New Calendar Orthodox Daily Digest for 6/28/2020

Fasting Guidelines

Sunday June 28, 2020
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Scripture Readings


Genesis 14:14-20 (Vespers, 1st reading)

Now when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants who were born in his own house, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. He divided his forces against them by night, and he and his servants attacked them and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus. So he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his brother Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the people. And the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley), after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him. Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all.


Deuteronomy 1:8-11, 15-17 (Vespers, 2nd reading)

See, I have set the land before you; go in and possess the land which the Lord swore to your fathers – to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – to give to them and their descendants after them.’ And I spoke to you at that time, saying: ‘I alone am not able to bear you. The Lord your God has multiplied you, and here you are today, as the stars of heaven in multitude. May the Lord God of your fathers make you a thousand times more numerous than you are, and bless you as He has promised you! So I took the heads of your tribes, wise and knowledgeable men, and made them heads over you, leaders of thousands, leaders of hundreds, leaders of fifties, leaders of tens, and officers for your tribes. Then I commanded your judges at that time, saying, ‘Hear the cases between your brethren, and judge righteously between a man and his brother or the stranger who is with him. You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small as well as the great; you shall not be afraid in any man’s presence, for the judgment is God’s. The case that is too hard for you, bring to me, and I will hear it.’


Deuteronomy 10:14-21 (Vespers, 3rd reading)

Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the Lord your God, also the earth with all that is in it. The Lord delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as it is this day. Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer. For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him, and to Him you shall hold fast, and take oaths in His name. He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen.


Mark 16:9-20 (3rd Matins Gospel)

Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe. After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country. And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either. Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.


Hebrews 13:7-16 (Epistle, Fathers)

Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them. We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.


John 17:1-13 (Gospel, Fathers)

Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.


Romans 5:1-10 (Epistle)

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 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.


Matthew 6:22-33 (Gospel)

The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today

Translation of the Relics of the holy and wonderworking Unmercenaries Cyrus and John
Translation of the Relics of the holy and wonderworking Unmercenaries Cyrus and John The Transfer of the Relics of the Holy Martyrs, Unmercenaries and Wonderworkers, Cyrus and John from the city of Konopa, near Alexandria (where they suffered in the year 311) to the nearby village of Manuphin, took place in the year 412. This Egyptian village prompted fear in everyone, since in a former time there was a pagan temple inhabited by evil spirits. Patriarch Theophilus (385-412) wanted to cleanse this place of demons, but he died. His wish was fulfilled by his successor in the See of Alexandria, the holy Patriarch Cyril (412-444). He prayed fervently in carrying out this project. An angel of the Lord appeared in a vision to the hierarch and commanded the venerable relics of Saints Cyrus and John be transferred to Manuphin. His Holiness Patriarch Cyril did the angel’s bidding and built a church at Manuphin in the name of the holy martyrs. From that time this place was purified of the Enemy’s influence, and by the prayers of the holy Martyrs Cyrus and John there began to occur many miracles, healings of the sick and infirm. An account Saints Cyrus and John is located under January 31.
Venerable Xenophon, Abbot of Robeika, Novgorod
Venerable Xenophon, Abbot of Robeika, Novgorod Saint Xenophon of Robeika was a student of Saint Barlaam of Khutyn (+ 1192, November 6). He was the head of the Khutyn monastery after the igumen Isidore (+1243). Resigning as igumen, Saint Xenophon founded the Trinity Monastery on the banks of the Robeika River (not far from Novgorod). Here he reposed blessedly on June 28, 1262.
Venerable Sergius and Herman, Wonderworkers of Valaam
Venerable Sergius and Herman, Wonderworkers of Valaam Saints Sergius and Herman settled on the island of Valaam in 1329. The brethren gathered by them spread the light of Orthodoxy in this frontier land. The Karelian people began to regard Christianity with renewed suspicion, with its authority in the fourteenth century being undermined by the Swedes, who sought to spread Catholicism by means of the sword. Saints Sergius and Herman died about the year 1353. They are also commemorated on September 11 (the translation of their holy relics).
Saint Paul, Physician of Corinth
Saint Paul, Physician of Corinth Saint Paul the Physician, from the city of Corinth, in his youth took monastic tonsure at one of the monasteries. Here the saint toiled much and became an experienced ascetic. Once Paul, through demonic malice, was slandered by a woman. She came to the monastery with a newborn infant and said, that Saint Paul was the father. The Elder with humility and joy endured the slander, he did not deny it and he took the infant, as though it were his own son. When they began to reproach the saint for breaking his monastic vows, Saint Paul said, “Brethren, let us ask the infant who his father is!” The newborn, pointing his hand at the blacksmith, said, “Here is my father and not the monk Paul.” Seeing this miracle, people bowed down to the Elder, asking forgiveness. From this time Saint Paul received from God the gift of healing the sick, whereby he received the name physician. Saint Paul died at age 70.
Icon of the Mother of God “Of the Three Hands”
Icon of the Mother of God “Of the Three Hands” The Icon of the Mother of God, “Of the Three Hands”: In the eighth century during the time of the Iconoclasts, Saint John of Damascus (December 4) was zealous in his veneration of holy icons. Because of this, he was slandered by the emperor and iconoclast Leo III the Isaurian (717-740), who informed the Damascus caliph that Saint John was committing treasonous acts against him. The caliph gave orders to cut off the hand of the monk and take it to the marketplace. Towards evening Saint John, having asked the caliph for the cut-off hand, put it to its joint and fell to the ground before the icon of the Mother of God. The monk begged Our Lady to heal the hand, which had written in defense of Orthodoxy. After long prayer he fell asleep and saw in a dream that the All-Pure Mother of God had turned to him promising him quick healing. Before this the Mother of God bid him toil without fail with this hand. Having awakened from sleep, Saint John saw that his hand was unharmed. In thankfulness for this healing Saint John placed on the icon a hand fashioned of silver, from which the icon received its name “Of Three Hands.” (Some iconographers, in their ignorance, have mistakenly depicted the Most Holy Theotokos with three arms and three hands.) According to Tradition, Saint John wrote a hymn of thanksgiving to the Mother of God: “All of creation rejoices in You, O Full of Grace,” which appears in place of the hymn “It is Truly Meet” in the Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great. Saint John Damascene accepted monasticism at the monastery of Saint Sava the Sanctified and there bestowed his wonderworking icon. The Lavra presented the icon “Of Three Hands” in blessing to Saint Sava, Archbishop of Serbia (+ 1237, January 12). During the time of an invasion of Serbia by the Turks, some Christians who wanted to protect the icon, entrusted it to the safekeeping of the Mother of God Herself. They placed it upon a donkey, which without a driver proceeded to Athos and stopped in front of the Hilandar monastery. The monks put the icon in the monastery’s cathedral church (katholikon). During a time of discord over the choice of igumen, the Mother of God deigned to head the monastery Herself, and from that time Her holy icon has occupied the igumen’s place in the temple. At the Hilandar monastery there is chosen only a vicar, and from the holy icon the monks take a blessing for every obedience.In Slavic usage, this Icon is commemorated on July 12.
Hieromartyr Basil
The Hieromartyr Basil (Sitnikov) was a deacon of the Dalmatov – Saint Nicholas Church in the province of Perm. He
graduated from the three classes of the religious school, and beginning in 1885, he served as a Reader. In 1898, he was ordained as a deacon, serving first at Saint John the Baptist Church in the village of Izyeduga in the Shadrinsk district of the Yekaterinburg diocese. Later, he served in the Church of the Nativity of the Theotokos in the village of Baklanskoye in that same district. On November 5, 1913, he was transferred to the Saint Nicholas Church in the city of Dalmatov, where he was put to death fby the atheists who had come to power. In 1918, after the priests Vladimir Sergeiev and Alexander Sidorov were arrested, Deacon Basil began to reproach the atheists for plundering the property of these arrested shepherds. They took note of this and got their revenge. Deacon Basil Sitnikov was killed on the day after the priests with whom he served, on June 28, 1918.
Holy Martyr Pappias
Numerous Christians were slaughtered during the persecution under Diocletian and Maximian in the early IV century,
and Saint Pappias was one of those arrested for preaching the Gospel. The idol-worshippers tried to force him to
sacrifice to the pagan gods, but he refused to deny Christ. Therefore, he was imprisoned and tortured for several days.
When he remained unshakeable in his faith, he was beheaded, and his soul ascended victoriously into Heaven.

Today’s Hymns

Translation of the Relics of the holy and wonderworking Unmercenaries Cyrus and John – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 5
O Christ God,
You have given us the miracles of Your martyrs, Cyrus and John,
as an invincible rampart;
through their prayers, frustrate the plans of the heathens,
and strengthen the faith of the Orthodox Christians,
for You alone are good and love mankind.
Kontakion — Tone 3
Podoben: ‘Today the Virgin…’
Having received the gift of miracles through divine grace, O saints,
you work wonders in the world unceasingly.
You remove all of our passions through your invisible surgery,
divinely-wise Cyrus and glorious John,
for you are truly divine physicians.

Venerable Sergius and Herman, Wonderworkers of Valaam – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 4
Fulfilling the Gospel of Christ and loving him alone,
Despising earthly cares you settled on an island.
There you fought against the invisible foe,
Subjecting your bodies to the Spirit by fasting, vigil and prayer.
Crowned with glory and now standing before the Trinity,
Pray, O Fathers Sergius and Herman,
That our souls may be saved!
Kontakion — Tone 4
You left the world to follow in Christ’s footsteps,
Reaching Lake Neva and the island of Valaam.
There you lived the angelic life
And were translated to the heavenly bridal chamber.
As you stand with the angels remember the children whom you gathered,
That we may joyfully cry to you:
Rejoice, blessed Fathers Sergius and Herman!’


Readings and Feast Day Information provided by The Orthodox Church in America (OCA).

Fasting guidelines provided by The Greek American Orthodox Archdiocese (GOARCH).

Aggregated and Formatted by OrthoBot.

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