Icon festival draws huge crowds on Orthodox Education Day 2008

Nearly 1,000 friends, alumni, and neighbors gathered on the campus of St. Vladimir's on Saturday, October 4, 2008, to celebrate the theme for Orthodox Education Day 2008, "Holy Icons and Sacred Arts." Capacity crowds attended worship services, a rare icon exhibit, lectures on the meaning and history of icons, a visually augmented choral presentation, displays by icon artisans, and workshops designed for children, teens, and adults.

Noting the tremendous interest in holy icons from people of various faiths and backgrounds who attended the event along with hundreds of Orthodox Christian faithful, the seminary Chancellor, The Very Rev. Chad Hatfield, emphasized the educational purpose of the annual campus open house. "The intention of St. Vladimir's Seminary is to educate people of all backgrounds and levels in the Orthodox Christian faith," he said. And, remarking on the enthusiasm and diversity of the campus guests, including many friends from the local neighborhood, he continued, "The wonderful atmosphere of the splendid day resembled one huge block party."

A representative of Russian Church participated in a Biblical marathon together with Benedict XVI

A Bible reading marathon organized by Vatican television together with the state Italian TV company RAI was launched in Rome last Sunday. This weeklong project will feature 1248 specially selected readers who will recite Bible in the Italian language non-stop, from the first to the last page.

UNESCO-listed Boyana Orthodox Church reveals identity of its medieval master

The 13th-century master who painted what has been listed by UNESCO as one of the world's finest collections of medieval frescoes at the Boyana church on the outskirts of Sofia has finally been identified.

"We now know the painter with certainty," the director of the National History Museum Bozhidar Dimitrov told AFP, as the church reopened Thursday to the public after undergoing restoration work for almost a century.

Orthodox cemetery desecrated in Kosovo and Metochia

Unidentified delinquents desecrated an Orthodox cemetery located between villages of Tomance and Petrovce in the Kosovska Kamenica community (in the Southeast District), the Kosovo diocesan website has reported on Friday, October 3rd 2008.

According to the head of the village administration Ivan Petrovic, two gravestones are destroyed, several crosses are broken, metallic fence and gates are damaged, windows in the utility houses are also broken.

The Pope has begun a Bible-reading marathon on Italian television

Pope Benedict's "In the beginning" has started off a weeklong Bible-reading marathon on Italian television. RAI state TV began its program called "The Bible Day and Night," with Benedict reciting the first chapter of the book of Genesis - the holy text's opening verses about the creation of the world.

The marathon will feature more than 1,200 people reading the Old and New Testament in over seven days and six nights.

Court rehabilitates Emperor Nicholas II, royal family members

РомановиThe presidium of the Russian Supreme Court has ruled to rehabilitate the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II and the members of his family.

"The presidium of the Supreme Court has ruled to recognize Nikolay Alexandrovich Romanov [Nicholas II], Alexandra Fyodorovna Romanova, Olga Nikolayevna Romanova, Tatyana Nikolayevna Romanova, Maria Nikolayevna Romanova, Anastasia Nikolayevna Romanova, and Alexey Nikolayevich Romanov as groundlessly repressed and rehabilitate them," a Supreme Court judge said in pronouncing the ruling.

Patriarch Ignatius IV to Visit U.S.

His Beatitude, Patriarch Ignatius IV, will visit the Antiochian Archdiocese in the United States from October 28-November 2, 2008. His Beatitude will arrive at Newark airport and will be staying in Boston, Massachusetts.