Weekly Diocesan Bulletin - Sunday, February 11, 2018

SUNDAY OF THE LAST JUDGMENT (MEAT-FARE); TRANSFER OF THE RELICS OF THE HOLY HIEROMARTYR IGNATIUS THE GOD-BEARER

RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE THREE:
Let the heavens rejoice! Let the earth be glad! For the Lord has shown strength with His arm! He has trampled down death by death! He has become the firstborn of the dead! He has delivered us from the depths of hell, and has given to the world great mercy!

The Life of St. Xenia of Petersburg

St. Xenia was the wife of Colonel Andrei Feodorovich Petrov, who served as a court chanter. At the age of 26, Xenia was widowed and, appeared to have lost her mind from grief: she distributed her possessions to the poor, dressed herself in the clothes of her reposed husband, and, as if having forgotten her own name, called herself by the name of her reposed husband - Andrei Feodorovich.

These eccentricities were not indicative of a loss of reason, however, but signified a complete disdain for earthly goods and human opinion, which places them at the center of existence. Thus, Xenia of Petersburg took upon herself the difficult podvig of foolishness for Christ's sake.

Hieromartyr Ignatius the God-Bearer the Bishop of Antioch

The Hieromartyr Ignatius the God-Bearer, was a disciple of the holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian, as was also Saint Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna (February 23). Saint Ignatius was the second bishop of Antioch, and successor to Bishop Euodius, Apostle of the Seventy (September 7).

Tradition suggests that when Saint Ignatius was a little boy, the Savior hugged him and said: “Unless you turn and become as little children, you shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt. 18:3). The saint was called “God-Bearer” (Theophoros), because he bore God in his heart and prayed unceasingly to Him. He also had this name because he was held in the arms of Christ, the incarnate Son of God.

The Holy Hierarch Nicholas

St. Nicholas

“All who love Nicholas the holy,
All who serve Nicholas the holy,
They will Nicholas receive and give help in time of need,
Holy Father Nicholas!”

--Orthodox children’s song

St. Nicholas of Myra, along with St. Patrick of Ireland, has the rare distinction of being one of the only saints in our Orthodox Church to be recognized and honored in the West. Although he was once portrayed in popular culture as the venerable staff bearing Father Christmas, whose kindly visage bore a resemblance to the bishop of old, today his true image has all but been obliterated, thanks to Madison Avenue. Courtesy of the marketing folks at Coke who first dreamed up the current version, he is a vacuous, cherry-cheeked flying Santa who can be all over the world at once on Christmas Eve and whose sole purpose in life is to satisfy children’s materialistic cravings.

Greatmartyr Barbara at Heliopolis, in Syria

The Holy Great Martyr Barbara lived and suffered during the reign of the emperor Maximian (305-311). Her father, the pagan Dioscorus, was a rich and illustrious man in the Syrian city of Heliopolis. After the death of his wife, he devoted himself to his only daughter.

Seeing Barbara’s extraordinary beauty, Dioscorus decided to hide her from the eyes of strangers. Therefore, he built a tower for Barbara, where only her pagan teachers were allowed to see her. From the tower there was a view of hills stretching into the distance. By day she was able to gaze upon the wooded hills, the swiftly flowing rivers, and the meadows covered with a mottled blanket of flowers; by night the harmonious and majestic vault of the heavens twinkled and provided a spectacle of inexpressible beauty. Soon the virgin began to ask herself questions about the First Cause and Creator of so harmonious and splendid a world.