But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
1 Corinthians 15:47-57
The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed- in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Again, departing from the region of Tyre and Sidon, He came through the midst of the region of Decapolis to the Sea of Galilee. Then they brought to Him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and they begged Him to put His hand on him. And He took him aside from the multitude, and put His fingers in his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue. Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly. Then He commanded them that they should tell no one; but the more He commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it. And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth-those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
Saints and Feasts celebrated today
Martyrs Agapius , Publius (Pauplios), Timolaus , Romulus , two named Dionysius , and two named Alexander , at Caesarea in Palestine (303).
The Holy Martyrs Agapios, Puplios, Timolaus, Romilos, Alexander, Alexander, Dionysios and Dionysios suffered under the emperor Diocletian (284-305) in the city of Palestinian Caesarea. At the time of one of the pagan feasts they began to torture and execute Christians who refused to offer sacrifice to idols. At this time the Martyr Timotheos (Comm. 19 August) was sentenced to burning, and the Martyrs Agapios and Thekla (Comm. 19 August) were sentenced to tearing apart by wild beasts. The group of young Christians Puplios, Timolaus, Alexander, another Alexander, Dionysios, and the subdeacon of the Diaspolis church Romilos decided publicly to confess their faith and suffer for Christ. As a sign of their voluntary deed they tied themselves together by the feet and appeared before the governor Urban. Seeing their youthfulness, the governor tried to persuade them to refrain from their decision, but in vain. He then threw them in prison, where there were already two Christians Agapios, undergoing tortures for faith in Christ, and his servant Dionysios. All these saints were subjected to terrible tortures and beheaded.
Hieromartyr Alexander of Side in Pamphylia (270-275).
The PriestMartyr Alexander, Presbyter in Sidon, suffered for Christ during the time of persecution under the emperor Aurelian (270-275). The saint was interrogated by the governor Antoninus and given over to fierce tortures. But miraculously preserved by the Lord, the saint with surprising endurance underwent all the tortures, and finally, he was beheaded. And just as the torturer Antoninus went to go from the judgement place, he became possessed of demons and perished in frenzied convulsions.
Martyr Nicander of Egypt (302).
The Holy Martyr Nikander suffered in Egypt under the emperor Diocletian (284-305). He was a physician and during the time of the persecution he visited Christians locked up in prison, he rendered them help, brought them food, and buried the dead. One time he came to the place where the bodies of killed martyrs were thrown for devouring by wild beasts. Fearing to bury them by day, he waited for night and under cover of darkness buried the bodies. They discovered Saint Nikander and subjected him to terrible tortures: they skinned him alive and then beheaded him (+ c. 302).
Additional Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today:
- Parents’ Saturday. .
- New Hieromartyr Alexis priest (1938).
- New Hieromartyr Michael priest (1940).
- Venerable Nicander, monk, of Gorodets (Novgorod) (1603).
- New Martyr Manuel of Crete (1792) (Greek).
- St. Hebarestes.
- St. Zachariah, pope of Rome (752).
Holy Martyr Agapius & His Companions
No Troparion is given in the Menaion.
No Kontakion is given in the Menaion.
Today’s Fasting Guidelines
Great Lent. Food with Oil