Sunday, November 29, 2015

13th Sunday of Luke

November 29

Tone of the week: Tone One

Fourth Eothinon

Resurrectional Apolytikion in the First Tone
When the stone had been sealed by the Jews and the soldiers were guarding Thine immaculate Body, Thou didst arise on the third day, O Saviour, granting life unto the world. Wherefore, the powers of the Heavens cried out to Thee, O Lifegiver: Glory to Thy Resurrection, O Christ. Glory to Thy Kingdom. Glory to Thy dispensation, O only Friend of man.

Seasonal Kontakion in the Third Tone
On this day the Virgin cometh to the cave to give birth to * God the Word ineffably, * Who was before all the ages. * Dance for joy, O earth, on hearing * the gladsome tidings; * with the Angels and the shepherds now glorify Him * Who is willing to be gazed on * as a young Child Who * before the ages is God.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2014(with 2013's link here also and further:, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008  and even 2007!):

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Alypius the Stylite of Adrianopolis

November 26

Saint Alypius was from Adrianople of Bithynia; having lived upon a pillar for fifty-three years, he reposed about the year 607, at the age of one hundred.

Apolytikion of Alypius the Stylite in the First Tone
Thou becamest a pillar of patience and didst emulate the Forefathers, O righteous one: Job in his sufferings, Joseph in temptations, and the life of the bodiless while in the body, O Alypius , our righteous Father, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

Kontakion of Alypius the Stylite in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Today the Church doth glorify and hymn thee, O Alypius, as a foundation of virtues and comeliness of the ascetics and the monks. By thy prayers, as the namesake of true freedom from sorrow, free from their grievous sins all them that praise and honour thy struggles and deeds of excellence.



SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2014(with 2013's link here also and further:, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008  and even 2007!):

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

St Peter of Galatia

Saint Peter of Galatia left home at the age of seven, then spent the rest of his life in ascetical labors as a monk. At first, he remained in Galatia, then went to Palestine. Later, he went to Antioch. There he enclosed himself in a tomb, devoting himself to deeds of prayer and strict abstinence. He partook of bread and water only every other day. In these exploits he was granted from God the gift of wonderworking, healing infirmities and expelling devils.

St Peter died around the year 429 at the age of ninety-nine. His Life was written by Theodoret of Cyrrhus, whose mother had been healed by the saint.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2014(with 2013's link here also and further:, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008  and even 2007!):

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Our Holy Father Clement, Pope of Rome

November 24

Saint Clement was instructed in the Faith of Christ by the Apostle Peter. He became Bishop of Rome in the year 91, the third after the death of the Apostles. He died as a martyr about the year 100 during the reign of Trajan.

Apolytikion of Pope Clement of Rome 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.

Kontakion of Pope Clement of Rome in the Fourth Tone
O divine unshakeable towers of Christ's Church, pillars of true piety who are most mighty and divine: Clement and Peter, ye all-acclaimed, by your entreaties, protect and guard all of us.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2014(with 2013's link here also and further:, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008  and even 2007!):

Monday, November 23, 2015

Martyr Sisinius the Bishop of Cyzicus

The Holy Martyr Sisinius, Bishop of Cyzicus, who participated in the First Ecumenical Council, suffered for Christ during the reign of Diocletian (284-305) under Governor Alexander of Cyzicus. After many terrible torments the martyr was beheaded.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2014(with 2013's link here also and further:, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008  and even 2007!):

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Martyr Procopius the Reader at Caesarea, in Palestine

The Holy Martyr Procopius was a reader in the Church of Jerusalem. He led a strict ascetic life, for which he received from the Lord the ability to cast out demons. The zealous preacher of the Word of God was arrested and brought to trial in Palestinian Caesarea. For his refusal to offer sacrifice to idols, he was beheaded.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2014(with 2013's link here also and further:, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008  and even 2007!):

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Entry of the Most Holy Mother of God into the Temple

Commemorated on November 21

According to Holy Tradition, the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple took place in the following manner. The parents of the Virgin Mary, Sts Joachim and Anna, praying for an end to their childlessness, vowed that if a child were born to them, they would dedicate it to the service of God.

When the Most Holy Virgin reached the age of three, the holy parents decided to fulfill their vow. They gathered together their relatives and acquaintances, and dressed the All-Pure Virgin in Her finest clothes. Singing sacred songs and with lighted candles in their hands, virgins escorted Her to the Temple (Ps. 44/45:14-15). There the High Priest and several priests met the handmaiden of God. In the Temple, fifteen high steps led to the sanctuary, which only the priests and High Priest could enter. (Because they recited a Psalm on each step, Psalms 119/120-133/134 are called “Psalms of Ascent.”) The child Mary, so it seemed, could not make it up this stairway. But just as they placed Her on the first step, strengthened by the power of God, She quickly went up the remaining steps and ascended to the highest one. Then the High Priest, through inspiration from above, led the Most Holy Virgin into the Holy of Holies, where only the High Priest entered once a year to offer a purifying sacrifice of blood. Therefore, all those present in the Temple were astonished at this most unusual occurrence.

After entrusting their child to the Heavenly Father, Joachim and Anna returned home. The All-Holy Virgin remained in the quarters for virgins near the Temple. According to the testimony of Holy Scripture (Exodus 38; 1 Kings 1: 28; Luke 2: 37), and also the historian Josephus Flavius, there were many living quarters around the Temple, in which those who were dedicated to the service of God dwelt.

The earthly life of the Most Holy Theotokos from Her infancy until She was taken up to Heaven is shrouded in deep mystery. Her life at the Jerusalem Temple was also a secret. “If anyone were to ask me,” said St Jerome, “how the Most Holy Virgin spent the time of Her youth, I would answer that that is known to God Himself and the Archangel Gabriel, Her constant guardian.”

But there are accounts in Church Tradition, that during the All-Pure Virgin’s stay at the Temple, She grew up in a community of pious virgins, diligently read the Holy Scripture, occupied Herself with handicrafts, prayed constantly, and grew in love for God. From ancient times, the Church has celebrated the Feast of the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple. Indications that the Feast was observed in the first centuries of Christianity are found in the traditions of Palestinian Christians, which say that the holy Empress Helen (May 21) built a church in honor of the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple.

St Gregory of Nyssa, in the fourth century, also mentions this Feast. In the eighth century Sts Germanus and Tarasius, Patriarchs of Constantinople, delivered sermons on the Feast of the Entry.

The Feast of the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple foretells God’s blessing for the human race, the preaching of salvation, the promise of the coming of Christ.




by Saint Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica 

If a tree is known by its fruit, and a good tree bears good fruit (Mt. 7:17; Luke 6:44), then is not the Mother of Goodness Itself, She who bore the Eternal Beauty, incomparably more excellent than every good, whether in this world or the world above? Therefore, the coeternal and identical Image of goodness, Preeternal, transcending all being, He Who is the preexisting and good Word of the Father, moved by His unutterable love for mankind and compassion for us, put on our image, that He might reclaim for Himself our nature which had been dragged down to uttermost Hades, so as to renew this corrupted nature and raise it to the heights of Heaven. For this purpose, He had to assume a flesh that was both new and ours, that He might refashion us from out of ourselves. Now He finds a Handmaiden perfectly suited to these needs, the supplier of Her own unsullied nature, the Ever-Virgin now hymned by us, and Whose miraculous Entrance into the Temple, into the Holy of Holies, we now celebrate. God predestined Her before the ages for the salvation and reclaiming of our kind. She was chosen, not just from the crowd, but from the ranks of the chosen of all ages, renowned for piety and understanding, and for their God-pleasing words and deeds.

In the beginning, there was one who rose up against us: the author of evil, the serpent, who dragged us into the abyss. Many reasons impelled him to rise up against us, and there are many ways by which he enslaved our nature: envy, rivalry, hatred, injustice, treachery, slyness, etc. In addition to all this, he also has within him the power of bringing death, which he himself engendered, being the first to fall away from true life.

The author of evil was jealous of Adam, when he saw him being led from earth to Heaven, from which he was justly cast down. Filled with envy, he pounced upon Adam with a terrible ferocity, and even wished to clothe him with the garb of death. Envy is not only the begetter of hatred, but also of murder, which this truly man-hating serpent brought about in us. For he wanted to be master over the earth-born for the ruin of that which was created in the image and likeness of God. Since he was not bold enough to make a face to face attack, he resorted to cunning and deceit. This truly terrible and malicious plotter pretended to be a friend and useful adviser by assuming the physical form of a serpent, and stealthily took their position. By his God-opposing advice, he instills in man his own death-bearing power, like a venomous poison.

If Adam had been sufficiently strong to keep the divine commandment, then he would have shown himself the vanquisher of his enemy, and withstood his deathly attack. But since he voluntarily gave in to sin, he was defeated and was made a sinner. Since he is the root of our race, he has produced us as death-bearing shoots. So, it was necessary for us, if he were to fight back against his defeat and to claim victory, to rid himself of the death-bearing venomous poison in his soul and body, and to absorb life, eternal and indestructible life.

It was necessary for us to have a new root for our race, a new Adam, not just one Who would be sinless and invincible, but one Who also would be able to forgive sins and set free from punishment those subject to it. And not only would He have life in Himself, but also the capacity to restore to life, so that He could grant to those who cleave to Him and are related to Him by race both life and the forgiveness of their sins, restoring to life not only those who came after Him, but also those who already had died before Him. Therefore, St Paul, that great trumpet of the Holy Spirit, exclaims, “the first man Adam was made a living soul, the last Adam was made a quickening spirit” (1 Cor. 15:45).

Except for God, there is no one who is without sin, or life-creating, or able to remit sin. Therefore, the new Adam must be not only Man, but also God. He is at the same time life, wisdom, truth, love, and mercy, and every other good thing, so that He might renew the old Adam and restore him to life through mercy, wisdom and righteousness. These are the opposites of the things which the author of evil used to bring about our aging and death.

As the slayer of mankind raised himself against us with envy and hatred, so the Source of life was lifted up [on the Cross] because of His immeasurable goodness and love for mankind. He intensely desired the salvation of His creature, i.e., that His creature would be restored by Himself. In contrast to this, the author of evil wanted to bring God’s creature to ruin, and thereby put mankind under his own power, and tyrannically to afflict us. And just as he achieved the conquest and the fall of mankind by means of injustice and cunning, by deceit and his trickery, so has the Liberator brought about the defeat of the author of evil, and the restoration of His own creature with truth, justice and wisdom.

It was a deed of perfect justice that our nature, which was voluntarily enslaved and struck down, should again enter the struggle for victory and cast off its voluntary enslavement. Therefore, God deigned to receive our nature from us, hypostatically uniting with it in a marvelous way. But it was impossible to unite that Most High Nature, Whose purity is incomprehensible for human reason, to a sinful nature before it had been purified. Therefore, for the conception and birth of the Bestower of purity, a perfectly spotless and Most Pure Virgin was required.

Today we celebrate the memory of those things that contributed, if only once, to the Incarnation. He Who is God by nature, the Co-unoriginate and Coeternal Word and Son of the Transcendent Father, becomes the Son of Man, the Son of the Ever-Virgin. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8), immutable in His divinity and blameless in His humanity, He alone, as the Prophet Isaiah prophesied, “practiced no iniquity, nor deceit with His lips” (Is. 53: 9). He alone was not brought forth in iniquity, nor was He conceived in sin, in contrast to what the Prophet David says concerning himself and every other man (Ps. 50/51: 5). Even in what He assumes, He is perfectly pure and has no need to be cleansed Himself. But for our sake, He accepted purification, suffering, death and resurrection, that He might transmit them to us.

God is born of the spotless and Holy Virgin, or better to say, of the Most Pure and All-Holy Virgin. She is above every fleshly defilement, and even above every impure thought. Her conceiving resulted not from fleshly lust, but by the overshadowing of the Most Holy Spirit. Such desire being utterly alien to Her, it is through prayer and spiritual readiness that She declared to the angel: “Behold the handmaiden of the Lord; be it unto Me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38), and that She conceived and gave birth. So, in order to render the Virgin worthy of this sublime purpose, God marked this ever-virgin Daughter now praised by us, from before the ages, and from eternity, choosing Her from out of His elect.

Turn your attention then, to where this choice began. From the sons of Adam God chose the wondrous Seth, who showed himself a living heaven through his becoming behavior, and through the beauty of his virtues. That is why he was chosen, and from whom the Virgin would blossom as the divinely fitting chariot of God. She was needed to give birth and to summon the earth-born to heavenly sonship. For this reason also all the lineage of Seth were called “sons of God,” because from this lineage a son of man would be born the Son of God. The name Seth signifies a rising or resurrection, or more specifically, it signifies the Lord, Who promises and gives immortal life to all who believe in Him.

And how precisely exact is this parallel! Seth was born of Eve, as she herself said, in place of Abel, whom Cain killed through jealousy (Gen. 4:25); and Christ, the Son of the Virgin, was born for us in place of Adam, whom the author of evil also killed through jealousy. But Seth did not resurrect Abel, since he was only a type of the resurrection. But our Lord Jesus Christ resurrected Adam, since He is the very Life and the Resurrection of the earth-born, for whose sake the descendants of Seth are granted divine adoption through hope, and are called the children of God. It was because of this hope that they were called sons of God, as is evident from the one who was first called so, the successor in the choice. This was Enos, the son of Seth, who as Moses wrote, first hoped to call on the Name of the Lord (Gen. 4:26).

In this manner, the choice of the future Mother of God, beginning with the very sons of Adam and proceeding through all the generations of time, through the Providence of God, passes to the Prophet-king David and the successors of his kingdom and lineage. When the chosen time had come, then from the house and posterity of David, Joachim and Anna are chosen by God. Though they were childless, they were by their virtuous life and good disposition the finest of all those descended from the line of David. And when in prayer they besought God to deliver them from their childlessness, and promised to dedicate their child to God from its infancy, by God Himself, the Mother of God was proclaimed and given to them as a child, so that from such virtuous parents the all-virtuous child would be raised. So in this manner, chastity joined with prayer came to fruition by producing the Mother of virginity, giving birth in the flesh to Him Who was born of God the Father before the ages.

Now, when Righteous Joachim and Anna saw that they had been granted their wish, and that the divine promise to them was realized in fact, then they on their part, as true lovers of God, hastened to fulfill their vow given to God as soon as the child had been weaned from milk. They have now led this truly sanctified child of God, now the Mother of God, this Virgin into the Temple of God. And She, being filled with Divine gifts even at such a tender age, ... She, rather than others, determined what was being done over Her. In Her manner She showed that She was not so much presented into the Temple, but that She Herself entered into the service of God of her own accord, as if she had wings, striving towards this sacred and divine love. She considered it desirable and fitting that she should enter into the Temple and dwell in the Holy of Holies.

Therefore, the High Priest, seeing that this child, more than anyone else, had divine grace within Her, wished to set Her within the Holy of Holies. He convinced everyone present to welcome this, since God had advanced it and approved it. Through His angel, God assisted the Virgin and sent Her mystical food, with which She was strengthened in nature, while in body She was brought to maturity and was made purer and more exalted than the angels, having the Heavenly spirits as servants. She was led into the Holy of Holies not just once, but was accepted by God to dwell there with Him during Her youth, so that through Her, the Heavenly Abodes might be opened and given for an eternal habitation to those who believe in Her miraculous birthgiving.

So it is, and this is why She, from the beginning of time, was chosen from among the chosen. She Who is manifest as the Holy of Holies, Who has a body even purer than the spirits purified by virtue, is capable of receiving ... the Hypostatic Word of the Unoriginate Father. Today the Ever-Virgin Mary, like a Treasure of God, is stored in the Holy of Holies, so that in due time, (as it later came to pass) She would serve for the enrichment of, and an ornament for, all the world. Therefore, Christ God also glorifies His Mother, both before, and also after His birth.

We who understand the salvation begun for our sake through the Most Holy Virgin, give Her thanks and praise according to our ability. And truly, if the grateful woman (of whom the Gospel tells us), after hearing the saving words of the Lord, blessed and thanked His Mother, raising her voice above the din of the crowd and saying to Christ, “Blessed is the womb that bore Thee, and the paps Thou hast sucked” (Luke 11:27), then we who have the words of eternal life written out for us, and not only the words, but also the miracles and the Passion, and the raising of our nature from death, and its ascent from earth to Heaven, and the promise of immortal life and unfailing salvation, then how shall we not unceasingly hymn and bless the Mother of the Author of our Salvation and the Giver of Life, celebrating Her conception and birth, and now Her Entry into the Holy of Holies?

Now, brethren, let us remove ourselves from earthly to celestial things. Let us change our path from the flesh to the spirit. Let us change our desire from temporal things to those that endure. Let us scorn fleshly delights, which serve as allurements for the soul and soon pass away. Let us desire spiritual gifts, which remain undiminished. Let us turn our reason and our attention from earthly concerns and raise them to the inaccessible places of Heaven, to the Holy of Holies, where the Mother of God now resides.

Therefore, in such manner our songs and prayers to Her will gain entry, and thus through her mediation, we shall be heirs of the everlasting blessings to come, through the grace and love for mankind of Him Who was born of Her for our sake, our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory, honor and worship, together with His Unoriginate Father and His Coeternal and Life-Creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.


Today is the prelude of the good will of God, / of the preaching of the salvation of mankind. / The Virgin appears in the temple of God, / in anticipation proclaiming Christ to all. / Let us rejoice / and sing to her: / "Rejoice, O Fulfillment of the Creator's dispensation."


The most pure Temple of the Savior; / the precious Chamber and Virgin; / the sacred Treasure of the glory of God, / is presented today to the house of the Lord. / She brings with her the grace of the Spirit, / therefore, the angels of God praise her: / “Truly this woman is the abode of heaven.”


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2014(with 2013's link here also and further:, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008  and even 2007!):

Friday, November 20, 2015

Hieromartyrs Nerses, Joseph, John, Saverius, Isaac and Hypatius with the Martyrs Azades the Eunuch, Savonius, Thekla, Anna and many other men and women

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.

St Nerses and his disciple Joseph were beheaded; St John was stoned. This fate befell also Sts Isaac and Hypatius. St 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.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2014(with 2013's link here also and further:, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008  and even 2007!):

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Finding of the relics of Monkmartyr Adrian of Poshekhonsk, Yaroslavl

The Uncovering of the Relics of the Hieromartyr Adrian of Poshekhonsk and Yaroslavl took place on November 19, 1625. On December 17, 1625, under Patriarch Philaret, his incorrupt relics were transferred to the monastery he founded. The account of the hieromartyr Adrian is located on the day of his death, March 5.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2014(with 2013's link here also and further:, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008  and even 2007!):

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The youth Barulus

Saint Barulas was a child in the crowd of people who witnessed the torture of St Romanus. Christ’s holy martyr told the Eparch Asclypiades that the young child was wiser than he was, because he knew the true God, while the Eparch did not.

Asclypiades asked the boy what gods he worshiped, and he replied that he worshiped Christ. “Your gods are demons,” the child stated, “and they have not created anything.”

With these and other words, the young child put the idolaters to shame. Seeing that he could not convince St Barulas to worship the false gods, he had the boy tortured. His mother stood by, encouraging him to remain faithful to the Savior Christ.” Do not be afraid of death, my son,” she told him. You shall not die, but shall live forever. When you are beheaded, you will behold Christ’s glory, and you will dwell with Him in unspeakable joy.”

After the child was executed, his mother took his body and buried it, rejoicing because he had shed his blood for Christ.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2014(with 2013's link here also and further:, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008  and even 2007!):

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Venerable Nikon the Abbot of Radonezh the Disciple of the Venerable Sergius

Commemorated on November 17

Saint Nikon, Abbot of Radonezh, a disciple and successor of St Sergius of Radonezh (September 25 and July 5), was born at Yuriev-Polsk. Having heard of the angelic life of the Radonezh Wonderworker, the young man came to St Sergius and requested to be tonsured into the angelic schema.

St Sergius did not accept Nikon, whether because of his youth or for some other reason. Instead, he sent him to his disciple St Athanasius (September 12) at Serpukhov. But St Athanasius would not accept him right away. Only after seeing the young man's persistence did he tonsure him into the monastic schema.

St Nikon struggled in prayer, studied Holy Scripture and persevered in virtue and purity. Because of his humility and the way he fulfilled each task assigned him without argument, St Nikon was called a "zealot of obedience." When he reached the age of thirty, he was ordained to the priesthood. After a certain while, St Athanasius blessed him to go see St Sergius. St Sergius, catching sight of him, said, "It is good that you have come, my child Nikon," and happily received him.

At first, he gave orders for St Nikon to serve the brethren. The disciple passed whole days in monastic matters, and his nights in prayerful conversation with God. St Sergius was comforted by his virtuous life. Having received a special insight concerning him, St Sergius bade his disciple to dwell with him in his own cell, so that he might share in spiritual attainment. He instructed him in every monastic virtue, and explained much about the essence of spiritual life. St Sergius assigned St Nikon to the duty of assisting him, but six months before his repose, he appointed his disciple as his successor. Then St Sergius withdrew into seclusion.

After the death of St Sergius (September 25, 1392), Nikon carried out his duties exactly as he was instructed by the founder of the monastery. He had the habit of attending all the monastic services, and never did he forsake common tasks, working on a equal footing with all the brethren. But the burden of being the igumen of the monastery weighed upon St Nikon. Recalling his quiet life in the Serpukhov Vysotsk monastery with St Athanasius, and later with St Sergius, he gave up his position and retired to his own cell.

For six years the monastery was guided by St Sava of Storozhevsk (December 3). In the year 1400 St Sava founded his own monastery near Zvenigorod, and the brethren entreated St Nikon to again take over its direction. He consented, but allotted himself a certain time each day for silence, so as to stand alone before God.

When reports began to spread about an invasion of the Russian land by Khan Edigei (1408), St Nikon zealously prayed to God to spare the monastery. In a dream the Moscow hierarchs Peter (December 21) and Alexis (February 12) together with St Sergius appeared to him and said that he should not grieve over the destruction of the monastery, since it would not become desolate, but would flourish all the more.

The monks left the monastery, taking with them relics, books, and consecrated vessels. When they returned, they saw that their beloved place had been reduced to ashes. But St Nikon did not despair, and the brethren began to restore the monastery. First of all a wooden church was built in honor of the Most Holy Trinity. It was consecrated on September 25, 1411, the anniversary of the repose of St Sergius.

The monastery was restored, and St Nikon began construction of a stone church over the grave of his spiritual Father, St Sergius. The work crew digging the foundations uncovered the incorrupt relics of St Sergius on July 5, 1422. Amidst universal rejoicing they placed the relics in a new reliquary and at the new site a wooden church was built (now the church in honor of the Descent of the Holy Spirit is at this place). St Nikon later built a new stone church in the Name of the Most Holy Trinity. In honor and memory of his spiritual Father, he transferred the holy relics into this newly built church.

St Nikon brought in the finest iconographers, Sts Andrew Rublev (July 4) and Daniel Cherny (June 13) for the adornment of the temple. Then St Andrew painted the Icon of the Most Holy Trinity (Hospitality of Abraham), embodying what was revealed to St Sergius. St Nikon was occupied with the construction of the Trinity church until the end of his life.

St Nikon's final resting place was revealed to him in a vision before his death. He summoned the brethren and gave them instructions. After receiving the All-Pure Body of Christ and His Precious Blood, St Nikon gave the brethren a last blessing and said, "Go forth, my soul, with joy to the place where repose is prepared for you. Christ is calling you."

Having made the Sign of the Cross, St Nikon died on November 27, 1426. He was buried near the reliquary of St Sergius. Under the hierarch Jonah (1448-1461), the hieromonk Pachomius the Logothete wrote the Service and Life of St Nikon. In the year 1547 a generally observed celebration to him was established. In the year 1548 a church named for him was built over the grave of St Nikon. In 1623 a new one was constructed in its place, in which the relics of St Nikon rest in a crypt. The 500 year anniversary of the repose of St Nikon was solemnly observed in 1976 at the Trinity-Sergeev Lavra.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2014(with 2013's link here also and further:, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008  and even 2007!):

Monday, November 16, 2015

St Fulvianus the Prince of Ethiopia, in Holy Baptism Matthew

It is believed that after the day of Pentecost, the Apostle and Evangelist Matthew preached the Gospel first in Palestine, and then in Syria, Media, Persia, Parthia and finally, Ethiopia. Tradition holds that the Lord appeared to Saint Matthew, giving him a wooden rod and instructing him to plant it in a particular place in Ethiopia. Upon his arrival at the place in Ethiopia described by the Lord, he met a Bishop named Platon. The rod was planted, as the Lord had instructed, and almost immediately it sprouted leaves and grew into a beautiful tree, the fruit of which was delicious. A spring also welled up nearby, the water of which healed the sick. Many Ethiopians were won over to Christ, although the local sovereign Prince, Fulvianus, a dedicated pagan, was violently opposed to this and, by his order, Saint Matthew was arrested and burned at the stake. In time, however, Fulvianus came to doubt his action and agonized over his horrific act. His conscience beckoned him towards Christ. Ultimately, he embraced the Christian faith and was baptized, taking the name "Matthew." When the elderly Bishop Platon reposed, Saint Fulvianus-Matthew was consecrated to the episcopacy and succeeded him. He spent his remaining years preaching the Gospel and winning his people to the Church.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2014(with 2013's link here also and further:, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008  and even 2007!):

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Guria, Shamuna, & Habib, Martyrs & Confessors of Edessa

Icon on upper right: Holy Martyr and Confessor Gurias

November 15

Of these most illustrious Martyrs of the city of Edessa in Syria, Guria and Shamuna contested during the reign of Diocletian, in 288; after many tortures, they were cast into prison, then beheaded. Saint Habib, a deacon, contested in the days of Licinius, in the year 316, and was burned alive; he was buried with Saints Guria and Shamuna. The three have one common feast, and it is always together that they are portrayed in icons and invoked by the faithful.On account of a renowned miracle they worked, they are invoked for help in marital difficulties. A certain Goth had come with the Roman army to Edessa and was quartered in the house of a pious widow named Sophia. The Goth asked Sophia for the hand of her daughter, Euphemia; after resisting for a long time, Sophia at last agreed. When it was time for the army to return home, Sophia made the Goth vow by the power in the holy Martyrs Shamuna, Guria, and Habib, to keep Euphemia as the apple of his eye. As he was nearing his home, however, the treacherous man revealed to Euphemia that he already had a wife. Euphemia was compelled to serve the Goth's wife, who dealt with her mercilessly. After extreme sufferings, which included being sealed alive in a tomb and left there to die, Euphemia was miraculously conveyed to Edessa, to the very shrine of the holy Martyrs whose surety they had taken, and was reunited with her mother through their holy prayers.

Apolytikion of Martyr Gouria & Companions in the Plagal of the First Tone
Since Thou hast given us the miracles of Thy holy Martyrs as an invincible battlement, by their entreaties, scatter the counsels of the heathen, O Christ our God, and strengthen the faith of Orthodox Christians, since Thou alone art good and the Friend of man.

Kontakion of Martyr Gouria & Companions in the Second Tone
Ye gained from on high * much grace, O wise, all-lauded Saints; * and thus, ye protect * all them found in ordeals and trials; * for this cause, O Martyrs, did ye save a young woman from bitter death, * in that ye are in very truth * the glory of Edessa and joy of all.



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Saturday, November 14, 2015

New Hieromartyr Demetrius (Benevolenskii) of Tver

Commemorated on November 14

Demetrius Mikhailovich Benevolenskii was born on October 10, 1883 in Vishny Volochyok, Tver province. After his ordination to the priesthood in 1911, he was assigned to the Church of the Great Martyr Demetrius in the village of Ostrovno and, in 1919, to the Church of All the Affliced in the village of Panoshino [today Udomlya]. He later served at the Church of the Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God in the village of Sinev in the Dubrovo Sonkovskii District of the Tver region. As a result of his intense dedication to his pastoral duties, he had been arrested and imprisoned several times by the communist regime. After his final arrest, he was shot on November 27, 1937. On September 19, 1999, he was numbered among the new martyrs and confessors of Russia.


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Friday, November 13, 2015

Monk Martyr Damascene of the Lavra

Saint Damascene was a monk from Constantinople. His parents Kyriakos and Kyriake lived in the Galatea district of the city, and they named their son Diamantes.

Orphaned at a young age, and without parental guidance, the boy became rather undisciplined in his conduct. One day he was caught doing something unlawful, and in order to save himself he agreed to convert to Islam. Later he came to his senses and repented his denial of Christ. Fleeing to the Holy Mountain, he became a monk at the Lavra, receiving the name Damascene.

For twelve years he labored in prayer and asceticism, and was tonsured into the Great Schema. Finally, he revealed to his spiritual Father his desire for martyrdom. Receiving a blessing for this struggle, he cut his hair and dressed as a sailor.

In the church of Hagia Sophia, which had been turned into a mosque, the monk Damascene made the Sign of the Cross and proclaimed Christ as the true God. Since the Moslems did nothing to him, he went to the Sultan Mehmed mosque and repeated his confession of faith, calling the Moslems ignorant and deceived because they did not believe in Christ. Those who heard him thought he was insane.

The next day St Damascene went to the vizier’s courtyard and shouted at those he found there, “Your faith is not true. Christ is the true God, and only the faith of Christ is true.” Not surprisingly, he was seized and beaten, then chased away. He continued to proclaim Christ in other places, but everyone thought he was crazy, and they ignored him.

On a Sunday, the holy martyr went to the Tophana mosque, where many Moslems had gathered. Again he was seized and beaten. This time, however, he was sent to the kadi and then to the Grand Vizier, Kara Mustapha. Seeing that the saint would not change his mind and live as a Moslem, the Vizier sentenced him to death.

On November 13, 1681, St Damascene was led to the Phanar, where he was forced to kneel before the gates of the Patriarchate. Thanking God for allowing him to fulfill the exploit of martyrdom, he bent his neck and was beheaded. The relics of the holy New Martyr Damascene were taken to Chalki and enshrined in the church of the Holy Trinity.


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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Blessed John “the Hairy” and Fool-For-Christ at Rostov

Commemorated on November 12

Blessed John the Merciful of Rostov (also known as “the Hairy”) struggled at Rostov in the exploit of holy foolishness, enduring much deprivation and sorrow. He did not have a permanent shelter, and at times took his rest at the house of his spiritual Father, a priest at the church of the All-Holy, or with one of the aged widows.

Living in humility, patience and unceasing prayer, he spiritually nourished many people, among them St Irenarchus, Hermit of Rostov (January 13). After a long life of pursuing asceticism, he died on September 3, 1580 and was buried, according to his final wishes, beside the church of St Blaise beyond the altar.

He had “hair upon his head abundantly,” therefore he was called “Hairy.” The title “Merciful” was given to Blessed John because of the many healings that occurred at his grave, and also in connection with the memory of the holy Patriarch John the Merciful (November 12), whose name he shared.


In your patience, you possessed your reward, O holy father. / You were constant in prayer, while loving and aiding the poor. / Beseech Christ God, O John the merciful, that He may save our souls!


By distributing your wealth to the poor, O John most wise, / You gained the wealth of heaven and were called the merciful one: / Therefore we honor you and celebrate your holy memory!


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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

St Martin the Merciful the Bishop of Tours

Commemorated on November 11

Saint Martin the Merciful, Bishop of Tours, was born at Sabaria in Pannonia (modern Hungary) in 316. Since his father was a Roman officer, he also was obliged to serve in the army. Martin did so unwillingly, for he considered himself a soldier of Christ, though he was still a catechumen.

At the gates of Amiens, he saw a beggar shivering in the severe winter cold, so he cut his cloak in two and gave half to the beggar. That night, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to the saint wearing Martin’s cloak. He heard the Savior say to the angels surrounding Him, “Martin is only a catechumen, but he has clothed Me with this garment.” The saint was baptized soon after this, and reluctantly remained in the army.

Two years later, the barbarians invaded Gaul and Martin asked permission to resign his commission for religious reasons. The commander charged him with cowardice. St Martin demonstrated his courage by offering to stand unarmed in the front line of battle, trusting in the power of the Cross to protect him. The next day, the barbarians surrendered without a fight, and Martin was allowed to leave the army.

He traveled to various places during the next few years, spending some time as a hermit on an island off Italy. He became friendly with St Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers (January 14), who made Matrin an exorcist. After several years of the ascetic life, St Martin was chosen to be Bishop of Tours in 371. As bishop, St Martin did not give up his monastic life, and the place where he settled outside Tours became a monastery. In fact, he is regarded as the founder of monasticism in France. He conversed with angels, and had visions of Sts Peter and Paul (June 29) and of other saints. He is called the Merciful because of his generosity and care for the poor, and he received the grace to work miracles.

After a life of devoted service to Christ and His Church, the saint fell ill at Candes, a village in his diocese, where he died on November 8, 397. He was buried three days later (his present Feast) at Tours. During the Middle Ages, many Western churches were dedicated to St Martin, including St Martin’s in Canterbury, and St Martin-in-the-Fields in London.

In 1008, a cathedral was built at Tours over the relics of St Martin. This cathedral was destroyed in 1793 during the French Revolution, together with the relics of St Martin and St Gregory of Tours (November 17). A new cathedral was built on the site many years later. Some fragments of the relics of St Martin were recovered and placed in the cathedral, but nothing remains of St Gregory’s relics.

St Martin’s name appears on many Greek and Russian calendars. His commemoration on October 12 in the Russian calendar appears to be an error, since ancient sources give the November date.


In signs and in miracles you were renowned throughout Gaul. / By grace and adoption you are a light for the world, O Martin, blessed of God. / Almsdeeds and compassion filled your life with their splendors, / Teaching and wise counsel were your riches and treasures, / Which you dispense freely to those who honor you.


As a devoted man of God, you proclaimed His mysteries, / And as a seer of the Trinity, you shed your blessings on the Occident. / By your prayers and entreaties, O adornment of Tours and glory of all the Church, / Preserve us, O Saint Martin, and save all who praise your memory.


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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Martyr Seboes the Deacon, and disciple of the Hieromartyr Milus the Bishop in Persia

The holy martyrs Seboes the Deacon and Euores the Presbyter were disciples of St Milus, Bishop of Babylon. They all suffered for Christ in the year 341.


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Monday, November 09, 2015

Icon of the Mother of God “Quick to Hear”

Commemorated on November 9

The Icon of the Mother of God, “Quick to Hear” an ancient wonderworking icon, is located on Holy Mount Athos at the Docheiariou monastery. The monastery tradition suggests that it was painted in the tenth century, in the time of the igumen St Neophytus (November 9). In the year 1664 the cook Nilus, came to the kitchen at night with a burning torch. He heard a voice from the icon of the Mother of God which hung over the door, warning him in future not to walk here with a torch and not to darken the icon with soot. The monk thought that this was a prank of one of the brethren, so he disregarded the warning and continued to walk into the kitchen with the sooty torch.

Suddenly he fell blind. With fervent repentance Nilus prayed before the icon of the Mother of God, begging forgiveness. When the brethren heard what had happened, they placed a lamp before the icon, and censed it every night. Again he heard the wondrous voice saying that he had been forgiven, and that his sight would return. The All-Pure One commanded him to announce to all the brethren that She was the protector and guardian of the monastery. “Let them and all Orthodox Christians come to Me in their necessities, and I shall not forsake them. All their petitions will be granted by My Son, because of My intercession with Him. My icon shall be called “She who is Quick to Hear, for I shall speedily fulfill the petitions of those who hasten to it.” The Most Holy Theotokos then fulfilled and continues to fulfill Her promise of quick help and consolation for all those who come to Her with faith.

In Russia, copies of the wonderworking Athonite image “She who is Quick to Hear” were always venerated with great love and fervent prayer. Many of them were glorified by miracles. In particular, there were cases of healing from the plague and from demonic possession.

In 1938, the Docheiariou monastery presented a copy of the wonderworking Icon of the Mother of God “Quick to Hear” to the Russian Spiritual Mission at Jerusalem.


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Sunday, November 08, 2015

7th Sunday of Luke

November 08

Tone of the week: Plagal of the Second Tone

First Eothinon

Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Plagal of the Second Tone
Angelic powers were above Thy tomb, and they that guarded Thee became as dead. And Mary stood by the grave seeking Thine immaculate Body. Thou hast despoiled Hades and wast not tried thereby. Thou didst meet the Virgin and didst grant us life. O Thou Who didst arise from the dead, Lord, glory be to Thee.

Seasonal Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Today, the most pure temple of the Savior, the precious bridal chamber and Virgin, the sacred treasure of God, enters the house of the Lord, bringing the grace of the Divine Spirit. The Angels of God praise her. She is the heavenly tabernacle.


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Friday, November 06, 2015

Venerable Barlaam the Abbot of Khutyn, Novgorod

Commemorated on November 6

Saint Barlaam, Abbot of Khutyn lived in the twelfth century, the son of an illustrious citizen of Novgorod, where he spent his childhood years. Withdrawing at an early age to the Lisich monastery near the city, St Barlaam was tonsured there. Later he settled on a solitary hill below Volkhov, in a place called Khutyn, ten versts from Novgorod.

St Barlaam led a strict solitary life, occupying himself with unceasing prayer and keeping a very strict fast. He was a zealous ascetic in his labors: he cut timber in the forest, chopped firewood and tilled the soil, fulfilling the words of Holy Scripture, “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thess. 3: 10).

Certain inhabitants of Novgorod gathered around him, wanting to share in monastic works and deeds. Instructing those who came, St Barlaam said, “My children, beware of all unrighteousness, and do not give in to envy or slander. Refrain from anger, and do not practice usury. Beware of unjust judgment. Do not swear an oath falsely, but rather fulfill it. Do not indulge the bodily appetites. Always be meek and bear all things with love. This virtue is the beginning and root of all good.”

Soon a church was built in honor of the Transfiguration of the Lord, and a monastery founded. Because of his service to others, the Lord granted St Barlaam the gifts of wonderworking and discernment.

When St Barlaam’s life was drawing to a close, the hieromonk Anthony came from Constantinople by divine Providence. He was of the same age and a friend of St Barlaam. The saint turned to him and said, “My beloved brother! God’s blessings rest upon this monastery. Now I leave this monastery in your hands. Watch over it and care for it. Although in the flesh I am leaving you, I shall always be with you in spirit.” After instructing the brethren, commanding them to preserve the Orthodox Faith and to dwell constantly in humility, St Barlaam fell asleep in the Lord on November 6, 1192.

In Slavonic practice, St Barlaam is commemorated during the Proskomedia along with the venerable and God-bearing Fathers who shone forth in asceticism (sixth particle).


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Thursday, November 05, 2015

St Gregory the Archbishop of Alexandria

Commemorated on November 5

Saint Gregory the Archbishop of Alexandria lived in the ninth century. He was flogged and thrown into prison in the reign of Leo the iconoclast. He was left in prison without food until he died.


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Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Blessed Simon of Yurievets

Blessed Simon of Yurievets was born in the city of Yurievets in the Povolzhsk or Volga region. Forsaken by his parents, the saint took upon himself the exploit of foolishness for Christ. Both winter and summer he went barefoot, dressed only in a shirt, so that his skin became blackened and withered from fasting.

Thoughtless people often were cruel to him, sometimes beating him. The holy fool never complained, but prayed for those who mistreated him. Blessed Simon was fond of praying on the porches of various churches. The ascetic exploit of self-denial cleansed his soul, and he received from God the gift of clairvoyance: he foresaw many things and predicted the future. Contemporaries, mentioning his name, beheld various miraculous signs.

Just before his death, the saint went to the house of the military commander Theodore Petelin. He, not knowing the saint, in a fit of anger gave orders to beat him. St Simon fell grievously ill. He summoned a priest, made his confession, received the Holy Mysteries of Christ and commended his soul to God. The commander later repented of his sin.

The city gathered for the saint’s funeral, and the body of Blessed Simon was buried in Theophany monastery. This occurred on November 4, 1584. In the year 1635, Patriarch Joasaph ordered the Theophany monastery’s Igumen Dionysius to compile an account of the life and miracles of Blessed Simon and gave a blessing to paint his icon. The Feast of Blessed Simon was established in the year 1635.


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Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Princess Anna Vsevolodna

The Holy Princess Anna Vsevolodna was daughter of the Kievan Great Prince Vsevolod Yaroslavich (1078-1093) whose wife was daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine Monomachos. She did not wish to marry, and as a virgin she took monastic tonsure in 1082 at the Andreiev Yanchinov monastery built for her at Kiev, but later destroyed under the Tatar invasion. The nun and princess Anna journeyed to Constantinople, from which she returned in the company of the newly-consecrated Metropolitan John the Eunuch. She died in the year 1112.


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Monday, November 02, 2015

Saints Acindynus, Pegasias, Aphthonius, Elpidephorus, Anempodistus of Persia and 7,000 other Christians who suffered with Them

UPPER LEFT: Martyr Pegasias

UPPER RIGHT: Martyr Aphthonius

BOTTOM CENTER: Martyr Elpidephorus

Commemorated on November 2

Saint Pegasias suffered martyrdom in Persia along with Sts Acindynus, Aphthonius, Elpidephorus, Anempodistus and 7,000 other Christians at the time of King Sapor II (310-381). These saints were Sapor's courtiers, and were secret Christians. When the king began his persecution against Christians, envious pagans denounced them to him. Summoned to Sapor's presence for trial, the holy martyrs fearlessly confessed their faith in the Holy Trinity. The king ordered them to be beaten with whips.

Sapor told the people that Sts Acindynus, Pegasias, Anempodistus and Elpidephorus would have their heads cut off, and that he would not permit the Christians to bury their bodies.

A tremendous crowd accompanied these saints as they were led outside the city walls for execution, glorifying Christ. On Sapor's orders, soldiers massacred all the Christians in the procession (about 7,000), including St Elpidephorus.

Acindynus, Pegasias, and Anempodistus were burned on the following day with the mother of the emperor. Christians, coming secretly by night to the place of execution, found the bodies of the holy martyrs unharmed by the fire and they buried them with reverence.


Blessed is the earth that received your blood, Passion-bearers of the Lord, / and holy is the dwelling place which received your spirits. / You triumphed over the enemy in the stadium / and you preached Christ with boldness. / Since He is good, we pray that you beseech Him to save our souls.


You have received into the enjoyment of Your goodness and repose, O only Good One, / the pious and God-bearing martyrs, who abandoned all earthly things: / Acindynus, Pegasias, and Anempodistus, / together with Aphthonius and Elpidephorus.


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Sunday, November 01, 2015

The Holy Martyrs Cyrenia and Juliana of Clicia

Commemorated on November 1

The Holy Martyrs Cyrenia and Juliana of Clicia were arrested for confessing the Christian Faith under the governor of Cilicia, Marcian, during the reign of the emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311). They led St Cyrenia, stripped and with shorn head, around Tarsus to be mocked, and then they went to the city of Rosa with St Juliana, where the martyrs were burned alive.


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Martyr Cyrenia