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Saints and Feasts of May 7

Friday, May 7, 2021

The Great Miracle at the Monastery of the Life-Giving Spring in Paros in July of 1944

Monastery of Longovarda of the Life-Giving Spring in Paros

On May 14, 1944, an English submarine anchored in the bay of Piso Livadi, Paros, and the soldiers were divided into three groups led by the residents of the island Antonios Delenta, Manolis Gryllakis and Nikolaos Stella. They went up to the village of Tsimpidos (Marpissa) and captured seven German soldiers that were sleeping, killed two radio operators who had just managed to send out a telegram about the raid, and injured the commander of the airport Lieutenant Tampe; communication cables were also found cut. In retaliation, the Germans arrested the young Nikolaos Stella from Leukes at the airport the next morning. Having reasonable suspicions against him, they killed him, hanging him on a tree in a high place to be seen from the surrounding villages for intimidation on May 21st.

Reflection for Bright Friday (St. Theophan the Recluse)

By St. Theophan the Recluse
There are certain individuals whom the holy fathers praise for their Christian lives, for they rose from the dead before the general resurrection. What is the secret of such a life? They mastered the characteristic features of a life according to the resurrection as they are shown in the word of God, and made them their own inner properties. The future life is devoid of all that is fleshly: there men neither marry, nor are women given in marriage, there they will not eat dead food, and they will receive a spiritual body. Thus, whoever lives estranged from all fleshly things receives in himself, or returns to himself, elements of the future life according to the resurrection. Reach the point that all fleshly things within you die, and you will be resurrected before the future resurrection. The apostle indicates the path to this when he says: "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Gal. 5:16). And he attests that through this path it is surely possible to attain what is awaited: "He that soweth to the Spirit," he says, "shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting" (Gal. 6:8).

Thursday, May 6, 2021

The Bright Example of the Much-Contested Job (Elder Ephraim of Arizona)

By Elder Ephraim of Arizona

Today our Orthodox Church celebrates the holy and much-contested Job, the righteous Job. Why? Because he contested much, he was in many contests. He received many crowns, he brought many victories. Where? In the sea of life. And we see in his biography, that this Saint, in the time he lived, in those years when there was no Orthodox Church, Christ had not come down, God the Word had not incarnated, the world did not see the life of Christ, no one saw God in the flesh, they did not see His miracles, they saw nothing. And yet, with a simple faith in the Creator, in the Maker, he became the Great Atlas of God. With a simple faith, seeing the creation, the operation of creation, he saw the upper world, the stars, the seasons and everything he saw working perfectly, from time immemorial, without anything created going astray from its creation, not in the slightest. How is it possible, he said, for material things to be made with such science and to function with such scientific precision without a Creator? Reason, conscience, made him submit to unwavering faith. With this awareness, of faith in the Creator, he became a great believer. Establishing his faith on these things and hitting rock bottom, he was confronted by the great Dragon, the deceitful Devil.

Bell-Ringing and Resurrection Joy in Russia

In Russia there is a unique custom that takes place the week after Easter (known as Bright Week or Renewal Week), which explains why some call it Ringing Week. It is the only time of year when every believer is allowed to ring the church bells. All you have to do is ask for the blessing of the priest of the church and you can access the bell tower. As a rule, priests do not deny anyone.

All week, after the services, you can hear the inconsistent ringing of bells. They are the parishioners who organize this peculiar "concert", of happy and melodic sounds. It is mainly children who ring the bells, carrying the joyful message of the Resurrection of the Lord with the sounds of joyful children.

Stories About Saint Sophia the Ascetic of Kleisoura


 By Fr. Elias Makos

"Patience ... A lot of patience ... Patience a lot."

"Pride is an ugly thing ... Dirt to dirt ... Pride casts the soul into hell."

Many who met Sophia the ascetic of Kleisoura in Kastoria (1886-1974) - whose memory is celebrated on May 6th, who from her great humility was found worthy of doing miracles and was canonized in 2012, though she was despised by the world - report that she often said these words, which very accurately characterized her inner world.

Her whole life, since she was born in Pontus, was full of trials, having lost her two year old child, and a little later her husband, and being uprooted from her land.

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