Old Calendar Orthodox Daily Digest for 12/30/2021

Fasting Guidelines

28th Week after Pentecost. Tone two.
Nativity (St. Philip’s Fast). Fish Allowed

Today’s Commemorations

  • Holy Prophet Daniel (600 B.C.) and the Three Holy Youths: Ananias, Azarias, and Misael.
  • New Hieromartyrs Alexander, Nicholas and Sergius priests (1918).
  • New Hieromartyrs Peter and John priests (1937).
  • Venerable Daniel the Confessor (in schema Stephen) of Spain and Egypt (10th c.).
  • St. Dionysius of Zakynthos, archbishop of Aegina (1622).
  • New Hieromartyr Paisius, abbot of Turnovo, and Martyr Abbacum the Deacon at Belgrade (1814).
  • Martyrs Patermuthius, Coprius and Alexander the Soldier of Egypt (361).
  • St. Sturm, abbot and founder of Fulda monastery (779) (Germany).
  • Sts. Athanasius, Nicholas, and Anthony, founders of Vatopedi Monastery (10th c.).
  • New Martyr Nicetas of Nyssa (1300).
  • St. Misael of Abalatsk, hieromonk (1797).

Scripture Readings

Titus 1:5-2:1
For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you- if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work. But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine:

Mark 9:10-16
So they kept this word to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant. And they asked Him, saying, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” Then He answered and told them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and restores all things. And how is it written concerning the Son of Man, that He must suffer many things and be treated with contempt? But I say to you that Elijah has also come, and they did to him whatever they wished, as it is written of him. And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them. Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him. And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?”

Hebrews 11:33-12:2 (Prophet)
who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented- of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Luke 11:47-12:1 (Prophet)
Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. In fact, you bear witness that you approve the deeds of your fathers; for they indeed killed them, and you build their tombs. Therefore the wisdom of God also said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute,’ that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation. Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered. And as He said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to assail Him vehemently, and to cross-examine Him about many things, lying in wait for Him, and seeking to catch Him in something He might say, that they might accuse Him. In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today

Holy Prophet Daniel (600 B.C.) and the Three Holy Youths: Ananias, Azarias, and Misael.
Holy Prophet  Daniel  (600 B.C.) and the Three Holy Youths: Ananias, Azarias, and Misael. The Holy Prophet Daniel and the Three Holy Youths Ananias, Azarias and Misael: In the years following 600 B.C. Jerusalem was conquered by the Babylonians, the Temple built by Solomon was destroyed, and many of the Israelite people were led away into the Babylonian Captivity. Among the captives were also the illustrious youths Daniel, Ananias, Azarias and Misael. The emperor of Babylon, Nebuchadnessar, gave orders to instruct them in the Chaldean wisdom, and to dress them in finery at his court. But they, in cleaving to the commandments of their faith, refused the extravagance and led a strict manner of life; they indeed sustained themselves on only vegetables and water. The Lord granted them wisdom, and to Saint Daniel – the gift of perspicacity and the interpretation of dreams. The holy Prophet Daniel, having preserved sacred faith in the One God and trusting on His almighty help, in his wisdom surpassed all the Chaldean astrologers and sorcerers, and was made a confidant to the emperor Nebuchadnessar. One time Nebuchadnessar had a strange dream, which terrified him, but upon awakening he forgot the details of the vision. The Babylonian wise-men seemed powerless to learn what the emperor had dreamt. Thereupon the holy Prophet Daniel gave glory before all to the power of the True God, revealing not only the content of the dream, but also its prophetic significance. After this Daniel was elevated by the emperor to be a lord of the realm of Babylonia.       During these times the emperor Nebuchadnessar gave orders to erect in his likeness – an huge statue, to which it was decreed to accord the honours befitting a god. For their refusal to do this, the three holy lads – Ananias, Azarias and Misael – were thrust into a burning fiery furnace. The flames shot out over the furnace 49 cubits, felling the Chaldeans standing about, but the holy lads walked amidst the flames, offering up prayer and psalmody to the Lord (Dan. 3: 26-90). The Angel of the Lord in appearing made cool the flames, and the lads remained unharmed. The emperor, upon seeing this, commanded them to come out, and was converted to the True God.       Under the following emperor Balthasar, Saint Daniel interpreted a mysterious inscription (“Mene, Takel, Phares”), which had appeared on the wall of the palace during the time of a banquet (Dan. 5: 1-31), which foretold the downfall of the Babylonian realm.         Under the Persian emperor Darius, Saint Daniel was slandered by his enemies, and was thrown into a den with hungry lions, but they did not touch him, and he remained unharmed. The emperor Darius then in rejoicing over Daniel gave orders throughout all his realm to worship the God of Daniel, “since that He is the Living and Ever-Existing God, and His Kingdom is unbounded, and His sovereignty is without end” (Dan. 6: 1-29). The holy Prophet Daniel sorrowed deeply for his people, who then were undergoing righteous chastisement for a multitude of sins and offenses, for transgressing the laws of God, – resulting in the grievous Babylonian Captivity and the destruction of Jerusalem: “My God, incline Thine ear and hearken, open Thine eyes and look upon our desolation and upon the city, in which is spoken Thine Name; wherefore do we make our supplication before Thee, trusting in hope not upon our own righteousness, but upon Thy great mercy” (Dan. 9: 18). By his righteous life and prayer for the redeeming of the iniquity of his people, there was revealed to the holy prophet the destiny of the nation of Israel and the fate of all the world.       During the interpretation of the dream of the emperor Nebuchadnessar, the Prophet Daniel declared about the kingdoms replacing one another and about the great final kingdom – the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ (Dan. 2: 44). The prophetic vision about the seventy of weeks (Dan. 9: 24-27) tells the world about the signs of the First and the Second Comings of the Lord Jesus Christ and is connected with those events (Dan. 12: 1-12). Saint Daniel interceded for his people before the successor to Darius, the emperor Cyrus, who esteemed him highly, and who decreed freedom for the Israelite people. Daniel himself and his fellows Ananias, Azarias and Misael, all survived into old age, but died in captivity. According to the testimony of Sainted Cyril of Alexandria (Comm. 9 June), Saints Ananias, Azarias and Misael were beheaded on orders of the Persian emperor Chambyses.

Venerable Daniel the Confessor (in schema Stephen) of Spain and Egypt (10th c.).
The Monk Daniel the Confessor, in the Schema Stephen, was a Spanish dignitary, and ruler of the island of Niverta. Disdaining worldly glory, he accepted monasticism at Rome and set out to the holy places at Constantinople and Jerusalem, where he became a schema-monk. For his refusal to accept Islam he perished as a martyr under the Saracens in the X Century.

St. Dionysius of Zakynthos, archbishop of Aegina (1622).
He was born to pious and wealthy parents on the island of Zakinthos. Early in life he renounced his wealth and worldly honors to enter monastic life. His virtue became so well known that he was appointed Archbishop of Aegina, where he served for many years. In time, in order to retire to a life of solitude and struggle, he resigned and returned to his homeland where he entered a monastery in the mountains. Here he received the grace of performing miracles, and worked many healing and saving wonders among the people of Zakinthos.   A story from the Synaxarion reveals his character as one truly united to Christ: “He excelled above all in love of neighbour and in meekness. One day the murderer of the Saint’s own brother, fleeing the law and the members of his victim’s family, arrived at the monastery and begged Dionysius for asylum, little knowing to whom he was speaking. On gathering the reason for his flight and that his own brother was the victim, the man of God resisted with all his strength his natural grief and the temptation to avenge the crime. Imitating Christ, who pardoned his enemies and prayed for his persecutors, he received the fugitive with compassion, comforted him, exhorted him to repent and hid him in an out-of-the-way cell. When his pursuing kinsmen reached the monastery with the dreadful news, the Saint did not reveal that he knew it already, but did his best with words of peace to allay the wrath of his relatives and their desire for vengeance. As soon as they moved off, he let out the murderer (who was amazed and terror-struck before such superhuman goodness) and having provided him with victuals and money for his journey, he sent him away to work freely at the salvation of his soul.”   The holy bishop reposed in 1622 after a long and painful illness. He has continued to work signs and miracles and to appear from time to time to the people of Zakinthos, who venerate him as their protector and patron.

Additional Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today

New Hieromartyrs Alexander, Nicholas and Sergius priests (1918).

New Hieromartyrs Peter and John priests (1937).

New Hieromartyr Paisius, abbot of Turnovo, and Martyr Abbacum the Deacon at Belgrade (1814).

Martyrs Patermuthius, Coprius and Alexander the Soldier of Egypt (361).

St. Sturm, abbot and founder of Fulda monastery (779) (Germany).

Sts. Athanasius, Nicholas, and Anthony, founders of Vatopedi Monastery (10th c.).

New Martyr Nicetas of Nyssa (1300).

St. Misael of Abalatsk, hieromonk (1797).

Today’s Hymns

Holy Prophet Daniel & Three Holy Youths, Ananias, Azarias’and Misail;
Troparion, Tone II

Great are the accomplishments of faith!
In the fountain of flame, as in
refresh­ing water, the three holy children rejoiced;
and the Prophet Daniel

was shown to be a shepherd of lions, as of sheep.
By their prayers, O Christ
God; save Thou our souls.

Kontakion of the Prophet, Tone III “Today the Virgin”
Enlightened by the Spirit,
thy pure heart became the receptacle of most
splendid prophecy:
for thou beheldest far-off things as though they were
present,
and, cast into the pit, didst tame the lions.
Wherefore, we honor
thee, O blessed and glorious Prophet Daniel.

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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