Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fun with the Church Calendar

As I was nerdily writing fasts, feasts, and other such things into my planner, I noticed a few coincidences that amuse to varying degrees:

September 13: Vigil of the Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Creating Cross; YPU debate with Social Security Administration Commissioner Michael Astrue (R: The Yale Class of 2014 Should and Will Receive Social Security Benefits)
"The pagan Roman emperors tried to completely eradicate from human memory the holy places where our Lord Jesus Christ suffered and was resurrected for mankind. The Emperor Hadrian (117-138) gave orders to cover over the ground of Golgotha and the Sepulchre of the Lord, and to build a temple of the pagan goddess Venus and a statue of Jupiter.

Pagans gathered at this place and offered sacrifice to idols there. Eventually after 300 years, by Divine Providence, the great Christian sacred remains, the Sepulchre of the Lord and the Life-Creating Cross were again discovered and opened for veneration."
October 6: Glorification of Saint Innocent, Metropolitan of Moscow, Enlightener of the Aleuts, and Apostle to the Americas; YPU debate with Maggie Gallagher and Evan Wolfson on gay marriage

"You evangelized the northern people of America and Asia,
Proclaiming the Gospel of Christ to the natives in their own tongues.
O holy hierarch Father Innocent,
Enlightener of Alaska and all America, whose ways were ordered by the Lord,
Pray to Him for the salvation of our souls in His Heavenly Kingdom!"

October 31: Repose of Priestmartyr John Kochurov; Halloween
"On October 31, 1917, in Tsarskoye Selo, a bright new chapter, full of earthly grief and heavenly joy, was opened in the history of sanctity in the Russian Church: the holiness of the New Martyrs of the twentieth century."
January 17: Feast of Saint Anthony the Great, Father of Monasticism; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

"Wherefore, children, let us not faint nor deem that the time is long, or that we are doing something great, 'for the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us-ward.' Nor let us think, as we look at the world, that we have renounced anything of much consequence, for the whole earth is very small compared with all the heaven. ...Wherefore, children, let us hold fast our discipline, and let us not be careless. For in it the Lord is our fellow-worker, as it is written, 'to all that choose the good, God worketh with them for good.' But to avoid being heedless, it is good to consider the word of the Apostle, 'I die daily.'' For if we too live as though dying daily, we shall not sin. ... Wherefore having already begun and set out in the way of virtue, let us strive the more that we may attain those things that are before. And let no one turn to the things behind, like Lot's wife, all the more so that the Lord hath said, 'No man, having put his hand to the plough, and turning back, is fit for the kingdom of heavens.' And this turning back is nought else but to feel regret, and to be once more worldly-minded. But fear not to hear of virtue, nor be astonished at the name. For it is not far from us, nor is it without ourselves, but it is within us, and is easy if only we are willing. That they may get knowledge, the Greeks live abroad and cross the sea, but we have no need to depart from home for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, nor to cross the sea for the sake of virtue. For the Lord aforetime hath said, 'The kingdom of heaven is within you.'"

May 8: Feast of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian; Mother's Day
Saint John was the son of Salome the Myrrh-Bearer (not to be confused with Salome the Beheader).
May 21: Feast of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Emperor Constantine and his mother, Saint Helen; Armed Forces Day
"Today Constantine and his mother Helen
Reveal the precious Cross,
The weapon of the faithful against their enemies.
For our sakes, it has been shown to be a great sign, and fearsome in battle."

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