New Calendar Orthodox Daily Digest for 9/16/2021

Fasting Guidelines

Thursday September 16, 2021
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Today’s Commemorations

  • Afterfeast of the Elevation of the Cross
  • Great Martyr Euphēmia the All-praised
  • Repose of Saint Cyprian, Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia
  • Saint Sebastiana the Martyr, disciple of Saint Paul the Apostle, at Heraclea
  • Martyr Melitinḗ of Marcianopolis
  • Martyrs Victor and Sosthenes at Chalcedon
  • Venerable Dorotheus the Hermit of Egypt
  • Martyr Ludmilla the grandmother of Saint Wenceslaus, Prince of the Czechs
  • New Martyrs Isaac and Joseph of Georgia
  • “Support of Humble” Icon of the Mother of God
  • New Hieromartyr Gregory (Raevskii) of Tver
  • Saint Procopius

Scripture Readings


2 Corinthians 10:7-18 (Epistle)

Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, even so we are Christ’s. For even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave us for edification and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed – lest I seem to terrify you by letters. For his letters, they say, “are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such we will also be in deed when we are present. For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us – a sphere which especially includes you. For we are not overextending ourselves (as though our authority did not extend to you), for it was to you that we came with the gospel of Christ; not boasting of things beyond measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but having hope, that as your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere, to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man’s sphere of accomplishment. But “he who glories, let him glory in the LORD.” For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.


Mark 3:28-35 (Gospel)

Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation” – because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.” Then His brothers and His mother came, and standing outside they sent to Him, calling Him. And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking You.” But He answered them, saying, “Who is My mother, or My brothers?” And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.”

Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today

Afterfeast of the Elevation of the Cross
Afterfeast of the Elevation of the Cross From September 15 until the Leavetaking, we sing “O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ. O son of God crucified in the flesh, save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia” at weekday Liturgies following the Little Entrance.

Great Martyr Euphēmia the All-praised
Great Martyr Euphēmia the All-praised The Holy Great Martyr Euphēmia (Ευφημία) was the daughter of Christian parents, the senator Philophronos and his wife Theodosia. She suffered for Christ in the year 304 in the city of Chalcedon, on the Bosphorus opposite Constantinople, the Queen of Cities. Priscus, the Proconsul of Chalcedon, issued a decree which required all the inhabitants of Chalcedon and the surrounding area to attend a pagan festival, in order to worship and offer sacrifice to the idol of Ares. He threatened grave torments for anyone who failed to appear. During this impious festival, 49 Christians were hidden in one house, where they worshiped the true God in secret. The young virgin Euphēmia was among those who prayed there. Soon their hiding place was discovered, and they were brought before Priscus to answer the charges against them. For nineteen days the martyrs were subjected to various torments, but none of them wavered in their faith, nor did they consent to offer sacrifice to the idol. The governor, beside himself with rage and not knowing any other way of forcing the Christians to abandon their faith, sent them to Emperor Diocletian for trial. He kept the youngest, the virgin Euphēmia, hoping that she would not persevere if she were left all alone. Separated from her fellow-Christians, Saint Euphēmia fervently prayed that the Lord Jesus Christ would strengthen her for her impending ordeal. Priscus urged the Saint to offer sacrifice to the idol, promising her many rewards. When she refused, he ordered that she be tortured. The martyr was tied to a wheel with sharp knives attached to it, which slashed her body. The Saint prayed aloud, and miraculously, the wheel stopped by itself and would not move despite all the efforts of the executioners. An angel of the Lord, came down from Heaven, removed Euphēmia from the wheel, and healed her of her wounds, and the Saint gave thanks to God. Priscus did not notice the miracle which had taken place, so he ordered the soldiers Victor and Sosthenes to take the Saint to a red-hot furnace. But the soldiers, seeing two Angels in the midst of the flames, refused to carry out the Proconsul’s order and declared that they believed in the God Whom Euphēmia worshipped. Boldly proclaiming that they were Christians, Victor and Sosthenes awaited punishment. They were sentenced to be devoured by wild beasts. In the arena, they begged God to forgive the sins they had committed, asking the Lord to receive them into the Heavenly Kingdom. A Divine voice was heard, and the two soldiers entered into eternal life. The beasts, however, did not harm their bodies. Saint Euphēmia, cast into the fire by other soldiers, did not suffer. With God’s help she emerged unscathed after many other torments. Ascribing these things to sorcery, Priscus ordered a pit to be dug. Filling it with knives, he had it covered over with earth and grass, so that the martyr would not notice this trap. Once again, Saint Euphēmia remained safe, walking over the pit. Finally, she was sentenced to be devoured by wild beasts in the arena. Before her execution the Saint prayed that the Lord would deem her worthy of martyrdom. But none of the bears or lions attacked her, but only licked her feet. Finally, one she-bear wounded her foot, which bled slightly, and the Holy Great Martyr Euphēmia died right away. As her soul departed, there was an earthquake. The city was shaken, the walls fell down, and the pagan temples crumbled. As Saint Euphēmia lay dead in the sand, the guards and spectators fled in terror, so that the Saint’s parents were able to take her body and bury it near Chalcedon. Later, a majestic church was built over the grave of the Great Martyr Euphēmia. The sessions of the Fourth Ecumenical Council took place there in the year 451. At that time, the Holy Great Martyr Euphēmia confirmed the Orthodox confession of faith in a miraculous way, exposing the Monophysite heresy. That miracle is commemorated on July 11. When the Persians captured Chalcedon in the year 617, the relics of the holy Great Martyr Euphēmia were transferred to Constantinople (around the year 620). During the Iconoclast heresy, the reliquary containing Saint Euphēmia’s relics seems to have been thrown into the sea, but pious sailors recovered them. They were brought to the island of Lemnos, and they were returned to Constantinople in 796. The incorrupt body of Saint Euphēmia is in the Patriarchal Church of Saint George at the Phanar in Constantinople. Portions of her relics are to be found in Kykkos Monastery on Cyprus, and in the Saint Alexander Nevsky Lavra at Saint Petersburg.

Repose of Saint Cyprian, Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia
Repose of Saint Cyprian, Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia Saint Cyprian, Metropolitan of Kiev and All Russia, was a Serb by origin, and struggled on Mt. Athos. By his pious life and education he came to the attention of Patriarch Philotheus of Constantinople (1354-1355, 1364-1376), who in 1375 consecrated Cyprian as Metropolitan of Kiev and Lithuania.At the Constantinople Council it was decided to avoid a fragmentation of the Russian metropolia, and that “upon the death of Saint Alexis (February 12), he should become the Metropolitan of All Rus.” At Moscow, Saint Cyprian endured many sorrows from the Great Prince, so at first he lived either in Lithuania or at Constantinople. Only in the year 1390, in the time of Great Prince Basil Dimitrievich, was he accepted as primate at Moscow. Saint Cyprian concerned himself with the correction of the service books. There are preserved autographic manuscripts of certain Slavonic translations by the saint, witnessing to his great scientific work. And by his pastoral epistles he encouraged the faith of the Church. His activity in the translation of liturgical literature is widely known.

Saint Sebastiana the Martyr, disciple of Saint Paul the Apostle, at Heraclea
Saint Sebastiana the Martyr, disciple of Saint Paul the Apostle, at Heraclea The Holy Martyr Sebastiana was a follower of the holy Apostle Paul. During a persecution against Christians under the emperor Dometian (81-96), she was on trial as a Christian before the governor named Georgios in the city of Marcianopolis in the Mizea region. Saint Sebastiana firmly confessed her faith in Christ, and for this she was subjected to cruel tortures. At first they beat her, and then they threw her into a red-hot oven, from which she emerged unharmed. They sent the saint to the city of Heraklea, where sentence was pronounced on her a second time.The governor, named Pompian, gave orders to tie the saint to a tree and lacerate her body with roof-tiles. The martyr remained unbroken in her faith. Then the governor gave her to be eaten by wild beasts. There too, the Lord preserved the holy martyr, and the beasts refused to touch her. Then, by order of the governor, Saint Sebastiana was beheaded. Her body, thrown into the sea, was taken by angels to the island of Rhodes (in Thrace, in the Sea of Marmara).

Martyr Melitinḗ of Marcianopolis
Martyr Melitinḗ of Marcianopolis The Holy Martyr Melitinḗ (Μελιτινή, or Μελιτίνη) lived in the city of Markianopolis in Thrace during the reign of Emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161). Antiochus was the ruler of Thrace at that time. Since he was a fierce persecutor of Christians, he ordered that Melitinḗ be arrested, because she was a devout Christian whose fiery preaching converted many pagans to Christ. The Lord blessed her with the gift of wonderworking and, by the power of her prayers, she shattered the idols of Apollo and Herakles. Antiochus tried to make her worship the pagan “gods,” but his efforts were in vain. Since the Saint could not be persuaded to deny Christ, she was handed over to the ruler’s wife and some crafty women who tried to win her over her with flattery and kindness. Not only was Saint Melitinḗ not deceived or persuaded by their efforts, she converted the ruler’s wife to Christianity. She who tried to conquer Melitinḗ was defeated. She wanted to make Melitinḗ an idolater, but she herself became a Christian. The two women, concealing this from Antiochus, worked together and brought many pagans to Christ. The madman Antiochus was furious when he learned the truth, and had both women beheaded. Saint Melitinḗ walked bravely to her death, and to everlasting glory as well. A certain Christian from Macedonia, whose name was Akakios, was passing through Markianopolis on his way back to his own country. Since Saint Melitinḗ’s holy relics remained unburied, Akakios asked the ruler for them, intending to bury them in Macedonia. Antiochus did not suspect his godly intention, so he gave him the Saint’s body. Akakios took the holy relics and placed them in a chest, and then he left for his own country in haste. While at sea, he became sick and died. The ship put in at a promontory on the island of Limnos in order to bury the Saint’s relics. Akakios, who loved the martyrs, was also buried near the tomb of Saint Melitinḗ.

Martyrs Victor and Sosthenes at Chalcedon
Martyrs Victor and Sosthenes at Chalcedon Saints Victor and Sosthenes (Σωσθένης) are mentioned in the Life of the Holy Great Martyr Euphēmia (Ευφημία). The Proconsul Priscus ordered the soldiers Victor and Sosthenes to throw the Saint into a red-hot furnace. In the flames, however, they saw angels who prevented them from touching the Saint. When they refused to carry out the order, they were placed in shackles. Other soldiers, who threw Saint Euphēmia into the fire, were burnt by the flames escaping from the furnace, but inside the furnace, the martyr remained unharmed. The Proconsul tried to make Victor and Sosthenes bow down to the idols, but they replied that they had come to know the true God. As they were led to the wild beasts, they begged the Lord to forgive the sins they had committed in their pagan delusion. Then a Divine voice came from Heaven, calling them to their rest, and they surrendered their souls to the Lord. The animals did not touch their bodies. Later, the two martyrs were buried secretly by some Christians. In some calendars, such as the Roman Martyrology, the Saints’ day of commemoration is listed as September 10.

Martyr Ludmilla the grandmother of Saint Wenceslaus, Prince of the Czechs
Martyr Ludmilla the grandmother of Saint Wenceslaus,  Prince of the Czechs The Holy Martyr Ludmilla, a Czech (Bohemian) princess, was married to the Czech prince Borivoy. Both spouses received holy Baptism from Saint Methodius, Archbishop of Moravia and Enlightener of the Slavs (Comm. 11 May).As Christians, they showed concern for the enlightening of their subjects with the light of the true Faith, they built churches and invited priests to celebrate the divine services. Prince Borivoy died early at age 36. Saint Ludmilla, as a widow, led an austere, pious life and continued to be concerned for the Church during the reign of her son Bratislav, which lasted for 33 years.Bratislav was married to Dragomira, with whom he had a son, Wenceslaus (Vyacheslav). After the death of Bratislav, eighteen-year-old Wenceslaus came on the throne. Taking advantage of the inexperience and youth of her son, Dragomira began to introduce pagan manners and customs in the country. Saint Ludmilla, of course, opposed this. Dragomira came to hate her mother-in-law and tried to destroy her. When Saint Ludmilla moved away to the city of Techin, Dragomira sent two boyars in secret to murder her. Saint Ludmilla was praying at the time, and the two assassins entered the house and carried out Dragomira’s orders.The relics of the holy Martyr Ludmilla were buried in Techin in the city wall. Numerous healings occurred at her grave. Prince Vyacheslav transferred the body of Saint Ludmilla to the city of Prague and placed it in the church of Saint George.

New Martyrs Isaac and Joseph of Georgia
New Martyrs Isaac and Joseph of Georgia The holy martyrs Isaac and Joseph the Georgians were born into a Muslim family, but their Georgian mother, a Christian, secretly raised them according to the Christian tradition. The brothers were so firmly dedicated to the Faith that they journeyed to Byzantium to request that Emperor Nikēphóros I Phocas (802-811) permit them to settle in his capital. The pious ruler extended a warm welcome to the brothers, who were already well known and respected by the nobility of Theodosiopolis (Karnu). Learning of the brothers’ intention, the emir of Theodosiopolis demanded to know the reason for their journey to Constantinople. The brothers answered him openly, citing their Christian Faith as the reason for their journey. Hearing this, the emir was infuriated, but he did not want to kill the brothers, since they were deeply respected by the people of his city. Instead he resolved to convert them from the Christian Faith. Isaac and Joseph’s elderly father tearfully pleaded with them to deny Christ, while the emir promised them every honor and reward for betraying Him, and terrible suffering and death in the case of their refusal. But the holy brothers answered the emir, saying, “Remember that the flesh is like grass and every glory of this earth is like a flower that grows in the grass. When the grass withers, the flower also dies (c.f. Isaiah 40:6-7). Your threats of torture and death are for us rather absurd, for neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:38-9).” The young men’s boldness enraged the emir, and he ordered his servants to execute them.Before the holy brothers gave up their souls, they knelt to the ground and prayed: “O Holy King and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, look down upon Thy servants with mercy and receive us as a holy sacrifice. Number us among Thy martyrs and make us worthy of the crown of righteousness, for every good and perfect gift is from above and comes down from Thee, the Father of lights (c.f. James 1:17)!”Then they bowed their necks beneath the sword.The executioners chopped off their heads, leaving their bodies untouched. That night their holy remains shone with a radiant light. This miracle frightened the godless persecutors, and they ordered the local Christians to bury the holy martyrs’ remains. The local bishop and clergy committed their bodies to the earth with great reverence. A church was later erected over the place where Saints Isaac and Joseph were laid to rest.

“Support of Humble” Icon of the Mother of God
“Support of Humble” Icon of the Mother of God The Icon of the Mother of God, “Support of the Humble”, appeared in 1420 at Stony Lake near Pskov. That same year, on September 16, it was transferred to Pskov and placed in the cathedral church. Today’s celebration was established in memory of the transfer of this wonderworking icon.

Venerable Dorotheus the Hermit of Egypt
Saint Dorotheus, Egyptian Hermit, a native of the Thebaid region in Egypt, labored in asceticism for 60 years in the Skete desert, on the Western side of the River Nile. Palladius, Bishop of Helenopolis and author of the renowned Lausiac History, had been a disciple of Saint Dorotheus in his youth, and has preserved memories of him. Saint Dorotheus led a austere and ascetic life. After finishing his prayers, he went into the noonday heat to gather stones along the seashore to build cells for the other hermits. By night the saint wove baskets, in exchange for which he received the supplies he needed in order to live.Food for Saint Dorotheus consisted of bread and the meager grass in the wilderness. Once a day he partook of food and drank a little water. He did not lie down to sleep, but only dozed off sometimes at work, or after eating.Once, Saint Dorotheus sent his disciple to fetch water, but he returned saying that he saw a snake in the well and that the water in the well was now poisoned. Saint Dorotheus went to the well himself, took up a ladle of water, and making the Sign of the Cross over it he drank it, saying: “Where the Cross is, there the demonic powers do no harm.” Saint Dorotheus died peacefully at an advanced age.

Saint Procopius
Saint Procopius was born in Bohemia, in the village of Hotun. In his dignity of priest he toiled much to spread the Christian Faith in Czechia. By the River Zasava he founded a monastery in the name of Saint John the Forerunner, where he died in the year 1053.

New Hieromartyr Gregory (Raevskii) of Tver
New Hieromartyr Gregory (Raevskii) of Tver

Today’s Hymns

Afterfeast of the Elevation of the Cross – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 1
O Lord, save Your people,
and bless Your inheritance.
Grant victories to the Orthodox Christians
over their adversaries.
And by virtue of Your Cross,
preserve Your habitation.
Kontakion — Tone 4
As You were voluntarily raised upon the cross for our sake,
grant mercy to those who are called by Your Name, O Christ God;
make all Orthodox Christians glad by Your power,
granting them victories over their adversaries,
by bestowing on them the Invincible trophy, Your weapon of Peace.

Great Martyr Euphēmia the All-praised – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 4
Your lamb Euphēmia calls out to You, O Jesus, in a loud voice:
“I love You, my Bridegroom, and in seeking You I endure suffering.
In Baptism I was crucified so that I might reign in You,
and I died so that I might live with You.
Accept me as a pure sacrifice,
for I have offered myself in love.”
Through her prayers, save our souls, since You are merciful.
Troparion — Tone 4
You loved your Bridegroom Christ,
and your lamp was well trimmed1 shining with virtue, O All-praised Euphēmia,
and so you went in with Him to the wedding feast,2
receiving from Him a crown of martyrdom.
Deliver us from misfortune, who revere your memory with faith. 1 Matthew 25:7 2 Matthew 25:10
Kontakion — Tone 4
In your struggle you contested well, Euphēmia;
even after death you make us holy by gushing forth miracles, O All-praised one.
Therefore, we honor your holy repose, standing by your august relics with faith,
in order to be delivered from spiritual afflictions,
and that we may draw forth the grace of your miracles.

Repose of Saint Cyprian, Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia – 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 Cyprian,
entreat Christ our God
that our souls may be saved.

Saint Sebastiana the Martyr, disciple of Saint Paul the Apostle, at Heraclea – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 4
Your lamb Sebastiana,
calls out to You, O Jesus, in a loud voice:
“I love You, my Bridegroom,
and in seeking You, I endure suffering.
In baptism I was crucified so that I might reign in You,
and I died so that I might live with You.
Accept me as a pure sacrifice,
for I have offered myself in love.”
Through her prayers save our souls, since You are merciful.

Martyr Melitinḗ of Marcianopolis – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 3
Your holy martyr Melitίnē, O Lord,
through her sufferings has received an incorruptible crown from You, our God.
For having Your strength, she laid low her adversaries,
and shattered the powerless boldness of demons.
Through her 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 Melitίnē;
extinguishing the allure of false gods,
you enlighten the faithful,
always interceding for us all.

Martyrs Victor and Sosthenes at Chalcedon – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 4
Your holy martyrs Victor and Sosthenes, 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!

Venerable Dorotheus the Hermit of Egypt – 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 Dorotheus, pray to Christ our God to save our souls!

Martyr Ludmilla the grandmother of Saint Wenceslaus, Prince of the Czechs – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 3
Your holy martyr Ludmilla, O Lord,
through her sufferings has received an incorruptible crown from You, our God.
For having Your strength, she laid low her adversaries,
and shattered the powerless boldness of demons.
Through her intercessions, save our souls!

New Martyrs Isaac and Joseph of Georgia – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 4
Your holy martyrs Isaac and Joseph, 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!

New Hieromartyr Gregory (Raevskii) of Tver – 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 Gregory, entreat Christ God to save our souls.

Saint Procopius – 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 Procopius, pray to Christ our God to save our souls!


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

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