1 Timothy 1:8-14 Luke 19:45-48
Lamentations 1; Psalm 118:129·144; Proverbs 26:24·29; 2 Peter 2
He was a Galilean of the tribe of Simeon. The Old Testament book that bears his name foretells the destruction of Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, by the Medes, and the restoration of the Kingdom of Judah; all of this came to pass. Nahum is counted as the seventh of the Minor Prophets. He reposed in peace. His name means 'consolation' or 'repose.' Five of the Prophets (Nahum, Habbakuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, and Daniel) are commemorated in December. At one time a Feast of the Twelve Prophets was celebrated on December 4 at the Church of the Resurrection, but this feast is no longer on the calendar. The days leading up to Christ's Nativity contain many commemorations of the faithful remnant of Israel, all of whose hopes were fulfilled in the birth of the Messiah.
Epistle of Jeremiah; Psalm 118:113·128; Proverbs 26:18·23; 2 Peter 1
1 Timothy 1:1-7 Luke 19:37-44
During the reign of St Constantine the Great, an explorer named Meropus set out to explore lands along the Red Sea, previously unknown to the Roman world. The expedition's ship was attacked by pirates and all the company killed except two young men named Frumentius and Edesius. They were sold into slavery in the court of the Ethiopian King of Axum, where they distinguished themselves so well that they became palace stewards and were able to obtain freedom of Christian worship for merchants trading in the Kingdom. Eventually the young men returned to Roman territory, and Frumentius went to St Athanasius the Great of Alexandria to tell him of his travels and of the great thirst of the Ethiopian people for the Gospel of Christ. Saint Athanasius consecrated Frumentius as first Bishop of Abyssinia and sent him back to Axum to establish the Church in that kingdom. Through his apostolic zeal, tireless travels, and miracles and healings, the holy Bishop was able convert many pagans and establish many churches in Ethiopia, though the Kingdom did not become officially Christian until the sixth century. Saint Frumentius reposed in peace in his adopted country, and his relics worked many miracles. The Church of Ethiopia traces its origin to the apostolic work of the Ethiopian eunuch baptized by the Apostle Philip in the Book of Acts, who "went on his way rejoicing" to Ethiopia and first proclaimed the Gospel there. Thus, it seems there was already a Christian presence in the country when Frumentius arrived: this may be the source of the statement in his biography that he found the Ethiopian people thirsty for the Good News.
Baruch 3-5; Psalm 118:97·112; Proverbs 26:14·17; 1 Peter 5
"Akylinus, the Governor of Bithynia in the reign of the Emperor Decius (249-51), was leaving for the hot springs at Bisaltia, when he decided to make 370 Christians from Nicomedia, who had been imprisoned on his orders, worship in the temple of Isis. On their refusal to do so, they were all beheaded. Seeing this massacre, the righteous Paramon cried out: 'What a wicked deed to slaughter so many righteous men, and strangers moreover, as if they were animals.' The Governor heard these words and had Paramon seized and taken with him under guard. On the road he was mistreated in various ways by the soldiers. Some of them struck him with their spears, others excised his tongue and other members, and he was finally put to death in the presence of the Governor." (Synaxarion) Note: of the various persecutions launched by the pagan Emperors before St Constantine, the persecution under Decius was probably the fiercest and bloodiest.
Baruch 1, 2; Psalm 118:81·96; Proverbs 26:10·13; 1 Peter 4