Our venerable father Joannicus the Great left the military after more than twenty years in arms to live as a monk and pursue solitary life in different forests of Mt. Olympus. He was accustomed to end his prayer with these words: “God my hope, Christ my refuge, Holy Spirit my protector. He fell asleep in the Lord in the coenobium of the Antidium in Bithynia in the year 846.
The holy martyr Nicander, bishop of Myra, and the priest Hermas were both ordained by the Apostle Titus. They were distinguished by a great zeal for the Faith and for their great labors in winning pagans for Christ. Because of this, they were tortured in various ways and eventually were buried alive during the first century.
You fought like a brave soldier against the hostile flesh, and you battled spiritual enemies by deep fasting. You vanquished legions of devils by humility and in the end have shown yourself a great conqueror. You received power to work wonders from God. O venerable Joannicus, now pray to Him to save our souls.
Your martyrs, O Lord our God, in their struggles received incorruptible crowns from You. With Your strength, they brought down the tyrants and broke the cowardly valor of demons. Through their prayers, O Christ our God, save our souls.
You became a brilliant star over the earth, guiding those in the fog of passions. You became the mightiest physician, for you received the grace to heal. Grant the grace of healing to us who petition you, that we may ever sing to you: Rejoice, O Father Joannicus.
You were enlightened with the anointing of truth, and you were illumined by the blood of martyrdom. With joy you have taken up your place among the angels, O glorious ones. Therefore, we celebrate your precious memory today O holy ones, praying to obtain purification through your prayers.
2 Corinthians 8: 1-5
Brothers and sisters, I should like you to know of the grace of God conferred on the churches of Macedonia. In the midst of severe trial their overflowing joy and deep poverty have produced an abundant generosity. According to their means – indeed I can testify even beyond their means – and voluntarily, they begged us insistently for the favor of sharing in this service to members of the church. Beyond our hopes they first gave themselves to God and then to us by the will of God.
Luke 9: 1-6
At that time Jesus called the Twelve together and gave them the power and authority to overcome all demons and to cure diseases. He sent them forth to proclaim the reign of God and heal the afflicted. Jesus advised them: “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking staff nor traveling bag; no bread, no money. No one is to have two coats. Stay at whatever house you enter and proceed from there. When people will not receive you, leave that town and shake its dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” So they set out and went from village to village, spreading the good news everywhere and curing diseases.
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Friday, November 3 –