Thursday, October 28, 2010

Prayer at Daybreak
Elder Sophrony
O Eternal Lord and Creator of all things, in your inscrutable goodness you have called me into this life and have given me the grace of baptism and the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit. You have instilled in me the desire to seek your face. Hear my prayer!
I have no life, no light, no joy, no strength, no wisdom without you, O God. Because of my unrighteousness, I dare not lift my eyes in your presence. But I obey you who said:
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11)
Truly, truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father He will give it to you in my name. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. (John 16)
Therefore I now dare to approach you. Purify me from all stain of flesh and spirit. Teach me to pray rightly. Bless this day which you give to me, your unworthy servant.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Pastoral Word on Halloween
The Joyous Feast of Pumpkin
by Bishop [now Archbishop] Kyrill
It is that time of the year when the secular society in which we live is preparing for the festival of Halloween. Many do not know its spiritual roots and history, and why it contradicts the teachings of the Church. The feast of Halloween began in pre-Christian times among the Celtic peoples of Great Britain, Ireland and northern France. These pagan peoples believed that life was born from death. Therefore they celebrated the beginning of the "new year" in the fall (on the eye of October 31 and into the day of November 1) when, as they believed, the season of cold, darkness, decay and death began. A certain deity whom they called Samhain was believed by the Celts to be the Prince of Death and it was he whom they honored at their New Year's festival*.
From an Orthodox Christian point of view, we can see many diabolical beliefs and practices associated with this feast which have endured to this time. On the eve of the New Year's festival, the Druids, who were the priests of the Celtic cult, instructed their people to extinguish all hearth fires and lights. On the evening of the
Why Do We Need The Church?
“When we stay within the embrace of our mother the Church, we can know that we are with our Lord.”
A frequent question we hear is “Why do we need the Church?” People want to know why they must go to a particular church, attend services they may not understand, obey rules that feel constricting to their lifestyle, and spend time with others they do not know or want to know. They say it is enough to talk to God in their own way, where and when they are in the mood to do so. They have lost the vision that our Lord’s purpose for incarnating as a human being was not simply to establish places to gather for rituals and coffee hour. “Church” is far more than buildings, rites and rules.
Why do we need church?so that we can know, experience and live within God, here on earth as well as in eternity. How can we possibly make such an incredible claim? On the one hand this life with God is difficult to describe in words, in the same way it is difficult to explain failing in love. On the other hand, Scripture is very clear that knowing God is precisely what He has in mind and to know God is to live in Him. He created

Sunday, October 24, 2010

- من شخصيات الكتاب المقدس
طابيثا الممتلئة أعمالاً صالحة
وكان في يافا تلميذة اسمها طابيثا الذي ترجمته غزالة. هذه كانت ممتلئة أعمالاً صالحة
وإحسانات كانت تعملها
أع9: 36
لم يكن عمل الثياب والقمصان هو وجه النشاط الوحيد الذي أظهرته طابيثا (ع39) بل يقول الكتاب: « هذه كانت ممتلئة أعمالاً صالحة وإحسانات كانت تعملها » وعلى ذلك فإنها كانت تسلك في الأعمال الصالحة التي كانت مُعدّة لها سابقاً من الله لكي تسلك فيها (أف2: 10). وعليه كانت تلك الأعمال من النوع الذي لا يمكن القيام به إلا بقوة الروح القدس.وهناك مجهودات وأعمال خيرية يقوم بها الناس ويطلقون عليها اسم إن قصة طابيثا تعطينا قدوة ممتازة للأخوات كيف يشغلن وقت فراغهن في منازلهن أو على الأقل لأولئك اللواتي يستطعن شراء القماش أو لديهن القدرة على استعمال الإبرة وماكينة الخياطة. ثم يجب ملاحظة أنه لو كانت طابيثا قد أمضت أوقاتها في أعمال تافهة أو خيالية لما وجدت لها مكاناً في كلمة الله، ولما نالت أعمالها استحسان الله. وهذا واضح طبعاً من الحقيقة أن طابيثا أُعيدت للحياة مرة أخرى.ولقد كان فقد طابيثا قاسياً على جميع التلاميذ حتى أنهم أرسلوا لبطرس يطلبون إليه ألا يتوانى عن أن يجتاز إليهم، فذهب الرسول وسمح الرب بأن يعيدها للحياة. لقد تدخل الرب عندما سمع صراخ شعبه وعزى قلوبهم.إن كل خدماتنا يجب أن تكون صادرة كصدى لمحبة المسيح القوية، لأنه من الممكن لنا أن نقدم كل ما لنا لنُطعم الفقراء بدون أن يكون الدافع هو المحبة الإلهية (1كو13) وبدون أن يكون ذلك من عمل المسيح في القلب. فيجب علينا أن نجعل المسيح هو الدافع على العمل وهو الغرض أيضاً. ويجب علينا أن نُظهر رائحته الزكية في حياتنا.

Life of the Saint
Saint Demetrios suffered in Thessalonica during the reign of Galerius Maximian (c. 306). He belonged to one of the most distinguished families of the province of Macedonia and was widely admired not only because of his noble ancestry and grace of bearing, but also for virtue, wisdom and goodness of heart surpassing that of his elders.The military expertise of Saint Demetrios led Galerius, as Caesar of the Eastern Empire, to appoint him commander of the Roman forces in Thessaly and Proconsul for Hellas. But for all this, Demetrios remained ever aware of the underlying realities of life. Since faith in Christ had touched his heart, all the glory of this world meant nothing to him, and there was nothing he preferred to teaching and preaching the word of God.Despite the persecution directed against Christians by the Emperor, Saint Demetrios brought a large number of pagans to the faith. His words convinced them because they saw in the righteousness, peace and brotherly love that marked his life an illustration of the truth of which he spoke.The Emperor Maximian had just won a series of brilliant victories over the Scythians and was on his way back to Rome when he halted at Thessalonica to receive the acclamations of the populace and to offer sacrifices in thanksgiving to the idols. A number of pagans, envious of the success of the Saint, took
ديمتريوس المفيض الطيب القديس الشهيد
عاش القديس ديمتريوس في مدينة تسالونيكي ايام الامبراطور مكسيميانوس في اواخر القرن الثالث. كان ابن عائلة مسيحية نبيلة من مقاطعة مكدونيا في شمال اليونان. كان والده قائداً عسكرياً انشأه على ضبط النفس والجهاد والأمانة، كما على التقى من العلم قدراً وافراً ثم انخرط في الجندية كأبيه وأضحى قائداً عسكرياً. وكان مكسيميانس قد عيّنه، رغم صغر سنه، قائد جيش تساليا وقنصل (حاكم) اليونان، كان ديمتريوس مؤمنا بيسوع المسيح يعيش الانجيل محبة وسلاما وبرا ويعلّم كلمة الله علنا ويعمل بها، وقد آمن كثيرون بواسطته رغم الاضطهاد.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tabitha the Merciful,
Raised from the Dead by the Apostle Peter

October 25th
She lived in the Palestinian city of Joppa, and was revered by all who knew her. Described by no less an authority than the Acts of the Apostles as full of good works and charitable deeds (Acts 9:36), this pious and charitable widow frequently gave the last coin in her purse to the deserving poor.
A seamstress who labored long and hard each day to fashion coats and other garments for her neighbors, the kind-hearted St. Tabitha – sometimes referred to by the name of “Dorcas” in Biblical and Church writings – would eventually become the patron saint of tailors and seamstresses. But while she lived on this earth, during the years immediately after Jesus Christ had also walked there, she was renowned for her kind-hearted treatment of all who crossed her path.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

مداخلة المدعوّ الخاصّ السني
 حضرة السيّد محمد السماك
 خلال سينودس الأساقفة
الكاتب زينيت
السبت, 16 أكتوبر 2010 13:42
ننشر في ما يلي المداخلة التي تلاها مستشار مفتي الجمهورية اللبنانية، السيد محمد السماك، أمام السينودس الخاصّ حول الشرق الأوسط.
 عندما تلقّيتُ الدعوة الكريمة إلى السينودس الخاصّ حول الشرق الأوسط، ارتسمت أمامي علامتا استفهام. الأولى هي: لِماذا هذا السينودس من أجل مسيحييّ الشرق؟ والثانية هي ما معنَى دعوة مسلم إلى السينودس، وأيّ دور لِي فيه، وبعده؟  
Apostle James, son of Alphaeus

October 9th
At the end of his life, he imitated his Lord and Savior with such perfection that he was finally even crucified for his faith!
James, the son of Alphaeus and Mary, was one of the Twelve Apostles – and he was known throughout his life as an especially zealous evangelist who would take any risk in order to spread the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The blood brother of his fellow-apostle St. Matthew, this ardent disciple grew up in the Galilee region of Palestine and was destined to preach the new faith of the Holy Redeemer in many different parts of the Middle East, before ending his life as a Christian martyr in Egypt.
Legend tells us that James (sometimes called “James the Less” or “James the Younger”) was the most spiritually disciplined of all the disciples – to the point that his kneecaps were said to have become very thick and callused from his endless hours of prayer. A man of austere living habits and deep spiritual commitment, he was described by the great Church historian Eusebius as self-denying and humble, as follows:
“He was always a virgin, and was a Nazarite, or one consecrated to God. In consequence of which he was never shaved, never cut his hair, never drank any wine or other strong liquor; moreover, he never used any bath, or oil to anoint his limbs, and never ate of any living creature except when of precept, as the paschal lamb: he never wore sandals, never used any other clothes than one single linen garment. TAKEN FROM
“He prostrated so much in prayer, that the skin of his knees and forehead was hardened like to camels’ hoofs.”
القديس يعقوب بن حلفى الرسول
يعقوب بن حلفى هو أحد رسل المسيح الإثنى عشر بالعبرية معنى الإسم "الذى يمسك العقب أو الذى يحل محل آخر" ويدعى أيضاً يعقوب الصغير لتمييزه عن يعقوب بن زبدى الملقب بالكبير وقد ورد ذكره فى (مت3:10، ومر18:3 ولو 15:6 وأع13:1). ويعتقد أنه هو نفسه يعقوب المذكور فى (56:27) ومر40:15و1:16ولو10:24) هو شقيق يهوذا تداوس وكان لوالده أسمان حلفى ويعقوب (أعمال14:1). كان بعض اليهود يسمون باسم أبائهم- وأمه كانت تدعى مريم وهى إحدى النساء اللواتى كن يرافقن يسوع وتلاميذه للخدمة وشقيقه أسمه يوسى ويذهب البعض إلى أن لاوى الذى هو متى بن حلفى (مر40:15) كان شقيقه أيضاً. لايعرف الكثير عن حياته وعن عمله التبشيرى ولكن بحسب التقليد الكنسى فأنه ربما قتل بيد اليهود لمهاجمته الشريعة اليهودية، وهناك قصص أخرى تروى بأنه قتل صلبا فى جنوب مصر حيث كان يعظ بالإنجيل. وقصص أخرى تقول بأنه مات بعد أن نشر جسده إلى قطع عدة لهذا يصور هذا الرسول فى الأعمال الفنية غالباً وهو يحمل منشار. يعقوب بن حلفى أحد الإثنى عشر رسولاً وهو أحد الأعمدة الثلاثة لكنيسة الختان حسبما دعاه القديس بولس الرسول (غل7:2-9). كلمة "حلفى" آرامية ويقابلها كلوبا فى اليونانية. يؤكد رسولية هذا القديس وأنه من الإثنى عشر نص صريح ذكره القديس بولس فى رسالته إلى أهل غلاطية، فيذكر بولس زيارته الأولى لأورشليم بعد إيمانه فيقول: "ثم بعد ثلاث سنين صعدت إلى أورشليم لأتعرف ببطرس فمكثت عنده خمسة عشر يوماً" ولكننى لم أر غيره من الرسل إلا يعقوب أخا الرب" (غل19:1-19) وواضح من هذه الأية أن يعقوب أخا الرب رسول نظير بطرس والآخرين. عرف بأسم يعقوب آخى الرب لأنه إبن خالته بالجسد من مريم زوجة كلوبا( شقيقة العذراء مريم لأنها أبنة خالتها أو عمتها بالجسد أيضاً). وعرف باسم يعقوب

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

الملعقة المقدسة
الأب أنطوان ملكي
أحد الهموم التي يعبر عنها بعض المؤمنين الذين يشتركون بالقداس الإلهي ويتناولون جسد ودم السيد الكريمين، هو حاجتهم إلى أن يتناولوا بالملعقة نفسها التي يتناول منها الآخرون. الحقيقة هي أنه كما يشترك عدد من الكهنة بالمناولة من كأس واحدة كذلك الأمر بالنسبة للمؤمنين إذ يشتركون بالملعقة الواحدة. أما الخوف الذي يعبَّر عنه فهو التقاط عدوى أو بعض الجراثيم أو غيرها من الأمراض التي قد ينقلها الاحتكاك بلعابٍ أو بأحمرِ شفاه مصدره شخص آخر تقدّم إلى

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Christianity & Islam Compared
by Photios Kontoglou
“Eastern peoples are more religious”, an ancient writes, wishing to say that Easterners are more religious than people in the West, in Europe. Note that East is also the Balkans together with Russia.
To an Easterner feeling is more intense than reasoning, while the opposite happens with a European; and since faith regards heart and not reasoning, Easterners are more religious than Europeans, and thus religions were born in the East, none of them in the West.
Westerners are rationalists, which is why they were devoted to positive knowledge, to sciences, and made a progress there, today leading the whole world to their way. Those among them that make a difference and they don’t believe only in their senses, turn to the East, because they discover there a spring to drink, who are thirsty for mysteries beyond the investigation of reasoning.
How intensely the western man is tied with rationalism, is evident by the distortion Christianity suffered in Europe, where she became little by little a system of worldly knowledge, having as a purpose earthly

Friday, October 15, 2010

Holy Scripture
in the Orthodox Church
By Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver
Strictly speaking, there never was a ‘Bible’ in the Orthodox Church, at least not as we commonly think of the Bible as a single volume book we can hold in our hand. Since the beginning of the Church, from the start of our liturgical tradition, there has never been a single book in an Orthodox church we could point to as ‘the Bible’. Instead, the various ‘Books’ of the Bible are found scattered throughout several service books located either on the Holy Altar itself, or at the chanter's stand. The Gospels (or their pericopes) are complied into a single volume — usually bound in precious metal and richly decorated — placed on the Holy Altar.
The Epistles (or, again, their pericopes) are bound together in another book, called the Apostolos, which is normally found at the chanter's stand. Usually located next to the Apostolos on the chanter's shelf are the twelve volumes of the Menaion, as well as the books called the Triodion and Pentekostarion, containing various segments of the Old and the New Testaments.
Martyr Longinus, the Centurion
who Stood at the Cross of the Lord
October 16th
He stood transfixed at the foot of the Cross, watching and wondering, full of awe and amazement. And then all at once, something was born in him – a spark of faith, a brand-new beginning. And his life was changed forever.
The divine Matthew the Evangelist describes the moment of his conversion to Christianity with enormous power:
So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:54).
The centurion’s name was Longinus, and he was in command of the Roman soldiers who presided over the Crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ on Golgotha. According to some Church traditions, Longinos was also the centurion who pierced Christ’s side with a spear, in order to confirm his death – after which the wound discharged a rush of blood and water that healed an eye infection which had been troubling Longinos greatly.
Soon after the events at Golgotha, St. Longinus would play a major role in helping to establish the veracity of Christ’s Resurrection . . . after the Jewish elders who had ordered the death of the Holy Redeemer bribed several soldiers to spread the false report that the Savior’s disciples had stolen his body under cover of darkness and made off with it.TAKEN FROM

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

المناولة المقدسة والاعتراف
الميتروبوليت إيروثيوس فلاخوس
نقلها إلى العربية الأب أنطوان ملكي
مختارات من نقاش بين طلاب أكاديمية موسكو اللاهوتية والميتروبوليت إيروثيوس فلاخوس، في لافرا القديس سرجيوس.
سؤال: كمّ مرّة في السنة ينبغي أن يتناول الإنسان؟ هل الاعتراف مرتبط بالضرورة بالمناولة المقدّسة؟
جواب: مطلقاً، ليست المناولة مرتبطة بالاعتراف. في الكنيسة قديماً، كان الناس يحملون نعمة الرب في داخلهم، أي كانوا في حالة من استنارة النوس وبالطبع كانوا يصلّون ويتناولون كثيراً. عندما كان يخطأ بعضهم، كان يعني أنّهم خسروا نعمة الله، وفي تلك الحالة كان عليهم البقاء خارج الكنيسة، مع الموعوظين. هذا لأنّ الإنسان لا يستطيع أن يمتلك نعمة الله وينكر المسيح. عندما يخطأ الإنسان، وخاصةً بالجسد، وهنا لا أشير إلى العلاقات الجسدانية ضمن الزواج المسيحي، فهذا يعني أنّه يفضّل اللذة الجسدية على المسيح، وبالتالي هو ينكره بالممارسة. هذه الخطايا تعيد أصحابها إلى رتبة التائبين، وعليهم أن يسعوا إلى إعادة اكتساب استنارة النوس، في عملية محددة. نلاحظ عند القديس باسيليوس الكبير وغيره من الآباء أنّ هناك أربعة درجات من المسيحيين. أولاً، هناك "طالبو الغفران" الذين يجلسون خارج الهيكل ويسألون المغفرة من المسيحيين الداخلين إليه. ثانياً، هناك "المتوسّلون" الذين يبقون في الهيكل فقط إلى حين القراءات في القداس الإلهي، ومن ثمّ يتركون مع الموعوظين. ثالثاً، هناك "المصطفّون" الذين يبقون في الكنيسة إلى نهاية القداس الإلهي لكن من دون أن يتناولوا. ورابعاً، هناك "المشتركون بالمناولة الإلهية". بتعبير آخر، عندما يرتكب أحد ما خطيئة عليه أن يمرّ في فترة من التوبة التي كانت تعني بلوغ الإنسان إلى استنارة النوس من خلال التطهّر، فقد كان عليه تغيير نوسه، وتحويله من مظلم إلى مستنير مجدداً. عندئذ يقرأ الأسقف بركة ومن ثمّ يستطيع هذا الشخص أن يتناول.
Archbishop Lazar Puhalo
If we search the canons which the Holy Spirit has given us through the Holy Church, and the teachings of our Holy and Godbearing fathers, then we will find that with one accord and as if with a single voice, they direct us to partake of the Holy Mystery not merely frequently, but constantly.The practice of infrequent Communion, whatever its precise origin, became concrete in some of the local churches as a result of Latin influence (primarily, of course, through the Uniate occupation of Western Russia and the Ukraine - prior to this century, Latins were deprived of frequent communion and were taught to commune only four times a year).

Monday, October 11, 2010

My Personal Experience
Gregory of Nazianzus
My father was every inch a gentleman, an old man, simple in style, an example in his life, truly a second patriarch Abraham.' He did not just seem noble, like people nowadays: he really was." Once indeed he had been astray; but latterly he had become a friend of Christ, then afterwards a pastor, the best of all pastors. My mother, to describe her in a word, was a fit mate for a man of such quality, and her worth was comparable. Of pious lineage, she was herself still more pious, a woman in body, yes; but in character she eclipsed any man. For the virtue of their lives both parents were equally a byword. Can I demonstrate that, provide evidence? As witness of the claim I shall adduce my mother herself, the very mouth of truth. She was the kind who would sooner conceal something quite public than boast about private matters for vainglory. Fear was her guide: it is a good teacher.
She was anxious to see a male child in her house: that is indeed a wish common to many people. She turned to God and prayed for the fulfillment of her wish," for when her mind was set on something she was not easily restrained. God granted the favor, and in her great desire, failing not in loving prayer, she
إختباري الشخصي مع الله
القديس غريغوريوس النزينزي
كان أبي رجلاً نبيلاً بكل المقاييس، رجلاً كبير السن، بسيطاً في الإسلوب، مثالاً يُحتذى به، حقاً بطريركاً ثانياً كإبراهيم. لم يكن فقط يبدو نبيلاً مثل أغلبية الناس في الوقت الحاضر، بل كان بالحقيقة كذلك. بالفعل، ضلَّ في يوم من الأيام، إلا أنه صار صديقاً للمسيح بعد ذلك، ثم فيما بعد قساً، بل أفضل جميع القساوسة. أما أمي نونا لكي أصفها بإختصار، كانت الشريكة الملائمة لرجل من هذه النوعية، وفضائلها مشابهة. من سلالة تقية، إلا أنها كانت فاقت الجميع في التقوى. سيدة بالجسد نعم، إلا أنها كانت تفوق أي رجل بشخصيتها. كانت حياة كلا الوالدين على حد سواء نموذجاً يُحتذى به. هل يمكنني إظهار ذلك مقدماً دلائل؟ كشاهد على الإدعاء، سوف أقدم أمي نفسها، فم الحقيقة ذاتها. كانت بعيدة كل البعد عن الإفتخار بأمور خاصة للمجد الباطل، بل كان الأقرب إليها إخفاء أمر شائع من أن تفعل ذلك. كانت مخافة الله دليلها، فالمخافة مُعلّم صالح.
كانت متلهفة لرؤية طفل ذكر في بيتها، هذه حقاً أمنية شائعة عند العديد من الناس. إتجهت إلى الله وصلَّت من أجل تتميم أمنيتها، إذ أنها عندما كانت تُثبِّت ذهنها على شيء لم يكن بسهولة إعاقتها. الله منحها الجميل، إذ كانت بالفعل تتوقع الإستجابة لإمنيتها الرائعة بدون التوقف عن الصلاة المملوءة بالحب. أتى إلها تذوق سابق جليل، رؤية تحتوي على ظل طلبها. ظهر إليها بكل وضوح شبهي واسمي في حُلم بالليل. ثم ولدتُ لهما، عطية من الله
The word church in English is akin to German Kirche and Scottish kirk, derived ultimately from Greek kyriakos, relating to kyrios, which means “lord” or “master,” and thus the Church is an institution relating to the Lord; the equivalent word in French is église, which is derived from Latin ecclesia, from Greek ekklesia which means assembly, and thus the Church is an assembly of people. Moving from Indo-European to Semitic languages, we note that the equivalent word in Arabic is kanisa, akin to Aramaic/Syriac knushto and Hebrew knéset, and it similarly means assembly.
In Christian doctrine, the Church is the assembly of all the people who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior: clergy and laity; men and women; young and old; rich and poor; whatever their language, color, or ethnic origin; whatever their rank in society or their station in life. St. Paul says, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
Many Confess, Few Repent
February 23, 2010 By Fr. John A. Peck
This article is an excerpt taken from the book titled “REPENTANCE AND CONFESSION”, by Monk Moses of the Holy Mountain, “Orthodoxi Kypseli” Publications, Thessaloniki.
I am indebted to Fr. John Stavropoulos for bringing it to my attention.
Confession is a God-given commandment, and it is one of the Sacraments of our Church. Confession is not a formal, habitual (“to be on the safe side”, or, “in view of upcoming feast-days”), forced and unprepared act, springing from an isolated duty or obligation and for psychological relief only. Confession should always be combined with repentance. A Holy Mountain Elder used to say:
“Many confess, but few repent!”
(Elder Aemilianos of the Simonopetra Monastery, Mt. Athos)
Repentance is a freely-willed, internally cultivated process of contrition and sorrow for having distanced ourselves from God through sin. True repentance has nothing to do with intolerable pain, excessive sorrow and relentless guilty feelings.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

By John L. Boojamra
Anyone who has tried to teach re­ligion to adolescents in the past years will probably agree that this age group is the most threatening and difficult to face. Whole segments of our youth population have turned off to religion, at least in its traditional and established forms. There have been several reasons for this, and certainly one of them is the various unhappy experiences they have had in their parishes. This rejection is one side of the contemporary religious scene. On the other side, we have what some have called a religious re-­awakening among our youth: a search for meaning in un-institution­alized religion, the bizarre forms of which stagger many of us.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Philip the Apostle of the 70, one of the 7 Deacons
October 11th.
Born in Palestinian Caesarea, the Apostle Philip (one of the Seven Deacons) lived through two amazing adventures en route to becoming a saint in God’s Holy Church. On one occasion, he was called upon to match wits with a fearsome sorcerer who was intent on doing everything he could to stop the spread of Christianity.
Philip survived that test – and then later was amazed to be transported through the air by an angel of the Lord to distant Azotus, an ancient Palestine city located halfway between Joppa and Gaza, where he would be called upon to preach the Holy Gospel to all who would listen.
Philip’s life in the decades immediately after Jesus Christ seemed fairly ordinary, at least some of the time. The father of four daughters – all four would receive the gift of being able to prophesy the future, and would also take vows of lifetime virginity – he was a sober, industrious worker and a conscientious family man. But his life changed almost overnight, after he was chosen by the twelve Holy Apostles as a deacon and assigned (with St. Stephen, later the first Christian martyr, who was stoned to death) to assist widows and orphans and other needy souls in the city of Jerusalem.
St. Philip’s vocation soon grew more difficult, however. Driven out of Jerusalem by the escalating persecution of the Christians, he took refuge in Samaria around 35 A.D. and there preached the Gospel, performed numerous miracles, healed the sick and occasionally freed suffering individuals from the demons that had possessed them. TAKEN FROM