April 17, 2013 + The School of the Cross
by St. Philaret of Moscow
To suffer in the presence of Christ, and in like manner as He suffered, is to have a foretaste of Paradise. Like as the visible material Cross is the royal standard of the visible kingdom of Christ, so is our secret cross the seal and distinguishing mark of the true and chosen servants of the invisible kingdom of God. It is a precious pledge of the love of God – it is the rod of the Father, not so much chastening and breaking the spirit, as “restoring” and “comforting” it [Ps. 2:9; 23:3- 4]; it is the purifying fire of faith, companion of hope, the mortifier of sensuality, the conqueror of passion, the inciter to prayer, the protector of chastity, the parent of humility the teacher of wisdom, the guardian of the sons of the kingdom. Where were all the great angels, the guides and guardians of the Church, the Josephs, the Moses’s, the Daniels, the Pauls, brought up? In the school of the Cross.
St. Philaret of Moscow, Select Sermons, pp. 64-65
Hieromartyr Simeon the Bishop in Persia, and those with him in Persia
As an instructor of divinely inspired doctrines you trained martyrs for contest by your words and deeds. You suffered with them, holy hierarch Simeon, crying out to Christ while hastening to Him: “We are counted as sheep for the slaughter out of love for You, O Savior.”
Kontakion, Tone 4
With your holy band of martyrs you shone forth from Persia like radiant stars. With them we praise you, O Simeon.