December 11 (old calendar) / December 24 (new)
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December 11 (old calendar) / December 24 (new)

Nativity Fast

Ven. Daniel the Stylite of Constantinople (489-490). Ven. Nikon the Dry of the Kiev Caves (Near Caves—12th c.). Martyrs Mirax, Acepsius and Aithalas, of Egypt (7th c.). Ven. Luke the New Stylite of Chalcedon (ca. 970-980).

SAINT DANIEL THE STYLITE

11 décembre

Saint Daniel the Stylite was born in the village of Bethara, near the city of Samosata in Mesopotamia. His mother Martha was childless for a long while and in her prayers she vowed that if she had a child, she would dedicate him to the Lord. Her prayers were heard, and Martha soon gave birth to a son, who was without a name until he was five years of age.

The boy’s parents desired that since he was born through the good-will of God, he should also receive his name from God. They took their son to a monastery located nearby and approached the igumen. The igumen gave orders to take down one of the service books, and unrolled it at random. He found the Prophet Daniel (December 17) mentioned in it. Thus did the boy receive his name. The parents asked that he might remain at the monastery, but the igumen would not accept him, since he was still only a small boy. At twelve years of age, saying nothing to anyone, the child left home for the monastery.

His parents were happy when they learned where their son was, and they went to the monastery. Seeing that he was still going about in his worldly clothes, they besought that the igumen should clothe him in the angelic garb. That Sunday the igumen fulfilled their request, but permitted them often to visit their son. The brethren of the monastery were astonished at the saint’s ascetical efforts.

Once, Saint Simeon the Stylite (September 1) visited the monastery. He foretold to the young monk that he too would undertake the feat of pillar-dwelling. Saint Daniel continued with his ascetic life in seclusion. When the place of a new exploit was revealed to him in a vision, he withdrew into the Thracian wilderness together with two disciples. They set up a pillar, upon which Saint Daniel dwelt for 33 years. People thronged to the pillar, the unfortunate and those who were sick, and all received help and healing from Saint Daniel. Byzantine emperors also sought the prayers of the holy ascetic. The most notable of the saint’s predictions was about a great fire in Constantinople. Saint Daniel possessed also the gift of gracious words. He guided many onto the path of correcting their lives. The monk reposed in his eightieth year.

Troparion of saint Daniel, tone 1

You were a pillar of patient endurance, having imitated the forefathers, O Venerable One: Job in suffering, and Joseph in temptations. You lived like the bodiless ones while yet in the flesh, O Daniel, our Father. Beseech Christ God that our souls may be saved.

Kontakion of saint Daniel, tone 8

You ascended your pillar like a brightly shining star, O blest One; you illumined the world with your venerable deeds dispersing the darkness of error. Therefore we pray you, Father Daniel, now illumine the hearts of your servants with the never-setting light of wisdom.

Hebrews 11:17-23, 27-31 (Epistle)

17

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

18

of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,”

19

concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.

20

By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.

21

By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.

22

By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.

23

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.

27

By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.

28

By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

29

By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.

30

By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days.

31

By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.

Mark 8:11-21 (Gospel)

11

Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him.

12

But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.”

13

And He left them, and getting into the boat again, departed to the other side.

14

Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat.

15

Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”

16

And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have no bread.”

17

But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened?

18

Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember?

19

When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up? They said to Him, “Twelve.”

20

Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up? And they said, “Seven.”

21

So He said to them, “How is it you do not understand?”

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About the Author

Emma Cazabonne

Emma Cazabonne

Emma Cazabonne was born and raised in France. She taught English before entering the Cistercian Order. She translated and published articles relevant to her interest in Cistercian spirituality, the Middle Ages, and Orthodoxy. She moved to the United States in 2001, converted to Orthodoxy in 2008, and married. Her husband is an Orthodox priest. She continued to publish articles, a Cistercian texts anthology, then finally launched her career in literary translation, while teaching French. If you are interested in having your book translated into French, she can be contacted here https://wordsandpeace.com/contact-me/

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