Parish announcements this week

REMINDER: Please don’t forget to donate to the Charities Appeal. Kindly make checks payable to the Byzantine Rite Eparchy of Stamford. DO NOT MAIL THIS FORM TO THE CHANCERY OFFICE. We sincerely ask all parishioners to make generous contributions.

STAMFORD CHARITIES APPEAL
REMINDER: Please don’t forget to donate to the Charities Appeal. Kindly make checks payable to the Byzantine Rite Eparchy of Stamford. DO NOT MAIL THIS FORM TO THE CHANCERY OFFICE. We sincerely ask all parishioners to make generous contributions.

Adult Faith Formation

PHILIP’S FAST, ПИЛИПІВКА, the pre-Christmas fast which began on November 15, the day after the feast of St. Philip, is a 40-day period of spiritual preparation for the celebration of the Nativity/Theophany cycle of the church year. Once a period of strict fasting, it has now been changed to a period of voluntary fasting and works of penance.

On St. Nicholas the Wonderworker whose feast day is December 6

St. Nicholas was born during the third century in the village of Patara in Asia Minor. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man.

Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ruthlessly persecuted Christians, Bishop Nicholas suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned. After his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. He died on December 6, AD 343 in Myra and was buried in his cathedral church, where a unique relic, called manna, formed in his grave. This substance, said to have healing powers, fostered the growth of devotion to Nicholas. The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration, St. Nicholas Day, December 6th.

Through the centuries many stories and legends have been told of St. Nicholas’ life and deeds. These accounts help us to understand his extraordinary character and why he is so beloved and revered.

One story tells of a poor man with three daughters. The poor man’s daughters, without dowries, were destined to be sold into slavery. Mysteriously, on three separate occasions, a bag of gold appeared in their home – providing the needed dowries. The bags of gold, tossed through an open window, are said to have landed in stockings or shoes left before the fire to dry. This led to the custom of children hanging stockings or putting out shoes, eagerly awaiting gifts from St. Nicholas. And so, St. Nicholas is a gift-giver.