Orthodox Calendar 2017
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December 20
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January 2
31st Week after Pentecost. Tone 5.
Nativity Fast.
Monastic rule: cooked food, no oil.

Cовершается служба, не отмеченная в Типиконе никаким знакомForefeast of the Nativity of Christ. Совершается служба на шестьHieromartyr Ignatius the Godbearer, bishop of Antioch (107). Совершается служба с полиелеемRepose of Righteous John of Kronstadt (1908). St. Anthony (Smirnitsky), archbishop of Voronezh (1846).

St. Philogonius, bishop of Antioch (323). St. Daniel II, archbishop of Serbia (1338). St. Ignatius, archimandrite, of the Kiev Caves (1435).

New Martyr John of the island of Thasos, at Constantinople (1652).

Thoughts for Each Day of the Year
According to the Daily Church Readings from the Word of God
By St. Theophan the Recluse

St. Theophan the Recluse

Tuesday. [Heb. 12:25-26, 13:22-25; Mark 10:2-12]

           What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. With these words the Lord affirms the integrity of marriage; only one lawful ground for divorce is indicated—a spouse’s unfaithfulness. But what should one do if one discovers something like this? Be patient. We have a universal commandment—to bear one another’s burdens; even more willingly should close ones, such as spouses, mutually fulfill this with respect to one another. Unwillingness to be patient blows up some unpleasantness out of proportion, and trifles pile up into a dividing wall. What is the mind given us for? To smooth out the path of life. Wisdom will work out any unpleasantness which is met. Because of lack of earthly wisdom, it not worked out; even more because of an unwillingness to think over well the state of things, and even more from not having any goal in life other than pleasure. Pleasures cease, satisfaction with one another ceases; on it goes until divorce. The more goals in life are debased, the more frequent divorces become on the one hand, and on the other—unlawful temporary cohabitation. The source of this evil lies in materialistic views of the world and life.


Hieromartyr Ignatius the God-Bearer the Bishop of Antioch

Tradition suggests that when St Ignatius was a little boy, the Savior hugged him and said: “Unless you turn and become as little children, you shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven”. The saint was called “God-Bearer” (Theophoros), because he bore God in his heart and prayed unceasingly to Him.

My Life in Christ

St. John of Kronstadt

"In this warfare I have come to know the immensity of God's long-suffering to us; for He alone knows all the infirmity of our fallen nature, which He mercifully took upon Himself, except for sin (I Peter2:22; Isaiah 53:9; I John 3:5; 4:10; Hebrews 4:15), and therefore He commanded us 'seventy times seven' times to forgive the sins (St. Matt. 18:22) of those who have fallen into them; and He has surrounded and continued to surround me everyday with the joys of salvation from sin in peace and expansion of the heart. The Divine mercy which I have experienced and the perpetual nearness to me of the Lord confirm me in the hope of my eternal salvation and in that of those who follow and hear me to salvation, according to the word of the Scriptures, 'Behold I and the children which God hath given me'"

The Life of the Pastor of Kronstadt

Bishop Nikon

I lowered my eyes, while he continued to look at me, looking straight into my soul. He began to talk. I cannot even hope to reproduce all that he said. He spoke about my hut being like paradise, because wherever there are children, all is light and warmth there, and that I should not trade this paradise for the smoky atmosphere of a bar. He did not accuse me, – no, he kept excusing me, only I did not feel like being excused… He left, while I just continued sitting there quietly… I didn’t cry, although my soul was on the brink of tears. My wife kept looking at me… And ever since that time I became a decent man again…”

John of Kronstadt: Saint of Communion, Saint of Confession

Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware)

It is very clear that when St. John in his Epistle and our Savior in the Gospel speak about love they do not just mean something sentimental, something emotional, they mean something far more profound. The kind of love that they envisage, a universal all-embracing love, a love without limits, can only be a result of prayer, of ascetic effort.

God the Father is All-Good. St. John of Kronstadt

Bishop Alexander (Mileant)

"God, Father of the Word, is also our benevolent and loving Father. When saying 'The Lord's Prayer,' we must believe and remember that the Father in heaven never forgets and will never forget us, for what earthly father forgets or does not care for his children? Remember that our Heavenly Father constantly surrounds us with love and care, and not in vain is He called our Father—this is not a name without meaning and force, but a name with great significance and power."

Miraculous Help from St. John of Kronstadt Today

Olga Rozhneva

My heart froze. I asked her myself how my son is. The doctor answered, “Mama, there must have been some mistake with your son. It can’t be explained any other way.

“I still marvel at the power of his prayer.” St. John of Kronstadt

Father John Sergiev breathed fresh life into Russian spirituality, making it predominantly Eucharistic. With eldership on the wane, this age-old Russian form of religious piety prophetically bequeathed by Father John of Kronstadt determined the existence of the Russian Orthodox Church for many years to come.

St. John of Kronstadt Through the Eyes of New Martyr Alexander Hotovitzky

New Martyr Alexander Hotovitzky

In 1903, Fr. Alexander traveled to Russia and visited Fr. John Sergiev, the future saint, in Kronstadt. When he returned to New York, he gave an interview to a reporter from the Wilkes-Barre Times, and spoke about the famous wonder-worker of Kronstadt. The article was printed in that periodical on April 7, 1904.

St. John of Kronstadt and the Education of Children

Archpriest Alexander Zelenenko

St. John of Kronstadt considered love for children to be the foundation of a teacher’s work—a foundation that is very often denied by modern-day so-called technicians of secular educational sciences and activities.

St. Daniel II the Archbishop of Serbia

Saint Daniel of Serbia, the only son of rich and renowned parents, was a close associate of the Serbian king Stephan Urosh Milutin.

Venerable Ignatius the Archimandrite of the Kiev Caves

Saint Ignatius, Archimandrite of the Kiev Caves: In the general service to the Kiev Caves saints, it says of him: “Ignatius, monastic pastor and healer of the sick, in our infirmities you help us by your reverence, therefore let us offer song of praise unto your memory” (Ode 1 of the Canon).