June 8 The Translation of the Relics of Theodore the Recruit

The Holy Great Martyr Theodore the Recruit suffered for Christ in Herakleia on 8 February 319. At the time of his sufferings the holy martyr Theodore ordered his servant Uaros to bury his body on the estate of his parents in Eukaitos. The transfer of the relics of the Greatmartyr Theodore was done on 8 June 613 during the reign of the emperor Heraclius. 



You became a brilliant general in the real armies of the King of heaven, O Theodore the Triumphant. You fought courageously with the weapons of faith and put the legions of demons to flight. Therefore, we praise you with fervor at all times. 



O Theodore, pride of martyrs, you put on the armor of faith and took the Word of God as a spear to vanquish the enemy. In the company of the martyrs, do not cease to intercede with Christ our God in behalf of all of them. 



Romans 5: 10-16

Brothers and sisters: If, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him by the death of his Son, it is all the more certain that we who have been reconciled will be saved by his life. Not only that; we go so far as to make God our boast through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world and with sin death, death thus coming to all men inasmuch as all sinned – before the law there was sin in the world, even though sin is not imputed when there is no law – I say, from Adam to Moses death reigned, even over those who had not sinned by breaking a precept as did Adam, that type of the man to come. 

But the gift is not like the offense. For if by the offense of the one man all died, much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound for all. The gift is entirely different from the sin committed by the one man. In the first case, the sentence followed upon one offense and brought condemnation, but in the second, the gift came after many offenses and brought acquittal. 



Matthew 8: 23-27

At that time Jesus got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning a violent storm came up on the lake, and the boat began to be swamped by the waves. Jesus was sleeping soundly, so they made their way toward him and woke him: “Lord, save us! We are lost!” He said to them: “Where is your courage? How little faith you have!” Then he stood up and took the winds and the sea to task. Complete calm ensued; the men were dumbfounded. “What sort of man is this,” they said, “that even the winds and the sea obey him?”


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


June 7 The Holy Priest Martyr Theodotus, Bishop of Ancyra

The holy martyr Theodotus lived in Ancyra of Galatia in the third century. He was distinguished by his kindliness and concern. At the height of the persecution under Diocletian (284-305) he provided Christians with everything they needed, and gave them shelter in his home. There they secretly celebrated church services. St. Theodotus visited the Christian captives in prison, paid their bail, and reverently buried the bodies of martyrs who had been thrown to the wild beasts. Once he buried the bodies of seven holy women martyrs, who were drowned at sea (May 18). They reported this act to the governor and he was arrested. After refusing to offer sacrifice to idols, and denouncing the folly of paganism, St. Theodotus confessed Christ as God, for which they subjected him to terrible tortures and beheaded him with a sword. They wanted to burn the holy martyr’s body, but could not do so because of a storm which had arisen, so they gave his holy relics to a certain Christian for burial.



O holy priest-martyr Theodotus, you lent yourself to the apostles’ way of life and succeeded them on their throne. Inspired by God, you found the way to contemplation through the practice of virtue. Therefore, you became the perfect teacher of truth, fighting for the faith unto the shedding of your blood. Intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.



Enlightening creation with miracles and sufferings, you were truly a star of light, O blessed Theodotus. Celebrating your famous memory today, we praise Christ with a heart of joy. 



Romans 4: 13-25

Brothers and sisters: Certainly the promise made to Abraham and his descendants that they would inherit the world did not depend on the law. It was made in view of the justice that comes from faith. If only those who observe the law are heirs, then faith becomes an empty word and the promise loses its meaning. Indeed, the law serves only to bring down wrath, for where there is no law there is no transgression. Hence, all depends on faith, everything is grace. Thus the promise holds true for all Abraham’s descendants, not only for those who have the law but for all who have his faith. He is father of us all, which is why Scripture says, “I have made you father of many nations.” Yes, he is our father in the sight of God in who he believed, the God who restores the dead to life and calls into being those things which had not been. Hoping against hope, Abraham believed and so became the father of many nations just as it was once told him, “Numerous as this shall be your descendants be.” Without growing weak in faith he thought of his own body, which was as good as dead (for he was nearly a hundred years old), and [he thought] of the dead womb of Sarah. Yet he never questioned or doubted God’s promise; rather, he was strengthened in faith and gave glory to God, fully persuaded that God would do whatever he had promised. Thus his faith was credited to him as justice.

The words, “It was credited to him,” were not written with him alone in view: they were intended for us too. For our faith will be credited to us also if we believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, the Jesus who was handed over to death for our sins and raised up for our justification. 



Matthew 7: 21-23

The Lord said: “None of those who cry out, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of God but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. When that day comes, many will plead with me, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? Have we not exorcised demons by its power? Did we not do many miracles in your name as well?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Out of my sight, you evildoers!’”


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


June 6 Our Venerable Fathers Bessarion and Hilarion

Our venerable father Bessarion the Wonder-worker was an anchorite in Skete in Egypt, stood as a beggar for the love of God and as a pilgrim in the fifth century. The Greek fathers compared him to Moses and Elijah because of his virtues and miracles. 

Our venerable father Hilary the Younger was hegumen of the Dalmatian Monastery, and for the sake of the cult of holy icons, he suffered imprisonment, lashes, and exile with unconquered faith in the ninth century. 



O God of our ancestors, You always deal with us according to your everlasting compassion, take not your mercy away from us; but through the prayers of our ancestors, guide our lives along the ways of peace. 


Kontakion – Bessarion

Imitating the powers of heaven, O venerable father, you lived a soaring life like a bird, flying upward with unquenchable desire to Christ the King until you reached Him. O Bessarion, pray unceasingly for all of us.


Kontakion – Hilarion

O father Hilarion, you were a courageous fighter, and the fire did not harm you because of the refreshing dew that came from God. You exceeded the limits of human endurance in fighting your battles; and now you rejoice with the saints. As you join with them, we beg you to pray for all of us. 



Romans 4: 4-12

Brothers and sisters: When a man works, his wages are not regarded as a favor but as his due. But when a mar, does nothing, yet believes in him who justifies the sinful, his faith is credited as justice. Thus David congratulates the man to whom God credits justice without requiring deeds [when he says]: “Blest are they whose iniquities are forgiven, whose sins are covered over. Blest is the man to whom the Lord imputes no guilt.”

Does this blessedness apply only to the circumcised, or to the uncircumcised as well? For we say that Abraham’s faith was “credited as justice.” What were the circumstances in which it was credited? Was it after he was circumcised or before? It was before. In fact, he received the sign of circumcision as a seal attesting to the justice received through faith while he was still uncircumcised. Thus he was to be the fighter of all the uncircumcised who believe, so that for them too faith might be credited as justice, as well as the father of those circumcised who are not merely so but who follow the path of faith which Abraham walked while still uncircumcised. 



Matthew 7: 15-21

The Lord said: “Be on your guard against false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but underneath are wolves on the prowl. You will know them by their deeds. Do you ever pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from prickly plants? Never! Any sound tree bears good fruit, while a decayed tree bears bad fruit. A sound tree cannot bear bad fruit any more than a decayed tree can bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is  cut down and thrown into the fire. You can tell a tree by its fruit. None of those who cry out, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of God but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.”


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


June 5 The Holy Priest Martyr Dorotheus Bishop of Tyre

The Hieromartyr Dorotheus was bishop of the Phoenician city of Tyre during the time of persecution against Christians under the emperor Diocletian (284-305). Heeding the words of the Gospel (Mt. 10:23), the saint withdrew from Tyre and hid from persecutors. He returned to Tyre during the reign of St. Constantine the Great (306-337), again occupying the bishop’s throne he guided his flock for more than fifty years, and converted many pagans to Christianity. When the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363) began to openly persecute Christians, St. Dorotheus was already over 100 years old. He withdrew from Tyre to the Myzean city of Udum (present day Bulgarian Varna). Delegates of the emperor arrested him there for his refusal to offer sacrifice to idols. They began to torture the holy elder, and under torture he surrendered his soul to the Lord at the age of 107.



Resplendent with heavenly belief, you made a sacrifice of yourself to God. Suffering martyrdom for the immortal King, you have inherited the heavenly palace. O venerable father Dorotheus, in your joy pray to Christ to have mercy on all of us. 



More radiant than the sun because of your good works, your heavenly teaching, and your suffering, you shed light on the world, O blessed Dorotheus. You burnt off the stubborn mist of the worship of idols and the fog of every trace of heresy. Therefore, we now rejoice in your memory.



Romans 2:28 thru 3:18

Brothers and sisters: Appearance does not make a Jew. True circumcision is not a sign in the flesh. He is a real Jew who is inwardly, and true circumcision is of the heart; its source is the spirit, not the letter. Such a one receives his praise, not from men, but from God.

What is the advantage, then, of being a Jew, and what value is there in circumcision? The answer is, much in every respect. First of all, the Jews were entrusted with the words of God. You may ask, what if some of them have not believed? Will not their unbelief put an end to God’s faithfulness? Of course not! God must be proved true even though every man be proved a liar, so that, as Scripture says, “You shall be vindicated in what you say, and win out when you are judged.” But if our wrongdoings provides proof of God’s justice, what are we to say? “Is not God unjust when he inflicts punishment?” (I speak in a merely human way.) Assuredly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? Another question: If my falsehood brings to light God’s truth and thus promotes his glory, why must I be condemned as a sinner? Or why may we not do evil that good may come of it? This is the very thing that some slanderously accuse us of teaching; but they will get what they deserve.

Well then, do we find ourselves in a position of superiority? Not entirely. We have already brought the charge against Jews and Greeks alike that they are under the domination of sin. It is as Scripture says: “There is no just man, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one in search of God. All have taken the wrong course, all alike have become worthless; not one of them acts uprightly, no, not one. Their throats are open tombs; they use their tongues to deceive; the venom of asps lies behind their lips. Their mouths are full of curses and bitterness. Swiftly run their feet to shed blood; ruin and misery strew their course. The path of peace is unknown to them; the fear of God is not before their eyes.”



Matthew 6: 31-34 & 7: 9-11

The Lord said: “Stop worrying, then, over questions like, ‘What are we to eat, or what are we to drink, or what are we to wear?’ The unbelievers are always running after these things. Your heavenly Father knows all that you need. Seek first his kingship over you, his way of holiness, and all these things will be given you besides. Enough, then, of worrying about tomorrow. Let tomorrow take care of itself. Today has troubles enough of its own.

Would one of you hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf, or a poisonous snake when he asks for a fish? If you, with all your sins, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to anyone who asks him!”


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


June 4 Our Father among the saints Metrophanes, Bishop of Constantinople

Our venerable father Metrophanes, Patriarch of Constantinople, was a contemporary of St. Constantine the Great (306-337). His father, Dometius, was a brother of the Roman emperor Probus (276-282). Seeing the falseness of the pagan religion, Dometius came to believe in Christ. During a time of terrible persecution of Christians in Rome, St. Dometius set off to Byzantium with two of his sons, Probus and Metrophanes. They were instructed in the law of the Lord by Bishop Titus, a man of holy life. Seeing the ardent desire of Dometius to labor for the Lord, St. Titus ordered him presbyter. After the death of Titus, Dometius (272-303) was elevated to the bishop’s throne, and thereafter his sons, Probus (303-315) and in 316 St. Metrophanes. 



Preaching the great mystery of the Trinity, you spread the Word of Christ throughout the world. As the shepherd of Christ’s flock, you drove off the spiritual wolves in their attack; you save from perdition all those who call on you. Glory to Him who gave you this might! Glory to Him who chose you! Glory to him who defends the true faith through you!



You preached the faith of Christ clearly. You increased the numbers of his flock, and now you rejoice with angels as a reward. Therefore, we ask you to pray for us, O blessed Metrophanes. 



Hebrews 11:33 – 12:2a

Brothers and sisters: By faith [the Saints] conquered kingdoms, did what was just, obtained the promises; they broke the jaws of lions, put out raging fires, escaped the devouring swords; though weak they were made powerful, became strong in battle, and turned back foreign invaders. Women received back their dead through resurrection. Others were tortured and would not receive deliverance, in order to obtain a better resurrection. Still others endured mockery, scourging, even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, sawed in two, put to death at sword’s point; they went about garbed in the skins of sheep or goats, needy, afflicted, tormented. The world was not worthy of them. They wandered the earth. Yet despite the fact that all of these were approved because of their faith, they did not obtain what had been promised. God had made a better plan, a plan which included us. Without us, they were not to be made perfect. 

Therefore, since we for our part are surrounded by this cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every encumbrance of sin which clings to us and persevere in running the race which lies ahead; let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith. 



Matthew 10: 32-33, 37-38, 19: 27-30

The Lord said to his disciples: “Whoever acknowledges me before men I will acknowledge before my Father in heaven. Whoever disowns me before men I will disown before my Father in heaven. Whoever loves father or mother, son or daughter, more than me is not worthy of me. He who will not take up his cross and come after me is not worthy of me. 

Then Peter said to him: “Here we have put everything aside to follow you. What can we expect from it?” Jesus said to them: “I give you my solemn word, in the new age when the Son of Man takes his seat upon the throne befitting his glory, you who have followed me shall likewise take your places on twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. Moreover, everyone who has given up home, brothers or sisters, father or mother, wife or children or property for my sake will receive many times as much and inherit everlasting life. Many who are first shall come last, and the last shall come first.”


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


Sunday Bulletin 6/4/23


Saturday, June 3  –  Lucillian and Others, Martyrs      

5:00 PM          Santa Paula Outreach Divine Liturgy

6:30 PM          Reader Vespers

Sunday, June 4  –  Sunday of All Saints

8:30 AM          Matins

9:30 AM          Divine Liturgy

Monday, June 5  –  Dorotheus, Bishop-Martyr        

8:30 AM          Morning Prayer

5:30 PM          Akathist* for those suffering Addictions & Mental Illness

Wednesday, June 7  –  Theodotus, Bishop-Martyr   

8:30 AM          Morning Prayer

6:30 PM          Divine Liturgy

7:45 PM          Firepit Social

Saturday, June 10  –  Timothy, Bishop-Martyr      

5:00 PM          Santa Paula Outreach Divine Liturgy

Sunday, June 11  –  2nd Sunday after Pentecost        

8:30 AM          Matins

9:30 AM          Divine Liturgy 

*Add first names to this prayer service by emailing niemirick@gmail.com


St. Mary’s: Sundays 8:45 AM or by appointment

Santa Paula: Saturdays 4:15 PM or by appointment


(Please resubmit or submit names to admin@ByzantineLA.com)

The Carlin Family, Michael Hefferon, Shirley Kunze, Michael Mina, Peter Mina, Fr, John Mina, Mila Mina, Lana Zimmerman, Patrick Zimmerman, Shannon O’Neill, Fern Bonowicz, All the sick and suffering of St. Mary’s


Collection: $1,310.00; Santa Paula: $792.00; Candles: $30.50; Holydays: $160.00; Eparchial Appeal: $750.00; Parish Socials: $434.00

Total: $3,476.50 / Attendance – PSM: 91  VCO: 52

“The one who saves his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will obtain it.” The saints show us the meaning of Christ’s words, when they obtained life by giving their lives for the sake of Christ. Serving as a monk, nun, priest, deacon or in minor orders is one way to lose one’s life. This may be your calling to grow in Christ. Contact the Vocations Office at 206-329-9219 or email: vocations@ephx.org


All Saints

Before the public Divine Liturgy begins, the priest prepares the bread that will become the Eucharist.  He commemorates nine different classes of saints by putting a particle of bread for each class onto the diskos next to the large “lamb” that represents Christ himself.  (There is also a large particle placed to represent the Theotokos).  These nine classes are… Angels, prophets, apostles, hierarchs, martyrs, fathers, charitable wonder-workers, “ancestors of God” like Mary’s parents Joachim and Anna, and the saint(s) of the day.  Together they represent all the saints gathered in the kingdom of God.  Blessed feast of All Saints!

Eparchial Appeal 2023

This year’s Eparchial Appeal is underway. Our goal this year is $29,470.53.  Donations can be made directly to the Eparchy by mail or on their website: https://www.ephx.org/eparchial-appeal and then clicking on our church. Payments can also be made directly to St. Mary’s by check. If you wish to donate online, please use the Eparchy’s website found above. As of May 31, we have raised $5,675.00.

Thank you to everyone who has donated already!

Alig; Cook; Fitzgerald; Golya; Horey, F; Horey, M; Matthews; Michnya; Mina; O’Neill; Parrot; Somits; Summe; Zimmerman, P; Zimmerman, W.

June 3 The Holy Martyr Lucillian and his Companions

The holy martyr Lucillian was a pagan priest during the reign of the Roman emperor Aurelian (270-275). In his old age he was persuaded to see the falseness of the pagan religion, and with all his heart he turned to the faith in Christ the Savior and was baptized. Under the influence of his preachings, many pagans were converted to Christianity. Then certain Jews, seeing that he was spreading faith in Christ, reported the saint to the Nicomedia prefect, who urged the old man to return to idol worship. When St. Lucillian refused, they smashed his jawbone and beat him with rods and suspended him upside down, and then they locked him in prison. There he met four youths who were confessors of Christianity: Claudius, Hypatius, Paul, and Dionysius. They were brought to trial, and thrown into a red-hot furnace. Suddenly, rain fell and extinguished the flames, and the martyrs remained unharmed. The governor sentenced them to death, sending them to Byzantium to be executed. The holy youths were beheaded by sword, and the holy martyr Lucillian was nailed to a cross with many nails. 



O Lord our God, your holy martyrs have deserved the crown of immortality on account of their good fight. Armed with your strength they have vanquished their persecutors and crushed Satan’s dreadful might. Through their supplications, O Christ our God, save our souls.



You approached the fire but were not burned, O courageous and wise martyr Lucillian. You possessed the cooling dew of God. You and your companions surpassed nature; therefore, we ask all of you to remember us. 



Romans 1: 7b-12

Brothers and sisters: Grace and peace from God our father and the Lord Jesus Christ. First of all, I give thanks to my God through Jesus Christ for all of you because your faith is heralded throughout the world. The God I worship in the spirit by preaching the gospel of his Son will bear witness that I constantly mention you in prayer, always pleading that somehow by God’s will I may at last find my way clear to visit you. For I long see and share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen you–rather, what I wish is that we may be mutually encouraged by our common faith. 



Matthew 5: 42-48

The Lord said: “Give to the man who begs from you. Do not turn your back on the borrower. You have heard the commandment, ‘You shall love your countryman but hate your enemy.’ My command to you is: love your enemies, pray for your persecutors. This will prove that you are sons of your heavenly Father, for his sun rises on the bad and the good, he rains on the just and the unjust. If you love those who love you, what merit is there in that? Do not tax collectors do as much? And if you greet your brothers only, what is so praiseworthy about that? Do not pagans do as much? In a word, you must be made perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”


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


June 2 Our Father among the saints Nicephorus the Confessor

Our venerable father Nicephorus was a dignitary at the court of the Empress Irene (797-802). After embracing monasticism, he became widely known for his piety. He assumed the Patriarchal Throne of Constantinople in 806. He was a zealous defender of the holy icons. In 815, the iconoclast Emperor Leo (813-820) exiled him to Prokonnis, where he fell asleep in the Lord in the year 828.



The grace of your deep words and lofty teaching has become a ladder of virtue for us. You possessed a trumpet of the spirit, O father, and by it you announce spiritual teaching. You have taken up your abode in paradise, but still confound enemies with the might of your words. O blessed Nicephorus, beg Christ to forgive the sins of those who honor you.



Since you have received the crown of victory from God, save those who appeal to you in faith, O glorious Nicephorus, for you are a prince of Christ’s priests and a teacher for us. 



Romans 2: 14-29

Brothers and sisters: When Gentiles who do not have the law keep it as by instinct, these men although without the law serve as a law for themselves. They show that the demands of the law are written in their hearts. Their conscience bears witness together with that law, and their thoughts will accuse or defend them on the day when, in accordance with the gospel I preach, God will pass judgment on the secrets of men through Jesus Christ. 

Let us suppose you bear the name of “Jew” and rely on the law and pride yourself on God. Instructed by the law, you know his will and are able to make sound judgments on disputed points. You feel certain that you can guide the blind and enlighten those in darkness, that you can discipline the foolish and teach the Simple, because in the law you have at hand a clear pattern of knowledge and truth. Now then, teacher of others, are you failing to teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? You who forbid adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who pride yourself on the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? As Scripture says, “On your account the name of God is held in contempt among the Gentiles.”

Circumcision, to be sure, has value if you observe the law, but if you break it you might as well be uncircumcised! Again, if an uncircumcised person keeps the precepts of the law, will he not be considered circumcised? If a man who is uncircumcised keeps the law, he will pass judgment on you who, with your written law and circumcision, break it. Appearance does not make a Jew. True circumcision is not a sign in the flesh. He is a real Jew who is one inwardly, and true circumcision is of the heart; its source is the spirit, not the letter. Such a one receives his praise, not from men, but from God. 



Matthew 5: 33-41

The Lord said: “You have heard the commandment imposed on your forefathers, ‘Do not take a false oath; rather, make good to the Lord all your pledges.’ What I tell you is: do not sweat at all. DO not swear by heaven (it is God’s throne), nor by the earth (it is his footstool), nor by Jerusalem (it is the city of the great King); do not swear by your head (you cannot make a single hair white or black). Say, ‘Yes’ when you mean ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ when you mean ‘No.’ Anything beyond that is from the evil one. 

“You have heard the commandment, ‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.’ But what I say to you is: offer no resistance to injury. When a person strikes you on the right cheek, turn and offer him the other. If anyone wants to go to law over your shirt, hand him your coat as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him two miles.” 


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


June 1 The Holy Martyr Justin the Philosopher and his Companions

The holy martyr Justin was a philosopher who followed purely the true wisdom he had recognized in the truth of Christ. He instructed by his character, taught the truth of the faith and fought by his writings. When he presented his Apology for the Christian religion to the emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (161-180) in Rome and confessed he himself was a Christian, St. Justin was condemned to death.



O Lord our God, your holy martyrs have deserved the crown of immortality on account of their good fight. Armed with your strength they have vanquished their persecutors and crushed Satan’s dreadful might. Through their supplications, O Christ our God, save our souls.



Embellished by the wisdom of your heavenly words, all of God’s Church tells the world of your holy life. Receiving a crown in return for your blood, you stand before Christ in the company of angels and pray unceasingly for all of us. 



Romans 1:28 thru 2:9

Brothers and sisters: [Perverse men] did not see fit to acknowledge God, so God delivered them up to their own depraved sense to do what is unseemly. They are filled with every kind of wickedness: maliciousness, greed, ill will, envy, murder, bickering, deceit, craftiness. They are gossips and slanderers, they hate God, are insolent, haughty, boastful, ingenious in their wrongdoing and rebellious toward their parents. One sees in them men without conscience, without loyalty, without affection, without pity. They know God’s just decree that all who do such things deserve death; yet they not only do them but approve them in others. 

That is why everyone of you who judges another is inexcusable. By your judgment you convict yourself, since you do the very same things. “We know that God’s judgment on men who do such things is just.” Do you suppose, then, that you will escape his judgment, you who condemn these things in others yet do them yourself? Or do you presume on his kindness and forbearance? Do you know that God’s kindness is an invitation to repent? In spite of this, your hard and impenitent heart is storing up retribution for that day of wrath when the just judgment of God will be revealed, when he will repay every man for what he has done: eternal life to those who strive for glory, honor, and immortality by patiently doing right; wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness. Yes, affliction and anguish will come upon every man who has done evil, the Jew first, then the Greek. 



Matthew 5: 27-32

The Lord said: “You have heard the commandment, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ What I say to you is: anyone who looks lustfully at a woman has already committed adultery with her in his thoughts. If your right eye is your trouble, gouge it out and throw it away! Better to lose part of your body than to have it all cast into Gehenna. Again, if your right hand is your trouble, cut it off and throw it away! Better to lose part of your body than to have it all cast into Gehenna. 

“It was also said, ‘Whenever a man divorces his wife, he must give her a decree of divorce.’ What I say to you is: everyone who divorces his wife forces her to commit adultery, but lewd conduct is a separate case. The man who marries a divorced woman likewise commits adultery. 


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


May 31 The Holy Apostle Hermes & The Holy Martyr Hermeas

The holy apostle Hermes, bishop of Philipi, was a disciple of St. Paul. He endured much grief from the pagans for preaching the Gospel, but he died in peace.  According to tradition, he composed the instructive book “The Shepherd,” based on revelations from angels.

The holy martyr Hermeas, suffered during the persecution under the emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161). He was a soldier in the imperial army till old age. He was urged by his governor to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods in exchange for military honors and mercy from the emperor, but the old soldier turned him down, and bravely confessed his faith in Christ. He was tortured repeatedly, but all attempts to end the life of the saint failed. Finally he was beheaded by the governor’s own hand. Christians secretly buried the body of St. Hermeas, whose relics bestowed numerous healings. 


Troparion – Apostle

O holy apostle Hermes, intercede with the all-merciful God that He may grant us forgiveness of our sins. 


Troparion – Martyr

O Lord our God, your holy martyr Hermeas has deserved the crown of immortality on account of his good fight. Armed with your strength, he has vanquished his persecutors and crushed Satan’s dreadful might. Through his supplications, O Christ our God, save our souls. 


Kontakion – Apostle

You glimmered over the earth like a star, supporting Paul, that beam from the Divine Light who enlightens the whole world. Therefore, O Hermes, we venerate you.


Kontakion – Martyr

You  fought well for Christ, finding strength and courage in your old age. Having overturned the plots of evil conceived by sinners, you were kept from the harm of poisoned food, O Hermeas. You cried out loudly: God is with me, and no one can prevail against me. 



Romans 1: 18-27

Brothers and sisters: The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against the irreligious and perverse spirit of men who, in this perversity of theirs, hinder the truth. In fact, whatever can be known about God is clear to them; he himself made it so. Since the creation of the world, invisible realities, God’s eternal power and divinity, have become visible, recognized through many things he has made. Therefore these men are inexcusable. They certainly had knowledge of God, yet they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks; they stultified themselves through speculation to no purpose, and their senseless hearts were darkened. They claimed to be wise, but turned into fools instead; they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images representing mortal man, birds, beasts, and snakes. In consequence, God delivered them up in their lusts to unclean practices; they engaged in the mutual degradation of their bodies, these men who exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator blessed be he forever, amen! God therefore delivered them up to disgraceful passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and the men gave up natural intercourse with women and burned with lust for one another. Men did shameful things with men, and thus received in their own persons the penalty for their perversity. 



Matthew 5: 20-26

The Lord said to his disciples: “I tell you, unless your holiness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees you shall not enter the kingdom of God. You have heard the commandment imposed on your forefathers, ‘You shall not commit murder; every murderer shall be liable to judgment.’ What I say to you is: everyone who grows angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; any man who uses abusive language toward his brother shall be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and if he holds his brother in contempt he risks the fires of Gehenna. If you bring your gift to the altar and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift at the altar, go first to be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Lose no time; settle with your opponent while on your way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent may hand you over to the guard, who will throw you into prison. I warn you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”


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