Sts. Sebastian & Mardarije Orthodox Institute – Day Three

Sts. Sebastian & Mardarije Orthodox Institute – Day Three
Sts. Sebastian & Mardarije Orthodox Institute – Day Three
Sts. Sebastian & Mardarije Orthodox Institute – Day Three
Sts. Sebastian & Mardarije Orthodox Institute – Day Three

The final day of the Sts. Sebastian and Mardarije Institute began as clergy and laity arrived for the morning Matins served by Fr. Daniel Kirk, followed by breakfast.

Afterwards, Bishop Maxim announced the beginning of the next talk which would be a combination of the morning and afternoon talks: God Views Us through Love and Becoming Human Today.

Sts. Sebastian & Mardarije Orthodox Institute – Day Two

Sts. Sebastian & Mardarije Orthodox Institute – Day Two
Sts. Sebastian & Mardarije Orthodox Institute – Day Two
Sts. Sebastian & Mardarije Orthodox Institute – Day Two
Sts. Sebastian & Mardarije Orthodox Institute – Day Two

The first full day of the Sts. Sebastian and Mardarije Orthodox Institute began early Wednesday morning, 27 February the feast day of St. Cyril Equal of the Apostles, teacher of the Slavs, with the Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy.

His Grace Bishop Ignjatije of Branichevo officiated at the Eucharistic gathering with the concelebration of Their Graces: Bishop Longin of New Gracanica and Midwest America, Bishop Mitrophan of Canada and Bishop Maxim of Western America, together with clergy from dioceses nationwide. During the liturgy, Deacon John Suvak was ordained to the priesthood.

On Christian Faith and Life According to the Gospel

Yesterday marks two years since the repose of Russia’s great elder, Archimandrite Kirill (Pavlov). In his memory we have translated one of his sermons on a very essential aspect of his own life—a life of reading the Gospel and living according to it.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit!

Dear brothers and sisters! From the time that the Divine Sufferer, our Lord Jesus Christ, spilled His divine and priceless blood on Golgotha for the salvation of the whole world, the foundation of the Christian faith was placed on the earth. The teaching of Jesus Christ, known to us from the Gospel, began to quickly spread throughout the world. And the people who accepted Christ believed in Him as the Son of God, accepted His teaching, and were called Christians. At the present time also many millions of people consider themselves Christians, and that means that they acknowledge the Gospel as the foremost book in the world; as a book which contains the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ about how we must live here on earth in order to be worthy after death, beyond the grave, of eternal, blessed life, as well as have earthly prosperity in this life. But what is amazing and to our great sorrow, very few people actually follow what is written in the Gospel. Most do not even pick up the Gospel and do not test themselves according to the it.

The Nativity Sermon of St. John Chrysostom

BEHOLD a new and wondrous mystery.

My ears resound to the Shepherd’s song, piping no soft melody, but chanting full forth a heavenly hymn. The Angels sing. The Archangels blend their voice in harmony. The Cherubim hymn their joyful praise. The Seraphim exalt His glory. All join to praise this holy feast, beholding the Godhead here on earth, and man in heaven. He Who is above, now for our redemption dwells here below; and he that was lowly is by divine mercy raised.

Bethlehem this day resembles heaven; hearing from the stars the singing of angelic voices; and in place of the sun, enfolds within itself on every side, the Sun of justice. And ask not how: for where God wills, the order of nature yields. For He willed; He had the power; He descended; He redeemed; all things yielded in obedience to God. This day He Who is, is Born; and He Who is, becomes what He was not. For when He was God, He became man; yet not departing from the Godhead that is His. Nor yet by any loss of divinity became He man, nor through increase became He God from man; but being the Word He became flesh, His nature, because of impassability, remaining unchanged.

A Bulgarian hierarch speaks out regarding the Phanariot crisis in the Ukraine

Metropolitan Daniel of Vidin“I will answer you in the words of one of the archbishops of the canonical Church, with which he responded to the invitation of Patriarch Bartholomew to attend this assembly: I am firmly convinced and confess that I remain faithful to the One Orthodox Church, and my presence at this council contradicts the first Psalm of David, which reads as follows, “Blessed is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of the pestilent. But his will is rather in the law of the Lord, and in His law will he meditate day and night.” What could be the outcome of a council that is convened in violation of the canonical order and involving persons outside the Church? In my opinion, this Council will not heal the division among the faithful people in Ukraine, but will deepen it. In this whole mournful situation there is a comforting thing – the desire of Orthodox people in this country to preserve the unity of the Holy Orthodox Church, and that this finds a response and support across the entire Orthodox world.” 

Gavrilo I, Serbian Patriarch

Gavrilo I Rajić (died 1659) was Archbishop of Peć and Serbian Patriarch between 1648 and 1655. He was murdered by Turks and therefore celebrated by Eastern Orthodox Church as Hieromartyr. His feast day is celebrated on December 13.


Gavrilo was born around 1605–1610 in the region of Stari Vlah into a noble Rajić family. He entered into the church service and became Metropolitan of Smederevo. In 1643, he was elected Metropolitan of Raška. Around 1644, He rebuilt the Monastery of the Holy Archangels in the Kovilje Mountains. After the death of Serbian Patriarch Pajsije on November 3/13 1647, Gavrilo was elected new patriarch in 1648.[1]


In 1653, he decided to travel to Russia to ask for material support for Serbian Patriarchate of Peć. After meeting with Metropolitan Arsenije of Herzegovina on Christmas Eve, he went first to Wallachia and arrived in Trgovište where he tried to reconcile the Wallachian Prince Matei Basarab with the Cossack Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky. From there, Patriarch Gavrilo traveled to Russia in 1654, taking with him two books for printing: Lives of Serbian Emperors and Patriarchs and Typikon against Latin Heresy of Saint Nil Kabasilas. He was welcomed by Russian Patriarch Nikon and Russian Tsar Michael Romanov. He also participated in the famous Moscow Synod in 1658 which approved Nikon's reforms. Since he decided to stay in Russia, he wrote to Serbian metropolitans to elect a new patriarch.[2]

Soon after, he changed his mind and left Russia arriving back to Ottoman Empire in 1659. Upon return, he was accused by the Turks of being responsible for the Russo-Turkish War. he was also accused of attempting to convert some Turks to Christianity. Brought before the tribunal, he was ordered to embrace Islam. After Gavrilo refused, he was sentenced to death. He was executed in Bursa on July 18, 1659. Presbyter Pavle took his remains and buried them. He was entered on the list of Serbian saints.[3]



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