|Orthodox Calendar 2019|
Martyrs Paul and his sister Juliana, and Quadratus, Acacius, and Stratonicus, at Ptolemais in Syria (ca. 273). St. James the Faster, of Phoenicia (Syria) (6th c.). Translation of the relics of Martyr Wenceslaus (Vyacheslav), prince of the Czechs (929-935). Blessed Basil (Vasilko), prince of Rostov (1238). Saints of Pskov martyred by the Latins: St. Ioasaph of Snetogorsk Monastery and St. Basil of Mirozh Monastery (1299). St. Gregory, bishop of Constantia on Cyprus.
New Hieromartyrs Archpriest Dimitry Ivanov of Kiev (1933) and Priest Vyacheslav Leontiev of Nizhegorod (1937).
St. Julian, bishop of Alexandria (189). St. Gregory, bishop of Assos near Ephesus (1150). New Martyr John of al-Sindiyana (Palestine) (1937).
Repose of Schemamonk Mark of Glinsk Hermitage (1893) and Schemanun Agnia (Starodubtseva), eldress, of Karaganda (1976).
Thoughts for Each Day of the Year
|Saint Gerasimus established a strict monastic Rule. He spent five days of the week in solitude, occupying himself with handicrafts and prayer. On these days the wilderness dwellers did not eat cooked food, nor did they kindle a fire, but ate only dry bread, roots and water.|
|The saint chose the dense virgin forest for his dwelling place, separated from the settlement by the Kaisarova creek. There the monk built a hut, and in the tranquil solitude he devoted himself to the contemplation of God, unceasing prayer and work.|
|Holy Prince Daniel of Moscow, son of the holy Prince Alexander Nevsky, died on March 4, 1303. On August 30, 1652 his relics were uncovered incorrupt.|
|Holy Prince Daniel of Moscow was born at Vladimir in the year 1261. He was the fourth son of St Alexander Nevsky.|
|The Holy Martyr Paul and his sister Juliana were executed under the emperor Aurelian (270-275) in the Phoenician city of Ptolemais.|
|Saint James the Faster lived a life of asceticism near the Phoenician city of Porphyrion in the sixth century.|
|Envious nobles decided to murder the saint and, at first, to incite his mother against him, and later to urge his younger brother, Boleslav, to occupy the princely throne.|
|Describing the burial of Prince Basil, the chronicler said: “The multitude of Orthodox people wept bitterly, when they saw the departed father and nourisher of orphans, the great comforter of the sorrowful, and... the setting of a luminous star.... By his martyr’s blood his transgressions and those of his brethren were washed away.”|
|The Holy Hieromartyrs Joasaph of Snetogorsk and Basil of Mirozh suffered under the Germans at two of the most ancient of the Pskov monasteries during the thirteenth century.|
St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov)The word anathema means severance, rejection. When the Church anathematizes a teaching, it means that that teaching contains blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and for the sake of salvation it should be rejected and removed, as poison is removed from food.
|The Iconoclasts, by repudiating all representations of God, failed to take full account of the Incarnation. They fell, as so many puritans have done, into a kind of dualism. Regarding matter as a defilement, they wanted a religion freed from all contact with what is material; for they thought that what is spiritual must be non-material. But this is to betray the Incarnation, by allowing no place to Christ’s humanity, to His body; it is to forget that man’s body as well as his soul must be saved and transfigured.|
Gabe MartiniBut again, the celebration is about more than just the restoration and veneration of holy icons; it is a celebration of the victory of the Orthodox Faith itself. That is to say, it is a victory of both right-belief in (and right-worship of) our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
St. Luke, Archbishop of CrimeaReally, did the Lord Jesus Christ, who we glorify amd who we venerate in icons, not living among us? Did the Virgin Mary, who was painted by the apostle and evangelist Saint Luke not live among us? This icon was blessed by the very Theotokos herself, saying that grace would always be with this icon. Do you know how many miracles happen from icons of the Virgin Mary?
|The theme of the victory of the icons, by its emphasis on the incarnation, points us to the basic Christian truth that the one whose death and resurrection we celebrate at Easter was none other than the Word of God who became human in Jesus Christ.|
Fr. Thaddaeus HardenbrookAfter the exercise of Clean Week, the wisdom of the Church grants us a rest in the joy of Triumph of Orthodoxy Sunday.
Archpriest Alexander SchmemannRejoicing today in the triumph of Orthodoxy on this first Sunday of Lent, we joyfully commemorate three events: one event belonging to the past; one event to the present; and one event which still belongs to the future.
Fr. Jack N. Sparks, Ph.D.The first time I invited a particular Protestant friend to step inside an Orthodox Church, he looked around very slowly, carefully, cautiously. “It’s pretty,” he said, “but doesn’t the Bible warn against graven images?”
|An icon celebrating the veneration of icons, the Triumph of Orthodoxy is the festal icon for the first Sunday of Great Lent. As Lent is a period of communal fasting which continues for seven weeks, such triumphalism early on is understandable: it helps to strengthen the faithful for the coming days.|
Fr. Sergei SveshnikovThe iconoclast heresy rejected not only the icon as a window through which a ray of light may shine into the darkened human soul, but also the Orthodox teaching about Christ as fully God and fully human in the hypostasis of God the Son.
|A poster of the solar system on a kid's bedroom wall violates the commandment because it is an image of "heaven above." Jesus-fish stickers are also excluded because they depict something from "the water under the earth."|