The holiday of Holy Simenon The Myrrh-gusher, the founder ofthe Serbian Church and the State and the worshipper for all the Serbian people before the Creator, was celebrated this morning with Holy Hierarchal Liturgy, which upon the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of Serbia was served by Their Graces Bishop Lavrentije of Sabac and Bishop Atanasije of Hvosno.
Pope Benedict XVI is calling for Catholics to fast during Lent as a way of opening their hearts to God and seeing how the poor live. Lent is observed by the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and many Protestant denominations as a period of penitence and fasting.
Orthodox Christians in America must affirm their identity if they are to have a strong future amid a secularizing reality in the United States, a Greek Orthodox scholar said. Orthodox Christians have "a message and a way of life" that they must present as "an alternative to the morally and spiritually down-spiraling contemporary American lifestyle," said Rev. Stanley Harakas, Archbishop Iakovos Professor of Orthodox Theology Emeritus at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.
On Sunday, 22 February 2009 Australians held a National Day of Mourning service in the Melbourne Park Rod Laver Arena for the victims of wildfires that killed hundreds this month, and survivors were promised the nation would support them in the massive task of rebuilding.
Tears flowed as The Honourable Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said the hellish
blazes of "Black Saturday" on Feb. 7 - which killed more than 200
people - had tested the nation's character, and the response was courage,
compassion and resilience.
Prot. No. 94
+ B A R T H O L O M E W
By God's Grace Archbishop of Constantinople,
New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch
To the Plenitude of the Church,
Grace and Peace from our Savior Jesus Christ
And Prayers, Blessings and Forgiveness from Us
"Come, all peoples, let us today welcome
The gift of fasting
The period of repentance granted to us by God"
(Monday, First Week of Fasting)
Brethren and beloved children in the Lord,
The fast proposed to us by our Holy Church is not any deprivation, but a charisma. And the repentance to which it calls us is not any punishment, but a divine gift.