Afterfeast of the Exaltation of the Cross
Great-martyr Nicetas the Goth (372).
“Novoniketas” Icon of the Mother of God, carried by St Nicetas the Goth (372).
Martyr Porphyrius the Mime of Caesaria (361).
St. Joseph, abbot, of Alaverdi in Georgia (570)
St. Philotheus the Presbyter and Wonderworker, in Asia Minor (10th c.)
Saint Nicetas, disciple of St. Sergius of Radonezh and founder of the Theophany Monastery in Kostroma (15th century)
New Martyr John of Crete, at New Ephesus (1811)
Virgin-martyr Eudokia Tkachenko (1918)
Commemorated on September 15
“What does it mean to take up your cross? I means the willing acceptance, at the hand of Providence, of every means of healing, bitter though it may be, that is offered. Do great catastrophies fall on you? Be obedient to God’s will, as Noah was. Is sacrifice demanded of you? Give yourself into God’s hands with the same faith as Abram had when he went to sacrifice his son. Is your property ruined? Do your children die suddenly? Suffer it all with patience, cleaving to God in your heart, as Job did. Do your friends forsake you, and you find yourself surrounded by enemies? Bear it all without grumbling, and with faith that God’s help is at hand, as the apostles did.”
St. Nikolai Velimirovich, “The Great Fast – Third Sunday: Of the Holy Cross,” Homilies Vol. 1
Hymn of Praise
the Honorable Cross
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
Covered with blood, the saving Cross,
As though in a grave, for a long time, covered with darkness!
For three days in darkness, from you [the Cross] a Hero [Christ] dwelled,
And you [the Cross], three hundred years, under the ground lay.
When, from Hades the forefathers He liberated, the Lord arose,
And, when freedom for the Church reigned, You [the Cross] arose.
After that, the Lord, for a little while, remained on earth
And to the faithful, you [the Cross] for sometime, still shown,
Until you [the Cross] adequately helped them to strengthen the Faith,
Until with the sign of the Cross, everyone learned to sign themselves,
Until, by their conscience, the baptized recognized the power of the Cross –
With this, you [the Cross] completed your service with honor,
A thousand seasons if they come and pass, but still,
Your image, your power will not perish.
The faithful, before the Honorable Cross, pray to Christ the God,
Heal all difficulties, heal all pains by the Honorable Cross.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
In 1925 they asked St. Matrona of Moscow:
“Why did God allow them to close and raze so many Churches in Russia?”
And she answered with the following words:
“This was the will of God. The people are hypnotized, and a terrible demonic power has been put into action. It is in the air, and penetrates everything.
In olden times, this demonic power dwelt in the marshes and the dense forest, because people would go to church regularly, and wore and honored the Cross. Their homes were protected by holy icons, the vigil lamps that were burning, the holy water services which they did…
The demons were sent far away and feared to approach…
Today, however, these homes and these very people have become dwelling places of demons because of their faithlessness and by their distancing themselves from Christ.”
Matushka taught people to leave their lives to God’s will, to live with prayer, to cross oneself and everything around to protect oneself from evil. She advised to have Holy Communion often. “Protect yourselves with the sign of the cross, prayer, holy water, frequent Communion…Light lamps before the icons.”
“When the enemy approaches you, you should pray. Cross yourself as frequently as possible! The cross is like a lock on the door“. Protect yourself with the power of the Holy and Life-giving Cross.”
“Difficult times are our lot, but we Christians must choose the Cross. Christ has placed us on His sleigh, and he will take us where He will.”
The Holy Presbyter and Wonderworker Philotheus
The Holy Presbyter and Wonderworker Philotheios lived in the X Century in the village of Mrauino (or Murav’evo) located in Bythnia in Asia Minor. He was married and had children. Philotheios accepted the dignity of priesthood and from that time he devoted himself to deeds of prayer and fasting, and works of charity. Because of his holy life the Monk Philotheios received from God the gift of wonderworking. The ascetic continually fed the hungry and helped the needy. The Monk Philotheios died peacefully. From his relics flowed myrh.
The Novonikita Icon
The Novonikita Icon – is one of the ancient icons of the Mother of God. It appeared to the holy GreatMartyr Nikita (+ 372). The Martyr Nikita was a former soldier and student of Theophilus, Bishop of the Goths. Prior to accepting Baptism from him, Nikita in a dream saw a Child, holding in hand His Cross. Awakening, he for a long time pondered over the meaning of the vision. A certain Christian girl, by the name of Juliania, on an inspiration from God told the youth that he should turn his glance upon his own chest. To his unspeakable astonishment he discovered there on his own chest an image of the MostHoly Mother of God with the Praeternal Christ-Child, standing on the knees of His Mother and holding in hand the Cross. “This is the same image I saw in the dream”, — cried out Saint Nikita. The appearance of the icon produced such an effect on him, that he quickly took holy Baptism. Soon there began a persecution against Christians, and Saint Nikita accepted the martyr’s crown amidst a number of other confessors.
Give yourself into God’s hands with the same faith as Abram had when he went to sacrifice his son.
Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:32-49) That God may forgive us, let us forgive men, We are all on this earth as temporary guests.
Troparion of the Cross, in Tone I—
O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance. Grant victory to Orthodox Christians over their adversaries. And by Thy Cross do Thou preserve Thy commonwealth.
troparion of the Theotokos, in Tone IV—
To thee, the Theotokos, we, the sinful and lowly, now earnestly have recourse; and we fall down in repentance, crying out from the depths of our heart: O Mistress, take pity and have mercy upon us! Haste thou, for we are perishing in the multitude of our transgressions! Turn not thy servants empty away, for thee do we have as our only hope!
Troparion Saint Philotheus the Presbyter in Asia Minor – Tone 1
O pure and holy Philotheus, you were a lover of God, And now glorified by the Holy Spirit, You work miracles to save from harm all who cry to you: Glory to him who has glorified you; Glory to him who has made you wonderful; Glory to him who through you works healings for all!
Kontakion – Tone 2
You ended your life in righteousness And were a lover of God. O holy Philotheus, having received power to work wonders, Pray unceasingly for us all!
Troparion, in Tone IV—
Taking up the Cross of Christ ardently, as it were a sword, thou didst make haste to do battle with the enemy, and, having later suffered by fire for Christ, thou didst commit thy sacred soul to the Lord, and hence thou hast been vouchsafed to receive from Him gifts of healing, O greatmartyr Nicetas. Entreat Christ God that our souls be saved.