Daily Readings for Wednesday, May 17, 2023



5th Wednesday after Pascha, The Holy Apostles Andronicus and Junia, Theophanes and Nectarios, Builders of the Holy Monastery of Varlaam of Meteora, Nicholas the Younger who was martyred in Metsovo, Epirus, Theodotos the Martyr of Ancyra & the 7 Virgin-martyrs, Athanasios, Archbishop of Christianopolis, The New Martyrs of Batak, Bulgaria


IN THOSE DAYS, Paul and his company set sail from Paphos, and came to Perga in Pamphylia. And John left them and returned to Jerusalem; but they passed on from Perga and came to Antioch of Pisidia. And on the sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. After the reading of the law and the prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, ‘Brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say it.’ So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said: ‘Men of Israel, and you that fear God, listen. The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it. And for about forty years he bore with them in the wilderness. And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance, for about four hundred and fifty years. And after that he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet. Then they asked for a king; and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king; of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’ Of this man’s posterity God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised. Before his coming John had preached a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.’

JOHN 6:5-14

At that time, Jesus, lifting up his eyes and seeing that a multitude was coming to him, said to Philip, "How are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?" This he said to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, "Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little." One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are they among so many?" Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." Now there was much grass in the place; so the men sat down, in number about five thousand. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, "Gather up the fragments left over, that nothing may be lost." So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign which he had done, they said, "This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world!

Apostle Andronicus of the Seventy and his fellow-laborer, Junia

Saint Andronicus Apostle of the Seventy and Saint Junia were relatives of the holy Apostle Paul. They labored much, preaching the Gospel to pagans. Saint Paul mentions them in his Epistle to the Romans: “Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and fellow prisoners, who are of note among the Apostles, who also were in Christ, before me” (Romans 16:7).

Saint Andronicus was made Bishop of Pannonia, but his preaching also took him and Saint Junia to other lands, far from the boundaries of his diocese. Through the efforts of Saints Andronicus and Junia the Church of Christ was strengthened, pagans were converted to the knowledge of God, many pagan temples closed, and in their place Christian churches were built. The service in honor of these saints states that they suffered martyrdom for Christ.

In the fifth century, during the reign of the emperors Arcadius and Honorius, their holy relics were uncovered on the outskirts of Constantinople together with the relics of other martyrs at the gate of Eugenius (February 22).

It was revealed to the pious cleric Nicholas Kalligraphos that among the relics of these seventeen martyrs were the relics of the holy Apostle Andronicus. Afterwards, a magnificent church was built on this spot.

Saint Euphrosynē, Great Princess of Moscow

Today the Orthodox Church commemorates the tonsure of Saint Euphrosynē of Moscow on
May 17,1407.

After the death of her husband, Saint Demetrios of the Don (May 19) from the wounds he received at the Battle of Kulikovo, the Holy Princess Eudokia refrained from participating directly in the affairs of state; but on her advice, the wonderworking Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos was transferred from Vladimir to Moscow (August 26, 1395) because of the invasion of Khan Tamerlane. Soon afterward, she established a Convent in the palace, dedicating it to the Lord's Ascension.

Though inclined toward the monastic Life, she did not become a nun at that time, since her sons were very young, and instead, she acted as regent. She dressed in royal splendor, attended banquets, and participated in councils. Beneath her expensive clothing, she wore iron chains, concealing her ascetic labors and acts of charity from those around her.

Shortly before her death, an Angel appeared to her and informed her that her earthly life would end very soon. Then she became mute. By signs and gestures she made it known that she wished to have an icon of the Angel painted. When it was finished, Eudokia venerated it, and asked for another one to be painted. Only after the icons of the Archangel Michael were completed did she recognize the Angel who had appeared to her, and then she regained her voice.

The Saint expressed a wish to be tonsured in order to spend her final days in seclusion and prayer. At that time she appeared to a blind man in a dream and promised to heal him.

On May 17, 1407, Princess Eudokia was on her way to the Convent, and the blind man was sitting by the roadside. Hearing her approach, he shouted: "Holy Great Princess, feeder of the poor! You always gave us food and clothing, and you never refused our requests! Do not disregard my petition now, but heal me of my blindness, as you promised in my dream! You told me, ‘Tomorrow I will give you sight.' Now the time has come for you to fulfill your promise."

She continued on her way, seeming not to understand his words, but as she passed by, she brushed him, as if by accident, with the sleeves of her cloak. The man pressed them to his eyes and regained his sight. According to Tradition, thirty people were healed of various illnesses on that day.

Princess Eudokia was tonsured with the name Euphrosynē, which means “joy” or "gladness" in Greek. Her tonsure took place in the wooden church of the Ascension at the Convent.

The Saint reposed seven weeks after entering the Convent, departing to the Lord at the age of fifty-four on July 7, 1407. At her own request, she was buried in the church which she had started to build in the Kremlin, which was dedicated to the Ascension of Christ. Her wonderworking relics remained there until 1929.

She had been buried under the floor of the church with a cover over the grave. In 1922, after the Revolution, this cover was stolen by the Soviets, while Saint Euphrosynē's relics remained in the grave under the floor. In 1929, the government decided to destroy the Ascension Convent. Thanks to the efforts of museum workers, her relics were saved along with the remains of other royal personages interred there. Her relics, however, have yet to be identified and separated from the others. The remains were interred in the Cathedral of the Archangel.

In 2006, construction of a church dedicated to Saint Euphrosynē began in Moscow. It is located on the site of Great Prince Demetrios's palace. When it is completed, there are plans to tranfer her relics to this church.

Saint Euphrosynē is also commemorated on July 7, the day of her blessed repose.

Martyrs Solochon, Pamphamer, and Pamphalon, at Chalcedon

Saint Solochon, a native of Egypt, suffered for Christ during the reign of the emperor Maximian (284-305). The holy martyrs Pamphamirus and Pamphalon also gave their lives for Christ at the same time. All of them served in the imperial army in the regiment of the tribune Campanus.

During the persecution against Christians by the emperors Maximian and Diocletian, Campanus was sent to the city of Chalcedon with his soldiers. All the soldiers of his regiment were required to offer sacrifice in a pagan temple. The three soldiers, Saints Solochon, Pamphamirus and Pamphalon, refused to offer sacrifice to idols, explaining that they worshiped only the true God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

On the orders of Campanus they were subjected to terrible tortures, during which the holy martyrs Pamphamirus and Pamphalon died. Saint Solochon survived the torture and remained alive, glorifying Christ. In great anger, the torturer gave orders to open Saint Solochon’s mouth and force him to drink blood offered to idols. But Saint Solochon clenched his teeth so strongly, that they could not open them even with iron. The sword bent, and the saint broke his bonds and stood before the torturer, continuing to glorify Christ. Saint Solochon heard a voice from the heavens encouraging him to persevere to the end.

The saint endured a merciless beating, after which they dragged him over sharp stones, demanding that he renounce Christ, but the holy martyr remained steadfast. Then he was hung up by one hand, with a heavy weight tied to his leg. Saint Solochon remained in this position for about three hours. When finally they cut the ropes, then to everyone’s surprise, Saint Solochon stood upright on his feet, like a healthy man. Insane with anger, Campanus took a stylus and thrust it into the martyr’s ear.

The sufferer fell down, and Campanus and the soldiers departed, casting him aside. Christians carried the martyr to the house of a certain pious widow and placed him on a cot. The saint ate some food and conversed with the Christians, exhorting them to stand firmly for the Faith, and then after he prayed and lifted up his eyes to heaven, he surrendered his soul to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Saint Stephen, Archbishop of Constantinople

Saint Stephen, Patriarch of Constantinople, was the younger son of Emperor Basil the Macedonian, and was a brother of Emperor Leo the Wise. He was ordained to the priesthood under Patriarch Photius. When Saint Photius was compelled to resign the patriarchal throne in the year 886, Saint Stephen was elevated to the See of Constantinople. The saint vigilantly stood watch over his spiritual flock, he was merciful and interceded for the defenseless, he concerned himself with widows and orphans, and distinguished himself by his temperance. He died peacefully in the year 893 and was buried in the Sikellian monastery.

Venerable Dodo of the Saint David-Gareji Monastery, Georgia

A companion of Saint David of Gareji, Saint Dodo belonged to the royal family Andronikashvili. He was tonsured a monk while still a youth, and was endowed with every virtue.

An admirer of poverty and solitude, he labored as a hermit at Ninotsminda in Kakheti.

Having heard about the miracles of David of Gareji, Saint Dodo set off for the Gareji Wilderness to witness them himself. The venerable fathers greeted one another warmly and began laboring there together.

After some time, Saint David became deeply impressed with Dodo’s devotion to the Faith, and he proposed that he take with him some of the other monks and begin to construct cells on the opposite mountain.

The brothers built cells and began to labor there with great ardor. Before long the number of cells had reached two hundred. Saint Dodo isolated himself in a narrow crevice, where there was barely room for one man. Day and night, winter and summer, in the heat and the cold, he prayed with penitent tears for the forgiveness of his sins, the strengthening of the souls of his brothers, and the bolstering of the true Faith throughout the country.

Once Saint David miraculously healed the son of Prince Bubakar of Rustavi. In return, the grateful prince donated food and other necessities to the monks of Gareji Monastery. Saint David took part of his contributions and sent what remained to Saint Dodo. He advised Bubakar to have Saint Dodo baptize him, and Saint Dodo joyously baptized Bubakar, his sons, and all his suite.

Saint Dodo labored to an advanced age in the monastery he had founded and reposed peacefully.

His spiritual sons and companions buried him in the cave where he had labored, and a church was later built over his grave.

Greatmartyr Nicholas of Sofia

No information available at this time.

Saint Athanasius the New, Wonderworker and Archbishop of Christianopolis

No information available at this time.

Transfer of the relics of the Hieromartyr Adrian of Ondrusov, Wonderworker

In the manuscript of the Olonets Trebnik under May 17 it is noted: "Today is the transfer of the relics of Venerable Father Adrian, Igoumen of Saint Nicholas Monastery on Lake Ladoga, on Ondrus Island, in the Olonets district, the new wonderworker. His memory is also celebrated on August 26."