Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Whatever You Do It Comes Back As A Blessing Or Otherwise

A woman baked bread for members of her family and an extra one for a hungry passerby. She kept the extra bread on the Window-sill, for whoever would take it away. Everyday, a hunch-back came and took away the bread. Instead of expressing gratitude, he muttered the following words as he went his way: "The evil you do remains with you: The good you do, comes back to you!"

This went on, day after day. Everyday, the hunch-back came, picked up the bread and uttered the words: "The evil you do, remains with you: The good you do, comes back to you!" The woman felt irritated. "Not a word of gratitude," she said to herself... "Everyday this hunch-back utters this jingle! What does he mean?"  
One day, out of desperation, she decided to do away with him. “I shall get rid of this hunch-back," she said.  And what did she do? She added poison to the bread she prepared for him! As she was about to keep it on the window sill, her hands trembled. "What is this I am doing?" she said. Immediately she threw the bread into the fire, prepared another one and kept it on the window- sill.  

As usual, the hunch-back came, picked up the bread and muttered the words: "The evil you do, remains with you: The good you do, comes back to you!" The hunch-back proceeded on his way, blissfully unaware of the war raging in the mind of the woman. 
Everyday, as the woman placed the bread on the window-sill, she offered a prayer for her son who had gone to a distant place to seek his fortune. For many months, she had no news of him... She prayed for his safe return. 

That evening, there was a knock on the door. As she opened it, she was surprised to find her son standing in the doorway...  He had grown thin and lean. His garments were tattered and torn. He was hungry, starved and weak. As he saw his mother, he said, "Mom, it's a miracle I am here. While I was but a mile away, I was so hungry that I collapsed.   
I would have died, but just then an old hunch-back passed by.  I begged of him for a small part of his food, and he was kind enough to give me whole bread. "As he gave it to me, he said, "This is what I eat everyday: today, I shall give it to you, for your need is greater than mine!" 

"As the mother heard those words, her face turned pale and red. She leaned against the door for support. She remembered the poisoned bread that she had made that morning. Had she not burnt it in the fire, it would have been eaten by her own son, and he would have lost his life! 

It was then that she realized the significance of the words: "The evil you do remains with you: The good you do, comes back to you!

“Do good, do not ever stop doing good, even if it is not appreciated at the time and never live in expectation to receive from those you did good to."

Remember, Never give to receive in return but "Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back."  Luke 6: 30 
"Give, and it will be given to you …. for the same measure that you use, it will be the measured back to you."   Luke 6 : 38


The Ascension Of Our Lord Into Heaven - By HH Pope Shenouda III

The Ascension Of Our Lord Into Heaven 
By HH Pope Shenouda III

We celebrate two great feasts on Thursday. The First great feast of the Lord is Great Thursday of the Holy Pascha, on which the Lord gave us the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. The second is the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord into Heave, after He spent forty days with His disciples.  This Thursday is also a Feast of the Lord called the Feast of Ascension.

By the Ascension of the Lord, we mean His bodily Ascension. 

Because in His divinity, He is everywhere, He does not ascend nor descend.  Therefore, in the Liturgy of St. Gregory we say "And You ascended into the heavens in the body…."  This ascension is evidence that His Glorified Body is not subject to the earth's gravitational laws.  It is also evidence of His Divinity.  He ascended before His disciples as they were looking.  This scene strengthened their faith because the Lord not only resurrected using His Divine Power, but He also ascended into heaven in front of them.

In His Ascension to Heaven, He did not leave His Church alone on Earth. 

He told them before His ascension "I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:20
Christ stayed with the church, and they did not feel His material presence only, but also His spiritual presence … He appeared to St. Paul the Apostle more than once. He also appeared to St. John the disciple on the Island of Patmos and gave him letters to the Seven Churches.

By His Ascension, He Sat on the Right Hand of His Father.

This is according to what was said in St. Mark's Gospel "So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God." Mark 16:19
Sitting on the right hand of God fulfilled God's promise to Him in the Old Testament saying: "The Lord said to my Lord, 'Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.'"  Psalm 110:1
This event was witnessed by St. Stephen the Archdeacon during the time of his martyrdom: 'and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”' Acts 7:56
St. Paul the Apostle also spoke about this in his epistle to Hebrews
"When He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high." Hebrews 1:3
"We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens."  Hebrews 8:1
"looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."  Hebrews 12:2

His Ascension to Heaven, and sitting on the right hand of the Father, all that means the end of the statement "Made Himself of no reputation." Philippians  2:7

The statement, "On the right hand of the Father" means in the power and holiness of the Father.   God who fills all does not have a right and a left side like limited beings.  However, the right means the power and holiness: "The right hand of the Lord is exalted; The right hand of the Lord does valiantly."  Psalm 118:16    So, sitting on the right hand of the Father means ending making Himself of no reputation, and going back to the form of power that He gave up in His incarnation.   The statement "Sat" means settled, meaning that He will not go back to being of no reputation again.  Therefore, in His second coming He will come in power and great glory:  “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory." Matthew 25:31

Moreover, The Ascension of the Lord Christ to Heaven makes us direct our sights to Heaven where He is and where He was before His incarnation.

The statement "To Heaven" means to the highest.   So our sights rise up there when we pray. And so do the Church Towers, they aim for Heaven. 


Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Four Candles

Four candles
slowly burned.

The ambiance was so
soft, one could almost
hear them talking …..

The first candle

"I am PEACE!"

"The world is full of anger
and fighting. Nobody can
keep me lit."

Then the flame of Peace
went out completely.

The second candle

"I am FAITH!"

"I am no longer indispensable. It doesn't
make sense that I stay lit
another moment."

Just then a breeze softly
blew Faith's flame.

Sadly the third candle
began to speak:

"I am LOVE!"

"People don't understand
my importance so they
simply put me aside. They
even forget to love those
who are nearest to them."

And waiting no longer Love's
flame went out.

Suddenly …

a child entered
the room and saw
the three unlit

"Why aren't you
burning? You're
supposed to stay
lit till the end."

Saying this, the child began to cry.

Then the

"Don't be

I am HOPE!"

"While I am still burning
we can re-light the other

With shining
eyes the child
took the
candle of hope
and lit the
other candles.

The Greatest Of These

… but the flame of Hope should never
go out of your life!

With hope each of us
can live with Peace,
Faith and Love. 


"Dear God, You are my light
and my salvation. You are my
hope. Please come into my
heart, forgive all my wrongs
and give me Your wonderful
gift of eternal Life. Help me be
an instrument of Your love and
cause Your light to shine on
others through me.  Amen"

Friday, May 25, 2012

5th Sunday - Sunday of The Only Way

CHRIST is Risen - Truly He is Risen
Khristós Anésti! Alithós Anésti!

Sundays of the Holy Fifties

Meditation on Church reading during the Holy Fifties:

The fathers of the church arranged and named Sundays of the Holy Fifties as they did with the Sundays of the Great Fasting.

 + 1st Sunday of the Holy Fifty Days  is the Sunday of Faith (Thomas Sunday)
 +  2nd is the Sunday of the Bread of Life.
 +  3rd is the Sunday of the Living water. 
 +  4th is the Sunday of the True Light.
 +  5th is the Sunday of the Only Way.
 +  6th is the Sunday of spiritual asking.
 +  7th is the Sunday the Pentecost.

5th Sunday - Sunday of The Only Way: 
John 14: 1-11

Jesus is the only way, the only path to lead us to the Father, and He is the only true source of eternal life. The way we reach the Father is forever established in the person and work of the Son. The Son is the truth because He is the unique revelation of the Father. Christ is the life who became Man so we might have life, and as He is our life, not even death can hinder us from coming to Him. Only in Christ can one come to know the Father, for only in Christ is the way of all truth and all life found.
“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through  Me.”  John 14:6

The Lord Reassured us to trust and believe in Him.  He did not want us to be troubled in any way.  He promised us abundance of living accommodations around a central courtyard.  "Mansions" multitude of  blessings that await those who enter the Kingdom of God.
In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  John 14: 2

To be deserving of those mansions, we must follow The Way. We have to follow in the correct path by loving God with all our hearts, praying, repenting and following Our Lord's Commandments.
‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness’. ‘Honor your father and your mother’, and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’   Matthew 19: 18-19

We must also cry with King David to our Lord for support and guidance: “Cause me to know the Way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You.”   Psalm 143: 8  
“But teach us The Way of God in Truth.”   Luke 20: 21
“This man has been instructed in the Way of the Lord.”  Acts 18:25

John the Baptist was a messenger sent to prepare the Way before the Lord  “ Behold I send My Messenger, And he will prepare the way before me”  Malachi 3: 1 & Matthew 11: 10
“For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare the Ways.”  Luke  1: 76

In the Holy Liturgy the Priest ask us to lift up our minds and our hearts to the Highest. “But the path of just is like shining sun.”  Proverbs  4: 18 

To reach the way to the Father we must be obedient to the word of God.
“This is the way, walk in it,” Isaiah 30: 21
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.”  psalm 37: 23
“For the LORD Knows the way of the righteous.”  Psalm  1: 6 

We must seek eternal life, for those who live seeking material things will be away and perish from The Way. "For as heavens are higher than earth, so are My ways higher than your ways”   Isaiah  55: 9

O Jesus You are The Only Way to eternal life.  O God we lift up our soul to You. Support us and guide us to know Your Way, that we may know You and that we may find grace in Your sight. Because You said: "No one comes to the Father except through Me."  John 14: 6
“'Show me  now Your way' 'To You O Lord I lift my soul.' 'O Lord; Teach me Your Paths'”
Exodus 33:13 - Psalm 25:1 & 4 
“That where I am, there you may be also.  And where I go you know, and the way you know”  John 14: 3-4

O Jesus , let "the rough ways be smooth" "guide our feet into the way of Peace”   Luke  3: 5 & 1: 79
"Teach me Your way, O Lord,  And lead me in a smooth path," "And lead me in the Way everlasting."  Psalms 27:11 & 139: 24
"For all His Ways are justice."  Deuteronomy 32:4
"His ways are everlasting."  Habakkuk 3:6

O Lord, You are The Way. Because through you we achieved peace and happiness, we gained the knowledge of Your teaching and guidance, through You, God and man are reconciled. Smooth our paths O Lord that we may find grace in Your sight.  Amen!


Friday, May 18, 2012

The Heart

The Heart


"Tomorrow morning," the surgeon began,
"I'll open up your heart..."


"You'll find Jesus there," the boy


the surgeon looked up, annoyed "I'll

cut your heart open," he continued,

to see how much damage has been 


"but when you open up my heart, you'll

find Jesus in there," said the boy.


The surgeon looked to the parents, who

Sat quietly. "When I see how much

damage has been done, I'll sew your 
heart and chest back up, and I'll plan

what to do next." 

"But you'll find Jesus in my heart. The

Bible says He lives there. The

hymns all say He lives there. You'll

find Him in my heart." 

The surgeon had had enough. "I'll tell

you what I'll find in your heart

I'll find damaged muscle, low blood

supply, and weakened vessels. 

And I'll find out if I can make you well."

"You'll find Jesus there too.. He lives 



The surgeon left.

The surgeon sat in his office, recording his notes from 
the surgery,
 ......damaged aorta, damaged pulmonary vein, 
widespread muscle 


 No hope for transplant, no hope for cure. Therapy: 

painkillers and bed rest Prognosis: 

here he paused, "death within one year.


He stopped the recorder, but there was

more to be said. "Why?" he asked aloud......
"Why did You do this? You've put 

him here; You've put him in this pain; and You've 
cursed him to an 

early death. Why?

The Lord answered and said, "The boy,

my lamb, was not meant for your

flock for long, for he is a part of My

flock, and will forever be

Here, in My flock, he will feel no pain, and will be 
comforted as you
cannot imagine.


His parents will one day join him here,

and they will know peace, and

My flock will continue to grow." 

The surgeon's tears were hot, but his

anger was hotter. "You created that

boy, and You created that heart. He'll

be dead in months. Why?" 

The Lord answered, "The boy, My lamb,

shall return to My flock, for he has 

done his duty: I did not put My lamb

with your flock to lose him, but to retrieve another lost
The surgeon wept...

The surgeon sat

beside the boy's bed; the boy's

parents sat across from him..... The boy awoke and whispered, 
"Did you cut 


my heart?"

"Yes," said the surgeon.

"What did you find?" asked the boy.

"I found Jesus there," said the



Author Unknown


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

4th Sunday - Sunday of The True Light

CHRIST is Risen- Truly He is Risen
Khristós Anésti! Alithós Anésti! 

Sundays of the Holy Fifties

Meditation on Church reading during the Holy Fifties:

The fathers of the church arranged and named Sundays of the Holy Fifties as they did with the Sundays of the Great Fasting.

4th Sunday - Sunday of The True Light:

Our Lord Jesus Christ is the True Light "In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men. And the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."  John 1:4-5
Jesus said “I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."  John 8:12

"That was the True Light which gives light to every man coming into the world."  John 1:9
"A little while longer the Light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the Light, believe in the Light, that you may become sons of Light."  John 12:35-36 
"I have come  as a Light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness”  John 12:46

In the Orthodox Creed we declare our faith in the Holy Trinity "The Father, The Son & The Holy Spirit."  

We also pray in the Orthodox Creed, "Light  from Light."
"That you may proclaim the praises of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous Light.” 1Peter 2:9
“A Light  to bring revelation to the Gentile”  Luke 2:32

In the Old Testament the word LIGHT denotes the prophecies about the Divine Incarnation, our Salvation by the 1st coming of the Lord our Savior  “The Lord is my Light and my  Salvation”  Psalm 27:1
“ I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, As a Light to the Gentiles.”  Isaiah 42:.6   “And He has given us Light”  Psalm 118:27   "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great Light;”  Isaiah 9:2.   "For with You is the fountain of life; In Your Light we see Light.”  Psalm 36:9

The word  LIGHT in the Holy Scripture also denotes the Light of the live words of  the Holy Gospel “Your Word is a lamp to my feet And a Light to my path."  Psalm 119:105
"lest the Light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them"  2 Corinthians 4:4 
It also denotes the true believers who follow the Word " You are the light of the world ..." Matthew 5:14
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."   Matthew 5:16


O God Support us to deserve to be called "The Sons of Light."  Many times I am deceived by the adversary and I fall in the darkness of sin.  By Your Grace I get out of the darkness.  Please support me to stand again when I fall and to walk in Your Light .

You created eyes for me to see the  material light.  But I want to enjoy Your True Light. Please open the eyes of my heart, O Lord Who said: "Let there be light."  Genesis 1:3
Let "Your Light" shine on us to see by our hearts. Enlighten our path to clearly see the path through  the narrow gate.  Amen!


3rd Sunday - Sunday of the Living Water

CHRIST is Risen - Truly He is Risen  
Khristós Anésti! Alithós Anésti!  

Sundays of the Holy Fifties  

Meditation on Church reading during the Holy Fifties: 

The fathers of the church arranged and named Sundays of the Holy Fifties as they did with the Sundays of the Great Fasting. 

3rd Sunday - Sunday of The Living Water: John 4: 1-42

Our reward on 3rd Sunday is the Living Water, that is given to us by God. (John 4: 1-42)
God described Himself as the fountain of living water “ ..they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters.”   Jeremiah 2:13
From Him comes the Holy Spirit. The Lord told His disciples: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you."  John 14: 26
We are spiritually reborn and get the seal of the Holy Spirit at the Sacrament of Baptism and Chrism (Mayroon) “Most assuredly I say to you unless one is born of water and Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of GOD.”  John 3: 5
When our Lord talked to the Samaritan woman, He said: "but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him, will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”  John 4:14
“… he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”  John 6:35
“…If any one thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of Living Water."  John  7:37- 38
O Lord, we are thirsty ”As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul  for You, God.”  Psalm 42:1
O Lord deliver us from the stormy waves “He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.”   
Psalm  23: 2
O Lord You promised to give us “I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.”  Revelation  21: 6


Thursday, May 10, 2012

The London School of Orthodox Christian Studies

The London School of Orthodox Christian Studies

It is all too easy for us as Christians to abandon the detailed study of the faith once we are married, and have children and responsibilities as husbands and wives, parents and employees. But it is a great blessing and a joy to make time to extend our knowledge of the faith at every stage of our lives. Indeed I have learned more about our Orthodox Faith over the last years, than I have ever done before. Yet there remains always a great ocean of transforming learning and experience of which I grow more and more aware that I stand only in the shallows.

The courses provided by the London School of Orthodox Christian Studies are one small opportunity for people of all ages to continue to grow in their understanding of the Orthodox Faith. The courses in Christology, Church History and Monasticism are suitable for students of all ages and backgrounds, and are intended to have a spiritual benefit, as well as providing interesting academic study.

The courses are described at www.lsocs.co.uk and you can register for a course and begin your studies almost immediately. All of the materials are provided online so that students can study anywhere and at anytime. Why not consider registering for a course, and continuing to grow in your understanding of the Orthodox Faith today.


Reflections on Eastern Monasticism

This podcast contains some brief considerations on Orthodox Monasticism. It particularly refers to the fact that monasticism in Eastern Christianity is not monolithic. It does not have exactly the same forms and practices in all places and at all times. The podcast also looks at the influence which monasticism has had, and continues to have, on the development of the spiritual life of the Orthodox Churches. There is also reference to the monastic experience in Russia and the Persian Empire.

The London School of Orthodox Christian Studies is now accepting registrations for the course on Orthodox Monasticism.

Podcast Powered By Podbean


Available Courses

Orthodox Christology

Church History

Orthodox Monasticism


Abouna Peter Farrington

The London School of Orthodox Christian Studies

Severus of Antioch

Severus of Antioch - Hymns
On the Nativity of Christ who is God

Sample Podcasts
Hosted at Podbean


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Martyrdom of Saint Mark The Evangelist

Egyptian Synaxarium 30 Baramoda 
(The Thirtieth Day of the Blessed Month of Baramoudah)  

Coptic Synaxarium - Coptic Orthodox Calander
30 Baramoda - Coptic Calendar - Martyr Calendar

30 Bermodah (Baramouda, Baramuda, Baramudah, Paremoude, Farmou) = Miyazia (Miyaza) 30 - Geez (Ge'ez) Calendar – Ethiopian Calendar
(The Thirtieth Day of the Blessed Month of Baramoudah) The Eighth Month

The Martyrdom of the Great Saint Mark, the Apostle The Evangelist of the Land of Egypt

Saint Mark The Evangelist 
Ⲙⲁⲣⲕⲟⲥ ⲡⲓⲁ̀ⲡⲟⲥⲧⲟⲗⲟⲥ - Ⲙⲁⲣⲕⲟⲥ ⲡⲓⲉⲩⲁⲅⲅⲉⲗⲓⲥⲧⲏⲥ - Ⲙⲁⲣⲕⲟⲥ ⲡⲓⲑⲉⲱ̀ⲣⲓⲙⲟⲥ - Ⲙⲁⲣⲕⲟⲥ ⲡⲓⲙⲁⲣⲧⲩⲣⲟⲥ


The Martyrdom of the Great Saint Mark, the Apostle The Evangelist of the Land of Egypt
On this day, which coincided with the 26th. of April 68 A.D., the great apostle St. Mark, the evangelist of the land of Egypt, was martyred. He was the first Pope of Alexandria and one of the Seventy Apostles.

His name was John, as the Holy Bible says: "He came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying" (Acts 12:12). He was the one that the Lord Christ, to Whom is the glory, meant when He said: "Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, The Teacher says, My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples" (Matthew 26:18).

His house was the first Christian church, where they ate the Passover, hid after the death of the Lord Christ, and in its upper room the Holy Spirit came upon them.

This Saint was born in Cyrene (One of the Five Western cities, Pentapolis - in North Africa). His father's name was Aristopolus and his mother's name was Mary. They were Jewish in faith, rich and of great honor. They educated him with the Greek and Hebrew cultures. He was called Mark after they emigrated to Jerusalem, where St. Peter had become a disciple to the Lord Christ. St. Peter was married to the cousin of Aristopolus. Mark visited St. Peter's house often, and from him he learned the Christian teachings.

Once Aristopolus and his son Mark were walking near the Jordan river, close by the desert, they encountered a raving lion and a lioness. It was evident to Aristopolus that it would be his end and the end of his Son, Mark. His compassion for his son compelled him to order him to escape to save himself. Mark answered, "Christ, in whose hands our lives are committed, will not let them prey on us." Saying this, he prayed, "O, Christ, Son of God protect us from the evil of these two beasts and terminate their offspring from this wilderness." Immediately, God granted this prayer, and the two beasts fell dead. His father marvelled and asked his son to tell him about the Lord Christ. He believed in the Lord Christ at the hands of his son who baptized him.

After the ascension of the Lord Christ, he accompanied Paul and Barnabas to preach the Gospel in Antioch, Seleucia, Cyprus, Salamis, and Perga Pamphylia where he left them and returned to Jerusalem. After the Apostolic Council in Jerusalem, he went with Barnabas to Cyprus.

After the departure of Barnabas, with the order of the Lord Christ, St. Mark went to Afrikia, Berka, and the Five Western cities. He preached the Gospel in these parts, and believed on his hands most of its people. From there, he went to Alexandria in the 1st. of Bashans 61 A.D.

When he entered the city, his shoe was torn because of the much walking in preaching and evangelism. He went to a cobbler in the city, called Anianus, to repair it. While he was repairing it the awl pierced his finger. Anianus shouted in Greek saying "EIS THEOS" which means "O, ONE GOD". When St. Mark heard these words his heart rejoiced exceedingly. He found it suitable to talk to him about the One God. The Apostle took some clay, spat on it and applied it to Anianus' finger, saying in the Name of Jesus Christ the Son of God, and the wound healed immediately, as if nothing happened to it.

Anianus was exceedingly amazed from this miracle that happened in the Name of Jesus Christ, and his heart opened to the word of God. The Apostle asked him about who was the only God that he cried for when he was injured. Anianus replied "I heard about him, but I do not know him." St. Mark started explaining to him from the beginning, the creation of heaven and earth, the transgression and fall of Adam, the flood, how God sent Moses, who brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, and gave them the Law, the captivity of the children of Israel to Babylon, and the prophecies that foretold the coming of Christ.

Anianus invited him to go to his house and brought to him his children. The Saint preached and baptized them in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

When the believers in the Name of Christ increased and the pagan people of the city heard that, they were raged with anger and thought of slaying St. Mark. The faithful advised him to get away for a short while for the sake of the safety of the church and its care. St. Mark ordained St. Anianus a Bishop for Alexandria, three priests and seven deacons. He went to the Five Western Cities, remained there for two years preaching, and ordained bishops, priests, and deacons.

He returned to Alexandria where he found the believers had increased in number, and built a church for them in the place known as Bokalia (The place of cows), east of Alexandria on the sea shore.

It came to pass, when he was celebrating the feast of the Resurrection on the 29th day of Baramudah, year 68 A.D., the same day coincided with the great pagan Celebration for the feast of the god Syrabis, a multitude of them assembled and attacked the church at Bokalia and forced their way in. They seized St. Mark, bound him with a thick rope and dragged him in the roads and streets crying, "Drag the dragon to the place of Cows." They continued dragging him with severe cruelty. His flesh was torn and scattered everywhere, and the ground of the city was covered with his blood. They cast him that night into a dark prison.

The angel of the Lord appeared to him and told him: "O Mark, the good servant, rejoice for your name has been written in the book of life, and you have been counted among the congregation of the saints." The angel disappeared, then the Lord Christ appeared to him, and gave him peace. His soul rejoiced and was glad.

The next morning (30th of Baramudah), the pagans took St. Mark from the prison. They tied his neck with a thick rope and did the same as the day before, dragging him over the rocks and stones. Finally, St. Mark delivered up his pure soul in the hand of God, and received the crown of martyrdom, the apostolic crown, the crown of evangelism, and the crown of virginity.

Nevertheless, St. Mark's death did not satisfy the rage of the pagans and their hatred. They gathered much firewood and prepared an inferno to burn him. A severe storm blew and heavy rains fell. The pagans became frightened, and they fled away in fear.

The believers came and took the holy body, carried it to the church they built at Bokalia, wrapped it up, prayed over him and place it in a coffin. They laid it in a secret place in this church.
The prayers of this great Saint and honorable Evangelist be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.

THE EIGHTH MONTH                                                                             
Miyazia 30 (May 08)
30 Miyazia (Miyaza) ሚያዝያ - Geez (Ge'ez) Calendar – Ethiopian Calendar = Bermodah (Baramouda, Baramuda, Baramudah, Paremoude, Farmou) 30 - Coptic Calendar – Martyr Calendar


On this day Saint Mark the evangelist and apostle, the first of the Archbishops of the city of Alexandria, became a martyr.  The name of the father of this holy man was “Aristopolus,” and he was born in Cyrene (One of the Five Western Cities Pentapolis - in North Africa), and his mother’s name was Mary, and she is mentioned in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles. 

Now the name of this apostle formerly was “John,” even as saith the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, for [it saith], “The Apostles were praying in the house of Mary, the mother of John, who is called ‘Mark the Apostle’” (Acts xii, 12).  And this woman was rich, and she taught her son the Greek, and Hebrew languages.  And when he was grown up, he took Barnabas with him into the preaching, when he departed with Saint Paul; and when he saw tribulation come upon them, and scourging, and disgrace in the country of Pamphylia, he forsook them and returned to Jerusalem. 

When the Apostles returned to Jerusalem, and held converse together concerning the reception of the Gentiles into the Faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, and considered how God had worked signs and wonders by their hands, he was sorry, and repented, because he was one of them.  And he sought to go with them, but Saint Paul did not wish to take him because he had forsaken them, but he took Barnabas, and Saint Mark went to Saint Peter in the city of Rome, and became his disciple.  And there he wrote for himself his Gospel, and Saint Peter interpreted (or, translated) it, and preached it in Rome; and after this he walked in the commandments of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in the commandments of the holy apostles in the city of Alexandria, and he preached therein the preaching of the Holy Gospel.  And he also preached in the country of Africa, and Berka, and Pentapolis [the Five Western cities in North Africa]. 

As he was coming to the city of Alexandria, the latchet of his sandal broke off from his foot, and when he reached the gates thereof he found a certain sandal-maker there, and the saint gave him his sandal to repair.  As he was sewing the sandal, the awl pierced his finger, and blood ran down from it, and he said in the Greek language, “Estaas,” which is, being interpreted, “one God”.  And Saint Mark said unto him, “Dost thou know God?”  And he said unto him, “Certainly not.  We utter His Name only, but we do not know Him.”  And Saint Mark began to talk to him about the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, and how the transgression of our father Adam took place, and of the coming of the Flood, and how God sent Moses, who brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, and gave them the Law, and how the children of Israel were carried captives to the city of Babylon from Jerusalem, and how our Lord Jesus Christ became man, and how the prophets foretold His coming.  And then the saint spat in the dust, and smeared it on the hands of the sandal-maker and he was healed straightway. 

Now the name of the sandal-maker was “Anianus,” and he took Saint Mark to his house and he brought to him his sons and kinsfolk, and Saint Mark the apostle admonished them all, and taught them, and baptized them with Christian baptism in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost.  And when the believers on our Lord Jesus Christ increased, and the men of the city heard the report of Saint Mark, they gathered together, and wished to kill them. 

And Saint Mark appointed Anianus archbishop, and he made his sons priests and deacons, and he went out to the city of Berka and to Pentapolis and preached in them, and strengthened the people in the Faith.  And he remained with them two years, and he appointed bishops, and priests, and deacons over them, and then he returned to the city of Alexandria where the believers had increased in number. 

And he built a church in a place, which is known as the “Field of Bulls,” on the shore of the sea; and the infidels sought for Saint Mark to kill him.  And he visited Pentapolis very frequently, and when he came back he entered the city of Alexandria secretly. 

One year he returned from Pentapolis and came into the church on the day of the festival of the Resurrection, which took place on the nineteenth day of the month of Miyazya, and all the people were round about him.  And the infidels came into the church, and threw cords round the neck of Saint Mark, and dragged him about through the city, and they said also, “Let us drag him to the church in the ‘Field of the Bulls.’”  And the blood of the saint was in every street of the city, and the district round about it, and the ends thereof. 

When the night came, our Lord Jesus Christ appeared unto him in the form which He had when He was with the Apostles, and He gave him [the kiss of] peace, and strengthened him, and made a covenant with him, saying, “Behold, thou art the equal of thy brethren the Apostles”; and his soul rejoiced and was glad.  And on the following day they put cords about his neck, and dragged him through the villages, and at the end of the day he delivered up his soul; and the infidels lighted a large fire and threw his body into it. 

And by the good pleasure of our Lord Jesus Christ there came darkness, and a cold wind, and the sun hid his light, and there was lightning and thunder and rain and hail, and the infidels fled before them.  And certain believing men came and took the body of Saint Mark, which was whole and had suffered no injury, and they wrapped it up for burial in fine cloths, and laid it in a secret place.  Salutation to Mark, whose body was crowned with lightning, and rain, and hail.

Glory be to God Who is glorified in His Saints.  Amen.

30 Bermodah (Baramouda, Baramuda, Baramudah, Paremoude, Parmouti, Farmou) - Coptic Calendar – Martyr Calendar = 30 Miyazia (Miyaza) (ሚያዝያ) - Geez (Ge'ez) Calendar – Ethiopian Calendar

Parmouti = Ⲡⲁⲣⲙⲟⲩⲧⲉ , also known as Barmouda, Bermodah, Baramouda, Baramuda, Baramudah, Paremoude, Farmou, is the eighth month of the Coptic calendar. It lies between April 9 and May 8 of the Gregorian calendar. Paremoude was also the fourth month of the Season of Proyet (Growth and Emergence) in Ancient Egypt, when the Nile floods recede and the crops start to grow throughout Egypt. The Coptic name Paremoude ultimately comes from the Egyptian Renenutet.

In the Ethiopian calendar, the corresponding month is called Miyazia or Miyaza ሚያዝያ

Gregorian Calendar equivalent: April 9 and May 8


Thursday, May 3, 2012

There May Never Be Tomorrow!!!!

True Story

Timmy was a 16 year old boy who loved Jesus with all his heart.  He had a 6 year long battle with a very painful muscle cancer before he died. He longed to see others come to know Jesus. That was what his life was all about. Loving others, and knowing that they loved Jesus just as much as he did. 

Timmy wasn't afraid of dying. For he knew that he would soon be with his King. He knew that soon he wold be with Jesus. No, Timmy wasn't afraid of dying. However, he was scared. He was scared that the people around him, that he loved so much, would not see Jesus. He wanted to know that when he went to heaven to be with Jesus, that his mom and dad and brother and sister would be alright. He was more concerned about others than he was about his life, and the pain that cancer brought him.

Timmy knew what a relationship with Jesus was all about. He knew that he had love Jesus with all his heart mind and soul. He knew that in order to love others, he had to love Jesus more. And Timmy loved Jesus so much.

Timmy wanted his life to count. He wanted his life to mean something when he finally went to be with Jesus. He wanted everyone to know that his life was based on the fact that he loved his Jesus. Timmy knew that he would not be here very long. He knew that any day that was given to him was precious, and that every day he woke up was a gift from God. Timmy made sure that he encouraged others and made them feel special. He simply wanted others to see the LIGHT of Jesus in his words and actions.

Our life is but a vapor. It is very short. A vapor is gone as soon as it appears. We never know when our last breath will be. We never know when that last doctors appointment or that last car ride will be our last. We never know if we will even wake up in the morning. God didn't promise us one more second on this earth. He didn't promise us we would have tomorrow. Will you wake up tomorrow?

What have you done with your life to say to others that you love Jesus? What will your life say about you if you don't wake up tomorrow? If you don't like what it will say, then will you change it starting now? Sometimes we don't begin very well, but we can finish well. We can make changes starting right now. We can begin again, and start loving God more than the other people or things in our lives. So we can learn to love who we are, and in turn love the other people in our lives the way Christ intended.

Unconditionally and regardless of how they look or treat us. Jesus loved us when we were all but unlovable. Timmy knew how to love like that. He understood what it was to love the people that Jesus loves. I want to love others with the love of Jesus Christ. I long to be more like Christ, so I can love others the way Timmy did.

Will you as a person, spouse, parent, friend, child, be the one that others say "Loved with the heart of Christ?". That you didn't look at the past mistakes and make judgement. That you didn't care about how they looked. That you loved them despite of their failures. That you forgave them and moved forward despite the past hurts they caused. That you truly loved them with the heart of Christ.

Will the things you say and do today, be remembered for the Christ-like attitude you had years after you die? Or will your attitude, and the things you do and say be remembered years down the road because they weren't so nice?

We are here but for a short while, and then we are gone. Make sure that the things you do and say, make a difference to others through Christ. Don't wait till tomorrow. It may never come. don't put it off. You never know if you will be called to leave this world in the very next moment.

Make sure the things you accomplish, are those that honor God and bring encouragement to others.
Be prepared, be ready and be waiting with joy for the moment when you will meet Jesus your King. He is waiting for you! If you are not ready when He comes in calling for you, you will miss your chance and you will miss your crown.

James 4:14-15
Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.  Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Prayer

A Prayer
By Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
A Serbian Bishop

A prayer composed by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic, Serbian Bishop who spoke out against the Nazi regime, was arrested, and taken to Dachau.

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them. Enemies have driven me into your embrace more than friends have. Friends have bound me to earth; enemies have loosed me from earth and have demolished all my aspirations in the world.

Enemies have made me a stranger in worldly realms and an extraneous inhabitant of the world.

Just as a hunted animal finds safer shelter than an unhunted animal does, so have I, persecuted by enemies, found the safest sanctuary, having ensconced myself beneath Your tabernacle, where neither friends nor enemies can slay my soul.

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless and do not curse them.

They, rather than I, have confessed my sins before the world. They have punished me, whenever I have hesitated to punish myself. They have tormented me, whenever I have tried to flee torments. They have scolded me, whenever I have flattered myself. They have spat upon me, whenever I have filled myself with arrogance. Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.

Whenever I have made myself wise, they have called me foolish.

Whenever I have made myself mighty, they have mocked me as though I were a fly.

Whenever I have wanted to lead people, they have shoved me into the background.

Whenever I have rushed to enrich myself, they have prevented me with an iron hand.

Whenever I thought that I would sleep peacefully, they have wakened me from sleep.

Whenever I have tried to build a home for a long and tranquil life, they have demolished it and driven me out.

Truly, enemies have cut me loose from the world and have stretched out my hands to the hem of your garment.

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.

Bless them and multiply them; multiply them and make them even more bitterly against me:

So that my fleeing will have no return; So that all my hope in men may be scattered like cobwebs; So that absolute serenity may begin to reign in my soul; So that my heart may become the grave of my two evil twins: arrogance and anger;

So that I might amass all my treasure in heaven; Ah, so that I may for once be freed from self-deception, which has entangled me in the dreadful web of illusory life.

Enemies have taught me to know what hardly anyone knows, that a person has no enemies in the world except himself. One hates his enemies only when he fails to realize that they are not enemies, but cruel friends.

It is truly difficult for me to say who has done me more good and who has done me more evil in the world: friends or enemies. Therefore bless, O Lord, both my friends and my enemies. A slave curses enemies, for he does not understand. But a son blesses them, for he understands.

For a son knows that his enemies cannot touch his life. Therefore he freely steps among them and prays to God for them. Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.


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