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Pentecost: The Descent of the Holy Spirit

In the Old Testament Pentecost was the feast which occurred fifty days after Passover. As the Passover feast celebrated the exodus of the Israelites from the slavery of Egypt, so Pentecost celebrated God’s gift of the ten commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai. In the new covenant of the Messiah, the Passover event takes on its new meaning as the celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection, the “exodus” of men from this sinful world to

The Forty Days of Christmas: The Presentation, “Ypapanti,” of our Lord

By Stephen Freeman My title is slightly misleading. There are not “forty days of Christmas” in the Orthodox Church – but there is a major feast that marks the fortieth after Christmas: the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, sometimes called the Feast of the Meeting (February 2). It occurs forty days after Christmas in accordance to the requirements of the Jewish Law. Tradition holds that Joseph and Mary brought the child to Jerusalem before

Macarius the Great of Egypt

Saint Macarius the Great was from the Thebaid of Egypt, a disciple, as some say, of Saint Anthony the Great. He was born about 331 and struggled in asceticism in the desert at Scete. Although young, he was called “the child elder” because of his great wisdom and austere manner of life. He was ordained presbyter and reposed in 391, at the age of sixty. There are fifty homilies ascribed to him. It is said

The Problem of Evil

By Abbot Tryphon, October 26, 2019 Darkness does not exist in its own right Our Orthodox Christian theology views evil not as a primeval essence that is co-eternal and equal to God, but rather a falling away from good. Evil does not exist in and of itself, and was not created by God. Our Orthodox Church rejects the Gnostic teaching that the entirety of being is made up of two realms which have forever existed

Becoming a Philanthropist

By Abbot Tryphon, October 7, 2019 The act of giving can change everyone’s life for the better As any history buff knows, these times we are living in can sometimes seem like reruns. News reports are filled with stories of wars, disasters, dictators, attacks on the innocent, increased crime, and the ever present persecution of Christians in various parts of the world. We’ve witnessed increased attacks against Coptic Christians in Egypt, as well as the

Memorial Day, 2020

By Fr. Stavros Akrotirianakis This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as an ordinance forever.  Exodus 12:14 Today’s verse from Exodus was told to Moses by God at the time of the Passover and exodus of the Israelites from Egypt.  God told Moses that the Passover should be commemorated forever, so that every generation would remember this

ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN! Bright Thursday. St. George and the Dragon

04/23/2015 By St. Gabriel Admin – an extract from Praying with Icons by Jim Forest True stories become legends and legends are compressed via symbols into myths. The St. George of myth was a knight in armour who fought a dragon to save a princess. The real George never saw a dragon nor did he rescue a princess in distress. We are not even sure he had a horse, possessed a sword, or was a soldier. It is possible he

Venerable Maximus the Confessor

Saint Maximus the Confessor was born in Constantinople around 580 and raised in a pious Christian family. He received an excellent education, studying philosophy, grammar, and rhetoric. He was well-read in the authors of antiquity and he also mastered philosophy and theology. When Saint Maximus entered into government service, he became first secretary and chief counselor to the emperor Heraclius (611-641), who was impressed by his knowledge and virtuous life. Saint Maximus soon realized that

Venerable and God-bearing Father Anthony the Great

Saint Anthony the Great is known as the Father of monasticism, and the long ascetical sermon in The Life of Saint Anthony by Saint Athanasius (Sections 16-34), could be called the first monastic Rule. He was born in Egypt in the village of Coma, near the desert of the Thebaid, in the year 251. His parents were pious Christians of illustrious lineage. Anthony was a serious child and was respectful and obedient to his parents.

Prophecies Fulfilled in the Person of Jesus Christ

By Fr. Stavros Akrotirianakis, December 30, 2018 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the Child and His mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the Child, to destroy Him.” And he rose and took the Child and His mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there