Barlaam of Caesarea
Reading from the Synaxarion:
Saint Barlaam, who was from a certain village near Antioch in Syria, was advanced in years and a husbandman by occupation. Because of his confession of Christ, he was brought before the judge, who had him scourged with whips and then scraped with iron claws. Since this could not break his constancy, he was forcibly haled to the idols' temple, and live coals with incense were placed in his right hand. The judge thought that he would cast them down because of the pain, thus seeming to have offered a sacrifice of incense to the idols. But Saint Barlaam stood unmoving until his hand was thoroughly burned by the coals; he fell to the ground, and so gave up his soul into the hands of the Lord. He contested in martyrdom during the reign of Diocletian (284-305). Saint Basil the Great and Saint John Chrysostom both gave homilies in his honour. � �
The reading is from St. Paul's Second Letter to the Thessalonians 1:1-10
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
We are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, as is fitting, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast of you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions which you are enduring.
This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be made worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering - since indeed God deems it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant rest with us to you who are afflicted, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance upon those who do not know God and upon those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They shall suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at in all who have believed