July 11 (old calendar) / July 24 (new)
Greatmartyr Euphemia the All-praised (451). Bl. Olga (in Baptism Elena), Princess of Russia (969). Hieromartyr Cindeus, Presbyter, of Pamphylia (3rd-4th c.).
The Miracle of Saint Euphemia the All-Praised: The holy Great Martyr Euphemia (September 16) suffered martyrdom in the city of Chalcedon in the year 304, during the time of the persecution against Christians by the emperor Diocletian (284-305). One and a half centuries later, at a time when the Christian Church had become victorious within the Roman Empire, God deigned that Euphemia the All-Praised should again be a witness and confessor of the purity of the Orthodox teaching.
In the year 451 in the city of Chalcedon, in the very church where the glorified relics of the holy Great Martyr Euphemia rested, the sessions of the Fourth Ecumenical Council (July 16) took place. The Council was convened for determining the precise dogmatic formulae of the Orthodox Church concerning the nature of the God-Man Jesus Christ. This was necessary because of the widespread heresy of the Monophysites [“mono-physis” meaning “one nature”], who opposed the Orthodox teaching of the two natures in Jesus Christ, the Divine and the Human natures (in one Divine Person). The Monophysites falsely affirmed that in Christ was only one nature, the Divine [i.e. that Jesus is God but not man, by nature], causing discord and unrest within the Church. At the Council were present 630 representatives from all the local Christian Churches. On the Orthodox side Anatolius, Patriarch of Constantinople (July 3), Juvenal, Patriarch of Jerusalem (July 2), and representatives of Saint Leo, Pope of Rome (February 18) participated in the conciliar deliberations. The Monophysites were present in large numbers, headed by Dioscorus, the Patriarch of Alexandria, and the Constantinople archimandrite Eutychius.
After prolonged discussions the two sides could not come to a decisive agreement.
The holy Patriarch Anatolius of Constantinople proposed that the Council submit the decision of the Church dispute to the Holy Spirit, through His undoubted bearer Saint Euphemia the All-Praised, whose wonderworking relics had been discovered during the Council’s discussions. The Orthodox hierarchs and their opponents wrote down their confessions of faith on separate scrolls and sealed them with their seals. They opened the tomb of the holy Great Martyr Euphemia and placed both scrolls upon her bosom. Then, in the presence of the emperor Marcian (450-457), the participants of the Council sealed the tomb, putting on it the imperial seal and setting a guard to watch over it for three days. During these days both sides imposed upon themselves strict fast and made intense prayer. After three days the patriarch and the emperor in the presence of the Council opened the tomb with its relics: the scroll with the Orthodox confession was held by Saint Euphemia in her right hand, and the scroll of the heretics lay at her feet. Saint Euphemia, as though alive, raised her hand and gave the scroll to the patriarch. After this miracle many of the hesitant accepted the Orthodox confession, while those remaining obstinant in the heresy were consigned to the Council’s condemnation and excommunication.
After an invasion by the Persians during the seventh century, the relics of Saint Euphemia were transferred from Chalcedon to Constantinople, into a newly built church dedicated to her. Many years later, during the period of the Iconoclast heresy, the reliquary with the relics of the saint was cast into the sea by order of the Iconoclast emperor Leo the Isaurian (716-741). The reliquary was rescued from the sea by the ship-owning brothers Sergius and Sergonos, who gave it over to the local bishop. The holy bishop ordered that the relics be preserved in secret, beneath a crypt, since the Iconoclast heresy was continuing to rage. A small church was built over the relics, and over the reliquary was put a board with an inscription stating whose relics rested within. When the Iconoclast heresy was finally condemned at the holy Seventh Ecumenical Council (in the year 787), during the time of Saint Tarasius, Patriarch of Constantinople (784-806) and the emperor Constantine VI (780-797) and his mother Saint Irene (797-802), the relics of the holy Great Martyr Euphemia were once again solemnly transferred to Constantinople.
Troparion of the saint, tone 3
You brought joy to the Orthodox / and shame to the defenders of heresy, / for you confirmed what the Fathers of the Fourth Council had correctly taught. / Glorious martyr Euphemia, fair virgin of Christ, / entreat Christ God to grant us His great mercy.
Kontakion of the saint, tone 2
For the sake of Christ your Bridegroom / you underwent struggles in both martyrdom and faith. / Now intercede with the Mother of God / that heresies and the insolent enemies of the Orthodox be placed underfoot. / You received and guarded that which was defined by the six hundred and thirty God-bearing Fathers, / all-praised Euphemia.
1 Corinthians 2:9-3:8 (Epistle)
- But, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him,”
- But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
- For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
- Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
- These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
- But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
- But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.
- For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
- And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.
- I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;
- for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?
- For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?
- Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one?
- I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.
- So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.
- Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
Matthew 13:31-36 (Gospel)
- Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field,
- which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”
- Another parable He spoke to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”
- All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them,
- that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.”
- Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”