March 28 (old calendar) / April 10 (new)
Ven. Hilarion the New, Abbot of Pelekete (ca. 754). Ven. Stephen the Wonderworker, Abbot of Triglia (9th c.). Monk Martyr Eustratius of the Kiev Caves (Near Caves—1097). Ven. Hilarion of Pskov Lake (Gdov—1476). Martyred brothers Barachisius and Jonah, and those with them, in Persia (4th c.). Martyr Boyan, Prince of Bulgaria (ca. 830).
SAINT HILARION THE NEW
Saint Hilarion the New, Igumen of Pelekete Monastery, from his youth devoted himself to the service of God and spent many years as a hermit. Because of his holy and blameless life he was ordained to the holy priesthood, and later he was made igumen of the Pelekete monastery (near the Dardanelles). Saint Hilarion was granted gifts of clairvoyance and wonderworking by the Lord.
Through prayer he brought down rain during a drought, and like the Prophet Elisha he separated the waters of a river, he drove harmful beasts from the fields, he filled the nets of fishermen when they had no success in fishing, and he did many other miracles. In addition to these things, he was able to heal the sick and cast out demons.
Saint Hilarion suffered on Great and Holy Thursday in the year 754, when the military commander Lakhanodrakon suddenly descended upon the Pelekete monastery in pursuit of icon-venerators, boldly forcing his way into the church, disrupting the service and throwing the Holy Gifts upon the ground. Forty-two monks were arrested, slapped into chains, sent to the Edessa district and murdered. The remaining monks were horribly mutilated: they beat them, they burned their beards with fire, they smeared their faces with tar and cut off the noses of some of the confessors. Saint Hilarion died for the veneration of icons during this persecution.
Saint Hilarion left behind spiritual works containing moral directives for spiritual effort. Saint Joseph of Volokolamsk (September 9 and October 18) was well acquainted with the work of Saint Hilarion, and he also wrote about the significance of monastic struggles in his own theological works.
Troparion of saint Hilarion, tone 5
Adorned with gladness of soul / As a pure vessel of the wisdom of Christ, / You were a reflection of the life in God. / Therefore you are resplendent with the light of virtues, / O Father Hilarion, / And you guide us unerringly to the salvation of our souls!
Kontakion of saint Hilarion, tone 4
Righteous Hilarion, like a fruitful olive tree that has blossomed, / with your oil you mystically make radiant those who sing to you: / “Rejoice, unwavering rule of the righteous.”
Isaiah 41:4-14 (6th Hour)
- Who has performed and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? ‘I, the Lord, am the first; and with the last I am He.’”
- The coastlands saw it and feared, the ends of the earth were afraid; they drew near and came.
- Everyone helped his neighbor, and said to his brother, “Be of good courage!”
- So the craftsman encouraged the goldsmith; he who smooths with the hammer inspired him who strikes the anvil, Saying, “It is ready for the soldering”; then he fastened it with pegs, that it might not totter.
- “But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the descendants of Abraham My friend.
- You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest regions, and said to you, ‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and have not cast you away:
- fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
- “Behold, all those who were incensed against you shall be ashamed and disgraced; they shall be as nothing, and those who strive with you shall perish.
- You shall seek them and not find them – those who contended with you. Those who war against you shall be as nothing, as a nonexistent thing.
- For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’
- “Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I will help you, says the Lord and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
Genesis 17:1-9 (Vespers, 1st reading)
- When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.
- “And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.”
- Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying:
- “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations.
- “No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.
- “I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.
- “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.
- “Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
- And God said to Abraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations.
Proverbs 15:20-16:9 (Vespers, 2nd reading)
- A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish man despises his mother.
- Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment, but a man of understanding walks uprightly.
- Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.
- A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!
- The way of life winds upward for the wise, that he may turn away from hell below.
- The Lord will destroy the house of the proud, but He will establish the boundary of the widow.
- The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord, but the words of the pure are pleasant.
- He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house, but he who hates bribes will live.
- The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil.
- The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.
- The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and a good report makes the bones healthy.
- The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise.
- He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, but he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.
- The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility.
- The preparations of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
- All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits.
- Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.
- The Lord has made all for Himself, yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.
- Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; though they join forces, none will go unpunished.
- In mercy and truth Atonement is provided for iniquity; and by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil.
- When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
- Better is a little with righteousness, than vast revenues without justice.
- A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.