Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
Hieromartyr Phocas, bishop of Sinope; Hieromartyrs Apollinaris and Vitalis, bishops of Ravenna; Martyr Apollonius of Rome; Holy Prophet Ezekiel
July 23, 2017
Troparion of the Resurrection – Tone 6
When Mary stood at Thy grave, looking for Thy sacred body, angelic powers shone above Thy revered tomb; and the soldiers who were to keep guard became as dead men. Thou led Hades captive and wast not tempted thereby. Thou didst meet the Virgin and didst give life to the world, O Thou, Who art risen from the dead, O Lord, glory to Thee.
Troparion of St Joseph – Tone 2
Proclaim, O Joseph to David, the ancestor of God, the amazing wonder, for by the angel they were revealed unto thee. For thou hast seen a Virgin great with child, and thou gave glory with the shepherds and didst worship with the Magi. Wherefore, plead with Christ God to save our souls.
Kontakion for Ordinary Sundays – Tone 2
O undisputed intercessor of Christians, the mediatrix who is unrejected by the Creator, turn not away from the voice of our petitions, though we be sinners. Come to us with aid in time, who cry unto thee in faith, for thou art good. Hasten to us with intercessions O Theotokos, who dost ever intercede for those who honor thee.
Epistle – Romans 15:1-7
Brethren, we who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves; let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to edify him. For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached thee fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures, we might have hope. May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Welcome one another, therefore, as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
Gospel – Matthew 9:27-35
At that time, as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud: “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” When He entered the house, the blind men came to Him; and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly charged them, “See that no one knows it.” But they went away and spread His fame through all that district. As they were going away, behold, a dumb demoniac was brought to Him. And when the demon had been cast out, the dumb man spoke; and the crowds marveled, saying, “Never was anything like this seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons.” And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity.
St Christina, Great Martyr of Tyre – July 24th
The Martyr Christina lived during the third century. She was born into a rich family, and her father was Governor of Tyre. Christina’s father, however, wanted his daughter to become a pagan priestess. He placed her in a special room where he had set up many gold and silver idols, and he ordered his daughter to burn incense before them.
Christina was visited by an angel, who instructed her in the true faith in Christ. The angel called her a bride of Christ and told her that she would suffer for her faith. Christina smashed all the idols in her room and threw them out the window. Shortly thereafter, Christina’s father visited her and asked where all the idols had gone. Christina would not speak, but summoning her servants, her father learned the truth from them.
In a rage, Christina’s father began to slap her face. At first, she was quiet, but then she told her father about her faith in the One True God, and that she had destroyed the idols with her own hands. Her father gave orders to kill all the servants who had attended his daughter, and he fiercely beat Christina and threw her in prison. Having learned about what had happened, Christina’s mother came crying to her daughter’s cell and urged her to renounce Christ. However, Christina remained unyielding. The next day, her father brought Christina to trial and ordered that she worship the pagan gods and ask forgiveness for her sins. Instead, she gave a firm and steadfast confession of her faith in Christ. Her father ordered that Christina be tied to an iron wheel, beneath which was lit a fire.
That night, an angel appeared, healing her wounds and strengthening her with food. Seeing her unharmed, her father gave orders to drown her in the sea. An angel sustained Christina while the stone sank to the bottom, and she miraculously came out of the water and reappeared before her father. Her father subscribed this event to sorcery, and he decided to execute her in the morning. However, that same night, her father suddenly died.
Governor Dion was sent in his place. Dion ordered Christina to renounce Christ, but seeing her unyielding firmness, he again subjected her to torture. She was then thrown back into prison where Dion thought she would eventually perish. However, people began to flock to her, and she converted about 300 people to the true faith in Christ.
In place of Dion, a new governor, Julian, arrived and resumed Christina’s torture. Julian ordered that she be locked in a red-hot furnace. After five days the furnace was opened and Christina was found alive and unharmed. Seeing this miracle, many came to believe in Christ the Savior. Finally, St. Christina
was executed with a sword.