Proto-martyr Thekla, equal-to-the-Apostles
Venerable Silouan of Athos
Commemoration of the wonder-working icon of the Theotokos of the Myrtle Tree; New-martyr Ahmed; Venerable Nicander of Pskov; the Synaxis of all saints of Alaska
September 24, 2017
Variables in Today’s Divine Liturgy p. 35
Troparion of the Resurrection – Tone 7
Thou didst shatter death by Thy Cross, Thou didst open paradise to the thief; Thou didst turn the sadness of the ointment-bearing women into joy. And didst bid Thine Apostles proclaim a warning, that Thou hast risen O Christ, granting to the world the Great Mercy.
Troparion of St Thekla the Proto-martyr – Tone 3
O glorious Thekla, companion of Paul the divine, thou wast enflamed with the love of thy Creator, by the teaching of the divine preacher. Thou didst despise the passing earthly pleasures, and offered thyself to God as an acceptable and pleasing sacrifice, disregarding all suffering. Intercede with Christ thy Groom to grant us His Great Mercy.
Troparion of St Silouan the Anthonite – Tone 4
By prayer thou didst receive Christ as thy teacher in the way of humility, and the Spirit bore witness to salvation in thy heart. Wherefore, all peoples called unto hope rejoice in this day of thy memorial, O sacred Father Silouan. Pray unto Christ our God for the salvation of our souls.
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 – Timothy 3:10-15
Timothy, my son, you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions, my sufferings, what befell me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra. What persecutions I endured! Yet from them all, the Lord rescued me. Indeed, all, who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
Gospel – Luke 5:1-11
At that time, Jesus was standing by the lake of Gennesaret. And He saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, Jesus asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when Jesus had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at Thy word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking, they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the catch of fish, which they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men.” And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.
St Thekla, Protomartyr, and Equal to the Apostles – September 24th
Thekla was born in Iconium (modern Konya, Turkey) to wealthy parents. After having heard St Paul speak when she was eighteen years of age, she decided she must follow Christ and abandon her plans to marry. Her mother and her fiancé were opposed to this decision, and their accusations to the governor landed St Paul in prison. St Thekla slipped away from her house to visit St Paul, having bribed the guards with her gold jewelry to gain entrance.
At his trial, St Paul was banished from the city, and Thekla refused to change her mind against the threats from her mother and the governor. She was firm in her conviction to devote herself to Jesus Christ the Bridegroom. Her mother, enraged, persuaded the judge to sentence Thekla to burn to death. Emboldened by her love for Christ, she made the sign of the Cross over the flames and was surrounded by a light, untouched by the flames. Rain, and hail extinguished the fire, and, with thunder, helped to drive away those who wished to put her to death.
She sought out St Paul and his companions, including St Barnabas, who were hiding in a cave near the city, and proceeded to spread the Gospel of Christ with them in Antioch. Throughout her life, she performed many miraculous feats and suffered many tortures to give glory to God. Having retired to a desolate region of Isaurian Seleucia with the blessing of St Paul, Thekla continued to preach God's word.
When Thekla had reached the age of 90, pagans appeared with the purpose of killing her. Thekla called on Christ, and a large rock split open, covering her. Thereafter, she offered up her soul to the Lord.