Orthodox Calendar 2017
Previous day
Next day
Old Style
March 9
New Style
March 22
4th Week of Great Lent. Tone 6.
Великий пост.
Monastic rule: xerophagy (bread, uncooked fruits and vegetables).

Совершается служба с полиелеемThe Holy Forty Martyrs of Sebaste: Cyrion (or Quirio), Candidus, Domnus, Hesychius, Heraclius, Smaragdus, Eunoicus, Valens, Vivianus, Claudius, Priscus, Theodulus, Eutychius, John, Xanthias, Helianus, Sisinius, Angus, Aetius, Flavius, Acacius, Ecdicius, Lysimachus, Alexander, Elias, Gorgonius, Theophilus, Dometian, Gaius, Leontius, Athanasius, Cyril, Sacerdon, Nicholas, Valerius, Philoctimon, Severian, Chudion, Aglaius, and Meliton (ca. 320).

Martyr Urpasianus of Nicomedia (ca. 295). St. Caesarius, brother of St. Gregory the Theologian (ca. 369). St. Tarasius the Wonderworker, of Lycaonia. Translation to Vladimir of the relics of Martyr Abraham of the Bulgars on the Volga (1230). St. Jonah, archbishop of Novgorod (1470). St. Theodosius Levitsky, priest, of Balta (Odessa) (1845). St. Dimitra, nun and foundress of the Vvedensk Convent in Kiev (1878).

New Hieromartyrs Mitrophan Buchnoff, archpriest, of Voronezh (1931), and Ioasaph (Shakhov), abbot, of Popovka (Moscow) (1938).

“Albazin” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (“The Word Was Made Flesh”) (1666).

St. Philoromus the Confessor, of Galatia (4th c.). St. Pacianus, bishop of Barcelona (390). St. Bosa, bishop of York (705). St. Vitalis of Castronovo (994). New Martyrs (two priests and forty students) of Momisici (Montenegro) (1688).

Repose of Elder Cleopas of Ostrov-Vvedensk Monastery (1778) and Schema-archimandrite Theophilus of Kiev (1996).

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


Baptism (kreshenie) in the Russian language sounds like cross (krest). This is fortunate consonance, for although the visible action of baptism is submersion, its essence is a co-crucifixion with Christ on the inner, spiritual cross. The Apostle Paul says: our old man is crucified with him in baptism (Rom. 6:6). This is not some sort of mechanical act, but a moral change, or a revolution of thoughts, goals, desires, and sympathies. Before, all of these were stained with self-pleasure; now all are selflessly dedicated to God, in Christ Jesus, by the grace of the Holy Spirit. [If you were baptized as an infant] you will say, “I didn’t understand that when I was baptized.” Now you understand; set it in your conscience to carry out the meaning of baptism, for your baptism is indelible. Even at the judgement its seal will be visible either for you, or against you.


In Memory of the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste—A.D. 320

During this time they prepared themselves for the trial of martyrdom. One of them, Cyrion by name, exhorted his fellow soldiers: "God so ordained that we made friends with each other in this temporary life; let us try not to separate even in eternity; just as we have been found plea sing to a mortal king, so let us strive to be worthy of the favor of the immortal King, Christ our God."

Fascinating Facts Behind the Forty Martyrs of Sevaste

Too Incredible to Be True? Are we really supposed to believe that forty men in the prime of life voluntarily undressed to die by freezing? Is this just a legend? Actually, the story is as solid as ancient history gets.

Homily Concerning the Forty Martyrs

St. Gregory of Nyssa

I believe that persons who have undergone many harsh experiences can give us encouragement because the sufferings which they and others have endured are a source of special joy. A shepherd rejoices when he sees his abundant flock gathered together; although his pen is large, he expands it to accommodate a large number of sheep. Similarly, Peter saw a throng gathered about the Lord and exclaimed, Master, the crowd surrounds you and presses upon you (Lk. 8.45).

40 Holy Martyrs of Sebaste

On the following morning, the soldiers were again taken to Agricola. This time the pagan tried flattery. He began to praise their valor, their youth and strength, and once more he urged them to renounce Christ and thereby win themselves the respect and favor of their emperor.

The Holy Forty Martyrs—"Winter Is Harsh, but Paradise Is Sweet!"

According to the tradition about the Holy Forty Martyrs, as they were suffering in the freezing lake, they strengthened themselves and one another by saying “Winter is harsh, but paradise is sweet!” This captures the spirit and essence of Christian martyrdom, which always sees the experiences of this world in the light of the heavenly kingdom.

The 40 Martyrs of Sebaste: Confession through martyrdom

Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi

What were they "suffering at present" from? They were tortured with whatever the devil threw at them, since he is always generating ways to prevent the devout from getting on with their business. He begins with minor internal or external annoyances and reaches even the highest of all evil, death.

Icon of the Mother of God “The Word was made Flesh”

The Albazin Icon of the Mother of God “the Word made Flesh” is of great religious significance in the Amur River region.