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St. John the Theologian Orthodox Church
Publish Date: 2020-03-29
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Climicus
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St. John the Theologian Orthodox Church

General Information

  • Phone:
  • (281)554-7223
  • Street Address:

  • 202 North Walnut Street

  • Webster, TX 77598


Contact Information




Services Schedule

Saturday Vespers: 6:00pm Sunday: Orthros at 9am with the Divine Liturgy following Weeknight Services (according to calendar): Vespers 5:30pm, Divine Liturgy 6:30pm (Times are approximate)


Past Bulletins


Ministries/Announcements

PRAYER FOR PROTECTION from the CORONAVIRUS

O God Almighty, Lord of heaven and earth, and of all creation visible and invisible, in Your ineffable goodness, look down upon Your people gathered in Your Holy Name. Be our helper and defender in this day of affliction. You know our weakness. You hear our cry in repentance and contrition of heart. O Lord who loves mankind deliver us from the impending threat of the corona virus. Send Your Angel to watch over us and protect us. Grant health and recovery to those suffering from this virus. Guide the hands of all medical personnel, and preserve those who are healthy that we may continue to serve You in peace and glorify Your most honorable and majestic Name, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages. AMEN.

LIVE STREAMING OF SERVICES

Live streaming of services can be found through our sister churches

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral

St. Basil the Great Greek Orthodox Church

Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church - Austin - YouTube

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church - Dallas

St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church - Ft. Worth

VIRTUAL SUNDAY SCHOOL

During this extraordinary time of quarantine, the Church is bursting with energy and ideas for you and your families. There are activities for children of all ages, college students, families and adults! There is a Virtual Sunday School classroom for you, and Orthodox authors are reading their children's books aloud, OCF and YES are hosting speakers and warm chats on Zoom, and Orthodox Camp Directors are giving cooking classes and chanting classes and art classes! There's a lot going on, and you are invited.

You'll find a complete listing online at: https://www.y2am.org/AtHome

Go to y2am.org/calendar to add these activities to your digital calendar, so that you can keep your family engaged.

Additional Resources:

Tending the Garden of Our Hearts, Ancient Faith Radio's book and podcast for families, will be offering Virtual Sunday School! We present a little lesson every week, so during this strange time, we'll be expanding those podcast lessons into a full Online Sunday School experience, and you are all invited. After streaming the Divine Liturgy at any of our parishes around the world, join us on Sundays at tending-the-garden.com

In the meantime, if you're looking for resources to entertain the kids (and maybe even enrich them a bit), take a look at this amazing list: https://orthodoxchristianparenting.wordpress.com/2020/03/16/while-at-home-choosing-tomake-the-most-of-bonus-family-time/

COVID-19 LATEST NEWS & UPDATES

Coronavirus Updates - Houston Area

Archbishop Elpidophoros Announces Further Measures To Protect The Faithful

Further Guidance From The Holy Eparchial Synod

Protocol 20-06 from Metropolitan ISAIAH

PLEASE REMEMBER TO DONATE TO THE CHURCH

In addition to Stewardship checks that can be mailed to the church, online donations can be made through our website by clicking on the Donate button. Please consider adding a small amount to cover card fees.

BUY FROM AMAZON AND KROGER 

If you are an AmazonSmile customer, you can now support St. John The Theologian Greek Orthodox Church in the Amazon shopping app on your Android device! Easy set up instructions can be found on the home page of our church website.

Link your Kroger Plus Card to Community Rewards #UF318.

Many thanks to those who have linked their Kroger card and used the special code.

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Stewardship: Faith with Philotimo

2020-stewardship-banner-800

To be a voting member, a stewardship card must be filled out every year.

Online forms may also be filled out and sent directly from your computer at: https://www.stjohnclearlake.org/donate

Consider Giving Your Time and Talents: As you fill out your Stewardship pledge cards for 2020 first consider helping your church with your Time and Talents. Consider giving your Time for 2020, there are many ministries needing your help. Talk to Fr. Florin and/or parish council.

Consider Giving Increased Treasure Year Over Year:  A 10% increase in 2020 treasure commitment over your treasure commitment in 2019 will help meet the financial goals of our community to fund its annual expenses (including inflation), but more importantly help fund our church’s faith and philanthropic ministries and expand upon them.

Consider Tithing: Tithing is what we are asked and directed to do in the bible. We are to strive to give 10% of our income as stewards of our parish. If you increase your treasure commitment year over year by 10%, before you know it you can end up finding yourself Tithing.

 

DOWNLOAD the 2020 Stewardship card or 

FILL OUT the form online. 

All things are possible to the one who believes in Christ.

2020 Stewardship Thermometer Graph

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Church Calendar

  • Church Calendar

    March 29 to April 13, 2020

    Sunday, March 29

    Sunday of St. John Climacus

    9:00AM CANCELED: Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy

    12:30PM CANCELED: Introduction to Orthodoxy Class

    Monday, March 30

    John Climacus the Righteous, author of The Divine Ladder of Ascent

    Tuesday, March 31

    The Holy Hieromartyr Hypatius, Bishop of Gangra

    Wednesday, April 1

    Mary of Egypt

    6:30PM CANCELED: 9th Hours & Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts

    7:00PM CANCELED: Adult Greek School

    Thursday, April 2

    5th Thursday of Lent: The Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete

    Friday, April 3

    Nicetas, Abbot of the Monastery of Medicium

    6:30PM CANCELED: Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos

    Saturday, April 4

    5th Saturday of Lent: The Akathist Hymn

    10:00AM CANCELED: Children's Greek School

    Sunday, April 5

    Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt

    9:00AM CANCELED: Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy

    12:30PM CANCELED: Introduction to Orthodoxy Class

    Monday, April 6

    Eutychius, Patriarch of Constantinople

    Tuesday, April 7

    Calliopus and Akylina the Martyrs

    Wednesday, April 8

    The Holy Apostles of the Seventy Herodion, Agabus, Rufus, Asyncritus, Phlegon, and Hermes

    6:30PM CANCELED: 9th Hours & Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts

    7:00PM CANCELED: Adult Greek School

    Thursday, April 9

    The Holy Martyr Eupsychius of Caesarea

    Friday, April 10

    Terence and his Companions beheaded at Carthage

    6:30PM CANCELED: Great Vespers of Lazarus. Sacrament of Confession after Vespers

    Saturday, April 11

    Lazarus Saturday

    9:00AM CANCELED: Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy

    10:00AM CANCELED: Children's Greek School

    Sunday, April 12

    Palm Sunday

    9:00AM CANCELED: Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy

    12:00PM AHEPA/DOP Meeting

    6:30PM 1st Bridegroom Service

    Monday, April 13

    Holy Monday

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Gospel and Epistle Readings

Matins Gospel Reading

Eighth Orthros Gospel
The Reading is from John 20:11-18

At that time, Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him." Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?" Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, "Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." Mary Magdalene went and said to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that He had said these things to her.

Eighth Orthros Gospel
Κατὰ Ἰωάννην 20:11-18

Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, Μαρία δὲ εἱστήκει πρὸς τῷ μνημείῳ κλαίουσα ἔξω. ὡς οὖν ἔκλαιε, παρέκυψεν εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον καὶ θεωρεῖ δύο ἀγγέλους ἐν λευκοῖς καθεζομένους, ἕνα πρὸς τῇ κεφαλῇ καὶ ἕνα πρὸς τοῖς ποσίν, ὅπου ἔκειτο τὸ σῶμα τοῦ ᾿Ιησοῦ. καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῇ ἐκεῖνοι· γύναι, τί κλαίεις; λέγει αὐτοῖς· ὅτι ἦραν τὸν Κύριόν μου, καὶ οὐκ οἶδα ποῦ ἔθηκαν αὐτόν. καὶ ταῦτα εἰποῦσα ἐστράφη εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω, καὶ θεωρεῖ τὸν ᾿Ιησοῦν ἑστῶτα, καὶ οὐκ ᾔδει ὅτι ᾿Ιησοῦς ἐστι. λέγει αὐτῇ ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς· γύναι, τί κλαίεις; τίνα ζητεῖς; ἐκείνη δοκοῦσα ὅτι ὁ κηπουρός ἐστι, λέγει αὐτῷ· κύριε, εἰ σὺ ἐβάστασας αὐτόν, εἰπέ μοι ποῦ ἔθηκας αὐτόν, κἀγὼ αὐτὸν ἀρῶ. λέγει αὐτῇ ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς· Μαρία. στραφεῖσα ἐκείνη λέγει αὐτῷ· ῥαββουνί, ὃ λέγεται, διδάσκαλε. λέγει αὐτῇ ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς· μή μου ἅπτου· οὔπω γὰρ ἀναβέβηκα πρὸς τὸν πατέρα μου· πορεύου δὲ πρὸς τοὺς ἀδελφούς μου καὶ εἰπὲ αὐτοῖς· ἀναβαίνω πρὸς τὸν πατέρα μου καὶ πατέρα ὑμῶν, καὶ Θεόν μου καὶ Θεὸν ὑμῶν. ἔρχεται Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ ἀπαγγέλλουσα τοῖς μαθηταῖς ὅτι ἑώρακε τὸν Κύριον, καὶ ταῦτα εἶπεν αὐτῇ.


Epistle Reading

Prokeimenon. Plagal 4th Mode. Psalm 75.11,1.
Make your vows to the Lord our God and perform them.
Verse: God is known in Judah; his name is great in Israel.

The reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 6:13-20.

BRETHREN, when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore to himself, saying, "Surely I will bless you and multiply you." And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise. Men indeed swear by a greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he interposed with an oath, so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God should prove false, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

Προκείμενον. Plagal 4th Mode. ΨΑΛΜΟΙ 75.11,1.
Εὔξασθε καὶ ἀπόδοτε Κυρίῳ τῷ Θεῷ ἡμῶν.
Στίχ. Γνωστὸς ἐν τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ ὁ Θεός, ἐν τῷ Ἰσραὴλ μέγα τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ.

τὸ Ἀνάγνωσμα Πρὸς Ἑβραίους 6:13-20.

Ἀδελφοί, τῷ Ἀβραὰμ ἐπαγγειλάμενος ὁ θεός, ἐπεὶ κατʼ οὐδενὸς εἶχεν μείζονος ὀμόσαι, ὤμοσεν καθʼ ἑαυτοῦ, λέγων, Ἦ μὴν εὐλογῶν εὐλογήσω σε, καὶ πληθύνων πληθυνῶ σε. Καὶ οὕτως μακροθυμήσας ἐπέτυχεν τῆς ἐπαγγελίας. Ἄνθρωποι μὲν γὰρ κατὰ τοῦ μείζονος ὀμνύουσιν, καὶ πάσης αὐτοῖς ἀντιλογίας πέρας εἰς βεβαίωσιν ὁ ὅρκος. Ἐν ᾧ περισσότερον βουλόμενος ὁ θεὸς ἐπιδεῖξαι τοῖς κληρονόμοις τῆς ἐπαγγελίας τὸ ἀμετάθετον τῆς βουλῆς αὐτοῦ, ἐμεσίτευσεν ὅρκῳ, ἵνα διὰ δύο πραγμάτων ἀμεταθέτων, ἐν οἷς ἀδύνατον ψεύσασθαι θεόν, ἰσχυρὰν παράκλησιν ἔχωμεν οἱ καταφυγόντες κρατῆσαι τῆς προκειμένης ἐλπίδος· ἣν ὡς ἄγκυραν ἔχομεν τῆς ψυχῆς ἀσφαλῆ τε καὶ βεβαίαν, καὶ εἰσερχομένην εἰς τὸ ἐσώτερον τοῦ καταπετάσματος· ὅπου πρόδρομος ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν εἰσῆλθεν Ἰησοῦς, κατὰ τὴν τάξιν Μελχισεδὲκ ἀρχιερεὺς γενόμενος εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα.


Gospel Reading

Sunday of St. John Climacus
The Reading is from Mark 9:17-31

At that time, a man came to Jesus kneeling and saying: "Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a dumb spirit; and wherever it seizes him it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able." And he answered them, "O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me." And they brought the boy to him; and when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, "How long has he had this?" And he said, "From childhood. And it has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us." And Jesus said to him, "If you can! All things are possible to him who believes." Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, "I believe; help my unbelief!" And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "You dumb and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again." And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse; so that most of them said, "He is dead." But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, "Why could we not cast it out?" And he said to them, "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting." They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he would not have any one know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, "The Son of man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, after three days he will rise."

Sunday of St. John Climacus
Κατὰ Μᾶρκον 9:17-31

Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, ἄνθρωπός τις προσῆλθε τῷ Ἰησοῦ λέγων, διδάσκαλε, ἤνεγκα τὸν υἱόν μου πρός σε, ἔχοντα πνεῦμα ἄλαλον. καὶ ὅπου ἂν αὐτὸν καταλάβῃ, ῥήσσει αὐτόν, καὶ ἀφρίζει καὶ τρίζει τοὺς ὀδόντας αὐτοῦ, καὶ ξηραίνεται· καὶ εἶπον τοῖς μαθηταῖς σου ἵνα αὐτὸ ἐκβάλωσι, καὶ οὐκ ἴσχυσαν. ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς αὐτῷ λέγει· ὦ γενεὰ ἄπιστος, ἕως πότε πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἔσομαι; ἕως πότε ἀνέξομαι ὑμῶν; φέρετε αὐτὸν πρός με. καὶ ἤνεγκαν αὐτὸν πρὸς αὐτόν. καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὸν εὐθέως τὸ πνεῦμα ἐσπάραξεν αὐτόν, καὶ πεσὼν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἐκυλίετο ἀφρίζων. καὶ ἐπηρώτησε τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ· πόσος χρόνος ἐστὶν ὡς τοῦτο γέγονεν αὐτῷ; ὁ δὲ εἶπε· παιδιόθεν. καὶ πολλάκις αὐτὸν καὶ εἰς πῦρ ἔβαλε καὶ εἰς ὕδατα, ἵνα ἀπολέσῃ αὐτόν· ἀλλ᾿ εἴ τι δύνασαι, βοήθησον ἡμῖν σπλαγχνισθεὶς ἐφ᾿ ἡμᾶς. ὁ δὲ ᾿Ιησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ τὸ εἰ δύνασαι πιστεῦσαι, πάντα δυνατὰ τῷ πιστεύοντι. καὶ εὐθέως κράξας ὁ πατὴρ τοῦ παιδίου μετὰ δακρύων ἔλεγε· πιστεύω, κύριε· βοήθει μου τῇ ἀπιστίᾳ. ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς ὅτι ἐπισυντρέχει ὄχλος, ἐπετίμησε τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἀκαθάρτῳ λέγων αὐτῷ· τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἄλαλον καὶ κωφόν, ἐγώ σοι ἐπιτάσσω, ἔξελθε ἐξ αὐτοῦ καὶ μηκέτι εἰσέλθῃς εἰς αὐτόν. καὶ κράξαν καὶ πολλὰ σπαράξαν αὐτὸν ἐξῆλθε, καὶ ἐγένετο ὡσεὶ νεκρός, ὥστε πολλοὺς λέγειν ὅτι ἀπέθανεν. ὁ δὲ ᾿Ιησοῦς κρατήσας αὐτὸν τῆς χειρὸς ἤγειρεν αὐτόν, καὶ ἀνέστη. Καὶ εἰσελθόντα αὐτὸν εἰς οἶκον οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἐπηρώτων αὐτὸν κατ᾿ ἰδίαν, ὅτι ἡμεῖς οὐκ ἠδυνήθημεν ἐκβαλεῖν αὐτό. καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· τοῦτο τὸ γένος ἐν οὐδενὶ δύναται ἐξελθεῖν εἰ μὴ ἐν προσευχῇ καὶ νηστείᾳ. Καὶ ἐκεῖθεν ἐξελθόντες παρεπορεύοντο διὰ τῆς Γαλιλαίας, καὶ οὐκ ἤθελεν ἵνα τις γνῷ· ἐδίδασκε γὰρ τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ὅτι ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδίδοται εἰς χεῖρας ἀνθρώπων, καὶ ἀποκτενοῦσιν αὐτόν, καὶ ἀποκτανθεὶς τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ ἀναστήσεται.


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Saints and Feasts

Climicus
March 29

Sunday of St. John Climacus

The memory of this Saint is celebrated on March 30, where his biography may be found. He is celebrated today because his book, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, is a sure guide to the ascetic life, written by a great man of prayer experienced in all forms of the monastic polity; it teaches the seeker after salvation how to lay a sound foundation for his struggles, how to detect and war against each of the passions, how to avoid the snares laid by the demons, and how to rise from the rudimental virtues to the heights of Godlike love and humility. It is held in such high esteem that it is universally read in its entirety in monasteries during the Great Fast.


Allsaint
March 29

Mark, Bishop of Arethusa

Saint Mark was Bishop of Arethusa in Syria. In the days of Saint Constantine the Great, Saint Mark, moved with divine zeal, destroyed a temple of the idols and raised up a church in its stead. When Julian the Apostate reigned, in 361, as the pagans were now able to avenge the destruction of their temple, Saint Mark, giving way to wrath, hid himself; but when he saw that others were being taken on his account, he gave himself up. Having no regard to his old age, they stripped him and beat his whole body, cast him into filthy sewers, and pulling him out, had children prick him with their iron writing-pens. Then they put him into a basket, smeared him with honey and a kind of relish of pickled fish, and hung him up under the burning sun to be devoured by bees and wasps. But because he bore this so nobly, his enemies repented, and unloosed him.


Allsaint
March 29

The Holy Martyrs Jonas and Barachesius

As for the holy Martyrs Jonas and Barachesius, they were monks from Persia who lived in the reign of Sapor II, King of Persia from 325 to 379. These Saints found nine Christians in prison suffering for their faith, and comforted them, encouraging them to stand fast till the end, which they did, and received the crown of martyrdom. Because of this, Saints Jonas and Barachesius also were seized, and commanded to worship the fire, the sun, and the water. When they refused, Jonas, among other tortures, had his hands and feet cut off, was crushed in a device that broke his bones, and was sawn asunder. Barachesius was dragged naked over thorns, his whole body was pierced with sharp reeds and then broken in the same device employed upon Jonas, and when boiling pitch was poured down his throat, he gave up his soul into the hands of God.


Iconclimacus
March 30

John Climacus the Righteous, author of The Divine Ladder of Ascent

This Saint gave himself over to the ascetical life from his early youth. Experienced both in the solitary life of the hermit and in the communal life of cenobitic monasticism, he was appointed Abbot of the Monastery at Mount Sinai and wrote a book containing thirty homilies on virtue. Each homily deals with one virtue, and progressing from those that deal with holy and righteous activity (praxis) unto those that deal with divine vision (theoria), they raise a man up as though by means of steps unto the height of Heaven. For this cause his work is called "The Ladder of Divine Ascent." The day he was made Abbot of Sinai, the Prophet Moses was seen giving commands to those who served at table. Saint John reposed in 603, at eighty years of age. See also the Fourth Sunday of the Fast.


Hypatius
March 31

The Holy Hieromartyr Hypatius, Bishop of Gangra

This Saint, who was from Cilicia of Asia Minor, became Bishop of Gangra, the capital of Paphlagonia. He was present at the First Ecumenical Council. Because of his confession of the Orthodox Faith, he was put to death by the Novatians, a sect which denied that sins committed after Baptism could be forgiven.


01_mary2
April 01

Mary of Egypt

When Mary was only twelve years old, she left her parents and departed to Alexandria, where she lived a depraved life for seventeen years. Then, moved by curiosity, she went with many pilgrims to Jerusalem, that she might see the Exaltation of the venerable Cross. Even in the Holy City she gave herself over to every kind of licentiousness and drew many into the depth of perdition. Desiring to go into the church on the day of the Exaltation of the Cross, time and again she perceived a certain invisible power preventing her entrance, whereas the multitude of people about her entered unhindered. Therefore, wounded in heart by this, she decided to change her way of life and reconcile herself to God by means of repentance. Invoking our Lady the Theotokos as her protectress, she asked her to open the way for her to worship the Cross, and vowed that she would renounce the world. And thus, returning once again to the church, she entered easily. When she had worshipped the precious Wood, she departed that same day from Jerusalem and passed over the Jordan. She went into the inner wilderness and for forty-seven years lived a most harsh manner of life, surpassing human strength; alone, she prayed to God alone. Toward the end of her life, she met a certain hermit named Zosimas, and she related to him her life from the beginning. She requested of him to bring her the immaculate Mysteries that she might partake of them. According to her request, he did this the following year on Holy and Great Thursday. One year after this, Zosimas again went thither and found her dead, laid upon the ground, and letters written in the sand near her which said: "Abba Zosimas, bury here the body of wretched Mary. I died on the very day I partook of the immaculate Mysteries. Pray for me." Her death is reckoned by some to have taken place in 378, by some, in 437, and by others, in 522. She is commemorated also on the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent. Her life was recorded by Saint Sophronius of Jerusalem.


Allsaint
April 02

Titus the Wonderworker

Little is known of this Saint except that he took up the monastic life from his youth, became the abbot of a monastery, and reposed in peace.


Allsaint
April 03

Nicetas, Abbot of the Monastery of Medicium

Saint Nicetas lived in the eighth century and became the Abbot of the Monastery of Medicium, which was near the city of Triglia on the Sea of Marmara. For his Orthodox confession of the veneration of the holy icons, he was persecuted and exiled twice by the Iconoclast Emperor Leo the Armenian, but recalled by Michael the Stutterer, and reposed, adorned with the twofold crown of holiness and of confession of the Orthodox Faith, about the year 824.


Allsaint
April 03

Joseph the Hymnographer

Saint Joseph was from Sicily, the son of Plotinus and Agatha. Because Sicily had been subjugated by the Moslems, he departed thence and, passing from place to place, came with Saint Gregory of Decapolis (see NOV. 20) to Constantinople, where he endured bitter afflictions because of his pious zeal. Travelling to Rome, he was captured by Arab pirates and taken to Crete, whence he later returned to Constantinople. He became an excellent hymnographer and reposed in holiness shortly after 886 (according to some, it was in 883). The melismatic canons of the Menaion are primarily the work of this Joseph; they bear his name in the acrostic of the Ninth Ode. He also composed most of the sacred book known as the Paracletike, which complements the Octoechos For this reason, Joseph is called par excellence the Hymnographer.


Vmakthst
April 04

5th Saturday of Lent: The Akathist Hymn

About the year 626, the Persians, Avars, and Slavs came with a great host and besieged the imperial city of Constantinople while the Emperor Heraclius and the main body of the Byzantine army were absent in the East. Enemy ships filled the sea, especially the Golden Horn, and on land the adversaries were ready for attack with foot-soldiers, horses, and engines of war. Though the citizens courageously withstood them, yet they were few in number and would be unable to repulse the attack of such a great host. Hence, they could not count on any other means of salvation, except the protection of the Theotokos. And truly, suddenly a violent tempest broke up all the ships and submerged them, and the bodies of the invaders were cast out near the Blachernae quarter of the city where the famous Church of the Theotokos stood. Taking courage from this, the people went forth from the city and repulsed the remaining forces, who fled out of fear. In 673, the city was miraculously delivered yet again, this time from an invasion of the Arabs. Then in 717-718, led by the Saracen general Maslamah, the Arab fleet laid siege once more to the city. The numerical superiority of the enemy was so overwhelming that the fall of the Imperial City seemed imminent. But then the Mother of God, together with a multitude of the angelic hosts, appeared suddenly over the city walls. The enemy forces, struck with terror and thrown into a panic at this apparition, fled in disarray. Soon after this, the Arab fleet was utterly destroyed by a terrible storm in the Aegean Sea on the eve of the Annunciation, March 24, 718. Thenceforth, a special "feast of victory and of thanksgiving" was dedicated to celebrate and commemorate these benefactions. In this magnificent service, the Akathist Hymn is prominent and holds the place of honour. It appears that even before the occasion of the enemy assaults mentioned above, the Akathist Hymn was already in use as the prescribed Service for the Feast of the Annunciation, together with the kontakion, "When the bodiless one learned the secret command," which has the Annunciation as its theme. It was only on the occasion of the great miracle wrought for the Christian populace of the Imperial City on the eve of the Annunciation in 718 that the hymn "To thee, the Champion Leader" was composed, most likely by Saint Germanus, Patriarch of Constantinople.

Historians have ascribed the Akathist Hymn to Patriarch Sergius of Constantinople (638), to Saint George the Confessor, Bishop of Pisidia (818), or even to Saint Photius the Great (891), all of whom lived either at the time of or after the above-mentioned sieges. However, it appears most likely from its language, content, and style that the true composer of the Akathist Hymn is Saint Romanus the Melodist (6th century).


Allsaint
April 04

George the Righteous of Maleon

This Saint took up the monastic life from his youth, and went to Mount Maleon, where a community of monks gathered about him. He foretold his death from three years before, and reposed in an odour of sanctity.


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