The holy martyr Conon was brought up in the Christian Faith and baptized in the name of the All-holy and Life-giving Trinity by the Archangel Michael himself. Until his death, the archangel of God invisibly watched over him. Conon was illumined and empowered by the grace of the Holy Spirit, so that his heart was driven not by anything worldly but only by the spiritual and heavenly. When his parents forced him into marriage, the first evening he took a candle and placed it under a vessel and asked his bride: “Which is better, light or darkness?” She replied: “Light.” He began to talk to her about the Faith of Christ, and about the spiritual life as being far superior and more desirable than the physical. Afterward Conon converted his wife and her parents to the Christian Faith. Conon and his wife lived as brother and sister. Shortly thereafter, his wife and parents died, and he withdrew completely from this worldly life and devoted himself totally to prayer, fasting, and divine contemplation. He performed great miracles, through which he converted many to Christianity. He even compelled evil spirits to serve him. During a time of persecution, Conon was captured, tortured, and pierced throughout with knives. The sick anointed themselves with his blood, and they were healed. Afterward he lived for two more years in his town of Isauria. Conon lived and was martyred in the second century.
With our hymn, let us praise Conon as a hard worker and a great martyr. He is a blessed sufferer who received authority over devils, so let us cry out to him: Beg Christ to save our souls.
Having lived an angelic life on earth in your purity, you were admitted to their company in heaven. You brought your parents to a knowledge of Christ and shed your blood to profess the one God in the Trinity. Pray unceasingly for all of us, O martyr Conon.
Hebrews 1:10 – 2:3
Brothers and sisters: (Scripture says:) “Lord, of old you established the earth and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; all of them will grow old like a garment. You will roll them up like a cloak, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same and your years will have no end.”
To which of the angels has God ever said, “ Sit at my right hand till I make your enemies your footstool”? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent to serve those who are to inherit salvation?
In view of this, we must attend all the more to what we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels stood unchanged, and all transgressions and disobedience received its due punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore a salvation as great as ours? Announced first by the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who had heard him.
Mark 2: 1-12
At that time Jesus came back to Cappernaum after a lapse of several days and word got around that he was at home. At that the people began to gather in great numbers. There was no longer any room for them, even around the door. While Jesus was delivering God’s word to them, some people arrived bringing a paralyzed man to him. The four who carried him were unable to bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they began to open up the roof over the spot where Jesus was. When they had made a hole, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “My Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves”: “Why does the man talk that way? He commits blasphemy! Who can forgive sins except God alone?’ Jesus was immediately aware of their reasoning, though they kept it to themselves, and he said to them: “Why do you harbor these thoughts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk again’? That you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (he said to the paralyzed man), “I command you: Stand up! Pick-up your mat and go home.” The man stood and picked up his mat and went outside in the sight of everyone. They were awestruck; all gave praise to God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Saturday, March 4 –