Weekly Bulletin

CHRIST IS RISEN! INDEED HE IS RISEN!

May 21, 2017

6th SUNDAY OF PASCHA – Sunday of the Blind Man

Holy Equal of the Apostles Emperor Constantine with his mother Helen

Liturgy: Acts 16:16-34; John 9:1-38

CLASS ON THE ORTHODOX FAITH – We continue our series of classes on the Orthodox Faith, meeting at the church on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. This week we will look at the Bible and Tradition.

FEAST OF ASCENSION – We will celebrate Vespers for the Feast of Ascension on Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. The feast of Ascension falls 40 days after Pascha, when our Lord and Savior ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives, sitting down at the right hand of His heavenly Father in heaven.

GUEST SPEAKER AT ST. JOSEPH’S – Fr. Peter Heers, who is an instructor at Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, New York, will present two lectures on Saturday, June 17th, at St. Joseph Orthodox Church in Houston. The morning lecture will be on facing secularism in church and family life; the afternoon lecture will be on Orthodox ecclesiology and ecumenism. Registration is $30. Lunch is provided.

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Remembered today: St. Constantine and His Mother, St. Helen

Constantine’s parents were Emperor Constantius Chlorus and the Empress Helena. Chlorus had other children by another wife, but from Helena he had only Constantine. After his coronation Constantine fought three great battles: one, against Maxentius, a Roman tyrant; the second, against the Scythians on the Danube and the third, against the Byzantines. Before the battle with Maxentius, while Constantine was greatly concerned and in doubt about his success, a brilliant Cross appeared to him in the sky during the day, completely adorned with stars and written on the Cross were these words: “By this Sign Conquer.” Astonished, the emperor ordered a large cross to be forged similar to the one that appeared to him and that it be carried before the army. By the power of the Cross he achieved a glorious victory over the enemy who was superior in members. Maxentius was drowned in the Tiber river.

Immediately after that, Constantine issued the famous Edict of Milan in the year 313 A.D. to end the persecution of Christians. Defeating the Byzantines, Constantine built a beautiful capital on the Bosphorus which from that time on was called Constantinople.

When a discord began in the Church because of the mutinous heretic Arius, the emperor convened the First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea, 325. A.D., where the heresy was condemned and Orthodoxy confirmed.

St. Helena, the pious mother of the emperor, was very zealous for the Faith of Christ. She visited Jerusalem, discovered the Honorable Cross of the Lord, built the Church of the Resurrection on Golgotha and many other churches throughout the Holy Land. This holy woman presented herself to the Lord in her eightieth year in 327 A.D.

Emperor Constantine outlived his mother by ten years. Having been baptized on his death-bed, he died in Nicomedia in his sixty-fifth year in 337 A.D., still wearing his white baptismal robe instead of the royal purple. He was buried in the Church of the Twelve Apostles in Constantinople.

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A Conversation with Saint Paisios of the Holy Mountain

Some people tell me that they are scandalized because they see many things wrong in the Church. I tell them that if you ask a fly, “Are there any flowers in this area?,” it will say, “I don’t know about flowers, but over there in that heap of rubbish you can find all the filth you want.” And it will go on to list all the unclean things it has been to. Now, if you ask a honeybee, “Have you seen any unclean things in this area?”, it will reply “Unclean things? No, I have not seen any; the place here is full of the most fragrant flowers.” And it will go on to name all the flowers of the garden or of the meadow. You see, the fly knows only where the unclean things are, while the honeybee knows where the beautiful iris or hyacinth is . . .

As I have come to understand, some people resemble the honeybee and some people resemble the fly. Those who resemble the fly seek to find evil in every circumstance and are preoccupied with it; they see no good anywhere. But those who resemble the honeybee only see the good in everything they see. The stupid person thinks stupidly and takes everything the wrong way, whereas the person who has good thoughts, no matter what he sees, no matter what you tell him, maintains a positive and good thought.

From Spiritual Struggle, Monastery of St. John the Theologian, Souroti, Greece 2010