3rd Sunday after Pentecost. Tone two.
Apostles’ (Peter & Paul) Fast. Fish Allowed
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.
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.
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.
Hebrews 13:17-21 (St. Jonah)
Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably. But I especially urge you to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner. Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
John 10:9-16 (St. Jonah)
I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today
|New Martyrs of the Turkish Yoke (movable holiday on the 3rd Sunday of Pentecost). St. Jonah , metropolitan of Moscow (1461).
Sainted Jona, Metropolitan of Moscow and WonderWorker of All Russia, was born in the city of Galich into a pious Christian family. The father of the future saint was named Feodor. At twelve years of age the youth took monastic vows in one of the Galich monasteries, from which he transferred to the Moscow Simonov monastery, where for many years he fulfilled various obediences. One time Sainted Photii, Metropolitan of Moscow (Comm. 27 May and 2 July), visited at the Simonov monastery and after the molieben, having blessed the archimandrite and brethren, wanted also to bless the monks fulfilling obedience at the monastery tasks. When he came to the bakery, he saw then the monk Jona asleep from much work, and the right hand of the fatigued monk was bent in a gesture of blessing. Sainted Photii asked not to wake him; he blessed the sleeping monk and prophetically predicted to those present, that this monk would be a great hierarch of the Russian Church and would guide many on the way to salvation. The prediction of the Saint was fulfilled. After several years Saint Jona was made bishop of Ryazan and Murom. In 1431 Saint Photii died. Five years after his death, Saint Jona was chosen Metropolitan of All Russia for his virtuous and holy life. When the newly chosen metropolitan journeyed to Patriarch Joseph II (1416-1439) in Constantinople, in order to accept confirmation as metropolitan, it turned out then, that shortly before this the nefarious Isidor, a Bulgarian by descent, was already established as Russian metropolitan. Spending a short while at Kiev and Moscow, Isidor journeyed to the Council of Florence (1438), , where he accepted Uniatism. A Sobor / Council of Russian hierarchs and clergy deposed metropolitan Isidor, and he was compelled to flee secretly to Rome (where he died in 1462). Saint Jona was unanimously chosen Metropolitan of All Russia. His consecration by the blessing of the Constantinople Patriarch Gregory III (1445-1450) , was the first time that it was done by Russian hierarchs in Moscow. On 15 December 1448 Saint Jona became Metropolitan and with arch-pastoral zeal he began to assert piety among the flock, encouraging the Orthodox faith in the land by word and by deed. And beneathe his exalted dignity he continued as before with his personal monastic efforts. In 1451 the Tatars unexpectedly advanced on Moscow; they burned the surroundings and prepared for an assault on the city. Metropolitan Jona with clergy made procession along the walls of the city, with tears beseeching God for the salvation of city and people. Beholding the dying monk Antonii of the Chudov monastery, , who was noted for his virtuous life, Saint Jona said: “My son and brother Antonii! Pray to the Merciful God and the All-Pure Mother of God for the deliverance of the city and all Orthodox Christians”. The humble Antonii replied: “Great hierarch! We give thanks to God and His All-Pure Mother, , She hath heard thy prayer and hath besought Her Son, , the city and all Orthodox Christians wilt be saved through thine prayers. The enemy will soon take flight. Only I alone am destined by the Lord to be killed by the enemies”. Just as the elder said this, an enemy arrow struck him. The prediction of Starets Antonii occurred: on 2 July, on the feast of the Placing of the Robe of the MostHoly Mother of God, confusion broke out in the ranks of the Tatars, and in unexplained fear and terror they turned to flight. Saint Jona built in his courtyard a temple in honour of the Placing of the Robe of the MostHoly Mother of God , , in memory of the deliverance of Moscow from the enemies. The blessed end of Saint Jona followed in the year 1461. By the grave of the Saint began to occur numerous healings. In 1472 the relics of holy Metropolitan Jona were opened undecayed and placed in the Uspensky Sobor / Cathedral of the Kremlin (the feast of Transfer of the holy Relics is celebrated 27 May). A Sobor of the Russian Church in 1547 established the individual day of memory to Sainted Jona, Metropolitan of Moscow. In 1596 Patriarch Job established the celebration to Sainted Jona in the Sobor / Assemblage of other Moscow Hierarchs, on 5 October.
|Prophet Amos (8th c. B.C.).
The Holy Prophet Amos, third of the 12 Lesser Prophets, lived during the VIII Century before the Birth of Christ. At this time the Hebrew nation was divided into two kingdoms: the Judean and the Israelite. The Judean king Hosiah ruled in Jerusalem, but the 10 separated Israelite tribes were ruled by Jeroboam II, an idol-worshipper. At Bethel he set up an idol in the form of a golden calf, which they worshipped, having rejected the True God of the Israelites. The Prophet Amos was a Judean, native to the city of Thekui. Simple and untaught, but strongly fervent of faith and zealous for the glory of the True God , the shepherd was chosen by the Lord for prophetic service and sent to the Israelite kingdom for the purpose of denouncing the impiety of King Jeroboam, and the Israelites for falling away from God. The prophet predicted for them a great misfortune, which would befall the Israelite kingdom, and the pagan nations surrounding it, for their impiety. Because of his denunciations, the Prophet Amos repeatedly suffered beatings and torture. But he again returned to Bethel, and threatening inevitable misfortunes, he continued to call the Israelites to repentance. The pagan-priest Amasiah of the idolatrous temple in particular hated the prophet. The prophet predicted for him and all his household a speedy destruction and for this he was subjected to a beating. The son of Amasiah, Hosiah, struck the saint on the head with a club and seriously wounded him. The Prophet Amos, still alive, reached his native village and there he died in about the year 787 before the Birth of Christ.
|St. Michael , first metropolitan of Kiev (992).
Sainted Michael, the first Metropolitan of Kiev, according to the Joakimov chronicle was a Syrian by birth, but according to the account of other chronicles , he was a Bulgarian or Serb. In the year 989 he arrived at Korsun together with other clergy for holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir (Comm. 15 July), not long after Vladimir’s acceptance of Baptism (988). To the lot of the first metropolitan of the Russian Church felt a difficult, but graced service. He zealously made the rounds of the newly-enlightened Russian Land, preaching the Holy Gospel, baptising and teaching the newly-illumined people, founding the first churches and religious schools. In Rostov he established the first wooden church in honour of the Uspenie-Dormition of the MostHoly Mother of God and installed there as bishop Theodore the Greek. Saint Michael was a wise and gentle, but also strict hierarch. The Russian Church has preserved the memory of the meritorious deeds of the saint: in the synodikon-lists of the Novgorod and Kiev Sophia cathedrals he is rightfully called the initiator. Saint Michael died in the year 992 and was buried in the Desyatin-Tithe church of the MostHoly Mother of God in Kiev. In about the year 1103, under the hegumen Saint Theoktist (afterwards Bishop of Chernigov, Comm. 5 August), his relics were transferred to the Antoniev Cave, and on 1 October 1730 into the Pechersk Great Church (Uspenie temple). In connection with this his memory was established under 30 September, and also 15 July , the day of his repose. Earlier, his memory was noted also under 2 September, together with the Monks Antonii and Theodosii of Pechersk. Evidence for this is contained in the service to him: in the 2nd verse of the “Praises” about Saint Michael it speaks thus: “The first passages of the new year having begun, we do offer unto thee first songs, O blessed one, for having been the first beginning of the hierarchy in the Russian land”.
|Great-martyr Tsar Venerable Lazar of Serbia (1389).
The Holy Nobleborn Prince of Serbia Lazar (Lazarus) lived during the XIV Century , at a time when the Turks, having conquered neighbouring lands, prepared an invasion of Serbia. Saint Lazar was raised at the court of the holy king Dushan. He was appointed governor of one of the Serbian districts. In the year 1371 he was chosen king of all Serbia and he toiled much at strengthening the condition of the country. He pacified neighbouring princes, which had wronged or plundered Serbian settlements. And he was concerned for the Christian enlightenment of the nation, he built churches, supported the monasteries and charitable establishments. In 1380 the saint established the monastery at Rovanetz. Saint Lazar petitioned the Constantinople Patriarch for an agreement of recognition of the Archbishop of Serbia by the Patriarch. During the course of the 10years of his rule, Serbia was at peace. Afterwards there began war with the Turks. At the time of the Kossovo Battle the wounded king was taken prisoner and on orders of Sultan Bayazet was beheaded with a sword on 15 June 1389. The body of the holy king Lazar was buried at a nearby church. In 1391 his undecayed relics were transferred to the Rovanetz monastery. The monastery was destroyed by the Turks in 1683, and the relics of king Lazar were transferred to the monastery of New Rovanetz on Mount Thruzh.
|Synaxis of Novgorod Hierarchs ( movable holiday on the 3rd Sunday of Pentecost ).
The Sobor / Assemblage of Novgorod Sainted-Hierarchs is celebrated, besides 10 February, also on 4 October and on the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost. On 4 October 1439 Sainted John (+ 1186, Comm. 7 September) appeared to the then presiding Sainted-hierarch Evphymii (+ 1458, Comm. 14 March) and ordered him to establish a special panikhida , in memory of those buried, at the Sophia cathedral, among the Russian princes and Novgorod archbishops and all the Orthodox Christians , on the day of memory of the priest-martyr Hierotheos, Bishop of Athens. There was then uncovered the incorrupt relics of Sainted John (the account about whom is located under 7 September). Afterwards, as a measure of the glorification of the Novgorod hierarchs, there was established on the day the Sobor /Assemblage. E. E. Golubinsky writes about these sainted-hierarchs to the effect that, the time of their glorification remaining unknown, that he determined the date of their in-common celebration to the period between the time of the Moscow Sobor / Council of 1549 to the time of the formation of the Holy Synod (E. E. Golubinsky. History of the Canonisation of Saints in the Russian Church. M(oscow), 1903, p. 157). In the Sobor / Assemblage of Novgorod Sainted-hierarchs is included: Sainted Joakim of Korsun, first bishop of Novgorod (988-1030); Sainted Luke the Jewish, bishop (1030, 1035? – 1060, + 15 October 1060); Sainted German, bishop (1078-1096); Sainted Arkadii, bishop (1157-1162, Comm. 18 September); Sainted Grigorii, archbishop (1187-1193, + 24 May 1193); Sainted Martyrii, archbishop (1193-1199, + 24 August 1199); Sainted Antonii, archbishop (1212-1220, 1226-1228; + 8 October 1231); Sainted Vasilii the Lame, archbishop (1331-1352, + 3 July 1352); Sainted Simeon, archbishop (1416-1421, + 15 June 1421); Sainted Gennadii, archbishop (1484-1504, Comm. 4 December); Sainted Pimen, archbishop (1553-1571); Aphonii, metropolitan (1635-1648, + 6 April 1653). The relics of these saints were buried or transferred to the Novgorod Sophia Cathedral (except for Saint German, Saint Gennadii and Saint Pimen, wherefore in some sources their names are not named amongst the Sobor). The 4 October celebration was established in connection with the memory of the holy nobleborn prince Vladimir Yaroslavich of Novgorod (+ 1052), and the 10 February Sobor of Sainted-hierarchs is celebrated in connection with the holy nobleborn princess Anna of Novgorod (+ 1056). Besides those mentioned, sainted-hierarchs that have separate commemorations are: Sainted Nikita the Hermit, bishop (+ 1108, Comm. 31 January); Sainted Nyphontii, bishop (+ 1156, Comm. 8 April); Sainted John, archbishop (+1187, Comm. 7 September); Sainted Theoktist, archbishop (+1310, Comm. 23 December); Sainted Moisei, archbishop (+ 1362, Comm. 25 January); Sainted Evphymii, archbishop (+ 1458, Comm. 11 March); Sainted Jona, archbishop (+ 1470, Comm. 5 November); Sainted Serapion, archbishop (+ 1516, Comm. 16 March).
|Venerables Gregory and Cassian , abbots of Avnezh (Vologda) (1392) (translation of the relics, 1524).
The Monks Gregory and Kassian of Avnezh pursued asceticism at the River Sukhona in the Vologda land. On 15 June 1392 they died as martyrs at Avnezh monastery during an incursion by Tatars. The relics of the monk-martyrs were uncovered in the year 1524. In 1560, with the blessing of Makarii, , Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia (+ 1564), the hegumen of Makrisch monastery Varlaam composed an account about the sanctity of the monk-martyrs.
|Martyrs Vitus , Modestus , and Crescentia at Lucania (303).
The Holy Martyrs Vitus, Modestus, and Crescentia the Nursemaid, suffered for Christ during the reign of emperor Diocletian (284-305). The holy Martyr Vitus was son of an illustrious Sicilian dignitary, the pagan Gelas. While still a young lad, Saint Vitus was enflamed with an ardent love for the Lord Jesus Christ and he prayed incessantly to Him. The Lord gave him the grace of wonderworking. He healed the sick and converted many pagans to Christ. Learning about this, the governor Valerian summoned Gelas and advised him to turn his son away from faith in Christ; and how that were the emperor at some time to issue an edict for the persecution of Christians, not only the lad, but all the household of Gelas would suffer. But Gelas was not able to persuade Saint Vitus and he began to beat the lad. The governor Valerian learned that Saint Vitus had refused to offer sacrifice to the gods, and summoned him to trial before him. The holy lad firmly confessed his faith before the court and unconditionally refused to offer sacrifice to idols. They beat him again. When the governor, giving the signal for increasing the torture, lifted his hand, it immediately withered. The governor received healing through the prayer of the saint and, dissolving the trial, he gave back the holy lad to Gelas, having commanded that he not turn him away from faith in Christ. In order to corrupt his son in fleshly sin, Gelas surrounded him in luxury, and brought pretty girls to him. They filled him with tasty food, arranged banquets and entertainment, but the expected results were not forthcoming. Saint Vitus did not cease to pray, and he asked God’s help in temptations. Angels appeared to him and prayed with him. When Gelas went took his son and glanced at the Angels, he immediately went blind. Gelas gave a vow to recant from idols, and Saint Vitus healed him. But, stubborn of heart, Gelas did not keep his vow. Paternal love for his son turned to hatred for him, and he decided to kill him. In order to save the boy, his tutor Saint Modestus and his nurse Saint Crescentia , who were Christians, secretly took him from his parental home. At the river they saw a boat. An Angel went into the boat together with them and they reached the Italian district of Lucanium, where the saints lived quietly , hidden away from torturers. The holy lad never ceased to heal the sick and he converted pagans to Christianity. Here also news about him spread about. Saints Vitus and Modestus went to present themselves before Diocletian. Taken with the fine appearance of the lad, he at first urged him to offer sacrifice to idols. The holy lad denounced senseless idol-worship and he healed a demoniac son of Diocletian. The emperor offered Saint Vitus great honours, fame and riches , on the condition that he recant from the Christian faith. The lad refused and with his former courage he confessed himself a Christian. They locked him up in prison together with Saint Modestus. When Jesus Christ appeared to the prisoners , strengthening them in their deed and giving His help, the fetters fell from their hands. Ascribing the miracle to magic, Diocletian gave command to throw Saint Vitus into a cauldron of boiling oil. The saint stood in it, as though in cool water, and remained unharmed. Then a fierce lion was set loose at him. The lad signed himself with the sign of the cross, and the beast peacefully lied down at his feet and began to lick his foot. They hung the holy martyrs on pillars and began to rip at them with iron claws. Saint Crescentia came out of the crowd of spectators, confessed herself a Christian and reproached the emperor for his cruelty. He sentenced her also to torture. Saint Vitus called out to God: “O God, save us by Thy power and deliver us”. An earthquake started. Many pagans perished under the collapsed buildings, and Diocletian in fear fled to his chambers. An Angel released the martyrs from the pillars and took them to Lucanium. The holy Martyr Vitus prayed to God, that He would accept their souls in peace and not deprive His benefaction from all, who would keep their memory. From Heaven came a Voice: “Thy prayer is heard”. The saints with joy gave up their souls to God. The sufferings of the holy Martyrs Vitus, Modestus and Crescentia occurred in about the year 303. The memory of these saints is celebrated also on 16 May. The relics of Saint Vitus were transferred to Prague (Praha). Holy Nobleborn prince Vyacheslav of the Czechs (Comm. 28 September) constructed a temple in honour of the holy Martyr Vitus, in which he was afterwards buried.
|Martyr Dulas of Cilicia (305-313).
The Holy Martyr Doulos was a pious christian from the city of Praetoriada. At the height of a persecution against Christians under Maximian (305-313) they arrested him and sent him to trial under the Cilicia district governor Maximus. Before the beginning of the trial the saint firmly besought the Lord to grant him the power of words for a denunciation of idol-worship. At the interrogations the holy martyr bravely confessed Christ and forcefully denounced the false religion of the pagans and their gods with their shameful human vices and passions. The governor tried to confute his faith in Christ, but he was not able to resist against the grace-given words of Saint Doulos. The governor flew into a rage, tortured him without pity and after interrogation dispatched him back into prison. At each new interrogation the saint appeared strong in spirit and body, prepared for new torture. At the final interrogation for Saint Doulos, they broke his lower jaw, they broke his knees, and they bound him to the chariot of the governor and dragged him about. In this manner of suffering the holy martyr died, having signed himself with the sign of the cross. They untied his body from the chariot and threw it into the river. The river current carried the remains of the holy Martyr Doulos to his native city right up to shore. Dogs of shepherds discovered the holy body. One of them sat and guarded the body of the holy martyr from birds, and another brought in its teeth a shepherd’s robe and covered up the body of the saint. The shepherds led christians to the body of the holy Martyr Doulos, who then made the burial.
|Venerable Dulas the Passion-bearer of Egypt.
The Monk Doulos the Passion-Bearer ( the time of his life is unknown), was a monk at one of the Egyptian monasteries. He distinguished himself by his meekness, humility and obedience. During the course of 20 years the monk endured the mockery, abuse and contempt of several of the monastic brethren. At first it was difficult for him to bear the deed of forbearance and humbly endure the insult, but continually humbling himself in soul and praying to God, he reached such a degree of passivity, that with all his heart he pitied his detractors and prayed for them. At the end of his life the monk underwent temptation: a certain monk from among the brethren pilfered church vessels and hid them. When the hegumen and elders of the monastery started to sort out the details of the theft, they suspected Saint Doulos enough to assert that he had done the thievery, since on the day of the misdeed he had not appeared at the vigil service, although before this he had always come to church. Concerning this occurrence, on that day Saint Doulos was ill and not able to come to services. They led Saint Doulos to the elders, to whom he said that he was not guilty of the theft. But his enemies began to slander him, saying that they were witnesses. Convinced that they did not believe his words, the Monk Doulos did not argue but said: “Forgive me, holy fathers, I am a sinner”. The hegumen gave orders to strip off the monastic garb and to dress him in worldly clothes. Sobbing bitterly, Saint Doulos prayed: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, because of Thy Holy Name I clothed myself in monastic form, but now, through my sins, it is stripped from me”. They put chains on the Monk Doulos, and the steward was nasty in demanding where were the church vessels hidden, but the innocent passion-bearer only repeated: “Forgive me, I have sinned”. They then turned him over for trial to the civil authorities and subjected him to torture, but the saint repeated: “I have neither silver, nor the lost vessels”. The city eparch asked the monks what to do with him, having delivered him over to the secular court. They answered: “Do with him as the laws prescribe”. The saint was sentenced to have both his hands cut off. Before the execution of the sentence the governor asked the monk: “Tell us where the vessels are and thou shalt be free of execution”. The saint answered: “Governor, thou wantest that I tell about myself something that I did not do? I do not want to tell lies about myself, since every lie is from the devil”. They took the saint to the place of execution. Then finally, the perpetrator of the theft experienced remorse and went to the hegumen, asking that the execution be stopped. They took the monk back to the monastery. The monks began to ask forgiveness of the saint, and not only did he not bear them malice, but also he was grateful, that they had given him the opportunity by guiltless suffering to efface transgressions done by him. The saint asked the Lord to pardon his accusers. After three days they found the monk having expired to God while kneeling at prayer. The burial was delayed until the arrival of the hegumen and brethren of a nearby monastery. The body of the saint was locked up under key in the cathedral. When all had gathered and gone into the church, the body of the guiltless passion-bearer was not in the cathedral, and there remained only his clothes and sandals. Those, who had accused the Monk Doulos of sin, were shewn unworthy to give his body over to burial.
|Venerable Jerome (Hieronymus) of Stridonium (420).
Blessed Jerome of Stridona was born into a Christian family in the city of Stridona (Dalmatia or Pannonia). For the completion of his education his parents sent him to Rome, where he studied the secular sciences. At the beginning of his life in the capital, the youth was captivated by worldly vanities, but soon there matured a decision to change his life to the very core. When the youth was about 20 years old, he accepted holy Baptism. After this he visited in Gaul (France). Here for Saint Jerome there awakened the desire to dedicate himself totally to God and accept monasticism. In about the year 372 Blessed Jerome returned to his native city, but his parents had already departed from among the living. On him fell the care of raising his younger sisters and brother Paulinian. The taking of vows was put aside for the time. Blessed Jerome began zealously to study Holy Scripture. Having made the domestic arrangements, he journeyed to the East and for about 5 years he dwelt at one of the Syrian monasteries, combining work on the Holy Scriptures with austere ascetic deeds. Besides this, Saint Jerome studied to perfection the Hebrew and Chaldean languages. During this period there began his correspondence with a numerous persons upon a variety of questions. About 120 letters have been preserved, considered authentically written by Blessed Jerome. During this time there arose a controversy between the proponents of bishops Meletios, Paulinos and Vitalius. The controversy also reached the monastery where Blessed Jerome toiled. In consequence, the disputes caused him to leave the monastery and go to Antioch. Here Bishop Paulinos ordained him to the dignity of presbyter. Afterwards, Blessed Jerome visited Constantinople, conversed with the Sainted-bishops Gregory the Theologian and Gregory of Nyssa, and in the year 381 set off to Rome. At Rome he continued his labour of studies. The holy Pope Damasus I (366-384), also pre-occupied with the study of Holy Scripture, brought him into his proximity. But because the saint denounced the morals of the contemporary Christian society, a whole party of those bearing malice towards the saint came forward. After a three year stay at Rome, Blessed Jerome felt compelled to abandon this city for good. Together with his brother Paulinian and friends, Blessed Jerome visited the Holy Land, and also the monks of the Nitreia wilderness monastery, and in the year 386 he settled into a cave at Bethlehem in the vicinity of the cave of the Nativity of Christ, and there he began a life of quite austere asceticism. This was the period of blossoming of his creative activity. Attending to the studies of his time, Blessed Jerome left to the Church a rich written legacy: collections of dogmatic-polemic works, moral-ascetic works, works of commentary on Scripture, and historical works. But the most important of his works was the compiling into the Latin language in a new translation the books of the Old and New Testaments. This Latin translation is called the “Vulgate” and it passed into general use throughout the Western Church. Blessed Jerome with deep sorrow lived through the fall of his beloved city Rome, which was sacked by the Goths in the year 410. And in the year 411 a new ordeal beset the saint, an invasion by wild Bedouin Arabs. Only through the mercy of God was the community of the aged ascetic saved from complete destruction. He finished his life at the cave in Bethlehem. The year of death of Blessed Jerome is reckoned as 420. His relics were transferred from Bethlehem to Rome.
|Translation of the relics (9th c.) of Theodore the Sykeote (613).
The Transfer of the Relics of the Monk Theodore Sikeotes, Bishop of Anastasiupolis (+ 22 April 613), was from Galatia to Constantinople, done not earlier than the IX Century. His relics were seen in the year 1200 by the Russian pilgrim Antonii at the monastery of Saint George.
|St. Ephraim , patriarch of Serbia (1400).
Sainted Ephrem, Patriarch of Serbia, pursued asceticism on Mount Athos, and afterwards became hegumen of the Serbian Ibrovsk monastery. After the death of Patriarch Savva III in 1376, he was chosen to the patriarchal throne. Aspiring to silence, the saint left the throne and for 9 years dwelt at the Archangel Dushanovsk monastery. After the Battle of Kossovo he returned to the throne. He died peacefully at age 88 in the year 1400. The saint was buried in the Patriarchal church.
|Blessed Augustine , bishop of Hippo (430), and his mother Monica (387).
Blessed Augustine was born in Africa, in the city of Tagaste (Thagaste). He was raised by his mother, the pious Christian Monica, and he received his education at Carthage. In the capacity of professor of rhetoric, Augustine arrived at Mediolanum (Milan in Italy) during the period of episcopacy of Sainted Ambrose (+ 397, Comm. 7 December). Under the guidance of Saint Ambrose, Augustine studied the Holy Scriptures. The Word of God produced in his soul a radical crisis , he accepted holy Baptism, gave all his wealth to the poor and was vowed into the monastic form. In the year 391 Valerian, bishop of Ipponesia (Hippo), ordained Saint Augustine to the dignity of presbyter; and in 395, , to the dignity of bishop, appointing him vicar-bishop to the Ipponesia cathedra. After the death of Bishop Valerian, Sainted Augustine took his place. During his 35 years as bishop, many of the works of Blessed Augustine were devoted to combating the Donatist, Manichaean and Pelagian heresies. Blessed Augustine wrote many works (in the testimony of his student and biographer Possidias, the number approached 1030). Of his works the best known are: “The City of God” (“De civitate Dei”), “The Confessions”, 17 Books against the Pelagians and “Handbook of Christian Knowledge” (“the Enchiridion”). Blessed Augustine was concerned above all else that his compositions be intelligent and edifying. “It is better, , he said, , for them to condemn our grammar, than that people do not understand”. Blessed Augustine died on 28 August 430.
|Venerable Orsiesius of Tabenna, disciple of St. Pachomius the Great (368-380).
The Monk Ortesios (Orseses) Tabennisiotes (+ 380) was the successor of the Monk Pakhomias the Great (+ 348, Comm. 15 May). While still in his early years he attained to such a degree of spiritual experience, that the Monk Pakhomias entrusted to him the governance of the Khenobossa monastery. Once the Monk Pakhomias, conversing with his students, said about the Monk Ortesios: “I tell you, that Ortesios doth shine in the house of God, like a golden lamp”. After the end of the Monk Pakhomias, Saint Ortesios against his will was chosen as head of the Tabennisiotan monks. To such a number did the brethren increase, that the Monk Ortesios appointed as his helper the Monk Theodore, and then gave over to him the complete rule of the monastery, while he himself withdrew to the Khenobossa monastery. Upon the death of Saint Theodore in the year 365, Sainted-bishop Athanasias the Great wrote to the Monk Ortesios and his brethren: “Beloved brethren, weep not for Theodore: he is not dead but asleep. No one should weep, but rather each should imitate him. It is not proper to weep for one, that hath gone over to a place without worries.. and to thee, dear and beloved Ortesios, I write: “since that he hath reposed, take upon thyself this care, replace him for the brethren. While yet he lived, ye were both as one”. The Monk Ortesios fulfilled the will of Sainted Athanasias. Abba Ortesios possessed a profound knowledge of holy Scripture and the gift of inspired words. “The power of his words, , said a contemporary, , it seems, grew in him to the solace of the brethren”. “Ortesios, a man fully familiar with Holy Scripture, wrote a book, seasoned with spiritual salt, or to say, to explain almost all of the Old and New Testaments in short meditations for the needs of monks. He left it to the fathers together with his bequest before his death”. The book was soon translated into the Greek language, and Blessed Jerome translated it into Latin. In the book of the Monk Ortesios there are two theses: a guide for the monastic life (translated into the Russian language in 1859) and a guide concerning six purposeful meditations.
|Apostles Fortunatus, Achaicus, and Stephen (Greek).
About the Holy Disciple Stephen the Holy Apostle Paul recollects in the 1st Epistle to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 16: 15-18). The Apostle Paul wrote: “I am joyful in the arrival of Stephen, Fortunatus and Achaecus: they have made up for me your deficiencies, wherefore they have set at rest both my spirit and your spirit. Respect such”.
|Additional Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today|
|Celebration in Vologda to the venerable fathers of Vologda ( movable holiday on the 3rd Sunday of Pentecost ).|
|Synaxis of Saints of Belorussia ( movable holiday on the 3rd Sunday of Pentecost ): St. Menas, Bishop of Polotsk (1116), St Dionysius bishop Polotsk (1182), Cyril Bishop of Turiv (1183), Lavrenti Bishop of Turiv (1184), Symeon bishop Polotsk (1289); Blessed Great Prince Rostislav (baptize as Michael), of Kiev (1167); Venerable Martyrs Athanasius, Higumen of Brest (1648), Makarius Kabevsky Higumen of Pinsk (1678); Venerable Martin Turovsky (1150), Elise Lavrishevsk (1250); venerable Ephrosinia of Polotsk (1173), Martyr child Gabriel Belostotsky (1690); righteous Juliana princes of Olshansk (1550), and Sophia princes of Slutsk (1612).|
|Synaxis of Saints of Pskov ( movable holiday on the 3rd Sunday of Pentecost ).|
|Synaxis of Saints of St. Petersburg ( movable holiday on the 3rd Sunday of Pentecost ).|
|New Hieromartyr Amos priest (1919).|
|Voronin Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (1518).|
|Virgin Martyrs Leonis, Libye, and Eutropia, and their mother, who suffered in Palmyra of Syria (305).|
|St. Symeon, archbishop of Novgorod (1421).|
|Venerable Abraham, abbot, of Auvergne (477) (Gaul).|
|Venerable Joseph, monk, of Bethlehem (Greek).|
|Martyr Grace (Greek).|
|St. Cedronus, patriarch of Alexandria (107).|
|Martyr Hesychius the Soldier of Dorostolum and two others in Moesia (302).|
|St. Spyridon, patriarch of Serbia (1388).|
|All New Martyrs of Serbia.|
New Martyrs of the Turkish Yoke, Troparion, in Tone III
The new martyrs, who with unremitting battle have cast down the ancient
deception, have exalted the Faith of the Orthodox; for, having abolished the
worship of the iniquitous and professed Christ boldly, they now unceasingly
entreat Him as perfect God, that He grant us great mercy.
Kontakion of the new martyrs, in Tone I
Rejoice mystically, O Church of Christ, beholding thy children, the new
martyrs, standing round about thy table in their relics, like newly planted
olive shoots; and cry aloud to the Creator of all: Thou art the confirmation of
the martyrs, O Christ!
Troparion of the Sunday, Tone II
When Thou didst descend to death, O Life immortal,
Thou didst slay hell with the splendor
of Thy Godhead!
And when from the depths Thou didst raise the dead,
all the powers of
heaven cried out:
O Giver of life, Christ our God, glory to Thee!
Hymn to the Theotokos, Tone II
All beyond thought, all most glorious,
are your mysteries, O Theotokos.
Sealed in purity,
preserved in virginity,
you were revealed to be the true Mother who gave birth to the true
Entreat Him to save our souls.
Kontakion of the Sunday, Tone II
Hell became afraid, O Almighty Savior,
seeing the miracle of Thy Resurrection from the
The dead arose! Creation, with Adam, beheld this and rejoiced with Thee!
world, O my Savior, praises Thee forever.
Holy Prophet Amos
No Troparion is given in the Menaion.
Kontakion, Tone IV, “Thou hast appeared today…”
Having cleansed thy radiant heart by the Spirit,
O glorious Prophet Amos,
and received the gift of prophecy from on high,
thou didst cry aloud
throughout the land:
Behold our God! There is none other like unto Him!
St. Jonah, metropolitan of Moscow, Troparion, in Tone IV
Having dedicated thyself wholly to the Lord from thy youth, thou becamest a
model of virtue in prayers, labors and fasting; wherefore, beholding thy goodly
intent, God appointed thee the hierarch and pastor of His Church: and for this
cause, thy precious body hath been preserved whole and incorrupt after thy
repose. O holy hierarch Jonah, entreat Christ God, that He save our souls.
Kontakion, in Tone VIII,
To thee, the chosen leader…” —
From childhood thou didst enslave thyself unto the Lord, O wise one, laying
waste to thy body through fasting and the keeping of vigils; wherefore, thou
wast shown to be the pure vessel and abode of the all-holy Spirit. For this
cause He ordained thee as hierarch and pastor for His Church, and having tended
it well, thou didst depart unto the Lord Whom thou didst love. We therefore
beseech thee: Be thou mindful of us who honor thy holy memory with faith, that
we may all cry aloud unto thee: Rejoice, O father Jonah, most honored and holy
St. Jerome of Stridonium, Troparion, in Tone III
The assembly of the Orthodox hath thee as a great intercessor, O divinely
wise one, for as thou art a conversor with the venerable and sharest in divine
wisdom, so, O all-wondrous Jerome, entreat Christ God that He grant us great
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