Wednesday, December 8, 2021

The Contemporary Problems of the Church According to Father John Romanides


 By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

The late Father John Romanides lived in the 20th century, then he died in 2001, at the beginning of the 21st century, and dealt with all the problems of his time through the empirical theology of the Church.

Precisely because he relied on the theology of the Saints, who did not talk about that which pertains to God, but about God, that is why he had acquired a spiritual sense to foresee the problems that exist in every age that need to be confronted by the shepherds of the Church.

In fact, he claimed that a theologian is also a spiritual father and a spiritual father is also a theologian. He said this because real theology, which is the essence of the pastoral ministry, distinguishes the created from the uncreated, the energies of God from the energies of the devil, which is characterized as discernment. Both the theologian and the spiritual father must have the patristic discernment to help their spiritual children.

Saint Parthenios of Chios, the Turkish Officer and the Bishop


Saint Parthenios of Chios (1815-1883), while still a young monk, wanted to asceticize in the area of Mount Penthodos, which belonged to Nea Moni of Chios. The abbot Meletios Flouras not only did not allow him to do so, but also reported him to the Bishop of Chora, Gregory Konstantinides. The Bishop then sent a Turkish officer to arrest the Saint and bring him before him.

The Turkish officer, a man of simplicity and goodwill, went armed and met the young ascetic.

"Are you the monk? Are you the one causing a fuss? Where is your monastery?"

The Saint showed him a cave and a small chapel made of dry stone.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Saint Paisios the Athonite Answers Various Objections of Those Who Prefer to Pray at Home Rather Than Go to Church


A certain nun had the following conversation with Elder Paisios the Athonite:

"Elder, sometimes I feel the need to stay in the cell and do spiritual work rather than go to a Service."
 
"What will be done in the Service, can it be done at another time? It cannot be done. While what you will do in the cell, it can be done another time."
 
"In church, Elder, I do not always feel the alteration I feel in the cell."
 

The Last Known Photo of Saint Philoumenos Before His Martyrdom


This photo depicts a peaceful Saint Philoumenos in front of Jacob's Well on November 22, 1979, one week before he was brutally martyred in the same area on November 29th. The photo was taken by Constantine Meimaris.
 
 

When Saint Nicholas Appeared to Elder Andrew of Saint Paul's on Mount Athos in 1975


Archimandrite Andrew, former abbot of the Monastery of Saint Paul on Mount Athos, was born in 1904 in Angona, Kefallonia and reposed in 1987, on the feast of the Monastery of Saint Paul, which is the Reception of the Lord on February 2nd. His funeral was attended miraculously by Saint Sophrony of Essex, who through the mediation of Elder Andrew had become the spiritual father of the monks of Saint Paul and the surrounding area.

Elder Andrew left a reputation as a holy man throughout Mount Athos, but also in the entire Orthodox world. The Panagia had appeared to him in Monoxylitis - a Metochion of the Monastery of Saint Paul within Mount Athos - and it is perhaps the most famous of the recent appearances of the Most Holy Theotokos. Saint George had also appeared to him.

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