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Venerable Ananias the Iconographer

Saint Ananias was born in Russia and was tonsured in the Monastery of Saint Antony the Roman at Novgorod. God endowed him with a gift for painting icons, and he exercised this talent for the glory of the Lord. The Venerable Ananias painted "marvelous icons of many holy wonderworkers." For…

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Fathers of the First Six Councils
Fathers of the First Six Councils

The Commemoration of the Holy Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils. In the Ninth Article of the Nicea-Constantinople Symbol of Faith proclaimed by the holy Fathers of the First and Second Ecumenical Councils, we confess our faith in “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.”…

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Apostle Aquila of the Seventy
Apostle Aquila of the Seventy

Saint Aquila, Apostle of the 70: It is possible that he was a disciple of the Apostle Paul, a native of Pontus and a Jew, living in the city of Rome with his wife Priscilla (they are commemorated on February 13 on the Greek Calendar). During the reign of the emperor Claudius (41-54) all the Jews…

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Venerable Stephen, Abbot of Makhrishche, Vologda
Venerable Stephen, Abbot of Makhrishche, Vologda

Saint Stephen of Makhra (Makhrishche) was a native of Kiev. He accepted monasticism at the monastery of the Caves, where he spent several years in deeds of obedience and prayer. The oppressions of the Latins compelled him to journey on to Moscow, where Great Prince Ivan II (1353-1359) graciously…

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Martyr Justus at Rome
Martyr Justus at Rome

The Holy Martyr Justus was a Roman soldier, to whom the Life-Creating Cross of the Lord appeared in a vision. Justus believed in Christ and gave away his possessions to the poor. By decree of the official of Magnesia, Justus was taken to trial as a Christian. After various tortures, the holy martyr…

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Venerable Hellius of Egypt
Venerable Hellius of Egypt

Saint Hellius lived and died in the fourth century. He was sent to a monastery when he was still a child. There he was raised in piety, temperance and chastity. When he grew up, he went into the Egyptian desert, where through his ascetical struggles he attained great proficiency in the spiritual…

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Venerable Onesimus of Magnesia

Saint Onesimus the Wonderworker was born in Caesarea in Palestine at the beginning of the fourth century, and entered a monastery in Ephesus. Later, he founded a monastery at Magnesia and remained there for the rest of his life. He performed many miracles.

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Repose of Venerable Nikodemos the Hagiorite
Repose of Venerable Nikodemos the Hagiorite

Saint Nikodemos (Νikόdēmos) of the Holy Mountain was born on the Greek island of Naxos in the year 1748, and was named Nicholas in Holy Baptism. As a child he was well-behaved, avoiding bad company and everything which might harm the inner man. He was zealous in his love for that which is good…

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The Prologue of Ochrid
The Prologue from Ohrid: July 14


Aquila was one of the Seventy Apostles. As a Jew, he first lived in Italy with his wife Priscilla. When Emperor Claudius decreed that all Jews be driven from Rome and Italy, Aquila settled in Cornith, where the Apostle Paul met him for the first time and remained in his home for a year and a half and baptized him and his wife. Burning with zeal for the Faith of Christ, Aquila and Priscilla escorted Paul to Ephesus and assisted him in his apostolic labors. Paul wrote his first Epistle to the Corinthians from Ephesus in which, toward the end, he says: "Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the Church that is their house" (1 Corinthians 16:19). After the death of Emperor Claudius, the Jews were permitted to return to Italy, and so Aquila and Priscilla returned to Rome. After this the Apostle Paul writing the Epistle to the Romans from Cornith, greets his old friends and his co-laborers: "Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus; who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles" (Romans 16: 3-4). Later on, we see Aquila in Ephesus where he labors together with St. Timothy the Apostle. Chained in Rome, Paul writes to Timothy in Ephesus: "Salute Priscilla and Aquila" (2 Timothy 4:19). As a bishop, Aquila baptized many and illumined them with the Faith, destroyed idols, built churches, ordained priests and spread the glory of the Incarnate Son of God among men. In the end, he was murdered by the wicked heathens and took up habitation in the Kingdom of Christ.


Hellius was an Egyptian monk of the fourth century. From his early youth he dedicated himself to monastic asceticism in the wilderness, that by his life and powerful miracles, he stirred the astonishment of monks and laity alike and even though he fled the glory of men, he was unable to conceal himself. He endured great struggles with the temptations of the devil, especially during the time of prolong fasting. One time, the devil offered him honey and another time delicious apples but Hellius did not allow himself to be deceived. He was able to discern the hearts of men, was able to discern everyone's passion and thought, not in order to show his inner knowledge, but to correct men.



The torch of light from the heavens descended

Into the hearts of the apostles entered first,

With it, the apostles enlightened men,

By it, their successors are strengthened.

And with this torch, Saint Aquila

Spiritually enlightened by the great Paul

And Blessed Priscilla, his faithful wife,

Their entire house, the power of the Cross filled.

Evil and vain amusements, they abandoned

Into the world, on the work of the Lord they embarked.

Assisted Paul, solitary prisoner

Willingly assisted Saint Apollos

And to Timothy, Paul's child;

Brought many to the flock of Christ.

Blessed are the sacrifices of Blessed Priscilla,

Blessed are the wounds of Saint Aquila,

Good fruit, they bore all over

Laborers, inherited the Kingdom of God.


Christians must arm themselves against the abominations of this world. They must be armed against every attack and against all temptations, so that every evil rebounds from them. Armor is not made in a day, nor in two days but is diligently and laboriously wielded by long-lasting exercise. Of what value is all our virtue if we succumb to the first abomination? Speaking of this, Saint Gregory of Nyssa cites an example with a monkey in Alexandria. He says: "An animal trainer in Alexandria taught a monkey to skillfully impersonate a female dancer on stage. The spectators at the theatre praised the monkey who was dressed as a female dancer and danced to the beat of the music. But while the viewers were occupied observing such a novel spectacle, a comedian wanted to show everyone that a monkey is nothing more than a monkey. While they all shouted and applauded at the skill of the monkey, the comedian tossed sweets on the stage, sweets that monkeys particularly like. As soon as the monkey saw the sweets, he forgot the dance, the applause, the expensive clothing and jumped with his paws for the sweets but as his dress interfered, he began to tear it apart with his nails attempting to remove it. Instead of praise and amazement, laughter commenced among the viewers." For through the torn mask of the "dancer," a monkey was revealed.


To contemplate the just punishment, which God sent upon Korah, Dathan, and Abiram (Numbers 16):

1. How these three incited the people against Moses and Aaron and all sought to become leaders;

2. How the earth opened up and swallowed Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and others with them;

3. How the earth of the body swallows the souls of all those who think bodily and, thinking thusly, they rebel against the law of God.


About the steadfastness of faith

"Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world" (1 Peter 5:9).

Brethren, the most important fortress of the souls of men is the fortress of faith. It is upon this fortress that the devil vehemently attacks with all his arrows and all of his wiles. For the impure and evil spirit knows that when this fortress is destroyed he enslaves the soul of man forever. That is why the holy apostles prayed to the Lord: "Increase our faith" (St. Luke 17:5). Brethren, let us also pray daily that the Lord increases our faith, that He empower and strengthen our faith. The serpent primarily protects its head in danger, which is why the Lord Himself called it wise. Let us also protect the head of our spiritual life which is faith. Nothing in this world can replace faith in God: neither philosophy, nor science, nor treasure, nor glory, neither the entire world from one end to the other with all its transitory illusions. This the devil knows. That is why he especially attacks our faith, instilling doubt in us, causing us to waver, confusing our thoughts and disturbing our hearts. Since the devil knows that faith is the principle thing, it is all the more necessary that we should know it also. Because of us Christ descended to earth, because of us He suffered on the Cross and gave us the covenant of an All-saving Faith.

We can neither strengthen faith nor increase faith except through suffering. That is why the much-suffering Apostle Peter says: "That the same afflictions (such as yours) are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world." The apostle does not speak of his affliction out of humility but rather speaks of the affliction of our brethren in Christ. One in faith and one in affliction. Brethren, you do not suffer alone for the True Faith but your other brethren also suffer for the same Faith.

Let this comfort your afflictions. But most of all let the afflictions of the First-born in suffering, our crucified Lord Jesus Christ Himself, comfort you.

O Lord Jesus, Sufferer above the sufferers and Victor above the victors increase our faith and strengthen us with the power of Your Grace as you did strengthen Your holy apostles.

To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.


Christ the Savior Orthodox Church
10315 Carey Road
Berlin, MD 21811

  • Sun

    3rd Sunday After Pentecost
    9:00am Div. Liturgy
    Parish Beach Day
  • Wed

    7:00pm Orthodoxy 201
  • Sat

    Prophet Elijah
    6:00pm Vespers

Latest News
Newly-departed: Matushka Annice Oleynik - 07/08/24

It is with deep sadness, but firm consolation through faith in Jesus Christ as our Resurrection and Life, that we share with you the news that Matushka Annice Oleynik, surrounded by her husband, Archpriest Joseph, her daughters, and their families, gave her soul into the hands of the Lord at 3:36pm on Saturday, July 6, 2024. An obituary and the funeral arrangements have now been made available below. May the soul of the newly-departed handmaiden of God, Matushka Annicia, dwell among the righteous and may Her Memory be Eternal!

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What is the Orthodox Church?

“The Orthodox Christian Church is evangelical, but not Protestant.
It is orthodox, but not Jewish. It is catholic, but not Roman.
It is not denominational, it is pre-denominational.
It has believed, taught, preserved, defended, and died for the
Faith of the Apostles since the Day of Pentecost nearly 2,000 years ago.”
– Our Life in Christ

What is the Orthodox Church?

“The Orthodox Christian Church is evangelical, but not Protestant. It is orthodox, but not Jewish. It is catholic, but not Roman. It is not denominational, it is pre-denominational. It has believed, taught, preserved, defended, and died for the Faith of the Apostles since the Day of Pentecost nearly 2,000 years ago.”
– Our Life in Christ

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