Old Calendar Orthodox Daily Digest for 8/27/2020

Fasting Guidelines

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

Scripture Readings

2 Corinthians 7:1-10
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Open your hearts to us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have cheated no one. I do not say this to condemn; for I have said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together. Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation. For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears. Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming, but also by the consolation with which he was comforted in you, when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more. For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.

Mark 1:29-35
Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once. So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them. At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed. And the whole city was gathered together at the door. Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him. Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.

2 Corinthians 7:10-16
For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter. Therefore, although I wrote to you, I did not do it for the sake of him who had done the wrong, nor for the sake of him who suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear to you. Therefore we have been comforted in your comfort. And we rejoiced exceedingly more for the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all. For if in anything I have boasted to him about you, I am not ashamed. But as we spoke all things to you in truth, even so our boasting to Titus was found true. And his affections are greater for you as he remembers the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling you received him. Therefore I rejoice that I have confidence in you in everything.

Mark 2:18-22
The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were fasting. Then they came and said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days. No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.

Galatians 5:22-6:2 (St. Theodosius)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Luke 6:17-23 (St. Theodosius)
And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all. Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said: Blessed are you poor, For yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, For you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.

Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today

Prophet Micah (8th c. B.C.).
Prophet  Micah  (8th c. B.C.). The Prophet Micah, the 6th of the Twelve Minor Prophets, was descended from the Tribe of Judah and was a native of the city of Morastha, to the south of Jerusalem, wherefore he was called a Morasthite. His prophetic service began around the year 778 before the Birth of Christ and continued for almost 50 years under the kings of Judah , Joatham, Akhaz, and Righteous Hezekiah (721-691 B.C., Comm. 28 August). He was a contemporary of the Prophet Isaiah. His denunciations and predictions were in regard to the separate kingdoms both of Judah and of Israel. He foresaw the misfortunes, threatening the kingdom of Israel before its destruction, and to Judah, during the incursions under the Assyrian emperor Sennacherib. To him belongs a prophecy about the birth of the Saviour of the world: “And thou, Bethlehem, house of Euphratha, though small wilt be in the thousands of Judah, from thee to Me wilt come an eldest, that will be King in Israel, Whose coming forth is from the beginning of days forever” (Mic. 5: 2). From the words of the Prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 26: 18-19), the Jews evidently were afraid to kill the Prophet Micah. His relics were discovered in the IV Century after the Birth of Christ at Baraphsatia, through a revelation to the bishop of Eleutheropolis, Zeuinos.
Translation of the relics of Venerable Theodosius of the Kiev Caves (1091).
Translation of the relics of Venerable  Theodosius  of the Kiev Caves (1091). The Monk Theodosii (Feodosii) of Pechersk, was the initiator of a life-in-common ustav (rule) and a father of monasticism in the Russian land. He was born at Vasilevo, not far from Kiev. From his youthful years he felt an irresistible attraction for the ascetic life, and led an ascetic lifestyle while still in his parental home. He disdained childish games and attractions, and constantly went to church. He himself asked his parents to let him go to study reading of the holy books, and through his evident abilities and rare zeal, he quickly learned the reading of the books, such that everyone was amazed at the intellect of the lad. At 14 years of age he lost his father and remained under the supervision of his mother , a woman strict and domineering, but very much loving her son. She many a time chastised her son for his yearning after asceticism, but he remained firmly committed to his path. At 24 years of age he secretly left his parental home and took monastic vows, with the blessing of the Monk Antonii (Anthony), at the Kievou2011Pechersk monastery with the name Theodosii. After four years his mother found him and with tears besought him to return home, but the saint himself persuaded her to remain in Kiev and accept monasticism in the monastery of Saint Nicholas at the Askol’d cemetery. The Monk Theodosii toiled at the monastery more than others and not seldom he took upon himself part of the work of the other brethren: he carried water, chopped wood, ground up the rye-grain and carried the flour to each monk. On cold nights he uncovered his body and let it be food for gnats and mosquitoes, the blood flowed on him, but the saint patiently occupied himself with handicrafts and sang psalms. In church he appeared before others and, standing at a place, he did not leave it until the finish of Divine-services; the readings he listened to with particular attention. In 1054 the Monk Theodosii was ordained to the dignity of priest-monk, and in 1057 he was chosen hegumen. The fame of his deeds attracted a number of monks to the monastery, at which he built a new church and cells, and he introduced the Studite common-life monastic-rule (ustav), a copy of which was made by his commissioning at Constantinople. In the dignity of hegumen the Monk Theodosii continued to fulfill very difficult duties at the monastery. The monk usually partook of only dry bread and cooked greens without oil. The nights passed for him without sleep in prayer, such that the brethren often took notice of this, although the chosen one of God also tried to conceal his efforts from others. No one was to see when the Monk Theodosii dozed lightly, and usually he rested sitting. During the period of Great Lent the saint withdrew into a cave situated not far from the monastery, where he asceticised with no one seeing. His attire was a coarse hair-shirt worn straight over his body, such that in this old man looking like a beggar it was impossible to recognise the reknown hegumen, deeply respected by all that knew him. One time the Monk Theodosii was returning from GreatPrince Izyaslav. The coachman, not recognising whom he was, said gruffly: :Thou, monk, art always on holiday, but I constantly am at work. Get up on my place, and let me ride in the carriage”. The holy elder meekly complied and drove the servant. Seeing how boyar nobles along the way bowed to the monk driving the horses, the servant took fright, but the holy ascetic calmed him, and upon their arrival gave him a meal at the monastery. Trusting on the help of God, the monk did not keep a large supply of food at the monastery, and therefore the brethren were in want of their daily bread. Through his prayers, however, unknown benefactors appeared at the monastery and furnished the necessities for the brethren. The great princes, and especially Izyaslav, loved to listen to the spiritual discourse of the Monk Theodosii. The saint was not afraid to denounce the mighty ones of this world. The unjustly condemned always found in him a defender, and judges would review matters at the request of the hegumen revered by all. The monk was particularly concerned about the destitute: he built for them at the monastery a special courtyard where anyone in need could receive food and drink. Having sensed beforehand his own end, the Monk Theodosii peacefully expired to the Lord in the year 1074. He was buried in a cave dug out by him, into which he secluded himself during lenten periods. The relics of the ascetic were found uncorrupt in the year 1091. The Monk Theodosii was enumerated to the ranks of the saints in 1108. From the written works of the Monk Theodosii there have survived to our time: 6 discourses, 2 missives to GreatPrince Izyaslav, and a prayer for all Christians. The Vita (Life) of the Monk Theodosii was compiled by the Monk Nestor the Chronicler, a student of the great abba, a mere 30 years after his repose, and it was always one of the favourite readings of the Russian nation. An account about the Monk Theodosii also is located under 28 September.
Venerable Arcadius , monk, of Vyazma and New Torzhok (1077).
Venerable  Arcadius , monk, of Vyazma and New Torzhok (1077). The Monk Arkadii of Vyazemsk and Novotorzhsk was from the city of Vyaz’ma of common folk pious parents, who from childhood taught him prayer and obedience. The gentle, perceptive, prudent and good youth chose for his ascetic deed being a fool-for-Christ. He ate by alms, and slept where he put himself, , whether in the forest, or on the church portico. His blessed unconcern and closeness to nature imparted to the figure of young Arkadii a peculiar spiritual aspect and distance from worldly vanity. In church, absorbed in prayer, Saint Arkadii often wept tears of tenderness and spiritual joy. His advice was precise, his predictions happened, and his look intelligent. An experienced guide, the Monk Ephrem , Wonderworker of Novotorzhsk (Comm. 28 January, helped the young ascetic to avoid the spiritual dangers in passing through the difficult and in this time uncommon exploit of foolishness. And after this the people of Vyaz’ma became witnesses of several miracles, done through the prayer of Blessed Arkadii, but he fled human fame and set out along the upper Tvertsa River. Here the Monk Arkadii divided the work with his spiritual guide the Monk Ephrem of Novotorzhsk, and shared together with him in the founding of a church and monastery in honour of the holy Nobleborn Passion-Bearers Boris and Gleb (+ 1015; first transfer of their holy relics was in 1072; General Comm. 2 May). Entering into the new-built monastery, the Monk Arkadii accepted monasticism and took upon himself the exploit of full obedience to his spiritual father, the Monk Ephrem. The Monk Arkadii never missed Liturgy and for Matins he appeared first together with his spiritual guide. After the repose of the Monk Ephrem (28 January 1053), the Monk Arkadii continued to pursue asceticism in accord with the last-wishes of his starets-elder, dwelling in prayer, fasting and quietude. And with the subsequent passage of some years he likewise expired to the Lord (13 December 1077). In 1594 a chapel in the name of the Monk Arkadii was built at one of the churches of Vyaz’ma. A combined celebration to the Monks Arkadii and Ephrem was established under Metropolitan Dionysii in the years 1584-1587. The relics of the Monk Arkadii, glorified by miracles of healing, were uncovered on 11 July (in earlier times his memory was celebrated on this day) 1677, in a stone crypt of the Borisoglebsk cathedral of the city of Torzhk. In 1841 on the left side of the Borisogleb cathedral church was built a chapel in honour of the Monk Arkadii. Solemn celebration of the 300 years from the time of the uncovering of the holy relics of the Monk Arkadii took place in the city of Torzhk in the year 1977.
“Converser” (1383) and “Narva” (1558) Icons of the Most Holy Theotokos.
The Narva Icon of the MostHoly Mother of God became famous in the year 1558, when the Russian army made their assault on the city of Narva. In one of the houses where earlier Russian merchants had lived, drunken Germans grabbed hold of an icon of the Mother of God that had been left behind. Mocking at the holy thing, they threw it into a fire under a kettle, in which they were brewing beer. Flames shot out from the kettle and engulfed the roof of the house. At this very moment a storm blew up, and the conflagration spread throughout all the city. Taking advantage of the confusion, the Russian army made its assault and took the city. The Wonderworking Icon of the MostHoly Mother of God, and with it an icon of Saint Nicholas, was found amidst the ashes unharmed.
Hieromartyr Nazarius, metropolitan of Kutaisi, Georgia, with Priest-martyrs Herman, Hierotheus, and Simon, and Archdeacon Bessarion (1924) (Georgia).
Hieromartyr Nazarius, metropolitan of Kutaisi, Georgia, with Priest-martyrs Herman, Hierotheus, and Simon, and Archdeacon Bessarion (1924) (Georgia). Metropolitan Nazarius of Kutaisi-Gaenati was born in 1872 in the village of Didi Jikhaishi in Imereti. His forefathers belonged to a long lineage of clergy, and the future metropolitan was nurtured in the Church from the earliest years of his youth. Nazarius (known in the world as Joseph) received his education at Kutaisi Theological School. In 1892 he graduated with honors from Tbilisi Seminary and began to serve in the Church, first as a deacon and later (from February 9, 1893) as a priest. In 1904, after a series of personal tragedies (first his wife died, then his two daughters), Nazarius was tonsured a monk. On November 4, 1918, he was enthroned as Metropolitan of Kutaisi. The years 1922 to 1923 marked a difficult period in the history of the Georgian Church. The Bolsheviks razed twelve hundred churches, destroyed much of the Church’s wealth, burnt many rare manuscripts, and persecuted spiritual leaders – particularly Georgian nationalists. On February 10, 1921, following the Red Army’s invasion of Georgia, the treasures of the Sioni and Svetitskhoveli Cathedrals were carried away to Kutaisi for safekeeping. Patriarch Leonid gave his blessing for four boxes of holy objects to be buried under the porch at Metropolitan Nazarius’s residence, which was located on the grounds of the Bagrati Cathedral. After the Bolsheviks secured their occupation of Georgia, they discovered where the treasures had been buried and arrested Metropolitan Nazarius. They accused him of agitating against the government and concealing the possessions of the Church. During the court proceedings the metropolitan was asked for whom he had hidden the treasure, and he answered, “For the Church and the Georgian people!” The court sentenced Nazarius to the most severe punishment – execution by a firing squad – but the sentence was subsequently rescinded. In the end, the Bolsheviks imprisoned the hierarch and confiscated his personal belongings. In April of 1924 Metropolitan Nazarius received amnesty and was released after two years in prison. He returned to his diocese, which was undergoing many trials. He was not permitted to return to his own residence, but was obliged to live with his brother, while his former home was transformed into a storage facility. On August 14, 1924, a delegation from the village of Simoneti came to the metropolitan to request that he consecrate their local church. At the appointed time, the metropolitan arrived in Simoneti with his retinue and consecrated the church. That night, a group of Chekists (Soviet security agents) broke into the house where Metropolitan Nazarius and his entourage were staying, bound and beat them, and then dragged them to the village council. Without an investigation, the Troika (a Soviet extraordinary council of three judges) sentenced to death Metropolitan Nazarius and four other clergymen – Priest Herman Jajanidze, Priest Hierotheos Nikoladze, Priest Simon Mchedlidze, and Archdeacon Besarion Kukhianidze. They were shot to death in the Sapichkhia Forest. In 1994, with the blessing of Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II, the full Ecclesiastical Council of the Georgian Church resolved with one accord to canonize Metropolitan Nazarius and the clergymen who were martyred with him. At the same time, the council canonized all the Orthodox Christians who, for their Faith and the independence of their homeland, became victims of the totalitarian regime. They were proclaimed the “New Martyrs of the Georgian Church.”
Forefeast of the Dormition.
These excerpts are from the church hymns for this day. “Acclaiming the Feast of Exodus in anticipation”, “let us praise the honorable repose of the Mother of God”: “For the Mother of God, the Golden ark, now prepares to pass over from earth to heaven”, and, “For tomorrow the Queen of all, bound for the mansions of Heaven, commits her soul into the hands of the Son”. Singing “the Forefeast” hymns and “celebrating the all-splendid memory of your honored Dormition”, “Coming to the tomb of the Virgin let us faithful begin striving to offer up divine incense”, “at Her divine burial with one mind with the heavenly hosts” “let us sing a hymn at her burial”.
Hieromartyr Marcellus , bishop of Apamea (389).
The PriestMartyr Marcellus, Bishop of Apameia, was born of illustrious parents on the island of Cyprus. Having received a fine education, he occupied an high civil office, giving all to marvel at his purity of life, mildness, kindness and eloquence. In about the year 375, having left behind his wife and children, the saint devoted himself to a wilderness-monastic life in Syria. The people of Apameia, having gotten him to come to the city on some practical matter, chose him as bishop. From the account of Theodorit of Cyr it is known about him, that having received permission from the holy emperor Saint Theodosius the Great (379-395) to destroy a strongly built temple of Jupiter at Apameia, the saint was puzzled on how to accomplish this. A certain worker promised to help him. He undermined three of the huge columns, propping them up for the while with olive wood, and then he tried to set them afire, but the wood would not burn. When Saint Marcellus learned about this, he made in church the lesser order of the Blessing of Water, and he commanded that this water be faithfully sprinkled about the wood. After this the wood burned quickly, the columns fell down and the whole pagan temple collapsed in upon itself. When soldiers near Aulona in the Apameia district demolished still another pagan temple, the saint, watching from a distance, was seized by pagans and thrown into a fire (+ c. 389). The killers were found, and the sons of the saint wanted to take revenge, but the Local Council forbade them this, decreeing that it would be wrong to avenge suchlike a death as the saint had received, in that for such one mustneeds give thanks to God.
New Martyr Simeon of Trebizond (1653) (Greek).
For his unwillingness to convert to Islam, after imprisonment and torture, the Turks hanged him in 1653 in Constantinople.
Additional Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today
New Hieromartyr Basil bishop of Chernigov and with him Hieromartyr Mathew and Martyr Alexis (1918).
New Hieromartyr Vladimir priest (1920).
New Hieromartyrs Vladimir and Nicholas priests, Hieromartyr Eleutherius, Virgin-Martyr Eudokia and Martyr Theodore (1937).
New Hieromartyr Schema-archimandrite Eleutherius of Chimkent (Kazakhstan) (1937).
Venerable Alexander confessor (1961).
Martyr Ursicius at Nicomedia.
St. Fachanan, abbot of Ross Carbery, Cork, Ireland (ca. 600) (Celtic & British).
Synaxis of the New Martyrs of Georgia who suffered under the Atheist Yoke (20th c.).

Today’s Hymns

Forefeast of the Dormition, Troparion, in Tone IV
Leap up in anticipation, O ye people,
clapping your hands with faith,
and
assemble with love,
all rejoicing today and exclaiming with splendor;
for the
Mother of God, whom we ever glorify with hymns
as the Theotokos,
will
gloriously pass over from those on earth to those on high.


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

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