The Orthodoxy in America proceeds from Russian missionaires who came in 18th century to Alaska (that time – Russian territory) and then down to California. Orthodox Church of America was granted independence from ROC exactly 50 years ago. But still, the other Orthodox Churches are well represented in USA, including ROC, ROCOR, Constantinople, Greek etc. The saint patron of the Philippines John of Shanghai and San Francisco whose memory will be soon on July, 2, belongs to the constellation of NA saints. With them, in this dramatic time let us pray to God for America.
A week after the birth of the Church, we remember all its saints, for they are its fruit, the purpose of Christ’s saving Sacrifice, and the result of the work of the Holy Spirit. Someone may not like something in a particular parish (the parishioners are not saints, and the priest is not without sin); and someone does not fully understand the Orthodox doctrine. But to see “which faith is true”, it is enough to compare the saints of different denominations. As Jesus Christ said, every good tree brings forth good fruit (Mt. 7:17). If the Orthodox Church even in our time generates such saints as Seraphim of Sarov, Paisius of Athos, John of Kronstadt, then we are in a reliable ship, the Pilot of which is the Spirit of God. It is not easy to recognize a real Saint through his deeds or words, because he hides them. But the very atmosphere that is created in his presence testifies to his holiness: no one can create an atmosphere that is foreign to his spirit. The spirit of humility distinguishes our saints – it is the Holy Spirit that dwells in them. The acquisition of this Spirit is a necessary condition for eternal life. For proud people cannot co-exist in eternity: they do not know how to give in, love only themselves and, as a result, make life around them hellish. Humility is the only ground for true Love, it is the “atmosphere” in which God Himself resides. Congratulations to all on the name day and on the upcoming fast – a time for humility of body and soul!
“I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail over it.” Christianity is more than a teaching or a religion. Christianity is a Church that originated almost 2000 years ago in Jerusalem, when the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles in the upper room of Zion, and they suddenly became spiritually one body with Christ, and received supernatural abilities. Just as there can be no living organ separate from the living body, so there can be no Christian outside the Orthodox Church founded by Christ and His life-Giving Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the most mysterious Person of the divine Trinity, and He governs the Church. He is the chief Author of the Bible (where He only mentions Himself a little, as a humble author should). He is the inspirer of the Holy fathers and martyrs who showed the highest theology long before the Ecumenical Councils, as we know from the Roman protocols of their interrogations. The Holy Spirit is the one who sanctifies the life of Christians and guides them to all truth. It animates every soul in general. The greater His presence is, the closer one is to God. The less it shows – the more a person is likened to animals or demons. Therefore, acquiring the grace of the Holy Spirit – deification – is the goal of every Christian’s life. And this is a hard work for the whole lifetime. It is not easy, because grace is collected bit by bit in prayers, Church Sacraments and feats of self-denial, but is lost in a moment by one consent to passion or a vain thought. Yet, not a single breath remains unnoticed: only he who is walking will overcome the way… A special feature of the service on Pentecost is the kneeling prayers at the end of the service. In them, we express our infinite gratitude to the Holy Trinity for all that has been done for our salvation, which we have experienced again over the past months: the arrival of the Savior into the world, His preaching, suffering and death for us, His Resurrection, Ascension and apotheosis – the Descent of the Holy Spirit. The quarantine in the Philippines did not allow churches to be filled, but in Vietnam, 33 people drew near the Holy Chalice at the parish of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God in Vung Tau. Exactly 3 years ago, on Pentecost, priest Eugene arrived in Vietnam to perform divine services for the first time.
The translation into the Waray-Waray language of the church services of Hours and Typika have been completed in the training center of St Matrona of Moscow in Davao. This language is spoken in Visayas. Now the parishioners of St.Nicholas of Serbia in Palo, Leyte, can start Orthodox prayers in their native language. English or Tagalog languages were previously used for praying there. It is noteworthy that this language is spoken on the Tubabao island, where 6000 Russians together with St. John of Shanghai found temporary shelter 70 years ago. Now, by the prayers of St. John of Shanghai, Orthodox sermon came to the descendants of those Filipinos who had showed generous hospitality to Russian refugees.
On June 1, the parish of st. Matrona of Moscow in Davao city, with the support of the Synodal Department for charity and social service and private donors, distributed food packages to two hundred of the poorest families of Barangay 9 in Davao city. The local administration provided assistance in organizing the distribution of food packages.
On December 23, at the parish in honor of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God in Vung Tau, a meeting with children was organized. The rector of the parish priest Eugene Zucalo talked about the upcoming feast of the Nativity of Christ. The parishioners organized a cultural program: […]
On December 17, a New Year’s reception was held at the residence of the Consul General of Russia in Ho Chi Minh City A.V. Popov, which was attended by Russians and Vietnamese friends of Russia. Among the invited were the managers of the JV “Vietsovpetro”, rector of the parish of […]
On the island of Mindanao at the end of 2019, a series of devastating earthquakes occurred, there were deaths, many people were injured and left homeless. Orthodox churches located near the epicenter were not left without damage. So the church of St. Seraphim of Sarov in Makalangot suffered, but now […]
The miracle of Myrrh-streaming in Makalangot (Mindanao) has been continuing already for one month; now all icons in the church are streaming! The Secretary of the diocese Hieromonk Korniliy has visited the temple of St. Seraphim of Sarov and has witnessed the miracle, fixing it with the camera. After careful […]
The Department of charity and social service of the diocese of the Philippines and Vietnam, with its center in Tagaytay, publishes almost daily reports on its activities on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ROC.Charity.Philippines/ Under quarantine, it’s difficult but very topical to assure the work of feeding programs for poor people in […]
There are many interesting people among us with a good set of useful knowledge. I’m sure that children would be interested in talking to them and learning something about the country where they have lived most of their lives (Vietnam); how to give first aid to themselves and each other; […]
On November, 12, in the midst of the strongest for 11 years rainfall, in the Christ the Saviour parish in Tagaytay the blessing of the chapel bell was performed. The bell had been brought earlier from Russia. The ceremony was held by the Secretary of the Philippino- Vietnamese diocese hieromonk […]
November 4 is the feast of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God. In Vietnam, Vung Tau is a patronal holiday. On the eve of the holiday, a all-night vigil was served, and a Liturgy in the morning. In the evening – the akathist to the most Holy Theotokos. […]
Today, the Iveron parish in Manila celebrated the Patronal feast, moved from October 26. The history of the Iveron icon of the Mother of God is connected with the history of iconoclasm, condemned by the 7th Ecumenical Council, whose memory is also celebrated today. With the Philippines now second in […]