The Mountain in the Oldest City in the World

When I opened our front door today, what I saw was mountains.  Where I live, we are surrounded by mountains.   When you look right, there are mountains. When you look left, there are mountains. I never thought mountains in the winter could be so beautiful. The shades of gray and white turn into almost lavender, and the trees look like leaves upon a bushy hill. In my younger days, I had my fill of mountains but if there is one mountain I would’ve wanted to climb, it is found in the oldest city in the world. This is the mountain found in Jericho.   It is not a pretty sight as it is mostly ground with rock surfaces but it surprisingly has a water source.   On the mountain, there are centuries-old monasteries and a chapel built out of the rock, ravaged by wars.  There is an ancient, sacred seat that was where Jesus sat during his time of temptation ( Luke 4:1-13) Many places in Israel have churches over sacred spots where Jesus walked, but on this mountain, I fancied myself touching a tree

Saint Spyridon of Cyprus, Patron of Potters


Saint Spyridon of Cyprus, Patron of Potters

There was a shepherd who was born on Cyprus in the year 270.  His name was Spyridon and since his youth, he lived righteously.  He married and had one daughter.  He was a kind and just man and his family so loved our Lord that they decided to each serve God more fully.  

Spyridon's wife and daughter entered the convent and became nuns.  He entered the monastic life at Mount Carmel and in time he accepted the role of Bishop of Tremithus.  One of his students was Saint Tryphillius of Leucosia.  He upheld the doctrine of the Church against Arianism.

During the reign of Galerus, Christians came under severe persecution.  Spyridon was apprehended and tortured.  His right eye was gouged out and his left calf was cut off.  He was also subjected to slave labor in the Spanish mines until the edict of Milan set him free.

Saint Spyridon was known to be a miracle worker.  One day when he was trying to convince a philosopher about the trinity, he used the properties of a clay pot.  He exclaimed that despite its being made of earth, fire and water, it was still one object.  While he was explaining this to the man, water poured out from under the shard and fire appeared on top of it.  This is why he is the patron of potters.

Today, December 12th is his feast day.  Saint Spyridon of Cyprus, please pray for us.


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