Inspiring news from our diocese: Vietnam is the first after China to declare victory over Covid19. The country has lifted the quarantine. On Sunday, May 10, after a 2-month break, the Divine Liturgy was held again in the parish of the Intercession of the most Holy Theotokos in Ho Chi Minh city. Priest Eugeny congratulated the worshippers on the past holidays, namely, the day of the myrrh-bearing women and St. George, giving flowers to the female half of the parish, and pineapples to the male half. 16 people prayed at the Liturgy, all participating in the Sacrament of Communion.
75 years have passed since the end of the greatest tragedy of mankind. Thanksgiving prayers and memorial services for 70 million of its victims are held in all parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church. In Ho Chi Minh City, Consul General of the Russian Federation A.V. Popov laid flowers at the memorial to Russian sailors at Laithieu cemetery.
This year, like reports from the front, we receive news of the Covid19 offensive. Famous people are hit daily, especially many of them among the priests and monks. We fervently ask the Lord to stop the epidemic and for the repose of its victims.
With the blessing of the Patriarchal Exarch of South-East Asia Metropolitan Sergiy the poorest residents of Davao city (Mindanao island) received charitable assistance. Volunteers distributed food packages to the poor and disabled in the city’s slums.
Under the conditions of quarantine, many Filipinos found themselves without a source of income, because they do not have savings, and assistance from local authorities is not always sufficient, and sometimes even does not reach the recipients. The center for social service of the diocese will continue to help those in need in the context of the pandemic.
Russia has experienced many wars, but two are called Patriotic. And if the war of 1812 ended on Christmas day, the Great Patriotic war was to end on Easter, so that the two great national triumphs coincided with the two main Orthodox holidays, reminding us of the main Victory of Christianity – the victory over death. The fact that in 1945 Easter fell on the day of St. George (this happens 1-2 times a century) is also not a simple coincidence. St. George is the patron of Russia, Moscow, the Russian army and personally – Marshal of Victory Georgy Zhukov. Although his name in Greek means “farmer”, the Saint in his youth chose a heroic profession-to protect the Homeland. Having performed many feats of arms, St. George was called Trophy-bearer (Victorious) during his lifetime. But he performed his main feat for Christ’s sake, refusing to participate in the persecution of Christians. Instead of a brilliant career, he chose death in terrible sufferings (new style – May 6, 303). Since then, his name has been a symbol of spiritual victory, but Orthodox soldiers consider him their patron. He is also venerated in European countries, and in the Caucasus, where the whole country bears his name (according to tradition, the enlightener of Georgia equal-to-the-apostles Nina was a relative of the great Martyr).
Liturgies and molebens to St. George were served in our parishes
The feast of myrrh-bearing women is the day of all female Christ’s disciples who follow the Savior since His earthly life. Women served the Lord those days and did not leave Him even after His death; today they carry their heavy Cross with firm faith in the Risen Christ.
In the gospel, there is little information about their feat and life. It was really a ministry, since they constantly accompanied Christ, worked for the Apostolic community and donated their funds. Mary Magdalene, Salome, Martha and Mary, Susanna, Joanna, Cleopa’s Mary and others came to the Holy Sepulchre on the third day after His death and brought with them the precious myrrh to show their love to the Lord for the last time. The myrrh-bearers were not afraid of being arrested. They were afraid of not having a proper burial, and hoped to see the Saviour for the last time. This day is dedicated to such boundless Christian love of sisters, wives, and mothers, whose daily work and care make a basement of our Church.