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The Joy of Togetherness

+Fr. Timothy Sas, Twelve Holy Apostles Church - Duluth, MN | May 21, 2020

Orthodox_icon_of_Saints_Constantine_and_Helen Christ is Risen!

Dear Friends!

As we continue to live our lives in quarantine, we also continue to celebrate the Lord Jesus Christ Resurrected. Today we celebrate the much-loved saints Constantine and Helen! Our own Metropolis of Chicago has five parishes who venerate this mother and son pair of saints as their patrons and protectors. But Ss. Constantine and Helen become even more alive to us when we think of all our family and friends by the same names. Many years to all of you and to all our sister parishes!

These two saints are dear to us because of their role in the life of the Church. Their story is well known. St. Constantine granted freedom of worship to the Christians, and when he turned his life to Christ, after a vision of a cross in the sky, he became instrumental in supporting the life of the Christian faith and the building of churches. St. Helen, his mother, was most likely the influencer in St. Constantine’s awareness of the Christian faith and his conversion. Above all we revere her for the role she had in the finding and celebration of Christ’s Holy and Life-giving Cross. She also helped in the building of churches for communities of Christians.

It strikes me that as we celebrate two saints who are builders of places of worship, we find ourselves yearning to get back into our own places of worship. I can only imagine the awe and veneration instilled in Christians who were able to see magnificently beautiful church buildings after having worship in small home chapels, often in hiding, and sometimes even in catacombs. It must have been a truly edifying experience. Speaking with many dear parishioners and friends, I hear a sincere yearning and longing to be back in church, in their own parish churches, with their own parish families. Yes, I believe that as we begin to slowly re-enter our home churches we will be edified greatly by the presence of the parish family, the shuffling of the little ones and the aged patriarchs and matriarchs of our parishes. The real presence of and interaction with people we love has certainly gained greater value for us. The visual large and looming presence of the many saints depicted on icons in our churches, along with the bells and the fragrance of the incense will transport us to a greater closeness with our Risen Lord Jesus Christ who is God!

May the Lord God continue to bless you and your families with good health!

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