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Today we celebrate the Veneration of Apostle Peter's Precious Chains

Reading from the Synaxarion:

Herod Agrippa, the grandson of Herod the Great and king of the Jews, grew wroth against the Church of Christ, and slew James, the brother of John the Evangelist. Seeing that this pleased the Jews, he took Peter also into custody and locked him up in prison, intending to keep him there until after the feast of the Passover, so that he could win the favour of the people by presenting him to them as a victim. But the Apostle was saved when he was miraculously set free by an Angel (Acts 12:1-19). The chains wherewith the Apostle was bound received from his most sacred body the grace of sanctification and healing, which is bestowed upon the faithful who draw nigh with faith.

That such sacred treasures work wonders and many healings is witnessed by the divine Scripture, where it speaks concerning Paul, saying that the Christians in Ephesus had such reverence for him, that his handkerchiefs and aprons, taken up with much reverence, healed the sick of their maladies: "So tha t from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them" (Acts 19:12). But not only the Apostles' clothing (which certainly touched the bodies of the sick), but even their shadow alone performed healings. On beholding this, people put their sick on stretchers and beds and brought them out into the streets that, when Peter passed by, his shadow "might overshadow some of them"(Acts 5:15). From this the Orthodox Catholic Church has learned to show reverence and piety not only to the relics of their bodies, but also in the clothing of God's Saints.

Apolytikion of Veneration of the Chains of Ap. Peter in the Fourth Tone

Without leaving Rome, thou didst come to us by the precious chains which thou didst wear. O foremost of the Apostles. And worshipping them with faith, we pray: By thine intercessions with God, grant us great mercy.

Kontakion of Veneration of the Chains of Ap. Peter in the Second Tone

Now Christ God, the Rock, doth glorify the rock of faith, illustriously, in calling all to celebrate the dread wonders of the most precious chains of Peter, the first and chief of the disciples of Christ our God, Who granteth forgiveness of sins unto all.
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On December 12 we celebrate Holy New Martyr Peter the Aleut

Reading from the Synaxarion:

The holy New Martyr Peter suffered martyrdom in San Francisco at the time that California belonged to Spain. An Aleut from Alaska, he and his companions were captured in California by the Spaniards. When he refused to abandon Orthodoxy to accept Latinism, which they wished to force upon him, the Spaniards submitted him to a martyrdom like that suffered by Saint James the Persian, cutting him apart joint by joint. He died from loss of blood in steadfast confession of the Faith in 1815.

Apolytikion of Peter the Aleut in the First Tone

O Peter, upon the rock of thy faith hath Christ built His Church, and in the streams of thy blood hath He hallowed our land. In thee thy people hath been sanctified, O Aleut; from the farthest islands of the west hath He raised thee, a light unto all. Glory to Him that hath glorified thee. Glory to Him that worketh healings for all through thee.

Kontakion of Peter the Aleut in the Fourth Tone

As a skilful fisherman, the Martyr Peter was not harmed when he was caught by adversaries of the Faith; but in a sea of martyric blood, he gained the Kingdom and drowned bitter heresy.
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On December 9 we celebrate The Consecration of the Church of the Resurrection (Holy Sepulchre) in the Holy City of Jerusalem

The majestic Church of the Resurrection, built by Saint Constantine the Great and his mother Helen, was consecrated in the year 336. In the year 614, this edifice was destroyed by the Persians, who set fire to it. Modestus, the Abbot of the Monastery of Saint Theodosius, and later Patriarch of Jerusalem, rebuilt the church in 626 and had it reconsecrated. In 637, Jerusalem fell to the Moslems; however, the holy shrines were left intact. But in 934, on the Sunday of Pascha, the Saracens set fire to part of this church. Again in 969, the Moslems set fire to the dome of the church, plundered all the sacred objects that were found therein, and surrendered John IV, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, to the flames. In 1010, the Moslems, under Hakim the Mad, Caliph of Egypt, destroyed the church to its foundations, but in 1028, by the mediation of Emperor Romanus III Argyrus of Constantinople, the church began to be rebuilt on a more modest scale. This third edifice was completed and reconsecrated in 1048. In 1099, the crusaders took Jerusalem and ruled there for eighty-eight years, and during this time they made certain changes in the structure, which, for the most part, has remained unaltered ever since.
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Today we celebrate:

Stylianos the Monk of Paphlagonia

St. Stylianos was from Paphlagonia living in the latter 6th century and early 7th century. He loved the Lord Jesus Christ with his whole heart and lived in strict asceticism. When he fell asleep in the Lord, his face shone like the sun and an angel appeared to take his soul to Glory. His prayers have worked many miracles, both during his earthly life and since. He is of special help to children who are ill and to childless couples. He is known as a protector of orphans.
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Today we celebrate

Holy Martyr Cecilia and those with her

Saint Cecilia was of an illustrious Roman family. On being betrothed to Valerian, she drew him to the Faith of Christ, and he in turn drew his own brother Tiburtius to the same. They contested in martyrdom during the reign of Diocletian, in the year 288.

Archippus the Apostle, Philemon the Apostle & his wife, Apphia, Onesimos the Disciple of Paul

Philemon, who was from Colossae, a city of Phrygia, was a man both wealthy and noble; Apphia was his wife. Archippus became Bishop of the Church in Colossae. All three were disciples of the Apostle Paul. Onesimus, who was formerly an unbeliever and slave of Philemon, stole certain of his vessels and fled to Rome. However, on finding him there, the Apostle Paul guided him onto the path of virtue and the knowledge of the truth, and sent him back to his master Philemon, to whom he wrote an epistle (this is one of the fourteen epistles of Saint Paul). In this epistle, Paul commended Onesimus to his master and reconciled the two. Onesimus was later made a bishop; in Greece he is honoured as the patron Saint of the imprisoned. All these Saints received their end by martyrdom, when they were stoned to death by the idolaters. Saint Onesimus is also commemorated on February 15.
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