November 19th (old calendar) / December 2nd (new)
Lent of the Nativity
St. Obias, prophet (9th century BC); St. Barlaam, martyr in Antioch (about 304); saints Severin, Exupere and Felicien, martyrs at Vienna (170); St. Heliodorus, martyr in Pamphylia (273); Saint Cydroine, martyr (3rd century); saints Barlaam, monk, and Joasaph, prince of the Indies, and future king, his father (4th century); St. Azas of Isauria, miracle worker, martyr with his companions, 150 soldiers (about 304); St. Theodemir, abbot (585); Saint Eudes, first abbot of Monestier, in Auvergne (v. 720); Saint Houadon Bishop of Saint-Pol-de-Léon (7th century); St. Hilarion the Georgian, miracle worker (875); St. Barlaam, abbot of the Kiev Caves (1065); St. Philaretus, Metropolitan of Moscow (1867); St. Porphyry the Kavsokalybite (1991); Holy Neo-Martyrs of Russia: John Vishnevsky, Priest (1920), Porphyry, Bishop of Simferopol, Joasaph, Bishop of Chistopol, Serge (Makhayev), Michael (Dmitrev), Alexander (Michutin), John (Malinovsky), Constantine (Mihaylovsky ), Alexander (Serebrov), Ignatius (Tesline), John (Piramidin), Simeon (Krivoyev), John (Florovsky), James (Briliantov), Dimitri (Kuklin), James (Peredery), priests, Joasaph (Krymzin), Gennade (Rebeza), Peter (Mamontov), Gerasim (Sukhov), Michael (Kvanin), monks, Valentin (Kornienko), Peter (Antonov), Leonid (Salkov) and Timothy (Kutcherov) (1937).
THE SAINT PROPHET ABDIAS
Saint Obias, prophet (9th century BC)
We do not know the exact origin of the holy prophet Obadiah, whose prophecy, the shortest of the Twelve Little Prophets, contains threats against the proud Edom and the announcement of the proximity of the Day of the Lord, where the Nations will be punished in the fire and Israel will shine with the light of God from the top of the mystical mountain of Zion. According to some, Obadiah would be the steward of King Ahab who, when Jezebel slaughtered the prophets of the Lord, hid a hundred of them in caves, fifty by fifty, and supplied them with bread and water (2 Kings 18 Heb. ). Sent by the king in search of fodder for the hungry cattle because of the drought that Elijah had unleashed, he met the great prophet, who commanded him to go and announce to the king his visit. Afterwards, Obadiah gave up his service to the king and became a disciple of Elijah. It was then that he wrote his prophecy.
SAINT BARLAAM of ANTIOCHE
St. Barlaam was a wise and prudent old man, but full of ardor for piety. He lived in Antioch, probably at the time of the great persecutions of Diocletian and Maximian Galerius. Delivered to the governor of the city, he confessed Christ and refused to sacrifice to idols. After being subjected to flogging, he was tormented with iron nails. A few days later, he was released from prison to submit to further torture. Suspended from a gallows, he was stretched to dislodge his bones. Before the unshakable constancy of the martyr, the governor imagined an ordeal still unusual: he stretched his hand over an idolatrous altar, holding a burning coal on which incense had been placed, so that, forced by the pain of pouring him on the altar, he seemed to have sacrificed voluntarily. But the love of Christ was more burning in the heart of Barlaam than all the braziers of this world. Although devoured by suffering and seeing his flesh burn, the holy martyr firmly held his hand over the impious altar without pouring incense into it. He himself became a sacrificer, an altar, and a sacrifice. He offered himself as a holocaust to the only eternal God, raising to him, in the place of incense, the bitter odor of his burnt flesh. His charred hand eventually fell to the ground, so St. Barlaam surrendered his soul to God.
(From the Hieromonk Macarius Syntax of Simonos Petras)
TROPAIRES AND KONDAKIA OF THE DAY
Sunday Tropar, 2nd tone
When You descended into death, You, immortal Life, You destroy hell with the brightness of Divinity. When you raised the dead from the underground dwellings, all the powers of heaven cried out, “O Christ, Source of Life, our God, glory to You! “
Tropea of the holy martyr Barlaam, your 4
Your martyr Barlaam, Lord, by his fight, received from you, our God, the incorruptible crown. With Your strength, He has defeated tyrants and broken even the impotent audacity of demons. By his entreaties, O Christ God, save our souls.
Troparium of Saint Philaretus, your 4
Having acquired the grace of the Holy Spirit, O hierarch Philaretus, you preached truth and justice to men through your enlightened spirit; you showed peace and mercy to those who suffered and you kept the flock of Russia, as a master of faith and a watchful watchman, by the rod of righteousness. Also, having freedom from Christ God, ask him to grant the Church and our souls salvation.
Troparium of Saint Porphyry Kavsokalybite, your 8
Room of the divine light and receptacle of the gifts of the Spirit, splendor of the presbyters, true stallion of the monks, oh wise Porphyry, resplendent with the gift of miracles and discernment, our venerable Father, pray the Christ God to save our souls.
Kondakion of the holy martyr Barlaam, your 4
You were admired by the power of your holocaust, you offered yourself as a pleasant incense as a sacrifice to Christ, and you received the crown of honor, Barlaam, always pray for us, you who have suffered.
Kondakion of Saint Philaretus, your 2
Like a real imitator of St. Sergius, you have loved virtue since your youth, O blessed Filaret in God. As a righteous pastor and an immaculate confessor, you suffer the outrages and insults of atheists after your holy death; but God has glorified you with signs and wonders and has made you a protector of our church.
Kontakion of Saint Porphyry the Kavsokalybite, your 8
You who since childhood have dedicated yourself to the love of Christ, cultivating the joy of renouncing ephemeral pleasures, you have adopted the Athonite rule, and while undressing yourself from the old tunic of skin, you made you the interior of the Holy Trinity, praying incessantly, Father venerable, for our salvation.
Sunday Kondakion, your 2
Almighty Savior, You have risen from the Tomb: hell, seeing this wonder, is seized with astonishment and the dead are resurrected. At this sight, creation rejoices with you; Adam shares the gladness, and the world, O my Savior, does not cease to praise You!
Episode of the day
Eph. VI, 10-17
strengthen yourself in the Lord and in the power of his strength. Put on the armor of God, that you may resist the devil’s maneuvers; for it is not against the adversaries of flesh and blood that we have to struggle, but against the principalities, the powers, the princes of this world of darkness, the spirits of evil spread in the air. That’s why you have to put on the armor of God, so you can resist the day of evil and stand firm after you have overcome everything. Stand firm then, having for your belt the truth, for armor the justice, for your shoes the zeal to spread the Gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, thanks to which you can extinguish all the fiery darts of the Evil one; take at last the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, that is, the word of God.
GOSPEL OF THE DAY
Lk XII, 16-21
The lands of a rich man had yielded a lot. And he reasoned within himself, saying, “What shall I do? because I have no place to squeeze my crop. Behold, he says, what I will do: I will bring down my barns, and build greater ones, and there will I gather all my harvest and all my goods; and I will say to my soul, Soul, you have many goods in store for many years; rest, eat, drink, and rejoice. “But God said to him,” Fool! this night even your soul will be required again; and what have you prepared, who will it be? “So is he who amasses treasure for himself, and is not rich for God.