December 26 – Synaxis of the Theotokos; Sunday after the Nativity; Stephen

The Synaxis* of the Theotokos commemorates the role of the most holy Mother of God (that’s Mary) (in case you didn’t know) in the incarnation of Christ. It should go without saying that without the Theotokos, Christ could not have been born. (If that doesn’t go without saying, you may need a remedial course in… Continue reading December 26 – Synaxis of the Theotokos; Sunday after the Nativity; Stephen

December 24 – Eugenia of Rome; Charbel Markhlouf

Eugenia of Rome (d. ca. 258) was born there, but grew up in Alexandria, of which her father was prefect. Somehow she got hold of a copy of Paul’s letters, and longed to become a Christian, but the Christians had all been driven from the city (if you imagine an illustration from “The Pied Piper… Continue reading December 24 – Eugenia of Rome; Charbel Markhlouf

December 23 – Niphon of Constantia; Thorlac Thorhallsson

Niphon of Constantia (IV cent.) was born in Paphlagonia (the topmost strip (or “loin”) of Anatolia), and was educated in Constantinople, where he fell in with a bad crowd, abandoning his childhood piety for a life of foul language, unclean deeds, and other aspects of juvenile delinquency that we’re just not going to go into… Continue reading December 23 – Niphon of Constantia; Thorlac Thorhallsson

December 22 – Anastasia, Deliverer from Potions; Hunger of Utrecht

Greatmartyr Anastasia, Deliverer from Potions (d. ca. 304) (aka Anastasia of Sirmium), was a Christian given in marriage to a pagan. She maintained her virginity by feigning illness, then snuck out to visit and comfort prisoners. When her husband found out, he beat her and locked her up. She corresponded with her spiritual father Chrysogonus,… Continue reading December 22 – Anastasia, Deliverer from Potions; Hunger of Utrecht

December 21 – Peter of Kiev; Peter Canisius

Peter of Kiev (Kyiv) (d. 1326) (aka Peter of Moscow) grew up in a devout home (his parents were pretty devout, too) and went to seminary at twelve (it was hard for him to get up early). He learned the sciences of the day, as well as asceticism, Scriptures, iconography, and GAZ maintenance. After many… Continue reading December 21 – Peter of Kiev; Peter Canisius