This Month's Saints and Readings

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December 2019

FROM THE FATHERS

“DO NOT be vengeful; do not return evil for evil. The evil of your neighbour is sufficient. If you return him evil for evil, you double the amount of evil in the world; but if you do not return him evil, he may yet burn out his own evil through repentance, and you will then have lessened the evil in the world by your patience and forgiveness…Wait on the Lord…In due time both you and he who wishes evil to you will realise that He sees and remembers. You may wonder what you have accomplished in not returning evil for evil. You have accomplished the wisest thing in any given circumstances, namely; you have renounced your battle to the One who is stronger than you, and He who is stronger will win the battle for you. If you engage in battle with the evildoer, you may be overcome. Renounce your right therefore, and hand it over to the One who is victorious and unconquerable, and wait with patience.”

St. Nikolaj Velimirović + AD 1956

“YOU ask, ‘Must one do something?’ Of course one must! And do whatever comes along – in your circle of friends and in your surroundings – and believe that this is and will be your real work. More will not be demanded of you. It is a great misconception to think, whether for the sake of heaven or, as the modernists put it, to ‘make one’s mark on humanity’, that one must undertake great, reverberating tasks. Not at all. It is necessary only to do everything according to the commandments of God. Just what exactly? Nothing in particular – only those things which present themselves in the circumstances of life, those things which are required by everyday happenings which we encounter. This is how God is. God arranges the fate of each person, and the whole course of one’s life is also the work of His most gracious foreknowledge, as is, therefore, every minute and every encounter. Let’s take an example: a beggar comes up to you; it is God who has brought him. What should you do? You must help him. God has brought the beggar, of course, desiring you to act towards the beggar in a manner pleasing to Him, and He watches to see what you will do…If you do what is pleasing to God, you will be taking a step towards your ultimate goal, the inheritance of heaven”.

St. Theophan the Recluse + AD 1894

“THE MASTER being glorified, the servants are also glorified. For those who glorify their Master, are much more glorified themselves, both by that very thing and apart from it. For tribulation for the sake of Christ is glory, and that he calls glory everywhere…How is He glorified in us? Because we prefer nothing to Him. How are we glorified in Him? Because we have received power from Him, so that we do all yield to the evils that are brought upon us.”

St. John Chrysostom + AD 407

Fasting Guidelines:
On days designated strict fast we abstain from dairy products, meat, fish, oil and wine. Some seafoods, e.g. squid, crab, roe and prawn, are permitted.

Readings in bold type are those appointed by the Typikon for use at the Liturgy

Sunday 1st December 2019

Nativity Fast: fish, wine and oil allowed
Tone 7 - Eothinon 2
24th after Pentecost, 14th of Luke
Commemorations:
Prophet Nahum (7th C. BC). Righteous Philaret the Merciful of Amnia (792). Holy Martyr Ananias of Persia. St. Porphyrios, patriarch of Antioch (413). St. Theoclites, archbishop of Lakedaimonia (870). SS Ananias and Solochonus, archbishops of Ephesus.
British Isles and Ireland:
St. Grwst of Llanrwst (7th C).
Readings:
Ephesians 2:14-22; Luke 18:35-43

Monday 2nd December 2019

Nativity Fast: fish, wine and oil allowed
Commemorations:
Prophet Avakkum (Habakkuk) (7th C. BC). Holy Martyrs Abibus the New and Myrope of Chios (251). St. Ioannicius of Devich, monk (1430). St. Cyril of Phileus (1110). SS John, Heraclemon, Andrew, and Theophilus of Egypt (4th C). St. Stephen-Urosh V, King of Serbia (1371) and St. Helen of Serbia. St. Ise (Jesse), bishop of Tsilkani in Georgia (6th C).
British Isles and Ireland:
St. Trumwine of Abercorn, (late 7th C).
Readings:
2 Thessalonians 1:1-10; Luke 20:27-44

Tuesday 3rd December 2019

Nativity Fast: fish, wine and oil allowed
Commemorations:
Prophet Sophonias (Zephaniah) (635 BC). St. John the Silent of St. Sabbas' Monastery (558). Hieromartyr Theodore, archbishop of Alexandria (606). Holy Martyrs Agapius and Seleucius. St. Theodoulos, eparch of Constantinople (c.440). New Martyr Angelos of Chios (1813). Monk-martyr Cosmas of St. Anne's Skete. St. Sabbas, abbot of Zvenigorod, disciple of St. Sergius of Radonezh (1406).
British Isles and Ireland:
St. Birinus, bishop of Dorchester and Apostle of Wessex (650). St. Lucius of Britain (c.200). St. Ethernan (c.699). St. Sola, disciple of St. Boniface (794).
Readings:
2 Thessalonians 1:10-2:2; Luke 21:12-19

Wednesday 4th December 2019

Nativity Fast: wine and oil allowed
Great Martyr Barbara and Martyr Juliana, at Heliopolis in Syria (306)
Commemorations:
St. John the Righteous, of Damascus (776). New Hieromartyr Bishop Seraphim at the Phanar (1601). Holy Martyr Juliana of Heliopolis. New Martyrs Priest Alexander Khotovitsky of New York (1937), and Priest Alexis Benemansky of Tver (1937).
Readings:
2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; Luke 21:5-8, 10-11, 20-24
For the Commemoration: Galatians 3:23-4:5; Mark 5:24-34

Thursday 5th December 2019

Nativity Fast: fish, wine and oil allowed
St Sabbas the Sanctified (532)
Commemorations:
Holy Martyr Diogenes (435). Philotheos the Righteous of Mount Athos. St. Nectarius of Bitol (1500), and his Elder, St. Philotheus, of Karyes Skete. Commemoration of St. Cosmas of Vatopedi (1276) and the monks of Karyes Skete, martyred by the Latins. St. Gurias, archbishop of Kazan (1563).
British Isles and Ireland:
St. Cawrdaf, monk and disciple of St. Illtyd (5th C). St. Justinian (Iestin), hermit of Ramsey (560).
Readings:
2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:5; Luke 21:28-33
For the Commemoration: Galatians 5:22-6:2; Matthew 11:27-30

Friday 6th December 2019

Nativity Fast: wine and oil allowed
St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, archbishop of Myra in Lycia (c.345)
Commemorations:
St. Nicholas, bishop of Patara (c.3rd C). New Martyr Nicholas of Karamania in Asia Minor (1657). St. Theophilus, bishop of Antioch (181). Blessed Maximus, metropolitan of Kiev (1305).
British Isles and Ireland:
SS Auxilius, Isserninus and Secundinus, workers with St. Patrick (5th C).
Readings:
2 Thessalonians 3:6-18; Luke 21:37-22:8
For the Commemoration: Hebrews 13:17-21; Luke 6:17-23

Saturday 7th December 2019

Nativity Fast: fish, wine and oil allowed
Commemorations:
St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan (397). Holy martyr Athenodorus of Mesopotamia (304). St. Gregory the Silent of Serbia , founder of Grigoriou monastery, Mt. Athos (14th C). St. Nilus of Stolbensk Lake (1554). St. Anthony, abbot of Siya, Novgorod (1558). St. John, Faster of the Kievan Caves (12th C). Holy Martyr Philothea of Arges (13th C). Venerable Gerasimos.
British Isles and Ireland:
St. Buithe, missionary (521). St. Diuma, bishop and missionary (658).
Readings:
Galatians 1:3-10; Luke 13:18-29

Sunday 8th December 2019

Nativity Fast: fish, wine and oil allowed
Tone 8 - Eothinon 3
25th after Pentecost, 10th of Luke
Forefeast of the Conception of the Theotokos
Commemorations:
St. Patapius of Thebes (8th C). Holy Apostles of the Seventy: Sosthenes, Apollos, Cephas, Tychicus, Epaphroditus, and Onesiphorus (1st C). St. Sophronius, archbishop of Cyprus (6th C).
British Isles and Ireland:
St. Gunthild of Wimborne (748).
Readings:
Ephesians 4:1-7; Luke 13:10-17

Monday 9th December 2019

Nativity Fast: fish, wine and oil allowed
The Conception by the Righteous Anna of the Most Holy Theotokos
Commemorations:
Prophetess Anna (Hannah), mother of the Prophet Samuel (1100 BC). Holy Martyr Narses of Persia. St. Stephen the "New Light" of Constantinople (912).
British Isles and Ireland:
St. Budoc, abbot of Youghal (7th C). St. Ethelgif (Æthelgifu), abbess of Shaftesbury (896). St. Wolfeius, hermit of St. Benet Hulme, Norfolk (1000).
Readings:
1 Timothy 1:1-7; Mark 8:11-21
For the Commemoration: Galatians 4:22-27; Luke 8:16-21

Tuesday 10th December 2019

Nativity Fast: fish, wine and oil allowed
Commemorations:
Holy martyrs Menas, Hermogenes, and Eugraphus of Alexandria (313). St. Thomas of Bithynia (10th C). St. Joasaph, bishop of Belgorod (1754). Holy Martyr Gemellus of Paphlagonia (361). Blessed John, King of Serbia (1503), and his parents Stephen (1468) and Angelina Brancovich (16th C).
Readings:
1 Timothy 1:8-14; Mark 8:22-26

Wednesday 11th December 2019

Nativity Fast: strict fast
Commemorations:
St. Daniel the Stylite of Constantinople (490). St. Luke the New Stylite of Chalcedon (980). St. Nikon the Dry of the Kievan Caves (12th C). Monk-martyr Barsabas, abbot of Ishtar and 10 companions in Persia (342). St. Leontius, Monk, of Monembasia in the Peloponnese (1450). Holy martyrs Acepsius and Aeithalas at Arbelus (534).
British Isles and Ireland:
St. Cian the Hermit (6th C). St. Peris of Llanberis (c.6th C).
Readings:
1 Timothy 1:18-20,2:8-15; Mark 8:30-34

Thursday 12th December 2019

Nativity Fast: fish, wine and oil allowed
St Spyridon the Wonderworker, bishop of Tremithus (c.348)
Commemorations:
St. John, metropolitan of Zichon, founder of the monastery of the Forerunner on Mt. Menikion (1333). Hieromartyr Alexander, bishop of Jerusalem (251). Holy martyr Synesius of Rome (275).
British Isles and Ireland:
St. Finnian, bishop of Clonard and founder of Skellig Michael (c.549). St. Colman of Glendalough (659). St. Columba of Leinster (548). St. Cormac, abbot (6th C). St. Agatha of Wimborne (790).
Readings:
1 Timothy 3:1-13; Mark 9:10-15
For the Commemoration: Ephesians 5:8-19; John 10:9-16

Friday 13th December 2019

Nativity Fast: strict fast
Commemorations:
Virgin-martyr Lucy of Syracuse (304). Holy Martyrs Eustratius, Auxentius, Eugene, Mardarius, and Orestes, at Sebaste (4th C). Repose of St. Herman of Alaska (1836). St. Arsenios of Latros (9th C). Hieromartyr Gabriel I, patriarch of Serbia (1659).
British Isles and Ireland:
St. Edburgh (Eadburh), abbess of Minster-in-Thanet (751).
Readings:
1 Timothy 4:4-8, 16; Mark 9:33-41

Saturday 14th December 2019

Nativity Fast: wine and oil allowed
Commemorations:
Holy Martyrs Thyrsus, Leucis and Callinicus of Apollonia (250). St. Venantius Fortunatus, hymnographer and bishop of Poitiers (7th C). Holy martyrs Apollonius, Philemon, Arianus, and Theoctychus of Alexandria (3rd C)
British Isles and Ireland:
St. Hygbald, abbot of Hibaldstow (7th C). SS. Fingar and Phiala, and 770 other martyr companions (5th C).
Readings:
Galatians 3:8-12; Luke 14:1-11

Sunday 15th December 2019

Nativity Fast: fish, wine and oil allowed
Tone 1 - Eothinon 4
Sunday of the Holy Ancestors of Our Lord
Hieromartyr Eleutherius, bishop of Illyria
Commemorations:
Martyr Anthia, mother o St Eleutherius, and Corivus the Eparch (126). Holy martyr Susanna the deaconess of Palestine (4th C). Monk-martyr Bacchus of Mar Sabba (8th C). St. Stepan (Stephen) the Confessor, bishop of Sourozh in the Crimea (790). St. Tryphon, of Pechenga (1583), and his martyred disciple Jonah. Venerable Paul of Latros (955)
British Isles and Ireland:
Offa, King of Essex, monk (c.709). St. Florentius (Flann), abbot of Bangor (7th C).
Readings:
Colossians 3:4-11; Luke 14:16-24; Matthew 22:14
For the Commemoration: 2 Timothy 1:8-18; Mark 2:23-3:5

Monday 16th December 2019

Nativity Fast: strict fast
Commemorations:
Prophet Aggaeus (Haggai) (520 BC). Hieromartyr Modestus II, patriarch of Jerusalem (634). Blessed Empress Theophania of Constantinople (894). St. Memnon, archbishop of Ephesus (5th C). St. Nicholas Chrysoberges, patriarch of Constantinople (10th C)
British Isles and Ireland:
St. Beoc of Lough Derg (5th C).
Readings:
1 Timothy 5:1-10; Mark 9:42-10:1

Tuesday 17th December 2019

Nativity Fast: strict fast
Commemorations:
Holy Prophet Daniel and the Three Holy Children: Ananias, Azarias, and Misael (600 BC). St. Dionysius of Zakynthos, bishop of Aegina, the Wonderworker (1624). New Martyrs Paisus of Serbia, abbot, and Abbacum, deacon, of Serbia (1814)
British Isles and Ireland:
St. Tydecho (6th C). St. Briach, disciple of St. Tudwal (6th C).
Readings:
1 Timothy 5:11-21; Mark 10:2-12

Wednesday 18th December 2019

Nativity Fast: strict fast
Commemorations:
Holy Martyr Sebastian at Rome and his companions, Nicostratus, Zoe, Castorius, Tranquillinus, Marcellinus, Mark, Claudius, Symphorian, Victorinus, Tiburtius, and Castulus (287). Our Holy Father Michael Syngellon the Confessor at Constantinople (845)
British Isles and Ireland:
St. Winebald, abbot and missionary in England and Heidenheim (761). St. Samthan, foundress of Clonbroney Convent (6th C). St. Flannan, 1st bishop of Killaloe (7th C).
Readings:
1 Timothy 5:22-6:11; Mark 10:11-16

Thursday 19th December 2019

Nativity Fast: strict fast
Commemorations:
Holy martyr Boniface and his Companions, at Tarsus in Cilicia, and the Righteous Aglais (Aglaida) of Rome (290). Holy martyr Eutyches of Thessalonica and with him 200 men and 70 women. Righteous Gregentius, archbishop of Omirits in Ethipoia (552)
British Isles and Ireland:
St. Manirus, bishop and Apostle of the north of Scotland.
Readings:
1 Timothy 6:17-21; Mark 10:17-27

Friday 20th December 2019

Nativity Fast: strict fast
Forefeast of The Nativity of Christ
Commemorations:
Hieromartyr Ignatius the Godbearer, bishop of Antioch (107). Repose of Righteous John of Kronstadt (7th December O.S.) (1908). St. Philogonius, bishop of Antioch (323). New Martyr John of the Isle of Thasos. St. Daniel II, archbishop of Serbia (1338)
British Isles and Ireland:
St. Urscinus, disciple of St. Columbanus and abbot of St. Ursanne (625).
Readings:
2 Timothy 1:1-2, 8-18; Mark 10:24-32

Saturday 21st December 2019

Nativity Fast: wine and oil allowed
Saturday before the Nativity of Our Lord
Forefeast of The Nativity of Christ
Commemorations:
Virgin-Martyr Juliana of Nicomedia, and with her 500 men and 130 women (304). Repose of St. Peter, metropolitan of Moscow and Wonderworker of All Russia (1326). Holy martyr Theomistocles of Myra in Lycia (251)
British Isles and Ireland:
St. Bernwald of Bampton (8th C).
Readings:
Galatians 3:8-12; Luke 13:18-29

Sunday 22nd December 2019

Nativity Fast: wine and oil allowed
Tone 2 - Eothinon 5
Sunday of the Holy and Righteous Ones of the Old Covenant
Forefeast of The Nativity of Christ
Commemorations:
Great Martyr Anastasia, "Deliverer From Bonds", and her teacher, Martyr Chrysogonus, and with them Martyrs Theodota, Evodias, Eutychianus, and others, who suffered under Diocletian (304).
Readings:
Hebrews 11:9-10,32-40; Matthew 1:1-25

Monday 23rd December 2019

Nativity Fast: strict fast
Forefeast of The Nativity of Christ
Commemorations:
Holy Ten Martyrs of Crete: Theodulus, Saturninus, Euporus, Gelasius, Eunician, Zoticus, Pompeius, Agathopus, Basilides, and Evaristus (3rd C). Dedication of the Church of the Holy Wisdom (Agia Sophia) in Constantinople (360). St. Nahum of Ochrid, Enlightener of the Bulgarians (10th C). St. Paul, bishop of Neo-Caesarea (4th C). New Hieromartyrs John Piankov and Nicholas Yakhontov, priests (1918)
British Isles and Ireland:
St. Frithebert, bishop of Hexham (766). St. Mazota of Abernethy (8th C).
Readings:
2 Timothy 2:20-26; Mark 10:46-52

Tuesday 24th December 2019

Nativity Fast: strict fast
Liturgy of St Basil
Commemorations:
Virgin-Martyr Eugenia of Rome, and with her the Martyrs Philip, her father, Protus, Hyacinth, Basilla and Claudia (c.262). New Martyr Achmed (Ahmet) the Calligrapher of Constantinople (1682)
British Isles and Ireland:
St. Caran, missionary (7th C).
Readings:
2 Timothy 3:16-4:4; Mark 11:11-23

Wednesday 25th December 2019

The Nativity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
Commemorations:
The Commemoration of the Adoration of the Magi: Melchior, Caspar, and Balthasar. The Commemoration of the Shepherds in Bethlehem who were watching their flocks and went to see the Lord. St. Constantine the Jew
British Isles and Ireland:
St. Alburgh (Æthelburh) of Wilton, nun (810).
Readings:
For the Commemoration: Galatians 4:4-7; Matthew 2:1-12

Thursday 26th December 2019

Synaxis of Our Most Holy Lady, Theotokos and Ever-virgin, Mary
Afterfeast of The Nativity of Christ
Commemorations:
Hieromartyr Euthymius, bishop of Sardis (840). New Hieromartyr Constantine the Russian, at Constantinople (1743). St. Archelaus, bishop of Kaskhara in Mesopotamia (3rd C). St. Zenon, bishop of Maiuma in Palestine (4th C)
British Isles and Ireland:
St. Tathai of Glamorgan (6th C). St. Maethlu of Anglesey (6th C).
Readings:
Titus 1:5-14; Mark 11:27-33
For the Commemoration: Hebrews 2:11-18; Matthew 2:13-23

Friday 27th December 2019

Holy Protomartyr and Protodeacon Stephen (34)
Afterfeast of The Nativity of Christ
Commemorations:
St. Theodore the Confessor, archbishop of Constantinople (686). St. Theodore Graptus ('the branded'), Confessor and brother of Theophanes the Hymnographer (840).
Readings:
Titus 1:15-2:10; Mark 12:1-12
For the Commemoration: Acts 6:8-7:5,57-60; Matthew 21:33-42

Saturday 28th December 2019

Saturday after the Nativity of Our Lord
Afterfeast of The Nativity of Christ
Commemorations:
The 20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia including Glycerius the presbyter, Zeno, Theophilus, Dorotheus, Mardonius, Migdonius, Indes, Gorgonius, Peter, Euthymius, and the virgins Agape, Domna, Theophila and others (302). St. Nicanor the deacon, Apostle of the Seventy (38). St. Simon the Myrhh-streaming, founder of Simonopetra monastery on Mt Athos (14th C).
Readings:
1 Timothy 6:11-16; Matthew 12:15-21

Sunday 29th December 2019

Tone 3 - Eothinon 6
Sunday After the Nativity of Our Lord, The Holy Righteous Ones: Joseph the Betrothed, David the Prophet and King and James, the brother of the Lord
Afterfeast of The Nativity of Christ
Commemorations:
The 14,000 Infants (Holy Innocents) slain by Herod at Bethlehem. St. Marcellus, abbot of the monastery of the Unsleeping Ones (485). St. Anthony of Damascus, martyred at Ar-Raqqa (799). Righteous Father Thaddeus the Confessor (818). Commemoration of all Orthodox Christians who died from Hunger, Thirst, the Sword, and Freezing.
Readings:
Galatians 1:11-19; Matthew 2:13-23

Monday 30th December 2019

Afterfeast of The Nativity of Christ
Commemorations:
Virgin-Martyr Anysia at Thessalonica (305). St. Timon the deacon, of the Seventy (1st C). New Martyr Gideon of Karakallou, Mt. Athos (1818). Holy martyr Philoterus of Nicomedia, and with him Six Soldiers and One Count (311). Righteous Father Leondus the Archimandrite
British Isles and Ireland:
St. Egwin, bishop of Worcester and founder of Evesham Abbey (717).
Readings:
Hebrews 3:5-11, 17-19; Mark 12:13-17

Tuesday 31st December 2019

Leavetaking of The Nativity of Christ
Commemorations:
St. Melania the Younger, Nun, of Rome (439). Hieromartyr Zoticus, Guardian of the Orphans (4th C). St. Gelasius, monk, of Palestine (5th C). St. Theophylact of Ochrid (1126). St. Peter Mogila, metropolitan of Kiev (1646).
Readings:
Hebrews 4:1-13; Mark 12:18-27

A copy of this calendar, suitable for printing, is available here in PDF format. For those with appropriate printing facilities a version is available here as an A5 booklet.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
In developing the software to generate this monthly calendar we gratefully acknowledge our dependence on many sources, prominent among them being :-
For the synaxaria of the Saints: Michael Purcell (of the Saint John (Maximovich) the Wonderworker Orthodox Church, Atlanta, GA.) and his very impressive software program Menologion; and Father Andrew Phillips whose web site Orthodox England has, amongst its many jewels, a list of the Latin Saints of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Rome. Thank you, both – and Many Years!
For the ranking of the major commemorations and related guidance: The Typikon Charts published by the St Raphael Brotherhood of the Antiochian Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America.
For the matters relating to the Lectionary: The admirably detailed notes included in the Epistle and Gospel Lectionaries published by the Centre for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, Etna, Ca.; together with the annual Kanonion issued by the Phanar.
For the Fasting rules and many other details: The Antiochian Book of the Typikon as translated by Bishop Khoury and edited by Archpriest John W Morris.
Errors in the calendar will inevitably emerge, and for these we apologise. We should be grateful if you would inform us of any you discover.