March

Apostle Aristobulus
First Bishop of Britain

March 15th

He was born in Cyprus an island near Greece. He became a follower of Jesus and was one of the 70 Apostles. He became a missionary spreading the word of God to the British Isles. Eventually he was ordained Bishop. He was martyred in the mountains of Wales.


Saint Patrick

March 17th

Patrick was born in Wales but when he was sixteen pirates kidnapped him. After many years of hard work keeping sheep safe in the fields, an angel told him it was time to go home. The next day he started walking. He walked about two hundred miles to a boat headed for Britain. He must have walked for two weeks.
Patrick was so happy that he was home that he decided to thank God by doing His work as a priest. When he was done studying, an angel told him that it was time to return to Ireland. He and other missionaries worked very hard to start many churches for the Glory of God.
We remember Saint Patrick’s hard work by calling him the Enlightener of Ireland. To enlighten means to teach. It is all our job as Christians to enlighten the world and share God’s love with the people around us.

An Irish Blessing

May love and laughter light up your days
And warm up your heart
May good friends be with you
Wherever you go
May lasting peace bless your home
Forever,
Amen


The Annunciation

March 25th

There was a teenager who lived in God’s Holy Temple, her name was Mary. One day the Angel Gabriel visited her. The angel told her that God had a special plan to show the world just how much He loved everyone. God wanted Mary to have an important job. The angel told her God wanted her to be the mother of His son, Jesus. Mary agreed to do God’s special job and that is why we call her the Theotokos, the Holy Mother of God.


St Tikhon
March 25th

*commemorated many times a year

Saint Tikhon was from Russia. He was ordained Bishop at only 32 years old. He came to the United States around 1900 as a missionary in the early years of our Church in America. He worked hard concecrating churches, founding a monastary; and even estabolished the Diocese of the Aleutians and North America. He worked alongside St Raphael of Brooklyn to prepare and concecrate the Cathedral in New York, and went on estabolish St Tikhon’s Seminary in Pennsylvania (named for his patron).
He returned to Russia before World War I and was elevated to Patriarch in 1917. When things got really bad for Orthodox during the war, St Tikhon called on the Orthodox to unite; repent and continue the faith with all their strength. He also protected the priests from getting arrested by telling them not to talk about politics. St Tikhon spoke out himself often, mostly to calm people. He also spoke out against the government destruction of Church property; and was arrested. The government continued to kill and persecute the Christians and destroy places of worship.
When the priests were told to sell things from the parishes to buy food for people, St Tikhon went to court to protect his priests again. He said the priests were innocent, it was his fault. He was arrested and spent a year in prison. The soldiers told him the Church was destroyed. St Tikhon was desprate to get out and rebuild what he could, so he pledged loyalty to the Communist Government.
All the stress of the war and persecution wore down St Tikhon until he fell asleep in the Lord after Liturgy in 1925.
+Biographical information from the Synaxarion Lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church and may be different from other accounts


St Hilarion the New
Father of Palestinian monasticism
March 28th

St Hilarion spent many years as a hermit. The Lord worked many miracles through him during his life. He cast out demons, diverted a river to water crops and sometimes God shared what would happen in the future with him.
In the year 754 soldiers broke into the Pelekete monastery church in the middle of services for Great and Holy Thursday. They were looking for icon-venerating-believers. They dumped the Communion on the ground. Saint Hilarion was arrested with 40 other monks. They were killed because they venerated icons. The soldiers hate was so strong that even after they killed the monks, they continued to beat, burn and cut their bodies.
St Hilarion and the other monks are martyrs.
Saint Hilarion is remembered by name because he left behind writings about the spiritual battle he faced as a monk.
See the link below to the archeological project at St Hilarion’s monastery. As the father of Palestinian monasticism, he would be happy to know it is open to the public. Despite the war and political turmoil, local authorities keep it open.
https://www.wmf.org/project/tell-umm-el-amr-saint-hilarion-monastery

The Triumph of Orthodoxy

Today we celebrate our united faith! We remember the end of a time were people fought over using icons. It was illegal to have icons for many years. The arguing ended when the Empress Theodora stood up in the big Church, Hagia Sophia, (Holy Wisdom) and announced that it was legal again to have and venerate the Holy Icons. So every year we remember by having a special procession at church with lots of icons. REMEMBER YOUR ICON THIS WEEK FOR LITURGY


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