April 19  
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April 19  

Great Lent
Ven. John of the Ancient Caves in Palestine (8th c.). Martyrs Christopher, Theonas, and Anthony, at Rome (303). Hieromartyr Paphnutius of Jerusalem. St. George the Confessor, Bishop of Antioch in Pisidia (9th c.). St. Tryphon, Patriarch of Constantinople (933). Ven. Nicephorus, Abbot of Catabad. Monk Martyr Agathangelos of Esphigmenou (Mt. Athos—1819). Ven. Simeon of Philotheou (Mt. Athos—16th c.).

Saint John of the Ancient Caves

Saint

Saint John of the Ancient Caves is so called because he lived during the eighth century in the Lavra of Saint Chariton (September 28). This was called the “Old,” or ancient cave, since it was one the oldest of the Palestinian monasteries. The Lavra was situated not far from Bethlehem, near the Dead Sea.

Saint John in his early years left the world, went to venerate the holy places of Jerusalem, and settled at the Lavra, where he labored in fasting, vigil, and prayer. He was ordained to the holy priesthood, and glorified by his ascetic life.

Troparion of the saint, tone 8

The image of God was truly preserved in you, O Father, / for you took up the Cross and followed Christ. / By so doing, you taught us to disregard the flesh, for it passes away, / but to care instead for the soul, since it is immortal. / Therefore your spirit, O holy Father John, rejoices with the angels.

Kontakionof the saint, tone 2

Divinely arming yourself with purity of soul, / and wielding incessant prayer as a spear, / John, our father, you impaled hordes of demons. / Unceasingly pray for us all!

Isaiah 66:10-24 (6th Hour)

10
“Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all you who love her; rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her;
11
That you may feed and be satisfied with the consolation of her bosom, that you may drink deeply and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.”
12
For thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream. Then you shall feed; on her sides shall you be carried, and be dandled on her knees.
13
As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”
14
When you see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like grass; the hand of the Lord shall be known to His servants, and His indignation to His enemies.
15
For behold, the Lord will come with fire and with His chariots, like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire.
16
For by fire and by His sword the Lord will judge all flesh; and the slain of the Lord shall be many.
17
“Those who sanctify themselves and purify themselves, to go to the gardens after an idol in the midst, eating swine’s flesh and the abomination and the mouse, shall be consumed together,” says the Lord.
18
“For I know their works and their thoughts. It shall be that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see My glory.
19
“I will set a sign among them; and those among them who escape I will send to the nations: to Tarshish and Pul and Lud, who draw the bow, and Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands afar off who have not heard My fame nor seen My glory. And they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles.
20
“Then they shall bring all your brethren for an offering to the Lord out of all nations, on horses and in chariots and in litters, on mules and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem,” says the Lord, “as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord.
21
“And I will also take some of them for priests and Levites,” says the Lord.
22
“For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before Me,” says the Lord, “so shall your descendants and your name remain.
23
And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the Lord.
24
“And they shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men Who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”

Genesis 49:33-50:26 (Vespers, 1st reading)

33
And when Jacob had finished commanding his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed and breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.
1
Then Joseph fell on his father’s face, and wept over him, and kissed him.
2
And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father. So the physicians embalmed Israel.
3
Forty days were required for him, for such are the days required for those who are embalmed; and the Egyptians mourned for him seventy days.
4
Now when the days of his mourning were past, Joseph spoke to the household of Pharaoh, saying, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, please speak in the hearing of Pharaoh, saying,
5
‘My father made me swear, saying, “Behold, I am dying; in my grave which I dug for myself in the land of Canaan, there you shall bury me.” Now therefore, please let me go up and bury my father, and I will come back.’”
6
And Pharaoh said, “Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear.”
7
So Joseph went up to bury his father; and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt,
8
as well as all the house of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s house. Only their little ones, their flocks, and their herds they left in the land of Goshen.
9
And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen, and it was a very great gathering.
10
Then they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, and they mourned there with a great and very solemn lamentation. He observed seven days of mourning for his father.
11
And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning at the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “This is a deep mourning of the Egyptians.” Therefore its name was called Abel Mizraim, which is beyond the Jordan.
12
So his sons did for him just as he had commanded them.
13
For his sons carried him to the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, before Mamre, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite as property for a burial place.
14
And after he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, he and his brothers and all who went up with him to bury his father.
15
When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.”
16
So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died he commanded, saying,
17
‘Thus you shall say to Joseph: “I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.”’ Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
18
Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, “Behold, we are your servants.”
19
Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?
20
“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
21
“Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
22
So Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he and his father’s household. And Joseph lived one hundred and ten years.
23
Joseph saw Ephraim’s children to the third generation. The children of Machir, the son of Manasseh, were also brought up on Joseph’s knees.
24
And Joseph said to his brethren, “I am dying; but God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land to the land of which He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”
25
Then Joseph took an oath from the children of Israel, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.”
26
So Joseph died, being one hundred and ten years old; and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.

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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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