Sunday, June 25, 2017

New Martyrs Under the Turks Resource Page

Neomartyrs After the Fall of Constantinople (Feast Day - Third Sunday After Pentecost)

Verses

The New Athletes destroyed the old woman Hagar,
And now are joined with the Athletes of old.
The multitude of new athletes walk in the heavenly divine city.

The Neomartyrs: the Glory of the Church

New Martyrs of the Turkish Yoke

Gospel Commentary for the Third Sunday after Pentecost (St. Theophylact of Ochrid)


Third Sunday after Pentecost (or Third Sunday of Matthew)
The Eye is the Lamp of the Body

Matthew 4:18-23

From The Explanation of the Gospel of St. Matthew

By Blessed Theophylact, Archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria

22-23. The eye is the lamp of the body: if therefore thine eye be sound, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Birth of John the Baptist and the Summer Solstice


By John Sanidopoulos

The summer solstice occurs some time between June 20 and June 22. As seen from a geographic pole, the sun reaches its highest altitude of the year on the summer solstice. Therefore the summer solstice is the longest day of the year, and in turn the shortest night.

On the day after the summer solstice daylight begins to slowly decrease, while nighttime slowly increases. This happens until the fall equinox which occurs some time between September 21 and September 24, when the sun directly shines on the equator and the length of day and night is nearly equal.

Saint Athanasios Parios the Kollyvas and Teacher of the Nation


By Lambros Skontzos

The Kollyvades Movement of the 18th century was an important historical milestone in our ecclesiastical history, since it played a strong role in the renewal of our Orthodoxy, which suffocated under the interventions of heretical Western Christianity. One of the main figures of this movement was Saint Athanasios Parios. He was a great Saint of our Church and Teacher of the Nation.

Born in 1722 in the village of Kostos on the island of Paros, his father's name was Apostolos Toulos and his mother's name was Kostiani, and they taught him piety and took care to have him educated. He was taught his first lessons in Kostos and then either attended the School at the Monastery of Saint Athanasios in Naousa of Paros or the School of the All Holy Sepulchre in Sifnos.

Synaxis of the Righteous Zechariah and Elizabeth

Synaxis of the Righteous Zechariah and Elizabeth (Feast Day - June 24)

On this day is the Synaxis of the Righteous Zechariah and Elizabeth.

Verses

Having given birth to your son the Forerunner,
Your relatives rejoice with you, and now all of creation.

Six months before his appearance in Nazareth to the All Holy Theotokos, the great Archangel of God, Gabriel appeared to Zechariah the high priest in the Temple at Jerusalem. And before he announced the miraculous conception to the unwed Virgin Mary, the Archangel announced the miraculous conception to the childless old woman, Elizabeth.

Saint Athanasios Parios Resource Page

St. Athanasios Parios (Feast Day - June 24)

Saint Athanasios Parios (1722-1813)

Saint Athanasios Parios the Kollyvas and Teacher of the Nation

The Spiritual Counsels of Elder Daniel to Saint Arsenios of Paros

The Political Vision of Athanasios Parios and His Disputes With Koraes

Friday, June 23, 2017

How a Recent Helicopter Crash Survivor in Greece Miraculously Survived


The following incident took place on 19 April 2017, and was widely reported in Greece. This is basically how it was reported, for the most part. Read on however, because there is more to the story.

26 year old Sergeant Vasiliki Plexida was the survivor of the Greek Army helicopter crash in Sarantaporo that left four officers dead on Wednesday, and she recounted the cause of the accident.

She was one of the five passengers of the fatal UH-1H crash and was hospitalized at the 424 Military Hospital in Thessaloniki. She suffered from a pelvis fracture and injuries to her hands, legs and neck.

A Chapel Dedicated to Saint Paisios the Athonite Built Inside a 300 Year Old Tree


A chapel dedicated to Saint Paisios the Athonite was built inside the hollow of a 300 year old tree. This beautiful chapel is located 22 kilometers north of Konitsa in the village of Agia Varvara, which Saint Paisios himself would pass by in his younger days as he went to the nearby village of Amarantos, where he would do carpentry work and repair houses.

The Discovery of the Relics of Saint Barbaros the Myrrhgusher in 2013

The reliquary containing a portion of the skull of St. Barbaros in Potamos, Kerkyra

Saint Barbaros lived in the ninth century and died after living a stric ascetic life in Tryfo in Xiromero of the municipality of Aetolia-Acarnania in Greece, where he was also buried and worked numerous miracles. Many centuries after the death of Saint Barbaros, in 1571, an officer from Venice named Sklavounos, who was taking part at that time in the naval battle of Nafpaktos, fell seriously ill and saw the Saint in a dream, telling him to go to his grave to be healed. Indeed, as soon as the officer venerated the tomb, he was miraculously healed and took the holy myrrhgushing relics of the Saint with him as he departed.

Holy Martyr Agrippina of Rome

St. Agrippina of Rome (Feast Day - June 23)

Verses

Full of terrible wounds from the blows,
Agrippina partook of many wreaths.
On the twenty-third Agrippina died from her wounds.

Saint Agrippina was born in the glorious city of Rome and flourished probably during the reign of Emperor Valerian (253-260). When she was a young girl, she dedicated her life to God and was adorned with virginity and purity. Out of love for her Bridegroom Christ, she presented herself before the court during a time of persecution against Christians, and bravely confessed that Christ was the true God. For this she was given over to many torments.

Commemoration of All Those Martyred in Crete for their Faith in Christ and Homeland During the Revolution of 1821

All Martyrs of Crete from 1821 and 1822 (Feast Day - June 23)

Verses

Ten shepherds contested perfectly,
In a stately manner destroying the wickedness of the enemy.
Together with them were Priests and others,
Who gained the eternal Kingdom.

On 23 June 1821 a Synod took place at the Metropolis of Crete, in the Church of Saint Menas, where the Bishop of Crete began to read a letter sent from the vizier. The hostile enemies then rushed into the church and murdered the Hierarchs, seventeen Priests and five Athonite fathers from Vatopaidi Monastery, who presented in the Great Castle holy relics and the Holy Belt of the Theotokos during the plague epidemic. They also killed three hundred Christians who were in attendance. From there, they dispersed into the city, and they mercilessly killed any Christian they encountered on the street, and there they also encountered Bishop Hierotheos of Lampis, who they killed along with his deacon. The next day, in the village of Epano Fourni, where the Diocese of Petra was located, they shot with a rifle Bishop Joachim outside the Church of the Most Holy Theotokos.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Saint Eusebius of Samosata as a Model for our Lives

St. Eusebius of Samosata (Feast Day - June 22)

By Protopresbyter Fr. George Papavarnavas

The Hieromartyr Eusebius, Bishop of Samosata, was an advocate of Orthodox faith and piety. Thus he was by name and deed pious, for this is what the name "Eusebius" means. Saint Gregory the Theologian, in a letter to him, calls him "a pillar and foundation of piety, a luminary of the Church and rule of faith." He lived in the fourth century, when the Church was facing the temptations of the heresy of Arius, who believed that the Son and Word of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, is not perfect God equal to God the Father, but a creation of God created in time. However, if this was true, then salvation would be impossible, for only God has the power to save. Yet we know from Holy Scripture and the living tradition of the Church, that Christ came into the world to save it and to abolish the works of the devil. And His coming as Messiah and Savior was confirmed with miracles which He did and continues to do.

Holy Martyrs Zenon and Zenas of Philadelphia

Sts. Zenon and Zenas (Feast Day - June 22)

Verses

The fellow-contestant servant with the fellow-contestant master,
Both as servants of God were beheaded.

Zenon was a Roman officer during the reign of Emperor Maximian (286-305) in the Arabian town of Philadelphia (now Amman in Jordan) and Zenas was his servant. Being a pious and zealous Christian, Zenon desired to be martyred for Christ. For this reason he distributed all of his belongings to the poor and liberated all of his servants. When Zenon heard that the governor Maximos loved the idols very much, he presented himself before him, followed by his servant Zenas. Zenas was a prudent and good-intentioned servant, and he did not want to be separated from his master Zenon.

Saint Alban the Martyr of Britain


According to recent findings, St. Alban is shown to be not only the protomartyr of Britain, but the earliest martyr of Latin Europe whom we know. Based on the 8th-century account of the Venerable Bede, hagiographers have placed St. Alban's martyrdom in the early 4th century, during the fierce Diocletian persecutions. In a guide to St. Alban's Cathedral, built over the site of his martyrdom, we find, however, the following interesting information which, according to the work of Dr. John Morris of London, places the date of execution nearly a century earlier to June 22, 209.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Fr. George Florovsky Resource Page


About

Georges Vasilievich Florovsky: Philosopher of the Orthodox World (1 of 8)

Georges Vasilievich Florovsky: Philosopher of the Orthodox World (2 of 8)

Georges Vasilievich Florovsky: Philosopher of the Orthodox World (3 of 8)

Georges Vasilievich Florovsky: Philosopher of the Orthodox World (4 of 8)

Georges Vasilievich Florovsky: Philosopher of the Orthodox World (5 of 8)

Georges Vasilievich Florovsky: Philosopher of the Orthodox World (6 of 8)

Georges Vasilievich Florovsky: Philosopher of the Orthodox World (7 of 8)

Georges Vasilievich Florovsky: Philosopher of the Orthodox World (8 of 8)

30th Anniversary of the Falling Asleep of Fr. George Florovsky (+ August 11, 1979)

The Grave of Fr. Georges Florovsky and His Wife Xenia

A Contemporary Miracle: Fr. George Florovsky and the Wild Child

Zee Most Beautifool Face!

My Teacher Fr. John Romanides and my Spiritual Father Fr. George Florovsky

Fr. John Romanides' Encounter With the Zoe Brotherhood

Theology in Greece in the 1960's

Contemporary Theological Movements in Orthodoxy (Metr. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos)

Romiosini and the "Neopatristic Synthesis" of Florovsky

The Theological Crisis and Its Impact on Daily Ecclesiastical Life (2 of 6)

Fr. George Florovsky: The Latest Most Up-to-Date Bibliography


Writings

The Year of our Lord

Did Christ Have A Fallen Human Nature?

The Gospel of Resurrection

And Ascended Into Heaven... (Fr. George Florovsky)

Ecumenical Synods as Charismatic Events that Represented the Church

Fr. George Florovsky on the Authority of the Church Fathers

On the Veneration of the Saints (Fr. George Florovsky)

Fr. George Florovsky on St. Ignatius of Antioch

St. John Chrysostom On Poverty and Wealth

The Teachings of Diadochos of Photiki (Fr. George Florovsky)

Saint John Climacus and his Heavenly Ladder (Fr. George Florovsky)

St. Gregory Palamas and the Tradition of the Fathers

Fr. George Florovsky on St. Silouan the Athonite

The Reformation and the Rejection of Monasticism

The Challenge of Our Time


Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Aphrodisios of Cilicia

St. Aphrodisios of Cilicia (Feast Day - June 21);
fresco depicts the Prophet Daniel in the lion's den

Verses

Not sacrificing to the image of Aphrodite,
Aphrodisios was put to death with the sword.

Saint Aphrodisios was from the land of Cilicia, who was taught to revere Christ from his ancestors. Arrested as a Christian, he was brought before the governor Dionysios, and confessed Christ as the true God. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Saint Kallistos I, Patriarch of Constantinople (+ 1363)

St. Kallistos I of Constantinople (Feast Day - June 20)

Verses

Kallistos passed through perishable beauty with a right mind,
Now he is beholding beauty imperishable.

Saint Kallistos was a disciple of Saint Gregory of Sinai, and lived an ascetic life as a monk at Mount Athos for twenty-eight years, initially in the Skete of Magoula, near Iveron Monastery. There he was also ordained a Priest. Kallistos was noted for his virtue and deep education. He followed Saint Gregory of Sinai to Paroria where they established hesychastic hermitages, but he soon returned to Mount Athos and entered Iveron Monastery. The Holy Community of Mount Athos chose him to lead the opposition against the Bogomils, who had infiltrated Mount Athos. Kallistos was an enthusiastic follower of the hesychastic teaching of Saint Gregory Palamas. He also founded the Monastery of Saint Mamas at Tenedos, a small island near the Dardanelles.

Holy Hieromartyr Methodios, Bishop of Patara (+ 311)

St. Methodios of Patara (Feast Day - June 20)

Verses

Methodios in life pursued life,
Set free he travels, not pursuing or going.
On the twentieth the arch-sacrificer Methodios was slain by the sword.

Saint Methodios at first was a Bishop of Olympus then a Bishop of Patara, both in the Lycia region of Asia Minor. Saint Jerome adds that he also became the Bishop of Tyre, though this may not be likely. As a learned and eloquent hierarch, Methodios was the first who wrote against the heresies of Origen. He left behind him a rich literary legacy: works in defense of Christianity against paganism, explications of Orthodox dogmas against the heresy of Origen, moral discourses, and explanations of Holy Scripture. The pagans rose up against him, tortured him and beheaded him in Chalcis in Syria around the year 311.

Monastery of Saint Nicholas Cabasilas in Kavasila of Ilia


The village of Kavasila in Ilia, Greece is named after Saint Nicholas Cabasilas. It was here that Saint Nicholas came towards the end of his life and reposed in the hermitage he founded around the year 1392. In around 1650 the residents of the village built a small church at the borders of the village dedicated to Saint Nicholas Cabasilas, to honor him for having reposed there, although he was not officially canonized until 1982. It is said that the Turks, who did not allow new churches to be built, would tear down this small church, but the residents would build it over and over again.

Placement of the Relics and Garments of the Apostles Luke, Andrew and Thomas, the Prophet Elisha, and Martyr Lazarus in the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople

An image from a Vatican Codex Vat.gr.1162 (11th century) believed to be a representation of the Church of the Holy Apostles.

The original Church of the Holy Apostles was dedicated in about 330 by Constantine the Great, the founder of Constantinople, the new capital of the Roman Empire. The church was unfinished when Constantine died in 337, and it was brought to completion by his son and successor Constantius II, who buried his father's remains there. The church was dedicated to the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, and it was the Emperor's intention to gather relics of all the Apostles in the church. For this undertaking, only relics of Saint Andrew, Saint Luke and Saint Timothy were acquired, in 336, and in later centuries it came to be assumed that the church was dedicated to these three only, although it did contain many other relics.

Saint Nicholas Cabasilas Resource Page

St. Nicholas Cabasilas (Feast Day - June 20)

Verses

You clearly became a joint-partaker with the Saints,
Having lived a holy life Nicholas.
We celebrate the divine Nicholas with glorious praises.

The Life and Teachings of Saint Nicholas Cabasilas

Monastery of Saint Nicholas Cabasilas in Kavasila of Ilia

Homily on the Annunciation by St. Nicholas Cabasilas

Monday, June 19, 2017

Saint Paisios the Great (+ 417)

St. Paisios the Great (Feast Day - June 19)

Verses

I call you an Angel O Paisios,
Not by nature but by your unusual life.

Our Venerable and God-bearing Father Paisios the Great was from the village of Shansa in Egypt and born in 320. His parents were Christians, that distributed generous alms to all the needy. Younger to six other brothers, he was weak and frail. After the death of her husband, his mother saw an angel in a vision saying to her: "The Lord says to you, give Me one of your children to serve Me." She answered: "Lord, take whoever you want." The angel took the hand of Paisios, who was thin and his body was frail. His mother told the angel, "My Lord, take one who is strong to serve the Lord." "This is whom the Lord has chosen," the angel replied.

Holy Apostle Jude of the Twelve

St. Jude the Apostle (Feast Day - June 19)

Verses

You had a triple calling and triple passion Blessed one,
Having been lifted up, bound and thirdly the stretching of the bow.
On the nineteenth Jude was killed with arrows.

+ + +

You have as a boast being among the kinsman and chorus,
Of Christ's disciples O Jude, and suffering.
On the nineteenth Jude was killed with arrows.

The Holy Apostle Jude was one of the Twelve Disciples of the Lord. Although he bears the same name as Judas Iscariot who betrayed the Lord, in English his name has been shortened to Jude, while Judas is the Greek translation of the Hebrew name Judah. The New Testament distinguishes him with various names.

The Recent Discovery of the Holy Spring of the Virgin Mary in Smyrna


Investigations on a Roman-era tunnel, which was discovered in the garden of a house in the Aegean province of Izmir (Smyrna) in the Kadifekale district, were completed in 2015. The tunnel, which is thought to have been built as a water conveyance system, will be the subject of a documentary film. Promotional booklets will also be made for the tunnel.

Secret tunnels around Izmir’s Agora have always been a matter of discussion. It is thought the tunnels were built in the Roman era in order to convey water to the ancient city located between Kadifekale and Kemeralt─▒.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Saint Leontius the Canonarch of the Kiev Caves Lavra

St. Leontius the Canonarch (Feast Day - June 18)

In his youth Saint Leontius entered the Kiev Caves Monastery, where he received tonsure. He was endowed with a fine voice, and when he learned his letters, he fulfilled the obedience of canonarch (leader of the chanters).

Gospel Commentary for the Second Sunday after Pentecost (St. Theophylact of Ochrid)


Second Sunday after Pentecost (or Second Sunday of Matthew)
Come Follow Me

Matthew 4:18-23

From The Explanation of the Gospel of St. Matthew

By Blessed Theophylact, Archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria

18-19. As He was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishermen; and He saith unto them.

These two had been disciples of John, and while John was still living they had approached Christ. But when they saw John arrested, they returned again to their fishing, and so Christ comes, fishing for them, and says:

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Life and Sayings of Holy Abba Joseph the Anchorite of Panephysis

Holy Abba Joseph the Anchorite (Feast Day - June 17)

Verses

You are a divine swan in your last moments Joseph,
Dying while singing odes, as it is said a swan dies.

Life

Abba Joseph lived as a solitary in Panephysis with his disciples; Abba Lot and Abba Poetnen consulted him. The group appears to have been of some importance; John Cassian stayed there for some time and Conferences 11-17 and 19-24 are situated there. In the Synaxarion it is said that he reposed while chanting.

Life and Sayings of Holy Abba Pior of Scetis

Holy Abba Pior (Feast Day - June 17)

Verses

The soul of Pior had a wealth of virtues,
His rich soul departing full of fat.

Pior, an early settler in Nitria, lived at first with Anthony the Great. He was a priest, and became a solitary in Scetis. Below are the life and sayings of Abba Pior as we read in the Lausiac History and the Paradise of the Fathers.

Saint Botolph, His Life and Times


By Prof. Kenneth Keenan, Ll.B., Ph.D., FCIB.

St Botolph – greatly venerated as the most influential missionary of the seventh century, founded a monastery in 654, appears to have led a peaceful life and died in 680. His feast is still venerated in the dioceses of Brentwood, Nottingham and Northampton on 17 June each year.

The actual life of St Botolph is shrouded in mystery and conflict. It is my hope that this short (and inadequate) account of his life and times will give you a glimpse into England in the Seventh Century and more especially, into the life of Botolph - Man, Priest, Abbot and Saint.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Saint Mnemonios, Bishop of Amathus


All we know of Saint Mnemonios is that he was the Bishop of Amathus in Cyprus in the fourth century, and he ordained to the diaconate his successor, Saint Tychon. Saint Mnemonios is celebrated on June 16th, together with Saint Tychon.


Synaxarion of Saint Tychon the Wonderworker and Bishop of Amathus

St. Tychon of Amathus (Feast Day - June 16)

Verses

Destroying and completely smashing Tychon fled,
Gaining life and rejoicing in indestruction.
On the sixteenth Tychon went to dwell beneath the earth.

Saint Tychon flourished during the reigns of Arcadius (383-408) and Honorius (395-408). Having pious parents who loved Christ, they dedicated him to God and he learned sacred letters. After sufficiently studying Holy Scripture, at first he became a Reader, and in the church he would read the divine words to the people. Then due to the suitableness he had in all things, as well as his pure and blameless life, he was ordained Deacon by the most-holy Bishop Mnemonios of Amathus. After he died, Tychon was elevated to the throne of the diocese, by the great Saint Epiphanios of Cyprus. Thus by the words of his teachings he turned many from the error of idolatry to the faith of Christ. He destroyed many pagan Greek temples, and the idols within he crushed. With such eminent virtuous actions, he departed to the Lord, having worked many miracles while he was alive as well as after death, of which I will narrate one or two of them below, to demonstrate the virtue and holiness of this divine man.

Saint Moses of Optina (+ 1862)

St. Moss of Optina (Feast Day - June 16)

Saint Moses (Putilov) was born on January 15, 1782 in the city of Borisogleb in the Yaroslavl province, and was baptized with the name Timothy. His siblings were called Jonah, Basil, Cyril, Anysia, and Alexander. John Putilov named all his children after the saint commemorated on the eighth day after their birth, so the future Saint Moses was named for the holy Apostle Timothy of the Seventy (January 22). The children were educated at home, since their parents feared they would be corrupted in some way if they were sent away to school.

When Timothy was nineteen, his father sent him and his younger brother Jonah to work in Moscow. While in Moscow they met the Elders Alexander and Philaret of the Novospassky Monastery, who had spiritual ties to Saint Paisius Velichkovsky (November 15). Through their aquaintance with these two ascetics of piety, the brothers decided that they also wished to become monks. In May of 1805 they visited the Sarov monastery (which their widowed brother-in-law Cosmas Krundishev had entered in November 1804) and spoke with Saint Seraphim (January 2). The brothers remained at Sarov for two and a half years. At first they were assigned to the bakery, and then to other obediences.

The Veneration of Saint Tikhon of Kaluga in Pre-Soviet Russia


Archimandrite Gerasim
Spuce Island, Alaska
Pravoslavny Blagovestnik, San Francisco, Jan. 1943

The holy abbot Tikhon of Kaluga embraced monasticism in his youthful days in Moscow, then he labored for many years in a forest in the hollow of a huge oak near the town of Medin in the Kaluga province. He founded a monastery on that very spot dedicated to the Dormition of the Mother of God and he was its abbot. St. Tikhon died on June 16, 1492.

His holy relics at first were openly exposed in the monastery's main cathedral. But, due to frequent raids on the monastery and the monastery's final destruction, the monks buried the holy relics in the earth where they remained until the time of the Russian revolution. In time, on the spot where St. Tikhon was buried, the magnificent cathedral of the Transfiguration was erected with five altars, and over his very grave was built an artistically designed reliquary, on which there was placed a large icon of St. Tikhon. A large canopy was constructed over the reliquary, three sides of which were adorned with silver hanging lampadas. The reliquary was located on the right side of the cathedral near the cliros of the main Transfiguration altar. The inside of the five domed Cathedral had a marble-like finish, and was decorated in a rich and ornate manner.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Synaxarion of Saint Augustine of Hippo

St. Augustine of Hippo (Feast Day - June 15)

Commemoration of our Holy Father Augustine, Bishop of Hippo

By St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite

Verses

Aflame with eros for God, O Augustine,
You proved to be an all-radiant luminary, O Blessed one.

The divine and sacred Augustine, who was also called Aurelius, was born in Thagaste of Carthage (present Tunisia) in Numidia, and flourished during the reign of Emperor Theodosius the Great (379-395), as well as during the reigns of Arcadius (383-408) and Honorius (395-408) his sons, until he was an elder of eighty years.* Having studied the Greek language,** he was more eager to learn Latin. Wherefore he became experienced in philosophy, as well as rhetoric and dialectics, so that people at that time would commonly bring to their lips the following prayer: "Deliver us O God from the dialectics of Augustine," as Gennadios Scholarios testifies in his discourse "On the Procession of the Holy Spirit".

Life and Sayings of Holy Abba Orsisios

Holy Abba Orsisios (Feast Day - June 15)

Verses

Blameless Ortisios is brought before you O Word,
Having blamed no one nor overpowered by Momus.

Little is known of our Holy Father Orsisios, who is also known as Ortisios, except for what is written in the two sayings below, which come from the Lausiac History. The Synaxarion says he reposed in peace.

Monastery of the Prophet Amos in Faliraki, Rhodes


Faliraki is the primary seaside resort village on the Greek island of Rhodes, in the Dodecanese. It is situated on Faliraki Bay, on the northeastern coast, about 14 km south of the town of Rhodes. Located in this village is a unique monastery dedicated to an Old Testament prophet that has few shrines in the world - the Holy Prophet Amos, who lived around 750 years before Christ.

Holy Prophet Amos

Holy Prophet Amos (Feast Day - June 15)

Verses

Amos the shepherd and gatherer of sycamore fruit,
Gathers in Eden and no longer gathers from trees.
On the fifteenth Amos flew away from this life.

The Holy Prophet Amos was a simple shepherd and a gatherer of sycamore fruit from Tekoa,* and was active when Uzziah was king of Judah (790-739 BC) and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel (786–746 BC). Though he was from the southern Kingdom of Judah he preached in the northern Kingdom of Israel, particularly the cities of Samaria and Bethel. Amos wrote at a time of relative peace and prosperity, but also of neglect of God's laws and the paganization of the Jews. The Old Testament Book of Amos is attributed to him, which begins two years prior to the earthquake of 760 BC. Amos was the first of the prophets to write down the messages he had received. He has always been admired for the purity of his language, his beauty of diction, and his poetic art.

Saint Augustine of Hippo Resource Page

St. Augustine of Hippo (Feast Day - June 15)

Verses

Aflame with eros for God, O Augustine,
You proved to be an all-radiant luminary, O Blessed one.

Life and Veneration

Synaxarion of Saint Augustine of Hippo

Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo

Saint Monica, Mother of Blessed Augustine

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Relics of the Holy Prophet Elisha

The raising of the dead man at the tomb of Elisha the Prophet

In 2 Kings 13:20-21 we read:

"Elisha died and was buried. Now Moabite raiders used to enter the country every spring. Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet."

Thus, while Elisha worked many wonders and miracles, including the resurrection of the dead, in life, the same he also did through the grace of God after death by means of his relics.

Elisha was buried in Samaria, which is also called Sebaste in Greek. Later Saint John the Baptist was buried in between Elisha and the Prophet Obadiah. In Letter 108 of Saint Jerome, where he speaks of the Saint Paula visiting these tombs, he describes it as follows:

Saint Methodios the Confessor, Patriarch of Constantinople (+ 846)

St. Methodios the Confessor (Feast Day - June 14)

Verses

Methodios the luminary of the Church,
With your death was extinguished the gloomy cloud.

Our Holy Father Methodios was born to wealthy parents in Syracuse of Sicily. In his youth he was sent to Constantinople to continue his education and hopefully attain an appointment at the imperial court. Instead he went to Chenolakkos Monastery in Bithynia, where he was tonsured a monk.

After becoming a presbyter and holding the high position of “apokrisiaros” (“advocate for ecclesiastical matters”), he was sent as an ambassador to Rome in 815 or 816 on behalf of Patriarch Nikephoros of Constantinople, who had been exiled by the iconoclast emperor Leo V the Armenian (813-820). There he reported to Pope Paschal I concerning the iconoclast controversy. He remained in Rome until the death of Leo in 820, and returned to Constantinople.

Prophet Elisha Resource Page

Holy Prophet Elisha (Feast Day - June 14)

Verses

The horses of Elias, as noetic horses,
Opened the heavens, for the double-portion of Elias.
On the fourteenth the pleasant portion fell upon Elisha.

Holy Prophet Elisha

Holy Prophet Elisha as a Model for our Lives

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Saint Philotheos of Sklataina, Second Founder of the Monastery of Saint Stephen at Meteora (+ 1550)

St. Philotheos of Sklataina (Feast Day - June 13)

Our Venerable Father Philotheos was born in 1475 in the village of Sklataina, which since 1927 is called Rizoma and is located in Trikala of Thessaly. The beginning of monastic life at Meteora on the rock of Agios Stephanos, where the Monastery of Saint Stephen is located today, dates back to early in the 12th century. Saint Anthony Kantakouzenos, in the first half of the 15th century, is the first founder of the monastery, and Saint Philotheos, who renovated or rather rebuilt from its foundations the old small and elegant Katholicon, the present Church of Saint Stephen, in 1545 is referred to as its second founder.

Introduction to "The Synaxarion: The Lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church"


By Hieromonk Makarios of Simonos Petra, Mount Athos

1. Praise God in His Saints! (Ps. 150:1)

When the Apostle John was taken up in the spirit before the throne of God where all await the universal Judgement at the end of time, he heard "as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings saying, 'Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigns. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his bride has made herself ready.' And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints" (Rev. 19:6-10). This is not only a foretelling of what will be at the dawning of the day of Resurrection; for even now, Holy Church, the Bride of Christ, stands clothed, as in purple and fine linen, with the blood of the martyrs, the tears of the ascetics, the temperance of the virgins, the preaching of the apostles, the writings of the Fathers, the mercy of the righteous, clad, that is, in all the virtues and in all the graces that the Holy Spirit has brought to birth in the saints of every age and place. Who could number the cloud of witnesses (Heb. 12:1) that surrounds us? Who could name each one of the living who with Christ, through Christ, and in Christ have triumphed over death and have access to the throne of God, the saints in whom the Lord rejoices (Isa. 41:16 LXX) and takes his rest (Isa. 57:15 LXX).

Monday, June 12, 2017

Synaxarion of Saint Peter the Athonite (+ 734)

St. Peter the Athonite (Feast Day - June 12)

On this day we commemorate our Venerable and God-bearing Father Peter who lived in asceticism on the Holy Mountain of Athos.

Verses

And you were put forward to the right of Christ O Peter,
Saved naked from the sea of life.

Our renowned Father Peter, had Constantinople as his homeland, and his noble and glorious parents held to the fear of God in their household. Thus the great and wondrous Peter showed forth this good fruit, which sprouted forth from them. His parents sought to have their beloved son educated in every form of divine and human wisdom, and later he was honored with the imperial office known as Scholarios. The emperor of the Romans at that time, admiring the extraordinary bravery of the Saint, made him, against his will, first over the military orders. He was then sent by him to fight against the Hagarenes, who at that time seized and enslaved areas belonging to the Romans. When Peter went to battle, he was defeated and captured by the Hagarenes, according to the unspeakable judgement of God, and he was shut in a dark and dirty prison cell bound by iron. When the wondrous one despaired of any salvation from men, he completely gave himself to intense prayer to God, and he supplicated the great and wondrous Nicholas, whom he greatly reverenced since a young child, and he promised that if he was freed from his bonds and prison, then he would immediately abandon the world and all worldly things, and he would become a monk, as he had initially promised God to do.

Monastery of Saint Onouphrios in Akeldama


Akeldama, which in Aramaic means "Field of Blood", is where Judas Iscariot committed suicide by hanging himself, in Jerusalem’s Hinnom Valley — a picturesque setting whose infamous history of child sacrifices caused it to be identified with the hell of unquenchable fire and punishment.

The Greek Orthodox Monastery of Saint Onouphrios now stands on the place where Judas is believed to have hanged himself. The monastery occupies a narrow terrace on the southern face of the valley, facing Mount Zion and the Old City walls.

The Monastery of Saint Onouphrios, built in 1874 over the remains of an earlier church building, is occupied by a small community of Greek Orthodox nuns.

The 15th Century Church of Saint Onouphrios in Herakleion, Crete


The Church of Saint Onouphrios is a one-aisled basilica with a dome located in the city of Herakleion in Crete. It dates probably to the 15th century, and is first mentioned in a catalogue of churches in Handaka, known as Herakleion today, from 1583. It can be found today at the junction of the streets 1866 and Tsikritzis, known as Ladadika.

Saint Onouphrios the Egyptian Resource Page

St. Onouphrios the Egyptian (Feast Day - June 12)

Verses

And the commandment of one tunic Father,
You exceeded having gone about naked to the end.
On the twelfth Onouphrios was removed from life without a tunic.

Saint Onouphrios as a Model for our Lives

Life of Saint Onouphrios the Anchorite of Egypt

St. Onouphrios the Great (Feast Day - June 12)

Life of Saint Onouphrios the Egyptian

Verses

And the commandment of one tunic Father,
You exceeded having gone about naked to the end.
On the twelfth Onouphrios was removed from life without a tunic.

By Abba Paphnutios

Chapter I

One day as I, Paphnutios, was meditating in solitude and silence, it came into my mind that I should make a visit to all the places in the desert where there were holy monks, to shed light on how they habitually lived their lives of devotion, and learn to understand the way in which they served God. So it was that I quietly began my journey, eager to make this pleasurable venture into the desert. I carried some bread and water with me to sustain me in the labor of my journey, but by the end of the fourth day it had all gone. My limbs were beginning to lose their strength for lack of sustenance. However by the light of divine grace my imminent death was staved off, and gathering up my strength I resumed my journey, carrying on for another four days, eating nothing. At the end of this I was completely exhausted, and lay prostrate on the ground as if dead.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Introduction to the "Lives of the Saints" (St. Justin Popovich)


Introduction to the Lives of the Saints

By St. Justin Popovich

Until the coming of the Lord Christ into our terrestrial world, we men really knew only about death and death knew about us. Everything human was penetrated, captured, and conquered by death. Death was closer to us than we ourselves and more real than we ourselves, and more powerful, incomparably more powerful than every man individually and all men together. Earth was a dreadful prison of death, and we people were the helpless slaves of death. [1] Only with the God-man Christ "life was manifested"; "eternal life" appeared to us hopeless mortals, the wretched slaves of death. [2] And that "eternal life" we men have "seen with our eyes and handled with our hands," [3] and we Christians "make manifest eternal life" to all. [4] For living in union with the Lord Christ, we live eternal life even here on earth. [5] We know from personal experience that Jesus Christ is the true God and eternal life. [6] And for this did He come into the world: to show us the true God and eternal life in Him. [7] Genuine and true love for man consists of this, only of this: that God sent His Only-Begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him (1 John 4: 9) and through Him live eternal life. Therefore, he who has the Son of God has life; he who has not the Son of God has not life (1 John 5: 12)—he is completely in death. Life in the one true God and Lord Jesus Christ is really our only true life because it is wholly eternal and completely stronger than death. Can a life which is infected by death and which ends in death really be called life? just as honey is not honey when it is mixed with a poison which gradually turns all the honey into poison, so a life which ends in death is not life.

Gospel Commentary for the First Sunday after Pentecost (St. Theophylact of Ochrid)


First Sunday after Pentecost

Whosoever Shall Confess Me Before Men

Matthew 10:32-33, 37-38; 19:27-30

From The Explanation of the Gospel of St. Matthew

By Blessed Theophylact, Archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria

Ch. 10:32-33. "Whosoever therefore shall confess in Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father Who is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father Who is in heaven."

He exhorts them to bear witness even unto martyrdom. For belief only within one's soul does not suffice; He desires also the belief confessed with the tongue. He did not say, "Whosoever shall confess Me," but "in me," that is, in My strength. For he who confesses does so aided by the grace which is from above. But as for him who denies, Christ did not say "in Me," but "whosoever shall deny Me," showing that he denies because he does not have the aid from above. Therefore everyone who confesses that Christ is God will find Christ giving confession of him to the Father, that he is a true servant. But those who deny will hear the words, "I do not know you."

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