Teheran (Agenzia Fides) - Twenty-four year old Ani-Kristi Manvelian, an anesthesiologist by profession, was ordained as deaconess in the Cathedral of St. Gregory the Illuminator of Tehran last September by Archbishop Sebouh Sarkissian, the Primate of the Armenian apostolic Archdiocese of Teheran.
Ani-Kristi Manvelian - reports the blog oxbridgepartners.com - is a lay person and does not belong to any female monastic congregation. Her ordination took place while the Armenian Apostolic Church has yet to formally restore the office of female diaconate. "What I have done is in conformity with the Tradition of the Church and nothing else", said Archbishop Sarkissian, whose archdiocese falls under the jurisdiction of the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia of the Armenians. The Archbishop also stated that his decision was to "revitalise the participation of women also in our church’s liturgical life".

Among the Eastern Churches, also the Synod of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria in Egypt, in November 2016 (see Fides 19/11/2016) had decided to restore the institute of female deacons, and had appointed a commission of Bishops "for a thorough examination of the matter".

The discussion on the possibility of restoring female deacons and on the potential role of female deacons in the pastoral activities and missionary animation has been open for some time within the Chalcedon Orthodoxy theological institutions. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 15/1/2018)


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)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Random Proverb

"Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest." (Proverbs 6:6-8 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The Seraph could not touch the fire's coal with his fingers, but just brought it close to Isaiah's mouth: the Seraph did not hold it, Isaiah did not consume it, but us our Lord has allowed to do both. 

St. Ephraim the Syrian