In addition to the Scriptures and lives of the saints, the reading of spiritual books is extremely important for our lives as Christians.
Constantly inundated by false ideas and suggestive advertising, it is critical that we nourish our souls with Godly material on a daily basis. Spiritual reading is most effective as part of our daily prayer rule, when our hearts are warm and receptive to the guiding of the Holy Spirit.
Saints Remembered Today
In the Orthodox Church there are saints commemorated every day.
The Prologue of Ohrid
One of the most accessible collections of these daily lives of saints is called the Prologue of Ohrid. Each day holds a few brief accounts of the saints remembered, a hymn, a homily, and a spiritual reflection. The Prologue is available in the following formats:
Here is the reading from The Prologue for today:
I. The Holy Apostle James.
The son of Alphaeus and one of the twelve Great Apostles, he was the brother of the Apostle and Evangelist Matthew. He was a witness of the true words and miracles of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and a witness of His Passion, Resurrection and Ascension. After the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, it fell to the lot of the Apostle James to preach Christ's Gospel in Eleutheropolis and the surrounding area, and then in Egypt, where he suffered for his Saviour. With great power both in word and act, James spread abroad the saving news of the incarnate Word of God, rooting out idol worship, driving demons out of men, healing all manner of sickness and disease in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. His labours and his zeal were crowned with great success. Many pagans came to belief in Christ the Lord, churches were founded and set in order and priests and bishops were made. He suffered in Egypt in the town of Ostracina, being crucified by the pagans. Thus this great and wonderful apostle of Christ went to the heavenly Kingdom, to reign forever with the King of glory.
2. Our Holy Father Andronicus and his wife Athanasia.
A citizen of Antioch in the time of Theodosius the Great (379-95), Andronicus was a goldsmith by profession. Both he and his wife were very devout, striving without ceasing to walk in the ways of the Lord. They gave a third of what they earned to the poor, another third to the Church and kept the last for their own use. When they had had two children, they agreed to live in future as brother and sister. Then, by God's unfathomable providence, both their children died on the same day. They grieved deeply until the martyr Julian appeared to Athanasia by their grave and comforted her with the tidings that their children were in the Kingdom of God, and that they were better off there than with their parents on earth. After this, they left everything and went to Egypt, there receiving the monastic habit: Andronicus with the elder, Daniel, at Scetis and Athanasia in a women's monastery in Tabennisi. Being pleasing to God by many years of asceticism, they entered into the eternal Kingdom of Christ: first Athanasia and then, eight days later, Andronicus.
3. Holy and Righteous Abraham and Lot.
Read about them in the Book of Genesis.
4. St Dimitrios, Patriarch of Alexandria.
The eleventh Bishop of Alexandria after St Mark the Evangelist, he governed his flock long and wisely from 189 to 231. During his time, at the request of the Indians, he sent St Pantaenus, the director of a famous catechetical school in Alexandria, to preach the Gospel in India. Pantaenus found in India the Gospel that St Matthew wrote in Aramaic.
5. St Stephen, Despot of Serbia.
Son of the Despot George and Queen Irene, he lived for a time with his sister Mara at the court of Sultan Murat II and was blinded at Jedrene together with his brother Grgur. He began to reign over the Serbs in 1458, but was forced almost at once to flee to Albania, where he married Angelina, the daughter of Skenderbeg. Blind and unhappy, but utterly given to God, he died in Italy in 1468. His relics are preserved in the monastery of Krusedol, the foundation of his son Maxim.From The Prologue From Ochrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
© 1985 Lazarica Press, Birmingham UK