Daily Readings for Tuesday, August 16, 2022



Translation of the Image of Our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ, Diomedes the Physician & Martyr of Tarsus, Timothy of Euripus, founder of the Monastery of Pentele, Holy Monk Penteles, Gerasimus of Cephalonia, The Six Martyrs Dorotheos, Sarantis, Jacob, Seraphim, Demetrios and Basil who contested in Megara, Joseph the Hesychast, Nicodemus the New Martyr of Meteora, Afterfeast of the Dormition of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary, Manuel and John the New Martyrs, Stamatios the Martyr, Apostolos the New-Martyr


TIMOTHY, my son, those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these instructions to you so that, if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth. Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our religion:
God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, through the pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and enjoin abstinence from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving; for then it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

LUKE 9:51-57, 10:22-24, 13:22

At that time, when the days drew near for him to be received up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him; but the people would not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, ‘Lord, do you want us to bid fire come down from heaven and consume them as Elijah did?’ But he turned and rebuked them, and he said, ‘You do not know what manner of spirit you are of; for the Son of man came not to destroy men’s lives but to save them.’ And they went on to another village.
As they were going along the road, he said to those who followed him, ‘All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’ Then turning to the disciples he said privately, ‘Blessed are the eyes which see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
And he went on his way through towns and villages, teaching, and journeying towards Jerusalem.

Afterfeast of the Dormition of the Mother of God

In today’s hymns at Vespers, the Mother of God is praised as “only created being to pass from earth to heaven in the flesh.”

Translation of the Image “Not-Made-By-Hands” of our Lord Jesus Christ from Edessa to Constantinople, the Third “Feast of the Savior in August”

The Transfer of the Icon of our Lord Jesus Christ Not-Made-by-Hands from Edessa to Constantinople occurred in the year 944. Eusebius, in his History of the Church (I:13), relates that when the Savior was preaching, Abgar was the ruler of Edessa. He was stricken with leprosy all over his body. Reports of the great miracles performed by the Lord spread throughout Syria (Mt.4:24) and even reached Abgar. Without having seen the Savior, Abgar believed in Him as the Son of God. He wrote a letter requesting Him to come and heal him. He sent his own portrait painter Ananias to Palestine with this letter, and commissioned him to paint a likeness of the Divine Teacher.

Ananias arrived in Jerusalem and saw the Lord surrounded by many people. He was not able to get close to Him because of the large crowd which had gathered to hear the Savior. Then he stood on a high rock and tried to paint Christ's portrait from afar, but this attempt did not succeed. Then the Savior saw him, called him by name, and gave him a short letter for Abgar in which He praised the ruler's faith. He also promised to send His disciple to heal him of his leprosy and guide him to salvation.

Then the Lord asked for some water and a cloth to be brought to Him. After washing His Face, He dried it with the cloth, and His Divine countenence was imprinted upon it. Ananias brought the cloth and the Savior's letter to Edessa. Reverently, Abgar pressed the holy object to his face and received partial healing. Only a small trace of the terrible affliction remained until the arrival of the disciple promised by the Lord. This was Saint Thaddeus, an Apostle of the Seventy (August 21), who preached the Gospel and baptized Abgar and all the people of Edessa. Abgar attached the Holy Napkin to a board and placed it in a gold frame adorned with pearls. Then he placed it in a niche above the city gates. On the gateway over the Icon he inscribed the words, “O Christ God, let no one who hopes on Thee be put to shame.”

For many years the inhabitants had the pious custom of bowing down before the Icon whenever they went forth from the gates. Later, one of Abgar's great-grandsons, who ruled Edessa, fell into idolatry, and decided to remove the Icon from the city wall and to replace it with an idol. In a vision the Lord ordered the Bishop of Edessa to hide His Icon. The bishop came by night with his clergy, lit a lampada before the Icon, and placed a ceramic tile in front of the Icon to protect it, and then he sealed the niche with bricks.

As time passed, the people forgot about the Icon. But in the year 545, when the Persian emperor Chozroes I besieged Edessa and the city's position seemed hopeless, the Most Holy Theotokos appeared to Bishop Eulabios and ordered him to remove the Icon from the sealed niche, saying that it would save the city from the enemy. When he opened the niche, the bishop found the Holy Mandylion, and the lampada was still burning before the Icon, and an exact copy was produced upon the tile protecting the Icon.

The Persians lit a huge fire outside the city walls. Bishop Eulabios carried the Icon Not-Made-by-Hands around the city walls, and a violent wind turned the flames back on the Persians. The defeated Persian army retreated from the city.

In his Church History, the sixth century writer Evagrios Scholastikos refers to the Holy Mandylion (or Napkin) as The Icon made by God (Η θεοτεύκος εἰκών).

In the year 630 Arabs seized Edessa, but they did not hinder the veneration of the Holy Napkin, the fame of which had spread throughout the entire East. In the year 944, the emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitos (912-959) wanted to transfer the Icon to Constantinople, so he paid a ransom to the emir of the city for it. With great reverence the Icon of the Savior Not-Made-by-Hands and the letter which He had written to Abgar, were brought to Constantinople by clergy.

On August 16, the icon of the Savior was placed in the Pharos church of the Most Holy Theotokos. There are several traditions concerning what happened later to the Icon Not-Made-by-Hands. According to one, Crusaders stole it during occupation of Constantinople (1204-1261), but the ship on which the sacred object was taken, perished in the waters of the Sea of Marmora.

According to another tradition, the Icon Not-Made-by-Hands was transported to Genoa in 1362, where it is preserved in a monastery dedicated to the Apostle Bartholomew. It is known that the Icon Not-Made-by-Hands repeatedly produced exact copies of itself. One of these, named “On the tile,” was made when Ananias hid the Icon in the wall on his way to Edessa. Another, imprinted on a cloak, wound up in Georgia. Possibly, the various traditions about the original Icon Is explained by the existence of several exact copies.

During the time of the Iconoclast heresy, the defenders of the holy icons, who shed their blood for them, sang the Troparion to the Icon Not-Made-by-Hands. In proof of the validity of venerating icons, Pope Gregory II (715-731) sent a letter to the Byzantine Enperor, in which he mentioned Abgar's healing, and the sojourn of the Icon Not-Made-by-Hands at Edessa as a commonly known fact.

The Icon Not-Made-by-Hands was put on the standards of the Russian army, in order to protect them from the enemy. In the Russian Orthodox Church it is a pious custom for a believer to read the Troparion for the Icon of the Savior Not-Made-by-Hands when entering the temple, together with other prayers.

According to the Prologue, there are four known Icons of the Savior Not-Made-by-Hands:

  1. Abgar's original Icon at Edessa (August 16).
  2. The one at Kamuliana (Καμουλιανά), which is mentioned by Saint Gregory of Nyssa (January 10).
  3. According to Saint Νikόdēmos of the Holy Mountain (July 14), the Kamuliana Icon appeared in the year 392, but it resembled an icon of the Mother of God (August 9).
  4. During the reign of Emperor Tiberius (578-582), Saint Mary Synklitike (August 11) was healed by the Icon on the tile (August 16).

The Feast of the Transfer of the Icon Not-Made-by-Hands is observed along with the Afterfeast of the Dormition. The commemoration of the third Icon Not-Made-by-Hands mentioned above is called the “The Savior on Linen Cloth.”

The particular reverence for this Feast in the Russian Orthodox Church is also expressed in iconography, and the Icon Not-Made-by-Hands was one of the most widely distributed.

Martyr Diomedes the Physician of Tarsus, in Cilicia

The Martyr Diomedes was born in Cilician Tarsus. He was a physician, and a Christian, and he treated not only ills of the body but also of the soul. He enlightened many pagans with belief in Christ, and baptized them. The Church venerates him as a healer and mentions him during the Mystery of Holy Unction.

Saint Diomedes traveled much, converting people to the true Faith. When he arrived in the city of Nicea, the emperor Diocletian (284-305) sent soldiers to arrest him. Along the way from Nicea to Nicomedia, he got down from the cart so as to pray, and he died.

As proof of carrying out their orders, the soldiers cut off his head, but became blinded. Diocletian gave orders to take the head back to the body. When the soldiers fulfilled the order, their sight was restored and they believed in Christ.

Venerable Cherimon (Chaeremon) of Egypt

Saint Cherimon was an ascetic in Egypt in the Skete desert monastery, either at the end of the fourth century, or the beginning years of the fifth century. His name is remembered in the Lausiac History of Palladius and in the alphabetic Paterikon.

His cave stood at a distance of 40 stadia from church and 12 stadia from a spring of water. The saint died at handicraft at more than 100 years of age. Saint Cherimon is remembered by Saint Theodore the Studite (November 11) in the Lenten Triodion, in the Service for Cheesefare Saturday, in the 6th Ode of the Matins canon.

Icon of the Mother of God of Saint Theodore

Tradition ascribes a very ancient origin to this famous Icon. It is regarded as one of the icons painted by the Holy Evangelist Luke. It is not known by whom or when the Icon was brought to Russia, but at the beginning of the XII century it was kept in an old wooden chapel near the city of Kitezh.

This Icon got its name from the Great Prince Yaroslav (+ 1246), who in Holy Baptism was named Theodore, in honor of Saint Theodore Stratēlatēs (February 8). According to Tradition, his elder brother, Saint George (February 4), found the Icon in the wooden chapel near Gorodets. When he attempted to take the Icon from the chapel it could not be moved. Realizing that the Mother of God wanted her Icon to remain there, Prince George built the Monastery of Saint Theodore on the site.

During Batu Khan's invasion in 1238, the Gorodets Monastery and other Russian monasteries were burnt and left in ruins. When the citizens of Gorodets fled the city at the approach of the Khan, they did not have time to take the Icon with them. Even though objects made of stone and iron were destroyed, the wooden Icon was preserved and later revealed.

On August 16, 1239, Saint Alexander Nevsky's younger brother, Prince Basil of Kostroma, later the Great Prince of Vladimir, got lost in the woods while chasing a wild animal. He saw an Icon in a pine1 tree, but when the Prince tried to remove the Icon from the tree, it suddenly rose up into the air. Struck by this miracle, Prince Basil returned to the city and told the clergy and the people about his vision. Then the people went into the forest and there they found the Icon where Prince Basil said it was. Everyone fell to their knees and prayed to the Mother of God. Then the priests were able to remove the Icon and take it to the cathedral church. Soon people flocked to the newly-revealed Icon from the Kostroma region. The residents said that when the Prince was hunting in the forest, some sort of soldier, who was dressed in rich clothing, walked through the city, carrying an Icon in his hands. The warrior resembled the icon of the Holy Great Martyr Theodore Stratēlatēs (February 8), to whom the Kostroma cathedral was dedicated. Therefore, the Icon was known as the Saint Theodore Icon. On the site of its appearance, on the banks of the Zaprudnya River the Prince founded a monastery dedicated to the Icon of Christ not made by hands, which is commemorated on August 16, the very day of the Saint Theodore Icon's appearance. Although the Kostroma Cathedral burned down, the Saint Theodore Icon was found in the ashes three days later, completely unharmed.

In 1260, the Tatars approached Kostroma, and the city was threatened with complete ruin. All the hopes of the inhabitants and the Prince rested upon the Mother of God, and they prayed that she would save the city. Before the battle, Prince Basil remembered that when Great Prince Andrew Bogolyubsky fought against the Kama Bulgarians, he took the wonderworking Vladimir Icon with him and, by the gracious help of the Mother of God, the enemy was completely routed. Following Saint Andrew's example, Prince Basil of Kostroma took the Saint Theodore Icon from the cathedral and carried it with his army. When the battle began, the Icon was moved behind the army, and the priests served Molebens. The two enemy armies converged, and a great miracle occurred. Dazzling rays of light, brighter and hotter than the rays of the sun, shone from the Virgin's face, blinding and scorching the Tatars, who panicked and fled in a disorderly retreat. Prince Basil set up a Cross where the Icon had stood during the battle, in remembrance of this miracle. The place itself, the people, and the nearby lake were called "holy." Subsequently, a village sprang up by the lake, and it too was called "Holy Lake."

Not long afterward, the Kostroma cathedral caught fire again. When they rushed to save the wonderworking Icon, they saw it hovering in the air above the flames. People thought that the Mother of God wanted the Icon to be taken from the city because of the sins of its inhabitants. Crying out, they implored the Mother of God not to leave the city. Then the Icon descended and settled on the ground in the middle of the square. Soon a small wooden church was built to house the Icon, which was later replaced by a stone church.

The name of the Saint Theodore Icon is also associated with the accession of Tsar Michael Romanov to the throne in 1613. Ambassadors were sent from Moscow to Kostroma, consisting of clergy, boyars, and persons of every rank. They brought the Vladimir Icon with them, and also an icon of the Moscow wonderworkers. At Kostroma, the delegation was met by a host of clergy with the Saint Theodore Icon, then everyone went to Ipatiev Monastery, where young Michael lived with his aged mother, Schematic-nun Martha.

In the cathedral church, Michael was "implored" to accept the crown. Young Michael refused to accept this heavy yoke, and his mother didn't want to let him go. She remained adamant despite their pleas. Finally, the former head of the delegation, Archbishop Theodoret of Ryazan, took the Vladimir Icon in his hands, and Abraham Palitsyn, the cellarer of Holy Trinity Monastery, took the icon of the Holy Moscow wonderworkers and firmly said to her: "Why have we brought these Icons of the Most Holy Sovereign Lady and of the Moscow wonderworkers with us on such a long journey? If you refuse to obey us, then consent for the sake of the Mother of God and the great Saints, and do not anger the Lord God." Martha was unable to maintain her opposition, and she prostrated herself before the Saint Theodore Icon saying, "Your will be done, O Sovereign Lady! Into your hands I surrender my son; guide him on the true path, for his benefit and for that of our land!" Michael begged his mother not to give in, but finally she did, and he had to accept. He was proclaimed as Tsar right away.

In remembrance of this event, an annual celebration was appointed for March 14. Tsar Michael brought a copy of the Icon with him to Moscow and placed it in the court church of the Nativity of the Theotokos, which is on the Seni. He greatly revered the Saint Theodore Icon, so in 1636 he restored and adorned it. At Kostroma Cathedral he bestowed great gifts; he ordered that seven pounds of wax be provided from Kostroma's customs revenues for an unsleeping candle to burn before the Icon. He ordered the Kostroma clergy to serve Molebens before the Icon, and the voivodes to take part in Cross Processions, dressed as archers and gunners.

On May 4, 1636, during the sanctification of the Icon which was restored by the Tsar, a young man named Moses, who suffered from a falling disease, and whose body was swollen and covered with scabs, was standing in the crowd and received instant healing.

In 1834, Lieutenant-General Ilovaysky was in Kostroma to venerate the Saint Theodore Icon and spoke of a miracle that his grandfather, a Cossack ataman, had experienced. His grandfather was taken prisoner by the highlanders. As he languished in captivity, it was revealed to him in a dream that he would be delivered by the grace of the Saint Theodore Icon. He was ordered to run without any fear, and he did manage to escape unnoticed. For a while, he hid from his pursuers in an oak tree, he walked 600 versts, and lived on fruits and roots. During this time he read the Troparion to the Saint Theodore Icon. At last, he came to his own city of Cherkassk. Then he walked to Kostroma on a pilgrimage to the Saint Theodore Icon, then he removed the copy of the Icon from the church and brought it on foot to Moscow. There he had the Icon covered with a gold riza and he returned home with it.

The Saint Theodore Icon is kept in Kostroma's Dormition Cathedral. Every year processions are made with it: on the Feast of Pentecost at Ipatiev Monastery; and on August 16 in the Spaso-Zaprudenskaya church, at the place where it was found. The Icon is commemorated twice a year: at the Dormition Cathedral on March 14, in remembrance of the end of the Time of Troubles in Russia, and on August 16, the day of the Icon's appearance.

1Various accounts say the tree was either pine, fir, or spruce.

Saint Anthony of Martkofeli

No information available at this time.

Martyr Christopher of Guria, Georgia

It is commonly believed that Saint Christopher Guruli was martyred, but little information exists about him to prove this. Christopher’s name has been preserved in the nation’s memory, and he is commemorated in the Church calendar.

The Georgian ancestry of Holy Martyr Christopher is indicated by his appellation, “Guruli,” which means “from the province of Guria (in western Georgia).” From this, Church historians have been led to believe that Holy Martyr Christopher labored in Georgia.

Martyr Isaac of Karnu, Georgia

No information available at this time.

Martyr Joseph of Karnu, Georgia

No information available at this time.

Saint Joachim of Osogovo

Saint Joachim of Osogov was one of four great hermits of Bulgaria. He inspired hundreds and thousands of people to Christian asceticism by his ascetic efforts. He lived in the eleventh century, unknown by anyone, in a cave on a mountain of Osogov.

Saint Roman of Banat

No information available at this time.

Saint Eustathius of Serbia

No information available at this time.

Saint Raphael of Banat

No information available at this time.

Hieromartyr Νikόdēmos of Meteora

Hieromartyr Νikόdēmos of Meteora struggled in Thessaly, and suffered in the year 1551.

New Martyr Stamatius of Volos

The New Martyr Stamatius was a native of the city of Volos, Thessaly. They accused him of accepting Islam, but he bravely confessed himself a Christian and was beheaded by the sword at Constantinople in 1680.

Venerable Gerasimus the New Ascetic of Cephalonia

Saint Gerasimus the New Ascetic of Cephalonia was born in the village of Trikkala in the Peloponessos. As a young adult, he became a monk on the island of Zakynthos. On the Holy Mountain he became a schemamonk and studied with the ascetics of Mt Athos. Receiving a blessing from the Elders, the monk went to Jerusalem to worship at the Life-bearing Tomb of the Savior. After visiting many holy places in Jerusalem, Mount Sinai, Antioch, Damascus, Alexandria and Egypt, he returned to Jerusalem where he became a lamp-lighter at the Sepulchre of the Lord.

The monk was ordained a deacon and then a priest by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Germanus (1534-1579). Saint Gerasimus maintained the discipline of an ascetic. For soltitude he withdrew to the Jordan, where he spent forty days without respite. Having received the Patriarch’s blessing for a life of silence, Saint Gerasimus withdrew to Zakynthos in solitude, eating only vegetation.

After five years he was inspired to go the the island of Cephalonia, where he lived in a cave. He restored a church at Omala, and he founded a women’s monastery where he lived in constant toil and vigil for thirty years. He prayed on bent knees stretched out on the ground. For his exalted life he was granted a miraculous gift: the ability to heal the sick and cast out unclean spirits.

At 71 years of age, the venerable Gerasimus knew that he would soon die. He gave his blessing to the nuns and peacefully fell asleep in the Lord on August 15, 1579. Two years later, his grave was opened and his holy relics were found fragrant and incorrupt with a healing power.

Since the Feast of the Dormition falls on August 15, Saint Gerasimus is commemorated on August 16th. Today’s Feast celebrates the uncovering of his holy relics in 1581.

Saint Constantine Brancoveanu and those with him

The holy Prince Constantine Brancoveanu, the son of Prince Matthew Basarab, was born in 1654. When his parents died, he was raised and educated by his uncle, Constantine Cantacuzino. When another uncle, Prince Serban Cantacuzino died on on October 19, 1688, Constantine was chosen to succeed him as Prince of the Romanian Land (Wallachia). Saint Constantine was a wise and just ruler who was guided by Christian principles, and worked for the benefit of his people. He also built and restored many churches and monasteries. His philanthropy extended even into Transylvania and Moldavia, which were ruled by others.

In 1714, after a reign of twenty-five years, Saint Constantine, his sons (Saints Constantine the Younger, Stephen Brancoveanu, Radu Brancoveanu, and Matthew Brancoveanu) and his sons-in-law were arrested by soldiers sent to Bucharest by Sultan Ahmed III (1703-1730). The prisoners were brought to Constantinople, where they were tortured for four months. Prince Constantine was told that if he and his sons wanted to escape death, they would have to convert to Islam and pay a large sum of money. Constantine did not have the money required by the Turks, and he did not wish to convert to the Moslem faith.

Seeing that neither tortures nor threats would induce the prisoners to forsake Christ, the Turks sentenced them to death. Before his own execution, Saint Constantine had to watch as his sons were beheaded before his eyes.

On the Feast of the Dormition (August 15), the sixty-year-old prince, his sons, and his counsellor Ianache Vacarescu died as martyrs for Christ. Their bodies were left unburied for three days, then they were thrown into the sea. Their relics were recovered by Orthodox Christians who brought them to the Monastery of the Theotokos on the island of Chalki.

Saint Constantine’s wife Marica brought his holy relics back to Bucharest and placed them in the church of Saint George the New, which he had founded. He was glorified by the Orthodox Church of Romania in 1992.