Orthodox Calendar

April 5, 2025
Fifth Saturday of Lent

Lenten Fast — Wine and Oil are Allowed


  • Saturday of the Akathist to the Most-Holy Theotokos


  • Martyrs Agathopedes, Theodulus and Their Companions
  • Our Holy Father Mark of Trache (ca. 400)

Scripture Readings (KJV)

Hebrews 9.24-28 (Epistle)

24For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: 25Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; 26For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Hebrews 9.1-7 (Epistle, Theotokos)

1Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. 2For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. 3And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; 4Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; 5And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly. 6Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. 7But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:

Mark 8.27-31 (Gospel)

27And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Cæsarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am? 28And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets. 29And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ. 30And he charged them that they should tell no man of him. 31And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

Luke 10.38-42, 11.27-28 (Gospel, Theotokos)

38Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. 40But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

27And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 28But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.


Holy Martyrs Agathopous and Theodoulos (303)

Agathopous was a deacon, very old, and Theodoulos a reader, very young, in the church in Thessalonica. During Diocletian’s persecution the two were summoned to trial. They went joyfully, holding one another by the hand and exclaiming to all, ‘We are Christians!’ After flattery, cajolery, threats, imprisonment and starvation had failed to make them deny Christ, they were condemned to death by drowning. They were bound and a large stone tied to their necks; as they were about to be thrown into the sea, Agathopous cried, ‘Behold, by a second baptism we are washed from our sins, and will go cleansed to Christ Jesus!’ Their drowned bodies were soon washed ashore, and Christians gave them honorable burial. Not long afterward, Theodoulos appeared to his brethren in the form of a shining angel and told them to give all his goods to the poor.

Our Holy Father Mark of Trache (ca. 400)

He is also called ‘Mark the Athenian’ because he was born in Athens. When his parents died, he pondered the transience of all earthly things, gave his goods to the poor, and embarked on a plank in the sea, asking God to lead him wherever He desired. By God’s providence, Mark was cast up on the shores of Libya, where he settled as a hermit on a mountain called Trache. (Some say it was in Ethiopia, but this seems less likely.) There he lived for ninety-five years, never seeing another human being.

Saint Serapion visited him before his death and recorded his life. Serapion asked Mark if there were any Christians whose faith was so great that they could say to a mountain ‘Get up and cast yourself into the sea,’ and it would be so. Immediately the mountain on which they stood began to move like a wave, but Mark raised his hand and stilled it.

On his deathbed, St Mark prayed for the salvation of all men and gave up his soul to God. Saint Serapion saw an angel carrying Mark’s soul, and a hand extended from heaven to receive it. Saint Mark was about 130 years old when he reposed.