Who needs the NY Times from the day you were born?

It costs money. But the Prologue of Ohrid, by St. Nicolai of South Canaan, Ohrid, and Zhicha, from the day you were born…!

OK, it only reflects the fixed Feasts, and not also the week of the year, so it recycles every year, not every 532 years (the link at bottom will be to a Serbian Church source, keyed to the Old Calendar) – but you may be able to track down info about your day of the week of the year elsewhere: eg, I was born in 1963, on the 18th Sunday After Pentecost. But on the Revised Julian Calendar as observed by some Orthodox, it was also the Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle… and I would also later learn that on my 14th birthday St. Innocent of Alaska – of whom I may have heard just a couple years afterward – had been glorified by the Moscow Patriarchate on the request of The OCA.

On the (‘unrevised’) Julian Calendar as observed by most Orthodox, it was the Conception of the Holy Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist John, the “top story” in St. Nicolai’s “news report”!… and also, I would later learn, the eve of the 169th anniversary of the formal arrival of Orthodox Evangelizing Mission in the Western Hemisphere, when the Monk St. Herman, the Hieromartyr St. Juvenaly of Iliamna, Archimandrite Joasaph who would shortly become the first Orthodox Bishop elected and consecrated for North America, and their colleagues (possibly including some Greeks?) landed at Kodiak Island, Alaska, Empire of Russia – an anniversary eventually to be commemorated as the Synaxis of All Saints of Alaska, and in particular, the Holy Newmartyrs Juvenaly and his Tanaina Indian Church Reader and Companion in Martyrdom whose name is known to God, and Peter the Aleut (whose name, a fellow Indigenous North American, I took at Chrismation), and All Other Martyrs of Alaska Known and Unknown.

But interestingly, St. Nicolai’s “Reflection” for Sept. 23 (OS) echoes the biography of a Western Orthodox, Celtic Saint with which I would become very familiar as a good Irish Catholic, the Holy Bishop Martin of Tours, Gaul. And Nicolai’s “Contemplation” of Israelite King Jehoram’s “grave illness of the bowels” would cause me to LOL – for which may God forgive me – more than 43 years later as I near the completion of 17 known years with now-disabling Irritable Bowel Syndrome. And Nicolai’s “Homily” for the day concerns the Filioque of the Latin Creed with which I would grow up, and intriguingly, presages the surprisingly uncomplicated, unesoteric Scriptural realization – “Who proceeds from the Father” – that would eventually convince me of its error on my way to Orthodoxy.

So how do you get in on this secret? Go here, enter the year and month of your birth, make sure the language selection reflects your talents, and press Submit. (Shouldn’t we all!) As I said, the results will be keyed to the Old Calendar, but if you wish, just find the New Calendar date in the Old Calendar column. (You might have to check the preceding or following month if you’re near the beginning or end of one.) Either way, click on the main Saint or Feast listed there, and behold your page from the Prologue in a pop-up window! You’ll also note that the initial result does list the Sundays’ designations for that year: If you were born on a weekday, be aware of whether the liturgical week it’s part of is determined by the Sunday preceding, or the one following, depending on the time of year. (I was born on Sunday, so I had it easy!) If you’re not sure, you can print out the result and show it to your priest… or even ask me in a Comment. ‘Ve have vays of finding dese tings out.’

And have a happy, holy birthday!


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