For those in bondage

H/T: Mystagogy

Ironically enough today is the Slava of a good friend of ours who is a lawyer, whose job it is to prevent people from being taken into bondage and it is to St. Peter that we pray for those in bondage.

For three centuries the Chains were kept in Jerusalem, and those afflicted with illness and approached them with faith received healing. Patriarch Juvenal (July 2) presented the Chains to Eudokia, wife of the emperor Theodosius the Younger, and she in turn transferred them from Jerusalem to Constantinople in either the year 437 or 439.

Eudokia sent one Chain to Rome to her daughter Eudokia (the wife of Valentinian), who built a church on the Esquiline Hill dedicated to the Apostle Peter and placed the Chains in it. There were other Chains in Rome, such as that which had bound the saint during his nine month imprisonment in the Mamertine Prison near the Forum, with which the Apostle Peter was shackled before his martyrdom under the Emperor Nero. These were also placed in the church. It is said that when the pope compared the two Chains, they miraculously fused together into one unbreakable series of links. Because of this miracle, Empress Eudokia built the Basilica of Saint Peter in Chains (San Pietro in Vincoli), and dedicated it to the apostle in the year 442. The relic is now kept in a golden urn beneath the high altar, close to the famous statue of Michelangelo’s Moses.

The basilica has undergone several restorations and rebuildings, including a restoration by Pope Adrian I, a rebuilding by Pope Sixtus IV and another by Pope Julius II. There was also a renovation in 1875. Some modernizations were made at that time.

Michelangelo’s Moses, which dates from 1515, is the most notable piece of artwork in the basilica. Originally intended as part of a 40-statue funeral monument for Pope Julius II, Moses became the Pope’s funeral monument and tomb in his family’s church.

Further, Arator, Subdeacon of the Roman Church in the sixth century, wrote that the Chains wherewith Peter was bound at Jerusalem, or certainly some of them, were preserved at Rome in his own time, and consequently the veneration of Peter’s Chains greatly increased; especially when, as we learn from other records of the Church of Rome, a basilica was built by the younger Eudokia, wife of Valentinian III, on the Esquiline Hill, under the name of Saint Peter in Chains. This temple, or a re-building of it, was dedicated on August 1st, whence the day was placed in the Roman Calendar as the Feast of Saint Peter’s Chains, afterwards called in England Lammas Day, from the custom of offering loaves of bread made from the first-gathered grain of the year, in thanksgiving from the beginning of the harvest. And, because of his Chains, this holy Apostle is often invoked for those in bondage.

Read more here.

Beautiful Music

An interesting quote I found on Orrologion’s page (here). Does the same apply to literature?  Just found out both JD Salinger and Howard Zinn passed away yesterday.

“When we hear singing, let us be moved with love towards God; for those who love God are touched with a holy joy, a divine emotion and a tenderness which brings them to tears when they listen to beautiful harmony, whether the songs are profane or spiritual.”

St. John of the Ladder

We have no other path

Tomorrow is certainly one of the holiest days in the Serbian calendar. We commemorate Saint Sava, the first Archbishop of Serbia. His feast falls only days after the election of the forty-fifth Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch. And in his homily on Saturday at his installment in Belgrade, His Holiness Patriarch Irinej spoke of the great need he will have in invoking the holy Saints of which our Serbian people have not, thank God, lacked. Rather, we have many beautiful examples of faith and sacrifice among our people. He continued:

“…And this is St. Sava in the first place. He is the one who drew for us our path. Christ’s path. The way of St. Sava (Светосавски пут). And we have no other path to seek; [to wonder] which way should we go. He traced for us the path to Christ, to righteousness, to truth and has only left us with the task of putting enough effort so that we might follow that path….”

The Lord is my strength

Among the many miracle stories coming from Haiti is also this one about a 11 day old baby:

A baby who was just 11 days old when the Haiti earthquake struck has become one of its most amazing survival stories.

No one believed that Elisabeth Joassaint could have lived as the family home was crushed by the weight of its upper storey.

It was a full seven days later that a French rescue team returned to the ruins to search for the baby’s body – and heard faint cries. Incredibly, Elisabeth was alive in a tiny hollow beneath the devastation, still lying on the bed where her mother Michelene had placed her moments before the quake hit on January 12.

Yesterday Mrs Joassaint, 22, sat in the shade of a makeshift tented hospital, clutching Elisabeth and giving thanks for what she called ‘a miracle and the mercy of God.’

Her husband Michelet, 47, said : ‘Everybody knew the baby was dead, except the Lord. This wasn’t the way Jesus wanted the baby to die.’

Mrs Joassaint said she had just fed Elisabeth and laid her down when the quake struck. She tried desperately to save her baby but was forced back as walls collapsed around her.

The grieving couple were living on a football field when a messenger from the French team arrived to say Elisabeth was alive and they were working to free her.

‘I just cried and ran to my baby,’ Mrs Joassaint said, ‘I just could not believe she had been spared or that one so new to life, with so little strength, could have survived the collapsing walls with no injury at all.’