May 13 (old calendar) / May 26 (new)
5th SUNDAY OF PASCHA — Tone 4. Samaritan Woman.
Virgin Martyr Glyceria at Heraclea, and with her, Martyr Laodicius, Keeper of the Prison (ca. 177). Righteous Virgin Glykéria of Novgorod (1522). Translation of the Relics of Ven. Makáry, Archimandrite of Obruch (or Kanev—1678). Martyr Alexander of Rome (284-305). St Pausicacus, Bishop of Synnada (606). St George the Confessor, with his wife, Irene, and their children, of Constantinople (9th c.). St. Euthymius the New (1028), founder of Iveron Monastery, and his fellow Georgian Saints of Mt. Athos: his father, John, his cousin, George, and Gabriel. Monk Martyrs of Iveron (Mt. Athos).
Saint Glyceria suffered as a martyr for her faith in Christ in the second century, during a persecution against Christians under the emperor Antoninus (138-161). She came from an illustrious family, and her father Macarius was a high-ranking Roman official. Later, the family moved to the Thracian city of Trajanopolis.
Saint Glyceria lost both her father and mother at an early age. Falling in with Christians, she converted to the true Faith, and she visited the church every day. Sabinus, the prefect of Trajanopolis, received the imperial edict ordering Christians to offer sacrifice to the idols, and so he designated a certain day for the inhabitants of the city to worship the idol Zeus.
Saint Glyceria firmly resolved to suffer for Christ. She told the Christians of her intention, and she begged them to pray that the Lord would give her the strength to undergo the sufferings. On the appointed day Saint Glyceria made the Sign of the Cross on her forehead, and went into the pagan temple.
The saint stood on a raised spot in the rays of the sun, and removed the veil from her head, showing the holy Cross traced on her forehead. She prayed fervently to God to bring the pagans to their senses and destroy the stone idol of Zeus. Suddenly thunder was heard, and the statue of Zeus crashed to the floor and smashed into little pieces.
In a rage, the prefect Sabinus and the pagan priests commanded the people to pelt Saint Glyceria with stones, but the stones did not touch the saint. They locked Saint Glyceria in prison, where the Christian priest Philokrates came to her and encouraged the martyr in the struggle before her.
In the morning, when the tortures had started, suddenly an angel appeared in the midst of the torturers, and they fell to the ground, overcome with terror. When the vision vanished, Sabinus, who was hardly able to speak, ordered them to throw the saint into prison.
They shut the door securely and sealed it with the prefect’s own ring, so that no one could get in to her. While she was in prison, angels of God brought Saint Glyceria food and drink. Many days afterwards, Sabinus came to the prison and he himself removed the seal. Going in to the saint, he was shaken when he saw her alive and well.
Setting off for the city of Heraclea in Thrace, Sabinus gave orders to bring Saint Glyceria there also. The Christians of Heraclea came out to meet her with Bishop Dometius at their head, and he prayed that the Lord would strengthen the saint to endure martyrdom.
At Heraclea they cast Saint Glyceria into a red-hot furnace, but the fire was extinguished at once. Then the prefect, in a mindless fury, gave orders to rip the skin from Saint Glyceria’s head. Then they threw the martyr into prison onto sharp stones. She prayed incessantly, and at midnight an angel appeared in the prison and healed her of her wounds.
When the jailer Laodicius came for the saint in the morning, he did not recognize her. Thinking that the martyr had been taken away, he feared he would be punished for letting her escape. He wanted to kill himself, but Saint Glyceria stopped him. Shaken by the miracle, Laodicius believed in the true God, and he entreated the saint to pray that he might suffer and die for Christ with her.
“Follow Christ and you will be saved,” the holy martyr replied. Laodicius placed upon himself the chains with which the saint was bound, and at the trial he told the prefect and everyone present about the miraculous healing of Saint Glyceria by an angel, then he confessed himself a Christian.
The newly chosen one of God was beheaded by the sword. Christians secretly took up his remains, and reverently buried them. Saint Glyceria was sentenced to be eaten by wild beasts. She went to execution with great joy, but the lioness set loose upon the saint meekly crawled up to her and lay at her feet.
Finally, the saint prayed to the Lord, imploring that He take her unto Himself. In answer she heard a Voice from Heaven, summoning her to heavenly bliss. At that moment, another lioness was set loose upon the saint. It pounced upon the martyr and killed her, but did not tear her apart. Bishop Dometius and the Christians of Heraclea reverently buried the holy martyr Glyceria. She suffered for Christ around the year 177. Her holy relics were glorified with a flow of healing myrrh.
Saint Glyceria, whose name means “sweetness,” now rejoices in the unending sweetness of the heavenly Kingdom.
Troparion of the Sunday, Tone 4
When the women disciples of the Lord learned from the angel / the joyous message of Thy resurrection, / they cast away the ancestral curse / and elatedly told the Apostles: / Death is overthrown! / Christ God is risen, / granting the world great mercy!
Troparion for Midfeast of Pentecost, tone 8
In the middle of the Feast, O Savior, / Fill my thirsting soul with the waters of godliness, as You did cry to all: / If anyone thirst let him come to me and drink! / O Christ God, Fountain of our life, glory to You!
Sunday of the Samaritan Woman, Kontakion, Tone 8
Having come to the well by faith, the Samaritan woman beheld Thee, the Water of Wisdom, of which she drank lavishly, and inherited the kingdom on high, where her praises are sung eternally.
Kontakion for Midfeast of Pentecost, tone 4
Christ God, the Creator and Master of all / Cried to all in the midst of the Feast of the law: / Come and draw the water of immortality! / We fall before You and faithfully cry: / Grant us Your bounties, for You are the Fountain of our life!
Acts 11:19-26, 29-30 (Epistle)
- Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only.
- But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus.
- And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
- Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch.
- When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.
- For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.
- Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul.
- And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
- Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea.
- This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
John 4:5-42 (Gospel)
- So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.
- Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
- A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.”
- For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
- Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.
- Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
- The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water?
- Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”
- Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again,
- but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
- The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”
- Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”
- The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’
- for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”
- The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.
- Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”
- Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.
- You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.
- But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.
- God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
- The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”
- Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”
- And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why are You talking with her?”
- The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men,
- Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?
- Then they went out of the city and came to Him.
- In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.”
- But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.”
- Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?”
- Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.
- Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!
- And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.
- For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’
- I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.”
- And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.”
- So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days.
- And many more believed because of His own word.
- Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”