14 September 2021 (MIA)
Macedonian Orthodox Church Calendar
Venerable Simeon Stylite
The monk Simeon the Stylite was born in the year 521 in Syrian Antioch from the pious parents John and Martha. At 11 years of age, he decided to pursue asceticism upon still higher a pillar, to the top of which was 40 feet.
The bishops of Antioch and Seleukos came to the place of the monk’s exploits and ordained the holy ascetic to the dignity of deacon, and then they permitted him to go up upon the new pillar, on which the monk Simeon asceticised over eight years. He prayed ardently for the sending down upon him of the Holy Spirit, and the holy prayer of the ascetic was heard. The Holy Spirit came down upon him in the form of blazing light, filling the ascetic with Divine Wisdom.
Alongside with spoken precepts, Saint Simeon dispatched written precepts about repentance, monasticism, about the Incarnation of Christ and the future Judgement. He concluded his efforts on the second column and by the decree of God settled upon the Wondrous Mount, having become in his monastery an experienced elder for guidance to monks.
Feast of the Holy Cross
During the reign of Constantine, first Roman Emperor to profess the Christian faith, his mother Helena went to Israel and there undertook to find the places especially significant to Christians. (She was helped in this by the fact that in their destructions around 135, the Romans had built pagan shrines over many of these sites.) Having located, close together, what she believed to be the sites of the Crucifixion and of the Burial (at locations that modern archaeologists think may be correct), she then had built over them the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which was dedicated on Sept. 14, 335. It has become a day for recognizing the Cross (in a festal atmosphere that would be inappropriate on Good Friday) as a symbol of triumph, as a sign of Christ’s victory over death, and a reminder of His promise, “And when I am lifted, I will draw all men unto me.” (John 12:32).