Friday, December 15, 2017

How You Can Help the Mystagogy Resource Center This Christmas

Dear Readers:

With the Christmas season underway, we tend to lose focus on the true meaning of the holiday amid all the hustle and bustle. And the true meaning of the holiday is best arrived at through the prescription of the Church during the Advent Season, which is threefold - prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Giving is important during the Christmas season because we imitate God by doing so, Who gave us His Only Begotten Son. There are many ways we can give back to God in gratitude and to give to our fellow people, and we should take advantage of these opportunities as much as we can. Among these is to support a ministry that is beneficial to you and to thousands like you, such as the Mystagogy Resource Center.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Gospel Commentary for the Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost (St. Theophylact of Ochrid)

Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost (or Tenth Sunday of Luke)
Healing of the Crippled Woman

Luke 13:10-17

From The Explanation of the Gospel of St. Luke

By Blessed Theophylact, Archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria

10-17. And He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over, and could in no wise straighten herself. And when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him, and said unto her, "Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity." And He laid His hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, "There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day." The Lord then answered him, and said, "Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead it away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?" And when He had said these things, all His adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.

Saints and Feasts of December 10

On the tenth Menas Kallikelados gave his neck to the sword.

(Fasting Day)

Holy Martyrs Menas the Kallikelados, Hermogenes and Eugraphos

Saints Menas the Kallikelados, Hermogenes and Eugraphos

Holy Martyr Gemellos of Many Contests

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Gemellos of Many Contests

Saint Athanasios, Bishop of Methoni

Saint Athanasios, Bishop of Methoni

Translation of the Sacred Relic of Saint Nicholas of Vounenis

Saint Nicholas of Vounenis Resource Page

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Synaxarion of Saint Stephen the Newly Shining, Who Reposed at Saint Antipas (+ 912)

St. Stephen the Newly Shining (Feast Day - December 9)


You carried Stephen away from the earth and life,
And crowned him with a crown of glory O Word.

This newly shining star lived during the reign of Theophilos the iconoclast (829-842), and was born and raised in Constantinople. His parents were Zacharias and Theophano, who were adorned with every virtue and prudence, and they lived in the district of Constantinople known as Zeugma, not far from the Church of the divine Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen. When the mother was pregnant with this Saint, she kept away from and did not eat fatty foods (among which is meat), but only plenty of bread and water and vegetables, until she gave birth to him. When the Saint was born - O the miracle! - there appeared on his chest a shining and most beautiful cross. This was a great sign of the crucifixion and detachment that the Saint was to have in regard to worldly things. After he was wrapped in swaddling clothes, it was necessary for him to be breastfed according to the laws of nature. But this Saint appeared to be higher than the laws of nature. When his mother ate food that was more than necessary and she was satisfied, he wished not to be breastfed by her. Many times he remained without being breastfed two or three days, as long as his mother was satisfied. Therefore it was necessary for his mother to exercise self-control, in order to feed her son who was full of grace. This brought consternation and affliction to the friends and relatives of the child.

History of the Feast of the Conception of Saint Anna

By John Sanidopoulos

To determine the origin of the feast of the Conception of Saint Anna, which is celebrated by the Church on December 9th, we must take into account the genuine documents we possess, the oldest of which is the Canon of the feast, composed by Saint Andrew of Crete, who wrote his liturgical hymns in the second half of the seventh century, when a monk at the Monastery of Saint Savvas near Jerusalem (he died as Archbishop of Crete at about 720). But the celebration cannot then have been generally accepted throughout the Church, for John, first monk and later bishop on the island of Evia (Euboea), at about 750 in a sermon, speaking in favor of the propagation of this feast, says that it was not yet known to all the faithful (ei kai me para tois pasi gnorizetai; P.G., 96, 1499). But a century later George of Nicomedia, made Metropolitan by Patriarch Photios in 860, could say that the celebration was not of recent origin (P.G., 100, 1335). It is therefore safe to affirm that the feast of the Conception of Saint Anna appeared in the East not earlier than the end of the seventh or the beginning of the eighth century.

To read more about supporting the ministry of the Mystagogy Resource Center, please visit the DONATE page. Thank you.

Please Visit Our Sponsors