Monday, April 30, 2018

Saint Ignatius Brianchaninov Resource Page

St. Ignatius Brianchaninov (Feast Day - April 30)

Saint Ignatius (Brianchaninov), Bishop of the Caucasus and Black Sea (+ 1867)

Homily for the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee (St. Ignatius Brianchaninov)

Homily on the Second Coming of Christ (St. Ignatius Brianchaninov)

Saint Ignatius (Brianchaninov), Bishop of the Caucasus and Black Sea (+ 1867)

St. Ignatius Brianchaninov (Feast Day - April 30)

The Holy Hierarch Ignatius Brianchaninov was born Dimitri Alexandrovich Brianchaninov, on the February 15, 1807, in the province of Vologda, the son of an aristocratic landowner. Intellectually gifted, peaceful and reflective by character, from early childhood he was drawn to a life of prayer and stillness. However, his father planned a military career for Dimitri, and so, when Dimitri was fifteen years of age, his father enrolled him in the Imperial School of Military Engineers in St. Petersburg. There Dimitri excelled, even attracting the attention of Grand Duke Nicholas Pavlovich, the future Tsar Nicholas I. Nonetheless, Dimtri felt called to the monastic life (uncommon for a Russian aristocrat at that time), and he became deeply depressed at the seemingly inevitable prospect of a career as a military officer.

Saints and Feasts of April 30


On the thirtieth James was slaughtered with a murderous knife.

Holy Glorious Apostle James, the Son of Zebedee 
and Brother of John the Theologian

Holy Apostle James, the Son of Zebedee


Saint Donatos, Bishop of Euroea in Epirus

The Bones of a Dragon Killed by Saint Donatos in the Fourth Century


Saint Ignatius (Brianchaninov), 
Bishop of the Caucasus and Black Sea

Saint Ignatius Brianchaninov Resource Page


Translation of the Sacred Relics of Saint Argyre of Proussa

Holy New Martyr Argyre of Proussa, Patron Saint of Marriage (+ 1725)


Translation of the Sacred Relics of Saint Theodore of Byzantium

Holy New Martyr Theodore of Byzantium (+ 1795)


Finding of the Sacred Relics of Saint Basil of Amasea

Holy Hieromartyr Basil, Bishop of Amasea (+ 322)


Sunday, April 29, 2018

Fifth of Five Exciting Announcements from the Mystagogy Resource Center


Dear Readers:

Christ is Risen!

The fifth and last of the five exciting announcements is the launch of yet another new website dedicated solely to the religions of the world. And the title of this new website is simply Orthodoxy and World Religions.

This website seeks to explore an Orthodox Christian approach to religions of the world. Little effort has been made to compile the literature we already have on this subject, as well as to provide fresh resources. Much of what we do have on this subject does not come from the unique Orthodox Christian perspective, and most Orthodox Christians are ignorant of even some of the basic beliefs and practices of people who belong to these religions.

When you ask an average and basically informed Orthodox Christian some basic information about a particular religion, besides Judaism and Islam, you generally get a very basic and often misinformed response. The same holds true the other way around, since those who claim to be informed about Christianity that belong to other religions often associate it only with a Protestant or Catholic version of it. This website therefore exists as a way to heal this ignorance of both sides.

My study of world religions goes back almost as far as my study of Christianity, which is when I was an early teen. I took four courses in world religions in both the college and graduate level, including one by a specialist in the field at Harvard and one by a well-known Christian who converted from Hinduism, and took specific courses in Islam and Buddhism. Moreover, it is my desire to collect and make available in one specific place the unique encounter between Orthodox Christianity and the religions of the world.

Orthodoxy is primarily eastern, and closer geographically than the other Christian traditions to the four other major religions of the world, which are Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. We have a long and historic relationship with the Jews and Muslims, and you can also say the Zoroastrians, some positive and some negative, and though we have encountered Hindus and Buddhists in the past, it is a bit more difficult to come by, though it does exist. All of these need to be examined further. And besides the major religions of the world, we will also explore the minor religions of the world as well, such as Taoism, Confucianism, Shintoism, Shamanism, Animism, etc.

Though I don't consider atheism to be a religion, the fact of the matter is that atheism is a growing phenomenon in the world and especially in the West. Along with atheism there is also a growing agnosticism, and people who just don't know what to identify with regarding their beliefs, and some who just don't want to identify with anyone regarding their beliefs. Many will therefore consider themselves spiritual, but not religious. This is the forum where these will be explored as well.

This website belongs to the ministry of the Mystagogy Resource Center. All those with inquiries and contributions can contact us at mystagogy@aol.com.
With love in Christ,

John Sanidopoulos

Director of the Mystagogy Resource Center

Read also:

First of Five Exciting Announcements from the Mystagogy Resource Center

Second of Five Exciting Announcements from the Mystagogy Resource Center

Third of Five Exciting Announcements from the Mystagogy Resource Center

Fourth of Five Exciting Announcements from the Mystagogy Resource Center

Fourth of Five Exciting Announcements from the Mystagogy Resource Center


The fourth of my five exciting announcement is the launch of my second new website, dedicated solely to book reviews. The title for this website is the New Myriobiblon.

"Myriobiblon" is a Greek word for "myriad of books." The reason it is "new" is because it takes its name from the original Myriobiblon of Saint Photios the Great, more popularly known as the Bibliotheca. One historian calls it “probably the most famous work in medieval Byzantine literature. At least it is unique.” Reynolds and Wilson, in their study Scribes and Scholars: A Guide to the Transmission of Greek and Latin Literature, call the Myriobiblon of Photios "a fascinating production, in which Photios shows himself the inventor of the book review," and say its "280 sections... vary in length from a single sentence to several pages." The works Photios summarizes and reviews are addressed to his brother for his education and entertainment, and are mainly by Christian and pagan authors from the 5th century BC to his own time in the 9th century AD. Almost half the books mentioned no longer survive. He covers works about religion and history, along with some literary pieces, explaining what they were about and sometimes offering excerpts from them.

Photios also sometimes adds his own review of the books, letting his brother know which ones he liked or hated. For example,

Nicomachus of Gerasa’s two books of Arithmetical Theology were read. This certainly is a title suited to astonish and to excite a keen desire, but the treatise – not to call it a work of computations that are based on air and are a waste of time – falls far short of its title.

He had even worse to say about Christian History, which was written by Philip of Side:

His language is diffuse, without urbanity or elegance, and soon palls, or positively disgusts; his aim is rather to display his knowledge than to benefit the reader. Most of the matter has nothing to do with history, and the work might be called a treatise on all kinds of subjects rather than a history, a tasteless effusion.

Photios even finds something to criticize in The Histories of Herodotus, considered to be one of the greatest works of Ancient Greece:

Read the nine books of the History of Herodotus, in name and number identical with the nine Muses. He may be considered the best representative of the Ionic, as Thucydides of the Attic dialect. He is fond of old wives’ tales and digressions, pervaded by charming sentiments, which, however, sometimes obscure the due appreciation of history and its correct and proper character. Truth does not allow her accuracy to be impaired by fables or excessive digressions from the subject.

While he tends to comment on books he did not like, Photios also tells about those works he loves. For example, he praises the writings of Arrian, who is one of the best sources for the campaigns of Alexander the Great:

This author is second to none of the best historical writers. He is very strong in concise narrative, and never impairs the continuity of the story by ill-timed digressions or parentheses; he is novel rather in arrangement than in diction, which he employs in such a manner that it would be impossible for the narrative to be set forth more clearly and perspicuously. His style is distinct, euphonious, and terse, characterized by a combination of smoothness and loftiness. His novelties of language are not merely far-fetched innovations, but are obvious and emphatic, figures of speech in reality, and not simply a change of ordinary words. The result is that not only in this respect is clearness secured, but also in the equipment, order, and nature of the narrative, which is the artistic essence of perspicuity. For straightforward periods are used even by those who are not specialists, and if this is done without anything to relieve them, the style degenerates into flatness and meanness, of which, in spite of his clearness, there are no traces in our author. He makes use of ellipsis, not of periods but of words, so that the ellipsis is not even noticed; any attempt to supply what is omitted would seem to indicate a tendency to unessential additions, and would not really fill up the gap. The variety of his rhetorical figures is admirable; they do not deviate at once altogether from simple form and usage, but are gradually interwoven from the beginning, so that they neither offend by satiety nor create confusion by sudden change. In a word, anyone who compares him with other historians, will find that many classical writers are his inferior in composition.

This New Myriobiblon is likewise a website dedicated to reviewing books, primarily literature that is of special interest to Orthodox Christians, but not only. I will review every book I will read from now on and some I have already read, or at least give a brief evaluation of it. Sometimes I am asked if I read this or that book and people want to know my opinion of it. Here you will read my opinion of it, if I read it. My hope is that these reviews will be found helpful by all who similarly enjoy reading and learning. 

This website is part of the ministry of the Mystagogy Resource Center. All inquiries should be sent to mystagogy@aol.com.
With love in Christ,

John Sanidopoulos

Director of the Mystagogy Resource Center

Read also:

First of Five Exciting Announcements from the Mystagogy Resource Center

Second of Five Exciting Announcements from the Mystagogy Resource Center

Third of Five Exciting Announcements from the Mystagogy Resource Center


Third of Five Exciting Announcements from the Mystagogy Resource Center


Dear Readers:

Christ is Risen!

The third of the five exciting announcements is the launch of a new website dedicated solely to answering your questions. And the title of this new website is Erotapokriseis.

Erotapokriseis is a term from late antiquity by which Roman/Byzantine grammarians designated one of the oldest and most popular literary formats of the ancient world. Erotapokriseis - or Quaestiones, as they were called in Latin - occur in various types of literature, but these all have in common that they use the form of questions and answers in one way or another.

As a literary form and process it sprang from and was used in the schoolroom of the philosophers. It was more broadly used in late antiquity. In the Life of Plotinus, Porphyry ‘spent three days asking Plotinus how the soul is present to the body, he [Plotinus] kept explaining, causing a certain newcomer called Thaumasius to say that he wanted to hear him laying down principles with reference to texts and would not put up with Porphyry’s responses and inquiries. But Plotinus says, “If we do not resolve Porphyry’s difficulties when he questions us, we shall not have anything that we can put straight into the text.”’

The literary form of erotapokriseis was adopted and adapted at a fairly early stage by Christians. Origen and Eusebius — to name but a few — made extensive use of this form. Being one of the first adaptations of the erotapokriseis in Greek Christian literature and having survived under the name of the second century AD apologist Justin, the Quaestiones et responsiones ad orthodoxos is a collection of 161 questions and answers (thus in the longer recension) and it deals with a wide range of issues. In the case of Ps. Justin the persona of the teacher remains less developed but other collections such as the one by Anastasios of Sinai or Michael Glykas afford us perhaps a fuller picture of the teacher at work.

If instruction is the primary concern for these texts it takes the form of a dispensation of knowledge that does not preclude a skillful use of hermeneutical principles, even if the parameters of the debate and of the imparted instruction have changed. In fact question and answer literature becomes a literature where some authors may feel more at ease to speculate and at times innovate. The format allows for the discussion of a broad array of questions which are given different degrees of focus.

Many scholars have referred to these collections as catecheses on account of the fact that they impart knowledge. But we have to ask more questions and probe deeper. Our knowledge of catechesis is limited, but — if anything — these collections allow us to see this process as longer than we have assumed. The literature of the erotapokriseis addressed a constant need for instruction in the Bible but also on a number of other issues. This accounts for the appeal of this form and its longevity.

This website is solely devoted to answering questions, hence the name. I have received numerous questions over the years, which I have primarily answered in private, but from now on I wish to make these public. If one person has a question, most likely many more have the same question. The answers are my opinion only, while of course trying to be as factual as I can be. If I don't know the answer, I will try and get you closer to the answer. Not all submitted questions are guaranteed to appear on this website. This website is part of the ministry of the Mystagogy Resource Center. If you have a question, you may submit it in the contact form towards the bottom of the site, or send an email to mystagogy@aol.com.

With love in Christ,

John Sanidopoulos

Director of the Mystagogy Resource Center



See also:

First of Five Exciting Announcements from the Mystagogy Resource Center

Second of Five Exciting Announcements from the Mystagogy Resource Center


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 29


On the twenty-ninth Jason departed the earth.

Holy Apostles Jason and Sosipater of the Seventy

Synaxarion of the Holy Apostles Jason and Sosipater and Those With Them

The Holy Apostles Jason and Sosipater and the Island of Kerkyra

Holy Apostles Jason and Sosipater as Models for our Lives


Holy Martyr Kerkyra

Synaxarion of the Holy Apostles Jason and Sosipater and Those With Them

Saint Kerkyra as a Model for our Lives


Holy Seven Martyrs Who Were Formerly Thieves

Synaxarion of the Holy Apostles Jason and Sosipater and Those With Them


Holy Martyr Eusebius

Synaxarion of the Holy Apostles Jason and Sosipater and Those With Them


Holy Martyrs Zenon and Vitalion

Synaxarion of the Holy Apostles Jason and Sosipater and Those With Them


Holy Martyr Neon

Synaxarion of the Holy Apostles Jason and Sosipater and Those With Them


Saint Basil of Ostrog the Wonderworker, 
Bishop of Zahumlje and Skenderija

Saint Basil of Ostrog Resource Page


Venerable Nektary of Optina

Saint Nektary of Optina and the Uncreated Light

Saint Nektary of Optina and the Arts


Saint Basil of Ostrog Resource Page

St. Basil of Ostrog (Feast Day - April 29)

Saint Basil of Ostrog (St. Nikolai Velimirovich)

Miracles of Saint Basil of Ostrog (1 of 5)

Miracles of Saint Basil of Ostrog (2 of 5)

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Saints and Feasts of April 28


On the twenty-eighth the nine were carried off from this mournful life.

Holy Nine Martyrs of Kyzikos

Holy Nine Martyrs of Kyzikos


Venerable Memnon the Wonderworker

Synaxarion of Saint Memnon the Wonderworker


Narration of the Miracle that Took Place in Carthage of Africa

Narration of the Miracle that Took Place in Carthage of Africa


Friday, April 27, 2018

Saints and Feasts of April 27


On the twenty-seventh Symeon was affixed to the cross.

Holy Hieromartyr Symeon the Brother of God, Bishop of Jerusalem

Holy Hieromartyr Symeon the Brother of God, Bishop of Jerusalem

Saint Symeon the Brother of God as a Model for our Lives


Venerable John the Confessor, Abbot of Katharon Monastery

Saint John the Confessor, Abbot of Katharon Monastery


Saint Eulogios the Hospitable

Saint Eulogios the Hospitable, Who Was a Stonecutter


Thursday, April 26, 2018

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)


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