St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, McKinney,
January 31/ February 13 2011
Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee
secular commemoration of Valentine's Day originates with the Roman
Catholic observance of the memory of St. Valentine, an early Roman martyr. The
Orthodox Church also commemorates St. Valentine, but at a different time in the
St. Valentine's life, like that of all the martyrs, exhibits love for God taken to the end, for "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). St. Valentine, according to popular accounts of his life, suffered in prison during a time of persecution because of his love for Christ.
Near the end of the saint's life, the account goes, he cured a young girl of blindness after first restoring her spiritual sight by bringing her to know our Lord Jesus Christ. At the end of his life, he left her a letter exhorting her to hold fast to Christ -- a letter signed "from your Valentine."
The best way to honor St. Valentine's memory is then to follow his example and heed his exhortation to hold fast to Christ. The first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God with all of our heart. Let us then, on this day when the world celebrates commercialized romantic love, reaffirm first of all our love for God by honoring Him first.
Monday evening is the Vigil service for the Feast of the Meeting of our Lord. On this day we celebrate the time when our Lord -- as a child 6 weeks old -- was brought into the temple and held in the arms of St. Symeon, who proclaimed his ministry as Savior of the world. Let us gather together in the holy temple to sing His praises, at the same time preparing our souls to love Him more deeply and looking ahead to our celebration of His Cross, Resurrection and Ascension in the coming months.
More on St. Valentine can be found here.
Fr. Seraphim will be at the Monastery of the Holy Cross in
West Virginia this week, for a much needed retreat. Our usual Wednesday and
Thursday services will be canceled.
We will have reader's services for the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord on Tuesday:
Our new facility brings with it many new maintenance and upkeep tasks. Matushka Marina and Reader David Hawthorne need volunteers to help get all the work done.If you can give a few hours of our time to help care for God's house, please contact Matushka Marina, Reader David or Deacon Nicholas and we'll tell you how you can help.
We have updated our list of things our parish needs. If you or somebody you know wish to supply one of these items, please contact us.
Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeev), President of the Department for External Affairs of the Moscow Patriarchate, will be in Dallas this weekend for the performance of his composition, the St. Matthew's Passion. The performance will be held at 5:30pm on Sunday at Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas and is free of charge.
For the Health and Salvation.
If you have corrections or additions, e-mail Deacon Nicholas. We would love to announce your birthdays and anniversaries as well, but our records are very incomplete, so please give us this information.
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