News

  • April 26, 2010 – Bishop Gabriel’s Pilgrimage group departs from Toronto

    26 March 2010

    On April 26, 2010, the group of pilgrims headed by His Grace, Gabriel, Bishop of Montreal and Canada, departs from Toronto for Tel-Aviv. The pilgrims will spend more than two weeks in the Holy Land.

    For a thorough description of the pilgrimage program, please, read here.

  • His Grace, Bishop Gabriel’s Pilgrimage Program

    25 March 2010

    April 27, Tuesday
    5:50 PM – Arrival in Tel-Aviv. Transfer to Jerusalem. Check in at the hotel.

    April 28, Wednesday
    6:00 AM – Liturgy at the Mount of Olives monastery (as desired).
    8:30 AM – Breakfast at the hotel.
    9:00 AM – Departure for Sinai. Border crossing. Check in at the hotel by shore of the Red sea.

    April 29, Thursday
    10:00 AM – Breakfast and departure for the monastery of St. Catherine. Tour of the monastery.
    7:00 PM – Dinner. Night climb onto mount Sinai.

    April 30, Friday
    6:00 AM – Liturgy at the monastery (for those, not climbing the mountain).
    8:00 AM – Breakfast. Rest. As desired, walk to the cell of St. John of the Ladder.
    7:00 PM – Dinner.

    May 1, Saturday
    6:00 AM – Liturgy.
    8:00 AM – Breakfast. Departure from the monastery. Lunch by the Red sea. Border crossing. Stop at the Dead sea in En Gedi. Late dinner at the hotel on the Mount of Olives.

    May 2, Sunday – Sunday of the Samaritan woman
    7:00 AM – Liturgy in Gethsemane. Lunch at the monastery. Tour of the monastery. The way of the Cross. Veneration of the Lord’s Tomb, Golgotha, and the Stone of Anointing.
    7:00 PM – Dinner at the hotel.

    May 3, Monday
    8:00 AM – Breakfast. Departure for the three day pilgrimage to Galilee. Tabor, Nazareth, Cana, Galil, Magdala (russian plot with the radon springs). Check in at the hotel.

    May 4, Tuesday
    Breakfast at the hotel. The Mount of the Beatitudes, church of the twelve apostles on the shore of the sea of Galilee, digs at the site of the ancient Capernaum. Tabha (place of the multiplication of the loaves and fish). Lunch (St. Peter’s fish) at the restaurant on the shore of the sea. Boat. Immersion in the Jordan. Dinner at the hotel.

    May 5, Wednesday
    Breakfast, departure from the hotel. Haifa (cave of the holy prophet Elias), Ceasaria (digs). Lunch. Lydda. Tomb of the greatmartyr George. Dinner at the hotel on the Mount of Olives.
    11:00 PM – Night service at the Lord’s Tomb.

    May 6, Thursday
    Ein Kerem: Convent on the Mount. St. John the Forerunner’s place of birth. Desert with the spring of St. John the Forerunner. Monastery of the Cross, Catamon (tomb of st. Symeon the God-receiver). Lunch. Tour of the Mount of Olives and the convent on the Mount of Olives.

    May 7, Friday
    7:00 AM – Breakfast. Jericho: Mount of Temptations, church of the holy prophet Elisha (tree of Zaccheus), Russian garden with the chapel of the blind men. Lunch in Jericho. Chozebite monastery. Dinner at the hotel.

    May 8, Saturday
    5:30 AM – Liturgy in Bethlehem. Milk grotto. Breakfast in Bethlehem. Monastery of Ss. Savva and Theodosius. Hebron. Lunch at the hotel.
    4:00 PM – All-night vigil at the Mount of Olives convent.

    May 9, Sunday – Sunday of the blind man
    7:00 AM – Liturgy at the Far’a, at the monastery of St. Chariton the confessor. Lunch at the Far’a. Rest at the spring. Bethany. Lazarus’ tomb. Russian school in Bethany. Dinner at the hotel.

    May 10, Monday
    The tomb of the Mother of God. Place of the stoning of St. Stephan the archdeacon. Garden of Gethsemane. Sion. Upper room in Sion. Roman Catholic church of the Dormition of the Mother of God at the place of the house of St. John the Theologian. Place of the renunciation of St. Peter, house of Annas and Caifas. Lunch. Monastery of St. Onouphrius. Pool of Siloam.
    7:00 PM – Dinner.

    May 11, Tuesday
    Free day.

    May 12, Wednesday – Leavetaking of Pascha
    7:00 AM – (time to be agreed upon) Liturgy in Gethsemane. Breakfast at the monastery. Lunch. Rest.
    4:00 PM – Festive all-night vigil at the convent on the Mount of Olives. Dinner at the hotel.

    May 13, Thursday – Ascension
    6:00 AM – Liturgy at the convent on the Mount of Olives. Lunch at the monastery. Rest. Departure from Tel-Aviv.

    Please, note, that due to unforeseen circumstances the given program may change without notice.

  • To the Heart of Holy Russia

    25 March 2010

    Orthodox holy places of Moscow and ancient Russian towns

    Dear Brothers and Sisters!

    You are invited to go on a unique pilgrimage to the holy places of Moscow and ancient Russian towns of Moscow, Tver, Yaroslavl, Kostroma and Vologda regions. During the course of two weeks you will have an opportunity to enjoy the overwhelming beauty of the memorials of the ancient Russian architecture of Russia’s Golden Ring, to pray before the relics of St. Sergius of Radonezh, Blessed Matrona of Moscow and St. Anna of Kashin, to venerate the wonderworking “Feodorovskaya” icon of the Mother of God, and to attend divine services at various monasteries.

    The pilgrimage is organized by “All Travel Solutions” along with the cooperation of the pilgrimage department of the Kiev Caves Lavra and with the direct involvement of Protopriest Vladimir Malchenko, rector of the Holy Trinity Church in Toronto.

    Pilgrimage Program

    Flight from Toronto to Moscow is on May 23rd, at 6:20 PM.

    Return from Moscow to Toronto is on June 7th, at 2:45 PM.

    Day 1. Monday, May 24th.

    Arrival at the Domodedovo airport at 5:45 PM.
    Check in at St. Maron’s hotel
    Meal at St. Maron’s hotel
    Night at St. Maron’s hotel

    Day 2. Tuesday, May 25th.

    Liturgy at the church of St. John the Soldier or St. Maron
    Meal at St. Maron’s hotel
    Trip to Moscow’s Kremlin and Armoury

    Walking excursion

    o Iveron chapel,
    o Kazan cathedral,
    o Red Square,
    o Church of Blessed Basil,
    o Churches on Varvarka.

    Meal at St. Maron’s hotel
    Night at St. Maron’s hotel

    Day 3. Wednesday, May 26th.

    Liturgy at the Protection stavropigial convent

    Sacred:

    o Relics of Blessed Matrona of Moscow,
    o Venerated icon of the Mother of God “Search of the lost”.

    Meal at the Protection convent

    Trip to Theophany Elohovsky cathedral

    Sacred:

    o Relics of St. Alexis, the Metropolitan of Moscow,
    o Wonderworking Kazan icon of the Mother of God,
    o Tombs of Patriarch Alexis II and Patriarch Sergius…

    Trip to the Church of Christ’s Resurrection in Sokolniki

    Sacred:

    o Venerated Iveron icon of the Mother of God,
    o Bogolyubskaya icon of the Mother of God (from Barbara’s gates of Kitai-town),
    o Passion icon of the Mother of God (from the Passion monastery),
    o Icon of greatmartyr Panteleimon (from the chapel at Lubyanka gates),
    o Many sacred objects from closed Moscow churches!

    Trip to the Church of the Mother of God of the Sign

    Sacred:

    o Venerated icon of the Mother of God of the “Sign” – beginning of the 17th century,
    o Icon of martyr Tryphon with a piece of his relics,
    o Wooden crucifix of the 18th century and cross from 1652,
    o Cross reliquary with many holy relics,
    o Icon of St. Macarius of Kalyazin,
    o Icon of St. Seraphim of Sarov with a piece of his coffin,
    o Icon of St. Theodosius of Chernigov with a piece of his vestment.

    Church of the Holy Spirit ( Lazarus Cemetery )

    Sacred:

    o More than 400 reliquaries with the relics of saints
    o Churches on Varvarka.

    Meal at St. Maron’s hotel
    Night at St. Maron’s hotel

    Day 4. Thursday, May 27th.

    Liturgy at the church of St. Nicholas in Khamovniki.

    Sacred:

    o Wonderworking icon of the Mother of God “Surety of sinners” – 17th century,
    o “Smolensk” icon of the Mother of God – year 1848,
    o Icon of St. Alexis – year 1688,
    o Icon of St. John the Warrior – 18th century.

    Meal at St. Maron’s hotel

    Trip to Donskoy stavropigial monastery

    Sacred: in the Lesser cathedral:

    o Venerated “Feodorovskaya” icon of the Mother of God,
    o Venerated icon of the Mother of God of the “Sign”,
    o Relics of St. Tikhon, Patriarch of All Russia,
    o Grave of St. Tikhon’s cell attendand – martyr Jacob Polozov,
    o Wonderworking “Donskaya” icon of the Mother of God – in the Greater cathedral,
    o In the Levchenko tomb – mosaic icon of St. Nicholas.

    Trip to Danilov stavropigial monastery

    Sacred:

    o Pieces of relics of Right-believing Prince Daniel of Moscow in reliquaries, in the Trinity and Holy Fathers of the Seven Ecumenical Councils cathedrals.
    o Icon of the Mother of God “Vladimir with akathist” – 16th century – in the church of the Holy Fathers,
    o Icon of the Life-creating Trinity – 16th century – in the Trinity cathedral,
    o Venerated icon of the Mother of God “Of three hands” – 17th century – in the Trinity cathedral,
    o Venerated icon of John Cassian the Roman – 18th century – in the Trinity cathedral,
    o Venerated icon of St. Seraphim of Sarov with a pieces of his relics, mantia, and prayer rope – in the church of St. Seraphim of Sarov,
    o Relics of the New Martyr, confessor of the Danilov monastery, St. George Lavrov (+1932) – in the church of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos.

    Meal at the Danilov monastery

    Trip to the church of the icon of the Mother of God “Joy of all who sorrow”

    Sacred:

    o Wonderworking icon of the Mother of God “Joy of all who sorrow”,
    o Venerated icon of St. Longinus, the Centurion,
    o Venerated icon of St. Alexis, the Man of God,
    o Venerated icon of St. Andrew, the First-called.

    Trip to the convent of Ss. Martha and Mary

    Sacred:

    o Pieces of relics of Ss. Elizabeth and Barbara,

    Meal at St. Maron’s hotel
    Night at St. Maron’s hotel

    Day 5. Friday, May 28th.

    Meal at St. Maron’s hotel
    Departure to Holy Trinity-St. Sergius’ Lavra

    Protection stavropigial convent in Khotkovo

    Sacred:

    o Relics of Ss. Cyril and Maria – parents of St. Sergius.

    Holy Trinity-St. Sergius’ Lavra

    Sacred:

    o Relics of St. Sergius of Radonezh (Trinity cathedral);
    o “Tikhvin” icon of the Mother of God (Trinity cathedral);
    o “Chernigov” icon of the Mother of God (Trinity cathedral);
    o Relics of St. Nikon of Radonezh;
    o Relics of St. Dionysios of Radonezh;
    o Relics of St. Serapion;
    o Relics of St. Micah of Radonezh;
    o Relics of St. Maximus the Greek (church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit);
    o Relics of St. Anthony of Radonezh (church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit);
    o Icons by St. Andrew Rublev;
    o Tomb of tsar Boris Godunov and members of his family;
    o Springs of St. Sergius of Radonezh;
    o Spring of St. Savva of Storozhev;
    o Relics of St. Philaret (Drozdov) – taken to Moscow;
    o Relics of St. Innocent of Moscow – taken to Moscow;

    Trip to Serapion hall.
    Meal at the hotel
    Check in at the hotel
    Vespers at the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius’ Lavra
    Meal at the hotel

    Day 6. Saturday, May 29th.

    Liturgy at the Trinity cathedral, where the relics of St. Sergius rest.
    Liturgy at the Church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit
    Meal at the hotel
    Departure to Pereyaslavl – Zalesskiy

    Trip to Nicholskiy convent

    Sacred:

    o Relics of Right-believing prince Andrew of Smolensk;
    o Relics of St. Cornilius the Silent;
    o Icon of the hieromartyr Eugene.

    Trip to Pereyaslavl’s Nikita’s monastery

    Sacred:

    o Relics of St. Nikita the Stylite (+1186) and his chains;
    o The place of his seclusion;
    o Well of St. Nikita the Stylite (2 km from the monastery);
    o Spring of greatmartyr Barbara on the shore of a lake.

    Meal

    Departure for Godenovo

    Trip to Godenovo, church of St. John Chrysostom (representation of Nicholskiy convent).

    Sacred:

    o Wonderworking Cross that appeard on July 11, 1423.

    Departure from Godenovo, to a monastery at the place, where the Cross appeared in 1423.
    Departure for Rostov

    Trinity-Sergius’ Varnitskiy monastery

    Sacred:

    o Birth place of St. Sergius of Radonezh;
    o Cross at the place, where the Angel appeared to St. Sergius;
    o Holy well.

    Vespers
    Meal at the Trinity-Sergius’ Varnitskiy monastery
    Night at the hotel of the Trinity-Sergius’ Varnitskiy monastery

    Day 7. Sunday, May 30th.

    Liturgy at the Trinity-Sergius’ Varnitskiy monastery
    Meal at the Trinity-Sergius’ Varnitskiy monastery
    Departure for Spaso-Yakovlevskiy Dimitrievskiy monastery

    Trip to Spaso-Yakovlevskiy Dimitrievskiy monastery

    Sacred:

    o Relics of St. Dimitrius of Rostov;
    o Relics of St. Jacob of Rostov;
    o Cross of St. Avraamiy.

    Meal at the Spaso-Yakovlevskiy Dimitrievskiy monastery
    Trip to Rostov Kremlin

    Dormition cathedral church

    Sacred:

    o Relics of St. Leontius of Rostov;
    o Relics of St. Ignatius of Rostov;
    o Relics of St. Isaiah, the Wonderworker of Rostov;
    o Relics of St. Theodore, archbishop of Rostov, nephew of St. Sergius of Radonezh;
    o Relics of Right-believing prince Vasili.

    Ss. Boris & Gleb monastery

    Sacred:

    o Ss. Theodore and Paul – founders of the monastery;
    o Relics of St. Irinarchus the recluse;
    o Chains of St. Irinarchus the recluse;
    o Spring of St. Irinarchus.

    Trinity-Sergius’ Vartnitskiy monastery
    Vespers
    Meal at the Trinity-Sergius’ Varnitskiy monastery

    Day 8. Monday, May 31st.

    Meal
    Departure for Kashin

    Ascention Cathedral

    Sacred:

    o Relics of St. Anna of Kashin;
    o Piece of relics of St. Macarius of Kalyazin;
    o Icon with a piece of relics of St. John the Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord;
    o Under the main altar table there is a piece of the relics of the martyr Elizabeth Feodorvna Romanova.
    o Icon of Dorothea, which is now situated next to the coffin of princes Anna.

    Main church of the city – Resurrection cathedral:

    o Bell tower and clock, presented to the city by a local merchant at the end of the 19th century.
    o Bell tower observation platform, open for visitation.

    Departure for Kalyazin
    Bell tower of Nicholskiy cathedral (year 1800) – the main attraction
    Meal at the café in Kalyazin
    Departure for Uglich

    Uglich Kremiln

    o Tsar’s halls of prince Dimitrius (1462);
    o Church of Dimitrius on the blood (1692);

    Church of prince Dimitrius in the Field (1800)

    Sacred:

    o Relics of Right-believing prince Roman of Uglich;
    o Piece of relics of St. Dimitrius of Uglich;
    o Relics of the killed youth John Chepolusov (+1633);
    o Venerated “Feodorvskaya” icon of the Mother of God, in front of which prince Dimitrius prayed;
    o Athonite icon of the Most Holy Theotokos;
    o Icon of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos, which appeared in the 14th century;
    o Icon of St. John the Warrior.

    St. Alexis’ convent

    o Wonderworking icon of the Mother of God “Undying Candle of the Immaterial Fire”.

    Meal at the hotel
    Check in at the hotel

    Day 9. Tuesday, June 1st.

    Meal at the hotel

    Theophany monastery

    Sacred:

    o Locally venerated “Feodorovskaya” icon of the Mother of God,
    o Ancient wonderworking icon of the Mother of God “The Vigilant Eye”.

    Resurrection monastery (1674-1677)

    Sacred:

    o Relics of St. Joachim;

    Church of the Nativity of St. John the Forerunner (1691)

    Sacred:

    o Part of the relics of the killed youth John Chepolusov (+1633);

    Meal at the hotel
    Departure for Tutaev

    Resurrection cathedral (1652 – 1678)

    Sacred:

    o Wonderworking icon of the All-merciful Saviour – 15th century

    Kazan Transfiguration church (1758)
    Cathedral of the Elevation of the Cross (15th century)
    Departure for Yaroslavl
    Check in and meal at the hotel
    Night at the hotel

    Day 10. Wednesday, June 2nd.

    Meal at the hotel

    Yarolslavl. Kazanskiy convent

    Sacred:

    o Wonderworking “Kazan” icon;
    o Relics of St. Agathangel (+ October 16th, 1928)

    Cathedral church of the “Feodorovskaya” icon of the Mother of God

    Sacred:

    o Coffin with the relics of Right-believing prince Theodore of Yaroslavl and his sons David and Konstantin

    Kremlin. Museum – Spaso-Preobrazhenskiy monastery (1506 – 1516)

    Church of the Theophany of the Lord

    Sacred:

    o The canonized Yaroslavl princes Theodore the Black and his sons David and Konstantin were buried in the monastery, as well as Archbishops of Rostov Prochorus and Tryphon, Yaroslavl princes Vasiliy Davidovich and Alexander Feodorovich, Metropolitan of Laodicea Parthenius Neboza, Archbishop Nil (Isakovich), Yaroslavl governor Alexei Yakovlevich Fride and others.

    Meal at the Kremlin café

    Church of the Transfiguration of the Saviour on the City – 1672

    Sacred:

    o Wonderworking “Yaroslavl” icon of the Mother of God

    Church of the Beheading of St. John the Forerunner in Tolchkovo – pinnacle of the Yaroslavl school of the 17th century.

    Trip to the Tolgskiy Svyato-Vvedenskiy (of the Holy Entry) convent

    Sacred:

    o “Tolgskaya” wonderworking icon;
    o Relics of St. Ignatius Bryanchaninov (May 13th is the day of commemoration, glorified in 1988).

    Meal at the convent
    Night at the hotel

    Day 11. Thursday, June 3rd.

    Meal at the hotel
    Departure for Kostroma

    Bogoyavlenskiy-Anastasiin (Theophany-Anastasia’s) convent

    Sacred:

    o Wonderworking “Feodorovskaya” icon of the Most Holy Theotokos;
    o Wonderworking fresco on the wall “Smolensk” icon of the Most Holy Theotokos;
    o Cross-reliquary with 178 pieces of relics of saints;
    o Cross with holy things from Holy Land (piece of the Life-creating Cross of the Lord, tomb of the Lord, Golgotha);

    Meal at the Bogoyavlenskiy-Anastasiin convent

    Holy Trinity Ipatievskiy monastery

    Sacred:

    o Wonderworking “Tikhvin” icon of the Most Holy Theotoks;
    o Reliquary with a piece of relics of St. Hypatius of Gangara;
    o Hidden relics of St. Nikita, disciple of St. Sergius;
    o Coffin of St. Macarius Pisemskiy

    Departure for Vologda
    Check in at the hotel
    Meal at the hotel

    Day 12. Friday, June 4th.

    Meal at the hotel
    Departure for Kirillov

    Kirillo-Belozerskiy monastery

    Sacred:

    o Hidden relics of St. Cyril of the White lake (Kirill Belozerskiy);
    o Cross of St. Cyril of the White lake.

    Meal at a café in Kirillov
    Departure for Therapontovo

    Therapontov-Belozerskiy monastery – 1398 – unique memorial of history, architecture and wall paining of the 19th and 20th centuries.

    Sacred:

    o Frescos by Dionysios

    Departure for Vologda

    Spaso-Prilutskiy monastery (Vologda, Priluki)

    Sacred:

    o Wonderworking icon of the Mother of God “Quick to hear”;
    o Relics of St. Dimitrius of Priluki;
    o Relics of St. Ignatius of Priluki;

    Check in and meal at the hotel “Bodrost” (“Vigor”)

    Day 13. Saturday, June 5th.

    Meal at the hotel “Bodrost”

    Trip to visit the churches of Vologda:

    Cathedral church of the Nativity of the Theotokos

    Sacred:

    o Wonderworking “Sorrowing” icon of the Most Holy Theotokos;
    o Wonderworking “Kazan” icon of the Most Holy Theotokos;
    o Wonderworking icon “All-merciful Saviour”;
    o Relics of St. Joasaph of Kamensk;

    Vologda kremlin

    Sophia cathedral (1568)

    o Collection of icons, among which is the wonderworking icon of St. Dimitrius of Priluki, cilician cross from the Priluki monastery

    Meal at a café in Vologda or at the hotel

    Church of St. Nicholas at the Vladychnaya Sloboda

    Sacred:

    o Relics of St. Antony, bishop of Vologda and Great Perm;

    Departure for Moscow
    Check in and meal at the hotel of St. Maron

    Day 14. Sunday, June 6th.

    Liturgy at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

    Trip to the museum of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
    Meal at the hotel of St. Maron
    Trip to Tretyakov Gallery
    Meal at the hotel of St. Maron

    Day 15. Monday, June 6th.

    Departure for “Domodedovo” airport at 2:00 AM
    Take off for Toronto at 5:25 AM
    Arrival in Toronto at 2:45 PM

    Cost of the entire trip is $2,780.00 (Canadian) if paid before March 1st. After March 1st the cost may go up and there is no guarantee of available spots.

    The cost of the trip includes:

    * Airfare Toronto – Moscow – Toronto
    * Transfers to hotels and airports
    * Excursion buses for the entire trip
    * Orthodox guides for the duration of the entire trip
    * Stay at the hotels
    * Two meals each day
    * Excursions and tickets to the museums

    The cost of the trip DOES NOT include:

    * medical insurance
    * trip cancellation and interruption insurance
    * tourist visas to Russia

    The above are obtained through “All Travel Solutions” for an additional fee.
    Payments may be made by check or cash.

    In order to register for the pilgrimage and for additional information, please, contact Alexander at (416) 650-1367, or the office of “All Travel Solutions” at 4544 Dufferin Street, Suite 202, Toronto, ON, M3H 5X2.

    E-mail: all_travel_solutions@bellnet.ca
    Fax: (416) 650-5365

  • St. John of Damascus – Concerning Faith and Baptism

    25 March 2010

    We confess one baptism for the remission of sins and for life eternal.  For baptism declares the Lord’s death. We are indeed “buried with the Lord through baptism,” as saith the divine Apostle. So then, as our Lord died once for all, we also must be baptized once for all, and baptized according to the Word of the Lord, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, being taught the confession in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Those, then, who, after having been baptized into Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and having been taught that there is one divine nature in three subsistences, are rebaptized, these, as the divine Apostle says, crucify the Christ afresh. For it is impossible, he saith, for those who were once enlightened, to renew them again unto repentance: seeing they crucify to themselves the Christ afresh, and put Him to an open shame. But those who were not baptized into the Holy Trinity, these must be baptized again. For although the divine Apostle says: Into Christ and into His death were we baptized, he does not mean that the invocation of baptism must be in these words, but that baptism is an image of the death of Christ. For by the three immersions, baptism signifies the three days of our Lord’s entombment. The baptism then into Christ means that believers are baptized into Him. We could not believe in Christ if we were not taught confession in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. For Christ is the Son of the Living God, Whom the Father anointed with the Holy Spirit: in the words of the divine David, Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And Isaiah also speaking in the person of the Lord says, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He hath anointed me. Christ, however, taught His own disciples the invocation and said, Baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. For since Christ made us for incorruption, and we transgressed His saving command, He condemned us to the corruption of death in order that that which is evil should not be immortal, and when in His compassion He stooped to His servants and became like us, He redeemed us from corruption through His own passion. He caused the fountain of remission to well forth for us out of His holy and immaculate side, water for our regeneration, and the washing away of sin and corruption; and blood to drink as the hostage of life eternal. And He laid on us the command to be born again of water and of the Spirit, through prayer and invocation, the Holy Spirit drawing nigh unto the water. For since man’s nature is twofold, consisting of soul and body, He bestowed on us a twofold purification, of water and of the Spirit: the Spirit renewing that part in us which is after His image and likeness, and the water by the grace of the Spirit cleansing the body from sin and delivering it from corruption, the water indeed expressing the image of death, but the Spirit affording the earnest of life.

    For from the beginning the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, and anew the Scripture witnesseth that water has the power of purification. In the time of Noah God washed away the sin of the world by water. By water every impure person is purified, according to the law, even the very garments being washed with water. Elias shewed forth the grace of the Spirit mingled with the water when he burned the holocaust by pouring on water. And almost everything is purified by water according to the law: for the things of sight are symbols of the things of thought. The regeneration, however, takes place in the spirit: for faith has the power of making us sons (of God), creatures as we are, by the Spirit, and of leading us into our original blessedness.

    The remission of sins, therefore, is granted alike to all through baptism: but the grace of the Spirit is proportional to the faith and previous purification. Now, indeed, we receive the firstfruits of the Holy Spirit through baptism, and the second birth is for us the beginning and seal and security and illumination of another life. It behoves us, then, with all our strength to steadfastly keep ourselves pure from filthy works, that we may not, like the dog returning to his vomit, make ourselves again the slaves of sin. For faith apart from works is dead, and so likewise are works apart from faith. For the true faith is attested by works.

    Now we are baptized into the Holy Trinity because those things which are baptized have need of the Holy Trinity for their maintenance and continuance, and the three subsistences cannot be otherwise than present, the one with the other. For the Holy Trinity is indivisible.

    The first baptism was that of the flood for the eradication of sin. The second was through the sea and the cloud: for the cloud is the symbol of the Spirit and the sea of the water. The third baptism was that of the Law: for every impure person washed himself with water, and even washed his garments, and so entered into the camp. The fourth was that of John, being preliminary and leading those who were baptized to repentance, that they might believe in Christ: I, indeed, he said, baptize you with water; but He that cometh after me, He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire. Thus John’s purification with water was preliminary to receiving the Spirit. The fifth was the baptism of our Lord, whereby He Himself was baptized. Now He is baptized not as Himself requiring purification but as making my purification His own, that He may break the heads of the dragons on the water, that He may wash away sin and bury all the old Adam in water, that He may sanctify the Baptist, that He may fulfil the Law, that He may reveal the mystery of the Trinity, that He may become the type and ensample to us of baptism. But we, too, are baptized in the perfect baptism of our Lord, the baptism by water and the Spirit. Moreover, Christ is said to baptize with fire: because in the form of flaming tongues He poured forth on His holy disciples the grace of the Spirit: as the Lord Himself says, John truly baptized with water: but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit and with fire, not many days hence: or else it is because of the baptism of future fire wherewith we are to be chastized. The sixth is that by repentance and tears, which baptism is truly grievous. The seventh is baptism by blood and martyrdom, which baptism Christ Himself underwent in our behalf, He Who was too august and blessed to be defiled with any later stains. The eighth is the last, which is not saving, but which destroys evil: for evil and sin no longer have sway: yet it punishes without end.

    Further, the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form as a dove, indicating the firstfruits of our baptism and honouring the body: since even this, that is the body, was God by the deification; and besides the dove was wont formerly to announce the cessation of the flood. But to the holy Apostles He came down in the form of fire: for He is God, and God is a consuming fire.

    Olive oil is employed in baptism as a significant of our anointing, and as making us anointed, and as announcing to us through the Holy Spirit God’s pity: for it was the fruit of the olive that the dove brought to those who were saved from the flood.

    John was baptized, putting his hand upon the divine head of his Master, and with his own blood.

    It does not behove us to delay baptism when the faith of those coming forward is testified to by their works. For he that cometh forward deceitfully to baptism will receive condemnation rather than benefit.

  • Palm Sunday – Bishop Gabriel will visit Toronto

    22 March 2010

    On Saturday, the 27th, and Sunday, the 28th of March, His Grace, Bishop Gabriel will visit the Holy Trinity parish in Toronto, Ontario.  Visiting this parish on Palm Sunday is becoming a tradition.  As usual, after the festive services, there will be a meal in the parish hall.

  • Great-Lenten Resolution of the Pastoral Retreat and Assembly of the Canadian Diocese

    13 March 2010

    During the saving days of the Great Lent, we, the clergy of the Canadian Diocese, gathered at the St Nicholas’ cathedral in Montreal (Quebec) for our annual pastoral gathering and Diocesan assembly, wherein the laity also took part. This, joyous for all of us, meeting headed by His Grace Gabriel, Bishop of Montreal and Canada, who has already spent a year at the head of the now united Canadian diocese, was held in the spirit of love and helped all the participants to strengthen their hearts in the hope of the meeting of the greatest and most mysterious Feast of Feasts:  the Holy Resurrection of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

    During the meeting, not only the specific life of the Diocese, but the life of the entire Russian Church, both in the Fatherland and in the Diaspora, was discussed.  In the years that passed since the reestablishment of the Eucharistic and canonical unity, we had the opportunity to be affirmed in the belief that the decision regarding such reestablishment, made by our Hierarchy, headed then by the ever-memorable His Holiness Alexis II, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, the Very Most Reverend Metropolitan Laurus, is truly the grace-filled and healing will of God. Constantly, we feel the good fruits of the unity. At the same time, our gathering expressed a concern with the known growth of statements in support of drawing closer to the Roman Catholics, and of accepting their mysteries, which becomes a direct contradiction to the Holy Canons.  Such opinions, especially expressed by those in the rank of a Hierarch, are capable of causing a confusion and temptation in the Church.  It was most recently, on the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, that we heard the awesome words, directed by the Church to those, who deviated from the Truth of Christ, as it is expressed in the Symbol of the Faith, confirmed by the Ecumenical Councils.

    This year, the Russian Diaspora celebrates the 90th anniversary of the existence of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, which came to be by the special providence of God during the years of the Russian upheaval. We believe that to this day the need for our ministry beyond the borders of the Fatherland is far from filled and that is wisely foreseen in the Act for the reestablishment of the Canonical and Eucharistic communion in the Russian Church.

    Most important for all the participants were the preparation, prayer and Divine services. Specifically, the prayerful state of spirit helped in the discussion of the fairly complex questions, which demanded quick resolution and were related to the daily life of our Diocese. At some time, one of the richest and well functioning Dioceses in our Russian Church Abroad, the Canadian Diocese in recent years is having a multitude of difficulties. However, at the same time the merciful Lord does not abandon us. The life of the Diocese is gradually getting better. Calling upon the help of God, in the course of our meeting, we tried to find the ways to restore that, which at some time used to be the foundation of the life of the Canadian Diocese: spiritual strength, unwavering stand in Orthodoxy, together with successful administrative life, both at the parish and at the diocese level. Yet discussing the administration, we tried not to forget that the Lord humbles, and He again mercifully raises up and restores a hundredfold, which is now happening before our eyes. The only way to establish Church life correctly is in the perpetual following of the commandment, given to us by the Holy Apostle Paul: ”Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2).

    February 17/March 2 – February 18/March 3, 2010

  • St. Nicholas cathedral, Montreal, QC Canada

    10 March 2010

    Quebec


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    422 St. Joseph Boulevard West
    Montreal, QC H2V 2P5
    Canada
    +1 (514) 276-8322
    www.saintnicholasmontreal.com

    Archbishop Gabriel (Chemodakov)
    Protopriest George Lagodich
    Priest Michael Metni
    Deacon Boris Sidorenko

  • Our Lady of Smolensk church, Jacksons Point, ON Canada

    10 March 2010

    Ontario

    5 Birch Road, Box 2-6
    Jacksons Point, ON L0E 1L0
    Canada

    Priest Maksim Abroskin
    +1 (416) 574-1221
    Email: fr.maxim.a@gmail.com

    www.berezkihram.com/en

  • St. Sophia church, Victoria, BC Canada

    10 March 2010

    British Columbia

    195 Joseph Street
    Victoria, BC V8S 3H6
    Canada
    +1 (250) 704-2838
    saintsophia@shaw.ca
    http://www.saintsophia.ca

    Protopriest John Adams
    Deacon Gordian Bruce

  • Kazan Icon of the Mother of God church, Rawdon, QC Canada

    10 March 2010

    Quebec


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    3836 Sunshine Avenue
    Rawdon, QC J0K 1S0
    Canada
    +1 (514) 744-5571
    +1 (450) 834-6613

    Protopriest George Lagodich
    Priest Michael Metni