Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE. Ο ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΕΝ ΤΩ ΜΕΣΩ ΗΜΩΝ! ΚΑΙ ΗΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΑΙ.
A PRAYER TO THE EVER-VIRGIN MARY AND THEOTOKOS
Take away from me, O Virgin, the fetters of sin, of my lust and the other transgressions: the terrible carelessness and the overcaring, the evil curiosity and the talkativeness, the useless incontinence and the haughtiness, the negligence, the drunkenness and the lack of mercy, the bad desires, the terrible impurity, the extravagance, the darkness, the great insensitivity. Take away the tendency to say jokes, the enjoyment, the prodigality, the laughter of immorality and every evil. Give me, O Maiden, chastity, give me continence, fasting, carefulness, vigilance and perfect obedience. Give me carefulness in all and acute discernment, silence, order and holy patience. Grant to me, O Lady, eagerness to work and to attain my perfection, and zeal for virtues and exercise. Keep, O Most-Holy One, my soul, my heart and my mind in holiness and guard it in virginity. Amen.
On January 22nd 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 ever righteous spirit made perfect in Our Holy Orthodox Christian faith: Holy Apostle Timothy, disciple of the Holy Apostle Paul and one of the Seventy; Holy Righteous Martyr Anastasios of Persia; Holy Martyrs: Manuel, Bishop of Adrianople; George, Bishop of Deultum; Peter the Presbyter; Leontius, Bishop of Nicaea; Saints Sionius, Gabriel, John, and Leo the Military Tribunes; Saint Paradus the Presbyter; and another 377, who were martyred in Bulgaria about the year 815 AD; our Righteous Father Joseph the Sanctified of Crete; Holy Righteous Martyr Anastasius the Deacon of the Kiev Caves; our Righteous Father Macarius the Wonderworker of Zhabyn.
+By the holy intercessions of Your Saints, Holy bishops, Holy Martyrs, Holy Presbyters, Holy Deacons, O Christ Our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen.
THE HOLY APOSTLE TIMOTHY OF THE SEVENTY. Saint Timotheos (Timothy) was Saint Paul's companion in many of his journeyings. His mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois, are mentioned as eminent for their piety (II Timothy 1:5). We know nothing of his father but that he was Greek (Acts 16:1). He is first brought into notice at the time of Saint Paul's second visit to the place (I Timothy 1:2; II Timothy 3:11). The Apostle having formed a high opinion of his "own son in the faith," arranged that he should become his companion (Acts 1:3), and took and circumcised him, so that he might conciliate the Jews. He was designated to the office of an Evangelist (1 Timothy 4:14), and went with Saint Paul in his journey through Phrygia, Galatia, and Mysia; also to Troas and Philippi and Verea (Acts 17:14). From there he followed Saint Paul to Athens, and was sent by him with Holy Apostle Silas on a mission to Thessaloniki (Acts 17:15; I Thessalonians 3:2). We next find him at Corinth (I Thessalonians 1:1; II Thessalonians 1:1) with Saint Paul. He passes now out of sight for a few years, and again accompanied Saint Paul afterwards into Asia (Acts 20:4), where he is sent on a mission into Macedonia. When the Holy Apostle Paul was a prisoner in Rome, Saint Timothy joined him (Philemon 1:1), where it appears he also suffered imprisonment (Hebrews 13:23). During Saint Paul's second imprisonment he wrote to Saint Timothy, asking him to rejoin him as soon as possible, and to bring with him certain things which he had left at Troas, his cloak and parchments (II Timothy 4:13).
According to Holy Tradition, Saint Paul ordained Saint Timothy Bishop of Ephesus in 65 AD, where he served for 15 years. In 80, Saint Timothy tried to halt a pagan procession of idols, ceremonies, and songs. In response to his preaching of the Gospel, the angry pagans beat him, dragged him through the streets, and stoned him to death in the year 93 AD. In the 4th century, his holy relics were transferred to the church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople and buried by the graves of Saint Luke the Evangelist and Saint Andrew the First-Called. The church also numbers Saint Timothy among the 70 Holy Apostles sent out by Jesus Christ to preach the Gospel (St. Luke 10:17). "Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, 'Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name".
Two books of the New Testament bear his name: I Timothy and II Timothy. These are addressed to Saint Timothy and traditionally attributed to the holy Apostle Paul.
Saint Timothy contributed greatly to the spreading and establishing of the Christian faith. Saint Paul called him his own son in the faith (I Timothy 1:2). Also, Saint Paul wrote to Saint Timothy: You have followed my teaching, way of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, and patience" (II Timothy 3:10-11). When the pagan Roman emperor Domitian exiled Saint John the Theologian and Evangelist from Ephesus to the Greek island of Patmos, Saint Timothy remained in Ephesus as bishop.
In Russian Orthodox practice, the back of a Priest's cross is often inscribed with Saint Paul's words to Saint Timothy: "Be an example to the believers in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity" (1 Timothy 4:12).
Apolytikion to the Saint. Tone Four
Thou didst learn kindness and goodness and wast sober and temperate in all things, and wast clothed with a good conscience as becomes a holy person. Thou didst draw from the Chosen Vessel unspeakable mysteries; and having kept the Faith thou didst finish thy course, O Apostle Timothy. Intercede with Christ our God that our souls may be saved.
Kontakion. Tone First
Let us the faithful praise the Holy Apostle Timothy, the companion of Paul in his travels and together with him let us honor the wise Anastasius, who came as a star from Persia for the healing of the passions of our souls and the disease of our bodies.
FROM I TIMOTHY 6:11-16
"But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ's appearing, which He will manifest in His own time. He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings an Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has been or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen."
OUR HOLY FATHER, THE MARTYR ANASTASIUS. Saint Anastasios was a Persian by birth, with the pagan name of Magundat. When Byzantine Emperor Heraclius waged war against the Persians, Magundat deserted to the Christians and went to Jerusalem, where he was baptized and given the name Anastasios. It was not enough for him to be baptized; he also became a monk in order to give himself entirely to the service of God. Among other ascetic practices, he very early read the lives of the Holy Martyrs and, reading this, wetted the book with his tears, greatly yearning for martyrdom himself. He lay long in prison and was horribly tortured, until king Chozroes condemned him to death. After this condemnation, Saint Anastasios was drowned, then taken out of the water and beheaded by the executioner, who sent his head to the king. Saint Anastasios suffered on January 22nd, 628 AD, in the town of Bethsaloe near Nineveh.
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
The Orthodox Church possesses an inexhaustible treasure in the evidence of life after death. To note one example among many; one which at the same time witnesses that the spirit (soul) of man lives after bodily death and that voluntary obedience brings blessed immortality: when Saint Theodosius the Great had founded a monastery, he had at first only seven monks. To establish them well in remembrance of death, he ordered them to dig a grave. When the grave was ready, Saint Theodosius stood over it, gathered the seven of them together and said: 'Well, my children; the grave is now ready! Is there among you who is ready for death, to be buried in this grave?' One of them, a priest called Basil, fell to his knees and besought St. Thedosius's blessing to die. Saint Theodosius ordered that the memorial services be held for Basil on the third, ninth and fortieth day, as is the tradition for the departed. When the fortieth memorial was finished, Basil, in full health, lay down and died. And he was buried in the new grave. On the fortieth day after his burial, Basil appeared in the morning among the brethren in church and sang with them. At first only Saint Theodosius saw him, but he prayed to God that He would open the eyes of the others. Then all the brethren looked and saw Basil among them. One of the brethren, Letius, joyfully spread his arms wide, intending to embrace Basil, but the latter disappeared. Basil's voice was heard: 'Save yourselves, my fathers and brethren, save yourselves!' (The Prologue from Ochrid)
--on God's Omniscience and Providence.
"The very hairs of your head are all numbered" (St. Matthew 10:30).
The hairs of your head, also, are numbered, my brother and sister, not to mention the days of your life! Fear not, then, that you will die before the appointed time, neither hope by some means to prolong your life for even one day beyond the will of Him Who counts and measures. Let his knowledge teach you meekness and the fear of God.
The hairs of your head, also, are numbered, not to mention your sufferings on earth. Fear not, then, that you will suffer more than the appointed measure. Fear even less that your sufferings will remain forgotten and uncounted by Him Who sees all. This knowledge will teach you patience and trust towards your Creator and Provider.
The hairs of your head, also, are numbered, not to mention your friends and foes upon earth. Fear not, then, that you will have too many friends or too many foes; neither fear that your foes will triumph over you or hope that your friends will defend you. Only take care to have God for your friend, and fear nothing. Lo, He is the only friend that is constant in His love.
O Gracious Lord, our Wise Provider, Who knowest the number, the measure and the time of all things; drive far from us all fear but the fear of Thee. May we, from fear of Thee, come to a pure and holy love for Thee, our Creator and Benefactor. To Thee be Glory and Praise for ever. Amen. (The Prologue from Ochrid)
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God