• Daily Bread Thursday, October 9 Eighteenth Week after Pentecost Saint of the Day: The Holy Martyress Poplia the Confessor, Deaconess of Antioch St. Poplia early became a widow, and with all her strength she turned to raising up her son John in the Christian faith. John became a presbyter, and Poplia for her prudent and ascetic life merited the dignity of deaconess. She took under her guidance widows and young women desiring to devote themselves to the service of God, and she organized a monastery in her home. During the time of the persecution of Christians under the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363), Saint Poplia with the sisters denounced the reprobate. When the emperor made his way to the house of Poplia, the sisters sang loudly the 113th Psalm, denouncing idol-worship. The soldie
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  • Daily Bread Wednesday, October 8 Eighteenth Week after Pentecost Saint of the Day: The Nun Pelagia St. Pelagia was converted to Christianity by Sainted Nonnos, Bishop of Edessa (Comm. on Saturday of Cheesefare Week). Before her acceptance of saving Baptism, Pelagia was head of a dance troupe in Palestinian Antioch, living life in frivolity and profligacy. But one time Pelagia, elegantly dressed, was making her way past a church, at the doors of which Saint Nonnos was preaching a sermon. Believers turned their faces away from the sinner, but the bishop long glanced after her. Struck by the outer beauty of Pelagia and having foreseen the spiritual greatness in her, the saint in his cell prayed long to the Lord for the sinner, grieving that the poverty attiring his soul could not compare wit
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  • Daily Bread Tuesday, October 7 Eighteenth Week after Pentecost Saints of the Day: The Holy Martyrs Sergios and Bakkhos The holy martyrs were appointed to high positions in the army by the emperor Maximian (284-305), who did not know that they were Christians. Malevolent persons made a denunciation to Maximian that his two military-commanders did not honor the pagan gods, and this was considered a crime against the state. The emperor, wanting to convince himself of the veracity of the denunciation, ordered Sergios and Bakkhos to offer sacrifice to the idols, but they answered, that they honored but the One God and Him only did they worship. Maximian commanded that the martyrs be stripped of the insignia of military rank, and then having dressed them in feminine clothing to lead them th
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  • Daily Bread Monday, October 6 Eighteenth Week after Pentecost Saint of the Day: The Holy Apostle Thomas St. Thomas was born in the Galilean city of Pansada and plied the trade of fisherman. Hearing the good tidings of Jesus Christ, he left all and followed after Him. The Apostle Thomas is included in the number of the holy Twelve Apostles, the 12 closest disciples of the Savior. By the account of Holy Scripture, the holy Apostle Thomas did not believe the reports of the other disciples about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ: "Unless I see in His hand the wound of the nail, and place my finger into the wound of the nail, and place my hand in His side, I shalt not believe" (Jn. 20: 25). On the eighth day after the Resurrection the Lord appeared to the Apostle Thomas and showed His wounds.
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  • Daily Bread Friday, October 3 Seventeenth Week after Pentecost Saint of the Day: The Priest Martyrs Dionysius, Bishop of Athens, Presbyter Rusticus and Deacon Eleutherius The holy martyrs were killed at Lutetium (ancient name of Paris) in Gaul, modern-day France, where Saint Dionysius is honored as the patron saint of France, under the French name-forms "Denis" or "Denys". This occurred in the year 96 (another source suggests the year 110, during the time of persecution under the Roman emperor Domitian (81-96). Saint Dionysius lived originally in the city of Athens. He was raised there and received a fine classical Greek education. He then set off to Egypt, where he studied astronomy at the city of Heliopolis. Together with his friend Apollophonos he witnessed the solar eclipse occurrin
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  • Daily Bread Thursday, October 2 Seventeenth Week after Pentecost Saint of the Day: The Monk Cassian the Greek, Wonderworker of Uglich Saint Cassian the Greek of Uglich, in the world Constantine, was a descendant of the Greek Mangupa princes. He arrived in Moscow as part of the delegation to Great Prince Ivan III, together with the daughter of the Byzantine emperor, Sophia Paleologa. Having decided to devote his life to the service of God, the saint declined the offer to remain at the court of the Great Prince, and he resettled near Bishop Joasaph of Rostov. When the bishop withdrew to the Therapon monastery for solitude, Constantine followed him, and he led a strict ascetic life. He accepted monasticism after a miraculous vision by night of St Martinian, urging him to take monastic tonsur
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  • Daily Bread Wednesday, October 1 Seventeenth Week after Pentecost Saint of the Day: The Monk Romanos the Melodist St. Romanos was born in the 5th Century in the Syrian city of Emessa. Having moved on to Constantinople, he became a church-attendant in the temple of Saint Sophia. The monk spent his nights alone at prayer in a field or in the Blakhernae church out beyond the city. Saint Romanos did not initially have the talent for reading and song. One time, on the eve of the Nativity of Christ, he read the Kathisma verses, but so poorly, that another reader had to take his place, and the clergy made fun of Romanos. The youth for a long while in grief prayed before an icon of the Most Holy Mother of God. The Mother of God appeared at night in a dream-vision to the saint, and haven given hi
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  • Daily Bread Tuesday, September 30 Seventeenth Week after Pentecost Saint of the Day: Saint Ripsimia St. Ripsimia had fled to Armenia, together with her hegumeness and fellow sisters, to avoid entering into marriage with the emperor Diocletian (284-305), who was charmed by her beauty. Concerning this, Diocletian sent a report to the Armenian emperor Tiridates suggesting that he either send Ripsimia back, or wed her himself. The servants of the emperor found the fugitives and they began to urge Ripsimia to submit to the will of the emperor. The saint answered, that she, just like all her monastic sisters, was betrothed to the Heavenly Bridegroom and so to enter into marriage was not possible. Then from the heavens resounded a Voice: "Be brave and fear not, for I am with thee". The messenge
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  • Daily Bread Monday, September 29 Seventeenth Week after Pentecost Saint of the Day: The Monk Kyriakos St. Kyriakos was born at Corinth into the family of a presbyter of the cathedral church, John and his wife Eudoxia. The bishop of Corinth, Peter, being a kinsman and seeing that Kyriakos was growing up as a quiet and sensible lad, made him a reader in church. Constant reading of the Holy Scriptures awakened in him a spirit of love for the Lord and of a yearning for a pure and saintly life. Once, when the youth was not yet 18 years old, during a church service he was so deeply moved by the words of the Gospel: "Whosoever would to come after Me, let him deny himself and raise up his cross and follow Me" (Mt. 16: 24), that immediately -- not returning home -- he went to the harbor, got onto
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  • Daily Bread Friday, September 26 Sixteenth Week after Pentecost Saint of the Day: The Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian St. John was the son of Zebedee and Salomia -- a daughter of Saint Joseph the Betrothed. Together at the same time with his elder brother James, he was called by our Lord Jesus Christ to be numbered amongst His Apostles, which took place at Lake Gennesareth (i.e. the Sea of Galilee). Leaving behind their father, both brothers followed the Lord. The Apostle John was especially beloved by the Savior for his sacrificial love and his virginal purity. After his calling, the Apostle John did not part from the Lord, and he was one of the three apostles, who were particularly close to Him. Saint John the Theologian was present when the Lord resuscitated to life t
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  • Daily Bread Thursday, September 25 Sixteenth Week after Pentecost Saint of the Day: The Monk Sergei of Radonezh St. Sergei was born in the village of Varnitsa, near Rostov, on 3 May 1314. His parents were the pious and illustrious boyar-nobles Kirill and Maria. The Lord fore chose him while still in his mother's womb. In the Vita of the Monk Sergei it reports, that at Divine Liturgy even before the birth of her son, Righteous Maria and those praying heard the thrice-repeated cry of the infant: before the reading of the Holy Gospel, during the time of the Cherubim hymn, and when the priest pronounced: "Holy Things to the Holy". God gave Kirill and Maria a son, whom they named Bartholomew. From his very first days of life the infant amazed everyone by his fasting, on Wednesdays and Fridays
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  • Daily Bread Wednesday, September 23 Sixteenth Week after Pentecost Saint of the Day: The Holy First-Martyress and Equal-to-the-Apostles Thekla St. Thekla was born in the city of Iconium. She was the daughter of rich and illustrious parents, and moreover she was distinguished by extraordinary beauty. At 18 years of age they betrothed her to an eminent youth. But having heard the preaching of the holy Apostle Paul about the Savior, Saint Thekla with all her heart came to love the Lord Jesus Christ, and she steadfastly resolved not to enter into marriage, but rather to devote all her life to preaching the Gospel. The mother of Saint Thekla was opposed to her daughter's plans and demanded that she enter into marriage with the bridegroom betrothed to her. Saint Thekla's fiancée likewise made
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  • Daily Bread Tuesday, September 23 Sixteenth Week after Pentecost Saint of the Day: The Monastic Women Xanthippa and Polyxenia The saints were sisters by birth and lived in Spain during the time of the holy Apostles. They were among the first to hear the Divine teaching of Christ the Savior from the holy Apostle Paul, when he preached in their land. Saint Xanthippa together with her husband Probus accepted Christianity, but Saint Polyxenia was still a paganess, when a certain man became entranced with her extraordinary beauty and forcibly carried her off to Greece. But the Lord preserved her unharmed. On the ship voyage, the saint heard the preaching of the holy Apostle Peter and believed in Christ. Upon arriving in Greece Saint Polyxenia turned to the Christians for protection and defense
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  • Daily Bread Monday, September 22 Sixteenth Week after Pentecost Saint of the Day: The Monk Kozma, Hermit of Zographia, St. Kozma was a Bulgarian. In his youth he avoided entering into marriage and left secretly from his parents for Holy Mount Athos. Then already on his way to the Holy Mountain, the devil tried to rattle the yearning of the youth, vexing him with an apparition of the infinite abyss of the sea, surrounding the Holy Mountain. The fervent prayer of the youth dispelled the demonic temptation. On Athos Saint Kozma was accepted in the Zographia monastery. There he was for a long time a novice, and then he took monastic vows and was appointed ecclesiarch [i.e. kliuchar' or church-doorman]. Saint Kozma received a special mercy to be a secret-seer of the Heavenly Hegumeness Hersel
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  • Daily Bread Friday, September 19 Fifteenth Week after Pentecost Saint of the Day: The Holy Martyrs Trophymos, Sabbatios and Dorimedontos The three holy martyrs suffered for Christ during the reign of the Roman emperor Probus (276-282). One time in the city of Antioch a pagan feast day was being celebrate -- the sacrificial offerings were brought, the wine was poured, and the vile acts were done. The Christians Trophymos and Sabbatios arrived in the city, and with grief looking upon this loud and indecent spectacle, they besought the Lord to guide the errant onto the way of salvation. They were arrested and taken to the governor. At the interrogation, the saints firmly confessed their faith, and to the demand that they renounce their faith, they answered with a resolute refusal. During t
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  • Daily Bread Thursday, September 18 Fifteenth Week after Pentecost Saint of the Day: The Monk Eumenios St. Eumenios was from the time of his youth was noted for his virtuous life. He strove to serve the One God and therefore he shunned worldly temptations. Concerned about salvation of soul, he distributed all his substance to the poor. By the blessing of God the Monk Eumenios was chosen and elevated to the dignity of bishop of the Gortineia Church on the Island of Crete. The saint like a compassionate father comforted his flock in their sorrows, and cared for the orphaned and indigent. He prayers were so strong before God, that once during the time of drought he called forth abundant rain upon the earth. Saint Eumenios wisely and zealously defended the Orthodox faith against the then ari
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  • Daily Bread Wednesday, September 17 Fifteenth Week after Pentecost Saint of the Day: The Holy Martyresses Faith, Hope and Love The family were from Italy. Their mother, Saint Sophia (Wisdom), was a pious Christian widow. Having named her daughters with the names of the three Christian virtues, Saint Sophia raised them up in love for the Lord Jesus Christ. Saint Sophia and her daughters did not hide their faith in Christ and they openly confessed it before everyone. The official Antiochus made denunciation about them to the emperor Adrian (117-138), who ordered that they be brought to Rome. Realizing that they would be taken before the emperor, the holy virgins prayed fervently to the Lord Jesus Christ, asking that He should send them the strength not to fear impending torture and death.
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  • Daily Bread Tueday, September 16 Fifteenth Week after Pentecost Saint of the Day: The Holy Great Martyress Euphemia the All-Praiseworthy St. Euphemia was the daughter of Christians -- the senator Philophronos and Theodosia. She suffered for Christ in about the year 304 in the city of Chalcedon, located on the banks of the Bosporus opposite Constantinople. The Chalcedon governor Priscus circulated an order to all the inhabitants of Chalcedon and its surroundings to appear at a pagan feast for worship and to offer sacrifice to an idol of Ares (Mars), threatening grave torments for whomever failed to appear. During the time of this impious feast 49 Christians had hidden away at one house, where they secretly made Divine-services to the True God. The young maiden Euphemia was also among
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  • Daily Bread Monday, September 15 Fifteenth Week after Pentecost Saint of the Day: The Holy Great Martyr Nikita St. Nikita was a Goth (a Germanic tribe). He was born and lived on the banks of the Danube River, and suffered for Christ in the year 372. The Christian faith was then already widely spread throughout the territory of the Goths. Saint Nikita believed in Christ and accepted Baptism from the Gothic bishop Theophilus, a participant in the First Ecumenical Council. Pagan Goths began to oppose the spread of Christianity, which resulted in internecine strife. After the victory of Fritigern, -- heading a Christian army and inflicting defeat on the pagan Athanarik, the Christian faith began to spread increasingly among the Goths. Bishop Wulfil, the successor to Bishop Theophilus, cr
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  • Daily Bread Friday, September 12 Fourteenth Week after Pentecost Saint of the Day: The Holy Martyr Julian St. Julian lived during the IV Century not far from the ancient city of Ancyra. A report was made to the governor of the Galatian district that in a certain cave was hidden the Presbyter Julian with 40 others of the same persuasion, and that he was celebrating Divine-services there. They arrested Saint Julian and demanded that he hand over the remaining Christians who were well hidden, but he refused. The pagans ordered the holy presbyter to offer sacrifice to their gods, but to this also he would not consent. Then they stripped him and placed him on a red-hot iron grate. The martyr signed himself with the sign of the Cross, and an Angel of the Lord cooled the flame. Saint Julian re
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