St. Gregory the Dialogues, pope of Rome (604).
St. Theophanes the Confessor of Sigriane (818).
Righteous Aaron the High Priest, brother of Prophet Moses the God-seer (ca. 1530 b.c.).
Righteous Phineas, grandson of Aaron (ca. 1500 b.c.).
St. Nicodemus of Mammola in Calabria (990).
Sts. Symeon the New Theologian (1022) and his elder, Symeon the Reverent of the Studion (987).
Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos “Not-Made-By-Hands” (on the Pillar) at Lydda.
Repose of Schemamonk Anthony the Gorge-dweller of Zelenchug Monastery in Kuban (1908).
Commemorated on March 12
The tower of Babel!
Saint Nicholas Velimirovic
The tower of Babel! Did you read in the Bible about the tower of Babel? Ulcer of the earth! Ulcer of Humanity after Noah’s Flood. The more people were immoral before the Flood, the more after the Flood they were atheists. When did they catch up? When did Noah’s descendants forget God?
Noah was the only one saved by God after the Flood, because of his faith and justice. Flood, God’s Punishment didn’t help Noah’s offspring at all? Help some, the world never ran out of Righteous people, but many didn’t. Then these many decided to build the tower of Babel, to be glorified, saying the following: ‘ ‘ Let us build for ourselves a city and a tower whose top will reach Heaven, to be praised before we disperse on earth ‘ ‘ (Gen. 11:4).
What do these words mean? When they said they would build the city, it means they wanted to regulate their entire personal and social life without God’s blessing. When they said they would build a tower up to Heaven, they showed stubbornness to Heavenly God, trusting more in their powers than Him. When they said ′′ to be glorified “, it means that they wanted to glorify among people, they wanted to be admired by people, they wanted people to bow before them. When they said not to disperse, that means they wanted to settle their lives according to their will and according to their plans, not paying attention to God’s Will and God’s Providence. In one word: They did everything for their own glory in God’s stubbornness.
If you want to know what the look of these descendants of the Righteous Noah, who so quickly forgot God, turn from East to West and look at the modern tower of Babel. The goals of building Babel’s Asian tower and modern tower are identical. Same sickness to both old and modern builders: the removal from God. Motivation in both cases was: personal and nationalist glory, opposition to God and people who believe in God. The goals of building were: to make themselves Gods, adjust everything with logic, without paying any attention to their Creator.
Four are the walls of Babel’s new tower: the first wall is science, the second is industry, the third is politics, and the fourth wall is egocentricism.
All four walls do not have God’s blessing and are against God. They are dark as night without stars and moon. In this tower resides some dark people whose darkness is more beloved than light. From any side of the tower and stand, you will hear them fighting.
In front of the wall of scientists you will hear fairy tales about the world and man and so much noise, that you will hurry to walk away.
If you find yourself on the wall of the industry, you will still hear arguing. You will see the nonsense that exists in unnecessary production and quarrels regarding labor and its pay. Your ears will hurt.
If you find yourself in front of the wall of politics, you will still hear them quarrel. You will see the foolishness of every politician, who tries with injustice against other parties to advance his own party and injustice against others peoples to praise his people. Everyone is looking for their own resurrection over each other’s grave, their own happiness over the other’s misfortune. And let’s not talk about the fights of politicians. Paper wagons are used every day to print newspapers, which write about their empties, hypocrisy and quarrels.
In the end, if you approach the fourth wall, you will still hear them fighting. You will see foolishness because self-centeredness is the darkest foolishness, the cause of many quarrels between people and peoples. Here you will see selfishness in all its forms and in all its names: personal, group, industrial, political, partisan and nationalist. Darkness without a single ray of sunshine. Endless fights. All life in this tower is life without education, without joy, without meaning, without love. The desire to shout comes to man: Run away from this land that God dumped and cursed.
Builders couldn’t finish the old tower of Babel. God didn’t let them, he confused their tongue and they couldn’t understand each other. That’s why they quit their job and scattered all over the world, as God wanted. And so the Will of God was done and not the will of narrowheaded and dark people, Noah’s descendants.
My brothers, can’t you see how God confused the languages and the builders of the new tower of Babel? No one understands. Everyone justifies himself and criticizes others. Everyone opposes Christ and his neighbor. Can such a city survive? Can such a tower reach the sky? No way. The tower is falling down and the city is desolating. The Will of God is done and not the will of man. When God wills, then all the peoples of the world will rise up against this new tower of Babel and come to destroy it to the ground.
And like the whole world laughs reading the story about building Babel’s first tower and says: ‘ ‘ Despite having the example of their forefather, Fair Noah, they did not follow his path ‘ ‘, so will the future ones laugh generations with the peoples of the modern tower of Babel and they will say: They had Christ, the Gospel, the Church, the holy people of God, their forefathers, but they did not follow their lead. Instead, they turned their backs on them and imitated the example of the atheist builders of Babel’s first tower. So God hit and punished them. Glory and eternal thanksgiving. Amen.
Saint Nicholas Velimirovic
Walking humanity through history is a long journey. On this long journey, humanity ‘ gets dirty ‘ ‘ and ‘ ‘ dust ‘ ‘ always with the same dust and ‘ ‘ wash ‘ ‘ always with same water. Dust is sin and water is Repentance.
St. Gregory the Dialogues, pope of Rome, fled from this honor and authority hiding himself in the mountains and ravines, but the Lord revealed him to those who were seeking him with a brilliant column.
Troparion St Gregory Dialogus — Tone 4
Receiving divine grace from God on high, * and strengthened by its power, * O glorious Gregory, thou didst will to walk the path of the Gospel. * Wherefore, thou hast received from Christ * the reward of thy labors, O all-blessed one. ** Him do thou entreat, that He save our souls
Tone VIII: Spec. Mel.: “O most glorious wonder …”:
O father Symeon, thou peer of the angels, * standing continually before the joyous Light, * thou dost behold what the angels see, * delighting in the never-waning effulgence which on Tabor once shone forth upon the three disciples. * Thou hast illumined the ends of the earth like the sun * with the splendor of thy corrections, * warming thy children with beams of Orthodoxy, * and removing the darkness of the defilement of sin. ** O fervent advocate, entreat Christ God, that we be saved!
Tone VIII: Spec. Mel.: “O most glorious wonder …”:
Truly the Bestower of good things hath richly granted thee * rewards for thy pangs: * to expel demons * and to heal afflictions, * imparting power, O all-blessed one, * and vouchsafing thee ineffable joys * where the angelic ranks hold chorus, * gazing continually upon ** the countenance of the Almighty.
Tone IV: Spec. Mel.: “As one valiant among the martyrs …”:
Having the fire of love for God and neighbor * ever presiding in thy heart, * and, ready to lay down thy soul * for the flock of Christ, O diligent one, * thou wast shown to be an emulator of Christ, * a true peer of the all-praised apostles, * O holy one, * as the most worthy successor ** of the preeminent Peter.
Tone IV: Spec. Mel.: “Having been lifted up …”:
Assembling, in sacred hymns let us all praise the right glorious hierarch of the Lord, crying out to him: By thy supplications save those who honor thee, break thou the arrogance of the Papists, and ask a peaceful life for the Orthodox, O most wise Gregory.