FEASTS AND SAINTS CELEBRATED TODAY:
Holy Martyr Emilian
Holy Martyrs Paul, Thea and Oualentine
Our Holy Father John, Archbishop of Constantinople
Τοῦ Ἁγίου Μάρτυρος Αἰμιλιανοῦ, τῶν Ἁγίων Μαρτύρων Παύλου, Θέης καί Οὐαλεντίνης καί τοῦ ἐν Ἁγίοις Πατρός ἡμῶν Στεφάνου, Ἀρχιεπισκόπου Κωνσταντινουπόλεως.
READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:
The Reading is from St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 7:12-24
BRETHREN, if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner desires to separate, let it be so; in such a case the brother or sister is not bound. For God has called us to peace. Wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband? Husband, how do you know whether you will save your wife? Only, let every one lead the life which the Lord has assigned to him, and in which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. Was any one at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was any one at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. Every one should remain in the state in which he was called. Were you a slave when called? Never mind. But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity. For he who was called in the Lord as a slave of Christ. You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. So, brethren, in whatever state each was called, there let him remain with God.
Πρὸς Κορινθίους α' 7:12-24
Ἀδελφοί, εἴ τις ἀδελφὸς γυναῖκα ἔχει ἄπιστον, καὶ αὐτὴ συνευδοκεῖ οἰκεῖν μετʼ αὐτοῦ, μὴ ἀφιέτω αὐτήν. Καὶ γυνὴ ἥτις ἔχει ἄνδρα ἄπιστον, καὶ αὑτὸς συνευδοκεῖ οἰκεῖν μετʼ αὐτῆς, μὴ ἀφιέτω αὐτόν. Ἡγίασται γὰρ ὁ ἀνὴρ ὁ ἄπιστος ἐν τῇ γυναικί, καὶ ἡγίασται ἡ γυνὴ ἡ ἄπιστος ἐν τῷ ἀνδρί· ἐπεὶ ἄρα τὰ τέκνα ὑμῶν ἀκάθαρτά ἐστιν, νῦν δὲ ἅγιά ἐστιν. Εἰ δὲ ὁ ἄπιστος χωρίζεται, χωριζέσθω. Οὐ δεδούλωται ὁ ἀδελφὸς ἢ ἡ ἀδελφὴ ἐν τοῖς τοιούτοις· ἐν δὲ εἰρήνῃ κέκληκεν ἡμᾶς ὁ θεός. Τί γὰρ οἶδας, γύναι, εἰ τὸν ἄνδρα σώσεις; Ἢ τί οἶδας, ἄνερ, εἰ τὴν γυναῖκα σώσεις; Εἰ μὴ ἑκάστῳ ὡς ἐμέρισεν ὁ θεός, ἕκαστον ὡς κέκληκεν ὁ κύριος, οὕτως περιπατείτω. Καὶ οὕτως ἐν ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις πάσαις διατάσσομαι. Περιτετμημένος τις ἐκλήθη; Μὴ ἐπισπάσθω. Ἐν ἀκροβυστίᾳ τις ἐκλήθη; Μὴ περιτεμνέσθω. Ἡ περιτομὴ οὐδέν ἐστιν, καὶ ἡ ἀκροβυστία οὐδέν ἐστιν, ἀλλὰ τήρησις ἐντολῶν θεοῦ. Ἕκαστος ἐν τῇ κλήσει ᾗ ἐκλήθη, ἐν ταύτῃ μενέτω. Δοῦλος ἐκλήθης; Μή σοι μελέτω· ἀλλʼ εἰ καὶ δύνασαι ἐλεύθερος γενέσθαι, μᾶλλον χρῆσαι. Ὁ γὰρ ἐν κυρίῳ κληθεὶς δοῦλος, ἀπελεύθερος κυρίου ἐστίν· ὁμοίως καὶ ὁ ἐλεύθερος κληθείς, δοῦλός ἐστιν Χριστοῦ. Τιμῆς ἠγοράσθητε· μὴ γίνεσθε δοῦλοι ἀνθρώπων. Ἕκαστος ἐν ᾧ ἐκλήθη, ἀδελφοί, ἐν τούτῳ μενέτω παρὰ θεῷ.
The Reading is from Matthew 14:35-36;15:1-11
At that time, when the men of Gennesaret recognized Jesus, they sent round to all that region and brought to him all that were sick, and besought him that they might only touch the fringe of his garment; and as many touched it were made well.
Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, "Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat." He answered them, "And why do you transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God commanded, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die.' But you say, 'If any one tells his father or his mother, What you would have gained from me is given to God, he need not honor his father.' So, for the sake of your tradition, you have made void the word of God. You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: 'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.' " And he called the people to him and said to them, "Hear and understand: not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man."
Κατὰ Ματθαῖον 14.35-36,15.1-
Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, ἐπιγνόντες αὐτὸν οἱ ἄνδρες τοῦ τόπου ἐκείνου ἀπέστειλαν εἰς ὅλην τὴν περίχωρον ἐκείνην, καὶ προσήνεγκαν αὐτῷ πάντας τοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας, καὶ παρεκάλουν αὐτὸν ἵνα κἂν μόνον ἅψωνται τοῦ κρασπέδου τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ· καὶ ὅσοι ἥψαντο διεσώθησαν. Τότε προσέρχονται τῷ ᾿Ιησοῦ οἱ ἀπὸ ῾Ιεροσολύμων γραμματεῖς καὶ Φαρισαῖοι λέγοντες·διατί οἱ μαθηταί σου παραβαίνουσι τὴν παράδοσιν τῶν πρεσβυτέρων; οὐ γὰρ νίπτονται τὰς χεῖρας αὐτῶν ὅταν ἄρτον ἐσθίωσιν.ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· διατί καὶ ὑμεῖς παραβαίνετε τὴν ἐντολὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ διὰ τὴν παράδοσιν ὑμῶν;ὁ γὰρ Θεὸς ἐνετείλατο λέγων· τίμα τὸν πατέρα καὶ τὴν μητέρα· καί· ὁ κακολογῶν πατέρα ἢ μητέρα θανάτῳ τελευτάτω.ὑμεῖς δὲ λέγετε· ὃς ἂν εἴπῃ τῷ πατρὶ ἢ τῇ μητρί, δῶρον ὃ ἐὰν ἐξ ἐμοῦ ὠφεληθῇς, καὶ οὐ μὴ τιμήσῃ τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ ἢ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ·καὶ ἠκυρώσατε τὴν ἐντολὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ διὰ τὴν παράδοσιν ὑμῶν.ὑποκριταί! καλῶς προεφήτευσε περὶ ὑμῶν ῾Ησαΐας λέγων· ἐγγίζει μοι ὁ λαὸς οὗτος τῷ στόματι αὐτῶνκαὶ τοῖς χείλεσί με τιμᾷ,ἡ δὲ καρδία αὐτῶν πόρρω ἀπέχει ἀπ᾿ ἐμοῦ· μάτην δὲ σέβονταί με,διδάσκοντες διδασκαλίας ἐντάλματα ἀνθρώπων. Καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος τὸν ὄχλον εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· ἀκούετε καὶ συνίετε·οὐ τὸ εἰσερχόμενον εἰς τὸ στόμα κοινοῖ τὸν ἄνθρωπον, ἀλλὰ τὸ ἐκπορευόμενον ἐκ τοῦ στόματος τοῦτο κοινοῖ τὸν ἄνθρωπον.
READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:
Τῇ ΙΗ' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου μάρτυρος Αἰμιλιανοῦ.
Αἰμιλιανὸς εἰς πυρὰν βεβλημένος,
Χριστῷ παραστάς, τέρπεται σὺν Ἀγγέλοις.
Ὀγδοάτῃ δεκάτῃ φλογὶ Αἰμιλιανὸς ἐβλήθη.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων Μαρτύρων Παύλου, Θεῆς καὶ Οὐαλεντίνης.
Μνήμη τοῦ ἁγίου μάρτυρος Ὑακίνθου τοῦ ἐν Ἀμάστριδι.
Ὁ ἅγιος μάρτυς Μάρκελλος ἐν κραβάτῳ πυρακτωθέντι ἁπλωθεὶς τελειοῦται.
Οἱ ἅγιοι μάρτυρες Δάσιος καὶ Μάρων ξίφει τελειοῦνται.
Ὁ ὅσιος Παμβὼ ἐν εἰρήνῃ τελειοῦται.
Ταῖς αὐτῶν ἁγίαις πρεσβείαις, ὁ Θεός, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς, Ἀμήν.
This Martyr was from Dorostolum in Thrace, the servant of a certain pagan in the days of Julian the Apostate (361-363). As a fervent Christian, Emilian abominated the error of the pagans, and one day entered the temple and broke all the idols with a hammer. Seeing that others were arrested and beaten for this, he gave himself up of his own accord. He was mercilessly whipped, then cast into a fire, in which he gave up his soul without his body suffering harm.
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.
Kontakion in the Third Tone
Ώς ευσεβείας στηλογράφημα θεόγλυπτον, τής ασεβείας καθαιρέτης αναδέδειξαι, τά σεβάσματα συντρίψας τής απωλείας. Αλλ' ως έμπλεως τής θείας αγαπήσεως, ώς χρυσός εν τώ πυρί ευρέθης δόκιμος, όθεν κράζομεν, χαίροις Μάρτυς αήττητε.
O divine Emilian, since zeal for God burned within thee, thou wast not afraid of fire, thy fellow creature and servant; fearlessly and of thine own will, thou wentest forward and wast not consumed therein by the flames' hot fury, as a sacrifice to Christ God, O glorious martyr; pray that we all may be saved.
Πολλοί από τους Αγίους του Θεού υπήρξαν θύματα της δεισιδαιμονίας και των προλήψεων του όχλου. Και σήμερα ακόμη τίμιοι και ειλικρινείς άνθρωποι κι αφωσιωμένοι ιεραπόστολοι υπομένουν θλίψεις και ταλαιπωρίες και δίνουν και τη ζωή τους, γιατί έρχονται σε αντίθεση με τις πλανεμένες αντιλήψεις του λαού και με τις συνήθειες αγρίων φυλών. Ο άγιος Μάρτυς Υάκινθος, του οποίου σήμερα η Εκκλησία γιορτάζει την μνήμη, θανατώθηκε από τον όχλο εξ αιτίας ενός δένδρου, που το προσκυνούσαν για Θεό. Ο θείος ζήλος του δεν τον άφηνε να βλέπη τους ανθρώπους να προσκυνούν το άψυχο πράγμα. Έκοψε το δένδρο, μα ο αμαθής όχλος δεν του το συγχώρησε· αντί για το δένδρο εζήτησε τη ζωή του Αγίου. Μέχρι σήμερα το ίδιο γίνεται· προλήψεις και δεισιδαιμονίες είναι τόσο βαθειά στη συνείδηση του λαού, που όποιος θελήση να τις ξεριζώση και στη θέση τους να φυτέψη την αλήθεια, γίνεται ανάθεμα.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Αἰμιλιανὸς
Γεννήθηκε στὸ Δορόστολο τῆς Θρακικῆς Μοισίας, τότε ποὺ αὐτοκράτορας ἦταν ὁ Ἰουλιανὸς ὁ Παραβάτης. Ἦταν δοῦλος σὲ ἕνα σκληρὸ καὶ φανατικὸ εἰδωλολάτρη (ἄλλες πηγὲς ἀναφέρουν ὅτι ἦταν γιὸς τοπικοῦ ἀξιωματικοῦ ὀνόματι Σαββατιανοῦ), ποὺ ὅταν ἔμαθε ὅτι ὁ Αἰμιλιανὸς πίστευε στὸ Χριστό, ἐξοργίστηκε τόσο πολύ, ὥστε ἀφοῦ τὸν ἔβρισε μὲ τὰ πιὸ χυδαῖα λόγια, ἔπειτα τὸν μαστίγωσε ἀνελέητα. Βέβαια, τοῦ ἐπεσήμανε ὅτι, ἂν συνεχίσει νὰ εἶναι χριστιανός, θὰ πάθαινε πολὺ χειρότερα. Ἀλλὰ οἱ τιμωρίες καὶ oi ἀπειλές, ἀντὶ νὰ κάμψουν τὸ φρόνημα τοῦ Αἰμιλιανοῦ, φούντωσαν περισσότερο τὴν φλόγα τῆς πίστεώς του στὸ Χριστό. Μάλιστα τὴν ἑπόμενη μέρα πῆγε σὲ εἰδωλολατρικὸ ναό, ὅπου μὲ σφυρὶ συνέτριψε ὅλα τὰ ἀγάλματα ποὺ ἦταν μέσα στὸ χῶρο αὐτό. Ἐξοργισμένοι οἱ εἰδωλολάτρες Ἱερεῖς, τὸν συνέλαβαν καὶ τὸν παρέδωσαν νὰ δικαστεῖ. Ὅταν πληροφορήθηκε τὸ γεγονὸς αὐτὸ ὁ κύριος τοῦ Αἰμιλιανοῦ, ἀμέσως ἔτρεξε στὸ κριτήτιο, ὅπου, ἀφοῦ ἔβρισε τὸν Αἰμιλιανὸ γιὰ τὴν πράξη του, ἔπειτα διέταξε νὰ ἀρνηθεῖ χωρὶς ἀντίῤῥηση τὸ Χριστό. Ὁ Αἰμιλιανὸς χαμογελώντας ἀπάντησε στὸν κύριό του: «Μπορεῖς νὰ διατάξεις ὅ,τι θέλεις, θὰ σὲ ὑπακούσω, ἀλλὰ ἡ πίστη μου εἶναι ἐκτὸς τῶν δικαιωμάτων σου. Ὡς πρὸς αὐτὴν ἕνα καὶ μόνο Κύριο ἀναγνωρίζω, τὸν Ἰησοῦ Χριστό. Αὐτὸς εἶναι ὁ μέγας καὶ παντοτινός μου Κύριος, ποὺ ἐξουσιάζει τὸ σῶμα καὶ τὴν ψυχή μου, καὶ ποτὲ δὲ θὰ τὸν ἀρνηθῶ». Ὁ εἰδωλολάτρης ἄρχοντας μὲ μῖσος χαστούκισε τὸν Αἰμιλιανό. Ἔπειτα, ἀφοῦ τὸν βασάνισαν, τὸν ἔριξαν στὴ φωτιά, τὸ δὲ λείψανο τοῦ Ἁγίου, κήδεψε μεγαλοπρεπῶς ἡ γυναῖκα τοῦ ἄρχοντα εἰδωλολάτρη, ποὺ ἦταν κρυπτοχριστιανή.
Οἱ Ἅγιοι Παῦλος, Οὐαλεντίνη καὶ Θέη
Καὶ οἱ τρεῖς γεννήθηκαν στὴν Αἴγυπτο, ἀδέλφια μεταξύ τους καὶ παιδιὰ γονέων χριστιανῶν. Μαρτύρησαν στὴ Διοκαισάρεια, ὅπου συνελήφθησαν ἀπὸ τὸν ἄρχοντα Φιρμιλιανὸ καὶ προσκλήθηκαν ν᾿ ἀρνηθοῦν τὸ Χριστό. Ἀλλ᾿ αὐτοὶ ὁμολόγησαν μεγαλόφωνα τὴν πίστη τους καὶ δήλωσαν, ὅτι ἦταν ἕτοιμοι καὶ γιὰ φυλακὴ καὶ γιὰ βασανιστήρια καὶ γιὰ μύριους θανάτους. Καὶ ἡ μὲν Οὐαλεντίνα καὶ ἡ Θέη, νεαρὲς κοπέλες πάνω στὸ ἄνθος τῆς ἡλικίας τους, πέθαναν ἀφοῦ τὶς ἔριξαν μέσα στὴ φωτιά. Προηγουμένως ὅμως, οἱ δήμιοι, ξέσχισαν τὶς σάρκες τους μὲ σιδερένια ὄργανα. Ὁ δὲ Παῦλος, ἀφοῦ ἀπηύθυνε λίγες λέξεις στὰ πλήθη γιὰ τὴν διὰ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ σωτηρία καὶ ἀγάπη, ἔλαβε καὶ αὐτὸς μαρτυρικὸ τέλος δι᾿ ἀποκεφαλισμοῦ.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Ὑάκινθος ἀπὸ τὴν Ἀμάστριδα
Ἦταν γιὸς εὐσεβῶν γονέων, τοῦ Θεοκλήτου καὶ τῆς Θεονίλλης. Πατρίδα του ἦταν ἡ Ἀμάστριδα τοῦ Εὐξείνου Πόντου, ποὺ ἐκεῖνα τὰ χρόνια ἐπισκόπευε ὁ ἐπίσκοπος Ἡρακλείδης. Ὁ Ὑάκινθος, μικρὸ παιδὶ ἀκόμα, ἔδειχνε εὐσέβεια μεγάλου πνευματικοῦ ἀνθρώπου. Τριῶν χρόνων μάλιστα, μὲ τὴν ἐπίκληση τοῦ ὀνόματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ, ἀνάστησε κάποιο νεκρὸ παιδί. Ἔτσι αὔξανε κατὰ τὴν σωματικὴ καὶ πνευματικὴ ἡλικία τῆς ἀρετῆς, κάνοντας πολλὰ θαύματα. Κάποτε ὅμως, εἶδε τοὺς εἰδωλολάτρες νὰ προσκυνοῦν κάποιο ὀπωροφόρο δένδρο, καὶ ὁ Ὑάκινθος ἀπὸ ἱερὴ ἀγανάκτηση, πῆγε καὶ τὸ ἔκοψε. Τότε συνελήφθη καὶ ὁδηγήθηκε στὸν ἡγεμόνα Καστρίνσιο, ὁ ὁποῖος τὸν ἔδειρε ἀνελέητα καὶ τοῦ ξερίζωσε τὰ δόντια. Στὴ συνέχεια τὸν ἔσυραν μὲ σχοινιὰ ἔξω ἀπὸ τὴν πόλη καὶ τὸν πλήγωσαν μὲ μυτερὰ καλάμια. Ἔπειτα τὸν ἔριξαν μέσα στὴ φυλακή, ὅπου παρέδωσε τὴν ἁγία του ψυχή.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Μάρκελλος
Μαρτύρησε, ἀφοῦ τὸν ξάπλωσαν πάνω σὲ πυρακτωμένο κρεβάτι, μὲ ἀποτέλεσμα νὰ ψηθεῖ ζωντανός.
Οἱ Ἅγιοι Δάσιος καὶ Μάρων
Μαρτύρησαν διὰ ξίφους.
Ὁ Ὅσιος Παμβώ
Στάθηκε στόλισμα τῶν ἀσκητῶν τοῦ ὄρους τῆς Νιτρίας καὶ ἦταν σύγχρονος τῆς Ἁγίας Μελάνης καὶ τοῦ Ἁγίου Ἰσιδώρου. Ὁ Ὅσιος Παμβὼ ἦταν μεγάλος σὲ ὅλα του. Στὴν εὐσέβεια, στὴν ὁμιλία, στὴ σιωπή, στὴ συμβουλή, στὴν ἐπιείκεια, στὴν αὐστηρότητα, στὴν πεῖρα, στὴ γνώση, στὴ σοφία, στὴν ἁπλότητα καὶ γενικὰ παντοῦ. Ἀνέδειξε θαυμάσιους μαθητές, ὅπως τὸν ἐπίσκοπο Διόσκορο, τὸν Ἄμμωνα καὶ τὸν Ἰωάννη, τὸν ἀνεψιὸ τοῦ Δρακοντίου. Ἐνῷ ἦταν πάντοτε ἐγκρατὴς καὶ σκληραγωγημένος, εἶχε ὑγεία ἀκμαία καὶ στὴ ζωή του δὲν ἀῤῥώστησε καθόλου. Ὁ θάνατός του ὑπῆρξε ὄχι μόνο ἥσυχος καὶ ἀνώδυνος, ἀλλὰ καὶ εὐχάριστος, πρὸς τὸν οὐράνιο Πατέρα. Τὸν κήδευσαν τὰ πνευματικά του παιδιά, δοξολογώντας τὸν Θεό, ποὺ τοὺς ἀξίωσε νὰ διδαχτοῦν ἀπὸ τὸν μεγάλο αὐτὸ ἀσκητή.
Holy Martyr Emilian (362)
He was from the town of Dorostolon in Thrace and during the reign of Julian the Apostate became a servant of the governor in that region. Before the time of his martyrdom he was a secret Christian. An imperial legate arrived in the town with orders to seize all Christians, but failed to find any; to show his pleasure he ordered a great feast for the whole town, complete with sacrifices to the pagan gods. On the night before the appointed feast, Emilian went around the town and smashed all the idols with a hammer. The following day there was an uproar, and an innocent villager was seized and charged with the crime. Emilian, seeing this, said to himself 'If I conceal my action, what sort of use has it been? Shall I not stand before God as the slayer of an innocent man?' So he presented himself to the legate and confessed what he had done. When the furious official asked Emilian on whose orders he had acted, Emilian replied 'God and my soul commanded me to destroy those dead pillars that you call gods.' As punishment, Emilian was subjected to many tortures and finally burned alive.
St Pambo, hermit of Egypt (374? 386?)
Abba Pambo was a contemporary of St Anthony the Great and one of the greatest of the Desert Fathers. He would only eat bread which he had earned by his own labors, plaiting baskets and mats out of reeds. In his later years, he became in appearance like and angel of God: his face shone so that the monks could not look on it. Through long ascetic labor, he was enabled to control his tongue so that no unnecessary word ever passed his lips. He never gave an immediate answer to even the simplest question, but always prayed and pondered on the question first. Once, when Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, was visiting the monks, they begged Abba Pambo to give the Patriarch a word. He answered: 'If my silence is no help to him, neither will my words be.' He reposed in peace, some say in 374, others in 386.
The Holy Martyr Emelian, a Slav, suffered for Christ during the reign of the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363). Julian wanted to restore in the Roman empire the cult of the pagan gods, and he circulated an edict throughout all the regions, according to which all Christians would be subject to death.
The city of Dorostolum, situated on the banks of the River Dunaj (Danube), where Saint Emelian lived, was governed by an official named Capitolinus. The imperial edict was read in the city square. The people of Dorostolum said that there were no Christians in the city.
Saint Emelian was a slave of the local city-head, and he was secretly a Christian. Emboldened by the harsh edict, Saint Emelian snuck into the pagan temple, he destroyed statues of the idols with an hammer, he overturned the altars and the candle-stands, and then emerged without notice. But soon the pagans discovered, that the pagan-temple was in ruins. An angry crowd began to beat up a certain Christian, who by chance happened by. Saint Emelian then shouted out loudly, that they should not lay hold of that innocent man, and then he said that he himself had wrecked the pagan-temple. They seized hold of him and led him for judgement to Capitolinus. By order of the official, Saint Emelian was for a long time beaten mercilessly, and then he was condemned to burning. Thrown into a bon-fire, he did not perish, but rather the flames burnt many of the pagans standing about. And when the bon-fire had gone out, Saint Emelian lay down upon the dying embers and with a prayer gave up his spirit to the Lord (+ 363). At Constantinople afterwards there was built a church in honour of the holy Martyr Emelian, wherein also they transferred his relics.
The Holy Martyr Iacynthos (Hyacinthe) (IV) was born into a pious Christian family in the city of Amastridea (now Amastra in Anatolia). An Angel which appeared gave him his name. As a three year old boy Saint Iacynthos besought of God that a dead infant might be resurrected, and the Lord hearkened to his childish prayer: the dead one arose. Both lads afterwards grew up together, and together they asceticised in virtuous life. Saint Iacynthos once noticed, how the pagans were worshipping a tree, and so he chopped it down. For this they subjected him to harsh tortures. They smashed out all his teeth, and having bound him with rope, they dragged him along the ground and threw him in prison. And it was there that the holy sufferer expired to God.
The Monk John the Much-Suffering, of Pechersk, pursued asceticism at the Kievo-Pechersk Lavra.
The ascetic related, that from the time of his youth he had suffered much, tormented by fleshly lust, and nothing could deliver him from it -- neither hunger nor thirst nor heavy chains. The monk then went into the cave wherein rested the relics of the Monk Antonii, and he fervently prayed to the holy abba. After a day and a night the much-suffering John heard a voice: "John! It is necessary for thee to here seclude thyself, so that at least to weaken the vexation by silence and the unseen, and the Lord shalt help thee through the prayers of His monastic saints". The saint settled into the cave from that time, and only after thirty years did he conquer the fleshly passions. Tense and fierce was the struggle upon the thorny way on which the monk went to victory. Sometimes the desire took hold of him to forsake his seclusion, but then he resolved on still greater an effort. The holy warrior of Christ dug out a pit and with the onset of Great Lent he climbed into it, and he covered himself up to the shoulders with ground. The whole of Lent he spent in such a position, but the burning of his former passions did not quit his much-exerted flesh. The enemy of salvation brought terror upon the ascetic, in wanting to expel him from the cave: a fearsome serpent, breathing fire and strewn with sparks, tried to swallow the saint. For several days these evil doings continued. On the night of the Resurrection of Christ the serpent seized the head of the monk in its jaws. Then Saint John cried out from the depths of his heart: "O Lord my God and my Saviour!Wherefore hast Thou forsaken me? Have mercy upon me, Thou Only Lover-of-Mankind; deliver me from my foul iniquity, so that I wither not in the snares of the malevolent one; deliver me from the mouth of mine enemy: send down a lightning-flash and drive it away". Suddenly a bolt of lightning flashed, and the serpent vanished. A Divine light shone upon the ascetic, and a Voice was heard: "John! Here is the help for thee; henceforth be attentive, that nothing worse happen to thee and that thou suffer not in the age to come". The saint prostrated himself and said: "Lord! Why didst Thou leave me for so long in torment?" "For the power of thine endurance, -- was the answer, -- I brought upon thee temptation, so that thou might be smelted pure like gold; it is to the strong and powerful servants that a master doth assign the heavy work, and to the infirm and to the weak -- the easy tasks; wherefore pray thou to the one buried here (the Monk Joseph the Hungarian), he can help thee in this struggle: he even moreso than Joseph (the Handsome)". The monk died in about the year 1160, having acquired grace against profligate passions. His holy relics rest within the Antoniev Caves.
The Monk Pamva, a Kievo-Pechersk Hermit and PriestMonk, fulfilled the exploit of confessor. Caught while on a monastic obedience, he was taken off by Tatars and for many years suffered from them for his refusal to renounce the Christian faith. The monk was afterwards miraculously transported from captivity and put within his own cell. He died in seclusion in 1241. His relics rest in the Theodosiev Caves.
The Monk Pamba (IV) asceticised in the Nitreian wilderness in Egypt. The Monk Anthony the Great (Comm. 17 January) said, that the Monk Pamba by the fear of God inspired within himself the Holy Spirit. And the Monk Pimen the Great (Comm. 27 August) said: "We beheld three things in Father Pamba: hunger every day, silence and handcrafts". The Monk Theodore the Studite termed Saint Pamba "exalted in deed and in word".
At the beginning of his monasticism, Saint Pamba heard the verses from the 38th [39th] Psalm of David: "preserve mine path, that I sin not by my tongue". These words sank deep into his soul, and he attempted to follow them always. Thus, when they asked him about something, he answered only after a long pondering and a prayer, risking to say something that he afterwards might regret. Saint Pamba was a model of a lover of work for his disciples. Each day he worked until exhausted, and by the bread acquired by his own toil.
The disciples of the Monk Pamba became great ascetics: Dioskoros, afterwards Bishop of Hermopolis (this Dioskoros, bishop of Hermopolis, mustneeds be distinguished from another Dioskoros -- an arch heretic and patriarch of Constantinople, who lived rather later and was condemned by the Fourth OEcumenical Council), and also Ammonios, Eusebios and Eythymios -- mentioned in the life of Sainted John Chrysostom. One time the Nun Melania the Roman (Comm. 31 December) brought Saint Pamba a large amount of silver for the needs of the monastery, but he did not leave off from his work nor even glance at the money that was brought. Only after the incessant requests of Saint Melania did he permit her to give the alms to a certain monastic brother for distribution to the needs of the monastery. Saint Pamba was distinguished by his humility, but together with this he highly esteemed the vocation of monk and he taught the laypeople to be respectful of monastics, who often converse with God.
The monk died at age 70. Telling the brethren that stood about his death-bed concerning the virtues he strove for during his life, Saint Pamba said: "For I do expire to the Lord such, as that I am but begun to live a God-pleasing monastic".
The Holy GreatMartyr Athanasias (III-IV) was a contemporary and friend of the holy Martyrs Sergios and Backhos (Comm. 7 October). Having received the official position of eparch, he was sent to Egypt by the persecutor-emperor Maximian (284-305). They soon made denunciation against him for confessing the Christian faith. The governor, in supposing that Saint Athanasias had changed his mind, sent him off to Klisma (on the Red Sea) with an order to close down the Christian churches. Having arrived at this place, Saint Athanasias solemnly celebrated the feast of the Nativity of Christ in church. Soon the governor also arrived in Klisma. Learning about what had occurred, for a long time he urged the saint to renounce Christ, but seeing the steadfastness of the saint, he ordered him beheaded.
The Monk Leontii was the founder of the Karikhov monastery, near Novgorod. He expired to the Lord on 18 July 1429.
The Kaluzhsk Icon of the Mother of God: The feast on this day was established and done at Kaluga in grateful memory of the deliverance of the city from cholera on 18 July 1892. (The account about the appearance of the icon is located under 2 September).
THE PROLOGUE FROM ORCHID:
1. THE HOLY MARTYR EMILIAN
During the reign of Julian the Apostate, in the Thracian town of Dorostolon, lived a young man, Emilian, a servant of the mayor of the town. When the apostate emperor began to destroy Christianity throughout the realm of the Roman Empire by fire and sword and, when the emperor's representative came to Dorostolon to kill the Christians, he did not find a single one. Rejoicing at this, he sponsored a great banquet for the citizens of Dorostolon and ordered sacrifices to be offered to the idols and rejoicing ensued throughout the entire town, day and night. That night, St. Emilian entered the pagan temples, markets and the streets of the town and smashed all of the idols with a sledgehammer. The next day there was terror in the city. Everyone sought the destroyer of their gods. A peasant was passing by the temple that morning and was seized. Emilian, seeing that an innocent man would suffer, said to himself: "If I conceal my works, what benefit would I receive from that which I did? Before God, will I not be found as the murderer of this innocent man?" Therefore, he appeared before the emperor's legate and admitted all. The enraged legate asked Emilian, who had prompted you to do this? The martyr of Christ replied: "God and my soul ordered me to destroy those lifeless pillars which you call gods." The judge then ordered that Emilian be flogged and, after flogging and other tortures, ordered him to be buried alive. Thus ended the earthly life of St. Emilian and he was received into the heavenly life on July 18, 362 A.D.
2. THE VENERABLE PAMBO
Pambo was an Egyptian and an ascetic on Mount Nitria. He was a contemporary of St. Anthony the Great, and himself was great in monastic asceticism. He was known particularly for two characteristics: through extensive training, he sealed his lips so that he did not speak one unnecessary word and that he never ate anyone's bread except that bread which he earned with his own hands by weaving reeds. He was similar to an angel of God and, in later years his face shown like the face of Moses once did, so much so that the monks were unable to look him in the face. He did not render an immediate answer even to a simple question before praying and contemplating about it in his heart. The Patriarch Theophilus of Alexandria once visited the monks in Nitria. The monks begged Pambo saying: "Tell the pope a constructive word, which would be beneficial to him." The quiet Pambo replied: "If he does not benefit by my silence he will not even benefit by my word." At one time, St. Pambo with his monks traveled throughout Egypt. When they came upon a group of men who remained seated as the monks passed by, St. Pambo addressed them and said: "Arise and greet the monks so that you may receive a blessing from them for they continually converse with God and their lips are holy." This glorious saint was able to discern clearly the fate of both the living and the dead. He rested in the Lord in the year 386 A.D.
3. THE VENERABLE PAISIUS AND ISAIAH
Paisius and Isaiah were brothers of a wealthy family. They were both monks. One became a saint because of his asceticism in the wilderness and the other because of his works of mercy toward men. Saint Pambo saw them both in Paradise. This settled a dispute among the monks concerning the question: Which is better asceticism and a life of mortification or corporal works of mercy? Both, one and the other, lead to Paradise when it is done in the Name of Christ.
4. VENERABLE JOHN, THE ONE WHO SUFFERED MUCH
John was a recluse in the Monastery of the Caves of St. Anthony in Kiev. Throughout thirty years of his life he was tortured by lustful passions, which he ceaselessly struggled against until finally he conquered them with God's help and by touching the relics of St. Moses the Ugrian (July 26). Being victorious over impure passion, St. John was surrounded by an internal heavenly light by which he could see at night as though it were day.
HYMN OF PRAISE
The monks asked Pambo the Blessed:
"Is it good to praise your neighbor?"
Then Pambo was silent and to the brethren replied:
"It is good to praise but it is better to remain silent."
And still, they asked Pambo: "And who is perfect?"
"For the sake of the will of God, one who denies his own."
The monks remained silent while one will say:
"Yet one more reply, do not deny us:
And what kind of garment should a monk have?"
"The kind you throw away and no one takes."
Thus the saint spoke and closed his mouth,
For he protected his tongue in order not to speak unnecessarily.
Pambo, all radiant at the hour of his death
Questioned about his life, he uttered:
"Undeserving bread, I never did taste,
Neither for a word, my soul repented."
Which is more pleasing to God: a life of mortification in the wilderness or works of mercy? Men of prayer in the wilderness think that man among men, no matter how many good works he performs, will find it difficult to safeguard the purity of the heart and to direct the mind toward God. Benefactors of men say: that the man in the wilderness is totally occupied with his own salvation and does not help in the salvation of others. Two Egyptian brothers, Paisius and Isaiah, inherited a great estate from their parents, sold the estate and each took their share of the money. One of them immediately distributed his money to the poor, became a monk and withdrew into the wilderness to lead a strict life of asceticism that through patience, fasting, prayer and purifying the mind from all evil thoughts in order to save his soul. The other brother likewise became a monk, but did not want to enter the wilderness rather he built a small monastery near the town, a hospital for the sick, a public refectory [dining room] for the needy and a resting place for the sorrowful. He dedicated himself completely to the service of his fellow men. When both brothers died, a dispute ensued among the monks of Egypt: which of the two fulfilled the law of Christ? Unable to agree among themselves they came to St. Pambo and questioned him about this. St. Pambo replied: "Both are perfect before God; the hospitable one is similar to the hospitable Abraham and the ascetical one is similar to Elijah the Prophet, both of whom equally pleased God." But not all the monks were satisfied with this response. Then St. Pambo prayed to God to reveal the truth to him. After praying for several days, St. Pambo said to the monks: "Before God I tell you that I saw both brothers Paisius and Isaiah together in Paradise." With this, the dispute was settled and all were satisfied.
To contemplate the miraculous experience of Balaam (Numbers 22):
1. How Balaam came to prophesy to Balak, the prince of the Moabites;
2. How the angel appeared on the road with a sword and prevented Balaam from advancing forward;
3. How the ass saw the angel before Balaam and spoke to his master.
About the remembrance of the imminent separation of the body
"Yes, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle(body) to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ had showed me" (2 Peter 1: 13-14).
Here is a good reminder to lovers of the body who, because of the body, forgot their souls. The body must be put off. No matter how costly we hold it to be, no matter how much worth we attach to it, no matter how much we caress and pamper it, we must put it off one day. O how powerful and truthful are these words "to put it off!" When the soul is separated from the body, the soul puts off the body as no longer necessary. Those who suffer shipwreck reach the shore on a plank. They come to the shore and discard the plank. When spring blossoms, the serpent sheds its skin and puts it off. When a butterfly wings its way out of the cocoon, the cocoon is put off. In the same manner the body is put off when the soul departs from it. No longer of use and without benefit, even harmful to other men, it is put off from the house, put off from the city, put off from the sun and is buried deep into the ground. Think about this, you who live in luxury and are adorned, you who are haughty and gluttonous!
As long as the soul is in the body, it should utilize the body for its salvation submitting to the law of God and performing the works of God. Do you see how the apostolic soul is a lover of labor! "As long as I am in this tabernacle (body) to stir you up." That task was given to him by God. He wants to conscientiously complete it to the end because he must put off his body. Brethren, let us labor first to embrace the apostolic warning and secondly, to remind others, all others, for whom we wish good. In haste we are approaching the shore of the other old world, as the hour hastily approaches when we must put off the bodies and, with a naked soul, appear before the judgment of God. What will we say at the Dread Judgment Seat of God? To what goals have we, in this earthly life, used the device from the earth, which is called the body?
O Lord Jesus, Righteous Judge, direct our mind to think of death and judgment.
To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.