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Saints and Feasts of February 21

Friday, February 21, 2020

The Origins of the Cherubic Hymn


With the emergence of the writings of Dionysius the Areopagite in the early sixth century, such as On the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy and On the Celestial Hierarchy, the Divine Liturgy was seen more and more as a participation in the eternal liturgy of heaven. The connection to the angelic liturgy, already present in the first century Book of Hebrews and articulated in the fourth century by John Chrysostom, found emphasis in the script for the Divine Liturgy in the years after the death of Emperor Justinian.

Saint Zacharias, Patriarch of Jerusalem (+ 632)

St. Zacharias of Jerusalem (Feast Day - February 21)

Verses

Blessed are you and your death Zacharias,
Zacharias the president of blessed land.

Saint Zacharias had been keeper of the sacred vessels (skevophylax) of the Church of Constantinople before he became Patriarch of Jerusalem in 609. In the year 614 on the 20th of May the Persian emperor Chosroes fell upon Jerusalem, looted it, stole the True Cross of the Lord, and led many Christians into captivity, including Saint Zacharias. Of the captured Christians as many as 90,000 perished.

Saint Makarios of Glinsk Hermitage (+ 1864)

St. Makarios of Glinsk Hermitage (Feast Day - February 21)

The holy Elder Hieromonk Makarios (Matthew Terent'evich Sharov in the world) was born in 1802, and came from a wealthy bourgeois family in the city of Ephraimov in Tula Province. His mother was particularly devout, always walking with a prayer rope in her hands, and she raised her children in the fear of God. Following the example of his parents, Matthew Terent'evich was also devout, humble, and led a restrained life: he did not eat quickly, he read spiritual books, avoided worldly fuss, diligently visited the temple of God and often prayed to God at home. In 1822, when he was twenty years old, he finally decided to forsake the world and enter the Glinsk Hermitage under the guidance of the ever-memorable Igoumen Philaretos (Danielevskii), a man known for the sanctity of his life.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

An Update on Vasiliki Plexida, Who Miraculously Survived a Helicopter Crash in 2017


I have received a few requests for an update on Sergeant Vasiliki Plexida, who miraculously survived a helicopter crash in 2017, so I thought I would make the update public.

First, on the two year anniversary she returned to the scene of the crash with others to set up a memorial for both her miraculous deliverance and for the memory of her fellow fallen soldiers. She made the following post on Facebook on April 18, 2019 (translation mine) and posted pictures which are below:

Saint Eucherius, Bishop of Orleans (+ 743)

St. Eucherius of Orleans (Feast Day - February 20)

Saint Eucherius's sanctity was formed by his parents. His mother was a lady of great virtue. While she was carrying her son, she begged God daily for divine grace and offered the unborn Eucherius to the Heavenly Father. At his birth, his parents dedicated him to God. When he was seven, his studies were planned to form both mind and soul. After being well-educated, especially in theology, Eucherius entered the Benedictine abbey of Jumièges on the Seine in the diocese of Rouen around 714.

He spent six or seven years here practicing penitential austerities and obedience, until the senate, people, and clergy of Orléans appointed persons to Charles Martel, mayor of the palace, to beg his permission to elect Eucherius to the see vacated by the death of Eucherius's uncle, Bishop Suavaric. Charles Martel agreed and sent one of his principal officers to conduct Eucherius from his monastery to Orléans. Eucherius was horrified at the notion of being consecrated bishop and sought the protection of his brother monks. But they preferred the public good to their private inclinations, and resigned him up for that important charge. Eucherius was received and consecrated at Orléans with universal applause in 721.

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