February 4

From the Prologue

Joseph was born in Allepo. He was pressured by the Turks to embrace Islam. Joseph not only rejected this but also began to expose the falsehoods of Islam and to praise the Faith of Christ. For that, Joseph was tortured and beheaded in the year 1686 A.D.



Render sacrifice to God; a sacrifice of gratitude,

O you wealthy ones; according to God's mercy!

Who is wealthy and with what; with that let him barter,

Everyone with his gift; let him, the Kingdom acquire.

Whoever is wealthy with money; let him money, offer,

Whoever is rich with wheat; wheat let him distribute,

To whom wisdom is given; others, let him teach,

To him whose hands are strong; let him perform service.

Whoever knows a trade; let him honorably uphold it,

Let him conscientiously consider himself as a debtor of God.

Let him, who knows how to sing; praise God,

Only he is small, who does not know God.

Whoever received what; with that let him serve,

With mercy toward men; let him repay God,

Not all are the same, nor do all possess the same,

But a pure heart, everyone could give to God.

O pureness of heart, a sacrifice most miraculous,

For salvation, you are the crucial virtue,

And on your sacrificial altar, your incense ascends,

Arrives before the Lord, faster than anything.

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas