Monday, May 13, 2019

An Exciting Week Ahead for the Mystagogy Resource Center

Dear Readers:

Christ is Risen!

In the beginning of Great Lent I made some exciting announcements about certain updates and expansions of the ministry of the Mystagogy Resource Center coming within a few months. Over the course of the next week, I will dedicate my time normally reserved towards writing and posting to rolling out these new updates and expansions.

As a reminder of what will be coming in the next few days, four new websites will be added to the platform of this ministry. One of them is exclusively for a book I am translating titled The Salvation of Sinners, written in the 17th century by Monk Agapios of Crete. Another website will also be exclusively for a book I am translating, titled Know Thyself, written by St. Nektarios of Aegina in the early 20th century. These two books I consider timeless classics of Orthodoxy and essential reading for Orthodox Christians in the 21st century, so I will attempt to translate each one in their entirety and make them available. The third website will be devoted to unique Youth Ministry material and resources for both adults and children. Lastly, I am going to have a website exclusively devoted to my own personal thoughts on various subjects.

In addition to this, as I noted a few months ago, since this ministry has now turned ten years old, and the total number of posts on this website alone has reached over 12,000, I have added subject links to the top of this site to be able to more easily find and access articles. I will be going through every single post I made since 2009, editing them, updating them, and deleting what may no longer seem relevant. This will also be necessary when I roll over this website into a newer and updated website, once funding becomes available.

With this being said, it is also that time of the year, a few weeks after Easter, when I must request your financial help to keep this ministry alive and thriving. I usually like to do this after the Sunday of the Myrrhbearers, because these women came to submit their offering to Christ even at a time when all hope seemed to be lost. Here at the Mystagogy Resource Center, monthly memberships and annual donations have dropped, making it a bit more difficult to devote the time I need to create content worth visiting, but I am really hoping things will begin to turn around this month, especially now in such a thriving economy. So if you are in any way benefited by this ministry, and want to express your appreciation and see it expand and grow to its potential, please consider a contribution today, whether it be as an annual gift or a monthly subscription ($60 a year / $5 a month, or whatever you are able). Thank you in advance.

With love in the Risen Christ,

John Sanidopoulos

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John Sanidopoulos
PO Box 320284
West Roxbury, MA 02132

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Imitating the Myrrhbearers (St. Gregory the Dialogist)

By St. Gregory the Dialogist

You have heard, dearly beloved, that holy women who had followed the Lord came to the sepulcher with spices. They had loved Him when He was alive, and they showed Him their eager tenderheartedness even when He was dead. Their deed points to something that must be done in our holy Church. Thus as we hear of what they did, we must also think of our responsibility to imitate them. We, too, who believe in Him Who died, approach His sepulcher with spices if we are strengthened with the sweet smell of the virtues, and if we seek the Lord with a reputation for good works. And the women who came with spices saw angels, since those who advance toward God through their holy desires, accompanied by the sweet smell of the virtues, behold the citizens from on high.

From Forty Gospel Homilies, Homily 21.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Eulogy for Cyril and Methodios (Clement of Ochrid)

Saints Cyril and Methodius, the Apostles of the Slavonians (Sebastian Dabovich)

By Sebastian Dabovich


MAY 11

It is with gratitude and reverence that we mention the names of St. Cyril and his brother Methodius, the first teachers of the Slavonic people, who gave us the Word of God in the Slavonian language. “God, in His mercy, gives to every race and time its teachers, and to us He gave Constantine (and his brother Methodius), who enlightened our people.” This is the way in which an old Slavonic history commences to relate the life of the philosopher Constantine (the name Cyril was given him not long before his death, in taking the final vows of an ascetic), who was the inventor of the Slavonian alphabet, and the preacher of the Word of God in the Slavonic countries. Constantine (or Cyril) lived in the ninth century; he was the youngest son of a rich and noted nobleman of the Greek city of Salonica. His father’s name was Leo, and his mother’s Mary. The family was a large one; and it was brought up in all gravity, according to the faith. The Greek emperor installed Methodius, the elder brother, as governor of the Slavonic tribes, which, at that time, lived in the neighborhood of Salonica. But, after a few years, Methodius desired to leave the world. He left the Slavonic principality, after which he settled in Mount Olympus, where he was tonsured a monk, and devoted his days in prayer and the study of the Holy Scriptures.

"I am a Wall, and My Breasts Like Towers": The Theotokos as Protectress of Constantinople

By St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite

In various times and ways our Lady the Theotokos guarded from many dangers the city of Constantinople which is dedicated to her. During the reign of Leo the Isaurian, who ruled in 716, the Saracens entered Constantinople, and encircled it for three years. However they departed without success. Bede among the Latins writes that when the Bulgarians fought against the Saracens they defeated them, while Kedrenos and Theophanes among the Greeks said that the Saracen fleet was obliterated by the fire-bearing ships of the emperor. Except it was the power of God and the grace of the Theotokos, which guarded the City from the danger.

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