Saturday, September 25, 2021

Saint Dositheos the Recluse (+ 1776)

St. Dositheos the Recluse (Feast Day - September 25)

This is the story of how a young girl named Daria, became a serf named Dositheos, who lived for decades as a recluse, and gave the blessing to Saint Seraphim to go to Sarov.

Daria was born in 1721 to the noble Tiapkin family in the province of Riazan. Before she was born, her grandmother entered the Monastery of the Ascension at the Moscow Kremlin and took the name Porphyria. When Daria was two years old she visited her grandmother with her parents, and when her grandmother saw her she insisted Daria remain in the monastery with her to be dedicated to God and the patroness of the monastery, Saint Euphrosyne. The parents reluctantly allowed their child to remain with her grandmother in the monastery. With her grandmother, Daria was educated and learned to love the monastic way of life of asceticism and prayer.

Friday, September 24, 2021

The Union of Saint Silouan and Saint Sophrony (1 of 5)

 By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

Saint Silouan the Athonite is celebrated today (September 24), that great empirical theologian of our Church, whose writings I can emphasize are similar to the texts of the Prophets, the Apostles and the Saints, all of whom had empirical knowledge of God, and were formulated with simplicity, which makes them admirable.

We met Saint Silouan from the book written by his fellow-ascetic and his son according to the Spirit, Saint Sophrony, otherwise he would have remained unknown, as many saints have remained unknown through the ages.

Synaxis of Panagia Smyrniotissa in Nemea

This icon was brought by a soldier from Smyrna in 1920 to Nemea in the Peloponnese. A woman, Katsiabouraina, kept it in a hut that looked like a chapel in the yard of her house. Many would go there and pray, and because it had the grace to work miracles, the faithful would bring offerings. The icon would either be brought to those who were sick or when someone sick was about to pass away, and when this took place the icon would become heavier than normal. Eventually it was dedicated to the Church of the Evangelistria in Nemea where it is majestically celebrated together with the Panagia Myrtidiotissa on September 24th every year.

Holy New Hieromartyr Haralambos Michailides of Louroujina in Cyprus (+ 1924)

St. Haralambos of Louroujina (Feast Day - September 24)

The difficult living conditions of the years of Ottoman rule contributed to the fact that many Greek residents of Cyprus converted to Islam in order to survive. In many cases this accession was fictitious and the neophyte Muslims, while declaring publicly faith in Muhammad, secretly remained Christians.

Unfortunately, over time the descendants of many of the Islamized were Turkified and lost permanently their Hellenism. However, many Linobambaki Christians, as the Crypto-Christians were called in Cyprus, resembling a fabric that has two sides, one of linen and one of cotton, continued to experience the tragic situations created by their dual religious status, until the first years of British rule, when the free exercise of the religious rights of the inhabitants was allowed and many identified themselves as Christians. Faced with this development, the Turkish minority of the island reacted and sought to assimilate the Linobambaki by establishing schools and building mosques in the Crypto-Christian villages.

The Veneration of the Panagia Myrtidiotissa on the Island of Kythera

Kythera, an island between the Peloponnese and Crete, is famous for its spiritual heritage. There are shrines in sheltered places, small chapels in caves and picturesque churches that reveal the religious tradition of the locals. The relationship of the locals with the Panagia, who has been protecting the island and its inhabitants as a guardian for centuries, also played an important role in this.

The miraculous icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa is kept in the Monastery of Myrtidia in Kythera, and is the most important treasure of the island.

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