Solomon the Wise assures us: “The horse is prepared for battle, but victory belongs to the LORD.” (Proverbs 21:31). The virtue of the horse is a great example for the spiritual life of every Christian faithful. With Christianity being challenged around the world, Christians must be “brave” in living out their faith.
The sea represents the whole creation and the holy cross represents Jesus Christ. The Church with the service of the blessing of the waters and the tossing of the holy cross into the sea conveys the sanctification to the whole creation. In Hong Kong the Service will be conducted this year on Sunday, January 5th at 13.00p.m. at Blake Pier in Stanley.
Fr.Athanasios Manalu, a Presbyter of the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Singapore and South Asia, fell asleep in the Lord on Wednesday, December 25,2013. Fr.Athanasios was a married priest and a father of five children. He was ordained as Presbyter by the then Metropolitan of Hong Kong Nikitas (now Metropolitan of Dardanelles) and he served as a priest in several Orthodox Communities in Medan and Nias Island in Sumatra.
On Sunday, March 17,2013, fr.Panharios Borreros visited the Orthodox Community in Lake Cebu, Chrismated catechumens and celebrated the Divine Liturgy.
The Orthodox Community of Sts Peter and Paul in Pasay City, Philippines, celebrated in a solemn way the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord.
The Orthodox Community in Sorsogon, Philippines celebrated in a solemn way its Patron Saint, Hieromartyr Eleftherios.
The main elements of Great Lent are prayer and fasting. Prayer presupposes faith. Without prayer one is helpless, insecure, blind and alone. Tied to the earth, to matter, one is not aware that they can fly high, to shine in the heavens, to have needed heavenly assistance. They are magnetized, tied, attached to the perishable and earthly. They are not easily detached. They try to acquire treasure on earth. They constantly look for pleasure to cheer them up, instead they get pain out of it. It is sad and pathetic to look for happiness in the mud.
“Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me” or, more briefly, “Lord have mercy” was given to Christians at the time of the apostles and was appointed for them to say without ceasing, as, indeed, they do. But what this “Lord have mercy” means is something that very few people know today and so they say it in everyday speech, pointlessly, alas, and in vain. They don’t receive the Lord’s mercy, because they don’t know what they’re asking.
The Apostle Timothy was a disciple of the Apostle Paul. He was born in Lystra of Lycaonia of a Greek father and Judean mother. Very early on his father departed this temporary life and Saint Timothy grew up with his mother Eunice and his grandmother Loida, who raised him with the pure milk of faith and taught him from his childhood to pray and study the word of God. When the Apostle Paul passed through Lystra he acknowledged the spiritual gifts of the young Timothy and saw him as a worthy missionary worker.
Through the grace of God, the Primates of the Most Holy Autocephalous Orthodox Churches, to the Orthodox faithful throughout the world, all of our Christian brothers and sisters as well as every person of goodwill: we extend God’s blessing and our greeting of love and peace.
Address by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Synaxis of First-Hierarchs of the Orthodox Churches
We offer glory and praise to our God who is worshipped in the Trinity for rendering us worthy to convene once again in the same place for another Synaxis, as those entrusted by His grace and mercy with the responsibility of leadership for the local autocephalous Orthodox Churches. This is the sixth such consecutive Synaxis since this blessed custom commenced in 1992, shortly after our elevation to the Throne of Constantinople. Like the Psalmist, we too proclaim: “Behold what a good and wonderful thing it is for brothers to dwell in the same place.” Our heart is filled with joy and delight in receiving you and embracing each one of you with sincere love, profound honor and favorable anticipation of our encounter.
At the invitation of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the First-Hierarchs of all the Orthodox Autocephalous Churches will gather from March 6-9, 2014, for a Sacred Synaxis at the Phanar in order to deliberate on matters pertaining to the entire Orthodox Church throughout the world and procedural issues for the convocation of the Holy and Great Council, whose preparation is coming to an end.
Our Orthodox Church recommends that, during this period of Great Lent, we focus our attention toward sincere repentance, “the melting pot of sin,” according to St. John Chrysostom. Repentance is the first topic of our Lord Jesus Christ’s preaching and the very essence of the Christian teaching. It is the Church’s daily invitation to us all. Despite this, many of us have not truly experienced repentance. We sometimes feel that it does not concern us personally because we do have not “come to ourselves” in order to comprehend and contemplate how we may have committed any sin.
In a recent synodal decision, the Church of Russia seems once again to choose its isolation both from theological dialogue with the Catholic Church and from the communion of the Orthodox Churches. Two points are worth noting from the outset, which are indicative of the intent of the Church of Russia’s Synod:
Many centuries ago, the Prophet foresaw and announced with enthusiasm and joy the birth of the child Jesus from the ever-Virgin Mary. Naturally, even then, there was no period of census by Augustus Caesar, no place to stay for the safety of the Holy Virgin who was carrying a child by the Holy Spirit. So the holy Joseph as her betrothed and protector was obliged to lead her to a cave, a manger with animals, “in order to give birth to a child.”
Large-scale poverty is now endemic in Hong Kong as the gap between rich and poor widens, with old people the hardest hit, according to one of the city’s oldest and most respected NGOs.
The Hong Kong Council of Social Service, which has been tracking poverty in the city [...]
Hong Kong goes into three days of mourning today (October 4) for the 38 people killed in the ferry disaster.
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and other principal officials will observe three minutes of silence outside government headquarters in Admiralty at noon.
Government services except immigration and emergency services will [...]
Detectives in Faisalabad, around 60 miles from Lahore, said they were investigating whether accusations of blasphemy had also been made against the boy.
Human rights campaigners condemned the killing of Samuel Yaqoob whose burned and tortured body body was discovered on Eid, the celebration which marks the end of the [...]
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People who hope in God are truly blessed. God is always a help to them and they have no fear of anything that other people might do to them. They hope in God and do what’s right. They have placed all their hope in Him, and they confess Him with all their heart. He is their boast, their God, and they call upon Him day and night. Their mouths send up praise to God, their lips are sweeter than honeycombs, when they open them to sing to God.
On December 19, 2013, His All-Holiness received an honorary doctorate from Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University (formerly Robert College) for his extraordinary vision and initiatives for the protection of the natural environment. The award comes on the occasion of Boğaziçi University’s 150th anniversary. Not only is this Turkish institution of higher learning the first ever to be ranked (as it has since 2012) among the top 200 universities in the world, but it is the first to bestow such an honor on His All-Holiness, and the first also publicly to acknowledge his status and position as Ecumenical Patriarch, a title which has been used since the 6th century A.D.
The following encyclical issued by the Sacred Synod of the Church of Greece is meant to uphold the Orthodox Christian principles of marriage and family, and its opposition to the so-called Free Cohabitation Agreement issued by the Greek Government, which is positioned as an alternative form of permanent cohabitation and should not be considered a “soft” marriage.
Sumptuous and splendid entertainers give frequent and constant entertainments, alike to display their own wealth, and to show good-will to their acquaintance. So also the grace of the Spirit, affording us a proof of his own power, and displaying much good-will towards the friends of God, sets before us successively and constantly the tables of the martyrs. Lately, for instance, a maiden quite young, and unmarried, the blessed martyr Pelagia, entertained us, with much joy. Today again, this blessed and noble martyr Ignatius has succeeded to her feast. The persons are different: The table is one. The wrestlings are varied: The crown is one. The contests are manifold: The prize is the same.
This holy man is called “the God-bearer” because he constantly bore the name of the Living God in his heart and on his lips. According to tradition, he was thus named because he was held in the arms of God Incarnate, Jesus Christ. On a day when the Lord was teaching His disciples humility, He took a child and placed him among them, saying: Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 18:4).
Aglaïa was a prosperous woman who lived in the region around Rome in the time of Diocletian and had Bonifatius as a slave. Bonifatius was her steward, very good-looking in appearance, generous to the poor and kind-hearted, but with a liking for drink and debauchery. They soon fell in love and had a clandestine relationship, since the difference in their social station would not permit any thought of marriage.
If we are to understand the events at the beginning of the 4th century related to the above title, we need first to make a brief historical review of the issue of the ordination of the clergy and their married, or non-married life. Naturally, at the time when Christianity was becoming established in the world, the matter of the marriage of the clergy could hardly have been dealt with in the same way as it was later.
Behold a new and wondrous mystery. My ears resound to the Shepherd’s song, piping no soft melody, but chanting full forth a heavenly hymn. The Angels sing. The Archangels blend their voice in harmony. The Cherubim hymn their joyful praise. The Seraphim exalt His glory.
The adjective «human» attributes something to all humans in general. «Rights» belong to each human individually, unconditionally and without exceptions. Each individual existence, being human, is a bearer of rights. The word «right» refers to the claim-demand of an individual, a claim which is made possible by some commonly accepted (and therefore mandatory for all) code of law.
According to the Bible and the Patristic tradition, the devil is not the personalization of passions, but an entity created by God as an angel; when this angel ceased communicating with Him, he became a dark spirit, the devil. The devil as an entity is an independent agent which means that he has freedom which is neither violated nor abolished by God.
After the Schism between Constantinople and Rome, the Roman Church tended to work on the assumption that there was no Church in the East, but only scattered Christians. Although this contention may be dismissed as a polemic exaggeration, Rome interpreted Christian universality as universality of the West.
Faith in God and participation in the Divine Liturgy, especially in the Eucharistic Assembly, constitute two inseparable realities for every lively member of the Church. The true Christian cannot live without the Divine Liturgy. The Upper Rooms of the Mystical Supper and Pentecost, whose continuation are the parish churches, constitute the places of the presence of God and of the distribution of the divine charismas par excellence.
The teaching of the Church, according to which images are an integral element of the Christian Gospel from its very beginning, is also expressed in the tradition which asserts that the first icon of Christ appeared during His life on earth. In the West, this image was called “the Holy Face.”
Below are some very characteristic and very important passages from Saint John of Damascus on the subject of Hell: 1. Hell is not God’s punishment, but it is a state of receptivity. It appears that Hell and Paradise as “places” do not exist. There is only God, who is present in all places (omnipresent).
With paternal joy and patriarchal satisfaction, from the Sacred Center of our Faith, we are delighted to address the Second International Conference on Religious Freedom organized and hosted by our cherished Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The Church of St. Nicholas in ancient Myra (modern Kale or Demre) is a ruined Byzantine church containing the tomb of St. Nicholas of Myra, as well as many fine mosaics and murals. The saint was buried in Myra upon his death, and a church may have been built over his tomb soon after.
On 7 December, we celebrate the memory of Saint Ambrose, Bishop of Mediolanum, today’s Milan, Born in the 4th century, he was an important man and a great legal expert who became governor of Milan and the surrounding region. He was a just, prudent person and a catechumen, i. e. he was preparing for baptism. The Bishop of Milan died and then the Orthodox quarrelled with the Arians over the succession.
Once, a lady came to my office to talk to me about the sadness she was experiencing for many years; she had had five miscarriages and was mourning the loss of her children. Her biggest difficulty with the issue, she explained, was that her children were condemned to hell because they were never baptized. I asked her how she had come to that conclusion and she answered that she was taught early in her life that all people who die and have never been baptized go to hell, even infants, because of “original sin”.
Habakkuk was the son of Asaphat from the tribe of Simeon. He prophesied six hundred years before Christ, during the time of King Manasseh, and foretold the destruction of Jerusalem. When Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, attacked Jerusalem, Habakkuk sought refuge in the land of the Ishmaelites. From there he returned to Judea, where he lived as a farmer. One day he was carrying lunch to the workers in the fields, when suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared to him and said: Go carry the dinner that thou hast into Babylon unto Daniel, who is in the lion’s den (Daniel 14:34).
On Saturday, November 30, 2013, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presided over the Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal Church of St. George for the celebration of the Patronal Feast of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the occasion of the Feast of St. Andrew, First-Called of the Apostles. His All-Holiness presided also over the ordination of the newly-elected Archbishop Job of Telmessos.