Sixth Week of Pascha. Tone five.
Today is fast-free!
- Commemoration of the Holy Fathers of Seven Ecumenical Councils.
- Martyr Theodotus of Ancyra and seven virgin-martyrs: Alexandra , Tecusa , Claudia , Phaine , Euphraisa , Matrona , and Julia (303).
- Martyrs Peter of Lampsacus, and Andrew , Paul , and Dionysia , at Euridinos (249-251).
- St. Macarius (Glukharev) of Altai, Siberia (1847).
- Righteous John (Gashkevich), archpriest of Korma (1917).
- New Hieromartyr Michael, priest (1932).
- New Hieromartyr Damjan (Damian) Strbac, Jr. of Grahovo, Serbia (1940s).
- New Hieromartyr Basil priest (1942).
- Martyrs Symeon, Isaac , and Bachtisius of Persia (339).
- Martyrs Heraclius , Paulinus , Benedimus of Athenas (250).
- Holy Martyrs Davit and Tarichan (693) ( Georgia ).
- Martyr Euphrasia of Nicaea (Greek).
- St. Stephen the New, patriarch of Constantinople (Greek).
- Hieromartyr Theodore, pope of Rome (Greek).
- St. Anastaso of Lukada (Greek).
- Venerable Martinian of Areovinthus, monk (Greek).
- Martyr Julian (Greek).
- Hieromartyr Potamon, bishop of Heraclea (341) (Greek).
- St. Elgiva, Queen of England.
And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new doctrine is of which you speak? For you are bringing some strange things to our ears. Therefore we want to know what these things mean. For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing. Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’
The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, “You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!” Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus. But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor. Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name. Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.” Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.” Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself. This He said, signifying by what death He would die. The people answered Him, “We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?” Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light. These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.
Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today
Holy Martyrs Davit and Tarichan (693) ( Georgia ).
The holy martyrs Davit and Tarichan were born to Vardan and Tagine, pious Christians and relatives of the king. Vardan died while his sons were still young, and Tagines pagan brother Theodosius seized all the familys possessions. Concerned that the brothers would eventually claim their legal inheritance, Theodosius resolved to convert his sister and nephews to his own creed. Leave behind the Faith of the crucified Christ and receive mine and I will adopt your children, he told Tagine. But Tagine firmly guarded the family against her brothers evil intent. It is enough that you have seized my sons estate, she said. But you cannot seize the inheritance they will receive from their Father in heaven! Theodosius was thwarted by his sisters resoluteness. So instead, he tried to convert his nephews directly. He called them, embraced them warmly, and tempted them with sweets. Now you are my sons, and everything I have belongs to you, he told them. Trust me like obedient sons of a beloved father. Turn from the Faith of your father, and I will show you a better way! After a brief silence, the holy youths answered, We are perfectly content with our fathers Faith and will remain loyal to this Faith until the day our souls depart from our flesh. We are prepared to suffer everything for the love of our Lord and Heavenly Father! Theodosius dared not try to sway his nephews since he feared the revenge of the Christian community, so he left them in peace and plotted to murder them in secret. But Tagine sensed that danger was near and escaped with her sons to the region of Tao in the south. From his spies Theodosius learned that the brothers were now herding sheep at the top of a mountain, and he ordered an ambush. But the brothers heard the noise and saw the armed soldiers before they attacked. Davit rejoiced upon seeing his uncle and ran toward him, but Theodosius stabbed him before he could embrace him. The holy martyr released his staff from his hand, and when it fell to the ground it was miraculously transformed into a large tree. Two hundred years later a group of Christians chopped the tree down and divided the holy wood among themselves. Having just witnessed his own brothers murder, Tarichan raced toward the village of Divri for help. But his pursuers overtook him, stabbed him to death, and ran off. When they returned to Theodosius, they saw that God had punished him by taking away his sight. The soldiers were stunned, and they could neither utter a word nor move from the place of this miracle. After some time Theodosius eyes filled with bitter tears, and he was finally moved to repentance. At first Tagine denounced her brother in a rage, and those who heard the cries of the inconsolable mother wept along with her. But while she was stroking the lifeless bodies of her sons, Theodosius turned to her, saying, On you has shone the Inextinguishable Light from the Unapproachable and True Light, the Eternal Light. Pray to the holy martyrs that the Lord have mercy on me and make me, the unworthy, worthy of the seal of Christ, the All-merciful God, Who came into the world. Indeed, He is the One True God! When Tagine heard these words, she recognized that God had received her sons as a holy sacrifice. Filled with new joy, she told her brother, May God forgive you the murder of my sons! Then she took a piece of the earth that had been stained by her son Davits blood and anointed her brothers eyes. Immediately his sight was restored. This happened in the year 693. As a witness to the sanctity of His martyrs, our God, Who loves mankind, illumined their bodies with a radiant light each evening when night fell. Theodosius repented before the catholicos himself. He was baptized into the Christian Faith and erected a church in honor of his nephew St. Davit. The mayor of Divri took St. Tarichans holy relics and built a church over them in his name. Blessed Tagine began a new life in the village of Tadzarani and later reposed there.
Martyr Theodotus of Ancyra and seven virgin-martyrs: Alexandra , Tecusa , Claudia , Phaine , Euphraisa , Matrona , and Julia (303).
The Holy Martyr Theodotos and the Holy Seven Virgins – Tecusa, Thaina, Claudia, Matrona, Julia, Alexandra and Euphrasia, lived during the 2nd half of the III Century in the city of Ancyra, Galatia district, and died as martyrs for Christ at the beginning of the IV Century. Saint Theodotos was “an inn-keeper”, had his own inn and was married. Then already he had attained to high spiritual accomplishment: he maintained prudence and purity, cultivated temperance in himself, subjugated the flesh to the spirit, and became practised in fasting and prayer. By his conversations he brought Jews and pagans to the Christian faith, and sinners – to repentance and improvement. Saint Theodotos received the gift of healing from the Lord and he treated the sick by placing his hands on them. During the time of the persecution under the emperor Diocletian (284-305), there was appointed as governor in the city of Ancyra – Theoteknes, known for his cruelty. Many Christians fled from the city, having forsaken their homes and property. Theoteknes made a proclamation to all Christians that they were under obligation to offer sacrifice to idols, and in the event of refusal they were to be given over to torture and death. Pagans delivered Christians over to torture, and then divided up their property. A famine befell the country. During these grim days, Saint Theodotos gave shelter in his inn to Christians left homeless. he fed them, hid away those being pursued, and from his supplies gave to devastated churches everything necessary for making the Divine Liturgy. He fearlessly went into the prisons, rendering help to the innocently condemned – encouraging them to be faithful to Christ the Saviour to the very end. Theodotos did not fear to bury the remains of holy martyrs, either carrying them off secretly or ransoming them from the soldiers for money. When the Christian churches at Ancyra were destroyed and closed, Divine Liturgy began to be celebrated in his inn. Perceiving that the deed of martyrdom awaited him too, Saint Theodotos in conversation with the priest Phrontonos predicted, that in a short while they would bring to him the relics of martyrs, at a place chosen by both of them. In surety of his words, Saint Theodotos gave his ring to the priest. During this while seven holy virgins had accepted death for Christ, of whom the eldest – Saint Tecusa – was an aunt of Saint Theodotos. The holy virgins – Tecusa, Thaina, Claudia, Matrona, Julia, Alexandra and Euphrasia – from their youth had dedicated themselves to God, and lived in constant prayer, fasting, temperance and good deeds. All of them had attained to an elderly age. Brought to trial as Christians, the holy virgins in front of Theoteknes bravely confessed their faith in Christ and were given over to torture, but remained steadfast. The governor thereupon gave them over to shameless youths for desecration. The holy virgins prayed intensely, asking help from God. Saint Tecusa fell down at the feet of a youth, and taking back her head-veil she showed him her greyed hair. The youths became startled, started weeping and ran off. The governor then ordered, that the saints take part in “the ablution of the idols”, which was done by pagan priests, but again the holy virgins refused. For this they were sentenced to death. An heavy stone was tied to the legs of each, and all seven of the holy virgins was drowned in a lake. On the following night Saint Tecusa appeared in a dream to Saint Theodotos, asking him to take up her body and give it Christian burial. Saint Theodotos, taking with him his friend Polychronios and several other Christians, set off to the lake. It was dark, and a burning torch led the way. Amidst them in front of the guard, posted by the pagans at the shore of the lake, appeared the holy martyr Sosander. The frightened guard ran off in terror. The wind drove the water towards the other side of the lake. The Christians took up the bodies of the holy martyresses and carried them to church, from whence they were given over to burial. Learning about the theft of the bodies of the holy martyresses, the governor went into a rage and gave orders to strike at all Christians and give them over to torture. Polychronios also was seized. Not able to endure the torture, he informed on Saint Theodotos, as the perpetrator of the theft of the bodies. Saint Theodotos began to prepare to die for Christ; having come up together with all the Christians zealous in prayer, he made bequest of his body to the priest Phrontonos, to whom earlier he had given his ring. The saint came before the judge. They showed him various instruments of torture and instead of them they promised him honours and riches, if he recanted from Christ. Saint Theodotos glorified the Lord Jesus Christ, and confessed his faith in Him. In anger the pagans gave the saint over to constant torture, but the power of God sustained the holy martyr. He remained alive and was cast into prison. On the following morning the governor again gave orders to torture the saint, but he soon perceived, that it was impossible to break his courage. He then gave orders to behead the martyr. The execution was done, but sensing that a storm was approaching, the soldiers set fire to the body of the martyr. And soldiers, sitting in a tent, remained to guard the body. At this point the priest Phrontonos appeared from a nearby way, leading a donkey with a load of wine from his vineyard. The donkey suddenly fell down near the place where lay the body of Saint Theodotos. The soldiers helped get the donkey back up and they told Phrontonos that they were guarding the body of the executed Christian Theodotos. The priest perceived, that the Lord had intentionally sent him hither. He placed the holy remains on the donkey and took them to the place, indicated by Saint Theodotos for his burial, and with honour he committed them to the earth. Afterwards he built up a church on this spot. Saint Theodotos accepted death for Christ on 7 June 303 or 304, and his memory is commemorated on 18 May, on the day of death of the holy virgins. The account of the life and martyr’s act of Saint Theodotos and the suffering of the holy virgins was compiled by the contemporary and companion of Saint Theodotos, and an eye-witness of his death – Nilos, living in the city of Ancyra during the period of persecution of Christians under the emperor Diocletian.
Martyrs Peter of Lampsacus, and Andrew , Paul , and Dionysia , at Euridinos (249-251).
The Holy Martyrs Peter, Dionysios, Andrew, Paul, Christina suffered under emperor Decius (249-251). The first of them, the youth Peter, suffered in the city of Lampsaka (Hellispontum). Brought to trial before the governor Optimines, he bravely confessed his faith in Christ. They tried to force the youth to recant from the Lord and worship the idol-goddess Venus, but the martyr refused to do their bidding, and declared for everyone to hear, that a Christian would not bow to the idol of a lecherous woman. Saint Peter was subjected to fierce tortures, but he courageously endured the tortures, giving thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ for having bestowed upon him His all-powerful help, and he was then beheaded. Also at this time there were brought to trial Dionysios, Nicomakhos and two soldiers, transferred from Mesopotamia, and also Andrew and Paul. They all confessed their faith in Christ and refused to offer sacrifice to idols, for which reason they were given over to torture. To the great sorrow of all the Christians Nicomakhos did not hold out and he apostacised from the Lord Jesus Christ; he went into the pagan temple and offered sacrifice. He immediately fell down in a terrible frenzy and died among the frightened torturers. The renunciation of Nicomakhos was heard by the 16 year old girl Christina, standing in the crowd, who shouted: “Thou cursed and lost man! Here instead of only one hour thou hast obtained for thyself eternal and ineffable torment!” The governor heard these words. He gave orders to seize the holy virgin and, learning from her that she was a Christian, he gave her over to shameless profligates. At the house, where they had taken the holy virgin, there appeared an Angel. Frightened by his terrible visage, the youths with tears began to beg forgiveness of the holy virgin and besought her to pray for them, so that the Lord’s chastisement might not befall them. On the following morning, Saints Dionysios, Andrew and Paul were again brought before the governor. For confessing faith in Christ they were given over to the throng of pagans for rending asunder. They bound the saints by the feet, dragged them to the place of execution and there stoned them to death. During the time of execution, Saint Christina came running up so as to die together with the martyrs, but by order of the governor she was beheaded.
Martyrs Symeon, Isaac , and Bachtisius of Persia (339).
The Holy Martyrs Simeon, Isaac and Bakhtis were Christians and lived during the III Century in Persia under the emperor Sapor, a fierce persecutor of Christians. They tried to force the saints to recant from Christ and be converted to the grim faith of fire-worship. But they refused and answered the pagans: “We will not recant from the Creator of all and we will not worship fire nor the sun”. They cruelly tortured the holy martyrs, then threw them into prison, where they were not given food for seven days. Finally, they beheaded the martyrs.
Martyrs Heraclius , Paulinus , Benedimus of Athenas (250).
The Holy Martyrs Herakleios, Pablinos and Benedimos suffered for Christ in the city of Athens. They preached there to the pagans about Christ and urged them to abandon the worship of insensate idols. The chosen of God were brought to trial together with their followers, who had discerned the true path. After many torments they were thrown into a fiery oven, in which they offered up their souls to God.
Martyr Euphrasia of Nicaea (Greek).
The Holy Martyress Euphrasia was a native of the city of Nicea. She accepted death for Christ at the time of the emperors Diocletian and Maximian – at the end of the III or beginning IV Century. Subjected to many tortures, the martyress was drowned in the sea.
Additional Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today
Commemoration of the Holy Fathers of Seven Ecumenical Councils.
St. Macarius (Glukharev) of Altai, Siberia (1847).
Righteous John (Gashkevich), archpriest of Korma (1917).
New Hieromartyr Michael, priest (1932).
New Hieromartyr Damjan (Damian) Strbac, Jr. of Grahovo, Serbia (1940s).
New Hieromartyr Basil priest (1942).
St. Stephen the New, patriarch of Constantinople (Greek).
Hieromartyr Theodore, pope of Rome (Greek).
St. Anastaso of Lukada (Greek).
Venerable Martinian of Areovinthus, monk (Greek).
Martyr Julian (Greek).
Hieromartyr Potamon, bishop of Heraclea (341) (Greek).
St. Elgiva, Queen of England.
Martyr Theodotus of Ancyra & 7 Virgins; Martyrs Peter, Dionysius & Cc
No Troparion is given in the Menaion.
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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