Eastern Orthodox Calendar


2024-04-17 Wed

Holiday: no

Fast: yes

+++ Easter Monday


1. St. Joseph the Hymnographer. Born in Sicily to pious and virtuous parents, Plotinus and Agathia. After the death of his parents, he went to Thessaloniki where he became a monk. As a monk, he was an example to all in fasting, extreme self-control, constant prayer, chanting of psalms, vigilance, and labor. He was ordained a hieromonk by the Bishop of Thessaloniki. The renowned Gregory Decapolites, when visiting Thessaloniki, loved Joseph with all his heart and soul because of his rare character, and took him to his own monastery in Constantinople. When the iconoclastic heresy broke out again under Leo the Armenian, Joseph was sent to Rome to call on the Pope and the Roman Church to fight for the true faith. But on his journey, he was captured by pirates and brought to Crete, where the heretics held him in prison for 6 years. Joseph rejoiced that he had the honor of suffering for Christ and constantly thanked God for it, considering the iron chains on himself as golden ornaments. In the sixth year, on Christmas morning, the evil Emperor Leo was killed in the church service. At that very moment, St. Nicholas appeared to Joseph in prison and said to him: "Arise and follow me!" Joseph felt lifted into the air and suddenly found himself in front of Constantinople. All the Orthodox believers rejoiced at his arrival. He composed canons and hymns for many saints. He had the gift of clairvoyance, which is why Patriarch Photius appointed him as a spiritual father and confessor to the clergy, recommending him as a "man of God, an angel in the flesh, a father of fathers". In old age, he peacefully gave up his spirit to the Lord, whom he faithfully served with both deed and song. He passed away peacefully on Great Thursday in 883.

2. St. Martyr Fervuta and her sister, widow, and their servant. During the time of the Persian Emperor Savorius, the bishop St. Simeon was executed. Fervuta, the sister of the bishop, was taken to the palace at the request of the queen. But Fervuta was of extraordinary beauty, so many suitors, including pagan priests and soothsayers, came forward. Fervuta rejected them all, which aroused great anger against her. As the queen fell ill during that time, all the priests explained to the emperor that the queen was poisoned by Fervuta, and as a remedy for the sick queen, they recommended this: that Fervuta, her sister, and their servant, as Christians, should be sawed into three parts, with three halves of their bodies placed on one side and three on the other, and the queen would be carried between them. The emperor agreed to this cruel pagan proposal. And thus, Fervuta, along with her sister and servant, suffered for Christ in 343, earning for themselves an incorruptible crown in the immortal kingdom of their Lord.

3. St. Zosima. A monk of the Jordanian Brotherhood during the time of Emperor Theodosius the Younger. He found, administered communion to, and buried St. Mary of Egypt. He fell asleep in the Lord in his 100th year, in the 6th century.

4. St. Martyr Nikita. A Slav from Albania. As a monk on Mount Athos, he went to Serres, where he debated with the mullahs about faith. Unable to overcome him with arguments, the Turks subjected him to torture, in which Nikita the saint passed away and gave his soul to God in 1808.


The handmaiden of the Lord, the virgin Fervuta,
Like an innocent lamb silently on the slaughter,
uttered no woe nor lamentation;
But with joy she received and endured her martyrdom.
She despised illusions and earthly lies,
For she held God dearer than all the world combined,
In the imperial court, disease and emptiness
Without the wonderful faith in God`s Son,
Surrounded by priests, a cursed darkness
Without knowledge of the Creator and the heavenly realm.
Physical beauty was a stumbling block,
Without love for God, faith, and hope,
Fervuta therefore offered herself to Christ,
Giving everything to the world, except her pure soul.
Her bodily prison, the tormentor shattered,
But it could not capture her living soul;
The prison shattered, her soul went to Paradise,
It attains true freedom from false freedom.
Shedding blood on the earth, the body became dust,
But Fervuta remained alive in eternity.

INTERPRETATION
Whoever glorifies God, God glorifies him. This was clearly and abundantly demonstrated in the lives of the saints. St. Joseph the Hymnographer truly glorified God through his deeds, sufferings, and hymns. And God glorified him both during his lifetime and after his death. During his lifetime, St. Nicholas appeared to him in prison and freed him from captivity. And when St. Joseph contemplated whether to compose a canon for St. Bartholomew the Apostle, this very apostle appeared to him dressed in white garments and told Joseph that it was pleasing to God for him to compose that canon. When Joseph reposed, a citizen of Constantinople learned about the glory with which God glorified His servant. This man had come to the church of St. Theodore of Faneromeni to pray to this saint and ask him to reveal where his runaway servant was hiding. For St. Theodore was known among the people as a saint who reveals lost or stolen things, which is why he was called the Faneromenos (Revealer). The man prayed for three days and three nights, and when he received no answer from the saint, he intended to leave. At that moment, St. Theodore appeared to him in a vision and said, "Why are you angry, man? St. Joseph the Hymnographer was separating his soul from his body, so we were with him. And when he reposed tonight, we all, whom he glorified with his songs, escorted his soul to heaven and presented it before the face of God. Therefore, I have delayed in appearing to you."

MEDITATION
To meditate on the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and that:
1. His soul returned from Hades back to His body.
2. He resurrected His own body by His divine power, with which He resurrected other dead.

SERMON
on the Church of the Body of the Lord
"Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." (John 2:19)
Thus spoke the Lord to the wicked Jews about the church of His body. But since nothing was given to the wicked to understand, as the Jews did not understand anything, they mocked Him. The Lord did not rebuke them for it, but what He said came to pass. The Jews destroyed His body, but He restored and raised it up in glory and power. The triumph of wickedness cannot be shorter, and nothing is more enduring than the triumph of Truth. Destroy this temple. The Lord calls His body a temple. That temple, destroyed, was confined to a dark tomb and prevented from the access of light by a heavy stone. But that temple did not require sunlight; it had its own light, its own Sun of Righteousness that shone from within. A gentle heavenly hand moved the stone from the tomb, and the Lord arose in glory and power. What happened once with the most pure body of Christ happened later many times with the Church of the Saints on earth. The enemies of the Church heartlessly persecuted and tormented it, destroyed it, and buried it in darkness. But the Church would rise with even greater glory and power after such murders and oppression. Just as the church of His body rose, so will the Church of His Saints rise at the end of time in fullness and perfection.
O Risen Lord, do not deliver us to decay and eternal death, but resurrect us into eternal life. To Thee be glory and thanks forever. Amen.



DD Day Saint Fasting
01 Mon Holy Martyrs Chrysanthus and Daria, and others with them yes
02 Tue Holy venerable martyrs John and others yes
03 Wed Saint James, bishop and confessor yes
04 Thu Saint Vasilije, presbyter of Anchialos yes
05 Fri Holy Hieromartyr Nikon yes
06 Sat Holy Artemon, bishop of Seleucia yes
07 Sun +++ Evangelism yes
08 Mon St. Archangel Gabriel. yes
09 Tue Holy Martyr Matrona of Thessaloniki yes
10 Wed Сaint venerable martyr Eustratius of Pechersk yes
11 Thu Saint Mark the Confessor, Bishop of Arethusa in Syria yes
12 Fri Holy venerable John of the Ladder yes
13 Sat Saint Hesychasm Martyr Hypatius, Bishop of Gangra yes
14 Sun Holy venerable Mary of Egypt yes
15 Mon Saint venerable Titus the Wonderworker yes
16 Tue St. Nikita the Confessor yes
17 Wed +++ Easter Monday yes
18 Thu Holy Martyrs Agathopod and Theodoul yes
19 Fri Holy Euthymius, Patriarch of Constantinople yes
20 Sat Saint George Confessor yes
21 Sun Holy Apostles Herodian, Agabus, Rufus, Asyncritus, Phlegon, and Hermas. yes
22 Mon Holy Martyr Eupsychius yes
23 Tue Saint Martyrs Terentius, Africanus, Maximus, Pompeius, and the other thirty-six with them. yes
24 Wed Holy Hieromartyr Antipas, Bishop of Pergamon, in Asia yes
25 Thu Saint venerable Isaac of Syria II yes
26 Fri Saint Martyr Artemon yes
27 Sat Saint Martin, confessor, Pope of Rome yes
28 Sun +++ The Entry of the Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem - Palm Sunday yes
29 Mon Сaint martyrs Agapiya, Khioniya, and Irina yes
30 Tue Saint Svetenomartyr Simeon, Bishop of Persia yes