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Iverskaya icon of Theotokos l the most famous and respected of Slavonic people.
Iviron is the name of the monastery on Holy Mount Athos where the Iverskaya icon has
been since the 10th century. According to church history, this icon was of the type painted
by the Apostle and Evangelist Luke on a panel of the table at which, The Lord Jesus Christ
and His 12 apostles had their Last Supper. This icon is of the Hodegetria type from the
Greek meaning Pointer of the Way and is usually depicted with the Christ Child in Her
arms giving His blessing, but the Iverskaya icon has also some blood on Her cheek.
In the 9
th
century, a widow from Byzantium hid the icon in her house to
preserve this icon of Virgin Mary from destruction of iconoclasts, because
that time, was a time of iconoclasm, and all icons were being looked
for and then they were burned or broken. One day, soldiers burst into
lhe wldow´s house lound lhe lcon ond one ol lhem slruck lhe holy lcon
with his sword. At that moment the blood began to flow from the cheek
of The Holy Virgin Mary. The Soldiers-iconoclasts were very scared and
lell lhe wldow´s house. Fearing that she would be caught, the widow
took the icon to the sea and after saying a prayer, she dropped it into
lhe seo. lhe lcon dldn´l slnk, bul slood on lls slde ond solled oll lhrough lhe woves. Aboul
200 years later a monk from Athos found the icon in the sea and took it to the monastery.
A copy was made and sent to Russia in 1648, where a chapel was built for it. Almost im-
mediately this copy became highly venerated because of many-many miracles which had
been attributed to it. This Holy Chapel is in the heart of Moscow (the capital of the Russia
Federation) between the Historical Museum and the building where the State Duma met be-
fore the Revolution. It was always the most revered place of all Russian holy places After
the revolution of 1917, the chapel was razed, and opened again only in 1994. The feast
doy ol lverskoyo lcon ls celebroled on Februory 12, becouse ll wos lhe doy when Alhos´s
monks saw the holy icon, gliding in the sea water to them. Since then and up to now, for
about 11 centuries the Iverskaya icon of Theotokos has been in the monastery on Holy
Mount Athos and a lot of miracles have taken place all this time.
Prayerful dialogue. Litanies are an integral part of worship in the
Orthodox Church. They come in many different forms and bear several different
lllles. Durlng lhe Dlvlne Lllurgy, lor exomple, some lllonles use o lrlple ¨ Lord
hove mercy" os o response lo eoch pellllon, whlle olhers use lhe slmple proyer
¨Gronl ll, o Lord". Desplle lhese dlllereces, lhere ls o common elemenl lo oll
litanies that is difficult to ignore: all of them take the form of a dialogue between the
clergy, who preside at our divine services, and the people, who can be thought of as co-
celebrants. As in any good and healthy conversation, a few things are necessary. Foremost,
there must be at least two parties; one cannot engage in dialogue by oneself. Litanies are a
liturgical dialogue between the clergy and people. In order for this interaction to work ap-
propriately, this conversation must consist not only of the priest chanting petitions, but of the
people responding. In fact, a large portion of the Divine Liturgy involves dialogue between
the celebrating clergy and the people who have gathered in worship. Probably the most
poignant example of such a dialogue is the anaphora. The content of these prayers implies
and rest upon the very fact that the congregation is present and that it actively participates,
praying each petition as a single body. The celebrant exclaims, "Let us have our hearts on
hlgh" ond people respond ¨Ve llll lhem up lnlo lhe Lord". And lhen lhe dlologue conllnu
ing. So, from the Great Litany at the beginning of the Divine Liturgy to the very end, when
lhe prles soys ¨Glory lo lhee, C Chrlsl ond our Hope, glory lo lhee!" we hove mony dll
ferent streams of dialogue between clergy and people, each affording us an opportunity to
unify as a community, as the Body of Christ.

Saint Nicholas, the Enlightener of Japan
On August 1, 1836, in the village of Beryoza, Smolensk District, a son was born into the
family of a poor deacon named Dimitry Kasatkin. The child was baptized with the name
Ivan. Who then could have imagined that Vanya Kasatkin would become the third Russian
(after the Holy Princess Olga and Holy Prince Vladimir) to be glorified as a Saint Equal-to-
the-Apostles! When in 1860 the 24-year-old missionary set off for Japan, preaching the
Gospel in that country seemed absolutely inconceivable. According to Fr. Nicholas, "the
Japanese looked upon foreigners as animals and upon Christianity as an extremely evil
church to which only frank evildoers and sorcerers could belong." Apparently the early
years of his mission served only to confirm that sad idea: after 8 years, the Russian mission-
ary's flock in Japan consisted of a mere 12 people. Toward the end of his life, however,
in Japan there were already 266 communities, with a bishop, an archbishop, 35 priests,
116 preachers, and approximately 33,000 laypeople!.
In 1855 Japan allowed the Russians to establish their first diplomatic mission, in Hako-
date. In 1860 the Russian consul to Japan made a request of the Holy Synod to send a
pastor "who might be useful not only with his religious activities, but one who with his
scholarly efforts and his personal life would be capable of giving the Japanese and foreign-
ers as well a good understanding of our clergy." That request was passed on to the Theo-
logical Academy.
Among its graduates was John Kasatkin. /HDUQLQJRIWKHFRQVXOjVOHWWHU-RKQ.DVDWNLQSHWL
tioned the rector to tonsure him a monk and appoint him to the Russian Consulate in Ja-
pan. There was no objection to his request. In June 1860, he was tonsured with the
name Nicholas. The very same month, he was ordained a hieromonk, and became a mo-
nastic missionary. In July, the young hieromonk left for his assignment in the city of Hako-
date, Japan. He later recollected, "I dreamed a lot about my Japan. I imagined it to be
like a bride waiting for me with a floral bouquet in her hands. When news of Christ
flooded through its darkness, everything would be renewed. How disillusioning it was for
me to arrive in Japan and see something the complete opposite of what I had imagined! I
arrived, looked around, and saw that my bride was asleep, and was not even thinking
about me."
Since long past, Japanese had had a low opinion of everything foreign, and had held
firmly to their own customs. Christian ethics were completely alien to the Japanese peo-
ple. One can readily see that in the Samurai code: in the event of dishonor, the Samurai
was obliged to committed suicide, to commit hara kiri. Of course, to them Christians wor-
shiping Christ, One who had been crucified, seemed simply able. Even more so was their
affirmation that this person, who had been condemned to a disgraceful death, was God!
For 8 years, the young missionary studied Japan. Everything interested him - its language,
its customs, and its moral code. In 1868 he spoke rudimentary Japanese, and acquired a
better understanding of Japan's history than did the Japanese themselves.
Among the first Japanese to be converted to Orthodoxy by Fr. Nicholas was Sawabe. That
Saul-turned-Paul was a Shinto priest who was held in universal respect lived in complete ma-
terial contentment. He once happened to visit the Russian priest only to express his scorn
for and hatred of the Christian Faith. He began his discussion with pointed ridicule, but in
the course of the talk became progressively more reflective. The next day Sawabe returned,
and at the conclusion of the discussion asked to begin studying Christian teachings. He
brought a brush and ink to the first lesson. Fr. Nicholas would relate the story of the Old
Testament, and Sawabe would record it in kanji hieroglyphs. One year later, Sawabe
brought his friend Dr. Sakai to see Fr. Nicholas. Another year later, another physician, Dr.
Urano, joined them. Much later, during their Baptism (Fr. Nicholas was in no hurry to bap-
baptize them, for he wanted to afford his disciples the opportunity to better learn and ac-
cept the truths of that new Faith), they were given names of Apostles-Paul, James and
John. In 1870, Fr. Nicholas was appointed director of the newly
reestablished Japanese Orthodox Mission. In 1871, persecution
against the Christians began in that land. Paul Sawabe was incar-
cerated along with another eight Orthodox believers. Over one
hundred people were called in for questioning.
Soon however, everything changed. The old anti-Christian direc-
tives were rescinded. Fr. Nicholas set about building churches and
schools, and later, a religious school as well. He translated reli-
gious service books into Japanese, and compiled a glossary of
theological terms. By then, there were already 4,000 believers.
John Sakai was ordained a deacon. Five years later, Nicholas
became the first bishop of Tokyo, where he erected the Cathedral
Church of Christ's Resurrection. The Russo-Japanese War be-
gan. In an epistle to the Japanese Orthodox, Holy Hierarch
Nicholas wrote, "It pleased God to permit a rift between Russia and Japan. May His holy
ZLOOEHGRQHd%URWKHUVDQGVLVWHUVGRHYHU\WKLQJUHTXLUHGRI\RXDVOR\DOFLWL]HQVLQWKHVH
FLUFXPVWDQFHVd As a Russian patriot, he no longer served public Divine Services, at which
prayers for Japanese victory had to be offered.
During the War, Fr. Nicholas was the only Russian at the Mission. He visited his compatri-
ots who were prisoners of war, and did everything he could to assist them. Meanwhile,
during the War, his Japanese flock grew ever larger. In 1905, 627 people were baptized!
In 1906, the Holy Hierarch was rewarded for his ascetic labors by being raised to the rank
of Archbishop. Despite this clear evidence that the higher ecclesiastical authorities were
well disposed toward him, he remained to the end of his days the image of absolute humil-
ity, never extolling himself over anyone in any way. The following words are recorded in
his diary: "I bow down before glorious eldership, and reproach myself for my own, petty
inspiration to work, and even in that, only that little work, without regard to everything else
in the world. What poverty and narrowness of nature! I can see that I am of use only to
Japan, to an insignificant corner of the world."
On February 1, 1912, in his 70th year, Holy Hierarch peacefully departed to the Lord. He
became the first European to be buried in the ancient cemetery of Tokyo.
On April 10, 1970, the Russian Orthodox Church glorified the Holy Hierarch as a
Saint. From his death to the present, St. Nicholas has been venerated in Japan as a great
righteous one and prayerful intercessor before God. The Resurrection Cathedral in Tokyo is
also known as "the church of St. Nicholas.
-Special thanks from father George, Alona & Kirill
Dear brothers and sisters!!! During the Christmas season, we got a
lot of Christmas gifts and cards and we thank all of you for
your love, attention and good wishes!


Orthodox Church devotes each day of week to special memory. (Monday n to all angels, Tuesday- Saint John
Baptist e.t.c.). And each Saturday Orthodox Christians remember all saints and all departed and pray about
their departed relatives. But besides daily prayers and Saturdays, Russian Orthodox Church has special days
several times year. They are called The Memorial Saturdays (All Souls Day). In Russia they are usu-
ally called Parental Saturdays, because much time ago, Slavs called all their departed relatives n parents.
On these days, all Orthodox Christians visit special dead services in Churches and bring some food on the
obitual table (Kanun), which are alms for memory of theirs departed relatives. From time immemorial, Slavonic
people like and honour these days.
Saint Cyril Equal of the Apostles, Teacher of the Slavs
(originally named Constantine), and his older brother Methodius (April 6),
were the sons of a Greek Drungarios (a military officer) named Leon, born
at Thessalonica, and a Slavic mother. Cyril and his brother were born in
northern Greece where both Greek and Slavonic languages were spoken.
St Cyril received the finest of educations, and from the age of fourteen he
was raised with the son of the emperor. Later, he was ordained as a
priest. Upon his return to Constantinople, he worked as a librarian of the
cathedral church, and as a professor of philosophy. St Cyril successfully
held debates with iconoclast heretics and with Moslems.
Yearning for solitude, he went to Mount Olympos to his older brother Meth-
odius, but his solitude lasted only a short while. Both brothers were sent by
the emperor Michael on a missionary journey to preach Christianity to the
Khazars in the year 857. Along the way they stopped at Cherson and dis-
covered the relics of the Hieromartyr Clement of Rome .
Arriving at the territory of the Khazars, the holy brothers spoke with them
about the Christian Faith. Persuaded by the preaching of St Cyril, the
Khazar prince together with all his people accepted Christianity. The grate-
ful prince wanted to reward the preachers with rich presents, but they re-
fused this and instead asked the prince to free and send home with them
all the Greek captives. St Cyril returned to Constantinople together with 200
such captives set free. In the year 862 began the chief exploit of the holy
brothers. At the request of Prince Rostislav, the emperor sent them to Mora-
via to preach Christianity in the Slavic language. At that time there was no
written language for the Slavic-speaking peoples of the Balkans and Eastern
Europe. In order to preserve the liturgy and provide written forms of the
Scriptures, Cyril and Methodius developed an alphabetic system to express
the Slavonic languages in writing. This script became the basis of two al-
phabets - one called "Glagolitic," for use by western Slavs and another
called "Cyrillic," in honor of this saint, used by the Eastern Orthodox
Church. Sts Cyril and Methodius by a revelation from God compiled a Sla-
vonic alphabet and translated the Gospel, Epistles, the Psalter and many
Service books into the Slavonic language. They introduced divine services in
Slavonic. The holy brothers were then summoned to Rome at the invitation
of the Roman Pope. Pope Adrian received them with great honor, since
they brought with them the relics of the Hieromartyr Clement. Sickly by na
ture and in poor health, St Cyril soon fell ill from his many labors, and after taking the schema,
he died on February in the year 869 at the age of forty-two. Before his death, he expressed his
wish for his brother to continue the Christian enlightenment of the Slavs. St Cyril was buried in the
Roman church of St Clement, whose own relics also rest there, brought to Italy from Cherson by
the Enlighteners of the Slavs.
The love of Scriptures and the desire to share them motivated Cyril and Methodius. Biblical texts
are often the first books to be written down in a language, and the work of translating the Bible
often offers a culture its first use of written language. The spirit of Cyril and Methodius reminds us
that the work of God does not consist solely of one's personal relationship with God. It usually
also includes the calling of a whole people to live in a way that glorifies the Lord.

-Are you sinful?
-Yes, I am, Father. I'm too lazy.
-You should fight laziness.
-But I'm too lazy to fight it, Father!
Schedule of Services
For February 2009


1 Sunday of Zacchaeus (33th after Pentecost, Tone 8) - Chipman - Orthodox V Annual Meeting

3 Tuesday ÷ Lodge (9:30 am) Auxillary (10:15 am)

8 Sunday (Tone 1) - Publican and Pharisee - Skaro

15 Sunday (Tone 2) - MEETING OF THE LORD, Prodigal Son - Mundare

22 Sunday (Tone 3) - Meatfare Sunday - Shishkovtzi

28 Saturday - PATRIARCHAL PARISHES MEETING - 10.30am - Chipman
Orthodox feasts (prazdniki)
in february
If you have any questions or proposals, please, Contact us:

Priest Father George Sergeev 780-895-21-49
Email: www.sergal07@yahoo.com. / PO Box 483 Lamont Alberta TOB 2R0

President Yakim Lopushinsky (780-895-26-67
Secretary John Tkachuk 780-576-30-73
Treasurer Fred Pewarchuk 780-895-21-59

Or visit our website www.orthodoxfive.org

12 February - St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory Theologian and St. John Chrysostom

15 February - Meeting of the Lord (one of 12 High Orthodox Holidays)

16 February - St. Nicolas, archbishop of Japan, Equal-to-the-Apostles.

21 February n Parental Saturday or All-Souls Day (in this day we remember about our
departed relatives and all departed orthodox people and pray about their souls)

23 n28 February - Pancake week (week before Great Lent. All Slavonic people have a
very old lrodlllon, lo eol poncokes [coll ¨bllnl"ìln lhls llmeì.

25 February - Iverskaya icon of the Holy Virgin Mary

27 February - St. Cyril, apostle of Slavs

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