1ST TUESDAY AFTER PENTECOST
1st Tuesday after Pentecost, The Holy Prophet Elisseus (Elisha), Methodius the Confessor, Patriarch of Constantinople, Cyril, Bishop of Gortyna, The Holy Martyrs of Estonia: the Priests Basil, John, John, Artemios, and Nicholas; the Deacons Vasili and Peter; the Presytera Martha; and John, Theodor, and Anna.
ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE ROMANS 1:1-7, 13-17
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ; To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I want you to know, brethren, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish: so I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel: it is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
At that time, Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them. And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Dekapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.
You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men.
Many of the hymns of Pentecost are repeated in the postfestal services of this week, and references to the Holy Spirit, and to fire, abound. In particular, we are reminded of the Unburnt Bush (Exodus 3:2), the zealous Prophet Elias who ascended to Heaven in a chariot of fire, the three youths in the fiery furnace, and the Lord descending on Mt. Sinai in fire (Exodus 19:18).
As we commemorate the Holy Spirit this week, we look forward to the Sunday of All Saints, those righteous men and women of all nations and in every age, who were perfected and sanctified by the same Holy Spirit.
Saint John of Kronstadt was glorified by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1990. He is also commemorated on December 20.
The Holy Prophet Elisha lived in the ninth century before the Birth of Christ, and was a native of the village of Abelmaum, near Jordan. By the command of the Lord he was called to prophetic service by the holy Prophet Elias (July 20).
When it became time for the Prophet Elias to be taken up to Heaven, he said to Elisha, “Ask what shall I do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha boldly asked for a double portion of the grace of God: “Let there be a double portion of your spirit upon me.” The Prophet Elias said, “You have asked a hard thing; if you see me when I am taken from you, then so shall it be for you; but if you do not see me, it will not be so” (4  Kings 2: 10). As they went along the way talking, there appeared a fiery chariot and horses and separated them both. Elisha cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” (4 Kings 2: 12). Picking up the mantle of his teacher which fell from the sky, Elisha received the power and prophetic gift of Elias. He spent more than 65 years in prophetic service, under six Israelite kings (from Ahab to Joash). While Elisha lived, he did not tremble before any prince, and no word could overcome him (Sirach 48: 13 [“Sirach” is called “Ecclesiasticus” in Catholic Bibles ]).
The holy prophet worked numerous miracles. He divided the waters of the Jordan, having struck it with the mantle of the Prophet Elias; he made the waters of a Jericho spring fit for drinking; he saved the armies of the kings of Israel and Judah that stood in an arid wilderness by bringing forth abundant water by his prayer; he delivered a poor widow from death by starvation through a miraculous increase of oil in a vessel. This Shunamite woman showing hospitality to the prophet was gladdened by the birth of a son through his prayer, and when the child died, he was raised back to life by the prophet. The Syrian military-commander Namaan was healed from leprosy but the prophet’s servant Gehazi was afflicted since he disobeyed the prophet and took money from Namaan.
Elisha predicted to the Israelite king Joash the victory over his enemies, and by the power of his prayer he worked many other miracles (4 Kings 3-13). The holy Prophet Elisha died in old age at Samaria. “In his life he worked miracles, and at death his works were marvellous” (Sir. 48: 15). A year after his death, a corpse was thrown into the prophet’s grave. As soon as the dead man touched Elisha’s bones, he came to life and stood up (4 Kings 13: 20-21). The Prophet Elisha and his teacher, the Prophet Elias, left no books behind them, since their prophetic preaching was oral. Jesus, son of Sirach, praised both great prophets (Sir. 48:1-15).
John of Damascus composed a canon in honor of the Prophet Elisha, and at Constantinople a church was built in his honor.
Julian the Apostate (361-363) gave orders to burn the relics of the Prophet Elisha, Abdia (Obadiah) and John the Forerunner, but the holy relics were preserved by believers, and part of them were transferred to Alexandria.
In the twentieth century, the humble priest Nicholas Planas had a great veneration for the Prophet Elisha, and was accounted worthy to see him in visions.
Saint Methodius, Patriarch of Constantinople, was born in Sicily into a rich family. Having a vocation to serve God, he went while still in his youth off to a monastery on the island of Chios and renovated it with his means. During the reign of the iconoclast Leo the Armenian (813-820), Methodius held the high position of “apokrisiaros” (“advocate for Church matters”) under the holy Patriarch Nikēphóros (June 2). He was dispatched by the patriarch to Rome on a mission to the papacy and he remained there. During this period Leo the Armenian removed Nikēphóros from the patriarchal throne and put on it the iconoclast Theodotus of Melissinea, given the nickname “Kassiter” (“Tinman”) (815-822). After the death of Leo the Armenian, Saint Methodius returned, and in the dignity of presbyter he struggled incessantly against the Iconoclast heresy.
The emperor Michael the Stammerer (820-829) at first was noted for his benevolence and he set free many imprisoned by his predecessor for their veneration of icons, but after a while he renewed the persecution against Orthodoxy. Saint Methodius was locked up in prison in Akrita. After the death of Michael the Stammerer, the ruler was Theophilus (829-842), who also was an iconoclast. More refined a man than his father, he set free Saint Methodius, who likewise was a man of learning, superbly skilled in matters not only ecclesial, but also civil. Having received his freedom, Saint Methodius renewed the struggle with the heretics, and for a while the emperor tolerated this.
But after defeat in a war with the Arabs, Theophilus vented his anger against Methodius, saying, that God had punished him because he had let an “icon-worshipper” come close to him. Methodius objected, saying that the Lord was angry with him for the insults upon His holy icons. They gave the saint over to tortures, and struck him much about the face, from which his jaw was broken. Ugly scars remained on his face. Methodius was sent off to the island of Antigonos and he was locked up there with two robbers in a deep cave. In this dark prison where the light of day did not penetrate, Methodius languished for 7 years until the death of the emperor Theophilus.
During this time, the holy Confessors Theodore and Theophanes the Branded (December 27), who had also been sent to prison, sent Methodius greetings in verse, and the prisoner replied with greetings in verse, as well.
After the death of Theophilus, his son Michael III (842-867) began to rule, but not being of mature age, the Byzantine Empire was actually ruled by his mother, the empress Theodora, a venerater of icons.
The empress tried to extirpate the Iconoclast heresy, and gave orders to free the confessors imprisoned for icon veneration. The heretic Annios occupying the patriarchal throne was banished, and Saint Methodius chosen in his place. At Constantinople was convened a local Council with Saint Methodius presiding (842). The Council restored icon veneration and established an annual celebration of the triumph of Orthodoxy. The “Synodikon of Orthodoxy” compiled by Saint Methodius is read on the First Sunday of Great Lent.
Attempting to undermine the authority of Saint Methodius, and also the love and esteem of his flock for him, the heretics slandered him as having transgressed chastity. The slander was exposed as such, and the enemies of the saint put to shame. The final years of the saint passed peacefully, he toiled much, wisely guided the Church and his flock, renovated temples ruined by the heretics, gathered up the relics of saints scattered about by the heretics, and transferred the relics of Patriarch Nikēphóros from the place of his imprisonment back to Constantinople. Saint Methodius died in the year 846. He was spiritually close to Ioannikos (4 November), who had foretold that he would become patriarch and also the time of his death. Besides the “Synodikon of Orthodoxy,” the holy hierarch also compiled a rule for those converted to the Faith, three rites of marriage and several pastoral sermons and church hymns.
No information available at this time.
According to an old manuscript calendar, “The Monk Methodios, the Igumen (and founder) of Peshnosha Monastery, the disciple of Saint Sergius the wonderworker, reposed in the summer of 6900 (1392), on the fourteenth day of June.”
Saint Methodios was regarded as a saint at Peshnosha from the day of his death, and his memory was celebrated at the monastery and in the surrounding villages on June 14, on the same day as Saint Methodios, Patriarch of Constantinople.
According to other sources, Saint Methodios reposed on June 4, 1392.
Saint Methodios was numbered among the saints at the Moscow Council of 1549.
Saint Elisha of Suma was a monk at the Solovki monastery, and was occupied with the weaving of fishing nets. Before his death he became a schemamonk. In 1688 miracles began from the saint’s grave in a crypt in the Nikolsk church of the city of Suma, Archangelsk diocese.
Saint Niphon of Athos lived in the fourteenth century, and was the son of a priest. From childhood he was raised under the principles of strict Christian morality. Upon taking monastic tonsure he soon was ordained to the holy priesthood. But the thirst for perfect stillness and solitary labors led the monk to the Holy Mountain. There he struggled for many years with the renowned Athonite Elder Saint Maximus Kavsokalyvites (“the Hut-burner,” January 13). Saint Niphon died at age 96, glorified by gifts of wonderworking and clairvoyance.
No information available at this time.
The Holy Trinity St. Seraphim-Diveyevo Convent was founded in 1760 when the Mother of God appeared in a dream to a woman named Agatha in the village of Diveyevo and promised that she would build a great women's monastery there. Agatha also built a church in honor of the Kazan Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos on the spot where she had appeared. Later, Agatha received the monastic tonsure and the new name Alexandra, and she became the first Igoumeness of the new Convent.
The Most Holy Theotokos chose Diveyevo as her "fourth portion in the inhabited world." The others are Mount Athos, Georgia, and Kiev's Holy Trinity Lavra of the Caves. She also promised that God's mercy and grace would be gathered there from the other three portions.
Venerable Alexandra Mel'gunova (+ June 13, 1789)
Martyr Daria Slushinskaya (+ August 5/18,1919)
Martyr Daria Timagina (+ August 5/18,1919)
Venerable Elena Manturova (+ May 28, 1832)
Martyr Eudokia Shikova (+ August 5/18,1919)
Martyr Jacob Gusev (+ December 16/29 1937)
Martyr Maria of Puzo (+ August 5/18,1919)
Blessed Maria Ivanovna Fedina, Fool for Christ (+ August 26/ September 8, 1937)
Martyr Maria Neizvestnaya, Suborovskaya (+ August 5,1919)
Martyr Michael Gusev (+ December 16/29 1937)
Venerable Martha Milyukova (+ August 21,1829)
Martyr Pelagia Testova (+ October 21/November 3, 1944)
Confessor Matrona (Vlasova) of Diveevo, (+ October 25/November 7, 1963)
Blessed Natalia Dmitrievna-“Natashenka” of Diveevo (+ February 22/March 7, 1900
Blessed Paraskeve (Pasha) Ivanovna Semyonovna, Fool for Christ (+ September 22, 1915)
Blessed Pelagia Ivanovna Semyonovna (+ January 30, 1884)
Pelagia (Testova) of Diveevo (+1944) Commemorated on October 21/November 3
Venerable Seraphim of Sarov (January 2 and July 19)
Hieromartyr Seraphim (Chichagov (+ November 28, 1937)
Hieromartyr Seraphim of Dmitrov (+ August 13/26, 1937)
Martyr Xenia Cherlina-Brailovskaya (+ September 2/15,1937)