Yandex Metrika
A Sermon on the Translation of the Relics of Sts. Peter and Fevronia

Sts. Peter and Fevronia, Inspiring Examples of Family Life

Archpriest Andrey Lemeshonok

A sermon by Archpriest Andrey Lemeshonok

Today, we celebrate the memory of the right-believing saints Peter and Fevronia. They pray in heaven for all those who choose the hard and narrow way to return to God's grace and overcome the fall. They intercede for every man and woman who will never say of their other half what Adam said to God: The woman you put here with me she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it. (Genesis 3: 12). They plead for God's mercy for those who bear the burdens of their spouse all their lives, in keeping with the teaching of our Lord. (Galatians 6: 2).

Theirs is truly a great accomplishment, which many tend to underestimate when they are young. But when people mature and understand more, many find themselves too selfish, too meek and too lacking in love. We all know the terrible divorce statistics and the sad reality of children being left without parental love. But even when the parents stay together, the tensions, disputes, and bitterness between them affect many children. Worse still, adultery destroys the foundations of trust and deals a fatal blow to many families.

With the blessing of His Holiness the Patriarch of Russia, today's augmented litany at church includes supplications for the preservation of families and marriage. "What God has joined together, let not man separate, and that the churches of their homes may be granted indestructible might and an abundance of love unfeigned."

There is no doubt that the family is the primary target of the demonic attacks from the world of sin. The world of sin wants families to disappear. Today, all the prerequisites for the destruction of the family seem to be in place. If anyone had told you twenty years earlier that this would be happening today, would you have believed? "Are you mad?" many would have reacted. But today, the world has turned upside down. But we are not abandoning our struggle. It gives me great hope and joy to see young Orthodox faithful establish families and have many children. And by many, I mean more than one or two. It is an act of great courage and achievement. It is a feat of self-denial because it is right to dedicate our lives to the service of others, be it your husband or your children. It is a feat of humility and patience. As the Gospel calls us, "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way, you will fulfil the law of Christ". (Galatians 6: 2). The second chant of the wedding service, sung to the procession around the Analogion, starts with these words: The Holy martyrs... It reminds us that it takes a feat to enter the Kingdom of God.

And so we pray for all the families around us. We congratulate all their members who grow in their marriage, and do not grumble or complain: My flat is too small, or I have no money to meet all demands, Or I cannot live for myself, I cannot have a holiday abroad. Our greetings go to everyone who is not making excuses for accomplishing their feat and telling God: I ask you to have me excused (Luke 14:18). We must all pray, as we are praying for our future. Imagine a world where nobody has children any more, and nobody raises them in the faith. What will become of our church? There will be no people in it!

So let us all pray together. Let us invoke the names of the right-believing Peter and Fevronia, and ask them to intercede for everyone who is looking for a marriage partner. Let us pray for those who are still willing to take on the feat of married life and will not be stopped by its difficulties.

Prayer to the Holy & Right-believing Prince Peter & Princess Fevronia, the Wonderworkers of Murom

O great favourites of God and all-wondrous wonderworkers, right-believing Prince Peter and Princess Fevronia, intercessors for the city of Murom, preservers of honourable marriage and diligent advocates for all of us before the Lord! In the days of your earthly life ye showed forth a model of piety, Christian love and fidelity one to another, and thereby glorified lawful and blessed marriage. Wherefore, we have recourse unto you and pray with mighty zeal: Offer your holy supplications unto the Lord God for us sinners, and ask for us all things of goodly benefit to our souls and bodies: right faith, good hope, unfeigned love, unshakable piety, success in good works*; and by your supplications grant even more unto those united by the bond of matrimony chastity, love for one another in the bond of peace, oneness of mind of souls and bodies, an unsullied marriage bed, an undisgraced sojourn, long-lived progeny, the favour of children, homes full of goodness, and the imperishable crown everlasting glory in eternal life. Yea, O holy wonderworkers, disdain not our prayers which are offered unto you with compunction, but be ye our faithful helpers before the Lord, and vouchsafe that through your intercession we may receive eternal salvation and inherit the kingdom of heaven, that we may glorify the ineffable love for mankind of God Who is worshipped in Trinity – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – unto ages of ages. Amen.

Troparion and Kontakion to the Right-believing Wonderworkers Peter and Fevronia of Murom

Troparion, tone 8: Having lived thy good life in piety, O blessed Peter, thou wast a most precious offspring of the pious root; and thus having pleased God in peace with thy spouse, the all-wise Fevronia, the holy monastic life was vouchsafed unto you. Beseech the Lord, that He preserve our homeland unharmed, that we may honor your memory unceasingly.

Kontakion, tone 8: Pondering the transitory glory and governance of this world, O Peter, thou didst live piously in peace with thy spouse the all-wise Fevronia, having pleased God with your alms and prayers. Wherefore, lying inseparably in the tomb even after death, ye invisibly impart healing. Pray now unto Christ, that He preserve our land and the faithful who glorify you.

Preached after the liturgy on the feast of the translation of the relics of the right-believing saints Peter and Fevronia, the wonderworkers of Murom on 18.09.2022.

September 16, 2023
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