To Subscribe to our Weekly Bulletin please send us an email. 

 | Word Document | Subscribe | View HTML     


Website | Calendar | Sebastian Press Bookstore | Blog | Podcasts


  Exceptional new book on Serbian Christian Heritage in Kosovo and Metohija, its heartland in medieval times and through Ottoman domination, is intended to introduce to a wide reading public the oldest and richest treasury of Serbian medieval history and culture.  


Sunday, November 8, 2015

23rd Sunday after Pentecost: Holy & Glorious Great-martyr Demetrius the Myrrh-gusher of Thessalonica; Commemoration of the Great Earthquake
in Constantinople in 740

The angelic powers were at Thy tomb; and the guards became as dead men; and Mary stood by Thy grave, seeking Thy most pure Body. Thou didst capture hell, not being tempted by it. Thou didst come to the Virgin, granting life. O Lord who didst rise from the dead: Glory to You!

The world has found you to be a great defense against tribulation, and a vanquisher of heathens, O Passionbearer. You bolstered the courage of Nestor, who then in battle humbled the arrogance of Lyaios. O Holy Demetrius, entreat Christ God to grant us great mercy!

O Christ our God, You look upon the earth and it trembles; deliver us from the terrible threat of earthquakes; and through the prayers of the Theotokos, send down upon us Your abundant mercy and save us!

When Christ God, the Giver of Life, raised all of the dead from the valleys of misery with His mighty hand, He bestowed resurrection on the human race. He is the Savior of all, the Resurrection, the Life, and God of all.

God, who has given you invincible might, has tinged the Church with streams of your blood, O Demetrius! He preserves your city from harm, for you are its foundation.

Deliver us from upheavals and from terrible afflictions caused by our sins, O Lord, and spare Your people whom You have purchased with Your blood, O Master. Do not deliver Your city to destruction by terrible earthquakes, for we know no other God than You; and to those who cry out You respond: “I am with you and no one will be against you.”

Steadfast Protectress of Christians and constant advocate before the Creator, do not despise the cry of us sinners; but in your goodness come speedily to help us who call on you in faith. Hasten to hear our petition and to intercede for us, O Theotokos, for you always protect those who honor you!


The Prokimenon in the 6th Tone:
O Lord, save Your people and bless Your inheritance.

23rd after Pentecost: Ephesians 2: 4-10
Brethren, God who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Epistle for St. Demetrius: 2 Timothy 2: 1-10
My son Timothy, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things. Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

Epistle for the Great Earthquake: Hebrews 12: 6-13, 25-27
Brethren, “For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.

The Alleluia Verses:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the heavenly God. He will say to the Lord: My Protector and my Refuge; my God, in whom I trust.


23rd after Pentecost: Luke 8: 26-39
At that time, Jesus and His disciples sailed to the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee. And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!” For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness. Jesus asked him saying, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him. And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss. Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them. Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned. When those who fed them saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was healed. Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned. Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.” And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.

Gospel for St. Demetrius: John 15: 17 – 16: 2
At that time Jesus said: "These things I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of this world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will kept yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me, hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, 'They hated Me without a cause.' But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who precedes from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning. These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.

Gospel for the Great Earthquake: Matthew 8: 23-27
At that time, when Jesus got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”

From The Prologue
For October 26/November 8 by St. Nikolai Velimirovic:

The Holy Great-martyr Demetrius
This glorious and wonderworking saint was born in Thessalonica of noble and devout parents. Implored of God by childless parents, Demetrius was their only son, and so was raised and educated with great care. Demetrius’s father was a commander in Thessalonica. When his father died, Emperor Maximian appointed Demetrius as commander in his place. As he appointed him, Maximian, an opponent of Christ, particularly recommended that he persecute and exterminate the Christians in Thessalonica. Demetrius not only disobeyed the emperor but openly confessed and preached the Lord Jesus Christ in the city of Thessalonica. When the emperor heard of this he became furious with Demetrius. Then, when he was returning from battle against the Sarmatians, Maximian stopped at Thessalonica to investigate the matter. The emperor summoned Demetrius and questioned him about his faith. Demetrius openly acknowledged his Christian Faith to the emperor and also denounced the emperor’s idolatry. Maximian cast Demetrius into prison. Knowing what was awaiting him, Demetrius gave all his goods to his faithful servant Lupus to distribute to the poor, and joyfully awaited his imminent suffering for Christ the Lord. An angel of God appeared to him in prison, saying: “Peace be to you, O sufferer of Christ; be brave and be strong!” After several days, the emperor sent soldiers to the prison to kill Demetrius. The soldiers found the saint of God at prayer and ran him through with lances. Christians secretly took his body and honorably buried it. Healing myrrh flowed from the body of the martyr of Christ, curing many of the sick. Soon, a small church was built over his relics.

An Illyrian nobleman, Leontius, was afflicted with an incurable illness. He hastened, with prayer, to the relics of St. Demetrius and was completely healed. In thanksgiving, Leontius erected a much larger church on the site of the old church. The saint appeared to him on two occasions. When Emperor Justinian wanted to translate the relics of the saint from Thessalonica to Constantinople, flaming sparks sprang from the tomb and a voice was heard: “Stop, and do not touch!” And thus, the relics of St. Demetrius have remained for all time in Thessalonica. As the protector of Thessalonica, St. Demetrius has appeared many times, and on many occasions has saved Thessalonica from great calamity. His miracles are without number. The Russians considered St. Demetrius to be the protector of Siberia, which was conquered and annexed to Russia on October 26, 1581.

The Venerable Martyr Ioasaph
Ioasaph was a disciple of St. Niphon, Patriarch of Constantinople, and labored in asceticism on the Holy Mountain. He had so great a love for Christ that all of his ascetic works seemed inadequate, and from love he desired to suffer for his Lord. For that reason he went to Constantinople, where he openly confessed to the Turks his faith in the Holy Trinity and the Son of God. The enraged Turks beheaded him on October 26, 1536.

The Commemoration of the Great Earthquake of Constantinople
In the year 740, during the reign of Emperor Leo the Isaurian, there was a terrifying and prolonged earthquake in Constantinople. The people considered this a punishment from God for their sins, and prayed with great repentance to the Most-holy Theotokos and St. Demetrius, until God showed mercy and the earthquake ceased.

HYMN OF PRAISE: The Holy Great-martyr Demetrius
Thessalonica glorifies its wonderful saint—
St. Demetrius, servant of the Most-high God.
Demetrius, the commander,
Servant of the Creator and Lord.
St. Paul bedewed Thessalonica with tears,
Demetrius watered it with his blood.
Demetrius, the commander,
Servant of the Creator and Lord.
The tears of the apostle and the blood of the martyr
Are the glory, salvation and pride of Thessalonica.
Demetrius, the commander,
Servant of the Creator and Lord.
Let us also glorify Christ’s soldier,
The myrrh-gushing saint and courageous martyr.
Demetrius, the commander,
Servant of the Creator and Lord.

A miracle of St. Demetrius of Thessalonica: Demetrius was a commander of Thessalonica during his life and remained so after his repose. People have felt his presence in Thessalonica, especially in times of great calamities. He protects the city, wards off misfortunes, repels invaders, and helps all who invoke his name. Here is a wonderful example of his unusual aid to people in need. Once, the barbarians attacked Thessalonica and were unable to overtake it. Infuriated at this, they pillaged the countryside and bound and carried off two beautiful maidens whom they gave as a gift to their prince. These maidens knew how to embroider well. When the prince saw their handiwork, he said to them: “I hear that there is a great god in your land, Demetrius, and that he works great miracles. Embroider his face on this linen.” The maidens told him that St. Demetrius was not a god but rather God’s servant and the helper of Christians. At first, they refused to embroider the face of the saint, but when the prince threatened them with death, they carried out the command and completed the task by St. Demetrius’s Day. On the eve of the feast, they looked at their embroidery and wept sorrowfully, as they had to spend the feast day in slavery and had to give that embroidered image of their beloved saint to an impious barbarian. Both maidens prayed to St. Demetrius to forgive them. Then St. Demetrius appeared to them and took them both away, as an angel had once taken the Prophet Habakkuk. He brought them to Thessalonica and set them in his church. A solemn all-night vigil was being celebrated, and many people were there. When they learned of the miraculous rescue of these Christian maidens, all glorified God and St. Demetrius, His great servant and commander.


Contemplate the miraculous deliverance of Peter from prison (Acts 12):
1. How Peter was sleeping in the prison bound with two chains;
2. How the faithful prayed to God for Peter;
3. How a radiant angel appeared in the prison, freed the shackled Peter, and led him out.

HOMILY on the heart ready for God

My heart is ready, O God, my heart is ready (Psalm 57:7).
Brethren, blessed is he who is able to speak like this to his Lord! Blessed is he whose heart is completely ready to follow the will of God. The readiness of the heart of man lies in this: to joyfully follow the will of God and not be confused by one’s own thoughts and desires. At first, the repentant King David had followed his own sinful thoughts and desires, and was like a boat on a stormy sea. However, when he realized that the storm was going to drown him, he turned to God with great repentance and tears, and turned the boat of his life entirely over to God. My heart is ready, O God, my heart is ready! he cried out with great peace of soul, for he knew that he had given his boat into the hands of the Most-skilled Helmsman. The storm still raged and the winds and waves still assaulted him, but he was not afraid, convinced that nothing could smash his boat, and that his boat would sail safely to a calm harbor. A “ready heart” means a heart cleansed of pride and humbled before the majestic power and wisdom of God. A “ready heart” means a heart emptied of all worldly desires and illusions, and filled with nothing but aspirations toward God and love for God. A “ready heart” means a heart that is healed of all restlessness, cares and fears, and is quieted and encouraged by the presence of God’s grace. I will sing and give praise in my glory (Psalm 57:7), continues the Psalmist. This shows that his heart is truly ready—he is not proud of his royal glory but ascribes it to God. He humbled himself before God as nothing, and now his sole pleasure is to magnify and glorify God. His personal glory only gives him a reason for glorifying His All-glorious God. O my brethren, let us endeavor that our hearts be ready soon before God: ready to hear the word of God, ready to follow the will of God, ready to glorify the Living God. O Lord God, our immortal Creator, help us to ready our hearts, that they may be vessels of Thy life-giving grace. To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.

hagiography sts mardarije sebastian articles photos



St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church
in Jackson, CA

st sebastian 250blueSCHEDULE
Saturday, Nov. 28th
Tranlation of Relics

Sunday, Nov. 29th
Matins 9am - Liturgy
Festive Luncheon
Vespers 6pm

Monday, Nov. 30th
Matins 9am - Liturgy


Order your own
hand-painted icon of
Sts. Mardarije & Sebastian

sts medarije sebastian 448px

Five beautiful hand-painted icons of Sts. Mardarije and Sebastian are now available for purchase! 
Only $400 each
Size: 30w x 40h

Order Now

What is Orthodox Christianity?

what is orthodoxy
A three-part slideshow that answers the question, "What is Orthodox Christianity?" by emphasizing the prayer of the heart, watchfulness, and the Holy Mysteries that set Orthodox Christianity apart from other Christian confessions.

View All Three Parts


sts mardarije sebastian


serbian americans

no faith

synaxarion flyer


festive fast


kss brosura
The Ministry of the Circle of Serbian Sisters




Also on Kindle 
at Amazon:

Our Newest Addition

 No Faith is More Beautiful
than the Christian Faith

The Art of Seeing

The Thunderbolt
of Ever-Living Fire

The Presence of Transcendence: Essays on Facing the Other through Holiness, History, and Text

Man and the God-Man

The Meaning of Reality

The One and the Many

The Prologue of Ohrid

Treasures New and Old

History, Truth, Holiness


Stamatis Skliris’ Vision of the Past, Present, and Future
of American Natural Treasures



Switch mode views: