Theology

St. Gregory the Wonderworker of Neocaesarea

Saint Gregory the Wonderworker, Bishop of Neocaesarea, was born in the city of Neocaesarea (northern Asia Minor) into a pagan family. Having received a fine education, from his youth he strived for Truth, but the thinkers of antiquity were not able to quench his thirst for knowledge. Truth was revealed to him only in the Holy Gospel, and the youth became a Christian.

For the continuation of his studies Saint Gregory went to Alexandria, known then as a center for pagan and Christian learning. The youth, eager for knowledge, went to the Alexandrian Catechetical School, where the presbyter Origen taught. Origen was a famous teacher, possessing a great strength of mind and profound knowledge. Saint Gregory became a student of Origen. Afterwards, the saint wrote about his mentor: “This man received from God a sublime gift, to be an interpreter of the Word of God for people, to apprehend the Word of God, as God Himself did use it, and to explain it to people, insofar as they were able to understand it.” Saint Gregory studied for eight years with Origen, and was baptized by him.

Nativity Fast

Make ready, O Bethlehem: let the manger be prepared, let the cave show it's welcome. The truth has come, the shadow has passed away...

On November 15th we begin the forty day period where we proclaim the miracle of God becoming man. This is the time in the Orthodox Church where our attention is drawn to the great mystery of the Incarnation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  We await his coming in anticipation of the great joy of His birth on Christmas Day. For our preparation the wisdom of our Church asks us to participate in a fast, with all the inconvenience and discomfort it may bring. If this is a season of such great joy, why is this the practice of Orthodox Christians around the world? Why are we asked to fast when we hear daily the hymn "Hark, the herald angels sing!" almost every pace we go?

Holy All-Praised Apostle Philip

The Holy and All-praised Apostle Philip was a native of the city of Bethsaida in Galilee. He had a profound depth of knowledge of the Holy Scripture, and rightly discerning the meaning of the Old Testament prophecies, he awaited the coming of the Messiah. Through the call of the Savior (John 1:43), Philip followed Him. The Apostle Philip is spoken about several times in the Holy Gospel: he brought to Christ the Apostle Nathaniel (i.e. Bartholomew, April 22, June 30, and August 25. See John. 1:46). The Lord asks him where to buy bread for five thousand men (John. 6: 5-7). He brought certain of the Hellenized Jews wanting to see Jesus (John. 12:21-22); and finally, at the Last Supper he asked Christ to show them the Father (John. 14:8).

St. John the Merciful, Patriarch of Alexandria

Saint John the Merciful, Patriarch of Alexandria, was born on Cyprus in the seventh century into the family of the illustrious dignitary Epiphanius. At the wish of his parents he entered into marriage and had children. When the wife and the children of the saint died, he became a monk. He was zealous in fasting and prayer, and had great love for those around him.

His spiritual exploits won him honor among men, and even the emperor revered him. When the Patriarchal throne of Alexandria fell vacant, the emperor Heraclius and all the clergy begged Saint John to occupy the Patriarchal throne.

The saint worthily assumed his archpastoral service, concerning himself with the moral and dogmatic welfare of his flock. As patriarch he denounced every soul-destroying heresy, and drove out from Alexandria the Monophysite Phyllonos of Antioch.

The Life of Saint John Chrysostom

Commemorated November 13/26

Our Father Among the Saints, John Chrysostom

The legion of saints of the Church is comprised of men of extraordinary ability whose talents may have been dissimilar but many of whom seem to have shared a common genius for oratory. Yet out of this vast assembly of eloquent speakers, whose reputation might have rested on their gift of expression alone, the one for whom the title "Chrysostom" (in Russian, "Zlatoust"), or "golden-mouthed" was reserved, was John of Antioch, known as St. John Chrysostom, a great distinction in view of the qualifications of so many others.

The Life of St. King Stephen of Decani

The Life of St. King Stephen of Decani
The Life of St. King Stephen of Decani
The Life of St. King Stephen of Decani
The Life of St. King Stephen of Decani

St. King Stephen of Decani is one of the best known Saints of the
Serbian Orthodox Church. Through his holy and incorruptible relics God has performed numerous miracles.

Today, as the Serbian people suffer through another turbulent chapter in their history, they would do well to bring to mind the exemplary character of their martyred King Stephen Uros III (Decanski).

The Life of St. Nectarios

The Life of St. Nectarios
The Life of St. Nectarios
The Life of St. Nectarios
The Life of St. Nectarios

His Childhood Years

Anastasios Kephalas, son of Dimosthenis and Vassiliki, was born on October 1st, 1846, in Eastern Selyvria of Thrace (Now Turkey). He was one of six children. His parents were very poor but pious Christians who brought up their children according to the teachings of our Church. When his mother taught him Psalm 50, he liked to repeat the verse: I shall teach thy ways unto the wicked and sinners shall be converted unto thee. His early years were spent at the local elementary school in Silivria. Upon completion of his school curriculum there were no schools in the area for him to continue his academic studies and he was too poor to study abroad.  But he did have a thirst for knowledge and a love of God. This love urged him on for he wanted to become a theologian. He wanted to educate himself so that he could love the Lord even more, and as such, serve him better.  Sadened by the state of poverty that his parents were in and urged by his ever-growing love for our Lord Jesus Christ, at the age of fourteen and with his parents’ blessings, Anastasios went to Constantinople to find work for their financial assistance and in hope that he would be able to continue his studies and fullfill his dreams.