New Calendar Orthodox Daily Digest for 5/28/2021

Fasting Guidelines

Friday May 28, 2021
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Scripture Readings


Acts 10:44-11:10 (Epistle)

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days. Now the apostles and brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision contended with him, saying, “You went in to uncircumcised men and ate with them!” But Peter explained it to them in order from the beginning, saying: “I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, an object descending like a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came to me. When I observed it intently and considered, I saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. And I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ But I said, ‘Not so, Lord! For nothing common or unclean has at any time entered my mouth.’ But the voice answered me again from heaven, ‘What God has cleansed you must not call common.’ Now this was done three times, and all were drawn up again into heaven.


John 8:21-30 (Gospel)

Then Jesus said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come.” So the Jews said, “Will He kill Himself, because He says, ‘Where I go you cannot come’?” And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” Then they said to Him, “Who are You?” And Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.” They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father. Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.

Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today

Saint Nikḗtas, Bishop of Chalcedon
Saint Nikḗtas, Bishop of Chalcedon Saint Nikḗtas, Bishop of Chalcedon, lived during the second half of the eighth century. For his God-pleasing life he was consecrated as Bishop of Chalcedon.Saint Nikḗtas distinguished himself by his charity, he always helped the poor, he lodged travelers in his home, he cared for orphans and widows, and he interceded for those who had been wronged.During the reign of the iconoclast Leo the Armenian (813-820), Saint Nikḗtas bravely denounced the Iconoclast heresy and urged his flock to venerate the holy icons of Christ, the Theotokos, and the saints. Saint Nikḗtas endured much suffering from the impious emperor and his like-minded cohorts. He was subjected to tortures and sent off to exile. The holy confessor Nikḗtas died at the beginning of the ninth century. From his relics occurred many miracles of healing. The Canon of the service, written by the priest Joseph of Constantinople, also includes Saint Nikḗtas’s brother, Saint Ignatius, among the saints.

Saint Eutychius, Bishop of Melitene
Saint Eutychius, Bishop of Melitene The Hieromartyr Eutychius, Bishop of Melitene, was a co-worker with the Holy Apostles, and he suffered for Christ in the city of Melitene during the first century.

Hieromartyr Helladius, Bishop in the East
Hieromartyr Helladius, Bishop in the East The Hieromartyr Helladius the Bishop was thrown into fire because of his faith in Christ, but he remained unharmed. He died as a martyr from the terrible beating inflicted upon him. In the Service to Saint Helladius it is said that the Lord Jesus Christ visited him in prison and healed him of his wounds. According to certain sources, Saint Helladius suffered under the Persians during their invasion into the Eastern part of the Roman Empire in the fourth century.

Icon of the Mother of God “the Softener of Evil Hearts”
Icon of the Mother of God “the Softener of Evil Hearts” The “Softener (or “Consoler”) of Evil Hearts” Icon of the Mother of God is similar to the “Seven Arrows” Icon (August 13). It depicts the Theotokos with seven swords piercing her heart (Luke 2:35). There are three swords on the right side, three on the left, and one from below. In Holy Scripture the
number seven indicates wholeness, completeness, and fullness. In this case, it represents the fullness of sorrow, grief, and pain which the Most Holy Theotokos endured during her earthly life. The icon appears to be of Western origin. The “Softener of Evil Hearts” Icon is also commemorated on the Sunday of All Saints.

Icon of the Mother of God of Nicea
Icon of the Mother of God of Nicea The Nicaea Icon of the Mother of God appeared in the city of Nicaea in Asia Minor in the year 304, as the city was under siege. One of the soldiers, whose name was Constantine, saw the Icon of the Theotokos and threw a stone at it. Then he began to trample it underfoot. That night, the Mother of God appeared in a dream to the soldier who had perpetrated this sacrilege and said: “You have insulted me most grievously, and it shall lead to your death.” The following day, during the battle, the impious man was struck in the head with a stone and fell down dead. This event was mentioned by the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council in 325, and they ordained that the following hymn, “Your womb has become a Holy Table, which held the Heavenly Bread. Those who partake of it shall not die, as the Nourisher of all has said, O Theotokos.” should be sung before the Nicaea Icon of the Mother of God. Christ stated that He is the Bread of Life which had come down from Heaven when He spoke to the crowd at Capernaum (John 6:50). This Theotokion is sung at Mid-Pentecost during Ode 5 of the Second Canon (Tone 8), which was composed by Saint Andrew of Crete. In some Orthodox Prayer Books, it is one of the Prayers After the Evening Meal. The Nicaea Icon is very similar in appearance to the “Inexhaustible Chalice” Icon (May 5).

Saint Ignatius the Wonderworker, Bishop of Rostov
Saint Ignatius was Bishop of Rostov, and shepherded his flock for twenty-six years. After his death on May 28, 1288, his body was brought to the church. Some people saw him leave his coffin, and float in the air above the church. He blessed the people and the city, then went back to his coffin. Many miracles took place at his grave.

Martyr Heliconis of Thessalonica
The Holy Martyr Heliconis lived during the third century in the city of Thessalonica. Saint Heliconis arrived in the city of Corinth during a persecution of Christians, and urged the pagans to stop serving senseless idols and instead to worship the one true God, the Creator of the universe. She was arrested and brought before the governor Perinus, who vainly attempted to persuade the saint to offer sacrifice to idols, both by flattery and by threats. The holy martyr was subjected to tortures, but she bravely endured them. Then they threw her into a hot furnace, but she emerged from it unharmed, because an angel of the Lord had cooled the flames. Thinking the saint was a sorceress, the governor invented new torments for her. They tore the skin from her head, and burned her breasts and head with fire. After halting the torture, the judge again attempted to urge Saint Heliconis to offer sacrifice to the idols, promising her honors and the title of priestess. The saint seemed to consent, and the pagan priests and the people led her to the pagan temple with the sounds of trumpet and drum. At the saint’s request, they left her there alone. Saint Heliconis, filled with heroic strength, cast down and smashed all the idols. When some time had passed, the pagan priests entered their temple. Seeing the destruction, they were even more enraged and cursed the holy virgin shouting, “Put the sorceress to death!” They beat the holy martyr, and then they threw her into prison, where she spent five days. Christ the Savior and the holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel appeared to the holy martyr in prison and healed her of her wounds. Finally, they sent the saint to be torn apart by wild beasts. They set loose three hungry lions upon her, but the beasts came up to the martyr meekly and lay down at her feet. The pagan mob shouted and cried, “Death to the sorceress.” But at this point the lions jumped out of the arena and pounced on the people, who fled in terror. Not knowing what else to do, the governor ordered that Saint Heliconis be beheaded. The saint went to execution with joy and heard a Voice summoning her to the heavenly habitations. She contested in the year 244, and her body was reverently buried by Christians.

Saint Germanus, Bishop of Paris
Saint Germanus was born near Autun in 496. He was abbot of Saint Symphorian’s monastery at Autun, and was made Bishop of Paris around 536. He was tireless and courageous in his efforts to end civil strife and to restrain the viciousness of the Frankish kings, though he was not very successful in this. Saint Radegund (August 13) appealed to him for protection from her cruel husband King Chlotar I. Saint Germanus founded a monastery at Paris, and was buried in its church after his death in 576. This is the renowned monastery of Saint Germaine-des-Pres.

Icon of the Mother of God “the Unbreakable Wall”
The “Unbreakable (or “Indestructible”) Wall” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos is commemorated on the Sunday of All Saints. It is an icon of the Blachernae type, in which the Virgin is shown with Her hands raised and the palms facing forward. Christ is depicted within a roundel, or mandorla. This is an oval or circle symbolizing the glory of Heaven, or Divine Light.Perhaps the name of this particular Icon is derived from Amos 7:7 where the Lord is said to be standing on “a wall of adamant” (LXX).

Saint Sophronius the Bulgarian
The Venerable Sophronios (Stephen in the world) was from the village of Penkovts (Пенкьовци) in Bulgaria, and lived during the XV and XVI centuries. He was a Hieromonk at the Penkovsky Monastery near Sofia. Learning that Turkish invaders were about to attack the monastery, he fled to Vlahia (in what is now Romania) and lived in a monastery near the Danube River. Later, the Saint devoted himself to continual ascetical labors of fasting, vigil, and prayer, in the monastic community of Rusensk, which may have been founded by Saint Joachim (January 18), the Patriarch of Trnovo. Saint Sophronios reposed peacefully on May 28, 1510, and was known for his philanthropy and almsgiving. Some sources say that he was murdered by a servant, and that after three years his relics were found incorrupt.

New Martyr Demetrius
New Martyr Demetrius

Additional Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today

Saint William of Gellone

Today’s Hymns

Saint Nikḗtas, Bishop of Chalcedon – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 4
In truth you were revealed to your flock as a rule of faith,
an image of humility and a teacher of abstinence;
your humility exalted you; your poverty enriched you.
Hierarch Father Nicetas,
entreat Christ our God that our souls may be saved.
Kontakion — Tone 8
You shone with the splendor of your deeds, venerable Nicetas.
You became an heir to the throne of the apostles.
Completely filled, O Father, with the teachings of God, you shone like the sun upon your flock.
Therefore we cry out to you: ‘Rejoice, beauty of Chalcedon.’

Saint Ignatius the Wonderworker, Bishop of Rostov – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 4
In truth you were revealed to your flock as a rule of faith,
an image of humility and a teacher of abstinence;
your humility exalted you;
your poverty enriched you.
Hierarch Father Ignatius,
entreat Christ our God
that our souls may be saved.

Saint Eutychius, Bishop of Melitene – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 4
By sharing in the ways of the Apostles,
you became a successor to their throne.
Through the practice of virtue, you found the way to divine contemplation,
O inspired one of God;
by teaching the word of truth without error,
you defended the Faith, even to the shedding of your blood.
Hieromartyr Eutychius entreat Christ God to save our souls.

Martyr Heliconis of Thessalonica – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 3
Your holy martyr Heliconis, O Lord,
through his sufferings has received an incorruptible crown from You, our God.
For having Your strength, he laid low his adversaries,
and shattered the powerless boldness of demons.
Through his intercessions, save our souls!
Kontakion — Tone 2
You appeared as a bright star announcing Christ with your radiance,
which is repulsive to this world, O Martyr Heliconis;
extinguishing the allure of false gods,
you enlighten the faithful,
always interceding for us all.

Hieromartyr Helladius, Bishop in the East – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 4
By sharing in the ways of the Apostles,
you became a successor to their throne.
Through the practice of virtue, you found the way to divine contemplation, O inspired one of God;
by teaching the word of truth without error, you defended the Faith,
even to the shedding of your blood.
Hieromartyr Helladius, entreat Christ God to save our souls.

Saint Germanus, Bishop of Paris – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 7
Holy Germanus, as bishop of Paris you remained the monk you always were,
cherishing the beauty of the Liturgy and developing the cult of the saints.
Your miracles merited your veneration by young and old alike.
It was thus that you exercised a happy influence over the powerful,
and prevailed on them to free slaves and release prisoners.
And in the name of Christ, in the Church of Gaul you made concord and peace to reign.
Troparion — Tone 8
Let us celebrate the father of the poor, the treasure of the needy,
the master of wisdom of kings and powerful men,
the unifier of the Church of Gaul, the unmercenary healer of all illnesses:
Saint Germanus, the founder of the abbey that still bears his name,
the crafter of peace, the exemplary pastor of Paris:
for he intercedes for our souls before Christ our God.

Saint Sophronius the Bulgarian – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 8
The image of God was truly preserved in you, O Father,
for you took up the Cross and followed Christ.
By so doing you taught us to disregard the flesh for it passes away
but to care instead for the soul, since it is immortal.
Therefore your spirit, venerable Sophronios, rejoices with the angels.

New Martyr Demetrius – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 3
Your holy martyr Demetrius, O Lord,
through his sufferings has received an incorruptible crown from You, our God.
For having Your strength, he laid low his adversaries,
and shattered the powerless boldness of demons.
Through his intercessions, save our souls!
Kontakion — Tone 2
You appeared as a bright star announcing Christ with your radiance,
which is repulsive to this world, O Martyr Demetrius;
extinguishing the allure of false gods,
you enlighten the faithful,
always interceding for us all.

Icon of the Mother of God of Nicea – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 4
Your womb has become a Holy Table, which held the Heavenly Bread.
Those who partake of it shall not die,
as the Nourisher of all has said, O Theotokos.


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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