Prologue of Ohrid

JANUARY
 
 
 
 
FEBRUARY
 
 
 
 
 
 
MARCH
 
 
 
 
APRIL
 
 
 
 
 
MAY
 
 
 
 
JUNE
 
 
 
 
 
JULY
 
 
 
 
AUGUST
 
 
 
 
SEPTEMBER
 
 
 
 
 
OCTOBER
 
 
 
 
NOVEMBER
 
 
 
 
 
DECEMBER
 
 
 
 

June 21

1. THE HOLY MARTYR JULIAN OF TARSUS

Julian was of noble and senatorial origin. He lived in Tarsus in Cilicia and suffered during the reign of Diocletian. Even though he was only eighteen years of age when he was subjected to torture for the Faith, St. Julian was sufficiently educated and strengthened in Christian piety. The imperial deputy led him from town to town for an entire year torturing him and all the time trying to persuade him to deny Christ. Julian's mother followed her son from a distance. When the deputy seized Julian's mother and sent her to counsel her son to deny Christ, for three days in prison she spoke the opposite advice, teaching him and encouraging him not to despair in spirit but with thanksgiving and courage go to his death. The torturers then sewed Julian in a sack with sand, scorpions and serpents and tossed the sack into the sea and Julian's mother also died under torture. His relics were tossed by the waves to the shore and the faithful translated them to Alexandria and honorably buried them in the year 290 A.D. Later, St. Julian's relics were translated to Antioch. Later on, St. John Chrysostom, himself, delivered a eulogy [an oration of praise] for the holy martyr Julian. St. John Chrysostom said: "From the mouth of the martyr proceeded a holy voice and, together with the voice, a light emanated brighter than the rays of the sun." Further, he added: "Take anyone, be it a madman or one possessed, and bring him to the grave of this saint where the relics of the martyr repose and you will see how he [the demon] without fail will leap out and flee as from a burning fire." It is obvious from these words how numerous miracles must have taken place at the grave of St. Julian.

2. THE VENERABLES JULIUS AND JULIAN

Julius and Julian were brothers from the Greek province of Mirmidonia. From childhood they were reared in Christianity with the vow that they will always live in chastity and serve the Church. Julius was a presbyter and Julian a deacon. They received a decree [grammata] from Emperor Theodosius the Younger to destroy pagan temples and to build Christian churches throughout the empire. These two brothers, as two apostles, converted non-Christians to Christianity throughout the east and west [of the empire] and built churches. They built over one hundred churches during their lifetime. They reposed peacefully in the Lord near Milan. The inhabitants of Milan invoke the help of St. Julius against wolves.

3. THE HOLY MARTYR ARCHIL [ ARCHILIOS] II, KING OF GEORGIA

Archil was the son of King Stephen and the grandson of the great Georgian King Wakahtang Gorgaslan. King Archil, a great Christian and a defender of Christianity, was tortured by the Muslims and beheaded for Christ on March 20, 744 A.D. He was eighty years old when he suffered for the Lord and took up habitation in blessed eternity.

4. THE HOLY MARTYR LUARSAB II, PRINCE OF KARTLI IN GEORGIA

Luarsab's father, George X, suffered for the Faith and was poisoned by a Persian Shah. Luarsab, however, was cast into prison near Shiraz where he languished for seven years. Then, by order of Shah Abbas I, he was hanged in prison with two of his servants on July 21, 1622 A.D. A heavenly light was seen over his grave.

HYMN OF PRAISE
 
SAINT JULIUS AND SAINT JULIAN
 
When Julius and his brother Julian
 
To the Most-high God built
 
The ninety-ninth church,
 
Julian, then a tomb constructed
 
For his brother, holy Julius
 
And, when to the brother, the grave he showed,
 
Julius to him, meekly spoke:
 
Prepare yourself, my brother in the flesh,
 
This grave for you, was built,
 
Prepare yourself before God to go,
 
Before your brother the sinful Julius.
 
And God, to Julius designated
 
A hundredth church, yet to build
 
On a certain isolated island.
 
As the most glorious Julius said,
 
As he said, so it happened,
 
Before the older, the younger brother rested in peace,
 
And the older brother, the hundredth church added,
 
And when the hundredth, on the island, he built,
 
Then he, also, in eternity took up habitation.
 
REFLECTION

When a man begins to train himself in keeping silent, silence to him seems to be lesser than speech; but when he is trained in silence then he knows that speech is lesser than silence. A monk said to St. Sisoes: "I would like to preserve my heart but I cannot," to which the elder responded: "How can we preserve the heart when the gate to our heart the tongue stands open?" Charillos, the nephew of Lycurgus, was once asked why his uncle issued so few laws. He replied: "For those who speak little, many laws are not needed."

CONTEMPLATION

To contemplate the miraculous healing of the blind Bartimeus: "And they came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a very great crowd, Bartimeus, a blind man the son of Timeus, was sitting by the wayside begging" (St. Mark 10:46):

1. How Bartimeus cried out to the Lord with faith for healing and the Lord healed him;

2. How, even I, blinded in the soul, sit by the road which the Lord passes by and, if I cry out to Him, He will heal me.

HOMILY

About sowing and reaping

"He who sows iniquity reaps calamity [suffering]" (Proverbs 22:8).

If you commit an iniquity, perhaps suffering [calamity] may pass you by the very day when you commit the iniquity but suffering [calamity] has heard the voice of iniquity and unavoidably will come in its day.

Some sowing is sweet and some sowing is bitter. Some sowing resembles life but the fruit and reaping of that sowing is death.

Pay attention and learn from Holy Scripture: Eve sowed iniquity through disobedience and pain in childbirth befell her.

Cain sowed iniquity through fratricide and pain and sleepless wandering throughout the earth befell him.

Sodom and Gomorrah sowed iniquity and reaped the pain of a horrible death.

The sons of Eli the High Priest sowed iniquity for they committed a desecration along side the Ark of the Covenant and they reaped suffering for they bitterly lost their lives in battle.

Call to mind Saul, his iniquity and his sufferings. Then again, call to mind Ahab and Jezebel. And again, call to mind Herod and Judas. Then again, call to mind today and yesterday and the days before yesterday and every other day gone by and listen to the words of every day: "He who sows iniquity reaps calamity [suffering]!" Is there a village in the world in which this teaching is not put before its eyes? Is there a roof which, beneath it, does not conceal such a teaching? Is there any living man who has not witnessed this teaching in the living examples around him?

O All-wise Lord, if we did not know Your will we would be less responsible.

But since You gave us to know Your will, O All-merciful One, grant us the strength to fulfill it throughout all the days of our lives.

To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.
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