Thursday June 18, 2020
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Romans 5:10-16 (Epistle)
For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned: For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.
Matthew 8:23-27 (Gospel)
Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”
Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today
|Martyrs Leontius, Hypatius, and Theodulus at Tripoli in Syria
The Holy Martyrs Leontius, Hypatius, and Theodulus were Roman soldiers. The holy Martyr Leontius, a Greek by origin, served as a military-chief in the imperial army in the Phoenician city of Tripoli during the reign of Vespasian (70-79). Leontius was distinguished for his bravery and good sense, and the people of Tripoli held him in deep respect because of his virtue. The emperor appointed the Roman senator Adrian as governor of the Phoenician district, with full powers to hunt out Christians, and in case of their refusal to offer sacrifice to the Roman gods, to give them over to torture and death. And on his way to Phoenicia Adrian received a report that Saint Leontius had turned many away from worshipping the pagan gods. The governor sent the tribune Hypatius with a detachment of soldiers to Tripoli so as to find and arrest the Christian Leontius. Along the way the tribune Hypatius fell seriously ill, and being near death, he saw in a dream an angel, which said: “If you wish to be healed, you and your soldiers should say three times: ‘God of Leontius, help me.’” Opening his eyes Hypatius beheld the angel and said: “I was sent to arrest Leontius, how is it that I should appeal to his God?” At this moment the angel became invisible. Hypatius told his dream to the soldiers, among whom was his friend Theodulus, and all of them together asked for help from the God Whom Saint Leontius confessed. Hypatius was immediately healed to the great joy of his soldiers, but only Theodulus sat aside, pondering the miracle. His soul was filled with love for God, and he told Hypatius to proceed twice as quickly to the city in search of Saint Leontius. Upon their arrival in the city, a stranger met them and invited them to his house, where he lavishly hosted the travellers. Learning that their hospitable host was Saint Leontius, they fell on their knees and asked him to enlighten them with faith in the True God. They were baptized here, and when Saint Leontius prayed over them calling on the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, a luminous cloud overshadowed the newly-baptized and poured forth rain. The remaining soldiers in search of their commander arrived in Tripoli, where the governor Adrian had also arrived. Learning what had happened, he ordered Saints Leontius, Hypatius, and Theodulus to be brought to him. After threatening them with torture and death, he demanded that they renounce Christ and offer sacrifice to the Roman gods. All the martyrs firmly confessed their faith in Christ. Saint Hypatius was put under a column and raked with iron claws, and Saint Theodulus was mercilessly beaten with rods. Seeing the steadfastness of the saints, they beheaded them. And after torture, they sent Saint Leontius to prison. In the morning he came before the governor. Adrian tried to entice the holy martyr with honors and rewards, and accomplishing nothing, he gave him over to new tortures. The holy martyr was suspended head downwards from a pillar with a heavy stone about his neck, but nothing could make him renounce Christ. The governor gave orders to beat the sufferer with rods until he died. They then threw the body of the holy Martyr Leontius outside the city, but Christians reverently gave it burial near Tripoli. The death of the holy martyrs occurred between 70-79. The accusation against Saint Leontius, and his sufferings and death are recorded on tin tablets prepared by the court scribe [commentarisius]. These tablets were placed at the grave of the holy martyr.
|Venerable Leontius of the Kiev Far Caves
Saint Leontius, Canonarch of the Kiev Caves In his youth he entered the Kiev Caves monastery, where he received tonsure. He was endowed with a fine voice, and when he learned his letters, he fulfilled the obedience of canonarch (leader of church singing). Saint Leontius died at a young age in the fourteenth century. He was glorified by the Lord for his selfless deeds with the gift of miracles. The relics of the holy ascetic are located in the Far Caves, and he is also commemorated on August 28, the Synaxis of the Saints of the Kiev Caves.
|“Bogolub” Icon of the Mother of God
The Bogolub Icon of the Mother of God, one of the most ancient wonderworking icons of Russia, was painted in the twelfth century at the request of Prince Andrew Bogolubsky (July 4), in memory of an appearance to him by the Mother of God. In the year 1155 holy Prince Andrew, having resettled from Vishgorod to the Suzdal region, brought with him a wonderworking icon of the Mother of God, painted by the Evangelist Luke (this afterwards was called the Vladimir Icon). At seven versts distance from Vladimir by horse, the cart carrying the wonderworking icon stopped and could not be moved from the place. Holy Prince Andrew asked the priest Nicholas, who accompanied him, to serve a Molieben before the Icon. For a long time Andrew prayed with tears before the venerable image. Later he went into his tent and continued his fervent prayer. The Most Holy Theotokos appeared to him with a small scroll in Her hand and commanded the pious prince that the icon he brought from Vishgorod should remain at Vladimir, and that on the site of Her miraculous appearance a church and holy monastery should be built. She then prayerfully raised Her hand to Heaven, and received a blessing from Christ the Savior. Then the vision ended. In fulfilling the command, holy Prince Andrew built a stone church in honor of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos, and also a monastery. Afterwards the holy prince commissioned talented iconographers and asked that the Mother of God be depicted such as he had seen Her in the vision, in full stature, with the scroll in Her right hand, and Her face turned towards the Savior. When the church was completed, the icon was placed in it and a yearly celebration in honor of the appearance of the Mother of God was established on June 18. The monastery, and the city which formed around the monastery, was named Bogolub by Saint Andrew, because in his own words, “the Mother of God loves this place,” and the prince himself came to be called Bogolub or “God-lover.” The wonderworking icon of the Mother of God, brought from Vishgorod, was afterwards transferred from the Bogoub monastery to Vladimir into the Dormition cathedral, but the icon of the Appearance remained at Bogolub and was called the Bogolub (at the present time  the icon is in the Vladimir-Suzdal Museum collection). The icon of the Bogolub Mother of God was glorified by innumerable miracles, and over the span of many centuries manifests its grace-filled help to the believers of the Russian nation. The fame of the miracles and signs wrought by the icon inspired believers in many places in Russia to make copies of the venerable image, some of which were also miraculous.
|Venerable Leontius the Hagiorite
Saint Leontius the Clairvoyant of Mt. Athos, was born in Peloponnesian Argos. He labored on Mount Athos for a long time at the monastery of Dionysiou. He spent sixty years at the monastery, and not once did the holy ascetic leave the monastery. For his deep faith and deeds God granted him the gift of clairvoyance and prophecy.St Leontius departed to the Lord on March 16, 1605 at age 85. The saint’s holy relics were glorified by a flow of healing myrrh.
Martyrs Leontius, Hypatius, and Theodulus at Tripoli in Syria – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 3
Girded with divine strength you triumphed in your contest,
O Leontius, the Savior’s trophy-bearer.
You sprang into the contest like a lion,
And destroyed the enemy’s might.
O glorious martyr, entreat Christ our God to grant us his great mercy!
Troparion — Tone 4
Your holy martyr Leontius and his companions, O Lord,
through their sufferings have received incorruptible crowns from You, our God.
For having Your strength, they laid low their adversaries,
and shattered the powerless boldness of demons.
Through their intercessions, save our souls!
Kontakion — Tone 3
You confounded the wicked plans of tyrants
and exposed the godless worship of the pagan Greeks.
You illumined all mankind with the knowledge of God by your teachings of true piety, divinely-wise martyr.
Therefore, Leontius, we lovingly honor your memory.
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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