New Calendar Orthodox Daily Digest for 6/27/2020

Fasting Guidelines

Saturday June 27, 2020
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Scripture Readings


Romans 3:28-4:3 (Epistle)

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law. What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”


Matthew 7:24-8:4 (Gospel)

Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today

Saint Sampson the Hospitable of Constantinople
Saint Sampson the Hospitable of Constantinople Saint Sampson the Hospitable was the son of rich and illustrious Roman parents. In his youth he received an excellent education, he studied the medical arts, and doctored the sick without charge. After the death of his parents Saint Sampson generously distributed alms and set his slaves free, preparing himself to go into the wilderness. With this intent in mind he soon journeyed from Rome to the East. But the Lord directed him onto a different path, that of service to neighbor, and so Saint Sampson came to Constantinople. Settling into a small house, the saint began to take in homeless wanderers, the poor and the sick, and he attended to them. The Lord blessed the efforts of Saint Sampson and endowed him with the power of wonderworking. He healed the sick not only through being a skilled physician, but also as a bearer of the grace of God. News of Saint Sampson spread abroad. The patriarch heard of his great virtue and ordained him to the holy priesthood. It was revealed to the grievously ill Emperor Justinian (527-565), that he could receive healing only through Saint Sampson. In praying, the saint put his hand on the afflicted area, and Justinian was healed. In gratitude the emperor wanted to reward his healer with silver and gold, but the saint refused and instead asked Justinian to build a home for the poor and the sick. The emperor readily fulfilled his request. Saint Sampson devoted the rest of his life to serving his neighbor. He survived into old age and after a short illness he departed peacefully to the Lord. The saint was buried at the church of the holy Martyr Mocius, and many healings were effected at his grave. His hospice remained open, and the saint did not cease to care for the suffering. He appeared twice to a negligent worker of the hospice and upbraided him for his laziness. At the request of an admirer of Saint Sampson the hospice was transformed into a church, and beside it a new edifice was built for the homeless. During the time of a powerful fire at Constantinople the flames did not touch the hospice of Saint Sampson. Through his intercession a heavy rain quenched the fire.
Saint Joanna the Myrrhbearer
Saint Joanna the Myrrhbearer Saint Joanna the Myrrhbearer, wife of Chusa, the household steward of King Herod, was one of the women following and attending the Lord Jesus Christ during the time of His preaching and public ministry. She is mentioned in Luke 8:3 and 24:10. Together with the other Myrrh-bearing Women, Saint Joanna went to the Sepulchre to anoint the Holy Body of the Lord with myrrh after His death on the Cross, and she heard from the angels the joyful proclamation of His All-Glorious Resurrection. According to Tradition, she recovered the head of Saint John the Baptist after Herodias had disposed of it (February 24).Saint Joanna is also commemorated on the Sunday of the Myrrh-bearing Women.
Venerable George of Mount Athos
Venerable George of Mount Athos Saint George’s family had its roots in the region of Samtskhe in southern Georgia. George was born in Trialeti to the pious Jacob and Mariam.When George reached the age of seven, the God-fearing and wise Abbess Sabiana of Tadzrisi Monastery in Samtskhe took him under her care. George spent three years at Tadzrisi, and when he was ten his father sent him to Khakhuli Monastery, to his own brothers Saints George the Scribe and Saba.Soon after, Prince Peris Jojikisdze of Trialeti invited George’s uncle, George the Scribe, to stay with him, and George’s uncle took his young nephew with him. But the Byzantine emperor Basil II subsequently summoned Peris and his family to Constantinople, accused him of conspiring against the throne, and had him beheaded. (At that time Trialeti was under the jurisdiction of Byzantium.) Peris’ faithful wife remained in Constantinople for twelve years and sent the young George to study with the finest philosophers and rhetoricians of that time.Eventually Emperor Basil was moved with compassion for the prince’s family and permitted them to return to Georgia. The twenty-five-year-old George returned to Khakhuli Monastery and “bowed his neck to the sweet yoke of monastic life.” Later George secretly left the monastery and, clad in beggars’ rags, journeyed to Jerusalem. After enduring many deprivations and overcoming a great number of obstacles, he reached the Black Mountains near Antioch and, after venerating the holy places and visiting several elders, began to search for a spiritual father and guide. He found the great Georgian elder Saint George the Recluse (the God-bearer) in an isolated cave and remained there with him for three years.Then Saint George the Recluse tonsured his disciple, “who had reached perfection of age, wisdom and understanding,” into the great schema and sent him to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage. According to his teacher’s counsel, George then moved from Jerusalem to the Iveron Monastery on Mt. Athos to continue the work of Saint Ekvtime—the translation of theological texts from the Greek to the Georgian language. George considered himself unworthy and unqualified to continue Saint Ekvtime’s great work, but Saint George the Recluse was insistent, so he set off for the Holy Mountain in humble obedience.The monks of the Iveron Monastery received Saint George with great joy. But instead of translating the patristic texts as his spiritual father had advised him, George soon grew slothful and for seven years performed only the work of a novice. When Saint George the Recluse heard this, he sent his disciple Tevdore to Mt. Athos to rebuke him and remind him of the reason he had been sent there. Finally George of the Holy Mountain obeyed the will of his teacher, and soon he was enthroned as abbot of the monastery.From that time on Saint George of the Holy Mountain pursued his work with great earnestness. He gathered information on Saints Ekvtime and John, compiled their Lives, translated their holy relics to ornate burial vaults covered in precious jewels, and enhanced the life of the monastery in many other ways.During a visit to the Byzantine emperor Constantine Monomachus, the Georgian king Bagrat IV Kuropalates offered George the opportunity to return to Georgia to be consecrated bishop of Chqondidi and serve as his own spiritual adviser. But George declined, having already been drawn far from the vanity of the world. Leadership of the monastery was demanding, and George was forced to choose between his literary work and the life of the monastery.He resigned as abbot and returned to Saint George the Recluse for counsel. But his teacher blessed him to return to the Iveron Monastery, so George set off again for Mt. Athos.The God-fearing king Bagrat IV Kuropalates continued to ask Saint George to return to Georgia, and he finally consented to the will of the king and the catholicos. In accordance with their request, the pious father instituted general guidelines for the qualifications and conduct of the clergy and wisely administered the affairs of the Church. Five years later Saint George returned to the Iveron Monastery. Before he departed, King Bagrat bestowed upon him much of his own wealth and saw him off with great respect.Departing for Mt. Athos, Blessed George took with him eighty orphans. En route he stopped in Constantinople, and sensing that the day of his repose was near, he arranged for the orphans to be received in the emperor’s court. He personally requested that the emperor make provision for the orphaned children.Venerable George of the Holy Mountain reposed peacefully the next day, the Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. His Athonite brothers buried him on the monastery grounds with great reverence.
Hieromartyr Kirion II, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia
Hieromartyr Kirion II, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia The holy Hieromartyr Kirion II (known in the world as George Sadzaglishvili) was born in 1855 in the village of Nikozi in the Gori district. His father was a priest.He enrolled at the parochial school in Ananuri, then at the theological school in Gori, and finally at Tbilisi Seminary. In 1880 he graduated from the Kiev Theological Academy and was appointed assistant dean of the Odessa Theological Seminary. From 1883 to 1886 Saint Kirion was active in the educational life of Gori, Telavi, Kutaisi, and Tbilisi. In 1886 he was appointed supervisor of the Georgian monasteries and dean of the schools of the Society for the Renewal of Christianity in the Caucasus. He directed the parochial schools, established libraries and rare book collections within them, and published articles on the history of the Georgian Church, folklore and literature under the pseudonyms Iverieli, Sadzagelov, and Liakhveli (the Liakhvi River flows through his native region of Shida [Inner] Kartli, the central part of eastern Georgia).In 1886 God’s chosen, George, was tonsured a monk with the name Kirion, and he was enthroned as abbot of Kvabtakhevi Monastery. Kirion continued his scholarly pursuits and intensified his spiritual labors. He collected folklore and ethnographic materials and studied artifacts from ancient Georgian churches. He generously donated the reliquaries and rare manuscripts he found to the antiquities collections at the Church Museum of Tbilisi and the Society for the Propagation of Literacy among the Georgians. In 1898 Kirion published a description of the historical monuments of Liakhvi Gorge. His publication is an important resource for scholars and historians, since most of the monuments he describes were toppled by Georgia’s ideological and national enemies in subsequent years. (Kirion would later join the Moscow Archaeological Society.) In August of 1898 Archimandrite Kirion was consecrated bishop of Alaverdi.Saint Kirion began at once to rebuild Alaverdi Church, and he offered his own resources for this momentous task. At the same time, he began to study the ancient artifacts of Kakheti and Hereti in eastern Georgia. Among the manuscripts he turned over to the Church Museum of Tbilisi was a Holy Gospel from the year 1098, unknown to scholars until that time.Bishop Kirion was a tireless researcher, with a broad range of scholarly interests. To his pen belong more than forty monographs on various themes relating to the history of the Georgian Church and Christian culture in Georgia. He compiled a short terminological dictionary of the ancient Georgian language and, with the linguist Grigol Qipshidze, a History of Georgian Philology.Kirion fought the appropriation of Georgian churches by the Armenian Monophysites. He sent a detailed memorandum to the Russian exarch in Georgia demanding that the confiscated Orthodox churches be returned.In 1901 Kirion was installed as bishop of Gori. By that time it had become clear to the Georgian exarchate that the educated and progressive clergymen were endorsing the holy hierarch Kirion and contesting the abolition of the autocephaly of the Georgian Church. But the government found a way out of this “dangerous situation” by frequently reassigning Saint Kirion to serve in different parts of the Russian Empire: in 1903 he was reassigned to Cherson, in 1904 to Orel, and in 1906 to Sokhumi. In Sokhumi Saint Kirion exerted every effort to restore and revive the historical Georgian churches and monasteries, though he would soon be reassigned to the Kovno diocese.In 1905, at the demand of Georgia’s intelligentsia (under the leadership of Saint Ilia the Righteous), the regime formed an extraordinary commission to formally consider the question of the autocephaly of the Georgian Church. Saint Kirion delivered two lectures to the commission: one on the reasons behind Georgia’s struggle for the restoration of an autocephalous Church, and the other on the role of nationality in the life of the Church. The commission rejected the Georgian claims to autocephaly and subjected the leaders of the movement to harsh repression.In 1907 Saint Ilia the Righteous was killed, and the government forbade Saint Kirion to travel to Georgia to pay his last respects. Saint Kirion managed only to send a letter of condolence to Saint Ilia’s loved ones. In the months that followed, the regime tightened down even more severely on Saint Kirion. In 1908 he was accused of conspiring in the murder of Exarch Nikon, deprived of the rank of bishop, and arrested. This treacherous deed roused the indignation not only of the Georgian people but of the faithful of Russia as well. Even the democratic forces in Europe founded a society for the protection of the rights of Bishop Kirion and gathered signatures to demand his release from prison. The bishop himself humbly carried the cross of his persecution and consoled his sympathizers with the words of the great Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli: “‘Not a single rose is plucked from this world without thorns.’ We must bear our suffering with love, since suffering is the fruit of love and in suffering we will find our strength!”By the year 1915 the regime had ceased to persecute Saint Kirion. They restored him to the bishopric and elevated him as archbishop of Polotsk and Vitebsk in western Russia. He was not, however, permitted to return to his motherland.In March of 1917 the Georgian Apostolic Orthodox Church declared its autocephaly restored. At the incessant demands of the Georgian people, Saint Kirion finally returned to his motherland. One hundred and twenty cavalrymen met him in Aragvi Gorge (along the Georgian Military Highway) and reverently escorted him to the capital. In Tbilisi Saint Kirion was met with great honor. In September of 1917 the Holy Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Church enthroned Bishop Kirion as Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia. During the enthronement ceremony at Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Saint Kirion addressed the faithful: “My beloved motherland, the nation protected by the Most Holy Theotokos, purified in the furnace by tribulations and suffering, washed in its own tears: I return to you, having been separated from you, having sought after you, having grieved over you, having sought for you and now having returned not as a prodigal son, but as your confidant and the conscience of your Church.“I know that in your minds you are all inquiring, ‘What has he brought back with him? With what ointment will he heal his wounds? How will he comfort himself in his sadness?’ Consider my words: He came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many (Matt. 20:28). I, likewise, have come not as a hired servant, but as a faithful and obedient son!” Soon after he was enthroned, Saint Kirion sent an appeal to all the Orthodox patriarchs of the world in which he described in detail the history of the Georgian Church and requested an official recognition of her autocephaly.On May 26, 1918, Georgia declared its independence. The next day Catholicos-Patriarch Kirion II presided during a service of thanksgiving. The chief shepherd and his flock rejoiced at the restoration of the autocephaly of the Georgian Church and the independence of the Georgian state, though from the beginning they perceived the imminence of the Bolshevik danger. The socialist revolution, now showing its true face, posed an enormous threat to the young republic and her Church. On June 27, 1918, Catholicos-Patriarch Kirion II was found murdered in the patriarchal residence at Martqopi Monastery. The investigation was a mere formality and the guilty were never found. Rumors were even spread that Saint Kirion had shot himself. When the Holy Synod of the Georgian Apostolic Orthodox Church convened on October 17, 2002, it canonized Holy Hieromartyr Kirion and numbered him among the saints.
Venerable Serapion of Kozhe Lake
Saint Serapion of Kozhe Lake was brought to Moscow among the Kazan Tatar captives in the year 1551. They called him Murza (Tatar-prince) Turtas Gravirovich. He was baptized with the name Sergius and lived in the home of the Moscow boyar Zachariah Plescheev. Sergius accepted the Christian Faith so sincerely, that he decided to devote himself entirely to God. In 1560, on a desolate island of Kozhe Lake, he encountered the hermit Niphon and stayed to live with him. At the fervent request of Sergius, Niphon tonsured him into monasticism with the name Serapion. In 1584, after the death of the monk Niphon, Saint Serapion set off for Moscow and asked Tsar Theodore Ioannovich (1584-1598) for a land deed for a monastery. After his return to the monastery, Saint Serapion and the brethren made a clearing in the forest and built two churches; one in honor of the Holy Theophany, and the other in honor of Saint Nicholas. Patriarch Job (+ 1607) provided Saint Serapion with antimensia for the altars. In 1608, when Saint Serapion had become old, he made his disciple Abramius the igumen in place of himself. Saint Serapion died in 1611 and was buried at a church of the Kozhe Lake monastery. In 1613 the monk Bogolep of Kozhe Lake wrote an account of the founding of the monastery and about its initial construction under Saint Serapion. He compiled also a Life of Saint Serapion.
Saint Severus the Presbyter of Interocrea, Italy
Saint Severus the Presbyter during the sixth century served in a church of the Most Holy Theotokos in the village of Interocrea in Central Italy. He was noted for his virtuous and God-pleasing life. One time, when the saint was working in his garden, cutting grapes in the vineyard, they summoned him to administer the Holy Mysteries for the dying. Saint Severus said: “Go back, and I’ll catch up with you soon.” There remained only but a few more grapes to cut off, and Saint Severus dallied for awhile in the garden to finish the work. When he arrived at the sick person’s home, they told him that the person was already dead. Saint Severus, regarding himself as guilty in the death of a man without absolution, started to tremble and loudly he began to weep. He went into the house where the deceased lay. With loud groans and calling himself a murderer, in tears he fell down before the dead person. Suddenly the dead man came alive and related to everyone that the demons wanted to seize his soul, but one of the angels said, “Give him back, since the priest Severus weeps over him, and on account of his tears the Lord has granted him this man.” Saint Severus, giving thanks to the Lord, confessed and communed the resurrected man with the Holy Mysteries. That man survived for another seven days, then joyfully went to the Lord.
Venerable Martin of Turov
Saint Martin of Turov served as a cook under the Turov bishops Simeon, Ignatius, Joachim (1144-1146), and George. This last hierarch made Saint Martin retire because of his age. But the old man did not want to leave the monastery (the bishops lived at the monastery of Saints Boris and Gleb), and so he accepted monasticism. In his former work he had often overexerted himself and therefore often fell ill. One time Saint Martin lay motionless and in moaning with sickness. He fervently called on Saints Boris and Gleb for help, and on the third day the saints appeared to him, gave him a sip of water, and healed him of his illness. After this miraculous healing, Saint Martin survived for another year.
Finding of the relics of Venerable Ambrose of Optina
Finding of the relics of Venerable Ambrose of Optina

Today’s Hymns

Saint Sampson the Hospitable of Constantinople – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 8
Through your patience, your unceasing prayer, your love for the poor and the help you gave to them,
you became worthy of your reward, O holy Sampson.
Intercede with Christ God that He may save our souls.
Kontakion — Tone 8
We honor your relics, for you are an excellent physician and powerful intercessor;
as we gather to praise you with psalms and hymns, divinely-wise and venerable Sampson,
we glorify Christ, who granted you the grace of healing.


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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