Old Calendar Orthodox Daily Digest for 2/28/2022

Fasting Guidelines

Week of the Last Judgment. Tone three.
Maslenitsa. Meat is excluded

Today’s Commemorations

  • Maslenitsa, entire week.
  • Apostle Onesimus of the Seventy (109).
  • New Hieromartyrs Michael Piataev and John Kumin priests (1930).
  • New Hieromartyrs Nicholas, Alexis, Alexis priests, Simeon deacon, New Hieromartyr Paul and Virgin-martyr Sophia (1938).
  • Venerable Paphnutius, recluse of the Kiev Caves (13th c).
  • Venerable Paphnutius, monk, and his daughter St. Euphrosyne , nun, of Alexandria (5th c.).
  • Venerable Eusebius , hermit of Syria (440).
  • “Vilensk” (transferred to Vilnius in 1495) and “Dalmatian” (1646) Icons of the Mother of God.
  • Venerable Dalmatus, abbot and founder of the Dormition Monastery in Siberia (1697).
  • Martyr Major of Gaza (304).
  • St. Oswy, king of Northumbria (670) (Celtic & British).
  • Venerable Anthimus of Chios (1960) (Greek).
  • Synaxis of St. John the Theologian at Diaconissa.
  • St. Theognius, bishop of Bethelia near Gaza (523).

Scripture Readings

3 John 1:1-14
The Elder, To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth: Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers, who have borne witness of your love before the church. If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well, because they went forth for His name’s sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles. We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth. I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church. Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God. Demetrius has a good testimony from all, and from the truth itself. And we also bear witness, and you know that our testimony is true. I had many things to write, but I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink; but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face. Peace to you. Our friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.

Luke 19:29-40; 22:7-39
And it came to pass, when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’ So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of him.” Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him. And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road. Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: ” ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed. And He sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat.” So they said to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare?” And He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house which he enters. Then you shall say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?” ‘ Then he will show you a large, furnished upper room; there make ready. So they went and found it just as He had said to them, and they prepared the Passover. When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God. Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes. And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you. But behold, the hand of My betrayer is with Me on the table. And truly the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed! Then they began to question among themselves, which of them it was who would do this thing. Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves. But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren. But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.” And He said to them, “When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?” So they said, “Nothing.” Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end. So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.” Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him.

Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today

“Vilensk” (transferred to Vilnius in 1495) and “Dalmatian” (1646) Icons of the Mother of God.
This icon is in the Dalmatian Dormition Monastery, Perm Province. Also the monk Dalmatus, founder of the monastery, brought the icon here in 1644. Depicted on the icon is the Dormition of the Mother of God.

Apostle Onesimus of the Seventy (109).
The Disciple from the 70 Onysimos in his youth was a servant of Philemon, a Christian of distinguished lineage, living in the city of Phrygian Colossa. Guilty of an offense against his master and fearing punishment, Saint Onysimos fled to Rome, but as a runaway slave he wound up in prison there. In prison he encountered the Apostle Paul held in chains, was enlightened by him and accepted holy Baptism. In prison Saint Onysimos served the Apostle Paul like a son. The Apostle Paul was personally acquainted with Philemon, and wrote him a letter filled with love, asking him to forgive the runaway slave and to accept him like a brother; he dispatched Saint Onysimos with this letter to his master, depriving himself of help, in which he was very much in need.       Saint Philemon, having received the letter, not only forgave Onysimos, but also dispatched him to sail back to Rome to the first-rank apostle. Saint Philemon was afterwards ordained bishop of the city of Gaza (Comm. 4 January, 19 February and 22 November).       After the death of the Apostle Paul, Saint Onysimos served the apostles until their end, and he was ordained bishop by them. After the death of the holy apostles he preached the Gospel in many lands and cities: in Spain, Carpetania, Colossa, Patras. In his old age, Saint Onysimos occupied the bishop’s throne at Ephesus, in succession after the Disciple Timothy. When they took Ignatios the God-Bearer to Rome for execution, Bishop Onysimos came to meet with him with certain Christians, about which Saint Ignatios makes mention in his Epistle to the Ephesians.       During the reign of the emperor Trajan, Saint Onysimos was arrested and brought to trial before the eparch Tertillus. He held the saint for 18 days in prison, and then sent him for imprisonment to the city of Putiola. After a certain while, the eparch sent for the prisoner and, convincing himself that Saint Onysimos quite firmly confessed his faith in Christ, had him subjected to a fierce beating with stones, after which they beheaded the saint with a sword. A certain illustrious woman took the body of the martyr and placed it in a silver coffin. This was in about the year 109.

Venerable Paphnutius, monk, and his daughter St. Euphrosyne , nun, of Alexandria (5th c.).
Born in Alexandria, she secretly left her parental home at the age of 18 and entered a men’s monastery under the name of the eunuch Smaragdus. Not recognizing the maiden in male clothing, the Hegumen assigned her to a solitary cell where Euphrosyne practiced asceticism for many years. Here she was, in the words of the Holy Church, “a virgin in soul and body”, “a man with reason and faith”, who loved “to be one with the divine goodness of Christ”, who conquered “the cunning enemies” and “demonic assaults” on chastity and “the fire of abstinence”. Having extinguished “the fire of passions”, she increased the “fruits of good works” and reached a high degree of perfection. The father of St. Euphrosyne, Paphnutius, came more than once to the Hegumen of the monastery (where Ven. Euphrosyne practiced asceticism), seeking comfort in his grief for his daughter who disappeared. And once the Hegumen led him to the young ascetic, who so distinguished himself through vigils and labors. The father had long conversations with the monk, not recognizing in the changed face under the lowered klobuk (hood) his favorite daughter. St. Euphrosyne practiced asceticism in the monastery for 38 years, “having undergone great ascetic feats” and shining “with the beauty of virtues”. Before her death (which followed in the second half of the 5th century) she revealed herself to her father and to St. Paphnutius. After he distributed his estate, he settled in that same cell where his daughter was saved, and practiced asceticism there (20 or 28 years) before his own death.

Venerable Eusebius , hermit of Syria (440).
The Monk Eusebios the Hermit lived in the IV Century and asceticised on a mountain near the village of Asykha in Syria. He led a very strict life, being always under the open sky and patiently bearing the summer heat and winter cold; for clothing the monk wore skins, and nourished himself on the pods of peas and beans. Being already an infirm elder, he ate during the Great Forty-day Lent all of 15 figs. When many people began to flock to the Monk Eusebios, he went to a nearby monastery, built a small enclosure at the monastery walls and dwelt in it until his death. The Monk Eusebios lived to old age, having died at the age of ninety, sometime after the year 400.

Venerable Dalmatus, abbot and founder of the Dormition Monastery in Siberia (1697).
Saint Dalmatius is venerated as a pioneer of the movement that took many ascetics to dwell in the wilderness of Siberia, establishing a new company of Desert Fathers and causing the Russian Far North to be called the ‘Northern Thebaid.’ He was born in Tobolsk and reared in piety by his family, recently-converted Tatars. When grown, he entered the imperial army as a Cossack and served with such distinction that the Tsar awarded him a noble title. He married and lived in Tobolsk in comfort and prosperity. One day — after the destruction of Tobolsk in a great fire in 1643 — struck by a realization of the vanity of worldly things, he left family, wealth and property and went to a monastery in the Ural Mountains, taking with him only an icon of the Dormition of the Theotokos.   He was tonsured a monk with the name of Dalmatius, and devoted himself to prayer and ascesis with such fervor that, a short time later, the brethren elected him Abbot. Fearing pride and fleeing honor, Dalmatius fled with his icon of the Theotokos to a remote cave, where he lived a life of silence and continual prayer. His presence did not long remain secret in that sparsely-settled region, and soon Christians were coming from far and wide to ask his prayer and counsel; many pagans came to him for holy Baptism. Soon his habitation became too small for those who had chosen to stay as his disciples, and the Saint received a blessing from the Bishop of Tobolsk to build a wooden chapel and some cells. This was the beginning of the great Monastery of the Dormition (also called the Monastery of St Dalmatius).   Over the years the brethren endured many tribulations. Once the Tatar Prince of the region, provoked by false rumors, planned to destroy the monastery and kill all the monks. The night before the attack, the holy Mother of God appeared to the prince in resplendent clothes, holding a flaming sword in one hand and a scourge in the other. She forbade the Prince to harm the monastery or the brethren, and commanded him to give them a permanent concession over the region. Convinced by this vision, the Prince made peace with the monks and became the Monastery’s protector, though he was a Muslim.   In the succeeding years the Monastery was repeatedly burned down by the fierce pagan tribes which inhabited the area; once all the monks except St Dalmatius himself were butchered, but always the monastery was rebuilt. The Saint reposed in peace in 1697, and was succeeded as abbot by his own son Isaac, who built a stone shrine at the Monastery to house the relics of the Saint and the icon of the Mother of God which he had kept with him throughout his monastic life.

Martyr Major of Gaza (304).
Martyr Major suffered for Christ in Gaza during the reign of Diocletian in 304.

Venerable Anthimus of Chios (1960) (Greek).
He was born in 1869 to devout peasants on Chios; he left elementary school early to become a shoemender. At the age of nineteen he visited a monastery (founded by the monk Pachomios, who had been the spiritual counsellor of St Nektarios); he was so moved by the monks’ ‘angelic life’ that on returning home he built himself a small hut and dwelt in it. His only ‘help’ in his spiritual contests was an icon of the Mother of God, which soon began to work miracles, drawing many to his hermitage. After a time he retired to a monastery where he was tonsured under the name Anthimos. He fell ill there, and his abbot sent him home to his parents for the sake of his health. At home, despite the fact that he was caring for his aged parents and practicing his shoemender’s trade, he continued to live as a monk, spending nights on end in prayer and sometimes living only on bread and water for extended periods.   Increasing numbers of visitors came to his hermitage and wonder-working icon of the Theotokos, and in 1910 he received the Great Schema. The people of Chios wanted him to be ordained to the priesthood, but his bishop refused due to the Saint’s lack of education. At the prompting of Anthimos’ godfather, the Bishop of Smyrna ordained him instead. After a pilgrimage to Mt Athos, he returned to Chios, where he became chaplain to a leper hospital. Soon the hospital, which had fallen into corruption, became a spiritual center, as much like a monastery as a hospital. Saint Anthimos tended many of the sickest with his own hands, working many miracles of healing; some of his recovered patients became monks or nuns.   With the notorious ‘Exchange of Populations’ of 1922-1924, refugees poured into Chios, many of them destitute nuns and girls. In response to a vision of the Mother of God, St Anthimos built a monastery, which opened with thirty nuns and grew rapidly, despite the opposition of many who said that setting up such a community was out of date (in 1924!). The monastery soon housed eighty nuns and was known througout Greece as a model of monastic life. Father Anthimos served as priest to the nuns, and continued to receive the many faithful — often sixty or seventy per day — who came to him for prayer or counsel. He carried on this ministry for more than thirty years, working many miracles of healing. When he was too old to work with his hands, he retired to his cell and prayed that he be enabled to serve his neighbor until his last breath. He reposed in peace at the age of ninety-one, mourned and revered by the whole island of Chios.

Additional Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today

Maslenitsa, entire week.

New Hieromartyrs Michael Piataev and John Kumin priests (1930).

New Hieromartyrs Nicholas, Alexis, Alexis priests, Simeon deacon, New Hieromartyr Paul and Virgin-martyr Sophia (1938).

Venerable Paphnutius, recluse of the Kiev Caves (13th c).

St. Oswy, king of Northumbria (670) (Celtic & British).

Synaxis of St. John the Theologian at Diaconissa.

St. Theognius, bishop of Bethelia near Gaza (523).

Today’s Hymns

Holy Apostle Onesimus, Troparion,Tone III
O holy apostle Onesimus
entreat the merciful God
that He grant to our
souls remission of transgressions.

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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