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

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35 ESV)

Protection of the Mother of God

Protected by your coming, O Mother of God, * the faithful people celebrate today with splendor, * and, gazing at your most pure image, * we say with compunction: * "Shield us with your precious veil * and deliver us from all evil * imploring your Son, Christ our God, to save our souls.” (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 Virgin stands forth in the Church, * and with the choirs of saints she invisibly prays to God for us. * The Angels worship with the hierarchs, * and the apostles exult with the prophets, * because, in our behalf, the Mother of God entreats the pre-eternal God. (Kontakion - Tone 3)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God on October 1st.

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

"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

A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, "You are mad; you are not like us."