5TH WEDNESDAY OF LENT
ABSTAIN FROM MEAT, FISH, DAIRY, EGGS, WINE, OLIVE OIL
Eutychius, Patriarch of Constantinople, 120 Martyrs of Persia, Gregory of Sinai, Platonis the Nun of Nisibis
Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am He. The coastlands have seen and are afraid, the ends of the earth tremble; they have drawn near and come. Every one helps his neighbor, and says to his brother, “Take courage!” The craftsman encourages the goldsmith, and he who smoothes with the hammer him who strikes the anvil, saying of the soldering, “It is good”; and they fasten it with nails so that it cannot be moved. But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all. For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I will help you.” Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I will help you, says the LORD; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come forth from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. And I will give to you, and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish man despises his mother. Folly is a joy to him who has no sense, but a man of understanding walks aright. Without counsel plans go wrong, but with many advisers they succeed. To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is! The wise man’s path leads upward to life, that he may avoid Sheol beneath. The LORD tears down the house of the proud, but maintains the widow’s boundaries. The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD, the words of the pure are pleasing to him. He who is greedy for unjust gain makes trouble for his household, but he who hates bribes will live. The mind of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous. The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and good news refreshes the bones. He whose ear heeds wholesome admonition will abide among the wise. He who ignores instruction despises himself, but he who heeds admonition gains understanding. The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom, and humility goes before honor. The plans of the mind belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established. The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble. Every one who is arrogant is an abomination to the LORD; be assured, he will not go unpunished. By loyalty and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD a man avoids evil. When a man’s ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice. A man’s mind plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.
Saint Eutychius, Patriarch of Constantinople
Saint Eutychius, Archbishop of Constantinople, was born in a village called “Divine” in the province of Phrygia. His father Alexander was a soldier, and his mother Synesia was the daughter of the priest Hesychius of Augustopolis. Saint Eutychius received the first rudiments of his education and a Christian upbringing from his grandfather the priest.
Once, while playing a childhood game, the boy wrote his own name with the title of Patriarch. By this he seemed to predict his future service. He was sent to Constantinople at age twelve for further education. The youth persevered in his study of science and realized that human wisdom is nothing in comparison to the study of divine Revelation. Therefore, he decided to dedicate himself to monastic life. Saint Eutychius withdrew into one of the Amasean monasteries and received the angelic schema. For his strict life he was made archimandrite of all the Amasean monasteries, and in 552 was appointed to the Patriarchal throne.
When the Fifth Ecumenical Council prepared to assemble during the reign of the holy emperor Justinian (527-565), the Metropolitan of Amasea was ill and he sent Saint Eutychius in his place. At Constantinople the aged Patriarch Saint Menas (August 25) saw Saint Eutychius and predicted that he would be the next Patriarch. After the death of the holy Patriarch Menas, the Apostle Peter appeared in a vision to the emperor Justinian and, pointing his hand at Eutychius, said, “Let him be made your bishop.”
At the very beginning of his patriarchal service, Saint Eutychius convened the Fifth Ecumenical Council (553), at which the Fathers condemned the heresies cropping up and anathematized them. However, after several years a new heresy arose in the Church: Aphthartodocetism [asartodoketai] or “imperishability” which taught that the flesh of Christ, before His death on the Cross and Resurrection, was imperishable and not capable of suffering.
Saint Eutychius vigorously denounced this heresy, but the emperor Justinian himself inclined toward it, and turned his wrath upon the saint. By order of the emperor, soldiers seized the saint in the church, removed his patriarchal vestments, and sent him into exile to an Amasean monastery (565).
The saint bore his banishment with meekness, and lived at the monastery in fasting and prayer, and he worked many miracles and healings.
Thus, through his prayer the wife of a devout man, Androgenes, who had given birth only to dead infants, now gave birth to two sons who lived to maturity. Two deaf-mutes received the gift of speech; and two grievously ill children were restored to health. The saint healed a cancerous ulcer on the hand of an artist. The saint also healed another artist, anointing his diseased hand with oil and making over it the Sign of the Cross.
The saint healed not only bodily, but also spiritual afflictions: he banished the devil out of a girl that had kept her from Holy Communion; he expelled a demon from a youth who had fled from a monastery (after which the youth returned to his monastery); he healed a drunken leper, who stopped drinking after being cleansed of his leprosy.
During the Persian invasion of Amasea and its widespread devastation, they distributed grain to the hungry from the monastery granaries on the saint’s orders, and by his prayers, the stores of grain at the monastery were not depleted.
Saint Eutychius received from God the gift of prophecy. He revealed the names of two of Emperor Justinian’s successors: Justin (565-578) and Tiberias (578-582).
After the death of the holy Patriarch John Scholastikos, Saint Eutychius returned to the cathedra in 577 after his twelve year exile, and he again wisely ruled his flock.
Four and a half years after his return to the Patriarchal throne, in 582, Saint Eutychius gathered together all his clergy on Thomas Sunday, blessed them, and peacefully fell asleep in the Lord.
Saint Methodius, Equal of the Apostles, Archbishop of Moravia, Enlightener of the Slavs
Saint Methodius, Archbishop of Moravia, died on April 6 in the year 885. His Life is found on May 11, when he is commemorated with Saint Cyril, Teacher of the Slavs.
Saint Platonida of Nisibis, Syria
Saint Platonida (Platonis) was at first a deaconess, but afterwards withdrew into the Nisibis desert, where she organized a women’s monastery.
The Rule of her monastery was distinguished for its strictness. The sisters partook of food only once a day. When they were not praying, they spent their time in monastic labors and various obediences.
On Fridays, the day commemorating the sufferings of Christ the Savior on the Cross, all work stopped, and the nuns were in church from morning until evening, where between services they read from Holy Scripture and from commentaries on it.
Saint Platonida was for all the sisters a living example of strict monastic asceticism, meekness, and love for neighbor. Having reached a great old age, Saint Platonida died peacefully in the year 308.
120 Martyrs of Persia
The Holy 120 Martyrs suffered under the Persian emperor Sapor. They were taken into captivity during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Constantios (337-361). They were consigned to the flames after firmly confessing their faith (c.344-347). Saint Shandulios (November 3) concealed their relics from desecration by the pagans. Among the holy martyrs were ten virgins, who had dedicated themselves to the service of God.
Martyrs Jeremiah and Presbyter Archilias
The Holy Martyrs Jeremiah and the Priest Archilius (Alchimius) suffered martyrdom in the third century. Saint Gregory Dialogus (March 12) mentions them.
Venerable Gregory the Byzantine
Saint Gregory was a native of Constantinople, and pursued an ascetic life on Mt. Athos in the Lavra of Saint Athanasius (July 5). He was the spiritual guide of Saint Gregory Palamas (November 14).
Monastic Martyr Gennadius of Dionysiou on Mount Athos
No information available at this time.