Old Calendar Orthodox Daily Digest for 8/25/2020

Fasting Guidelines

12th Week after Pentecost. Tone two.
Dormition (Theotokos) Fast. By Monastic Charter: Food without Oil

Scripture Readings

2 Corinthians 5:15-21
and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Mark 1:16-22
And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets. And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him. Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught. And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today

Monk-martyrs Gerontius, Serapion, Germanus, Bessarion, Michael, and Simeon of Garesja, slain by the Lekians (1851) (Georgia).
Monk-martyrs Gerontius, Serapion, Germanus, Bessarion, Michael, and Simeon of Garesja, slain by the Lekians (1851) (Georgia). Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries the Dagestanis were continually raiding and pillaging the Davit-Gareji Wilderness. They destroyed churches and monasteries, stole sacred objects, and tortured and killed many of the monks who labored there. A Dagestani army invaded the Davit-Gareji Wilderness in the summer of 1851. They looted the Davit-Gareji Lavra and carried off many of the monastery’s sacred treasures and books. Then they took many of the monks captive and tortured a few of the most pious. First they stabbed Hierodeacon Otar to death, then they beheaded Hieromonk Gerontius. The unbelievers battered Hieromonk Serapion to death with their swords. Monk Herman was stabbed in the stomach, then beheaded Monk Besarion was also beheaded. The eighteen-year-old Simeon tried to flee on foot but was shot at with bows and arrows, then caught and beheaded. Monk Michael, the most outstanding among the brothers in humility and silence, was subjected to the harshest tortures. After their martyrdom the bodies of these holy men were illumined with a divine light. The martyrdom of the holy fathers of the Davit-Gareji Monastery was described in 1853 by Hieromonk Isaac of Gaenati, who witnessed the tragedy. Hieromonk Isaac himself was captured and led away to Dagestan by the merciless bandits. He was later freed through the mediation of Tsar Nicholas I (1825,1855).
Martyrs Anicetus and Photius (Photinus) of Nicomedia (305).
The Martyrs Anicetas and Photios (his nephew) were natives of Nicomedia. Anicetas, a military official, denounced the emperor Diocletian (284-305) for having set up in the city square an implement of execution for frightening Christians. The enraged emperor ordered Saint Anicetas to be tortured, and later condemned him to be devoured by wild beasts. But the lions they set loose became gentle and fondled up to him. Suddenly there began a strong earthquake, resulting in the collapse of the pagan temple of Hercules, and many pagans perished beneathe the crumbled city walls. The executioner took up a sword to cut off the saint’s head, but he himself fell down insensible. They tried to break Saint Anicetas on the wheel and burn him with fire, but the wheel stopped and the fire went out. They threw the martyr into a furnace with boiling tin, but the tin got cold. Thus the Lord preserved His servant for the edification of many. The martyr’s nephew, Saint Photios, saluted the sufferer and turn to the emperor, remarking: “O idol-worshipper, thine gods , be nothing!” The sword, held over the new confessor, instead struck the executioner himself. Then the martyrs were thrown into prison. After three days Diocletian began to urge them: “Worship our gods, and I shalt give ye glory and riches”. The martyrs answered: “Perish thou with thine honour and riches!” Then they tied them by the legs to wild horses, but the saints, dragged along the ground, remained unharmed. They did not suffer either in the heated up bath-house, which tumbled apart. Finally Diocletian ordered a great furnace to be fired up, and many Christians, inspired by the deeds of Saints Anicetas and Photios, went in themselves with the words: “We are Christians!” They all died with prayer on their lips. The bodies of Saints Anicetas and Photios were not harmed by the fire, and even their hair remained whole. seeing this, many of the pagans came to believe in Christ. This event happened in the year 305.
Hieromartyr Alexander , bishop of Comana (3rd c.).
Sainted Alexander, Bishop of Comana, lived during the III Century not far from Neocaesarea. He studied the Holy Scripture and knew many a scientific discipline. Taking upon himself the exploit of holy fool, the saint lived in poverty, occupied with the selling of coal in the city square. Many, seeing his face always black from the grime of the coal flames, sneered at him with contempt. When the bishop of Comana happened to die, then among the candidates put forth for election as new bishop , one was a man illustrious, others were learned or eloquent, while yet others , were rich. Then Saint Gregory Thaumatourgos, Bishop of Neocaesarea (Comm. 17 November), having been invited for the ordination of their choice, pointed out, that a bishop ought to have not only outward worthiness and distinction, but foremost of all, a pure heart and holy life. These words caused some to laugh saying: “If outward appearance and nobility of origin be for naught, then even Alexander the collier might be made bishop”. Saint Gregory perceived, that it was not without the Providence of God that this man came to be mentioned, and he asked that they call him. The appearance of the saint at the gathering evoked laughter. Having respectfully bowed to Saint Gregory, Saint Alexander stood there deeply absorbed in himself and ignoring the sneering: Saint Gregory put him to the test, and the collier was obliged to reveal, that he was formerly a philosopher, and had studied Holy Scripture, but that for the sake of God he had assumed upon himself voluntary poverty and humility. Saint Gregory then took the collier to his own lodging, where he washed off the grime, and gave him clean clothes. Returning then to the assembled people, Saint Gregory in front of everyone began to put to him questions from Holy Scripture, to which Saint Alexander answered like a knowledgeable and wise pastor. Seeing this, all were astonished at his humility and with one accord they elected him their bishop. Saint Gregory ordained him priest, and later bishop. After the imposition of hands the new bishop spoke a sermon to the people, full of power and the grace of God. And everyone rejoiced, that the Lord had sent them such a wise pastor. Under the emperor Diocletian (284-305) the saint bravely confessed Christ, and refused to worship idols; after tortures they threw him into a fire, and there he reposed to God. According to other sources, Saint Alexander suffered instead under the emperor Decius (249-251).
Martyrs Pamphilus and Capito .
The Martyrs Pamphylos and Kapiton were beheaded by the sword in the locale of Oliurea near Constantinople.
Venerable Pallamon of Egypt, instructor of St. Pachomius the Great.
The Venerable Palamon, guide of the Venerable Pachomius, was tonsured at the beginning of the Fourth Century in Egypt.
Additional Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today
New Hieromartyrs Barlaam abbot of Belogor St. Nicholas monastery and brotherhood: hieromonks Sergius, Ilia, Viacheslav, Iosaph, John, Anoty, hierodeacons Mikhey, Bessarion, Mathew, Euphemia, monks Barnabas, Demetrius, Sabbas, Hermogenus, Arcadius, Euphemia, btothers John, Jacob, Peter, another Jacob, Alexander, Theodore, another Peter, Sergius, Alexis (1918).
New Hieromartyr Basil priest (1918).
New Hieromartyrs Leonidas, John and Nicholas priests (1937).
St. Muredach (Murtagh), first bishop of Killala and founder of Innismurray (Ireland) (6th c.) (Celtic & British).
St. Molaise of Devenish (563) (Celtic & British).
St. Seigine, abbot of Iona (652) (Celtic & British).
Sts. Sergius and Stephen, monks (Greek).
Soldier-martyrs of Crete (Greek).
Translation of relics of St. Edwold, hermit of Cerne.

Today’s Hymns

Martyrs Anicetus and Photius, Troparion, in Tone IV
In their sufferings, O Lord,
Thy martyrs received imperishable crowns from
Thee our God;
for, possessed of Thy might,
they set at nought the tormentors
and crushed the feeble audacity of the demons.
By their supplications save
Thou our souls.


St. Maximus the Confessor, Troparion, in Tone VIII —
O instructor of Orthodoxy, teacher of piety and purity,
beacon for the whole
world, divinely inspired adornment of hierarchs.
O most wise Maximus by thy
doctrines thou hast illumined all.
O harp of the Spirit, entreat Christ God
that our souls be saved.


Hymns, Readings, Feast Day, and Fasting Information provided by Holy Trinity Orthodox Church.

Aggregated and Formatted by OrthoBot OC.

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