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The Holy of Holies

The link between the Old and New Testament Temples By Abbot Tryphon, December 6, 2019 Orthodox temples have kept to the same form and function since ancient times. Using the Old Testament Temple model, Orthodox churches are divided into several courts or spaces peculiar to their function. The Holy Table, upon which is celebrated the Eucharist, is situated at the east end of the building behind the Iconostasis (icon screen). This is a continuation of

Greatmartyr Eustáthios Placidas, with his wife and children, of Rome

Before his Baptism, the Holy Great Martyr Eustáthios was named Plakidas (Πλακίδας). He was a Roman General in the reigns of Emperors Titus (79-81) and Trajan (98-117). Even before he came to know Christ, Plakidas devoted himself to charitable endeavors, helping the poor and destitute. Therefore, the Lord did not allow this virtuous pagan to continue in the darkness of idolatry. One day, while hunting in a forest, he saw a remarkable stag which stopped

Holy and Great-Martyr Euphemia

The Holy and Great-Martyr Euphemia is commemorated on September 16th, the day on which she suffered. On this day is commemorated the miracle wrought by her precious holy relics, revealed at the time of the Fourth Ecumenical Council in Chalcedon. This Council was called together in the reign of the Emperor Marcian and the Empress Pulcheria, in 451 A.D., after the death of the Emperor Theodosius the Younger, and was summoned because of the heresy

The Elevation of the Venerable and Life-Giving Cross

Saint Helen, the mother of Saint Constantine the Great, when she was already advanced in years, undertook, in her great piety, the hardships of a journey to Jerusalem in search of the cross, about the year 325. A temple to Aphrodite had been raised up by the Emperor Hadrian upon Golgotha, to defile and cover with oblivion the place where the saving Passion had been suffered. The venerable Helen had the statue of Aphrodite destroyed,

Feeling Like a Fool

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, February 17, 2016  No one wants to feel like a fool. When it happens, our faces flush, we turn our eyes away (usually towards the ground). We usually want to hide or disappear, and, just as likely the burn in our face quickly passes to the hot burn of anger. Often what follows are words or actions we regret later. Having felt like a fool, we often act like one, unable

Joachim & Anna

The holy and righteous Joachim and Anna are the parents of the Theotokos, the grandparents of Jesus Christ. Their feast day is celebrated on September 9, following the Nativity of the Theotokos; the dormition of St. Anna is commemorated on July 25. St. Joachim was of the tribe of Judah, and a descendant of King David. St. Anna was the daughter of Matthan the priest, of the tribe of Levi as was Aaron the High

The Dormition Fast: The Dormition

By Abbot Tryphon, August 28, 2019  The Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God According to the teachings of the Orthodox Church, Mary, having spent her life after Pentecost supporting and serving the nascent Church, was living in the house of the Apostle John, in Jerusalem, when the Archangel Gabriel revealed to her that her repose would occur three days later. The apostles, scattered throughout the world, are said to have been miraculously

Conversations with a Flatlander

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, January 12, 2016  I have been engaged in what appears to be a useless conversation. I’m having a private email chat with an atheist/materialist who insists that there are no miracles – everything can be explained by “natural” means and that the world will be better off when everyone finally agrees this is true. He is a crusader. I have no explanations or apologies for the conversation and know that it

Greatmartyr Procopius of Caesarea, in Palestine

The Holy Great Martyr Procopius, in the world Neanius, a native of Jerusalem, lived and suffered during the reign of the emperor Diocletian (284-305). His father, an eminent Roman by the name of Christopher, was a Christian, but the mother of the saint, Theodosia, remained a pagan. He was early deprived of his father, and the young child was raised by his mother. Having received an excellent secular education, he was introduced to Diocletian in

Monday of the Holy Spirit

On the day after every Great Feast, the Orthodox Church honors the one through whom the Feast is made possible. On the day following the Nativity of the Lord, for example, we celebrate the Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos (December 26). On the day after Theophany, we commemorate St John the Baptist (January 7), and so on. Today we honor the all-Holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, Who descended upon the Apostles at Pentecost in