New Calendar Orthodox Daily Digest for 6/26/2022

Fasting Guidelines

Sunday June 26, 2022
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Today’s Commemorations

  • Synaxis of the Saints of North America
  • Saint David of Thessaloniki
  • Saint Dionysius, Archbishop of Suzdal
  • Translation of the relics of Saint Tikhon of Luchov, Kostroma
  • Saint John, Bishop of the Goths in the Crimea
  • Appearance of the Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God
  • “Seven Lakes” Icon of the Mother of God
  • “Neamts” Icon of the Mother of God
  • Icon of the Mother of God of Lydda or “the Roman”
  • Feast of All Saints of Georgia
  • New Martyr David of Saint Anne’s Skete

Scripture Readings


Isaiah 43:9-14 (Vespers, 1st reading)

Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled. Who among them can declare this, and show us former things? Let them bring out their witnesses, that they may be justified; or let them hear and say, “It is truth.” “You are My witnesses,” says the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no savior. I have declared and saved, I have proclaimed, and there was no foreign god among you; therefore you are My witnesses,” says the Lord, “that I am God. Indeed before the day was, I am He; and there is no one who can deliver out of My hand; I work, and who will reverse it?” Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “For your sake I will send to Babylon, and bring them all down as fugitives – the Chaldeans, who rejoice in their ships.


Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9 (Vespers, 2nd reading)

But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them. In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died, and their departure was thought to be affliction, and their going from us to be their destruction; but they are at peace. For though in the sight of men they were punished, their hope is full of immortality. Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good, because God tested them and found them worthy of himself; like gold in the furnace he tried them, and like a sacrificial burnt offering he accepted them. In the time of their visitation they will shine forth, and will run like sparks through the stubble. They will govern nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord will reign over them for ever. Those who trust in him will understand truth, and the faithful will abide with him in love, because grace and mercy are upon his elect, and he watches over his holy ones.


Wisdom of Solomon 5:15-6:3 (Vespers, 3rd reading)

But the righteous live for ever, and their reward is with the Lord; the Most High takes care of them. Therefore they will receive a glorious crown and a beautiful diadem from the hand of the Lord, because with his right hand he will cover them, and with his arm he will shield them. The Lord will take his zeal as his whole armor, and will arm all creation to repel his enemies; he will put on righteousness as a breastplate, and wear impartial justice as a helmet; he will take holiness as a invincible shield, and sharpen stern wrath for a sword, and creation will join with him to fight against the madmen. Shafts of lightning will fly with true aim, and will leap to the target as from a well-drawn bow of clouds, and hailstones full of wrath will be hurled as from a catapult; the water of the sea will rage against them, and rivers will relentlessly overwhelm them; a mighty wind will rise against them, and like a tempest it will winnow them away. Lawlessness will lay waste the whole earth, and evil-doing will overturn the thrones of rulers. Listen therefore, O kings, and understand; learn, O judges of the ends of the earth. Give ear, you that rule over multitudes, and boast of many nations. For your dominion was given you from the Lord, and your sovereignty from the Most High, who will search out your works and inquire into your plans.


Mark 16:1-8 (2nd Matins Gospel)

Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away – for it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples – and Peter – that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.


Hebrews 11:33-12:2 (Epistle, Saints)

who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented – of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.


Matthew 4:25-5:12 (Gospel, Saints)

Great multitudes followed Him – from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan. And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


Romans 2:10-16 (Epistle)

but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God. For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.


Matthew 4:18-23 (Gospel)

And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him. And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.

Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today

Synaxis of the Saints of North America
Synaxis of the Saints of North America On the second Sunday after Pentecost, each local Orthodox Church commemorates all the saints, known and unknown, who have shone forth in its territory. Accordingly, the Orthodox Church in America remembers the saints of North America on this day.Saints of all times, and in every country are seen as the fulfillment of God’s promise to redeem fallen humanity. Their example encourages us to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily besets us” and to “run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). The saints of North America also teach us how we should live, and what we must expect to endure as ChristiansAlthough it is a relatively young church, the Orthodox Church in America has produced saints in nearly all of the six major categories of saints: Apostles (and Equals of the Apostles); Martyrs (and Confessors); Prophets; Hierarchs; Monastic Saints; and the Righteous. Prophets, of course, lived in Old Testament times and predicted the coming of Christ.The first Divine Liturgy in what is now American territory (northern latitude 58 degrees, 14 minutes, western longitude 141 degrees) was celebrated on July 20, 1741, the Feast of the Prophet Elias, aboard the ship Peter under the command of Vitus Bering. Hieromonk Hilarion Trusov and the priest Ignatius Kozirevsky served together on that occasion. Several years later, the Russian merchant Gregory I. Shelikov visited Valaam monastery, suggesting to the abbot that it would be desirable to send missionaries to Russian America.On September 24, 1794, after a journey of 7,327 miles (the longest missionary journey in Orthodox history) and 293 days, a group of monks from Valaam arrived on Kodiak Island in Alaska. The mission was headed by Archimandrite Joasaph, and included Hieromonks Juvenal, Macarius, and Athanasius, the Hierodeacons Nectarius and Stephen, and the monks Herman and Joasaph. Saint Herman of Alaska (December 13, August 9), the last surviving member of the mission, fell asleep in the Lord in 1837.Throughout the Church’s history, the seeds of faith have always been watered by the blood of the martyrs. The Protomartyr Juvenal was killed near Lake Iliamna by natives in 1799, thus becoming the first Orthodox Christian to shed his blood for Christ in the New World. In 1816, Saint Peter the Aleut was put to death by Spanish missionaries in California when he refused to convert to Roman Catholicism.Missionary efforts continued in the nineteenth century, with outreach to the native peoples of Alaska. Two of the most prominent laborers in Christ’s Vineyard were Saint Innocent Veniaminov (March 31 and October 6) and Saint Jacob Netsvetov (July 26), who translated Orthodox services and books into the native languages. Father Jacob Netsvetev died in Sitka in 1864 after a life of devoted service to the Church. Father John Veniaminov, after his wife’s death, received monastic tonsure with the name Innocent. He died in 1879 as the Metropolitan of Moscow.As the nineteenth century was drawing to a close, an event of enormous significance for the North American Church took place. On March 25, 1891, Bishop Vladimir went to Minneapolis to receive Saint Alexis Toth (May 7) and 361 of his parishioners into the Orthodox Church. This was the beginning of the return of many Uniates to Orthodoxy.Saint Tikhon (Bellavin), the future Patriarch of Moscow (April 7, October 9), came to America as bishop of the diocese of the Aleutians and Alaska in September 1898. As the only Orthodox bishop on the continent, Saint Tikhon traveled extensively throughout North America in order to minister to his widely scattered and diverse flock. He realized that the local church here could not be a permanent extension of the Russian Church. Therefore, he focused his efforts on giving the American Church a diocesan and parish structure which would help it mature and grow. Saint Tikhon returned to Russia in 1907, and was elected as Patriarch of Moscow ten years later. He died in 1925, and for many years his exact burial place remained unknown. Saint Tikhon’s grave was discovered on February 22, 1992 in the smaller cathedral of Our Lady of the Don in the Don Monastery when a fire made renovation of the church necessary.Saint Raphael of Brooklyn (February 27) was the first Orthodox bishop to be consecrated in North America. Archimandrite Raphael Hawaweeny was consecrated by Bishop Tikhon and Bishop Innocent (Pustynsky) at Saint Nicholas Cathedral in New York on March 13, 1904. As Bishop of Brooklyn, Saint Raphael was a trusted and capable assistant to Saint Tikhon in his archpastoral ministry. Saint Raphael reposed on February 27, 1915.The first All American Council took place March 5-7, 1907 at Mayfield, PA, and the main topic was “How to expand the mission.” Guidelines and directions for missionary activity, and statutes for the administrative structure of parishes were also set forth.In the twentieth century, in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, countless men, women, and children received the crown of martyrdom rather than renounce Christ. Saints John Kochurov (October 31) and Alexander Hotovitzky (December 4 and August 7) both served the Church in North America before going back to Russia. Saint John became the first clergyman to be martyred in Russia on October 31, 1917 in Saint Petersburg. Saint Alexander Hotovitzky, who served in America until 1914, was killed in 1937.In addition to the saints listed above, we also honor those saints who are known only to God, and have not been recognized officially by the Church. As we contemplate the lives of these saints, let us remember that we are also called by God to a life of holiness.

Saint David of Thessaloniki
Saint David of Thessaloniki Saint David of Thessalonica pursued asceticism at the monastery of the holy Martyrs Theodore and Mercurius. Inspired by the example of the holy stylites, he lived in an almond tree in constant prayer, keeping strict fast, and enduring heat and cold. He remained there for three years until an angel told him to come down. Saint David received from God the gift of wonderworking, and he healed many from sickness. The holy ascetic gave spiritual counsel to all who came to him. Having attained to passionlessness, he was like an angel in the flesh, and he was able to take hot coals into his hands without harm. He died the year 540.

Saint Dionysius, Archbishop of Suzdal
Saint Dionysius, Archbishop of Suzdal Dionysius, Archbishop of Suzdal, in the world David, was tonsured at the Kiev Caves monastery. He arrived at the Volga with an icon of the Mother of God that he had received as a blessing from Saints Anthony and Theodosius. Saint Dionysius dug out a cave not far from Nizhni-Novgorod and struggled in total solitude. Brethren constantly thronged to the holy ascetic and in the year 1335 he founded a monastery in honor of the Ascension of the Lord. Among the students of Saint Dionysius were Saints Euthymius of Suzdal (April 1) and Macarius of Zheltovod and Unzha (July 25). In the year 1352 the holy Elder sent twelve of his brethren to “the upper cities and countryside, whom God would bless” for the spiritual enlightenment of the people and the organizing of new monasteries. The monastery of Saint Dionysius exerted a deep charitable influence on the inhabitants of Nizhni-Novgorod. In the year 1371 the saint tonsured into monasticism the forty-year-old widow of Prince Andrew Constantinovich, an example of how he accepted into monasticism “various dignitaries: women, widowers, and virgins.”In the year 1374 Saint Dionysius was deemed worthy of the office of bishop. His years of service as bishop occurred during a remarkable period, for Russia was rising to cast off the Mongol-Tatar Yoke. On March 31, 1375 the Tatar military-chief, having been shown to the bishop’s court by the enslaved inhabitants of Nizhni-Novgorod, shot an arrow at Saint Dionysius, but the Lord preserved his chosen one, and the arrow struck only the bishop’s mantle. In 1377, through the blessing of Saint Dionysius (who may have edited the document), the Lavrentian Chronicle was compiled by Saint Laurence, inspiring Russia in its struggle for freedom.In 1379, preserving the integrity of the first hierarch’s cathedra, Saint Dionysius was one of the bishops gathered in Moscow by order of the prince, and he came out against the election of the prince’s protegee, the ill-reputed archimandrite Mityaya as Metropolitan.In the same year of 1379 Saint Dionysius journeyed to Constantinople with a protest against the choice of Mityaya on grounds of his complicity with the heretical Strigolniki. The saint made a strong impression upon the Greeks by his sublime spiritual frame of mind and his profound knowledge of Holy Scripture. Patriarch Nilus, having termed the saint “a warrior of God and a spiritual man,” wrote that he himself saw him “at fasting and charity, and vigil, and prayers, and tears, and every other virtue.” From Constantinople Saint Dionysius sent two copies of the Hodēgḗtria Icon of the Mother of God to a Council at Suzdal. In 1382 the bishop received the title of archbishop from the patriarch. Returning to Russia, the saint travelled to Pskov and Novgorod to struggle against the heresy of the Strigolniki. He visited Constantinople a second time in 1383 for discussion with the patriarch on questions about the governance of the Russian metropolitanate. In the year 1384 Saint Dionysius was made “metropolitan for Russia” by Patriarch Nilus. But upon his return to Kiev the saint was arrested on orders of the Kiev prince Vladimir Olgerdovich and subjected to imprisonment, where he died on October 15, 1385. The burial of the saint was in “the Kiev Cave of the Great Anthony.” Saint Dionysius is commemorated on June 26 because it is the Feast of his patron saint, Saint David of Thessalonica, whose name he was given in Baptism. In the Synodikon of the 1552 Nizhni-Novgorod Caves monastery, Saint Dionysius is called a “wonderworking monk”.

Translation of the relics of Saint Tikhon of Luchov, Kostroma
Translation of the relics of Saint Tikhon of Luchov, Kostroma In the year 1569 the healing of many sick persons began at the tomb of Saint Tikhon of Lukhov, and his holy relics were found to be incorrupt. However, Igumen Constantine, who uncovered the relics, was struck blind. After repenting and then recovering his sight, he placed Saint Tikhon’s relics back into the ground. The veneration of Saint Tikhon dates from this time. His Life with a description of 70 posthumous miracles was compiled in the year 1649. Saint Tikhon of Lukhov is also commemorated on June 16 (his blessed repose in 1503).

Saint John, Bishop of the Goths in the Crimea
Saint John, Bishop of the Goths in the Crimea Saint John, Bishop of the Goths, lived during the eighth century. The future saint was born in answer to the fervent prayer of his parents. From an early age, he lived a life of asceticism. The saint made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and spent three years visiting all the holy places. Then he returned to his native country. At that time the emperor Constantine Copronymos the Iconoclast (741-775) banished the Gothic bishop, and the Goths fervently entreated Saint John to become their bishop.Saint John went to Georgia, which was isolated from the Iconoclast heresy. There he was ordained. Upon his return to the Goths he was soon compelled to depart from them. Hidden away from the pursuing Khazars, he settled at Amastridia, where he dwelt for four years. Hearing about the death of the Khazar kagan (ruler), the saint said, “After forty days I shall go to be judged with him before Christ the Savior.” Indeed, the saint died forty days later. This took place when he returned to his people, in the year 790. The saint’s body was conveyed to the Parthenit monastery in the Crimea, at the foot of Mount Ayu-Dag, where the saint once lived in the large church he built in honor of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul. Saint John, Bishop of the Goths is also commemorated on May 19.

Appearance of the Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God
Appearance of the Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God According to ancient tradition, the wonderworking icon of Tikhvin is one of several painted by Saint Luke the Evangelist. The icon was taken from Jerusalem to Constantinople in the fifth century, where it was enshrined in the Church of Blachernae, which was built especially for this purpose.In 1383, seventy years before the fall of Constantinople at the hands of the Turks, fishermen on Lake Ladoga in the principality of Novgorod the Great witnessed the icon miraculously hovering over the lake’s waters amidst a radiant light. According to an early sixteenth century Russian manuscript, “The Tale of Miracles of the Icon of the Tikhvin Mother of God,” the Theotokos herself decided that her image should leave Constantinople, perhaps in anticipation of the impending fall of the Byzantine Empire. Shortly after its miraculous appearance, the icon was discovered in several neighboring towns, including the village of Motchenitsy on the bank of the Tikhvinka River, before it finally appeared near the town of Tikhvin. A wooden church dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos was built on the site of the icon’s final resting place. Miraculously, the icon survived a number of fires.In the early sixteenth century, through the zeal of Great Prince Basil Ivanovich, a stone church was built to replace the original wooden structure. In 1560, by order of Tsar Ivan the Terrible, a men’s monastery was established near the church and enclosed with a stone wall.In 1613-1614, the Swedish army, having seized Novgorod, made several attempts to destroy the monastery. The countless prayers offered to the Theotokos before the icon were heard, and the monastery was spared. On one occasion, after monks had been alerted to the approaching Swedish army, they decided to flee and to take the icon with them. But the monks soon discovered that they could not remove the icon from its shrine. Seeing this as a sign of the Theotokos’ protection, the monks decided not to abandon the monastery, begging the Theotokos to spare them and their beloved spiritual home. To their amazement, a large Muscovite army appeared to defend the monastery. When the Swedes encountered the army, they retreated immediately. Word of this miracle spread rapidly, and imperial emissaries soon visited the monastery. Accompanied by a copy of the wonderworking icon, they set off for the village of Stolbovo, 33 miles from Tikhvin, where they concluded a peace treaty with the Swedes on February 10, 1617. Afterwards, the copy of the icon was taken to Moscow and enshrined in the Kremlin’s Dormition Cathedral. Later, the same icon was placed in the Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia) cathedral in Novgorod at the request of the city’s faithful, who also found themselves under attack by the Swedes. Once again, through the intercession of the Theotokos, the city was spared.Over the centuries, the icon’s fame spread far and wide. Copies of the wonderworking icon began to adorn churches throughout the land. Some of these copies also proved to be sources of miracles, and it was not uncommon to find the faithful praying before the icon to seek healing for children who were ill.No fewer than 24 processions with the icon were celebrated each year at the Tikhvin Monastery, where the icon was enshrined. A decorative cover, or “riza,” adorned the icon, exposing only the faces and hands of the Holy Virgin and Christ child. Numerous precious stones studded the riza, and many of the faithful, desiring to express thanksgiving for prayers answered through the Theotokos’ intercession, affixed precious jewelry to the riza.Most miraculous is the fact that the icon was preserved from destruction or sale after the Russian Revolution, which ushered in a 74-year persecution of the Church. During the 1920s, the communist government demanded that the Russian Orthodox Church turn over countless icons and other precious liturgical items, which through the nationalization of private property were considered the property of “the people.” Many of these sacred items were sold, allegedly to raise money to feed the Russian and Ukrainian population which was afflicted by famine.During the World War II German occupation, the Nazis removed the icon from the Tikhvin Monastery, from where it was taken to Pskov and subsequently to Riga, Latvia. When the city was evacuated, Bishop John [Garklavs] of Riga, in whose care the icon was placed, took the icon to Bavaria, where it was venerated by Orthodox faithful who had been displaced because of the war. While Soviet agents had spotted the icon, Bishop John was permitted to take the icon to the United States in 1949, under the pretext that the icon in his care was a reproduction, the work of a simple monk, and that it was of little historic or monetary value. Shortly after his arrival in the United States, Bishop John, who was later elevated to the rank of Archbishop, was elected to oversee the Diocese of Chicago, and the icon was regularly displayed and venerated in Chicago’s Holy Trinity Cathedral. Bishop John frequently took the icon on pilgrimage to various places throughout the United States and Canada. After his retirement in the late 1970s and death on Palm Sunday in 1982, Archpriest Sergei Garklavs, Bishop John’s adopted son, became the caretaker of the icon. In 2003, over a decade after the fall of communism and the resurrection of the Russian Orthodox Church, the decision was made to return the precious icon to its original home.The icon began its year-long journey to Russia at the 99th annual Pilgrimage to Saint Tikhon Monastery, South Canaan, Pennsylvania, May 23-26, 2003. His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, together with members of the Holy Synod of Bishops and guest hierarchs, greeted the icon, which was available for veneration by the faithful.The icon follows the “Hodēgḗtria” model and is similar in style to the ancient Ivḗron icon of Our Lady. It differs in that the Christ child’s legs are crossed, while the sole of His foot is turned to the viewer. Several historic sources note that several other Hodēgḗtria icons of the Theotokos had been brought to Russia in the 1380s, during the rule of the saintly prince Demetrius Donskoy.– Archpriest John Matusiak

“Seven Lakes” Icon of the Mother of God
“Seven Lakes” Icon of the Mother of God The “Seven Lakes” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos shone forth with many miracles in the seventeenth century in the area of Kazan. It is similar to the Smolensk Icon (July 28).“The Seven Lakes” Icon is also commemorated on July 28 and October 13.

“Neamts” Icon of the Mother of God
“Neamts” Icon of the Mother of God The Neamts Icon of the Mother of God was given as a gift by the Byzantine emperor Andronicus Paleologos to the Moldavian ruler Alexander the Voevod in 1399, and then placed into the Moldavian Neamts Ascension monastery.One of the Moldavian princes gave a copy of the icon to a Russian landowner by the name of Chertkov. One of Chertkov’s descendants presented this copy to his village church in 1846. An inscription on the icon says that this is a faithful copy of the icon sent by the Byzantine Emperor Andronicus. However, the Emperor in 1399 was Manuel II Paleologos. One of his sons was named Andronicus, and perhaps he sent the icon to Moldavia.At the Ascension monastery, many ascetics of the Russian Church became saints under the holy Elder, schema-archimandrite Paisius Velichkovsky (November 15), and also through the guidance of the Mother of God.

Icon of the Mother of God of Lydda or “the Roman”
Icon of the Mother of God of Lydda or “the Roman” The wonderworking Lydda Icon is mentioned in the service for the Kazan Icon (July 8 & October 22) in the third Ode of the Canon.According to Tradition, the Apostles Peter and John were preaching in Lydda (later called Diospolis) near Jerusalem. There they built a church dedicated to the Most Holy Theotokos, then went to Jerusalem and asked her to come and sanctify the church by her presence. She sent them back to Lydda and said, “Go in peace, and I shall be there with you.”Arriving at Lydda, they found an icon of the Virgin imprinted in color on the wall of the church (some sources say the image was on a pillar). Then the Mother of God appeared and rejoiced at the number of people who had gathered there. She blessed the icon and gave it the power to work miracles. This icon was not made by the hand of man, but by a divine power.Julian the Apostate (reigned 361-363) heard about the icon and tried to eradicate it. Masons with sharp tools chipped away at the image, but the paint and lines just seemed to penetrate deeper into the stone. Those whom the emperor had sent were unable to destroy the icon. As word of this miracle spread, millions of people came to venerate the icon. In the eighth century, Saint Germanus, the future Patriarch of Constantinople (May 12) passed through Lydda. He had a copy of the icon made, and sent it to Rome during the iconoclastic controversy. It was placed in the church of Saint Peter, and was the source of many healings. In 842, the reproduction was returned to Constantinople and was known as the Roman Icon (June 26).The oldest sources of information for the Lydda Icon are a document attributed to Saint Andrew of Crete in 726, a letter written by three eastern Patriarchs to the iconoclast emperor Theophilus in 839, and a work of George the Monk in 886.The icon still existed as late as the ninth century.The Lydda Icon of the Mother of God is also commemorated on March 12.

Feast of All Saints of Georgia
Feast of All Saints of Georgia Having examined the history of Georgia and the hagiographical treasures attesting to the faith of the Georgian nation, we become convinced that Heavenly Georgia— the legion of Georgian saints, extolling the Lord in the Heavenly Kingdom with a single voice—is infinitely glorious. It is unknown how many cleansed themselves of their earthly sins in merciless warfare with the enemy of Christ, or how many purified their souls in unheated cells through prayer, fasting, and ascetic labors. To God alone are known the names of those ascetics, forgotten by history, who by their humble labors tirelessly forged the future of the Georgian Church and people.St. George of the Holy Mountain wrote: “From the time we recognized the one true God, we have never renounced Him, nor have our people ever yielded to heresy.”A decree of the Church Council of Ruisi-Urbnisi states: “We will not depart from thee, the Catholic Church which bore us in holiness, nor will we betray thee, our pride—Orthodoxy—to which we have always been faithful, for we have been granted the honor to know thee, the witness of the Truth Itself!” This relationship to Orthodoxy is the cornerstone of the life of every Georgian believer.It is impossible to count the names of all those Christians who have been raised up from the earthly Church in Georgia to the heavens, let alone to describe all the godly deeds they have performed. For this reason December 11 has been set aside for the commemoration not only of the saints whose Lives are known to us but also of the nearly three hundred more whose names, but not stories, have been preserved as well.Most Georgian people bear the name of a saint who is commemorated on this day, and they entreat the saint to intercede before the Lord in their behalf.

New Martyr David of Saint Anne’s Skete
The Holy Monastic Martyr David was descended from the Kydonians of the town of Aivali (Αϊβαλί) in Asia Minor. The inhabitants of the town had a special relationship with Mount Athos, because there were two Athonite embassy churches in their city, one belonging to Ivḗron Monastery, and the other to Pantokrator Monastery. When Saint David left his hometown, he went to Mount Athos and lived near a fellow countryman, a brother of Saint Anne’s Skete, who later became a monk. During his monastic life, Saint David was moved by divine zeal. He took the initiative, after receiving the blessing of his Elder, and visited Smyrna in order to collect money for the reconstruction of the ruined churches of the Transfiguration of the Savior and that of the Theotokos on Mount Athos. After completing the work on the two temples, he built two water tanks as well as a number of cells for the worshipers. He did not remain on Mount Athos, for he burned with the desire for martyrdom. He went to Magnesia in Asia Minor, where he bore witness to Christ, and mocked the Turks for their religion. They arrested him and beat him severely, and then he was expelled from their city. Thus, without fulfilling his desire, he returned to the Holy Skete of Saint Anne, where he confessed to his Elder his earnest desire for martyrdom. His Spiritual Father, fearing the outcome of such an act, tried to dissuade him, but he did not succeed. Saint David went to Karyes and saw Metropolitan Pankratios, the former Bishop of Christopoulos, from whom he received a blessing to seek martyrdom. Saint David traveled to Thessaloniki, where he was told of a monk from the Vatopaidi embassy church of Saint Demetrios, who had converted to Islam. Saint David attempted to confront this monk, but somehow the Turks had learned of his intention. The Turks arrested the Saint, and after they had beaten him, they handed him over to the judge for trial. The judge, fearing that Saint David might persuade the monk to abandon Islam and to confess Christ, ordered the Saint to be executed at once. That same night, June 26, 1813, Saint David suffered a martyric death by hanging. The Monastic Martyr David is particularly honored at the Skete of Saint Anne on the Holy Mountain.

Today’s Hymns

Synaxis of the Saints of North America – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 8
As the bountiful harvest of Your sowing of salvation,
the lands of North America offer to You, O Lord, all the saints who have shone in them.
By their prayers keep the Church and our land in abiding peace
through the Theotokos, O most Merciful One.
Kontakion — Tone 3
Today the choir of Saints who were pleasing to God in the lands of North America
now stands before us in the Church and invisibly prays to God for us.
With them the angels glorify Him,
and all the saints of the Church of Christ keep festival with them;
and together they all pray for us to the Pre-Eternal God.

Saint David of Thessaloniki – 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 David, rejoices with the angels.
Kontakion — Tone 2
We bless you, servant of God David;
you are like the angels and estranged from earthly things.
Now you rejoice in divine gifts.
Grant us to share in them also, O holy and righteous Father!

Saint Dionysius, Archbishop of Suzdal – 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 Dionysius,
entreat Christ our God
that our souls may be saved.

Translation of the relics of Saint Tikhon of Luchov, Kostroma – 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 Tikhon, pray to Christ our God to save our souls!

Saint John, Bishop of the Goths in the Crimea – 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 John,
entreat Christ our God
that our souls may be saved.

Appearance of the Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 4
Today, O Sovereign Lady, your most honored Icon has shone upon us in the Heavens like a most radiant sun,
enlightening the world with rays of mercy, which Russia has received most reverently as a Divine gift from on high;
and it glorifies you, O Mother of God, as the Queen of all,
and joyfully magnifies Christ our God, Who was born of you.
Pray to Him, O Lady Theotokos, that He may preserve all Christian cities and countries unharmed from all the machinations of the Enemy,
and that He may save those who with faith bow down before His divine image and your most pure Icon,
O Virgin who knew not wedlock.
Kontakion — Tone 8
O people, let us have recourse to the Virgin Theotokos and Queen, thanking Christ God;
and, gazing tenderly at her wonderworking Icon, let us come and cry out to her:
“O Sovereign Lady Mary, you visited this land by the wondrous appearance of your sacred image;
preserve all Christians in peace and well-being and make all of them heirs of the heavenly life,
for we cry out to you with faith: “Rejoice, O Virgin, salvation of the world.”

New Martyr David of Saint Anne’s Skete – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 1
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 David, rejoices with the angels.
Kontakion — Tone 2
As a venerable and proven ascetic, as an honorable and renowned martyr,
and as a model of the desert life, O most exalted David,
we sing hymns of praise to you,
for you have trampled upon serpents.


Readings and Feast Day Information provided by The Orthodox Church in America (OCA).

Fasting guidelines provided by The Greek American Orthodox Archdiocese (GOARCH).

Aggregated and Formatted by OrthoBot.

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