pg. 4 Director’s Message
I believe God spoke to the hearts of many of us 26 years ago at the parish I was serving in Ft. Lauderdale to offer something more than just a weekly presence of our faith. I don’t think that I completely understood the meaning and importance of this message at the time. It was, however, on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and a visit to the Holy Sepulchre that I fully understood why. Sign up to receive Orthodoxy Now Magazine Updates.
Of all the saints of the Church, Ignatius maybe had the biggest influence in leading me toward Orthodoxy. Saint Ignatius threw several wrenches into my evangelical Protestant machinery.
Most of us recognize Pentecost Sunday as the day on which the “Kneeling prayers” are said at the end of the Liturgy. These prayers draw to a close our long celebration of the Resurrection of Christ on Holy Pascha.
This Holy Spirit also ordains priests, consecrates churches, purifies altars, perfects sacrifices, and cleanses people of their sins. This Holy Spirit abides with the godly, refines the righteous, and guides kings.
The Gospel lesson on the feast day of St. Paraskevi is also read on the feast days of other virgin martyrs, like St. Katherine (Nov. 25) and St. Barbara (Dec. 4). In this Gospel passage, a woman who had a disease of the blood for 12 years touches Jesus’ garment and is healed of her disease. Her story is another testament of faith for us. This woman was not only down on her luck but was truly poor. The Gospel tells us that she suffered for 12 years, had received treatment from many physicians that not only did not bring relief, but brought suffering. She had spent all her money and was destitute as well as being sick.
The feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God is celebrated on August 15 by the Christian world, and is the greatest of those established by the Church in honor of the Mother of the Lord. It may be the oldest of all.
St. Panteleimon, the Great Doctor and Martyr, was born at the end of the third century A.D. His father, Eustrogios, was not only very rich but was well known for his zeal in idol worship; whereas his mother, St. Euboule, was a faithful Orthodox Christian full of the Holy Spirit, love, and kindness. Her only interest was to guide her only begotten son in the true faith and virtuous life.
As a Christian, evidence points to the reality that God created the universe; that Christ rose from the dead, demonstrating that he is God; and that the Bible is divine rather than merely human in origin. As an Orthodox Christian I hold fast to every word of the Nicene Creed without addition or subtraction. In particular, I believe in “one holy, catholic, and apostolic church.”