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Venerable Alexei (Kabalyuk)
Venerable Alexei (Kabalyuk)

Saint Alexei (in the world Alexander Kabalyuk) was a missionary and an outstanding figure of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia at the turn of the XIX and XX centuries. He was born on September 1, 1877 into the family of a lumberjack in Transcarpathia, and was named after the…

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Prophet Habakkuk
Prophet Habakkuk

The Holy Prophet Habakkuk, the eighth of the Twelve Minor Prophets, was descended from the Tribe of Simeon, and he prophesied around 650 B.C. The Prophet Habakkuk foresaw the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, the Babylonian Captivity and the later return of the captives to their native land.…

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Troparion & Kontakion
Venerable Athanasius “the Resurrected One”, Recluse of the Kiev Near Caves

Saint Athanasius, hermit of the Near Caves of Kiev, was a contemporary of the archimandrite Saint Polycarp (July 24) of the Kiev Caves. Saint Athanasius was grievously ill for a long time. When he died, the brethren prepared him for burial, and on the third day the igumen came to bury him. However,…

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Troparion & Kontakion
Venerable Athanasius the Recluse of the Kiev Caves

Saint Athanasius, Recluse of the Far Caves of Kiev is mentioned in the Fourth Ode of the general Canon of the Monastic Fathers of the Far Caves. The “Sayings and Lives of the Saints Who Repose in the Cave of Saint Theodosius” says that Saint Athanasius had no need of candles in the…

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Troparion & Kontakion
Martyr Myrope of Chios
Martyr Myrope of Chios

The Holy Martyr Myrope was born in the city of Ephesus at the beginning of the third century. She lost her father at an early age, and her mother raised her in the Christian Faith. Saint Myrope frequently visited the grave of the Martyr Hermione (September 4), daughter of the holy Apostle Philip,…

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Troparion & Kontakion
Saints John, Heraclemon, Andrew, and Theophilus, of Egypt

Saints John, Heraclemon, Andrew, and Theophilus lived in Egypt in the fourth century, and are mentioned in the life of Saint Onuphrius. After he had buried Saint Onuphrius, Saint Paphnutius came upon an oasis which impressed him with its beauty and abundance of fruit-bearing trees. Four youths…

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Troparion & Kontakion
Saint Jesse, Bishop of Tsilkani, Georgia
Saint Jesse, Bishop of Tsilkani, Georgia

Saint Jesse of Tsilkani arrived in Georgia in the 6th century with the other Syrian fathers and companions of Saint John of Zedazeni. At the recommendation of Saint John of Zedazeni, Catholicos Evlavios of Kartli consecrated Saint Jesse as bishop of Tsilkani. The holy father traveled throughout his…

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Troparion & Kontakion
Saint Stephen Urosh, King of Serbia
Saint Stephen Urosh, King of Serbia

Saint Stephen Urosh, King of Serbia, was son of King Dushan Nemany, and was born in the year 1337. In 1346 he was crowned king. Dushan sought the daughter of the French king for his son, but the Roman Pope insisted that the princess not change from the Latin confession. Dushan did not want to see a…

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Venerable Joannicius of Devic
Venerable Joannicius of Devic

Saint Ioannikios (Janićije) was a Serb from Zeta, near the Adriatic Sea. He was the son of pious and God-fearing parents, and he lived during the reign of the last medieval Serbian ruler, Prince George Branković (1427-1458). From his youth, Saint Ioannikios loved solitude, and as an adolescent he…

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Troparion & Kontakion
Synaxis of the Gerontissa Icon of the Mother of God

The December 2 Feast Day of the Gerontissa Icon of the Mother of God commemorates a miracle which occurred on the night of December 1, 1948 when the Theotokos saved the Pantokrator Monastery on Mount Athos from a fire. Because of this event, the Icon also came to be known as the…

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Prologue of Orchid
December 2nd

1. The Holy Prophet Habakkuk.

The son of Sapnat, of the tribe of Simeon, he prophesied six hundred years before Christ, in the time of King Manasseh, and foretold the devastation of Jerusalem. When Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, attacked Jerusalem, Habakkuk went into the land of the Ishmaelites, whence he returned to Jerusalem and made his living working on the land. One day, when he was carrying lunch to the workers in the fields, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him and said: 'Go, carry the meal that thou hast into Babylon, unto Daniel who is in the lion's den.' Habakkuk replied: 'Lord, I never saw Babylon, neither do I know where the den is' (Daniel 14:33 in the Greek text. It is omitted in the Hebrew Bible, and is to be found in the Apocrypha under Bel and the Dragon). Then the angel seized him by the hair and carried him straight to Babylon, over an immense distance, to the lion's den where Daniel had been cast by King Cyrus because he would not worship idols. 'O Daniel, Daniel,' cried Habakkuk, 'take the dinner which God hath sent thee!' And Daniel took it and ate. 'Men the angel of God again took hold of Habakkuk and carried him back to his field in Judea. Habakkuk preached and prophesied about the liberation of Jerusalem and the coming of Christ. He entered into rest in great old age and was buried at Keilah. His relics were discovered during the reign of Theodosius the Great.

2. The Holy Martyr Myrope.

Myrope was born in Ephesus of Christian parents. After the death of her father, she went to the island of Chios with her mother, and there suffered for Christ. The passion of this holy virgin took place soon after the passion and death of the soldier-martyr Isidore (May 14th). When the torturers had beheaded Isidore, the courageous Myrope took the body away secretly and buried it in a special place. The wicked prince Numerian heard that the martyr's body had been stolen, and threatened to execute the guards. Hearing that innocent people were to suffer for her act, blessed Myrope came before the authorities and confessed that it was she who had taken the martyr's body and buried it. On the prince's orders, Christ's holy virgin was savagely beaten, and cast into prison covered with wounds. But the Lord did not leave His martyr comfortless. A heavenly light illumined the prison in the dead of night, and many angels, with St Isidore in their midst, appeared to her. 'Peace to thee, Myrope', St Isidore said to her, 'thy prayer has ascended to God, and thou shalt soon be with us and receive the crown prepared for thee'. The holy martyr was filled with joy, and at that moment surrendered her soul into God's hands. A sweet fragrance came forth from her body and filled the whole prison. One of the guards who witnessed all this was moved to belief in Christ and was baptised, and soon thereafter suffered a martyr's death. St Myrope entered into eternity in the year 251.

3. St Uros, King of Serbia.

The son of King Dusan, he ruled during the difficult time of the fall of the Kingdom of Serbia. Humble, pious and gentle, he refused to attempt to restrain the power of the powerful nobles by force. Amongst these was Vukasin, who brought about his death. Good King Uros suffered a martyr's death on December 2nd, 1367, at the age of thirty-one. Killed by men, he was glorified by God. His wonderworking relics were preserved in the monastery of Jazak in the Fruska Gora, whence they were taken to Belgrade in 1942, during the Second World War, and placed in the Cathedral beside the bodies of Prince Lazar and Despot Stephen Stiljanovic. During the reign of this benevolent king, the monastery of St Nahum was built beside Lake Ochrid by one of Uros's nobles, Grgur.

4. Our Holy Father Athanasius the Recluse Of the Kiev Caves.

After a long life of asceticism, this holy man died and was washed, attired and prepared for burial. He lay dead for two days, then suddenly returned to life. When they came to bury him, they found him sitting up and weeping. He shut himself in his cell and lived a further twelve years on bread and water, without a word to anyone. He entered into rest in the Lord in 1176.

5. St Jesse, Bishop of Tsiklan.

One of the thirteen Syrian fathers (May 7th), he was a great wonderworker. He changed the course of a distant river by his prayers, and caused it to flow close to the city of Tsiklan. His relics are preserved in the church dedicated to him in that Syrian city.

 

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