Daily Readings
Today's Scripture Readings
All Scripture Readings
Today's Saints
Sunday of the Prodigal Son
Sunday of the Prodigal Son

The Sunday after the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee is the Sunday of the Prodigal Son. This parable of God’s forgiveness calls us to “come to ourselves” as did the prodigal son, to see ourselves as being “in a far country” far from the Father’s house,…

Read the Life
Troparion & Kontakion
Venerable Basil the Confessor, companion of Venerable Procopius at Decapolis
Venerable Basil the Confessor, companion of Venerable Procopius at Decapolis

Saint Basil the Confessor was a monk and suffered during the reign of the iconoclast emperor Leo the Isaurian (717-741). When a persecution started against those who venerated holy icons, Saint Basil and his companion Saint Procopius of Decapolis (February 27) were subjected to much torture and…

Read the Life
Troparion & Kontakion
Blessed Nicholas (Salos) of Pskov the Fool-For-Christ
Blessed Nicholas (Salos) of Pskov the Fool-For-Christ

Blessed Nicholas of Pskov lived the life of a holy fool for more than three decades. Long before his death he acquired the grace of the Holy Spirit and was granted the gifts of wonderworking and of prophecy. The Pskov people of his time called him Mikula [Mikola, Nikola] the Fool. Even during his…

Read the Life
Hieromartyr Proterius, Patriarch of Alexandria
Hieromartyr Proterius, Patriarch of Alexandria

The Hieromartyr Proterius, Patriarch of Alexandria, and those with him. The priest Proterius lived in Alexandria during the patriarchal tenure of Dioscorus (444-451), an adherent of the Monophysite heresy of Eutyches. Proterius fearlessly denounced the heretics and confessed the Orthodox Faith. In…

Read the Life
Troparion & Kontakion
Hieromartyr Nestor, Bishop of Magydos in Pamphylia
Hieromartyr Nestor, Bishop of Magydos in Pamphylia

The Hieromartyr Nestor, Bishop of Magydos in Pamphylia During a persecution against Christians under the emperor Decius (249-251), he was arrested while praying in his home. He learned of the suffering awaiting him through a peculiar vision. He saw a lamb prepared for sacrifice. The ruler of the…

Read the Life
Troparion & Kontakion
Venerable Marina and Kyra of Syria
Venerable Marina and Kyra of Syria

Saints Marina (Marana) and Kyra (Cyra), sisters by birth, lived during the fourth century in the city of Veria (or Berea) in Syria. Their parents were illustrious and rich, but the sisters left home and departed the city when they had reached maturity. Having cleared off a small plot of land, the…

Read the Life
Troparion & Kontakion
Venerable Domnica (Domnina) of Syria

Saint Domnica (Domnina) was a Syrian nun, and a companion of Saints Marana and Kyra.

Read the Life
Troparion & Kontakion
Venerable John Cassian the Roman
Venerable John Cassian the Roman

Saint John Cassian the Roman was born around 360, probably in Lesser Scythia (in Dacia Pontica). His pious Christian parents gave him an excellent classical education, and also instructed him in the Holy Scriptures and in the spiritual life. Saint John entered a monastery in the diocese of Tomis,…

Read the Life
Troparion & Kontakion
Venerable John-Barsanuphius, Bishop of Damascus
Venerable John-Barsanuphius, Bishop of Damascus

Saint John, called Barsanuphius, was a native of Palestine. He was baptized when he was eighteen years old, and later became a monk. Because of his ascetic life, Saint John was consecrated Archbishop of Damascus. Because of his love for the solitary life, Saint John gave up his position as hierarch…

Read the Life
Troparion & Kontakion
Heiromartyr Theokteristus

The Holy Martyr Theokteristus, Igumen of the Pelekete monastery, suffered for the holy icons under the impious emperor Constantine Copronymos (741-775). Also subjected to tortures were Saint Stephen the New (November 28), and other pious monks. Saint Theokteristus was burned with boiling tar. The…

Read the Life
Troparion & Kontakion
Saint Leo of Cappadocia

Saint Leo of Cappadocia fulfilled the commandment to love his neighbor by suggesting to the Saracens, who had captured three sickly monks, that he take the place of these infirm captives with himself, since he was healthy and able to work. While journeying in the desert, Saint Leo weakened and was…

Read the Life
Saint Meletius, Archbishop of Khar'kov and Akhtyrsk

The name of Meletios Leontovich, Archbishop of Khar'kov and Akhtyrsk, who reposed righteously on February 29, 1840 was deeply respected and honored by his former flock. The residents of Khar'kov faithfully visit his grave in the Cave Church of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos Monastery.…

Read the Life
Troparion & Kontakion
Saint Germanus of Dacia Pontica (Dobrogea)
Saint Germanus of Dacia Pontica (Dobrogea)

Saint Germanus the Daco-Roman was born in the mid-fourth century, probably on the borders of Cassian and the Caves in the diocese of Tomis (in what is now Romania), and was related to Saint John Cassian (February 29). Saint Germanus, who was older than Saint John, was tonsured at one of the local…

Read the Life
Troparion & Kontakion
Devpeteruv Icon of the Mother of God

This Icon appeared on February 29, 1392. One of the oldest shrines of the Devpeteruv (Девпетерувская) Icon of the Mother of God is now located in the Nikolaev church of the village of Batyushkova, or Batatkova, Dmitrovsky district of Moscow Province. In this image, the child Jesus is…

Read the Life
Prologue of Orchid
The Prologue from Ohrid: February 28

1. THE PRIESTLY-MARTYR PROTERIUS

This saint was a presbyter in Alexandria at the same time when Dioscorus the heretic was patriarch of Alexandria. Dioscorus was one of the leaders of the Monophysite heresy, which taught that there was one nature in Christ [Human] and not two natures [Human and Divine]. Marcian and Plucheria also reigned at that time as emperor and empress. This holy and devout man Proterius stood up against Dioscorus for which he endured many miseries. Then the Fourth Ecumenical Council [Chalcedon, 451 A.D.] was convened at which the Monophysite heresy was condemned, Dioscorus removed from the patriarchal throne and banished into exile. Proterius, this true-believing man, was elected in his place. He governed the Church with zeal and love; a true follower of Christ. However, the followers of Dioscorus did not cease to create a disturbance in Alexandria. At the time of one such bloody disturbance, Proterius left the city with the intention of staying away temporarily. Along the way, the Prophet Isaiah appeared to him in a vision and said: "Return to the city, I am waiting to take you." Proterius returned to Alexandria and entered the church. Upon hearing about this, the enraged heretics rushed into the church, seized the patriarch and stabbed him throughout with knives. Six other Christians were also slain with Proterius. Thus, Proterius this wonderful shepherd of Christ's flock, received the martyr's wreath for the truth of Orthodoxy in the year 457 A.D.

2. SAINT BASIL THE CONFESSOR

Basil was a companion and co-suffer with St. Procopius Decapolit. Basil faithfully followed his teacher Procopius both in peaceful times and in time of persecution. He suffered many hardships from the iconoclasts and when the iconoclasts were defeated, Basil according to God's Providence, returned together with Procopius to his monastery where in fasting and prayer he lived a long life of asceticism. He died peacefully in the year 747 A.D.

3. THE PRIEST-MARTYR NESTOR

Nestor was the bishop of Magydos in Pamphylia. He was distinguished by his great meekness. During the reign of Decius, he was brought to trial and cruelly tortured for Christ. Before his death, he saw in a vision, a sacrificial lamb, which he interpreted as a sign of his impending sacrifice. He was tortured by the Eparch [governor] Publius and in the end was crucified in Perga, the capital of the province, in the year 250 A.D.

4. BLESSED NICHOLAS, FOOL FOR CHRIST FROM PSKOV

.Nicholas lived as a "fool for Christ" in the town of Pskov during the reign of Tsar Ivan the Terrible and died on February 28, 1576 A.D.

HYMN OF PRAISE

TWO NATURES

Two natures, the Lord united,

That He does not separate them anymore:

Human and Divine,

That He does not separate them anymore:

God and Man - One Person

In both respects; undiminished

The God-Man and Savior,

That which is separated - the Unifier,

Interpreter of the eternal mysteries,

Founder of the kingdom of the saints,

To man, God came closer,

Time uplifted, eternity descended

Of the Holy Trinity, Christ the trumpet

Of the Two Natures, Christ the mystery:

The true God became man,

Remained up and descends down,

Neither did He fall or stumble,

But in flesh wrapped Himself.

That is holy, pure love,

Love eternal, eternally the same:

A giant He raised, with His small finger,

And incomprehensible to the mind, it is.

REFLECTION

"Fools for Christ" were distinguished by rare fearlessness. Blessed Nicholas ran throughout the streets of Pskov pretending insanity rebuking the people for their hidden, sins and prophesying that which will befall them. When Ivan the Terrible entered Pskov, the entire town was in fear and terror of the Terrible Tsar. As a welcome to the Tsar, bread and salt was placed in front of every home but the people did not appear. When the mayor of the town presented the Tsar with bread and salt on a tray before the church, the Tsar pushed the tray away and the bread and salt fell to the ground. At that time, Blessed Nicholas appeared before the Tsar in a long shirt tied with a rope, hopping around on a cane as a child and then cried out: "Ivanuska, Ivanuska, eat bread and salt and not human blood." The soldiers rushed out to catch him but he fled and hid. The Tsar learning about this Blessed Nicholas, who and what he is, visited him in his scant living quarters. It was the first week of the Honorable Fast [The First Week of Lent]. Upon hearing that the Tsar was coming to visit him, Nicholas found a piece of raw meat and when the Tsar entered his living quarters, he bowed and offered the meat to the Tsar. "Eat Ivanusha, eat!" Angrily, the Terrible Tsar replied: "I am a Christian and I do not eat meat during the Fast Season." Then the man of God quickly responded to him: "But you do even worse: you feed on men's flesh and blood, forgetting not only Lent but also God!" This lesson entered profoundly into the heart of Tsar Ivan and he, ashamed, immediately departed Pskov where he had intended to perpetrate a great massacre.

CONTEMPLATION

To contemplate the Lord Jesus as the Bread of Life: "I am the Bread of Life" (St. John 6:48).

1. As the Bread by which the soul is nourished and lives;

2. As the Bread by which the mind is nourished and enlightened;

3. As the Bread by which the heart is nourished and enobled.

HOMILY

About the nourishment of the soul

"I am the Bread of Life " (St. John 6:48).

Thus spoke the Lord Jesus to the hungry generation of man. This word was realized throughout the centuries to the numerous followers of Christ who received the Lord as the nourishment of their souls. A desperate young man who was close to suicide confessed to a spiritual father. The spiritual father listened to him carefully and said to him: "My son, you are to blame for your misfortune. Your soul is starved to death. Throughout your entire life, you learned only how to nourish your body but you never thought that the soul requires nourishment; greater and more often than that which the body needs. Your soul is at the point of death from hunger. My son, partake of and drink Christ [Holy Communion]. Only that can restore your soul from death. Daily and continually partake and drink of Christ. He is the Life-creating Bread of our souls." The young man listened to the elder and returned to life.

Brethren, let us nourish our soul with Christ so that our soul may be alive and healthy. Let us continually nourish our mind with Christ's thoughts so that our mind might be enlightened and clear. Let us continually nourish our heart with the love of Christ so that our heart might be full and joyful. Let us continually nourish our will with the commandments of Christ and the example of Christ so that our will, every minute, might perform good deeds. Let Christ's thoughts be our thoughts and Christ's love our love and Christ's good will our good will. Let us continually nourish our souls with Christ the Lord; with our soul let us continually partake of Him and drink Him! There is no more nourishing Bread than He; there is no sweeter drink than He. In Holy Communion, He gives Himself completely to us: Body and Blood. But, Holy Communion is a warning that our souls must continually be nourished by Him; continually partake of Him and drink of Him just as we continually breathe. O, our God and Sweet Lord, stir our souls that they be continually nourished by You and remain alive. You are our Bread of Life.

To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.

 

All Saints of North America
Orthodox Church

10440 4th Street NW
Albuquerque, NM 87114