6TH THURSDAY OF LENT
ABSTAIN FROM MEAT, FISH, DAIRY, EGGS, WINE, OLIVE OIL
Eutychius, Patriarch of Constantinople, 120 Martyrs of Persia, Gregory of Sinai, Platonis the Nun of Nisibis
Thus says the LORD: “As the wine is found in the cluster, and they say, ‘Do not destroy it, for there is a blessing in it, ‘ so I will do for my servants’ sake, and not destroy them all. I will bring forth descendants from Jacob, and from Judah inheritors of my mountains; my chosen shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there. Sharon shall become a pasture for flocks, and the Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down, for my people who have sought me. But you who forsake the LORD, who forget my holy mountain, who set a table for Fortune and fill cups of mixed wine for Destiny; I will destine you to the sword, and all of you shall bow down to the slaughter; because, when I called, you did not answer, when I spoke, you did not listen, but you did what was evil in my eyes, and chose what I did not delight in.” Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, my servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry; behold, my servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty; behold, my servants shall rejoice, but you shall be put to shame; behold, my servants shall sing for gladness of heart, but you shall cry out for pain of heart, and shall wail for anguish of spirit. You shall leave your name to my chosen for a curse, and the Lord GOD will slay you; but his servants he will call by a different name. So that he who blesses himself in the land shall bless himself by the God of truth, and he who takes an oath in the land shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten and are hid from my eyes.
So Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night, and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here am I.” Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt; for I will there make of you a great nation. I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again; and Joseph’s hand shall close your eyes.” Then Jacob set out from Beersheba; and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. They also took their cattle and their goods, which they had gained in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him, his sons, and his sons’ sons with him, his daughters, and his sons’ daughters; all his offspring he brought with him into Egypt.
My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad. My soul will rejoice when your lips speak what is right. Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the LORD all the day. Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off. Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your mind in the way. Be not among winebibbers, or among gluttonous eaters of meat; for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags. Hearken to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old. Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding. The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who begets a wise son will be glad in him. Let your father and mother be glad, let her who bore you rejoice. My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways. For a harlot is a deep pit; an adventuress is a narrow well. She lies in wait like a robber and increases the faithless among men. Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who tarry long over wine, those who go to try mixed wine. Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. At the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like an adder. Your eyes will see strange things, and your mind utter perverse things. You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, like one who lies on the top of a mast. "They struck me, " you will say, "but I was not hurt; they beat me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake? I will seek another drink." Be not envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them; for their minds devise violence, and their lips talk of mischief. By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is mightier than a strong man, and a man of knowledge than he who has strength.
Saint Eutychius, Patriarch of Constantinople
Saint Eutychius, Archbishop of Constantinople, was born in a village called “Divine” in the province of Phrygia. His father Alexander was a soldier, and his mother Synesia was the daughter of the priest Hesychius of Augustopolis. Saint Eutychius received the first rudiments of his education and a Christian upbringing from his grandfather the priest.
Once, while playing a childhood game, the boy wrote his own name with the title of Patriarch. By this he seemed to predict his future service. He was sent to Constantinople at age twelve for further education. The youth persevered in his study of science and realized that human wisdom is nothing in comparison to the study of divine Revelation. Therefore, he decided to dedicate himself to monastic life. Saint Eutychius withdrew into one of the Amasean monasteries and received the angelic schema. For his strict life he was made archimandrite of all the Amasean monasteries, and in 552 was appointed to the Patriarchal throne.
When the Fifth Ecumenical Council prepared to assemble during the reign of the holy emperor Justinian (527-565), the Metropolitan of Amasea was ill and he sent Saint Eutychius in his place. At Constantinople the aged Patriarch Saint Menas (August 25) saw Saint Eutychius and predicted that he would be the next Patriarch. After the death of the holy Patriarch Menas, the Apostle Peter appeared in a vision to the emperor Justinian and, pointing his hand at Eutychius, said, “Let him be made your bishop.”
At the very beginning of his patriarchal service, Saint Eutychius convened the Fifth Ecumenical Council (553), at which the Fathers condemned the heresies cropping up and anathematized them. However, after several years a new heresy arose in the Church: Aphthartodocetism [asartodoketai] or “imperishability” which taught that the flesh of Christ, before His death on the Cross and Resurrection, was imperishable and not capable of suffering.
Saint Eutychius vigorously denounced this heresy, but the emperor Justinian himself inclined toward it, and turned his wrath upon the saint. By order of the emperor, soldiers seized the saint in the church, removed his patriarchal vestments, and sent him into exile to an Amasean monastery (565).
The saint bore his banishment with meekness, and lived at the monastery in fasting and prayer, and he worked many miracles and healings.
Thus, through his prayer the wife of a devout man, Androgenes, who had given birth only to dead infants, now gave birth to two sons who lived to maturity. Two deaf-mutes received the gift of speech; and two grievously ill children were restored to health. The saint healed a cancerous ulcer on the hand of an artist. The saint also healed another artist, anointing his diseased hand with oil and making over it the Sign of the Cross.
The saint healed not only bodily, but also spiritual afflictions: he banished the devil out of a girl that had kept her from Holy Communion; he expelled a demon from a youth who had fled from a monastery (after which the youth returned to his monastery); he healed a drunken leper, who stopped drinking after being cleansed of his leprosy.
During the Persian invasion of Amasea and its widespread devastation, they distributed grain to the hungry from the monastery granaries on the saint’s orders, and by his prayers, the stores of grain at the monastery were not depleted.
Saint Eutychius received from God the gift of prophecy. He revealed the names of two of Emperor Justinian’s successors: Justin (565-578) and Tiberias (578-582).
After the death of the holy Patriarch John Scholastikos, Saint Eutychius returned to the cathedra in 577 after his twelve year exile, and he again wisely ruled his flock.
Four and a half years after his return to the Patriarchal throne, in 582, Saint Eutychius gathered together all his clergy on Thomas Sunday, blessed them, and peacefully fell asleep in the Lord.
Saint Methodius, Equal of the Apostles, Archbishop of Moravia, Enlightener of the Slavs
Saint Methodius, Archbishop of Moravia, died on April 6 in the year 885. His Life is found on May 11, when he is commemorated with Saint Cyril, Teacher of the Slavs.
Saint Platonida of Nisibis, Syria
Saint Platonida (Platonis) was at first a deaconess, but afterwards withdrew into the Nisibis desert, where she organized a women’s monastery.
The Rule of her monastery was distinguished for its strictness. The sisters partook of food only once a day. When they were not praying, they spent their time in monastic labors and various obediences.
On Fridays, the day commemorating the sufferings of Christ the Savior on the Cross, all work stopped, and the nuns were in church from morning until evening, where between services they read from Holy Scripture and from commentaries on it.
Saint Platonida was for all the sisters a living example of strict monastic asceticism, meekness, and love for neighbor. Having reached a great old age, Saint Platonida died peacefully in the year 308.
120 Martyrs of Persia
The Holy 120 Martyrs suffered under the Persian emperor Sapor. They were taken into captivity during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Constantios (337-361). They were consigned to the flames after firmly confessing their faith (c.344-347). Saint Shandulios (November 3) concealed their relics from desecration by the pagans. Among the holy martyrs were ten virgins, who had dedicated themselves to the service of God.
Martyrs Jeremiah and Presbyter Archilias
The Holy Martyrs Jeremiah and the Priest Archilius (Alchimius) suffered martyrdom in the third century. Saint Gregory Dialogus (March 12) mentions them.
Venerable Gregory the Byzantine
Saint Gregory was a native of Constantinople, and pursued an ascetic life on Mt. Athos in the Lavra of Saint Athanasius (July 5). He was the spiritual guide of Saint Gregory Palamas (November 14).
Monastic Martyr Gennadius of Dionysiou on Mount Athos
No information available at this time.