The Feast of The Ascension of Jesus Christ, 2020

In Orthodox Christianity, The Feast of the Ascension of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ is celebrated each year on the fortieth day after The Great and Holy Feast of Pascha (Easter). Since the date of Pascha changes each year, the date of the Feast of the Ascension changes. The Feast is always celebrated on a Thursday. This year, today, May the 28th is said Thursday.

The Feast itself commemorates when, on the fortieth day after His Resurrection, Jesus led His disciples to the Mount of Olives, and after blessing them and asking them to wait for the fulfillment of the promise of the Holy Spirit, He ascended into heaven.

Great Vespers for the Ascension of The Lord Jesus Christ, 2020

The Lord Jesus passed forty days on earth after His Resurrection from the dead, appearing continually in various places to His disciples, with whom He also spoke, ate, and drank, thereby further demonstrating His Resurrection. On this Thursday, the fortieth day after Pascha, He appeared again in Jerusalem. After He had first spoken to the disciples about many things, He gave them His last commandment, that is, that they go forth and proclaim His Name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. But He also commanded them that for the present, they were not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait there together until they receive power from on high, when the Holy Spirit would come upon them.
Saying these things, He led them to the Mount of Olives, and raising His hands, He blessed them; and saying again the words of the Father’s blessing, He was parted from them and taken up. Immediately a cloud of light, a proof of His majesty, received Him. Sitting thereon as though on a royal chariot, He was taken up into Heaven, and after a short time was concealed from the sight of the disciples, who remained where they were with their eyes fixed on Him. At this point, two Angels in the form of men in white raiment appeared to them and said, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into Heaven? This same Jesus, Who is taken up from you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven” (Acts 1:11). These words, in a complete and concise manner, declare what is taught in the Symbol of Faith concerning the Son and Word of God. Therefore, having so fulfilled all His dispensation for us, our Lord Jesus Christ ascended in glory into Heaven, and sat at the right hand of God the Father. As for His sacred disciples, they returned from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem, rejoicing because Christ had promised to send them the Holy Spirit.

https://www.goarch.org/chapel/saints?contentid=943&PCode=6PTh&D=T&date=05/28/2020

Christ has ascended! Truly He has ascended!
http://www.pravmir.com/the-ascension-a-beginning-not-an-ending/

Feast Day of Saints Constantine and Helen, 2020

Feast Day of Sts. Constantine and Helen, 2020

Eastern-Orthodoxy observes the Feast Day of Saints Constantin and Helen every year on May 21st.

Saint Constantine was born in 272, the son of Constantius Chlorus, ruler of the western part of the Roman Empire. His mother was St Helen.

After his father death, in 306, St. Constantine was proclaimed successor to the throne. The empire was ruled at that time by several Caesars, each with his own territory.

When Constantine learned that the Caesars Maxentius and Maximinus had joined against him, he marched on Italy, where, on the eve of a decisive battle outside Rome, he saw in the sky a radiant Cross with the words “In this sign conquer.” He ordered that a battle-standard be made bearing the image of a cross and inscribed with the Name of Jesus Christ.

The following day he and his forces attacked and won a spectacular victory. He entered Rome in triumph and in 312 was proclaimed “Emperor of the West” by the Senate. The East was ruled by his brother-in-law, Licinius. Soon thereafter he issued his “Edict of Milan”, whereby Christianity was officially tolerated for the first time, and persecution of Christians ceased. (Many believe, mistakenly, that the Edict made Christianity the only legal religion; in fact, it proclaimed freedom of religion throughout the Empire).

Licinius, though he pretended to accept the Edict, soon began persecuting Christians in his domain. In response, Constantine fought and defeated him in 324, becoming sole Emperor of the entire Roman Empire. In 324 he laid the foundations of a new capital in the town of Byzantium; in 330 he inaugurated the new capital city, naming it “New Rome” and “Constantinople”. In 325 he called the First Ecumenical Council at Nicea, attending its sessions himself. Shortly before his repose in 337, he received Holy Baptism; he died on Holy Pentecost, at the age of sixty-five, and was interred in the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople.

St. Constantine’s holy mother Helen, in her role as “Augusta” of the Empire, founded countless churches. She traveled to Jerusalem and found the True Cross on which the Lord was crucified. In the Holy Land she established churches at the sites of Christ’s Nativity and burial, which still stand today in much-modified form. She died at about eighty years of age.

Read the original article here: https://greece.greekreporter.com/2020/05/21/greeks-worldwide-celebrate-saints-constantine-and-helen/

Read more about the Saints Constantine and Helen on these websites:

https://www.goarch.org/chapel/saints?contentid=62
http://www.greekwestisland.org/our-church/saints-constantine-and-helen/
http://www.stsconstantinehelen.org

People who wear the names of Constantine and Helen, or other names derived from these, celebrate their name day on May 21st.

No Diet Day, 2020

International No Diet Day (INDD) is an annual celebration of body acceptance, observed on the 6th of May. This day is dedicated to promoting a healthy life style with a focus on health at any size and in raising awareness of the potential dangers of dieting and the unlikelihood of success; the Institute of Medicine summarizes: “those who complete weight loss programs lose approximately 10 percent of their body weight only to regain two-thirds within a year and almost all of it within five years.

First started by Mary Evans (who had battled anorexia in her life) in 1992 with the aim of helping men and women around the world appreciate their own bodies, No Diet Day has evolved over the years and currently brings attention to tough issues regarding diet and body awareness, focusing on a number of agendas. This includes the following:

  • Educating people about the right way to diet responsibly and effectively
  • Having all people take a one-day break from their diets
  • Celebrating the diversity of different shapes and sizes

To celebrate No Diet Day, you can start by recognizing that your own body is beautiful exactly as it is. De-emphasizing your efforts to shed weight to look a particular way, it is far better to celebrate the holiday with efforts at beginning to live a healthier lifestyle altogether. Worry less about your final goal, and more about getting out and being active and keeping your body healthy.

Participants are also encouraged to:

  • Compliment colleagues on skills, achievements, and contributions instead of focusing on appearance
  • Declare a day free of dieting and obsessions about weight and shape.
  • Challenge the idea of one “right” body shape and embrace body diversity.
  • Learn the facts about the diet industry and understand the inefficacy of commercial diets.
  • Help end weight discrimination, sizeism, and fatphobia.
  • Use the #NoDietDay hashtag to share on social media.

Read more about it here:
https://nationaltoday.com/international-no-diet-day/
https://nationaldaycalendar.com/international-no-diet-day-may-6/