Old Calendar Orthodox Daily Digest for 9/16/2021

Fasting Guidelines

13th Week after Pentecost. Tone three.
Today is fast-free!

Today’s Commemorations

  • Hieromartyr Anthimus , bishop of Nicomedia, and those with him: Martyrs Theophilus deacon, Dorotheos, Mardonius, Migdonius, Peter, Indes, Gorgonius, Zeno, the Virgin Domna, and Euthymius (302).
  • Venerable Theoctistus (451), fellow-faster with St. Euthymius the Great.
  • Blessed John “the Hairy,” fool-for-Christ at Rostov (1580).
  • New Hieromartyr Pimen (Belolikov) bishop of Vernensk and Semirechensk, Sergius, Basil, Philip, Vladimir priests, martyr Meletius (1918).
  • New Hieromartyrs Basil and Parthenius priests (1919).
  • New Hieromartyrs Andrew and Theophan priests (1920).
  • New Hieromartyrs Vladimir and Michael priests (1921).
  • New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1923).
  • New Hieromartyr Euthymius priest with 4 martyrs (1924).
  • New Hieromartyr Romanus priest (1929).
  • New Hieromartyr Alexis and Elias priests (1937).
  • New Hieromartyr Peter Deacon (1953).
  • St. Phoebe , deaconess at Cenchreae near Corinth (1st c.).
  • Martyr Basilissa of Nicomedia (309).
  • Hieromartyr Aristion, bishop of Alexandria, in Syria (3rd c.).
  • St. Ioannicius II , first patriarch of Serbia (1349).
  • The Pisidia Icon of the Mother of God (608).
  • New Martyr Polydorus of Cyprus (1794) (Greek).
  • Emperor Constantine the New (Greek).
  • Martyrs Chariton and Archontinus (Greek).
  • St. Remaclus, bishop of Maastricht (677) (Neth.).
  • St. Aigulphus of Provence (676) (Gaul).
  • St. Edward, martyr and king of England (978) (Celtic & British).

Scripture Readings

2 Corinthians 10:7-18
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
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.

Hebrews 13:7-16 (Hieromartyr Anthimus)
Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them. We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

John 10:9-16 (Hieromartyr Anthimusy)
I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today

Hieromartyr Anthimus , bishop of Nicomedia, and those with him: Martyrs Theophilus deacon, Dorotheos, Mardonius, Migdonius, Peter, Indes, Gorgonius, Zeno, the Virgin Domna, and Euthymius (302).
Hieromartyr Anthimus , bishop of Nicomedia, and those with him: Martyrs Theophilus deacon, Dorotheos, Mardonius, Migdonius, Peter, Indes, Gorgonius, Zeno, the Virgin Domna, and Euthymius (302). The PriestMartyr Anthymos, Bishop of Nicomedia, and the Martyrs with him suffered during the time of the persecution against Christians under the emperors Diocletian (284-305) and Maximian (284-305). The persecution of Christians became particularly intense after the occurrence of a conflagration at the imperial court at Nicomedia. The pagans accused the Christians of setting the fire and reacted against them with terrible ferocity. Thus, in Nicomedia alone, on the day of the Nativity of Christ, at a church as many as twenty thousand Christians were burned. But this monstrous inhumanity did not frighten off the Christians: they firmly confessed their faith and accepted a martyr’s death for Christ. And thus during this period of sufferings died Saints Dorotheus, Mardonius, Migdonius, Peter, Indysos and Gorgonios. One of them was beheaded by the sword, others perished – by burning, or being covered over in the ground or by drowning in the sea. Zinon, a soldier, for his bold denunciation of the emperor Maximian was stoned, and then beheaded. Then also perished at the hands of the pagans the holy Virgin-Martyr Domna – a former pagan-priestess, and also Saint Euthymios, because of their concern that the bodies of the holy martyrs should be buried. Bishop Anthymos, who headed the Nicomedia Church, at the request of his flock concealed himself in a village not far from Nicomedia. From there he sent missives to the Christians, urging them to cleave firmly to the holy faith and not to fear tortures. One of his letters, dispatched with the Deacon Theophilos, was intercepted and given over to the emperor Maximian. Theophilos was subjected to interrogation and died under torture, without revealing to his torturers the whereabouts of Bishop Anthymos. But after a certain while Maximian managed to learn where Saint Anthymos was situated, and he sent a detachment of soldiers after him. The bishop himself met up with them along the way. The soldiers did not recognise the identity of the saint. He invited them to join him and provided them a meal, after which he revealed that he was the one that they were searching for. The soldiers did not know what to do in this instance; indeed, they wanted to leave him be and tell the emperor that they had not found him. Bishop Anthymos was not one to tolerate a lie, and so he would not consent to this. The soldiers themselves came to believe in Christ and accepted holy Baptism. But amidst all this, the saint nonetheless demanded them to carry out the orders of the emperor. When Bishop Anthymos was brought before the emperor, the emperor gave orders that the instruments of execution be brought out and placed before him. “Dost thou think, emperor, to frighten me with these tolls of execution?” – asked the saint. – “No indeed, thou canst not frighten one that doth wish to die for Christ! Execution is frightening only for the cowardly of soul, for whom the present life is most precious”. The emperor then directed that the saint be fiercely tortured and beheaded by the sword. Bishop Anthymos to his last gasp with joy glorified God, for Whom he had been vouchsafed to suffer (+ 302; another account of the Nicomedia Martyrs is located under 28 December).

Blessed John “the Hairy,” fool-for-Christ at Rostov (1580).
Blessed John the Merciful of Rostov (also known as “Vlasatyi” – “the Hairy”) asceticised at Rostov in the exploit of holy folly (iurodstvo), in it enduring deprivation and sorrow. He did not have a permanent shelter and at times took his rest at the house of his spiritual father – a priest at the church of the All-Holy (“Veskhsvyatsk”), or with one of the aged widows. Living in humility, patience and unceasing prayer, he spiritually nourished many a person, in which number was also the Monk Irinarkh, Hermit of Rostov (Comm. 13 January). After his lengthy life of pursuing asceticism he died on 3 September 1580 and was buried, according to his final wishes, alongside the church of Saint Blaise beyond the altar.       He had “hair upon his head abundantly”, wherefore he was called “Vlasatyi” or “Hairy”. The title “Merciful” was bestown upon Blessed John for the many healings that occurred at his grave, and also in connection with the memory of the holy Patriarch John the Merciful (VII Century, Comm. 12 November), whose name he had in common.

St. Phoebe , deaconess at Cenchreae near Corinth (1st c.).
St. Phoebe , deaconess at Cenchreae near Corinth (1st c.). Saint Phoebe the Deaconess is mentioned by the holy Apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Romans (Rom. 16: 1-2).

Venerable Theoctistus (451), fellow-faster with St. Euthymius the Great.
The Venerable Theoctistus, according to the Canon, is “the most respectable pastor”, and first was tonsured together with the Venerable Euthymius in a cave, but later became the head of the monastery built by the Venerable Euthymius near Jerusalem. He died in the year 467.

Martyr Basilissa of Nicomedia (309).
The Martyress Basilissa of Nicomedia suffered for her faith in Christ under the emperor Diocletian. The Nicomedia governor Alexander gave orders to arrest the nine year old Basilissa and force her to renounce Christ. But the young maiden displayed unshakable firmness in fidelity to her Lord and for this she was subjected to protracted and intense torture. But through the grace of God the holy martyress remained alive and unharmed. This was evident to all those present as a manifestation of the power of God, and it so shook up the governor Alexander, that he also came to believe in Christ and confessed himself a Christian. Baptised later by Bishop Anthymos, he lived for a short while afterwards in deep repentance, and then expired peacefully to the Lord, as also did Saint Basilissa some while after him. Her end was one of Christian peace and accompanied by miraculous signs of God’s mercy (+ 309).

St. Ioannicius II , first patriarch of Serbia (1349).
Sainted Joannikii, Patriarch of Serbia, was a native of the city of Prizren. It is known of him, that at first he started out as a secretary under king Karl (Charles) of Serbia, and later on from the year 1339 – he guided the Church in the dignity of archbishop. In the year 1346 a Council (Sobor) of all the Serbian archpastors, and including also the Patriarch of Bulgaria, at the wish of king Dushan, chose Archbishop Joannikii as Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Sainted Joannikii reposed on 3 September 1349 and was buried in the Pech monastery.

The Pisidia Icon of the Mother of God (608).
The Pisidia Icon of the Mother of God was glorified by miracles in the city of Sozopolis. The account of its origin is unknown. In the missives about icon-veneration by Germanos, Patriarch of Constantinople, which were read at the Seventh OEcumenical Council, “the icon of the Ever-Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, located at Pisidian Sozopolis and exuding myrh from the hands thereof”, is termed “ancient”. The miracle-working effected from the icon dates back to the VI Century. One of the miracles was reported by the presbyter Eustathios, who was a contemporary of Patriarch Eutykhios (Comm. 6 April). At Amasea, just off from Sozopolis, there was a certain married couple, for whom children were born dead. Grieving over their misfortune, they turned to Patriarch Eutykhios for advice. Saint Eutykhios made prayer and with the words “in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ” he anointed them with holy oil from the Cross of the Lord and from the holy icon of the Mother of God. “Name your child Peter, and he wilt be alive”, – said he to them. Soon the couple gave birth to a son which they did indeed name Peter, and then they thereafter gave birth to a second son, whom they named John. The people of the city, in learning of this miracle, glorified God. For about 600 years myrh flowed from the Pisidian Icon of the Mother of God, a witness to which was Eleusios (a disciple of the Monk Theodore Sikeotes, of Saisota; Comm. 22 April). A copy in Russia of this ancient wonderworking icon was done in 1608, at the Moscow Novospassk monastery. The Mother of God is depicted with the Divine-Infant on Her left arm, and with Her right hand She gives blessing.

New Martyr Polydorus of Cyprus (1794) (Greek).
Martyr Polydoros, from the city of Lefkosia on the island of Cyprus. For his conversion from Mohammedism to Christianity, the Turks hanged him after severely torturing him in New Ephesus in 1794. Many miracles were performed from his relics.

Additional Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today

New Hieromartyr Pimen (Belolikov) bishop of Vernensk and Semirechensk, Sergius, Basil, Philip, Vladimir priests, martyr Meletius (1918).

New Hieromartyrs Basil and Parthenius priests (1919).

New Hieromartyrs Andrew and Theophan priests (1920).

New Hieromartyrs Vladimir and Michael priests (1921).

New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1923).

New Hieromartyr Euthymius priest with 4 martyrs (1924).

New Hieromartyr Romanus priest (1929).

New Hieromartyr Alexis and Elias priests (1937).

New Hieromartyr Peter Deacon (1953).

Hieromartyr Aristion, bishop of Alexandria, in Syria (3rd c.).

Emperor Constantine the New (Greek).

Martyrs Chariton and Archontinus (Greek).

St. Remaclus, bishop of Maastricht (677) (Neth.).

St. Aigulphus of Provence (676) (Gaul).

St. Edward, martyr and king of England (978) (Celtic & British).

Today’s Hymns

Troparion of the Hieromartyr Anthimus in Tone IV
As thou didst share in the ways of the apostles
and didst
occupy their throne,
thou didst find thine activity to be a passage to divine
vision,
O divinely inspired one.
Wherefore, ordering the word of truth,
thou
didst suffer for the Faith even to the shedding of thy blood.
O hieromartyr
Anthimus, entreat Christ God, that our souls be saved.

Troparion of the Venerable Father Theoctistus in Tone VIII
With the streams of thy tears thou didst irrigate the barren
desert,
and with sighs from the depths of thy soul thou didst render thy labors
fruitful an hun­dredfold.
Thou wast a beacon for the whole world, radiating
miracles.
O our father Theoctistus, entreat Christ God that our souls be
saved.

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.

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