Scripture Readings (KJV)
Ephesians 4.17-25 (Epistle)
17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
20 But ye have not so learned Christ;
21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
Luke 6.17-23 (Gospel)
17 And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judæa and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;
18 And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed.
19 And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.
20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
St Cyriacus the Solitary (555/557)
He was born in Corinth of pious Christian parents. At the age of eighteen he went to Palestine, where, after studying under several holy fathers, he entered monastic life and became the disciple of St Gerasim of the Jordan. After St Gerasim’s death he lived in strict solitude, asceticism and silence for many years, finally entering the monastery of St Chariton, where he reposed in peace at the age of 109. Despite his very severe asceticism, he was large and strong, remaining so until the end of his life. According to the rule of St Chariton, he and his fellow-monks ate only once a day, after sunset. In the desert, he lived for years on nothing but the raw plants that he gathered there. He said of himself that, while he was a monk, the sun never saw him eat or be angry with any man.
St Mary of Palestine (6th c.)
“She was at first a reader of the Psalter in the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem, but, being beautiful, she was a source of scandal to the sinful-minded. In order not to be a cause of sin in others, Mary withdrew to the wilderness of Souka with a basket of beans and a flask of water. She spent eighteen years in the desert and, by God’s power, never lacked either beans nor water. Disciples of St Cyriacus found her during her lifetime, and later buried her.” (Prologue)
Holy Martyrs Dada and those with them (4th c.)
Dada was a high Persian official serving in the court of King Shapur II, and secretly a Christian. When he was appointed governor of a province some way from the court, Dada began to worship and proclaim Christ openly. This came to the attention of the King, who sent one of his sons, Gubarlahas, to try and execute him. Dada was condemned and condemned to be thrown into a fiery furnace. But when Dada made the sign of the Cross, the fire went out, amazing the Prince and eventually leading him to convert to Christ.
The outraged King had his son thrown in prison and put to torture. Gubarlahas endured days of hideous torture without complaint and, though he had been subjected to horrible mutilations, emerged from his cell unscathed. This wonder led others, including two more of the King’s own children or kin, to embrace Christ. Kazoy, the King’s daughter, was allowed to enter into rest as soon as her tortures began. Gubarlahas was miraculously baptised in the midst of further tortures: A voice from on high pronounced the words of baptism, and a shower of water and oil fell on the Martyr. Not long afterward, he perished, along with Dada and Kasdios, one of Gubarlahas’ kinsmen who had been convinced of the Truth by the miracles he had seen.
Venerable Cyprian of Ustiug (1276)
“Saint Cyprian founded the Monastery of the Entry into the Temple of the Mother of God, near Ustiug in the district of Vologda, in 1212, and he made over all his property to it. He never left the monastery after he became Abbot but gave himself to ascetic labours, as if each day were his last on earth. He watched over the spiritual progress of his monks with fatherly love and willingly sacrificed his time and energy for their good. Saint Cyprian fell asleep in the Lord in 1276. His holy relics lie in his monastery.” (Synaxarion)