Sunday, 5/21

  • + Του Τυφλού (Κων/νου & Ελένης). Sunday of the Blind Man.
  • (Sts. Constantine & Helen)
  • Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am
  • AHEPA Sunday

Tuesday, 5/23

  • Greek Dance Practice/Seminar 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Sunday, 5/28

  • + Α΄Οικουμενική Σύνοδος. Fathers of the A’ Ecumenical Council
  • Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am
  • Godparent Sunday & ice cream social

Saints and Feasts

Pachomios the Righteous New Martyr

Sunday of the Blind Man – The Lord Jesus was coming from the Temple on the Sabbath, when, while walking in the way, He saw the blind man mentioned in today’s Gospel. This man had been born thus from his mother’s womb, that is, he had been born without eyes (see Saint John Chrysostom, Homily LVI on Matthew; Saint Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book V:15; and the second Exorcism of Saint Basil the Great). When the disciples saw this, they asked their Teacher, “Who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” They asked this because when the Lord had healed the paralytic at the Sheep’s Pool, He had told him, “Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee” (John 5:14); so they wondered, if sickness was caused by sin, what sin could have been the cause of his being born without eyes. But the Lord answered that this was for the glory of God. Then the God-man spat on the ground and made clay with the spittle. He anointed the eyes of the blind man and said to him, “Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam.” Siloam (which means “sent”) was a well-known spring in Jerusalem used by the inhabitants for its waters, which flowed to the eastern side of the city and collected in a large pool called “the Pool of Siloam.”

Therefore, the Saviour sent the blind man to this pool that he might wash his eyes, which had been anointed with the clay-not that the pool’s water had such power, but that the faith and obedience of the one sent might be made manifest, and that the miracle might become more remarkable and known to all, and leave no room for doubt. Thus, the blind man believed in Jesus’ words, obeyed His command, went and washed himself, and returned, no longer blind, but having eyes and seeing. This was the greatest miracle that our Lord had yet worked; as the man healed of his blindness himself testified, “Since time began, never was it heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind,” although the Lord had already healed the blind eyes of many. Because he now had eyes, some even doubted that he was the same person (John 9:8-9); and it was still lively in their remembrance when Christ came to the tomb of Lazarus, for they said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have caused that even this man should not have died?” Saint John Chrysostom gives a thorough and brilliant exposition of our Lord’s meeting with the woman of Samaria, the healing of the paralytic, and the miracle of the blind man in his commentaries on the Gospel of Saint John.

Constantine and Helen, Equal-to-the Apostles – This great and renowned sovereign of the Christians was the son of Constantius Chlorus (the ruler of the westernmost parts of the Roman empire), and of the blessed Helen. He was born in 272, in (according to some authorities) Naissus of Dardania, a city on the Hellespont. In 306, when his father died, he was proclaimed successor to his throne. In 312, on learning that Maxentius and Maximinus had joined forces against him, he marched into Italy, where, while at the head of his troops, he saw in the sky after midday, beneath the sun, a radiant pillar in the form of a cross with the words: “By this shalt thou conquer.” The following night, our Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him in a dream and declared to him the power of the Cross and its significance. When he arose in the morning, he immediately ordered that a labarum be made (which is a banner or standard of victory over the enemy) in the form of a cross, and he inscribed on it the Name of Jesus Christ. On the 28th Of October, he attacked and mightily conquered Maxentius, who drowned in the Tiber River while fleeing. The following day, Constantine entered Rome in triumph and was proclaimed Emperor of the West by the Senate, while Licinius, his brother-in-law, ruled in the East. But out of malice, Licinius later persecuted the Christians. Constantine fought him once and again, and utterly destroyed him in 324, and in this manner he became monarch over the West and the East. Under him and because of him all the persecutions against the Church ceased. Christianity triumphed and idolatry was overthrown. In 325 he gathered the First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea, which he himself personally addressed. In 324, in the ancient city of Byzantium, he laid the foundations of the new capital of his realm, and solemnly inaugurated it on May 11, 330, naming it after himself, Constantinople. Since the throne of the imperial rule was transferred thither from Rome, it was named New Rome, the inhabitants of its domain were called Romans, and it was considered the continuation of the Roman Empire. Falling ill near Nicomedia, he requested to receive divine Baptism, according to Eusebius (The Life of Constantine. Book IV, 61-62), and also according to Socrates and Sozomen; and when he had been deemed worthy of the Holy Mysteries, he reposed in 337, on May 21 or 22, the day of Pentecost, having lived sixty-five years, of which he ruled for thirty-one years. His remains were transferred to Constantinople and were deposed in the Church of the Holy Apostles, which had been built by him (see Homily XXVI on Second Corinthians by Saint John Chrysostom).

As for his holy mother Helen, after her son had made the Faith of Christ triumphant throughout the Roman Empire, she undertook a journey to Jerusalem and found the Holy Cross on which our Lord was crucified (see Sept. 13 and 14). After this, Saint Helen, in her zeal to glorify Christ, erected churches in Jerusalem at the sites of the Crucifixion and Resurrection, in Bethlehem at the cave where our Saviour was born, another on the Mount of Olives whence He ascended into Heaven, and many others throughout the Holy Land, Cyprus, and elsewhere. She was proclaimed Augusta, her image was stamped upon golden coins, and two cities were named Helenopolis after her in Bithynia and in Palestine. Having been thus glorified for her piety, she departed to the Lord being about eighty years of age, according to some in the year 330, according to others, in 336.

Announcements

Memorial Services/Μνημόσυνα – Today we pray for the repose of the soul of the servants of God the Departed Members of the AHEPA Family of Long Beach, Smaragde Vourexakis (40 days) and Panagiotis Toulios (7 years). May their memory be eternal.

Σήμερα προσευχόμαστε υπέρ αναπαύσεως της ψυχής των κεκοιμημένων δούλων του Θεού αποδημήσαντα μέλη της ΑΧΕΠΑ, Σμαραγδής Βουρεξάκη (40 ημέρες) και Παναγιώτη Τούλιου (7 χρόνια). Αιωνία σας η μνήμη αξιομακάριστοι και αείμνηστοι αδελφοί ημών.

AHEPA Sunday – Each year at this time the AHEPA family are honored for their dedication and faithful service to the Church and Hellenic culture here in America. The AΗΕPΑ has contributed their talents in the areas of philanthropy, education and has promoted our Orthodox Church and Greek Heritage. For all these accomplishments we as a community offer our prayers, thanks and support to the AΗΕPΑ Family, as well as to our own local chapter and its members. May the Lord bless all your endeavors and goals.

Social Hour – Sponsored by AHEPA Chapter of Long Beach #342, Daughters of Penelope Minos Chapter #159 and Spiro & Eleni Toulios.

Upcoming Memorial Services – May 28 – Andreas Syrengelas (40 days); Alfredo Pontrelli (3 Years)

Philoptochos & Sunday School: Backpack project! – Every summer Philoptochos and Sunday school are collecting backpacks and school supplies for those kids are less fortunate. What you need to do? Simply buy a backpack and/or supplies and bring them to the church on a Sunday or weekday. The collection starts in June and will go on July and August.

In case you don’t have time to shop a $30 check will help purchase what needed. Please make the check payable to “Assumption Philoptochos”

Festival Baking Schedule – Get those aprons on and join the fun and fellowship as we prepare our delicious pastries for the festival! Everyone is welcome to come and help; even if it is for a few hours! We will be baking on the following days:

  • Wednesday, June 7 Tiropita
  • Sunday, June 11 Prepare for Spanakopita (after services)
  • Wednesday, June 14 Spanakopita
  • Wednesday June 21 Vegetarian Dolmades
  • Wednesday, June 28 Koulourakia & Kataifi
  • Wednesday, July 12 Tsourekia
  • Wednesday, July 19 Meat Dolmades
  • Wednesday, July 26 Baklava
  • Wednesday, August 2 Galaktoboureko
  • Wednesday, August 9 Paximadia
  • Thursday, August 10 Melomakarona
  • Wednesday, August 16 Kourabiedes/Karidopita
  • Sunday, August 13 Pastitsio
  • Wednesday, August 23 Diples

Start time is at 8:00 am. Lunch will be provided!

Contacts:

  • Voula (office) 562-494-8929
  • Yiota Beckas 562-235-1494
  • Kathy Bastas 657-464-0596

See you in the kitchen and thank you for making this a successful baking experience! We couldn’t do it without you!