34th Week after Pentecost. Tone eight.
Fast. Fish Allowed
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude-innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?” But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest. And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me. Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.” But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. For he who is not against us is on our side. For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely. And behold, there was a certain man before Him who had dropsy. And Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” But they kept silent. And He took him and healed him, and let him go. Then He answered them, saying, “Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” And they could not answer Him regarding these things. So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
Acts 12:1-11 (Apostle)
Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover. Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison. Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.” So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.”
John 21:15-25 (Apostle)
So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish. This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.” Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.” Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?” This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.
Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today
Veneration of the Precious Chains of the Holy and All-glorious Apostle Peter .
The Veneration of the Venerable Shackles of the Holy and All-Praiseworthy Apostle Peter: On the orders of Herod Agrippa, in about the year 42 the Apostle Peter was thrown into prison for preaching about Christ the Saviour. In prison he was held secure by two iron chains. By night, on the eve of his trial, an Angel of the Lord removed these chains from the Apostle Peter and miraculously led him out from the prison (Acts 12: 1-11). Christians who learned of the miracle took the chains and kept them as precious keepsakes. Those afflicted with illness and approaching them with faith received healing. The Chains of the holy Apostle Peter were kept at Jerusalem until the time of Patriarch Juvenalios, who presented them to Eudocia, spouse of the emperor Theodosius the Younger, and she in turn transferred them from Jerusalem to Constantinople in either the year 437 or 439. Eudocia sent one Chain to Rome to her daughter Eudoxia, who built a church in the name of the Apostle Peter and put within it the Chain. At Rome were also other Chains, in which the Apostle Peter found himself before his death under the emperor Nero. On 16 January the Chains of the Apostle Peter are brought out for veneration by the people.
Martyrs the brothers Speusippus, Eleusippus , and Meleusippus , their grandmother Leonilla , and with them Neon , Turbo , and the woman Jonilla (Jovilla), in Cappadocia (ca. 161-180).
The Holy Martyrs Speusippos, Eleusippos, Meleusippos, and their grandmother Leonilla together with Neonos, Turbonos and Jovilla suffered in Galilee (by another account, in Cappadocia) in the Second Century, during the time of the persecution under Marcus Aurelius (161-180). Leonilla received Baptism in her declining years from one of the disciples of Saint Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, and she afterwards converted to Christ her three grandchildren. The brothers, out of their enthusiasm for the Lord, pulled down idols and reproached the pagans for their folly. The torturers, leading Leonilla to the place of execution, ordered her to say to her grandchildren that they should renounce Christ, but she in passing by them praised them for their bravery and their firm confession of faith. Then the martyrs were thrown into a fire, but it did not harm them. After the torturing and death of her grandchildren, Saint Leonilla was beheaded by the sword. Together with her suffered also Saint Jovilla. She beheld the unflinching faith of the holy martyrs and confessed herself a Christian, leaving behind an husband and young son. The torturers, having hung her up by the hair, lacerated her body and beheaded her. Saint Neonos beheld the exploits of the holy brothers, and having recorded their sufferings, gave his manuscript to Turbonos, and he openly confessed himself a Christian, for which he was fiercely beaten and died from his beating. Saint Turbonos, having copied out the exploits of the passion-bearers, also ended his life by martyrdom. These martyrs are particularly revered in Spain, where many churches are dedicated to them. The relics of the holy martyrs were given by the Greek emperor Zenon to France, in the city of Langre.
Blessed Maximus of Totma (Vologda), fool-for-Christ (1650).
Righteous Maxim, Priest of Tot’ma, was for a certain time priest in the city of Tot’ma in Vologda diocese. Over the course of forty years he made the harsh exploit of fool-for-Christ, constantly in fasting and in prayer. Blessed Maxim died in extreme old age on 16 January 1650 and was buried at the Resurrection church, in which he served. The local veneration of the saint began in 1715, in connection with numerous miracles occurring at his grave.
Martyr Danax the Reader in Macedonia (2nd c.).
The Holy Martyr Danaktos lived during the II Century and served as reader at a church in the locale of Auleneia in Macedonia. During the time of an incursion by nonu2011believers the saint took the church vessels and intended to hide them, but he was seized by soldiers. Refusing to worship an idol, he was beheaded by the sword.
New Hieromartyr Damascene of Hilandar on Mt. Athos and Gabrovo (Bulgaria) (1771) (Greek).
The PriestMartyr Damaskin the New was born in the village of Gabrovo of Tirnovo diocese. As an adult, he left his fatherland and withdrew to Athos. He accepted monasticism there at the Khilendaria monastery, at which he later became hegumen. On needs of the monastery Saint Damaskin journeyed to Bulgaria, to the settlement of Sistovo. In fulfilling the entrusted task, he requested of Turks a repayment of debt, but not only did the Turks not repay the debt, they seized from the saint everything he had. Afterwards they charged him with abducting a woman (they brought her secretly to the gaol to him). Despite the defense of the ruler of the settlement, the Turks took Saint Damaskin to the gallows and gave him a choice to accept Mussulmanism. Not receiving agreement from the saint, the Turks hung him on 16 January 1771. The wrath of God did not hesitate to overtake the evil-doers, for in crossing the Danube River, the executioners drowned.
Additional Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today
New Hieromartyr John priest (1919).
St. Honoratus the Archbishop of Arles and Founder of Lerins Monastery (429).
Venerable Romilos, monk of Mt. Athos and Ravanica (Serbia) (1375), disciple of St. Gregory of Sinai, and with him Sts. Nestor, Martinius, Daniel, Sisoes, Zosimas, and Gregory (Greek).
St. Honoratus, archbishop of Aries and founder of Lerins Monastery (429).
St. Sigebert, king of the East Angles, martyr (635) (Celtic & British).
St. Fursey of Burgh Castle, enlightener of East Anglia and Langy (650) (Celtic & British).
St. James of Tarentaise (429).
New Martyr Nicholas of Mitylene (1777).
The Veneration of the Precious Chains of the Holy Pre-eminent Apostle
Peter, Troparion, Tone IV
Without leaving Rome thou art come to us in the precious chains which thou
didst bear, O first-enthroned of the apostles; and, bowing down before them with
faith we pray: through thy supplications unto God grant us great mercy!
Kontakion, Tone II, “Seeking the highest”
Christ the Rock most splendidly glorifieth the rock of faith, the
first-enthroned of His disciples; for He summoneth all to celebrate the wonders
of thy precious chains, O Peter, and granteth forgiveness of offenses.
Hymns, Readings, Feast Day, and Fasting Information provided by Holy Trinity Orthodox Church.
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