Tuesday, February 28, 2017

St. Germanus of Dacia Pontica (Dobrogea)

Commemorated on February 28

Saint Germanus the Daco-Roman was born in the mid-fourth century, probably on the borders of Cassian and the Caves in the diocese of Tomis (in what is now Romania), and was related to Saint John Cassian (February 29). Saint Germanus, who was older than Saint John, was tonsured at one of the local monasteries when he was still a young man. The holy bishop Saint Theotimus I (April 20) may have been his Spiritual Father.

In turn, Saint Germanus became the Spiritual Father, friend, and teacher of Saint John Cassian, instructing him in monastic perfection. They both lived at one of the monasteries of Dacia Pontica for a short time, and then worked together in Bethlehem from 380-385. Later, they traveled to Egypt and visited some of its cenobitic monasteries. They also visited the hermits of Nitria and Mount Sinai, seeking to benefit from their holy example and wise counsel.

Sts Germanus and John went to Constantinople in 399 in order to be near Saint John Chrysostom (November 13), and around this time Germanus was deemed worthy of ordination to the holy priesthood. When Chrysostom was deposed and exiled in 404, the two saints journeyed to Rome in order to plead his case before Pope Innocent I.

Saint Germanus completed the course of his life in the early fifth century, perhaps at the monastery estabished by Saint John Cassian at Marseilles, or in one of the monasteries of Dacia Pontica.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and even 2008!):

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Porphyrius, Bishop of Gaza

February 26

Saint Porphyrius had Thessalonica as his homeland. He became a monk in Scete of Egypt, where he lived for five years. He went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem, after which he spent five years in much affliction in a cave near the Jordan. Stricken with a disease of the liver, he departed to Jerusalem, where he was ordained presbyter and appointed Keeper of the Cross at the age of 45. Three years later he was made Bishop of Gaza. He suffered much from the rulers and pagans of Gaza; but with the friendship of Saint John Chrysostom, and the patronage of the Empress Eudoxia, he razed the temple of the idol Marnas in Gaza and built a great church to the glory of God. He reposed in 450.

Apolytikion of Porphyrius, Bp. of Gaza in the Fourth Tone
A model of faith and the image of gentleness, the example of your life has shown you forth to your sheep-fold to be a master of temperance. You obtained thus through being lowly, gifts from on high, and riches through poverty. Porphyrios, our father and priest of priests, intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.

Kontakion of Porphyrius, Bp. of Gaza in the Second Tone
Arrayed with a most sacred life, thou wast adorned with the priestly vestment, O all-blessed and godly-minded Porphyrius; and thou art conspicuous for miracles of healing, interceding unceasingly for us all.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and even 2008!):

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Eustathius, Bishop of Antioch

February 21

Saint Eustathius, the great defender of piety and illustrious opponent of Arianism, was from Side in Pamphylia. He became Bishop of Beroea (the present-day Aleppo), and in 325 was present at the First Ecumenical Council. From thence he was transferred to the throne of Antioch. But Saint Constantine the Great, led astray by the slanders directed against the Saint by the Arians, banished him to Trajanopolis in Thrace, where he reposed in 337, according to some. Others say he lived until 360.

Apolytikion of Eustathius of Antioch in the Third 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 Eustathius of Antioch in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Since thou hadst wholly purified thyself with godly deeds, thou wast a notable example of a true high priest, while excelling in divine vision and a pure life. As a pillar and foundation of the Church of Christ, thou withstoodest all temptations with great steadfastness. Hence we cry to thee: Rejoice, O Father Eustathius.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and even 2008!):

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Leo the Great, Pope of Rome

February 18

According to some, this Saint was born in Rome, but according to others in Tyrrenia (Tuscany), and was consecrated to the archiepiscopal throne of Rome in 440. In 448, when Saint Flavian, Archbishop of Constantinople, summoned Eutyches, an archimandrite in Constantinople, to give account for his teaching that there was only one nature in Christ after the Incarnation, Eutyches appealed to Saint Leo in Rome. After Saint Leo had carefully examined Eutyches's teachings, he wrote an epistle to Saint Flavian, setting forth the Orthodox teaching of the person of Christ, and His two natures, and also counseling Flavian that, should Eutyches sincerely repent of his error, he should be received back with all good will. At the Council held in Ephesus in 449, which was presided over by Dioscorus, Patriarch of Alexandria (and which Saint Leo, in a letter to the holy Empress Pulcheria in 451, was the first to call "The Robber Council"), Dioscorus, having military might behind him, did not allow Saint Leo's epistle to Flavian to be read, although repeatedly asked to do so; even before the Robber Council was held, Dioscorus had uncanonically received the unrepentant Eutyches back into communion. Because Saint Leo had many cares in Rome owing to the wars of Attila the Hun and other barbarians, in 451 he sent four delegates to the Fourth Ecumenical Council, where 630 Fathers gathered in Chalcedon during the reign of Marcian, to condemn the teachings of Eutyches and those who supported him. Saint Leo's epistle to Flavian was read at the Fourth Council, and was confirmed by the Holy Fathers as the Orthodox teaching on the incarnate person of our Lord; it is also called the "Tome of Leo." The Saint wrote many works in Latin; he reposed in 461. See also Saint Anatolius, July 3.

Apolytikion of Leo the Great in the Fourth Tone
A model of faith and the image of gentleness, the example of your life has shown you forth to your sheep-fold to be a master of temperance. You obtained thus through being lowly, gifts from on high, and riches through poverty. Leo, our father and priest of priests, intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.

Kontakion of Leo the Great in the Third Tone
Seated on the priestly throne, O great and glorious Leo, with the Holy Trinity's inspired and God-given doctrines thou didst stop the gaping mouths of spiritual lions and didst shine upon thy flock the light of God-knowledge, and art glorified now as a divine initiate of the sublime grace of God.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and even 2008!):

Friday, February 17, 2017

Hieromartyr Theodore of Atchara

Commemorated on February 17

Holy Hieromartyr Theodore of Atchara belongs to the glorious multitude of Atcharan faithful who were martyred at the hands of the Ottomans.

Saint Theodore was born in the late 18th century. At that time the Ottoman invaders had nearly completed the forced Islamization of the Atcharan region. They had already annihilated those who resisted the conversion and were beginning to evict those who, in spite of their apparent acceptance of Islam, continued to “arouse suspicions.” Some abandoned their native region and fled to foreign lands.

Saint Theodore was born to a family that had been forced into exile. From his childhood he watched his fellow countrymen, who had been forcibly converted to Islam, secretly retain their Christian way of life. It is unclear how the saint’s family settled in Trebizond (modern Trabzon). It is known, however, that Saint Theodore managed to free himself from Islam, receive Christianity, and find refuge at a Georgian monastery in Smyrna (now Izmir). There he was tonsured a monk and later raised to the rank of proigoumenos (deputy abbot). It is also known that Saint Theodore converted his nephew to Christianity during that time.

In 1822 Saint Theodore set out on a pilgrimage to Mt. Athos. But at the same time the Ottomans were attempting to crush the Greek independence movement, and the Holy Mountain was surrounded by Ottoman soldiers. They captured the faithful pilgrim and killed him. Then they tossed the holy martyr’s body into the sea.

The Holy Synod of the Georgian Apostolic Orthodox Church canonized Holy Martyr Theodore on October 17, 2002.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and even 2008!):

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

St. Hilarion the Georgian, the New

Commemorated on February 14

Holy Hiero-schema monk Hilarion the Georgian (Ise Qanchaveli in the world) was born in 1776 in the village of
Losiantkhevi, in the Shorapani district of Kutaisi. His parents, Khakhuli and Mariam Qanchaveli, were pious and
God-fearing nobles.

According to God’s will, Ise’s uncle, the hermit Hierodeacon Stepane, took his six-year-old nephew into his care. When Stepane reposed, Ise moved to Tabakini Monastery, but learning that a seminary had opened in Tbilisi, he set off for it. On his way he visited a certain Bishop Athanasios of Nikozi to receive his blessing, but the bishop, delighted by the youth’s fervent prayers, advised him to return home to his family: “My son, you will learn much more in the wilderness than you ever could in the classroom. Return home, and the Lord, having instructed you in prayer, will lead you on a path that will serve your people and the Church.”

Ise returned to the bosom of his family, and his father took him to Kutaisi to be raised in the court of the Imeretian king. King Solomon II (1789-1815) soon recognized that the young Ise stood above all the other courtiers in piety, and he appointed him to be his personal spiritual adviser and instructor. At the king’s suggestion, Ise married the Princess Mariam. Soon after his marriage, the humble nobleman was ordained to the priesthood and appointed confessor of the court church. Only two years later Princess Mariam reposed, leaving Fr. Ise a widower.

After the Russian annexation of Kartli-Kakheti, the imperial court of the tsar increased diplomatic correspondence with the court of King Solomon II. The king was urged likewise to unite the Imeretian Kingdom to Russia. Solomon summoned a council of noblemen, and it was decided that Imereti would remain independent, while maintaining friendly relations with Russia until the king’s death. However, it was agreed that since King Solomon had no heir, after his repose the court of the imperial tsar would acquire jurisdiction over the region.

But the political climate in Georgia became increasingly tense, and the ability of the Imeretian court to govern was severely undermined.

The court was suddenly besieged with cases of envy and treason, and it became necessary for the king to flee to Turkey. Protopresbyter Ise Qanchaveli accompanied King Solomon II to his place of exile and remained with him to the end of the king’s life.

After the king’s death in 1815, Fr. Ise received an amnesty from Tsar Alexander I (1801-1825) on behalf of the king and his court. Ise himself planned to go into reclusion in the village where he was born, but King Solomon’s widow, Queen Mariam, summoned him to Moscow where she was being held in “honorable captivity.” Fr. Ise brought to her a piece of the Life-giving Cross of our Lord, which had belonged to King Solomon, and the queen preserved her husband’s treasure in the court church.

But life at the imperial court was tiresome for the God-fearing Fr. Ise, so he exchanged his clothing for beggars’ rags and set off for Mt. Athos in the year 1819.

Fr. Ise appeared before the holy fathers of Mt. Athos as an unknown pilgrim, who had come to venerate the holy places. He first visited Iveron Monastery and from there crossed over the peninsula to Dionysiou Monastery.

In 1821 Ise was tonsured a monk and given the name Hilarion. He was presented with new monastic garments for the tonsure service, but asked permission to remain dressed in his own rags.

Fr. Hilarion fulfilled his every obedience with love. He was dispirited only by his ignorance of the Greek language, which prevented him from hearing and understanding the Word of God during the divine services. Finally he received permission from the abbot of Dionysiou to borrow some of the Georgian books from the large collection of sacred manuscripts at Iveron Monastery.

Upon arriving at the monastery, Fr. Hilarion went to venerate the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God. While praying on his knees before the icon, a Greek archimandrite whom he knew from Moscow saw and recognized him. He bowed before him, kissed his hands and cried out: “Fr. Ise! Holy Shepherd! Confessor of the king!”

Soon the news spread through all the monasteries of Mt. Athos that the spiritual father of the king had concealed himself as a beggar.

Everywhere the monks greeted him with great reverence. But Fr. Hilarion, ashamed of the attention, withdrew to the wilderness not far from the monastery.

At that time, in retaliation for the Greek Insurrection of 1821, the Turks were pillaging Greece and slaughtering the Christians. In 1822 a certain Abdul Robut-Pasha surrounded the Holy Mountain with an enormous army and commanded the abbots of all the monasteries to submit to his authority. Representatives of all the monasteries, including Fr. Hilarion and two others from Dionysiou were sent to Chromitsa to petition the pasha. Fr. Hilarion stood boldly before the pasha, burning with a desire to be martyred at the hands of an unbeliever.

Having learned that Fr. Hilarion was a Georgian, Robut-Pasha was overjoyed: he himself was also Georgian by descent but had been kidnapped by the Turks in his early adolescence.

The pasha proposed that Saint Hilarion leave the monastery and move to his palace in Thessalonica, promising him every kind of material wealth. But Fr. Hilarion refused and condemned the ruler’s unbelief. The furious pasha began to curse the Orthodox believers and all the Christian saints, among them the Most Holy Theotokos. The holy father was allowed no opportunity to reply to the pasha’s blasphemous remarks; instead they released him and took the other monks captive.

Having returned to the monastery, Fr. Hilarion regretted that he had not properly rebuffed the blasphemous pasha. His suffering was aggravated when the unbeliever continued to martyr and massacre other Christians. Finally he asked the abbot for his blessing and set off for the Turkish court in Thessalonica. There he stood before the pasha and fearlessly trampled upon his false teachings: “You sought to deny the virginity of the Most Holy Mother of God,” he charged. “Even your prophet Muhammad admits that Jesus was born without seed of a Virgin and that the mystery of the birth of God is necessarily beyond human comprehension. He is the True God, Who took on flesh for the salvation of mankind, to rescue fallen man from the curse of sin and death!”

The pasha began to argue, but Saint Hilarion told him, “You, the son of Christian parents, are on such a brutal rampage that you have deadened the pangs of conscience calling you back to the true Faith!”

The pasha laughed and answered that he was glad to have been delivered from the “ridiculous” Christian Faith. “I am indebted to the man who kidnapped me from my parents and sold me to the Turks,” he said, “and I have since rewarded him generously for his deed. If your Faith is indeed true, why have you fallen into the hands of the invaders? Why has your beloved God punished you so?”

“You misunderstand everything, Pasha,” answered Saint Hilarion.

“Does not a loving father take up the rod when his beloved son runs wild? Truly he does this not out of hatred but out of love, desiring to save the ignorant from grave misfortune. When the father sees that his child has corrected his behavior, he casts the rod into the fire. The Lord has permitted these sorrows to befall us because of our sins. You are a staff in the hands of the Lord: when He sees that we have mended our ways, He will cast you into the fire as well!”

For three consecutive days Saint Hilarion confronted the pasha in his palace, desiring to infuriate him to the point that he would order his execution. On the fourth day Saint Hilarion arrived at the palace and began to speak about the falseness of Muhammad and the Islamic faith.

Then the pasha provoked him even further, demanding, “What do you think—where will we go after death?”
Standing amidst believers of divers faiths, Saint Hilarion boldly answered that only those who truly believe in God, who are found in the bosom of the Orthodox Faith of Christ, will be saved. The enraged bystanders demanded that the insolent monk be executed, and Abdul Robut-Pasha finally ordered his death. Saint Hilarion prepared to meet death with joy, but a pair of the pasha’s servants, Georgians by descent, requested that the pasha repeal his death sentence, since it would be shameful for them to murder their fellow countryman.

They intended to send him in secret to Mt. Athos, but instead Saint Hilarion began to minister to the sick prisoners held in Thessalonica, and he selflessly dedicated himself to their service for six months. Then, according to God’s will, he set off again for Mt. Athos. Having returned to his monastery, Fr. Hilarion labored for three years as a hermit and afterwards withdrew to the tower of New Skete (a dependency of the Monastery of Saint Paul) to lead a life of strict asceticism.

On Fridays he kept a strict fast, and on other days he ate only tiny pieces of dried bread. These he would place in a narrow-mouthed jar and eat only what he was able to draw out with his hand. He drank just one glass of water a day. Throughout the period of his reclusion in the tower, demons tempted Saint Hilarion with terrible visions.

Once a group of faithful Christians desired to visit the hermit. As the elder received no one, they were not admitted. The pilgrims therefore decided to form a human ladder, standing one on top of the other in order to reach the small window of his cell. Fearing for their lives but not wanting to break his vow of reclusion, Saint Hilarion temporarily abandoned his cell and fled to the forest.

After some time, Saint Hilarion became physically weak from his strict ascetic labors and was forced to leave behind the solitary life. With the help of his faithful friend Benedict the Georgian, he gradually regained some of his strength and moved to the Iveron Monastery.

At the Iveron Monastery he took charge of the Georgian library, organized a catalog, and compiled twelve volumes of Lives of the Saints, which he entitled The Flower Garden. He presented the twelve volumes to the abbot of Zographou Monastery before the latter departed for Russia. In Russia the abbot published the twelve volumes in the Georgian language—without mention of the name of their compiler.

Saint Hilarion reposed at Saint Panteleimon Monastery, known as the Russikon, in a cell named for Great-martyr George, on February 14, 1864. Though he was desperately ill, Saint Hilarion continued to thank the Lord sincerely until his last day. “Glory to God!” he would say. “I desired martyrdom, but God did not grant it to me. Instead He sent me an illness which will be equal in merit to martyrdom if I am able to bear it!”

Prior to his death he asked his disciple, Fr. Sabbas, to bury his body in secret, but circumstances later required that his burial place be revealed. In 1867, during the vigil for the feast of the Ascension of our Lord, a group of monks opened Saint Hilarion’s burial vault and immediately sensed a sweet fragrance issuing forth from his body. At that moment one of the hermits saw a brilliant sphere of light shining like the sun over Fr. Hilarion’s cell.

The Holy Synod of the Georgian Apostolic Orthodox Church canonized Hieroschemamonk Hilarion (Qanchaveli) on October 17, 2002, and to differentiate him from Saint Hilarion the Georgian (commemorated November 19), called him “Hilarion Kartveli, Akhali” or “Hilarion the Georgian, the New.”


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and even 2008!):

Monday, February 13, 2017

Venerable Martinian of Caesarea, in Palestine

Commemorated on February 13

Saint Martinian went to live in the wilderness at the age of eighteen, not far from the city of Caesarea in Palestine. For twenty-five years, he devoted himself to ascetic deeds and silence, and he was granted the gift of healing illnesses and casting out demons. However, the Enemy of the race of man would not stop bothering the hermit with various temptations.

Once a profligate woman made a wager with some dissolute people that she could seduce Saint Martinian, the fame of whose virtuous life had spread throughout all the city. She came to him one night pretending that she had lost her way in the storm, and asking for shelter. The saint let her enter, unable to turn her away in such a storm. He went into his room and locked the door. The wicked guest changed into beautiful clothes and began to tempt the ascetic.

When morning came, Saint Martinian came out to send the woman away. Though he was tempted by the woman’s beauty, he was determined not to fall into sin. Lighting a fire, he stepped into it, saying, “You want me to burn with temptation, and want to lead me into the fires of Hell. I will not let you. Instead, I will burn for my virginity and save my soul.”

The woman came to see how evil she was. She repented and asked the saint to guide her onto the way of salvation. He told her to go to Bethlehem, to Saint Paula (January 26). There she lived as a nun for twelve years in strict asceticism until her blessed end. The woman’s name was Zoe.

Saint Martinian went to an uninhabited rocky island, and lived on it under the open sky for several years, nourished by the provisions brought by a certain sailor from time to time. In return the monk wove baskets for him.

Once a powerful storm wrecked a ship, and a woman named Photina floated on pieces of the wreckage to the island of Saint Martinian. Saint Martinian helped her to survive the island. “Remain here,” he told her, “for here is bread and water, and in two months a boat will come.”

Then he jumped into the sea and swam off. Two dolphins carried him to dry land. Thereafter, Saint Martinian led the life of a wanderer. Later, he came to Athens and fell ill. Sensing the approach of death, he went into church and lay upon the floor. God revealed to the Bishop of Athens who Saint Martinian was, and the bishop buried his body with honor. This occurred around the year 422.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and even 2008!):

Saturday, February 11, 2017

St. Gobnata of Ballyvourney

Saint Gobnata was born in Co.Clare at the end of the fifth, or the beginning of the sixth century. Later she fled to the Aran Islands to escape from some enemy. An angel appeared to her one day and told her to leave that place and to keep walking until she found nine white deer. She saw three white deer at Clondrohid, Co. Cork, and decided to follow them. Then at Ballymakeera, she saw six white deer. Finally, at Ballyvourney she came upon nine white deer grazing in a wood. There she was given land for a women’s monastery by her spiritual Father Saint Abban of Kilabban, Co. Laois (March 16), and he installed her as abbess. Excavations in 1951 proved that indeed there had been an early Christian settlement on the site.

Saint Gobnata was renowned for her gift of healing, and there is a story of how she kept the plague from Ballyvourney. She is also famous for her skill as a bee-keeper.

One day, Saint Gobnata was watching from a hill overlooking a valley as an invading chieftain and his army came through, destroying crops and driving off cattle. She sent the bees to attack them, and they were thrown into such confusion that they left without their plunder.

The holy virgin Saint Gobnata fell asleep in the Lord on February 11. The exact year of her death is not known, but it probably occurred in the sixth century. Although she is regarded as the patron saint of Ballyvourney, she is venerated throughout southern Ireland. There are churches dedicated to her in Waterford and Kerry, for example, and she is also revered in Scotland.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and even 2008!):

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Holy Virgin Martyrs Ennatha, Valentina and Paula of Palestine

Commemorated on February 10

The Holy Virgin Martyrs Ennatha, Valentina and Paula suffered in the year 308 under the emperor Maximian II Galerius (305-311). Saint Ennatha came from the city of Gaza (in the south of Palestine), Saint Valentina was a native of Palestinian Caesarea, and Saint Paula was from the region of Caesarea.

Saint Ennatha was the first to be brought to trial before the governor Firmilian, bravely declaring herself a Christian. They beat her, and then they suspended her from a pillar and scourged her.

Saint Valentina, accused of not worshipping the gods, was led to a pagan temple to offer sacrifice, but she bravely hurled a stone at the sacrifice and turned her back on it. They beat her mercilessly and sentenced her to be beheaded along with Saint Ennatha.

 Virgin Martyr Valentina

Last of all, Saint Paula was brought, and they subjected her to many torments. With the help of God, however, she endured them with great patience and courage. Before her death Paula gave thanks to the Lord for strengthening her. Bowing to the Christians present, she bent her neck beneath the sword.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and even 2008!):

Monday, February 06, 2017

The Holy Martyrs Fausta, Evilasius and Maximus at Cyzicus

Commemorated on February 6

The Holy Martyrs Fausta, Evilasius and Maximus, suffered during the persecution against Christians by the emperor Diocletian in the city of Cyzicus [Mezium], between 305-311.

Saint Fausta was raised by Christian parents. Orphaned at a young age, she led a strict and virtuous life. Word that she was a Christian reached the governor, and the saint was sent to the eighty-year-old pagan priest Evilasius, who was ordered to turn the saint away from Christ.

The girl bravely confessed her faith and was subjected to many cruel tortures. Strengthened by the Lord, she did not feel the pain. They locked her up in a wooden trunk, but the torturers got tired of trying to saw it and burn it in the fire. The holy martyr, and even the trunk, remained unharmed, guarded by divine power. The pagan priest Evilasius was shaken by the evident and manifest power of God, he believed in the Savior and confessed himself a Christian.

The eparch Maximus was sent to investigate the matter for the emperor, and he began to torture the old man who had come to believe in Christ. Evilasius turned to Saint Fausta and asked her to pray for him, after which he bravely endured the tortures. They threw Saint Fausta to be eaten by vultures, but the creatures would not touch her. The thirteen-year-old girl was pierced with nails driven into her head and other parts of her body. Finally, they threw her into a boiling cauldron with Saint Evilasius. During this time the martyrs prayed for their torturers.

Seeing the faith and endurance of the saints, the eparch Maximus also was converted to Christ, and prayed to God for the forgiveness of his sins. Thrown into the same cauldron in which Saints Fausta and Evilasius suffered, he shared with them the crown of martyrdom.


Your lamb Fausta, calls out to You, O Jesus, in a loud voice: / “I love You, my Bridegroom, and in seeking You I endure suffering. / In baptism I was crucified so that I might reign in You, and I died so that I might live with You. / Accept me as a pure sacrifice, / for I have offered offered myself in love.” / Through her prayers save our souls, since You are merciful.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and even 2008!):

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee: Triodion Begins Today

February 05

Tone of the week: Plagal of the Fourth Tone

Eleventh Eothinon

The Pharisees were an ancient and outstanding sect among the Jews known for their diligent observance of the outward matters of the Law. Although, according to the word of our Lord, they "did all their works to be seen of men" (Matt. 23:5), and were hypocrites (ibid. 23: 13, 14, 15, etc.), because of the apparent holiness of their lives they were thought by all to be righteous, and separate from others, which is what the name Pharisee means. On the other hand, Publicans, collectors of the royal taxes, committed many injustices and extortions for filthy lucre's sake, and all held them to be sinners and unjust. It was therefore according to common opinion that the Lord Jesus in His parable signified a virtuous person by a Pharisee, and a sinner by a Publican, to teach His disciples the harm of pride and the profit of humble-mindedness.

Since the chief weapon for virtue is humility, and the greatest hindrance to it is pride, the divine Fathers have set these three weeks before the Forty-day Fast as a preparation for the spiritual struggles of virtue. This present week they have called Harbinger, since it declares that the Fast is approaching; and they set humility as the foundation for all our spiritual labors by appointing that the parable of the Publican and the Pharisee be read today, even before the Fast begins, to teach, through the vaunting of the Pharisee, that the foul smoke of self-esteem and the stench of boasting drives away the grace of the Spirit, strips man of all his virtue, and casts him into the pits of Hades; and, through the repentance and contrite prayer of the Publican, that humility confers upon the sinner forgiveness of all his wicked deeds and raises him up to the greatest heights.
All foods are allowed the week that follows this Sunday.

Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
From on high didst Thou descend, O Compassionate One; to burial of three days hast Thou submitted that Thou mightest free us from our passions. O our Life and Resurrection, Lord, glory be to Thee.

Seasonal Kontakion in the First Tone
Your birth sanctified a Virgin's womb and properly blessed the hands of Symeon. Having now come and saved us O Christ our God, give peace to Your commonwealth in troubled times and strengthen those in authority, whom You love, as only the loving One.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and even 2008!):