Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Best of March 2018 by the Mystagogy Resource Center (MRC)


Below is the monthly review for the month of March of the ten most popular articles from the previous month on johnsanidopoulos.com, then all the posts made on the other websites of the Mystagogy Resource Center.

JohnSanidopoulos.com

1. The Mobile Phone of Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyva

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

Lazarus a Bishop


(Click on text to expand.)

Homily on the Resurrection of Lazarus (St. Athanasius of Alexandria)


(Click on text to expand size.)

Saints and Feasts of March 31


On the thirty-first Hypatios was carried off to life.

Holy Hieromartyr Hypatios, Bishop of Gangra

Holy Hieromartyr Hypatios the Wonderworker and Bishop of Gangra


Venerable Akakios the Confessor, Bishop of Melitene

Saint Akakios the Confessor and Bishop of Melitene


Holy Hieromartyr Abdas the Bishop 
and Those Martyred With Him in Persia

Holy Hieromartyr Abdas of Persia and Those Martyred With Him


Venerable Martyr Blaise of Amorion

Saint Blaise of Amorion (+ 909/12)


Saint Innocent Veniaminov, Metropolitan of Moscow 
and Missionary to Alaska

Saint Innocent (Veniaminov), Metropolitan of Moscow and Missionary to Alaska

Icon of St. Innocent of Moscow Begins Weeping at Khabarovsk Orthodox Seminary


Friday, March 30, 2018

Saint Euboula, Mother of Saint Panteleimon

St. Euboula (Feast Day - March 30)

Verses

In heaven you are joined with your athlete child,
O mother of the athlete and beautiful child Euboula.

Saint Euboula lived during the reign of Emperor Maximian (286-305), and was from the city of Nicomedia. She was the wife of a Greek pagan named Eustorgios, while she was from a family of Christians. Saint Panteleimon was born to her, and she raised him to love God. She reposed in peace, and today her marble tomb is located in the Cave of the Magi under the Monastery of Saint Theodosios the Cenobiarch to the east of Bethlehem, along with the tombs of 35 other renowned Saints.

Saints and Feasts of March 30


On the thirtieth John rejoiced to be set free.

Venerable John, Author of the Ladder

Saint John Climacus Resource Page


Holy Prophet Joel (or Joad)

The Prophet Joel, the Man of God From Judah


Venerable John of the Well

Synaxarion of Saint John of the Well

Saint John of the Well as a Model for our Lives


Holy Martyr Victor of Thessaloniki 
and the Eleven Martyrs With Him

Holy Martyr Victor of Thessaloniki and the Eleven Martyrs With Him


Saint Euboula, Mother of Saint Panteleimon

Saint Euboula, Mother of Saint Panteleimon


Holy New Hieromartyr Zacharias, Metropolitan of Corinth

Holy New Martyr Zacharias, Metropolitan of Corinth (+ 1684)


Commemoration of the Monk who Joyfully Died 
and who Never Judged Anyone in his Life

The Monk Who Never Judged


Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Church of Saints Jonah and Barachisios in Farasa of Cappadocia


Saints Jonah and Barachisios (March 29) are the patron saints of Farasa in Cappadocia. It was in the church dedicated to them that Saint Arsenios of Cappadocia often liturgized. Saint Paisios the Athonite tells us that he often held vigil services here from 9:00PM to 3:00AM. Before the population exchange, Saint Arsenios dug a pit in this church and buried the sacred vessels he could not carry with him, so as not to be desecrated by the Turks. And after the villagers fled, and had walked 60 km, Saint Arsenios forgot the fragment of holy relic of Saint John Chrysostom that he had left in this altar, so he returned alone to retrieve it, not wanting to tire the travelers anymore, and when he returned to his flock they were waiting for him anxiously. Unfortunately, after the population exchange in 1924, this church was converted into a mosque, and the sanctuary was converted into a bathroom.


Life and Writings of Diadochos of Photiki


By Archimandrite Dr. Theodoritus Polyzogopoulos





"On Watchfulness and Holiness" (St. Hesychios of Sinai)


Introductory Notes

Saint Nikodemos the Hagiorite identifies the writer of this work that follows, "On Watchfulness and Holiness", with Saint Hesychios of Jerusalem, author of many Biblical commentaries, who lived in the first half of the fifth century. But it is today accepted that "On Watchfulness and Holiness" is the work of an entirely different Hesychios, who was abbot of the Monastery of the Mother of God of the Burning Bush (Vatos) at Sinai. Hesychios of Sinai's date is uncertain, as well as any details of his life, though he is commemorated in the Greek Orthodox Church on March 29th. He is probably later than St John Climacus (sixth or seventh century), with whose book The Ladder of Divine Ascent he seems to be familiar; possibly he lived in the eighth or ninth century though he is not mentioned in any source until the thirteenth century. As well as drawing upon Climacus, he incorporates in his work passages from Saint Mark the Ascetic and Saint Maximus the Confessor.1

Saints and Feasts of March 29


On the twenty-ninth the Athletes went to the heavens.

Holy Hieromartyrs Mark the Bishop of Arethusa, Cyril the Deacon 
and the Priests and Virgins of Ashkalon and Gaza

Holy Hieromartyrs Mark the Bishop of Arethusa, Cyril the Deacon and the Priests and Virgins of Ashkalon and Gaza


Holy Martyrs Jonah, Barachisios and the Nine With Them

Holy Martyrs Jonah, Barachisios and the Nine With Them from Persia

The Church of Saints Jonah and Barachisios in Farasa of Cappadocia


Venerable Eustathios the Confessor, Bishop of Kio in Bithynia

Synaxarion of Saint Eustathios the Confessor, Bishop of Kio in Bithynia


Saint Diadochos, Bishop of Photiki

Saint Diadochos of Photiki Resource Page


Saint Hesychios of Sinai

"On Watchfulness and Holiness" (St. Hesychios of Sinai)


Saint Eutropia of Kherson

Saint Eutropia (Isayenkova) of Kherson Glorified By Ukrainian Church


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Woman Who Was Given the Choice To Imitate Either Her Father or Mother


By Palladius, Bishop of Helenopolis

It was related by a certain old man who said: There was a virgin who was far advanced in years, and who had grown old in the fear of God, and having been asked by me to tell me the reason why she left the world, she began, with sighs, to speak to me as follows: 'Great and marvelous things have happened unto me. When I was a young girl I had a father, who was a pleasant man, and who was modest in his disposition; now he was a delicate man in health, and he was always suffering from some kind of sickness, and he lived entirely to himself, and never interfered in the affairs of other people, and it was with the greatest difficulty that he could be induced to see the people of his village. When he was in good health he devoted his attention unceasingly to the care of his estate, and he occupied himself at all seasons with the cultivation of his fields; but finally he was obliged to pass many long days of his life laid out on a bed of sickness, and he was so quiet that those who were not acquainted with him would have thought that he was deaf. And I had a mother, who, in all her ways and manners, was the opposite of my father, and she used to do things which were beyond her capacity; her words to everyone were many, and she poured out her speech uselessly to every one, and she talked so much that everyone imagined that her body was composed wholly of tongues. Moreover, she had quarrels with her neighbors continually, and she was always in a state of drunkenness, and she drank shamelessly at all times with wanton folk, and she managed the affairs of her house badly, after the manner of a harlot. At length, though the house was well furnished with goods of every kind, it was with the greatest difficulty that the people could find enough to supply our wants. She was very lax in the care for the things which my father required in his illness, but she displayed the utmost attention in providing for her own body in a disgraceful manner, and the people of the village at length fled before her shameless appearance. No illness ever came upon her, and she had never been ill in the whole course of her life, from the day she was born, and she was healthy in body until her death.

Of the Virgin Who Fell, Made a False Accusation, and Repented


By Palladius, Bishop of Helenopolis

A certain virgin, the daughter of an elder in Caesarea of Palestine, having been beguiled and led astray by a man, fell, and he who had beguiled her instructed her to make an accusation against a certain reader of the church of the city. And the time having arrived when her conception became known, and being called upon to confess her matter by her father, she made the accusation against that reader, and the elder, her father, thereupon, like one who believed her implicitly, made the affair known to the Bishop. Then the Bishop laid his hand upon the shrine, and commanded that the reader should be called, and his affair having been enquired into, like one who was confident in his own integrity, he was unwilling to confess that he had done the wrong; for how was it possible for him to accuse himself of that which he had not done? And the Bishop becoming angry said unto him, “Will you not confess, O wretched and polluted man, you who are guilty and full of uncleanness?” And the reader answered him, saying, “Master, I have neither knowledge nor feeling about this matter, for my thoughts and mind are clean in respect thereof, and no thought concerning this woman has ever entered my mind. But if you wish to hear that which has never taken place, I will say that I myself committed the offense.” And having spoken thus, the Bishop straightway removed the reader from his position. Then the reader drew nigh and entreated the Bishop, saying, “Master, since I have stumbled and fallen, give the command that the woman be given unto me to wife, for I am no longer a cleric, and she is not a virgin.” So the Bishop gave the woman to the reader to wife, because he thought that he was held by love of her, and that he could not cut the affair concerning her out of his thoughts.

Saint John, Bishop of Manglisi (+ 1751)

St. John of Manglisi (Feast Day - March 28)

Saint John (Saakadze) of Manglisi was born in 1668 and spiritually nurtured in the Davit-Gareji Wilderness. Outstanding in virtue, John was quickly ordained a hieromonk, and soon after consecrated Bishop of Manglisi.

In 1724 Saint John left Davit-Gareji for Derbend, Dagestan, where he constructed a wooden church and began to preach Christianity among the local people. He labored there with eleven other pious believers. Saint John’s humble life and the miracles he performed attracted the attention of the Muslim Dagestanis, and even the government took notice of his tireless evangelical activity.

Holy Martyrs Priscus, Malchus and Alexander of Caesarea


By Eusebius of Caesarea

(Ecclesiastical History, Bk. 7, Ch. 12)

During the persecution under Valerian (253-260), three men in Caesarea of Palestine, being conspicuous in their confession of Christ, were adorned with divine martyrdom, becoming food for wild beasts. One of them was called Priscus, another Malchus, and the name of the third was Alexander. They say that these men, who lived in the country, acted at first in a cowardly manner, as if they were careless and thoughtless. For when the opportunity was given to those who longed for the prize with heavenly desire, they treated it lightly, lest they should seize the crown of martyrdom prematurely. But having deliberated on the matter, they hastened to Caesarea, and went before the judge and met the end we have mentioned.


Saints and Feasts of March 28


On the twenty-eighth Hilarion met his death.

Venerable Hilarion the New, Abbot of Pelekete

Saint Hilarion the New, Abbot of Pelekete (+ 754)


Holy Apostle Herodion of the Seventy

Holy Apostle Herodion of the Seventy


Venerable Hesychios of Jerusalem

Saint Hesychios the Theologian of Jerusalem


Holy Martyrs Priscus, Malchus and Alexander of Caesarea

Holy Martyrs Priscus, Malchus and Alexander of Caesarea


Venerable Eustratius the Faster of the Kiev Caves

Saint Eustratius the Faster of the Kiev Caves (+ 1097)


Holy Martyr Boyan-Enravota, Prince of Bulgaria

Saint Boyan-Enravota, the First Bulgarian Martyr


Venerable Dionysios the Merciful, Metropolitan of Larissa

Saint Dionysios the Merciful, Metropolitan of Larissa (+ 1510)


Venerable John, Bishop of Manglisi

Saint John, Bishop of Manglisi (+ 1751)


The Wondrous Occurrence of Taxiotis the Soldier

The Near Death Experience of Saint Taxiotis the Soldier


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Concerning a Nun Who Fell and Repented


By Palladius, Bishop of Helenopolis

There was a certain virgin who was a nun, and who dwelt with two other nuns, and she had led a life of abstinence and voluntary self-denial for nine or ten years. And having been beguiled and led astray by a certain chanter of Psalms, she stumbled, and fell, and conceived, and gave birth to a child.

Now she hated with the fullest hatred him that had beguiled her. And she repented within herself with a perfect repentance, and she followed after repentance with such vigor that she went beyond the bounds of what was seemly, and she continued to observe fasts with such self-denial and strictness that she well nigh died of hunger.

Holy Abba John the Clairvoyant of Lycopolis in the Egyptian Thebaid (Rufinus of Aquileia)


By Rufinus of Aquileia

(The Lives of the Fathers, Bk. 2, Ch. 1)

As a foundation stone for our task let us take John as an example of everything that is good. For those who are religiously devoted to God, John will be more than sufficient as a guide to the heights of virtue and the summit of perfection. We met him in the desert parts of the Thebaid, living on the side of a steep mountain near the city of Lycus (Lycopolis). It was very difficult to get up to his monastery. The approach was so narrow and full of obstacles that no one had joined him there for all of the fifty years since his fortieth birthday. Whenever he heard people coming he would show himself from a window, from where he would offer a word about God, or give answers to those seeking counsel. No women ever got near enough for him to see them, and even men but rarely, and then only at certain fixed times. He did allow a guest house to be constructed at some distance where those who had come from afar could rest a while. He remained alone inside, occupied solely with God, ceasing not day or night from prayers and supplications to God, in total purity of thought seeking that divine essence which is above all thought. The further he cut himself off from all human cares and conversation the closer he came to God. To such a fine quality of mind had he attained that God gave him insights not only into present matters but also rewarded him with foreknowledge of things to come. God quite plainly gave him the gift of prophecy, so that he not only saw into the future of local citizens and country dwellers alike, when asked, but often predicted how the wars of the Emperor Theodosius would turn out, the manner in which he would gain his victories over petty kings, or how many invasions he would suffer from the tribes of the barbarians.

Holy Abba John the Clairvoyant of Lycopolis in the Egyptian Thebaid (Palladius of Helenopolis)


By Bishop Palladius of Helenopolis

(Lausiac History, Ch. 50)

John, who lived in the city of Lycopolis, and who had learned in his youth the craft of the carpenter, and whose brother was a dyer, afterwards, when he was about five and twenty years old, took upon himself the garb of monkhood; and having lived in diverse monasteries for five years, he finally departed by himself to the mountain which is in Lycopolis, to the lofty eminence which is on the top of the mountain, and made three cells for himself there. Now he built and prepared these for himself in the first year after he went to the mountain and went up into it. The first cell was for the needs of the body, in the second he labored at the work of his hands and took his food, and in the third he said his prayers, and during the three (or thirty) years in which he was in seclusion there he was wont to receive whatsoever was necessary for him through the window from him that ministered unto him.

Saint Paul the Sign-Bearer, Bishop of Corinth (+ c. 925)

St. Paul the Bishop of Corinth (Feast Day - March 27)

Verses

Paul was the natural brother of Peter,
Together they dwell in the city above.

Our Venerable Father Paul was born in Constantinople to devout and pious parents, and he had three brothers named Dionysios, Plato and the renowned Saint Peter the Wonderworker and Bishop of Argos (Jan. 3 and May 3). The entire family together decided to embrace the monastic life, though the older brothers Paul and Dionysios embraced it first, while the younger brothers Plato and Peter embraced it in imitation of them, followed by their parents.

Saints and Feasts of March 27


On the twenty-seventh Matrona died in prison.

Holy Martyr Matrona of Thessaloniki

Holy Martyr Matrona of Thessaloniki


Holy Martyrs Philetos the Senator, Lydia his wife, 
Theoprepios and Makedonos their two sons, Amphilochios the Duke 
and Cronides the Prison Warden

Holy Martyrs Philetos, Lydia, Makedonos, Theoprepios, Cronides and Amphilochios


Holy Prophet Hanani

Holy Prophet Hanani


Venerable Paul the Sign-Bearer, Bishop of Corinth

Saint Paul the Sign-Bearer, Bishop of Corinth (+ c. 925)


Venerable Father John the Clairvoyant of Lycopolis

Holy Abba John the Clairvoyant of Lycopolis in the Egyptian Thebaid (Palladius of Helenopolis)

Holy Abba John the Clairvoyant of Lycopolis in the Egyptian Thebaid (Rufinus of Aquileia)



Monday, March 26, 2018

The Drowning of Mary, A Woman Who Was a Sinner


By St. John Moschos

Palladius also told us that he had heard a certain sea captain once tell him about a voyage of his when he had several male and female passengers aboard. Out on the high seas other ships seemed to be sailing well under a favorable wind, some to Constantinople, some to Alexandria, some to other places, but he could make no progress at all.

"We stayed put for about fifteen days," he said, "unable to move from where we were. We became very depressed and desperate, not knowing whatever could be causing this. As captain responsible for the care of the ship and everyone in her I began to pray about it to God. And indeed on a certain day a voice came to me saying: 'Get rid of Mary and you will sail well.' 'What did that mean,' I thought, 'and who is Mary?' And as I turned this over in my mind the voice came again, saying: 'I tell you, get rid of Mary and you will be alright.'

The Conversion and Life of Mary the Harlot


By St. John Moschos

Two elders were traveling from Aegaion to Tarsus in Cilicia when, by the Providence of God, they stopped for rest at a small inn, for the heat was intense. There they found three young men who had with them a harlot. The elders settled themselves down apart and one of them got out his holy Gospel and began to read [aloud]. When the harlot who was with the young men saw the elder begin to read, she came and sat down near him, forsaking the young men. The elder, however, drove her off, saying to her:

Holy Martyrs Kodratos, Theodosios, Manuel and the Forty Martyrs With Them


Verses

To Kodratos.
I admire the bravery of Kodratos,
How the blessed one bravely subjected himself and was slaughtered.

To Theodosios.
Theodosios lived for God alone,
Giving up his life for Him by the sword.

To Manuel.
By the sword I shed forth a cup,
Manuel declared of his blood.

To the Forty.
Forty Martyrs by the sword,
Approached God, O the bravery!

Saint Stephen the Confessor and Wonderworker, Abbot of Triglia Monastery (+ 815)

St. Stephen the Confessor and Wonderworker (Feast Day - March 26)

Verses

Divine Stephen worker of the vineyard,
You stand before God receiving the wages for your toil.

Saint Stephen the Confessor was Abbot of Triglia Monastery in Bithynia during the reign of the iconoclast emperor Leo the Armenian (813-820). From a young age, the holy ascetic dedicated his life to God and received monastic tonsure. He later became abbot of the Triglia Monastery in Bithynia.

Saints and Feasts of March 26


On the twenty-sixth Gabriel rises to sing hymns for creation.

Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel

Synaxis In Honor of the Archangel Gabriel (March 26)

Why We Celebrate the Archangel Gabriel's Synaxis Twice

Archangels Michael and Gabriel Resource Page


Holy Twenty-Six Martyrs of Gothia

Holy 26 Martyrs of Gothia in the Crimea


Holy Martyrs Kodratos, Theodosios, Manuel 
and the Forty Martyrs With Them

Holy Martyrs Kodratos, Theodosios, Manuel and the Forty Martyrs With Them


Venerable Stephen the Confessor, Abbot of Triglia

Saint Stephen the Confessor and Wonderworker, Abbot of Triglia Monastery (+ 815)


Holy Hieromartyr Montanus and Maxima his Wife

Holy Hieromartyr Montanus and Maxima his Wife


Holy Martyr Eutychios the Subdeacon

Holy Martyr Eutychios the Subdeacon of Alexandria (+ 356)


Venerable Basil the New

On Gaining Riches as a Pretext for Almsgiving


Holy New Martyr George of Sofia in Bulgaria

Holy New Martyr George of Sofia in Bulgaria (+ 1437)


A Profitable Tale of the Monk Malchus Who Was Disobedient

A Profitable Tale of the Monk Malchus Who Was Disobedient


Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Annunciation of the Virgin Mary (Metr. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos)


By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos

The feast of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary is a feast of the Lord and of the Mother of God (Theotokos). It is a feast of the Lord because Christ who was conceived in the womb of the Theotokos. It is a feast of the Theotokos because it refers to the person who aided in the conception and Incarnation of the Word of God, that is, the All Holy Virgin Mary.

Mary (the Theotokos) has great value and an important position in the Church, precisely because she was the person whom all generations awaited, and she gave human nature to the Word of God. Thus the person of the Theotokos is associated closely with the Person of Christ. Furthermore, the value of the Virgin Mary is not only due to her virtues, but also mainly to the fruit of her womb. For this reason, Theotokology is very closely associated with Christology. When we speak of Christ we cannot ignore her who gave Him flesh. And when we speak of the Virgin Mary, we simultaneously refer to Christ, because from Him she draws Grace and value. This shows clearly in the service of the Salutations, in which the Theotokos is hymned, but always in combination with the fact that she is the mother of Christ: "Rejoice, for you are the throne of the king. Rejoice for you bear Him Who bears all things".

Homily on the Annunciation (St. John of Kronstadt)


By St. John of Kronstadt

The mystery that transpired upon this day awes not only the human mind; it likewise astonishes all angelic, exalted minds. They, too, are amazed at how God, Who is without beginning — Who is unencompassable, unapproachable — how He could lower Himself to the status of a servant and become a man, without ceasing to be God — and without in any way diminishing His Divine glory.

How could the Virgin contain within Her most-pure womb the unbearable fire of Divinity and remain unscathed — and, throughout all ages to come, be the Mother of God-incarnate?

Sermon on the Annunciation (St. Proclus of Constantinople)


By St. Proclus of Constantinople

Our present gathering in honor of the Most Holy Virgin inspires me, brethren, to say of Her a word of praise, of benefit also for those come unto this churchly solemnity.

It comprises a praise of women, a glorying of their gender, which (glory) is brought it by Her, She Who is at one same time both Mother, and Virgin. O desired and wondrous gathering! Celebrate, O nature, that wherein honor be rendered to Woman; rejoice, O human race, that wherein the Virgin be glorified. "For when sin did abound, grace did superabound" (Rom 5:20). The Holy Mother of God and Virgin Mary hath gathered us here, She the pure treasure of virginity, the intended paradise of Second Adam -- the locus, wherein was accomplished the co-uniting of natures, wherein was affirmed the Counsel of salvific reconciliation.

Sunday of Saint Mary of Egypt Resource Page


Verses

Her spirit hath departed, and her flesh decayed long ago.
O earth, conceal the bony corpse of Mary.

Sunday of Saint Mary of Egypt














Sixth Week of Great Lent












Saints and Feasts of March 25


The Angel said, "Rejoice", to Mary on the twenty-fifth.

Fasting Day - Fish Allowed

Annunciation of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos 
and Ever Virgin Mary

March 25th Resource Page


Venerable Sennuphios the Sign-Bearer

Saint Sennuphios the Sign-Bearer

Saint Senouphios and the Wondrous Icon of Christ of Latomos


Commemoration of the Restoration of Autocephaly 
of the Georgian Orthodox Church

Georgian Church Celebrates the Restoration of Autocephaly


Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Life of a Holy Woman from the Holy City of Jerusalem


By St. John Moschos

We visited Abba John Rutilus, the anchorite, who told us a story he had heard from John the Moabite:

'There was a certain holy woman in the holy city, who was very devout, and who walked in the will of God. The devil was envious of this virgin, and instilled in the heart of a certain young man an impure and diabolical passion for her. This wonderful virgin discerned the devil's wickedness and was troubled lest the young man lose his soul, so she took a blanket, and a few loaves (hard loaves to be prepared by steeping in water) and went to the desert, hoping not only that her departure would free the young man from his temptation and be the salvation of him, but also that she would find security in solitude.

The Life of a Holy Woman, Who Died in the Desert


By St. John Moschos

From the Monastery of Sampson, about twenty miles from Jerusalem, two fathers once went on pilgrimage to Mount Sinai. This is what they told us when they came back:

'When we were on our way back from worshiping at the holy mountain it happened that we took a wrong path and wandered completely alone in the desert for several days. At last, however, we saw that we were walking towards a narrow cave in the distance. We could see a small pool of water, with grass growing around it, and signs of human habitation.

Of the Harlot Whom a Subdeacon Drove Out of the Church


By Palladius, Bishop of Helenopolis

A certain old man said: 'There was a harlot who was so beautiful and so rich that all princes flocked unto her. One day she went into the church and desired to pass inside the gates, but a subdeacon who was standing at the door would not allow her to do so, and he said, “You are not allowed to enter into the house of God, because you are an unclean woman.”

Holy Martyrs Stephen and Peter of Kazan (+ 1552)

Sts. Stephen and Peter of Kazan (Feast Day - March 24)

The Holy Martyr Stephen of Kazan was a Tatar Muslim. For more than twenty years, he suffered from a weakness of the legs. After the capture of Kazan by Ivan the Terrible in 1552, he believed in Christ through Archpriest Timothy and received healing. The Saint was baptized by Archpriest Timothy of the Moscow Cathedral, who had brought a letter from Metropolitan Macarius to the Russian army. After the Russian army withdrew from Kazan, Stephen confessed his faith in Christ and the Tatars accused him of apostasy. Less than a month after his baptism, the Tatars chopped the martyr Stephen into pieces, scattered his body and plundered his house, because he remained faithful to Christ. His martyrdom took place on March 24, 1552.

Saints and Feasts of March 24


On the twenty-fourth Artemon received Eden.

Forefeast of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos

March 25th Resource Page


Venerable Artemon, Bishop of Seleucia in Pisidia

Saint Artemon, Bishop of Seleucia in Pisidia


Holy Hieromartyr Artemon, Presbyter of Laodicea

Holy Hieromartyr Artemon, Presbyter of Laodicea in Syria


Venerable Zachariah

Holy Abba Zachariah of Egypt

Life and Sayings of our Holy Fathers Karion and Zachariah of Scetis


Holy Eight Martyrs of Caesarea in Palestine

Holy Martyrs Agapios, Plesios, Timolaos, Romulus, Two Dionysioses and Two Alexanders at Caesarea in Palestine


Holy New Hieromartyr Parthenios, Patriarch of Constantinople

Holy New Hieromartyr Parthenios III, Patriarch of Constantinople (+ 1657)


Venerable Zachariah the Faster of the Kiev Caves Lavra

Saint Zachariah the Faster of the Kiev Caves


Holy Martyrs Stephen and Peter of Kazan

Holy Martyrs Stephen and Peter of Kazan (+ 1552)


Commemoration of the Miracle of the Theotokos 
in the Monastery of the Kiev Caves

Commemoration of the Miracle of the Theotokos in the Monastery of the Kiev Caves


Synaxis of the Icon of the Mother of God 
the Uncut Mountain in Tver

Icon of the Mother of God of the Uncut Mountain


Friday, March 23, 2018

The Theotokos as the Incense of Intercession


By Metropolitan Seraphim of Kastoria

The Akathist Hymn, which is chanted on the Fifth Friday of Great Lent, remotely reminds us of the reverence of our people for the person of the Panagia. It further reminds us of the salvific intervention of the Theotokos in the Queen of Cities, when in 626 the Avars and the Persians attempted to occupy Constantinople, as well as her continuous miraculous interventions in difficult times.

We would not sing hymns to the Panagia, if the Son and Word of God was not incarnated in her all-immaculate womb. She is not only the mother of Christ, but at the same time our own mother. She offered us the greatest gift, the Savior of our souls. And her Son and God gave her the greatest gift, by taking human nature from her, divinizing and renewing it. This is why in the Christmas Service we chant: "God has appeared to mankind from the Virgin, taking our likeness and deifying our nature."

Saint Pachomius of Nerekhta (+ 1384)

St. Pachomius of Nerekhta (Feast Day - March 23)

Saint Pachomius of Nerekhta, in the world James, was born into the family of a priest at Vladimir on the Klyazma. He was sent to school, where he learned the Holy Scriptures very well over a period of seven years. When he was 12 years old his father died, and finding the bustle of the perishing world burdensome, he went to the Vladimir Nativity Monastery. There he was tonsured at the age of 21, taking the name of Pachomius after Saint Pachomios the Great, fulfilling various obediences without complaint. A few years later he was ordained a Deacon and in 1352 a Priest. In 1365, upon the reopening of the Constantine Monastery, he was appointed first abbot.

Saints and Feasts of March 23


On the twenty-third Nikon gave his head to the sword.

Holy Hieromartyr Nikon and his One-Hundred and Ninety-Nine Disciples

Holy Hieromartyr Nikon and the 199 Monks With Him


Venerable Nikon, Abbot of the Kiev Caves Lavra

Saint Nikon the Abbot of the Kiev Caves (+ 1088)


Venerable Pachomius of Nerekhta

Saint Pachomius of Nerekhta (+ 1384)


Saint Basil of Mangazeya

Saint Basil of Mangazeya: The 12 Year Old Martyr


Holy New Martyr Luke of Adrianople

Holy New Martyr Luke of Adrianople (+ 1802)

Papa-Foti's Vision of St. Luke the New Martyr


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Saint Lea of Rome (+ 384)

St. Lea of Rome (Feast Day - March 22)

All that we know of Saint Lea comes to us from one epistle of Saint Jerome (Ep. 23) which he addressed to Saint Marcella. Lea was a noblewoman of Rome, born into wealth and privilege, and she was a contemporary of Jerome. However, soon after her marriage she was widowed and left very sound financially. Instead of retiring as a wealthy widow, however, she joined a convent of consecrated virgins in the city of Rome — shedding all the money and social standing she possessed. In later years she was named the prioress of the convent. Saint Lea supported the house run by Saint Marcella, working as a menial servant, and later served as the group’s superior.

Holy Martyrs Kalliniki and Vasilissa

Sts. Kalliniki and Vasilissa (Feast Day - March 22)

Verses

Kalliniki was beheaded with Vasilissa,
The right-victorious queens of the heavens.

Saints Kalliniki and Vasilissa were from Galatia. Because Vasilissa was pious and wealthy, she would give her helper in good works Kalliniki money in order to bring aid to the imprisoned Christians, who suffered during the persecution of Emperor Gallus (251-253). By doing this they hoped to give strength and courage and in turn to secure the blessed prayers of these holy confessors.

Saints and Feasts of March 22


On the twenty-second Basil was pierced with spikes.

Holy Hieromartyr Basil, Presbyter of Ancyra

Holy Hieromartyr Basil, Presbyter of Ancyra


Holy Martyrs Kalliniki and Vasilissa

Holy Martyrs Kalliniki and Vasilissa


Saint Drosis, Daughter of Emperor Trajan, 
and the Five Kanonikon With Her

Saint Drosis, Daughter of Emperor Trajan


Saint Lea of Rome

Saint Lea of Rome (+ 384)


Holy New Martyr Euthymios of Peloponnesos

Holy New Martyr Euthymios of Peloponnesos (+ 1814)


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Mobile Phone of Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyva


By Nun Porphyria (Spyridoulas Moschou)

Because the Elder calls me on the phone every day from 4:00 to 6:00 in the morning and we read Matins, I thought that since the phone call is long-distance, he must be paying a lot of money to OTE [Hellenic Telecommunications Organization]. This is why when I got paid I put 50,000 drachmas in an envelope to give him.

"Elder, I brought some money, because your OTE bill must be big."

"What are you talking about, foolish one? Here we are building a church and we're gonna give so much money to OTE? Put it in the box we have for the building of the church."

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyrs Philemon and Domninos

Sts. Philemon and Domninos (Feast Day - March 21)

Verses

The friends Philemon and Domninos were beheaded,
Their friendship perfected by beheading.

These Holy Martyrs were from the great and glorious city of Rome.* During the persecution against the Christians, they walked to Italy and preached Christ, where they converted many to faith in Christ, and baptized them. For this reason they were arrested by the idolaters, and brought before the ruler of Italy. Because they were neither softened by flatteries nor persuaded by the promises of gifts, but they called upon Christ and proclaimed Him God, the idolaters suspended them to the ground naked by their four limbs, and they were beaten mercilessly, then cast into prison. They were then taken out and their holy heads were cut off, and in this way the blessed ones received the crown of martyrdom.

Notes:

* Some sources say they were from Thessaloniki and were martyred in Rome.


Saints and Feasts of March 21


On the twenty-first James was hidden under the earth.

Venerable James the Confessor and Bishop

Saint James the Confessor and Bishop


Saint Thomas, Patriarch of Constantinople

Saint Thomas I, Patriarch of Constantinople (+ 610)


Holy Martyrs Philemon and Domninos

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyrs Philemon and Domninos


Venerable Beryllus, Bishop of Catania

Saint Beryllus, Bishop of Catania


Venerable Serapion the Sindonite

Life and Sayings of Holy Abba Serapion the Sindonite

Tales of our Holy Father Serapion the Sindonite

The Discovery of the Relics of Saints Serapion the Sindonite and Thais the Former Harlot


Saint Serapion the Scholastic, Bishop of Thmuis

Saint Serapion the Scholastic, Bishop of Thmuis

The Divine Liturgy of Serapion Celebrated For the First Time


Holy New Martyr Michael the Breadseller

Holy New Martyr Michael the Breadseller (+ 1547)


Venerable Seraphim of Vyritsa

Saint Seraphim of Vyritsa (+ 1949)

Our Holy and Venerable Father Seraphim of Vyritsa

St. Seraphim of Vyritsa and the Woman who had 18 Abortions


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Concerning the Diet of the Fathers


By Archimandrite Gabriel Dionysiates (+ 1983)

When the grace of God moved my heart to come to this blessed place of quietude and prayer it was February in the year of our Lord 1910. My desire was to go to the Skete of Kavsokalyva, where the Blessed Akakios, who came from the same place as I did, was living the ascetic life and where two brothers after the flesh, both hieromonks and from my hometown, were also living. One of these, the spiritual guide Panteleimon [1], a most blessed and extremely virtuous man is perhaps the oldest of the surviving Athonites, being now 103 years old.

I had taken the decision that after my arrival on the Holy Mountain I would go and live as an ascetic, so I set off on land from Daphni to go to Kavsokalyva. But as I passed through the Holy Monastery of Dionysiou, I saw the orderliness of the fathers at the funeral of an elderly deacon, which happened to be taking place on that day. I was impressed by the ascetic nature of the monastery and by the natural environment, so I remained there, casting my hope of salvation onto our All-Holy God and the Honorable Forerunner.

Our Effort and the Power of God's Grace


By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

"No good works are accomplished by our efforts alone but by the power and will of God. Nevertheless, God demands effort on our part in conforming to His will." These are the words of Saints Barsanuphios and John. Few words but much said. We are obliged to labor, to cultivate and to prepare every good thing, and if some good will take root, grow and bring forth fruit, that is up to the power and will of God. We plow the furrows and God sows, if He wills it. We cleanse the vessels of the Spirit and God pours the Spirit into these vessels, if He wills it. He can do anything if He wills it. And He will do everything that responds to the highest wisdom and suitability, that is, to His plan of man's salvation.

The Punishment of God and a Miracle of Saint Basil of Ostrog


By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

God does not punish sinners because it gives Him gratification to destroy men. If that gave Him gratification, He would not have created man out of nothing. He punishes man out of more important constructive reasons, of which two are most apparent to us: First, that by punishment He corrects them and leads him on the true path of salvation; second, to frighten others from sinning. St. Isaac also thinks this when he says, "The just wise man is similar to God, for he punishes man, not to reproach him for his sin but either to correct man or to instill fear in others."

On Gaining Riches as a Pretext for Almsgiving


By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

You will hear this kind of justification from many who pursue riches: "When I become rich, I will be able to perform good works!" Do not believe them, for they deceive both you and themselves. St. John Climacus knew in depth the most secret motives of men's souls when he said, "The beginning of love of money is the pretext of almsgiving and the end of it is hatred of the poor" (Step 16). This is confirmed by all lovers of money, the rich or the less rich. The average man says, "If only it were that I had money, I would carry out this and that good work!" Do not believe him. Let him not believe himself. Let him look at himself, as in a mirror, at those who have money and who are not willing to do this or that good work. That is how he would be if he acquired some money.

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