Prayer Before Reading Holy Scripture
O Master Who loves mankind, illuminate our hearts with the pure light of Your divine knowledge and open the eyes of our mind to understand the teachings of Your Gospel. Instill in us also the fear of Your blessed commandments, that we may overcome all carnal desires, entering upon a spiritual life and understanding and acting in all things according to Your holy will. For You are the enlightenment of our souls and bodies, O Christ God, and to You we give glory together with Your eternal Father and Your all-holy, gracious and life-giving Spirit, now and ever and forever. Amen.
knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,
for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.
By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;
and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;
and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly;
and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed with the filthy conduct of the Wicked
(for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds);
then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,
“But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. And you will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them.
“And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations.
“But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.
“Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.
“And you will be hated by all men for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
Trypho the Martyr; Forefeast of the Presentation of Our Lord and Savior in the Temple; Perpetua & her Companions; Our Holy Father Basil, Archbishop of Thessolonica; Anastasios the New Martyr of Navplion; The Four Martyrs Andrianus, Polyeuktos, Plato and George who contested in Megara; Timothy the Confessor; Bridget of Ireland
The Martyr Tryphon
Commemorated on February 1
The Martyr Tryphon was born in one of the districts of Asia Minor – Phrygia, not far from the city of Apameia in the village of Kampsada. From his early years the Lord granted him the power to cast out devils and to heal various maladies. The inhabitants of his native city were once saved by him from starvation: Saint Tryphon by the power of his prayer forced back a plague of locusts that were devouring the bread grain and devastating the fields. Saint Tryphon gained particular fame by casting out a devil from the daughter of the Roman emperor Gordian (238-244). Helping everyone in distress, he asked but one fee – faith in Jesus Christ, by Whose grace he healed them.
When the emperor Decius (249-251) entered upon the imperial throne, there was a fierce persecution of Christians. A denunciation was made to the commander Akelinos that Saint Tryphon was bolding preaching faith in Christ and that he led many to Baptism. The saint was arrested and subjected to interrogation, at the time of which he fearlessly confessed his faith. They subjected him to harsh tortures: they beat at him with clubs, lacerated his body with iron hooks, they seared the wounds with fire, and led him through the city, having hammered iron nails into his feet. Saint Tryphon bravely endured all the torments, not giving out a single whimper. Finally, he was condemned to beheading with a sword. The holy martyr prayed before the execution, thanking God for strengthening him in his sufferings, and he besought of the Lord in particular to bless those who should call upon his name for help. Just as the soldiers suspended the sword over the head of the holy martyr, he placed his soul into the hands of God. This event occurred in the city of Nicea in the year 250. Christians wound the holy body of the martyr in a clean shroud and wanted to bury him in the city of Nicea, in which he suffered, but Saint Tryphon in a vision commanded them to take his body to his native land to the village of Kampsada. This was done. Later on the relics of Saint Tryphon were transferred to Constantinople, and then to Rome. The holy martyr is accorded great veneration in the Russian Orthodox Church.
There exists a legend, that during the reign of tsar Ivan the Terrible at the time of an imperial hunt, a gerfalcon beloved by the tsar flew off. The tsar ordered the falconer Tryphon Patrikeev to find the flown off bird. The falconer Tryphon journeyed about through the surrounding forest, but without luck. On the third day, exhausted by long searching, he returned to Moscow to the place now called Mar’ina Grove, and in weariness he lay down to rest, fervently praying to his patron saint – the Martyr Tryphon, beseeching him for help. In a dream he saw a youth on a white horse, holding on his hand the imperial gerfalcon, and this youth said: “Take back the lost bird, go with God to the tsar and be not aggrieved about it”. Having awakened, the falconer actually spotted the gerfalcon not far off on a pine tree. He then took it to the tsar and told about the miraculous help, received by him from the holy Martyr Tryphon. After a certain while the falconer Tryphon Patrikeev built a chapel on the spot where the saint appeared, and later on also there was a church in the name of the holy Martyr Tryphon.