Saints Athanasius and Cyril were the archbishops of Alexandria and steadfast defenders of the purity of the Christian faith against the most influential heresies of their times. Both highly educated and well versed in theology and philosophy, they left behind a host of apologetic works still studied today. In their advocacy, they faced many hardships and risks. They exposed themselves to multiple dangers, but never wavered in their mission.
Saint Athanasius served as Patriarch of Alexandria for 47 years, starting 325. At one stage, he remained the only bishop that had not fallen into heresy. His refutation of Arianism was well received by the church fathers but earned him the wrath of the Arians for the rest of his life. Persecuted by his opponents, he spent more than two decades in exile. He had his first open battle with the followers of the Arian heresy in 325, when, at 28 years of age he spoke eloquently at the First Ecumenical Council at Nicea against the heretics.
Saint Syril is honoured for his role in the Council of Ephesus of 431, which defended the Christian faith from the false teachings of Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, regarding the person of the Virgin Mary. The victory of St. Cyril at the council did not appear certain at the time, as his opponent was highly influential and had powerful supporters, such as Patriarch John of Antioch. The Council's decision was swayed by St. Cyril's brilliant defence of the true teaching.
This week, we are preparing to celebrate the feast day of Saint Mary Magdalene, a dedicated disciple of Jesus Christ, the first to witness the resurrection of Christ and sent by Him to proclaim the news to the world.
Saints Anthony and Theodosius of the Kiev Caves lived in the 11th century. They are commonly regarded as the founders of monasticism in Ancient Rus’, the cradle of today's Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.
Saint Spyridon, much like our grandfather in heaven, is praying for us so we are not in need. He responds to our daily concerns and looks kindly upon us, even when we act up and do mischief.
On the 1st August, we glorify with great spiritual awe and affection the memory of Saint Seraphim of Sarov and pay tribute to his angelic life, which showed to many the path towards salvation.
The spiritual message of the icon revealed itself with time. It promises eventual forgiveness to the Russian people and the return of the supreme power from the Holy Theotokos after a long period of suffering and repentance.
On the 21st of November, we celebrate the Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and the Other Bodiless Powers. On this day, we commemorate the Chief of the Heavenly Hosts, Archangel Michael, as well as the Other Heavenly Bodiless Powers.
On the 11th of September, the Orthodox Christians that follow the Julian calendar commemorate Saint John the Forerunner by celebrating the feast day of his Martyrdom. John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus Christ.