Fourth Sunday of Pascha: The Paralyzed Man

Christ is Risen!

On the fourth Sunday of Holy Pascha (May 22, 2016) with the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan HILARION, Archbishop of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the parishioners of Saint Sergius of Radonezh Orthodox Church Sargodha Pakistan attended the Divine Liturgy with complete devotion and joy.

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During the Bright Day of Holy Pascha, each Sunday the Gospel readings are strengthening the faithful to believe strongly in the divinity of our Risen Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The Gospels for the last two Sundays told us about the appearances of the Risen One to the disciples, to Thomas, to the myrrh-bearers and they all were filled with the light of Christ’s Resurrection.

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The Resurrection of Christ is a living hope, salvation and strength for the Christians in Pakistan and they strongly believe Our God is a God who suffers with his people and out of that comes resurrection. Today the healing of the “Paralyzed Man” teaches us that sufferings and persecutions are for a time being but our hope and complete faith on Jesus Christ bring salvation and peace to us. It further teaches us that we should not lose heart but constant prayers bring healing and comfort to us!

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Today we commemorated Mrs Alice Saraphina, she was reposed last year on May 22, 2015. She embraced holy orthodoxy in 2011 by the hands of first ROCOR missionary Rev. Fr.Adrian Augustus. She lived a very graceful life training her children in the fear of Lord. “May her memory be eternal!”

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Third Sunday of the Great Lent Adoration of the Holy Cross

Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. Mark 8:34

On the Third Sunday of Great Lent with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan HILARION, Archbishop of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the parishioners of Saint Sergius of Radonezh Orthodox Church Sargodha Pakistan participated in the Divine Liturgy and venerated the Precious and Life-Giving Cross of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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On the Third Sunday of Great Lent, Fr. Joseph Farooq in his homely shared about the Adoration and Veneration of the Holy Cross in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Further he told the faithful that the Orthodox Christians all over the world venerate the Precious and Life-Giving Cross of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with true passion. On the third Sunday of the Great and Holy Lent the Church prepares and teaches the Orthodox Faithful for strict fasting, repentance, abstinence and helps the Faithful to focus their life on the commemoration of the Crucifixion during Holy Week.

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The Gospel message of this particular Sunday challenges us to face hardships and remain strong in our orthodox faith in all circumstances because the Holy Cross is the symbol of victory and strength for the Christians who are facing persecutions all over the world.

The Pakistani Christians are well aware that the most precious and life-giving Cross of the Lord is a strength and joy for them in the current situation as they face hatred, discrimination, poverty and suffering.

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“O most precious and life-giving Cross of the Lord, help us with our Holy Lady, the Virgin Theotokos, and with all the Saints throughout the ages” Amen!

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Registration of Orthodox Families in Pakistan

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With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan HILARION, Archbishop of Eastern America and New Your, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, this year St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan has taken a very important step by printing the following office requisites:

  • Baptism and Chrismation Register
  • Marriage Register
  • Birth Certificate and Death Certificate
  • Family Cards

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Father Joseph Farooq along with his pastoral team has started registration of the Christian Orthodox Families. Each family has been issued a family registration card and family registration number is allotted to them. There are 4 columns printed in the family card:

  • Family members name entry:
  • Date of Birth
  • Date of Baptism and Chrismation
  • Monthly alms donation (Although our community is very poor yet to promote the sense of offering from their honest wages and make them thankful to God for His Divine blessings upon their families).

The Orthodox Community received the cards very happily and they reflect their strong spiritual unity and association with Russian Orthodox Church in Pakistan.

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We completed this registration process in 2 months with total comment and dedication, we kept on going from door collecting family data and record and making their entry in parish registers. In Pakistan the Christian Community is deprived of basic human rights and facilities. Through this registration, orthodox Christians feel the sense of belonging to the Church, sense of protection and security.

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The Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia (ROCOR) is firmly established in Pakistan. Our Orthodox mission in Pakistan is indeed going well under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the Most Holy Theotokos.

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House blessings in the mission

With the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, on February 08, 2016 Saint Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan has started the house blessing of Orthodox Christian families in Pakistan. Fr. Joseph Farooq is blessing the houses of parishioners going from door to door by following the practice of the Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Families like this spiritual practice very much and feel the spiritual renewal for their families.

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It is the practice of Orthodox Church for centuries that priest visits the orthodox families blesses the houses of orthodox families. The family is considered an extension of the church and the home a “little church”. This service is performed by the priest and according to the practice of the Russian Orthodox Church, the holy water, holy oil, and incense are used and a lesson from the holy Gospel is read. All the rooms of the house are sprinkled with holy water and each of the four outer walls are anointed with the sign of the Cross with holy oil, a candle placed before them, and after the censing of the house, the lesson from the Holy Gospel is read. At the conclusion of the blessing, the inhabitants are blessed with holy water.

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Houses are traditionally blessed with water blessed at the Feast of Theophany, during the time from Theophany until the beginning of the Lenten Triodion, which begins four Sundays before Great Lent begins. This is not a hard and fast rule, but an appropriate principle to follow. So the houses of the orthodox families can be bless by priest at any time of the on the request of the parishioners.

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The house blessing shows the connection of strong spiritual unity of orthodox families with orthodox traditions and the Faith.

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Sunday after the Baptism of Our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ After Feast of the Theophany.

With the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, a regular Sunday Divine Liturgy is celebrated at St. Sergius of Radonezh Orthodox Church in Pakistan. The Divine Liturgy was celebrated and holy orthodoxy preached with passion and love. The community was very happy to receive the Holy Communion every Sunday and on feast days. We thank everyone for the patience, prayers and passionate support to spread the Gospel and preach the holy orthodoxy in Pakistan.
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Funds are distributed from the ROCOR Fund For Assistance and directly distributed to the mission

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THE BLESSED FEAST OF THE NATIVITY OF CHRIST IN PAKISTAN

Merry Christmas! Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan HILARION, Archbishop of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, on January 7, 2016 the Russian Orthodox believers outside Russia in Pakistan celebrated Christmas according to Traditions and Faith of the Mother Church (Russia). It is our true joy and strong spiritual unity that we celebrated Christmas on the same date along with our Orthodox brothers and sisters around the world by following the “Julian calendar”. therefore Orthodox Christians annually celebrate Christmas Day on January 7.

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January 7 “The Day of Joy and Blessing” For Pakistani Orthodox Christians

It is worth mentioning that the Christmas Lent is a favourable time in which we need to bring the fruits of repentance and prayer. The ROCOR priest Fr. Joseph Farooq in Pakistan preached forty days of fasting to the orthodox believers and they were taught not to eat meat and were asked to pray for the repentance of their sins and do some charity for the poor and needy. The Christian Community in Pakistan is very poor but they do some charity for their brothers and sisters. Many of the faithful come for confession during the regular Sunday’s Divine Liturgy to gain spiritual perfection. All the religious services on New Year and on Christmas Day were full of orthodox worshippers in Pakistan.

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Festive Divine Liturgy:

On January 7, 2016: With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion Festive Divine Liturgy was celebrated for Pakistani Orthodox faithful of ROCOR. About 300 orthodox worshippers and 30 non-orthodox who wish to embrace holy orthodoxy attended the Divine Liturgy. On Christmas day, during the Divine Liturgy special prayers were offered for peace in Syria, Pakistan and Middle East and other parts of the world, we also offer prayers for the health of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, for the Orthodox clergy and orthodox faithful all over the world.

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Homily of St. John Chrysostom on the Nativity of Christ:

After the Divine Liturgy, Fr.Joseph Farooq preached the deep theology of Christ’s incarnation which is interpreted by Blessed John Chrysostom Archbishop of Constantinople and the teacher of church. In his sermon, Fr. Joseph Farooq emphasized that faithful should strengthen their faith as they face trials, tribulation and persecutions.

Nativity Epistle of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion:

I am grateful to His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, Archbishop of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, who shared his special Christmas Message and greetings with ROCOR Community in Pakistan.

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Distribution of Gifts, Ration and Warm Clothes:

I am thankful to the kind donors who generously contributed with pure heart for the Christmas gifts, ration for poor orthodox families and warm clothes for children. May the Most Holy Mother of God save them all. I extend my heartfelt thanks to all my kind donors and may God bless their donations and charity for the poor and needy.

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Humble Request:

With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, Saint Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan has dedicated the Year 2016, that with help of kind donors, we shall be able to buy land and build the first Holy Russian Orthodox Church in Pakistan and school for Orthodox and Non-Orthodox Christian Children.

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Pastoral visit in Sarghoda

The traditional work of mercy by the Eastern Orthodox Church to care the Sick and Elderly. With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, Fr. Joseph Farooq the representative of ROCOR mission in Pakistan visits Orthodox families regularly. The prayers strengthen their faith and bring spiritual healing for family members. Fr. Joseph spent time with them and people share their joys and sorrows and they are being comforted by preaching the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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24th Sunday after Pentecost Martyr Acyndinus, Pegasius, Anempodistus, Aphthonius and Elpidephorus

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 15, 2015
24th Sunday after Pentecost
Martyr Acyndinus, Pegasius, Anempodistus, Aphthonius and Elpidephorus

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The sermon focused on these Persian Martyrs, who suffered in the time of King Sapor in 355 AD. In his preaching Fr. Joseph told the faithful that how first three Acyndinus , Pegasius and Anempodistus were serving secretly the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour though they were the servant of the pagan king. When they were arrested and brought in the trial court before the king, the holy martyrs fearlessly confessed their faith in the Holy Trinity. The torture and life threats never changed and break their strong believe and love Christ.

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During their trials and torture the holy angels appeared to them several times and strengthen them and it is written in the sacred traditions that once Jesus Christ our Lord and God Himself appeared on them. Fr. Joseph narrated the sermon with sufferings and persecutions of Christians in Pakistan and Syria, Egypt, Libya and Middle East and told the faithful that the faith of the holy martyrs strengthen us. Further Fr.Joseph told the faithful that holy traditions of the Russian Orthodox Church help and teach to their believers to live in peace and harmony with all the human beings who live around us.

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The Russian Orthodox Community in Pakistan has true love and passion for holy orthodoxy!! I humbly request you to help the mission through your kind donations and charity. The ROCOR Mission Church in Pakistan is moving ahead day by day!!!!
GLORY TO GOD! GLORY TO JESUS!

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A DAY WITH VENERABLE FATHER SERAPHIM OF SAROV

June 14, 2015 was the hottest day of the month and the temperature was 48c. It seems early in the morning that the sun has descended on the earth. With the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan organized one day program for the Orthodox Faithful in Pakistan about the holy life of St. Seraphim of Sarov.

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Despite of the scorching temperature, the people participated in the solemn celebration with real devotion for St. Seraphim of Sarov. Their faces were glowing as the dazzling Light of the Risen Lord has touched their hearts. The name Seraphim means “fiery” or “burning” in Hebrew. It really seems that today our Venerable Father Seraphim was present among us.

Procession:

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The solemn celebration opened with the procession followed by the festive Divine Liturgy. A prayer of Saint Seraphim of Sarov, translated into the Pakistani native language, was read by Fr. Joseph Farooq; other prayers were also said for the health and many good years of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, for the Orthodox clergy and faithful, and for peace, unity, brotherhood and solidarity throughout the world.

Sermon:

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After the Divine Liturgy, Fr. Joseph Farooq preached comprehensively the life history and miraculous works of Saint Seraphim of Sarov. Fr. Joseph Farooq told the faithful that at the age of 18, St. Seraphim resolved to become a monk. His mother blessed him with a large copper cross, which he wore over his clothes for the rest of his life. Before he joined the monastic life, the young Seraphim liked to read the Lives of Saints, to go to church, and to pray in seclusion. He was accepted as a novice in the Sarov monastery.

Further he told the faithful that Saint Seraphim of Sarov is one of the greatest Russian ascetics and wonderworkers, with profound spiritual discernment. He was distinguished by a great humility. When being praised by the entire world, he referred to himself as “the poor wretch Seraphim.”

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Fr. Joseph shared that Saint Seraphim of Sarov was blessed by a vision of angels participating in sermons and singing. During the Liturgy on Great Thursday he had a vision of the Lord Jesus Christ incarnate in human flesh as He was entering the temple together with Angelic Hosts and blessing those in prayer. Venerable Seraphim was so taken by the vision that he could not speak for a long time.

In his sermon Fr. Joseph Farooq instructed the faithful that the ascetic life of Saint Seraphim is the perfect example for the Orthodox faithful to live with devotion, cheerfulness, patience, hard work and obedience in all circumstances. Our Venerable Father Seraphim had a very close association with the Most Holy Mother of God, and therefore he ceaselessly prayed before the icon of the Mother of God (of Tender Feeling). This closeness with the Most Holy Theotokos was so strong that she appeared to him surrounded by indescribable light, accompanied by the Apostles Peter and John the Theologian.

St. Seraphim is known as a wonderworker through whom God worked many miracles of all kinds. He still continues to work miracles in our lives whenever we seek help from him. His miracles are countless, and I am only mentioning two powerful miracles of St. Saraphim of Sarov, which reflect the Glory of God. These two persons, Michael Vasileevich Manturov and Nicholas Alexandrovich Motovilov, were victims of serious sicknesses, and the doctors were unable to cure their diseases. But they were healed by St. Seraphim’s prayers.

Help from our venerable father Seraphim of Sarov:

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After the sermon, people were given time to light their candles that they brought along with them in front of the icon of the St. Saraphim of Sarov. They were instructed to ask for the help from St. Seraphim of Sarov for their problems, any family sickness and for the blessings of their Orthodox faith. They asked for help with complete faith and enthusiasm that their prayers will be heard through the powerful intercessions of St. Seraphim. Some of the faithful expressed their feelings and testimonies of how St. Seraphim brought comfort to their lives. It was a large gathering consisting of Orthodox faithful and those who wish to embrace holy Orthodoxy in the future. There were good number of women and children present. At the end of the solemn celebrations the icons of St. Seraphim of Sarov were distributed among the faithful. All the faithful were very happy as they received the icons.

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Humble request:

With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan HILARION, Archbishop of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, dedicated the year 2015, that God willing we shall be able to buy land and build the first Holy Russian Orthodox Church in Pakistan and school for Orthodox and Non-Orthodox Christian Children. I earnestly pray to God that He may provide us the kind and generous donors for the completion of this sacred project.

For queries about the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia in Pakistan, kindly contact: fr.joseph.rocpk@gmail.com

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Newly Illuminated Orthodox in Sargodha

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By the grace of God successful mission work Sargodha we are moving ahead day by day!! With the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion on November 8, 2015 a Catholic Christian family chrismated at St.Sergius Orthodox Church Sargodha (ROCOR Pakistan)

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This family attending regular sessions of teaching alomsot one year and through our teaching they found the orthodox church “the true church”. The ROCOR Mission in Pakistan extends love, prayers and best wishes to the newly illuminated faithful: Niseem Imma- Seerat Elena- Sahil Vladimir and Shushma Cathernia and uncle Stephen.

Father Joseph

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