Saint Joanikije (Lipovac) of Montenegro

Our father among the saints Metropolitan Joanikije (Lipovac) was the Metropolitan of the Diocese of Montenegro and the Littoral in Yugoslavia as it became a battleground during World War II. He attempted to maintain the diocese as the area transitioned between German and communist rule. With the ascendency of communist control he attempted to leave the area with many of his priests. The attempt was unsuccessful and he and his party of priests were brutally killed. In 1999, his name was added to the list of Serbian saints.

The future metropolitan was born Jovan Lipovac into the family of Špiro and Marija Lipovac on February 16,1880 in Stoliva on the Bay of Boka Kotorska. His mother's maiden name was Damjanovic. Jovan completed primary school education in Prcanj, followed by grammar school in Kotor. Jovan began his theological studies at the Orthodox Theological Institute in Zadar, and continued at the Philosophical Faculty in Belgrade. He also passed an exam for the professorship of theological subjects.

Apostle Simon the Zealot

Saint Simon was from Cana in Galilee, and was known to the Lord and His Mother. Tradition says that he was the bridegroom at the wedding where the Savior performed His first miracle. After witnessing the miracle of the water which had been turned into wine, he became a zealous follower of Christ. For this reason, he is known as Saint Simon the Zealot.

Saint Simon was one of the twelve Apostles, and received the Holy Spirit with the others on Pentecost. He traveled to many places from Britain to the Black Sea, proclaiming the Gospel of Christ. After winning many pagans to the Lord, Saint Simon suffered martyrdom by crucifixion.

Saint Demetrius of Rostov says that this Saint Simon is to be distinguished from the Apostle Simon Peter, and from the Lord’s relative Simon (Mt.13:55), who was the second Bishop of Jerusalem.

The Apodosis, or Leavetaking, of Pascha

Today is the last day of Pascha for Christians of the Byzantine tradition.  Each major feast on the Church calendar has an Apodosis that comes, normally, at the end of the octave.  The hymns for Matins, the hours, Vespers, Compline, and the Divine Liturgy are repeated as on the first day of the feast.  For Pascha, however, the Leave-Taking is on the vigil of the Ascension, but, with the exception of the changed lectionary, the services are the same as for Easter Sunday.

Dealing with Anger

The apostles’ hearts were filled with rage. The Master was heading toward Jerusalem, and He had sent messengers on ahead to secure lodging for Himself and His apostles. Some of the messengers had entered a town of the Samaritans, but when the Samaritan villagers learned that Jesus was making for Jerusalem, they abruptly refused them all hospitality, despite the age-old and sacred Middle Eastern obligation to offer hospitality to strangers. If Jesus were heading to Jerusalem, the “Vacancy” sign out front was quickly turned to read “No Vacancy”—at least for them.   It was a spectacular slight, and a terrible insult.

A Paschal Homily of Blessed Justin of Chelije

Sentenced to Immortality

Man sentenced God to death; by His Resurrection, He sentenced man to immortality. In return for a beating, He gives an embrace; for abuse, a blessing; for death, immortality. Man never showed so much hate for God as when he crucified Him; and God never showed more love for man than when He arose. Man even wanted to reduce God to a mortal, but God by His Resurrection made man immortal. The crucified God is Risen and has killed death. Death is no more. Immortality has surrounded man and all the world.