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St. Peter Newsletter August 21, 2018

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Thirteenth Sunday of Matthew

Venerable Joasaph, Prince of India
Venerable Adrian of Ondrutsov

St Athanasius of Athos, Monk Barlaam and Venerable Joasaph of India

St. Athanasius of Athos, Monk Barlaam and Venerable Joasaph of India

Who was Venerable Joasaph, Prince of India?

According to tradition, in the time of Constantine the Great there lived in India a pagan king named Abenner, who had only one son, Joasaph. Abenner was a wise administrator and fearless warrior, loyal to the Indian code of honor, courage and the hatred of Christians.

When the Prince was born, astrologers and wise men were called to prophesy the Prince’s destiny as king. All of them said the same: that he would be a wise and powerful king. But one dared to tell the truth: the Prince would become Christian and give up his throne. The King was furious. He ordered every Christian to be killed or banned from the kingdom, and he put the Prince in a private, guarded castle to shield him from any possible Christian influence.

For twenty years of his life — his entire childhood and youth — Joasaph was confined to the castle. During this time he was taught the skills of wisdom and warfare. The King visited his son often, and was pleased to find his boy qrowing into a fine, strong young man. Finally, convinced that the prophecy was false, Abenner agreed to let the Prince see his future kingdom. The impression Joasaph received seemed mixed. The world was indeed a very beautiful place, but the sins, sorrows and eventual death of man dimmed its beauty in Joasaph’s eyes, and made him doubtful. No longer content with his luxuries in the palace, he strove to find a life that was soul-fulfilling, unlike what he felt succession to the throne would be.

At the same time, the holy monk Barlaam was told by God that he must bring the salvation of God’s word to the Prince over 1,000 miles away. In time Elder Barlaam arrived and, disguised as a merchant with a “pearl of great price,” was able to get into the castle. Barlaam explained the Orthodox Christian faith to the young Prince, in the form of parables, and then from the Holy Gospel and the Epistles. From the instructions of Barlaam the youth reasoned that the “pearl of great price” is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and he believed in Him and desired to accept holy Baptism. In the months that followed the entire household was converted, including King Abenner who eventually became a hermit.

Barlaam left, Abenner reposed and Joasaph became king. But he was not content there and missed his spiritual father. Finally he gave his kingdom to relatives and went away to the desert in search of his teacher Barlaam. For two years he wandered about through the wilderness, suffering dangers and temptations, until he found the cave of Barlaam, laboring in silence. The Elder and the youth began to struggle together.

When Barlaam’s death approached, he served the Divine Liturgy, partook of the Holy Mysteries and communed Joasaph, then he departed to the Lord. He lived in the wilderness for seventy of his one hundred years. After he buried the Elder, Joasaph remained in the cave and continued his ascetic efforts. He dwelt in the wilderness for thirty-five years, and fell asleep in the Lord at the age of sixty.

Source: Mystagogy website.


Beheading of John the Baptist Liturgy, Wednesday, August 29, 2018 at 9:30

The Beheading of St. John the Forerunner

The Beheading of St. John the Forerunner

We will celebrate the Liturgy of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist on Wednesday, August 29, 2018 starting at 9:30am. Why celebrate this important day? Because when we celebrate the liturgies of important Saints, their presence and power becomes more evident in our Church.

This is particularly true of St. Peter’s with the recent installation of the icon of St. John the Baptist. St. John, like the Theotokos, work to bring people to Christ. They work in different ways. We welcome their intercessions and honoring them increases the grace of God they bring to us.


Community Luncheon on Thursday, September 6, 2018 at 12:00pm

Join us for the Community Dinner

You are invited to join your St. Peter’s friends for lunch and fellowship at 12 noon on Thursday, September at 12:00pm.

Barbara Dionysopoulos and friends are preparing a delicious meal for all our members. Come and join us to enjoy some good food and the company of your friends. Make some new friends too and get to know other parishioners.


Chicken with Macaroni (Kapama)
Greek Salad, Feta Cheese, Kalamata Olives
Bread, Dessert, Beverage

Reservations are required! Please call Barbara at 239-826-1655 or sign up in the Social Hall after Divine Liturgy.

There is no charge for this luncheon. An anonymous friend is donating this dinner to the good people of St. Peter’s.


Interfaith Charities Needs Food, Clothing, Towels, and Bedding

Support Interfaith Charities

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

  • Wednesday, August 29, 2018 — 9:30am Divine Liturgy Beheading of St. John the Baptist
  • Thursday, September 6, 2018 — 12:00pm Community Luncheon
  • Saturday, September 8, 2018 — 9:30pm Great Feast Nativity of the Theotokos

Wisdom From The Elders

Well, look how parents bring a child into the world; the more they struggle to raise it, the more they love it and are attached to it. God is the same, He brought us into the world, in a way He struggled to raise us and make us what we are. Now, even if He wanted to leave us, He couldn’t, because He is attached to us, as long as we continue to have a little philotimo. If we have a little philotimo, we will not lose Paradise. Elder Paisios of Mount Athos

When Christ is in our heart, we are contented with everything: what has been discomfort to us becomes the greatest comfort, what was bitter to us becomes sweet, poverty becomes wealth, our hunger is satisfied, and our sorrow turns into joy! St. John of Kronstadt

It is no mean contest to overcome one’s bad habits, for custom, strengthened by enduring a long time, takes on the force of [second] nature. St. Basil the Great

Be diligent and avoid idleness. For as diligence is pleasing to God, so idleness on the contrary, as a source of every evil, is a sin very offensive to God. St. Theophan the Recluse

Try not to skip your prayer rule, morning or evening. But if you skip it sometime for some reason, especially if it is due to circumstances beyond your control, do not be upset, but humbly reproach yourself for your weakness; for self-reproach is an unseen ascent, while getting upset, in the words of Elder Ambrose, is not listed anywhere in the virtues. St. Nikon of Optina

Preserve by every means simplicity of heart, simplicity of faith, hope and love, of meekness, humility and gentleness. Every good comes from God, and God is every good for us. This is the simplicity of faith, hope, and love. St. John of Kronstadt


Remember in Your Prayers

David (Speakman)
Joyce (Speakman)
Dimitri – Presbyter
Nikolay (5 year old boy in Bulgaria whose parents asked us to pray)
Eva K.
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 Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

O Lord, how marvelous are Thy works.
In wisdom hast Thou made them all.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!

The Reading from the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. (16:13-24)

Brethren, be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, and be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. Now, brethren, you know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints; I urge you to be subject to such men and to every fellow worker and laborer. I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have made up for your absence; for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. Give recognition to such men.

The churches of Asia send greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord. All the brethren send greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss. I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.


For the Thirteenth Sunday of Matthew

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (21:33-42)

The Lord spoke this parable: “There was a householder who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country. When the season of fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants, to get his fruit; and the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first; and they did the same to them. Afterward he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’ And they took him and cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.” Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?’”