Orthodox Calendar

April 29, 2023
Saturday of the 2nd Sunday of Pascha

No Fast


  • Virgin Martyrs Agape, Irene and Chionia

Scripture Readings (KJV)

Acts 5.21-33 (Epistle)

21And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. 22But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told, 23Saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within. 24Now when the high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow. 25Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people. 26Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned. 27And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, 28Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.

29Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. 30The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. 31Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 32And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

33When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.

John 6.14-27 (Gospel)

14Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.

15When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone. 16And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, 17And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. 18And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. 19So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. 20But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. 21Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.

22The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone; 23(Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:) 24When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. 25And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither? 26Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. 27Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.


Virgin Martyrs Agape, Irene, and Chionia in Illyria (295 or 304)

These three sisters lived in Aquilea. When the Emperor Diocletian was visiting there, he learned that they were Christians and had them brought to him. When they would not deny Christ, they were cast into prison, then handed over to a general named Dulcitius for torture. Dulcitius conceived a passion for the sisters, and entered the prison planning to defile them; but when he tried to enter, he was deprived of his reason and fell upon the dirty pots at the entrance, embracing and kissing them until he was completely black with soot. Hearing of this, the Emperor appointed another general to torment the sisters. After terrible tortures Agape and Chionia were burned, but the sadistic general, knowing her pledge of virginity to the Lord, ordered Irene to be put in a brothel. By God’s providence she was shot with an arrow before she could be forced to endure this fate.

So ends the version given in the Great Horologion. The Prologue gives a slightly different version: When Irene was being led to the brothel, an angel turned the soldiers back and led Irene to the top of a high hill. The next day the general came with his soldiers to capture her, but were unable to climb it. The general then ordered that Irene be shot with arrows.

St Anastasia, a prophetess in that town, gathered the bodies of all three sisters and gave them burial.