New Calendar Orthodox Daily Digest for 5/24/2021

Fasting Guidelines

Monday May 24, 2021
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Scripture Readings


Acts 10:1-16 (Epistle)

There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!” And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do.” And when the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier from among those who waited on him continually. So when he had explained all these things to them, he sent them to Joppa. The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.


John 6:56-69 (Gospel)

He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven – not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.” These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum. Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.” From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today

Venerable Simeon Stylites the Younger of Wonderful Mountain
Venerable Simeon Stylites the Younger of Wonderful Mountain Saint Simeon the Stylite was born in the year 521 in Antioch, Syria of pious parents John and Martha. From her youth Saint Martha (July 4) prepared herself for a life of virginity and longed for monasticism, but her parents insisted that she marry John. After ardent prayer in a church dedicated to Saint John the Forerunner, the future nun was directed in a vision to submit to the will of her parents and enter into marriage.As a married woman, Saint Martha strove to please God and her husband in everything. She often prayed for a baby and promised to dedicate him to the service of God. Saint John the Forerunner revealed to Martha that she would have a son who would serve God. When the infant was born, he was named Simeon and baptized at two years of age. When Simeon was six years old, an earthquake occurred in the city of Antioch, in which his father perished. Simeon was in church at the time of the earthquake. Leaving the church, he became lost and spent seven days sheltered by a pious woman. Saint John the Baptist again appeared to Saint Martha, and indicated where to find the lost boy. The saint’s mother found her lost son, and moved to the outskirts of Antioch after the earthquake. Already during his childhood the Lord Jesus Christ appeared several times to Saint Simeon, foretelling his future exploits and the reward for them. The six-year-old child Simeon went into the wilderness, where he lived in complete isolation. During this time a light-bearing angel guarded and fed him. Finally, he arrived at a monastery, headed by the igumen Abba John, who lived in asceticism upon a pillar. He accepted the boy with love. After a time, Saint Simeon asked the Elder John to permit him also to struggle upon a pillar. A new pillar was raised by the brethren of the monastery with the blessing of the igumen, near his pillar. Having completed the initiation of the seven-year-old boy into monasticism, Abba John placed him upon this pillar. The young ascetic, strengthened by the Lord, quickly grew spiritually, in his efforts surpassing even his experienced instructor. For his efforts, Saint Simeon received from God the gift of healing. The fame of the young monk’s deeds began to spread beyond the bounds of the monastery. Monks and laypeople began to come to him from various places, desiring to hear his counsel and receive healing from their infirmities. The humble ascetic continued to pursue asceticism with instructions from his spiritual mentor Abba John. When he was eleven, Simeon decided to pursue asceticism upon a higher pillar, the top of which was forty feet from the ground. The bishops of Antioch and Seleukia came to the place of the monk’s endeavors, and ordained him as a deacon. Then they permitted him to ascend the new pillar, on which Saint Simeon labored for eight years. Saint Simeon prayed ardently for the Holy Spirit to descend upon him, and the holy prayer of the ascetic was heard. The Holy Spirit came upon him in the form of a blazing light, filling the ascetic with divine wisdom. Along with oral instructions, Saint Simeon wrote letters about repentance, monasticism, about the Incarnation of Christ, and about the future Judgment. After the death of his Elder, Saint Simeon’s life followed a certain pattern. From the rising of the sun until mid-afternoon he read books and copied Holy Scripture. Then he rose and prayed all night. When the new day began, he rested somewhat, then began his usual Rule of prayer. Saint Simeon concluded his efforts on the second column, and by God’s dispensation, settled upon the Wonderful Mountain, having become an experienced Elder to the monks in his monastery. The ascent to Wonderful Mountain was marked by a vision of the Lord, standing atop a column. Saint Simeon continued his efforts at this place where he saw the Lord, at first upon a stone, and then upon a pillar. Future events were revealed to Saint Simeon, and so he foretold the death of Archbishop Ephraim of Antioch, and the illness of Bishop Domnus, which overtook him as punishment for his lack of pity. Finally, Saint Simeon predicted an earthquake for the city of Antioch and urged all the inhabitants to repent of their sins. Saint Simeon established a monastery on Wonderful Mountain,where the sick people he healed built a church in gratitude for the mercy shown them. The saint prayed for a spring of water for the needs of the monastery, and once during a shortage of grain, the granaries of the monastery were filled with wheat by his prayers. In the year 560 the holy ascetic was ordained to the priesthood by Dionysius, Bishop of Seleukia. At age seventy-five Saint Simeon was warned by the Lord of his impending end. He summoned the brethren of the monastery, instructed them in a farewell talk, and peacefully fell asleep in the Lord in the year 596, having toiled as a stylite for sixty-eight years. After death, the saint worked miracles just as he had when alive. He healed the blind, the lame and the leprous, saving many from wild beasts, casting out devils and raising the dead.

Martyr Meletius Stratelates who suffered in Galatia, and those with him
Saint Meletius the General, Stephen, John, Serapion the Egyptian, Callinicus the Sorcerer, Theodore, Faustus and 1218 soldiers, women and children with them. The holy martyr Meletius was a military commander of the Galatia district of Asia Minor during the reign of the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161). He was a Christian and he prayed fervently that the Lord would put an end to the pagan error. Terrified by his prayer, the devils inhabiting the pagan temples entered into dogs, which frightened the inhabitants of the district with their howling. Saint Meletius and his soldiers got rid of the mad dogs, and destroyed the temples. He was arrested and brought to trial before the governor Maximian. Since he refused to offer sacrifice to idols, Saint Meletius was tortured and he died confessing his faith in Christ. The tribunes of his regiment, the holy martyrs Stephen and John, were beheaded for their confession of Christ as true God. The remaining soldiers of the regiment, also declaring themselves Christians, were beheaded by the sword, together with their wives and children. One thousand, two hundred eighteen men perished, although some historians put the number at 11,000.The holy martyrs Theodore and Faustus were burned along with many others. Among the women and children who suffered are the holy martyrs Marciana, Susanna, Palladia, and the infants Kyriakos and Christian. Saint Callinicus, a former sorcerer, also suffered martyrdom. The names of some of the soldiers, and of the twelve tribunes are known: the holy martyrs Faustus, Festus, Marcellus, Theodore, Meletius, Sergius, Marcellinus, Felix, Photinus, Theodoriscus, Mercurius and Didymus. The holy martyr Serapion was born in Egypt. He had come to Galatia and witnessed the martyrdom of Saint Meletius and his comrades. Seeing the bravery with which those who believed in Christ died for Him, Saint Serapion also believed, for which he was imprisoned. An angel of God visited Saint Serapion in prison and made him a bishop.

Saint Vincent of Lerins
Born in the late fourth century in Toulouse in Gaul, Saint Vincent initially served in the military, but later left the world to become a monk at the renowned Lérins Monastery, where he was ordained to the priesthood. He is widely known for his work, Commonitorium, which he wrote around the year 434 AD, in which he differentiated between the Church’s teachings and the heresies of his time. He is remembered for writing that Christians must follow the true faith that has been held “everywhere, always, and by all.” He also defended the term “Theotokos” with regard to the Mother of God in opposition to the teachings of Nestorius that were condemned at the Third Ecumenical Council.Saint Vincent died peacefully in 456 AD. His relics are preserved at Lérins.

Venerable Nikita the Stylite, Wonderworker of Pereyaslavl, Zalesski
Venerable Nikita the Stylite, Wonderworker of Pereyaslavl, Zalesski

Today’s Hymns

Venerable Simeon Stylites the Younger of Wonderful Mountain – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 1
Dweller of the desert and angel in the body,
you were shown to be a wonder-worker, our God-bearing Father Simeon.
You received heavenly gifts through fasting, vigil, and prayer:
healing the sick and the souls of those drawn to you by faith.
Glory to Him who gave you strength!
Glory to Him who granted you a crown!
Glory to Him who through you grants healing to all!
Kontakion — Tone 2
You longed for the things on high,
turning away from those below.
You built a pillar on which you lived as if in heaven,
shining with the splendor of miracles, venerable Simeon,
and unceasingly praying for us all to Christ, the God of all.

Venerable Nikita the Stylite, Wonderworker of Pereyaslavl, Zalesski – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 8
By a flood of tears you made the desert fertile,
and your longing for God brought forth fruits in abundance.
By the radiance of miracles you illumined the whole universe!
O our holy father Nikita, pray to Christ our God to save our souls!

Martyr Meletius Stratelates who suffered in Galatia, and those with him – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 4
Your holy martyr Meletius and his companions, O Lord,
through their sufferings have received incorruptible crowns from You, our God.
For having Your strength, they laid low their adversaries,
and shattered the powerless boldness of demons.
Through their intercessions, save our souls!

Saint Vincent of Lerins – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 8
By a flood of tears you made the desert fertile,
and your longing for God brought forth fruits in abundance.
By the radiance of miracles you illumined the whole universe!
O our holy father Vincent, pray to Christ our God to save our souls!


Readings and Feast Day Information provided by The Orthodox Church in America (OCA).

Fasting guidelines provided by The Greek American Orthodox Archdiocese (GOARCH).

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