Scripture Readings (KJV)
1 Corinthians 2.6-9 (Epistle)
6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
Matthew 22.15-22 (Gospel)
15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.
16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.
17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?
18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?
19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.
20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?
21 They say unto him, Cæsar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.
22 When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.
Martyr Mamas of Caesarea in Cappadocia (275), and his parents, Martyrs Theodotus and Rufina
He began his life in the cruelest of circumstances: both of his parents were imprisoned for their faith in Christ. First his father, Theodotus, died in prison, then his mother, Rufina, died shortly after his birth, so the infant was left alone in prison beside the bodies of his parents. But an angel appeared to the widow Ammia, telling her to go to the prison and rescue the child. Ammia obtained the city governor’s permission to bury the parents and bring the child home. He was called Mamas because he was mute until the age of five and his first word was `Mama’. Despite his late beginning, he showed unusual intelligence and, having been brought up in piety, soon openly proclaimed his Christian faith. When he was only fifteen years old he was arrested and brought before the Emperor Aurelian. The Emperor, perhaps seeking to spare the boy, told him to deny Christ only with his lips, and the State would not concern itself with his heart. Mamas replied `I shall not deny my God and King Jesus Christ either in my heart or with my lips.’ He was sent to be tortured, but miraculously escaped and lived in the mountains near Caesarea. There he lived in solitude and prayer and befriended many wild beasts. In time, he was discovered by the persecutors and stabbed to death with a trident by a pagan priest.
St John IV, Patriarch of Constantinople, known as John the Faster (595)
He was born and raised in Constantinople. When he came of age he worked as a goldsmith and an engraver at the mint; but, renouncing worldly things, he was ordained a deacon and given charge of the distribution of alms in Constantinople. He gave freely to all with no consideration of their worthiness. The Synaxarion says ‘the more he distributed the more God filled his purse, so that it seemed inexhaustible.’
Upon the death of Patriarch Eutyches in 582, John became Patriarch and reigned for thirteen years, reposing in peace in 595. (It was during his reign that the term “Ecumenical Patriarch” began to be used to refer to the Patriarch of Constantinople.) St John was known for his great asceticism and fasting, and as a powerful intercessor and wonderworker. So generous was he to the poor that he used up all his funds in almsgiving and had to ask the Emperor for a loan, which he used to give more alms. After his repose, his only possessions were found to be an old cassock, a linen shirt and a wooden spoon.
Righteous Eleazar, son of Aaron and second High Priest of Israel
He was the son of Aaron, the first High Priest of Israel, and he in turn became the second High Priest. He reposed in peace.
Repose of Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose) of Platina (1982). (August 20 OC)
This modern-day pioneer of Orthodoxy and monasticism in America has not been glorified as a Saint of the Church, though many individuals ask his prayers and icons of him have been painted.
Eugene Rose was born in 1934 in California, where he spent all his life. Following an intense spiritual search that took him through study of several Eastern Religions (he earned a graduate degree in Chinese Philosophy), he providentially encountered the Russian Orthodox community in San Francisco, and in 1962 was received into the Orthodox Church. The sanctity of Archbishop (now Saint) John Maximovich was especially important to his development in the Faith.
After a few more years living in the world, he and his friend Gleb Podmosensky founded a small monastic brotherhood in the wilderness of far northern California; in time they were tonsured as monks and ordained as priests: Fr Seraphim and Fr Herman. At a time when Orthodoxy was almost invisible in North America, the monastery became a beacon of Orthodoxy for Americans seeking an authentic Christian faith.
Fr Seraphim reposed in 1982 at the age of forty-eight. Many of his writings are still in print. A biography, Father Seraphim Rose: His life and works, by Hieromonk Damascene, is highly recommended.