November 22 (old calendar)/ December 5 (new)

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November 22 (old calendar)/ December 5 (new)

Nativity Fast

Afterfeast of the Entry Into the Temple.
Apostles of the Seventy Philemon and Archippus, Martyr Apphia, wife of Philemon and Equal-to-the-Apostles, and Onesimus, disciple of St. Paul (1st c.). Martyrdom of St. Michael, Prince of Tver’ (1318). Rt. Blv. Yaropolk, in Baptism Peter, Prince of Vladimir in Volyn’ (1086). Martyrs Cecilia, Valerian, Tiburtius, and Maximus, at Rome (ca. 230). Martyr Procopius the Reader, at Cæsarea in Palestine (303). Martyr Menignus at Parium (250). St. Agabbas of Syria (5th c.). Righteous Michael the Soldier, of Bulgaria (866). Ven. Callistus Xanthopoulos (Mt. Athos—1363).

LIFE OF SAINT PHILEMON

Saints Philémon, Onésime et Archippe, apôtre

The Holy Apostles of the Seventy Philemon and his wife Apphia lived in the city of Colossa in Phrygia. After they were baptized by the holy Apostle Paul, they converted their house into a house of prayer, where all those who believed in Christ gathered and attended services. They devoted themselves to serving the sick and downcast.

Saint Philemon became bishop of the city of Gaza, and he preached the Word of God throughout Phrygia. The holy Apostle Paul continued to be his guide, and addressed to him his Epistle filled with love, and in which he sends blessings “to Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellow laborer, and to our beloved Apphia, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in thy house” (Phil 1:1-3).

Saint Onesimus (February 15), also mentioned in the Epistle, was Saint Philemon’s former slave.

Saints Philemon and Apphia, and also Saint Archippus (who also lived at Colossa), all received the crown of martyrdom during the persecution of Nero (54-68). During a pagan festival an enraged crowd rushed into the Christian church when services were going on. All fled in terror, and only Saints Philemon, Archippus and Apphia remained. They seized them and led them off to the city prefect. The crowd beat and stabbed Saint Archippus with knives, and he died on the way to the court. Saints Philemon and Apphia were stoned to death by order of the prefect.

The memory of the holy Apostles Archippus, Philemon, and Apphia is celebrated also on February 19.

TROPARIA AND KONTAKIA OF THE DAY

Troparion of the feast, tone 4

Today is the prelude of the good will of God, of the preaching of the salvation of mankind. The Virgin appears in the temple of God, in anticipation proclaiming Christ to all. Let us rejoice / and sing to her: “Rejoice, O Fulfillment of the Creator’s dispensation.”

Troparion of the Apostles, tone 3

Holy Apostles Philemon, Archippus, Apphia, and Onesimus, entreat the merciful God to grant our souls forgiveness of transgressions.

Kontakion of the Apostles, tone 2

Let us praise the Apostles of Christ, who illumine the ends of the earth like all-radiant stars: glorious Philemon and dedicated Archippus, Onesimus, together with Mark and Apollos, and the all-wise Apphia. Let us cry to them:  “Unceasingly pray for us all!”

Kontakion of the feast, tone 4

The most pure Temple of the Savior; the precious Chamber and Virgin; the sacred Treasure of the glory of God, is presented today to the house of the Lord. She brings with her the grace of the Spirit, therefore, the angels of God praise her: “Truly this woman is the abode of heaven.”

EPISTLE

2 Timothy 4:9-22

9
Be diligent to come to me quickly;
10
for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica – Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia.
11
Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.
12
And Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus.
13
Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come – and the books, especially the parchments.
14
Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works.
15
You also must beware of him, for he has greatly resisted our words.
16
At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them.
17
But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
18
And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!
19
Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus.
20
Erastus stayed in Corinth, but Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick.
21
Do your utmost to come before winter. Eubulus greets you, as well as Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brethren.
22
The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.

GOSPEL

Luke 21:5-7, 10-11, 20-24

5
Then, as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and donations, He said,
6
“These things which you see – the days will come in which not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down.”
7
So they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, but when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?”
10
Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
11
And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.
20
But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.
21
Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her.
22
For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
23
But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people.
24
And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

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Emma Cazabonne was born and raised in France. She taught English before entering the Cistercian Order. She translated and published articles relevant to her interest in Cistercian spirituality, the Middle Ages, and Orthodoxy. She moved to the United States in 2001, converted to Orthodoxy in 2008, and married. Her husband is an Orthodox priest. She continued to publish articles, a Cistercian texts anthology, then finally launched her career in literary translation, while teaching French. If you are interested in having your book translated into French, she can be contacted here https://wordsandpeace.com/contact-me/