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St. Peter Newsletter September 1, 2020

The miracle of the Archangel Michael in Colossae

The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
The Thirteenth Sunday of Matthew

The miracle of the Archangel Michael in Colossae

Archippos of Hierapolis; Martyrs Eudoxios, Zeno, Romulus and Makarios at Melitene in Armenia


What was the miracle of the Archangel Michael in Colossae?

The miracle of the Archangel Michael in Colossae

There was a certain man from Laodicea who had an only daughter who was dumb from birth. As a result, her father was exceedingly grieved and greatly desired that her tongue be loosed. He suffered all the more because every cure used on the girl failed. One night, as he slept on his bed, he saw a vision in which an angel of God stood before him, radiant as the sun. Although as a pagan he was unworthy of beholding the angel, he was granted this vision in order that he might come to the knowledge of the truth and bring others to God as well

Arising from sleep, the man marvelled at what he had seen, and believing the words that had been spoken to him, he immediately took his daughter and went quickly to the wonder-working water. When he arrived, he found a large crowd of people drinking the water, bathing in it, and receiving healing of their sicknesses. He asked them, “Whose name do you call upon as you wash in this water?”

The people replied, “We call upon the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and we ask the aid of the holy Chief Commander Michael.”

The man then lifted up his eyes, raised his hands, and said, “0 Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, God of the Christians, have mercy on me! 0 Saint Michael, servant of the Lord, help and heal my daughter!” Then with faith he drew some water and poured it into his daughter’s mouth. Immediately her tongue, until then bound by dumbness, was loosed to the glorification of God, and she exclaimed clearly, “0 God of the Christians, have mercy on me! Saint Michael, help me!”

Read the complete story on the Orthognosia website.

Upcoming Liturgies

Start of the New Ecclesiastical Year (Indiction) and St. Symeon the Stylite — September 1, 2020 at 9:30am

Jesus reading the scriptures in the synagogue
Jesus reading the scriptures in the synagogue

The first day of the Church New Year is also called the beginning of the Indiction. The term Indiction comes from a Latin word meaning, “to impose.” It was originally applied to the imposition of taxes in Egypt. The first worldwide Indiction was in 312 when the Emperor Constantine (May 21) saw a miraculous vision of the Cross in the sky. Before the introduction of the Julian calendar, Rome began the New Year on September 1.

According to Holy Tradition, Christ entered the synagogue on September 1 to announce His mission to mankind (Luke 4:16-22). Quoting Isaiah 61:1-2), the Savior proclaimed, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me; because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to proclaim release to captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord…” This scene is depicted in a Vatican manuscript (Vatican, Biblioteca. Cod. Gr. 1613, p.1).

Tradition says that the Hebrews entered the Promised Land in September.

Source: Orthodox Church in America website.


Who was St. Simeon the Stylite?

St. Simeon the Stylite
St. Simeon the Stylite

Saint Simeon spent 80 years in arduous monastic feats, 47 years of which he stood upon the pillar. God granted him to accomplish in such unusual conditions an indeed apostolic service. Many pagans accepted Baptism, struck by the moral staunchness and bodily strength which the Lord bestowed upon His servant.

The first one to learn of the death of the saint was his close disciple Anthony. Concerned that his teacher had not appeared to the people for three days, he went up on the pillar and found the dead body stooped over at prayer. Patriarch Martyrius of Antioch performed the funeral before a huge throng of clergy and people. They buried him near his pillar. At the place of his ascetic deeds, Anthony established a monastery, upon which rested the special blessing of Saint Simeon.

Read the complete history on the Orthodox Chruch in America website.


The Prophet Zecharia and the Righteous Elizabeth, Parents of St. John the Baptist on Saturday, September 5 at 9:30am

Sts. Zachariah and Elizabeth
Sts. Zachariah and Elizabeth

The Holy Prophet Zachariah and the Righteous Elizabeth were the parents of the holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord, John. They were descended from the lineage of Aaron: Saint Zachariah, son of Barach, was a priest in the Jerusalem Temple, and Saint Elizabeth was the sister of Saint Anna, the mother of the Most Holy Theotokos. The righteous spouses, “walking in all the commandments of the Lord (Luke 1:6), suffered barrenness, which in those times was considered a punishment from God.

Once, during his turn of priestly service in the Temple, Saint Zachariah was told by an angel that his aged wife would bear him a son, who “will be great in the sight of the Lord” (Luke 1:15) and “will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias” (Luke 1:17).

Read the entire story on the Orthodox Church in America website.


Nativity of the Theotokos — Tuesday, September 8, 2020 at 9:30am

The Nativity of the Theotokos

The birth and early life of the Virgin Mary is not recorded in the Gospels or other books of the New Testament, however this information can be found in a work dating from the second century known as the Book of James or Protevangelion.

According to the story found in this book, Mary’s parents, Joachim and Anna, were childless for many years. They remained faithful to God, but their prayers for a child were unanswered. One day, when Joachim came to the temple to make an offering, he was turned away by the High Priest who chastised him for his lack of children. To hide his shame, Joachim retreated to the hill country to live among the shepherds and their flocks.

As Joachim was praying, his wife Anna was praying at the same time at their house in Jerusalem. An angel appeared to both of them and announced that Anna would have a child whose name would be known throughout the world. Anna promised to offer her child as a gift to the Lord. Joachim returned home, and in due time Anna bore a daughter, Mary.

Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website.


The Holy and Righteous Ancestors of the Lord Joachim and Anna — Wednesday September 9, 2020 at 9:30am

Sts. Joachim and Anna
Sts. Joachim and Anna

The holy and righteous Joachim and Anna are the parents of the Theotokos, the grandparents of Jesus Christ.

St. Joachim was of the tribe of Judah, and a descendant of King David. St. Anna was the daughter of Matthan the priest, of the tribe of Levi as was Aaron the High Priest.

Sts. Joachim and Anna had been married for fifty years, and were barren. They lived devoutly and quietly, using only a third of their income for themselves and giving a third to the poor and a third to the Temple. Joachim had done this since he was 15-years-old, and God multiplied his flocks, so the couple was well provided for. They longed for a child but remained childless into their old age. When they were in Jerusalem to offer sacrifice to God, the High Priest, Issachar, upbraided Joachim, “You are not worthy to offer sacrifice with those childless hands.”

Others who had children jostled Joachim, thrusting him back as unworthy. In despair, he consulted the geneological records of the tribes of Israel and discovered every righteous man in the nation had been blessed with children, except him. This caused the aged saint great grief, and he and his wife left with heavy hearts. Then the two of them gave themselves to prayer to God that He would work in them the wonder that He had worked in Abraham and Sarah, and give them a child to comfort their old age.

St. Joachim took his flocks and went to a high mountain, refusing to return home in shame. Meanwhile, St. Anna prayed in her garden. God sent the Archangel Gabriel to each of them, who gave them tidings of the birth of “a daughter most blessed, by whom all the nations of the earth will be blessed, and through whom will come the salvation of the world.”

Each promised to have their child raised in the Temple as a holy vessel of God. The archangel told St. Joachim to return home, where he would find his wife waiting for him in the city gate. St. Anna he told to wait at the gate. When they saw one another, they embraced, and this image is the traditional icon of their feast.

Read more on the OrthodoxWiki website.


Michael Kyritsis — May His Memory Be Eternal

Michael Kyritsis

With sadness we announce the passing of Michael Kyritsis, Father-in-law of Zannos Grekos, Grandfather to the Grekos children, and dear friend of many. Michael passed away on Saturday morning, August 29, 2020.

Michael was a friend of St. Peter’s who would attend frequently before failing health limited his mobility. He particularly enjoyed our social events where he would spend the time talking to countless friends. His native amiability made him very easy to talk with and his favorite topics were his grandchildren of whom he was very proud.

Funeral arrangements will be finalized in Tampa where Michael will be interned with his wife who preceded him in passing from this life. Memorial prayers were offered at his bedside. We will offer memorial prayers at St. Peter’s at the Forty Days.

May his memory be eternal.


Carmine Riccioli and Charles Wolffe Start A New Business

Both Carmine and Charles are members of St. Peter’s, Carmine was baptized and christmated over a year ago along with his wife Elizabeth and baby John (Carmine Jr.). You may remember baby Carmine as the infant that received the miracle healing from God through His servant St. Luke.

Charles joined our Church several months ago and will soon be a catechumen along with his wife Amanda and two young daughters. We welcome them and are grateful to God they have joined St. Peter’s.

Both men have started a business that they hope to grow to support their families. Charlie has extensive experience in the field and Carmine has served as his apprentice. Both men know what they are doing.

At St. Peter’s we support the businesses of our parishioners. We want to see our entrepreneurs succeed. If you can use the services of Grout Like New or if you can recommend them to people who can, please do so.

Grout Like New


Coming Soon: Introduction to Orthodoxy Classes

Introduction to Orthodoxy

Fr. Hans will be offering Introduction to Orthodoxy Classes starting in September.

The classes will be held on Sundays, following the Social Hour. All seekers and catechumens are required to attend, but the class will be open to everyone. Details will follow?

Why hold the class on Sundays? Because it makes the class available to more people.

Starting date and details forthcoming.


Coming Soon: DOMSE Virtual Retreat — MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

Antiochian Diocese of Miami and the South East

DOMSE (Diocese of Miami and the Southeast) will hold a two day virtual retreat from Friday through Saturday, October 3-4, 2020.

Topics and schedule will be available soon.


Pledge & Income Report – July 2020

Donations received in July: $23,531.00
Amount of money needed to cover expenses: $18,167.00
We are ahead by $5,364.00

Please note:Thank you for your response to our July Appeal Letter. Please continue your generous support as the summertime is always a difficult time for us financially. If you cannot make it to church please mail in your donation to:

St. Peter Orthodox Church
24850 Old 41 Road Suite 6
Bonita Springs, FL 34135


You can also donate online (scroll to bottom of page):


Bishop NICHOLAS Offers a Weekly Live Stream

These are short thirty minute presentations where His Grace Bp. Nicholas speaks on one theme in Sunday readings for fifteen minutes followed by questions from the listeners. It’s worth tuning in. Get instructions on the St. Peter website on how to use the Band App on your phone or computer to participate.



Calendar At A Glance


  • Tue Sep 1 — Byzantine Chant Workshop at St. Paul Naples 7:00pm
  • Sat Sep 5 — STS. ZACHARIAH AND ELIZABETH Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Sep 6 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Sep 8 — NATIVITY OF THE THEOTOKOS Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Sep 8 — Byzantine Chant Workshop at St. Paul Naples 7:00pm
  • Sun Sep 13 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Mon Sep 14 — ELEVATION OF THE CROSS Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Sep 15 — Byzantine Chant Workshop at St. Paul Naples 7:00pm
  • Wed Sep 16 — ST. EPHEMIA Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Sep 20 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Sep 22 — Byzantine Chant Workshop at St. Paul Naples 7:00pm
  • Wed Sep 23 — CONCEPTION OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Sep 24 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM


  • Fri Oct 3 — Sat Oct 4 — DOMSE Virtual Retreat

Wisdom From The Elders

Be zealous – yourselves also in preserving faith and love in your hearts; Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

Even if you shed two drops of tears in prayer, it has a lot of strength. Elder Ieronimos

It is our misfortune that our faith is hindered by the short-sightedness of our reason—that spider, that catches the truth in the web of its judgments, its arguments and analogies. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

It follows that asceticism, which uproots sin and thereby leads man to holiness, is not an unnecessary human invention; it is a powerful means indicated by God Himself for the attainment by man of God’s will for him. One who opposes the ascetic life, it goes without saying, is an opponent of the will of God and an enemy of God. Archbishop Averky (Taushev)

Do not fear bodily privations, but fear spiritual privations. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

He is not yet a faithful servant who bases himself on bare knowledge alone; a faithful servant is he who professes his faith by obedience to Christ, Who gave the commandments. St. Mark the Ascetic


Remember in Your Prayers

The Prayer List has been revamped. To bring order to the list we will do the following:

  • Names will remain on the list for two 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.

Current Prayer List (Updated August 26 / Resets October 1)

Patricia (Evanoff 11/20)
Barbara (Dusckas 11/20)
Brendan (Wolffe 11/20)
Douglas (Dusckas 10/22)
Sophia (Irina 10/22)
Nicholas (Zeena 10/22)
Ruthann (Zeena 10/22)
Charles Timothy (Wolfe 10/22)
Sergio (Mary Kazakos10/22)
Libby Ann (Riccioli 10/22)
Andrea (Sarros 10/22)
Basil (Sarros 10/22)
Margaret (Sarros 10/22)
Susan (Wolffe 9/20)
Grant [Van Berkom] (Zeena 9/20)
Barbara (Dusckas 9/20)
John (Troutman 9/20)
Dave (Dusckas 9/20)
Constandina (Stephania 9/20)
Steven (Breitenbach 9/20)
Irini (Tsikitas 9/20)
Lori (Dusckas 8/20)
Patricia (Copeland 8/20)
Demetrios (Copeland 8/20)
Efstathios (Mourgis 8/20)

Permanent Prayer List

Stamatia (Evelyn)
Demetrios (Kuchera)
Margaret (Palis)
Theodosios (Palis)
Theodora (Webb)
Helen (Rogers)
Robert (Smith)
Robert (Jarvis)
Mary (Jarvis)
Presbytera Rosy (in Pakistan)
James (Hord)
Ann (Rellis)
Vassiliki (Kontinos)
Vassiliki (Morekeas)
Bud (Repya)

Founders, Members, and Benefactors 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)

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


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?’”

St. Peter Orthodox Church