How many times have you heard that you should “Love your enemies”? Well, probably lots. Our Lord Jesus Christ told us to love our enemies, and we read about it in the Bible. When we love our enemies, we show how much we love God. After all, God made everyone, even our enemies!
In today’s epistle reading, we hear about two of Jesus’s followers. They knew they should love their enemies, and they showed it with their actions too. Saint Paul and Saint Silas got in trouble with the authorities because they were preaching about Christ. They were beaten up with sticks, their clothes were torn up, and then they were even thrown into prison! The prison guard sat outside their cell and watched them. That prison guard was their enemy, wasn’t he?
VENERABLE ANASTASIOS GORDIOS: OF EVRYTANIA, GREECE
Do you have a favorite subject in school? Math, reading, science, social studies,
something else? Maybe you like them all! This week we remember a holy man who was just brilliant in school, and everybody knew it! Anastasios lived almost 400 years ago, in Evrytania, Greece (a place with a lot of mountains). Anastasios studied from the best teachers around, and then he went to the great city of Athens to learn more. He studied about his Orthodox faith, but he also studied medicine and literature too. Then he went to Rome to study math and physics. Anastasios knew there was more to learn, but he decided to go home. At that time, many people in Greece were starting to forget their precious Orthodox faith. That’s because they were ruled by the Ottomans, who were not Christians.
Anastasios went back home to the mountains of Greece. He taught many, many students. He taught them about the Orthodox faith, but he also taught them science and medicine, literature, and other subjects too. He was a special teacher for the people. They didn’t have a lot of teachers who had studied so much and who knew so much as Anastasios did!
We call him Venerable Anastasios, because the Church has not proclaimed him a saint yet. The people who live in Evrytania call him a saint though because they know what a wonderful and holy and special person he was.