1 Corinthians 1:1-9 Matthew 13:24-30
Wisdom of Sirach 21; Psalm 27; Proverbs 5:15·19; Acts 27:1·20
He was born in Nicomedia; his father was a pagan, his mother a Christian. Through her he was taught the Christian Faith and baptized by St Hermolaus (July 26). He became a physician, and practiced his art with compassion and generosity, healing many more through his prayers as by his medicines. His parents had named him Pantoleon ("in all things a lion"), but because of his great compassion he was re-named Panteleimon ("all- merciful"). He once healed a man of blindness by calling on Christ, which led the once-blind man to embrace the Faith. When asked how he came to be healed he named Panteleimon as his healer and proclaimed his newfound faith in Christ. For this the pagans executed him, then arrested Panteleimon, who after many tortures was beheaded in 305. He is counted as the foremost of the Unmercenary Physicians.
Wisdom of Sirach 20; Psalm 26; Proverbs 5:7·14; Acts 26
Romans 16:17-24 Matthew 13:10-23
She was born near Rome to pious parents. Since she was born on a Friday, she was named Paraskeve (Friday in Greek; literally "preparation" or "preparedness" because Friday was the Biblical Day of Preparation for the Sabbath). From early childhood she studied the scriptures, consecrated herself to a monastic life, and brought many to faith in Christ by her example and teaching. During the reign of Antoninus she was arrested because she was a Christian. When ordered to worship the idols, she answered "Let the gods that have not made heaven and the earth perish from off the earth" (Jeremiah 10:11). For this, after severe tortures she was beheaded in 140.
Wisdom of Sirach 19; Psalm 25; Proverbs 5:1·6; Acts 25
She was born to a noble family in Constantinople: her father Anysius Secundus was a senator. She was betrothed to a nobleman who died before they could be wed; resisting all advice to take another husband, Olympias devoted herself entirely to God, giving her large inheritance to the Church and to the poor. She served as a deaconess, first under the Patriarch Nektarios, then under St John Chrysostom. When St John was sent into exile, he advised her to remain in Constantinople, and to continue to serve the Church whatever patriarch took his place. But as soon as the holy hierarch went into exile, a fire destroyed a large part of the City, and St John's enemies accused the holy Olympias of setting the fire. She in turn was exiled to Nikomedia, where she reposed in 408. She left instructions that her body be placed in a coffin and thrown into the sea, to be buried wherever it was cast up. The coffin came to shore at Vrochthoi and was buried there at a church dedicated to the Apostle Thomas. Her relics have continued to be a source of great miracles of healing. During his exile, St John Chrysostom wrote a number of letters to St Olympias, seventeen of which have been preserved through the centuries. In one he writes: 'Now I am deeply joyful, not only because you have been delivered from sickness, but even more because you are bearing adversities with such fortitude, calling them trifles — a characteristic of a soul filled with power and abounding in the rich fruits of courage. You are not only enduring misfortune with fortitude, but are making light of it in a seemingly effortless way, rejoicing and triumphing over it — this is a proof of the greatest wisdom.'
Wisdom of Sirach 18; Psalm 24:12·22; Proverbs 4:24·28; Acts 24