Daily Readings for Monday, February 13, 2023



Martinian of Palestine, Apostles Aquila and Priscilla, Eulogios, Patriarch of Alexandria, Symeon the Myrrhbearer of Serbia


Brethren, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all know that I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and know that no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he has promised us, eternal life.
I write this to you about those who would deceive you; but the anointing which you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that any one should teach you; as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie, just as it has taught you, abide in him.
And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that every one who does right is born of him.
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And every one who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
Every one who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who does right is righteous, as he is righteous. He who commits sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

MARK 11:1-11

At that time, Jesus drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethsphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, and he sent two of his disciples, and said to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat; untie it and bring it. If any one says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.'” And they went away, and found a colt tied at the door out in the open street; and they untied it. And those who stood there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” And they told them what Jesus had said; and they let them go. And they brought the colt to Jesus, and threw their garments on it; and he sat upon it. And many spread their garments on the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. And those who went before and those who followed cried out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming! Hosanna in the highest!” And he entered Jerusalem, and went into the temple; and when he had looked round at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve disciples.

Saints Martinian, Zoe, and Photina of Caesarea in Palestine

Saint Martinian went to live in the wilderness at the age of eighteen, not far from the city of Caesarea in Palestine. For twenty-five years, he devoted himself to ascetic deeds and silence, and he was granted the gift of healing illnesses and casting out demons. However, the Enemy of the human race would not stop troubling the holy ascetic with various temptations.

One day a prostitute overheard some citizens of Caesarea speaking of Saint Martinian's virtuous life, so she asked them why they were amazed by it. She said that he went to live in the desert because he could not endure the temptations of the flesh in the city. Furthermore, she made a wager with them that she could topple this pillar of virtue with her beauty and seduce him.

She came to him one night, dressed in shabby clothes, pretending that she had lost her way in the storm, and asking for shelter. Reluctantly, the saint allowed her to enter his cell, because he did not wish to be the cause of her death. He went into the inner room of his cell, telling her she would have to leave in the morning. After chanting Psalms according to his Rule, he went to sleep on the floor, but he was disturbed by carnal thoughts. Meanwhile, the wicked guest opened the bag she had been carrying and changed into her beautiful clothes and adorned herself with jewels.

When morning came, Saint Martinian came out to send the woman away. Though he was tempted by the woman’s beauty, he was determined not to fall into sin. Lighting a fire, he stepped into it, saying, “You want me to burn with temptation, but I will not give in to it.. Instead, I choose to burn in this fire in order to preserve my purity and to escape the unquenchable fires of Hell."

Saint Zoe

The woman was astonished at the lengths Saint Martinian was willing to go, and she realized how evil she was. She repented and asked the saint to guide her onto the way of salvation. He told her to go to Bethlehem, and enter the convent founded by Saint Paula (January 26). There she lived as a nun for twelve years in strict asceticism until her blessed repose. The woman’s name was Zoe.

After his burns healed, Saint Martinian went to an uninhabited rocky island, and lived on it under the open sky for several years, nourished by the provisions brought by a certain sailor from time to time. In return the monk wove baskets for him.

One day a ship was wrecked by a powerful storm, and a woman named Photina floated to the island on pieces of the wreckage Saint Martinian helped her to survive on the island. “Remain here,” he told her, “for I am leaving you bread and water, and in two months a boat will come and return you to the mainland."

Saint Martinian refused to stay on the island with the woman, believing that it would be better to drown than to burn with lust. He jumped into the sea and swam away, and a pair of dolphins carried him to dry land. Thereafter, Saint Martinian led the life of a wanderer. Later, he came to Athens and fell ill. Sensing the approach of death, he went into a church and lay upon the floor. God revealed to the Bishop of Athens who Saint Martinian was, and the hierarch buried his body with honor. This occurred around the year 422.

As for Saint Photina, she did not board the ship when it came to the island, electing to stay there by herself. She asked the captain of the ship to have his wife bring her men's clothing and some wool, promising to make clothes for his family. She also asked the woman to bring her bread and water in addition to the other supplies.

Saint Photina lived on the island for six years, and then she went to the Lord. Two months after her repose, the captain and his wife found her incorrupt relics and brought them to Caesarea in Palestine. He had a vision which revealed many details of Saint Photina's life, which he shared with the bishop. Then they buried her with great honor and reverence.

Venerable Stephen (in monasticism Simeon), the Myrrhgusher and Prince of Serbia

Saint Simeon the Myrrh-Gusher, King of Serbia Stephen Nemanya was the Great Zhupan of Serbia, and lived during the twelfth century. The saint toiled much for his fatherland: he united a large portion of the Serbian lands, and strove for the political independence of his country from the Byzantine Empire. In his zeal for the Orthodox Church, he defended his nation against heresy and false teaching.

At the age of eighty, Stephen went to Mt. Athos, where his son Saint Savva (January 12), was glorified by the holiness of his life. Together they restored the desolate Hilandar monastery, to which monks from various lands began to gather.

Saint Simeon was a great ascetic and wise guide for the monks. He died on February 13, 1200, and his relics began to exude myrrh. Saint Savva transported his father’s relics back to Serbia, and placed them in a church of the Most Holy Theotokos at the River Studenitsa. Saint Simeon had richly adorned this church while he was still ruler of Serbia.

Saint Eulogius, Archbishop of Alexandria

Saint Eulogius, Patriarch of Alexandria, was one of the enlightened hierarchs of the sixth century. At first he was igumen of the monastery of the Mother of God in Antioch, and then in 579 he was chosen as Patriarch of Alexandria, where he served for twenty-seven years. Throughout his life, the saint struggled vigorously against heresies. He was also a friend of Saint Gregory Dialogus (March 12), and some of their correspondence has been preserved.

Saint Eulogius died in 607 or 608. Saint Photius quotes from his writings, which reveal an Orthodox theology of the two natures of our Lord Jesus Christ. Only one of his sermons, for Palm Sunday, has survived in complete form.

Appearance of Christ to Saint Martin of

On February 13, the Russian Orthodox Church commemorates the appearance of Christ to Saint Martin of Tours (October 12 and November 11).

From childhood, Saint Martin was known for his compassionate heart and great pity for the poor. When he was twenty-two years old, even before he was baptized, he began to give away all his possessions to those in need, and soon he was left with just one set of clothes and a knife.

Saint Martin, like many young men, had to serve in the army for several years. One day, when the weather was very harsh and unusually cold, he met a man at the city gates of Amiens, almost naked, and begging for alms. Martin saw that people just walked past the man without taking any notice. Since Martin had already given away everything he owned, he had only his cloak and his uniform. No one else would help the beggar, so Martin felt that it was his responsibility to do something for him.

Recalling the Savior's words: "If anyone wishes to judge you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak as well" (Matthew 5:40), Martin drew his sword and cut his cloak in two. Giving half to the beggar, he wrapped himself in the other half. Seeing him in the torn cloak, those standing by began to laugh at his strange appearance. Others, who had more sense, regretted the fact that they had done nothing for the man, although they could have clothed the beggar without uncovering themselves as Saint Martin did.

That night, in his sleep, Martin saw Christ wearing half of his cloak, which he had given the beggar. The Lord told him to look at Him and to notice that it was the same garment. Then the Savior said to the Angels who surrounded Him, "Martin is still just a catechumen, but he has clothed me in this garment."

Saint Martin did not become puffed up with pride because of this vision. Instead, he saw this as a sign of God's goodness, which confirmed Christ's words: "Truly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of my brethren, you did it to me" (Matthew 25:40).

Because Saint Martin gave alms throughout his life, he was rewarded with the gift of working miracles. Let us follow his example so that we might be granted a small corner of Paradise.

Saint Seraphima

Saint Seraphima (Euthymia Euthymova Morgacheva, in the world), was born on September 14, 1806 in the village of Ningvo-Lomov in the diocese of Ryazan and lived an ascetical life at a monastery in Sezhenovo, Russia. She departed to the Lord in the year 1877.

Saint George, Archbishop of Mogilev, Belarus

Saint George (in the world Gregory Iosifovich Konissky) was born into a prominent family on November 20, 1717 in the town of Nezin. He studied at the Kiev Theological Academy and became a monk in the Kiev Caves Lavra.

Later he served as Archbishop of Mogilev, Belarus and reposed peacefully in the year 1795.