Our holy father Michael the Confessor was a monk in a monastery on the coast of the Black Sea before the Patriarch Tarasius (784-806) consecrated him as Bishop of the city of Synnada. He was present at the Seventh Ecumenical Council at Nicea in 787. St. Michael bravely and openly opposed the iconoclast heresy of Leo the Armenian (813-820), and was banished to the city of Eudokiada, where he died in the year 821.
The sincerity of your deeds has revealed you to your people as a teacher of moderation, a model of faith, and an example of virtue. Therefore, you attained greatness through humility, and wealth through poverty. O father and archbishop Michael, ask Christ our God to save our souls.
As a dear prelate and a holy martyred priest, you did not fear the threats of the evil one. You fought heretical forces by proclaiming: I reverence the icon of Christ and that of his most pure Mother. For this we honor you, O Michael.
Acts 21: 26-32
In those days, Paul gathered the men together and went through the rite of purification with them the next day. Then he entered the temple precincts to give notice of the day when the period of purification would be over, at which time the offering was to be made for each of them.
The seven-day period was nearing completion when some Jews from the province of Asia recognized Paul in the temple precincts and began to stir up the whole crowd there. They seized him, shouting: “Fellow Israelites, help us! This is the man who is spreading his teaching everywhere against our people, our law, and this sanctuary. He has even brought Greeks into the temple area and thus profaned this sacred place.” They had seen Trophimus, and Ephesian, with him in the city earlier, so they now assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple.
Before long the whole city was in turmoil. People came running from all sides. They seized Paul, dragged him outside the temple, and immediately closed the gates. Attempts were being made on his life when a report reached the commander of the cohort that all Jerusalem was rioting. Immediately the commander took his soldiers and centurions and charged down the rioters. As soon as the crowd caught sight of him and the soldiers, they stopped assaulting Paul.
John 16: 2-13
The Lord said to his disciples: “I have told you all this to keep your faith from being shaken. Not only will they expel you from synagogues; a time will come when anyone who puts you to death will claim to be serving God!
“All this they will do to you because they knew neither the Father nor me. But I have told you these things that when their hour comes you may remember my telling you of them.
“I did not speak of this with you from the beginning because I was with you. Now that I go back to him who sent me, not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Because I have had all this to say to you, you are overcome with grief. Yet I tell you the sober truth: It is much better for you that I go. If I fail to go, the Paraclete will never come to you. When he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin, about justice, about condemnation. About sin – in that they refuse to believe in me; about justice – from the fact that I go to the Father and you can see me no more; about condemnation – for the prince of this world has been condemned. I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. When he comes, however, being the Spirit of truth he will guide you to all truth.”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Monday, May 22 –