St. Auxentius, monk, of Bithynia (ca. 470). St. Cyril, Equal-to-the-Apostles, teacher of the Slavs (869).
St. Maron, hermit of Cyrrhus (ca. 433). St. Abraham, bishop of Charres in Mesopotamia (5th c.). St. Isaac, recluse of the Kiev Caves (ca. 1090). Translation of the relics of Martyrs Prince Michael and his counselor Theodore, of Chernigov (1578).
New Hieromartyr Onesimus (Pylaev), bishop of Tula (1937).
St. Peter, patriarch of Alexandria (380). Hieromartyr Philemon, bishop of Gaza. New Martyr Nicholas of Corinth (1554). New Monk-martyr Damian of Philotheou and Kissavos, at Larissa (1568). New Martyr George the Tailor, of Mytilene, at Constantinople (1693). St. Hilarion the Georgian (the New) of Imereti and Mt. Athos (1864). St. Raphael, bishop of Brooklyn (1915).
Repose of Archimandrite Barsanuphius of Valaam and Morocco (1952), Righteous Barbara (Arkhangelskaya) the Recluse, of Ufa (1966), and Elder Ephraim of Katounakia (1998).
The Lord scorneth the scorners: but He
giveth grace unto the lowly (Prov. 3:34). Particularly
remember these words when you go to confession. Nothing
like pride binds your tongue to keep it from saying,
“I am a sinner.” Humble yourself before the
Lord, do not spare yourself, do not fear the face of man.
Reveal your shame for it to be washed; show your wounds
for them to be healed; tell of all your unrighteousness
that you be justified. The more merciless you will be with
yourself, the more compassion the Lord will show towards
you, and you will leave with a sweet feeling of
forgiveness. This is that grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
given from Him to those who humble themselves through
sincere confession of their sins.
In Russia people traditionally went to confession on
the evening of this first Friday of Great Lent, in
preparation for Holy Communion the next day. See the
footnote for Tuesday of this week.
The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God
(Wisdom 3:1). But in whose hand are the souls of sinners?
The Saviour said to the apostles that satan seeks to sift
them like wheat, that is, he seeks to knock them from the
right path, to take them into his hands and do with them
what he wants. That is why everyone turning away from the
Lord is in the hands of satan, and he sifts them and casts
them wherever he desires. Due to this the heads of sinners
are constantly spinning, because the enemy, dragging them
here and there, does not give them a chance to come to
their senses. As soon as the enemy notices that someone is
starting to have second thoughts, he starts to shake him
even more strongly, so that his head again becomes clouded
and his thoughts become scattered.