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Blessed the New Year 2014

In essence being God, most-compassionate Master, You assumed human nature without transmutation. Fulfilling the Law, of Your own will You accepted circumcision in the flesh, to bring an end to the shadow, and to remove the passions that cover us. Glory to Your benevolence, O Lord; glory to Your compassion; glory to Your inexpressible condescension, O Word.

A Spiritual Advice for the Beginning of the New Year

“Have you not heard Paul saying, “You keep days and months and seasons and years; I fear lest I have laboured in vain for you”? Otherwise it is of the most extreme folly that from one day, if it be fortunate, to expect this from the whole year; but it is not of folly alone, rather this is the judgment of diabolical activity, not to entrust the things of our life to our own haste and eagerness, but to cycles of the days.

Presbyter Athanasios Manalu Fell Asleep in the Lord

Fr.Athanasios Manalu, a Presbyter of the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Singapore and South Asia, fell asleep in the Lord on Wednesday, December 25,2013. Fr.Athanasios was a married priest and a father of five children. He was ordained as Presbyter by the then Metropolitan of Hong Kong Nikitas (now Metropolitan of Dardanelles) and he served as a priest in several Orthodox Communities in Medan and Nias Island in Sumatra.

Patriarchal Encyclical for Christmas 2013

Many centuries ago, the Prophet foresaw and announced with enthusiasm and joy the birth of the child Jesus from the ever-Virgin Mary. Naturally, even then, there was no period of census by Augustus Caesar, no place to stay for the safety of the Holy Virgin who was carrying a child by the Holy Spirit. So the holy Joseph as her betrothed and protector was obliged to lead her to a cave, a manger with animals, “in order to give birth to a child.”

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Receives Exceptional Academic Honor

On December 19, 2013, His All-Holiness received an honorary doctorate from Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University (formerly Robert College) for his extraordinary vision and initiatives for the protection of the natural environment. The award comes on the occasion of Boğaziçi University’s 150th anniversary. Not only is this Turkish institution of higher learning the first ever to be ranked (as it has since 2012) among the top 200 universities in the world, but it is the first to bestow such an honor on His All-Holiness, and the first also publicly to acknowledge his status and position as Ecumenical Patriarch, a title which has been used since the 6th century A.D.

Encyclical on Marriage and Family Issued by the Orthodox Church of Greece

The following encyclical issued by the Sacred Synod of the Church of Greece is meant to uphold the Orthodox Christian principles of marriage and family, and its opposition to the so-called Free Cohabitation Agreement issued by the Greek Government, which is positioned as an alternative form of permanent cohabitation and should not be considered a “soft” marriage.

Homily on Saint Ignatius the God-Bearer by Saint John Chrysostom

Sumptuous and splendid entertainers give frequent and constant entertainments, alike to display their own wealth, and to show good-will to their acquaintance. So also the grace of the Spirit, affording us a proof of his own power, and displaying much good-will towards the friends of God, sets before us successively and constantly the tables of the martyrs. Lately, for instance, a maiden quite young, and unmarried, the blessed martyr Pelagia, entertained us, with much joy. Today again, this blessed and noble martyr Ignatius has succeeded to her feast. The persons are different: The table is one. The wrestlings are varied: The crown is one. The contests are manifold: The prize is the same.

Saint Ignatius the God-Bearer

This holy man is called “the God-bearer” because he constantly bore the name of the Living God in his heart and on his lips. According to tradition, he was thus named because he was held in the arms of God Incarnate, Jesus Christ. On a day when the Lord was teaching His disciples humility, He took a child and placed him among them, saying: Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 18:4).

Bonifatius and Aglaia: Two Saints in Love (19 December)

Aglaïa was a prosperous woman who lived in the region around Rome in the time of Diocletian and had Bonifatius as a slave. Bonifatius was her steward, very good-looking in appearance, generous to the poor and kind-hearted, but with a liking for drink and debauchery. They soon fell in love and had a clandestine relationship, since the difference in their social station would not permit any thought of marriage.

A Monk Defends the Marriage of the Clergy

If we are to understand the events at the beginning of the 4th century related to the above title, we need first to make a brief historical review of the issue of the ordination of the clergy and their married, or non-married life. Naturally, at the time when Christianity was becoming established in the world, the matter of the marriage of the clergy could hardly have been dealt with in the same way as it was later.