Saint Philip the Apostle

St Philip

The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates Philip’s feast day on 14 November.

Reading from the Synaxarion:

This Apostle, one of the Twelve, was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and was a compatriot of Andrew and Peter. He was instructed in the teachings of the Law, and devoted himself to the study of the prophetic books. Therefore, when the Lord Jesus called him to the dignity of apostleship, he immediately sought out and found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of Whom Moses in the Law and the Prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (John 1.45). Having preached Jesus the God-man throughout many parts of Asia Minor, and having suffered many things for His Name’s sake, he was finally crucified upside down in Hierapolis of Phrygia.

Apolytikion of Apostle Philip in the Third Tone

O Holy Apostle Philip, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

Kontakion of Apostle Philip in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

Your disciple and friend, emulator of Your passion, the divinely eloquent Philip, proclaimed You to the world as God. By his entreaties, and through the Theotokos, keep Your Church from lawless enemies, O most merciful.

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Najran, Saudi Arabia

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Having visited this site, it is very difficult to remind yourself that this country, Saudi Arabia, was a predominantly Christian country up through the 7th Century.  Now, there is a complete intolerance to any form of religion except Islam.  It is completely forbidden.

The western, Christian world, with the exception of Orthodox Christians from the middle east, seems completely unaware of this fact.  And, it is increasingly becoming hostile to what little remnant of Christianity remains in the middle east.

Here, from the Synaxarion is the commemoration of todays Holy Saints, from the city of Najran, in present day Saudi Arabia:

“These Martyrs contested for piety’s sake in the year 524 in Najran, a city of Arabia Felix (present-day Yemen). When Dhu Nuwas, ruler of the Himyarite tribe in south Arabia, and a Judaizer, took power, he sought to blot out Christianity, especially at Najran, a Christian city. Against the counsels of Arethas, chief man of Najran, the city surrendered to Dhu Nuwas, who immediately broke the word he had given and sought to compel the city to renounce Christ. Led by Saint Arethas, hundreds of martyrs, including women, children, and babes, valiantly withstood his threats, and were beheaded and burned. After the men had been slain, all the free-born Christian women of Najran were brought before the tyrant and commanded to abjure Christ or die; yet they rebuked the persecutor with such boldness that he said even the men had not insulted him so contemptuously. So great was their faith that not one woman was found to deny Christ in all Najran, although some of them suffered tormen ts more bitter than most of the men. In alliance with Byzantium, the Ethiopian King Elesbaan liberated Najran from Dhu Nuwas soon after and raised up churches in honour of the Martyrs. Najran became a place of pilgrimage until the rise of Islam a century later. At the end of his life King Elesbaan, who was also called Caleb, retired into solitude as a hermit; he sent his crown to Jerusalem as an offering to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. He also is commemorated on this day as a saint. Saint Arethas’ name in Arabic, Harith, means “plowman, tiller,” much the same as “George” does in Greek.”

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Happiness

A very easy way to avoid disappointment and retain peace, especially with close relationships, is to follow this simple little formula:

“Demand only faithfulness.  Expect nothing else and all the blessings that follow are pure joy.”
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Creative Signs

Sometimes, we just need to smile, or even laugh out loud.  Here are some signs and slogans from the past that might lighten your day:

On a plumber’s truck “We repair what your husband fixed.”

Pizza shop: “7 days without pizza makes one weak.”

On a muffler repair shop: “No appointment necessary.  We hear you coming.”

In a Veterinarians waiting area: “Be back in 5 minutes.  Sit.  Stay!”

Plastic surgeon’s office:  “We can help you pick your nose.”

Electrician’s truck panel: “Let us remove your shorts.”

Maternity waiting room door:  “Push, Push, Push!”

Optometrist office: “If you don’t see what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place.”

If you enjoyed these, check out the little history book: Changes. Free on Amazon.

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Independence Day

“To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.”    – Calvin Coolidge  born July 4, 1872, 30th President of USA…

Greed

“I have never understood why it is greed to want to keep the money you’ve earned, but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.”

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Thomas Sowell

Lazarus Saturday

From the Synaxarion:

Lazarus and his sisters Martha and Mary, the friends of the Lord Jesus, had given Him hospitality and served Him many times (Luke 10:38-4z; John 12:2-3). They were from Bethany, a village of Judea. This village is situated in the eastern parts by the foothills of the Mount of Olives, about two Roman miles from Jerusalem. When Lazarus – whose name is a Hellenized form of “Eleazar,” which means “God has helped,” became ill some days before the saving Passion, his sisters had this report taken to our Saviour, Who was then in Galilee. Nonetheless, He tarried yet two more days until Lazarus died; then He said to His disciples, “Let us go into Judea that I might awake My friend who sleepeth.” By this, of course, He meant the deep sleep of death. On arriving at Bethany, He consoled the sisters of Lazarus, who was already four days dead. Jesus groaned in spirit and was troubled at the death of His beloved friend. He asked, “Where have ye laid his body?” and He wept over him. When He drew nigh to the tomb, He commanded that they remove the stone, and He lifted up His eyes, and giving thanks to God the Father, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” And he that had been dead four days came forth immediately, bound hand and foot with the grave clothes, and Jesus said to those standing there, “Loose him, and let him go.” This is the supernatural wonder wrought by the Saviour that we celebrate on this day.

According to an ancient tradition, it is said that Lazarus was thirty years old when the Lord raised him; then he lived another thirty years on Cyprus and there reposed in the Lord. It is furthermore related that after he was raised from the dead, he never laughed till the end of his life, but that once only, when he saw someone stealing a clay vessel, he smiled and said, “Clay stealing clay.” His grave is situated in the city of Kition, having the inscription: “Lazarus the four days dead and friend of Christ.” In 890 his sacred rel ics were transferred to Constantinople by Emperor Leo the Wise, at which time undoubtedly the Emperor composed his stichera for Vespers, “Wishing to behold the tomb of Lazarus . . .”

Apolytikion of Lazarus Saturday in the First Tone

O Christ our God, before Your Passion, You raised Lazarus from the dead to confirm the common Resurrection for all. Therefore, we carry the symbols of victory as did the youths, and we cry out to You, the victor over death, “Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. “