April 11 
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April 11

Great Lent
Hieromartyr Antipas, Bishop of Pergamum, disciple of St. John the Theologian (92). Ven. Jacob (James), Abbot of Zheleznobórovsk (1442), and his fellow ascetic, James. St. Varsonúfii (Barsanuphius), Bishop of Tver’ (1576). Martyrs Processus and Martinian of Rome (1st c.). Ven. Pharmuthius, Anchorite, of Egypt (4th c.). Ven. John, disciple of Ven. Gregory of Decapolis (9th c.). St. Callinicus of Cernica, Bishop of Rimnicului in Romania (1868). The Appearance of the “FOOTPRINT” Icon of the Most-holy Theotokos at Pochayev.

Saint Antipas

11 avril

The Hieromartyr Antipas, a disciple of the holy Apostle John the Theologian (September 26), was bishop of the Church of Pergamum during the reign of the emperor Nero (54-68).

During these times, everyone who would not offer sacrifice to the idols lived under threat of either exile or execution by order of the emperor. On the island of Patmos (in the Aegean Sea) the holy Apostle John the Theologian was imprisoned, he to whom the Lord revealed the future judgment of the world and of Holy Church.

“And to the angel of the Church of Pergamum write: the words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword. I know where you live, where the throne of Satan is, and you cleave unto My Name, and have not renounced My faith, even in those days when Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwells” (Rev 2:12-13).

By his personal example, firm faith and constant preaching about Christ, Saint Antipas began to turn the people of Pergamum from offering sacrifice to idols. The pagan priests reproached the bishop for leading the people away from their ancestral gods, and they demanded that he stop preaching about Christ and offer sacrifice to the idols instead.

Saint Antipas calmly answered that he was not about to serve the demons that fled from him, a mere mortal. He said he worshiped the Lord Almighty, and he would continue to worship the Creator of all, with His Only-Begotten Son, and the Holy Spirit. The pagan priests retorted that their gods existed from of old, whereas Christ was not from of old but was crucified under Pontius Pilate as a criminal. The saint replied that the pagan gods were the work of human hands and that everything said about them was filled with iniquities and vices. He steadfastly confessed his faith in the Son of God, incarnate of the Most Holy Virgin.

The enraged pagan priests dragged the Hieromartyr Antipas to the temple of Artemis and threw him into a red-hot copper bull, where usually they put the sacrifices to the idols. In the red-hot furnace the martyr prayed loudly to God, imploring Him to receive his soul and to strengthen the faith of the Christians. He went to the Lord peacefully, as if he were going to sleep (+ ca. 68).

At night Christians took the body of the Hieromartyr Antipas, which was untouched by the fire. They buried him at Pergamum. The tomb of the hieromartyr became a font of miracles and of healings from various sicknesses.

We pray to the Hieromartyr Antipas for relief from toothache, and diseases of the teeth.

Troparion of the saint, tone 4

By sharing in the ways of the Apostles, / you became a successor to their throne. / Through the practice of virtue, / you found the way to divine contemplation, O inspired one of God; / by teaching the word of truth without error, / you defended the Faith, even to the shedding of your blood. / Hieromartyr Antipas, entreat Christ God to save our souls.

Kontakion of the saint, tone 2

Today with hymns and praises let us acclaim Antipas, / light of the world and famous hierarch, / champion of truth and teacher of Pergamum. / He intercedes with Christ our God that we may be saved.

Isaiah 42:5-16 (6th Hour)

5
Thus says God the Lord, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, Who gives breath to the people on it, and spirit to those who walk on it:
6
“I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles,
7
to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house.
8
I am the Lord, that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to carved images.
9
Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.”
10
Sing to the Lord a new song, and His praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you coastlands and you inhabitants of them!
11
Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits. Let the inhabitants of Sela sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains.
12
Let them give glory to the Lord, and declare His praise in the coastlands.
13
The Lord shall go forth like a mighty man; He shall stir up His zeal like a man of war. He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud; He shall prevail against His enemies.
14
“I have held My peace a long time, I have been still and restrained Myself. Now I will cry like a woman in labor, I will pant and gasp at once.
15
I will lay waste the mountains and hills, and dry up all their vegetation; I will make the rivers coastlands, and I will dry up the pools.
16
I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, and not forsake them.

Genesis 18:20-33 (Vespers, 1st reading)

20
And the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave,
21
“I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.”
22
Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord.
23
And Abraham came near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
24
“Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it?
25
“Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
26
So the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.”
27
Then Abraham answered and said, “Indeed now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord:
28
“Suppose there were five less than the fifty righteous; would You destroy all of the city for lack of five?” So He said, “If I find there forty-five, I will not destroy it.”
29
And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose there should be forty found there?” So He said, “I will not do it for the sake of forty.”
30
Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Suppose thirty should be found there?” So He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
31
And he said, “Indeed now, I have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: Suppose twenty should be found there?” So He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty.”
32
Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.”
33
So the Lord went His way as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.

Proverbs 16:17-17:17 (Vespers, 2nd reading)

17
The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; he who keeps his way preserves his soul.
18
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
19
Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
20
He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.
21
The wise in heart will be called prudent, and sweetness of the lips increases learning.
22
Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it. But the correction of fools is folly.
23
The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds learning to his lips.
24
Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.
25
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
26
The person who labors, labors for himself, for his hungry mouth drives him on.
27
An ungodly man digs up evil, and it is on his lips like a burning fire.
28
A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates the best of friends.
29
A violent man entices his neighbor, and leads him in a way that is not good.
30
He winks his eye to devise perverse things; he purses his lips and brings about evil.
31
The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness.
32
He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
33
The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.
1
Better is a dry morsel with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife.
2
A wise servant will rule over a son who causes shame, and will share an inheritance among the brothers.
3
The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the hearts.
4
An evildoer gives heed to false lips; a liar listens eagerly to a spiteful tongue.
5
He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.
6
Children’s children are the crown of old men, and the glory of children is their father.
7
Excellent speech is not becoming to a fool, much less lying lips to a prince.
8
A present is a precious stone in the eyes of its possessor; wherever he turns, he prospers.
9
He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends.
10
Rebuke is more effective for a wise man than a hundred blows on a fool.
11
An evil man seeks only rebellion; Therefore a cruel messenger will be sent against him.
12
Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, rather than a fool in his folly.
13
Whoever rewards evil for good, evil will not depart from his house.
14
The beginning of strife is like releasing water; therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts.
15
He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.
16
Why is there in the hand of a fool the purchase price of wisdom, since he has no heart for it?
17
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

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About the Author

Emma Cazabonne

Emma Cazabonne

Beside an anthology on Cistercian texts, Emma Cazabonne has translated and published articles on Cistercian spirituality, the Middle Ages, and Orthodoxy. She converted to Orthodoxy in 2008. Her husband is an Orthodox priest. If you are interested in having your book translated into French, she can be contacted here https://wordsandpeace.com/contact-me/

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