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Orthodox icon of the Midfeast of Pentecost, Μεσοπεντηκοστή. Copy of an icon of 13th cent., Russia.
We celebrate it 24 days after Pascha.
The Midfeast of Pentecost is the midpoint of the fifty days between the Feasts of Pascha and Pentecost. St John tells us (John 7:14) that “in the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the Temple, and taught.” The Feast in question is the Feast of Tabernacles (celebrated in September), not Pentecost.
The Church has appointed John 7:14-30 to be read for the Midfeast, thereby linking Pascha and Pentecost. In Chapter 8 of St John’s Gospel, the Lord came to the Temple again and taught the people who came to Him. After leaving the Temple, he encounters the man born blind. We will hear about him on the Sunday of the Blind Man.
The Troparion of the Midfeast"
“In the middle of the Feast, O Savior, fill my thirsting soul with the waters of godliness, as Thou didst cry to all: If anyone thirst, let him come to Me and drink [John 7:37]. O Christ God, Fountain of our life, glory to Thee!”
Theotokos "Life Giving Spring" Icon (1)
Icon of the Theotokos the Life-Giving Spring, Zoodochos Pigi.
Commemorated on Friday of the Bright Week.
There once was a beautiful church in Constantinople built in the fifth century by the holy Emperor Leo the Great that was dedicated to the Mother of God. Before he was emperor, Leo walking in a wooded area met a thirsty blind man who asked Leo to help him find water. He searched for water, but was unable to find any. Suddenly, he heard a voice telling him that there was water nearby.
He looked again, but still could not find the water. The voice then said, Emperor Leo, go into the deepest part of the woods, and you will find water there. Take some of the cloudy water in your hands and give it to the blind man to drink. Then take the clay and put it on his eyes. Then you shall know who I am. Leo followed these instructions, and the miraculously the blind man regained his sight. Leo built a church over this site at his own expense, and the water continued to work miraculous cures.
Therefore, it was called The Life-Giving Spring. After the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, the church was torn down by the Moslems, and the stones were used to build a mosque. Only a small chapel remained at the site of the church. Twenty-five steps led down into the chapel, which had a window in the roof to let the light in. The holy Spring was still there, surrounded by a railing. After the Greek Revolution in 1821, even this little chapel was destroyed and the Spring was buried under the rubble.
Christians later obtained permission to rebuild the chapel, and work began in July of 1833. While workmen were clearing the ground, they uncovered the foundations of the earlier church. The Sultan allowed them to build not just a chapel, but a new and beautiful church on the foundations of the old one. Construction began on September 14, 1833, and was completed on December 30, 1834. Patriarch Constantine II consecrated the church on February 2, 1835, dedicating it to the Most Holy Theotokos.
The Turks desecrated and destroyed the church again on September 6, 1955. A smaller church now stands on the site, and the waters of the Life-Giving Spring continue to work miracles.
Christ's appearance to Saint Thomas icon
Ss. Myrrhbearers icon
Orthodox icon of the Holy Myrrhbearers.
Commemorated May 19 and the second Sunday following Pascha.
Holy Myrrh-bearing women Sts Mary Magdalene (July 22), Mary the wife of Clopas, Joanna (June 27), Salome, mother of the sons of Zebedee (August 3), Martha and Mary, sisters of Lazarus (June 4). The myrrh-bearers had brought funeral spices and ointments to finish committing Christ's body to the grave. They were the first to see the empty tomb and were instructed by the risen Lord to bring the joyful news to the apostles.
Healing of the Paralytic icon (2)
Orthodox icon of the miracle of our Savior Jesus Christ "Healing of the paralytic, paraletic". Contemporary icon
"And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.
When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”
And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” (Mark 2:1-12)