Oct. 7 The Holy Martyrs Sergius and Bacchus

The holy martyrs Sergius and Bacchus were nobles of the court of the emperor Maximian. The emperor valued them for their courage, wisdom, and zeal. When they refused to offer sacrifice to pagan Gods, the emperor turned against them, dressing them in women’s clothing and paraded them through the city of Rome. They were sent to Syria to be tortured. Bacchus died first, and came back from the dead to urge Sergius to fidelity. He was then martyred. 



Your martyrs, O Lord our God, in their struggle received incorruptible crowns from You. Armed with Your strength, they brought down the tyrants and broke the cowardly valor of demons. Through their prayers, O Christ our God, save our souls. 



O long-suffering Sergius and glorious Bacchus, you are the staunch support of those who are Christ’s passion-bearers. O eyes of the Church of Christ, enlighten the eyes of our souls. Now pray to the Lord that we might escape the darkness of sin, and that we come to see the unsetting Sun through your prayers, O saints. 



Ephesians 6: 18-24

    Brothers and sisters: At every opportunity pray in the Spirit, using prayers and petition of every sort. Pray constantly and attentively for all in the holy company. Pray for me that God may put his words on my lips, that I may courageously make known the mystery of the gospel–that mystery for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may have courage to proclaim it as I ought. 

    Tychicus, my dear brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will keep you informed as to how I am and what I am doing. I have sent him to you for the very purpose of giving you news about me for your hearts’ consolation.

    May God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ grant the brothers peace and love and faith. Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with unfailing love. 



Luke 7: 31-35

    The Lord said, “What comparison can I use for the men of today? What are they like? They are like children squatting in the city squares and calling to their playmates, ‘We piped you a tune but you did not dance, we sang you a dirge but you did not wail.’

    “I mean that John the Baptizer came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He is mad!’ The Son of Man came and he both ate and drank, and you say, “Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ God’s wisdom is vindicated by all who accept it.”


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


Oct. 6 The Holy and Glorious Apostle Thomas

The holy and glorious apostle Thomas was a fisherman in Galilee, who, after hearing the words of the Lord, became his disciple. Thomas did not believe the other disciples when they announced the Resurrection of Christ. When Jesus himself showed his pierced side, Thomas exclaimed, “My Lord and my God.” According to Church Tradition, the holy Apostle Thomas founded Christian churches in Palestine, Mesopotamia, Parthia, Ethiopia and India. Preaching the Gospel earned him a martyr’s death. For having converted the wife and son of the prefect of the Indian city of Meliapur [Melipur], Thomas was locked up in prison, tortured, and finally, pierced with five spears, he departed to the Lord. Part of the relics of the holy Apostle Thomas are in India, in Hungary and on Mt. Athos.



You were both a disciple of Christ and a member of the divine apostolic college. Your lack of faith proved the Resurrection of Christ and your touch unleashed reverence, O all-praiseworthy Thomas, now obtain peace and mercy for us. 



O Thomas, full of wisdom and grace, you were a disciple and faithful servant of Christ. You cried out in the sincerity of your repentance: You are my Lord and my God!


Readings for the Apostle


1 Corinthians 4: 9-16

     Brothers and sisters: As I see it, God has put us apostles at the end of the line, like men doomed to die in the arena. We have become like a spectacle to the universe, to angels and men alike. We are fools on Christ’s account. Ah, but in Christ you are wise! We are the weak ones, you the strong! They honor you, while they sneer at us! Up to this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, poorly clad, roughly treated, wandering about homeless. We work hard at manual labor. When we are insulted we respond with a blessing. Persecution comes our way; we bear it patiently. We are slandered, and we try conciliation. We have become the world’s refuse, the scum of all; that is the present state of affairs. 

    I am writing you this way not to shame you but to admonish you as my beloved children. Granted you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you have only one father. It was I who begot you in Christ Jesus through my preachings of the gospel. I beg you, be imitators of me. 



John 20: 19-31

    On the evening of that first day of the week, even though the disciples had locked the doors of the place where they were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood before them. “Peace be with you,” he said. When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. At the sight of the Lord the disciples rejoiced. “Peace be with you,” he said again.

    “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Then he breathed on them and said: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive men’s sins, they are forgiven them; if you hold them bound, they are held bound.” 

    It happened that one of the Twelve, Thomas (the name means, “Twin”), was absent when Jesus came. The other disciples kept telling him: “We have seen the Lord!” His answer was, “I will never believe it without probing the nailprints in his hands, without putting my finger in the nailmarks and my hand into his side.”

    A week later, the disciples were once more in the room, and this time Thomas was with them. Despite the locked doors, Jesus came and stood before them. “Peace be with you,” he said to them; then, to Thomas: “Take your finger and examine my hands. Put your hand into my side. Do not persist in your unbelief, but believe!” Thomas said in response, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus then said to him: “You became a believer because you saw me. Blest are they who have not seen and have believed.”

    Jesus performed many other signs as well – signs not recorded here – in the presence of his disciples. But these have been recorded to help you believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, so that through his faith you may have life in his name. 


Readings for the day


Ephesians 5:33 – 6:9

    Brothers and sisters: Each one should love his wife as he loved himself, the wife for her part showing respect for her husband. Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for that is what is expected of you. “Honor your father and mother” is the first commandment to carry a promise with it–”that it may go well with you, and that you may have long life on the earth.” Fathers, do not anger your children. Bring them up with the training and instruction befitting the Lord. 

    Slaves, obey your human masters with reverence, the awe, and sincerity you owe to Christ. Do not render service for appearance only and to please men, but do God’s will with your whole heart as slaves of Christ. Give your service willingly, doing it for the Lord rather than men. You know that each one, whether slave or free, will be repaid by the Lord for whatever good he does. 

    Masters, act in a similar way toward your slaves. Stop threatening them. Remember that you and they have a Master in heaven who plays no favorites. 



Luke 7: 17-30

    At that time the report of Jesus being a great prophet spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country. The disciples of John brought their teacher word of all these happenings. Summoning two of them, John sent them to ask the Lord, “Are you ‘He who is to come’ or are we to expect someone else?” When the men came to Jesus they said, “John the Baptizer sends us to you with this question: ‘Are you “He who us to come” or do we look for someone else?’” (At that time he was curing many of their diseases, afflictions, and evil spirits; he also restored sight to many who were blind.) Jesus gave this response: “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard. The blind recover their sight, cripples walk, lepers are cured, the deaf hear, dead men are raised to life, and the poor have the good news preached to them. Blest is the man who finds no stumbling block in me.”

    When the messengers of John had set off, Jesus began to speak about John to the crowds. “What did you go out to see in the desert–a reed swayed by the wind? What, really, did you go out to see–someone dressed luxuriously? Remember, those who dress in luxury and eat in splendor are to be found in royal palaces. Then what did you go out to see–a prophet? He is that, I assure you, and something more. This is the man of whom Scripture says, ‘I send my messenger ahead of you to prepare your way before you.’ I assure you, there is no man born of woman greater than John. Yet the least born into the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

    The entire populace that had heard Jesus, even the tax collectors, gave praise to God, for they had received from John the baptismal bath he administered. The Pharisees and the lawyers, on the other hand, by failing to receive his baptism defeated God’s plan in their regard. 


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

Oct. 5 The Holy Martyr Charitina

The holy martyr Charitina was a young girl who was brought before a governor of the emperor Diocletian in the year 304. She boldly testified, “It is true that I am a Christian, and a lie that I delude others. O lead those in error to the way of truth, bringing them to my Christ.” She endured many awful tortures for the sake of her Lord, and died in the glory of His name. 



Your lamb Charitina, O Jesus, cries out in a loud voice: I love You, my Bridegroom; I seek You with painful longing; I am crucified with You; in Your baptism, I am buried with You; I suffer for You that I may reign with You; and I die for You that I may live with You. Receive me as a spotless sacrifice immolated with love for You. By her prayers, O merciful One, save our souls.



You shamed the violent enemy with the might of your understanding, O Charitina, after you had strengthened your soul with faith. O all-blessed lady, you went into the presence of Christ wearing a gown dyed red in your blood. Now that you stand in the company of angels, pray for us, O Passion-bearer.



Ephesians 5: 25-33

    Brothers and sisters: Love your wives, as Christ loved the church. He gave himself up for her to make her holy, purifying her in the bath of water by the power of the word, to present to himself a glorious church, holy and immaculate, without stain or wrinkle or anything of that sort. Husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. Observe that no one ever hates his own flesh; no, he nourishes it and takes care of it as Christ cares for the church–for we are members of his body. [Scripture says:] “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cling to his wife; and the two shall be made into one.” This is a great foreshadowing; I mean that it refers to Christ and the Church. In any case, each one should love his wife as he loves himself, the wife for her part showing respect for her husband. 



Luke 6:47 – 7:1

    The Lord said, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not put into practice what I teach you? Any man who desires to come to me will hear my words and put them into practice. I will show you with whom he is to be compared. He may be likened to the man who, in building a house, dug deeply and laid the foundation on a rock. When the floods came the torrent rushed in on that house, but failed to shake it because of its solid foundation. On the other hand, anyone who has heard my words but not put them into practice is like the man who built his house on the ground without any foundation. When the torrent rushed upon it, it immediately fell in and was completely destroyed.” When he had finished this discourse in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 



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


Oct. 4 The Holy Martyr Hierotheus, Bishop of Athens; Our Venerable Father Francis of Assisi

The holy martyr Hierotheus was a friend of St. Dionysius (Denis) the Areopagite. Hierotheus was converted by the Apostle Paul shortly after his friend. Paul later made him bishop of Athens. Tradition tells us that Hierotheus assembled in Jerusalem with the Apostles for the Dormition of the Theotokos. He was martyred in Athens.

Our venerable father Francis of Assisi was a deacon and founder of the Three Orders. He was converted after an unfettered youth in Assisi in Umbria. He chose an evangelical life, serving Jesus Christ found among the poorest and most neglected. Having made himself a poor man, he gathered himself little brothers (i.e., the Friars Minor) in a community. He preached the love of God to everyone, in a journey that reached as far as the Holy Land. Seeking to be a perfect follower of Christ in words and deeds, he wished to travel the needy earth carrying the good news.




You learned goodness and practiced temperance. You robed yourself in the priesthood and girded yourself with good conscience. Therefore, you came to draw ineffable things from the chosen vessel, Paul. You have completed the race, you have kept the faith. O father Hierotheus, beg Christ our God to save our souls.



We honor you, O bishop of Athens, for we have learned marvelous and ineffable mysteries from you. You are an author of divine hymns. Intercede that we may be delivered from our sins; O most venerable Hierotheus, we cry out: Rejoice, O holy and most wise father.



Ephesians 5: 20-26

    Brothers and sisters: Give thanks to God the Father always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Defer to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives should be submissive to their husbands as id to the Lord because the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of his body the church, as well as its savior. As the church submits to Christ, so wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church. He gave himself up for her to make her holy, purifying her in the bath of water by the power of the word. 



Luke 6: 37-45

    The Lord said, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Pardon, and you shall be pardoned. Give, and it shall be given to you. Good measure pressed down, shaken together, running over, will they pour into the fold of your garment. For the measure you measure with will be measured back to you.”

    Jesus also used images in speaking to them: “Can a blind man act as guide to a blind man? Will they not both fall into a ditch? A student is not above his teacher; but every student when he has finished his studies will be on a par with his teacher.

    “Why look at the speck in your brother’s eye when you miss the plank in your own? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck from your eye,’ yet fail yourself to see the plank lodged in your own? Hypocrite, remove the plank from your own eye first; then you will see clearly enough to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

    “A good tree does not produce decayed fruit any more than a decayed tree produces good fruit. Each tree is known by its yield. Figs are not taken from thornbushes, nor grapes picked from brambles. A good man produces goodness from the good in his heart; an evil man produces evil out of his store of evil. Each man speaks from his heart’s abundance.”


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


Oct. 3 The Holy Bishop Martyr Dionysius the Areopagite

The holy bishop and martyr Dionysius the Areopagite was brought to the Christian faith by the preaching of the Apostle Paul. He remained a companion of Paul for three years, traveling and preaching the Gospel. St. Dionysius was made the first bishop of Athens. He was also present at the repose of the most holy Theotokos. The writings of St. Dionysius hold great significance to the church. Four books of his have survived to the present day: On the Celestial Hierarchy, On the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, On the Names of God, and On Mystical Theology. 



You learned goodness and practiced temperance. You robed yourself in the priesthood and girded yourself with good conscience. Therefore, you came to draw ineffable things from the chosen vessel, Paul. You have completed the race, you have kept the faith. O father Dionysius, beg Christ our God to save our souls.



In a spiritual way you passed through the gates of heaven, and you climbed to the third heaven with the apostle Paul. You were given a deep understanding of mystical things with which you have given light to the ignorant. For all of this we invoke you, O Dionysius. Rejoice, O father of all!



Ephesians 4: 25-32

    Brothers and sisters: See to it, that you put an end to lying; let everyone speak the truth to his neighbor, for we are members of one another. If you are angry, let it be without sin. The sun must not go down on your wrath; do not give the devil a chance to work on you. The man who has been stealing must steal no longer; rather, let him work with his hands at honest labor so that he will have something to share with those in need. Never let evil talk pass your lips; say only the good things men need to hear, things that will really help them. Do nothing to sadden the Holy Spirit with whom you were sealed against the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, all passion and anger, harsh words, slander, and malice of every kind. In place of these, be kind to one another, compassionate, and mutually forgiving, just as God has forgiven you in Christ. 



Luke 6: 24-31

    The Lord said to the people who came to him: “Woe to you rich, for your consolation is now. Woe to you who are full; you shall go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now; you shall weep in your grief. Woe to you when all speak well of you. Their fathers treated false prophets in just this way.

    “To you who hear me, I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you; bless those who curse you and pray for those who maltreat you. When someone slaps you on one cheek, turn and give him the other; when someone takes your coat, let him have your shirt as well. Give to all who beg from you. When a man takes what is yours, do not demand it back. Do to others what you would have them do to you.”


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


Oct. 2 The Holy Priest-Martyr Cyprian; The Holy Martyr Justina; The Holy Andrew, Fool for Christ

The holy priest-martyr Cyprian was originally a pagan magician, in league with evil spirits. He was converted by the words and example of St. Justina and became a bishop of the church. He was beheaded with Justina in Nicomedia in 258.

The holy martyr Justina was brought to faith in Christ and then brought the same faith to her whole family. She was martyred with bishop Cyprian in Nicomedia in 258.

The holy Andrew, fool for Christ, was a Slav by birth. He was bought as a slave and brought to Constantinople during the reign of emperor Leo the Wise. He was a man beautiful in body and in soul, and was moved to adopt the ascesis of folly for Christ’s sake. Feigning madness in the daytime and praying all night, he became a wonderworker in Constantinople. In the year 911, he entered into the rest of the Lord. 



You shared in the apostles’ way of life and succeeded to their throne, divinely inspired bishop. You found access to contemplation in the active life. Therefore, you rightly taught the word of truth and struggled for the faith to the shedding of your blood. O Priest-Martyr Cyprian, pray to Christ our God to save our souls. 



You renounced the magic arts in order to learn of God, and you became on of the wisest men on earth, healing those who venerate you and Justina. Join her in seeking salvation for us from Christ our God. 



2 Corinthians 6:16 – 7:1

    Brothers and sisters: You are the temple of the living God, just as God has said: “I will dwell with them and walk among them. I will be their God and they shall be my people. Therefore, ‘Come out from among them and separate yourselves from them,’ says the Lord; ‘and touch nothing unclean. I will welcome you and be a father to you and you will be my sons and daughters,’ says the Lord Almighty.”

    Since we have these promises, beloved, let us purify ourselves from every defilement of flesh and spirit, and in the fear of God strive to fulfill our consecration perfectly. 



Luke 6: 31-36

    The Lord said, “Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, how can you claim any credit? Sinners do as much. If you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what merit is there in it for you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.

    “Love your enemy and do good; lend without expecting repayment. Then will your recompense be great. You will rightly be called sons of the Most High, since he himself is good to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be compassionate, as your Father is compassionate.”



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


Sunday Bulletin 10/02/22


Saturday, Oct. 1  –  Feast of the Protection of the Theotokos      

5:00 PM          Outreach Divine Liturgy in Santa Paula

6:30 PM          Reader Vespers

Sunday, Oct. 2  –  17th Sunday after Pentecost          

8:30 AM          Matins

9:30 AM          Divine Liturgy

12:00 PM        Parish Family Day Celebration

Monday, Oct. 3  –  Denis the Areopagite, Bishop-Martyr       

6:30 PM          Prayer Service* for healing of Addictions & Mental illness  

Saturday, Oct. 8  –  Pelagia, Venerable          

5:00 PM          Outreach Divine Liturgy in Santa Paula

Sunday, Oct. 9  –  18th Sunday after Pentecost             

8:30 AM          Matins

9:30 AM          Divine Liturgy 

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


(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, All the sick and suffering of St. Mary’s


Collection: $1,702.00; Candles: $65.00; Online: $30.00; Santa Paula: $1,386.00; Bishop’s Appeal: $4,870.00; Property Rental: $1,200.00; Special Gift: $220.00

Total: $10,473.00 / Attendance- PSM: 84

Eparchial Appeal

Thank you to everyone who donated to this year’s eparchial appeal! We raised more than our $25,544.72 goal!

Thank you again to those who contributed: Anonymous, Bates, J. Blessum, S. Blessum, Carlin, Chirdon, Clemens, Cook, Crans, Davies, Golya, Haas, Healy, Herrera, Hillz, Jimenez, Jordan, Kieselhorst, Koman, Koman-Keogh, Leparulo, Martini, Matthews, Michnya, Mina, Niemi, Fr. O’Loughlin, O’Neill, Onufrak, Parrot, Patzwahl, Petach, Reichert, C. Roche, Seabright, Skocypec, M. Sumandra, Summe, Tabak, Theisen, Wiggins, Wiltz, Wrzesinski, P. Zimmerman, and W. Zimmerman

St. Mary’s Heritage

We have many new members, and we want to introduce everyone to some of the parishioners who came before us.  This will be an ongoing project telling the stories of those who laid the foundation, and then built upon it, of the St. Mary’s we know today.  We will kick off this project by featuring Nancy Sumandra.  If you have any stories or experiences of Nancy, please email Father Michael.  He will have them compiled and will share a parish memoir of Nancy in a Sunday bulletin and online.  Please submit all stories by October 9.  Thank you!

Priestly Fraternity

I will be on our annual Eparchial Clergy Retreat this week in Phoenix.  We are looking forward to having a monk and biblical scholar teaching and reflecting on the psalms.  I love these retreats because we are forced to get rest and leisure time, we hear insightful reflections on the mysteries that lead us to greater union with God, but also because I get to spend time with my brother clergy.  It’s hard to explain “how very good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity” (Psalm 132/133).  We are so rarely able to pray, discuss ministry, boast of our parishioners, go to confession, receive the anointing of the sick etc. together with our brothers in our Byzantine Catholic church on the west coast.  Please pray for all of us as we pray for you.  – Father Michael

“Therefore be merciful, even as your Father is also merciful.” Our Lord teaches us how to love one another in today’s Gospel, taking us beyond our human understanding of only being good to those who do good to us. Monasticism and holy orders are special paths to give one’s life to all people. Is this something that God may have in store for your life? Contact the Vocations Office at 206-329-9219 or email: vocations@ephx.org

Oct. 1 The Protection of the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary; The Holy Apostle Ananias; Our Venerable Father Romanus the Hymnographer

The Protection of the Theotokos: On Oct. 1, 911 during the reign of emperor Leo the Wise, there was an all-night vigil in the Blanchernae church of the Theotokos in Constantinople. Standing near the rear of the church was St. Andrew the Fool for Christ, and his disciple Epiphanius. At four o’clock in the morning, the Theotokos appeared above the people with a veil spread over her outstretched hands, as if to protect them. She was surrounded by angels and saints. Seeing this, Andrew asked his disciple, “Do you see the Queen and Lady of all is praying for the whole world?” Epiphanius answered, “I do see, holy Father, and I am in awe.”

The holy apostle Ananias was one of the Seventy Apostles and the first Bishop of Damascus. The Lord ordered him to restore the sight of Saul, the former persecutor of Christians, then baptized him (Acts 9:10-19, 22:12). Saul became the great preacher and Apostle Paul. St. Ananias boldly and openly confessed Christianity before the Jews and the pagans, despite the danger. 

Our venerable father Romanus the Melodist was a deacon who inherited the name “the Melodist” from his sublime art in composing ecclesiastical hymns in honor of the Lord and the saints during the 5th century.


Troparion of the Theotokos

Protected by your appearance, O Theotokos; today, we devout people solemnly celebrate. Gazing upon your most pure icon, we fervently say: Protect us with your holy veil, and deliver us from all evil, imploring your Son, Christ our God, to save our souls. 



Today the Virgin is present in the Church, and with the choirs of saints, invisibly prays to God for us. The angels rejoice with the prophets; because the Theotokos prays for us to the eternal God. 


Troparion – Apostle

O holy Apostle Ananias, intercede with the merciful God that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.


Troparion – Venerable

In you, O father, the divine image was strictly preserved; taking up your cross, you followed Christ. You taught us by example how to spurn the flesh, for it passes away, and how to care for the soul, which is immortal. Therefore, O venerable Romanus, your soul rejoices with the angels. 


Kontakion – Apostle

In warmest prayers O Intercessor, and asking a speedy hearing, accept our prayers, O Ananias, and pray to Christ to have mercy on us, O unique one reposed among the saints. 


Kontakion – Venerable

You were adorned from childhood with the divine virtues of the spirit, O All-Wise Romanus, you were a precious adornment of the church of Christ. For you made it lovely with beautiful hymnody. Therefore we pray to you; Grant your divine gift to those who desire it. That we may cry out to you: Rejoice O All-blessed Father, beauty of the church. 


Readings for the Feast


Hebrews 9: 1-7

    Brothers and sisters: The first covenant had regulations and an earthly sanctuary. For a tabernacle was constructed, the outer one, in which were the lampstand, the table, and the showbread; this was called the holy place. Behind the second veil was the tabernacle called the holy of holies, in which were the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant entirely covered with gold. In the ark were the golden jars containing manna, the rod of Aaron which had blossomed, and the tablets of the covenant. Above the ark were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the place of expiation. We cannot speak now of each of these in detail. These were the arrangements for worship. In performing their service the priests used to go into the inner one, and that but once a year, with the blood which he offered for himself and for the sins of the people. 



Luke 10: 38-42, 11: 27-28

    At that time Jesus entered a village where a woman named Martha welcomed him to her home. She had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and listened to his words. Martha, who was busy with all the details of hospitality, came to Jesus and said, “Lord, are you not concerned that my sister has left me to do the household tasks all alone? Tell her to help me.”

    The Lord in reply said to her: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and upset about many things; one thing only is required. Mary has chosen the better portion and she shall not be deprived of it.”

    While he was saying this a woman from the crowd called out, “Blest is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!” Jesus replied, “Rather, blest are they who hear the word of God and keep it.”



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


Sept. 30 The Holy Martyr Gregory, Bishop of Armenia

The holy martyr Gregory, bishop of Armenia, who after many labors withdrew into a cave near the confluence of tributaries of the Euphrates and there rested in peace in 332. He is called “the Illuminator” and is considered the apostle to the Armenians. 



Today we faithful are invited to sign a hymn, to exalt with love in our assembly the daystar of the Unsetting Light, the long-suffering shepherd, the truly heroic pastor, the model of ascetics and martyrs, the radiant glory of the Church of Armenia. Let us bless with hymns of praise the divinely inspired Gregory who is adorned with the martyr’s crown. 



O faithful, let us extol today with hymns and spiritual songs the glorious Priest-Martyr Gregory, the shepherd of souls and powerful teacher, the bright star and fighter for truth. He intercedes with Christ our God for the salvation of our souls. 



Ephesians 4: 17-25

    Brothers and sisters: I declare and solemnly attest in the Lord that you must no longer live as the pagans do–their minds empty, their understanding darkened. They are estranged from a life in God because of their ignorance and their resistance; without remorse they have abandoned themselves to lust and the indulgence of every sort of lewd conduct. That is not what you learned when you learned Christ! I am supposing, of course, that he has been preached and taught to you in accord with the truth that is in Jesus: namely, that you must lay aside your former way of life and the old self which deteriorates through the illusion and desire, and acquire a fresh, spiritual way of thinking. You must put on that new man created in God’s image, whose justice and holiness are born of truth. See to it, then, that you put an end to lying; let everyone speak the truth to his neighbor, for we are members of one another. 



Luke 6: 17-23

    At that time coming down the mountain with them, Jesus stopped at a level stretch where there were many of his disciples; a large crowd of people was with them from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coast of Tyre and Sidon, people who came to hear him and be healed of their diseases. Those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured; indeed, the whole crowd was trying to touch him because power went out from him which cured all. Then, raising his eyes to his disciples, he said: “Blest are you poor, the reign of God is yours. Blest are you who hunger; you shall be filled. Blest are you who are weeping; you shall laugh. Blest shall you be when men hate you, when they ostracize you and insult you and proscribe your name as evil because of the Son of Man. On the day they do so, rejoice and exult, for your reward shall be great in heaven.”


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



Sept. 29 Our Venerable Father Cyriacus the Anchorite

Our venerable father Cyriacus the anchorite was born in Corinth of a Christian family, he left to go to Jerusalem and entered the monastery. He learned at the feet of saints such as Euthymius and Gerasimos. He was famous for his silence, his asceticism, and his zeal for the Orthodox faith. 



You made the wilderness your dwelling, O father Cyriacus, the bearer of God. You became an angel in the flesh and a wonderworker. Through prayers, fast, and vigils, you obtained from God special graces to heal the sick and to sanctify the souls of those who come to you with trust. Glory to the One who gave you strength! Glory to the One who crowned you! Glory to the One who through your intercession grants healing to all!



The holy lavra always honors you as a powerful protector and advocate, and yearly celebrates your memory. But since you have confidence before the Lord, keep us safe from our enemies, so that we may cry out: Rejoice, O thrice-blessed Father.



Ephesians 4: 14-19

    Brothers and sisters: Let us, then, be children no longer, tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine that originates in human trickery and skill in proposing error. Rather, let us profess the truth in love and grow to the full maturity of Christ the head. Through him the whole body grows, and with the proper functioning of the members joined firmly together by each supporting ligament, builds itself up to love. I declare and solemnly attest in the Lord that you must no longer live as the pagans do–their minds empty, their understanding darkened. They are estranged from a life in God because of their ignorance and their resistance; without remorse they have abandoned themselves to lust and the indulgence of every sort of lewd conduct. 



Luke 6: 12-19

    At that time Jesus went out to the mountain to pray, spending the night in communion with God. At daybreak he called his disciples and selected twelve of them to be his apostles: Simon, to whom he gave the name Peter, and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who turned traitor.

    Coming down the mountain with them, Jesus stopped at a level stretch where there were many of his disciples; a large crowd of people was with them from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coast of Tyre and Sidon, people who came to hear him and be healed of their diseases. Those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured; indeed, the whole crowd was trying to touch him because power went out from him which cured all. 



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