3rd Week after Pentecost. Tone one.
Apostles’ (Peter & Paul) Fast. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)
But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.” And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.” What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?”
Matthew 10:32-36; 11:1
Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities.
Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today
|Martyr Antonina of Nicaea (284-305).
The Holy Martyress Antonina suffered during the III Century under Diocletian (284-305) in the city of Nicea. They tortured her which way , they burnt at her with fire, they put her on a red-hot plate, they bored with red-hot rods into her hands and feet and they threw her in prison, where she languished for two days. The torments did not break the spirit of Saint Antonina, and to her very death she confessed her faith in Christ. The threw the holy martyress into the sea.
|St. Anthimus, Metropolitan of Wallachia (1716) (Georgia).
Saint Anthimus of Iberia was one of the most highly educated people of his time. He was fluent in many languages, including Greek, Romanian, Old Slavonic, Arabic, and Turkish and well-versed in theology, literature, and the natural sciences. He was unusually gifted in the fine arts – in painting, engraving, and sculpture in particular. He was famed for his beautiful calligraphy. Finally, St. Anthimus was a great writer, a renowned orator, and a reformer of the written Romanian language. Little is known about the youth of St. Anthimus. He was a native of the Samtskhe region in southern Georgia. His parents, John and Mariam, gave him the name Andria at Baptism. He accompanied King Archil to Russia and helped him to found a Georgian print shop there, but after he returned he was captured by Dagestani robbers and sold into slavery. Through the efforts of Patriarch Dositheus of Jerusalem, Anthimus was finally set free, but he remained in the patriarch’s service in order to further his spiritual education. Already famed for his paintings, engravings, and calligraphy, Anthimus was asked by Prince Constantine Brincoveanu (1688,1714) of Wallachia (present-day Romania) to travel to his kingdom around the year 1691. After he had arrived inWallachia, he began to manage a local print shop. The printing industry in that country advanced tremendously at that time, and the chief inspiration and driving force behind the great advances was the Georgian master Anthimus. He succeeded in making Wallachia a center of Christianity and a major publisher of books for all the East. In 1694 Anthimus was enthroned as abbot of Snagov Monastery (in present-day Romania), where he soon founded a print shop. In the same year his new print shop published Guidelines for the Divine Services on May 21, All Saints’ Day. The book was signed by Subdeacon Michael Ishtvanovich, future founder of the first Georgian print shop. In 1705 Anthimus, “the chosen among chosen abbots of Wallachia,” was consecrated bishop of Rimnicu Vilcea, and in 1708 he was appointed metropolitan of Hungro-Wallachia. The whole country celebrated his elevation. As one abbot proclaimed: “The divine Anthimus, a great man and son of the wise Iberian nation, has come to Wallachia and enlightened our land. God has granted him an inexhaustible source of wisdom, entrusted him to accomplish great endeavors, and helped to advance our nation by establishing for us a great printing industry.” Under the direct leadership of St. Anthimus, more than twenty churches and monasteries were erected in Wallachia. Of particular significance is All Saints’ Monastery, located in the center of Bucharest. The main gates of this monastery were made of oak and carved with traditional Georgian motifs by St. Anthimus himself. The metropolitan also established rules for the monastery and declared its independence from the Church of Constantinople. From the day of his consecration, Metropolitan Anthimus fought tirelessly for the liberation of Wallachia from foreign oppressors. On the day he was ordained he addressed his flock: “You have defended the Christian Faith in purity and without fault. Nevertheless, you are surrounded and tightly bound by the violence of other nations. You endure countless deprivations and tribulations from those who dominate this worldx85. Though I am unworthy and am indeed younger than many of you – like David, I am the youngest among my brothers – the Lord God has anointed me to be your shepherd. Thus I will share in your future trials and griefs and partake in the lot that God has appointed for you.” His words were prophetic: In 1714 the Turks executed the Wallachian prince Constantine Brincoveanu, and in 1716 they executed Stefan Cantacuzino (1714,1716), the last prince of Wallachia. In his place they appointed the Phanariote (a member of one of the principal Greek families of the Phanar, the Greek quarter of Constantinople, who, as administrators in the civil bureaucracy, exercised great influence in the Ottoman Empire after the Turkish conquest.) Nicholas Mavrokordatos, who concerned himself only with the interests of the Ottoman Empire. During this difficult time, Anthimus of Iberia gathered around him a group of loyal boyar patriots determined to liberate their country from Turkish and Phanariote domination. But Nicholas Mavrokordatos became suspicious, and he ordered Anthimus to resign as metropolitan. When Anthimus failed to do so, he filed a complaint with Patriarch Jeremiah of Constantinople. Then a council of bishops, which did not include a single Romanian clergyman, condemned the “conspirator and instigator of revolutionary activity” to anathema and excommunication and declared him unworthy to be called a monk. But Nicholas Mavrokordatos was still unsatisfied and claimed that to deny Anthimus the title of Metropolitan of Hungro-Wallachia was insufficient punishment. He ordered Anthimus to be exiled far from Wallachia, to St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mt. Sinai. Metropolitan Anthimus, beloved of the Romanian people, was escorted out of the city at night since the conspirators feared the reaction of the people. But Metropolitan Anthimus never reached Mt. Sinai. On September 14, 1716, a band of Turkish soldiers stabbed St. Anthimus to death on the bank of the Tundzha (Tunca) River where it flows through Adrianople, not far from Gallipoli, and cast his butchered remains into the river. Thus ended the earthly life of one more Georgian saint – a man who had dedicated all of his strength, talent, and knowledge to the revival of Christian culture and the strengthening of the Wallachian people in the Orthodox Faith. In 1992 the Romanian Church canonized Anthimus of Iberia and proclaimed his commemoration day to be September 14, the day of his repose. The Georgian Church commemorates him on June 13.
|Martyr Aquilina of Byblos in Lebanon (293).
The Holy Martyress Acelina, a native of the Phoenician city of Byblos, suffered under the emperor Diocletian (284-305). Her parents raised her in Christian piety. When the girl was but 12 years of age, she persuaded a pagan friend to convert to Christ. One of the servants of the imperial governor Volusian made a denunciation, that she was teaching her peers not to honour the religion of their fathers. The girl firmly confessed her faith in Christ in front of the governor and said, that she would not renounce Him. Volusian tried by persuasion and by flattery to sway the young confessor, but seeing her assuredness, he then gave orders to hand her over for torture. They struck her upon the face, and then, having been stripped they whipped her. The torturer mockingly asked: “Where then is thy God? Let Him come and take thee out of my hands”. The saint answered: “The Lord is invisibly here together with me, and the more I suffer, all the more shalt He give me strength and endurance”. With red-hot rods they drilled at the head of the martyress at the ears. The holy martyress fell down as though dead. The torturer decided that the girl had actually died, and he gave orders to throw out her body outside the city for devouring by dogs. By night an holy Angel appeared to Saint Acelina, roused her and said: “Arise and be well. Go and denounce Volusian, that he himself and his intent are thus come to naught before God”. The martyress, offering up praise to God, and having been restored unharmed, went to the court of the governor and stood before Volusian. Seeing Saint Acelina, Volusian in fright called for his servants and ordered them to keep watch over her until morning. In the morning he delivered a death sentence against Saint Acelina on the grounds of being a sorceress and not obeying the imperial decrees. When they led the saint to execution, she prayed and gave thanks to God, for having granted her to suffer for His Holy Name. A voice was heard in answer to her prayer, summoning her to the Heavenly Kingdom, after which the martyress gave up her spirit to God (+ 293). The executioner feared to disobey the orders of the governor, and although already dead, he cut off her head. Christians piously buried the body of the martyress. Later on, her relics were taken to Constantinople and placed within a church named for her.
|St. Triphyllius , bishop of Leucosia (Nicosia) in Cyprus (370).
Sainted Triphyllios, Bishop of Leukyssa, was born in Constantinople, and he received his education at Berit (Beirut, in Lebanon). He was very intelligent and eloquent. In spite of this, the saint chose as his guide a man not bookish nor learned, but of profound holiness , Sainted Spyridon of Trimiphunteia (+ 348, Comm. 12 December). The emperor Constantine II (337-340) fell grievously ill and, having received no help from the doctors, he turned with fervent prayer to God. In a dream he saw an Angel, directing him to a gathering of saintly hierarchs. Pointing out two of them, the Angel said that only through them could he receive healing. Constantine circulated an imperial edict throughout all the districts, commanding the bishops to gather. Saint Spyridon also received this order. Together with his disciple Saint Triphyllios, he set out to the emperor. The sick one immediately recognised them as the healers pointed out by the Angel. He bowed to them and asked them to pray for his health. Saint Spyridon with a prayer touched the head of the emperor, and he became well. Saint Triphyllios was charmed by the beautiful palace, the majestic figure of the emperor, and the pomp of palace life. Saint Spyridon said to this: “Why art thou astonished? Doth then this lustre make the emperor any more righteous? All of them , emperors and dignitaries , will alike die and stand together with the very poorest before the judgement-seat of God. One ought to seek after the eternal blessings and Heavenly glories”. Soon Saint Triphyllios was made bishop of the city of Leukyssa on Cyprus. He often visited with Saint Spyridon. One time they passed together through an area of vineyards and gardens of especial beauty and abundance, named Parimnos. Saint Triphyllios, attracted by the beauty of nature, began to consider how they might explore this land. Saint Spyridon discerned the thoughts of Saint Triphyllios and said: “Why dost thou incessantly think about earthly and transitory blessings? Our habitation and riches art in Heaven, to which we ought to strive”. Thus did Saint Spyridon constantly lead his student towards spiritual perfection, which Saint Triphyllios attained through the prayers of his preceptor. Saint Triphyllios had a charitable soul, an heart without malice, right faith and love towards all, and many other virtues. One time a Council of bishops assembled on Cyprus. The father of the Council requested that Saint Triphyllios, known for his erudition and eloquence, give an edifying speech to the people. Speaking about the healing of the paralytic by the Lord (Mk. 2 : 11). in place of the word “cot” he used the word “bed”. Impatient with the imprecise rendering of the Gospel text, Saint Spyridon roused himself and said to Saint Triphyllios: “Art thou better than He that spake “cot”, that thou be ashamed of His wording?” , and abruptly he left the church. Thus did Saint Spyridon give Saint Triphyllios a lesson in humility, so that he would not get puffed up with pride over the talent of eloquence bestown on him. Saint Triphyllios wisely shepherded his flock. From the means left him by his mother, he built a monastery at Leukyssa. The saint died in old age in about the year 370. At the beginning of the XII Century the Russian pilgrim Hegumen Daniel saw the relics of Saint Triphyllios on Cyprus.
|Venerable Anna (826), and her son St. John of Constantinople (9th c.).
The Nun Anna and her son Saint John lived in Byzantium, and Saint Anna was the daughter of a deacon of the Blakhernae church in Constantinople. After the death of her husband, dressed in men’s clothing and using the name Euthymian, together with her son Saint John she began to pursue asceticism in one of the Bythinian monasteries, near Olympos. The Nun Anna died in Constantinople in 826. Her memory is celebrated a second time on 29 October.
|Additional Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today|
|St. Alexandra, foundress of Diveyevo Convent (1789).|
|New Hieromartyr Alexis priest (1918).|
|New Hieromartyr Demetrius priest (1940).|
|Virgin-Martyr Pelagea (1944).|
|Venerable Andronicus (1395), disciple of Venerable Sergius of Radonezh, and St. Sabbas (1410), abbots of Moscow.|
|St. Antipater, bishop of Bostra in Arabia (458).|
|Finding of the relics of Martyr Nicholas the Deacon of Lesbos (Greek).|
|St. Eulogius, patriarch of Antioch (Greek).|
|Martyr Diodorus of Emesus who was crucified (Greek).|
Holy Martyr Aquilina, Troparion, Tone IV
Thy ewe-lamb Aquilina crieth out to Thee with a loud voice, O Jesus:
Thee, O my Bridegroom,
and, seeking Thee, I pass through many struggles:
crucified and buried with Thee in Thy baptism,
and suffer for Thy sake, that I
may reign with Thee;
I die for Thee that I might live with Thee.
unblemished sacrifice accept me,
who sacrifice myself with love for Thee
her supplications save Thou our souls, in that Thou art merciful.
Holy Hierarch Triphyllius, Bishop of Leucosia in Cyprus, Troparion, Tone IV
The truth of things revealed thee to thy flock as a rule of faith,
of meekness and a teacher of abstinence
wherefore thou hast attained the
heights through humility
and riches through poverty.
O hierarch Triphyllius
our father, entreat Christ God that our souls be saved.
Kontakion of the Holy Hierarch, Tone VIII,
“To thee, the champion
Receiving the purity of virginity through the excellence of thy life, O
thou wast the first hierarch of Leucosia
and wast shown to be its
evangelizer and instructor in the knowledge of God.
Wherefore, with joy we cry
out to thee: Rejoice, O adornment of hierarchs!
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