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Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Daily Reading:

Wednesday November 18th/December 1st
27th Week After Pentecost
NATIVITY FAST

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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 Timothy 5:22-6:11



Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure. Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities. Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after. Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid. Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.


Luke 18:15-17, 26-30



And they brought unto Him also infants, that He would touch them: but when His disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto Him, and said, "Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein." And they that heard it said, "Who then can be saved?" And He said, "The things which are impossible with men are possible with God." Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. And he said unto them, "Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting."



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HOLY MARTYRS PLATO AND ROMANUS
ST MAWES



Troparion of Ss Plato and Romanus Tone 1
The renowned pair of prizewinners glorified the Trinity./ They both fought valiantly and destroyed the enemy./ Glorious Plato and godly Romanus, pray for us to the Lover of mankind.

Troparion of St Mawes Tone 8
Despite thy royal birth thou didst embrace the monastic life in infancy,/ O Father Mawes, boast of ascetics and banisher of snakes./ As we are blessed to have thy precious relics with us to this day,/ pray O Saint, that we may be worthy of Christ's mercy and that our souls may be saved.

Kontakion of St Plato Tone 3
Thy holy memory gladdens the world/ and calls all to thy venerable church./ We are gathered there praising thy triumphs/ and cry out to thee with faith:/ Deliver thy flock, O Plato, from all evil.

Kontakion of St Romanus Tone 4
Romanus, thou art a radiant star/ and the Church is illumined by thy contests./ She glorifies thy memory.



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The Holy Martyr Plato


From the town of Ancyra in Galatia, he was born and brought up a Christian. Even in his youth, he showed great perfection in every virtue. Plato did not conceal his faith in Christ the Lord, but preached it openly, denouncing idolaters for their bowing down to dead creatures in place of the living Creator. For this, he was brought before the governor, Agrippinus, for trial, and was harshly tortured by him. When the governor began to urge him to escape death and save his life by worshipping idols, Plato replied: 'There are two deaths: the temporal and the eternal; and there are two lives: the one transitory and the other without end.' Then Agrippinus put him to harsher torture. Among other tortures, he commanded that red-hot cannon balls be placed on his naked body, and that his flesh be cut into strips. 'Torture me more harshly', cried the martyr to the torturers, 'that your inhumanity and my endurance may be the more clearly seen.' When the torturer spoke to the martyr about the philosopher Plato, saying that he was a pagan philosopher, he replied: 'I am not like Plato, nor he like me, except in our names. I learn and teach the wisdom that is of Christ, while he teaches the wisdom that is folly before God.' After that, Plato was thrown into prison, where he spent eighteen days without bread or water. When the warders marvelled that Plato could live without food for so long, he said to them: 'You are satiated by food, but I by holy prayer; you rejoice in wine, but I in Christ the true Vine.' He was finally beheaded with the sword in about 266, and received a wreath of eternal glory.


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The Holy Martyrs Romanus and Barulas.

Holy Romanus was a deacon of the Church in Caesarea, and at one time preached the Gospel in Antioch. When there was an idolatrous feast, and the governor of Antioch, Asclepiades, was going into a pagan temple to offer sacrifice, Romanus stood in front of him and said: "You sin, O Governor, when you go to the idols. They are not gods, for Christ is the only, true God." The furious governor put Romanus to torture, and he as flogged and flayed without mercy. At that moment, he saw a child called Barulas, and said to Asclepiades: "This little child has more understanding than you, old man, for he knows the true God, and you do not." The governor began to question Barulas about his faith, and he confessed his faith in Christ the Lord as the one, true God, and his unbelief in the false idols. Then Asclepiades commanded that little Barulas be beheaded with the sword, and Romanus be strangled in the prison, which came to pass in the year 303. Thus both these martyrs inherited the Kingdom of Christ.


From The Prologue From Ochrid -
by Bishop (Saint) Nikolai Velimirovich