March 9

From the Prologue

St. Caesarius, the brother of Gregory the Theologian who died in the year 369 A.D., was also a theological writer. Among other things he attempted to answer the question: How long a time did Adam and Eve spend in Paradise before their expulsion? Some have determined the time to be six hours; others, twenty-four hours; and still others, three days. St. Caesarius was of the mind that the length of time was forty days. "Because," he says, "Our Lord fasted forty days in the wilderness and during that time He was tempted by the devil. Since the old Adam could not resist the temptation of the devil in the abundance of Paradise, the new Adam resisted the devil gallantly in the hungry and thirsty wilderness."



Martyrs in the lake shackled by frost,

Strongly adhering to Holy Faith, by hope illumined,

To the dear God, cried out: You, Who astonished the world

By Your awesome sacrifice and resurrection, O You, enliven us!

The firmament of heaven and everything created, glorify You,

Behold, the abyss, fire, hail, snow, ice and heat glorify You!

You helped the great Moses, your servant,

And Joshua Son of Nun, and after that Elisha,

That nature, calm the waters and it, to divide,

Now, help your faithful as you have until now,

Do not allow the frost to be stronger than man,

That we, Forty Martyrs, not become the subject of scorn;

Oh, You can, if You want, for You rule over all,

You, when You want, can change ice into heat and heat into ice;

Because of Your Name, the frost consumes us as an angry beast--

Oh, help us that the Name of the Almighty may be praised!

Martyrs in the lake, shackled by frost,

From heaven, by God's light, were warmed,

Gloriously they fell and remained Forty Martyrs

To the fear, horror and shame of the darkened unbelievers.

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas