Saturday, January 12, 2013

January 13, 2013 - Sunday After Epiphany


FEASTS AND SAINTS CELEBRATED TODAY:

Sunday after Epiphany
The Holy Martyrs Hermylus and Stratonicus
Maximos the Righteous of Kapsokalyvia, Mount Athos
Afterfeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
Hilary of Poitiers
Holy Martyrs of Sinai and Raithu
Nina of Georgia

ΜΕΤΑ ΤΑ ΦΩΤΑ.

READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:

The Gospel of John 21:1-14
At that time, Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he revealed himself in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We will go with you." They went out and got into the boat; but that night they caught nothing. Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any fish?" They answered him, "No." He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish. The disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and sprang into the sea. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.
When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish that you have just caught." So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." Now none of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Κατὰ Ἰωάννην 21.1-14
Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, ἐφανέρωσεν ἑαυτὸν πάλιν ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς τοῖς μαθηταῖς ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης τῆς Τιβεριάδος· ἐφανέρωσε δὲ οὕτως. ἦσαν ὁμοῦ Σίμων Πέτρος, καὶ Θωμᾶς ὁ λεγόμενος Δίδυμος, καὶ Ναθαναὴλ ὁ ἀπὸ Κανᾶ τῆς Γαλιλαίας, καὶ οἱ τοῦ Ζεβεδαίου, καὶ ἄλλοι ἐκ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ δύο. λέγει αὐτοῖς Σίμων Πέτρος· ὑπάγω ἁλιεύειν. λέγουσιν αὐτῷ· ἐρχόμεθα καὶ ἡμεῖς σὺν σοί. ἐξῆλθον καὶ ἐνέβησαν εἰς τὸ πλοῖον εὐθύς, καὶ ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ νυκτὶ ἐπίασαν οὐδέν. πρωΐας δὲ ἤδη γενομένης ἔστη ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς εἰς τὸν αἰγιαλόν· οὐ μέντοι ᾔδεισαν οἱ μαθηταὶ ὅτι ᾿Ιησοῦς ἐστι. λέγει οὖν αὐτοῖς ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς· παιδία, μή τι προσφάγιον ἔχετε; ἀπεκρίθησαν αὐτῷ· οὔ. ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· βάλετε εἰς τὰ δεξιὰ μέρη τοῦ πλοίου τὸ δίκτυον, καὶ εὑρήσετε. ἔβαλον οὖν, καὶ οὐκέτι αὐτὸ ἑλκύσαι ἴσχυσαν ἀπὸ τοῦ πλήθους τῶν ἰχθύων. λέγει οὖν ὁ μαθητὴς ἐκεῖνος, ὃν ἠγάπα ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς, τῷ Πέτρῳ· ὁ Κύριός ἐστι. Σίμων οὖν Πέτρος ἀκούσας ὅτι ὁ Κύριός ἐστι, τὸν ἐπενδύτην διεζώσατο· ἦν γὰρ γυμνός· καὶ ἔβαλεν ἑαυτὸν εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν· οἱ δὲ ἄλλοι μαθηταὶ τῷ πλοιαρίῳ ἦλθον· οὐ γὰρ ἦσαν μακρὰν ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς, ἀλλ᾽ ὡς ἀπὸ πηχῶν διακοσίων, σύροντες τὸ δίκτυον τῶν ἰχθύων. ὡς οὖν ἀπέβησαν εἰς τὴν γῆν, βλέπουσιν ἀνθρακιὰν κειμένην καὶ ὀψάριον ἐπικείμενον καὶ ἄρτον. λέγει αὐτοῖς ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς· ἐνέγκατε ἀπὸ τῶν ὀψαρίων ὧν ἐπιάσατε νῦν. ἀνέβη Σίμων Πέτρος καὶ εἵλκυσε τὸ δίκτυον ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, μεστὸν ἰχθύων μεγάλων ἑκατὸν πεντήκοντα τριῶν· καὶ τοσούτων ὄντων οὐκ ἐσχίσθη τὸ δίκτυον. λέγει αὐτοῖς ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς· δεῦτε ἀριστήσατε. οὐδεὶς δὲ ἐτόλμα τῶν μαθητῶν ἐξετάσαι αὐτὸν σὺ τίς εἶ, εἰδότες ὅτι ὁ Κύριός ἐστιν. ἔρχεται οὖν ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς καὶ λαμβάνει τὸν ἄρτον καὶ δίδωσιν αὐτοῖς, καὶ τὸ ὀψάριον ὁμοίως. Τοῦτο ἤδη τρίτον ἐφανερώθη ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ ἐγερθεὶς ἐκ νεκρῶν.

St. Paul's Letter to the Ephesians 4:7-13
Prokeimenon. Mode 1.
Psalm 32.22,1
Let your mercy, O Lord, be upon us.
Verse: Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous.
BRETHREN, grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it is said, "When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men." (in saying, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

Πρὸς Ἐφεσίους 4:7-13
Προκείμενον. Ἦχος α΄.
ΨΑΛΜΟΙ 32.22,1
Γένοιτο, Κύριε, τὸ ἔλεός σου ἐφ' ἡμᾶς.
Στίχ. Ἀγαλλιᾶσθε δίκαιοι ἐν Κυρίῳ
Ἀδελφοί, ἑνὶ ἑκάστῳ ἡμῶν ἐδόθη ἡ χάρις κατὰ τὸ μέτρον τῆς δωρεᾶς τοῦ Χριστοῦ. Διὸ λέγει, Ἀναβὰς εἰς ὕψος ᾐχμαλώτευσεν αἰχμαλωσίαν, καὶ ἔδωκεν δόματα τοῖς ἀνθρώποις. Τὸ δέ, Ἀνέβη, τί ἐστιν εἰ μὴ ὅτι καὶ κατέβη πρῶτον εἰς τὰ κατώτερα μέρη τῆς γῆς; Ὁ καταβάς, αὐτός ἐστιν καὶ ὁ ἀναβὰς ὑπεράνω πάντων τῶν οὐρανῶν, ἵνα πληρώσῃ τὰ πάντα. Καὶ αὐτὸς ἔδωκεν τοὺς μὲν ἀποστόλους, τοὺς δὲ προφήτας, τοὺς δὲ εὐαγγελιστάς, τοὺς δὲ ποιμένας καὶ διδασκάλους, πρὸς τὸν καταρτισμὸν τῶν ἁγίων, εἰς ἔργον διακονίας, εἰς οἰκοδομὴν τοῦ σώματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ· μέχρι καταντήσωμεν οἱ πάντες εἰς τὴν ἑνότητα τῆς πίστεως καὶ τῆς ἐπιγνώσεως τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ, εἰς ἄνδρα τέλειον, εἰς μέτρον ἡλικίας τοῦ πληρώματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ.

The Gospel of Matthew 4:12-17
At that time, Jesus heard that John had been arrested, He withdrew into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth He went and dwelt in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: "The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, toward the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned." From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Κατὰ Ματθαῖον 4.12-17
Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, ἀκούσας δὲ ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς ὅτι ᾿Ιωάννης παρεδόθη, ἀνεχώρησεν εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν,καὶ καταλιπὼν τὴν Ναζαρὲτ ἐλθὼν κατῴκησεν εἰς Καπερναοὺμ τὴν παραθαλασσίαν ἐν ὁρίοις Ζαβουλὼν καὶ Νεφθαλείμ,ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ ῾Ησαΐου τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος· γῆ Ζαβουλὼν καὶ γῆ Νεφθαλείμ,ὁδὸν θαλάσσης, πέραν τοῦ ᾿Ιορδάνου,Γαλιλαία τῶν ἐθνῶν,ὁ λαὸς ὁ καθήμενος ἐν σκότειεἶδε φῶς μέγα,καὶ τοῖς καθημένοις ἐν χώρᾳ καὶ σκιᾷ θανάτουφῶς ἀνέτειλεν αὐτοῖς. ᾿Απὸ τότε ἤρξατο ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς κηρύσσειν καὶ λέγειν· μετανοεῖτε· ἤγγικε γὰρ ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.



READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:

Τῇ ΙΓ' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, Μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων Μαρτύρων Ἑρμύλου καὶ Στρατονίκου.
Ἡ σαργάνη ναῦς, Ἑρμύλῳ Στρατονίκῳ,
Κοινὸν κατάπλουν εἰς βυθὸν ποιουμένοις
Ἕρμυλον ἠδ᾿ ἑτάρον δεκάτῃ πνίξε τρίτῃ Ἴστρος.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Ἰακώβου, τοῦ ἀπὸ τῆς Νισίβεως.
Τὸν Ἰάκωβον θνητὸν ὄντα τῇ φύσει,
Θνητοῖς ὁμοίως μὴ θανεῖν οὐκ ἦν πρέπον.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Ὁ Ἅγιος Μάρτυς Ἀθανάσιος ῥαβδιζόμενος τελειοῦται.
Ῥάβδοις Ἀθανάσιε σαυτὸν ἐκδίδως,
Σπεύδων θανεῖν μέν, ζῆν δὲ πολλῷ κρειττόνως.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, ὁ Ἅγιος Παχώμιος καὶ Παπυρῖνος ἐν ποταμῷ τελειοῦνται.
Τοιοῦτον εὗρε καὶ Παπυρῖνος τέλος,
Οἷον σὺ Παχώμιε, βληθεὶς εἰς ὕδωρ.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Τὰ ἐγκαίνια τῆς Μονῆς τοῦ Προφήτου Ἠλιού, τῆς καλουμένης τοῦ Βαθέος Ῥύακος.
Ταῖς αὐτῶν ἁγίαις πρεσβείαις, ὁ Θεός, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.

Apolytikion in the First Tone
Ἐν Ἰορδάνῃ βαπτιζομένου σου Κύριε, ἡ τῆς Τριάδος ἐφανερώθη προσκύνησις, τοῦ γὰρ Γεννήτορος ἡ φωνὴ προσεμαρτύρει σοί, ἀγαπητὸν σὲ Υἱὸν ὀνομάζουσα, καὶ τὸ Πνεῦμα ἐν εἴδει περιστεράς, ἐβεβαίου τοῦ λόγου τὸ ἀσφαλές. Ὁ ἐπιφανεῖς Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός, καὶ τὸν κόσμον φωτίσας δόξα σοί.
When Thou wast baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest; for the voice of the Father bare witness to Thee, calling Thee His beloved Son. And the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of the word. O Christ our God, Who hast appeared and hast enlightened the world, glory be to Thee.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Ἐπεφάνης σήμερον τὴ οἰκουμένη, καὶ τὸ φῶς σου Κύριε, ἐσημειώθη ἐφ' ἡμᾶς, ἓν ἐπιγνώσει ὑμνούντάς σε. Ἦλθες ἐφάνης τὸ Φῶς τὸ ἀπρόσιτον.
You appeared to the world today, and Your light, O Lord, has left its mark upon us. With fuller understanding we sing to You: "You came, You were made manifest, the unapproachable light."

Saints Hermylos and Stratonikos contested for piety's sake during the reign of Licinius, in the year 314. Saint Hermylos was a deacon, and Stratonikos was his friend. For his confession of Christ, Hermylos was beaten so fiercely that his whole body was covered with wounds. Stratonikos, seeing him endure this and other torments that left him half dead, wept with grief for his friend. From this he was discovered to be a Christian, and when he had openly professed his Faith and had been beaten, he and Hermylus were cast into the Danube River, receiving the crown of martyrdom.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Οι Μάρτυρές σου, Κύριε, εν τή αθλήσει αυτών, στεφάνους εκομίσαντο τής αφθαρσίας, εκ σού τού Θεού ημών, σχόντες γάρ τήν ισχύν σου, τούς τυράννους καθείλον, έθραυσαν καί δαιμόνων, τά ανίσχυρα θράση. Αυτών ταίς ικεσίαις, Χριστέ ο Θεός, σώσον τάς ψυχάς ημών.
Thy Martyrs, O Lord, in their courageous contest for Thee received as the prize the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since they possessed Thy strength, they cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by their prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
Ἐκ τῆς κοσμικῆς, συγχύσεως ἐφύγετε, καὶ πρὸς γαληνήν, κατάστασιν μετέστητε, μαρτυρίου αἵμασι, καὶ ἀσκήσεως πόνοις στεφόμενοι, ὅθεν καὶ ἀνεδείχθητε, μαρτύρων καί. Ὁσίων ὁμόσκηνοι.
When ye received your death in the streams of the river, ye drowned the ruthless foe in the deep of your contest, O far-famed Stratonikos and Hermylos, thou men of God; wherefore, in your struggles ye were worthily guided to the water of true incorruption and glory, by Christ God, Who set your course.

Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Grave Tone
Κατέλυσας τῷ Σταυρῷ σου τὸν θάνατον, ἠνέῳξας τῷ Λῃστῇ τὸν Παράδεισον, τῶν Μυροφόρων τὸν θρῆνον μετέβαλες, καὶ τοῖς σοῖς Ἀποστόλοις κηρύττειν ἐπέταξας, ὅτι ἀνέστης Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός, παρέχων τῷ κόσμῳ τὸ μέγα ἔλεος.
By means of Your Cross, O Lord, You abolished death. * To the robber You opened Paradise. * The lamentation of the myrrhbearing women You transformed, * and You gave Your Apostles the order to proclaim to all * that You had risen, O Christ our God, * and granted the world Your great mercy.

Seasonal Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Ἐπεφάνης σήμερον τὴ οἰκουμένη, καὶ τὸ φῶς σου Κύριε, ἐσημειώθη ἐφ' ἡμᾶς, ἓν ἐπιγνώσει ὑμνούντάς σε. Ἦλθες ἐφάνης τὸ Φῶς τὸ ἀπρόσιτον.
You appeared to the world today, and Your light, O Lord, has left its mark upon us. With fuller understanding we sing to You: "You came, You were made manifest, the unapproachable light."

Resurrectional Kontakion in the Grave Tone
Ουκέτι τό κράτος τού θανάτου, ισχύσει κατέχειν τούς βροτούς, Χριστός γάρ κατήλθε συντρίβων, καί λύων τάς δυνάμεις αυτού, δεσμείται ο Άδης, Προφήται συμφώνως αγάλλονται. Επέστη λέγοντες Σωτήρ, τοίς εν πίστει, εξέρχεσθε οι πιστοί εις τήν ανάσασιν.
No longer will the dominion of death be able to keep men captive; for Christ hath descended, destroying and dispelling the powers thereof. Hades is bound; the Prophets rejoice with one accord, saying: A Saviour hath come for them that have faith. Come forth, ye faithful, for the Resurrection.

Saints Hermylus and Stratonicus contested for piety's sake during the reign of Licinius, in the year 314. Saint Hermylus was a deacon, and Stratonicus was his friend. For his confession of Christ, Hermylus was beaten so fiercely that his whole body was covered with wounds. Stratonicus, seeing him endure this and other torments that left him half dead, wept with grief for his friend. From this he was discovered to be a Christian, and when he had openly professed his Faith and had been beaten, he and Hermylus were cast into the Danube River, receiving the crown of martyrdom.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Οι Μάρτυρές σου, Κύριε, εν τή αθλήσει αυτών, στεφάνους εκομίσαντο τής αφθαρσίας, εκ σού τού Θεού ημών, σχόντες γάρ τήν ισχύν σου, τούς τυράννους καθείλον, έθραυσαν καί δαιμόνων, τά ανίσχυρα θράση. Αυτών ταίς ικεσίαις, Χριστέ ο Θεός, σώσον τάς ψυχάς ημών.
Thy Martyrs, O Lord, in their courageous contest for Thee received as the prize the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since they possessed Thy strength, they cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by their prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

Kontakion in the First Tone
Ἐκ τῆς κοσμικῆς, συγχύσεως ἐφύγετε, καὶ πρὸς γαληνήν, κατάστασιν μετέστητε, μαρτυρίου αἵμασι, καὶ ἀσκήσεως πόνοις στεφόμενοι, ὅθεν καὶ ἀνεδείχθητε, μαρτύρων καί. Ὁσίων ὁμόσκηνοι.
When ye received your death in the streams of the river, ye drowned the ruthless foe in the deep of your contest, O far-famed Stratonicus and Hermylus, thou men of God; wherefore, in your struggles ye were worthily guided to the water of true incorruption and glory, by Christ God, Who set your course.

Apolytikion in the First Tone
Ἐν Ἰορδάνῃ βαπτιζομένου σου Κύριε, ἡ τῆς Τριάδος ἐφανερώθη προσκύνησις, τοῦ γὰρ Γεννήτορος ἡ φωνὴ προσεμαρτύρει σοί, ἀγαπητὸν σὲ Υἱὸν ὀνομάζουσα, καὶ τὸ Πνεῦμα ἐν εἴδει περιστεράς, ἐβεβαίου τοῦ λόγου τὸ ἀσφαλές. Ὁ ἐπιφανεῖς Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός, καὶ τὸν κόσμον φωτίσας δόξα σοί.
Lord, when You were baptized in the Jordan, the veneration of the Trinity was revealed. For the voice of the Father gave witness to You, calling You Beloved, and the Spirit, in the guise of a dove, confirmed the certainty of His words. Glory to You, Christ our God, who appeared and enlightened the world.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Ἐπεφάνης σήμερον τὴ οἰκουμένη, καὶ τὸ φῶς σου Κύριε, ἐσημειώθη ἐφ' ἡμᾶς, ἓν ἐπιγνώσει ὑμνούντάς σε. Ἦλθες ἐφάνης τὸ Φῶς τὸ ἀπρόσιτον.
You appeared to the world today, and Your light, O Lord, has left its mark upon us. With fuller understanding we sing to You: "You came, You were made manifest, the unapproachable light."

The holy Hierarch Hilary was born of pagan parents in Gaul, and was trained in philosophy and rhetoric. At a time when paganism was still strong in Gaul, Saint Hilary understood the falsehood of polytheism, and became a Christian, and a great defender of his new Faith. About the year 350 he was ordained Bishop of Poitiers, when Arles and Milan were in the hands of the Arians and the Arian Constantius was sole Emperor. Like his contemporary Saint Athanasius, Saint Hilary's episcopate was one long struggle against the Arians. As bishop of Poitiers, Saint Hilary foresaw the future greatness of Martin (see Nov. 12), and attached him to himself. In 355, when required to agree to the condemnation of Saint Athanasius passed by the Council of Milan, Hilary wrote an epistle to Constantius convicting the wrongs done by the Arians and requesting, among other things, the restoration of the Orthodox bishops, including Athanasius. For this, Hilary was banished to Asia Minor, where he wrote his greatest work, On the Trinity. Saint Hilary returned to his see in 360, where Saint Martin sought him out again. It was this time that Saint Hilary blessed Martin to found a monastery near Poitiers, where Martin remained until being consecrated Bishop of Tours in 371. In his last years, Saint Hilary, strove for the deposition of Auxentius, the Arian Bishop of Milan, but by affecting an Orthodox confession Auxentius retained his see. Saint Hilary reposed in peace about the year 368. Auxentius died in 374 and was succeeded by Saint Ambrose, who continued Saint Hilary's battle against Arianism.

Apolytikion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Guide of Orthodoxy, teacher of piety and holiness, luminary of the world, God-inspired adornment of hierarchs, O wise Hilary, by thy teachings thou hast enlightened all, O harp of the Spirit. Intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Enduring exile for the Faith delivered to the Church of Christ, * thou didst withstand the deceit of the Arians, O holy Hierarch Hilary. * By thy prayers and thy teachings, * O defender of Orthodoxy and right belief, * convert the Western lands and entreat Christ for us, who honour thee.


Apolytikion in the First Tone
Ἐν Ἰορδάνῃ βαπτιζομένου σου Κύριε, ἡ τῆς Τριάδος ἐφανερώθη προσκύνησις, τοῦ γὰρ Γεννήτορος ἡ φωνὴ προσεμαρτύρει σοί, ἀγαπητὸν σὲ Υἱὸν ὀνομάζουσα, καὶ τὸ Πνεῦμα ἐν εἴδει περιστεράς, ἐβεβαίου τοῦ λόγου τὸ ἀσφαλές. Ὁ ἐπιφανεῖς Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός, καὶ τὸν κόσμον φωτίσας δόξα σοί.
When Thou wast baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest; for the voice of the Father bare witness to Thee, calling Thee His beloved Son. And the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of the word. O Christ our God, Who hast appeared and hast enlightened the world, glory be to Thee.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Ἐπεφάνης σήμερον τὴ οἰκουμένη, καὶ τὸ φῶς σου Κύριε, ἐσημειώθη ἐφ' ἡμᾶς, ἓν ἐπιγνώσει ὑμνούντάς σε. Ἦλθες ἐφάνης τὸ Φῶς τὸ ἀπρόσιτον.
You appeared to the world today, and Your light, O Lord, has left its mark upon us. With fuller understanding we sing to You: "You came, You were made manifest, the unapproachable light."

Saints Hermylos and Stratonikos contested for piety's sake during the reign of Licinius, in the year 314. Saint Hermylos was a deacon, and Stratonikos was his friend. For his confession of Christ, Hermylos was beaten so fiercely that his whole body was covered with wounds. Stratonikos, seeing him endure this and other torments that left him half dead, wept with grief for his friend. From this he was discovered to be a Christian, and when he had openly professed his Faith and had been beaten, he and Hermylus were cast into the Danube River, receiving the crown of martyrdom.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Οι Μάρτυρές σου, Κύριε, εν τή αθλήσει αυτών, στεφάνους εκομίσαντο τής αφθαρσίας, εκ σού τού Θεού ημών, σχόντες γάρ τήν ισχύν σου, τούς τυράννους καθείλον, έθραυσαν καί δαιμόνων, τά ανίσχυρα θράση. Αυτών ταίς ικεσίαις, Χριστέ ο Θεός, σώσον τάς ψυχάς ημών.
Thy Martyrs, O Lord, in their courageous contest for Thee received as the prize the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since they possessed Thy strength, they cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by their prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
Ἐκ τῆς κοσμικῆς, συγχύσεως ἐφύγετε, καὶ πρὸς γαληνήν, κατάστασιν μετέστητε, μαρτυρίου αἵμασι, καὶ ἀσκήσεως πόνοις στεφόμενοι, ὅθεν καὶ ἀνεδείχθητε, μαρτύρων καί. Ὁσίων ὁμόσκηνοι.
When ye received your death in the streams of the river, ye drowned the ruthless foe in the deep of your contest, O far-famed Stratonikos and Hermylos, thou men of God; wherefore, in your struggles ye were worthily guided to the water of true incorruption and glory, by Christ God, Who set your course.

Οἱ Ἅγιοι Ἑρμύλος καὶ Στρατόνικος
Ὁ αὐτοκράτορας Λικίνιος τὸ 320-22 γιὰ νὰ εὐχαριστήσει τοὺς εἰδωλολάτρες, ποὺ ἀντιπαθοῦσαν τὸ Μ. Κωνσταντῖνο, διέταξε διωγμοὺς κατὰ τῶν χριστιανῶν. Μεταξὺ ἄλλων βιαίων μέτρων, ἔκλεινε καὶ γκρέμιζε τὶς ἐκκλησίες τους καὶ ἐμπόδιζε τὸν ἐκκλησιασμό τους. Ποιός, ὅμως, θὰ τολμήσει νὰ διαμαρτυρηθεῖ φανερά; ὁ διάκονος Ἑρμύλος, - σύμφωνα με τὴν προτροπὴ τοῦ Κυρίου μας: «Ἔχετε θάῤῥος, ἐγὼ νίκησα τὸν κόσμο» καθὼς καὶ τὴν διαβεβαίωση τοῦ Ἀποστόλου Παύλου: «ὁ Θεὸς δέ μας ἔδωσε πνεῦμα δειλίας, ὥστε νὰ μᾶς φοβίζουν οἱ ἀπειλὲς καὶ οἱ διωγμοί, ἀλλά μας ἔδωσε πνεῦμα καὶ χάρισμα δυνάμεως γιὰ νὰ ἀντέχουμε στοὺς πειρασμούς»- ἀντιδρᾷ φανερὰ καὶ ἔντονα. Αὐτὸ ἀμέσως καταγγέλλεται καὶ διατάζεται ὁ βασανισμός του. Πρῶτα μαστιγώνεται μὲ ἀκανθωτὰ μαστίγια καὶ μετὰ ῥίχνεται στὴ φυλακή. Τὸ μαρτύριο δὲ φέρνει τὸ ζητούμενο ἀποτέλεσμα, καὶ μετὰ ἀπὸ λίγες μέρες ξανὰ βασανίζεται μὲ φρικτότερο τρόπο. Ἐκεῖ κοντά, ἦταν καὶ ἕνας στενός του φίλος, ὁ Στρατόνικος, ποὺ δὲν μπόρεσε νὰ συγκρατήσει τὰ δάκρυά του βλέποντας τὸ μαρτύριο τοῦ Ἑρμύλου.Ὅμως, ἦταν ἔγκλημα νὰ δακρύσει κανεὶς γιὰ ἕνα χριστιανὸ μάρτυρα, ὁπότε θανατώνουν καὶ τοὺς δυὸ μαζί. Ἔτσι, ἀπὸ κοινοῦ ἀξιώθηκαν νὰ πάρουν τὸ στεφάνι τοῦ μαρτυρίου.

Ὁ Ὅσιος Ἰάκωβος Ἐπίσκοπος Νισίβεως
Ὁ Ὅσιος Ἰάκωβος ἔζησε στὰ χρόνια του Μ. Κωνσταντίνου. Καταγόταν ἀπὸ τὴν Νίσιβιν τῆς Μεσοποταμίας, τῆς ὁποίας ἔγινε καὶ Ἐπίσκοπος. Ἦταν ἄριστος γνώστης τῶν ἁγίων Γραφῶν, καὶ συγχρόνως ἀσκητικὸς στὴν προσωπική του ζωή. Ὁ Ἰάκωβος πίστευε, ὅτι ὁ Ἐπίσκοπος πρέπει νὰ φαίνεται ἀπὸ τὰ ἔργα του καὶ ὄχι ἀπὸ τὴν ἐξωτερικὴ ἐμφάνιση καὶ ἐπίδειξη. Ὁ Ἰάκωβος εἶχε πάρει μέρος καὶ στὴν Α´ Οἰκουμενικὴ Σύνοδο (325) στὴ Νίκαια τῆς Βιθυνίας. Ἀλλ᾿ ἐκτὸς ἀπὸ εὐσέβεια, διακατεχόταν καὶ ἀπὸ ἔνθερμη φιλοπατρία. Ὅταν κάποτε οἱ Πέρσες πολιόρκησαν τὴν Νίσιβιν, ὁ ἐπίσκοπος Ἰάκωβος ὑπῆρξε ὁ κύριος συντελεστὴς - μὲ τὴν δύναμη τῆς πίστης του καὶ τὴν ἠθικὴ ἐπιῤῥοή του - τῆς ἀπόκρουσης τῶν ἐχθρῶν καὶ τῆς διάλυσης τῆς πολιορκίας. Πέθανε σὲ βαθειὰ γεράματα. Ἀλλὰ ὁ ζῆλος του δὲν εἶχε γεράσει καθόλου. Διατηρήθηκε ζωηρὸς καὶ ἀκμαῖος μέχρι τέλους (ἡ μνήμη του ἐπαναλαμβάνεται καὶ τὴν 31η Ὀκτωβρίου).

Ὁ Ἅγιος Ἀθανάσιος μάρτυρας
Μαρτύρησε διὰ ῥαβδισμοῦ.

Οἱ Ἅγιοι Παχώμιος καὶ Παπυρῖνος
Μαρτύρησαν ἀφοῦ τους ἔπνιξαν μέσα σὲ ποτάμι.

Τὰ Ἐγκαίνια τῆς Μονῆς Προφήτη Ἠλία τῆς ὀνομαζομένης τοῦ Βαθέος Ῥύακος
Ἡ Μονὴ αὐτὴ βρίσκεται κοντὰ στὴν Τρίγλια δηλαδὴ στὰ Μουδανιὰ τῆς Μ. Ἀσίας.

Ὁ Ὅσιος Μάξιμος ὁ Καυσοκαλυβίτης
Μοναχογιὸς εὐσεβῶν γονέων ἀπὸ τὴν πόλη Λάμψακο. Ὀνομαζόταν προηγουμένως Μανουὴλ καὶ ἀνατράφηκε ἀπὸ παιδὶ στὰ θεῖα, καὶ σωτήρια διδάγματα τοῦ Κυρίου μας Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. Τὸ μοναχικὸ σχῆμα τὸ πῆρε σ᾿ ἕνα Μοναστήρι τοῦ ὄρους Γάνου, ὅπου, κοντὰ σ᾿ ἕναν ἐξαίρετο γέροντα, τὸν Μᾶρκο, ἀναδείχτηκε ἀκούραστος καὶ ἀκατάβλητος στὴ μελέτη, τὴν προσευχή, τὴν κυριαρχία τῆς γλώσσας, τὴν ἀγάπη καὶ στὴν ὁμόνοια. Ἔπειτα πῆγε στὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη, ὅπου ἡ ἀρετή του τὸν ἔφερε συνομιλητὴ μὲ τὸν αὐτοκράτορα Ἀνδρόνικο Παλαιολόγο. Κατόπιν πῆγε στὴ Θεσσαλονίκη γιὰ νὰ προσκυνήσει τὸ ἅγιο λείψανο τοῦ ἁγίου Δημητρίου, καὶ ἀπὸ κεῖ τράβηξε γιὰ τὸ Ἅγιον Ὄρος. Ἐκεῖ κατέληξε στὴ Μονὴ τῆς Λαύρας, ἀλλ᾿ ἀργότερα μὲ ἄδεια τοῦ ἡγουμένου λόγω τῆς ἀρετῆς του, γύρισε ὅλο τὸν Ἄθω. Οἱ μεγάλοι ἀσκητικοί του ἀγῶνες συγκρίνονται μὲ αὐτοὺς τῶν μεγάλων ἀσκητῶν τῆς Αἰγύπτου. Ἐπειδὴ ἔκανε συχνὲς μετακινήσεις, κατόπιν ἔκαιγε τὴν καλύβα του, γιὰ νὰ ἀσκεῖται στὴν πλήρη ἀκτημοσύνη. Γι᾿ αὐτὸ καὶ ὀνομάστηκε Καυσοκαλυβίτης. Ἀπεβίωσε εἰρηνικὰ τὸ 1320 σὲ ἡλικία 95 ἐτῶν, διατηρῶντας ὅλη τὴν δύναμη καὶ τὴν διαύγεια τοῦ νοῦ του.

Holy Martyrs Hermylus and Stratonicus (315)
Hermylus was a deacon in Singidunum (modern-day Belgrade) during the reign of Licinius. When he was arrested he joyously welcomed the soldiers who came to seize him. When he confessed Christ before the magistrate, he was beaten tormented, then thrown in jail. There he prayed to be allowed to partake in Christ's saving Passion, and heard a voice assuring him that in three days he would receive a Martyr's crown.
  Stratonicus, his jailer, was a kind-hearted man and secretly a Christian, and wept to see the torments to which Hermylus was subjected. Seeing this, the soldiers began to question him; and, seeing that his hour had come, he in turn openly confessed Christ. For this he was seized, flogged and thrown into prison with his brother in Christ. The following day, both were bound, tied in a net and thrown into the Danube, where they received their divinely-promised crowns. Their bodies were washed up a few days later, recovered by Christians and buried with honor.

Our Holy Father Maximos Kavsokalybites (the Hut-burner) (1365)
A native of Lampsacus on the Hellespont, he became a monk at the age of seventeen. When his spiritual Father died, he went on pilgrimage to Constantinople, where he took up the ascesis of folly for Christ, pretending madness in order to conceal his virtues and struggles from the world. He then went to the Great Lavra of St Athanasius on Mount Athos, where he lived as a simple monk in complete obedience. One day, he was told in a dream to go to the summit of Athos to receive (like Moses) the tablets of the spiritual law. He prayed continuously atop the Holy Mountain for three days, after which the Mother of God appeared to him surrounded by angels. She gave him a miraculous loaf for his sustenance and told him to live in solitude on the wild slopes of Mount Athos. Henceforth he lived apart, barefoot in all weather. He would build himself crude shelters of branches and brush; after living in one for a short time he would burn it and move to a new place. Thus he received the name Kavsokalybites "the Hut Burner" from the other monks, who dismissed him as a madman.
  Saint Gregory the Sinaite (April 6), one of the great Hesychasts, heard of St Maximos, and hurried to meet him. When they met, St Maximos put aside his usual silence at St Gregory's pleading, and they discoursed together for many hours. Saint Gregory was astonished at the wonders that God had accomplished in St Maximos, at his depth of spiritual understanding and his eloquence. Returning to the nearby monks, he said "He is an angel and not a man!" He begged St Maximos to give up his nomadic life and his pretended madness, and to live among his fellow monks for their edification. This St Maximos did. He settled in one of his crude huts, living on bread miraculously provided from heaven and on sea-water, which was made sweet by his prayer. He received and counseled any monks who sought him out, and over the years was visited by two Emperors and by the Patriarch of Constantinople. In his last years he returned to a small cell in his Lavra, where he reposed in peace at the age of ninety- five. The monks of Mt Athos immediately venerated him as a Saint.

Our Holy Father Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers (369)
"The holy Hierarch Hilary was born of pagan parents in Gaul, and was trained in philosophy and rhetoric. At a time when paganism was still strong in Gaul, Saint Hilary understood the falsehood of polytheism, and became a Christian, ad a great defender of his new Faith. About theyear 350 he was ordained Bishop of Poitiers, when Arles and Milan were in the hands of the Arians and the Arian Constantius was sole Emperor. Like his contemporary Saint Athanasius, Saint Hilary's episcopate was one long struggle against the Arians. As Bishop of Poitiers, Saint Hilary foresaw the future greatness of Martin(see Nov. 12), and attached him to himself. In 355, when reqired to agree to the condemnation of Saint Athanasius passed by the Council of Milan, Hilary wrote and epistle to Constantius convicting the wrongs done by the Arians and requesting, among other things, the restoration of the Orthodox bishops, including Athanasius. For this, Hilary was banished to Asia Minor, where he wrote his greatest work, On the Trinity. Saint Hilary returned to his see in 360, where Saint Martin sought him out again. It was at this time that Saint Hilary blessed Martin to found a monastery near Poitiers, where Martin remained until being consecrated Bishop of Tours in 371. In his last years, Saint Hilary strove for the deposition of Auxentius, the Arian Bishop of Milan, but by affecting an Orthodox confession Auxentius retained his see. Saint Hilary reposed in peace about the year 368. Auxentius died in 374 and was succeeded by Saint Ambrose, who continued Saint Hilary's battle against Arianism." (Great Horologion)

Menologion 3.0
The Holy Martyrs Ermil and Stratonik, by origin Slavs, lived at the beginning of the IV Century during the time of persecution against Christians by the emperor Licinius (307-324). They were friends. Saint Ermil served as deacon in the city of Singedonum (Belgrade). Condemned by Licinius to imprisonment, he was long and cruelly tortured for the Name of Christ, but he remained unyielding. Saint Stratonik was a superintendent of the prison and a secret christian. Seeing the agonising torments of his friend, he was not able to keep from weeping, and he revealed that he was a christian. They subjected him also to torture. After the torturing, they put the martyrs into a net and threw them into the Danube/Dunai. On the third day, the bodies of the saints were discovered on the bank of the river by christians and buried near Singedonum. Their venerable heads are located in the Church of Saint Sophia, where the Russian pilgrim Antonii saw them in the year 1200.

The Monk Irinarch, Hermit of Rostov, was born into a peasant family in the village of Kondakovo in the Rostov district. In Baptism he received the name Ilia. During his 30th year of life took monastic vows at the Rostov Borisoglebsk monastery. There he began fervently to labour at monastic tasks, he attended church services, and by night he prayed and slept on the ground. Once, taking pity on a vagrant who did not have shoes, Saint Irinarch gave him his own boots and from that time he began to go barefoot through the frost. The hegumen did not fancy such an ascetic behaviour, and he began to humiliate him, compelling him to stand for an hour or nearly two on the frost opposite his cell, or to ring the bells for a long time. The saint endured everything with patience but he did not change his conduct. The hegumen continued to be hard-hearted, and the monk was obliged to transfer to the Abramiev Theophany monastery, where he was accepted into the number of the brethren and he was soon chosen as steward. The monk fulfilled his monastic obediences with zeal, but grieved that the monastic brethren and servants did not look after the property of the monastery, wasting it without measure. One time in a dream he saw the Monk Abraham of Rostov (Comm. 29 October), who comforted him and gave him blessing to distribute necessities to all without consternation. Later, during a time of the singing of the Cherubimic hymn, the monk Irinarch sobbed out loudly. To the question of the archimandrite he answered: "My mother has died!"
Leaving Abramiev monastery, the monk Irinarch transferred to the Rostov monastery of Saint Lazarus, settled into a solitary cell and dwelt in it for three years in privation and hunger. Here he was visited by Blessed John the Fool, nicknamed the Big Simpleton. The saints encouraged each other by spiritual conversation. The starets / elder, however, had a desire to return to his original monastery -- the Borisogleb monastery. He was accepted back with love by the strict Varlaam and he began even more severely to practise ascetic deeds at the monastery. Having withdrawn into solitude, the monk chained himself with iron chains to a wooden chair, and he placed on himself heavy chains and crosses. For this he endured the mockery and sneers of the monastic brethren. During this time he was visited by his old friend, Blessed John the Fool, predicting the Lithuanian invasion upon Moscow. The Monk Irinarch spent 25 years shackled in chains and fetters at arduous tasks. His ascetic deeds accused those living carelessly at the monastery, and they made up lies to the hegumen, that the starets taught that they should not go to monastic work but rather pursue asceticism like him. The hegumen believed the slander and he banished the holy starets from the monastery. Humbly submitting, the Monk Irinarch again went to Rostov and dwelt in the monastery of Saint Lazarus for one year. Meanwhile the Borisoglebsk hegumen regretted his conduct and sent monks after the monk Irinarch. He returned, blaming himself, that he did not live such as the brethren who underwent righteous work, of which he was lacking. The monk continued to bear his own heavy fetters, and working, he made clothes for the needy, and he knitted hairshirts and klobuks. He slept at night for an hour or two, the remaining time he prayed and beat his body with an iron cane.
Saint Irinarch had a vision that Lithuania would invade Moscow, and that churches there would be destroyed. He began to weep bitterly about the impending disaster, and the hegumen ordered him to go to Moscow and warn tsar Vasilii Ioannovich Shuisky (1606-1610) about the terrible misfortune. The Monk Irinarch carried out the order. He refused the gifts offered him and having returned, he began to pray fervently, that the Lord would show mercy on the Russian land.
Enemies appeared against Russia, they began the conquest of the city, beat up the inhabitants, and robbed churches and monasteries. The False-Dimitrii and a second Pretender sought to conquer Russia for the Polish king. Borisogleb monastery was also overrun by the enemy, who came to the holy hermit and were amazed at the direct and bold talk of the elder, predicting catastrophe for them.
Sapega, remaining at the Borisogleb monastery, wanted to see the elder sitting in chains, and he was amazed at such an ascetic exploit. When the Polish nobles in company with Sapega told him, that the elder prayed for Shuisky, the monk boldly said: "I am born and baptised in Russia, and for the Russian tsar I pray to God". Sapega answered: "The truth in granddad there is great -- in what land one lives, that land also one serves". After this the monk Irinarch began to urge Sapega to leave Russia, predicting death for him otherwise.
The Monk Irinarch paid attention to the course of the war and sent his blessings and a prosphora to prince Dimitrii Pozharsky. He gave an order for him to come nigh Moscow, predicting: "Ye shall see the glory of God". To assist Pozharsky and Minin the monk handed over his cross. With the help of god the Russians vanquished the Lithuanians, prince Pozharsky took possession of the Kremlin, and in the Russian land peace gradually began to return. Starets Irinarch as before incessantly prayed God with tears for the deliverance of Rus' from enemies and, possessing the power to work miracles, he healed the sick and demoniacs.
The day of his death was revealed to him, and summoning his students Alexander and Kornilii he gave them his instructions, After taking leave from all he quietly expired to the Lord into eternal peace (+ 13 January 1616). The holy elder left behind 142 copper crosses, seven shoulder chains, chains in length 20 sazhen which he carried on his neck, iron foot shackles, eighteen hand fetters, "bonds" which he wore on his belt, by weight in poods, and iron canes by which he thrashed his body to drive away demons. In these works, as the elder called them, he spent 38 years, and having lived in the world for 30 years, he died in his 68th year from birth. After the death of the Monk Irinarch many miracles occurred at his grave, especially the healing of the sick and the demoniac by the laying upon them of the crosses and chains of the saintly ascetic.

The Monk Eleazar of Anzersk was born in the city of Kozel'sk into the merchant family Sevriukin. With the blessing of his parents he went off to the Solovetsk monastery, where he took monastic vows from the hegumen Saint Irinarch (+ 1628, Comm. 17 July). At the monastery he displayed an astonishing artistic gift: he learned carving imagery on wood and he took part of the embellishing of the Transfiguration cathedral. With the blessing of the hegumen, he went off in 1612 to the island of Anzersk, where he became an hermit and dwelt constantly in prayer and meditation on God. In order to obtain subsistence for himself on the island wilderness, the Monk Eleazar carved wooden goblets, which he left at the landing place. In the year 1616 the Monk Eleazar was elevated to schema-monk. Monastics, having gathered round the monk, organised a skete with a strict rule of monastic life along the ancient form. Monastic cells were built far away from one another. The hermits gathered together only for Saturday and Sunday Divine-services. Among the disciples of the Monk Eleazar was the priest-monk Nikita -- the future Patriarch Nikon. Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich (1613-1645), learning about the ascetic life of the saint, summoned him to Moscow. The Monk Eleazar there predicted for him the birth of a son, and in return the tsar generously gave him help to build on the island a stone church in the Name of the Holy Trinity and a monastery. The Monk Eleazar was interested in the writing of books. He composed and copied out three books -- "Flower-beds", in which he relates ancient accounts. There belongs to him also a commentary on the order of the rule on monastic cell life. The Monk Eleazar died in extreme old age.

The Monk James, Bishop of Niziba, was the son of prince Gefal' (Armenia) and received a fine upbringing. From the time of his youth he loved solitude, and for a long time he lived in the mountains around about the city of Niziba (on the border of the Persian and Roman empires), where he carried out strict ascetic exploits: he lived under the open sky, fed himself with tree fruits and greens, and dressed himself in goat-skins. The monk passed all this time in prayerful conversations with God. During a persecution by the emperor Maximian (305-311) he was glorified by a courageous confession of faith. Because of his strict and pious life the inhabitants of Niziba chose him as their bishop (not later than the year 314). Saint James was glorified by his ardent zeal for the Orthodox faith, by great miracles and by the gift of perspicacity. By his prayers Niziba was saved from an invasion by Sapor, the emperor of Persia. Saint James, amongst the fathers of the I OEcumenical Council, was one of the prominent defenders of the Orthodox faith. A wise and educated pastor, he constructed at Niziba a public school, in which he himself was an instructor. He made a strong impression on the hearts of his listeners by the high morality of his life. Sainted Gregory, bishop of great Armenia, turned to him with a request to write about the faith, and the Nizibite pastor sent to him by way of reply a detailed Discourse (18 Chapters): about the faith, about love, fasting, prayer, spiritual warfare, the resurrection of the dead, the duties of pastors, about circumcision against the Jews, about the choice of foods, about Christ as the Son of God, and so on. His composition distinguishes itself by its persuasive clear exposition and warmth.
Saint James died peacefully in about the year 350.

The Monk Maximos Kausokalibites was educated at the church of the MostHoly Mother of God at Lampsakos. At seventeen years of age he left his parental home, accepted monasticism and passed his obedience under the finest spiritual instructor in Macedonia -- the starets Mark. Upon the death of his instructor, the monk pursued asceticism under the guidance of several desert fathers of extremely strict life. Having arrived in Constantinople, the Monk Maximos was constantly at the Blakhernai church of the MostHoly Mother of God, as though he had taken up his abode at the entrance. In order to conceal his ascetic deeds of fasting and prayer, and to avoid celebrity, the monk conducted himself like a fool. On Athos the Monk Maximos fulfilled his obedience in the Lavra of the Monk Athanasias, and on the summit of the Holy Mountain he was deigned a vision of the Mother of God. The Monk Maximos told about his vision to a certain elder, pursuing asceticism by the church of the holy Prophet of God Elias at Carmel, who declared the monk fascinating. But this disbelief also the monk turned to good, under the appearance of vanity and pride having concealed his prodigious ascetic deeds, and privation, wandering hardship and solitude. For the greater disdain through common gossip about his being a fool, the Monk Maximos did not establish a settled abode, rather he wandered from place to place like a lunatic, having burned his hut -- a grass shelter (kausokalibit' -- signifies "hut-burner"). Those of the Holy Mountain, knowing about the extreme deprivations and sorrows of the Monk Maximos, for a long time regarded him with contempt, even then when the monk had attained the heights and perfections of contemplative life. When the Monk Gregory of Sinai (+ c. 1310, Comm. 8 August) arrived on Athos, having spent his life in mental prayer, he encountered the pretendingly distracted one, and striking up a conversation with him, he began to call him nothing other than an earthly angel. The Monk Gregory persuadingly besought Saint Maximos to leave off from the aspect of fool and to take up an abode in one place, so that others might learn from his spiritual experience. Heeding the words of Saint Gregory and the advice of other elders, the monk selected for himself a permanent dwelling in a cave nearby the reknown elder Isaiah. Knowing about his gift of perspicacity, the Byzantine emperors John Paleologos (1341-1376) and John Kantakeuzenos (1341-1355) visited the monk and were surprised by the fulfilling of his predictions. The hegumen of Batopedeia monastery, Theophanes, wrote about the Monk Maximos: "I invoke God in witness, that I was an eyewitness to several of his miracles: once, for instance, I saw him going through the air from one place to another; I listened, as the monk forecast a prediction concerning me, that first I would be an hegumen, and then Metropolitan of Okhrid; he even revealed to me about my sufferings for the Church". Just only before his death did Saint Maximos abandon his solitude, and settle near the Lavra of the Monk Athanasias, where he offered up his soul to the Lord at 95 years of age (+ 1354). Just as during life, so also in death the Monk Maximos was glorified by many miracles.

THE PROLOGUE FROM ORCHID:

1. THE HOLY MARTYRS HERMYLAS AND STRATONICUS
The Emperor Licinius raised up a persecution against Christians. St. Hermylas, a Christian and a deacon in the Church, was captured and led to court. When Hermylas was informed that he was being led away to be tortured, he greatly rejoiced. In vain did the emperor threaten him. Hermylas openly confessed his faith in Christ and responded to all the threats of the emperor saying, "The Lord is with me; I fear not; What can man do against me?" (Psalm 118:6). Following excruciating tortures, Hermylas was thrown into the dungeon. The guard was Stratonicus, secretly a Christian, who sympathized with the suffering of Hermylas with all his heart. When it was reported to the emperor that Stratonicus was also a Christian, the emperor ordered that both of them be drowned in the Danube river. After that, the executioners tied Hermylas and Stratonicus in a net and both were drowned in the Danube. Three days later, their bodies were washed ashore. Christians discovered their bodies and buried them about eighteen miles from Belgrade. These glorious martyrs suffered for Christ and were glorified in the year 315 A.D.

2. SAINT JAMES, BISHOP OF NISIBIS
As a hermit, James lived in an open field in the summer and in winter he lived in a cave. On one occasion, he went down to the town of Nisibis to see how the Christian Faith was prospering and to see how Christians live. There, he was elected bishop. He participated in the First Ecumenical Council (Nicaea, 325 A.D.) and protected Orthodoxy against the Arian heresy. It happened once that the infidel Persians with their armies attacked Nisibis. St. James, in a procession with the Cross and banner [Litija] came before the ramparts of the town. Alone he climbed and walked along the rampart not fearing the arrows of the adversary which were aimed at him. Walking along as he did, he prayed to God to preserve the town and the faithful in this manner: "That He [God] would send a plague of flies and mosquitoes on the Persians and by that to cause them to flee from the walls of the town of Nisibis." However, James did not seek the death of his enemies, nor did he seek whatever kind of catastrophe and defeat rather, one small vexation which would cause them to flee from Nisibis. God heard the prayers of His chosen one and sent a plague of flies and mosquitoes upon the Persians, driving them away. Thereby, the town of Nisibis was spared. St. James lived long and honorably. He died peacefully in old age in the year 350 A.D.

3. THE VENERABLE MAXIMUS KAPSOKALIVITOS
In the fourteenth century, Maximus led an ascetical life as a monk on Mt. Athos in his own unique way. That is to say, he pretended to be a little crazy and constantly changed his dwelling place. His place of abode consisted of a hut made from branches. He built these huts one after the other and then burned them, for this he was called Kapsokalivitos, i.e., "hut-burner. He was considered insane until the arrival of St. Gregory Sinaites to Mt. Athos, who discovered in Maximus a unique ascetic, a wonder-working intercessor and "an angel in the flesh." He died in the Lord in the year 1320 A.D.

HYMN OF PRAISE
SAINT MAXIMUS
Prayer in the heart beats as a heart,
Prayer in the heart, together with breathing,
Internal prayer, the light from within,
On Athos, was manifested by Maximus.
As a spirit without a body, Maximus was uplifted,
From prayer, completely radiated with light;
From prayer, was filled with joy
From prayer, was filled with satisfaction
Through prayer, saw the heavens opened.
Through prayer, the human being was glorified,
By prayer, felt the nearness of Christ,
The Holy All-Pure One openly appeared to him.
With heaven the soul of Maximus was sated.
Gregory of Sinai once asked him:
"Tell me, O righteous Maximus, from where do you know
That you have good and not evil visions,
And that all of these are not illusions of the devil,
False temptations and Satan's deceptions?"
"From this, I know," says he, "that they are not lies,
That these visions, the spirit and body console,
That my spirit always yearns after them
That, from the sign of the cross, they will not vanish,
By sweet joy, a temptation, I know it is not,
By blessed joy that warms me completely."

REFLECTION
A good deed done in silence is worth more than a good deed done with an explanation and is incomparably worth more than the most spiritual explanation without a good deed. From St. Nicholas of Myra in Lycia, no words have remained, but his deeds have remained. On three occasions without any explanations, he came at night to the home of a poor man and secretly tossed a bag of gold through the window. A certain elder of a Scete in Egypt became very ill and desired to eat a little fresh bread, for the bread that the monks ate, at that time, was dried in the sun and lasted for months. Upon hearing this, one of the monks, not saying anything to anyone, departed the Scete and went to a distant town where he purchased fresh bread for the ailing elder. Learning about the effort of this monk, the elder did not want the bread saying: "That is the blood of my brother!" (That is to say, the brother, provided it with great difficulty, with great effort). Then, the other monks implored the elder to eat, saying to him, "Do not despise the sacrifice of the brother." What kind of explanation and what words of brotherly love are able to replace this simple and silent act of brotherly love?

CONTEMPLATION
To contemplate the hunger and thirst of the Lord Jesus for justice:
1. How He comes into the world to restore down-trodden justice;
2. How He proclaims God's justice and unmasks injustice;
3. How He hurriedly does numerous acts of justice in order to leave us an example.

HOMILY
About the Kingdom of God which is within
"The Kingdom of God is within you" (St. Luke 17:21).
All that belongs to God carries the seal of immortality. And, the Kingdom of God is immortal. If we desire to breathe the air of immortality, we must enter within ourselves, within our hearts, within the Kingdom of God. Outside of ourselves is the air of time, the air of transitoriness and decay in which the soul breathes with difficulty. The kingdom of nature is the sensual kingdom; hence, a foreign kingdom in comparison to our soul which represents our inner kingdom. Why do men love to reside for a long, long time in a foreign land? Why do they rarely and reluctantly enter into their own home? Whenever we think about the world, we think about that which is foreign land. Whenever we converse about the sensual world, we converse about a foreign land. Living by the senses, we are similar to a man who rushes around all day to the homes of strangers, and only at night, returns to his own home to sleep. And so, we dedicate our vigilance to death and our sleep to immortality! We come to ourselves; we return to ourselves only in sleep. But, even our sleep is dreaming of our reality, i.e., even when we are in our own home, in an unconscious state, we dream of foreign homes: Our dreams are sensual, for our consciousness is sensual. And so, we are in a foreign land; we are strangers in reality and in dreams. We are constantly outside ourselves. The Lord wants to return us to ourselves, in His home and to His homeland. For us, the Kingdom of God is within us: outside of ourselves is a foreign land. In order to escape from a foreign land and find our true home, in which we directly encounter God, we must enter within ourselves, into our hearts. There is the King, there also is the Kingdom.
O Lord, King of the angels and saints, show us the riches and the light of Your Kingdom within us. That we may love Your kingdom more than we love the foreign land of the sensual, the kingdom of change and transitoriness.

January 12, 2013 - Saturday After Epiphany


FEASTS AND SAINTS CELEBRATED TODAY:
Tatiana the Martyr of Rome
Martyr Mertios
Afterfeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

Μετά τά Φῶτα. Τῆς Ἁγίας Μάρτυρος Τατιανῆς.
Τῶν Ἁγίων Ἱερομαρτύρων Βασιλείου Solovsky καί Ἰωάννου Pettai.

READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:

St. Paul's Letter to the Ephesians 6:10-17
Prokeimenon. Mode Plagal 2.
Psalm 31.11,1
Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous.
Verse: Blessed are they whose transgressions have been forgiven.
Brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand, therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Πρὸς Ἐφεσίους 6:10-17
Προκείμενον. Ἦχος πλ β΄.
ΨΑΛΜΟΙ 31.11,1
Εὐφράνθητι ἐπὶ Κύριον, καὶ ἀγαλλιᾶσθε δίκαιοι.
Στίχ. Μακάριοι, ὧν ἀφέθησαν αἱ ἀνομίαι.
Ἀδελφοί, ἐνδυναμοῦσθε ἐν κυρίῳ, καὶ ἐν τῷ κράτει τῆς ἰσχύος αὐτοῦ. Ἐνδύσασθε τὴν πανοπλίαν τοῦ θεοῦ, πρὸς τὸ δύνασθαι ὑμᾶς στῆναι πρὸς τὰς μεθοδείας τοῦ διαβόλου. Ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν ἡμῖν ἡ πάλη πρὸς αἷμα καὶ σάρκα, ἀλλὰ πρὸς τὰς ἀρχάς, πρὸς τὰς ἐξουσίας, πρὸς τοὺς κοσμοκράτορας τοῦ σκότους τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου, πρὸς τὰ πνευματικὰ τῆς πονηρίας ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις. Διὰ τοῦτο ἀναλάβετε τὴν πανοπλίαν τοῦ θεοῦ, ἵνα δυνηθῆτε ἀντιστῆναι ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ πονηρᾷ, καὶ ἅπαντα κατεργασάμενοι στῆναι. Στῆτε οὖν περιζωσάμενοι τὴν ὀσφὺν ὑμῶν ἐν ἀληθείᾳ, καὶ ἐνδυσάμενοι τὸν θώρακα τῆς δικαιοσύνης, καὶ ὑποδησάμενοι τοὺς πόδας ἐν ἑτοιμασίᾳ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου τῆς εἰρήνης· ἐπὶ πᾶσιν ἀναλαβόντες τὸν θυρεὸν τῆς πίστεως, ἐν ᾧ δυνήσεσθε πάντα τὰ βέλη τοῦ πονηροῦ τὰ πεπυρωμένα σβέσαι. Καὶ τὴν περικεφαλαίαν τοῦ σωτηρίου δέξασθαι, καὶ τὴν μάχαιραν τοῦ πνεύματος, ὅ ἐστιν ῥῆμα θεοῦ·

The Gospel of Matthew 4:1-11
At that time, Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward He was hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread." But He answered, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'" Then the devil took Him to the holy city, and set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, 'He will give His angels charge of you,' and 'On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'" Jesus said to him, "Again, it is written, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'" Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them; and he said to Him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me." Then Jesus said to him, "Be gone, Satan! for it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.'" Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

Κατὰ Ματθαῖον 4.1-11
Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, ἀνήχθη ὁ ᾽Ιησοῦς εἰς τὴν ἔρημον ὑπὸ τοῦ Πνεύματος πειρασθῆναι ὑπὸ τοῦ διαβόλου,καὶ νηστεύσας ἡμέρας τεσσαράκοντα καὶ νύκτας τεσσαράκοντα ὕστερον ἐπείνασε.καὶ προσελθὼν αὐτῷ ὁ πειράζων εἶπεν· εἰ υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ, εἰπὲ ἵνα οἱ λίθοι οὗτοι ἄρτοι γένωνται.ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπε· γέγραπται, οὐκ ἐπ᾿ ἄρτῳ μόνῳ ζήσεται ἄνθρωπος, ἀλλ᾿ ἐπὶ παντὶ ρήματι ἐκπορευομένῳ διὰ στόματος Θεοῦ.Τότε παραλαμβάνει αὐτὸν ὁ διάβολος εἰς τὴν ἁγίαν πόλιν, καὶ ἵστησιν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸ πτερύγιον τοῦ ἱεροῦκαὶ λέγει αὐτῷ· εἰ υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ, βάλε σεαυτὸν κάτω· γέγραπται γὰρ ὅτι τοῖς ἀγγέλοις αὐτοῦ ἐντελεῖται περὶ σοῦ,καὶ ἐπὶ χειρῶν ἀροῦσί σε,μήποτε προσκόψῃς πρὸς λίθον τὸν πόδα σου. ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς· πάλιν γέγραπται, οὐκ ἐκπειράσεις Κύριον τὸν Θεόν σου.Πάλιν παραλαμβάνει αὐτὸν ὁ διάβολος εἰς ὄρος ὑψηλὸν λίαν, καὶ δείκνυσιν αὐτῷ πάσας τὰς βασιλείας τοῦ κόσμου καὶ τὴν δόξαν αὐτῶνκαὶ λέγει αὐτῷ· ταῦτα πάντα σοι δώσω, ἐὰν πεσὼν προσκυνήσῃς μοι.τότε λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς· ὕπαγε ὀπίσω μου, σατανᾶ· γέγραπται γάρ, Κύριον τὸν Θεόν σου προσκυνήσεις καὶ αὐτῷ μόνῳ λατρεύσεις.Τότε ἀφίησιν αὐτὸν ὁ διάβολος, καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄγγελοι προσῆλθον καὶ διηκόνουν αὐτῷ.

READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:

Τῇ ΙΒ' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, Μνήμη τῆς Ἁγίας Μάρτυρος Τατιανῆς.
Τῆς πάντα λαμπρᾶς Τατιανῆς τῇ κάρᾳ,
Λαμπρὸν προεξένησε τὸ ξίφος στέφος.
Τῇ δυοκαιδεκάτῃ Τατιανῆς αὐχένα κέρσαν.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου Μάρτυρος Πέτρου τοῦ Ἀβεσαλαμίτου.
Ἐπανθρακωθεὶς καρδίαν θείῳ πόθῳ,
Ἐπ' ἀνθράκων ἥδιστα Πέτρος ἐκπνέει.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμῃ τοῦ Ἁγίου Μάρτυρος Μερτίου.
Θεὸν πόθων ὕψιστον, ἰσχυρὸν μόνον,
Μαστίζεται Μέρτιος ἰσχυρῶς ἄγαν.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, οἱ Ἅγιοι ὀκτὼ Μάρτυρες, οἱ ἀπὸ Νικαίας, ξίφει τελειοῦνται.
Θνῄσκει χορός τις ὀκτάριθμος ἐκ ξίφους,
Αἰῶνος εὑρεῖν ὀγδόου ζωὴν θέλων.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, ἡ Ἁγία Μάρτυς Εὐθασία ξίφει τελειοῦται.
Αὐτῷ Θεῶ Σωτῆρι κόσμου προσφέρει,
Αὐτῆς κεφαλὴν ἐκ ξίφους Εὐθασία.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμῃ τοῦ ὁσίου Πατρὸς ἡμῶν καὶ θαυματουργοῦ Ἠλιού.
Ἄλλος δέδεικται θαυματουργὸς Ἠλίας,
Ὁ θαυματουργὸς οὗτος ὄντως Ἠλίας.
Ταῖς αὐτῶν ἁγίαις πρεσβείαις, ὁ Θεός, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.

Saint Tatiana was the daughter of a most distinguished consul of Rome. She became a deaconess of the Church, and for her confession of the Faith of Christ, she endured many torments. As she was suffering, angels punished her tormentors with the same torments they inflicted on her, until they cried out that they could no longer endure the scourges invisibly brought upon them. She was beheaded during the reign of Alexander Severus (111-135).

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Η αμνάς σου Ιησού, κράζει μεγάλη τή φωνή Σέ νυμφίε μου ποθώ, καί σέ ζητούσα αθλώ, καί συσταυρούμαι, καί συνθάπτομαι τώ βαπτισμώ σου, καί πάσχω διά σέ, ως βασιλεύσω συν σοί, καί θνήσκω υπέρ σού, ίνα καί ζήσω εν σοί αλλ' ως θυσίαν άμωμον, προσδέχου τήν μετά πόθου τυθείσάν σοι, Αυτής πρεσβείαις, ως ελεήμων σώσον τάς ψυχάς ημών.
O Lord Jesus, unto Thee Thy lamb doth cry with a great voice: O my Bridegroom, Thee I love; and seeking Thee, I now contest, and with Thy baptism am crucified and buried. I suffer for Thy sake, that I may reign with Thee; for Thy sake I die, that I may live in Thee: accept me offered out of longing to Thee as a spotless sacrifice. Lord, save our souls through her intercessions, since Thou art great in mercy.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Παρθένος σεμνή, καί Μάρτυς απερίτρεπτος, εδείχθης σαφώς, Τατιανή θεόνυμφε, Χριστόν γάρ ποθήσασα, δι' αγώνων τούτον εδόξασας, όν δυσώπει ρύσαι ημάς, παθών αδοξίας, καί παντοίων δεινών.
Thou didst shine resplendently, Martyr Tatiana, in thy sacred sufferings and in the crimson of thy blood, soaring to Heaven like a fair dove; hence ever pray Christ for all them that honour thee.

Apolytikion in the First Tone
Ἐν Ἰορδάνῃ βαπτιζομένου σου Κύριε, ἡ τῆς Τριάδος ἐφανερώθη προσκύνησις, τοῦ γὰρ Γεννήτορος ἡ φωνὴ προσεμαρτύρει σοί, ἀγαπητὸν σὲ Υἱὸν ὀνομάζουσα, καὶ τὸ Πνεῦμα ἐν εἴδει περιστεράς, ἐβεβαίου τοῦ λόγου τὸ ἀσφαλές. Ὁ ἐπιφανεῖς Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός, καὶ τὸν κόσμον φωτίσας δόξα σοί.
Lord, when You were baptized in the Jordan, the veneration of the Trinity was revealed. For the voice of the Father gave witness to You, calling You Beloved, and the Spirit, in the guise of a dove, confirmed the certainty of His words. Glory to You, Christ our God, who appeared and enlightened the world.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Ἐπεφάνης σήμερον τὴ οἰκουμένη, καὶ τὸ φῶς σου Κύριε, ἐσημειώθη ἐφ' ἡμᾶς, ἓν ἐπιγνώσει ὑμνούντάς σε. Ἦλθες ἐφάνης τὸ Φῶς τὸ ἀπρόσιτον.
You appeared to the world today, and Your light, O Lord, has left its mark upon us. With fuller understanding we sing to You: "You came, You were made manifest, the unapproachable light."

Στην Αποκάλυψη του Ιωάννου ο "πρώτος και ο έσχατος" και ο "ζών εις τους αιώνας των αιώνων" λέει προς τον Άγγελο της Εκκλησίας της Σμύρνης· "γίνου πιστός άχρι θανάτου και δώσω σοι τον στέφανον της ζωής". Η έκφραση είναι αθλητική και η εικόνα είναι από την ζωή των γυμναστηρίων και του στίβου. Αθληταί ονομάζονται, οι άγιοι Μάρτυρες και άθληση το μαρτύριό τους και το βραβείο και το έπαθλο της νίκης των είναι ο στέφανος της ζωής. Μένουν πιστοί και καρτερικοί ως το τέλος· μέχρι την ώρα, που ύστερα από βασανιστήρια σατανικής εφευρετικότητας, το ξίφος πέφτει στον τράχηλό τους και το αίμα στεφανώνει την τίμια κεφαλή τους. Στέφανος αμαράντινος είναι ο στέφανος του μαρτυρίου και του αίματος, στέφανος "της ζωής". Τέτοια έννοια εκφράζει και το ιαμβικό δίστιχο στην μνήμη σήμερα της αγίας Τατιανής. "Της πάντα λαμπράς Τατιανής τή κάρα λαμπρόν προεξένησε το ξίφος στέφος".

Ἡ Ἁγία Τατιανή
Ὅπως εἶναι γνωστό, ἡ ἀρχαία Ἐκκλησία εἶχε καὶ γυναῖκες διακόνους. Βέβαια, δὲ μετεῖχαν σὲ κανένα βαθμὸ ἱερωσύνης. Ἡ ἀποστολή τους ἦταν κυρίως φιλανθρωπικὴ ἢ καὶ κατηχητική, δίπλα στὶς γυναῖκες ποὺ εἶχαν ἀνάγκη διδασκαλίας. Τὸ ἦθος αὐτῶν τῶν διακονισσῶν, νὰ πὼς τὸ θέλει ὁ θεόπνευστος Ἀπόστολος Παῦλος: «Οἱ γυναῖκες διάκονοι πρέπει καὶ αὐτὲς νὰ εἶναι σεμνές, ἐλεύθερες ἀπὸ τὸ ἁμάρτημα τῆς κακολογίας καὶ διαβολῆς, ἐγκρατεῖς καὶ προσεκτικές, ἀξιόπιστες σὲ ὅλα». Μία τέτοια διακόνισσα ἦταν καὶ ἡ Ἁγία Τατιανή. Ἡ εὐγενὴς καταγωγή της καὶ ὁ πολὺς ζῆλος μὲ τὸν ὁποῖο ἐκτελοῦσε τὰ διακονικά της καθήκοντα, καθὼς ἐπίσης καὶ ἡ ἀποστροφὴ τῶν κοσμικῶν βλέψεων, ἔδωσαν στὴν Τατιανὴ ξεχωριστὴ θέση μεταξὺ τῶν χριστιανῶν, προκάλεσαν, ὅμως, καὶ τὸ φθόνο τῶν εἰδωλολατρῶν. Καὶ ὅταν τὸ 202 ὁ Σεπτίμιος Σεβῆρος (κατ᾿ ἄλλους Ἀλέξανδρος Σεβῆρος, 222-235 μ.Χ.) ἐξαπέλυσε ἀνελέητο διωγμὸ κατὰ τῶν χριστιανῶν, ἡ Τατιανὴ συλλαμβάνεται. Ξυρίζουν τὸ κεφάλι της, ἀφαιρώντας τὰ θαυμάσια μαλλιά της, μὲ τὴν ἐλπίδα ὅτι θὰ πτοηθεῖ. Ὅμως, δὲν πτοεῖται, στέκεται στὸ ὕψος τοῦ χριστιανικοῦ της ἤθους καὶ τὸ πρόσωπό της ὀμορφαίνει καὶ ἀκτινοβολεῖ περισσότερο ἀπὸ πρῶτα. Τότε, βασανίζεται σκληρὰ μὲ πολλοὺς τρόπους. Ὅμως, δὲ λυγίζει καὶ τελικὰ ἀποκεφαλίζεται, παίρνοντας τὸ ἀμάραντο καὶ ἀθάνατο στεφάνι τοῦ μαρτυρίου.

Ὁ Ἅγιος Πέτρος ὁ Ἀβεσαλαμίτης
Ὁ ἔνδοξος μάρτυρας Πέτρος, ποὺ ἦταν πολὺ δυνατός, τόσο στὸ σῶμα, ὅσο καὶ στὴν ψυχὴ καὶ στὴν πίστη, ὁμολόγησε μὲ μεγάλο θάῤῥος τὸν Χριστὸ στὴ νεανική του ἡλικία. Ὁ ἄρχοντας τῆς Ἐλευθερουπόλεως, ἐπειδὴ δὲν μπόρεσε οὔτε μὲ κολακεῖες νὰ ἀλλάξει τὴν γνώμη τοῦ Πέτρου, οὔτε μὲ ἀπειλὲς νὰ τὸν φοβίσει, τὸν ἔριξε στὴ φωτιά. Καὶ ἐκεῖ ὁ γενναῖος τῆς εὐσεβείας ἀγωνιστὴς πῆρε τὸ στεφάνι τοῦ μαρτυρίου.

Ὁ Ἅγιος Μέρτιος
Ἦταν στρατιωτικὸς ἐπὶ Διοκλητιανοῦ. Σὰ γνήσιος χριστιανός, διακρινόταν γιὰ τὴν ἀνδρεία του καὶ τὸ λευκὸ καὶ ἀκηλίδωτο χαρακτῆρα του. Καταγγέλθηκε στὸν αὐτοκράτορα, ὅτι λάτρευε τὸν Ἰησοῦ καὶ διατάχθηκε ἀμέσως νὰ παρουσιασθεῖ μπροστά του. Ὁ Μέρτιος παρουσιάσθηκε μὲ εὐλάβεια, ἀλλὰ καὶ μὲ σεμνὴ καὶ ἄφοβη γενναιότητα. Ὁ αὐτοκράτορας θαύμασε τὸ παράστημα τοῦ στρατιώτη του, καὶ σκυθρωπὸς καὶ βαρὺς διέταξε τὸ Μέρτιο νὰ θυσιάσει στὰ εἴδωλα. Ὁ Μέρτιος ἀρνήθηκε. Τότε ὁ Διοκλητιανὸς διέταξε νὰ τοῦ ἀφαιρέσουν τὴν στρατιωτικὴ ζώνη. Ἡ προσβολὴ ἦταν μεγάλη, ἀλλ᾿ ὁ Μέρτιος τὴν ὑπέμεινέ με καρτερία. Ἀτιμία του θὰ ἦταν, ἂν καταπατοῦσε τὰ στρατιωτικά του χρέη, τὰ ὁποῖα ὅμως εἶχε τόσο τιμήσει, γιατί λοιπὸν νὰ θλιβεῖ; Κατόπιν τὸν μαστίγωσαν, ἀλύπητα καὶ σκληρά. Ἀλλ᾿ ἐνῷ κομμάτια ἔπεφτε ἡ σάρκα ἀπὸ τὸ σῶμα του, ἡ ψυχή του ἔμενε καρτερικὴ καὶ νικήτρια. Ἔτσι ὅπως ἦταν βαριὰ πληγωμένος, τὸν ἔριξαν στὴ φυλακή. Μετὰ ὀκτὼ ἡμέρες, αἰσθάνθηκε ὅτι ἡ ὥρα τοῦ τέλους τῆς ἐπίγειας ζωῆς του εἶχε πλησιάσει. Ἡ ψυχή του σκίρτησε, ἔχοντας ὑπ᾿ ὄψιν της ὅτι θὰ πήγαινε στὸν βραβευτὴ καὶ μισθαποδότη Κύριο. Εὐχαριστοῦσε λοιπὸν τὸ Θεό, διότι ἔφευγε ἀπὸ τὴν γῆ καὶ μάλιστα διότι τὸν ἀξίωσε νὰ φύγει μὲ τὴν τιμὴ τοῦ μαρτυρίου.

Οἱ Ἅγιοι ὀκτὼ Μάρτυρες ἀπὸ τὴν Νίκαια
Μαρτύρησαν διὰ ξίφους.

Ἡ Ἁγία Εὐθασία
Μαρτύρησε διὰ ξίφους.

Ὁ Ὅσιος Ἠλίας ὁ θαυματουργός
Ὁ Ὅσιος αὐτὸς εἶδε τὴν πεῖνα καὶ δὲν τὴν λογάριασε. Τὸ ψῦχος, καὶ τὸ ἀψήφησε. Τὴν ἀγρυπνία, καὶ τὴν καταφρόνησε. Τὶς στερήσεις, καὶ τὶς καταπάτησε. Τοὺς τυράννους, καὶ δὲν τοὺς ἔδωσε καμιὰ σημασία. Μύριους κατατρεγμούς, καὶ τοὺς καταντρόπιασε. Τί φοβόταν; Τρία πράγματα, ὅπως ἔλεγε. Τὴν ὥρα, ποὺ ἡ ψυχή του θὰ ἔβγαινε ἀπὸ τὸ σῶμα του, τὸν καιρό, ποὺ θὰ παρουσιαζόταν μπροστὰ στὸν Θεὸ καὶ τὴν στιγμή, ποὺ θὰ ἔβγαινε ἡ ἀπόφαση τοῦ ὑπέρτατου Κριτῆ γι᾿ αὐτόν. Ἀλλ᾿ ἐπειδὴ φοβόταν, ἔζησε ἔτσι, ὥστε νὰ μὴ φοβηθεῖ. Ἡ πίστη του καὶ ἡ χάρη τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ ἔδωσαν θάνατο γενναῖο καὶ ἥσυχο. Ἡ δὲ Ἐκκλησία, λόγω τῶν μεγάλων ἀρετῶν του, τὸν κατάταξε μεταξὺ τῶν Ἁγίων της.

Ὁ Ὅσιος Μαρτινιανὸς καὶ ὁ μαθητής του ὁ Ὅσιος Γαλακτίων
Ὁ τῆς Μονῆς Κυρίλλου ἐν Λευκῇ Λίμνῃ Ῥωσίας (1483) καὶ ὁ μαθητής του Ὅσιος Γαλακτίων, ὁ διὰ Χριστὸν Σαλός (+ 15ος αἰ.).

Ὁ Ἅγιος Βenedic Bistor, ἡγούμενος (Ἄγγλος)
Λεπτομέρειες γιὰ τὴν ζωὴ αὐτοῦ τοῦ ἁγίου της ὀρθοδοξίας, μπορεῖ νὰ βρεῖ ὁ ἀναγνώστης στὸ βιβλίο «Οἱ Ἅγιοι τῶν Βρεττανικῶν Νήσων» τοῦ Χριστόφορου Κων. Κομμοδάτου, ἐπισκόπου Τελμησσοῦ, Ἀθῆναι 1985.

Holy Martyr Tatiana (~230)
She was the daughter of a wealthy Roman consul. She became a deaconess in Rome, and was seized as a Christian during the reign of Alexander Severus. Before the tribunal she fearlessly confessed Christ and, when she was taken to the temple in an effort to force her to make sacrifice, she cast down the idols by the power of her prayer. At this, the soldiers seized her and subjected her to many indignities and tortures, finally throwing her into a raging furnace. When this did not harm her, she was thrown to the wild beasts, but they refused to harm her. At last she was beheaded and thus gained her crown.

Venerable Benedict Biscop, Abbot of Wearmouth (689-690)
He came from a noble Northumbrian family in Britain, and was tonsured a monk in 653 at Lerins in Gaul. In 669 he was made Abbot of the Monastery of Saints Peter and Paul in Canterbury. He traveled to Rome in 671 to be instructed in monastic practice according to the Rule of Saint Benedict (of Nursia). Returning to Northumbria he established two new monasteries, the first to follow St Benedict's Rule in the British Isles. He went to Rome once again in 678-679, this time bringing back the archcantor of St Peter's, who taught the monks of St Benedict's monasteries the chant and liturgical practices used in Rome.
  Under the holy abbot's guidance, these monasteries became flourishing centers of Christian worship, scholarship and art. The Venerable Bede (May 26) was one of his disciples. Saint Benedict reposed in peace in 689 or 690, having greatly strengthened the Church and the Christian faith in Britain.

Menologion 3.0
The Holy Martyress Tatiana was born into an illustrious Roman family -- her father was thrice elected consul. He was secretly a christian and raised his daughter devoted to God and the Church. Having reached the age of maturity, Tatiana did not enter into marriage but with all her strength devoted herself to the Church. She was made deaconess in one of the Roman churches and served God, in fasting and prayer tending the sick and helping the needy. By her righteousness Tatiana gained in future to be crowned with the crown of martyrdom.
When Rome came to be ruled by the sixteen year old Alexander Severus (222-235), all power was concentrated in the hands of the evil enemy and persecutor of christians Ulpian. Christian blood flowed like streams. Deaconess Tatiana was also arrested. When they brought her into the temple of Apollo so as to force her to offer sacrifice to the idol, the saint began praying -- and suddenly there occurred an earthquake -- the idol was smashed into pieces, and part of the temple collapsed and fell down on the pagan priests and many pagans. The demon inhabiting the idol ran out with an howl from that place, in front of which all saw it flying through the air like a ghost. They then began to beat the holy virgin about the eyes, but she bravely endured everything, praying for her tormentors that the Lord would open for them their spiritual eyes. And the Lord heard the prayer of His servant. The executioners came to see, that four Angels encircled the saint and fended off from the blows; they heard a Voice from the heavens addressed to the holy martyress. All of them, eight men, believed in Christ and fell on their knees to Saint Tatiana, begging them to forgive them their wrongs against her. For confessing themselves christians they were subjected to tortures and execution, receiving Baptism by blood. Saint Tatiana was again given over to tortures on another day: they uncovered her and beat her, they cut at her body with razors, and from her wounds then there permeated a fragrance in the air. The torturers became exhausted and said, that someone invisible was beating at them with iron staffs, and nine of them fell dead. They then threw the saint in prison, where she prayed all night and with the Angels sang praise to the Lord. A new morning began, and they again took Saint Tatiana to the court. The torturers beheld with astonishment that after such terrible torments she appeared completely healthy and even more radiant and beautiful than before. They began to urge her to offer sacrifice to the goddess Diana. The saint seemed to appear agreeable, and they took her to the heathen temple. Saint Tatiana made the sign of the cross and began to pray -- and suddenly there sounded a crash of deafening thunder, and lightning struck the idol, the sacrificial offerings and the pagan priests. They again fiercely tortured the martyress, and at night they again threw her in prison, and again there appeared Angels and healed her wounds. On the following day they took Saint Tatiana to the circus and let loose at her an hungry lion; the beast did not touch the saint but only lay meekly at her feet. They wanted to pen up the lion back in its cage, and here instead it clawed up one of the torturers. They threw Tatiana into a fire, but the fire did not harm the martyress. The pagans, thinking that she was a sorceress, cut her hair to deprive her of magical powers, and locked her up in the temple of Zeus. But it was impossible to take away the power of God. On the third day pagan priests came with an encircling throng, preparing to offer sacrifice. Opening the temple, they beheld the idol thrown down into the dust and the holy martyress Tatiana joyously invoking the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. All the instruments of torture were worn out, and they carried out a sentence of death: the valiant sufferer was beheaded with a sword. Also executed as a christian together with her was her father, for having shewn her the true faith of Christ.

Sainted Sava, first ArchBishop of Serbia, -- in the world Rostislav (Rastko), was a son of the Serbian autocrat Stefan Nemani and Anna, daughter of the Greek emperor Romanos. From his early years he fervently attended church services and fostered an especial love for icons. At seventeen years of age, having met a Russian monk from Holy Mount Athos, Rostislav secretly left his father's house and set off to the Russian Panteleimonov monastery. (By Divine Providence in the year of the saint's birth -- 1169 -- the ancient monastery of the great-martyr and healer Panteleimon was restored for eternal keeping to Russian monks.) Knowing that his son was on Athos, his father mobilised his retainers headed by a faithful voevoda and wrote to the governor of the district which included Athos, that if his son were not returned to him, he would go to war against the Greeks. Having arrived at the monastery, the voevoda / military-chief was ordered not to take his eyes off Rostislav. During the time of evening Divine-services, when the soldiers were fallen asleep under the influence of wine, Rostislav took monastic vows (the year 1186) and sent to his parents his worldly clothes, his hair and a letter. The monk Sava sought to persuade his powerful parents to accept monasticism. The monk's father (the commemoration of the Monk Stefan, in monasticism Simeon, Tsar of Serbia, is situated under 13 February) together with his son pursued asceticism at the Batopedeia monastery. On Athos they established the Serbian Khilendaria monastery, and this monastery received its name by imperial stauropegia / grant. At Khilendaria monastery, the monk Save was ordained to the deaconate and then presbyter. For his monastic deeds on Mount Athos, the monk was deemed worthy of the dignity of archimandrite at Soluneia / Thessalonika. At Niciea in the year 1219 on the feast of the Dormition / Uspenie of the MostHoly Mother of God, the OEcumenical Pattriarch Germanos ordained archimandrite Sava to the dignity of ArchBishop of All Serbia. For this the monk petitioned the Greek emperor for permission that the ArchBishop be consecrated by a Sobor of bishops in Serbia -- a very important consideration in this time of frequent wars between eastern and western powers. Having returned to the Holy Mountain from Nicea, the saint made the rounds of all the monasteries for the last time; he made prostration in all the churches and, calling to mind the blessed lives of the wilderness fathers, he made his farewells with the ascetics in deep remorse, "leaving from the Holy Mountain, as though from some Divine paradise". Dejected by his grievous separation from the Holy Mountain, the saint went along the path from Athos just barely moving. Only the words of the MostHoly Mother of God that had come to the saint in a dream -- "having My Patronage to the King of all, My Son and God, about what dost thou still sorrow?" -- these words roused him from despondency, changing sorrow into joy. In memory of this appearance, the saint commissioned at Soluneia large icons of the Saviour and of the Mother of God, and put them in the Church of the Philokalia.
In Serbia, the activity of the Hierarch in organising the work of his native Church was accompanied by numerous signs and miracles. During the time of Liturgy and the all-night vigil, when the saint came to cense over the grave of his father the monk Simeon, the holy relics exuded fragrant myrh.
Being in charge of negotiations with the Hungarian king Vladislav, who had declared war on Serbia, the glorious sainted bishop with heavenly signs not only brought about the desired peace for his country, he also brought the Hungarian monarch to Orthodoxy. Having secured a beginning for the historical existence of the autonomous Serbian Church, Saint Sava contributed also to the strengthening of the Serbian state. In order to insure the independence of the Serbian state, the holy archbishop Sava crowned his powerful brother Stefan as tsar. Upon the death of Stefan -- his eldest son Radislav having been crowned tsar, Saint Sava set off to the Holy Land "with tears to worship at the holy grave of Christ and fearsome Golgotha". Having returned to his native land, the saint gave his blessing and crowned Vladislav as tsar; to further strengthen the Serbian throne, he betrothed him with the daughter of the Bulgarian prince Asan. The holy hierarch made the rounds of all the Serbian land, he reformed monastic rules on the model of the athonites and palestinians, and he established and consecrated many churches, strengthening the Orthodox in their faith. Having finished his work in his native land, the saint appointed as his successor the priestmonk Arsenii, ordaining him bishop and giving his blessing to all. He then set off on a journey of no return, wanting "to end his days as a wanderer in a foreign land". He passed through all of Palestine, through Syria and Persia, Babylon, Egypt and Anatolia, everywhere visiting the holy places, conversing with great ascetics, and gathering up the priestly remains of saints. The saint finished his wanderings at Trnovo in Bulgaria at the home of his kinsman Tsar Asan, where with spiritual joy he offered up his soul to the Lord (+ 1237). At the time of transfer of the holy relics of Sainted Sava to Serbia in 1237 the healings were so numerous, that the Bulgarians began to complain about Asan, "that he had given up such a treasure". In the saint's own native country, his venerable relics were placed in the Church of Mileshevo, bestowing healing on all who approach with faith. The inhabitants of Trnovo continued to receive healing from the remnants of the grave of the saint, which pious Asan ordered to be gathered together and placed in a newly built sarcophagus.
The legacy of Sainted Sava lives on in the orthodox Church traditions of the Slavic nations. With his legacy is linked the first introduction of the Jerusalem Ustav to Slavic Monastic Rules: the Serbian Khilendaria monastery on Athos lives by the Typikon of Saint Sava to the present time. The redactions of the book "The Rudder" belonging to the Sainted Bishop -- with the commentaries of Alexis Aristines, are the most widely disseminated in the Russian Church. In the year 1270 the first copy of "The Rudder" of Saint Sava was sent from Bulgaria to the metropolitan of Kiev Kirill. From this was copied one of the most ancient of the Russian "Rudders" -- the Ryazansk "Rudder" of 1284. It in its turn was the source for a printed "Rudder" -- published in the year 1653 and invariably since that time republished in the Russian Church. Such was the legacy of Sainted Sava to the canonical treasury of Orthodoxy.

The Monk Martinian of Belozersk, in the world Michael, was born in the year 1370 in the village of Berezniko, not far from the Kirillov monastery. At age thirteen he left his parents and went secretly to the Monk Kirill of Belozersk (Comm. 9 June), about whom many had spoken of to him as being a great ascetic. The youthful Martinian began zealously to imitate his teacher, with whom he dwelt in complete obedience. At the monastery he studied reading and writing, and with the blessing of the monk Kirill, he became occupied with the copying of books. In time Martinian was ordained deacon and then priest-monk. After the death of the monk Kirill (+ 1427) blessed Martinian withdrew for silence to a deserted island, situated on Lake Vozha. Several monks gradually gathered around him. The monk Martinian established for them a church of the Transfiguration (Preobrazhenie) of the Lord and introduced a general ustav-rule for the inhabitants. Yielding to the persistent requests of the brethren of Ferapontov monastery, he consented to become hegumen of the monastery and brought it into a brighter condition.
The monk Martinian rendered spiritual support to great prince Vasilii Vasil'evich in the difficulties of his time, when his first-cousin Dimitrii Shemyaka illicitly pretended to the Moscow throne. He was always an advocate of truth and justice. Afterwards, upon the entreaty of the great prince, the monk accepted upon himself the governing of the monastery of the Monk Sergei of Radonezh.
In 1455 the monk Martinian again returned to the Ferapontov monastery. The last years of his life he was grievously ill and not able to walk, and the brethren carried him to church. The monk died at age 85. His relics were uncovered in the year 1514 -- and the commemoration of the uncovering is celebrated on 7 October.

The Martyr Mertius was a soldier. He suffered in Africa for the Name of Christ during the reign of Diocletian (284-305). The emperor demanded him to offer sacrifice to idols and, receiving refusal, gave him over to torture. The saint suffered fierce torments, not uttering even one moan. He was thrown into prison, where he died from hunger and wounds.

The Martyr Peter Abessalomites (Aneiakos) was a native of the village of Aneia in Palestine. During the time of a persecution against christians he was arrested and brought to the governor of Palestine. In vain did the judge and the people urge him to honour the pagan gods to escape torture. "I then truly shalt have mercy on myself, when I neither recant the Gospel nor offer sacrifice to idols", -- answered the saint, and he was burned at the stake.
In some mesyatseslavs / saints-lives his memory is inserted twice: 12 January as the martyr Peter Abessalomites, and 13 January -- as Peter Aneiakos, since it was mistakenly assumed that these were different persons.

The Nun Eupraxia of Tabenyssa (Tabeneia the Older), was the mother of the Nun Eupraxia, maiden of Tabenyssa (Comm. 25 July). She was the spouse of the pious senator Antigones, who was connected by birth with the emperor Theodosius the great (379-395). Becoming widowed, Saint Eupraxia devoted herself completely to the service of the lord. Having made the rounds of many monastic establishments and having left liberal alms, she came to the Tabenyssa monastery, where the hegumeness was the nun Theodoula, known for her strict rule. Deeply moved by the pure way of convent life, Saint Eupraxia came often to this monastery and always brought her daughter with her, who was then eight years old. The virtues and prayers of her parents summoned a particular grace of god upon the maiden, and even from her youthful years she desired to dedicate herself to God. To her mother's great joy, hegumeness Theodoula kept the child Eupraxia at the convent and gave blessing for her to take monastic vows.
The nun Eupraxia carried on works of liberal charity, and increased her fasting and prayer. Hegumeness Theodoula, possessing the gift of perspicacity, told her about her impending end. Knowing about the nearness of her demise, the nun Eupraxia gave thanks to the Lord for His great mercy towards her. She made her farewell with the sisters of the convent and with her daughter, giving her the parting last words: "Love the Lord Jesus with intense reverence; respect the sisters; never dare to think, that they are below thee and should serve thee; be poor in thy thoughts so as to profit by spiritual treasures". After three days the saint offered up her soul to the Lord (+ 393) and was buried at the convent, where her daughter continued her arduous ascetic deeds.

The Monk Galaktion of Belozersk was a student and cell-attendant of the monk Martinian of Belozersk and lived together with his mentor at the Ferapontov monastery.
The monk Galaktion cared with a filial love for the aged Abba Martinian. When his preceptor became completely infirm of body, the monk Galaktion took him to church on his shoulders. Beholding the spiritual maturity of his student, the monk Marinian blessed the monk Galaktion in his spiritual deed of folly. By his secret ascetic deeds blessed Galaktion reached high spiritual perfection, and obtained the grace of perspicacity. He foretold, that Kazan would be conquered by tsar Ivan, who was not yet even born. He foresaw his own end and the end of several of his fellow ascetics, and he also spoke of the fires and other disasters awaiting Ferapontov monastery. Blessed Galaktion died in the year 1506 and was buried at the foot of his teacher, the monk Martinian, at Ferapontov monastery.

The "Akafistnaya / Akathist" Icon of the Mother of God is located in the Khilendaria cathedral iconostasis. It received the designation "Akathist" because, during a fire at the cathedral in 1837 an akathist was read before it, and it remained unharmed -- to the solace of the monks.

The "Mlekopitatel'nitsa" ("Milk-bearing") Icon of the mother of God was at first located at the Lavra of the Monk Sava the Sanctified near Jerusalem. The holy founder of the Lavra at his death foretold that a pilgrim Sava from Serbia would visit the Lavra, and gave orders to pass on to him as a blessing the wonderworking icon. This occurred in the XIII Century. Sainted Sava of Serbia took the icon to Khilendaria on Holy Mount Athos and put it on the right side of the iconostas in the church in front of the Kareia cells, afterwards named Typikarnitsa, since the Ustav of Sainted Sava was preserved there.

The "Popskaya" ("Priestly") Icon of the Mother of God stands in the Khilendaria cathedral by a column of the left kleros. A certain heretic priest, having declared himself orthodox, acted at Khilendaria monastery with evil purpose, but he was punished. At the time of the procession for blessing water he took this icon -- but stumbled, fell into the sea and drowned. Since that time the procession with the cross is always done with this icon, and invariably a priest carries it, from which it was called by the Serbs Popskaya / Priestly.

THE PROLOGUE FROM ORCHID:

1. THE HOLY FEMALE MARTYR TATIANA
Tatiana was a Roman whose parents were of great nobility. She was a Christian and a deaconess in the church. After the death of Emperor Heliogabalus, Emperor Alexander, whose mother Mammaea was a Christian, reigned in Rome. The emperor himself was wavering and indecisive in the Faith for he kept statues of Christ, Apollo, Abraham and Orpheus in his palace. His chief assistants persecuted the Christians without the emperor's orders. When they brought out the virgin Tatiana for torture, she prayed to God for her torturers. And behold, their eyes were opened and they saw four angels around the martyr. Seeing this, eight of them believed in Christ for which they also were tortured and slain. The tormentors continued to torture St. Tatiana. They whipped her, cut off parts of her body; they scraped her with irons. So all disfigured and bloody, Tatiana was thrown into the dungeon that evening so that the next day, they could, again, begin anew with different tortures. But God sent His angels to the dungeon to encourage her and to heal her wounds so that, each morning, Tatiana appeared before the torturers completely healed. They threw her before a lion, but the lion endeared himself to her and did her no harm. They cut off her hair, thinking, according to their pagan reasoning, that some sorcery or some magical power was concealed in her hair. Finally, Tatiana along with her father were both beheaded. Thus, Tatiana ended her earthly life about the year 225 A.D., and this heroic virgin, who had the fragile body of a woman but a robust and valiant spirit, was crowned with the immortal wreath of glory.

2. THE HOLY MARTYR PETER APSELAMUS
Peter was born in Eleutheropolis in Palestine. In his youth, Peter suffered for the Faith of Christ in 311 A.D., during the reign of Emperor Maximian. After much torture, he was condemned to death. Upon hearing his death sentence, he rejoicefully cried out: "That is my one wish; to die for my God!" Peter was crucified in the same manner as our Lord Himself and expired on the cross.

3. THE FEAST OF THE ICON OF OUR LADY NURSING THE CHRIST CHILD [MLEKOPITATELNICA]
This is the name of the icon of the All-Holy Mother of God which the Serbian Saint Sava [Sabas] brought from the Monastery of St. Sabas the Sanctified, near Jerusalem. And so, the prophecy spoken of by St. Sabas the Sanctified, some eight-hundred years earlier, that a certain Serbian priest by the name of Sava [Sabas] will come and that this icon and his crozier (staff) be given to him, was fulfilled. When St. Sava the Serbian visited the Monastery of St. Sabas the Sanctified, the monks recalled the prophecy of the founder of their monastery and gave to Sava the Serbian this icon and crozier. This icon [Mlekopitatelnica] was placed on the right side of the Royal Doors on the iconastasis, in Sava's hermitage [Isposnica-House of Silence] in Karayes [Mt. Athos] and the crosier placed in an adjacent cell known as the "Paterica".

4. THE VENERABLE MOTHER THEODORA
Theodora was a glorious nun and teacher of the nuns from Alexandria. "Just as trees require winter and snow in order to bear fruit, so trials and temptations are needed for our life," spoke this holy woman. She died peacefully at the beginning of the fifth century.

HYMN OF PRAISE
SAINT TATIANA
You grieve over the youth of your body, Oh, be reasonable!
Youth which passes, is it worthwhile to grieve over; you judge!
There is only one youth, youth in eternity,
That is the true youth, youth without aging,
This is worthwhile to ask for, and for it, to shed tears,
Even if you have to pay for it with the death of the body.
Tatiana purchased the costly with the less costly.
For dust and water, the Divine wine;
For the body that ages, eternal youth
And for a few tears, Cherubic joy.
Betrothed to Christ, the Immortal King,
She remained faithful to her Betrothed;
By the power of a pure spirit, crushed temptations
And bravely endured frightening tortures.
Around her were heard angelic footsteps;
As a wrinkled cloth, her body she shed,
And a soul free of earthly ties
Was raised to the wedding feast in the Kingdom without tears.

REFLECTION
There is no greater honor or greater calling on earth than to be a Christian. When the judge-torturer Sevirus asked the young Peter Apselamus, "Of what lineage are you?" Peter replied, "I am a Christian." The judge further inquired of him, "In what rank are you?" To that Peter responded, " There is no greater nor better rank than to be a Christian." Father John Kronstadt writes: " The whole world is but a cobweb in comparison to the Christian human soul." The Christian is an earthen vessel into which is poured divine power and light. Will this vessel be placed on the golden royal throne or will it be lowered in the dark hut of the beggar; by this, his value will neither be magnified nor diminished. Does not gold have the same value whether it is wrapped in a silk handkerchief or in a cabbage leaf?

CONTEMPLATION
To contemplate the meekness of the Lord Jesus:
1. His meekness about His hidden life in Nazareth until the age of thirty;
2. His meekness in dealing with the sick and with the sinners;
3. His meekness in dealing with Judas the traitor and with the unjust judges.

HOMILY
About how man is most dear to God and God to man
"For I want not what is yours, but you" (I Corinthians 12:14).
With these words, which could have only been spoken by the fiery apostolic love toward one's neighbor, is expressed the essence of the relationship of the Christian toward God and God toward the Christian. The love of God could very well say: "You, O Christian, fast for My sake; for My sake you distribute alms; for My sake you lift up heartfelt prayers; for My sake you build churches; for My sake you offer sacrifices and you perform many other good deeds. All of this is good, and all of this is pleasing to Me, but you are more precious to Me than all of this. In the end, I seek nothing of all of this rather, I seek you, only you."
The love of a Christian could very well say:
"O Lord, You gave me health and that is good. You turn on the light; You permit the rain to fall; You refresh the air by Your thunder and that is good. You bestow wealth, wisdom, many years, offspring and many other good things which You bountifully place on the table of this life. All of this is good and overly-good. I receive all of this with gratitude. But, in the ultimate end, that is only the hem of Your garment. Ultimately, I do not seek anything of that but You, O Lord, You alone I seek."
O my brethren, that is not God which is seen with the physical eyes, neither is that man which is seen with the physical eyes. That which is seen in the whole of nature is only something of God; and that which is seen in the physical garment is only something of man. Brethren, God is Love which heaven lowers to earth; Brethren, man is love which raises earth to heaven.
O Lord, Lover of mankind, Creator and Almighty, take up Your abode more and even more in us with Your Life-giving Spirit that we may live; that we may be alive in Your kingdom without death.
To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.