Friday, December 2, 2016

Holy Prophet Habakkuk as a Model for our Lives

Holy Prophet Habakkuk (Feast Day - December 2)

By Protopresbyter Fr. George Papavarnavas

The Prophet Habakkuk was the son of Shaphat and of the tribe of Simeon. His name means "warm embrace." He was a contemporary of the Prophet Jeremiah and is dated between 650 and 672 B.C. His actions revolved around Jerusalem, after the period when the Babylonians defeated the Egyptians at Carchemish, and extended their domination into Palestine. His book consists of three chapters and is distinguished by its remarkable literary grace. The first chapter consists of a dialogue of the Prophet with God, in which the Prophet tries to unravel the manner in which God directs history. The second chapter is the response of God that justice will prevail, and that the just man will live thanks to his trust in God. The third and last chapter includes a doxology of the Prophet for the final triumph of God.

Saint Athanasius "the Resurrected", Recluse of the Kiev Caves (+ 1176)

St. Athanasius the Recluse of the Kiev Caves
(Feast Days - December 2, September 28 & Second Sunday of Lent)

Saint Athanasius (Afanasy), hermit of the Near Caves of Kiev, was a contemporary of Holy Archimandrite Polycarp of the Kiev Caves (July 24). Saint Athanasius was grievously ill for a long time. When he died, the brethren prepared him for burial, and on the second day the abbot came to bury him. However, they all saw the dead man alive. He was sitting up and weeping. To all their questions he replied only: “Seek salvation, obey the abbot in everything, repent each hour and pray to our Lord Jesus Christ, to His All-Pure Mother and to Saints Anthony and Theodosius, to allow you to end your life here. Do not ask me anything else, for I must pray.”

Holy Martyr Habibus the Young of Edessa

St. Habibus of Edessa (Feast Day - December 2)

Verses

Going towards the fire Habibus said, "Pain I do not have, 
For I have the Master with me in the fire."

Saint Habibus was born in Edessa of Asia Minor, during the reign of Emperor Licinius (308-324). He had missionary zeal. After being ordained a deacon he preached his faith with boldness, strengthening and comforting the faithful, and he was beneficial to all. He had the gift of being able to communicate with people, that is, being able to understand them and to be understood, at least the well-intentioned. And with his graceful words, bright example, and the miracles he did by the grace of God, he attracted many pagans to the true faith.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Michael, the 12-year-old Boy from Mount Athos


By George Crasnean

"Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, 
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these" (Matt. 19:14).

Michael (Perlea) is 12 years old. He was born in Crete and lived in Rome until this year. His mother Corina comes from Pascani in Romania, while his father Demetrios is from Braila in Romania. In Rome he has a sister Raphaela and two other brothers, Ephraim-Nicholas and Gabriel. All are younger than him.

Synaxarion of Saint Philaret the Merciful

St. Philaret the Merciful (Feast Day - December 1)

Verses

You who were adorned with every virtue have died,
Truly full of compassion you loved father.

Philaret lived during the reign of Emperors Constantine (780-797) and Irene (775-802), and was from the land of Paphlogonia, the son of George and Anna. Taking a lawful wife by marriage, he occupied himself as a farmer of the earth, and from this he brought in the necessities of life. Having become wealthy he distributed it as alms to the poor. Wherefore by the envy of the devil, the renowned one came to such a state of poverty, that like another Job, he was without even needed food. But God did not overlook him till the end so that he should be distressed with want. Rather He economized by His foreknowledge for Constantine, the son of Empress Irene, to take as a wife the granddaughter of Saint Philaret, whose name was Maria, for she was full of every form of beauty both in her soul and her body. He also economized for Saint Philaret to be honored with the office of consul. By this he became a very wealthy lord, which he distributed abundantly to the poor.

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