7th Week after Pentecost. Tone five.
Fast. Food with Oil
- Apostle Aquila of the Seventy, and St. Priscilla (1st c.).
- New Hieromartyr Constantine priest (1918).
- New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1933).
- Venerable Stephen , abbot of Makhrishche (Vologda) (1406).
- Martyr Justus at Rome (1st c.).
- Venerable Ellius (Hellius) of Egypt (4th c.).
- Venerable Onesimus , of Magnesia (4th c.).
- Martyr John of Merv (Turkmenistan).
- Venerable Nicodemus of Mt. Athos, spiritual writer (1809).
- Sts. Vladimir and Agrippina wonderworkers of Rzhev
- St. Marcellinus of Utrecht, priest (8th c.) (Neth.).
- St. Joseph the Confessor, archbishop of Thessalonica (Greek).
- St. Heraclius, patriarch of Alexandria (246).
1 Corinthians 7:12-24
But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife? But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all the churches. Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters. Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called. Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather use it. For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave. You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called.
And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent out into all that surrounding region, brought to Him all who were sick, and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well. Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread. He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”- ‘then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ” When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.
1 Corinthians 7:24-35
Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called. Now concerning virgins: I have no commandment from the Lord; yet I give judgment as one whom the Lord in His mercy has made trustworthy. I suppose therefore that this is good because of the present distress-that it is good for a man to remain as he is: Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Nevertheless such will have trouble in the flesh, but I would spare you. But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away. But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord-how he may please the Lord. But he who is married cares about the things of the world-how he may please his wife. There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world-how she may please her husband. And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.
Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch. Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.” So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man. Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today
Venerable Stephen , abbot of Makhrishche (Vologda) (1406).
The Monk Stefan of Makhrisch was a native of Kiev. He accepted monasticism at the Pechersk monastery, where he spent several years in deeds of obedience and prayer. The oppressions by the Papists compelled him to journey on to Moscow, where GreatPrince Ivan II (1353-1359) graciously received him, permitting him to settle in the locale of Makhrisch not far from Gorodisch, 35 versts from the Sergeev wilderness-monastery. Having built himself a cell and spending his life at ascetic labours, and esteeming silence, he did not accept those wishing to join him. But then he yielded to the requests, and by such manner, in 1358 he founded a monastery, in which he was established as hegumen. Living near his monastery were the Yurkov brothers, fearing that the land which they ruled might be given over to the monastery, and they threatened to kill the holy ascetic. The admonitions of the monk did not help. Saint Stefan then moved to a different place. Sixty versts north of Vologda, at the River Avnezha, he founded with his disciple Grigory a wilderness-monastery in the Name of the Holy Trinity. GreatPrince Dimitrii Ioannovich sent books and other liturgical items to the Avnezhsk wilderness, but the Monk Stefan sent them in turn to the Makhrisch monastery. Having returned to his monastery, Saint Stefan ordered life in it according to a “life in common” ustav (rule). When the Monk Sergei of radonezh moved form his monastery, in order to find a place for his ascetic deeds, the Monk Stefan then received him, and gave the great ascetic Sergei his own disciple Simon, who knew the surrounding area quite well. The Monk Sergei settled together with Simon on the island of Kirzhach, where he founded a monastery. Saint Stefan was strict with himself and indulgent towards others, he it was that worked for the monastery the hardest of all, he zealously guided the brethren to the ways of salvation with gentle and quiet talks, and he wore clothing very old and coarse. The monk lived to extreme old age, became a schema-monk and died in 1406 on 14 July. In 1550 during the construction of a new stone church in the Name of the Holy Trinity, his holy remains were uncovered undecayed. They were glorified by blessings of help in various sicknesses and misfortunes for all calling on the name of the saint.
Apostle Aquila of the Seventy, and St. Priscilla (1st c.).
It is possible, that he was a disciple of the Apostle Paul, a native of Pontus and a Jew, living in the city of Rome with his wife Priscilla (Comm. 13 February). During the reign of the emperor Claudius (41-54) all the Jews were banished from Rome. Saint Aquilla and his wife were compelled to leave. They settled in Corinth. A short while afterwards the holy Apostle Paul arrived there from Athens preaching the Gospel. Having made the acquaintance of Aquila, he began to live at his house and laboured together with him over the making of tents. Having accepted Baptism from the Apostle Paul, Aquila and Priscilla bacame his devoted and zealous disciples. They accompanied the apostle to Ephesus. The Apostle Paul instructed them to continue the preaching of the Gospel at Ephesus, and he himself set off to Jerusalem, in order to be present there for the feast of Pentecost. At Ephesus Aquila and Priscilla heard the bold preaching of a new-comer from Alexandria, the Jew Apollos, who had been instructed in the fundamentals of the faith, but knew only the baptism of John the ForeRunner [i.e. John the Baptist]. They called him over to themselves and explained more precisely about the way of the Lord. After the death of the emperor Claudius, Jews were permitted to return to Italy, and Aquila and Priscilla then returned to Rome. The Apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Romans recollects about his faithful disciples: “Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus, who put forth their heads for my soul, whom I do not alone thank, but also all the Church of the Gentiles and the church of their household” (Rom. 16: 3-4). Saint Aquila did not long dwell in Rome: the Apostle Paul made him a bishop in Asia. Saint Aquila zealously laboured at preaching the Gospel in Asia, Achaeia and Herakleia: he converted pagans to Christ, he confirmed in the faith newly-converted Christians, he established presbyters and destroyed idols. Saint Priscilla constantly assisted him in the apostolic work. Saint Aquila finished his life a martyr: pagans murdered him. According to the tradition of the Church, Saint Priscilla was killed together with him.
Martyr Justus at Rome (1st c.).
The Holy Martyr Justus was a Roman pagan-soldier. The Life-Creating Cross of the Lord appeared to him in a vision. Justus believed in Christ and gave away his possessions to the poor. By decree of the official of Magnesia, Justus as a Christian was taken to trial. After various tortures the holy martyr was thrown into a bon-fire and therein gave up his soul to God, but the flames did not harm his body (I).
Venerable Ellius (Hellius) of Egypt (4th c.).
The Monk Hellios lived and died in the IV Century. Given over at childhood to a monastery, he was raised in piety, temperance and chastity. Having grown up, he set out into the Egyptian wilderness, where by incessant ascetic deeds he attained deep ability in the spiritual life: he was endowed with the gift of perspicacity, he knew all the thoughts and disposition of the monks conversing with him. Great faith, simplicity of soul and deep humility allowed Saint Hellios to command wild animals. One time, when the monk carried an heavy load to the wilderness monastery and had become very tired, and having prayed, he called a wild donkey to himself and placed on it his burden. The donkey meekly carried the load to the place and was set free to return to the wilderness. Another time, when the Monk Hellios needed to cross over a river and there was no boat, he called forth from the water a crocodile and, standing on its back, he happily crossed to the opposite shore. One of the young novices of the monastery, whom Saint Hellios visited with, besought him to take him along into the deep wilderness. The Monk Hellios warned the youth about the great work, exploits and temptations, which inevitably beset all the hermits, but since the novice continued fervently to ask, he took him along. On the first night the novice, frightened by terrible visions, in trembling ran to the cave to the Monk Hellios. The monk comforted and calmed him down and ordered him to return. Having secured the cave with the sign of the cross, the monk said that the young hermit should not fear, since these apparitions would appear no more. Trusting the word of the saint, the novice decided to remain in solitude and afterwards attained such perfection, that he was granted, like his preceptor Hellios, to receive at the necessary time food from an Angel. In extreme old age the Monk Hellios peacefully settled into the Heavenly mansions.
Venerable Onesimus , of Magnesia (4th c.).
He suffered for the name of Christ during the reign of Diocletian. He died in Magnesia (in Asia Minor), where he founded a monastery.
Venerable Nicodemus of Mt. Athos, spiritual writer (1809).
He is best known for his collections of Orthodox writings, most importantly the Philokalia, a five-volume compendium of writings on asceticism and prayer, especially the Jesus Prayer, by the holy Fathers of the Church. (The first four volumes have been translated into English). He produced an Orthodox edition of Unseen Warfare, originally by Lorenzo Scupoli, a Roman Catholic. (This was further revised by St Theophan the Recluse). He also edited the Pedalion (Rudder), a collection of the canons of the Orthodox Church with his commentary. Note: The English edition of the Rudder needs to be read with care, since it includes additional comments by the translator, not clearly distinguished from those of the Saint.
St. Joseph the Confessor, archbishop of Thessalonica (Greek).
He was the brother of St Theodore the Studite (November 11), and is also sometimes called Studite. He is one of the inspired composers of the canons in the Lenten Triodion, many of which bear the title “by Joseph”. (He should not be confused with St Joseph the Hymnographer, who is commemorated April 3.) As Archbishop of Thessalonika, he suffered greatly for his zealous defense of the holy icons: he was imprisoned, and was exiled three times.
Additional Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today
New Hieromartyr Constantine priest (1918).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1933).
Martyr John of Merv (Turkmenistan).
Sts. Vladimir and Agrippina wonderworkers of Rzhev
St. Marcellinus of Utrecht, priest (8th c.) (Neth.).
St. Heraclius, patriarch of Alexandria (246).
Holy Apostle Aquila, Troparion, Tone III
O holy apostle Aquila
entreat the merciful God
that He grant to our souls
remission of transgressions.
Holy Martyrs Cyricus & Julitta, Troparion, Tone IV
In their sufferings, O Lord,
Thy martyrs received imperishable crowns from
Thee our God;
for, possessed of Thy might,
they set at nought the tormentors
and crushed the feeble audacity of the demons.
By their supplications save
Thou our souls.
Kontakion of the Apostle, Tone IV
Having acquired thee like a great sun,
O glorious Aquila, apostle of the
the Church enlighteneth with the splendors of thy teaching those who
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Courtesy of St. Sergius Church
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