Orthodox Calendar 2021
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Евангелист Марк
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Old Style
April 25
New Style
May 8
Bright Week. Fast-free period.
No fast.

Совершается служба с полиелеемHoly Apostle and Evangelist Mark (63).

St. Sylvester, abbot, of Obnora Monastery (1379). St. Basil, elder, of Poiana Marului (1767).

New Hieromartyr Sergius Rokhletsov, archpriest, of Veliki Ustiug (1938).

St. Annianus, second bishop of Alexandria (86). Hieromartyr Stephen, patriarch of Antioch (479). St. Rusticus, archbishop of Lyon (501). St. Macedonius, patriarch of Constantinople (516). St. Bassian the Blind, hieroschemamonk of the Kiev Caves (1827).

Repose of Elder Philotheus (Zervakos) of Paros (1980).

Thoughts for Each Day of the Year
According to the Daily Church Readings from the Word of God
By St. Theophan the Recluse

St. Theophan the Recluse

Saturday. [Acts 3:11–16; John 3:22–33]

   We have two lives, fleshly and spiritual. Our spirit is as though buried in our flesh. Once it begins to extract itself—coming to life by God’s grace—from its intertwining with the flesh and to appear in its spiritual purity, then it will be resurrected, or it will resurrect itself piece by piece. When it wholly tears itself out of this binding, then it comes forth as if from a tomb, in a renewed life. In this manner the spirit becomes separate, alive and active; whereas the tomb of the flesh is separate, dead and inactive, though both are in the same person. This is the mystery of what the apostle says: where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (II Cor. 3:17). This is liberty from decay, which surrounds our incorruptible spirit; or from passions, corrupting our nature. This spirit, entering into the freedom of the children of God is like a beautifully coloured butterfly, fluttering away from its cocoon. Behold its rainbow colouring: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (Gal. 5:22). Is it possible for such a beauty of perfection not to arouse in us a desire to emulate it?

Wednesday. [Gal. 3:15-22; Mark 6:7-13]

   When the Lord sent the holy apostles to preach, He commanded that they not take anything with them but the clothes on their backs, sandals on their feet, and staff in hand. They were to have no cares about anything, entering in to this work as if everything were fully provided. Indeed, the apostles were completely provided for, without any external provisions. How was this arranged? Through their complete devotion to the will of God; that is why the Lord arranged for them not to have any need for anything. Their preaching moved the hearts of listeners, who fed and sheltered the preachers. But the apostles did not think of this and did not expect anything, committing all to the Lord. That is why they bore any unpleasantness they might have encountered patiently. Their only care was to preach, and their only sorrow was if people would not listen to their preaching. From this came the purity, independence and great fruitfulness of their preaching. The same is needed today as well, but our infirmity demands external provision, without which we will not take a step. This, however, is not a reproach against our apostles of today. In the beginning they definitely find comfort in being provided for, but then the thought of it disappears from their mind, and through their very labour they are raised up to the state of committing themselves to God. Very likely from that moment their preaching begins to be truly fruitful. Committing oneself to God is a very high degree of moral perfection, and people do not reach it immediately the moment they understand its value. It comes on its own after labors over oneself.