The holy martyr Agapius and his companions: the holy martyrs Timolaus, Dionysius, Pausis, Romulus, Alexander, and another Alexander. They all suffered in Caesarea in Palestine at the hand of Prince Urban during the reign of the Emperor Diocletian. All seven were extremely young men, and none of them were Christians except Agapius. Neither were they baptized with water, but theirs was a baptism by blood. One day these seven young men were observing how Christians were being tortured: one in the fire, another on the gallows, and a third before wild beasts. Seeing with what great forbearance these Christians endures all their pain and suffering, these seven became inflamed with a zeal for Christ. They tied their hands behind their backs and came before Urban, saying: “We also are Christians.” The flattery and threats of Urban were in vain. These young men were joined by a distinguished citizen of this town, Agapius, who had previously suffered much for Christ. They became all the more inflamed in their faith and love for the Lord. All were beheaded in the year 303.
O Lord our God, your holy martyrs have deserved the crown of immortality on account of their good fight. Armed with your strength, they have vanquished their persecutors and crushed Satan’s dreadful might. Through their supplications, O Christ our God, save our souls.
These seven martyrs endured much for the Trinity, and by grace they destroyed many scheming devils. By their spirit they have been joined to the holy ones. By their prayers, O Lord, be generous to us.
The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japeth. Ham was the father of Canaan. These three were the sons of Noah, and from them the whole earth was populated.
Noah, a man of the soil, was the first to plant a vineyard. He drank some wine, became drunk, and lay naked inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father’s nakedness, and he told his two brothers outside. Shem and Japeth, however, took a robe, and holding it on their shoulders, they walked backward and covered their father’s nakedness; since their faces were turned the other way, they did not see their father’s nakedness. When Noah woke up from his wine and learned what his youngest son had done to him, he said:
“Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves shall he be to his brothers.”
He also said:
“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem! Let Canaan be his slave. May God expand Japeth, and may he dwell among the tents of Shem; and let Canaan be his slave.”
Noah lived three hundred and fifty years after the flood. The whole lifetime of Noah was nine hundred and fifty years; then he died.
These are the descendants of Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japeth, to whom children were born after the flood.
The shrewd conceal knowledge, but the hearts of fools proclaim folly.
The diligent hand will govern, but sloth makes for forced labor.
Worry weighs down the heart, but a kind word gives it joy.
The just act as guides to their neighbors, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
Sloth does not catch its prey, but the wealth of the diligent is splendid.
In the path of justice is life, but the way of abomination leads to death.
A wise son loves correction, but the scoffer heeds no rebuke.
From the fruit of the mouth one enjoys good things, but from the throat of the treacherous comes violence.
Those who guard their mouths preserve themselves; those who open wide their lips bring ruin.
The appetite of the sluggard craves but nothing, but the appetite of the diligent is amply satisfied.
The just hate deceitful words, but the wicked are odious and disgraceful.
Justice guards one who walks honestly, but sin leads the wicked astray.
One acts rich but has nothing; another acts poor but has great wealth.
People’s riches serve as ransom for their lives, but the poor do not even hear a threat.
The light of the just gives joy, but the lamp of the wicked goes out.
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Tuesday, March 14 –