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Daily Devotional

Monday, August 21, 2017 (NS)
August 8, 2017 (OS)


Commemorations

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

Monday of the Twelfth Week

Fixed Calendar:

The commemoration of the Afterfeast of the Transfiguration, and our holy father among the saints, Emilian the Confessor, Bishop of Kyzikos.


Fasting Information

Fast day. No Meat, Fish, or Dairy Allowed.


Scripture Readings

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

Monday of the Twelfth Week

Epistle:

The Reading is from the Second Epistle of Saint Paul to the Corinthians[§ 179]. Brethren:

5 10We must all be made manifest before the judgment seat of the Christ, in order that each one might receive for oneself the things done through the agency of the body, according to what one did, whether good or bad. 11Knowing, therefore, the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade men; but we have been made manifest to God, and I hope also to have been made manifest in your consciences. 12For we commend not ourselves again to you, but are giving you an occasion of boasting on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to face those who boast in what is for show and not in heart. 13For whether we are beside ourselves, it is for God; or if we are of sound mind, it is for you. 14For the love of Christ constraineth us, because we judged this: that if One died for all, then all died; 15and He died for all, in order that they who are living no longer are living to themselves, but to Him Who died for them and was raised.

Gospel:

The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Mark [§ 2]. In those days:

1 9Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And straightway, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens being parted, and the Spirit as a dove descending upon Him; 11and there came to be a voice out of the heavens, "Thou art My Son, the Beloved, in Thee I am well pleased."

12And straightway, the Spirit driveth Him forth into the desert. 13And He was there in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts; and the angels were ministering to Him.

14Now after John was delivered up, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the Gospel of the kingdom of God, 15and saying, "The time hath been fulfilled, and the kingdom of God hath drawn near; repent ye and believe ye in the Gospel."

Fixed Calendar:

The commemoration of the Afterfeast of the Transfiguration, and our holy father among the saints, Emilian the Confessor, Bishop of Kyzikos.

No readings given.


Lives of the Saints
(Prologue)

August 21st – Civil Calendar
August 8th - Church Calendar

1. St Emilian the Confessor, Bishop of Cyzicus.

He was bishop in Cyzicus in the time of the wicked Emperor Leo the Armenian, the iconoclast. Refusing to carry out the imperial directive on the removal of icons from the churches, he was, along with other Orthodox bishops, sent into exile. He spent five years in exile, enduring many ills and much humiliation for the sake of Christ. He died in 820, and joined the company of the citizens of heaven.

2. St Myron the Wonderworker, Bishop of Crete.

He was at first married, and was a labourer of the land, sharing the fruits of his farm joyfully and abundantly with the poor. He once caught some unknown thieves on his threshing-floor, stealing corn. Not saying who he was, St Myron helped the thieves to fill their sacks, lift them onto their backs and escape. For his outstanding virtues, he was ordained priest and later consecrated bishop. He was a great wonderworker and did many good and mighty works in the name of the Lord Jesus. He entered into rest in about 350, at the great age of a hundred.

3. Our Holy Father Gregory the Sinaite.

He was named 'the Sinaite' because he became a monk on Mount Sinai. In the time of the Emperor Andronicus Palaeologus, in about 1330, he went to the Holy Mountain to visit the monasteries and discover more about mental prayer and contemplation. But these two spiritual exercises were little known at that time among the monks of the Holy Mountain. The only one who was experienced in them and practised them perfectly was St Maximus of Kapsokalyvia. Gregory spread his teaching on mental prayer through all the cells and monasteries of the Holy Mountain. His most famous pupil was Kallistos, Patriarch of Constantinople, who wrote Gregory's life. After that, Gregory went to Macedonia and to other parts of the Balkans, and founded communities in which the monks engaged in mental prayer, thus helping many to deepen their prayer and come to salvation. His writings on mental prayer and asceticism are found in the Philokalia. Among other things, he wrote the hymn to the Holy Trinity: 'It is meet and right...', which is sung in the Midnight Office on Sundays. He stands among the most famous ascetics and spiritual teachers of the Balkans. He entered peacefully into rest in 1346, after a life of great toil, and went to the Kingdom of Christ.

4. The Holy New Martyrs Triandaphyllos and Spaso.

Triandaphyllos was born in Zagora and Spaso in Radoviste, in the diocese of Strumica. They were both Slavs, both young and simple men. But the love of Christ drew them out of the world and out of this life. They gave their lives, and remained faithful to Christ, suffering under the Turks for their faith: Tryandaphyllos in Constantinople in 1680 and Spaso in Salonica in 1794.

5. The Holy Martyr Gormizdas.

He was a noble at the court of the Persian King Yezdegeherd. Because he refused to deny Christ, the king sadly deprived him of his rank and possessions and sent him to look after the animals, being convinced that Gormizdas would soon grieve for his rank and possessions, and would worship idols. Gormizdas peacefully minded the cattle and remained faithful. The king therefore put him to harsh torture, which succeeded only in weakening the body of Christ's martyr without affecting his soul. Finally, Gormizdas was killed, in 418, immediately after the martyrdom of St Abdus the Bishop (see March 31st). He suffered on earth, and was glorified in heaven.

FOR CONSIDERATION

'Lo, I have set before you life and death', said Moses to the sons of Israel, 'therefore choose life, that ... you may live' (Deut. 30:19). There are decisive moments in men's lives, when a man is truly left to choose life or death. Judas, in the moment of decision, was so overcome by the lust for silver that he chose death, the death of cupidity. When the miltary governor wanted to make Marinus the soldier (see August 7th) an officer, an envious man denounced him as a Christian. The governor gave him three hours to think and choose life or death, to deny Christ or to die. Marinus, hearing the words of his superior, went to the local bishop, Theotechnus, to ask his advice. The bishop took him into the church, stood him before the Gospel and then, indicating first the Gospel and then the sword that Marinus was wearing, said to him: 'Choose, brave man, one of these two: either carry a sword and serve the transient king, being lost eternally at your death, or become a soldier of the King of heaven and lay down your life for His holy name, recorded in this book, and reign with Him in immortal life.' Marinus at once made up his mind, kissed the holy Gospel and went out–to go through death to eternal life.


Daily Scripture Readings taken from The Orthodox New Testament, translated and published by Holy Apostles Convent, Buena Vista, Colorado, copyright © 2000, used with permission, all rights reserved.

Daily Prologue Readings taken from The Prologue of Ochrid, by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic, translated by Mother Maria, published by Lazarica Press, Birmingham, England, copyright © 1985, all rights reserved.


Archbishop Gregory
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