Judgment Sunday (Meatfare Sunday)
The foregoing two parables -- especially that of the Prodigal Son -- have presented to us God's extreme goodness and love for man. But lest certain persons, putting their confidence in this alone, live carelessly, squandering upon sin the time given them to work out their salvation, and death suddenly snatch them away, the most divine Fathers have appointed this day's feast commemorating Christ's impartial Second Coming, through which we bring to mind that God is not only the Friend of man, but also the most righteous Judge, Who recompenses to each according to his deeds.
It is the aim of the holy Fathers, through bringing to mind that fearful day, to rouse us from the slumber of carelessness unto the work of virtue, and to move us to love and compassion for our brethren. Besides this, even as on the coming Sunday of Cheese-fare we commemorate Adam's exile from the Paradise of delight -- which exile is the beginning of life as we know it now -- it is clear that today's is reckoned the last of all feasts, because on the last day of judgment, truly, everything of this world will come to an end.
All foods, except meat and meat products, are allowed during the week that follows this Sunday.
Philemon & Archippos, Apostles of the 70
Philemon, who was from Colossae, a city of Phrygia, was a man both wealthy and noble; Apphia was his wife. Archippos became Bishop of the Church in Colossae. All three were disciples of the Apostle Paul. Onesimos, who was formerly an unbeliever and slave of Philemon, stole certain of his vessels and fled to Rome. However, on finding him there, the Apostle Paul guided him onto the path of virtue and the knowledge of the truth, and sent him back to his master Philemon, to whom he wrote an epistle (this is one of the fourteen epistles of Saint Paul). In this epistle, Paul commended Onesimos to his master and reconciled the two. Onesimos was later made a bishop; in Greece he is honoured as the patron Saint of the imprisoned. All these Saints received their end by martyrdom, when they were stoned to death by the idolaters. Saint Onesimos is also commemorated on February 15.
Philothea the Righteous Martyr of Athens
Saint Philothea was born in Athens in 1522 to an illustrious family. Against her will, she was married to a man who proved to be most cruel. When he died three years later, the Saint took up the monastic life and established a convent, in which she became a true mother to her disciples. Many women enslaved and abused by the Moslem Turks also ran to her for refuge. Because of this, the Turkish rulers became enraged and came to her convent, dragged her by force out of the church, and beat her cruelly. After a few days, she reposed, giving thanks to God for all things. This came to pass in the year 1589. She was renowned for her almsgiving, and with Saints Hierotheus and Dionysius the Areopagite is considered a patron of the city of Athens.
Niketas the Younger