|An American Relic~ Great, but no comparison to a Holy Relic!|
photo by Flickr user, Robert of Fairfax, used under the creative commons license.
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I have always been a history buff. I remember when our family went to Washington DC and we stood in a long line to see the original document of the Declaration of Independence. When it was finally our turn to view this founding document, I remember feeling a sense of awe that I was in the presence of the actual paper that encapsulated the ideas and thoughts of our American Revolution. I wanted to stay there and look for hours I wanted to touch the document and look for the famous signatures of forefathers. But, instead, the security guard, gently but firmly, moved us all along. After all, there were plenty of more who wanted a look-see. It was like that last night at Church.
I was in the presence of a relic of St. Haralambos. At first, I could not figure out who the person was in the Icon that was on the table in the center of the nave. Then, when the Hymns were sung, mentioning him by name, I knew. And then when those hymns mentioned his great exploits, I knew he was a martyr, I also knew the name because we mentioned him at ever Liturgy. And I must confess, before that,I had no idea who he was or why he was mentioned every time. It turns out that our parish has a relic of St Haralambos so he is dear to the parish. Knowing that, I understood what the box was next to the Icon (I had no idea until Fr Gary explained in the Homily). And then when Fr Gary preached on his exploits, I rejoiced that God has provided His Church with Saints to lead us to Christ.
Having heard about St. Haralambos, how he was tortured so much and yet remained alive and how that earned him the nickname among his enemies, "The man who would not die" and having heard how he led many to Christ while in prison and how even his would be executioners converted to Christ, seeing the Grace of God in Him - Well, hearing all of this will make our prayers at the Liturgy so much more meaningful! When we ask him for his intercessions, I will know about his mighty deeds and know that, by his obedience and holiness he has the ear of God. I think I shall have to ask for Haralambos prayers much more than I do.
St. Haralambos, pray for us!