Orthodox Calendar

July 5, 2023
Wednesday of the 5th week after Pentecost

Apostles Fast


  • Hieromartyr Eusebius, Bishop of Samosata
  • St Alban, First Martyr of Great Britain (early 3rd c.)

Scripture Readings (KJV)

Romans 15.7-16 (Epistle)

7Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God. 8Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: 9And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name. 10And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. 11And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people. 12And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust. 13Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. 14And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. 15Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, 16That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

Matthew 12.38-45 (Gospel)

38Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. 39But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 40For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. 42The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. 43When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 44Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 45Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.


Hieromartyr Eusebius, bishop of Samosata (380)

In the struggle against the Arian heresy, Meletius, Patriarch of Antioch, was deposed, and the emperor Constantius demanded that Eusebius surrender the document that proved his legitimate appointment to the Patriarchal throne. Eusebius said he would not surrender it without the permission of all who had signed it and, when imperial soldiers threatened to cut off his right hand, he held out both his hands to them. When Constantius heard of this, he was struck with admiration and ceased his persecution of the bishop. As the Arian heresy continued to rage, Eusebius stood strong, and was finally exiled by order of the Emperor Valens. When the messenger bearing the edict of banishment arrived, Eusebius warned him to keep quiet lest the people, hearing why he had come, should kill him. Then Eusebius left the city on foot, under cover of darkness, in order to protect the messenger from harm. Upon the death of Valens, Eusebius returned to from exile and traveled throughout Syria (though he was now a very old man), appointing priests and bishops known for their Orthodoxy. About 380, as he was entering a village to enthrone a bishop, an Arian woman threw a tile at him from a rooftop, fracturing his skull. As he lay dying, he made all the bystanders swear not to take any revenge.

Saint Gregory the Theologian corresponded with Eusebius, and esteemed him so highly that in a letter to him he wrote, ‘That such a man should deign to be my patron also in his prayers will gain for me, I am persuaded, as much strength as I should have gained through one of the holy martyrs.’

St Alban, First Martyr of Great Britain (early 3rd c.)

He was a soldier in the Roman army and, according to the venerable Bede, was brought to faith in Christ by a fugitive priest to whom he gave shelter. The saint exchanged clothes with the priest, allowing him to escape and ensuring his own martyrdom. Some writers, including St Bede, place his martyrdom during the reign of Diocletian (286-303).

Saint Alban’s tomb was venerated as early as 429 by St Germanus of Auxerre. The town of Verulamium is either his home town or the place of his martyrdom; near it a monastery was founded, around which grew the English town of St Albans.