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St. Nikiphoros the Martyr of Antioch & Forgiveness Sunday

St. Nikiphoros the Martyr of Antioch & Forgiveness Sunday

This Martyr, who was from Antioch in Syria, contested during the reign of Gallienus, about the year 260. Through the working of the evil one, his friendship with a certain Christian priest named Sapricius was turned to bitter hatred. Nikiphoros, repenting of his enmity, tried both through intermediaries and in person to be reconciled with Sapricius, but to no avail. Later, when the persecution broke out under Valerian and Gallienus, Sapricius was seized as a Christian. When Saint Nikiphoros learned that Sapricius had been arrested by the pagans and was enduring torments for Christ, he sent intermediaries to Sapricius, begging his forgiveness; but Sapricius would not forgive him. Later, as Sapricius was being taken to beheading, Nikiphoros, hoping that Sapricius, at his end, in such a holy hour, would at last forgive him, met him on the way, fell before him, and fervently asked his forgiveness; but Sapricius forgave him not. Wherefore, though Sapricius had passed through many sufferings, and the crown of martyrdom was now awaiting him, because he disdained the chief commandments of love and forgiveness, the grace of God, which had been strengthening him in his torments, departed from him, and he told his executioners he would sacrifice. Nikiphoros immediately confessed Christ before them, and being himself beheaded, took the crown that Sapricius had cast away.

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The Parable of the Prodigal Son

The Parable of the Prodigal Son

The first forty days after a new baby is born are sacred days. At times they seem long, but in retrospect, the entire first year of a new baby’s life just seem to fly right by. The first forty days are no exception. In fact, they are so much like a wedding. There is so much anticipation for the wedding itself but once it arrives it seems to be over just as quick as it all started, and the bride and groom are considered lucky if they get a chance to eat some food. The first six weeks of motherhood are so similar.

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