Culture

Venerable Gregory Decapolite

Commemorated on November 20

Saint Gregory the Decapolite was born in the Isaurian city of Decapolis (ten cities) in the eighth century. From his childhood he loved the temple of God and church services. He read the Holy Scripture constantly and with reverence.

In order to avoid the marriage which his parents had intended for him, he secretly left home. He spent all his life wandering: he was in Constantinople, Rome, Corinth, and he lived as an ascetic on Olympus for a while. Saint Gregory preached the Word of God everywhere, denouncing the Iconoclast heresy, strengthening the faith and fortitude of the Orthodox, whom the heretics in those times oppressed, tortured and imprisoned.

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).

Waves of faithful Greeks continue to venerate Cincture of Theotokos

Waves of faithful Greeks continue to venerate Cincture of Theotokos
Waves of faithful Greeks continue to venerate Cincture of Theotokos
Waves of faithful Greeks continue to venerate Cincture of Theotokos
Waves of faithful Greeks continue to venerate Cincture of Theotokos

Tens of thousands of residents of the Greek capital were blessed to be able to venerate the Cincture of the Most Holy Theotokos which had been delivered to the suburb of Neo Ionia on November 3 by a delegation from Vatopedi Monastery, headed by Abbot Ephraim. The holy relic remained until yesterday for veneration in the Church of the Holy Unmercenaries.

Stefan Uros II Milutin (1282-1321)

The long reign of one of the most illustrious and powerful medieval Serbian figures - the "Holy King Uros", (Milutin by given vernacular name; pr. mee-LOO-tin) - marked the elevation of Serbia to a dominant Balkan position, and saw cultural and economic prosperity and advances along many lines.

The first 17 years or so of the new king's rule witnessed considerable international activity - through much warfare and some diplomacy - most of it south and east against the ailing Byzantine state, some against decentralized Bulgarian interests in the northeast. Much of that was brought to a close with the Serbo-Byzantine peace treaty of 1299, which recognized the new realities of Serb expansion into the mostly South Slavic ethnic space in Macedonia. The agreement was sealed by a high-level royal marriage between the king and emperor Andronikos' minor daughter Simonida (Simonis), and assured a generally cordial relationship between the two courts for the rest of Milutin's reign. Helplessly caught in the middle of court diplomacy was the unhappy young princess; her unlikely moral vindication ultimately came through her fine portrait, well preserved and juxtaposed to the much older king at Gracanica monastery: her firm forceful gaze, having mostly defied visible Ottoman attempts at vandalism and eradication, remained for generations a famous reminder and symbol - as much of defiance as the transcendental triumph of real values over time.

Why This Serbian Temple Is Eastern Europe’s Sagrada Família

On the descent into Belgrade, the St. Sava Temple protrudes from the top of Vračar Hill like the city’s crowning jewel. But its grand white marble and granite facade topped with copper domes contains a secret: The second largest Orthodox temple in the world is largely incomplete inside. With a story that rivals that of Barcelona’s famously incomplete Sagrada Família, Belgrade’s St. Sava Temple is an eternal work-in-progress—one that’s existed in various stages of creation for more than 100 years.

SebFest in Orlando

SebFest in Orlando
SebFest in Orlando
SebFest in Orlando
SebFest in Orlando

This past weekend, St. Petka Orthodox church in Orlando hosted the 12th annual SerbFest. This, now traditional, festival brought over 5,000 people to our church grounds. All of the proceeds made will go toward the construction of our new church. The church parishioners volunteered their time by cooking, baking, selling, cleaning, setting up, etc. all in hopes of raising money to profit the church. Their work helped create three unforgettable days.

Life and Miracles of St. John (Maximovich) of Shanghai and San Francisco—One of the Greatest Saints of the 20th Century

"Sanctity is not just a virtue. It is an attainment of such spiritual heights, that the abundance of God's grace which fills the saint overflows on all who associate with him. Great is the saint's state of bliss in which they dwell contemplating the Glory of God. Being filled with love for God and man, they are responsive to man's needs, interceding before God and helping those who turn to them."

Thus describing the ancient Saints, Vladyka John simultaneously summarized his own spiritual attitude which made him one of the greatest Saints of our time.

Childhood

Michael Maximovitch, the future Archbishop John, was born on June 4, 1896, in the village of Adamovka in the province of Kharkov in southern Russia. He was a member of the Little Russian noble family of Maximovitch, to which St. John of Tobolsk also had belonged. He received at baptism the name of Michael, his heavenly protector being the Archangel Michael. He was a sickly child and ate little.