Moses the Godseer and Prophet
Moses was adopted by Pharaoh’s royal family as a baby. But when we got older he ran away and lived as a shepherd. He was an old man when God chose him to save the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. Moses loved his family and didn’t want to leave to do God’s special job.
God knew that Moses was the right man for this job. To convince Moses, God talked to Moses in a big voice.
It took a long time for Moses to get the Jews out of slavery in Egypt. They started a long adventure in the desert, going to land God gave them.
On their long walk through the desert, God gave Moses laws. We call these The Ten Commandments.
Moses was a very important man. He brought God’s news to the people. He saved the Jews from slavery. He saw God and heard His voice. He gave us God’s Law. He lived a very long time doing God’s special work.
Zacharias the Prophet
We talk about John the Baptist a lot. What do you know about him?
Zacharias was a priest of God in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. When he was an old man with no children, an angel appeared and told Zacharias that God loved him and hears his prayers. God decided to give them a baby boy. Zacharias is the father of John the Baptist. But Zacharias was so surprised and didn’t believe the angel. Because Zacharias didn’t believe the angel he could not talk until the baby was born. Imagine that, a priest who could not talk until next summer! When the baby was born everyone wanted to know what to call him. Zacharias was filled with joy and the Holy Spirit, then he could talk again.
When the evil King Herod sent his soldiers to look for baby Jesus; Zacharias protected his baby from the soldiers; the soldiers killed him. He loved his special boy so much!
Kassiani, as we hear so much, was a pretty girl from a wealthy family. She was even chosen for the “beauty pageant” of young girls for the Emperor to choose a wife from! He saw Kassiani was very pretty and wanted to see if she was smart so he said, “From woman sin came into the world.” She replied, “and from woman came salvation” (How did Christ come into the world to save us?). She was clever! Well, he didn’t like that so picked someone else to marry and she eventually became Abbess at a monastery!
While she lived in the monastery, she had lots of time to write poems and hymns to God! Every year before Pascha, we sing a hymn written by her on Holy Wednesday. She is the earliest known woman composer with hymns still used!
Nativity of the Theotokos
We are celebrating the birthday of the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ. We know His grandparents were named Anna and Joachim. They were old and had been praying to God for a long time to give them a baby.
Joachim was a priest of God many years before Jesus was born. He worked in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. He and his wife Anna were old and had no children. Many people thought that they had no children because God was punishing them. Sometimes Joachim wasn’t allowed to offer the sacrifice to God because other priests worried that God wouldn’t accept it from a man with no children! They were very sad and God heard their prayers and Anna had a baby. They named her Mary. Mary grew up to be the Theotokos, Jesus’ Mother. These are Jesus’ Grandparents!
Can you think of anyone else who prayed to God a long time for a baby?
Exaltation of the Holy Cross
We remember when Emperor Constantine sent his mother Helen to Jerusalem to search for the cross that Jesus Christ died on. She brought some people to help her, including a bishop.
Eventually an old Jewish man, named Jude, showed her the hill where people said that Jesus died. There was a pagan temple built on top so they had men tear it down.
Underneath they dug up three crosses. They didn’t know which one was Christ’s. After praying, they decided to test the crosses. A sick man touched each cross until he was healed by one. That one was the Holy and Life-giving Cross of Christ.
Jude was so surprised by the miracle that he was Baptized.
Exaltation of the Holy Cross
By Empress Helen & Constantine
Emperor Constantine was an early Christian. He sent his Mom to Jerusalem to find the Cross that Jesus died on. As Emperor he had the power and money to send his Mom all the way there. She brought a priest with her. After listening to the stories of local Christians, they found 3 crosses that could have been the Cross that Jesus Christ died on. They asked a sick person to touch each cross. The cross that healed the person is the Holy Cross of Christ! She took it from the field of holy Basil, cleaned it off and brought it back to the Emperor! The priest took care of it.
For this celebration, our priest carries a cross through the Church singing.
Be ready to sing, “Lord have Mercy!”
Saint Charity (Agape)
This little girl was killed for being a Christian. That is what martyr means. She, her mother (St Sophia) and both her sisters were arrested for being Christians. Although she was young, she was not safe from beatings and torture. At nine years old, she stood for Christ. She refused to deny He is God. The Emperor Hadrian, in Rome, asked her and her sisters to give an offering to Artemis, the pagan god; and they each refused.
After being beaten and burned the entire family were beheaded.