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Thursday, November 04, 2004

Daily Reading:

Thursday October 22nd/November 4th
23rd Week After Pentecost

KAZAN ICON OF THE MOTHER OF GOD



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In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit:

Illumine my heart, O Master who lovest mankind, with the pure light of Thy divine knowledge. Open Thou the eyes of my mind to the understanding of Thy Gospel teachings. Implant also in me a love for Thy blessed commandments. Grant me the grace to overcome all my carnal desires, so that I may enter more completely into a spiritual manner of living, both thinking and doing such things as are well pleasing to Thee. For Thou art the illumination of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God, and unto Thee do we ascribe glory, together with Thine all-holy, good and life-creating Spirit; now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


O Lord Jesus Christ, open Thou the eyes of my heart, that I may hear Thy word and understand and do Thy will, for I am a sojourner upon the earth. Hide not Thy commandments from me, but open mine eyes, that I may perceive the wonders of Thy law. Speak unto me the hidden and secret things of Thy wisdom. On Thee do I set my hope, O my God, that Thou shalt enlighten my mind and understanding with the light of Thy knowledge, not only to cherish those things which are written, but to do them; that in reading the lives and sayings of the Saints I may not sin, but that such may serve for my restoration, enlightenment and sanctification, for the salvation of my soul, and the inheritance of life everlasting. For Thou art the enlightenment of those who lie in darkness, and from Thee cometh every good deed and every gift. Amen.

By the intercessions of Thine All-immaculate Mother and of all Thy Saints, Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen


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1 Thessalonians 2:9-14

For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. Ye are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you that believe: As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, that ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:


Luke 11:14-23

And He was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered. But some of them said, "He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils." And others, tempting Him, sought of Him a sign from heaven. But He, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? Because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore shall they be your judges. But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth."


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KAZAN ICON OF THE MOTHER OF GOD
ABERCIUS THE WONDER WORKER, EQUAL-TO-THE-APOSTLES AND BISHOP OF HIEROPOLIS


Troparion of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God Tone 4
O fervent intercessor, Mother of the Lord Most High,/ thou dost pray to thy Son Christ our God and savest all who seek thy protection./ O Sovereign Lady and Queen,/ help and defend all of us who in trouble and trials,/ in pain and burdened with sins,/ stand in thy presence before thine icon,/ and who pray with compunction, contrition and tears/ and with unflagging hope in thee./ Grant what is good for us, deliverance from evil,/ and save us all, O Virgin Mother of God,/ for thou art a divine protection to thy servants.

Troparion of St Abercius the Wonderworker Tone 5
Thou didst emulate the zeal of the Apostles/ and shine forth like a morning star,/ and thy works showed thy God-given power:/ Thou didst guide the erring to God, O Hierarch Abercius.

Kontakion of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God Tone 8
O peoples, let us run to that quiet good haven,/ to the speedy helper, the warm salvation, to the Virgin's protection./ Let us speed to prayer and hasten to repentance./ For the Mother of God pours out her mercy, anticipates needs and averts disasters/ for her patient and God-fearing servants.

Kontakion of St Abercius the Wonderworker Tone 8
The whole Church honours thee as a great Hierarch and as a companion to the Apostles./ By thy prayers keep the Church unconquered and unshaken by heresy, O glorious Abercius.


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St Abercius the Wonderworker, Equal to the Apostles

In the time of the Emperor Antoninus (138-161), St Abercius wasbishop in the city of Hierapolis in Phrygia. The great majority ofthe town's inhabitants were pagans, and St Abercius governed hislittle flock with a heart greatly saddened by the great number ofpagans and idolaters, and with fervent prayer to God that He wouldbring them to the true Light. At the time of a rowdy idolatrousfestival, Abercius became inflamed with godly zeal and went into thetemple, smashing all the idols. When the furious pagans tried tokill him, three young madmen fell down before the man of God,foaming at the mouth and bellowing. The man of God drove the demonsout of them, and they were healed and became calm. Seeing this, thefury of the pagans turned to marvelling at Christ's wonderworker,and five hundred of them were immediately baptised. Little bylittle, everyone in the city of Hierapolis came to believe in Christand was baptised. The proconsul of the region, Publius, had a blindmother whose sight Abercius restored by prayer, and both Publius andhis mother came to faith in Christ, along with many other people. Inold age, Abercius was summoned to Rome, where he healed theEmperor's mad daughter. The Lord Christ appeared to His faithfulfollower several times. People from far and near came to him forhelp in chronic sickness, and the demons not only feared him butwere obedient to his commands. At the order of the Lord Himself, hepreached the Gospel throughout Syria and Mesopotamia, and went tohis beloved Lord in great old age, in the city of Hierapolis at theend of the second century.

The Prologue From Ochrid -

of St. Nikolai (Velimirovic) Bishop of Zhicha