The Circumcision of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

On the eighth day after His Nativity, our Lord Jesus Christ was circumcised in accordance with the Old Testament Law. All male infants underwent circumcision as a sign of God’s Covenant with the holy Forefather Abraham and his descendants [Genesis 17:10-14, Leviticus 12:3].

After this ritual, the Divine Infant was given the name Jesus, as the Archangel Gabriel declared on the day of the Annunciation to the Most Holy Theotokos [Luke 1:31-33, 2:21]. The Fathers of the Church explain that the Lord, the Creator of the Law, underwent circumcision in order to give people an example of how faithfully the divine ordinances ought to be fulfilled. The Lord was circumcised so that later no one would doubt that He had truly assumed human flesh, and that His Incarnation was not merely an illusion, as certain heretics had taught.

St. Basil the Great, Archbishop of Cæsarea in Cappadocia

Saint Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, “belongs not to the Church of Caesarea alone, nor merely to his own time, nor was he of benefit only to his own kinsmen, but rather to all lands and cities worldwide, and to all people he brought and still brings benefit, and for Christians he always was and will be a most salvific teacher.” Thus spoke Saint Basil’s contemporary, Saint Amphilochius, Bishop of Iconium.

Saint Basil was born in the year 330 at Caesarea, the administrative center of Cappadocia. He was of illustrious lineage, famed for its eminence and wealth, and zealous for the Christian Faith. The saint’s grandfather and grandmother on his father’s side had to hide in the forests of Pontus for seven years during the persecution under Diocletian.

The Life of Saint Stephen the Deacon and First Martyr

(Commemorated on December 27)

St.   Stephen was a relative of St. Paul. He was the first of seven deacons whom the   holy apostles ordained for the service of the poor in Jerusalem. This is why   he is called the Archdeacon - the first, or chief, of them. St. Stephen did   many things for the poor and widows in Jerusalem and by the power of his faith,   he worked many miracles. He lived his life to be an example to everyone who   saw him of how Jesus came to serve and not be served. 

The Son of God Was Born at Night to Dispel the Spiritual Night

Nativity 2019 Epistle of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine

The primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine
To the archpastors, pastors, monastics, and all faithful children
of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

I warmly congratulate you all, God-loving archpastors and pastors, pious monks and nuns, dear brothers and sisters, with the great and joyous Feast of the Nativity in the flesh of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ.

His Grace Always Put Others Before Himself

A Reflection on the Life of Bishop Athanasius of Western Kenya

In early December, we requested prayers for His Grace Bishop Athanasius of Kisumu and Western Kenya of the Patriarchate of Alexandria who at that time had already been in the ICU at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts for about three weeks. After the news of his illness spread, social media was flooded with reminiscences of and words of praise for Bishop Athanasius who, by all accounts, was a humble and sincere shepherd for his flock. Millions around the world were praying for him. However, it was not God's will to heal him, and Bishop Athanasius reposed in the Lord yesterday, having suffered from a rare form of blood cancer.