Now, therefore, says the Lord, Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning. So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm. Who knows if He will turn and relent, And leave a blessing behind Him– A grain offering and a drink offering For the Lord your God? Blow the trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; Gather the people, Sanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders, Gather the children and nursing babes; Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, And the bride from her dressing room. Let the priests, who minister to the Lord, Weep between the porch and the altar; Let them say, “Spare Your people, O Lord, And do not give Your heritage to reproach, That the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’ ” Then the Lord will be zealous for His land, And pity His people. The Lord will answer and say to His people, “Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil, And you will be satisfied by them; I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations. But I will remove far from you the northern army, And will drive him away into a barren and desolate land, With his face toward the eastern sea And his back toward the western sea; His stench will come up, And his foul odor will rise, Because he has done monstrous things. Fear not, O land; Be glad and rejoice, For the Lord has done marvelous things! Do not be afraid, you beasts of the field; For the open pastures are springing up, And the tree bears its fruit; The fig tree and the vine yield their strength. Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the Lord your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you– The former rain, And the latter rain in the first month. The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil. So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, And praise the name of the Lord your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; And My people shall never be put to shame. Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: I am the Lord your God And there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame. And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, And praise the name of the Lord your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; And My people shall never be put to shame.
“Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; For there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; For the winepress is full, The vats overflow– For their wickedness is great.” Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will grow dark, And the stars will diminish their brightness. The Lord also will roar from Zion, And utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and earth will shake; But the Lord will be a shelter for His people, And the strength of the children of Israel. “So you shall know that I am the Lord your God, Dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be holy, And no aliens shall ever pass through her again.” And it will come to pass in that day That the mountains shall drip with new wine, The hills shall flow with milk, And all the brooks of Judah shall be flooded with water; A fountain shall flow from the house of the Lord And water the Valley of Acacias. “Egypt shall be a desolation, And Edom a desolate wilderness, Because of violence against the people of Judah, For they have shed innocent blood in their land. But Judah shall abide forever, And Jerusalem from generation to generation. For I will acquit them of the guilt of bloodshed, whom I had not acquitted; For the Lord dwells in Zion.”
Saints and Feasts celebrated today
Venerable Martinian , monk, of Caesarea in Palestine (422).
The Monk Martinian at age 18 settled into the wilderness, somewhat off from the city of Palestinian Caesarea, where he dwelt in ascetic deeds and silence for 25 years, and he was granted a graced gift of healing illness. But the enemy of the race of man would not stop bothering the hermit with various temptations. One time a profligate woman got into a wager with some dissolute people, as to whether she could seduce Saint Martinian, the fame of whose virtuous life had spread throughout all the city. She came to him at night-time under the guise of a wandering suppliant asking night lodging. The saint let her enter, since the weather outside was inclement. But here the wicked guest changed over into her good clothes and began to tempt the ascetic. The saint thereupon rushed out of the cell, set alight a fire and put his bare feet upon the burning coals. He said such as this to himself: “It is hard enough for thee, Martinian, to suffer this temporal fire, now then wilt thou instead suffer the eternal fire, prepared for thee by the devil?” The woman, shaken by the spectacle, became repentant and besought the saint to guide her onto the way of repentance. At his directing she set off to Bethlehem, to a monastery of Saint Paula, where she dwelt for 12 years in strict ascetic deeds until her blessed end. The name of this woman was Zoa. Having recovered from his scorching, Saint Martinian set off to an uninhabited rocky island, and lived on it under the open sky for several years, nourished by the victuals brought by a certain sailor from time to time, and in return the monk weaved baskets for him. One time a powerful storm wrecked a ship, and to the island of Saint Martinian the waves carried on the ship debris a maiden named Photinia. Saint Martinian helped her to survive the island. “Remain here, said he to her, for here is bread and water, and in two months a boat will come”, and he jumped into the sea and swam off. Two dolphins carried him to dry land. Thereafter Blessed Martinian began to lead the life of a wanderer. And so passed two years. One time, having come to Athens, the saint fell ill, and sensing the nearness of his end, he went into church and lay upon the floor, and calling out to the bishop he besought him to give his body over to burial. This occurred in about the year 422.
The holy woman Zoe of Bethlehem and Virgin Photina (5th c.).
The Blessed Maiden Photinia stayed living on the island, where she spent 6 years in solitude, and then she gave up her soul to God. Everything about her end was reported by that same sailor who brought her food, just as he had also previously for the Monk Martinian. The sailor conveyed the body of Blessed Photinia to Palestinian Caesarea, where it was solemnly buried by the bishop and clergy. The memory of the Monastics Zoa and Photinia is celebrated on the same day together with that of the Monk Martinian.
Venerable Eulogius , archbishop of Alexandria (607-608).
The Monk Eulogios, Archbishop of Alexandria, was one of the enlightened and active hierarchs of the VI Century. At first he was hegumen of the Justinian Mother of God monastery in Antioch, and then he was chosen to the cathedra-chair of the city of Alexandria, where he served for 27 years. During all his years the saint struggled incessantly against various heresies. His activity is known of through his letters to Sainted Gregory Dialogus, an highly esteemed monk and pope. The Monk Eulogios died in either the year 607 or 608. His writings are preserved particularly in quotations by Patriarch Photios, and they reveal an Orthodox teaching about the natures of our Lord Jesus Christ, and are directed against heresies of the time of Saint Eulogios. In complete form there has reached us only one of his sermons for Palm Sunday.
Venerable Symeon the Myrrh-gusher, prince of Serbia (1200).
The Monk Simeon the Myrh-Exuding, Tsar of Serbia, was in the world the Great “Zhupan” (prince) of Serbia, and had the name Stefan Nemany (Nemanya). He lived during the XII Century. The prince toiled much for his fatherland: he united a large portion of the Serb lands and strove for the political independence of his country. He zealously defended his nation against the incursions of Latinism and heresies. At age 80 Stefan set off to Athos, where his son the Monk Savva (Comm. 12 January), was glorified by holiness of life. Together there they restored the desolate Khilendaria monastery, to which monks from various lands began to gather. Saint Simeon was a great ascetic and wise guide for the monks. The Monk Simeon died on 13 February 1200. His relics began to exude myrh. The Monk Savva transported the remains of his father back to their native land, to Serbia, and placed them in a church of the MostHoly Mother of God situated at the River Studenitsa. Saint Simeon while still the prince had erected and richly adorned this church.
Additional Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today:
- New Hieromartyrs Basil and Gabriel priests (1919).
- New Hieromartyr Silvester (Olshevsky) bishop of Omsk and Pavlodar (1920).
- New Hieromartyrs Zosimas, Nicholas, Basil, John, Leontius, Vladimir, Parthenius, John, John, Michael priests and Eugene deacon, and Martyr Paul, Virgin-martyrs Anna, Vera and Irina (1938).
- Blessed Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev) of Bogucharsk (1950).
- Synaxis of All Saints of Omsk Metropolia.
- St. Martin the Merciful.
- St. Modomnoc, bishop of Ossory (6th c.) (Celtic & British).
- Apostle and Martyr Aquila, and Priscilla (Greek).
- St. Timothy, patriarch of Alexandria (385).
- St. Joseph of Volokolamsk (1515).
- St. Castor of Karden, hieromonk and missionary (Germany)
- St. Ermenhilda, abbess of Ely.
- St. Huna, priest-monk of Huneya.
- Translation of the relics of St. Edward the Martyr, King of England.
Venerable Father Martinian, Troparion, Tone VIII
With the streams of thy tears thou didst quench the flames of temptations, O
blessed one,/ and taming the billows of the sea and the raging of wild beasts,
thou didst cry out:// Most glorious art Thou, O Almighty, Who savest me from
fire and tempest!
Kontakion, Tone II “The steadfast”
As a skilled ascetic of piety,/ an honored athlete by volition,/ and an
inhabitant and citizen of the desert,/ we praise the ever-honorable Martinian in
hymns, as is mee;// for he trampled the serpent underfoot.
Today’s Fasting Guidelines
Maslenitsa. Meat is excluded