St. Peter Newsletter August 8, 2018

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
Eleventh Sunday of Matthew
After-feast of the Transfiguration of Christ

Martyrs Photios and Anikytos of Nicomedia

Martyrs Photios and Anikytos of Nicomedia

Who Were the Martyrs Photios and Anikytos?

The Martyrs Anicetus and Photius (his nephew) were natives of Nicomedia. Anicetus, a military official, denounced the emperor Diocletian (284-305) for setting up in the city square an implement of execution for frightening Christians. The enraged emperor ordered Saint Anicetus to be tortured, and later condemned him to be devoured by wild beasts. But the lions they set loose became gentle and fawned at his feet.

Suddenly there was a strong earthquake, resulting in the collapse of the pagan temple of Hercules, and many pagans perished beneath the demolished city walls. The executioner took up a sword to cut off the saint’s head, but he fell down insensible. They tried to break Saint Anicetus on the wheel and burn him with fire, but the wheel stopped and the fire went out. They threw the martyr into a furnace with boiling tin, but the tin became cold. Thus the Lord preserved His servant for the edification of many.

The martyr’s nephew, Saint Photius, saluted the sufferer and turned to the emperor, saying, “O idol-worshipper, your gods are nothing!” The sword, held over the new confessor, struck the executioner instead. Then the martyrs were thrown into prison.

After three days Diocletian urged them, “Worship our gods, and I shall give you glory and riches.” The martyrs answered, “May you perish with your honor and riches!” Then they tied them by the legs to wild horses. Though the saints were dragged along the ground, they remained unharmed. They did not suffer in the heated bath house, which fell apart. Finally, Diocletian ordered a great furnace to be fired up, and many Christians, inspired by the deeds of Saints Anicetus and Photius, went in themselves saying, “We are Christians!” They all died with a prayer on their lips. The bodies of Saints Anicetus and Photius were not harmed by the fire, and even their hair remained whole. Seeing this, many of the pagans came to believe in Christ. This occurred in the year 305.

Source: Orthodox Church in America website.

 

Dormtion Fast and Akathist Hymns begin (August 1-15, 2018)

Dormition of the Theotokos

August 1 starts the Dormition period in our Orthodox Church. We fast (abstain from meat and dairy as much as possible) from August 1 to August 15. At St. Peter’s the fast ends after the Dormition Liturgy on the evening of August 14.

Every weekday we will sing an Akathist to the Theotokos starting at 6:00pm. These are very powerful prayers and you will notice a focusing in your life if you participate in them.

On the evening of August 14, 2018 we will celebrate the Dormition of the Theotokos with a Divine Liturgy at 6:30pm.

What is the Dormition of the Theotokos?

The Holy Scriptures tell us that when our Lord was dying on the Cross, He saw His mother and His disciple John and said to the Virgin Mary, “Woman, behold your son!” and to John, “Behold your mother!” (John 19:25-27). From that hour, the Apostle took care of the Theotokos in his own home.

Along with the biblical reference in Acts 1:14 that confirms that the Virgin Mary was with the Holy Apostles on the day of Pentecost, the tradition of the Church holds that she remained in the home of the Apostle John in Jerusalem, continuing a ministry in word and deed.

At the time of her death, the disciples of our Lord who were preaching throughout the world returned to Jerusalem to see the Theotokos. Except for the Apostle Thomas, all of them including the Apostle Paul were gathered together at her bedside. At the moment of her death, Jesus Christ himself descended and carried her soul into heaven.

Following her repose, the body of the Theotokos was taken in procession and laid in a tomb near the Garden of Gethsemane. When the Apostle Thomas arrived three days after her repose and desired to see her body, the tomb was found to be empty. The bodily assumption of the Theotokos was confirmed by the message of an angel and by her appearance to the Apostles.

Light Dinner Follow the Dormition Divine Liturgy

Following the Dormition Divine Liturgy on August 14, 2018, we will hold a light dinner for everyone who attends. Please bring an item to share if you would like to. Liturgy begins at 6:30pm.

 

Lily and Carmine Riccioli Baby Shower Saturday, August 18, 2018 at 4pm

All St. Peter parishioners are invited to a baby shower for Lily and Carmine Riccioli on Saturday, August 18, 2018 starting at 4pm. The shower will be held in the Social Hall.

Lily is registered at Target.

 

Interfaith Charities Needs Food, Clothing, Towels, and Bedding

Interfaith Charities Logo

Interfaith Charities, the local assembly of churches that helps the poor in our area, needs:

  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned fruit
  • Tuna
  • Jelly
  • Other food items you can give (peanut butter, spaghetti, etc.)

They also need:

  • Bedding
  • Towels
  • Clothing
  • Shoes
  • Other items that can be used but in good condition.

If you bring to the church, we will get them to Interfaith Charities.

 

Calendar At A Glance

  • August 1 to August 14 following the Divine Liturgy — Dormition Fasting Period
  • Wednesday, August 8, 2018 — 6:00pm Akathist to the Theotokos (Dormition)
  • Thursday, August 9, 2018 — 6:00pm Akathist to the Theotokos (Dormition)
  • Friday, August 10, 2018 — 6:00pm Akathist to the Theotokos (Dormition)
  • Monday, August 13, 2018 — 6:00pm Akathist to the Theotokos (Dormition)
  • Tuesday, August 14, 2018 — 6:30pm Divine Liturgy for the Dormition of the Theotokos / Supper following
  • Tuesday, August 19, 2018 — 4:00pm Lily Riccioli Baby Shower
 

Wisdom From The Elders

Without having freed itself from the world, the soul cannot love God sincerely. For worldly things, in the words of St. Antioch, are as it were a veil for the soul. St. Seraphim of Sarov

And conversely: if a man considers himself a believer, and has no misfortunes or illnesses, then this, according to the holy fathers, is a sign that he has not found favor with the Lord. Abbot Nikon Vorobiev

One must force himself to prayer when he has not spiritual prayer; and thus God, beholding him thus striving and compelling himself by force, in spite of an unwilling heart, gives him the true prayer of the Spirit. St. Macarius the Great

There is a need, rather, to become good watchers of the heart, as well as the mind; to discern that which is good and fosters our prayer from that which rends it from us. This is the spiritual labor of disciplined prayer, and is the preparation by which we draw near to God. Bishop Irenei Steenberg

Orthodoxy is life. If we don’t live Orthodoxy, we simply are not Orthodox, no matter what formal beliefs we might hold. Fr. Seraphim Rose

You become despondent and lost at the least temptation. The Lord allows this to happen so that you might discover your weakness and understand how much lies hidden in a person’s soul, and that labor is necessary in order to cleanse oneself of passions, to become the temple of the Living God and to achieve salvation. Abbot Nikon Vorobiev

 

Remember in Your Prayers

Vasiliki
Efstratia
Alexandra
Nikos
Georgia
Ioannis
Costandino
Jeffrey
Vaso
Dave
Dimitri – Presbyter
Vassiliki
Octavio
Tom
Carl
Rena
Nikolay (5 year old boy in Bulgaria whose parents asked us to pray)
David
Eva K.
Rosie
Kathryn
Jeremy

Constantine
Robert
Jane
Theodora
David
Gina
Baby Brynn L.
Micheal
Haralambos
Lillian
Presbytera Rosy
Valentina
John
Eva W.
Barbara
Angela
Carol Ann
Matthew
Chrysostom
Tim
Ivy-Jean
Pat
Christina
Maria Louise
Maximos
Marian
Photini
Nicholas
Sarah
Petronia (Wife of Phil Pappas)
Constantine Houpis
Anna Marie Smith Baker
Ron Chromulak
Beverly Chromulak
Katerina
Loucine Kassis
Mary Kassis
Baby Maximus
Christine
Maria
Annette Star
Claire Livaditis
Eva Chandilles
Baby Dani
Scott Nedoff
Anthony Mourgis
John Hansen
James Hord
Tom

How should we pray for the sick? Remember them daily. Say their names (first names are sufficient) and ask God to bestow mercy and grace on them.

Add or remove names and print this list for easy reference during your prayer time on the St. Peter website.

 

Sunday Readings

Christ Giving Blessing

Epistle

For the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

The Lord is my strength and my song.
The Lord has chastened me severely.

The Reading from the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. (9:2-12)

Brethren, you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to our food and drink? Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a wife, as the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living?

Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? Do I say this on human authority? Does not the law say the same? For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not speak entirely for our sake?

It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of a share in the crop. If we have sown spiritual good among you, is it too much if we reap your material benefits? If others share this rightful claim upon you, do not we still more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the Gospel of Christ.

Gospel

For the Eleventh Sunday of Matthew

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (18:23-35)

The Lord spoke this parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents; and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.

But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’

And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also My heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”