Our venerable father Timothy of Symbola was of Italian descent. He became a monk at a young age and pursued asceticism at a monastery called “Symbola”, in Asia Minor near Mount Olympus. At that time Theoctistus was the archimandrite of the monastery. St. Timothy was a disciple of Theoctistus and also of St. Platon of the Studion Monastery. He spent many years as a hermit, roaming the wilderness, the mountains and forests, both day and night offering up prayers to the Lord God. He died at a great old age, in the year 795.
Our father among the saints Eustathius, Archbishop of Antioch (323-331) was born in Side, Pamphylia. He was Bishop of Beroa (modern Aleppo), and enjoyed the love and esteem of the people, and at the request of his flock he was elevated by the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council (325) to the See of Antioch. St. Eustathius was the first to preside over the First Ecumenical Council. The Council condemned the heretical teachings of Arius and incorporated the Orthodox confession into the Symbol of Faith (the Nicene Creed).
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.
Rising in the east like a radiant star, you illumine the hearts of the faithful by your miracles. O vessel of miracles, O most blessed Timothy.
You preached that the Word had one nature with the Father and the Spirit, O pastor Eustathius. You defeated Arius with the cords of your dogma. You were a heavenly light to the fathers of the Council and have become a champion of the Trinity. As you stand before them, pray for the salvation of our souls.
The God said: Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate the day from night. Let them mark the seasons, the days, and the years, and serve as lights in the dome of the sky, to illuminate the earth. And so it happened: God made two great lights, the greater to govern the day, the lesser one to govern the night, and the stars. God set them in the dome of the sky, to illuminate the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from darkness. God saw that it was good. Evening came, and morning followed– the fourth day.
Then God said: Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures, and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky. God created the great sea monsters and all kinds of crawling living creatures with which the water teems, and all kinds of winged birds. God saw that it was good, and God blessed them, saying: Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas; and let the birds multiply on the earth. Evening came, and morning followed– the fifth day.
Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the open squares she raises her voice;
Down the crowded ways she calls out, at the city gates she utters her words:
“How long, you naive ones, will you love naivete,
How long will you turn away at my reproof? [The arrogant delight in their arrogance, and fools hate knowledge.] Lo! I will pour out to you my spirit, I will acquaint you with my words:
‘Because I called and you refused, extended my hand and no one took notice;
Because you disdained all my counsel, and my reproof you ignored–
I, in my turn, will laugh at your doom; will mock when terror overtakes you;
When terror comes upon you like a storm, and you doom approaches like a whirlwind; when distress and anguish befall you.’
Then they will call me, but I will not answer; they will seek me, but will not find me,
Because they hated knowledge, and the fear of the Lord they did not choose.
They ignored my counsel, they spurned all my reproof;
Well, then, they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and with their own devices be glutted.
For the straying of the naive kills them, the smugness of fools destroys them.
But whoever obeys me dwells in security, in peace, without fear of harm.”
Monday, February 20 –