Prophet Haggai; Blessed Empress Theophano (Fish permitted) Sunday of the Forefathers

1. The Holy Prophet Haggai was the tenth of the Twelve Minor Prophets. He was of the Tribe of Levi and he prophesied during the times of the Persian emperor Darius Hystaspis (prior to 500 B.C.). Upon the return of the Jews from the Babylonian Captivity, he persuaded the people to build the Second Temple at Jerusalem, and he proclaimed that the Messiah would appear in this Temple in the last times.

It is believed that Haggai was buried with the priests at Jerusalem, since he was descended from Aaron.

2. The Holy Empress Theophano was the first wife of Emperor Leo VI the Wise (886-911). She and Leo were locked up in prison for three years, because Leo was falsely accused of intending to assassinate his father, Emperor Basil the Macedonian. After receiving her freedom, she spent her life in prayer and fasting, earnestly struggling for her salvation.

Living in the world, she renounced everything worldly. She was a benefactor to the poor, and was generous toward monasteries. She was a true mother to her subjects, caring for widows and orphans, and consoling the sorrowful. Saint Theophano died in 893 or 894.

Even before her death her husband started to build a church, intending to dedicate it to Theophano, but she forbade him to do so. It was this emperor who decreed that the Sunday after Pentecost be dedicated to All Saints. Believing that his wife was one of the righteous, he knew that she would also be honored whenever the Feast of All Saints was celebrated.

Her holy relics are preserved in Constantinople.

Tr by oca.org

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