Category Archives: Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day

JamesL

Apostle James, the Brother of the Lord, October 23

James

Troparion — Tone 4

As the Lord’s disciple you received the Gospel, O righteous James; / as a martyr you have unfailing courage; / as God’s brother, you have boldness; / as a hierarch, you have the power to intercede. / Pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved.

Kontakion — Tone 4

When God the Word, the Only-begotten of the Father, / came to live among us in these last days, / He declared you, venerable James, to be the first shepherd and teacher of Jerusalem / and a faithful steward of the spiritual Mysteries. / Therefore, we all honor you, O Apostle.

Holy Apostle James, the Brother of God (Adelphotheos) was the son of Righteous Joseph the Betrothed of the Most Holy Theotokos (December 26). From his early years James was a Nazarene, a man especially dedicated to God. The Nazarenes vowed to preserve their virginity, to abstain from wine, to refrain from eating meat, and not to cut their hair. The vow of the Nazarenes symbolized a life of holiness and purity, commanded formerly by the Lord for all Israel. When the Savior began to teach the nation about the Kingdom of God, St James believed in Christ and became His apostle. He was chosen as the first Bishop of Jerusalem.

St James presided over the Council of Jerusalem and his word was decisive (Acts 15). In his thirty years as bishop, St James converted many of the Jews to Christianity. Annoyed by this, the Pharisees and the Scribes plotted together to kill St James. They led the saint up on the pinnacle of the Jerusalem Temple and asked what he thought of Jesus. The holy Apostle began to bear witness that Christ is the Messiah, which was not the response the Pharisees were expecting. Greatly angered, the Jewish teachers threw him off the roof. The saint did not die immediately, but gathering his final strength, he prayed to the Lord for his enemies while they were stoning him. St James’ martyrdom occurred about 63 A.D.

The holy Apostle James composed a Divine Liturgy, which formed the basis of the Liturgies of Sts Basil the Great and John Chrysostom. The Church has preserved an Epistle of St James, one of the books of the New Testament.

In 1853, Patriarch Hierotheus of Alexandria sent to Moscow a portion of the relics of St James. The Church distinguishes between the holy Apostle James the Brother of God, and St James the son of Zebedee (April 30) and St James the son of Alphaeus (October 9).

 

Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos + August 15

Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos + August 15

Shudder, O ye heavens! and, O earth, give ear unto these words: God descended once before for our sake He descends again today for His Mother.
–from The Lamentations at the Bier of the Mother of God, Tone 5

O thou most Holy Virgin, who knew not wedlock, the heavens rejoice in thy glorious falling asleep, the hosts of angels are glad, and the whole earth crieth out in joy, singing to thee the funeral song, O Mother of the Lord of all, thou who hast delivered human kind from its ancestral condemnation.

The Great Feast of the Transfiguration + August 6

TransfigurationVerily, Christ took Peter, James and John to a high mountain apart. And He was transfigured before them, His countenance shining as the sun, and His clothes became white as light. Moses and Elijah appeared and conversed with Him, and a bright cloud covered them. Then behold, a voice from the cloud said, This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well-pleased; hear Him.

+ Orthros of the Feast, Tone 8

The Feast of the Transfiguration
By Fr. Patrick Reardon

In the biblical narratives of our Lord’s Transfiguration it is easy to discern different points of inclusion and emphasis peculiar to each writer. Only Luke, for instance, mentions that Jesus was praying when He was transfigured, and only Matthew remarks that the disciples “fell on their faces.”

In Mark’s account (9:2-10) one of the most notable features of the Transfiguration is the curious way the evangelist speaks of the arrival of Moses and Elijah. Whereas Matthew and Luke say simply, “Moses and Elijah appeared” on the scene, Mark lays a special stress on Elijah. He writes, “Elijah appeared to them with Moses.” Not only does Mark mention Elijah before Moses, but the verb he uses, “appeared” (ophthe), is singular, not plural. His is an account of the arrival of Elijah, Moses playing a rather secondary role.

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