Thursday, May 31, 2018

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


Below is the monthly review for the month of May 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 Meaning of Christ Eating Baked Fish and Honeycomb Before His Ascension

2. The Most Powerful Argument Against Kneeling on Sundays

3. The Tragedy of the Greek Mothers of Ottoman Sultans

4. The Repentance of Constantine the Great

5. How a Marriage Might Have Prevented the Fall of Constantinople

6. Fr. George J. Nasis, the Greek-American Priest to Whom Saint Xenia of Kalamata Revealed Herself

7. History of the Church of the Holy Fathers in Nicaea

8. The Location Where the Head of St. John the Baptist Was Found the Third Time

9. The Depiction of Saint Christopher with the Head of a Dog

10. The Holy Water of Saint Therapon in Constantinople


HoneyAndHemlock.com

1. Amazon Video Debuts Russian Series "Sophia"

2. "Cyril and Methodius: The Apostles of the Slavs" (2013) - Full Movie with English Subtitles

3. Amazon Video Debuts Russian Series About Catherine the Great

4. "Doctor Zhivago": An Orthodox Perspective

5. Silent Film: "Salome" (1910)


Bio-Orthodoxy.com

1. Faith and Science According to the First American Female Astronomer, Maria Mitchell

2. T.F. Torrance on Science and Theology


Eschatologia.com

1. The Second Coming of Christ on Mount Athos

2. Michael Glykas and the Afterlife in Twelfth-Century Byzantium


Daimonologia.org

1. Saint George and the Powers of Witches and Vampires

2. Saint Walpurga and the Witches of Walpurgis Night

3. How Gothic Buildings Became Associated with Horror and the Supernatural


OrthodoxyAndWorldReligions.com

1. On Coexisting With People of Other Religions (St. Nikolai Velimirovich)

2. The Ascension of Christ in Islam

3. Pew Study Shows Atheism is Dying While Islam Projected to Dominate by the Turn of the Century

4. The Disputation Between Saint Cyril the Philosopher and the Muslims

5. What Is Religious Fanaticism?


Erotapokriseis.com

1. Questions and Answers 1 - 7

2. Questions and Answers 8 - 13

3. Questions and Answers 14 - 19

4. Questions and Answers 20 - 25


NewMyriobiblon.com

1. 1 - Book Review: "The Disaster Artist" by Greg Sestero

2. 2 - Book Review: "The Struggle for Virtue: Asceticism in a Modern Secular Society" by Archbishop Averky (Taushev)

3. 3 - Book Review: "Greek Orthodox Patrology" by Panagiotes K. Chrestou

4. 4 - Book Review: "Beloved Sufferer - The Life and Mystical Revelations of a Russian Eldress: Schemanun Macaria" by Gennady Durasov


Saint Gabriel of Iveron, Who Retrieved the Holy Icon Called Portaitissa from the Sea

St. Gabriel of Iveron (Feast Day - May 13)

Verses

You are an unusually mighty figure of purity Gabriel,
O the grace you have gained thrice-blessed one.

During the reign of the iconoclast emperor Theophilos (829-842), when the iconophiles were being persecuted and icons being destroyed, a wealthy, pious and virtuous widow in Nicaea had an icon of All Holy Mother of God and her Son that she cherished. Nearby her home she erected a small chapel to house this wonderworking icon, where she often went and prayed. Soon it was discovered when the imperial guards arrived to take the icon away, though they offered her the choice of keeping it if she gave them a sum of money. The widow promised to give them what they wanted, but the following day. The avaricious soldiers agreed to wait.

The Glorious Martyrdom and Extraordinary Revelation of Saints Olympia and Euphrosyne of Karyes in Mytilene

Sts. Olympia and Euphrosyne of Karyes (Feast Day - May 11)

In the thirteenth century, two hundred years before the martyrdom of Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene, there was a convent of nuns on the same sacred location where they were to be martyred. It was up the hill from the village of Thermi, about eleven kilometers from the town of Mytilene, which is the capital of the island of the same name. The hill on which the convent stood was called Karyes, which means "walnuts". For many years no one knew why it was called Karyes, for no walnut trees grew there in modern times, but as the local inhabitants were to find out, it indeed once did possess walnut trees, as well as a convent of nuns, although until 1961 there was no visible trace of either.

Saint Eustathios, Patriarch of Constantinople (+ 1025)

St. Eustathios of Constantinople (Feast Day - May 31)

Our Holy Father Eustathios was the protopresbyter of the imperial palace when he was raised to the Patriarchal throne by the Emperor Basil II in 1019. Eustathios participated in the efforts of the Eastern Romans in 1024 to come to an accommodation with the Latin Papacy concerning the widening gap between the Western and Eastern Churches, which culminated in the Great Schism of 1054.

Saints and Feasts of May 31


On the thirty-first Hermias was slain by the sword.

Holy Martyr Hermias

Holy Martyr Hermias of Comana in Cappadocia


Holy Magician

Holy Martyr Hermias of Comana in Cappadocia


Holy Five Martyrs of Ascalon

Holy Five Martyrs of Ascalon


Holy Virgin Martyr Petronilla

Holy Virgin Martyr Petronilla of Rome


Saint Eustathios, Patriarch of Constantinople

Saint Eustathios, Patriarch of Constantinople (+ 1025)


Holy New Hieromartyr Philosophus 
and his sons Boris and Nicholas

Holy New Hieromartyr Philosophus and His Sons Boris and Nicholas (+ 1918)


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Saint Felix I, Pope of Rome (+ 274)

St. Felix of Rome (Feast Day - May 30)

A Roman by birth, Felix was chosen as Pope on 5 January 269, in succession to Pope Dionysius, who had died on 26 December 268.

Pope Felix I was the first to condemn the heresy of Paul of Samosata, who taught that Jesus was born a mere man, but that he was infused with the divine Logos or Word of God. Felix was the author of an important dogmatic letter on the unity of Christ's Person. He sought the pagan emperor Aurelian's aid in settling the theological dispute between the anti-Trinitarian Paul of Samosata, who had been excommunicated and deprived of the bishopric of Antioch by a synod of bishops in 269 for heresy, and the orthodox Domnus, Paul's successor. Paul refused to give up his throne, and in 272 the emperor Aurelian was asked to decide between the rivals. He ordered the church building to be given to the bishop who was "recognized by the bishops of Italy and of the city of Rome", namely Felix.

Commemoration of the Consecration of the Church of Saint Euphemia in Dexiokratiana

Image of the Church of St. Euphemia provided by Byzantium 1200

On January 19, 729, at the very beginning of the iconoclastic persecutions, Emperor Leo III the Isaurian ordered the removal of an image of Christ which stood over the Chalkē, the main gate of the Great Palace of Constantinople. While an officer was executing the order, a group of women gathered to prevent the operation, and one of them, a nun named Theodosia, let him fall from the ladder. The man died, and Theodosia was captured and executed.

The Most Powerful Argument Against Kneeling on Sundays


Those aware of the arguments against kneeling in church on Sundays not only from Pascha to Pentecost but every Sunday know about not only the canonical prohibition against kneeling on Sundays, but also how it was an ancient tradition of the Church kept for centuries until modern times when western devotional practices overrode this ancient tradition in many parishes. Besides these powerful arguments, however, there is still one that is more powerful that I have never personally seen addressed.

Saints and Feasts of May 30


On the thirtieth Isaac departed the earth after a glorious death.

Venerable Isaac the Confessor, 
Abbot of Dalmatoi Monastery

Saint Isaac the Confessor, Founder of Dalmatoi Monastery


Venerable Barlaam

Saint Barlaam the Hermit, Who Converted Prince Joasaph

A Note Concerning Saints Barlaam and Joasaph


Saint Emmelia, Mother of Saint Basil the Great

Saint Emmelia, Mother of Saint Basil the Great

Saint Emmelia as a Model for our Lives


Holy Hieromartyr Eutyches, 
Disciple of Saint John the Theologian

Holy Hieromartyr Eutyches, Disciple of Saint John the Theologian


Saint Felix I, Pope of Rome

Saint Felix I, Pope of Rome (+ 274)


Commemoration of the Consecration of the 
Church of Saint Euphemia in Dexiokratiana

Commemoration of the Consecration of the Church of Saint Euphemia in Dexiokratiana


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Holy New Martyr Andrew Argenti of Chios (+ 1465)

St. Andrew Argenti (Feast Day - May 29);
illustration shows the Coat of Arms of the Argenti family in Chios

Andrew was born on the island of Chios in 1437. The Argenti family had long been one of the most eminent families of Chios. Italian by origin, the Argentis were already established on the island before it passed under Genoese sovereignty in the fourteenth century. In the course of time they became Hellenized and predominantly Orthodox in their faith. Andrew himself came from a pious Orthodox family. When he was a child he became severely ill, but through the intercessions of the Mother of God he was healed.

How a Marriage Might Have Prevented the Fall of Constantinople


By John Sanidopoulos

Mara Branković was the daughter of Serbian monarch Đurađ (George) Branković and Irene Kantakouzene. She entered the harem of Sultan Murad II of the Ottoman Empire. Mara was betrothed to Murad II in June 1431. The betrothal was an attempt to prevent an invasion of Serbia from the Ottoman Empire, though periodic Ottoman raids continued. On 4 September 1435, the marriage took place at Edirne. Her dowry included the districts of Dubočica and Toplica.

The Tragedy of the Greek Mothers of Ottoman Sultans


One of the great tragedies of Ottoman rule from the perspective of the Greeks, successors of the fallen Eastern Roman Empire, are the stories of the mothers of some of the Ottoman Sultans. A tragedy because they were usually taken by force from their Greek families and made to convert from Orthodox Christianity to Islam and marry a powerful Sultan or Prince. It seems that most if not all these women came to embrace their fate, and for Turks no doubt their stories are anything but a tragedy. Below are some of their profiles.

Church of Saint John the Martyr in Old Gynaikokastro


The Holy New Martyr Nannos, or John, was born in Thessaloniki in 1785 and martyred in Smyrna (Izmir) on May 29, 1802. His father, also named John, was born in 1764 in Avret Hisar (Old Gynaikokastro) in Kilkis and his mother was from Northern Halkidiki, but they settled together in Thessaloniki. His father was a cobbler and went to work in Smyrna due to lack of business in Thessaloniki; his two sons Theodore and John (Nannos) soon followed him.

Holy New Martyr Nannos (John) of Thessaloniki (+ 1802)


By Thanasis Hatzimitakos

The Holy New Martyr Nannos/John belongs to the Macedonian New Martyrs. He was martyred in Smyrna in 1802 when he was only seventeen years old.

Nannos was born in Thessaloniki of Macedonian parents. His father came from the village of Avret Hisar, nowadays old Gynaikokastro in the prefecture of Kilkis, a mere 30 kilometres to the north of Thessaloniki, and his mother in the village of Lokovi, today’s Taxiarchis, in Halkidiki. They became acquainted in Thessaloniki, where they both lived, created a family and had two boys, the elder named Theodore, and the younger John, whose pet name was Nannos in order to distinguish him from his father, who was also named John.

Saints and Feasts of May 29


On the twenty-ninth Theodosia was struck 
by the current of the sea.

Holy Martyr Theodosia the Virgin

Holy Virgin Martyr Theodosia of Tyre (+ 306)


Holy Venerable Martyr Theodosia of Constantinople

Synaxarion of the Holy Venerable Martyr Theodosia of Constantinople (+ 730)

The Monastery of Saint Theodosia In Constantinople

Commemoration of the Consecration of the Church of Saint Euphemia in Dexiokratiana

The Icon of Christ at the Chalke Gate


Holy Ajarian Martyrs of Georgia

The Holy Ajarian Martyrs of Georgia


Venerable Ypomoni

Saint Ypomoni - Empress of the Romans (+ 1450)

Saint Ypomoni as a Model for our Lives


Holy New Martyr Andrew Argenti of Chios

Holy New Martyr Andrew Argenti of Chios (+ 1465)


Holy New Martyr Nannos (John) of Thessaloniki

Holy New Martyr Nannos (John) of Thessaloniki (+ 1802)

Church of Saint John the Martyr in Old Gynaikokastro


Holy Hieromartyr Euthymios, Bishop of Zela

Holy Ethno-Hieromartyr Euthymios, Bishop of Zela (+ 1921)


Commemoration of the Woeful Fall 
of the Queen of Cities

May 29, 1453 - Fall of Constantinople Resource Page


Monday, May 28, 2018

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Helikonida of Thessaloniki

St. Helikonida the Martyr (Feast Day - May 28)

Verses

Helikonida was beheaded by the sword,
Delighting not on Helikon, but in Eden.

This Saint was during the reign of Emperors Gordian (238-244) and Philip (244–249), and was from Thessaloniki. Arrested for being a Christian, she was brought before the Duke of Corinth named Perinios. Because she was not persuaded to sacrifice to the idols, but proclaimed Christ as the true God, for this reason she was first tied by her feet with the strap of the yoke of the ox, and thrown to the ground. Afterwards the Saint was put into a cauldron of lead, asphalt (which is like sulfur) and pitch, but she came out of it without being harmed. Then they shaved her head to shame her, and lit her body on fire. The Saint then entered the temple of the idols, and by her prayer she toppled the idols of Athena, Zeus and Asclepius to the ground. For this reason her breasts were cut off.

Synaxarion of the Holy Hieromartyr Helladios

Saint Helladios the Hieromartyr (Feast Day - May 27)

Verses

The oil of anointing of the priesthood Helladios,
Was commingled with the blood of martyrdom.
On the twenty-seventh Helladios was killed with fists.

This Saint having cleansed himself of every defilement, became a container of the Holy Spirit. Wherefore he was anointed by election as the Hierarch of God, and was entrusted with steering the Church of Christ. In so far as he was a shepherd, he banished from the flock of Christ the noetic wolves, both heretics and the impious, who were devouring his rational sheep. In so far as he governed knowledgeably, he kept the ship of the Church untouched and unswallowed by every wave and opposing storm of the sea of life.

Holy Hieromartyr Eutychios, Bishop of Melitene

St. Eutyches of Melitene (Feast Day - May 28)

Verses

As a fortunate one you gained fortune thrice-blessed one,
Of your divine allotment prepared for you Eutychios.
On the twenty-eighth Eutychios was carried up.

Almost nothing is known of the Holy Hieromartyr Eutychios, called Eutyches in some sources. He lived during the first centuries of Christianity, when Christianity was persecuted by the pagan Romans, and he served as the Bishop of Melitene. One source tells us that he voluntarily presented himself before the ruler of the city and refused to sacrifice to the idols, confessing Jesus Christ as the true God, for which reason he was tortured then martyred by being cast into the sea and drowning.

Saints and Feasts of May 28


On the twenty-eighth Eutychios was carried up.

Holy Hieromartyr Eutychios, Bishop of Melitene

Holy Hieromartyr Eutychios, Bishop of Melitene


Holy Martyr Helikonida of Thessaloniki

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Helikonida of Thessaloniki


Saint Andrew the Fool for Christ

Saint Andrew the Fool for Christ Resource Page


Holy New Martyr Mitros of Peloponnesos

Holy New Martyr Mitros of Peloponnesos (+ 1794)


Saint Andrew the Fool for Christ Resource Page

St. Andrew the Fool for Christ (Feast Day - May 28)

Verses

The saying of Paul was introduced by Andrew,
"We are fools for Christ" he cried.

Life and Visions of St. Andrew the Fool For Christ

Saint Andrew the Fool for Christ as a Model for our Lives

St. Nikodemos on the Prophecies of St. Andrew the Fool for Christ

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Oration on Holy Pentecost (St. Gregory the Theologian)


Oration 41: On Holy Pentecost

By St. Gregory the Theologian

I. Let us reason a little about the Festival, that we may keep it spiritually. For different persons have different ways of keeping Festival; but to the worshiper of the Word a discourse seems best; and of discourses, that which is best adapted to the occasion. And of all beautiful things none gives so much joy to the lover of the beautiful, as that the lover of festivals should keep them spiritually. Let us look into the matter thus. The Jew keeps festival as well as we, but only in the letter. For while following after the bodily Law, he has not attained to the spiritual Law. The Greek too keeps festival, but only in the body, and in honor of his own gods and demons, some of whom are creators of passion by their own admission, and others were honored out of passion.

Saints and Feasts of May 27


On the twenty-seventh Helladios was killed with fists.

Holy Hieromartyr Helladios

Synaxarion of the Holy Hieromartyr Helladios


Venerable John the Russian

Saint John the Russian Resource Page


Venerable Bede the Confessor

Venerable Bede the Confessor, Hieromonk of Wearmouth-Jarrow Abbey (+ 735)


Saints and Feasts of the Last Sunday of May


Commemoration of the Finding of the Sacred Icon 
of the Holy Great Martyr Demetrios the Myrrhgusher

The Finding of the Holy Icon of St. Demetrios In Syros


Commemoration of the Neomartyrs of Eurytania


Commemoration of the Co-Workers of the Apostle Paul



Saturday, May 26, 2018

History of the Church of the Holy Fathers in Nicaea


The venue of the First Ecumenical Synod in 325 was not in a church, but in the biggest hall of the imperial palace in Nicaea. Emperor Constantine called for this Synod and was present in full regalia during deliberations among the 318 Holy Fathers gathered to restore unity among the Christians of the Roman Empire, divided as it was between the Arians and the Orthodox. During the reign of Justinian part of this palace collapsed and he ordered for its full restoration. By the eighth century, the grand hall of the palace was turned into a church dedicated to the 318 Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Synod, otherwise known as the Church of the Holy Fathers.

Saints and Feasts of the Last Saturday of May


Synaxis of All Saints of Boeotia

Synaxis of All Saints of Boeotia


Saints and Feasts of May 26


On the twenty-sixth Carpos flew away from the earth to a distant place.

Holy and Glorious Apostle Carpos of the Seventy

Holy Apostle Carpos of the Seventy

The Vision of the Apostle Carpos of the Seventy


Holy Apostle Alphaeus of the Twelve

Holy Apostle Alphaeus of the Seventy with his son Abercius and daughter Helen


Holy Martyr Abercius

Holy Apostle Alphaeus of the Seventy with his son Abercius and daughter Helen


Holy Martyr Helen

Holy Apostle Alphaeus of the Seventy with his son Abercius and daughter Helen


Saint Synesios, Bishop of Karpasia

Saint Synesios of Karpasia in Cyprus


Saint Augustine, Archbishop of Canterbury

Saint Augustine, Archbishop of Canterbury (+ 604)


Holy New Martyr Alexander 
the Dervish from Thessaloniki

Holy New Martyr Alexander the Dervish from Thessaloniki (+ 1794)


Friday, May 25, 2018

The Column of Saint Glykeria Which Held Her Sacred Head


Saint Nikodemos the Hagiorite, in his Synaxaristes of the Twelve Months of the Year, informs us in a footnote to the synaxarion of Saint Glykeria on May 13th, that the Holy Martyr's relics were kept in Herakleia of Thrace. There could be found a bronze basin into which the myrrh that flowed from the relics of the Saint was received, and from this myrrh in the bronze basin many pilgrims came and anointed themselves, and it was responsible for a great number of healings and miracles. This bronze basin was also placed on top of the grave of the Saint for the sanctification of holy water.

Saint Dionysius, Bishop of Milan (+ c. 360)

St. Dionysius of Milan (Feast Day - May 25)

Almost nothing is known about the life of Dionysius before his election as Bishop of Milan, which took place in 349. Dionysius was probably of Greek origin. He was a friend of the Roman Emperor Constantius II before being elected Bishop of Milan.

The Location Where the Head of St. John the Baptist Was Found the Third Time


During the time of Iconoclasm, the head of Saint John the Baptist was secretly taken from Constantinople by pious Christians, who hid it in Comana (or Kamani, near Sukhumi of Abkhazia), the city where Saint Basiliskos was martyred and Saint John Chrysostom died in exile. (In 1884, the Greek scholar Konstantinos Vrissis visited the area and conjectured that it was Kamani, not Comana Pontica, where John Chrysostom died and was initially buried). In Comana it was taken up a mountain and hidden in a place difficult to get to. When Orthodoxy was reestablished in Constantinople, a divine vision came to a priest in Comana informing him of the location of the head of Saint John, and by imperial decree it was brought back to Constantinople, where it was received by the Emperor and Patriarch and all the Orthodox people, and placed in Studion Monastery for veneration. This took place in the year 850 and is celebrated as the Third Finding of the Head of Saint John the Baptist.

Saints and Feasts of May 25


On the twenty-fifth the Head of the Forerunner was found.

Third Finding of the Honorable Head of the 
Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John

Third Finding of the Honorable Head of Saint John the Baptist and Forerunner

The Location Where the Head of St. John the Baptist Was Found the Third Time

Saint John the Baptist Resource Page


Saint Zenobius, Bishop of Florence

Saint Zenobius, First Bishop of Florence


Saint Dionysius, Bishop of Milan

Saint Dionysius, Bishop of Milan (+ c. 360)


Commemoration of the Finding of the Sacred Icon 
of the Holy Great Martyr Demetrios the Myrrhgusher

The Finding of the Holy Icon of St. Demetrios In Syros


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Meletios the General and his Companions

St. Meletios the Stratelates and his Companions (Feast Day - May 24)

Verses

To Meletios.
"The pine is bitter," Meletios said, "but I am raised up,
To the honey of Hymettus."

To Kallinikos the Magician.
Beheading changed the magician into an athlete,
The calling of Kallinikos was not a vain calling.

To Stephen and John.
John together with Stephen with longing,
Bent their undefiled heads to the sword and were crowned.

To Serapion.
Fit for sculpting was the Martyr Serapion for not sacrificing,
Who was cut at the neck by worshipers of sculptures.

To the Twelve Tribunes.
Duly perishable were the tribunes and counts,
Duly imperishable were they found in the fire.

To the Two Infants Kyriakos and Christian.
Kyriakos and Christian by the sword,
Were taken up as Christian servants of the Lord.

To Marciana, Susanna and Palladia.
Marciana, Susanna and Palladia,
Were killed by wood for not sacrificing to Pallas.

To the Two Hundred and Eight Martyrs.
Two times five times twenty were beheaded by the sword,
The octet were also beheaded twofold.

To the Eleven Thousand Martyrs.
Of the thousands of steadfast rejoicing ones,
David the Prophet declared in psalmody.

Saint Symeon of the Wondrous Mountain Resource Page

St. Symeon of the Wondrous Mountain (Feast Day - May 24)

Verses

Beforehand Symeon you inhabited the land of Wondrous Mountain,
Now you dwell on the all-wondrous mountain in the heavens.
On the twenty-fourth Symeon you entered where noetic beings are all around.

Synaxarion of Saint Symeon of the Wondrous Mountain

Saint Symeon of the Wondrous Mountain (+ 596)

Pilgrimage Tokens From the Tomb of Saint Symeon the Stylite the Younger

Token with Stylite, 6th–7th century. Made in Syria. Tsolozidis Collection, Thessaloniki

Stylites were ascetics who lived on platforms atop columns. This movement had practitioners into the nineteenth century, from Mosul in today’s northern Iraq to Gaul in France. Syria was home to large numbers of stylites, including the first stylite, Symeon Stylites the Elder (ca. 389–459).

Saints and Feasts of May 24


On the twenty-fourth Symeon you entered 
where noetic beings are all around.

Venerable Symeon of the Wondrous Mountain

Saint Symeon of the Wondrous Mountain Resource Page


Holy Martyr Meletios the General and his companions 
John, Stephen, Serapion the Egyptian, 
Kallinikos the Magician, the Twelve Counts and 
Tribunes: Festus, Faustus, Markellos, Theodore, 
another Meletios, Sergius, Marcellinus, Felix, 
Photinos, Theodoriscus, Mercurious and Didymus, 
the Three Women: Marciana, Susanna and Palladia, 
the Two Infants: Kyriakos and Christian, 
together with the Eleven Thousand Two Hundred 
and Eight Martyrs with them

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Meletios the General and his Companions


Saint Vincent of Lerins

Saint Vincent of Lerins (+ 445)

John Cassian, Vincent of Lerins and Faustus of Riez Were Not Semi-Pelagians


Venerable Kyriakos of Evrychou the Wonderworker

Saint Kyriakos of Evrychou the Wonderworker


Saint Nikita the Stylite and Wonderworker

Saint Nikita the Stylite and Wonderworker (+ 1186)


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Saint Michael the Confessor, Bishop of Synnada (+ 818)

St. Michael of Synnada (Feast Day - May 23)

Verses

Your billowy short life was fitting,
Releasing Michael like an empty bubble.
On the twenty-third Michael ascended from the earth.

Our Venerable Father Michael was from Synnada in Phrygia of Asia Minor. He was consecrated to God from his childhood, and he purified himself with a life of perfection. To further his education, he went to Constantinople, and there he met Saint Theophylaktos (Mar. 8), the future Bishop of Nicomedia. Desiring to become monks, Saint Tarasios the Patriarch of Constantinople sent them to a monastery near the Black Sea.

Holy Martyr Michael the Sabbaite

St. Michael the Sabbaite (Feast Day - May 23)

The Venerable Monk Michael lived in the ninth century, and came from the city of Edessa in Mesopotamia. The son of Christian parents, after their death he distributed his inheritance to those in need, then went to Jerusalem to venerate the Holy Places. The Holy Land at that time was under Muslim rule.

Michael remained in Palestine and settled in the Lavra of Saint Savvas. There he became a disciple of Saint Theodore (July 9), who was also from Edessa, and who spent his time both in the monastery and living as an anchorite in the Judean desert. The two made baskets of reeds together as a way to support their monastic life. Periodically Michael would take the baskets to the marketplace of Jerusalem to sell them.

Saint Euphrosyne of Polotsk (+ 1167)

St. Euphrosyne of Polotsk (Feast Day - May 23)

Saint Euphrosyne was born between 1101 and 1104 and named Predslava in the world. She was the daughter of Prince George Vseslavich, second son of Vseslav the Sorcerer, of the Rurik noble family, members of which were the dukes of the principality of Polotsk, in what is modern day Belarus.

Saints and Feasts of May 23


On the twenty-third Michael ascended from the earth.

Venerable Michael the Confessor, Bishop of Synnada

Saint Michael the Confessor, Bishop of Synnada (+ 818)


Holy Myrrhbearer Mary, Wife of Cleopas

Holy Myrrhbearer Mary, Wife of Cleopas


Holy Prophet Manaen

Holy Prophet Manaen


Holy Martyrs Donatian and Rogatian of Nantes

Holy Martyrs Donatian and Rogatian of Nantes


Holy Martyr Michael the Sabbaite

Holy Martyr Michael the Sabbaite


Venerable Euphrosyne of Polotsk

Saint Euphrosyne of Polotsk (+ 1167)


Translation of the Sacred Relics of 
Venerable Joachim of Ithaca

The Translation of the Holy Relics of Saint Joachim of Ithaca

Saint Joachim the Papoulakis Resource Page


Synaxis of All Saints of Rostov and Yaroslav

Synaxis of All Saints of Rostov and Yaroslav


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Holy Martyr John Vladimir, King of Serbia (+ 1015)


By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

He came of a princely family from Zahumlje. His grandfather was named Hvalimir and his father Petrislav. He was a wise ruler; merciful, meek, chaste and courageous. He was fervent in prayer and a devoted builder and benefactor of churches. But he had major battles to fight, both inside and outside his realm; internally with heretics and Bogomils, and externally with invaders, with King Samuel and the Emperor Basil.

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Basiliskos, Nephew of Saint Theodore the Tiro

St. Basiliskos of Comana (Feast Day - May 22)

Verses

Basiliskos delivered his head to beheading,
Trampling on the head of the noetic basilisk.
On the twenty-second Basiliskos suffered the sword.

During the reign of Emperor Maximian (286-305), the governor Agrippa was sent to the East against the Christians, to replace the governor Asklipiodotos, and having arrived in Comana of Cappadocia, he interrogated and punished the Christians. At that time Saint Basiliskos was there, who was from a village of the Black Sea in Amasea called Choumiala, and was the nephew of Saint Theodore the Tiro. He had beforehand struggled in martyrdom with Eutropios and Kleonikos,* the fellow soldiers of his uncle Saint Theodore. Because their lives came to a martyric end, Basiliskos remained shut in prison, which is why he desired to end his path in martyrdom. Wherefore he was made worthy of manifestations from God, who ordered him to bid farewell to his relatives, and then go to Comana in Cappadocia to be martyred there. The Saint therefore was set free from prison by soldiers, who accompanied him to his household. Having bid farewell to his relatives, and catechized them in the words of piety, he remained there with them. Because the Saint was sought for in the prison and could not be found, the governor became enraged. He thus ordered that wherever he was to be found, he was to be bound by two chains and have iron shoes with nails in them to be placed on his feet, and to be brought to trial with much force.

Holy New Hieromartyr Zacharias of Prousa (+ 1802)

St. Zacharias the Hieromartyr of Prousa (Feast Day - May 22)

Zacharias was from Prousa in Asia Minor, where he served as a monastic priest. One day, under the influence of alcohol, he denied his faith in Christ and accepted Islam. When he sobered up from his drunken stupor, Zacharias realized what he had done, and he grieved and repented with bitter tears.

Since his denial was done publicly and his repentance was done privately, he wanted to make known that he was indeed a Christian, and therefore resolved to confess Christ before all. However, Zacharias was an alcoholic, so when he drank again, his zeal was consumed and it did not allow him to think straight. He feared the torture that would come his way as well.

Saints and Feasts of May 22


On the twenty-second Basiliskos suffered the sword.


Holy Martyr Basiliskos at Comana

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Basiliskos, Nephew of Saint Theodore the Tiro


Commemoration of the Second Holy and 
Ecumenical Synod

Commemoration of the Second Ecumenical Synod in 381


Holy Martyr Sophia the Physician

Saint Sophia the Martyr and Physician


Holy Martyr John Vladimir, 
King of Serbia and Wonderworker

Holy Martyr John Vladimir, King of Serbia (+ 1015)


Holy Martyrs Castus and Aimilius of Carthage

Holy Martyrs Castus and Aimilius of Carthage


Venerable Kali

Saint Kali the Philanthropist


Righteous Melchizedek, King of Salem

Homily on Melchizedek, the King and Priest


Holy New Hieromartyr Zacharias of Prousa

Holy New Hieromartyr Zacharias of Prousa (+ 1802)


Holy New Martyr Paul of Peloponnesos

Holy New Martyr Paul of Peloponnesos (+ 1818)


Monday, May 21, 2018

The Repentance of Constantine the Great


By Archimandrite Meletios Stathis

The very name of Constantine is enough to move the heart of any Greek Christian, not only today, but for very many years now, because it is associated with the legends of the nation, with “once again, with the passing of years and in good time, it will be ours again.”[1] It moves us because the first to bear the name Constantine, was not merely one of the greatest men in world history, but he was something more besides: a saint.

Saint Christopher I, Patriarch of Antioch (+ 967)

St. Christopher I, Patriarch of Antioch (Feast Day - May 21)

The future Patriarch Christopher was born in Baghdad to Orthodox parents who gave him the name Issa. As a young man, his penmanship and eloquence in Arabic made him a good candidate for the type of secretarial career that has often through history been the best path for advancement open to Christians in the Islamic world. So he went to Aleppo to seek his fortune at the court of the ruler Sayf al-Dawla. Sayf al-Dawla was himself most famous as the patron of the poet Al-Mutanabbi, who wrote many poems celebrating Sayf al-Dawla’s campaigns against the Romans. It seems that Sayf al-Dawla was sufficiently impressed with Issa’s abilities, and he made him secretary to one of his emirs, Caliph ibn Jundi, in the town of Shaizar, northwest of Hama.

Holy Prince Constantine and his sons Mikhail and Fyodor, Wonderworkers of Murom

Sts. Constantine, Mikhail and Fyodor of Murom (Feast Day - May 21)

The Holy Princes Constantine and his sons Mikhail and Fyodor of Murom lived during the eleventh-twelfth centuries.

Prince Constantine, a descendant of Saint Vladimir, asked his father, Prince Svyatoslav of Chernigov, to give him the city of Murom, which was inhabited by pagans, so he might enlighten this land with the light of the Christian faith.

Saints and Feasts of May 21


On the twenty-first Constantine died with his mother.

Holy and Glorious Divinely-Revered Great 
Emperors Constantine and Helen 
the Equal to the Apostles

Saint Constantine the Great Resource Page


Venerable Hospitius the Recluse

Saint Hospitius the Recluse (+ 581)


Saint Christopher, Patriarch of Antioch

Saint Christopher I, Patriarch of Antioch (+ 967)


Holy Prince Constantine and his sons 
Mikhail and Fyodor, Wonderworkers of Murom

Holy Prince Constantine and his sons Mikhail and Fyodor, Wonderworkers of Murom


Venerable New Martyr Pachomios of Usaki

Holy New Martyr Pachomios of Usaki (+ 1730)


Sunday, May 20, 2018

Saint Thalassios of Libya (+ 648)

St. Thalassios of Libya (Feast Day - May 20)

Verses

Thalassios dwelling in the grave,
Gushes forth a sea of grace from the grave.

Our holy Father Thalassios was from Libya in Africa, and both a priest and an abbot, who lived during the reign of Constantine Pogonatos (668-685). He was an ascetic author, whose four centuries titled On Love, Self-control and Life in accordance with the Nous appears in the Philokalia. This is his only known writing.

Saints and Feasts of May 20


On the twentieth the head of Thallelaios was cut off.

Holy Martyr Thallelaios the Unmercenary

Saint Thalelaeos and his Veneration on the Island of Naxos


Venerable Thalassios of Libya

Saint Thalassios of Libya (+ 648)


Translation of the Relics of Saint Nicholas 
the Wonderworker from Myra to Bari

Translation of the Relics of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker from Myra to Bari in 1087

The Transfer of the Body of Saint Nicholas from Myra in Lycia to Bari in Italy (A 13th cent. Anonymous Greek Account)

The Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas in Spata

Saint Nicholas of Myra Resource Page


Saint Lydia of Philippi

Saint Lydia of Philippi, the Equal to the Apostles

Saint Lydia of Philippi as a Model for our Lives

The Baptistery of Saint Lydia Near Philippi (video)

Ten Albanians Baptized Where Saint Lydia Was Baptized


Saints Zabulon and Susanna

Saints Zabulon and Susanna, Parents of Saint Nina of Georgia


Saint David of Gareji

Saint David of Gareji and His Monastery


Saturday, May 19, 2018

Holy Hieromartyr Patrick, Bishop of Prusa, and His Companions

St. Patrick of Prusa and the Presbyters With Him (Feast Day - May 19)

Verses

To Patrick.
Patrick by his beheading was found to be a boast,
The boast of all earthly patricians.

To Akakios.
Called to partake of death Akakios,
You contested on behalf of this by the sword.

To Menander and Polyainos.
Polyainos and Menander were beheaded,
Worthily deemed worthy of many praises.

On the nineteenth Patrick was beheaded with a sharp sword.

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Akolouthos of the Thebaid

St. Akolouthos the Martyr (Feast Day - May 19);
photo shows a ruined temple in Hermopolis

Verses

The Martyr Akolouthos as to a bridal chamber,
Complies as he is carried off to the flames.
*

This Saint lived during the reign of Emperor Maximian (286-385), and was from the Thebaid in Egypt, in Hermopolis. Because of his faith and confession in Christ, he was brought before the governor of that area. And not being enticed by flatteries, nor made timid by threats, first they hung a heavy rock from his neck. Then they decided to put him to death by fire, and when the renowned one was cast therein, he acquired the crown of martyrdom.

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