2/12/11. Matthew and I lost our baby at 7.5 weeks pregnant. We decided to name him Benjamin. Matthew painted this icon in remembrance of our beloved baby Benjamin.

“before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” -Jeremiah 1:5

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Naomi was the mother-in-law of Ruth, from the book of Ruth (Old Testament)

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Prophet Joel by the hand of Matthew Garrett 2010Commemorated on October 19

The Prophet Joel (800 B.C.) predicted the desolation of Jerusalem. He also prophesied that the Holy Spirit would be poured out upon all people, through the Savior of the world (Joel 2:28-32).

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Prophet Joel icon by the hand of Matthew Garrett 2008

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The Holy Prophet Jeremiah, one of the four great Old Testament prophets, was son of the priest Helkiah from the city of Anathoth near Jerusalem, and he lived 600 years before the Birth of Christ, under the Israelite king Josiah and four of his successors. He was called to prophetic service at the age of fifteen, when the Lord revealed to him that even before his birth the Lord had chosen him to be a prophet. Jeremiah refused, citing his youth and lack of skill at speaking, but the Lord promised to be always with him and to watch over him.

Jeremiah is celebrated on May 1

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By faith didst Thou justify the Forefathers,

when through them Thou didst betroth Thyself

aforetime to the Church from among the nations.

The Saints boast in glory that from their seed

there is a glorious fruit,

even she that bare Thee seedlessly.

By their prayers, O Christ God, save our souls.

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Celebrated on April 23

Saint Alexandra the Empress, also called Prisca, was the wife of Emperor Diocletian.

O Lord, by the sufferings of the saints,

which they endured for Thy sake,

have compassion and heal all the sufferings of us who implore Thee,

who alone art the lover of mankind.

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Saint Raphael

Saint Tikhon

Saint Innocent

Saint Herman


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St. Seraphim of Sarov was born in 1759 in Kursk.  He was a sickly child who was miraculously healed by by a miracle-working icon of the Mother of God.  He left the merchant life of his parents to enter the Sarov Monastery.  There he lived a life of severe asceticism, seldom eating or sleeping, and spending his life in prayer.  He had visions, and could often foresee the future.  He would often leave the community to live the life of a hermit, and even animals would seek him out because of his holiness.  He eventually became a starets, or spiritual elder.  One account of his life includes a description of his transfiguration, where his face shone brighter than the sun with uncreated light.

His feast day is celebrated on January 2

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St. Luke the Surgeon

celebrated June 11

Troparion of St. Luke of Simferopol – Tone 1
O herald of the way of salvation,
confessor and archpastor of the Crimean flock,
faithful keeper of the traditions of the fathers,
unshakeable pillar and teacher of Orthodoxy,
pray unceasingly to Christ our Saviour
to grant salvation and strong faith to Orthodox Christians,
O holy hierarch Luke,
physician wise in God.
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Luke_of_Simferopol
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Saint Apollonia of Alexandria

Commemorated on February 9

St. Apollonia was an elderly virgin and deaconess of Alexandria, whose martyrdom was described by St. Dionysius of Alexandria in one of his letters.

When Decius became emperor in 249, he launched the greatest attack upon Christians up to that time, becoming the first emperor to call for Christianity’s total extermination. St. Dionysius wrote that the persecution started at Alexandria a year before other places, incited by a certain “prophet and poet of evil,” who stirred up the people against the Christians.

Backed by the power of the government, the pagans massacred Christians, believing that they were serving false gods. The “aged and excellent virgin Apollonia” was seized and struck in the face until all her teeth were knocked out. The mob built a fire outside the city and threatened to burn her alive unless she agreed to worship the idols and sacrifice to the emperor’s genius.

St. Apollonia asked the pagans to let go of her for a moment so that she could pray. As soon as they did, she leaped into the flames and was consumed, receiving a double crown of martyrdom and virginity. Because of the nature of her torments, she is sometimes depicted with a golden tooth hanging from a necklace, or holding a tooth in a pair of pincers. She is invoked by those suffering from toothache.

http://www.antiochian.org/node/17497

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