A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
Apodosis of Mid-Pentecost. Last day of the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Byzantine Rite Churches’ Afterfeast of the 26 May 8-day feast of Mid-Pentecost (Μεσοπεντηκοστή, Преполове́ние Пятидеся́тницы), the leave-taking or giving-back when most of the hymns that were chanted on Mid-Pentecost are repeated. The theme of the Pentecostarion (Πεντηκοστάριον, Цвѣтнаѧ Трїωдь, Flowery Triodon) liturgical texts for the feast being the acquisition of the Holy Spirit poured out as a gift upon all the faithful who partake of the living water that is Christ Himself. The theme of water continues on Sunday 6 June at the Pool of Siloam (Σιλωάμ) with the Blind Man. On the 20 June Pentecost, grace is rained down on parched souls and bodies so that they may be fruitful: “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink”. The Pentecostarion concludes with the 27 June Feast of All Saints for those who partook of the waters of piety and harvested the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Image: ww1.antiochian.org.
Prayer When the Feast of the law was half over, O Lord and Creator of all, Thou didst say to the bystanders, O Christ our God: Come and draw the water of immortality, let those who thirst come to Me and drink. Therefore we fall down before Thee and cry with faith: Grant us Thy bounties, for Thou art the Source of our Life. Refresh our thirsty souls with the streams of piety. Amen
St Erasmus of Formia (St Elmo) (dc303). Feast Day for Croatian Christian, one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, the saintly figures of Christian tradition who are venerated especially as intercessors. Erasmus was the Bishop of Formia and, during a persecution against Christians, he left his diocese and went to Mount Libanus, where he hid for 7 years until an angel appeared to him and counselled him to return to his city. On the way, Roman soldiers questioned him and as a Christian he was taken for trial in Antioch, suffering terrible tortures and being thrown into prison in chains, an angel appearing to help him escape. Passing through Lycia, a miracle and baptisms he performed again led to his arrest and he was put in a barrel with protruding spikes and rolled down a hill, an angel healing his wounds. He survived further torture and imprisonment and in Illyricum continued converting pagans to Christianity. Finally, he was martyred on a windlass, leading to his patronage of sailors. Elmo had also survived a thunderbolt whilst preaching and sailors in danger from lightning seek his protection, the electrical discharges at the mastheads of ships being known as Saint Elmo’s Fire and being read as a sign of his protection. When the Cathedral of Formia was razed by the Saracens in 842, the relics of Erasmus were translated to Gaeta. An altar to Erasmus in St Peter’s Basilica has a copy of Nicolas Poussin’s Martyrdom of St Erasmus as the altarpiece. Venerated in Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic Churches. Patron of Formia, Gaeta, Santeramo, Fort St Elmo, Malta, sailors, colic in children, intestinal ailments and diseases, cramps, women’s labour pains, cattle pest. Image: johnsandiopolous.com.
St Gennys (St Genesius the Martyr). Feast Day for 7th-Century Celtic holy man, a hermit and monk who set up a stone cross by his wooden hut and preached in the open air, baptising members of the Cornish tribe of the Dumnonii on the high cliffs of the North Cornish coast. A small Saxon church was built by the Holy St Gennys’ Well when the Anglo-Saxon King Æthelstan arrived in Cornwall in 926. The well had been used for the baptisms and was later a source of water for the local people. last restored in 1927. Gennys was martyred for his faith and his head-relics enshrined in the canons’ church at Launceston are commemorated under the Translation of the Head of Genesius on 19 July. Patron of Cornwall. Image: patheos.com.