Old Calendar Orthodox Daily Digest for 9/12/2021

Fasting Guidelines

12th Sunday after Pentecost. Tone three.
Today is fast-free!

Today’s Commemorations

  • Translation of the relics of Prince Peter (1228) and Princess Febronia (tonsured David and Euphrosyne), wonderworkers of Murom ( movable holiday on the Sunday before September 6th ).
  • Synaxis of All Saints of Saratov ( movable holiday on the Sunday nearest to August 31st) .
  • Synaxis of all saints of Nizhny Novgorod ( movable holiday on the Sunday after August 26th ).
  • Sts. Alexander (340), John (595), and Paul the New (784), patriarchs of Constantinople.
  • Repose of Venerable Alexander , abbot of Svir (1533).
  • Translation of the relics (1724) of St. Alexander Nevsky (1263).
  • Uncovering of the relics of St. Daniel , prince of Moscow (1652).
  • New Hieromartyr Peter priest (1918).
  • New Hieromartyr Apollinaris (1918).
  • New Hieromartyr Paul priest and Virgin-martyr Elizaveta and Martyr Theodore (1937).
  • New Hieromartyr Schema-archimandrite Ignatius (Lebedev) of St. Peter’s Monastery (1938).
  • Hiero-confessor Archpriest Peter Cheltsov of Smolensk (1972).
  • Venerable Christopher of Palestine (6th c.).
  • Venerable Fantinus of Calabria (9th c.).
  • Synaxis of the Serbian Hierarchs : Sts. Sava I (1235), Arsenius (1266), Sava II (1271), Eustathius I (1285), James (1292), Nicodemus (1325), and Daniel II (1338), archbishops; Sts. Ioannicius II (1354), Spyridon (1388), Ephraim II (1395), Cyril (1419), Nicon (ca. 1439), Macarius (1574), Gabriel I (1659), patriarchs; and St. Gregory (1012), bishop.
  • St. Barlaam metropolitan of Moldavia (1657) ( Romania ).
  • Venerable Bryaene of Nisibis (318).
  • St. Eulalius, bishop of Caesarea (4th c.).
  • Sixteen Monk-martyrs of Thebes (Greek).
  • Six Martyrs of Melitene (Greek).
  • St. Sarmata of The Paradise (Greek).
  • Hieromartyr Felix and Martyrs Fortunatus, Septimius and Januarius (Greek).
  • St. Fiacrius of Brogillum (670) (Gaul).

Scripture Readings

Matthew 28:16-20 (1st Matins Gospel)
Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.

1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you-unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

Matthew 19:16-26
Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He said to Him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Galatians 5:22-6:2 (St. Alexander Nevsky)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Matthew 11:27-30 (St. Alexander Nevsky)
All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

2 Corinthians 6:1-10 (St. Daniel)
We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says: In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

Luke 6:17-23 (St. Daniel)
And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all. Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said: Blessed are you poor, For yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, For you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.

Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today

Sts. Alexander (340), John (595), and Paul the New (784), patriarchs of Constantinople.
Sts.  Alexander  (340),  John  (595), and  Paul  the New (784), patriarchs of Constantinople. Saints Alexander, John and Paul, Constantinople Patriarchs, lived at different times, but each of them happened to clash with the activities of heretics who sought to distort the teachings of the Church. Saint Alexander (325-340) was a “chor-bishop” (vicar bishop) during the period of the first patriarch of Constantinople, Sainted Mitrophanes (315-325), and because of the patriarch’s extreme age substituted for him at the First OEcumenical Council at Nicea against the Arians (325). Upon his death, Saint Mitrophanes had instructed in his will to elect his vicar to the Constantinople throne. During these times His Holiness Patriarch Alexander had to contend with the Arians and with pagans. Once in a dispute with a pagan philosopher the saint said to him: “In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ I command thee to be quiet!”, and the pagan suddenly became voiceless. When he gestured with signs of acknowledgement of his errors and affirmation of the correctness of the Christian teaching, then his speech returned to him and he believed in Christ together with many other pagan-philosophers.       The heretic Arius was punished through the prayer of Saint Alexander. The heretic deceitfully agreed to enter into communion with the Orthodox, and the emperor Saint Constantine set a day for receiving Arius. All night long Saint Alexander prayed, imploring the Lord not to permit the heretic to be received into communion with the Church. In the morning, when Arius triumphantly went to the church, surrounded by imperial counselors and soldiers, he was stricken with illness on the Constantine Square, – his belly exploded and the innards fell out.       His Holiness Patriarch Alexander, having toiled much, died in the year 340 at the age of 98. Sainted Gregory the Theologian (or Nazianzen, Comm. 25 January) made mention about him afterwards in words of praise to the people of Constantinople.       Sainted John the Faster (582-595) is in particular remembered by the Church on 2 September (the account about him is located under this heading).       Sainted Paul, by birth a Cypriot, became Patriarch of Constantinople (780-784) during the reign of the Iconoclast-emperor Leo IV the Khazar (775-780), and was a virtuous and pious but timid man. Viewing the martyrdom, which the Orthodox endured for holy icons, the saint concealed his Orthodoxy and associated with the iconoclasts. After the death of the emperor Leo, he wanted to restore icon-veneration but was not able to accomplish since, since the iconoclasts were still quite powerful. The saint realised, that it was not in his powers to guide the flock, and so he left the patriarchal throne and went secretly to the monastery of Saint Florus, where he took the schema. He repented his silence and association with the iconoclasts and talked of the necessity for convening the Eighth OEcumenical Council to condemn the Iconoclast heresy. Upon his advice, there was chosen to the patriarchal throne Saint Tarasios (784-806), at that time a prominent imperial counselor. The saint died a schema-monk in the year 804.

Repose of Venerable Alexander , abbot of Svir (1533).
Repose of Venerable  Alexander , abbot of Svir (1533). The Monk Alexander of Svirsk was born on 15 July 1448, on the day of memory of the Prophet Amos, and at Baptism was named in honour of him. Dwelling all his life far off from historical events, the Monk Alexander – a beacon light of monasticism in the deep forests of the Russian North – worked a different and spiritual history and was bestown extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit.       His parents, Stefan and Vassa (Vasilisa) were peasants of the nigh-close to Lake Ladoga village of Mandera, at the bank of the River Oyata, a tributary of the River Svira. They had two children, who were already grown and lived away from their parents. But Stefan and Vassa wanted still to have another son. They prayed fervently and heard a voice from above: “Rejoice, good wedded, ye shall bear a son, in whose birth God wilt give comfort to His Church”.       Amos grew up a special lad. He was always obedient and gentle, he shunned games, jokes and foul-talk, he wore poor clothes and so weakened himself with fasting, that it caused his mother anxiety. Upon coming of age he once met Valaamsk monks who had come to the Oyata for the purchase of necessities and concerning other economic needs. Valaam at this time had already the reputation as a monastery of deep piety and strict ascetic life. Having spoken with them, the youth became interested by their account about the skete (with two or three together) and about the monastic hermit life. Knowing that his parents wanted to marry him off, the youth at age 19 went secretly to Valaam. Under the guise of being a companion, an Angel of God appeared to him, showing the way to the island.       Amos lived for seven years at the monastery as a novice, leading an austere life. He spent his days at work, and his nights – in vigilance and prayer. Sometimes bare of chest, all covered by mosquitoes and gnats, he prayed in the forest to the morning song of the birds.       In the year 1474 Amos took monastic vows with the name Alexander. After some several years his parents eventually learned from Karelians arriving in Mandera, whither their son had disappeared. Through the example of their son, even the parents soon went to the monastery and took vows with the names Sergei and Varvara (Barbara). After their death the Monk Alexander, with the blessing of the hegumen of the monastery, settled on a solitary monastery island, where in the crevice of a cliff he built a cell and continued his spiritual exploits.       The fame of his exploits spread far. Then in 1485 the Monk Alexander departed from Valaam and, upon a command from above, chose a place in the forest on the shore of a beautiful lake, which afterwards was named Holy (Svyata). Here the monk built himself an hut and in solitude he dwelt for seven years, eating only that which he gathered in the forest (Afterwards at this place, – Lake Svyata, 36 versts from the future city of Olonets and 6 versts from the River Svira, the Monk Alexander founded the monastery of the Life-Originating Trinity, and 130 sazhen (i.e. 910 feet) off from it, at Lake Roschina, he built himself a “withdrawing place”, – on the spot where the Alexandro-Svirsk monastery later emerged). During this time the saint experienced fierce sufferings from hunger, frost, sickness and demonic temptations. But the Lord continually sustained the spiritual and bodily strength of the righteous one. Once when suffering with terrible infirmities, the monk not only was not able to get up from the ground, but also even was unable to lift his head, he just lay there and sang psalms. And hereupon there appeared to him a glorious man. Placing his hand on the pained spot, he signed the saint with the sign of the cross and healed him.       In 1493 while hunting for deer, the adjoining land-owner Andrei Zavalishin happened to come upon the hut of the monk. Andrei spoke to him about a light, seen earlier at this place, and he entreated the monk to tell him about his life. From that point Andrei started often to visit with the Monk Alexander, and finally through the monk’s guidance, he himself departed for Valaam, where he took vows with the name Adrian, founding later on the Ondrusovsk monastery, and glorifying himself with a saintly life (Comm. 26 August and 17 May, + 1549).       Andrei Zavalishin was not able to keep quiet about the ascetic, in spite of the promise given to him. News about the righteous one began to spread widely, and monks started to gather about him. The monk thereupon withdrew himself from all the brethren and built himself a “withdrawing spot” a distance of 130 sazhen from the common dwelling. The he encountered a multitude of temptations. The demons took on beastly shapes, they hissed like snakes, urging the monk to flee. But the prayer of the saint, as it were a fiery flame, scorched and dispersed the devils.       In 1508, the 23th year of the monk’s dwelling at this secluded spot, there appeared to him the Life-Originating Trinity. The monk was praying at night at his “withdrawing spot”. Suddenly an intense light shone, and the monk beheld approaching him Three Men, robed in radiant white garb. Hallowed by Heavenly Glory, They did shine in a pure brightness greater than the sun. Each of Them held in Their hand a staff. The monk fell down in terror, and having come to his senses, prostrated himself on the ground. Taking him up by the hand, the Men said: “Trust thou, blessed one, and fear not”. The monk received orders to construct a church and to build up a monastery. He again fell to his knees, crying out about his own unworthiness, but the Lord raised him up and ordered him to fulfill the commands. The monk asked, in whose name the church ought to be. The Lord thereupon said: “Beloved, as thou beholdest Those speaking with thee in Three Persons, so also construct thou the church in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, the Trinity One-in-Essence. I leave thee peace and My peace I give thee”. And immediately the Monk Alexander beheld the Lord with out-stretched wings, going as though along the ground, and He became invisible. In the history of the Russian Orthodox Church this Divine Descent is acknowledged as unique. After this vision the monk began to think, where to build the church. Once during a time of prayer to God, he heard a voice from above. Having gazed up to the heights, he saw an Angel of God in mantle and klobuk, such as the Monk Pakhomios had seen. The Angel, standing in the air with out‑stretched wings and up-raised hands, proclaimed: “One is Holy, One is the Lord Jesus Christ, in the Glory of God the Father, Amen”. And then he turned to the monk: Alexander, upon this spot construct the church in the Name of the Lord Who hath appeared to thee in Three Persons, Father and Son and Holy Spirit, the Trinity Undivided”. And having thrice made the cross over the place, the Angel became invisible.       In that same year was built a wooden church of the Life-Originating Trinity (in 1526 was built here a stone church). And at the same time as the building of the church, the brethren began to urge the monk to accept the priesthood. For a long time he refused, considering himself unworthy. Then the brethren began to implore Saint Serapion, Archbishop of Novgorod (+ 1516, Comm. 16 March), that he convince the monk to accept the dignity. And so in that very year the monk journeyed to Novgorod and received ordination from the holy archbishop. Soon afterwards the brethren also besought the monk to accept being hegumen.       Having become hegumen, the monk became even more humble than before. His clothes were all in tatters, and he slept on the bare ground. He himself prepared food, kneaded dough and baked bread. One time there was not sufficient firewood and the steward asked the hegumen to dispatch after firewood any of the monks that were idle. “I am idle”, – said the monk, and he began to chop firewood. Another time likewise he began to carry water. And by night when all were asleep, the monk was often grinding away with hand-stones for making more bread. By night the monk made the round of the cells and if he heard anywhere vain conversations, he lightly tapped on the door and departed, but in the morning he admonished the brother, imposing a penance on the culprit.       Towards the end of his life the Monk Alexander decided to build a stone church of the Pokrov (Protection) of the MostHoly Mother of God. One time in the evening, after doing an akathist to the MostHoly Mother of God, the monk settled down to rest in the cell and suddenly said to the cell-attendant Afanasii: “Child, be sober and alert, because in this hour will be a wondrous and astounding visit”. There followed a voice, like thunder: “Behold cometh the Lord and His Birth-Giver”. The monk hastened to the entrance to the cell, and a great light illumined it, spreading over all the monastery brighter than the rays of the sun. Gazing, the monk beheld over the foundation of the Pokrov church sitting at the altar place, as it were an empress upon a throne, the All-Pure Mother of God. She held the Infant-Christ in Her arms, and a multitude of the angelic rank, shining with an indescribable brightness, stood before Her. The monk fell down, unable to bear the great light. The Mother of God said: “Rise up, thou chosen one of My Son and God. For I have come here to visit thee, My dear one, and to look upon the foundation of My church. And for this, I have made entreaty for thy disciples and monastery, from hence all wilt be abundant; not only during thine life, but also upon thy departure persistently from thy monastery will be a granting of all necessities in abundance. Behold and watch carefully, how many monks are gathered into thy flock, which by thee mustneeds be guided on the way of salvation in the Name of the Holy Trinity”. The monk rose up and beheld a multitude of monks. Again said the Mother of God: “My dear one, if someone doth bear one brick for the building of My church, in the Name of Jesus Christ, My Son and God, his treasure perisheth not”. And She became invisible.       Before his death the monk displayed wondrous humility. He summoned the brethren and bid them: “Bind my sinful body by the legs and drag it to a swampy thicket and, having enclosed it in skins, submerse it by the legs”. The brethren answered: “No, father, it is not possible to do this”. Then the monk bid that his body not be kept at the monastery, but at a place of withdrawal, the church of the Transfiguration of the Lord. Having lived 85 years, the monk expired to the Lord on 30 August 1533.       The Monk Alexander of Svirsk was glorified by wondrous miracles during his life and upon his death. In 1545 his disciple and successor, Hegumen Irodion, compiled his life. In 1547 was begun the local celebration of the monk and a service compiled to him. In the year 1641, on 17 April, during the rebuilding of the Transfiguration church, the incorrupt relics of the Monk Alexander of Svirsk were uncovered and the universal Church celebration to him was established on two dates: the day of repose – 30 August, and the day of glorification (Uncovering of Relics) – 17 April.       The Monk Alexander of Svirsk instructed and raised up a whole multitude of disciples, as the Mother of God had bequeathed him. These are the Sainted-Monks: Ignatii of Ostrovsk (XVI), Leonid of Ostrovsk (XVI), Kornilii of Ostrovsk (XVI), Dionysii of Ostrovsk (XVI), Athanasii (Afanasii) of Ostrovsk (XVI), Theodore (Feodor) of Ostrovsk (XVI), Ferapont of Ostrovsk (XVI). Besides these saints, there are known disciples and those conversing with the Monk Alexander of Svirsk, which have separate days of memory: the Monk Athansii (Afanasii) of Syandemsk (XVI, Comm. 18 January), the Monk Gennadii of Vasheozersk (+ 8 January 1516, Comm. 9 February), the Monk Makarii of Orodezhsk (+ 1532, Comm. 9 August), the Monk Adrian of Ondrosovsk (+ 26 August 1549, Comm. 17 May), the Monk Nikifor of Vasheozersk (+ 1557, Comm. 9 February), the Monk Gennadii of Kostroma and Liubimograd (+ 1565, Comm. 23 January). All these saints (except the Monk Gennadii of Kostroma) are imaged on the Icon of the Monastic Fathers, illumined in the Karelia land (icon from the church at the Spiritual Seminary in the city of Kuopio, Finland). The festal celebration of the Sobor-Assemblage of the Saints Illumined in the Karelian Land is done by the Finnish Orthodox Church on the Saturday falling between 31 October and 6 November.

Translation of the relics (1724) of St. Alexander Nevsky (1263).
Translation of the relics (1724) of  St. Alexander  Nevsky (1263). The Holy NobleBorn Prince Alexander Nevsky (in monastic-schema Alexei) died on the return journey from the Horde at Gorodtsa on the Volga, on 14 November 1263, and on 23 November (under this day is located the account about him) in 1263 he was buried in the Cathedral Church of the Nativity Monastery in the city of Vladimir (there is set up there now a memorial to the holy prince; yet another memorial is set up in the city of Pereslavl’-Zalessk). Veneration of the nobleborn prince started right at his burial, whereof was a remarkable miracle: the saint himself extended his hand for the absolving prayer. Great Prince Ioann Ioannovich (1353-1359) in his spiritual testament written in the year 1356, left to his son Dimitrii (1363-1389), the future victor of the Battle of Kulikovo, “an icon of Saint Alexander”. The undecayed relics of the nobleborn prince were opened, on account of a vision, before the Kulikovo Battle – in the year 1380, and then were set forth for local feast-celebration. For the prayers of the holy prince, glorified by defense of the Fatherland, Russian commanders resorted to in all the following times. On 30 August 1721 Peter I, after a lengthy and exhausting war with the Swedes, concluded the Nishtad Peace. This day was decided upon to hallow by the transfer of the relics of the NobleBorn Prince Alexander Nevsky from Vladimir to the new northern capital, Peterburg, arranged on the banks of the Neva. Withdrawn from Vladimir on 11 August 1723, the holy relics were greeted at Shlissel’burg on 20 September of that year and remained there until 1724, when on 30 August they were placed in the Trinity Cathedral of the Alexander Nevsky Lavra (Monastery), where now also they rest. By an edict/ukaz  on 2 September 1724 there was established a feastday on 30 August (in 1727 the feast was discontinued by reason of non-church matters, and involved clique-struggles at the imperial court. In 1730 the feast was again re-established).       Archimandrite Gavriel Buzhinsky (later Bishop of Riazan, + 27 April 1731) compiled a special service in remembrance of the Nishtad Peace, combining with it a service to Saint Alexander Nevsky.       The name of the Defender of the borders of Russia and the Patron of Soldiers is famous far from the regions of our Native Land. The testimony to this: the numerous temples dedicated to Saint Alexander Nevsky. The most famous of them: the Patriarchal Cathedral at Sofia, the Cathedral church in Talinin, and a church in Tbilisi. These churches are a pledge of friendship of the Russian National-Liberator with brother nations.

Uncovering of the relics of St. Daniel , prince of Moscow (1652).
Uncovering of the relics of  St. Daniel , prince of Moscow (1652). Holy Nobleborn Prince Daniel (Daniil) of Moscow was born at Vladimir in the year 1261. He was the fourth son of Saint Alexander Nevsky (Comm. 30 August and 23 November) and Righteous Vassa. Two years after birth he lost his father. The date of his mother’s repose is not indicated in the chronicles; it is known only, that she was buried in the church in honour of the Nativity of Christ at the Vladimir Uspenie monastery (the Princess monastery), and the people in the surroundings venerated her as “Righteous” (“Pravedna”).       In 1272 holy Prince Daniel received as his allotted portion the city of Moscow with its adjacent lands. The holy prince built on the banks of the River Moskva (Moscow) a church (and alongside it a monastery) in honour of his same-name patron saint, the Monk Daniel the Pillar-Dweller (Comm. 11 December). The Moscow principality was during this period small and unobtrusive. While growing up, holy Prince Daniel strengthened and expanded it, not in manners unjust or coercive, but instead benevolent and peace-loving. In Rus’ it was a time of unrest. Fratricidal strife amongst the appanage princes was rife. And often, thanks to holy Prince Daniel, and his incessant striving for unity and peace in the Russian Land, bloodshed was averted. In 1293 his brother, the Great-prince Alexander Alexandrovich, together with Tatars summoned from the Horde and headed by Diuden (“the Diudenev Host”), laid waste to Russian cities: Murom, Suzdal’, Kolomna, Dmitrov, Mozhaisk, Tver’. Prince Daniel decided to adjoin them to Moscow, to save their people from perishing. There was not the strength for resistance. Together with his people, the prince braced himself for terrible destruction and pillaging. Standing up for his rights, Saint Daniel was compelled to come out against his brother near a place, called Yur’evo Tolchische (“Yur’evo Threshing-Mill”), but here also the yearning for peace won out in him, and bloodshed was averted.       In 1300, when the Ryazan prince Konstantin Romanovich, having summoned Tatars to his aid, was occupied in secret preparations for a sudden assault on the lands of the Moscow principality, Prince Daniel went with an army to Ryazan, and beating the enemy, he took captive Konstantin and destroyed a multitude of Tatars. This was a first victory over the Tatars, though not a tremendous victory, but it was noteworthy nonetheless – as a first push towards freedom. Having beaten the Ryazan prince and scattered his confederates the Tatars, holy Prince Daniel did not take advantage of his victory to seize foreign lands or take booty, as was the accepted custom during these times, but rather he displayed an example of true non-covetousness, love and fraternity. The holy prince never resorted to arms to seize the lands of others, nor did he ever snatch away the property of other princes either by force or by treachery. And for this the Lord saw fit to expand the boundaries of his princely realm. Ioann Dimitrievich, prince of Pereslavl’-Zalessk, a nephew of Daniel, was gentle and pious and benevolent towards the poor, and he esteemed and loved his uncle; dying childless in 1302, he bequeathed his principality to Saint Daniel. The Pereslavlsk lands together with Dmitrov were, after Rostov, foremost in number of inhabitants, with corresponding fortification befitting a major city. Pereslavl’-Zalessk was well protected on all sides. But the holy prince remained faithful to Moscow and did not transfer the capital of his princedom to the stronger and more significant seat of the Pereslavl’ of this period. This annexation moved Moscow up to be numbered as the most significant principality. And here was set in place the principle of the unification of the Russian Land into a single powerful realm.       How wondrous over the expanse of ages was clearly manifest the Providential Will of God concerning the Russian Land and its destiny!       Grateful in remembrance of the constant Blessing of the Hodegetria (“Way-Guide Mother of God) both in his personal life, and also in the life of the Russian realm, Saint Daniel’s father – Saint Alexander Nevsky, had expressed it in the words: “God is not in might, but in right!”.       In 1303 Saint Daniel fell seriously ill. He assumed the monastic great-schema and commanded that he be buried at the Danilov monastery. Through deep humility he wanted to be buried not within the church, but in the common monastery cemetery. The holy prince died on 4 March.       Within the passage of less than 30 years after the repose of holy Prince Daniel, the Danilov monastery founded by him was transformed into the Moscow Kremlin, the church was transformed into a parish church, and the cemetery became non-monastic. During the time of Great-prince Ivan III (1462-1505), the Monk-prince Daniel gave reminders of himself to his forgetful descendents. As a stranger he appeared to a youth attendant on the great-prince and said: “Be not afraid of me – I was a Christian and the master of this place, my name is Daniel Prince of Moscow, and by the will of God I am here. Tell about me to Great-prince Ioann (Ivan) saying: thou delightest thyself while yet having forgotten me, but God hath not forgotten me”. And after this it was that the great-prince established the singing of cathedral panikhidas for his ancestral princes. During the time tsar Ivan the Terrible, at the grave of Saint Daniel was healed the dying son of a barge merchant. The tsar, struck by the miracle, renovated the ancient Danilov monastery and established a yearly church procession, made by the metropolitan to the place of burial of the holy prince, serving there a panikhida.       In 1652 holy Monk-prince Daniel was glorified with the uncovering of his incorrupt relics, which on 30 August were transferred to the church in honour of the Holy Fathers of the Seventh OEcumenical Council.       The holy relics were placed in a reliquary “to the glorifying of the Holy Trinity and for the healing of the infirm”. The Moscow metropolitan Platon (+ 1812), in the Vita of the holy prince compiled by him, writes: “This original founder laid the foundation of present-day majestic Moscow, going about this with quiet steps upon a small foot-path. And thus as with any edifice, built not with extreme haste but the rather instead with great artifice and skill, doth receive a particular solidity and doth stand indestructible for a long time; and just as a tall tree growing for many a century, and having started first of all with a small sprout, and thickeneth little by little, with its branches spreading about far around, so also was it needful for this city to grow from the small, but solid root, in order that its first glimmer not beshadow the eyes of the envious, and that initially it not be disturbed or felled early on, but rather grow up to its true height. Thus did this founder prepare the great city given him; though small, but shining uninterrupted by any wafting of the wind, he did bequeathe the great glory of its rise to his son Great-prince Ioann (Ivan) Danilovich, called Kalita”.

Venerable Christopher of Palestine (6th c.).
The Monk Christopher, a Roman, lived during the VI Century. He was tonsured into monasticism at the monastery of the Monk Theodosios (Comm. 11 January) in Palestine, Near Jerusalem. The accounts of Abba Theodulos about the Monk Christopher are contained in the book “Spiritual Meadows” (“Leimon” or “Limonar'”) by John Moskhos and Sophronios.       One time the Monk Christopher went to Jerusalem, to worship at the Holy Sepulchre of the Lord and at the Life-Creating Cross. At the gateway of the church he beheld a monk not moving from the spot. Two ravens flew before his face. The Monk Christopher discerned that these were demons, which held the monk back from entering the church. He asked the brother: “Why standest thou at the gate and enter not in?”. – The brother answered: “Pardon me, father, but within me struggle two thoughts: one says: go and venerate the Venerable Cross, but the other says: go not in, rather first finish thou thine affairs, and another time come and venerate”. Then Saint Christopher took the brother by the hand and led him into the church. The ravens immediately disappeared, and the brother made his veneration. The Monk Christopher recounted this in instructing those who were very little diligent in prayer, and who forgot, that first one ought to fulfill spiritual service, and then afterwards the necessary work.       By day the Monk Christopher fulfilled his monastic obedience, and by night he retired to a cave, where at an earlier time had prayed the Monk Theodosios and other fathers. At each of the 18 steps, leading into the cave, he made about 100 poklons and the greater part of the night he spent in prayer, before the pealing calling to morning song. At this exploit he spent 11 years. One time, descending into the cave, he beheld in it a multitude of lamps. Two radiant youths were lighting them. “Why have ye put the lampadi here, such that I be not able to enter in and pray”, – said the monk. “These are the lampadi of the fathers, serving God”, – answered the youths. “Tell me, – asked the saint, – does my lampada burn or not?” They answered: “Work, pray, and we shall light it”. Then the saint said to himself: “Oi, Christopher, thou oughtest to assume yet greater a burden, that thy lamp might be lighted!” He went from the monastery to Mount Sinai, taking nothing with him. The monk toiled there for 50 years at great exploits. And finally, he heard a voice saying: “Christopher! Go to thine monastery where thou didst asceticise earlier, so that thou mightest repose there with thine fathers”.

Venerable Fantinus of Calabria (9th c.).
The Monk Fantinus the Wonderworker was born in Calabria (Italy) of parents George and Vriena. He was given over to a monastery and from childhood he was accustomed to ascetic deeds. In youth he wandered into the wilderness, remaining often without food for 20 days and lacking garb. In suchlike exploits the monk spent 60 years. Before the end of his life, fleeing before pursuing Saracens, he set off with his disciples Vitalius and Nicephorus to the Peleponnesus (Greece). Preaching the way of salvation, the monk visited Corinth, Athens, Larissa and Soluneia (Thessalonika), where he venerated the relics of the GreatMartyr Demetrios (Comm. 26 October). He died peacefully in extreme old age at the end of the IX – beginning X Century.

Synaxis of the Serbian Hierarchs : Sts. Sava I (1235), Arsenius (1266), Sava II (1271), Eustathius I (1285), James (1292), Nicodemus (1325), and Daniel II (1338), archbishops; Sts. Ioannicius II (1354), Spyridon (1388), Ephraim II (1395), Cyril (1419), Nicon (ca. 1439), Macarius (1574), Gabriel I (1659), patriarchs; and St. Gregory (1012), bishop.
Sainted Gavriel (Gabriel) I, Patriarch of Serbia (by familial lineage Raicha), occupied the cathedra-seat in the mid-XVII Century, a time when the Moslem fanaticism had become intense. In the urgent need for both cathedral and country the saint set off for collecting alms to Walachia, and from there to Moscow.       And in Moscow in 1655 he was present together with the Patriarch of Antioch at a Church Sobor (Council), which sought to correct various aspects of church books in accord with the Greek and Old Slavonic texts. The saint brought as gift to the Russian Church several manuscripts and three liturgies printed in the South. With generous alms for his Church and country the saint returned to Serbia. His cathedra-seat had been given over to another occupant, and moreover, Austrian Jesuits had slandered him with treason before the vizier. The total innocence of the saint was already evidenced from this, that the vizier made pretense to spare his life and bestow a great official position, if the saint would betray his faith in the Saviour. “I am completely innocent of state crimes, – said Saint Gavriel, – this you yourself avow. To save my life by betrayal of Christian faith I shall never agree to, while remaining of sound mind. Keep your riches and honours, for me they are unneeded”. After torture Saint Gavriel was hanged in October 1659.       In the general service of the Serblyak (collective services to Serbian saints) on 30 August are also remembered: Sainted Archbishop of Serbia Jakov (+ 3 February 1292), Sainted Bishop Gregory (a descendant of the reknown Neemanicha lineage), and also the saints: Archbishop Savva III (1305-1316), and the Patriarchs Kirill, Nikon, John, Maksim.

Additional Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today

Translation of the relics of Prince Peter (1228) and Princess Febronia (tonsured David and Euphrosyne), wonderworkers of Murom ( movable holiday on the Sunday before September 6th ).

Synaxis of All Saints of Saratov ( movable holiday on the Sunday nearest to August 31st) .

Synaxis of all saints of Nizhny Novgorod ( movable holiday on the Sunday after August 26th ).

New Hieromartyr Peter priest (1918).

New Hieromartyr Apollinaris (1918).

New Hieromartyr Paul priest and Virgin-martyr Elizaveta and Martyr Theodore (1937).

New Hieromartyr Schema-archimandrite Ignatius (Lebedev) of St. Peter’s Monastery (1938).

Hiero-confessor Archpriest Peter Cheltsov of Smolensk (1972).

St. Barlaam metropolitan of Moldavia (1657) ( Romania ).

Venerable Bryaene of Nisibis (318).

St. Eulalius, bishop of Caesarea (4th c.).

Sixteen Monk-martyrs of Thebes (Greek).

Six Martyrs of Melitene (Greek).

St. Sarmata of The Paradise (Greek).

Hieromartyr Felix and Martyrs Fortunatus, Septimius and Januarius (Greek).

St. Fiacrius of Brogillum (670) (Gaul).

Today’s Hymns

Troparion of the Sunday, Tone III
Let the heavens rejoice,
let the earth be glad!
For the Lord has shown might with His arm,/
He has trampled down death by death.
He has become the first-born of the dead.
He has
delivered us from the depths of hell,
and has granted the world great mercy!

Hymn to the Theotokos, Tone III
We praise you as the mediatrix of our salvation,
O Virgin Theotokos.
For your Son, our
God, Who took flesh from you,
accepted the passion of the cross,
delivering us from
corruption as the Lover of man.

Kontakion of the Sunday, Tone III
On this day Thou didst rise from the tomb, O Merciful One,
leading us from the gates of
On this day Adam exults as Eve rejoices;
with the prophets and patriarchs they
unceasingly praise
the divine majesty of Thy power!

St. Alexander Nevsky, Troparion, in Tone IV
Recognize thy brethren, O right-believing Prince Alexander, thou Russian
Joseph who reignest not in Egypt, but in heaven; and accept their entreaties,
increasing the harvests of thy people through the fertility of thy land, and
protecting the cities of thy dominion by thy supplications. And together with
our Orthodox hierarchs do battle against all heresies.

Kontakion, in Tone IV
As thy kinsmen Boris and Gleb appeared to thee, bringing thee help from
heaven when thou didst battle against Velgar the Swede and his warriors, so now,
O blessed Alexander, come to the aid of thy kinfolk, and contend thou against
those who wage war against us.

Sts. Alexander, John, and Paul the New, Troparion, in Tone IV
O God of our fathers,
deal with us ever according to Thy meekness.
us not of Thy mercy,
but through their supplications
direct our life in

Download today’s octoechos HERE.

Download today’s menaion HERE.

Courtesy of St. Sergius Church

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

Aggregated and Formatted by OrthoBot OC.

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