CHRIST THE SAVIOR Orthodox Mission
SUNDAY, MAY 26 TONE 4
Fifth Sunday of Pascha: The Samaritan Woman
The Holy Martyr Photina (Svetlana) the Samaritan Woman, her sons Victor (named Photinus) and Joses; and her sisters Anatola, Phota, Photis, Paraskeva, Kyriake; Nero’s daughter Domnina; and the Martyr Sebastian: The holy Martyr Photinawas the Samaritan Woman, with whom the Savior conversed at Jacob’s Well (John. 4:5-42).
During the time of the emperor Nero (54-68), who displayed excessive cruelty against Christians, Saint Photina lived in Carthage with her younger son Joses and fearlessly preached the Gospel there. Her eldest son Victor fought bravely in the Roman army against barbarians, and was appointed military commander in the city of Attalia (Asia Minor). Later, Nero called him to Italy to arrest and punish Christians.
Sebastian, an official in Italy, said to Saint Victor, “I know that you, your mother and your brother, are followers of Christ. As a friend I advise you to submit to the will of the emperor. If you inform on any Christians, you will receive their wealth. I shall write to your mother and brother, asking them not to preach Christ in public. Let them practice their faith in secret.”
Saint Victor replied, “I want to be a preacher of Christianity like my mother and brother.” Sebastian said, “O Victor, we all know what woes await you, your mother and brother.” Then Sebastian suddenly felt a sharp pain in his eyes. He was dumbfounded, and his face was somber.
For three days he lay there blind, without uttering a word. On the fourth day he declared, “The God of the Christians is the only true God.” Saint Victor asked why Sebastian had suddenly changed his mind. Sebastian replied, “Because Christ is calling me.” Soon he was baptized, and immediately regained his sight. Saint Sebastian’s servants, after witnessing the miracle, were also baptized.
Reports of this reached Nero, and he commanded that the Christians be brought to him at Rome. Then the Lord Himself appeared to the confessors and said, “Fear not, for I am with you. Nero, and all who serve him, will be vanquished.” The Lord said to Saint Victor, “From this day forward, your name will be Photinus, because through you, many will be enlightened and will believe in Me.” The Lord then told the Christians to strengthen and encourage Saint Sebastian to peresevere until the end.
All these things, and even future events, were revealed to Saint Photina. She left Carthage in the company of several Christians and joined the confessors in Rome.
At Rome the emperor ordered the saints to be brought before him and he asked them whether they truly believed in Christ. All the confessors refused to renounce the Savior. Then the emperor gave orders to smash the martyrs’ finger joints. During the torments, the confessors felt no pain, and their hands remained unharmed.
Nero ordered that Saints Sebastian, Photinus and Joses be blinded and locked up in prison, and Saint Photina and her five sisters Anatola, Phota, Photis, Paraskeva and Kyriakewere sent to the imperial court under the supervision of Nero’s daughter Domnina. Saint Photina converted both Domnina and all her servants to Christ. She also converted a sorcerer, who had brought her poisoned food to kill her.
Three years passed, and Nero sent to the prison for one of his servants, who had been locked up. The messengers reported to him that Saints Sebastian, Photinus and Joses, who had been blinded, had completely recovered, and that people were visiting them to hear their preaching, and indeed the whole prison had been transformed into a bright and fragrant place where God was glorified.
Nero then gave orders to crucify the saints, and to beat their naked bodies with straps. On the fourth day the emperor sent servants to see whether the martyrs were still alive. But, approaching the place of the tortures, the servants fell blind. An angel of the Lord freed the martyrs from their crosses and healed them. The saints took pity on the blinded servants, and restored their sight by their prayers to the Lord. Those who were healed came to believe in Christ and were soon baptized.
In an impotent rage Nero gave orders to flay the skin from Saint Photina and to throw the martyr down a well. Sebastian, Photinus and Joses had their legs cut off, and they were thrown to dogs, and then had their skin flayed off. The sisters of Saint Photina also suffered terrible torments. Nero gave orders to cut off their breasts and then to flay their skin. An expert in cruelty, the emperor readied the fiercest execution for Saint Photis: they tied her by the feet to the tops of two bent-over trees. When the ropes were cut the trees sprang upright and tore the martyr apart. The emperor ordered the others beheaded. Saint Photina was removed from the well and locked up in prison for twenty days.
After this Nero had her brought to him and asked if she would now relent and offer sacrifice to the idols. Saint Photinaspit in the face of the emperor, and laughing at him, said, “O most impious of the blind, you profligate and stupid man! Do you think me so deluded that I would consent to renounce my Lord Christ and instead offer sacrifice to idols as blind as you?”
Hearing such words, Nero gave orders to again throw the martyr down the well, where she surrendered her soul to God (ca. 66).
( at the Divine Liturgy)
Tone 4Troparion (Resurrection)
When the women Disciples of the Lord
learned from the Angel the joyous message of the Resurrection,
they cast away the ancestral curse
and elatedly told the Apostles:
“Death is overthrown!
Christ God is risen,//
granting the world great mercy!”
Tone 8Troparion (Midfeast)
In the middle of the feast, O Savior,
fill my thirsting soul with the waters of piety,
as Thou didst cry to all: “If anyone thirst, let him come to
Me and drink!”//
O Christ God, Fountain of our life, glory to Thee!
Tone 8Kontakion (Pentecostarion)
The Samaritan Woman came to the well in faith;
she saw Thee, the Water of wisdom and drank abundantly.//
She inherited the Kingdom on high, and is ever glorified!
Tone 4Kontakion (Midfeast)
Christ God, the Creator and Master of all,
cried to all in the midst of the feast of the Law:
“Come and draw the water of immortality!”
We fall before Thee and faithfully cry://
Grant us Thy mercies, for Thou art the Fountain of our life!
Sing praises to our God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! (Ps 46/47:6)
v: Clap thy hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!(Ps 46/47:1)
Acts 11:19-26, 29-30
 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.
 And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.
 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.
 Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.
 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.
 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.
 Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:
 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
 Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea:
 Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
Tone 4 Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
v: Go forth, prosper and reign, for the sake of meekness, righteousness and truth! (Ps 44/45:5)
v: For Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest iniquity. (Ps 44/45:8)
 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.
 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.
 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.
 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)
 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.
 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.
 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:
 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.
 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
 And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?
 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,
 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?
 Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.
 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.
 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.
 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?
 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapethmay rejoice together.
 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.
 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.
 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.
 So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days.
 And many more believed because of his own word;
 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.
(Instead of “It is truly meet …,” we sing:)
The Angel cried to the Lady, full of grace:
“Rejoice, O pure Virgin! Again, I say: Rejoice,
thy Son is risen from His three days in the tomb!
With Himself He has raised all the dead.”
Rejoice, O ye people!
Shine, shine, O new Jerusalem!
The glory of the Lord has shone on thee.
Exult now, and be glad, O Zion!
Be radiant, O pure Theotokos,
in the Resurrection of thy Son!
Receive the Body of Christ; taste the fountain of immortality!
Praise the Lord from the heavens! Praise Him in the highest! (Ps 148:1) Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
Christ the Savior Orthodox Mission
Orthodox Church in America, Diocese of New England
425 South Main Street, Brewer, ME 04412
(With the blessing of our hiararchs, we meet at St. Teresa's Catholic Church.)
Christ the Savior Contact information: