Thursday, April 26, 2018

Second of Five Exciting Announcements from the Mystagogy Resource Center


Dear Readers:

Christ is Risen!

As mentioned yesterday, the second exciting announcement is a 50 book giveaway, provided by an anonymous donor. 30 of the books were chosen by him and 20 by me. They are basic and essential texts that should be in every Orthodox library, along with a few popular texts and personal favorites. This is a great opportunity to stock up your Orthodox library. The value of these books exceed over $1000!

These 50 books will be given to one person by random draw, which will take place on May 15th. To be eligible, you must be a donor of the Mystagogy Resource Center. For every $5 you donate, you get one entry in the random draw. All current donors are eligible, and they will get one entry per the $5 they have donated over the past year. If you become a new subscriber for $5 a month, you will get 1 entry. If you donate $60, you will get 12 entries. Obviously, the more you donate, the more entries you get.

I have been informed that if successful, this offer of a 50 book giveaway may become an annual thing, possibly bi-annual. So if you continue your subscription, you will be eligible for more entries in the future. Certain titles of the books may change in the future.

Below is the list of 50 books. If you would like more information about each specific text, a google search of what is written below should bring up more information.

1-7. The Synaxarion: The Lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church, Volumes 1-7

8. The Spiritual Meadow

9. The Northern Thebaid: Monastic Saints of the Russian North

10. The Lives of the Desert Fathers

11. The Ladder of Divine Ascent

12. We Shall See Him as He is

13. Saint Silouan the Athonite

14. St Gregory Palamas as a Hagiorite

15. The Blessed Surgeon

16. Our Thougths Determine Our Lives: The Life and Teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

17. I Know a Man in Christ: Elder Sophrony the Hesychast and Theologian

18. Man and the God-Man - St. Justin Popovich

19. A History of the Monks of Syria

20-21. Contemporary Ascetics of Mount Athos Vols. 1 and 2

22. Two Hundred Chapters On Theology: St. Maximus the Confessor

23. Poems on Scripture: Saint Gregory of Nazianzus

24-28. The Christian Tradition, Volumes 1-5

29-32. Evergetinos (Complete 4-Volume Set)

33-36. The Philokalia: The Complete Text (Vols. 1-4)

37. Three Byzantine Saints

38. Concerning Frequent Communion of the Immaculate Mysteries of Christ - St. Nicodemos the Hagiorite

39. Confession of Faith - St. Nicodemos the Hagiorite

40. Disputations with Pyrrhus - St. Maximus the Confessor

41. Divine Eros: Hymns of Saint Symeon the New Theologian

42-43. Letters of Barsanuphios and John, Volumes 1 and 2

44. Abba Isaiah of Scetis: Ascetic Discourses

45-47. On the Mystical Life, The Ethical Discourses: St. Symeon the New Theologian, Volumes 1-3

48. An Outline of Orthodox Patristic Dogmatics - Fr. John Romanides

49. The Lives of the Monks of Palestine

50. Feasts of the Lord: An Introduction to the Twelve Feasts and Orthodox Christology

To be eligible for entry, donate or subscribe below. You can also both donate and subscribe as well. Thank you for taking part in this giveaway!

Click on the DONATE button to make a one-time donation (a Paypal account is not needed to make a one-time donation):





To make a monthly contribution, choose from the options below to set your amount and click on the SUBSCRIBE button (please use a browser other than Mozilla Firefox to change the amount of the monthly donation).





To send in your donation, please do so to the following address:

John Sanidopoulos
PO Box 320284
West Roxbury, MA 02132



First of Five Exciting Announcements from the Mystagogy Resource Center


Dear Readers:

Christ is Risen!

Twice a year I make an appeal for your financial support of this ministry, a few weeks before Christmas and a few weeks after Easter. Your generous support is what keeps the ministry of the Mystagogy Resource Center going. To give you an example of some of the messages I have received from my readers throughout the world in the past sixty days alone, I will present five testimonials:

"Your site is by far the most informative and reliable Orthodox website on the internet."

"I don't know what I would do without your ministry."

"Yours is the only website I visit where I say 'wow' over and over again while reading the material."

"I refer to your websites daily not only for my own edification, but I use it every day in my ministry as well."

"You have to understand how much your ministry is appreciated not only by me, but by many people I know."

These testimonials are only a small sample of the dozens upon dozens I have received over the years. These five alone were sent to me by two priests in the United States, a layman in Thailand, a laywoman in Australia, and a deacon/seminarian from Romania. Though I typically don't post testimonials, nor ask for them, I thought I would share these to give you an example of how much this ministry is appreciated and helpful to people around the world.

With this, I also wanted to make a few exciting announcements. First, on this website alone, I have already surpassed 11,000 posts, making it difficult to navigate through for you the reader, and difficult for me to organize. Therefore the first announcement I wanted to make today is that in the next week, I will be deleting hundreds of posts that I don't think are necessary to keep, and I will start to organize the site by dividing each post into its own particular topic. This will take a long time, but I will start doing it this week. This is something many have asked me to do, and since it needs to be done, I will start doing it.

The next four exciting announcements will be presented with more detail over the next four days. Here I will just say what they are:

Tomorrow I will announce an exciting 50 book giveaway. Yes, 50 free quality books can be yours for free! Those eligible to enter for the 50 book giveaway will be current and future donors to this ministry, whether it be my monthly subscription or semiannual or annual. And whatever amounts to $5 a month will count as one entry. The books are being provided for by an anonymous donor, with 30 chosen by him and 20 by me. This giveaway values at over $1,000, so if you want to be eligible, you must either subscribe or donate below as soon as possible.

Friday I will announce the launch of another exciting website. This website will solely be devoted to the questions I have both received over the years as well as new future questions, together with my responses.

Saturday I will announce the launch of a second exciting website. This website will solely be devoted to book reviews.

Sunday I will announce the launch of a third exciting website. This website will solely be devoted to World Religions.

Please visit daily for more information about the above announcements. The new websites will all be part of the Mystagogy Resource Center.

With this, I urge you all to financially support this ministry. Of course, it is free for all to enjoy, but it will only be free to all as long as those who are able to can send in their financial support. If possible, please send at least an annual contribution of $60, which equals to a $5 a month subscription, which equals to about 16 cents a day. By doing so, you will also be eligible for the 50 book giveaway, which I will announce in more detail tomorrow.

Thank you!


Click on the DONATE button to make a one-time donation (a Paypal account is not needed to make a one-time donation):





To make a monthly contribution, choose from the options below to set your amount and click on the SUBSCRIBE button (please use a browser other than Mozilla Firefox to change the amount of the monthly donation).





To send in your donation, please do so to the following address:

John Sanidopoulos
PO Box 320284
West Roxbury, MA 02132



With love in the Risen Lord,

John Sanidopoulos



Saints and Feasts of April 26


On the twenty-sixth Basil was beheaded with a sword.

Holy Hieromartyr Basil, Bishop of Amasea

Holy Hieromartyr Basil, Bishop of Amasea (+ 322)


Saint Glaphyra

Holy Hieromartyr Basil, Bishop of Amasea (+ 322)


Saint Stephen, Bishop of Perm

Saint Stephen, Bishop of Perm (+ 1396)

Mount of St. Stephen of Perm


Venerable Kalandion

Saint Kalandion and his Unique Church in Cyprus


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Saints and Feasts of April 25


On the twenty-fifth the senseless ones dragged Mark along the ground.

Holy Glorious Apostle and Evangelist Mark

Holy Apostle Mark the Evangelist

Saint Mark the Evangelist as a Model for our Lives


Saint Macedonius, Patriarch of Constantinople

Saint Macedonius II, Patriarch of Constantinople (+ c. 517)


Venerable Basil the Hesychast, Abbot of Poiana Marului Skete

Saint Basil the Hesychast, Abbot of Poiana Marului Skete (+ 1767)

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Holy Eight Martyrs Eusebius, Neonos, Leontios, Longinus, Danabos, Demetrios, Nestabos and Christopher

Holy Eight Martyrs of Nicomedia (Feast Day - April 24)

Verses

The eight Martyrs are equal in number,
The equal multiplied by equal multiplied by equal were beheaded.

After the martyrdom of Saint George, the impious Diocletian ordered for all Christians found throughout the world, and indeed all those who had been imprisoned after witnessing the martyrdom and miracles of Saint George and having converted thereby, were to offer sacrifices to the false gods, and if they did so they would be set free and allowed to live. If they did not do so, they would be tortured without mercy, and lastly put to death.

Holy Martyr Savvas the General and Goth (+ 272)

St. Savvas the Goth and General (Feast Day - April 24)

Verses

To Savvas.
Savvas drowned the fearsome demons of delusion,
O river-drowned Martyr you behold the Lord.

To the Seventy Soldiers.
The number of heads cut off by the sword,
Found of fallen men were ten times seven.

The Holy Martyr Savvas lived during the reign of Emperor Aurelian (270-275). He was a scion of Gothia, and held the rank of military general (stratelates) at Rome. From his youth, Savvas was a Christian and he fervently followed the commands of Christ and strove for virtue. He helped the needy, and visited Christians in prison. Because of his pure and virtuous life the Saint received from the Lord the gift of wonderworking, healing the sick and casting out demons in the name of Christ.

Saints and Feasts of April 24


On the twenty-fourth Elizabeth was carried off to the heavens.

Venerable Elizabeth the Wonderworker

Saint Elizabeth the Wonderworker of Constantinople


Holy Martyr Savvas the General and Goth

Holy Martyr Savvas the General and Goth (+ 272)


Holy Seventy Soldier Martyrs 
Converted by Saint Savvas

Holy Martyr Savvas the General and Goth (+ 272)


Holy Eight Martyrs Eusebius, Neonos, Leontios, 
Longinus, Danabos, Demetrios, Nestabos and Christopher

Holy Eight Martyrs Eusebius, Neonos, Leontios, Longinus, Danabos, Demetrios, Nestabos and Christopher


Venerable Xenophon, Founder of the Athonite 
Monastery of Xenophontos

Saint Xenophon, Founder of the Athonite Monastery of Xenophontos


Holy New Martyr Doukas the Tailor from Mytilene

Holy New Martyr Doukas the Tailor from Mytilene (+ 1564)


Saint Sava the Confessor, Metropolitan of Transylvania

Saint Sava Brancovici, Metropolitan of Transylvania (+ 1683)


Monday, April 23, 2018

Holy New Martyr George of Ptolemais (+ 1752)

St. George the New Martyr of Ptolemais (Feast Day - April 21)

Verses

Now George is gathered with George,
New and old are placed together thither.

By St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite

The victorious New Martyr of Christ, George, came from Cyprus. He was young, handsome, intelligent and moral. Leaving his homeland he came to Ptolemais (modern Acre of Palestine). There he entered the service of one of the European consulates, where he was hired as an attendant to one of its members. George would frequently purchase eggs for his employer's household from a certain poor Turkish woman, who had a daughter of legal age. With the passage of time, the girl began to await his arrival. She spoke freely with him, but only in her mother's absence. Several neighbors noticed that the youth would only buy eggs from this girl (as much as she had), and not from anyone else. They became envious and resentful. They, therefore, took counsel among themselves to make some mischief for George.

Holy Martyr Athanasios Who Was a Magician, Converted by Saint George


Verses

Athanasios the sorcerer was beheaded,
The ailing soul found a strange medicine.

During the trials of the Holy Great Martyr George, Dadianus the governor wrote a letter in which he thus said, "I write to the whole world, greetings. Let any enchanter or magician who can put an end to the magic of this Christian come here to me, and I will give him much wealth and any territory that he shall ask for, and he shall be second in the kingdom."

Holy Martyrs Anatolios and Protoleon the Soldiers, Converted by Saint George

Sts. Anatolios and Protoleon the Martyrs (Feast Day - April 23)

Verses

To Anatolios.
At sunset the head of Anatolios was cut off,
At sunrise he saw the noetic light of the Lord.

To Protoleon.
Protoleon the Martyr of Christ was beheaded,
Having confidence in Christ like a lion has in its tail.

To turn Saint George from his faith in Christ and sacrifice to the idols, they subjected him to various tortures. Among the cruel punishments he was subject to was the Great Wheel. Therefore they tied him to a wheel below which were fixed many sharp knives, so that when the wheel spun George would be cut to pieces. Everyone believed that indeed they would find George dead and cut to pieces. But when the Emperor Diocletian and his entourage were on their way to the temple to sacrifice to the gods, thinking with satisfaction that they had finally finished him off, they suddenly saw George standing right in front of them. He had been delivered from this cruel torture by an Angel of the Lord. All who saw him were astounded, and believed he was a ghost.

Saints and Feasts of April 23


On the twenty-third, George’s neck was seized by the brazen blade.

Holy Glorious Great Martyr George the Victorious

Saint George the Great Martyr Resource Page


Holy Martyrs Anatolios and Protoleon the Soldiers

Holy Martyrs Anatolios and Protoleon the Soldiers, Converted by Saint George


Holy Martyr Athanasios Who Was a Magician

Holy Martyr Athanasios Who Was a Magician, Converted by Saint George


Holy Martyr Glykerios the Farmer

Saint Glykerios the Farmer of Nicomedia


Saints Gerontios and Polychronia, Parents of Saint George

Saints Gerontios and Polychronia, Parents of Saint George


Holy New Martyr George of Ptolemais

Holy New Martyr George of Ptolemais (+ 1752)


Holy New Martyr Lazarus the Shepherd of Bulgaria

Holy New Martyr Lazarus the Shepherd of Bulgaria (+ 1802)


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Homily on the Sunday of the Myrrhbearing Women: On Spiritual Deadness (St. Ignatius Brianchaninov)


By St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

The Gospels have told us today[1] about the exploits of the holy women who followed the God-Man during His earthly wanderings. They witnessed His sufferings and were present at his burial. The burial took place on Friday evening. While the Jews’ wrath was pouring out like the fiery lava of Aetna not only upon the Lord, but upon all of those close to Him; while the Holy Apostles were forced to hide or observe the extraordinary events only from a distance; while only John, the beloved disciple who leaned upon the breast of the Lord, feared nothing and remained always near the Lord, the secret disciple, Joseph of Arimathea, who had always concealed his heart’s allegiance due to persecution from the Sanhedrin, suddenly disregards all the obstacles, hesitations, and anxiety that had bound and worried him until then, and he appears before cold, cruel Pilate to beg the body of the One who was shamefully executed. He receives the Lord’s body and buries it with reverence and honor.

Explanation of the Gospel Reading for the Third Sunday of Pascha (St. Theophylact of Ochrid)


Third Sunday of Pascha
The Myrrhbearing Women

Mark 15:43-16:6

By Blessed Theophylact, Archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria

42-47. Now when the evening was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a noble counsellor, who also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and asked for the Body of Jesus. And Pilate wondered if He were already dead, and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether He had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the Body to Joseph. And he bought fine linen, and took Him down, and wrapped Him in the linen, and laid Him in a tomb which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the tomb. And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where He was laid.

Saints and Feasts of April 22


On the twenty-second the Sykeote was hidden in the grave.

Venerable Theodore the Sykeote, Bishop of Anastasiopolis

Saint Theodore the Sykeote, Bishop of Anastasiopolis

The Role of St. George in the Life of St. Theodore Sykeote


Venerable Ananias of Malles in Crete

Hatzi Ananias of Malles, Crete (+ 1907)

The Amazing Miracles of Hatzi Ananias of Malles, Crete

Hatzi Ananias of Crete Has Been Proposed for Canonization


Holy New Hieromartyr Sabbas, Bishop of Gornji Karlovac

Holy New Hieromartyr Sabbas, Who Was Skinned Alive By the Ustashi (+ 1941)


Commemoration of the Prisoner Breakout from 
Jasenovac Concentration Camp

Holy New Martyrs of Jasenovac Concentration Camp


Saturday, April 21, 2018

Life of the Holy Hieromartyr Januarius, Bishop of Benevento, and his Companions


On the twenty-first of April, we commemorate the Holy Hieromartyr Januarius the Bishop of Benevento and his companions: Proculus, Sosius and Festus the Deacons, Desiderius the Reader, Acutius and Eutychius the Laymen.

Verses

To Januarius.
Januarius was a noble man,
In the month of April he was beheaded.

To Proculus, Sosius and Festus.
Proculus together with Sosius and Festus,
Bent forward for beheading while the sword was in its sheath.

To Desiderius.
The neck of Desiderius was bound to the sword,
He submitted to beheading and stands before the Lord.

To Acutius and Eutychius.
The voice of Acutius was heard,
Saying "Eutychius my fellow in beheading."

On the twenty-first Januarius was beheaded.

On the Salvation of Those Who Died Before Christ (St. Anastasios of Sinai)


I am offering the translation below in response to the translation here:  http://ldysinger.stjohnsem.edu/@texts/0-03_plato/99_anast-sinai.htm. There, "hades" is translated as "hell", which is not accurate, but even worse, in section 3, the translation of the first sentence reads: "Having heard this you cannot believe that there is no repentance in hell." This is a serious mistranslation, making it as if St. Anastasios believed there was "repentance in hell", which is something no Church Father believed. Therefore the translation below is a more accurate translation to remedy the false attribution of such a teaching to St. Anastasios.

By St. Anastasios of Sinai

(Questions and Answers, 61)

QUESTION 61:

In regard to the Greeks who died before the coming of Christ, is it fitting to pray for them, rather than condemn them?

ANSWER:

Saint Maximianos, Patriarch of Constantinople (+ 434)

St. Maximianos of Constantinople (Feast Day - April 21)

Verses

Maximianos who was not an all-devouring wolf,
Instead reared the Church and died.

Our Holy Father Maximianos was born in Rome to notable and wealthy parents, and was a childhood friend of Pope Celestine I of Rome. He was noted to be a pious man, but was not known for his intellect, though he was educated. He had a good reputation among the Christians, in part because at his own expense he constructed monuments to bury the departed. Maximianos led a monastic life before he entered the priesthood. He became a priest of the Church of Constantinople, ordained by Patriarch Sisinnius I. After the deposition of Nestorius, Maximianos became Archbishop of Constantinople at the insistence of Emperor Theodosius II, who apparently was looking for an ordinary candidate and perhaps one who was not overly under the influence of his sister, Pulcheria. His selection passed over Proclus, who was a favorite of the aristocrats.

Saints and Feasts of April 21


On the twenty-first Januarius was beheaded.

Hieromartyr Januarius the Bishop of Benevento 
and his companions: Proculus, Sosius and Festus the Deacons, 
Desiderius the Reader,  Acutius and Eutychius the Laymen

Life of the Holy Hieromartyr Januarius, Bishop of Benevento, and his Companions

Saint Januarius as a Model for our Lives


Saint Alexandra the Empress and her servants 
Apollo, Isaakios and Kodratos

Saint Alexandra the Empress of Rome, Wife of Emperor Diocletian


Saint Maximianos, Patriarch of Constantinople

Saint Maximianos, Patriarch of Constantinople (+ 434)


Venerable Anastasios of Sinai

Saint Anastasios of Sinai


Friday, April 20, 2018

Saint Joasaph the Former King, Second Founder of the Great Meteoron Monastery (+ 1423)

St. Joasaph of Meteora (Feast Day - April 20)

Verses

Athanasios with Joasaph in the heavens,
Now dance together have shared in hard work.

The real successor of Saint Athanasios and the second founder of the Great Meteoron Monastery was the holy monk Joasaph. He was born around 1349/50, and baptized with the name John. John was son of the Greek-Serbian King of Thessaly and Epirus, Symeon Uros Palaiologos (1359-1370), whose seat was at Trikala. His mother, Thomais, was daughter of the Despot of Epirus Nikephoros II (+ 1359). From his father’s side he was related to the Roman imperial family of the Palaiologoi, whose surname he was proud to bear. Maria Palaiologina, great-granddaughter of the Roman Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos (1259-1982) from her father’s side (John Palaiologos), and granddaughter from her mother’s side (Irene) of the great logothetis Theodore Metochetes, founder of the famous Chora Monastery at Constantinople, was married to John’s grandfather, the Serbian King Stephen Uros III (1321-1331). John had a younger brother named Stephen. His sister Maria Angelina Komneni Doukaina Palaiologina (+ 28 Dec. 1394), the great benefactress and donatrix of the Great Meteoron Monastery, had married the Despot of Ioannina Thomas Preliubovic (+ 23 Dec. 1384).

Saint Athanasios, Founder of the Great Meteoron Monastery (+ 1380)

St. Athanasios of Meteora (Feast Day - April 20)

Verses

Meteora's stone Athanasios,
You worked hard to make a path to the cornerstone.

The foundation of the Monastery of the Great Meteoron, or the Transfiguration Monastery, is the starting point of organized monastic life at Meteora. This monastery is the oldest, largest and most formal of the extant Meteora monasteries, as its name “Great Meteoron” implies. Perched on the most imposing rock, it occupies a commanding position among the monastic complex of Meteora.

The Great Meteoron was founded shortly before the middle of the fourteenth century by Saint Athanasios of Meteora, who was also its first founder and the first to organize a systematic monastic community. Athanasios, the son of eminent parents, was born at Hypati, the well-known medieval town of New Patras, in 1302 and was baptized Andronikos.

Holy Martyrs Victor, Zotikos, Zeno, Akindynos, Caesarios, Severian, Christopher, Theonas and Antoninos

St. Victor and his Companions (Feast Day - April 20)

Verses

To Akindynos and the four with him.
The four with Akindynos were slain by the sword,
Thus escaping the danger of delusion.

To Christopher and the three with him.
Covered in soot from the furnace,
Those with Christopher approached Christ.

Saints and Feasts of April 20


On the twentieth, Theodore, your bones went without your courageous spirit.

Venerable Theodore the Trichinas

Saint Theodore the Trichinas ("Hair-Shirt Wearer")


Holy Martyrs Victor, Zotikos, Zeno, Akindynos, Caesarios, 
Severian, Christopher, Theonas and Antoninos

Holy Martyrs Victor, Zotikos, Zeno, Akindynos, Caesarios, Severian, Christopher, Theonas and Antoninos


Holy Apostle Zacchaeus

Holy Apostle Zacchaeus, Bishop of Caesarea

Sunday of Zacchaeus Resource Page


Venerable John of Old Lavra

Saint John of Old Lavra


Venerable Athanasios, 
Founder of the Great Meteoron Monastery

Saint Athanasios, Founder of the Great Meteoron Monastery (+ 1380)


Venerable Joasaph the Former King, 
Second Founder of the Great Meteoron Monastery

Saint Joasaph the Former King, Second Founder of the Great Meteoron Monastery (+ 1423)


Holy Martyr Gabriel of Zabludov

Child Martyr Gabriel of Zabludov, Poland (+ 1690)


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Saint Symeon the Barefoot and Single-Tunicked, Abbot of the Monastery of Philotheou (+ 1594)

St. Symeon the Barefoot, Founder of Flamourion Monastery (Feast Day - April 19)

Verses

Blessed Symeon walked barefoot,
Who mortally stomped on the serpent.

Our Venerable Father Symeon the Barefoot and Single-Tunicked was the son of a priest, and from the age of fifteen he was under the spiritual care of Bishop Pachomios of Demetriada, in the region of Larissa. Bishop Pachomios tonsured him a monk and ordained him a hierodeacon. In order to learn the strict monastic life, Symeon soon departed to a monastery near Mount Olympus, and from there went to the Great Lavra of Saint Athanasios the Athonite on Mount Athos. There, his humility and zealous obedience gained him the respect of the brethren, and he was ordained a hieromonk.

Holy Martyr Theodore of Perge in Pamphylia, with his mother Philippa, the two soldiers Socrates and Dionysios, and Dioscorus

Sts. Theodore of Perge, Pamphilla, Socrates, Dionysios and Dioscorus (Feast Day - April 19)

Verses

To Theodore.
You were seen to be a communicant of the passion, Theodore,
Having suffered beyond the passion.

To Philippa.
I kiss Philippa, as the mother of an athlete,
I kiss Philippa, as having contested by the sword.

To Socrates and Dionysios.
Of old a spear pierced the Highest when dead,
And now the two Martyrs were pierced while alive.

Saint Tryphon, Patriarch of Constantinople (+ 933)

St. Tryphon, Archbishop of Constantinople (Feast Day - April 19)

Verses

Hating luxury Tryphon longed for God,
He stands before God in His dwelling-place.

Our Holy Father Tryphon was a monk somewhere in Asia Minor from the time of his youth, distinguished by his meekness, lack of malice, full submission to the will of God, and his firm faith and love for the Church. At this time the emperor Romanos I Lekapenos (919-944) ruled in Constantinople. He wanted to elevate his younger son Theophylaktos to the patriarchal throne. Initially he had him made synkellos at the age of eleven in 924 to Patriarch Nicholas I Mystikos. When Patriarch Stephen (925-928) died, Theophylaktos was only sixteen years old and ostensibly installed on the patriarchal throne. The emperor then suggested that Tryphon be locum tenens of the patriarchal throne until Theophylaktos came of age.

Holy Hieromartyr Paphnutios of Jerusalem

St. Paphnutios of Jerusalem (Feast Day - April 19)

Verses

The grave of Paphnutios was hidden in the earth,
Neglected and silent it hides the grave.
On the nineteenth Paphnutios was thereupon raised up.

All that we know of Saint Paphnutios is gathered from the hymns chanted today, as no biography has been left to us. We therefore gather that he was a Bishop or Priest from Jerusalem, who for his faith in Christ contested with wild beasts, then fire, and he was finally beheaded by the sword.

Saints and Feasts of April 19


On the nineteenth Paphnutios was lifted up.

Holy Hieromartyr Paphnutios of Jerusalem

Holy Hieromartyr Paphnutios of Jerusalem

Saint Paphnutios of Jerusalem as a Model for our Lives


Holy Martyr Theodore of Perge in Pamphylia, 
with his mother Philippa, 
the two soldiers Socrates and Dionysios, and Dioscorus

Holy Martyr Theodore of Perge in Pamphylia, with his mother Philippa, the two soldiers Socrates and Dionysios, and Dioscorus


Venerable George the Confessor, Bishop of Pisidia

Synaxarion of Saint George the Confessor, Bishop of Pisidia


Saint Tryphon, Patriarch of Constantinople

Saint Tryphon, Patriarch of Constantinople (+ 933)


Venerable Symeon the Barefoot and Single-Tunicked, 
Abbot of the Monastery of Philotheou and 
Founder of Flamourion Monastery

Saint Symeon the Barefoot and Single-Tunicked, Abbot of the Monastery of Philotheou (+ 1594)


Holy New Martyr Agathangelos of Esphigmenou

Holy New Martyr Agathangelos of Esphigmenou (+ 1819)


Synaxarion of Saint George the Confessor, Bishop of Pisidia

St. George the Confessor (Feast Day - April 19)

Verses

George as a great farmer,
Had virtue in all its forms at his departure.

This Saint lived during the years of iconoclasm, and was dedicated to God from childhood. Because of his extraordinary virtue, he was ordained Bishop of Pisidia.*

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Synaxarion of Saint Kosmas the Confessor, Bishop of Chalcedon

St. Kosmas the Confessor of Chalcedon (Feast Day - April 18)

Verses

Shattered by arrows and you departed life,
Kosmas was like a discharged arrow by his words.

This Saint was nourished on the milk of asceticism, and having cleansed himself with the spiritual contests of virtue, he became a dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit. Thus he was honored with the office of the Priesthood, and later he was established as the shepherd chosen by God of the holy Church of Chalcedon.

Holy Martyr Savvas the General and Goth (+ 372)


Verses

Savvas entered the corruptible water with pleasure,
Now you drink the pleasant incorruptible waters.

The faith of Christ erected its trophies not only over the pride and sophistry of the heathen philosophers, and the united power of the Roman Empire, but also over the kings of barbarous infidel nations; who, though in every other thing the contrast of the Romans, and enemies to their name, yet vied with them in the rage with which they sought, by every human stratagem, and every invention of cruelty, to depress the cross of Christ, by which the finger of God was more visible in the propagation of His faith. Even among the Goths, His name was glorified by the blood of martyrs. Athanaric, king of the Goths, in the year 370, and according to Saint Jerome, raised a violent persecution against the Christians among them. The Greeks commemorate fifty-one martyrs who suffered in that nation. The two most illustrious are Saints Niketas and Savvas.*

Saint John, Disciple of the Saint Gregory of Decapolis

St. John, Disciple of St. Gregory the Decapolite (Feast Day - April 18)

Verses

Leap O John like John,
Not inside the womb, but in Eden.
On the eighteenth John was seen dead.

Our Holy Father John hated the things of this world from a young age, and loved Christ. For this reason he went to Saint Gregory of Decapolis (Nov. 20) at a monastery in Thessaloniki, and received the monastic tonsure from him. There he struggled in all things, serving the Lord. He was conspicuous for his obedience and submissiveness to such an extent, that the divine Gregory his spiritual father rejoiced and glorified God on account of him.

Synaxis of the Maximov Icon of the Mother of God

Synaxis of the Maximov Icon of the Mother of God (Feast Day - April 18)

The Maximov Icon of the Mother of God was painted in the year 1299 following her appearance to Saint Maximus, Metropolitan of Vladimir (Dec. 6). A description of this vision was inscribed on the left side of his crypt. The icon shows the Mother of God in full stature with the Christ Child in her left hand. With her right hand, she offers Metropolitan Maximus (depicted on his knees, or sometimes standing) a bishop’s omophorion.

Saints and Feasts of April 18


On the eighteenth John was seen dead.

Saint John, Disciple of the Saint Gregory of Decapolis

Saint John, Disciple of the Saint Gregory of Decapolis


Holy Martyr Savvas the General and Goth

Holy Martyr Savvas the General and Goth (+ 372)


Venerable Kosmas the Confessor, Bishop of Chalcedon

Synaxarion of Saint Kosmas the Confessor, Bishop of Chalcedon


Venerable Athanasia of Aegina the Wonderworker

Saint Athanasia of Aegina the Wonderworker


Holy New Martyr John the Tailor of Ioannina

Holy New Martyr John the Tailor of Ioannina (+ 1546)

Saint John of Ioannina as a Model for our Lives


Holy New Martyr Tounom the Emir

Saint Tounom the Emir (+ 1579)

Regarding the Column That Was Split By the Holy Fire in 1579


Holy Hieromartyr Cyril VI, Patriarch of Constantinople

Saint Cyril VI, Patriarch of Constantinople (+ April 18, 1821)

Three Recent Miracles of Saint Cyril VI, Patriarch of Constantinople


Synaxis of the Maximov Icon of the Mother of God

Synaxis of the Maximov Icon of the Mother of God


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Saints and Feasts of April 17


On the seventeenth Symeon was decapitated at the neck.

Holy Hieromartyr Symeon, Bishop of Persia, and those with him: 
Audella the Presbyter, Gothazat, Fousik, and another 
One Thousand One Hundred and Fifty Martyrs

Holy Hieromartyr Symeon the Bishop of Persia and Those With Him (+ 343)


Saint Makarios Notaras, Metropolitan of Corinth

Saint Makarios of Corinth Resource Page


Translation of the Sacred Relics of the Venerable Alexander of Svir

Translation of the Relics of Saint Alexander of Svir in 1641

The Incorrupt Relics of St. Alexander of Svir (video)


Holy Hieromartyr Symeon the Bishop of Persia and Those With Him (+ 343)

St. Symeon of Persia and Those With Him (Feast Day - April 17)

Verses

To Symeon.
You are indeed great Symeon the Bishop,
By the sword you are perceived to be a great athlete.

To Audella.
You entered into the mouth of the fearsome bear Audella,
Escaping the insatiable mouth of Satan's abominations.

To Gothazat.
Given the choice between sacrificing and death,
Gothazat seized death by beheading through a sword.

To Fousik.
"Flay my skin" said Fousik,
The garment woven with the cloth of Satan.

To the One Hundred and Fifty.
Three times fifty men were beheaded,
Who venerated the Essence in three Persons.

To the Thousand.
A thousand Persians fell by the sword,
Declaring what you had seen Paul - a cloud of Martyrs.

On the seventeenth Symeon was decapitated at the neck.

By Sozomen

(Ecclesiastical History, Bk. 2, Chs. 9-11)

Translation of the Relics of Saint Alexander of Svir in 1641

Translation of the Relics of St. Alexander of Svir (Feast Day - April 17)

Saint Alexander of Svir died on August 30, 1533. His incorrupt relics were translated in 1641 during the reconstruction of the Transfiguration Cathedral.

The incorrupt relics of the Saint were removed from the Svir Monastery by the Bolsheviks on December 20, 1918 after several unsuccessful attempts to confiscate them. There was an infamous campaign to liquidate the relics of the saints which continued from 1919 to 1922. Many relics of Russsian saints were stolen and subjected to “scientific examination” or displayed in antireligious museums. Some were completely destroyed.

Saint Makarios of Corinth Resource Page

St. Makarios Notaras (Feast Day - April 17)

Life and Veneration

St. Makarios of Corinth: Author of the Philokalic Revival

Saint Makarios Notaras and Patmos

Saint Makarios Notaras, the Wonderworker of Myloi in Samos

Monday, April 16, 2018

The Miraculous Liberation of the Holy Mountain of Athos from the Turks in 1830


The Turks first invaded the Holy Mountain of Athos in the year 1812, spreading panic to all its inhabitants. The ancient monasteries were devastated, and the monks suffered violence and banishment. Though some monks remained without assistance or protection, most fled the peninsula to preserve their lives.

A second invasion took place in 1821. The Turks occupied the Holy Mountain for nine years. On the Sunday of Saint Thomas, 13 April 1830, the Turks abandoned the Holy Mountain. This liberation is annually celebrated by the monks of Mount Athos on the Sunday of Saint Thomas.

When the Turks invaded Mount Athos in 1821, they came to Iveron Monastery. The monks fled to the nearby high country, but the sick and the elderly stayed behind, awaiting whatever death the Turks chose for them. Hierodeacon Gregory Bouyatsas, who was a young monk at Iveron at the time, records that the Turks began to slaughter each monk as they came upon them. Hierodeacon Gregory himself was tortured by the Turks.

Holy New Martyrs George, Manuel, Theodore, George and Michael of Samothrace (+ 1835)


On the Sunday after Pascha (the Sunday of Saint Thomas), we commemorate the Holy Five Neomartyrs of Samothrace: Saints Manuel, Theodore, George, George the Younger, and Michael.

Verses

The five in number choir of New Martyrs,
Are now rightly celebrated in Samothrace.

These Holy New Martyrs were from Samothrace, with the exception of Saint Michael who was from Cyprus. During the Greek Revolution of 1821, the island of Samothrace was occupied by the Turks, who came from Abydos and Tenedos and murdered the Christians inhabitants, while many women and children were taken as slaves to the East and Egypt. Then afterwards, the four martyrs along with Saint Michael (who denied his faith and converted out of fear), were sold throughout various places in Turkey. When Greece was liberated, the Five New Martyrs returned to Samothrace and followed a Christian life.

Holy Sisters and Virgin Martyrs Agape, Irene and Chionia of Thessaloniki

Sts. Agape, Irene and Chionia (Feast Day - April 16)

Verses

To Agape and Chonia.
The fire was as if snow to Chonia,
Which she partook of with her beloved Agape.

To Irene.
An arrow was dispatched to that peaceful place,
Intoxicated by your blood Irene.

Chionia and Agape were burnt on the sixteenth.

The Holy Martyrs Agape, Irene, and Chionia were sisters who lived during the reign of Emperor Diocletian (284-305). They hailed from Thessaloniki and were left orphaned at an early age. When a persecution against the Christians broke out, they left their homeland and went to a mountain near a lake in the area of Nicaea, where they lived in a hermitage with a priest named Zoilos (Dec. 22).

Holy New Martyr Michael of Vourla (+ 1772)

St. Michael of Vourla (Feast Day - April 16)

Verses

You were painted Michael with the gore of your blood,
And appeared white as snow Victorious one.

By St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite

The Holy New Martyr Michael was born in Vourla of Asia Minor. He was a coppersmith by trade, very youthful (about 18 years of age), and of a goodly appearance. He was, however, once deceived by a certain Turkish coppersmith, his employer, and denied the faith of Christ. His renunciation took place on the first Saturday of the Great Fast.

Saints and Feasts of April 16


Chionia and Agape were burnt on the sixteenth.


Holy Sisters and Virgin Martyrs Agape, Irene and Chionia

Holy Sisters and Virgin Martyrs Agape, Irene and Chionia of Thessaloniki


Holy Martyr Leonidas and the Holy Martyrs Charissa, Nike, 
Galena, Kallida, Nounechia, Vasilissa and Theodora

Newly-Revealed Martyrs Leonidas and His Companions


Holy New Martyr Michael of Vourla

Holy New Martyr Michael of Vourla (+ 1772)


Holy New Martyr Christopher of Dionysiou

Holy New Martyr Christopher of Dionysiou (+ 1818)


Synaxis of the Weeping Icon of the Mother of God 'Ilyin Chernigov'

Weeping Icon of the Mother of God 'Ilyin Chernigov'


Saints and Feasts of Thomas Monday and Tuesday


Monday of Saint Thomas

Thomas Monday or Tuesday and the Departed

Homily on the Mystery of the Resurrection of Christ (St. Symeon the New Theologian)

Pentecostarion Resource Page


Synaxis of Panagia Paravouniotissa in Eretria

Synaxis of Panagia Paravouniotissa in Eretria, Greece


Synaxis of Panagia Voithia in Chios

Synaxis of Panagia Voithia in Chios


Synaxis of Panagia Chrysafitissa of Monemvasia

Panagia Chrysafitissa of Monemvasia


Tuesday of Saint Thomas

Thomas Monday or Tuesday and the Departed

Tuesday of St. Thomas: Radonitsa (Day of Rejoicing)

St. John Chrysostom's Homily On the Cemetery and the Cross (Excerpts)

Pentecostarion Resource Page


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Crescens of Myra in Lycia

St. Crescens the Martyr (Feast Day - April 15)

Verses

In astonishment Crescens was seen in the midst of the fire,
The flame that led him to the delightful meadow.
On the fifteenth Crescens was violently made to die in the fire.

He was from Myra of Lycia from an illustrious and notable family, old and advanced in age. When he saw impiety flourishing and the religion of the idols was on the rise, and many were enslaved to its delusion, offering sacrifices to soulless images, the blessed one was moved by zeal, and he went in the midst of the idolaters, admonishing them to refrain from this delusion, and convert to the God believed in by the Christians, Who is the Creator of all that breathes, and the Giver of all life.

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