July 30 (old calendar) / August 12 (new)
11th SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST — Tone 2
Apostles Silas and Silvanus of the Seventy, and those with them: Crescens, Epenetus, and Andronicus (1st c.). Martyr John the soldier at Constantinople. Uncovering of the Relics of Ven. Herman of Solovétsky Monastery (1484). Hieromartyr Polychronius, Bishop of Babylon, and Martyrs Parmenius, Helimenas, and Chrysotelus—Presbyters, Luke and Moscius—Deacons, and Abdon, Sennen, Maximus and Olympius (ca. 251). Hieromartyr Valentine, Bishop of Interamna (Terni) in Italy, and Martyrs Proculus, Ephebus, Apollonius and Abundius, youths (ca. 273).
Saint Silas, Silvanus, Crescens, Epenetus and Andronicus
The Holy Apostles of the Seventy Silas, Silvanus, Crescens, Epenetus and Andronicus were disciples of the Savior.
Saint Silas was a respected figure in the original Church at Jerusalem, one of the “chief men among the brethren” (Acts 15:22). The Council of the Apostles was convened at Jerusalem in the year 51 to deal with the question of whether Gentile Christian converts should be required to observe the Mosaic Law. The Apostles sent a message with Paul and Barnabas to the Christians of Antioch, giving the decision of the Council that Christians of Gentile origin did not have to observe the prescriptions of the Mosaic Law. Nonetheless, they were told that they must refrain from partaking of foods offered to idols, from things strangled and from blood, to refrain from fornication (Acts 15:20-29). Together with Saints Paul and Barnabas, the Council of the Apostles sent Saints Silas and Jude to explain the message in greater detail, since they both were filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit. Saint Jude was later sent back to Jerusalem, but Saint Silas remained at Antioch and zealously assisted Saint Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, on his missionary journeys preaching the Gospel. They visited Syria, Cilicia, Macedonia.
In the city of Philippi they were accused of inciting unrest among the people, and for this they were arrested, beaten with rods, and then thrown into prison. At midnight, when the saints were at prayer, suddenly there was a strong earthquake, their chains fell off from them and the doors of the prison opened. The prison guard, supposing that the prisoners had fled, wanted to kill himself, but was stopped by the Apostle Paul. Then, he fell down trembling at the feet of the saints, and with faith accepted their preaching about Christ. He then led them out of the prison and took them to his own home, where he washed their wounds, and was baptized together with all his household.
From Philippi Saints Paul and Silas proceeded on to the cities of Amphipolis, Apollonia and Thessalonica. In each city they made new converts to Christ and built up the Church.
At Corinth the holy Apostle Silas was consecrated as bishop, and worked many miracles and signs, and there he finished his life.
TROPARION AND KONTAKION
Troparion of the Sunday, tone 2
When Thou didst descend to death, O Life immortal, Thou didst slay hell with the splendor of Thy godhead! And when from the depths Thou didst raise the dead, all the powers of heaven cried out: O Giver of life, Christ our God, glory to Thee!
Troparion of the saint, tone 3
Holy Apostles Silas and Silvanus, entreat the merciful God to grant our souls forgiveness of transgressions.
Kontakion of the saint, tone 4
You were revealed to be branches of the vine of Christ, O wise ones, bearing clusters of virtues that pour out on us the wine of salvation. Receiving it, we are filled with gladness, and we celebrate your most honored memory, apostles of the Lord, Silas and Silvanus. Therefore, intercede that great mercy and remission of sins may be granted to us.
Kontakion of the Sunday, tone 2
Hell became afraid, O Almighty Savior, seeing the miracle of Thy Resurrection from the tomb! The dead arose! Creation, with Adam, beheld this and rejoiced with Thee! And the world, O my Savior, praises Thee forever.
1 Corinthians 9:2-12
- If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
- My defense to those who examine me is this:
- Do we have no right to eat and drink?
- Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?
- Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working?
- Who ever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock?
- Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the law say the same also?
- For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it oxen God is concerned about?
- Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope.
- If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things?
- If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more? Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ.
- Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.
- And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.
- But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made.
- The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’
- Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
- But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’
- So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’
- And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.
- So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done.
- Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.
- Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’
- And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
- So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”