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Daily Scripture Readings, Troparion and Kontakion

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Selected quotes and teachings of the Holy Fathers

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Learn about the lives of the saints of the Orthodox Church

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August 21/September 3

Troparion of the Feast Tone 1
In giving birth thou didst preserve thy virginity;/ in falling asleep thou didst not forsake the world, O Theotokos./ Thou wast translated to life, O Mother of Life,/ and by your prayers you deliver our souls from death.

Troparion of the Apostle Thaddeus Tone 4
O holy disciple and witness to God/ who appeared in the flesh for our sakes,/ thou didst bring the light of saving grace to those in darkness,/ thou wast revealed as an excellent physician to the people of Edessa./ Wherefore shelter those who fervently seek thee.

Troparion of St Vassa Tone 1
Thou wast a mother of fair children, O trophy-bearer Vassa;/ thou didst bring to the Trinity the fruits of thy womb:/ at thy word Theognios, Pistos and Agapios bravely contested and with thee partake of glory./ Save those who cry to thee;/ Glory to Him Who has crowned thee; glory to Him Who has glorified thee;/ glory to Him Who through thee works healings for all.

Kontakion of the Feast Tone 2
Neither the tomb nor death could hold the Theotokos,/ who is sleepless in her intercessions and an unchanging hope in her mediations./ For as the Mother of Life she was transferred to life/ by Him Who dwelt in her ever-virgin womb.

Kontakion of the Apostle Thaddeus Tone 4
The Church has acquired thee as a star, O Thaddeus, / and is ever enlightened by thy miracles. / Save those who faithfully venerate thy memory.

Kontakion of St Vassa Tone 8
Thou didst follow in the footsteps of Solomone, mother of the Maccabee children,/ and didst encourage thy three sons to endure the martyrs' contest./ Now thou hast passed beyond the afflictions of this life:/ deliver us from temptations for we cry to thee:/ Rejoice, O much-suffering Martyr Vassa.
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Thaddaeus was one of the Seventy Apostles but not the Thaddaeus who was one of the Twelve Apostles. St. Thaddaeus first saw and heard John the Baptist and received baptism from him and after that he saw the Lord Jesus and followed Him. The Lord numbered him among the seventy lesser apostles whom He sent two by two before His face, "After these things, the Lord appointed other seventy also and sent them two and two before His face into every city and place where He Himself would come" (St. Luke 10:1). After His glorious Resurrection and Ascension, the Lord sent Thaddaeus to Edessa, Thaddaeus' birthplace, according to the promise He gave to Prince Abgar at the time when He sent the towel with His face on it. By kissing the towel, Abgar was healed of leprosy but not completely. A little leprosy still remained on his face. When St. Thaddaeus appeared to Abgar, he received him with great joy. The apostle of Christ instructed him in the true faith and after that baptized him. When the baptized Abgar came out of the water, the remaining leprosy fell from him and he was completely healed. Glorifying God, Prince Abgar also wanted that his people should know the true God and to glorify Him. The prince assembled all the citizens of Edessa before the holy Apostle Thaddaeus to hear teaching about Christ. Hearing the words of the apostle and seeing their prince miraculously healed, the people rejected the idols, unclean living, embraced the Faith of Christ and were baptized. Thus, the city of Edessa was illumined by the Faith of Christ. Prince Abgar brought much gold and offered it to the apostle but Thaddaeus said to him: " Since we left our own gold, how can we receive the gold of others?" St. Thaddaeus preached the Gospel throughout Syria and Phoenicia. He reposed in the Lord in the
Phoenician city of Beirut.


Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are also commemorated on the Sunday of the Forefathers before Christmas as the righteous and chosen ones of God.