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St. Peter Newsletter September 15, 2020

Sunday After the Elevation of the Cross
Consecration of Resurrection Church in Jerusalem

Great-Martyr Eustathios and his family; Venerable-Martyr Hilarion of St. Anne Skete on Athos; Venerable John of Crete; Martyrs Michael, Prince of Chernigov, and his councilor Theodore

Who Was The Holy Great Martyr Eustathios and His Family?

St. Eustathios and his family
St. Eustathios and his family

The Holy Great Martyr Eustathius (Eustace) was named Placidas before his Baptism. He was a military commander under the emperors Titus (79-81) and Trajan (98-117). Even before he came to know Christ, Placidas performed acts of charity, helping the poor and destitute. Therefore, the Lord did not leave the virtuous pagan remain in the darkness of idolatry.

Once while hunting in a forest, he saw a stag which would stop now and then to look him right in the eye. Placidas pursued it on horseback, but could not catch up. The stag leaped over a chasm and stood on the other side facing him. Placidas suddenly saw a radiant Cross between its antlers. In surprise the military commander heard a voice coming from the Cross saying, “Why do you pursue Me, Placidas?”

“Who are You, Master?” asked Placidas. The Voice replied, “I am Jesus Christ, Whom you do not know, yet you honor Me by your good deeds. I have appeared here on this creature for your sake, to capture you in the net of My love for mankind. It is not fitting that one as righteous as you should worship idols and not know the truth. It was to save mankind that I came into the world.”

Placidas cried out, “Lord, I believe that You are the God of Heaven and earth, the Creator of all things. Master, teach me what I should do.” Again the Lord replied, “Go to the bishop of your country and receive Baptism from him, and he will instruct you.”

Placidas returned home and joyfully recounted everything to his wife Tatiana. She in turn told him how the evening before, in a mysterious dream, she had been told, “Tomorrow you, your husband and your sons shall come to Me and know that I am the true God.” The spouses then proceeded to do as they had been bidden.

They hastened to the Christian bishop, who baptized all their family, and communed them with the Holy Mysteries. Placidas was renamed Eustathius, his wife was called Theopiste, and their children, Agapius and Theopistus.

On the following day, Saint Eustathius set out to the place of his miraculous conversion and in fervent prayer he offered up thanks to the Lord for having called him onto the path of salvation.

Again Saint Eustathius received a miraculous revelation. The Lord Himself foretold his impending tribulations: “Eustathius, you shall suffer many misfortunes, as did Job, but in the end you will conquer the devil.”

Read the rest of the story on the Orthodox Church in America website.


Upcoming Liturgy

The Great Martyr Euphemia Divine Liturgy, Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at 9:30am

St. Euphemia
St. Euphemia

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.


Two Miracles: One at St. Paul’s, Another at St. Peter’s

Oil Streams from the Icons of Christ and the Theotokos at St. Paul’s



Myrrh streaming cross


From Fr. Paul Girgis in the St. Paul Orthodox Church Newsletter:


Friday Sep. 11, 2020 I discovered oil “beaded” upon the icon of Christ in two different places. At the same time, I investigated the icon of the Mother of God and learned the same had occurred through her icon as well. These are the two icons sitting on the stands (analogia) at the front of the Temple Nave.

Please take a moment to read the full but short story posted on our Facebook Page.

Through the Lord’s great mercy and love for mankind, His mother – the most pure and all holy Theotokos – began giving more oil at the end of the Divine Liturgy Sunday – watch the video.

As of now, the icons are not “streaming” or “weeping”. Christ and His holy mother “gifted” us oil (no fragrance).

St. Paul’s will be holding a special prayer and anointing service for anyone who wants to attend:

Prayer Service with Annointing
Wednesday, October 16, 2020 at 6:15pm
St. Paul Orthodox Christian Church (get directions)


Blessing Cross Pours Myrrh at St. Peter’s

Myrrh streaming cross

This past Sunday, October 13, 2002, a blessing cross that Dn. Daniel and Tabitha Valentine brought with them streamed myrrh during the Divine Liturgy. Fr. Hans placed the cross on the altar and the streaming continued. Following the conclusion of the Liturgy, all parishioners who attended that day were anointed with the myrrh.

Myrrh is a very complex mixture of natural compounds that is distinguished from natural oil by its fragrance. The myrrh streaming from the cross had the same fragrance that streams from icons of the Theotokos, much like the smell of roses.

What does the streaming myrrh mean? Why did we receive this blessing? Fr. Hans consulted a spiritual son of St. Paisios in Greece. When he was five years old the son got to know St. Paisios  and St. Paisios became his spiritual father. He responded that this was a special blessing to strengthen the faith of the parishioners of St. Peter’s.

Have faith and confidence in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! He is with you and He is with St. Peter’s. This sign serves to assure us of His presence with us.

See more photos on the St. Peter Facebook page.

Calling Us to Repent

This is serious business, very serious in fact, and the blessing and assurance should compel us to repent, to turn our lives more towards Christ and seek to please Him in word and action.


Watch for An Upcoming Video About St. Peter’s!

Jason and Moriah Andrews who recently joined St. Peter’s and will soon become catechumens are professional videographers are making a video about St. Peter’s. Expect to see it near the end of the month.

Here they are at work:


Clark Carlton The Faith


Introduction to Orthodoxy Classes Begin Sunday September 27, 2020 Following the Divine Liturgy


“The Faith” by Clark Cartlton is arguably the best book for an Introduction to Orthodoxy. Unfortunately it is out of print and used books are rare and high priced. The doesn’t restrict us because Fr. Hans makes copies to use in a three ring binder. He will need to know who is interested in attending so he can make enough books.

The class is required for seekers and catechumens and also open to any parishioner who would like to attend. The syllabus will be posted on the website at soon as it is completed and handed out the first day of class.

Here’s the plan. We will meet after social hall. Get some coffee, have some food and fellowship, and then we break for class. We will plan meet in the Sunday School room. If attendance is greater we will meet in the Church. Plan on classes lasting about an hour.

Why are we meeting on Sunday? To allow everyone an opportunity to attend.


Coming Soon: DOMSE Virtual Retreat — MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

Antiochian Diocese of Miami and the South East

Schedule now available on the new DOMSE website!

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


  • 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
  • Fri Sep 18 — Parish Council Meeting 3:30pm
  • 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 27 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Sep 27 — Introduction to Orthodoxy Classes Begin Following Divine Liturgy


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

Wisdom From The Elders

“The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. (Pr 1:7)” Fear of God is clearly respect for God, devotion and spiritual reserve. Such fear of God makes one stand in awe before Him; it is something sacred. St. Paisios of Mount Athos

Have you seen how the bees follow their queen-bee, or how the ants follow their king-ant Thus should reasonable beings, endued with speech, follow God. St. John of Kronstadt

Remember also that we are all weak, are very easily overcome by passions, and therefore be meek and indulgent to those who sin against you, knowing that you yourself often suffer from the same infirmity as your brother. St. John of Kronstadt

The success of spiritual life is measured not by spiri­ tual consolation, which can be from the devil, but by the depth of humility. Abbot Nikon Vorobiev

[On the married couple] They have an obligation to struggle to practice temperance, so as not to impart these carnal passions to their children. You see, young children whose parents have a heightened carnal frame of mind, will, from a young age, also have those inclinations, because they get their carnal mindset from their parents. Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

Once one’s heart grows hard, one does not accept Christ even though one knows that one should repent, that this is one’s last chance. Pride gets in the way. Fr. Seraphim Rose


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 September 1 / Resets October 1)

Christos (Eleni 11/20)
Lucy Marie (Eleni 11/20)
Pantelis (Tsikitas 11/20)
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 (Jacobse)
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 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 Ilive by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.

For the Sunday after the Elevation of 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 Me and 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.

St. Peter Orthodox Church