Martyr Sabbas Stratelates (“the General”), of Rome, and 70 soldiers with him (272).
Martyrs Pasicrates, Valentine, and Julius, at Dorostolum in Moesia (228). Martyrs Eusebius, Neon, Leontius, Longinus, and others, at Nicomedia (303). St. Thomas, fool-for-Christ, of Syria (ca. 546-560). St. Elizabeth the Wonderworker, of Constantinople (6th c.-8th c.). St. Sabbas of the Kiev Caves (13th c.) St. Alexis the Hermit, of the Kiev Caves (13th c.) New Hieromartyr Branko, priest, of Veljusa, Serbia (1941).
Martyr Alexander of Lyons (ca. 177). St. Innocent, priest, on the Mount of Olives (4th c.). St. Wilfrid, bishop of York (709). St. Egbert, bishop of Iona (729). St. Xenophon, founder of Xenophontos Monastery, Mt. Athos (ca. 1018). New Martyr Doukas of Mytilene (1564). Sts. Symeon (Stefan) (1656), Elias (Iorest) (1678) and Sava (Brancovici) (1683), metropolitans of Ardeal (Transylvania), confessors against the Calvinists. St. Joseph the Confessor, bishop of Maramures (Romania) (ca. 1711). New Martyr Nicholas of Magnesia (1795). New Martyr George, in Anatolia (1796). St. Alexis Toth, priest, of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania (1909).
Repose of Schemamonk Nicholas of Valaam (1947).
Thursday. [Acts 10:34–43; John 8:12–20]
I am the light of the world: he that
followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have
the light of life (John 8:12) says the Lord.
Consequently, he who turns away from the Lord, turns away
from the light and is headed into darkness, and therefore
he is a true obscurant.
You know what the teaching of Christ demands; and look:
as soon as someone puts forth thoughts contrary to this
teaching, do not fear calling him an obscurant; this is
his real name. The Lord teaches that God is one in
essence and three in persons: this is the ray of the
supernatural light of truth. Whoever preaches the
contrary is headed into darkness from the light, and he
is an obscurant. The Lord teaches that God has three
hypostases; and having created the world by His word,
guides it through His providence. This is the Divine
light, which illuminates the gloomy paths of our life,
but not with an earthly, comforting light. He who
preaches contrary to this is heading into dreary
darkness—he is an obscurant. The Lord teaches
that God created man according to His image and
likeness and set him to live in paradise. When man
sinned, God righteously drove him out of paradise to
live on this earth, which is full of sorrows and want.
However, He was not angered with him unto the end, but
it was His good will to arrange salvation for him
through the death on the cross of the incarnate
Only-Begotten Son of God—and this is the
spiritual light, illuminating the moral gloom that
enshrouds our souls. He who preaches contrary to this
is headed into darkness and is an obscurant. The Lord
teaches. Believe, and upon receiving the power of grace
in the Divine mysteries, live according to His
commandments and you will be saved—this is the
only way for the light of God to enter us and make us
enlightened. He who teaches something to the contrary
wants to keep us in darkness and therefore is an
obscurant. The Lord teaches: enter in at the strait
gate of a strict life of self-denial, and this is the
only path to the light. Whoever is travelling the broad
path of self-pleasure is headed into darkness, and is
an obscurant. The Lord teaches: remember the last
things: death, judgment, hell, heaven. This is a light
that illuminates our future. Whoever teaches that death
is the end of all casts darkness over our fate, and is
thus an obscurant. Lovers of the light! Learn by this
to distinguish where the darkness is, and depart from
During St. Theophan’s time there was already much
talk amongst “progressive” people about
Christian “obscurantism.” The Orthodox
faithful were often accused of “obscuring”
the enlightenment of more progressive groups; i.e.,
they were called reactionaries.