His name translates as 'servant of God', and he was one of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament. He wrote the fourth book of the minor prophets, the Book of Obadiah. It is one of the shortest books in the bible, where he predicted the coming of the Saviour from Mount Zion and the salvation of the gentiles.
He lived a life full of dangers and perils. He served at the court of the Israeli King Ahab, who reigned at the time when the God-chosen people fell away from God and began to offer sacrifices to idols. He was one of the few who remained loyal, continuing to serve the true God in secret. The impious wife of the apostate king launched the persecution of all prophets, directing her wrath at the Prophet Elias. Obadiah offered the beleaguered prophets shelter and gave them food. Three parties of soldiers were sent to capture Elias, two of which two perished in the Divine fire. By the prayer of Elias, and the Lord spared the third, led by Obadiah. Obadiah left military service and eventually acquired the gift of prophecy.
From the perspective of the present day, Obadiah's prophesies remind us about the dangers of pride, selfishness and disregard for the implications of our actions on other people. He tells us the tragedy of the people of Edom who took up arms against God's people and formed alliances with their enemies – only to find themselves betrayed. In icons, he is painted as a sage with a white beard, holding a scroll predicting that all those who rely on human scheming in defiance of the will of God will be humbled.
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 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.
Sister Anastasia of St Elisabeth Convent tells a story of a miracle performed by St John of Shanghai and San Francisco that she not only witnessed but was also involved with.
On 28 October, the Orthodox Christians of Belarus commemorate 23 saints martyrs of the Minsk Diocese, glorified in 1999 as locally venerated saints. They suffered from 1917 to 1951, sharing the struggles of our Church in the 20th century.
Saint Seraphim’s life was marked by various signs and wonders testifying to his election from very early in life. At the age of seven Prokhor Moshnin (the birth name of the saint) fell from a tall bell tower but God delivered him unharmed.
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.
As the sages of the East used to say, one would be cursed to live in a time of abrupt change. Saint Sergius of Radonezh lived in one of Russia's most troubled periods and left us some valuable insights that have survived his day.