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Sunday of the Holy Fathers of First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea. The Paschal cycle in the Eastern Orthodox Church is the cycle of the moveable feasts built around the 2 May Pascha (Easter). Each week begins on a Sunday and the Thursday 10 June Ascension of Jesus Christ was on the 40th day, this 7th Sunday after Pascha being the 43rd day, Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles on the 8th Sunday will be the 50th day and All Saints Sunday the 57th. In the early church, there was a controversy between those who advocated independent computations for Pascha and those who wished to continue the custom of relying on the Jewish calendar. This was formally resolved by the 325 First Council of Nicaea, when 318 Bishops endorsed changing to an independent computation by the Christian community, in order to celebrate in common. In 315, the Libyan heresiarch Arius, a protopresbyter of the Church of Alexandria, had begun to blaspheme against the Son and Word of God, saying that He was not true God, consubstantial with the Father, but was rather a work and creation, alien to the essence and glory of the Father, and that there was a time when He was not. St Constantine the Great, the equal to the Apostles, had therefore summoned the First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea, where all declared that the Son and Word of God is one in essence with the Father, true God of true God, the Holy Spirit being added by the 553 Second Ecumenical Council. Recognising the divine Fathers as heralds of the Faith after the divine Apostles, the Church of Christ appointed this present Sunday for their annual commemoration in thanksgiving and unto the glory of God, unto their praise and honour, and unto the strengthening of the true Faith. Image: goarch.org.
Prayer You are greatly glorified, O Christ our God Who established our Fathers as luminaries upon the earth, and through them led us all to the true Faith. O Most compassionate, glory to You for the Church was strengthened into one faith through the preaching of the Apostles and the doctrines of the Fathers. The Church is robed in truth woven of the word of God from above. It teaches truth and glorifies the great mystery of faith. We pray that we too may be robed in truth woven of the word of God from above and thereby learn the truth that glorifies the great mystery of faith. Amen
Sant’Antonio da Padova (St Anthony of Padua, António de Lisboa, Fernando Martins de Bulhões, Hammer of Heretics, Professor of Miracles) (1195-1231). Feast Day commemorating the death of the wealthy Catholic priest and Friar of the Franciscan Order, Evangelical Doctor and Doctor of the Church. Anthony was born in Lisbon and noted by his contemporaries for his powerful preaching, expert knowledge of scripture and undying love and devotion to the poor and the sick. Fernando was instructed at the local cathedral school and at 15 entered the Augustinian community of Canons Regular of the Order of the Holy Cross at the Abbey of Saint Vincent on the outskirts of Lisbon. He asked to be transferred to the motherhouse of the congregation, the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Coimbra, then the capital of Portugal, where he studied theology and Latin. After his ordination to the priesthood, he was named guestmaster at 19 and placed in charge of hospitality in the Abbey but he obtained permission to leave the Canons Regular to join the new Franciscan order, joined the friars at a small hermitage, adopted the name Anthony and set out for Morocco and then landed in Sicily. He made his way to Tuscany and was assigned to a rural hermitage, where in 1222 he preached most eloquently to visiting Dominican friars. The founder of the Franciscan order, Francis of Assisi, tasked Anthony with teaching young members of the order seeking ordination and in 1224 entrusted the pursuit of studies by any of his friars to the care of Anthony, who occasionally taught at universities in Montpellier and Toulouse. However, his preaching was considered to be his supreme gift and in 1226 Anthony was appointed Provincial superior of northern Italy, choosing the city of Padua as his location. Anthony became sick in 1231, went to a woodland retreat and died on the way back to Padua at the Poor Clare monastery at Arcella (now Padua), all the church bells ringing of their own accord. At his request, Anthony was buried in the small church of Santa Maria Mater Domini, near a 1229 convent that he had founded. The church was incorporated, as the Cappella della Madonna Mora (Chapel of the Dark Madonna), into the structure of the large Basilica, now commonly known as Il Santo (The Saint) built between 1232 and 1301. Anthony’s remains were venerated in the Chapel, displayed in a large reliquary and 30 years after his death the tongue was incorrupt, a sign of his gift of preaching. Anthony’s fame was spread by Portuguese evangelisation and he has been known as the most celebrated of the followers of Francis of Assisi. St Anthony Chaplets help devotees to meditate on the thirteen virtues of the saint and some of these chaplets were used by members of confraternities that had Anthony as their patron saint. In 1692, Spanish missionaries built a mission as the focal point of a small community that eventually grew to become San Antonio, Texas. On the weekend of the last Sunday in August, Boston, Massachusetts holds a feast in honour of St Anthony, begun in 1919 by Italian immigrants from a small town near Naples where the tradition of honouring St Anthony goes back to 1688. Each year, the Sandia and Santa Clara Pueblos, New Mexico celebrate the Feast Day of Saint Anthony with traditional Native American dances. In Albania, the Franciscans arrived in 1240, spreading the word of St Anthony and the St Anthony Church, Laç (Kisha e Shna Ndoutt) was built in his honour. In Poland, the icon of St Anthony dating from 1649 is housed in the Franciscan Kaplica Świętego Antoniego w Przeworsku church. In the Philippines, the devotion to St Anthony of Padua began in 1581 in Pila, Laguna, where the first church in the country dedicated to him is now the National Shrine of St Anthony of Padua. Venerated in Catholic Church. Major shrine Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua in Padua. Patron of Lisbon, lost items, lost people, lost souls, American Indians, amputees, animals, barrenness, Brazil, elderly people, faith in the Blessed Sacrament, fishermen, Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, harvests, horses, lower animals, mail, mariners, oppressed people, poor people, Portugal, pregnant women, shipwrecks, starvation, sterility, swineherds, Tigua Indians, travel hostesses, travellers, Tuburan, Cebu, San Vicente, Sulat, Eastern Samar, watermen, runts of litters, counter-revolutionaries, Pila, Laguna, Taytay, Rizal, Iriga, Camarines Sur, Camaligan, Camarines Sur. Image: pinterest.com/
Zoborhegyi Szent Benedek (St Benedict of Szkalka, Svätý Benedikt pustovník) (d1012). Feast Day for Hungarian Benedictine monk at the St Hippolytus Monastery on Mount Zobor near Nitra, Slovakia (then Hungary) who was renowned for his piety and strict asceticism. He later became a hermit with his fellow saint and spiritual teacher Andrew Zorard and they lived an austere life in a Zobor Mountain cave on the Váh River near Trenčín, in modern Skalka nad Váhom, Slovakia, part of the Kingdom of Hungary. Andrew died in 1009, but Benedict continued to live in the cave for three years until he was strangled to death by a gang of robbers looking for treasure. His body was thrown into the Váh River, but it was found perfectly preserved a year later. In 1083, his relics were translated to the St Emmeram’s Cathedral in Nitra, where they remain to this day. Venerated in Catholic, Eastern Orthodox Churches and in Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and the emigrant diasporas in the USA. Major shrine St. Emmeram’s Cathedral. Feast Day 1 May, 17 July on some calendars and together with St Andrew on 13 June or 17 July. Patron of sailors of the Váh River, Diocese of Nitra, Diocese of Tarnów, St Andrew Abbey, Cleveland, Sts Andrew and Benedict, Detroit. Image: hu.wikipedia,org.