New Calendar Orthodox Daily Digest for 11/20/2022

Fasting Guidelines

Sunday November 20, 2022
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Today’s Commemorations

  • Forefeast of the Entry into the Temple of the Most Holy Theotokos
  • Venerable Gregory the Decapolite
  • Saint Proclus, Archbishop of Constantinople
  • Venerable Diodorus, Abbot of Yuregorsk
  • Martyr Dasius of Dorostorum
  • Martyrs Eustace, Thespesius, and Anatolius of Nicea
  • Hieromartyrs Nerses and Joseph and many other men and women who suffered with them in Persia
  • Saint Theoctistus the Confessor

Scripture Readings

Matthew 28:16-20 (1st Matins Gospel)

Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.”

Ephesians 2:4-10 (Epistle)

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Luke 12:16-21 (Gospel)

Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. ‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

Saints and Feasts Celebrated Today

Forefeast of the Entry into the Temple of the Most Holy Theotokos
Forefeast of the Entry into the Temple of the Most Holy Theotokos Today we celebrate the Forefeast of the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple, and tomorrow is the Feast Day itself. A Forefeast is one or more days preceding certain major holidays, in order to prepare the faithful for the celebration of the actual Feast Day. In the Services, hymns describing the festive event are sung. According to Tradition, the righteous Joachim and Anna, the parents of the Virgin Mary, vowed to dedicate their child to God. When the girl was three years old, her parents brought her to the Temple at Jerusalem holding candles and singing Psalms. Psalm 44/45: 10-17 foreshadows this event: “Hear, O daughter, and see, and incline your ear; forget also your people and your father’s house. Because the king has desired your beauty; for he is your Lord. And the daughter of Tyre shall adore with gifts; the rich of the people of the land shall supplicate your countenance. All her glory is that of the daughter of the king of Esebon, robed as she is golden fringed garments, in embroidered clothing; virgins shall be be brought to the king after her, her fellows shall be brought to you. They shall be brought with gladness and exaltation; they shall be led into the king’s temple. Instead of your fathers children are born to you; you shall make them princes over all the earth. They shall make mention of your name from generation to generation; therefore shall the nations shall confess you for ever, even forever and ever She was met by the priests of the Temple and the High Priest Zachariah himself. With no help from anyone else, the girl walked up fifteen steps. Zachariah, the father of Saint John the Baptist, took the Virgin Mary into the Holy of Holies: the most sacred place in the Temple, where she remained until at the age of twelve, when she was betrothed to Saint Joseph. No one could enter there except the High Priest, who entered alone once a year (on the Day of Atonement) to offer the blood of sacrificial animals “for himself, and for the errors of the people” (Hebrews 9:7). But Zachariah was given an extraordinary inspiration for his action. After all, the Virgin herself was to become the Holy of Holies, a living temple, bearing in her womb the Savior of the world.

Venerable Gregory the Decapolite
Venerable Gregory the Decapolite Saint Gregory was born in the Isaurian city of Decapolis (ten cities) in the VIII century. From his childhood he loved the house of God and the Church Services. He read the Holy Scripture constantly and with reverence. In order to avoid the marriage which his parents had intended for him, he left home and spent his entire life wandering. He travelled to Constantinople, Rome, Corinth, and he lived as an ascetic on Olympus for a while. Saint Gregory preached the Word of God everywhere, denouncing the Iconoclast heresy, and strengthening the faith and courage of the Orthodox, who were persecuted, tortured, and imprisoned by the Iconoclasts. Through his ascetical struggles and prayers, Saint Gregory attained the gifts of prophecy and working miracles. After overcoming the passions and attaining the height of virtue, he was permitted to hear the angelic singing in praise of the Holy Trinity. Saint Gregory left the monastery of Saint Menas near Thessaloniki, where he had labored for a long time, and he went to Constantinople again in order to combat the Iconoclast heresy. At the capital, a grievous illness undermined his strength, and he went to the Lord in the year 816. Saint Gregory was buried at a monastery in Constantinople, and many miracles took place at his tomb. As a result, the monks recovered Saint Gregory’s holy relics and enshrined them in the church where people could venerate them. When Constantinople fell to the Turks in 1453, the relics of Saint Gregory were carried to the region of the Danube by a Turkish official. In 1498 Barbu Craiovescu, the Ban of Wallachia heard of the miracles performed by the holy relics and he bought them for a considerable sum of money. Barbu Craiovescu placed the relics in the main church of Bistrița’s Dormition Monastery which he founded at Rimnicu Vilcea,1 where they remain to the present day. A small booklet describing the miracles and healings performed by Saint Gregory the Decapolite in Romania was written by Igoumeness Olga Gologan, who reposed in 1972.1 Located in Neamț County, Romania.

Saint Proclus, Archbishop of Constantinople
Saint Proclus, Archbishop of Constantinople Saint Proclus, Archbishop of Constantinople, from his early years devoted all his time to prayer and the study of Holy Scripture. The Lord granted him the great good fortune to be a disciple of Saint John Chrysostom (November 13), who at first ordained him as a deacon, and then to the holy priesthood. He witnessed the appearance of the Apostle Paul to Saint John Chrysostom. Saint Proclus received from his teacher a profound understanding of Holy Scripture, and learned to elucidate his thoughts in a polished form.After the exile and death of Saint John Chrysostom, the holy Patriarch of Constantinople Sisinius (426-427) consecrated Saint Proclus as bishop of the city of Kyzikos, but under the influence of Nestorian heretics he was expelled by his flock there. Saint Proclus then returned to the capital and preached the Word of God in the churches of Constantinople, strengthening listeners in the Orthodox Faith and denouncing the impiety of the heretics. He once preached a sermon before Nestorius in which he fearlessly defended the title “Theotokos” in speaking of the holy Virgin. Upon the death of the Patriarch Saint Sisinius, Saint Proclus was chosen to take his place. Having thus been made Patriarch of Constantinople, he guided the Church over the course of twelve years (434-447). By the efforts of Saint Proclus, the relics of Saint John Chrysostom were transferred from Comana to Constantinople in the time of the holy emperor Saint Theodosius II (408-450).When Saint Proclus was Patriarch, the Empire suffered destructive earthquakes, lasting for several months. At Bithynia, in the Hellespont, and in Phrygia cities were devastated, rivers disappeared from the face of the earth, and terrible flooding occurred in previously dry places. The people of Constantinople came out of the city with the patriarch and emperor at their head and offered prayers for an end to the unprecedented calamities.During one prayer service, a boy from the crowd was snatched up into the air by an unseen force and carried up to such a height that he was no longer to be seen by human eyes. Then, whole and unharmed, the child was lowered to the ground and he reported that he heard and he saw the angels glorifying God singing: “Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal.” All the people began to sing this Trisagion Prayer, adding to it the refrain, “Have mercy on us!” Then the earthquakes stopped. The Orthodox Church sings still this prayer at divine services to this very day.The Constantinople flock esteemed their Patriarch for his ascetic life, for his concern about the downtrodden, and for his preaching. Many works of the saint have survived to the present day. Best known are his discourses against the Nestorians, two tracts of the Saint in praise of the Mother of God, and four tracts on the Nativity of Christ, setting forth the Orthodox teaching about the Incarnation of the Son of God. The activity of the holy patriarch in establishing decorum in all the church affairs gained him universal esteem. Surrounded by love and respect, Saint Proclus departed to the Lord after serving as Patriarch for twenty years.

Venerable Diodorus, Abbot of Yuregorsk
Venerable Diodorus, Abbot of Yuregorsk Saint Diodorus of Yuregorsk was born in the village of Turchasovo at the River Onega. His parents, Jerothei and Maria, named their son Diomid. As a fifteen-year-old youth he went on pilgrimage to the Solovki monastery, and then remained there as a novice. There he received monastic tonsure when he was nineteen under the igumen Anthony.He lived with the hermits on desolate islands, and then he settled at Lake Vodla. He spent seven years there with his disciple Prochorus. Resolving to found a monastery in honor of the Most Holy Trinity on Mount Yurev, the monk went to Moscow, where he received approval from Tsar Michael (1613-1645) and also money for the building of the monastery from the Tsar’s mother, the nun and Eldress Martha.Somewhat before his death, Saint Diodorus was obliged to journey to Kargopol on monastery matters. Taking leave of the brethren, he predicted his impending death. He died on November 27, 1633 and was buried at Kargopol. After two years his incorrupt body was transferred to the Trinity monastery and buried at the south wall of the cathedral church. The memory of Saint Diodorus is celebrated on November 20 because of the Feast of the Icon of the Mother of God “Of the Sign,” with which his repose coincides.

Saint Theoctistus the Confessor
Saint Theoctistus the Confessor Saint Theoctistus the Confessor was an influential senior Byzantine official during the first half of the 9th century. He was well known for his administrative and political competence, for his involvement in the ending of iconoclasm, and for promoting a major renaissance in education within the Empire.In 843 AD, Theoctistus prevailed upon the Empress Theodora to officially reintroduce the veneration of icons, ending the second period of official iconoclasm. With the enthronement of a new patriarch, Methodius I, a Synod was convened in Constantinople to condemn iconoclasm — an event that is commemorated as the “Triumph of Orthodoxy.” In the same year, Theoctistus invited his nephews, Cyril and Methodius, to the imperial capital to study and to arrange the placement of Methodius as a commander of a Slavic administrative region. He also is credited with initiating a far-reaching educational program and establishing the University of Magnaura.After a series of long-standing political intrigues involving the imperial family, he was arrested and put to death by his adversaries in 855 AD.

Martyr Dasius of Dorostorum
The Holy Martyr Dasius lived during the third century in the city of Dorostorum on the Danube River. The inhabitants of the city were preparing for a festival in honor of the pagan god Saturn. By custom, thirty days before the celebration they selected a handsome youth, dressed him in fine clothing, accorded him royal honors, and he would go forth in public made up like Saturn. For thirty days, he would indulge in wicked deeds and immoral pleasures. On the day of the feast he was brought before the idols and put to the sword as a sacrifice to Saturn.The choice of his compatriots fell upon Saint Dasius, since in the city there was not a more handsome youth. Learning of this, the saint said, “If I am fated to die, then it’s better to die for Christ as a Christian.” He openly confessed his faith in Christ before his fellow citizens and refused to take part in the shameful ritual. He denounced the impiety and error of the idolaters and converted many of them to Christ. Therefore, on the orders of the emperors Diocletian (284-305) and Maximian (305-311), he was beheaded after cruel tortures.

Martyrs Eustace, Thespesius, and Anatolius of Nicea
The Holy Martyrs Eustathius, Thespesius and Anatolius, natives of the city of Gangra, were the children of a rich merchant. They were baptized by Bishop Anthimus of Nicomedia (September 3). They died as martyrs at Nicea, after suffering fierce tortures.

Hieromartyrs Nerses and Joseph and many other men and women who suffered with them in Persia
Saint Nerses the bishop suffered for Christ in Persia with his disciple Joseph; Bishops John, Saverius, Isaac and Hypatius; the Martyrs Azades the Eunuch, Savonius, Thekla, Anna and many other men and women. They were executed in 343 during a persecution against Christians under the emperor Sapor II. Saint Nerses and his disciple Joseph were beheaded; Saint John was stoned. This fate befell also Saints Isaac and Hypatius. Saint Saverius died in prison, and after death they cut off his head. A certain apostate presbyter strangled the Martyr Azades the Eunuch. The Martyrs Savonius, Thekla, Anna and many other men and women also underwent torture, suffering and death for Christ in 343.

Today’s Hymns

Forefeast of the Entry into the Temple of the Most Holy Theotokos – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 4
Today Anna bequeaths gladness to all instead of sorrow by bringing forth her fruit,1 the only ever-Virgin.
Today, in fulfillment of her vow,
joyfully she brings her into the Temple of the Lord
as the true Temple and pure Mother of God the Word. 1 James 5:18
Kontakion — Tone 4
Today all the world is filled with joy
at the glorious feast of the Mother of God, and cries out: /“She is the heavenly tabernacle.”

Venerable Gregory the Decapolite – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 4
Let us glorify the twin lampstands of divine gifts,
Proklos the wise Archpastor of Constantinople, and Gregory, the godly-minded scion of Decapolis;
as divinely-inspired Fathers they guide us with the light of grace.
Therefore, let us approach and beseech them fervently
that we may receive the forgiveness of our sins, and that our souls may be saved.
Kontakion — Tone 3
The Church knows you to be a radiant sun
enlightening all with the rays of healing and the beauty of virtue.
Therefore, as we celebrate your honored memory,
we glorify your struggles, ever-blessèd and most wise Father Gregory.

Saint Proclus, Archbishop of Constantinople – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 4
The twofold lamps of divine gifts,
Proclus, shepherd of New Rome, and Gregory, scion of Decapolis,
guide us by the light of grace as divinely-inspired fathers.
Let us draw near and eagerly beseech them,
that we may receive forgiveness and salvation of our souls.
Kontakion — Tone 4
Today with the most revered of all cities
we fittingly celebrate your honored translation to heaven,
Father of Fathers, wise Proclus.

Venerable Diodorus, Abbot of Yuregorsk – 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 Diodorus, pray to Christ our God to save our souls!

Martyr Dasius of Dorostorum – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 3
Your holy martyr Dasius, O Lord,
through his sufferings has received an incorruptible crown from You, our God.
For having Your strength, he laid low his adversaries,
and shattered the powerless boldness of demons.
Through his intercessions, save our souls!
Kontakion — Tone 2
You appeared as a bright star announcing Christ with your radiance,
which is repulsive to this world, O Martyr Dasius;
extinguishing the allure of false gods,
you enlighten the faithful,
always interceding for us all.

Martyrs Eustace, Thespesius, and Anatolius of Nicea – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 4
Your holy martyrs Eustace, Thespesius, and Anatolius, O Lord,
through their sufferings have received incorruptible crowns from You, our God.
For having Your strength, they laid low their adversaries,
and shattered the powerless boldness of demons.
Through their intercessions, save our souls!

Hieromartyrs Nerses and Joseph and many other men and women who suffered with them in Persia – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 4
Your holy martyrs O Lord,
through their sufferings have received incorruptible crowns from You, our God.
For having Your strength, they laid low their adversaries,
and shattered the powerless boldness of demons.
Through their intercessions, save our souls!

Saint Theoctistus the Confessor – Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 8
Champion of Orthodoxy, teacher of purity and of true worship,
the enlightener of the universe and the adornment of hierarchs:
all-wise father Theoctistus, your teachings have gleamed with light upon all things.
Intercede before Christ God to save our souls.

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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