Dear Brethren in Christ,
I regret to inform you that the following individuals, who reside in Taiwan, 1.Kiril Shkarbul, 2.Seraphim William Davinson created a schismatic “church”, the so called “Taiwan Orthodox Church”, and thus they excommunicated themselves and abandon the Orthodox Church-the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I consider them as strangers to the Body of the Orthodox Church and I inform you that they have no the right to call themselves as “Orthodox Christians” and to participate in the Holy and Sacred Sacraments of the Orthodox Church.
In the 4th century small anchorite communities began to form in the region, acting on instruction of Saint Basil of Caesarea. They carved cells in the soft rock. During the iconoclastic period (725-842) the decoration of the many sanctuaries in the region was held to a minimum, usually symbols such as the depiction of the cross. After this period, new churches were dug into the rocks and they were richly decorated with colourful frescoes.
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.