St. Demetrios Church
Publish Date: 2017-08-20
Bulletin Contents
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St. Demetrios Church

General Information

  • Phone:
  • (440) 331-2246
  • Fax:
  • (440) 331-8407
  • Street Address:

  • 22909 Center Ridge Road

  • Rocky River, OH 44116
  • Mailing Address:

  • 22909 Center Ridge Road

  • Rocky River, OH 44116

Contact Information

Services Schedule

Sundays 8:30 a.m. Orthros and 9:30 a.m. Divine Liturgy

Special weekday feastday services to be announced in the bulletin.

Past Bulletins

Gospel and Epistle Readings

Epistle Reading

Prokeimenon. Second Mode. Psalm 117.14,18.
The Lord is my strength and my song.
Verse: The Lord has chastened me sorely.

The reading is from St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 9:2-12.

Brethren, you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to our food and drink? Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a sister as wife, as the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? Do I say this on human authority? Does not the law say the same? For it is written in the law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain." Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of a share in the crop. If we have sown spiritual good among you, is it too much if we reap your material benefits? If others share this rightful claim upon you, do not we still more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.

Gospel Reading

11th Sunday of Matthew
The Reading is from Matthew 18:23-35

The Lord said this parable: "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents; and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, 'Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, 'Pay what you owe.' So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' He refused and went and put him in prison till he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?' And in anger his lord delivered him to the torturers, till he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."


Parish Announcements


SUNDAY  AUG. 20 8:30; 9:30 A.M.   Orthros/ Divine Liturgy

Memorial: 40 days for Eddy Madias, husband of Elizabeth, father of Francine, Angela & Mark

                    2 years for John Fountas, father of Natalie Eicher

Coffee Hosts: The Madias family and  those who celebrate their nameday on the Panagia.

Happy Nameday Marias, Panayoti/Panayotas & Despinas!

40 day Baby Blessings: Zoe, daughter of Fr. Anastasios & Pres. Lena Athanasiou, Penelope, daughter of Devin & Natalie Eicher,  and Morgan, daughter of George & Barb Theofilos

PLEASE NOTE:  The week of Aug. 21-25,  Fr. Jim, the Office manager, and Operations manager are on vacation . Fr. Anastasios is available M-Thu only.

On Friday,  please call ahead to confirm when the office will be open.



8:30; 9:30 a.m.

Orthros;   Divine Liturgy

Memorial:  40 days for Rose Vardas, mother of Caralee Pallas

Coffee Hosts:  The family of Mrs. Vardas and those who brought Phanouropitas




Raise   the Roof committee meeting



8:30; 9:30 a.m.

6:30 p.m.

Beheading   of the Forerunner Orthros; Div/Lit

Daughters   of Penelope meeting



6:30 p.m.

7:00 p.m.

Sunday   School teachers’ meeting

Choir   rehearsals begin







10 a.m.-4 pm.

Golf   Outing


The fundraising campaign for the  church restoration project has begun! The restoration external phase includes installment of a new roof and replacement of the HVAC systems Fall 2017. The internal phase includes duct work, new lighting fixtures, painting, carpet replacement and pew replacement in the summer of 2018.

Donor forms available in the office and Narthex. For more information, check out the dedicated website



 Registration forms on the church’s website (

 ~Sunday School registration Aug. 20 & 27. First day of classes is Sun., Sept. 10.

 ~Greek School Agiasmos (Blessing Day) is Tue., Sept 12. First day of classes is Thu., Sept. 14

 Children who have already completed at least the Kindergarten level in elementary school are eligible to begin the program which goes up to Level 8 and covers Modern Greek verbal, reading, and writing instruction,  hymnology, dance, religious, cultural, and historical studies.



~St. Phanourios-Sun., Aug. 27. Regular Sunday service times. At the coffee hour to follow, we will serve any Phanouropitas that are brought in by those who lost/ found something. 

~The Beheading of St. John the Baptist, Tue., Aug. 29. 8:30 a.m. Orthros; 9:30 a.m. Liturgy, in the chapel

Nativity of the Theotokos – Fri., Sept. 8,   8:30 a.m. Orthros; 9:30 a.m. Liturgy, in the chapel

 ~Holy Cross – Thu., Sept. 14  (in the church) Those who can donate basil, please bring by 9:30am

 ~St. John the Theologian  - Tue., Sept. 26, 8:30 a.m. Orthros; 9:30 a.m. Liturgy, in the chapel




Wed., Aug. 30, 7:00 p.m. the Liturgical choir will resume weekly rehearsals for the 2017-18 Ecclesiastic year.  New members always welcome.First Sunday worship will be Sept. 3rd.

Fri., Sept 8,  5-6:30 p.m. the Youth Choir will have its first rehearsal for any interested parish kids ages 5-17.  Subsequent practices will be on the 2nd Friday of each month.


Head’s up for the 10th annual St.Demetrios Golf Outing  on Fri., Sept. 1 at Sweetbriar Golf Club in Avon Lake. Registration now open. $150/golfer or $600/foursome, Contact Manuel Steffas (440-821-6095) or pay online at



Did you miss the spring photo sessions? We want all our parish families included in the upcoming Parish Directory, so  here is your last chance! We have scheduled four more days:  Thu., Sept. 7,  Fri., Sept. 8,  Sat., Sept 9,  Sun.,  Sept. 10.

Each session lasts abut 20 minutes and participants will receive a free 8x10 Photo and complimentary directory.  Schedule your session today by Calling Diane Missirlis


There will be no meetings in the month of August. We will resume after Labor Day.


Thu., Sept 7 at Parker’s, 32858 Walker Rd., Avon Lake at 7:30 p.m. RSVP to Lia Augoustidis (


 Sun., Sept. 10, come to the St.Demetrios Cultural Hall to  meet local Greek-American authors:

Paula Kalamaras, novelist, non-fiction writer, and blogger.

 Thalia Marakas, writer of children’s poetry.

 Vanessa Pasiadis, author of non-fiction health book “Don’t Call me Cookie.”

 Kristina Tartara, author of Orthodox children’s books and games

 Each one will discuss their work and  inspirations at a luncheon. $25/person. Advance sale only. Chinese auction baskets,  Q&A & book signings.  Proceeds will go toward the Daughters of Penelope Icarus Chapter Scholarship & Education fund. Contact Jeanne Burpulis: 440 356-1746 for tickets, visit their booth during coffee hour, or call the office M-F. (440-331-2246 x2)



The Greek Orthodox Youth Association is for teens in grades 7-12 of our parish for fellowship, service, and sportsmanship. Come catch up with old friends and make new ones!

Sun., Sept. 10, our 2017-18 officers will be sworn-in after Liturgy in church.

Sun., Sept 24, after Liturgy will be the kick-off meeting for teens AND parents.


Fall dance rehearsals for those ages 13 & up will be on Thursdays from 6:45-7:30 p.m. in the Cultural Hall, starting Sept. 14 until the Folk Dance Festival on Nov. 11-12. For more information, contact Eleni Papouras-Jenks (


Sat., Sept. 23, parish families with kids ages 5-11 are invited to save the date for an afternoon of BBQ and fun in the Zapis Activity Center. Contact Sally Tsirambidis ( for more information.


Sun., Oct. 15 in the Cultural Hall. Doors open at 4 p.m. $40/adult; $15 for kids 16 7 under (chicken & fries meal.) Call the church office for tickets 440-331-2246. Proceeds to benefit the “Raise the Roof” Church Restoration project.


HALUPKI FESTIVAL  Sun., Aug. 20, at Holy Assumption Orthodox Church, 114 E . Main St., (SR 163) in Marblehead.  Carpatho-Russian cabbage rolls, kolbasi & pastries. Live polka music. Free admission. Open until 6 p.m.

 MOTHER THEONYMPHIE MEMORIAL Tue., Aug. 22 , 10 a.m. Divine Liturgy, followed by 4-year memorial service for Rev. Mother Theonymphie at the St. Mary of Egypt Chapel, located in Annunciation Church, 2187 W. 14th St., Cleveland. Use the entrance on Fairfield Avenue.

 THE ‘NONES’  Tue., Aug. 22, at 6:30 p.m. at St. Innocent Orthodox Church, 8526 Usher Rd., Olmsted Falls, come to the  premiere screening of a documentary about the 25% of U.S. adults who list ‘None’ under religious affiliation. Free admission; open to all.

 EAST SIDE GREEK FEST  Aug. 24-27 at Sts. Constantine & Helen Cathedral, 3352 Mayfield Rd., Cleveland Heights. 

YOUNG ADULT PICNIC Sun., Aug. 27 at St. Matthew Orthodox Church Pavilion, 10383 Albion Rd., North Royalton at 4:00 p.m. (Rain or shine.) Main dish and drinks provided; please bring a side dish to share. Dress for volleyball and wiffleball. Call Sam Harmon (216-598-9230)

YOUNG ADULT CONFERENCE Sept. 1-4, Orthodox young adults (ages 19-32) from across the US will gather in Houston, Texas. Kick off on Friday with a comedy show by SoTiri, Saturday workshops and fun western event. Sunday  Divine Liturgy, followed by a pool party and then a grand banquet with Basil the Comedian. For information, registration, and hotel accommodations, visit:; or share: ~

 KAMM’S CORNERS CRETAN FEST Sept. 1-4 at the Cretan Club, 3853 W. 168th St. in West Park. Fri-Sun: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.;  Mon: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.  Free admission.

  ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN HOMESCHOOL CO-OP  Thursdays, 9 am.-1:15 p.m., starting Sept. 7, classes on Orthodoxy, Music, New Testament Greek, Nature, and Drama will be offered to Orthodox homeschooled children, at St. Matthew Orthodox Church, 10383 Albion Rd., North Royalton. Those interested can call St. Matthew Church office at 440-582-5673.

  LORAIN GREEK FESTIVAL Sept. 8-10 at St. Nicholas Church, 2000 Tower Blvd., Lorain. Fri & Sat: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.


Fri., Sept 8 pilgrimage bus trip for the feastday of the monastery in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania.  Bus departing from the BJ’s on W. 150th in Middleburg Heights. Call Vivi Kyriazis (440-915-2070) for cost and other details. 

 Sat., Sept. 9, is the 4th annual dinner in memory of Gerontissa Taxiarchia at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Pittsburgh. 3 p.m. Vesper service; 4 p.m. banquet. $100/ticket (fish or chicken entrees) Proceeds benefit the Nativity of the Theotokos Monastery. RSVP:

  WHO’S KILLING MY FAITH? Sundays, Sept. 10-Oct 1, at St. Matthew Orthodox Church, 10383 Albion Rd., North Royalton. A Study of the Book of St. James (Theme “Real Faith produces Genuine Action”) led by Paul Finley, Director of St. Herman House FOCUS. Sessions begin at 6 p.m., followed by refreshments.

  INVITING OUR NEIGHBORS INTO THE TIMELESS FAITH Sept. 15-16 at St. Innocent Orthodox Church, 8526 Usher Rd., Olmsted Falls. Retreat led by Fr. Barnabas Powell, author of A Faith Encouraged. Friday session I 7-9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-2 pm. Contact Fr. Alessandro at Free admission; free will offerings welcome.

  SPIRITUAL CARE VOLUNTEERING Fairview Hospital’s Spiritual Care Department is seeking volunteers to visit with patients and their families in non-critical units of the hospital during their first few days of admission, and provide a caring, listening presence to persons in need. Six weeks of required training will take place on Tuesday afternoons, starting Sept. 5. For more info or to apply, contact Rev. Alice Walsh ( or 216-476-7067)

 COMMUNITY FRIEND VOLUNTEERS SOUGHT The Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities is looking for people to provide companionship & a ride for a person with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD.) People with I/DD have less opportunities for social interaction. Volunteers are matched with someone in their community, and attend outings (ex: evening dinner or weekend lunch, going to a movie, museum, festival or sporting event) for 3-4 hours once a month for a year. Groups keep the cost to $10-$15/outing. To learn more about someone who would love to spend time with you, contact Stephanie Galbreath at 216-339-9509 or Volunteers must be at least 14years old and complete an interview,  orientation, and background check. 

 ATHENIAN VASE PAINTING is the focus of the 2017 annual Collis Lecture on Sun., Sept. 24 at the Cleveland Museum of Art, 2:00 PM. “The Berlin Painter & His World:  Athenian Vase-Painting in the Early Fifth Century B.C.” by Dr. J. Michael Padgett.  Free tickets required for lecture and are available August 1.  Early reservations ensure choice seating 216.421.7350 or online at  Hellenic Preservation Society private reception immediately following the lecture $12 per person.  For more information contact Renee Steffas 216.287.5628 or or Gary Thomas 440.823.9011 or

            The exhibit on which the talk is based is on display at the Toledo Museum of Art, now thru October 1st. Our St. Demetrios Greek School is planning a trip to the TMA on Sun., Sept. 17. Any adults interested in joining  us on a charter bus, please contact Eleni (440-331-2246 x2.)

 DESPINA VANDI IN CONCERT Fri., Oct. 6 in Pittsburgh, with Giorgos Lianos. For ticket information go to or email 


Saints and Feasts

August 20

Samuel the Prophet

This most holy man, a Prophet of God from childhood, was the last judge of the Israelite people, and anointed the first two Kings of Israel. He was born in the twelfth century before Christ, in the city of Armathaim Sipha, from the tribe of Levi, the son of Elkanah and Hannah (Anna). He was the fruit of prayer, for his mother, being barren, conceived him only after she had supplicated the Lord with many tears; wherefore she called him Samuel, that is, "heard by God." As soon as Hannah had weaned him, she brought him to the city of Silom (Shiloh), where the Ark was kept, and she consecrated him, though yet a babe, to the service of God, giving thanks to Him with the hymn found in the Third Ode of the Psalter: "My heart hath been established in the Lord . . ." Samuel remained in Silom under the protection of Eli the priest. He served in the Tabernacle of God, and through his most venerable way of life became well-pleasing to God and man (I Kings 2: 26). While yet a child, sleeping in the tabernacle near the Ark of God, he heard the voice of God calling his name, and foretelling the downfall of Eli; for although Eli's two sons, Ophni and Phineas, were most lawless, and despisers of God, Eli did not correct them. Even after Samuel had told Eli of the divine warning, Eli did not properly chastise his sons, and afterwards, through various misfortunes, his whole house was blotted out in one day.

After these things came to pass, Samuel was chosen to be the protector of the people, and he judged them with holiness and righteousness. He became for them an example of all goodness, and their compassionate intercessor before God: "Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you; yea, I will serve the Lord, and show you the good and the right way" (ibid. 12:23). When he asked them -- having God as witness -- if he ever wronged anyone, or took anyone's possessions, or any gift, even so much as a sandal, they answered with one voice: "Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, nor afflicted us, neither hast thou taken anything from anyone's hand" (ibid. 12:4). When Samuel was old, the people asked him for a king, but he was displeased with this, knowing that God Himself was their King. But when they persisted, the Lord commanded him to anoint them a king, saying, "They have not rejected thee, but they have rejected Me from reigning over them" (ibid. 8:7); so Samuel anointed Saul. But Saul transgressed the command of God repeatedly, so Samuel anointed David. Yet, since Samuel was a man of God, full of tender mercy, when the Lord told him that He had rejected Saul, Samuel wept for him the whole night long (ibid. 15:11); and later, since he continued to grieve, the Lord said to him, "How long wilt thou mourn for Saul?" (ibid. 16:1). Having lived blamelessly some ninety-eight years, and become an example to all of a God-pleasing life, he reposed in the eleventh century before Christ. Many ascribe to him the authorship of the Books of judges, and of Ruth, and of the first twenty-four chapters of the First Book of Kings (I Samuel).

August 21

The Holy Apostle Thaddaeus

The Apostle Thaddaeus was from Edessa, a Jew by race. When he came to Jerusalem, he became a disciple of Christ, and after His Ascension he returned to Edessa. There he catechized and baptized Abgar (see Aug. 16). Having preached in Mesopotamia, he ended his life in martyrdom. Though some call him one of the Twelve, whom Matthew calls "Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus" (Matt. 10:3), Eusebius says that he is one of the Seventy: "After [Christ's] Resurrection from the dead, and His ascent into Heaven, Thomas, one of the twelve Apostles, inspired by God, sent Thaddaeus, one of the seventy disciples of Christ, to Edessa as a preacher and evangelist of Christ's teaching" (Eccl. Hist. 1: 13).

August 22

The Holy Martyr Agathonicus

The Martyr Agathonicus, because he converted pagans to Christ, was seized in Nicomedia, violently beaten, haled about in bonds, and beheaded in Selyvria, during the reign of Maximian, in the year 298.

August 23

Our Holy Father Ireneaus, Bishop of Lyons

The Holy Hieromartyr Irenaeus was born in Asia Minor about the year 120, and in his youth was a disciple of Saint Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna. Saint Irenaeus was sent to Lyons in Gaul, to be a fellow labourer of Pothinus, Bishop of Lyons (celebrated June 2), who had also been a disciple Saint Polycarp. After the martyrdom of Saint Pothinus, Saint Irenaeus succeeded him as Bishop of Lyons. Besides the assaults of paganism, Irenaeus found himself compelled to do battle with many Gnostic heresies, against which he wrote his greatest work, A Refutation and Overthrow of Knowledge Falsely So Called . He was also a peace-maker within the Church. When Victor, Bishop of Rome, was prepared to excommunicate the Christians of Asia Minor for following a different tradition celebrating Pascha, Irenaeus persuaded him to moderate his zeal, and mediated peace. He made Lyons an illustrious bastion of Orthodoxy and a school of piety, and sealed his confession with martyrdom about the year 202, during the reign of Septimius Severus. He is not to be confused with Saint Irenaeus, Bishop of Sirmium, also celebrated today, who was beheaded and cast into a river in 304 under Diocletian.

August 24

Cosmas of Aetolia, Equal to the Apostles

Our holy Father Cosmas was from the town of Mega Dendron (Great Tree) of Aetolia. At the age of twenty, he went to study at the school of the Monastery of Vatopedi on the Holy Mountain. Later, he came to the Athonite Monastery of Philotheou where he was tonsured. With the blessing of his abbot, he departed for Constantinople where he learned the art of rhetoric, and thereafter, he began to preach throughout all the regions of northern Greece, the Ionian Islands, but especially in Albania, for the Christian people there were in great ignorance because of the oppression and cruelty of the Moslems. Finally, in 1776, after having greatly strengthened and enlightened the faithful, working many signs and wonders all the while, he was falsely accused by the leaders of the Jewish people and was executed by strangulation by the Moslem Turks in Albania.

August 25

Titus the Apostle of the 70

Saint Titus was a Greek by race, and an idolater. But having believed in Christ through the Apostle Paul, he became Paul's disciple and follower and labored with him greatly in the preaching of the Gospel. When Paul ordained him Bishop of Crete, he later wrote to him the Epistle which bears his name. Having shepherded in an apostolic manner the flock that had been entrusted to him, and being full of days, he reposed in peace, some ninety-four years of age.

August 26

The Holy Martyrs Adrian and Natalie

The holy Martyrs Adrian and Natalie confessed the Christian Faith during the reign of Maximian, in Nicomedia, in the year 298. Adrian was a pagan; witnessing the valor of the Martyrs, and the fervent faith with which they suffered their torments, he also declared himself a Christian and was imprisoned. When this was told to his wife Natalie, who was secretly a believer, she visited him in prison and encouraged him in his sufferings. Saint Adrian's hands and feet were placed on an anvil and broken off with a hammer; he died in his torments. His blessed wife recovered part of his holy relics and took it to Argyropolis near Byzantium, and reposed in peace soon after.

August 27

Holy Martyr Phanurius

Little is known of the holy Martyr Phanurius, except that which is depicted concerning his martyrdom on his holy icon, which was discovered in the year 1500 among the ruins of an ancient church on Rhodes, when the Moslems ruled there. Thus he is called "the Newly Revealed." The faithful pray to Saint Phanurius especially to help them recover things that have been lost, and because he has answered their prayers so often, the custom has arisen of baking a Phaneropita ("Phanurius-Cake") as a thanks-offering.

August 28

Moses the Black of Scete

Saint Moses, who is also called Moses the Black, was a slave, but because of his evil life, his master cast him out, and he became a ruthless thief, dissolute in all his ways. Later, however, coming to repentance, he converted, and took up the monastic life under Saint Isidore of Scete. He gave himself over to prayer and the mortification of the carnal mind with such diligence that he later became a priest of exemplary virtue. He was revered by all for his lofty ascetical life and for his great humility. Once the Fathers in Scete asked Moses to come to an assembly to judge the fault of a certain brother, but he refused. When they insisted, he took a basket which had a hole in it, filled it with sand, and carried it on his shoulders. When the Fathers saw him coming they asked him what the basket might mean. He answered, "My sins run out behind me, and I do not see them, and I am come this day to judge failings which are not mine." When a barbarian tribe was coming to Scete, Moses, conscious that he himself had slain other men when he was a thief, awaited them and was willingly slain by them with six other monks, at the end of the fourth century. He was a contemporary of Saint Arsenius the Great (see May 8).

August 29

Beheading of the Holy and Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John

The divine Baptist, the Prophet born of a Prophet, the seal of all the Prophets and beginning of the Apostles, the mediator between the Old and New Covenants, the voice of one crying in the wilderness, the God-sent Messenger of the incarnate Messiah, the forerunner of Christ's coming into the world (Esaias 40: 3; Mal. 3: 1); who by many miracles was both conceived and born; who was filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother's womb; who came forth like another Elias the Zealot, whose life in the wilderness and divine zeal for God's Law he imitated: this divine Prophet, after he had preached the baptism of repentance according to God's command; had taught men of low rank and high how they must order their lives; had admonished those whom he baptized and had filled them with the fear of God, teaching them that no one is able to escape the wrath to come if he do not works worthy of repentance; had, through such preaching, prepared their hearts to receive the evangelical teachings of the Savior; and finally, after he had pointed out to the people the very Savior, and said, "Behold the Lamb of God, Which taketh away the sin of the world" (Luke 3:2-18; John 1: 29-36), after all this, John sealed with his own blood the truth of his words and was made a sacred victim for the divine Law at the hands of a transgressor.

This was Herod Antipas, the Tetrarch of Galilee, the son of Herod the Great. This man had a lawful wife, the daughter of Arethas (or Aretas), the King of Arabia (that is, Arabia Petraea, which had the famous Nabatean stone city of Petra as its capital. This is the Aretas mentioned by Saint Paul in II Cor. 11:32). Without any cause, and against every commandment of the Law, he put her away and took to himself Herodias, the wife of his deceased brother Philip, to whom Herodias had borne a daughter, Salome. He would not desist from this unlawful union even when John, the preacher of repentance, the bold and austere accuser of the lawless, censured him and told him, "It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife" (Mark 6: 18). Thus Herod, besides his other unholy acts, added yet this, that he apprehended John and shut him in prison; and perhaps he would have killed him straightway, had he not feared the people, who had extreme reverence for John. Certainly, in the beginning, he himself had great reverence for this just and holy man. But finally, being pierced with the sting of a mad lust for the woman Herodias, he laid his defiled hands on the teacher of purity on the very day he was celebrating his birthday. When Salome, Herodias' daughter, had danced in order to please him and those who were supping with him, he promised her -- with an oath more foolish than any foolishness -- that he would give her anything she asked, even unto the half of his kingdom. And she, consulting with her mother, straightway asked for the head of John the Baptist in a charger. Hence this transgressor of the Law, preferring his lawless oath above the precepts of the Law, fulfilled this godless promise and filled his loathsome banquet with the blood of the Prophet. So it was that that all-venerable head, revered by the Angels, was given as a prize for an abominable dance, and became the plaything of the dissolute daughter of a debauched mother. As for the body of the divine Baptist, it was taken up by his disciples and placed in a tomb (Mark 6: 21 - 29). Concerning the finding of his holy head, see February 24 and May 25.

August 30

Alexander, John, and Paul the New, Patriarchs of Constantinople

Saint Alexander was sent to the First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea as the delegate of Saint Metrophanes, Bishop of Constantinople (see June 4), to whose throne he succeeded in the year 325. When Arius had deceitfully professed allegiance to the Council of Nicaea, Saint Alexander, knowing his guile, refused to receive him into communion; Arius' powerful partisans threatened that they would use force to bring Arius into the communion of the Church the following day. Saint Alexander prayed fervently that God might spare the Church; and as Arius was in a privy place relieving nature, his bowels gushed forth with an effusion of blood, and the arch-heresiarch died the death of Judas. Saint Alexander was Bishop from 325 until 337, when he was succeeded by Saint Paul the Confessor, who died a martyr's death at the hands of the Arians (see Nov. 6). The Saint John commemorated here appears to be the one who was Patriarch during the years 562-577, surnamed Scholasticus, who is also commemorated on February 21. He was from Antioch, where he had been a lawyer (scholasticus); he was made presbyter, then was sent to Constantinople as representative (apocrisiarius) of the Patriarch of Antioch, and was appointed Patriarch of Constantinople by the Emperor Justinian. Saint Paul was Bishop of Constantinople during the years 687 - 693, in the reign of Emperor Justinian II, and presided over the Quinisext Council in 692.

August 31

Eanswythe, Abbess of Folkestone


Wisdom of the Fathers

Wherefore then did He not do this, nor forgive the debt before the account? Desiring to teach him, from how many obligations He is delivering him, that in this way at least he might become more mild towards his fellow servant .... He gave more than he asked, remission and forgiveness of the entire debt.
St. John Chrysostom
Homily 61 on Matthew 18, 4th Century

When then you are minded to be revengeful, consider that against yourself are you revengeful, not against another; that you art binding up your own sins, not your neighbors ....
St. John Chrysostom
Homily 61 on Matthew 18, 4th Century


Hymns of the Day

Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Second Mode

When Thou didst descend unto death, O Life Immortal, then didst Thou slay Hades with the lightning of Thy Divinity. And when Thou didst also raise the dead out of the nethermost depths, all the powers in the Heavens cried out: O Life-giver, Christ our God, glory be to Thee.

Apolytikion for Afterfeast of the Dormition in the First Mode

In giving birth, thou didst preserve thy virginity; in thy dormition, thou didst not forsake the world, O Theotokos. Thou wast translated unto life, since thou art the Mother of Life; and by thine intercessions dost thou redeem our souls from death.

Seasonal Kontakion in the Second Mode

Neither the grave nor death could contain the Theotokos, the unshakable hope, ever vigilant in intercession and protection. As Mother of life, He who dwelt in the ever-virginal womb transposed her to life.