3RD MONDAY OF LENT
ABSTAIN FROM MEAT, FISH, DAIRY, EGGS, WINE, OLIVE OIL
Removal of the relics of Nicephorus, Patriarch of Constantinople, Pouplios the Martyr, Bishop of Athens, Christina the Martyr of Persia, Gerald, Bishop of Mayo
But the LORD of hosts, him you shall regard as holy; let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he will become a sanctuary, and a stone of offense, and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many shall stumble thereon; they shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken.” Bind up the testimony, seal the teaching among my disciples. I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him. Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are signs and portents in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion. And when they say to you, “Consult the mediums and the wizards who chirp and mutter, ” should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living? To the teaching and to the testimony! Surely for this word which they speak there is no dawn. They will pass through the land, greatly distressed and hungry; and when they are hungry, they will be enraged and will curse their king and their God, and turn their faces upward; and they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish; and they will be thrust into thick darkness. But there will be no gloom for her that was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. Thou hast multiplied the nation, thou hast increased its joy; they rejoice before thee as with joy at the harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, thou hast broken as on the day of Midian. For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation; Noah walked with God. And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh; for the earth is filled with violence through them; behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above; and set the door of the ark in its side; make it with lower, second, and third decks. For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you, to keep them alive. Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up; and it shall serve as food for you and for them.” Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.
Does not wisdom call, does not understanding raise her voice?
On the heights beside the way, in the paths she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:
To you, O men, I call, and my cry is to the sons of men.
O simple ones, learn prudence; O foolish men, pay attention.
Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right; for my mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
They are all straight to him who understands and right to those who find knowledge.
Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold; for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
I, wisdom, dwell in prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion.
The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.
I have counsel and sound wisdom, I have insight, I have strength.
By me kings reign, and rulers decree what is just; by me princes rule, and nobles govern the earth.
I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.
Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and prosperity.
My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver.
I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice, endowing with wealth those who love me, and filling their treasuries.
Translation of the relics of Saint Nikēphóros, Patriarch of Constantinople
Saint Nikēphóros was a dignitary at the court of the empress Irene (797-802), and then after receiving monastic tonsure, he became known for his piety. In the year 806 he was elevated to the patriarchal throne. The saint was a zealous defender of the holy Icons. When the Iconoclast emperor Leo the Armenian (813-820) came to rule, the saint in 815 was exiled to Prokonnis, where he died in the year 828.
In the year 846 the holy relics of Patriarch Nikēphóros were opened, and were found incorrupt and fragrant. They transferred them from Prokonnis to Constantinople and placed them for one day in Hagia Sophia, and then transferred them to the Church of the Holy Apostles. The saint’s hands are preserved in the Hilandar monastery on Mount Athos.
The saint left behind three writings against Iconoclasm. The main Feast of Saint Nikēphóros is celebrated on June 2, but today we commemorate the finding and transfer of his holy relics.
Martyr Sabinus (Abibus) of Egypt
The Holy Martyr Sabinus suffered in Egypt in the year 287.
Martyrs Africanus, Publius, and Terence, of Carthage
The Holy Martyrs Africanus, Publius, and Terence suffered in the third century at Petrium. Their memory is celebrated also on April 10.
Hieromartyr Publius, Bishop of Athens
Saint Puplius was Bishop of Athens (after Saint Narcissus) during the second century. He was one of the Seventy Apostles (January 4), and a disciple of Saint Dionysios the Aereopagite (October 3). The God-pleasing hierarch ruled his flock as a good shepherd, and he gave his life for his rational sheep, after he had perfected it by a martyric death during the persecution of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180).
Martyr Alexander of Macedonia
The Holy Martyr Alexander was a presbyter in the city of Pidna, not far from Thessalonica. The saint converted many pagans to Christianity by his preaching. During the persecution against Christians under the emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311), Saint Alexander was subjected to fierce tortures, and then beheaded.
Martyr Christina of Persia
The Holy Martyr Christina of Persia was scourged to death for confessing her faith in Christ, during the fourth century.
Venerable Aninas of the Euphrates
See March 18 for Saint Aninas' life.