Our venerable father Hilarion (Hilary) the New, Heguman of Pelekete Monastery, from his youth devoted himself to the service of God and spent many years as a hermit. Because of his holy and blameless life he was ordained to the holy priesthood, and later he was made igumen of the Pelekete monastery, near the Dardanelles, in the eighth century. St. Hilarion was granted gifts of clairvoyance and wonderworking by the Lord.
The holy Stephen the Confessor, Hegumen of Triglia Monastery, suffered under the iconoclast emperor Leo the Armenian (813-820). From a young age, the holy ascetic dedicated his life to God and received monastic tonsure. He later became the head of the Trigla monastery near Constantinople. When the persecution again began against holy icons, the saintly hegumen was summoned for questioning, and they tried to force him to sign a document rejecting the veneration of icons. St. Stephen steadfastly refused to betray Orthodoxy and he boldly denounced the emperor for his impiety. They subjected the saint to cruel torments, after which they sent him to prison in the year 815. Weakened and sick, the holy Confessor Stephen soon died in prison from his sufferings.
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 ways of peace.
Having glowed like the sun, your memory gives joy to the faithful. It disperses the darkness and casts out passion. Shelter and guard us from all the trials of life. We honor your holy precious memory, O honorable Hilarion and blessed Stephen.
Genesis 31: 3-16
Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your ancestors and to your kindred, and I will be with you.” So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah into the field where his flock was, and said to them, “I see that your father does not regard me as favorably as he did before. But the God of my father has been with me. You know that I have served your father with all my strength; yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times, but God did not permit him to harm me. If he said, ‘The speckled shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore speckled; and if he said, ‘The striped shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore striped. Thus God has taken away the livestock of your father, and given them to me.
“During the mating of the flock I once had a dream in which I looked up and saw that the male goats that leaped upon the flock were striped, speckled, and mottled. Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Here I am!’ And he said, ‘Look up and see that all the goats that leap on the flock are striped, speckled, and mottled; for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and return to the land of your birth.’” Then Rachel and Leah answered him, “Is there any portion or inheritance left to us in our father’s house? Are we not regarded by him as foreigners? For he has sold us, and he has been using up the money given for us. All the property that God has taken away from our father belongs to us and to our children; now then, do whatever God has said to you.”
Proverbs 21: 3-21
To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
Haughty eyes and a proud heart—the lamp of the wicked—are sin.
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to want.
The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.
The violence of the wicked will sweep them away, because they refuse to do what is just.
The way of the guilty is crooked, but the conduct of the pure is right.
It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a contentious wife.
The souls of the wicked desire evil; their neighbors find no mercy in their eyes.
When a scoffer is punished, the simple become wiser; when the wise are instructed, they increase in knowledge.
The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked; he casts the wicked down to ruin.
If you close your ear to the cry of the poor, you will cry out and not be heard.
A gift in secret averts anger; and a concealed bribe in the bosom, strong wrath.
When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous, but dismay to evildoers.
Whoever wanders from the way of understanding will rest in the assembly of the dead.
Whoever loves pleasure will suffer want;whoever loves wine and oil will not be rich.
The wicked is a ransom for the righteous, and the faithless for the upright.
It is better to live in a desert land than with a contentious and fretful wife.
Precious treasure remains in the house of the wise, but the fool devours it.
Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life and honor.
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Monday, March 27 –