Our venerable fathers John, Sergius, Patrick and others slain in the Monastery of St. Sabbas: During the eighth century the area around Jerusalem was subjected to frequent incursions of the Saracens. On March 13, 796 the Saracens broke into the monastery and demanded all the valuables. The monks told them that there was nothing in the monastery but a meager supply of food and old clothing. Then the Saracens began to shoot arrows at the monks. Thirteen men were killed and many were wounded, and monastery cells were set afire. The Saracens intended to torch the monastery church, but seeing a throng of people in the distance, they mistook it for an army sent from Jerusalem. The Saracens managed to get away, carrying off the little they were able to plunder. After the enemy fled, Father Thomas, an experienced physician, began to help those who remained alive.
O God of our ancestors, You always deal with us according to your everlasting compassion, take not your mercy away from us; but through the prayers of our ancestors, guide our lives along the way of peace.
Having truly spurned worldly and passing pleasures, you preferred the desert life, O blessed saints. By turning aside from beauty and comfort, you fashioned heavenly crowns for yourselves. You rejoice in the company of martyrs and ascetics, and we also keep your precious memory as we sing: Deliver us, O fathers, from all afflictions.
Genesis 13: 12-18
Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the Plain and moved his tent as far as Sodom. Now the people of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord.
The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Raise your eyes now, and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth; so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. Rise up, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.” So Abram moved his tent, and came and settled by the oak of Mamre, which are at Hebron; and there he built an altar to the Lord.
Proverbs 14:27 – 15:4
The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, so that one may avoid the snares of death.
The glory of a king is a multitude of people; without people a prince is ruined.
Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but one who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
A tranquil mind gives life to the flesh, but passion makes the bones rot.
Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but those who are kind to the needy honor him.
The wicked are overthrown by their evildoing, but the righteous find a refuge in their integrity.
Wisdom is at home in the mind of one who has understanding, but it is not known in the heart of fools.
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.
A servant who deals wisely has the king’s favor, but his wrath falls on one who acts shamefully.
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
The tongue of the wise dispenses knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.
A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Sunday, March 19 –