In 1998, my family and I were received into the Orthodox Church. I had served as an Episcopal clergyman for 18 years prior to that. I left a large parish with a wonderful staff and tremendous programs. I took up the work of starting an Orthodox mission. Of course, such a life-change creates awkward moments for your friends, colleagues, and former parishioners. What do you say to someone who just chucked a career to start a mission in a warehouse? Perhaps the common expression, typically American, was, “I’m glad you’re doing what makes you happy.” It would have also been beyond awkward had I responded by telling the truth: “Actually, it makes me miserable.” And the difference between their thoughts and mine, their actions and mine, is all the difference in the world. It was a difference that was at the heart of my conversion and it separates Orthodoxy from the modern world.
On this day, the Church celebrates the icon of the Savior "Made Without Hands"—the prototype of which is believed to be an image of Jesus Christ's holy face, left on a cloth used to cover His face at burial after the crucifixion. An exhaustively researched and highly interesting article by Fr. Alexy Young, Nun Michaila, and Mary Mansur was published a number of years ago in the periodical, "Orthodox America" on the Shroud of Turin and the Holy Napkin. We present it today in the spirit of the present feast.
>The truth of God has to be comprehended not by the mind alone but with all one's strength; by the mind and the will and the heart; one has to live according to the truth in order to come to know the truth. Blessed Archbishop John (Maximovitch)
For the first fourteen days of August during each year, the Holy Orthodox Church enters into a strict fast period in honor of the Mother of God, the Virgin Mary. The eminent Orthodox theologian, Father Sergei Bulgakov, beautifully expresses the high regard which the Orthodox Christians have for the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, for her special role in the salvation of mankind, when he affirms, “The warm veneration of the Theotokos is the soul of Orthodox Piety.” St. John of Damascus, one of the great Orthodox fathers, pointed out that when the Blessed Virgin Mary became the Mother of God and gave birth to Christ, the Redeemer of Mankind, she became the mother of mankind. We call the Virgin Mary “Theotokos”, from the Greek, which means “The Birth-Giver or the Bearer of God.” This is the highest title that can be bestowed upon any member of the human race.
This Saint, who had Nicomedia as his homeland, was the son of Eustorgius and Eubula. His father was an idolater, but his mother was a Christian from her ancestors. It was through her that he was instructed in piety, and still later, he was catechized in the Faith of Christ by Saint Hermolaus (see July 26) and baptized by him. Being proficient in the physician's vocation, he practiced it in a philanthropic manner, healing every illness more by the grace of Christ than by medicines. Thus, although his parents had named him Pantoleon ("in all things a lion"), because of the compassion he showed for the souls and bodies of all, he was worthily renamed Panteleimon, meaning "all-merciful."
On February 9, 1881, Feodor Dostoevsky parted this world as his family read to him the Gospel parable of the prodigal son. This article in Orthodox America from the 100th anniversary year of Doestoevsky’s death commemorates the great writer, and shows his significance to the Orthodox Church. his work is exceptionally timely for us here in the United States today.
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January 28/February 9 of this year (1981) marked the hundredth anniversary of the death of Fyodor M. Dostoevsky, the great Russian writer who was probably the most powerful Orthodox voice in the world literature of recent centuries. In marking this anniversary with an Ukase decreeing the celebration of memorial Services for him in all dioceses, as well as recommending gatherings and lectures devoted to him, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Outside of Russia noted that
Archaeolgoists Find Medieval Procession Cross, Bulgarian, Ottoman Coin Treasures at Black Sea Fortress Kastritsi31. July 2015 - 13:53
The archaeologists excavating the Late Antiquity and medieval Byzantine and Bulgarian fortress Kastritsi, which is located in the Euxinograd Residence of the Bulgarian government near the Black Sea city of Varna, have discovered medieval Christian artifacts as well as a treasure of Bulgarian and Ottoman coins.
\The newly found Christian artifacts from Kastritsi are a church procession cross and a medallion with the image of the Holy Mother of God, i.e. the Virgin Mary, Prof. Valentin Pletnyov, Director of the Varna Museum of Archaeology (Varna Regional Museum of History) has told Radio Focus Varna.