August 12
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August 12 

Dormition Fast

11th SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST — Tone 2

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 Sunday, tone 2

When Thou didst descend to death, O Life immortal, Thou didst slay hell with the splendor of Thy godhead! And when from the depths Thou didst raise the dead, all the powers of heaven cried out: O Giver of life, Christ our God, glory to Thee!

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!

Kontakion of the Sunday, tone 2

Hell became afraid, O Almighty Savior, seeing the miracle of Thy Resurrection from the tomb!  The dead arose! Creation, with Adam, beheld this and rejoiced with Thee!  And the world, O my Savior, praises Thee forever.

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 9:2-12

2
If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
3
My defense to those who examine me is this:
4
Do we have no right to eat and drink?
5
Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?
6
Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working?
7
Who ever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock?
8
Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the law say the same also?
9
For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it oxen God is concerned about?
10
Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope.
11
If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things?
12
If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more? Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ.

GOSPEL

Matthew 18:23-35

23
Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.
24
And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.
25
But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made.
26
The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’
27
Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
28
But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’
29
So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’
30
And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.
31
So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done.
32
Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.
33
Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’
34
And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
35
So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”

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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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