Third Week of the Great Lent. Tone six.
Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)
Martyrs Codratus (Quadratus) and with him: Cyprian, Dionysius, Anectus, Paul, Crescens, Dionysius (another), Victorinus, Victor, Nicephorus, Claudius, Diodorus, Serapion, Papias, Leonidas, Chariessa, Nunechia, Basilissa, Nice, Galla, Galina, Theodora, and others at Corinth (258).
St. Paul of Taganrog (1879).
New Hieromartyr Demetrius, priest (1938).
Martyrs Codratus, Saturninus, and Rufinus of Nicomedia (3rd c.).
Venerable Anastasia the Patrician of Alexandria (567).
New Martyr Michael of Agrapha, Thessalonica (1544). (Greek).
Martyr Marcian (Greek).
Venerable George Arselaites (6th c.).
St. Attalus, abbot of Bobbio (626).
St. Kessog, bishop of Loch Lomond.
St. John of Khakuhli, also called Chrysostom (10th-11th c.) (Georgia).
The Scripture Readings
St. John of Khakuhli, also called Chrysostom
Commemorated on March 10
In the second half of the 10th century King Davit Kuropalates founded Khakhuli Monastery in the historical region of Tao, at the gorge of the Khakhuli River, where it joins the Tortumi River.
Once famed for its holiness and academic activity, today Khakhuli Monastery is a Turkish possession and has become a tourist site. Nevertheless, the Georgian nation continues to be illumined by its grace and the radiance of the Georgian faithful who labored there.
A contemporary of King Bagrat III (975–1014), St. John of Khakhuli was a highly educated theologian, translator, and calligrapher. He has been called “Chrysostom” since he, like the beloved archbishop of Constantinople, delivered his sermons with extraordinary eloquence.
Some sources claim that St. John was first consecrated bishop of Bolnisi and later transferred to the Khakhuli diocese. It is generally agreed, however, that he left Khakhuli around the year 1019 and traveled to Mt. Athos with Arsen of Ninotsminda and John Grdzelisdze.
One Georgian manuscript, however, suggests that St. John was not a bishop at that time, and this has baffled Church historians to this day. In this manuscript it is written: “Pray for the blessed monk John Grdzelisdze and his spiritual son John Chrysostom, who labored to write this holy book.”
While laboring on Mt. Athos, St. John faithfully assisted St. Ekvtime of the Holy Mountain, and these spiritual brothers became close friends.
The countless good works he performed from the bishop’s throne, the title “Chrysostom,” and the many important writings accredited to him attest to the piety, wisdom, and patriotism of St. John of Khakhuli. It is written in The Life of Giorgi of the Holy Mountain that St. John reposed on Mt. Athos.
© 2006 St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood
HYMN OF PRAISE
The inexperienced sword was brandished over Charalampus,
only to be lowered!
The saint knelt and, a petition to God, raised:
“O Lord, release them!
Of all sinful men, absolve the sins;
have mercy again.
Bless their labor and grant abundant
fruit to the fields.
Let them have everything; they are flesh and blood;
let them sing to Thee.
Oh, grant them health, health and joy;
let them remember Thee!
Drive away every evil, save them from misery,
have mercy on them all,
And after death, to Paradise take their souls.
Lord Have mercy!
Whoever prays to Thee
and mentions my name,
Because of my suffering, help him,
O God, help him for my sake!”
Then came a voice from heaven: “I accept your prayer;
now render Me your soul!”
The saint released his soul and flew to Paradise,
before the falling of the sword!
Many of the serious infirmities that befall a man have their cause, known or unknown, in his past. The causes of such serious infirmities as, let us say, mental disorder, are nothing other than the transgression of the moral law of God.
When St. Charalampus was being tortured, the persecuting emperor learned of his miracle-working power. The emperor ordered an insane man to be brought before Charalampus, to see if Charalampus could heal him. The devil had tormented this man for thirty-five years, driving him into the wilderness and hills and hurling him into bogs and chasms. When this deranged man approached Charalampus, the demon sensed a sweet-smelling fragrance emanating from the holy man and shouted: “I beg you, O servant of God, do not torment me before my time, but command me and I will depart. And, if you wish, I will tell you how it happened that I entered into this man.” The saint commanded the demon to relate the story. The demon said: “This man wanted to steal from his neighbor and thought to himself: ‘If I don’t kill the man first, I will not be able to seize his goods.’ So he went and killed his neighbor. Having caught him in the act, I entered him and, behold, I have dwelt in him for thirty-five years.” Upon hearing this, the saint of God commanded the demon to depart from the man immediately and to leave him in peace. The demon departed, and the demented man was restored to health and became tranquil.
Contemplate the Lord Jesus as the Beauty of the entire created world:
1. As the Beauty of all created things, a Beauty dulled from fear and the melancholy of sin;
2. As the Beauty of man, the most rational being in the material world, a Beauty dulled by fear and the melancholy of sin;
3. As the Beauty of a pure, mental, bodiless world of the angels;
4. As the Beauty of the Holy Trinity, revealed by Him and through Him.
on the sin of those who assert that they can see
“If ye were blind, ye should have no sin” (John 9:41).
These words were spoken to the Jews by Him Who gave them the Law through the prophets, that the Law might serve them as the sight of the soul. The Jews received that sight, but they intentionally and evilly shut their eyes. That is why the righteous Lord spoke these righteous words to them.
These are words of true justice, yesterday and today and forever, for a blind man has no sin if he tramples upon someone else’s crop or if he takes someone else’s garment instead of his own. If he who has sight commits this, he will be committing a sin and will incur punishment. If he who has eyes intentionally closes his eyes and does this, he also will be committing a sin and will incur punishment.
Nevertheless, what can be said about those who have received baptism and chrismation, the two eyes of the soul, and still sin as those who are unbaptized? At the Last Judgment, they will not be treated as those who are born blind, rather they will be judged as transgressors who have willfully disfigured and blinded themselves.
And what can be said about those who receive the other Mysteries of grace in the fullness of Orthodoxy, having before them the examples of the saints, and constantly listening to the warnings and admonitions of God’s Church, but who nevertheless depart and go astray? At the Last Judgment such people will not be able to justify themselves by any type of blindness; rather they will be judged as transgressors who have disfigured themselves and others around them with blindness.
O Awesome Lord, save us from sin. O Merciful Lord, open our eyes to the path of salvation.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.