Nativity Encyclical 2013

GREEK REPUBLIC
CHURCH of the G.O.C. of GREECE
HOLY SYNOD

KANINGOS 32 (3rd floor)
106 82 ATHENS
TEL. 21038 28 280 - FAX 21038 47 365
ΕΛΛΑΣ - GREECE

Protocol no. γ-1845

NATIVITY ENCYCLICAL 2013

To the entire Church

When the Lord Jesus was born of the holy Virgin, all things were enlightened. For whilst the shepherds were abiding in the fields, the Magi adored and the angels praised in song, Herod was troubled. For God, the Saviour of our souls, hath appeared in the flesh.

Most-beloved children in the Lord.

Truly all creation was enlightened by the incarnation of the Son and Word of God, and the humble manger has become the place from which our Saviour, the Sun of Righteousness, has shone forth dispersing the gloomy darkness of idolatry and the dominion of the passions. He gave to those who willingly believe in Him the true knowledge of God and freedom from the passions which is in Christ.

The passions are likened unto the beasts of the field, which lurk about under the cover of darkness seeking to snatch their prey. When the sun rises, then the beasts hide in their nests: “Thou appointedst the darkness, and there was the night, wherein all the beasts of the forest will go abroad... The sun ariseth and they are gathered together, and they lay them down in their dens.” (Psalm 103: 20 & 22) When the light of Christ reigns in the souls of the righteous, the passions flee away and are put to rest.

Beloved children in the Lord,

Let us also prepare our souls through humility so that they resemble the humble manger of Bethlehem. Through prayer let us call upon our God and Saviour to dwell within us and labour as much as we are able to invoke His Grace, because our God seeks a pretext in order to save us and He desires to see our good intention. Then we also will be deemed worthy to receive the Lord within us, and to noetically worship Him as did the shepherds. Therefore, let us glorify Him and chant with jubilation magnifying the Lord:

Thou hast dawned forth from a Virgin, O Christ, Thou noetic Sun of righteousness. And a star showed Thee, Whom nothing can contain, contained within a cave. Thou hast led the Magi to worship Thee, together with them we magnify Thee: O Giver of life, glory be to Thee.

THE HOLY SYNOD

In the year of salvation MMXIII the 14th/27th of December

THE HOLY SYNOD

The Archbishop

† KALLINIKOS of Athens

The Members

† AKAKIOS of Attica and Diauleia

† MAXIMOS of Thessalonica and Demetrias

† ATHANASIOS of Larisa and Platamon

† JUSTIN of Euripus and Euboea

† GERONTIOS of Piraeus and Salamis

† CHRYSOSTOMOS of Attica and Boeotia

† MOSES of Toronto

† GREGORY of Christianoupolis

† PHOTIOS of Marathon

† THEODOSIOS of Bresthena

† SERGIOS of Portland

† DEMETRIUS of Boston

† CHRISTODOULOS of Theoupolis

Orthodox Awareness

The Problem of Conservative New Calendarism

A talk delivered by Fr. Maximus (Marretta) to the Inter-Orthodox Conference "Orthodoxy and Modern Ecumenism," University of Chicago, March 5/18, 2007. Read more...

Missions

Saint Matthew the Evangelist, Jonesboro, Arkansas

Jonesboro is a town located near the Eastern border of Arkansas, with a population of approximately 60,000. From a human standpoint, it’s not the most likely candidate for a traditional Orthodox mission, but for an Orthodox Christian who orders his priorities around Christ and His Church, it makes perfect sense. Read more...

Ask A Priest

Why do we Call Angels “Saint”?

Q. I noticed that we call the angels Michael and Gabriel "Saint." I thought the title "Saint" was only given to humans who have proven themselves Godly. Do you mind clarifying this for me? Is there a deeper meaning to "Saint" that I am not aware of?

-S.L. Read more...