19 January 2021 (MIA)
Macedonian Orthodox Church Calendar
Theophany (Epiphany) – The Baptism of Our Lord
This is one of the most ancient feasts of the Church. There are two names associated with this feast: Theophany and Epiphany. Theophany precisely means the “manifestation of God” to men; Epiphany means “a showing forth” or revelation. It was at his baptism in the Jordan River by John that our Lord was witnessed to by the Father in heaven. After rising from the water, a voice from heaven was heard saying: “You are my Son, the Beloved; my favor rests on you”. And the Holy Spirit, which has no form or shape, to indicate the third Person of the Holy Trinity to men, descended upon the head of Jesus at those words and was seen in the form of a dove. It is believed that God came into the Jordan River to cleanse the entire world, animate and inanimate. Because of Christ’s baptism in Jordan, He sanctified that river and all the waters of the earth through it. It is still the custom to bless fountains, rivers and any flowing water on Theophany.
St. Germanicus, martyr
Martyr of Smyrna. At the time of Marcus Antoninus and Lucius Aurelius, St. Germanicus cast aside by the mighty grace of God all bodily fears, although he was yet in the flower of his youth. Having been condemned to death by the judge, he was thrown to wild animals in a local amphitheater. When the beasts did not attack, Germanicus provoked them into attacking, gaining the admiration of the pagans of the arena. Grounded by the teeth of the beast, he merited to be united with the true Bread, the Lord Jesus Christ, by dying for His sake.