself about the organising of the new monastery, where gradually monks were settling. At the newly-formed monastery the monks had to cultivate the land themselves and feed themselves by the toil of their own hands, a matter in which the saint was first to set the brethren an example. The monk died in the year 1384, well up in age, and he was buried in the Trinity church built by him. One of his disciples, Irinarkh, wrote an icon of the saint, and later there was built a crypt for his holy relics. The primary days of memory of the Monk Pakhomii are on 15 May, the day of "tezoimenstvo" ("name-in-common"), and on 23 March -- the day of his repose.

The Monk Evphrosyn of Pskov, in the world Eleazar, was born in about the year 1386 in the village of Videlebo, near Pskov, -- the same village where also had been born the Monk Nikandr of Pskov (Comm. 24 September). His parents wanted that Eleazar would enter into marriage, but secretly he withdrew to the Snetogorsk monastery (on the Snyatni hill, now in Pskov itself) and there accepted tonsure.
In about the year 1425, searching to more deeply concentrate at prayer, the Monk Evphrosyn with the blessing of the monastery-head resettled in a solitary cell at the River Tolva, not far from Pskov. But concern for the salvation of neighbour impelled the monk to disrupt his wilderness dwelling, and he began to receive everyone that was in need of an experienced starets-elder and guide. The Monk Evphrosyn blessed those coming to him to live according to a skete monastic ustav-rule, compiled by him himself.
The ustav of the Monk Evphrosyn presents a rather generalised guidance for monks about the worthiness of proceeding on the monastic path -- "how it becometh monks to dwell". He does not address the strict ordering of all aspects of monastic life, as did, for example, the ustav of the Monk Joseph of Volotsk; there is nothing at all in it concerning the aspects of Divine-services.
In 1447 at the request of the brethren, the Monk Evphrosyn built a church in honour of the Three Sainted-Hierarchs Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostomos -- who vouchsafed him their vision, and also in honour of the Monk Onuphrios the Great (Comm. 12 July). The monastery afterwards received the name Spaso-Eleazarov. Out of humility and his love for solitary efforts, the monk did not accept the title of hegumen, but instead bestowed this upon his disciple the Monk Ignatii, and he lived in the forest near a lake.
The Monk Evphrosyn died at the advanced age of 95, on 15 May 1481. At his crypt, by order of the Novgorod archbishop Gennadii, was placed an icon-image written while yet alive by his disciple Ignatii, and included there also was the last-testament of the monk to the brethren on a shred of parchment, imprinted with the lead-seal of the Novgorod archbishop Theophil. This is one of very few last-testaments, written in their own hand by ascetics.
The Monk Evphrosyn, the originator of Pskov wilderness-life, schooled many famed disciples, who likewise created monasteries and carried the graced-seeds of ascetic life throughout all the Pskov lands. Among the disciples of the Monk Evphrosyn -- were the skete starets-elders -- the Monk Savva of Krypetsk (the account about him is located under 28 August); the Monk Dosiphei of Verkhneostrov (+ 8 October); the Monk Onuphrii of Mal'sk (+ 12 June); the Monk Joachim of Opochsk (+ 9 September); the Monk Ilarion of Gdovsk (+ 21 October); the Monk Khariton of Kudinsk -- founder and hegumen of a monastery at Lake Kudina alongside Toroptsa (XVI); and the locally venerated brothers by birth from Pskov Ignatii, Kharalampii and Pamphil, buried at the Spaso-Eleazarov monastery.

Sainted Achilles, Bishop of Lariseia, lived during the IV Century, during the reign of Equal-to-the-Apostles Constantine the Great. Glorified by his sanctity of life and erudition, he was made bishop of the city of Lariseia in Thessaly. Saint Achilles was a participant in the First OEcumenical Council, where he boldly denounced the heretic Arius. In his city he zealously cultivated Christianity, destroying idolous pagan-temples, and he built and adorned churches. Saint Achilles had the gift of healing sickness, especially demonic-possession, and he worked many miracles. The saint died peacefully in about the year 330. His relics since the year 978 are in Bulgaria at the city of Prespa (at present -- the village of Akhila, called such in honour of the deceased saint).


Pachomius was born in Egypt and, in his youth, was a pagan. As a soldier, he fought in battle with Emperor Constantine against Maxentius. Following that, he learned of the One God from Christians and witnessing their devout life, Pachomius became baptized and withdrew to the Tabennisi wilderness, to the famous ascetic Palamon with whom he studied the ascetical life for ten years. Then, an angel appeared to him in the habit of a Schema [The Great Angelic Habit of a Monk] over the place called Tabennisiot and gave him a board upon which was written the Monastic Rule [Constitution] for the Cenobitic Life, ordering him to establish such a monastery in that place, prophesying to him that in this monastery many monks will come for the sake of salvation of souls. Heeding the angel of God, Pachomius began to build many cells even though at that place there was not anyone except his brother John and himself. When his brother reproached him for building unnecessary cells, Pachomius simply said to him that he is following the command of God without regard as to who will come to live there and when. But soon, many men gathered at that place moved by the Spirit of God, and began to live a life of asceticism according to the Rule of Pachomius, which he received from the angel. When the number of monks increased, Pachomius gradually established six more monasteries. The number of his disciples amounted to about seven thousand. St. Anthony is considered to be the founder of the hermitical life but St. Pachomius as founder of the monastic cenobitic way of life. The humility, love of labor and abstinence of this holy father was and remains a rare example for the imitation of the vast number of monks. St. Pachomius worked numerous miracles but endured numerous temptations from demons as well as men. He served men as a father or a brother. He inspired many to follow the path to salvation and directed many on the path to truth. He was and remains a great light of the Church and a great witness to the truth and justice of Christ. He died peacefully in the year 348 A.D. in the seventy-fourth year of his earthly life. The Church has included many of his disciples in the ranks of the saints, such as: Theodore, Job, Paphnutius, Pecusius, Athenodorus, Eponymus, Sorus, Psoi, Dionysius, Psentaesis and others.

Achilleus, this great hierarch and miracle-worker, was born in Cappadocia. He participated in the First Ecumenical Council [Nicaea, 325 A.D.] at which he shamed the heretics and, by his learning as well as by his sanctity, he commanded great astonishment. Taking a rock, St. Achilleus shouted to the Arians: "If Christ is a creation of God, as you say, then say: `let oil flow from this rock.' " The heretics remained silent and were amazed at such a request from St. Achilleus. Then, again the saint said: "And if the Son of God is equal to the Father, as we believe, let oil flow from this rock." And, indeed oil did flow to the amazement of all. St. Achilleus died peacefully in Larissa in the year 330 A.D. When the Macedonian King Samuel conquered Thessaly he translated the relics of Achilleus to Prespa to an island in a lake which was called and even today is still called Achilleus or Ailus.

At first, Silvanus was a comedian; impersonating all and everyone. After that,inflamed with the love of Christ, he became a disciple of St. Pachomius. "I am ready to give my life," St. Silvanus would say "only to receive forgiveness of my sins."

With the Spirit of God, Pachomius burns,
With the angels, Pachomius speaks.
Around him, the monks swarm
All like candles, they stand before God.
One day, the knocker sounded,
The sister of the Abba, the Abba to see
Many years she saw him not,
Let him appear; why does he from her, hide himself?
The doorman to Abba, the message brings.
Abba, to him: greetings, take to her
I, my sister, every good fortune wish you
But to come to see you, I will not,
I, to the world, did bid farewell once
And, in the world, everything I renounced.
My sister, you renounce also,
Hurry sister, yourself, dedicate to God,
Except the grave, what can the world to you give?
With life, Christ will wed you.
Illusionary dreams, worldly pleasures are
Asleep with these dreams, one becomes obese.
But awakened, hungry he feels
And by a long dream, adversarily stolen,
As a hungry lion, he then roars for food,
For true bread, cry out and shout.
Christ hears all who call upon Him
And living bread, to the hungry, He gives.
That is real - the others are daydreams,
Outside Christ, there is no hoping.
The sister heard and began to weep,
The brother's counsel, she quickly obeyed.

When a tyrant commits violence against the righteous out of greed, then the violence brings about one benefit and one detriment i.e., a detriment to the tyrant and a benefit to the one who violently suffered. Boris Godunov murdered Dimitri, the eight-year old crown prince in order to gain control of the throne without competition. The imperial days of Boris ended quickly and the tyrant was given over to decay and accursedness and Dimitri was proclaimed a saint. After fifteen years of lying in the grave, the body of Dimitri was exhumed and found to be uncorrupt and miracle-working. There were forty-five miraculous healings which occurred over his body. Whose, therefore, is the detriment and whose is the benefit from tyranny? If the tyrant knew, that by his tyranny, he would help his opponent to be included among the saints and that he would prepare defeat and damnation for himself, he would desist from planned violence. But a crooked-thought is the forerunner and companion of tyranny.

To contemplate the action of God the Holy Spirit upon the apostles:
1. How, by the Holy Spirit, the apostles receive the mystical visions of the other world;
2. How, by the Holy Spirit, the apostles perceive the mysteries in the hearts of men.

About the prophesied and actual destruction of the idols of Egypt
"And the houses of the gods of the Egyptians shall burn with fire" (Jeremiah 43:13).
Who will burn them? Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon my servant, said the Lord. This prophecy came true. Nebuchadrezzar conquered Egypt and he destroyed the houses of the false gods by fire; the idols of the Egyptians. He burned them but he did not destroy them forever. For after that came the destruction of Babylon, again according to the prophecy of the holy Prophet Jeremiah and Babylon became and, even until today, remains "heaps, a dwelling place for dragons, an astonishment and a hissing, without an inhabitant" (Jeremiah 51:37). But, in a tradition which was recorded by St. Epiphanius of Cyprus, there remained the other prophecy of Jeremiah about the final destruction of the idols of Egypt: "All the idols will fall," says this prophecy, "and all that is made by hand will be destroyed at the time when the Virgin Mother comes here with the young Child born in a cave and placed in a manger." And this prophecy was preserved by the pagan priests themselves who, from the time of Jeremiah, introduced the custom of depicting the Virgin as she reclines on a bed and her young Child wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.
Nebuchadnezzar, the servant by God's permission, could only have mowed evil but not pluck it out by the roots. But mowed evil, like mowed grass, grows again. When the Lord came to earth, He plucked out evil by the roots. Nebuchadnezzar, the servant, burned the temples and the idols but the temples were also rebuilt and new idols were made for they were not plucked out from the souls of men. When the Lord came and began His reign in the souls of the Egyptians, the temples and idols fell forever. So it is the same with the disobedient Jews who waged battle against God. Nebuchadnezzar, the servant, had taken them into bondage for seventy years and the offended Lord scattered them throughout the entire world where many of them find themselves in dispersion today even after two-thousand years. This scattering of the Jewish people throughout the entire world was clearly prophesied by Jeremiah. And so, time justified the prophet of God in all his words.
O All-seeing Lord, grant us that we adhere to the words of Your true prophet.
To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.