ORTHODOX TIDBITS 3
THE LITTLE CHILD SELECTED BY CHRIST
On a day when the Lord was teaching His disciples, he taught them by example the need for humility. He took a child and set it among them, saying: “Whoever shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the Kingdom of heaven”
The beauty of our holy tradition is that preserved in her vault is the life and beauty of this child, touched by Jesus. He became St. Ignatios the Godbearer, Bishop of Antioch. He was named such because he always had the name of Christ on his lips and kept God deep in his heart as his greatest treasure, serving Him with joy and love.
The end of Ignatios' time on earth, is filled with beauty, the beauty that only love can express. He was thrown to lions as food, and he urged them to eat well. They devoured him completely. Leaving only a few larger bones and his heart! When the faithless pagans cut open his heart, they found the words in gold: JESUS CHRIST!
HOW THE TURKS PRAISED OUR FAITH
There was a young man named James who was the guest of a Turkish ruler (Bey). The Turks were eating meat but James was keeping the Fast.The Bey said to him:Your Christian Faith is indeed great! He related that his wife had been mentally sick, and after trying all doctors and medicines, he took her to the Patriarch for prayers to be read over her. As soon as the Patriarch started the prayers to be read a heavenly light filled the Church.When the prayer was ended, his wife was made whole.
James, hearing how the Turkish Bey was praising his faith, gave away all his possessions and went to the Holy Mountain, where he became a monk in the monastery of Iveron. He lived an ascetic life and suffered for the Faith at the hands of the Turks in Jedrene on November 1, 1520. A martyr for our holy Faith, his wonder working relics are in St. Anastasia Church near Salonika.;
GREGORY WONDERWORKER BISHOP OF NEOCAESAREA
BEGAN WITH 17, ENDED WITH 17
Gregory was a man of God and a glorious Wonderworker, and many called him a second Moses! He consecrated himself totally to Christ, whom he loved and served during his entire life. He spent many years living in the desert. He fled when an attempt was made to make him a Bishop, but they found devious means to consecrate him as Bishop. He commanded evil spirits, controlled mountains and waters and healed every sort of pain and illness and lived to a great old age. When he arrived in Caesarea there were only 17 Christians, but when he left there were only 17 pagans.