Marriage and Virginity According to St. John Chrysostomos

St Alexander the Patriarch of Constantinople

Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,



O Mary, Mother of God, we too send up a doxology and a hymn of praise to You, who are the Most Revered Treasure of the whole world, the Ever-burning Lamp, the Crown of Virginity, the Scepter of Orthodox Christianity, the Space in which He Who is altogether uncontainable was contained within You, Who are both Mother and Virgin. You are a person for whom heaven rejoices, the Angels delight, the demons are banished and Satan is vanquished and fallen. Through You, O Theotokos, man, who had fallen into the depths of the abyss, is now able to once again rise to the truth. Through You all of the nations can be guided to salvation. Through You the Only-Begotten Son of God and our Savior Jesus Christ has shown a great light upon us who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death.

O Virgin Mary and Mother of God, who are full of grace, intercede for us now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.


On August 30th Our Holy Orthodox Christian Church commemorates, honors, and entreats the holy intercessions of the following Saints, Forefathers, Fathers, Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Preachers, Evangelists, Martyrs, Confessors, Ascetics, Teachers, and every righteous spirit made perfect in Our Holy Orthodox Christian faith: Saints Alexander, John, and Paul the New, Patriarchs of Constantinople; Synaxis (Assembly) of the Serbian Hierarchs: Sava I, Arsenius, Sava II, Efstathius I, James, Nicodemos, Daniel II, Ioannicius II, Spyridon, Ephraim II, Cyril, Nicon, Macarius, Gabriel I, and Gregory; St. Felix, Bishop of Thibiuca; Holy Martyrs Fortunatus, Septimius, and Januarius; St. Fantinos of Calabria; 16 Holy Martyrs of Thebes; 6 Holy Martyrs of Melitene; Saint Sarmata of Egypt; St.Bryaene of Nisibis; St. Evlalius of Caesarea; St. Alexander of Svir; Translation of the holy relics of Alexander Nevsky; Saint Alexander of Vladimirskaya; St. Alexander in Vostochanaya; St. Christopher of Palestine; St. Daniel, Prince of Moscow.

VENERABLE SARMATA OF EGYPT. St. Sarmata once went into the desert alone for forty days at the advice of the great Abba (Father) Poemen. When he returned, St. Poemen asked him what he had learned. St. Sarmata said, "Nothing special, abba." But when St. Poemen persisted, St. Sarmata said, "I have discovered one simple thing. If I should say to my sleep, 'Begone', it leaves me, If I should say, 'Come,' it comes". St. Sarmata said, "I much prefer a man who has sinned, and who knows how to acknowledge his sins and repent of them, to him that although he does acts of righteousness is still smug with his fairness." One of the fathers once went to St. Sarmata and confessed that he was negligent, that he had many filthy thoughts, and that his mind was continually disturbed. Saint Sarmata told him to go into his room for the sake of the name of God and to do whatever he could and to not trouble himself. He also advised that when he had kept vigil for a long while, then he should sleep if he was tired; when he got hungry, he should eat; and when thirsty, he should drink; and when his thoughts were continually troublesome, he should say to them, "I listened to thee earlier, but choose not to this time." St. Sarmata also said that if a man does not flee from everything possible, he makes sin inevitable.

+By the holy intercessions of Your Saints and Holy Martyrs, O Christ Our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen.


Holy Epistle Lesson: II Corinthians 1:12-20
Holy Gospel Lesson: St. Matthew 22:23-33


"The devil belittles small sins; otherwise he cannot lead us into great ones." (Saint Mark the Ascetic).

by Archpriest Josiah B. Trenham

Spousal Relations and Domestic Polity

The well-ordered Christian home begins with the proper relationship between husband and wife. "There is nothing which so welds our life together as the love of man and wife". The husband must have the highest regard for the salvation of his wife. If he neglects her salvation, he is storing up for himself great vengeance. The husband should be continually concerned with keeping his wife free from anguish, and not take too much notice of her words of complaint. The husband should seek to break off his wife's bad passions little by little, utilizing small steps.

There is no democracy in the Christian home. Rather the Christian home must be a benevolent monarchy. God has established a detailed governing order:

"In order that the one might be subject, and the other rule (for equality is wont oftentimes to bring in strife), He appointed it [the family] to be not a democracy (δημοκρατίαν) but a monarchy (βασιλείαν), and as in an army, this order one may see in every family. In the rank of monarch, for instance, there is the husband; but in the rank of lieutenant and general, the wife; and the children too are allotted a third station in command. Then after these a fourth order, that of the servant. For these also bear rule over their inferiors, and some one of them is oftentimes set over the whole, keeping ever the post of the master, but still as a servant. And together with this again another command, and among the children themselves again another, according to their age and sex...And everywhere God has made governments at small distances and thick together, that all might abide in concord and much good order."

How is it that love can exist in such a hierarchy, where fear is required? St. John Chrysostom answers: "It will exist there, I say, preeminently. For she that fears and reverences loves also; and she that loves, fears and reverences him as being the head, and loves him as being a member, since the head itself is a member of the body at large."

To the husband God entrusted the marketplace, and to the wife God entrusted the home. The man feeds and the woman clothes. The husband works in the politics of the city, while the wife assumes the large portion of the household administration. Should she cease to do this, the whole life of the city would come to a screeching halt.

Christian spouse must work together. No domestic violence is tolerated by Christ. The husband must not threaten the wife, for he is to love his wife as Christ loves the Church.

"The partner of one's life, the mother of one's children, the foundation of one's every joy, one ought never chain down by fear and menaces, but with love and good temper. For what sort of union is that, where the wife trembles at her husband? And what sort of pleasure will the husband himself enjoy, if he deals with his wife as with a slave, and not as with a free-woman? Yea, though you should suffer anything on her account, do not upbraid her; for neither did Christ do this".

Nothing is as grievous to a Christ-loving husband as to be in strife with his wife, who is to him both a harbor and a "potent healing charm" to rejoice his heart. The husband must consider her love to be more precious than all things, and if he is called to bear other's burdens, much more must he bear his own wife's. There can never be a justification for in any way trampling upon one's wife. The more patient a husband is, the more glorious his rule is shown to be. It is living in the light of the Cross of Christ and devotion to bearing it that should regulate all interaction between husband and wife and produce blessed harmony.

With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+Father George