Sunday May 17, 2020
Today is Fast Free No fasting restrictions.
John 20:1-10 (7th Matins Gospel)
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.
Acts 11:19-26, 29-30 (Epistle)
Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only. But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord. Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
John 4:5-42 (Gospel)
So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?” Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why are You talking with her?” The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ? Then they went out of the city and came to Him. In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.” And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. And many more believed because of His own word. Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”
Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today
|Sunday of the Samaritan Woman
The Holy Martyr Photina (Svetlana) the Samaritan Woman, her sons Victor (named Photinus) and Joses; and her sisters Anatola, Phota, Photis, Paraskeva, Kyriake; Nero’s daughter Domnina; and the Martyr Sebastian: The holy Martyr Photina was the Samaritan Woman, with whom the Savior conversed at Jacob’s Well (John. 4:5-42).During the time of the emperor Nero (54-68), who displayed excessive cruelty against Christians, Saint Photina lived in Carthage with her younger son Joses and fearlessly preached the Gospel there. Her eldest son Victor fought bravely in the Roman army against barbarians, and was appointed military commander in the city of Attalia (Asia Minor). Later, Nero called him to Italy to arrest and punish Christians.Sebastian, an official in Italy, said to Saint Victor, “I know that you, your mother and your brother, are followers of Christ. As a friend I advise you to submit to the will of the emperor. If you inform on any Christians, you will receive their wealth. I shall write to your mother and brother, asking them not to preach Christ in public. Let them practice their faith in secret.” Saint Victor replied, “I want to be a preacher of Christianity like my mother and brother.” Sebastian said, “O Victor, we all know what woes await you, your mother and brother.” Then Sebastian suddenly felt a sharp pain in his eyes. He was dumbfounded, and his face was somber.For three days he lay there blind, without uttering a word. On the fourth day he declared, “The God of the Christians is the only true God.” Saint Victor asked why Sebastian had suddenly changed his mind. Sebastian replied, “Because Christ is calling me.” Soon he was baptized, and immediately regained his sight. Saint Sebastian’s servants, after witnessing the miracle, were also baptized.Reports of this reached Nero, and he commanded that the Christians be brought to him at Rome. Then the Lord Himself appeared to the confessors and said, “Fear not, for I am with you. Nero, and all who serve him, will be vanquished.” The Lord said to Saint Victor, “From this day forward, your name will be Photinus, because through you, many will be enlightened and will believe in Me.” The Lord then told the Christians to strengthen and encourage Saint Sebastian to peresevere until the end. All these things, and even future events, were revealed to Saint Photina. She left Carthage in the company of several Christians and joined the confessors in Rome.At Rome the emperor ordered the saints to be brought before him and he asked them whether they truly believed in Christ. All the confessors refused to renounce the Savior. Then the emperor gave orders to smash the martyrs’ finger joints. During the torments, the confessors felt no pain, and their hands remained unharmed.Nero ordered that Saints Sebastian, Photinus and Joses be blinded and locked up in prison, and Saint Photina and her five sisters Anatola, Phota, Photis, Paraskeva and Kyriake were sent to the imperial court under the supervision of Nero’s daughter Domnina. Saint Photina converted both Domnina and all her servants to Christ. She also converted a sorcerer, who had brought her poisoned food to kill her.Three years passed, and Nero sent to the prison for one of his servants, who had been locked up. The messengers reported to him that Saints Sebastian, Photinus and Joses, who had been blinded, had completely recovered, and that people were visiting them to hear their preaching, and indeed the whole prison had been transformed into a bright and fragrant place where God was glorified. Nero then gave orders to crucify the saints, and to beat their naked bodies with straps. On the fourth day the emperor sent servants to see whether the martyrs were still alive. But, approaching the place of the tortures, the servants fell blind. An angel of the Lord freed the martyrs from their crosses and healed them. The saints took pity on the blinded servants, and restored their sight by their prayers to the Lord. Those who were healed came to believe in Christ and were soon baptized.In an impotent rage Nero gave orders to flay the skin from Saint Photina and to throw the martyr down a well. Sebastian, Photinus and Joses had their legs cut off, and they were thrown to dogs, and then had their skin flayed off. The sisters of Saint Photina also suffered terrible torments. Nero gave orders to cut off their breasts and then to flay their skin. An expert in cruelty, the emperor readied the fiercest execution for Saint Photis: they tied her by the feet to the tops of two bent-over trees. When the ropes were cut the trees sprang upright and tore the martyr apart. The emperor ordered the others beheaded. Saint Photina was removed from the well and locked up in prison for twenty days.After this Nero had her brought to him and asked if she would now relent and offer sacrifice to the idols. Saint Photina spit in the face of the emperor, and laughing at him, said, “O most impious of the blind, you profligate and stupid man! Do you think me so deluded that I would consent to renounce my Lord Christ and instead offer sacrifice to idols as blind as you?”Hearing such words, Nero gave orders to again throw the martyr down the well, where she surrendered her soul to God (ca. 66).On the Greek Calendar, Saint Photina is commemorated on February 26.
|Apostle Andronicus of the Seventy and his fellow-laborer, Junia
Saint Andronicus Apostle of the Seventy and Saint Junia were relatives of the holy Apostle Paul. They labored much, preaching the Gospel to pagans. Saint Paul mentions them in his Epistle to the Romans: “Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and fellow prisoners, who are of note among the Apostles, who also were in Christ, before me” (Romans 16:7).Saint Andronicus was made Bishop of Pannonia, but his preaching also took him and Saint Junia to other lands, far from the boundaries of his diocese. Through the efforts of Saints Andronicus and Junia the Church of Christ was strengthened, pagans were converted to the knowledge of God, many pagan temples closed, and in their place Christian churches were built. The service in honor of these saints states that they suffered martyrdom for Christ. In the fifth century, during the reign of the emperors Arcadius and Honorius, their holy relics were uncovered on the outskirts of Constantinople together with the relics of other martyrs at the gate of Eugenius (February 22). It was revealed to the pious cleric Nicholas Kalligraphos that among the relics of these seventeen martyrs were the relics of the holy Apostle Andronicus. Afterwards, a magnificent church was built on this spot.
|Saint Euphrosyne, Princess of Moscow
Saint Euphrosyne, in the world Eudocia, was the daughter of the Suzdal prince Demetrius Constantovich (+ 1383), and from 1367 was the wife of the Moscow Great Prince Demetrius of the Don. Their happy union was for Russia a pledge of unity and peace between Moscow and Suzdal.Saint Alexis, Metropolitan of Moscow, and even Saint Sergius of Radonezh, who baptized one of the sons of Demetrius and Eudocia, had a great influence upon the spiritual life of Princess Eudocia. Saint Demetrius of Priluki (February 11) was the godfather of another son. The holy princess was a builder of churches. In 1387 she founded the Ascension women’s monastery in the Moscow Kremlin. In 1395, during Tamerlane’s invasion into the southern regions of Russia, the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God was transferred to Moscow upon her advice, miraculously defending the Russian land. During Lent, the princess secretly wore chains beneath her splendid royal garb. By her patronage the famous icon of the Archangel Michael was painted, and later became the patronal icon of the Kremlin’s Archangel Cathedral.After raising five sons (a sixth died in infancy), the princess was tonsured as a nun with the name Euphrosyne. She completed her earthly journey on July 7, 1407 and was buried in the Ascension monastery she founded.An old Russian church poem has survived, the lament of the princess for her husband, who had died at the age of thirty-nine.Saint Euphrosyne is also commemorated on July 7.
|Venerable Dodo of the Saint David-Gareji Monastery, Georgia
A companion of Saint David of Gareji, Saint Dodo belonged to the royal family Andronikashvili. He was tonsured a monk while still a youth, and was endowed with every virtue. An admirer of poverty and solitude, he labored as a hermit at Ninotsminda in Kakheti.Having heard about the miracles of David of Gareji, Saint Dodo set off for the Gareji Wilderness to witness them himself. The venerable fathers greeted one another warmly and began laboring there together. After some time, Saint David became deeply impressed with Dodo’s devotion to the Faith, and he proposed that he take with him some of the other monks and begin to construct cells on the opposite mountain.The brothers built cells and began to labor there with great ardor. Before long the number of cells had reached two hundred. Saint Dodo isolated himself in a narrow crevice, where there was barely room for one man. Day and night, winter and summer, in the heat and the cold, he prayed with penitent tears for the forgiveness of his sins, the strengthening of the souls of his brothers, and the bolstering of the true Faith throughout the country.Once Saint David miraculously healed the son of Prince Bubakar of Rustavi. In return, the grateful prince donated food and other necessities to the monks of Gareji Monastery. Saint David took part of his contributions and sent what remained to Saint Dodo. He advised Bubakar to have Saint Dodo baptize him, and Saint Dodo joyously baptized Bubakar, his sons, and all his suite.Saint Dodo labored to an advanced age in the monastery he had founded and reposed peacefully.His spiritual sons and companions buried him in the cave where he had labored, and a church was later built over his grave.
|Martyrs Solochon, Pamphamer, and Pamphalon, at Chalcedon
Saint Solochon, a native of Egypt, suffered for Christ during the reign of the emperor Maximian (284-305). The holy martyrs Pamphamirus and Pamphalon also gave their lives for Christ at the same time. All of them served in the imperial army in the regiment of the tribune Campanus. During the persecution against Christians by the emperors Maximian and Diocletian, Campanus was sent to the city of Chalcedon with his soldiers. All the soldiers of his regiment were required to offer sacrifice in a pagan temple. The three soldiers, Saints Solochon, Pamphamirus and Pamphalon, refused to offer sacrifice to idols, explaining that they worshiped only the true God, the Lord Jesus Christ. On the orders of Campanus they were subjected to terrible tortures, during which the holy martyrs Pamphamirus and Pamphalon died. Saint Solochon survived the torture and remained alive, glorifying Christ. In great anger, the torturer gave orders to open Saint Solochon’s mouth and force him to drink blood offered to idols. But Saint Solochon clenched his teeth so strongly, that they could not open them even with iron. The sword bent, and the saint broke his bonds and stood before the torturer, continuing to glorify Christ. Saint Solochon heard a voice from the heavens encouraging him to persevere to the end. The saint endured a merciless beating, after which they dragged him over sharp stones, demanding that he renounce Christ, but the holy martyr remained steadfast. Then he was hung up by one hand, with a heavy weight tied to his leg. Saint Solochon remained in this position for about three hours. When finally they cut the ropes, then to everyone’s surprise, Saint Solochon stood upright on his feet, like a healthy man. Insane with anger, Campanus took a stylus and thrust it into the martyr’s ear. The sufferer fell down, and Campanus and the soldiers departed, casting him aside. Christians carried the martyr to the house of a certain pious widow and placed him on a cot. The saint ate some food and conversed with the Christians, exhorting them to stand firmly for the Faith, and then after he prayed and lifted up his eyes to heaven, he surrendered his soul to the Lord Jesus Christ.
|Saint Stephen, Archbishop of Constantinople
Saint Stephen, Patriarch of Constantinople, was the younger son of Emperor Basil the Macedonian, and was a brother of Emperor Leo the Wise. He was ordained to the priesthood under Patriarch Photius. When Saint Photius was compelled to resign the patriarchal throne in the year 886, Saint Stephen was elevated to the See of Constantinople. The saint vigilantly stood watch over his spiritual flock, he was merciful and interceded for the defenseless, he concerned himself with widows and orphans, and distinguished himself by his temperance. He died peacefully in the year 893 and was buried in the Sikellian monastery.
|Saint Athanasius the New, Wonderworker and Archbishop of Christianopolis
|Additional Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today|
|Greatmartyr Nicholas of Sofia|
Sunday of the Samaritan Woman – Troparion & Kontakion
Kontakion — Tone 8
The Samaritan Woman came to the well in faith;
She saw You, the Water of Wisdom, and drank abundantly
She inherited the Kingdom on High and is ever glorified!
Apostle Andronicus of the Seventy and his fellow-laborer, Junia – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 3
Holy Apostle Andronicus
entreat the merciful God
to grant our souls forgiveness of transgressions.
Kontakion — Tone 2
Let us praise the apostle of Christ, Andronicus,
the all-radiant star who illumined the nations with the light of the knowledge of God.
Together with him we praise all-wise Junia,
who shone with righteousness.
To them let us cry out:
‘Unceasingly pray to Christ God for us all.’
Readings and Feast Day Information provided by The Orthodox Church in America (OCA).
Fasting guidelines provided by The Greek American Orthodox Archdiocese (GOARCH).
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