Friday, December 2, 2022

Saint Cyril of Philea and the Slap of the Guardian Angel

Saint Cyril of Philea (1015 – 2 December 1111) was once visited by a monastic acquaintance of his who had great faith in the Saint and who told him the following:

“Abba, while resting in my cell, I was meditating on my sins and mourning, now over their magnitude, now over my lack of repentance. Suddenly, I was overcome by unbounded and unconstrained weeping, which accompanied me in all my works. The tears moistened my face to such an extent that for two days and nights I did not remember to take food. In the meantime, my heart became excessively heated, I lamented bitterly and plaintively, while at the same time I felt a sweetness and ineffable delight, joined with sorrow and inexpressible joy, now giving thanks to God, now offering prayers and supplications, and then again sending up thanks and glorification beyond measure.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Greek Customs and the Feast of Saint Andrew

Well of Saint Andrew in Patras, 1819

Saint Andrew the First-Called Apostle was martyred in the Greek city of Patras, where the largest cathedral in Greece honors his name over the place he was martyred. He is celebrated annually on November 30, which coincides with the last day of autumn. For this reason, his celebration includes beliefs, fears, hopes and perceptions, customs and habits, with a magical, superstitious character. Saint Andrew is considered the patron saint of Nafplio as well, since the liberation of the city of Nafplio from the Turks took place on November 30, 1822.

The villagers of the mountains and plains fear the month of November, which is why they give it the name of Saint Andrew. The people in the Peloponnese and Epirus called the month of November "Aindria". In Kozani, Thessaly, Thrace and Sinope in Pontus, November is called "Andrias". In traditional Greek culture, it is customary for months to be named after a saint, as for example October is also called "Aidemitriatis".

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

A Wondrous Appearance of the Holy New Hieromartyr Philoumenos

By Archimandrite Photios Ioakeim

George Raounas from Lefkara, a graduate of the School of Physical Education in Greece (a gymnast), was about 25 years old when he got to know Christ and the Church more deeply, and began to live an intense spiritual life. He especially loved the practice of prayer, frequently attending Services, Vigils and Divine Liturgies and participating regularly in the Immaculate Mysteries.

He married Stella Kakouridis, daughter of the priest Konstantinos Kakouridis from Akaki, a village in our Metropolitan region, with whom he had four children, and now they strive together to experience the life in Christ in their "home church".

Saint Philoumenos Visits an Ailing Woman in the Hospital

In the spring of 2006, Mrs. Maria L. visited the Monastery of Saint Nicholas in Orounta, Cyprus. She entered the temple and began to reverently venerate the icons of the iconostasis.

But when she arrived in front of the icon of Saint Philoumenos, she stopped, looked at it with emotion and began to sob. After a while she told one of the sisters who was in the temple at that time the following:

"Not long ago I had a great adventure with my health. I entered the hospital for some treatments, but the doctors didn't give us any hope for me to live. While I was in this very difficult situation, I saw in a vision a priest, who was wearing an epanokalimavkion, as seen here in the icon.

Saint Philoumenos Intervenes in the Rehabilitation of a Drug Addict

Helen N., who comes from Rhodes, was a drug user for seven years. Even though she had made some attempts at rehab, she kept going back to the same things.

She could not work and her relationship with her family had become very difficult.

In a last ditch effort by her mother to help her, they moved to Athens, where she was admitted to a rehab center. But there she did not cooperate with the experts at all; she shouted, got angry, hit them.

Her mother desperately prayed to Saint Philoumenos, about whom she had heard a lot, and begged him to help her.

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