Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scornful men, Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem, Because you have said, We have made a covenant with death, And with Sheol we are in agreement. When the overflowing scourge passes through, It will not come to us, For we have made lies our refuge, And under falsehood we have hidden ourselves. Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily. Also I will make justice the measuring line, And righteousness the plummet; The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, And the waters will overflow the hiding place. Your covenant with death will be annulled, And your agreement with Sheol will not stand; When the overflowing scourge passes through, Then you will be trampled down by it. As often as it goes out it will take you; For morning by morning it will pass over, And by day and by night; It will be a terror just to understand the report. For the bed is too short to stretch out on, And the covering so narrow that one cannot wrap himself in it. For the Lord will rise up as at Mount Perazim, He will be angry as in the Valley of Gibeon That He may do His work, His awesome work, And bring to pass His act, His unusual act. Now therefore, do not be mockers, Lest your bonds be made strong; For I have heard from the Lord God of hosts, A destruction determined even upon the whole earth.
These were the families of the sons of Noah, according to their generations, in their nations; and from these the nations were divided on the earth after the flood. Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. Then they said to one another, Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly. They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said, Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth. But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one anothers speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.
A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul, But it is an abomination to fools to depart from evil. He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed. Evil pursues sinners, But to the righteous, good shall be repaid. A good man leaves an inheritance to his childrens children, But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. Much food is in the fallow ground of the poor, And for lack of justice there is waste. He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly. The righteous eats to the satisfying of his soul, But the stomach of the wicked shall be in want. The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands. He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord, But he who is perverse in his ways despises Him. In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, But the lips of the wise will preserve them. Where no oxen are, the trough is clean; But much increase comes by the strength of an ox. A faithful witness does not lie, But a false witness will utter lies. A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it, But knowledge is easy to him who understands.
Saints and Feasts celebrated today
Translation of the relics (846) of St. Nicephorus the Confessor, patriarch of Constantinople (829).
Sainted Nicephoros was a dignitary at the court of the empress Irene (797-802), and then accepting monasticism, he became known for his piety. In the year 806 he was elevated to the patriarchal throne. The saint was a zealous defender of Icon-Veneration. When the Iconoclast emperor Leo the Armenian (813-820) came to rule, the saint in 815 was exiled to the Island of Prokonnis, where he died in the year 828. In the year 846 the holy relics of Patriarch Nicephoros were opened, undecayed and fragrant. They transferred them from Prokonnis to Constantinople and placed them for one day in the church of Saint Sophia, and then they transferred them to the church of the Holy Apostles. The hands of the saint are preserved in the Khilendaria monastery on Mount Athos. The saint left behind three writings, directed against Iconoclasm. The memory of Saint Nicephoros is celebrated also on 2 June.
Martyr Sabinus (Abibus) of Egypt (303).
He was the administrator (we would say mayor) of the city of Hermopolis in Egypt. During a persecution, he and many other Christians fled to the mountains, where Sabinas shut himself in a hut and spent his days in fasting and prayer. But a poor man who brought him food (and whom Sabinas had helped in many ways) betrayed him to the authorities for two pieces of gold. Sabinas and six others were arrested, bound and brought before the governor Arian. After harsh torture, Sabinas was drowned in the Nile.
Martyrs Africanus, Publius , and Terence of Carthage (3rd c.).
The Holy Martyrs Africanus, Publius and Terence suffered in the III Century at Petrium. Their memory is celebrated also on 10 April.
Martyr Alexander of Macedonia (305).
The Holy Martyr Alexander was a presbyter in the city of Pidna, not far from Soluneia (Thessalonika). The saint converted many pagans to Christianity by his preaching. During the time of the persecution against Christians under the emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311), Saint Alexander was subjected to fierce tortures, and then beheaded.
Martyr Christina of Persia (4th c.).
The Holy Martyress Christina of Persia was scourged to death for confessing her faith in Christ, during the IV Century.
Venerable Aninas the Presbyter of the Euphrates.
Born in Chalcedon and when 15 years old he left the
world and settled in a cave, near the Euphrates River, spending all his time in strict
fasting and prayer. He became known for his gift of treating illnesses and
performed many other wonders. The Ven. Aninas died in peace at the age of 110
years. See March 18.
Additional Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today:
- New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1919).
- New Hieromartyr Gregory priest (1921).
- New Hieromartyr Michael priest (1938).
- Hieromartyr Publius, bishop of Athens and disciple of St. Dionysius the Areopagite (2nd c.).
- St. Leander, bishop of Seville (596).
- New Hieromartyr Stephen (Bekh), bishop of Izhevsk (1933).
Translation of the Relics of St. Nicephorus, Patriarch of
No Troparion is given in the Menaion.
Kontakion, Tone I “The choir of angels”
The choir of patriarchs doth honor thy holy memory/ with praises and hymns, O
Nicephorus;/ for it received thy soul at thy translation, O glorious one./
Wherefore, today the holy Church, magnifying Christ the King,// doth glorify Him
Who alone loveth mankind.
Today’s Fasting Guidelines
Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Food without Oil