21st Week after Pentecost. Tone three.
Today is fast-free!
Colossian 1:24-29 (Thursday)
I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.
Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by Him; and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had risen from the dead, and by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the old prophets had risen again. Herod said, “John I have beheaded, but who is this of whom I hear such things?” So he sought to see Him. And the apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done. Then He took them and went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. But when the multitudes knew it, they followed Him; and He received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing.
2 Timothy 2:1-10 (Martyr)
You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things. Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
Matthew 27:33-54 (Martyr)
And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull, they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink. Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet:”They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.” Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there. And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left. And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing. Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, “This Man is calling for Elijah!” Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink. The rest said, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him.” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today
|Venerable Longinus the Centurion, who stood at the Cross of the Lord (1st c.).
The Holy Martyr Longinus the Centurion, a Roman soldier, saw service in Judea under the command of the procurator, Pontius Pilate. During the time of the execution of the Saviour it was the detachment of soldiers under the command of Longinus, which stood watch around Golgotha, at the very foot of the holy Cross. Longinus and his soldiers were eye-witnesses of the final moments of the earthly life of the Lord, and of the great and awesome portents that appeared at His death. These events jolted the soul of the soldier. Longinus believed then in Christ and before everyone confessed that, “in truth , this was the Son of God” (Mt. 27: 54). (according to Church tradition, Longinus was that soldier, who with a spear pierced the side of the Crucified Saviour, and from the outflowing of blood and water received healing from an eye affliction). After the Crucifixion and Burial of the Saviour, Longinus with his company stood watch at the Sepulchre of the Lord. Here the soldiers were given to behold the All-Radiant Resurrection of Christ. The Jews persuaded them with a bribe to bear false witness that His disciples had stolen away the Body of Christ, but Longinus and two of his comrades refused to be seduced by the Jewish gold. Having believed in the Saviour, the soldiers accepted Baptism from the apostles and decided to forsake military service. Longinus quit Judea and set out preaching about Christ Jesus the Son of God in his native land, in Cappadocia. His two comrades also followed after him. The fiery words of actual participants of the great occurrences in Judea swayed the hearts and minds of the Cappadocians; Christianity began quickly to spread about in the city and the surrounding villages. Having learned of this, the Jewish elders persuaded Pilate to dispatch a company of soldiers to Cappadocia, to kill Longinus and his comrades. The dispatched company of soldiers arrived in the native village of Longinus; the former centurion himself came out to meet the soldiers and took them to his home. After a meal, the soldiers told about the purpose of their arrival, not knowing , that the master of the house , was that very selfsame man, whom they were seeking. Then Longinus and his fellows identified themselves and asked the surprised soldiers, unperturbedly, to do their duty of military service. The soldiers wanted to set free the saints and advised them to flee, but the saints refused to do this, shewing firmness of will to accept suffering for Christ. The holy martyrs were beheaded, and their bodies were buried there where the saints made their final witness, and the cut-off heads were sent on to Pilate. Pilate gave orders to cast the martyrs on the trash-heap outside the city walls. After a certain while a certain blind woman arrived in Jerusalem to pray at the holy places. Saint Longinus appeared to her in a dream and said, that she should find his head and bury it. They led the blind woman to the rubbish heap. Having touched the head of the martyr, the woman was granted sight to her eyes. She reverently conveyed the venerable head to Cappadocia and there gave it burial.
|Venerable Longinus the Gate-keeper of the Kiev Caves (13th c.).
The Monk Longin, Gate-Keeper of Pechersk, made his monastic obedience at the Kievo-Pechersk monastery. His prayerful fervour and humble love for work were rewarded by the Lord. The Pechersk gatesman was vouchsafed the gift of perspicacity. People that were come to the Lavra with good intent he gave encouragement, but the wickedly inclined he denounced and urged to repentance. He was buried in the Farther Caves. His memory is also on 28 August and on the 2nd Sunday of Great Lent.
|Venerable Longinus, monk, of Koryazhemka (Vologda) (1540).
He at first practiced asceticism in Obnorsk Monastery (see. Volog. Ep.), then left to go up the river to Vicheg and founded on the mouth of the river Koryazhemsk, Vologda Gubernia, the Koryazhemsk Monastery (abolished in 1863), in which he was the abbot. He died as a hieromonk on February 10, 1540. His relics repose in the temple of the Annunciation (in a Koryazhemsk churchyard, about 16 versts from Solvichegodsk) in a secluded place; they were revealed, “by some apparition”, in 1557 after which the local celebrating of the Venerable Longinus was established.
|Venerable Eupraxia, abbess, before tonsure Princess Euphrosyne of Pskov (1243).
Holy Nobleborn Princess Evpraxia of Pskov, in the world Evphrosynia, was the daughter of the Polotsk prince Rogvolod Borisovich, and an aunt to holy Prince Dovmont-Timophei (Comm. 20 May). She was the wife of the Pskov princeYaroslav Vladimirovich. Prince Yaroslav fled from Pskov to Livonia and there married a German. Together with the Teutonic knights he several times made incursions upon the Russian lands, and in 1231 he seized Izborsk. After the departure of her husband, Evphrosynia turned to deeds of piety. In the year 1243 she built on the banks of the River Velika a monastery in the name of Saint John the Forerunner, and became its hegumeness. Invited to Livonia for a meeting with her former husband in the city of Odenpa (Bear’s Head), she was murdered (8 May 1243) by a step-son, more accurately, the son of Yaroslav from the German. She was buried at the cathedral of the monastery founded by her. Ten days after the death of Saint Evpraxia, there occurred a miracle over her grave: from an icon of the Saviour issued myrh. The icon was called “Saviour myrh-bearing”. The countenance of the righteous princess was preserved on two icons. On the one she is depicted at prayer with Saint John the Forerunner and the holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called. The other icon with her likeness is situated alongside the wonderworking icon of the Saviour.
|Venerable Gall, Irish monk and enlightener of Switzerland (646) (Celtic & British).
He was born in Ireland to wealthy parents, who sent him to be educated at the Monastery of Bangor. There he embraced the ascetical life and became a monk. He was one of the twelve monks who traveled with his spiritual father St Columbanus (November 23) as missionaries to Gaul. In time some of the group traveled into pagan lands, up the Rhine river to Lake Zurich. The monks settled on Lake Constance around a chapel dedicated to St Aurelia, which had been taken by the pagans as a shrine; they cleansed and reconsecrated the chapel, which became the center of their new monastery. Saint Gall lived as a hermit, serving the brethren by making nets and catching fish. In 612 St Columbanus went on to Italy with most of his disciples, leaving St Gall and a few others to continue their life. When St Gall delivered Frideburga, the daughter of a local duke, from a demon, he offered the saint a tract of land on the shores of Lake Constance; here was founded the monastery that in later times bore St Gall’s name. At various times, the holy Gall refused calls to become a bishop, or to take over the abbacy of the great monastery at Luxeuil. To all such requests he answered that he would rather serve than command. He continued living in his isolated monastic community until he reposed in peace in 640, at the age of ninety-nine. In later years, and continuing well into the middle ages, the Monastery of St Gall became famed for the holiness of its monks and for its library.
|Additional Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today|
|St. Gregory confessor, priest (1931).|
|New Hieromartyr Eugene priest (1918).|
|New Hieromartyr Alexis priest (1938).|
|New Hieromartyr John priest (1942).|
|St. Longinus of Yaranga (1544).|
|Venerable Malus the Hermit.|
|Venerable Sabinus, monk (Greek).|
|Martyrs Isaurus and Aphrodisius, who suffered with St. Longinus (1st. c.).|
|St. Domna, fool-for-Christ of Tomsk (1872).|
Holy Martyr Longinus, Troparion, Tone IV
In his suffering, O Lord,
Thy martyr Longinus received an imperishable crown
from Thee our God;
for, possessed of Thy might,
he set at nought the
tormentors and crushed the feeble audacity of the demons.
By his supplications
save Thou our souls.
Hymns, Readings, Feast Day, and Fasting Information provided by Holy Trinity Orthodox Church.
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