Sunday of the Samaritan Woman
Having come to the well in faith, the Samaritan woman beheld Thee, the Water of Wisdom; whereof having drunk abundantly, she, the renowned one, inherited the Kingdom on high forever.
Let us hear of the august mysteries, as John teacheth us what cometh to pass in Samaria: how the Lord speaketh unto a woman, asking water of her, even He that gathered the waters into the places where they are gathered, and Who is of one throne with the Father and the Spirit; for He, the renowned One, came, seeking out His image forever.
–Kontakion and Oikos of the Feast
On this day, the fifth Sunday of Pascha, we commemorate the encounter of Christ with the Samaritan woman.
When thou camest to obtain corruptible water, O woman, Thou didst draw forth living water that washeth away the soul’s stains.
The Samaritan woman the holy, glorious Great-martyr Photine met Jesus at midday at Jacob’s well, which was located in the city of Sychar. And being tired from travel and the heat, Jesus sat at Jacob’s Well. A little after, the Samaritan woman came to draw water, and had a long conversation with Him (it is the longest recorded discourse between Christ and a human in the entire Bible). Photine did not want to talk to Jesus, because the Samaritans did not have any dealings with Jews; Jews considered her people heretics because Samaritans having intermarried with heretics did not keep the Jewish traditions and also kept only the first five books of the Old Testament. However, the Lord talked with her anyway, read her heart, revealed her secrets and gave her the “Living Water” the grace of the Holy Spirit that leads to eternal life and flows to all humanity, to drink. Photine repented for her sins and her previous way of living and immediately ran throughout the city to proclaim Christ. Through her, many other Samaritans believed in Jesus.
By the intercessions of Thy Great-Martyr, Photine, O Christ God, have mercy on us. Amen.
The Holy Great Martyr Photine is commemorated on February 26.