The saints are alive in Christ Jesus
Vigil lights are placed before the icons of the saints, according to Saint Symeon the New Theologian, as a way of showing that without the Light, Who is Christ, the saints are nothing. It is only as the light of Christ shines on them that they become alive and resplendent.
The saints show us what a glorious destiny we have in God, and through the example of their lives, point the way to our becoming “partakers of divine nature.” The saints, as the cloud of witnesses in heaven, are present in the divine services, worshiping the Holy Trinity with us. They, as our friends, intercede before the Throne of God on our behalf, having won the good fight, and we are encouraged by the memory and example of their lives, as we struggle on our own path to God.
It has been said that there are two kinds of people in the world: sinners who think they are saints, and saints who know they are sinners. A saint is a Christian who lets God’s light shine through, and who’s life has been transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We venerate the Saints as we seek their intercession with God, but we adore and worship only God in Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We venerate the Images (Icons) as well as the relics of the saints and martyrs. Yet according to the decisions and Canons of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, this veneration relates not to the icons as such, but to their prototypes, or to the persons whom they represent.
The interior walls of our temples are adorned with the icons and frescoes of the saints as a reminder that we are surrounded by the cloud of witnesses, the saints, and that the Church Militant (here on earth) is not separated from the Church Triumphant (in heaven). In Christ, death does not divide us, for the saints are not dead, but alive in Christ Jesus.
Glory to Jesus Christ, Who is glorified in His saints.
With love in Christ,
Photo: Saturday is the 50th Anniversary of the Repose of Saint John the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco. This photo was taken during the Akathist to Saint John, on Thursday.
Friday July 1, 2016 / June 18, 2016
2nd Week after Pentecost. Tone eight.
Apostles’ (Peter & Paul) Fast. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)
Venerable Barlaam of Khutyn (1192) (movable holiday on the 1st Friday of Apostles’ Fast).
“Tabynsk” and “Kursk-Root” Icons of the Most Holy Theotokos (movable holiday on the 9th Friday of Pascha).
Martyr Leontius, and with him Martyrs Hypatius and Theodulus, at Tripoli in Syria (73).
New Hieromartyrs Nicanor, Basil, Alexander, Basil and Sergius priests (1938).
Venerable Leontius, canonarch of the Kiev Caves (14th c.).
“Bogoliubov” (1157) Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos.
Reverence list of an “Bogoliubov” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos: “Zimarovsky” (13th c.), Moscow (1157), “Uglich”and “Iur’evsk”.
The Meeting of the “Piukhtinsk” (“At the Source”) Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (1946).
Venerable Leontius, clairvoyant of Dionysiou Monastery, Mt. Athos (1605).
Martyr Aetherus of Nicomedia (305).
St. Marina the Virgin of Bithynia (8th c.).
Finding of the relics (1997) of New Hieromartyr Victor, bishop of Glazov (1934).
St. Erasmus, monk (Greek).
St. Leontius the Shepherd, monk (Greek).
17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)
18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Dead to Sin, Alive to God
6 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
Jesus Is Questioned About Fasting
14 Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often,[a] but Your disciples do not fast?”
15 And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast. 16 No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. 17 Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”