The Holy Apostle Andronicus Andronicus was one of the Seventy Apostles. He was a kinsman of St. Paul, as Paul himself wrote [Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives and my fellow prisoners; they are prominent among the apostles and they were in Christ before me (Romans 16:7)]. Paul also mentions St. Junia, Andronicus’s helper. Andronicus was appointed bishop in Pannonia but did not remain in one place; rather he preached the Gospel throughout Pannonia. With St. Junia, he succeeded in converting many to Christ and destroyed many idolatrous temples. They both possessed the power of grace to work miracles, through which they drove out demons from men and healed every type of disease and illness. They both suffered for Christ and thus received a twofold wreath: that of apostles and martyrs. Their holy relics were discovered in the regions of Eugenius (February 22).
The Holy Martyr Solochon Solochon was an Egyptian by birth and a Roman soldier under Commander Campanus during the reign of the wicked Emperor Maximian. When the directive from the emperor was handed down that all the soldiers must offer up sacrifices to the idols, Solochon declared himself a Christian. Two of his companions also declared themselves Christians: Pamphamir and Pamphylon. The commander ordered that they be flogged and cruelly tortured, and from this torture Saints Pamphamir and Pamphylon died. Solochon remained alive and was subjected to new tortures. The commander ordered the soldiers to open his mouth with a sword and to pour the sacrifices to the idols into his mouth. The martyr broke the iron sword with his teeth and did not consume the foul, idolatrous sacrifice. Finally, they pierced through both ears with a quill and left him to die. Christians removed the martyr and brought him to the home of a widow. There he gradually became a little stronger with food and drink. He then continued to counsel the believers to be persistent in their faith and in their sufferings for the Faith. After this, he gave thanks to God, completed his earthly life and presented himself to the Lord in the Kingdom of Heaven in the year 298 A.D.
Saint Stephen, Patriarch Of Constantinople Stephen was the son of Emperor Basil the Macedonian and the brother of Emperor Leo the Wise. He succeeded to the patriarchal throne after Photius and governed the Church of God from 889 to 893 A.D. He died peacefully and presented himself to the Lord, Whom he greatly loved.
Hymn Of Praise The Apostle Andronicus And Saint Junia The Apostle Andronicus, a kinsman of St. Paul, A preacher of peace and spiritual health, Burned with a flaming love for Christ, And throughout the world carried the illuminating teaching; Without much clothing, without pay and without care, But rich in the power of the Divine Spirit. With St. Junia he shared all his sufferings Until he had carried the Cross throughout Pannonia! There, darkness vanished where the honorable Cross shone, Separating the wheat from the chaff. Men awakened from the sleep of brutishness, And embraced the gift of God’s adoption. They destroyed the idols like weak reeds, And abandoned discord and odius vices. When the heart began to sob, the mouth sang: “We are Thy children, O Heavenly Father! The light from Thine apostle we now receive. Forgive us, that we were slaves to the idols.”
Reflection Following a terrible earthquake in Antioch, St. John Chrysostom spoke to the people: “Great are the fruits of an earthquake. Behold the man-loving Lord, Who shakes the city and strengthens the soul, Who sways the foundation and strengthens the thoughts, Who shows the weakness of the city and makes the will of the people strong! Turn your attention to His love for mankind. He sways us for a while, but strengthens us forever; an earthquake for two days, but the devotion will remain for all times; you were sorrowful for a short time, but strengthened forever. A mother, wanting to wean her child from the habit of frequent crying, strongly rocks its little cradle, not in order to harm it but to frighten it. Precisely in this manner, the Lord of all, Who holds the universe in His hands, shakes it, not in order to destroy it but rather to bring back to salvation those men who live lawlessly.” Behold how the Holy Fathers, the pillars of the universal Church, knew how to explain by God’s love for man both assaults and blessings, both misfortune and fortune. Let us be ashamed who are slow to give thanks to God when He gives, and are quick in our murmuring toward him when He takes away.
Contemplation Contemplate the action of God the Holy Spirit upon the holy martyrs for the Faith:
- How the Holy Spirit gives them wisdom to speak before judges;
- How the Holy Spirit gives them courage to die on the scaffold.
Homily on the Holy Spirit, the Comforter “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My Name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26). What practical meaning do these words have, if not that it is necessary that we pray daily that the Holy Spirit be sent to us just as we pray every day for our daily bread? God is willing to send us the Holy Spirit every day, but He seeks that we pray daily for the Holy Spirit. For as it is with regard to bread, which is at one time abundant and at another time scarce, so it is also with regard to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit comes to us and departs from us according to our zealousness and our slothfulness in prayer, according to our good deeds and our patience. That is why the Church ordained that morning services begin with an invocation of the Holy Spirit: “O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, come!” and after that comes the prayer: “…give us this day our daily bread!” Why? Because, without the Holy Spirit, we do not even know how to use bread as it should be used for our salvation. He shall teach you all things. That is, every day and every night, according to the conditions and circumstances in which you find yourself, He will direct you, counsel you, teach you what you should think, what you should say, and what you should do. For that reason, implore God for the Holy Spirit only, and He Himself will bring all that you need at that particular moment. When the Holy Spirit shall descend upon you, you will know all, understand all, and you will be capable of all that is necessary. And bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. That is: “Do not be afraid that you will forget My teaching and My words. The Holy Spirit also knows all that I know, so that when He will be present in you, all My teaching will be present in you, together with Him. O Lord the Holy Spirit, deign to descend upon us not according to our merit but according to the merit of the Lord Jesus and according to Thine infinite goodness. To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.