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Friday, June 25, 2010 | Paone 18, 1726

The Eighteenth Day of the Blessed Month of Paone

Annual Tune | Waters of the river Season

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Vespers Gospel

Stand in the fear of God and listen to the Holy Gospel. A reading from the Gospel according to our teacher Saint Luke the Evangelist. May His Blessings be with us all. From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet. May his blessings be with us all.
Psalms 88:28,35

My mercy I will keep for him forever, And My covenant shall stand firm with him. Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David:

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Our Lord God, Savior, and King of us all, Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God to whom be glory forever. Amen.
Luke 9:18-27

And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, "Who do the crowds say that I am?" So they answered and said, "John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"Peter answered and said, "The Christ of God." And He strictly warned and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, "The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day." Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Fathers, and of the holy angels. But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God."
And Glory be to God forever


Matins Gospel

Stand in the fear of God and listen to the Holy Gospel. A reading from the Gospel according to our teacher Saint Mark the Evangelist. May His Blessings be with us all. From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet. May his blessings be with us all.
Psalms 106:32,41,42

Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people, And praise Him in the company of the elders. Yet He sets the poor on high, far from affliction, And makes their families like a flock. The righteous see it and rejoice, And all iniquity stops its mouth.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Our Lord God, Savior, and King of us all, Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God to whom be glory forever. Amen.
Mark 8:22-29

Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything. And he looked up and said, "I see men like trees, walking." Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. Then He sent him away to his house, saying, "Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town." Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, "Who do men say that I am?" So they answered, "John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"Peter answered and said to Him, "You are the Christ."
And Glory be to God forever

Divine Liturgy

Pauline Epistle

Paul, the servant of our Lord Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, appointed to the Gospel of God. A reading from the Epistle of our teacher Paul to the Hebrews. May his blessings be upon us. Amen
Hebrews 4:14-5:14

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness. Because of this he is required as for the people, so also for himself, to offer sacrifices for sins. And no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was. So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You." As He also says in another place: "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek"; who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, called by God as High Priest "according to the order of Melchizedek," of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
The grace of God the Father be with you all. Amen.

Catholic Epistle

A Reading from the 1 Epistle of St. Peter. May his blessing be upon us. Amen
1 Peter 1:1-9

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faiththe salvation of your souls.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. The world passes away, and its desires; but he who does the will of God abides forever. Amen.

Acts of the Apostles

The Acts of our fathers the apostles, may their blessings be with us.
Acts of the Apostles 12:1-24

Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover. Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison. Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, "Arise quickly!"And his chains fell off his hands. Then the angel said to him, "Gird yourself and tie on your sandals"; and so he did. And he said to him, "Put on your garment and follow me." So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. And when Peter had come to himself, he said, "Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people." So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer. When she recognized Peters voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate. But they said to her, "You are beside yourself!"Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, "It is his angel." Now Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. But motioning to them with his hand to keep silent, he declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, "Go, tell these things to James and to the brethren."And he departed and went to another place. Then, as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers about what had become of Peter. But when Herod had searched for him and not found him, he examined the guards and commanded that they should be put to death. And he went down from Judea to Caesarea, and stayed there. Now Herod had been very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; but they came to him with one accord, and having made Blastus the kings personal aide their friend, they asked for peace, because their country was supplied with food by the kings country. So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them. And the people kept shouting, "The voice of a god and not of a man!" Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died. But the word of God grew and multiplied.
The word of the Lord shall grow, multiply, be mighty, and be confirmed, in the holy Church of God. Amen.


The Eighteenth Day of the Blessed Coptic Month of Paone, may God make it always received, year after year, with reassurance and tranquility, while our sins are forgiven by the tender mercies of our God my fathers and brothers, Amen.
Departure of Pope Damian I (569-605) the 35th Patriarch of Alexandria and the See of Saint Mark
On this day also, of the year 321 A.M. (June 25th, 605 A.D.) St. Damian, 35th Pope of Alexandria, departed. He became a monk in his early years in the desert of Scete. He continued to fight and to devote himself to God for sixteen years. He was ordained a deacon in the monastery of St. John the Short. Then he went to the monastery of the fathers which is to the west of Alexandria, and there he increased his asceticism. When Pope Peter (34) was enthroned on the See of St. Mark, he brought and appointed Damian a private secretary. Damian pursued a good course of life and everyone loved him. When Pope Peter departed, the bishop unanimously agreed to ordain him a patriarch. He was enthroned a patriarch on the second of Epep 285 A.M. (June 26th, 569 A.D.). He cared for his flock well and he wrote many epistles and discourses. In the wilderness of Scete, there were some followers of Melitius El-Assyuty, who drank wine a few times during the night before they intended to partake of the Holy Communion. They claimed that the Lord Christ gave to His disciples two cups: the first He did not say, 'This is My Blood' but when he gave them the second cup he said, 'This is My Blood.' St. Damian showed them their error. He clarified to them that the first cup was the cup of the Jewish Passover, and He nullified it with the second cup. He also told them that the canons of the church ban those that eat before communion from partaking of the Holy Eucharist. Some of them turned from their evil, but those that did not turn from their evil council were driven out of the wilderness. When Anba Theophanius, the Antiochian Patriarch departed, they ordained a successor to him called Peter, who sent a letter to Pope Damian which said, 'There is no need for us to say that God is the three Persons.' When Pope Damian read this letter he became enkindled with zeal. He wrote him a letter which explained that God is, in no doubt, one in His Godhead, one in essence, but He is Three persons, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, One God. He wrote to him many testimonies from the Holy Scriptures and from the sayings of the holy fathers. Nevertheless, Peter refused to return to the truth, and insisted on his error. Pope Damian ordered that his name not be mentioned in the Divine Liturgy for twenty years until the heretic died. Pope Damian remained for thirty five years, eleven month, and sixteen days, teaching and preaching to his flock. He departed at a good old age.
May his prayers be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.

Inauguration of New Saint Mark Cathedral in Monastery of Anba Rowais
On this day, of the year 1684 A.M., that coincided with Tuesday the 25th of June, 1968 A.D., and in the tenth year of the papacy of Pope Kyrillos the Sixth, 116th Pope of Alexandria, the holy church celebrates the inauguration of the new St. Mark Cathedral in Dair El-Anba Rowais, which was known also as Dair El-Khandaq. For this occasion and for the return of the relics of St. Mark the Apostle from Rome, after being in the city of Venice in Italy for eleven centuries, i.e. since the ninth century, a great religious celebration was organized. The celebration was headed by H.H. Pope Kyrillos the Sixth and was attended by President Gamal Abdel Naser, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Emperor Haile Selassie the First, Emperor of Ethiopia, and many of the heads of different religions and representatives of churches from all around the world. Among those religious leaders was Mari Ignatius Yacoub the Third, the Antiochian Patriarch for the Syrian Orthodox. Many momentous speeches, were delivered in different languages for this occasion. The speakers were, Pope Kyrillos the Sixth, the Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox, Cardinal Doval, the head of the Roman Papal delegation, the Catholicos Patriarch of Ethiopia, the secretary general of the World Council of Churches, and the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia. They all expressed their joy on this happy and blessed day, saluting the church of Alexandria, which had a glorious history, with salutation of appreciation and respect. At the end of the speeches the Pope along with the President of Egypt and the Emperor of Ethiopia went to the entrance of the new Cathedral. They unveiled the curtains from the commemorative plaque that was prepared to perpetuate this historical day.

This celebration was attended by the journalists, the international news agencies' reporters, radio, television and more than six thousand Egyptians and foreigners.
May the blessings of St. Mark be with us all. Amen.

Divine Liturgy Gospel

Stand in the fear of God and listen to the Holy Gospel. A reading from the Gospel according to our teacher Saint Matthew the Evangelist. May His Blessings be with us all. From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet. May his blessings be with us all.
Psalms 109:4,5,7

The LORD has sworn And will not relent, "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek." The Lord is at Your right hand; He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath. He shall drink of the brook by the wayside; Therefore He shall lift up the head.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Our Lord God, Savior, and King of us all, Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God to whom be glory forever. Amen.
Matthew 16:13-19

When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
And Glory be to God forever

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