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Saint Mary of Magdala

Saint Mary of Magdela is far more than just one of the Myrrhbearing Women the church remembers on the Third Sunday of Pascha; her life is of such great magnitude that it is referred to as the Primacy of Mary. That Mary of Magdala is venerated in the Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, several Protestant churches, and even in the Baha’i Faith tradition, speaks of her prominence.

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Sarah Jacobson who graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Connecticut on May 11, 2019, was honored by the Holy Trinity Church community the previous Sunday (May 5). Sarah, whose home is in Arlington, Virginia, faithfully and joyfully attended Holy Trinity during her four years as an undergraduate on the Storrs campus. Even during her final two summers when she lived in off-campus housing, Sarah would find a way to get to Divine Liturgy.

"Sarah was as faithful as any UConn OCF (Orthodox Christian Fellowship) student we have had in the past twenty years," Holy Trinity priest Marc Vranes offered. "She was a living witness to the Christian life on a college campus, and that can be difficult at this time. Although any student will struggle during their four undergraduate years, Sarah found solace at Holy Trinity, and with her Orthodox friends on campus."

Sarah sang in the Holy Trinity choir during her years with us, and regularly held the Communion Cloth. She will be missed. Her parents and family would visit each semester, and it became quite clear very early on that Sarah was, and still is, a product of a strong Orthodox family.

What was perhaps most remarkable about Sarah is that she in order to secure a ride, she would often be in church at 8:15 in the morning when Liturgy began at 9:30. During this time, Sarah would often sweep the floor, clean the glass-covered icons, empty the trash, and maintain the candle stands. She would offer her personal prayers as well, and catch up on a bit of class work as she waited for others to arrive, and for Liturgy to begin.

"When I began the college process, there were several important factors for me: among them were a strong OCF presence on campus, and a church nearby that I could attend regularly," Sarah pointed out to the Holy Trinity community. "I believe I found both here. I found fellow Orthodox students and a church that loved me, and that I grew to love as well. The OCF and Holy Trinity have allowed me to have an amazing college experience."

On behalf of the Holy Trinity community, Sarah was presented with a dozen red roses by Anna Fetzko and a box of candy by Natalia Zadrozny. She was also extended a monetary gift, an icon of the Archangel Michael for her protection through life, and soil from the base of the church.

Congratulations and Thank you, Sarah. Go with God.

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