Monday, January 18, 2021

Life, Work and Thought of Saint Athanasius of Alexandria (Fr. George Florovsky)

I. Life.

St. Athanasius was born into a Greek Christian family in Alexandria at the end of the third century, probably in 295. During his youth he witnessed the persecutions which took place under Diocletian. In the words of St. Gregory the Theologian, he spent "little time" in getting a general education or in studying the secular sciences but he had some knowledge of classical philosophy and of Neoplatonism in particular. He gave most of his attention to the study of Scripture, which he knew extremely well. Possibly he studied at the Catechetical School in Alexandria.

Saint Maksim of Serbia, Archbishop of Wallachia (+ 1516)

St. Maksim of Serbia (Feast Day - January 18)
Saint Maksim was the son of the Despot of Serbia, Saint Stephen the Blind (Dec. 10) and of his wife Saint Angelina (July 30). He was born in 1461, while his parents were residing in the region of Skadar, and he was baptized with the name Dorde Bramkovic. The family later moved to northern Italy and acquired castle Belgrado in the region of Friuli. His father, Despot Stephen died in 1476, and young Dorđe became his principal heir. In 1479, Emperor Friedrich III granted them castle Weitensfeld in Carinthia, and Đorđe moved there with the rest of family.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Church of the Ten Lepers in Burqin, Palestine

According to Christian tradition, Burqin is the place in "the region between Samaria and Galilee" where the miracle from Luke 17:11-19 took place: Jesus was passing through on his way from Galilee to Jerusalem when he heard cries for help from ten lepers who were living isolated nearby. He encountered them and told them to present themselves to the priests, although they were not yet cured. On their way their leprosy disappeared. One of them, a Samaritan, returned to Jesus to give thanks. Jesus blamed the nine who did not recognize that their healing was God's gift, faith being the real salvation. Since this miracle, the current Church of the Ten Lepers, also known as the Monastery of Saint George, became a station for many Christian pilgrims.

Sermon on the Ten Lepers and Gratitude (Metr. Anthony Sourozh)

Sermon on the Ten Lepers and Gratitude

17 December 1989

By Metropolitan Anthony Sourozh

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

Ten lepers came to the Lord; ten men who were ritually unclean and therefore, ritually rejected by their community, unable to attend the common worship of the Temple, unable to come near the habitations of men; and unclean also in the eyes of men because their sickness could be transmitted to others: others could become impure, others could be sick unto death.

In Praise of the Desert Fathers of Egypt and of the Renowned Saint Anthony the Great (St. John Chrysostom)

By St. John Chrysostom

And now, should you come unto the desert of Egypt, you will see this desert become better than any paradise, and ten thousand choirs of angels in human forms, and nations of martyrs, and companies of virgins, and all the devil's tyranny put down, while Christ's kingdom shines forth in its brightness. And the mother of poets, and wise men, and magicians, were but inventions of sottish old women, but the real philosophy, and worthy of heaven, is this, which was declared unto them by the fishermen. And for this very cause, together with their so great exactness in doctrine, they exhibit also by their life that extreme seriousness. For when they have stripped themselves of all that they have, and are crucified to the whole world, they urge their course on again yet farther, using the labor of their body for the nourishment of them that be in need. For neither, because they fast and watch, do they think it meet to be idle by day; but their nights they spend in the holy hymns and in vigils, and their days in prayers, and at the same time in laboring with their own hands imitating the zeal of the apostle. For if he when the whole world was looking unto him for the sake of nourishing them that were in need, both occupied a workshop, and practised a craft, and being thus employed did not so much as sleep by night; how much more, say they, is it meet that we, who have taken up our abode in the wilderness, and have nothing to do with the turmoils in the cities, should use the leisure of our quiet for spiritual labors!

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