Apostle Timothy of the Seventy

The Holy Apostle Timothy was from the Lycaonian city of Lystra in Asia Minor. Saint Timothy was converted to Christ in the year 52 by the holy Apostle Paul (June 29). When the Apostles Paul and Barnabas first visited the cities of Lycaonia, Saint Paul healed one crippled from birth. Many of the inhabitants of Lystra then believed in Christ, and among them was the future Saint Timothy, his mother Eunice and grandmother Loida (Lois) (Acts 14:6-12; 2 Tim. 1:5).

The seed of faith, planted in Saint Timothy’s soul by the Apostle Paul, brought forth abundant fruit. He became Saint Paul’s disciple, and later his constant companion and co-worker in the preaching of the Gospel. The Apostle Paul loved Saint Timothy and in his Epistles called him his beloved son, remembering his devotion and fidelity with gratitude.

Venerable and God-bearing Father Anthony the Great

Saint Anthony the Great is known as the Father of monasticism, and the long ascetical sermon in The Life of Saint Anthony by Saint Athanasius (Sections 16-34), could be called the first monastic Rule.

He was born in Egypt in the village of Coma, near the desert of the Thebaid, in the year 251. His parents were pious Christians of illustrious lineage. Anthony was a serious child and was respectful and obedient to his parents. He loved to attend church services, and he listened to the Holy Scripture so attentively, that he remembered what he heard all his life.

When Saint Anthony was about twenty years old, he lost his parents, but he was responsible for the care of his younger sister. Going to church about six months later, the youth reflected on how the faithful,in the Acts of the Apostles (4:35), sold their possessions and gave the proceeds to the Apostles for the needy.

Veneration of the Precious Chains of the Holy and All-Glorious Apostle Peter

The Veneration of the Honorable Chains of the Holy and All-Praised Apostle Peter: In about the year 42, on the orders of Herod Agrippa, the Apostle Peter was thrown into prison for preaching about Christ the Savior. In prison he was held secure by two iron chains. During the night before his trial, an angel of the Lord removed these chains from the Apostle Peter and led him out from the prison (Acts 12:1-11).

Christians who learned of the miracle took the chains and kept them as precious keepsakes. For three centuries the chains were kept in Jerusalem, and those who were afflicted with illness and approached them with faith received healing. Patriarch Juvenal (July 2) presented the chains to Eudokia, wife of the emperor Theodosius the Younger, and she in turn transferred them from Jerusalem to Constantinople in either the year 437 or 439.

Saint Sava I, First Archbishop of Serbia

Saint Sava, First Archbishop of Serbia, in the world Rostislav (Rastko), was a son of the Serbian king Stephen Nemanya and Anna, daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Romanus. From his early years he fervently attended church services and had a special love for icons.

At seventeen years of age, Rostislav met a monk from Mount Athos, secretly left his father’s house and set off for the Saint Panteleimon monastery. (By divine Providence in 1169, the year of the saint’s birth, the ancient monastery of the Great Martyr and healer Panteleimon was given to Russian monks.)

St. Martyrs Ermil (Ermilus) and Stratonicus

St. Martyrs Ermil (Ermilus) and Stratonicus
St. Martyrs Ermil (Ermilus) and Stratonicus
St. Martyrs Ermil (Ermilus) and Stratonicus
St. Martyrs Ermil (Ermilus) and Stratonicus

The Martyr Saints Ermil and Stratonicus, in Greek ῞Ερμυλος and Στρατόνικος, or in Serbian Свети мученици, Eрмил и Cтратонjк бэлгрaдски (Sts. Martyrs Ermil and Stratonic of Belgrade) lived in 3rd – 4th centuries in the Roman province Illyricum, located on the middle course of the Danube, and received their martyrdom at Singidunum (the today Belgrade), being celebrated on January 13, their day of passage to the Lord.

“Before I am an athlete, I am an Orthodox Christian”

Taken off the tennis courts for six months because of persistent elbow pain, Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic made his return to the ATP circuit on Tuesday, facing off against American Donald Young in the first round of the Australian Open tournament. He won the match handily (6-1, 6-2, 6-4). And it’s a safe bet that this man, who dominated the world tennis elite from August 2014 to November 2016, was able to find the energy he needed for his comeback thanks to his regular Bible reading.

Nativity Epistle of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine

January 7, 2018

To the archpastors, pastors, monastics,

and all the faithful children of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church

I heartily congratulate all of you, God-loving bishops, reverend fathers, pious monks and nuns, dear brothers and sisters, with the great salvific feast of the Nativity in the flesh of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ.