St. Peter Newsletter October 22, 2019

The Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost
The Seventh Sunday of Luke

The Martyr Nestor of Thessalonica;
Procla (Claudia) the wife of Pontius Pilate;
Kyriakos, Patriarch of Constantinople;
Venerable Nestor the Chronicler of the Kiev Caves

The Martyr Nestor of Thessalonica

The Martyr Nestor of Thessalonica

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

In the time of the suffering of St. Demetrios the Myrrhgusher, there was a young man of Thessalonica, Nestor, who learned the Christian Faith from St. Demetrios himself.

At that time Christ’s enemy, Emperor Maximian, organized various games and amusements for the people. Nestor 01The emperor’s favorite in these games was a Vandal by the name of Lyaeus, a man of Goliath-like size and strength. As the emperor’s gladiator, Lyaeus challenged men every day to single combat and slew them. Thus, the bloodthirsty Lyaeus amused the bloodthirsty, idolatrous Maximian. The emperor built a special stage for Lyaeus’s battles, similar to a threshing floor on pillars. Spears, points upward, were planted beneath this platform. When Lyaeus defeated someone in wrestling, he would throw him from the platform onto the forest of spears. The emperor and his pagan subjects cheered as some poor wretch writhed in torment on the spears until he died.

Among Lyaeus’s innocent victims were many Christians: when no one volunteered to duel with Lyaeus, by the emperor’s orders Christians were arrested and forced to duel with him. Seeing this horrifying amusement of the pagan world, Nestor’s heart was torn with pain, and he decided to come forward for a duel with the gigantic Lyaeus. But first, he went to prison to see St. Demetrios and sought a blessing from him to do this. St. Demetrios blessed him, signed him with the sign of the Cross on the forehead and on the chest and prophesied to him: “You will defeat Lyaeus, but you will suffer for Christ.” Thus, young Nestor went to duel with Lyaeus.

Maximian was present with a multitude nestor34of people; everyone felt pity for the young Nestor, who would surely die, and tried to dissuade him from dueling with Lyaeus. Nestor crossed himself and said: “O God of Demetrios, help me!” and with God’s help, he overcame Lyaeus, knocked him down, and threw him onto the sharp spears, where the heavy giant soon found death. Then all the people cried out: “Great is the God of Demetrios!” But the emperor, shamed before the people and sorrowing for his favorite Lyaeus, was greatly angered at Nestor and Demetrios, and commanded that Nestor be beheaded and Demetrios run through with lances. Thus, the Christian hero Nestor ended his earthly life and took up his habitation in the Kingdom of his Lord in the year 306.

Source: The Antioch Patriarch website.

 

Divine Liturgy for St. Demetrios and Parish Pot Luck on Saturday, October 26 at 4:30pm

Why so late? Because the pot-luck follows at 6:00pm. Asking the people who live 45 minutes or more away to come in the morning, go home, and then come back is three hours of driving. So we moved the Liturgy to a time accessible for all.

St. Demetrios

St. Demetrios

Who Was St. Demetrios?

The holy, glorious and right-victorious Great-martyr Demetrios of Thessaloniki the Myrrh-streamer (also Demetrios) is one of the most popular saints in the Orthodox world. He was martyred around the year 306 in Thessalonica, and his cult rapidly grew during the Middle Ages, when he was regarded as the first recognized patron and protector of the city, militarily as well as spiritually. His feast day is celebrated on October 26. The Serbian Orthodox Church commemorates the Saint as a Mitar having a feast of Mitrovan on November 8.

Demetrios came from a noble family of the Roman province of Macedonia. Through this noble ancestry and through his own ability and virtue he rose to a high military position under Galerius Maximian, Caesar of the Eastern part of the Roman Empire (with Diocletian as the Augustus, or senior emperor). Despite this position in the still-pagan empire, he remained fervent in faith and works for Christ, encouraging many Christians to endure persecution and even bringing many pagans to the faith.

When Maximian returned from one of his campaigns to Thessaloniki, which he had made his capital, he had pagan games and sacrifices celebrated for his triumph. Demetrios was denounced by pagans who were envious of his success, and he was thrown into prison. While in prison he was visited by a young Christian named Nestor, who asked him for a blessing to engage in single combat with the giant Lyaios (or Lyaeus), who was posing as the champion of paganism. Demetrios gave his blessing and Nestor, against all odds, slew his opponent in the arena, as David had once defeated Goliath.

The enraged emperor, learning that this had occurred with Demetrios’s aid, first had Nestor beheaded outside the city and then had Demetrios impaled in prison. Later Demetrios’s servant Lupus was beheaded after using his master’s blood-stained tunic and signet ring to work many miracles. The Christians buried Demetrios and Nestor next together in the bath where Demetrios had been imprisoned. During the seventh century a miraculous flow of fragrant myrrh was found emanating from his tomb, giving rise to the appellation Mirovlitis, the Myrrh Gusher to his name. His tomb containing his relics is now in the crypt of the Church of St. Demetrios in Thessaloniki.

St. Demetrios is revered as the patron saint of Thessaloniki and is believed by the people as having intervened to save the city over the years from invading foreigners, from the Slavic nations, Bulgarians, Arabs, Saracens, and others. While well remembered in the Hellenic world, the memory of the Great Martyr Demetrios of Thessaloniki found an attachment in the Slavic, particularly the Russian, world from the times of the Russian Primary Chronicle.

Source: The Orthodoxwiki website.

 

Remember This?

First published on September 17, 2017 after hurricane Irma.

St. Demetrios Visits St. Peter’s

I shared the following on Facebook in 2017:

After checking church today I entered my office (dark, no power) and as I opened the door a very strong aroma of myrrh had filled the office, and by strong I mean it was palpable.

I located the source and it came from this icon that had some myrrh from the relics of St Demetrios of Thessaloniki. It exuded through the plastic.

The Orthodox will understand the meaning of this. It is a sign of the protection of St. Demetrios towards our parish. I moved the icon to our still barren altar area.

God is glorified through His Saints.

 

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: St. Peter’s Potluck Featuring John Panagiotou on Saturday, October 26 at 6:00pm

Plan to attend!

St. Peter’s is growing and that means more planning, more organization, and more work — but it’s the kind of work that is blessed by God because we are building to help ourselves and the people that God will bring to us.

We see that happening already, but it will grow. It’s our mission, but this mission is given to us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Potluck season is here too so we are combing two events into one. We will enjoy the food and fellowship we all love as well as a featured speaker. The first speaker will be John Panagiotou who will tell us how supporting St. Peter’s really works.

Diocese of Miami Winter Retreat

Men: Join AMEN

Antiochian Diocese of Miami and the South East

AMEN is growing in the Miami Diocese, very fast actually, and there is a lot of good energy behind it. Fr. Hans has been appointed the Spiritual Advisor to the group by Bp. Nicholas. Steve Breitenbach is our local president.

What will AMEN do? It will bring together the men of the parish for friendship, fellowship, and work.

St. Peter’s Men:

Bible Studies

October

  • Wed Oct 23 — Community Bible Study 7:00pm
  • Wed Oct 30 — Men’s & Women’s Bible Study (Held separately) 7:00pm

November

  • Wed Nov 6 — Community Bible Study 7:00pm
  • Wed Nov 13 — Men’s & Women’s Bible Study (Held separately) 7:00pm
  • Wed Nov 20 — Community Bible Study 7:00pm
  • Wed Nov 27 — Men’s & Women’s Bible Study (Held separately) 7:00pm

The Community Bible Study is for the entire community.

The Men’s and Women’s Bible Study are separate studies but held concurrently.

Pledge & Income Report – September 2019

In August we took in $16,445 in total donations. Our monthly goal is $16,777.00 leaving us $323 short for September.

These are very good numbers for September.

Thank you for your generosity. This year is much better than last but we are still behind in our numbers.

It is not too late to pledge. Pledge forms are available on the table in the narthex.

 

Interfaith Charities Needs More Food Items

They need:

  • Ramen noodles
  • Canned tuna
  • Vegetables
  • Beans
  • Soups

Please note: Interfaith Charities is no longer accepting clothing or household items so we won’t be accepting them at St. Peter’s either.

Bring the food items to church and we will get them to Interfaith Charities. Interfaith Charities is a coalition of local churches helping the poor in our immediate community. See more on their website.

 

Calendar At A Glance

OCTOBER

  • Wed Oct 23 — Community Bible Study 7:00pm
  • Sat Oct 26 — St. Demetrios Divine Liturgy 4:30pm
  • Sat Oct 26 — St. Peter’s Pot Luck 6:00pm
  • Wed Oct 30 — Men’s & Women’s Bible Study (Held separately) 7:00pm

November

  • Wed Nov 6 — Community Bible Study 7:00pm
  • Wed Nov 13 — Men’s & Women’s Bible Study (Held separately) 7:00pm
  • Wed Nov 20 — Community Bible Study 7:00pm
  • Wed Nov 27 — Men’s & Women’s Bible Study (Held separately) 7:00pm
 

Wisdom From The Elders

Learn to know the spirit of the age, study it, so whenever possible you will be able to avoid its influence. Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov

When the soul is mature, God will give it inner peace. The Lord watches over us, and He is pleased that you long for His peace. Until the soul is ready, He will only sometimes allow us to see that He is everywhere present and fills all things. At these moments the soul feels such joy! It feels as though it has everything! But then the Lord conceals Himself from us again, in order that we might long for Him and seek Him with our hearts. Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnika

My brothers, have no fear of the punishments of the Lord! For He does not punish us as criminals, but as His own children! Archimandrite Gabriel of the Pskov Caves

Thus, as St. Paul says (cf. 2 Cor. 5:7), we should press forward on the basis of faith, patiently striving to conform ourselves to God’s will. St. Peter of Damaskos

Try to fill your soul with Christ so as not to have it empty. Your soul is like a cistern full of water. If you channel the water to the flowers, that is, to the virtues, you will experience true joy and all the thorns of evil will wither away. But if you channel the water to the weeds, these will grow and choke you and all the flowers will wither. St. Porphyrios of Kafsokalyvia

One may have a good worldly relationship with non-believers, but one cannot have a relationship in prayer and one must not carry on arguments about religion so that the name of God not be offended during an argument. St. Nektary of Optina

 

Remember in Your Prayers

Diomidis (Kanellos)

Anastacia (Ann Constan)
Ben (Ben)
Thomas (Ben)
Vjacheslav (Slava) (Julia)
Irene (C. Diveris)
Vasiliki (C.Diveris)
Efrosini (C. diveris)
Charles (Oberg)
Christine (Kouzes)
Nina (Kovalev)
Hugh (Jacquie)
Violet (Jacquie Mom)
Tammie (Jacquie friend)
Phillip
Baby Luke
George
Priest Kyprianos
Savannah (Jonson)
Bud
Silvana
Nicole
Evan
Megan
Bill R.
Pat R.
Aglaia
George
Hieromonk Serapion
Priest Kyprianos
Athanasia
Alexandra
Constantina
Maryanne (E)
Ron (E)
Tim
Robert (J)
Mary (J)
Patricia
Gregory
Andreas
Sofia Tešanovic
Paul
Dennis H. and Family
Victor Evan
Ann
James
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
Rosie
Kathryn
Jeremy
Constantine
Robert
Jane
Theodora
David
Gina
Micheal
Haralambos
Lillian
Presbytera Rosy
Valentina
Eva W.
Barbara
Angela
Carol Ann
Matthew
Chrysostom
Tim
Pat
Christina
Maria Louise
Maximos
Marian
Photini
Nicholas
Sarah
Constantine Houpis
Anna Marie Smith Baker
Katerina
Mary Kassis
Baby Maximus
Christine
Maria
Annette Star
Claire Livaditis
Eva Chandilles
Baby Dani
Scott Nedoff
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 Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

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

The Reading from the Second Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. (11:31-12:9)

Brethren, the God and Father of the Lord Jesus, He Who is blessed forever, knows that I do not lie. At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas guarded the city of Damascus in order to seize me, but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped his hands. I must boast; there is nothing to be gained by it, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who 14 years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into Paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.

On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. Though if I wish to boast, I shall not be a fool, for I shall be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; but He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Gospel

For the Seventh Sunday of Luke

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (8:41-56)

At that time, there came to Jesus a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue; and falling at Jesus’ feet he besought Him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. As Jesus went, the people pressed round Him. And a woman, who had had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had spent all her living upon physicians, and could not be healed by anyone, came up behind Him, and touched the fringe of His garment; and immediately her flow of blood ceased. And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched Me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the multitudes surround Thee and press upon Thee! And Thou sayest, ‘Who touched Me?’” But Jesus said, “Someone touched Me; for I perceive that power has gone forth from Me.” And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before Him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched Him, and how she had been immediately healed. And Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

While Jesus was still speaking, a man from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.” But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she shall be well.” And when Jesus came to the house, He permitted no one to enter with Him, except Peter and James and John, and the father and mother of the child. And all were weeping and bewailing her; but Jesus said, “Do not weep; for she is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But taking her by the hand Jesus called, saying, “Child, arise.” And her spirit returned, and she got up at once; and Jesus directed that something should be given her to eat. And her parents were amazed; but He charged them to tell no one what had happened.

St. Peter Orthodox Church