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Daily Devotional

Wednesday, May 31, 2023 (NS)
May 18, 2023 (OS)


Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

Wednesday of the Seventh Week

Fixed Calendar:

The commemoration of the holy Martyrs Peter, Dionysios, Andrew, Paul, Christine, Herakleos, Paulinos, and Venedimos, and the seven Virgin-martyrs at Ankyra in Galatia, Tekouse, Alexandra, Claudia, Phaenee, Ephrasia, Matrona, and Julia, and the holy Martyr Theodotos.

Fasting Information

Fast day, but Wine and Oil Allowed.

Scripture Readings

Movable Calendar (Pascalion):

Wednesday of the Seventh Week


The Reading is from the Acts of the Apostles [§ 47]. In those days:

23 1Paul, having looked intently on the sanhedrin, said, “Men, brethren, I, in all good conscience, have conducted myself as a citizen to God even to this day.” 2But the high priest Ananias ordered those standing by him to smite his mouth. 3Then Paul said to him, “God is about to smite thee, thou whitewashed wall. And thou sittest judging me according to the law, and acting contrary to the law thou commandest me to be smitten!” 4And those having stood by said, “Revilest thou the high priest of God?” 5And Paul said, “I did not know, brethren, that he is high priest; for it hath been written, ‘Thou shalt not speak ill of a ruler of thy people [cf. Ex. 22:28].’” 6But Paul, having perceived that the one part was made up of Sadducees and the other of Pharisees, cried out in the sanhedrin, “Men, brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of a Pharisee; I am being judged concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead.” 7And after he spoke thus, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; and the multitude was divided. 8For Sadducees indeed say there is no resurrection, neither angel nor spirit, but Pharisees confess both. 9And there arose a great cry; and the scribes of the part of the Pharisees rose up and were contending, saying, “We find nothing evil in this man; but if a spirit or an angel spoke to him, let us not fight against God.” 10And after a great dissension arose, the tribune, fearing lest Paul should be torn in pieces, commanded the troops to go down, and to snatch him up out of their midst, and to bring him into the barracks. 11And on the coming night, the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good courage, Paul; for as thou didst testify concerning the things of Me in Jerusalem, so also it is necessary for thee to bear witness in Rome.”


The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Saint John [§ 54]. The Lord said to His disciples:

16 15“All things whatsoever the Father hath are Mine; on this account I said that He shall receive of Mine and shall announce it to you. 16“A little while, and ye behold Me not; and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me, because I go away to the Father.” 17Then some of the disciples said to one another, “What is this which He saith to us, ‘A little while, and ye behold Me not; and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me’; and ‘because I go away to the Father’?” 18They were saying therefore, “What is this which He saith, ‘A little while’? We know not what He speaketh.” 19Now Jesus knew that they were wishing to question Him, and He said to them, “Concerning this do ye inquire among one another, because I said, ‘A little while and ye behold Me not, and again, a little while and ye shall see Me’? 20“Verily, verily, I say to you that ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall be glad; and ye shall be grieved, but your grief shall become joy. 21“The woman, whenever she is about to bring forth, hath grief, because her hour is come; but whenever she should bear the child, she no longer remembereth the affliction, on account of the joy that a man is born into the world. 22“And therefore ye now on the one hand have sorrow; but on the other hand I will see you again and your heart shall be glad, and your joy no one taketh away from you. 23“And in that day ye shall ask Me for nothing. Verily, verily, I say to you that whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it to you.”

Fixed Calendar:

The commemoration of the holy Martyrs Peter, Dionysios, Andrew, Paul, Christine, Herakleos, Paulinos, and Venedimos, and the seven Virgin-martyrs at Ankyra in Galatia, Tekouse, Alexandra, Claudia, Phaenee, Ephrasia, Matrona, and Julia, and the holy Martyr Theodotos.

No readings given.

Lives of the Saints

May 31st — Civil Calendar
May 18th — Church Calendar

1. The Holy Martyr Theodotus, and the seven maiden martyrs: Tecusa, Alexandra, Claudia, Favina, Euphrasia, Matrona and Julia.

Theodotus was a married man and an innkeeper in Ancyra in the time of the Emperor Diocletian. Although he was married, he lived according to the words of the Apostle: ‘Let them who have wives be as though they had not’ (I Cor. 7:29). But he kept the inn open in order to be able unsuspectedly to help Christians, and his inn was a refuge for persecuted Christians. Theodotus secretly sent help to the Christian refugees in the mountains, and secretly gathered the bodies of those who had been killed, giving them burial. At that time, seven maidens were taken for trial and tortured for Christ. They were tortured, mocked and then thrown into a lake. One of them, St Tecusa, appeared to St Theodotus and told him to take her body out of the lake and bury it. Under cover of night, Theodotus set off with a companion to carry out the martyr’s wishes, and led by an angel of God, succeeded in finding all seven bodies and burying them. But this friend betrayed him to the authorities, and the judge put him to harsh torture. Theodotus endured all the tortures as though not in his own body, having his whole mind steeped in God. When the torturers had made his body one great wound and broken his teeth with stones, it was ordered that he be beheaded. When he was taken to the scaffold, many Christians wept for him, but St Theodotus said to them: ‘Don’t weep for me, my brethren, but glorify our Lord Jesus Christ, by whose aid I am finishing my course and overcoming the enemy.’ Saying this, he laid his head on the block under the sword and was beheaded, in the year 303. A priest buried the martyr’s body on a hill outside the city and a church dedicated to St Theodotus was later built on the site.

2. The Holy Martyrs Peter, Dionysius, Andrew, Paul and Christina.

Peter was a young and gifted man; Dionysius was a nobleman; Andrew and Paul were soldiers; and Christina was a sixteen-year-old girl. They all courageously confessed Christ the Lord and underwent torture and death for His name in the year 250. One Nicomachus, who was tortured with them, denied Christ under torture, and instantly lost his mind, tearing at his body with his teeth and foaming at the mouth until he breathed his last.

3. The Holy Martyrs Heraclius, Paulinus and Benedimus.

They were Athenians, and suffered for the Faith in the time of Decius. They were thrown into a burning furnace for the name of Christ.


To hide one’s virtues and ascetic practices has been normal with ascetics, not only in the first periods of Christianity but also through the ages to the present day. Evdokia, the wife of the famous Prince Dimitri of the Don, the liberator of Russia from the Tartars, was left a widow in 1389, while still fairly young. Imbued with devotion, this princess built churches, gave alms and secretly wore her body out with fastings and vigils. She wore iron chains around her body. However, she showed a smiling face to the world and dressed luxuriously, decking herself with pearls. The world said all sorts of things about her; voices began to be raised about her immoral life. Her sons came to hear about this, and insultingly and bitterly told their mother openly what was being said about her. Their mother undid her luxurious robe and her sons saw, with great amazement, her body all shrivelled and dried up, and bound with iron chains.

Daily Scripture Readings taken from The Orthodox New Testament, translated and published by Holy Apostles Convent, Buena Vista, Colorado, copyright © 2000, used with permission, all rights reserved.

Daily Prologue Readings taken from The Prologue of Ochrid, by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic, translated by Mother Maria, published by Lazarica Press, Birmingham, England, copyright © 1985, all rights reserved.

Archbishop Gregory
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