Wednesday July 8, 2020 / June 25, 2020
5th Week after Pentecost. Tone three.
Apostles’ (Peter & Paul) Fast. Food with OilVirgin-martyr Febronia of Nisibis (304). Prince Peter (1228) and Princess Febronia (tonsured David and Euphrosyne), wonderworkers of Murom. Venerable Dalmatus, abbot and founder of the Dormition Monastery in Siberia (1697)..
The Scripture Readings
Sts. Peter and Febronia of Murom
Holy Prince Peter, in monasticism David, and Holy Princess Febronia, in monasticsm Evphrosynia, Murom Wonderworkers:
Commemorated on June 25
Holy Prince Peter, in monasticism David, and Holy Princess Febronia, in monasticsm Evphrosynia, Murom Wonderworkers: Holy Prince Peter was the second son of the Murom prince Yurii Vladimirovich. He entered upon the throne of Murom in the year 1203. Several years before this Saint Peter had fallen ill with leprosy, from which no one was able to heal him. In a dream vision it was revealed to the prince, that the daughter of a bee-keeper would be able to heal him – the pious maiden Febronia, a peasant of Laskova village in Ryazan gubernia. Saint Peter sent his emissaries to this village.
When the prince saw Saint Febronia, he so fell in love with her for her piety, wisdom and virtue, that he made a vow to marry her after being healed. Saint Febronia healed the prince and became his wife. The holy couple loved each other through all their ordeals. The haughty boyars did not wish to have a princess of commoner’s origin and they urged, that the prince leave her. But Saint Peter refused, and so they banished the couple. They sailed off on a boat from their native city along the River Oka. Saint Febronia continued to console Saint Peter. But soon the wrath of God fell upon the city of Murom, and the people urged, that the prince return together with Saint Febronia.
The holy couple was famous for its piety and charity. They died on the same day and hour – 25 June 1228, having before this taken monastic tonsure with the names David and Evphrosynia. The bodies of the saints were put in the same grave.
Saints Peter and Febronia showed themselves exemplary models of Christian marriage.
By their prayers they bring down Heavenly blessing upon those entering into marriage.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
HYMN OF PRAISE
The virgin Febronia confessed Christ
Before the court standing, bloody and pale:
Like a palm branch, the young Febronia.
With beautiful fruit, the branch became heavy,
And to Silenus she spoke: “A Bridegroom, have I,
And no honors whatever from you will I accept.
Christ is my glory, Christ is my pride.
Oh yes, the beautiful countenance of my Bridegroom!
Cut off my feet, cut them off–the path they have traveled!
Cut off my hands, cut them off–the work they have completed!
Cut out my tongue, cut it out–with my heart will I pray!
Smash my mouth, smash it–with my heart will I speak!
Whip and crush my body–why do I need my body? The Bridegroom has prepared a more beautiful garment,
Among many holy ones, in the heavens above,
Among the angels, in sweet Paradise.
Do not think, O Silenus, when I depart,
That the fury of your life will die.
But hear me and remember: behold, the same day
Before the Living God, together we will go,
You as a torturer, and I as one tortured by you.
Each, his deeds, will bring with him.”
St. Mark the Ascetic said: “Whoever desires to avert future tribulations must bear the present tribulations with joy.” Men consider slander to be a great tribulation, and there are few who bear this tribulation without grumbling. How beautiful is the fruit of tribulation that is endured with good grace! Tribulation is given to us for good spiritual commerce, but we miss the opportunity and thus remain empty-handed in the market place. Behold, even Athanasius, Basil, Chrysostom, Macarius, Sisoes, and thousands of other followers of the Most-slandered One were themselves slandered. But God, Who orders all things for our salvation, had so ordered that, on the thorn of slander, there would spring forth fragrant roses of glory for all those who are slandered for His Name. Had Stephen not been slandered, would he have seen the heavens opened and seen the glory of God in the heavens? And did not the slander against Joseph the Chaste serve to his even greater glory?
To contemplate the miraculous catch of fish in the deep: But when He had ceased speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and lower your nets for a catch” (St. Luke 5:4):
1. How the apostles went out into the deep and, with the blessing of the Lord, caught an abundance of fish;
2. How I am empty and hungry as long as I stand in the shallows of the senses and fish there for power and wisdom;
3. How I should enter into the spiritual depths, with the blessing of the Lord, and there net a good catch.
About today and tomorrow
“Boast not of tomorrow, for you know not what any day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1).
Brethren, let us not boast of that which is not within our power. The Lord has set the seasons and the years under His authority, and He arranges them. God Himself alone knows whether tomorrow will number us among the living or the dead. Some have died on the eve of their marriage; others have descended into the grave on the eve of their coronation with a royal diadem. Therefore, let no one say: “Tomorrow will be for me the happiest day of my life, for tomorrow I enter into marriage!” or, “Tomorrow I will be crowned with a royal diadem!” or “Tomorrow I am going to a great feast!” or “Tomorrow a great gain is coming to me!” Oh, let no one speak of the happiness of tomorrow. Behold, this very night your soul may depart your body, and tomorrow you will find yourself surrounded by black demons in the tollhouses [Mitarstvo]! This very night, a man can be separated from his relatives and friends, from wealth and honor, from the sun and the stars, and find himself in a totally unknown company, in an unseen place, and at an unexpected judgment.
Instead of boasting of tomorrow, it would be better to pray to God to give us this day our daily bread. Today may be our last day on earth. That is why it is better to spend this day in repentance for all our past days on earth, rather than vainly fantasizing about tomorrow, about a day which perhaps will not dawn for us. Vain fantasizing about tomorrow cannot bring us any good, but repentance with tears for one day can save us from eternal fire.
O righteous Lord, burn up the insane vanity that is in us.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.