Wednesday June 10, 2020 / May 28, 2020
Afterfeast of Pentecost. Tone seven.
Fast-free Week. Fast-freeVenerable Nicetas, bishop of Chalcedon (9th c.). St. Ignatius, bishop and wonderworker of Rostov (1288). Venerable Helen of Diveyevo (1832). New Hieromartyr Macarius, Dyonisius, Hieromartyr Nicholas deacon, Martyrs Ignatius and Peter (1931). New Hieromartyr Heraclius confessor (1936). Virgin-Martyr Hermogenas (1942). St. Gerontius, metropolitan of Moscow (1489). St. Eutychius, bishop of Melitene (1st c.). Martyrs Heliconis and Dapni of Thessalonica (244). St. Germanus, bishop of Paris (576) (Gaul). Hieromartyr Helladius, bishop in the East (6th-7th c.). “Nikeysky” (304), “Chukhlomsky” (Galich) (1350), “Orlovsky”, “Antiochsky” and “Tenderness” Icons of the Mother of God.
The Scripture Readings
The Chukhlomsk “Umilenie-Tenderness” Icon of the Mother of God
Commemorated on May 28, July 28, August 15
The Icon of the Mother of God of Galich-Chukhlomsk “Tenderness” [Umilenie] appeared in the year 1350 to the Monk Avraam of Galich, having come there from the north for ascetic deeds with the blessing of the Monk Sergei of Radonezh. On the wild shores of the Galich lake near the large mountain, hidden in the dense forest, he turned with prayer to the Mother of God, asking Her blessing for his labours. After prayer the monk sat at rest and suddenly there appeared on the nearby mountainside a bright light and he heard a voice: “Avraam, come up the mountain, where is set an icon of My Mother”. The monk went up the mountain where the light shone, and indeed on a tree found an icon of the Mother of God with the Praeternal Infant. With tenderness and in gratitude to God, the holy ascetic took the revealed image and, strengthened by prayers to the MostHoly Mother of God, he built a the blessed place a chapel, in which he put the icon. After a certain length of time the Galich prince Dimitrii Feodorovich, having learned about a trip of the elder, turned to him with a request to bring the icon. The Monk Avraam rowed across the Galich lake in a boat and, accompanied by clergy and a throng of people, he took the wonderworking icon to the cathedral church of the city of Galich. On this day a large number of the sick were healed from this icon. When the Monk Avraam told about the appearance of the icon, the prince offered money for the building of a monastery. Soon there was built a church in honour of the Dormition of the MostHoly Mother of God, around which arose a monastery. Afterwards the Monk Avraam founded several more monasteries, the last being founded was the Chukhlomsk, not far from the city of Chukloma, – from the name of this monastery the ascetic was named “of Chukhlomsk”, and the wonderworking icon took on the name “Galich-Chukhlomsk. The commemoration of this icon is also on 28 May and 15 August.
HYMN OF PRAISE
Heliconis, the courageous martyr,
Pure of soul, most beautiful of countenance,
In Corinth, the city of idols
Proclaimed the word about the only God:
“Corinthians, by darkness deceived,
In demonic bonds, tied,
You worship all things
But not the One God Most High!
God is One, the idols are many;
God is One, the devils are many.
The One God is the Creator, the Omnipotent;
Of all creation, He is the good Provider.
He created all, He sustains all;
To every living thing He gave the breath of life.
He moves everything with power and wisdom;
He caresses all with divine mercy.
He is the Lord of earth and heaven;
Him only should we worship.
Corinthians, wealthy and glorious,
Why, in faith, are you so lacking?”
Only a proud man is always prepared to equate Christ with other great men. However, it is obvious at first glance that great men are one thing and the Lord Christ another, just as creation is one thing and the Creator is another. Christ is not only great but He is the Creator and Source and Inspirer of everything truly great in the history of mankind. While in exile and misery on the island of St. Helena, Napoleon, a man of transient greatness, uttered these words: “Alexander, Caesar, Hannibal, Louis XIV, with all their genius, are nothing. They have conquered the world and were unable to gain one friend. And behold, Christ calls and instantly entire generations are united in a bond closer and stronger than the bond of blood. Christ ignites the fire of love which consumes all egoism and surpasses any kind of love whatever.”
To contemplate the grace of God the Holy Spirit in the Mystery [Sacrament] of Holy Matrimony:
1. How grace, during marriage, lawfully sanctifies the physical bond of two human beings for the sake of the procreation of children;
2. How it unites, illumines and strengthens, through love, the union of two souls: husband and wife.
About the power of the Mystery [Sacrament] of Matrimony
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cling to his wife and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
It is God’s will that the human race multiply. The means by which this is accomplished have been devised by God’s artistry. It is God’s mystery how man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife. To leave your parents does not mean to abandon your parents but rather to become parents yourself. When children become parents, they are no longer only children, they are also companions of their parents. When wedded sons learn of the mystery and pain of childbirth, they then respect their parents even more. The marital union can never free a man from having respect and obedience toward his parents. The original commandment of God to honor one’s parents must be fulfilled. But, according to the natural cycle of things, a man leaves his parents and becomes a parent himself; he becomes a founder of a new future while his parents depart, having completed their role in the world. However, the “leaving” of one’s parents does not consist in this alone. By a certain incomprehensible mystery, man clings to his wife and detaches himself from his parents. St. Theodoretus writes: “Christ Himself left his Father on high and united Himself to the Church.”
My brethren, matrimony is a great and miraculous mystery, one of the greatest mysteries of God’s plan. A pure and honorable marriage overflows with sublimity. A pure and honorable marriage, in the fear of God, is a vessel of the grace of the Holy Spirit. Whoever disdains marriage disdains the Spirit of God. Whoever defiles marriage with impurity blasphemes against the Spirit of God. Whoever abstains from marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of God must, in a different manner, prepare himself as a vessel of the Holy Spirit and must make himself fruitful in the spiritual realm in order not to be cut down as the barren fig tree.
O God, Holy Spirit Almighty, assist those who are married, that in purity, fear and mutual love they may be as the Church of God, in which You joyfully abide and govern all things for good.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.