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SAINT FOR THE WEEK - The Prophet Daniel
The Prophet Daniel and the Three Children were all descended from the royal tribe of Judah. In the year 599 before Christ, in the reign of Joachim, who was also called Jechonias (I Chron. 3:16, and II Chron. 36:8), while yet children, these righteous ones were led away as captives into Babylon together with the other Jews by Nabuchodonosor. He singled them out from among the other captives to serve him, and renamed them thus: Daniel was named Baltazar; Ananias, Sedrach: Misail, Misach; and Azarias, Abednago. They were reared in the royal court, and taught the wisdom of the Chaldeans; and after the passage of three years, they surpassed all the Chaldean sages (Dan. 1).
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KRITIKI VRATHIA - Saturday, February 9

Church of the Holy Cross Dance Ministry presents Kritiki Vrathia / FDF Preview Glendi featuring live musicians from Rethymno, Crete (Manolis Skoutelis, Lyra/Askomandura; and Spyros Skouradakis, Laouto) and preview of FDF performances from all Holy Cross groups. Saturday, February 9; 6:30 PM appetizers (no-host bar) and 7:30 PM dinner. $55 for adults and $25 children, 12 and under. RSVP to cretanglendi2019@gmail.com or call Evangelia Daskalakis 650-921-2948; or Kathy Flocas 650-862-2610. Pay online at

https://www.churchyard.org/events/cretanglendi/  All proceeds will benefit our Dance Program.
CHRISTMAS FAMILY SHARING
It's that time of year to reach out to the greater community and share our Christmas love! For 40 families in San Mateo County we will be providing a food gift card towards a Christmas meal and toys for the children. We will also collect NEW coats for children, ages 0-17. Finally, we will be putting together hygiene kits for IOCC to be used in areas affected by war and natural disasters. Delivery will be Monday, December 17 at 6:00 PM. Days to help assemble items will be on Tuesday, December 11 and Friday, December 14 and Sunday, December 16. Questions? Email Anastacia.
BYZANTINE MUSIC INTRODUCTION CLASSES - Thursdays at 6:30 PM
Join us in the Contos Library. Chanting is at the heart of all of our worship in the Orthodox Church. This class is for anyone interested in developing a deeper knowledge of the services of our Church and to learn how we chant them. Please contact Ross Ritterman (ross.ritterman@gmail.com) if you are interested in attending! 




SAINT FOR THE WEEK - Saint John of Damascus
 

Saint John was born in Damascus about the year 675, the son of wealthy and pious parents, of the family of Mansur. He was reared together with Saint Cosmas (see Oct. 14), who had been adopted by John's father Sergius, a man of high rank in the service of the Caliph of Damascus. Both of these young men were instructed by a certain monk, also named Cosmas, who had been taken captive in Italy by the Arabs and later ransomed by John's Father. Saint John became a great philosopher and enlightener of the age in which he lived, and was honoured by the Caliph with the dignity of counsellor.

When Emperor Leo the Isaurian (reigned 717-741) began his war on the holy icons, John wrote epistles defending their veneration. Since the Saint, being under the Caliph of Damascus, was beyond Leo's power, the Iconoclast Emperor had a letter forged in John's handwriting which invited Leo to attack Damascus, saying the city guard was then weak; Leo then sent this letter to the Caliph, who in his fury punished John's supposed treason with the severing of his right hand. The Saint obtained the Caliph's Permission to have his severed hand again, and that night prayed fervently to the most holy Theotokos before her icon. She appeared to him in a dream and healed his hand, which, when he awoke, he found to be healed in truth. This Miracle convinced the Caliph of his innocence, and he restored John to his office as counsellor. The Saint, however, with many pleadings obtained his permission to withdraw from the world to become a monk. He assumed the monastic habit in the Monastery of Saint Sabbas. Then he had as elder a very simple and austere monk who commanded him neither to write to anyone, nor to speak of the worldly knowledge he had acquired, and John faithfully obeyed. A monk grieving over his brother's death, however, after insisting vehemently, prevailed upon John to write a funeral hymn to console him for his brother's death. When John's elder learned of his transgression of the rule he had given him, he cast him out of his cell, and would only accept him back after John had humbly, with much self-condemnation and without murmuring consented to clean all the latrines in the lavra. After his elder had received him back, our Lady appeared to the elder and sternly charged him not to hinder John any longer from his writings and composition of hymns.

In his writings he fought courageously against the Iconoclasts Leo the Isaurian and his son Constantine Copronymus. He was also the first to write a refutation of Islam. The time he had spent as a counsellor in the courts of the Moslems of Damascus had given him opportunity to learn their teachings at first hand, and he wrote against their errors with a sound understanding of their essence. Saint John was surnamed Chrysorroas ("Golden-stream") because of the eloquence of his rhetorical style and the great abundance of his writings; this name - Chrysorroas was also the name of the river that flows by Damascus. In his writings he set forth the Orthodox Faith with exactness and order. In his old age, after his foster-brother Cosmas had been made Bishop of Maiuma, John also was ordained presbyter by the Patriarch of Jerusalem. Having lived eighty-four years, he reposed in peace in 760. In addition to his theological writings, he adorned the Church of Christ with metrical and prose hymns and composed many of the prosomia used as the models for the melodies of the Church's liturgical chant; he also composed many of the sacred hymns for the feasts of the Lord Saviour and the Theotokos. The life of Saint John of Damascus was written by John, Patriarch of Jerusalem. 

 
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