Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Decalogue: An Unknown Text of Saint Paisios

By George Agetis

It was the end of August in 1998. Mount Athos, Karyes, afternoon. My thoughts suddenly told me to go to Katounakia to Saint Hypatios.*

I did a fervent prayer and my thoughts remained pure. Taking my backpack, I left. Stavros, Kastanaras, Antithonas, Chorafina. I walked slowly, in order to arrive in Katounakia in the morning. I went to Saint Paul, New Skete, Saint Anna, Little Saint Anna, Katounakia, Saint Hypatios up high in the morning.

I went beside the cliffs where I sat and went through, contemplating, the reasons for my coming. Abruptly I got up and entered the small cell along the path.

On my second step in something happened and I stopped and turned left, where I saw on the plaster written with charcoal the following text in capital letters, exactly in the order I present it below.

Saint John the Soldier of Constantinople

St. John the Soldier (Feast Day - Gr. July 29, Slav. July 30)


Forasmuch as barbarians, without knowing, are a thing of demons,
Till the end you veered armed with Christ.

The Holy Martyr John the Soldier served in the imperial army of the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363). He was sent with other soldiers to seek out and kill Christians. While appearing to be a persecutor, John rendered great help to the Christians. He freed those who had been arrested, warned others of dangers threatening them, and assisted in their flight. John showed charity not only to Christians, but to all the destitute and those needing help. He visited with the sick, and he consoled the grieving. His own life, also, he adorned with prayer and fasting and the acquisition of the virtues. When Julian the Apostate learned about the actions of the Saint, he ordered him locked up in prison.

Holy Emperor Theodosius II the Younger

St. Theodosius the Pious, Emperor of the Romans (Feast Day - July 29)


Your reign was not seen to be a barrier,
For you O Theodosius towards salvation.

Emperor Theodosius II began his reign over the Roman Empire in the year 408 at the age of seven, a successor to his father Arcadius. He was called "the Younger" to distinguish him from his grandfather, Emperor Theodosius I the Great (375-395). He is mostly known for promulgating the Theodosian law code, and for the construction of the Theodosian Walls of Constantinople. His sister Pulcheria taught him Christian piety, nourishing him with great reverence and devotion to the Orthodox Faith. When Theodosius the Younger took the royal scepter, with the help of his sister Pulcheria, he strongly supported the truths of the Orthodox Faith and secured its Creed. Thus, by royal decree on the 19th of November in 430, the Third Ecumenical Synod met on the 22nd of June in 431 in Ephesus, which condemned the heretical doctrines of Nestorius. In 438 Theodosius II and Pulcheria received back to Constantinople with great celebration the relics of St. John Chrysostom. Theodosius died in 450 as the result of a riding accident. The Church, for his fervent piety and great service to the cause of Orthodoxy, has inducted him into the chorus of saints.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

New Venerable Martyr Nektarios the Agiannanites (+ 1922)

Nektarios came from Vourla of Smyrna. He first lived as a monk in the Hut of the Nativity of Christ at the Skete of Saint Anna on the Holy Mountain. Then he went to the Hut of the Archangels, where he took care of Elder Anthony from Kythera and his brother Chrysanthos, who from his constant standing his feet withered. He was then invited by Elder Azariah (†1947) to the Hut of the Honorable Forerunner. Also, he was a good iconographer. One of his works is the wonderworking icon of Saint Irene Chrysovalantou in Lykovrysi Attica.

Holy Apostles and Deacons Prochoros, Nikanor, Timon and Parmenas of the Seventy

Sts. Prochoros, Nikanor, Timon and Parmenas (Feast Day - July 28)


Four disciples of the God-man Word,
Of the revered Trinity they preached the word to all.
On the twenty-eighth the four came together to be initiated.

The Holy Apostles Prochoros, Nikanor, Timon and Parmenas were four of the first seven deacons in the Church of Christ, and were numbered among the Seventy Apostles.

In the book of the Acts of the Apostles (6:1-6) it relates that at Jerusalem the Twelve Apostles chose seven men: Stephen (Dec. 27), Philip (Oct. 11), Prochoros, Nikanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicholas (who became leader of the heresy of the Nicolaitans), men full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, and established them to serve as deacons. As deacons they served the needs of the Church in Jerusalem, especially for those who were poor, the widows and the orphans.

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