St. John the Baptist Parish, A Parish of the Russian Orthodox Church, Canberra, Australia

13 / 26 August

St Tikhon of Zadonsk

Born in 1724 in the village of Korotsk, in the Novgorod region, into a simple, peasant family, he received the monastic habit at the age of thirty-four and very soon, because of his ascesis and spiritual wisdom, was given higher and higher service until he was consecrated Bishop of Voronezh. He served as bishop for a little under seven years and then, because of ill-health, retired to the monastery of Zadonsk and entered into rest there in 1783. His wonderworking relics are kept there to this day. A great ascetic of the Russian Church, he was a rare shepherd, a man of prayer and the writer of beautiful spiritual works. In his wisdom, his holiness and asceticism, he could be counted an equal of the great Fathers of the Orthodox Church of former times. Because of the many witnessed miracles that were performed over his relics, he was first proclaimed a saint by the people, and then officially by the Church in 1861.

Troparion (tone 8): From thy youth thou didst love Christ, O blessed one, / and thou wast a model to all in word, life, love, spirit, faith, purity, and humility. / Wherefore, thou hast now taken up thy dwelling in the heavenly mansions / where, as thou standest before the throne of the Most Holy Trinity, / 0 Saint Tikhon, pray that our souls be saved.

Troparion (tone 4): Instructor of Orthodoxy, teacher of piety, / preacher of repentance, zealot for Chrysostom, / most good shepherd, new luminary and wonderworker of Russia, / thou didst keep thy flock well, / and by thy writing hast thou instructed us; / wherefore being adorned by the Chief Pastor with the crown of incorruption, / do thou pray to Him that our souls be saved. Kondak, Tone 8: O Successor of the apostles, / adornment of hierarchs, teacher of the Orthodox Church; / pray to the Lord of all to grant peace to the world, and to our souls great mercy.

Read what St. Tikhon has to say on perpetual repentance and correction of life: Death walks invisibly behind us, and the end will overtake us when we least expect it. Abide in perpetual repentance, then, and be prepared for departure at all times and in every place. The wise servant always watches and waits till his master calls him. You, too, should watch and wait till Christ your Lord calls you, for He calls everyone through death. Then always be in your life what you wish to be at death. Always live piously and work out your salvation with fear and trembling (cf. Philip. 2:12). Always and everywhere proceed with caution and guard yourself, lest you be deprived of eternal salvation, which Christ our Lord obtained for us with His Blood and death, and so shall we have a blessed end.

The Holy Martyr Hippolytus

Hippolytus was a military supervisor and prison governor in Rome, born and brought up a pagan. When St Laurence the archdeacon was thrown into prison, Hippolytus was ordered by the Emperor to keep a strict eye on this prisoner. Hippolytus saw with his own eyes how Laurence restored the sight of the blind Lucillus and how he healed many other of the sick, and he became a Christian. When St Laurence baptised him, Hippolytus had a heavenly vision and said: 'I see innocent souls in great joy'. He then took Laurence into his own home, and all those in it were baptised, including his old nurse, Concordia; nineteen souls in all. When Laurence was slain for Christ, Hippolytus took the martyr's body by night, wrapped it in a winding-sheet and buried it. This somehow came to the ears of the Emperor Valerian, and, on the third day after Laurence's death, Hippolytus was arrested and taken before the Emperor. Refusing to deny the true Faith, he was struck on the mouth with stones. The Emperor then ordered that he be stripped and flayed. Naked before the Emperor, Hippolytus said to him: 'You have not stripped me, but have begun to clothe me!' They then threw him to the ground and flayed him mercilessly, but Hippolytus only cried out: 'I am a Christian!' The Emperor, hearing that Hippolytus and his whole household were Christians, ordered that they all be brought. Old Concordia said: 'We prefer to die in honour in the Christian faith with our master than to live in dishonour with you.' She was killed first, and then the other eighteen, all before Hippolytus' eyes. Finally, Hippolytus was bound behind a wild horse and dragged hither and thither, until the martyr gave his soul to God.

On the same day: Our Holy Mother, the Empress Irene; Our Holy Father Seridus

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