Life & Faith

Martyr Gorazd of Prague, Bohemia and Moravo-Cilezsk

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” [John 10:11].

“O Lord, make this man also, who has been proclaimed a steward of the episcopal grace, to be an imitator of You, the true Shepherd, Who laid down Your life for Your sheep....” [Prayer of Consecration of a Bishop]. On September 25, 1921, these words were prayed over Father Gorazd Pavlik as he was consecrated the Bishop of Moravia and Silesia. It is doubtful that anyone in attendance that day, including the new bishop, expected that he would be called upon to live that prayer in a literal way.

Matthias Pavlik was born in 1879 in the Moravian town of Hrubavrbka in what would later become the Czech Republic. He was born into a Roman Catholic family, completed the Roman Catholic seminary in Olomouc and was ordained a priest. <--break->

The Theotokos on Her Deathbed

The Dormition of the Mother of God. Mosaic.We have read the last page of the sacred book, the content of which exudes innocence and piety from cover to cover. At the mere sight of this book, even the cruelest critics bearing the weight of prejudice and bias have silently stopped, and having read it from beginning to end, walked away with softened hearts and rejuvenated spirits. Closed now is the book that began with the words, “In the Jewish town of Nazareth lived the childless elder Joachim and his wife Anna…”

Sermon on the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos

“Magnify O my soul, the honourable Translation of the Mother of God from earth to heaven.” (Refrain for the 9th Ode of the Canon)

Let us be happy, beloved brothers and sisters that we belong to the Holy Orthodox Church, worthily and rightly glorifying the Most Holy Sovereign Theotokos on this eminent day out of all the days of the year with special solemnity. There exists on earth many societies and entire governments that do not consider the need nor the obligation to call upon and glorify the Queen of heaven and earth, the Mother of Our Divine Lord Jesus Christ, and other saints and angels; to submissively serve Her lovingly, as the true Mother of God. Sadly in Russia nowadays we have heretics (among us) who actively dishonor the Mother of God, the saints, their icons, their relics and their festivals. O, if only they also unanimously with us glorified the worthy Queen of heaven and earth!

St. Eustathius II, archbishop of Serbia (1309)

Jevstatije II (Јевстатије II) was the Archbishop of Serbs from 1292 to 1309. He is venerated as a saint, Saint Jevstatije II. In the times of his two predecessors, Serbia expanded significantly in territory. In 1282, Skoplje (future capital), Polog, Ovče Polje, Zletovo, Pijenac, Kičevo and Debar were conquered.

In the north Braničevo and Vidin were taken by 1290. New eparchies were established: Gračanička, Končanska, Limska, Mačvanska, Braničevska, Beogradska and Skopska. The Serbian Orthodox Church venerates him on August 16 (August 29, Gregorian calendar).

The Icon of the Savior "Not Made by Hands"

The Icon of the Savior, Image Not-Made-By-Hands, also Acheiropoieta (Byzantine Greek: αχειροποίητα, "made without hand") is one of the earliest icons witnessed to by the Church. The Feast of this icon is celebrated on August 16, during the afterfeast period of the feast of the Dormition, and is called the Third Feast-of-the-Savior in August.

According to Tradition

During the time of the earthly ministry of the Savior, Abgar, ruler in the Syrian city of Edessa, was afflicted with leprosy. Reports of the great miracles performed by the Lord extended throughout Syria (Matt. 4:24) and as far as Arabia at this time. Although not having seen the Lord, Abgar believed in him and wrote a letter requesting Christ to come and heal him. Abgar sent his court painter, Ananias, with this letter to Palestine telling him to paint an image of the Divine Teacher. Ananias was not able go to near Christ because of the great many people listening to his preaching. He attempted to produce an image of the Lord Jesus Christ from afar, but could not. The Lord called Ananias and promised to send his disciple in order to heal Abgar from the leprosy and instruct him in salvation. Then the Lord called for water and a towel. He wiped His face with the towel, and on it was His Divine Image.