August 14

From the Prologue

Marcellus was born on Cyprus of wealthy and eminent parents and he was highly- educated. He entered into marriage and had children. When his wife died, Marcellus withdrew to the monastic life in Syria, leaving his children to the Providence of God. He became famous because of his compassion, meekness and spiritual knowledge because of which the Ampamaens elected him as their bishop. As a bishop, Marcellus zealously labored to convert pagans to the Christian Faith. When an idolatrous temple was burned the idolaters seized Marcellus, supposedly as the one who had caused the fire, and burned him in fire about the year 389 A.D. Especially instructive in the life of St. Marcellus is that the blessing of water and the use of blessed water is mentioned there.



Micah, God's prophet, with the Spirit of God burns,

Salvation speaks and punishment prophesies:

"Hear, you leaders of the house of Jacob" [Micah 3:1],

When fire erupts, the chaff is not saved.

You hate readily and evil, evil you relish,

God's people, you heartlessly fleece,

The prophets of old and the law you have abandoned,

To God you do not harken, to the fortune-tellers you harken!

But misfortune, pain and weeping will come,

To cry out to heaven, in vain and too late,

For the Assyrians, Samaria will be the threshing floor

For the rabid Chaldeans, Jerusalem, the threshing floor.

"And you Bethelem Ephratha small" [Micah 5:1],

To me, you are the dearest, even though you are the least

From you, the Leader whom we need, will come forth

His coming, from the depths of heaven,

Out of burning love, He will come willingly

With His mighty staff, His flock He will tend.

"His greatness [authority] shall reach to the ends of the earth" [Micah 5:3].

The earth, with the heavens, to Him with mercy shall sing

And peace will reign, He, that peace will be,

By Himself, He will glorify the human race.

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas