The holy great martyr Catherine was an Alexandrian and a martyr, filled with sharpness of mind and wisdom no less than with strength of soul. Her body is honored in pious veneration in a famous coenobium on Mt. Sinai. (310)
The holy great martyr Mercury was an Armenian soldier in the army of the emperor Decius. In a battle, an angel of the Lord appeared to Mercury and steeled him for combat. After this victory, he was made a commander by the emperor, but was denounced to him as a Christians by jealous soldiers. He was beheaded in Cappadocia sometime between 251 and 259.
You enlightened pagan philosophers with the light of your works. You were like a full moon for those who travel at night. You overcame the darkness and converted the queen. You stood up to the torturer, O blessed Catherine, chosen by God. On your wishes you were carried to the heavenly bridal chamber of your splendid Bridegroom Christ. You were espoused to him with a regal crown, O bride chosen by God. In the company of the angels, pray for us who keep your memory.
O martyr Mercury, you were led to the struggle of your martyrdom like a true soldier standing before the Immortal King. You have gone confidently and were welcomed into the ranks of the passion-bearers. Hasten to give help to the faithful who hold fast to your memory
Let us who love the divine martyr now raise up an honorable choir honoring the all-wise Catherine. For this she preached Christ in the arena, and trampled down the serpents, disposing the wisdom of the long-winded orators.
Let us praise and bless Mercury in song. He is an invincible warrior in battle and a sure defender in trouble. He delivers from all danger and tribulation those who venerate him.
2 Thessalonians 2:13 – 3:5
Brothers and sisters: We are bound to thank God for you always, beloved brethren in the Lord, because you are the first fruits of those whom God has chosen for salvation, in holiness of spirit and fidelity to truth. He called you through our preaching of the good news so that you might achieve the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, brethren, stand firm. Hold fast to the traditions you received from us, either by our word or by letter. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself, may God our Father who loved us and in his mercy gave us eternal consolation and hope, console your hearts and strengthen theme for every good work and word.
For the rest, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord may make progress and be hailed by many others, even as it has been by you. Pray that we may be delivered from confused and evil men. For not every man has faith, but the Lord keeps faith; he it is who will strengthen you and guard you against the evil one. In the lord we are confident that you are doing and will continue to do whatever we enjoin. May the Lord rule your hearts in the love of God and the constancy of Christ.
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 23 –