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.

The Sunday of Saint Mary Of Egypt

Born probably about 344 A.D. revered as the patron saint of penitents, most particularly in the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Churches, and Oriental Orthodox Churches, St. Mary Of Egypt was a desert ascetic who repented of a life of prostitution and passed away in a remarkable manner in 421 A.D. The primary source of information on Saint Mary of Egypt is the Vita written of her by St. Sophronius, the Patriarch of Jerusalem (634–638).

The date of the saint is somewhat uncertain. The Bollandists place her death on 1 April, 421, while many other authorities put it a century later. The Greek Church celebrates her feast on 1 April, while the Roman Martyrology assigns it to 2 April, and the RomanCalendar to 3 April. The Greek date is more likely to be correct; the others may be due to the fact that on those days portions of her relics reached the West. Relics of the saint are venerated at Rome, Naples, Cremona, Antwerp, and some other places. In The Orthodox Church, she is also commemorated on the fifth Sunday in Great Lent due to her recognition by the Church as a model of repentance.

I will paraphrase a brief story of her life, as told by CatholicNewsAgency.com:

When she was 12 years old, she moved from Egypt to the city of Alexandria and worked as a prostitute for 17 years. She joined a large group that was making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the feast of The Exaltation of The Holy Cross. With the intention of luring others into sexual sin, she followed the crowd as it was headed to the Church in order to venerate the relic of The True Cross. When she got near the door of the church, a mysterious force prevented her from entering, pushing her back whenever she approached. After trying to enter several times, Mary moved to a corner of the churchyard and was filled with a sense of remorse for her sins. As she was crying, she saw a statue of The Virgin Mary and she prayed to The Holy Mother for the permission to enter the church for the purpose of venerating the relic. She promised the Virgin Mother, she would renounce the world and its ways. Mary of Egypt was then able to enter the church, as the mysterious force no longer held her back. After she venerated the relic, she returned to the statue outside and prayed for guidance. She heard a voice telling her to cross the Jordan river and then she would find rest. She did as told and arrived at the Jordan, where she received communion at a church dedicated to St. John The Baptist. The next day she crossed the river and lived in the desert alone for 47 years. Then, while making his Lenten retreat, a priest named Zosimus found her. She asked him to return to the banks of the Jordan on Holy Thursday of the following year and to bring her Communion. The priest was true to his word and returned bearing the Eucharist. Mary told him to come back again the next year, but to the place where he had originally met her. When Zosimus returned in a year’s time, he found Mary’s corpse. On the ground beside it was a written request that she be buried accompanied by a statement that she had died the previous year, in 421 A.D., on the very night she had received Holy Communion.

Read more about Saint Mary Of Egypt by following these links:
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09763a.htm
https://orthodoxwiki.org/Mary_of_Egypt
https://www.oca.org/saints/lives/2018/04/01/100963-venerable-mary-of-egypt
http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/synexarion/maryofegypt.htm

The Life of Saint Mary of Egypt by Saint Sophronius.
Week 6 of Lent – Mary of Egypt – Coffee with Sister Vanessa

Happy Saint Valentine’s Day, 2020!

Happy Saint Valentine‘s Day to everyone! Whether you are in a relationship or single, may you have a lovely, blessed day! Don’t let singleness stop you from serving God.

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!

Saint Nicholas Day, 2019

Every year on December the 6th, the Orthodox Church commemorates Saint Nicholas of Myra (known as “the Wonder-worker”). While widely honored and venerated, not only in the Orthodox Church, but throughout most Christian groups, not much is known of the life of Nicholas.

From what is known, he was archbishop of Myra and he may have participated in the Council of Nicea in 325, although the latter fact is uncertain. In addition to being honored as the patron saint of many countries, notably Greece and Russia, and of cities, he is the patron of many occupational groups, most notably of sea-farers. He is also the basis for the Santa Claus legends and imagery which accompany Christmas celebrations in some parts of the world.

St. Nicholas is commemorated by the Church on December 6, and also on May 9 (the transfer of his relics) and on July 29 (his nativity).

After he inherited his parents’ estate, he became known for his generous gifts to those in need. As a youth, he made pilgrimages to Palestine and Egypt.

In time his fame in northern Europe as a saintly bishop began changing to that of a giver of gifts to children, usually done on December 6. As immigrants from the Germanic and Nordic lands settled in the United States the image of St. Nicholas, or “Sinterklaas,” as he is known among the Dutch, slowly changed to that of “Santa Claus” with little tie to the spirituality of Christianity.

Find out more about Saint Nicholas by visiting the sites linked below:

https://orthodoxwiki.org/Nicholas_of_Myra
https://www.oca.org/saints/lives/2007/12/06/103484-saint-nicholas-the-wonderworker-archbishop-of-myra-in-lycia
https://www.sngoc.org/content/about-st-nicholas
http://saintnicholas.ucoz.com/stnich-page.html

Saint Nicholas, pray for us.

Feast Day of Prophet Elijah, 2019

Saint Elijah The Prophet Orthodox Church Liturgy

Every year, on the 20th of July, the Orthodox Church commemorates Prophet Elijah (Elias).

The Holy Prophet Elijah was born in Tishba of Gilead into the Levite tribe 900 years before the Incarnation of the Word of God. Elijah is one of the greatest of the prophets, and the first dedicated to virginity in the Old Testament.

Saint Epiphanius of Cyprus gives the following account about the birth of the Prophet Elijah: “When Elijah was born, his father Sobach saw in a vision angels of God around him. They swaddled him with fire and fed him with flames”.

The name Elijah (“Yahweh is my God”) given to the infant defined his whole life. Having dedicated himself to The One God, Elijah settled in the wilderness and spent his whole life in strict fasting, meditation, and prayer. Called to prophetic service, which put him in conflict with the Israelite king Ahab, the prophet became a fiery zealot of true faith and piety.

Read more about the Holy Prophet Elijah in The Bible, and in this article.

Saint Stephen The Great (Ştefan Cel Mare) of Moldavia

I know that this article is late, and I apologize for posting it now, but I just recently came across a video of the celebration of Saint Stephen The Great’s feast day on YouTube and wanted to inform my readers about this very interesting Romanian ruler who was glorified by the Orthodox Church.

Eleven days ago, on the 2nd of July, was the feast day of a rather controversial Orthodox saint — Saint Stephen The Great of Moldova. Stephen (“Ştefan” in his native language, Romanian) was one of the most important rulers of Moldova (a large region of modern-day Romania).

He ruled from 1457 to 1504 and gained his fame due to his great statesmanship. A remarkable military tactician, as well as a devout Orthodox Christian, he was responsible for defending Moldova against the Ottoman invasion, and went down in history not only for his victories, but also for having built a church or monastery in thanks to God after each victory.

Stephen the Great was glorified, along with his spiritual father St. Daniel the Hermit of Voroneţ (“Sfântul Daniil Sihastru de la Voroneţ”) and many other Romanian saints, by the Synod of the Church of Romania in 1992. His feast day is July 2.

Read more about his life in the Orthodox Wiki: https://orthodoxwiki.org/Stephen_the_Great

Let me know in the comments section if you have heard about Saint Stephen The Great and, if you haven’t, what your opinion about him is after having read the article I recommended above.

The Feast Day of the Apostles Peter and Paul, 2019

Today, on the 29th of June, 2019, the Holy Orthodox Church celebrates the feast day of the Holy Foremost Apostles, St. Peter and St. Paul.

I invite you to read about the holy lives of the two apostles by clicking the following links:

https://orthodoxie.com/en/june-29/

https://www.novinite.com/articles/198202/Today+the+Orthodox+Church+Honours+the+Memory+of+the+Great+Apostles+Peter+and+Paul

Saint Peter, Saint Paul, pray for us sinners.