Our Holy Father Xenophon and our Mother Maria, and their sons John and Arcadius (January 26)
St David, King of Georgia (1089 -1130) (January 26)
Our Holy Father Simeon the Ancient (January 26)
The greatest blessing any country can have is that of good and holy men living within it. Compared with this blessing, all other blessings are as nothing. Devout Christian kings regarded holy people in their lands as the greatest blessing from God. The holy Emperor Con-stantine the Great said: `We bless the Lord Jesus Christ that there exist in my day three glorious saints: the blessed Abba Antony, Abba Elenius and Abba Euchius.' Before the Battle of Kulikovo, a battle fateful for Russia, the devout Prince Dimitri of the Don went off with his chief advisors and commanders to the forest of Radonezh to seek St Sergius and beg his prayers. And although the prince prepared his armies for the war of liberation from the Tar-tars, he placed greater confidence in the prayers of one holy man than in a vast army and many weapons.
Let me ponder on the Lord Jesus as a prophet: 1. As the prophet who clearly prophesied to some individuals (e.g. Peter, John, Judas and other of the apostles) what would happen to them in the future. 2. As the prophet who clearly prophesied the future of Jerusalem and other cities, of the Jewish people and of the Church of God. 3. As the prophet who clearly prophesied the end of the world and His Second Coming.
- on the perplexity of those darkened by sin.
`Who is this that forgiveth sins' (Lk. 7:49)?
Thus asked unrepentant sinners: `Who is this?'This is He who feels most painfully the sting of human sin, on whom all human sin falls as a blow. It is He who at one time in Paradise saw man sinless, who created man sinless and who is Himself sinless from all eternity to all eternity.
Only he can forgive who can also take revenge. A strong man gets his revenge by reprisal, a weak man by hatred. If you can return a blow and do not do so, this does not yet mean that you have forgi-ven, until the root of anger is torn out from your heart. Great is the one Lord, who can both requite and forgive. Great is He in righte-ousness, for He will requite the unrepentant sinner; great is He in mercy, for He will forgive the repentant.
Oh that men could comprehend the power of the forgiveness of sins! Lo, when the blind man's sins are forgiven, he sees, the deaf man hears, the hunchback stands straight, the one with an issue of blood is healed, the idiot becomes wise, the possessed of devils is freed, the harlot is cleansed and the dead is brought to life.
But how terrible are the chains of sin! What heavy chains man-ifold sins are! These chains cannot be !oosened by the hands of sin-ners. But when the hands of the most pure Lord touch them, they break and fall of their own accord. When the voice of the Pure One reaches them, they fall away. They fall away before the glance of the Pure One. Yea, even at the thought of the Pure One they fall away.
Who is this that forgiveth sins? It is, O sinners, the most pure Lord, He who is, by His purity, almighty.
O most pure and almighty Lord, free us also from the shackles of sin. To Thee be glory and praise for ever. Amen.
* From "The Prologue from Ochrid", by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic - Lazarica Press - Birmingham 1985
Four Book Edition - Translated by Mother Maria - Dates based on old church calendar.
Please see our calendar for conversion between old and new calendar dates.