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Veteran’s Day Freebies & Discounts October 31, 2010

Posted by stgeorgeoma in Armed Forces, Armed Services, Eastern Orthodox, Memorial, Military, Networking, News, Orthodox, Religion, Religious, SGOMA News, Uncategorized.
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Veteran’s Day Nov. 11th, 2010

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” -Elmer Davis

 

Please pass along to all the veterans you know you might be interested.

Veterans’ Day Appreciation by Companies in honor of Veterans Day, on Nov. 11, restaurants, retail stores andentertainment centers across the country are offering some truly amazing deals and some okay deals for everyone from veterans and their families to firefighters and police officers.

Restaurant Freebies:

  • Applebee’s Restaurant – Free dinners to veterans throughout the day
  • Outback Steakhouse – Free Blooming Onion and beverage
  • Golden Corral- Free buffet dinner from 5-9 p.m. on Nov. 16 to anyone who has ever served in the U.S. military
  • Krispy Kreme – One free doughnut of any variety
  • UNO Chicago Grill- Free entree or individual pizza with an entree or pizza purchase of equal or greater value
  • Coushatta Casino Resort – The Louisiana casino and resort is offering a Free seven-clans lunch or dinner buffet to veterans or active military
  • MarketPlace Grill & Express – Veterans and active-duty military receive free entrees
  • Masala Wok – The Northern Virginian restaurant is offering a free entree to veterans
  • Hy-Vee supermarkets – The mid-western supermarket chain is offering a free breakfast to veterans
  • Abuelo’s Mexican Food Restaurants – All veterans and active-duty military receive a free entree
  • Carolina Burgers & BBQ – In Matthews, NC is offering a free meal to all service members and veterans

 

Retail Freebies:

  • Brides Across America – Provides free wedding gowns to qualified military brides
  • Lowe’s & Home Depot – Extra 10% off to active-duty military members, National Guard and reserve members, retirees, honorably discharged veterans and immediate family members
  • Sam’s Club – Over 25,000 Hugo canes will be given away to U.S. veterans in need of mobility assistance. Membership is not required, but supplies are limited, so check with your local store
  • Amazon.com – Free “Veterans Day Honor” MP3 album download. The album includes 12 songs by The Bands and Ensembles of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Cabela’s Outdoor Store – Offers their employee discount to all veterans, active-duty military and reserves, law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel. Nov. 11-12. Discounts vary from 5% to 50%, depending on the item
  • Build-a-Bear Workshop – Members of the armed services including the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Reserve Officer Training Corps, will receive a 20% discount Nov. 11-15 on any one transaction at Build-A-Bear Workshop
  • Dollar General – 10% discount for all veterans, active-duty military, National Guard and reserve and their immediate families
  • Fashion Bug – 20% off all plus-size and misses clothing purchases with a copy of military ID or spouse’s military ID

 

Entertainment Freebies:

  • National parks, forests and monuments – Admission is free to everyone on Veterans Day
  • Knott’s Berry Farm – Free park admission to U.S. armed forces personnel and a guest during Veteran’s Month, November 1-26
  • Colonial Williamsburg – Free admission Nov. 6-11 for active-duty military, guard and reservists, retirees, veterans and their dependents
  • San Jacinto Museum of History – Free visits to the Observation Deck, theatre, and special exhibit for veterans, active duty military personnel, and their families
  • Historic Jamestown – Free admission to veterans, current Armed Forces members and their family members
  • Battleship Cove – Free admission and a special ceremony for veterans, active, duty and reservists
  • Vicksburg National Military Park – Free admission for all
  • Birmingham Museum of Art – Free admission to the ticketed event “Life and Liberty” on Nov. 10-11 for veterans and active military
  • Vulcan Park and Museum- In Birmingham, Alabama is offering discounted admission through November to the park and museum
  • Greenbay (WI) New Zoo – Free admission to veterans and their families
  • Central Florida Zoo – Free admission to the Sanford, Florida zoo with proper ID
  • Strategic Air & Space Museum- Free admission for veterans Nov. 11-14 to the Ashland, Neb. museum
  • National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum – in Oklahoma City offers free admission to veterans and five guests from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Veterans Day
  • Natural Elements Spa & Salon – In Chesapeake, Virginia, will provide free services from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to both active duty and retired military

 

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Happy Anniversary! SGOMA turns 1! October 20, 2010

Posted by stgeorgeoma in Armed Forces, Armed Services, Eastern Orthodox, Memorial, Military, Networking, News, Orthodox, Religion, Religious, Saints, SGOMA News, Uncategorized.
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October 20th, 2010 – Feast Day of Saint Artemius/1st anniversary of the Saint George Orthodox Military Association (SGOMA).

One year ago today, an idea was born to find ways to support our Eastern Orthodox Christians serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

What started out as a letter writing campaign to try to get an Orthodox Chapel on Fort Bliss, one of the largest Army Bases in the U.S., turned out to develop into a Pan-Orthodox organization of active duty & reserve military, dependents, retirees, veterans and their families, all with the same goal, to advance the cause of our Orthodox men and women serving our country at home and overseas.

In the past year…

Our Facebook page went from 2 members to over 1,360 people. Our webpage has received over 100,000 hits, with visitors from all around the globe.

With the help and generosity of Ancient Faith Radio the Association has a regular podcast series called “Orthodox Christians on the Front Lines” available for download any time at: http://www.ancient faith.com

Our Orthodox Chaplains have done an outstanding job in helping us with the Podcasts and supplying us with liturgical information, Chaplain and Chapel updates, all in order to help our Orthodox brothers and sisters in the U.S. Armed Forces.

SGOMA has sent out over 25 Orthodox Survival Packages to our Orthodox service members in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Through the great generosity of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese SGOMA has been able to send out over 40 “Orthodox New Testament & Psalms” to our service members in the USA and around the world.

As we enter into our second year, SGOMA will continue to work towards serving our Orthodox Troops and find new opportunities to reach out to them and let them know they are loved, cared about, prayed for and remembered by the members of our association throughout the year.

SGOMA is working with USFallen.org in order to more accurately recognize and honor those Eastern Orthodox Christians who have given their lives in defense of our country. We will continue to expand, honor, pray for, and remember all of our fallen Orthodox service members throughout the year, in special panikhidas, and during Divine Liturgies.

SGOMA is continuing work on developing a home catechetical program and providing resources for Orthodox Home Schooling.

We are continuing to reach out to our Orthodox Troops, their families and our Orthodox Chaplains to bring you more interesting and educational Podcasts on our Ancient Faith series “Orthodox Christians on the Front Lines.”

We are very grateful for all the wonderful people who have donated to the Saint George Orthodox Military Association over the past year. Through your generosity we have been able to do the things that we have for our troops. We are still in need of more donations to continue the work that we have begun. If you would like donate to SGOMA please feel free to contact us via email at: StGeorgeOMA@gmail.com or mail your donations to us at: SGOMA, 2521 N. Main St., Unit 1, #198, Las Cruces, NM 88001. All your donations are tax detectable.

As always, we are open to ideas and suggestions on how we can better serve our Orthodox service members, their dependents, as well as our retirees and veterans. If you have any ideas please contact us and let us know.

We are excited to continue serving our Orthodox Service Members as we enter our second year. We ask for your continued prayers for our Association, but more importantly for our Airmen, Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, and Coast Guardsmen who so proudly and vigilantly protect our country every day. Our never-ending gratitude goes out to them!

Saint George Orthodox Military Association….we are “Supporting our Eastern Orthodox Christians serving in the U.S. Armed Forces”

Pentagon Pushes Veterans to Claim Stop-Loss Bonuses Before Deadline October 12, 2010

Posted by stgeorgeoma in Armed Forces, Armed Services, Eastern Orthodox, Memorial, Military, Networking, News, Orthodox, Religion, Religious, SGOMA News, Uncategorized.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE: U.S. soldiers stand guard as a medical helicopter arrives to evacuate a soldier who was seriously wounded when he stepped on an improvised mine in Kandahar province. (AP Photo)

From: FOXNEWS.com

Uncle Sam usually doesn’t have trouble finding folks to accept bonus checks.

But when it comes to giving $500 per month in retroactive pay to troops and veterans who were forced to stay in the military beyond their enlistment terms during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the U.S. government hasn’t gotten the participation it expected.

Service members, veterans and beneficiaries of service members whose service was involuntarily extended between Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 30, 2009, under the controversial “stop-loss” program are eligible for the additional payout. The average benefit is $3,800.

One problem: Only 62,000 of the 145,000 entitled to receive the stop-loss payments from a pool of $534.4 million have collected, leaving 83,000 left to claim $300 million.

Those who voluntarily re-enlisted or extended their service and received a bonus are not eligible.

In June 2009, President Obama signed into law the emergency supplemental war funding that included the retroactive bonuses. Since then, Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and members of Congress have filmed public service announcements to get the word out.

The Pentagon has also reached out to beneficiaries through multiple direct mailings, the Veterans Affairs Department, social networks, more than 100 military and veteran groups and the media, Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez told FoxNews.com

Lainez said the direct mail is only having limited success because the letters are sent to the last known address for beneficiaries who may have relocated and some beneficiaries don’t open their mail.

Troops originally had until next week — Oct. 21 — to collect the money due to them, but several lawmakers pushed for an extension, and the deadline was pushed back to Dec. 3 as part of a continuing resolution approved by Congress last week.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., is now pushing to extend the deadline to Oct. 21, 2011.

“Last year, Congress helped fix an injustice by providing bonus payments to thousands of troops who were required to serve and sacrifice longer than their scheduled enlistment,” Lautenberg said in a written statement.

“But unless we make sure that as many service members as possible have been paid, the good intent will not be fully realized. An extension of the stop-loss claims deadline will give the Defense Department more time to reach out to the troops who served selflessly and remained in service long after they were scheduled to return home.”

The military, and mostly the Army, has relied on stop-loss since 2002 to keep soldiers in service in what critics called a de facto draft. The practice was aimed at continuity, Lainez said, because training new recruits to go into the battlefield while the U.S. was fighting two wars was both time-consuming and inefficient.

Of the 145,000 beneficiaries eligible for the back pay, 120,000 served in the Army. The Army plans to phase out stop-loss assignments by March 2011, Lainez said.

Lainez said the Defense Department won’t just mail out checks to eligible troops.

“Besides the fact that they have to apply, it wouldn’t be prudent to send $534 million in checks to last known addresses that are years old,” she said.

Lainez advised that beneficiaries apply online because the process moves much more quickly.

Individuals eligible for the bonus can visit http://www.defense.gov/stoploss for more information.

Physical & Spiritual Fitness October 9, 2010

Posted by stgeorgeoma in Armed Forces, Armed Services, Eastern Orthodox, Memorial, Military, Networking, News, Orthodox, Religion, Religious, Saints, SGOMA News, Uncategorized.
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Walk around post in the morning and you will see Soldiers running in formation or small groups. You will see them doing push-ups, sit-ups and pull-ups.

In some units, you will even see them engaged in the latest physical fitness routines, whether it is P90X, CrossFit or some other muscle-trembling, sweat inducing exercise. Right alongside all of these Soldiers you will see civilians and retirees also sweating and straining as they walk, run and bike their way to better physical fitness.

You will see the same thing at Aquatic Center as Soldiers, retirees and civilians pack the pool every day, swimming laps and doing water aerobics. The racquetball courts, weight rooms and cardio rooms at the post gyms are also full of people striving every day to push their bodies a bit more, to get an extra rep or an extra minute into their workouts as they seek the ideal of physical fitness.

Even if you aren’t one of the people on the roads pounding the pavement or sweating in the gyms, most of us know we need to exercise and wish we were in better physical shape.

Exercise is important because it is good for our health, but even the Army recognizes there is more to a person’s overall health than just physical fitness. As part of the new Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Plan, the Army says that part of being fit as a whole person is spiritual fitness. But this isn’t something the Army just came up with. In fact, the Apostle Paul wrote about it around 2,000 years ago in a letter to a friend named Timothy.

“For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8-9). Scripture tells us that even more than being worried about our physical fitness, though this is good, we need to be working on our spiritual fitness. So with all the time many of us spend sweating and working to be physically fit, or at least the time we spend thinking and wishing we were more physically fit, what have we done lately to be spiritually fit?

Just like physical fitness, spiritual fitness takes time and effort. It doesn’t happen to us mysteriously as we sit around doing nothing. We have to get off our rear ends and spend time and effort in the things that will get our flabby spiritual muscles into shape.

What are these spiritual exercises? Well, just like physical fitness, it doesn’t need to be complicated and most of us already know what we need to be doing to get fit. Spiritual fitness exercises can range from attending a chapel service on post or a religious service off post. It can be reading sacred scripture and books on spiritual topics. It can be establishing a regular prayer life (morning, noon and evening prayers). It could be getting involved in chapel groups or organizations on post or in your community.

There is a huge number of opportunities to become spiritually fit both on post and in your community, whether you are a service member, a retiree or a civilian.

To be spiritually fit, you need a plan and the fortitude to get started, to stick with the plan and to pick yourself back up and keep trying if you fall off the plan. This can’t be a once- or twice-a year thing. It takes repetitions over time to reach a good level of spiritual fitness. Is it hard? It can be, especially when you’re just getting started. Is it worth it? Yes, both for yourself and for your family.

If you are out there sweating to better your physical fitness, keep it up. If you aren’t, then maybe you should, but all of us probably need to spend more time and effort making sure we are spiritually fit, too. So get a plan, get started and get spiritually fit.

State of Orthodoxy in the U.S. Armed Forces October 8, 2010

Posted by stgeorgeoma in Armed Forces, Armed Services, Eastern Orthodox, Memorial, Military, Networking, News, Orthodox, Religion, Religious, Saints, SGOMA News, Uncategorized.
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Orthodox Military Saints for October October 5, 2010

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Oct. 1st – The Protection of the Most-holy Theotokos

The Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos: “Today the Virgin stands in the midst of the Church, and with choirs of Saints she invisibly prays to God for us. Angels and Bishops venerate Her, Apostles and prophets rejoice together, Since for our sake she prays to the Eternal God!”

This miraculous appearance of the Mother of God occurred in the mid-tenth century in Constantinople, in the Blachernae church where her robe, veil, and part of her belt were preserved after being transferred from Palestine in the fifth century.

On Sunday, October 1, during the All Night Vigil, when the church was overflowing with those at prayer, the Fool-for-Christ St Andrew (October 2), at the fourth hour, lifted up his eyes towards the heavens and beheld our most Holy Lady Theotokos coming through the air, resplendent with heavenly light and surrounded by an assembly of the Saints. St John the Baptist and the holy Apostle John the Theologian accompanied the Queen of Heaven. On bended knees the Most Holy Virgin tearfully prayed for Christians for a long time. Then, coming near the Bishop’s Throne, she continued her prayer.

After completing her prayer she took her veil and spread it over the people praying in church, protecting them from enemies both visible and invisible. The Most Holy Lady Theotokos was resplendent with heavenly glory, and the protecting veil in her hands gleamed “more than the rays of the sun.” St Andrew gazed trembling at the miraculous vision and he asked his disciple, the blessed Epiphanius standing beside him, “Do you see, brother, the Holy Theotokos, praying for all the world?” Epiphanius answered, “I do see, holy Father, and I am in awe.”

The Ever-Blessed Mother of God implored the Lord Jesus Christ to accept the prayers of all the people calling on His Most Holy Name, and to respond speedily to her intercession, “O Heavenly King, accept all those who pray to You and call on my name for help. Do not let them not go away from my icon unheard.”

Sts Andrew and Epiphanius were worthy to see the Mother of God at prayer, and “for a long time observed the Protecting Veil spread over the people and shining with flashes of glory. As long as the Most Holy Theotokos was there, the Protecting Veil was also visible, but with her departure it also became invisible. After taking it with her, she left behind the grace of her visitation.”

At the Blachernae church, the memory of the miraculous appearance of the Mother of God was remembered. In the fourteenth century, the Russian pilgrim and clerk Alexander, saw in the church an icon of the Most Holy Theotokos praying for the world, depicting St Andrew in contemplation of her.

The Primary Chronicle of St Nestor reflects that the protective intercession of the Mother of God was needed because an attack of a large pagan Russian fleet under the leadership of Askole and Dir. The feast celebrates the divine destruction of the fleet which threatened Constantinople itself, sometime in the years 864-867 or according to the Russian historian Vasiliev, on June 18, 860. Ironically, this Feast is considered important by the Slavic Churches but not by the Greeks.

The Primary Chronicle of St Nestor also notes the miraculous deliverance followed an all-night Vigil and the dipping of the garment of the Mother of God into the waters of the sea at the Blachernae church, but does not mention Sts Andrew and Epiphanius and their vision of the Mother of God at prayer. These latter elements, and the beginnings of the celebrating of the Feast of the Protection, seem to postdate St Nestor and the Chronicle. A further historical complication might be noted under

(October 2) dating St Andrew’s death to the year 936.

The year of death might not be quite reliable, or the assertion that he survived to a ripe old age after the vision of his youth, or that his vision involved some later pagan Russian raid which met with the same fate. The suggestion that St Andrew was a Slav (or a Scythian according to other sources, such as S. V. Bulgakov) is interesting, but not necessarily accurate. The extent of Slavic expansion and repopulation into Greece is the topic of scholarly disputes.

In the PROLOGUE, a Russian book of the twelfth century, a description of the establishment of the special Feast marking this event states, “For when we heard, we realized how wondrous and merciful was the vision… and it transpired that Your holy Protection should not remain without festal celebration, O Ever-Blessed One!”

Therefore, in the festal celebration of the Protection of the Mother of God, the Russian Church sings, “With the choirs of the Angels, O Sovereign Lady, with the venerable and glorious prophets, with the First-Ranked Apostles and with the Hieromartyrs and Hierarchs, pray for us sinners, glorifying the Feast of your Protection in the Russian Land.” Moreover, it would seem that St Andrew, contemplating the miraculous vision was a Slav, was taken captive, and became the slave of the local inhabitant of Constantinople named Theognostus.

Churches in honor of the Protection of the Mother of God began to appear in Russia in the twelfth century. Widely known for its architectural merit is the temple of the Protection at Nerl, which was built in the year 1165 by holy Prince Andrew Bogoliubsky. The efforts of this holy prince also established in the Russian Church the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God, about the year 1164.

At Novgorod in the twelfth century there was a monastery of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos (the so-called Zverin monastery) In Moscow also under Tsar Ivan the Terrible the cathedral of the Protection of the Mother of God was built at the church of the Holy Trinity (known as the church of St Basil the Blessed).

On the Feast of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos we implore the defense and assistance of the Queen of Heaven, “Remember us in your prayers, O Lady Virgin Mother of God, that we not perish by the increase of our sins. Protect us from every evil and from grievous woes, for in you do we hope, and venerating the Feast of your Protection, we magnify you.”

Oct. 2ndSt. Theodore (Ushakov) the Righteous Admiral

St Theodore, one of Russia’s greatest naval heroes of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, was born in 1745.

The unvanquished Admiral was the terror of his country’s enemies, and the deliverer of those whom the barbarians had taken captive. He served during the Russo-Turkish War (1787 – 1791), and also fought against the French. Although he fought many naval battles in the Black Sea and in the Mediterranean, he never lost a single one, and he was never wounded.

St Theodore once visited the Greek island of Kerkyra (Corfu), where he venerated the relics of St Spyridon of Tremithus (December 12), and gave support and encouragement to the Orthodox Christians in that place.

Since his naval reforms were unpopular with his superiors, St Theodore was forced to retire in 1807 by Tsar Alexander I. Having neither wife nor children, the admiral settled in the town of Alekseevo near the Sanaxar Monastery, where he regularly attended services on Sundays and Feast Days. During Great Lent he would stay in the monastery, fasting with the monks and attending the services.

Igumen Nathaniel of Sanaxar regarded St Theodore as “a neighbor and a significant patron” of the monastery. In addition to his generous gifts to the monastery, the admiral frequently gave alms to the poor and needy. He never sought earthly glory or riches, but spent his life in serving God and his neighbor.

St Theodore died in 1817 at the age of seventy-two. After navigating the sea of life with all its storms and struggles, he entered the calm harbor of eternal rest. He was buried at Sanaxar Monastery beside the church. The monastery was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church in 1991, and St Theodore’s grave was found in 1994.

St Theodore was glorified by the Orthodox Church of Russia in 2004, and a reliquary in the shape of a naval vessel was made to enshrine his holy relics.

The holy Admiral Theodore should not be confused with his relative St Theodore (Ushakov) of Sanaxar Monastery (February 19 and April 21), a monastic saint who lived from 1719 to 1791.

St Theodore is honored as a great military leader who defended Russia just as St Alexander Nevsky (November 23) and St Demetrius of the Don (May 19) did before him. One of the Russian Navy’s atomic cruisers has been named for him, and a movie has been made about his life and career. The composer Khachaturian has also written a musical piece called “Admiral Ushakov.”

Oct. 16th – The Holy Martyr Longinus the Centurion

The Holy Martyr Longinus the Centurion, a Roman soldier, served in Judea under the command of the Governor, Pontius Pilate. When our Savior Jesus Christ was crucified, it was the detachment of soldiers under the command of Longinus which stood watch on Golgotha, at the very foot of the holy Cross. Longinus and his soldiers were eyewitnesses of the final moments of the earthly life of the Lord, and of the great and awesome portents that appeared at His death. These events shook the centurion’s soul. Longinus believed in Christ and confessed before everyone, “Truly this was the Son of God” (Mt. 27:54).

According to Church Tradition, Longinus was the soldier who pierced the side of the Crucified Savior with a spear, and received healing from an eye affliction when blood and water poured forth from the wound.

After the Crucifixion and Burial of the Savior, Longinus stood watch with his company at the Sepulchre of the Lord. These soldiers were present at the All-Radiant Resurrection of Christ. The Jews bribed them to lie and say that His disciples had stolen away the Body of Christ, but Longinus and two of his comrades refused to be seduced by the Jewish gold. They also refused to remain silent about the miracle of the Resurrection.

Having come to believe in the Savior, the soldiers received Baptism from the apostles and decided to leave military service. St Longinus left Judea to preach about Jesus Christ the Son of God in his native land (Cappadocia), and his two comrades followed him.

The fiery words of those who had actually participated in the great events in Judea swayed the hearts and minds of the Cappadocians; Christianity began quickly to spread throughout the city and the surrounding villages. When they learned of this, the Jewish elders persuaded Pilate to send a company of soldiers to Cappadocia to kill Longinus and his comrades. When the soldiers arrived at Longinus’s village, the former centurion himself came out to meet the soldiers and took them to his home. After a meal, the soldiers revealed the purpose of their visit, not knowing that the master of the house was the very man whom they were seeking. Then Longinus and his friends identified themselves and told the startled soldiers to carry out their duty.

The soldiers wanted to let the saints go and advised them to flee, but they refused to do this, showing their firm intention to suffer for Christ. The holy martyrs were beheaded, and their bodies were buried at the place where the saints were martyred. The head of St Longinus, however, was sent to Pilate.

Pilate gave orders to cast the martyr’s head on a trash-heap outside the city walls. After a while a certain blind widow from Cappadocia arrived in Jerusalem with her son to pray at the holy places, and to ask that her sight be restored. After becoming blind, she had sought the help of physicians to cure her, but all their efforts were in vain.

The woman’s son became ill shortly after reaching Jerusalem, and he died a few days later. The widow grieved for the loss of her son, who had served as her guide.

St Longinus appeared to her in a dream and comforted her. He told her that she would see her son in heavenly glory, and also receive her sight. He told her to go outside the city walls and there she would find his head in a great pile of refuse. Guides led the blind woman to the rubbish heap, and she began to dig with her hands. As soon as she touched the martyr’s head, the woman received her sight, and she glorified God and St Longinus.

Taking up the head, she brought it to the place she was staying and washed it. The next night, St Longinus appeared to her again, this time with her son. They were surrounded by a bright light, and St Longinus said, Woman, behold the son for whom you grieve. See what glory and honor are his now, and be consoled. God has numbered him with those in His heavenly Kingdom. Now take my head and your son’s body, and bury them in the same casket. Do not weep for your son, for he will rejoice forever in great glory and happiness.”

The woman carried out the saint’s instructions and returned to her home in Cappadocia. There she buried her son and the head of St Longinus. Once, she had been overcome by grief for her son, but her weeping was transformed into joy when she saw him with St Longinus. She had sought healing for her eyes, and also received healing of her soul.

Oct. 20th – Holy Great Martyr Artemius  (Feast day of the Founding of the Saint George Orthodox Military Association)

Holy Great Martyr Artemius of Antioch was a prominent military leader during the reigns of the emperor Constantine the Great (May 21), and his son and successor Constantius (337-361). Artemius received many awards for distinguished service and courage. He was appointed viceroy of Egypt. In this official position he did much for the spreading and strengthening Christianity in Egypt.

St Artemius was sent by the emperor Constantius to bring the relics of the holy Apostle Andrew from Patras, and the relics of the holy Apostle Luke from Thebes of Boeotia, to Constantinople. The holy relics were placed in the Church of the Holy Apostles beneath the table of oblation. The emperor rewarded him by making him ruler of Egypt.

The emperor Constantius was succeeded on the throne by Julian the Apostate (361-363). Julian in his desire to restore paganism was extremely antagonistic towards Christians, sending hundreds to their death. At Antioch he ordered the torture of two bishops unwilling to forsake the Christian Faith.

During this time, St Artemius arrived in Antioch and publicly denounced Julian for his impiety. The enraged Julian subjected the saint to terrible tortures and threw the Great Martyr Artemius into prison. While Artemius was praying, Christ, surrounded by angels, appeared to him and said, “Take courage, Artemius! I am with you and will preserve you from every hurt which is inflicted upon you, and I already have prepared your crown of glory. Since you have confessed Me before the people on earth, so shall I confess you before My Heavenly Father. Therefore, take courage and rejoice, you shall be with Me in My Kingdom.” Hearing this, Artemius rejoiced and offered up glory and thanksgiving to Him.

On the following day, Julian demanded that St Artemius honor the pagan gods. Meeting with steadfast refusal, the emperor resorted to further tortures. The saint endured all without a single moan. The saint told Julian that he would be justly recompensed for his persecution of Christians. Julian became furious and resorted to even more savage tortures, but they did not break the will of the saint. Finally the Great Martyr Artemius was beheaded.

His relics were buried by Christians. After the death of St Artemius, his prophecy about Julian the Apostate’s impending death came true.

Julian left Antioch for a war with the Persians. Near the Persian city of Ctesiphon, Julian came upon an elderly Persian, who agreed to betray his countrymen and guide Julian’s army. The old man deceived Julian and led his army into the Karmanite wilderness, where there was neither food nor water. Tired from hunger and thirst, Julian’s army battled against fresh Persian forces.

Divine retribution caught up with Julian the Apostate. During the battle he was mortally wounded by an unseen hand and an unseen weapon. Julian groaned deeply said, “You have conquered, Galilean!” After the death of the apostate emperor, the relics of the Great Martyr Artemius were transferred with honor from Antioch to Constantinople.

St Artemius is invoked by those suffering from hernias.

Russia’s Orthodox Church priests to appear in Russian Army and Navy September 19, 2010

Posted by stgeorgeoma in Armed Forces, Armed Services, Eastern Orthodox, Military, News, Orthodox, Religion, Religious, SGOMA News.
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An interesting short news blurb about our Orthodox Brothers in the Russian Military:

From: PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKI, September 19 (RIA Novosti)

Russia’s Orthodox Church priests will soon appear in the Russian army and navy to serve as military chaplains as Russian servicemen especially need spiritual support, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said on Sunday.

“By decision of the Russian president, the institution of military clergy is beginning to develop in Russia. So far we are making the first steps… But since a legal foundation has been laid, I hope that priests will soon appear in the army and the navy,” Patriarch Kirill said.

The patriarch met on Sunday with the personnel of the 16th squadron of Pacific Fleet submarines in Kamchatka in the Russian Far East.

According to the patriarch, servicemen need spiritual support.

“This is because risks linked with military service are so great that they cannot be compensated by any material benefits,” he said.

According to the Russian defense ministry, two thirds of the country’s servicemen consider themselves religious. Some 83% of them are Orthodox Christians, about 8% are Muslims, and 9% represent other confessions.

Orthodox Military New Testaments availible from SGOMA September 2, 2010

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Through the grace and the kindness of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the Orthodox Marketplace the Saint George Orthodox Military Association (SGOMA) has 110 Orthodox Military New Testaments to give out for free to our Orthodox Christian Service Men & Women.

The SGOMA will mail out the Orthodox Military New Testament to any U.S. Active Duty, Reserve or Guardsman for FREE. No cost for the book or the shipping! To request your free Orthodox Military New Testament please email us with: your name, rank, service branch, and mailing address. You can send your email to: StGeorgeOMA@gmail.com

For those who would be interested in donating to the St. George Orthodox Military Association to assist in off setting the cost of postage for this outreach program can also email us for more information, or may mail their donation to:

St. George Orthodox Military Assoc.
2521 N. Main Street, Unit 1, #198
Las Cruces, NM  88001

About the Orthodox Military New Testament: The New Testament and Psalms in a pocket size volume – ideal to pack and carry. The Orthodox Military New Testament also includes devotional morning and evening prayers, a page to list the living and the dead for prayer, 8 full-color icon plates, and a devotional piece on the ten commandments and integrity in military service. The New Testament & Psalms for Orthodox Christians Military Edition is developed with the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) for distribution to the Orthodox Christian men and women of the armed services all over the world. Biblical text is the RSV. The American Bible Society has graciously underwritten the costs of production for this Bible. Therefore, the full cost of this Bible is donated to the efforts of the American Bible Society towards Orthodox Christian projects.

The Dangers of being a Military Chaplain September 2, 2010

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Although the following story isn’t about an Orthodox Military Chaplain, it brings to the forefront what all Chaplains, including our Orthodox Military Chaplains, deal with while on deployment. Our Orthodox Military Chaplains do a lot of traveling when they are deployed or TDY in combat areas to find our Orthodox Troops in the various locations spread throughout the region. Our Chaplains spend endless hours in convoyes and flights to get to their destinations.

We will have one of our own Orthodox Chaplains, Father Jerome Cwiklinski, CPT, USN, going TDY to Qatar and Afghanistan during most of the month of September. He is traveling around to visit our Orthodox Troops, hold Divine Liturgies and ensure those wishing can receive the Holy Mysteries of the Orthodox Church. Please keep Father Jerome, our Orthodox Chaplains, and all the Chaplains in the Military in your prayers, for they unselfishly put themselves in harm’s way to minister to our Troops!

 

Army chaplain dies in Afghanistan bomb blast

Chaplain Dale Goetz

An Army chaplain who grew up in Hood River has become the 124th service member with strong ties to Oregon to die in combat.

Chaplain (Capt.) Dale Allen Goetz, 43, died Monday in a roadside bomb attack in Arghandab River Valley, Afghanistan less than a month after he deployed. Four other soldiers also based at Fort Carson, Colo. also died.

According to published reports by the Army, the Hood River News and Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Wisconsin, Goetz spent most of his childhood in Hood River and was a 1986 graduate of Horizon Christian School. He graduated from the Maranatha in Watertown, Wis. in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in Bible studies.

Goetz completed his Master of Divinity degree at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Minneapolis in 2000. He was pastor of a church in White, S.D., until beginning his work toward chaplaincy. Goetz joined the Army in 2000. He was a member of the Chaplain Corps.

According to reports, the Goetz family had been transferred to Colorado in January after serving three years in Okinawa, Japan. Goetz was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division based at Fort Carson.

Goetz had also served 11 months in Iraq in 2004-2005.

 The News reported that the family was told by an Army casualty assistance officer that Goetz died after getting out of his vehicle to help soldiers in another Humvee hit by a first IED.

His mother, Hope Goetz, who lives in Elizabeth, Colo., was traveling to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to meet her son’s body.

Goetz is survived by his wife, Christina, who also graduated from Maranatha in 1995, and children, Landon, 10, Caleb, 8, and Joel, 1 year. A funeral service will be held in Colorado Springs with burial at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver.

Orthodox Military Saints for September September 1, 2010

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September 5 – The Holy Martyrs Juventius and Maximinus

Little is known about the life of these two holy men, but their suffering for Christ is known from a sermon by St. John Chrysostom praising them. They were soldiers during the rule of Emperor Julian the Apostate. In conversation with others during a military feast, they condemned the emperor for his persecution of Christians. Someone told the emperor of this, and he had them thrown into prison. Some of the emperor’s men visited them with the intention of turning them away from the true Faith. They told Juventius and Maximinus that many of their companions had denied Christ. To this, the two nobly replied: “Then we must stand bravely, and offer ourselves as a sacrifice for their apostasy.” They were beheaded with the sword in the dark of night, but their relics were found and were revealed to be miracle-working.

September 13 – The Holy Hieromartyr Cornelius the Centurion

Cornelius was a Roman and an officer in Caesarea of Palestine. As the result of a heavenly revelation, the Apostle Peter baptized him (Acts 10:1). He was the first among the pagans to enter God’s Church. Until then, some thought that the Church was only for the Jews and those who received the circumcision of the Jews. Having been baptized, Cornelius left everything and followed the apostle. Later, Peter consecrated him a bishop and sent him to the pagan town of Skep, where St. Cornelius endured much humiliation and torture for the sake of Christ. Even so, he destroyed the temple of Apollo there by the power of God, and baptized Prince Demetrius with 277 other pagans. Being forewarned by God of the day of his death, Cornelius summoned all the Christians together, counseled them, prayed to God for them, and peacefully presented himself to the Lord in honorable old age. In time, his grave site was neglected and forgotten, but the saint appeared to Silvanus the Bishop of Troas and revealed it to him, commanding that a church be built there. The bishop carried this out with the help of Eugenius, a wealthy citizen. Many miracles have been worked by the relics of St. Cornelius.

September 24 – The Holy Martyr Juvenaly, Protomartyr of America

The Holy Martyr Juvenaly, Protomartyr of America, was born in 1761 in Nerchinsk, Siberia. His secular name was John Feodorovich Hovorukhin, and he was trained as a mining engineer. In a Letter to Abbot Nazarius of Valaam (December 13, 1819), St. Herman says that St. Juvenaly “had been an assistant at our monastery and was a former officer.”

After his wife died in 1791, John entered a monastery at St. Petersburg (St. Herman’s Letter of December 13, 1819) and was tonsured with the name Juvenaly. Three years later, he went to Alaska as a missionary.

During 1794, the hieromonks Juvenaly and Macarius spent two months in the area around Kodiak teaching the inhabitants about Christ and baptizing them. They traveled in small boats of hide in all sorts of weather, dividing up the territory among themselves. St. Herman tells of a conversation he heard one day as he walked with the hieromonks to a small hill on the south side of the harbor. They sat down facing the sea, and spoke of various things. Soon they began to discuss where each of them should go to preach. Aflame with zeal and eager to set out on their journey, a friendly argument ensued between Fr. Macarius and Fr Juvenaly. Fr. Macarius said he intended to go north to the Aleutian Islands, and then make his way to the Alaskan mainland, where the inhabitants had invited him to visit. The monks had a map of Captain Cook’s which indicated that some Russians were living near a certain river in that particular area, and Fr. Macarius hoped to find them.

Fr. Juvenaly interrupted, saying that he believed that the Alaskan mainland was his territory. “I beg you to yield to me and not offend me in this,” he told Fr. Macarius, “since the ship is leaving for Yakutan. I shall begin preaching in the south, proceeding north along the ocean, cross the Kenai peninsula, then from the port there I shall cross to Alaska.”

Fr. Macarius became sorrowful and said, “No, Father. Do not restrict me in this way. You know the Aleutian chain of islands is joined to Alaska, therefore it belongs to me, and also the whole northern shore. As for you, the southern part of America is sufficient for your whole lifetime, if you please.”

As he listened to their apostolic fervor, St. Herman says he “went from joy to rapture” (Letter to Abbot Nazarius, May 19, 1795).

In 1795, Father Juvenaly baptized over 700 Chugatchi at Nushek, then he crossed Kenai Bay and baptized the local people there. In 1796, according to native oral tradition, St. Juvenaly came to the mouth of the Kuskokwim near the present village of Quinahgak, where he was killed by a hunting party (There is a forged diary attributed to Ivan Petroff which gives a slanderous version of Fr. Juvenaly’s death, and alleges that he was martyred at Lake Iliamna).

The precise reason for St. Juvenal’ys murder by the natives is not known. However, they later told St. Innocent something about his death. They said that St. Juvenaly did not try to defend himself when attacked, nor did he make any attempt to escape. After being struck from behind, he turned to face his attackers and begged them to spare the natives he had baptized.

The natives told St. Innocent that after they had killed St. Juvenaly, he got up and followed them, urging them to repent. The fell upon him again and gave him a savage beating. Once more, he got to his feet and called them to repentance. This happened several times, then finally the natives hacked him to pieces. Thus, the zealous Hieromonk Juvenaly became the first Orthodox Christian in America to receive the crown of martyrdom. His unnamed guide, possibly a Tanaina Indian convert, was also martyred at the same time.

It is said that a local shaman removed St. Juvenaly’s brass pectoral cross from his body and attempted to cast a spell. Unexpectedly, the shaman was lifted up off the ground. He made three more tries with the same result, then concluded that there was a greater power than his own at work here. Years later, a man showed up at the Nushagak Trading Post wearing a brass pectoral cross exactly like the one worn by St. Juvenaly.

A column of light arose from his holy relics and reached up to heaven. It is not known how long this phenomenon continued.

St. Juvenaly, in his tireless evangelization of the native peoples of Alaska, served the Church more than all the other missionaries combined.

St. Juvenaly, together with the Holy Martyr Peter the Aleut is commemorated on September 24.