Archive for April, 2012

The Venerable Lazarus: Intercessor

In the West, Lazarus is counted as an intercessor for persons with leprosy. Here is his story from the Gospel of St. Luke:

The Rich Man and Lazarus

19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell[a] from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’
27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’” St. Luke 16:19-31 http://www.biblegateway.com/ 

A sermon on Lazarus and the rich man given by Fr. George Calciu (2006) in November 2005: http://orthodoxword.wordpress.com/2009/11/01/lazarus-and-the-rich-man-sunday-of-luke/ 

Ten Questions and Answers concerning Lazarus and the rich man: http://www.orthodox.net/questions/luke_16_19-31_parable_rich_man_lazarus_22sunape.html 

St. John Chrysostom on Wealth and Poverty: A Thematic Study of St. John Chrysostom’s Sermons on St. Luke 16:19-31: http://www.st-philip.net/files/Fitzgerald%20Patristic%20series/John-Chrysostom_wealth_and_virtue.pdf 

Two Audio Sermons on Lazarus and the rich man  http://www.stjohntyler.org/files/Homilies/My-Reward.mp3 & http://www.blubrry.com/nicholas/863557/lazarus-and-the-rich-man-luke-1619-31 

Also: http://saints.sqpn.com/saintl41.htm

Image from http://saintjameskids.blogspot.com/2009/11/if-you-show-partiality-james-21-13.html 

Al Kafaat USA

Here’s the North American Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese’ webpage portal for the ministry of Al Kafaat. There are pages for Al Kafaat’s home page, for the Archdiocese itself, for Al Kafaat events in America, for Handicrafts, for the Archdiocese itself, and for donations. 

I would make special mention, though, of all the bright faces of children full of promise on the Home page. As it is said, a picture is worth a thousand words. 

Here’s the Page: http://www.alkafaatusa.com/index.html 

Holy Great Martyr St. George † 303

Holy Great Martyr St. George

All the Saints who have gone before us- indeed,  all who have fallen asleep in Christ- live to God.

And we may ask for their intercessions concerning any malady and any matter. But in some places, chiefly the west, certain Saints are counted as special intercessors for certain specific things.

 In relation to persons with disabilities, Saint George is counted as an intercessor for persons with leprosy and skin diseases. 

Here is a good account of his life from an Orthodox Christian Parish for which he is  the patron Saint, St. George Orthodox Cathedral in Wichita, Kansas   http://www.stgeorgecathedral.net/saints_george.html 

Source of Icon: http://mybyzantine.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/saint-georges-day-some-icons/ 

A Roman Catholic source: http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-george/                     

accessibility happens!

All Saints of North America

 

from All Saints Orthodox Church, Salisbury, Connecticut:

New Sidewalks at All Saints of America The week of June 14-19 [2010] saw the ripping up of our old sidewalk, and the pouring of new sidewalks to the handicapp ramp and all the way to the restroom. (27 images)

 

Access the slideshow via the following web address:

http://allsaintsofamerica.us/public/sv/gallery.php?ssid=40

Parish Home Page: http://allsaintsofamerica.us/

The explanation of the icon of the Patron Saints of the Parish: http://allsaintsofamerica.us/patronsaints.html 

More photos from All Saints Orthodox Church:  http://allsaintsofamerica.us/photos.html

Christ is risen!

  “Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.  But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! (St. Luke 24:1-6a)

For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.  . . . . then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’” (1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 54b)

But for you who fear my name the Sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in [His] wings, You shall go forth leaping like calves from the stall.” (Malachi 4:2)

“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing for joy. (Isaiah 35:5-6a)

The Orthodox Church has now entered into the Paschal Season, in which we celebrate the resurrection of Christ, as well as our own, for Christ’s resurrection brings for us our resurrection. Our Lord has defeated death by death. As He arose with a transformed body with which He could both eat fish and enter through closed doors, we will one day rise with new bodies, with capabilities beyond our present ability to conceive. Glory to Thee, our God, Glory to Thee!

“It is the day of the Resurrection! Let us adorn ourselves with the splendor of the festival and embrace one another! And let us say, O brethren, even unto those who hate us: ‘Let us forgive all things at the Resurrection, and thus let us cry out: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!’”

from http://www.monachos.net/content/patristics/patristictexts/157-ephrem-paschal-hymn 

Paschal Hymn, by St. Ephrem the Syrian

I fall in adoration at your feet, Lord!
I thank you, God of goodness;
God of holiness, I invoke you,
on my knees, in your sight.

For me, an unworthy sinner,
you have willed to undergo the death of the cross,
setting me free from the bonds of evil.

What shall I offer in return for your generosity?

Glory to you, friend of men!
Glory to you, most merciful!
Glory to you, most patient!
Glory to you who forgive sin!
Glory to you who have come to save us!
Glory to you who have been made man in the womb of a Virgin!
Glory to you who have been bound!
Glory to you who have been scourged!
Glory to you who have been derided!
Glory to you who have been nailed to the cross!
Glory to you, laid in a sepulchre, but risen again!
Glory to you who have preached the Gospel to men and have been believed!
Glory to you who have ascended to heaven!
Glory to you, seated at the right hand of the Father and who will return with him, in majesty, among the angels, to judge those who have disregarded your passion!

The powers of heaven will be shaken;
all the angels and archangels, the cherubim and seraphim
will appear in fear and trembling before Your glory;

the foundations of the earth will quake
and all that has life will cry out before Your majesty.

In that hour let your hand draw me beneath Your wings,
and save me from the terrible fire, from the gnashing of teeth,
from the outer darkness and from despair without end.
That I may sing to Your glory:

Glory to Him who through His merciful goodness has designed to redeem this sinner.

“Icons courtesy of www.eikonografos.com used with permission”

through the Cross, joy . . .

 Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Saint Luke 23:34) 

In the Orthodox Church, Holy Thursday evening is really Friday morning- anticipated. There are twelve passion gospel readings; after the fifth gospel reading- by which time all  is dark- a Cross and an icon of Christ crucified, with arms open wide, is carried in procession through the sanctuary and attached to the solea in the front of the sanctuary. And there Christ is nailed to the Cross for us.

And with us, for we are nailed to the Cross with Him.

In this way we participate in Christ’s sufferings together, in heart, mind, and body. After the service, some stay to do vigil at the Cross, and others leave, quietly, reflectively, reverently, soberly, in light of all that Christ suffered for us.

But this is not the end of the Story. 

Just as disability is not the end of story for those who have one or more of them. What happens on the third day is very good news for all people. For those with disabilities, it means the sure promise of the ultimate termination of their disabilities. 

St. John the Theologian †101

 <The Lord and the beloved disciple.

Also, Author of a Gospel. Among St. John’s enormous contributions to the Kingdom of God (just imagine: to him was entrusted, by our Lord Jesus Christ from the Cross, the care of the Most Holy Theotokos!) he intercedes for us in Christ’s Presence. In terms of specific disabilities, he is counted in the West  as an intercessor for burn victims.

A short summary would not do justice to St. John. There are plenty of online Orthodox Christian narratives of his life. Choose one, and read it through. Here are four options:

http://www.gonj.org/aboutstjohnthetheologian.html

http://www.stjt.org/stjohnlife.html 

http://orthodoxwiki.org/John_the_Theologian

http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/saints/john_evangelist.htm

Source of Icon:http://iconreader.wordpress.com/2010/08/17/how-to-recognize-the-holy-apostles-in-icons/ 

The Roman Catholic site which lists the many things St. John is noted as an intercessor for: http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-john-the-apostle/


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