Orthodox Calendar

March 20, 2023
Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Lenten Fast

Commemorations

  • Seven Hieromartyrs of Cherson

Scripture Readings (KJV)

Isaiah 14.24-32 (6th Hour)

24 The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: 25 That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders. 26 This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. 27 For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back? 28 In the year that king Ahaz died was this burden.

29 Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent’s root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent. 30 And the firstborn of the poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in safety: and I will kill thy root with famine, and he shall slay thy remnant. 31 Howl, O gate; cry, O city; thou, whole Palestina, art dissolved: for there shall come from the north a smoke, and none shall be alone in his appointed times. 32 What shall one then answer the messengers of the nation? That the LORD hath founded Zion, and the poor of his people shall trust in it.

Genesis 8.21-9.7 (Vespers)

21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. 22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. 2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. 3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. 4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. 5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. 6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. 7 And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.

Proverbs 11.19-12.6 (Vespers)

19 As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death. 20 They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD: but such as are upright in their way are his delight. 21 Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered. 22 As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion. 23 The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath. 24 There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. 25 The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. 26 He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it. 27 He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him. 28 He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch. 29 He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart. 30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. 31 Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.

1 Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish. 2 A good man obtaineth favour of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn. 3 A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved. 4 A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones. 5 The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit. 6 The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them.

Commemorations (abbamoses.com)

Holy Hieromartyrs of Cherson: Basileus, Ephraim, Eugenios, Capito, Aetherios, Agathodoros, and Elpidios (4th c.)

These seven holy Bishops give a vivid picture of the dangers endured by those who traveled to proclaim the Gospel of Christ in the early centuries of the Church. All seven were sent as missionary bishops to Cherson on the Black Sea, and all seven died there as Martyrs. Hermon, Bishop of Jerusalem, first sent Ephraim and Basileus; Basileus raised the son of the prince of Cherson to life, after which many believed and were baptized. The unbelievers, though, bound him by the feet and dragged him through the streets until he died. Ephraim was beheaded when he refused to make sacrifice to the idols. Eugenios, Agathodoros, and Elpidios were then sent by the Bishop of Jerusalem; they were beaten to death with rods and stones. Aetherius was sent during the reign of Constantine the Great, and was able to govern the Church in freedom and peace, and to build a church in Cherson. Capito, the last to be sent, brought the Gospel to the fierce Scythians. To prove the power of his God, they asked him to go into a burning furnace, saying that if he was not consumed, they would believe. Putting all his trust in God, the holy Bishop vested himself, made the sign of the Cross, and entered the furnace. He stood in the flames, fervently praying, for an hour, and came out untouched. The spectators cried out ‘There is one God, the great and powerful God of the Christians, who keeps His servant safe in the burning furnace!’, and all those in the town and the surrounding countryside were baptized. This miracle was spoken of at the Council of Nicea (325). Later, Scythian unbelievers captured Capito and drowned him in the River Dnieper.

The Prologue says that Aetherios ended his life in peace; the Great Horologion, that he was drowned. All these holy missionaries labored around the beginning of the fourth century.