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Saints and Feasts of November 13

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

St. John Chrysostom: The Prophet of Charity

By Fr. George Florovsky

Chrysostom was a powerful preacher. He was fond of preaching, and regarded preaching as the duty of a Christian minister. Priesthood is authority, but it is authority of word and conviction. This is the distinctive mark of Christian power. Kings compel, and pastors convince. The former act by orders, the latter by exhortations. Pastors appeal to human freedom, to human will and call for decisions. As Chrysostom used to say himself, "We have to accomplish the salvation of men by word, meekness, and exhortation." The whole meaning of human life for Chrysostom was in that it was, and had to be, a life in freedom, and therefore a life of service. In his preaching he spoke persistently about freedom and decision. Freedom was for him an image of God in man. Christ came, as Chrysostom used to remind, precisely to heal the will of man. God always acts in such a way as not to destroy our own freedom. God Himself acts by calls and exhortations, not by compulsion. He shows the right way, calls and invites, and warns against the dangers of wickedness, but does not constrain. Christian pastors must act accordingly. By temperament, Chrysostom was rather a maximalist, sharp and rigoristic, but he was always against compulsion, even in the struggle with heretics. Christians are forbidden, he used to insist, to apply violence even for good aims: "Our warfare does not make the living dead, but rather makes the dead to live, because it is conducted in the spirit of meekness and humility. I persecute by word, not by acts. I persecute heresy, not heretics. It is mine more to be persecuted, than to persecute. So Christ was victorious as a Crucified, and not as a crucifier." The strength of Christianity was for him in humility and toleration, not in power. One had to be strict about oneself, and meek to the others.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Is God Out of Date? (A Homily by St. Varnava Nastic)

By St. Varnava (Nastic), Bishop of Hvosno

Dear brothers and sisters!

Is God out of date? This is the question that I want to put before you today. The answer to it determines the answers to many other questions that concerns human souls. For if God is out of date, then faith in God is also out of date. Then the Church of God became obsolete as the stronghold of this faith.

Chapel of Saint Nilus the Myrrhgusher in Tripoli

The Chapel of Saint Nilus the Myrrhgusher in Tripoli is a Metochion of the Monastery of Panagia Malevi. It is located next to the Church of the Transfiguration.

The Chapel of Saint Nilus the Myrrhgusher in the Village of his Birth

Kynouria is an ancient district on the eastern coast of the Peloponnese, between the Argolis and Laconia. There, in the village of Agios Petros, Saint Nilus the Myrrhgusher was born in 1601 with the name Nikolaos Terzakes. His uncle was the Hieromonk Makarios, who was a monk in the Monastery of Panagia Malevi located in the same village. Saint Nilus received his education at the monastery, tutored by his uncle. Later Saint Nilus became a monk in this monastery, tonsured with the name Nilus, and was ordained a priest. After this he went to live as an ascetic in a cave of Mount Athos, where he reposed in 1651.

Today a chapel stands in Monastery of Panagia Malevi dedicated to Saint Nilus in the place he was born both physically and spiritually. It was built in 1967. The village celebrates his memory on November 12th and May 7th. What is notable about this chapel is that every year, on May 7th, which is the feast of the finding of myrrhgushing relics of the Saint in 1815 in the cave of his asceticism on Mount Athos, his holy icon begins to gush myrrh. This chapel also contains a portion of his relics.

Church of Saint Nilus the Myrrhgusher in Kallipoli of Piraeus

In the suburb known as Agios Neilos, which is part of the Kallipoli district in the city of Piraeus, stands the imposing church dedicated to Saint Nilus the Myrrhgusher. In 1928, at the initiative of Helen Mamis, a resident of Piraeus who was originally from the village of Agios Petros in Kynouria (the same village Saint Nilus was from), a club was formed called the "Brotherhood of the Lords and Ladies of Saint Nilus the Myrrhgusher" whose sole purpose was to build the first and only church dedicated to Saint Nilus in all of Greece. The land on which the church was built is in Hatzikyriakio of Piraeus, near Hatzikyriakio Orphanage and the Naval Academy, at the corners George Theotokis, Herodotus, Antonios Theoharis, Spyridonos Trikoupis (Γεωργίου Θεοτόκη, Ηροδότου, Αντωνίου Θεοχάρη, Σπυρίδωνος Τρικούπη).

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