Condolences of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America for the Virginia Tech University Family 

New York, NY - In response to the unfathomed tragedy and senseless loss of life at Virginia Tech University on Monday, April 16, 2007, Archbishop Demetrios of America has offered the fervent prayers and deepest sympathy of the Greek Orthodox faithful in America.  

In a letter yesterday to Dr. Charles W. Steger, President of Virginia Tech University, Archbishop Demetrios wrote,  

“This horrific incident has shattered our thoughts and hearts while we are still journeying in the period which celebrates our Lord’s victory over death and His granting to us eternal life and salvation.  May the ‘Father of mercies and God of all comfort’ (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) give you, your faculty, the students and their parents the strength today and the days ahead to bear the heavy burden of this enormous loss.  God promises to be with us always in times of grief and unbearable pain, even in the shadow of death.

We, at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, offer our fervent prayer for the comforting of everyone who has been affected by this act of violence.  May the Lord, the Divine Comforter and Savior of humankind, grant life to all and eternal memory to those who perished.”

Archbishop Demetrios also affirms the ministry of Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), its Virginia Tech Chapter, and International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), who are working to provide traumatic incident counseling to those who have been affected.   OCF and IOCC are endorsed agencies of SCOBA, the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas.  For more information please log onto www.ocf.net.

www.goarch.org


Teachings of Christ

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 ESV)

Joachiam and Anna Rejoice

Today the bonds of childlessness are loosed, * for God has heard Joachim and Anna * and He promises manifestly that they, against all hope, would give birth to the Maiden of God * from whom the Uncircumscribed One Himself would be born, becoming man, * and he commanded the Angels to cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!” (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the whole world celebrates * the conception of Anne which was brought about by God, * for she gave birth to the one who, beyond understanding, * gave birth to the Word. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

Holy Forefathers

Through faith, O Christ, you justified the Forefathers, * betrothing through them in advance the Church of the gentiles. * The Saints exult in glory, * for from their seed came forth a glorious fruit: * she who gave birth to You without seed. * Through their prayers, O Christ God, have mercy on us. (Troparion, Tone 2)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

You did not honor a hand-depicted image, O thrice-blessed ones, * but defended by the undepicted Being you were glorified in a trial by fire. * And, standing in the midst of unbearable flame, you called upon God: * “Hasten, O Compassionate One, and speed to our help, * for You are merciful and You can do whatever you will.” (Kontakion, Tone 6)

(Second Sunday Before Christmas)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you." (Proverbs 3:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

What purposelessness, oh the deceit of life; truly in vain does each man vex himself, and truly blessed and thrice-blessed are those who have left everything for the Lord, that they may attain the good things announced in the Gospels. For what profit will it be for a man to enjoy the whole world, but lose his soul, to which the whole universe is not equivalent? All the splendor of man is like the blossom of grass. For the grass departs and the blossom dies, but the word of the Lord abideth for ever.

St. Nicon "Repent Ye"