New Calendar Orthodox Daily Digest for 1/29/2022

Fasting Guidelines

Saturday January 29, 2022
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Today’s Commemorations

  • Translation of the relics of the Hieromartyr Ignatius, the Godbearer and Bishop of Antioch
  • Saint Laurence, Recluse of the Kiev Caves, Far Caves, and Bishop of Turov
  • Saint Gerasimus, Bishop of Perm
  • Saint Pitirim, Bishop of Perm
  • Saint Jonah, Bishop of Perm
  • Martyrs Romanus, Jacob (James), Philotheus, Hyperechius, Abibus, Julian, and Paregonius, at Samosata
  • Martyr Ashot Curapalati, King of Artanuji
  • Saint Ignatius, Wonderworker and Bishop of Smolensk
  • Saint Aphraates of Persia
  • Martyrs Sarbelus and Bebaia of Edessa
  • New Martyr Demetrius
  • Saint Akepsimas the Martyr

Scripture Readings


1 Thessalonians 5:14-23 (Epistle)

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Luke 16:10-15 (Gospel)

He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own? No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him. And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today

Translation of the relics of the Hieromartyr Ignatius, the Godbearer and Bishop of Antioch
Translation of the relics of the Hieromartyr Ignatius, the Godbearer and Bishop of Antioch The Transfer of the Relics of the Hieromartyr Ignatius the God-Bearer: (See December 20). After the holy hieromartyr Ignatius was thrown to the lions in the year 107 on the orders of the emperor Trajan, Christians gathered up his bones and preserved them at Rome.Later, in the year 108, the saint’s relics were collected and buried outside the gate of Daphne at Antioch. A second transfer, to the city of Antioch itself, took place in the year 438. After the capture of Antioch by the Persians, the relics of the Hieromartyr Ignatius were returned to Rome and placed into the church of the holy Hieromartyr Clement in the year 540 (in 637, according to other sources).Saint Ignatius introduced antiphonal singing into Church services. He has left us seven archpastoral epistles in which he provided instructions on faith, love and good works. He also urged his flock to preserve the unity of the faith and to beware of heretics. He encouraged people to honor and obey their bishops, “We should regard the bishop as we would the Lord Himself.” (To the Ephesians 6)In his Letter to Polycarp, Saint Ignatius writes: “Listen to the bishop, if you want God to listen to you… let your baptism be your shield, your faith a helmet, your charity a spear, your patience, like full armor.” (Compare Eph. 6:14-17 and the Wisdom of Solomon 5:17-20. Also The Ladder 4:2)

Martyr Ashot Curapalati, King of Artanuji
Martyr Ashot Curapalati, King of Artanuji In the year 786, Ashot, the son of Adarnerse, ascended the throne of Kartli. From the very beginning of his reign he fought fiercely for the reunification of Georgia. His first step was to take advantage of the Arab Muslims’ weariness and banish them from Tbilisi.Three years passed and, under the leadership of a new ruler, the reinvigorated Muslims began to hunt for Ashot. The king was forced to flee after he delayed taking action against them. The enemy had again conquered Tbilisi.Ashot was compelled to leave Kartli, and he departed for Byzantium with his family and small army. The refugees journeyed as far as Javakheti in southern Georgia and stopped near Lake Paravani for a rest. But while they were sleeping, a Saracen army assailed their camp. The king’s army was doomed, but “God helped Ashot Kuropalates and his scant army. He bestowed power upon them, and they defeated an enemy that greatly outnumbered them.” The king was deeply moved by God’s miraculous intervention and decided that, rather than journeying on to Byzantium as he had intended, he would remain in the region of Shavshet-Klarjeti.At that time southern Georgia was suffering great calamities. A cholera epidemic intensified the struggles of a people devastated by a ruthless enemy. Very few had survived, but that powerless and wearied remnant gladly received Ashot Kuropalates as their new leader, and the king began to restore the region at once. Ashot Kuropalates restored Artanuji Castle, which had originally been built by King Vakhtang Gorgasali and later ravaged by the Arab general Marwan “the Deaf.” Ashot founded a city nearby and proclaimed it the residence of the Bagrationi royal family of Klarjeti. He also constructed a church in honor of Saints Peter and Paul. As it is written, “God granted Ashot Kuropalates great strength and many victories.”The region of Klarjeti took on a new life, and through the efforts of Saint Grigol of Khandzta and his companions, the former wasteland was transformed into a borough bustling with churches, monasteries, and schools. Georgian noblemen soon began traveling to Klarjeti to forge their nation’s future with King Ashot and the other God-fearing leaders.Ashot Kuropalates was not only a leader who campaigned vigorously for the unification of Georgia—he was truly a godly-minded man. With great honor and joy he was the host of Fr. Grigol of Khandzta, a “heavenly man and an earthly angel.” Fr. Grigol blessed Ashot’s kingdom and his inheritance.Upon those who labored at Khandzta Monastery, Ashot Kuropalates bestowed the best lands, including Shatberdi, to serve as rural estates, which would supply food for the monastery. His children, Adarnerse, Bagrat, and Guaram, would later contribute much of their own fortune to the revival of the monasteries in the Klarjeti Wilderness. (Udabno in Georgian. Translated as “wilderness,” these deserted places where hermits made their abodes often attracted monks and pious laymen as the fame of these holy men spread. Over the centuries, with the foundation of numerous monasteries, these deserts became veritable cities and only retained the name “wilderness” in a figurative sense.)But after some time the usually virtuous King Ashot fell in love with a certain woman. He forgot his honor, his achievements, and his loyalty to God and the nation and took her to Artanuji Castle, an estate that had been built for the queen. Saint Grigol, however, heard about the king’s adulterous relationship and became exceedingly sorrowful. He confronted the king about his behavior, and the desperate Ashot promised to leave the woman, but he could not bring himself to fulfill his promise. So Fr. Grigol took her to Mere Monastery and turned her over to the abbess, Mother Pebronia, without telling Ashot. Upon hearing what had happened, King Ashot pleaded with Mother Pebronia to return the woman, but the abbess refused. At long last Ashot bowed his head to the nun and repented, saying, “Blessed is the man who is no longer alive to this world.”The king rediscovered his love for God and his country, and he prepared to return to Kartli. But his plans were foiled when a certain Muslim warrior named Khalil invaded, conquering the lands of Kartli, Hereti, and Kvemo Kartli.Ashot sent his men to assemble an army, but before the troops had been gathered, the Saracens attacked and forced them to flee. The king then traveled to Nigali Gorge with the intent of enlarging his army. Some of the draftees turned out to be traitors, and when the king discovered the betrayal, it was already too late. He hid in a church, but the godless men found him and stabbed him to death in the sanctuary. “They murdered him on the altar, as though slaughtering a sacrificial lamb, and his blood remains there to this day,” writes Sumbat, the son of Davit, in his book Lives of the Bagrationis.Thus the first Bagrationi king, “a believer, upon whom the inheritance of the Georgian people was established,” was also a martyr. The Georgians took revenge on the murderers of their beloved king. When the people of Doliskana heard that Ashot had been killed, they pursued his murderers and killed them near the Chorokhi River. Venerable Grigol and the Georgian people wept bitterly over the loss of their king and hope. Saint Ashot’s holy relics were buried in the Church of Saints Peter and Paul that he himself had built.

Saint Laurence, Recluse of the Kiev Caves, Far Caves, and Bishop of Turov
Saint Laurence, Hermit of the Caves and Bishop of Turov, in the Near Caves at first lived as a hermit at the monastery of the Great Martyr Demetrius, built by Great Prince Izyaslav at Kiev near the Monastery of the Caves. Later, he transferred to the Kiev Caves monastery, and was glorified by a gift of healing.He was elevated to the See of Turov in 1182 (Turov is a city in the Minsk region), and was a successor of Saint Cyril of Turov (April 28). He died in 1194, and was buried in the Near Caves. His memory is celebrated also on September 28 and on the second Sunday of Great Lent.

Saint Gerasimus, Bishop of Perm
Saint Gerasimus was the third bishop of the Zyryan people, and a worthy successor of Saint Stephen, Enlightener of Perm. He was elevated to the See of Perm sometime after the year 1416, when only part of the Zyryani had been converted to Christianity.He was concerned for his flock, which suffered incessant incursions from the Novgorodians and pagan Vogulians. He went into the Vogul camps, urging them to stop plundering the defenseless Christians of Perm. On one of these journeys in 1441, he was murdered by his Vogul servant (according to tradition he was strangled with his omophorion). He was buried in the Annunciation church of the village of Ust-Vym not far from the city of Yarenga, at the River Vychegda (also January 24).Today’s common commemoration of these three saints acknowledges their apostolic activity in this Eastern expanse of Russia. Saint Gerasimus is also commemorated on January 24.

Saint Pitirim, Bishop of Perm
Archimandrite Pitirim succeeded Saint Gerasimus as bishop of Great Perm and Ustiug. Even during his time the Voguli had not ceased attacking the peaceful Zyryani, the settlers of Perm. Bishop Pitirim stood up for his flock just as his predecessor had done.In 1447 he personally appealed to the Great Prince to help the Zyryani. The saint often visited his flock, which was spread out over a wide territory, instructing them in the Word of God and assisting them in their misfortunes. He undertook long journeys to enlighten the pagan Voguli, during which his life was frequently in danger, and he had to endure all sorts of privation. The saint did not slacken his efforts, he enlightened and instructed people in their homes, in churches, and in the open places.By his preaching he converted many of the Voguli who lived along the tributaries of the River Pechora, to Christianity. Because of this he aroused the terrible wrath of the leader of the Voguli, Asyk, who murdered the saint in a field as he was serving a Molieben. This occurred not far from Ust-Vym on August 19, 1455. Saint Pitirim compiled the Life of Saint Alexis and the Canon for the uncovering of his relics.The relics of Saint Pitirim rest in the Annunciation temple in Ust-Vym (in Vologda district).The common commemoration of these three saints acknowledges their apostolic activity in this Eastern expanse of Russia. Saint Pitirim is also commemorated on August 19.

Saint Jonah, Bishop of Perm
After Saint Pitirim, Saint Jonah ascended the throne of Perm. He converted to Christianity the remaining part of Great Perm, i.e. the pagan tribes living along the Rivers Vishera, Kama, Chusova and others. By his efforts the idols were eradicated and in their place churches were built. Experienced pastors were sent to teach the new converts at the church-run schools of Us-Vym.Saint Jonah reposed on June 6, 1470. His relics rest together with the relics of Saints Gerasimus and Pitirim in the Annunciation temple in Ust-Vym (in Vologda district).The commemoration in common of these three saints acknowledges their apostolic activity in this Eastern expanse of Russia. Saint Jonah is also commemorated on June 6.

Martyrs Romanus, Jacob (James), Philotheus, Hyperechius, Abibus, Julian, and Paregonius, at Samosata
The Holy Martyrs Romanus, James, Philotheus, Hyperichius, Habib, Julian and Parigoreas suffered in the year 297, during the persecution by Diocletian (284-305), in the city of Samosata (in Syria on the River Euphrates). They bravely denounced the senseless worship of idols, for which they were arrested and given over to various terrible tortures. Their bodies were scraped with iron, heavy iron fetters were hung around their necks, and they were locked up in prison. Finally, nails were driven into their heads while they were suspended on crosses.

Saint Ignatius, Wonderworker and Bishop of Smolensk
Saint Ignatius, Bishop of Smolensk and Wonderworker (+ ca. 1210): By some accounts, Saint Ignatius was the first bishop of Smolensk. He was a friend of Saint Abraham (August 21), whom he ordained to the priesthood. Bishop Ignatius was a kindly and pious Elder, heading the trial instigated by Saint Abraham’s enemies, at which the monk was acquitted.Saint Ignatius founded a monastery in honor of the Placing of the Robe of the Mother of God. To him is ascribed the construction of the most ancient Avraamiev monastery in which he spent the remainder of his days, after resigning as bishop. At the death of Saint Ignatius a miracle occurred: “A great light came down from heaven upon him, and all were filled with fear.” The relics of the saint rest in the Smolensk cathedral church.

Saint Aphraates of Persia
Saint Aphraates, a Persian who came to believe in Christ, disavowed his illustrious lineage and left his pagan countrymen by going to Edessa, and then to Antioch. He attracted many by his holy life, and preached the Word of God to them. He died in the year 370.

Martyrs Sarbelus and Bebaia of Edessa
The Holy Martyr Sarbelus was a pagan priest who lived during the reign of the emperor Trajan (98-117) He and his sister Bebaia were converted by Barsimaius, the Bishop of Edessa. They both received the crown of martyrdom.Saints Sarbelus and Bebaia are also commemorated on October 15.

New Martyr Demetrius
New Martyr Demetrius

Saint Akepsimas the Martyr
Saint Akepsimas the Martyr

Today’s Hymns

Translation of the relics of the Hieromartyr Ignatius, the Godbearer and Bishop of Antioch – 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 Ignatius, entreat Christ God to save our souls.
Kontakion — Tone 4
Today you rose from the east,
enlightening all of creation with your teachings,
and you are crowned with martyrdom, God-bearing Ignatius.

Saint Laurence, Recluse of the Kiev Caves, Far Caves, and Bishop of Turov – 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 Laurence, pray to Christ our God to save our souls!
Kontakion — Tone 2
O Hierarch Laurence, divine thunder, spiritual trumpet,
planter of faith and pruner of heresies, great favorite of the Trinity,
while standing with the Angels before God,
pray unceasingly for us all.

Saint Gerasimus, Bishop of Perm – 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 Gerasimus,
entreat Christ our God
that our souls may be saved.
Kontakion — Tone 2
O Hierarch Gerasimus, divine thunder, spiritual trumpet,
planter of faith and pruner of heresies, great favorite of the Trinity,
while standing with the Angels before God,
pray unceasingly for us all.

Saint Pitirim, Bishop of Perm – 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 Pitirim,
entreat Christ our God
that our souls may be saved.
Kontakion — Tone 2
O Hierarch Pitirim, divine thunder, spiritual trumpet,
planter of faith and pruner of heresies, great favorite of the Trinity,
while standing with the Angels before God,
pray unceasingly for us all.

Saint Jonah, Bishop of Perm – 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 Jonah,
entreat Christ our God
that our souls may be saved.
Kontakion — Tone 2
O Hierarch Jonah, divine thunder, spiritual trumpet,
planter of faith and pruner of heresies, great favorite of the Trinity,
while standing with the Angels before God,
pray unceasingly for us all.

Martyrs Romanus, Jacob (James), Philotheus, Hyperechius, Abibus, Julian, and Paregonius, at Samosata – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 4
Your holy martyrs, 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!

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

Saint Ignatius, Wonderworker and Bishop of Smolensk – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 4
In truth you were revealed to your flock as a rule of faith,
an image of humility and a teacher of abstinence;
your humility exalted you;
your poverty enriched you.
Hierarch Father Ignatius,
entreat Christ our God
that our souls may be saved.
Kontakion — Tone 2
O Hierarch Ignatius, divine thunder, spiritual trumpet,
planter of faith and pruner of heresies, great favorite of the Trinity,
while standing with the Angels before God,
pray unceasingly for us all.

Martyrs Sarbelus and Bebaia of Edessa – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 4
Your holy martyrs 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 Martyr Demetrius – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 3
Your holy martyr Demetrius, O Lord,
through his suffering has received an incorruptible crown from You, our God.
For having Your strength, he laid low his adversaries,
and shattered the powerless boldness of demons.
Through his intercessions, save our souls!
Kontakion — Tone 2
You appeared as a bright star announcing Christ with your radiance,
which is repulsive to this world, O Martyr Demetrius;
extinguishing the allure of false gods,
you enlighten the faithful,
always interceding for us all.

Saint Akepsimas the Martyr – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 4
Your holy martyr Akepsimas, O Lord,
through his sufferings has received an incorruptible crown from You, our God.
For having Your strength, he laid low his adversaries,
and shattered the powerless boldness of demons.
Through his intercessions, save our souls!
Kontakion — Tone 2
You appeared as a bright star announcing Christ with your radiance,
which is repulsive to this world, O Martyr Akepsimas;
extinguishing the allure of false gods,
you enlighten the faithful,
always interceding for us all.


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