November Synaxarion

Days: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17
        18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30


This month has thirty days with ten hours of day and fourteen hours of night.

November 1

Memory of the holy Unmercenaries Cosmas and Damian
(Beginning of the Fourth century).

Natives of Asia, these holy martyrs spent themselves in the care of bodies and souls, as tradition reports it, healing all sickness and languor. Their solicitude was not restricted to men for it extended itself even to inanimate objects. They were called "Anargyres," Unmercenaries, because they refused to accept any return for their services. Under Emperor Maximian, they suffered martyrdom in Cilicia at the beginning of the Fourth century.

Fifth Class Feast.

November 2

Memory of the holy Martyrs Akindinos, Pegasios,
Aphthonios, Elpidiphoros, and Anempodistos
(+under Sapor II, 309-379).

These holy martyrs suffered for the faith in Persia, under King Sapor, between 339 and 379. "Natives of Persia, they were the first victims of King Sapor's persecution. Saints Akindinos, Pegasios, and Anempodistos, very ardent in the true faith, courageously confessed Christ during numerous tortures in which they suffered no evil. Upon seeing their sufferings, Aphthonios embraced the Christian faith and was at once beheaded. Elpidiphoros, a member of the Royal Senate, was also converted and beheaded. As for Saints Akindinos, Pegasios, and Anempodistos, they were thrown into a pit full of wild beasts. They finally received the palm of martyrdom, burned in a furnace."

Fifth Class Feast.

November 3

Memory of the holy Martyrs Akepsimas (+378), Joseph the Priest,
and Aeithalas (+379) the Deacon.

The Dedication of the Church of the holy Great martyr George in Lydda and
Placing of his relics in this church (Fourth century).

The holy martyrs Akepsimas, Joseph, and Aeithalas lived under the Persian King Sapor. Saint Akepsimas, an eighty year old man, was the Bishop of Chnaita. Seized at the same time as Saint Joseph, a priest, and Saint Aeithalas, a deacon, he was led before governor Adharkoukhachid and three years later, before Adarsapor, the leader of the Magi. He committed his soul to God in 378, under the soldier's beating. Saint Joseph was fastened by the head and flayed alive, stoned, and buried under a pile of stones in 379. Saint Aeithalas, after various tortures, was also stoned to death in 379.

The Dedication of the Church of Saint George in Lydda took place under Emperor Constantine the Great.

Fifth Class Feast.

November 4

Memory of our venerable Father Joannikios the Great of Olympus (754-846)

The holy Hieromartyrs Nicander, Bishop of Myra, and
Hermeus the Priest (Second century)

Our holy Father Joannikios the Great was born in 754 in Marycata in Bithynia, near the pool of Apolloniada. His parents charged him in his youth with feeding a herd of pigs. His occupation made him enroll in the army. He showed himself to be a valliant soldier in all the campaigns against the Bulgarians. Affiliated with his parents in the Iconoclast heresy, he abjured the impious doctrine which he had professed for a while in ignorance, thanks to the exhortations of an old man. One day, seeing several of his companions fall in the course of a battle and upset by this spectacle, he deserted the army and withdrew to Mount Olympus in 795. Recognized by one of his old army companions, he fled and took refuge on a mountain of Lycia where, after a revelation, he became a monk at the monastery of Eristea in 806. He withdrew successively to several mountains and died in 846, at an old age, under the patriarchate of Saint Methodius whose elevation to the patriarchal see he had predicted.

Fifth Class Feast.

November 5

Memory of the holy Martyrs Glaktion and Episteme, his wife
(beginning of the Fourth century).

These holy martyrs lived under Emperor Decius and President Secundus. Galaktion was born of pious parents, Keitophon and Leucippa, who were converted to the Christian faith by a Christian named Onuphrius and received holy Baptism. Saint Episteme, also born of pagan parents, was married to Saint Galaktion and baptized by him. These two holy spouses, having integrally conserved their virginity, embraced the monastic life and endured all the austerities and privations which go with it. Seized by Governor Ursus and interrogated on their faith, they suffered multiple tortures. They were cruelly beaten, sharp-pointed reeds were driven under their fingernails, and then their martyrdom by the sword. Saint Galaktion was thirty years old, and Saint Episteme was sixteen years old.

Fifth Class Feast.

November 6

Memory of our Father among the Saints, Paul the Confessor,
Bishop of Constantinople (+351)

A native of Thessalonica, Saint Paul was the secretary of Alexander, the Bishop of Constantinople. After the latter's death, the Orthodox elected him Bishop of Constantinople in 337 while Emperor Constantius was in Antioch. Having returned from Antioch, Constantius expelled him from his see in 339. The Saint arrived in Rome at the same time that Saint Athanasius, the Archbishop of Alexandria, was himself expelled from his see. Supplied with letters from Pope Saint Julius I, Saint Paul resumed possession of his Church in 340 but was expelled from it again after a short time in 342 by the intrigues of the Arians. After the Council of Sardica (343-344), by the intervention of Constans, the brother of Constantius, he re-ascended his throne in 346. When Constans died in Rome in 350, he was again persecuted (351) and exiled to Cucusus in Armenia, where he was strangled by order of the Arians.

Fifth Class Feast.

November 7

Memory of the Thirty-Three Martyrs of Melitene
(Beginning of the Fourth century).

Our venerable Father Lazarus the Wonderworker,
Monk of Mount Galesium (968-1054).

The thirty-three holy martyrs suffered for the faith under Emperor Diocletian, at the beginning of the Fourth century.

A native of Asia, Saint Lazarus was born in 968 in a village on the border of Magnesia. At the age of six he was put into the monastery of the Orobes to learn the Holy Scriptures. Five years later his heart was inflamed with an ardent desire to withdraw to the places sanctified by the Passion of Christ. He visited the Church of the Resurrection, guided by the Archdeacon, and thanks to him, was admitted among the number of ascetics in the monastery of Saint Sabbas, and was ordained a priest by the Patriarch of Jerusalem. When the Arabs, in their revolt against the Caliph of Egypt, had ravaged all of Palestine and destroyed to Mount Galesius opposite the city, an abrupt and inaccessible mountain to the crowd. Nevertheless his reputation spread everywhere, and a great crowd of monks, desirious to practice asceticism in his company, asked to join him. He lived successively on three columns, in various places, and founded the monasteries of the Savior, vegetables and drank water, and that only once or twice weekly, joyously suffering the cold and heat. He died in old age, in 1054.

Fifth Class Feast.

November 8

The Apostle Paul says that Angels are: spirits in the service of God, sent as servants for the good of those who must receive the heritage of salvation." God has established them as protectors and guides of every nation and people. He charged them to guard those who hope in Him so that nothing harms them and no evil comes near their dwelling. In heaven, they continually see the face of God, sing the Thrice-holy Hymn, intercede for us, and rejoice over a single sinner who is converted. In a word, in serving God, the angels have rendered us so many services that the pages of Holy Scripture are filled with them.

This is why the Church, honoring these divine ministers, our intercessors and guardians, today celebrates this synaxis (a coming together to celebrate a feast). The Church recalls in particular the names of Saints Michael and Gabriel because they are related to us by Holy Scripture. The word "Michael" signifies "Who is like God?", and the word "Gabriel," "God is powerful." According to Holy Scripture, the number of angels is infinite, as Daniel saw "thousands upon thousands serve God, and myriads upon myriads stand before Him" (Daniel 7:10). They are divided into nine choirs which are: the Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominations, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels.

Third Class Feast. Typika and Beatitudes. Ordinary Isodikon. Troparia: of the Holy Angels, and of the Church Patron. Kondakion of the Entrance into the Temple of our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary (November 21). Henceforth, it is by this Kondakion that the singing of the Troparia is ended, on Sundays and Major Feasts. Epistle, Gospel, and Kinonikon of the Holy Angels.

In occurrence with a Sunday: Typika and Beatitudes. Isodikon of the Sunday. Troparia: of the Resurrection, of the Holy Angels, and of the Church Patron. Kondakion of the Entrance into the Temple of our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary. Epistle of the Holy Angels (that of the Sunday will be read on the following day). Gospel of the Sunday. Kinonikon of the Sunday.

November 9

Memory of the holy Martyrs Onesiphoros and Porphyrios (?)

Our venerable Mother Matrona (+under Emperor Leo, 457-474)

Saints Onesiphoros and Porphyrios suffered martyrdom under Emperors Diocletian and Maximian in 290 (?).

Saint Matrona lived under Emperor Leo the Great (457-474) and his wife Berina. A native of Perge in Pamphylia, Matrona was married to a certain Dometios and only had one daughter by him. She went to Constantinople with her husband, at the age of fifteen. There she formed a friendship with a virgin named Eugenia, whose kind of life she greatly admired. From then on she never left the churches. Her love of God always increasing, she confided her daughter with a woman of her acquaintance, named Susanna, and followed the Master's counsel: "He who wishes to come after Me, let him renounce himself, take up his cross and follow Me." She dressed in men's clothes and entered the monastery of Saint Basia, mixing with the monks. But Saint Basian, having known by a revelation that she was a woman and that her husband was looking for her, sent her to Jerusalem, then to Beirut. When she returned to Constantinople, Saint Basian charitably received her, counseled her to withdraw to a monastery apart, which was called from then on the Monastery of Saint Matrona. She lived almost one hundred years and died in peace.

Fifth Class Feast.

November 10

Memory of the holy Apostles Olympus, Rodionos, Sosipatros,
Tertios, Erastos, and Quartus of the Seventy Disciples (First century)

The holy Martyr Orestes (?)

Sosipatros, Tertios, Erastos, and Quartus were from the Christian community of Corinth. Tertios wrote the Epistle to the Romans, which was signed by the Apostle Paul. Erastos was the city treasurer. Rodion and Olympas are without doubt two personages from the Christian community of Rome that the Apostle greets toward the end of this same Epistle to the Romans (Romans 16:11 and 15).

Fifth Class Feast.

November 11

Memory of the holy Martyrs Menas, Victor
(+under Antoninus, 138-161), and
Vincent (beginning of the Fourth century)

The holy Martyr Stephanida (+under Antoninus, 136-161)

Our venerable Father Theodore the Studite, the Confessor (759-826)

The principal feast of Saint Menas is on December 10.

As for Saints Victor and Stephanida, it is said that they were martyred in Egypt under Emperor Antoninus (138-161). Saint Vincent, the archdeacon of Valerius, the Bishop of Caesaraugusta in Spain, was put to death at the beginning of the Fourth century, in Caesaraugusta, under Emperor Maximian.

Saint Theodore was born in Constantinople in 759. After very complete studies, he withdrew in 781, at the age of twenty-two, to the Monastery of Sakkoudion in Bithynia, under the direction of his uncle Plato. He was ordained a priest by Patriarch Tarasios. In 794, he became hegumen of Sakkoudion. Exiled in 797 to Thessalonica for having protested against the adultery of Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, he was recalled by Empress Irene. The Arab incursions (798-799) forced him to abandon Sakkoudion and take refuge inside the Capital, in the Monastery of Studion, also called by the name of the Roman consul Studius who founded it in 463. This fact merits for the Saint the name of Studite. Exiled a second time in 809, by Emperor Nicephoros I Logothetus in the matter of the Imperial adultery, he was recalled again in 811 by Michael I Rangabe. He suffered exile a third time for his defense of the Holy Icons, under the Iconoclast Emperor Leo the Armenian (815-821). He died in 826, after having worthily suffered and fought for the true faith, leaving a monastic constitution, some catechetics, and numerous hymnographic compositions full of compunction. His holy body was transferred to the monastery of Studion in 844.

Fifth Class Feast.

November 12

Memory of our Father among the Saints, John the Almsgiver,
Archbishop of Alexandria (+619).

Our venerable Father Nilus the Sinaite (+430).

A native of Cyprus, Saint John the Almsgiver was the only son of Epiphanios, the governor of the island. He contracted marriage to please his father, and had several children from this union. When he lost his wife and children, he thought only to perfect himself in the practice of virtue and to please God. The brilliancy of his virtue merited him to become Patriarch of the Melkites, or Orthodox, of Alexandria, in 609. Without counting, he was prodigal with his possessions to aid the poor, and was surnamed the "Almsgiver," because of his great charity. He died in 619, respected by all.

Saint Nilus was the governor of Constantinople under Theodosius I the Great. Around the year 390, he came to an agreement with his wife to leave Constantinople and withdraw to the monasteries of Egypt. He took his son Theodulos while the mother undertook charge of his daughter. Upon arriving at Mount Sinai with many other captives, Theodulo was taken prisoner by the Barbarians. Saint Nilus, honored with the dignity of the priesthood, committed his soul to God around 430, leaving behind him some ascetical treatises full of wisdom.

Fifth Class Feast.

November 13

Memory of our Father among the Saints, John Chrystostom,
Archbishop of Constantinople (ca. 345-407).

This Saint's feast was transferred to this day instead of being celebrated on the anniversary day of his death because this day falls in occurrence with the feast of the Exaltation of the Venerable and Life-giving Cross (September 14).

Saint John Chrysostom was born about 344-347 in Antioch, Syria. His father, Secundus, was an army general, and his mother, Anthusa, was an admirable woman of faith and piety. He rapidly ran through the whole cycle of Christian and profane literature. Baptized in 369 in Meletios, the Archbishop of Antioch, for his piety, he merited to receive minor orders from him also. About 374-375, he withdrew to the wilderness in the vicinity of Antioch. He was ordained a deacon in 381 by Meletios, and a priest in 386 by Flavian. He exhorted the people by his discourses, and commented the entire Holy Scriptures before them. In 397, upon the unexpected death of Nectarius, the Archbishop of Constantinople, he was transferred from Antioch to Constantinople by vote of the bishops and by order of Emperor Arcadius, and was consecrated Archbishop of the Imperial City in 398. In his fight against greed, he attacked Empress Eudoxia. He was unjustly exiled in 403 by order of Arcadius and Eudoxia, but recalled to his see almost immediately. Exiled a second time in 404, he suffered much during his three year exile, transferring unceasingly from one place to another. He died during one of these transfers, in Comana, on September 14, 407. His eloquence brought him the title of Chrysostom (Golden-mouthed).

Third Class Feast, follow the general order of a Third Class Feast.

November 14

Memory of the Holy and Most Illustrious Apostle Philip (First century)

Saint Philip was a native of Bethsaida and a compatriot of Andrew and Peter. Christ, having met him in Galilee, after His baptism, invited him to follow Him. Holy Scripture has preserved several other details concerning him for us. According to a very old tradition related by Eusebius (III:31), Polycratus, the Bishop of Rome, concerning him: "He lies buried in Hierapolis of Phrygia, just as two of his daughters, who grew very old in virginity. His third daughter, after having lived in the Holy Spirit, buried at Ephesus."

Fourth Class Feast, follow the general order of a Fourth Class Feast.

November 15

Memory of the holy Martyrs and Confessors Gourias, Samonas, and
Abibos (beginning of the Fourth century).

The Christmas Lent begins today.

The Christmas Lent, in the discipline of the Melkite Church, begins on December 10.

The holy martyrs Gourias and Samonas suffered martyrdom under Emperor Diocletian and Duke Antoninus. Both of them were priests brought up in Edessa. Gourias was a native of a small market-town named Sarkigeitnas and Samonas was a native of Ganades. Accused of bringing assistance to imprisoned Christians, they were summoned to appear before Duke Antoninus. Because they refused to sacrifice to idols, they were both suspended by one hand for five hours. Taken down, they persisted in confessing their faith and were suspended by the feet. They were thrown into a very dark pit and ended their martyrdom by the sword. As for Saint Abibos, a deacon, he was martyred in the time of Emperor Licinius on the charge of traveling through the villages reading the Holy Scriptures to the faithful to confirm them in the faith. Upon the Emperor's order, he was thrown into a red-hot furnace and thus obtained the palm of martyrdom.

Fifth Class Feast.

November 16

Memory of the holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew (First century).

Saint Matthew, also called Levi, is the publican who held a large gathering or banquet for Jesus, as the Gospel reports it. Sanctified by the descent of the Holy Spirit, he wrote the Gospel "in Hebrew," that is, in the Aramaic dialect, and preached the faith to the Jews. He is represented in iconography as having the figure of a man at his side, the first of the symbolic animals of Ezechiel (Ezechiel 1:10), because his Gospel begins by the genealogy, according to the flesh, of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Fourth Class Feast, follow the general order of a Fourth Class Feast.

In occurrence with a Sunday, the Epistle and Gospel of the Sunday are read on Monday.

November 17

Memory of our Father among the Saints Gregory the Wonderworker,
Bishop of Neocaesarea (+during the reign of Aurelian, 270-275)

Saint Gregory, a pagan's son, was born about 213 in Neocaesarea, in Pontus Plemoniacus. He studied for five years, from 233 to 238, in Caesarea in Palestine, under the direction of Origen, who taught him the Christian faith.

He was ordained bishop of his birth-place by Phaidimos of Amasia. When newly appointed he found seventeen Christians there, and when dying, there was about that many pagans left. During Decius' persecution (250-251), he advised the faithful to flea and he himself hid. He was present, with his brother Athenagoras, at the synod held in Antioch, Syria, in 264-265 against the author of heresy, Paul of Samosata. He died in peace under Emperor Aurelian, 270-275, leaving various theological and canonical treatises to the Church. Etymologically his name-Gregory-signifies in Greek "he who watches."

Fifth Class Feast.

November 18

Memory of the holy Martyrs Plato
(Beginning of the Fourth century) and Roman (+305)

The holy martyr Plato suffered for the faith at Ancyra in Galatia, under Emperor Maximian, in the beginning of the fourth century.

According to Eusebius, Saint Roman was a native of Palestine, a deacon and an exorcist of the Church of Caesarea, under Emperor Diocletian. Seeing a great number of men, women, and children approach the idols to offer them sacrifices, enflamed by zeal for the faith, he raised his voice to reprimand them. He was immediately seized and condemned by the judge to be buried alive. Because the Emperor was then at Antioch, the Saint was summoned before him and was submitted to the new torture of having his tongue amputated. After this torture he was thrown into prison, where he suffered a long time. At last, in the epoch of the vicennials of the Emperor, according to a generosity in custom, liberty was proclaimed for all prisoners. Only Saint Roman remained in prison, his feet in the stocks up to the fifth hole, and he was choked above the very wood on which he lay. He thus obtained the palm of martyrdom about 305.

Fifth Class Feast.

November 19

Memory of the holy Prophet Abdia (Fourth century B.C.)

The holy Martyr Barlaam (?)

The holy prophet Abdia lived in the Fourth century before Our Lord.

Saint Barlaam suffered for the faith in Antioch at an uncertain date. Saint John Chrysostom relates to us that the Saint was led before the idols' altar, and there fire and incense were placed in his open hand. The judge believed that if the Saint throw the charcoal and incense on the altar, he was thusly supposed to have sacrificed to idols.

Fifth Class Feast.

November 20

Pre-festive Day of the Entrance into the Temple of our
Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary

Memory of our Father among the Saints, Gregory the Decapolite (+842) and
Proclos, Archbishop of Constantinople (+446)

Saint Gregory was born in one of the towns of the Decapolis of Isauria, named Irenopolis. From the age of eight, he applied himself to the study of Holy Scripture and, being thoroughly impregnated in it, consecrated himself to the service of the Churches. When he became an adult, his parents thought to find a wife for him, but the Saint secretly fled. He began traveling through the provinces to visit Saints dispersed by the Iconoclastic storm. He went to Asia and even to Byzantium around the year 840 in the secret hope of finding there the occasion to confess his faith. He was the spiritual father of the holy hymnographers John and Joseph. In harmony with the Orthodox, he sent the latter, to Rome to inform Pope Gregory IV of Emperor Theophilos' persecution. He died in Constantinople on November 20, 842, just before the reestablishment of Orthodoxy, which took place on the first Sunday of Great Lent in the year 843.

A disciple of Saint John Chrysostom, Saint Proclos was raised to the archiepiscopal see of Constantinople in 434 under Theodosius II the Younger. He directed dogmatic works concerning the Orthodox faith to the Armenians against Nestorius and his supporters. He triumphally received the body of his holy master when it was transferred to Constantinople on January 27, 438, and he died in peace in 446.

Fifth Class Feast.

Typika. Troparia: of the Pre-festive Day, of the Saints, and of the Church Patron. Kondakion of the Pre-festive Day.

In occurrence with a Sunday: Typika and Beatitudes. Isodikon of the Sunday. Troparia: of the Resurrection, of the Pre-festive Day, and of the Church Patron only. Kondakion of the Pre-festive Day.

November 21

Entrance into the Temple of our Most Holy Lady,
the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary

The origin of the feast is found in an account in the apocryphal Protoevangelium of Saint James. According to this document, after Saint Ann's miraculous birth-giving, the Most Holy Virgin having completed her second year, Joachim said to his wife: "Let us lead her to the Lord's Temple, as we promised Him." Ann said: "Let us yet wait until her third year, so that the child will not clamor for her father or mother, thus she will not walk straight before the Lord." When the child was three years old, Joachim said: "Let us call from among the daughters of the Hebrews those who are undefiled, and let them each take a lamp and let these lamps be lit, that the child not turn to look backward and her heart be not held captive outside the Lord's Temple." They did thusly. Zachary the priest received her and said to her: "May the Lord crown your name with glory!", and he set her down on the altar step. There, Mary was nourished by an angel until she was twelve years old. When the time came for her to marry, Joseph received her from the priests' hands, and took her from the Lord's Temple.

Whatever the foundations of this gracious legend may be, the Church invites us above all to meditate on the mystery of the internal preparation of Mary for her vocation as Theotokos. This preparation is a total self-commitment, in the "immaculate victim," "as a most holy vessel" which must receive the body of the Word incarnate, "a living temple and throne of the King, elected to be his Mother," "the spiritual ark enclosing the incomprehensible Word." The miracle of her subsistance by the hand of the Archangel is the symbol of her spiritual life entirely nourished by the will of God.

Historically, this feast had its origin in the dedication of the Church of Saint Mary the New in Jerusalem (November, 543). It was spread throughout the whole East in the Seventh century. Pope Gregory XI introduced it at Avignon at the end of the Fourteenth century. Then it was generalized in the Roman Church in 1585 by Sixtus V.

Second Class Feast. Antiphons of the Feast. Ordinary Isodikon. Troparion of the Feast (three times). Kondakion of the Feast. Epistle, Gospel, Hirmos, and Kinonikon of the Feast.

In occurence with a Sunday: Antiphons (the refrain of the Second Antiphon is that of Sunday). Isodikon of the Sunday. Troparia: of the Resurrection (once) and of the Feast. Epistle and Gospel of the Feast (Epistle and Gospel of the Sunday are read on the following day). Hirmos and Kinonikon of the Feast.

November 22

Second Day of the Feast of the Entrance into the Temple of our
Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary

Memory of the Holy Apostle Philemon and his companions
Apphias, Archippos, and Onesimos (First century)

The holy Martyr Cecilia and her companions Valerian and Tiburtios (?)

A native of Colossae in Phrygia, Saint Philemon was a rich man of noble ancestry. In the testimony of Saint John Chrysostom, Saint Apphias was his wife. Archippos was without doubt their son and Onesimos was their pagan slave. Onesimos fled to Rome, where the Apostle Paul found him, brought him back to the way of truth and virtue, and sent him back to his master, provided with a letter that the captive Apostle addressed to Philemon, about the year 61-62.

Saint Cecilia was martyred in Rome at an uncertain date and was buried, out of respect to her noble origin, with the Bishops of Rome, in the cemetery of Callisto. Saints Valerian and Tiburtios likewise received the crown of martyrdom at an unknown date and were buried in the catacombs of Pretestatus. The bodies of all these holy martyrs were rediscovered in 821 under Pope Pascal I and transferred, at the same time as those of three Bishops of Rome: Maximos, the martyr; Lucius, the confessor (253-254); and Urban I (222-230), to the basilica beyond the Tiber, which was called in consequence of this transfer: the Basilica of Saint Cecilia.

Fifth Class Feast.

Antiphons of the Feast. Troparia: of the Feast, of the Apostles, and of the Church Patron.

Kondakion of the Feast.

Post-festive Sunday: Typika and Beatitudes. Isodikon of the Sunday. Troparia: of the Resurrection, of the Feast, and of the Church Patron. Kondakion of the Feast. Epistle and Gospel of the Sunday. Kinonikon of the Sunday.

November 23

Third Day of the Feast of the Entrance into the Temple of our
Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary

Memory of our Fathers among the Saints,
Amphilochios, Bishop of Iconium (+395) and
Gregory, Bishop of Agrigentum (559-630)

Saint Gregory was born in Preterium, near Agregentum, Sicily, about 559, under Emperor Justinian. When he was eighteen years old, he went to venerate the holy places and was ordained a deacon by Makarios, the Patriarch of Jerusalem. He then left for Antioch, where in 589, he reached Byzantium and Rome, where he was ordained Bishop of Agrigentum in 590. Unjustly accused of adultery, he was imprisoned for two years. Judged and declared innocent by Pope Saint Gregory, on the order of the Emperor, he was put i confrontation with his accusers and restored to liberty in 603. He died in old age about 630, leaving a commentary on Ecclesiastes and various other treatises.

Saint Amphilochios was the compatriot and comrade in strife of Saints Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, who was his first cousin, and Gregory of Nyssa. A pupil of Libganius, a rhetor then a lawyer, he was ordained in 374 by Saint Basil, the Metropolitan of Iconium in Lycaonia. A teacher of the Orthodox faith and an intrepid adversary of the plague of Arianism, he suffered numerous persecutions and tribulations on account of the impious. He was one of the fathers of the Second Ecumenical Council in 381, and energetically combatted Macedonius the Pneumatomachos (contender against the Spirit). He lived until the time of Theodosius the Great and his two sons, Arcadius and Honorius. He died in peace in 395, in old age, leaving some treaties on the Orthodox faith.

Fifth Class Feast.

Antiphons of the Feast. Troparia: of the Feast, of the Saints, and of the Church Patron. Kondakion of the Feast.

Post-festive Sunday: Typika and Beatitudes. Isodikon of the Sunday. Troparia: of the Resurrection, of the Feast, and of the Church Patron. Kondakion of the Feast. Epistle and Gospel of the Sunday. Kinonikon of the Sunday.

November 24

Fourth Day of the Feast of the Entrance into the Temple of our
Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary

Memory of our Fathers among the Saints, the
Hieromartyrs Clement, Pope of Rome (+100) and
Peter, Bishop of Alexandria (+312)

Saint Clement was a disciple of the Apostles Peter and Paul. He was elected shepherd of the Roman Church, to succeed, so it seems, Linus and Cletus, from 92 to 101. Eusebius says: "There exists a long and admirable letter by him, accepted as authentic. It is written in the name of the Roman Church to the Church of Corinth concerning a dissention which had then arisen in that city." According to tradition, it is in exile that he committed his soul to God.

Saint Peter was the Bishop of Alexandria about the year 300. He remained in this office for twelve years. Before being consecrated a bishop, he led a very austere life and generously provided for the general needs of the Churches. Eusebius says: "He was the model of bishops by his virtue, life, and frequentation of Holy Scripture. He was laid hold of and led away without reason, without a moment's notice, unexpected and without a trial, and on the order of Emperor Maximian Daia, he was beheaded in 312. A great number of Egyptian bishops had to endure the same punishment with him."

Fifth Class Feast.

Antiphons of the Feast. Troparia: of the Feast, of the Saints, and of the Church Patron. Kondakion of the Feast.

Post-festive Sunday: Typika and Beatitudes. Isodikon of the Sunday. Troparia: of the Resurrection, of the Feast, and of the Church Patron. Kondakion of the Feast. Epistle and Gospel of the Sunday. Kinonikon of the Sunday.

Sunday of the Rich Young Man: On the Sunday which falls between November 24-30, the thirteenth Gospel of Saint Luke (Luke 18:18-28) is read, which mentions the rich young man.

November 25

Closing Day of the Feast of the Entrance into the Temple of our
Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary

Memory of the holy martyr of Christ, the All-Wise Catherine
(Beginning of the Fourth century)

The holy Great martyr Mercury (+under Decius, 249-251)

Saint Mercury suffered martyrdom in Caesarea of Cappodocia under Emperor Decius (249-251).

Saint Catherine was born in Alexandria, the daughter of Cinstus or Cestus. A virgin with great beauty and wisdom, she was famous for her wealth, noble origin, and education. By her remarkable knowledge, she conquered the passionate and untamed soul of Emperor Maximin. By the strength of her discourses, she reduced to silence Rhetors who wished to dispute with her. She obtained the crown of martyrdom about the year 305.

Third Class Feast. Typika and Beatitudes. Troparia: of the Feast, of Saint Catherine, and of the Gospel of Saint Catherine. Hirmos and Kinonikon of the Feast.

In occurrence with a Sunday: Typika and Beatitudes. Isodikon of the Sunday. Troparia: of the Resurrection, of the Feast, of Saint Catherine, and of the Church Patron. Kondakion of the Feast. Epistle of Saint Catherine. Gospel of the Sunday (Thirteenth of Saint Luke). Hirmos and Kinonikon of the Feast.

November 26

Memory of our venerable Fathers Alypios the Stylite
(+under Heraclius, 610-641) and
Nikon the Preacher of Repentance (end of the Tenth century)

A native of Adrianopolis in Paphlagonia, Saint Alypios lived in the time of Emperor Heraclius (610-641). A deacon and econome of the Church, he abandoned everything when he was thirty years old and withdrew to the desert. To escape the crowds of people who came to see him, he mounted a column (in Greek: Kion) and because of this he was called the Kionite, or stylite. It is related that he remained on a column for fifty-three years, and even when his strength declined, he remained not less than thirteen years lying on the same side and on the same column, without ever turning on the other side, until the day when he committed his precious soul to God.

Saint Nikon was born in Armenia. Leaving his parents and country, he went into the eastern provinces to cry out to all: "Metanoite," "Repent!", for which he merits his surname. Arriving at last in Lacedaemon (Sparta) in the Peloponnese, he built a temple in honor of Christ Our Savior, and resided there until the end of his life. He died toward the end of the tenth century.

Fifth Class Feast.

From this day forward, the Kondakion of Sundays and Major Feast Days is that of the Pre-festive Period of the Nativity according to the Flesh of Our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ (on December 20).

November 27

Memory of the holy Great martyr James the Persian (+ca.422)

Saint James was born in Bethlapad in the Suzian. He was of noble ancestry and the intimate friend of Yasdagerd I, the King of Persia (399-425). A Christian from birth, he renounced Christ, blinded by the King's friendship and flattery. Learning this, his mother and wife made it known to him in writing that they no longer had anything in common with him, because he preferred a passing glory to the love of Christ. Struck by these words and returning to himself, he wept bitterly over his sin and completely changed his attitude toward the king. The king became extremely angry and condemned him to an atrocious death, such as no one would dare to inflict on wild beasts. His hands and feet were cut off, methodically piece by piece, up to his shoulders and legs. Thus mutilated, the Saint was beheaded.

Fifth Class Feast.

November 28

Memory of the holy Hosiomartyr Stephen the Younger (715-764)

The holy Martyr Irenarchos and his
Seven Companions (beginning of the Fourth century)

Saint Stephen was born in Constantinople in the month of September, 715, and was baptized by Patriarch Saint Germanus of Cyzicus. In 731, he embraced monastic life on the famous hill of Saint Auxentios, opposite Byzantium, under the direction of the Venerable John. When the latter died in 743 or 746, the Saint inherited his cell. But Constantine V Copronymus, who succeeded his father Leo in the government of the Empire in 741, convoked a synod in 754 against the Holy Icons and persecuted the pious monks by various tortures and exile. He exiled Saint Stephen among others. In 764, he called together in the pretorium in Constantinople about three hundred other confessors who came from all parts of the empire-along with Saint Stephen. Some had their noses cut off, others lost their ears, their eyes, their hands, their beard. Eleven months after this sentence of condemnation, the Saint was taken out of prison, thrown on the ground, dragged to the public square with his hands tied, beaten with sticks, and stoned like the Protomartyr Stephen, for which he was called the "New Stephen." Dragged out by a certain Count Philomattios, desirous of winning favors from the Emperor, he was beaten on the head with a huge beam which smashed his skull and shattered his brain. He died on November 28, 764.

It is said that the holy martyr Irenarchos suffered for the faith in Sebastea, Armenia, during Diocletian's reign, in the beginning of the Fourth century.

Fifth Class Feast.

November 29

Memory of the holy Martyrs Paramonos (+under Decius, 249-251) and
Philomenos (+under Aurelian, 270-275)

Saint Paramonos suffered martyrdom under Emperor Decius (249-251).

Saint Philomenos lived under Emperor Aurelian (270-275). A native of Lycaonia, he was a baker by profession and furnished bread to different localities in Galatia. Accused before Felix, the Governor of Ancyra, he courageously confessed his faith. To torture him, his hands and feet were bound with iron chains. Then he was suspended and his body was torn open with sword thrusts. Afterwards, he was taken down and thrown into a red-hot furnace. Preserved from all these tortures by the power of Christ, his head, hands, and feet were bound, and he was thus dragged a distance of thirty stadia. He died during these tortures.

Fifth Class Feast.

November 30

Memory of the Holy and Glorious Apostle Andrew,
the First-called (First century)

A native of Bethsaida in Galilee, Saint Andrew was son of Jonas, the brother of Saint Peter, and the disciple of Saint John the Baptist. Having understood the testimony of his teacher who pointed at Christ and said: "Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world," he immediately followed Jesus and was his first disciple (whence his name of Protoklitos, or First-called). After the Savior's Ascension, according to Eusebius (III:1), he evangelized Scythia and, if ecclesiastical tradition is to be believed, died crucified in Patras in Achaia. In 1462 his head was laid near the tomb of Peter in the Vatican by Pope Pius II. Pope Paul VI, in 1964, returned the relic of Saint Andrew to the Orthodox Church in Patras, Greece, where tradition says he was martyred.

Third Class Feast, follow the general order of a Third Class Feast.