On January 27th, our Church commemorates the Transfer of the Holy Relics of St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople.   He is widely known, as we often celebrate the Divine Liturgy that bears his name in all Orthodox churches. He was born in Great Antioch of Syria (todays Antakya of Turkey) in the year 347 AD.  His father died soon after his birth, leaving him to be raised by his Christian mother, Anthusa (who is also honored as a saint).   He studied Rhetoric and Theology with the great teachers of Antioch.  Later, he left the city for desert, where he devoted himself to an ascetic life and deep study of the Holy Bible.  In 381 he returned to Antioch, where he was ordained a deacon and later priest.   After his ordination, he distinguished himself in the exegesis of Scripture, sermons, and other pastoral activities.   His fame soon extended beyond the borders of Antioch, and in 397 he was elected Archbishop of Constantinople.   His homilies captivated the people, and this is why he is known as St. John Chrysostom (the man with the golden mouth).   His wonderful homilies and epistles have survived to this day.

St. Makarios was born in Egypt around the year 300 AD, and reposed In the Lord in 391 AD. When he was a child, persecutions against Christians were still raging, but after 313 (with the freedom granted to Christians by St. Constantine the Great), he was able to openly declare his Christian faith as a young man. It was from his childhood that he began to distinguish himself from his peers, and demonstrated a desire for a solitary life. Already in the desert of Thebes in Egypt was the first great ascetic, St. Anthony the Great (251 AD-356 AD), who had gained a great reputation for his ascetic struggles and sanctity of life (which lead to him being called Megas”- Great). St. Anthonys life was narrated by his contemporary, St. Athanasius the Patriarch of Alexandria. At the same time, St. Pachomius (260-348AD) had organized the pioneering first Monastery in Thebes.

St. Tatiana, whose feast we celebrate today, belongs to the order of deaconesses. As we know from the Holy Gospel, there were women who followed Jesus along with the Apostles, and were led by these faithful women with a missionary fervor (see Luke 8:1-3).  They helped the Apostles in a variety of ways in their difficult task, women like St. Phoebe, who was ordained a Deaconess in the Church of Corinth by St. Paul himself.

Today we celebrate in advance one of the Great Feasts of Our Lord, the Holy Theophany (or Epiphany-also known as the Feast of Lights).

On the Sunday after Christmas, the Church commemorates other saints associated with the Birth of the Lord.   Among them is St. Joseph, the man betrothed (engaged) to the Blessed Virgin Mary (one of his titles is the Betrothed”). He was a carpenter from Bethlehem, who had settled down in Nazareth.

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Schedule of services on January 2020

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