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     Saturday September 30 at 5 pm

Great Vespers


Sunday October 1 at 10 am

Divine Liturgy 

Protection of the Most Holy Lady

the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary

Archpriest Lawrence Gaudreau, Rector

The Protection of our Most Holy Lady

the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary


The Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos: “Today the Virgin stands in the midst of the Church, and with choirs of Saints she invisibly prays to God for us. Angels and Bishops venerate Her, Apostles and prophets rejoice together, Since for our sake she prays to the Eternal God!”

This miraculous appearance of the Mother of God occurred in the mid-tenth century in Constantinople, in the Blachernae church where her robe, veil, and part of her belt were preserved after being transferred from Palestine in the fifth century.

On Sunday, October 1, during the All Night Vigil, when the church was overflowing with those at prayer, the Fool-for-Christ Saint Andrew (October 2), at the fourth hour, lifted up his eyes towards the heavens and beheld our most Holy Lady Theotokos coming through the air, resplendent with heavenly light and surrounded by an assembly of the Saints. Saint John the Baptist and the holy Apostle John the Theologian accompanied the Queen of Heaven. On bended knees the Most Holy Virgin tearfully prayed for Christians for a long time. Then, coming near the Bishop’s Throne, she continued her prayer.

After completing her prayer she took her veil and spread it over the people praying in church, protecting them from enemies both visible and invisible. The Most Holy Lady Theotokos was resplendent with heavenly glory, and the protecting veil in her hands gleamed “more than the rays of the sun.” Saint Andrew gazed trembling at the miraculous vision and he asked his disciple, the blessed Epiphanius standing beside him, “Do you see, brother, the Holy Theotokos, praying for all the world?” Epiphanius answered, “I do see, holy Father, and I am in awe.”

The Ever-Blessed Mother of God implored the Lord Jesus Christ to accept the prayers of all the people calling on His Most Holy Name, and to respond speedily to her intercession, “O Heavenly King, accept all those who pray to You and call on my name for help. Do not let them go away from my icon unheard.”

Saints Andrew and Epiphanius were worthy to see the Mother of God at prayer, and “for a long time observed the Protecting Veil spread over the people and shining with flashes of glory. As long as the Most Holy Theotokos was there, the Protecting Veil was also visible, but with her departure it also became invisible. After taking it with her, she left behind the grace of her visitation.”

At the Blachernae church, the memory of the miraculous appearance of the Mother of God was remembered. In the fourteenth century, the Russian pilgrim and clerk Alexander, saw in the church an icon of the Most Holy Theotokos praying for the world, depicting Saint Andrew in contemplation of her.  Complete article HERE

Directions & Location

     St. Mary Magdalene Orthodox Church holds services at the Chapel of Dignity Health Outpatient Center (also called "Dominican Campus") located at 2740 M Street, Merced, CA 95340, between 27th Street and Bear Creek Drive.  The entrance to the chapel is from the Bear Creek Side (north side). Go to the Driving Directions page for a map and detailed directions. HERE.

Special Reminder

United for Life of Merced County

"Life Chain"

October 1, 2017

2:00 - 3:00 pm

Merced: Sidewalk along Olive Avenue

between Merced High School and "M" St.

Atwater: Sidewalk along Bellevue Rd.

at Shaffer and First St.

*signs will be available at each site

What in the world is an Orthodox Christian?  

Click HERE for a brief explanation!

Click HERE for a more complete explanation!

St Mary Magdalene Orthodox Church

Who We Are 



     We are a family church of many cultures with intergenerational worship; we have a full liturgical life throughout the Church year, with many opportunities for joyful fellowship and enduring growth. Our vision is to “manifest the Kingdom of God by proclaiming and living the Orthodox Christian Faith.” Orthodox Christianity is for everyone — come and see!


     Located at the north end of California's San Joaquin Valley, St. Mary Magdalene Orthodox Church is dedicated to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to His promise of salvation to all mankind. The services of our mission-parish are located in the heart of Merced.


     Committed to serving Christ and His Holy Church, the people of St. Mary Magdalene welcome and encourage all visitors to be our guests, especially those who are truly seeking the path of salvation.  

Saint Mary Magdalene
Orthodox Church

Archpriest Lawrence Gaudreau

"Love God and Love thy Neighbor"
September 17, 2017
"Wedding Garment"
September 10, 2017
"Produce the good fruit"
Sept 3, 2017


Schedule of Events

Wednesday, September 20th
6:00 Vespers 
Adult Education follows Vespers

 Saturday, September 23rd
5:00 Great Vespers

Sunday, September 24th
9:40 Hours
10:00 Divine Liturgy
Fellowship Hour follows Divine Liturgy 

United for Life
"Life Chain"
2:00 - 3:00

Our Complete Calendars & Schedules page is here

     St. Mary Magdalene Orthodox Church keeps a full schedule of services for the major feast days of the Church Year. 

2017 Exaltation of the Precious Cross
2017 Exaltation of the Precious Cross
2017 Exaltation of the Precious Cross

Ancient Faith Radio
Click one of the four stations to listen

Articles of Interest


Theotokos - The Joy of All Who Sorrow by Helen Creticos Theodoropoulos  (Excerpted from an address given March 23, 1996)


12 Things I Wish I’d Known… (First Visit to an Orthodox Church) by Frederica Mathewes-Green, Copyright © 1989-2013


The Meaning of the Great Fast  by Mother Mary and Bishop Kallistos Ware 


Fasting (Rules) in the Holy Orthodox Church by Photios Michael and AnnaSophia 


A Letter to an Evangelical  An explanation of why tradition matters by Father Michael B. Johnson 


Why do we fast? Always do the things you CAN do:  The Holy Fathers on Fasting. Prison Ministry Letter, Mon, Jul 30/ Aug 12 2013


How to Set up a prayer (icon) corner is a good summary of where, what icons and items are appropriate, and some cautions about the place of worship in your home.


Church EtiquetteThis is meant as a guide and local customs may vary.




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