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).

Venerable Nilus the Faster of Sinai

Saint Nilus the Faster of Sinai, a native of Constantinople. He lived during the fifth century and was a disciple of Saint John Chrysostom. Having received a fine education, the saint was appointed to the important post of prefect of the capital while still a young man. During this period, Nilus was married and had children, but the pomp of courtly life bothered the couple. Saint John Chrysostom exerted a tremendous influence upon their lives and their strivings. The spouses decided to separate and devote themselves to the monastic life.

The wife and daughter of Nilus went to one of the women’s monasteries in Egypt, and Saint Nilus and his son Theodulus went to Sinai, where they settled in a cave dug out by their own hands. For forty years this cave served as the dwelling of Saint Nilus. By fasting, prayer and works, the monk attained a high degree of spiritual perfection. People began to come to him from every occupation and social rank from the emperor down to the farmer, and each found counsel and comfort from the saint.

Weekly Diocesan Bulletin - Sunday, November 26, 2017


RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE EIGHT: Thou didst descend from on high, O Merciful One! Thou didst accept the three day burial to free us from our sufferings! O Lord, our Life and Resurrection: Glory to Thee!

The Holy Archangel Michael and all the Bodiless Powers of Heaven

The angels of God were celebrated by men from earliest times but this celebration was often turned into the divinization of angels (IV Kings 23:5 [II Kgs KJV]). The heretics wove all sorts of fables concerning the angels. Some of them looked upon angels as gods; others, although they did not consider them gods, called them the creators of the whole visible world. The local Council of Laodicea (four or five years before the First Ecumenical Council) rejected the worship of angels as gods and established the proper veneration of angels in its Thirty-fifth Canon.

In the fourth century, during the time of Sylvester, Pope of Rome, and Alexander, Patriarch of Alexandria, the present Feast of Archangel Michael and all the other heavenly powers was instituted for celebration in the month of November. Why precisely in November? Because November is the ninth month after March, and March is considered to be the month in which the world was created. Also, as the ninth month after March, November was chosen for the nine orders of angels who were created first. St. Dionysius the Areopagite, a disciple of the Apostle Paul (who was taken up into the third heaven), described these nine orders of angels in his book, On the Celestial Hierarchies, as follows: six-winged Seraphim, many-eyed Cherubim, God-bearing Thrones, Dominions, Powers, Virtues, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels. The leader of all the angelic hosts is the Archangel Michael. 

Met Georges Khodr: The Question of Life

This is the question of life: who is my neighbor? People think that the neighbor is a spouse, a child or an uncle, all those we call “relatives,” and people distinguish between neighbors and strangers. A neighbor is someone with whom we share our tastes, our religion, or kinship and a stranger is someone with whom we differ and whom we find foreign.

Here the teacher of the law comes to Jesus, a theologian in Israel who had to have known the answer to the question before asking, and so the Bible says that he came to test Jesus and asked him, “How may I be saved?” Jesus replies, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and love your neighbor as yourself.” The man knew that the Law of Moses commands love, but it distinguishes neighbor from foreigner. The Law says, “Only love the Jew.” Non-Jews are called “gentiles” and Jews had nothing to do with them.

Why is psalm 103, which speaks of the creation of the world, placed at the beginning of vespers?

The worship of the Orthodox Church is closely connected with the sacred history of the Old and New Testaments. It as if illustrates this history from the very beginning, symbolically and spiritually, deeply connected with it.    

That is why the rite of the All-Night Vigil begins with the doxology to the Holy Trinity: “Glory to the Holy, Consubstantial, Life-Creating, and Undivided Trinity, always, now and ever and unto ages of ages!” That is, God has always been: before time, before the creation of the world, and we must glorify Him. The choir answers on behalf of the people, “Amen,” which translated from Hebrew means “Truly,” or “Let it be.” Then is read the prayer of worship of the Holy Trinity, “O come let us worship…” and the 103rd psalm is sung, during which the priest and deacon perform the censing of the entire church and the congregation.

Weekly Diocesan Bulletin - Sunday, November 19, 2017


RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE SEVEN: By Thy Cross, Thou didst destroy death! To the thief, Thou didst open Paradise! For the myrrh-bearers, Thou didst change weeping into joy! And Thou didst command Thy disciples, O Christ God, to proclaim that Thou art risen, granting the world great mercy!