Forefeast of the Nativity of the Theotokos. Martyr Sozon of Cilicia (304). St. John, archbishop and wonderworker, of Novgorod (1186). Hieromartyr Macarius of Kanev, archimandrite, of Obruch and Pinsk (1678). St. Macarius, elder, of Optina Monastery (1860).
Apostles Evodus (Euodias) (66) and Onesiphorus (67), of the Seventy. Martyr Eupsychius of Caesarea in Cappadocia (ca. 130). St. Luke and St. Peter the Cappadocian, abbots, of the monastery of the Deep Stream (10th c.). Sts. Alexander (Peresvet) and Andrew (Oslyabya), disciples of St. Sergius of Radonezh, who fought at the Battle of Kulikovo (1380). St. Serapion of Spaso-Eleazar Monastery, Pskov (1480)
New Hieromartyrs Eugene (Zernov), metropolitan of Nizhni- Novgorod, Leo (Yegorov), archimandrite, of the St. Alexander Nevsky Lavra, Nicholas (Ashchepev), abbot, of the Holy Trinity Selinginsk Monastery, Eugene (Vyzhva), abbot, of Zhitomir (Ukraine), Pachomius (Ionov), hieromonk of the Holy Trinity Skanov Monastery (Penza), and Stephen (Kreidich), priest, of Robchik (Bryansk) (1937). New Hieromartyr John Maslovsky, priest, of Verkhne-Poltavka, Amur (1921).
Sts. Symeon (1476) and Amphilochius (1570), of Pangarati Monastery (Romania). St. Cloud (Clodoald), founder of Nogent-sur-Seine Monastery, near Paris (560). St. Cassia (Cassiana) the Hymnographer (9th c.).
Repose of Metropolitan Isidore (Nikolsky) of St. Petersburg (1892) and Archbishop Anatole (Kamensky) of Irkutsk (1925).
Thursday. [Eph. 4:14-19; Mark 11:27-33]
The Saviour proves that He was sent
from heaven using the testimony of John the Forerunner.
They were silent, for there was nothing to say to the
contrary, yet they did not believe. Another time He proved
the same thing through His deeds, and they thought up a
new twist: [He casteth out devils] by the prince
of the devils (Mt. 9:34, Mk. 3:22). But when this
twist was exposed to be completely inappropriate, they
again were silent, but nevertheless did not believe. Thus
unbelievers never believe no matter what you tell them and
how convincingly you prove the truth. They cannot say
anything to the contrary, while nevertheless they do not
believe. One might say that their mind is paralyzed, since
they reason sensibly about other things. Only when the
issue touches upon faith do they become confused in their
concepts and words. They also become confused when they
present their outlooks as a substitute for the tenets of
faith given by God. Here their doubt raises such a
buttress that it is like a firm cliff. If you hear their
entire theory through, you will see that a child could
figure out that this is a spider’s web; but they do
not see it. O unfathomable blindness! One can explain the
obstinacy of unbelievers as their not wanting to believe,
but where does this come from? Where does it get such
power that it makes a sensible man consciously cling to an
illogical form of thoughts? This is darkness. Is it not
from the father of darkness?