FEASTS AND SAINTS CELEBRATED TODAY:
Emilian the Confessor & Bishop of Cyzikos
Our Holy Father Myronus the Wonderworker, Bishop of Crete
Holy New Martyrs Triantaphillus of Zagoras and Anastasius of Thessolonica
Gregory of Sinai and Mount Athos
Afterfeast of the Transfiguration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:
The Reading is from St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 16:4-12
BRETHREN, it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me. I will visit you after passing through Macedonia, for I intend to pass through Macedonia, and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter, so that you may speed me on my journey, wherever I go. For I do not want to see you now just in passing; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. But I will stay in Ephesos until Pentecost, for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. When Timothy comes, see that you put him at ease among you, for he is doing the work of the Lord, as I am. So let no one despise him. Speed him on his way in peace, that he may return to me; for I am expecting him with the brethren. As for our brother Apollos, I strongly urge him to visit you with the other brethren, but it was not all his will to come now. He will come when he has the opportunity.
Πρὸς Κορινθίους α' 16:4-12
Ἀδελφοί, ἐὰν δὲ ᾖ ἄξιον τοῦ κἀμὲ πορεύεσθαι, σὺν ἐμοὶ πορεύσονται. Ἐλεύσομαι δὲ πρὸς ὑμᾶς, ὅταν Μακεδονίαν διέλθω· Μακεδονίαν γὰρ διέρχομαι· πρὸς ὑμᾶς δὲ τυχὸν παραμενῶ, ἢ καὶ παραχειμάσω, ἵνα ὑμεῖς με προπέμψητε οὗ ἐὰν πορεύωμαι. Οὐ θέλω γὰρ ὑμᾶς ἄρτι ἐν παρόδῳ ἰδεῖν· ἐλπίζω δὲ χρόνον τινὰ ἐπιμεῖναι πρὸς ὑμᾶς, ἐὰν ὁ κύριος ἐπιτρέπῃ. Ἐπιμενῶ δὲ ἐν Ἐφέσῳ ἕως τῆς Πεντηκοστῆς· θύρα γάρ μοι ἀνέῳγεν μεγάλη καὶ ἐνεργής, καὶ ἀντικείμενοι πολλοί. Ἐὰν δὲ ἔλθῃ Τιμόθεος, βλέπετε ἵνα ἀφόβως γένηται πρὸς ὑμᾶς· τὸ γὰρ ἔργον κυρίου ἐργάζεται ὡς καὶ ἐγώ. Μή τις οὖν αὐτὸν ἐξουθενήσῃ· προπέμψατε δὲ αὐτὸν ἐν εἰρήνῃ, ἵνα ἔλθῃ πρός με· ἐκδέχομαι γὰρ αὐτὸν μετὰ τῶν ἀδελφῶν. Περὶ δὲ Ἀπολλὼ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ, πολλὰ παρεκάλεσα αὐτὸν ἵνα ἔλθῃ πρὸς ὑμᾶς μετὰ τῶν ἀδελφῶν· καὶ πάντως οὐκ ἦν θέλημα ἵνα νῦν ἔλθῃ, ἐλεύσεται δὲ ὅταν εὐκαιρήσῃ.
The Reading is from Matthew 21:28-32
The Lord said this parable, "A man had two sons; and he went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work in the vineyard today.' And he answered, 'I will not'; but afterward he repented and went. And he went to the second and said the same; and he answered, 'I go, sir,' but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the harlots believed him and even when you saw it, you did not afterward repent and believe him."
Κατὰ Ματθαῖον 21.28-32
Εἶπεν ὁ Κύριος τήν παραβολὴν ταύτην· ἄνθρωπός τις εἶχε τέκνα δύο, καὶ προσελθὼν τῷ πρώτῳ εἶπε· τέκνον, ὕπαγε σήμερον ἐργάζου ἐν τῷ ἀμπελῶνί μου.ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν· οὐ θέλω· ὕστερον δὲ μεταμεληθεὶς ἀπῆλθε.καὶ προσελθὼν τῷ δευτέρῳ εἶπεν ὡσαύτως. ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν· ἐγώ, κύριε· καὶ οὐκ ἀπῆλθε.τίς ἐκ τῶν δύο ἐποίησε τὸ θέλημα τοῦ πατρός; λέγουσιν αὐτῷ· ὁ πρῶτος. λέγει αὐτοῖς ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς· ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι οἱ τελῶναι καὶ αἱ πόρναι προάγουσιν ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ.ἦλθε γὰρ πρὸς ὑμᾶς ᾿Ιωάννης ἐν ὁδῷ δικαιοσύνης, καὶ οὐκ ἐπιστεύσατε αὐτῷ· οἱ δὲ τελῶναι καὶ αἱ πόρναι ἐπίστευσαν αὐτῷ· ὑμεῖς δὲ ἰδόντες οὐ μετεμελήθητε ὕστερον τοῦ πιστεῦσαι αὐτῷ.
READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:
Τῇ Η' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, μνήμη τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Αἰμιλιανοῦ, Ἐπισκόπου Κυζίκου, τοῦ
Ψυχὴς πολὺν θεὶς Αἰμιλιανὸς λόγον,
Τῆς σαρκος ἠλόγησεν ἄχρι καὶ τέλους.
Ὀγδόῃ Αἰμιλιανοῦ ὀστέα δέξατ' ἄρουρα.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου Μύρωνος, Ἐπισκόπου Κρήτης, τοῦ θαυματουργοῦ.
Μύρων ὁ θεῖος ἀρετῆς μύρου πνέων,
Εὐωδίας πρόσεισιν ὀσμὴ Κυρίῳ.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, μνήμη τοῦ ὁσίου Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Θεοδώρου Ἡγουμένου Ὀρόβων.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων μαρτύρων Ἐλευθερίου καὶ Λεωνίδου, διὰ πυρὸς τελειωθέντων.
Ἀμφοῖν ἀθλητῶν, οὐ θυόντων τῇ πλάνῃ,
Ποινὴν κατακρίνουσιν οἱ πλάνοι φλόγα.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, οἱ Ἅγιοι δέκα ἀσκηταί, οἱ ἐξ Αἰγύπτου, ἐν εἰρήνῃ τελειοῦνται.
Βλαστήματα θνῄσκουσιν Αἰγύπτου δέκα,
Πληγαῖς ἐκείναις ἰσάριθμοι ταῖς δέκα.
Ταῖς τῶν Ἁγίων σου πρεσβείαις, ὁ Θεός, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.
This Saint was one of the illustrious Orthodox Bishops called to Constantinople by the holy Patriarch Nicephorus to defend the veneration of the holy icons against Leo the Armenian (see Mar. 8). Saint Emilian was sent into exile by Leo about the year 815, and gave up his soul to the Lord amidst many afflictions and sufferings for the sake of his confession.
Apolytikion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Τής τού Λόγου εικόνος διαγράψας τήν έλλαμψιν, Αιωιλιανέ Ιεράρχα διά βίου ορθότητος, τήν ένσωμον Εικόνα τού Χριστού, εδίδαξας τιμάσθει ευσεβώς, διά τούτο ως πειμένα καί αθλητήν, τιμώμέν σε κραυγάζοντες, δόξα τώ παρασψόντι σοι ισχύν, δόφα τώ σέ στεφανώσαντι, δόξα τώ δωρουμένω διά σού, πάσι τήν άφεσιν.
You are a guide of Orthodoxy, a teacher of piety and modesty, a luminary of the world, the God inspired pride of monastics. O wise Aimilianos, you have enlightened everyone by your teachings. You are the harp of the Spirit. Intercede to Christ our God for the salvation of our souls.
"Εσκόρπισεν, έδωκε τοις πένησιν· η δικαιοσύνη αυτού μένει εις τον αιώνα". Έτσι είναι γραμμένο στους ψαλμούς κι είναι τούτο μια αιωνία αλήθεια, που εφαρμόζεται και στον βίο και στο παράδειγμα του αγίου Μύρωνος Επισκόπου Κρήτης, του οποίου σήμερα η Εκκλησία τιμά την μνήμη. Ξεκίνησε από γεωργός και καλλιεργητής των χωραφιών του και, με την καλωσύνη της ψυχής του και την αγιότητα του βίου, έφθασε Επίσκοπος και καλλιεργητής ψυχών. Είχε μίαν ιδιαίτερη αγάπη στους φτωχούς· τούδιναν τα χωράφια του γεννήματα κι εκείνος εμοίραζε με τα δυο του χέρια - η μάννα γη γεννά, για να τρων κι εκείνοι που έχουν κι εκείνοι που δεν έχουν. Έκανε ολωσδιόλου το αντίθετο απ' ό,τι λέει το ιερό Ευαγγέλιο για τον άφρονα πλούσιο· εκείνος όσα είχε τάβλεπε για δικά του. Ο άγιος Μύρων έβλεπε τον εαυτό του διαχειριστή των αγαθών του Θεού. Έτσι και η μνήμη του και η αρετή του μένουν στην Εκκλησία "εις τον αιώνα".
Ὁ Ἅγιος Αἰμιλιανὸς ὁ Ὁμολογητής, ἐπίσκοπος Κυζίκου
Ὁ Ἀπόστολος Παῦλος θέλοντας νὰ τονίσει τὴν μεγάλη σημασία τῆς ὁμολογίας τῆς πίστης μας πρὸς τὸ Χριστό, εἶπε: « Ἔχοντες οὖν ἀρχιερέα μέγαν διεληλυθότα τοὺς οὐρανούς, Ἰησοῦν τὸν υἷόν του Θεοῦ, κρατῶμεν τῆς ὁμολογίας». Ἀφοῦ, δηλαδή, ἔχουμε μεγάλο Ἀρχιερέα, ποὺ ἔχει πλέον περάσει ἀπὸ τοὺς οὐρανοὺς καὶ μπῆκε στὴν αἰώνια κατάπαυση, ὅπου μᾶς περιμένει, ποὺ δὲν εἶναι ἁπλὸς ἄνθρωπος, ἀλλὰ εἶναι ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἂς κρατᾶμε καλὰ τὴν ὁμολογία τῆς πίστης μας πρὸς Αὐτόν, τὸν Κύριο καὶ Σωτῆρα μας Ἰησοῦ Χριστό. Ἕνα τέτοιο παράδειγμα ὁμολογίας ἦταν καὶ ὁ Ἅγιος Αἰμιλιανός, ποὺ ἔζησε μεταξὺ 8ου καὶ τοῦ 9ου αἰῶνα. Ὁ Αἰμιλιανὸς ἦταν ἐπίσκοπος Κυζίκου μετὰ τὸ Νικόλαο, στὰ χρόνια 787-815. Ἀγωνίστηκε μὲ ὅλη τὴν δύναμη ποὺ τοῦ παρεῖχε ὁ Θεὸς γιὰ τὴν τιμητικὴ προσκύνηση τῶν ἁγίων εἰκόνων, ὅταν αὐτοκράτορας ἦταν ὁ εἰκονομάχος Λέων ὁ Ε´. Ἀθλητὴς τῆς Ὀρθοδοξίας, μιλοῦσε θερμότατα γι᾿ αὐτὴν καὶ ἐνίσχυε τοὺς πιστοὺς νὰ ὑπομένουν καρτερικὰ τοὺς ἀσεβεῖς διωγμούς. Ὑπέφερε πολλὲς κακοπάθειες καὶ θλίψεις καὶ πέθανε τελικὰ ἐξόριστος, σὰν γνήσιος Ὁμολογητὴς τῆς ὀρθῆς πίστης.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Μύρων ὁ Θαυματουργός, ἐπίσκοπος Κρήτης
Ὁ Ἅγιος Μύρων γεννήθηκε κοντὰ στὴν Κνωσὸ τῆς Κρήτης. Εὐσεβὴς ἀπὸ τὴν παιδική του ἡλικία, παντρεύτηκε καὶ ὑπῆρξε πρότυπο συζύγου καὶ πατέρα. Διέπρεψε σ᾿ ὅλες τὶς ἀρετὲς καὶ ἀναδείχτηκε ἀπαράμιλλος στὴν ἐλεημοσύνη καὶ τὴν φιλανθρωπία. Μία νύκτα, ὅταν πῆγε νὰ δεῖ τοὺς ἀγρούς του, τὴν ἐποχὴ τοῦ θέρους, βρῆκε μέσα κλέφτες νὰ κλέβουν τὸ βίος του. Ὁ Ἅγιος Μύρων λυπήθηκε ὄχι γιατί ἔκλεβαν τὸ βιός του, ἀλλὰ γιατί δὲν ἦρθαν νὰ τοῦ ζητήσουν νὰ δώσει ὁ ἴδιος ὅ,τι ἤθελαν νὰ κλέψουν. Καὶ ὄχι μόνο δὲν κατήγγειλε τὴν ἀδικία, ἀλλὰ καὶ προστάτεψε κατόπιν τοὺς δρᾶστες. Ἐκεῖνοι συγκινημένοι μπροστὰ σὲ τόση ἀγαθότητα, ἔγιναν ἀργότερα ἀπὸ τοὺς καλύτερους χριστιανούς. Ὁ Μύρων χάρηκε ὑπερβολικά, γι᾿ αὐτὸ καὶ ἔλεγε: «Ἂν οἱ πλούσιοι ἦταν καλύτεροι, δηλαδὴ πιὸ φιλάνθρωποι, οἱ φτωχοὶ δὲν θὰ εἶχαν τὴν ἀνάγκη νὰ ζητήσουν στὴν κλοπὴ τὸ ψωμί τους. Γι᾿ αὐτὸ ὅπου ἡ κλοπὴ ἀκμάζει, νὰ θεωρήσετε σὰ βέβαιο, ὅτι ἐκεῖ προηγήθηκε ἡ ὠμότητα καὶ ἡ πλεονεξία». Τὰ χρόνια ὅμως ἦταν σκληρὰ γιὰ τοὺς χριστιανούς. Συχνοὶ ἦταν οἱ διωγμοὶ ἐναντίον τους. Ὁ Μύρων διακρίθηκε στὴν ἐμψύχωση τῶν πιστῶν, καὶ τὸ ἔτος 180 μ.Χ. ἔγινε ἐπίσκοπος Κρήτης. Τὴν ἐπισκοπὴ διοίκησε ὅπως καὶ τὴν οἰκογένειά του, δηλαδὴ μὲ εὐσέβεια καὶ στοργή. Πέθανε 100 χρονῶν καὶ τὸν θρήνησε τόσο ἡ οἰκογένειά του, ὅσο καὶ τὸ ποίμνιό του, ποὺ ἐπίσης ἦταν οἰκογένειά του.
Ὁ Ὅσιος Θεοδόσιος ἡγούμενος Ὀρόβων
Ἀπὸ τὴν οἰκογένειά του ἔμαθε νὰ ἀγωνίζεται γιὰ τὸ Εὐαγγέλιο, ποὺ σημαίνει γιὰ τὴν ἀγάπη ὑπὲρ τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ τοῦ πλησίον. Ὅταν πῆγε στὸ μοναστήρι ἐργάστηκε φιλότιμα γιὰ τὴν εὐσέβεια μέσα στὴ μοναχικὴ ἀδελφότητα, καθὼς ἐπίσης καὶ ὑπὲρ τῆς ταπεινοφροσύνης καὶ τῆς φιλαδελφείας. Καί, ὅταν ἔγινε ἡγούμενος, ἀνέδειξε τὸ μοναστήρι του κέντρο φιλανθρωπικῆς ὑπηρεσίας.
Οἱ Ἅγιοι Ἐλευθέριος, Λεωνίδης καὶ τὰ Ἅγια Νήπια
Μαρτύρησαν διὰ πυρός. Ἡ σύναξή τους γίνεται στὴν Ἁγία Εἰρήνη στὶς Ἴουστινιαναις.
Οἱ Ἅγιοι Δέκα Ὅσιοι καὶ ἀσκητὲς ἀπὸ τὴν Αἴγυπτο
Οἱ Ἅγιοι Δύο Μάρτυρες ἀπὸ τὴν Τύρο
Μαρτύρησαν, ἀφοῦ θανατώθηκαν συρόμενοι κατὰ γῆς.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Στυράκιος
Μαρτύρησε διὰ ξίφους. (Ὁρισμένα ἁγιολόγια μαζὶ μὲ τὴν μνήμη τοῦ ἁγίου Στυρακίου, ἀναφέρουν καὶ αὐτὴ κάποιου μάρτυρα Ἑρμολάου).
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἡ ἀνάμνησις τῶν ἐγκαινίων τῶν Ἅγιων Ἀποστόλων Πέτρου καὶ Παύλου
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἡ ἀνάμνησις τῶν ἐγκαινίων τῶν Ἅγιων Ἀποστόλων Πέτρου καὶ Παύλου, ἐν τῷ περιτειχίῳ, τοῦ Ἁγίου Ἀποστόλου καὶ Εὐαγγελιστοῦ Ἰωάννου τοῦ Θεολόγου, ἔνδον τοῦ σεπτοῦ οἴκου τῆς Ὑπεραγίας Θεοτόκου ἐν τοῖς Μαρναίου καὶ τοῦ Ὁσίου Κασσιανοῦ. Καὶ ἡ ἀνάμνησις, ὅτε ἐγένετο ἡ τοῦ ἡλίου ἔκλειψις ἀπὸ ἕκτης ὥρας ἕως ἐνάτης, ὥστε καὶ τοὺς ἀστέρας φανῆναι, ἐν ἔτει ἀπὸ κτίσεως Κόσμου ἑξακισχιλιοστῷ τριακοσιοστῷ ἐνενηκοστῷ ἐνάτῳ, ἡλίου ἔχοντος κύκλους πεντεκαίδεκα, καὶ σελήνης κύκλους τοὺς αὐτούς, Ἰνδικτιῶνος ἐνάτης ἐπὶ τῆς βασιλείας Λέοντος τοῦ σοφοῦ καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ αὐτοῦ, τῶν εὐσεβῶν καὶ φιλοχρίστων βασιλέων.
Ἐγκαίνια ναοῦ τῆς Θεοτόκου (ἐν Ἱεροσολύμοις)
Σύμφωνα μὲ τὸν Λαυριωτικὸ Κώδικα Γ 74 (φ. 100β).
Ὁ Ἅγιος Τριαντάφυλλος ἀπὸ τὴν Ζαγορά
Ὁ ἔνδοξος νεομάρτυρας τοῦ Χριστοῦ Τριαντάφυλλος ἦταν ἀπὸ τὴν Ζαγορὰ τῆς Μαγνησίας, ποὺ βρισκόταν κοντὰ στὸ Βόλο. Γεννήθηκε τὸ 1663. Ἐργαζόταν σὰ ναύτης στὰ πλοῖα, καὶ ὅταν ἦταν 17 χρονῶν συνελήφθη γιὰ ἄγνωστη σὲ μᾶς αἰτία, ἀπὸ τοὺς Τούρκους, ποὺ τὸν ἐκβίαζαν νὰ γίνει μωαμεθανός. Ὁ Τριαντάφυλλος ὅμως, τὸ εὐωδιαστὸ αὐτὸ λουλούδι τῆς Ὀρθοδοξίας, προτίμησε μύριους θανάτους παρὰ ν᾿ ἀρνηθεῖ τὸν Χριστό. Βασανίστηκε ποικιλοτρόπως, ἀλλ᾿ ἔμεινε ἀμετακίνητος στὴν πίστη του φωνάζοντας: «Χριστιανὸς εἶμαι, δὲν ἀρνοῦμαι τὸν Σωτῆρα μου Χριστό». Τελικὰ τὸν θανάτωσαν στὸν ἱππόδρομο τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως μὲ ἀποκεφαλισμὸ στὶς 8 Αὐγούστου 1680. Ἦταν τότε 18 χρονῶν. Ἔτσι ἡ μακαρία ψυχή του ἀνέβηκε στὸν οὐρανὸ καὶ πῆρε ἀπὸ τὸν ἀθλοθέτη Χριστὸ τὸ ἀμάραντο στεφάνι τῆς νίκης.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Ἀναστάσιος ἀπὸ τὴν Βουλγαρία
Πατρίδα του ἡ πόλη Ροδοβίσι τῆς ἐπαρχίας Στρούμιτζα τῆς Βουλγαρίας. Εἴκοσι χρονῶν ἦλθε στὴ Θεσσαλονίκη καὶ δούλευε σὰν ὑπάλληλος σὲ κάποιο ἐμπορικὸ κατάστημα. Κάποια μέρα, βοήθησε τὸ ἀφεντικό του γιὰ τὴν λαθραῖα ἐξαγωγὴ ἐνδυμάτων ἔξω ἀπὸ τὸ Κάστρο τῆς Θεσ/νίκης, γιὰ νὰ μὴ πληρώσει φόρους. Ὁ Ἀναστάσιος μάλιστα, φόρεσε καὶ μία τούρκικη στολὴ προκειμένου νὰ περάσει τὸ ἐμπόρευμα. Ἀλλ᾿ ἐνῷ περνοῦσε τὴν πύλη, Τοῦρκοι φοροειοπράκτορες, τὸν ρώτησαν ἂν εἶχε ἀνάλογα ἔγγραφα γιὰ τὴν ἐξαγωγὴ τῶν ἐνδυμασιῶν. Αὐτὸς μὲ ἀφέλεια ἀπάντησε ὅτι ἦταν Τοῦρκος. Γιὰ νὰ τὸ ἐπιβεβαιώσει αὐτό, οἱ Τοῦρκοι ὑπάλληλοί του ζήτησαν νὰ κάνει «σαλαβάτι» (ὁμολογία). Ὁ νέος στὸ ἄκουσμα τοῦ αἰτήματος αὐτοῦ ἔμεινε ἄφωνος. Ἀμέσως τότε τὸν ἅρπαξαν οἱ Τοῦρκοι καὶ μὲ ἄγρια χτυπήματα τὸν ὁδήγησαν στὸν ἀγά. Ἐκεῖ ὁ Ἀναστάσιος, παρὰ τὶς κολακεῖες καὶ τὶς φοβέρες τοῦ ἀγά, ἔμεινε ἀκλόνητος στὴ χριστιανικὴ πίστη. Κατόπιν ὁδηγήθηκε στὸν κριτὴ καὶ ἔπειτα σ᾿ ἄλλον ἄρχοντα, ὅπου φυλακίστηκε καὶ βασανίστηκε ἀνελέητα. Ἀλλ᾿ ἐπειδὴ καὶ πάλι ὁμολογοῦσε τὸν Χριστὸ τὸν καταδίκασαν σὲ θάνατο. Στὸ δρόμο γιὰ τὴν ἀγχόνη, ὁ Ἀναστάσιος ὑπέκυψε στὰ τραύματά του καὶ παρέδωσε τὸ πνεῦμα του στὸν Θεό, ἔξω ἀπὸ τὴν Θεσσαλονίκη κοντὰ στὴν «καινούρια πόρτα», στὶς 8 Αὐγούστου 1794.
St Emilian the Confessor, bishop of Cyzicus (820)
He was one of the bishops summoned by the Patriarch Nikephoros to defend the veneration of the holy icons against the Emperor Leo the Armenian. For this reason he was sent into exile around 815, and after many sufferings for his faithful confession, reposed in exile in 820.
St Myron the Wonderworker, Bishop of Crete (350)
He was a widowed farmer who, though poor, shared the produce of his farm freely with the needy. Once he found some thieves stealing his grain. Without saying who he was, he helped the thieves fill their sacks and make their escape. His virtue became known, and he was ordained to the priesthood, then consecrated bishop. In his own lifetime he was known as a great wonderworker. He reposed in peace.
St Gregory of Sinai (Mt Athos) (1346)
One of the great ascetics, hesychasts and spiritual teachers of the Church, he did much to restore the knowledge and practice of Orthodox hesychasm. He became a monk at Mt Sinai. He traveled to Mt Athos to learn more of Orthodox spiritual prayer and contemplation, but found that these were almost lost even on the Holy Mountain. The only true, holy hesychast he found there was St Maximos of Kapsokalyvia (Maximos the hut-burner, January 13). Maximos lived a life of reclusion in crude shelters; from time to time he would burn his hut and move to a new one, so as not to become attached even to that poor earthly dwelling. For this, he was scorned as a madman by the other monks. St Gregory upbraided the monks and told them that Maximos was the only true hesychast among them, thus beginning a reform of spiritual life on the Holy Mountain. He spent time teaching mental prayer in all the monasteries of Mt Athos, then traveled around Macedonia, establishing new monasteries. Some of his writings on prayer and asceticism can be found in the Philokalia. He reposed in peace in 1346.
Sainted Emelian, Bishop of Kyzika, lived during the reign of the Iconoclast emperor Leo the Armenian (813-820). He was summoned together with other bishops to the court of the emperor, who insistently urged the bishops to refrain from the veneration of holy icons. Saint Emelian was the first firmly to answer the emperor, that the question about the veneration of holy icons ought to be discussed and decided only within the Church by spiritual personages, and not at the imperial court. In the year 815 he was sent to prison for the Orthodox faith, where he died as a confessor.
The Monk Gregory, Iconographer of Pechersk, was a colleague of the Monk Alypii of Pechersk (Comm. 17 August). In the "Accounts about the holy iconographers" it says, that he wrote many a wonderworking icon located throughout the Russian Land. In the 9th Ode of the Canon of the Service to the Sobor-Assemblage of the Kievo-Pechersk Monastics, Reposed within the Nearer Caves (Comm. 28 September) -- the Monk Gregory is termed a "byzantine". This signifies possibly that he was among the number of iconographers who had come from Constantinople to Kiev for the embellishing of the Great Church of the monastery, in honour of the Dormition-Uspenie of the MostHoly Mother of God.
The Transfer of the Relics of the Monks Zosima and Savvatii of Solovetsk occurred on 8 August 1566, on the third day of the altar-feast of the Solovetsk monastery of the Transfiguration (Preobrazhenie, Metamorphosis) of the Lord. The relics of the saints were transferred into a chapel of the Preobrazhensk cathedral, built in their honour.
The account about the Monk Zosima is located under 17 April; the account about the Monk Savvatii -- 27 September.
Sainted Myron, Bishop of Crete, a wonderworker, in his youth was a family man, and worked at farming. He was known for his goodness, and he assisted everyone who turned to him for help. One time a thieves burst in upon his threshing floor, and Saint Myron himself helped them raise up a sack of grain upon their shoulders. By his generosity the saint so shamed the thieves, that in future they began to lead honourable lives. Out of profound respect for the saint, the Cretan people urged him to accept the dignity of presbyter in his native city of Raucia, and afterwards they chose him bishop of Crete. Wisely ruling his flock, Saint Myron received from the Lord the gift of wonderworking. At the time of a flood on the River Triton, the saint stopped its flow and went upon it as upon dry land, and then he sent a man back to the river with his staff with a command for the river to resume its course. Saint Myron reposed to God at age 100 in about the year 350.
The Martyrs Eleutherias and Leonides were cast into a fire at a youthful age during one of the persecutions against Christians.
The Monk Gregory the Sinaite was born in about the year 1268 in the seacoast village of Clazomeneia near the city of Smyrna (Asia Minor), of rich parents. In about the year 1290 he was taken into captivity by the Hagarites and sent off to Laodicea. After gaining his freedom, the saint arrived on the island of Cyprus, where he was tonsured a monk. He set off afterwards to Mount Sinai and there assumed the great schema. Having fulfilled his obediences of cook and baker, and then as writer-copyist, surpassing all in reading and knowledge of Scriptural and patristic books. The strictness of his life (fasting, vigil, psalmody, standing at prayer) brought some to astonishment and others to envy. Departing the monastery, the monk visited Jerusalem. For some time he lived on the island of Crete, and afterwards he made the rounds on Athos with its monasteries and ascetics. By such manner he acquired the experience of the monastic life of many centuries from the ancient monasteries. Only after this did the Monk Gregory the Sinaite settle himself in a solitary place for "hesychia" ["mystic quiet" doing the Jesus Prayer] -- a cell for silence and unhindered pursuit of mental prayer, combined with hard monastic work.
The precious legacy of the Monk Gregory is in his precepts about the inner life, 15 chapters about silence, and 142 chapters about the commandments, where he says, that "one seeking to comprehend the commandments without fulfilling them, and through study and reading to find that which is desired, is like a man imagining a fantasy in place of truth". The monk is reknown also as a remarkable writer of song, -- to him is ascribed the "Mete it is in truth" ("Dostoino est vo istinu"), and a canon to the MostHoly Trinity read at Sunday vigil, and a canon to the holy Cross. In a canon-book (from the year 1407) of the Monk Kirill (Cyril) of Belozersk (+ 9 June 1427) is found the "Canon of propitiation to the Lord Jesus Christ, -- a work of Gregory the Sinaite". Through his concern for the spreading of monastic deeds, the monk founded several cells on Athos, and also four laura-monasteries in Thrace. The Monk Gregory the Sinaite died in the year 1310 (some historians suggest the year 1346) at his so-called "Concealed" ("Parariseia") monastery, founded in the mountains of Macedonia for the strict followers of his life.
The Martyr Triandaphilos, a native of Transmondane Thessalonika, was beheaded by the Turks at Constantinople in the year 1680 for his refusal to reject Christ and accept Islam.
The Tolgsk Icon of the MostHoly Mother of God appeared on 8 August 1314 to the Rostov Sainted-hierarch Prokhor (schema-name Tryphon). Going about his diocese, the saint visited the Belozersk environs and set off from there and set off thither nigh along the banks of the Rivers Sheksna and Volga, to Yaroslavl'. Having stopped with the approach of night 7 versts distant from Yaroslavl', at the right bank of the Volga River there flows opposite into it the River Tolga. At midnight, when everyone was asleep, the saint awoke and saw a bright light illuminating the surroundings. The light proceeded from a fiery column on the other bank of the river, to which there stretched a bridge. Taking up his staff, the saint went across to the other bank, and having approached the fiery column, he beheld on it the icon of the MostHoly Mother of God, suspended in the air. Astonished at the miracle, the saint prayed for a long time, and when he returned back, he forgot to take his staff.
The next day, after making matins, when Saint Prokhor was preparing to continue his journey by boat, they began to search for his staff, but they were not able to find it anywhere. The saint then remembered, that he had forgotten his staff on the other bank of the river, whither he had gone across on the miraculous bridge. He then told about what had occurred, and sending servants across on a boat to the other shore, they came back and reported the news, that in the forest amidst the trees they had seen an icon of the Mother of God, next to his bishop's staff. The saint quickly crossed over with all his retinue to the opposite shore, and he recognised the icon that had appeared to him. Then after fervent prayer in front of the icon, they cleared the forest at that place, and put down the foundations of a church. When the people of Yaroslavl' learned of this, they came out to the indicated spot. By midday the church was already built, and in the evening the saint consecrated it in honour of the Entrance ("Vvedenie") into the Temple of the MostHoly Mother of God, and having installed the icon there he established a feastday on the day of its appearance. Saint Prokhor later built near this church the Tolgsk monastery. Sainted Prokhor died on 7 September 1328.
On this day also are commemorated 10 Egyptian Ascetics -- having died at sea, and 2 Tyrian Martyrs -- dragged over the ground.
THE PROLOGUE FROM ORCHID:
1. SAINT EMILIAN THE CONFESSOR, BISHOP OF CYZICUS
Emilian served as bishop in Cyzicus during the reign of the nefarious Emperor Leo the Armenian, the iconoclast. Since he did not want to submit to the decrees of the emperor concerning the removal of icons from the churches, Emilian and other Orthodox bishops were banished into exile. He spent five years in exile, enduring much pain and humiliation for the sake of Christ. Emilian died in they year 820 A.D. and took up habitation among the citizens of heaven.
2. SAINT MYRON, MIRACLE-WORKER AND BISHOP OF CRETE
At first, Myron was married and engaged in farming. Myron, gladly and abundantly distributed the fruits of his land to needy people. At one time, he encountered unknown thieves stealing wheat from his threshing floor. Not telling them who he was, St. Myron helped the thieves fill the sacks, lift them on their backs and to escape. Because of his exceptional virtues, Myron was ordained a presbyter and after that consecrated a bishop. He was a great miracle-worker and performed many good and mighty works in the name of the Lord Jesus. Myron died about the year 350 A.D. in the hundredth year of his life.
3. THE VENERABLE GREGORY SINAITE
Gregory is called Sinaite because he received the monastic tonsure on Mount Sinai. During the reign of Emperor Andronicus Palaeologus, about the year 1330 A.D., he arrived at Mt. Athos to visit the monasteries and to inquire about the practice of mental prayer and contemplation. However, these two forms of spiritual works [exercises], at that time, were almost unknown among the holy Athonites. The only one who knew this and practiced it to perfection was St. Maximus of Kapsokalyvia. Gregory spread his teaching about mental prayer throughout all the cells and monasteries on Mt. Athos. His distinguished disciple was Kallistos, the Patriarch of Constantinople, who wrote the biography of St. Gregory. After that, Gregory crossed over to Macedonia and to the other regions of the Balkans and established communities in which the monks practiced mental prayer. Thus, he assisted many to be immersed in prayer and to be saved. His writings about mental prayer and asceticism can be found in the book "Dobrotoljublja The Philokalia." Among other things, he wrote the refrains to the Holy Trinity, "It is meet and right", which is sung at the Midnight Service of the Resurrection. Gregory ranks among the most eminent ascetics and spiritual teachers of the Balkans. He died peacefully after a long and laborious life and took up habitation in the Kingdom of God.
4. THE HOLY NEO-MARTYRS TRIANDAPHYLLOS AND SPASO
Triandaphyllos was born in Zagora and Spaso was born in Radoviste in the Diocese of Strumica. They were both Slavs. Both were young and simple men. But their love for Christ was more precious to them than this world or this life. They gave their lives and did not betray Christ. They suffered at the hands of the Turks for the Faith of Christ: Triandaphyllos in Constantinople in the year 1680 A.D. and Spaso in Thessalonica in the year 1794 A.D.
5. THE HOLY MARTYR GORMIZDAS
Gormizdas was a nobleman at the court of the Persian Emperor Yezdegeherd. Since he chose not to deny Christ, the emperor saddened Gormizdas, by confiscating his rank and property and sent him to tend livestock. The emperor hoped that Gormizdas would quickly long for his rank and property and that he would worship the idols. However, the king was fooled. Gormizdas peacefully tended the livestock and kept his faith. For that, the emperor subjected him to cruel tortures, which only succeeded to exhaust the body of Christ's martyr but was unable to alter his spirit. Finally, Gormizdas was slain in the year 418 A.D. immediately after the martyrdom of St. Abdus the bishop (March 31). Gormizdas was martyred on earth and glorified in heaven.
HYMN OF PRAISE
SAINT GREGORY SINAITE
Sinaite, the all-wise one, taught the monks,
And, by his example, confirmed his teachings:
Passionlessness, that is the Promised Land,
By the Spirit, the passionless soul illumined.
Without any thoughts, man then becomes
When, with prayer, his mind rests in the heart.
Of all passions, thoughts are sinful forerunners,
Which, in the demonic authority, keeps the soul.
Sick people are we; for us, the physician medicine prepared,
To be healed, to be healthy.
The Name of Jesus, in your heart, speaks,
It will, as a fire, consume passions,
Let that powerful name, with heavenly radiance
In your heart move, with breathing.
If, in your heart, you do not have Jesus the Lord
All other mortifications, remain as water.
Only Jesus inside me is able
The water of my being, into wine to convert.
As in a nest, your whole mind, in the heart place,
And then glorify Jesus, by ceaseless prayer.
O, Lord Jesus, have mercy on me a sinner!
Let the prayer be slow; not hurried -
Until the heart, from prayer, bursts into flame -
Then, the mind, heaven sees and on earth, remains not.
Moses spoke to the sons of Israel: "I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life…that you may live" (Deuteronomy 30:19). There are some decisive moments in the life of men when, indeed, it is left up to man to choose between life or death. Judas, in a decisive moment, was corrupted by silver and he chose death, i.e., the sin of avarice [greed]. When the general wanted to elevate Marinus the soldier (August 7) to the rank of an officer (centurion), envious men accused him of being a Christian. The general permitted him only three hours to contemplate and to choose between life or death, i.e., either to deny Christ or to die. Marinus, hearing the words of his superior, went to the local bishop, Theotechnus, and asked him for advice. The bishop led Marinus into the church, stood him before the Gospel and pointing his hand, at first to the Gospel and after that to the sword which hung from Marinus' waist, said to him: "Choose courageous man, one of these two; either to wear the sword and serve the earthly king temporarily and, after death, be lost eternally or to become a soldier of the Heavenly King and lay down your life for His Holy Name which is written in this Book and to reign with Him in eternal life." Marinus immediately decided, kissed the Book of the Holy Gospel and departed through death into life eternal.
To contemplate the miraculous appearance of God to the child Samuel (1 Samuel 3 1 Kings 3):
1. How one night when Samuel was lying down, the Lord called him three times by name;
2. How the Lord related to Samuel the threat to the House of Eli [Heli] because of the corruptness of the sons of Eli and a threat to all of Israel;
3. How the Lord did not want to appear either to Eli, the high priest or to his sons but rather to Samuel, an innocent child.
About the peace-making of Christ
"And they [the people] shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore" (Isaiah 2:4).
How clearly the prophet sees Christ the Peacemaker! One by one, the prophet points out the dignity of the Savior. First of all, the prophet pointed Him out as the Lawgiver of the new law, a law for all the peoples on earth. After that the prophet pointed out His exaultedness above all heights, earthly and historical. And now, the prophet points Him out as the Peacemaker whose power and love will forge [beat] swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks. Has this great prophecy about peace been fulfilled? Yes it has, in spite of the fact that wars still exist. Behold, wars among Christian peoples are not the same as wars among pagans. Pagans fought with pride while Christians fight with shame. Pagan faiths inhabited their heaven only with warriors and the Christian Faith promises heaven to the saints. As Christians, by their weakness, repeat certain other pagan sins, so they repeat the sin of waging war. However, God examines the heart and knows with what disposition the pagans sin and with what disposition the Christians sin. The Pharisees denied Christ, Peter also denied Him. But the Pharisees denied Him with unrepentant malice and Peter denied Him in shame and again, confessed Him with repentance.
However brethren, what can we say concerning the swords and spears of passions by which we kill our souls and the souls of our fellow men? O, when we would beat those swords into plowshares that deeply plow the souls and sow the noble seed of Christ in ourselves! And when we would beat the spears into pruning hooks to harvest the tares in our souls and to burn them! Then the peace of Christ would take up abode in the souls of all of us, just as it abided in the souls of the saints. Who then would even think about war against his neighbors and against neighboring peoples?
O how wondrous is the vision of Isaiah, the son of Amos, the prophet of God!
O Lord, beat the weapons of war in us into instruments of peace by the fire of Your word.
To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.