Wednesday, February 10, 2016

St. Haralambos and the Earthquake That Struck Pyrgos, Elis in 1996

By Angeliki Gialypsos

I don't know if the last miracle of Saint Haralambos in Pyrgos, Elis has become known, which took place during the powerful earthquake of 1996.

At the time of the earthquake, noontime, children were playing in the courtyard of the Church of Saint Haralambos. One of the children saw a priest with a long beard making two movements with his hands, as if cutting something in the air.

The Healing of Elder Iakovos Tsalikis by St. Haralambos

Elder Iakovos Tsalikis (+ 1991) related the following:

When I was a small child, I suffered such a severe cold, that I was bound in bed with great shortness of breath and terrible pain on the left side of my chest.

There was no doctor in the village, and our only refuge was God and His Saints. We had in our home a small silver icon of St. Haralambos, it was wonderworking, over 600 years old, and we had brought it from Asia Minor as a paternal family heirloom.

Synaxarion of Saint Haralambos the Hieromartyr and Wonderworker

On the tenth of this month [February], we commemorate the Holy Hieromartyr Haralambos the Wonderworker.


Through the sword, Haralambos, you were deemed worthy
Of the brightness and joy of the Martyrs.
On the tenth, Haralambos, you were decapitated from the neck.

Saint Zeno the Letter Carrier of Ceasarea

St. Zeno of Ceasarea (Feast Day - February 10)


Zeno seeks the delights of Eden alone,
Having as a delight the release from the flesh.

By Bishop Theodoret of Cyrus, Syria

Not many know of the wonderful Zeno,1 but those who do cannot adequately express admiration of him. After renouncing exceptionally plentiful wealth in his native land - it was Pontus -, he benefited, as he used to tell, from the streams of his neighbor the great Basil, watering the land of Cappadocia, and yielded fruits worthy of the watering.2 Immediately after the violent death of the emperor Valens,3 he lay aside the military girdle - he had been enrolled among those who carry swiftly the letters of the emperor. Darting from the palace into a tomb (for the mountain near Antioch contains many), he lived alone. Purifying his soul and constantly cleansing its eye, he perceived the vision of God, "placing in his heart the highways" of God, a yearning to have "wings like a dove" and desiring to "fly away and be at rest" in God. For this reason he had neither bed nor lamp nor hearth nor jar nor flask nor chest nor book nor anything else, but he used to wear old rags and likewise shoes that needed straps, since the pieces of leather had come apart.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Photios the Great and the Eighth Ecumenical Synod (3 of 6)

Pope John VIII of Rome (872-882)

3. The Issues Faced by the Eighth Ecumenical Synod

The Ecumenical Synod of 879-880, which is designated as the Eighth Ecumenical Synod, dealt with the issues which arose in the previous period, namely the ratification of the elevation of Photios to the Patriarchal Throne, the removal of the anathemas of the Synod of 869-870, the recognition of ecclesiastical traditions and customs of each Local Church (among which was the "all at once" ordination of Bishops), the validity of decisions of each Local Church, the place of the Bishop in the Church, the relationship between Bishops and monastics (as is shown in the sacred Canons drafted by this Ecumenical Synod), the canonical jurisdiction of the province of Bulgaria, and the condemnation of the heresy of the Filioque.

Below, however, we will highlight four important points which, in my opinion, are the quintessence of this important Synod.

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