April 9 
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April 9

Great Lent
Martyr Eupsychius of Cæsarea in Cappadocia (362). Martyrs Desan—Bishop, Mariabus—Presbyter, Abdiesus, and 270 others in Persia (363-364). Monk Martyr Bademus (Vadim) of Persia (376).

Saint Eupsychius

9 avril

The Holy Martyr Eupsychius was born in the city of Caesarea in Cappadocia and received a Christian upbringing by his illustrious parents.

During the reign of Julian the Apostate (361-363), Saint Eupsychius entered into a Christian marriage.

At Caesarea there was a pagan temple to the goddess Fortuna, whom Julian the Apostate revered. As Eupsychius was going to his wedding, the pagans were offering sacrifice to the goddess Fortuna.

Saint Eupsychius was filled with zeal for the Lord, and he destroyed the temple. He knew that this would inevitably result in his punishment. Saint Eupsychius distributed all his possessions to the poor and prepared himself for martyrdom.

The enraged emperor Julian loosed his wrath not only upon Saint Eupsychius, but against all the inhabitants of this city. Some of the citizens were executed, while the more respectable were sent into exile. Christian clergy were drafted into military service, and he looted the churches of anything valuable. The city was deprived of its title Caesarea [i.e. “Imperial”] and resumed its original name of Maza. He also imposed a severe tax on the inhabitants. The emperor threatened to annihilate the city altogether, if the people did not build a new pagan temple in place of the one destroyed.

Julian tried to compel Saint Eupsychius to offer sacrifice to idols. For many days they tormented the saint on a rack, and also with iron claws. But his faith was firm, and the judge sentenced the martyr to be beheaded with a sword.

Then Julian embarked on a campaign against the Persians, marching through Cappadocia and approaching Caesarea. Danger threatened the city, since the emperor intended to raze it to its foundations. But then Saint Basil the Great (January 1), showing Julian the proper respect as sovereign authority, came out to meet him carrying with him three loaves of barley bread, which he ate. The emperor ordered his retainers to take the loaves, and to give Saint Basil a pinch of hay saying, “You have given us barley, cattle fodder. Now receive hay from us in return.”

The saint answered, “O Emperor, we bring you that which we ourselves eat, and you give us cattle feed. You mock us, since you, by your might, are not able to transform hay into bread, the essential food of mankind.”

Julian angrily retorted, “I’ll shove this hay down your throat when I return here from Persia. I shall raze this city to its very foundations, and plow over this ground and turn it into a field. I know that it was on your advice that the people dared to destroy the statues and temple of Fortuna.”

After this the emperor continued on his way, but soon perished in his campaign against the Persians. He was struck down in the year 363 by the holy Great Martyr Mercurius (November 24).

After the emperor’s demise, the Christians of the city of Caesarea built a splendid church over the grave of Saint Eupsychius, and from his holy relics they received help and healing.

Troparion of the saint, tone 3

With steadfast heart you finished your course and cast down the wily foe, / for you were armed with the power of the Cross, blest Eupsychius. / You were numbered with the host of martyrs and have attained eternal glory. / Always entreat Christ our God to save us who honor you.

Kontakion of the saint, tone 2

As a living temple of Christ the Lord / you destroyed the ungodly temple, / and through your steadfast toils, Martyr Eupsychius, / you built a dwelling in Paradise.

Isaiah 40:18-31 (6th Hour)

To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare to Him?
The workman molds an image, the goldsmith overspreads it with gold, and the silversmith casts silver chains.
Whoever is too impoverished for such a contribution chooses a tree that will not rot; he seeks for himself a skillful workman to prepare a carved image that will not totter.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
He brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth useless.
Scarcely shall they be planted, scarcely shall they be sown, scarcely shall their stock take root in the earth, when He will also blow on them, and they will wither, and the whirlwind will take them away like stubble.
“To whom then will you liken Me, or to whom shall I be equal?” says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes on high, and see Who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing.
Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my just claim is passed over by my God”?
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall,
but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Genesis 15:1-15 (Vespers, 1st reading)

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”
Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!”
And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.”
Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”
And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
Then He said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it.”
And he said, “Lord God, how shall I know that I will inherit it?”
So He said to him, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”
Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two.
And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him.
Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years.
“And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions.
“Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age.

Proverbs 15:7-19 (Vespers, 2nd reading)

The lips of the wise disperse knowledge, but the heart of the fool does not do so.
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is His delight.
The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but He loves him who follows righteousness.
Harsh discipline is for him who forsakes the way, and he who hates correction will die.
Hell and Destruction are before the Lord; so how much more the hearts of the sons of men.
A scoffer does not love one who corrects him, nor will he go to the wise.
A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness.
All the days of the afflicted are evil, but he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.
Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure with trouble.
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred.
A wrathful man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger allays contention.
The way of the lazy man is like a hedge of thorns, but the way of the upright is a highway.

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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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