Author: lgianniou

The Nativity of Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ

December 25

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son (Galatians 4:4) to save the human race. And when nine months were fulfilled from the Annunciation, when the Archangel Gabriel had appeared to the Most-holy Virgin in Nazareth, saying, Rejoice, thou that art highly favoured … behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son (Luke 1:28, 31), at that time there went forth a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the people of the Roman Empire should be taxed. In accordance with this decree, everyone had to go to his own town and be registered.

That is why the righteous Joseph came with the Most-holy Virgin to Bethlehem, the city of David, for they were both of the royal lineage of David. Since many people descended on this small town for the census, Joseph and Mary were unable to find lodging in any house, and they sought shelter in a cave which shepherds used as a sheepfold. In this cave – on the night between Saturday and Sunday, on the 25th of December – the Most-holy Virgin gave birth to the Savior of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Giving birth to Him without pain just as He was conceived without sin by the Holy Spirit and not by man, she herself wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, worshiped Him as God, and laid Him in a manger. Then the righteous Joseph drew near and worshiped Him as the Divine Fruit of the Virgin’s womb. Then the shepherds came in from the fields, directed by an angel of God, and worshiped Him as the Messiah and Savior. The shepherds heard a multitude of God’s angels singing: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men (Luke 2:14).

At that time three wise men arrived from the east, led by a wondrous star, bearing their gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. They worshiped Him as the King of kings, and offered Him their gifts (Matthew 2). Thus entered the world He Whose coming was foretold by the prophets, and Who was born in the same manner in which it had been prophesied: of a Most-holy Virgin, in the town of Bethlehem, of the lineage of David according to the flesh, at the time when there was no king in Jerusalem of the lineage of Judah, but rather when Herod, a foreigner, was reigning.

After many types and prefigurings, messengers and heralds, prophets and righteous men, wise men and kings, finally He appeared, the Lord of the world and King of kings, to perform the work of the salvation of mankind.

Fr. Dimitrios, the President, all the members of our community council , and all the organizations of our Community, wish every one: MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY

NEW YEAR 2020

St. Nektarios – Nov 9

Saint Nektarios was born in Selyvria of Thrace on October 1, 1846. After putting himself through school in Constantinople with much hard labour, he became a monk on Chios in 1876, receiving the monastic name of Lazarus; because of his virtue, a year later he was ordained deacon, receiving the new name of Nektarios.

Under the patronage of Patriarch Sophronius of Alexandria, Nektarios went to Athens to study in 1882; completing his theological studies in 1885, he went to Alexandria, where Patriarch Sophronius ordained him priest on March 23, 1886 in the Cathedral of Saint Sabbas, and in August of the same year, in the Church of Saint Nicholas in Cairo, made him Archimandrite. Archimandrite Nektarios showed much zeal both for preaching the word of God, and for the beauty of God’s house.

He greatly beautified the Church of Saint Nicholas in Cairo, and years later, when Nektarios was in Athens, Saint Nicholas appeared to him in a dream, embracing him and telling him he was going to exalt him very high.

On January 15, 1889, in the same Church of Saint Nicholas, Nektarios was consecrated Metropolitan of the Pentapolis in eastern Libya, which was under the jurisdiction of Alexandria. Although Nektarios’ swift ascent through the degrees of ecclesiastical office did not affect his modesty and childlike innocence, it aroused the envy of lesser men, who convinced the elderly Sophronius that Nektarios had it in his heart to become Patriarch.

Since the people loved Nektarios, the Patriarch was troubled by the slanders. On May 3, 1890, Sophronius relieved Metropolitan Nektarios of his duties; in July of the same year, he commanded Nektarios to leave Egypt.

Without seeking to avenge or even to defend himself, the innocent Metropolitan left for Athens, where he found that accusations of immorality had arrived before him. Because his good name had been soiled, he was unable to find a position worthy of a bishop, and in February of 1891 accepted the position of provincial preacher in Euboia; then, in 1894, he was appointed dean of the Rizarios Ecclesiastical School in Athens.

Through his eloquent sermons his unwearying labours to educate fitting men for the priesthood, his generous alms deeds despite his own poverty, and the holiness, meekness, and fatherly love that were manifest in him, he became a shining light and a spiritual guide to many.

At the request of certain pious women, in 1904 he began the building of his convent of the Holy Trinity on the island of Aegina while yet dean of the Rizarios School; finding later that his presence there was needed, he took up his residence on Aegina in 1908, where he spent the last years of his life, devoting himself to the direction of his convent and to very intense prayer; he was sometimes seen lifted above the ground while rapt in prayer. He became the protector of all Aegina.He slept peacefully in 1920. He was proclaimed a saint by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1961.

St. Demetrios the Myrrhbearer & Great Martyr of Thessaloniki 303 AD

St. Demetrios the Myrrhbearer & Great Martyr of Thessaloniki 303 AD

October 26

Saint Demetrius was a Thessalonian, a most pious son of pious and noble parents, and a teacher of the Faith of Christ. When Maximian first came to Thessalonica in 303 AD, he raised the Saint to the rank of Duke of Thessaly. But when it was discovered that the Saint was a Christian, he was arrested and kept bound in a bath-house. While the games were under way in the city, Maximian was a spectator there. A certain friend of his, a barbarian who was a notable wrestler, Lyaeus by name, waxing haughty because of the height and strength of his body, boasted in the stadium and challenged the citizens to a contest with him.

All that fought with him were defeated. Seeing this, a certain youth named Nestor, aquaintance of Demetrius’, came to the Saint in the bath-house and asked his blessing to fight Lyaeus single-handed. Receiving this blessing and sealing himself with the sign of the precious Cross, he presented himself in the stadium, and said, “O God of Demetrius, help me!” and straightway he engaged Lyaeus in combat and smote him with a mortal blow to the heart, leaving the former boaster lifeless upon the earth.

Maximian was sorely grieved over this, and when he learned who was the cause of this defeat, he commanded straightway and Demetrius was pierced with lances while he was yet in the bath-house, As for Nestor, Maximian commanded that he be slain with his own sword.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone

The world has found in you a great champion in time of peril, as you emerged the victor in routing the barbarians. For as you brought to naught Nestor in the stadium, in like manner, holy one, great Martyr Demetrios, invoke Christ God for us, that He may grant us His great mercy.

 

Elevation of the Holy Cross

                                       

                                               

ELEVATION OF THE HOLY CROSS

SEPTEMBER 14 (327 AD)

Saint Helen, the mother of Saint Constantine the Great, when she was already advanced in years, undertook, in her great piety, the hardships of a journey to Jerusalem in search of the Cross, about the year 327 AD. A temple to Aphrodite had been raised up by the Emperor Hadrian (Adrianos) upon Golgotha, to defile and cover with oblivion the place where the saving Passion had been suffered. The venerable Helen had the statue of Aphrodite destroyed, and the earth removed, revealing the Tomb of our Lord, and three crosses.

Of these, it was believed that one must be that of our Lord, the other two of the thieves crucified with Him; but Saint Helen was at a loss which one might be the Wood of our salvation. At the inspiration of Saint Makarios, Archbishop of Jerusalem, a lady of Jerusalem, who was already at the point of death from a certain disease, was brought to touch the crosses, and as soon as she came near to the Cross of our Lord, she was made perfectly whole.

Consequently, the precious Cross was lifted on high by Archbishop Makarios of Jerusalem; as he stood on the ambo, and when the people beheld it, they cried out, “Lord have mercy.” It should be noted that after its discovery, a portion of the venerable Cross was taken to Constantinople as a blessing. The rest was left in Jerusalem in the magnificent church built by Saint Helen, until the year 614. At that time, the Persians plundered Palestine and took the Cross to their own country. Late, in the year 628 AD Emperor Heraclius set out on a military campaign, retrieved the Cross, and after bringing it to Constantinople, himself escorted it back to Jerusalem, where he restored it to its place.

A Fast is observed today, whatever day of the week it may be. Apolytikion in the First Tone

Lord, save Your people and bless Your inheritance, granting our rulers to prevail over adversaries, and protecting Your commonwealth by Your Cross.

St. Phanourios the Great Martyr & Newly Appeared of Rhodes.

August 27

Little is known of the holy Martyr Phanourios, except that which is depicted concerning his martyrdom on his holy icon, which was discovered in the year 1500 AD among the ruins of an ancient church in Rhodes, when the Moslems ruled there. Thus he is called “the Newly Revealed.” The faithful pray to Saint Phanourios especially to help them recover things that have been lost, and because he has answered their prayers so often, the custom has arisen of baking a Phanouropita (“Phanourius-Cake”) as a thanks-offering.

St. Kosmas o Aitolos

August 24th

1714-1779. Martyred at age 65

After four centuries of Turkish occupation in Greece, Kosmas received the blessing from the Patriarch of Constantinople, to travel wherever needed with complete independence. He was to breath life back into Christianity in Greece. He was born early in the 18th century in Aitolia to a father who was a weaver and a devout mother. He attended public school, and attended a school on Mt. Athos. There he became a monk and later became a priest at Philotheou Monastery .

After a time he felt a calling to do missionary work in Greece, specializing in the areas where there was a lack of churches and priests for the many unbaptized adults. Kosmas was known to have prophesied of the telephone, airplanes , and aerial bombings. He travelled Greece, to the islands and Albania for 25 years founding over 200 schools, charities, and rural churches. He planted crosses wherever he went. The Muslims tried him on charges of conspiracy and sentenced him to hang. However one account reports that he prayed and gave up his spirit before this could occur. Patriarch Athenagoras canonized him in 1961 as Saint of our church.

 

 

 

 

Ascension (40 days after Easter)

The Lord Jesus passed forty days on earth after His Resurrection from the dead, appearing continually in various places to His disciples, with whom He also spoke, ate, and drank, thereby further demonstrating His Resurrection. On this Thursday, the fortieth day after Pascha, He appeared again in Jerusalem. After He had first spoken to the disciples about many things, He gave them His last commandment, that is, that they go forth and proclaim His Name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. But He also commanded them that for the present, they were not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait there together until they receive power from on high, when the Holy Spirit would come upon them.

Saying these things, He led them to the Mount of Olives, and raising His hands, He blessed them; and saying again the words of the Father’s blessing, He was parted from them and taken up. Immediately a cloud of light, a proof of His majesty, received Him. Sitting thereon as though on a royal chariot, He was taken up into Heaven, and after a short time was concealed from the sight of the disciples, who remained where they were with their eyes fixed on Him. At this point, two Angels in the form of men in white raiment appeared to them and said, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into Heaven? This same Jesus,

Who is taken up from you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven” (Acts 1:11). These words, in a complete and concise manner, declare what is taught in the Symbol of Faith concerning the Son and Word of God. Therefore, having so fulfilled all His dispensation for us, our Lord Jesus Christ ascended in glory into Heaven, and sat at the right hand of God the Father. As for His sacred disciples, they returned from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem, rejoicing, because Christ had promised to send them the Holy Spirit, in ten days. (PENTECOST).

Πασχα 2019

Αλήθεια πόσο τραγικός θα ήταν ο κόσμος που ζούμε χωρίς τον Χριστό. Πόσο δύσκολη θα ήταν η ζωή μας αν την Σταύρωσή Του δεν ακολουθούσε η Ανάστασή Του. Η Ανάσταση φώτισε το σύμπαν, τις ψυχές, τις υπάρξεις μας, στερέωσε την πίστη στην καρδιά όλων των χριστιανών όπως λέγει ο ιερός Χρυσόστομος. Ποιός θα δώσει λοιπόν ελπίδα στην δύσκολη εποχή μας, ποιός θα χαρίσει το φώς στο σκοτάδι της ζωής, Ποιός θα μας δυναμώσει στις δύσκολες στιγμές της ζωής μας και θα μας δώσει το χέρι να σηκωθούμε,

Ποιός θα μας σώσει απο την αμαρτία και θα μας οδηγήσει στην αιώνια ζωή. Μόνον ο αναστημένος Χριστός που ανέβηκε στον Σταυρό για μας για την σωτηρία του κόσμου, δίνοντας την ζωή του και το αίμα του “λύτρον αντί πολλών’’. Μόνον ο Αναστημένος Κύριος που έγινε “προς τους αχαρίστους ο ευεργέτης, προς τους αιχμαλώτους ο ελευθερωτής’’ και γιαυτούς που βρίσκονται στο πνευματικό σκοτάδι και την άρνηση θα γίνει ο ήλιος της δικαιοσύνης εφόσον μετανοήσουν και τον ακολουθήσουν.

Ο Ιερεύς, ο Πρόεδρος και όλα τα μέλη του Διοικητικού Συμβουλίου της Κοινότητάς μας, η Φιλόπτωχος Αδελφότητα, το Ελληνικό και Κατηχητικό σχολείο, οι Ιεροψάλτες, το Χορευτικό και η Γραμματέας μας, εύχονται σε όλους τους συμπαροίκους μας και τους ελληνικούς οργανισμούς της παροικίας μας :

ΚΑΛΟ ΚΑΙ ΕΥΛΟΓΗΜΕΝΟ ΠΑΣΧΑ

π.Δημήτριος Γιαννιού  

EASTER 2019

Truly how tragic the world could have been if in this world we had to live without Christ. How difficult would it have been if His Crucifixion was not followed by His Resurrection. His Resurrection has enlightened the universe, our souls, our existence. St. John Chrysostom strengthened the faith in all of the Christian hearts”. Who will give hope during this difficult era, who will offer light to the darkness of life? Who will give us strength during the difficult times of our lives, who will offer us the hand that will help us stand up?

Who will save us from sin and guide us towards eternal life? Only the resurrected Christ who went up on the Cross for us in order to bring salvation to the world. He did this by offering His blood and life “as a ransom for many”. Only the resurrected Lord who became “the benefactor to those who crucified Him”. For the enslaved He became the liberator. For those who are in the spiritual darkness, and in denial He will be the sun of justice, as long as they repent of their sins, and will decide to follow Him. The Priest, the President and all the members of the Council ,Ladies of Philoptochos, the Greek and Sunday School, the Cantors, the Dance group, and our Secretary wish all of our parishioners, and Greek organizations at large :

HAPPY AND BLESSED EASTER

Rev. Dimitrios Gianniou

Αλήθεια πόσο τραγικός θα ήταν ο κόσμος που ζούμε χωρίς τον Χριστό. Πόσο δύσκολη θα ήταν η ζωή μας αν την Σταύρωσή Του δεν ακολουθούσε η Ανάστασή Του.Η Ανάσταση φώτισε το σύμπαν, τις ψυχές, τις υπάρξεις μας, στερέωσε την πίστη στην καρδιάόλων των χριστιανών όπως λέγει ο ιερός Χρυσόστομος.

Ποιός θα δώσει λοιπόν ελπίδαστην δύσκολη εποχή μας, ποιός θα χαρίσει το φώς στο σκοτάδι της ζωής, Ποιός θα μας δυναμώσει στις δύσκολες στιγμές της ζωής μας και θα μας δώσει το χέρι να σηκωθούμε, Ποιός θα μαςσώσει απο την αμαρτία και θα μας οδηγήσει στην αιώνια ζωή. δφφδφδφδφφ

Annunciation of the Theotokos and Independence day 25th of March 1821

annunciation

March 25th

Six months after John the Forerunner’s conception, the Archangel Gabriel was sent by God to Nazareth, a town of Galilee, unto Mary the Virgin, who had come forth from the Temple a mature maiden . According to the tradition handed down by the Fathers, she had been betrothed to Joseph four months. On coming to Joseph’s house, the Archangel declared: “Rejoice, thou Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.”

After some consideration, and turmoil of soul, and fear because of this greeting, the Virgin, when she had finally obtained full assurance concerning God’s unsearchable condescension and the ineffable dispensation that was to take place through her, and believing that all things are possible to the Most High, answered in humility: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” And at this, the Holy Spirit came upon her, and the power of the Most high overshadowed her all-blameless womb, and the Son and Word of God, Who existed before the ages, was conceived past speech and understanding, and became flesh in her immaculate body (Luke 1:26-38).

Bearing in her womb the Uncontainable One, the blessed Virgin went with haste from Nazareth to the hill country of Judea, where Zacharias had his dwelling; for she desired to find Elizabeth her kinswoman and rejoice together with her, because, as she had learned from the Archangel, Elizabeth had conceived in her old age. Furthermore, she wished to tell her of the great things that the Mighty One had been well-pleased to bring to pass in her, and she greeted Elizabeth and drew nigh to her. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, she felt her six-month-old babe, Saint John the Baptist, prophesied of the dawning of the spiritual Sun.

Immediately, the aged Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and recognized her as the Mother of her Lord, and with a great voice blessed her and the Fruit that she held within herself. The Virgin also, moved by a supernatural rejoicing in the spirit, glorified her God and Savior, saying: “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour,” and the rest, as the divine Luke hath recorded (1:39-55).

St. Haralambos the Holy Martyr

February 10

This Saint was a priest of the Christians in Magnesia, the foremost city of Thessaly, in the diocese having the same name. He contested during the reign of Alexander Severus (222-235), when Lucian was Proconsul of Magnesia. At the time of his martyrdom the Saint was 103 years of age.

St. Haralambos is commemorated on February 10th, with the exception when this date falls on the Saturday of the Souls preceeding Lent or on Clean Monday (the first day of Lent), in which case the feast is celebrated on February 9th.