March 2

From the Prologue

This holy Euthalia was a virgin from Sicily. She had a mother of the same name and a brother named Sermilianus. All were unbaptized pagans. Her mother Euthalia suffered from an issue of blood. The holy martyrs, Alphius, Philadelphus and Cyrinus (May 10), appeared to her in a dream and told her that she would be healed only if she became baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Euthalia professed her faith in Christ, was baptized, and indeed recovered. Upon seeing this miracle, evenEuthalia's daughter was baptized. After that, Sermilianus began to mock and ridicule his mother and sister because of their faith in Christ. He threatened them. The mother became frightened and fled her home. Then the brother began to persecute his sister. His sister was not frightened, for Christ was more dear to her than her brother. She said to Sermilianus, "I am a Christian and I am not afraid of death." The wicked brother then sent a servant to defile her. When the servant attacked St. Euthalia, he lost his eyesight. The evil brother saw this miracle but still remained hard of heart. Just as Cain pursued Abel, Sermilianus pursued his sister, caught her and beheaded her. Thus, the holy virgin Euthalia was wedded with the wreath of eternal glory. By this example, the words of the Lord Christ were fulfilled: that He brought a sword among men, which causes variances between relations in blood, but not between relations in faith. "Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law" (St. Matthew 10:34,35).



Untalkative Agathon, for three years studies

With a pebble under his tongue to remain quiet and silent,

That by his tongue, sin, not to serve,

Only to speak words of solace to men

And to glorify God Who created him.

Once, when the saint began to speak

About anger, he said: The one over whom anger takes control

Does not please God, neither now nor never,

We have the power to resurrect the dead,

From the angered one, God does not accept any sacrifices.

And when death hung over Agathon,

The brethren gathered to see him frail,

Prayers he whispered with great fear,

Sigh upon sighs poured from his chest.

The brethren asked him: Are you also afraid,

O, all-good father, when before God you stand?

You were completely good to everyone, to all it is known,

Among the stones of men, you glistened as gold!

Then the elder said with countenance more radiant,

My children now, before the judgment of God I stand.

The judgment of man is one thing and another is the judgment of God--

And a more powerful sigh seized the elder!

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