Monday, January 23, 2012

St. Alexander of Munich to be Glorified

It has been decided that the formal glorification of the Holy New Martyr Alexander (Schmorell) of Munich will take place with the participation of hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) in the latter's diocesan cathedral in Munich this coming February. St. Alexander was a faithful member of the ROCOR who helped found an anti-Hitler resistance group during World War II, for which he was martyred. More on the upcoming glorification can be found here.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

St. Juliana of Lazarevo

Joyous feast! С праздником!

Today we commemorate our Holy Mother Juliana of Lazarevo. St. Juliana is a saint of the world, a relatively ordinary woman - a wife and mother in 16th century Rus' - who went about her day-to-day tasks of raising a family and managing a household with such holiness and love and with such care for the poor of her community that she continues to shine to this day as an example of a life of love lived in Christ.

A full account of St. Juliana's life can be found here. May her blessing and prayers be with us all!

St. Seraphim of Sarov

Joyous feast! С праздником!

Today we celebrate the memory of our Holy Father Seraphim of Sarov, a light to many both during his life and after his death. Books could (and have) been written about his life and the many wonders St. Seraphim has worked, so I won't attempt a summary here.

For those interested an account of St. Seraphim's life can be found here. May his blessing and prayers be with us all!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

St. Fulgentius of Ruspe

Joyous feast!

Today we celebrate the memory of our Holy Father Fulgentius of Ruspe. St. Fulgentius was a monastic father of the Church in North Africa. Born and raised in the formerly Roman province of Byzacena (now eastern Tunisia), after embracing the monastic life as an adult the Saint struggled as an ascetic in Byzacena, Mauretania (now Algeria), and Sicily, co-founding monasteries in Byzacena and Mauretania before founding his own monastery in Byzacena, from which he retreated to live as a hermit.

In the early 500s the Orthodox in North Africa decided to secretly rebel against their Arian rulers by electing new bishops for the many vacant sees in the region. St. Fulgentius was nominated for several sees and fled into hiding. The Saint, thinking that all of the vacant sees had been filled, eventually came out of hiding in the town of Ruspe, where he was promptly made bishop of the city, which had been unable to choose a bishop due to the lack of a suitable candidate.

Enduring exile in Sardinia for his witness to the Orthodox Faith, St. Fulgentius was later summoned to Carthage by the Arian ruler of North Africa to give an explanation of the Apostolic Faith on behalf of the North African episcopate, much of which had also been exiled to Sardinia. While in Carthage the Saint reconciled many of the city's inhabitants to Orthodoxy and consequently was sent back into exile, only returning to Africa in 523 after the death of the Arian ruler then enthroned in Carthage.

Returning to Ruspe, St. Fulgentius took up his shepherding of the Orthodox there, ensuring that his clergy did not adorn themselves and that they celebrated the services with attention while also encouraging the monastic life and exhorting his flock to greater fasting and holiness of life. After a brief retirement to the island of Circe the Saint fell asleep on this day in 533 at the age of sixty-five.

May St. Fulgentius' blessing and prayers be with us all! More on his life may be found here.

Circumcision of the Lord

Christ is born! Христос рождается!

Today we commemorate the feast of the Lord's Circumcision, better and more delicately known historically in the West as the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus (in commemoration of the Lord's naming at His circumcision), on the eighth day after His Nativity in the flesh. A homily on the holy day can be found here. Joyous feast!

With the New Year

Happy New Year! С Новым Годом!

In addition to the Lord's Circumcision and St. Basil we also mark the old New Year today :-). And among my many New Year's resolutions this old New Year are the better upkeep up of this blog! Here's to hoping I keep this one at least :-).

I hope that the New Year, on whatever calendar you celebrate it, brings you every blessing and joy!