Wednesday September 15, 2021 / September 2, 2021
Martyr Mamas of Caesarea in Cappadocia (275), and his parents, Martyrs Theodotus and Rufina (3rd c.). Venerable John the Faster, patriarch of Constantinople (595). Venerables Anthony (1073) and Theodosius (1074) of the Kiev Caves. New Martyrs Barsunuphius, bishop of Kyrilov, priest John, Abbess Seraphima of Therapontov Convent, and Anatole, Nicholas, Michael and Philip (1918). New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1920). New Hieromartyrs Damascene, bishop of Starodub, priests Ephimius, John, John, Vladimir, Victor, Basil, Theodore, Peter, Stephen and Virgin-martyr Ksenia(1937). Herman, bishop of Vyaznikov, priest Stephen and martyr Paul (1937). Translation of the relics (1796) of Venerable Theodosius, abbot, of Totma. 3,618 Martyrs who suffered at Nicomedia (3rd-4th c.). “Kaluga” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (1771)
The Scripture Readings
The Holy Martyr Mamant (aka Mamas)
Commemorated on September 2
The Holy Martyr Mamant was born in Paphlagonia of pious and illustrious parents, the Christians Theodotos and Ruphina. For their open confession of their faith, the parents of the saint were arrested by the pagans and locked up in prison in Caesarea Cappadocia. Knowing his own bodily weaknesses, Theodotos prayed, that the Lord would take him before being martyred. The Lord heard his prayer and he died in prison. Saint Ruphina died also after him, having given birth to a premature son, whom she prayerfully entrusted to God, beseeching that He be the Protector and Defender of the orphaned infant. God hearkened to the death-bed prayer of Saint Ruphina: a rich Christian widow named Ammea reverently buried the bodies of Saints Theodotos and Ruphina, and she took the boy into her own home and surrounded him with motherly care. Saint Mamant grew up in the Christian faith. His foster mother concerned herself with the developing of his natural abilities and early on she sent him off to study his grammar. The boy learned easily and willingly. He was not of an age of mature judgement but distinguished himself by maturity of mind and of heart. By means of prudent conversations and personal example young Mamant converted many of his own peers to Christianity. There was a denunciation about this to the governor, named Democritus, and the youth was arrested and brought to trial. In deference to his illustrious parentage Democritus decided not to subject him to torture, but instead sent him off to the emperor Aurelian (270-275). The emperor tried at first kindly, but then with threats to turn Saint Mamant back to the pagan faith, but all in vain: the saint bravely confessed himself a Christian and pointed out the madness of the pagans in their worship of mindless idols. Infuriated, the emperor subjected the youth to cruel tortures. They eventually wanted to drown the saint, but an Angel of the Lord saved Saint Mamant and bid him live on an high mountain in the wilderness, located not far from Caesarea. Bowing to the will of God, the saint built there a small church and began to lead a life of strict temperance, in exploits of fasting and prayer.
Soon he received a remarkable power over the forces of nature: wild beasts inhabiting the surrounding wilderness gathered at his abode and listened to the reading of the Holy Gospel. Saint Mamant nourished himself on the milk of wild goats and deer.
The saint did not ignore the needs of his neighbours: preparing cheese from this milk, he gave it away freely to the poor. Soon the fame of Saint Mamant’s life spread throughout all of Caesarea. The governor in concern sent a detachment of soldiers to arrest him. Coming across Saint Mamant on the mountain, the soldiers did not recognise him, and mistook him for a simple shepherd. The saint then invited them to his dwelling, gave them a drink of milk and then told them his name, knowing that a suffering death for Christ awaited him. In surrendering himself over into the hands of the torturers, Saint Mamant was brought to trial under a deputy governor named Alexander, who subjected him to intensive and prolonged tortures. But they did not break the Christian will of the saint. He was strengthened by the words addressed to him from above: “Be strong and take courage, Mamant”. When they gave Saint Mamant over for devouring by wild beasts, these creatures would not touch him. Finally, one of the pagan-priests struck at him with a trident-spear. Mortally wounded, Saint Mamant went out beyond the city limits. There, in a small stone cave, he offered up his spirit to God, Who in the hearing of all summoned the holy Martyr Mamant into the habitation on high (+ 275). He was buried by believers at the place of his death.
Christians soon began to receive from him blessings of help in their afflictions and sorrows. Saint Basil the Great speaks thus about the holy Martyr Mamant in a sermon to the people: “Commemorate ye the holy martyr: those, who saw him in a vision, who from amongst the living here have him as an helper, those whom in calling on his name he hath helped in some matter, those whom he hath guided out of a prodigal life, those whom he hath healed of infirmity, those whose children already dead he hath restored to life, those whose life he hath prolonged – all of ye, gathered as one, praise ye the martyr”.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
The Appearance of the Kaluzhsk Icon of the Mother of God
Commemorated on September 2, October 12, July 18 and on the first Sunday of the Apostles’ Fast.
The Appearance of the Kaluzhsk Icon of the Mother of God occurred in 1748 in the village of Tinkova, near Kaluga, at the home of the landowner Vasilii Kondrat’evich Khitrov. Two servants of Khitrov were examining old things in the attic of his home. One of them, Evdokia, noted for her unconstrained temper, was given to rough and even indecorous language. Her companion began to admonish her and while arguing she discovered a large package covered in a grimy sackcloth. Undoing it, the girl saw the picture of a woman in dark garments with a book in her hands. Considering it to be the portrait of a woman monastic and wanting to bring Evdokia to her senses, she accused her of being disrespectful to the hegumeness. Evdokia answered the scolding words of her companion, and becoming increasingly angry, she spit at the picture. Immediately she became convulsed and fell down senseless. Her frightened companion reported about what had happened throughout the household. The next night, The Queen of Heaven appeared to Evdokia’s parents and told them, that their daughter had jeered at Her blasphemously and She ordered them to make a molieben before the insulted icon, and to sprinkle the invalid with holy water at the molieben. After the molieben Evdokia recovered, and Khitrov took the wonderworking icon into his own home, where abundantly issued forth healings to those approaching it with faith. Afterwards they conveyed the icon to the parish temple in honour of the Nativity of the MostHoly Mother of God in the village of Kaluzhka. A copy of it was dispatched to Kaluga. At the present time it is situated in the cathedral church of Kaluga.
Through this icon the Mother of God has repeatedly manifest Her protection of the Russian Land during its difficult times. The celebration of the Kaluga Icon on 2 September was established in remembrance of the deliverance from an ulcerous plague in 1771. A second celebration was established 12 October, in memory of the saving of Kaluga from the French invasion of 1812. In 1898 there was established a celebration on 18 July in gratitude to the Mother of God for safe-guarding against cholera. Celebration is made likewise on the 1st Sunday of the Peter fast.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
Troparion (Tone 3) Your holy martyr Mamas, O Lord,Through his suffering has received an incorruptible crown from You, our God.For having Your strength, he laid low low his adversaries,And shattered the powerless boldness of demons.Through his intercessions, save our souls!
Kontakion (Tone 3)Holy Mamas,Lead your people your as a flock to life-giving pasturesWith the staff God has given you;Crush the invisible and fierce enemies beneath the feet of those who honor you.For all of those who are in danger have received you as their fervent intercessor.
HYMN OF PRAISE
The Holy Martyr Mamas
Mamas the pious was born in prison,
And was kindred with Christ from his first day;
His father and mother, martyrs for God,
Birthed their only child in prison darkness.
For fifteen years, orphaned Mamas
Was alone in the prison of the world.
His only comfort and his only light
Shone upon him from the countenance of the Son of God:
This was his fulfillment and his wealth.
Mamas glorified Christ his God,
He glorified Him in word and in deed
By his prayerful soul and innocent body.
His friendship with God was more dear to him
Than the devious world that torments and lies.
He loved God and His pure Christ
And he became a friend to pure nature–
To the wilderness and forest and wild beasts,
To wild goats and fierce lions.
And God endowed his friend
With wondrous gifts of the Holy Spirit.
And Mamas shamed his persecutors,
And turned many torturers to Christ.
The emperor and the empire were against this boy,
But the right hand of God sustained him–
And, enduring torments, Mamas glorified the Savior.
The emperor and the empire collapsed to nothing,
While Mamas reigns, even now, with Christ,
And rejoices with the angels of God in heaven.
The life of the Orthodox Church provides us with numerous examples of how Almighty God manifests His power through small and lifeless things–especially those things that serve as signs of the Incarnation, life and suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ. Such things include the Cross, icons of the Theotokos and the saints, holy water, oil, myrrh, and so forth. For example, a miracle was wrought through an icon of the Holy Mother of God in the year 1748 A.D., in the home of a boyar named Khitrov, near the Russian city of Kaluga. Two of the boyar’s servants, rummaging in Khitrov’s attic one day, came upon a rolled-up piece of cloth that depicted the beautiful image of a woman’s face. The image emanated holiness and piety. One of the servants was humble and modest, while the other was vain and talkative. The former, looking at the image on the cloth, called it “The Abbess.” Evdokia–the vain and talkative one, whose name we know–did not honor this name, but coarsely mocked her humble companion. To give even more force to her vulgarity, she spat on the painting. At that instant Evdokia fell to the ground, writhing with her whole body, blind and dumb, and began foaming at the mouth. That night the Theotokos appeared to the parents of the unfortunate girl, and told them what had happened to their daughter. She told them to get a priest and have him pray before the image that had been found and sprinkle the girl with holy water, and then she would be healed. When this was done, Evdokia was healed, and from then on she amended her disposition and was more modest. Thus was a miracle-working icon of the Holy Theotokos discovered. This icon was taken to a church in Kaluga, where it can be found today, still working miracles.
Contemplate God’s punishment of David for his adultery and murder (II Samuel 12):
1. How God, speaking through the prophet Nathan, told David that because he took another’s wife, his own wives would be taken by other men;
2. That his son would die;
3. That the sword would not depart from his house–all of which came to pass.
on the Word of God, the Creator of the world
It [the Word] was in the beginning in God. Everything came into existence by Him (John 1:2-3). *)
Brethren, the Evangelist is speaking of the wondrous Logos of God, of the rational, intelligent Word, of the eternal Wisdom of God, of the co-eternal Son of God. This wondrous Word is of one Essence with the Father and the Holy Spirit, yet hypostatically different from the Father and the Spirit, for He was begotten of the Unbegotten Father. He always was, is, and shall be. When was the Word in God? The Evangelist says: In the beginning. What does In the beginning mean? It means the same as “first” or “first of all.” So, first of all, the Word of God was in God, and has always been of one being with the Father, and has always been the Son, in hypostasis, but not yet incarnate. Later, the Word of God became incarnate, and appeared in a body for the sake of mankind. When He was still the unincarnate Word in God, everything came into existence by Him. Heaven and earth, and the whole inhabited heavenly and earthly worlds–everything came into existence by Him, by the Word of God, when He was in God, and not yet incarnate. Without the Word of God, no created thing came into existence. He was Life and Light, and the Light shone in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not (John 1:5). First of all, death and sin represent darkness. That darkness did not overcome the Son of God. The whole created world itself is darkness before God, yet in this darkness shines the Word of God, the Wisdom of God, rational, intelligent and majestic. All of creation would be in utter darkness if the mystical light of the Son of God–by Whom all things were created–did not illuminate it.
It [the Word] was in the beginning in God–then what happened? And the Word was made flesh (John 1:14). The history of the creation of the world leads up to this point, and from this point the history of man’s salvation begins. In taking on flesh, the Word of God did not estrange Himself from God the Father and God the Holy Spirit–for the Divine Trinity is undivided–but, rather, He clothed Himself in the body and soul of man, so that, in the shadow of the body, He, the Sun of suns, could draw near to men and save men
O my brethren, how sweet and inexpressibly wonderful is the mystery of the Incarnation of God. If we embrace this mystery with our heart, it will be easier to approach it with our mind.
O Lord, gentle Savior, the glory of the Father and the joy of the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us and save us.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.