Orthodox Calendar

Jan. 12, 2023
Thursday of the 31st week after Pentecost

No Fast


  • Virgin Martyr Anysia at Thessalonica
  • Our Holy Father Macarius, Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia (1563)

Scripture Readings (KJV)

James 1.19-27 (Epistle)

19Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. 21Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 22But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. 26If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. 27Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Mark 11.27-33 (Gospel)

27And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders, 28And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things? 29And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me. 31And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him? 32But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed. 33And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.


Holy Virgin and Martyr Anysia (298)

She was born to a pious, noble and very wealthy family in Thessalonica. When both her parents died while she was an adolescent, Anysia consecrated herself to Christ, the heavenly Bridegroom. She cast off all her jewels and fine clothing, dressing herself as a commoner. She freed all her many slaves, giving each of them a generous sum of money to establish themselves. She gave away all of her inheritance, which included large estates. Thenceforth she spent her days visiting the sick, helping widows and orphans, and, especially, aiding Christians suffering under persecution. She would visit those in prison, bringing them food and water and tending their wounds. All the time not devoted to aiding the poor or oppressed she spent in prayer in a small cell. One of her prayers was that she, like those that she helped, would be granted the crown of martyrdom.

One day, while she was walking to church, an imperial soldier accosted her and roughly questioned her. When she plainly declared herself a Christian, the soldier seized her and dragged her to a temple of the idols, where he commanded her to make sacrifice. In response, she only spat in his face. The enraged soldier drew his sword and thrust it into her side, slaying her. Some pious Christians took her body and buried it outside the city. When the persecutions had ended, a church was built in her honor at the place of her burial.

Our Holy Father Macarius, Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia (1563)

He was born in Moscow in 1492. When his father died, his mother became a nun and he a monk, receiving the monastic name Macarius. He became an iconographer of rare talent. In 1523 he was ordained to the priesthood and made Abbot of the Monastery of Luchski; three years later he was consecrated Archbishop of Novgorod and Pskov, a see which had been vacant for many years. As Archbishop, he sent missionaries to the native peoples of the far north of Russia and, within his own diocese strove against the paganism still common among the people. He regularized life in the monasteries of his diocese, which had fallen into self-indulgence.

In 1542 he was elected Metropolitan of Moscow and head of the Russian Church. Five years later he crowned the first Tsar of Russia, Ivan Vassilievich. In 1551 he summoned the Council of the Hundred Chapters, which condemned various heresies prevalent at that time, laid down principles of Christian conduct and education, and established rules for iconography and Church art. Throughout his time as a hierarch, he continued to paint icons, and in 1553 he brought about the production of the first books to be printed in Russian. When the Khanate of Kazan fell, he immediately sent missionaries to convert the Tatars.

When the Tsar, who revered Saint Macarius, asked him for a spiritual book, he was surprised and displeased to be given a copy of the funeral service; but the Saint told him that anyone who read this book carefully and applied its words would never sin.

Saint Macarius reposed in peace in Moscow in 1563, and his popular veneration began immediately. In 1988 he was officially glorified by the Church of Russia.