Beloved in Christ,
Each year during this week we encounter something truly amazing in the commemorations of the Saints. True, each and every day of the year the Church calls us to remember and pray to Saints from all walks of like and from every corner of the globe. What makes this week so special is the enormity of the Saints celebrated. In this short span of a few days, we celebrate some of the most beloved and well-known Saints:
Holy Myrrh-bearer and Equal-to-the-Apostles Mary Magdalen (1st c.).
Translation of the relics (404) of Hieromartyr Phocas, bishop of Sinope (117).
Venerable Marcella of Chios (1500).
Hieromartyr Apollinaris, bishop of Ravenna (75).
Icons of the Most Holy Theotokos “The Joy of All Who Sorrow” (with coins) in St. Petersburg (1888).
Righteous Anna (Hannah), mother of the Prophet Samuel.
Repose of St. John Cassian the Roman, abbot, of Marseilles (435).
Martyr Christina of Tyre (300).
Holy Martyrs and Passion-bearers Boris and Gleb of Russia, in holy baptism Romanus and David (1015).
The Dormition of the Righteous Anna, mother of the Most Holy Theotokos.
Holy Women Olympias (Olympiada) the Deaconess of Constantinople (409), and the Virgin Eupraxia of Tabenna (413).
Commemoration of the Holy 165 Fathers of the Fifth Ecumenical Council (553).
7/26 Hieromartyrs Hermolaus (305), Hermippus, and Hermocrates at Nicomedia.
New Hieromartyr Sergius priest (1937).
Venerable Moses the Hungarian, of the Kiev Caves (1043).
Martyr Parasceve of Rome (138).
Holy Great-martyr and Healer Panteleimon (305).
Commemoration of the canonization of Venerable Herman of Alaska (1970).
The blind man who confessed Christ and was martyred with St. Panteleimon (Greek).
The Saints are the glory of the Church, the boast of the faithful, and the wounding of the demons.
About the victorious faith
“And the victory that conquers the world is our faith” (I John 5:4).
Christ the Lord conquered the world. That, brethren, is also our victory. The apostles conquered the
world and that is our victory. The saints, virgins and martyrs conquered the world and that is our victory.
Brethren, there is nothing more powerful in the world than the Christian Faith. The swords that struck
this Faith became blunt and broken but the Faith remained. The kings who fought against this Faith
were smothered under the anathema of crimes. The kingdoms that waged war against this Faith are
destroyed. The towns that rejected this Faith lay demolished in their ruins. The heretics who corrupted
this Faith perished in soul and body and under anathema departed from this world, and this Faith
Brethren, when the world pursues us with its temptations: the temptation of external beauty, the
temptation of riches, the temptation of pleasure, the temptation of transient glory; with what shall we
resist and by what shall we be victorious if not by this Faith? In truth, by nothing except by this invincible
Faith which knows about something better than all the wealth of this world.
When all the temptations of this world reveal the opposite side of their faces, when beauty turns into
ugliness, health into sickness, riches into poverty, glory into dishonor, authority into humiliation and all
blossoming physical life into filth and stench–by what shall we overcome this grief, this decay, this fifth
and stench, and to preserve oneself from despair, if not by this Faith? In truth, by nothing except this
invincible Faith which teaches us eternal and unchangeable values in the Kingdom of Christ.
When death shows its destructive power over our neighbors, over our relatives and our families, over
our flowers, over our crops, over the works of our hands and, when it turns its irresistible teeth even on
us, by what shall we conquer the fear of death and by what shall we unlock the doors of life, stronger
than death, if not by this Faith? In truth, by nothing except this invincible Faith, which knows about the
resurrection and life without death.
O Lord Jesus, the Conqueror of the world, help us also to conquer the world with faith in You.