1. The Commemoration of the Virgin, the Mother of God
On this day, the church celebrates the commemoration of the All pure St. Mary, the Mother of God the Word, who intercede for us before her beloved Son. May her prayers be with us. Amen.
2. The Departure of St. Irene (Eirene)
On this day also, St. Irene (i.e. peace), departed. She was the daughter of a pagan king, whose name was Lucianus. She was exceedingly beautiful. Her father loved her very much, therefore he built a fortified mansion for her. He assigned thirteen maids to serve, guard and protect her from what might defile the name and honor of her family. St. Irene was then six years old, and her father left some statues for her to worship. Her father also assigned a wise old teacher to instruct her. Once St. Irene saw in a vision, a dove with an olive leaf in her mouth, and the dove came and laid it on a table before her. Then there came an eagle with a crown, which he laid also on the table. Afterwards, a raven came with a serpent, which he laid on the table. St. Irene was frightened by this vision, and she revealed this vision to her teacher. Her father was unaware that the teacher was Christian. The teacher explained the vision to her saying, 'The dove is the teaching of the Law, the olive leaf is baptism, the eagle is the victory and the crown is the glory of the saints. The raven is the king and the serpent is the persecution.' He concluded his talk by saying that she had to struggle for the sake of the Faith in the Lord Christ. One day, her father came to visit her, and proposed that she marry one of the princes. She asked him for three days in which she might think it over. After her father had left, she went to the statues, and asked them to advise her on what was right for her, but they did not answer her. The saint lifted up her eyes to heaven, and said, 'O God of the Christians, guide me to whatever pleases you.' The angel of the Lord appeared to her and said, 'Tomorrow one of the disciples of St. Paul will come to you, will teach you what you need to know, and then will baptize you.' The next day, St. Timothy, the Apostle, came to her, taught her the essentials of Christianity and baptized her. When her father knew that, he summoned her. When he verified this news from her, her profession in the Lord Christ, he tied her to the tail of an untamed horse, and then released it. Nevertheless, God preserved her and she was not harmed. Instead, the horse itself turned and grasped with his mouth the arm of her father, hurled him on the ground, and her father fell dead. With the prayers of his daughter, St. Irene, he was risen alive. The father, his wife and three thousand persons became Christians, and they all were baptized. God honored this saint with several inspired miracles which she wrought before governors and kings and many had believed because of her. When she fulfilled her strife, she departed in peace. May her prayers be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.