January 31 (old calendar) / February 13 (new)
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January 31 (old calendar) / February 13 (new)

Fast

Holy Wonderworkers and Unmercenaries Cyrus and John, and with them Martyrs Athanasia and her daughters: Theoctiste, Theodotia, and Eudoxia, at Canopus in Egypt (311). Ven. Nikita of the Kiev Caves, Bishop of Novgorod (1108). Martyrs Victorinus, Victor, Nicephorus, Claudius, Diodorus, Serapion, and Papias, of Egypt (251). Martyr Tryphænes at Cyzicus. St. Arsenios of Paros (1877).

SAINTS CYRUS AND JOHN

January 31 (old calendar) / February 13 (new)

Saint Cyrus was a noted physician in the city of Alexandria, where he had been born and raised. He was a Christian and he treated the sick without charge, not only curing their bodily afflictions, but also healing their spiritual infirmities. He would say, “Whoever wishes to avoid being ill should refrain from sin, for sin is often the cause of bodily illness.” Preaching the Gospel, the holy physician converted many pagans to Christ. During the persecution by Diocletian (284-305), Saint Cyrus withdrew into Arabia, where he became a monk. He continued to heal people by his prayer, having received from God the gift to heal every sickness.

In the city of Edessa at this time lived the soldier John, a pious Christian. When the persecution started, he went to Jerusalem and there he heard about Saint Cyrus. He began to search for him, going first to Alexandria and then to Arabia. When Saint John finally found Saint Cyrus, he remained with him and became his faithful follower.

They learned of the arrest of the Christian woman Athanasia and her three young daughters. Theoctiste was fifteen; Theodota, was thirteen; and Eudoxia, was eleven. Saints Cyrus and John hastened to the prison to help them. They were concerned that faced with torture, the women might renounce Christ.

Saints Cyrus and John gave them courage to endure what lay before them. Learning of this, the ruler of the city arrested Saints Cyrus and John, and seeing their steadfast and fearless confession of faith in Christ, he brought Athanasia and her daughters to witness their torture. The tyrant did not refrain from any form of torture against the holy martyrs. The women were not frightened by the sufferings of Saints Cyrus and John, but courageously continued to confess Christ. They were flogged and then beheaded, receiving their crowns of martyrdom.

At the same place they executed the Holy Unmercenaries Cyrus and John. Christians buried their bodies in the church of the holy Evangelist Mark. In the fifth century the relics of Saints Cyrus and John were transferred from Canopis to Manuphin. Later on their relics were transferred to Rome, and from there to Munchen (Munich) (another account is located under June 28).

Saints Cyrus and John are invoked by those who have difficulty in sleeping.

Troparion of the saints, tone 5

You have given us the miracles of Your martyrs, Cyrus and John, / as an invincible rampart; / through their prayers, frustrate the plans of the heathens, / and strengthen the faith of the Orthodox Christians, / for You alone are good and love mankind.

Kontakion of the saints, tone 3

Having received the gift of miracles through divine grace, O saints, / you work wonders in the world unceasingly. / You remove all of our passions through your invisible surgery, / divinely-wise Cyrus and glorious John, / for you are truly divine physicians.

1 Peter 4:1-11 (Epistle)

1

Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,

2

that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

3

For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles-when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.

4

In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.

5

They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

6

For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

7

But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.

8

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”

9

Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.

10

As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

11

If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Mark 12:28-37 (Gospel)

28

Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”

29

Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one.

30

‘And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.

31

And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.

32

So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He.

33

And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.

34

Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” But after that no one dared question Him.

35

Then Jesus answered and said, while He taught in the temple, “How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the Son of David?

36

For David himself said by the Holy Spirit:’The LORD said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ‘

37

Therefore David himself calls Him ‘Lord’; how is He then his Son? And the common people heard Him gladly.

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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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