Orthodox Calendar 2017
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December 9
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December 22
29th Week after Pentecost. Tone 3.
Nativity Fast.
Monastic rule: cooked food, no oil.

Совершается служба со славословиемThe Conception by St. Anna of the Most Holy Theotokos.

Righteous Anna (Hannah), mother of the Prophet Samuel (1100 b.c.). St. Sophronius I, bishop of Cyprus (6th c.). St. Stephen “the New Light,” of Constantinople (912).

Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos “Unexpected Joy.”

Commemoration of the Founding of the Church of the Resurrection at Jerusalem (335). Martyr Narses of Persia. St. Valeria of Aquitaine (2nd c.). Martyr Sositheus of Persia (553).

Repose of Archimandrite Theodosius of Tismana and Sophroniev Monasteries (1802) and Elder Anthimus the Bulgarian, of Mt. Athos (1867).

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

Friday. [Heb. 7:18-25; Luke 21:37-22:8]

   Satan entered into Judas, and taught him how to betray the Lord; he agreed, and betrayed Him. Satan entered because the door was opened for him. What is within us is always closed; the Lord Himself stands outside and knocks, that we might open. What causes it to open? It is opened by sympathy, predisposition, or agreement. If all of this is inclined in the direction of the Lord, He enters. If satan enters, and not the Lord, the person himself is guilty. If you do not allow thoughts pleasing to satan, if you do not sympathize with them, or dispose yourself to their suggestions and agree to do them, satan walks nearby and then leaves, for he is not given power over anyone. If he takes possession of anyone, it is because that person gives himself over in slavery to him. The source of all evil is one’s thoughts. Do not allow bad thoughts and you will forever close the door of your soul to satan. That bad thoughts come—what can you do? Nobody on the earth is without them; there is no sin here. Chase them away, and that will end everything. If they come again, chase them away again—and so on for your entire life. When you accept thoughts and become engaged in them, it is not surprising that sympathy toward them appears as well; then they become even more persistent. After sympathy come bad intentions either for these or other bad deeds. Vague intentions then define themselves by an inclination toward one thing or another. Choice, agreement and resoluteness set in, and then sin is within! The door of the heart is opened wide. As soon as agreement forms, satan jumps in and begins to tyrannize. Then the poor soul is driven wearisomely like a slave or a pack-animal into doing indecent things. If it had not allowed bad thoughts, nothing of the sort would have happened.


The Conception of the Holy Virgin Theotokos by Saint Anna

Sergei Bulgakov

Struck by the speech of the High Priest, as though by the awesome verdict of the judgment of God Himself, the righteous man had no time even to withdraw from the altar, as a new heavier insult struck his hearing. One of the Israelites bringing his gifts, pushed him away, said, “Depart from here, did you not hear that you are unworthy to bring gifts to God together with us, because you have not left offspring for Israel?” With deep humility Joachim accepted this accusation as if it were from the mouth of the very God, and with deep sadness left the temple.

Holy, Righteous Ancestor of God, Anna

Saint Anna was the daughter of Matthan the priest, who was of the tribe of Levi. St Anna’s family came from Bethlehem.

The Conception by Righteous Anna of the Most Holy Mother of God

For a long time Saint Anna was childless, but after twenty years, through the fervent prayer of both spouses, an angel of the Lord announced to them that they would be the parents of a daughter, Who would bring blessings to the whole human race.

Holy Prophetess Hannah as a Model for our Lives

Protopresbyter George Papavarnavas

The Prophetess Hannah knew God truly. She did not think of Him or know Him only from stories of others or from books, but she had an experience of God, having received the Holy Spirit, "Who spoke through the Prophets." When the Apostles received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, whoever saw them or heard them speak, passed them off for drunks. The Prophetess Hannah, when she opened her heart to God inside the Temple, must have been "filled with the Holy Spirit," which is why Eli passed her off for a drunk.

Prophetess Hannah the mother of the Prophet Samuel

The Holy Prophetess Hannah dwelt in marriage with Elkanah, but she was childless. Elkanah took to himself another wife, Phennena, who bore him children.

St. Sophronius the Archbishop of Cyprus

Saint Sophronius, Archbishop of Cyprus, was born into a Christian family on Cyprus, and he studied many sciences, but most of all he devoted himself to the reading of Holy Scripture.

Icon of the Mother of God “the Unexpected joy”

The sinful youth, who was nevertheless devoted to the Theotokos, was praying one day before the icon of the All-Pure Virgin before going out to commit a sin. Suddenly, he saw that wounds appeared on the Lord’s hands, feet, and side, and blood flowed from them.