Daily Bread

Saint of the Day: Marcella of Rome (410)

The daughter of a prominent Roman family, she was given in marriage despite her reluctance, but was widowed after less than a year. Following the example of the prophetess Anna, she dedicated her widowhood to God and turned her fine house in Rome into a monastery, living there in strict asceticism.   “When the Church was riven by controversies about the doctrines of Origen, Saint Marcella kept silent for a while but, deciding at length to take up the cause of Orthodoxy, and maintaining a sweet and gentle manner in the exchanges, she succeeded in confounding the arguments of the heretics.” (Ormylia Synaxarion)   When the Goths invaded and pillaged Rome in 410 they broke into her house. Marcella received them calmly, but when they demanded money she answered that no one as poorly clothed as she was could be expected to have any money. At this the invaders beat her mercilessly despite her great age. She bore their blows without complaint, asking only that they spare her spiritual daughter Principia. Struck to the heart by her response, the barbarians took her and her disciple to the Church of St Paul, where she reposed two days later.

Daily Orthodox Scriptures for Kids: January 31, 2023

John 6:41-59

Daily Orthodox Scriptures: January 31, 2023

Exodus 35-37; Psalm 31; Proverbs 6:17·19; Matthew 20:17·34

The Path: January 31, 2023

1 Peter 3:10-22 Mark 12:18-27

Watchful Eating: Rest For Your Souls

In this episode, Fr. David discusses gentle humility.

Saint of the Day: Saint Peter, King of Bulgaria (970)

"Saint Peter was a humble, devout and peace-loving man, unlike his father, Tsar Symeon the Warrior (d. 927), during whose reign there had been perpetual warfare. By contrast, Peter's long reign was peaceful, and notable for the restoration of good relations with Byzantium and with the West. Peter married Maria, the grand-daughter of the Emperor Romanus Lecapenus, who recognized him as basileus (tsar or king), and he obtained independence from Constantinople for the Bulgarian Church with its own Patriarch. He had a great love for Saint John of Rila (19 Oct.), whom he would often consult, and he kept in touch with renowned ascetics of the time like Saint Paul of Latros (15 Dec.). The King acted energetically against the Bogomil heresy, an offshoot of Manicheism, by which some of his people, lacking sufficient instruction in the faith, were being misled. He called a council in order to condemn the heresy and reassert Christian principles. Nevertheless, the infection was to remain active for many years in Bulgaria. Following the invasion of the north of his Kingdom by Prince Svyatoslav of Kiev in 969, Peter abdicated and became a monk. He died in the following year, having consecrated his final days to God alone." (Synaxarion)   A note on the Bogomils: The Bogomils flourished in the Eastern Europe as an organized church from the 10th to the 15th century. In theology they were dualistic, incorporating some Manichean and Gnostic ideas from the Paulicians. They were nationalistic and gained much support through their opposition to Byzantine dominance over the Slavic peoples. They disappeared as an organized body around the fifteenth century, but elements of their beliefs persisted in popular thinking for many centuries afterward.

Daily Orthodox Scriptures for Kids: January 30, 2023

John 6:22-40

The Path: January 30, 2023

1 Peter 2:21-3:9 Mark 12:13-17

Daily Orthodox Scriptures: January 30, 2023

Exodus 33, 34; Psalms 30:15·25; Proverbs 6:13·16; Matthew 20:1·16

Watchful Eating: The Unremitting Study

In this episode, Fr. David discusses reflecting on death with humility.