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Daily Devotional

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 (NS)
October 4, 2017 (OS)


Commemorations

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

Tuesday of the Twentieth Week

Fixed Calendar:

The commemoration of Hieromartyr Hierotheos, Bishop of Athens.


Fasting Information

No Fasting.


Scripture Readings

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

Tuesday of the Twentieth Week

Epistle:

The Reading is from the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Philippians [§ 242]. Brethren:

2 16I ran not in vain, nor labored in vain. 17But if also I am being poured out as a libation upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice, and rejoice with you all; 18and ye also be rejoicing in the same and be rejoicing with me.

19But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy quickly to you, that I also may be of good courage, after I come to know the things concerning you. 20For I have no one like-minded, who genuinely will care for the things concerning you. 21For all seek their own things, not the things of Christ Jesus. 22But ye know the proof of him, that, as a child to a father, he served with me in regard to the Gospel. 23This one indeed therefore I hope to send at once, whensoever I shall have in view the things concerning me.

Gospel:

The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke [§ 27]. The Lord said:

6 37"Cease judging, and in no wise shall ye be judged; cease condemning, and in no wise shall ye be condemned; keep on acquitting, and ye shall be acquitted. 38"Keep on giving, and it shall be given to you: a good measure which hath been pressed down and shaken together, and is overflowing shall they give into your bosom; for with the same measure with which ye measure, it shall be measured in turn to you." 39And He spoke a parable to them: "A blind man is not able to guide a blind man, is he? Both shall fall into a pit, shall they not? 40"A disciple is not above his teacher; but everyone who hath been perfected shall be as his teacher. 41"But why seest thou the splinter that is in the eye of thy brother, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 42"Or how canst thou say to thy brother, 'Brother, let me cast out the splinter that is in thine eye,' when thou thyself seest not the beam in thine own eye? Hypocrite, cast out first the beam from thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the splinter that is in the eye of thy brother. 43"For there is no good tree which produceth rotten fruit, nor a rotten tree which produceth good fruit; 44"for each tree is known by its own fruit. For they do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick a bunch of grapes from a bramble bush. 45"The good man bringeth forth out of the good treasure of his heart that which is good; and the evil man bringeth forth out of the evil treasure of his heart that which is evil. For out of the abundance of the heart, his mouth speaketh."

Fixed Calendar:

The commemoration of Hieromartyr Hierotheos, Bishop of Athens.

Epistle:

The Reading is from the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Hebrews [§ 335]. Brethren:

13 17Be obedient to those who lead you, and keep on submitting, for they are watchful for your souls, as those about to render an account, that they may do this with joy, and not groaning; for this would be unprofitable for you. 18Keep on praying for us; for we trust that we have a good conscience, in all things wishing to conduct ourselves well. 19But I beseech you more abundantly to do this, that I might be restored more quickly to you.

20Now the God of peace Who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the Shepherd of the sheep, the great One, in the blood of an everlasting covenant, 21may He render you perfect in every good work, in order to do His will, doing in you that which is well-pleasing before His face, through Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory to the ages of the ages. Amen.

Gospel:

No reading given.


Lives of the Saints
(Prologue)

October 17th - Civil Calendar
October 4th - Church Calendar

1. The Hieromartyr Hierotheos.

He was a friend of Dionysius the Areopagite, and received the Christian faith from the Apostle Paul a little after Dionysius. This Apostle later made him bishop in Athens. At the time of the Dormition of the most holy Mother of God, Hierotheos arrived in Jerusalem and took part in the funeral. With his divine singing, he brought heartfelt joy to many and showed himself to be greatly inspired. He labored greatly for the sake of the Gospel, brought many pagans to the truth, governed his flock well and finally ended a martyr for Christ, who gave him a twofold wreath in His heavenly Kingdom: of the hierarch and of the martyr.

2. St Stephen Stiljanovic.

A Serbian despot, born of the Pastrovic family, he governed the Serbian people during a most difficult period, struggling courageously against the Turks and the Latins. A righteous and godly man and a patriot, this great prince can be compared with St Alexander Nevsky or with the holy king John Vladimir. He entered into rest at the beginning of the sixteenth century (according to some, in 1515). A light appeared at his grave at night, by means of which his holy relics were found, being kept for a long time in the monastery of Sisatovac in the Fruska Gora* and then, during the Second World War, taken to Belgrade and placed in the Cathedral beside the body of Prince Lazar. His wife Helena, seeing Stephen's uncorrupt relics and the miracles wrought by them, became a nun and gave herself to asceticism till her death.

* Translator's note: A mountain range in north-east Yugoslavia.

3. Our Holy Father Ammon of Nitria.

An Egyptian and a wine-grower by profession, he was forced by his kinsmen to marry against his will, but he would not live with a woman. On the first day, he called his bride his sister and counseled her, together with him, to guard her virginity for the sake of greater good things from heaven, and they lived thus for a whole eighteen years. Later, by mutual arrangement, his wife founded a womens' monastery in their house and Ammon went off to the Nitrian desert, where he gave himself to the ascesis of solitude. He received great gifts of insight and wonderworking from God for the purity of his heart. A man and woman brought him their insane son that he might heal him by his prayers, but Ammon would not do so. After long pestering on the part of the parents, Ammon said: 'The sickness and health of your son are in your hands. Return the stolen ox to the widow (and he named her), and your son will be healed.' The parents, amazed at such insight on the saint's part, acknowledged their sin and promised that they would return the stolen ox as soon as they got home. Then holy Ammon prayed to God, and the child was healed. Ammon was a close friend of St Antony the Great. When Ammon died in Nitria in about 350, St Antony saw from his cell window the soul of Ammon in the heights, and said to the brethren: 'Abba Ammon has today moved on, and I see his holy soul being borne by the angels into heaven.

4. Our Holy Father Paul the Simple.

He lived in the world as a married man to the age of sixty. Catching his wife in sin, he left everything and went to St Antony in the desert, becoming a monk at his hands. Although he was simple and unlettered, he achieved such spiritual perfection that he saw every man's soul as ordinary men see each other's bodies. He was a great wonderworker and, in some things, outstripped St Antony himself. He died in great old age, in 340, and went to angelic joy.

FOR CONSIDERATION

A vision of St Andrew the Fool for Christ: St Paul was not the only one to be caught up into Paradise and hear 'unspeakable words' (II Cor. 12:4). Over eight hundred and fifty years after St Paul, this happened to St Andrew. One winter night, holy Andrew was lying among the dogs on a dunghill, to warm his frozen body. An angel appeared to him and caught him up to Paradise (whether in the body or out of the body, Andrew himself was unable to explain) and kept him for two weeks in the heavenly world, bearing him to the third heaven. 'I saw myself clad in shining garments like lightning, with a wreath of flowers on my head and girt with a kingly girdle, and I rejoiced greatly at this beauty, and marveled in mind and heart at the unspeakable loveliness of God's Paradise, and I walked around it with great gladness.'

After that, Andrew writes of how he saw Christ the Lord: 'And when a flaming hand drew aside the curtain, I saw my Lord as the Prophet Isaiah saw Him aforetime, sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up and surrounded by seraphim. He was clad in a red garment, His face shone and His eyes rested on me with great kindness. Seeing Him, I fell down before Him, worshipping before the awesome throne of His glory. I have no words for the joy that gripped me at the sight of His face; and now, remembering this vision, I am filled with unspeakable joy. And I heard my most merciful Creator speak three words to me with His most sweet and pure lips, which so sweetened my heart and inflamed it with love for Him that I melted as wax at such spiritual warmth.' When St Andrew asked also after this if it would be possible to see the most holy Mother of God, it was said to him that she was for the moment not in heaven, but had gone down to earth to be of help to the poor and needy.


Daily Scripture Readings taken from The Orthodox New Testament, translated and published by Holy Apostles Convent, Buena Vista, Colorado, copyright © 2000, used with permission, all rights reserved.

Daily Prologue Readings taken from The Prologue of Ochrid, by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic, translated by Mother Maria, published by Lazarica Press, Birmingham, England, copyright © 1985, all rights reserved.


Archbishop Gregory
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