John was first the chief minister to Caliph Abdul-Malik and later a monk in the Monastery of St. Sava the Sanctified. Because of his ardent defense of the veneration of icons during the reign of the iconoclastic Emperor Leo the Isaurian, John was maligned by the emperor to the Caliph, who cut off his right hand. John fell down in prayer before the icon of the Most-holy Theotokos, and his hand was rejoined and miraculously healed. Seeing this miracle the Caliph repented, but John no longer desired to remain with him as a nobleman. Instead, he withdrew to a monastery, where, from the beginning, he was a model to the monks in humility, obedience and all the prescribed rules of monastic asceticism. John composed the Funeral Hymns and compiled the Octoechos (The Book of Eight Tones), the Irmologion, the Menologion and the Paschal Canon, and he wrote many theological works of inspiration and profundity. A great monk, hymnographer, theologian and soldier for the truth of Christ, Damascene is numbered among the great Fathers of the Church. He entered peacefully into rest in about the year 776 at the age of 104.
This glorious follower of Christ was betrothed to Christ from early childhood. Her father Dioscorus was a pagan and was renowned for his position and wealth in the city of Heliopolis in Egypt. Dioscorus locked up his only daughter Barbara, brilliant in mind and of beautiful countenance, in a high tower.
He surrounded her with every comfort, gave her female servants, erected idols for worship, and built her a bathing room with two windows. Looking through the window at the earth below and the starry heavens above, Barbara's mind was opened by the grace of God. She recognized the One True God, the Creator, despite the fact that she did not have a human teacher to bring her to this knowledge. Once, while her father was away from the city, she came down from the tower and, according to God's providence, met some Christian women who revealed the true Faith of Christ to her. Barbara's heart became inflamed with love for Christ the Lord. She ordered that a third window be cut open in the bath so that the three windows would represent the Holy Trinity. On one wall she traced a Cross with her finger, and the Cross etched itself deep in the stone as if cut by a chisel. A pool of water sprang forth from her footprints on the floor of the bath, which later gave healing of diseases to many.
Metropolitan Amphilochius celebrated the Holy Liturgy in Venado Tuerto and a commemoration rite for Radojica Popovic in Aribeños
On Wednesday, 10 December, His Eminence Amphilochius, Archbishop of Cetinje and Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral, Bishop-Administrator of the Diocese of Buenos Aires and South-Central America, served the Divine Liturgy at the church of Holy Archangel Michael in Venado Tuerto in Argentian province of Santa Fe. He was concelebrated by local clergy.
Minister of Culture of the Government of Serbia Mr. Ivan Tasovac visited the Grachanica Monastery where he met His Grace Bishop Theodosius of Raska-Prizren on 12 December 2014.
Bishop Theodosius and Minister Tasovac discussed some actual topics, especially conditions and protection of the Serbian cultural heritage on Kosovo and Metohija. Minister Tasovac visited monasteries of the Patriarchate of Pec and Dechani as well.
His Eminence Amphilochius, Archbishop of Cetinje and Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral, Bishop Administrator of the Diocese of Buenos Aires and South-Central America of the Serbian Patriarchate, served the Holy Liturgy at the parish of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God in Recife, Brazil on 7 December 2014.
His Eminence was concelebrated by local clergy. The Metropolitan, during the Holy Liturgy, anointed brother Anthony and set apart five believers from Recife, Caruaru and the vicinity to the rank of reader – Nicholas, Athanasius, Daniel, Maxim and Jose.
In following days, His Eminence had also brotherly talks with the priests from Pernambuco, as well as with many believers, who want to become more informed about the Orthodox Church.
His Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Princess Katherine celebrated the Patron Saint-day (slava) of the Royal family of Saint Andrew the First-Called at the Royal Court in Belgrade.
His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irenaeus celebrated the Holy Liturgy in the Court’s chapel dedicated to Saint Andrew the First-Called together with His Grace Bishop John of Shumadia and with concelebration of the clergy of the Archbishopric of Belgrade-Karlovac. After the Liturgy the slava cake was blessed by His Holiness in the Blue Saloon of the Royal Court.