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27/07/2020 – Important news – resuming public services

Keep an eye out for notices over the next week for details on how this is happening and what you can do to participate.

Holy Martyrs Samon, Gury, and Habib pray to God for us! ... Click Here To See MoreClick Here To See Less

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I am absolutely thrilled that the long awaited icons of my favourite Church fathers, Isaac and Ephraim the Syrians are ready for dispatch from Krasnodar - by the hand of Konstantin Antonov. ... Click Here To See MoreClick Here To See Less

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St. Isaac the Syrian and the Fullness of the Desert ... Click Here To See MoreClick Here To See Less

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As we celebrate the feast of St John Chrysostom, we greet our parishioner John (Kevin) on his nameday, wishing him a joyful feast, and many years! Thanks are due for his work and support, particularly since the world turned upside-down in March and parish-life took on a different and very portable character. May God reward his labourers.

Acknowledgement to iconographer Konstantin Antonov for his
beautiful icon of St John. drev-obraz.ru/

Troparion, Tone 8:
Grace shining forth from thy mouth like a beacon hath illumined the universe,/ and disclosed to the world treasures of uncovetousness, and shown us the heights of humility;/ but while instructing by thy words, O father John Chrysostom.// intercede with the Word, Christ our God, to Save our souls.

Kontakion, Tone 6:
From the heavens hast thou received divine grace,/ and by thy lips thou dost teach all to worship the one God in Trinity,/ O John Chrysostom, all-blessed righteous one.// Rightly do we acclaim thee, for thou art a teacher revealing things divine.
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For us, as Orthodox Christains, each temple (church) should be an icon of the Kingdom of Heaven, in which we - as the Church Militant - stand side by side with the Church Triumphant: the saints and angels surrounding us and the Throne (which is the way we describe the Holy Table). Thus the whole schema is an icon of the Kingdom: an icon which includes us, even though we are fallen and imperfect. Every aspect of the building calls us and invites us into deeper participation in the Heavenly Kingdom, so that we may journey towards the perfection of holiness, to which we are called by our baptism - to be saints, like those who surround us in the holy icons. Nothing is arbitrary, accidental or according to changing whims and fashions. The Orthodox temple itself preaches Truth and embodies the sacred: sacred Truth and sacred beauty, and not simply 'religious' art, which is ony religious in its content, rather than being sacred in its visual language and idiom. ... Click Here To See MoreClick Here To See Less

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12/25 November: the feast of the Righteous King Cadwaladr.November 12. Saint Cadwallador, King of Wales

This holy king succeeded his father, Cadwallon ab Cadvan, about 634 A.D., and was the last Welsh king to have sovereignty over all Britain. The Mediaeval "Chronicles of the Princes" of Wales opens with the end of this King's reign.

In the Welsh Triads, he is said to be one of the "Three Golden-banded of the Island of Britain", i.e. one of the three Kings who wore the golden bands that were insignia of supreme temporal power, and were worn around the neck, the arms and the knees. In another Triad, he is called one of the three "Blessed" or canonised kings of Britain for the protection he afforded to the fugitive Christians when dispossessed by the pagans.
Unlike his warrior father, he was a man of peace and piety; and embodied the Biblical and Orthodox ideal of kingship according to which the king is the servant of God and of God's people.

It was indeed providential that this Saint reigned at that critical time in history. In 664, a plague broke out which desolated Britain and Ireland and in which the Saint himself probably died - but not before having distributed his possessions to the victims of that plague and of the pagan incursions.
He figures in Mediaeval Welsh poetry, and is regarded as an embodiment of other-worldliness, compassion and humility, all of which are virtues to which it is difficult to attain in such high office as St. Cadwaladr held.
Wherever the Gospel of Christ has been preached and has rooted, and wherever people have responded by dedicating themselves to the Saviour, certain souls have reached that closeness to Christ which we call sanctity. Such faith and obedience, in co-operation with God's grace, can produce a saint even in faithless and pagan times. In the early years of Christianity, for example, when the Faith was persecuted by cruel tyrants, thousands of Christians went to their death rather than compromise their faith and worship the Roman Emperors.
Of course, it is not only at such times that saints have flourished; but it was nevertheless at precisely such a time that here in Wales the Holy King Cadwaladr the Blessed lived and shone as a beacon of Christian virtue. We know little of the details of his life, but what we do know is enough to show that he is a most significant person in Christian history. So much so, that in the Welsh Mediaeval document known as the "Triads", he is one of only three persons referred to as worthy of the title "Blessed".

Saint Cadwaladr was king of Britain in the seventh century at the time when the ancient Britons, the ancestors of the Welsh nation, were losing supremacy over Britain. In fact, the history of the Welsh nation, as recorded in the Mediaeval "Chronicles of the Princes" begins with the death of St Cadwaladr.
“Six hundred and eighty was the year of Christ when there was a great mortality throughout all the island of Britain... And in that year, Cadwaladr the Blessed, son of Cadwallon ap Cadvan, king of the Britons, died in Rome (This detail is uncertain and not confirmed by other historical sources) on the twelfth day (from "the Calends of" - thus the Peniarth Manuscript) of May, as Myrddin had before that prophesied to Gwrtheyrn Gwrthenau. And from that time forth the Britons lost the crown of the kingdom, and the Saxons gained it". (Red Book of Hergest, Mostyn MS 116. 142a)

Thus we know that St Cadwaladr was of the lineage of the ancient and noble family of Maelgwn Gwynedd, the ancestor of many Saints, and that the mighty warrior, Cadwallon was his father, and his grandfather the wise and famous Cadvan.

The period was one of instability and confusion. A man named Edwin had been brought up in the court of Cadvan as a foster-brother to Cadwallon. When he was older, Edwin took advantage of the political condition of the areas of Deifr and Brynaich where there were divisions amongst the Saxons. Edwin defeated his enemy, Ethelfrith, and became king of those areas which correspond to Northumbria. But Edwin had further ambitions, and disregarding the kindness he had received from Cadwallon's parents, he attacked Wales; fought furiously against Cadwallon and defeated him.

The "Triads" tell us that the River Severn was stained with the blood that flowed in this most vicious battle. Cadwallon and his family fled to Ireland as refugees from the wrath of Edwin, and there they remained for seven years.

In the year 632, Cadwallon returned: he formed an alliance with Penda, King of Mercia, in the west of England, and they attacked and defeated Edwin in the Battle of Hatfield in Yorkshire. They also won a number of other battles in those areas during the course of a year.

Once again, so it seemed, there was hope that the Britons could again rule Britain. The ensuing months were critical.
But hopes were shattered; Cadwallon was defeated by his enemy Oswald at a battle near Denisburn near the Roman wall in Northumberland, and a host of Briton soldiers fell in the year 634.

The Welsh bards extol Cadwallon and his bravery eloquently. The poet Llywarch Hen, in his composition to Cadwallon mentions fourteen battles in which he was victorious. His defeat was fateful. That was the end of Welsh hopes: and that was the political situation and national mood when Saint Cadwaladr came to the throne. Divine Providence had arranged that this humble man of faith should reign at a time of despair.
St Cadwaladr inherited the throne in dark times.

The enemy was powerful; but worse than that, pagan and only too ready to attack the Faith of King Cadwaladr's people. The king faced religious persecution as well as political attack. Political hopes were slender, but St Cadwaladr was a man of strong and vibrant faith.

The natural human instinct would have been to save his own skin, and protect his own possessions, but God's grace was manifest in the Saint and as an obedient disciple of Christ, he gave him possessions and his lands to his people who were in such a lamentable state - people who sought refuge from the violence and cruelty of the enemy. "For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it" (Matthew 16:25)

With spiritual joy, St Cadwaladr did what Christ commended the rich young man who asked what he must do to inherit eternal life. He disposed of his possessions as an act of Christian love and mercy, and that is primarily the reason that he is called "Blessed" in the Welsh Triads.

The historian, Geoffrey of Monmouth adds that the Saint then became ill. Divisions appeared amongst the Welsh. Plague and famine followed, and indeed it seemed that no further calamity could occur, and in the year 664, according to the historian Nennius, Cadwaladr died in the plague.
Humanly speaking, there was nothing notable about the Saint's death or even his life. But that is not the verdict of the Church. (Such Saints are far from unknown in Orthodox Church history. St Cadwaladr is regarded as one of the most noteworthy of saints. His life is a remarkable example of faith, hope and love. He could have allowed selfishness and self-interest to get the better of him, and bitterness to permeate his life, but with the joy that springs from faith, he departed this life despising earthly honour and power and inheriting that Kingdom where there is "neither sickness nor sorrow nor sighing, but life everlasting".

St Cadwaladr has special significance for this age. It is easy to become disheartened as we see the powers of evil flourishing; virtue despised and faith receding. But the times of St Cadwaladr were worse and he kept faithful to his vision and to his conviction that Christ is the Way whatever the difficulties, trials and dangers that face Christians.

His voice resounds down the centuries urging us to be obedient to the commands of Christ for the salvation of our souls and to the glory of the One God in Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
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12/25 November: the Kykkos Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos.

The Icon of the Mother of God, named the "Merciful" ("Kykkiotisa", "Milostivaya"): This icon was written, according to tradition, by the holy Evangelist Luke. It received its name "Kykkiotisa" from Mount Kykkos, on the Island of Cyprus. Here it was situated in an imperial monastery, in a church named after it. Before its coming to the Island of Cyprus, the wonderworking image of the Mother of God long wandered about through the will of God: at first it was situated in one the earliest Christian communities in Egypt, and then it was taken to Constantinople, where it remained during the time of Alexius Comnenius (end-XI to early-XII Century). During these years it was revealed to the hermit-elder Isaiah through a miraculous sign, that by his efforts the wonderworking image written by the Evangelist Luke would come to reside on the Island of Cyprus. The elder exerted much toil into fulfilling the Divine revelation. When the icon of the Mother of God arrived on the island, many a miracle was worked by it. From of old through the present to the monastery of the Mother of God the Merciful there throng those from every side afflicted by every sort of infirmity, and they receive healing through faith. In the miraculous power of the holy icon believe not only Christians, but also those of other faith who hearken to it in misfortune and illness. Inexhaustible is the mercy of the MostHoly Mother of God, Mediatrix for all the suffering, and Her image accurately bears the name, the "Merciful". The wonderworking "Kykkiotisa" Icon of the Mother of God possesses a remarkable peculiarity: from what time-period is unknown, but it is covered by an half shroud from the upper left corner to the lower right, such that the faces of the Mother of God and the Divine Infant no one is able to make bold to see.
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Dear brothers and sisters, congratulations for the feast of the Montreal Iveron Icon, St Stefan of Dečani and of the Holy Great Minas: Поздравление съ праздникомъ!

A year ago today, our parish was blessed by the ordination of Father Mark ‘the Younger’ to the sacred diaconate by His Grace, Bishop Irenei.

Since then, he has acted not only as our deacon, serving alongside Father Luke and I in Cardiff, Llanelli and Cheltenham, but also acting as parish administrator.

The circumstances in which we have found ourselves since March, have proved the value of a deacon for our community. As I have already written, I cannot imagine how our parish life would have continued without the assistance that a deacon has given, particular in the organisation of schedules for confession and communion, checking on the well-being of our parishioners, and not only accompanying me, but making it possible for a non-driving priest to visit the faithful, week after week.

We thank him for all that he has done over the last year, wishing him many more years of service to the parish and our Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. We also thank Bishop Irenei for responding to the needs of our community and his confidence in Father Deacon Mark, his capability and value to our parish.

Dear Father Deacon Mark, may God grant you many years! Многая и Благая лѣта!
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10/23 November: the breaking on the wheel of the Holy Great-Martyr George. ... Click Here To See MoreClick Here To See Less

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Here is a quick update and some news from my Orthodox Toys workshop. I know many of you are getting Christmas gifts and I am making sure I ship your orders on time.
Christmas sale is now on. Here is the link with 10% discount:
www.etsy.com/ca/shop/OrthodoxToys?coupon=CHRISTMAS

Here is a new pictures from my workshop:
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Dear brothers and sisters, I have just used beautiful incense, which arrived from Mount Athos yesterday, and must share the Monastiriaka website with you.

Monastiriaka acts as a storefront for various Athonite monastic houses and settlements, allowing us to buy supplies and crafts from the Holy Mountain. We previously had a box of incense from Vatopedi gifted to the parish, and I am very happy that the violet incense that I have just used is of equal quality, with no tarry after-burn smell. The cinnamon and orange from the Kellion of the Presentation the Panagia will be put aside for Christmas!

www.monastiriaka.gr/en/

Plese support the Holy Mountain by buying from Monastiriaka.
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HEALING SAINTS ICON

It is not the first time that the world has had to deal with viruses and diseases, epidemics and pandemic infecting and killing on a large scale. Our Church knows and honours saints who lived through awful times of epidemics and offered both medical aid and spiritual help to those suffering.

In the photo is the icon by iconographer Tamar Gochiashvili and silversmith Giorgi (gegi) Kurdiani depicting fifteen saints who lived during infectious disease outbreaks and acted as patrons for people in times of need.

The central image in the icon is of St Gregory the Dialogist, Pope of Rome, with the “Salvation of the People of Rome” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos in his hands. When a great plague struck Rome, St Gregory the Dialogist led a cross procession with the Icon of the Mother of God in his hands, and through his prayers, a miracle occured: Archangel Michael appeared, beheaded the evil spirit of the plague, and sheathed his sword, indicating the end of the plague.

The icon also features the enamel medallion of Emperor Justinian. During his reign, one of the worst outbreaks of the plague took place, claiming the lives of millions of people. It is known as “Justinian’s plague”. The emperor caught the disease too, but recovered. His efforts in managing the epidemic were tremendous.

The second medallion features the Archangel Raphael who is considered Patron of physicians. According to the Old Testament, he helped Tobias during the epidemic in his city.

The saints in the icon are considered intercessors and protectors against all types of contagious diseases and epidemics. From right to left, they are:

Saint Spyridon of Tremithus,
Righteous Saint Lazarus,
Hieromartyr Charalampus, Bishop of Magnesia,
Hieromartyr Reginus, Bishop of the Isle of Skopelos,
Hieromartyr Zoticus,
Holy Martyr Sebastian of Rome,
Saint Edwin, King and Martyr,
Saint Alexi (Shushania),
Saint Anthony the Great,
Saint Alexis the Man of God,
Saint Nikephoros the Leper,
Saint Quirinus of Rome,
Saint Boniface,
Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki.

Through the holy prayers of these saints, may God save us from the disastrous epidemic coming onto us. May He grant health and recovery to those suffering, and guide the hands of the doctors, nurses, and all those seeking to heal and help the affected by the disease. Amen.

#StElisabethConvent #minsk #obitelminsk #belarus #slavonic #orthodox #god #faith #spirituality #saints #church #praying #jesus #jesuschrist #christian #health #covid19 #coronavirus
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Yesterday marked the eleventh anniversary of the repose of His Holiness, Patriarch Pavle of Serbia, whose faith, humility, simplicity and holiness left an imprint on the whole Orthodox world.

As we see the terrible example of some present day chief hierarchs, their pride, narcissism and self-importance, we remember the images of Patriarch Pavle travelling on foot or on the tram though the streets of Belgrade. May he intercede for us before the Lord, and may his holiness be an example that we struggle to emulate in these troubled times. Memory eternal - вечная память!
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3/16 November: Dedication of the Church of the Great-martyr George in Lydda (4th c.).

Pious Christians built a new church in honour of Saint George at Lydda during the reign of Saint Constantine (305-337). When the church was consecrated, the relics of the holy Great Martyr George (April 23) were transferred there, and many miracles took place before them.

Troparion, Tone 4.
O liberator of captives, / defender of the poor, / physician of the sick, and champion of kings, / trophy-bearer, great martyr George, / intercede with Christ God that our souls may be saved.

Kontakion, Tone 8.
As we the faithful flee to you for refuge / and seek your protection and speedy help, / we entreat you, O Champion of Christ, / that we who sing your praises may be delivered from the snares of the enemy / and from every peril and adversary, / that we may cry, “Rejoice, O martyr George!
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Yuriy checks out papa's delivery of the litany. ... Click Here To See MoreClick Here To See Less

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The Body of Christ take ye; Of the fount of immortality taste ye! Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Тело Христово приимите, источника безсмертного вкусите! Аллилуиа, аллилуиа, аллилуиа!
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1/14 November : Saints Cosmas and Damian

Saints Cosmas and Damian were natives of Asia Minor. Their father, a pagan, died while they were still quite small children. Their mother, Theodotia, raised the brothers in Christian piety. The example of their mother and the reading of holy books preserved them in chasteness of life in accord with the command of the Lord, and Cosmas and Damian grew up into righteous and virtuous men.

Trained and having become skilled as physicians, they acquired a graced gift of the Holy Spirit – to heal by the power of prayer people's illnesses both of body and soul, and they treated even animals. With fervent love for both God and neighbour, the brothers went forth into social service. For the maladies which the brothers treated they never took payment, and they strictly observed the command of our Lord Jesus Christ: "Freely have ye received, freely in turn give" (Mt. 10: 8). The fame of Saints Cosmas and Damian spread throughout all the surrounding region, and people called them – unmercenaries.

One time the saints were summoned to a grievously ill woman – whom all the doctors had refused to treat because of her seemingly hopeless condition. Through faith Palladia (thus was her name) and through the fervent prayer of the holy brothers, the Lord healed the deadly disease and she got up from her bed perfectly healthy and giving praise to God. In gratitude for being healed and wanting them to accept a small gift from her, Palladia went quietly to Damian. She presented him with three eggs and said: "Take this small gift in the Name of the Holy LifeCreating Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit". Hearing the Name of the Holy Trinity, the unmercenary one did not dare to refuse.

Cosmas, however, when he learned of what had happened, became very sad. He thought that his brother had broken their strict vow. And soon approached the time when Saint Cosmas was to expire to the Lord. Dying, he gave last instructions that his brother should not be buried alongside him. After a short while Saint Damian also died. All were greatly perplexed where Saint Damian's grave should be. But through the will of God a miracle occurred: there came to the people a camel, which the saints had treated for its wildness, and it spoke with an human voice saying – that they should not doubt to put Damian alongside Cosmas – because it was not for the reward that Damian accepted the gift from the woman, but on account of the Name of God. The venerable remains of the holy brothers were buried together at Theremanea (Mesopotamia).

Many miracles were worked upon the death of the holy unmercenaries. There lived at Theremanea, nearby the church of Cosmas and Damian, a certain man by the name of Malchos. One day in setting off on a distant journey, and leaving behind his wife all alone for what would be a long time – he prayerfully entrusted her to the heavenly protection of the holy brothers. But the enemy of the race of mankind, having taken hold over one of Malchos' friends, planned to destroy the woman. A certain while went by, and this man went to her at home and said that Malchos had sent him, – to take her to him. The woman believed him and went along. He led her to a solitary place and wanted to molest and kill her. The woman – seeing that disaster threatened her – called upon God with deep faith. Two fiercesome men then appeared, and the cunning man let go of the woman, and took to flight: he fell off a cliff! The men led the woman home. At her own home, bowing to them deeply she asked: "What name do they call you? –my rescuers, to whom I shalt be grateful to the end of my days!" "We are the servants of Christ, Cosmas and Damian" – they answered and became invisible. The woman with trembling and with joy told everyone about what had happened with her, and glorifying God she went up with tears to the icon of the holy brothers and offered up prayers of thanks for her deliverance. And from that time the holy brothers were venerated as protectors of the holiness and inviolability of Christian marriage, and as givers of harmony to conjugal life. And from ancient times their veneration spread also to Russia.

© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
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A new icon of the Annunciation from Krasnodar.

The Holy House in Walsingham, is dedicated to the mystery of the Annunciation, and this reminds us that the Holy House of Nazareth, translated to Loreto, in Italy, is the house in which the Archangel brought the tidings of the Incarnation to the Mother of God.

For those of us who love Walsingham, and the Mother of God under her titles of ‘Our Lady of Walsingham’ and ‘Our Lady of Loreto’, this makes the feast of the Annunciation even more significant for us.

Given the importance of the feast for a band of Walsingham pilgrims in the parish, it was a very great joy for me to able to acquire an icon of the Annunciation from the Old Believer iconographer, Konstantin Antonov, and I look forward to its arrival from Russia, and being able to sing the Akathist Hymn before it in Walsingham and what feels like our own little Holy House: the Little Oratory of Newman Hall.

Rejoice, O Mother of God and Virgin, Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, for thou hast given birth to the Saviour of our souls.
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Congratulations!

As we celebrate the feast of the Holy Unmercenary Healers, Cosmas and Damian, we greet our parishioner Norman John on the anniversary of his reception into the Russian Orthodox Church.

It seems hard to believe that this was only a year ago, given the extent of his (and Georgina’s) involvement in parish life.

I think that he will agree that it has been as intense and strange year, given lockdown and the unusual circumstances in which the parish has found itself. These circumstances, and his instinct to wade in, help, and find solutions have plunged Norman into the thick of arranging and coordinating many aspects of the life of our community in the past year, as he acted as de facto steward in lockdown, giving great assistance to the clergy and starosta, together with his equally industrious spouse!

He has been unstinting, gracious and generous in all that he has done, not only for the Cardiff parish, but also in his support for the Cheltenham parish, being 'the wheels' for the priest on so many occasions.

Norman, Georgina and I are particularly bound together by Walsingham, hence the fact that it was there – where he began his long and slow journey towards Orthodoxy - that he was received into the Church, surrounded by family, and parishioners from Cardiff and Walsingham.

I look forward to our next visit, when we shall offer special thanksgiving prayers for the beginning made a year ago, commending the journey ahead to the Lord, and asking that His All-Pure Mother – as Hodegetria – will continue to show the Way.

Dear Norman John, we thank not only you, but also Georgina, for your constant labours for our parish: baking, cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing, polishing, shopping, driving, providing flowers and greenery ( and providing the rector with pickled eggs and Sicilian fare), and looking out for and caring for so many parishioners.

Sending you our love and congratulations - may God grant you many, blessed years!
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The icon of Saints Nikodim and Spyridon the prosphora bakers of the Kiev Caves, in its very first stages. We celebrate their feast tomorrow: the nameday of Archbishop Nikodem, of blessed memory. ... Click Here To See MoreClick Here To See Less

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As a parish, we are greatly blessed by the talented artists and craftspeople within the community. On Sunday, Deacon Mark and I were very happy to see the progress that Misha has made in writing an icon of St Alla, for the saint's parish namesake. ... Click Here To See MoreClick Here To See Less

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King Stephen Milutin of Serbia (1320), his brother St. Dragutin (monk Theoctistus) (1316), and their mother St. Helen (1306), wife of Urosh I of Serbia.

Saint Stephen was the younger son of King Stephen Urosh I, and grandson of First-Crowned King St Stephen (September 24). He ruled Serbia from 1275 to 1320. Stephen Milutin received the throne from his elder brother Dragutin, a true Christian, who after a short reign transferred power over to his brother, and he himself in loving solitude withdrew to Srem, where he secretly lived as an ascetic in a grave, which he dug with his own hands. During his righteous life, St Dragutin toiled much over converting the Bogomil heretics to the true Faith. His death occurred on March 2, 1316.

St Stephen Milutin, after he became king, bravely defended, by both word and by deed, the Orthodox Serbs and other Orthodox peoples from their enemies. St Stephen did not forget to thank the Lord for His beneficence. He built more than forty churches, and also many monasteries and hostels for travelers. The saint particularly concerned himself with the Athonite monasteries.

When the Serbian kingdom fell, the monasteries remained centers of national culture and Orthodoxy for the Serbian nation. St Stephen died on October 29, 1320 and was buried at the Bansk monastery. After two years his incorrupt relics were uncovered.

Saint Dragutin was the brother of St Stephen Milutin, the son of King Stephen Urosh I, and the grandson of First-Crowned King St Stephen (September 24). Dragutin, a true Christian, after a short reign, abdicated in favor of his brother Stephen. He withdrew to Srem, secretly living as an ascetic in a grave which he dug with his own hands. During his righteous life, St Dragutin toiled much over converting the Bogomil heretics to the true Faith. He surrendered his soul to God on March 2, 1316.

Saint Helen, a pious mother to her sons Stephen Milutin and Dragutin, devoted her whole life to pious deeds after the death of her husband. She built a shelter for the poor, and a monastery for those who wished to live in purity and virginity. Near the city of Spich, she built the Rechesk monastery and endowed it with the necessities.

Before her death, St Helen received monastic tonsure and departed to the Lord on February 8, 1306.
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Liturgy and Holy Communion: Sunday 2/15 November

Dear brothers and sisters,

This coming Sunday is the third Sunday in our cycle when we will visit parishioners in Swansea and Llanelli, and it will be the first in which Father Luke will welcome a small congregation to the chapel in Llanelli to celebrate the Liturgy.

We hope that on subsequent Sundays, as Deacon Mark and I travel to Cardiff and the Vale for pastoral visits, any Llanelli and Swansea parioners who have been unable to attend the Liturgy will be able to visit the Chapel of St David and St Nicholas for confession and communion with Father Luke.

This may allow the two Fathers Mark to be in Cardiff on a weekly basis, though we may have a Gower home-communion on our third Sundays before travelling to Cardiff.

This could, of course change overnight if the University Church re-opens or we secure another place of worship. Our chancellor, Father Paul, has taken up our cause, and I am awaiting a response regarding several churches in the city.

Deacon Mark has already contacted parishioners in Swansea and Llanelli, but if anyone has been overlooked please contact us.

In Christ - Hieromonk Mark
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Житие преподобного отца нашего Аврамия Ростовского - Память 29 октября / 11 ноября

Пре­по­доб­ный Аврамий (Авраамий), ар­хи­манд­рит Ро­стов­ский, в ми­ру Авер­кий, с юных лет ушел из ро­ди­тель­ско­го до­ма и всту­пил на путь хри­сти­ан­ско­го по­движ­ни­че­ства. При­няв ино­че­ство, по­се­лил­ся Ав­ра­мий в Ро­сто­ве на бе­ре­гу озе­ра Неро. В Ро­стов­ской зем­ле то­гда бы­ло мно­го языч­ни­ков, и пре­по­доб­ный уси­лен­но тру­дил­ся над рас­про­стра­не­ни­ем ис­тин­ной ве­ры. Неда­ле­ко от кел­лии свя­то­го бы­ло ка­пи­ще, где языч­ни­ки по­кло­ня­лись ка­мен­но­му идо­лу Ве­ле­су (Во­ло­су), ко­то­рый на­во­дил страх на жи­те­лей Ро­сто­ва.

В чуд­ном ви­де­нии пред­стал пе­ред Ав­ра­ми­ем свя­той апо­стол Иоанн Бо­го­слов и дал ему жезл, увен­чан­ный кре­стом, ко­то­рым пре­по­доб­ный со­кру­шил идо­ла. На ме­сте идоль­ско­го ка­пи­ща свя­той Ав­ра­мий ос­но­вал оби­тель в честь Бо­го­яв­ле­ния и стал ее на­сто­я­те­лем. В па­мять яв­ле­ния пре­по­доб­ный воз­двиг храм во имя апо­сто­ла Иоан­на Бо­го­сло­ва. Убеж­ден­ные свя­тым Ав­ра­ми­ем, кре­сти­лись мно­гие языч­ни­ки.

Осо­бен­но ве­ли­ко бы­ло его вли­я­ние на де­тей: он обу­чал их гра­мо­те, на­став­лял в За­коне Бо­жи­ем, кре­стил, по­стри­гал в ино­ки. Всех при­хо­дя­щих в оби­тель свя­той при­ни­мал с лю­бо­вью. Жизнь его бы­ла по­все­днев­ным по­дви­гом мо­лит­вы и тру­да на поль­зу бра­тии: он ко­лол дро­ва для пе­кар­ни, сти­рал одеж­ды ино­ков, но­сил во­ду для кух­ни.

Пре­ста­вил­ся пре­по­доб­ный в глу­бо­кой ста­ро­сти и был по­гре­бен в хра­ме Бо­го­яв­ле­ния († ХI в.). Свя­тые мо­щи его об­ре­те­ны при ве­ли­ком кня­зе Все­во­ло­де (1176–1212). В 1551 го­ду царь Иоанн Гроз­ный пе­ред по­хо­дом на Ка­зань об­хо­дил свя­тые ме­ста. В Бо­го­яв­лен­ском-Ав­ра­ми­е­вом мо­на­сты­ре ему по­ка­за­ли тот жезл, ко­то­рым пре­по­доб­ный Ав­ра­мий со­кру­шил идо­ла Ве­ле­са. По­сох царь взял с со­бой в по­ход, а крест оста­вил в оби­те­ли. Воз­вра­тив­шись по­сле по­ко­ре­ния Ка­зан­ско­го хан­ства, Иоанн Гроз­ный при­ка­зал по­стро­ить в Ав­ра­ми­е­вой оби­те­ли но­вый ка­мен­ный храм в честь Бо­го­яв­ле­ния с че­тырь­мя при­де­ла­ми и при­слал ту­да кни­ги и ико­ны.

Тропарь, глас 1:
Просветився Божественною благодатию, неверныя люди наставил еси к свету Богоразумия: и по смерти сияя светлостию жития твоего, источаеши исцеления притекающим с верою к тебе, Авраамие отче наш, Христа Бога моли даровати нам велию милость.

Кондак, глас 2:
Иго Христово прием Аврамие, и Того крест на рамо взем, последовал еси Ему, насажден быв в дому Господни, и процвел еси яко финикс, и яко кедр иже в Ливане, умножил еси чада твоя, муж желаний духовных: от возлюбленнаго же Апостола Иоанна Богослова благодать восприим, жезлом сокрушил еси идола, и разсыпал еси его яко прах, и чудотворец убо велий явился еси преподобне, темже Христа Бога моли непрестанно о всех нас.
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We who are walled about by the cross are ranged against the enemy, not fearing his devices and ambushes, for the proud one hath been destroyed and trampled underfoot by the power of Christ crucified on the Tree. ... Click Here To See MoreClick Here To See Less

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October 28 / November 10

As we celebrate the feast of the Holy Martyrs Terentios (Terence) and Neonilla, we wish our parishioner Nieonilla a happy and joyful nameday. Поздравление с праздником. Многая и благая лѣта!

The Martyrs Terence and Neonilla and their children: Sarbelus, Photius, Theodulus, Hierax, Nita, Vele and Eunice suffered martyrdom during a persecution of Christianity under the emperor Decius (249-250). They zealously confessed Christ and denounced idolatry. For this the pagans subjected the entire Christian family to terrible tortures and torments, but failed to get them to renounce the true Faith. So, the holy martyrs were beheaded, and received crowns of martyrdom.

Troparion,Tone 3
Bound together by natural bonds / And clothed with the might of faith, / You walked the path of martyrdom with your seven children. / O holy Martyrs Terence and Neonilla, / Pray that those who honor your contest may receive forgiveness of their sins.

Kontakion, Tone 4
Podoben: “As You were voluntarily raised...” / The universe rejoices at the honorable commemoration of the martyrs: / Terence the most-wise, his wife Neonila, and their children. / Therefore, let us hasten that we may receive healing; / for he has received grace from the Holy Spirit / to cure the sicknesses and ills of our souls.
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O most glorious Mother of Christ, our God, who art the Giver of all good, preserve the universe by thy mercy; give us, thy servants, wisdom and reason; enlighten our souls with the light of thy Son, thou only all-praised, who art glorified by the cherubim and the seraphim. ... Click Here To See MoreClick Here To See Less

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‘Bless My Enemies O Lord’: a prayer written by St Nikolai Velimirovich.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 them 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 dwarf. 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 to You may have no return; so that all 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 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.

From Prayers by the Lake by St Nikolai Velimirovich, published by the Serbian Orthodox Metropolitanate of New Gracanica, 1999.
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