Javascript Menu by Deluxe-Menu.com

The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch.
Acts 11:25

Paul, Barnabas, and Peter helped found the Church in Antioch, and thus the Antiochian Orthodox Church dates its existence to the time of the apostles.  Antioch was an ancient city located near the present border between Turkey and Syria, and it is speculated that the city hosted more than 100,000 citizens near the time of Christ’s birth.  The outcome of an "incident at Antioch" was also critical to the development of Christianity.  Galatians 2:11-13 describes that important event, which was a debate concerning whether gentiles could convert without adhering to Mosaic laws (e.g., diet, circumcision).   A delightful homage to Paul and Peter, and our link to Antioch, is now on display in our new Church as a beautiful stained-glass. Indeed, there are numerous precious panes exhibited throughout the new Church, which were graciously bequeathed to us for safe-keeping by members of Saint Matthias Parish.   The glass is invaluable, and many panes date back to the 1950s and prior.

The principal tenets of Orthodox philosophy are described in the famed Nicene-Constantinopolitan creed: "I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible; And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, Begotten of the Father before all ages, Light of Light, True God of True God, Begotten, not made, of one essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made: Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made man; And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried; And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; And ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father; And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, Whose kingdom shall have no end. And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spoke by the Prophets; And I believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins.  I look for the Resurrection of the dead, And the Life of the age to come. Amen."  Our Church service ("Liturgy") celebrates the joy in the Resurrection of Christ.  



President Shimon Peres (Israel) & Patriarch Bartholomew I

The Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis & Patriarch Bartholomew I

"That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn."
Hillel the Elder (preeminent Jewish Scholar)

Historically, considerable tension existed between these faiths owing partly to geopolitics (Roman-Jewish conflict in the Levant), human shortcomings (e.g., greed), and naivety.   Unfortunately, throughout history countless canonical Jews suffered considerable persecution as a result, which in addition to being a terrible tragedy is rather paradoxical.  It is important to emphasize that Jesus, his family (e.g., Mary and James), and the bulk of the apostles: were Jewish.  They were circumcised, celebrated Passover, went to Synagogue-like gatherings, and visited the 2nd Temple constructed by Herod, etc.  In other words, those principally responsible for propagating Jesus’ teachings were Jews (e.g., Peter and Paul).   Matthew 5:17-20 conveys Jesus' remarks concerning the importance of his Jewish heritage, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the [Mosaic] Law or the Prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them.  Anyone who ... practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven."  The Christian Bible consists of both the Old and New Testaments, the former being tied to the Jewish Tanakh (which includes the Torah, e.g., Genesis).  The divergence between the faiths is largely attributed to the interpretation of Jesus' status post-crucifixion, the relationship between God and Jesus (i.e., the Holy Trinity), and his role as the Messiah.  Yet in the 21st century,  there is a concerted effort to emphasize the significant commonalities that unite the religions, and attribute the differences to a rich pluralistic society. 

Listen to Khouriyee Rita Saikali chant Moses the great Mystically

Archbishop of Canterbury (Anglican), Patriarch Bartholomew I (Orthodox), Pope Benedict XVI (Catholic), & Rabbi David Rosen (Judaism).
Archbishop of Canterbury (Anglican), Patriarch Bartholomew I (Orthodox), Pope Benedict XVI (Catholic), & Rabbi David Rosen (Judaism).
Archbishop of Canterbury (Anglican), Patriarch Bartholomew I (Orthodox), Pope Benedict XVI (Catholic), & Rabbi David Rosen (Judaism).
Bishop Dawani & Bishop Schori (Anglican), & the Patriarch of Jerusalem (Orthodox).
Bishop Dawani & Bishop Schori (Anglican), & the Patriarch of Jerusalem (Orthodox).
Bishop Dawani & Bishop Schori (Anglican), & the Patriarch of Jerusalem (Orthodox).

The source(s) of division between Catholic and Orthodox Christians were partly tied to geopolitics and the shifting balance of power between the West (Rome) and East (Constantinople, modern day Istanbul), and disagreements pertaining to the potential primacy of the Bishop of Rome (i.e., the Pope, Catholic).  In other words, is the Bishop of Rome primus inter pares (latin: first among equals).  There exists considerable literature on the topic of the Catholic/Orthodox split, and the numerous factors that led to the separation.  Yet, recent bold overtures by the Pope and his Orthodox counterparts to transcend those differences have fostered considerable joy.  Indeed, a reflection of that effort is apparent in the close bonds that have emerged between St. Antonios and Maronites in Halifax (part of the broader Catholic Church).

Fr. Maximos Saikali (St. Antonios, Orthodox), Honorary Consul Wadih Fares (Lady of Lebanon), Archbishop Anthony Mancini (Catholic), Fr. Pierre Azzi (Our Lady of Lebanon, Maronite).
Fr. Maximos Saikali (St. Antonios, Orthodox), Honorary Consul Wadih Fares (Lady of Lebanon), Archbishop Anthony Mancini (Catholic), Fr. Pierre Azzi (Our Lady of Lebanon, Maronite).
Fr. Maximos Saikali (St. Antonios, Orthodox), Honorary Consul Wadih Fares (Lady of Lebanon), Archbishop Anthony Mancini (Catholic), Fr. Pierre Azzi (Our Lady of Lebanon, Maronite).
A recent joyous visit by Maronite dignitaries to the new Saint Antonios Church.
A recent joyous visit by Maronite dignitaries to the new Saint Antonios Church.
A recent joyous visit by Maronite dignitaries to the new Saint Antonios Church.

 Maronites are Christians who were inspired by the teachings of Saint Maroun.  Their Church also began in Antioch, and Maroun's followers subsequently moved to Lebanon.  In 1979, Fr. Kheirallah Aoukar was instructed by the Vatican to establish a Maronite Church in Halifax (Our Lady of Lebanon).    In 2006, Fr. Pierre Azzi came to shepherd Our Lady of Lebanon. There are numerous mixed marriages featuring individuals of both faiths (e.g., Veronica & Louie Lawen, Chantal & Michael Haddad, etc.).  Those bonds convey how separate denominations can prosper as one, and set an example for the broader Orthodox-Catholic establishment to follow.

Fr. Maximos Saikali, and the family of Veronica & Louie Lawen (Our Lady of Lebanon / Saint Antonios).
Fr. Maximos Saikali, and the family of Veronica & Louie Lawen (Our Lady of Lebanon / Saint Antonios).
Fr. Maximos Saikali, and the family of Veronica & Louie Lawen (Our Lady of Lebanon / Saint Antonios).
Mony Haddad, the child of Chantal & Michael Haddad (Saint Antonios / Our Lady of Lebanon).
Mony Haddad, the child of Chantal & Michael Haddad (Saint Antonios / Our Lady of Lebanon).
Mony Haddad, the child of Chantal & Michael Haddad (Saint Antonios / Our Lady of Lebanon).
Maronite Priest Fr. Kheirallah Aoukar with the former Pope.
Maronite Priest Fr. Kheirallah Aoukar with the former Pope.
Maronite Priest Fr. Kheirallah Aoukar with the former Pope.

 


Antiochian Archdiocese


Celebrating the Saints

-

Upcoming Feast Days

Wednesday, 23 Aug 2017

Apodosis of the Dormition of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever Virgin...
Concerning the Dormition of the Theotokos, this is what the Church has received from ancient times from the tradition of the Fathers. When the time drew nigh that our Savior was well-pleased to take His Mother to Himself, He declared unto her through an Angel that three days hence, He would translate her from this temporal life to eternity and bliss. On hearing this, she went up with haste to the Mount of Olives, where she prayed continuously. Giving thanks to God, she returned to her house and prepared whatever was necessary for her burial. While these things were taking place, clouds caught up the Apostles from the ends of the earth, where each one happened to be preaching, and brought them at once to the house of the Mother of God, who informed them of the cause of their sudden gathering. As a mother, she consoled them in their affliction as was meet, and then raised her hands to Heaven and prayed for the peace of the world. She blessed the Apostles, and, reclining upon her bed with seemliness, gave up her all-holy spirit into the hands of her Son and God. With reverence and many lights, and chanting burial hymns, the Apostles took up that God-receiving body and brought it to the sepulchre, while the Angels from Heaven chanted with them, and sent forth her who is higher than the Cherubim. But one Jew, moved by malice, audaciously stretched forth his hand upon the bed and immediately received from divine judgment the wages of his audacity. Those daring hands were severed by an invisible blow. But when he repented and asked forgiveness, his hands were restored. When they had reached the place called Gethsemane, they buried there with honor the all-immaculate body of the Theotokos, which was the source of Life. But on the third day after the burial, when they were eating together, and raised up the artos (bread) in Jesus' Name, as was their custom, the Theotokos appeared in the air, saying "Rejoice" to them. From this they learned concerning the bodily translation of the Theotokos into the Heavens. These things has the Church received from the traditions of the Fathers, who have composed many hymns out of reverence, to the glory of the Mother of our God (see Oct. 3 and 4). Reading copyright Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Brookline, MA, used by permission. All rights reserved.


Thursday, 24 Aug 2017

Kosmas the New Hieromartyr & Equal-to-the Apostles of Aetolia
Our holy Father Kosmas was from the town of Mega Dendron (Great Tree) of Aitolia. At the age of twenty, he went to study at the school of the Monastery of Vatopedi on the Holy Mountain. Later, he came to the Athonite Monastery of Philotheou where he was tonsured. With the blessing of his abbot, he departed for Constantinople where he learned the art of rhetoric, and thereafter, he began to preach throughout all the regions of northern Greece, the Ionian Islands, but especially in Albania, for the Christian people there were in great ignorance because of the oppression and cruelty of the Moslems. Finally, in 1776, after having greatly strengthened and enlightened the faithful, working many signs and wonders all the while, he was falsely accused by the leaders of the Jewish people and was executed by strangulation by the Moslem Turks in Albania. Reading copyright Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Brookline, MA, used by permission. All rights reserved.


Friday, 25 Aug 2017

Return of the Body of Bartholomew the Glorious Apostle
Concerning the Apostle Bartholomew, see June 11Reading copyright Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Brookline, MA, used by permission. All rights reserved.



 

Home | | | Top