June 14 
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June 14

Fast

Leavetaking of the Ascension.
Glorification of St. John of Kronstadt (1990). Prophet Elisha (9th c. B.C.). St. Methodius, Patriarch of Constantinople (847). St. Mstislav (George), Prince of Novgorod (1180). Ven. Methodius “Peshnosha” (1392). Ven. Elisha of Sumsk (Solovétsky Monastery—15th-16th c.). Ven. Niphon (Mt. Athos—1330).

Saint Elisha

Saint Élisée

The Holy Prophet Elisha lived in the ninth century before the Birth of Christ, and was a native of the village of Abelmaum, near Jordan. By the command of the Lord he was called to prophetic service by the holy Prophet Elias (July 20).

When it became time for the Prophet Elias to be taken up to Heaven, he said to Elisha, “Ask what shall I do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha boldly asked for a double portion of the grace of God: “Let there be a double portion of your spirit upon me.” The Prophet Elias said, “You have asked a hard thing; if you see me when I am taken from you, then so shall it be for you; but if you don’t see me, it wilt not be” (4 [2] Kings 2: 12). As they went along the way talking, there appeared a fiery chariot and horses and separated them both. Elisha cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” (4 Kings 2: 12). Picking up the mantle of his teacher which fell from the sky, Elisha received the power and prophetic gift of Elias. He spent more than 65 years in prophetic service, under six Israelite kings (from Ahab to Joash). While Elisha lived, he did not tremble before any prince, and no word could overcome him (Sirach 48: 13 [“Sirach” is called “Ecclesiasticus” in Catholic Bibles ]).

The holy prophet worked numerous miracles. He divided the waters of the Jordan, having struck it with the mantle of the Prophet Elias; he made the waters of a Jericho spring fit for drinking; he saved the armies of the kings of Israel and Judah that stood in an arid wilderness by bringing forth abundant water by his prayer; he delivered a poor widow from death by starvation through a miraculous increase of oil in a vessel. The Shunamite woman showing hospitality to the prophet was gladdened by the birth of a son through his prayer, and when the child died, he was raised back to life by the prophet. The Syrian military-commander Namaan was healed from leprosy but the prophet’s servant Gehazi was afflicted since he disobeyed the prophet and took money from Namaan on the sly.

Elisha predicted to the Israelite king Joash the victory over his enemies, and by the power of his prayer he worked many other miracles (4 Kings 3-13). The holy Prophet Elisha died in old age at Samaria. “In his life he worked miracles, and at death his works were marvellous” (Sir. 48: 15). A year after his death, a corpse was thrown into the prophet’s grave. As soon as the dead man touched Elisha’s bones, he came to life and stood up (4 Kings 13: 20-21). The Prophet Elisha and his teacher, the Prophet Elias, left no books behind them, since their prophetic preaching was oral. Jesus, son of Sirach, praised both great prophets (Sir. 48:1-15).

John of Damascus composed a canon in honor of the Prophet Elisha, and at Constantinople a church was built in his honor.

Julian the Apostate (361-363) gave orders to burn the relics of the Prophet Elisha, Abdia (Obadiah) and John the Forerunner, but the holy relics were preserved by believers, and part of them were transferred to Alexandria.

In the twentieth century, the humble priest Nicholas Planas had a great veneration for the Prophet Elisha, and was accounted worthy to see him in visions.

Troparion of the Ascension, tone 4

O Christ God, You have ascended in Glory, / Granting joy to Your disciples by the promise of the Holy Spirit. / Through the blessing they were assured / That You are the Son of God, / The Redeemer of the world!

Troparion of the saint, tone 4

An angel in the flesh and the cornerstone of the prophets, / the second forerunner of the coming of Christ, / Glorious Elijah sent grace from on high to Elisha, / to dispel diseases and to cleanse lepers. / Therefore, he pours forth healings on those who honor him.

Kontakion of the saint, tone 2

You were revealed as a Prophet of God, / when you received from Elijah a double portion of the grace which you deserved; / you were his contemporary, blessed Elisha, / and together with him you unceasingly pray to Christ God for us all!

Kontakion of the Ascension, tone 6

When You had fulfilled the dispensation for our sake, / and united earth to heaven: / You ascended in glory, O Christ our God, / not being parted from those who love You, / but remaining with them and crying: / “I am with you and no one will be against you!”

Acts 27:1-44 (Epistle)

1
And when it was decided that we should sail to Italy, they delivered Paul and some other prisoners to one named Julius, a centurion of the Augustan Regiment.
2
So, entering a ship of Adramyttium, we put to sea, meaning to sail along the coasts of Asia. Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, was with us.
3
And the next day we landed at Sidon. And Julius treated Paul kindly and gave him liberty to go to his friends and receive care.
4
When we had put to sea from there, we sailed under the shelter of Cyprus, because the winds were contrary.
5
And when we had sailed over the sea which is off Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia.
6
There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing to Italy, and he put us on board.
7
When we had sailed slowly many days, and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus, the wind not permitting us to proceed, we sailed under the shelter of Crete off Salmone.
8
Passing it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea.
9
Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them,
10
saying, “Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives.”
11
Nevertheless the centurion was more persuaded by the helmsman and the owner of the ship than by the things spoken by Paul.
12
And because the harbor was not suitable to winter in, the majority advised to set sail from there also, if by any means they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete opening toward the southwest and northwest, and winter there.
13
When the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their desire, putting out to sea, they sailed close by Crete.
14
But not long after, a tempestuous head wind arose, called Euroclydon.
15
So when the ship was caught, and could not head into the wind, we let her drive.
16
And running under the shelter of an island called Clauda, we secured the skiff with difficulty.
17
When they had taken it on board, they used cables to undergird the ship; and fearing lest they should run aground on the Syrtis Sands, they struck sail and so were driven.
18
And because we were exceedingly tempest-tossed, the next day they lightened the ship.
19
On the third day we threw the ship’s tackle overboard with our own hands.
20
Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up.
21
But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss.
22
And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.
23
For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve,
24
saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’
25
Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.
26
However, we must run aground on a certain island.”
27
Now when the fourteenth night had come, as we were driven up and down in the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors sensed that they were drawing near some land.
28
And they took soundings and found it to be twenty fathoms; and when they had gone a little farther, they took soundings again and found it to be fifteen fathoms.
29
Then, fearing lest we should run aground on the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern, and prayed for day to come.
30
And as the sailors were seeking to escape from the ship, when they had let down the skiff into the sea, under pretense of putting out anchors from the prow,
31
Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.”
32
Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the skiff and let it fall off.
33
And as day was about to dawn, Paul implored them all to take food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day you have waited and continued without food, and eaten nothing.
34
Therefore I urge you to take nourishment, for this is for your survival, since not a hair will fall from the head of any of you.”
35
And when he had said these things, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of them all; and when he had broken it he began to eat.
36
Then they were all encouraged, and also took food themselves.
37
And in all we were two hundred and seventy-six persons on the ship.
38
So when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship and threw out the wheat into the sea.
39
When it was day, they did not recognize the land; but they observed a bay with a beach, onto which they planned to run the ship if possible.
40
And they let go the anchors and left them in the sea, meanwhile loosing the rudder ropes; and they hoisted the mainsail to the wind and made for shore.
41
But striking a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the prow stuck fast and remained immovable, but the stern was being broken up by the violence of the waves.
42
And the soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim away and escape.
43
But the centurion, wanting to save Paul, kept them from their purpose, and commanded that those who could swim should jump overboard first and get to land,
44
and the rest, some on boards and some on parts of the ship. And so it was that they all escaped safely to land.

John 17:18-26 (Gospel)

18
As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.
19
And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
20
I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;
21
that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
22
And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:
23
I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
24
Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
25
O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me.
26
And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

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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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