The holy venerable martyr Anastasia was born in Rome to wealthy parents, but she was left as an orphan at the age of three. She was taken to a women’s monastery to live, under the guidance of Hegumena Sophia. When she was seventeen, the pagan governor summoned her to defend herself, which she did with great eloquence. She was stripped, tortured, and finally mutilated by the guards. This was during the persecution of the emperor Decius (249-251).
Our venerable father Abraham the hermit married under pressure from his parents, but then he fled into the desert to live as a hermit. For fifty years he did so, faithfully keeping to the ascetic life which had called him. He died at the age of seventy in 360 at Edessa in Osrhoene in Mesopotamia. St. Ephraem the deacon recorded the deeds of this remarkable man.
Your lamb Anastasia, O Jesus, cries out in a loud voice: I love you, my Bridegroom; I seek You with painful longing; I am crucified with You; in Your baptism, I am buried with You; I suffer for You that I may reign with You; and I die for You that I may live with You. Receive me as a spotless sacrifice immolated with love for You. by her prayers, O merciful One, save our souls.
In you, O father, the divine image was strictly preserved; taking up your cross, you followed Christ. You taught us by example how to spurn the flesh, for it passes away, and how to care for the soul, which is immortal. Therefore, O venerable Abraham, your soul rejoices with the angels.
O venerable Anastasia, you were purified by the waters of virginity and washed by the blood of your martyrdom. Wherefore you grant healing to those who suffer from sickness, and salvation to those who come to you with love, for it is Christ who bestows upon you this power, Christ ever-generous with His grace.
In the body, you were like an angel on earth; and by your asceticism, you were like a tree well-planted: you grew in beauty, being watered with self-renunciation. Father Abraham, you exorcised the devil by your tears; wherefore you resembled a vessel of the Holy Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 1: 1-5
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians who belong to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace and peace be yours.
We keep thanking God for all of you and we remember you in our prayers, for we constantly are mindful before our God and Father of the way you are proving your faith, and laboring in love, and showing constancy of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. We know, too, brothers beloved of God, how you were chosen. Our preaching of the gospel proved not a mere matter of words for you but one of power; it was carried on in the Holy Spirit and out of complete conviction. You know as well as we do what we proved to be like when, while still among you, we acted on your behalf.
Luke 11: 29-33
At that time while the crowds pressed around him, Jesus began to speak to them in these words: “This is an evil age. It seeks a sign. But no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah was a sign for the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be a sign for the present age. The queen of the South will rise at the judgment along with the men of this generation, and she will condemn them. She came from the farthest corner of the world to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, but you have a great Solomon here. At the judgment, the citizens of Nineveh will rise along with the present generation, and they will condemn it. For at the preaching of Jonah they reformed, but you have a greater than Jonah here. One who lights a lamp does not put it in the cellar or under a bushel basket, but rather on a lampstand, so that they who come in may see the light.”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Saturday, October 28 –