|Orthodox Calendar 2017|
Forefeast of the Nativity of Christ. Hieromartyr Ignatius the Godbearer, bishop of Antioch (107). Repose of Righteous John of Kronstadt (1908). St. Anthony (Smirnitsky), archbishop of Voronezh (1846).
New Martyr John of the island of Thasos, at Constantinople (1652).
Thoughts for Each Day of the Year
|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.|
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'"
Bishop NikonI 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…”
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.
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."
Olga RozhnevaMy 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.
|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.|
New Martyr Alexander HotovitzkyIn 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.
Archpriest Alexander ZelenenkoSt. 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.
|Saint Daniel of Serbia, the only son of rich and renowned parents, was a close associate of the Serbian king Stephan Urosh Milutin.|
|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).|