Orthodox Calendar

Dec. 30, 2024
Monday of the 28th week after Pentecost

No Fast


  • Virgin Martyr Anysia at Thessalonica
  • Our Holy Father Macarius, Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia (1563)

Scripture Readings (KJV)

2 Timothy 2.20-26 (Epistle)

20But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. 22Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. 24And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Mark 12.13-17 (Gospel)

13And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words. 14And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Cæsar, or not? 15Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it. 16And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Cæsar’s. 17And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.


Holy Virgin and Martyr Anysia (298)

She was born to a pious, noble and very wealthy family in Thessalonica. When both her parents died while she was an adolescent, Anysia consecrated herself to Christ, the heavenly Bridegroom. She cast off all her jewels and fine clothing, dressing herself as a commoner. She freed all her many slaves, giving each of them a generous sum of money to establish themselves. She gave away all of her inheritance, which included large estates. Thenceforth she spent her days visiting the sick, helping widows and orphans, and, especially, aiding Christians suffering under persecution. She would visit those in prison, bringing them food and water and tending their wounds. All the time not devoted to aiding the poor or oppressed she spent in prayer in a small cell. One of her prayers was that she, like those that she helped, would be granted the crown of martyrdom.

One day, while she was walking to church, an imperial soldier accosted her and roughly questioned her. When she plainly declared herself a Christian, the soldier seized her and dragged her to a temple of the idols, where he commanded her to make sacrifice. In response, she only spat in his face. The enraged soldier drew his sword and thrust it into her side, slaying her. Some pious Christians took her body and buried it outside the city. When the persecutions had ended, a church was built in her honor at the place of her burial.

Our Holy Father Macarius, Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia (1563)

He was born in Moscow in 1492. When his father died, his mother became a nun and he a monk, receiving the monastic name Macarius. He became an iconographer of rare talent. In 1523 he was ordained to the priesthood and made Abbot of the Monastery of Luchski; three years later he was consecrated Archbishop of Novgorod and Pskov, a see which had been vacant for many years. As Archbishop, he sent missionaries to the native peoples of the far north of Russia and, within his own diocese strove against the paganism still common among the people. He regularized life in the monasteries of his diocese, which had fallen into self-indulgence.

In 1542 he was elected Metropolitan of Moscow and head of the Russian Church. Five years later he crowned the first Tsar of Russia, Ivan Vassilievich. In 1551 he summoned the Council of the Hundred Chapters, which condemned various heresies prevalent at that time, laid down principles of Christian conduct and education, and established rules for iconography and Church art. Throughout his time as a hierarch, he continued to paint icons, and in 1553 he brought about the production of the first books to be printed in Russian. When the Khanate of Kazan fell, he immediately sent missionaries to convert the Tatars.

When the Tsar, who revered Saint Macarius, asked him for a spiritual book, he was surprised and displeased to be given a copy of the funeral service; but the Saint told him that anyone who read this book carefully and applied its words would never sin.

Saint Macarius reposed in peace in Moscow in 1563, and his popular veneration began immediately. In 1988 he was officially glorified by the Church of Russia.