Sts. Isaac (383), and Dalmatus and Faustus (5th c.), ascetics of the Dalmatian Monastery, Constantinople. St. Anthony the Roman, abbot (Novgorod) (1147).
Protomartyr Rajden of Tsromi and Nikozi, Georgia (457). St. Cosmas, eunuch and hermit, of Palestine (6th c.).
Holy Myrrh-bearer Salome (1st c.). St. John, confessor and abbot, of Patalaria Monastery (8th-9th c.). St. Theoclita the Wonderworker, of Optimaton (ca. 842). Nine Kherkheulidze brothers, their mother and sister, and 9,000 others, who suffered on the field of Marabda, Georgia (1625).
Repose of Hieroschemamonk Ignatius of Harbin (1958).
Thursday. [II Cor. 7:1-10; Mark 1:29-35]
In the morning, rising up a great
while before day, He went out, and departed into a
solitary place, and there prayed. Here is a lesson to
get up early and devote the first hours of the day to
prayer, in solitude. The soul, renewed with sleep, is
fresh, light and capable of penetration, like fresh
morning air; therefore it asks on its own to be allowed to
go where all of its joy is found, to go before the face of
the heavenly Father, to the company of the angels and
saints. It is more convenient for the soul to pray at this
time instead of later when the cares of the day already
are piled upon the soul. The Lord orders everything. You
must receive a blessing from Him for work, for needed
understanding, and for crucial strengthening. And hurry as
early as possible, before anything interferes, to lift
yourself in solitude to the Lord in mind and heart, and to
confess your needs and intentions to Him, and to beg for
His help. Having disposed yourself with prayer and
thoughts of God, from the first moments of the day, you
will then conduct the whole day in reverence and fear of
God, with collected thoughts. From this come discretion,
steadiness, and harmony in deeds and mutual relations.
This is a reward for the labour which you compel yourself
to undertake in your morning solitude. Thus, even for
worldly people this makes good sense, and is not something
alien to their goals.