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July 31, 2015

An Anonymous New Martyr From Crete (+ July 1811)

Holy Anonymous New Martyr of Crete (Feast Day - July 31);
Icon depicts All New Martyrs of Crete

This Saint, whose name is unknown to us, came from Crete and was born to pious parents. At the age of twenty he worked with a salary for a Turkish Aga from Crete. When he was with his boss in Alexandria of Egypt, one night the Aga asked to sleep with him, as it was a Turkish habit to sleep with both boys and women.

Saint Joseph of Arimathea


You were found to secretly bury the dead in the tomb,
You who buried as dead the One who will empty the tombs.

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

The noble Joseph, a wealthy man and member of the Jewish Sanhedrin, was secretly a follower of Christ.

"Now when it was evening, there came a certain rich man of Arimathea, Joseph by name, who was himself a disciple of Jesus" (Matthew 27:57).

"Now after these things Joseph of Arimathea, because he was a disciple of Jesus (although for fear of the Jews a secret one), besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus" (John 19:38).

Saint Eudokimos the Righteous of Cappadocia

St. Eudokimos the Righteous (Feast Day - July 31)


The divine Eudokimos, O life worthy of laughter,
It pleased the divinity for you to cease from life.
Eudokimos accepts his first burial on the thirty-first.

Saint Eudokimos, a native of Cappadocia (Asia Minor), lived during the ninth century during the reign of Emperor Theophilos (829-842). He was the son of the pious Christians Basil and Eudokia, an illustrious family and known to the emperor. The righteous life of Saint Eudokimos was totally guided towards pleasing God and service to neighbor. Having given a vow to remain unmarried and chaste, he avoided conversation with women and did not look at them; only with his own mother whom he extremely respected did he carry on edifying conversation. For his virtuous life the emperor appointed Eudokimos as governor of the Kharsian district. Fulfilling his duty as a servant of God, Eudokimos governed the people justly and with kindness, he concerned himself with the misfortunate, as well as orphans and widows, and he was a defender of the common people. His personal Christian exploits which he did in secret, were known only to God. "Amid the throngs and worldly vanity, he was a lily among thorns, and as gold in the fire."

July 30, 2015

Two Occasions Elder Ambrose Lazaris Saw Saint Nektarios

Elder Ambrose (Lazaris) of Dadiou

Elder Ambrose had the blessing to speak with Saint Nektarios many times - God knows how many. As far as I know, he helped him escape twice from surgery. On the day before the surgery, he would always make him well, and after he would leave him to fight the intolerable pain, with patience, and without complaining. He would only pray and glorify God, continuously.

The first time was in Switzerland when the Bishop there brought him for better treatment. The examination showed that he had a stone the size of a walnut that only surgery could remove. The Elder tells us: "On the eve of the surgery, at night, while I was alone in my hospital room, a monk appeared to me. It was Saint Nektarios. He told me: 'Can you come out so we can speak?' We then went out to the hallway and sat down. We spoke for about fifteen minutes, about different things, and I told him about my surgery and the stone in my kidney. After encouraging me, he blessed me and left."

Whe Saint Nektarios left the Elder felt the need to urinate, so he urinated in a small toilet, with terrible pains. Then he came out with the urine and the stone the size of a walnut. (I myself have seen it). With a paper towel he took it and put it in a drawer at his bedside.

Holy Martyr Julitta of Caesarea

St. Julitta of Caesarea (Feast Day - Gr. July 30, Slav. July 31)


The fire of the furnace became as mist,
Towards the beauteous brilliance of Julitta.

The Martyr Julitta was from Caesarea of Cappadocia. There was a certain greedy and covetous man with whom Julitta had a suit pending in court. He, as her neighbor, had wrongfully seized the greater portion of Julitta's property, illegally appropriating her fields, lands, animals, slaves, and all her abundance. He did this through blackmail, bribes to the judges, false statements, and witnesses who perjured themselves.

As Julitta began exposing his tyrannical dealings with her, he, in turn, disclosed to the magistrate of Caesarea that she was a Christian, refusing to worship the gods. Because of this, he contended, Julitta was not protected under the law nor had the privileges of citizenship.

July 29, 2015

The Decalogue: An Unknown Text of Saint Paisios

By George Agetis

It was the end of August in 1998. Mount Athos, Karyes, afternoon. My thoughts suddenly told me to go to Katounakia to Saint Hypatios.*

I did a fervent prayer and my thoughts remained pure. Taking my backpack, I left. Stavros, Kastanaras, Antithonas, Chorafina. I walked slowly, in order to arrive in Katounakia in the morning. I went to Saint Paul, New Skete, Saint Anna, Little Saint Anna, Katounakia, Saint Hypatios up high in the morning.

I went beside the cliffs where I sat and went through, contemplating, the reasons for my coming. Abruptly I got up and entered the small cell along the path.

On my second step in something happened and I stopped and turned left, where I saw on the plaster written with charcoal the following text in capital letters, exactly in the order I present it below.

Saint John the Soldier of Constantinople

St. John the Soldier (Feast Day - Gr. July 29, Slav. July 30)


Forasmuch as barbarians, without knowing, are a thing of demons,
Till the end you veered armed with Christ.

The Holy Martyr John the Soldier served in the imperial army of the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363). He was sent with other soldiers to seek out and kill Christians. While appearing to be a persecutor, John rendered great help to the Christians. He freed those who had been arrested, warned others of dangers threatening them, and assisted in their flight. John showed charity not only to Christians, but to all the destitute and those needing help. He visited with the sick, and he consoled the grieving. His own life, also, he adorned with prayer and fasting and the acquisition of the virtues. When Julian the Apostate learned about the actions of the Saint, he ordered him locked up in prison.

Holy Emperor Theodosius II the Younger

St. Theodosius the Pious, Emperor of the Romans (Feast Day - July 29)


Your reign was not seen to be a barrier,
For you O Theodosius towards salvation.

Emperor Theodosius II began his reign over the Roman Empire in the year 408 at the age of seven, a successor to his father Arcadius. He was called "the Younger" to distinguish him from his grandfather, Emperor Theodosius I the Great (375-395). He is mostly known for promulgating the Theodosian law code, and for the construction of the Theodosian Walls of Constantinople. His sister Pulcheria taught him Christian piety, nourishing him with great reverence and devotion to the Orthodox Faith. When Theodosius the Younger took the royal scepter, with the help of his sister Pulcheria, he strongly supported the truths of the Orthodox Faith and secured its Creed. Thus, by royal decree on the 19th of November in 430, the Third Ecumenical Synod met on the 22nd of June in 431 in Ephesus, which condemned the heretical doctrines of Nestorius. In 438 Theodosius II and Pulcheria received back to Constantinople with great celebration the relics of St. John Chrysostom. Theodosius died in 450 as the result of a riding accident. The Church, for his fervent piety and great service to the cause of Orthodoxy, has inducted him into the chorus of saints.

July 28, 2015

New Venerable Martyr Nektarios the Agiannanites (+ 1922)

Nektarios came from Vourla of Smyrna. He first lived as a monk in the Hut of the Nativity of Christ at the Skete of Saint Anna on the Holy Mountain. Then he went to the Hut of the Archangels, where he took care of Elder Anthony from Kythera and his brother Chrysanthos, who from his constant standing his feet withered. He was then invited by Elder Azariah (†1947) to the Hut of the Honorable Forerunner. Also, he was a good iconographer. One of his works is the wonderworking icon of Saint Irene Chrysovalantou in Lykovrysi Attica.

Holy Apostles and Deacons Prochoros, Nikanor, Timon and Parmenas of the Seventy

Sts. Prochoros, Nikanor, Timon and Parmenas (Feast Day - July 28)


Four disciples of the God-man Word,
Of the revered Trinity they preached the word to all.
On the twenty-eighth the four came together to be initiated.

The Holy Apostles Prochoros, Nikanor, Timon and Parmenas were four of the first seven deacons in the Church of Christ, and were numbered among the Seventy Apostles.

In the book of the Acts of the Apostles (6:1-6) it relates that at Jerusalem the Twelve Apostles chose seven men: Stephen (Dec. 27), Philip (Oct. 11), Prochoros, Nikanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicholas (who became leader of the heresy of the Nicolaitans), men full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, and established them to serve as deacons. As deacons they served the needs of the Church in Jerusalem, especially for those who were poor, the widows and the orphans.

Saint Irene Chrysovalantou Resource Page


Of old you lived peacefully Irene,
And now you dwell where peace abounds.
On the twenty-eighth Irene entered divine rest.

30 Greek Orthodox Shrines Dedicated to Saint Irene Chrysovalantou (1 of 3)

30 Greek Orthodox Shrines Dedicated to Saint Irene Chrysovalantou (2 of 3)

30 Greek Orthodox Shrines Dedicated to Saint Irene Chrysovalantou (3 of 3)

Wondrous Discovery of an Icon of St. Irene Chrysovalantou in Kefallonia

The Church of St. Irene Chrysovalantou in Cyprus

The Monastery of Saint Irene Chrysovalantou in Northern Evia

Muslims Who Built An Orthodox Chapel and Venerate Icons

The Holy Monastery of Saint Irene in Apoikia on the Island of Andros

A Miraculous Event at the Church of Saint Irene Chrysovalantou in the Village of Schinas in Imathia

The Hand of St. Irene Chrysovalantou in Astoria, New York

Three Athonite Monks At St. Irene Chrysovalantou Monastery in New York

Why is Saint Anastasia Known as the "Deliverer From Potions" (Pharmakolytria)?

July 27, 2015

Saint Panteleimon and our Spiritual Health

1. Today, my Christian brethren, our Holy Church celebrates the memory of the great martyr Saint Panteleimon, the healer. It would take a lot of time to speak of the entire life and brilliant miracles of this Saint. I will only tell you a few things, as much as anyone can say in a short sermon.

Saint Panteleimon, my beloved, is identified as a physician. We have saints from every profession of human life: from teachers and judges and cooks and gardeners, no honorable occupation prevents a person from being sanctified. And so our Saint, Holy Panteleimon, was a physician. We have a command within Holy Scripure that specifically says we should honor physicians, because God enlightens physicians to find the medicines of the earth for the sick to be healed. Sirach says: "Honor a physician with the honor due unto him for the uses which you may have of him, for the Lord has created him. For of the Most High comes healing, and he shall receive the honor of the king. The skill of the physician shall lift up his head, and in the sight of great men he shall be in admiration. The Lord has created medicines out of the earth; and he that is wise will not abhor them" (38:1-4). With medical wisdom, therefore, and especially the enlightenment of God, Saint Panteleimon healed many sick people, who could not be treated by other physicians. But what should make a strong impression on us is that the physician Panteleimon practiced his profession without asking for payment or reward. He was an Unmercenary. He would seek out sick people, especially those who were poor, in order to offer treatment free of charge. What great love, what great mercy! And although his first name was Panteleon, later, due to his great love and mercy, they called him Panteleimon, which means "all-merciful".

Holy New Martyr Christodoulos of Kassandra (+ 1777)

St. Christodoulos of Kassandra (Feast Day - July 27)


Christodoulos carried a cross to his hanging,
Firmly enduring as a great servant of Christ.

Christodoulos was a native of the village of Valta in the area of Kassandra, Greece. As a young boy he went to Thesaaloniki where he became an apprentice to a tailor who worked with wool. While in Thessaloniki, Christodoulos often took trips with his fellow tailors. On one such trip to the island of Chios he bought a large unpainted crucifix. This he made a gift to the Church of Saint Athanasios in Thessaloniki because of his friendship with the sacristan of the church.

The Extraordinary Obedience of St. Anthousa the Confessor

The venerable Anthousa, celebrated on July 27th, a confessor of Orthodoxy, who lived and suffered in the period of Iconoclasm during the reign of the iconoclast Emperor Constantine V Copronymos (741-775), was a monastic and founder of churches and Mantineou Monastery.

When Anthousa decided to embrace the monastic life, she went to see a certain holy hieromonk and elder named Sisinios. Elder Sisinios was a wonderworker and Spirit-bearing guide of many souls. For this he was widely known, which is why Anthousa went to him to consult with him. Upon meeting him, she was immediately inspired to emulate him in the contest for virtue.

Saint Panteleimon Teaches What Should Be the Primary Concern of Christians

By Archimandrite George Kapsanis

In the Dismissal Hymn of the Holy Great Martyr Panteleimon, whose memory we celebrate today, we ask the Saint to intercede to the Lord for the remission of our sins. One would expect that from such a great physician, as is Saint Panteleimon, we would ask for the healing of our physical infirmities, but the Church asks for the healing of our spiritual infirmities, namely the passions, which often are the cause of physical infirmities, and are even worse, because physical infirmities can at least bring some good to a person, and lead them to repentance, but the infirmities of the soul, namely the passions, lead to eternal death.

Saint Panteleimon Resource Page


Milk mixed with blood came from your skull, O Martyr,
For whom Christ shed the mixture with water.
On the twenty-seventh Panteleimon obtained his portion by the sword.

Synaxarion of Saint Panteleimon the Great Martyr and Unmercenary

Holy Great Martyr Panteleimon: Epistle and Gospel Reading

The Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon

Holy Hieromartyrs Hermolaos, Hermippos and Hermokrates of Nicomedia

Saint Panteleimon Teaches What Should Be the Primary Concern of Christians

Saint Panteleimon and our Spiritual Health

Saint Panteleimon and the Healing of the Soul (Archim. George Kapsanis)

The Role of Saint Panteleimon in the Life of Saint Nicholas Planas


Saint Panteleimon and the Irreverent Doctor

Saint Panteleimon and the Complaining Monk

Sickness and Pain Are A Gift of God: Saint Panteleimon Comes to the Aid of Monk Daniel

"Saint Panteleimon Knocked On My Window"

A Miraculous Surgery by St. Panteleimon and St. Luke of Simferopol

A Protestant Athonite Pilgrim Who Saw Hatzi-George and a Miracle of St. Panteleimon

The Testimony of a Physician Concerning a Miracle of St. Panteleimon

A Banker's Testimony of a Miracle from 1893 in Asia Minor

Icon of Saint Panteleimon Appears to Weep in Pella, Greece

The Annual Miracle of the Blood of Saint Panteleimon in Ravello, Italy

Church of Saint Panteleimon in Thessaloniki

The Monastery of Saint Panteleimon in Tilos

Saint Panteleimon Monastery In Kalymnos

July 26, 2015

The Miraculous Discovery of the Icon of St. Paraskevi in Ierochori, Kastoria

The Church of St. Paraskevi in Ieropigi

Saint Paraskevi, according to her biography, was born in 117 A.D. in Rome from Greek parents. At 20 years old she left her homeland and came to Macedonia, where she preached Christianity, and lived in asceticism in various places, and having worked various wonders she was martyred for her faith in an unknown city, near Thessaloniki.

Some researchers have hypothesized that this city of the martyrdom of Saint Paraskevi was in the region of Kastoria. This view is supported by the fact that the residents of Orestida especially honor Saint Pareskevi, over many centuries, and they have many sacred churches dedicated to her venerable name.

The Relationship Between Elder Iakovos Tsalikes and St. Paraskevi

The following stories come from the biography of Elder Iakovos Tsalikes of Evia (+ 1991) by Stylianos G. Papadopoulos titled The Garden of the Holy Spirit, where the relationship between Elder Iakovos from the 20th century and St. Paraskevi the Martyr from the 2nd century is recounted, beginning from the days of his youth in a village of Corinth, where his family settled after being uprooted from Asia Minor in the 1920's.

The Appearances of Saint Paraskevi

Every child would go to school once per day, but little Iakovos would go twice. He loved it very much, because in the first years, the school was housed in the chapel dedicated to Saint Paraskevi. He would go in the evenings and light the oil lamps. The boy would go alone and liked to stay until it was dark. He prayed according to his knowledge and ability. Then he would take the way downhill back home, through the pine forest.

July 25, 2015

Saint Paraskevi Resource Page

St. Paraskevi the Great Martyr (Feast Day - July 26)


You prepared yourself for God as a pure temple,
Being led there, Revered One, for habitation.
On the twenty-sixth Paraskevi was beheaded with a sword.

The Saint Who Endured Slanders

St. Gregory Kallides (Feast Day - July 25)

By Haralambos M. Bousias

Saint Gregory Kallides (+ 1925) was a brave-minded Hierarch who did not give into dangers and secret threats.

He lifted the banner of the truth of the Gospel of love, boldly repeating the words of the wise Sirach: Gregory, "fight to the death on behalf of truth, and the Lord God will fight for you" (Sir. 4:28).

Wherever he was, with untold courage and fortitude, he rejuvenated his flock with constant touring of the villages, especially those that accepted the attacks of propaganda, with strong spoken as well as written words, but he also defended the weak against those in power at whatever cost.

This dynamic, together with the love and respect the people harbored for Christ-imitating Gregory, this Hierarch distinguished for his acts of mercy, and for his perception of every trial and his assistance towards the suffering, brought him face to face with the forces of darkness and tyranny, which is why he bore the enormous burden of slander twice, once in Thessaloniki and once in Ioannina, to the point that he was exiled.

July 24, 2015

The Incorrupt Relics of Saint Christina the Great Martyr in Venice

The incorrupt relic of Saint Christina the Great Martyr was transferred to Constantinople from Syria, where she was martyred in the early third century. In Constantinople there was a church dedicated to her in the area of the Imperial Palace, which contained her relics and celebrated her memory on July 24th. During the Frankish occupation of Constantinople, the relic of St. Christina was stolen and brought to Torcello in 1252.

Holy New Martyr Theophilos of Zakynthos (+ 1635)

St. Theophilos of Zakynthos (Feast Day - July 24)


Theophilos was burned in Chios,
Finding friendship with God - O the good fortune!

Theophilos was born in Zakynthos in 1617. He was a seaman by profession. While on a voyage he had a dispute with the ship's captain, who acted in a very disrespectful manner. When the ship arrived at Chios, its destination and the home island of the captain, Theophilos left his service. At that point, a certain Turk whom he met there offered to take him aboard his own ship. Because the man was a Muslim, however, Theophilos did not want to work for him or have anything more to do with him. The Turk was persistent, and he would not take "No" for an answer. When Theophilos resisted, the Turk had no other recourse but to slander. He began to accuse him of wearing a Turkish fez, a type of headgear that was prohibited to Christians. Then with others the Turk beat him and dragged him before the Turkish authorities. In front of the judge, they presented their false testimony, that he had been wearing a fez, and so demanded that he must become a Muslim.

July 23, 2015

The Visionary Nun Paisia and the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene in Plomari, Lesvos

Icon of St. Mary Magdalene in Plomari

The following comes from a letter received by Mrs. Loukia Lydi dated May 10, 1976:

Many are the miracles that have been done and continue to be done by Saint Mary Magdalene. We will mention some of these, to the glory of the Saint and for our help.

Some devout Christians visited the elder from Mytilene, Mr. Tragakis, in Plomari to learn about wondrous matters related to Saint Mary Magdalene. He was lying down looking exhausted due to his old age. When they explained the reason for their visit, his mood changed. He got up immediately. That moment he was as if another man. He told us he was 106 years old and that he suffered from sicknesses and had memory lapses. Because he was not able to write, he begged us to write down whatever he was about to tell us. And he began to recount miracles his eyes had seen in the name of the Myrrhbearing Saint, Mary Magdalene. We report what he said about Saint Mary:

Saint Pelagia of Tinos (+ 1834)

St. Pelagia of Tinos (July 23)

Life of Saint Pelagia

Pelagia was the daughter of the priest Nikephoros Negrepontis. Her mother was from Tripotamos of Tinos and belonged to the family Frangoulis. Born in 1752 in Campo village of Tinos, she was baptized with the name Loukia. From various documents it appears she had three sisters. Her family was distinguished by their pure faith and their adherence to the ideals of the Orthodox way of life.

A few years after Loukia was born her father passed away. She was twelve years old when she began to show signs of longing to devote herself to the service of the Lord. The difficulties of life prompted her mother to send her to Tripotamos to her more affluent sister. Loukia lived there for three years and would often visit her other aunt nearby in Kechrovouniou Monastery where she was a nun. At the age of fifteen she felt it imperative to follow the monastic path, and entered this Monastery as a novice under the supervision of her aunt who was named Pelagia. When the time came she was tonsured a nun and also took the name Pelagia.

Saint Anna of Leukadia

St. Anna of Leukadia [or Leukati] (Feast Day - July 23)


You cast off the shackles holding you captive to the carnal mind,
Without withdrawal Anna no one sees God.

July 22, 2015

The Truth About St. Markella of Chios

By John Sanidopoulos

Once in a while we come upon a detailed biography of a saint and we wonder where all this information came from. The details are such that only an eye-witness can testify to them, yet when we come to the end of the story we see that all the eye-witnesses are no longer alive to tell the story. In such cases, we need to understand that there is something else being conveyed in the narrative beside telling us a detailed historical biography.

Such is the case with St. Markella of Chios, a beloved saint in the Orthodox Church celebrated annually on July 22nd throughout the Orthodox world. Yet before St. Markella became widely known in the past century or so, she was locally venerated in the island of Chios. Historically, there are no manuscripts or other written documents that refer to her life. For this reason, those ecclesiastical writers who sought to compile her life to be included in the official reading of the Church came out empty handed, and hence her name was commemorated without any details. Today, however, when we research the life of St. Markella, we get a detailed biography of around thirty pages (read here). How did this come about?

July 21, 2015

Life of Sts. Symeon the Fool for Christ and John of Emessa

Sts. Symeon the Fool for Christ and John of Emessa (Feast Day - July 21)

The Life and Conduct of Abba Symeon Called the Fool for the Sake of Christ

Written by Leontios, Most Pious Bishop of Neapolis on the Isle of Cyprus


Those who are eager to pursue the worthy status which can be taught to others are obliged to demonstrate in their own life the teaching of still others and present themselves to all as a model of a way of living which is a virtue inspired by God, according to the divine word which says, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” [Mt 5:16], lest perhaps they are eager to chastise, reform, and guide others before they themselves are instructed and purified through working at the divine commandments, having failed to lament their own death, while concerning themselves with the death of another, and fulfill in themselves the truthful saying, so fitting to them, which says, “He who does not do and teach these things will be called least in the kingdom of heaven” [Mt 5:17], and again, “Hypocrite, first take the log out of your eye and then look to take out the speck in your brother’s eye” [Mt 7:5]. For this reason also the wise author of the Acts of the Apostles says thus concerning our great and true God and teacher, “I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach” [Acts 1:1]. For this also Paul, the great vessel of election, wrote rebuking the Romans, saying, “You then who teach others, will you not teach yourselves?” [Rom 2:21] and so forth.

Saint Parthenios, Bishop of Radovisdiou (+ 1777)

St. Parthenios of Radovisdiou (Feast Day - July 21)

Saint Parthenios was born in the early 18th century in the village of Vatsounia in Thessaly, in the region of Agrafa, a region in which during the Turkish occupation of Greece remained unconquered by the Turks and where there was a strong spiritual presence. His parents were pious Orthodox Christians who lived the simple life of being farmers and raising animals.

At a young age the Saint went to a monastery of the region to become a monk, where he lived an ecclesiastical life focused on prayer, fasting, asceticism, vigils and church services to acquire the virtues and communion with the Holy Trinity. There he was given the duty of looking after the animals of the monastery. Being a shining example within the monastery, he was elevated to the priesthood. Eventually he was chosen to become the bishop of Radovisdiou, which is today part of Radovizi and consists of a number of villages in Arta (this diocese no longer exists as of 1830 and has become a part of the Metropolis of Arta). It is estimated that prior to 1854, the Diocese of Radovisdiou had around 830 families and 9 churches. As a bishop he served the needs of the people with love and humility, both spiritual and physical, and he did not cease living a life of strict fasting and prayer.

July 20, 2015

The Fiery Saint, Elijah the Thesbite (Photios Kontoglou)

A sketch of the Prophet Elijah by Photios Kontoglou

By Photios Kontoglou

The Prophet Elijah is very honored by us Greeks. Wherever you go you will see his cliff-side chapels on the mountain tops, both small and large.

Saint Nicholas protects the seas and the Prophet Elijah the mountains. In his cliff-side chapels you will see him depicted by those old craftsmen as a shepherd with his flock, with rumpled hair and beard that is twisted like a wild oak, is hawk-nosed like an eagle, with fiery eyes. He sits on a stone, in front of a cave, like a vulture in its nest. He rests his head on his palm, and looks behind him, as if he hears the voice of God speaking to him from the void of those ruthless cliffs. Above him flies a raven with a piece of meat, soaring downwards to give it to him.

The Miracle of the Church of the Prophet Elijah in Chernobyl

The only church in Chernobyl dedicated to the Old Testament Prophet Elijah is first mentioned by chronicles in the 16th century. Following the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in April 1986 the church was closed. Services in it were resumed in 2001. The church contains the revered icons of “The Saviour of Chernobyl” and of St. Nicholas the Wonder-Worker.

In April 2011, on the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl catastrophe, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia visited Chernobyl. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church served a funeral service (panikhida) there for the repose of the accident victims. The Patriarch then noted that the containment and stoppage of the nuclear power station accident “became a great moral feat for thousands of people” and called upon the gathered people not to forget the Chernobyl disaster victims.

The Holy Skete of the Prophet Elijah in Mount Athos

The Skete of the Prophet Elias (Elijah) is located west of Pantocrator Monastery, of which it is a dependency, and has a panoramic view of the sea.

Before the Skete was built, even prior than the 15th century, within the vicinity of the Pantocrator Monastery there were some cells of hesychast monks, which became a single Cell. In 1492 Vlad III would cut 1000 silver coins for the Cell as an annual grant. Soon after, in around 1500, the Protos, Kosmas of Hilandari Monastery, retired here.

In early 1757 there settled in this deserted Cell of the Prophet Elias the Russian hesychast Paisios Velichovsky (1722-1794) with 35 of his disciples, who turned the Cell into the standard Skete. The primary work of the Skete was to be devoted to hesychast prayer, study and the translation of ecclesiastical texts from Greek to Russian. As a cenobitic community, it became a model of a cenobitic skete. Although no evidence exists of a constitution governing the operation of this establishment as a Skete, it was nevertheless recognized as such by the Ecumenical Patriarch Seraphim I who was staying in the Monastery at that time. In 1762 Paisios with his disciples left the Skete and went to Simonopetra Monastery, and from there to Wallachia bringing hesychasm to Slavic lands.

Prophet Elijah (Elias) Resource Page

Holy Propht Elias (Feast Day - July 20)


He shut off the rain, thrice bringing fire below,
Parting the river, Elias was carried off above.
On the twentieth you were taken up, Elias, by chariot.

July 19, 2015

St. Porphyrios on Being a First Century Christian Today

According to St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyva:

"Christians who live for themselves are not Christians, because they do not live ecclesiastically. A true Christian lives for God and their fellow people, imitating the Christians of the early Church. We will live according to the example of the first Christians,* when we live 'coenobitically' [common will, common substance, common property, everything common]. The genuine ecclesiastical life of Acts, should be the prototype of today's ecclesiastical communities and parishes. Then, in the first 200 years of Christianity, the ecclesiastical community operated as a large Coenobium. This primordial perfect ecclesiastical Christian life [the unity in Christ and in community] has survived until today in Orthodox Monasteries/Coenobiums. The way of life of monastic parishes [namely Coenobitic Monasteries] should become the prototype of today's secular parishes [ecclesiastical communities that operate in the world]."

Life and Sayings of Abba Diocles

Abba Diocles (Feast Day - July 19)

Dorotheos was a priest who lived in a cave, a man of blameless life and of great goodness. He was worthy of being ordained to the priesthood, and ministered to the brethren in the caves. On one occasion Melania the younger, granddaughter of Melania the great, whom I shall mention later, sent him five hundred shillings for him to share out among the brothers. He would only keep three of them, however, giving the rest to the anchorite Diocles, a man of the greatest perception, mentioned below.

"You are much wiser than I am, brother Diocles," he said, "and you can distribute these in a much more fair and faultless way than I could. You know better than I who deservedly needs help. These three shillings are enough for me."

July 18, 2015

Orthodoxy and the World Today: An Interview With Fr. Nikolaos Loudovikos

The following interview with Protopresbyter Fr. Nikolaos Loudovikos, Professor of Dogmatics and Philosophy at the University Ecclesiastical Academy of Thessaloniki, took place in 2007.

Apostolos Diamantis: How did you, a graduate of psychology, turn to theology?

Nikolaos Loudovikos: I come from psychology, I studied psychology. Then, through monks from Mount Athos, I moved on to Orthodox theology. And I immediately read the Greek Fathers. In my work I stand critically against existentialism, which has been adopted by some Greek theologians, which has its roots in Augustine and Plotinus. Namely that the soul is celestial and the body earthly. And so they talk about nature as if it is something we must emerge from. This division does not exist in the Greek Fathers, for whom the soul is a "thinly bodied spirit".

A.D.: These are certainly difficult things to follow for an ordinary person.

N.L.: Not at all. Ordinary people experience them empirically, by their participation in ecclesiastical life. It becomes tradition. The problem is with the schematic thinking of the "educated", those of the right and the left and the centrists. The cliches of the left are three categories: Middle Ages = Disaster, Enlightenment = Resurrection, Church = Christodoulos, namely an open tomb. Those on the right identify the entire Orthodox tradition with whatever is prevailing in the Church. A good relationship had with all of these is the monastic tradition and ordinary people, who have "kept the steps of a lost dance", as Dionysios Savvopoulos once said.

Elder Epiphanios Theodoropoulos on Abortion

The Couple Who Sought Permission to Abort

A faithful husband and wife once went to the Elder seeking his advice (they were not his spiritual children). The problem was that the woman was taking strong medication for an illness and during her treatment she became pregnant. The doctor urged her to have an abortion because the child would be born disabled. The Elder told them:

"And why did you come to me? To give you permission to kill?"


"Do you have other children?"

"Yes," they answered. "We have a young boy."

"Is he healthy?" asked the Elder.

"Yes," they responded.

"If, God forbid, your child suffers from hemiplegia or he is struck by a vehicle and is put in a vegetative state, would you kill him?"

July 17, 2015

Rare Photo of the Reposed St. Paisios the Athonite has published a rare photo of the reposed St. Paisios the Athonite (+ July 12, 1994) from his funeral at the Holy Monastery of Saint John the Theologian in Souroti, shortly before his burial.

Saint Marina Resource Page

St. Marina the Great Martyr (Feast Day - July 17)


By the hand of the executioner 
you were beheaded Marina with the sword,
By the hand of the Lord you are crowned with divine grace.
On the seventeenth Marina was beheaded.

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Who can fittingly speak of you Marina,
For your red blood was shed by the sword.
On the seventeenth Marina was killed with a sharp sword.


The Church of Saint Marina in Thiseio