16th Week after Pentecost. Tone six.
Fast. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)
- Martyrs Sophia and her three daughters: Faith (Vera), Hope (Nadezhda), and Love (Lyubov), at Rome (137).
- New Hieromartyrs Paul, Theodosius, Nicodemus and Seraphim (1918).
- Virgin-martyr Irene (1931).
- Martyr John (1941).
- Virgin-martyr Alexandra (1943).
- Martyr Theodota at Nicaea (230) and Agathoklea .
- 156 Martyrs of Palestine, including bishops Peleus and Nilus, the presbyter Zeno, and the noblemen Patermuthius and Elias (310).
- St. Joachim, patriarch of Alexandria (1567).
- “Tsaregrad” (1071) and Makar’evsk “Directress” (1442) Icons of the Mother of God.
- Uncovering of the relics of St. John of Shanghai.
- Martyrs Lucy, and her son Geminian of Rome (303).
- Hieromartyrs Heraclides and Myron, bishops of Cyprus (1st c.).
- Martyrs Socrates and Stephen.
- St. Lambert, hieromartyr of Maastricht (704) (Neth.).
- 100 Martyrs of Egypt. (Greek).
- Venerable Anastasius of Perioteron in Cyprus (12th c.) (Greek).
- Venerable Eusipius of Cyprus (Greek).
- Martyrs Charalampus, Panteleon and others (Greek).
Ephesians 1:7-17 (Friday)
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth-in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,
In those days, the multitude being very great and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said to them, I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way; for some of them have come from afar. Then His disciples answered Him, “How can one satisfy these people with bread here in the wilderness?” He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven.” So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and they set them before the multitude. They also had a few small fish; and having blessed them, He said to set them also before them. So they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments. Now those who had eaten were about four thousand. And He sent them away, immediately got into the boat with His disciples, and came to the region of Dalmanutha. Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him.
Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today
Martyrs Sophia and her three daughters: Faith (Vera), Hope (Nadezhda), and Love (Lyubov), at Rome (137).
The Holy Martyresses Vera (Faith), Nadezhda (Hope) and Liubov’ (Love) were born in Italy. Their mother, Saint Sophia (Wisdom), was a pious Christian widow. Having named her daughters with the names of the three Christian virtues, Saint Sophia raised them up in love for the Lord Jesus Christ. Saint Sophia and her daughters did not hide their faith in Christ and they openly confessed it before everyone. The official Antiochus made denunciation about them to the emperor Adrian (117-138), who ordered that they be brought to Rome. Realising that they would be taken before the emperor, the holy virgins prayed fervently to the Lord Jesus Christ, asking that He should send them the strength not to fear impending torture and death. When the holy virgins with their mother came before the emperor, everyone present was amazed at their composure: it seemed that they had been called out to some happy festivity, rather than to torture. Summoning the sisters in turn, Adrian urged them to offer sacrifice to the goddess Artemis. The young girls (Vera was 12, Nadezhda was 10 and Liubov’ was 9) remained unyielding. Then the emperor gave orders to fiercely torture them: they burned at the holy virgins over an iron grating, they threw them into a red-hot oven and then into a cauldron with boiling tar, but the Lord by His Unseen Power preserved them. The youngest one, Liubov’, they tied to a wheel and beat at her with canes, until her body was covered all over with bloody welts. And undergoing unreported torments, the holy virgins glorified their Heavenly Bridegroom and remained steadfast in the faith. They subjected Saint Sophia to another and grievous torture: the mother was forced to look upon the suffering of her daughters. But she displayed adamant courage and during this whole while she urged the girls to endure the torments in the Name of the Heavenly Bridegroom. All three maidens with joy met their martyr’s end. They were beheaded. In order to intensify the inner suffering of Saint Sophia, the emperor decided to let her take up the bodies of her daughters. She placed their remains in coffins and reverently conveyed them on a wagon beyond the city and buried them on an high place. Saint Sophia sat there for three days not leaving the graves of her daughters, and finally she gave up her soul to the Lord. Believers buried her body there also. the relics of the holy martyresses since the year 777 rest at El’zasa, in the church of Esho.
“Tsaregrad” (1071) and Makar’evsk “Directress” (1442) Icons of the Mother of God.
The Makar’ev “Hodegetria” (“Way-Guide”) Icon of the Mother of God appeared during the reign of prince Vasilii Vasil’evich the Dark (1425-1462) to the Monk Makarii the Wonderworker, who asceticised on the desolate shores of the River Unzha. On 17 September 1442 at about the third hour of the morning, when the Monk Makarii was finishing his usual morning akathist song to the MostHoly Mother of God, his cell was illumined suddenly by an unknown light. The monk became confused in spirit and began fervently to pray. Beyond the cell walls he heard the angelic refrain: “Hail, Thou Full of Grace, O Mother Unwedded!” With fear and astonishment the monk went out from his cell and on the northwest horizon he saw the icon of the Mother of God, surrounded by a luminous radiance. The icon approached towards the cell of the ascetic. With joyful trembling the monk fell to the ground and cried out: “Hail, Mother of God! Hail, Thou Ever-Flowing Fount issuing salvation to all the world and assuring protection and intercession to all the Galich land!” He reverently took up the icon and placed it in his cell, whereby it also came to be named the “Cell-Icon”. Afterwards the disciples of the monk gave it the title of “Makar’ev”. On the place of the appearance of the holy icon was founded a monastery, likewise named Makar’ev. From the Makar’ev Icon of the Mother of God there were made copies, which became reknown just like the original.
Martyr Theodota at Nicaea (230) and Agathoklea .
The Holy Martyress Agathoklea was a servant in the home of a certain Christian named Nicholas. His wife Paulina was a pagan. For eight years Agathoklea underwent abuse from her mistress because of her faith. Paulina fiercely beat the servant, and made her walk barefoot over sharp stones. Once in a fit of nastiness Paulina with a blow from an hammer broke her rib, and then cut out her tongue. Nothing was able to make the saint give in to the demand of her mistress – to worship idols. Then Paulina locked the martyress in prison and exhausted her with hunger. But Agathoklea did not perish: birds brought her food each day. Finally, in a fit of evil, Paulina went to the prison and murdered the holy martyress.
156 Martyrs of Palestine, including bishops Peleus and Nilus, the presbyter Zeno, and the noblemen Patermuthius and Elias (310).
The Holy Martyrs Pelios and Nilos, Bishops of Egypt, Presbyter Zinon, Patermuphias, Ilios and another 151 Martyrs suffered during the reign of the emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311). The majority of them were Egyptians, but there were also some Palestinians among them. The governor of Palestine, Firmilian, arrested 156 Christians. They gouged out the eyes of the holy martyrs, cut the tendons of the feet and subjected them to all manner of tortures. They beheaded 100 of the martyrs, and burned the rest.
Martyrs Lucy, and her son Geminian of Rome (303).
St. Lucy died in peace, and St. Geminian was beheaded in Rome in 303 during the reign of Emperor Maximian.
Hieromartyrs Heraclides and Myron, bishops of Cyprus (1st c.).
Hieromartyrs Heraclides and Myron, Bishops of Cypriot city of Thomas suffered for their faith in Christ. St. Heraclius was consecrated by the Holy Apostle Barnabas. St. Myron succeeded St. Heraclius.
St. Lambert, hieromartyr of Maastricht (704) (Neth.).
He was born to a noble family in Maastricht (in modern-day Belgium). When his spiritual father Bishop Theodard was killed in 671, St Lambert was elected Bishop of Maastricht despite his youth. He was loved by his flock for his holiness, ascetic labors and almsgiving, but was driven from his see in 675 after his patron King Childeric II was assasinated. He withdrew to the Monastery of Stavelot where he lived for seven years as one of the brethren, claiming no privileges despite his office. Once, getting up to pray during the night, he accidentally disturbed the monastic silence. The Abbot called out for whoever was responsible to do penance by standing barefoot in the snow before a cross outside the monastery church. In the morning the Abbot was dismayed to see the Bishop standing barefoot, covered with snow, before the cross, his face shining. The Abbot sought to apologize, but Lambert replied that he was honored to serve God like the Apostles, in cold and nakedness. When King Pepin of Heristal took power in 681, he restored Lambert to his see, despite the Saint’s desire to remain in obscurity. The holy bishop renewed his pastoral labors with vigor, visiting the most distant parishes and preaching the Gospel to the pagans who still inhabited the area, despite danger and threats. But when King Pepin put away his wife and replaced her with his concubine Alpais, St Lambert was the only Bishop who dared to rebuke him. For this he incurred the wrath of Alpais, who ordered his death. His assassins carried out their evil commission, even though they found a cross shining above the humble dwelling where he was staying. Saint Lambert is one of the best-loved Saints of Belgium, where many parish churches are dedicated to him.
Additional Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today
New Hieromartyrs Paul, Theodosius, Nicodemus and Seraphim (1918).
Virgin-martyr Irene (1931).
Martyr John (1941).
Virgin-martyr Alexandra (1943).
St. Joachim, patriarch of Alexandria (1567).
Uncovering of the relics of St. John of Shanghai.
Martyrs Socrates and Stephen.
100 Martyrs of Egypt. (Greek).
Venerable Anastasius of Perioteron in Cyprus (12th c.) (Greek).
Venerable Eusipius of Cyprus (Greek).
Martyrs Charalampus, Panteleon and others (Greek).
Martyrs Sophia and her three daughters, Troparion in Tone IV
In their sufferings, O Lord,
Thy martyrs received
imperishable crowns from Thee our God;
for, possessed of Thy might,
at nought the tormentors and crushed the feeble audacity of the demons.
their supplications save Thou our souls.
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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