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Learning like a Saint

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, May 18, 2016 The preparation for Baptism in the early Church often lasted as long as three years. Of deep significance is the fact that during that three-year period, many basic doctrines were not explored. The “mystagogical catechesis” (instruction in the sacramental mysteries of the Church) did not begin until after Baptism. What, we may wonder, were they doing for those first three years, and on what basis were individuals making lifetime conversion

The Third Day of Christmas. Feast of the Holy Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen.

After the pouring forth of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the fire-bearing words of the Apostles and the signs and wonders that accompanied them inspired many conversions.  As soon as the believers had become members of the Body of Christ through holy Baptism, they sold all their goods and laid the proceeds at the Apostles’ feed; then, being free of all worldly ties and interests, they led a life in common, and were of one

The Second Day of Christmas Advent. Apostle and Evangelist Matthew.

The Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew, was also named Levi (Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27); he was one of the Twelve Apostles (Mark 3:18; Luke 6:45; Acts 1:13), and was brother of the Apostle James Alphaeus (Mark 2:14). He was a publican, or tax-collector for Rome, in a time when the Jews were under the rule of the Roman Empire. He lived in the Galilean city of Capernaum. When Matthew heard the voice of Jesus Christ:

Saint Thomas the Apostle

Saint Thomas the Apostle is one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ. He came from a family of fishermen. He is especially honored by the Church on Sunday of St. Thomas, also known as Second Sunday or Antipascha. Thomas refused to believe that the resurrected Jesus had appeared to the ten other apostles because of his absence from the first appearance of the Risen Christ. Eight days later, in the presence of Jesus Christ

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

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

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 Saturday Before the Feast of Pentecost

On the Saturday before Pentecost we commemorate all departed pious Christians, with the idea that the occasion of the coming of the Holy Spirit not only consists of the economy of the salvation of man, but that the departed also participate in this salvation. Therefore, the Holy Church, sending up prayers on Pentecost for the enlivening of all the living through the Holy Spirit, petitions for grace of the Holy Spirit also for the departed,

The Friday before Pentecost: A Little Pentecost at Every Liturgy

And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.” But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them, ”Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of

Thursday before the Holy Feast of Pentecost

The Sacrament of Pentecost, by George Florovsky THE CHURCH IS ONE. This does not merely mean that there is only one Church, but that the Church is a unity. In it mankind is translated into a new plane of existence so that it may perfect itself in unity in the image of the life of the Trinity. The Church is one in the Holy Spirit and the Spirit “construes” it into the complete and perfect