Synaxis of the Seventy Apostles Forefeast of the Theophany. St. Theoctistus, abbot of Cucomo Monastery in Sicily (800). Repose of St. Eustathius I, archbishop of Serbia (ca. 1285)
Martyrs Zosimas the Hermit and Athanasius the Commentarisius (prison warden), of Cilicia (3rd c.-4th c.) St. Aquila, deacon, of the Kiev Caves (14th c.) St. Symeon, metropolitan of Smolensk (1699).
New Hieromartyrs Alexander Skalsky, Stephan Ponomarev, and Philip Grigoriev, archpriests, of Kazakhstan (1933). New Hieromartyr Mark (Novoselov), bishop of Sergievsk (1938).
Martyr Djan Darada, the Ethiopian eunuch of Queen Candace (1st c.). St. Gregory of Langres (Gaul) (539-540). St. Evagrius (fellow-ascetic of St. Shio of Mgvime) (6th c.). St. Elias the Deacon, and others (Georgia) (6th c.). St. Euthymius the Younger, monk, of Thessalonica. Hieromartyr Euthymius, abbot, and twelve monk-martyrs of Vatopedi, Mt. Athos, martyred by the Latins (1275). New Monk-martyr Onuphrius Manassias of Gabrovo and Hilandar Monastery, Mt. Athos, on Chios (1818).
Sunday Before Theophany
(31st). [II Tim. 4:5–8; Mark 1:1–8]
Before the Lord’s appearance to the people, before
He began the work of Divine economy
of our salvation, Saint John the Forerunner was sent to
prepare people for receiving Him. This preparation
consisted in a call to repentance. Since then,
repentance has become the path to the Lord and Saviour,
and the threshold to faith in Him. The Saviour Himself
began His preaching with the words: Repent ye, and
believe the gospel (Mark 1:15). Repentance
and faith lead a person who seeks salvation back and
forth between these two states. Repentance weighs him
down with the burden of his sins and frightens him with
the impartial judgement of God’s righteousness.
But faith comes along and shows him the Deliverer Who
has taken away the sins of the world. He who repents
cleaves to the Deliverer, and laying down the burden of
his sins through confession, joyfully runs after Him
along the path of His commandments. Faith in this
manner is born of repentance and is founded on it. He
who repents holds firmly onto faith according to his
feeling of deliverance. Faith is alive through
repentance. Without repentance faith would be like a
sapling which is without an animating
current—withered and not giving of life.
Theophany, or in Russian,
“God has appeared.” This feast day is
otherwise known as Epiphany.
Throughout this book, the Russian word,
domostroitelstvo, will be
translated as “Divine economy,” which
refers to God’s stewardship, overseeing our
salvation, as a steward oversees a household. The
epitome of God’s ivine economy is
Christ’s incarnation, and salvation through Him.