The Mozdok Icon of the Theotokos

The Mozdok Icon of the Mother of God

Wednesday May 26, 2021 / May 13, 2021

Mid-Pentecost or Prepolovenie. Tone three.
Fast. Fish Allowed

“Mozdok” and “Dubensk-Krasnogorodsk” (17th c.) Icons of the Most Holy Theotokos (movable holiday on the Prepolovenie – Mid-Pentecost). Virgin-martyr Glyceria at Heraclea (141) and with her Martyr Laodicius, jailer of St. Glyceria. New Hieromartyrs Basil, Alexander and Christopher, Hieromartyr Macarius and Martyr Sergius (1922). 103 New Hieromartyrs of Cherkassk (20th c.). Righteous Virgin Glyceria of Novgorod (1522). Translation of the relics of St. Macarius, archimandrite of Obruch or Kanev (1678). Martyr Alexander of Rome (298). St. Pausicacius, bishop of Synnada (606). St. George the Confessor of Constantinople, with his wife and children (ca. 842). Venerable Euthymius of Athos the translator (1028) (Georgia)

The Scripture Readings

Acts 14:6-18
John 7:14-30

The Mozdok Icon of the Mother of God

Commemorated on the Prepolovenie – Mid-Pentecost, April 21, August 15

      The Mozdok Icon of the Mother of God, a copy of the Iversk icon, was sent in the XIII Century by the holy empress Tamara as a gift to the newly-enlightened Christians of the Ossetian aul (village) of Mar’yam-Kadu. In 1768 this icon appeared remarkably on the banks of the Terek, not far from Mozdok. Bishop Gai built a chapel for the icon. In 1796-1797 there was built at the place of the chapel a church in honour of the Uspenie (Dormition or Repose) of the Most Holy Mother of God, along which was soon founded a women’s monastery (abolished together with the Mozdok diocese in 1799). At the end of the XIX Century the inhabitants of Mozdok built a splendid church in honour of the Mozdok-Iversk icon of the Mother of God. The Mother of God has repeatedly rendered speedy aid to the believing through Her holy icon.

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

HYMNS OF PRAISE

SAINT GLYCERIA

“Glyceria–sacrifice to the gods!”

Thus orders the mindless judge.

“Or you shall be thrown into the fire, to be consumed.”

Glyceria mocks the judge:

“God is one; the ‘gods’ are demons

Who confuse your mind.

What kind of sacrifice, O mindless man?

Was there not one Sacrifice on Golgotha,

An awesome sacrifice, divine and bloody,

That abolished all bloody sacrifices?

One sacrifice after that Sacrifice,

One sacrifice the Lord seeks from us:

A pure heart, as an altar of prayer;

Clean hands performing works of mercy;

Faith, hope, love and piety.

Such a sacrifice I endeavor to offer

To the Living God, my Creator.

God, the All-holy, desires such a sacrifice,

Not a corpse, bloody and dead.”


REFLECTION

Concerning the power of death and the power of the Cross of Christ, St. Athanasius writes: “Whose death ever drove out demons? And whose death has caused more fear in the demons than the death of Christ? Where the name of Christ is invoked, every demon is driven out. Who has tamed spiritual passions in people to such a measure that prostitutes come to live chaste lives, murderers lay down the sword, and the fearful become courageous? Has not the Faith of Christ? Has not the sign of the Cross? And what else has so convinced men of immortality as the Cross of Christ and the Resurrection of the Body of Christ? The death of the Sinless One and the Cross of the Lover of men have brought a greater and more lasting victory than have all the earthly kings with their many millions of soldiers. Which army was able to defeat a single demon? Only the mention of the name of the Crucified One puts to flight the army of demons. Oh, if all Christians would know what a treasure they have in the name of Christ, and what a weapon they have in the Cross of Christ!

CONTEMPLATION

Contemplate the action of God the Holy Spirit upon the apostles:

1. How the apostles, led by the Holy Spirit, traveled throughout the world without means and without friends;

2. How they converted the rich and the poor to the Christian Faith by their words, lives and miracles alone.

HOMILY

on how God uses unbelievers to punish believers

“Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, My servant” (Jeremiah 25:9).

Is this not a hard saying? Who can be nourished by it? A pagan king, an idolatrous king, called by the Lord, “My servant!” If a servant of God is one who knows the true God and adheres to the Law of God, how then can one be a servant of God who neither knows the true God nor adheres to the Law of God? Indeed, the true servant of God is he who knows the true God and who keeps the Law of God. However, when he to whom God has given the knowledge of Himself and His law turns knowledge into ignorance and law into lawlessness, then God takes as His servant him who does not know Him, so as to punish the apostate. For an apostate from God is worse than a pagan, and an apostate from the Law of God is lower than a born idolater.

Therefore, when Israel, as the ancient Church of God, alienated itself from God and the Law of God, God chose Nebuchadnezzar as His servant to punish Israel, the apostate.

Therefore, when the Christian peoples in Asia and Africa through numerous heresies alienated themselves from God, God took as His servant the Arabs, to punish the Christians and bring them to their senses.

And when the Christian peoples in the Balkans alienated themselves from God and God’s law, God invited the Turks as His servants to punish the apostates, so that through chastisement they would come to their senses.

Whenever the faithful alienate themselves from God, God makes a whip out of the unbelievers to bring the believers to their senses. And, as the faithful consciously and willingly turn away from God, so the unbelievers unconsciously and unwillingly become servants of God: the whip of God.

But God takes the unbelievers only temporarily into His service against the believers. For the same Lord says of the land of Nebuchadnezzar that He will visit it for its lawlessness and make it a perpetual desolation (Jeremiah 25:12). Then He will find a servant against His servant. For God did not take the Babylonians for His servants because of their goodness and faith, but rather because of Israel’s wickedness and unbelief.

O Righteous Lord, help us by Thy Most-high Spirit to always adhere to Thee, the One True God, and to Thine own saving Law.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.