January 3 (old calendar) / January 16 (new)
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January 3 (old calendar) / January 16 (new)

Forefeast of the Theophany.
Holy Prophet Malachi (400 B.C.). Martyr Gordius at Cæsarea in Cappadocia (4th c.). Ven. Genevieve of Paris (5th c.).

SAINT GENEVIEVE

January 3 (old calendar) / January 16 (new)

Saint Genevieve was born of wealthy parents in Gaul (modern France) in the village of Nanterre, near Paris, around 422. Her father’s name was Severus, and her mother was called Gerontia. According to the custom of the time, she often tended her father’s flocks on Mt. Valerien.

When she was about seven years old, Saint Germanus of Auxerre (July 31) noticed her as he was passing through Nanterre. The bishop kissed her on the head and told her parents that she would become great in the sight of God, and would lead many to salvation. After Genevieve told him that she wished to dedicate herself to Christ, he gave her a brass medal with the image of the Cross upon it. She promised to wear it around her neck, and to avoid wearing any other ornaments around her neck or on her fingers.

When it was reported that Attila the Hun was approaching Paris, Genevieve and the other nuns prayed and fasted, entreating God to spare the city. Suddenly, the barbarians turned away from Paris and went off in another direction.

Years later, when she was fifteen, Genevieve was taken to Paris to enter the monastic life. Through fasting, vigil and prayer, she progressed in monasticism, and received from God the gifts of clairvoyance and of working miracles. Gradually, the people of Paris and the surrounding area regarded Genevieve as a holy vessel (2 Tim. 2:21).

Saint Genevieve considered the Saturday night Vigil service to be very important, since it symbolizes how our whole life should be. “We must keep vigil in prayer and fasting so that the Lord will find us ready when He comes,” she said. She was on her way to church with her nuns one stormy Saturday night when the wind blew out her lantern. The nuns could not find their way without a light, since it was dark and stormy, and the road was rough and muddy. Saint Genevieve made the Sign of the Cross over the lantern, and the candle within was lit with a bright flame. In this manner they were able to make their way to the church for the service.

There is a tradition that the church which Saint Genevieve suggested that King Clovis build in honor of Saints Peter and Paul became her own resting place when she fell asleep in the Lord around 512 at the age of eighty-nine. Her holy relics were later transferred to the church of Saint Etienne du Mont in Paris. Most of her relics, and those of other saints, were destroyed during the French Revolution.

In the Middle Ages, Saint Genevieve was regarded as the patron saint of wine makers.

TROPARIA AND KONTAKIA 

Troparion of the forefeast, tone 4

Prepare, O Zebulon, and adorn yourself, O Naphtali; River Jordan, cease flowing and receive with joy the Master coming to be baptized. Adam, rejoice with our First Mother and do not hide yourself as you did of old in Paradise; for having seen you naked, He has appeared to clothe you with the first garment. Christ has appeared to renew all creation.

Troparion of the saint, tone 1

O Shepherdess who guardest the sheep at Nanterre against the horde of wolves and the Scourge of God, thou dost protect the city of the Parisians. O St Genevieve, do not forget to guard thy spiritual sheep even now, from heaven where thou livest after death.

Kontakion of the saint, tone 2

Out of love for the Lord thou didst suppress the desire to rest, O venerable Geneviève, making thy spirit radiant through abstinence. Wherefore, thou didst tame wild beasts by thy power, and by thy supplications thou didst put down the uprisings of the enemy.

Kontakion of the forefeast, tone 4

Today the Lord enters the Jordan and cries out to John: “Do not be afraid to baptize me. For I have come to save Adam, the first-formed man.”

2 Timothy 2:1-10 (Martyr – Epistle)

1

You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2

And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

3

You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

4

No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.

5

And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.

6

The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops.

7

Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.

8

Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel,

9

for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained.

10

Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

Matthew 10:16-22 (Martyr – Gospel)

16

Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

17

But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues.

18

You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.

19

But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak;

20

for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

21

Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.

22

And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.

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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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