7th Sunday after Pentecost
Our Venerable Father Anthony of the Caves Of Kiev
The Reading from the Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Romans (15:1-7)
Brethren: We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not Himself, but as it is written: ‘The reproaches of them that reproached Thee fell on Me.’ For whatsoever things were written in times past, were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another, according to Christ Jesus, that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore receive ye one another as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.
Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Galatians (5:22-6:2)
Brethren, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vainglory, provoking one another and envying one another. Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye who are spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew (9:27-35)
At that time, when Jesus had departed thence, two blind men followed Him, crying and saying, ‘Thou Son of David, have mercy on us!’ And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him, and Jesus said unto them, ‘Believe ye that I am able to do this?’ They said unto Him, ‘Yea, Lord.’ Then He touched their eyes, saying, ‘According to your faith, be it unto you.’ And their eyes were opened, and Jesus strictly charged them, saying, ‘See that no man know it.’ But they, when they had departed, spread abroad His fame in all that country. As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a man, dumb and possessed with a devil. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spoke; and the multitudes marvelled, saying, ‘It was never so seen in Israel.’ But the Pharisees said, ‘He casteth out the devils through the prince of the devils.’ And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
THoly Gospel according to Matthew (4:25-5:12a)
At that time, there followed Jesus great multitudes of people from Galilee and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and from Judea, and from beyond the Jordan. And seeing the multitudes, He went up onto a mountain; and when He was set, His disciples came unto Him. And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in Heaven.’
Troparion of the Resurrection (Tone 6)
Angelic hosts were above Thy tomb, and they that guarded Thee became as dead. And Mary stood by the grave seeking Thine immaculate body. Thou didst despoil hades and wast not tempted by it. Thou didst meet the Virgin and didst grant us life. O Thou Who didst rise from the dead, O Lord, glory be to Thee.
Troparion of St Anthony of the Kiev Caves (Tone 4)
ILeaving behind the tumult of the world, in accordance with the Gospel thou didst follow after Christ, rejecting the world; and living an angelic life, thou didst attain unto the calm haven of Holy Mount Athos, from whence, with the blessing of the fathers, thou didst go to Mount Kiev; and living there an industrious life, thou didst enlighten thy homeland; and showing a multitude of monastics the path which leadeth to the kingdom of heaven, thou didst lead them unto Christ. Him do thou beseech, O venerable Anthony, that He save our souls.
Kontakion of the Resurrection (Tone 6)
Kontakion of the Resurrection (Tone 6)
Having by His life bestowing hand raised up all the dead out of the dark abysses, Christ God, the Giver of life, hath bestowed the Resurrection upon the fallen human race; for He is the Saviour of all, the Resurrection, and the Life, and the God of all.
Kontakion of St Anthony of the Kiev Caves (Tone 8)
Having cleaved unto God, Whom from thy youth thou didst love above all, O venerable one, with love thou didst follow Him with all thy soul; and holding the corrupt world to be as nought, thou didst make a cave in the ground, and, having struggled well therein against the snares of the invisible foe, thou didst shine forth like the radiant sun upon all the ends of the earth. Wherefore, in gladness thou didst pass over to the mansions of heaven. Standing now with the angels before the throne of the Master, be thou mindful of us who honour thy memory, that we may cry out to thee: Rejoice, O Anthony our father!
THE VENERABLE ANTHONY OF THE MONASTERY OF THE CAVES IN KIEV
The founder and father of monasticism in Russia, Anthony was born in the small town of Lyubech near Chernigov. At an early age he left his home and went to Athos, the Holy Mountain, where he was tonsured a monk and lived in asceticism in the Monastery of Esphigmenou. In obedience to a heavenly apparition, the abbot sent Anthony to Russia to establish monasticism there. Anthony chose a cave near Kiev. When those who were desirous of a monastic life gathered around him, he appointed Theodosius abbot, and he himself remained in the cave as a hesychast (silentary). Through the blessing of God, the monastery grew and became the mother of Russian monasticism. Anthony endured much evil from men and from demons, but he conquered all by his humility. He possessed the great gift of clairvoyance and of healing the sick. He reposed in the Lord in the year 1073 A.D., at the age of ninety, leaving his spiritual seedbed (nursery) to bring forth good fruit throughout the ages for the Orthodox people of Russia.
THE HOLY FORTY-FIVE MARTYRS: LEONTIUS, MAURICE, ALEXANDER, SISINIUS, AND OTHERS
During the reign of the wicked Emperor Licinius, who ruled the eastern half of the Byzantine Empire, there was a great persecution of Christians. In Armenian Nicopolis, St. Leontius, with several of his friends, appeared before Lysius, the representative of Emperor Licinius, and he declared that they were Christians. “And where is your Christ?” Lysius asked. “Was He not crucified and did He not die?” To this St. Leontius replied: “Since you know that our Christ died, know also that He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven.” After a lengthy discussion about the Faith, Lysius scourged them and threw them into prison, where they were given neither food nor drink. A highborn Christian woman, Vlassina, brought them water, handing it to them through the window of the prison. And an angel of God appeared to them to comfort and encourage them. When the time came for sentencing, two jailers appeared before Lysius as Christian converts, and many others as well, numbering forty-five in all. The judge sentenced all of them to death, ordering that their arms and legs be severed with an axe and their torsos then be thrown into the fire. This horrible punishment was carried out, and the souls of the holy martyrs took flight to their Lord, entering into eternal life. They honorably suffered and inherited the Kingdom in the year 319 A.D.
THE TRANSLATION OF THE HONORABLE VESTURE (ROBE) OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
At the time of the suffering of our Lord Jesus for mankind, there was among the ranks of the Roman army in Jerusalem a Georgian named Elioz from the town of Mtskheta. His mother had heard of Christ, and believed in Him in her heart. Seeing her son off to the army in Palestine, she had counseled him not to do anything against Christ. When the Lord was nailed to the Cross, the sound of the hammer on Golgotha reached the ears of Elioz’s mother in the town of Mtskheta. Hearing this sound, she cried out: “Woe is me, that I did not die before this time. Death would have rescued me from this dreadful sound!” And saying this, she fell dead. At that time Elioz was beneath the Cross, and with the other soldiers he was casting lots for the tunic [robe] of Christ. He won the vesture, and brought it to Mtskheta, giving it as a gift to his sister Sidonia. Hearing about the death of the Lord, and that her brother had been a participant in the shedding of innocent blood, she fell dead, holding the tunic of the Lord firmly in her hands, such that no one was able to tear it away and they were compelled to bury the tunic with her. A cedar tree sprouted from her grave and it poured forth a sweet-smelling healing myrrh. In time, the cedar tree was cut down and carved into a pillar. At St. Nina’s prayers an angel raised this pillar, which blazed like a column of fire, over the grace, and it came to rest on the pedestal carved from the stump. King Mirian, upon being baptized, erected a church there, dedicating it to the Holy Apostles. In the year 1625 A.D., Shah Abbas took the tunic and sent it to Moscow as a gift to Prince Michael Fyodorovich and Patriarch Philaret, and it was placed in the Cathedral Church of the Dormition [Assumption] of the Blessed Virgin in Moscow.