St. Peter Newsletter January 9, 2018

Sunday after the Theophany of Christ

Holy Fathers slain at Sinai and Raithu; Virgin-martyr Agnes; Venerable Theodoulos, son of Neilos the Wise of Sinai; Nina, equal-to-the-Apostles and enlightener of Georgia; Sabbas, first archbishop of Serbia

Who Were the Holy Fathers slain at Sinai and Raithu?

The Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John

The Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John

The Holy Monastic Fathers Slain at Sinai and Raithu. There were two occasions when the monks and hermits were murdered by the barbarians. The first took place in the fourth century when forty Fathers were killed at Mt. Sinai, and thirty-nine were slain at Raithu on the same day.

The second massacres occurred nearly a hundred years later, and was also recorded by an eyewitness who miraculously escaped: Saint Nilus the Faster (November 12). The Arabs permitted some of the monks run for their lives. They crossed the valley and climbed up a mountain. From this vantage point, they saw the bedouin kill the monks and ransack their cells.

The Sinai and Raithu ascetics lived a particularly strict life: they spent the whole week at prayer in their cells. On Saturday they gathered for the all-night Vigil, and on Sunday they received the Holy Mysteries. Their only food was dates and water. Many of the ascetics of the desert were glorified by the gift of wonderworking: the Elders Moses, Joseph and others. Mentioned in the service to these monastic Fathers are: Isaiah, Sava, Moses and his disciple Moses, Jeremiah, Paul, Adam, Sergius, Domnus, Proclus, Hypatius, Isaac, Macarius, Mark, Benjamin, Eusebius and Elias.

Read the entire article on the Mystagogy website.


Living the Orthodox Faith Class Continues Wednesday, January 17 at 7:00pm

“Living the Orthodox Faith” will look at why our Church does things the way it does, and how to do it properly. We will learn about the sign up the cross, how to enter the Church properly (candles and veneration), how to make a home altar, and more. This is a very practical class, not theological as much as how to live the Orthodox life as an Orthodox Christian.

Can’t make the class? Join in on Facebook Live! You can also view last week’s class too.


Sign up for House Blessings

House and business blessings

Fr. Hans will be blessing homes and businesses during the Theophany season. Please sign up after Liturgy or email Fr. Hans with a few times that work for you. He will contact you to finalize date and time.


Fr. Hans Out of Town from Wednesday, January 10 to Saturday, January 13.

He will be attending SOPHIA, the Society of Orthodox Philosophers in America held at Holy Archangels Monastery in San Antonia, Texas. He will be available on his cell phone 9239-248-4775).


Cutting of the Vasilopita (St. Basil’s Bread) Sunday, January 14, 2018


The tradition of baking and cutting a special “pita” (which can mean a loaf of bread, a cake, or even a pie) each year on January 1st is observed in honor of our holy father Basil the Great, archbishop of Caesarea in Cappodocia— hence its name “Vasilopita” meaning “St. Basil’s Bread.” This tradition is observed in both parish churches and in the homes of the faithful. What is the meaning of this tradition and how did it begin?

Read the answer on the Antiochian Archdiocese website.

Interfaith Charities Needs Our Help!

Interfaith Charities Needs Our Help!

Interfaith Charities has asked us to help supply:

  • Jelly
  • Crackers (Ritz or Saltines)
  • Any Chef Boyardee food item (cans only please)

They also need:

  • Used clothing
  • Shoes
  • Bedding

Bring bring all items you can to St. Peter’s and we will get them to Interfaith Charities.

Interfaith Charities is a coalition of churches and business that help the poor in the San Carlos and south Fort Myers area (view their website). We partner with them to help the working poor in our area as part of our mission to serve the poor around us.


St. Peter’s General Assembly Meeting, Sunday, January 28

Be sure to attend


St. Peter’s will hold it first annual General Assembly meeting on Sunday, January 28, 2018 following the Divine Liturgy. St. Peter’s is growing and we are establishing our systems and procedures for greater stability in the long term.

We will discuss vision, budgets and other necessary items for long term planning. Of significant importance is what to do in the immediate future as space is our present facility is limited and our lease runs out at the end of 2018.

Be sure to attend. Your contribution is important to help formulate where we are going and how to get there.


Diocese of Miami Winter Retreat

Please click image to view full-size.


Ladies, Mark Your Calendar: Lenten Women’s Retreat on Saturday, March 3, 2018

The Annunciation of the Theotokos

The Lenten Retreat for women will be held at St. Peter’s on Saturday, March 3, 2018.

TOPIC. The Theotokos:A Role Model for Women in the 21st Century.

SPEAKERS. Fr. Hans Jacobse and Fr. Paul Girgis.

Formal invitation and registration will be sent out in early February.

Calendar At A Glance


  • Sunday, January 14, 2018 7:00pm. Cutting of the Vassilopita
  • Wednesday, January 17, 2018 7:00pm. Living the Orthodox Faith Class
  • Thursday, January 25 – Sunday, January 28, 2018 Diocese of Miami Winter Retreat
  • Sunday, January 28, 2018 General Assembly Meeting


  • Thursday, February 1, 2018 6:30pm Divine Liturgy Presentation of Christ in the Temple


  • Saturday, March 3, 2018 Women’s Lenten Retreat (Details forthcoming)

Wisdom From The Elders

[W]hen a Christian falls into sin, it is a sign that grace has left him. The whole struggle of Christian life, as St. Symeon teaches (Homily2,section 3) is to preserve God’s grace and, when we find ourselves losing it, to re-acquire it.
Fr. Seraphim Rose

A man is free if he is not a slave to sensual pleasures, but through good judgment and self-restraint masters the body.
St. Anthony the Great

Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart.
Philippians 4:6

All the labor and all the care of our adversary, says St. Macarius the Great, consists in trying to divert our thought from the rememberance of God and from love for Him. To this end he uses the charm of the world,and draws us away from the true good to false, unreal goods.
St. Macarius the Great

We must give thanks for all things to the lord, Who has rightly given us difficulties that we may learn patience, which is more beneficial than comforts, and ennobles the soul.
St. Moses of Optina

There is a spiritual law of ups and downs of our moods. When despondency strikes do not give yourself over to it too much. Remind yourself that after sorrow gladness will come.
Archbishop Averky


Remember in Your Prayers

Eva K.
Sean Helgeland (great nephew to Steve and Anne Brietenbach)
Baby Brynn L.
Presbytera Rosy
Eva W.
Carol Ann
Maria Louise
Petronia (Wife of Phil Pappas)
Constantine Houpis
Anna Marie Smith Baker
Ron Chromulak
Beverly Chromulak
Loucine Kassis
Mary Kassis
Baby Maximus
Annette Star
Claire Livaditis
Eva Chandilles
Baby Dani
Scott Nedoff
Anthony Mourgis
John Hansen
James Hord

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

Search the Scriptures


For the Thirty-Second Sunday after Pentecost

The Lord will give strength to His people.
Ascribe to the Lord, O sons of God; ascribe to the Lord honor and glory.

The Reading from the First Epistle of St. Paul to St. Timothy. (4:9-15)

Timothy, my son, the saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, Who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things. Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, attend to the public reading of scripture, to preaching, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the council of elders laid their hands upon you. Practice these duties; devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress.


For the Fifteenth Sunday of Luke — “Zacchaeus Sunday”

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (19:1-10)

At that time, Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector, and rich. And he sought to see Who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was small of stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Jesus, for He was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.

And when they saw it they all murmured, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.”