The virgin martyr Febronia suffered during the reign of Diocletian (284-305). She was raised at a monastery in the city of Sivapolis in Assyria. The head of the women’s monastery was the abbess Bryaena, the aunt of St. Febronia. Being concerned about her niece’s salvation, Bryaena assigned Febronia a stricter form of life than the other nuns. According to their monastic rule, on Fridays the sisters put aside their other duties and spent the whole day in prayer and the reading of Holy Scripture. The abbess usually assigned the reading to St. Febronia. News of her pious life spread throughout the city. The illustrious young widow Hieria, a pagan, began to visit her, and under the influence of her guidance and prayer Hieria accepted holy Baptism, bringing her parents and kinsfolk to the Christian Faith.
O Jesus, your lamb Febronia cries out to You with great love: O my Bridegroom, I long for You in great pain. I am crucified with You, and in baptism I am buried with You. I suffer for your sake in order to reign with You. I die for you in order to live in You. Accept me as an immaculate victim since I am immolated for your love. Through her intercession, O merciful One, save our souls.
The martyr Febronia spoke these words: It was not hard for me to follow You, my beloved Lord, for the sweetness of your love filled my soul with yearning, and the beauty of your mercy drew me to drink your chalice that You might admit me to the marriage feast in heaven along with the wise virgins, where I might sing to you. Therefore, O martyr, we celebrate your martyrdom and beseech you: Pray that the door to the feast remains open to us.
Romans 6: 18-23
Brothers and sisters: Freed from your sin, you became slaves of justice. (I use the following example from human affairs because of your weak human nature.) Just as formerly you enslaved your bodies to impurity and licentiousness for their degradation, make them now the servants of justice for their sanctification. When you were slaves of sin, you had freedom from justice. What benefit did you then enjoy? Things you are now ashamed of, all of them tending toward death. But now that you are freed from sin and have become slaves of God, your benefit is sanctification as you tend toward eternal life. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Matthew 8: 5-13
At that time as Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him with this request: “Sir, my serving boy is at home in bed paralyzed, suffering painfully.” Jesus said to the centurion, “I will come and cure him.” “Sir,” the centurion said in reply, “I am not worthy to have you under my roof. Just give an order and my boy will get better. I am a man under authority myself and I have troops assigned to me. If I give one man the order, ‘Dismissed,’ off he goes. If I say to another, ‘Come here,’ he comes. If I tell my slave, ‘Do this,’ he does it.” Jesus showed amazement on hearing this and remarked to his followers, “I assure you, I have never found this much faith in Israel. Mark what I say! Many will come from the east and the west and will find a place at the banquet in the kingdom of God with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, while the natural heirs of the kingdom will be driven out into the dark. Wailing will be heard there, and the grinding of teeth.” To the centurion Jesus said, “Go home. It shall be done because you trusted.” That very moment the boy got better.
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Saturday, June 24 –