The Holy Apostle Bartholomew was born at Cana of Galilee and was one of the Twelve Apostles of Christ. After the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, it fell by lot to the holy Apostles Bartholomew and Philip (November 14) to preach the Gospel in Syria and Asia Minor. In their preaching they wandered through various cities, and then met up again. Accompanying the holy Apostle Philip was his sister, the holy virgin St Mariamnne.
We have just read the long lesson of the man born blind, whom the Lord Jesus restored to the light; but were we to attempt handling the whole of it, and considering, according to our ability, each passage in a way proportionate to its worth, the day would be insufficient. Wherefore I ask and warn your Charity not to require any words of ours on those passages whose meaning is manifest; for it would be too protracted to linger at each.
And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was blind from his birth. Being full of love for man, and caring for our salvation, and desiring to stop the mouths of the foolish, He omits nothing of His own part, though there be none to give heed. And the Prophet knowing this says, That You might be justified when You speak, and be clear when You are judged. Wherefore here, when they would not receive His sublime sayings, but said that He had a devil, and attempted to kill Him, He went forth from the Temple, and healed the blind, mitigating their rage by His absence, and by working the miracle softening their hardness and cruelty, and establishing His assertions.
St. Antonina was from the city of Krodamos (in present day Asia Minor). She was arrested for being a Christian, and was brought before Governor Festus. He urged her to worship the pagan gods and promised to make her a priestess of the goddess Artemis. She bravely confessed Christ and urged the governor to renounce the worship of demons in the form of idols. Festus gave orders to strike the saint on the face and lock her up in prison.
However, that which escapes the attention of many is that in Syria there is a massacre of the Christian population. Recently there came to light the disclosure of the fact of the abduction of the Orthodox Metropolitan Paul and the Syro-Jacobite Metropolitan John-Ibrahim.
In our lives, my beloved brothers and sisters, God has endowed us with many gifts. Health, people we love and who love us, the beauty of the world surrounding us, the good things we need in our lives. We acknowledge many of these gifts and sometimes thank God for His loving-kindness.
It is unknown where the Holy Martyr Kalliope was from, who suffered during the years of the Emperor Decius (249-251 AD). She was known for her bodily and spiritual beauty, and also for her clear and deep piety. During the persecution of Christians of that era, she was arrested and led before the eparch for judgment. He immediately observed Kalliope’s beauty, and was occupied by evil thoughts and desires, and sought with promises and flattery to convince her to fulfill his guilty desires.
In 1836 he was ordained as a deacon and a priest by the Archbishop of Kefallonia, Parthenios Makris. Upon his ordination he was given the name “Paisios”. He then served as priest at the Monastery of Saint Spyridon in Plati Gialo near Lixouri where he originally intended to serve as a monk. There he liturgized and preached on a daily basis, spending the remaining time of his day visiting the homes of the faithful who were in need of comfort, charity, spiritual guidance, relief and compassion.
Saint Metrophanes, Archbishop of Constantinople, was a contemporary of St Constantine the Great (306-337). His father, Dometius, was a brother of the Roman emperor Probus (276-282). Seeing the falseness of the pagan religion, Dometius came to believe in Christ. During a time of terrible persecution of Christians at Rome, St Dometius set off to Byzantium with two of his sons, Probus and Metrophanes.
The great and holy myrrh-bearer Mary of Bethany is one of the women disciples of Jesus. She and her sister Martha are celebrated as saints on their shared feast day of June 4. They are also commemerated on the Third Sunday of Pascha or Sunday of Myrrh-bearing Women. Martha and Mary were believers in Christ even before Jesus Christ raised their brother St. Lazarus (October 17) from the dead.
To the Emperor Titus Ælius Adrianus Antoninus Pius Augustus Cæsar, and to his son Verissimus the Philosopher, and to Lucius the Philosopher, the natural son of Cæsar, and the adopted son of Pius, a lover of learning, and to the sacred Senate, with the whole People of the Romans, I, Justin, the son of Priscus and grandson of Bacchius, natives of Flavia Neapolis in Palestine, present this address and petition in behalf of those of all nations who are unjustly hated and wantonly abused, myself being one of them.
The education, says elder Porphyrios, lasts throughout life (lifelong education) and starts from fetal life, and constantly evolving. The most important educations and upbringing is the one held by the family. According to elder Porphyrios, the family is the first physical means of upbringing and educating people. In the first 5 years of human life the family with all functions – visible and hidden, conscious and unconscious – helps on shaping the personality.
It is typical that, when Konstantinos Palaiologos sent his brothers, Thomas and Dimitrios to Mistra as governors, although there was a coolness between them, Ypomoni was not content with the customary leave-taking. She summoned the emperor and her other two sons to the monastery, together with senators and a mutual friend, Frantzis. She gave them her advice and then bound them with oaths to keep to the agreements and contracts: “So that no-one shall transgress onto the places or bounds of the other and seize them, but they shall work together in peace”.
St. Justin was born at Neapolis, now Naplosa, the ancient Sichem, and formerly the capital of the province of Samaria. Vespasian, having endowed its inhabitants with the privileges belonging to Roman citizens, gave it the name of Flavia. His son Titus sent thither a colony of Greeks, among whom were the father and grandfather of our saint.
The Holy Confessor John the Russian was born in Little Russia around 1690, and was raised in piety and love for the Church of God. Upon attaining the age of maturity he was called to military service, and he served as a simple soldier in the army of Peter I and took part in the Russo-Turkish War.
On May 25,2013, about 2000 people attended the liturgy the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew celebrated in Mikulcice, a place linked to the medieval Christian missionaries Sts Cyril and Methodius, in spite of the rainy weather.
What manner of cure is this? What mystery doth it signify to us? For these things are not written carelessly, or without a purpose, but as by a figure and type they show in outline things to come, in order that what was exceedingly strange might not by coming unexpectedly harm among the many the power of faith. What then is it that they show in outline? A Baptism was about to be given, possessing much power, and the greatest of gifts, a Baptism purging all sins, and making men alive instead of dead.
Ascent to heaven begins with contrition, with real repentance, with remorse. It’s worth remembering that we weren’t made to return to dust. The life of the passions doesn’t in fact bring joy and satisfaction. Attaching yourself too firmly to the things of this world is a serious mistake and brings its own cost in terms of bitter consequences. It’s not unfeasible to advance beyond the visible. Anyone can manage it.
One month lapsed and we are still living the nightmare of the abduction whereabouts our two Archbishops Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim Metropolitan of the Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese of Aleppo, and Boulos Yazaji Metropolitan of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Aleppo, were kidnapped on the 22nd of April 2013. An unknown group has abducted them without claiming its responsibility until now, neither announcing the reasons for the abduction nor knowing their place.
One man was there, who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew that he had been lying there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is troubled, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your pallet, and walk.”