Volume 51; Number 9 March 1, 2015
The veneration of icons
The veneration of icons is an integral part of Orthodoxy from which it cannot be separated. That the veneration of icons appears to some people the same as idolatry is no proof against icons. To the Jews, it seemed that Christ worked miracles by the power of Satan and not God, and to the Romans, it seemed that Christian martyrs were ordinary sorcerers and magicians. Saint Nicephorus said to Leo the Armenian the iconoclastic emperor: “The icon is a divine thing and not to be worshipped.” Following this, he explained “how God commanded Moses to make a serpent of brass and to raise it in the wilderness even though, just before this, He had commanded: “Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image” (Exodus 20:4). He commanded this in order to save the chosen people from the idolatry of the Egyptians and He commanded that He, the One and Most High God, would manifest His power through a visible thing.
Thus in the same manner He manifests His power through icons. That is His holy will and our aid for salvation. If icons are things of little significance or even idolatry, why would many of the holiest and most spiritual men and women in the history of the Church have suffered to the death for icons?
Holy Bishop Nikolaj, Prolog
Ikonopoštovanje je sastavni deo Pravoslavlja, od koga se ono ne može odvojiti. Što se nekim ljudima učini da je ikonopoštovanje isto što i idolopoklonstvo, to nije nikakav dokaz protiv ikona. I Jevrejima se učinilo, da Hristos tvori čudesa silom satane a ne Boga; a Rimljanima se učinilo da su hrišćanski mučenici obični volšebnici i mađioničari. „Ikona je stvar božestvena no ne obožena,” rekao je sv. Nikifor ikonobornom caru Lavu Jermeninu. Zatim mu je objasnio kako je Bog naredio Mojsiju da napravi zmiju od bakra i uzdigne je u pustinji, mada je pre toga zapovedio bio: ne gradi sebi lika rezana. Ovo je zapovedio da bi spasao narod izabrani od misirskog idolosluženja, a ono je zapovedio da bi On, Bog jedini i svevišnji, pokazao svoju silu kroz stvar vidljivu.
Tako On pokazuje Svoju silu i kroz ikone. To je Njegova sveta volja a naša korist ka spasenju. Da su ikone stvar maloznačajna, ili čak idolska, zar bi mnogi od najsvetijih i najduhovnijih ljudi i žena u istoriji crkve postradali za ikone do smrti.
Sveti Vladika Nikolaj, Prolog
A Church Where the Theotokos Confirms the Practice of Fasting
In the village of Lithines, located in the Seteia district of Crete, there is an ancient Church dedicated to the Panagia [Most Holy Theotokos], which celebrates its Feast Day on September 8th [The Nativity of the Theotokos].
Conspicuous among the Temple Icons is that of the Panagia of Lithines (or Lithinon), which is framed by innumerable votive offerings, since it has worked many miracles.
The church has a large courtyard and guesthouse. The village residents frequently pass through the forecourt of the church, using it as a shortcut to their homes.
If, however, they buy meat during a fasting period and go through the courtyard, the meat is infected with easily discernible worms!
This miracle did not only take place in bygone ages.
Certain disbelievers in our days carried out the following experiment: They bought fresh meat during a fasting period and passed through the forecourt of the church. They, too, noticed that the meat turned maggoty!
Once, a butcher tried passing through here while carrying half a lamb. Halfway through the courtyard, however, his legs were paralyzed and he fell down, calling out in fright!
In this way, the Theotokos has confirmed the practice of fasting in the consciences of the faithful.
READINGS FOR Today First Sunday of Lent, Sunday of Orthodoxy
Epistle: Heb. 11:24-26, 32-40, 12:1-2; Gospels: St John 1:43-51.
READINGS For Next Sunday: Epistle: Heb. 11:24-26, 32-40, 12:1-2; Gospel: St John 1:43-51.
Remembered at the Litany for the Departed today are JOHN BUTZ; MARY KRESTOS; JACOB VIA (Req by Ann Mitich): and all recent victims of natural disasters, epidemics and war.
ST BASIL’S LITURGY is served on the Sundays of Great Lent. Follow the beautiful prayers in your prayer book. The Liturgy of St. Basil is longer, so expect everything to take more time during Lent. Parents should expect the Church School classes to run as long as 12:15.
FISH FRIES are again being sponsored by our parish. Please come and support this effort, which will run every Friday until April 3, from 4–7 PM. Bring your friends! All proceeds benefit St. Stephen’s congregation.
Today is the Sunday of Orthodoxy. The Orthodox parishes of Western NY will gather for the annual celebration at the Ss Peter & Paul Church, 45 Ideal Street, in the Lovejoy district of Buffalo. All Orthodox Christians are called to participate in these beautiful Lenten Vespers, followed by a presentation, and Lenten refreshments. Come and enjoy this fellowship with our Orthodox brothers and sisters from across Western NY.
The Pan Orthodox Vespers next Sunday will be served at our own St. Stephen Church. Plan on being here to welcome our friends from surrounding Orthodox parishes. Please prepare a posno dish to serve during our fellowship after the service. As always, help in the kitchen is gratefully accepted.
High School class Lenten Collections begin today. Today we are collecting cans of tuna fish and cans of soup. Next Sunday we are collecting sticks of deodorant and bottles of shampoo. Let us remember, fasting time is also the time for almsgiving. Our goals is to collect 100 of each item.
PREPARING FOR THE SACRAMENTS OF CONFESSION AND COMMUNION is an important Lenten effort. All our parishioners are called to prepare themselves and to receive Holy Communion as often as possible. Do not wait until the last minute to come to Confession during Great Lent. Confessions are heard after Vespers each Saturday night, before Pre-Sanctified Liturgy on Wednesdays, or by appointment wit the priest at other times. Sunday morning confessions are reserved only for those who travel a great distance, or who are truly unable to come on Saturday nights. Put Confession in your weekly schedule and plan to come on Saturday nights or at times other than on Sunday mornings.
Please join our HOLY WEEK CHOIR which rehearses Fridays after the Akathist service. Help to beautify our Holy Week services, and sing praises to our Lord as He sacrifices Himself for us. Singers of all ages are welcome.
LITTLE FALCONS The latest issue of Little Falcons children’s magazine is available for $2. Parents should purchase them for their children. The theme of the current issue is Holy Canons!
PLEASE KEEP THE FOLLOWING SOLDIERS IN YOUR PRAYERS: Thomas Vukcevic; Benjamin Pappas; Paul Campbell, Michael Rapasky; Brady Sexton, Jeffrey Izo, Michael Greenwood, James Koch, Adam Paich, John Stanz, Peter Mrvos, Michael Antecki, Matthew Ross, Steven Marrocco, Dane Gaynor. These soldiers are remembered at the Proskomedia (Service of Preparation) before every Divine Liturgy. If you have names to contribute to this list of servicemen serving overseas, please share them with Father.
COMMUNITY CALENDAR: SUNDAY, March 1 through SUNDAY, March 8, 2015.
This is the second week of the fast. Regular fasting, strict fasting only on Wednesday and Friday.
Sunday Divine Liturgy and Church School 10 AM; Sunday of Orthodoxy. Pan Orthodox Vespers Ss Peter & Paul Church, Buffalo, 5 PM.
Monday Tammies & Dancers 6 PM; Parish Council meeting 7 PM.
Wednesday Presanctified Liturgy 5:30 PM; Lenten pot luck supper and discussion follow.
Friday Fish Fry 4 to 7 PM; Small Compline & Akathist 7 PM; Holy Week Choir rehearsal.
Saturday Vespers & Confession 6 PM
Sunday Divine Liturgy and Church School 10 AM; Second Sunday of Great Lent, St. Gregory Palamas. Pan Orthodox Vespers here at St. Stephen’s 5 PM.
Check our website calendar for any last minute changes in scheduling.
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! — HE IS AND SHALL BE!
ХРИСТОС ЈЕ ПОСРЕД НАС! — И ЈЕСТЕ И БИЋЕ!
ST. PANTELEIMON COMMITTEE Pray for the health of all our ailing brothers and sisters.
Litany of Fervent Supplication: Popadija Nancy Hutnyan (Home); Archpriest Thomas Hopko (PA); Metodije Damljanovic; Irene Fruhauf; Branka Sciuk; Rick Zivic; Martha Masich Olka; Martin Darmstedter; Mother Ana; Ilinka Tomic; Rebecca Todd; Alexandra Lapchuk (NJ); Boranka Kajtaz (Banjaluka); Andrew Wojtaszczyk; Sam Poznanovich; Mary Ann Tomich (PA); Dan & Marilyn Wilson; Lauren Tasseff; Leisa Wheeler; Fr. Joseph Cervo; Katie Repaski; Serafima Zdjelar; Caroline Magaris; Paul Just; Kosa Opacic; Danica Opacic; Georgene Stevanoff (OLV); Janice LeGresley; Eugenia Babitsch; Christine Schulz; Angeline Pappas; Zora Palavestra; Stephanie Frauer; Marta Jaskula Mondich; Mildred Kokanovich; Brady Mclaughlin (FL); John Schmitz; Spencer Calos; Kristin Engelhart; James Kovacevic (PA); Scott & Maxine Smatlak (PA); Carly Serra; Conrad & Mary Jean Toepfer; Linda Moran (MN); Olga Tracy (TX); (Ca); Dragan Reznicak (W.VA); Martha Pavlakis; Stojan Kosovac (Hamilton); Anna Tonarely (FL);.
Proskomedia: Deacon Mark Hoeplinger; Helen Biggs; Jovana Marjanovic; Fr. Christopher Rocknage; Milenko Zdjelar; Erika Tiem (Germany); Carl Heinz Blashke (Germany); Dusan Curuvija; Popadija Tamara Spasojevic Natalie Hawkins; David Preljeva; Susan McLaughlin; Doreen Szczesniak; Mirjana Pavlica; Steven Munich; James & Joann Raditic; Anna Evanoff Viruet; Svetozar Grgurevich; Tanja Trifkovic; Amanda Szczesniak; Milenko Zdjelar Sr.; Stevo Jojic; Wade (Vladimir) McFarland; Michalene Conti (FL); Annabelle Sauer; Melanie Rozwood; Milka Karlovic; Dan & Mary Stojanovich; Vladimir Popovic; Fr Laurence Lazar; Fr. John Nehrebecki; Fr Zvonimir Kotorcevic; Fr George Yatsko; Fr. Roman Braga (MI); Fr. Stephen Gousios; Paula Hughes; John & Joan Munich; Milan Pajic; Ljupka Palavestra; Kelly Pavich; Christine Kmitch (FL); Dan Bolam; Marcia Yunke; Katherine Lippard; Stephen Todorovich; Mile Zdjelar; Daniel Pavichevich (CA) Vladimir Jovic; Valu Tumpaloff; Nicole Dicioccio; Milka Bosilkovski; Nada Zdero; Nicholas Skirpan; Daniel Metz; Karl Stefanovich; Branko Guskic; Kathryn Frederick; ; Joseph York; Henry Darmstedter; Milan Jovic; Stevo Simic; Nancy Healy; George & Carol Kovacevic (NC); Jacqueline Fuellhart; Patricia Wilson; Maurie & James Jachimiak; Joann Panek; Vera & Mark Markoff; Darinka Nedelkov; Ramon Murphy; Matthew Barusic; Vukica Stojanovic; Milena Corhasanovic; Dale Hauser; Basil Korbut; John Stanz; Vidosava Toskovic; Miss Mary Korach (FrBakerMan); Leiselotte Siljegovic; Dragana Salom (Il); Robert Setter; Chrisante Gassett; Zarka Popovic (CA); Robert Boller; Wayne & Thomas Jousma; Marge Spano, Anthony Dipiano; Jeanette Stanley; Mary Karolewski; Marija Trbojevic (Il); Iso Bjelanovic; Dusan Samardzija; Drazen Jokanovic; Mary Parillo (MA); Wyatt & Tony Lamb; Kathy Hanny (FL); Jane Glass (Hamburg); Anname Gracer; Daniel Dicioccio; Joanne Hamilton; Christine Madej (MA); Diane & Ronald Kukavica; Miljan Vanovac; Richard Wyse; Arlene Schmitz; Peter Mitich; Dusko Vanovac; Anastasia Hiles (PA); Olga Yandrich (Pgh); Stephen Engle; Dorothy Baron (PA); Danielle Williams; Patricia Maletich (OH); Richard Carney; Vlado, Jennifer, Peter Popovich; David Donald (PA); Ljubica Jevtic; Mary Beth Buntich (NM); Fr. Srboljub Bulich (Belgrade); Fr. Herman Schick; Fr. Miladin Garich; Fr. Michael Zaparyniuk (FL); Fr. Dennis Pavichevich; Joanne Markey; Joseph Rozwood Jr; Rose Gardina; Elaine Daminski; Paula Russian (FL); Gregory Smith (DC); Dan Neary; Margaret Nigrelli; Adam Brevner (Li); Richard Lockwood; Christine Marx (IL); Arthur Reis; Vera Sredanovic (CA); Ronald Bede (OH); Mary Lou Bremmer; Helen Tanner (FrBakerMan); And any ill or hospitalized parishioners we may have missed.