1st Week of Great Lent.
Monastic rule: xerophagy (bread, uncooked fruits and vegetables).
Hieromartyr Blaise, bishop of Sebaste (ca. 316). St. Vsevolod (in holy baptism Gabriel), prince and wonderworker of Pskov (1138). St. Demetrius, founder of Priluki Monastery (Vologda) (1392).
St. Theodora, wife of Emperor Theophilus the Iconoclast (ca. 867).
Hieromartyr Lucius of Adrianople (348). St. Caedmon, monk, of Whitby, hymnographer (ca. 680). St. Gobnait, abbess of Ballyvourney, Cork (Ireland) (7th c.). St. Benedict of Aniane, monastic reformer (821). New Martyr George of Kratovo, at Sofia (1515).
Repose of Archbishop Simon of Shanghai and Peking (1933).
Thoughts for Each Day of the Year
According to the Daily Church Readings from the Word of God
By St. Theophan the Recluse
The suggested readings are about the creation, the
original state of the fall and the promise of salvation in
our Lord Jesus Christ. Take heed and learn! Now is the
time for your re-creation. Embrace the Lord, and He will
give you light which will enlighten your sinful darkness;
He will set a firmament amidst your restless thoughts and
the desires of your sin-loving heart—the good
intention to firmly and steadfastly work for Him. He will
establish dry land and the sea, and will give everything
its place within you. Then you will begin to bring forth
first herb, grass and trees—the first fruits of the
virtues, and then living creatures—perfect spiritual
and God-pleasing works; until at last the image and
likeness of God is restored in you, as you were created in
the beginning (cf. Gen. 1–26). All of this will the
Lord create for you in these six days of spiritual
creation, which is your preparation for Holy
if you will pass this time with attention, reverence
and contrition of heart.
In St. Theophan’s time it was a widespread custom
in Russia for people to spend the first week of Great
Lent preparing to receive Holy Communion on Saturday.
This preparation, in Russian called govenie,
involved fasting, attending Divine Services, reading
prayers (including canons, akathists, etc.), doing
prostrations and engaging in other spiritual
activities, instead of going to work. On the Friday of
the first week of Lent, people would go to confession.
Thus, when St. Theophan mentions the “six days of
spiritual creation,” he refers to these first six
days of Lent which were a preparation for Holy
Communion on St. Theodore’s Saturday.