ST MARK, METROPOLITAN OF EPHESUS
Tuesday January 19th/February 1st
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
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Hebrews 12:25-26; 13:22-25
See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words. Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you. Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you. Grace be with you all. Amen.
And the Pharisees came to Him, and asked Him, 'Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife?' tempting him. And He answered and said unto them, "What did Moses command you?" And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. And Jesus answered and said unto them, "For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. " And in the house his disciples asked Him again of the same matter. And He saith unto them, "Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery."
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ST MACARIOS THE GREAT AND ST MACARIOS OF ALEXANDRIA
ST MARK, METROPOLITAN OF EPHESUS
Troparion of St Macarios of Egypt and St Macarios of Alexandria Tone l
O Godbearing Macarios and Macarios,/ you were found worthy of attaining to blessedness./ You had lived righteously, and having followed the path of divine law piously,/ you are partakers of divine glory and save those who cry;/ 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 Mark of Ephesus Tone 3
Holy Mark, in thee the Church has found a zealot/ by thy confession of the sacred Faith;/ for thou didst champion the Fathers' doctrine/ and cast down the pride of boastful darkness./ Pray to Christ our God for those who honour thee,/ that we may be granted the forgiveness of sins.
Kontakion of St Macarios the Great Tone 4
The Lord placed thee in the house of discipline/ as a star enlightening the ends of the earth;/ thou didst settle in the desert as in a city/ and receive from God the grace to work miracles./ We venerate thee, Macarios, Father of Fathers.
Kontakion of St Mark of Ephesus Tone 3
As one clad in invincible armour,/ thou didst cast down the pride of the Western rebellion;/ thou didst become an instrument of the Comforter/ and shine forth as Orthodoxy's defender./ Therefore we cry to thee: Rejoice, O Mark, boast of the Orthodox.
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From the life of St Macarius the Great:
Once, the elder was praying and heard a voice say, "Macarius, you fail to equal in virtue two women living together in the nearest city." With staff in hand, St. Macarius went to the city, and after much searching, found the house where the women lived. He knocked at the door and one of them opened and graciously invited him in. The older woman called for the other, and when she had come, he said, "I have walked here from the most remote part of the desert to see you and hear about your good deeds; therefore, I beg you to tell me everything about yourselves." The women answered, "Believe us, Father: last night we slept with our husbands. What outstanding feats of virtue do you suppose we have accomplished?" The elder was not dismayed, but insisted that they tell him more. After some hesitation, they continued, "We are not relatives, but are married to brothers. For fifteen years we have lived beneath the same roof in perfect peace, never exchanging thoughtless words. Not long ago, we decided to seek acceptance into a community of holy nuns laboring for God, but despite our tears and entreaties, have not succeeded in convincing our husbands to let us go. Since we were thwarted, we resolved, with God as Our witness, never again to speak about anything Worldly." Hearing this, Saint Macarius remarked, "In truth, the Lord is without partiality, accepting virgins, wives, monks, and laymen alike. He counts the intentions as deed, and readily bestows the grace of the Holy Spirit on everyone who earnestly labors to save himself."