Our holy father Amphilochius, Bishop of Iconium, was the cousin of St. Gregory the Theologian and close friend of St. Basil the Great. St. Amphilochius lived in the wilderness as a strict ascetic for 40 years until the Lord summoned him in a vision, telling him to go to Iconium to replace the bishop who had just died. As Bishop of Iconium, St. Amphilochius fought the Arian and Eunomian heresies. He participated in the 2nd Ecumenical Council, and headed the struggle against the heresy of Macedonius. The holy Bishop Amphilochius of Iconium departed peacefully to the Lord in the year 394.
Our holy father Gregory, Bishop of Agrigento, was a holy child, who was given to the clergy of the church of Agrigento at the age of 12 where he spent ten years under the spiritual guidance of the archdeacon. St. Gregory then felt called to visit Jerusalem, where he stayed for several years. After leaving Jerusalem, St. Gregory went to Constantinople, where he was received with love by the brethren of the monastery of the holy Martyrs Sergius and Bacchus. The ascetic efforts of St. Gregory were noticed by Patriarch Eutychius of Constantinople, who insisted the saint participate in the 5fth Ecumenical Council (553). The Pope appointed St. Gregory as Bishop of Agrigento through divine inspiration.
God of our fathers, You always deal with us in Your kindness. Take not Your mercy away from us; but through their prayers guide our life in peace.
Divine thunder, trumpet of the Spirit, sower of faith, and axe that cuts down heresies, servant of the Trinity, O great hierarch Amphilochius, pleasing to the Trinity, you stand forever with the angels. Pray unceasingly for all of us.
The Church of the Holy Spirit leads righteously with bright rays of light the fulfillment of your dormition, O all-blessed venerable father Gregory.
1 Timothy 3: 1-13
Timothy, my son: You can depend on this: whoever wants to be a bishop aspires to a noble task. A bishop must be irreproachable, married only once, of even temper, self-controlled, modest, and hospitable. He should be a good teacher. He must not be addicted to drink. He ought not to be contentious but, rather, gentle, a man of peace. Nor can he be someone who loves money. He must be a good manager of his own household, keeping his children under control without sacrificing his dignity; for if a man does not know how to manage his own house, how can he take care of the church of God? He should not be a new convert, lest he become conceited and thus incur the punishment once meted out to the devil. He must also be well thought of by those outside the church, to ensure that he does not fall into disgrace and the devil’s trap. In the same way, deacons must be serious, straightforward, and truthful. They may not overindulge in drink or give in to greed. They must hold fast to the divinely revealed faith with a clear conscience. They should be put on probation first; then, if there is nothing against them, they may serve as deacons. The women, similarly, should be serious, not slanderous gossips. They should be temperate and entirely trustworthy. Deacons may be married but once and must be good managers of their children and their households. Those who serve well as deacons gain a worthy place for themselves and much assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.
Luke 18: 31-34
At that time, taking the Twelve aside, Jesus said to them: “We must now go up to Jerusalem so that all that was written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man may be accomplished. He will be delivered up to the Gentiles. He will be mocked and outraged and spat upon. They will scourge him and put him to death, and on the third day he will rise again.” They understood nothing of this. His utterance remained obscure to them, and they did not grasp his meaning.
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Wednesday, November 22 –