The Feast of the Annunciation of Our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary

Commemorated on March 25 The Feast of the Annunciation is one of the earliest Christian feasts, and was already being celebrated in the fourth century. There is a painting of the Annunciation in the catacombs of Priscilla in Rome dating from the second century. The Council of Toledo in 656 mentions the Feast. In 692 the Council in Trullo celebrated the Annunciation during Great Lent. The Greek and Slavonic names for the Feast may be

Doubt and Modern Belief

By Father Stephen Freeman Why do people in the modern world find belief so difficult? Obviously, many find ways to believe in God and do so with great zeal, but others, even those who describe themselves as believers, admit either to doubts about God or about many traditional teachings of the faith. The more “miraculous” teachings, the Divinity of Christ, the Virgin Birth, Walking on the Water, Rising from the Dead, etc. present difficulties for most

The Eleventh Day of Christmas. The Theophany and Healing (Part I)

By Fr. George Morelli [1] “And the Spirit, in the form of a dove, confirmed the truthfulness of His word. O Christ our God, who hast revealed Thyself and hast enlightened the world, glory to Thee!” “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. (Mt 9:12) The Feast of the Theophany of Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ brings greater understanding of God’s encounter with His Chosen

Transfigurating Practices

By Aristotle Papanikolaou, PhD What happened on the day of our Lord’s Transfiguration? On this day, Jesus took with him three disciples, Peter, John and James, three of the better-known disciples. He took them to a ‘high’ mountain, the Bible tells us (Mt 17:1-9; Mk 9:2-8; Lk 9:28-36). They are at the ‘high’ mountain, which is often a place of revelation in the Bible, and at this mountain Jesus is transfigured. St. Matthew tells us,


A Sermon by Father Peter A. Chamberas The Transfiguration of Christ then reveals not only the divine nature and glory of Jesus, which is always there in His unified person, – though not always observable by all and at all times; it also reveals the spiritual transfiguration of our own human nature as well. Jesus, shining in pristine beauty and unfading glory, reveals in His human nature the natural, the original condition of the human

Why the Orthodox Honor Mary (Part II)

By Father Stephen Freeman This is information that points to the unique place of Mary in the first century Christian community. How can the Church not venerate one whom John the Baptist greeted with a leap of joy when he was in the womb? How can the Christian community be rightly centered on the Crucified Christ and ignore the soul-pierced Mother? The material in Luke is prima facie evidence of the primitive veneration of the Mother of God.


Icons and statuary make important contributions to any spiritual environment that nurtures prayer. Morning after morning, I used to watch a ninety-eight-year-old woman walk brightly into church and take her usual seat. She would turn her head slightly to the right and give a nod to the statue of Mary and then turn her head a good deal more to the left and wink at the statue of St. Joseph. She would then sit down

Friday of Cheese-fare. Behold, I Am the Handmaiden of the Lord

And Mary said, ”Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38 (Gospel of the Feast of the Annunciation-March 25) If you were to divide the history of the world into chapters, the first chapter would be about the Creation of the World. In this chapter, the human race lived in complete harmony with its Creator, in an almost “god-like” state. The second chapter would

The Eighth Day of Christmas Advent. I am the Handmaiden of the Lord

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit. -Matthew 1:18 God’s grand plan for our salvation involved incarnating the Word of God into the flesh, for God to become like one of us. And this would happen in a way that was both miraculous and understandable. The understandable

Angels (Part II)

By Nabil Semaan GLADNESS OF ANGELS (17) “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (Hebrew 1:14). St. John Chrysostom comments on this verse by saying, “Look how God loves man so that He created holy creatures to serve the man created according to His image.” Humans, although heavier than angels by their body and in a state of sin, death and corruption, when they