1 16 ST. NICHOLAS GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH November 2013 Volume 41 - Issue 11 THE CANON Thanksgiving Prayers We thank You, loving Master, benefactor of our souls, that on this day we offer unto you praise, thanksgiving and worship for all your many blessings that we have received from you. Direct our ways on the right path, establish us firmly in Your fear, guard our life, and make our endeavors safe, through the prayer and supplications of the glorious Theotokos and ever virgin Mary and of all Your Saints. Amen. Lesser Doxology Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will to men. We praise You, we bless You, we worship You, we glorify You, we give thanks to You for Your great glory. O Lord King, heavenly God, Father Almighty, O Lord, Only-begotten Son, and Holy Spirit! O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, who takes away the sin of the world, have mercy on us, You who take away the sin of the world. Accept our supplication, You Who sit at the right hand of the Father, and have mercy on us. For You alone are Holy, Your alone are the Lord, Jesus Christ, in the glory of God the Father. Amen. Every day I will bless You, and praise Your Name into eternity, from age to age. (Continued on page 3)
2 November 2013 Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Daylight savings time ends Sunday, November 3rd at 2:00 am. Don t forget to set your clocks back 1 hour! Sweet Potato Casserole /2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks 2. 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted, plus more for brushing 3. Salt /2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg /2 cups light brown sugar 6. 1 cup milk, warmed 7. 3 large eggs, beaten 8. 1 cup pecan halves (4 ounces) 9. 1 cup cornflakes 10. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 3 Orthros 9:45 am 10:30 am 10 Orthros 9:45 am 10:30 am G.O.Y.A, Meeting 17 Orthros 9:45 10:30 am General Assembly JOY meeting 24 Orthros 9:45am 10:30 am Veterans Day A.H.E.P.A. 6:30 pm Election Day PHILOPOTCHOS 6:30 PM Old Town Pizza A.H.E.P.A. 6:30 PM 6 NIGHT WITH FATHER 7:00 PM 7 SENIORS 5:00 PM 8 Archangel Michael and Gabriels Orthros 9:30 Divine Lit. 10:15 am NIGHT WITH FATHER 7:00 PM Entrance of Theotolkos in the Temple Orthros 9: 30 am 10:15 am Thanksgiving Preheat the oven to 350. Butter a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Put the sweet potatoes in a large pot. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Cook over moderate heat until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well, shaking off the excess water. Transfer the sweet potatoes to a food processor (in batches, if necessary) and puree until smooth. 2. Scrape the puree into a large bowl. Add half of the butter, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of the nutmeg, 1/2 cup of the brown sugar and the milk and stir until combined. Stir in the eggs. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and smooth the surface. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. 3. Meanwhile, spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes, until lightly toasted. Transfer the pecans to a work surface and coarsely chop them. In a bowl, toss the pecans with the cornflakes, cinnamon and the remaining melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1 cup of brown sugar. Season with salt. 4. Remove the foil from the casserole. Spoon small clumps of the topping all over the sweet potatoes. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes longer, until the topping is golden and sizzling. 12 servings Food & Wine / February 2007
3 14 3 (Continued from page 1) Lord, You have been our refuge from generation to generation. I said: Lord, have mercy on me. Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You. O Lord, to You have I fled. Teach me t obey Your will, for You are my God. For You are the source of light, and in Your light we shall see light. Extend Your mercy upon those who know You. Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin. Blessed art You O Lord, God of our fathers, and praised and glorified is Your name forever. Amen. Let Your mercy come upon us, O Lord, even as we have set our hope in You. Blessed are You, O Lord, teach me your statutes. Blessed are You, O Master, make me to understand Your statutes. Blessed are You, O Holy One, enlighten me with Your statutes. Your mercy, O Lord, is forever. Do not overlook the works of Your hands. To You belong all praise; to you is due song; to You is due glory; to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen. +Σέ υμνούμεν, σέ ευλογούμεν, σοί ευχαριστούμεν, Κύριε, καί δεόμεθα σου, ο Θεός ημών. We praise You, we bless You, we give thaks to You, and we pray to You, o Lord our God.
4 4 13 Οι 10 ΠΛΗΓΕΣ ΤΟΥ ΦΑΡΑΩ Σύμφωνα μέ τή διαταγή τού Θεού ο Μωυσής μέ τόν αδελφό του, τόν Ααρών, παροτσιάστηκαν στόν Φαραώ καί τού ζήτησαν ν αφήση ελεύθερο τό λαό τους νά φύγη. Ο Φαεαώ ομως όχι μόνο δέν δέχτηκε ν αφήση ελεύθερος τούς Ισραηλίτς νά φύγουν, αλλά φέρθηκε σκληρά στόν Μωυσή. Έτσι ο Θεός, γιά νά αναγκάση τόν Φαραώ ν αφήση τόν λαό του νά φύγη, αποφάσισε νά τιμωρήση τούς Αιγυπτίους. Οι τιμωρίες αυτές ήσαν 10 καί λέγονται : οι 10 πληγές τού Φαραώ. 1) Τό νερό τού Νείλου έγινε αίμα, τά ψάρια ψόφησαν καί οι Αίγύτιοι υπέφεραν από νερό. 2) Οι λίμνες καί τά ποτάμια γέμισαν από βατράχια, πού βγαιναν έξω κι έμπαιναν σέ όλα τά σπίτια τών Αιγυπτίων. 3) Σύννεφα ολόκληρα από σκνίπες γέμισαν ολόκληρη τήν Αίγυπτο. 4) Πλήθος από φοβερές μύγες άρχισαν νά τούς τσιμπούν. 5) Βαρειά αρρώστια έπεσε στά ζώα τών Αιγυπτίων καί ψοφούσαν. 6) Γέμισαν τά σώματα τών Αιγυπτίων καί τών ζώων τούς από φοβρές πλήγες 7) Επεσε δυνατό χαλάζι καί κατέστρεψς όλα τά σπαρτά τους. 8) Γέμισε ο ουρανός από ακρίδες πού κατέφαγαν όλα τούς τά φυτά. 9) Έπεσε πυκνό σκοτάδι γία τρείς ημέρες στήν περιοχή τών Αιγυτίων, ενώ στούς Ισραηλίτες ητάν φώς. 10) Παρ όλες όμως αυτές τίς πληγές πού έστελνε ο Θεός στόν Φαραώ αυτός έμεινε αμετανόητος, διότι χρειαζόταν εργατικά χέρια. Έτσι ο Θεός αποφάσισε νά στείλη τήν τελευταία καί φοβερώτερη πληγή. Άγγελος Κυρίου Θά περνούσε από τά σπίτια τών Αιγυπτίων καί θά σκότωνε κάθε πρωτότοκο παιδί καί ζώο. Γιά νά γλυτώσουν οι Ισραηλίτες, έπρεπε νά σφράξουν ένα αρνί κάι μέ τό αίμα του νά βάπψουν τήν πόρτα τους, γιά νά γνωρίση ο άγγελος τά σπίτια καί νά μή καί νά μή πεθάνουν καί δικά τους παιδία καί ζώα. Τό αρνί αυτό έπρεπε, όπως τούς παρήγγειλε ο Μωυσής, νά τό φάνε ολόκληρο χωρίς νά σπάσουν τά κόκκαλά του καί νά είναι ετοιμοί νά φύγουν, διότι ο Φαραώ θά τούς άφηνε ελεύθερους. Ξαφνικά μέσα στή νύχτα φοβερές καί σπαρακτικές φωνές ακούστηκαν. Ο άγγελος τούς τιμώρησε. Όλα τά πρωτοτοκα παιδιά καί ζώα τών Αιγυπτίων είχαν πεθάνει. Τρομαγμένος ο Φαραώ κάλεσε μέσα στήν νύχτα τόν Μωυσή καί τού έδωσς τήν άδεια νά φύγη αυτός καί όλος ο λαός τών Ισραηλιτών, πού έφθανε τίς εξακίσιες χιλιάδες άνδρες. Parish Christmas Card The Church once again will be printing the annual Parish religious Christmas Card with the names of participating parishioners. If you wish to have your family s name or the name of your organization printed on the card, we ask that you submit your names and a donation to the Church no later than December 10th Name: Donation:
5 12 5 Η ΔΙΑΒΑΣΙ ΤΗΣ ΕΡΥΘΡΑΣ ΘΑΛΛΑΣΣΗΣ Christmas Poinsettias The Christmas season is upon us. We are planning to decorate our Church with Poinsettias. If you wish to purchase one or more for the Church please contact the church office Μόλις δόθηκε η άδεια, όλοι οι Ισραηλίτες ξεκίνησαν. Μία στήλη καπνού τήν ημέρα καί μία φωτινή στήλη τήν νύχτα τούς οδηγεί. Όλοι μαζί προχωρούν γία τήν γή Χαναάν, τή γή τών πατέρων τους. Σιγά σιγά έφτασαν στήν Ερυθρά Θάλασσα καί κάθησαν νά ξεκουραστούν. Ξαφνικά βλέπυν πίσω τους νά έρχωνται οι Αιγύπιοι. Ο Φαραώ μετανόησε, πού άφησε τούς Ισραηλίτες νά φύγουν καί νά χάση έτσι τόσες χιλιάδες εργατικά χέρια, κι έτρεξε νά τούς πτοφτάση. Οι Ισραηλίτες δέν γνωρίζουν τί νά κάνουν. Εμπρός βρίσκεται η θάλασσα καί πίσω οι Αιγύπτιοι. Αρχίζουν νά παρπονούνται εναντλιον τού Μωησή. Καλύτερα νά πεθαίναμε, έλεγαν, στήν Αίγυπτοπαρά μέσα στή έρημο. Δέν υπήρχαν μνήματα στήν Αίγυπτο καί ήρθαμε νά ταφούμε στήν έρημο; ρωτούσαν ο ένα τόν άλλο. Ο Μωυσης κοιτάζει τόν λαό του, κοιτάζοι πίσω τούς Αιγυπτίουςπού έρχονται, υψώνει τό χέρι του καί φωνάζει δυνατά: Μή φοβάστε! Περιμένετε νά ιδήτε τή σωτηρία πού θά μάς δώση ο Κύριος. Καί αμέσως, σύμφωνα μέ τή διαταγή τού Θεού, χτυπάει μέ τήν ράβδο του τήν Ερυθρά Θάλασσα καί γίναται τότε μεγάλο καί πρωτάκουστο θαύμα. Σχίζονται τά νερά τής θάλασσας στήν μέση καί ανοίγεται ένας διάδρομος ξηράς μέσα στήν θάλασσα, σά νά πάγωσαν ξαφνικά τά νερά από τά δύο μέρη. Προχορούν μέσα οι Ισεαλίτεςκαί περνούν όλοι απέναντι χωρίς ούτε τά πόδια τους νά βραχούν. Πίσω κυνηγώντας τους έρχονται οι Αιγύτιοι καί μπαίνουν καί αυτοί μέσα στό άνοιγμα τής θάλασσας, πού βλέπουν μπροστά τους, χωρίς νά σκεφθούν. Ο Μωυσής, μόλις βλέπει όλον τόν λαόν του νά έχει περάσει, σηκώνει ξανά τή ράβδο του καί τά νερά τής Ερυθράς Θαλάσσης ξανακλείνουν, σκεπάζοντας όλον τόν σρατό τών Αιγυπτιών. Οι Ισραηλίτες, βλέποντας τήν τόσο θαυμαστή σωτηρία τους καί τόν εχθρό τους νά εξαφανίζεται μπροστα στά μάτια τούς, πέφτουνγονατιστοί κι ευχαριστούν τόν Θεό. Ύστερα μέ επί κεφαλήςτή Μαριάμ, τήν αδελφή τού Ααρπών καί του Μωυσή, στήνουν χορό καί τραγούδουν. (Συνέχεια επόμενο τεύχος)
6 Virtues Faith The foundation of all Christian virtue and life is faith. Faith is the natural possession of all men who are wise and virtuous. For if a person lacks faith in man s ability to know, to do good and to find meaning in life; if he does not believe that this is possible, profitable and worthy of man s efforts, then nothing wise or virtuous can be achieved. The striking characteristic of all prophets of doom, apostles of despair and preachers of absurdity is the absence of faith in man s capabilities for goodness and truth, and the absence of faith in the meaning and value of life. It is also an absence of faith in God. Faith in god is the fundamental virtue of all the saints. (Hebrew 11) The prototype of the believer in God is Abraham, the father of Israel. The promise to Abraham and his descendents that they should inherit the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. That is why righteousness depends on faith in order to guarantee it to all his descendents who share the faith of Abraham, for he is the father of us all in the presence of God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised. This is why his faith was reckoned to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:6) But the words it was reckoned to him were written not for 6 his sake only, but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in Him that raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification. (Romans 4:13-25) Faith in god is fundamental for the spiritual life. And to believe in God is to believe in His Son Jesus Christ as well. Let not your hearts be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in me.believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of my works themselves. (John 14:1-11) Faith in Jesus as the Christ, the son of the living God, is the center of the Christian life and the foundation of the Church. (Matthew 16:16) It is the source of all wisdom, power and virtue. It is the means by which man can know and do all things, for all things are possible to him who believes. (Mark 9:23) (Matthew 17:20) Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5) Faith, first of all, is the assurance of things hoped for, the coviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1) It is confidence in the spiritual capabilities of man and in the goodness and power of God. It is intellectual assent and existential everyday trust in the promises and gifts of God, given to the world Congratulations: To Constantine and Michaela Gulgas upon the birth of the daughter Elaina Catherine born October 7, 2013 Νά μας ζήση!!! Sympathy: To Tom Karabogias and his family upon the death of Sonja Karabogias who fell asleep in the Lord on October 9, 201 +May God rest her soul and grant comfort to the family.+ Don t Forget: Change your clocks 1 hour back on November 3 rd at 2:00 a.m. Memorial Service: There will be a 1 year Memorial Service for Peter T. Pulos on Sunday November 3 rd. General Assembly: There will be a General Assembly on Sunday November 17 th after Church. Please be reminded that in order to participate your financial obligation to the Church must be met in full for the year New Officers: Congratulation to the following Organizations upon the election of their new Officers: Seniors: President: Gus Markou, Vice President Alex Georgas, Secretary: Beverly Korogianos A.H.E.P.A.: President: Steve Stevens, Vice President: Gus Markou, Secretary: Michael Poulos, Treasurer: Tom Carvour. 11 G.O.Y.A.: President: Giorgia Nicolaou, Vice President: Sevi Kontokanis, Secretary: Ari Fine, Treasurer: Peter Georgas. Congratulations and may you have a fruitful year! Night With Father: We will be continuing our religious studies with Father on Wednesdays November 6 th and the 20 th at 7:00 p.m. Icon of St. Nicholas: Anyone wishing to decorate the Icon of St. Nicholas the our Feast Day December 5 th and 6 th, please contact Fr. Michael. Thank You: Mrs. Eleni Asimou extends her thanks to everyone who brought desserts for her husband s Memorial. Senoirs: The Senior meeting will be held November 7th at 5:00 pm. We welcome desserts and side dishes! Please bring what your are able Philoptochos Meeting November 12th: This month s Philoptochos meeting will be held at Old Towne Pizza in Amherst ( across form the hospital) Come on out and join us for an evening of casual dining. Please call Andrea or Maria by November 8th so we can reserve seating for everyone. Guests and curious are welcome to join us! St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Cookbooks are for sale. They are $15 and are available at the Church's office and on Sunday's after church service. The proceeds from the sale of the cookbooks go to our parish as a fundraiser. We are asking each family to buy a cookbook and also sell at least one cookbook to their family, friends, neighbors or co-workers. We can also ship cookbooks!!!
7 10 7 lead the simple life at peace with his neighbor, which include the Turks. One of these he converted from enemy and Moslem to friend and Christian in an ironic series of events which has immortalized both the courageous Christian and the converted foe. It all began on a day when Anastasios was peacefully tending his flock, enjoying the tranquility, the kind of day when shepherds draw near to God while watching the sheep graze. The stillness of that afternoon was shattered by the screams for help that came from his sister who was set upon by some Turks. With staff in hand Anastasios rushed to his sister s aid, and in minutes his blind fury had put the rascals to rout. They took to their heels, never looking back at the enraged Greek who proved more than a match for the lot of them. In that party of rogues there happened to be a youth named Mousas who was the son of the ruling pasha. He had fallen in with this unruly group who convinced him that a complaint should be brought against Anastasios, charging the innoncent Greek with assault and battery, among other things. Anastasios was immediately arrested and imprisoned after his accusers had sworn that he, unprovoked, had attacked them as they walked along the road. In spite of the protest of innocence and the true story of what took place as testified by his sister, the bruises on the Turks were evidence enough for the pasha to place the accused in prison to await further decision of his fate. The usual course of harassment and abuse was followed, but the Turks had underestimated the Greek shepherd who did not flinch in the face of the indignities and physical abuse. The days grew into weeks and the weeks into months, but the undaunted Greek showed no sing of weakening. It was customary to offer the prospect of freedom and a good life to follow if one were only to admit one s guilt and come over to the side of Islam, but the proposition was rejected by Anastasios who became all the more resolute in his declarations of faith in Jesus Christ. While others saw this resistance as a stubborn defiance born of hate, Mousas had the intelligence to perceive raw Christian courage. He visited the prisoner not to taunt him, but to express his admiration for such rare spirit. The visits grew more frequent and the conversation longer until Mousas was convinced that the wrongfully condemned peasant was speaking the truth when he spoke of the Savior. After much discussion it was decided that Mousas would go to a monastery recommended by Anastasios, but that his change of heart would be kept secret not so much to save his own skin, as to avoid embarrassing his father. He left without a word to his family and with the firm conviction that eventually Anastasios would be freed. He was taken in hand by a hermit who lived outside of the monastery; and after spending some time with him, he was told to visit an area of the Peloponnesus. Thereafter, he went to Venice; and it was in that city that he was formally baptized into the Christian faith and given the Christian name of Dionysios. Dionysios then left Venice, bent on seeking out his friend Anastasios, whom he was anxious to greet as fellow traveler in the path of Jesus Christ. But his enthusiasm turned to sadness and near despair when he learned that his father had beheaded the gallant Greek who had come to the defense of his sister, defending Christ until his last breath. Turning his back on that which had brought him sorrow, Dionysios left the mainland of Greece. He settled in a monastery on the island of Corfu (Kerkyra) where be became a monk and was renamed Daniel, and where he was a constant visitor, praying at the burial site of Spyridon. He lived out his years thee, ever honoring the Savior and the memory of Ahastasios who had died for Christ on November 18, in creation and in salvation in Christ and the Holy Spirit. Faith itself is a gift of God given to all and accepted by the poor in sprit and the pure in heart, who are open to the activity of God in their lives. (Ephesians 2:8) Genuine faith is not a blind leap in the dark, an irrational and unreasonable acceptance of the unreasonable and the absurd. Genuine faith is eminently reasonable; it is rooted and grounded in man s reasonable nature as made in the image of God. Not to believe according to the scriptures and the saints, is the epitome of absurdity and foolishness. The fool says in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none that does good. The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any that act wisely that seek after God. (Psalm 14:1-2, 53:1-2) Man was made to have faith in God. Not to believe in God is a perversion of human nature and the cause of all evils. The weakness and absence of faith in God is rooted in sin, impurity and pride. It is never simply the result of an intellectual mistake or mental confusion. It is always the result of the suppression of the truth through wickedness, the exchange of God; truth for a lie, the refusal, consciously or unconsciously, to acknowledge God with honor and thanksgiving. (Romans 1) You shall indeed hear but never understand, and you shall see, but never perceive. For this people s heart has drawn dull, and their ears are heavy of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should perceive with their eyes and hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and turn to me to heal them. (Isaiah 6:9-10), Matthew 13:14-15) The spiritual person lives by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20) The spiritual person is the one who, by the grace of God s Spirit, is faithful in all things. (Next Issue: The Virtues Hope) Concerning Repentance According to Saint John of Damaskos, repentance is to return from the unnatural to the natural state and from the devil to God through ascesis and toil; moreover, it is a voluntary return from transgressions toward the opposite virtues. The signs of repentance are remorse and a change of mind, while characteristics of repentance include contrition (sorrow) of the heart, tears, the rejection of sin, and the love for virtue. Repentance must, of necessity, be sincere. It is sincere when accompanied by contrition of the heart, by the disposition to compensate Divine Righteousness, and to confess one s sins. True repentance is a change of mind for one s actions, an alteration of one s ethical life, a change toward the better, complete rejection of one s previous life and sin, steadfast willingness to exercise virtue, complete unification of one s own will with the Divine Will (i.e. the Divine Law). Therefore, repentance is an ethical rebirth of man and the starting point of a new, virtuous life. A model for true repentance is give to us by the Prophet Isaiah who incites the Jews to repent and return to God. This is what he says: Wash you, be clean; remove your iniq-
8 uities from your souls before mine eyes; cease from your iniquities; learn to do well; diligently seek judgment, deliver him that is suffering wrong, plead for the orphan, and obtain justice for the widow. And come, let us reason together, saith the Lord: and though your sins be as purple, I will make them white as snow; and though they be as scarlet, I will make them white as wool. (Isa. 1:16-18) Gregory the Miracle-Worker - - November 17 The odds against anyone born a Christian in the early third century, particularly in the city of Neocaesaria, were staggering; but there was bon in that city in 203 A.D. a man who reversed those odds in Christianity s favor and who, as events bore out, made the number seventeen a magic number. It was by coincidence that the number seventeen marked milestones in an illustrious career, but divine design that diverted a pagan from a course that would have led to oblivion, to a course which led to sainthood and glory. The name of this saint has come down to us as Gregory the Miracle-Worker, but he was born with the given name of Theodore in Neocaesaria in the province of Pontus. From birth his pagan parents saw to his every need, save the spiritual, providing 8 He who truly repents has a broken and humbled heart. David, the prophet and king, is a true example of repentance. His mind and heart, soul and body, both the inner and outer man bear witness to his ture change of mind and his burning desire to propitiate God. His Psalms, full of divine fervor, -especially the Psalm of repentance (Read Psalm 50) through which he seeks the mercy of the Lord are translucent mirrors in which his heavenly zeal and the exalted character of true repentance are reflected. This type of broken and humbled hear God will not despise. St. Nektarios Sayings of the Fathers: Only with the Lord and in the Lord co you find spiritual peace for yourself. Your tormented soul can only find comfort in the Lord, in repentance and the correction of your life. With its poison, sin kills the soul of man. The soul is resurrected through the life-giving action of repentance. - St. Nikon of Optina An enemy is by definition one who obstructs, ensnares, and injures others. He is therefore a sinner. We ought to love his soul by correcting him and doing everything possible to bring him to conversion. We ought to love his body too by coming to his aid with the necessities of life. That love for our enemies is possible has been shown us by the Lord Himself. St. Basil the Great him tutors whose task was made easy by a brilliant pupil whose education was aimed at making him a man of law and letters. He was that and more when he went to Alexandria, the cultural center of the world at that time, to complete his studies among intellectuals whose academic circle included some of the finest minds in the civilized word. It was in Alexandria that young Theodore came upon the renowned Christian teacher Origen, recognized as the leading religious philosophic figure about whom gathered the brightest students from all parts of the empire. Influenced by this masterful mentor, Theodore absorbed the teachings of Christianity, and in due course was converted with the given name of Gregory. As Gregory, he became a familiar figure in religious and intellectual circles, evincing wisdom beyond his years and a ever-increasing devotion to Jesus Christ, the Savior that had been denied him in his native city. He did not return to Neocaesaria until the year 238, by which time his fame had preceded him. Rather than take up the practice of law as had been originally intended, he sought out the Christians with a determination to swell their thinning ranks. The word was sent out to the followers of Christ to assemble in secret, and he was prevailed upon by those who gathered to become their bishop. Gregory assented and must have assumed that those present were but a contingent, so few in number had come. When told that every Christian of the city was there, the dumbfounded Gregory counted heads, and there were exactly seventeen assembled, hardly enough to call for a bishopric see. A lesser man would have been disillusioned, but the scant number only served to make Gregory all the more determined to bring more to the Christian fold. Ever the optimist, known for his cheerful outlook and good humor, Gregory remarked that there would be no challenge if the entire city were Christian and that the thousands of pagans represented an inspiration to serve God and man. He was ordained Bishop of Caesaria by Bishop Phaidimos of Amaseia and plunged into his task of conversion with a zeal that was so contagious that he was not very many weeks in making the vast majority of the city Christian. The pagan revelries gave way to the celebration of Christian holidays made both cheerful and solemn by the city s extremely popular bishop. The task was not an easy one, and on many occasions the growing numbers of Christians were put to flight only to return and gather more mem- 9 bers when tempers had cooled. The transformation of an entire city by a single person was so remarkable that it was written about years later by such great hierarchs as St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory of Nyssa, both of whom not only recounted the exploits of their predecessor, but called attention to his magnificent writings and homilies as well. Seldom in Christian history has the conversion of an entire city been attributed largely to the efforts of one spiritual leader. The peripatetic missionaries of old who covered vast territories were responsible, for bringing Christ to larger numbers, but the uniqueness of Gregory s mission was his concentration on one city. In the end, however, not even the presence of a Christian populace could prevent the persecution of Bishop Gregory. He fell victim to the state whose leaders were largely pagan and who engaged in sporadic raids on unsuspecting Christians. Bishop Gregory was occupied in a successful defense of the faith against the heresy of Paul of Samosarta when a handful of hardened pagans, under the protection of soldiers provided by the provincial governor, succeeded in seizing the bishop for trial an sentencing. Before he died he was told there were only seventeen pagans left in city, the same number of Christians he had found at the outset. This remarkable coincidence is all the more amazing when it is remembered. Gregory died for Christ on November 17. Anastasios, Neo Martyr November 18 The unconquered spirit of Christianity and the heroic gallantry of Greece during the Moslem occupation are nowhere better exemplified than in the noble life of an eighteen-century youth whose courage and unswerving devotion to Jesus Christ presaged the ultimate triumph in years to come when the yoke of Ottoman tyranny was cast off after four centuries of oppression. The name of this Christian stalwart was Anastasios, born of humble peasant stock in Paramythis, Epiros, and raised in a rual setting that provided a lfie-style that had changed little since the birth of Christ. Like his ancestors before him, he tilled a fertile patch of soil and tended flocks, content to