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, with the benefactor often highlighted at the base of the glass.   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, 28 Jun 2017

Finding of the Relics of Cyrus and John the Unmercenaries
These Saints lived during the years of Diocletian. Saint Cyrus was from Alexandria, and Saint John was from Edessa of Mesopotamia. Because of the persecution of that time, Cyrus fled to the Gulf of Arabia, where there was a small community of monks. John, who was a soldier, heard of Cyrus' fame and came to join him. Henceforth, they passed their life working every virtue, and healing every illness and disease freely by the grace of Christ; hence their title of "Unmercenaries." They heard that a certain woman, named Athanasia, had been apprehended together with her three daughters, Theodora, Theoctiste, and Eudoxia, and taken to the tribunal for their confession of the Faith. Fearing lest the tender young maidens be terrified by the torments and renounce Christ, they went to strengthen them in their contest in martyrdom; therefore they too were seized. After Cyrus and John and those sacred women had been greatly tormented, all were beheaded in the year 292. Their tomb became a renowned shrine in Egypt, and a place of universal pilgrimage. It was found in the area of the modern day resort near Alexandria named Abu Kyr. Reading copyright Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Brookline, MA, used by permission. All rights reserved.


Thursday, 29 Jun 2017

Peter and Paul, the Holy Apostles
The divinely-blessed Peter was from Bethsaida of Galilee. He was the son of Jonas and the brother of Andrew the First-called. He was a fisherman by trade, unlearned and poor, and was called Simon; later he was renamed Peter by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, Who looked at him and said, "Thou art Simon the son of Jonas; thou shalt be called Cephas (which is by interpretation, Peter)" (John 1:42). On being raised by the Lord to the dignity of an Apostle and becoming inseparable from Him as His zealous disciple, he followed Him from the beginning of His preaching of salvation up until the very Passion, when, in the court of Caiaphas the high priest, he denied Him thrice because of his fear of the Jews and of the danger at hand. But again, after many bitter tears, he received complete forgiveness of his transgression. After the Resurrection of Christ and the descent of the Holy Spirit, he preached in Judea, Antioch, and certain parts of Asia, and finally came to Rome, where he was crucified upside down by Nero, and thus he ascended to the eternal habitations about the year 66 or 68, leaving two Catholic (General) Epistles to the Church of Christ.Paul, the chosen vessel of Christ, the glory of the Church, the Apostle of the Nations and teacher of the whole world, was a Jew by race, of the tribe of Benjamin, having Tarsus as his homeland. He was a Roman citizen, fluent in the Greek language, an expert in knowledge of the Law, a Pharisee, born of a Pharisee, and a disciple of Gamaliel, a Pharisee and notable teacher of the Law in Jerusalem. For this cause, from the beginning, Paul was a most fervent zealot for the traditions of the Jews and a great persecutor of the Church of Christ; at that time, his name was Saul (Acts 22:3-4). In his great passion of rage and fury against the disciples of the Lord, he went to Damascus bearing letters of introduction from the high priest. His intention was to bring the disciples of Christ back to Jerusalem in bonds. As he was approaching Damascus, about midday there suddenly shone upon him a light from Heaven. Falling on the earth, he heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?" And he asked, "Who art Thou, Lord?" And the Lord said, "I am Jesus Whom thou persecutest; it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks." And that heavenly voice and brilliance made him tremble, and he was blinded for a time. He was led by the hand into the city, and on account of a divine revelation to the Apostle Ananias (see Oct. 1), he was baptized by him, and both his bodily and spiritual eyes were opened to the knowledge of the Sun of Righteousness. And straightway- O wondrous transformation! - beyond all expectation, he spoke with boldness in the synagogues, proclaiming that "Christ is the Son of God" (Acts 9:1-21). As for his zeal in preaching the Gospel after these things had come to pass, as for his unabating labors and afflictions of diverse kinds, the wounds, the prisons, the bonds, the beatings, the stonings, the shipwrecks, the journeys, the perils on land, on sea, in cities, in wildernesses, the continual vigils, the daily fasting, the hunger, the thirst, the nakedness, and all those other things that he endured for the Name of Christ, and which he underwent before nations and kings and the Israelites, and above all, his care for all the churches, his fiery longing for the salvation of all, whereby he became all things to all men, that he might save them all if possible, and because of which, with his heart aflame, he continuously traveled throughout all parts, visiting them all, and like a bird of heaven flying from Asia and Europe, the West and East, neither staying nor abiding in any one place - all these things are related incident by incident in the Book of the Acts, and as he himself tells them in his Epistles. His Epistles, being fourteen in number, are explained in 250 homilies by the divine Chrysostom and make manifest the loftiness of his thoughts, the abundance of the revelations made to him, the wisdom given to him from God, wherewith he brings together in a wondrous manner the Old with the New Testaments, and expounds the mysteries thereof which had been concealed under types; he confirms the doctrines of the Faith, expounds the ethical teaching of the Gospel, and demonstrates with exactness the duties incumbent upon every rank, age, and order of man. In all these things his teaching proved to be a spiritual trumpet, and his speech was seen to be more radiant than the sun, and by these means he clearly sounded forth the word of truth and illumined the ends of the world. Having completed the work of his ministry, he likewise ended his life in martyrdom when he was beheaded in Rome during the reign of Nero, at the same time, some say, when Peter was crucified.


Friday, 30 Jun 2017

Synaxis of the Twelve Holy Apostles: Peter, Andrew, James & John the sons of ...
The names of the Twelve Apostles are these: Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew, the First-called; James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John, who was also the Evangelist and Theologian; Philip, and Bartholomew (see also June 11); Thomas, and Matthew the publican, who was also called Levi and was an Evangelist; James the son of Alphaeus, and Jude (also called Lebbaeus, and surnamed Thaddaeus), the brother of James, the Brother of God; Simon the Cananite ("the Zealot"), and Matthias, who was elected to fill the place of Judas the traitor (see Aug. 9). Reading copyright Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Brookline, MA, used by permission. All rights reserved.



 

Home | | | Top