1. On this day, the nine saints: Lazarus the Elder, his wife Salomi, and their children; Abeem (Animo), Antonius, Hosea, Lazarus, Aniana, Semuna, and Marcolus, were martyred. Lazarus was one of the teachers of the Jewish Law. His father was one of the Seventy Elders who translated the Torah by the order of Ptolemy, King of Egypt. This just man taught his children the Law of Moses.
When Antiochus, King of Rome, reigned over the Syrian land, he besieged Jerusalem and afflicted the Jewish nation with cruelty. He compelled them to break the Law of their fathers and to eat what was forbidden them such as pork meat and the like. Many of them feared his might and obeyed him. Nevertheless, these righteous persisted on keeping the Law, which had been given to them by God. Antiochus tortured them severely, by flogging them, crucifying, burning, and plowing their bodies with metal combs. The righteous woman Salomi, encouraged them until they had fulfilled their martyrdom. Then, she also cast herself in the fire without waiting for them to throw her into it. Thus, they received the crown of martyrdom.
May their prayers be with us. Amen.
2. On this day also, the church celebrates the confession of St. Peter, the Apostle, that "Christ is the Son of the living God." When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah and others Jeremiah, or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" And Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven, and I also say to you that you are Peter and on this rock, I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in Heaven." Then He commanded his disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ. (Matthew 16:13-20)
May the Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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