The Prologue from Ohrid: February 3
1. SAINT SIMEON, THE GOD-RECEIVER
During the reign of the Egyptian Emperor Ptolemy Philadelphus, Simeon was
chosen as one of the prominent Seventy to whom was entrusted the task of
translating the Bible from the Hebrew language into the Greek language [The
Septuagint]. Simeon was performing his task conscientiously but when he was
translating the book of the Prophet Isaiah and came upon the prophecy:
"Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and will give birth to a son"
(Isaiah 7:14), he became confused and took a knife to remove the word
"virgin" and to replace it with the words, "young woman," and as
such to translate it into Greek. At that moment, however, an angel of God
appeared to Simeon and restrained him from his intention, explaining to him that
the prophecy is true; that the prophecy is correctly written: that it is true
and correct. The messenger of God also said that Simeon would be convinced of it
personally for, according to the Will of God, he will not die until he sees the
Messiah born of the Virgin. The righteous Simeon rejoiced to hear such a voice
from heaven, left the prophecy unchanged and thanked God Who is making him
worthy to live and to see the Promised One. When the young Child Jesus was
presented in the Temple in Jerusalem by the Virgin Mary, the Spirit of God
appeared to Simeon who was very old and as "white as a swan." Simeon quickly
entered the Temple and there recognized both the Virgin and the young Child by
the light that shone around their heads as an aureal. The joyful Simeon took
Christ into his hands and prayed to God to release him from this life: "Now,
Master, You may let Your servant go in peace, according to Your word, for my
eyes have seen Your salvation" (St. Luke 2: 29-30). Anna the
Prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, was also there, who recognized the Messiah
and proclaimed Him to the people. "And coming forward at that very moment,
she gave thanks to God, and spoke about the Child to all who were awaiting the
redemption of Jerusalem" (St. Luke 2:38). At that time, Anna was
eighty-four years old. St. Simeon died shortly after that. This righteous Elder
Simeon is considered to be the Protector of young children.
2. THE HOLY MARTYRS ADRIAN AND EUBULUS
These two holy souls arrived from their place of Baneas in Caesarea of
Cappadocia to attend the imprisoned Christians in the dungeon and to console and
encourage them. However they, too, were arrested and sentenced to death. Adrian
was beheaded and Eubulus was thrown before wild beasts in the year 309 A.D.
Thus, not grieving over this life, they honorably and joyfully entered into life
HYMN OF PRAISE
A PRAYER FOR A SMALL CHILD
O Powerful Lord, have mercy and save,
Do not extinguish this small flame with death!
This child is like the small flame of a candle,
And the winds of the world are terrible, even to the stars;
A weak fire is banked beneath the ashes
And beneath Your hand, the soul of man.
When the water rises and reaches the throat,
And the flame becomes smaller and the fire becomes damp,
O Lord, save, have mercy and alleviate!
Thus, David the Prophet, prayed to You
Even though he was a huge torch.
And a weak child at the base of heaven
And from sinful thoughts his head began to ache.
Every wind of malice weakened him.
It would be extinguished quickly from the tumultuous winds,
If you do not save, O Helper, hurry,
O Lord, have mercy and save us even now,
And this small flame do not extinguish with death!
Through the prayers, O God, of Your favorite Elder,
Holy Saint Simeon, the wonderful receiver of God.
How great a glory in heaven befitted St. Simeon the Receiver of God, who held
the Savior of the world in his hands, which the following incident clearly shows
as, related in the hagiography of St. Peter the Athonite (June 12). As a
commander during a battle, Peter was enslaved, chained and cast into prison in
the town of Samara on the shores of the Euphrates River. Languishing in prison
for along time Peter, in tears, prayed to St. Nicholas to beseech God on his
behalf to liberate him from prison, promising that he will completely dedicate
himself to God. St. Nicholas appeared to him in a dream and told him that
although he [St. Nicholas] prays to God on his behalf, God delays his
deliverance because he [Peter] earlier made a similar vow to God and did not
keep it. And further, St. Nicholas counseled Peter that he ought to pray to St.
Simeon the God-receiver "who is very mighty before God and stands close to the
Throne of God together with the All-Holy Virgin and St. John the Forerunner."
Peter heeded the counsel of St. Nicholas and proceeded to pray to St. Simeon.
Again St. Nicholas appeared to him, together with St. Simeon, not in a dream but
in reality. Peter saw Simeon glorious in appearance, face glowing, and attired
in the vestments of an Old Testament priest with a golden staff in his hand. St.
Simeon said to Peter: "Do you want to fulfill the vow and become a monk?" To
that, Peter replied: "Yes master, with God's help." Simeon then touched Peter's
chains with his staff and the chains melted like wax. Opening the doors of the
dungeon, the saint led Peter from prison.
To contemplate the Lord Jesus as the Cornerstone:
1. As the Cornerstone in building personal character;
2. As the Cornerstone in building the family and a nation;
3. As the Cornerstone of every good intentioned social transformation and
inspiration of mankind.
About the Spirit of God Who speaks through the
"Do not worry about how you are to speak --- but the Spirit of your
Father speaking through you" (St. Matthew 10: 19-20).
These are the words of Him Who knows all and Who declared to the world
knowledge which no one knew before His visit to mankind. If someone is filled
with the Spirit of God, he does not speak from the spirit of man but the Spirit
of God speaks from him and through him. He is only an instrument or a lyre of
God's Spirit through which God the Spirit speaks. When that kind of man speaks,
he speaks infallibly and no one can find falsehood in his speech except those,
who because of the perversion of their minds, consider truth as falsehood. How
men speak, filled with the Spirit of God, was clearly shown by the example of
the prophets and more clearly shown by the example of the apostles. Miraculous
and unbelievable did the words of the apostles seem to strangers, i.e., those
who did not have the Spirit of God in themselves and who knew how to speak only
of the earth, considered the apostles as intoxicated. In reality, to the
ignorant, all those people who first began to speak about the hidden miracles of
this physical world, about the power of steam, about magnetism, about
electricity, about wireless telegraphy, and conversation at a distance [the
telephone] appeared intoxicated and foolish. How then do spiritual men not seem
intoxicated and foolish who, led by the Spirit of God, speak about countless
hidden mysteries of the spiritual kingdom? Whoever humbles himself before God,
God makes him powerful. The Spirit of God settles in a contrite heart and from
there speaks through the mouth of man. This is confirmed not only on the
prophets and apostles but also on the countless number of God's sons and
O Good Lord, do not refuse us Your Holy Spirit.
To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.