Translation of the relics of St Nicholas the Wonderworker from Myra to Bari

The Transfer of the Relics of Saint Nicholas to Bari in Italy. His Life is found under December 6.

In the eleventh century the Byzantine Empire was going through some terrible times. The Turks put an end to its influence in Asia Minor, they destroyed cities and villages, they murdered the inhabitants, and they accompanied their cruel outrage with the desecration of churches, holy relics, icons and books. The Mussulmen also attempted to destroy the relics of Saint Nicholas, deeply venerated by the whole Christian world.

Holy Queen Tamar (†1213)

In 1166 a daughter, Tamar, was born to King Giorgi III (1155–1184) and Queen Burdukhan of Georgia. The king proclaimed that he would share the throne with his daughter from the day she turned twelve years of age.

The royal court unanimously vowed its allegiance and service to Tamar, and father and daughter ruled the country together for five years. After King Giorgi’s death in 1184, the nobility recognized the young Tamar as the sole ruler of all Georgia. Queen Tamar was enthroned as ruler of allGeorgia at the age of eighteen. She is called “King” in theGeorgian language because her father had no male heir and so she ruled as a monarch and not as a consort.

At the beginning of her reign, Tamar convened a Church council and addressed the clergy with wisdom and humility: “Judge according to righteousness, affirming good and condemning evil,” she advised. “Begin with me — if I sin I should be censured, for the royal crown is sent down from above as a sign of divine service. Allow neither the wealth of the nobles nor the poverty of the masses to hinder your work. You by word and I by deed, you by preaching and I by the law, you by upbringing and I by education will care for those souls whom God has entrusted to us, and together we will abide by the law of God, in order to escape eternal condemnation.… You as priests and I as ruler, you as stewards of good and I as the watchman of that good.”

Prophet Jeremiah

The Holy Prophet Jeremiah, one of the four great Old Testament prophets, was son of the priest Helkiah from the city of Anathoth near Jerusalem, and he lived 600 years before the Birth of Christ, under the Israelite king Josiah and four of his successors. He was called to prophetic service at the age of fifteen, when the Lord revealed to him that even before his birth the Lord had chosen him to be a prophet. Jeremiah refused, citing his youth and lack of skill at speaking, but the Lord promised to be always with him and to watch over him.

He touched the mouth of the chosen one and said, “Behold, I have put My words into your mouth. Behold, I have appointed you this day over nations and kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to rebuild, and to plant” (Jer. 1:9-10). From that time Jeremiah prophesied for twenty-three years, denouncing the Jews for abandoning the true God and worshipping idols, predicting sorrows and devastating wars. He stood by the gates of the city, and at the entrance to the Temple, everywhere where the people gathered, and he exhorted them with imprecations and often with tears. The people, however, mocked and abused him, and they even tried to kill him.

Sixth Sunday of Pascha: The Blind Man.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Christ is Risen!

Today’s Sunday is called the Sunday of the Blind Man. The event described in the Evangel of Saint John is confirmation of the words said by the Saviour, “I am the light of the world”.

Hieromartyr Branko Dobrosavljevic

Branko Dobrosavljevic was born in the village of Skadar near Vojnic on January 4, 1886. He completed Grammar school as well as the Seminary in Sremski Karlovci in 1908. He was ordained deacon on March 15, and presbyter on March 22, 1909. He performed his duties in the villages of Buvaca, Radovica and Veljun. Branko received St. Sava's Order and Yugoslav Crown Order of the Fifth Degree. On the Feast of St. George, May 6, 1942, the very day of his own Slava Branko was arrested by the Ustase, headed by Ivan Sajfor from Veljun.

Over 500 Serbs were arrested that day, among them Dimitrije Skorupan, parish priest of Cvijanovic Brdo, and Nebojsa, priest Branko's son. At first they were imprisoned in police station in Veljun, and next day (May 7) they were taken away and killed in the woods called "Kestenovac", near Hrvatski Blagaj. The Ustase forced priest Branko to perform the service for the repose of the soul of the dead to his own son Branko, who was alive at the time. In 1946 priest Branko's martyr relics and the remains of the other killed Serbs were transported to a common grave in Veljun. At the regular session of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, priest Branko Dobrosavljevic was canonized and his name was entered into the List of Names of the Serbian Church Saints.