Teheran (Agenzia Fides) - Twenty-four year old Ani-Kristi Manvelian, an anesthesiologist by profession, was ordained as deaconess in the Cathedral of St. Gregory the Illuminator of Tehran last September by Archbishop Sebouh Sarkissian, the Primate of the Armenian apostolic Archdiocese of Teheran.
Ani-Kristi Manvelian - reports the blog oxbridgepartners.com - is a lay person and does not belong to any female monastic congregation. Her ordination took place while the Armenian Apostolic Church has yet to formally restore the office of female diaconate. "What I have done is in conformity with the Tradition of the Church and nothing else", said Archbishop Sarkissian, whose archdiocese falls under the jurisdiction of the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia of the Armenians. The Archbishop also stated that his decision was to "revitalise the participation of women also in our church’s liturgical life".

Among the Eastern Churches, also the Synod of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria in Egypt, in November 2016 (see Fides 19/11/2016) had decided to restore the institute of female deacons, and had appointed a commission of Bishops "for a thorough examination of the matter".

The discussion on the possibility of restoring female deacons and on the potential role of female deacons in the pastoral activities and missionary animation has been open for some time within the Chalcedon Orthodoxy theological institutions. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 15/1/2018)


Teachings of Christ

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44 ESV)

Encounter

Rejoice, O Mother of God, Virgin full of grace. * From you has risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * shining upon those who are in darkness. * Rejoice also, you righteous Elder; * for you received in your arms the Deliverer of our souls, * Who has given us resurrection. (Troparion, Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

O Christ God, through Your birth You sanctified the Virgin's womb; * and blessed, as it was proper, the hands of Simeon. * Now, having come, you saved us. * Give peace to Your commonwealth in times of war * and strengthen our civil authorities, whom You have loved, O You who alone loves mankind. (Kontakion, Tone 1)

(The Feast of the Encounter is February 2nd - the 40th Day of Christmas)

Random Proverb

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. (Proverbs 3:9,10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Repentance is the renewal of baptism. Repentance is a contract with God for a second life. A penitent is a buyer of humility. Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort. Repentance is self-condemning reflection, and carefree self-care. Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair. A penitent is an undisgraced convict. Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins. Repentance is purification of conscience. Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions. A penitent is the inflicter of his own punishments. Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach, and a striking of the soul into vigorous awareness.

St. John of the Ladder