The holy martyrs Trophimus, Theophilus, and thirteen martyrs with them, suffered during the persecution against Christians under the emperor Diocletian (284-305). Brought to trial, they bravely confessed themselves Christians and refused to offer sacrifice to idols. After many fierce tortures, they broke the legs of the holy martyrs and threw them into a fire. Strengthened by the Lord, they came out of the fire completely unharmed, and they glorified Christ all the more. Unable to break the will of the holy confessors, the torturers beheaded them.
The holy martyrs Appolinaris and Vitalis were bishops of Ravenna in the 1st century. While spreading the unsearchable riches of Christ among the nations, Appolinaris was a good pastor who went before his flock (cf John 10:4). It is said that he was decorated with the glorious honor of martyrdom at the church of Classis near Ravenna in Flaminia. He is said to have been the first bishop of Ravenna. On this day, it is said, commanded by God a famous basilica be built by Vitalis, bishop of Ravenna in Flaminia, in that city. Because of his undaunted faith, tenaciously held, he has been honored from time immemorial with the holy martyrs Valeria, Gervasius, Protasius, and Ursicinus.
O martyrs, you entered the tribunal of the unbelievers like true soldiers on a grave mission. You suffered many torments for the sake of the faith, professing Christ with fortitude. Intercede with Christ for what we need.
You embraced all your suffering with heroic stance, and you were arrayed with glory, O blessed saint. You turned a wolf into a lamb by divine grace and inspired him to join you in martyrdom. For this we praise you, O glorious Trophimus.
1 Corinthians 1: 10-17
Brothers and sisters, I beg you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to agree in what you say. Let there be no factions; rather, be united in mind and judgment. I have been informed, my brothers and sisters, by certain members of Chloe’s household that you are quarreling among yourselves. This is what I mean: One of you will say, “I belong to Paul,” another, “I belong to Apollos,” still another, “Cephas has my allegiance,” and the fourth, “I belong to Christ.” Has Christ, then, been divided into parts? Was it Paul who was crucified for you? Was it in Paul’s name that you were baptized? Thank God, I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so there are none who can say that you were baptized in my name. Oh, and I baptized the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I am not aware of having baptized anyone else. For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel – not with wordy “wisdom,” however, lest the cross of Christ be rendered void of its meaning!
Matthew 14: 14-22
At that time when Jesus saw the vast throng, his heart was moved with pity, and he cured their sick. As evening drew on, his disciples came to him with a suggestion: “This is a deserted place and it is already late. Dismiss the crowds so that they may go to the villages and buy some food for themselves.” Jesus said to them: “There is no need for them to disperse. Give them something to eat yourselves.” They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and a couple of fish.” “Bring them here,” Jesus said. Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and two fish, looked up to heaven, blessed and broke them and gave the loaves to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the people. All those present ate their fill. The fragments remaining, when gathered up, filled twelve baskets. Those who ate were about five thousand, not counting women and children.
Immediately afterward, while dismissing the crowds, Jesus insisted that his disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side of the lake.
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Saturday, July 22 –