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  The Diocese of Los Angeles and the West is a diocese of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.

Great Lent:



O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, meddling, lust of power and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant. Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own sins and not to judge my brother, for Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen. (The Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian)

Feast, Saints, and A Thought for the Day

Second Sunday of Great Lent: Commemoration of Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica (March 8)

O Star of Orthodoxy, support of the Church and its teacher, O comeliness of ascetics, and incontestable champion of those who speak in theology, Gregory the wonder-worker, the pride of Thessalonica and preacher of grace, implore thou constantly for the salvation of our souls. (Apolytikion in Tone 8)

Saints of the Day

Hieromartyr Konon of Isauria; Martyrs Archelaos and his 152 companions in Egypt; New-martyr John the Bulgarian

Thought for the Day

"Since illnesses are cured by their opposite remedies, as we had been put to death by the wicked counsel of the evil one, we were made alive again by the good counsel of the good Lord. The deadly counselor had at his disposal pleasure, glory and comfort, which enchanted mankind and dragged it down. So the Counselor of true life Himself led the way along the strait and narrow way which leads to life above and guided us in it. 'Strive,' He says, 'to enter in at the strait gate' (Lk. 13:24), and 'strait and narrow is the way that leads to life, for wide and broad is the way that leads to destruction' (cf. Mt. 7:13-14). Elsewhere He warns more clearly against that path, saying, 'Woe to you who are rich! Woe to you who are full! Woe to you when all men shall speak well of you' (cf. Lk. 6:24-26), thus declaring wretched all lovers of glory, pleasure and money." -- St. Gregory Palamas

The Enthronement and Formative Years of His Eminence, Metropolitan JOSEPH

An Archdiocesan Coast-to-Coast Celebration
The Enthronement of His Eminence, Metropolitan JOSEPH
By Subdeacon Peter Samore

Imagine the spiritual renewal, excitement, festivities and joyful reunion of the clergy and laity at a Parish Life Conference or an Archdiocesan Convention – in the middle of winter.

Antiochian Orthodox Christians on this continent did not have to wait until summertime for such large gatherings. We had great cause for celebration before then – the enthronement of a new metropolitan, the first that the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America had celebrated in 48 years.

The Archdiocese came together twice this winter – first in Brooklyn, and then in Los Angeles – to celebrate the beginning of the leadership of its new father and chief shepherd: His Eminence, Metropolitan JOSEPH. Inaugurating the first celebration was none other than his roommate in the late 1970s at the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, Greece, who is now the successor to the throne of the Apostles Peter and Paul: His Beatitude, Patriarch JOHN X of Antioch and All the East. (Read the full article)

The Formative Years
His Eminence, Metropolitan JOSEPH Reflects on Early Lessons Learned
From His Beatitude, Patriarch IGNATIUS IV of Antioch and All the East
By Subdeacon Peter Samore

All he knew was that he was going to Balamand. Everything else was in God’s hands.

In 1964, a 13-year-old Joseph Al-Zehlaoui had been recruited by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East to study at a newly established secondary school next to the seminary and monastery at Balamand near Tripoli, Lebanon. His parents, Georgi and Matilda, had consented to send their fifth of six children at a tender age to a sacred place to know our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ; and to learn how to serve His Holy Church.

Nowadays, the automobile drive between Damascus, young Joseph’s hometown, and Tripoli takes just a few hours. In 1964, the drive took several days. And it took several automobiles – taxicabs – to transport the future Metropolitan of North America to his educational and spiritual center. He had some company: boys who would grow up to become Metropolitan DAMASKINOS Mansour of Brazil; Metropolitan GEORGE Abu-Zakhem of Homs, Syria; and Archimandrite Elias Bitar, a legendary priest of the North American archdiocese. (Read the full article)

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