Reported by: Fr. Joseph (ROCOR Priest in Pakistan)
The solemn celebration opened with the procession followed by the festive Divine Liturgy. A prayer was held in the honour of St. Sergius of Radonezh and certain other 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, faithful and for all over the world for peace, unity, brotherhood and solidarity.
The faithful entered the place of worship holding banners and the Icons of Jesus, Mother of God and St. Sergius. During the procession the faithful chanted Psalms and the song of the Holy Theotokos. The faithful with great honour and joy laid flowers and lit the candles to the Icon of St. Sergius.
One of the banners displayed the national flags of Pakistan and Russia to mark the spiritual unity with the Mother Church. The other banner displayed prayer and intercession from the Blessed Holy Father St. Sergius, for peace and reconciliation in the world. On the other banner some words were printed to depict and honour the ascetic life of St. Sergius in the monastery.
After the Divine Liturgy Fr. Joseph shared thoroughly the life history and wonder works of St. Sergius. Fr. Joseph told the faithful that the ascetic life of St. Sergius teaches us hard labour, self-deprivation, humility, simplicity, obedience and patience in all circumstances and when we face hard times and sufferings in our lives. He emphasized the faithful to read the Sacred Scripture to get the strength and blessings from God by quoting the example from the life of St. Sergius. “Blessed father Sergius diligently read the Holy Scriptures to obtain knowledge of all virtue; in his secret meditations training his mind in a longing for eternal bliss”. He further shared that Prince Demetrius of Moscow received blessings from St. Sergius and got victory over the Tartars and success in the battle of Kulikovo, 1380. He added that St. Sergius was not only the saint of orthodox but of the whole world. Fr. Joseph shared in that St. Sergius lived a life equal to that of angels. He was deemed worthy to converse with the bodiless powers while yet dwelling in the flesh. It was further told that when the holy father served the Divine Liturgy, the angel of God concelebrated with him, according to the testimony of his disciples Isaacius the Silent and Macarius who were trustworthy men and perfect in virtue. Fr. Joseph concluded the solemn event saying that St. Sergius is not only the saint of Orthodox Church but of the whole world. Glory to God! Glory to Jesus! We are blessed that we have St. Sergius Orthodox Church in Pakistan.
Then the time was given to the orthodox faithful to express their feeling and testimonies, how St. Sergius brings light comfort to their lives and families.
1- Aaron Nadeem: He shared that he is the member of Orthodox Church from the beginning and was curious to learn about St. Sergius, so he started reading about the life of St. Sergius through different sources. He said that he is deeply moved by the simplicity and love of the Holy Father St. Sergius.
2- Mrs Rehana Saraphina: She shared with pleasure that her children love St. Sergius very much and her family learnt patience and trust in Jesus Christ in poverty through this Holy Saint.
3- Mrs Nina Helena: She shared cheerfully that she has placed the small Icon of St. Sergius at her home and she firmly believe that she received blessings and prosperity through the constant prayer to the St. Sergius. She said Glory to Jesus!
4- Furrkh Finnian: He shared that St. Sergius gives strength to me in my weakness. He said that once Fr. Joseph shared that the most holy mother of God appeared to St. Sergius and from then his love and prayer to the Mother of God is increased.
Festive food was shared at the closing of the celebration which was joyfully offered by the family of Ch.Tahir Naveed (Chairman Pakistan Minorities Alliance). It was a large gathering consisting of orthodox faithful and those who wish to embrace the holy orthodoxy in future. There was good number of women and children.
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