March 13 (old calendar) / March 26 (new)
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March 13 (old calendar) / March 26 (new)

Great Lent

Translation of the relics of St. Nicephorus, Patriarch of Constantinople (846). Martyr Sabinus (Abibus) of Egypt (287). Martyrs Africanus, Publius and Terence, of Carthage (3rd c.). Martyr Alexander of Macedonia (305-311). Martyr Christina of Persia (4th c.). Ven. Aninas of the Euphrates.

Translation of the relics of St. Nicephorus

Nicéphore

Saint Nicephorus was a dignitary at the court of the empress Irene (797-802), and then after receiving monastic tonsure, he became known for his piety. In the year 806 he was elevated to the patriarchal throne. The saint was a zealous defender of the holy Icons. When the Iconoclast emperor Leo the Armenian (813-820) came to rule, the saint in 815 was exiled to Prokonnis, where he died in the year 828.

In the year 846 the holy relics of Patriarch Nicephorus were opened, and were found incorrupt and fragrant. They transferred them from Prokonnis to Constantinople and placed them for one day in Hagia Sophia, and then transferred them to the Church of the Holy Apostles. The saint’s hands are preserved in the Hilandar monastery on Mount Athos.

The saint left behind three writings against Iconoclasm. The main Feast of Saint Nicephorus is celebrated on June 2, but today we commemorate the finding and transfer of his holy relics.

Troparion of the saint, tone 3

Your fragrant relics have been revealed as godly treasure / filled with life for the Church. / On their august translation / we receive the gifts of the Spirit. / Righteous Father Nicephorus, entreat Christ our God to grant us His great mercy.

Kontakion of the saint, tone 1

The choir of patriarchs, honors your holy memory with praises and hymns, O Nicephorus, / for it received your spirit at your translation, O glorious one. / Therefore, today the Church magnifies Christ the King, / glorifying Him as the only Lover of mankind.

Isaiah 9:9-10:4 (6th Hour)

9
All the people will know – Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria – who say in pride and arrogance of heart:
10
“The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with hewn stones; the sycamores are cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.”
11
Therefore the Lord shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and spur his enemies on,
12
the Syrians before and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with an open mouth. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.
13
For the people do not turn to Him who strikes them, nor do they seek the Lord of hosts.
14
Therefore the Lord will cut off head and tail from Israel, palm branch and bulrush in one day.
15
The elder and honorable, he is the head; the prophet who teaches lies, he is the tail.
16
For the leaders of this people cause them to err, and those who are led by them are destroyed.
17
Therefore the Lord will have no joy in their young men, nor have mercy on their fatherless and widows; for everyone is a hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaks folly. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.
18
For wickedness burns as the fire; it shall devour the briers and thorns, and kindle in the thickets of the forest; they shall mount up like rising smoke.
19
Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts the land is burned up, and the people shall be as fuel for the fire; no man shall spare his brother.
20
And he shall snatch on the right hand and be hungry; he shall devour on the left hand and not be satisfied; every man shall eat the flesh of his own arm.
21
Manasseh shall devour Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh; together they shall be against Judah. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.
1
“Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees, who write misfortune, which they have prescribed
2
to rob the needy of justice, and to take what is right from the poor of My people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless.
3
What will you do in the day of punishment, and in the desolation which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help? And where will you leave your glory?
4
Without Me they shall bow down among the prisoners, and they shall fall among the slain.” For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.

Genesis 7:1-15 (Vespers, 1st reading)

1
Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.
2
“You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female;
3
“also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth.
4
“For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made.”
5
And Noah did according to all that the Lord commanded him.
6
Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters were on the earth.
7
So Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, went into the ark because of the waters of the flood.
8
Of clean animals, of animals that are unclean, of birds, and of everything that creeps on the earth,
9
two by two they went into the ark to Noah, male and female, as God had commanded Noah.
10
And it came to pass after seven days that the waters of the flood were on the earth.
11
In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
12
And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights.
13
On the very same day Noah and Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark –
14
they and every beast after its kind, all cattle after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort.
15
And they went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life.

Proverbs 8:32-9:11 (Vespers, 2nd reading)

32
“Now therefore, listen to me, my children, for blessed are those who keep my ways.
33
Hear instruction and be wise, and do not disdain it.
34
Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
35
For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord;
36
but he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; all those who hate me love death.”
1
Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn out her seven pillars;
2
she has slaughtered her meat, she has mixed her wine, she has also furnished her table.
3
She has sent out her maidens, she cries out from the highest places of the city,
4
“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him,
5
“Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed.
6
Forsake foolishness and live, and go in the way of understanding.
7
“He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, and he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself.
8
Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you;
9
give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
10
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11
For by me your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you.

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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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