June 4 (old calendar) / June 17 (new)
Day of the Holy Spirit
St. Metrophanes, First Patriarch of Constantinople (325-326). Righteous Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus (1st c.). Ven. Methodius “Peshnosha”, disciple of Ven. Sergius of Rádonezh (1392). Martyrs Frontasius, Severinus, Severian, and Silanus, of Gaul (1st c.). Martyr Concordius of Spoleto (ca. 175). Hieromartyr Astius, Bishop of Dyrrachium in Macedonia (ca. 110). Venerable Father Zosima the Bishop of Babylon (6th c.).
Saint Metrophanes, Patriarch of Constantinople, was a contemporary of Saint Constantine the Great (306-337). His father, Dometius, was a brother of the Roman emperor Probus (276-282). Seeing the falseness of the pagan religion, Dometius came to believe in Christ. During a time of terrible persecution of Christians at Rome, Saint Dometius set off to Byzantium with two of his sons, Probus and Metrophanes. They were instructed in the law of the Lord by Bishop Titus, a man of holy life. Seeing the ardent desire of Dometius to labor for the Lord, Saint Titus ordained him presbyter. After the death of Titus first Dometius (272-303) was elevated to the bishop’s throne, and thereafter his sons, Probus (303-315) and in 316 Saint Metrophanes.
The emperor Constantine once came to Byzantium, and was delighted by the beauty and comfortable setting of the city. And having seen the holiness of life and sagacity of Saint Metrophanes, the emperor took him back to Rome. Soon Constantine the Great transferred the capital from Rome to Byzantium and he brought Saint Metrophanes there. The First Ecumenical Council was convened in 325 to resolve the Arian heresy. Constantine the Great had the holy Fathers of the Council bestow upon Saint Metrophanes the title of Patriarch. Thus, the saint became the first Patriarch of Constantinople.
Saint Metrophanes was very old, and was not able to be present at the Council, and he sent in his place the chorepiscopos (vicar bishop) Alexander. At the close of the Council the emperor and the holy Fathers visited with the ailing Patriarch. At the request of the emperor, the saint named a worthy successor to himself, Bishop Alexander. He foretold that Paul (at that time a Reader) would succeed to the patriarchal throne after Alexander. He also revealed to Patriarch Alexander of Alexandria that his successor would be the archdeacon Saint Athanasius.
Saint Metrophanes reposed in the year 326, at age 117. His relics rest at Constantinople in a church dedicated to him.
It should be noted that the Canons to the Holy Trinity in the Midnight Office in the Octoechos were not composed by this Metrophanes, but by Bishop Metrophanes of Smyrna, who lived in the middle of the ninth century.
Troparion of the feast, ton 8
Blessed art You O Christ Our God / You have revealed the fishermen as most wise / By sending down upon them the Holy Spirit / Through them You drew the world into Your net / O Lover of Man, Glory to You!
Kontakion of the feast, ton 8
When the most High came down and confused the tongues, / He divided the nations; / But when he distributed the tongues of fire / He called all to unity. / Therefore, with one voice, we glorify the All-holy Spirit!
Ephesians 5:9-19 (Epistle)
- (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),
- finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.
- And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
- For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.
- But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.
- Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
- See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
- redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
- Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
- And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,
- speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.
Matthew 18:10-20 (Gospel)
- Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.
- For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.
- What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying?
- And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray.
- Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
- Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.
- But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’
- And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
- Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
- Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.
- For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”