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Holy, Righteous Simeon the God-Receiver

Righteous Simeon the God-Receiver was, according to the testimony of the holy Evangelist Luke, a just and devout man waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him (Luke 2:25). God promised him that he would not die until the promised Messiah, Christ the Lord, came into the world. Ancient historians tell us that the Egyptian pharaoh Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285-247 B.C.) wished to include texts of Holy Scripture in the

Fortieth Day of Christmas Advent. For so has God Loved the World (Part II)

But the road from Bethlehem to Zion is long, and is leading us through Gethsemane and Golgotha. Already in Bethlehem the newborn Godchild is presented with funeral offerings by the Wise Men from the East. “Today God leads the Wise Men to worship through the star, prefiguring His three-day burial in gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” The very doors of the Bethlehem cavern are nearly stained with the innocent blood of the children who were killed

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 heaven and beheld the Holy Mother of God watching over the faithful as she covered the faithful with her holy Veil. Epiphanius, the disciple

Α Goth Saint: The Holy Martyr Nikitas

Nikitas was born in the land of the Goths and was a disciple of their God-bearing bishop, Theofilos, who took part in the 1st Ecumenical Synod in Nicaea in 325. When the leader of the Goths, Athanaric, began to persecute and torture Christians, Nikitas opposed him with boldness and denounced him as an inhumane idolater. He was immediately arrested and tortured cruelly. He not only withstood this, but confessed his faith in Christ with even greater

The Dormition of the Mother of God

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, August 14, 2007 In giving birth you preserved your virginity, In falling asleep you did not forsake the world, O Theotokos. You were translated to life, O Mother of Life, And by your prayers, you deliver our souls from death. Troparion of the Feast – Tone 1 It is easy to be put off by Orthodox devotion to the Mother of God when coming at Orthodoxy from a Protestant background. Both

Why Mary Has Always Been Honored

By Father Stephen Freeman, August 13, 2018 This Saturday (August 15) is the Feast of the Dormition, the Falling Asleep of the Virgin Mary. I offer this article as a reflection. The most difficult part of my Orthodox experience to discuss with the non-Orthodox is the place and role of the Mother of God in the Church and in my life. It is, on the one hand, deeply theological and even essential to a right understanding

Dormition or Assumption?

In our Orthodox tradition we are usually very careful to distinguish between the “Dormition” of the Mother of God and her “Assumption” into heaven. The former, we feel, is properly Orthodox, while the latter strikes us as a purely Western designation, derived from a Roman Catholic “misunderstanding” of the meaning of this feast, celebrated universally on August 15. It is true that some very genuine yet misguided interpretations of Mary’s death and exaltation can be

Mary: The Blessing of All Generations

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, August 7, 2019 n my childhood, it was not unusual to hear someone ask, “Who are your people?” It was a semi-polite, Southernism designed to elicit essential information about a person’s social background. The assumption was that you, at best, could only be an example of your “people.” It ignored the common individualism of the wider culture, preferring the more family or clan-centered existence of an older time. It was possible

The Mystery of the Mother of God

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, August 3, 2010 The 15th of August is the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God (her death). Orthodox Christians fast for two weeks prior to this great feast and celebrate it with great solemnity. A question was recently placed by a reader about the “perpetual virginity” of Mary. I am offering this small post to address that question and to look at the place of the Most Holy

The Dormition. Mary the Mother of God.

By Abbot Tryphon, August 28, 2019 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 transported to be at her side when she died. The