Icon of Holy Theotokos of Mercy circled by Community's name         "Living in and Practicing the Presence of God"


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Feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist
and
Feast of the Saints Peter and Paul




Feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist

Icon of the Birth of John the Baptist



John, the Prophet of the Most High and the Forerunner of Jesus Christ, was the son of the priest Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth, who was considered infertile. The Archangel Gabriel told Zechariah that his son would prepare the way for the Lord, the Savior of the world. The Nativity of John the Baptist marks the beginning of humanity's deliverance from the power of the devil, sin, and eternal death.

"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for He has visited and redeemed His people....And thou, child, shall called the prophet of the Most High: for thou shall go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways." (Luke 1:68, 76)

John then was the immediate herald of Christ and the one who later baptizes Jesus, recognizing Him to be the Messiah and proclaiming Him to be the Son of God.




Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

Icon of Peter and Paul



Peter and Paul were martyred in Rome in the year 67. At his own request, Peter was crucified head down, and Paul, being a Roman citizen, was beheaded. On June 29th, the Church unites them in a common commemoration and gives them equal honor.

"Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks.
You fill our hearts with joy as we honor your great apostles: Peter, our leader in faith, and Paul, its fearless preacher.
Peter raised up the Church from the faithful flock of Israel.
Paul brought your call to the nations, and became the teacher of the world.
Each in his chosen way gathered into unity the one family of Christ.
Both shared a martyr's death and are praised throughout the world."
(Preface of the Solemnity of the Saints Peter and Paul)

"With what garlands of praise shall we crown Peter and Paul the greatest among the heralds of the Word of God,
distinct in their person but one in spirit -- the one the chief Ruler of the apostles, the other who labored more than the rest?
Christ God, who is most merciful, fittingly crowned them both with diadems of glory and immortality."
(Kontakion)