Tuesday, July 31, 2012

August 3, 2012 - 9th Friday After Pentecost


Isaacius, Dalmatus, & Faustus, Ascetics of the Dalmation Monastery
Salome the Holy Myrrhbearer
Theoctistus the Wonderworker

Τῶν Ὁσίων Πατέρων ἡμῶν Ἰσαακίου, Δαλμάτου καί Φαύστου.


The Reading is from St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 14:26-40
BRETHREN, when you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn; and let one interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let each one of them keep silence in church and speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. If a revelation is made to another by sitting by, let the first be silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged; and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. But God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. What! Did the word of God originate with you, or are you the only one it has reached? If any one thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that what I am writing to you is a command of the Lord. If any one does not recognize this, he is not recognized. So, my brethren, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues; but all things should be done decently and in order.

Πρὸς Κορινθίους α' 14:26-40
Ἀδελφοί, ὅταν συνέρχησθε, ἕκαστος ὑμῶν ψαλμὸν ἔχει, διδαχὴν ἔχει, γλῶσσαν ἔχει, ἀποκάλυψιν ἔχει, ἑρμηνείαν ἔχει. Πάντα πρὸς οἰκοδομὴν γινέσθω. Εἴτε γλώσσῃ τις λαλεῖ, κατὰ δύο ἢ τὸ πλεῖστον τρεῖς, καὶ ἀνὰ μέρος, καὶ εἷς διερμηνευέτω· ἐὰν δὲ μὴ ᾖ διερμηνευτής, σιγάτω ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ· ἑαυτῷ δὲ λαλείτω καὶ τῷ θεῷ. Προφῆται δὲ δύο ἢ τρεῖς λαλείτωσαν, καὶ οἱ ἄλλοι διακρινέτωσαν. Ἐὰν δὲ ἄλλῳ ἀποκαλυφθῇ καθημένῳ, ὁ πρῶτος σιγάτω. Δύνασθε γὰρ καθʼ ἕνα πάντες προφητεύειν, ἵνα πάντες μανθάνωσιν, καὶ πάντες παρακαλῶνται· καὶ πνεύματα προφητῶν προφήταις ὑποτάσσεται. Οὐ γάρ ἐστιν ἀκαταστασίας ὁ θεός, ἀλλὰ εἰρήνης, ὡς ἐν πάσαις ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις τῶν ἁγίων. Αἱ γυναῖκες ὑμῶν ἐν ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις σιγάτωσαν· οὐ γὰρ ἐπιτέτραπται αὐταῖς λαλεῖν, ἀλλʼ ὑποτάσσεσθαι, καθὼς καὶ ὁ νόμος λέγει. Εἰ δέ τι μαθεῖν θέλουσιν, ἐν οἴκῳ τοὺς ἰδίους ἄνδρας ἐπερωτάτωσαν· αἰσχρὸν γάρ ἐστιν γυναιξὶν ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ λαλεῖν. Ἢ ἀφʼ ὑμῶν ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ ἐξῆλθεν; Ἢ εἰς ὑμᾶς μόνους κατήντησεν; Εἴ τις δοκεῖ προφήτης εἶναι ἢ πνευματικός, ἐπιγινωσκέτω ἃ γράφω ὑμῖν, ὅτι κυρίου εἰσὶν ἐντολαί. Εἰ δέ τις ἀγνοεῖ, ἀγνοέιτω. Ὥστε, ἀδελφοί, ζηλοῦτε τὸ προφητεύειν, καὶ τὸ λαλεῖν γλώσσαις μὴ κωλύετε· πάντα εὐσχημόνως καὶ κατὰ τάξιν γινέσθω.

The Reading is from Matthew 21:12-14; 17-20
At that time, Jesus entered the temple of God and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer'; but you make it a den of robbers." And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there.

In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the wayside he went to it, and found nothing on it but leaves only. And he said to it, "May no fruit ever come from you again!" And the fig tree withered at once. When the disciples saw it they marveled, saying, "How did the fig tree wither at once?"

Κατὰ Ματθαῖον 21.12-14, 17-2
Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, εἰσῆλθεν ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ ἐξέβαλε πάντας τοὺς πωλοῦντας καὶ ἀγοράζοντας ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ, καὶ τὰς τραπέζας τῶν κολλυβιστῶν κατέστρεψε καὶ τὰς καθέδρας τῶν πωλούντων τὰς περιστεράς,καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· γέγραπται, ὁ οἶκός μου οἶκος προσευχῆς κληθήσεται·ὑμεῖς δὲ αὐτὸν ἐποιήσατε σπήλαιον λῃστῶν. Καὶ προσῆλθον αὐτῷ χωλοὶ καὶ τυφλοὶ ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν αὐτούς. καὶ καταλιπὼν αὐτοὺς ἐξῆλθεν ἔξω τῆς πόλεως εἰς Βηθανίαν καὶ ηὐλίσθη ἐκεῖ. Πρωΐας δὲ ἐπανάγων εἰς τὴν πόλιν ἐπείνασε·καὶ ἰδὼν συκῆν μίαν ἐπὶ τῆς ὁδοῦ ἦλθεν ἐπ᾿ αὐτήν, καὶ οὐδὲν εὗρεν ἐν αὐτῇ εἰ μὴ φύλλα μόνον, καὶ λέγει αὐτῇ· μηκέτι ἐκ σοῦ καρπὸς γένηται εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα. καὶ ἐξηράνθη παραχρῆμα ἡ συκῆ.καὶ ἰδόντες οἱ μαθηταὶ ἐθαύμασαν λέγοντες· πῶς παραχρῆμα ἐξηράνθη ἡ συκῆ;


Τῇ Γ' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, μνήμη τῶν Ὁσίων Πατέρων ἡμῶν Δαλμάτου, Φαύστου καὶ Ἰσακίου.
Κυκλοῦσιν ἄνδρες εἷς δύο τρεῖς σὸν θρόνον,
Ὕψιστε, Φαῦστος, Ἰσάκιος, Δαλμάτος,
Δαλμάτος, Ἰσάκιος τριτάτῃ θάνον, ἠδέ γε Φαῦστος.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου μάρτυρος Στεφάνου, Πάπα Ῥώμης.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, μνήμη τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρὸς ἡμῶν καὶ Ὁμολογητοῦ Ἰωάννου, Ἡγουμένου Μονῆς τῆς Παταλαραίας.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, ἡ Ἁγία Σαλώμη, ἡ Μυροφόρος, ἐν εἰρήνῃ τελειοῦται.
Τῆς σαρκὸς οἷον ἐκκυλισθείσης λίθου,
Ὁρᾷ Σαλώμη Χριστόν, οὐ Χριστοῦ τάφον.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, ἡ Ὁσία Θεοκλητὼ ἐν εἰρήνῃ τελειοῦται.
Θεοκλητὼ τὴν κλῆσιν ἔργῳ δεικνύει,
Κλητὴ Θεῷ φανεῖσα σαρκὸς ἐκδύσει.
Ταῖς αὐτῶν ἁγίαις πρεσβείαις, ὁ Θεός, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.

Of these, Saint Isaacius is celebrated also on May 30. He became a monk at an early age and was a worker of every virtue; a zealot for the Orthodox Faith, he was also deemed worthy of the gift of prophecy. The Saint dwelt in a small hut near Constantinople. When Valens the Arian marched against the Goths, who were at the Danube River, this righteous one went out himself to meet the Emperor and, taking in hand the reins of the Emperor's horse, said to him with boldness that God had incited the barbarians to come against him, since he himself had incited many to speak against God in blasphemy, and had driven God's true worshippers out of the divine houses of prayer. Furthermore, he told him, if he ceased fighting against God by means of heresy and returned the good shepherds (that is, the Orthodox bishops) to the flock of Christ, he would easily gain the victory over his enemies. However, if he did not desist from these things, nor have God as his ally, at the very outset of the battle both he and his army would certainly be destroyed. "Learn from experience," he said, "that it is hard to kick against the pricks. Thou shalt not return, and this expedition will be destroyed." But the Emperor became angry and had the righteous one locked in prison that he might punish him and put him to death on his return after he conquered the barbarians. But he was utterly defeated and was burned alive in a certain village in the year 378 (Theodoret of Cyrrhus, Eccl. Hist., ch. 4: 31-32). When his surviving soldiers returned from the war, wishing to tempt the Saint, they came to him and said, "Prepare to make thy defense before the Emperor, who is coming to fulfil what he spoke against thee." But the Saint answered, "It has already been seven days that I smelled the stink of his bones, which were burned in the fire." Thus the righteous one was released from prison. All marveled because of his prophecy, and he became even more wondrous by means of the zeal he displayed in behalf of Orthodoxy in 381, when the Second Ecumenical Council was convoked. After this, a monastery was built in Constantinople for him, and he piously shepherded those struggling with him in asceticism. Having served as an example of the monastic life for them, he reposed in peace about the end of the fourth century, leaving Dalmatus as his successor.
As for Saint Dalmatus, he was at first a soldier in the second division of the soldiers known as the Scholarii. Later, however, he forsook all things and taking his son Faustus, went to the above-mentioned monastery of Saint Isaacius, where he donned the monastic habit. Through his virtue he became venerable in the sight of all. He was present at the Third Ecumenical Council that was convoked in Ephesus in 431, and there displayed his zeal for Orthodoxy against Nestorius. The Council elected him Archimandrite of the monasteries in Constantinopie. Having lived for more than eighty years, he reposed in the Lord.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Ὁ Θεὸς τῶν Πατέρων ἡμῶν, ὁ ποιῶν ἀεὶ μεθ΄ ἡμῶν, κατὰ τὴν σὴν ἐπιείκειαν, μὴ ἀποστήσῃς τὸ ἔλεός σου ἀφ΄ ἡμῶν. Ἀλλὰ ταῖς αὐτῶν ἱκεσίαις, ἐν εἰρήνῃ κυβέρνησον τὴν ζωὴν ἡμῶν.
O God of our Fathers, ever dealing with us according to Thy gentleness: take not Thy mercy from us, but by their entreaties guide our life in peace.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
Τούς εν ασκήσει εκλάμψαντας εν τώ κόσμω, καί τάς αιρέσεις ανατρέψαντας τή πίστει, ύμνοις, Ισάκιον ευφημήσωμεν, σύν τώ Δαλμάτω Φαύστον, ως τού Χριστού θεράποντας, αυτοί γάρ βοώσιν υπέρ πάντων ημών.
With hymns let us extol Isaacius, Dalmatus, and Faustus as Christ's servants, who shone forth brilliantly in asceticism in the world, and overturned the heresies by faith; for they cry out in behalf of us all.

Τον καιρό που ήκμαζε στην Εκκλησία ο μοναχικός βίος, έβλεπε κανείς ανώτερους αξιωματούχους του Στρατού και της Πολιτείας, που εγκατέλειπαν τα αξιώματά τους και γίνονταν μοναχοί. Τέτοιος είναι ο Άγιος Δαλμάτος, που τον γιορτάζει σήμερα η Εκκλησία μαζί με το γιο του Φαύστο και τον ερημίτη και ιδρυτή πολλών Μαναστηριών Ισαάκιο. Οι άνθρωποι εκείνοι, που δεν ήσαν βέβαια αποτυχημένοι στη ζωή τους, έφευγαν στα Μοναστήρια όχι απλώς για να βρουν άσυλο, αλλά με πραγματική και βαθειά επιθυμία πνευματικής των καλλιεργείας. Και δεν εγίνονταν μόνο ζωντανά παραδείγματα ευσεβείας και αγιότητος, πράγμα που έχει μεγίστη ευεργετική επίδραση στον έξω κόσμο, μα και ενεργότερα βοηθούσαν την Εκκλησία σε κρίσιμες στιγμές. Ο Άγιος Δαλμάτος έπαιξε σπουδαίο πρόσωπο στην επικράτηση των αποφάσεων της τρίτης Οικουμενικής Συνόδου. Η ακμή της Εκκλησίας προϋποθέτει πάντα άνθηση του μοναχικού βίου.

Οἱ Ὅσιοι Δαλμάτιος, (ἢ Δαλμάτος) Φαῦστος καὶ Ἰσάκιος ἢ Ἰσαάκιος
Γιὰ τὸν Ἰσαάκιο γράψαμε τὴν 30η Μαΐου. Ἦταν αὐτὸς ποὺ μὲ γενναῖο φρόνημα προεῖπε τὸ θάνατο τοῦ ἀρειανόφιλου βασιλιᾶ Οὐάλη. Πρᾶγμα ποὺ ἔγινε. Κατόπιν ὁ Ἰσαάκιος, ἐπὶ Μεγάλου Θεοδοσίου, ἦλθε μὲ μεγάλες τιμὲς στὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη, ὅπου καὶ μόνασε. Ἡ φήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου ἔφερε κοντά του πολλούς, ἀκόμα καὶ ἀπὸ τὴν στρατιωτικὴ τάξη. Ἕνας ἀπ᾿ αὐτοὺς ἦταν καὶ ὁ Δαλμάτιος. Ἄνδρας πλούσιος με ἀξιόλογη μόρφωση, ἀνῆκε στὴ στρατιὰ τῶν σχολαρίων. Τόσο πολὺ εἵλκυσε τὴν ψυχή του ὁ Ἰσαάκιος, ὥστε ἀφοῦ πῆρε καὶ τὸ γιό του Φαῦστο, πῆγε στὴ Μονὴ ὅπου μόναζε ὁ Ἰσαάκιος. Ἐκεῖ, ὁ Δαλμάτιος δὲν ἄργησε νὰ διαπρέψει γιὰ τὸ μεγάλο του ζῆλο μεταξὺ τῶν συμμοναστῶν του. Μετὰ τὸ θάνατο τοῦ Ἰσαακίου, ἐξελέγη παμψηφεῖ ἡγούμενος τῆς Μονῆς. Τόσο δὲ μεγάλη ὑπῆρξε ἡ φήμη του, ὥστε ἡ Μονὴ πῆρε τὸ ὄνομά του. Ὅταν προαισθάνθηκε τὸ θάνατό του, κάλεσε τὸ γιὸ καὶ συμμοναστή του Φαῦστο, καὶ ἀφοῦ τὸν εὐλόγησε, τοῦ εἶπε: «Φρόντιζε πάντοτε νὰ καλλιεργεῖς καὶ νὰ διατηρεῖς ἐγκράτεια, ταπείνωση, ὑπακοὴ καὶ ἐλεημοσύνη. Χωρὶς αὐτὰ ἡ μοναχικὴ ζωὴ ὄχι μόνο δὲ φέρει σωτηρία, ἀλλὰ καὶ προξενεῖ κατάπτωση καὶ μεγάλη ἀπώλεια». Ὁ Φαῦστος, ἀκολουθώντας τὶς ἅγιες συμβουλὲς τοῦ πατέρα του, ἀναδείχθηκε ἄξιος διάδοχός του καὶ τελείωσε τὴν ζωή του μὲ πλήρη κατὰ Χριστὸν ἀρετή.

Ὁ Ἅγιος Στέφανος Ἱερομάρτυρας Πάπας Ρώμης καὶ οἱ σὺν αὐτῷ
Ἦταν Ρωμαῖος καὶ ἀνέβηκε στὸ θρόνο τῆς Ρώμης κατὰ τὸ ἔτος 253 μ.Χ. Αὐτὸς κατηχοῦσε καὶ βάπτιζε χριστιανοὺς πολλοὺς εἰδωλολάτρες, ποὺ προσέρχονταν σ᾿ αὐτόν. Μερικοὺς ἀπ᾿ αὐτοὺς μάλιστα, χειροτόνησε πρεσβύτερους, διακόνους καὶ ἀναγνῶστες, ποὺ ἀργότερα μαρτύρησαν γιὰ τὸν Χριστό. Ὅταν συνελήφθη ὁ Στέφανος καὶ ὁδηγήθηκε στὸν ναὸ τοῦ Ἄρη, προσευχήθηκε καὶ προκλήθηκε σεισμὸς μὲ ἀποτέλεσμα νὰ γκρεμιστεῖ μέρος τοῦ ναοῦ. Τότε οἱ στρατιῶτες φοβισμένοι ἔτρεξαν καὶ ἔφυγαν, ὁ δὲ Ἅγιος πῆγε στὸν τάφο τῆς Ἁγίας Λουκίας, ὅπου ἔκανε ἀναίμακτη θυσία. Ἐκεῖ τὸν βρῆκαν οἱ στρατιῶτες, ὅπου ἀφοῦ τὸν βασάνισαν, τελικὰ τὸν ἀποκεφάλισαν καὶ ἔτσι ἔλαβε τὸ στεφάνι τοῦ μαρτυρίου. (Ἡ μνήμη του, ἀπὸ ὁρισμένα Συναξάρια, ἐπαναλαμβάνεται καὶ τὴν 7η Σεπτεμβρίου).

Ὁ Ὅσιος Ἰωάννης ὁ Ὁμολογητὴς ἡγούμενος τῆς Μονῆς Πατελαρίας

Ἡ Ἁγία Σαλώμη ἡ Μυροφόρος
Ἦταν πρώτη ἐξαδέλφη τῆς Παναγίας, μητέρας τοῦ Κυρίου μας Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. Εἶχε σύζυγο τὸν Ζεβεδαῖο καὶ γιοὺς τὸν Ἰάκωβο καὶ τὸν Ἰωάννη. Προικισμένη καὶ ἡ ἴδια μὲ ἔνθερμη εὐσέβεια, ἦταν ἀπὸ τὶς γυναῖκες ποὺ ἀκολουθοῦσαν τὸν Χριστό, καὶ συνεισέφεραν στὸ ταμεῖο τῆς ἀποστολικῆς ἀδελφότητας. Ἡ Σαλώμη ἦταν ἐκείνη, παρακινούμενη ἀπὸ μητρικὴ φιλοστοργία, ποὺ παρακάλεσε τὸν Κύριο ὅταν Αὐτὸς πήγαινε γιὰ τελευταία φορὰ στὴν Ἱερουσαλήμ, νὰ τιμηθοῦν οἱ γιοί της μὲ πρωτεύοντα ἀξιώματα. Διότι εἶχε τὴν ἰδέα, ὅτι ὁ Ἰησοῦς στὴν Ἱερουσαλὴμ ἔμελλε νὰ ἀναστήσει τὸ θρόνο τοῦ Δαβίδ. Ὅμως ἡ Σαλώμη, τὶς στιγμὲς τοῦ φρικτοῦ πάθους τοῦ Κυρίου, καὶ ἐνῷ μαθητὲς καὶ φίλοι ἀπὸ φόβο εἶχαν διασκορπιστεῖ, αὐτή, μαζὶ μὲ μερικὲς ἄλλες πιστὲς γυναῖκες ἦταν ἐκεῖ καὶ κτυποῦσαν ἀπὸ λύπη τὰ στήθη τους. Ἐπίσης ἡ Σαλώμη ἀξιώθηκε νὰ εἶναι μία ἀπὸ τὶς μυροφόρες, στὶς ὁποῖες ὁ ἄγγελος γνωστοποίησε τὴν ἀνάσταση τοῦ Ἰησοῦ. Μετὰ τὴν ἵδρυση τῆς χριστιανικῆς Ἐκκλησίας στὴν Ἱερουσαλήμ, ἡ Σαλώμη ἐξακολούθησε νὰ διακρίνεται γιὰ τὸ ζῆλο καὶ τὶς ἐλεημοσύνες της. Ὁ διωγμὸς ἐναντίον τῆς ἐκκλησίας στὴν Ἱερουσαλήμ, προξένησε μεγάλη λύπη στὴ Σαλώμη. Ἡ καρδιά της ὑπέστη μεγάλο σπαραγμὸ τὴν ἡμέρα ποὺ ὁ Ἡρῴδης ἀποκεφάλισε τὸν πρωτότοκο γιό της Ἰάκωβο. Ἀλλ᾿ ἡ ἐλπίδα στὸν Χριστὸ τὴν ἐνίσχυσε καὶ μὲ τὴν προσδοκία τῶν αἰωνίων ἀγαθῶν παρέδωσε τὴν ψυχή της εἰρηνικά.

Ἡ Ὁσία Θεοκλητὼ ἡ θαυματουργή
Ἔζησε κατὰ τὸν 9ο αἰῶνα στὰ χρόνια τοῦ βασιλιᾶ Θεοφίλου τοῦ εἰκονομάχου καὶ καταγόταν «ἐκ τοῦ θέματος τῶν Ὀπτιμάτων» (Ὀψικίου). Οἱ γονεῖς της ὀνομάζονταν Κωνσταντῖνος καὶ Ἀναστασία, καὶ ἦταν ἀρκετὰ πλούσιοι καὶ πρὸ πάντων εὐσεβεῖς χριστιανοί. Ἀνάλογη ἀνατροφὴ ἔδωσαν καὶ στὴν κόρη τους Θεοκλητώ, ποὺ ἦταν πιστή, εὐσεβής, σεμνὴ καὶ μελετοῦσε ἀκατάπαυστα τὸν θεῖο λόγο. Ὅταν παντρεύτηκε (τὸν Ζαχαρία, ἄνδρα εὐσεβῆ καὶ ἐλεήμονα), ὑπῆρξε πρότυπο χριστιανῆς συζύγου. Τὸ σπίτι της ἦταν συνεχῶς ἀνοικτὸ γιὰ τοὺς δυστυχεῖς, γιὰ τὶς χῆρες, τὰ ὀρφανὰ καὶ τοὺς φτωχοὺς οἰκογενειάρχες. Συχνὰ πήγαινε ἡ ἴδια στὰ φτωχόσπιτα καὶ μοίραζε ἁπλόχερα ἐλεημοσύνη καὶ περιποίηση στοὺς ἀρρώστους. Ὁ θάνατος τὴν βρῆκε νὰ ἐκτελεῖ τέτοια θεάρεστα ἔργα. Τὸ δὲ λείψανό της ἀξιώθηκε νὰ γίνει ὄργανο πολλῶν ἰαμάτων. (Στὸν κώδικα 73 τῆς Μονῆς Παναγίας τῆς Χάλκης, καλεῖται Θεοκλήτη καὶ ἡ μνήμη της ἀναφέρεται τὴν 21η Αὐγούστου).

Οἱ Ἅγιοι Ἰωάννης καὶ Ἰωάννης ὁ Νέος Ἐπίσκοποι Ἐφέσου
Ἡ μνήμη τους φέρεται σὲ δυὸ Κώδικες, τὸν Πατμιακὸ 266 καὶ τὸν Παρισινὸ 152 Sap ὡς ἑξῆς: «Τῶν ἐν ἁγίοις πατέρων ἡμῶν καὶ ἀρχιεπισκόπων γενομένων Ἐφέσου Ἰωάννου τοῦ μοναχοῦ καὶ Ἰωάννου τοῦ νέου». Σὲ Παρισινὸ Κώδικα ἡ μνήμη τους ἐπαναλαμβάνεται καὶ τὴν 4η Αὐγούστου.

Ὁ Ὅσιος Ἀντώνιος ὁ θαυματουργὸς Ρωμαῖος Νοβογορδίας (Ρῶσος)

Ὁ Ἅγιος Ὀλύμπιος ἔπαρχος, μάρτυρας
Βυζαντινὸς ἄρχοντας ἐπὶ τῆς Βασιλείας τοῦ αὐτοκράτορα Ἡρακλείου (610-641), ποὺ θανατώθηκε στὴ φυλακὴ ἀπὸ τὸν Πέρση βασιλιὰ Χοσρόη γιὰ τὴν ὁμολογία του στὴν χριστιανικὴ πίστη.

Οἱ Ὁσίες Θεοδώρα ἡ ἐξ Αἰγίνης καὶ Θεοπίστη ἡ θυγατέρα της
Ἡ Ὁσία Θεοδώρα γεννήθηκε στὴν Αἴγινα. Μετὰ τὸ γάμο της, ἦλθε στὴ Θεσσαλονίκη λόγω ἐπιδρομῶν τῶν Σαρακινῶν. Ἀσπάστηκε τὸν μοναχισμὸ μετὰ τὸν θάνατο τοῦ συζύγου της καὶ μπῆκε στὴ Μονὴ τοῦ Ἁγίου Στεφάνου μὲ τὴν θυγατέρα της Θεοπίστη. Ἔζησε μὲ πολλὴ ἀρετὴ καὶ κοιμήθηκε τὸ 892. Ἑορτάζονται τὴν 29η Αὐγούστου, ἀλλὰ ἡ γιορτή τους μεταφέρθηκε τὴν 3η Αὐγούστου λόγω τῆς γιορτῆς τῆς ἀποτομῆς τῆς Τιμίας Κεφαλῆς τοῦ Ἁγίου Ἰωάννου Προδρόμου.

Sts Isaac, Dalmatus and Faustus, ascetics of the Dalmatian Monastery, Constantinople (5th c.)
St Isaac is also commemorated May 30; see his life there. St Dalmatus was a soldier in the Imperial army, but along with his son Faustus left all to become a monk at the monastery founded by St Isaac. He was present at the Third Ecumenical Council at Ephesus in 431; there he labored zealously for the Orthodox faith against Patriarch Nestorius. He was made Archimandrite of all the monasteries in Constantinople, and reposed in peace, having lived for more than eighty years.

Holy Myrrh-bearer Salome
She was the mother of the Apostles James and John, the wife of Zebedee, and the daughter of Joseph the Betrothed, who was a widower when he became betrothed to the Mother of God. She was a disciple of the Lord and one of the Myrrh-bearing women who first brought tidings of the Resurrection to the world.

Our Holy Father Antony the Roman (1148)
He was born in Rome in 1086 to wealthy and pious parents. When the Roman Church broke away from the Orthodox around that time, those who continued to uphold Orthodoxy, Antony among them, were persecuted. Antony gave away his worldly possessions and fled to a small rocky island in the sea, where he spent fourteen months in asceticism. During this time, the island miraculously floated like a ship to Novgorod. There, Archbishop Nikita received the young monk and helped him to build a church to the holy Theotokos, which in time became a monastery. St Anthony served there as abbot for many years, reposing in peace in 1148.

Menologion 3.0
The Monks Isaac, Dalmatius and Faustus were hegumens of a Dalmatian monastery. The Monk Dalmatius had served in the army of the holy nobleborn emperor Theodosius the Great (379-395) and gained his notice. Having left the world somewhere between the years 381-383, the Monk Dalmatius together with his son Faustus went to the monastery of the Monk Isaac near Constantinople. The Monk Isaac vowed father and son into monasticism, and they both began to lead a strict ascetic life. Once during Great Lent the Monk Dalmatius did not partake of food during the course of 40 days, and later having regained his strength, he was vouchsafed worthy of a Divine vision. Having drawn near the end of his earthly life, the Monk Isaac put in his place as monastery head the Monk Dalmatius, through whose name the monastery became known as the Dalmatian.
The Monk Dalmatius showed himself a zealous proponent of the Orthodox faith at the III OEcumenical Council at Ephesus (431), which censured the heresy of Nestorius.
After the Council the holy fathers elevated the Monk Dalmatius to the dignity of archimandrite of the Dalmatian monastery, at which he died at age ninety (after year 446).
About the Monk Faustus is known that he, like his father, was a great ascetic and in monastic deeds he particularly excelled at fasting. After the death of his father, Faustus became hegumen of the monastery.

The Monk Anthony the Roman was born at Rome in the year 1067 of rich parents, keeping to the Orthodox confession of faith, and he was raised by them in piety. As an orphan having lost his parents at age 17, he took up the study of the fathers in the Greek language. Afterwards he distributed part of his inheritance to the poor, and the other portion he put into a wooden box and threw it into the sea. And then he took monastic vows at one of the wilderness skete-monasteries, where he lived for 20 years. A persecution of the Latins against the Orthodox forced the brethren to separate. The Monk Anthony wandered about, going from place to place, until he came upon a large rock upon the solitary shore of the sea, where he lived for a whole year in fasting and prayer. A terrible storm, happening on 5 September 1105, tore away the stone on which the Monk Anthony was situated, and threw him into the sea. On the Feast of the Nativity of the MostHoly Mother of God the stone halted 3 versts from Novgorod on the banks of the River Volkhov near the village of Volkhovsk. This event is testified to in the Novgorod Chronicles. At this place the monk, with the blessing of Sainted Nikita the Hermit (+ 1109, Comm. 14 May), founded a monastery in honour of the Nativity of the MostHoly Mother of God. In another year fishermen fished out the box with the inheritance of the Monk Anthony, cast into the sea many years before. Having declared what was in the box, the monk took the box and bought land for the monastery. Spiritual asceticism was combined at the monastery with intense physical work.
The Monk Anthony was concerned, that from the monastery income help should be rendered for the needy, and for orphans and widows. In the year 1117 the monk began construction with stone at the monastery. Up until our own day there has been preserved a cathedral in honour of the Nativity of the MostHoly Mother of God -- built during the lifetime of the monk in the years 1117-1119 by the reknown Novgorod architect Peter, and with wall-frescoes in the year 1125. In the year 1131 Sainted Niphont of Novgorod made the Monk Anthony hegumen of the monastery. He died on 3 August 1147 and was buried by Sainted Niphont.
The Monk Anthony was glorified in the year 1597. His memory is noted likewise (in honour of the uncovering of the relics) on the first Friday after the feastday of the First-Ranked Apostles Peter and Paul (29 June), and on 17 January -- on the same name-day when the memory of the Monk Anthony the Great is celebrated. The first life of the Monk Anthony the Roman was written soon after his death by his student and successor as hegumen -- the priestmonk Andrei. A collected life, with an account about the uncovering of the relics and praiseworthy discourse, was done by a novice of the Antoniev monastery, the monk Niphont, in the year 1598.

The Martyr Razhdenes, a Persian and worshipper of the Zoroastrian religion, was descended from an illustrious family. He was the tutor of the Persian princess Balendykhta (daughter of the Persian emperor Ormizd), who entered into marriage with the pious Gruzian [Georgian] emperor Vakhtang the Great (446-449). Together with her, Razhdenes resettled in Gruzia. Out of consideration for his high parentage, the emperor heaped his wife's tutor with favours and made him his adviser. The simple and good-natured foreigner was soon beloved by all the court and the people. When he learned about Christianity and had accepted Baptism, he then began frequently to converse with Archbishop Michael and to visit church. The heart of the saint burned with an inexpressible love for Christ. He strove to comprehend the wisdom of God, he conversed much with the pastors of the Church and with eagerness he listened to the accounts and teachings about the deeds of Christian martyrs. The desire to be united with Christ irresistibly attracted him to accept suffering for the Saviour.
A bloody war between Persia and Greece spilled over into Orthodox Gruzia. The new Persian emperor Firuz (from year 456) urged Gruzia to dissolve its union with the same-faithed Greece. Having received refusal, he marched an army against Gruzia, and began a bitter war. In the words of the chronicler, the women were given over to brazen outrages, and the men -- to cruel torments and tortures. Looking upon this, Christians remained firm in the faith and, hoping on the help of God, they gave resistance to the enemy. During this time Saint Razhdenes had accepted the command over the army at the capital and its surrounding fortifications. For four months he led a stubborn struggle against the enemies of Christianity and repulsed them from the capital. The Persians decided to take revenge, having captured the zealous leader alive. All together all at once they attacked the Gruzian detachment of the fortress of Armaz and Saint Razhdenes was treacherously handed over by those to whom he had bestown high rank. They immediately took the captive to the emperor Firuz. Informed about everything, the emperor questioned Saint Razhdenes about his parentage and the reasons for renouncing his former faith and people. The martyr answered: "It is certainly true, emperor, that I once left my own nation and its gods, which serve man and are an adornment of the universe, but I now serve the One True and Living God, Who made Heaven and earth and everything that exists, Who alone possesses immortality and dwelleth in the Light imperishable, Whom no one hath ever beheld or seeth. This is the One True God, Whom I know in Three Persons in One Existence. And one of the Persons of the Holy Trinity, the Word and Son of the Father, in the fulness of time and for our salvation, came down upon the earth, was incarnated of the Holy Virgin Mary, lived upon the earth, suffered, was nailed to the Cross, died, and on the third day after death He arose, and after forty days He ascended up to Heaven and doth sit at the right side of the Father. At the end of the world This One -- the Son of God, Jesus Christ, will come again upon the earth in glory, so as to judge the living and the dead, and then the righteous wilt shine like the sun, but the impious and those disobedient to Him He wilt bind together with the devil in eternal torment".
Knowing the courage of the saint, the emperor Firuz decided to make him worship the sun and fire not by torture, but with words of flattery. "Let it be known to thee, emperor, -- answered the martyr, -- that I shalt not renounce my Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath created me, and I wilt not worship thy gods. Keep to thyself thy promises to me of riches and glory, which are for me neither necessary nor wanted, and for them I shalt not abandon my God, Who called me to the Light of His Son, and I shalt not exchange the eternal life promised us of Christ, for life temporal and transitory. Wherefore do not promise nor advise me, for thou wilt not force me to recant from Christ my God; I reject thy offers of honours and riches and I shalt no more listen to thee, rather than my Lord". When they took hold of the martyr so as to begin the tortures, he again turned to the emperor: "Thou sayest, that thou shalt give me over to tortures, and dost thou think that these torments would be more terrible than eternal agonies, knowing, that for me Christ and death -- are to my advantage". The fire-worshippers began the terrible tortures, and then locked up the martyr in prison. After some time the emperor Firuz on the advice of serveral perfidious Gruzinian dignitaries sent Saint Razhdenes to Mtskheta, where his family lived. The emperor sent him safely, knowing, that the martyr would keep his given word to return to the Persians. His family entreated him to spare himself and those near him, but Saint Razhdenes answered firmly: "Nothing shall turn me away from love for my Lord Jesus Christ". He returned to the Persians, and emperor Firuz sent him off to the governor of Upper Kartalinia, living in the town of Tsrom. They again began with their deluded exhortations and fierce tortures. Then they cast the mutilated martyr into a fetid prison. By night the Saviour Himself appeared to him and healed his wounds. The astonished Persians then decided that it was time to execute the sentence of the emperor -- to crucify the martyr on a cross.
"Rejoice, Life-Creating Wood, by which was slain the serpent of old and to which are nailed my sins, -- cried out the martyr, seeing the instrument of his death by execution. -- And I through thee shall ascend to my Lord Jesus Christ, Who shalt grant me the help and the strength to bear to the end the lot prepared for me. Wherefore I have witnessed to truth before His enemies and like Him I shall be nailed to thee". They stripped the holy martyr and nailed him to the cross amidst four criminals, crucified in a row. Wanting to increase his suffering, the Persians requested archers from the governor. Struck by poisoned arrows like the Martyr Sebastian, Saint Razhdenes died on the cross in the year 457. All the ground under him was covered by his holy blood. Portents appeared in the heavens: the sun was hid and there began a long eclipse, and during the night there arose a terrible storm, such that nothing could be seen right in front of oneself. Only the body of the martyr shone with an Heavenly light. The guards were seized with terror at the vicious act committed, and they fled to their quarters. Christians, concealed not far away, took down the martyr from the cross and buried him with honour, near the place where he had been crucified.
The saint's place of burial remained unknown for a long time, until the martyr himself commanded the priest who had buried him to reveal this to Vakhtang the Great. With great solemnity the relics of the Martyr Razhdenes were transferred to a Nikozeia church (near the city of Tsinvali).
The name Razhdenes signifies "shining faith". The First-Martyr of the Gruzian Church -- by his death, accompanied by the appearance of the Saviour and Heavenly portents, gives firm hope for the General Resurrection at the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Monk Kosma the Hermit lived during the VI Century in the Tharan wilderness in Palestine. An account of the Bikaneia presbyter Abba Basil about the Monk Kosma is located in the book "Spiritual Meadow" compiled by the Monk John Moskhos. He was strict of fasting, a firm defender of the Orthodox faith and Church dogmas, and profoundly knowledgeable in Holy Scripture and the works of the Church fathers. The Monk Kosma particularly revered the works of Sainted Athanasias the Great and told those to whom he spoke: "If thou comest across a word of Saint Atanasias and hast not paper, write it down upon thy clothing". He had the habit to stand at prayer all night Saturday through Sunday. Having once come to Antioch, he died there. The patriarch buried his body at his monastery. Abba Basil relates, that when he came to venerate at the grave of Saint Kosma, he found there a beggar, who told him: "It is a great elder, which ye have buried here!", and he explained that he lay as a cripple for 12 years and received healing through the prayers of Saint Kosma.


Venerable Isaac is celebrated again separately on May 30. At first, St. Dalmatus was an officer during the reign of Emperor Theodosius the Great whom the emperor held in great esteem. When the spirit awakened in him, he despised all earthly things, resigned his rank and took his only son Faust and, with him, went to the community of St. Isaac in the outskirts of Constantinople where they both were tonsured as monks. Dalmatus was completely devoted to a god-pleasing life for which the elder Isaac rejoiced. When Isaac approached the hour of death, he appointed Dalmatus as abbot in his place. Later, this community was named after him - the so-called Dalmatus. Dalmatus devoted himself to fasting, at times for forty days. By fasting he conquered the invisible demonic power. He participated in the Third Ecumenical Council [Ephesus 431 A.D.] and fought against the Nestorian heresy. Pleasing God, he died peacefully in the fifth century. His son Faust supported his father in everything and, after a God-pleasing life, died peacefully in this Dalmatus community.

Cosmas was a monk from the Pharan Lavra. He was well versed in Holy Scripture. So much did he value the words of St. Athanasius the Great that he said to his disciples: "Whenever you hear any word from the books of St. Athanasius and, if you have no paper, write it down on your handkerchief." In his old age, Cosmas came to Antioch to Patriarch Gregory (+584 A.D.) and there ended his life. The patriarch ordered that the body of Cosmas be buried in the monastery of the partiarchate. A man frequently came to the grave of Cosmas, honoring the saint and prayed to God there. Asked why he did this, he revealed that he lay paralyzed for twelve years and that St. Cosmas had healed him.

Anthony was born in Rome in 1086 A.D. of devout and wealthy parents. At that time, the Roman Church separated from the Eastern Church and all who remained faithful to the Eastern Church were persecuted by the Roman clergy. Among the persecuted was Anthony. He distributed all of his inherited wealth and was tonsured a monk. Anthony lived a life of mortification by standing on a rock in the sea for fourteen months. Meanwhile, the rock separated from its base and by miraculous providence sailed the waters to Novgorod. In Novgorod, Archbishop Nicetas received him kindly and helped him build a church to the Holy Birth-giver of God, later to become a monastery. Anthony lived a long time as the abbot of this monastery and manifested the great power of grace through many miracles. He died peacefully in the year 1146 A.D. and took up habitation in the mansions of the Lord.

Salome was the mother of the Apostles James and John, the wife of Zebedee and the daughter of Joseph, the betrothed of the All-Holy Birth-giver of God. She served the Lord during His earthly life and was deemed worthy to be among the first to proclaim His resurrection.

A lifeless rock and a man on the rock,
The turbulent sea, around it foams
Anthony, in God, engrossed
His mind, to God, ceaselessly raised
And prayers, with the heart, ascended.
The rock moved and Anthony remains silent,
Completely in God, about evil, does not suspect,
Frightened are all evils, before a hero
But mostly, before a true monk.
Man, by Providence, is directed
And, through the saints, God glorifies Himself.
Through Anthony, God is glorified,
Anthony, as a star, shown
In the great city of Novgorod,
Where, to the people, a miracle was proclaimed.
Anthony nourished humility,
His mind to God, ceaselessly raised,
Humble soul, to God a sweet sacrifice,
And prayer the incense of true sacrifice,
Anthony, both incense and sacrifice
A dead saint, God never saw
As the discerning saint neither saw God [as dead].

Holy souls read Holy Scripture with great diligence concentrating on every word and placing themselves before the mirror of the Word of God as before the Dread Judgment. Their diligence was so great in this that some of the ascetics undertook distant journeys in order to come to a spiritual sage who would interpret for them a word or a saying from Holy Scripture. Whenever it was possible, this was accomplished through correspondence. It is from this that a complete collection of the letters of the saints remained [survived] such as those of Saints Basil, Gregory, Chrysostom, Isidore of Pelusium, Nilus of Sinai and many others. One day St. Cosmas pondered on the words of the Lord Christ when He, in the Garden of Gethsemane, asked His disciples whether they had a sword. When His disciples said to Him: "Lord, behold, here are two swords. And He said to them, it is enough" (St. Luke 22:38). Being unable to explain these words himself, St. Cosmas decided to cross over the wilderness to the distant Lavra called Pirga to the illustrious Abba Theophilus to inquire of him. With great difficulty did St. Cosmas succeed to reach his goal. Theophilus explained to him: "The two swords signify the two-fold order of a god-pleasing life: deeds and visions, i.e., labor and awakening of the mind to godly thoughts and prayer. Whoever has both of these, he is perfect."

To contemplate the ingratitude of the Jews toward God the Deliver and on God's punishment (Judges 13):
1. How the sons of Israel again did that which is wicked before the Lord;
2. How the Lord handed them over into the hands of the Philistines for forty years;
3. How the ungratefulness of a liberated people toward God the Deliver, even today, is punished by bondage under foreigners.

About human ingratitude unseen even among the animals
"The ox knoweth hisowner and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, My people doth not consider" (Isaiah 1:3).
The ingratitude of man is most strongly exposed by the gratitude of animals. When the irrational ox knows who his master is and when the ass knows from whose crib it is fed, how then can rational man not know about God, His Creator and Nourisher? The word Israel means "one who sees God." And every rational man should by his rationality be "one who sees God", to know God, to feel the presence of God and to serve God as once did the meek and wonderful Jacob. But when rational man, whose entire dignity is in the knowledge of God, does not know God, i.e., when the "one who sees God" becomes blind toward God, then the dignity of the ox and the ass is raised in dignity above such a man. For an ox, without exception, recognizes his master and the ass, without exception, recognizes the one who feeds him while among men there exists exceptions, i.e., there exist men and, very often leaders of men, who do not recognize their Lord nor their Nourisher. In all of created nature, godlessness is a disease only among men for godliness is the condition of normality and health only for men and not for animals. Thus, godlessness is not the disease of animals but of men; alas, only of men, only they who are destined to be "ones who see God" and who, when they lose their godliness, become poorer than the ox and the ass.
This is the vision of Isaiah, the son of Amos, the Prophet of God.
O God of meek Jacob, of Israel, enlightened one "who sees God", help us to maintain our human dignity, the dignity of one "who sees God" and that in every day and every hour, we may know and recognize You with gratitude, as our Lord and Nourisher.
To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.