Bright Week. Fast-free
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.’
But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened. Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?” And He said to them, “What things?” So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see. Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them. Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.
Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today
“Iveron” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos ( movable holiday on the Tuesday of the Bright Week ).
The Iversk Icon of the Mother of God (which at present is preserved on Athos) was in the IX Century situated with a certain pious widow, living near Nicea. During the time of the emperor Theophilos (82-842), the Iconoclasts in their attempts to abolish the veneration of holy icons, came to the house of this Christian, and one of the soldiers struck the image of the Mother of God with a spear. Where it was struck, there immediately flowed out blood. The widow, fearing its destruction, promised the imperial soldiers money and implored them not to touch the icon until morning. When the soldiers departed, the woman together with her son (later to be an Athos monk), sent the holy icon away upon the sea to preserve it. The icon, standing upon the water, floated off to Athos. The Athos monks, having for several days seen a fiery pillar rising up to the heavens upon the sea, came down to the shore and found there the holy image, standing upon the waters. After a molieben of thanksgiving for the monastery having been granted the holy image that thus had appeared, a pious monk of the Iveria monastery , Saint Gabriel the Gruzian (Georgian, Comm. 12 July) , had a sleep vision in which the Mother of God appeared to him and gave him orders, and so he went to the water and taking up the holy icon he placed it in the church. On the following day, however, the icon was found not within the church, but on the gates of the monastery. This was repeated several times, until the Most Holy Mother of God revealed to Saint Gabriel Her will, saying, that She did not want the icon as something protected by the monks, but rather She intended to be their Protectress. After this, the image was installed atop the monastery gates. And therefore this icon came to be called “Portal,Keeper” or “Gate-Keeper” (An account about this icon is located also under 13 October).
Blessed Martyrs and Fathers of the St. David-Gareji Monastery (17th c.) (Georgia) ( movable holiday on the Tuesday of the Bright Week ).
In 1616 the Persian shah Abbas I led his enormous army in an attack on Georgia. Having quenched his thirst for the blood of the Christians, he arranged a hunt in the valley of Gare (Outer) Kakheti. He encamped with his escorts in the mountains of Gareji and spent the night in that place. At midnight the shah’s attention was drawn to a flaming column of lights advancing up the mountain. At first he took it to be an apparition. He was soon informed, however, that a famous monastery was situated in that place and on that night the monks were circling their church three times with lighted candles in celebration of Christ’s Holy Resurrection. Immediately the shah commanded his army to march to the monastery and destroy all those found celebrating. That same night an angel of the Lord appeared to Abbot Arsenius of David-Gareji and told him, “Our Lord Jesus Christ is calling the brothers to His Heavenly Kingdom. On this night great suffering awaits you – you will be killed by the sword. He who desires to prolong his earthly life, let him flee, but he who thirsts to purify his soul for eternity, let him perish by the sword, and the Lord God will adorn him with the crown of immortality. Tell this to all who dwell in the monastery, and let each man choose for himself!” The abbot informed the monks about his vision, and they began to prepare for their imminent sufferings. Only two young monks feared death and fled to a mountain not far from the monastery. At the chanting of the Lord’s Prayer near the end of the Paschal Liturgy, the monastery was completely surrounded by Persian warriors. Abbot Arsenius stepped out of the church and approached their leader to request that the monks be given a bit more time to finish the service and for all the brothers to receive Holy Communion. The Persians consulted among themselves and agreed to honor this request. The fathers partook of the Holy Gifts, encouraged one another, and presented themselves clad in festive garments before the unbelievers. First the Persians beheaded Abbot Arsenius; then they massacred his brothers in Christ without mercy. After the Persians finished killing the monks, they were organized into several regiments and made their way towards the other monasteries of the Gareji Wilderness. Halfway between the Chichkhituri and St. John the Baptist Monasteries the Muslims captured the two young monks who had earlier fled and demanded that they convert to Islam. The monks refused to abandon the Christian Faith and for this they were killed. A rose bush grew up in the place where they were killed and continued to fragrantly blossom through the 19th century, despite the dry and rocky soil. At the end of the 17th century, King Archil gathered the bones of the martyrs with great reverence and buried them in a large stone reliquary to the left of the altar in the Transfiguration Church of David-Gareji Monastery. Their holy relics continue to stream myrrh to this day. The brothers of the Monasteries of St. David of Gareji and St. John the Baptist received a blessing from Catholicos Anton I to compose a commemorative service for the martyrs and to designate their feast day as Bright Tuesday, or the third day of Holy Pascha.
“Shuisky” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos ( movable holiday on the Tuesday of the Bright Week ).
The Shuisk-Smolensk Wonderworking Icon of the Mother of God was written in the years 1654-1655 in the Resurrection parish of the city of Shui, where at the time raged an unrelenting pestilence. Hoping on the mercy of God and the intercession of the Mother of God, the parishioners of the Resurrection [Voskresensk] church commissioned a certain pious monk to write the image of the Smolensk Mother of God, , from of old being a rescuer of the Russian people from enemies and misfortune. The whole week while the image was being written was spent by the parishioners in prayer and fasting. When the icon was finished, the priest and the people took it to the church and set it in a specially built place. From that time the pestilence began to ease, at first in the locale of the Voskresensk parish, and then also in all the city. From the Icon of the mother of God set up in the church were done many miracles of healing, especially of eye diseases. Celebration of the icon is done also on 28 July.
The Mozdok Icon of the Mother of God.
The Mozdok Icon of the Mother of God, a copy of the Iversk icon, was sent in the XIII Century by the holy empress Tamara as a gift to the newly-enlightened Christians of the Ossetian aul (village) of Mar’yam-Kadu. In 1768 this icon appeared remarkably on the banks of the Terek, not far from Mozdok. Bishop Gaii built a chapel for the icon. In 1796-1797 there was built at the place of the chapel a church in honour of the Uspenie (Dormition or Repose) of the MostHoly Mother of God, along which was soon founded a women’s monastery (abolished together with the Mozdok diocese in 1799). At the end of the XIX Century the inhabitants of Mozdok built a splendid church in honour of the Mozdok-Iversk icon of the Mother of God. The Mother of God has repeatedly rendered speedy aid to the believing through Her holy icon.
Hieromartyr Januarius , bishop of Benevento, and his companions: Festus, Proclus, and Sosius, deacons; Desiderius, reader; and Eutychius and Acutius, laymen, at Pozzuoli (305).
The PriestMartyr Jannuarius the Bishop, and with him the Holy Martyrs , Deacons Proculus, Sossius and Faustus, Desiderius the Reader, Eutychius and Acution accepted a martyr’s death for Christ about the year 305 during the time of the persecution by the emperor Diocletian (284-305). They arrested Saint Jannuarius and led him to trial to Timothy, the governor of Campagna (central Italy). For his firm confession of Christian faith, they threw the saint into a red-hot furnace. But like the Babylonian youths, he came out from there unharmed. Then by order of Timothy they stretched him out on a bench and beat at him with iron rods so much, that they lay bare the bone. Among the gathered crowd were the holy deacon Faustus and the reader Desiderius, who wept at the sight of the suffering of their bishop. The pagans surmised that they were Christians, and threw them together into prison with the Priestmartyr Jannuarius, in the city of Puteolum. At this prison were situated two deacons locked up earlier for confessing Christ , Saints Sossius and Proculus, and two laymen , Saints Eutychius and Acution. On the following morning they led out all the martyrs into the circus to be torn to pieces by wild beasts, but the beasts would not touch them. Timothy declared, that all the miracle occurred from sorcery by the Christians, but with this however he became blinded and cried out for help. The gentle Priestmartyr Jannuarius made prayer for his healing, and Timothy recovered his sight. The blindness of soul however did not depart the torturer and he, with a still greater rage accusing the Christians of sorcery, gave orders to cut off the heads of the martyrs at the walls of the city (+ 305). Christians from surrounding cities took up the bodies of the holy martyrs for burial, and those of each city took along one, so as to have an intercessor before God. The inhabitants of Neopolis (Naples) took for themselves the body of the Priestmartyr Jannuarius. Together with the body they gathered up from the earth his dried blood. When they set the vessel with this blood upon the relics of the holy martyr, having been put on the church of the city of Neopolis, the blood liquified and became warm, as though only just shed. Many miracles proceeded from the relics of the Priestmartyr Jannuarius. During the time of the eruption of Vesuvius, when the inhabitants of the city prayed to the Priestmartyr Jannuarius, the lava stopped, not reaching the city. A pious woman placed an icon with the image of the priestmartyr to her dead son, and he arose.
Hieromartyr Theodore of Perge in Pamphylia, his mother Philippa , and Martyrs Dioscorus, Socrates , and Dionysius (2nd c.).
The Holy Martyrs Theodore, his mother Philippia, Dioskoros, Sokrates and Dionysios suffered during the reign of the emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161) in Pamphylian Pergium. When they were conscripting for military service robust and healthy young men, then together with the others they led the youth Theodore to the military commander Theodotos. The military commander obliged the youth to offer sacrifice to idols. The martyr submitted neither to persuasion nor threats, and the military commander commanded to place him on a red-hot plate and to pour out liquid tar. Immediately there occurred a miracle: an earth-trembling began, and from a fissure in the ground gushed forth a torrent of water and extinguished the fire. Having remained unharmed, the martyr Theodore gave praise to God and suggested to the military commander to try with the help of the idols to repeat such a miracle. The military commander suggested to the pagan priest Dioskoros to lay upon the red-hot plate, calling on the help of Zeus. But Saint Dioskoros answered, that he believed in Christ and was prepared to throw the idol of Zeus into the fire. Then the military commander commanded him to get on the frying-pan. The martyr Dioskoros fell at the knees of Saint Theodore and pleaded that he pray for him. Then he got onto the frying-pan, loudly crying out to the Lord: “I give Thee thanks, Lord Jesus Christ, that Thou hast included me in the number of Thine servants. Accept Thou my soul with peace”, , and he died, having been delivered from terrible torment. They continued to torture Saint Theodore. They tied him to wild horses, which began to run. But at the city walls the horses fell down and collapsed, and the martyr Theodore remained unharmed. Two soldiers, Sokrates and Dionysios, saw how there came down from the heavens a fiery chariot to Saint Theodore, on which was carried the dragged martyr. The soldiers with astonishment shouted out: “Great God of the Christians!” For this they seized hold of them and on the next day threw them together with the martyr Theodore into a red-hot furnace. But an Heavenly dew cooled the furnace, and the saints remained alive. In the morning the military commander commanded soldiers to go march to look upon the burnt bodies of the martyrs. The soldiers returned and with wonder reported that the three youths were unharmed, and to the martyr Theodore was come his mother, Philippia, who now encouraged the martyrs in their act. The military commander suggested to Saint Philippia to save her son, urging her to offer sacrifice to the idols. But Saint Philippia answered, that yet while at the time of the birth of her son it was revealed to her, that her son would be crucified for Christ. Hearing this, the military commander commanded to crucify Saint Theodore on a cross, and to cut off the heads of the remaining martyrs. During the course of 3 days the martyr Theodore hung on the cross, offering up prayer to God until he expired.
Martyrs Isaacius, Apollo , and Codratus of Nicomedia (303).
The Holy Martyrs Isaac, Apollos and Kodratos were pagans and they served at the court of the emperor Diocletian (284-305). During the time of the suffering of the holy Greatmartyr George (Comm. 23 April), they were among the number of spectators. His faith, valour and miracles awakened in them the faith in Christ. The saints openly before everyone declared themselves Christians and began to reproach the emperor for his impiety and cruelty. They sentenced them to death. The martyr Kodratos was beheaded with a sword, and the martyrs Apollos and Isaac perished by starvation (+ 303).
St. Maximus (Maximian), patriarch of Constantinople (434).
Saint Maximian, Patriarch of Constantinople, was born in Rome from wealthy and pious parents. Upon coming into the means he arranged for tombs for burial of the dead, glorified by sanctity of life. Saint Maximian was a plain man and he loved to live removed from worldly vanity. For his pure and virtuous life, at Constantinople Patriarch Sisinios (426-427) ordained him presbyter. Upon the deposing from the Constantinople throne of the heretic Nestorius (428-431), the monk-presbyter was elevated onto the patriarchal throne on 25 October 431, during the rule of the holy emperor Theodosius the Younger (408-450). The holy Patriarch Maximian died peacefully on 12 April 434, on Great Thursday.
Venerable Jakov (James) of Stromynsk.
The Monk Jakov (James) of Stromynsk was a disciple of the Monk Sergei of Radonezh (Comm. 25 September). He was hegumen of the Stromynsk monastery in the Name of the Life-originating Trinity. The Monk Sergei himself founded this monastery in 1380 at the request of GreatPrince Dimitrii Donskoi (1363-1389) in memory the victory of Kulikovo Pole (Field). At this monastery there was as hegumen also the Monk Savva of Svenigorod (1381-1392, Comm. 3 December). The Monk Jakov was buried in the monastery church.
Additional Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today
Uncovering of the relics (1999) of St. Theodore of Sanaxar (1791).
St. Alexis, priest of Bortsumany, Nizhni-Novgorod (1848).
New Hieromartyr John priest (1918).
St. Nicholas confessor, priest (1933).
New Hieromartyr Alexis priest (1938).
New Hieromartyr Protopresbyter Basil Martysz of Teratyn (Chelm and Podlasie, Poland) (1945).
Martyr Alexandra the Empress (303).
St. Niphon, bishop of Novgorod (Kiev Caves).
Venerable Beuno, abbot of Clynnog, England (ca. 640) (Celtic & British).
St. Maelruba of Apur Crossan (722) (Celtic & British).
St. Ethilwald, hermit of Farne. (Celtic & British).
St. Anastasius of Sinai (beg. of 8th c.).
The Bright Resurrection of Christ, Troparion. Tone V
Christ is risen from the dead, trampling on death by death, and on those in
the tombs bestowing life.
Kontakion, Tone VIII
Though Thou didst descend into the grave, O Immortal One, yet didst Thou
destroy the power of hell, and didst rise again as Conqueror, O Christ our God,
saying to the myrrhbearing women, Rejoice! and giving peace to Thine Apostles,
and offering to the fallen resurrection.
Having slept in the flesh as a mortal, O King and Lord, Thou didst rise on
the third day. Thou didst raise up Adam from corruption and abolish death, O
Passover of incorruption, Salvation of the world!
Holy Hieromartyr Januarius & His Companions; Holy Hieromartyr Theodore
No Troparion is given in the Menaion.
Hymns, Readings, Feast Day, and Fasting Information provided by Holy Trinity Orthodox Church.
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