Orthodox Calendar

Dec. 9, 2022
Friday of the 26th week after Pentecost

Nativity Fast


  • Ven. Alypius the Stylite
  • Our Holy Father Innocent, Bishop of Irkutsk (1731)
  • St Nikon Metanoite ("Repent!") (ca. 1000)
  • Holy New Martyr George of Chios (1897)

Scripture Readings (KJV)

1 Timothy 4.4-8, 16 (Epistle)

4For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. 6If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. 7But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. 8For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. 16Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

Luke 19.12-28 (Gospel)

12He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. 14But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. 15And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. 17And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. 18And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. 20And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 21For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. 22And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: 23Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? 24And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. 25(And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) 26For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. 27But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

28And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.

Commemorations (abbamoses.com)

Our Holy Father Innocent, Bishop of Irkutsk (1731)

He was descended from a noble family near Chernigov. He became a monk at the Lavra of the Kiev Caves in 1706 and in 1721 was consecrated bishop. He was sent as a missionary to China but, due to political complications, could not gain entry into the country and settled temporarily near Lake Baikal in Siberia. He and his companions soon ran out of money and were forced to live for a time on alms and by day- labor. Rather than become discouraged, Saint Innocent made use of this time to learn the native language and found a school for the local Mongol people, many of whom he brought to the faith. In 1722 he was appointed Bishop of Irkutsk, a diocese that covered all the huge area of eastern Siberia. At the time of his appointment there were only about thirty churches in the whole diocese. For ten years the bishop devoted himself to converting the Mongol peoples, preaching to them and catechizing them in their own language. At the same time he worked for moral reform among the Russian Orthodox people of the region. As bishop, he lived in the Monastery of the Ascension in Irkutsk, where he established a firm ascetical life, in which he himself took a full part. He spent every night in prayer, meditation on the writings of the Fathers, and preparing sermons in both Russian and the local languages. Under the strain of the cruel Siberian climate the Saint fell ill and reposed in 1731. Many miracles take place to this day at his tomb. Among the people of Siberia he is honored as highly as Saint Nicholas and counted as the Enlightener of their land.

Our Holy Father Alypius the Stylite (ca. 607)

He was from Adrianopolis in Bythinia, and took up the ascetical life at a young age. After many spiritual struggles he took up residence on a pillar, where he dwelt for fifty-three years. Crowds came to seek his intercession and counsel, and in time a women’s monastery was founded near the pillar. At times an unearthly light was seen to radiate from the top of the pillar, accompanied by thunder and lightning. He owned nothing, and once threw his only tunic down to a poor man in need, leaving himself completely exposed to the elements until a recluse dwelling nearby saw his condition and came to his help. After fifty-three years, Alypius suffered a stroke which paralyzed half his body, but he continued to live on the pillar for another fourteen years, giving up his soul to God at the age of ninety-nine.

St Nikon Metanoite ("Repent!") (ca. 1000)

He was born about 930 to a pious and wealthy family near Trebizond. Once, making an inspection of the family’s estates, he was so affected by the wretched conditions of the poor fieldworkers that he despaired of happiness in this world and determined to live a monastic life. After years spent in a monastery, where he shone in obedience, prayer and self-denial, the Saint was given leave to travel in the ministry of the Gospel of Christ. For three years he wandered the East, without home or possessions, crying to everyone he met, “Repent!” and proclaiming with tears the message of salvation in Christ. He then spent seven years in Crete, then went to Greece, walking barefoot from place to place, preaching repentance and becoming so well known that he acquired the nickname “Metanoite,” meaning “Repent!” After driving a great plague from Sparta through his prayers, he settled near that city, building a great church dedicated to Christ the Savior, and living in the church for the remainder of his life. In time, a monastery was attached to the church for his disciples. His last counsel to his disciples was: “Flee pride, cleave to humility; do not despise the poor; keep clear of all evil, of all envy and of the remembrance of wrongs; forgive your brethren. Go regularly to church and confess your sins often to the priests and spiritual fathers. If you keep to these counsels, I will never abandon you.” He then gave his soul back to God. Saint Nikon was immediately venerated as a saint by the people of Sparta, and is regarded as the protector of the city, where his relics are venerated to this day.

Holy New Martyr George of Chios (1897)

He was born of Christian parents on Chios. As a boy he was caught stealing melons from a garden with some companions. Brought before the Turkish judge, in fear of punishment he agreed to become a Muslim with the name Ahmed. (This was common practice under the Turkokratia: a Christian brought before the courts would be offered his freedom in return for conversion to Islam. Many gave in.) He returned home, weeping and lamenting his apostasy, and his parents put him (now aged ten) in the care of a good Christian woman to strengthen him in the faith and hide him from the Turkish authorities. At the age of twenty-one he was engaged to a young woman of the town, but quarreled with her brother who, knowing George’s past, went to the authorities and denounced him as an apostate from Islam. George was imprisoned and tortured, but rather than breaking him down his torments strengthened his love of Christ, and he resolved to offer up his life for Him. The priests and faithful of the town held all-night vigil, praying God to give courage to His New Martyr. At daybreak, George was led to the place of execution, saying over and over again the names of the Lord Jesus and his blessed Mother. He was shot, then beheaded, joining the ranks of the holy Martyrs.