Sunday, July 06, 2003

The Lord’s day
Happy feast day of the Precious Blood, traditional Roman Catholics. Today the Eastern Orthodox Church remembers all the Christians in history, many of them Greeks and Serbs but a few Ukrainians too, who were killed by Muslims. While I have a lot of respect for Muslims, of course I realize they are wrong. Muhammad was really the first great false prophet after the coming of Christ, I heard in church today. I also heard again the story of St Akhmed, a story of baptism by blood (and desire?). The story goes that one Easter in Jerusalem, where only the Greek Orthodox patriarch can effect the miracle of the holy fire in the Church of the Resurrection (Holy Sepulchre to Roman Catholics), members of the Armenian Church blocked the Greek patriarch's way into the church and so instead the holy fire shot outside through a pillar - I've been told you can still see the damage today. Akhmed, a Muslim, said, 'The God of the Orthodox is true!' and then died on the spot.

Russian Orthodox also remember today the icon of Our Lady of Vladimir, perhaps the second best known icon of Mary besides the Passion (Suffering) one, better known as Our Lady of Perpetual Help (history).

An icon I carry around in medal form much of the time is that of Our Lady of Ostrabrama, also known as Our Lady of Vilna, venerated by Lithuanians, Poles and Russians alike. (More - scroll down.)

Another sad day in what used to be Christendom:

Slovakia OKs abortion

Today in church history
Christianity Today reports today is a sad anniversary: the attempted excommunication of the patriarch of Constantinople by two ex-legates of the Pope in 1054, which some on both sides wrongly mark as the separation date of Eastern Orthodoxy and Western Catholicism. It wasn't, as this page explains (scroll down). My take on the whole mess? Once upon a time there were two empires that no longer exist and that didn't like each other...

I am the King's good servant but God's servant first.
- St Thomas More

In the news
I read that ex-Liberian head honcho Charles Taylor has accepted an offer of asylum in Nigeria - I'm sure we all will start getting earnest business e-mails in his name very soon.

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