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October 14, 2015 + On How the Angels Do Battle for the Righteous

Homily by St. Nikolai Velimirovich

The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him and delivers them (Psalm 34:7).

The angel of the Lord will do battle for those who fear God. This has been clearly shown many times, as has been recorded; and it has occurred numberless times that have not been recorded. The Archangel Michael took up arms for Joshua, the Son of Nun. An angel did battle for the righteous King Hezekiah and, in one night, destroyed the army of the Chaldeans. How many times have angels visited the Christian apostles and martyrs of in prison, strengthened them, and caused them to rejoice? The consolation of the righteous one comes from knowing that God is All-seeing, and sees his misfortune; that God is Omnipotent, and has power to save him from misfortune; that God is All-merciful, and will save him from misfortune. God will send His radiant angel to the aid of the righteous. The righteous one will not have to struggle against his tyrant, for the angel of God will do battle in his place. When God's angel takes up arms, what army dares confront him? What empire will wage war against him? In an earlier Psalm, the Prophet David says: No king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain hope for safety (Psalm 33:16-17).

Hence, it does not help at all if the unjust, the worldly, are allies. When God's angel takes up arms-all will burst as a bubble of water. Even when he was king, David remembered how, as a mere shepherd boy, he killed Goliath, a giant who was armed to the teeth, with a slingshot. On many occasions, David sensed the assistance of God's angel. That is why he could with confidence console the oppressed but righteous ones with these words of comfort and strength: the angel of the Lord encamps around all who fear the Lord, and who serve Him, and an angel of God will deliver them.

O my brethren, let us not doubt these words, but carefully consider, on a daily basis, how the angel of God leaves us in sorrow when we sin, and how he hastens to our assistance with joy and unspeakable power when we repent and implore God's mercy.

O Lord God, our Creator, the King of myriads of angels: forgive us, and save us, and protect us by Thy holy angels.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.

From The Prologue of Ohrid: The Lives of the Saints, October 15th.

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Venerable Parasceva (Petka) of Serbia

Troparion, Tone 4

You are worthy of praise, Paraskeva. You loved the ascetic and hesychast life. You ran with longing to your Bridegroom, Christ. You accepted His good yoke in your tender years, marking yourself with the sign of the Cross. You fought against impure thoughts; through fasting, prayer and the shedding of tears you quenched the burning coal of the passions. Now in the heavenly bridal chamber of Christ, as you stand together with the wise virgins intercede for us who honor your precious memory.

Kontakion, Tone 6

Let us all piously praise all-honorable Paraskeva, the intercessor for the afflicted. She gave up her earthly life, and received eternal incorruption. Therefore, she has been granted the grace to work wonders by the command of God.