Sunday, May 01, 2016

"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

Icon of the Mother of God of “the Unexpected Joy” from Andronikov

Commemorated on May 1

The “Unexpected Joy” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos, is painted in this way: in a room is an icon of the Mother of God, and beneath it a youth is kneeling at prayer. The tradition about the healing of some youth from a bodily affliction through this holy icon is recorded in the book of St Demetrius of Rostov, The Fleece of Prayer [See Judges 6: 36-40].

The sinful youth, who was nevertheless devoted to the Theotokos, was praying one day before the icon of the All-Pure Virgin before going out to commit a sin. Suddenly, he saw that wounds appeared on the Lord’s hands, feet, and side, and blood flowed from them. In horror he exclaimed, “O Lady, who has done this?” The Mother of God replied, “You and other sinners, because of your sins, crucify My Son anew.” Only then did he realize how great was the depth of his sinfulness. For a long time he prayed with tears to the All-Pure Mother of God and the Savior for mercy. Finally, he received the unexpected joy of the forgiveness of his sins.

The “Unexpected Joy” icon is also commemorated on January 25 and May 1.

SOURCE:

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2014(with 2013's link here also and further:, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and even 2008!):

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Virginmartyr Kerkyra and those with her

Commemorated on April 28

When the daughter of the governor of Kerkyra (Korfu), the maiden Kerkyra, learned how Christians were suffering for Christ, she declared herself a Christian and gave away all her finery to the poor. The infuriated governor attempted to persuade his daughter to deny Christ, but St Kerkyra stood firm against both persuasion and threats. Then the enraged father devised a terrible punishment for his daughter: he gave orders that she be placed in a prison cell with the robber and murderer Murinus, so that he might defile the betrothed of Christ.

But when the robber approached the door of the prison cell, a bear attacked him. St Kerkyra heard the noise and she drove off the beast in the name of Christ. Then, by her prayers, she healed the wounds of Murinus. Then St Kerkyra enlightened him with the faith of Christ, and St Murinus declared himself a Christian and was executed.

The governor gave orders to burn down the prison, but the holy virgin remained alive. Then on her enraged father’s order, she was suspended upon a tree, choked with bitter smoke and shot with arrows. After her death, the governor decided to execute all the Christians on the island of Kerkyra.


SOURCE:

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2014(with 2013's link here also and further:, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and even 2008!):

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Holy Hieromartyr Symeon, Kinsman of the Lord


April 27


Reading:
 
Symeon was a first cousin of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was the son of Clopas (or Cleopas, also called Alphaeus), the brother of Joseph the Betrothed. He became the second Bishop of Jerusalem, as a successor to James the Brother of God. He ended his life when he was crucified during the reign of Trajan, in 107, at the age of 120.

Apolytikion of Hieromartyr Symeon in the First Tone
 
We sacredly acclaim thee as Jesus Christ's kinsman, and as His steadfast Martyr, O all-lauded Hierarch. For bravely hast thou destroyed all deception and kept the faith. Hence, O Symeon, we keep thy holy remembrance on this festive day; and by thy prayers, we are granted the pardon of grievous sins.

Kontakion of Hieromartyr Symeon in the Fourth Tone
 
Since the church hath Symeon, the God-proclaimer, as a great and shining star, she is now guided by his light as she doth cry out in joy today: Rejoice, O ven'rable summit of martyred Saints.

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SOURCE FOR ICON:

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2014(with 2013's link here also and further:, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and even 2008!):

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Basil the Holy Martyr Bishop of Amasea


April 26


Reading:
 
This Saint was Bishop of Amasia in Pontus, in the days of Licinius (reigned 308-324), fellow Emperor and brother-in-law of Saint Constantine the Great. Licinius' wife Constantia, sister of Saint Constantine, had as handmaid a virgin named Glaphyra. When it became known that Licinius had conceived a sinful desire for her. Constantia secretly sent Glaphyra away to the East. Coming to Amasia, she took refuge with Saint Basileus. When Licinius learned of this, he furiously commanded that both be brought before him. When the soldiers came for them, however, Saint Glaphyra had already departed to the Lord; she is also commemorated this day. Saint Basileus was taken alone to Nicomedia, where he was beheaded. His body was cast into the sea, but through divine revelation was found again and brought back to Amasia.


Apolytikion of Hieromartyr Basil of Amaseia in the Fourth Tone
 
As a sharer of the ways and a successor to the throne of the Apostles, O inspired of God, thou foundest discipline to be a means of ascent to divine vision. Wherefore, having rightly divided the word of truth, thou didst also contest for the Faith even unto blood, O Hieromartyr Basil. Intercede with Christ our God that our souls be saved.

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SOURCE FOR ICON:

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2014(with 2013's link here also and further:, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and even 2008!):

Monday, April 25, 2016

Great and Holy Monday

Commemorated on April 25

Holy Week: A Liturgical Explanation for the Days of Holy Week

3. MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY: THE END

These three days, which the Church calls Great and Holy have within the liturgical development of the Holy Week a very definite purpose. They place all its celebrations in the perspective of End ; they remind us of the eschatological meaning of Pascha. So often Holy Week is considered one of the “beautiful traditions” or “customs,” a self-evident “part” of our calendar. We take it for granted and enjoy it as a cherished annual event which we have “observed” since childhood, we admire the beauty of its services, the pageantry of its rites and, last but not least, we like the fuss about the paschal table. And then, when all this is done we resume our normal life. But do we understand that when the world rejected its Savior, when “Jesus began to be sorrowful and very heavy... and his soul was exceedingly sorrowful even unto death,” when He died on the Cross, “normal life” came to its end and is no longer possible. For there were “normal” men who shouted “Crucify Him [” who spat at Him and nailed Him to the Cross. And they hated and killed Him precisely because He was troubling their normal life. It was indeed a perfectly “normal” world which preferred darkness and death to light and life.... By the death of Jesus the “normal” world, and “normal” life were irrevocably condemned. Or rather they revealed their true and abnormal inability to receive the Light, the terrible power of evil in them. “Now is the Judgment of this world” (John 12:31). The Pascha of Jesus signified its end to “this world” and it has been at its end since then. This end can last for hundreds of centuries this does not alter the nature of time in which we live as the “last time.” “The fashion of this world passeth away...” (I Cor. 7:31).

Pascha means passover, passage. The feast of Passover was for the Jews the annual commemoration of their whole history as salvation, and of salvation as passage from the slavery of Egypt into freedom, from exile into the promised land. It was also the anticipation of the ultimate passage—into the Kingdom of God. And Christ was the fulfillment of Pascha. He performed the ultimate passage: from death into life, from this “old world” into the new world into the new time of the Kingdom. And he opened the possibility of this passage to us. Living in “this world” we can already be “not of this world,” i.e. be free from slavery to death and sin, partakers of the “world to come.” But for this we must also perform our own passage, we must condemn the old Adam in us, we must put on Christ in the baptismal death and have our true life hidden in God with Christ, in the “world to come....”

And thus Easter is not an annual commemoration, solemn and beautiful, of a past event. It is this Event itself shown, given to us, as always efficient, always revealing our world, our time, our life as being at their end, and announcing the Beginning of the new life.... And the function of the three first days of Holy Week is precisely to challenge us with this ultimate meaning of Pascha and to prepare us to the understanding and acceptance of it.

1. This eschatological (which means ultimate, decisive, final) challenge is revealed, first, in the common troparion of these days:

Troparion—Tone 8

Behold the Bridegroom comes at midnight,
And blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching,
And again unworthy is the servant whom He shall find heedless.
Beware, therefore, O my soul, do not be weighed down with sleep,
Lest you be given up to death and lest you be shut out of the Kingdom.
But rouse yourself crying: Holy, Holy, Holy, are You, O our God!
Through the Theotokos have mercy on us!

Midnight is the moment when the old day comes to its end and a new day begins. It is thus the symbol of the time in which we live as Christians. For, on the one hand, the Church is still in this world, sharing in its weaknesses and tragedies. Yet, on the other hand, her true being is not of this world, for she is the Bride of Christ and her mission is to announce and to reveal the coming of the Kingdom and of the new day. Her life is a perpetual watching and expectation, a vigil pointed at the dawn of this new day. But we know how strong is still our attachment to the “old day,” to the world with its passions and sins. We know how deeply we still belong to “this world.” We have seen the light, ‘We know Christ, we have heard about the peace and joy of the new life in Him, and yet the world holds us in its slavery. This weakness, this constant betrayal of Christ, this incapacity to give the totality of our love to the only true object of love are wonderfully expressed in the exapostilarion of these three days:

“Thy Bridal Chamber I see adorned, O my Savior
And I have no wedding garment that I may enter,
O Giver of life, enlighten the vesture of my soul
And save me.”

2. The same theme develops further in the Gospel readings of these days. First of all, the entire text of the four Gospels (up to John 13: 31) is read at the Hours (1, 3, 6 and 9). This recapitulation shows that the Cross is the climax of the whole life and ministry of Jesus, the Key to their proper understanding. Everything in the Gospel leads to this ultimate hour of Jesus and everything is to be understood in its light. Then, each service has its special Gospel lesson :

On Monday:

At Matins: Matthew 21: 18-43—the story of the fig tree, the symbol of the world created to bear spiritual fruits and failing in its response to God.

At the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts: Matthew 24: 3-35: the great eschatological discourse of Jesus. The signs and announcement of the End. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away....”

“When the Lord was going to His voluntary Passion,
He said to His Apostles on the way:

Behold, we go up to Jerusalem,
And the Son of Man shall be delivered up
As it is written of Him.
Come, therefore, and let us accompany Him,
With minds purified from the pleasures of this life,
And let us be crucified and die with Him,
That we may live with Him,
And that we may hear Him say to us:
I go now, not to the earthly Jerusalem to suffer,
But unto My Father and your Father
And My God and your God,
And I will gather you up into the heavenly Jerusalem,
Into the Kingdom of Heaven....”
(Monday Matins)

by THE VERY REV. ALEXANDER SCHMEMANN

SOURCE:

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2014(with 2013's link here also and further:, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and even 2008!):