Orthodox Calendar

April 15, 2024
Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Lenten Fast


  • Apostles of the Seventy Aristarchus, Pudens and Trophimus
  • Holy Martyr Sabbas the Goth (372)

Scripture Readings (KJV)

Isaiah 37.33-38.6 (6th Hour)

33Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shields, nor cast a bank against it. 34By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the LORD. 35For I will defend this city to save it for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake. 36Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.

37So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh. 38And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Armenia: and Esar-haddon his son reigned in his stead.

1In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live. 2Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, 3And said, Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.

4Then came the word of the LORD to Isaiah, saying, 5Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years. 6And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria: and I will defend this city.

Genesis 13.12-18 (Vespers)

12Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. 13But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.

14And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: 15For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. 16And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. 17Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. 18Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD.

Proverbs 14.27-15.4 (Vespers)

27The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. 28In the multitude of people is the king’s honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince. 29He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly. 30A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones. 31He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor. 32The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death. 33Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known. 34Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. 35The king’s favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causeth shame.

1A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. 2The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness. 3The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. 4A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.


Holy Martyr Sabbas the Goth (372)

In the kingdom of Wallachia (in modern-day Romania) the Goths undertook a brutal persecution of Christians. A Gothic prince came to the village of Buzau and asked the villagers if any Christians lived there. They swore to him that there were none. At this, Sabbas came before the Prince and said ‘Let no one swear an oath on my behalf. I am a Christian.’ Touched by his courage, the prince let Sabbas go, saying ‘This one can do neither harm nor good.’

The following year a priest named Sansal came to the village and celebrated Pascha with Sabbas (who was truly the only Christian there). When the pagans heard of this, they attacked Sabbas’ house and seized both men. They dragged Sabbas naked through thorns, then tied both him and Sansal to trees and tried to make them eat meat offered to idols. Neither man would touch the sacrifices. The prince then sentenced Sabbas to death and gave him over to the soldiers. Sabbas walked to the place of execution joyfully, singing and praising God. Seeing his goodness, the soldiers tried to free him on the way, but Sabbas refused, telling them that it was their duty to carry out the prince’s command.

The soldiers took him to a river, tied a rock to his neck and cast him into the waters, where he gave back his soul to God. Some Christians later recovered his body and gave it honorable burial. The saint was 31 years old at the time of his martyrdom. In the reign of the Emperor Valens, the Greek commander Ionnios Soranos found the Saint’s body during a war against the Goths, and took it to Cappadocia.