St. John the Divine Orthodox Church
Archdiocese of Canada -- Orthodox Church in America
1094 Drouillard Road, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Irene the Righteous of Chrysovalantou

 

 

Reading

 

Saint Irene, who was from Cappadocia, flourished in the ninth century. Because of her great beauty and virtue, she was brought to Constantinople as a prospective bride for the young Emperor Michael (842-867); however, as Saint Joannicius the Great foretold, it was God's will that she assume the monastic habit instead. She shone forth in great ascetical labours, and suffered many attacks from the demons; while yet a novice, she attained to the practice of Saint Arsenius the Great, of praying the whole night long with arms stretched out towards Heaven (see May 8). God showed forth great signs and wonders in her, and she became the Abbess of the Convent of Chrysovalantou. She was granted the gift of clairvoyance and knew the thoughts of all that came to her. She appeared in a vision to the king and rebuked him for unjustly imprisoning a nobleman who had been falsely accused. Through a sailor from Patmos to whom he had appeared, Saint John the Evangelist sent her fragrant and wondrous apples from Paradise. She reposed at the age of 103, still retaining the youthful beauty of her countenance. After her repose, marvelous healings beyond number have been wrought by her to the presence

 

 

Online Chapel

July 22: Saint Mary Magdalene

July 22

One of the myrrh-bearing women and equal to the apostles, Mary was born in the town of Magdala, along the shore of Lake Gennesaret, of the tribe of Issacher. She was tormented by seven evil spirits – from which she was freed by the Lord Jesus and made whole. She was a faithful follower and servant of the Lord during His earthly life. She stood beneath the Cross on Golgotha, and grieved bitterly with the All-holy Theotokos. After the death of the Lord she visited His sepulcher three times. When the Lord rose again she saw Him on two occasions: once by herself, and once with the other myrrh-bearing women. She traveled to Rome and appeared before Tiberias Ceasar, presenting him with a red egg, and giving him the salutation: “Christ is Risen!” She also denounced Pontius Pilate to Caesar for his unjust condemnation of the Lord Jesus. Caesar accepted her accusation, and transferred Pilate from Jerusalem to Gaul where, in disfavor with the emperor, this unjust judge died of a dread disease. After this, she returned from Rome to Ephesus, to assist St. John the Theologian in the work of preaching the Gospel. With great love toward the resurrected Lord, with great zeal for the Faith and as a true apostle of Christ, she proclaimed the Holy Gospel to the world. She died peacefully in Ephesus. According to tradition, the cave she was buried in was the same cave in which the Seven Youths (August 4) later slept a wondrous sleep for hundreds of years, then came to life and again died. The relics of St. Mary Magdalene were later transferred to Constantinople. There is a beautiful Russian Orthodox convent dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene near the Garden of Gethsemane.

 

The Glorious Prophet Elias (Elijah)

 

July 20

Reading

 

Elias of great fame was from Thisbe or Thesbe, a town of Galaad (Gilead), beyond the Jordan. He was of priestly lineage, a man of a solitary and ascetical character, clothed in a mantle of sheep skin, and girded about his loins with a leathern belt. His name is interpreted as "Yah is my God." His zeal for the glory of God was compared to fire, and his speech for teaching and rebuke was likened unto a burning lamp. From this too he received the name Zealot. Therefore, set aflame with such zeal, he sternly reproved the impiety and lawlessness of Ahab and his wife Jezebel. He shut up heaven by means of prayer, and it did not rain for three years and six months. Ravens brought him food for his need when, at God's command, he was hiding by the torrent of Horrath. He multiplied the little flour and oil of the poor widow of Sarephtha of Sidon, who had given him hospitality in her home, and when her son died, he raised him up. He brought down fire from Heaven upon Mount Carmel, and it burned up the sacrifice offered to God before all the people of Israel, that they might know the truth. At the torrent of Kisson, he slew 450 false prophets and priests who worshipped idols and led the people astray. He received food wondrously at the hand of an Angel, and being strengthened by this food he walked for forty days and forty nights. He beheld God on Mount Horeb, as far as this is possible for human nature. He foretold the destruction of the house of Ahab, and the death of his son Ohozias; and as for the two captains of fifty that were sent by the king, he burned them for their punishment, bringing fire down from Heaven. He divided the flow of the Jordan, and he and his disciple Elisseus passed through as it were on dry land; and finally, while speaking with him, Elias was suddenly snatched away by a fiery chariot in the year 895 B.C., and he ascended as though into heaven, whither God most certainly translated him alive, as He did Enoch (Gen. 5:24; IV Kings 2: 11). But from thence also, after seven years, by means of an epistle he reproached Joram, the son of Josaphat, as it is written: "And there came a message in writing to him from Elias the Prophet, saying, Thus saith the Lord God of David thy father, Because thou hast not walked in the way," and so forth (II Chron. 21:12). According to the opinion of the majority of the interpreters, this came to pass either through his disciple Elisseus, or through another Prophet when Elias appeared to them, even as he appeared on Mount Tabor to the disciples of Christ (see Aug. 6).

 

 

The Holy Great Martyr Marina (Margaret)

 

July 17

Reading

This Martyr lived during the reign of Claudius II (268-270). She was from Pisidia of Cilicia and was the only daughter of a certain priest of the idols. On being orphaned by her mother, she was handed over to a certain woman who instructed her in the Faith of Christ. When she was fifteen years old, she was apprehended by the ruler of Olmbrius, and when asked her name, homeland, and faith, she answered: "My name is Marina; I am the offspring of the Pisidia; I call upon the Name of my Lord Jesus Christ." Because of this she endured bonds, imprisonment, and many whippings, and was finally beheaded in the year 270. Saint Marina is especially invoked for deliverance from demonic possession.