The Holy Forty Martyrs of Sebaste: Cyrion (or Quirio), Candidus, Domnus, Hesychius, Heraclius, Smaragdus, Eunoicus, Valens, Vivianus, Claudius, Priscus, Theodulus, Eutychius, John, Xanthias, Helianus, Sisinius, Angus, Aetius, Flavius, Acacius, Ecdicius, Lysimachus, Alexander, Elias, Gorgonius, Theophilus, Dometian, Gaius, Leontius, Athanasius, Cyril, Sacerdon, Nicholas, Valerius, Philoctimon, Severian, Chudion, Aglaius, and Meliton (ca. 320).
Martyr Urpasianus of Nicomedia (ca. 295). St. Caesarius, brother of St. Gregory the Theologian (ca. 369). St. Tarasius the Wonderworker, of Lycaonia. Translation to Vladimir of the relics of Martyr Abraham of the Bulgars on the Volga (1230). St. Jonah, archbishop of Novgorod (1470). St. Theodosius Levitsky, priest, of Balta (Odessa) (1845). St. Dimitra, nun and foundress of the Vvedensk Convent in Kiev (1878).
New Hieromartyrs Mitrophan Buchnoff, archpriest, of Voronezh (1931), and Ioasaph (Shakhov), abbot, of Popovka (Moscow) (1938). New Hieromartyrs Sergius Lebedev, Sergius Tsvetkov, and Alexis Smirnov, archpriests, and Dimitry Glivenko, priest, all of the Moscow region (1938).
“Albazin” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (“The Word Was Made Flesh”) (1666).
St. Philoromus the Confessor, of Galatia (4th c.). St. Pacianus, bishop of Barcelona (390). St. Bosa, bishop of York (705). St. Vitalis of Castronovo (994). New Martyrs (two priests and forty students) of Momisici (Montenegro) (1688).
Repose of Elder Cleopas of Ostrov-Vvedensk Monastery (1778) and Schema-archimandrite Theophilus of Kiev (1996).
Now he was looking at the dome with a cross, glittering in the sun, and waiting for death to come. But it was slow in coming, though a tenfold heroin overdose should have caused a quick death. Meanwhile, death was still not going to take him, and he was gazing down at the golden cross on the church dome and couldn’t tear himself away from the view.
Christianity is about movement and vision (“come and see” as we heard in today’s Gospel), movement and vision that are not limited to the physical realm or in the confines of the mind, but rather take our hearts, which have been overshadowed by the grace of the Holy Spirit, on the journey that introduces us into the heavenly kingdom.
Our churches are being taken away from us, but our communities are remaining true to the Church and are becoming even stronger. Our Church is being slandered, but our temples are filled with people who do not believe in falsehood but seek the truth. As the holy apostle Paul said, Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat (1 Cor. 4:12–13).
The culmination of the great lenten struggle is found in the glorious events of the crucifixion and resurrection of Our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. According to Christian teaching these are the most important events in the entire history of the universe. Yet, in order for them to be understood as more than myth or legend, something must anchor them to reality.
On this first Sunday of Great Lent, we commemorate the restoration of icons in the Byzantine Empire many centuries ago. We do so not for merely artistic reasons, but because the icons proclaim the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ and call us to share in our Lord’s holiness in every dimension of our lives.
What advice can we give to a person who is getting ready to fast properly for the first time in his life and to pass through the time of Great Lent with austerity? What does he need to be cautious about and to what should he pay particular attention?
Forgiveness Sunday has come and gone, but the need to continue forgiving our offenders remains. How can we do this when we are greatly offended, when we mentally understand the need for forgiveness but our heart resists it in every way possible?
The residents of Pskov came out onto the streets. Kneeling in front of their houses; each family, met the Tsar with the bread and salt of greeting. On one of the streets, Blessed Nikolai ran out, riding a broomstick, and shouting “Ivanushka, Ivanushka, come eat bread and salt instead of Christians’ blood.”
It is universally recognized as a basic ecclesiological principle that the ordinations of heretics and schismatics, and especially of those who are deposed and excommunicated, as a “Sacrament,” celebrated by all the Churches, are invalid. This basic principle is inextricably bound with the Orthodox teaching on the Holy Spirit and constitutes an unshakeable foundation of the Apostolic succession of Orthodox bishops. It is our conviction that this principle cannot be ignored.
The Lord God bestowed free will upon Adam, as He also has upon you and me. This is a very great but also very responsible gift. As a test of free will, as a confirmation of faithfulness to the Father, in Paradise grew the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Of course it was also intended for man, but the Lord foretold that the time had not yet come for young Adam to know about good and evil.
Is it possible to forgive everyone for everything in one day, and what should we do if it doesn’t work? Fr. Konstantin Kobelev, the rector of the Church of the Protection of the Mother of God in Butyrka Prison in Moscow, discusses the stages in the process of offering forgiveness.
“Forgive me…” Such easy, simple words! It doesn’t even take a deep breath to say them. It took mankind so many generations, tears, sins and so much suffering to respond to the call for repentance by the Holy Prophet and Forerunner John, the Baptist of the Lord, with the words: “Forgive me, O Lord!” and enter the waters of the Jordan.
St. Anthony was one of the first ascetics to have settled in the desert. Once, having doubts about how he should live in order to be saved, he asked God in prayer: “Lord, what am I to do? How am I to spend my days; how should I live?”