Scripture Readings (KJV)
Philippians 2.12-16 (Epistle)
12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
16 Hold ing forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
Luke 6.24-30 (Gospel)
24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.
30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
Hieromartyr Dionysius the Areopagite (96)
He is mentioned in Acts 17:19-34. He was a learned Athenian, a member of the Athenian court on Mars Hill (Areos Pagos in Greek, from which the title ‘Areopagite’ comes). At the time of Christ’s crucifixion, he was studying in Egypt and saw the sky darkened there for three hours when Christ breathed His last. He later married and had several children. When St Paul preached in Athens, Dionysius was among the first to believe, and became either the first (according to some) Bishop of Athens, or the second, succeeding St Hierotheos (commemorated tomorrow, October 4). With St Hierotheos he was present at the Dormition of the Mother of God. He received a martyr’s end in his old age, possibly in Athens. Several famous works of mystical theology, including On the Divine Names, are attributed to him.
Holy Hieromartyr Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, and his disciples (258)
He was a disciple of Origen and became a priest in Alexandria. He became Bishop of Alexandria in 247, serving not only his own see but the whole Church with fervor and compassion. He traveled to Rome to fight the Novatian schisms that disturbed the Body of Christ at that time, and mediated in the dispute between St Cyprian (September 16) and the Pope.
During the reign of Valerian, the new Governor of Alexandra, Emilianus, summoned St Dionysius, along with a group of his clergy, and demanded that they renounce Christ. When all stood firm in the Faith, he exiled them to the remote village of Kephro. But Christians flocked to the village to seek out the holy Bishop, and many pagans in the region were converted by him — so that soon the town was more nearly a Christian mission than a place of exile. When Emilianus learned of this, he exiled the Bishop and his disciples far into the wilderness, where they lived amidst terrible sufferings and hardships for more than twelve years. Saint Dionysius and his deacons Gaius and Faustus all died there; Eusebius the deacon and Maximus the priest eventually escaped. Eusebius became Bishop of Laodicea; Maximus, like his spiritual father, became Bishop of Alexandria.
St John the Chozebite, Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine (532)
He came from a prominent family in Egypt, and was brought up among the Monophysites. He became a monk in his youth, and went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When he attempted to enter the Church of the Resurrection to venerate the Precious Cross, an unseen power prevented him from entering. The next night he heard a voice telling him in his sleep that those who do not embrace the Orthodox faith are unworthy to worship the holy Cross of the Savior. John awoke and hurried to the church where, in tears, he accepted and confessed the entire Orthodox Faith. After returning to Egypt he settled in Palestine, living alone in a cave in the isolated region called Chozeba. There he lived in solitude until one day a couple brought their son, possessed by an evil spirit. They had been sent to John by Ananias, a well-known ascetic of Palestine. John considered himself unworthy to pray for the casting out of demons, so he prayed in the name of Ananias, and the boy was healed. Thenceforth, John’s wonderworking powers became known, and many made the difficult journey to his cave for the healing of spiritual and bodily ailments. Later John, much against his will, was consecrated Bishop of Caesarea; but he was unable to tolerate the cares of episcopal life and fled again to the desert, where he spent the rest of his life. The faithful continued to visit him in great numbers, and many signs and wonders were worked through his prayers. He reposed in peace at a great age.