Weekly Diocesan Bulletin - Sunday, July 24, 2016

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WEEKLY DIOCESAN BULLETIN

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost:
Holy Great-martyr Euphemia the All-praised;
Blessed Olga, Princess of Russia


RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE FOUR:
When the women disciples of the Lord learned from the angel the joyous message of Your Resurrection, they cast away the ancestral curse and elatedly told the apostles: Death is overthrown!  Christ God is risen, granting the world great mercy!

TROPARION TO SAINT EUPHEMIA - TONE THREE:
You brought joy to the Orthodox and shame to the defenders of heresy, for you confirmed what the Fathers of the Fourth Council had correctly taught.  Glorious martyr Euphemia, fair virgin of Christ, entreat Christ God to grant us His great mercy.

RESURRECTIONAL KONTAKION - TONE FOUR:
My Savior and Redeemer as God rose from the tomb and delivered the earthborn from their chains.  He has shattered the gates of hell, and as Master, He has risen on the third day!

KONTAKION TO SAINT EUPHEMIA - TONE TWO:
For the sake of Christ your Bridegroom you underwent struggles in both martyrdom and faith.  Now intercede with the Mother of God that heresies and the insolent enemies of the Orthodox be placed underfoot.  You received and guarded that which was defined by the six hundred and thirty God-bearing Fathers, all-praised Euphemia.

HYMN TO THE MOTHER OF GOD - TONE SIX:
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!

EPISTLE READING

The Prokimenon in the 4th Tone:
O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all.

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost: Romans 10: 1-10
Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.  For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.  For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.  For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.”  But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, “’Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).  But what does it say?  “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

The Alleluia Verses:
Go forth and prosper and reign, because of truth and meekness and righteousness.  You love righteousness and hate iniquity.

GOSPEL READING

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost: Matthew 8: 28 – 9: 1
At that time, when Jesus had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way.  And suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God?  Have You come here to torment us before the time?”  Now a good way off from them there was a herd of many swine feeding.  So the demons begged Him, saying, “If You cast us out, permit us to go away into the herd of swine.”  And He said to them, “Go.”  So when they had come out they went into the herd of swine.  And suddenly the whole herd of swine ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the water. Then those who kept them fled; and they went away into the city and told everything, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men.  And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus.  And when they saw Him, they begged Him to depart from their region.  So He got into a boat, crossed over, and came to His own city.

FROM THE PROLOGUE
For July 11/24 by St. Nikolai Velimirovic:
The Holy Great-martyr Euphemia
St. Euphemia is commemorated on September 16, the day on which she suffered. On this day is commemorated the miracle-working power of her honorable relics, which was manifested at the time of the Fourth Ecumenical Council in Chalcedon. This Council was convened during the reign of Emperor Marcian and Empress Pulcheria in the year 451, after the death of Emperor Theodosius the Younger. The reason for summoning this Council was the heresy of Dioscorus, Patriarch of Alexandria, and Eutyches, an archimandrite from Constantinople who had spread the false teaching that in Christ the Lord there are not two natures, divine and human, but only a Divine Nature. At this Council, the most prominent roles were played by Anatolius, Patriarch of Constantinople, and Juvenal, Patriarch of Jerusalem. Because a decision could not be reached through debates and testimonies from both sides, Patriarch Anatolius proposed that the Orthodox and the heretics each write down their confession of faith, and that they then be placed into the coffin where the relics of St. Euphemia lay. They all agreed to this. Therefore, the two confessions of faith were written and placed on the bosom of the great-martyr. The coffin was closed and sealed with the emperor’s seal, and soldiers were commanded to watch over it. All the members of the Council then spent three days in prayer and fasting. When they opened the coffin on the fourth day, they found the Orthodox Confession of Faith in the right hand of the saint and the heretical one under her feet. Thus, by the power of God, the dispute was decided in favor of Orthodoxy. During the reign of Emperor Heraclius, the relics of St. Euphemia were translated from Chalcedon to Constantinople, to the church dedicated to her near the Hippodrome. The iconoclastic Emperor Leo the Isaurian ordered that these relics be thrown into the sea, but the coffin was miraculously transported to the island of Lemnos and was placed in the Church of the Holy Martyr Glyceria. Then, during the reign of the Empress Irene, the coffin with the relics of St. Euphemia was returned to Constantinople, to its former place. From time to time, blood has flowed from St. Euphemia’s relics, to the help those who are ill or in misery.

Saint Helena [Olga]
Helena was a great Russian princess, the wife of Prince Igor, whose name before baptism was Olga. She was baptized by Patriarch Polyeuctus in Constantinople and was very zealous for the Orthodox Faith in Russia. She entered into eternal rest in the year 969.

The Venerable Martyr Nicodemus
Nicodemus was born in Elbasan [in Albania] and was married and had children. Deceived by the Turks, he embraced Islam and forced his children to do likewise, with the exception of one son who fled to Mount Athos, where he was tonsured a monk. Nicodemus traveled to Mount Athos to retrieve his son, but the Holy Mountain made such an impression on him that he repented and returned to the Christian Faith, and was tonsured a monk. For three years he mourned over his apostasy, then he finally decided to return to Albania to atone for his sin in the place where he had committed it. Thus he returned and declared openly that he was a Christian, and the Turks beheaded him on July 11, 1722. His wonderworking relics lie, even today, intact and incorrupt.

The Venerable Martyr Nectarius
Nectarius was born in Vryoulla, in Asia Minor. At age seventeen he was forced to embrace Islam. His fate was similar to that of St. Nicodemus. When he appeared before his mother as a Moslem, she cried out: “Depart from me! I know you not. I bore you as a Christian, not as a Moslem.” He repented bitterly and went to the Holy Mountain. There, in the Skete of St. Anna, he was tonsured a monk. Deciding to suffer for Christ—and thereby to wash away his sin—he returned to Vryoulla, where he suffered martyrdom. He was beheaded for Christ by the Turks in his place of birth, on July 11, 1820, at the age of twenty-one.

HYMN OF PRAISE: Saint Olga, Saint Nicodemus, and Saint Nectarius

God loves penitents:
He suffered for them.

Even now, He beckons sinners
To repentance.

Olga was a penitent,
Born to true life by baptism,
And she liberated the Russian people
From darkness, by the Cross.

And Nicodemus from Elbasan
Turned away from Christ,
But repented and returned—
And paid for sin with blood.

From Asia, Nectarius,
A flower not yet ripened,
In ignorance turned to Islam
And saddened the angels.

But then, repenting and in sorrow,
Gushed forth with streams of tears,
And loved death more than life,
Even a painful death, he loved.

He removed the Moslem turban,
And set it before the terrible judge.

St. Nectarius’s head was taken
For the Honorable Cross.

Christ loves penitents
And will always love them.

Who is so dear to Christ
As a repentant man?

REFLECTION
A change of fortune strikes the hardest when it strikes unexpectedly. But to him who anticipates the blow and guards himself against it beforehand, can it be unexpected? The Emperor Charlemagne ordered his sons to learn a trade and his daughters to learn to spin wool, so that they would be able to earn a living, should their fortunes change. The famous and renowned Belisarius, a great general and a great conqueror, was slandered before the king by envious men, and on the basis of these slanders he was blinded and his estate was taken away from him. The blind Belisarius sat before the gates of Rome and begged for alms, saying to passers-by: “Give alms to Belisarius, whom fortune raised on high but envy struck down, depriving him of his sight!” The righteous Job said: Is not a man’s life on earth a trial? Are not his days as those of a hireling? (Job 7:1). Therefore, one must be as a watchful guard and be prepared for all that may happen. What is there that cannot happen to a man? Yet in every suffering one must have hope in God. Covered with festering sores and seated in his humiliation upon a dunghill, the righteous Job cried out: Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him! (Job 13:15).

CONTEMPLATION
Contemplate the miraculous illumination of the face of Moses (Exodus 34):
1. How, after his conversation with God on Mount Sinai, the face of Moses shone with brilliant light;
2. How the people saw, and dared not approach Moses, and he placed a veil over his face;
3. How, through sincere prayer and communication with God, the face of a God-pleaser is illuminated.

HOMILY on obedience and humility

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility (I Peter 5:5).
Here is the principle of the true conciliarity (sobornost) of Orthodoxy! It is based on the unconditional obedience of the younger toward the older, on reciprocal obedience of equals among themselves, and on the humility of both the older and the younger. “Lowliness” is a good word, but better is the word “humility,” and the best is “humility of wisdom.” Humility of wisdom corresponds exactly to the Greek word which the apostle used in his epistle. Humility of wisdom signifies thinking of oneself as lowly and of God as exalted, constantly acknowledging one’s helplessness, ignorance, wickedness and unworthiness, and constantly acknowledging the power, wisdom, mercy and dignity of God.
God is the only King of mankind. That is why He opposed the wishes of the Israelites that a king be appointed for them from among the people. God rules, and the people serve God. Those who are in authority and those who submit are equally the servants of God. When it is known and recognized that God is King and that all men are servants of God, then the foundation of conciliarity is established—the foundation of the angelic society. Upon this foundation, then, the house of God, the angelic society, is built, with the help of the obedience of the younger toward the elder, the reciprocal obedience of peers among themselves, and the humility of wisdom of all. In this manner, two terrible evils in the world are avoided: tyranny, wherein one rules many by force, and anarchy or mob rule.
The principle of conciliarity is an organic principle, a living principle. It is the principle of mutual service, mutual help, and mutual love. Brethren, may God endow us with wisdom to avail ourselves of this saving principle.
O Lord Jesus, obedient and humble Lover of mankind, plant and confirm in us obedience to Thy law, mutual obedience out of love, and humility of wisdom before Thine unutterable power and wisdom.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.



 20TH ANNUAL

DIOCESAN DAYS 
in Conjunction with the 
Annual Diocesan Assembly

Celebrating the 1st Anniversary of the Canonization of
Sts. Mardarije & Sebastian

GUEST SPEAKER
BOGDAN LUBARDIC, Ph.D.

September 2-4, 2016
St. Sava Mission
Jackson, CA


EVENT PAGE

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Weekly Diocesan Bulletin - Sunday, May 22, 2016


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  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.  
 
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WEEKLY DIOCESAN BULLETIN

Sunday, May 22, 2016
Christ is Risen!

FOURTH SUNDAY OF PASCHA: THE HEALING OF THE PARALYTIC; THE HOLY PROPHET ISAIAH; TRANSFER OF THE RELICS OF SAINT NICHOLAS THE WONDERWORKER OF MYRA IN LYCIA

RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE THREE:
Let the heavens rejoice! Let the earth be glad! For the Lord has shown strength with His arm! He has trampled down death by death! He has become the first-born of the dead! He has delivered us from the depths of hell, and has granted the world great mercy!

TROPARION TO THE HOLY PROPHET ISAIAH – TONE FOUR:
With a great voice like that of a trumpet, you proclaimed the coming of Christ to the world. You were revealed as a swiftly-writing scribe of the things to come; therefore, we acclaim you with hymns, most illustrious prophet Isaiah.

KONTAKION TO THE PARALYTIC - TONE THREE:
By Your divine intercession, O Lord, as You raised up the paralytic of old so raise up my soul, paralyzed by sins and thoughtless acts; so that being saved I may sing to You: ‘Glory to Your power, O compassionate Christ!

PASCHAL KONTAKION - TONE EIGHT:
Thou didst descend into the tomb, O Immortal; Thou didst destroy the power of death. In victory didst Thou arise, O Christ God, proclaiming ‘Rejoice’ to the myrrh-bearing women, granting peace to Thy apostles, and bestowing resurrection on the fallen.

INSTEAD OF “IT IS TRULY MEET…”:
The angel cried to the Lady Full of Grace: Rejoice, O Pure Virgin! Again I say: Rejoice! Your Son is risen from His three days in the tomb! With Himself He has raised all the dead! Rejoice, all ye people! Shine! Shine! O New Jerusalem! The glory of the Lord has shone on you! Exult now and be glad, O Zion! Be radiant, O Pure Theotokos, in the Resurrection of your Son!

INSTEAD OF “WE HAVE SEEN THE TRUE LIGHT…”:
Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life! (once)

EPISTLE READING

THE PROKIMENON IN THE 1ST TONE:
Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us as we have set our hope on You.

FOURTH SUNDAY OF PASCHA: ACTS 9: 32-42
In those days it came to pass, as Peter went through all parts of the country, that he also came down to the saints who dwelt in Lydda. There he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had been bed-ridden eight years and was paralyzed. And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus the Christ heals you. Arise and make your bed.” Then he arose immediately. So all who dwelt at Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord. At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord.

THE ALLELUIA VERSES:
I will sing of Your mercies, O Lord, forever; with my mouth I will proclaim Your truth from generation to generation. You has said: Mercy will be established forever, and My truth will be prepared in the heavens.

GOSPEL READING

FOURTH SUNDAY OF PASCHA: JOHN 5: 1-15
At that time there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.” He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’” Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

FROM THE PROLOGUE
FOR MAY 9/22 BY ST. NIKOLAI VELIMIROVIC:

The Holy Prophet Isaiah
This great prophet was of royal lineage. Isaiah was born in Jerusalem of his father Amoz, who was the brother of Amaziah the King of Judah. By the great grace of God that was in him, Isaiah was made worthy to see the Lord of Sabaoth on the throne in heaven surrounded by six-winged seraphim who continuously sing: Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Sabaoth (Isaiah 6:3). Isaiah prophesied many things to individual men as well as to the people. On one occasion, he walked naked through the streets of Jerusalem for three days, prophesying the imminent fall of Jerusalem to the Assyrian King Sennacherib, and reminding the king and the leaders of the people not to hope in assistance from the Egyptians or Ethiopians, because they too would be subjugated to the same Sennacherib, but rather to trust in help from God the Most High. This prophecy, as well as other prophecies, was literally fulfilled. Isaiah’s most important prophecies are the ones concerning the Incarnation of God, His conception by the All-holy Virgin, John the Forerunner, and many events in the life of Christ. This prophet, because of the purity of his heart and his zealousness toward God, also received the gift of working miracles. Thus, when the besieged Jerusalem suffered from drought, Isaiah prayed to God and water flowed from beneath Mount Zion. This water was called Siloam, which means “sent.” Later, the Lord directed the man who was blind from birth to bathe in this water to gain his sight. During the reign of King Manasses, when Isaiah thundered against the pagan customs of the king and the leaders, comparing that generation with Sodom and Gomorrah, the anger of the leaders and the people was aroused against this great prophet. He was captured and led out of Jerusalem, and was sawn in half. Isaiah lived and prophesied about seven hundred years before Christ.

The Translation of the Relics of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker of Myra in Lycia
In 1087, during the reign of Emperor Alexius Comnenus and Patriarch Nicholas Grammaticus, the body of this saint was translated from Myra in Lycia to the town of Bari in Italy. This occurred because of the Moslem assault on Lycia. The saint appeared in a dream to an honorable priest in Bari and ordered that his relics be translated to this town. At that time, Bari was Orthodox and under an Orthodox patriarch. During the translation of this saint’s relics, many miracles occurred either through touching the relics or from the myrrh that abundantly flowed from them. Also on this day is commemorated the miracle St. Nicholas wrought on the Serbian King, Stefan of Deèani. This was when St. Nicholas restored sight to the blinded King Stefan.

The Holy Martyr Christopher
Christopher was a great miracle-worker. He is especially venerated in Spain. The people pray to him primarily for protection from contagious diseases and great pestilence. He suffered for Christ and was glorified by Christ in the year 249.

HYMN OF PRAISE: Saint Stefan of Deèani
On the Field of Sheep, the blind Stefan slept,
And in a dream he endured misfortune without peace.
His eyes bloody, his body shivering:
Death is surely better than such a life.
At that moment, in a dream a man appeared to him,
In heavenly radiance, in heavenly glory.
“I am Nicholas of Myra in Lycia,” said he,
“And you are one of those whom God has chosen.
Look into my right hand, O Stefan:
Behold, your eyes are preserved in it!
You are without eyes; your eyes are with me.
I will give them to you when the Lord wills.”
Five years passed and Stefan was in darkness.
He had a strong hope, a strong faith:
“Nicholas will come once more to me;
With God’s help he will help me.”
Thus did Stefan ponder in the church,
And with tears he prayed to the beloved saint.
And, while he sat in the chair, he had a dream:
Behold, St. Nicholas came to him again!
The saint held the two eyes of the king in his right palm.
“Behold,” said he, “for you, O King, the day has dawned!
In the name of the Lord, Who gives sight to the blind,
Look and cry out: To God be glory!”
The saint touched the blind eyes,
And darkness was drawn from his eyes like a curtain.

REFLECTION
Every Christian can accept martyrdom for the Faith for himself, in times of persecution as well as in times of peace. Abba Athanasius says: “Be tortured by your conscience, die to sin, mortify your earthly members, and you will be a martyr in accordance with your wishes. The martyrs fought with emperors and princes; you have the king of sins—the devil and the demonic princes. Before, there were idols, pagan temples, and those who offer sacrifice to the idols. And now, they exist as thoughts in the soul. He who is a slave to debauchery worships the idol of Aphrodite. He who becomes angry and enraged worships the idol of Ares. He who is avaricious and ignores the pain and misery of his neighbor worships the idol Hermes. If you refrain from all of this and preserve yourself from passions, you have overcome idols, you have rejected an evil belief and have become a martyr for the true Faith.” Therefore, a man need not especially yearn for persecution and martyrdom. Everyone in every age can endure martyrdom for the sake of Christ and His Gospel.

CONTEMPLATION
Contemplate the descent of God the Holy Spirit upon the apostles:
1. How all the men wondered and marveled, hearing to the apostles speak in different tongues;
2. How some mocked them, saying: They have had too much new wine (Acts 2:13).

HOMILY
on the curse of man who trusts in man
Thus says the Lord: cursed is the man who trusts in man, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the Lord (Jeremiah 17:5).
When man alienates himself from God in his heart he usually trusts in men and in himself, for in whom else can he trust when he has untied his little boat from God’s ship? Since he has already loosed his boat from God’s ship, nothing else remains for him except to trust in his boat or in the boat of his neighbors. A weak trust, but there is none other for him! A lamentable trust over the abyss of destruction, but there is no other!
But, O heaven and earth, why did man loose his boat from God’s ship? What happened to man that he flees from his security? What calculation did he make when he decided it would be better for him alone on the tempestuous waves than in God’s house near the hem of His robe! With whom did he make an alliance when he breached his alliance with God? Is it with someone stronger than God? Foolishness, foolishness, foolishness!
Cursed is the man who trusts in man. God said this once, and men have repeated this thousands of times. Being disappointed in their trust in men, they have thousands of times cursed those who have trusted in man. God has said only that which men have both experienced too well and confirmed by their experience: Truly, how cursed is the man who trusts in man!
Brethren, that is why we should have trust in God, Who is the stable ship in the tempest and Who will not fail us. Let us have trust only in Him, for all other trust is a devilish delusion. In Thee do we trust, O Lord, our fortress and refuge. Tie us alongside Thee and do not allow us to loose ourselves if we, by our foolishness and accursedness, attempt to do so.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.

hagiography sts mardarije sebastian articles photos


NEWEST PUBLICATIONS

Covek zajednice u Hristu

Човек заједнице у Христу
"Participation in God" in the Theological Anthropology of St Gregory Nazianzen and St Maximus the Confessor
by His Grace Bishop Maxim Vasiljevic

Read More...

sts mardarije sebastian

Read More...

serbian americans
Read More...

no faith
Read More...


synaxarion flyer

Read More...

festive fast

Read More...

kss brosura
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thunderbold-front-sm

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EVER-LIVING FIRE

Read More...


Also on Kindle 
at Amazon:

Our Newest Addition

 No Faith is More Beautiful
than the Christian Faith

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The Thunderbolt
of Ever-Living Fire

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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


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MANY ONGOING MINISTRIES...


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