FEASTS AND SAINTS CELEBRATED TODAY:
Afterfeast of the Transfiguration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
The Holy Righteous Martyr Dometius
Our Holy Father Nicanorus the Wonderworker
St. Theodosius the New
Sozon of Nicomedea
The Holy Ten Thousand Ascetics of Thebes
Narcissus the Hieromartyr of Jerusalem
Τοῦ Ἁγίου Ὁσιομάρτυρος Δομετίου τοῦ Πέρσου.
Τῶν ὁσίων Πατέρων ἡμῶν Νικάνορος τοῦ Θαυματουργοῦ καί Θεοδοσίου τοῦ Νέου καί Ἰαματικοῦ.
Τοῦ Ὁσίου Ἰωσήφ Γεροντογιάννη, τοῦ ἐκ Λιθινῶν τῆς Ἐπαρχίας Σητείας.
READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:
The Reading is from St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 15:29-38
BRETHREN, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? Why am I in peril every hour? I protest, brethren, by my pride in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day! What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesos? If the dead are not raised, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die." Do not be deceived: "Bad company ruins good morals." Come to your right mind, and sin no more. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame. But some one will ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?" You foolish man! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body which is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body.
Πρὸς Κορινθίους α' 15:29-38
Ἀδελφοί, τί ποιήσουσιν οἱ βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν; Εἰ ὅλως νεκροὶ οὐκ ἐγείρονται, τί καὶ βαπτίζονται ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν; Τί καὶ ἡμεῖς κινδυνεύομεν πᾶσαν ὥραν; Καθʼ ἡμέραν ἀποθνῄσκω, νὴ τὴν ὑμετέραν καύχησιν, ἣν ἔχω ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ κυρίῳ ἡμῶν. Εἰ κατὰ ἄνθρωπον ἐθηριομάχησα ἐν Ἐφέσῳ, τί μοι τὸ ὄφελος, εἰ νεκροὶ οὐκ ἐγείρονται, Φάγωμεν καὶ πίωμεν, αὔριον γὰρ ἀποθνῄσκομεν. Μὴ πλανᾶσθε· Φθείρουσιν ἤθη χρηστὰ ὁμιλίαι κακαί. Ἐκνήψατε δικαίως καὶ μὴ ἁμαρτάνετε· ἀγνωσίαν γὰρ θεοῦ τινὲς ἔχουσιν· πρὸς ἐντροπὴν ὑμῖν λέγω. Ἀλλʼ ἐρεῖ τις, Πῶς ἐγείρονται οἱ νεκροί; Ποίῳ δὲ σώματι ἔρχονται; Ἄφρον, σὺ ὃ σπείρεις, οὐ ζῳοποιεῖται ἐὰν μὴ ἀποθάνῃ· καὶ ὃ σπείρεις, οὐ τὸ σῶμα τὸ γενησόμενον σπείρεις, ἀλλὰ γυμνὸν κόκκον, εἰ τύχοι, σίτου ἤ τινος τῶν λοιπῶν· ὁ δὲ θεὸς αὐτῷ δίδωσιν σῶμα καθὼς ἠθέλησεν, καὶ ἑκάστῳ τῶν σπερμάτων τὸ ἴδιον σῶμα.
The Reading is from Mark 9:2-9
At that time, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves; and he was transfigured before them, and his garments became glistening, intensely white, as no fuller on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses; and they were talking to Jesus. And Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah." For he did not know what to say, for they were exceedingly afraid. And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, "This is my beloved son; listen to him." And suddenly, looking around they no longer saw any one with them but Jesus only. And as they were coming down the mountain he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of man should have risen from the dead.
Κατὰ Μᾶρκον 9.2-9
Καὶ μεθ' ἡμέρας ἓξ παραλαμβάνει ὁ Ἰησοῦς τὸν Πέτρον καὶ τὸν Ἰάκωβον καὶ τὸν Ἰωάννην καὶ ἀναφέρει αὐτοὺς εἰς ὄρος ὑψηλὸν κατ' ἰδίαν μόνους· καὶ μετεμορφώθη ἔμπροσθεν αὐτῶν, καὶ τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο στίλβοντα, λευκὰ λίαν ὡς χιών, οἷα γναφεὺς ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς οὐ δύναται οὕτω λευκᾶναι. καὶ ὤφθη αὐτοῖς Ἠλίας σὺν Μωϋσεῖ, καὶ ἦσαν συλλαλοῦντες τῷ Ἰησοῦ. καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Πέτρος λέγει τῷ Ἰησοῦ· Ραββί, καλόν ἐστιν ἡμᾶς ὧδε εἶναι· καὶ ποιήσωμεν σκηνάς τρεῖς, σοὶ μίαν καὶ Μωϋσεῖ μίαν καὶ Ἠλίᾳ μίαν. οὐ γὰρ ᾔδει τί λαλήσῃ· ἦσαν γὰρ ἔκφοβοι. καὶ ἐγένετο νεφέλη ἐπισκιάζουσα αὐτοῖς, καὶ ἦλθε φωνὴ ἐκ τῆς νεφέλης λέγουσα· Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός· αὐτοῦ ἀκούετε. καὶ ἐξάπινα περιβλεψάμενοι οὐκέτι οὐδένα εἶδον, ἀλλὰ τὸν Ἰησοῦν μόνον μεθ' ἑαυτῶν. καταβαινόντων δὲ αὐτῶν ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄρους διεστείλατο αὐτοῖς ἵνα μηδενὶ διηγήσωνται ἃ εἶδον, εἰ μὴ ὅταν ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῇ.
READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:
Τῇ Ζ' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου Ὁσιομάρτυρος Δομετίου τοῦ Πέρσου.
Ὑπὲρ τὰ πάντα σοι συναθλεῖν ἐκ λίθων,
Μύστας Πάτερ σούς, ἐξεπαίδευσας τάχα.
Σὺν δυσὶν ἑβδομάτῃ Δομέτιος ἐλεύσθη μύσταις.
Ὁ ὅσιος Δομέτιος ὁ σημειοφόρος, ὁ ἐν τοῖς ὁρίοις τῆς τοῦ Φιλοθέου μονῆς ἀσκήσας, ἐν εἰρήνῃ τελειοῦται.
Μνήμη τοῦ ὁσίου καὶ θεοφόρου πατρὸς ἡμῶν Νικάνορος τοῦ θαυματουργοῦ, τοῦ ἐν τῷ τοῦ Καλλιστράτου ὄρει ἀναλάμψαντος.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, ὁ Ὅσιος, Ὤρ ἐν εἰρήνῃ τελειοῦται.
Ἐκ γῆς ἀπελθών, Ὤρ ἐμὸς λέγει.
Χάρις, Ὑπὲρ τὸν Ὤρ πέφυκε τὸν σόν, ὦ Νόμε.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, οἱ Ὅσιοι μύριοι Ἀσκηταὶ οἱ Θηβαῖοι ἐν εἰρήνῃ τελειοῦνται.
Γῆς ἐξελαύνεις, εἰς τὸ Δαυῒδ χρὴ λέγειν,
Τὸ μυριοπλάσιον ἅρμα σου Λόγε.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, ἡ Ὁσία Ποταμία ἡ θαυματουργὸς ξίφει τελειοῦται.
Ὑπὲρ Χριστοῦ κτανθεῖσα θαυμαστὴ ξίφει,
Χέει ποταμοὺς θαυμάτων Ποταμία.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, ὁ Ἅγιος Νάρκισσος, Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Ἱεροσολύμων, ἐν εἰρήνῃ τελειοῦται.
Ἡδὺ πνέων, Νάρκισσε, ναρκίσσου πλέον,
Εὐωδιάζεις τῆς Ἐδὲμ τὸ χωρίον.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, ὁ Ὅσιος Ἀστέριος ὁ θαυματουργὸς ξίφει τελειοῦται.
Τράχηλον Ἀστέριος ἐκκοπεὶς ξίφει,
Χοροῖς ἀθλητῶν, οἷον ἀστὴρ ἐμπρέπει.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, ὁ Ἅγιος Σῴζων, ὁ ἐκ Νικομηδείας, εἰς πῦρ βληθείς, καὶ ἀβλαβὴς ἐξελθών, ἐν εἰρήνῃ τελειοῦται.
Ὑπῆρχεν ἄλλη σαλαμάνδρα πρὸς φλόγα,
Σῴζων ὁ Μάρτυς, οὗ τέλος πυρὸς δίχα.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, ὁ Ἅγιος Ὑπερέχιος ἐν εἰρήνῃ τελειοῦται.
Ὑπερέχιος, κἂν τάφῳ κατεκρύβη,
Πέφυκεν ἴσος τοῖς χοροῖς τῶν Ἀγγέλων.
Ταῖς τῶν Ἁγίων σου πρεσβείαις, ὁ Θεός, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.
Apolytikion in the Grave Tone
Μετεμορθώθης εν τώ όρει Χριστέ ο Θεός, δείξας τοίς Μαθηταίς σου τήν δόξαν σου, καθώς ήδυναντο, Λάμψον καί ημίν τοίς αμαρτωλοίς, τό φώς σου τό αϊδιον, πρεσβείαις τής Θεοτόκου, φωτοδότα δόξα σοι.
You were transfigured on the Mount, Christ God revealing Your glory to Your disciples, insofar as they could comprehend. Illuminate us sinners also with Your everlasting light, through the intercessions of the Theotokos. Giver of light, glory to You.
This Martyr, who lived during the reign of Saint Constantine the Great, was a Persian by race and an idolater by religion. He was catechized by a certain Christian named Abarus. He went to Nisibis, a city of Mesopotamia, where he was baptized and donned the monastic habit in a certain monastery. He afterwards ascended a mountain and there endured in extreme ascetical struggles, working miracles for those that came to him, and converting many unbelievers. Julian the Apostate learned of these things as he was marching against the Persians in 363, and at his command the Saint and his two disciples were stoned to death, as they were chanting the Sixth Hour.
Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Ο Μάρτυς σου Κύριε, έν τή αθλήσει αυτού, τό στέφος εκομίσατο τής αφθαρσίας, εκ σού τού Θεού ημών, έχων γάρ τήν ισχύν σου, τούς τυράννους καθείλεν, έθραυσε καί δαιμόνων, τά ανίσχυρα θράση, αυτού ταίς ικεσίαις Χριστέ, σώσον τάς ψυχάς ημών.
Thy Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for Thee received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since he possessed Thy strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.
Ο όσιος Νικάνωρ, ο ιδρυτής του Μοναστηρίου της Ζάβορδας, που είναι γνωστός και τιμάται ιδιαίτερα σε όλη την δυτική Μακεδονία, και του οποίου η Εκκλησία σήμερα γιορτάζει την μνήμη, ο όσιος λοιπόν Νικάνωρ είν' ένα φυτό, που φύτρωσε και καλλιεργήθηκε μέσα στο ιερό περιβάλλον μιας πραγματικά χριστιανικής οικογένειας. Και προτού να γεννηθή κι όταν γεννήθηκε, στη σκέψη και στα μάτια των γονέων του ήταν ο καρπός της πίστεως και το δώρο του Θεού. Σ'ένα περιβάλλον αληθινής χριστιανικής ευσεβείας εγεννήθη κι ανετράφη ο άνθρωπος, που διέπρεψεν ύστερα σε οσιότητα βίου και που μέχρι σήμερα και πάντα θα είναι ο θαυματουργός Άγιος και προστάτης της Δυτικής Μακεδονίας. Όλα τα οφείλομε στην οικογένειά μας, ό,τι είμαστε κι ό,τι δεν είμαστε. Η οικογένεια είναι το κύτταρο της κοινωνικής ζωής και το εργαστήριο της αγιότητος. Ο άγιος Γρηγόριος ο Νύσσης γράφει· "Από της εστίας η χάρις· ενταύθα το των αγαθών εργαστήριον".
Ὁ Ἅγιος Δομέτιος ὁ Πέρσης καὶ οἱ δυὸ μαθητές του
Ὁ ὁσιομάρτυρας Δομέτιος ἦταν Πέρσης καὶ ἔζησε στὰ χρόνια του Μεγάλου Κωνσταντίνου. Διδάχθηκε τὴν χριστιανικὴ πίστη ἀπὸ κάποιο χριστιανό, ποὺ ὀνομαζόταν Ἄβαρος. Ὅταν τὸ ἔμαθαν αὐτὸ οἱ ἄνθρωποι τοῦ σπιτιοῦ του, ἐξεγέρθηκαν ἐναντίον του καὶ ὁ Δομέτιος ἀναγκάσθηκε νὰ τοὺς ἐγκαταλείψει. Κατέφυγε στὴν πόλη Νισίβη στὰ βυζαντινὰ σύνορα, ὅπου κλείστηκε σὲ κάποια μονή. Ἀναχώρησε, ὅμως, κι ἀπὸ κεῖ, γιὰ νὰ ἔλθει στὴ Θεοδοσιούπολη, στὴ μονὴ Σεργίου καὶ Βάκχου, ὅπου ὁ Δομέτιος καλλιέργησε σὲ μεγάλο βαθμὸ τὶς ἀρετὲς τοῦ Εὐαγγελίου. Ὁ προϊστάμενος τῆς μονῆς Οὖρβελ, βλέποντας τὴν πνευματικὴ ἀνωτερότητα τοῦ Δομετίου, θέλησε νὰ τὸν κάνει πρεσβύτερο. Ἀλλὰ ὁ ἀγῶνας τοῦ Δομετίου δὲν ἦταν πῶς θὰ ἁρπάξει ἀξιώματα, ἀλλὰ πὼς θὰ τὰ ἀποφύγει. Διότι ἔμαθε ἀπὸ τὸν Κύριό του Ἰησοῦ Χριστό, νὰ εἶναι «ταπεινὸς τῇ καρδίᾳ» ποὺ σημαίνει, ταπεινὸς στὸ φρόνημα καὶ τὴν ἐσωτερικὴ διάθεση. Γι᾿ αὐτὸ καὶ ἔφυγε στὰ ὄρη καὶ ζοῦσε μέσα σὲ μία σπηλιὰ μὲ δυὸ μαθητές του. Ὅταν κάποτε περνοῦσε ἀπὸ κεῖ ὁ Ἰουλιανὸς ὁ Παραβάτης, διέταξε νὰ τὸν σκοτώσουν. Οἱ στρατιῶτες τοῦ Ἰουλιανοῦ βρῆκαν τὸ Δομέτιο καὶ τοὺς μαθητές του νὰ ψάλλουν μέσα στὴ σπηλιά, καὶ τοὺς φόνευσαν μὲ λιθοβολισμό.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Ἀστέριος ὁσιομάρτυρας καὶ θαυματουργός
Πότε καὶ ποῦ μαρτύρησε δὲν ἀναφέρουν οἱ Συναξαριστές. Στοὺς περισσότερους ἀπὸ τοὺς Κώδικες ἀναγράφεται ὡς «μάρτυς καὶ συγκλητικός, διὰ ξίφους τελειωθείς». Στὸν Συναξαριστὴ τοῦ Ἁγίου Νικόδημου ἀναφέρεται ὡς «ὁσιομάρτυς καὶ θαυματουργός».
Ὁ Ὅσιος Ὢρ
Ὁ Ὅσιος αὐτὸς ἀσκήτευε στὸ ὄρος τῆς Νιτρίας. Στὴν ἀρχὴ καὶ γιὰ λίγα χρόνια ἔκανε ἐρημίτης μὲ νηστεία, προσευχὴ καὶ μελέτη τοῦ θείου λόγου. Κατόπιν ὅμως τὸν ἀνακάλυψαν χριστιανοὶ ποὺ ἐπιζητοῦσαν πνευματικὸ ὁδηγὸ καὶ ἀπὸ τότε ἡ φήμη τῆς ἁγιότητάς του ἁπλώθηκε παντοῦ. Χιλιάδες ἐπισκέπτες πήγαιναν κοντά του γιὰ νὰ ὠφεληθοῦν ἀπὸ τὴν διδασκαλία καὶ τὴν ταπεινοφροσύνη του. Στὴ συνέχεια ὁ Ὅσιος Ὢρ ἀνέπτυξε ἀδελφότητες καὶ ἵδρυσε μοναστήρια, στὰ ὁποῖα μὲ πολὺ ζῆλο καλλιεργοῦνταν ἡ πνευματικὴ καὶ ἡ σωματικὴ ἐργασία. Ἐπίσης ὁ Ὅσιος εἶχε τὸ χάρισμα τοῦ λόγου καὶ ἤξερε πότε νὰ σιωπᾷ καὶ πότε νὰ μιλάει. Ἀπεβίωσε εἰρηνικὰ 90 χρονῶν, διατηρώντας τὴν διαύγεια τοῦ μυαλοῦ του μέχρι τελευταίας του πνοῆς.
Οἱ Ὅσιοι Μύριοι (10.000) ἀσκητὲς Θηβαίοι
Ἡ Ὁσία Ποταμία ἡ Θαυματουργός
Μαρτύρησε διὰ ξίφους.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Νάρκισσος ὁ Ἱερομάρτυρας Πατριάρχης Ἱεροσολύμων
Ἀναδείχτηκε 30ος ἢ κατ᾿ ἄλλους 31ος ἐπίσκοπος Ἱεροσολύμων, ἀπὸ τὸν πρῶτο, ποὺ ἦταν ὁ Ἰάκωβος ὁ ἀδελφόθεος. Ἦταν ἄνδρας ἐγκρατής, φιλάνθρωπος, διδακτικὸς καὶ ἄκαμπτος στὴν ἐκτέλεση τοῦ καθήκοντός του, χωρὶς νὰ ἐμποδίζεται ἀπὸ τὴν ἀντίδραση τῶν μοχθηρῶν ἐχθρῶν του. Σὲ κάποια συκοφαντία ποὺ κάποτε ὀργανώθηκε ἐναντίον του, παρουσιάστηκαν τρεῖς ψευδομάρτυρες. Ὁ πρῶτος, γιὰ νὰ ἐπιβεβαιώσει τὴν ψευδοκατάθεσή του, εἶπε ὅτι ἂν λέει ψέματα νὰ πέσει φωτιὰ καὶ νὰ τὸν κάψει. Ὁ δεύτερος εἶπε νὰ γίνει σκωληκόβρωτος καὶ ὁ τρίτος νὰ τυφλωνόταν. Δὲν πέρασε λοιπὸν πολὺς καιρὸς καὶ οἱ ψευδομάρτυρες τιμωρήθηκαν ὅπως τοὺς ἅρμοζε. Ὁ πρῶτος κάηκε ἀπὸ κεραυνό, ὁ δεύτερος ἀρρώστησε βαριὰ καὶ τὸ λεπρὸ σῶμα του ἔτρωγαν σκουλήκια καὶ ὁ τρίτος τυφλώθηκε. Ὁ Νάρκισσος ἀνέβηκε δυὸ φορὲς στὸ θρόνο καὶ πατριάρχευσε συνολικὰ 26 χρόνια. Ἀπεβίωσε εἰρηνικὰ σὲ ἡλικία 116 χρονῶν.
Ὁ Ὅσιος Ὑπερέχιος
Ὑπῆρξε ἀπὸ τοὺς μοναχούς, ποὺ μαζὶ μὲ τὴν πίστη, κατεῖχαν καὶ τοὺς θησαυροὺς τῆς χριστιανικῆς φιλοσοφίας. Ἦταν ἥρεμος, γλυκὸς καὶ σπάνια τὸν πλησίαζε ἡ φλόγα τῆς ὀργῆς. Ἔλεγε δὲ συχνά: «ὁ μὴ κρατῶν γλώσσης αὐτοῦ ἐν καιρῷ ὀργῆς, οὐδὲ παθῶν κρατήσει ὁ τοιοῦτος». Ἀπεβίωσε εἰρηνικά, γεμάτος χάρη ἀπὸ τὸν Θεό.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Σώζων ἀπὸ τὴν Νικομήδεια
Τὸν ἔριξαν στὴ φωτιὰ καὶ θαυματουργικὰ μὲ τὴν θεία χάρη βγῆκε ἀβλαβής. Στὴ συνέχεια ἀπεβίωσε εἰρηνικά.
Ὁ Ὅσιος Θεοδόσιος ὁ νέος, ὁ ἰαματικός
Γεννήθηκε στὴν Ἀθήνα ἀπὸ γονεῖς εὐσεβεῖς χριστιανοὺς τὸ 862. Ἀπὸ μικρὸς εἶχε θερμὴ πίστη καὶ ἀγάπη πρὸς τὸν πλησίον. Ἀφοῦ ἔδωσε ὅλη του τὴν περιουσία στοὺς φτωχούς, ἀποφάσισε ν᾿ ἀποσυρθεῖ στὸν ἡσυχαστικὸ βίο, λίγο ἔξω ἀπὸ τὴν Ἀθήνα. Ἀλλ᾿ ἐπειδὴ ἐκεῖ τὸν ἐνοχλοῦσαν πολλοὶ γνώριμοί του κατέφυγε στὸ Ἄργος, ὅπου ἔστησε τὸ ἡσυχαστήριό του. Ἐκεῖ ἐπίσης ἔκτισε καὶ ναὸ στὸ ὄνομα τοῦ τιμίου Προδρόμου, ὅπου ἔτρεχαν πολλοὶ καὶ τὸν συμβουλεύονταν. Τὸν φθόνησαν ὅμως μερικοὶ Ἱερεῖς, ποὺ νόμιζαν ὅτι ἐλάττωνε τὰ εἰσοδήματά τους καὶ τὸν κατάγγειλαν στὸν Ἀρχιεπίσκοπο Ἄργους Ἅγιο Πέτρο (3 Μαΐου). Ὁ Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος ὅμως Πέτρος, κατάλαβε τὴν ἀφιλοκερδία καὶ τὴν εὐσέβεια τοῦ Θεοδοσίου, μὲ ἀποτέλεσμα νὰ τὸν ἐνισχύει συνεχῶς στὸ θεάρεστο ἔργο τῆς ἐλεημοσύνης. Ἔτσι ὁ Θεοδόσιος ἀπεβίωσε εἰρηνικὰ σὲ βαθιὰ γεράματα καὶ στὴν κηδεία του θρήνησε ὅλος ὁ λαὸς καὶ ὁ κλῆρος τοῦ Ἄργους.
Ὁ Ὅσιος Δομέτιος ὁ σημειοφόρος
Ὁ Ὅσιος αὐτὸς ἦταν Ἁγιορείτης ἀσκητής, ποὺ ἀσκήτευε στὰ ὅρια τῆς Μονῆς Φιλόθεου, ἔκανε μάλιστα καὶ θαύματα, καὶ ἀπεβίωσε εἰρηνικά. Αὐτὸς εἶχε μαθητὴ τὸν ὁσιομάρτυρα Δαμιανό.
Ὁ Ὅσιος Νικάνωρ ὁ θαυματουργός
Ὁ Ὅσιος Νικάνωρ ἦταν ἀπὸ τὴν Θεσσαλονίκη καὶ ἔζησε τὸν 14ο αἰῶνα. Οἱ γονεῖς του ὀνομαζόταν Ἰωάννης καὶ Μαρία. Ἦταν πολὺ πλούσιοι ἀλλὰ καὶ πολὺ πνευματικοὶ ἄνθρωποι. Ἀπόκτησαν μόνο ἕνα παιδὶ ποὺ τὸ ὀνόμασαν Νικόλαο, καὶ ἀπὸ τὴν ἀρχὴ προσπάθησαν νὰ τὸ ἀναθρέψουν σύμφωνα μὲ τὰ διδάγματα τοῦ Εὐαγγελίου. Ἀλλὰ ἐνῷ ὁ Νικόλαος ἦταν 20 χρονῶν, πεθαίνει ὁ πατέρας του καὶ μετὰ ἀπὸ λίγα χρόνια καὶ ἡ μητέρα του. Τότε αὐτός, διαμοίρασε ὅλη του τὴν μεγάλη κληρονομιὰ στοὺς φτωχοὺς καὶ ἔγινε μοναχὸς μὲ τὸ ὄνομα Νικάνωρ. Κατόπιν, μὲ τὴν ἐπιμονὴ τοῦ Ἀρχιερέως Θεσσαλονίκης, δέχτηκε νὰ γίνει καὶ ἱερέας. Στὸ ὄρος Βέρμιον Γρεβενῶν, ποὺ τὸ ἔλεγαν «τοῦ Καλλιστράτου», ὑπῆρχε Μονὴ ποὺ ἔκτισε ὁμώνυμος μοναχός. Ἐκεῖ λοιπὸν πῆγε καὶ ὁ Νικάνωρ γιὰ νὰ μονάσει, καὶ ἀπὸ κεῖ κατέβαινε καὶ ἐμψύχωνε τὸ λαὸ τῶν γύρω πόλεων καὶ χωριῶν, νὰ μένουν σταθεροὶ στὴν πίστη τους ἀκόμα καὶ μὲ θυσία τῆς ζωῆς τους. Κάποια νύκτα καὶ ἐνῷ ὁ Νικάνωρ προσευχόταν, ἄκουσε φωνὴ νὰ τοῦ λέει νὰ πάει στὴν κορυφὴ τοῦ ὄρους, καὶ ὅτι ἐκεῖ θὰ βρεῖ τὴν εἰκόνα τοῦ Κυρίου. Πράγματι τὴν ἑπόμενη ἡμέρα τὰ λεγόμενα τῆς φωνῆς ἐπαληθεύτηκαν καὶ ὁ Νικάνωρ στὸ σημεῖο ἐκεῖνο ἔκτισε ἐκκλησία καὶ μοναστήρι στὸ ὄνομα τῆς Μεταμόρφωσης τοῦ Κυρίου. Ἡ ἁγία ζωὴ τοῦ ὁσίου Νικάνορα, τερμάτισε τὴν 7η Αὐγούστου 1419 (κατ᾿ ἄλλους τὸ 1519). Τὸ σεβάσμιο λείψανό του τάφηκε στὸ παρεκκλῆσι τοῦ τιμίου Προδρόμου.
Μνήμη βαρβαρικῆς ἐπιδρομῆς
Ἡ ἐπιδρομὴ αὐτὴ τῶν Περσῶν δὲν ἀναφέρεται ἀπὸ τὸν Ἅγιο Νικόδημο, τὴν ἀναφέρουν ὅμως ἀρκετοὶ Κώδικες. Ἐδῶ παραθέτουμε ἀκριβῶς τὰ γραφόμενα στὸν Λαυρεωτικὸ Κώδικα 73: «Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ (ζ´ Αὐγούστου) μνήμην ἐπιτελοῦμεν τῆς ὑπὲρ λόγον καὶ παρὰ πᾶσαν ἐλπίδα δωρηθείσης ἡμῖν τελείας βοηθείας παρὰ Χριστοῦ τοῦ ἀληθινοῦ Θεοῦ ἡμῶν κατὰ τῶν πανταχόθεν διά τε γῆς καὶ θαλάσσης κυκλωσάντων ἡμᾶς ἀθέων ἐχθρῶν, μεσιτευσάσης τὴν σωτηρίαν τῆς θεοφύλακτου ταύτης καὶ βασιλίδος πόλεως τῆς ἀσπόρως Αὐτὸν τεκούσης παναγίας ἀχράντου Δεσποίνης ἡμῶν Θεοτόκου καὶ ἀειπάρθενου Μαρίας. Τοῦτο δὲ γέγονε κατὰ τοὺς χρόνους Ἡρακλείου του Βασιλέως, ὅτε Χοσρόης ὁ τῶν Περσῶν βασιλεὺς Σάρβαρον τὸν αὐτοῦ στρατηλάτην μετὰ δυνάμεως βαρείας κατὰ τῆς θεοφύλακτου ταύτης πόλεως ἐξέπεμψεν ὃς πᾶσαν τὴν Ἀνατολὴν ληισάμενος τὸν ἐν Χαλκήδονι πορθμὸν κατέλαβε, προσδοκῶν καὶ τὴν ἐν πόλεσι μεγίσιην ἐλεεῖν. Ταῦτα ἰδὼν Ἡράκλειος διὰ τοῦ Εὐξείνου Πόντου τὴν Περσίδι κατέλαβε, πλείονα ἐν αὐτῇ ἐργασάμενος ᾗ ὢν ὁ Πέρσαι τῶν Ρωμαίων γῆν διερχόμενοι, τοὺς υἱοὺς αὐτοῦ ἐνταῦθα καταλιπῶν μετὰ τοῦ Σεργίου Πατριάρχου καὶ Βώνου τοῦ θαυμάσιου. Χαγάνος δὲ ὁ τῶν Ἀβάρων ἡγούμενος καὶ αὐτὸς μὲν τῶν ὁμόρων ἐθνῶν παραλαβὼν πλῆθος διὰ γῆς καὶ θαλάσσης καὶ αὐτὸς τὴν Κωνσταντινούπολιν προσέβαλεν ὥστε ἐξ ἀνατολῶν δὲ τοὺς Σκύθας, καὶ αὐτὴν πάντοθεν περιληφθεῖσαν εἶτα τὰ ἑαυτῶν ποιοῦντες ἐλεεῖν ἤλπιζαν πόλιν τῷ σταυρῷ καὶ τοῖς πάθεσι Χριστοῦ σεμνυνομένην καὶ τὴν Θεοτόκῳ ὑπ᾿ αὐτοῦ δῶρον δεδομένην. Πᾶσαν οὖν ἐλέπολιν καὶ τειχομαχίαν τὴν μὲν δρῶντες, τὴν δὲ μελετῶντες βαρβαρικώτεροι γενναίως ἦσαν ἀνθιστάμενοι. Βῶνος δὲ τούτους ἦν ὁ πρὸς μάχην διεγείρων καὶ πολὺς φόνος ἐξ ἑκάτερου μέρους ἐγένετο. Οὕτως οὖν τρὶς καὶ τετράκις συμβαλόντες καὶ τὴν τῆς Θεοτόκου συμμαχία, ἄπρακτοι διαμείναντες εἰς θυμὸν διεγείρονται μέγιστον. Ὅθεν τοῦτο οἱ τὴν πόλιν οἰκοῦντες διαγνόντες, πρεσβείας πρὸς Χαγάνον στέλλουσι μετὰ χρημάτων συχνῶν εἰρηνικὰ γενέσθαι σπονδᾶς ἐξαιτούμενοι· ὁ δὲ φιλάργυρος τὴν γνώμην καὶ τὸν τρόπον ὤν, τὰ μὲν χρήματα ἔλαβε, τοὺς δὲ πρέσβεις ἀπράκτους ἀπέστειλε, «αὔριον, φήσας, τὴν πόλιν ὑμῶν ὡς νοσσιᾶν τὴν χειρί μου καταλήψομαι καὶ πάντας μονοχίτωνας ἐξελθεῖν ἔασως πλεῖον γὰρ τούτου οὐ φιλανθρωπεύσομαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς», πολλὰ πρότερον κατὰ Χριστοῦ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἡμῶν καὶ τῆς Αὐτὸν τεκούσης βλασφημήσας. Ταῦτα οἱ τὴν πόλιν οἰκοῦντες ἀκούσαντες καὶ ὅσον Ἱερατικόν, ὅσον τε λαϊκὸν καὶ συγκλητικὸν εἰς τοὺς θείους ναοὺς ἐλιτάνευον, τὰς χεῖρας εἰς οὐρανοὺς αἴροντες καὶ «Κύριε ἐξ ἁγίου κατοικητηρίου», λέγοντες, «ἔπιδε ἐπὶ τῷ μιαρῷ Χαγάνω καὶ ἐπὶ πᾶσι τοῖς ὑπ᾿ αὐτοῦ τολμωμένοις καὶ κατάβαλε αὐτό, ὁ ὑπερασπιστὴς ἡμῶν, ὅπως μὴ εἴπῃ, ποῦ ἐστὶν ὁ Θεὸς αὐτῶν», καὶ οἱ μὲν ηὔχοντο κλαίοντες, οἱ δὲ διά τε γῆς καὶ θαλάσσης ἐν μιᾷ ἔγνων συρρηγνύειν τὸν πόλεμον ὁ δὲ ὑπ᾿ αὐτῶν βλασφημούμενος Κύριος, τῇ πρεσβείᾳ τῆς Αὐτὸν τεκούσης, ἀνέμους σφοδροὺς καὶ στροβίλους τῇ θαλάσσῃ ἐκπέμψας καὶ πᾶσαν διαταράξας, αὔτανδρα τὰ σκυθικὰ πλοῖα τῇ θαλάσσῃ παρέπεμψεν ἐνθεὶς δὲ καὶ τοῖς ἐν πόλει θάρσος, ὅσον τούτοις δέος κατὰ τῶν βλάσφημων ἐξέπεμψεν εἰς τοὺς βαρβάρους δὲ τοσοῦτον φόνον εἰργάσαντο, ὅσον οὐδὲ ἀριθμῆσαι τις δύναται. Ταῦτα οὐδὲ τοὺς Πέρσας ἔλαβεν οὕτω πραχθέντα, οἱ χεῖρα - ὡς λόγος - ἐπὶ στόματος θέντες ὑπέστρεψαν ἀπρακτοι· ὁ δὲ Ἱεράρχης καὶ ἅπαν της ἐκκλησίας τὸ πλήρωμα σὺν δάκρυσιν ἐπινίκια ἦδον καὶ χαριστήρια. «Ἡ δεξιά σου, Κύριε, δεδόξασται ἐν ἰσχύι ἡ δεξιά σου χείρ, Κύριε, ἔθραυσεν ἐχθροὺς καὶ τῷ πλήθει τῆς δόξης σου συνέτριψας τοὺς ὑπεναντίους· πάντα τὰ ἔθνη ἐκύκλωσαν ἡμᾶς καὶ τῷ ὀνόματί σου, Κύριε, ἠμυνάμεθα ταῦτα». Οὕτως ἡ παναγία καὶ ὑπεράμωμος Θεοτόκος, ἡ τῶν Χριστιανῶν ἀντίληψις, περὶ ἡμᾶς τὴν ἰσχὺν αὐτῆς ἀπεδείξατο καὶ τὴν μεγάλην καὶ παράδοξον σωτηρίαν ταύτην ἡμῖν ἐδωρήσατο. Διὰ ταῦτα τὴν παροῦσαν ἀνάμνησιν ἐτησίως πανηγυρίζομεν ἐν τῷ σεβασμίῳ αὐτῆς οἴκῳ, τῷ ὄντι ἐν Βλαχέρναις».
Ὁ Ἅγιος Βαρτάν, ὁ ἐξ Ἀρμενίας μάρτυρας
Ἐγκαίνια ναοῦ τῆς Θεοτόκου «ἐν Γοργιαναῖς»
Κατὰ τὸν Πατμιακὸ Κώδικα 266.
Ὁ Ὅσιος Ποιμὴν ἐν τῷ σπηλαίῳ (+ 1110) ὁ Πολυπαθής (Ρῶσος)
Ὁ Ὅσιος Ποιμὴν ὁ Νηστευτὴς (Ρῶσος, 14ος αἰ.)
Ἡ Ὁσία Κανδίδα ἡ Βυζαντία
Ὁ Ὅσιος Ἰωσὴφ ὁ Γεροντογιάννης
Οἱ γονεῖς τοῦ ὁσίου, Ἐμμανουὴλ καὶ Ζαμπία, εὐσεβεῖς καὶ ἐνάρετοι ἄνθρωποι, ζοῦσαν στὶς Λίθινες, ὀνομαστὸ χωριὸ τῆς Σητείας Κρήτης. Ὁ Ὅσιος γεννήθηκε τὸ 1799 στὰ ἐρειπωμένα κελλάκια τῆς Μονῆς Κάψα, ὅπου εἶχαν καταφύγει οἱ γονεῖς του, λόγω τουρκικῆς ἐπιδρομῆς. Ὁ Ἰωάννης Βιτσέντζος (ὅπως ἦταν τὸ κοσμικὸ ὄνομα καὶ τὸ ἐπίθετο τοῦ ὁσίου) μέχρι νὰ μεγαλώσει βοηθοῦσε τὸν πατέρα του στὶς ἀγροτικὲς ἐργασίες. Ζωηρὸς καὶ ἀτίθασος στὸν χαρακτῆρα. Λόγω ἀπαγόρευσης τῆς λειτουργίας σχολείων, δὲν ἔμαθε γράμματα. Ἦταν ὅμως φιλομαθὴς καὶ ἔξυπνος. Σὲ νεαρὴ ἡλικία παντρεύτηκε τὴν χωριανή του Καλλιόπη τῆς οἰκογένειας Γεροντήδων καὶ ἀπέκτησε τέσσερα παιδιά. Τρεῖς κόρες καὶ ἕνα γιό. Ἡ ἀγροτικὴ ζωὴ καὶ οἱ συχνοὶ διαπληκτισμοὶ μὲ τοὺς Τούρκους, τὸν ἀνάγκασαν νὰ μένει στὸ μετόχι ποὺ εἶχε στὴν τοποθεσία «Κατσαρόλι», κοντὰ στὶς Λίθινες. Αὐτὴ ἡ ἀπομόνωση ἀγρίεψε περισσότερο τὸν ἤδη δύστροπο χαρακτῆρα του. Ἔγινε εὐέξαπτος, σκληρός, ἐρειστικὸς καὶ ἀνελεήμων. Ἕνα ἀτύχημα ὅμως, μὲ τὸν θάνατο τῆς μικρῆς του κόρης Εἰρήνης, ἡμέρα Κυριακή, ποὺ αὐτὸς εἶχε φύγει νὰ κάνει ἐμπόριο, ἄλλαξε ριζικὰ τὴν ζωή του. Καὶ κατόπιν σὰν μοναχὸς συμβούλευε: «Κι᾿ ἂν θὲς ζωὴν παντοτεινὴ νὰ δῇς εἰς βασιλείαν Κυριακᾶς καὶ ἑορτᾶς πράσσε (= σύχναζε) στὴν Ἐκκλησίαν». Μετὰ ἀπὸ διάφορες περιπέτειες, ἀφήνει τὴν οἰκογένειά του στὴν πρόνοια τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ γίνεται μοναχὸς στὴ Μονὴ τοῦ Κάψα, τὴν ὁποία ἀνακαινίζει καὶ ἀφιερώνεται ὁλόψυχα στὴν λατρεία τοῦ Θεοῦ. Ἀφοῦ ἔζησε ἀρκετὰ χρόνια ζωὴ ἁγία, παρέδωσε ὁσιακὰ τὴν ψυχή του στὸν Θεὸ στὶς 8.00 τὸ πρωὶ τῆς 6ης Αὐγούστου 1874. Σύμφωνα μὲ παραδόσεις καὶ μαρτυρίες ντόπιων κατοίκων, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἄλλων, ἐπετέλεσε πολλὰ θαύματα πρὸ καὶ μετὰ τὸν θάνατό του. Εἶναι τοπικὸς ἅγιος καὶ ἡ μνήμη του γιορτάζεται τὴν 7η Αὐγούστου. Ἡ ἀνακομιδὴ τῶν λειψάνων του ἔγινε μὲ ἄδεια τοῦ οἰκείου Μητροπολίτη τὴν 7η Μαΐου 1982 καὶ ἡ μνήμη της γιορτάζεται τὴν Τρίτη πρὸς Τετάρτη τῆς Διακαινησίμου. Ἀκολουθία τοῦ ὁσίου αὐτοῦ συνέγραψε ὁ μοναχὸς Γεράσιμος Μικραγιαννανίτης, τὴν ὁποία, μαζὶ μὲ τὸν βίο τοῦ ὁσίου, ἐξέδωσε ἡ Ἱερὰ Μονὴ Τιμίου Προδρόμου Κάψα Σητείας Κρήτης, τὸ 1993.
Martyr Dometius of Persia (363) and two disciples
"Born a pagan in Persia in the time of the Emperor Constantine, he came to know the Christian faith as a young man, forsook his paganism and received baptism. He was so enchanted with the true Faith that he left all worldly things and became a monk in a monastery near the town of Nisibis. He lived among the brethren for some time, then withdrew into silence, going to Archimandrite Urbel, of whom it is said that, for sixty years, he never ate anything cooked. Urbel made him a deacon, but, when he wanted to make him a priest, Dometius fled to a distant mountain and settled in a cave there. He attained such perfection through fasting, prayer, vigils and meditation that he was able to heal the sick. When Julian the Apostate came to that place, he heard of Dometius and sent men to wall him up alive in the came, with two of his disciples. Thus died this saint of God, in 363, and went to the Kingdom of God." (Prologue). The Great Horologion says that Dometius and his disciples were stoned to death.
Holy Martyrs Marinus the Soldier and Asterius the Senator (260)
Marinus was a soldier in the Roman army, serving in Caesarea in Palestine. During a persecution under the Emperor Gallienus, he was arrested and beheaded for his Christian faith. The senator Asterius, also a Christian, was present at his execution. Asterius took off his senatorial toga, wrapped the martyr's body in it, and carried the holy body away to bury it. For this he too was beheaded.
Our Holy Father Or (Horus) of the Thebaid (390)
He was a native of Egypt; his name is that of one of the Egyptian gods. He fled to the desert to live as a hermit, but after many years he became a well-known spiritual guide and founded several monastic communities. A first-hand account of him, by Rufinus, says 'In appearance he is like an angel of God; an old man of ninety with a long snow-white beard. The impression left by his presence is delightful. His gaze is imbued with more-than-human radiance.' He received communion every day. So detached was he from the world that his disciples once had to remind him that Pascha had come. Hearing this, he went outside, raised his hands to heaven and prayed without ceasing for three days. When he had done he said to his disciples 'This is the monk's celebration of Pascha: the lifting up of the mind to unity with God. He reposed in peace at a great age.
Our Holy Father Pimen the Much-Ailing (1110)
"He was sickly from his youth, and from his youth desired monasticism. Brought to the Monastery of the Caves for healing, he remained there till his death. He prayed more for sickness than for health. On night, angels appeared to him and tonsured him as a monk, telling him at the same time that he would be sick until his death, and would be healed at that moment. And so it was; he lay sick for twenty years, working wonders even during his lifetime and being possessed of a rare gift of discernment. At the time of his death, he got up from his bed completely healed, immediately prepared his grave and entered into rest in the Lord, in the year 1110." (Prologue)
The Monk Dometios lived during the IV Century, and he was by birth a Persian. In his youthful years he was converted to the faith by a Christian named Uaros. Forsaking Persia, he withdrew to the frontier-city of Niziba (in Mesopotamia), where he accepted Baptism in one of the monasteries and was tonsured into monasticism. But then fleeing the ill-will of the monastery inhabitants, the Monk Dometios moved on to the monastery of Saints Sergios and Bacchus in the city of Theodosiopolis. The monastery was under the guidance of an archimandrite named Nurbelos -- a strict ascetic, about whom it was reported, that over the course of 60 years he did not taste of cooked food, nor did he lay down for sleep, but rather took his rest standing up, supporting himself upon his staff. In this monastery the Monk Dometios was ordained to the dignity of deacon, but when the archimandrite decided to have him made a presbyter, the saint in reckoning himself unworthy hid himself away on a desolate mountain in Syria, in the region of Cyr. Reports about him constantly spread about among the surrounding inhabitants. They began to come to him for healing and for help. Many a pagan was brought to the faith in Christ by Dometios. And one time, in the locality where Saint Dometios asceticised with his disciples, the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363) arrived, journeying along on his campaign against the Persians. By order of the emperor, soldiers searched out Saint Dometios praying with his disciples in a cave, and stoned them to death (+ 363).
The Uncovering of the Relics of Sainted Mitrophan, Bishop of Voronezh (1832): The memory of the deep piety and pastoral virtues of Saint Mitrophan (as schemamonk named Makarii) was revered as sacred at Voronezh, back from the time of his death (+ 23 November 1703). His successors, the Voronezh hierarchs, considered it their sacred duty to annually make remembrance of the first-hierarch of their flock, together with his parents, the priest Vasilii and Maria. The people of Voronezh and its surroundings came to the Annunciation cathedral, where at the place of his burial panikhida memorial services were made. Contributing to the intense remembrance of Saint Mitrophan was also his deathbed last-will bidding -- to make prayers for him. For this the saint even during his lifetime had built at the cathedral a chapel in honour of the holy Archangel Michael (the heavenly patron-saint of the saint's baptismal name), and in it a special priest made early votive liturgies. Although new generations afterwards did not know the saint, they likewise reverently venerated his memory. The veracity of the sainthood of the first hierarch of the Voronezh diocese was likewise confirmed by his incorrupt relics, witnessed during the repeated transfers of them from one temple to another. And thus in the year 1718, the Voronezh metropolitan Pakhomii, in setting about the construction of a new cathedral, gave orders to demolish the old Annunciation cathedral, during which time the body of Saint Mitrophan was temporarily transferred into the church of the Unburnt Bush [as seen by Moses]. In 1735 the body of Saint Mitrophan was transferred into the new cathedral, during which time the non-decay of his relics was again witnessed. At the place of the burial of the saint, panikhidas were customarily made for him.
With the year 1820 it was noticed, that the number of those venerating Saint Mitrophan and thronging to Voronezh, had extraordinarily increased. Graced signs also increased. The Voronezh archbishop Antonii II made repeated reports to the Holy Synod about miracles, and he petitioned for a resolution on the glorification to sainthood of the saint. The Holy Synod them prescribed watching for bestowals of grace, received at the grave of Saint Mitrophan. In the year 1831, after witnessing to the incorrupt body of the saint, archbishop Antonii together with commission members of the Holy Synod -- the Yaroslavl' archbishop Evgenii and archimandrite Germogen of the Moscow Saviour-Androniev monastery, became convinced in the miraculous intercession of Saint Mitrophan before the Throne of God. The Holy Synod then issued its resolution adding Sainted Mitrophan into the ranks of the Saints. Since then the Russian Church celebrates the memory of the saint twice during the year: 23 November -- on the day of repose, and on 7 August -- on the day of glorification.
Archbishop Antonii II (1827-1846) established in the Voronezh also the following feastdays in honour of Sainted Mitrophan: 4 June, in memory of Sainted Mitrophanes, Patriarch of Tsar'grad-Constantinople, as a day of "tezoimenie" or name-in-common for Saint Mitrophan of Voronezh; 2 April -- the saint's day of ordination to bishop (in 1682); 11 December -- the day of confirmation of the relics of Saint Mitrophan (in 1831).
Saint Mitrophan left behind a spiritual last-testament. Its original is preserved in the State Historical Museum. Upon the testament is the unique handwritten authoritative undersigning by the saint: "This spiritual dictate is attested to by me... Bishop Mitrophan of Voronezh".
On the lower cover (inside) is a gloss inscription from the XVIII Century: "This is the book of testament or last-will of the Voronezh schema-monk Makarii, written in the God-saved city of Voronezh, in the house of His Grave the bishop and schema-monk Makarii, who reposed in the month of November on the 23rd day in the year 1703, and was buried on the 4th day of December".
On the day preceding the Uncovering of the Relics of Saint Mitrophan, the Voronezh archbishop Antonii set about going to church, so as to lay out the new archbishop vestments prepared for the relics. Suddenly he felt in himself such a weakness, that he was barely able to go about his cell. Troubled by this, he sat and pondered and then he heard a quiet voice: "Transgress not my legacy".
This he did not understand right away, and instead thinking about his own plans, he gathered up his strength and opened the closet wherein were the vestments, and there he caught sight of the schema-garb, brought shortly before this by some unknown monk, who had entrusted it to him and said, that it soon would be needed.
Seeing this schema-garb, the Vladyka then realised, that the words, "Transgress not my legacy", was actually the will of Saint Mitrophan, that they not place upon his relics the archbishop vestiture, but rather leave them in schema-garb, -- indicating by this and by his extreme humility the deep spiritual connection with his schema-monk patronal saint, the Monk Makarii of Unzhensk.
The Monk Pimen the Much-Sick (XI Century) attained the Kingdom of Heaven by way of grievous illness. This Russian ascetic was both born and grew up sickly. For a long while he besought his parents to send him off to the Kievo-Pechersk monastery. And when they brought their son to the famed monastery, they then began in prayer to beseech health for him. But the sufferer himself, conscious of the high value of suffering, instead besought of the Lord both the continuation of sickness, and likewise his tonsuring into monasticism. And herewith Angels in the guise of monks made over him the rite of tonsure. Several of the brethren heard the sound of singing, and coming to the Monk Pimen, they found him attired in monastic garb. In his hand he held a blazing candle, and his tonsured hair could be seen at the crypt of the Monk Theodosii (Feodosii). The Monk Pimen spent many a year in grievous illness, such that those attending to him were bothered by it and often they left him without bread and water, but he endured everything with joy. Compassionate towards the brethren, the Monk Pimen healed a certain crippled brother, having taken his word to be of service to the point of death. But after a while the brother grew lax in his service, and his former ailment overtook him. The Monk Pimen again healed him with the advice, that both the sick and those attending the sick receive equal reward. The Monk Pimen spent twenty years in grievous sufferings. But three days before his death, as also an Angel had earlier predicted, he became healthy. In church the monk took leave of all the brethren and communed the Holy Mysteries. Then, having bowed down before the grave of Abba Antonii, the Monk Pimen pointed out the place for his burial and he himself carried to it an earlier prepared coffin. He pointed out there to the buried, one after the other of the monks, and he predicted, that the brethren would find buried one in schema-garb to be without it, since this monk had led a life unworthy of it; this other monk, who had been buried without the schema, would however be attired in it after death, since he had much wished this during his life and he was worthy. After the death of the Monk Pimen, the brethren became persuaded of the perspicacity of his words. On the day of the repose of the Monk Pimen, three fiery columns appeared over the refectory, and moved atop the church. A similar event was described in the chronicles under 11 February 1110 (Vide the 5 August commemoration of Sainted Theoktist of Chernigov), wherefore also the day of demise of the Monk Pimen is surmised as occurring on 11 February 1110.
The relics of the Monk Pimen rest in the Antoniev Cave.
A second commemoration of the saint is made on 28 September, together with the Sobor-Assemblage of the Monks of the Nearer Caves.
The Monk Pimen, Faster of Pechersk, asceticised in the Farther Caves. His abstinence was such, that he tasted of food only once a day and only in the most necessary quantity. His outward fasting corresponded to an inward abstemiousness from any actions, thoughts or feelings, unpleasing to God. The Monk Pimen was hegumen of the Kievo-Pechersk monastery from 1132 to 1141. A second commemoration to the saint occurs on 28 August.
The Monk Merkurii of Pechersk, Bishop of Smolensk, asceticised at the Nearer Caves. The account about him is located under 24 November.
The Martyr Asterias lived during the reign of the pagan emperors Valerian (253-259) and his son Gallienus (260-268). Being a Roman senator, Asterias nonetheless held firmly to the Christian faith, in spite of the persecutions occurring during those times. One time, being in Palestine, he came to the city of Caesarea Philippi, where by custom a pagan feast was made with the offering of sacrifice to an idol. The demon residing in the idol made the sacrifice become invisible, and this was looked upon as a great wonder. Saint Asterias by prayer expelled the demon. The sacrifice ceased to become invisible, and the pagans ceased to make this impious solemnity. Saint Asterias also happened to be present at the sufferings of the Martyr Marin (Comm. 16 December). When the execution was over, he took off his senatorial garb, spread it upon the ground and wrapped in it the head and body of the Martyr Marin. On his own shoulders he carried the remains of the martyr to the graveyard and reverently consigned them to earth. For doing this he was himself sentenced to death and beheaded in the year 260.
The Monk Horus (IV Century) in his youthful years withdrew into the Thebaid wilderness and asceticised in complete solitude for many years, leading the life of a strict hermit. Having gotten up in years, the Monk Horus was granted to see an Angel, which announced, that the Lord had destined him for the salvation of the many people, who would seek his guidance.
After this, the monk began to accept everyone who came to him for advice and help. The Lord granted him a gift of reading the Holy Scripture, despite the fact that the saint since childhood had not been taught reading and writing. Gradually around the Monk Horus there formed a large monastery, in which the holy elder was the spiritual guide. The monk never entered the refectory for the tasting of food, nor ate of it on the day of partaking the Holy Mysteries. He often taught the brethren by means of stories about the temptations, which might beset a monk living in solitude. But he always told it such that everyone would know literally that it was in regard to wilderness-dwellers known to him. The monk concealed his own ascetic exploits. One time, back when the saint still lived with only one disciple, that one brought to his attention the approach of Holy Pascha. The Monk Horus immediately stood up at prayer, and raising his hands, he stood thus for 3 days under the open sky, in contemplation of God. He thereupon explained to his disciple, that for the monk every feastday, and especially Pascha, consists in this -- to remove oneself from everything mundane,, and to come nigh in heart and thought to God.
All the thoughts and doings of his disciples was revealed to the Monk Horus, and no one dared to lie to him. Having survived well into old age, the Monk Horus founded several monasteries, comprising altogether as many as 1,000 monastics. He died at age 90 in about the year 390.
The Monastic Martyress Potamia the Wonderworker died under the sword. But sometimes the saint is incorrectly listed as the Monk Potamius the Wonderworker.
The Monk Dometios was an Athonite elder. He pursued silence at the Philotheos monastery together with the MonkMartyr Damian the Philotheite (Comm. 23 February), who suffered under cruel tortures by the Turks in the year 1568.
THE PROLOGUE FROM ORCHID:
1. THE VENERABLE MARTYR DOMETIUS
Dometius was born in Persia as a pagan during the reign of Emperor Constantine. He became acquainted with the Faith of Christ as a young man, abandoned paganism and was baptized. So much did Dometius love the True Faith that he left everything worldly and was tonsured a monk in a monastery near the town of Nisibis. He lived for some time among the brethren and then withdrew to a life of silence to be with an a certain elder Archmandrite Urbel, about whom it is said that he did not eat anything cooked for sixty years. The elder Urbel ordained Dometius a deacon and when he wanted to compel him to receive the rank of a priest, Dometius withdrew to an isolated mountain and settled in a cave. He attained such a high degree of perfection through fasting, prayer, all night vigils and godly-thoughts that he cured the sick. When Julian the Apostate came to those regions, he heard of Dometius and sent men, who sealed him alive in the cave along with two of his disciples. Thus, this saint of God died and took up habitation in the Kingdom of God in the year 363 A.D.
2. THE VENERABLE OR, HERMIT OF THEBAID
Or attained great perfection through the greatest mortification. When he firmly established himself and attained holiness in solitude, he then gradually established several monasteries and was a superb spiritual leader and teacher of many monks. Rufinus, who visited him describes Or in the following way: "In his dress [habit], he resembled an angel of God; a ninety-year old elder with a long beard, as white as snow; externally was very pleasant. His gaze shone with something super human." Often times, he saw the angels of God. He especially endeavored never to speak an untruth. He had great temptations from the demons but overpowered them all soberly and courageously. He received Holy Communion daily. On one occasion, one of his disciples reminded him that the Feast of the Resurrection had come and that it should be celebrated. Hearing this, Or came out, raised his hands to heaven and spent three days in prayer without rest. He explained to his disciple: "For the monk, this is the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ: to elevate his mind and to unite it with God." He rested in deep old age about the year 390 A.D.
3. THE HOLY MARTYRS MARINUS AND ASTERIUS
Marinus was a soldier and Asterius was a Roman senator. At the time of Emperor Gallienus, St. Marinus served as a soldier in Caesarea in Palestine. Marinus was beheaded for the sake of the Faith of Christ. Asterius, the senator, also a Christian, was present at his martyrdom. He removed his dolman and, with it, wrapped the body of the martyr, placed it on his shoulders, took it and honorably buried it. Seeing this, the pagans beheaded him also. They both died honorably for Christ about the year 260 A.D.
4. THE VENERABLE PIMEN, [POEMEN] THE GREATLY AFFLICTED ONE
Pimen was sickly from his youth and from his youth desired the monastic life. Brought to the Lavra of the Caves in Kiev for healing, he remained there until his death. Pimen prayed to God, more for sickness, than for health. At night, angels appeared to him and tonsured him a monk. On that occasion, the angels informed him that he will be ill until his death and, just before his death, will become healthy. And so, it was. Pimen was bedridden for twenty years. He worked miracles during his lifetime and was unusually discerning. Just prior to his death, he rose from the bed completely whole and immediately prepared a grave for himself. He rested in the Lord in the year 1110 A.D.
5. THE PRIESTLY-MARTYR NARCISSUS, PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM
Narcissus was beheaded at the time of Antoninus in the year 213 A.D. being one hundred sixteen years of age.
HYMN OF PRAISE
SAINT OR, HERMIT OF THEBAID
To the monks, honor; to the monk's glory,
Head of the monks, Or, the all-wise Abba,
With great labor, with many sighs,
Of a true monk, reached perfection.
Teach us a lesson, they once pleaded to him!
Never tell a lie, speak the truth.
I know a man, who never swore,
Never lied, never wished evil to another.
Then the elder after his reply, remained silent.
Then holy Sisoes asked of Or:
Tell me father some instruction.
"Live," Or said to him, "as you see me!"
Tell me more clearly, how should I see you.
Everyman, a secret within himself conceals?
Again Or said to him: Behold, to you I am speaking:
Of all God's things, myself I consider the worse.
Paul, the disciple, Or taught thusly:
For from every sin you will easily flee
But only from evil conversation, if you flee,
For from this evil, every other sin sprouts
To the soul of a man, evil conversation is death,
Every good seed in the heart, it smothers.
One more thing will I say and let it be enough,
The thoughts of vanity, drive away; insane desires, drive away,
From that which is material, distance yourself,
And son, the spiritual you will attain.
Neither concern yourself about the righteous nor envy the sinner. Remember always that the Lord Christ, by His resurrection, conquered a shameful death and that Herod, Judas, Nero, Julian the Apostate, Valerian, Leo the Armenian and other opponents of Christ, by a shameful death mortalized forever their temporary successes and victories. Envious ones slandered St. Narcissus the Patriarch for violating his chastity. The innocent Narcissus withdrew into the wilderness and spent many years in silence and patiently waited for God to do His will. Three patriarchs followed him [on the patriarchal throne] and only then did men come forward and clearly prove his innocence. Then everyone forced him to return from the wilderness to his throne. Thus, God justifies the righteous. The bloody Emperor Valerian, with satanic passion, murdered Christians throughout the entire world [Roman Empire]. How did he end up? In battle with the Persians, he was defeated and enslaved by King Sapor. Sapor did not desire to kill him immediately but used him as a mounting block whenever he wanted to mount a horse. Every day, King Sapor's servants brought Valerian along with a horse and Sapor enjoyed placing his foot on the neck of the Roman Emperor in order to make it easier for him to mount the horse. He who sows an evil seed reaps an evil harvest.
To contemplate the mercy of God toward the barren Hannah, the mother of Samuel (1 Samuel 1 1 Kings 1):
1. How Hannah was barren and in her sorrow implored God that she give birth to a son, promising to dedicate him to God;
2. How God heard the prayers of Hannah and she gave birth to a son and called him Samuel (besought from God);
3. How Hannah brought Samuel to the Temple and dedicated him to God.
About the new law from Zion
"For out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Isaiah 2:3).
The prophet speaks of a new law and of a new word. The old law was given on Sinai and the new law will come from Zion. The old law was given through Moses and the new law, the Lord Christ Himself will bring. That [the old law] was intended in the beginning only for the Jews, and this one [the new law], will be directed to all peoples and all of mankind. Even though these words of the prophet are clear, however, the Jews could not understand them nor do they understand them today. The meaning of these words is closed to them because of their stony hearts. To whom do they [the Jews] apply these words? To no one. How do they [the Jews] interpret these words? They do not. They pass by these words as a blind man passes by an open door. If they were able to comprehend these words, would they have then acted in such a manner as they acted with the prophet and the prophesied One [Christ]? Would they have sawn Isaiah and crucified Christ on the Cross?
The Jews considered the law of Moses to be the only and final law of God. That is why they were unable to comprehend the meaning of the prophecy of the new law from Zion, i.e., from the House of David, for David glorified Zion. But if the Jews did not know to comprehend the new law through the old law, we Christians know that through the new law we comprehend the old law. The Jews only had a tree without fruit but we have the tree and the fruit. They only had an image without reality, but we have both reality and the image. They adhered only to promises and that, incorrectly understood, but we have the promises and the fulfillment.
O All-rich Lord, Who has enriched us with Your spiritual law and Your life-giving words, You only do we worship and to You only do we pray; grant us wisdom and power to live according to Your law and to uphold Your holy word, so that we may not become poor before You, Who has made us rich!
To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.