April 24/May 7
Martyr Sabbas Stratelates (“the General”), of Rome,
and 70 soldiers with him (272). Martyr Alexander of Lyons (ca. 177).
Martyrs Pasicrates, Valentine, and Julius, at Dorostolum in Moesia
(285-301). Martyrs Eusebius, Neon, Leontius, Longinus, and others,
at Nicomedia (ca. 303). St. Innocent, priest on the Mount of Olives
(4th c.). St. Elizabeth the Wonderworker, of Constantinople (540).
St. Thomas the fool-for-Christ, of Syria (ca. 550). St. Wilfrid, bishop
of York (709). St. Egbert, bishop of Iona (729). St. Xenophon, founder
of Xenophontos Monastery, Mt. Athos (ca. 1018). Sts. Sabbas and
Alexis theHermit, of the Kiev Caves (13th c.). New Martyr Doukas of
Mytilene (1564). St. Elias (Iorest) (1678) and St. Sava (Brancovici)
(1683), metropolitans of Ardeal (Transylvania), confessors against the
Calvinists. St. Joseph the Confessor, bishop of Maramures (Romania)
(ca. 1711). New Martyr Nicholas of Magnesia (1795). New Martyr
George in Anatolia (1796). St. Alexis Toth, priest of Wilkes-Barre,
Pennsylvania (1909).NewHieromartyr Branko, priest of Veljusa, Serbia
Repose of Schemamonk Nicholas of Valaam (1947).
Thoughts for Each Day of the Year
According to the Daily Church Readings from the Word of God
By St. Theophan the Recluse
Monday. [Acts 10:1–16; John 6:56–69]
When the Lord presented His teaching
about the mystery of His Body and Blood, setting it as a
necessary condition for communication with Himself and as
a source of true life, then many of His disciples went
back, and walked no more with Him (John 6:66). Such an
act of God’s boundless mercy toward us seemed too
miraculous to them, and their disinclination toward the
miraculous tore them from the Lord. The Lord saw this, and
although He was prepared to be crucified for the salvation
of every person, He did not consider it possible to
diminish or cancel the miraculous. It is so crucial in the
economy of our salvation! Albeit with regret, He allowed
them to depart from Him into the darkness of unbelief and
destruction; and said to them and to the chosen twelve as
well, will ye also go away? (John 6:67) This showed
that He was ready to let them go also, if they could not
bow down before the miraculous. So it is, that to flee
from the miraculous is to flee from the Lord and Saviour;
and one who turns away from the miraculous is as one who
is perishing. May those who are horrified by the
miraculous heed this! Even they will come across a miracle
which they will not be able to thwart: death, and after
death, judgment. But whether this inability to thwart it
will serve them unto salvation, only God knows.
SAINT THEOPHAN THE RECLUSE (1815–1894) was one of the most prolific and beloved spiritual writers of nineteenth-century Russia. His works, which comprise over twenty volumes, include such classics as The Path to Salvation and A Commentary on Psalm 118, as well as many volumes of letters. Although he lived the last twenty-eight years of his life as a hermit, his impact on his homeland was immense. His articles appeared in the popular spiritual journals of his time, his books were in great demand, and he personally replied to an average of thirty letters daily.
In the present book, Thoughts for Each Day of the Year, St. Theophan takes us through the yearly cycle of Gospel and Epistle readings, humbly and reverently offering us brief but powerful daily meditations on the word of God. He also addresses the problems of his day—lack of faith, coldness of heart, trust in the rational mind rather than in the revealed Truth of God—which are problems of our day as well.
Contemplating the sacred texts together with St. Theophan, the reader will learn to penetrate more deeply into Holy Scripture, and will receive answers to many dogmatic, moral, and spiritual questions which touch upon our salvation. Thoughts for Each Day of the Year can help us to more closely connect our lives with the life of Christ in His Holy Church, and to gain a better knowledge of how to fulfill His commandments. By reading St. Theophan's daily exhortations and taking them to heart, one can be changed by the grace-filled power of our Savior, in accordance with the teaching of the Apostle Paul: Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Rom. 11:2).
Thoughts for Each Day of the Year is published by St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood and Sretensky Monastery.
It is available at stherman.com/Catalog/Spiritual_Counsels/Daily_Thoughts_Book.html.
For further information on the Saint Herman Calendar contact St. Herman Press:
St. Herman Press, P.O. Box 70, Platina, CA 96076