Friday, July 20, 2007

St. Elijah's Day

Every year I visit St. Paul's in Irvine to celebrate St. Elijah commemoration. Arguably my favorite saint.

July 20th
Troparion (Tone 4)
O angelic of body, pillar of the prophets, and their cornerstone, the forerunner of the Second Coming of Christ, the venerable and glorious Elijah, you sent grace from on high to Elisha to dispel sicknesses and purify lepers. Wherefore, he overflows with healing to those who honor him.

Elijah was a hero of faithfulness to God in Israel and a courageous prophet. He was an ascetic, clad in skins and a leather girdle, dwelling in mountain caves. He appeared abruptly when King Achad executed many priests of God, and announced to him God's vengeance. On Mt. Carmel, he overcame the priests of Baal by calling down fire from Heaven. He was persecuted by Jezebel and fled to Mt. Horeb where God consoled him, fed him with bread brought by ravens, and told him to appoint Elisha as his successor. St. Elijah was carried into heaven in a fiery chariot, while his mantle fell on Elisha. He appeared along with Moses at Jesus' Transfiguration. This icon shows both St. Elijah's stay on Mt. Horeb in a cave and his ascension into heaven in a chariot.

My favorite part of St. Elijah's story was the rather famous moment of finding God in the smallness of a whisper. "Be still and know that I am God." Psalms 46:10


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