Orthodox Calendar

Oct. 25, 2023
Wednesday of the 21st week after Pentecost



  • Martyrs Probus, Tarachus and Andronicus
  • St Symeon the New Theologian (1022)

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 8.22-25 (Gospel)

22Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. 23But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. 24And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.


St Symeon the New Theologian (1022)

As a young man he became a monk in the Studite Monastery in Constantinople; later he bacame abbot of the Monastery of St Mamas, also in Constantinople. After a life of great asceticism, including many trials, criticisms and afflictions, he reposed in peace. (He reposed on March 12, but since this day always falls during the Great Fast, his feast is kept today.) His teaching on the soul’s ability to enter directly into communion with God in this life aroused some opposition in his own time, and the title ‘New Theologian’ was not always applied in a positive sense. His experiential, mystical teachings are firmly rooted in his doctrine of the Church: his writings contain many powerful affirmations of the centrality of participation in the Mysteries in our struggle for salvation. He is the author of many sublimely beautiful sermons, writings and hymns, a number of them in metered verse. With St John the Evangelist and St Gregory, Patriarch of Constantinople, he is one of only three whom the Church has officially called “Theologian.”

Holy Martyrs Probus, Tarachus and Andronicus (304)

All three suffered during the reign of Diocletian. Though born in three different places, the three were found to be Christians at Pompeiopolis in Cilicia, arrested together, and brought before the Governor, Numerian Maximus. Tarachus was sixty-five years old at the time of his arrest, but his captors showed no respect for his age, tormenting him as cruelly as the others. All three immediately and boldly confessed their faith, and were put to many vicious tortures, during which Probus said to Maximus, ‘This bloodshed is oil and perfume for me to anoint myself with joy for further contests.’ At one point the persecutors forcibly stuffed Andronicus’ mouth with meat and wine that had been offered to idols, thinking that in doing so they were winning a victory. Andronicus only mocked them, explaining that only wilful apostasy brings defeat to a Christian.

Finally, Maximus ordered them taken to the theater and thrown to wild beasts for the entertainment of the people. Though the beasts had just torn others to pieces, they would not touch the holy martyrs, but played and fawned around them: A ferocious bear licked their wounds, and a lioness played affectionately around Tarachus. Seeing this, many in the crowd believed in Christ and denounced the Governor. The furious Maximus ordered his soldiers to enter the arena and cut the three to pieces. Three Christians who had witnessed the spectacle came by night to retrieve their bodies, but were unable to distinguish the martyrs’ relics amid the general carnage. When they prayed for divine aid, three lights appeared above the bodies of the three holy ones, and they were given honorable burial in a mountain cave.