February 20 
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February 20 

Fast

St. Leo, Bishop of Catania in Sicily (ca. 780). Ven. Agafón (Agathon), Wonderworker of the Kiev Caves (Far Caves—13th -14th c.). Beheading of Ven. Cornelius, Abbot of the Pskov Caves (1570). Hieromartyr Sadoc (Sadoth), Bishop of Persia, and 128 Martyrs with him (342-344). St. Agathon, Pope of Rome (682).

SAINT LEO OF CATANIA

18 février

Saint Leo was bishop of the city of Catania, in Sicily. He was famed for his benevolence and charity, and his Christian love for the poor and the vagrant. The Lord granted him the gifts of healing various illnesses, and working miracles.

When Saint Leo was Bishop of Catania, there was a certain sorcerer named Heliodorus, who impressed people with his fake miracles. This fellow was originally a Christian, but then he rejected Christ and became a servant of the devil.

Saint Leo often urged Heliodorus to repent of his wicked deeds and return to God, but in vain. Once, Heliodorus impudently entered the church where the bishop was serving, and tried to create a disturbance, sowing confusion and temptation by his sorcery.

Seeing the people beset by devils under the sorcer’s spell, Saint Leo realized that the time for gentle persuasion had passed. He calmly emerged from the altar and, tying his omophorion around the magician’s neck, he led him out of the church into the city square. There he forced Heliodorus to admit to all his wicked deeds. He commanded that a fire be lit, and jumped into the fire with the sorcerer. Thus they stood in the fire until Heliodorus got burnt. Saint Leo, by the power of God, remained unharmed. This miracle brought Saint Leo great renown during his lifetime.

When he died, a woman with an issue of blood received healing at his grave. The body of the saint was placed in a church of the holy Martyr Lucy (December 13), which he himself had built. Later on, his relics were transferred into the church of Saint Martin the Merciful, Bishop of Tours (November 11).

Troparion of the saint, tone 1

You were shown forth as a resplendent priest, / a teacher of godliness and a wonderworker, blessed hierarch Leo; / by the light of heavenly virtue you were enriched with the power of the Spirit, / and heal the souls and bodies of those who hasten to you. / Glory to Christ who has glorified you! / Glory to Him who has crowned you! / Glory to Him who through you works healing for all!

Kontakion of the saint, tone 2

With hymns of praise let us crown Leo, / who was consecrated to the Lord from early childhood; / he received grace while still a babe in swaddling clothes. / He is a brightly shining star in the Church: / its valiant defender and firm support!

2 Peter 3:1-18 (Epistle)

1
Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder),
2
that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior,
3
knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts,
4
and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”
5
For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water,
6
by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.
7
But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
8
But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
10
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
11
Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
12
looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
13
Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
14
Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;
15
and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation – as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,
16
as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
17
You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;
18
but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

Mark 13:24-31 (Gospel)

24
But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;
25
the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
26
Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
27
And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.
28
Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.
29
So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near – at the doors!
30
Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.
31
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

 

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About the Author

Emma Cazabonne

Emma Cazabonne

Emma Cazabonne was born and raised in France, where she taught English. She moved to the United States in 2001, and she now teaches French. Beside her anthology on Cistercian texts, she 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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