Dec. 6 Our Father Among the Saints Nicholas the Wonder-worker Archbishop of Myra

Our Holy father Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia, the Wonder-Worker. A native of Lycia, he lived in the time of Emperors Diocletian and Maximian. After having led the monastic life for a while, he was promoted to the episcopal dignity for his exceptional and eminent virtue. Because he defended the interests of Christians and courageously preached the true religion, he was seized by the city’s magistrates and thrown into prison in company with other Christians, after he was overpowered by assaults and inflicted with all kinds of tortures. When the great and pious Constantine took possession of the Roman Empire by a Providential decree, all the prisoners in fetters were released. Thus set at liberty, Saint Nicholas returned to Myra and took part in the Council of Nicaea held sometime after by Emperor Constantine in 325. He died at a very old age leaving his holy body to the faithful as a source of balm and healing. He remains as if living after his death, having received from heaven the gift of miracles. His relics are preserved in Bari, Italy. His power as a wonderworker gave birth to a marvelous legend which is the origin of traditional children’s festivals in the East as well as the West.


Your life has shown you to your flock as a rule of faith, an image of gentleness, and a teacher of moderation. You acquired greatness through humility and wealth through poverty. O father and archbishop Nicholas, intercede with Christ our God to save our souls.


You were renowned as a priest in Myra, O holy Nicholas; for you fulfilled the Gospel of Christ, O venerable father. You risked your life for your people and saved the innocent from death. Thereby you have been initiated into the mysteries of the grace of God. 


Hebrews 13: 17-21

Brothers and sisters: Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over you as men who must render an account. So act that they may fulfill their task with joy, not with sorrow, for that would be harmful to you. Pray for us; we are confident that we have a good conscience, wishing, as we do, to act rightly in every respect. I especially ask your prayers that I may be restored to you very soon. May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep by the blood of the eternal covenant, Jesus our Lord, furnish you with all that is good, that you may do his will. Through Jesus Christ may he carry out in you all that is pleasing to him. To Christ be the glory forever! Amen. 


Luke 6:17-23

At that time, coming down the mountain with the twelve, 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 this diseases. Those who were troubles 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, 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 –

Dec. 5 Our Venerable and God-bearing Father Sabbas the Sanctified

Our venerable father Sabbas the Consecrated was born in Cappadocia. He arrived at the desert of Judea and instituted a new sort of eremetical life in seven monasteries, which were called “laurae.” He gathered solitaries under one overseer (hegumen). In the great laura, which afterward was adorned with his name, he dwelt for many years, a shining example of sanctity. He strove assiduously for the faith taught at the Council of Chalcedon. (532)


Your abundant tears made the wilderness bloom, and your suffering made your labors freuitful a hundred-fold; you became a shining torch over the world. O venerable father Sabbas, pray to Christ our God that He may save our souls. 


You were offered up by your virtues, becoming a Gardener of Piety, being a chaste offering to God from your youth, O Blessed Sabbas. Therefore, you were the enrichment of monastics, and a praiseworthy citizen of the desert. Therefore, we cry out to you: Rejoice, truly wealthy Sabbas. 


Galatians 5:22 – 6:2

Brothers and sisters: The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patient endurance, kindness, generosity, faith, mildness and chastity. Against such there is no law! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the spirit, let us follow the spirit’s lead. Let us never be boastful, or challenging, or jealous toward one another.

Brothers and sisters, if someone is detected in sin, you who live by the spirit should gently set him right, each of you trying to avoid falling into temptation himself. Help carry one another’s burden; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.


Matthew 11: 27-30

The Lord said to his disciples: “everything has been given over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son but the Father, and no one knows the Father but the Son– and anyone whom the Son wished to reveal him.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon your shoulders and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. Your souls will find rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden light.”

Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications –

Dec. 4 The Holy Great Martyr Barbara; Our Venerable Father John of Damascus

The holy great martyr Barbara was raised by her pagan father who shut her away from the world because of her great beauty. Barbara came to realize that the soulless idols her father worshiped could not be responsible for the inexpressible beauty of the world outside her window. She decided to live her life as a virgin, dedicated to the Lord whom she learned about from other Christian maidens when her father at last gave her some freedom. When Barbara confessed herself a Christian, her father beat her and turned her over to the prefect of the city. Barbara was tortures mercilessly, and in the end, earned her crown of martyrdom after she was beheaded by her own father in the year 306.

Our venerable father John of Damascus was a priest celebrated for his holiness and learning. He strove diligently by his word and writings in favor of the veneration of Holy Images against the Emperor Leo III, the Isaurian. Having been made a monk in the monastery of St. Sabbas near Jerusalem, he composed sacred hymns and there reposed in the Lord. His body was buried on this day in 749.

Troparion – Barbara

Let us praise the honorable Barbara. She thwarted the power of the enemy and through the might and the strength of the cross, she was made free in her flight to God.

Troparion – John

Guide to Orthodoxy, teacher of piety and holiness, luminary for the world, inspired adornment of bishops, O wise John, Harp of the Spirit, you enlightened all by your teachings; intercede with Christ our God to save our souls. 

Kontakion – Barbara

O honorable and triumphant Barbara, you believed in the Holy Trinity and renounced the multiplicity of pagan deities. You fought for your faith with great courage and were not frightened by the threats of your persecutors, but instead declared in a clear voice: I adore one God in three Divine Persons. 

Kontakion – John

Let us praise John the hymnographer with song. He is an effective preacher and a teacher for the Church. Behind the armor of the cross he exposed the lies of heresey, and standing before God he obtains remission of sins for us.


2 Timothy 2: 20-26

Timothy, my son: In every large household there are vessels not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for distinguished and others for common use. The lesson is that if a person will but cleanse himself of evil things he may be a distinguished vessel, dedicated and useful to the master of the house and ready for every noble service. So, turn from youthful passions and pursue integrity, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord in purity of heart. Have nothing to do with senseless, ignorant disputations. As you well know, they only breed Quarrels, and the servant of the Lord must not be Quarrelsome but must be kindly toward all. He must be an apt teacher, patiently and gently correcting those who contradict him, in the hope always that God will enable them to repent and know the truth. Thus, taken captive by God to do his will, they shall escape the devil’s trap.


Luke 20: 27-44

At that time some Sadducees came forward (the ones who claim there is no resurrection) to pose this problem to Jesus: “Master, Moses prescribed that if a man’s brother dies leaving a wife with no child, the brother should marry the widow and raise posterity to his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first one married and died childless. Next, the second brother married the widow, then the third, and so on. All seven died without leaving her any children. Finally the widow herself died. At the resurrection, whose wife will she be? Remember, seven married her.”

Jesus said to them: “The children of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those judged worthy of a place in the age to come and of resurrection from the dead do not. They become like angels and are no longer liable to death. Sons of the resurrection, they are sons of God. Moses in the passage about the bush showed that the dead rise again when he called the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. God is not the God of the dead but of the living. All are alive for him.”

Some of the scribes responded, “Well said Teacher.” They did not dare ask him anything else. Jesus said to them: “How can they say that the Messiah is the son of David? Does not David himself say in the psalms, ‘The Lord said to my lord: Sit at my right hand while I make your enemies your footstool’? Now if David accords him the title ‘lord,’ how can he be his son?”

Dec. 3 The Holy Prophet Zephaniah

The holy prophet Zephaniah announced the destruction of the ungodly on the day of the wrath of the Lord and strengthened the host of poor and needy people in the hope of salvation. He was a native of Mount Sarabatha, from the tribe of Simeon. He lived and prophesied in the 7th century before Christ, at the time of Josiah the pious king of Judah. Zephaniah was a contemporary of the prophet Jeremiah. Having great humility and a pure mind raised in God, he was found worthy of discerning the future. He prophesied the day of the wrath of God and the punishment of Gaza, Ashkalon, Ashod, Ekron, Nineveh, Jerusalem, and Egypt. Foreseeing the advent of the Messiah, he enthusiastically exclaimed: “Sing. O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all thy heart, O daughter Jerusalem” (Zephaniah 3 14). This seer of mysteries entered into rest at his birthplace to await the General Resurrection and his reward from God. 



As we celebrate the memory of your prophet Zephaniah, O Lord, we implore You to save our souls through his prayers. 



The Divine Spirit revealed you as shining brightly, O prophet Zephaniah, for you proclaimed the coming of God. Rejoice, therefore, O Daughter of Zion. Profess Him, O Jerusalem. Behold, your King, bearing salvation. 



Ephesians 6: 10-17

Brothers and sisters: Draw your strength from the Lord and His mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against tactics of the devil. Our battle is not against human forces but against the principalities and powers, the rulers of this world of darkness, the evil spirits in regions above. You must put on the armor of God if you are to resist on the evil day; do all that your duty requires, and hold your ground. Stand fast, with the truth as the belt around your waist, justice as your breastplate, and zeal to propagate the gospel of peace as your footgear. In all circumstances hold faith up before you as your shield; it will help you extinguish the fiery darts of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, the word of God.


Luke 18: 18-27

At that time one of the ruling class asked Jesus, “Good teacher, what must I do to share in everlasting life?” Jesus said to him, “Why call me ‘good’? None is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery. You shall not kill. You shall not steal. You shall not bear dishonest witness. Honor your father and mother.”

The man replied, “I have kept all these since I was a boy.” When Jesus heard this he said to the man: “There is one thing further you must do. Sell all you have and give to the poor. You will have treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me.” On hearing this the man grew melancholy, for he was a very rich man. When Jesus observed this he said: “How hard it will be for the rich to go into the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” His listeners asked him, “Who, then, can be saved?” To which Jesus replied, “Things that are impossible for men are possible for God.”

Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications –

Sunday Bulletin 12/03/23


Saturday, Dec 2  –  Habakkuk, Prophet         

5:00 PM          Santa Paula Outreach Divine Liturgy

5:30 PM          Reader Vespers

Sunday, Dec 3  –  27th Sunday after Pentecost            

8:30 AM          Matins

9:30 AM          Divine Liturgy 

12:00 PM        Chant Class: St. Nicholas Day & Christmas Hymns

Monday, Nov 4  –  Barbara, Great Martyr; John Damascene         

8:30 AM          Morning Prayer

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

Wednesday, Dec 6  –  Nicholas of Myra, Archbishop    

8:30 AM          Morning Prayer

6:30 PM          Divine Liturgy +Theodore & Mary Yastishock from Ann Marie Yastishock & Dmitry

7:30 PM          Firepit Social

Thursday, Dec 7  –  Maternity of the Holy Anna          

5:30 PM          Vespers

6:30 PM          Divine Liturgy +Helda & Roy Kitzer from Mrs. Kitzer

Saturday, Dec 9  –  Patapius, Venerable         

5:00 PM          Santa Paula Outreach Divine Liturgy

Sunday, Dec 10  –  28th Sunday after Pentecost       

8:30 AM          Matins

9:30 AM          Divine Liturgy

11:30 AM        St. Nicholas Day Potluck

*Add first names to this prayer service by emailing


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

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: $1,693.00; Santa Paula: $520.00; Online: $155.00; Gift Shop: $140.00; Church Improvements: $100.00; Holydays: $20.00; Flowers: $5.00; Parish Socials: $90.00; Religious Retirement Fund: $25.00; Christmas: $20.00; DL Stipend: $20.00

Total: $4,587.90 / Attendance – PSM: 65     SPO: 77   


St. Nicholas Day Potluck

Please remember to sign-up for our St. Nicholas Day potluck happening next Sunday, Dec. 10. Sign-up sheets are on the table in the back of the small hall. St. Nicholas will be visiting and bringing gifts for the children, so please make sure you add them to the list.


St. Nicholas Story and Traditions for Families

There is a tradition surrounding St Nicholas Day that is widely practiced all around the world, where children lay out their shoes the night before (on December 5th) in hopes that St Nicholas will pay them a visit. On December 6th, children will awake to find that St. Nicholas has come and secretly left chocolate gold coins for them! The giving of a small gift and oranges are sometimes associated with this feast day too!

Find a lot more about St. Nicholas and these traditions at:


“The things which are impossible with men are possible with God!” The rich ruler was called to give all that he had to follow Jesus. We are all called to do this in our own manner, and those called to vocations of monastic life and holy orders do so in a special way. Is a life of service and faithfulness to God and His Church as a priest, deacon, subdeacon, monk or nun something that may be for you or someone that you know? Contact the Vocations Office at 206-329-9219 or email:

Dec. 2 The Holy Prophet Habakkuk

The holy prophet Habakkuk was the son of Asaphat from the tribe of Simeon. He prophesied six hundred years before Christ, during the time of King Manasseh, and foretold the destruction of Jerusalem. When Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, attacked Jerusalem, Habakkuk sought refuge in the land of the Ishmaelites. Habakkuk also prophesied the liberation of Jerusalem and the time of the coming of Christ. He entered into rest in ripe old age and was buried at Kela. His relics were discovered during the reign of Theodosius the Great. 



As we celebrate the memory of your prophet Habakkuk, O Lord, we implore You to save our souls through his prayers. 



O Habakkuk speaking in behalf of God, you announced to the whole world the coming of God from the south and from a virgin. Standing on the divine watch, you received a message from a radiant angel: you announced the resurrection of Christ to the world. Therefore, we cry out to you: rejoice, radiant goodness of prophets. 



Galatians 5:22 – 6:2

Brothers and sisters: The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patient endurance, kindness, generosity, faith, mildness and chastity. Against such there is no law! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the spirit, let us follow the spirit’s lead. Let us never be boastful, or challenging, or jealous toward one another.

Brothers and sisters, if someone is detected in sin, you who live by the spirit should gently set him right, each of you trying to avoid falling into temptation himself. Help carry one another’s burden; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.



Luke 12: 32-40

The Lord said, “Do not live in fear, little flock. It has pleased your Father to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give alms. Get purses for yourselves that do not wear out, a never-failing treasure with the Lord which no thief comes near nor any moth destroys. Wherever your treasure lies, there your heart will be.

“Let your belts be fastened around your waists and your lamps be burning ready. Be like men awaiting their master’s return from a wedding, so that when he arrives and knocks, you will open for him without delay. It will go well with those servants whom the master finds wide-awake on his return. I tell you, he will put on an apron, seat them at table, and proceed to wait on them. Should he happen to come at midnight or before sunrise and find them prepared, it will go well with them. You know as well as I that if the head of the house knew when the thief was coming he would not let him break into his house. Be on guard, therefore. The Son of Man will come when you least expect him.”

Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications –

Dec. 1 The Holy Prophet Nahum

The Holy Prophet Nahum was born of the tribe of Simeon in a place called Elkosh on the far side of the Jordan. He lived about seven hundred years before Christ and prophesied the destruction of Nineveh about two hundred years after the prophet Jonah. Because of Jonah”s preaching, the Ninevites had repented, and God had spared them and not destroyed them. In time, however, they forgot God’s mercy and again became corrupt. The Prophet Nahum prophesied their destruction, and since there was no repentance, God did not spare them. The entire city was destroyed by an earthquake, flood, and fire, so that its location is no longer known. St. Nahum lived forty-five years and entered into rest in the Lord, leaving us a small book of his prophecies. 



By the radiance of the vivifying Trinity and the enlightenment of the Spirit, you warned the idolatrous Ninevites of impending doom. You reaped the reward in martyrdom. Now that you stand amid angels before the Light of Triple Splendor and have come to possess the full sway of a prophet, pray for us who honor your memory.



Your pure heart was enlightened by the Spirit and became a vessel of radiant prophecy. Because you saw as present the events yet to come we honor you O blessed and glorious Prophet Nahum.  



2 Timothy 1: 1-2, 8-18

Paul, by the will of God an apostle of Christ Jesus sent to proclaim the promise of life in him, to Timothy, my child whom I love. May grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Lord be with you. 

Never be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor for me, a prisoner for his sake; but with the strength which comes from God bear your share of the hardship which the gospel entails.

God has saved us and has called us to a holy life, not because of any merit of ours but according to his own design – the grace held out to us in Christ Jesus before the world began but now made manifest through the appearance of our Savior. He has robbed death of its power and has brought life and immortality into clear light through the gospel. In the service of this gospel I have been appointed preacher and apostle and teacher, and for its sake I undergo present hardships. But I am not ashamed, for I know him in whom I have believed, and I am confident that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that Day. Take as a model of sound teaching what you have heard me say in faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the rich deposit of faith with the help of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.

You know that all in Asia, including even Phygelus and Hermogenes, have turned their back on me. May the Lord have mercy on the family of Onesiphorus, because he has often given me new heart and has not been ashamed of me, even in my chains. When he was in Rome, he sought me out earnestly and found me. When he stands before the Lord on the great Day, may the Lord grant him mercy! And the many services he has performed for Christ in Ephesus you know even better than I.



Luke 20: 19-26

At that time the scribes and high priests tried to get their hands on Jesus, but they were afraid of the people. They were well aware that Jesus has told the parable [of the tenant farmers] with them in mind. Waiting their chance, they sent spies to Jesus in the guise of honest men to trap him in speech, so that they might then hand him over to the office and authority of the procurator. They put him this problem: “Teacher, we know that your words and your doctrine are completely forthright, that you are no respecter of persons but teach the way of God in truth. May we pay tax to the emperor or not?” Realizing their duplicity Jesus said, “Show me a coin. Whose inscription do you read?” “Caesar’s,” they replied, to which he said, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, but give to God what is God’s.” They were unable to trap him publicly in speech. His answer completely disconcerted them and reduced them to silence.

Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications –

Nov. 30 The Holy and Glorious Apostle Andrew, the First-Called

The holy and glorious apostle Andrew, the first-Called: Born in Bethsaida, he was the brother of Simon Peter and a fisherman with him. He was called first from the disciples of John the Baptist at the Jordan by the Lord Jesus. Andrew followed him and even brought his brother to the Lord. After Pentecost it is said that he preached the Gospel in Achaia and at Patrae was tied to a cross. The Church in Constantinople considers him their praiseworthy and remarkable patron. 



Andrew, as the first-called of the apostles and brother Peter their leader, pray to the Master of All that He grant peace to the world and great mercy to our souls. 



Let us praise Andrew the theologian, the namesake of courage, the first apostle, and follower of his brother Peter, their leader. For, as he called him in times of old, so now he calls us: Come, we have found the One Whom the world desires.



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 1: 35-42

At that time John was present with two of his disciples. As he watched Jesus walk by he said, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard what he said, and followed Jesus. When Jesus turned around and noticed them following him, he asked them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi (which means teacher), where do you stay?” “Come and see,” he answered. So they went to see where he was lodged, and stayed with him that day. (It was about four in the afternoon.)

One of the two who had followed Jesus after hearing John was Simon Peter’s brother Andrew. The first thing he did was seek out his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah!” (This term means the Anointed.) Andrew brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at Simon and said, “You are Simon, son of John; your name shall be Cephas (which is rendered to Peter).”

Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications –

Nov. 29 The Holy Martyr Paramon; The Holy Martyr Philemon; Our Venerable Father Acacius

The holy martyr Paramon was martyred in Bithynia in Asia Minor along with 370 other Christians during the persecution of the governor Aquilinus in the year 250.

The holy martyr Philemon was martyred at Ancyra in Galatia. It is said that in the persecution of Aurlian the emperor Philemon was taken to the fire. Then his feet and head were pierced with nails leading to his martyrdom.

Our venerable father Acacius, mentioned in “The Ladder”, was a novice living under an evil Elder. Through all of the abuse the Elder gave, Acacius was patiently trusting that the Lord would bring good out of evil. He died an early death and testified from the grave against the elder, who repented.


Your martyrs, O Lord our God, in their struggle received incorruptible crowns from You. 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.


You washed your soul clean from all impurity by following the divine mandates. This is how you endured your martyrdom. You refused to offer sacrifice to any idols; therefore, they pierced you with a spear. This is how you followed Christ. O all-blessed Paramon, pray for the world.


1 Timothy 5:22 – 6:11

Timothy, my son: Never lay your hands hastily on anyone, or you may be sharing in the misdeeds of others. Keep yourself pure. Stop drinking water only. Take in a little wine for the good of your stomach, and because of your frequent illnesses.

Some men’s sins are flagrant and cry out for judgment now, while other men’s sins will appear only later. Similarly, some good deeds stand out clearly as such; even inconspicuous ones cannot be hidden forever.

All under the yoke of slavery must regard their masters as worthy of full respect; otherwise the name of God and the church’s teaching suffer abuse. Those slaves whose masters are brothers in the faith must not take liberties with them on that account. They must perform their tasks even more faithfully, since those who will profit from their work are believers and beloved brothers. These are the things you must teach and preach. Whoever teaches in any other way, not holding to the sound doctrines of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching proper to true religion, should be recognized as both conceited and ignorant, a sick man in his passion for polemics and controversy. From these come envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions – in a word, the bickering of men with twisted minds who have lost all sense of truth. Such men value religion only as a means of personal gain. There is, of course, great gain in religion – provided one is content with a sufficiency. We brought nothing into this world, nor have we the power to take anything out. If we have food and clothing we have all that we need. Those who want to be rich are falling into temptation and a trap. They are letting themselves be captured by foolish and harmful desires which drag men down to ruin and destruction. The love of money is the root of all evil. Some men in their passion for it have strayed from the faith, and have come to grief amid great pains. Man of God that you are, flee from all this.


Luke 20: 1-8

At that time when Jesus was in the temple proclaiming the good news, the high priests and Pharisees, accompanied by the elders, approached him with the question, “Tell us, by what authority do you do these things? In other words, who has authorized you?” Jesus replied, “Let me put a question for you to answer: Did the baptism of John come from God or from men?” They held a brief conference during which someone said, “If we answer, ‘From God,’ he will say, ‘Then why do you not believe in it?’; whereas if we say, ‘From men,’ the people will stone us, so convinced are they that John was a prophet.” They ended by replying they did not know where it came from. Jesus said to them, “In that case, neither will I tell you by whose authority I act.”

Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications –

Nov. 28 The Holy Venerable Martyr Stephen The Younger; The Holy Martyr Irenarchus

The holy venerable martyr Stephen the younger was a monk and martyr, who, under Constantine Copronymus, was tortured by various punishments for the cult of sacred images and confirmed the Catholic truth by his shed blood. (767)

The holy martyr Irenarchus was a torturer in Sebaste in Armenia. He was converted to Christ by the steadfastness of Christian women martyrs. Under Diocletian the emperor and Maximus the governor, he was struck down with an ax in the 4th century.

Troparion – Stephen

At first you were radiant with the light of fasting, but now you are more brilliant with your martyr’s blood. You burnt off the fog of those who spoke heresy, and showed the true glory of the orthodox faith. You have been glorified as a divine witness to Christ, O holy martyr Stephen.

Troparion – Irenarchus

Your martyr, Irenarchus, O Lord our God, in his struggle received an incorruptible crown from You. With Your strength, he brought down the tyrants and broke the cowardly valor of demons. Through his prayers, O Christ our God, save our souls.

Kontakion – Stephen

O lover of feasts, in our hearts let us faithfully praise in hymns the divine Stephen, servant of the Holy Trinity, for he has honored the beautiful icons of the Master and His Mother together now, let us who rejoice lovingly sing to him; rejoice, O ever-glorious father. 

Kontakion – Irenarchus

May you have an abundance of peace, O martyr, for you laid hold of the enemy. You defeated that army of spiritual deception by the power of divine grace. You endured the most terrible sufferings. Now we beseech you to deliver from all harm those who keep your memory, O Irenarchus.


1 Timothy 5: 11-21

Timothy, my son: Refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions estrange them from Christ they will want to marry. This will bring them condemnation for breaking their first pledge. Besides, they learn to be ladies of leisure, who go about from house to house–becoming not only time-wasters but gossips and busybodies as well, talking about things they ought not. That is why I should like to see the younger ones marry, have children, keep house, and in general give our enemies no occasion to speak ill of us. Already, some have turned away to follow Satan. If a woman church member has relatives who are widows, she must assist them. She should not let them become a burden to the church, which ought to be free to give help to the widows who are really in need.

Presbyters who do well as leaders deserve to be paid double, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. The Scripture says,” You shall not put a muzzle on an ox when he is threshing the grain,” and also, “The worker deserves his wages.”

Pay no attention to an accusation against a presbyter unless it is supported by two or three witnesses. The ones who do commit sin, however, are to be publicly reprimanded, so that the rest may fear to offend. I charge you before God, Christ Jesus, and the chosen angels: apply these rules without prejudice, act with complete impartiality!


Luke 19: 45-48

At that time Jesus entered the temple and began ejecting the traders saying: “Scripture has it, ‘My house is meant for a house of prayer’ but you have made it ‘a den of thieves.’” He was teaching in the temple area from day to day. The chief priests and scribes meanwhile were looking for a way to destroy him, as were the leaders of the people, but they had no idea how to achieve it, for indeed the entire populace was listening to him and hanging on his words.

Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications –