Commemorated May 9/27, December 6/19
The truth of things hath revealed thee to thy flock as a rule of faith, an icon of meekness, and a teacher of temperance; for this cause, thou hast achieved the heights by humility, riches by poverty. O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.'
So reads the troparion of St Nicholas, hierarch of the Church of Myra in Lycia (now Demra in Turkey), known as 'wonderworker' and 'father' throughout the Christian world. He is beloved in the Orthodox Church, and indeed far beyond, for his kindness, almsgiving and aid, meted out both during his earthly life and after. As one of the multitude of English lives of the saint joyously proclaims, 'he is one of the best known and best loved saints of all time.' And in another: 'The name of the great saint of God, the hierarch and wonderworker Nicholas, a speedy helper and suppliant for all hastening to him, is famed in every corner of the earth, in many lands and among many peoples. In Russia there are a multitude of cathedrals, monasteries and churches consecrated in his name. There is, perhaps, not a single city without a church dedicated to his honour.'
On Sunday, December 14th, 2014, when our Holy Church celebrated prophet Nahum and Saint Philaret the Merciful, His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irenaeus officiated the Hierarchal Liturgy with the concelebration of His Grace Bishop John of Shumadia, as well as of the clergy of the Archbishopric of Belgrade-Karlovac and the Diocese of Shumadia, at the church of Great Martyr Demetrius in Lazarevac, some 70 Km south of Belgrade.
This church preserves remains of thousands of Serbian as well as of the Austria-Hungarian officers and soldiers who lost their lives in the battle launched here hundred years ago.
John was first the chief minister to Caliph Abdul-Malik and later a monk in the Monastery of St. Sava the Sanctified. Because of his ardent defense of the veneration of icons during the reign of the iconoclastic Emperor Leo the Isaurian, John was maligned by the emperor to the Caliph, who cut off his right hand. John fell down in prayer before the icon of the Most-holy Theotokos, and his hand was rejoined and miraculously healed. Seeing this miracle the Caliph repented, but John no longer desired to remain with him as a nobleman. Instead, he withdrew to a monastery, where, from the beginning, he was a model to the monks in humility, obedience and all the prescribed rules of monastic asceticism. John composed the Funeral Hymns and compiled the Octoechos (The Book of Eight Tones), the Irmologion, the Menologion and the Paschal Canon, and he wrote many theological works of inspiration and profundity. A great monk, hymnographer, theologian and soldier for the truth of Christ, Damascene is numbered among the great Fathers of the Church. He entered peacefully into rest in about the year 776 at the age of 104.
This glorious follower of Christ was betrothed to Christ from early childhood. Her father Dioscorus was a pagan and was renowned for his position and wealth in the city of Heliopolis in Egypt. Dioscorus locked up his only daughter Barbara, brilliant in mind and of beautiful countenance, in a high tower.
He surrounded her with every comfort, gave her female servants, erected idols for worship, and built her a bathing room with two windows. Looking through the window at the earth below and the starry heavens above, Barbara's mind was opened by the grace of God. She recognized the One True God, the Creator, despite the fact that she did not have a human teacher to bring her to this knowledge. Once, while her father was away from the city, she came down from the tower and, according to God's providence, met some Christian women who revealed the true Faith of Christ to her. Barbara's heart became inflamed with love for Christ the Lord. She ordered that a third window be cut open in the bath so that the three windows would represent the Holy Trinity. On one wall she traced a Cross with her finger, and the Cross etched itself deep in the stone as if cut by a chisel. A pool of water sprang forth from her footprints on the floor of the bath, which later gave healing of diseases to many.
Metropolitan Amphilochius celebrated the Holy Liturgy in Venado Tuerto and a commemoration rite for Radojica Popovic in Aribeños
On Wednesday, 10 December, His Eminence Amphilochius, Archbishop of Cetinje and Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral, Bishop-Administrator of the Diocese of Buenos Aires and South-Central America, served the Divine Liturgy at the church of Holy Archangel Michael in Venado Tuerto in Argentian province of Santa Fe. He was concelebrated by local clergy.
Minister of Culture of the Government of Serbia Mr. Ivan Tasovac visited the Grachanica Monastery where he met His Grace Bishop Theodosius of Raska-Prizren on 12 December 2014.
Bishop Theodosius and Minister Tasovac discussed some actual topics, especially conditions and protection of the Serbian cultural heritage on Kosovo and Metohija. Minister Tasovac visited monasteries of the Patriarchate of Pec and Dechani as well.