Thursday, April 17, 2014

"Main Posts" after Saint or Feast of the Day

Please be sure to scroll down past the Saint or Feast of the day.

After the Saint or Feast of the day I post my "Main Posts". These may be anything including original articles, book reviews, adding new blogs to my web page and just about anything new I may wish the reader to read.

Please note I do not always have "Main Posts" posted.

I tend to leave "Main Posts" up for several days.

Sophocles

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Holy Wednesday


April 16


Reading:
 
Two women - say the more discerning interpreters of the Gospel - anointed the Lord with myrrh; the one, a long time before His Passion; the other, a few days before. One was a harlot and sinner; the other, chaste and virtuous. The Church commemorates this reverent act today. While mentioning herein the person of the harlot, it also mentions Judas' betrayal; for, according to the account in Matthew, both of these deeds took place two days before the Passover, on Wednesday.

That woman, then, anointed Jesus' head and feet with very precious myrrh, and wiped them with the tresses of her hair. The disciples, especially the avaricious Judas, were scandalized, supposedly because of the waste of the myrrh, which could be sold for a great price and given to the poor. The Lord Jesus reproved them and told them not to trouble the woman. Indignant, Judas went to the high priests, who were gathered in the court of Caiaphas and were already taking counsel against Jesus. On agreeing with them to betray his Teacher for thirty pieces of silver, Judas sought from that time opportunity to betray Him (Matt. 26:14-16). Because the betrayal took place on Wednesday, we have received the tradition from Apostolic times to fast on Wednesday throughout the year.

Apolytikion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
 
See! The Bridegroom sets forth in the dead of night. And blessed is that servant whom he shall find on watch; unworthy the one he shall come upon lazing. See to it, soul, that sleep does not overtake you, lest you be given up to death and be shut out of the kingdom. Bestir yourself, then, and sing out: "Holy, holy, holy are You, our God; by the power of Your Cross, save us."

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
 
Though I have outdone the harlot in sin, yet I have offered You no shower of tears. Rather, I fall before You fervently kissing Your spotless feet, praying silently that, as Master, You will remit my debts as I cry: "Savior, free me from the foulness of my deeds!"

SOURCE:

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2013(with 2012's link here also and further, 2011, 2010, 2009 and even 2008!)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Martyr Suchias and his Soldiers in Georgia: Andrew, Anastasius, Talali, Ivherion, Jordan, Kondrat, Lucian, Mimnenos, Nerangios, Polyeuctus, Jacob, Phocas, Domenitian, Victor, Zosimas and Theodoritus
















Upper leftMartyr Suchias

Upper rightMarty Victor

Commemorated on April 15

The Holy Martyr Suchias and his 16 Georgian Companions were illustrious dignitaries who served at the court of the Albanian (Hagbanite) ruler (i.e. “Caucasian Albania” on the present day territory of Azerbaizhan).

Escorting the Albanian ruler’s daughter Satenika, wife of the Armenian emperor Artaxar (88-123), St Suchias and his sixteen companions arrived in Artashat, the ancient capital of Armenia (the city was later destroyed by the Romans in the year 163).

Preaching there at the time was a Greek Christian named Chrysos, who had been enlightened and ordained by the holy Apostle Thaddeus (August 21). The Georgian dignitaries came to believe in Christ the Savior, and they resolved to devote their lives to the service of God. All seventeen of the newly-converted followed Chrysos into Mesopotamia. When Bishop Chrysos baptized them in the waters of the Euphrates, they were permitted to behold the Lord of Glory, Jesus Christ.

The holy martyrs set up a cross at the place of their Baptism and named it the “Cross of the Annunciation.” Bishop Chrysos gave all the saints new names: the eldest was called Suchias (replacing his old name Bagadras), and his companions were named Andrew, Anastasius, Talale, Theodoritus, Ivherion, Jordan, Kondrat, Lukian, Mimnenus, Nerangius, Polyeuctus, James, Phoka, Domentian, Victor and Zosimas.

After the martyric death of Bishop Chrysos, St Suchias became the spiritual leader of the brethren. All soon resettled in a wild locality on Mount Sukaketi, not far from the mountain village of Bagrevandi. Here the former dignitaries led very strict ascetic lives. The scant mountain vegetation served as their food, and they drank from a cold spring of water.

The new ruler of pagan Albania, Datianos, learned that his former officials had accepted Christianity and had gone into solitude. He sent his associate Barnapas with a detachment of soldiers to persuade them to return to court and return also to their former faith. Barnapas searched for St Suchias and his companions, but keeping their vow of service to God, they refused all entreaties.

Then by order of Barnapas, St Suchias and his companions were stretched out and nailed to the ground, and then burned. After this, their bodies were dismembered and scattered all about Mount Sukaketi, from which the martyrs received also the title the “Mesukevians” (more correctly, “Sukaketians”). This occurred in the year 123 (by another account, in the year 130; although an Athos manuscript of the eleventh century from the Iveron monastery gives the year as 100).

The holy relics of the martyrs remained incorrupt and unburied until the fourth century, when they were placed in graves and consigned to the earth by local Christians (the names of the holy martyrs were found written on a cliff).

The holy hieromartyr Gregory, Enlightener of Armenia (September 30), built a church on this spot and established a monastery. And afterwards, a curative spring of water was discovered there.

SOURCE:

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2013(with 2012's link here also and further, 2011, 2010, 2009 and even 2008!)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Martyr Ardalion the Actor



The Holy Martyr Ardalion suffered for Christ under the emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311). St Ardalion was a talented actor.

Once, he played the role of a Christian. In the play, the actor at first refused to offer sacrifice to idols, but then consented to renounce Christ. Suddenly the saint ordered everyone to be quiet and declared that he actually was a Christian.

St Ardalion continued to confess his faith in Christ. Then the governor ordered the martyr to be thrown onto a red-hot iron grill. So St Ardalion attained a martyr’s crown.

SOURCE:

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2013(with 2012's link here also and further, 2011, 2010, 2009 and even 2008!)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Martin the Confessor, Pope of Rome

April 13


Reading:
 
Saint Martin was born in Tuscany. He had been the papal delegate at Constantinople; upon the death of Pope Theodore, Saint Martin was elected his successor. At this time the Emperor Constans II, also known as Constantine Pogonatus (reigned 641-668), was seeking support of his confession of faith called the Typos, which espoused the Monothelite heresy, that is, that there is only one will and energy in the Incarnate Son of God. But the newly-consecrated Pope not only did not accept the Typos, but convened the Lateran Council of 649 (attended by 105 of his bishops, and Saint Maximus the Confessor, who was then in Rome), which anathematized the Typos and the Monothelite heresy. Because of this Saint Martin was seized by an imperial force in 653 and brought to Constantinople, where he was charged with sending money to the Saracens and conspiring with them, and blaspheming against the most holy Mother of God. Though innocent of these accusations, he was exiled to Cherson on the Black Sea, where, after many sufferings and privations, he received the crown of his courageous confession in the year 655.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
 
O God of our Fathers, ever dealing with us according to Thy gentleness: take not Thy mercy from us, but by their entreaties guide our life in peace.

SOURCE:

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2013(with 2012's link here also and further, 2011, 2010, 2009 and even 2008!)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Venerable Acacius the Younger of Mt Athos

Commemorated on April 12

Saint Acacius the New was a monk at the Holy Trinity monastery of St Dionysius of Olympus (January 24) at Zagora. After visiting several monasteries on Mount Athos, the saint on the advice of his father-confessor, Father Galacteon, settled in the skete monastery of St Maximus the Hut-Burner (“Kavsokalyvites”, January 13), who repeatedly appeared to the ascetic.

The exploits of St Acacius were extremely severe: in place of bread he ate dry grass, which he crushed with a piece of marble. When asked how much a monk ought to sleep, he said that for a true monk half an hour even was sufficient. He said, “In order to conquer the flesh, a monk must practice two virtues: fasting and vigil.” In spite of his age and illness, he was an example of this.

Once, when St Acacius had come on a Sunday to the skete church, the igumen Neophytus handed him his own staff and said, “Father, take the staff, and be the Superior for all these brethren until your last breath.” St Acacius kissed the hand of the igumen, and accepted the staff with all humility. Although previously he had walked with a staff because of his age, from that time forward the righteous one no longer held a staff in his hand.

For his exalted exploits St Acacius was granted the gifts of unceasing mental prayer and divine revelations. He fell asleep in the Lord on April 12, 1730, being nearly a hundred years old.

SOURCE:

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2013(with 2012's link here also and further, 2011, 2010, 2009 and even 2008!)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Martyrs Processus and Martinian of Rome

Commemorated on April 11

The Holy Martyrs Processus and Martinian were pagans and they served as guards at the Mamertine prison in Rome.

State criminals were held in this prison, among them some Christians. Watching the Christian prisoners and listening to their preaching, Processus and Martinian gradually came to the knowledge of the Savior. When the holy Apostle Peter was locked up at the Mamertine prison, Processus and Martinian came to believe in Christ. They accepted holy Baptism from the apostle and released him from prison.

The jailer Paulinus learned about this, and he demanded that Sts Processus and Martinian renounce Christ. But they fearlessly confessed Christ, and they spat at the golden statue of Jupiter. Paulinus ordered that they be slapped on the face, and then seeing the resolute stance of the holy martyrs, he subjected them to torture. The martyrs were beaten with iron rods, scorched with fire, and finally, thrown into prison.

A certain illustrious and pious woman, by the name of Lucina, visited them in prison and gave them help and encouragement. The torturer Paulinus was soon punished by God. He fell blind and died three days later. The son of Paulinus went to the city ruler demanding that the martyrs be put to death. Sts Processus and Martinian were beheaded by the sword (+ ca. 67).

Lucina buried the bodies of the martyrs. Today their tomb is in the south transept of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

SOURCE:

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2013(with 2012's link here also and further, 2011, 2010, 2009 and even 2008!)