Apr. 27 The Holy Bishop-Martyr Simeon, Relative of the Lord; Our Venerable Father Stephen, Bishop of Vladimir 

Bulletin as of April 26 2024

The holy bishop-martyr Simeon, cousin of our Lord, who, as it is said, was a son of Cleophas and a relative of the Savior according to the flesh. Ordained bishop of Jerusalem after James, the brother of the Lord, he was afflicted with many tortures in the persecution of the emperor Trajan. As an old man, he was crowned by the martyrdom of the cross. 

Our Venerable father Stephen, Bishop of Vladimir in Volhynia, was a disciple of St. Theodosius of the Caves in Kyiv. He labored greatly for the regulation and organization of the monastic life. He was driven from the monastery by false accusations, but God proved him innocent. He was made bishop of Vladimir, and served into old age until 1094. 


We praise you as a model for priests and a relative of the Lord, O Simeon. You kept the faith, and as a martyr you smashed the webs of lies. Celebrating your all-holy memory, we seek absolution of our sins through you. 


Today the Church obtains a brilliant star in the person of Simeon, a perfect teacher of the things of God. Enlightened by him, she cries out: Rejoice, O holy martyr.


Acts 12: 1-11

In those days King Herod started to harass some of the members of the church. He beheaded James the brother of John, and when he saw that this pleased certain Jews, he took Peter into custody too. During the Feast of Unleavened Bread he had Peter arrested and thrown into prison with four squads of soldiers to guard him. Herod intended to bring him before the people after the Passover. Peter was thus detained in prison, while the church prayed fervently to God on his behalf. During the night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, fastened in double chains, while guards kept watch at the door. Suddenly an angel of the Lord stood nearby and light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him. “Hurry, get up!” the angel said. With that, the chains dropped from Peter’s wrists. The angel said, “Put on your belt and your sandals!” This Peter did. Then the angel told him, “Now put on your cloak and follow me.”

Peter followed the angel out, but with no clear realization that this was taking place through the angel’s help. The whole thing seemed to him a mirage. They passed the first guard, then the second, and finally came to the iron gate leading out to the city, which opened for them of itself. They emerged and made their way down a narrow alley, when suddenly the angel left him. Peter had recovered his senses by this time, and said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent his angel to rescue me from Herod’s clutches and from all the Jews hoped for.”


John 8: 31-42

The Lord said to the people coming to him: “If you live according to my teachings, you are truly my disciples; then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered: “We are descendants of Abraham; never have we been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be free?’”

Jesus answered them: “I give you my assurance, everyone who lives in sin is the slave of sin.  No slave has a permanent place in the family, but the son has a place there forever. That is why, if the son frees you, you will really be free. I realize you are of Abraham’s stock. Nonetheless, you are trying to kill me because my word finds no hearing among you. I tell what I have seen in the Father’s presence; you do what you have heard from your father.”

They retorted, “Our father is Abraham.” Jesus told them: “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be following Abraham’s example. The fact is, you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I have heard from God. Abraham did nothing like that. Indeed you are doing your father’s works!”

They cried, “We are no illegitimate breed! We have but one father and that is God himself.” Jesus answered: “Were God your father you would love me, for I came from God, and here I am.”

Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com

Friday, April 26 –

  • 6:57 PM