August 12 (old calendar) / August 25 (new)
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August 12 (old calendar) / August 25 (new)

Dormition Fast

Afterfeast of the Transfiguration.
Martyrs Anicetus and Photius (Photinus) of Nicomedia, and many with them (305-306). Hieromartyr Alexander, Bishop of Comana (3rd c.).

 SAINTS PHOTIUS AND ANICETUS

The Martyrs Anicetus and Photius (his nephew) were natives of Nicomedia. Anicetus, a military official, denounced the emperor Diocletian (284-305) for setting up in the city square an implement of execution for frightening Christians. The enraged emperor ordered Saint Anicetus to be tortured, and later condemned him to be devoured by wild beasts. But the lions they set loose became gentle and fawned at his feet.

Suddenly there was a strong earthquake, resulting in the collapse of the pagan temple of Hercules, and many pagans perished beneath the demolished city walls. The executioner took up a sword to cut off the saint’s head, but he fell down insensible. They tried to break Saint Anicetus on the wheel and burn him with fire, but the wheel stopped and the fire went out. They threw the martyr into a furnace with boiling tin, but the tin became cold. Thus the Lord preserved His servant for the edification of many.

The martyr’s nephew, Saint Photius, saluted the sufferer and turned to the emperor, saying, “O idol-worshipper, your gods are nothing!” The sword, held over the new confessor, struck the executioner instead. Then the martyrs were thrown into prison.

After three days Diocletian urged them, “Worship our gods, and I shall give you glory and riches.” The martyrs answered, “May you perish with your honor and riches!” Then they tied them by the legs to wild horses. Though the saints were dragged along the ground, they remained unharmed. They did not suffer in the heated bath house, which fell apart. Finally, Diocletian ordered a great furnace to be fired up, and many Christians, inspired by the deeds of Saints Anicetus and Photius, went in themselves saying, “We are Christians!” They all died with a prayer on their lips. The bodies of Saints Anicetus and Photius were not harmed by the fire, and even their hair remained whole. Seeing this, many of the pagans came to believe in Christ. This occurred in the year 305.

Saints Anicetus and Photius are mentioned in the prayers for the Blessing of Oil and the Lesser Blessing of Water (BOOK OF NEEDS, 1987, p. 230).

TROPARION AND KONTAKION

Troparion of the Transfiguration, Tone 7
You were transfigured on the mountain, O Christ God, revealing Your glory to Your disciples as far as they could bear it. Let Your everlasting Light also shine upon us sinners, through the prayers of the Theotokos. O Giver of Light, glory to You!

Troparion of the saint, Tone 4
Your holy martyrs Anicetus and Photius, O Lord, through their sufferings have received incorruptible crowns from You, our God.  For having Your strength, they laid low their adversaries,  and shattered the powerless boldness of demons.  Through their intercessions, save our souls!

Kontakion of the saint, Tone 2

With anthems of praise, ye faithful, let us all extol the warriors of God, the yoke-pair of Christ’s majesty; and let all of us who love martyrs’ contests crown with our hymns of song the staunch heralds of piety, who truly were friends and lovers of our God.

Kontakion of the Transfiguration, Tone 7
On the Mountain You were Transfigured, O Christ God, And Your disciples beheld Your glory as far as they could see it; So that when they would behold You crucified, They would understand that Your suffering was voluntary, And would proclaim to the world, That You are truly the Radiance of the Father!

EPISTLE

1 Corinthians 2:6-9

6
However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.
7
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory,
8
which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9
But, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him,”

GOSPEL

Matthew 22:15-22

15
Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk.
16
And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men.
17
Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”
18
But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites?
19
Show Me the tax money.” So they brought Him a denarius.
20
And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?”
21
They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
22
When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left Him and went their way.

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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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