St. Eumenius, bishop of Gortyna on Crete (7th c.). St. Hilarion, elder, of Optina Monastery (1873).
Martyr Ariadne of Phrygia (2nd c.). Martyrs Sophia and Irene, of Egypt (3rd c.). Martyrs Bidzina, Elizbar, and Shalva, princes of Ksani, Georgia (1660). Martyr Castor of Alexandria. St. Arcadius, bishop of Novgorod (1162).
New Hieromartyr Amphilochius (Skvortsov), bishop of Krasnoyarsk (1937).
St. Romilus the Sinaite, of Ravanica (1375).
Repose of Blessed Irene of Zelenogorsk Monastery (18th c.).
Monday. [Eph. 4:25-32; Luke 3:19-22]
Herod is an image of self-love,
irritated by his troubled conscience, reproached by the
truth; self-love seeks to escape this unpleasantness by
applying force. John the Forerunner is an image of the
truth persecuted by another’s self-love, when this
self-love is able to do so. No matter how one softens the
truth with all the soft words and turns of speech that
tender love can invent, not desiring to injure or wound
another’s heart, the face of truth will nevertheless
appear before the eyes of the conscience, and stir up a
tempest of denunciation within. Selfishness is
near-sighted, it cannot see that the denunciation is not
coming from without but from within, and it rises up with
all of its strength against the external accuser. By
blocking his lips, this selfishness expects to silence the
inner voice as well. It does not succeed, however; it does
not direct its concern in the right direction. One must
pacify the conscience; then, no matter how many external
accusers there will be, they will not disturb the inner
world, but on the contrary only deepen it, compelling one
to gather calming convictions within—faith in the
crucified Lord, sincerity of repentance and confession,
and firmness in the resolution to do nothing against
one’s conscience. This is where one must look, and
not keep putting all Johns into prison; for the word of
God’s truth walks everywhere upon the earth, and
each one is an accusing John to you.