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St. Peter News July 5, 2022

Hieromartyr Joseph of Damascus and His Companions

Fourth Sunday of Matthew

The 45 martyrs at Nikopolis in Armenia; Venerable Anthony of the Kiev Caves;
Venerable-martyrs Nikodemos the Albanian and Nektarios of St. Anne Skete on Athos

MJoseph of Damascus

Who Was Joseph of Damascus?

A married man, St. Joseph of Damascus, as he is popularly known, was at first a weaver and then was ordained to the holy priesthood at the age of twenty-four in 1817, and to the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos in the heart of the Old City of Damascus.

On Monday, July 9th, 1860 the brutal massacre of Christians, which began in the mountains of Lebanon, spread to Damascus. Some Damascenes (including Michael Hawaweeny and his young wife Mariam who was bearing in her womb a son who would be the future St. Raphael of Brooklyn) fled Damascus for the port city of Beirut. The majority, however, took refuge in al-Mariamiyeh. Many had previously fled to Damascus from their mountain villages, while others came to the Cathedral from the Christian Quarter of Damascus and the villages that surrounded the city.

St. Joseph took up his communion kit containing the Reserved Sacrament, left his home and began to make his way to the Cathedral by jumping from rooftop to rooftop across the narrow streets of the Old City. As he went, he stopped to confess and commune the aged and infirm who could not flee their homes, encouraging them with stories from the Lives of the Great Martyrs. On Tuesday morning July 10th, the Cathedral was surrounded, pillaged and burned by a fanatical crowd. Those inside the holy temple perished in the flames; of those who escaped and fled into the streets, most were shot or caught and forced back into the burning building, while only a few, including St. Joseph, survived.

As he roamed the narrow streets searching for survivors who needed confessed and communed, St. Joseph was surrounded by the enemies of Christ. Seeing that his end was near, St. Joseph took out his communion kit and consumed what remained of the Body and Blood of Christ. Recognizing him as the “leader of the Christians,” the persecutors savagely attacked him with axes. Then, binding his legs with ropes, they dragged his mutilated body through the streets to be mocked and spat upon by jeering onlookers. St. Joseph’s sacred relics were then unceremoniously pitched into the city dump along with those of the other New Martyrs (numbering two thousand five hundred men plus women and children).

St. Joseph and his Companions were glorified by the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of the Great City-of-God Antioch and all the East in the year of our salvation 1993. Through their intercessions, O Christ our, have mercy upon us. Amen.

Source: Antiochian Archdiocese.


Services This Week

  • SUN JUL 03 — THIRD SUNDAY OF MATTHEW Orthros 8:30am, Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Jul 05 — St. Athanasios of Athos Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Thu Jul 07 — Paraklesis to the Theotokos 9:30am LIVE STREAM

St. Athanasios of Athos Divine Liturgy Tuesday July 5, 2022

St. Athanasios of Athos

Born Abraham in Trebizond about the year 920, he was orphaned at an early age and was raised by a pious nun. After the death of his adoptive mother, Abraham was taken to Constantinople, to the court of the emperor Romanus the Elder. There, he was enrolled as a student under the renowned rhetorician Athanasius. Soon, he attained the mastery of skill of his teacher, and he himself became an instructor of youths. During his time in Constantinople, Abraham met St. Michael Maleinus, igumen of Kyminas Monastery. Abraham told St. Michael about his life and revealed to him his desire to become a monk. Michael recognizing in Abraham the Holy Spirit taught him much in questions of salvation. During their spiritual talks Michael was visited by his nephew, Nicephorus Phocas, a military officer who was to be a future emperor. Nicephorus became impressed with Abraham’s spirit, and for all his life Nikephoros regarded Abraham with reverent respect and love.

Consumed with zeal for the monastic life, Abraham left everything behind and went to the Kyminas Monastery. There, he fell down at the feet of Igumen Michael and begged to be received into the monastic life. Fulfilling Abraham’s request with joy, the igumen tonsured him with the name Athanasius. Later in 958, having left Kyminas in search of a solitary place, Athanasius came to a place called Melanos, at the very extremity of Mount Athos, where he settled far from the other monastic dwellings. Here, he struggled, intending to leave after a year, when on the last day as he set to pray, a heavenly light suddenly shined upon him, filling him with an indescribable joy. All the thoughts of leaving dissipated and his eyes welled up, graced with tears. From that moment St. Athanasius received the gift of tenderness, and he became as strongly fond of the place of his solitude as he had formerly loathed it.

During this time Nicephorus Phocas, remembering his vow to become a monk, besought Athanasius to build a monastery. At first reluctant, Athanasius set about the building of the monastery. While having to defend the hermits and sketes from raids by the Muslim Saracens, and incorporating already established sketes in his community, he built what would eventually become known as the Great Lavra. This monastery was dedicated in 963. The monastery is still in use today and is often referred to by people of the area simply as “Lavra”, or “The Monastery”. Three other monasteries were also founded during the lifetime of Athanasius, those of Iviron, Esphigmenou, and Vatopedi.

Athanasius established at the monastery a cenobitic monastic Rule on the model of the old Palestinian monasteries. Divine services were served with all strictness, and no one was so bold as to talk during the services, nor to come late or leave the church without necessity. Yet, Athanasius met with considerable opposition from the hermits already at Mount Athos during the construction of his monasteries. They resented his intrusion and attempts to bring order and discipline to their lives.

Upon the death of emperor Nicephorus in 969, the enemies of Athanasius prevailed, and he was forced to leave Athos for Cyprus. There he lived until the new emperor, John Tzimisces, resumed patronage of the Great Lavra and bestowed upon the monastery its first charter in 971.

Athanasius died about the year 1000, during an accident. He was killed by falling masonry when the cupola of new construction on his church collapsed. After his death, Athanasius was glorified as a saint.


Room to Rent or Apartment to Share Needed

Room Wanted

Our parishioner Pauline Poulos is looking for apartment or home to share or room to rent starting Mid-August or September 1st. Non Smoker and no pets.

Please call Pauline at 239-994-4797 (cell).


Three Year Memorial for Anthony Mankus Next Sunday, June 10, 2022

Anthony Mankus

Next Sunday, June 10 2022 we will hold the Three Year Memorial for Anthony Mankus.

The memorial is sponsored by his wife Maria who will host a luncheon following the Divine Liturgy in Anthony’s honor for the parishioners of St. Peter’s.

May his memory be eternal.


We Are Remodeling the Sunday School Rooms

Sunday School Remodel

The outside wall is being replaced and the floors will be leveled. Work will take about four weeks to complete. Greek Language classes will be moved to the Social Hall.


Starting Soon – Orthodoxy 101

Orthodoxy 101

Starting soon St. Peter’s offers a study of the Orthodox Basics (less philosophical, more factual and practical) of such things as worship, history, theology and more. This is for anyone and everyone who wants to understand our Orthodox faith and practice more thoroughly.

Dates will be determined but Saturday morning from 9:00am to 10:00 class time followed by a half hour optional discussion seems to work best for many people. Please let Fr. Hans know what works for you. We will begin when the summer starts and everyone’s schedule is more flexible.

In the meantime check out the videos on the website Welcome to the Orthodox Church by Frederica Mathews-Green to prepare.


Helping Victims of the War in Ukraine


Galyna Seabrooke who has spoken on several occasions on the situation in Ukraine on behalf of our Ukranian parishioners mentioned opportunities to help the victims of the war.

One way to offer humanitarian aid is through a Go Fund Me page. Another is to donate essential items for Ukranian refugees. These items include:

No food items please.

A box will be set up in the church for donations.

We pray that war in Ukraine will end quickly.

St. Peter Orthodox Church Fort Myers FL

Greek Language School Continues

Sts. Ephraim and Isaac the Syrians

Classes meet on Thursdays at 3:30pm in the Social Hall until remodel of the Social Hall is completed.


Let’s Pray the Paraklesis to the Theotokos Daily


Click here to get more information

Click the image to get more information on how to participate from the St. Peter’s website


Our goal at St. Peter’s is to have one person or family pray the Parakelsis to the Theotokos for at least one day of every month. For each day of the month, individuals or even an entire family can sign up to pray the Paraklesis in their homes on the day/s which they select.

Get more information on how to participate from the St. Peter’s website.


Cafe of Life: Let’s Share Our Blessings With the Poor

Cafe of Life

Yesterday, we celebrated America’s Independence Day! We hope everyone enjoyed the day with their family, friends and loved ones.

Where many of us are able to reap the benefits of this great country’s opportunities others are still struggling to put food on the table. If you can find it in your hearts to share the wealth of health, happiness and gratitude please make a donation to The Cafe of Life to help those who are less fortunate. Your tax deductible donation in cash or check can be given to Father Hans. No amount is too little for this community mission.

Thank you, God bless America and IC XC NI KA!

St. Peter Orthodox Church Fort Myers FL

Pledge & Income Report – May 2022

Contributions received in May: $23,931.
Amount of money needed to cover expenses: $24,114.
We are behind by $183.

Summer has arrived and many families are traveling. Please remember to keep current with your stewardship so that our bills can be paid!

Don't forget your pledge!

St. Peter Orthodox Church
7470 Hickory Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33967


You can also donate online:

St. Peter Orthodox Church Fort Myers FL

Sign up the the Monthly DOMSE Newsletter on the DOMSE (Diocese of Miami and the Southeast) Website!


Visit the DOMSE Website (scroll to the bottom, fill in the form on the left side) to sign up for “The Light” Newsletter and DOMSE emails.

St. Peter Orthodox Church Fort Myers FL
Social Hall All Stars

The Social Hall All Stars are the men and women that make St. Peter’s Social Hall happen. Thank you All Stars!


  • Barbara Dionysopoulos 239-826-1655
  • Al Joseph 585-330-1859
  • Bonnie Joseph 585-760-9923
  • Niki Locklear 859-240-1227
  • Ray Locklear
  • Koula Ormandiou 239-850-5136
  • Marianthi Kazakos 239-275-5401
  • Sandy Krotov 239-940-0713
  • Eleni Moran 860-978-5136

Procedures for Hospitality

Please note: If you would like to bring in your own prepared food, please contact Tom Haley at 239-887-0753 a week before the upcoming Sunday. That way we know not to prepare any food for Sunday.

New procedures for coffee hour
  1. On most Sundays we will serve lighter refreshments like coffee, sweets, hummus, olives, feta, pita and similar items. Please continue bringing these items. Even though we have a range (unlike our former facility), we appreciate items that are “ready to be served.”
  2. Please do not donate coffee. We have a space age coffee brewer that we acquired at no cost if we buy our coffee from one supplier. If you bring in coffee, we can’t use it.
  3. We cannot continue preparing meals for Memorials, Name Days, Anniversaries, and other celebrations. We don’t have the appliances or manpower to do it well. We do, however, have the name of two catering companies that can prepare and deliver the food if you would like to sponsor a celebration. Please call Tom Haley at 239-887-0753 for details and to make arrangements.
  4. If you would like to bring in your own prepared food, please contact Tom Haley at 239-887-0753 a week before the upcoming Sunday. That way we know not to prepare any food for Sunday.

The Safest Way to Come to Church

US 41 is a busy highway and the intersection at Hickory Drive does not have a stop light. We recommend turning on Sanibel Boulevard and following Coconut Road instead.

Driving Safely

Helping Our Seniors With Parking

With the church growing the parking lot is close to full every Sunday. Younger parishioners, could you park in the grass lot even if spaces are open in the paved area? That way our seniors can park closer to the entrance and avoid the grassy area where it is easier to stumble and fall.

St. Peter Orthodox Church Fort Myers FL

Calendar also available on the St. Peter website.


  • SUN JUL 03 — THIRD SUNDAY OF MATTHEW Orthros 8:30am, Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Jul 05 — St. Athanasios of Athos Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Thu Jul 07 — Paraklesis to the Theotokos 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • SUN JUL 10 — FOURTH SUNDAY OF MATTHEW Orthros 8:30am, Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Jul 12 — St. Paisios of Athos Divine Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Jul 15 — St. Vladimir Equal to the Apostles Divine Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Mon Jul 18 – Fri Jul 22 — Fr. Hans Out of Town
  • SUN JUL 24 — SIXTH SUNDAY OF MATTHEW Orthros 8:30am, Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Jul 26 — St. Paraskeve the Righteous Martyr Divine Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Wed Jul 26 — St. Panteleimon the Great Martyr Divine Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM


Dormition Fasting Period from August 1-15.

  • SUN JUL 31 — SIXTH SUNDAY OF MATTHEW Orthros 8:30am, Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Mon Aug 01 – Aug 7 — Fr. Hans Out of Town
St. Peter Orthodox Church Fort Myers FL

Hatred of sin is the beginning of spiritual rebirth. Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev) of Bogucharsk

This unseen warfare is not easy! It is much more difficult than any ordinary earthly warfare, for it is much easier to battle with other people than with oneself. Archbishop Averky (Taushev)

Everything that happens to us and in us is a test and an education—designed to teach us in the end to truly perceive things which lead to our salvation. Fr. Jack Sparks

Let us walk the strait path of sorrow, that we might become worthy and have God as our protector. Venerable Ephraim the Syrian

One cannot trust oneself; it is essential to labor in repentance. The Lord came to save sinners, but only those who repent. Abbot Nikon Vorobiev

St. Peter Orthodox Church Fort Myers FL

List has been updated. If you want some names restored, please mention it to Fr. Hans.

  • Names will remain on the list for three months.
  • If you would like to keep them on longer please mention it to Fr. Hans. We will keep the names on the list for as long as the person needs prayers.
  • Names will include the person who requested the prayers and the month the name will be removed.
  • The permanent list includes friends and members of St. Peter’s and others including shut-ins.

Were names dropped that should have remained? Please mention it to Fr. Hans. He will add them back.

Updated June 4 / Resets August 1.

Current Prayer List

Abott Tryphon (Jacobse 10/22)
Mary (Ghanem 10/22
Edgar (Chapekis 9/22)
Evthriki (Jacobse 9/22)
Christos (Johnson 8/22)
Jon Paul (Andrew 8/22)
William (Brubaker 8/22)
Peter (Tewis 8/22)
Alberta (Dusckas 8/22)
Connie (Dusckas 8/22)
Johanna (Dimartino 7/22)
Sarah (Tomlinson 7/22)
Natasha (Tomlinson 7/22)
Christine (Brubaker 7/22)
Elena (Brubaker 7/22)
Stella (Brubaker 7/22)
Steven (Breitenbach)
Gabrielle (Lowell 5/22)
Andrea, Yelena, newborn baby (Protpapadakis 4/22)
George (Haynes 4/21)
Kayla (Palentine 4/21)
Basil (Jacobse 3/22)
Linda M. (Dusckas 3/22)
Barbara (Dusckas 3/22)
Fr John (Jacobse 3/22)
Angel (Ghanem 3/22)
John (Duskas 3/22)
Nancy (Coin 3/22)
Nicholas (Ghanem 1/22)
Arielle (Ghanem 1/22)
Georgia (Sarros 1/22)
Kerri (Dusckas 1/21)

Permanent Prayer List

Archpriest Dionysius (Valentine 9/12)
Katheryn (Tolkkinen)
Markisia (Long)
Angela (Long)
Marina (Long)
Eleni (Long)
Raphaella (Long)
Joanne (Haley)
Francine (Anton)
Corwin (Dusckas)
Corgette (Troutman)
Irina (Irina)
Seraphim (Irina)
Lidia (Irina)
Sarina (Ghanem)
Debbie (Breitenbach)
Kathy (Breitenbach)
Hope (Isadore)
John (Long)
Pantelis (Tsikita)
Marisa (Tsikita)
Barbara (Dionysopoulos)
Patricia (Evanoff)
Gabriel (Mankus)
Baby Dani (Repya)
Despina (Diversis)b
Fredericos (Diveris)
Sophia (D. Constantine)
Herman (Kerr)
Innocent (Kerr)
Nicholas (Kerr)
Paola (Jacobse)
Gregory (Yankopolos)
Soterios (Ninos)
Pauline (Poulos)
Sergio (Kazakos)
Fran (Hansen)
Nina (Krotov)
Franklin (Pyrrson)
Demetrios (Kuchera)
Theodosios (Palis)
Theodora (Webb)
Robert (Smith)
Presbytera Rosy (in Pakistan)
James (Hord)
Vassiliki (Kontinos)
Vassiliki (Morekeas)
Vassilike (Hord)

Founders, Members, Benefactors and Friends Departed this Life

John (Hansen)
Anatoly (Kurdsjuk)
Thareni (Brooks)
Milan Evanoff
Jean (Sam)
Eleni (Pearson)
Richard (Pearson)
Fr. Stephanos (Shagoury)
Panagiota (Bea Chionis)
Anthony (Mourgis)
Anthony (Mankus)
Constantine (Houpis)
Constantine (Joseph)
Mary (Jarvis)
Panagiota Margarita (Palis)
Maria (Ninos)
John (Katsigianopoulos)
George (Chionis)
Mary (Spiropoulos)
Gregory (Pappas)
Angela (Coran K
Eugene (Rust)
Robert (Jarvis)
George (Corey)
Matushka Marion (Valentine)

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.

St. Peter Orthodox Church Fort Myers FL
Search the Scriptures


For St. Joseph of Damascus

The saints shall boast in glory, and they shall rejoice upon their beds.
Sing unto the Lord a new song; His praise is in the church of the saints.

The Reading from the Second Epistle of St. Paul to St. Timothy. (2:1-10)

Timothy, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus; and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will grant you understanding in everything. Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descended from David, as preached in my gospel, the gospel for which I am suffering and wearing fetters like a criminal. But the word of God is not fettered. Therefore, I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus with its eternal glory.


For the Fourth Sunday of Matthew

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (8:5-13)

At that time, as Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, beseeching Him and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, in terrible distress.” And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion answered Him, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard him, He marveled, and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom of Heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.” And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; be it done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.

St. Peter Orthodox Church