Our venerable father Onuphrius the Great was an anchorite who piously spent his life for sixty years in the desolate wilderness in the late 4th and early 5th centuries.
Our venerable father Peter of Mt. Athos was a soldier by profession. Captured and imprisoned by Arabs, he was miraculously freed. He immediately set out for Rome, where he was tonsured a monk by the pope. He was guided in a vision to Mt. Athos, and spent thirty-five years in ascetic life in the 8th century.
You entered the desert, being led by spiritual yearning; and you fought in it for many years like an angel. You are the equal of Elijah and the Baptist, and you were delighted by the Sacred Mysteries ministered by angel hands. Now that you have gone to them in the Trinity’s light, pray for us who venerate your memory.
The mountain of Athos rejoices, inviting all the monastic choirs to praise you. We join with them in singing to you, O venerable Peter, and we lay our petition before you: Seek peace for the world and mercy for our souls.
Illumined by the light of the most Holy Spirit, you turned your back on the distractions of this life. Taking up your life in the desert, O venerable father, you greatly pleased God our Creator. For this reason, Christ exalts you, O blessed saint.
Leaving the company of mortals, you took up residence in caves and caverns, inspired by your love of God and the ardent burning desire of your soul. You received a crown from God for this. Now pray unceasingly for all of us to be saved.
Hebrews 11:33 thru 12:2a
Brothers and sisters: By faith [the Saints] conquered kingdoms, did what was just, obtained the promises; they broke the jaws of lions, put out raging fires, escaped the devouring swords; though weak they were made powerful, became strong in battle, and turned back foreign invaders. Women received back their dead through resurrection. Others were tortured and would not receive deliverance, in order to obtain a better resurrection. Still others endured mockery, scourging, even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, sawed in two, put to death at sword’s point; they went about garbed in the skins of sheep or goats, needy, afflicted, tormented. The world was not worthy of them. They wandered the earth. Yet despite the fact that all of these were approved because of their faith, they did not obtain what had been promised. God had made a better plan, a plan which included us. Without us, they were not to be made perfect.
Therefore, since we for our part are surrounded by this cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every encumbrance of sin which clings to us and persevere in running the race which lies ahead; let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith.
Matthew 10: 32-33, 37-38, 19: 27-30
The Lord said to his disciples: “Whoever acknowledges me before men I will acknowledge before my Father in heaven. Whoever disowns me before men I will disown before my Father in heaven. Whoever loves father or mother, son or daughter, more than me is not worthy of me. He who will not take up his cross and come after me is not worthy of me.
Then Peter said to him: “Here we have put everything aside to follow you. What can we expect from it?” Jesus said to them: “I give you my solemn word, in the new age when the Son of Man takes his seat upon the throne befitting his glory, you who have followed me shall likewise take your places on twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. Moreover, everyone who has given up home, brothers or sisters, father or mother, wife or children or property for my sake will receive many times as much and inherit everlasting life. Many who are first shall come last, and the last shall come first.”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Saturday, June 11 –