Tuesday of the Second Week
The commemoration of our holy father among the saints, Basil the Confessor, Bishop of Parium.
The Reading is from the Acts of the Apostles [§ 10]. In those days:
4 1As the apostles spoke to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple-guard and the Sadducees came upon them, 2being troubled because they taught the people and proclaimed in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 3And they laid hands on them and put them in custody until the morrow, for it was evening already. 4But many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand. 5And it came to pass on the morrow, that the rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem, 6and also Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and as many as were of high priestly kindred. 7And having stood them in their midst, they began to inquire, "In what manner of power or in what manner of name did ye do this?" 8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: 9"If today we are being examined on account of a good deed done to an infirm man, regarding in what manner this man hath been healed, 10"be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazaræan, Whom ye crucified, Whom God raised from the dead, in Him this one standeth before you healthy."
The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint John [§ 10]. The Lord said to His disciples:
3 16"God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that everyone who believeth in Him should not perish, but may have everlasting life. 17"For God did not send forth His Son into the world in order that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18"The one who believeth in Him is not judged; but the one who believeth not hath already been judged, because he hath not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God. 19"And this is the judgment, that the light hath come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light, for their works were evil. 20"For everyone who practiseth bad things hateth the light and cometh not to the light, lest his works should be reproved; 21"but the one who doeth the truth cometh to the light, in order that his works might be made manifest, that they have been wrought in God."
No readings given.
April 25th - Civil Calendar
April 12th - Church Calendar
1. Our Holy Father Isaac II of Syria (St Isaac the Syrian is commemorated on Jan. 28th).
St Gregory the Dialogist writes about this Isaac. He went to Italy in the time of the Goths and went into the church in the town of Spoleto to pray. He asked the verger to leave him locked in the church all night, and thus spent the night in prayer without moving from that place. He spent the next day and night in the same way. The verger called him a hypocrite and struck him a blow - and lost his reason at that same moment. Seeing how the verger was so fiercely tormented, Isaac bent over him and the evil spirit fled from him, leaving him whole. People came to hear of this happening, and the whole town thronged around this wonderful old man. They offered him money and goods, but he refused them all and would accept nothing. Instead, he withdrew to a forest, where he built himself a cell, which quickly became transformed into a large monastery. Isaac became famous for his miracles, especially for his discernment. One evening he told the brethren to take all the hoes out to the vineyard and leave them there. The next day, the brethren set out for the vineyard, taking their lunch, as they had no workers. When they got there, they found as many people working as there were hoes to work with. It transpired that these people had come as thieves to steal the hoes, but, by the power of God, they were constrained to work all night.
On another occasion, a couple of almost-naked men came seeking clothing from Isaac. He sent a monk to a hollow tree at the end of the road, to bring what he found there. The monk went off, found some clothing and brought it back to the monastery. The abbot took the clothing and gave it to the beggars. They were profoundly ashamed as they recognised their own clothing, which they had concealed in that tree.
A man once sent two beehives to the monastery. A monk hid one of them on the way, and brought the other to the abbot. The saint said to him: 'Be careful when you go back to that beehive you hid on the way. It's been taken over by poisonous snakes. Take care they don't bite you!'
2. St Basil the Confessor.
In a time of iconoclasm, this virtuous man was bishop in the city of Parius in Asia Minor. He refused to sign the imperial order against the veneration of icons, for which he was greatly persecuted and tortured. But he remained firm as diamond in his Orthodoxy. He died in the first half of the 8th century, and went to the Lord.
3. Our Holy Father Acacius.
From the village of Gollitsa in Epirus, he was a great Athonite ascetic, spiritual guide and clairvoyant, and had many heavenly visions. He gave his blessing to several monks to seek martyrdom. He entered into rest at the age of 98, in 1730.
4. Our Holy Mother Athanasia.
Born on the island of Aegina of rich and eminent parents, she gave her goods to the poor and went off to a monastery, where she heaped greater and greater asceticism on herself. She took food only once a day, and that only bread and water, and in the Great Fast only once every two days. Only at Christmas and Pascha did she taste fish and oil. Although she was abbess of the monastery, she was the servant of all the other sisters and was ashamed that any should wait on her. She was made worthy of the great gift of wonderworking, both during her lifetime and after her death. She entered into rest in the Lord in 860.
The wicked Emperor Constantine Copronymos had a virtuous daughter, the maiden Anthusa, 'a beauteous branch of an evil stem'. She remained set against all her father's urgings that she marry, for she was firmly bound in whole-hearted love to Christ the Lord. When her father died, Anthusa gave her goods away to the poor and became a nun in a monastery. It is a cause of wonder that many men of gentle birth have left the vanity of the world and set off on the narrow way after Christ; and it is twice as great a cause of wonder that woman scorn youth and wealth and all the transient attraction of the world for the love of Christ. The Lord Himself said that it is hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of heaven. Hard, yes: but not impossible. To those who scorn their own selves, it is easy to scorn riches and the whole world.
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.