publicorthodoxy.org - Tuesday, November 15th, 2016 was a momentous occasion for inter-Christian relations and for the history of the New Testament (NT). An important 9th century AD Greek NT codex that had been stolen in 1917 from the Monastery of Panagia Eikosiphoinissa near Drama, Greece was officially returned to the custody of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in the person of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America. The codex, known as Codex 1424, will soon be taken by Archbishop Demetrios back to the Monastery of Eikosiphinissa. Codex 1424 was legally purchased by Levi Franklin Gruber in 1920 from an international book dealer in Germany and was brought to the USA. Codex 1424 and other rare books in Gruber’s library were eventually incorporated into the rare book collection at Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) that has been in the recent care of Professor Emeritus Ralph W. Klein, renowned biblical scholar and curator of that collection. As part of a thanksgiving ceremony at LSTC on Nov. 15th,  Codex 1424 was given by the president of LSTC, Rev. Dr. James Nieman, to His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios. Feelings of gratitude, humility, love, and emotion were palpable among all those in attendance. The return of Codex 1424 to the Orthodox Church is an indescribable act of generosity and a remarkable example of Christian love and witness to the world.

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Teachings of Christ

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18 ESV)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (Troparion - Tone 1)

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

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Random Proverb

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

I pray Thee, compassionate Lord, do not allow me to be condemned because of the unworthy and ungrateful manner in which I contemplate the great mysteries that Thou hast revealed to Thy saints and through them to me, a sinner and Thy unworthy servant. For see, Lord, Thy servant stands before Thee, idle in everything, speechless, as one who is dead; and I do not dare to say anything more or to presumptuously contemplate further. But as always I fall down before Thee, crying from the depths of my soul. . . .

St. Peter of Damascus