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Prayer to the Holy & Right-believing Prince Peter & Princess Fevronia

Prayer to the Holy & Right-believing Prince Peter & Princess Fevronia
For Inclusion at Liturgical Services and to be Read at the Conclusion of the Divine Liturgy On the Holy Couple’s Day of Commemoration

O great favorites of God and all-wondrous wonderworkers, right-believing Price Peter and Princess Febronia, intercessors for the city of Murom, preservers of honorable marriage and diligent advocates for all of us before the Lord! In the days of your earthly life ye showed forth a model of piety, Christian love and fidelity one to another, and thereby glorified lawful and blessed marriage. Wherefore, we have recourse unto you and pray with mighty zeal: Offer your holy supplications unto the Lord God for us sinners, and ask for us all things of goodly benefit to our souls and bodies: right faith, good hope, unfeigned love, unshakable piety, success in good works*; and by your supplications grant even more unto those united by the bond of matrimony chastity, love for one another in the bond of peace, oneness of mind of souls and bodies, an unsullied marriage bed, an undisgraced sojourn, long-lived progeny, the favor of children, homes full of goodness, and the imperishable crown everlasting glory in eternal life. Yea, O holy wonderworkers, disdain not our prayers which are offered unto you with compunction, but be ye our faithful helpers before the Lord, and vouchsafe that through your intercession we may receive eternal salvation and inherit the kingdom of heaven, that we may glorify the ineffable love for mankind of God Who is worshiped in Trinity – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – unto ages of ages. Amin. Continue reading


THE HODIGITRIA OF THE RUSSIAN DIASPORA

THE HODIGITRIA OF THE RUSSIAN DIASPORA 
On the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God

The foundation for the iconographic type, or composition, of the Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign” are the words of Prophet Isaiah: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).

In the 13th century, the Kursk region, as well as the rest of Russia at the time, was subjected to terrible decimation by the Tatar invasion. The city of Kursk was completely destroyed and grew into a wild, overgrown forest, populated by wild animals. The residents of the city of Ryl’sk, 90 versts (60 miles), who had somehow been spared from a Tatar invasion, would go there to hunt. And it happened that in 1295, on the feast day of the Nativity of the Mother of God, a small troupe of hunters from Ryl’sk arrived at the Tuskor River, 27 versts (18 miles) from Kursk, to hunt. One of them, a pious and honorable man, seeking prey in the woods, found a small icon lying face down at the root of a tree. He had barely lifted the icon from the ground to inspect it, when a strong wellspring of pure water burst forth from the very spot where the icon lay. The icon turned out to be of the Mother of God “of the Sign” type. The hunter realized that this was no ordinary icon. He summoned his fellow hunters, and together they cut down timber and erected a small chapel where they placed the newly-found icon. The people of Ryl’sk, learning of the icon, began to visit it for veneration, and many miracles occurred as a result. Continue reading


On Account of the Angels: Why I Cover My Head

By Elisabet

At first reading of this verse I thought, “Good grief that, at least, can’t have anything to do with women today.”

I was a new convert to Christianity and making a valiant effort to read the Bible “as if it were true.” St. Paul was hard to swallow, and so were angels—along with fairies and trolls! My grudging acceptance of Christianity was based on honest doubt rather than conviction. No one had proved to me that it was true, but neither could I prove it false. On that flimsy hope I chose to make what Kierkegaard called “a leap of faith over the abyss of the absurd.” It was a desperate act. I was at the end of my rope, at a loss to explain the painful contradiction between my good intentions and the reality of my life. I was no longer able to pretend success as a wife, mother of four, or writer (even though my book had been sold on first submission to a leading publisher). In truth I didn’t even know who I was, although I loudly proclaimed my manifesto as atheist, humanist, and feminist, with strong opinions on most issues. I had spent most of my young life trying to define myself by “proving” I could do anything a man could do, only better. (What man could bear children!) But inside was a black hole and I was about to f all in. Continue reading


Why Do We Need to Go to Confession?

By Metropolitan Kallistos Ware

“Why do we need to go to confession?  Is it not enough to confess our sins with sincerity in our private prayers each evening, will not God forgive us from the very moment that we confess our sins?  Yes, as soon as we turn to God in true repentance He forgives us.  God is always more ready to forgive than we to repent.  Even the slightest turning of our heart will be blessed by God.  Why then are we taught also to go to the sacrament of confession? Continue reading