Sunday before the Elevation of the Holy Cross
After-feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos
Synaxis of the ancestors of God, Joachim and Anna
Great-Martyr Severian of Sebastia
Holy Fathers of the Third Ecumenical Council
Great-Martyr Severian of Sebastia
Who was Great-Martyr Severian of Sebastia?
Severian suffered by the weight of the stones,
Hanging he rejoiced, tearing his feet from earth.
Saint Severian was an eminent citizen of Sebaste in the days of Emperor Licinius (307-324). An imperial counsellor by rank, he was highly esteemed for his virtue and for his faith in Christ. When Lysias, the new Provincial Governor, heard of the many pagans converted by his word and virtue, and of how forward he had bee in encouraging the Forty Martyrs (Mar. 9), and how he helped imprisoned Christians with his wealth to keep them safe, he decided to submit him to interrogation. But before the soldiers could find him, Severian presented himself of his own accord at the tribunal.
His steadfastness and unshakable patience under torture amazed Lysias. Covered in wounds and dragged to the center of the city to be thrown into prison, Severian ceaselessly urged the crowd following him to be faithful to Christ and to persevere in doing good. He was hung and his flesh was torn by iron claws, which brought such amazement to Lysias that he pitied him and sent him off to prison. There Severian continued to preach Christ to the prisoners. Five days later, a rock was placed in his mouth to not be able to speak the name of Christ, and he remained steadfast in his faith before Lysias. It was thus ordered for huge stones to hang from his neck and from his feet, and he was hoisted to the top of a wall and suspended by his belt. All were astounded at his endurance as, hour after hour, he continued to confess the name of Christ until he joyfully gave up his spirit to God.
The wife of one of Severian’s servants was among those who went out to his burial. Her husband had just died, and in her distress with no one to console her she turned to his body with the words, “Get up dear husband, so that we may go to meet our beloved master.” No sooner had she spoken than the dead man got up and ran to assist at the Martyr’s funeral, to the amazement of all. He lived on for another fifteen years.
Since the Christians could not decide where to bury the Martyr they wove a crown of flowers, placed it on his body and waited for a sign from heaven. Whereupon a great eagle appeared in the sky, grasped the crown in its talons, and slowly flew off to a nearby forest where it dropped it and was no more seen. (St. Nikodemos says that the incident with the eagle happened many years later in order to inform the faithful of the forgotten location of the Saint’s burial.) The Christians buried Severian where the crown of flowers lay. His tomb became a source of miracles and the servant who had been raised from the dead tended it until the end of his life.
Source: Mystagogy website.
Nativity of the Theotokos Liturgy, Saturday, September, 2018 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.
Community Luncheon on Thursday, September 6, 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.
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.
Sunday School Starts on Sunday, September 9, 2018
Parents: Please note that Sunday School starts 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.
Car Storage Needed
Michael Strezev will be returning home to Moldavia for about six months to finish his degree. He plans on returning to Naples to continue looking for a job in his field in the USA. He has a permanent visa. You will recognize him at the tall young man who comes after Liturgy because he plays the organ in another church to make his living.
He needs a place to store his car while he is gone. If anyone knows of a way he can do this outside of commercial storage (money is tight) or can help him, please mention it to Fr. Hans or Michael.
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.
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
- Thursday, September 6, 2018 — 12:00pm Community Luncheon
- Saturday, September 8, 2018 — 9:30am Great Feast Nativity of the Theotokos
- Sunday, September 9, 2018 — Sunday School Starts
- Saturday, September 13, 2018 — 6:30pm Elevation of the Cross Divine Liturgy
Wisdom From The Elders
Here is a word for all. There is no reason for a Christian to despair. Be calm and at peace. Abbot Nikon Vorobiev
Pray carefully and constantly. Pray in fear and trembling before the greatness of the name of Jesus. St. Ignatius Brianchaninov
Walk down the street with lowered eyes. Elder Paisios of Mount Athos
When a man reproaches himself, he will have endurance and patience in every circumstance. Abba Poemen
Those who have by God’s Grace realized the vanity of this life have actually received the greatest gift. Elder Paisios of Mount Athos
The holy fathers tell us that all prayer can be substituted by the Jesus Prayer. Abbot Nikon Vorobiev
Remember in Your Prayers
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 the Sunday before the Elevation of the Holy Cross
O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance.
To Thee, O Lord, I have cried, O my God.The Reading from the
Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians. (6:11-18)
Brethren, see with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. It is those who wantto make a good showing in the flesh that would compel you to be circumcised and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For even those who receive circumcision do not themselves keep the Law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may glory in your flesh.
But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, buta new creation. Peace and mercy be upon all, who walk by this rule, upon the Israel of God. Henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.
For the Sunday before the Elevationof the Holy Cross
The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. John. (3:13-17)
The Lord said, “No one has ascended into heaven but He who descended from heaven, the Son of man. And as Moses lifted up the serpentin the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent His Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”