Orthodox Calendar

Jan. 11, 2024
Thursday of the 32nd week after Pentecost

No Fast


  • Holy Innocents Slain by Herod
  • Our Venerable Father Marcellus, Abbot of the Monastery of the Unsleeping Ones (485)

Scripture Readings (KJV)

James 4.7-5.9 (Epistle)

7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. 11Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. 12There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

13Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. 16But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. 17Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

1Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. 2Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. 3Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. 4Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. 5Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. 6Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.

7Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. 8Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. 9Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.

Mark 11.27-33 (Gospel)

27And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders, 28And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things? 29And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me. 31And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him? 32But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed. 33And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.


The Holy Infants Killed for Christ's Sake in Bethlehem

See Matthew ch. 2. Their number is sometimes put at fourteen thousand.

In our own day, the icon of “Rachel weeping for her children” (Matthew 2:18) has come to commemorate also the tens of millions of children who have died through abortion.

Our Venerable Father Marcellus, Abbot of the Monastery of the Unsleeping Ones (485)

He was born to a wealthy family in Syria at the beginning of the fifth century. Early in life he saw the futility of worldly things, gave away all of his wealth, and went to Ephesus, where he earned his living as a scribe. There he was schooled in the virtues by his fellow-worker Promotus, a slave who distributed most of his earnings to the poor; after the day’s work was done, Promotus would take Marcellus to pray all night in the churches and monasteries.

Marcellus heard of the Saint Alexander the Unsleeping (February 25), who had settled near Constantinople with about thirty disciples, who made it their discipline to send up prayer and praise to God at every hour of the day and night. The monastery aroused the resentment of some more worldly monasteries, and the brethren were forced to flee to Bithynia. It was there that Marcellus joined them and took the monastic habit.

After the death of St Alexander and his successor, Marcellus was elected Abbot of the monastery against his will. Under his direction the Monastery of the Unsleeping Ones became a beacon of sanctity, with monks flocking to it from every corner of the Empire. The practice of never-ceasing service to God spread throughout the Empire, in both the West and the East. The monks were divided into three companies according to the language they spoke: Greek, Latin, or Syriac; each company took its turn celebrating the services in its particular language, and thus every hour of the day was given over to God’s glory. The monastery not only grew but give birth to others: The famed Studion Monastery in Constantinople was founded by monks from Marcellus’ monastery.

Saint Marcellus took part in the Council of Chalcedon, defending Orthodoxy against the Monophysite heresy both at the Council and in the years that followed. His generosity and contempt for worldly wealth were known to all: anyone who came to the monastery in need received alms, but God always replenished the funds so that more could be given. When Marcellus inherited his family’s fortune upon his brother’s death, he kept none of it either for himself or even for his monastery, but distributed it to poorer communities and to the needy.

Saint Marcellus reposed in peace around 484, having lived the ascetical life for some sixty years.