Old Calendar Orthodox Daily Digest for 2/25/2022

Fasting Guidelines

Week of the Prodigal Son. Tone two.
Fast. Fish Allowed

Today’s Commemorations

  • Iveron Icon (Moscow) of the Most Holy Theotokos (9th c.).
  • St. Meletius , archbishop of Antioch (381).
  • St. Alexis , metropolitan of Moscow and wonderworker of all Russia (1378).
  • St. Meletius, archbishop of Kharkov (1840).
  • New Hieromartyr Alexius (Buy), bishop of Voronezh (1930).
  • New Martyr Mitrophan, archpriest (1931).
  • Venerable Mary , nun (who was called Marinus), and her father, St. Eugene , monk, at Alexandria (6th c.).
  • St. Anthony II , patriarch of Constantinople (895).
  • Saint Meletios of Lardos, Founder of Ypseni Monastery (19th c.).
  • Venerable Bassian, disciple of St. Paisius of Uglich and abbot of Ryabovsky Forest Monastery, Uglich (1509).
  • Callia, righteous.
  • Venerable Gertrude of Nijvel, abbess (659) (Neth.).
  • St. Ethilwald of Lindisfarne (740) (Celtic & British).
  • New Martyr Chrestos at Constantinople (1748) (Greek).
  • Martyrs Saturnius and Plotonus (Greek).
  • Hieromartyr Urban us, bishop of Rome (223-230).
  • Holy Fathers Prokhore the Georgian (11th c.), Luka (Mukhaidze) of Jerusalem (1277), Nikoloz Dvali (1314), аnd the Holy Fathers of the Georgian Monasteries in Jerusalem (Georgia).

Scripture Readings

Luke 1:39-49, 56 (Matins Gospel)
Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord. And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name. And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.

2 John 1:1-13
The Elder, To the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all those who have known the truth, because of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever: Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father. And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it. For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds. Having many things to write to you, I did not wish to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. The children of your elect sister greet you. Amen.

Mark 15:22-25, 33-41
And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull. Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it. And when they crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take. Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him. Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Some of those who stood by, when they heard that, said, “Look, He is calling for Elijah!” Then someone ran and filled a sponge full of sour wine, put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink, saying, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to take Him down.” And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last. Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!” There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome, who also followed Him and ministered to Him when He was in Galilee, and many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.

Philippians 2:5-11 (Epistle, Theotokos)
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Luke 10:38-42; 11:27-28 (Gospel, Theotokos)
Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her. And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!” But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

Hebrews 13:17-21 (St. Alexis)
Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably. But I especially urge you to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner. Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Luke 6:17-23 (St. Alexis)
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

Iveron Icon (Moscow) of the Most Holy Theotokos (9th c.).
Iveron  Icon (Moscow) of the Most Holy Theotokos (9th c.). During the reign of Emperor Theophilus (829-842) the Byzantine Empire raged with the heresy of iconoclasm. In accordance with the emperor’s command, thousands of soldiers pillaged the empire, searching every corner, city, and village for hidden icons.       Near the city of Nicaea there lived a certain pious widow who had concealed an icon of the Most Holy Theotokos. Before long the soldiers discovered it, and one of them thrust his spear into the image.       But by God’s grace his terrible deed was overshadowed by a miracle: blood flowed forth from the wound on the face of the Mother of God.       The frightened soldiers quickly fled.       The widow spent the whole night in vigil, praying before the icon of the Most Holy Theotokos. In the morning, according to God’s will, she took the icon to the sea and cast it upon the water. The holy icon stood upright on the waves and began to sail westward.       Time passed, and one evening the monks of the Iveron Monastery on Mt. Athos beheld a pillar of light, shining upon the sea like the sun (ca. 1004). The miraculous image lasted several days, while the fathers of the Holy Mountain gathered together, marveling. Finally they descended to the edge of the sea, where they beheld the pillar of light standing above the icon of the Theotokos. But when they approached it, the icon moved farther out to sea.       At that time a Georgian monk named Gabriel was laboring at the Iveron Monastery. The Theotokos appeared to the fathers of the Holy Mountain and told them that Gabriel alone was worthy to retrieve the holy icon from the sea. At the same time, she appeared to Gabriel and told him, “Enter the sea, and walk out upon the waves with faith, and all will witness my love and mercy for your monastery.”       The monks of Mt. Athos found Gabriel at the Georgian monastery and led him down to the sea, chanting hymns, and censing with holy incense. Gabriel walked out upon the water as though upon dry land, took the icon in his arms, and obediently carried it back to shore.       This miracle occurred on Bright Tuesday.       While the monks were celebrating a paraklesis of thanksgiving, a cold, sweet spring miraculously gushed forth from the ground where the icon stood. Afterwards they took the icon to a church and set it down in the sanctuary with great reverence.       But the next morning one of the monks came to light a lamp and discovered that the icon was no longer where they had left it; now it was hanging on a wall near the entrance gate. The disbelieving monks took it down and returned it to the sanctuary, but the next day the icon was again found at the monastery gate. This miracle recurred several times, until the Most Holy Virgin appeared to Gabriel, saying, “Announce to the brothers that from this day they should not carry me away. For what I desire is not to be protected by you; rather I will overshadow you, both in this life and in the age to come. As long as you see my icon in the monastery, the grace and mercy of my Son shall never be lacking!”       Filled with exceeding joy, the monks erected a small church near the monastery gate to glorify the Most Holy Theotokos and placed the wonder-working icon inside. The holy icon came to be known as the “Iveron Mother of God” and, in Greek, Portaitissa. By the grace of the miraculous Iveron Icon of the Theotokos, many miracles have taken place and continue to take place throughout the world.

St. Alexis , metropolitan of Moscow and wonderworker of all Russia (1378).
St. Alexis , metropolitan of Moscow and wonderworker of all Russia (1378). Sainted Alexei, Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia the Wonderworker, (in the world Elevtherii), was born in the year 1292 (or by another source 1304) at Moscow into the family of the boyar-noble Theodore (Feodor) Byakont, a descendant of the Chernigov princely line.       The Lord early on revealed to the future saint his lofty destiny. At twelve years of age Elevtherii ha set a snare for the netting of birds, and imperceptibly he dozed off and suddenly he heard quite distinctly a voice: “Alexei! Why toilest thou in vain? Thou art to be a netter of people”.From this day on the lad tended towards seclusion, he frequently visited church, and at age fifteen he decided to become a monk. In 1320 he entered the Moscow Theophany monastery, where he spent more than twelve years at strict monastic efforts. As guides for him and his companions there were the reknown ascetics of the monastery, the startsi-elders Gerontii and Stefan, brother of the Monk Sergei of Radonezh. Metropolitan Theognist then bade the future saint to leave the monastery and manage the juridical affairs of the Church. The saint fulfilled this office for 12 years as vicar of the metropolitan. Towards the end of 1350 Vladyka Theognist had Alexei ordained as bishop of Vladimir; upon the death of the metropolitan he became his successor in the year 1354. During this period the Russian Church was torn amidst great rifts and quarrels, in part because of the pretensions of the metropolitan of Lithuania and Volynia, Roman. In 1356, in order to put an end to the troubles and disturbances, the saint set off to Constantinople to the OEcumenical Patriarch. Patriarch Kallistos gave Saint Alexei the right to both be called and to consider himself Archbishop of Kiev and Great Russia with the title, “All-Venerable Metropolitan and Exarch”. On the return journey during the time of a storm at sea the ship was in danger of shipwreck. Saint Alexei prayed and gave a vow to build a temple to the saint of that day, when the ship should come to shore. The storm subsided, and the ship arrived on 16 August. Moscow delightedly came out to meet the saint.       In spite of problems on every side, Saint Alexei concerned himself everywhere over his flock: he sent forth bishops, he established life-in-common monasteries (on the model of the Trinity Lavra, founded by the Monk Sergei), and he brought order to relations with the khans of the Horde. The saint himself occasioned more than once to journey to the Golden Horde. In 1357 the khan demanded of the greatprince, that the saint should come to him and heal the blindness of Taidul, his spouse. “The request and the matter is beyond my powers, – said Saint Alexei, – but I do believe in Him That gaveth the blind man to see, and that He shalt not disdain my prayers of faith”. And actually, through his prayer, and being sprinkled with holy water, the wife of the khan was healed.       When Greatprince Ioann died, his young son Dimitrii (the future Donskoy), still in age a minor, was taken under the saint’s guardianship. The holy vladyka had much toil in reconciling and appeasing  princes obstinate against accepting the authority of Moscow. Nor did the metropolitan neglect the work of organising new monasteries. In 1361 he founded the Saviour Image Not-Wrought-by-Hand monastery at the Yauza in Moscow (the disciple of the Monk Sergei – Andronikov by name – was the first hegumen of the monastery), from the vow he had given back on his return journey from Constantinople, when the ship had suffered woe. There was also the Chudov monastery – in the Moscow Kremlin; likewise, ancient monasteries were restored: the Annunciation monastery at Nizhni-Novgorod, and the Konstantino-Eleninsk [Constantine and Helen] at Vladimir. And in 1361 there was built a women’s life-in-common monastery after his name (the Alekseev).       Saint Alexei reached the advanced age of 78, having spent 24 years upon the metropolitan cathedra-seat. He reposed on 12 February 1378 and was buried in accord with his last-wishes at the Chudov monastery. His relics were uncovered in a miraculous manner 50 years later, after which there began the veneration of the memory of the great Sainted-Hierarch and Man of Prayer for the Russian Land.

Holy Fathers Prokhore the Georgian (11th c.), Luka (Mukhaidze) of Jerusalem (1277), Nikoloz Dvali (1314), аnd the Holy Fathers of the Georgian Monasteries in Jerusalem (Georgia).
Holy Fathers Prokhore the Georgian (11th c.), Luka (Mukhaidze) of Jerusalem (1277), Nikoloz Dvali  (1314), аnd the Holy Fathers of the Georgian Monasteries in Jerusalem (Georgia). Saint Prokhore the Georgian, a descendant of the noble Shavteli family, was born at the end of the 10th century and grew up in a monastery. When he reached manhood he was ordained a hieromonk and labored for one year at the Lavra of St. Sabbas in Jerusalem. Then, with the blessing of his spiritual father Ekvtime Grdzeli, he began the reconstruction of the Holy Cross Georgian Monastery near Jerusalem.       According to tradition, at this spot Abraham’s nephew Lot planted three trees—a cypress, a pine, and a cedar. Eventually these three trees miraculously grew into one large tree. When the Temple of Solomon was being built, this tree was cut down but left unused. It is said that the Cross on which Christ our Savior was crucified was constructed from the wood of this tree.       In the 4th century, the land on which the miraculous tree had grown was presented to Holy King Mirian, the first Christian king of Georgia. Then in the 5th century, during the reign of Holy King Vakhtang Gorgasali, the Holy Cross Monastery was founded on that land. The monastery was destroyed several times between the 7th and 9th centuries.       Finally, in the 11th century, King Bagrat Kuropalates offered much of his wealth to Fr. Prokhore for the restoration of the monastery. St. Prokhore beautified the monastery, then gathered eighty monks and established the typicon (the monastic rule) for the community in accordance with that of the St. Sabbas Lavra.       When St. Prokhore had labored long and lived to an advanced age, he chose his disciple Giorgi to be the monastery’s next abbot.       Then he departed for the wilderness with two of his disciples, and after some time the righteous monk yielded up his spirit to God.       Beyond this, little is known about the life of St. Prokhore. According to Georgian researchers and scholars, he was probably born sometime between 985 and 990. He spent the years 1010 to 1015 in Jerusalem, and labored at the Lavra of St. Sabbas until 1025. He reposed in the year 1066, between the ages of 76 and 81.       The holy martyr Luka of Jerusalem lived in the 13th century. He was born to an honorable, pious Georgian family by the name of Mukhaisdze. After the repose of Luka’s father, his mother left her children and went to labor at a monastery in Jerusalem.       When Luka reached the age of twenty, he traveled to Jerusalem to visit his mother and venerate the holy places. After spending some time there he decided to remain and be tonsured a monk. He was later ordained a deacon and became fluent in Arabic. Soon the brothers of the monastery recognized his wisdom and asked him to guide them as abbot. For three years Luka directed the monastery in an exemplary manner.       But the devil was envious of the holy father and provoked a certain Shekh-Khidar, an influential Persian at the court of Sultan Penducht, (Probably Sultan Zakhir-Rukedin-Baibars-Bundukdar of Egypt (1260-1277)) to take up arms against St. Luka. Sultan Penducht then transferred possession of theHoly CrossMonastery to Shekh-Khidar, who “treated the Georgian monks in a beastly manner and finally ousted them from the monastery altogether.” Fulfilling his God-given duty, the blessed Luka insisted on personally confronting Shekh-Khidar in defense of his brotherhood.       Luka’s Christian brothers and sisters warned him, saying, “Shekh-Khidar is threatening you.… Flee and hide fromhim!” But Luka paid no heed to their admonitions, certain that it was more fitting to die for Christ than to live for the world. As he had insisted, he himself approached Shekh-Khidar and asked for the release of the imprisoned fathers.       Luka told him that he was prepared to accept any demands. The wicked Persian leader demanded nothing from Luka except that he convert to Islam, promising to make him emir if he consented. When he refused, the furious Shekh-Khidar ordered St. Luka’s beheading.       After the terrible deed had been performed, St. Luka’s severed head turned toward the east and gave thanks to God with an expression of pure peace. Soon after, his precious body was set on fire at the command of the bewildered Shekh-Khidar. This occurred in 1277. St. Nikoloz Dvali the Martyr was born at the end of the 13th century to a God-fearing couple who directed his path toward the spiritual life.       At the age of twelve Nikoloz traveled to the Klarjeti Wilderness and was tonsured a monk. From there he made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and remained in the holy city, settling at the Holy Cross Monastery. Burning with desire for the apostolic life, Monk Nikoloz was determined to die a martyr’s death.       In Jerusalem a group of godless men arrested and tormented St. Nikoloz for publicly confessing the Christian Faith, but a group of Christians succeeded in rescuing him from prison. Then, in accordance with his abbot’s counsel, St. Nikoloz relocated to a Georgian monastery on Cyprus. There the pious monk beseeched the Lord to make him worthy of the crown of martyrdom. One day, while he was praying before the icon of St. John the Baptist, he heard a voice saying, “Nikoloz! Arise and go to Jerusalem. There you will find a Georgian monk who will teach you the way of righteousness and encourage you on the path of martyrdom. He has been appointed to guide you.”       Accordingly, St. Nikoloz returned to Jerusalem, met the monk whom God had appointed, and informed him of what had been revealed. The Most Holy Theotokos and St. John the Baptist appeared to St. Nikoloz’s spiritual father, who had been praying intensely for guidance, and told him that it was the Lord’s will for Nikoloz to journey to Damascus.       While in Damascus, the holy father entered a mosque and openly confessed Christ to be the Savior, reproving those present for their folly. The angry Muslims seized St. Nikoloz, beat him, and cast him into prison. After a great struggle, the metropolitan and local Christians succeeded in recovering him from captivity, but he immediately returned to the Muslims and began again to denounce their ungodly ways. Again they beat him mercilessly, lashed him five hundred times, and cast him in prison for a second time. But the holy martyr’s wounds were healed through the miraculous intercession of St. John the Baptist, and after two months he was released from prison.       By chance the emir of the city caught a glimpse of St. Nikoloz as he was preparing to return to Jerusalem. The emir recognized him and sent him to Dengiz, the emir of emirs. Dengiz flattered him and offered to convert him to Islam, but St. Nikoloz bravely defended his faith in Christ. In response, Dengiz ordered his execution.       At the hour appointed by Dengiz, the blessed martyr turned to the east, joyfully bowed his neck to the sword, and prayed, “Glory to Thee, O Christ God, Who hast accounted me worthy to die for Thy name’s sake.” The sword pierced his neck, but the severed head glorified God seven times, crying out, “Glory to Thee, O Christ our God!”       The Persians burned the saint’s body, and for three days a pillar of light shone at the place where it lay.       When St.Nikoloz’s spiritual father heard about his martyrdom, he prayed to God to reveal to him whether Nikoloz would be numbered among the saints. Then one day while he was reading, he saw a vision of a host of saints standing atop a mountain, illumined and surrounded by a cloud of incense. Among them the Great-martyr George shone especially brightly, and he called St. Nikoloz, saying, “Nikoloz! Come and see the monk, your spiritual father. He has shed many tears for you.”       Nikoloz greeted his spiritual father, saying, “Behold me and the place where I am, and from this day cease your sorrowing for me.”       St. Nikoloz Dvali was tortured to death on Tuesday, October 19, in the year 1314. The Georgian Church continues to commemorate him on that date.

St. Meletius , archbishop of Antioch (381).
Saint Meletios, Archbishop of Antioch, was at first a bishop of Sebasteia in Armenia (c.357), and afterwards he was summoned by the emperor Constantius to Antioch to help defend against the Arian heresy, and received there the cathedra-seat.       Saint Meletios struggled quite zealously against the Arian error, but through the intrigues of the heretics he was thrice deposed from his cathedra-seat; Constantius had become surrounded by the Arians and had been swayed over to their position. In all this Saint Meletios was distinguished by an extraordinary gentleness, and he constantly led along his flock by the example of his own virtue and kindly disposition, presupposing that upon suchlike a soil sprouts more readily the seeds of the true teaching of the faith.       Saint Meletios was the one who ordained as deacon the future hierarch Saint Basil the Great. And Saint Meletios also baptised and encouraged the growth under him of another of the greatest luminaries of Orthodoxy – Saint John Chrysostom, who afterwards wrote an eulogy to his former archpastor.       After Constantius, the throne was occupied by Julian the Apostate, and the saint again was expelled, having to hide himself away in secret places for his safety. But again returning under the emperor Jovian in the year 363, Saint Meletios wrote his theological tract, “Exposition of the Faith”, which facilitated the conversion to Orthodoxy of many of the Arians.       In the year 381, under the emperor Theodosius the Great (379-395), the Second OEcumenical Council was convened. Already in the year 380 the saint had set off on his way to the Second OEcumenical Council at Constantinople, and came to preside over it. Before the start of the Council, Saint Meletios raised up his hand displaying three fingers, and then conjoining together two fingers and bending the one he blessed the people, proclaiming: “We apprehend three hypostatic-persons, and we speak about one self-same nature,” – and with this declaration of the saint there flashed the fire of a lightning-bolt. During the time of the Council Saint Meletios expired to the Lord. Saint Gregory of Nyssa honoured the memory of the deceased with an eulogistic word.       There are preserved discourses of Saint Meletios concerning the One-in-Essence nature of the Son of God with God the Father, and also his letter to the emperor Jovian about the confessing of the Holy Trinity. The relics of Saint Meletios were transferred from Constantinople to Antioch.

St. Meletius, archbishop of Kharkov (1840).
Sainted Meletii, Archbishop of Khar’kov and Akhtyrsk (in the world Mikhail Ivanovich Leontovich), was born 6 November 1784 in the village of Stara Stanzhara in the Poltava district.       In 1808 Mikhail Leontovich successfully completed the Ekaterinoslav religious Seminary. As the best student, he was sent on by the Ekterinoslav archbishop Platon to Peterburg, to the Alexandro-Nevsky Spiritual Academy [in Russia, “spiritual academy” is higher level of religious training beyond “seminary”]. Finishing the spiritual academy in 1814 with the degree of “magister” [“teacher”], he was appointed adjunct-professor of Greek language.       On 11 March 1817 they appointed Mikhail Leontovich to the office of secretary of the Academy Building committee.       On 30 July 1817 they transferred him to the Kiev religious Seminary, to serve in the office of inspector, as well as professor of Church history and Greek language. When the Kiev Spiritual Academy opened on 28 September 1819, Mikhail Leontovich became its first inspector.       On 11 February 1820, on the eve of the day of memory of Sainted Meletios of Antioch, in the cathedral church of the Kievo-Bratsk monastery, he was tonsured into monasticism with the name Meletii. The tonsure was made by the Kiev metropolitan Evgenii (Bolkhovitnikov). On 22 February 1820 the Monk Meletii was ordained by metropolitan Evgenii to the dignity of deacon, and on 25 February – to priestmonk.       On 9 August 1821 Priest-monk Meletii was appointed rector of the Mogilevsk religious Seminary and head of the Kuteinsk Orshansk monastery with elevation to the dignity of archimandrite. In August 1823 they transferred him to the office of rector of the Pskov religious Seminary, and on 24 January 1824 Archimandrite Meletii was appointed rector of the Kiev Spiritual Academy.       In October 1826 the Holy Synod followed with a decision to appoint Archimandrite Meletii as bishop of Chigirinsk, a vicar of the Kiev diocese and head of the Zlatoverkh Mikhailovsk monastery. On 19 October 1826 was his appointment as bishop, and on 21 October 1826 was made the archpastoral consecration at the Kiev Sophia cathedral.       With a fatherly love the saint concerned himself about young foster-children, raising them in a spirit of devotedness to the Church of Christ. The saint had particular concern for the needy, and widows and orphans. He often visited the imprisoned and provided them the consolation of Divine-services in the prison-churches. The saint also was no little concerned about the spiritual nourishment of the brethren of the Mikhailovsk monastery. With edifying discourse and personal example he inspired in the monks of the monastery a spirit of true asceticism. Saint Meletii said: “Humility – is the guarding sword, with which to pass over earth and hades, to reach Heaven”.       In April 1828 Sainted Meletii received appointment to the Perm cathedral.       Strict towards himself, the saint was strict also towards others. To prepare chosen candidates for the accepting of the dignity, Saint Meletii himself wrote for them the so‑called “Ordinant’s Catechism”. In August 1831 Saint Meletii was transferred to the Irkutsk cathedra-seat, with elevation to the dignity of archbishop.       The saint devoted great attention to the enlightenment of the lesser nations of Russia with the light of the Gospel teaching. The saint founded churches in the north of Kamchatka, in the northeast parts of the Irkutsk diocese and along the Aldan River, on the tract from Yakutsk to Okhotsk. He often reviewed his extensive diocese, going to the shores of the Okhotsk and Arctic Seas, to the boundary lines of North America, where there then laboured the reknown Apostle of Siberia – the Priest Ioann Veniaminov, later known as the Apostle to America Sainted Innocent (Innokentii, Comm. 23 September and 31 March). Journeying through Siberia and along the shores of the Pacific Ocean, Saint Meletii frequently interacted with the native peoples who professed Lamaism. The saint with gentleness urged them to leave behind their errors and he explained the Gospel truths to these pagan peoples: the Tungus, the Buryats, the Kamchadali, and also the inhabitants of the Kurile and Aleutian Islands.       With his untiring efforts the health of the saint began to deteriorate, and they transferred him in 1835 to the Slobodsk-Ukrainsk cathedra-seat (afterwards the cathedra of Khar’kov and Akhtyrsk).       And here Sainted Meletii devoted great attention to the institutions of spiritual learning, and much concerned himself about the life and education of the clergy.       He raised questions about the restoration of those monasteries and spiritual schools, which the empress Catherine II had closed up. The saint also allotted great attention to the struggle with the schismatics.       On 2 July 1839 Saint Meletii led the solemnity in the city of Akhtyrk with the 10 year anniversary of the appearance of the wonderworking Icon of the Mother of God, named the Akhtyrsk.       The blessed end of the saint occurred on the night of 29 February 1840. After Communion, with the words “Now lettest Thou Thy Servant depart in peace”, the saint signed himself with the sign of the cross and, having turned to everyone with the words “Forgive me”, – he expired to the Lord.       On 4 March 1840 Saint Meletii was consigned to the earth by the Kursk bishop Iliodor within a burial crypt beneathe the Church of the Cross at the Pokrov monastery.       From the first days after his death believing people firmly trusted on the intercession of Saint Meletii before God, and they received the help of grace: healing in sicknesses, comfort in sorrows and deliverance from difficult circumstances. Believers in Khar’kov put especial trust in Saint Meletii during the terrible days of the “Great War for the Fatherland” (World War II). With miraculous advice the saint predicted the impending deliverance of the city from the enemy.       In 1948, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Alexei, the coffin with the relics of Saint Meletii was transferred to the Annunciation cathedral church, where they remain to the present day, manifesting spiritual recourse and prayerful comfort for believers.       On the day of affirmation in 1977 by His Holiness Patriarch Pimen and the Holy Synod of a service with an akathist to sainted Meletii, Khar’kov believers hastened to the cathedral on a Wednesday evening, there to ask the prayerful intercession of the saint for the welfare of Holy Church, for peace and for the prosperity of their Fatherland.

Venerable Mary , nun (who was called Marinus), and her father, St. Eugene , monk, at Alexandria (6th c.).
The Nun Maria (Marinos)and her father the Monk Eugene (Eugenios) lived at the beginning of the VI Century in Bithynia (northwest district of Asia Minor). Bereaved of his wife, Eugene decided to withdraw to a monastery, but his daughter did not want to be separated from him, and so she accompanied him, dressed as a man. Together they entered a monastery not far from Alexandria, and the daughter received the name Marinos.       “Brother” Marinos became much accomplished in virtue, and distinguished in humility and obedience. After several years, when the father of Saint Marinos died, she all the more intensified her ascetic efforts and received from the Lord the gift to heal those afflicted by unclean spirits.       One time the “Monk” Marinos was sent with other monks to the monastery gardens, and along the way they had to spend the night at an inn. The inn-keeper’s daughter, having sinned with one of the lodgers, denounced the “Monk” Marinos and accused “him” as the culprit of her downfall. Her father complained to the hegumen of the monastery, who expelled the “sinful brother”. The nun said not a word in her defense and began to live at the monastery wall. When the hapless girl gave birth to a boy, the inn-keeper brought it to Marinos, and without a word he abandoned his grandson and withdrew. The saint took the infant and began to raise it.       After the passing of three years the brethren besought the hegumen to take back the “Monk Marinos” into the monastery. The hegumen, who very reluctantly gave in to the requests, began to assign “brother Marinos” very burdensome obediences, which the nun fulfilled with the greatest of zeal, while attending to the raising of her foster-child.       Three years later the saint peacefully expired to the Lord in her cell. The brethren arriving saw the deceased “monk” and the boy crying over “him”. When they began to dress the saint for burial, her secret was revealed. The hegumen of the monastery tearfully besought forgiveness of the departed, and the inn-keeper too followed his example. The body of Saint Maria was reverently buried in the monastery. The daughter of the inn-keeper came to the grave of the saint and openly confessed her sin, in connection with which she was healed from a demonic illness. The boy whom the saint was raising afterwards became a monk.       The relics of the saint were transferred to Constantinople, and from there in 1113 were carried off to Venice.

St. Anthony II , patriarch of Constantinople (895).
Sainted Anthony, Patriarch of Constantinople, was a native of Asia, but all his years from youth to his end were spent at Constantinople. He was born in about the year 829 of rich and pious parents. After the death of his mother, at age 12 he entered a monastery, where in copying the example of the hegumen, he spent his nights at prayer and led a strict monastic life. With the passage of time, and against his wish, he was ordained to the dignity of presbyter, and then on the bidding of the Patriarch he was made an hegumen. Serving in this dignity, he tonsured into monasticism his own father. Saint Anthony was distinguished by his mercy, by his love and concern for the destitute, and he distributed to them generous help.       Elevated to the Patriarchal throne at Constantinople in 893, Saint Anthony all the more intensified his care for the destitute and especial for the spiritual condition of the poor. With an assist on the part of the emperor Leo the Wise, Patriarch Anthony did much good for the Church. He concerned himself over the encouraging of piety in the people, and despite having become stooped over with the infirmities of age, he went around all the churches of his patriarchate, fulfilling the command of the Saviour – to be the servant to all the brethren.       In the year 895, advanced in age, Saint Anthony peacefully expired to the Lord.

Venerable Bassian, disciple of St. Paisius of Uglich and abbot of Ryabovsky Forest Monastery, Uglich (1509).
The Monk Vassian of Uglich was a disciple of the Monk Paisii of Uglich (+ 6 June 1504, Vide account about him under 6 June). He was born in the village of Rozhalov, situated in the Kesovsk district of the city of Bezhetsk Verkha. He was descended from the Shestikhin line of princes (their ancestor was the prince Saint Theodore (Feodor) of Smolensk, + 1299; the account about him is under 19 September).The Monk Vassian came to the Pokrov monastery when he was 33 years of age, and was soon tonsured by the Monk Paisii. He made his obediences without complaint and lived in great abstinence. In 1482 the Monk Vassian discovered the Pokrov Icon of the MostHoly Mother of God. Having spent 20 years at the monastery of the Monk Paisii, the Monk Vassian then asked blessing for the life of silence. His teacher gave him blessing, saying: “Go my child, guided by Christ with the blest yoke of the Lord as it pleaseth the Lord. Soon thou thyself shalt form thine own monastery and gather a monastic flock to the glory of the Name of the MostHoly Trinity”.       In 1492 the Monk Vassian left the monastery and, having spent a certain while at the Nikolo-Uleimsk monastery, he went on to a remote place 30 versts to the south of Uglich and began to asceticise as an hermit. But soon people learned of his solitary habitation and began to come for advice and guidance. On a gift of land the monk established in 1492 a wooden church in the Name of the MostHoly Trinity, and soon there gathered those wishing monastic tonsure. The Monk Vassian did not cease his relationship with his teacher until the latter’s end, at which he was present together with other disciples. Having dwelt for 17 years at the Trinity monastery, the Monk Vassian died on 12 February 1509. Three years later a certain fellow named Gerasim received at his grave healing from unclean spirits, and another fellow named Valerian – healing from palsy. In 1548 the Monk Vassian was glorified at the uncovering of his incorrupt relics, over which was built a stone crypt. The memory of the Monk Vassian is made twice yearly: on the day of his repose, 12 February, and on 6 June in conjunction with his spiritual teacher the Monk Paisii of Uglich.

New Martyr Chrestos at Constantinople (1748) (Greek).
Kristo was born an Albanian Serb. He lived in Constantinople and was a gardener. Slandered by the Turks that he desired to accept the Moslem faith, St. Kristo was turned over to the court and courageously confessed his Christian faith before it. For this they subjected the holy martyr to terrible tortures and later they beheaded him in 1748.

Additional Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today

New Hieromartyr Alexius (Buy), bishop of Voronezh (1930).

New Martyr Mitrophan, archpriest (1931).

Saint Meletios of Lardos, Founder of Ypseni Monastery (19th c.).

Callia, righteous.

Venerable Gertrude of Nijvel, abbess (659) (Neth.).

St. Ethilwald of Lindisfarne (740) (Celtic & British).

Martyrs Saturnius and Plotonus (Greek).

Hieromartyr Urban us, bishop of Rome (223-230).

Today’s Hymns

St. Meletius, Patriarch of Antioch the Great, Troparion, Tone IV
The truth of things revealed thee to thy flock as a rule of faith,
a model
of meekness and a teacher of abstinence
wherefore thou hast attained the
heights through humility
and riches through poverty.
O hierarch Meletius our
father, entreat Christ God that our souls be saved.

Kontakion, Tone VI
Fearing the boldness of thy spirit,
the apostate Macedonius fleeth;
but we,
thy servants, celebrating a service of prayer to thee,
have recourse to thee
with love, O Meletius, conversor with the angels,
fiery sword of Christ our God
who cuttest down all the ungodly;
and we hymn thee as a beacon enlightening
all.

St. Alexis, metropolitan of Moscow, Troparion, in Tone VIII
Hastening to thy precious shrine, O holy hierarch Alexis, divinely wise
wonder-worker, assembling with love, we celebrate with splen­dor the memory of
thee who art equally en­throned with the apostles, the all-good physi­cian, the
right pleasing servant; and we rejoice with songs and hymns, glorifying Christ
Who hath given thee such grace to heal and bestowed upon thy city so great a
bulwark.

Another troparion, in Tone IV
Celebrating the memory of the all-blessed and holy hierarch Alexis, the
careful preserver of the dogmas of the apostles, the shepherd and teacher of the
Church of Russia, let us glorify with right fitting hymnody Christ our God Who
hath given us His favored one as an abundant well-spring pouring forth healings,
the boast and confirmation of the city of Moscow.

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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