Old Calendar Orthodox Daily Digest for 3/28/2021

Fasting Guidelines

Second Sunday of the Great Lent. Tone one.
Great Lent. Food with Oil

Scripture Readings

John 20:19-31 (9th Matins Gospel)
Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained. Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

Hebrews 1:10-2:3
And:”You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will fold them up, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not fail.” But to which of the angels has He ever said:”Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”? Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation? Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,

Hebrews 7:26-8:2(Saint)
For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever. Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.

Mark 2:1-12
And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone? But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins-He said to the paralytic, I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house. Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

John 10:9-16 (Saint)
I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today

St. Gregory Palamas the Archbishop of Thessalonica ( movable holiday on the 2nd Sunday of the Great Lent ).
St.  Gregory  Palamas the Archbishop of Thessalonica ( movable holiday on the 2nd Sunday of the Great Lent ). Sainted Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonika, was born in the year 1296 in Asia Minor. During the time of a Turkish incursion the family fled to Constantinople and found refuge at the court of Andronikos II Paleologos (1282-1328). The father of Saint Gregory became a prominent dignitiary under the emperor, but he soon died, and Andronikos himself took part in the raising and education of the orphaned boy. Endowed with fine abilities and great diligence, Gregory without difficulty mastered all the subjects which then comprised the full course of medieval higher education. The emperor hoped that the youth would devote himself to government work. But Gregory, just barely age 20, withdrew to Holy Mount Athos in the year 1316 (per other sources, 1318) and became a novice in the Batopedeia monastery under the guidance of the monastic-elder, the Monk Nikodemos of Batopedeia (Comm. 11 July), and there he accepted tonsure and began on the path of asceticism. A year later, the holy Evangelist John the Theologian appeared to him in a vision and promised him his spiritual protection. Gregory’s mother and sisters likewise became monastics. After the demise of the monastic-elder Nikodemos, the Monk Gregory spent 8 years of prayerful effort under the guidance of the monastic-elder Nicephoros, and after the death of this latter elder Gregory transferred to the Laura-monastery of the Monk Athanasias. Here he served in the refectory, and then became a church singer. But after three years, striving for a greater degree of spiritual perfection, he re-settled in the small hermit-life monastery of Glossia. The head of this monastery began to teach the youth the manner of concentrated spiritual prayer , the mental activity, which by degrees gradually was appropriated and cultivated by monastics, beginning with the great wilderness ascetics of the IV Century , Euagrios (Lat. Evagrius), Pontikos and the Monk Makarios of Egypt (Comm. 19 January). Later on, in the XI Century in the works of Simeon the New Theologian (Comm. 12 March), those praying in outward manner received detailed elucidation on adapting the mental doing, and it was implemented by the Athos ascetics. An experienced useage of mental activity, requiring solitude and quiet, received the name “Hesychiasm” (from the Greek “hesukhia” meaning calm, silence), and those practising it were called “hesychiasts”. During the time of his stay at Glossia the future hierarch Gregory became fully embued with the spirit of hesychiasm and adapted it as fundamental to his life. In the year 1326, because of the threat of Turkish invasions, he together with the brethren retreated back to Soluneia (Thessalonika), where he was then ordained to the dignity of priest. Saint Gregory combined his priestly duties with the life of an hermit: five days of the week he spent in silence and prayer, and only on Saturday and Sunday did the pastor emerge to his people , he celebrated Divine-services and preached sermons. For those present in church, his teaching often evoked both tenderness and tears. Sometimes he visited theological gatherings of the city’s educated youth, headed by the future patriarch, Isidor. Having returned from being a certain while at Constantinople, he found near Soluneia the locale of Bereia, a place suitable for solitary life. Soon he gathered here a small community of hermit-monks and guided it over the course of 5 years. In 1331 the saint withdrew to Athos and lived in solitude at the skete-monastery of Saint Savva, near the Laura-monastery of the Monk Athanasias. In 1333 he was appointed hegumen of the Esthygmena monastery in the northern part of the Holy Mountain. In 1336 the saint returned to the skete-monastery of Saint Savva, where he concerned himself with theological works, continuing on with it until the end of his life. But amidst all this, in the 1330’s culminated events in the life of the Eastern Church which put Saint Gregory amongst the most significant universal apologists of Orthodoxy, and brought him reknown as the teacher of hesychiasm. In about the year 1330 the learned monk Varlaam had arrived in Constantinople from Calabria (in Italy).He was the author of tractates on logic and astronomy, a skilled and sharp-witted orator, and he received an university-chair in the capital city and began to expound on the works of Saint Dionysios the Areopagite (Comm. 3 October), whose “apophatic” (“negative”, “via negativa”, as contrast to “kataphatic” or “postive”) theology was acclaimed in equal measure in both the Eastern and the Western Churches. Soon Varlaam journeyed to Athos, where he became acquainted with the modality of spiritual life of the hesychiasts, and on the basis of the dogma about the incomprehensibility of the essence of God, he declared the mental doing an heretical error. Journeying from Athos to Soluneia (Thessalonika), and from there to Constantinople and later again to Soluneia, Varlaam entered into disputes with the monks and attempted to demonstrate the created creatureliness of the light of Tabor (i.e. at the Transfiguration); in this he reduced to the point of a joke the sayings of the monks about the modes of prayer and about the spiritual light. Saint Gregory, at the request of the Athonite monks, countered at first with spoken admonitions. But seeing the futility of such efforts, he put in writing his theological argument. Thus appeared the “Triades in Defense of the Holy Hesychiasts” (1338). Towards the year 1340 the Athonite ascetics with the assist of the saint compiled a general reply to the attacks of Varlaam , the so-called “Svyatogorsk tomos”. At the Constantinople Council of 1341 in the church of Saint Sophia there occurred a debate of Saint Gregory Palamas with Varlaam, centering upon the nature of the light on Mount Tabor. On 27 May 1341 the Council accepted the position of Saint Gregory Palamas , that God, inapproachable in His Essence, reveals Himself in energies, which are directed towards the world and are able to be perceived, like the Tabor light, but which are neither material nor created. The teachings of Varlaam were condemned as heresy, and he himself, anathemised, withdrew to Calabria. But the dispute between the Palamites and the Varlaamites was far from finished. To these latter belonged a student of Varlaam, the Bulgarian monk Akyndinos, and also the patriarch John XIV Kalekos (1341-1347); to them inclined also the emperor Andronikos III Paleologos (1328-1341). Akyndinos came out with a series of tracts, in which he declared Saint Gregory and the Athonite monks guilty of church disorders. The saint in turn wrote a detailed refutation of Akyndinos’ conjectures. The patriarch thereupon excommunicated the saint from the Church (1344) and had him locked up in prison, which lasted for three years. In 1347, when John XIV was succeeded on the patriarchal throne by Isidor (1347-1349), Saint Gregory Palamas was set free and elevated to the dignity of archbishop of Soluneia (Thessalonika). In 1351 the Blakhernae Council solemnly witnessed to the Orthodoxy of his teachings. But the people of Soluneia did not immediately accept Saint Gregory, and he was compelled to live in various places. In one of his travels to Constantinople the Byzantine galley-ship fell into the hands of the Turks. They offered to sell Saint Gregory in various cities as a captive during the course of a year, but he then also incessantly continued to preach the Christian faith. Only but three years before his death did he return to Soluneia. On the eve of his repose, Saint John Chrysostom appeared to him in a vision. With the words “To Heaven! To Heaven!”, , Saint Gregory Palamas reposed peacefully to God on 14 November 1359. In 1368 he was canonised at a Constantinople Council under Patriarch Philotheos (1354u20111355, 1362-1376), who compiled the Life and Services to the saint.

Martyrs Agapius , Publius (Pauplios), Timolaus , Romulus , two named Dionysius , and two named Alexander , at Caesarea in Palestine (303).
The Holy Martyrs Agapios, Puplios, Timolaus, Romilos, Alexander, Alexander, Dionysios and Dionysios suffered under the emperor Diocletian (284-305) in the city of Palestinian Caesarea. At the time of one of the pagan feasts they began to torture and execute Christians who refused to offer sacrifice to idols. At this time the Martyr Timotheos (Comm. 19 August) was sentenced to burning, and the Martyrs Agapios and Thekla (Comm. 19 August) were sentenced to tearing apart by wild beasts. The group of young Christians , Puplios, Timolaus, Alexander, another Alexander, Dionysios, and the subdeacon of the Diaspolis church Romilos , decided publicly to confess their faith and suffer for Christ. As a sign of their voluntary deed they tied themselves together by the feet and appeared before the governor Urban. Seeing their youthfulness, the governor tried to persuade them to refrain from their decision, but in vain. He then threw them in prison, where there were already two Christians , Agapios, undergoing tortures for faith in Christ, and his servant Dionysios. All these saints were subjected to terrible tortures and beheaded.

Hieromartyr Alexander of Side in Pamphylia (270-275).
The PriestMartyr Alexander, Presbyter in Sidon, suffered for Christ during the time of persecution under the emperor Aurelian (270-275). The saint was interrogated by the governor Antoninus and given over to fierce tortures. But miraculously preserved by the Lord, the saint with surprising endurance underwent all the tortures, and finally, he was beheaded. And just as the torturer Antoninus went to go from the judgement place, he became possessed of demons and perished in frenzied convulsions.

Martyr Nicander of Egypt (302).
The Holy Martyr Nikander suffered in Egypt under the emperor Diocletian (284-305). He was a physician and during the time of the persecution he visited Christians locked up in prison, he rendered them help, brought them food, and buried the dead. One time he came to the place where the bodies of killed martyrs were thrown for devouring by wild beasts. Fearing to bury them by day, he waited for night and under cover of darkness buried the bodies. They discovered Saint Nikander and subjected him to terrible tortures: they skinned him alive and then beheaded him (+ c. 302).

Venerable Nicander, monk, of Gorodets (Novgorod) (1603).
The Monk Nikandr of Gorodnoezersk at the beginning of the XVII Century founded a wilderness monastery at the shore of Lake Gorodna (47 versts from the city of Borovich, 4 versts from the country-church at Sherokhovich). Earlier at this place was the Resurrection monastery. When it was founded is unknown, but in the year 1581 it said in the monastery records, that in the 10 cells lived but 3 elders. The Monk Nikandr was buried in the monastery restored by him. In a church of the monastery vacated in 1764 was a chapel in the name of the Monk Nikandr of Gorodnoezersk.

New Martyr Manuel of Crete (1792) (Greek).
The Holy Martyr Manuel of Crete in his childhood was taken into captivity by the Turks, who converted him to Mahometanism. Having grown up, the saint returned to Christ, confessed his faith in Him, and was beheaded on the island of Chios in the year 1792.

St. Hebarestes.
Saint Hebarestes was steward of a church located in Jerusalem.

Additional Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today

Synaxis of all Venerable Fathers of the Kiev Caves ( movable holiday on the 2nd Sunday of the Great Lent ).

New Hieromartyr Alexis priest (1938).

New Hieromartyr Michael priest (1940).

St. Zachariah, pope of Rome (752).

Today’s Hymns

The Second Sunday of Great Lent. St. Gregory Palamas, Troparion, Tone
VIII

Light of Orthodoxy, pillar and doctor of the Church, adornment of monks,
invincible champion of theologians, O Gregory the wonderworker, praise of
Thessalonica, preacher of grace, ever pray that our souls may be saved.

Kontakion, Tone II
Organ of wisdom, holy and divine, bright clarion of theology, we praise thee
in harmony, O divine speaker Gregory: But as a mind standing before the First
Mind, direct our mind to Him, father, that we may cry: Rejoice, preacher of
grace!

Kontaklon of the Sunday, Tone IV
Now is the time for action, judgment is at our doors. So let us rise and
fast, and let us offer tears of compunction with almsgiving, crying: We have
sinned more than the sand of the sea. But forgive us all, O Creator, that we may
receive incorruptible crowns.

Troparion of the Sunday, Tone I
When the stone had been sealed by the Jews;
while the soldiers were guarding Thy most pure
Body;
Thou didst rise on the third day, O Savior,
granting life to the world.
The powers of
heaven therefore cried to Thee, O Giver of Life:
Glory to Thy Resurrection, O Christ!
Glory to
Thy Kingdom!
Glory to Thy dispensation, O Thou Who lovest mankind.

Hymn to the Theotokos, Tone I
When Gabriel announced to Thee, O Virgin, “Rejoice!”
with that word the Master of all was
incarnate in Thee, O Holy Ark.
As the righteous David said,
Thy womb became more spacious
than the heavens, bearing Thy Creator.
Glory to Him Who took abode in Thee!
Glory to Him
Who came from Thee!
Glory to Him Who freed us by being born of Thee!

Kontakion of the Sunday, Tone I
As God, Thou didst rise from the tomb in glory,
raising the world with Thyself.
Human
nature praises Thee as God, for death has vanished!
Adam exults, O Master!
Eve rejoices,
for she is freed from bondage, and cries to Thee:
Thou art the Giver of Resurrection to all,
O Christ!

Holy Martyr Agapius & His Companions
No Troparion is given in the Menaion.


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

Aggregated and Formatted by OrthoBot OC.

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