First Sunday After Pentecost:
All Saints Sunday
June 23, 2019
“Thy Church, O Christ God, hath regaled herself in the blood of Thy Martyrs throughout the entire world, as in porphyry and purple. Through them she lifteth her voice crying: Turn with Thy compassion toward Thy people, and grant peace to Thy city, and to our souls the Great Mercy”
+ Apolytikion of All Saints in Tone Four
From the Synaxarion (What is that?)
On June 23 in the Holy Orthodox Church, we commemorate the Martyr Agrippina of Rome; and Hieromartyrs Aristocles the Presbyter, Demetrios the Deacon, and Athanasius the Reader, of Cyprus.
On this day, the Sunday after Pentecost, we celebrate the feast of All Saints who shone forth throughout all the world, North and South, East and West.
Of all my Lord’s friends, I laud and sing the praises;
And let any to come, with them all be numbered.
David the Prophet and king, who revered the beloved of God, and respected them because of his great piety, said in the Psalms, “How precious are Thy beloved unto me, O God” (138:17). And the Apostle Paul, in his Epistle to the Hebrews, recounted the lives of the saints, when he wrote, “Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily besets us; and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (12:1). Therefore, as Orthodox Christians, we honor the beloved saints of God, respecting them as keepers of God’s commandments, shining examples of virtue and benefactors of humanity. We commemorate all of the holy ones every year on this day, as the list of saints ever increases, even though some of their names escape us. Nevertheless, we honor them for their piety and strive to imitate their good works.
By the intercessions of Thine immaculate Mother, O Christ God, and of all Thy Saints from the beginning of time, have mercy and save us, since Thou alone art good and the Lover of mankind. Amen.
The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews. (11:33-12:2)
Brethren, all the saints through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were killed with the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering over deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfection of our faith.
The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (10:32-33, 37-38; 19:27-30)
The Lord said to His disciples, “Everyone who acknowledges Me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father Who is in heaven; but whoever denies Me before men, I also will deny before My Father Who is in heaven. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.” Then Peter said in reply, “Lo, we have left everything and followed Thee. What then shall we have?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the New World, when the Son of Man shall sit on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My Name’s sake, will receive a hundred fold, and inherit eternal life. But many that are first will be last, and the last first.”
Patronal Feast Day Celebration COMING UP
The Holy Apostles Peter and Paul
[Hosted by St. Peter Orthodox Church in Bonita Springs]
St. Peter Orthodox Church in Bonita Springs
Friday June 28, 2019
Divine Liturgy 7:00PM
Refreshments will be served following the Divine Liturgy
Join us in commemorating our parish patron and protector, the holy glorious Apostle Paul alongside St. Peter, the patron of our sister parish in Bonita Springs. Last year, St. Paul hosted the Patronal Feast Day Celebration. This year, the faithful of St. Peter the Apostle in Bonita Springs will host.
We look forward to His Grace Bishop +NICHOLAS of Miami and the Southeast praying with us on such an important day of the year.
This is how we invite God into our lives brothers and sisters – through worship. Please make every effort to attend. The reality of being part of the “Body of Christ”, the Church, is made manifest and most real when we gather around our Bishop, our Brothers and Sisters in Christ (i.e. from St. Peter and the surrounding area) to worship the Creator of the Universe and, in this case, also commemorate and honor the Great Apostles Peter and Paul.
Come and receive the gracious hospitality from the faithful at St. Peter.
Weekly Community Bible Study
We will continue our “pilgrimage” through the spectacular and relevant spiritual counsels of St. Paisios the Athonite concerning the “Passions and Virtues”.
On our way back to Thessalonki from Mt. Athos, our little group (Joe Ablan, Matt Ablan, Fr. Paul) were able to stop by the women’s convent of St. John the Theologian in Souroti, Greece.
This is the same monastery St. Paisios established and spent the final days of his earthly life.
It was a great bless to venerate his grave and receive warm hospitality from his spiritual daughters.
Fr. Paul was generously gifted this book by one of the sisters as well as several icon cards of St. Paisios.
If we don’t know our faith, how can we live it?
Come learn about the Faith, which was “once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).
Patriarch Irenej of Serbia visits the Patriarchate of Antioch in Syria and Lebanon
Earlier this month, His Holiness Patriarch Irenej of Serbia and his delegation have been visiting His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch, and many of the clergy and faithful, in Syria and Lebanon.
Enjoy the photos and video of one visit to the famous Deir Nouriyeh in Hamat, Lebanon. This was Patriarch Irenej’s final stop. The village of Hamat is next door to Fr. Paul’s hometown village (Weijh-Al-Hajar).
Metropolitan Silouan of Mount Lebanon, addressing His Holiness Patriarch Irenej, beautifully notes the ancient-connection between the Antiochian and Serbian Orthodox Christians.
“…We are united in Jesus Christ, in our common witness to Him, and in the service of our neighbor, a service based on our “faith expressing itself through love” (Galatians 5:6). Historical bonds brought us together since the 12th century, thanks to the Archbishop of the Serbian Church, Saint Saba, who carried from the Monastery of St. Saba the icon of the three-handed Virgin, which St. John Damascene brought to that monastery in the eighth century. We know that Saint Saba visited Antioch twice on his second pilgrimage to the Holy Land, between 1234 and 1235. And now he rejoices from heaven, as you are strengthening these bonds with your visit, and blessing the faithful, clergy and monastics of our Church, in general, and of this archdiocese, in particular, along with His Beatitude, our Patriarch John X, and the members of both delegations.”
The ancient Patriarchate of Antioch maintains its strong bond with the faithful Patriarchate of Serbia through their common history of martyrdom for the love of Christ in the Orthodox faith.
FULL ADDRESS HERE
June 2019 Edition
[click the photo below]
Why is Great Vespers important?
“The service leads to the meditation of God’s word and the glorification of his love for men. It instructs and allows us to praise God for the particular events or persons whose memory is celebrated and made present to us in the Church. It prepares us for the sleep of the night and the dawn of the new day to come. On the eves of the Divine Liturgy, it begins the movement into the most perfect communion with God in the sacramental mysteries.”Learn more about Great Vespers here
St. Theophan the Recluse: Why We Have to Ask God
Posted on June 13, 2019 | by St. Theophan the Recluse
Reading time: 1 minute
(Acts 25: 13-19; John 16: 23-33).
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you (John 16: 23). The Lord confirmed his promise with “verily, verily, I say unto you.” What a shame that we cannot use his true and straightforward promise! If only we were ashamed; instead, we try to cast a shadow of doubt on the promise as though it were too great and impossible to fulfill. No, the fault is ours, and mostly because we do not regard ourselves true servants of Christ, and thus our conscience does not let us expect any kind of mercy from the Lord.
In addition, even if a man attempts to ask God for something, he is often unstable. He would bring the issue up in his prayer once or twice, and then stop praying for it altogether; and then he would claim that God didn’t hear him.
No, if you ask God for something special, you must be persistent and tireless in your prayer like the widow who managed to make the callous judge fulfill her request. True people of prayer combine it with fast, wakefulness, all kinds of self-restraint, and charity. They keep praying for months and years on end. That is why they get what they ask for. Follow their example if you want your prayer to be successful.
Translated by The Catalog of Good Deeds