Monday May 30, 2022
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- Venerable Isaac, founder of the Dalmatian Monastery at Constantinople
- Saint Emmeleίa
Acts 17:1-15 (Epistle)
Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.” And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas. But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king – Jesus.” And they troubled the crowd and the rulers of the city when they heard these things. So when they had taken security from Jason and the rest, they let them go. Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men. But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was preached by Paul at Berea, they came there also and stirred up the crowds. Then immediately the brethren sent Paul away, to go to the sea; but both Silas and Timothy remained there. So those who conducted Paul brought him to Athens; and receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him with all speed, they departed.
John 11:47-57 (Gospel)
Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.” And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.” Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad. Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death. Therefore Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, and there remained with His disciples. And the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went from the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. Then they sought Jesus, and spoke among themselves as they stood in the temple, “What do you think – that He will not come to the feast?” Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a command, that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it, that they might seize Him.
Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today
Venerable Isaac, founder of the Dalmatian Monastery at Constantinople
Saint Isaac lived during the fourth century, received monastic tonsure and pursued ascetic labors in the desert. During the reign of the emperor Valens (364-378), a zealous adherent of the Arian heresy, there was a persecution of the Orthodox, and churches were closed and destroyed.Hearing of the persecution, Saint Isaac left the wilderness and went to Constantinople to console and encourage the Orthodox, and to fight against the heretics. At that time, barbarian Goths along the River Danube were making war against the Empire. They seized Thrace and advanced toward Constantinople.When the emperor Valens was leaving the capital with his soldiers, Saint Isaac cried out, “Emperor, unlock the churches of the Orthodox, and then the Lord will aid you!” But the emperor, disdaining the words of the monk, confidently continued on his way. The saint repeated his request and prophecy three times. The angry emperor ordered Saint Isaac to be thrown into a deep ravine, filled with thorns and mud, from which it was impossible to escape. Saint Isaac remained alive by God’s help, and he emerged, overtook the emperor and said, “You wanted to destroy me, but three angels pulled me from the mire. Hear me, open up the churches for the Orthodox and you shall defeat the enemy. If, however, you do not heed me, then you shall not return. You will be captured and burned alive.” The emperor was astonished at the saint’s boldness and ordered his attendants Saturninus and Victor to take the monk and hold him in prison until his return.Saint Isaac’s prophecy was soon fulfilled. The Goths defeated and pursued the Greek army. The emperor and his Arian generals took refuge in a barn filled with straw, and the attackers set it afire. After news of the emperor’s death was received in Constantinople, Saint Isaac was released and honored as a prophet.Then the holy Emperor Theodosius the Great (379-395) came to the throne. On the advice of Saturninus and Victor, he summoned the Elder, treating him with great respect. Obeying his instructions, he banished the Arians from Constantinople and restored the churches to the Orthodox. Saint Isaac wanted to return to his desert, but Saturninus and Victor begged him not to leave the city, but to remain and protect it by his prayers.Saturninus built a monastery for the saint in Constantinople, where monks gathered around him. Saint Isaac was the monastery’s igumen and spiritual guide. He also nourished laypeople, and helped many of the poor and suffering. When he had reached an advanced age, Saint Isaac made Saint Dalmatus (August 3) igumen. The monastery was later named for Dalmatus.Saint Isaac died in the year 383, and his memory is also celebrated on March 22.
Saint Emmeleia was from a pious family of Caesarea in Cappadocia. Her father became a Martyr during the last persecutions. Her life was a good root which produced sweet fruits (her children) who emerged as prominent members of society, and most of them were also Saints of the Church, such as Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, Peter of Sebasteίa, the nun Makrina, and the monk Naukratios. From a holy root come holy shoots; that is, from holy parents come blessed and holy children. Saint Emmeleίa experienced many sorrows in her life, as is usually the case with the elect. Some of these were the death of her parents, even before she married, the death of her husband, as soon as their son Peter was born, the untimely death of her son Naukratios, and raising her children alone in the discipline and admonition of the Lord, but she faced these with exemplary faith, courage, and patience. She taught her children mainly by her own example. Along with her milk, she gave them the unadulterated milk of faith, and taught them the mysteries of the Church. She ended her days in a Monastery, where her daughter Saint Makrina (July 19) was the Igoumeness. Saint Emmeleίa is commemorated on January 1 in Slavic usage, and on May 30 in Greek usage.
Venerable Isaac, founder of the Dalmatian Monastery at Constantinople – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 8
The image of God was truly preserved in you, O Father,
for you took up the Cross and followed Christ.
By so doing you taught us to disregard the flesh for it passes away
but to care instead for the soul, since it is immortal.
Therefore your spirit, venerable Isaac, rejoices with the angels.
Kontakion — Tone 8
As a faithful favorite of God you became enflamed with zeal for the Church of Christ
and drew in the reins of the emperor Valens, O venerable one;
you prophetically foretold to him the captivity of the Church and of his own wretched death.
Therefore, venerable Isaac, ceaselessly pray for us who honor you.
Readings and Feast Day Information provided by The Orthodox Church in America (OCA).
Fasting guidelines provided by The Greek American Orthodox Archdiocese (GOARCH).
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