Our venerable father Alexis was born in Rome to the pious and poverty-loving parents Euphemianus and Aglais. The couple was childless for a long time and they constantly prayed to the Lord to grant them a child, so the Lord consoled them with the birth of their son Alexis. After he moved to Edessa, Alexis sold everything he had, distributed the money to the poor, and began to live near the church of the Most Holy Theotokos under a portico. The saint used a portion of the alms he received to buy bread and water, and he distributed the rest to the aged and infirm. St. Alexis dwelt in Edessa for seventeen years. He secretly boarded a ship bound for Cilicia, intending to visit the church of St. Paul in Tarsus, but God ordained otherwise. A storm took the ship far to the west and it reached the coast of Italy. He journeyed to Rome and decided to live in his own house. Unrecognized, he humbly asked his father’s permission to settle in some corner of his courtyard. Euphemianus settled Alexis in a specially constructed cell and gave orders to feed him from his table. St. Alexis dwelt at the house of his parents for seventeen years and the Lord revealed to him the day of his death. Then the saint, taking paper and ink, wrote certain things that only his wife and parents would know. He also asked them to forgive him for the pain he had caused them.
Rich in poverty and clean of heart by virtue, you adorned your life by partaking in the passion. With a clean conscience you took up fasting and persevered in prayer like an angel. You glowed like the sun on the world, O most blessed Alexis.
You made your parents’ home that of a stranger, and you lived in its shelter as a beggar. When you passed from this life you were crowned in glory, and your reputation has become magnificent on earth. Rejoice, O Alexis, man of God and joy of angels.
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Abram took his wife Sarai and his brother’s son Lot, and all the possessions that they had gathered, and the persons whom they had acquired in Haran; and they set forth to go to the land of Canaan. When they had come to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram, and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
The simple believe everything, but the clever consider their steps.
The wise are cautious and turn away from evil, but the fool throws off restraint and is careless.
One who is quick-tempered acts foolishly, and the schemer is hated.
The simple are adorned with folly, but the clever are crowned with knowledge.
The evil bow down before the good, the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
The poor are disliked even by their neighbors, but the rich have many friends.
Those who despise their neighbors are sinners, but happy are those who are kind to the poor.
Do they not err that plan evil? Those who plan good find loyalty and faithfulness.
In all toil there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.
The crown of the wise is their wisdom, but folly is the garland of fools.
A truthful witness saves lives, but one who utters lies is a betrayer.
In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and one’s children will have a refuge.
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Thursday, March 16 –