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St. Peter Newsletter — Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas, Lenten Service Schedule

St. Gregory Palamas, Abp. Of Thessaloniki

Second Sunday of Great Lent
St. Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica

Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great

St. Gregory Palamas, Abp. Of Thessaloniki
St. Gregory Palamas, Abp. Of Thessaloniki

Our holy Father Gregory was born in Constantinople in 1296 of aristocratic parents who had emigrated from Asia Minor in the face of the Turkish invasion, and were attached to the court of the pious Emperor Andronicus II Palaeologus (1282-1328).

About the year 1316, Gregory decided to abandon the vanities of the world. His mother, two sisters, two brothers and a great many of his servants entered upon the monastic life with him. He and his two brothers went on foot to the holy Mountain of Athos, where they settled near the Monastery of Vatopedi.

After only three years, the early death of his brother Theodosius, followed by that of the Elder Nicodemus, led Gregory and his second brother, Macarius, to attach themselves to the Monastery of the Great Lavra. Gregory was appointed chanter.

The incessant raids of Turkish pirates soon obliged Gregory and his companions to leave their hermitage. Together with twelve monks, he wanted to make the pilgrimage to the Holy Places and to seek refuge at Mount Sinai; but this did not prove feasible. Instead, he spent some time in Thessalonica, where he joined the group around the future Patriarch Isidore, who was endeavoring to spread the practice of the Jesus prayer among the faithful so that they might profit from the experience of the monks. In 1326, Gregory was ordained a priest, having understood in a vision that this was indeed the will of God.

He suffered a long illness and, some time before his death, Saint John Chrysostom appeared to him with the invitation to join the choir of holy hierarchs immediately after his own feast. And, indeed, on November 14, 1359 the Saint gave up his soul to God.

Read the complete biography on the Greek Orthodox website.


St. Basil Liturgy Celebrated During Lent

St. Basil the Great

During the Lenten Sundays we celebrate St. Basil’s Liturgy instead of our usual St. John Chrysostom Liturgy. St. John’s liturgy is derived from St. Basil’s but the prayers are a bit shorter.


Liturgy for 40 Holy Martyrs on Thursday, March 9 at 6:30

The Forty Holy Martyrs of Sebaste

The Forty Holy Martyrs of Sebaste

A Presanctified Liturgy for the 40 Holy Martyrs will be held on Thursday, March 9 at 6:30.

Who Were the 40 Holy Martys?

When the pagan Licinius ruled the eastern half of the Roman Empire (307-323 AD), it was his evil intent to eliminate Christianity from the lands under his control, and especially, for fear of treason, among the troops. One of his supporters was a cruel man by the name of Agricola who commanded the forces in the Armenian town of Sebaste, in what is now eastern Turkey. Among his soldiers were forty devout Christians who wielded equally well the sword of battle and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God (Eph. 6:17). These men formed an elite bodyguard. When it came to Agricola’s attention that they were Christians, he determined to force them to renounce their’ faith and bow down to the pagan gods. He gave them two alternatives:

1) Either offer sacrifice to the gods and earn great honors or, 2) in the event of your disobedience, be stripped of your military rank and fall into disgrace.”

The soldiers were thrown into jail to think this over…

Read the full story on the Forty Holy Martyrs Church website.

Lenten Suppers — Sign-Ups and Program

We will hold a light Lenten supper following each Wednesday Presanctified Liturgy during Lent. This will be something like lentil soup, bread and fruit — very simple.

A sign up sheet is posted on the board in the Social Hall. The dates are March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29.

We also will hold brief presentations during the suppers. This year we look at Monasticism. The schedule this year:

  • March 8 The Holy Mountain — A video about Mt. Athos
  • March 15 Trude Mancini talks about her son’s life on Mt. Athos
  • March 22 Monasticism in the United States — A video on the monastery in Arizona
  • March 29 From the Little Mountain — A video on a hermitage in West Virginia

Social Hall Lenten Food

In order to stay faithful to our Lenten disciplines, during Lent we will eliminate animal products (meat, cheese, eggs, fish, etc.) from our refreshments following the Divine Liturgy. Shell fish (shrimp, etc.) and oil are still allowed.


Orthodox Christian Fellowship Started

Attention college age and above Orthodox Christians in SW Florida. Members of St. Peter’s have started an Orthodox Christian Fellowship open to anyone who would like to join. They meet twice a month. Many plans are in the works including activities, occasional bible studies and more. This is a great way to get to know Orthodox Christians your own age!

Events will be announced in the newsletter and on the website and the OCF phone text list. Questions? Want to join? Contact Jeremiah at 504-256-8768 (text him), Erika at 412-716-2899, or Julia at 239-450-2400.

Looking for Bookshelves

If you have any you don’t need please see Fr. Hans.


Calendar At A Glance

Choir Practice every Tuesday at 6:00pm and Bible Study every Wednesday at 7:00pm unless cancelled as noted below. Divine Liturgy every Sunday at 9:30. Extra services noted below.

  • March 6 (Monday) Great Compline 6:30pm
  • March 8 (Wednesday) Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm
  • March 9 (Thursday) Presanctified Litury 40 Holy Martyrs 6:30pm
  • March 10 (Friday) Parish Council Meeting 2:30pm
  • March 10 (Friday) Second Stanza Akathist Hymn 6:30pm
  • March 12 (Sunday) St. Gregory Palamas
  • March 13 (Monday) Great Compline 6:30pm
  • March 15 (Wednesday) Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm
  • March 17 (Friday) Second Stanza Akathist Hymn 6:30pm
  • March 19 (Sunday) Veneration of the Cross

Full Lenten schedule available on the website.


Daylight Savings Starts March 12

Daylight Savings Ends

Set your clocks forward this coming Saturday night (March 11). Spring forward, Fall back.


Wisdom From The Elders

You see, the secret is humility. The whole foundation is there – in obedience, humility. If he would only acknowledge his weakness, his fault, and ask for help from God, Divine Grace would come to him as well.
St. Paisios of Mount Athos

We must understand that the human person in reality does not die. Death is simply a transfer from one life to the other.
St. Paisios of Mount Athos

In confession, penitents often asked why they always seem to have the same sins to confess. Sometimes I think the answer to this question is that the penitent has not yet begun to see him or herself as a sinner. They still think that they are merely sinning. Sinners know why they commit the same sin. They commit the same (in fact any) sins because they are sinners. They are not surprised by the vileness or recalcitrance they find in themselves because they know they are sinners. And this revelation breaks us. There is no one else to blame.

Archpriest Michael Gillis

Boredom is the grandson of depression, and laziness is the daughter. To send her away, labor actively–do not be lazy in prayer, then boredom will pass and zeal will come. And if you add to this patience and humility, then you will escape much evil.
St. Ambrose of Optina

Steep and thorny is the path that leads to the Heavenly Kingdom. What is your path? It is the struggle unto blood against fleshly passions and self-love. Self-love is the soil upon which grow passions, emptiness of life, and sorrow.

Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev) of Bogucharsk

There is a spiritual law of ups and downs of our moods. When despondency strikes do not give yourself over to it too much. Remind yourself that after sorrow gladness will come.
Archbishop Averky

Remember in Your Prayers

Baby Samuel
Baby Kyriake
Brad William
Robert Jarvis
Petronia (Wife of Phil Pappas)
Anna Marie Smith Baker
Iris Kuring (Bettina Zifiris' mother)
Constantine Houpis
Ron Chromulak
Beverly Chromulak
Loucine Kassis
Mary Kassis
Baby Maximus
Annette Star
Claire Livaditis
Eva Chandilles
Baby Dani
Scott Nedoff
Anthony Mourgis
John Hansen
Constandina James
James Hord
Bob Smith
Tom and Jean, parents of Patty and Jerry.

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


O Lord, Thou wilt preserve us and keep us from this generation.
Save me, O Lord, for the godly man hath disappeared.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews. (1:10-2:3)

In the beginning, Thou, O Lord, didst found the earth, and the heavens are the work of Thy hands; they will perish, but Thou remainest; they will all grow old like a garment, like a mantle Thou wilt roll them up, and they will be changed. But Thou art the same, and Thy years will never end.” But to what angel has He ever said, “Sit at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies a stool for thy feet”? Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?

Therefore, we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For if the message, declared by angels, was valid and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard Him.


The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Mark. (2:1-12)

At that time, when Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that He was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, not even about the door; and He was preaching the Word to them. And they came, bringing to Jesus a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Now, some of the scribes were sitting there, reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in His spirit that they thus reasoned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you reason thus in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your pallet and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” – He said to the paralytic – “I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home.” And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all. So that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”