1eng

 

Commemoration of Sts. Sophia and her three daughters - Pistos, Yelpis and Agapie

Commemoration of Sts. Sophia and her three daughters - Pistos, Yelpis and Agapie

 

These names have Christian origin and in Greek they correspondingly mean wisdom, faith, hope and love.

Sophia was born in a noble family and lived nearby the city Rome. After the death of her husband she devoted herself to God. Being a pious Christian she educated her daughters Pistos, Yelpis and Agapie in Christian spirit. Christian values and ideas were the principles of their life.

A heathen young man fell in love with one of the daughters of Sophia and wished to marry her. However, Sophia rejected the young man saying: “We are Christians and virginity is dearer to us than gold and pearl.” Getting angry the young man complained to the King Adrianos. The king call ed the three young ladies and demanded to offer sacrifice to the idols. Being since childhood educated according to the Christian commandments the sisters opposed to the king and remained unshaken in their faith. Then the king got angry and ordered to behead them.

Sophia buried the bodies of her daughters and prayed God asking to take her soul as soon as possible, so that she would join her beloved daughters. God listened to Sophia’s prayers and Sophia passed away.

When is celebrated

17.07.2008
06.08.2009
29.07.2010
10.02.2011
02.08.2012
25.07.2013
06.02.2014
30.07.2015
21.07.2016
02.02.2017
26.07.2018
07.02.2019
06.08.2020
29.07.2021
03.02.2022
03.08.2023
25.07.2024
06.02.2025
30.07.2026
22.07.2027
03.02.2028
26.07.2029
07.02.2030

Commemoration of the Prophet Elisha

Commemoration of the Prophet Elisha

 

Prophet Elisha has lived in the IX century B.C. He was the disciple of the Prophet Elisha. 13 wonders are ascribed to the prophet Elisha and about those wonders it is told in the First and Second Books of the Holy Bible. Prophet Elisha has continued to work wonders even after his death. It is told in the Old Testament that a year after the prophet’s death the corpse of a dead man was thrown into Elisha’s tomb. As soon as the body came into contact with Elisha’s bones the man came back to life and stood up.

When is celebrated

19.06.2008
09.07.2009
01.07.2010
21.07.2011
05.07.2012
27.06.2013
17.07.2014
02.07.2015
23.06.2016
13.07.2017
28.06.2018
18.07.2019
09.07.2020
01.07.2021
14.07.2022
06.07.2023
27.06.2024
17.07.2025
02.07.2026
24.06.2027
13.07.2028
28.06.2029
18.07.2030

Commemoration of Christ’s twelve Apostles and thirteenth Apostle - St. Paul

Commemoration of Christ’s twelve Apostles and thirteenth Apostle - St. Paul

 

Twelve Apostles elected by Our Lord Jesus Christ, were Christ’s disciples and first preachers of His doctrine, as well as the Incarnate Christ’s witnesses.
“Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to drive out devil spirits and to heal every disease and every sickness.” (The Gospel according to Matthew 10:1).

These were the names of the twelve Apostles Simeon (called Peter), Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddeus, Simon the Patriot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus. Later instead of Judas Iscariot Apostle Matthias was chosen, who was added to the group of eleven apostles.

Remaining faithful to Incarnate Christ’s last message the apostles went to all peoples everywhere and preached and taught the Commandments of Jesus, baptized them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, thus becoming the founders of the Christ’s Church. One of the greatest preachers of Christ’s commandments is Apostle Paul, who is recognized by the Christian Church as the thirteenth Apostle.

The section of the Bible called “The Acts of the Apostles” is dedicated to the apostles’ activity. And there are references on Apostle Paul’s preaching, his person and his activity in his 14 letters addressed to the church communities, established by himself, and individual Christians.

When is celebrated

21.06.2008
11.07.2009
03.07.2010
23.07.2011
07.07.2012
29.06.2013
19.07.2014
04.07.2015
25.06.2016
15.07.2017
30.06.2018
20.07.2019
11.07.2020
03.07.2021
16.07.2022
08.07.2023
29.06.2024
19.07.2025
04.07.2026
26.06.2027
15.07.2028
30.06.2029
20.07.2030

Eve of the Fast of Transfiguration

Eve of the Fast of Transfiguration

 

This is the Sunday preceding the week prior to the fasting period preceding the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ’s Transfiguration called in the Armenian Apostolic Church Fast of Transfiguration lasting from Monday to Friday. Saturday, the last day of the fasting period, is the eve of the feast, which means that that day people can eat fish and dairy products.

When is celebrated

22.06.2008
12.07.2009
04.07.2010
24.07.2011
08.07.2012
30.06.2013
20.07.2014
05.07.2015
26.06.2016
16.07.2017
01.07.2018
21.07.2019
12.07.2020
04.07.2021
17.07.2022
09.07.2023
30.07.2024
20.07.2025
05.07.2026
27.06.2027
17.07.2028
01.07.2029
21.07.2030

Commemoration of the Tabernacle of Old Testament (or the Old Ark) and the Feast of the New Holy Church

Commemoration of the Tabernacle of Old Testament (or the Old Ark) and the Feast of the New Holy Church

 

Tabernacle of the Old Testament is the most sacred sanctity of the Old Testament, where the board of the Ten Commandments, Aaron’s ornament crosier and the golden urn full of manna were kept. Christian Church is considered to be the prototype of the New Testament - that is - the Church of Christ. So, this feast has been included in the calendar to symbolize the mystery of eternity of the Church.

When is celebrated

28.06.2008
18.07.2009
10.07.2010
30.07.2011
14.07.2012
06.07.2013
26.07.2014
11.07.2015
02.07.2016
22.07.2017
07.07.2018
27.07.2019
18.07.2020
10.07.2021
23.07.2022
15.07.2023
06.07.2024
26.07.2025
11.07.2026
03.07.2027
22.07.2028
07.07.2029
27.07.2030

Feast of Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Feast of Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ

 

The Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ is one of the five main “Tabernacle” feasts of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Holy Church. It commemorates the transformation or the “transfiguration” that came over Jesus while He was praying.  Christ’s face shone like the sun and his clothes became a radiant and gleaming white. The Apostles Peter, James and John witnessed that event which occurred on a high mountain named Tabor.

Evangelists St. Matthew, St. Mark and St. Luke testify about the transfiguration of Jesus in the Gospels (Matthew 17:1-13; Mark 9:1-12, Luke 9:28-36).
“... As they looked on, a change came over Jesus: his face was shining like the sun and his clothes were dazzling white. Then the three disciples saw Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus.  So Peter spoke up and said to Jesus, “Lord, how good it is that we are here!  If you wish I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”  While he was talking, a shining cloud came over them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased – listen to him!” When the disciples heard the voice, they were so terrified that they threw themselves face downward on the ground. Jesus came to them and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid!” So they looked up and saw no one there but Jesus. (Matthew 17:2-8)

In the Armenian Church, the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ is celebrated 98 days following Easter.  The Feast also is known by the common name of “Vardakas”. This day is associated with an old Armenian tradition of pouring water on one another. Some sources attribute the tradition as a remnant of an Armenian pre-Christian celebration.  The Monday following the Feast is a Memorial Day.

When is celebrated

29.06.2008
19.07.2009
11.07.2010
31.07.2011
15.07.2012
07.07.2013
27.07.2014
12.07.2015
03.07.2016
23.07.2017
08.07.2018
28.07.2019
19.07.2020
11.07.2021
24.07.2022
16.07.2023
07.07.2024
27.07.2025
12.07.2026
04.07.2027
23.07.2028
08.07.2029
28.07.2030

Commemoration of the Prophet Isaiah

Commemoration of the Prophet Isaiah

 

The Prophet Isaiah is the first of the four major prophets of the Old Testament.  He was born and spent almost his entire life in the city of Jerusalem, in the eight century B.C.   The 66 chapters of the Book of Isaiah are considered to be an ocean of wealth, concerned with issues related to God, justice, sin, religion and various social ills.  Being an educated and intelligent man, he was the spiritual guide to four kings of Jerusalem, expressing God’s will on many national matters.  His book, written in an unsurpassed style and spirit, is the link between the Old and the New Testaments.

Isaiah is also called the “Evangelist Prophet” for his prophesizing on the coming of the Messiah - Jesus Christ.  In the Book of Isaiah, Chapter 61, the prophet comes forth as a servant sent by the Lord’s Soul “to bring the good news to the poor and to take care of the desperate and hopeless.”  Christ would later read the words of Isaiah in the synagogue in Nazareth, as He became the realization of that mission in the world (Luke 4:16-21).
According to tradition, Isaiah was killed by particularly brutal means. 

When is celebrated

03.07.2008
23.07.2009
15.07.2010
04.08.2011
19.07.2012
11.07.2013
31.07.2014
16.07.2015
07.07.2016
27.07.2017
12.07.2018
01.08.2019
23.07.2020
15.07.2021
28.07.2022
20.07.2023
11.07.2024
31.07.2025
16.07.2026
08.07.2027
27.07.2028
12.07.2029
01.08.2030

Commemoration of the Apostle Thaddeus and the Virgin Sandoukht

Commemoration of the Apostle Thaddeus and the Virgin Sandoukht

 

St. Thaddeus the Apostle and St. Sandoukht the Virgin are two of the most venerated saints in the Armenian Church, as the “Great Conversion” of the Armenian nation to Christianity is significantly connected with their names.

Following the Ascension of Christ, according to the Lord’s message: “Go then to all peoples everywhere and make them make them my disciples...”, Thaddeus departs for Edessa.  There he preaches the Gospel, and among his numerous miracles, also heals the king of Osrhoene named Abgar.  In the year 44 A.D., Thaddeus travels on to Armenia and enters the domain of the pagan King Sanatrouk.  After preaching in various parts of Armenia, St. Thaddeus converts many to Christianity, who become the foundation for the Armenian Church.  The Apostle Thaddeus, while in the region of Artaz, gains access to the royal palace and converts Princess Sandoukht, the daughter of the king, to Christianity.

The Armenian King Sanatrouk becomes aware of his daughter’s conversion and exhorts her to return to her native heathen religion, but his efforts are in vain.  The enraged king imprisons both the Virgin Sandoukht and St. Thaddeus and subjects them to severe torments.  Another effort is made to persuade the Virgin to give up Christianity by the governor of the royal palace, an Armenian prince.  This effort only ends with the prince becoming a Christian as well.  The king, able to bear no more, finally orders the death of the Apostle Thaddeus and his own daughter, Sandoukht.  They are martyred together in Shavarshan, the summer residence of the royal family.

When is celebrated

05.07.2008
25.07.2009
17.07.2010
12.02.2011
21.07.2012
13.07.2013
02.08.2014
18.07.2015
09.07.2016
29.07.2017
14.07.2018
03.08.2019
25.07.2020
17.07.2021
30.07.2022
22.07.2023
13.07.2024
02.08.2025
18.07.2026
10.07.2027
29.07.2028
14.07.2029
03.08.2030

Commemoration of Sts. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, and the 45 Martyrs, and the Virgins Justinia, Euphemia, and Christina

Commemoration of Sts. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, and the 45 Martyrs, and the Virgins Justinia, Euphemia, and Christina

 

Bishop Cyprian has lived and acted in the 3rd century B. C. According to “Haysmavourk”, he was a noble prince and was very rich, wise and skilled in magic. In the town where he lived, Justinia, the daughter of a heathen priest, lived. Being Christian, she had converted her parents to Christianity. Receiving a heathen prince’s proposal to marry, she rejects him saying that she already is the bride of Christ. The prince asks for the support of the heathen priest Cyprian, but the latter, under the influence of the virgin, is baptized to be a Christian and soon after that being ordained a bishop, dedicates himself to the preaching mission. And the virgin Justinia is ordained to be a deaconess. During the persecution of Dekos Bishop Cyprian is exiled and beheaded. Virgin Justinia is also martyred.

The virgin Euphemia was born in a Christian family and she had made an oath not to marry and to dedicate all of her life to God. Together with her 45 companions she refuses to participate in the festivity in honor of one of the heathen gods and hides. However, being found and taken to the court the companions of Euphemia are swabbed and die immediately and Euphemia, after being subjected to severe torments is thrown to the beasts. Thanks to God’s protection and support she remains out of danger. But preferring to die being eaten by the beasts than because of the human malice, she asks God her death and is martyred.

The virgin Christina was from Phoenicia. She was the governor’s daughter. Building a high tower and installing in the tower golden and silver idols, the governor wishes her daughter to become a magician. But Christina, by a divine inspiration comprehending the grandeur of Christianity and the triviality of heathen religion, breaks the idols into pieces, sells the gold and silver material and distributes the sum to the poor. Because of that deed she is subjected to severe torments and is martyred.

When is celebrated

07.07.2008
27.07.2009
19.07.2010
31.01.2011
23.07.2012
15.07.2013
04.08.2014
20.07.2015
11.07.2016
31.07.2017
16.07.2018
05.08.2019
27.07.2020
19.07.2021
01.08.2022
24.07.2023
15.07.2024
04.08.2025
20.07.2026
12.07.2027
31.07.2028
16.07.2029
05.08.2030

Commemoration of Martyrdom of Sts. Antiochus the Bishop and his ten disciples and five martyrs St. Antiochus was born in Sebastia, to a Christian family in the third century A.D. In the book “The Life and Activity of the Saints” we learn that Antio

Commemoration of Martyrdom of Sts. Antiochus the Bishop and his ten disciples and five martyrs

 

St. Antiochus was born in Sebastia, to a Christian family in the third century A.D.  In the book “The Life and Activity of the Saints” we learn that Antiochus defeats a mighty dragon through prayer and the use of his preaching staff, and frees the people of a small village. He is appointed by the Metropolitan of Sebastia to be the Bishop of the city of Pitacton, located in Armenia (Hayk) Minor. During the period of Roman the Emperor Diocletian’s persecutions of Christians, Bishop Antiochus and his ten disciples are brought before a court to stand trial. They all refuse to offer sacrifices to the pagan idols and are martyred by means of beheading.

St. Gregory the Illuminator’ wife, Mariam, was the sister of Antiochus. Upon Gregory’s return from Caesaria, he brings the relics of Bishop Antiochus and St. John the Forerunner (the Baptist) to Armenia and buries the relics in the Monastery of Glak, in the region of Ashtishat, Province of Taron.

When is celebrated

08.08.2008
28.07.2009
20.07.2010
01.02.2011
24.07.2012
16.07.2013
05.08.2014
21.07.2015
12.07.2016
01.08.2017
17.07.2018
06.08.2019
28.07.2020
20.07.2021
02.08.2022
25.07.2023
16.07.2024
05.08.2025
21.07.2026
13.07.2027
01.08.2028
17.07.2029
06.08.2030

Commemoration of the Holy Forefather

Commemoration of the Holy Forefather

 

The Septuagint (first translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, made into popular Greek before the Christian era, III century B.C.) uses the name “Patriarch” when referring to the forefathers or ancestors of spiritual and lay leaders of the Old Testament. They are:  Adam, Abel, Seth, Enosh, Enoch, Noah, Melchizedek, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Eliezer, Joshua, Samuel, Samson, Jephthah, Barak, Gideon, and other Holy Patriarchs.

The Church has classified our forefather Adam into the class of saints, confirming the truth that Christ’s saving blood was shed for each and every person, starting from the ancestor of all people.  By means of the salvation of Adam, original sin is redeemed from all who have followed him, who repent, believe and are baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity, thus becoming members of the Church of Christ. 

The word “Ancestor” is also synonymous with “Head of Tribe”.  The Holy Forefathers, as heads of tribes, played a very important role. Many of them lived hundreds of years, and influenced their families and tribal members. Their minds and souls sustained a desire to become closer to divine existence and live a God-pleasing life. Feeling the presence of God, they advised, warned and taught the people to stay away from sinful ways.  Due to their saintly way of life, they continue to be vivid examples for us. The ultimate goal of their lives was the realization of God’s omnipotent will on earth.  Acting as mediators with God, they made relations between God and man closer and more sincere. In our present day and current times, their sacred desire to achieve justice and fairness is a valuable lesson for all.

When is celebrated

10.07.2008
30.07.2009
22.07.2010
03.02.2011
26.07.2012
18.07.2013
07.08.2014
23.07.2015
14.07.2016
03.08.2017
19.07.2018
08.08.2019
30.07.2020
22.07.2021
04.08.2022
27.07.2023
18.07.2024
07.08.2025
23.07.2026
15.07.2027
03.08.2028
19.07.2029
08.08.2030

Commemoration of St. Gregory the Illuminator’s Sons and Grandsons – Sts. Aristakes, Vrtanes, Housik, Grigoris and Daniel

Commemoration of St. Gregory the Illuminator’s Sons and Grandsons – Sts. Aristakes, Vrtanes, Housik, Grigoris and Daniel

 

Aristakes was St. Gregory the Illuminator’s youngest son.  He led a monastic life from a very early age. He was consecrated a bishop by his father, and became one of St. Gregory’s most valued supporters. In 325 A.D. he participated in the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, representing the first Catholicos and the entire Armenian Church. Following St. Gregory the Illuminator, he became Catholicos of All Armenians.

He was killed in 333 A.D. by Arkeghayos, a prince of Greater Armenia, for criticizing some incorrigible behavior of the king, and was buried in the village Til.
Vrtanes was St. Gregory the Illuminator’s elder son. He was married and had two sons – Grigoris and Housik. Following the death of his brother, he ascended to the Catholicosal Throne.

Although Christianity was already fairly well accepted as the official religion, some remnants of paganism and heathenism continued in remote areas and smaller villages. One region that had substantial resistance was the province of Daron. Vrtanes organized annual festive Christian celebrations in this province to gradually eliminate their pagan beliefs and practices.

Vrtanes died in 341 A.D. and was buried in the village Tordan, near the relics of St. Gregory the Illuminator.

Grigoris was the elder son of Vrtanes. He was sent by the Armenian Church to spread Christianity among the neighboring nations of Armenia.  He was martyred upon the order of King Sanesan, the head of the nomadic Mazkut tribe. His remains were buried by the deacons who served with him, in the village of Amaras, in Artsakh. In 489 A.D. upon the order of the Aghvan (Caucasian Albanian) King Vachagan, the Church of St. Gregory was built on this site.

Housik was the younger son of Vrtanes. He married with the daughter of the Armenian King Tiridates and had two sons – Pap and Antiochus. In 341 A.D. he was elected as the Catholicos of All Armenians.

He resisted and challenged the will of King Tiran, who wished to hang the portrait of Julianus the Betrayer in a church. He was severely beaten, martyred, and was buried in the village of Tordan, province of Daranaghi.

Bishop Daniel Assyrian was famous for his saintly way of life. As he grew older he led an ascetic and isolated life in the province of Daron. Following the martyrdom of Housik, he was invited to be the Catholicos of All Armenians.

During the very first meeting with King Tiran, he strictly castigated him on the murder of the Pontiff Housik. The king summarily ordered the death of Daniel by strangulation.  His remains are buried in the Monastery of Hatsyats Drahkt.

The sons and grandsons of St. Gregory the Illuminator are remembered and commemorated by all Armenian Churches throughout the world for their service to the Church, their faithfulness to Christianity, and their commitment to the Armenian people.

When is celebrated

12.07.2008
01.08.2009
24.07.2010
05.02.2011
28.07.2012
20.07.2013
08.02.2014
25.07.2015
16.07.2016
04.02.2017
21.07.2018
09.02.2019
01.08.2020
24.07.2021
05.02.2022
29.07.2023
20.07.2024
08.02.2025
25.07.2026
17.07.2027
05.02.2028
21.07.2029
09.02.2030

Commemoration of the Maccabees, Sts. Eleazar the Priest, Shamuna and her seven Sons

Commemoration of the Maccabees, Sts. Eleazar the Priest, Shamuna and her seven Sons

 

In the second century BC, Judea was under the rule of the Seleucids. During the reign of King Antiochus Epiphanes of Syria, he attempted to force Greek paganism on his Jewish subjects.  A priest named Mattathias, along with his sons and brothers, revolted against the king and remained loyal and faithful to God. One of Mattathias’ sons, Judas, acted with distinction and special bravery in this revolt. As a result, he received the Greek epithet “Maccabeus” which means hammer or hammer-like. Later, this name is applied to his entire family, and they began to be called Maccabees.

Eleazar the Priest was another of Mattathias’ sons. He too was brave, pious and wise. The king attempted to force him to eat pork, which according to Jewish law, is prohibited. Being reared in the spirit of God’s divine commandments and laws, he refused the king’s order, and preferred to die heroically, saving his reputation and honor. Following subjugation to long and brutal tortures, Eleazar was killed and became a source of courage and inspiration for generations to come.

The martyrdom of a brave mother and her seven sons also dates back to the same period.  Like the priest Eleazar, they also were ordered to eat pork. Her sons were tormented and killed one by one before their mother, but all remained steadfast in their faith. At the end, Shamuna is also put to death for having remained loyal to faith of their forefathers.
The Maccabees and their story have long been viewed as a source of inspiration for remaining steadfast in the faith and loyal to God. In our own Church tradition and history, we learn that Saint Vartan read from the Books of the Maccabees to the Armenian soldiers on the eve of the Battle of Avarayr in 451 AD.

The martyrdom of the prophets of the Old Testament named Maccabees can be found in 1 Maccabees 1:30-64 and 2 Maccabees 5:24 - 7:41.

When is celebrated

14.07.2008
03.08.2009
26.07.2010
07.02.2011
30.07.2012
22.07.2013
03.02.2014
27.07.2015
18.07.2016
30.01.2017
23.07.2018
04.02.2019
03.08.2020
26.07.2021
31.01.2022
31.07.2023
22.07.2024
03.02.2025
27.07.2026
19.07.2027
31.01.2028
23.07.2029
04.02.2030

Commemoration of the 12 Minor Prophets – Sts. Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi

Commemoration of the 12 Minor Prophets – Sts. Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi

 

In addition to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel (the four major prophets of the Old Testament), the Armenian Church commemorates the following twelve minor prophets.  The Prophets were those persons through which God spoke his will to the people of the world. They were the voice of God on earth, and gave advice to the people of Israel, warning them against dangers, and trying to keep them from the temptations of sin. Each prophet clearly comprehended that God spoke by means of his person. To that end, in the Holy Bible, we find expressions of “God told me”, “This is what God is saying”, etc.
Often, God gave them power to work miracles, proving to people that they were chosen by Him. In the Nicene Creed, we proclaim that the Holy Spirit “Spoke in the Law, in the Prophets and in the Gospel”, once more affirming that God has spoken to us by means of the prophets.

The prophets received their revelations through visions, proverbs, and symbols. They were the connecting link in the God-man relationship. The prophets’ purpose was to purify and instill in the human mind the conscience that God is their leader, as well as to strengthen the faith in the coming of the Messiah and His Kingdom. All prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah came true in the New Testament, by means of Jesus Christ. The twelve prophets lived and worked over a broad range of time:

Hosea: the Prophet Hosea was the preacher of the Word of God following Amos, in 750 BC.  He continued his mission until Samaria was conquered in 722-721 BC, and the Kingdom of Israel was eliminated. As the Israeli state disintegrated, Assyria became increasingly powerful.  In his prophecies, Hosea condemned the significant moral decay of Israel, and the elimination of social justice. He made declarations concerning the responsibility of the elite.  God speaks of His Love through Hosea. That love demands us to struggle against all forms of injustice, and to beware of false idols.

Joel: Little is known about the period when the Prophet Joel lived and when his prophecies were compiled in a separate book.  He spoke of the “Day of the Lord”, and exhorted people to turn to God. He has foretold that the day would come when God would “pour out His Spirit” over all people.  This prophecy came true during Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended to earth in the form of tongues of flame.

Amos: the Prophet Amos is the oldest prophet.  He was a shepherd, who lived in the village of Thecua, not far from Bethlehem. He lived and worked in the 8th century BC. In his prophecies, he spoke of the greatness of God, authority and justice, the demands of the law, and especially of the rights of the poor and the needy. He appealed to the rich, the powerful, the judges and the priests with great firmness.

Obadiah: the Prophet Obadiah’s book is the shortest of the Minor Prophets. It was most likely compiled in approximately 587 BC.  The prophet told that descendents of Esau – the people of Edom – would be punished and defeated as would all other nations that were the enemies of Israel. This was to make the people of Israel understand that the last word is God’s Word, and that He alone would come be the final judge all peoples and nations.

Jonah: Unlike the other prophetic books, the Book of Jonah is a narrative describing the adventures of a prophet who tried, in every way, to disobey God’s command. However, in the end his attempts were in vain. By the Lord’s command, a large fish swallowed Jonah, where he remained for three days and three nights. Only after Jonah’s prayer and redemption did the Lord allow the fish to free Jonah. In the Gospels, Christ repeatedly refers to this story.

Micah:  the Prophet Micah was from the village of Moresheth, which many identify with the present-day Tel-Al-Jadidah. Micah lived in the 8th century BC. He warned of the fall of Jerusalem, which was the consequence of the sins of man. He called on them to repent and remain obedient to the Will of God.

Nahum: the name of the prophet means “consoler” or “comforter”. The Book of Nahum was written in the period between the conquering of Thebes by the Assyrians in 663 BC and the fall of Nineveh to the Babylonians in 612 BC. Nahum taught of the Lord’s jealousy and vengefulness, including a forceful description of the fright that seized all creation when faced with the judgment of the Lord. The book continues, however, and in contrast with this harsh picture of God, Nahum describes the comforting assurance of God’s loving kindness towards His true servants.

Habakkuk: there is little information available on this prophet. Habakkuk shared in the misfortunes and sufferings of others, while strongly condemning evil. The book was most likely written towards the end of the 5th century BC to the beginning of the 6th century BC.  The book reads as a dramatic dialogue between God and His prophet, and presents the Lord as the eternal and righteous ruler of the world.

Zephaniah: the Prophet Zephaniah preached in the latter part of the 7th century BC, prior to Habakkuk. Zephaniah answered questions concerning the level of God’s interest in mankind, and whether God has predetermined the course of history. He also preached very forcefully against idolatry in all its forms.

Haggai: the Prophet Haggai preached to encourage the Israelites to rebuild the temple of Jerusalem. He advanced the idea that the poverty of the people and the poor condition of the harvest was due to the Temple remaining in a state of ruins. This book was likely written in 520 BC.

Zechariah: the Prophet Zechariah lived and prophesized during the same period as Haggai. The urging of the two prophets brought about the eventual rebuilding of the Temple. The book consists of two parts. The first part contains prophecies dating back to 520-518 BC, the second part may have been written many years later.

Malachi: the prophet is the last of the minor prophets. The Book of Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament, was written in the first half of the 5th century BC. Malachi, as a witness to the degradation of society, exhorted people and priests to change their behavior.  The prophet also preached of God’s unending love, and the impending day of final judgment.

When is celebrated

15.07.2008
04.08.2009
27.07.2010
08.02.2011
31.07.2012
23.07.2013
04.02.2014
28.07.2015
19.07.2016
31.01.2017
24.07.2018
05.02.2019
04.08.2020
29.07.2021
01.02.2022
01.08.2023
23.07.2024
04.02.2025
30.07.2026
20.07.2027
01.02.2028
24.07.2029
05.02.2030

Commemoration of Patriarchs St. Athanasius and St. Cyril of Alexandria

Commemoration of Patriarchs St. Athanasius and St. Cyril of Alexandria

 

Patriarchs St. Athanasius and St. Cyril are among the most prominent figures of the Universal Church, who devoted their lives to the promulgation of the orthodoxy of Christianity, and the struggle against false conceptions and erroneous teachings.

St. Athanasius (295-373 A.D.) was born in Alexandria, to a Greek Christian family.  He received his higher education in the famous Theological School of Alexandria.  He was ordained to the diaconate by Patriarch Alexander of Alexandria, and participated in the Ecumenical Council of Nicea in 325, as the Patriarch’s personal secretary. During the council he decisively defeated Arius and his followers who denied the Divine nature of Christ and purported that He was a created being.  In his argument St. Athanasius stated the reality of Christ being God and explained the salvation in combining the human nature of Jesus with God, which is possible only through His incarnation. According to the formulation of St. Athanasius, salvation is nothing else but theosis – being adopted by God. Athanasius stated that God became incarnate, “so that sons of mortal men should become sons of God.”

In 328, St. Athanasius became Bishop of Alexandria. He continued to struggle against Arianism and forcefully defended the Nicene Orthodox teaching. Having been subjected to repeated persecutions, he spent 15 of his 47-year episcopal service in exile. His heroic efforts bore fruit, and eight years following his death his teachings were adopted by the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople, in 381. St. Athanasius made very significant contributions to the development of monastic life as well.

Patriarch St. Cyril of Alexandria is one of the brilliant representatives of the Alexandrian Theological School. He was born in 380, and was the nephew of Patriarch Theophilus, whom he succeeded in 412. He struggled against Nestorius, the Patriarch of Constantinople, for the preservation of orthodox teaching. It was for this purpose that Emperor Theodoros II convened the Third Ecumenical Council in Ephesus, in 431. During the Council, Nestorius and his teachings were criticized and condemned, and the formulation of “Theotokos” (Birthgiver to God) was adopted by the Church as it related to St. Mary. The famous formulation of St. Cyril: “The one incarnate nature of God the Word”, has become the cornerstone of the Armenian Church regarding the nature of Christ.

When is celebrated

26.07.2008
24.01.2009
23.01.2010
22.01.2011
21.01.2012
27.07.2013
25.01.2014
01.08.2015
23.07.2016
21.01.2017
28.07.2018
26.01.2019
25.01.2020
23.01.2021
22.01.2022
21.01.2023
27.06.2024
25.01.2025
01.08.2026
31.07.2027
22.01.2028
28.07.2029
26.01.2030

Commemoration of St. Anton the Hermit

Commemoration of St. Anton the Hermit

 

Some time after the spreading of Christianity the hermits’ movement started. Hermits were those persons who devoted themselves to God, went to uninhabited places and deserts and spent their life there praying and fasting. Thus, by God’s will they overcame the human faults and attained spiritual perfection. After many years of ascetic life the hermits were granted the grace of working wonders and healing the sick by means of prayers.

St. Anton the Hermit is the founder of ascetic and monastic life. He was born in the village Koma, Egypt, in 251, in a noble family. After his parents’ death Anton inherited their wealth. Once in the church he listened the evangelical commandment, in which Jesus says: “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; then come and follow me.” (Mt 19:21). Being led by this commandment, Anton sold all of his property and lived in the spirit of praying, fasting and doing charity. After some time he left his native village and began to live in a cave, where according the hagiographers he struggled against the demons and devils who constantly appeared to him in the appearance of wild beasts. Patiently facing all temptations the saint left for a desert and lived there completely isolated for 20 years. Becoming aware of his ascetic and secluded life, many people left their houses and went the desert to live ascetic life. Upon the request of his spiritual brothers St. Anton came out of his cave and explained the assembled people monastic cannons and rules, which later became the guideline for monastic life. The saint passed away at the age of 105.

When is celebrated

21.07.2008
19.01.2009
18.01.2010
18.01.2011
17.01.2012
17.01.2013
18.01.2014
19.01.2015
25.07.2016
17.01.2017
18.01.2018
17.01.2019
18.01.2020
18.01.2021
18.01.2022
17.01.2023
18.01.2024
18.01.2025
19.01.2026
24.07.2027
18.01.2028
18.01.2029
17.01.2030