St. LukeDiocese Orthodox Christian Church of the South, Orthodox Church in America The Rev. Father Basil Henry, Priest 1415 Woodstock Ave. • Anniston, Alabama • www.stlukeanniston.org/ firstname.lastname@example.org • (256) 235-3893
July 24, 2011 • 6th Sunday after Pentecost
Holy Martyrs and Passionbearers Bris and Gleb, in Baptism Roman and David (1015). Martyr Christina of Tyre (ca. 300). Ven. Polycarp, Archimandrite of the Kiev Caves (1182). St. Declan, Bishop of Ardmore (Ireland) (5th C.).
We now have a bin in the dining room for those who wish to donate for the hungry. Fr. Basil’s class on Corinthians continues Wednesday evening at 4 o’clock.
The icon on the front is a wood carving of Sts. Boris and Gleb from the Collection of the Museum of the History of Moscow.
This Week’s Scripture, Service and Fasting Schedule Tues, 7/26 Wed, 7/27 Thurs, 7/28 Fri, 7/29 Sat, 7/30
Matins 8 a.m.
Bible Study 4 p.m.
Matins 8 a.m.
Matins 8 a.m.
1 Corinthians 5:9-6:11
1 Corinthians 6:20-7:12
1 Corinthians 7:12-24
1 Corinthians 7:24-35
1 Corinthians 7:35-8:7
2 Timothy 2:1-10
St. Irene Chrysovalantou
St. Olaf, King of Norway
St. Angelina of Serbia
St. Joseph of Arimathaea
Mark 10:29-31, 42-45
Mark 10:29-31, 42-45
St. Jacob, Enlightener of Alaska
St. Panteleimon Unmercenary
Dormition of the Righteous Anna
Great Vespers Divine Liturgy 4 p.m. 10 a.m.
Service times are subject to change. Please check with Fr. Basil if in any doubt.
Great Vespers “Lord, I Call”
Sunday (Tone 5)
Lead forth my soul from prison, that I may confess Thy name!
By Thy precious Cross, O Christ, Thou hast put the devil to shame. By Thy Resurrection, Thou hast blunted the sting of sin and saved us from the gates of death! We glorify Thee, O Only begotten One.
away from the false gods of thine ancestors. Therefore, Christ, the Savior of our souls, Who is glorified in the saints, enriched thee with gifts of miracles, and, in place of corruptible things, granted thee things eternal. From the morning watch even to the night, let Israel hope in the Lord!
The land and the city where thou wast nourished are blessed, and the honored temple that received thy The righteous await me, till Thou shalt reward me. Christ was led as a sheep to the slaughter in order to bodies is adorned as with a crown of a kingdom. O grant Resurrection to the human race! The princes of most pleasing protectors, who fill our enemies with hell were frightened by this, for the gates of sorrow fear and drive them far from our homeland, O gloriwere lifted. Christ the King of glory had entered, say- ous Boris and most wondrous Gleb, pray for the salvaing to those in chains: “Go forth!” And to those in tion of our souls! darkness: “Come to the light!” Sts. Boris & Gleb (Tone 2) For with the Lord there is mercy and with Him is plenteous redemption, and He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee, O Lord; O Lord, hear my voice!
O, great wonder! The Creator of the invisible suffered With what wreaths of praise shall we crown the allin the flesh in His love for man and rose again im- praised brothers, who were separate in body yet united mortal! Come, O sons of nations, let us worship Him! in spirit? They are the fervent helpers of faithful peoDelivered from error by His compassion, we have ples, the adornments of the Russian land and the joys of the inhabited earth, who destroyed the power of the learned to sing of one God in three Persons! demons through the help of Christ, Who grants to the Let Thine ears give heed to the voice of my prayer! world great mercy. We offer Thee our evening worship, O never setting O praise the Lord, all ye nations, praise Him, all ye people! Light, Who came in these last days to the world in the With what beauties of praise shall we adorn the allflesh; Who even descended to hell to dispel its darkpraised brothers, Boris, who with courage gained ness. Who hast revealed the light of Resurrection to power over the passions, and Gleb, his fellow zealot? the nations. Glory to Thee, O Lord and Giver of light! Both were beacons, who shone together and illumiSts. Boris & Gleb (Tone 8) nated all the faithful with the light of their virtues; for, If Thou observest transgression, Lord, O Lord, who shall having learned the commandments of Christ, they stand? For with Thee is propitiation. have been gloriously glorified, and they entreat Him O most glorious wonder! The day of the divine and Who grants mercy to all. honorable brothers now shines on us, summoning a For His mercy hath been confirmed upon us and the truth of new people to praise the courageous martyrs, Boris, the Lord remaineth forever. who willingly suffered, and Gleb, the innocent lamb With what spiritual words shall we compose the honwho was slaughtered with him. They were devoured orable feast of the all-glorious martyrs, who, for the for the sake of Him Who was slain for us, the Savior sake of Christ, laid aside corruptible, earthly glory? of our souls. For the one was pierced by a spear in his side, and the other was slaughtered like a lamb. They were worthily glorified by Christ, and received the gift of healings. O all-praised one, having first subjected the royal pur- Now they fittingly ask great mercy for all. ple of thy princely power to Christ, and acknowledged Him as the true God and King of all, thou didst turn For Thy name’s sake have I waited upon Thee, O Lord; my soul hath waited upon Thy word; my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
Sts. Boris & Gleb (Tone 6)
The Wisdom of Solomon (3:1-9)
The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and Come, let us praise the wonder-workers and martyrs; no torment will ever touch them. In the eyes of the for, suffering lawfully, they defeated the hostile enemy, foolish they seemed to have died, and their departure and now, radiantly adorned, they stand before Christ, was thought to be an affliction, and their going from rejoicing. Therefore, with hymns let us glorify their us to be their destruction; but they are at peace. For memory with love, crying out: “Rejoice, O defenders though in the sight of men they were punished, their of the inhabited earth and vanquishers of the enemy! hope is full of immortality. Having been disciplined a Rejoice, O healers of the sick and expellers of demons! little, they will receive great good, because God tested Rejoice, O examples of love and adornments of broth- them and found them worthy of himself; like gold in erhood, glorious Boris and Gleb, beloved of Christ, the furnace he tried them, and like a sacrificial burnt who, for our sake, entreat the Holy Trinity to grant offering he accepted them. In the time of their visitapeace to the world, and to save our souls!” tion they will shine forth, and will run like sparks through the stubble. They will govern nations and Dogmatikon (Tone 5) Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen. rule over peoples, and the Lord will reign over them In the Red Sea of old, a type of the Virgin Bride was for ever. Those who trust in him will understand prefigured. There Moses divided the waters. Here Ga- truth, and the faithful will abide with him in love, bebriel assisted in the miracle. There Israel crossed the sea cause grace and mercy are upon his elect, and he without getting wet. Here the Virgin gave birth to Christ watches over his holy ones. without seed. After Israel’s passage, the sea remained imThe Wisdom of Solomon (4:7-15) passable. After Emmanuel’s birth, the Virgin remained a For even if they put forth boughs for a while, standing Virgin. O ever-existing God, Who appeared as Man, O insecurely they will be shaken by the wind, and by the Lord, have mercy on us! violence of the winds they will be uprooted. The branches will be broken off before they come to matuOld Testament Readings rity, and their fruit will be useless, not ripe enough to Sts. Boris & Gleb eat, and good for nothing. For children born of unThe Prophecy of Isaiah (43:9-14) Let all the nations gather together, and let the peoples lawful unions are witnesses of evil against their parassemble. Who among them can declare this, and ents when God examines them. But the righteous show us the former things? Let them bring their wit- man, though he die early, will be at rest. For old age is nesses to justify them, and let them hear and say, It is not honored for length of time, nor measured by numtrue. “You are my witnesses,” says the LORD, “and ber of years; but understanding is gray hair for men, my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and a blameless life is ripe old age. There was one who and believe me and understand that I am He. Before pleased God and was loved by him, and while living me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. among sinners he was taken up. He was caught up lest I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior. I evil change his understanding or guile deceive his soul. declared and saved and proclaimed, when there was For the fascination of wickedness obscures what is no strange god among you; and you are my witnesses,” good, and roving desire perverts the innocent mind. says the LORD. “I am God, and also henceforth I am Being perfected in a short time, he fulfilled long years; He; there is none who can deliver from my hand; I for his soul was pleasing to the Lord, therefore he took work and who can hinder it?” Thus says the LORD, him quickly from the midst of wickedness. Yet the your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “For your sake peoples saw and did not understand, nor take such a I will send to Babylon and break down all the bars, thing to heart, that God’s grace and mercy are with and the shouting of the Chalde’ans will be turned to his elect, and he watches over his holy ones. lamentations. Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit…
filled with glory, while he is tortured in Gehenna. And they pray to Christ God on behalf of our souls.
Sunday (Tone 5)
We magnify Thee in songs of praise, O Incarnate Christ and Savior. By accepting the Cross and death for our sake, as the Lord and Lover of man, Thou didst overthrow the gates of hell, and didst arise on the third day, saving our souls. The Lord hath become King; with beauty hath He clothed Himself.
Theotokion (Tone 8)
Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
O Unwedded Virgin, who ineffably conceived God in the flesh! O Mother of God most high! Accept the cries of thy servants, O blameless one! Grant cleansing of transgressions to all! Receive our prayers and pray to save our souls!
By being pierced in the side, O Lover of man, Thou hast poured out drops of life and salvation for all. By Troparia Sunday (Tone 5) accepting death in the flesh, Thou hast granted us immortality. Thou hast freed us by being placed in the Let us, the faithful, praise and worship the Word, cotomb, and hast resurrected us with Thyself in glory, as ëternal with the Father and the Spirit, born for our salvation from the Virgin; for He willed to be lifted up God! Glory to Thee, O Lord and Lover of man! on the Cross in the flesh, to endure death, and to raise For He hath established the world, which shall not be moved. the dead by His glorious Resurrection! Thy crucifixion and descent into hell are awesome, O
Lover of man! Thou hast captured it, releasing the anSts. Boris & Gleb (Tone 2) cient prisoners. Thou hast opened Paradise and given Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit… it to us! Grant us purification of sins, who glorify Thy Righteous passion-bearers and true fulfillers of the Resurrection on the third day! Make us worthy of Gospel of Christ, chaste Boris and guileless Gleb, You Paradise and save us, O Lover of man! did not resist the attacks of your brother, the enemy, when he killed your bodies but could not touch your Holiness belongeth to Thy house, O Lord, unto length of days! For our sake, Thou didst accept death in the flesh, to souls. Therefore, let the evil lover of power mourn rise from the dead on the third day! Heal us from our while you rejoice with the Angels standing before the earthly passions, and restore us from our evil trans- Holy Trinity. Pray that those who honor your memory may be pleasing to God, and that all Orthodox Chrisgressions; and save us, O Lover of man! tians may be saved!
Sts. Boris & Gleb (Tone 8)
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit…
Come, O baptized assemblies of Russia, and see how the martyr Boris, though innocent, accepts his fate; with a spear he is pierced in the side, and the shedding of blood is accomplished at the Devil’s instigation; and Gleb is slaughtered like a lamb by Sviatopolk, his own brother. But they are crowned, while he is forgotten. And they are
Resurrectional Dismissal Theotokion (Tone 2) Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
All beyond thought, all most glorious, art thy mysteries, O Theotokos. Sealed in purity, preserved in virginity, thou wast revealed to be the true Mother who gavest birth to the True God. Entreat Him to save our souls.
Always remember that at the Last Judgement we are judged for loving Him, or failing to love Him, in the least person.
Archbishop Anastasios of Albania (b. 1929) ~5~
Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom Beatitude Verses
Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.
Sunday (Tone 5)
Let us, the faithful, praise and worship the Word, coThe thief on the cross believing Thee to be God con- ëternal with the Father and the Spirit, born for our fessed Thee earnestly from his heart, crying aloud: ‘O salvation from the Virgin; for He willed to be lifted up Lord, remember me in Thy kingdom.’ on the Cross in the flesh, to endure death, and to raise the dead by His glorious Resurrection! Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Let us with one accord praise as Savior and Creator Him Sts. Boris & Gleb (Tone 2) Who made life flower for our kind by the wood of the Righteous passion-bearers and true fulfillers of the Goscross and Who withered the curse coming from the tree. pel of Christ, chaste Boris and guileless Gleb, You did not Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. resist the attacks of your brother, the enemy, when he By Thy death, O Christ, Thou hast destroyed the might killed your bodies but could not touch your souls. Thereof death and hast raised with Thyself those dead from fore, let the evil lover of power mourn while you rejoice the ages praising Thee as our true God and Savior. with the Angels standing before the Holy Trinity. Pray Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, that those who honor your memory may be pleasing to for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. God, and that all Orthodox Christians may be saved! The holy women having come to the tomb, O Christ, sought to anoint Thee, giver of life, with myrrh, and an Kontakia sunday (Tone 5) angel appeared to them crying aloud: ‘The Lord is risen.’ Thou didst descend into hell, O my Savior, shattering Sts. Boris & Gleb its gates as Almighty, resurrecting the dead as Creator, Blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you, and destroying the sting of death. Thou hast delivered and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Adam from the curse, O Lover of Man, and we cry to Children of the night and darkness have the adversarThee: O Lord, save us! ies been called who struck thee down with spears as thou wast offering hymnody to God, O Boris; yet Sts. Boris & Gleb (Tone 3) Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,… through them thou didst win a divine crown. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven. Today your most glorious memory shines forth, noble As a true emulator of the incarnate God, thou didst participants in the passion of Christ, holy Boris and pray fervently for those who slew thee, O holy one, like Gleb, for you call us together to sing praises to Christ Stephen, the great protomartyr of Christ. Wherefore, our God. Praying to Him before your sacred images, We receive the gift of healing by your prayers, for you with him thou hast been glorified. are indeed divine healers. Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit…
Steadast protectress (Tone 6) In their youthful bravery, the sacred Boris and Gleb Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen. manfully vanquished the cruel adversary and were shown to be victors in word and deed. And the glori- Steadfast Protectress of Christians, constant Advocate before the Creator; despise not the entreating cries of ous ones have received from God a crown of victory. us sinners, but in thy goodness come speedily to help Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen. us who call on thee in faith. Hasten to hear our petiThe voices of the prophets proclaimed thee the Thetion and to intercede for us, O Theotokos, for thou otokos; and we hymn thee also, beholding the fulfilldost always protect those who honor thee! ment of their honored prophecies, O habitation of true virginity and purity. ~6~
that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at sunday (Tone 5) Thou, O Lord, shalt protect us and preserve us from the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ; this generation forever. shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, Vs: Save me, O Lord, for there is no longer any that is or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For godly! thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaugh tef. Nay, in all these things Sts. Boris & Gleb (Tone 4) we are more than conquerors through him that loved Vs: To the Saints who are in His earth, the Lord hath us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor revealed the wonders of all His will in them. angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor Epistle Reading any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the Sunday love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. The Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Romans (12:6-14) Brethren, having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us Alleluia Verses sunday (Tone 5) prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, Vs: I will sing of Thy mercies, O Lord, forever; with on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he my mouth I will proclaim Thy truth from generation that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, to generation. with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerful- Vs: For Thou hast said: “Mercy will be established forness. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that ever; My truth will be prepared in the heavens.” which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly Sts. Boris & Gleb (Tone 5) affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; Vs: The righteous cried and the Lord heard them, and fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; He delivered them from all their troubles. patient in tribulation; continuing in stant prayer; DisGospel Reading tributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Sunday Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. The Gospel according to St. Matthew (9:1-8)
Sts. Boris & Gleb The Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Romans (8:28-39)
Brethren, we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things;> Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God
At that time, he crossed over in a boat, and came to his own city. And behold, they brought to him a paralytic, lying on his bed; and when Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins” —he then said to the Paralytic—”rise, take up your bed and go home.” And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
Sts. Boris & Gleb The Gospel according to St. John (15:17-16:2)
The Lord said to his disciples: “This I command you, to love one another. If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But all this they will do to you on my account, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. It is to fulfill the word that is written in their law, ‘They hated me without a cause.’ “But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me; and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning. I have said all this to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.”
Proto-Martyrs and Passion-Bearers Boris and Gleb oris and Gleb were the younger and much beloved sons of Grand Prince Vladimir, the ruler of Kievan Rus, who in 988 brought his subjects to the waters of Holy Baptism. The two brothers were also baptized at which time they received the Christian names Romanus and David. The older of the two, Boris, was very gifted and learned to read and write. He shared with his brother his knowledge of the Scriptures and the lives of the Saints whom they both strove to emulate. Indeed, by the time they came of age to rule their respective patrimonies, the territories of Ryazan and Murom, they had already cultivated in their hearts Christian virtues of mercy, compassion and kindness, traits still rare in a land freshly converted from barbarous paganism. Boris was particularly esteemed among the people and the soldiery. His popularity provoked bitter jealousy in his eldest brother Svyatopolk (known to history as “the Accursed”) who scorned the laws of the newly adopted Christian religion, so dear to his younger brothers, in favor of satisfying his unbridled ambition. He saw Boris as a rival for the position of Grand Prince, and when Vladimir died Svyatopolk wasted no time in plotting his brother’s murder. Boris had been sent by his father to fend off an anticipated raid by the Pechenegs. He was returning to Kiev when he was met by emissaries sent by Svyatopolk, from whom he learned of his father’ s death and his
brother’ s self-willed accession to the throne. The latter, knowing that the people would rather have Boris as ruler and desiring to forestall any opposition that this news might stir up, bade his messengers assure Boris of his fraternal goodwill and his intent to increase Boris’ domain. Boris was well aware of his brother’s long-standing hatred for him and recognized in this message the kiss of Judas. The young prince knew that his life was threatened. His immediate concern, however, was not the adoption of some military strategy--whether offensive or defensive--but how to act in such circumstances as befits a Christian. Reflecting upon the words of the
Gospel: “If any man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar,” and “Love thine enemies,” he firmly rejected the advice of his father’s retainers who urged Boris to oust the unpopular Svyatopolk, pledging their support to such a plan, “Be it not for me,” he replied, “to raise my hand against my brother. Now that my father has passed away, let him take the place of my father in my heart.” Knowing that armed resistance would only provoke needless bloodshed, Boris sent away his soldiers and remained alone where they had encamped on the bank of the Alta, together with a few servants, it was Saturday evening and he retired to his tent to recite the vigil service. As he read the Six Psalms, the cry of the Psalmist echoed in his heart: “O Lord, why are they multiplied that afflict me, Many rise up against me...” (Ps. 3:1). Informed that his murderers were approaching, the Prince turned to an icon of the Saviour and prayed beseechingly: “Lord Jesus Christ, Thou didst accept Thy Passion on account of our sins; grant me al so the strength to accept my passion. I receive it not from my enemies but from my brother, Lord, lay not this sin to his charge.” As the murderers burst into the tent, Boris’ faithful servant George, a young Hungarian, placed himself between the prince and his attackers in an attempt to save his master’s life. The servant was killed at once, while the Prince, grievously wounded by the thrust of a lance, was bound up in the tent canvas and taken on a cart to Kiev. But he never reached the city. When Svyatopolk learned that his brother was still alive, he sent two Varangians to consummate the bloody deed, which was accomplished when one of them plunged his sword
into Boris’ heart. Svyatopolk’s next victim was Gleb. He sent word to the guileless prince that his father was very ill and was calling for him. Always obedient to his father, Gleb set off at once with a small retinue. Near Smolensk, where his route took him by boat down the river Smyadyn, he was met by emissaries from his brother Yaropolk bearing a letter of warning from their sister Predislava: “Do not come,’ she wrote. “Your father has died and Svyatopolk has killed your brother.” But the warning had come too late. The murderers hired by Svyatopolk caught up with Gleb on the river. He knew that he alone was the object of the pursuit and, like his brother, Gleb urged his company not to offer armed resistance, as they were outnumbered and all would perish. After a momentary weakness in which he begged his assassins to spare his young life, he calmly accepted his fate in the understanding that the voluntary suffering of the innocent is a direct imitation of Christ. Gleb was killed by his own cook who, terrified into compliance by Svyatopolk’s henchmen, seized the headof the young prince and cut his throat. His body was thrown onto the shore and covered with brush. Five years later, when Yaroslav finally succeeded in overthrowing the treacherous Svyatopolk, the bodies of the two royal martyrs, discovered to be incorrupt, were laid to rest together in the church of St. Basil in Vyshgorod, Yaroslav’ s residence near Kiev. Their tomb immediately became a place of pilgrimage, and the many miracles which took place before their relics persuaded Church authorities to consent to Yaroslav’s request and canonize the two brother-princes.
Although Boris and Glob were not martyred for their faith (they are properly called ‘passion-bearers’ rather than martyrs), their voluntary and meek sacrifice for the sake of averting the suffering of others and preserving the Christian ideal, had a profound effect on the subsequent development of Christianity in Russia. Whereas in Byzantine Christianity God was often depicted as Pantocrator--stern and all-powerful, in Russia the emphasis was on Christ as the sacrificial Lamb Who ‘opened not his mouth before his shearer’. Russian piety came to be characterized by a tender humility and an acceptance of suffering following the example of Christ. In this century Russia’s New Martyrs offer a supreme testimony to the enduring influence of this otherworldly orientation which that country first witnessed in the exploit of the two youthful brother princes and passionbearers, Boris and Gleb. ~9~
An Interview with Mother Christophora
Abbess of Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Ellwood City, Pennsylvania by Teva Regule
Continued from last week
To remember that the work has to be done with love. It is not just getting the housework done, but getting it done with prayer and love. Menial tasks that everyone has to do around the house, the mother of God also had to do them. She was a housewife and mother for thirty years because we know that Jesus lived with his family for thirty years before He went out to preach. So imagine, she was sweeping the floor and cooking Him dinner for thirty years— cleaning His sandals. That tells us that there is something holy about those things. Something salvific about those things if we do them in the right way with the attitude of prayer. Mother Maria, an Orthodox nun who founded a monastery in England, said, “We are not called to the great conquest of evil but to small acts of love.” In a monastery if we are going to cook dinner for our family, we say a prayer before we cook, we try to pray while we are cooking, at least remember God in some way or at least pray that our family would be nourished spiritually as well as physically. We strive to transform our life into a liturgy. I think people from the world can learn those customs, those little spiritual practices from monastics that could transform their lives as well. This can also be extended to their work lives outside the home. We are Orthodox Christians wherever we are— followers of Christ. One of the exciting things about women who are not monastics is that you are in a very key role for Christianity and the Church. I am in the monastery and have a particular role. You should never
think that your role is less than mine, less important or not important at all. Some people think that only the priests and monastics are important. Fr. Paisius (an elder in Greece who died about eight years ago) used to compare the monastic to the radio operator of an army during a war. He was located alone where it was quiet, where he could concentrate on the signals he was getting. That was his job, but a lot of other people were fighting the battle. That is how all of you are. Those in the world have an opportunity to bring Christ into the workplace, into the family, into the neighborhood, into the mall—everywhere. That is a fantastic opportunity. Our attitude and how we live our lives will speak for us…. If each of us, where we find ourselves, lives the best life we can by keeping the commandments and loving each other and praying to God, we will be those lights in the world that this nation is looking for. We can carry the burdens of one another. Just look around your neighborhood and you will see how much people are burdened. We should pray for our neighbors, treat them with kindness, and love them. T.: Once again, I want to thank you for taking the time for this interview. You have given us much to think about. For further information or to arrange a retreat or visit contact: Holy Transfiguration Monastery 321 Monastery Ln. Ellwood City, PA 16117-6531 email@example.com
Memory Eternal to Fr. Arsenie (Papocioc)
On July 19, 2011, the renowned spiritual father of Romania, reposed in the Lord. His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church gave the eulogy at the funeral of Archimandrite Arsenie (Papacioc), at the Saint Mary Monastery in Techirghiol, Romania on Thursday, 21 July 2011. His eulogy appeared on the website of the Romanian Patriarchate, Basilica.ro: It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing away of Rev. Archimandrite Arsenie (Papacioc), one of the great father confessors of the Romanian people. A symbol of Romanian monasticism of the late twentieth, early twenty-first centuries, Fr. Arsenie (Papacioc) was a
great counselor through his exemplary life, and through his profitable teachings, delivered with much warmth and love for his many spiritual children, as well as for the crowds of pilgrims who came to his cell to receive his blessings. He was a living witness of the presence and
work of the Holy Spirit in our righteous Church. Born on the feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God in 1914, in Misleanu village, Perieţi commune, county of Ialomiţa, Fr. Arsenie, baptized Anghel, was the seventh child of his well to do and merciful parents, Vasile and Stanca. He so honored the Protectress of his birth in this world that he dedicated his whole life to the Holy Birth Giver of God, and to the Church of Jesus Christ our Lord. Having felt a true vocation for the monastic life, he spent his apprenticeship first at Cozia Monastery, and then he became a monk at Antim Monastery of Bucharest under the supervision of fathers Petroniu Tănase, Benedict Ghiuş and Sofian Boghiu. He completed his spiritual formation in Moldova, at Sihăstria, Neamţ and Slatina Monasteries. During the difficult times of atheist communism, Rev. Arsenie continued the spiritual work of father Cleopa Ilie from Slatina Monastery, having been a living stone at the Spiritual Academy that operated for a time at the place of worship founded by prince Alexandru Lăpuşeanu of Moldova, together with Hieromonks Paisie Olaru, Antonie Plămădeală, Andrei Scrima, Petroniu Tănase, Daniil Sandu Tudor and others. He lived for a time in the solitude of the Neamţ Mountains, accompanying Archimandrite Cleopa Ilie during the hard years of persecution of Romanian monasticism. Father Arsenie suffered a hard life, and the trials of the communist prisons where he was humiliated and beaten for his faith in God. While suffering for his religious convictions, he turned his prison into a window to heaven, because faith and love cannot be ever imprisoned inside any walls. After his release from prison, Father Arsenie served as missionary priest in Transylvania and within the Archdiocese of Bucharest, at Cheia, Cernica and Căldăruşani, and from 1976 on at the Saint Mary Stravropegic Monastery Techirghiol. Father Arsenie was a good orator and writer. His books are lights and steps to resurrection for his readers, because they show that eternity can be hidden in a moment, as he named one of his books, Eternity Hidden in a Moment (2004)—the moment of the meeting with God, transfigured in continual progress in the light and love of the Holy Trinity. As spiritual father of several servants of the Church and of the crowds of faithful, Archimandrite Arsenie (Papacioc)
Elder Arsenie (Papocioc)
was a wise counselor, even-tempered and merciful, who always urged the faithful to cultivate the greatest Christian virtue—the love for God and neighbor. Fr. Arsenie was more a healer of the souls wounded by sins, than a judge of sinners. He harmoniously merged merciful kindness with encouragement for spiritual improvement. He was a man of peace and spiritual joy. His face, full of light, peace, joy, and hope, was always an icon of the presence of the deifying grace in his spiritual life and work. He had in his soul the peace and joy of the Kingdom of God, which he looked for and preached all his life on the earth. Now the soul of Rev. Archimandrite Arsenie (Papacioc) has departed for the Kingdom of God, full of years, virtues and spiritual gifts, which he cultivated through much prayer, patience and effort. We pray God to give rest to his soul amongst the host of His righteous servants and saints, and we convey words of comfort and blessing in the firm hope of the Resurrection, of the light and peace in the Kingdom of God, to the members of the community of Saint Mary, Techirghiol Monastery, to all his mourning disciples, and to all those who knew and loved him. May his memory be from generation to generation! † Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church
Monk Gerasimos Photo: Archbishop of Vologda and Velikoustyuzhsky Maximilian
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