Sunday after the Elevation of the Holy Cross
Great-Martyr Euphemia the All-Praised
Martyrs Victor and Sosthenes of Chalcedon
Martyr Melitina of Marcianopolis
St. Euphemia the Great Martyr
Who was the Great-Martyr Ephemia?
Severian suffered by the weight of the stones,
Hanging he rejoiced, tearing his feet from earth.
Saint Euphemia lived in the 3rd century AD. She was the daughter of pious parents. Her father was a senator named Philophronos and her mother was Theodosia. She was born in Chalcedon, located across the Bosporus from the city of Byzantium (modern-day Istanbul). From her youth she dedicated her life to Christ and practiced the virtues of prayer, fasting and chastity.
The governor of Chalcedon, Priscus, had made a decree that all of the inhabitants of the city take part in sacrifices to the pagan god Ares. Euphemia was discovered with other Christians who were hiding in a house and worshiping the Christian God, in defiance of the governor’s orders. Because of their refusal to sacrifice, they were tortured for a number of days, and then handed over to the Emperor for further torture. Euphemia, the youngest among them, was separated from her companions in the hope that she betray Christ if she was on her own. She was promised worldy riches but refused to deny Christ. She was subjected to particularly harsh torments, including the wheel, in hopes of breaking her spirit but the wheel miraculously stopped and an Angel of the Lord ministered to her wounds.
The govenor then ordered that the saint be cast into a fiery furnace. Two soldiers, Victor and Sosthenes, led her to the furnace, but seeing to fearsome angels in the flames, refused to carry out the order of the governor and became believers in the God Whom Euphemia worshipped. Boldly confessing that they too were Christians, Victor and Sosthenes bravely went to suffering. They were cast into the arena to be eaten by wild beasts. During their martyrdom, they cried out for mercy to God, asking Him to receive them into the Heavenly Kingdom. A heavenly Voice answered their cries, and they entered into eternal life. The beasts, however, did not even touch their bodies.
Saint Euphemia, cast into the fire by other soldiers, remained unharmed. Ascribing this to sorcery, the governor gave orders to dig out a new pit, and filling it with knives, he had it covered over with earth and grass, so that the martyr would not notice the preparation for her execution but here too she remained unhurt.
Finally, they sentenced her to be devoured by wild beasts at the circus. Before her martyrdom, Saint Euphemia implored God to deem her worthy to suffer terribly for His Name but when she was cast into the arena, none of the wild beasts attacked her. Finally, one of the she-bears gave her a small wound on the leg, from which flowed the pure blood of the martyr, and immediately the holy Great Martyr Euphemia gave her spirit to the Lord. During this time there was an earthquake, and both the guards and the spectators ran in terror, so that the parents of the saint were able to take up her body and reverently bury it not far from Chalcedon.
A majestic church was afterwards built over the grave of the Great Martyr Euphemia.
Source: OrthodoxWiki website.
Eve of Elevation of the Cross Divine Liturgy, Thursday, September 13, 2018 at 6:30pm
Saint Helen, the mother of Saint Constantine the Great, when she was already advanced in years, undertook, in her great piety, the hardships of a journey to Jerusalem in search of the cross, about the year 325. A temple to Aphrodite had been raised up by the Emperor Hadrian upon Golgotha, to defile and cover with oblivion the place where the saving Passion had been suffered.
The venerable Helen had the statue of Aphrodite destroyed, and the earth removed, revealing the Tomb of our Lord, and three crosses. Of these, it was believed that one must be that of our Lord, the other two of the thieves crucified with Him; but Saint Helen was at a loss which one might be the Wood of our salvation. At the inspiration of Saint Macarius, Archbishop of Jerusalem, a lady of Jerusalem, who was already at the point of death from a certain disease, was brought to touch the crosses, and as soon as she came near to the Cross of our Lord, she was made perfectly whole.
Consequently, the precious Cross was lifted on high by Archbishop Macarius of Jerusalem; as he stood on the ambo, and when the people beheld it, they cried out, “Lord have mercy.”
It should be noted that after its discovery, a portion of the venerable Cross was taken to Constantinople as a blessing. The rest was left in Jerusalem in the magnificent church built by Saint Helen, until the year 614. At that time, the Persians plundered Palestine and took the Cross to their own country (see Jan. 22, Saint Anastasius the Persian). Late, in the year 628, Emperor Heraclius set out on a military campaign, retrieved the Cross, and after bringing it to Constantinople, himself escorted it back to Jerusalem, where he restored it to its place.
Community Luncheon on Thursday, October 4, 2018 at 12:00pm
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.
Reservations are required! Please call Barbara at 239-826-1655 or sign up in the Social Hall after Divine Liturgy.
The cost is $5 per person.
Sunday School Has Started!
Parents: Please note that Sunday School started on Sunday, September 9 immediately following Holy Communion. Children will take communion first and go directly to Sunday School.
Georgia Katsigianopoulos, our Sunday School director, will have registration forms available following the Divine Liturgy on Sundays.
This year will be a good year with important lessons planned. Your children will learn important things about our Orthodox faith and Orthodox Church.
One other very important point: Our society is in a decline. The moral and characters values that children need to learn to become strong adults are not longer taught by the society. Parents need to take extra measures to make sure the souls and minds of their children a protected and formed properly. One way to help them is to bring them to Church and Sunday School consistently.
Interfaith Charities Needs Food, Clothing, Towels, and Bedding
Interfaith Charities, the local assembly of churches that helps the poor in our area, needs:
- Canned vegetables
- Canned fruit
- Other food items you can give (peanut butter, spaghetti, etc.)
They also need:
- 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
- Saturday, September 13, 2018 — 6:30pm Elevation of the Cross Divine Liturgy
- Thursday, October 4, 2018 — 12:00pm Community Luncheon
- Thursday, October 26, 2018 — 6:30pm St. Demetrios Divine Liturgy
Wisdom From The Elders
Many people have never experienced the pleasure of a light stomach. St. Paisios of Mount Athos
Especially inexcusable are faint-heartedness and unbelief in the’ man who has already been deemed worthy of often receiving marvellous help from God the Saviour. O, how great a sinner I am! St. John of Kronstadt
It is God, Who is merciful and grants everyone what he needs, Who is building him up when He gives him more than he needs; in doing so He shows the abundance of His love for men and teaches him to give thanks. When He does not grant him what he needs, He makes him compensate for the thing he needs through the working of the mind and teaches him patience. St. Dorotheos of Gaza
Do not be discouraged when you see no improvement. One thing is needful: try to live according to the Gospel commandments. Fight and defend yourself against every sin through deeds, words or thoughts, and do not voluntarily succumb to bad influences. If you do succumb, repent before the Lord, ask forgiveness, and rise to fight again. And so until death. Abbot Nikon Vorobiev
For even if we do not seek virtue, but at least praise it, we shall perhaps be able to attain it; and even if we do not avoid evil, but at least censure it, we shall perhaps be able to escape it. St. John Chrysostom
The Christian, who is called to a heavenly country, who is only a stranger and a sojourner upon earth, ought not attach his heart to anything earthly, but should cling to God alone, the Source of life, our resurrrection, and the Life eternal. St. John of Kronstadt
Remember in Your Prayers
Carmine Anthony John
Dennis H. and Family
Dimitri – Presbyter
Nikolay (5 year old boy in Bulgaria whose parents asked us to pray)
Baby Brynn L.
Petronia (Wife of Phil Pappas)
Anna Marie Smith Baker
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.
For Sunday after the Elevation of the Holy Cross
O Lord, how manifold are Thy works.
In wisdom hast Thou made them all.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians. (2:16-20)
Brethren, you know that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. Even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, because by works of the law shall no one be justified. But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we ourselves were found to be sinners, is Christ then an agent of sin? Certainly not! But if I build up again those things which I tore down, then I prove myself a transgressor. For I through the Law died to the Law, that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ Who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.
For Sunday after the Elevationof the Holy Cross
The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Mark. (8:34-9:1)
The Lord said, “If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for My sake and the Gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Meand of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” And He said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Kingdom of God come with power.