Thursday, February 21, 2013

February 21, 2013 - Thursday of Publican and Pharisee


FEASTS AND SAINTS CELEBRATED TODAY:

Timothy the Righteous
John III, Patriarch of Constantinople
Eustathius, Bishop of Antioch
Zachariah, Patriarch of Jerusalem

Τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρός ἡμῶν Τιμοθέου τοῦ ἐν Συμβόλοις.
Τοῦ ἐν Ἁγίοις Πατρός ἡμῶν Ἰωάννου, Πατριάρχου Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, τοῦ ἀπό Σχολαστικῶν.

READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:

St. Peter's First Universal Letter 4:12-19; 5:1-5

Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
Psalm 18.4,1
Their voice has gone out into all the earth.
Verse: The heavens declare the glory of God.
BELOVED, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in so far as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or a wrongdoer, or a mischiefmaker; yet if one suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but under that name let him glorify God. For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? And "if the righteous man is scarcely saved, where will the impious and sinner appear?" Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will do right and entrust their souls to a faithful Creator.
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed. Tend the flock of God that is your charge, not by constraint but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly, not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is manifested you will obtain the unfading crown of glory. Likewise you that are younger be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

Πέτρου α' 4:12-19; 5:1-5
Προκείμενον. Ἦχος δ.
ΨΑΛΜΟΙ 18.4,1
Εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν γῆν ἐξῆλθεν ὁ φθόγγος αὐτῶν.
Στίχ. Οἱ οὐρανοὶ διηγοῦνται δόξαν Θεοῦ.
Ἀγαπητοί, μὴ ξενίζεσθε τῇ ἐν ὑμῖν πυρώσει πρὸς πειρασμὸν ὑμῖν γινομένῃ, ὡς ξένου ὑμῖν συμβαίνοντος· ἀλλὰ καθὸ κοινωνεῖτε τοῖς τοῦ Χριστοῦ παθήμασιν, χαίρετε, ἵνα καὶ ἐν τῇ ἀποκαλύψει τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ χαρῆτε ἀγαλλιώμενοι. Εἰ ὀνειδίζεσθε ἐν ὀνόματι Χριστοῦ, μακάριοι· ὅτι τὸ τῆς δόξης καὶ τὸ τοῦ θεοῦ πνεῦμα ἐφʼ ὑμᾶς ἀναπαύεται· κατὰ μὲν αὐτοὺς βλασφημεῖται, κατὰ δὲ ὑμᾶς δοξάζεται. Μὴ γάρ τις ὑμῶν πασχέτω ὡς φονεύς, ἢ κλέπτης, ἢ κακοποιός, ἢ ὡς ἀλλοτριοεπίσκοπος· εἰ δὲ ὡς Χριστιανός, μὴ αἰσχυνέσθω, δοξαζέτω δὲ τὸν θεὸν ἐν τῷ μέρει τούτῳ. Ὅτι ὁ καιρὸς τοῦ ἄρξασθαι τὸ κρίμα ἀπὸ τοῦ οἴκου τοῦ θεοῦ· εἰ δὲ πρῶτον ἀφʼ ἡμῶν, τί τὸ τέλος τῶν ἀπειθούντων τῷ τοῦ θεοῦ εὐαγγελίῳ; Καὶ εἰ ὁ δίκαιος μόλις σῴζεται, ὁ ἀσεβὴς καὶ ἁμαρτωλὸς ποῦ φανεῖται; Ὥστε καὶ οἱ πάσχοντες κατὰ τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ, ὡς πιστῷ κτίστῃ παρατιθέσθωσαν τὰς ψυχὰς αὐτῶν ἐν ἀγαθοποιΐᾳ. Πρεσβυτέρους τοὺς ἐν ὑμῖν παρακαλῶ ὁ συμπρεσβύτερος καὶ μάρτυς τῶν τοῦ Χριστοῦ παθημάτων, ὁ καὶ τῆς μελλούσης ἀποκαλύπτεσθαι δόξης κοινωνός· ποιμάνατε τὸ ἐν ὑμῖν ποίμνιον τοῦ θεοῦ, ἐπισκοποῦντες μὴ ἀναγκαστῶς, ἀλλʼ ἑκουσίως· μηδὲ αἰσχροκερδῶς, ἀλλὰ προθύμως· μηδὲ ὡς κατακυριεύοντες τῶν κλήρων, ἀλλὰ τύποι γινόμενοι τοῦ ποιμνίου. Καὶ φανερωθέντος τοῦ ἀρχιποίμενος, κομιεῖσθε τὸν ἀμαράντινον τῆς δόξης στέφανον. Ὁμοίως, νεώτεροι, ὑποτάγητε πρεσβυτέροις· πάντες δὲ ἀλλήλοις ὑποτασσόμενοι, τὴν ταπεινοφροσύνην ἐγκομβώσασθε· ὅτι ὁ θεὸς ὑπερηφάνοις ἀντιτάσσεται, ταπεινοῖς δὲ δίδωσιν χάριν.

The Gospel of Mark 12:38-44
The Lord said, "Beware of the scribes, who like to go about in long robes, and to have salutations in the market places and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation." And he sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the multitude putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came, and put in two copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him, and said to them, "Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For they all contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, her whole living."

Κατὰ Μᾶρκον 12.38-44
Εἶπεν ὁ Κύριος· Βλέπετε ἀπὸ τῶν γραμματέων τῶν θελόντων ἐν στολαῖς περιπατεῖν καὶ ἀσπασμοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖςκαὶ πρωτοκαθεδρίας ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς καὶ πρωτοκλισίας ἐν τοῖς δείπνοις.οἱ κατεσθίοντες τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσευχόμενοι! οὗτοι λήψονται περισσότερον κρῖμα. Καὶ καθίσας ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς κατέναντι τοῦ γαζοφυλακίου ἐθεώρει πῶς ὁ ὄχλος βάλλει χαλκὸν εἰς τὸ γαζοφυλάκιον.καὶ πολλοὶ πλούσιοι ἔβαλλον πολλά· καὶ ἐλθοῦσα μία χήρα πτωχὴ ἔβαλε λεπτὰ δύο, ὅ ἐστι κοδράντης.καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι ἡ χήρα ἡ πτωχὴ αὕτη πλεῖον πάντων ἔβαλε τῶν βαλλόντων εἰς τὸ γαζοφυλάκιον·πάντες γὰρ ἐκ τοῦ περισσεύοντος αὐτοῖς ἔβαλον· αὕτη δὲ ἐκ τῆς ὑστερήσεως αὐτῆς πάντα ὅσα εἶχεν ἔβαλεν, ὅλον τὸν βίον αὐτῆς.

READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:

Τῇ ΚΑ' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, Μνήμη τοῦ ἐν ἁγίοις Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Τιμοθέου τοῦ ἐν Συμβόλοις.
Καὶ ζῶντα Τιμόθεε καὶ τεθνηκότα,
Τιμᾷ Θεὸς ζώντων σε καὶ τεθνηκότων.
Εἰκάδι Τιμόθεον πρώτῃ κατὰ σῆμα κάλυψεν.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ ἐν Ἁγίοις Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Εὐσταθίου, Πατριάρχου Ἀντιοχείας τῆς μεγάλης.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ ἐν ἁγίοις Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Γεωργίου, Ἐπισκόπου Ἀμάστριδος.
Ὁ Γεώργιος, καὶ λιπὼν τὸ σαρκίον,
Πολλοῖς γεωργεῖ ψυχικὴν σωτηρίαν.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, ὁ ἐν ἁγίοις Πατὴρ ἡμῶν Ἰωάννης, Πατριάρχης Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, ὁ ἀπὸ Σχολαστικῶν, ἐν εἰρήνῃ τελειοῦται.
Χριστοῦ τέθνηκας ὁ Σχολαστικὸς θύτης,
Καὶ τῶν μακρῶν σου νῦν σχολὴν ἄγεις πόνων.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, ὁ ἅγιος Ζαχαρίας, Πατριάρχης Ἱεροσολύμων, ἐν εἰρήνῃ τελειοῦται.
Μακάριος εἶ καὶ θανὼν Ζαχαρία,
Ζαχαρία πρόεδρε γῆς μακαρίας.
Ταῖς αὐτῶν ἁγίαις πρεσβείαις, ὁ Θεὸς ἐλέησον καὶ σῶσον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.

Saint Timothy took up the monastic life from his youth, became a vessel of the Holy Spirit, and reposed in deep old age.

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

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Ως αστήρ πολύφωτος εκ τής Εώας, αναλάμψας ηύγασας, εν ταίς καρδίαις τών πιστών, τάς αρετάς τών θαυμάτων σου, θαυματοφόρε θεόφρον Τιμόθεε.
Thou didst rise up from the East like a most bright star, shining with the splendour of the virtues of thy miracles within the hearts of all faithful men, O wonder worker of godly mind, Timothy.

Saint Eustathius, the great defender of piety and illustrious opponent of Arianism, was from Side in Pamphylia. He became Bishop of Beroea (the present-day Aleppo), and in 325 was present at the First Ecumenical Council. From thence he was transferred to the throne of Antioch. But Saint Constantine the Great, led astray by the slanders directed against the Saint by the Arians, banished him to Trajanopolis in Thrace, where he reposed in 337, according to some. Others say he lived until 360.

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

Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Θείας ἔμπλεως σοφίας πέλων, ὁμοούσιον Πατρὶ τὸν Λόγον, ἐν τῇ Συνόδῳ τῇ Πρώτῃ ἐκήρυξας. Καὶ διωγμοῖς ὁμιλήσας καὶ θλίψεσι, δόξης ἀῤῥήτου μετέσχες Εὐθστάθιε. Πάτερ Ὅσιε, Χριστὸν τὸν Θεὸν ἱκέτευε, δωρήσασθαι ἡμῖν τὸ μέγα ἔλεος.
Since thou hadst wholly purified thyself with godly deeds, thou wast a notable example of a true high priest, while excelling in divine vision and a pure life. As a pillar and foundation of the Church of Christ, thou withstoodest all temptations with great steadfastness. Hence we cry to thee: Rejoice, O Father Eustathius.

Όταν μελετούμε τον βίο και την πολιτεία των Πατέρων και Αγίων της Εκκλησίας, όπως του αγίου Ευσταθίου Επισκόπου Αντιοχείας, του οποίου σήμερα η Εκκλησία τιμά την μνήμη, βλέπομε να εκπληρώνεται σ' αυτούς ο λόγος του αποστόλου Παύλου· "Πάντες οι θέλοντες ευσεβώς ζην εν Χριστώ Ιησού διωχθήσονται". Η ευσέβεια και η αρετή γεννούν την αντίδραση και προκαλούν τον πόλεμο της κακίας και κάνουν τη ζωή των Αγίων πολύ δύσκολη, μέσα σε συκοφαντίες και διώξεις. Μα εδώ ακριβώς είναι το σημείο, που δοκιμάζεται η πίστη και διαλάμπει η υπομονή των Αγίων. Κι όταν συκοφαντούνται κι όταν διώκιωνται, δεν αποθαρρύνονται, δεν κάμπτονται και δεν συνθηκολογούν με την κακία. Χαίρουν μάλλον, κατά τον λόγο του Χριστού· "Μακάριοί εστε, όταν ονειδίσωσιν υμάς... χαίρετε και αγαλλιάσθε...". Στο τέλος, σαν επιβράβευση του Θεού, λάμπει πάντα η αρετή των Αγίων.

Ὁ Ὅσιος Τιμόθεος ὁ ἐν Συμβόλοις
Ἦταν μοναχὸς πνευματέμφορος, μὲ μεγάλη καθαρότητα ζωῆς ἀπὸ νεαρὴ ἡλικία, ξένος πρὸς τοὺς μολυσμοὺς τῆς ψυχῆς καὶ τοῦ σώματος. Ἐπίσης, ἦταν χαρακτῆρας εὐθύς, εἰλικρινής, συμπαθητικός, ἐλεύθερος. Χωρὶς φανατισμούς, χωρὶς καυχήσεις ὅτι νήστευε, χωρὶς ἀλαζονεῖες ὅτι ἔκανε ἀγρυπνίες καὶ ἐγκράτεια. Γεμάτος ἁπλότητα, ταπεινοφροσύνη, ἐπιείκεια καὶ συγκατάβαση. Ἔκρινε τὸν ἑαυτό του μὲ αὐστηρότητα καὶ τοὺς ἄλλους μὲ ἀγαθότητα. Γι᾿ αὐτὸ καὶ ὁ Θεὸς τοῦ ἔδωσε τὸ χάρισμα νὰ ἰατρεύει ἀσθένειες, χωρὶς βέβαια νὰ ὑπερηφανεύεται γι᾿ αὐτό. Καὶ ἔλεγε: «Γιατί νὰ ὑπερηφανευθῶ; ὁ Θεός μου τὸ χάρισε, ὄχι γιὰ τὴν δική μου ἀρετὴ ἀλλὰ γιὰ τὴν πρὸς σᾶς ἀγάπη Του. Ἔπειτα ὁ Κύριός μας τὸ εἶπε, ὅτι δὲν σημαίνει τίποτα τὸ νὰ κάνουμε θαύματα. Ἀλλὰ τὸ πᾶν εἶναι, μὲ τὴν πίστη μας καὶ τὴν μετάνοιά μας καὶ τὴν τήρηση τῶν ἐντολῶν τοῦ Εὐαγγελίου, νὰ γράψουμε τὰ ὀνόματά μας στὸ βιβλίο τῆς ζωῆς».

Ὁ Ἅγιος Εὐστάθιος Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Ἀντιοχείας τῆς Μεγάλης
Ἀπὸ τὶς μεγάλες καὶ ἀθλητικὲς ἐκκλησιαστικὲς μορφὲς τοῦ 3ου καὶ 4ου αἰῶνα ὁ Εὐστάθιος, γεννήθηκε στὴ Σίδη τῆς Παμφυλίας τὸ 260. Διακρίθηκε μεταξὺ τῶν προμάχων τῆς Ὀρθοδοξίας, γιὰ τὴν ὁποία ἀγωνίστηκε καὶ καταδιώχθηκε. Στὴν ἀρχὴ διέλαμψε σὰν ἐπίσκοπος Βεῤῥοίας στὴ Συρία, ὅταν καὶ συμμετεῖχε στὴν Οἰκουμενικὴ Σύνοδο τῆς Νίκαιας. Τὸ 323 τοῦ δόθηκε ἡ ἀρχιεπισκοπὴ Ἀντιοχείας τῆς Μεγάλης. Ἀπὸ τὴν θέση αὐτὴ ὁ Εὐστάθιος, κατόρθωσε λαμπρότερη διάδοση καὶ στερέωση τῆς Ὀρθοδοξίας. Τὸ 330 ὅμως οἱ ἀρειανοὶ ἔκαναν Σύνοδο ἐναντίον του, μὲ τὴν κατηγορία ὅτι ἀσπαζόταν τὴν αἵρεση τοῦ Σαβελλίου. Ἐπίσης, ἀφοῦ δωροδόκησαν κάποια γυναῖκα ἐλαφρῶν ἠθῶν, τὴν παρουσίασαν στὴ Σύνοδο καὶ εἶπε ὅτι εἶχε σχέσεις μὲ τὸν Εὐστάθιο καὶ μάλιστα, ὅτι ἀπὸ τὶς σχέσεις αὐτὲς ἀπέκτησε καὶ παιδί. Περιττὸ δὲ νὰ ποῦμε, ὅτι μετὰ τὶς συκοφαντίες αὐτὲς οἱ ἀρειανοί, κατόρθωσαν καὶ ἐξόρισαν τὸν Εὐστάθιο στὴν Τραϊανούπολη τῆς Θρᾴκης, ὅπου καὶ πέθανε (τὸ 360). Ὁ λαὸς βέβαια ξεσηκώθηκε καὶ δὲν δεχόταν ν᾿ ἀναγνωρίσει κανένα διάδοχό του. Ἡ μνήμη του ζοῦσε στὸ ποίμνιό του, σὰν ἄνδρα, ποὺ ἀνῆκε στοὺς ἀθλητὲς καὶ μάρτυρες τῆς πίστης. Περίφημο λόγο γιὰ τὸν Εὐστάθιο, ἔξεφωνησε ὁ Ἱερὸς Χρυσόστομος.

Ὁ Ἅγιος Ἰωάννης Γ´ Πατριάρχης Κωνσταντινουπόλεως ὁ ἀπὸ Σχολαστικῶν
Καταγόταν ἀπὸ ἕνα χωριὸ τῆς Ἀντιοχείας, ποὺ ὀνομαζόταν Σιρίμιο. Σπούδασε στὴν Ἀντιόχεια καὶ ἔκανε τὸ ἐπάγγελμα τοῦ δικηγόρου. Καθὼς ἦταν εὐσεβὴς καὶ ἐνάρετος, ἔγινε κληρικὸς καὶ ἐστάλη στὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη σὰν ἀποκρισάριος τοῦ Πατριάρχη Ἀντιοχείας. Καὶ ἐνῷ βρισκόταν ἐκεῖ, ἐξελέγη Πατριάρχης Κωνσταντινουπόλεως τὸ 565. Διοίκησε τὴν ἐκκλησία γιὰ 12 χρόνια καὶ μερικοὺς μῆνες καὶ ἀπεβίωσε εἰρηνικὰ τὸ 577.

Ὁ Ἅγιος Ζαχαρίας Πατριάρχης Ἱεροσολύμων
Εἶναι αὐτός, ποὺ μετὰ τὴν ἅλωση τῆς Ἱερουσαλὴμ ἀπὸ τοὺς Πέρσες (614) ἀπὸ τὸν Χοσρόη, μεταφέρθηκε αἰχμάλωτος στὴν Περσία. Σύμφωνα μὲ ὁρισμένες πληροφορίες, ἐπανῆλθε ἀπὸ τὴν Περσία (628), ἀφοῦ ἐλευθερώθηκε ἀπὸ τὸν Ἡράκλειο, καὶ πέθανε στὴν Ἱερουσαλὴμ τὸ 633.

Ὁ Ὅσιος Γεώργιος ἐπίσκοπος Ἀμάστριδος
Γεννήθηκε τὸ ἔτος 750 ἀπὸ γονεῖς εὐσεβεῖς τοῦ Θεοδοσίου καὶ τῆς Μεγεθούς, ποὺ κατάγονταν ἀπὸ τὴν Κρώμνη, πόλη κοντὰ στὴ Ἀμάστριδα τοῦ Εὐξείνου Πόντου. Οἱ γονεῖς του τὸν ἀπέκτησαν διὰ πολλῆς προσευχῆς, διότι δὲν ἔκαναν παιδιά. Ὅταν μεγάλωσε καὶ ἐκπαιδεύτηκε ἀρκετά, ἀναχώρησε ἀπὸ τὴν πατρίδα του καὶ πῆγε στὸ ὄρος τῆς Συρικῆς, κοντὰ σ᾿ ἕναν σοφὸ Γέροντα, ὅπου ἀπ᾿ αὐτὸν πῆρε τὸ Ἀγγελικὸ σχῆμα τῶν Μοναχῶν. Ὅταν ὁ Γέροντας αὐτὸς πέθανε, ὁ Γεώργιος πῆγε στὴ Μονὴ Βονύσσης (Βόνιτσα Ἀκαρνανίας), κοντὰ στὴν Ἀμάστριδα, καὶ ἐκεῖ ἀσκήτευε. Κάποτε ὅμως, ὁ Ἐπίσκοπός της Ἀμάστριδας πέθανε καὶ τότε λαὸς καὶ κλῆρος ἔκαναν ἐπίσκοπο τὸν Γεώργιο (788). Ἀφοῦ χειροτονήθηκε Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος στὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη, γύρισε στὴν ἐπισκοπή του καὶ ἀποδείχτηκε πραγματικὰ λύχνος ἐπὶ τὴν λυχνίαν. Ἐπιμελήθηκε τὴν διάταξη τῶν ἱερῶν ναῶν, τὴν προστασία τῶν ὀρφανῶν καὶ φτωχῶν με τὶς πτωχοτροφίες καὶ ἄλλα. Ἀξιώθηκε μάλιστα καὶ τοῦ θαυματουργικοῦ χαρίσματος. Ἔτσι, μ᾿ αὐτὸν τὸν ἅγιο τρόπο ἀφοῦ ἔζησε, ἀπεβίωσε εἰρηνικὰ τὸ ἔτος 805. (Ἡ μνήμη του ἐπαναλαμβάνεται καὶ τὴν 25η Ὀκτωβρίου).

Οἱ Ἅγιοι Ἀνδρέας καὶ Ἀνατόλιος
Ἄγνωστοι στοὺς Συναξαριστές. Ἀνήκουν στὴν Ἐκκλησία τῶν Ἱεροσολύμων καὶ εἶναι καταταγμένοι στὸ Ἱεροσολυμιτικὸ Κανονάριο σελ. 35 σημ. 1 καὶ ἐκτὸς ἀπὸ τὴν συγκεκριμένη ἡμερομηνία, γιορτάζουν καὶ 26 Ἀπριλίου καὶ 7 Ἰουνίου. Οἱ Ἅγιοι αὐτοὶ ὑπῆρξαν ἀπὸ τοὺς πρώτους μαθητὲς τοῦ Ἁγίου Εὐθυμίου τοῦ Μεγάλου. Ὁ Ἀνδρέας καταγόταν ἀπὸ τὴν Μυτιλήνη καὶ ἦταν ἀνεψιὸς τοῦ Σιδωνίου, ποὺ διαπαιδαγώγησε τὸν Μέγα Εὐθύμιο. Ὁ Ἀνατόλιος καταγόταν ἀπὸ τὴν Ῥαϊθώ. Αὐτοὶ παρουσιάστηκαν στὸν Μέγα Εὐθύμιο σχεδὸν ταυτόχρονα, ὁ μὲν Ἀνδρέας μαζὶ μὲ τὰ δυό του ἀδέλφια Στέφανο καὶ Γαίανο, ὁ δὲ Ἀνατόλιος μαζὶ μὲ τὸν Ἰωάννη τὸν πρεσβύτερο καὶ τὸν Θαλάσσιο.

St Eustathius, archbishop of Antioch (337)
He was consecrated Bishop of Berea (Aleppo) in Syria, then of Antioch in 324. He took an active part in the Council of Nicea against the Arian heresy. His zeal for the Faith aroused the hatred of various heretics, who convened a council in Antioch where, by means of slanders and false witnesses, they were able to have the holy bishop deposed and exiled to Thrace, where he died a few years later.
  The deposition of the Saint caused a schism in the Church of Antioch which was not healed until 414 (see St Meletius, Feb. 12). Saint John Chrysostom publicly praised Eustathius as a Martyr, and his relics were finally brought back to Antioch in 482. The Synaxarion says "The people then went in jubilation to meet him with lights and incense, and escorted him as he made a triumphal entry into his city, which thus recovered its unity in the Faith and in the veneration of this champion of Orthodoxy."

St John the Scholastic, patriarch of Constantinople (577)
He came from the region of Antioch, and only became a clergyman at the age of fifty. He won a wide reputation as representative of the Patriarchate of Antioch at Constantinople, and was elected Patriarch of Constantinople following the deposition of Eutyches in 565. He compiled the Nomocanon, a collection of Church canons, and added the Communion hymn "Of Thy Mystical Supper..." to the Divine Liturgy. He reposed in peace.

Saint Zachariah, Patriarch of Jerusalem (632)
He was the Skevophylax, keeper of the sacred vessels in the Church of Constantinople, then was made Patriarch of Jerusalem in 609. When the Persians took Jerusalem in 614 and took the Precious Cross of our Lord as a trophy, Zachariah went to Persia with the Cross, clasping it in his arms. In 631 the Emperor Heraclius conquered the Persians and recovered the Cross, bringing it to Constantinople. According to one account, Zachariah returned with the Cross, then returned to governing the Church in Jerusalem until his repose in 632 when Modestus (who had been acting in his absence) succeeded him. According to another account, Saint Zachariah died in exile, and Modestus was made Patriarch when the Holy Cross returned to Jerusalem.

Menologion 3.0
The Monk Timothy the Wilderness-Dweller, an Italian by descent, from youth asceticised at a monastery, called "Symboleia", in Asia Minor near Mount Olympos. The archimandrite of the monastery was the Monk Theoktistos. Saint Timothy was his disciple and co-student of the Monk Platon, a Studite Confessor (+ 814, Comm. 5 April). Attaining an high degree of spiritual perfection, he received from God the gift of healing the sick and casting out unclean spirits. The monk spent many years as an hermit, roaming the wilderness, the mountains and forests, both day and night offering up prayer to the Lord God. He died in extreme old age, in the year 795.

Sainted Eustathios, Archbishop of Antioch (323-331) was born in Pamphylian Sidon in the second half of the III Century. He was bishop of Beria (Beroea), and enjoyed the love and esteem of the people, and at the request of his flock he was elevated by the fathers of the First OEcumenical Council (325) to the Antioch cathedra-chair.
Sainted Eustathios was profoundly learned as a theologian, and was likewise distinguished by his broad knowledge in the mundane sciences. When in the East there began spreading about the heresy of Arius, which denied the Consubstantiality of the Son of God together with the Father, Saint Eustathios struggled zealously -- in both word of mouth and in writing -- for the purity of the Orthodox faith. The First OEcumenical Council was convened in the year 325 by the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Constantine the Great (306-337). The first to preside over this Council was Saint Eustathios. The Council condemned the heretical teachings of Arius and expounded the Orthodox confession into the Symbol of Faith (i.e. the Nicene Creed). But the mad Arius, as Saint Eustathios called him, who refused to renounce his errors, together with those of like mind with him, were deprived of dignity and excommunicated from the Church by the Council. Though among the bishops, who put their signature to the Nicene Symbol of Faith, were also those sympathising with the heresy of Arius yet signing the Acts of the Council not through conviction, but through fear of excommunication. After the Council, intrigues started against Saint Eustathios. With great cunning they gained his consent for the convening at Antioch of a Local Council. Having bribed a certain profligate woman, they persuaded her to appear at the Council with an infant at her breast, and falsely declare that the father of the infant was Saint Eustathios. Violating the Apostolic Rule concerning this, that accusations against clergy-servers need to be vouched to by two witnesses, the Arians declared Saint Eustathios deposed. Without a trial he was sent off into exile to Thrace. But the lie to the accusation was soon unmasked: having fallen grievously ill after the slandering, the woman repented, summoned the clergy and in the presence of many people she confessed her sin. But in this same time period Saint Constantine the Great had died, and onto the throne entered his son Constantius (337-361), who shared the heretical views of Arius and patronised the Arianising bishops. Even in exile Saint Eustathios struggled with all his same zeal for Orthodoxy. He died in exile, in the city of Philippi or Trajanopolis, in the year 337.
Convened in the year 381 at Constaninople, the Second OEcumenical Council confirmed the Orthodox Symbol of Faith, which Saint Eustathios had so assiduously defended. The Arian false-teaching was once again anthematised as heretical.
In the year 482 the relics of Saint Eustathios were reverently transferred from Philippi to Antioch, to the great joy of the Antioch people, who had not ceased to honour and love their confessor-patriarch.
Saint Eustathios was esteemed by the great hierarchs of the IV Century -- Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, Athanasias of Alexandria, Epiphanios of Cyprus, Anastasias of Sinai and Jerome of Stridonia. The reknown church historian Bishop Theodorit of Cyr calls Saint Eustathios a pillar of the Church and a man of piety, of an equal footing with Saint Athanasias of Alexandria and the other bishops at the forefront in the struggle for Orthodoxy.

Sainted George, Bishop of Amastridea, was from the city of Kromna, nearby the city of Amastridea close to the Black Sea. His pious and illustrious parents Theodore and Migethusa gave him a fine education, both spiritual and secular. Saint George withdrew to a mountain in Syria, where he accepted monasticism and began to lead a strict ascetic life under the guidance of an hermit. After the death of the elder, Saint George resettled at a monastery in Bonissa, and there continued with his efforts. After the death of the bishop of the city of Amastridea, Saint George was chosen bishop by the clergy and the people, and he was ordained at Constantinople by Archbishop Tarasios (784-806, Comm. 25 February). Arriving in Amastridea, Saint George incessantly instructed his flock, he concerned himself about the embellishment of churches, was a defender of widows and orphans, fed the poor, and in everything he gave example of a God-pleasing life. By the power of his prayer he repulsed from the city of Amastridea Saracens that were ravaging the surroundings. He likewise delivered from death Amastridean merchants wrongfully condemned in the city of Trapezund. Saint George died peacefully amidst his flock, -- on 3 March -- during the reign of the emperor Nicephorus I (802-811).

Sainted John Scholastikos, Patriarch of Constantinople, was educated as a jurist. He accepted the dignity of presbyter, and later he was elevated to the patriarch throne, where he spent the years 565 to 577. While still a presbyter, he compiled a collection of Church Rules in 50 Chapters, and later during his time as patriarch he made a Codex of civil directives, relating to the Church. From these collections was compiled the Nomocanon (i.e. "Law-canon"), used in church administration. Saint John was also the author of the two Church hymns -- the "Let us who mystically represent the Cherubim", and the "At Thy Mystical Supper".

The Monk Zakharios, Patriarch of Jerusalem, lived from the end of the VI to the early VII Centuries. In the year 614 the Persian emperor Chosroes fell upon Jerusalem, looted it, and led into captivity many a Christian, including also Saint Zakharios. Together with his captives, Chosroes seized also the Life-Creating Cross of Christ. During the time of the invasion as many as 90,000 Christians perished. Afterwards Chosroes was compelled to sue for peace with the Byzantine emperor Heraclius (610-641). The Cross of the Lord was returned to Jerusalem. The Christian captives that yet remained alive also were returned, among them Patriarch Zakharios, who died peacefully in the year 633.

THE PROLOGUE FROM ORCHID:

1. SAINT ZACHARIAS PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM
During the reign of the Greek Emperor Heraclius, the Persian Emperor Chozroes attacked Jerusalem in the year 614 A.D. Chozroes pillaged the city, removed the Honorable Cross [of Christ] to Persia and took an enormous number of Christians into bondage, among them was Patriarch Zacharias. The Jews assisted Chozroes in committing evil against the Christians. Among the other Jewish wickedness, this one is mentioned: the Jews purchased from Chozroes 90,000 Christians as their slaves and slew them all. The aged patriarch Zacharias remained in bondage for fourteen years. Many miracles occurred in Persia as a result of the Honorable Cross, so even the Persians said: "The Christian God came to Persia." Later on, Heraclius forced the Persian emperor to return the Honorable Cross to Jerusalem along with the patriarch and the remaining captives. Emperor Heraclius himself bore the Cross on his shoulders into the Holy City. St. Zacharias spent his remaining days in peace and took up habitation with the Lord in the year 631 A.D. He was succeeded on the throne by Patriarch Modestus and followed by St. Sophronius (March 11).

2. THE VENERABLE TIMOTHY
Timothy was a recluse in a place called Symbola on the Asiatic side of Mount
Olympus. In his youth, Timothy entered a monastery, was tonsured a monk and until old age spent his earthly time in fasting, prayer, vigils and ceaseless labor. He remained pure and chaste throughout his entire life. To the pure and chaste God gives authority over evil spirits and He gave this to Timothy. Though his labors for the salvation of his soul, St. Timothy succeeded to build in himself a beautiful home for the Holy Spirit. This holy man died in the year 795 A.D.

3. SAINT EUSTATHIUS THE ARCHBISHOP OF ANTIOCH
Eustathius was a great zealot and protector of Orthodoxy. As such, he was especially prominent at the First Ecumenical Council [Nicaea 325 A.D.], where he intellectually and systematically refuted the teaching of Arius. With the other Holy Fathers, Eustathius confessed correctly that Jesus Christ, as the Son of God, is equal to the Father and the Holy Spirit according to divine Hypostasis [natures]. Following the death of Emperor Constantine, the Arians somehow again gained prevalence and began to bitterly persecute Orthodoxy. St. Eustathius was ousted from his throne and exiled, at first to Thrace and after that to Macedonia. Eustathius suffered much and long until, in the end, he gave up his holy soul to God in the year 345 A.D.

4. SAINT JOHN III SCHOLASTICUS, PATRIARCH OF CONSTANTINOPLE
As an advocate, John was ordained a priest and after that became patriarch in the year 565 A.D. He complied canons, which were included in the Nomo-Canon. During
his time, the divine hymn, The Cherubic Hymn, as well as the prayer before Holy Communion of Thy Mystical Supper were included in the Holy and Divine Liturgy.

The Cherubic Hymn
[Let us who mystically represent the Cherubim,
and who sing the trice-holy hymn to the life-
creating Trinity, now lay aside all earthly cares.
That we may receive the King of All, who
comes invisible upborne by the angelic hosts.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!]

Prayer Before Holy Communion
[I believe, O Lord, and I confess that Thou art
truly the Christ, the Son of the living God,
who came into the world to save sinners, of
whom I am first. I believe also that this is
truly Thine own pure Body, and that
this is truly Thine own precious Blood. There-
fore, I pray Thee: have mercy upon me and
forgive my transgressions both voluntary and
involuntary, of word and of deed, committed
knowingly and unknowingly, of knowledge and
of ignorance. And make me worthy to partake
without condemnation of Thy most pure
Mysteries, for the remission of my sins,
and unto life everlasting. Amen.
Of Thy Mystical Supper, O Son of God,
accept me today as a communicant; for I will
not speak of Thy Mystery to Thine enemies,
neither like Judas will I give Thee a kiss; but
like the thief will I confess Thee: Remember
me, O Lord, in Thy Kingdom.
May the communion of Thy holy Mysteries be
neither to my judgment, nor to my condemnation,
O Lord, but to the healing of soul and body].

John died peacefully and gave up his soul to God in the year 577 A.D.

HYMN OF PRAISE
THE HONORABLE CROSS
Covered with blood, the saving Cross,
As though in a grave, for a long time, covered with darkness!
For three days in darkness, from you [the Cross] a Hero [Christ] dwelled,
And you [the Cross], three hundred years, under the ground lay.
When, from Hades the forefathers He liberated, the Lord arose,
And, when freedom for the Church reigned, You [the Cross] arose.
After that, the Lord, for a little while, remained on earth
And to the faithful, you [the Cross] for sometime, still shown,
Until you [the Cross] adequately helped them to strengthen the Faith,
Until with the sign of the Cross, everyone learned to sign themselves,
Until, by their conscience, the baptized recognized the power of the Cross -
With this, you [the Cross] completed your service with honor,
A thousand seasons if they come and pass, but still,
Your image, your power will not perish.
The faithful, before the Honorable Cross, pray to Christ the God,
Heal all difficulties, heal all pains by the Honorable Cross.


REFLECTION
What is fortune telling? There are three kinds of belief, which have their origin in fortune telling: belief in blind chance, belief in things and belief in the almighty power of the spirits of darkness. Through fortune telling, events are prophesied, the power of things differentiated and an oath is sworn to the spirits of darkness. Not any faith so decisively condemned and rejected fortune telling as did the Christian Faith. Not any faith, except Christianity is free and pure of fortune telling. Other faiths are, more or less, fortune telling and some consist only of fortune telling. Fortune telling means to subject man to lower things and beings lower than man. From this, one can say that fortune telling can be called a belief in darkness. That is why the Apostle Paul speaks: "Avoid profane and silly myths. Train yourself for devotion" (1 Timothy 4:7). Christianity is a Faith of light in two senses: First because it elevates man above chance, above all things and above the spirits of darkness; and Second that it subordinates man only to the authority of the Living, Wise and Almighty God. The All-seeing God exists that is why blind chance does not exist. In spiritual union with this All-seeing and Living God, man can be more exalted than all things and more powerful than all the spirits of darkness.

CONTEMPLATION
To contemplate the Lord Jesus in conversation with the rich young man: "An official asked him this question, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus answered him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments, `You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother.' And he replied, "All of these I have observed from my youth." When Jesus heard this he said to him, " There is still one thing left for you: sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have a treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." But when he heard this he became quite sad, for he was very rich" (St. Luke 18:18-23).
1. How the rich man sought counsel and was not prepared to sacrifice;
2. How our Lord pointed out to him the way to sacrifice which is necessary for the purchase of eternal life;
3. How the rich man left sorrowfully for he could not part with his riches.

HOMILY
About fasting and prayer
"This kind can come outby nothing, but prayerand fasting" (St. Mark 9:29).
This is the saving prescription of the greatest Physician of human souls. This is the remedy tried and proved. Another remedy for lunacy, there is not. What kind of sickness is that? That is the presence and dominance of an evil spirit in a man, a dangerous evil spirit who labors to eventually destroy the body and soul of man. The boy whom our Lord freed from an evil spirit; this evil spirit that had hurled him at times in the fire, at times in the water just in order to destroy him.
As long as a man only philosophizes about God he is weak and completely helpless against the evil spirit. The evil spirit ridicules the feeble sophistry of the world. But, as soon as a man begins to fast and to pray to God, the evil spirit becomes filled with indescribable fear. In no way can the evil spirit tolerate the aroma of prayer and fasting. The sweet-smelling aroma chokes him and weakens him to utter exhaustion. In a man who only philosophizes about faith, there is spacious room in him for the demons. But in a man who sincerely begins to pray to God and to fast with patience and hope, for the demon it becomes narrow and constricted and he must flee from such a man. Against certain bodily ills there exists only one remedy. Against the greatest ill of the soul, demonism, there exists two remedies, which must be utilized at one and the same time: fasting and prayer. The apostles and saints fasted and prayed to God. That is why they were so powerful against evil spirits.
O gracious Jesus, our Physician and Helper in all miseries, strengthen us by the power of Your Holy Spirit that we may be able to adhere to Your saving precepts concerning fasting and prayer for the sake of our salvation and the salvation of our fellow men.