Veneration of the Precious Chains of the Holy and All-glorious Apostle Peter. Blessed Maximus, priest of Totma (Vologda), fool-for-Christ (1650).
Martyrs Speusippus and his brothers Eleusippus and Meleusippus, their grandmother Leonilla, and with them Neon, Turbo, and Jonilla (Jovilla), in Cappadocia (161-180). Martyr Danax the Reader, in Macedonia (2nd c.). St. Honoratus, archbishop of Arles and founder of Lerins Monastery (429).
St. James of Tarentaise (429). Martyr Sigebert, king of the East Angles (635). St. Fursey, Irish missionary monk of Burgh Castle (East Anglia), Lagny, and Peronne (Gaul) (650). St. Romilus the Sinaite, of Ravanica Monastery (Serbia) (1375). New Hieromartyr Damascene of Gabrovo, hieromonk of Hilandar, at Svishtovo (1771). New Hieromartyr Nicholas, priest, of Mytilene (1777).
Repose of Elder Theodore of Irkutsk (1923) and Priest Demetrius Gagastathis of Platanos, Trikala (1975).
Monday (34th). [II Pet. 1:20–2:9; Mark
The fear of God leads to the beginning of a holy and
God-pleasing life and is its most faithful guardian, when
one follows the inspiration of the fear of God and makes
such a beginning. The present Epistle reading teaches us
this, bringing to mind the threatening judgements of God
and the punishment shown already here of those who do not
submit to His will. He, it says, spared not the
angels that sinned (II Pet. 2:4). They
were pure, and dwelt in a most radiant habitation. But as
soon as they sinned, they were cast down into the
nethermost darkness. Will He spare you and me, if we go
against His will?! Impiety overflowed in the days of Noah.
God brought upon them a flood, and destroyed them all,
except for eight souls of the family of Noah. He did not
take into account that there were many people. Will He
deliberate over you alone, whether to destroy you or not,
when you do not to listen to His voice?! For a long time
the Lord spared Sodom and Gomorrah. But instead of coming
to their senses, they rushed to the height of impiety.
Therefore, they were struck by fire when they did not
expect it. This fire is an image of the eternal fire,
which awaits the impious. Neither will you escape this
fire, if you walk the same path as they. Bring all of this
to mind when sitting by yourself, especially in the
silence and darkness of night; and thus arousing a fear of
God, fear sin, for in it the flame of eternal fire
stealthily approaches you.
Tuesday. [II Pet. 2:9–22; Mark 13:14–23]
If any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ;
or, lo, he is there; believe him not (Mark
13:21). Christ the Lord, our Saviour, having established
upon the earth the holy Church, is well pleased to abide
in it, as its head, enlivener, and ruler. Christ is here,
in our Orthodox Church, and He is not in any other church.
Do not search for Him elsewhere, for you will not find
Him. Therefore, if someone from a non-orthodox assemblage
comes to you and begins to suggest that they have
Christ—do not believe it. If some one says to you,
“We have an apostolic community, and we have
Christ,” do not believe them. The Church founded by
the Apostles abides on the earth—it is the Orthodox
Church, And Christ is in it. The community established
only yesterday cannot be apostolic, and Christ is not in
it. If you hear someone saying, “Christ is speaking
in me,” while he shuns the [Orthodox] Church, does
not want to know its pastors and is not sanctified by the
Sacraments, do not believe him. In him is not Christ, but
rather another spirit appropriating the name of Christ in
order to divert people from Christ the Lord and from His
holy Church. Neither believe anyone who suggests to you
even some small thing alien to the [Orthodox] Church.
Recognize all such people to be instruments of seducing
spirits and preachers of lies.