Patronal feast in Kinabalan

Divine Liturgy on the patron feast of the parish of St. Apostle Thomas, Kinabalan, Sarangani Province, Philippines.

We magnify thee, the apostle of Christ Thomas, and we honour thy illnesses and labours, as you ministered preaching the word of Christ!

Notes of a Filipino priest

On the feast of the Presentation of the Mother of God, Father Roman Buniel and his assistants went to one of the remote parishes of the General Santos Deanery. They traveled all the way on motorcycles. The priest made a brief note about the memorable and sometimes dangerous journey: “Half a year of waiting is over and finally we are here to celebrate the Liturgy and help our brothers and sisters to partake of the Holy Mysteries of Christ, and then, together, celebrate the feast of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos. In Mindanao, it is a challenge to travel on a motorcycle for long distances (about 100 km) in places off-road. Our entire team was exhausted. We had to make stops to rest. But this is a pleasant way, because today I celebrated my name day together with those who have always supported me, even in such a difficult and risky situations.- I thank God for allowing me to be His servant, even though I am unworthy,- Thanks to my matushka, who did not talk about fatigue and was with me today,- Thanks to Deacon Matthew, Dimitri and Aria, who sacrificed a lot today to have traveled 200 km on a motorcycle to make sure that we returned home safe and sound. Thank you all! May the Lord bless everyone who devotes himself to service and embarks on such difficult journeys.”

We can only imagine that we spent this day together and prayerfully congratulate Father Roman from our hearts on Angel Day!

Blessed are those whom Thou have chosen and taken O Lord

What joy of life does not come without grief? What glory stands unchanged on earth? All ages are submissive to death. But the death of death is different. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His venerable ones. Serafima became an angel during her lifetime. Seraphim means fiery, and she burned with love for God like a torch, showing her neighbors the way to Him. Like a six-winged seraphim, she worked for Him in six hands. She had time for both the neighbors and those afar: she managed to feed hundreds of the poor, and to bring whole villages to Christ, at the same time not to miss church services. It is unknown when she slept. However, life was not too kind to her – the Lord tested her with sorrows more than once. But she learned the main thing in Orthodoxy – to forget about oneself. And the Giver of life did not wait long to take her to a better world, for she was already worthy. At the last service for her, all the priests of the Manila deanery prayed. Because of the strict quarantine, only the closest relatives were able to participate in the burial, but thousands of people in different parts of the world with prayers helped the angels carry Seraphim’s soul to a place where there is no illness or sadness.

Their souls shall repose among the blessed.

A great test has befallen us. Our irreplaceable employee of the Department of charity and social ministry, Seraphima Anape, died in a car accident. She devoted herself to serve God and her neighbors. Thousands were cared by her. Paradise is for such people and the Lord knows the best time to take them. But we ask for your prayers for her family, her children, for everyone for whom this is an irreparable loss, and for the repose of her soul. Memory eternal ☦️

We worship Thy Cross

The Exaltation of the Precious Cross of the Lord is the patronal feast of the oldest Orthodox church in the Philippines in Siniloan (Laguna). It is already celebrated here for the 26th time by the Orthodox community headed by Archimandrite Philemon (Castro), accepted into the Russian Orthodox Church last year from the Patriarchate of Constantinople. This time, Fr. Filimon was co-served by the dean of the Manila Deanery, Hieromonk Alexey (Lapshin).