Our venerable father Metrophanes, Patriarch of Constantinople, was a contemporary of St. Constantine the Great (306-337). His father, Dometius, was a brother of the Roman emperor Probus (276-282). Seeing the falseness of the pagan religion, Dometius came to believe in Christ. During a time of terrible persecution of Christians in Rome, St. Dometius set off to Byzantium with two of his sons, Probus and Metrophanes. They were instructed in the law of the Lord by Bishop Titus, a man of holy life. Seeing the ardent desire of Dometius to labor for the Lord, St. Titus ordered him presbyter. After the death of Titus, Dometius (272-303) was elevated to the bishop’s throne, and thereafter his sons, Probus (303-315) and in 316 St. Metrophanes.
Preaching the great mystery of the Trinity, you spread the Word of Christ throughout the world. As the shepherd of Christ’s flock, you drove off the spiritual wolves in their attack; you save from perdition all those who call on you. Glory to Him who gave you this might! Glory to Him who chose you! Glory to him who defends the true faith through you!
You preached the faith of Christ clearly. You increased the numbers of his flock, and now you rejoice with angels as a reward. Therefore, we ask you to pray for us, O blessed Metrophanes.
Hebrews 11:33 – 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 3 –