St. Mark Orthodox Church
400 W. Hamlin Road, Rochester Hills, MI
Sunday Weekly Announcements


                         The Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross

The Elevation of the Venerable and Life-Creating Cross of the Lord: The pagan Roman emperors tried to completely eradicate from human memory the holy places where our Lord Jesus Christ suffered and was resurrected for mankind. The Emperor Hadrian (117-138) gave orders to cover over the ground of Golgotha and the Sepulchre of the Lord, and to build a temple of the pagan goddess Venus and a statue of Jupiter.

Pagans gathered at this place and offered sacrifice to idols there. Eventually after 300 years, by Divine Providence, the great Christian sacred remains, the Sepulchre of the Lord and the Life-Creating Cross were again discovered and opened for veneration. This took place under the Emperor Constantine the Great (306-337) after his victory in the year 312 over Maxentius, ruler of the Western part of the Roman empire, and over Licinius, ruler of its Eastern part. In the year 323 Constantine became the sole ruler of the vast Roman Empire.

In 313 he had issued the Edict of Milan, by which the Christian religion was legalized and the persecutions against Christians in the Western half of the empire were stopped. The ruler Licinius, although he had signed the Edict of Milan to oblige Constantine, still fanatically continued the persecutions against Christians. Only after his conclusive defeat did the 313 Edict of Milan extend also to the Eastern part of the empire. The Holy Equal of the Apostles Emperor Constantine, having gained victory over his enemies in three wars with God’s assistance, had seen in the heavens the Sign of the Cross, and written beneath: “By this you shall conquer.”

Ardently desiring to find the Cross on which our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, Saint Constantine sent his mother, the pious Empress Helen (May 21), to Jerusalem, providing her with a letter to Saint Macarius, Patriarch of Jerusalem.

Although the holy empress Helen was already in her declining years, she set about completing the task with enthusiasm. The empress gave orders to destroy the pagan temple and the statues in Jerusalem. Searching for the Life-Creating Cross, she made inquiry of Christians and Jews, but for a long time her search remained unsuccessful.

Finally, they directed her to a certain elderly Hebrew by the name of Jude who stated that the Cross was buried where the temple of Venus stood. They demolished the pagan temple and, after praying, they began to excavate the ground. Soon the Tomb of the Lord was uncovered. Not far from it were three crosses, a board with the inscription ordered by Pilate, and four nails which had pierced the Lord’s Body (March 6).

In order to discern on which of the three crosses the Savior was crucified, Patriarch Macarius alternately touched the crosses to a corpse. When the Cross of the Lord touched the dead one, he came to life. Having beheld the raising of the dead man, everyone was convinced that the Life-Creating Cross was found.

Christians came in a huge throng to venerate the Holy Cross, beseeching Saint Macarius to elevate the Cross, so that even those far off might reverently contemplate it. Then the Patriarch and other spiritual leaders raised up the Holy Cross, and the people, saying “Lord have mercy,” reverently prostrated before the Venerable Wood. This solemn event occurred in the year 326.

During the discovery of the Life-Creating Cross another miracle took place: a grievously sick woman, beneath the shadow of the Holy Cross, was healed instantly. The elder Jude and other Jews there believed in Christ and accepted Holy Baptism. Jude received the name Cyriacus and afterwards was consecrated Bishop of Jerusalem. During the reign of Julian the Apostate (361-363) he accepted a martyr’s death for Christ (see October 28).

The holy empress Helen journeyed to the holy places connected with the earthly life of the Savior, building more than 80 churches, at Bethlehem the birthplace of Christ, and on the Mount of Olives where the Lord ascended to Heaven, and at Gethsemane where the Savior prayed before His sufferings and where the Mother of God was buried after her death.

Saint Helen took part of the Life-Creating Wood and nails with her to Constantinople. The holy emperor Constantine gave orders to build at Jerusalem a majestic and spacious church in honor of the Resurrection of Christ, also including under its roof the Life-Giving Tomb of the Lord and Golgotha. The temple was constructed in about ten years. Saint Helen did not survive until the dedication of the temple, she died in the year 327. The church was consecrated on September 13, 335. On the following day, September 14, the festal celebration of the Exaltation of the Venerable and Life-Creating Cross was established.

Another event connected to the Cross of the Lord is remembered also on this day: its return to Jerusalem from Persia after a fourteen year captivity. During the reign of the Byzantine emperor Phocas (602-610) the Persian emperor Khozroes II in a war against the Greeks defeated the Greek army, plundered Jerusalem and captured both the Life-Creating Cross of the Lord and the Holy Patriarch Zachariah (609-633).

The Cross remained in Persia for fourteen years and only under the emperor Heraclius (610-641), who with the help of God defeated Khozroes and concluded peace with his successor and son Syroes, was the Cross of the Lord returned to the Christians.

With great solemnity the Life-creating Cross was transferred to Jerusalem. Emperor Heraclius in imperial crown and royal purple carried the Cross of Christ into the temple of the Resurrection. With the emperor went Patriarch Zacharios. At the gates by which they ascended Golgotha, the emperor suddenly stopped and was not able to proceed farther. The holy Patriarch explained to the emperor that an angel of the Lord was blocking his way. The emperor was told to remove his royal trappings and to walk barefoot, since He Who bore the Cross for the salvation of the world from sin had made His way to Golgotha in all humility. Then Heraclius donned plain garb, and without further hindrance, carried the Cross of Christ into the church.

In a sermon on the Exaltation of the Cross, Saint Andrew of Crete (July 4) says: “The Cross is exalted, and everything true gathers together, the Cross is exalted, and the city makes solemn, and the people celebrate the feast”.

   files/Weekly Announcements/38StMarkBulletin9-13.pdf (518kb)    

Meet Fr. Dimitrie Vincent

 Fr. Dimitrie Vincent, born in Detroit, MI, is a 3rd generation Orthodox Christian. His great grandparents, immigrant Romanian Orthodox Christians from Transylvania, arrived in the United States in the early 1900s’. He is currently the Spiritual adviser and segment producer for DOOR (“Detroit’s Own Orthodox Radio” on WNZK, 690 AM) and Spiritual adviser of the Orthodox Brotherhood National Auxiliary, Romanian Episcopate, OCA.

Father Dimitrie was ordained a Deacon in 1981, a Priest in 1982 and was elevated to the rank of Archpriest in 2004. Father has served in the Orthodox Church in America, (Romanian Episcopate and Albanian Archdiocese) and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. He has held numerous responsibilities on the diocesan level and has recently been elected as Vice-president of the Romanian-American Heritage Center, Grass Lake, Michigan.

Father Dimitrie’s academic training includes undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate studies. He entered college as a B.F.A. student, with a concentration in jewelry, only to major in Comparative Religions and History and minor in Art History at Western Michigan University (‘76). Coursework was taken at the Medieval Institute (Kalamazoo, MI) before he moved to New York. Fr, Dimitrie received his Masters of Divinity degree at St. Vladimir’s Theological Seminary in Crestwood, NY (‘82) and did PhD studies in Historical Theology at St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri in the mid-80s’.

He chaired the Art Program at Weston Technical Academy (99-05) and received his K-12 teaching certification as an Art Educator at Eastern Michigan University simultaneously. He completed his Welding certification program at Schoolcraft College a few years later. He has maintained a working Art studio over these years.

On November 25, 2017, Archpriest Dimitrie Vincent suffered a serious spinal cord injury, a broken neck and damaged rotator cuff.  A life-long Ice Hockey player “Fr. D” was injured in an over 60, non-checking, hockey league game.  He was paralyzed from the neck down at the time of his injury.  God’s healing Grace worked through the medical wisdom of doctors and staff in two surgeries, two (2) years of intense work with therapists and trainers and the love, prayers and support of the whole community: family, friends and faithful.  Father Dimitrie is now back on his feet serving God and the Church.

Covid-19 Updates

St. Mark is Re-opening.  Please email to schedule attendance.  If you are scheduled to attend and will not be able to please email to give opportunties to others.  If switching with others please be sure total attendance is 50 or less.


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Michelle Templeton and John Vetalice receiving the

Diocesan Gramatose from Archbishop Paul



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Orthodox Church in America

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Read messages from Bishop Paul and learn about news in the Diocese.  Find resources for Bible study, missions, and liturgical music.  Our Life in Christ bulletins found here:

Online giving now available for Mother Maria Ministry

CHICAGO, IL [MW Diocese Communications] —The new website for the Mother Maria of Paris Charitable Ministry is now live, thanks to the work of Fr. Joel Wilson. The website can be found at

Perhaps the most important function of the new website is that it allows users to process online donations for the Mother Maria Ministry's fundraising campaigns. Shortly after the website went public, the Mother Maria Ministry received a $1,000 donation to match the Ministry's donation to Orthodox Detroit Outreach of the same amount. Please share the link to the Ministry's fundraising campaigns on your Facebook accounts, in emails, and on social media, to maximize its effectiveness throughout the Diocese of the Midwest.

The new website features ministries in the Diocese of the Midwest as well as in the OCA and in other jurisdictions and pan-Orthodox nonprofits. The site will be a place for parishes and individual Orthodox Christians to share ideas and learn about best practices concerning ministry work. In addition, it will also be a place to learn about the life and work of St. Maria Skobtsova, whose example this ministry seeks to imitate.

If you have any questions or would like your ministry to be highlighted on the website, contact Fr. Jonathan Lincoln at






Orthodox Christian Women of Michigan (OCW)


OCW Events Have Been Cancelled Until Further Notice Due to COVID 19 Response Directives.



The purpose of the Orthodox Christian Women of Michigan is to serve God, the faithful of His Orthodox Church and the world.  This purpose shall be fulfilled through programs and charitable works that promote Orthodox unity, fellowship, witness, Orthodox Christian values, lay leadership and education, spiritual growth and renewal and interpersonal support.

Annual dues of $20.00 is applied to presentations, speakers, and other related activities, charitable works, mailing supplies and postage.  Please make your check payable to:  Orthodox Christian Women of Michigan and mail to:

Loretta Gates

37 Scotsdale Drive

Troy, MI 48084

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