Saturday, August 31, 2013

Johnny Appleseed
Planting the Seeds of Faith
in the Land of My People

A number of years ago, one of the young monks from our brother monastery, Holy Cross Hermitage in West Virginia, drove me for a day trip to Amish country, in Pennsylvania. While wandering around in a large hardware store that sold Amish supplies, I was mistaken by a little boy, who was with his vacationing parents, as the "King of the Amish". On another occasion, while traveling by ferry to Orcas Island, in the State of Washington, a young boy thought I was the wizard from Lord of the Rings, Gandalf.

In both cases I saw this mistaken identity as one more reason I am glad we Orthodox clergy wear cassocks, and sport beards. In a society that has become increasingly secularized, and where Christian religious garb is rarely worn publicly, the identification with popular, and good, images from folklore, becomes a wonderful opening for the sharing of my Orthodox faith. It affords yet another moment for me to be the most loving, giving, caring, and approachable person they have ever met. This in turn opens the way for the Holy Spirit to draw that person into a moment where they connect with that place within their own heart, where God awaits them. It also allows me to be, once again, a Johnny Appleseed of the Orthodox Faith, planting seeds of faith.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

A pilgrim from Russia (click on photo to enlarge)

Saturday August 31, 2013 / August 18, 2013
10th Week after Pentecost. Tone eight.

Afterfeast of the Dormition.
Martyrs Florus and Laurus of Illyria (2nd c.).
New Martyrs Archimandrite Augustine of Orans Monastery, Proto-priest Nicholas of Nizhni-Novgorod, and 15 people with them (1918).
New Hieromartyr Gregory priest and Martyr Eugene and Michael (1937).
Martyrs Hermes, Serapion, and Polyaenus of Rome (2nd c.).
Martyrs Hilarion, Dionysius, and Hermippus, Hieromartyr Emilian, and others (about 1,000) of Italy (4th c.).
Sts. John (674) and George (683), patriarchs of Constantinople.
Venerable Macarius the Monk of Pelekete (830).
Repose of Venerable John, abbot of Rila (946) (Bulgaria).
The Hodigitria Icon of the Mother of God.
Venerable Barnabus and his nephew Venerable Sophronius, monks of Mt. Mela near Trebizond (412) (Greek).
Venerable Christopher, abbot of Mt. Mela Monastery (1694) (Greek).
Venerable Sophronius of St. Anne's Skete on Mt. Athos (Greek).
Venerable Arsenius the New of Paros (1877) (Greek).
Martyr Juliana near Strobilus (Greek).
Martyr Leo, drowned near Myra in Lycia (Greek).
St. Christodoulos the Philosopher, called the Ossetian, of Georgia (12th c.) (Georgia).
You can read the life of the saint in red, by clicking on the name.

THANKS to all of you who have been able to contribute towards the support of the monastery. These difficult times of economic hardship have impacted the monastery, and those of you who have been able to donate, have been our lifeline. May God bless you for your generosity, and kindness.

With love in Christ,  
Abbot Tryphon

Donations can be made directly to the monastery through PayPal, or you may send donations to:

All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
PO Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA

The Scripture Readings for the Day

Romans 15:30-33

30 Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me, 31 that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you. 33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

Matthew 17:24-18:4

Peter and His Master Pay Their Taxes

24 When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, “Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?”
25 He said, “Yes.”
And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?”
26 Peter said to Him, “From strangers.”
Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. 27 Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.”

Who Is the Greatest?

18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

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