Happy Feast of The Holy Epiphany, 2020!

Today we observe the Feast of The Holy Epiphany, a commemoration of our Lord Jesus Christ’s baptism in the river Jordan. Happy Feast of The Holy Epiphany to everyone!

Basilica of St. Mary – Feast of Epiphany 2020 – Blessing Your Home

Happy Saint Andrew’s Day, 2020

To learn more about the Feast of Saint Andrew and why the Romanian Orthodox Church observes it every year on the 30th of November, please read last year’s article: https://lucian-hodoboc.com/happy-saint-andrew-s-day-2019/.

I also invite you to read this article if you are interested in finding out some fascinating details about the various traditions related to St. Andrew’s holiday, from Romania, Russia, Scotland, Barbados, Georgia, Ukraine and Greece: https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/scotland/1757086/st-andrews-day-scotlands-patron-saint-and-the-international-appeal-of-saint-andrew/

Happy Name Day to all who were named after St. Andrew! May everyone have a blessed St. Andrew’s Day this year!

October 1st 2020 – what are you celebrating today?

October 1st seems to be a very popular day. Lots of things seem to be “disputing” their primacy over October 1st. According to various internet sources, World Vegetarian Day, International Coffee Day, Nigeria’s Independence Day, CD Player Day, the feast day of St. Thérèse of Lisieux (in the Catholic Church) and Bring Your Bible To School Day, among others – are all observed every year on this day.

Which of these will you be celebrating, in particular, this year? Which ever it is, I hope you have a lovely day and a blessed month ahead of you!

The Lord’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem (Orthodox Palm Sunday), 2020

Palm Sunday, also called the Triumphal Entry, is one of the Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, celebrated on the Sunday before Pascha. This year it falls on April 12. Palm Sunday is the day when the Orthodox Church celebrates the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem in the days before the Jewish Passover. A mere few days before His crucifixion, Jesus Christ was received by adoring throngs at his entry into Jerusalem on the back of a young donkey.

Orthodox Palm Sunday, 2020

The believers meet him, and spread out before him his clothes and olive branches. When He and His disciples approached the city Jerusalem, He ordered them to go to the near-by village, and bring him the donkey and his little who were tied-up in the beginning of the village. If they were asked, they should say that the Lord needs it. When the people knew that the donkey was for Jesus, they did not prevent his disciples. They gave Him the donkey, and He solemnly entered Jerusalem. The news of the resurrection of Lazarus already got ahead and thousands of people went to Bethany to meet him.

You can find the event told in the four Gospels:

I invite you to read more about it on these websites:
https://www.orthodoxphotos.com/readings/LG/jerusalem.shtml
https://www.oca.org/fs/sermons/the-lords-entry-into-jerusalem
https://www.goarch.org/-/stewardship-the-entry-of-christ-into-jerusalem
https://pravoslavie.ru/69881.html

The Feast of the Holy Epiphany, 2020

On January 6, the Feast of the Holy Epiphany is celebrated by the Orthodox Church. It is the commemoration of the Baptism of Jesus Christ in the River Jordan by John the Baptist, and the divine revelation of the Holy Trinity.

At the Baptism of Christ, all three Persons of the Holy Trinity — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — were made manifest. Thus, the name of the Feast is “Epiphany”, meaning manifestation, or “Theophany”, meaning manifestation of God.

John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus and the one chosen by God to proclaim His coming, was preaching in the wilderness and was baptizing all who would respond to his message calling for repentance. As he was doing this, John was directing the people toward the one who would baptize them with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11).

The Scriptures tell us that Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. Initially, not feeling worthy of baptizing The Son Of God, John told Jesus that Jesus should baptize him. Jesus said to John, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness” (3:15). John consented and baptized Jesus.

When Jesus came up from the water, the heavens opened, and The Holy Spirit descended upon Him. The Bible records that the Spirit descended like a dove and alighted on him. When this happened, a voice came from heaven and said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased”. This was the voice of God the Father.

Check out the following sites to find out more info about The Feast of the Holy Epiphany:

https://greekcitytimes.com/2020/01/06/the-feast-of-the-holy-epiphany/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiphany_(holiday)

The Feast of Saint Lucia, 2019

Saint Lucia (or Saint Lucy) is a virgin saint who lived at the end of the third century A.C., during the reign of Emperor Diocletian. Her feast day is celebrated on December 13.

The General Roman Calendar formerly had a commemoration of Saints Lucy and Geminianus on 16 September. This was removed in 1969, as a duplication of the feast of her dies natalis on 13 December and because the Geminianus in question, mentioned in the Passio of Saint Lucy, seems to be a fictitious figure, unrelated to the Geminianus whose feast is on 31 January.

She was from Syracuse in Sicily, a virgin betrothed to a certain pagan. Since her mother suffered from an issue of blood, she went with her to the shrine of Saint Agatha at Catania to seek healing (see Feb. 5). There Saint Agatha appeared to Lucia in a dream, assuring her of her mother’s healing, and foretelling Lucia’s martyrdom. When her mother had been healed, Lucia gladly distributed her goods to the poor, preparing herself for her coming confession of Christ. Betrayed as a Christian by her betrothed to Paschasius the Governor, she was put in a brothel to be abased, but was preserved in purity by the grace of God. Saint Lucia was beheaded in the year 304, during the reign of Diocletian.

A tradition says her eyes were gouged out in torture, so she is considered by some as the patron saint of the blind. She is also the patron saint of authors, cutlers, glaziers, laborers, martyrs, peasants, Perugia, Italy; saddlers, salesmen, and stained glass workers. She is invoked against hemorraghes, dysentery, diseases of the eye, and throat infections.

Happy Saint Lucy’s Day, 2019!

Happy Saint Andrew’s Day, 2019!

Every year, on the 30th of November, the Orthodox Church celebrates and honors the sacred memory of the holy apostle Andrew, “the First-called”. Saint Andrew was from Bethsaida in Galilee, a small town on the shores of Lake Gennesaret. He was the son of Jonah and the brother of Simon, whom Jesus Christ later re-named Peter.

Andrew was first a disciple of John the Baptist and is called “the First-Called” because he was the first to be invited by Christ to the ranks of the apostles. Like his father and brother, he was a fisherman. When the holy Prophet, forerunner and Baptist John began to preach, Saint Andrew became his closest disciple. Declaring Christ to be the Lamb of God, Saint John the Baptist himself sent to Christ his own two disciples, the future apostles Andrew and John the Theologian. Saint Andrew heard John the Baptist pointing out Christ and saying: “Behold the Lamb of God”. He and another disciple approached Christ, Who turned to them and asked: ‘What do you want?’ Andrew said to him: ‘Teacher, where are you staying?’

A new church dedicated to Saint Andrew, who is considered the Protector of Romania, will be consecrated this Saturday in Johannesburg, South Africa. The consecration ceremony will be officiated Nov. 30 by His Eminence Metropolitan Iosif of Western and Southern Europe. The event represents the crowning of the efforts of the Romanian community that started 6 years ago when the foundation stone of the church was laid in the suburb of Midrand.

The legend of Saint Andrew in Romania tells that today’s territory of Romania was Christianized by Saint Andrew in the 1st century AD. While these claims lack any historical and archeological evidence, the legend has been embraced as fact by both the Romanian Orthodox Church and the Romanian state, both during Ceaușescu’s Protochronism period and after 1989, when Saint Andrew was named the patron saint of Romania.

Happy Saint Andrew’s Day, 2019!

The Protection of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, 2019

The Protection of the Mother of God is one of the most beloved feast days on the Orthodox calendar among the Slavic peoples, commemorated on October 1. The feast is celebrated additionally on October 28 in the Greek tradition. It is also known as the feast of the Virgin Mary’s Cerement.

In most Slavic languages the word “cerement” has a dual meaning of “veil” and “protection.” The Russian word Pokrov (Покров), like the Greek Skepi (Σκέπη), has a complex meaning. First of all, it refers to a cloak or shroud, but it also means protection or intercession. For this reason, the name of the feast is variously translated as the Veil of Our Lady, the Protecting Veil of the Theotokos, the Protection of the Theotokos, or the Intercession of the Theotokos.

The story has it that on October 1st, 911, during the reign of Emperor Leo the Wise, an all-night vigil was being held at the Blachernae Church of the Mother of God in Constantinople, with many of the faithful crowding the church. St Andrew the Fool for Christ (commemorated tomorrow, October 2nd) was standing at the back of the church with his disciple Epiphanius. At around four in the morning, the most holy Theotokos appeared above the people, clothed in resplendent garments, surrounded by indescribable radiance, and holding a veil in her outstretched hands, as though to protect all the people. St Andrew said to Epiphanius ‘Do you see how the Queen and Lady of all is praying for the whole world?’ Epiphanius replied ‘Yes, Father, I see it and stand in dread.’ This wonderful event is recorded in Epiphanius’ life of St Andrew. Because of it, the Church keeps an annual feast on this date.

The Feast Of The Exaltation Of The Holy Cross, 2019

Every year, on the 14th of September, the Orthodox and the Catholic Churches commemorate the Feast of the Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified.

A blessed day and a celebration of the tremendous power of the Cross of our Lord, The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross reminds us how the power and wisdom of God have been revealed.  By the Cross, we are reconciled to Christ, and we can find true and enduring peace.  It is the Cross that directs us to Christ and to the way of salvation and eternal life.

The Feast commemorates the finding of the True Cross of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by Saint Helen, the mother of the Emperor Constantine.

You can read more about it here and here.

The Exaltation of The Holy Cross
Why we have a feast day for the Cross?

Lord Jesus Christ, Son Of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Beheading of Saint John the Baptist Feast Day 2019

On August 29, The Orthodox and The Catholic Churches commemorate the beheading of John The Baptist. A strict fast is kept on this day.

I invite you to read a detailed account of the Biblical event here: https://greekcitytimes.com/2019/08/29/beheading-of-john-the-baptist/ and here: https://catholicexchange.com/memorial-of-the-passion-of-saint-john-the-baptist.