The fast of the apostles

In one of his sermons, St. Basil the Great says, “Do not limit fasting to abstaining from food only, for real fasting lies in abstaining from evil acts, and to untie the bonds of injustice (Isaiah 58 :6 ).

During the fasting you do not eat meat, but unfortunately, you do eat the flesh of your brother. You do not drink wine, but you can’t control your tongue in order not to curse anyone. Despite the fact you spend the whole day without eating anything; yet, you spend your day judging others.

His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew in Germany

His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew in Germany
His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew in Germany
His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew in Germany
His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew in Germany

On May 29, 2017, His All-Holiness travelled to Stuttgart, Germany, to visit the Evangelical Church in Germany, which is celebrating the 500-year anniversary since the Reformation. The Patriarch was invited by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm to attend the celebrations.

Chinese-language Orthodox catechism published in Hong Kong

Orthodox Christians in China have the opportunity to grow omto a deeper understanding of their faith with the new Chinese-language translation of Archpriest Oleg Davidenkov’s catechism, which has been published in Hong Kong. The translation, made by Fr. Anatoly Kung of the Sts. Peter and Paul Church, has been issued by the China Orthodox Press, reports The issuing of this new catechism is an important event in the life of the Chinese mission. The book will be interesting for Chinese readers desiring to systematize their understanding of Orthodoxy, and those students studying in Orthodox theological schools.

Met. Hilarion: The Church has never belittled the role of women

Talk of discrimination against women in the Church is unfounded, Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of the Department for External Church Relations stated on Thursday at a meeting of the diplomatic club of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Interfax-Religion reports. “Sometimes in regards to the Orthodox Church, especially from a liberal Protestant perspective, accusations are voiced that we do not value women highly enough, that we preserve a patriarchal order, in that all of our priests and bishops are men, the patriarch is a man, while in some Protestant confessions this has all changed,” Met. Hilarion noted.

Meanwhile, according to the metropolitan, as in nature so in the Church there exists fatherhood and motherhood, and accordingly there are ministries “which are reserved for men, and those which are reserved only for women, and those which can be done by either.”

Ascension of our Lord

The Feast of the Ascension of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ is celebrated each year on the fortieth day after the Great and Holy Feast of Pascha (Easter). Since the date of Pascha changes each year, the date of the Feast of the Ascension changes. The Feast is always celebrated on a Thursday. The Feast itself commemorates when, on the fortieth day after His Resurrection, Jesus led His disciples to the Mount of Olives, and after blessing them and asking them to wait for the fulfillment of the promise of the Holy Spirit, He ascended into heaven.

The Burning of Relics of Saint Sava

Sava was the Archbishop of the Serbs. The body of St. Sava was buried in Mileshevo Monastery. During the time of the Turkish tyranny, the Serbian people gathered around the relics of their saint to seek comfort and healing.

Fearing that an insurrection might arise from that place against the Turks, Sinan Pasha of Belgrade ordered that the relics of St. Sava be translated to Belgrade and there to be burned on Vracar, April 27, 1594 A.D. With the burning of the relics of this saint, the rabid Pasha did not burn the saint who remained alive before the Throne of God in the heavens and in the hearts of his people on earth.

Greatmartyr, Victory-bearer and Wonderworker George

The Holy Great Martyr George the Victory-Bearer, was a native of Cappadocia (a district in Asia Minor), and he grew up in a deeply believing Christian family.

His father was martyred for Christ when George was still a child. His mother, owning lands in Palestine, moved there with her son and raised him in strict piety. When he became a man, St George entered into the service of the Roman army. He was handsome, brave and valiant in battle, and he came to the notice of the emperor Diocletian (284-305) and joined the imperial guard with the rank of comites, or military commander.