Orthodox Calendar 2016
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October 10
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October 23
18th Sunday after Pentecost. Tone 1.
Fast-free period.

Cовершается служба, не отмеченная в Типиконе никаким знакомMartyrs Eulampius and Eulampia and 200 martyrs with them, at Nicomedia (303-311). Совершается служба с полиелеемSt. Ambrose, elder, of Optina Monastery (1891). St. Innocent, bishop of Penza (1819).

Martyr Theotecnus of Antioch (3rd-4th c.). St. Bassian of Constantinople (ca. 458). St. Theophilus the Confessor, of Bulgaria (716). Blessed Andrew of Totma (Vologda), fool-for-Christ (1673). Synaxis of the Saints of Volhynia: Sts. Stephen (1094) and Amphilochius (1122), bishops of Vladimir in Volhynia; St. Yaropolk-Peter, prince of Vladimir in Volhynia (1086); St. Theodore (in monasticism Theodosius) of the Kiev Caves, prince of Ostrog in Volhynia (1483); St. Juliana, princess of Olshansk (ca. 1540); St. Job, abbot and wonderworker of Pochaev (1651); and Hieromartyr Macarius of Kanev, archimandrite, of Obruch and Pinsk (1678). New Hieromartyr Theodore (Pozdeyevsky), archbishop of Volokolamsk (1937).

Zographou Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos “Of the Akathist.”

St. Pinytus, bishop of Knossos on Crete (2nd c.). Martyrs of the Theban Legion, along the Rhine: Sts. Cassius and Florentius, at Bonn; Sts. Gereon and companions, at Cologne; and Sts. Victor and companions, at Xanten (Germany) (ca. 287). St. Paulinus, archbishop of York (644). Martyrdom of the 26 Martyrs of Zographou Monastery on Mt. Athos by the Latins: Abbot Thomas, Monks Barsanuphius, Cyril, Micah, Simon, Hilarion, Job, James, Cyprian, Sabbas, James, Martinian, Cosmas, Sergius, Paul, Menas, Ioasaph, Ioannicius, Anthony, Euthymius, Dometian, and Parthenius, and four laymen (1284).

Repose of Schemamonk Theodore, desert-dweller of Valaam (1834).

Thoughts for Each Day of the Year
According to the Daily Church Readings from the Word of God
By St. Theophan the Recluse

St. Theophan the Recluse

Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost. [Gal. 1:11-19; Luke 7:11-16]

   The Lord sees a mother weeping over the death of her son and has compassion on her; another time he was called to a marriage, and rejoiced together with the family. By this He showed that to share ordinary everyday joys and sorrows is not contrary to His spirit. This is what true, reverent Christians do, who live their life in fear [of God]. However, they distinguish some everyday life routines from others; for much has entered into these routines which cannot be God’s good will. There are customs that come from passions, which arise for their indulgence; others are kept alive by vanity and busyness. He who has the spirit of Christ, will be able to distinguish the good from the bad: he adheres to the one and rejects the other. He who does this with the fear of God is not alienated by others, though he does not act like them, because he always acts in the spirit of love and compassion toward the infirmities of his brothers. Only a spirit of zeal beyond measure rubs people the wrong way and produces disharmony and division. Such a spirit cannot refrain from teaching and criticizing. But the [one with the spirit of Christ] is only concerned with ordering his and his family’s life in a Christian way; he does not permit himself to interfere in the affairs of others, saying to himself, “Who set me as a judge?” He quietly makes everyone well disposed to himself, and inspires respect for those routines to which he holds. A supervisor makes himself unloved, and evokes disapproval for the good routines to which he holds. Humility in such cases is needed—Christian humility. It is the source of Christian good sense, which knows how to act well in a given situation.


The Prayer Rule of St. Ambrose of Optina To Be Read in Times of Temptation

St. Ambrose, elder of Optina offered to those who came to him with various sorrows and trials a special, brief prayer rule that is possible for any Christian to read. The elder knew from his own experience the effectiveness of these prayers, how they strengthen one's enfeebled spirit, and how they scatter the enemy's attacks if read with faith and hope in God's almighty help. This prayer rule, comprised of the Psalms of David, we offer here together with extracts from the letters of St. Ambrose.

The Life of St. Ambrose of Optina

God’s abundant benevolence that resided in him, was the source of those spiritual blessings that allowed him to serve those that visited him, comforting the grieving, strengthening the faith in those that were wavering and directing everybody toward the path of salvation.

St. Ambrose, Elder of Optina

Archpriest Sergius Chetverikov

Why do people experience depression? "Depression, according to Mark the Ascetic, is a spiritual cross sent to us in order to cleanse our former sins. Depression comes also for other reasons: from offended self-love, because we are not getting our own way; also from vainglory, when one sees that his equals enjoy greater privileges; from stressful situations during which our faith in God's Providence and hope in His mercy and omnipotent help is put to test.

Sermon on the Commemoration Day of St. Ambrose, Elder of Optina

Hieromonk Vasily (Roslyakov)

Today we too, in approaching the coffin of our holy Father Ambrose, Elder of Optina, rejoice with same inexpressible joy of Christ’s resurrection. Hymning the Tomb of our Savior, we say, “How life-giving, how much more beautiful than paradise, and more resplendent than any royal palace proved Thy tomb, oh Christ, the source of our Resurrection!” And in the troparion to St. Ambrose we sing, “As to a healing spring do we come to thee, Oh Ambrose, our father!”

“Love is Tested By Adversity.” Elder Ambrose of Optina

Fr. Sergius Chetverikov

"The love that animated Fr. Ambrose was of the kind that Christ commanded his disciples to have. It differs greatly from the feeling that the world knows as love. It is no less poetic, but it is broader, purer and knows no bounds. Its main difference is that it gives everything and asks nothing in return."

A Reply to One Well Disposed Towards the Latin Church

St. Ambrose of Optina

The Eastern Orthodox Church, from apostolic times until now, observes unchanged and unblemished by innovations both the Gospel and Apostolic teachings, as well as the Tradition of the Holy Fathers and resolutions of the Ecumenical Councils, at which God-bearing men, having gathered from throughout the entire world, in a conciliar manner composed the divine Symbol of the Orthodox Faith [the Creed], and having proclaimed it aloud to the whole universe, in all respects perfect and complete, forbade on pain of terrible punishments any addition to it, any abridging, alteration, or rearrangement of even one iota of it.

Counsels to a Christian on Unceasing Watchfulness over Oneself

St. Ambrose of Optina

On June 27/July 10, the Church celebrates the uncovering of the relics of St. Ambrose of Optina. We offer to our readers a letter from the forthcoming book by Pokrov Publications, St. Ambrose of Optina. Letters to Laymen.

St. Ambrose of Optina on the Struggle with the Passions

Olga Rozhneva

“When these three fields are cleansed, then other passions stemming from them are also imperceptibly cut off with them—that is, anger and remembrance of wrongs, earthly sorrow, envy, hatred, coolness and laziness regarding prayer and works of piety.”

St. Ambrose of Optina

Olga Glagoleva

In the history of Russia, as in world history, there are saints who serve as “milestones,’ as it were, on the road to the Most High. One such righteous one was St. Ambrose of Optina, whose memory is celebrated on October10/23.

Sayings of St. Ambrose of Optina

St. Ambrose of Optina

"Strive in all things to live according to the Divine commandments, and remember that the Lord is present and sees the disposition of your heart. While fulfilling an obedience, consider that it has been given by the Lord through a person, and that your salvation depends on your zeal in fulfilling it."

Miraculous help from St. Ambrose in our days

"The Lord is nearer to us than it seems, and through people and situations He always guides us through life by the prayers of our venerable and God-bearing father Ambrose, elder of Optina, and of all the saints—of course, for those who follow Christ."

Synaxis of the Saints of Volhynia

On this day, we commemorate the Synaxis of Saints of Volhynia—one of the most ancient domains of Christian Rus’, and now part of western Ukraine.