Thursday, August 31, 2017

Eighth Teaching of Saint Kosmas the Aitolos


EIGHTH TEACHING

By St. Kosmas the Aitolos

OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, the sweetest master and Lord, the creator of angels and of all intelligible and perceptible creation, saw that the human race didn't know him to believe that he is both in heaven and on earth, and lord and governor of all things. Moreover, without the will of our Christ nothing can be established. And [he] saw that people were being deceived by the devil, who hates good, who had them all under his will and made them his own together with their families. So the compassionate God wanted to embarrass the devil and to free man from him, so that man would receive a great gift from his compassion. Consequently, from the great love which he had for our race, among the many and infinite gifts that he gave us, he condescended and became perfect man from the Holy Spirit and the purest blood of our Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary. This is why he became flesh and became perfect man, so that we may see him and learn about him; that there is no one else beside him in whom we can believe, who'll free us from the abominable hands of the devil and make us sons and heirs of his kingdom to be glad and rejoice together forever with the holy angels in paradise, and not to burn in the accursed hell together with the accursed demons.

Seventh Teaching of Saint Kosmas the Aitolos


SEVENTH TEACHING

By St. Kosmas the Aitolos

OUR LORD AND GOD JESUS CHRIST, my brethren, our sweetest ruler and master, the creator of angels and of all intelligible and perceptible creation, moved by his compassion, by his great purity, and by the great love which he had for our race, has given us and continues to give to us each day, hour, and minute many and an infinite number of gifts. In addition, he has made us worthy this day to glorify and honor him and our Lady the Theotokos. And may it come to pass that the Lord will have compassion on us, forgive us our sins an d make us worthy to spend our time here well, and to go to paradise to glorify the All-Holy Trinity.

The Church of Chalkoprateia in Constantinople Today (One Time Home of the Holy Girdle of the Virgin)

Remaining wall of the fifth century Church of Chalkoprateia

The Theotokos of Chalkoprateia was one of the most important churches of Constantinople dedicated to the Virgin Mary until the church at Blachernae took its place, though even after it was a close second. It was located to the north of the Patriarchate and at a small distance from Hagia Sophia. The mid-16th century traveler P. Gilles notes that Chalkoprateia was not far from the Milion. According to a written source the name derives from the installation in the area of Jewish craftsmen who manufactured and traded bronze objects, already by the time of Constantine the Great. The district was also known as the district of Chartoprateia (of the paper trade), because there were workshops of writing material. By the late sixth century there was a procession with the garments of the Theotokos every Friday in Constantinople between the churches of Chalkoprateia and Blachernae.

Saint Aidan, Bishop of Lindesfarne (+ 651)

Saint Aidan of Lindesfarne (Feast Day - August 31)

Saint Aidan, a steadfast defender of Celtic practices against the imposition of Roman usage, was born in Ireland (then called Scotland) in the seventh century. As a monk of the monastery founded by Saint Columba (June 9) on the island of Iona, he was known for his strict asceticism.

When the holy King Oswald of Northumbria (August 5) wanted to convert his people to Christianity, he turned to the Celtic monks of Iona, rather than the Roman clergy at Canterbury. The first bishop sent to lead the mission proved unsuitable, for he alienated many people by his harshness, and he blamed the hostile disposition of the English for his failure. Saint Aidan said that the bishop was to blame, and not the English. Instead of being too severe with an ignorant people, he should have fed them with milk rather than solid food (I Cor. 3:2). The bishop was recalled, and an ideal candidate was found to replace him.

The Byzantine Girdle of the Virgin Mary in Loches, France


In the Church of Saint Ours in Loches, France (Église Saint-Ours de Loches) there is preserved what was once considered to be the original Girdle (Zoni) of the Virgin Mary, at least until the 19th century. The Byzantine Girdle is 2 meters and 10 centimeters long by 3 centimeters wide. According to local tradition, it came from Constantinople in the 10th century. It is made of linen and silk. At both edges it has wool-embossed inscriptions in Greek letters. Unfortunately, the inscriptions are not visible in the photos found of the relic, but according to the author of an old study of the fabric of the relic (see below), at the edges of the Byzantine Girdle there are the following Greek letters:

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Sixth Teaching of Saint Kosmas the Aitolos


SIXTH TEACHING

By St. Kosmas the Aitolos

May the Holy Trinity have mercy upon us and save us. Amen.

Most holy Theotokos, help us and save us. Amen.

OUR LORD AND GOD Jesus Christ, my brethren, our sweetest Lord and Master, the creator of angels and of all intelligible and perceptible creation, moved by his infinite compassion and by the great love he has for our race, condescended, among the infinite and many gifts he has granted us, to become perfect man by the Holy Spirit and the purest blood of our Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary. He became incarnate to free us from the hands of the evil devil and to make us sons and heirs of his kingdom, to rejoice and to be glad with the angels forever, and not to be burned with the wretched demons.

Saint Christopher the Roman (6th cent.)

St. Christopher the Roman (Feast Day - August 30)

By St. John Moschos

(The Spiritual Meadow, Ch. 105)

When we were in Alexandria we went to visit Abba Theodore, who was at Saint Sophia near the Lighthouse, who told us the following story:

"I first renounced the world when I was in the coenobium of our holy father Theodosios, in the desert near the Holy City of Christ our God. I met there a great old man called Christopher, who was a Roman, before whom one day I prostrated myself, saying:

Saint Alexander of Svir (+ 1533)

St. Alexander of Svir (Feast Day - August 30 and April 17)

Saint Alexander of Svir was born on July 15, 1448, on the feast day of the Prophet Amos, and was named for him in Baptism. Saint Alexander was a beacon of monasticism in the deep forests of the Russian North, living in asceticism, and he was granted the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit.

His parents, Stephen and Vassa (Vasilisa) were peasants of the village of Mandera near Lake Ladoga, at the bank of the River Oyata, a tributary of the River Svira. They had sons and daughters who were already grown and lived away from their parents. Stephen and Vassa wanted to have another son. They prayed fervently and heard a voice from above: “Rejoice, good man and wife, you shall bear a son, in whose birth God will give comfort to His Church.”

When Elder Bessarion of Dionysiou Saw Saint John the Baptist in a Vision


The blessed monk Lazarus Dionysiatis (+ 1974) is well-known for his book Dionysian Narrations in which he records the valuable memories of those Dionysian Fathers of Dionysiou Monastery at Mount Athos.

One of these narrations concerns Elder Bessarion, a blessed brother of Dionysiou Monastery. Fr. Bessarion was from Halkida of Evia. He reposed in the Lord in 1952, at the age of 76. Before his repose he was the Oikonomos of the Metochion of Dionysiou Monastery in Sykia of Halkidiki, known as Kalamitsi. When he sensed his death approaching, after bidding farewell to his acquaintances and friends, he told them very simply that he was "going to the Monastery to die"!

The Chapel of Saint John Pratsika in Patras


The Pratsika family was a wealthy family of Patras, members of which were distinguished as merchants, landowners and politicians. The family was of Epirus descent. John Pratsika was the leader of the Christian community of Dhrovjan, a community in the Vlore County of southern Albania, when it was under Ottoman rule. He was assassinated by Ali Pasha, with the result that his sons Kotzas and Sideris fled first to Kerkyra and then around 1800 they settled in Patras of the Peloponnese. In Patras the two brothers, especially Sideris, purchased a large estate southwest of the city, and they began to cultivate it.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Encomium on the Beheading of the Honorable Forerunner (St. Theodore the Studite)


By St. Theodore the Studite

Dear God-fearing Christians, the feast which we have gathered here to celebrate together today is radiant and filled with divine joy. It is rightly called radiant because it shines from the very name of him whom we are honoring today, since he is called the lamp of the light. He is not, of course, a lamp who illumines us with material light, because then his radiance would not be enduring and constant and would be lost every time some obstacle moved in front of it. But it is light that shows the brilliant radiance of divine grace in the depths of the hearts of those who have gathered to celebrate his memory and who elevate their minds to think upon the sufferings of the righteous man, so that gazing with the eyes of our souls upon his blessed martyrdom, we shall be filled with spiritual joy.

Saint Basil I the Macedonian, Emperor of the Romans (+ 886)

St. Basil I the Macedonian (Feast Day - August 29)

Though Emperor Basil I is not mentioned in the Synaxaria, he is recognized as a Saint of the Church in the Byzantine Calendar of Feasts by Manuel Gedeon. This is primarily due to the fact that he was a builder and restorer of many churches and monasteries, and he was a pious man who sought to glorify God, despite his many faults.

Basil I, called the Macedonian, was Roman Emperor who reigned from 867 to 886. Born in 811 at Charioupolis in the Roman theme of Macedonia, he rose in the Imperial court, and usurped the Imperial throne from Emperor Michael III (r. 842–867). Despite his humble origins, he showed great ability in running the affairs of state, leading to a revival of Imperial power and a renaissance of Byzantine art. He was perceived by the Romans as one of their greatest emperors, and the Macedonian dynasty, which he founded, ruled over what is regarded as the most glorious and prosperous era of the later Roman Empire.

Saint Sebbi, King of Essex (+ 695)

St. Sebbi of Essex (Feast Day - August 29)

Saint Sebbi was son of Sexred and was the joint King of Essex from 664 to about 683 along with his cousin, Sighere. After Sighere died, Sebbi became sole ruler of Essex until 694.

Sighere and Sebbi were cousins of their predecessor, Swithelm. In 665 Sighere apostatized and fell back into paganism, while Sebbi remained a faithful Christian. They soon developed a rivalry. Sighere found an ally in Wessex, and Sebbi in Mercia. As a result of their rivalry, King Wulfhere of Mercia established himself as overlord of Essex in 665. He dispatched Jaruman, the Bishop of Mercia, who was assigned to reconvert the people of Essex to Christianity.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Fifth Teaching of Saint Kosmas the Aitolos


FOURTH TEACHING

By St. Kosmas the Aitolos

The Importance of Education

IN THE BEGINNING GOD created heaven and earth and everything in it, says the prophet Moses, inspired by the Holy Spirit in the holy Scriptures. In olden times, my fellow Christians, people were made good. Among the many there was a man named Moses. As a young child, my brethren, Moses received two things in his heart, love of God and love of his brethren. Have these two loves, [which produce] joy, glory, exultation, riches, treasures. Let us rejoice with these two loves always.

Saint Moses the Ethiopian According to Sozomen


By Sozomen

Ecclesiastical History (Bk. 4, Ch. 29)

Moses was originally a slave, but was driven from his master's house on account of his immorality. He joined some robbers, and became leader of the band. After having perpetrated many evil deeds and dared some murders, by some sudden conversion he embraced the monastic life, and attained the highest point of philosophy.

The Wooden Church of Saint Moses Murin the Black in South Butovo of Moscow


This wooden church dedicated to Saint Moses Murin the Black is one of the dozens of new churches built in Moscow. This church is specifically located in South Butovo and was consecrated in 2015. Saint Moses in Russia is called "Murin", which means "like an Ethiopian". Saint Moses a patron saint of those given over to drunkenness.

Additional Tales and Sayings of Abba Moses the Ethiopian in the 'Apophthegmata'


1. When a certain brother in Scete was going to the harvest, he went to Abba Moses the Ethiopian, and said unto him, “Father, tell me what I shall do; shall I go to the harvest?” and Abba Moses said unto him, “If I tell you, will you be persuaded to do as I say?” And the brother said unto him, “Yes, I will hearken unto you.” The old man said unto him, “If you will be persuaded by me, rise up, go, and release yourself from going to the harvest, and come unto me, and I will tell you what you shall do.” The brother therefore departed and obtained his release from his companions, as the old man had told him, and then he came to him. And the old man said unto him, “Go into your cell and keep Pentecost, and you shall eat dry bread and salt once a day, and after you have done this I will tell you something else to do later on.” And he went and did as the old man had told him, and then came to him again. Now when the old man saw that he was one who worked with his hands, he showed him the proper way to live in his cell; and the brother went to his cell, and fell on his face upon the ground, and for three whole days and nights he wept before God. And after these things, when his thoughts were saying unto him, “TYou are now an exalted person, and you have become a great man,” he used to contradict them, and set before his eyes his former shortcomings, and say, “Thus were all your offenses.” And again, when they used to say to him, “You have performed many things negligently,” he would say, “Nevertheless I do small services for God, and He shows His mercy upon me.” And when by such means as these the spirits had been overcome, they appeared unto him in the form of corporeal creatures, and said unto him, “We have been vanquished by you”; and he said unto them, “Why?” and they said unto him, “If we humble you, we are raised up by you to an exalted position, and if we exalt you we are accounted by you for humility.”

Holy Prophetess Anna, Daughter of Phanuel

Holy Prophetess Anna (Feast Day - February 3 and August 28)

Verses

Carried from the earth, was the daughter of Phanuel,
For on it, she saw God as a child.

In the Synaxarion of Constantinople (Feb. 3)* we read:

The Prophetess Anna was the daughter of Phanuel,** and came from the tribe of Asher, one of the twelve Patriarchs and sons of Jacob. Having dwelt with a husband for seven years, and become widowed due to his death, from that time she remained in the Temple where she dwelt the rest of her life in prayer and fasting. Because she unceasingly was found to do God-pleasing works, the blessed one was made worthy to see our Lord Jesus Christ, when He was offered to the Temple as a forty day old infant, by His All-Holy Mother and the righteous Joseph. She thanked and glorified God, and openly prophesied concerning Christ to all those who were found in the Temple, saying these words: "This Child is He Who has authority, and established heaven and earth. This Child is the Christ, regarding Whom all of the prophets proclaimed beforehand."***

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Fourth Teaching of Saint Kosmas the Aitolos


FOURTH TEACHING

By St. Kosmas the Aitolos

OUR LORD AND GOD Jesus Christ, the sweetest master, the creator of angels, my brethren, moved by the compassion and great love which he has for our race, has granted us and continues to grant us each day his immeasurable gifts. Behold how he's made us worthy this evening to glorify and honor him and our Lady the Theotokos. And if the Lord were to forgive us our sins through her intercessions and make us worthy of his kingdom to worship and glorify the All-Holy Trinity, we would rejoice and be glad always.

Saint Liberius the Confessor, Pope of Rome (+ 366)

St. Liberius the Pope of Rome (Feast Day - August 27)

Verses

Now Liberius has wealth that is not exhausted,
For you sensibly stored your treasures in heaven.

Our Holy Father Liberius, a Roman, became Pope of Rome on April 17, 352, amid the Arian crisis of the fourth century.

Emperor Constantius, an Arian himself, knew he had no hope of uniting Christians by a Semi-Arian formula if Pope Liberius continued to defend orthodoxy. At a synod held in Milan in 353, the emperor demanded that Saint Athanasius be condemned and warned the bishops to obey him or face exile. Some bishops refused, and they were promptly banished.

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


Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost (or Twelfth Sunday of Matthew)
The Rich Young Man

Matthew 19:16-26

From The Explanation of the Gospel of St. Matthew

By Blessed Theophylact, Archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria

16. And, behold, one came and said unto Him, "Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" And He said unto him, "Why callest thou Me good? There is none good but One, that is, God.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Third Teaching of Saint Kosmas the Aitolos


THIRD TEACHING

By St. Kosmas the Aitolos

"Search the Scriptures, for in them is found eternal life."

OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, my brethren, the sweetest master and creator of angels and of all intelligible and perceptible creation moved by compassion and by his great goodness and love which he has for our race, has granted us and continues to grant us each day the dawn, and we glorify him. We read the service of Holy Unction and we have been anointed for our gain. And may the Lord have compassion on us through the intercession of our Lady, the Theotokos, and Ever-Virgin Mary, and of all the saints, to forgive our sins and to find us worthy of the kingdom of heaven, to rejoice, and glorify the Holy Trinity.

Saints Adrian and Natalia Resource Page

Sts. Adrian and Natalia (Feast Day - August 26)

Verses

To Adrian
Adrian's hands and feet were cut off,
By wicked hands, and feet quick to murder.

To Natalia
In life she was a consort, in the heavens
Adrian dwells together with Natalia.

Adrian had his hands and feet cut off on the twenty-sixth.

Saints Adrian and Natalia of Nicomedia and the 23 Martyrs With Them

3 Greek Orthodox Shrines Dedicated to Saints Adrian and Natalia


1. Church of Saints Adrian and Natalia in the village of Drepano in Argos of Nafplio.

Saint Maria Ivanovna of Diveyevo, the Fool for Christ (+ 1931)

St. Maria of Diveyevo (Feast Day - August 26)

Maria Zakharovna Fedina[1] was born in the village of Goletovka, Elatma district, Tambov Province. Later she was asked why her patronymic was Ivanovna [rather than Zakharovna]. "All of us blessed ones are Ivanovnas, from St. John the Forerunner," she answered.[2] Her parents, Zachariah and Pelagia Fedina, died when she barely reached the age of thirteen. Her father died first, after her her father's death, Pelagia and Masha [Maria] moved in with the oldest son's family. But his wife made life very difficult for them, so they moved into the bathhouse. Even in her childhood Maria differed from the other children because of her unsettled character and many eccentricities. She went often to church, was quiet and kept to herself, never played with anyone, was never frivolous; she never occupied herself with her outer appearance but was always dressed in some torn, discarded dress.

Holy Abba Ibistion of Egypt

Holy Abba Ibistion (Feast Day - August 26)

Verses

Casting away the hyssop of tears Ibistion,
Cheerfully you advanced to a land without tears.

What we know of Abba Ibistion comes from the Sayings of Abba Poemen (62), in which the following is said:

"A brother came to Abba Poemen one day and said to him, 'What should I do, Father, for I am tempted to fornication? I went to Abba Ibistion and he said to me, "You must not let it stay with you.'" Abba Poemen said to him, 'Abba Ibistion's deeds are in heaven with the angels and he does not realize that you and I remain in fornication. If a monk controls his belly and his tongue and if he lives like an exile, be confident, he will not die.'

Friday, August 25, 2017

Second Teaching of Saint Kosmas the Aitolos


SECOND TEACHING

By St. Kosmas the Aitolos

The Parable of the Sower

THERE WAS A FARMER who went out of his house, took seed, And went to plant his fields. And as he planted, some seed fell on the road, some on stone, some among thorns, and some on good ground. The seed that fell on the road didn't grow because the ground was hard and had been trampled upon, and birds came and ate it. So the road remained barren.

Saint Menas, Patriarch of Constantinople (+ 552)

St. Menas of Constantinople (Feast Day - August 25)

Verses

Menas left this world,
As well as the Church in the world.

Our Holy Father Menas was from Alexandria in Egypt. After receiving an excellent education in Constantinople, he was ordained a Presbyter and became director of the large hospital in the City that was between the churches of Hagia Sophia and Hagia Eirene.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

First Teaching of Saint Kosmas the Aitolos


FIRST TEACHING

By St. Kosmas the Aitolos

"In whatever city you enter, say peace to that city."

OUR LORD AND GOD, JESUS CHRIST, my brethren, the sweetest ruler and master, the creator of angels and of all intelligible and perceptible creation, was moved by the great goodness which he has for our race and granted us and continues to grant us every day, hour, and moment an infinite number of gifts. In addition to these, he condescended and became perfect man by the Holy Spirit and from the purest blood of our Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, so that we might escape from the hands of the devil and become sons and heirs of his kingdom, to rejoice forever in paradise together with the angels, and not to burn in hell with the impious and the demons.

1987 Documentary on Mount Athos with Special Dedication to St. Kosmas the Aitolos

Saint George Limniotes the Confessor of Mount Olympus (+ 716)

St. George Limniotes (Feast Day - August 24)

Verses

The end of George was a common end,
Bearing the sign of an athlete with his cut off nose.

From a young age blessed George loved the monastic life, so he went to pass his life on the Olympus mountains. After undertaking many struggles, he boldly confessed his Orthodox faith and piety during the reign of Leo the Isaurian, who in the year 716 was destroying the holy icons and burning the relics of the Saints.

Holy Hieromartyr Eutyches, Disciple of Saint John the Theologian

St. Eutyches the Hieromartyr (Feast Day - August 24)

Verses

Although Eutyches did not give up his spirit during the contest,
He contested and received the reward of an athlete.
On the twenty-fourth Eutyches was covered over by a stone.

Saint Eutyches was a disciple of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian, and was full of the grace of the Holy Spirit.

In the Acts of the Apostle John, attributed to John's disciple Prochoros, we read the following about the close relationship between the Apostle John and Saint Eutyches:

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Apodosis of the Dormition of the Theotokos Resource Page

Apodosis of the Dormition of the Theotokos (Feast Day - August 23)

On an Apodosis, or Leavetaking, the Church once again gives us the opportunity to celebrate the beauty of a great feast. When we see or experience something beautiful, it is human nature to desire to have that experience again. For example, when we taste a delicious food, we desire to eat it again. The feasts of Christ and the Theotokos are a sweetness to the soul which arouses the desire to celebrate more than just once.

Dormition of the Theotokos Resource Page

The Annual Miracle of Panagia of Harou in Leipsi

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Synaxarion of Saint Anthousa and the Holy Martyrs Athanasios, Charisimos and Neophytos

Sts. Anthousa, Athanasios, Charisimos and Neophytos (Feast Day - August 22)

Verses

To Anthousa.
In the land of Seleucia there blossomed forth a rose,
Anthousa was received into the hands of Angels.

To Athanasios.
Athanasios was beheaded by the sword,
Alive in Christ he lives with His appointed friends.

To the Servants.
Two servants were found to be both beheaded,
Having destroyed of old their noble birth.

Saint Anthousa lived during the reign of Emperor Valerian (253-260), and was from the city of Seleucia which is found in Syria. She was the daughter of Anthony and Maria, who were very wealthy, attached however to the religion of the idols. Secretly therefore she believed in Christ, wanted to receive Holy Baptism, and desired to see Bishop Athanasios, who preached the word of God in Tarsus of Cilicia.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Holy Cloud of Tabor 2017 (video)


2017 Photos and Videos of the Snakes of the Panagia in Kefallonia


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Consecration of the Church of the Apostles Peter and Paul in the Year 891 and the Solar Eclipse That Day


According to the Synaxarion of Constantinople, the following commemoration is made on August 8th:

Consecration of the Church of the Apostles Peter and Paul, within the walls of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian, inside the revered house of the Most Holy Theotokos in Marnakiou. And the Venerable Cassian. And we commemorate when the eclipse of the sun took place from the sixth to the ninth hour, so that even the stars appeared, in the year from the creation of the world six-thousand three-hundred and ninety-nine (6399, or the year 891 A.D.), at the fifteenth solar cycle, as well as lunar cycle, at the ninth Indiction, in the reign of Leo the Wise, and Alexander the brother of this pious and friend of Christ emperor.

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


Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost (or Eleventh Sunday of Matthew)
Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

Matthew 18: 23-35

From The Explanation of the Gospel of St. Matthew

By Blessed Theophylact, Archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria

23. "Therefore is the kingdom of the heavens likened unto a man who was a king, who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.

Discovery of the Relics of Saint Photini in Constantinople

Saint Photini Outside the Doors of Blachernae (Feast Day - August 20)

Verses

Now you see light in the innermost sanctuary of the Lord,
Departed Martyr graced with His love.

According to the Synaxarion of Constantinople, on August 20th is the "Commemoration of the Holy Martyr Photini, Outside the Doors of Blachernae." And besides the iambic verses above, no other information is given. However, in an 11th or 12th century life of Saint Photini, where her post-humous miracles are recorded, there is recounted the story of how the relics of Saint Photini were discovered and worked many miracles in Constantinople, specifically outside of the Church of Blachernae, and a shrine was erected there in her honor, and on this day it celebrated its feast. Thus, by the 10th century, her veneration was centered in Constantinople where they celebrated both her martyrdom (March 20th) and the discovery of her relics (August 20th).

Prophet Samuel Resource Page

Holy Prophet Samuel (Feast Day - August 20)

Verses

Even the Seer Samuel finally shut his eyes,
But sees the everlasting light after his demise.
Seeing the future, Samuel went hence on the twentieth.

Synaxarion for the Holy Prophet Samuel

Holy Prophetess Hannah as a Model for our Lives

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Cave of Saint Timothy in Kea


The Cave of Saint Timothy is a hollow in shale rock, 7-8 meters deep, in which Saint Timothy (Aug. 16) lived during the summer months in asceticism and reposed in peace in 1590. According to the local tradition, there is the inexplicable phenomenon of water appearing inside the cave only in the summer months. Next to the cave is a church dedicated to the Saint, the foundations of which were established on July 13, 1993, and it was consecrated on July 13, 1999.

The Donskoi Icon of the Mother of God

Donskoi Icon of the Mother of God (Feast Day - August 19)

The Donskoi Icon of the Mother of God, also known as the Don Icon, was painted by Theophanes the Greek (c. 1340–c. 1410). It is a two-sided icon, on the back of which is a depiction of the Dormition of the Theotokos. It is made in the traditional style of the Eleousa icons, in which Mother and Son show tender affection towards each other. The Donskoi Icon was probably originally located in the Dormition Cathedral in Kolomna, built by Great Prince Dimitri Donskoi.

U.S. 2017 Annual Report on the Status of Hagia Sophia and Halki Theological Seminary


The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) issued its annual religious freedom report this past Tuesday, slamming allies and foes alike for their shortcomings.

Turkey is listed among others in the report for its treatment of religious minorities. Regarding the Greek Orthodox community, the report says the following:

Large Crowds Gathering to Venerate a Bleeding Icon of Saint Nektarios in Rhodes


Hellas News published the following news report online on August 5th (see video below), which speaks about an icon of Saint Nektarios on the island of Rhodes that "bleeds", particularly from the hands, and has been doing so continuously for many months, bringing large crowds from all over the island to venerate it and become partakers of its wonderworking grace.

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Cave of Saint Gerasimos in Lassi, Kefallonia


The Cave of Saint Gerasimos in Kefallonia is on a hill above the tourist resort of Lassi, just 3 km from Argostoli, the capital of Kefallonia. This is the cave where Saint Gerasimos, the patron saint of the island, came to after having lived in a cave for five years in Zakynthos, living here for five years as well, leading a strict ascetic life.

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyrs Floros and Lavros

Sts. Floros and Lavros (Feast Day - August 18)

Verses

To Floros and Lavros.
Thirsting for an end on behalf of God the Word,
Floros and Lavros were given to the well.
On the eighteenth Floros and Lavros entered the well.

To the Poor.
A mass of poor men found riches,
Given to all together, they left it behind in the fire.

These Saints were twin brothers according to the flesh, stone-cutters by trade, which they learned from Saint Patroklos and Saint Maximos, who were martyred for Christ. Because their teachers were martyred, they left their way of life in Byzantium, and went to Illyricum, namely Slavonia, to the province of Dardania, in the city called Ulpiana. There they sought to find stones in the mines for the ruler Loukianas, where they worked their trade. After they were sent to Likinios, who was the son of the queen Elpidia. Likinios gave the Saints money, and ordered them to build a temple to the idols, the plans of which he drew up on paper as to how he wanted it to look. The Saints took the money and distributed it among the poor, and at night they turned to God in prayer.

Saint Arsenios of Paros Resource Page

St. Arsenios the New of Paros (Feast Day - January 31 & August 18)

Verses

Saint Arsenios you lived such a life,
That now with the Saints you rejoice O Saint.
By his holy intercessions, O God, have mercy on us. Amen.

Saint Arsenios the New of Paros (+ 1877)

Saint George Appears to Saint Arsenios of Paros

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Images of Christ Not Made With Hands Resource Page


Traditional Images of Christ Not Made With Hands

1. Holy Mandylion of Edessa (Feast Day - August 16)

Synaxarion for the Holy Mandylion and Holy Keramion of Edessa

The Apostolic Tradition of the Holy Mandylion

A Tenth Century Icon of the Holy Mandylion from Sinai

Holy Martyrs Straton, Philip, Eutychianos and Cyprian of Nicomedia

Sts. Straton, Philip, Eutychianos and Cyprian (Feast Day - August 17)

Verses

To Straton.
"They reckoned me an abomination," said Straton,
"Men who are abominable, and they killed me in fire."

To Philip.
Friend of God, Philip, and full of soul,
Was condemned to the fire, not becoming fainthearted.

To Eutychianos.
Eutychianos was bound in the furnace,
Like a horse is bound, in words.

To Cyprian.
Cyprian was steadfast in the fire of the furnace,
Flee the outer fire, Scripture says.

Holy Martyrs Paul and Juliana of Ptolemais

Sts. Paul and Juliana (Feast Days - March 4 & August 17)

Verses

For March 4th.

To Paul and Juliana.
The reposed Paul, and the reposed
Juliana, were beheaded as siblings.

To Kodratos, Akakios and Stratonikos.
Three spilled as much blood as water,
Wise blood, was shed for you by the sword O Christ.

For August 17th.

Juliana, Paul, siblings by nature,
Were also seen to be siblings by the sword.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Saint Timothy the Bishop of Euripos and Founder of Penteli Monastery (+ 1590)

St. Timothy the Bishop of Euripos (Feast Day - August 16)

Our Holy Father Timothy was born in 1510 at Kalamos of Attica, and according to tradition his father was an educated priest who passed on this education to his son. At a young age he had a spiritual relationship with the Bishop of Orion in Evia, who saw his deep faith and rare spiritual gifts, and thus sponsored him to study in Athens. Having completed his studies, Timothy returned to his spiritual father in Orion, who tonsured him a monk, then ordained him a deacon and a presbyter. In 1553 the Bishop of Orion reposed and Timothy was elected to replace him. Then in 1555 he was elevated to become Metropolitan of Euripos, which was centered in Chalkida.

The Cave of St. Gerasimos the New Ascetic in Zakynthos


St. Gerasimos the New Ascetic was born in Trikala of Corinth to the renowned aristrocratic Notaras family. Before St. Gerasimos went on to live an ascetic life on the island of Kefallonia, he lived in his forties for five years as an ascetic in a secluded cave on the island of Zakynthos. There he ate only greens with neither bread or salt, and legumes soaked in water. His main form of sustenance however was prayer, vigils, the constant remembrance of God, and the study of Holy Scripture.

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