August 5 (old calendar) / August 18 (new)
Forefeast of the Transfiguration.
Martyr Eusignius of Antioch (362). Ven. Job of Ushchelsk (1628). Hieromartyr Antherus (Antheros—236) and Fabian (250), Popes of Rome. Martyr Pontious at Cimella in France (ca. 257). Martyrs Cantidius, Cantidian, and Sibelius (Sobel) of Egypt. Righteous Nonna, mother of St. Gregory the Theologian (374).
SAINT MARTYR EUSIGNIUS OF ANTIOCH
The Martyr Eusignius was born at Antioch in the mid-third century. For sixty years he served in the Roman armies of the emperors Diocletian, Maximian Hercules, Constantius Chlorus, Constantine the Great and his sons. Saint Eusignius was a companion of Saint Basiliscus (March 3 and May 22), and he provided an account of his martyrdom. At the beginning of the reign of Saint Constantine the Great, Saint Eusignius was a witness to the appearance of the Cross in the sky, a prediction of victory.
Saint Eusignius retired in his old age from military service and returned to his own country. There he spent his time in prayer, fasting, and attending the church of God. So he lived until the reign of Julian the Apostate (361-363), who yearned for a return to paganism. Through the denunciation of one of the Antiochian citizens, Saint Eusignius stood trial as a Christian before the emperor Julian in the year 362. He fearlessly accused the emperor of apostasy from Christ, and reproached him with the example of his relative, Constantine the Great, and he described in detail how he himself had been an eyewitness to the appearance of the sign of the Cross in the sky. Julian did not spare the aged Saint Eusignius, then 110 years old, but ordered him beheaded.
TROPARION AND KONTAKION
Troparion of the saint, Tone 8
Today the Church honors a man martyred for his piety and devotion: The sincere and Godly-minded Eusignius the Wise. She glorifies his spiritual struggles, and cries out fervently: O Most Merciful One, guard Your servants through his intercessions!
Troparion for the Forefeast of the Transfiguration, tone 4
Come, you faithful, let us welcome the Transfiguration of Christ, and let us joyfully cry as we celebrate the prefeast: “The day of holy gladness has come; the Lord has ascended Mount Tabor to radiate the beauty of His divinity.”
Kontakion for the Forefeast of the Transfiguration, tone 4
Today all mortal nature shines with the divine Transfiguration and cries with exultation: “Christ the Savior is transfigured to save us all!”
1 Corinthians 1:26-29
- For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.
- 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;
- 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,
- that no flesh should glory in His presence.
- Now as they went out of Jericho, a great multitude followed Him.
- 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!”
- 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!”
- So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
- They said to Him, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.”
- So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.