Old Calendar Orthodox Daily Digest for 12/29/2020

Fasting Guidelines

30th Week after Pentecost. Tone four.
Nativity (St. Philip’s Fast). Food with Oil

Scripture Readings

Hebrews 9:8-10, 15-23 (Tuesday)
the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience- concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation. And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.” Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

Mark 8:22-26
Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything. And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.” Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. Then He sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.”

Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today

Prophet Haggai (Aggaeus) (500 B.C.).
Prophet  Haggai  (Aggaeus) (500 B.C.). The Holy Prophet Aggei (Haggai) , was the 10th of the Twelve Minor Prophets. He was of the Tribe of Levi and he prophesied during the times of the Persian emperor Darius Hystaspis (prior to 500 B.C.). Upon the return of the Jews from the Babylonian Captivity, he persuaded the people to build the Second Jerusalem Temple and he proclaimed, that in this Temple was to “appear the Word Without-Beginning in the finality of times”.
Blessed Empress Theophania of Byzantium (893).
Blessed Empress  Theophania  of Byzantium (893). The Blessed Empress Theophania (Theophano) was the first spouse of the emperor Leo VI the Wise (886-911). She was slandered as having lived together with a man, being with him even after ascending the throne, and she was locked away in prison for three years. Receiving her freedom, she spent her life in prayer and fasting. Her gentleness, charity and heartfelt contrition for sins glorified her name among her contemporaries. Theophania died in either the year 893 or 894.
Venerable Sophia , nun (in the world Solomonia), wife of Grand Duke Basil III (1542).
The Nun Sophia, in the world Solomonia, a great-princess, was the daughter of the boyar-noble Yurii Konstantinovich Saburov. In the year 1505 she was chosen as bride by the heir to the throne, the future great-prince Vasilii Ioannovich. Their marriage was unhappy, because Solomonia remained childless. In order to have an heir, great-prince Vasilii Ioannovich decided to wed a second time (to Elena Glinsky) and on 25 November 1525 he ordered Solomonia to be tonsured a nun. Forcibly monasticised with the name Sophia, Solomonia was sent under guard to the Suzdal’ Pokrov-Protection convent, where by ascetic deeds she banished from her heart worldly thoughts, and totally dedicated herself to God. Prince Kurbsky calls the blessed princess “a Nun Martyress”. In the manuscripts of the Saints she is termed as “the holy Righteous Princess Sophia the Monastic, for she did dwell at the Pokrov monastery convent, a wonderworker”. Under tsar Feodor Ioannovich they esteemed her as a saint. Tsaritsa Irina Feodorovna sent to Suzdal’, “to Great-Princess Solomonida, in other regards Sophia, a velvet veil with depiction of the Saviour and other saints”. Patriarch Joseph wrote to the Suzdal’ archbishop Serapion about the singing over Sophia of panikhidas and moliebens. The Nun Sophia reposed to God in the year 1542. In the descriptions by the Suzdal’ sacristan Ananii there occur several instances of miraculous healings at the grave of the Nun Sophia.
Martyr Marinus of Rome (283).
The Martyr Marinus suffered in Rome in about the year 283 (other sources suggest the years 217-218). Refusing to offer sacrifice to idols, Saint Marinus was beheaded after cruel tortures.
Additional Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today
New Hieromartyrs Priest Vladimir (1918)
New Hieromartyrs Arcadius, bishop of Bezhetsk, and Priests Elias, Paul, Theodosius, Vladimir, Alexander, and Peter priests, Martyr Makarius (1937).
St. Memnon, archbishop of Ephesus (5th c.).
St. Nicholas Chrysoberges, patriarch of Constantinople (995).
St. Modestus II, archbishop of Jerusalem (634) (Greek).

Today’s Hymns

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

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