Sunday December 13, 2015 – Holy and All-praised Apostle Andrew the First-called

With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, The Divine Liturgy is celebrated at St. Sergius of Radonezh Orthodox Church Sargodha Pakistan.

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Today, the Orthodox Church honors the memory of the Holy Apostle Andrew. Therefore Fr. Joseph Farooq preached about the life of Saint Andrew who was the very first of the apostles, followed the son of God, what for and received the title of “apostle”. Fr. Joseph Farooq told the faithful that Holy Apostle Andrew preached Christianity in different countries and preached the Gospel in the Russian Land and sacred tradition says that after the dormition of the Mother of God, St. Andrew began his final journey from Jerusalem and visiting the different places and regions he reached to the Sea of Azov in southern Russia.

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Further Fr.Joseph Farooq told the faithful that St Andrew the First-Called accepted the decision of the prefect with joy and with prayer to the Lord, and went willingly to the place of execution. In order to prolong the suffering of the saint, Aegeatos gave orders not to nail the saint’s hands and feet, but to tie them to the cross. For two days the apostle taught the citizens who gathered about. The people, in listening to him, with all their souls pitied him and tried to take St Andrew down from the cross. Fearing a riot of the people, Aegeatos gave orders to stop the execution.

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But the holy apostle began to pray that the Lord would grant him death on the cross. Just as the soldiers tried to take hold of the Apostle Andrew, they lost control of their hands. The crucified apostle, having given glory to God, said: “Lord Jesus Christ, receive my spirit.” Then a blazing ray of divine light illumined the cross and the martyr crucified upon it. When the light faded, the holy Apostle Andrew had already given up his holy soul to the Lord. Maximilla, the God fearing and pious woman received the body of the saint and taken down from the cross, and buried him with honor.
(Note: Maximilla, wife of the governor of Patra was healed by Saint Andrew).

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A few centuries later, under the emperor Constantine the Great, the relics of the holy Apostle Andrew were solemnly transferred to Constantinople and placed in the church of the Holy Apostles beside the relics of the holy Evangelist Luke and St Paul’s disciple St Timothy.

With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and by agreement with the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church, the Cross of St. Andrew the First Called will be brought to the Russian Orthodox Church, the Cross on which the apostle was crucified is kept in St. Andrew’s in Patras on Peloponnesus Peninsular, Greece. It is a shrine important for the whole Christendom.

Congratulations to all Orthodox Christians with the feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle the First-Called!!!

I humbly request the kind donors please come forward and support the missionary work in Pakistan, as we are preaching the Gospel in the most difficult region of the world being the apostles of 21st Century with blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad

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