The holy martyr Callistratus was raised a Christian and became a soldier. Reported by one of his cohort as a believer, he was imprisoned and ordered to offer sacrifice to idols. He refused. He was repeatedly tortured and still remained faithful, so much so that forty-nine of his fellow soldiers came to believe in Christ. They were all killed by the sword in the year 304.
Our venerable father Nilus was the founder and hegumen of the Grottaferrata Monastery. He was of Greek origin and sought the holy life of conversation. He pursued abstinence, humility, and wandering. He was remarkable for his prophecy and his teaching of wisdom. He established the celebrated monastery of Grottaferrata according to the customs of the eastern Fathers. In his ninetieth year of life, he surrendered his spirit to God while praying in the year 1002.
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 suffered deep wounds and received crowns from God. Pray to Christ for those who keep your dear memory alive, O great Callistratus, and you blessed martyrs who suffered with him. Pray also that Christ might give peace to His people and His flock, for He is the strength of the faithful.
Ephesians 5: 25-33
Brothers and sisters: Love your wives, as Christ loved the church. He gave himself up for her to make her holy, purifying her in the bath of water by the power of the word, to present to himself a glorious church, holy and immaculate, without stain or wrinkle or anything of that sort. Husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. Observe that no one ever hates his own flesh; no, he nourishes it and takes care of it as Christ cares for the church–for we are members of his body. [Scripture says:] “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cling to his wife; and the two shall be made into one.” This is a great foreshadowing; I mean that it refers to Christ and the Church. In any case, each one should love his wife as he loves himself, the wife for her part showing respect for her husband.
Luke 5: 33-39
At that time the Pharisees and scribes said to Jesus: “The disciples of John fast frequently and offer prayers; the disciples of the Pharisees do the same. Yours, on the contrary, eat and drink freely.” Jesus replied: “Can you make guests of the groom fast while the groom us still with them? But when the day comes that the groom is removed from their midst, they will surely fast in those days.”
Jesus then proposed to them this figure: “No one tears a piece from a new coat to patch an old one. If he does, he will only tear the new coat, and the piece taken from it will not match the old. Moreover, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Should he do this, the new wine will burst the old skins, the wine will spill out, and the skins will be lost. New wine should be poured into fresh skins. No one, after drinking old wine, wants new. He says, ‘I find the old wine better.’”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Tuesday, September 26 –