Daily Readings for Thursday, August 25, 2022



Return of the Body of Bartholomew the Glorious Apostle, Titus the Apostle of the 70, John the Cappadocian, Epiphanius and Menas, Patriarchs of Constantinople, Holy Father John of Karpathos, Ebba, First Abbess of Coldingham

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO TITUS 1:1-5; 2:15; 3:1-2, 12-15

PAUL, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to further the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life which God, who never lies, promised ages ago and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by command of God our Savior;
To Titus, my true child in a common faith:
Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
Declare these things; exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for any honest work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all men.
When I send Artemas or Tychicos to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. And let our people learn to apply themselves to good deeds, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not to be unfruitful.
All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith.
Grace be with you all. Amen.

MATTHEW 5:14-19

The Lord said to his disciples, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Return of the Relics of the Apostle Bartholomew from Anastasiopolis to Lipari

The Transfer of the Relics of the Apostle Bartholomew took place at the end of the sixth century. His apostolic activity and martyr’s end are remembered by the Church on June 11. The Apostle Bartholomew suffered for Christ in Armenian Albanus (now Baku) in the year 71, where his holy relics were. Numerous miracles occurred from the relics of the holy Apostle, and many of the unbelieving were converted to Christ. Under the emperor Anastasius (491-518) the relics of the Apostle Bartholomew were transferred into the newly constructed city of Anastasiopolis (or Dura) and remained there until the end of the sixth century.

When the city of Anastasiopolis was captured by the Persian emperor Chozroes, Christians took up the chest with the relics of the Apostle Bartholomew and fled with it to the shores of the Black Sea. Having overtaken them, pagan priests threw the chest with the relics of the Apostle Bartholomew into the sea. Four other chests containing the relics of the holy Martyrs Papian, Lucian, Gregory and Acacius were also thrown into the sea.

By the power of God the chests did not sink into the depths of the sea, but miraculously floated upon the waves and reached Italy. The chest with the relics of the Apostle Bartholomew came to land at the island of Lipari, and the remaining chests continued their journey and came to land at various places in Italy. The chest with the relics of the Martyr Papian halted at Sicily, the Martyr Lucian at Messina, the Martyr Gregory at Calabria, and the Martyr Acacius at Askalon.

The arrival of the relics of the holy Apostle Bartholomew was revealed to Bishop Agathon of the island of Lipari, who went with clergy to the shores of the sea, took the chest from the waters and solemnly transferred it to church.

Myrrh flowed from the relics of the Apostle Bartholomew, healing people of various illnesses. The holy relics remained in the church of the island of Lipari until the middle of the ninth century when the island was captured by pagans. Christian merchants took up the holy relics of the Apostle Bartholomew and transferred them to the city of Beneventum, near Naples, where they were received with great veneration and placed in the main church of the city.

Apostle Titus of the Seventy and Bishop of Crete

Saint Titus, Apostle of the Seventy was a native of the island of Crete, the son of an illustrious pagan. In his youth he studied Hellenistic philosophy and the ancient poets. Preoccupied by the sciences, Titus led a virtuous life, not devoting himself to the vices and passions characteristic of the majority of pagans. He preserved his virginity, as the Hieromartyr Ignatius the God-bearer (December 20) testifies of him.

For such a manner of life the Lord did not leave him without His help. At age twenty Saint Titus heard a voice in a dream, suggesting that he abandon Hellenistic wisdom, which could not provide salvation for his soul, but rather to seek that which would save him. After this dream, Saint Titus waited yet another year, since it was not actually a command, but it did guide him to familiarize himself with the teachings of the prophets of God. The first that he happened to read was the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. Having opened it to the 47th Chapter, he was struck by the words, speaking as it were about his own spiritual condition.

When news reached Crete about the appearance of a Great Prophet in Palestine, and about the great miracles He worked, the governor of the island of Crete (an uncle of Titus) sent him there. This Prophet was the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, incarnate of the Most Holy Virgin Mary Who came into the world for the redemption of the race of mankind from the oppression of ancestral sin.

At Jerusalem, Saint Titus saw the Lord. He heard His preaching and believed in Him. He witnessed the suffering and death of the Savior on the Cross, His glorious Resurrection and Ascension to Heaven. On the day of Pentecost the future apostle heard how the Twelve Apostles, after the descent of the Holy Spirit, spoke in various languages, among which was the Cretan language (Acts 2: 11).

Saint Titus accepted Baptism from the Apostle Paul and became his closest disciple. He accompanied Saint Paul on his missionary journeys, fulfilling the tasks entrusted to him. He was involved in establishing new churches, and was with Paul in Jerusalem.

Saint Titus was numbered among the Seventy Apostles and was made Bishop of Crete by the Apostle Paul. Around the year 65, not long before his second imprisonment, the Apostle Paul sent a pastoral epistle to his son in the Faith (Tit. 1: 4).

When the Apostle Paul was taken like a criminal to Rome to stand trial before Caesar, Saint Titus left his flock in Crete for a time and went to Rome to be of service to his spiritual Father. After Saint Paul’s death by martyrdom, Titus returned to Gortyna, the chief city of Crete.

Saint Titus peacefully guided his flock and toiled at enlightening the pagans with the light of faith in Christ. He was granted the gift of wonderworking by the Lord. During one of the pagan feasts in honor of the goddess Diana, Titus preached to a crowd of pagans.

When he saw that they would not listen to him, he prayed to the Lord, so that the Lord Himself would show to the mistaken people the falseness of idols. By the prayer of Saint Titus, the idol of Diana fell down and shattered before the eyes of all. Another time Saint Titus prayed that the Lord would not permit the completion of a temple of Zeus, and it collapsed.

By such miracles Saint Titus brought many to faith in Christ. After bringing the light of faith to the surrounding regions, Saint Titus died peacefully at the age of 97. At the time of his death, his face shone like the sun.

Confessors Barses and Eulogius, Bishops of Edessa, and Protogenes, Bishop of Carrhae

Saint Barses and Eulogius, Bishops of Edessa, and Protogenes the Confessor, Bishop of Carrhae, suffered from the Arians in the second half of the fourth century. The emperor Valentius (364-378), wishing to propagate the Arian heresy, fiercely persecuted the Orthodox.

In the city of Edessa he removed Saint Barses, a champion for Orthodoxy, from the bishop’s throne. He sent him for confinement on the island of Arad. The Orthodox population there received the exiled saint with great honor. They banished him farther, to the Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchos, but there also the warm welcome was repeated. Then Saint Barses was banished to the very frontier of the imperial realm, to the faraway city of Thenon where, exhausted by his exiles, he died.

At Edessa, the emperor Valentius placed the Arian pseudo-bishop Lupus upon the episcopal cathedra. Wolflike in name and deed, he scattered the sheep of Christ’s flock. The Orthodox population of Edessa, both clergy and laity, ceased to attend their church, which had been seized by the Arians. They gathered outside the city and celebrated the divine services in an open area.

After he learned of this, the emperor ordered the eparch Modestus to kill all the Orthodox who met for divine services outside the city. The eparch pitied the city, and he informed the Orthodox that they should not attend divine services. The Orthodox, fervent with the desire to receive a martyr’s crown for Christ, went as one to the place where they usually gathered for prayer.

Eparch Modestus, obeying his orders, went there with his armed soldiers. Along the way he saw a woman who hastened to the services with her small child, so as not to deprive him of the martyr’s crown. Shaken, Modestus turned back with his soldiers. Appearing before the emperor Valentius, he urged him to cancel the decree to kill all the Orthodox and to apply it only to the clergy.

They led persons of spiritual rank to the emperor, and in the lead the oldest presbyter Eulogius. The emperor urged them to enter into communion with the pseudo-bishop Lupus, but none of them agreed. After this they sent eighty men of clerical rank in chains to prison in Thrace. The Orthodox met them along the way, revering them as confessors, and furnished them all the necessities. Learning of this, the emperor ordered the martyrs to be taken two by two, and to disperse them to remote areas.

The holy presbyters Eulogius and Protogenes were sent to the Thebaid city of Antinoe in Egypt. There by their preaching they converted many idol-worshippers to Christ and baptized them. When the emperor Valentius perished and was succeeded on the throne by the holy emperor Theodosius (379-395), the Orthodox confessors remaining alive after the persecution were returned from exile. The holy presbyters Eulogius and Protogenes returned to Edessa. In place of the dead and banished Saint Barses, presbyter Eulogius was elevated to Bishop of Edessa, and the holy presbyter Protogenes was made bishop in the Mesopotamian city of Carrhae. Both saints guided their flocks until their death, which occurred at the end of the fourth century.

Saint Menas, Patriarch of Constantinople

Saint Menas, Patriarch of Constantinople (536-552), was at first a presbyter at Constantinople and supervisor there of the Home of Saint Sampson the Hospitable for the poor and needy during the reign of Saint Justinian I (527-565). After the removal of the heretic Anthimus (535-536), the holy presbyter Menas was raised to the patriarchal throne of Constantinople as one worthy to be bishop, because of his profound virtue and firm confession of Orthodoxy.

Agapitus, the Bishop of Rome (535-536), participated in the consecration of Saint Menas. He had come to Constantinople in order to depose the heretic Anthimus. During the patriarchate of Saint Menas a miracle occurred at Constantinople, which was known to the whole city.

A certain Jewish child went with other children to church and he partook of the Holy Mysteries of Christ. At home, he told his father about this. In a terrible rage, he seized the child and threw him into a red-hot oven (the father was a glass-blower). He said nothing to his wife. For three days, the mother tearfully searched for her son, calling loudly for him. On the third day, he emerged from the red-hot oven. When she pulled the child out, she found that he was unharmed.

The boy said that a most radiant Lady had come to him, cooling the fire and bringing him water and food. This incident became known to Saint Menas and the emperor Justinian I. The boy and his mother received Baptism, but the father of the child was obdurate and did not wish to repent, in spite of the great miracle that he had seen. Then the emperor ordered that the father be tried as a child-killer, and sentenced him to death.

The holy Patriarch Menas ruled the Church of Constantinople for sixteen years. During his patriarchate at Constantinople, the famous church of Hagia Sophia, the Wisdom of God, was consecrated. The saint died peacefully in the year 552.

New Hieromartyr Vladimir (Moshchansky) of Tver

No information available at this time.

Saint John the Cappadocian, Patriarch of Constantinople

Saint John the Cappadocian, Patriarch of Constantinople, occupied the patriarchal throne from 518-520. The holy Patriarch Photius (857-867) termed him “a habitation of virtues.”

Saint Epiphanius, Patriarch of Constantinople

Saint Epiphanius, Patriarch of Constantinople, occupied the cathedra from 520 to 535. He died peacefully in the year 535.

Saint Constantia of Paphos

Saint Constantia was from the city of Paphos on the island of Cyprus, and as Saint Jerome (Hieronymus) writes in his book On the Ecclesiastical Writers, she was the disciple of Saint Hilarion the Great (October 21) who lived as an ascetic in a village in the Diocese of Paphos. In Saint Jerome’s Life of Saint Hilarion (44), he tells us that Saint Hilarion saved her daughter and son-in-law from death by anointing them with oil.

After Saint Hilarion’s death, Constantia remained near his grave and struggled in asceticism, in imitation of the Saint, praying ceaselessly and striving for her spiritual fulfillment. Through her faith and her prayers to Saint Hilarion she was also found worthy of performing miracles.

Saint Constantia is also mentioned by the chronographer Cyprian while the Cypriot scholar Stephanos Luzinian (in the XVI century) reports that she was regarded as the patroness of Paphos. Stephanos Luzinian writes about Saint Constantia:

“Constantia, a very noble lady of the city of Paphos, was a disciple of the most holy Father Hilarion. She died of unbearable sadness when she heard of the death of her master and how his body had been stolen by his disciple Hesychius. Her faithful love is worthy of praise: not only did she love her master while he was still alive, but her great love for him continued even after his death.”

Saint Jerome also relates (Life of Saint Hilarion, 47) that when Saint Constantia received a message saying that Saint Hilarion’s body was in Palestine, “She immediately fell dead, thus attesting to her deep love for the servant of God. It had become her custom to keep nightly vigils in the Saint’s sepulcher and converse with him as if he was there to aid her in her prayers.”

The Cypriot Menaion contains a complete Service in honor of Saint Constantia, and in her Troparion she is called “the Protectress of Paphos.”