In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit:
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
+ + +
2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:5
But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work. Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you. And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
There were present at that season some that told Him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, "Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." He spake also this parable; "A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down."
+ + +
HOLY MARTYRS GALACTION AND HIS BRIDE EPISTEMA
Troparion of the Martyrs Tone 1
Let us the faithful honour these two betrothed athletes, Galaction and modest Epistema./ Their ascetic labours blossomed in martyrdom: therefore we cry to them:/ Glory to Him Who has strengthened you; glory to Him Who has crowned you;/ glory to Him Who through you works healings for all.
Troparion of St Cuby Tone 1
By thy journeyings, O Hierarch Cuby,/ thou dost teach us the virtue of making pilgrimages./ Wherefore, O Prince of Ascetics and all-praised Wonderworker,/ we entreat thee to intercede for us/ that Christ our God will not find our lives to be utterly worthless/ and will show us great mercy.
Troparion of St Kea Tone 1
Thou wast unsparing in thy missionary labours/ in Brittany and Cornwall, O Hierarch Kea./ As thou didst make the flame of the Orthodox Faith/ burn brightly in the face of defiant paganism,/ pray to God for us, that we devote our lives to confronting the paganism of our times/ for the glory of Christ's Kingdom and the salvation of men's souls.
Kontakion of the Martyrs Tone 2
You were numbered among the hosts of martyrs/ for you were illustrious in mighty contests,/ O Galaction with thy fellow sufferer Epistema./ Pray unceasingly to the One God for us all.
+ + +
Our Holy Father Galaction and our Mother Episteme, Martyrs.
They were born in the city of Edessa in Phoenicia, both of pagan parents. Galaction's mother was barren until she was baptised. After her baptism, she brought her husband also to the true Faith and baptised her son Galaction, bringing him up a Christian. When the time came for Galaction to marry, his devout mother Leucippe died, and his father betrothed him to a maiden called Episteme. Galaction did not wish to enter into marriage at all, and he quickly urged
Episteme to be baptised and then to become a nun at the same time as he became a monk. Both went away to the mountain of Publion, Galaction to a men's monastery and Episteme to a women's, and each of them became a true light in the monastery. They were first in labours, in prayer, in humility and obedience, and first in love. They did not leave their monasteries, and neither saw the other until the time of their death. A fierce persecution arose, and they were both brought to trial. While they were mercilessly whipping Galaction, Episteme was weeping, and they then whipped her also. They cut off their hands and feet, and finally their heads. One
Eutolius, a man who had been a servant of Episteme's parents and then a monk together with Galaction, took their bodies and buried them. He also wrote the Lives of these two wonderful martyrs for Christ, who suffered and received their heavenly crowns in 253.
The Prologue From Ochrid -
of St. Nikolai (Velimirovic) Bishop of Zhicha