Detail from small paper icon our spiritual Fr. Vladimir gave to our son at his baptism, and which, for a time, shared our son’s crib.
Christ is Born! Glorify Him!
Happy Third Day of the Nativity!
Greetings on St. Stephen’s Day!
Beautiful a cappella Nativity Hymn – Magnifying the Virgin Mary Theotokos, followed by Ode 9 of the Nativity Canon… as recorded by our parish in 2014.
Below is one of my favourite Christmastide readings which I also take special delight in remembering each year, on Great and Holy Friday.
A Story of the Divine Christ-Child and the Flight Into Egypt
When the holy family fled before Herod’s sword to Egypt, robbers leapt out on the road with the intention of stealing something. The righteous Joseph was leading the donkey, on which were some belongings and on which the Most-holy Theotokos was riding with her Son at her breast. The robbers seized the donkey to lead it away. At that moment, one of the robbers approached the Mother of God to see what she was holding next to her breast.
The robber, seeing the Christ-child, was astonished at His unusual beauty and said in his astonishment: If God were to take upon Himself the flesh of man, He would not be more beautiful than this Child!
This robber then ordered his companions to take nothing from these travellers. Filled with gratitude toward this generous robber, the Most-holy Virgin said to him: Know that this Child will repay you with a good reward because you protected Him today.
Thirty-three years later, this same thief hung on the Cross for his crimes, crucified on the right side of Christ’s Cross. His name was Dismas, and the name of the thief on the left side was Gestas.
Beholding Christ the Lord innocently crucified, Dismas repented for all the evil of his life. While Gestas reviled the Lord, Dismas defended Him, saying: This man hath done nothing amiss. (St. Luke 23:41).
Dismas, therefore, was the wise thief to whom our Lord said: Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise (St. Luke 23:43). Thus the Lord granted Paradise to him who spared Him in childhood.
~ St. Nikolai Velimirovich from the Prologue of Ohrid