Thursday, November 30, 2017

An Annual Miracle at the Tomb of the Apostle Andrew from the Sixth Century


Saint Gregory of Tours, in his late-6th century book titled Glory of the Martyrs (ch. 30), records the following annual miracle that was done at the tomb of the Apostle Andrew in Patras, Greece:

Footage from the Funeral Service of Saint Iakovos Tsalikes in November 1991


Archimandrite Sebastian Dabovich: Serbian Orthodox Apostle to America


By Hieromonk Damascene (Christensen)

1. An Apostle of Universal Significance

Born during the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, Archimandrite Sebastian Dabovich has the distinction of being the first person born in the United States of America to be ordained as an Orthodox priest,[1] and also the first native-born American to be tonsured as an Orthodox monk. His greatest distinction, however, lies in the tremendous apostolic, pastoral, and literary work that he accomplished during the forty-eight years of his priestly ministry. Known as the "Father of Serbian Orthodoxy in America,"[2] he was responsible for the founding of the first Serbian churches in the New World. This, however, was only one part of his life's work, for he tirelessly and zealously sought to spread the Orthodox Faith to all peoples, wherever he was called. He was an Orthodox apostle of universal significance.

Holy Hierarchs Peter and Samuel, First and Second Catholicos of Georgia

Sts. Peter and Samuel of Georgia (Feast Day - November 30)

Saint Peter was the first catholicos of Georgia. He led the Church of Kartli from the 460s through the beginning of the 6th century. According to God’s will, Saint Peter inaugurated the dynasty of the chief shepherds of Georgia.

It is written in the biography of Holy King Vakhtang IV Gorgasali that the king was introduced to Peter, a pupil of Saint Gregory the Theologian, during one of his visits to Byzantium, and he became very close to him. At that time he was also introduced to the future catholicos Samuel.

Saints and Feasts of November 30


On the thirtieth Andrew the First-Called endured the cross.

(Fasting Day)

Holy, Glorious and All-Praised Apostle Andrew the First-Called

Apostle Andrew Resource Page


Saint Frumentius, Archbishop of Abyssinia

Saint Frumentius, Enlightener of Abyssinia

Saint Frumentius of Ethiopia as a Model for our Lives


Saint Alexander, Bishop of Methymni

Saint Alexander, Bishop of Methymni


Holy Hierarchs Peter and Samuel, First and Second Catholicos of Georgia

Holy Hierarchs Peter and Samuel, First and Second Catholicos of Georgia


Saint Sebastian Dabovich of San Francisco

Archimandrite Sebastian Dabovich: Serbian Orthodox Apostle to America

Serbian Church Proclaims Fr. Sebastian (Dabovich) and Bp. Mardarije (Uskokovic) Saints of the Church

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Saint Dionysios, Bishop of Corinth

St. Dionysios of Corinth (Feast Day - November 29)

Verses

Dionysios performed sacrifices,
Approaching the sword, he is also a Martyr.

Saint Jerome wrote the following about Saint Dionysios, information of which he took from Eusebius, who placed him as being Bishop in the eleventh year of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, which was 171.

"Dionysios, Bishop of the Church of Corinth, was of so great eloquence and industry that he taught not only the people of his own city and province but also those of other provinces and cities by his letters. Of these one is To the Lacedaemonians, another To the Athenians, a third To the Nicomedians, a fourth To the Cretans, a fifth To the Church at Amastrina and to the Other Churches of Pontus, a sixth To the Gnosians and to Pinytus the bishop of the same city, a seventh To the Romans, addressed to Soter their bishop, an eighth To Chrysophora a holy woman. He flourished in the reign of Marcus Antoninus Verus and Lucius Aurelius Commodus."

Holy Abba Pityroum of Egypt, Disciple of Saint Anthony

Venerable Pityroum (Feast Day - November 29)

Verses

Willingly he advanced towards you O my Christ,
Pityroum the worker of the will.

History of the Monks of Egypt
(Ch. 19)

By St. Jerome

And we also saw in the Thebaid a certain high mountain which lay by the river, and it was an exceedingly terrible mountain with high barren peaks, and in the caves thereof there dwelt many monks; and these men had as Abba one Pityroum, who was a disciple of the holy man Anthony. He was the third who had received that place from Anthony, and he used to perform many mighty deeds, and to carry on the persecution of devils openly; and since he was the man who had received the place of Anthony, the blessed and great man, and of Ammonius his disciple, he received also, and rightly so, the inheritance of his labors.

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Paramonos and the 370 Martyrs With Him

St. Paramonos and the 370 With Him (Feast Day - November 29)

Verses

To Paramonos.
Paramonos was pierced for you my Christ,
Knowing only you as God, he dies only for you.

To the Three Hundred and Seventy.
The ten times seven men offered their heads to the sword,
Together with the six-fold fifty.

On the twenty-ninth Paramonos was slain with a long spear.

Saints and Feasts of November 29


On the twenty-ninth Paramonos was slain with a long spear.

(Fasting Day)

Holy Martyr Paramonos and the 370 Martyrs With Him

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Paramonos and the 370 Martyrs With Him


Holy Martyr Philoumenos of Ancyra

Saint Philoumenos of Ancyra


Saint Dionysios, Bishop of Corinth

Saint Dionysios, Bishop of Corinth


Venerable Pityroum

Holy Abba Pityroum of Egypt, Disciple of Saint Anthony


Holy Hieromartyr Philoumenos the New of Jacob's Well

Saint Philoumenos the New Resource Page


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Saint Iakovos Tsalikes Resource Page

St. Iakovos Tsalikes of Evia (Feast Day - November 22)

About

Elder Iakovos Tsalikes, the Long-Range Star of Evia

The Relationship Between Elder Iakovos Tsalikes and St. Paraskevi

The Healing of Elder Iakovos Tsalikes by St. Haralambos

Saints and Feasts of November 28


On the twenty-eighth the head of Stephen the New was broken.

(Fasting Day)

Holy Confessor Stephen the New

Synaxarion of the Holy Confessor Stephen the New (+ 767)


Holy Martyr Andrew

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Stephen the New (+ 767)


Holy Martyr Peter

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Stephen the New (+ 767)


Holy Venerable Martyr Anna

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Stephen the New (+ 767)


Holy Martyrs Who Were Martyred With Saint Stephen on Behalf of the Holy Icons

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Stephen the New (+ 767)


Holy Martyr Eirenarchos and the Seven Women With Him

Holy Martyr Eirenarchos and the Seven Women With Him


Holy Hieromartyr Akakios

Holy Martyr Eirenarchos and the Seven Women With Him


Holy Emperor Maurice and his Six Sons

The Fate of the Sixth Son of Roman Emperor Maurice


Monday, November 27, 2017

The First Vigil in Honor of Elder Iakovos Tsalikes


The first festal all-night vigil in honor of Elder Iakovos Tsalikes took place from the 17th to the 18th of November 2017, ten days before he was officially recognized as a Saint by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. This was done by Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphou in the Church of Saints Barnabas and Hilarion in the village of Peristeronas in Morphou, Cyprus. The Service to Elder Iakovos had been composed by Nun Isidora of the Monastery of Saint John the Forerunner in Makrynos which is in Megara, with additions from a Service composed by Metropolitan Joel of Edessa.

The Abbot of the Monastery of the Venerable David on the Canonization of Elder Iakovos Tsalikes

Elder Gabriel of Venerable David Monastery

Immediately following the decision of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to canonize Elder Iakovos Tsalikes, the Abbot of the Monastery of the Venerable David in Evia, Elder Gregory, was immediately notified of the good news.

Obviously he was excited about the decision, saying: "The revered Patriarchate officially recognized the sanctity of Father Iakovos, which has also existed in the conscience of the faithful."

Saints and Feasts of November 27


On the twenty-seventh the Persian was slain by dismemberment.

(Fasting Day)

Holy Great Martyr James the Persian

Synaxarion of the Holy Great Martyr James the Persian

Holy Great Martyr James the Persian

The Monastery of Saint James the Persian in Deddeh, Lebanon


Venerable Pinuphrios

Holy Abba Pinuphrios of Egypt


Venerable Nathaniel

Holy Abba Nathaniel of Nitria


Venerable Gregory of Sinai

Saint Gregory of Sinai Resource Page


Saint Theodosios the Hesychast of Trnovo

Saint Theodosios the Hesychast of Trnovo, Bulgaria (+ 1363)


Saint Damaskinos the Studite, Bishop of Liti and Rendini

Saint Damaskinos the Studite, Bishop of Liti and Rendini (+ 1577)

Two New Saints of the Orthodox Church - Akakios and Damaskinos, Bishops of Liti and Rendini

Elder Iakovos Tsalikes Has Been Officially Numbered Among the Saints


Today, Monday 27 November 2017, Elder Iakovos Tsalikes, who reposed in the Lord on 21 November 1991, was officially numbered among the saints by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, on his patronal feast of Saint James (Iakovos) the Persian. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew himself had visited the Venerable Iakovos Tsalikes at the Monastery of the Venerable David in Evia in February of 1989, and he told the then Metropolitan Bartholomew that one day he would become Patriarch. His annual feast will take place on November 22nd.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Saint Paisios the Athonite Proclaimed the Patron Saint of the Military Corps of Signalmen


Following a request by the Office of Military Chaplains, part of the General Staff of the Greek Armed Forces, the Holy Permanent Synod of the Church of Greece declared on 1 November 2017 for Saint Paisios the Athonite to be the Patron Saint of the Military Corps of Signalmen, having served as a Signalman during the Greek Civil War from 1945 to 1949.

Instead of some successful and efficient wartime leader, the Orthodox Church advances a humble saint and monk as an example to follow in times of conflict. Later as a monastic, Saint Paisios used his former military position as a Signalman as a way to describe something more deeper and spiritual. For example, he used it to teach about prayer:

Gospel Commentary for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost (St. Theophylact of Ochrid)


Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost (or Thirteenth Sunday of Luke)
The Rich Young Man

Luke 18:18-27

From The Explanation of the Gospel of St. Luke

By Blessed Theophylact, Archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria

18-23. And a certain ruler asked Him saying, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said unto him, "Why callest thou Me good? None is good, save One, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments: Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother." And he said, "All these have I kept from my youth up." Now when Jesus heard these things, He said unto him, "Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow Me." And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.

Saints and Feasts of the Last Sunday of November


Synaxis of the Achaean Saints

Synaxis of the Achaean Saints


Synaxis of the Saints of Agia

Synaxis of the Saints of Agia

Saints and Feasts of November 26


On the twenty-sixth Alypios departed to dwell where there is no pain.

(Fasting Day)

Venerable Alypios the Kionite

Saint Alypios the Stylite of Adrianople


Venerable Stylianos of Paphlagonia

Synaxarion of Saint Stylianos of Paphlagonia

The 14th Century Church of Saints Alypios and Stylianos in Kastoria

How an Unknown 4th Century Persian Saint Became Famous in 1939 Greece


Venerable Akakios of the "Ladder"

Saint Akakios of the "Ladder"


Venerable James the Anchorite

Saint James the Ascetic of Cyrus


Venerable Nikon the Metanoeite

Synaxarion of Saint Nikon the Metanoeite (+ 998)

Saint Nikon "Metanoeite" (Preacher of Repentance)


Saint Sophianos, Bishop of Dryinoupolis

Saint Sophianos, Bishop of Dryinoupolis (+ 1711)


Holy New Martyr George of Chios

Holy New Martyr George of Chios (+ 1807)


Dedication of the Church of the Holy Great Martyr George at Kiev

The Veneration of Saint George in the Founding of the Russian State


Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Holy Spring of Saint Katherine in Moda, Istanbul


There are many sacred shrines dedicated to Saint Katherine throughout the world, but in Turkey there is only one -- in Moda, Istanbul.

In the year 1924 on the Asian side of Constantinople, specifically in the district of Kadikoy in Moda, Greek fishermen found a rock from which a spring gushed forth, and they considered this to be holy water. It is said that the spring flowed from the ruins of an older church next to an icon of Saint Katherine. Soon after this discovery, a small wooden church was built over it, and the holy water came to be known as the Spring of Saint Katherine.

Holy Hieromartyr Moses, Presbyter of Rome (+ 251)

St. Moses of Rome (Feast Day - November 25)

Saint Moses was possibly of Jewish origin and a presbyter of Rome. He corresponded with Saint Cyprian of Carthage and zealously opposed the Novatian schism and heresy. According to Pope Cornelius of Rome, when Moses beheld the boldness and folly of the rigorism of Novatian, who had sought to become the Pope of Rome himself, he "refused to commune with him and with the five presbyters who with him had separated themselves from the Church."

Saints and Feasts of November 25


On the twenty-fifth the aid of orators was killed by the sword.

(Fasting Day)

Leavetaking of the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos

Entrance of the Theotokos Resource Page


Holy and Glorious Great Martyr Katherine

Saint Katherine of Alexandria Resource Page


Holy One Hundred and Fifty Rhetoricians

Fifty Philosophers and Rhetoricians Who Converted to Christianity


The Holy Empress

The Holy Empress together with the Holy Martyr Porphyrios and the Two Hundred Soldiers with Him


Holy Martyr Porphyrios the General and the Two Hundred Soldiers with Him

The Holy Empress together with the Holy Martyr Porphyrios and the Two Hundred Soldiers with Him


Holy Great Martyr Mercurius

Holy Great Martyr Mercurius of Caesarea in Cappadocia


Holy Hieromartyr Moses, Presbyter of Rome

Holy Hieromartyr Moses, Presbyter of Rome (+ 251)


Venerable Peter the Hesychast of Galatia

Saint Peter the Hesychast of Galatia


Friday, November 24, 2017

Second Homily on the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple (St. Germanos of Constantinople)


By St. Germanos, Archbishop of Constantinople (715-730)

Behold, again another festival, and a glorious feast of the Mother of the Lord. Behold, the arrival of the blameless bride (cf. 2 Peter 3.14). Behold, the first procession of the queen. Behold, an accurate sign of the glory which will surround her.

Behold, the prelude of the divine grace which will overshadow her. Behold, the brilliant evidence of her exceptional purity. For where entering not many times, but once in the year (cf. Leviticus 16.1), the priest performs the mystical worship, there she is brought by her parents for unceasing residence, to be in the sacred sanctuary of grace.

Saint Protasius, Bishop of Milan (+ 343)


Almost nothing is known about the life of our Holy Father Protasius. He was elected Bishop of Milan in 328, and served until his death, about 343.

Saints and Feasts of November 24


Clement is cast into the depths like an anchor,
And is present with Christ, the anchor of the eschaton.


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Saint Sisinius the Confessor, Bishop of Cyzicus

St. Sisinius the Confessor (Feast Day - November 23)

Verses

Having first submitted to much violence in life,
Sisinius entered life without violence.

Sisinus was from the city of Cyzicus and contested during the reign of Emperor Diocletian in the year 300, when Alexander was Governor of Cyzicus. He was accused of being a Christian to Alexander, and after confessing that he was indeed a Christian, he was bound to wild horses and forced to run with them. He was then beaten without mercy, and they forced bitter vinegar up his nose. After enduring other tortures, and performing various miracles, he was cast into prison.

Saint Alexander Nevsky (+ 1263)

St. Alexander Nevsky (Feast Day - November 23)

The Holy Prince Alexander Nevsky was born on May 30, 1220 in the city of Pereslavl-Zalessk. His father Yaroslav II, Theodore in Baptism (+ 1246), “a gentle, kindly and genial prince”, was the younger son of Vsevolod III Large Nest (+ 1212), brother of the Holy Prince Yuri Vsevolodovich (Feb. 4). Saint Alexander’s mother, Theodosia Igorevna, a Ryazan princess, was Yaroslav’s third wife. Their older son was the Holy Prince Theodore (June 5), who departed to the Lord at age fifteen. Saint Alexander was their second son.

His childhood was spent at Pereslavl-Zalessk, where his father was prince. The princely tonsure of the lad Alexander (a ceremony of initiation to be soldier) was done in the Savior Transfiguration Cathedral of Pereslavl by Saint Simon, Bishop of Suzdal (May 10), one of the compilers of the Kiev Caves Paterikon. From this Elder-Hierarch, Saint Alexander received his first blessing for military service in the name of God, to defend the Russian Church and the Russian Land.

Synaxarion of Saint Amphilochios of Iconium

St. Amphilochios of Iconium (Feast Day - November 23)

Verses

Make ready Amphilochios the vestments of death,
You scatter those lying in wait and dead you perceive with the mind.
On the twenty-third Amphilochios received death.

This Saint, having passed through every stage of ecclesiastical office, and shined in asceticism and divine knowledge, proceeded to become the Bishop of Iconium by the election of God and the common people, during the reigns of Valentinian and Valens. He flourished during the reign of Constantine the Great as well as that of his sons, and became a hierarch in the year 374. Having therefore become a teacher of the Orthodox faith, the renowned one bravely stood against the heresies of Arius and Macedonius and Eunomius. For this reason he endured many persecutions and tribulations from the impious. He was also a fellow-struggler with the one hundred and fifty Fathers of the Second Ecumenical Synod, who assembled together in the year 381 against Macedonius the Pneumatomach.* Since Theodosius the Great gave authority over the western territories of Europe to the young Valentinian, having trampled on the tyrant Maximinus, then the great Amphilochios returned to Constantinople, and approaching the emperor he asked him to banish the Arians. In prevailing upon him with supplications, by this the wondrous Father found a mechanism by which he could persuade the emperor.

Saints and Feasts of November 23


On the twenty-third Amphilochios received death.

(Fasting Day)

Saint Amphilochios, Bishop of Iconium

Synaxarion of Saint Amphilochios of Iconium

Saint Amphilochios of Iconium as a Model for our Lives


Saint Gregory, Bishop of Agrigentum

Saint Gregory, Bishop of Agrigentum


Venerable Mark the Spirit-Bearer

Saint Gregory, Bishop of Agrigentum


Saint Potamianos the Bishop

Saint Gregory, Bishop of Agrigentum


Saint Sisinius the Confessor, Bishop of Cyzicus

Saint Sisinius the Confessor, Bishop of Cyzicus


Saint Dionysios I the Wise, Patriarch of Constantinople

Saint Dionysios I the Wise, Patriarch of Constantinople (+ 1492)

Bulgarians Return Relics of St. Dionysios I to Greece


Venerable Anthony the Hesychast of Iezeru–Valcea

Saint Anthony the Hesychast of Iezeru–Valcea Skete (+ 1714)


Saint Alexander Nevsky

Saint Alexander Nevsky (+ 1263)

Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral In Sofia

30 Icons of St. Alexander Nevsky In Space


Hieromartyr Gregory (Peradze) in Warsaw

Feast of Saint Gregory (Peradze) in Warsaw


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Cecilia and Those With Her

St. Cecilia the Virgin Martyr (Feast Day - November 22)

Verses

To Cecilia.
Brought to the bath you were burnt, O Cecilia,
And washed in the bath with blood by the sword.

To Valerian and Tiburtius.
Valerian together with his fellow athlete,
Are slain with the sword being insolent towards delusion.

To Maxmos the Keeper of the Keys.
Maximos the prison keeper is tortured,
Immediately becoming a keeper of the commandments of God.

Synaxarion of the Venerable Abba the Ishmaelite

Venerable Abba (Feast Day - November 22)

Verses

Abba was the image of all abbas,
Rightly I honor you as a child does a father.

Our Holy Father Abba (which is translated as Father) was from the race of the Ishmaelites. Forsaking parents and country and wealth, he became the follower of a certain monk. Receiving from him the monastic schema, they lived together for a few years. Both then went to the great and venerable Eusebius the struggler (Feb. 15) to become his disciples. After his fellow monk died, the blessed Abba remained with the great Eusebius.

Saints and Feasts of November 22


On the twenty second Philemon was carried off.

(Fasting Day)

Holy Apostles Philemon, Apphia, Archippus and Onesimus of the Seventy

Holy Apostles Philemon, Apphia, Archippus and Onesimus of the Seventy


Holy Martyr Cecilia

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Cecilia and Those With Her

Holy Virgin Martyr Cecilia of Rome


Holy Martyrs Valerian and Tiburtius

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Cecilia and Those With Her

Holy Virgin Martyr Cecilia of Rome


Saint Maximos the Keeper of the Keys

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Cecilia and Those With Her

Holy Virgin Martyr Cecilia of Rome


Holy Martyrs Stephen and the two Marks

Holy Martyrs Stephen and the Two Marks of Antioch


Holy Martyr Prokopios of Palestine

Holy Martyr Prokopios of Palestine


Venerable Abba

Synaxarion of the Venerable Abba the Ishmaelite


Saint Kallistos II Xanthopoulos, Patriarch of Constantinople

Saint Kallistos II Xanthopoulos, Patriarch of Constantinople


Holy Hieromartyr Sisinnius

Holy Hieromartyr Sisinnius, Bishop of Cyzicus


Venerable Iakovos Tsalikes of Evia

Saint Iakovos Tsalikes Resource Page

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

First Homily on the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple (St. Germanos of Constantinople)


By St. Germanos, Archbishop of Constantinople (715-730)

1. Every divine festival, whenever it is celebrated, spiritually fills those who are present from a treasury and divinely flowing spring. But even more and beyond other feasts does this recently hymned festival, brilliantly celebrated, attract the soul with holy joy and gives more joy in proportion to the preeminence of the excellent child of God. For the annual observation of this feast is coming, in which one must be pure to participate.

And let us be anointed with the perfume of her roses, as Solomon says in the beautiful verse of his Song: "Who is that who comes up from the wilderness, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all the fragrant powders of the merchants?" (Song of Songs 3.6) - "Come hither from Lebanon, my bride; come hither from Lebanon" (Song of Songs 4.8).

So let us eagerly approach together this mutually beneficial, salvific feast of the Mother of God. And bowing before the unapproachable place [the Holy of Holies] let us watch the child going toward the second veil, Mary the all-holy Mother of God who put an end to unfruitful sterility, and exchanged the mere shadow of the letter of the law (cf Hebrews 1O.1) through the grace of her birth-giving.

A Church Beyond Compare - The Nea Church, or the Basilica of Saint Mary the New in Jerusalem (543-614)

A proposed reconstruction of the Nea Church

The Basilica of Saint Mary the New, also known as the New Church of the Theotokos or simply The Nea, was erected by the Roman Emperor Justinian I (527–565) in Jerusalem, specifically on Mount Zion near the site of where the Temple of Solomon once stood, and it was the largest church of its time that rivaled Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. The church was completed in 543 and consecrated on November 20th of that year. It was severely damaged or destroyed during the Persian conquest of the city in 614, and was further used as a source of building material by the Umayyads a few decades later. Today much of the site is occupied by Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, though recent archaeological excavations have uncovered portions of the Nea that can be viewed along the Cardo.

Saints and Feasts of November 21


On the twenty-first Mary entered the sacred temenos.

(Fasting Day - Fish Allowed)

Entrance into the Temple of our Lady the Most Holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary

Entrance of the Theotokos Resource Page


Saint Sozomenos the Wonderworker of Potamia

Saint Sozomenos the Wonderworker of Potamia


Monday, November 20, 2017

Saint Theoktistos the Confessor (+ 855)

St. Theoktistos the Confessor (Feast Day - November 20)

Verses

The Patrician felt affection for the law of the Fathers,
Now he stands among the ranks of the chorus of the Fathers.

Saint Theoktistos was a leading official of Byzantium during the second quarter of the ninth century and the de facto head of the regency for the underage Michael III from 842 until his dismissal and murder in 855. A eunuch, he assisted in the ascent of Michael II to the throne in 822, and was rewarded with the titles of patrician and later magister. He held the high posts of chartoularios tou kanikleiou and logothet─ôs tou dromou under Michael and his son Theophilos. After Theophilos' death in 842, Theoktistos became member of the regency council, but soon managed to sideline the other members and establish himself as the virtual ruler of the Empire. Noted for his administrative and political competence, Theoktistos played a major role in ending Iconoclasm, and fostered the ongoing renaissance in education within the Empire. He also continued the persecution of the Paulicians, but had mixed success in the wars against the Arabs. When Michael III came of age in 855, his uncle Bardas persuaded him to throw off the tutelage of Theoktistos and his mother, the Empress Theodora, and on 20 November 855, Theoktistos was assassinated by Bardas and his followers.

Forefeast of the Entrance Into the Temple of the Most Holy Theotokos


The Feast of the Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple has only one day of forefeast on November 20th. The hymns for today praise Saint Anna for bringing her three year old daughter, the living temple of God, to the Temple in Jerusalem.

The three Old Testament readings at Great Vespers refer to the Temple. The first lesson (Exodus 40:1-5, 9-10, 16, 34-35) refers to the arrangement of the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation (a portable sanctuary which was carried by the Israelites in their wanderings). The second lesson (III Kings/I Kings 7:51; 8:1, 3-7, 9-11) describes the dedication of Solomon’s Temple. The third lesson (Ezekiel 43:27-44:4) speaks of the gate of the sanctuary which faces east. God enters through this gate, which is shut so that no one else can enter by it.

Saint Proclus of Constantinople Resource Page

St. Proclus of Constantinople (Feast Day - November 20)

Verses

The heavens have you Proclus as a winning-post,
And those within rejoice over your golden words.

Saint Proclus, Patriarch of Constantinople

St. John Chrysostom, the Greatest Interpreter of the Apostle Paul

The Validity of Episcopal Translations from One See to Another

Saints and Feasts of November 20


On the twentieth Gregory was summoned to the heavens.

(Fasting Day)

Forefeast of the Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos

Forefeast of the Entrance Into the Temple of the Most Holy Theotokos

Entrance of the Theotokos Resource Page


Venerable Gregory the Decapolite

Saint Gregory the Decapolite and His Relics in Bistritsa Monastery


Saint Symeon the Confessor

Saint Gregory the Decapolite and His Relics in Bistritsa Monastery


Saint Proclus, Archbishop of Constantinople

Saint Proclus of Constantinople Resource Page


Holy Martyr Dasius of Dorostorum

Holy Martyr Dasius of Dorostorum


Holy Martyr Nerses and Joseph his Disciple the Bishops

Holy Martyrs Nerses, Joseph, John, Severius, Isaac, Azades and many other Martyrs with them of Persia


Holy Martyrs Isaac, John and Severius

Holy Martyrs Nerses, Joseph, John, Severius, Isaac, Azades and many other Martyrs with them of Persia


Holy Martyr Azades and Three Others With Him

Holy Martyrs Nerses, Joseph, John, Severius, Isaac, Azades and many other Martyrs with them of Persia


Holy Virgin Martyrs Thekla, Vaoutha and Denachida

Holy Martyrs Nerses, Joseph, John, Severius, Isaac, Azades and many other Martyrs with them of Persia


Saint Theoktistos the Confessor

Saint Theoktistos the Confessor (+ 855)


Saint Sozomonos the Wonderworker of Karpasia

Saint Sozomonos the Wonderworker of Karpasia

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Gospel Commentary for the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost (St. Theophylact of Ochrid)


Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost (or Ninth Sunday of Luke)
The Parable of the Foolish Rich Man

Luke 12:16-21

From The Explanation of the Gospel of St. Luke

By Blessed Theophylact, Archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria

16-21. And He spake a parable unto them, saying, "The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully, and he thought within himself, saying, 'What shall I do, because I have no room where to gather my crops?' And he said, 'This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I gather all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, "Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry." But God said unto him, 'Thou fool, this night they shall require thy soul of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast prepared?' So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."

Saints and Feasts of November 19


On the nineteenth Obadiah passed from this life.

(Fasting Day)

Holy Prophet Obadiah

Holy Prophet Obadiah as a Model for our Lives


Holy Martyr Barlaam of Antioch

Holy Martyr Barlaam of Antioch


Holy Martyr Azes the Wonderworker

Holy Martyr Azes of Isauria and the 150 Soldiers With Him


Holy One Hundred and Fifty Soldier Martyrs

Holy Martyr Azes of Isauria and the 150 Soldiers With Him


Holy Twelve Soldier Martyrs

Holy Martyr Azes of Isauria and the 150 Soldiers With Him


Holy Woman and Daughter Martyrs

Holy Martyr Azes of Isauria and the 150 Soldiers With Him


Saint Philaret, Metropolitan of Moscow

Saint Philaret, Metropolitan of Moscow (+ 1867)


Icon of the Theotokos "Consolation in Grief and Sorrows"

The 17th Century Icon of the Theotokos "Consolation in Grief and Sorrows"

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Curse of Saint Nektarios and the Seville Soccer Team


It all began in the 1970-1971 soccer (football) season, when Dan Georgiadis, a former Greek soccer player who had played for Panathinaikos and was now a manager, had the inspiration to bring the soccer team from Seville (Sevilla), Spain to Athens for a number of friendly matches with AEK. At that time the Seville soccer team was one of the strongest teams not only in Spain but of all Europe. Georgiadis, who was also a cosmopolitan man and a polyglot who knew seven languages, and who installed desks in his locker rooms in order to teach his players sophrology, took advantage of the visit of the Spaniards, so among other things he even took them to see the Acropolis of Athens.

Saint Nektarios and the Protestant Who Became Orthodox


What follows is the testimony of a recent miracle of Saint Nektarios:

On June 20 [probably of 2009] we went with the Unborn Child Protection Society on a pilgrimage trip to Aegina. We venerated the grace-flowing relics of Saint Nektarios and went to his bedroom, his grave and his new majestic church, built by the late Metropolitan Hierotheos of Hydra.

Saints and Feasts of November 18


On the eighteenth Plato was slain by the sword.

(Fasting Day)

Holy Martyr Plato of Ancyra

Saint Plato the Great Martyr of Ancyra

Saint Plato of Ancyra as a Model for our Lives


Holy Martyr Romanos of Palestine

Holy Martyr Romanos of Palestine With the Child Martyr Barulas of Antioch


Holy Child Martyr

Holy Martyr Romanos of Palestine With the Child Martyr Barulas of Antioch


Holy Martyrs Alphaeus the Deacon and Zacchaeus

Holy Martyrs Alphaeus and Zacchaeus of Caesarea


Holy New Martyr Anastasios of Paramythia in Epirus

Holy New Martyr Anastasios of Paramythia in Epirus (+ 1750) and Saint Daniel the Former Muslim


Saint Daniel the Former Muslim

Holy New Martyr Anastasios of Paramythia in Epirus (+ 1750) and Saint Daniel the Former Muslim

Saint Symeon the Newly-Revealed of Thessaloniki


Translation of the Sacred Relics of the Venerable Martyr Kosmas the Protos of Vatopaidi

Holy Martyr Kosmas the Protos (+ 1280) and the Athonite Holy Martyrs of Karyes With Him

The Tomb of Saint Kosmas the Protos


Friday, November 17, 2017

The Beneficial Tale of Saint Zacharias the Leather-Cutter and John

Sts. Zacharias and John of Constantinople (Feast Day - November 17)

Verses

Zacharias together with John,
Bear the mind of Cherubim with their vigils.

There was a man who was reputable and notable in the things of the world, whose name was John, who turned away from all of life's pleasures, and occupied himself in the monastic and humble life. And devoting himself to the things of God, he was eager to please only God. Abiding always in prayers and supplications, he zealously progressed in greater virtue set before him. Besides all his other virtues, an essential work was for him to go keep vigil all night in the churches of the Lord. For this reason one night he went to Constantinople to the great church of the Word of God, Hagia Sophia. Finding the doors closed, he sat on a bench nearby, since he was tired. While sitting there, he recited with a quiet voice his services.

Saint Maximos III, Patriarch of Constantinople (+ 1482)

St. Maximos III of Constantinople (Feast Day - November 17)

Verses

Maximos was in anguish and bore children,
After acts of purity he departed pure from this life.

Ecumenical Patriarch Maximos III was a scholar, polyglot and ascetic Hierarch. He shepherded the patriarchal see with wisdom during the difficult first years after the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, from 1476 to 1482.

Maximos was born Manuel Christonymos and was probably a native of the Peloponnese in Greece. He became Grand Ecclesiarch (i.e. Head Sacristan) of the Patriarchate in Constantinople. This ministry soon after the Fall of Constantinople (1453) took the functions also of the Skeuophylax, taking care of the holy treasures and relics of the Patriarchate, and in this position Manuel clashed with Patriarch Gennadios Scholarios on economical issues. Under the patronage of the secretary of the Ottoman Sultan, Demetrios Kyritzes, Manuel, together with the Great Chartophylax George Galesiotes, influenced the life of the Church of Constantinople for more than twenty years.

Saint Nikon the Abbot of Radonezh and Disciple of the Saint Sergius (+ 1426)

St. Nikon of Radonezh (Feast Day - November 27)

Saint Nikon, the Abbot of Radonezh and a disciple and successor of Saint Sergius of Radonezh (Sept. 25), was born at Yuriev-Polsk. Having heard of the angelic life of the Radonezh Wonderworker, the young man came to Saint Sergius and requested to be tonsured into the angelic schema.

Saint Sergius did not accept Nikon, whether because of his youth or for some other reason. Instead, he sent him to his disciple Saint Athanasius (Sept. 12) at Serpukhov. But Saint Athanasius would not accept him right away. Only after seeing the young man’s persistence did he tonsure him into the monastic schema.

Saints and Feasts of November 17


On the seventeenth the great wonderworker died.

(Fasting Day)

Saint Gregory of Neocaesarea the Wonderworker

Saint Gregory of Neocaesarea Resource Page


Venerable Lazarus the Painter

Saint Lazarus the Painter: An Iconographer During the Iconoclast Period


Venerable Longinus

The Sayings of Abba Longinus


Saint Gennadios I, Patriarch of Constantinople

Saint Gennadios I, Patriarch of Constantinople (+ 471)

Saint Gennadius of Constantinople as a Model for our Lives


Saint Maximos III, Patriarch of Constantinople

Saint Maximos III, Patriarch of Constantinople (+ 1482)


Venerable Gennadios of Vatopaidi

Saint Gennadios the Steward of Vatopaidi


The Beneficial Tale of Saint Zacharias the Leather-Cutter and John

The Beneficial Tale of Saint Zacharias the Leather-Cutter and John


Venerable Nikon the Abbot of Radonezh and Disciple of the Venerable Sergius

Saint Nikon the Abbot of Radonezh and Disciple of the Saint Sergius (+ 1426)


Holy Martyr Gobron (Michael) and the 133 Soldiers of Georgia

Holy Martyr Gobron and the 133 Soldiers of Georgia

Saint Gregory of Neocaesarea Resource Page

St. Gregory of Neocaesarea the Wonderworker (Feast Day - November 17)

Verses

Of old Gregory worked wonders,
Standing before God, he is even more wondrous.
On the seventeenth the great wonderworker died.

Saint Gregory the Wonderworker of Neocaesarea

Saint Gregory of Neocaesaria's Revelation of the True Faith

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Saint Eucherius, Bishop of Lyon (+ 449)

St. Eucherius of Lyon (Feast Day - November 16)

Saint Eucherius, Bishop of Lyon, was a high-born and high-ranking ecclesiastic in the Christian Church of Gaul. He is remembered for his letters advocating extreme self-abnegation. Henry Wace ranked him "except perhaps St. Irenaeus the most distinguished occupant of that see".

As was a common fifth century practice, on the death of his wife Gallia (born c. 390), he withdrew for a time to the Lerins Abbey, founded by Saint Honoratus on the smaller of the two islands off Antibes, with his sons, Veranius and Salonius, to live a severely simple life of study and devote himself to the education of his sons. Soon afterward he withdrew further, to the neighbouring island of Lerona (now Sainte-Marguerite), where he devoted his time to study and mortification of the flesh. With the thought that he might join the anchorites in the deserts of the East, he consulted John Cassian, the famed hermit who had arrived from the East to Marseille; Cassian dedicated the second set of his Conferences (Numbers 11-17) to Eucherius and Honoratus. These Conferences describe the daily lives of the hermits of the Egyptian Thebaid and discuss the important themes of grace, free will, and Scripture. It was at this time (c. 428) that Eucherius wrote his epistolary essay De laude Eremi ("In Praise of the Desert") addressed to Bishop Hilary of Arles.

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