Theology

Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Exaltation of the Holy Cross

he Feast of the Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross is celebrated each year on September 14. The Feast commemorates the finding of the True Cross of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by Saint Helen, the mother of the Emperor Constantine.

In the twentieth year of his reign (326), the Emperor Constantine sent his mother Saint Helen to Jerusalem to venerate the holy places and to find the site of the Holy Sepulchre and of the Cross. Relying upon the oral tradition of the faithful, Saint Helen found the precious Cross together with the crosses of the two thieves crucified with our Lord. However, Helen had no way of determining which was the Cross of Christ.

Church New Year

The first day of the Church New Year is also called the beginning of the Indiction. The term Indiction comes from a Latin word meaning, “to impose.” It was originally applied to the imposition of taxes in Egypt. The first worldwide Indiction was in 312 when the Emperor Constantine (May 21) saw a miraculous vision of the Cross in the sky. Before the introduction of the Julian calendar, Rome began the New Year on September 1.

Translation of the relics of St Alexander Nevsky

The Holy Prince Alexander Nevsky (in monastic schema Alexis) died on the return journey from the Horde at Gorodtsa on the Volga, on November 14, 1263, and on November 23, 1263 he was buried in the Cathedral Church of the Nativity Monastery in the city of Vladimir (Where there is a memorial to the holy prince. Another memorial is in the city of Pereslavl-Zalessk).

Veneration of the Prince began right at his burial, where a remarkable miracle took place. The saint extended his hand for the prayer of absolution (a written document placed in the coffin). Great Prince John (1353-1359), in his spiritual testament written in the year 1356, left to his son Demetrius (1363-1389), the future victor of the Battle of Kulikovo, “an icon of Saint Alexander.” The incorrupt relics of the holy Prince were uncovered, because of a vision, before the Battle of Kulikovo in the year 1380, and then they were sent forth for a local celebration.

Martyr Gorazd of Prague, Bohemia and Moravo-Cilezsk

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” [John 10:11].

“O Lord, make this man also, who has been proclaimed a steward of the episcopal grace, to be an imitator of You, the true Shepherd, Who laid down Your life for Your sheep....” [Prayer of Consecration of a Bishop]. On September 25, 1921, these words were prayed over Father Gorazd Pavlik as he was consecrated the Bishop of Moravia and Silesia. It is doubtful that anyone in attendance that day, including the new bishop, expected that he would be called upon to live that prayer in a literal way.

Matthias Pavlik was born in 1879 in the Moravian town of Hrubavrbka in what would later become the Czech Republic. He was born into a Roman Catholic family, completed the Roman Catholic seminary in Olomouc and was ordained a priest.

Apostle Matthias of the Seventy

The Holy Apostle Matthias was born at Bethlehem of the Tribe of Judah. From his early childhood he studied the Law of God under the guidance of Saint Simeon the God-Receiver (February 3).

When the Lord Jesus Christ revealed Himself to the world, Saint Matthias believed in Him as the Messiah, followed constantly after Him and was numbered among the Seventy Apostles, whom the Lord “sent them two by two before His face” (Luke 10:1).

After the Ascension of the Savior, Saint Matthias was chosen by lot to replace Judas Iscariot as one of the Twelve Apostles (Acts 1:15-26). After the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Matthias preached the Gospel at Jerusalem and in Judea together with the other Apostles (Acts 6:2, 8:14). From Jerusalem he went with the Apostles Peter and Andrew to Syrian Antioch, and was in the Cappadocian city of Tianum and Sinope. Here the Apostle Matthias was locked into prison, from which he was miraculously freed by Saint Andrew the First-Called.

Martyr Parasceva of Rome

Holy Virgin Martyr Paraskeva of Rome was the only daughter of Christian parents, Agathon and Politia, and from her early years she dedicated herself to God. She spent much of her time in prayer and the study of the Holy Scriptures. After the death of her parents Saint Paraskeva distributed all of her inheritance to the poor, and consecrated her virginity to Christ. Emulating the holy Apostles, she began to preach to the pagans about Christ, converting many to Christianity.

She was arrested during the reign of Antoninus Pius (138-161) because she refused to worship the idols. She was brought to trial and fearlessly confessed herself a Christian. Neither enticements of honors and material possessions, nor threats of torture and death shook the firmness of the saint nor turned her from Christ. She was given over to beastly tortures. They put a red-hot helmet on her head and threw her in a cauldron filled with boiling oil and pitch. By the power of God the holy martyr remained unharmed. When the emperor peered into the cauldron, Saint Paraskeva threw a drop of the hot liquid in his face, and he was burned. The emperor began to ask her for help, and the holy martyr healed him. After this the emperor set her free.

“We Work Out Our Salvation Together”

“We Work Out Our Salvation Together”
“We Work Out Our Salvation Together”
“We Work Out Our Salvation Together”
“We Work Out Our Salvation Together”

A Conversation with Two Monks from the Hermitage of the Holy Cross

Fr. Macarius (Ruegemer) and Fr. David (Mahand) are monks from the Hermitage of the Holy Cross in West Virginia. Fr. Macarius is a hierodeacon and Fr. David is a riassophore monk. Their abbot blessed them to travel to Russia to see and experience the monastic life there, first staying at Sretensky Monastery for a week, having been invited by one of the brethren, and then to visit Optina for two weeks. In this interview, we spoke with them about life in their monastery, the formation of novices, and the spiritual advice, and above all, spiritual joy that they receive from their abbot, Archimandrite Seraphim.

Fr. David and Fr. Macarius, can you tell us a bit about your monastery?

Fr. David: The monastery was founded in 1986 by Hieromonk Kallistos, who was a Greek-American hieromonk serving a parish in the Russian Church Abroad. He asked the bishop if he could have a blessing to start a small brotherhood and a small sisterhood because there were some men and some women interested in the monastic life, and so Vladyka Alipy blessed him to found a brotherhood and sisterhood. Fr. Kallistos asked if the brotherhood could be dedicated to the Exaltation of the Cross. Vladyka Alipy said yes, but that there should also be a patron saint, someone who the monks could have a relationship with and ask for prayers from, so Vladyka Alipy gave us St. Panteleimon, whom we consider our patron saint.