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ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN! Icon of the Theotokos the Life-Giving Spring, Zoodochos Pigi.

Commemorated on Friday of the Bright Week. There once was a beautiful church in Constantinople built in the fifth century by the holy Emperor Leo the Great that was dedicated to the Mother of God. Before he was emperor, Leo walking in a wooded area met a thirsty blind man who asked Leo to help him find water. He searched for water, but was unable to find any. Suddenly, he heard a voice telling him

ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! CHRIST IS RISEN! Let Us Rejoice and Be Glad!

Submitted by Fr. John Breck, May 2, 2009 Attributed by all of the extant manuscripts to St John Chrysostom, this little-known, pseudepigraphical homily from the fifth century focuses on “the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.”[1] It begins by summarizing various fruits of the resurrection in the lives of believers, then exhorts readers or listeners to assume conduct appropriate to the day of Holy Pascha. In the rhetorical style typical of the period, it stresses antitheses,

The First Friday of Great Lent: The Renunciation of Reason

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, June 14, 2016 I grew up in a house of contradictions. We loved each other and we fought. I had a brother who was five years my senior, and we somehow developed a style of contradiction. If he said white, I said black. If I said red, he said blue. Or after either of us made a perfectly reasonable statement, whatever exceptions might exist, the other was sure to note them.

Everywhere Present

By Father Stephen Freeman, June 10, 2016 Everything you do, all your work, can contribute towards your salvation. It depends on you, on the way you do it. History is replete with monks who became great saints while working in the kitchen or washing sheets. The way of salvation consists in working without passion, in prayer…. May God give you the strength to keep your spirit, your mind, and your heart in the spirit of

The Feast Day of the Protection of the Theotokos, Ayia Skepi

On October 28 the Greek Orthodox Church commemorates the Feast Day of the Protection of the Theotokos, the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary.  The feast-day of the Holy Protection of the Mother of God was established following a vision of holy Father Andrew during the course of a Vigil in the Church of Vlachernae at Constantinople. At the Fourth Hour of the night while deep in prayer, the Saint lifted up his eyes to

Apostle and Evangelist Luke of the Seventy

The Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke, was a native of Syrian Antioch, a companion of the holy Apostle Paul (Phil.1:24, 2 Tim. 4:10-11), and a physician enlightened in the Greek medical arts. Hearing about Christ, Luke arrived in Palestine and fervently accepted the preaching of salvation from the Lord Himself. As one of the Seventy Apostles, Saint Luke was sent by the Lord with the others to preach the Kingdom of Heaven during the Savior’s

The Dormition of the Mother of God

Submitted by Abbot Tryphon, August 28, 2011  Today the Living Ladder is Assumed into Heaven How does He, who dwells in the splendor of His glory, descend into the Virgin’s womb without leaving the bosom of the Father? How is He conceived in the flesh, and does He spontaneously suffer, and suffer unto death, in that material body, gaining immortality through corruptibility? And, again, ascending to the Father, He drew His Mother, according to the

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

The Dormition Fast: Leaving Mary Out

By Stephen Freeman, August 14, 2014 Decades ago, when I was in seminary (Anglican), a professor told me that he did not believe in angels. I was surprised and asked him why. He responded that he “did not think they were necessary…that anything angels did could be done by the Holy Spirit…” While this is obviously true, I noted that angels are found throughout Scripture, and that “necessary” was not a theological category – and

The Dormition Fast. The Dormition of the Theotokos: Our Promise and Hope

By Lea Povozhaev, August 12, 2017 The Dormition of the Theotokos was not celebrated for the first five centuries of Christianity. There was silence regarding the holy mystery of the Mother of God’s “falling asleep”. In the beginning, God willed that the details of His mother’s death and glorified, or resurrected, state remain veiled from the world. In the centuries to follow, Christians would revere the Theotokos’s (God-bearer’s) transition from this life to the next.