Dec. 15 The Holy Priest Martyr Eleutherius; Our Venerable Father Paul of Latra; Our Father among the saints Stephen the Confessor, Archbishop of Surozh

Bulletin as of December 14 2023

The holy martyr Eleutherius was born of noble and eminent parents in Rome. Eleutherius was the fruit of the people who heard the Gospel from the apostles. He became bishop of Illyria, and was a model shepherd. He was arrested and martyred by the emperor Hadrian in the year 120.

Our venerable father Paul of Latra lived the ascetic life on a mountain called Lastos in Asia Minor. He worked many miracles, and our Lord took him in his old age in 950.

Our holy father Stephen, bishop of Surozh was born in Cappadocia and educated by St. Germanus the Patriarch. He was taken from his hermitage and made bishop of Surozh (now Sudak in the Crimea.). Stephen suffered a great deal from the emperor Leo the Armenian. After the emperor’s demise, Stephen was returned to his flock, which he governed with grace and truth during the late 8th century.

Troparion – Eleutherius

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 Eleutherius, pray to Christ our God to save our souls. 

Troparion – Paul

 You were numbered among the monks and a companion of angels, and so we raise this song to you, O glorious Paul. Pray that we may find mercy for our souls. 

Kontakion – Eleutherius

As an inspiration to priests, venerable father, and as one who reenacted the Passion, we come with petitions and praise to you. O Priest-Martyr Eleutherius: deliver us from trouble of any kind. As we approach with love to keep your memory, pray without ceasing for all of us. 

Kontakion – Paul

You acted maturely from your childhood and spurned the goods of the world. You became a temple of the Trinity in your quest for the divine life. You enlighten those who come to you. And so we sing: Rejoice, generous father Paul.


Hebrews 7: 18-25

Brothers and sisters: The former commandment [concerning the levitical priesthood and the law it serves] has been annulled because of its weakness and uselessness, for the law brought nothing to perfection. But a better hope has supervened, and through it we draw near to God. This has been confirmed by an oath. The priests of the old covenant became priests without an oath, unlike Jesus to whom God said: “The Lord has sworn, and he will not repent: ‘You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.’” Thus has Jesus become the guarantee of a better covenant. Under the old covenant there were many priests because they were prevented by death from remaining in office; but Jesus, because he remains forever, has a priesthood which does not pass away. Therefore he is always able to save these who approach God through him, since he forever lives to make intercession for them.


Mark 9: 33-41

At that time Jesus and his disciples returned to Capernaum and Jesus, once inside the house, began to ask them, “What were you discussing on the way home?” At this they fell silent, for on the way they had been arguing about who was most important. So he sat down and called the Twelve around him and said, “If anyone wishes to rank first, he must remain the last one of all and the servant of all.” Then he took a little child, stood him in their midst, and putting his arms around the child, said to them, “Whoever welcomes a child such as this for my sake welcomes me. And whoever welcomes me welcomes, not me, but him who sent me.”

John said to him, “Teacher, we saw a man using your name to expel demons and we tried to stop him because he was not of our company.” Jesus said in reply: “Do not try to stop him. No man who performs a miracle using my name can at the same time speak ill of me. Anyone who is not against us is with us. Any man who gives you a drink of water because you belong to Christ will not, I assure you, go without his reward.”

Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications –

Thursday, December 14 –

  • 6:11 PM