َ ِ ِِ ﺖ َﺻْﻮﺗِﻲ 3 .ﻷَﻧََّﻚ َﻃﺮْﺣﺘَﻨِﻲﻓِﻲﺍﻟُْﻌْﻤِﻖﻓِﻲﻗَْﻠ ِﺐﺍﻟْﺒَِﺤ ِ ﺎﺭ. ﺎﺳﺘََﺠﺎﺑَﻨِﻲَ .ﺻَﺮْﺧُﺖِﻣْﻦ َﺟْﻮ ِﻑﺍﻟْﻬَﺎِﻭﻳَِﺔﻓََﺴِﻤْﻌ َ "ﺩَﻋْﻮُﺕ ﻣْﻦ ﺿﻴﻘﻲ ﺍ َّﻟﺮ َّﺏﻓَ ْ َ ﺎﺯْﺕﻓَﻮﻗِﻲ ﺟِﻤﻴﻊﺗَﻴﺎﺭﺍﺗِ َﻚ ﻭﻟُﺠِﺠ َﻚ 4 .ﻓَُﻘْﻠُﺖ:ﻗَْﺪُﻃِﺮْﺩُﺕِﻣْﻦﺃَﻣﺎِﻡ َﻋﻴﻨﻴ َﻚ .ﻭﻟَ ِ ﻜِﻞُﻗْﺪِﺳ َﻚ. ﻓَﺄََﺣ َ ﻮﺩﺃَﻧُْﻈُﺮﺇِﻟَﻰ َﻫْﻴ َ ﻜّﻨَﻨِﻲﺃَُﻋ ُ ﺎﻁﺑِﻲﻧَْﻬٌﺮَ .ﺟ َ ْ َ ُ َّ َ َ َ َ َْْ َ ﻴﻖ ﺍﻷَْﺭ ِﺽ َﻋﻠَ َّﻲﺇِﻟَﻰ ﺍﻷَﺑَِﺪ. ﺍﻛﺘَﻨَﻔَْﺘﻨِﻲِﻣﻴٌَﺎﻩﺇِﻟَﻰ ﺍّﻟﻨَْﻔ ِﺲ.ﺃََﺣ َ ﺎﻁﺑِﻲ َﻏْﻤٌﺮ.ﺍﻟْﺘَ َّ 5ﻗَِﺪ ْ ﻒُﻋْﺸُﺐﺍﻟْﺒَْﺤِﺮﺑَِﺮْﺃِﺳﻲ 6 .ﻧََﺰﻟُْﺖﺇِﻟَﻰﺃََﺳﺎﻓِِﻞﺍﻟِْﺠﺒَﺎِﻝ.ﻣَﻐَﺎﻟِ ُ ﻜِﻞُﻗْﺪِﺳ َﻚ. ﻢﺃَْﺻﻌَْﺪ َﺕِﻣَﻦﺍﻟْﻮَْﻫَﺪﺓِ َﺣﻴَﺎﺗِﻲﺃَﻳُّﻬَﺎ ﺍ َّﻟﺮُّﺏﺇِﻟَِﻬﻲِ 7 .ﺣﲔَﺃَْﻋﻴَْﺖﻓِ َّﻲﻧَْﻔِﺴﻲ َﺫ َ ﺎﺀْﺕﺇِﻟَْﻴ َﻚ َﺻﻼَﺗِﻲﺇِﻟَﻰ َﻫْﻴ َ ﻛْﺮُﺕ ﺍ َّﻟﺮ َّﺏﻓََﺠ َ ُﺛ َّ َ َ ِ ِ َِ ِ ُِ ﻛ َِ ﻮﻥﺃَﺑ ِ ِ ﻠﺮ ِّﺏﺍﻟَْﺨﻼَُﺹ" ﻛﺎِﺫﺑًَﺔﻳَْﺘُﺮ ُ ﺎﻃﻴَﻞ َ 8ﺍَﻟَّﺬ َﻳﻦﻳَُﺮ ُﺍﻋ َ َ ﻮﻥ ﻧْﻌَﻤﺘَُﻬ ْﻢ 9 .ﺃّﻣَﺎ ﺃﻧَﺎﻓَﺒ َﺼْﻮﺕﺍﻟَْﺤْﻤﺪ ﺃْﺫﺑَُﺢﻟََﻚ َﻭﺃﻭﻓﻲﺑَِﻤﺎﻧََﺬْﺭُﺗُﻪ .ﻟ َّ Designed by wwwNmultitalentitNcomNau
العني ”“عيهاك محاوتاى تدزيبات يف الصوم الكبري صموات خالدة
صالة يوناى تفسري صالة يوناى ملـاذا منازس صوم يوناى ؟ !ال تدعهم يأخروى يوناى وهك
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املالك ميخائيل واألنبا أنطونيوس
قديسني وو كهيستها ثالثيات الصوم املقدس
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طقس عيد دخوه املسيح اهليكن BE ACCREDITED IN THE MODERN WORLD! JONAH ST. MAURICE, ST. VERENA AND THE THEBAN LEGION JONAH AND THE WHALE WHY DO WE PRACTICE JONAH’S FAST? DO YOU FAST? A PRACTICAL JOURNEY THROUGH LENT
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ثالثخ ٍذبٗع (ٍذ )18-1:6 أحذ الرفاع (ٍذ )33-19:6ثالثخ ٍذبطٝغ أحذ االستعذاد ثالثخ رجبعة (ٍذ )11-1:4 أحذ التجربة أحذ اإلبه الضال (ى٘ )32-11:15ثالثخ صفبد ثالثخ ٍغادو ()42-1:4 ٘ٝ أحذ السامرية ثالثخ ٍشبٕض ()18-1:5 ٘ٝ أحذ المخلع ثالثخ ٍ٘اقف أحذ المولود أعمى ()41-1:9 ٘ٝ
اىصضقخ ال رنْؼٗا اىطعبً اٟة اىَذت ٖ٘ٝص -ٙؿٞض ٗدٞض اىفغٝـُ٘ٞ
اىصالح ال ٝقضع اىعبىٌ اإلثِ اىزبئت ّج - ٚاىَـٞب ٍشيع األث٘اُ
اىصً٘ ال رٖزَ٘ا اىغْٚ األر اىغافض اىَـٞخ ٍ -شيص اىعبىٌ صذٞخ اىَغٝض
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16أمشير 17أمشير 18أمشير 19أمشير
Feb-24 Feb-25 Feb-26 Feb-27
اؿزشٖبص اىقضٝؾ رَ٘ٞثبٗٝؾ أؿقف أفـؾ ريَٞظ اىقضٝؾ ث٘ىؾ اىغؿ٘ه ّٞبدخ اىجبثب مٞغىؾ اىغاثع اث ٚاإلصالح اىجطغٝغك اىعبشغ ثعض اىَبئخ ّٞبدخ اىقضٝـخ ٍغ ٌٝاىذجٞـٔ اىْبؿنٔ اؿزشٖبص اىقضٝؾ ثـبصح اىقؾ ّٞبدخ اىقضٝؾ ثطغؽ اىعبثض اؿزشٖبص اىقضٝؾ أؿنالؽ اىَجبٕض اؿزشٖبص اىزـعخ ٗ أعثعُ٘ شٖٞضا ش٘ٞر شٖٞٞذ اؿزشٖبص اىقضٝؾ ثج٘ف ّٞبدخ اىقضٝـخ اّـطبؿٔٞ اؿزشٖبص اىقضٝؾ اث٘فبً اىجْض ٛاالٗؿَٜٞ اؿزشٖبص اىقضٝؾ ؿٞغاثُ٘ٞ ّقو جـض اىقضٝؾ رَ٘ٞثبؤؽ ريَٞظ ٍعيَْب اىقضٝؾ ث٘ىؾ اىغؿ٘ه رظمبع عئٞؾ اىَالئنخ ؿ٘لاير اؿزشٖبص اىقضٝؾ مبٗؤ اؿزشٖبص اىقضٝؾ إميَْٞضؽ اؿقف أّقغٓ اؿزشٖبص اىقضٝؾ فٞيٞبؽ اؿقف رَ ٜاألٍضٝض ّٞبدخ اىقضٝـخ أمـبّ ٜاىغٍٗٔٞ ّٞبدخ اىقضٝؾ ؿغٝبم٘ؽ اىَجبٕض ّٞبدخ اىقضٝؾ اّجب ٍْٞب اىْبؿل رظمبع االعٞبص اىـٞضٝخ اىثالثخ اىجشبعح ٗاىَٞالص ٗاىقٞبٍخ اؿزشٖبص اىعظاع ٙثٞـزٞؾ ٗ ٕيجٞؾ ٗ أغبث ٗ ٚأٍِٖ ص٘فٔٞ ّٞبدخ اىجبثب ٍْٞب االٗه اىـبثع ٗ االعثعُ٘ ٍِ اىجطبعمخ اىَصغُ٘ٝ ّٞبدخ اىقضٝؾ أثغإ ٌٞاىَز٘دض اجزَبع اىَجَع اىَـنّ٘ ٚاىثبّ ٚف ٜاىقـطْطْٞٞخ عبً ً331 اؿزشٖبص اىقضٝؾ اثبص ُ٘ٝاؿقف اّصْب رنغٝؾ مْٞـخ اىقضٝؾ ثطغؽ سبرٌ اىشٖضاء ثبالؿنْضعٝخ ّٞبدخ اىقضٝؾ أّجب ث٘ال أٗه اىـ٘اح ّٞبدخ اىقضٝؾ ىّ٘جْ٘ٞؽ عئٞؾ صٝغ اىؼجبج ّٞبدخ اىقضٝؾ ٝعق٘ة اىغإت ّٞبدخ اىقضٝؾ ٕٞضعا ثذبجغ ثْٖضة اؿزشٖبص اىقضٝؾ اغبث٘ٞؽ ادض 32عؿ٘ال ّقو اعضبء اىزـعخ ٗاألعثع ِٞش٘ٞر شٖٞٞذ ّٞبدخ اىجبثب اغغثٞبّ٘ؽ ّٞبدخ اىقضٝؾ ثشب ٙصبدت اىضٝغ االدَغ ّٞبدخ اىقضٝؾ اثيي٘ صبدت اىقضٝؾ اثٞت ّٞبدخ اىقضٝؾ اث٘ىٞضٝؾ ثبثب عٍٗب اؿزشٖبص اىقضٝـ ِٞاثبمٞغ ٗ ٘ٝدْب ٗ اىثالثخ عظاع ٗ ٙاٍِٖ ّٞبدخ اىجبثب ٍغقؾ اىغاثع ()38 ّٞبدخ اىقضٝؾ ػاّ٘ف٘ٞؽ ّٞبدخ اىجبثب اىٞنـبّضعٗؽ 83 ّٞبدخ اىجبثب ثٞئ٘صٗعٗؽ 84 صس٘ه اىـٞض اىَـٞخ اى ٚاىٖٞنو ؿِ اعثعٍ٘ٝ ِٞب ّٞبدخ اىقضٝؾ ؿَعبُ اىشٞز ّٞبدخ اىقضٝؾ ثغؿٍ٘ب أة عٕجبُ اىـغٝبُ اؿزشٖبص اىقضٝؾ ث٘ ىؾ اىـغٝبّٚ اؿزشٖبص اىقضٝؾ ؿَعبُ اؿزشٖبص اىقضٝؾ ٝعق٘ة اىغؿ٘ه اؿزشٖبص اىقضٝؾ فٞي٘ أؿقف فبعؽ اؿزشٖبص اىقضٝؾ ٝـطؾ ثِ ٍّ٘بع٘ٝؽ اؿزشٖبص اىقضٝؾ اٝـٞظٗعؽ اىفغٍٚ ّٞبدخ اىجبثب ٘ٝأّؾ اىثبىث عشغ اه اىغاثع ٗاىزـعُ٘ اؿزشٖبص اىقضٝؾ فجٞبّ٘ؽ ثبثب عٍٗب اىزظمبع اىشٖغ ٛىغئٞؾ اىَالئنخ اىجيٞو ٍٞشبئٞٞو ّٞبدخ اىقضٝؾ جالؿ٘ٞؽ اىْبؿل اؿزشٖبص اىقضٝؾ ؿغج٘ٞؽ االرغث ٗ ٚاثٞخ ٗ اٍخ ٗ مثٞغٍ ِٝعٔ ّٞبدخ اىجبثب رَ٘ٞث٘ؽ اىثبىث ثبثب االؿنْضعٝخ اىثبّ ٗ ٜاىثالثُ٘ ّٞبدخ اىقضٝؾ ؿبٗٝغٗؽ ثطغٝغك اّطبمٞخ ّٞبدخ اىقضٝؾ األّجب ٝعق٘ة ثبثب اإلؿنْضعٝخ 42 ّٞبدخ اىقضٝؾ ثفْ٘ر٘ٞؽ اىغإت رظمبع رنغٝؾ مْٞـخ االعثع ِٞشٖٞضا اىظ ِٝاؿزشٖضٗا ف ٜؿجـطٞخ ّٞبدخ اىقضٝؾ ػمغٝب اىْج ٜاثِ ثغاشٞب ادض االثْ ٜعشغ ّٞبدخ اىقضٝـخ اىٞصبثبد أً ٘ٝدْب اىَعَضاُ اؿزشٖبص اىقضٝؾ اّجب ٍْٞب اىغإت ّٞبدخ اىقضٝؾ ٍٞالر٘ٞؽ اىَعزغف ثطغٝغك اّطبمٞخ ّقو اعضبء اىقضٝؾ ٍغرٞبّ٘ؽ اىغإت ّٞبدخ اىجبثب ثطغؽ اىثبّ ٚاإلؿنْضعٙ رظمبع اىقضٝـ ِٞثبؿٞي٘ٞؽ ٗثبؤطٗعؽ ٗرَ٘ٞثبٗؽ اىزظمبع اىشٖغ ٛى٘اىضح االىٔ اىقضٝـخ ٍغ ٌٝاىعظعاء ّٞبدخ اّجب ػسبعٝبؽ اؿقف ؿشب اؿزشٖبص اىقضٝؾ اّـَ٘ٞؽ ريَٞظ اىقضٝؾ ث٘ىؾ اىغؿ٘ه ّٞبدخ اىجبثب غجغٝبه ثبثب االؿنْضعٝخ اىـبثع ٗ اىشَـُ٘
Service schedule during JONAH'S FAST Day
12:00 - 1:00 PM
1:00 - 3:00 PM 12:00 - 1:00 PM
1:00 - 3:00 PM 10:00 AM 12:00 10:00 PM 9:00 -
8:30 - 9:00 AM
Day Monday Wednesday Friday Sunday
مواعيذ الخذمات اثىاء صيام يووان
9:00am - 11:00am
12:00 - 1:00 PM 1:00 - 3:00 PM 10:00 9:00 AM 12:00 10:00 PM 4:00 - 5:00 AM 5:00 - 7:00 AM 6:30 - 7:00 AM 7:00 - 9:00 AM 12:00 9:00 PM
صالح عفع ثش٘ع ٗثبمغ
صالح عفع ثش٘ع ٗثبمغ
صالح عفع ثش٘ع ٗثبمغ
صالح عفع ثش٘ع ٗثبمغ
Matin Liturgy - JONAH'S FEAST
فصخ- ٜٖاىقضاؽ االى ُّ٘بٝ
صالح عفع ثش٘ع ٗثبمغ ٜٖاىقضاؽ االى
صالح عفع ثش٘ع ٗثبمغ
صالح عفع ثش٘ع ٗثبمغ ٜٖاىقضاؽ االى صالح عفع ثش٘ع ٗثبمغ االٗه- ٜٖاىقضاؽ االى
ّٜ اىثب- ٜٖاىقضاؽ االى
Matin Liturgy Matin
Amshir 3 Amshir 4
24-Feb 25-Feb 26-Feb 27-Feb
Amshir 16 Amshir 17 Amshir 18 Amshir 19
Martyrdom of St.Timothy the Apostle Departure of Pope Kyrillos (Cyril) the Fourth, the One Hundred and Tenth Pope of Alexandria Departure of St.Mary the Ascetic (The Shut-In) Martyrdom of Anba Bisada the Priest Departure of St.Peter the Worshipper Martyrdom of St.Askala (Asela) the Fighter Martyrdom of the Forty-Nine Saints, the Elders of Sheheat (Scetis) Departure of St.Anastasia Martyrdom of St.Sarapion Commemoration of the Archangel Suriel Relocation of the Relics of St.Timothy the Apostle Martyrdom of St.Abe-Fam the Soldier (St.Phoebammon) Martyrdom of St.Clement Martyrdom of St.Anba Kaou Departure of St.Eskani (St.Xene) Commemoration of St.Seriakos (Syriacus) the Fighter Martyrdom of Saints Pistis, Helpis, Agape and Their Mother Sophia Commemoration of the Universal Ecclesiastical Council in Constantinople Commemoration of the Consecration of the First Church, Built after the Name of St.Peter, the Seal of the Martyrs Departure of the Great Saint Anba Paul, the First Hermit Departure of St.Longinus, the Abbot of El-Zugag Monastery Departure of St.James the Monk Martyrdom of St.Agabus, One of the Seventy Disciples Departure of St.Agrippinus, the Tenth Pope of Alexandria Commemoration of the Saints Anba Bishay and Anba Abanoub Departure of St.Apollo, the Companion of Anba Abib Commemoration of the Relocation of the Relics of the Forty-Nine Elders of the Wilderness of Shiheet Appearance of the Body of St.Apolidus, the Pope of Rome Martyrdom of the Saints Abakir, John, the Three Virgins and Their Mother Departure of St.Alexandros the Second, the Forty-Third Pope of Alexandria Departure of St.Theodorus (Theodor), the Forty-Fifth Pope of Alexandria Feast of Presenting the Lord Christ to the Temple Departure of St.Barsauma, the Father of the Syrian Monks Martyrdom of St.Paul the Syrian Martyrdom of St.James the Apostle, the Son of Alphaeus Martyrdom of St.Justus, the Son of Emperor Numerian Departure of St.Isidore of Pelusium Martyrdom of St.Philo, the Bishop of the Persians Martyrdom of St.Fabian (Fabrianus), Pope of Rome Commemoration of the Archangel Michael Departure of St.Gelasius Martyrdom of St.Sergius of Atripe and His Father, Mother, Sister, and Many Others with Them Departure of St.Timothy the Third, the Thirty-Second Pope of Alexandria Departure of St.Severus, the Patriarch of Antioch Departure of St.James, the Fiftieth Pope of Alexandria (St.Yacobus) Departure of St.Zechariah the Prophet Consecration of the First Church Dedicated for the Forty Martyrs from Sebaste Departure of St.Paphnoute Departure of St.Elizabeth, the Mother of St.John the Baptist Martyrdom of St.Mina the Monk Departure of St.Malatius the Confessor, Patriarch of Antioch Commemoration of the Relocation of the Relics of St.Martianus the Monk Departure of St.Peter, the Twenty-First Pope of Alexandria Commemoration of the Saints Basil, Theodore and Timothy, the Martyrs Commemoration of the Virgin St.Mary Martyrdom of St.Onesimus, the Disciple of St.Paul Departure of St.Gabriel, the Fifty-Seventh Pope of Alexandria Departure of St.Zacharias, Bishop of Sakha
To be recognised as one of the member teaching institution of the MCD University of Divinity will add significant credibility to SACOTC, giving our awards wide recognition and allowing our students to go on and do
It is with great delight that we announce St Athanasius Coptic Orthodox Theological College has been accredited as a recognised teaching institution (RTI) of the MCD University of Divinity! The MCD is an established and very well respected academic teaching body having celebrated its centenary in 2010, and from the 1st January 2012 will become the first „Specialist University‟ in Australia! This is a wonderful achievement for our theological college which was established by Papal Decree number 21/29 just under 11 years ago and is the culmination of several years of hard work by many dedicated individuals. Through His Grace Bishop Suriel‟s leadership and vision, and the tir eless work of the SACOTC Academic Board and Council, SACOTC embarked on a journey of nearly four years to achieve this endorsement, and realise the aspirations of the College community. This recognition means that SACOTC is officially the first Coptic Orthodox Theological College to be accredited in the modern world!
further theological studies to obtain Masters and PhD‟s if they wish.
But Jesus said, â€œLet the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.â€?
Fill in the missing prophets and circle the Major Prophets Jeremiah Daniel
Ezekiel Joel Micah
Fill in the Words
Try and Get to Jonahâ€Ś.
I cried out in my to the Lord my and he heard my : Out of the of Hades You heard the of my voice. Jonah Chapter 2 Verse ?
A S O S R O L I A S E R S D S A
W D P Q T B I U Y C B E L L Y X
H W C N W Q Y H V E M N W R E T
A F V I T J Y T R E P E N T E L
L T B N G S Q W A L O V E K P J
E P D E A T H W Q F D F G V O B
K B E V S Y G E O H G C V P S A
J H W E L U H O L P J H P F D Q
G Z H H L F I V B T C A A S F D
B M J C G S L G V C E J K W Q P
Nineveh, Flee, Repent, Asleep Love, Shelter, Sailors, Belly, Whale, Joppa
V N U F H O A B F H C R Y H L Z
Just think for a second what it would be like to be inside a fish. There are no windows, and lots of strange things floating around that you can't see because it's so dark. Other than that I'm not sure what it would be like, but Jonah probably didn't know if he would ever see daylight again. One day God asked a man named Jonah to go to a place called Nineveh and tell the people living there to stop being bad. The only problem was that Jonah didn't want to help the people there. He knew they were bad and he wanted them to be punished for their mistakes. So instead of listening to God, Jonah thought he would run away from Nineveh and not do what God asked him. He ran to the sea where he found a ship that was going to another city. He paid the captain, went in the lower part of the boat and went to sleep. Shortly after the boat left the shore, a very bad storm came up and started tossing the boat around. All the men were very afraid so they started to throw all their packages and bags overboard in hopes that they wouldn't drown. The captain soon went to find Jonah who was still sound asleep in the boat. He said to Jonah, "How can you sleep? Get up and pray to your god, maybe he can help us!" The captain didn't realize that Jonah didn't just believe in any God but the one true God and that He could help them. Meanwhile, the other sailors decided that the storm was Jonah's fault. He must have done something wrong to make his god so angry. So they asked Jonah, "What have you done? What god do you believe in? What can we do to make this storm stop?" Jonah told them, "I believe in the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land and I am running away from something God asked me to do. It is my fault this is happening. If you throw me into the sea the storm will stop." The men didn't want to hurt Jonah by throwing him off the boat so they tried to row the best they could, but the storm just got worse. So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea. The storm immediately calmed and the sea became still. The men on the boat realized that Jonah believed in the one true God and prayed to Him. Then the captain and the crew looked out to sea as a huge fish came and swallowed up Jonah. God actually sent the fish to keep Jonah from drowning. Jonah stayed in the fish for three days and three nights.
While Jonah was trapped inside the fish he did a lot of praying to God. He asked God to forgive him for running away. He also thanked God for not allowing him to drown. After the third day God told the fish to spit Jonah out onto dry land. And the fish did just that. Jonah was happy to be out of the dark belly of the fish, but boy, did he need a shower. He was slimy and smelly. Then the Lord told Jonah a second time to go to Nineveh and tell the people there to stop being bad. This time Jonah obeyed God and left for Nineveh right away. When Jonah got there he told the people what had happened to him. He warned them that God said that they should stop doing bad things or in forty days the city and everything in it would be destroyed. To Jonah's surprise the people listened to him and they prayed to God and they said sorry for all the bad things they had done. Soon the king of Nineveh heard what was going on and he ordered that everyone to listen to God and to stop doing bad things. And when God saw that they were trying to good instead of bad He felt love for them and did not destroy their city. That could be the end of the story except Jonah left the city very angry. He was mad that God didn't punish the people. He knew that God was a loving God and didn't want to destroy anything if he doesn't have to. So Jonah went on a hill and sulked. God saw Jonah and knew how he was feeling so he explained to Jonah that He loves everyone (after all He made us). He doesn't like to destroy people who are doing things bad, God would rather see us turn from our bad ways and do good again.
later built a church in honor of the martyrs inside the court of his palace. Saint Maurice has always been one of the most popular saints in Western Europe, with over 650 foundations in his name in France alone. Five cathedrals, innumerable churches, chapels and altars are consecrated in his name all over Europe. Aguanum (Saint Maurice en Valais) has always remained the main focus of veneration of the Thebans and a significant pilgrimage resort. In the monastery that bears his name there, the monks perform a special devotion to the saints every day, and celebrate their feast on September 22 of each year. Nearly 1000 people attend an all night vigil, on the night before the feast. On the feast day, they carry in procession the relics of the martyrs in the ancient silver caskets. Over seventy towns bear the name of Saint Maurice. In the Monastery carrying his name in Switzerland, the vigil "Tasbeha" has been chanted continuously (24 hours a day) without stopping for more than 500 years now.
There is no mentioning in the Coptic Synxarium of these saints, however, there is a number of new churches and altars that are erected in the 20th century and beyond. For example, there is a church of St. Maurice and St. Verena in the Diocese of Public Services in Egypt. There is also an altar consecrated in the name of saint Maurice in the Church of the Virgin Mary and Saint Athanasius in Mississauga, Canada. There is an icon depicting the martyrdom of Saint Maurice in Saint Mary‟s Coptic Orthodox church in Cambridge, Canada. And in California there is a church consecrated to St. Verena. In 1991, The Christian world celebrated the seventeenth centennial of the martyrdom of these saints. H.H. Pope Shenouda delegated His Grace Bishop Serapion to represent the Coptic Church in these celebrations. On that occasion parts of the relics of Saint Maurice, St. Cassius, and St. Florentius were returned to the Coptic Church.
Saint Verena was brought up in the Theban region (Luxor) in a noble Christian family, who handed her over to Bishop Sherimon, Bishop of Beni Sweif, who in turn taught her and baptized her. Saint Verena joined the Theban legion in its mission to Switzerland. The Soldiers were allowed to accompany their relatives in order to look after them and take care of their wounds. When Saint Maurice and members of the legion were martyred, Saint Verena led a lonely and hermit‟s life. She used to fast and pray continuously. Moreover, God performed several miracles through her . This Saint was particularly concerned over young girls and used to look after them spiritually and physically, because of her expertise as a nurse. As a result of her fame, the ruler arrested her and sent her to jail, where Saint Maurice appeared to her to console and strengthen her. After her release from jail, she moved into several regions, and God made several miracles through her prayers. Because of her, many converted to Christianity, and many others became witnesses to the Lord Jesus Christ. Saint Verena was interested in serving the poor and used to offer them food. Moreover, she enjoyed serving the sick, especially those suffering from leprosy. She used to wash their wounds and put ointments on them, not fearing contagion. At the time of passing away, Virgin Mary appeared to her to console and strengthen her. On the 4th of the Coptic month Tute, Saint Verena departed in peace. In 1986, a delegation from Saint Verena‟s Church in Switzerland, brought to Egypt a part of Saint Verena‟s relics. In 1989, Saint Verena‟s Group of the Bishopric of Public Services started its ministry to provide integral, spiritual, social and health services in the popular poor areas. On the 22nd of February 1994, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III consecrated Saint Maurice and Saint Verena‟s Church in the Building of the Bishopric of Public Services, at Anba Rewiss Basilica, Cairo. May the intercession of Saint Verena and the Theban Legion be with all of us, Amen
Fired thus by the lead of their officers, the Theban legion sent a loyal and brave reply to Maximian (who was still enraged). "Emperor, we are your soldiers but also the soldiers of the true God. We owe you military service and obedience, but we cannot renounce Him who is our Creator and Master, and also yours even though you reject Him. In all things that are not against His law, we most willingly obey you, as we have done hitherto. We readily oppose your enemies whoever they are, but we cannot stain our hands with the blood of innocent people (Christians). We have taken an oath to God before we took one to you. You cannot place any confidence in our second oath if we violate the first. You commanded us to execute Christians, behold we are such. We confess God the Father the creator of all things and His Son Jesus Christ, God. We have seen our comrades being slain with the sword, we do not weep for them but rather rejoice at their honor. Neither this, nor any other provocation will tempt us to revolt. Behold, we have arms in our hands, but we do not resist, because we would rather die innocent than live by any sin.‟‟ When Maximian heard this, he realized that these men were obstinately determined to remain in their Christian faith, and he despaired of being able to turn them from their constancy. He therefore decreed, in a final sentence, that they should be rounded up, and the slaughter completed. The troops sent to execute this order came to the blessed legion and drew their swords upon those holy men who, for love of life, did not refuse to die. They were all slain with the sword. They never resisted in any way. Putting aside their weapons, they offered their necks to the executioners. Neither their numbers nor the strength of arms tempted them to uphold the justice of their cause by force. They kept just one thing in their minds, that they were bearing witness to Him who was led to death without protest, and who, like a lamb, opened not his mouth; but that now, they themselves, sheep in the Lord‟s flock, were to be massacred as it by ravaging wolves. Thus, by the savage cruelty of this tyrant, that fellowship of the saints was perfected, for they despised things present in hope of things to come. So the truly angelic legion of men was slain. Those who, we trust, now praise the Lord God of Hosts, together with the legions of Angels, in heaven forever. During their martyrdom, numerous miracles happened, which undoubtedly largely contributed to the massive conversion of the inhabitants of these regions to Christianity. In Zurich for instance, the three beheaded saints Felix, Regula and
Exuperantius miraculously rose, carried their heads on their own hands, walked to the top of a hill, where they knelt, prayed and at last lay down. On the same spot, a large cathedral was later erected. The three saints carrying their heads on their hands appear on the coat of arms and seal of Zurich until today. Other saints like Victor, Orsus, and their comrades were barbarously tortured by Hirtacus, the Roman governor of Solothurn. During this torture, several miracles occurred, e.g. the shackles suddenly broke open, the fire was instantaneously extinguished, etc. The lookers-on were thus filled with wonder and began to admire the Theban legionnaires, upon which the furious Hirtacus ordered their immediate beheading. Without the slightest resistance they offered the executors their necks. The bodies of the beheaded Saints shone in glaring brightness. The bodies of the Saints which were thrown in the river Aar, advanced the bank, stepped out, walked heads on hands, then knelt and prayed at the spot where the Basilica of St. Peter later arose. The bodies of the martyrs of Aguanum were discovered and identified by Saint Theodore the Bishop of Octudurm, who was in office at 350 AD. He built a Basilica in their honor at Aguanum, the remains of which are visible until now. This later became the center of a monastery built about the year 515 AD on the land donated by King Sigismund of Burgundy. Saint Eucher mentions that in his time (he died 494 AD), many came diverse provinces of the empire devoutly to honor these Saints, and to offer presents of gold, silver and other things. He mentions that many miracles were performed at their shrine such as casting out of devils and other kinds of healing "which the might of the Lord works there everyday through the intercession of His saints." In the middle ages Saint Maurice was the patron saint of several of the Roman dynasties of Europe, and later on of the Holy Roman emperors. In 926, Henry I (919-936 AD) even ceded the present Swiss Canton (province) of Aargua in return of the lance of the saints. Some emperors were also anointed before the Altar of Saint Maurice in saint Peter‟s Cathedral in Rome. The sword of Saint Maurice was last used in the coronation of the Austrian Emperor Charles as King of Hungary in 1916. Kings, noblemen, and church leaders vied to obtain small portions of the relics of the saints in order to build churches in their honor. The famous King Charlemangne offered the monastery one of the treasured thorns that came from the crown of thorns of our Savior in return for a small portion of the sacred relics. He
A traveler on the highway that leads from Geneva to Rome will notice a small and a very old Swiss town called "Saint Maurice". This town was known in the Roman times as "Aguanum"; an important communication center. It was there that a Coptic officer named Maurice and 6600 of his fellow soldiers died for the sake of Christ at the hands of the impious Emperor Maximian (285-305 AD).
The story of these martyrs, commonly known as the Theban Legion (Alkateeba al Teebia or Alkateeba al-saâ€&#x;eedia) has been preserved for us by Saint Eucher, the bishop of Lyons, who died in 494 AD. Bishop Eucher started the account of the martyrdom of these valiant soldiers by the following introduction: "Here is the story of the passion of the holy Martyrs who have made Aguanum illustrious with their blood. It is in honor of this heroic martyrdom that we narrate with our pen the order of events as it came to our ears. We often hear, do we not, a particular locality or city is held in high honor because of one single martyr who died there, and quite rightly, because in each case the saint gave his precious soul to the most high God. How much more should this sacred place, Aguanum, be reverenced, where so many thousands of martyrs have been slain, with the sword, for the sake of Christ."? Under "Maximian", who was an Emperor of the Roman Commonwealth (Empire) with Diocletian as his colleague, an uprising of the Gauls known as "Bagaude" forced Maximian to march against them with an army of which one unit was the Theban Legion composed of 6600 men. This unit had been recruited from Upper Egypt and consisted entirely of Christians. They were good men and soldiers who, even under arms, did not forget to render to God the things of God, and to Caesar the things of Caesar.
After the revolt was quelled, the Emperor Maximian issued the surprising order; that the whole army must join offering sacrifices for the Roman gods for the success of their mission. The order included killing Christians (probably as a sacrifice to the Roman gods). Only the Theban Legion dared to refuse to comply with the orders. The legion withdrew itself, encamped near Aguanum and refused to take part in these rites. Maximian was then resting in a near-by place called Octudurum. When these news came to him, he repeatedly commanded them to obey his rules and orders, and upon their constant and unanimous refusal, he ordered that the legion should be "decimated". Accordingly, every tenth man was put to death. A second "decimation" was ordered unless the men obeyed the order given but there was a great shout through the legion camp: they all declared that they would never allow themselves to carry out such a sacrilegious order. They always had the horror of idolatry; they had been brought up as Christians and were instructed in the One Eternal God and were ready to suffer extreme penalties rather than do anything contrary to their religion. When Maximian heard this news, he got more angry than ever. Like a savage beast, he ordered the second decimation to be carried out, intending that the remainder should be compelled to do what they hitherto refused. Yet they still maintained their resolve. After the second decimation, Maximian warned the remainder of the Theban legion that it was of no use for them to trust in their number, for if they persisted in their disobedience, not a man among them would be able to escape death. The greatest mainstay of their faith in this crisis was undoubtedly their captain Maurice, with his lieutenants Candid, the first commanding officer, and "Exuperius" the "Compidoctor" fired the hearts of the soldiers with the fervor by his encouragement. Maurice, calling attention to the example of their faithful fellow soldiers, already martyrs, persuaded them all to be ready to die in their turn for the sake of their baptismal vow (The promise one makes at his baptismal to renounce Satan and his abominable service and to worship only God). He reminded them of their comrades who had gone to heaven before them. At his words, a glorious eagerness for martyrdom burned in the hearts of those most blessed men.
Because of Jonahʼs escape the ship was about to be broken up. Our sins have consequences upon others, not just ourselves. Through the storm the sailors have came to a full realization that Jonah‟s God is the one true living God. The sailors feared God, worshiped Him and offered sacrifice to the Lord. In Jonah‟s fast the Church commemorates the three days that Jonah the prophet fasted while in the belly of the whale. The fast of Jonah begins on a Monday, two weeks before the Monday that marks the beginning of the Great Lent. It was borrowed from the Syrian tradition by the Patriarch of Alexandria, Pope Abram Ibn Zaraa who was of a Syrian origin. Why Do We Practice Jonah’s Fast? 1.
To Return To God:
Jonah “returned” to God in the belly of the whale. He fasted and prayed to God. “Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the fish's belly. And he said: “I cried out to the
LORD because of my affliction, and He answered me.” (Jonah 2:1-2) The Lord responded to Jonah‟s fasting and prayers. He saved him and “spoke to the fish and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. 2. To Study The Book of Jonah: The Book of Jonah has a very important place in the Church‟s liturgical year. The Church sees within this book‟s simple story an icon of Christ symbolically represented. During the service of Matins on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of that week, the entire Book of Jonah is read. Through liturgies, fasting and prayers we benefit most from God‟s Word. 3. To Understand The Way God Deals with Us: As Jonah disobeyed the Lord God, we sometimes renounce repentance, even after receiving great spiritual gifts from Him. But, thanks to God, the Lord also doesn't give up on Jonah -or us- that easily.
Nineveh deserved to be destroyed because of its great sin and evil. But the infinitely merciful God does not desire the death of the sinner, but that he should repent and live. When the Ninevites turned from their evil way; God had pity on them and forgave them. To Participate in The Passover: The readings of Jonah‟s fast represent a call to believers that they might read the books of the Old Testament in a new concept, through the events of the Christian Pasch, i.e., the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. As Jonah was “entombed” in the belly of a great fish, our Lord Jesus was also placed in a tomb; and on the third day Jonah was “resurrected” from the belly of the fish; and on the third day Jesus also was resurrected from the tomb! Our adoption to God is realized through “passing over”, for we have to die with Christ, be buried with Him; as if we were in the belly of the whale, that we might reign with Him and enjoy the new life.
Priest: “We stand and then bow our knees” Congregation: “Have mercy upon us O God Our Saviour” Priest: “We stand again and then bow our knees” Congregation: “Have mercy upon us O God and have mercy." We ask for God‟s mercy to strengthen us to succeed in the renewing process and to be able to change our way of thinking to correspond to God‟s way.
The true meaning of fasting is not in the type of food we eat during Lent. This is only physical, but more importantly is our spirits. How do they benefit from fasting? Do we fast from our sins? Do we make the extra effort to resist sin and Satan? What is unique about our fast? Remember not only Christians fast, but so do Buddhists and Muslims, some people fast for political reasons also. But what makes our fast unique? One author states that “Adam broke the fast in Paradise by eating of the forbidden fruit and this is how man‟s original sin is revealed to us. Christ, the new Adam, begins by fasting. Adam was tempted and he succumbed to temptation; Christ was tempted and He overcame temptation. So fasting is not just a mere obligation or custom but it is connected with the very mystery of life and death, of salvation and damnation.”
During our fast we also practice a period of total abstinence of food, let us use this time to remember the poor in Egypt and around the world. Be thankful to Our gracious God for what He has given us of blessings. Learn to be content with what we have. Pray for the poor and see what positive things we can do for them. We must also use this fast not only to get rid of our beloved sins but also to work at attaining new virtues in our life. Virtues of joy, love, peace, gratitude, and chastity, just to name a few.
During Lent also usually the sacrament of the „Unction of the Sick‟ is performed in many homes and also on the concluding Friday of Lent before the Liturgy. So, this is not only a time of remembering the poor but also the sick and indeed all of those in need of our prayers and help. Our Lord said, “for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me. Then the righteous will answer Him, saying,
Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and gave you drink? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to you? And the King will answer and say to them, Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” (Matthew 25:34-40)
During such period of fasting do not be selfish and just think of yourself, but think of those who are less fortunate than you and lend a helping hand. It may be something as simple as helping someone with some homework in a particular subject that you are good at or buying some groceries for an elderly person at your church or going to visit them in hospital when they are ill. Use your talents for the glory of God and His Church.
Do not let Lent go past without something changing in your life for the better. Spiritual reading, the Bible, personal and communal prayers, charity, and fasting will help you store up spiritual treasures for the year ahead. Use your time wisely and do not waste it in idle matters of little or no use. Put the use of television, radio and magazines to a minimum. Use this time to read spiritual material and to pray. May the blessing of the Great Lent be with you all and strengthen you to renew your thinking and to be transformed and not to be conformed to this world and its god who is Satan.
worse thing come upon you.” These words, “I have no man,” ring very loudly today, as there are millions of people around the world who cannot find someone to show them the way, the way to salvation and repentance in Christ Jesus Our Lord. Will you be someone that can stretch out their hands in love to someone who is in need of being healed from sin that cripples one‟s feelings, actions and thoughts? Sin does disable us, and makes us not want to move or walk towards God. Baptism washes away sin and gives us a new beginning and a new life in Christ. It is the washing of regeneration, and through the gift of the Holy Spirit we become consecrated to God. We become His, His special people who are devoted to Him.
“I was blind and now I see.” This is the Sunday of spiritual enlightenment, the Sunday of Baptism. Baptism is washing or dyeing, a complete immersion. It is death and resurrection with Christ. This Baptism is renewed through repentance and confession, where a person can receive remission of sins.
“Hosanna! „Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!‟ The King of Israel!” The entry of the triumphal King into Jerusalem, is a day of great glory that is founded in the meekness of Christ entering on a colt. We want Him to reign over our hearts and to enter with Him into the heavenly Jerusalem.
also must fast with purity and righteousness and pray whilst praying and saying: The effect of the Words on the spirit I have sinned, I have sinned My Lord Jesus forgive me, for there is no servant without sin and no Master without forgiveness. Our Father Who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy Kingdom come, for thine is the glory forever.” It is clear from the words, that they are words of compunction, of one with a broken heart, standing humbly in the presence of God.
The hymnology and the words go together to create an atmosphere of repentance and rich spirituality. This hymnology effects the inner depths of the soul. Usually, once a person becomes accustomed to it, it lingers in his memory for a long time even after Easter. He still remembers those days of repentance and solitude with the Lord and longs for their return and hopefully their continuance in his life during the holy fifty days after Easter and beyond. The Lenten season as we have said is also deeply associated with the life of repentance and purity. I urge you all to read the book titled “The Life of Repentance and Purity” by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III. I had the blessing of translating and publishing this wonderful work in 1991 before completely dedicating my life to God. This book could change your life and lead you to see spirituality in a different light.
Repentance comes from the Greek word „Metanoia.‟ „Meta‟ means change and „nous‟ means mind. So, „Metanoia‟ is the changing of one‟s mind. In the hymns of this season, we see how the Holy Spirit has inspired all of them. The tunes are all solemn and truly give the right effect to lead one to repentance. If we take for example the tune of “Our Father Who art in heaven (Coptic: Je Peniout Et Khen Nifiowi)…,” we can feel that this is very suitable for the season. It invokes feelings of contrition and unworthiness inside of us. If we compare this tune with “Christ Is Risen” (Coptic: Ekhristos Anesti) which is sung at Easter, we can see the great contrast from solemnity to great joy. The effect of the Words on the spirit Not just the hymnology but also the words have a deep effect on the human spirit. Take for example the words of the verses that are sung before the litany of the Sunday Gospels: “Our Lord Jesus Christ fasted for us forty days and forty nights and saved us from our sins. We
This is what Saint Paul speaks about in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” We see that Metanoias (prostrations) play an important part in Lent. As they help us in the renewing and changing process. During the weekdays of Lent there are certain metanoias performed whilst saying the following words: The priest says while bowing: “We bow our knees‟ The congregation reply: “Have mercy upon us O God the Father, the Pantocrator (Almighty)
“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat… nor about your body, what you will put on…
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow.” This gospel speaks about surrendering one‟s life totally to Our Heavenly Father. This is what faith is all about. We have to trust in His words that He will provide our every need. Instead, we calculate everything and worry about bills that have not been paid, or failling the exam or losing our sports game. We need to have total reliance on God and believe Him one hundred percent. He is faithful and honest to deliver what He has promised us. A life of submission is what is needed, but at the same time we need to do our part and be diligent in whatever it task is at hand.
“It is written, „Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.‟” This reminds us that our fight is not against flesh and blood as Saint Paul tells us, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) If Satan had the courage to even tempt Our Lord, then how much more careful must we be? We, who are weak and made of dust must use all of the spiritual means that God has given to us to protect ourselves from the enemy in order to be able to overcome him. Sometimes we just let him take over completely and destroy us, we let evil thoughts enter our minds and enjoy them until they come to fruition. Look at how Our Lord answered Satan each time, “It is written…” The word of God frightens Satan and protects us like a fortified city. We must put on the whole armour of God as Saint Paul also reminds us by saying, “Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11)
“Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” This is the gospel of repentance and the return to God. In this parable Our Lord Jesus Christ shows to us the low level that Satan wants to place us in. It is the level of desiring to eat of the pods of the swine. Satan rejoices to see the sons of God perishing and under his control, and not having the power to rise. He wants to keep them living in evil and to wallow in sin. The clever son, as we sometimes call the prodigal son, did not rely on his own power. He came to himself and realized his weak state and received power from Christ Who gave him the strength to return and repent and live a life of holiness. He
would in no way ever think of returning back to this evil state, this is true repentance. We must learn from this clever son, who knew the way of life and continued in it without return. Another important lesson that we can learn from this parable is never to allow Satan to make us believe that there is no hope. He will attempt to sell this idea to us, and say to us, “how can you ever think of going to church or meeting your confession father while you are leading such a wretched life, just wait until things improve.” You must realize that your situation will not improve unless you repent and confess your sins to God and to your confession father, who will give you the absolution as God‟s steward.
“Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” Verses 13 and 14 in this passage are words that we need to place in front of our eyes on a daily basis and always come back to them. Where do we obtain our nourishment from? Many obtain it from resources that do not satisfy and fulfil. This woman was an example of this, as she searched for a false unfulfilling nourishment in the pleasures of this world, and she was never satisfied with her sinful life. Since she was searching in the wrong place, that is why she could not comprehend what Our Lord Jesus Christ was telling her at first. Water that completely satisfies you and fountains springing up to everlasting life? Yes, she could not understand this, until she realised that she was talking with the Messiah, the Saviour of the world. He is the One Who can grant true nourishment. The Word of God is our source of nourishment and satisfaction. It is only when the Samaritan woman realized this that she was able to lead others also to be nourished by the Logos, the source of all goodness and life, Christ, Our life and hope.
“Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up …Rise, take up your bed and walk …See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a sensual love that wants to take and not to give. Words that are full of pessimism, full of filthy language, full of no meaning, just words. Let us use our tongues to praise God to thank Him and to worship Him and to wrestle with Him to lead us to a true Christian life.
Let us build this personal relationship with God, to make Him our best friend, believe me there is no one like Him that can give us rest. He said this Himself, “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) This is where our rest is, it is in Him alone. Do we believe Him? do we believe in His words? Or have we heard them so many times that we take them for granted and do not pay any attention to them. Let us interact with God, speak with Him, listen to Him, form a relationship with Him and see the turnaround that will happen. God changes lives my brothers and sisters, only if we let Him in.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20) What a great honour this is for every Christian, a wonderful invitation to dine with the Lord, to share with Him, have fellowship with Him and to partake of Him. Let prayer change and affect your life both through the liturgy and through your own private prayers between you and Your Saviour. As the Lord reminds us, “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:6)
Shut your door to all the pleasures of the world that will keep you away from Christ, that will entice you to do evil, that will tell you that you are totally free without limits or rules and that encourage anarchy. This is the way that youth are heading in today‟s culture towards anarchy, lawlessness, turmoil, and chaos. We can overcome all of this slackness in youth culture through the help of prayer and a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
The nature of the texts read during Lent is different from the rest of the year. First of all, before the gospel of Matins there are prophecies that are read from the Old Testament. They speak about God‟s relationship with Israel and how He rescued them so many times from the hands of their enemies. They also speak about the events in the earthly life of Our Lord Jesus Christ leading up to His death and resurrection.
Lent is divided into seven weeks, as Passion Week is regarded as a separate week and in days of old was celebrated separately once every thirty three years. The Church has placed a powerful program of reading during Lent. This program which was organized by the early fathers of the Church through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit takes us through a spiritual journey of repentance and leads us to the joy of the Resurrection. It also leads us to a rich fellowship with Christ in His fast.
We must not forget that it was Our Lord Who fasted this fast for us at first. Fasting for forty days and forty nights, so He certainly participates with us during Lent and strengthens us. In the story of Saint Mary the Egyptian, the monks used to go out into the wilderness of the desert and leave their monasteries. This was in order for them to be in complete solitude with the Lord and to enjoy His company alone.
This period of Lent was used by the Church for the teaching of catechumens, that is, those that were preparing to enter into the faith. It was a concentrated teaching program, and hence the readings of the scriptures were appropriate also for this purpose to lead them to repentance. This led to their baptism at Easter, as baptism is dying and being raised with Christ. The procession that is conducted today for the newly baptised person was the procession of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. An Outline of the Sunday Gospels during Lent
“But you, when you pray, go into your room… shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place… when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face… Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” The journey begins from within, “go into your room”, search inside yourself. Look inwardly and see what is happening in your life. Close the door that leads you to death, and that is the corruption and immorality that is in the world. Spend time with God alone in solitude, worship Him
A practical guide toward increasing our spirituality throughout the Great Lent. Lent is a time of the year filled with spirituality, prophecies, prayers, liturgies, fasting, metanoias (prostrations), repentance, charity, solemn hymns, and prayers for the sick. It is the storehouse of spirituality for the whole year. It is a time basically to be in touch with Our Creator. Who is Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? It is a time to know Christ. What does it mean to know Christ? Saint Paul tells us in Philippians 3:10, “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” This is what knowing Christ means. Someone may say, „resurrection, suffering and death, is this what knowing Christ is all about? What misery and sorrow, I don‟t want to have anything to do with suffering and death, I just want to enjoy life!‟ What a poor fellow he truly is, to have missed the true meaning of life. Saint Paul makes it clear here that to know Christ, we must share in His sufferings, be conformed to His death and then we can realize the power of His Resurrection and His victory over death. This is the journey of Lent that we wish to travel through today. I want each and every one of you to take this time in your life as a time of renewal, of spiritual awakening out of deep sleep. Let us revitalize our spirits during the 55-day period of Lent and Pascha Week. It is a time for rebuilding!
Liturgies are held every day in many churches. The liturgies are distinguished by being later in the day. This is to have a period of total abstinence from food, it is an ascetic practice. It gives us time to contemplate on matters of the spirit, to concentrate on the more important matters of life, our life with Christ. These liturgies unite us with Christ. We partake of His Holy Body and Blood which purify us from all iniquity. We can then lead a life of purity, holiness and peace with Our Lord. In partaking of the Holy Mysteries, they protect us from evil and help us to fight and resist Satan and his tricks and temptations. But we have to be vigilant and remember that now we have Christ inside of us, abiding in us and we in Him. So that when sin looks so delicious in front of our eyes, we remember that we have something sweeter than honey that can satisfy our every need and that is the person of Our Lord Jesus. The Mighty God, the King of kings, the Saviour and lover of mankind, the Philanthropic One! He can save us from the hands of Satan, and Him alone. Saint Peter reminds us saying, “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) Think of how many times he has attempted to devour you and how Our Lord has saved you! Think of how many of your friends that used to come to church and praise God are no longer sitting next to you in the pews, because Satan has devoured them!
This is a time of prayer, intense prayer for your own salvation as well as praying for your friends that could have been enjoying the fellowship with Jesus, that sweet Name in which we find our comfort and rest. Learn what the power of prayer can do for you, it can change you, the way you think and speak. How can you be a man of prayer and then go out and blaspheme, or swear or use dirty language.
There is a spiritual vacuum that young people are living in today. There is emptiness, a big hole that needs to be filled with prayer. Instead of using our tongues to sing after mindless songs of this world as many teenagers do. The songs of today These songs are far away from God, words that are full of blasphemy, full of Eros – and prepare for your journey.
and painful way that leads, according to the saying of God, to life eternal.” Dedicate yourself in fasting, put the God and your obedience to His holy commandment between you and the sin, and resist Satan by fasting, prayer, prostrations, readings and works of mercy a he will most definitely flee from you. As Joel the prophet says “
Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; Gather the elders And all the inhabitants of the land Into the house of the LORD your God, And cry out to the LORD. Joel 1:14 “Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” Joel Blow the trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; Joel 2:15 The Holy Fast of Lent starts Monday, February 20TH, 2012. I trust you will do what will please God.
† Fasting is a medicine. But like all medicines, though it be very profitable to the person who knows how to use it, it frequently becomes useless (and even harmful) in the hands of him who is unskilful in its use. For the honour of fasting consists not in abstinence from food, but in withdrawing from sinful practices, since he who limits his fasting only to abstinence from meats is one who especially disparages fasting. Do you fast? Give me proof of it by your works. If you see a poor man, take pity on him. If you see an enemy, be reconciled with him. If you see a friend gaining honour, do not be jealous of him. And let not only the mouth fast, but also the eye and the ear and the feet and the hands and all members of your bodies. † Let the hands fast by being pure from plundering and avarice. Let the feet fast by ceasing from running to unlawful spectacles. Let the eyes fast, being taught never to fix themselves rudely on handsome faces, or to busy themselves with strange beauties. For looking is the food of the eyes, but if it be such as is unlawful or forbidden, it mars the fast and upsets the whole safety of the soul. But if it be lawful and safe, it adorns fasting. For it would be among things most absurd to abstain from lawful food because of the fast, but with the eyes to touch even what is forbidden! Do you not eat meat? Feed not upon lasciviousness by means of your eyes! Let the ear fast also. The fasting of the ear consists in refusing to receive evil speaking and calumnies. It is
written, "You shall not receive a false report" (Exodus 23:1). † Let the mouth also fast from disgraceful speech. For what does it profit if we abstain from fish and fowl and yet bite and devour the brothers and sisters. The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother and bites the body of his neighbour. Because of this Paul utters the fearful saying, "If you bite and devour one another take heed that you are not consumed by one another" (Gal.5:15). You have not fixed your teeth in his flesh, but you have fixed your slander in his soul and inflicted the wound of evil suspicion, and you have harmed in a thousand ways yourself, him and many others, for in slandering your neighbour you have made him who listens to the slander worse, for should he be a wicked person, he becomes more careless when he finds a partner in his wickedness. And should he be a just person, he is tempted to arrogance and gets puffed up, being led on by the sin of others to imagining great things concerning himself. Besides this, you have struck at the common welfare of the Church herself, for all those who hear you will not only accuse the supposed sinner, but the entire Christian community.... † And so I desire to fix three precepts in your mind so that you may accomplish them during the fast: to speak ill of no one, to hold no one for an enemy, and to expel from your mouth altogether the evil habit of swearing. For as the harvester in the fields comes to the end of his labours little by little, so we too if we make this rule for ourselves and in any manner come to the correct practice of these three precepts during the present Fast and commit them to the safe custody of good habit, we shall proceed with greater ease to the summit of spiritual wisdom. And we shall reap the harvest of a favourable hope in this life, and in the life to come we shall stand before Christ with great confidence and enjoy those unspeakable blessings of which, God grant, we may all be found worthy through the grace of Jesus Christ our Lord, with whom be glory to the Father, and to the Holy Spirit unto ages of ages. Amen!
comes naturally to a person seeking God‟s intervention in their life. While it may seem hard to some, it is in fact the easiest way for a person to ask for God‟s help, guidance and strength. It is a God given weapon to defeat Satan and his temptations.
In a few short days the “spring of the spiritual year”; Holy Lent will begin (February 20TH, 2012). What will you do? Will you fast? How do you fast? It seems a funny question to ask Orthodox Christians, particularly Coptic Orthodox Christians who are renowned for preserving and practicing all the church fasts. Sadly however in an era of freedom of choice, people seem to “choose” to fast or not to fast, when too fast and when not too fast, and how to fast. Let‟s take these “choices” one by one. We know that in the commandment given to a person being baptised or to their sponsoring parents/ God-parents is to “teach them to fast the holy 40‟s and all the church ordinances.” This commandment is given as part of the recipe for a holy life. There are two sides to this commandment. First, it is a commandment, not a recommendation, not “please sir if you would be so kind sir, could you do this?” but an instruction unto righteousness. When we accept the new life in baptism we leave behind the sinful nature in the baptismal font, the old man is dead and we put on the new man (Or do you not know
that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life Romans 6:3,4). The old nature which
was rebellious to God and His ways, the new man has the mind of Christ at the core of their heart. How can we accept the new life in Christ and still be rebellious against the bride of Christ and the commandments He has given us? The second aspect of this commandment is it is life! How, you may ask? When a person submits their heart to fasting, they do something active. By practicing fasting we spiritually stand up and are counted for God. It is a work of righteousness and a choice for God. We say very clearly „I am for the Lord and He will sustain me‟. Believe it or not, fasting
There we have it! A commandment the acceptance of which demonstrates obedience and friendliness to God. A way of life that leads to righteousness and living the favour of God. A simple choice with life changing and life enhancing outcomes. Now to the second question; “How do you fast?” St. Basil the great says:
† Do you fast? Then feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, visit the sick, do not forget the imprisoned, have pity on the tortured, comfort those who grieve and who weep, be merciful, humble, kind, calm, patient, sympathetic, forgiving, reverent, truthful and pious, so that God might accept your fasting and might plentifully grant you the fruits of repentance. Fasting of the body is food for the soul. Fasting is not merely changing one type of food to another or abstaining from food and drink, rather a choice to live righteously. The mindset you need to develop is one that says „I am fasting; I am in a state
of separation from my old ways, a respite from the innate reactions‟. „I am different.‟ This mind set
allows you to do different things and to abstain for certain things. St Basil in his quote above, points out some of the good that we can rather, must do when we are energised by fasting. Not only that, but fasting in the Orthodox Church is a community effort. Just like when Esther asked the community to fast that she may do good in the sight of God and her people. So also whole congregational fasting lends strength and righteousness not just to the individual but to the whole community. The whole Christian world in one way or another observes lent fasting. Practiced with strictness in all orthodox churches and with less strictness but nonetheless observed in other church. Surely, if we fast as one God‟s mercy will be upon this world. This same energy of fasting can also help you to resist and overcome those things in our life that delay us from living a life of righteousness. The attention of the soul towards God and the Godly attitude of the heart that comes from fasting gives energy to turn a life around. If you are beaten or battered by one sin or another, especially sins of the flesh, this is the chance for freedom. Seraphim of Stavros (a Russian monk 1759-1833) says “The way of the active life
consists in fasting, abstinence, vigils, prostrations, and other bodily practices, which constitute the narrow
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"I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction, and He answered me. Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and You heard my voice. For You cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, And the floods surrounded me; all Your billows and Your waves passed over me. Then I said, 'I have been cast out of Your sight; Yet I will look again toward Your holy temple. ' The waters surrounded me, even to my soul; the deep closed around me; Weeds were wrapped around my head. I went down to the moorings of the mountains; the earth with its bars closed behind me forever; Yet You have brought up my life from the pit, O Lord, my God. When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord; and my prayer went up to You, Into Your holy temple." (Jonah 2:2-7)