Priest Monk Tito

Wednesday March 11, 2020 / February 27, 2020

Second Week of the Great Lent. Tone five.
Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)
Venerable Procopius the Confessor of Decapolis (ca. 750). New Hieromartyr Sergius priest (1932). New Hieromartyr Peter priest, Martyr Michael (1938). Venerable Titus, presbyter of the Kiev Caves (1190). Venerable Titus the Soldier, monk of the Kiev Caves (14th c.). Venerable Thalelaeus, hermit of Syria (460)

The Scripture Readings

Isaiah 5:16-25 (6th Hour)
Genesis 4:16-26 (Vespers, 1st Reading)
Proverbs 5:15-6:4 (Vespers, 2nd Reading)

The Monk Tito, Presbyter of Pechersk

Kiev Perchersk Lavra in Ukraine

Commemorated on February 27 Julien Calendar/11 March Gregorian Calendar

      The PriestMonk Tito, Presbyter of Perchersk

      The Monk Tito, Presbyter of Pechersk, in the Near Caves, lived in great friendship with the deacon Evagrii, which afterwards turned into a strong dislike and hostility. When the Presbyter Tito fell ill with a grievous illness and began to ready himself for death, he sent to Evagrii to implore forgiveness, but Evagrii would not be reconciled. The Pechersk brethren by force brought Evagrii to the sick-bed. The Monk Tito with tears begged him for forgiveness, but Evagrii remained obstinate. He declared that he would forgive Tito neither at present nor in the future. Having said this, he himself fell down dead, struck with a spear by an Angel, and at that very instant Tito received healing.
      The Monk Tito increased his efforts, became known for especial humility, and became a wonderworker.
      The Monk Tito reposed not earlier than 1190. His memory, besides 27 February, is celebrated also on 28 September with the Sobor-Assembly of the Monks of the Nearer Caves.

© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

Kiev Perchersk Lavra

HYMN OF PRAISE

FORGIVENESS

That God may forgive us, let us forgive men,

We are all on this earth as temporary guests.

Prolonged fasting and prayer is in vain

Without forgiveness and true mercy.

God is the true Physician; sins are leprosy.

Whomever God cleanses, God also glorifies.

Every merciful act of men, God rewards with mercy.

He who returns sin with sin perishes without mercy.

Pus is not cleansed by pus fron infected wounds,

Neither is the darkness of the dungeon dispelled by darkness,

But pure balm heals the festering wound,

And light disperses the darkness of the dungeon.

To the seriously wounded, mercy is like a balm;

As a torch, everyone rejoices in mercy.

The madman says: “I have no need of mercy!”

But, when he is overcome by misery, he cries out for mercy!

Men bathe in the mercy of God,

And that mercy of God wakens us to life!

That God may forgive us, let us forgive men,

We are all on this earth as temporary guests.

REFLECTION

Whenever we are outside the grace of God, we are outside of ourselves. Compared with our grace-filled nature, we find ourselves in no better condition than an insane man compared with a healthy man. Only a blessed man is a natural man, i.e., a man of higher and unspoiled nature, in which the grace of God rules and governs. St. Simeon the New Theologian says: “A lamp, even if it is filled with oil and possesses a wick, remains totally dark if it is not lit. So it is with a soul that appears to be adorned with all the virtues: if it does not have the light and the grace of the Holy Spirit, it is extinguished and dark” (Homily, Number 59). As the great Apostle also says: By the grace of God I am what I am (1 Corinthians 15:10). However, to be without grace means to be alienated from God and alienated from the reality of our own individual being. Our being, our personality, confirms our reality and receives its fullness only in nearness to God. That is why we must look at sinners as we look upon the sick: as weak shadows, without reality and without a mind.

CONTEMPLATION

Contemplate the Lord Jesus as the Vine: I am the true Vine (John 15:1):

1. As the Vine from which sprouted numerous fruitful branches in the persons of the saints;

2. As the Vine Who with His sap, that is, His blood, waters and feeds all the branches with Himself;

3. As the Vine from Whom the Divine Church has branched out on earth and in the heavens;

4. As the Vine from Whom I too should not separate the branch of my life.

HOMILY

on the power of Him Who resurrects the body

“Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19).

Here the Lord speaks about the temple of His body. Destroy this body and in three days I will raise it up! Thus speaks One Who knows His might and Who, according to His might, fulfilled His words. For His body was destroyed, broken, pierced, buried and covered with darkness for three days. And on the third day He raised it: raised it not only from the grave on earth but raised it up to the heavens. And so He spoke the word and His word came to pass.

The Lord gave a sign to the Jews, for they sought a sign from Him. And when He gave them a sign, such as no one else before Him had been able to give, they did not believe Him. Instead, confused and frightened, they bribed the guards from Golgotha to swear falsely and to proclaim the lie that this miraculous sign had not occurred, and that His disciples had stolen His body from the tomb!

No sign whatsoever helps those who do not want to believe. With their own eyes, the Jews witnessed the many miracles of Christ; but nevertheless they did not want to believe. They justified their unbelief, saying that He performed these miracles through the prince of the devils (Matthew 9:34). Whoever does not want to believe in good, all the signs that heaven can give will not help him. A heart filled with evil is harder than granite. A mind darkened by sin cannot be illuminated by all the light of heaven, whose light is greater than a thousand suns.

When man expels evil from his heart and delivers his mind from the darkness of sin, then he sees the numerous signs that God gives to those who want to believe–who see and believe.

O my brethren, let us not sin against the mercy of God and let us not succumb to the evil of the Jews. O my brethren, all the signs have already been given, and they all glitter as the stars in the heavenly firmament upon all who have a good heart and a right-thinking mind.

O Wonderworking Lord, to Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.