The Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos

This feast of the Protection of the Theotokos is neither one of the Twelve Great Feasts of the Church nor is it a commemoration of any events in the earthly lives of our Lord or His Mother. So why does the Orthodox Church here in twenty-first-century North America keep this feast?

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The sign of the Cross

sign of cross 

The symbol of Christian faith has ever been and always will be the Cross, for it is the sign of our redemption by our Lord Jesus Christ who came to earth to suffer for us and was crucified upon the Cross. When we wish to show that something is dedicated to Christ, we mark it with a Cross. The Cross is placed on church buildings, on the Holy Gospel, on banners, on the graves of the depart­ed. When we join the three fingers of our right hand together, it is as if we want­ed to say: «I believe in God, One in the Trinity; in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit; not in one person, but Three Persons; not in three gods, but One God.» When we bend the other two fingers of our right hand down to the palm it is as if we were saying: «I believe that our Saviour Jesus Christ, who is at the same time Real God and Real man – the God-man – came down to earth for our salvation. «As we make the sign of the Cross, we say the following prayer:

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For parents all over the world a prayer to God for our children and for all the children of the world for their protection and guidance

Mother and child

O God and Father, Creator and Preserver of all creation!

Give to our poor children and to all the children of the world, the grace of Your Holy Spirit, that He may light within them that true fear of God which is the beginning of wisdom, and common sense, the following of which is a source of eternal praise. Bless them with true knowledge of You, keep them from all idolatry and false teaching. Enable them to grow in true saving faith and in all piety, and let those be with them to the end.

Grant to them a faithful, obedient, humble heart and intellect, that they might grow in years and in grace before God and before men. Plant in their hearts love for Your Divine Word, so that they might be pious during prayers and during divine services, that they might show respect for the servants of Your Word, and be sincere in their actions, modest in body, chaste in morals, honest in word, faithful in action, diligent in studies, happy to complete their tasks, and wise and just toward everyone.

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The Other War (The ongoing war against the Christian Church)

New York, NY

6/18/2009

The Orthodox Christian Advocacy Institute (OCAI) researches, investigates, and reports incidents involving the persecution of the Orthodox Christian Church. They focus on contemporary events in locations throughout the world, wherever persecution of the Orthodox Church exists and present this information to the Christian community, human rights groups, and governmental organizations.

An article compiled by the OCAI addressing the persecution of Orthodox Christians can be read below.

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The Other War

By D. Hunter Haynes

The ongoing war against the Christian Church is gaining momentum throughout the world. According to the International Bulletin of Missionary Research, 176,000 Christians will suffer martyrdom this year–an average of 480 per day, and the number is expected to climb to 210,000 by 2025. These figures do not include the living, who have been arrested, tortured, or otherwise persecuted for their Faith. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »