August 18
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August 18 

Afterfeast of the Dormition.
Martyrs Florus and Laurus of Illyria (2nd c.). Martyrs Hermes, Serapion and Polyænus, of Rome (2nd c.). Hieromartyr Emilian and with him Martyrs Hilarion, Dionysius, and Hermippus (4th c.). Ss. John (674) and George (683), Patriarchs of Constantinople. Ven. Macarius, Monk. Repose of Ven. John, Abbot of Rila (946). Ven. Sophronius of St. Anne’s Skete (Mt. Athos). Ven. Arsenios of Paros (1877).

SAINTS MARTYRS FLORUS AND LAURUS

The Martyrs Florus and Laurus were brothers by birth not only in flesh but in spirit. They lived in the second century at Byzantium, and afterwards they settled in Illyria [now Yugoslavia]. By occupation they were stone-masons (their teachers in this craft were the Christians Proclus and Maximus, from whom also the brothers learned about life pleasing to God).

The prefect of Illyria, Likaion, sent the brothers to a nearby district for work on the construction of a pagan temple. The saints toiled at the structure, distributing to the poor the money they earned, while they kept strict fast and prayed without ceasing.

Once, the son of the local pagan-priest Mamertin carelessly approached the structure, and a chip of stone hit him in the eye, severely injuring him. Saints Florus and Laurus assured the upset father, that his son would be healed.

They brought the youth to consciousness and told him to have faith in Christ. After this, as the youth confessed Jesus Christ as the true God, the brothers prayed for him, and the eye was healed. In view of such a miracle, even the father of the youth believed in Christ.

When the construction of the temple was completed, the brothers gathered the Christians together, and going through the temple, they smashed the idols. In the eastern part of the temple they set up the holy Cross. They spent all night in prayer, illumined with heavenly light. Having learned of this, the head of the district condemned to burning the former pagan priest Mamertin and his son and 300 Christians.

The martyrs Florus and Laurus, having been sent back to the prefect Likaion, were thrown down an empty well and covered over with earth. After many years, the relics of the holy martyrs were uncovered incorrupt, and transferred to Constantinople. In the year 1200 the Novgorod pilgrim Anthony saw them. Stephen of Novgorod saw the heads of the martyrs in the Pantokrator monastery around the year 1350.

TROPARION AND KONTAKION

Troparion of the Dormition, tone 1

In giving birth you preserved your virginity, In falling asleep you did not forsake the world, O Theotokos. You were translated to life, O Mother of Life, And by your prayers, you deliver our souls from death.

Troparion of the saint, tone 4

Let us praise as is meet, O you faithful, The most comely, radiant and divinely wise martyrs: Most blessed Florus and all venerable Laurus, Who proclaimed to all the uncreated Trinity. Suffering unto bloodshed, They were adorned with brilliant crowns. Entreat Christ our God to save our souls.

Kontakion of the saint, tone 8

Today all the world honors in glory the divinely wise Florus and Laurus,  As pious martyrs who suffered for Christ. Through their prayers may we receive grace and mercy And be delivered from calamity and temptation, And from wrath and sorrow on the Day of Judgment.

Kontakion of the Dormition, tone 2

Neither the tomb, nor death could hold the Theotokos, Who is constant in prayer and our firm hope in her intercessions. For being the Mother of Life, She was translated to life by the One who dwelt in her virginal womb.

EPISTLE

1 Corinthians 1:26-29

26
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.
27
But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;
28
and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,
29
that no flesh should glory in His presence.

GOSPEL

Matthew 20:29-34

29
Now as they went out of Jericho, a great multitude followed Him.
30
And behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!”
31
Then the multitude warned them that they should be quiet; but they cried out all the more, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!”
32
So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
33
They said to Him, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.”
34
So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.

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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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