Cloud of Witnesses

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,
Abbot Tryphon

Thursday February 14, 2019 / February 1, 2019
38th Week after Pentecost. Tone four.
Forefeast of the Meeting of Our Lord
Martyr Tryphon of Campsada near Apamea in Syria (250).
New Hieromartyr Archpriest Peter Skipetrov, of Petrograd (1918).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1938).
Martyrs Perpetua, a woman of Carthage, and the catechumens Saturus, Revocatus, Saturninus, Secundulus, and Felicitas (202-203).
Venerable Peter of Galatia, hermit near Antioch in Syria (429).
Venerable Vendemianus (Bendemianus), hermit of Bithynia (512).
Venerable Tryphon, bishop of Rostov (1468).
St. Brigid of Ireland (523) (Celtic & British).
St. Seiriol, abbot of Penmon (Anglesey) (6th c.) (Celtic & British) .
St. Basil, archbishop of Thessalonica (895) (Greek).
Venerable Timothy the Confessor (Greek).
New Martyr Anastasius at Nauplion (1655) (Greek).
Martyrs Theion with 2 children at Kariona (Greek).
Martyr Elias the New of Damascus (779).
Sts. David (784), Symeon (843), and George (844), confessors of Mitylene.

The Scripture Readings

1 Peter 4:12-5:5

Suffering for God’s Glory

12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.

17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 Now

“If the righteous one is scarcely saved,
Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”

19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.

Shepherd the Flock

5 The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: 2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; 4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

Submit to God, Resist the Devil

5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for

“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”

Mark 12:38-44

Beware of the Scribes

38 Then He said to them in His teaching, “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, 39 the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, 40 who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.”

The Widow’s Two Mites

41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. 42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. 43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”

Abbot Tryphon

About Abbot Tryphon

The Very. Rev. Abbot Tryphon All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island, Washington. The Monastery is under the omophore of The Most Rev. Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Situated in the heart of a beautiful forest, surrounded by the Salish Sea, the monastery is reached by ferry from either Seattle, or Tacoma, Washington.

One comment:

  1. Thank you for taking this question:
    I believe and can understand that the saints and all those who have died in Christ are alive and with Jesus. What I do not understand is how do we know that they can hear us when we ask for their intercession. They are not omnipresent or omniscient. Are there any early references eg in the Apostolic Fathers to seeking their prayers. I don’t believe there are any scriptural references. Thank you

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