Commemorated on September 22
The Holy Prophet Jonah
lived in the VIII Century before the Birth of Christ and was a successor of the
Prophet Elisha. The Book of the Prophet Jonah is included in the compilation of
the Bible and has prophecies about the judgements on the Israelite nation, the
sufferings of the Saviour, the downfall of Jerusalem, and the end of the world.
Besides the prophecies, in the Book of Jonah is related, how he was sent to the
Ninevites with a preaching of repentance (Jon. 3: 3-10).
Our Lord Jesus
Christ, in conversation with the Scribes and the Pharisees demanding a sign
from Him, said that no sign would be given, save for the sign of the Prophet
Jonah: "As Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three
nights, so also shalt the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days
and three nights (Mt. 12: 40). From these words the Lord shows clearly the
symbolic meaning of the Book of the Prophet Jonah in relation to the Death on
the Cross, the Descent into Hell, and the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus
Christ. Reproaching the lack of penitence and recalcitrance of the Jews, the
Lord said: "The Ninevites shalt rise up to judgement with this generation
and wilt condemn it – wherein that they had repented themselves from the
preaching of Jonah; and here, is He greater than Jonah" (Mt. 12: 41).
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.