Forefeast of the Procession of the Honorable and Lifegiving Cross of the Lord. Righteous Eudocimus of Cappadocia (9th c.). Martyr Julitta at Cæsarea (304-305). St. Germanus, Bishop of Auxerre (448). Hieromartyr Benjamin, Metropolitan of Petrograd and Gdovsk (1922), and those with him: Archimandrite Sergius and the Laymen, Yuri and John.
Saint Eudocimus, a native of Cappadocia (Asia Minor), lived during the ninth century during the reign of Emperor Theophilus (829-842). He was the son of the pious Christians Basil and Eudokia, an illustrious family known to the emperor. They raised their son “in discipline and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6: 4), planting in his soul a sincere faith and holy virtues.
The righteous life of Saint Eudocimus was devoted to pleasing God and serving his neighbor. Having given a vow to remain unmarried and chaste, he avoided conversation with women and did not look at them. He would speak only with his own mother, whom he greatly respected. The emperor valued his virtue and talents, so he appointed Saint Eudocimus as governor of Chorziane, Armenia. Fulfilling his duty as a servant of God, Saint Eudocimus governed the people justly and with kindness. He concerned himself with the unfortunate, and with orphans and widows, and he was a defender of the common people. His personal Christian exploits which he did in secret, were known only to God.
Eudocimus pleased God by his blameless life, and the Lord called him at age 33. Lying on his deathbed, Saint Eudocimus gave final instructions to place him in the grave in those clothes in which he would meet death. Then he sent everyone out of the room and entreated the Lord that no one would see his end, just as no one saw his secret efforts during life. His attendants buried him as he had instructed them. Right after the death of Saint Eudocimus miracles took place at his grave. Many sick people were healed, and the news of the miraculous healings spread.
After 18 months, the mother of Saint Eudocimus came from Constantinople to venerate his relics. She gave orders to remove the stone, dig up the ground, and open the grave. Everyone beheld the face of the saint, bright as if alive, altogether untouched by decay. A great fragrance came from him. They took up the coffin with the relics from the earth, and they dressed the saint in new clothes. His mother wanted to take the relics of her son to Constantinople, but the Kharsian people would not clear a path for their holy one. After a certain time the hieromonk Joseph, having lived and served at the grave of the saint, transported the relics of Saint Eudocimus to Constantinople. There they were placed in a silver reliquary in the church of the Most Holy Theotokos, built by the parents of the saint.
Saint Eudocimus is considered by the Russian Church to be one of the special protectors and intercessors before God of the family hearth. He was, as his name implies, truly successful in every virtue.
Troparion of the Cross, tone 1
O Lord, save Your people, / And bless Your inheritance! / Grant victories to the Orthodox Christians / Over their adversaries. / And by virtue of the Cross, / Preserve Your habitation!
Troparion of the saint, tone 4
He who called you from earth to heaven, / keeps your body unharmed after death, holy Eudocimus; / for you lived a sober and holy life / and did not defile your flesh; / so with boldness intercede with Christ that we may be saved.
Kontakion of the saint, tone 3
Today your honored memory has assembled us at the holy shrine of your sacred relics; / all then who approach and venerate them / are rescued from the evil malice of demons / and are swiftly delivered from various diseases, blessed Eudocimus.
Kontakion of the Cross, tone 4
As You were voluntarily crucified for our sake, / Grant mercy to those who are called by Your name; / Make all Orthodox Christians glad by Your power, / Granting them victories over their adversaries, / By bestowing on them the invincible trophy, Your weapon of peace!
1 Corinthians 7:12-24 (Epistle)
- But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her.
- And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him.
- For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.
- But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace.
- For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?
- But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all the churches.
- Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised.
- Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters.
- Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called.
- Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather use it.
- For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave.
- You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.
- Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called.
Matthew 14:35-15:11 (Gospel)
- And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent out into all that surrounding region, brought to Him all who were sick,
- and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well.
- Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying,
- “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”
- He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?
- For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’
- But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God” –
- then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.
- Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
- These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.
- And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”
- When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand:
- Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”