+++ The Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God
The holy Virgin Mary was born of her aged parents, Joachim and Anna. Her father was of the tribe of David and her mother of the tribe of Aaron, and so she was of royal blood from her father and priestly blood from her mother. By this, she foreshadowed Him who would be born of her as King and High Priest. Her parents were already old and had no children, and, because of this, were ashamed before men and humble before God. In their humility, they prayed with tears that God would bring joy to their old age with the gift of a child, as He had once given joy to the aged Abraham and Sarah, giving them their son Isaac. God, almighty and all-seeing, gave them a joy far exceeding all their expectations and their wildest dreams, for He gave them not just a daughter, but the Mother of God; He illumined them not only with temporal joy but with eternal. God gave them just one daughter, who later gave them just one grandson - but what a daughter and what a grandson! Mary full of grace, blessed among women, the temple of the Holy Spirit, altar of the living God, table of living bread, ark of God"s holy things, tree of the most delicious fruits, glory of the human race, praise of womanhood, fount of virginity and purity - this was the daughter given by God to Joachim and Anna. Born in Nazareth, she was after three years taken to the Temple in Jerusalem, whence she returned again to Nazareth and shortly afterwards heard the tidings of the holy Archangel Gabriel concerning the birth of the Son of God, the Saviour of the world, from her most pure and virginal body.
The Feast of the Kalishto Icon of the Holy Mother of God
In the monastery of the most holy Mother of God near the village of Kalishto, to the west of Struga, the holy Mother of God revealed her power and mercy through numerous miracles. Many of the sick were miraculously healed, and robbers that intended plundering or desecrating the monastery were fiercely punished by an unseen power. The miraculous icon of the most holy Mother of God stands in the church, and nearby are two healing springs - of St Peter and St Ananias. Not far from the main church, in a cave, stands the chapel of St Athanasius.
The Feast of the Pochaev Icon of the Holy Mother of God
In the province of Volinsk there stands the famous monastery of the Mother of God in Pochaev, where she first appeared in about 1340 to two monks who were living the ascetic life in a cave. From that time, the place became an inexhaustible fount of innumerable miracles.
Icon of the Mother of God of Kholm
The Kholm Icon of the Mother of God, by a tradition transmitted through Bishop James the Emaciated, was painted by the Evangelist Luke. It was brought from Greece to Russia in the time of St Vladimir, who after Baptism received many icons as a gift from Constantinople...
New Martyr Athanasius of Thessalonica (1774)
He was born to a distinguished and pious Christian family in Thessalonika. After acquiring an unusually good education he spent a few years in Constantinople, then returned to his native city. He spoke both Turkish and Arabic well, and often conversed with Muslims. Once, while speaking with an emir, Athanasius pronounced the Muslim confession of faith to illustrate a point. The emir, seeing an opportunity, immediately reported Athanasius to the Islamic judge, claiming that he had converted to Islam...
Venerable Lucian, abbot of Alexandrov (1654)
He was born in the city of Galich (Kostroma Government) and accepted monasticism in the Nativity of the Theotokos monastery near Pereyaslavl Zalesk. Having come to the Alexandrovsky Village and found out that near it in the forest stood an empty decrepit church with a wonderworking icon of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos, whole and perfectly intact, the Venerable Lucian decided to settle near it...
Icon of the Mother of God 'of the Sign', the 'Kursk-Root'
The Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God “Of the Sign” is one of the most ancient icons of the Russian Church. In the thirteenth century during the Tatar invasion, when all the Russian realm was put to the extremest tribulation, the city of Kursk, ravaged by the Horde of Batu, fell into desolation...
Martyrs Rufus and Rufianus
St. Sophronius of Achtalea in Georgia, bishop (1803)
St. Ioane (Maisuradze) (1957) and St. Giorgi-Ioane (Mkheidze), (1960), confessors, of Georgia
Archimandrite John (Basil Maisuradze in the world) was born in the town of Tskhinvali in Samachablo around 1882. He was raised in a peasant family and taught to perform all kinds of handiwork. Basil was barely in his teens when he helped Fr. Spiridon (Ketiladze), the main priest at Betania Monastery, to restore the monastery between 1894 and 1896. From his youth Basil was eager to enter the monastic life, and in 1903, according to God’s will, he moved to the Skete of St. John the Theologian at Iveron Monastery on Mt. Athos. Among the brothers he was distinguished for his simplicity and obedience. He was tonsured a monk and named John in honor of St. John the Theologian, whom he revered deeply and sought to emulate...
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