Daily Readings
Today's Scripture Readings
All Scripture Readings
Today's Saints
4th Sunday of Great Lent: St John Climacus (of the Ladder)
4th Sunday of Great Lent: St John Climacus (of the Ladder)

The Fourth Sunday of Lent is dedicated to Saint John of the Ladder (Climacus), the author of the work, The Ladder of Divine Ascent. The abbot of Saint Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai (6th century) stands as a witness to the violent effort needed for entrance into God’s Kingdom…

Read the Life
Troparion & Kontakion
Hieromartyr Antipas, Bishop of Pergamum and Disciple of Saint John the Theologian
Hieromartyr Antipas, Bishop of Pergamum and Disciple of Saint John the Theologian

The Hieromartyr Antipas, a disciple of the holy Apostle John the Theologian (September 26), was bishop of the Church of Pergamum during the reign of the emperor Nero (54-68). During these times, everyone who would not offer sacrifice to the idols lived under threat of either exile or execution by…

Read the Life
Troparion & Kontakion
Venerable James, Abbot of Zheleznoborov
Venerable James, Abbot of Zheleznoborov

Saint James of Zheleznoborov, a son of the noble Anosov (or Amosov) line, which had their lands at Kostroma Galich, was born in the second half of the fourteenth century. As a youth he went to Saint Sergius of Radonezh, received monastic tonsure from him, and lived at the Trinity monastery for…

Read the Life
Troparion & Kontakion
Saint Barsanuphius, Bishop of Tver
Saint Barsanuphius, Bishop of Tver

Saint Barsanuphius of Tver was born in the year 1495, and was from Serpukhov. He was named John in Baptism, and he was taught to read and write. While still a youth, he was captured by the Crimean Tatars. Accepting this as the Lord’s will, he meekly submitted to his masters, and dutifully…

Read the Life
Troparion & Kontakion
Martyrs Processus and Martinian of Rome
Martyrs Processus and Martinian of Rome

The Holy Martyrs Processus and Martinian were pagans and they served as guards at the Mamertine prison in Rome. State criminals were held in this prison, among them some Christians. Watching the Christian prisoners and listening to their preaching, Processus and Martinian gradually came to the…

Read the Life
Troparion & Kontakion
Venerable Pharmuthius the Anchorite of Egypt
Venerable Pharmuthius the Anchorite of Egypt

Saint Pharmuphius lived during the fourth century at the same desert monastery where Saint John (March 29) lived in asceticism within a well, to whom Saint Pharmuphius gave food.

Read the Life
Troparion & Kontakion
Venerable John, disciple of Venerable Gregory of Decapolis
Venerable John, disciple of Venerable Gregory of Decapolis

Saint John was a disciple of Saint Gregory the Decapolite (November 20). See April 18.

Read the Life
Troparion & Kontakion
Saint Callinicus of Cernica, Bishop of Rimnicului in Romania

Our holy Father Callinicus (Calinic) of Cernica, who served as bishop of Ramnicu Valcea in Romania was born in Bucharest on October 7, 1787, near the church of Saint Bessarion. His parents, Anthony and Flora (Floarea) Antonescu, were honest and pious people. In holy Baptism he received the name…

Read the Life
Troparion & Kontakion
Appearance of the Icon of the Mother of God “The Footprint” at Pochaev
Appearance of the Icon of the Mother of God “The Footprint” at Pochaev

In the year 1340, two monks came and settled in a cave on the hill where the monastery is now located. After reading his usual Prayer Rule, one of them went to the top of the hill, and and suddenly he beheld the Theotokos standing on a rock and enveloped in flames. He summoned the other monk, who…

Read the Life
Prologue of Orchid
The Prologue from Ohrid: April 12

1. VENERABLE ISAAC THE SYRIAN II

Isaac the Syrian I, is commemorated on January 28. St. Gregory the Dialogues writes about this Isaac II. He came to Italy at the time of the Goths and entered a church to pray in the city of Spoleto. He implored the verger to allow him to remain locked in the church overnight. And so, he spent the entire night in prayer, remaining in the same place. The same thing happened the next day and even the second night. The verger called him a hypocrite and struck him with his fist. Instantly, the verger went insane. Seeing that the verger was bitterly tormented, Isaac leaned over him and the evil spirit departed from him and the verger was restored to health. Upon hearing of this incident, the entire populace of the city thronged around this amazing foreigner. They offered him money and property, but he declined all and accepted nothing and withdrew into the forest where he built a cell for himself, which was rapidly transformed into a large monastery. Isaac was known for working miracles and especially for his special "gift of discernment." On one occasion, he ordered the brethren to carry all the hoes into the vineyard and to leave them there. The next day Isaac, along with the brethren, went out into the vineyard and brought along lunch. The brethren were puzzled. Who was this lunch for, since there were no laborers? Upon arriving at the vineyard, there were as many men digging as there were hoes. This is what happened: these men came as thieves to steal the hoes, but by the power of God, they were detained to dig all night. On another occasion, two partly-clad men came to Isaac and sought clothes from him. Isaac sent a monk to a hollow tree along the road to retrieve what he would find there. The monk departed, found some clothing and brought it to the monastery. The abbot took these clothes and gave them to the beggars. The beggars were extremely ashamed when they recognized their own clothes which they had hidden in this tree. Once, a man sent two beehives to the monastery. The monk hid one along the way and the other he brought to the monastery and turned it over to the abbot. The saint said to him: "Be careful upon your return. For in the beehive that you left along the way, a poisonous snake had slithered into it. Be careful, therefore, that it does not bite you."

2. SAINT BASIL THE CONFESSOR

At the time of the Iconoclastic controversy, this devout man was bishop in the town of Parius in Asia Minor. He refused to sign an imperial document against the veneration of icons. For that, Basil was greatly persecuted and severely tortured. He remained as firm as a diamond in His Orthodoxy. He died at the beginning of the eighth century and was translated to the Lord.

3. THE VENERABLE ACACIUS

Acacius was from the village of Gollitsa in Epirus. He was a great Athonite ascetic, spiritual father and possessed the "gift of discernment." Acacius had many heavenly visions. He gave his blessings to several monks who chose the mortification of martyrdom. Acacius died in his ninety-eighth year in the year 1730 A.D.

4. THE VENERABLE ATHANASIA

Athanasia was born on the island of Aeginia of wealthy and benevolent parents. She distributed her wealth to the poor and retreated to a convent. There she took upon herself greater and more difficult mortifications. Athanasia took food only once a day and that, only bread and water. During the Honorable Fast [Lenten Season], she ate once every other day. She tasted oil and fish only on the Feasts of the Nativity and the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Even thought she was the abbess of this convent, Athanasia was a servant to the other sisters and shied away from having anyone serve her. Athanasia was made worthy of the great gift of working miracles, both, during her life and after death. She died in the Lord in the year 860 A.D.

HYMN OF PRAISE

SAINT ATHANASIA

Athanasia, most beautiful soul,

On earth, shone like a bright star,

By the spirit, bodily weakness overcame,

While still young, fell in love with God;

Through fasting and vigils, her body she withered,

Only to attain salvation for her soul;

Property much, to the poor she distributed,

All of herself, to the will of God, she gave.

A vision she saw in the church, holy:

A heavenly light, the darkness penetrated,

And a voice to her came: Athanasia,

Meekness and humbleness; that is pleasing to God,

In this, practice above all else

While your heart beats and your spirit breathes.

Athanasia, that counsel she fulfilled -

And, all pride in herself she crushed,

Her will to God, she totally gave,

Obedient to God, as the blazing sun.

Love, with Love, the Lord returned

And with Grace, He rewarded her labors.

And when her time on earth was over

He granted her life, immortal and paradiscal.

REFLECTION

The wicked Emperor Constantine Copronymos had a virtuous daughter, the maiden, Anthusa: "A beautiful branch on a wicked tree." Despite all the pressure placed on her by her father to marry, Anthusa remained adamant, for she was firmly attached with a sincere love for Christ the Lord. When her father died, Anthusa distributed her entire estate to the poor, entered a convent and was tonsured a nun. How much for astonishment are the many noble men who left the vanity of this world and followed the narrow path of Christ; twice as much for astonishment are the many women who despised both, youth and riches and the transitory attractions of this world for the love of Christ. Our Lord Himself said: " It would be hard for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven" (St. Matthew 19:23). Difficult yes, but not impossible. For him, who despises himself, it is easy to despise the riches of the entire world.

CONTEMPLATION

To contemplate the resurrected Lord Jesus:

1. How He enters through closed doors among His disciples and gives them peace;

2. How His glorified body does not have any material obstacles to appear wherever He wants.

HOMILY

About the city which is being built

"For here, we have no lasting city, but we seek the one that is to come" (Hebrews 13:14).

Brethren, where are the great cities of Babylon and Nineveh? Today, only lizards lay in the dust of their towers. Memphis and Thebes, were they not the pride of the pharaohs and the princes of mankind? Today, it is difficult to establish the exact place where these two cities were located.

However, let us leave these cities of stones and bricks. Let us look at the cities of blood, flesh and bones. Men fashion the city of their bodies more slowly and more painstakingly than they fashion fortresses and cathedrals. Men spend about eighty to a hundred years to fashion the cities of their bodies and, in the end, see that their effort is in vain. That which took them decades to fashion with care and constant fear, collapses into the dust of the grave in the twinkling of an eye. Whose bodily city is not toppled over and turned into dust? Not anyones.

But, let us leave the cities of the body. Let us look at the cities of fortune which men have built from generation to generation. The materials of which these cities were built are: good times, pleasure, property, authority, honor and glory. Where are these cities? As a cob-web they spin around man in an instant and as a cob web they break and vanish, making the fortunate more unfortunate than the unfortunate.

Truly, we have no city here that will remain.

This is why we seek the city which is to come. This is the city built of Spirit, Life and Truth. This is the city whose one and only architect is the Lord Jesus Christ. This city is called the Kingdom of Heaven, Eternal Life, the dwelling place of the angels, the haven of saints and refuge of martyrs. In this city, there is no dualism of either good or evil but, everything is a harmony of good. Everything that is built in this city is built to last forever. Every brick in this city remains without end and termination. The bricks are living angels and men. In this city the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ sits on the throne and reigns.

O resurrected Lord, redeem us from beneath the ruins of time and lead us mercifully into Your eternal city of Heaven.

To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.

 

All Saints of North America
Orthodox Church

10440 4th Street NW
Albuquerque, NM 87114