Sunday, April 27, 2014

Mt. Sinai Monastery
Abbot Tryphon and Abuna Tekla

Saint Catherine Monastery on Mt. Sinai 
  threatened with demolition

A retired Egyptian general has, in the spirit of the militant, anti-Christian Muslim Brotherhood, added a note of insanity to the violence against Orthodox Christians in Egypt, which has included the burning of churches and monasteries and the murder of countless Coptic Christians. General Ahmed Raga Attiya has called for the famous Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. Catherine on Mt. Sinai to be demolished, and its 37 monks (mostly Greek) deported.

This unfortunate display of anti-Christian sentiments, which are increasingly widespread in Egypt, is noteworthy, if for no other reason than the appalling ignorance and sick persistence of the General who is responsible for it. (He is the founder of the Egyptian Army's "Special Operations" division.) The General has secured 71 administrative orders for the destruction of the ancient monastery, which though built under the Byzantine Emperor Justinian (†565), he claims,—astonishingly enough—was built in 2006, and is thus not of historical significance!

General Attiya's newest court case renews his demands for the destruction of the monastic community and the deportation of the monks, on the grounds that they pose a threat to Egypt's national security. He also claims that the monastery, which is said to be built on the site of the Burning Bush, has hidden water sources (allegedly the twelves sacred springs of Moses), changed the names of landmarks in the area of the monastery, and made the monastery a Greek enclave supporting foreign infringement of Egyptian sovereignty.

In fact, the monastery is a UNESCO-protected site and is supervised by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities. Nonetheless, the case has been placed in the hands of an independent committee of experts to examine the General's demands.

It is a tribute to anti-Christian Islamic fanaticism, a wholly irresponsible Egyptian court system, and a claim that is either the product of religious  bigotry gone mad or significantly advanced senile dementia that any of the General's claims were ever given attention in a court of law, let alone allowed to serve as the basis for court-sponsored administrative orders, and review by a judicial committee of experts.

Yet more evidence of the sad plight of Eastern Christians at the hands of Islamic extremism. What a sad commentary on the modern world that such primitive fundamentalism persists. One would wish that moderate Muslims would speak up. But they are silent as are most Western Christians. Please remember our persecuted Christian brothers and sisters in Egypt, and throughout the Middle East.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

click on photo to enlarge

Photos: Our friend of over twenty years, Father Tekla, the priest of Saint Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Puyallup, WA, together with a visiting priest from Egypt, Father Boutros, visited the monastery on Saturday afternoon, accompanied by many local Coptic lay people.
Abuna Boutros, Father Moses, and Abuna Tekla

Notice: In previous postings on this blog, I wrote that the monastery is not supported by the Western American Diocese, of which we are a part. This statement was incorrect, and in fact our diocese holds a special collection each year for its two main monasteries, of which All-Merciful Saviour Monastery is one, and parishes all throughout the diocese, which are often themselves extremely poor, offer what they are able on our behalf. Additionally, the diocese has in the past offered us additional financial support in cases of extreme need, and has even this year made adjustments to its collections to help bring funds to us earlier in the year. As a monastery of the Western American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, we are grateful to the diocese, and to its parishes and many faithful who contribute to our life in this way--whose small but heartfelt contributions join with those of our many other benefactors to make our life here possible.

Beloved friends and benefactors:

The Monastery is in need of a newer vehicle. After many years and well over 200,000 miles our venerable old van lost it's transmission on Pascha Day, and was deemed beyond repair by our mechanic, because of it's age.

Please, if you can, would you consider helping us obtain a used 2006 Toyota station wagon that has become available for only $13,000.00. With very low mileage, this is the best vehicle we have been able to find, and we'd like to move on it as quickly as possible. Our monthly budget is somewhat stable but does not allow any capital expenses. Even $30 per reader would reach our goal.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sunday April 27, 2014 / April 14, 2014
Second Sunday of Pascha: Antipascha, St. Thomas Sunday.

"Sladkoe lobzanie" Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (9th c.) (movable holiday on the Antipascha).
St. Martin the Confessor, pope of Rome (655).
New Martyr Sergius (Trofimov) of Nizhni-Novgorod and one with him (1918).
New Hieromartyr Alexander confessor, priest (1941).
Martyrs Anthony, John and Eustathius of Vilnius (Lithuania) (1347).
Martyr Ardalion the Actor, who suffered under Maximian (3rd c.).
Martyr Azat the Eunuch and 1,000 Martyrs in Persia (341).
"Vilna" Icon of the Mother of God.
Monk-martyr Christopher of Mar Sabbas (797).
St. Cyriacus, bishop of Jerusalem (4th c.) (Greek).
Apostles Aristarchus, Pudens, and Trophimus of the Seventy (Greek).
New Martyr Demetrius of the Peloponnesus, who suffered at Tripoli (1803).
St. Euthymius the Wonderwoker (Greek).
You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.

The Scripture Readings for the Day

Acts 5:12-20

Continuing Power in the Church

12 And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. 13 Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. 14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. 16 Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

Imprisoned Apostles Freed

17 Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation, 18 and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison. 19 But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 20 “Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.”

John 20:19-31

The Apostles Commissioned

19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

Seeing and Believing

24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

That You May Believe

30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

I invite my readers to listen to my
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All-Merciful Saviour Monastery is a monastery of the Western American Diocese, under the
omophor of His Eminence Kyrill, Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America. The Monastery is a non-profit 501 C3 organization under IRS regulations. All donations are therefore tax deductible. We depend on the generosity of our friends and benefactors. You can donate to the monastery through PayPal, or by sending donations directly to the monastery's mailing address.

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

Abbot Tryphon's email address:

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