Scripture Readings (KJV)
Hebrews 1.1-12 (Epistle)
1God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
3Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
4Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
5For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
6And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
7And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.
8But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
9Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
10And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
11They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;
12And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
2 Timothy 2.1-10
(Epistle, St Theodore)
1Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
3Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
4No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
5And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
6The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.
7Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
8Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:
9Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
10Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
Mark 2.23-3.5 (Gospel)
23And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.
24And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?
25And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?
26How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?
27And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
28Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
1And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.
2And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.
3And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.
4And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.
5And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.
(Gospel, St Theodore)
17These things I command you, that ye love one another.
18If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
20Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
21But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.
22If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.
23He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
24If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.
25But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.
26But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
27And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
1These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.
2They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
Monk-martyr Nikon and 199 disciples, in Sicily (251)
He was born in Neapolis (Naples) to a pagan father and a Christian mother, and became an officer in the Roman army. Though he was not baptised, his mother had secretly instructed him in the Christian faith. Once, in a battle, his company was completely surrounded by the enemy, and Nikon recalled his mother’s counseling that, whenever he was in trouble, he should make the sign of the Cross and call upon Christ. This he did, and was immediately filled with strength and resolution, so that the enemy’s army was routed. Nikon went home, openly crying out ‘Great is the God of the Christians!’ to the great joy of his mother.
He traveled secretly to Cyzicus in Asia, where the bishop Theodosius baptised him. He then entered a monastery to spend his days in prayer and study. But some years later Theodosius, who was near death, had a vision in which he was told to consecrate Nikon as his successor. He summoned Nikon from the monastery and, to the monk’s amazement, immediately ordained him a deacon, then a priest, then a bishop.
Later, bishop Nikon returned to Italy to preach the Gospel of Christ. In Naples, he found his mother still alive, and remained with her until her death. He then set out with nine disciples, former fellow-soldiers, to proclaim the Faith. Through the Saint’s grace-filled preaching and example, many more disciples were soon added to this number. At that time a great persecution of Christians was underway, and Quintinianus, ruler of that region, seized Nikon and his companions and handed them over to the torturers. One hundred ninety of Nikon’s companions perished under torture. Nikon himself was beaten, flayed, and even thrown from a high cliff, but was miraculously preserved. Finally he was slain by the sword and his body thrown in a field to be eaten by the beasts. A shepherd boy, possessed by a spirit of madness, found the body, fell on it, and was instantly healed. He told his story to some Christians, who found the body and gave it honorable burial. Saint Nikon contested during the reign of the Emperor Decius.