St. Simeon Skete, Taylorsville Kentucky USA

With St. Simeon, the God receiver, as our patron, the skete seeks to practice the ideals found in our Rule, The Thousand Day Nazareth. In simplicity and poverty, the skete embraces the struggle of inner life through the practice of the Prayer Rope.

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Donations should be addressed to: Nazareth House Apostolate, 185 Captains Cove Drive, Taylorsville, Kentucky 40071.

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Seventeen Days of the Name

Seventeen Days of The Name 

The Seventeen Days of The Name begins with the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene (July 22) who was the first to witness the Resurrection.  From here we proceed to the Feast of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus (July 27)*, these six days compose “The Pilgrimage of the Seven Sleepers” where we pray the Seven Redemptive Names of God.  Eleven days further delivers us into the second day of “The Rosary Novena for Peace” (August 6 -14).  These first two days that the seventeen brings us to are feasts that give us the eighth and ninth Names of God, i.e., August 6, The Feast of the Transfiguration giving us the all encompassing Name, “I AM” and August 7th, the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, the Incarnate Salvific ninth Name of God. 

Icon of Mary Magdalene and Icon of Seven Sleepers, St. Simeon Skete

Just as the Seven Sleepers waited to be awakened (resurrected) into a new world and life, so the Seven Redemptive Names of God lie in the cave of our hearts (Mt. 6:6) waiting to be resurrected into our lives, our decisions, our responses and directions we take. 
The Seventeen Days of the Name as with the Seven Sleepers is the work of representing eternity in time and perceiving in time eternity. For this work to be realized in our lives we must survive the impact of the world upon our resurrection which is everyday present.  Here the Cave has a distinct role in religion and society via initiation through withdrawal (Mt. 6:6) into an environment of internal isolation with God alone as a rite of seclusion as well as resurrection.  Therefore, due to this seclusion, a “new” kind of awareness and knowledge of God’s intentions for humanity with regards to the resurrection can enter we who are represented by the seven sleepers. 

The Particulars for "Spelunking the Seven Sleepers”
  1. Use the Redemptive Rosary for Compline during the Seventeen Days
  2. Sprinkle your face with Holy Water seven times and share Scriptures on waking up, being awake, etc. 
  3. Visit a cemetery - “thin places”
  4. Make Seven Offerings of yourself.
  5. Visit a Cave and pray the Names of God.
  6. Light seven votive candles and make reparation for the misuse of God’s Holy Name.
  7. An Abrahamic meal of lamb and couscous (Gen. 18:8) can be served on the Feast Day of the Seven Sleepers - 27th of July or as a celebratory end to the 17 days of The Name - August 7th. 

An Ode by al-Hallaj 
“In my inmost heart there is a pearl
I cannot touch (Mt. 13:45-46). 

I tremble when my thievish doubts
draw near.

It is a gift my Love has given me
to keep in trust.

Though blind, by it I see;
Naive, I am made wise.

The Seven Sleepers know this Love.
They are my friends. 

Time stops in the shadow
Of their mountain  (Mt. Celion). 

In its hush my Love returns
To claim His pearl.”

It is not about how we were, but about us as we are, a resurrected people now.  It is about Malcius who, as us, was awakened in the Cave and walked out into Ephesus with the old coins that showed the world in turmoil.  May we be good stewards of these nine most Holy Coins.

For more details about the Seven Sleepers and NHA, please see our previous blog post here: Seven Sleepers Blog Post

* In 2013, St. Simeon Skete embraced the Western date of July 27 as the celebration day of the Seven Sleepers.  This links together the Feast Day of St. Mary Magdalene, July 22, composing the 6 days of the Pilgrimage of the Seven Sleepers.