The Third Sunday of Lent - The Veneration Of The Holy Cross

From the "Synaxarion of the Lenten Triodion and Pentecostarion", HDM Press.

Saints Peter and Paul Bulletin, March 30, 2003


As we have “crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal. 5:24), and will have mortified ourselves during these forty days of the Fast, the precious and life-giving Cross is now placed before us to refresh our souls and encourage us who may be filled with a sense of bitterness, resentment, and depression. The Cross reminds us of the Passion of our Lord, and by presenting to us His example, it encourages us to follow Him in struggle and sacrifice, being refreshed, assured, and comforted. In other words, we must experience what the Lord experienced during His Passion - being humiliated in a shameful manner. The Cross teaches us that through pain and suffering we shall see the fulfillment of our hopes: the heavenly inheritance and eternal glory.

As they who walk on a long and hard way and are bowed down by fatigue find great relief and strengthening under the cool shade of a leafy tree, so do we find comfort, refreshment, and rejuvenation under the Life-giving Cross, which our Fathers “planted” on this Sunday. Thus, we are fortified and enabled to continue our Lenten journey with a light step, rested and encouraged.

The Second Sunday of Lent - St. Gregory Palamas

From the "Synaxarion of the Lenten Triodion and Pentecostarion", HDM Press.

Saints Peter and Paul Bulletin, March 23, 2003

On this Sunday...we celebrate the memory of our Father among the saints, Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica and Wonder-worker. Our holy father Gregory was born in the imperial city of Constantinople. Gregory’s father reposed while the saint was of a tender age; but his mother continued to rear him and his brothers and sisters in the law of the Lord, instructing them in the divine Scriptures and in the rules of good conduct. She arranged for them to be taught by learned teachers….

Gregory disdained everything worldly as a deceptive dream - and wishing to cleave to God, the well-spring of all wisdom - at the age of twelve resolved to take up the monastic life….In time, she came to rejoice in the Lord over Gregory’s desire and decided to follow him in embracing the monastic life; moreover, with God’s help, she persuaded all her other children to do likewise….After leaving his mother and sisters in a convent, he went with his brothers to the holy mountain of Athos where they took up their dwelling in one of the monasteries. He gave himself over in complete obedience to a wondrous and perfect holy man named Nicodemus...Under his guidance, Gregory advanced in the virtues, and because of this, the Virgin Theotokos deigned to appear to him, receiving him under her protection and promising to be his mediatress.

The First Sunday of Lent - Sunday Of Orthodoxy

From the "Synaxarion of the Lenten Triodion and Pentecostarion", HDM Press.

Saints Peter and Paul Bulletin, March 16, 2003

On this day, the first Sunday of Great Lent, we celebrate the restoration of the holy and venerable icons by the ever-memorable rulers of Constantinople, the Emperor Michael and his mother, the Empress Theodora, during the patriarchate of St. Methodius the Confessor.

It was with God’s permission that when St. Germanos (comm. May 12) had taken up the rudder of the Church, Leo the Isaurian (717-41) seized the scepter of the empire after having been a mule driver and manual laborer.  The Patriarch was summoned immediately to hear the Emperor say, “In my opinion, Bishop, the holy images [icons] are no different from idols; therefore, I command that they be removed from among us as soon as possible.  If it should be the case that they are the true forms of the saints, however, then at least see that they be hung up high so that we, who are stained by sin, may not soil them with our kisses.”

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Let Us Joyfully Begin Our Salvation

Let us joyfully begin the all-hallowed season of abstinence; and let us shine with the bright radiance of the holy commandments of Chist our God, with the brightness of love and the splendour of prayer, with the purity of holiness and the strength of good courage.  So, clothed in raiment of light, let us hasten to the Holy Resurrection on the third day, that shines upon the world with the glory of eternal life ...


Come, O you people, and today let us accept the Grace of the Fast as a gift from God and as a time for repentance, in which we may find mercy with the Savior.  The time for combat is at hand and has begun already; let all of us set forth eagerly upon the course of the Fast, offering our virtues as gifts to the Lord.

By Theodore.  Lenten Triodion.  Matins for Monday of the First Week of Lent.  B#16, p. 190.
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