The Holy Martyrs Ermil and Stratonik, by origin Slavs, lived at the beginning of the IV Century during the time of persecution against Christians by the emperor Licinius (307-324). They were friends. Saint Ermil served as deacon in the city of Singedonum (Belgrade). Condemned by Licinius to imprisonment, he was long and cruelly tortured for the Name of Christ, but he remained unyielding. Saint Stratonik was a superintendent of the prison and a secret christian. Seeing the agonising torments of his friend, he was not able to keep from weeping, and he revealed that he was a christian. They subjected him also to torture. After the torturing, they put the martyrs into a net and threw them into the Danube/Dunai. On the third day, the bodies of the saints were discovered on the bank of the river by christians and buried near Singedonum. Their venerable heads are located in the Church of Saint Sophia, where the Russian pilgrim Antonii saw them in the year 1200.
The Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church has begun its work on 25 January 2009 at the Church of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. Before the first plenary session, the archpastors who assembled at the Church Councils Hall sang the troparion of Pentecost: ‘Blessed art Thou, O Christ our God, Who hast revealed the fishermen as most wise by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit - through them Thou didst draw the world into Thy net. O Lover of Man, glory to Thee!’
Members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, during a formal session, on January 22, 2009 met and discussed with ministers of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, Mr. Vuk Jeremic, a Minister of Foreign affairs; and Mr. Bogoljub Sijakovic, a Minister of faith. During the talks they specially concentrated on a question of Kosovo and Metohija and a protection of spiritual and cultural heritage of the Serbian Church and Serbian people on Kosovo and Metohija.
Lastnight in the primary school ‘' Lazar Savatic'' at the Zemun quay, on behalf ofthe Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, His EminenceMetropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral presented an order of StSava of the second class to this educational and pedagogic institution. Thisceremony was attended by archpriest-staurophor Bozo Bakajlic, a secretary ofthe Archbishopric Beograd-Karlovac, many dignitaries of the Church, professorDr Zarko Obradovic, the minister of education, Bogoljub Lazarevic, an assistantto the minister of education, academician Vojislav Korac, Slavko Jerkovic, apresident of the municipality of Zemun, Dushan Tarbuk, a vice-president of themunicipality, Slobodan Draskovic, a president of the County Council of Medvedjaand Mladjan Djordjevic, a councilor of the President of the Republic , BorisTadic.
His Grace Bishop Dr. Mitrophan,
Serbian Orthodox Bishop of Eastern America came to St.George Serbian Orthodox
Church in Carmichaels, Pennsylvania on the Eve of Theophany, Sunday, January
5/18, 2009 to celebrate the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, serve the Great
Blessing of the Water and to Bless the nearby Monongahela River located within
view of the St.George Church.
On 22nd January 2009, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, in the Throne Room of the Patriarchal Mansion , awarded the departing Ambassador of Cyprus to Egypt , His excellency Mr. Petros Eftychiou, the Cross of the Apostle and Evangelsit Mark, with a Star.