April 7

From the Prologue

A great saint and ascetic of Mt. Sinai and Mt. Athos [August 8].



Calliopius, Calliopius,

Depart there! Where there is no death!

His mother speaks to him and bids him her last farewell,

About the fate of her only son, she dreams.

Calliopius, the youth most handsome

To the commander, his faith he explained:

Christ is my life, the way, the truth,

Christ is my desire: my only desire!

To crucifixion, Calliopius, they lead,

Behind him, throngs of people walk.

He, pale and peaceful, rigidly bound,

Walking quietly, bitterly tortured,

His mother to him whispers: Calliopius!

I am traveling O mother where there is no death!

Martyr of Christ, martyr glorious,

The Cross received, heavy and head first.

Over the dead body, the mother is bending:

With tears, Calliopius she bathes

And whispering quietly: Calliopius!

Here I am mother, where there is no death!


"Spiritual directors should distinguish themselves from their subordinates as much as a shepherd distinguishes himself from his sheep." Thus speaks St. Isidorus of Pelusium in interpreting the First Epistle of St. Timothy. The life of a priest always serves as an example, be it good or be it bad. By an exemplary life, a priest confirms the Gospel and, by a wicked life, he denies the Gospel. No one in this world is in such a position to confirm the truth of the Gospel or to deny it in such a manner by his life, as is a priest. A good priest is distinguished from a wicked priest by his works no less than a shepherd is distinguished from a wolf. That is why a goodly portion of good priests will be with the sons of God and a goodly portion of wicked priests will be with the wild beasts of darkness. The good shepherds of the Church, even in the last moments of their lives, were concerned about their flocks which they were leaving behind. Upon his death bed, St. Joseph the Hymnographer prayed to God: "Preserve your flock, O Son of God, created by Your right hand and protect them to the end of time. Be of assistance to the beloved sons of Your Church. Grant to Your Bride [Holy Church] eternal peace and a stormless calm." St. Antipas, burning in a blazing ox, cast out of copper, prayed to God in this manner: "Not only me, but those also who would come after me, make them partakers of Your mercy."

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas