Saturday, May 19, 2012

May 20, 2012 - Sunday of the Blind Man


FEASTS AND SAINTS CELEBRATED TODAY:

The Holy Martyr Thalleleus
Mark the Hermit
Father Alexis, Metropolitan of Moscow

ΣΤ΄ ΑΠΟ ΤΟΥ ΠΑΣΧΑ (τοῦ Τυφλοῦ).
Ἐν ᾗ ἑορτάζομεν τό εἰς τόν ἐκ γενετῆς Τυφλόν, τοῦ Κυρίου καί Θεοῦ καί Σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ γενόμενον θαῦμα.
Τοῦ Ἁγίου Μάρτυρος Θαλλελαίου.
Λυδίας τῆς Φιλιππησίας καί Ἰσαποστόλου.

READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:

The Reading is from John 20:11-18
At that time, Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him." Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?" Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, "Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." Mary Magdalene went and said to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that He had said these things to her.

Κατὰ Ἰωάννην 20.11-18
Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, Μαρία δὲ εἱστήκει πρὸς τῷ μνημείῳ κλαίουσα ἔξω. ὡς οὖν ἔκλαιε, παρέκυψεν εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον καὶ θεωρεῖ δύο ἀγγέλους ἐν λευκοῖς καθεζομένους, ἕνα πρὸς τῇ κεφαλῇ καὶ ἕνα πρὸς τοῖς ποσίν, ὅπου ἔκειτο τὸ σῶμα τοῦ ᾿Ιησοῦ. καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῇ ἐκεῖνοι· γύναι, τί κλαίεις; λέγει αὐτοῖς· ὅτι ἦραν τὸν Κύριόν μου, καὶ οὐκ οἶδα ποῦ ἔθηκαν αὐτόν. καὶ ταῦτα εἰποῦσα ἐστράφη εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω, καὶ θεωρεῖ τὸν ᾿Ιησοῦν ἑστῶτα, καὶ οὐκ ᾔδει ὅτι ᾿Ιησοῦς ἐστι. λέγει αὐτῇ ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς· γύναι, τί κλαίεις; τίνα ζητεῖς; ἐκείνη δοκοῦσα ὅτι ὁ κηπουρός ἐστι, λέγει αὐτῷ· κύριε, εἰ σὺ ἐβάστασας αὐτόν, εἰπέ μοι ποῦ ἔθηκας αὐτόν, κἀγὼ αὐτὸν ἀρῶ. λέγει αὐτῇ ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς· Μαρία. στραφεῖσα ἐκείνη λέγει αὐτῷ· ῥαββουνί, ὃ λέγεται, διδάσκαλε. λέγει αὐτῇ ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς· μή μου ἅπτου· οὔπω γὰρ ἀναβέβηκα πρὸς τὸν πατέρα μου· πορεύου δὲ πρὸς τοὺς ἀδελφούς μου καὶ εἰπὲ αὐτοῖς· ἀναβαίνω πρὸς τὸν πατέρα μου καὶ πατέρα ὑμῶν, καὶ Θεόν μου καὶ Θεὸν ὑμῶν. ἔρχεται Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ ἀπαγγέλλουσα τοῖς μαθηταῖς ὅτι ἑώρακε τὸν Κύριον, καὶ ταῦτα εἶπεν αὐτῇ.

The Reading is from Acts of the Apostles 16:16-34
IN THOSE DAYS, as we apostles were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by soothsaying. She followed Paul and us, crying, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation." And this she did for many days. But Paul was annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, "I charge you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And it came out that very hour. But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the rulers; and when they had brought them to the magistrates they said, "These men are Jews and they are disturbing our city. They advocate customs which it is not lawful for us Romans to accept or practice." The crowd joined in attacking them; and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely. Having received this charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and every one's fetters were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, "Do not harm yourself, for we are all here." And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out and said, "Men, what must I do to be saved?" And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their wounds, and he was baptized at once, with all his family. Then he brought them up into his house, and set food before them; and he rejoiced with all his household that he had believed in God.

Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων 16:16-34
Ἐν ταῖς ἡμεραῖς ἐκείναις, ἐγένετο δὲ πορευομένων ἡμῶν εἰς προσευχὴν παιδίσκην τινὰ ἔχουσαν πνεῦμα πύθωνος ἀπαντῆσαι ἡμῖν, ἥτις ἐργασίαν πολλὴν παρεῖχε τοῖς κυρίοις αὐτῆς μαντευομένη.αὕτη κατακολουθήσασα τῷ Παύλῳ καὶ τῷ Σίλᾳ ἔκραζε λέγουσα· οὗτοι οἱ ἄνθρωποι δοῦλοι τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ ὑψίστου εἰσίν, οἵτινες καταγγέλλουσιν ἡμῖν ὁδὸν σωτηρίας. τοῦτο δὲ ἐποίει ἐπὶ πολλὰς ἡμέρας. διαπονηθεὶς δὲ ὁ Παῦλος καὶ ἐπιστρέψας τῷ πνεύματι εἶπε· παραγγέλλω σοι ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐξελθεῖν ἀπ᾿ αὐτῆς. καὶ ἐξῆλθεν αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ. ᾿Ιδόντες δὲ οἱ κύριοι αὐτῆς ὅτι ἐξῆλθεν ἡ ἐλπὶς τῆς ἐργασίας αὐτῶν, ἐπιλαβόμενοι τὸν Παῦλον καὶ τὸν Σίλαν εἵλκυσαν εἰς τὴν ἀγορὰν ἐπὶ τοὺς ἄρχοντας, καὶ προσαγαγόντες αὐτοὺς τοῖς στρατηγοῖς εἶπον· οὗτοι οἱ ἄνθρωποι ἐκταράσσουσιν ἡμῶν τὴν πόλιν ᾿Ιουδαῖοι ὑπάρχοντες, καὶ καταγγέλλουσιν ἔθη ἃ οὐκ ἔξεστιν ἡμῖν παραδέχεσθαι οὐδὲ ποιεῖν ῾Ρωμαίοις οὖσι. καὶ συνεπέστη ὁ ὄχλος κατ᾿ αὐτῶν. καὶ οἱ στρατηγοὶ περιρρήξαντες αὐτῶν τὰ ἱμάτια ἐκέλευον ῥαβδίζειν, πολλάς τε ἐπιθέντες αὐτοῖς πληγὰς ἔβαλον εἰς φυλακήν, παραγγείλαντες τῷ δεσμοφύλακι ἀσφαλῶς τηρεῖν αὐτούς· ὃς παραγγελίαν τοιαύτην εἰληφὼς ἔβαλεν αὐτοὺς εἰς τὴν ἐσωτέραν φυλακὴν καὶ τοὺς πόδας αὐτῶν ἠσφαλίσατο εἰς τὸ ξύλον. Κατὰ δὲ τὸ μεσονύκτιον Παῦλος καὶ Σίλας προσευχόμενοι ὕμνουν τὸν Θεόν· ἐπηκροῶντο δὲ αὐτῶν οἱ δέσμιοι. ἄφνω δὲ σεισμὸς ἐγένετο μέγας, ὥστε σαλευθῆναι τὰ θεμέλια τοῦ δεσμωτηρίου, ἀνεῴχθησάν τε παραχρῆμα αἱ θύραι πᾶσαι καὶ πάντων τὰ δεσμὰ ἀνέθη. ἔξυπνος δὲ γενόμενος ὁ δεσμοφύλαξ καὶ ἰδὼν ἀνεῳγμένας τὰς θύρας τῆς φυλακῆς, σπασάμενος μάχαιραν ἔμελλεν ἑαυτὸν ἀναιρεῖν, νομίζων ἐκπεφευγέναι τοὺς δεσμίους. ἐφώνησε δὲ φωνῇ μεγάλῃ ὁ Παῦλος λέγων· μηδὲν πράξῃς σεαυτῷ κακόν· ἅπαντες γάρ ἐσμεν ἐνθάδε. αἰτήσας δὲ φῶτα εἰσεπήδησε, καὶ ἔντρομος γενόμενος προσέπεσε τῷ Παύλῳ καὶ τῷ Σίλᾳ,καὶ προαγαγὼν αὐτοὺς ἔξω ἔφη· κύριοι, τί με δεῖ ποιεῖν ἵνα σωθῶ; οἱ δὲ εἶπον· πίστευσον ἐπὶ τὸν Κύριον ᾿Ιησοῦν Χριστόν, καὶ σωθήσῃ σὺ καὶ ὁ οἶκός σου. καὶ ἐλάλησαν αὐτῷ τὸν λόγον τοῦ Κυρίου καὶ πᾶσι τοῖς ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ αὐτοῦ. καὶ παραλαβὼν αὐτοὺς ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ τῆς νυκτὸς ἔλουσεν ἀπὸ τῶν πληγῶν, καὶ ἐβαπτίσθη αὐτὸς καὶ οἱ αὐτοῦ πάντες παραχρῆμα, ἀναγαγών τε αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ παρέθηκε τράπεζαν, καὶ ἠγαλλιάσατο πανοικὶ πεπιστευκὼς τῷ Θεῷ.

The Reading is from John 9:1-38
At that time, as Jesus passed by, he saw a man blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him. We must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day; night comes, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." As he said this, he spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed the man's eyes with the clay, saying to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar, said, "Is not this the man who used to sit and beg?" Some said, "It is he"; others said, "No, but he is like him." He said, "I am the man." They said to him, "Then how were your eyes opened?" He answered, "The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, 'Go to Siloam and wash'; so I went and washed and received my sight." They said to him, "Where is he?" He said, "I do not know."
They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. The Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, "He put clay on my eyes and I washed, and I see." Some of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, for he does not keep the sabbath." But others said, "How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?" There was a division among them. So they again said to the blind man, "What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?" He said, "He is a prophet."
The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight, and asked them, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?" His parents answered, "We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself." His parents said this because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess him to be Christ he was to be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, "He is of age, ask him."
So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, "Give God the praise; we know that this man is a sinner." He answered, "Whether he is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see." They said to him, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?" He answered them, "I have told you already and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you too want to become his disciples?" And they reviled him, saying, "You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from." The man answered, "Why, this is a marvel! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing." They answered him, "You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?" And they cast him out.
Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, "Do you believe in the Son of man?" He answered, "And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?" Jesus said to him, "You have seen him, and it is he who speaks to you." He said, "Lord, I believe": and he worshiped him.

Κατὰ Ἰωάννην 9.1-38
Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, παράγων εἶδεν ἄνθρωπον τυφλὸν ἐκ γενετῆς. Καὶ ἠρώτησαν αὐτὸν οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ λέγοντες· ῥαββί, τίς ἥμαρτεν, οὗτος ἢ οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ, ἵνα τυφλὸς γεννηθῇ; ἀπεκρίθη ᾿Ιησοῦς· οὔτε οὗτος ἥμαρτεν οὔτε οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ, ἀλλ᾽ ἵνα φανερωθῇ τὰ ἔργα τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐν αὐτῷ. ἐμὲ δεῖ ἐργάζεσθαι τὰ ἔργα τοῦ πέμψαντός με ἕως ἡμέρα ἐστίν· ἔρχεται νὺξ ὅτε οὐδεὶς δύναται ἐργάζεσθαι. ὅταν ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ ᾦ, φῶς εἰμι τοῦ κόσμου. ταῦτα εἰπὼν ἔπτυσε χαμαὶ καὶ ἐποίησε πηλὸν ἐκ τοῦ πτύσματος, καὶ ἐπέχρισε τὸν πηλὸν ἐπὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς τοῦ τυφλοῦ καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ· ὕπαγε νίψαι εἰς τὴν κολυμβήθραν τοῦ Σιλωάμ, ὃ ἑρμηνεύεται ἀπεσταλμένος. ἀπῆλθεν οὖν καὶ ἐνίψατο, καὶ ἦλθε βλέπων. Οἱ οὖν γείτονες καὶ οἱ θεωροῦντες αὐτὸν τὸ πρότερον ὅτι τυφλὸς ἦν, ἔλεγον· οὐχ οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ καθήμενος καὶ προσαιτῶν; ἄλλοι ἔλεγον ὅτι οὗτός ἐστιν· ἄλλοι δὲ ὅτι ὅμοιος αὐτῷ ἐστιν. ἐκεῖνος ἔλεγεν ὅτι ἐγώ εἰμι.ἔλεγον οὖν αὐτῷ· πῶς ἀνεῴχθησάν σου οἱ ὀφθαλμοί; ἀπεκρίθη ἐκεῖνος καὶ εἶπεν· ἄνθρωπος λεγόμενος ᾿Ιησοῦς πηλὸν ἐποίησε καὶ ἐπέχρισέ μου τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς καὶ εἶπέ μοι· ὕπαγε εἰς τὴν κολυμβήθραν τοῦ Σιλωὰμ καὶ νίψαι· ἀπελθὼν δὲ καὶ νιψάμενος ἀνέβλεψα. εἶπον οὖν αὐτῷ· ποῦ ἐστιν ἐκεῖνος; λέγει· οὐκ οἶδα. ῎Αγουσιν αὐτὸν πρὸς τοὺς Φαρισαίους, τόν ποτε τυφλόν. ἦν δὲ σάββατον ὅτε τὸν πηλὸν ἐποίησεν ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς καὶ ἀνέῳξεν αὐτοῦ τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς. πάλιν οὖν ἠρώτων αὐτὸν καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι πῶς ἀνέβλεψεν. ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· πηλὸν ἐπέθηκέ μου ἐπὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς, καὶ ἐνιψάμην, καὶ βλέπω. ἔλεγον οὖν ἐκ τῶν Φαρισαίων τινές· οὗτος ὁ ἄνθρωπος οὐκ ἔστι παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ, ὅτι τὸ σάββατον οὐ τηρεῖ. ἄλλοι ἔλεγον· πῶς δύναται ἄνθρωπος ἁμαρτωλὸς τοιαῦτα σημεῖα ποιεῖν; καὶ σχίσμα ἦν ἐν αὐτοῖς. λέγουσι τῷ τυφλῷ πάλιν· σὺ τί λέγεις περὶ αὐτοῦ, ὅτι ἤνοιξέ σου τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν ὅτι προφήτης ἐστίν. οὐκ ἐπίστευσαν οὖν οἱ ᾿Ιουδαῖοι περὶ αὐτοῦ ὅτι τυφλὸς ἦν καὶ ἀνέβλεψεν, ἕως ὅτου ἐφώνησαν τοὺς γονεῖς αὐτοῦ τοῦ ἀναβλέψαντος καὶ ἠρώτησαν αὐτοὺς λέγοντες· οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ υἱὸς ὑμῶν, ὃν ὑμεῖς λέγετε ὅτι τυφλὸς ἐγεννήθη; πῶς οὖν ἄρτι βλέπει; ἀπεκρίθησαν δὲ αὐτοῖς οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ καὶ εἶπον· οἴδαμεν ὅτι οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ υἱὸς ἡμῶν καὶ ὅτι τυφλὸς ἐγεννήθη· πῶς δὲ νῦν βλέπει οὐκ οἴδαμεν, ἢ τίς ἤνοιξεν αὐτοῦ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ἡμεῖς οὐκ οἴδαμεν· αὐτὸς ἡλικίαν ἔχει, αὐτὸν ἐρωτήσατε, αὐτὸς περὶ ἑαυτοῦ λαλήσει. ταῦτα εἶπον οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ, ὅτι ἐφοβοῦντο τοὺς ᾿Ιουδαίους· ἤδη γὰρ συνετέθειντο οἱ ᾿Ιουδαῖοι ἵνα, ἐάν τις αὐτὸν ὁμολογήσῃ Χριστόν, ἀποσυνάγωγος γένηται. διὰ τοῦτο οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ εἶπον ὅτι ἡλικίαν ἔχει, αὐτὸν ἐρωτήσατε. ἐφώνησαν οὖν ἐκ δευτέρου τὸν ἄνθρωπον ὃς ἦν τυφλός, καὶ εἶπον αὐτῷ· δὸς δόξαν τῷ Θεῷ· ἡμεῖς οἴδαμεν ὅτι ὁ ἄνθρωπος οὗτος ἁμαρτωλός ἐστιν. ἀπεκρίθη οὖν ἐκεῖνος καὶ εἶπεν· εἰ ἁμαρτωλός ἐστιν οὐκ οἶδα· ἓν οἶδα, ὅτι τυφλὸς ὢν ἄρτι βλέπω. εἶπον δὲ αὐτῷ πάλιν· τί ἐποίησέ σοι; πῶς ἤνοιξέ σου τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς; ἀπεκρίθη αὐτοῖς· εἶπον ὑμῖν ἤδη, καὶ οὐκ ἠκούσατε· τί πάλιν θέλετε ἀκούειν; μὴ καὶ ὑμεῖς θέλετε αὐτοῦ μαθηταὶ γενέσθαι; ἐλοιδόρησαν αὐτὸν καὶ εἶπον· σὺ εἶ μαθητὴς ἐκείνου· ἡμεῖς δὲ τοῦ Μωϋσέως ἐσμὲν μαθηταί. ἡμεῖς οἴδαμεν ὅτι Μωϋσεῖ λελάληκεν ὁ Θεός· τοῦτον δὲ οὐκ οἴδαμεν πόθεν ἐστίν. ἀπεκρίθη ὁ ἄνθρωπος καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· ἐν γὰρ τούτῳ θαυμαστόν ἐστιν, ὅτι ὑμεῖς οὐκ οἴδατε πόθεν ἐστί, καὶ ἀνέῳξέ μου τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς. οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι ἁμαρτωλῶν ὁ Θεὸς οὐκ ἀκούει, ἀλλ᾽ ἐάν τις θεοσεβὴς ᾖ καὶ τὸ θέλημα αὐτοῦ ποιῇ, τούτου ἀκούει. ἐκ τοῦ αἰῶνος οὐκ ἠκούσθη ὅτι ἤνοιξέ τις ὀφθαλμοὺς τυφλοῦ γεγεννημένου. εἰ μὴ ἦν οὗτος παρὰ Θεοῦ, οὐκ ἠδύνατο ποιεῖν οὐδέν.ἀπεκρίθησαν καὶ εἶπον αὐτῷ· ἐν ἁμαρτίαις σὺ ἐγεννήθης ὅλος, καὶ σὺ διδάσκεις ἡμᾶς; καὶ ἐξέβαλον αὐτὸν ἔξω.
῎Ηκουσεν ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς ὅτι ἐξέβαλον αὐτὸν ἔξω, καὶ εὑρὼν αὐτὸν εἶπεν αὐτῷ· σὺ πιστεύεις εἰς τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ; ἀπεκρίθη ἐκεῖνος καὶ εἶπε· καὶ τίς ἐστι, Κύριε, ἵνα πιστεύσω εἰς αὐτόν; εἶπε δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς· καὶ ἑώρακας αὐτὸν καὶ ὁ λαλῶν μετὰ σοῦ ἐκεῖνός ἐστιν. ὁ δὲ ἔφη· πιστεύω, Κύριε· καὶ προσεκύνησεν αὐτῷ.

READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:


Τῇ Κ' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, Μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου Μάρτυρος Θαλλελαίου.
Στίχοι
Ἀκέστορι τμηθέντι τῷ Θαλλελαίῳ.
Θεὸς βοτάνην πρὸς λύσιν πέμπει πάθους.
Εἰκοστῇ Θαλλέλαιος τὴν κεφαλὴν ἀπεκάρθη.
Μνήμη τοῦ ἁγίου μάρτυρος Ἀσηλᾶ, ὅστις ἐν ποταμῷ ῥιφείς, τελειοῦται.
Οἱ τρεῖς ὅσιοι καὶ θεοφόροι πατέρες ἡμῶν Νικήτας, Ἰωάννης καί, Ἰωσήφ, οἱ κτίτορες τῆς ἐν Χίῳ Ἱερὰς καὶ βασιλικῆς Νέας Μονῆς, ἐν εἰρήνῃ τελειοῦνται.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, ἡ ἀνακομιδὴ καὶ μετακομιδὴ τοῦ λειψάνου τοῦ ἐν ἁγίοις πατρὸς ἡμῶν Νικολάου Μύρων τῆς Λυκίας τοῦ θαυματουργοῦ.
Ὁ ὅσιος πατὴρ ἡμῶν Θαλάσσιος ἐν εἰρήνῃ τελειοῦται.
Ὁ ὅσιος Μᾶρκος ὁ ἐρημίτης ἐν εἰρήνῃ τελειοῦται.
Ταῖς αὐτῶν ἁγίαις πρεσβείαις, ὁ Θεός, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.

The Lord Jesus was coming from the Temple on the Sabbath, when, while walking in the way, He saw the blind man mentioned in today's Gospel. This man had been born thus from his mother's womb, that is, he had been born without eyes (see Saint John Chrysostom, Homily LVI on Matthew; Saint Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book V:15; and the second Exorcism of Saint Basil the Great). When the disciples saw this, they asked their Teacher, "Who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?" They asked this because when the Lord had healed the paralytic at the Sheep's Pool, He had told him, "Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee" (John 5:14); so they wondered, if sickness was caused by sin, what sin could have been the cause of his being born without eyes. But the Lord answered that this was for the glory of God. Then the God-man spat on the ground and made clay with the spittle. He anointed the eyes of the blind man and said to him, "Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam." Siloam (which means "sent") was a well-known spring in Jerusalem used by the inhabitants for its waters, which flowed to the eastern side of the city and collected in a large pool called "the Pool of Siloam."
Therefore, the Saviour sent the blind man to this pool that he might wash his eyes, which had been anointed with the clay-not that the pool's water had such power, but that the faith and obedience of the one sent might be made manifest, and that the miracle might become more remarkable and known to all, and leave no room for doubt. Thus, the blind man believed in Jesus' words, obeyed His command, went and washed himself, and returned, no longer blind, but having eyes and seeing. This was the greatest miracle that our Lord had yet worked; as the man healed of his blindness himself testified, "Since time began, never was it heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind," although the Lord had already healed the blind eyes of many. Because he now had eyes, some even doubted that he was the same person (John 9:8-9); and it was still lively in their remembrance when Christ came to the tomb of Lazarus, for they said, "Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have caused that even this man should not have died?" Saint John Chrysostom gives a thorough and brilliant exposition of our Lord's meeting with the woman of Samaria, the healing of the paralytic, and the miracle of the blind man in his commentaries on the Gospel of Saint John.

Saint Thalleleus was from the region of Lebanon in Phoenicia, the son of Berucius, a Christian bishop; his mother's name was Romula. Raised in piety, he was trained as a physician. Because of the persecution of Numerian, the Saint departed to Cilicia, and in Anazarbus he hid himself in an olive grove; but he was seized and taken to Aegae of Cilicia to Theodore, the ruler. After many torments he was beheaded in 284. Saint Thalleleus is one of the Holy Unmercenaries.

Our holy and wonderworking Father Alexis, Metropolitan of Moscow, was born in Moscow in 1292, and consecrated bishop in 1350. Chosen as Metropolitan in 1354, he was ordained by Ecumenical Patriarch Philotheus. He founded several monasteries, including the first women's convent in the city of Moscow. From the Greek he translated and wrote out the Holy Gospel. For the good of the Church and his country he twice journeyed to the Horde and did much to propitiate the Khan and ease the burden of the Tartar yoke; he also healed Taidula, the Khan's wife. His relics are laid to rest in the Chudov Monastery in Moscow, which he founded on land granted him by the Khan and his wife in thanksgiving. Today is the feast of the translation of his holy relics, which took place in 1485, and again in 1686.


Άνθρωποι ήσαν κ' οι άγιοι Μάρτυρες· είχαν την φυσική αγάπη προς τη ζωή κι αισθάνονταν τον φόβο του θανάτου. Στον καιρό των διωγμών έφευγαν από τόπο σε τόπο για να γλυτώσουν τη ζωή τους, κι εκρύβονταν "εν σπηλαίοις και όρεσι και ταις οπαίς της γης". Όταν όμως επιάνονταν κι έφταναν μπροστά στους βασανιστάς, είχαν τη δύναμη να αντιταχθούν στις δελεαστικές των προτάσεις και την υπομονή να αντέξουν στα φοβερά βασανιστήρια. Έλεγε κάποτε ο Ιησούς Χριστός προς τους μαθητάς· "Όταν διώκωσιν υμάς εν τή πόλει ταύτη φεύγετε εις την άλλην". Και σ' άλλη περίσταση έλεγε για την υπομονή των αγίων Μαρτύρων· "Εν τή υπομονή υμών κτήσασθε τας ψυχάς υμών". Ο άγιος Θαλέλαιος, του οποίου την μνήμη γιορτάζει σήμερα η Εκκλησία, στον καιρό του διωγμού κρύφτηκε προστατεύοντας τη ζωή του, μα όταν τον ανεκάλυψαν και τον έπιασαν, είχε την υπομονή και τη δύναμη να βασανισθή και να αποθάνη


Ὁ Ἅγιος Θαλλέλαιος
Ἔζησε στὰ χρόνια του βασιλιᾶ Νουμεριανοῦ. Οἱ πλούσιοι ἀλλὰ εὐσεβεῖς γονεῖς Βερούκιος καὶ Ῥωμυλία, σὲ κάποια πόλη τοῦ Λιβάνου, ἀνέθρεψαν τὸ γιό τους Θαλλέλαιο σύμφωνα μὲ τὰ πρότυπά τους, δηλαδὴ τὸ νόμο τοῦ Εὐαγγελίου. Ὁ Θαλλέλαιος, μὲ τὴν χάρη τοῦ Θεοῦ, πράγματι ἀποκρίθηκε στὴ διαπαιδαγώγηση τῶν γονιῶν του καὶ ἔγινε ἄνθρωπος πιστός, φιλεύσπλαχνος καὶ πολὺ ἐγκρατής. Εὐφυέστατος καὶ πολὺ ἐπιμελὴς καθὼς ἦταν στὶς σχολικές του σπουδές, ἀκολούθησε τὴν ἰατρικὴ ἐπιστήμη. Σὰν γιατρός, ἀκολούθησε τὰ χνάρια τοῦ Κυρίου καὶ Θεοῦ του Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. Ἐξασκοῦσε τὴν ἰατρικὴ ὄχι σὰν ἐπάγγελμα γιὰ τὴν ἀπόκτηση χρημάτων, ὅπως ἔκαναν οἱ περισσότεροι συνάδελφοί του, ἀλλὰ σὰν γνήσιος χριστιανὸς καὶ μιμητὴς τοῦ Χριστοῦ. Ὅπου καὶ ἂν πήγαινε, «ἐλάλει αὐτοῖς περὶ τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ τοὺς χρείαν ἔχοντας θεραπείας ἰάσατο». Δηλαδή, μιλοῦσε στοὺς ἀνθρώπους γὰ τὴν Βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ γιάτρευε ἐκείνους ποὺ εἶχαν ἀνάγκη θεραπείας. Ἔτσι, ἀνακούφιζε τοὺς ἀνθρώπους σωματικά, ἀλλὰ συγχρόνως καὶ ψυχικὰ τοὺς στήριζε στὴν πίστη καὶ τὴν ἐλπίδα. Μ᾿ αὐτὸν τὸν τρόπο, ὁ Θαλλέλαιος, πολλοὺς εἰδωλολάτρες ἀπὸ τὸ κρεβάτι τοῦ πόνου ὁδήγησε στὸ δρόμο τῆς σωτηρίας. Ὅμως, ἡ δραστηριότητά του αὐτὴ καταγγέλθηκε στὸν ἔπαρχο Τιβεριανό, πρὶν ὅμως τὸν συλλάβει, ὁ Θαλλέλαιος κατόρθωσε νὰ τοῦ ξεφύγει στὴν Κιλικία, ὅπου συνέχισε τὶς χριστιανικές του δραστηριότητες. Ἐκεῖ ὅμως συνελήφθη ἀπὸ τὸν ἄρχοντα Θεόδωρο, ὁ ὁποῖος ἀφοῦ ποικιλοτρόπως τὸν βασάνισε, τελικὰ τὸν Μάιο τοῦ 289 τὸν ἀποκεφάλισε.

Ἡ Ἁγία Λυδία ἡ Φιλιππησία
«Διαβὰς εἰς Μακεδονίαν βοήθησον ἡμῖν» (Πράξ. 16,9), εἶναι ἡ ἔκκληση τοῦ Μακεδόνα ποὺ βλέπει σὲ ὅραμα ὁ Ἀπόστολος Παῦλος ἐνῷ βρίσκεται στὴν Τρωάδα. Τὴ φωνὴ αὐτὴ τὴν θεωρεῖ ὡς φωνὴ Θεοῦ καὶ χωρὶς ἀναβολὴ ἀποφασίζει νὰ διαπεραιωθεῖ στὸ ἐκλεκτότερο τμῆμα τῆς Εὐρώπης, τὴν Μακεδονία. Μαζί του παίρνει καὶ τοὺς ἐκλεκτούς του συνεργάτες, Τιμόθεο, Σίλα καὶ Λουκᾶ. Ἀποβιβάζονται στὴ Νεάπολη, σημερινὴ Καβάλα, κι ἀπὸ κεῖ ἀναχωροῦν γιὰ τοὺς Φιλίππους. Ἔξω ἀπὸ τὴν πόλη τῶν Φιλίππων καὶ κοντὰ στὶς ὄχθες τοῦ Ζυγάκτου ποταμοῦ εἶναι ὁ τόπος προσευχῆς τῶν Ἰουδαίων. Στὶς συγκεντρωμένες ἐκεῖ γυναῖκες ὁ Ἀπόστολος Παῦλος κηρύττει, γιὰ πρώτη φορὰ στὴν Εὐρώπη, τὸ λόγο τοῦ Θεοῦ. Οἱ θεοφοβούμενες γυναῖκες ἀκοῦν μὲ προσοχὴ καὶ εὐλάβεια τὰ λόγια του ἀγνώστου Ἰουδαίου. Ἀλλὰ ἐκείνη ποὺ περισσότερο ἀπ᾿ ὅλες ἐνθουσιάζεται εἶναι ἡ Λυδία, ἡ προσήλυτος πορφυρόπωλις ἀπὸ τὰ Θυάτειρα. Μέσα της γίνεται ἕνας σεισμός. Ἡ καρδιὰ τῆς Λυδίας ἦταν πάντα ἀνήσυχη. Δὲν μποροῦσε νὰ λατρεύει θεοὺς καὶ θεὲς ποὺ ὀργίαζαν μεταξύ τους. Ἔτσι ὁδηγήθηκε στὸν κῆπο προσευχῆς τῶν Ἰουδαίων. Γνώρισε τὸ νόμο τοῦ Ἰσραὴλ κι ἄναψε μέσα της ἡ δίψα γιὰ τὴν ἀναζήτηση τοῦ Μεσσία. Καὶ τώρα ἀκούει γιὰ πρώτη φορὰ τὸν Ἀπόστολο Παῦλο νὰ μιλάει γιὰ τὸ Λυτρωτὴ τοῦ κόσμου. Ἡ Λυδία ἀποδέχεται χωρὶς καμιὰ ἀντίῤῥηση τὴν νέα διδασκαλία. Πιστεύει στὸ Χριστὸ καὶ δηλώνει κατηγορηματικὰ πὼς καὶ αὐτὴ θέλει νὰ γίνει Χριστιανή. Καὶ ὁ Ἀπόστολος Παῦλος ὁλοκληρώνει τὸ ἔργο του. Στὰ γάργαρα νερὰ τοῦ ποταμοῦ Ζυγάκτου βαπτίζει τὴν Λυδία. Ἡ πρώτη χριστιανὴ τῆς Μακεδονίας πολιτογραφεῖται στὴ βασιλεία τῶν Οὐρανῶν. Τώρα εἶναι τὸ πρῶτο μέλος τῆς πρώτης Ἐκκλησίας τῆς Ἑλλάδος. Ἡ καρδιά της πλημμυρίζει ἀπὸ αἰσθήματα εὐγνωμοσύνης πρὸς αὐτοὺς ποὺ ἄνοιξαν τὰ μάτια τῆς ψυχῆς της καὶ ζητᾶ νὰ τοὺς φιλοξενήσει στὸ σπίτι της. «Καὶ τις γυνὴ ὀνόματι Λυδία, πορφυρόπωλις πόλεως Θυατείρων, σεβόμενη τὸν Θεόν, ἤκουεν, ἧς ὁ Κύριος διήνοιξε τὴν καρδίαν προσέχειν τοῖς λαλουμένοις ὑπὸ τοῦ Παύλου, ὡς δὲ ἐβαπτίσθη καὶ ὁ οἶκος αὐτῆς, παρεκάλεσε λέγουσα· εἰ κεκρίκατέ με πιστὴν τῷ Κυρίῳ εἶναι, εἰσελθόντες εἰς τὸν οἶκον μου μείνατε· καὶ παρεβιάσατο ἡμᾶς» (Πράξ. 16,14-15).

Οἱ Ἅγιοι Ἀλέξανδρος καὶ Ἀστέριος
Αὐτοὶ ἦταν ὑπηρέτες τοῦ ἄρχοντα Θεοδώρου καὶ διατάχτηκαν νὰ τρυπήσουν τοὺς ἀστράγαλους τοῦ Ἁγίου Θαλλελαίου. Πίστεψαν ὅμως διὰ τοῦ Ἁγίου αὐτοῦ στὸν Χριστό, τὸν ὁμολόγησαν καὶ στὴ συνέχεια τοὺς ἀποκεφάλισαν.

Ὁ Ἅγιος Ἀσκλᾶς ἢ Ἀκλᾶς ἢ Ἀσκαλᾶς
Καταγόταν καὶ αὐτὸς ἀπὸ τὴν Θηβαΐδα. Ἐργαζόταν δραστηριώτατα ὑπὲρ τῆς χριστιανικῆς πίστεως, γι᾿ αὐτὸ καὶ καταγγέλθηκε στὸν ἔπαρχο Ἀῤῥιανό. Ἐπειδὴ ἀρνήθηκε νὰ θυσιάσει στὰ εἴδωλα, ἄνοιξαν τὰ πλευρά του καὶ ἔκαψαν τὶς πληγές του μὲ ἀναμμένες λαμπάδες. Ἐπειδή, ὅμως καὶ πάλι τὸ φρόνημά του παρέμεινε ἄκαμπτο, ὁ Ἀῤῥιανός, ἔδεσε μία μεγάλη πέτρα στὸ σῶμα τοῦ μάρτυρα, τὸν ἔῤῥιξε στὰ νερὰ τοῦ Νείλου, ὅπου καὶ βρῆκε τὸν θάνατο ὁ λαμπρὸς ἀθλητὴς τοῦ Χριστοῦ.

Οἱ Ὅσιοι Νικήτας, Ἰωάννης καὶ Ἰωσὴφ οἱ κτήτορες τῆς Νέας Μονῆς Χίου
Οἱ ὅσιοι αὐτοὶ καταγόταν ἀπὸ τὴν Χίο καὶ ἔζησαν στὰ τέλη τοῦ 10ου αἰῶνα καὶ στὶς ἀρχὲς τοῦ 11ου. Ἀσκήτευαν σὲ μία σπηλιὰ τοῦ ὄρους λεγομένου Προβατείου, στὴ Χίο. Ἐκεῖ κοντά, βρῆκαν σ᾿ ἕνα δένδρο μυρσίνης κρεμασμένη τὴν εἰκόνα τῆς Θεοτόκου καὶ ἀνήγειραν πρὸς τιμήν της εὐκτήριο οἶκο, ὅπου καὶ διέμεναν. Ἀργότερα μὲ τὴν συνδρομὴ τοῦ Κωνσταντίνου τοῦ Μονομάχου (1042-1054), ἔκτισαν τὴν μεγαλοπρεπῆ Νέα Μονή, στὴν ὁποία ὁ αὐτοκράτορας δώρισε κτήματα καὶ ἀφιερώματα, σύμφωνα μὲ τὴν ὑπόσχεση ποὺ εἶχε δώσει στοὺς συγκεκριμένους Ὁσίους. Ἐκεῖ λοιπὸν πέρασαν τὴν ζωή τους ἀσκητικὰ καὶ ἀπεβίωσαν εἰρηνικά.

Μετακομιδὴ Λειψάνου Ἁγίου Νικολάου, ἐπισκόπου Μύρων τῆς Λυκίας τοῦ Θαυματουργοῦ
Ἡ μετακομιδὴ τοῦ λειψάνου τοῦ Ἁγίου Νικολάου, ἔγινε στὰ χρόνια του αὐτοκράτορα Ἀλεξίου Α´ τοῦ Κομνηνοῦ (1081 -1118) καὶ Πατριάρχου Νικολάου Γ´ τοῦ Κυρδινιάτη (1084-1111). Τὸ ἱερὸ λείψανο τοῦ Ἁγίου μετακομίστηκε στὸ Μπάρι τῆς Ἰταλίας, ἐπειδὴ οἱ Τοῦρκοι κατέλαβαν τὴν πόλη τῶν Μύρων καὶ οἱ κάτοικοι φοβήθηκαν μήπως οἱ ἄπιστοι τὸ καταστρέψουν.

Ὁ Ὅσιος Θαλάσσιος
Ὁ Ὅσιος αὐτός, ἔγινε Πρεσβύτερος καὶ ἔπειτα ἡγούμενος. Ἔζησε στὰ χρόνια του βασιλιᾶ Κωνσταντίνου Δ´ τοῦ Πωγωνάτου (668-685). Αὐτὸς ὑπῆρξε ἀσκητικὸς συγγραφέας (ἔργα του ὑπάρχουν στὴ Φιλοκαλία), σύγχρονός του Ἁγίου Μαξίμου τοῦ Ὁμολογητῆ. Συνέγραψε 400 κεφάλαια περὶ Ἀγάπης καὶ Ἐγκράτειας καὶ τῆς κατὰ Νοῦν πολιτείας. Ἀπεβίωσε εἰρηνικὰ τὸ 648.

Martyr Thalelaeus at Aegae in Cilicia and those with him (327)
The holy Thalelaeus is counted as one of the Unmercenary Physicians. He was a physician, born in Lebanon to a Berucius (a bishop) and Romylia. During the persecutions by the Emperor Numerian, he fled to Cilicia, but was captured and brought before Theodore, the governor. When Thalelaeus boldly confessed Christ, the cruel governor ordered two soldier, Alexander and Asterius, to bore holes through his leg-bones, pass a rope through them, and hang him from a tree. But the executioners, by the power of God, were momentarily deprived of their wits and bored through a wooden plank instead, which they hung in the tree. The governor angrily ordered that the soldiers be flogged; during their flogging they cried out: 'The Lord is alive to us; from now on, we are become Christians. We believe in Christ, and suffer for Him.' Hearing these words, the governor ordered that both be beheaded. He then seized their awl and attempted to bore through Thalelaeus' legs himself; but his hand suddenly became paralyzed. The compassionate physician prayed to Christ and healed his persecutor' hand. His heart still hardened, the governor next ordered that the Saint be thrown into water and drowned; but he survived. Next he was thrown to wild beasts, but they licked his feet and rubbed tamely against him. Finally the holy Martyr was beheaded.

Our Father among the Saints Alexis, Metropolitan of Moscow (1378)
He was born in Moscow in 1292. In 1354 he was ordained Metropolitan of Moscow by Philotheus, Patriarch of Constantinople. He founded several monasteries, including the first women's monastery in Moscow. He translated the Holy Gospel from Greek into Slavonic. At that time Russia was under the rule of the Tartars, and St Alexis twice visited the Tartar Khan to plead with him to ease the oppression of the Russian people. On one of these visits he healed Taidula, the Khan's wife. He founded the Chudov Monastery in Moscow on land given him by the Khan and his wife in thanksgiving for this miraculous healing; the Saint's relics are enshrined at this same monastery. This is the feast of the uncovering of his holy relics in 1431.

Menologion 3.0

The Martyrs Thalaleas, Alexander and Asterias: During the reign of Numerian (283-284), the governor of the city of Aegea dispatched soldiers to seek out Christians. They brought to him Thalaleas, an 18 year old blond-haired youth. To the governor's interrogation Saint Thalaleas answered: "I am a Christian, a native of Lebanon. My father, by the name of Beruchius, was a military commander, and my mother was named Romilia. My brother has the dignity of sub-deacon. I however am a student of medicine under the physician Makarios. During a former time of persecution against Christians in Lebanon I was brought before the governor Tiberias, and just barely escaped execution. But now I stand before this court, do with me what thou dost wish. I desire to die for Christ the Saviour and my God, hoping from Him help to endure all torments".
The enraged governor ordered the two torturers Alexander and Asterias to pierce the legs of the martyr with rope and suspend him head downwards. But the executioners, by the design of God, bored into a block of wood, which they hung up in place of the martyr. When the governor saw that they had deceived him, he then ordered that Alexander and Asterias be fiercely whipped, and they too confessed themselves Christians and glorified God. The governor gave orders to immediately cut off their heads. Twice he himself attempted to carry out the execution, and to pierce the leg-bones of the saint, but the grace of God prevented him, and he in his impotence then commanded that Saint Thalaleas be drowned.
The returning servants reported to the governor that they had carried out the execution, but suddenly, just as they finished their report, Saint Thalaleas appeared in white raiment. For a long while everyone was numbed with terror, but finally the governor said: "Behold, this sorcerer hath bewitched even the sea". Then one of his advisers, the magician Urvician, advised the governor to have the martyr thrown for devouring by wild beasts, but neither the vicious bear, not the hungry lion and lioness, would touch the saint, all meekly but laying down at his feet. Seeing this happen, the people began loudly to shout: "Great is the God of the Christians, O God of Thalaleas, have mercy on us!". The crowd seized hold of Urvician and threw him to the beasts, which did not hesitate to tear apart the magician. Finally, the governor gave orders to kill the holy martyr with a sword. They led away the martyr of Christ to the place of execution, called Aegea, where he prayed to God and bent his neck beneathe the sword. This occurred in the year 284. The relics of the holy martyr Thalaleas are situated in the church of Saint Agathonikos of Constantinople and have made many miracles. The holy Martyr Thalaleas, as a physician without payment treating the sick, is called by the Church an UnMercenary, and is called on in prayers over the sick in the Sacrament of Anointing-with-Oil and during the Blessing of Waters.

The Holy Martyr Askalon was a Christian, born in the city of Great Hermopolis (Middle Egypt). The saint suffered in the III Century under Diocletian (284-305). Brought before the governor Arrian, Saint Askalon boldly confessed his faith and refused to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. And the saint predicted to Arrian, that there would come an hour, when he himself would be forced to call Jesus Christ as the One True God. By order of Arrian, they began to torture the saint cruelly, they suspended him and tore at him with iron instruments, such that pieces of his flesh fell to the ground. Saint Askalon quietly endured the torments. When one of those present, going up to him said: "See, he is already unconsciousness and near to death", -- the holy martyr answered, -- "I have not lost consciousness and unceasingly I do glorify my God and Saviour".
The governor Arrian gave orders to convey the martyr to the city of Antineia, located on the opposite bank of the Nile, for a continuation of the tortures, whither he himself soon intended to go. But the martyr turned with prayer to God, beseeching Him to hold back the boat of Arrian until such time, that he confess the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ before all the people. And thus the boat of Arrian suddenly halted in the middle of the river and even oars could not move it from this spot. Arrian ascribed the miracle to the working of a magic spell by Askalon. In drawing up the sentencing of the saint the governor happened to dictate the confession of One True God, and then the boat sailed on to shore. Going into the city, Arrian again gave orders to suspend Saint Askalon and scorch at him with fire, after which he gave orders to drown him in the deep river. The martyr said to the Christians accompanying him: "Strive, brethren, to receive the rewards of the Lord God. On three days hence, my children, come to the north part of the city and there find my body. Bury it together with a stone attached to it". The death of the Martyr Askalon occurred in about the year 287, not far from the city of Antineia. On the third day Christians found the body of the martyr and in accord with his last wishes buried it reverently together with a stone.

The UnCovering of the Relics of Sainted Alexei, Metropolitan of Moscow and All Rus': Before his blessed end in 1378 Saint Alexei, Metropolitan of Moscow, gave final instructions to place his body in the Chudov monastery at the Kremlin and directed the place of burial outside the altar of the church, not wishing in his humility, to be buried in the temple. But the pious GreatPrince Dimitrii Ivanovich Donskoy (1363-1389), deeply esteeming the great Hierarch, gave orders to place the body of Metropolitan Alexei inside the church, near the altar.
On 20 May 1431 the stairway of the temple, at which the saint rested, crumbled from old age. During the time of construction of a new temple, the undecayed remains of Saint Alexei were uncovered. At a Sobor-Council of Russian hierarchs celebration of Metropolitan Alexei was established on the day of his repose, 12 February, and on the day of the uncovering of his relics, 20 May. In 1485 the relics of the saint were transferred into a church consecrated in his name. At present they rest at the Patriarchal Theophany cathedral in Moscow. The account about Saint Alexei is located under 12 February.

The Holy Nobleborn Prince Dovmont (Domant) of Pskov, prince of Nal'shinaisk (Nal'shensk), was a native of Lithuania, and at first he zealously professed paganism. In 1265, escaping from internecine strife amongst the Lithuanian princes, he was forced to flee Lithuania and with 300 families he arrived in Pskov. The land of Pskov became his second native-country. Here, in the expression of the chronicler, "the grace of God was breathed upon him", when with all his retainers he accepted Holy Baptism with the name Timothei (Timophei) and was bestown the great gifts of the Lord. Within a year's time, the people of Pskov chose him as their prince for his bravery and his true Christian virtues. Over the course of 33 years he ruled the city and was the sole prince in all the history of Pskov who died, having lived for so long in peace and in harmony with the Pskov veche (city-council). He was just and strict in pursuing justice for others, he gave alms generously, took in the poor and strangers, piously he observed the church feasts, he was a patron for the churches and monasteries and he himself founded a monastery in honour of the Nativity of the MostHoly Mother of God. After his marriage to the daughter of GreatPrince Dimitrii, grandson of holy Prince Alexander Nevsky (Comm. 23 November and 30 August), he became related to the Russian great-princely lineage. Prince Dovmont, just like Saint Alexander Nevsky, was a glorious defender of the Russian Land. The prime importance of Prince Dovmont as a military leader and activist for the realm consists in this, that over the course of many years he firmly defended the north-west boundaries of the Russian realm from hostile incursions.
In 1268, Prince Dovmont was one of the heroes of the historic battle before Rakovor, where Russian forces gained the victory over the Danish and German armies. Before each battle, Saint Dovmont went into church, set down his sword at the steps of the holy altar and accepted blessing from the priest, who girded on the sword for him.
Saint Dovmont made the Pskov fortress impregnable. In memory of the glorious defender of the city, a stone protective wall, raised up by the holy prince alongside the Krom at the end of the XIII Century, was named the Dovmontov, and the territory enclosed by the wall, to the present say is called Dovmontov town. The "House of the Holy Trinity" of the saintly defender was yet another pious matter: in gratitude to the Lord in Whose Name he had gained victory unharmed, holy Prince Dovmont alongside the Pskov Kremlin erected a temple in honour of the feastday, on which he won the victory. Other inhabitants of Pskov also build churches there in fulfilling of vows. The not overly large territory of present day Dovmontov town was completely covered with churches (the first temple in honour of Saint Dovmont-Timothei was built in Dovmontov town in 1574).
The brave warrior-prince gained his final victory on 5 March 1299 on the banks of the River Velika, where with a small company he defeated a large German army. Meanwhile the Livonian Knights unexpectedly invaded the suburbs of Pskov, they seized the nigh to the city Snetnogorsk and Mirozhsk monasteries and burned them, cruelly murdering the inhabitants. They killed the founder of the Snetnogorsk monastery, the Monk Joasaph, together with 17 monks, and also the Monk Vasilii, Hegumen of Murozhsk (Comm. 4 March). Holy Prince Dovmont, not waiting to gather up a large Pskov force, went to engage the enemy with his retainers and he expelled the sacrilegious defilers from the bounds of the Russian Land.
Several months later, holy Prince Dovmont-Timothei died and was buried in the Trinity cathedral of Pskov. The chronicler relates, that "there was then great sadness in Pleskov for the men and woman and small children on account of their good lord noble Prince Timothei". The Pskov people remembered, how the holy prince had concerned himself over them during peaceful times and in particular, when the city was threatened by danger, how he led them into battle with the words: "Good men of Pskov! Whoso of you is old, that one is my father, whoso is young, that one is my brother. Stand fast for the Holy Trinity!"
Soon after the death of the prince there began the veneration of him as an holy intercessor before God, prayerfully guarding the land from enemies and misfortune. More than once after death did the holy prince defend Pskov. Thus, in the year 1480, when more than an hundred thousand Germans besieged the city, he appeared in a dream to a certain citizen and said: "Take my grave garb (cover), carry it three times around the city with a cross and fear not". The people of Pskov fulfilled his instructions and the Germans departed from the city. A service was established to the holy prince after this miraculous deliverance from enemies. Alongside with the relics of the saint, there was put up his battle sword (at the present time the sword is preserved at the Pskov historico-artistic and architectural preservation museum), which was thereafter handed to Pskov princes upon their elevation to the princely throne.
Holy Prince Dovmont-Timothei and his spouse, later to be the Schema-Monastic Nun Martha (+ 1300, Comm. 8 November), were granted the special honour to be depicted upon the wonderworking Murozhsk Icon of the Mother of God (Comm. 24 September): "Thou hast bestown blessing unto the all-pure image of Thine icon, O Mother of God, inscribed of visage the likeness of our in battle steadfast intercessor prince Dovmont with his pious spouse" (Sedalion of Service to holy Prince Dovmont-Timothei). During an appearance of the Mother of God to the starets-elder Dorothei (Dorophei) at the time of a siege of Pskov by the Polish on 27 August 1581, holy Prince Dovmont-Timothei was among the chosen of God, accompanying the Heavenly Protectress of Pskov (the related account about the Pskovo-Pokrov Icon of the Mother of God is located under 1 October).
The relics of holy Prince Dovmont-Timothei rest in the Pskov cathedral of the Life-Originating Trinity.
The holy Princes Vsevolod and Dovmont more than once aided Russian armies in defense of the western borders of the Fatherland. And then the hour struck, when with their sacred intrepidness they were dispatched by the Valiant Leader of the heavenly Hosts to rise up in defense of the eastern frontiers.
In the year 1640 the great national movement to the East -- "the meeting of the sun" -- resulted in the appearance of Russian explorers at the mouth of the Amur River and the Pacific Ocean. Rus' on these frontiers collided with pagan China. The bulwark if Orthodoxy became the Russian fortress of Albazin, famed by the wonderworking Albazinsk Icon of the Mother of God (Comm. 9 March) and the heroic "Albazinsk defense" (1685-1686).
...Summer of the year 1679, during the Peter Lent, a company of cossacks with Gavril Florov set out from Albazin on exploration in the Zea River valley. For three years the cossacks did patrol duty on the Zea, they made the rounds of the surrounding settlements, the brought under Russian rule the Tungus settlers, and they established winter quarters and a stockade. One time, cossack riders encountered in the hills two horsemen on white horses, arrayed in armour and armed with bows and swords. These were Saints Vsevolod and Dovmont. Having entered into conversation with the cossacks and learning that they were from Albazin, the holy warrior-princes predicted soon afterwards the approach of Chinese armies upon the Amur, with a difficult defense but ultimate triumph of Russian arms. "And again the Chinese wilt come, and enter into a great battle, and in these struggles we shalt aid the Russian people. And the Chinese wilt not trouble the city".
Several times during 1684-1686 the horde of Chinese advanced towards Albazin, but did not take the city. By the miraculous help of the Albazinsk Icon of the Mother of God and the holy Princes Vsevolod and Dovmont of Pskov, the enemy onslaughts were rendered powerless against the Far-Eastern Orthodox fortress.
"The Account about the Miracles of Holy Nobleborn Princes Vsevolod and Dovmont" was written by Gavril Florov at Yakutsk on 23 October 1689. The fealty of God's holy retinue did not end. New generations arise to change the face of the earth, but steadfast in sacred patrol of their fatherland stand the Russian warrior-defenders -- Saints Vsevolod and Dovmont.

The Monk Thalassios, head of a monastery in Libeia, pursued asceticism during the VII Century. He was a friend of Saint Maximos the Confessor (Comm. 21 January), with whom for many years he corresponded. The holy ascetics, as their letters testify, addressed themselves to dealing with difficulties in the spiritual life. The Monk Thalassios, well versed in Holy Scripture, combined deep knowledge with the spiritual enlightenment of believers. He expounded his theological positions under the guise of instructive aphorisms in his work, "On Love, Temperance and the Spiritual Life". The composition of Abba Thalassios consists of 400 chapters, each of which is written in the form of an acrostic, which evidences the obvious literary talent of the author. In this composition, together with spiritual ethics there are stated questions of dogmatic character: concerning the Incarnation of God the Word, and concerning the redemption of mankind. The Monk John Damascene (Comm. 4 December) in his theological works makes use of the composition of the Monk Thalassios. The fundamental thought of the Monk Thalassios is concentrated upon the inner spiritual effort, involved in the struggle with the passions. "If thou dost wish, -- he says, -- to be freed totally from every evil, then make renunciation from the mother of evils -- self-love. Self-love precedeth all the passions, and behind all of them there follows, finally, bitterness. The three primary thoughts of lust are begotten from the passion of self-love, behind which follow all the other passionate thoughts, but not all together". The Monk Thalassios died in old age in about the year 660, and his relics were glorified by a flow of fragrant myrh.

THE PROLOGUE FROM ORCHID:

1. THE HOLY MARTYR THALELAEUS
Thalelaeus was born in Lebanon. His father was called Berucius and his mother was called Romila. Thalelaeus was an eighteen-year old youth, handsome of countenance, physically tall and with reddish yellow hair. He was a physician by profession. He suffered for Christ during the reign of Numerian. When he bravely confessed his faith in Christ the Lord before his tormenting judge, the judge ordered the two executioners, Alexander and Asterius, to bore through his knees with a drill, to thread a rope through the perforated bones and to hang him from a tree. But God through an invisible power, took away the sight of the executioners. In place of Thalelaeus they bored through a board and hung it from a tree. When the judge-torturer found out, he thought that the executioners did this intentionally and ordered them both to be flogged. Then Alexander and Asterius, in the midst of their flogging, cried out: "The Lord is alive to us and, from now on, we are also becoming Christians. We believe in Christ and suffer for Him." Upon hearing this, the judge-torturer ordered that both be beheaded. Then the judge took the drill to bore the knees of Thalelaeus himself but his hands became paralyzed and he begged Thalelaeus to save him, which the innocent martyr of Christ did, with the help of prayer. Following that, Thalelaeus was thrown into water but appeared alive before his tormentor (for Thalelaeus prayed to God inwardly to prolong his sufferings that he not die immediately). When he was thrown before wild beasts, they licked his feet and were amiable toward him. Finally, Thalelaeus was beheaded and took up his habitation in life eternal in the year 284 A.D.

2. THE HOLY MARTYR ASCLAS
Asclas suffered in the town of Antinoe in Egypt during the reign of Diocletian. He was flogged, scraped, burned with candles but he remained unwavering in the Faith to the end. When the tormentor Arrian was crossing the Nile by boat Asclas, through prayer, stopped the boat in the middle of the river and would not allow it to move until Arrian wrote that he believes in Christ as the One and Almighty God. But, ascribing this miracle to a magical skill of Asclas, the tormentor forgot what he wrote and continued to torment the man of God. Finally, they tied a stone around his neck and tossed him into the Nile river. On the third day Christians found the body of Asclas along the shore with the stone around his neck (as the martyr foretold them before his death) and honorably buried him in the year 287 A.D. Leonides, the holy martyr, also suffered with him. Arrian, their tormentor, later repented, believed in Christ with his whole heart and openly began to express his faith before the pagans. The pagans also killed him and so Arrian, a one-time tormentor of Christians, was made worthy of the martyr's wreath for Christ.

3. THE VENERABLE STEPHAN OF PIPERI
This saint was born into the Niksich clan in the village of Zupa of poor but devout parents, Radoje and Jacima. According to tradition, he first lived a life of asceticism in the monastery of Moraca where he was abbot. The Turks drove him out of Moraca and he settled in Rovacki, Turmanj in the place which today is called Celishte. Later, he settled in Piperi in a cell where he remained in labor and god-pleasing asceticism until his death. He died peacefully in the Lord on May 20, 1697 A.D. His relics repose there even today and with many miracles they glorify Christ the God and Stephan, God's chosen one.

HYMN OF PRAISE
THE HOLY MARTYR THALELAEUS
Attention, men and angels,
In suffering and at the moment of death
Thalelaeus, to God, prayed:
O Lord, Creator of the world,
Yours is the mercy, Yours is the vengeance!
To You, I pray; prolong my life,
That for You, more pain I may endure.
In truth, little, have I endured,
In order to merit Your kingdom.
Horrible, Your sufferings on Golgotha,
Horrible sufferings for You, Sinless One!
To the sinners, more horrible they should be,
Through torturing, in order to cleanse oneself
And salvation, worthily receive.
What most wonderful Thalelaeus prayed for,
What he prayed for, God granted,
His petitions were dear,
God, on him, permitted sufferings abundant,
To the end, Thalelaeus endured all
All, with joy and with thanksgiving,
All from suffering to suffering he walked,
As from celebration, to an even greater celebration,
Thus, the saint glorifies Orthodoxy!

REFLECTION
When a man acquires a Christian conscience, he zealously labors to correct his life and to please God. For him, all else becomes of little importance. We have examples of such men not only among the great ascetics and spiritual fathers but also among powerful rulers themselves. Emperor Theodosius the Great gives us such an example who, for a brief time, fell into heresy after which he repented. St. Ambrose, his earlier critic, spoke over his lifeless body: "I loved this man who, divesting himself of all imperial insignias, openly in church bewailing his sin and, with sighs and tears, begged forgiveness. What ordinary men are ashamed to do, the emperor was not ashamed to do. After his glorious victory over the enemies of the empire, he decided not to approach Holy Communion until the return of his sons only because his enemies were slain in battle."

CONTEMPLATION
To contemplate God the Holy Spirit as an Inspirer of meekness and gentleness:
1. How He inspired meekness and gentleness to the ascetics and hermits throughout the ages;
2. How He inspired and, even today, inspires meekness and gentleness to all truly repentant souls.

HOMILY
About the spirit of the world and the Spirit from God
"We have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God" (1Corinthians 2:12).
Brethren, the spirit of this world is the spirit of pride and cruelty and the Spirit of God is the Spirit of meekness and gentleness. The apostle of God asserts that the followers of Christ did not receive the spirit of this world rather the Spirit "which is of God" i.e., who proceeds from God the Father as a sweet-smelling fragrance as from flowers and as a good fragrance pours out on the soul of man making it mighty, bright, peaceful, thankful and pleasant.
Men by nature are meek and gentle. St. Tertulain writes: "the soul of man by nature is Christian." But, by the spirit of this world, it is irritable and enraged. The spirit of this world made wolves out of lambs, while the Spirit Who is from God makes lambs out of wolves.
The apostle still adds that we received the Spirit of God "that we may know the things that are freely given to us of God" (1 Corinthians 2:12). Therefore, that we may know what is from God in us and what is not from God and that we may sense the sweetness of that which is from God and the bitterness from that which is not from God, rather from the spirit of this world. As long as man is outside of his nature, beneath his nature, he considers bitterness as sweetness and sweetness as bitterness. But, when by the Spirit of God he returns to his true nature, then he considers sweet as sweetness and bitter as bitterness.
Who can return man to God? Who can heal man of poisonous sinful bitterness? Who can teach him by experience to distinguish true sweetness from bitterness? No one except the Spirit Who is from God.
Therefore brethren, let us pray that God grants us His Holy Spirit as He granted the Holy Spirit to His apostles and saints. And when that Holy Spirit of God enters into us, the kingdom of God has arrived in which is all sweetness itself, only good, only light, only meekness and only gentleness.
O Holy Spirit, the Spirit of meekness and gentleness, come and abide in us.