Sunday of the Samaritan Woman

The Holy Martyr Photina (Svetlana) the Samaritan Woman, her sons Victor (named Photinus) and Joses; and her sisters Anatola, Phota, Photis, Paraskeva, Kyriake; Nero’s daughter Domnina; and the Martyr Sebastian: The holy Martyr Photina was the Samaritan Woman, with whom the Savior conversed at Jacob’s Well (John. 4:5-42).

During the time of the emperor Nero (54-68), who displayed excessive cruelty against Christians, Saint Photina lived in Carthage with her younger son Joses and fearlessly preached the Gospel there. Her eldest son Victor fought bravely in the Roman army against barbarians, and was appointed military commander in the city of Attalia (Asia Minor). Later, Nero called him to Italy to arrest and punish Christians.

On Guilelessness and Wisdom

To be truly human in this world is really the same as being a sheep among wolves, for the whole world lieth in wickedness (1 Jn. 5:19). I again say to you, remember: A sheep among wolves is subject to danger from two sides. Firstly, the wolves can tear him apart. But this is in the hands of God. And secondly, a sheep can decide that when you’re surrounded by wolves there is no other way to survive than to become like a wolf, sharpen your teeth, learn how to howl, exchange your hooves for claws, and so from a sheep turn into a wolf. Christ did not send us for this, but so that by our faith and life in the faith we might attract wolves into becoming Christ’s sheep, if they want to.

The Burning of Relics of Saint Sava

Sava was the Archbishop of the Serbs. The body of St. Sava was buried in Mileshevo Monastery. During the time of the Turkish tyranny, the Serbian people gathered around the relics of their saint to seek comfort and healing.

Fearing that an insurrection might arise from that place against the Turks, Sinan Pasha of Belgrade ordered that the relics of St. Sava be translated to Belgrade and there to be burned on Vracar, April 27, 1594 A.D. With the burning of the relics of this saint, the rabid Pasha did not burn the saint who remained alive before the Throne of God in the heavens and in the hearts of his people on earth.

Homily On The Sunday Of The Paralytic. On Divine Punishment

Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee (Jn. 5:14).

This is the commandment the Lord gave to the paralytic whom He healed, as we heard today in the Gospels.

Beloved brethren! This commandment of the Lord has enormous importance for us. It teaches us that we are subjected to sickness and other catastrophes of this earthly life for our sins. When God delivers us from sickness or catastrophe but we return to a sinful life, we are again consigned to catastrophes that are more onerous than those which were our first punishments sent from God to bring us to our senses.

Sunday of Thomas

Introduction

The Orthodox Church observes the Sunday of Thomas one week following the celebration of the Sunday of Holy Pascha. The day commemorates the appearance of Christ to His disciples on the evening of the Sunday following Passover. It also commemorates the appearance of the Lord to His disciples eight days later when Thomas was present and proclaimed "My Lord and my God" upon seeing the hands and side of Christ.

This Sunday is also called Antipascha (meaning "in the stead of Pascha," not "in opposition to Pascha") because with this day, the first Sunday after Pascha, the Church consecrates every Sunday of the year to the commemoration of Pascha, that is, the Resurrection.

Saint Thomas the Apostle is commemorated by the Church on October 6.