Thursday September 2nd/15th
13th 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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2 Corinthians 10:7-18
Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's. For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed: That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters. For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible. Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present. For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you. For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ: Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly, To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand. But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.
"Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation." Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit. There came then His brethren and His mother, and, standing without, sent unto Him, calling Him. And the multitude sat about Him, and they said unto Him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. And He answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And He looked round about on them which sat about Him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.
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HOLY MARTYR MAMAS
ST JOHN THE FASTER, PATRIARCH OF CONSTANTINOPLE
ST HIEU, ABBESS
Troparion of St Mamas Tone 3
Holy descendant of martyrs,/ thou didst eagerly follow their steps:/ while preaching the Savior's Name thou wast fulfilled in contest./ Wise and glorious Mamas,/ pray to Christ out God to save us.
Troparion of St John the Faster Tone 4
Anointed by the Holy Spirit,/ thou didst serve God like an earthly angel,/ O Shepherd and Hierarch John./ Thou didst purify thyself through fasting/ and grant cleansing to those who eagerly run to thee.
Troparion of St Hieu Tone 8
In Tadcaster's Monastery, O Abbess Hieu,/ thou didst shine with the virtues of asceticism and humility./ Pray that we also may follow the example of thy great teacher, the Hierarch Aidan,/ and live lives of spiritual struggle that our souls may be saved.
Kontakion of St Mamas Tone 3
Shepherd thy people in lifegiving pastures/ with the staff given thee by God./ And crush the invisible enemies beneath the feet of those who praise thee./ For all in danger have thee/ as a fervent intercessor, O holy Mamas.
Kontakion of St John Tone 4
Thou didst become like thy namesake the Forerunner, O John, for thou wast radiant with fasting and purity,/ Christ has made thee a worthy shepherd of His flock;/ beseech Him to save those who venerate thee.
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1. The Holy Martyr Mamas.
He was born in Paphlagonia of eminent Christian parents, Theodotus and Rufina, who were thrown into prison for the name of Christ. In the prison, Theodotus was the first to die, and Rufina, after giving birth to a son, soon followed her husband, and the newborn child was left in the prison beside the bodies of his parents. God the Provider sent His holy angel to a noble widow, Ammia, whom the angel told in a dream to go to the prison and take the child. Ammia asked the city governor's permission to bury the dead and take the child into her own home. The child was dumb until the age of five, and then his first word was'Mama', because of which he was given the name Mamas. At school, he showed an unusual brightness, and, being brought up at home in a Christian spirit, did not conceal his faith but confessed it before his contemporaries, mocking at the idols. In the time of the Emperor Aurelian, there was a vicious persecution of Christians, and the pagans did not spare even Christian children. Mamas was fifteen years old when he was taken before the Emperor. The Emperor told him to deny Christ only with his lips. To this Mamas replied: 'I shall not deny my God and King Jesus Christ either in my heart or with my lips.' The Emperor ordered that he be beaten, burned with torches and finally thrown into the sea, but an angel of God saved him and took him to a high mountain near Caesarea. There he lived in solitude and prayer, and fierce wild beasts were tamed by his holiness. He was eventually found there by the persecutors and put again to torture. Overcoming both the power of fire and the fierceness of wild beasts, holy Mamas was stabbed with a trident by a pagan priest. He thus gave his holy soul to the God to whom he had remained faithful in all his sufferings. Many of the sick have been healed by his relics.
2. St John the Faster, Patriarch of Constantinople.
St John is also commemorated on August 30th. He was a goldsmith at first, then, by God's providence and for his great virtues, was ordained priest. As a young man, St John was once walking with an old monk from Palestine, Eusebius. Suddenly, a voice came to Eusebius from some invisible source: 'Father, don't walk on the right of great John!'
This, the voice of God, was predicting the high service to which John was soon to be called. After blessed Eutychius' death, John was chosen as Patriarch of Constantinople. He was most unwilling to accept, but was overawed by a heavenly vision and thus gave his consent. He was a great faster, a man of prayer and a wonderworker right up to his death, entering into rest in 595. After his death, his only possessions were found to be a wooden spoon, a linen shirt and an old cassock. His writings on repentance and confession are well-known.
Saint Nikolai Velimirovic, Bishop of Ochrid and Zhicha
The Prologue of Ochrid