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Daily Reading:

Thursday February 4/17th
38th Week After Pentecost

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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 Peter 4:12-5:5

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

Mark 12:38-44

And He said unto them in His doctrine, "Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation." And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And He called unto Him His disciples, and saith unto them, "Verily I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living."

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Troparion of the Feast Tone 1
Rejoice, thou who art full of grace,/ Mother of God and Virgin,/ for from thee arose the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God,/ to give light to those in darkness./ Rejoice thou also, righteous Elder, who didst take in thine arms the Redeemer of our souls,/ Who also gives us the grace of resurrection.

Troparion of St Isidore Tone 4
In thy wisdom thou didst gloriously adorn the Church of Christ/ with thy many homilies, O righteous Isidore,/ thou wast purified by abstinence, deed and divine vision/ and didst shine forth in the world./ Through thy words, O Father, we are guided and initiated into a more excellent life.

Troparion of St Aldate Tone 1
Through thy pious upbringing thou didst become a shining beacon of the Orthodox Faith,/ O Hierarch Aldate./ Wherefore, O Saint, intercede for us that not straying from the true Faith,/ we may attain eternal salvation.

Kontakion of the Feast Tone 1
Thou Who didst sanctify the Virgin's womb by Thy birth/ and bless Symeon's hands as was fitting/ hast now come to us and saved us, O Christ our God./ But grant peace in the midst of wars to Thy community,/ and strengthen the Church which Thou hast loved,/ O only Lover of mankind.

Kontakion of St Isidore Tone 4
O Isidore, thou wast another morning star,/ and the Church is illumined by the brilliance of thy words./ She cries out to thee: Rejoice, O divinely wise and blessed Isidore.

Kontakion of St Aldate Tone 2
As a torch of truth, a tower of strength,/ a bastion of Faith, O Martyr Hierarch Aldate,/ thou art the adornment of Gloucester,/ the joy of all our nation and most worthy of all praise.

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Isidore was an Egyptian by birth and the son of a prominent family and kinsman of the Alexandrian Patriarchs Theophilus and Cyril. Having studied all the secular disciplines, he renounced worldly riches and glories and devoted himself completely to the spiritual life for the love of Christ. He was a great and ardent defender and interpreter of the Orthodox Faith. According to the statements of Nicephorus the historian, St. Isidore wrote more than ten-thousand letters to various individuals in which he reproached some, counseled some, and comforted and instructed others. In one letter St. Isidore writes: "It is more important to teach by a life of doing good than to preach in eloquent terms." In another, he says: "If one desires that his virtues appear great, let him consider them small and they will surely manifest themselves as great." The first and basic rule for St. Isidore was this: "First do, then teach according to the example of our Lord Jesus." At the time of the persecution of St. John Chrysostom when the entire population was divided into two camps; one for and one against, St. Isidore, this great pillar of Orthodoxy, sided with St. John Chrysostom. He wrote to Patriarch Theophilus saying what a great light of the Church Chrysostom is and begged him to avoid hatefulness toward him. Isidore lived long and accomplished much, glorifying Christ the God with his life and his writings. Isidore took up habitation in the kingdom of Christ about the year 436 A.D.

The Prologue From Ochrid-

of St. Nikolai (Velimirovic) Bishop of Zhicha