Departure of the righteous Hannah the Prophetess, the Mother of the Prophet Samuel
On this day we commemorate the departure of the righteous Hannah the Prophetess, the Mother of Samuel the Prophet, of the tribe of Levi. Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, had married her. He also had another wife whose name was Peninnah.
Hannah had no children, and Peninnah her rival also provoked her severely to make her miserable because the Lord had closed her womb. So it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord that she provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat. Then Elkanah her husband said to her: "Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?" (1 Samuel 1:1-8).
She did not accept his comfort and went up to the house of the Lord during the days of Eli the Priest. She prayed unto the Lord and wept. Then she made a vow and said: "O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head" (1 Samuel 1:11).
Eli the Priest was watching her as she stood praying silently, for she was praying from her heart. Eli thought that she was drunk and he rebuked her, but she told him about her case. Eli answered and said: "Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him" (1 Samuel 1:17). She believed his word, and went home.
She conceived and brought forth a son, and she called him Samuel which means "Heard by God" because she said: "I have asked him of the Lord". When she weaned him, she took him to the house of the Lord, as she had vowed, and she brought him to Eli the Priest and she said: "I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord". So they worshipped the Lord there" (1 Samuel 1:26-28).
Holy Prophet Hosea was descended from the tribe of Issachar.
He lived during the IX Century before the Birth of Christ, and
he lived in the Israelite kingdom. He was a contemporary of the
holy Prophets Isaiah, Micah [Mikhei] and Amos. During this time
many of his fellow Israelites, having forgotten the True God,
worshipped idols. The holy Prophet Hosea by his wise guidances
attempted to turn them again to the ancient piety. Denouncing
the iniquities of the people of Israel (i.e. the northern kingdom
Israel), the prophet proclaimed to them great misfortunes from
a foreign people and their removal into captivity by Assyria.
Almost a thousand years before the coming of the Saviour, and
through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the prophet foretold
the cessation of the Old Testament sacrificial offering and of
the priesthood of Aaron (Hos 3:4-5), and that through all the
earth would spread knowledge of the True God (Hos 2:20-23). Hosea
spoke also about Christ, that He would return from out of Egypt
(Hos 11:1; compare Mt 2:15), that He would be resurrected on the
third day (Hos 6 and especially Hos 6:2; compare with 1 Cor 15:4),
and that He would conquer death (Hos 13-14, especially Hos. 13:14;
compare 1 Cor 15:54-55). The prophesies of Saint Hosea are included
in the books of Holy Scripture, in the Book of Hosea. The prophetic
service of Saint Hosea continued for more than 60 years. The God-inspired
prophet died in extreme old age, having devoted all his life to
fulfilling the Will of God.
MonkMartyr Andrew of Crete lived during the reign of the
iconoclast emperor Constantine Kopronymos (741-775), who under
penalty of death ordered Christians to throw out the holy icons
from their churches and homes. Believers, who fearlessly resisted
the impious iconoclast, and cleaving firmly to the tradition of
the holy fathers, were locked up into prison. When the Monk Andrew
heard, that the emperor was throwing into prison not the thieves
and robbers, but virtuous and pious Christians instead, he went
to Constantinople and in front of everyone, in the church of the
holy Martyr Mamant, he denounced the heretic for persecuting the
true faith. In justifying himself the emperor said, that it is
folly to bestow veneration on wood and paint. To this the monk
answered, that whosoever suffers for holy icons suffers for Christ,
but whosoever reviles the icon upon which Christ is imaged, offers
insult to Christ Himself. The enraged iconoclast gave orders to
torture Saint Andrew without mercy. Along the way to the place
of execution the martyr expired to the Lord. An hundred years
later a canon was written to the saint by the Monk Joseph the
Melodist. Through the prayers to the saint are healed seizures.
The Monk Antonii [Anthony] of Leokhnovsk, Novgorod, was from the Tver lineage of the Veniaminov boyar-nobles. The monk lived as an hermit not far from Novgorod, in the Rublev wilderness, at the River Perekhoda. In about the year 1556 he resettled with the wilderness-dweller Tarasii, who lived beyond Lake Il'men at Leokhnovo, not far from Stara Rus', and from him received monastic tonsure. Thus began the wilderness monastery in honour of the Transfiguration of the Lord, afterwards called the Leokhnovsk or Ivetsk-Antoniev monastery. The Monk Antonii lived into old age, having acquired the gift of perspicacity.
In the year 1611, when the Swedes had laid waste the surroundings of Novgorod, the monk on the invitation of metropolitan Isidor resettled to Novgorod. He died on 14 September 1611 at age 85 and was buried nearby the church of the holy Evangelist Luke, on the side towards the Saint Sophia church. Before his death and in the presence of many the monk said, that his body would rest in his wilderness-monastery. A disciple of the monk, named Gregory, having returned to the place of the monastery laid waste and burnt by the Swedes, made a cell there with a chapel and remained there to live. The Monk Antonii thrice appeared to him in a dream and said: "Brother Grigorii, go to Novgorod, tell metropolitan Kiprian and the elders of the city, that they should put me in the place of my monastery." After the report of Gregory, the metropolitan made a church procession to the grave of the Monk Antonii. The uncovered incorrupt relics were transferred to the Leokhnovsk monastery on 13 July 1620. At the uncovering of the relics, a blind man named Iosif gained his sight, and many other miracles occurred.
There is a special order of commemorations,
celebrated by the churches in the name of the Monk Antonii of
Leokhnovsk, both in the village of Leokhnovo (not far from Stara
Rus") and in the Rublevsk wilderness-monastery. On the Second
Friday after the feast of the First-Ranked Apostles Peter and
Paul (29 June) is remembered the Uncovering and Transfer of the
Relics of the Relics of the Monk Antonii from Novgorod to the
Leokhnovsk monastery. On the Ascension of the Lord is remembered
the coming of the Monk Antonii from the Rublev wilderness to Leokhnovo.
On 17 October is the memory of the Repose of the Saint, who died
on the feast of the Exaltation of the Venerable Cross, on the
9th hour of the evening. At the Rublevsk wilderness monastery
was celebrated likewise the memory of the Consecration of the
church in the name of the Monk Antonii on 30 August (1873).
The Holy Martyrs and UnMercenaries Cosmas and Damian of Arabia walked through the cities and the villages, preaching Christ and healing the sick by the power of Christ. The saints would not take any sort of payment for the help they rendered. In Cilicia pagans seized hold of the holy physicians and led them before the governor named Lysias. For their refusal to renounce the Christian faith, the governor gave orders for the saints to be brutally beaten, and then to drown them in the sea. But an Angel of God conveyed them from the deeps to shore. The pagans then beheaded the saints. Together with the holy physicians were martyred also their brothers Leontios, Anthymos, and Eutropios. (The UnMercenary Saints Cosmas and Damian of Arabia ought not to be confused with UnMercenary Saints Cosmas and Damian of Asia Minor (1 November), or the Unmercenary Saints Cosmas and Damian of Rome (1 July).