St. Peter is commemorated on this day because of the chains with which he was shackled by the lawless Herod and which fell from him during the appearance of an angel in prison (Acts 12:7). The chains were preserved by Christians as much for the memory of this great apostle as for their healing power, for many of the sick were healed by touching them, as was case with the apron of the Apostle Paul (Acts19:12). St. Juvenal, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, gave these chains as a gift to the Empress Eudocia, the exiled wife of the Emperor Theodosius the Younger. She divided them into two and sent one half to the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople and the other half to Rome, to her daughter, Empress Eudoxia, the wife of Valentian. Eudoxia built the Church of St. Peter and placed these chains in it, together with those chains with which Peter was shackled before his death under Emperor Nero.
Enlightener and First Archbishop of the Serbs (+1235)
Seek ye first the kingdom of God,
and His righteousness; and all these
things shall be added unto you.
He Serbian Grand Zhupan (Patriarchal leader) Stephen Nemanja had two sons, Stephen and Vukan; yet, he and his wife Anna desired, if it be God's will, to have another child. Their pious prayers ascended before God, Who heard their petition and blessed them with their last child, a son who was born in the year of our Lord 1175. At baptism the child was given the name Rastko, a name derived from the Old Slavonic verb "rasti" which means "to grow." And grow divinely he did. There were many special things about Rastko: he was a lovely child, with pronounced features and smooth skin, and possessed, already in his childhood, an unusually alert and pious demeanor. Little did Rastko's parents and all those of the Royal Court (and even the entire Serb nation) realize that his birth and baptism into Orthodoxy would providentially set in motion their own historical and spiritual journey, which would result in the blossoming of their Christian faith, nation hood and total Christian cultural orientation. This young child, Rastko, whose monastic name later was Sava, became and still remains the most beloved of all Serbian Orthodox saints, considered by all Serbs everywhere and at all times as the ultimate expression and example of what it means to be fully human, that is, what it means to be a devout and committed follower of Jesus Christ.
In truth God as a man was born on earth! Why? That we might live through him (1 John 4:9). For without the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ, human life is wholly and completely a suicidal absurdity, and death is truly the most outright and horrible absurdity on earth. To comprehend death means comprehending life in all its depth, height, and limitlessness.
An exclusive invterview with Protojerej-Stavrophor Dr. Zivojin Jakovljevic, Dean of St. Sava Cathedral, New York City by Vesna Pumpalovic, Balkan Express.
At Easter this year the New York parish experienced a great dislocation. The only Serbian Orthodox church in the New York City area caught fire, and since then the services are taking place in Episcopalian or Greek church buildings.
Ask any of the millions of children scattered throughout the Appalachian Mountains what day of the year Christmas is on and you will undoubtedly hear, “December 25th”. Everyone from Northern Alabama to the Katahdin Summit in Maine knows that it is on this date that Santa Claus comes to town.
Interestingly, if you had been roaming the Appalachian hillsides only a few centuries ago, the answer to this same question would have produced a far different date — January 7th.
Book review by Dr. Sava Milin, protodeacon
With the blessing of His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej, and with the assistance of the Office of Cooperation with Churches and Religious Communities of the Government of Republic of Serbia, the Publishing Foundation of the Archdiocese of Belgrade-Karlovci offered the public a true spiritual jewel.