12th SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST — Tone 3.
Afterfeast of the Dormition.
Martyr Andrew Stratelates and those with him (2593 soldiers) in Cilicia (4th c.). St. Pitirim, Bishop of Perm (1456). Martyrs Timothy, Agapius, and Thecla, of Palestine (304-306). Ven. Theophanes of Docheiariou (Mt. Athos—16th c.). The “DONSKAYA” Icon of the Most-holy Theotokos (in commemoration of the deliverance of Moscow from the Tatars in 1591).
SAINT MARTYR ANDREW STRATELATES
The Martyr Andrew Stratelates was a military commander in the Roman army during the reign of the emperor Maximian (284-305). They loved him in the Roman army because of his bravery, invincibility and sense of fairness. When a large Persian army invaded the Syrian territories, the governor Antiochus entrusted Saint Andrew with the command of the Roman army, giving him the title of “Stratelates” (“Commander”). Saint Andrew selected a small detachment of brave soldiers and proceeded against the adversary.
His soldiers were pagans, and Saint Andrew himself had still not accepted Baptism, but he believed in Jesus Christ. Before the conflict he persuaded the soldiers that the pagan gods were demons and could not help them in battle. He proclaimed to them Jesus Christ, the omnipotent God of Heaven and earth, giving help to all who believe in Him.
The soldiers went into battle, calling on the help of the Savior. The small detachment routed the numerous host of the Persians. Saint Andrew returned from the campaign in glory, having gained a total victory. But jealous men denounced him to the governor Antiochus, saying that he was a Christian who had converted the soldiers under his command to his faith.
Saint Andrew was summoned to trial, and there he declared his faith in Christ. For this they subjected him to torture. He laid himself upon a bed of white-hot copper, but as soon as he sought help from the Lord, the bed became cool. They crucified his soldiers on trees, but not one of them renounced Christ. Locking the saints away in prison, Antiochus sent the report of charges on to the emperor, unable to decide whether to impose the death sentence upon the acclaimed champion. The emperor knew how the army loved Saint Andrew, and fearing a rebellion, he gave orders to free the martyrs. Secretly, however, he ordered that each be executed on some pretext.
After being freed, Saint Andrew went went to the city of Tarsus with his fellow soldiers. There the local bishop Peter and Bishop Nonos of Beroea baptized them. Then the soldiers proceeded on to the vicinity of Taxanata. Antiochus wrote a letter to Seleucus, governor of the Cilicia region, ordering him to overtake the company of Saint Andrew and kill them, under the pretext that they had deserted their military standards.
Seleucus came upon the martyrs in the passes of Mount Tauros, where they were evidently soon to suffer. Saint Andrew, calling the soldiers his brothers and children, urged them not to fear death. He prayed for all who would honor their memory, and asked the Lord to create a curative spring on the place where their blood would be shed.
At the time of this prayer the steadfast martyrs were beheaded with swords. During this time, a spring of water issued forth from the ground. Bishops Peter and Nonos, with their clergy, secretly followed the company of Saint Andrew, and buried their bodies. One of the clergy, suffering for a long time from an evil spirit, drank from the spring of water, and at once he was healed. Reports of this spread among the local people and they began to come to the spring. Through the prayers of Saint Andrew and the 2593 Martyrs suffering with him, they received gracious help from God.
TROPARION AND KONTAKION
Troparion of the Sunday, tone 3
Let the Heavens rejoice; let earthly things be glad; for the Lord hath wrought might with His arm, He hath trampled upon death by death. The first-born of the dead hath He become. From the belly of Hades hath He delivered us, and hath granted great mercy to the world.
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 5
You renounced the glory of earthly rank and inherited the kingdom of heaven; you adorned your incorruptible crown as with beautiful stones. You led an army of martyrs to Christ, and with the angels in the never-fading light you found Christ the never-setting sun. Together with those who suffered with you, holy general Andrew, ever pray to Him that He may save our souls.
Kontakion of the Sunday, tone 3
Thou didst rise today from the tomb, O Merciful One, and didst lead us out of the gates of death. Today Adam danceth and Eve rejoiceth; and together with them both the Prophets and Patriarchs unceasingly praise the divine might of Thine authority.
Kontakion of the saint, tone 4
Standing before the Lord in prayer like a star near the sun, you were filled with ineffable joy beholding your desire: the treasure of the kingdom. You sing without ceasing to the immortal King together with the angels throughout the ages. With them, general Andrew, unceasingly pray for us all.
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.
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
- Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,
- by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you – unless you believed in vain.
- For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
- and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
- and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.
- After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.
- After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.
- Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
- For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
- But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
- Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
- Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”
- So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
- He said to Him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “’You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’
- ’Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ “
- The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?”
- Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
- But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
- Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
- And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
- When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?”
- But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”