June 27

From the Prologue

Joanna was the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward: "Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward" (St. Luke 8:3). When Herod beheaded John the Baptist he disposed of his head in an unclean place. Joanna removed the head of the Baptist and buried it honorably on the Mount of Olives on Herod's estate. Later, during the reign of Constantine the Great, the head of John the Baptist was discovered. St. Joanna is also remembered as being present both at the suffering and at the resurrection of the Lord. She died peacefully.



When a dead person came to life, men asked him;

Tell us, where were you and who awakened you?

In the place of fear and horror, I was,

In the company of black ones, wolves and dogs,

In the depths, full of every uncleanness,

In the bottomless pit of darkness, without a single ray.

And when my soul, despair overcame

By the hand, a radiant young man took me.

Then, from the depths, a cool current blew

And against me charged black ones with heads of dogs:

This one, he is ours, he is ours, where are you taking him now?

As a citizen of Hades, do you not recognize him?

To that the angel said: Severus, for him, is praying!

And by the will of God, I am taking him,

In the body once more he must appear,

Behold, to confess him, Severus is seeking!

To confess him and Holy Communion to administer to him.

Armies of evil and recalcitrants, stay away!

Thus the angel said and, with me, flew away

Throughout the cold Hades, throughout the bottomless darkness,

Until at holiness arrived, even to my body.

That is the history of me, the deceased.

O, to be confessed, what a treasure it is

And Communicated to enter into the world of eternity!

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas