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Daily Devotional

Monday, November 11, 2019 (NS)
October 29, 2019 (OS)


Commemorations

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

Monday of the Twenty-Second Week

Fixed Calendar:

The commemoration of the holy and venerable Martyr Anastasia the Roman, and our venerable Father Abramios the Recluse, and his niece St. Mary of Mesopotamia.


Fasting Information

No Fasting.


Scripture Readings

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

Monday of the Twenty-Second Week

Epistle:

The Reading is from the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Colossians[§ 255]. Brethren:

2 13You, being dead in the transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, did Christ make alive together with Him, having forgiven us all the transgressions, 14having blotted out the bond written against us, in the ordinances, which was contrary to us. And He hath taken it away out of the midst, having nailed it to the Cross. 15And having put off from Himself the principalities and the powers, He made an example of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

16Let no one therefore judge you in food, or in drink, or in part of a feast, or a new moon, or sabbath days, 17which are a shadow of things to come, but the body is of Christ. 18Let no one deprive you of the prize, delighting in humility of mind and religious worship of the angels, intruding into things which he hath not seen, in vain being puffed up by the mind of his flesh,19and not holding the head, from Whom all the body, by the joints and ligaments being supplied and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

20If then ye died with the Christ from the elements of the world, why, as if living in the world, do ye subject yourselves to regulations?

Gospel:

The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke [§ 59]. At that time:

11 29When the crowds were gathered together beside Jesus, He began to say, "This is an evil generation. It seeketh after a sign, and a sign shall not be given to it, except the sign of Jonas the prophet. 30"For even as Jonas came to be a sign to the Ninevites, thus also the Son of Man shall be to this generation. 31"A queen of the south shall be raised up in the judgment with the men of this generation and shall condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something more than Solomon is here. 32"Men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation and shall condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and behold, something more than Jonas is here. 33"But no one, having lit a lamp, putteth it in a vault, nor under the bushel, but upon the lampstand, in order that those entering may see the light."

Fixed Calendar:

The commemoration of the holy and venerable Martyr Anastasia the Roman, and our venerable Father Abramios the Recluse, and his niece St. Mary of Mesopotamia.

Epistle:

The Reading is from the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Galatians [§ 213]. Brethren:

5 22The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, 23meekness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24But they who are of the Christ crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts. 25If we live by the Spirit, let us also be walking by the Spirit. 26Let us not become vainglorious, provoking one another, envying one another.

6 1Brethren, even if a man should be overtaken in some transgression, ye, the spiritual ones, be restoring such a one in the spirit of meekness, looking out for thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2Keep on bearing one another's burdens, and thus fill up the law of the Christ.

Gospel:

The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew [§ 43]. The Lord said to His disciples:

11 27"All things were delivered to Me by My Father. And no one doth fully know the Son, except the Father; nor doth anyone fully know the Father, except the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son is willing to reveal Him. 28"Come to Me, all ye who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. 29"Take up My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and humble in heart; and ye shall find rest to your souls. 30"For My yoke is good and My burden is light."


Lives of the Saints
(Prologue)

November 11th - Civil Calendar
October 29th - Church Calendar

1. Our Holy Mother, the Martyr Anastasia the Roman.

She was born in Rome of well-born parents and left an orphan at the age of three. As an orphan, she was taken into a women's monastery near Rome, where the abbess was one Sophia, a nun of a high level of perfection. After seventeen years, Anastasia was known in the whole neighborhood, to the Christians as a great ascetic and to the pagans as a rare beauty. The pagan administrator of the city, Probus, heard of her and sent soldiers to bring her to him. The good Abbess Sophia counseled Anastasia for two hours on how to keep the Faith, how to resist flattering delusion and how to endure torture. Anastasia said to her: 'My heart is ready to suffer for Christ; my soul is ready to die for my beloved Jesus.' Brought before the governor, Anastasia openly proclaimed her faith in Christ the Lord and, when the governor tried to dissuade her from the Faith, first with promises and then with threats, the holy maiden said to him: 'I am ready to die for my Lord, not once but - oh, if it were only possible! - a thousand times.' When they stripped her naked, to humiliate her, she cried to the judge: 'Whip me and cut at me and beat me; my naked body will be hidden by wounds, and my shame will be covered by my blood!' She was whipped and beaten and cut about. She twice felt a great thirst and asked for water, and a Christian, Cyril, gave her a drink, for which he was blessed by the martyr and beheaded by the pagans. Then her breasts and tongue were cut off, and an angel of God appeared to her and upheld her. She was finally beheaded with the sword outside the city. Blessed Sophia found her body and buried it, and Anastasia was crowned with the wreath of martyrdom under the Emperor Decius (249-251).

2. Our Holy Father Abraham the Recluse and his niece Maria.

Under pressure from his parents, Abraham married, but on the very day of his wedding, he left his bride, his parents, his home and all that he had and went off into solitude to live in strict asceticism. He lived thus for fifty years, only leaving his cell twice in the whole of that time. Once it was at the command of the local bishop, to convert a pagan village to the Christian faith, and the other was to save his dissolute niece Maria. He entered peacefully into rest in 360, at the age of seventy.

3. Our Holy Father, the Martyr Timothy of Esphigmenou.

From the village of Paraora, in the province of Kessana in Thrace, he was married and had two daughters. His wife was seized by the Turks and converted to Islam, and, in order to save her from the harem, he also pretended to become a Turk. Saving his wife, he gave her to a women's monastery and went off to the Holy Mountain, first to the Lavra and then to Esphigmenou. He desired martyrdom for Christ, like Agathangelos of Esphigmenou, and was beheaded in Jedrene on October 29th, 1820. His body was thrown into a river, but his clothing was taken back to Esphigmenou by the elder Germanus, his spiritual father.

FOR CONSIDERATION

'He that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved' (Matt. 10:22), said the Lord. Faith is the one light that can truly illumine endurance, as endurance for its own sake becomes an unbearable darkness. Faith is a star shining in this darkness; faith softens the sharpness of suffering and bears on its wings all the weight of endurance. St Abraham offers us a beautiful example of perseverance in endurance. The devil simulated to him various sorts of temptation and terror, plunging him into a tedium that almost got him to the point of leaving the place in which he had settled and moving elsewhere, but Abraham did not want to move and become like an evil demon; he remained in his own place and overcame the devil. The bishop of that area sent Abraham to a pagan village to try to bring it to the Christian faith. After long resistance, Abraham set off, saying: 'Let God's will be done; I'm going under obedience.' He first built a church in the village and then pulled down the idols before the eyes of the villagers. They thrashed him, and beat him black and blue, leaving him almost dead, and then drove him out of their village, but he prayed to God for them with tears, that God would open the eyes of their hearts to know the truth of Christ. Thus the pagans beat and mocked him without remission for three years, but he prayed constantly to God for them and was not angered against them, 'enduring in his faith like a firm rock'. Only after three whole years did his toil and tears, his beseeching and faith have their reward, for suddenly the villagers were awakened and went in a group to Abraham. Bowing down before him, they begged him to instruct them in the Christian faith.


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
Dormition Skete
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