Bishop Mardarije (Uskokovic)

The First Serbian Bishop of America and Canada

Bishop Mardarije was born in Podgorica on December 22, 1889, his father, Pero, being a tribal captain and mother Jela, nee Bozovic. He finished elementary school in Cetinje where he started high school, continuing in Belgrade. Leaving high school in his fifth year, he went to Studenica Monastery. In 1906, with the blessing of Bishop Sava (Barac) of Zica, he took monastic vows and was ordained a deacon. He graduated from the Seminary in Kisenjev where a collection of his sermons was published. From here he went to St. Petersburg, graduating from the Theological Academy in 1916.

Is the Apostle’s Fast “Easier”?

The Apostle’s asceticism and the “vacation season”

The Apostles’ fast goes back to the earliest times of the Christian Church. As we know, it was established when in both Constantinople and Rome, churches were built in honor of the chief apostles Peter and Paul. The sanctification of the Constantinople church was performed on the feast day of these apostles, June 29 (according to the old calendar; that is, July 12 according to the new), and from that time on this day has become particularly solemn in both the East and West. This is the day that the fast ends. It’s beginning is moveable, depending upon the celebration of Pascha; therefore the length of the fast varies from six weeks to a week and a day [if observed according to the Julian Church calendar.—Ed.].

Life Of Our Father Justin Archimandrite of Chelije

Troparion, Tone 4

As Orthodox sweetness and divine nectar, Venerable Father* thou dost flow into the hearts of believers as a wealth:* by thy life and teachings thou didst reveal thyself to be a living book of the Spirit, most wise Justin;* therefore pray to Christ the Word* that the Word may dwell in those who honor thee. 

In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit:  Holy love has a way of consuming some. This is what is meant by one who said "Thou hast ravished our hearts, ravished them" (Song of Songs 4:9). And it make others bright and overjoyed. In this regard it has been said "My heart hath hope in Him, and I am helped and my flesh hath flourish again" (Ps. 27:7). "For when the heart is cheerful, the face beams" (cf.Prov.15:13), and "a person flooded with the love of God reveals in his body, as if in a mirror, the splendor of his soul, a glory like of Moses when he came face to face with God" (cf. Ex. 34:29-35) - St. John Climacus. 

Martyr Justin the Philosopher and those with him at Rome

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.”

Message by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for World Oceans Day

Hurt not the earth, neither the seas nor the trees. (Rev. 7.3)

World Oceans Day celebrates one of the most precious gifts of our Creator, a gift that we are called to preserve and conserve.

Over the past two decades, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has highlighted the deteriorating condition of the world’s oceans. Now, more than ever, it is crucial to respect and protect this invaluable and inalienable resource of our planet, which is a unique source of nurture and biodiversity.