The Thirty-Seventh Day of Christmas Advent: Incarnation to Parousia

By Fr John Breck, December 2, 2009 Celebration of Christmas, the Nativity of our Lord, invites us to look in a fresh way at the intimate relation that exists between the Incarnation of Christ and his “Second Coming” in glory. Too often Nativity is taken as a feast in and of itself, a family festival so deformed by the season’s commercial pressures that two of its major emphases, cosmic and eschatological, become lost in a

The Thirty-Sixth Day of Christmas Advent: Feast Day of Hieromartyr Ignatius the God-Bearer the Bishop of Antioch

The Hieromartyr Ignatius the God-Bearer, was a disciple of the holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian, as was also Saint Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna). Saint Ignatius was the second bishop of Antioch, and successor to Bishop Euodius, Apostle of the Seventy. Tradition suggests that when Saint Ignatius was a little boy, the Savior hugged him and said: “Unless you turn and become as little children, you shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven”

The Thirty-Fifth Day of Christmas Advent: Martyr Boniface and Saint Aglaïa

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, December 17, 2021 Evagoras Mahaira Aglaïa was a prosperous woman who lived in the region around Rome in the time of Diocletian and had Boniface as a slave. Bonifatius was her steward, very good-looking in appearance, generous to the poor and kind-hearted, but with a liking for drink and debauchery. They soon fell in love and had a clandestine relationship, since the difference in their social station would not permit any

The Thirty-Second Day of Christmas Advent: And Honesty for All

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, December 23, 2021  There are “bogus” Scriptures out there – special “revelations” to various characters (generally self-described as “prophets” and such). They have as a hallmark, a kind of self-promotion and a carefully crafted message to “solve” various religious problems. I’ll not name names lest I wind up on someone’s hit list. I’ll let the reader fill-in the blanks. However, there is something quite striking about the writings of the Bible,

The Thirty-First Day of Christmas Advent: Hieromartyr Saint Eleftherios, a Young Bishop

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, December 16, 2016 This wonderful saint was the son of noble and prominent parents. He was born in Rome, where his father was an official in the imperial service, though he died in the saint’s childhood. His mother, Anthia, had heard the Gospel from Saint Paul and was, in fact, baptized by him. Given the fact that she was a widow, she entrusted her son’s education to the Bishop of Rome,

The Thirtieth Day of Christmas Advent: Light into Darkness

By Fr John Breck, December 2, 2005 The best way to prepare for a feast, I find, is to spend some time looking at and praying before the festal icons. Nativity offers a broad array of sacred images that spell out graphically the biblical Word of the incarnation, the coming of the eternal God in the person of a little child. One of the most striking aspects of those images is the way they blend

The Twenty-Ninth Day of Christmas Advent: The Saints Stand by Us

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, December 14, 2016 Dr Petros Panayiotopoulos When we refer to the life of a saint, we tend to extol their actions and promote them mostly on the basis of the wonderful things they performed. From very ancient times, it was thought that this elevation and emphasis, sometimes even exaggeration, in the narrative of the life of a saint was a way of rendering honour to them. This practice may be considered beneficial

The Twenty-Eighth Day of Christmas Advent: St. Spyridon’s Shoes – and My Shoes

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, September 9, 2019  Earlier this year I was making my way to Antiochian Village for a Writers’ Conference. Walking across the expanse of the Atlanta Airport, I became aware of something odd about my shoes. At first, I thought something had gotten into my shoe, a rock, or some such thing. Then I thought that maybe there was something strange about the foot bed. One of my toes seemed to be

The Twenty-Fifth Day of Christmas Advent: The Christmas When Everybody Was There

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, December 6, 2021  The soldiers were scattered across Europe with the loneliness of war. The world was caught up in a total struggle. Women had gone to the factories; children were collecting scrap metal. The “war effort” was universal. In many places, food was rationed. The madhouse of consumption belonged only to the war; everything else could wait. And there was Christmas. Hollywood and Tin Pan Alley were part of the

The Twenty-Fourth Day of Christmas Advent: Saint Patapios of Thebes, the Wonderworker

Published by Pemptousia Partnership, December 8, 2017 † Dionysios, Metropolitan of Servia and Kozani Today the Church celebrates and honours the memory of the blessed Patapios the Desert-Dweller. This is the title accorded to the saint who lived in isolation in the desert, leaving behind the turmoil and joys of the secular life. He was born in Thebes, in Egypt, of devout Christian parents, by whom he was brought up with great care and concern