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Saints and Feasts of August 21

Monday, December 7, 2009

Archbishop Irenaios Encourages Christians To Imitate Saint Nicholas


Yesterday, for the feast of Saint Nicholas, Archbishop Irenaios of Crete was in Flushing, New York celebrating the Divine Liturgy in Americas largest Orthodox parish of St. Nicholas. He is visiting the United States until December 11.

Archbishop Irenaios is one of Orthodoxy's most active and inspiring bishops. He has founded many parishes and revitalized monastic life in areas of Crete. The Archbishop is also noted for his charitable nature as well. He himself notably lives an ascetic life, living as a simple monastic, despite his status as an archbishop. He has been archbishop since September 24, 2006.

After the Liturgy the parish priest introduced the Archbishop and noted how Elder Paisios would tell Cretans coming to him for advice to go back to Crete and seek counsel from Archbishop Irenaios saying: "You have the great spiritual teacher, Irenaio of Crete, and you come here? Go to him."

After saying a few words about the life and works of Saint Nicholas, Archbishop Irenaios encouraged all to ponder their own lives and what the purpose of life is. Here are a few things he said:

"Let us entreat Saint Nicholas to give us the opportunity to understand what is life. What is its true purpose. Let us live like him. People today are enclosed within themselves. Let us not live enclosed within ourselves, but let us distribute our life with our brothers and sisters and then our life will receive its purpose. The people who are near to us are those who have been entrusted to us by God. Let us love them. This is what Saint Nicholas did. He did not live for himself. He did not say, 'I have my life and I will live for myself', but he disregards his own life and runs to the seas, the storms, the trials, and the temptations of mankind. Saint Nicholas does not say that which many say today, 'Me, Me, Me' but 'Us'."

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