The Holy Mysteries (Sacraments): The Mystery (Sacrament) of Marriage

The family, as is well known, comprises the fundamental cell of the organism of society, being the nucleus and foundation of society. Thus also in the Militant Church of Christ it is a basic unit of the Church body. Therefore the Christian family in itself is called in the writings of the Holy Apostles a "church": "Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my helpers in Christ Jesus...and the church that is in their house" (Romans 16:3, 5); "Salute Nymphas and the church which is in his house" (Col. 4:15). From this it is understandable what great attention should be given to the family from the points of view of the Church, so that the family might fulfill its purpose of being a small "church."

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Treatise on the Priesthood by Saint John Chrysostom

The Priestly Office (Gk. Υπούργημα) is discharged on earth, but it is ranked amongst the heavenly ordinances. And naturally so, for neither man, nor Angel, nor Archangel, nor any other created power but the Paraclete (Gk. Παράκλητος), the Holy Spirit, instituted this vocation, and persuaded men, while still abiding in the flesh, to represent the ministry of Angels. The consecrated Priest, therefore, must be as pure as if he were standing in heaven itself, in the midst of those powers.

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November 30-Holy Apostle Saint Andrew the First-Called

Saint Andrew, the First-Called Apostle of Christ, was a native of the city of Bethsaida, the son of a Hebrew named Jonah and brother of the holy chief of the Apostle Peter. Disdaining the vanity of this world and preferring virginity to wedlock, he did not wish to marry, and having heard that the holy Forerunner and Baptist John by the River Jordan, he forsook all things and became his disciple. When his teacher pointed to Jesus as He passed by, saying, "Behold the Lamb of God" (St. John, ch. 1), Andrew and another disciple, whom many believe to have been the Evangelist John (who wrote these things in his Gospel), left the Baptist and followed Christ. Andrew knew from the books of the prophets that Jesus was truly the long-awaited Messiah, so he hurried to find his brother Simon Peter, to whom he declared, "We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ!" He then led Peter to Jesus.

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The Holy Mysteries (Sacraments): The Mystery (Sacrament) of Priesthood

What has been said brings one to the undoubted conclusion that the Holy Apostles, by the authority of Christ, established three hierarchical degrees, and that for the raising up of selected persons into these degrees there was established ordination, which communicates to them the active grace of God which is indispensable for their ministry. It goes without saying that the successors of the Holy Apostles, the bishops, had to fulfill precisely what had been decreed by the Holy Apostles: that is, ordination through laying on of hands, joining to it the same exalted meaning and the same significance that were given by the Holy Apostles.

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The Holy Mysteries (Sacraments): The Mystery (Sacrament) of Priesthood

Presbyters (literally "elders") were both in Apostolic times and in all subsequent times--and are today--the second degree of the hierarchy. The Apostles Paul and Barnabus, as the book of Acts relates, going through Lystra, Antioch, and Iconium, ordained Presbyters in each Church (Acts 14:23). For the resolution of the question about circumcision, an embassy was sent to Jerusalem, to the Holy Apostles and the Presbyters at Jerusalem (Acts 15:2). At the Council of the Holy Apostles, the Presbyters occupied a place together with the Holy Apostles (Acts 15:6).

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The Holy Mysteries (Sacraments): The Mystery (Sacrament) of Repentance/Confession (Part II)

The Lord instituted the Mystery of Repentance after His resurrection, when, having appeared to His Disciples who, except for Thomas, were gathered, solemnly said to them: "Peace be unto you...And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them: Receive ye the Holy Spirit. Whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosoever sins ye retain, they are retained" (St. John 20:21-23).

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The Life and Passion of the Holy Great Martyr Catherine, the Wise One

During the reign of the impious pagan Emperor Maxentius, there lived in the city of Alexandria a maiden named Catherine. She was of royal lineage, very beautiful and tall, and had reached the age of eighteen. She was also most learned, having studied all the writings of the Hellenes, and had acquainted herself with the authors of antiquity: Homer, Virgil, Aristotle, Plato, and others.

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