Augustine Sokolovski

Today the Church honors the memory of the prophet Jeremiah. He was one of the four great biblical prophets. Like Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, Jeremiah prophesied in word and deed, preparing the world for the coming of Christ the Messiah.

In relation to the other twelve prophets who left behind prophetic books and are called "minor", they should be taken as major. Indeed, the Scriptures of the four prophets are much larger in content and volume, much more information has been preserved about the circumstances of their lives.

In the Ancient Church, and later in Orthodox Constantinople, the prophets of the Old Testament, both great and small, were highly revered. Today, this once very great veneration of the biblical righteous is evidenced by the importance that is still attached to the day of memory of the prophet Elijah in popular piety. The rest of the prophets, unfortunately, have become only a name in the liturgical calendar.

In this way sacred history is imperceptibly forgotten, the succession of the Testaments ceases to be realized, the intercession of the holy righteous, which the Wandering Church needs, is silenced.

Jeremiah was born around 650 BC. By origin he was a priest. During the reign of the pious king Josiah, the Lord called Jeremiah to preach. It continued for more than forty years under Josiah himself and four of his successors. It was one of the saddest times in the history of the People of God. Jeremiah foreshadowed the imminent arrival of the Babylonians and the destruction of Jerusalem. According to Scripture, Jeremiah became a mournful witness to the destruction of the temple and the holy city. At the command of God, he hid in an unknown place in a cave “the tabernacle, the ark of the covenant and the altar of censers” (2 Mac 2:5). The book of the Prophet Jeremiah is very significant in volume and contains 52 chapters. Another great biblical work that has been preserved with the name of this prophet is the Lamentations of Jeremiah.

It would be worthy and righteous to remember the days of the month not by successive numbers, but by the days of the memory of the saints. This is how the Orthodox sometimes perceived time in past centuries. Hence, there are so many sayings and signs about the weather and natural phenomena associated with the days of memory of one or another saint. Memorial Day of the prophet Jeremiah is easy to remember. It falls annually on the first of May in the liturgical calendar of the Church.

The Holy Prophet, whose memory of the First of May, the evangelist of the springtime in Christ for the redemption of mankind, Jeremiah, after the fall of Jerusalem, was set free by the Babylonians, but was taken captive by his fellow tribesmen who fled to Egypt. In the land of exile, according to Tradition, Jeremiah was stoned for his unceasing denunciation of sin. By his very death, the Weeping Prophet showed the future Suffering of the Messiah, whose coming he announced.