The Hieromartyr Theodotus, a native of Galatia in Asia Minor, was bishop of Cyrenia in Cyprus. During a time of persecution against Christians under the impious emperor Licinius, St. Theodotus openly preached Christ, calling the pagans to abandon idolatry and turn to the true God. Sabinus, the governor of Cyprus, ordered Bishop Theodotus be arrested and brought to trial. The governor ordered that the saint be beaten without mercy, suspended from a tree, raked with sharp implements, and then be taken to prison. Five days later, St. Theodotus was brought to the governor, who presumed that after his tortures the bishop would prefer to renounce Christ, rather than endure new sufferings. Many witnessed the sufferings of the martyr. Astonished at the saint’s endurance and his divinely-inspired speech, they came to believe in Christ. Learning this, Sabinus gave orders to stop the torture and throw the saint in prison. During the reign of St. Constantine the Great, freedom to confess their faith was given to all Christians, and among those set free from prison was St. Theodotus. The saint returned to Cyrenia and after two years serving as bishop he peacefully fell asleep in the Lord in about the year 326.
O holy priest-martyr Theodotus, you lent yourself to the apostles’ way of life and succeeded them on their throne. Inspired by God, you found the way to contemplation through the practice of virtue. Therefore, you became a perfect teacher of truth, fighting for the faith unto the shedding of your blood. Intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.
You dried up the sea of false belief and smashed the guile of the vicious idolatry by the true faith. Having become a heavenly holocaust, you feed the whole world on miracles. O sanctifying father Theodotus, beg Christ our God to have mercy on us.
This is the record of the descendants of Adam. When God created human beings, he made them in the likeness of God; he created them male and female. When they were created, he blessed them and named them mankind.
Adam was one hundred and thirty years old when he begot a son in his likeness, after his image; and he named him Seth. Adam lived eight hundred years after he begot Seth, and he had other sons and daughters. The whole lifetime of Adam was nine hundred and thirty years; then he died.
When Seth was one hundred and five years old, he begot Enosh. Seth lived eight hundred and seven years after he begot Enosh, and he had other sons and daughters. The whole lifetime of Seth was nine hundred and twelve years; then he died.
When Enosh was ninety years old, he begot Kenan. Enosh lived eight hundred and fifteen years after he begot Kenan, and he had other sons and daughters. The whole lifetime of Enosh was nine hundred and five years; then he died.
When Kenan was seventy years old, he begot Mahalalel. Kenan lived eight hundred and forty years after he begot Mahalalel, and he had other sons and daughters. The whole lifetime of Kenan was nine hundred and ten years; then he died.
When Mahalalel was sixty-five years old, he begot Jared. Mahalalel lived eight hundred and thirty years after he begot Jared, and he had other sons and daughters. The whole lifetime of Mahalalel was eight hundred and ninety-five years; then he died.
When Jared was one hundred and sixty-two years old, he begot Enoch. Jared lived eight hundred years after he begot Enoch, and he had other sons and daughters. The whole lifetime of Jared was nine hundred and sixty-two years; then he died.
When Enoch was sixty-five years old, he begot Methuselah. Enoch walked with God after he begot Methuselah for three hundred years, and he had other sons and daughters. The whole lifetime of Enoch was three hundred and sixty-five years. Enoch walked with God, and he was no longer here, for God took him.
So do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor’s power: Go, hurry, rouse your neighbor!
Give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids;
Free yourself like a gazelle from the hunter, or like a bird from the hand of the fowler.
Go to the ant, O sluggard, study her ways and learn wisdom;
For though she has no chief, no commander or ruler,
She procures her food in the summer, stores up her provisions in the harvest.
How long, O sluggard, will you lie there? When will you rise from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the arms to rest–
Then poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like a brigand.
Scoundrels, villains, are they who deal in crooked talk.
Shifty of eye, feet ever moving, pointing with fingers,
They have perversity in their hearts, always plotting evil, sowing discord.
Therefore their doom comes suddenly; in an instant they are crushed beyond cure.
There are six things the Lord hates, yes seven are an abomination to him,
Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that plots wicked schemes, feet that are quick to run to evil,
The false witness who utters lies, and the one who sows discord among kindred.
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Wednesday, March 1 –