Scripture Readings (KJV)
Colossians 1.18-23 (Epistle)
18And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
19For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
20And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
21And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
22In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
23If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
Luke 9.44-50 (Gospel)
44Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men.
45But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying.
46Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.
47And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him,
48And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.
49And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.
50And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.
Holy Great Martyr Artemius (362)
He came from a noble family, and was appointed military Governor of Alexandria and Egypt by the Emperor Constantine the Great. Some years later, the Emperor Julian the Apostate strove to restore pagan idolatry as the official religion of the Empire. He also entered into a war with Persia, and established Antioch as his headquarters for pursuing the war. In Alexandria, Artemius received an order to come to Antioch with the military forces under his command. Artemius reported to the apostate Emperor just in time to see him ordering the cruel execution of two pious Christians, Eugenius and Macarius. Fearlessly, St Artemius immediately denounced the Emperor, telling him to his face that his anti-Christian policy was of demonic origin. The enraged Emperor instantly had Artemius stripped of all official rank and thrown into prison. The following day, he had Artemius brought before him and promised him high Imperial office if he would only renounce Christ and worship the idols. When Artemius forcefully refused to do this, he was publicly tortured to death. A pious noblewoman secretly recovered the Saint’s relics and took them to Constantinople, where they were venerated and wrought many miracles for several centuries.
St Gerasimus the New, ascetic of Cephalonia (1579)
He was born in southern Greece. As a young man he left home and, after traveling to seek out guides in the ascetic life, he came to Mt Athos, where he was tonsured as a monk. Some years later he went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and there was ordained to the priesthood by Patriarch Germanus of Jerusalem. Once, while living in Jerusalem, he went into the Jordanian desert for forty days of fasting and prayer, in imitation of the Lord. After more travels through Sinai and Egypt, he came to the Greek island of Zakynthos, where he lived alone in an isolated cave, sustaining himself only on vegetables. But his holiness soon attracted many of the faithful, who came to him for blessing and counsel. Mindful of the advice that nothing is more harmful to a monk as the praise of men, he fled to the island of Cephalonia, where he again took up life in a secluded cave. But once again he became known, and even more pilgrims gathered around him in search of spiritual nurture. This time, God made known to him that he must leave his beloved solitude in order to minister to others; so he founded a monastery called New Jerusalem on the island. St Gerasimus lived to a great age, and was granted foreknowledge of the day of his death. His relics are preserved on Cephalonia, “complete and incorrupt, as if he were asleep,” according to the Synaxarion.
St Jonah, Bishop of Manchuria (1925) (October 7 OC)
Note: St Jonah’s commemoration is October 7 on the Old Calendar, which falls on this day of the New Calendar.
He was orphaned in Russia at a young age, and, after attending the seminary in his home town of Kaluga, was tonsured as a monk at Optina Monastery. He was later ordained a priest, and taught in Kazan. In his thirtieth year (1918) the Bolsheviks seized power and he was forced to flee. After many persecutions and sufferings, he joined a large party of Russians who fled across Turkestan and the Gobi Desert into China. There he was made Bishop, and immediately began working tirelessly to encourage his flock and to provide for their material needs (most had arrived in China with only the clothes on their backs). He established churches, opened soup kitchens and an orphanage, cared personally for the sick, and in every way personified a true Minister of Christ.
When his death approached (from an infection acquired while caring for the sick) he donned his epitrachelion, read the Canon for the Departure of the Soul, lay down on his bed and said ‘God’s will be done. Now I shall die.’ Within minutes he was dead. On the night of his funeral the Bishop appeared to a paralyzed ten-year-old boy, who was miraculously healed.