St.Mary the Protectress

St. Mary the Protectress Syriac Orthodox Community

Folks keep asking us what is an intentional Ortjodox Christian community. Some ask if we are like a Catholic Worker House.  We are very small. As for a Catholic Worker House, no. But we have borrow many of their inspirations and ideas for what we do here. 

An intentional Christian community just means there are those here who are not monastics they have join us 0n helping and serving others, and in praying. They also join in the fellowship of brothers and sisters, and in raising our voices to our Lord in praise and thanksgiving in truth and spirit. 

We’re not a parish.  Perhaps you can describe us as a faith-based praying community in the Orthodox tradition committed to living out Matthew 25 and the Beatitudes through hospitality, social justice, and sharing this mission with others, since see everyone as the image of God. 

We are committed to nonviolence, voluntary poverty, prayer, and hospitality for the homeless and near homeless, exiled, hungry, and forsaken, and anyone else who needs someone to listened and walked with.. Our aim is to live in accordance with the justice and charity of Christ’s example. We looking to the teachings of the Orthodox Church, with our inspiration coming from the lives of the saints, men and women outstanding in holiness, living witnesses to Your unchanging love.

This aim requires us to begin living in a different way. "God meant things to be much easier than we have made them.”  

We also know and believe that true prayer works like this: You can pray to end hungry, but that is not enough. You also need to feed the hungry. So we do.  

And we get rewarded. Our reward? We get to meet some really great and neat folks.     

Every Day We Meet Christ

 Every day when we pray, we thank Christ for His willingness to let us be with people and allow us to be their neighbors. We thank Him not just to see His face but to also meet and listen to Him. 

This defines us as Christians: when we’re with people, strangers who come to the door, we don’t put them into little social boxes – refugees, the poor, the displaced. With Christ, we say: they are our brothers and sisters. In them we see not only the face of Christ, but Christ Himself.

The most fundamental need of your brothers and sisters, your neighbors, is something that most take for granted - a meaningful place in a healthy community, a sense of belonging. And this lack of community in the world today. 

Folks, your brothers and sisters, are being shut out. You treat them as a category, you call them the poor. Christ calls your brothers and sisters something far different.Hecalls them by their names.

Want to meet Him? Come on down. We don't talk about volunteering. We introduce you to Him. Christ and all His Saint are in every Orthodox Church. Be His heart and His hands. That is all of our calling.     

Our Inspiration

We take inspiration from St. Blessed Mother Xenia who is noted for her intercessions in helping those with employment, marriage, the homeless, for fires, for missing children, and for a spouse Many people thought that she was a little crazy, especially when she gave all her money away. 

The Lord gave Xenia many spiritual gifts and she began to do odd things like walking barefoot in the snow and wearing unusual clothes so that people wouldn't think she was special. 

God has healed many people of illnesses and passions through Saint Xenia's prayers. She also helps find homes and jobs. 

St. Xenia didn't have a home herself, and she knows how hard it is for people who need one. In the church service for her feast we call her a "homeless wanderer," because she gave up her earthly home for heaven.     

You Can Help

We are small and would like to grow. But we need help. And we also need folks to join us. In other words, hearts and hands to do Christ’s work. 

The problem is we have not figured out how to afford to do so. We have extra rooms. But it takes funds to furnish them and for additional overhead. Any ideas? 

We are listening. 

Want to join us? 

You don’t have to live in community here to help in this work.    

Our Mission and Our Calling

Traditional Orthodox Christianity. Serving God by Serving the Poor and the Poorest of the Poor in America's Inner Cities and Missions. Bringing the truth of Orthodox Christianity to the disenfranchised and marginalized, the poor and forgotten...the Message of the Stable. “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John9:4-6     

Our Paron and the History of Her Icon

A peasant from the Efremovskii district of Tula province, a retired soldier, was an alcoholic, and a drunkard. He would drink away all his pension, everything that he possessed, anything that could be found in his house, and eventually he was ruined and literally became a beggar. From excessive drinking, his legs became paralyzed, but still he continued drinking.

One day, the man, who seemed to have hit rock-bottom, had an unusual dream. In it a venerable old man came to him and said: "Go to the city of Serpoukhov, to the monastery of the Theotokos. There you will find an icon of the Holy Mother called The Inexhaustible Cup. Have a moleben before it, and you will be healed, both spiritually and physically." 

Without a penny to his name, and having no use of his legs, the man did not dare to go on a journey. 

But the holy man came to him a second and then a third time, and was so adamant in his admonition to obey his instructions, that the poor drunk did not dare to disobey any more, and he set off as quickly as he could, dragging himself on all fours. In one of the neighboring villages where he stopped to rest, an old woman took him in for the night. To ease his pain, she massaged his legs, and put him to rest on top of the clay oven, a customary place for the old or sickly, because of the warmth. During the night the travelling man felt a pleasant sensation in his legs, and discovered that he was able to stand. On the following nights his legs became even stronger. And so, first with two walking-sticks, and then with just one, he arrived in Serpoukhov. 

Once in the monastery, he told about his visions, and asked to have the moleben served. But nobody there had ever heard of such an icon. They started to search for it, and noticed one that was hanging in the passage to the sacristy, that bore an image of a chalice. On the back of it, to their surprise, was written "The Inexhaustible Cup". In the icon of St Varlaam, the disciple of the holy bishop Metropolitan Aleksii, the man immediately recognized the face of the holy elder who had appeared to him in his dreams.    

And he was healed.