Urbi et Orbi Section: Eastern Tradition, Peter and Paul

PIETRO PAOLO ORTODOSSI

Saints Peter and Paul are considered pillars of the Orthodox Church, and thus share a special feast day which is celebrated on June 29.  This feast is preceded by one of the main periods of fasting in the liturgical calendar, a time of fasting that is unique to the Orthodox calendar.  It is called the […]

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Urbi et Orbi: Spirituality, The Orthodox Saints Speak

gregory palamas

We are made up of a soul and body, and both soul and body consist of many members. For the soul too has members after a fashion: those parts of it concerned with growth, desiring, anger and reason. Therefore, true fasting must extend to every part, cleansing and healing them all. Fasting, brethren, gently and […]

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Urbi et Orbi Section: News from the East

_____Aedicule_which_supposedly_encloses_the_tomb_of_Jesus-LR1

Endangered Jesus Tomb Unites Rival Catholic, Orthodox Churches in $3.4 Million Restoration Project Three Christian traditions recently put aside their long-standing theological differences and agreed to partner to save the endangered holy place where Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected in Jerusalem. Members of the Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and the Armenian Orthodox Churches have […]

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Urbi et Orbi Section: The Message of the Icon

decapitation SAN GIOVANNI-29

The Third Finding of the Head of John the Baptist Along with the lance of Longinus, the head of John the Baptist has a history worthy of an Indiana Jones saga. The Eastern Churches also celebrate the first and second findings in separate feasts. The feasts are celebrated liturgically, of course, but also with the […]

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News from the East

Roma 14 Marzo 2013 - Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore Papa Francesco cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio in preghiera nella Cappella Paolina all' altare della Madonna Salus Populi Romani il giorno dopo la sua elezione

Moving Toward Unity The Catholic and Orthodox Churches may be entering a new era of reconciliation. Three prominent Catholic figures with years of experience working with the Eastern Churches comment on recent developments and the progress toward unity they may augur Pope Francis, “Bishop of Rome”: Creating New Space for Dialog By Fr. James McCann […]

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Spirituality: The Orthodox Saints Speak

__St Antonio and St Paolo di Tebe

The Desert Fathers Speak on Joy, Love and the Mercy of God If we keep remembering the wrongs which men have done us, we destroy the power of the remembrance of God… —Abba Macarius the Great On Joy Abba Syncletica said, “In the beginning there are a great many battles and a good deal of […]

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The Message of the Icon

emmaus internet Robert Z¸nd, 1827-1909

The Road to Emmaus Whatever purpose the two disciples had in journeying to Emmaus, certainly their original plans were entirely disrupted by the company of the mysterious teacher who broke open for them the Scriptural prophecies of the Messiah. Just as Mary Magdalen mistook the Risen Lord for a gardener, so too did Luke and […]

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The Message of the Icon: Extreme Humility

estrema umilt‡ ok

One of the most powerful icons for the Lenten season is that depicting the King of Glory in His tomb, commonly called “Extreme Humility.” The grave is the great human equalizer, of course; princes and paupers alike must descend into death and experience the corruption of the flesh. An honest contemplation of the grave must […]

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Spirituality: The Orthodox Saints Speak

1112nilusathos (1)

Rivalry over material possessions has made us forget. . . So we no longer pursue plainness and simplicity of life. We no longer value stillness, which helps to free us from past defilement, but prefer a whole host of things which distract us uselessly from our true goal. Rivalry over material possessions has made us […]

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The Message of the Icon

CRISTO PANTOCRATOR SINAI CATERINA MONASTERO

Christ the Judge This month we highlight a famous and brilliantly executed icon dating from the 6th or 7th century. The icon was preserved during the time of the iconoclastic heresy simply due to the remote location of Saint Catherine’s Monastery at the base of Mount Sinai. Some of the oldest icons in the world […]

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News from the East

Chambesy, Switzerland, Orthodox Christian communion

Orthodox Clear Way to Historic Pan-Orthodox Council After a five-day conference, called a “synaxis,” held during January in Chambesy, Switzerland, representatives of all 14 of the autocephalous (self-governing) Churches of the Orthodox Christian communion agreed to go forward with the “Great Pan-Orthodox Council” tentatively planned for Pentecost of this year. The long hoped-for historic Council […]

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The Liturgical Year: The Byzantine Great Lent

The Liturgy of the Pre-sanctified Gifts, holy_eucharist

O Lord and Master of my life, drive from me the spirit of indifference, despair, lust for power and idle chatter. Instead, bestow on me, Your servant, the spirit of integrity, humility, patience and love. Yes, O Lord and King, let me see my own sins and not judge my brothers and sisters, for You […]

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Letter # 46, 2014: 1st Annual Dinner

December 15, 2014, Monday — 1st Annual Dinner “How did it happen that the country known as ‘Holy Russia’, with such a long history of Orthodox Christianity, was, in a very short period of time, turned by the Bolsheviks into ‘the first atheist state in the world’?” —Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, the “Foreign Minister” of the […]

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