Pentecost: The Descent of the Holy Spirit

Pentecost (Πεντηκοστή) – the feast day of the Descent of the Holy Spirit

In the Old Testament, Pentecost was the feast that occurred fifty days after Passover. As the Passover feast celebrated the exodus of the Israelites from the slavery of Egypt, so Pentecost celebrated God's gift of the ten commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai.

Teaching on the day of Pentecost

Troparion, tone 8: Blessed art Thou, Christ our God, Who didst make the fishermen wise by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit, and through them didst draw the world into Thy net. Lover of men, glory to Thee.

Koniakion, tone 8: When the Most High came down and confused the tongues, He divided the nations, but when He distributed the tongues of fire, He called all to unity. And with one accord we glorify the All-Holy Spirit.

Ascension of our Lord

The Feast of the Ascension of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ is celebrated each year on the fortieth day after the Great and Holy Feast of Pascha (Easter). Since the date of Pascha changes each year, the date of the Feast of the Ascension changes. The Feast is always celebrated on a Thursday. The Feast itself commemorates when, on the fortieth day after His Resurrection, Jesus led His disciples to the Mount of Olives, and after blessing them and asking them to wait for the fulfillment of the promise of the Holy Spirit, He ascended into heaven.

Abba Justin in dyptich of Saints of the Orthodox Church

Justin Popovic (1894-1979) was an archimandrite of the Celije monastery, doctor of Theology,professor of the Belgrade University and spiritual elder. Blagoje Popovic, later father Justin, was born in Vranje on April 6 (March 25 after the Julian calendar) 1894 by father Spiridon and mother Anastasia. The Popovic family was pastoral through generations, only Blagoje's father Spiridon was just a sacristan.Blagoje was a youngest child, and he had an older brother Stojadin and sister Stojna.

The Holy Martyr Justin the Philosopher

The Holy Martyr Justin the Philosopher was born around 114 at Sychem, an ancient city of Samaria. Justin’s parents were pagan Greeks. From his childhood the saint displayed intelligence, love for knowledge and a fervent devotion to the knowledge of Truth. When he came of age he studied the various schools of Greek philosophy: the Stoics, the Peripatetics, the Pythagoreans, the Platonists, and he concluded that none of these pagan teachings revealed the way to knowledge of the true God.

Once, when he was strolling in a solitary place beyond the city and pondering about where to seek the way to the knowledge of Truth, he met an old man. In the ensuing conversation he revealed to Justin the essential nature of the Christian teaching and advised him to seek the answers to all the questions of life in the books of Holy Scripture. “But before anything else,” said the holy Elder, “pray diligently to God, so that He might open to you the doors of Light. No one is able to comprehend Truth, unless he is granted understanding from God Himself, Who reveals it to each one who seeks Him in prayer and in love.”