Monday, May 13, 2019

An Exciting Week Ahead for the Mystagogy Resource Center


Dear Readers:

Christ is Risen!

In the beginning of Great Lent I made some exciting announcements about certain updates and expansions of the ministry of the Mystagogy Resource Center coming within a few months. Over the course of the next week, I will dedicate my time normally reserved towards writing and posting to rolling out these new updates and expansions.

As a reminder of what will be coming in the next few days, four new websites will be added to the platform of this ministry. One of them is exclusively for a book I am translating titled The Salvation of Sinners, written in the 17th century by Monk Agapios of Crete. Another website will also be exclusively for a book I am translating, titled Know Thyself, written by St. Nektarios of Aegina in the early 20th century. These two books I consider timeless classics of Orthodoxy and essential reading for Orthodox Christians in the 21st century, so I will attempt to translate each one in their entirety and make them available. The third website will be devoted to unique Youth Ministry material and resources for both adults and children. Lastly, I am going to have a website exclusively devoted to my own personal thoughts on various subjects.

In addition to this, as I noted a few months ago, since this ministry has now turned ten years old, and the total number of posts on this website alone has reached over 12,000, I have added subject links to the top of this site to be able to more easily find and access articles. I will be going through every single post I made since 2009, editing them, updating them, and deleting what may no longer seem relevant. This will also be necessary when I roll over this website into a newer and updated website, once funding becomes available.

With this being said, it is also that time of the year, a few weeks after Easter, when I must request your financial help to keep this ministry alive and thriving. I usually like to do this after the Sunday of the Myrrhbearers, because these women came to submit their offering to Christ even at a time when all hope seemed to be lost. Here at the Mystagogy Resource Center, monthly memberships and annual donations have dropped, making it a bit more difficult to devote the time I need to create content worth visiting, but I am really hoping things will begin to turn around this month, especially now in such a thriving economy. So if you are in any way benefited by this ministry, and want to express your appreciation and see it expand and grow to its potential, please consider a contribution today, whether it be as an annual gift or a monthly subscription ($60 a year / $5 a month, or whatever you are able). Thank you in advance.

With love in the Risen Christ,

John Sanidopoulos

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

John Sanidopoulos
PO Box 320284
West Roxbury, MA 02132




Sunday, May 12, 2019

Imitating the Myrrhbearers (St. Gregory the Dialogist)


By St. Gregory the Dialogist

You have heard, dearly beloved, that holy women who had followed the Lord came to the sepulcher with spices. They had loved Him when He was alive, and they showed Him their eager tenderheartedness even when He was dead. Their deed points to something that must be done in our holy Church. Thus as we hear of what they did, we must also think of our responsibility to imitate them. We, too, who believe in Him Who died, approach His sepulcher with spices if we are strengthened with the sweet smell of the virtues, and if we seek the Lord with a reputation for good works. And the women who came with spices saw angels, since those who advance toward God through their holy desires, accompanied by the sweet smell of the virtues, behold the citizens from on high.

From Forty Gospel Homilies, Homily 21.


Saturday, May 11, 2019

Eulogy for Cyril and Methodios (Clement of Ochrid)



Saints Cyril and Methodius, the Apostles of the Slavonians (Sebastian Dabovich)


By Sebastian Dabovich

SAINTS CYRIL AND METHODIUS, 
THE APOSTLES OF THE SLAVONIANS

MAY 11

It is with gratitude and reverence that we mention the names of St. Cyril and his brother Methodius, the first teachers of the Slavonic people, who gave us the Word of God in the Slavonian language. “God, in His mercy, gives to every race and time its teachers, and to us He gave Constantine (and his brother Methodius), who enlightened our people.” This is the way in which an old Slavonic history commences to relate the life of the philosopher Constantine (the name Cyril was given him not long before his death, in taking the final vows of an ascetic), who was the inventor of the Slavonian alphabet, and the preacher of the Word of God in the Slavonic countries. Constantine (or Cyril) lived in the ninth century; he was the youngest son of a rich and noted nobleman of the Greek city of Salonica. His father’s name was Leo, and his mother’s Mary. The family was a large one; and it was brought up in all gravity, according to the faith. The Greek emperor installed Methodius, the elder brother, as governor of the Slavonic tribes, which, at that time, lived in the neighborhood of Salonica. But, after a few years, Methodius desired to leave the world. He left the Slavonic principality, after which he settled in Mount Olympus, where he was tonsured a monk, and devoted his days in prayer and the study of the Holy Scriptures.

"I am a Wall, and My Breasts Like Towers": The Theotokos as Protectress of Constantinople


By St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite

In various times and ways our Lady the Theotokos guarded from many dangers the city of Constantinople which is dedicated to her. During the reign of Leo the Isaurian, who ruled in 716, the Saracens entered Constantinople, and encircled it for three years. However they departed without success. Bede among the Latins writes that when the Bulgarians fought against the Saracens they defeated them, while Kedrenos and Theophanes among the Greeks said that the Saracen fleet was obliterated by the fire-bearing ships of the emperor. Except it was the power of God and the grace of the Theotokos, which guarded the City from the danger.

Holy Martyr Dioskoros the New

St. Dioskoros the New (Feast Day - May 11)

Verses

While in our day there lives the myth of the Dioskouri,
Dioskoros who lives forever was beheaded.

This Saint was from the great city of Smyrna, and for his faith in Christ he was brought before the ruler of Smyrna. Because he proclaimed himself a Christian, he was put in prison. He was interrogated for a second time, and because he remained steadfast in his faith, the ruler ordered for his beheading, and in this way the blessed one received the crown of martyrdom.


Friday, May 10, 2019

Saint Simon, Bishop of Vladimir and Suzdal (+ 1226)

St. Simon, of Vladimir and Suzdal (Feast Day - May 10)

Saint Simon, Bishop of Vladimir and Suzdal was an author of the Kiev Caves Paterikon, and he became a monk at the Monastery of the Kiev Caves, sometime in the second half of the twelfth century.

In the year 1206 he was appointed abbot of the Vladimir Monastery of the Nativity of the Theotokos, and in 1214, at the wish of Prince George Vsevolodovich (+ 1238), he was made the first Bishop of Vladimir-on-the-Klyazma and Suzdal.

Rare Documentary of Mount Athos from 1983 Made by NBC News


This is a rare documentary about Mount Athos created by NBC News in 1983 titled The Monks of Mt. Athos. The documentary is about the history, practices, libraries, artwork, and treasures of the monasteries on Mount Athos. The original film was made in 1977 by John Keshishoglou titled Mt. Athos: The First One Thousand Years. A lesser quality video of this documentary can be seen on YouTube in seven parts.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra Resource Page

Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra (+ May 9, 2019)

Charisma and Institution at an Athonite Cloister

Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra Has Reposed

Monk Moses the Athonite on Contemporary Elders

The Experience of the Transfiguration in the Life of the Athonite Monk (1 of 5)

The Experience of the Transfiguration in the Life of the Athonite Monk (2 of 5)

The Experience of the Transfiguration in the Life of the Athonite Monk (3 of 5)

The Experience of the Transfiguration in the Life of the Athonite Monk (4 of 5)

The Experience of the Transfiguration in the Life of the Athonite Monk (5 of 5)

Prophet Isaiah Resource Page

Holy Prophet Isaiah (Feast Day - May 9)

Verses

As begotten without impregnation he saw the Son of the Mother,
He who was sawn asunder saw as without beginning the Son of the Father.
On the ninth Isaiah for his visions of the future was handed to the saw.

Synaxarion of the Holy Prophet Isaiah

The Prophet Isaiah as an Evangelist of the Gospel (St. Isidore of Seville)

The Authorship of the Book of Isaiah

Prologue to the Homilies on the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (St. John Chrysostom)


Homilies on the Book of the Prophet Isaiah

By St. John Chrysostom

Prologue

The excellent merit of this prophet is seen very well in his works, but what makes him see no less perfectly is the testimony of the one who, more than any other, was able to appreciate his qualities. I mean St. Paul, whose Holy Spirit dictated the words. Isaiah's frank language, his thought always free, his high sentiments, the clarity of his prophecies on Christ, all his qualities, the Apostle shows them by one word, saying, "Isaiah is not afraid to say: 'I was found by those who did not seek me, I showed myself to those who did not ask me.'"

Prologue to the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (St. Jerome)


Prologue to the Book of the Prophet Isaiah

By St. Jerome

No one, when he will have seen the Prophets to be written in verses, would think them to be bound in meter among the Hebrews, and to have anything in common with the Psalms or the works of Solomon. But what is customary to be used in Demosthenes and Cicero, as they are written in words with divisions, who certainly wrote prose and not in verses, we also, providing ease of reading, have divided a new translation with a new kind of writing. And first, knowing of Isaiah what is presented in his speech, certainly as a man noble and of urbane elegance he does not have anything of rusticity mixed into his speech. For this reason it happens that in comparison with others the translation was not able to preserve the flower of his speech. And then adding this, that it is being spoken not only by a prophet, but by an evangelist. For thus all the mysteries of Christ and the Church are pursued to clarity, so that you would not think them to be prophesied of the future, but they covered the history of things past. For this reason I suppose the Seventy interpreters to have been unwilling at that time to set forth clearly for the gentiles the sacraments of their faith, not throwing holy things to dogs or pearls to swine, which things, when you will have read this edition, you will note were hidden by them.

Service for the Translation of the Relics of Saint Nicholas of Myra (St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite)


Introduction

In 1081 AD, the Holy Body of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker was taken from the Church of his See in Myra, to the city of Bari on the west coast of Italy. Some have looked at this event, and see it as a theft from, and a great loss for, the Greeks of Asia Minor, to the benefit of the Italians. Other see even in this event, God's love and providence. St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite takes the latter point of view, as he relates that the transfer of the Saint's relic was by the will of God: “on the one hand, that his relic not remain without honor and glory, and on the other, that the West might partake of his wonders, as [the Christians of Bari at that time] had not yet fallen into heresies and false beliefs, but was Orthodox, and united with the Church of the East.”

Likely because some mourn the loss of St. Nicholas' body to the East, the memory of the translation of his relic is generally not as widely celebrated in Orthodox Greece as it is in Russia and other countries. However, St. Nikodemos did feel strong enough that this event deserves memory that he composed a service for this feast, as he relates: “For this feast, my weakness has composed a Service for St. Nicholas, and whoever desires to celebrate the Saint, let him seek it, for it is found in the Cell of St. Nicholas, called Barberadon, near Karyes.”

Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra Has Reposed


The neptic father Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra was born Alexandros Vapheides in Piraeus, Greece, in October 1934 to pious parents who had roots in Asia Minor. His paternal grandmother Eudoxia had been from Constantinople, and his grandfather Alexandros was from Selyvria in Thrace and was a student at Halki Theological School. In 1906 they moved to Simantra in Cappadocia where they worked as teachers for the Greek students until the Asia Minor Catastrophe, when they went to Greece. Though they were married, they lived as monastics, often keeping vigils and living a life of prayer. His grandmother Eudoxia reposed as a nun with the name Eutaxia and his mother also reposed as a nun with the name Aimiliani. This is the type of family the future Elder was raised with, who taught him to love prayer, the reading of the lives of the saints and their writings, and living a life completely dedicated to God.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Is the Holy Light of Jerusalem a Miracle? (Metr. Nicholas of Mesogaia)


In a recent Paschal interview with Huffington Post Greece, Metropolitan Nicholas of Mesogaia, who was formerly a NASA scientist, was asked about the Holy Light of Jerusalem, commonly known in the West as the Holy Fire, as to whether or not it is an authentic miracle, in response to the more recent accusations of a Bishop of Jerusalem that it is a hoax of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre and the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The Metropolitan was asked:

Every year at this time there is much talk about the Holy Light, whether or not it is lit with a lighter or by divine intervention. Whether it is a miracle or a trick. Perhaps the Church is ashamed to say how things are different?

Holy Martyr Victor of Milan

St. Victor of Milan (Feast Day - May 8)

The Holy Martyr Victor of Milan, also known as Victor the Moor and Victor Maurus, was born in ancient Mauretania, a Roman province on the Mediterranean coast of North Africa. He was a Berber of the Mauri tribe, after which the Moors were named. Born into a Christian family during the latter part of the third century, he nevertheless became a soldier in the Roman army and advanced through the ranks to become a member of the Praetorian Guard that served the Roman emperor Maximian who was the emperor for the Western Roman Empire from 286 to 305.

Holy Regiment of Soldier Martyrs

Holy Regiment of Soldier Martyrs (Feast Day - May 8)

Verses

The Christ-minded regiment had their heads cut off,
A Christ-murdering regiment did not imitate them.

On this day an entire regiment of soldiers met their end by the sword.


Venerable Meles the Hymnographer

St. Meles the Hymnographer (Feast Day - May 8)

Verses

Meles astonished with the creation of hymns in life,
Hymning righteous words as my words.

Venerable Meles (Meletos) the Hymnographer met his end in peace.


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

A Description of Greek Orthodox Easter in Jerusalem in 1915

Easter procession of the Greek Patriarch, Jerusalem. C. H. Graves. Ca. 11 November 1903.

THE GREEK EASTER AT JERUSALEM

By Estelle Blyth*

In the Church of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem there is a spot which guides point out as the centre of the world, and which the Russian pilgrims, and probably a good many others too, believe implicitly to be the exact spot. The first time you are told this you are inclined to smile at the simple but audacious statement; each successive visit to the church shows you the curious truth of it. For Jerusalem is not only the capital of Christendom, she is the centre of the religious world. To her go up year by year all the nations of the earth, no matter by what creed or name they call themselves — Christian, Moslem, and Jew, all turn in hither as to a common home; and so it is that within her narrow limits are found all the elements of that unity which must one day transfigure the city that was built to be at unity within herself.

Saint John of Zedazeni and his Twelve Disciples of Georgia

St. John of Zedazeni and his Twelve Disciples (Feast Day - May 7)

Our Holy Father John of Zedazeni and his twelve disciples, Abibus of Nekresi, Anthony of Martqopi, David of Gareji, Zenon of Iqalto, Thaddeus of Stepantsminda, Jesse of Tsilkani, Joseph of Alaverdi, Isidore of Samtavisi, Michael of Ulumbo, Pyrrhus of Breti, Stephen of Khirsa, and Shio of Mgvime, were Syrian ascetics and the founding fathers of Georgian monastic life.

Saint John received his spiritual education in Antioch. Early in his youth he was tonsured a monk and withdrew to the wilderness. The Lord, recognizing his humility, diligence in fasting, and devout watchfulness, blessed His faithful servant with the gift of healing the sick and casting out demons. Saint John was celebrated for his holy deeds and miracles. Curious crowds would swarm around him, and after some time he found it necessary to withdraw into even deeper seclusion.

Saint Tarasios the Wonderworker of Lycaonia

St. Tarasios of Lycaonia (Feast Day - May 7);
Photo shows altar in the Chapel of Saint Tarasios in Venice.

Verses

Accomplishing austere asceticism Tarasios,
You received the power for many miracles.
Maternaly Lycaonia cries out "Rejoice",
Venerable Spirit-bearer Tarasios.
On the seventh you entered the place of rest,
Venerable Tarasios, friend of peace.

Venerable Tarasios is commemorated on May 8th in Hippolyte Delehaye's Synaxarion, while the Lavra Codex I 70 f. 217b has him under May 7th with the following information about him:

Monday, May 6, 2019

Was St. Sophia of Kleisoura an Old Calendarist Nun who went by the name Myrtidiotissa?


By John Sanidopoulos

In 2011 the Ecumenical Patriarchate recognized Sophia of Kleisoura Monastery in Kastoria as a Saint of the Church. But is this the name she went by?

This Saint is a rare example of one who is recognized for her sanctity by both New Calendarists and Old Calendarists, and specifically to the region, by both the official Church of Greece (New Calendarists) and the Genuine Orthodox Christians (Old Calendarists), and both of these are in a schism from one another. The official Church of Greece says her name was Sophia and that she lived as an ascetic and was not a tonsured nun, while the Genuine Orthodox Christians believe she was herself an Old Calendarist who rejected the New Calendar, and that she was tonsured a nun by Metropolitan Cyprian of Oropos and Fili, the first hierarch of the Old Calendarist Synod of Resistance, who was then an Archimandrite, and given the name Myrtidiotissa.

Based on a study of the official texts and of books that have been written about her, the matter is a complicated one. Some say she should go by the name Venerable Sophia of Kleisoura, others say Venerable Eldress Myrtidiotissa, another says Venerable Sophia the Nun, and another is Venerable Sophia Hortokoridou. It should be noted, she is commonly depicted in photographs and icons as a simple ascetic without monastic dress.

Saint Micah of Radonezh, Disciple of Saint Sergius (+ 1385)

St. Micah of Radonezh (Feast Day - May 6)

Venerable Micah of Radonezh was one of the first disciples of the Venerable Sergius of Radonezh, and lived with him in the same cell, and under his guidance he attained a high degree of spiritual perfection. For his meekness of soul and purity of heart, Saint Micah was permitted to witness the appearance of the Mother of God to his great teacher.

Synaxis of Saints Mamas, Pachomios, Hilarion, Demetrios, Danax, Mesiros, Therinos, Donatos and Barbaros


Verses

To Mamas, Pachomios and Hilarion.
Hilarion and Pachomios Mamas,
Together departed with a good departure.

To Demetrios.
The arrows were a mortal wound to the flesh,
Demetrios led the arrows of infants.

To Danax, Mesiros and Therinos.
Both athletes had their heads cut off,
Mesiros lay dead in between two heads.

To Donatos.
Donatos was another stranger to my sun,
Putting forward his flesh to the ray of the cast arrow.

To Barbaros.
Our calling Barbaros is your nobility,
Barbarians of the heart, decapitated you.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

A Man Builds a Church Honoring St. Ephraim of Nea Makri for Healing His Nephew


It was the year 2000, and a low-powered motorcycle slid off the road in the town of Kounavoi of Heraklion, Crete in the village of Peza. A car however was coming out of a local gas station and collided with it violently.

The driver of the motorcycle, Michael, was 18 years old at the time, and had just finished high school and was preparing for the Army. Bystanders saw him lying on the ground, not moving, in a critical state, and immediately called an ambulance and transferred him to the hospital.

Immediately, Michael's family was informed and they rushed to the hospital. The doctors informed them that his situation was very dire, and he was unconscious and had head trauma, but, unfortunately, they did not have space in the ICU. He was therefore transferred to the Venizeleio General Hospital of Heraklion and the doctors in the ICU there saw him as "clinically dead"!

Saint Irene the Great Martyr Resource Page

St. Irene the Great Martyr (Feast Day - May 5)

Verses

By a sword you were killed and unusually brought to life,
Anew you died in peace O Irene.
On the fifth Irene was beheaded and raised and died.

Synaxarion of the Holy Great Martyr Irene

Saint Irene the Great Martyr as a Model for our Lives

The Skull of St. Irene the Great Martyr in Patras

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Translation and Placement of the Holy Relics of Saint Mary Magdalene


Verses

For the Translation.
Although dead you live, and the city is silent,
Being beforehand entranced by you Mary.

For the Placement.
Mary calls Christ, Rabbi, once again.
What did she say? Christ. Bury me with a covering in the city.

On this day, the 4th of May, we commemorate the Translation of the Sacred Relics of the Holy and Righteous Lazarus the Friend of Christ and the Holy Myrrhbearer Mary Magdalene, which took place during the reign of Leo the Philosopher and lover of Christ in the year 890.

Synaxarion of the Venerable Hilary the Wonderworker

St. Hilary the Wonderworker (Feast Day - May 4)

Verses

Perceiving Hilary as having a gladsome nature,
He works wonders while buried in his grave.

This Saint from a young age, lifted up on his shoulders the Cross of the Lord, followed the One who was crucified, and because he subjected the passions of the flesh to the spirit and the soul, he was enriched by God with the grace to work healings. Thus he cured many and various sufferings and sicknesses, and banished demons from the people. After this he shut himself within a very narrow hut, and lived away from every tumult and noise. Therefore he shined with dispassion, and accepted the divine office of the Priesthood.

Holy Martyrs Aphrodisios, Leo, Antoninus, Meles, Valerian, Macrobios and those with them of Scythopolis

Sts. Aphrodisios, Leo, Antoninus, Meles, Valerian, Macrobios
and Those Martyred With Them in Scythopolis (Feast Day - May 4)

Verses

To Aphrodisios.
Who is this that was cut at the neck by a sword?
Aphrodisios, Aphrodisios, he said.

To Leo, Antoninus and Meles.
Leo and his two fellow athletes,
Ran like lions towards the sword.

To Valerian and Macrobios.
The two heads of the Martyrs were joined together,
Arriving at the contest of fire which they endured.

On this day we commemorate our Holy Fathers Aphrodisios, Leo, Antoninus, Meles, Valerian, Macrobios and the multitude martyred with them in Scythopolis of Palestine. The Holy Martyrs Aphrodisios, Leo, Antoninus and Meles met their end by a sword, while the Holy Martyrs Valerian and Macrobios met their end by fire. Their Synaxis was celebrated in the revered Temple of the Holy and all-praised Apostle James the brother of the Lord, which was in the revered house of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos in the Chalkoprateia quarter of Constantinople.


Saint Athanasios, Bishop of Corinth

St. Athanasios of Corinth (Feast Day - May 4)

Verses

Offer Athanasios proper praise.
He seizes praise worthy of virtue.

Venerable Athanasios, Bishop of Corinth, reposed in peace during the reign of Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos, in the year 957.


Friday, May 3, 2019

Saint Theophanes, Metropolitan of Peritheorion (+ late 14th cent.)

St. Theophanes of Peritheorion (Feast Day - May 3)

Saint Theophanes began as a disciple of Saint Maximos of Kavsokalyva (Jan. 13), and upon meeting him he saw him in a state of ecstasy floating above the ground. As his disciple and future biographer, he witness many wonders in the life of his spiritual father Maximos. Later, as Saint Maximos foretold, he was elected as abbot of Vatopaidi.

Saint Irodion, Abbot of Lainici Monastery in Romania (+ 1900)

St. Irodion of Lainici (Feast Day - May 3)

Saint Irodion (Herodion) is one of the newest proclaimed saints of Romania, a monk who lived in the 19th century and was abbot of a monastery in the mountains, Lainici Monastery, near the border between the provinces Oltenia and Transylvania.

Saint Xenia of Kalamata Resource Page

St. Xenia the Great Martyr of Kalamata (Feast Day - May 3)

Saint Xenia of Kalamata, the Newly Revealed Martyr

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

Miracles of Saint Xenia of Kalamata

Three Greek Shrines Dedicated to Saint Xenia of Kalamata

Holy Twenty-Seven Martyrs

Holy 27 Martyrs (Feast Day - May 3)

Verses

Three times nine men were cast into the fire,
You are a remedy Savior as the dew of Scripture.

The Holy Twenty-Seven Martyrs met their end by fire.


Holy Martyrs Diodoros and Rodopianos the Deacon

Sts. Diodoros and Rodopianos (Feast Day - May 3)

Verses

The fierce stones were for Rodopianos and Diodoros,
As roses, or rather as gifts.

These Holy Martyrs suffered during the reign of Emperor Diocletian in the year 302. The renowned ones remained steadfast in their faith in Christ after undergoing much grievous assaults and scourgings by their own countrymen in Caria of Aphrodisia, a region of western Anatolia. In the end these men stoned the Holy Martyrs to death, and they delivered their souls into the hands of God, from whom they received the crowns of the contest.


Thursday, May 2, 2019

The Forty-Five Paschal Letters of Athanasius the Great


The Festal Letters or Paschal Letters are a series of annual letters by which the Archbishops of Alexandria, in conformity with a decision of the First Ecumenical Synod of Nicaea, announced the date on which Easter was to be celebrated. The Synod chose Alexandria because of its famous school of astronomy, and the date of Easter depends on the spring equinox and the phases of the moon.

Saint Savvas, Bishop of Dafnousia

St. Savvas of Dafnousia (Feast Day - May 2)

Saint Savvas is not commemorated in the Synaxaria or Menaia of the Church, but the Bollandist scholar Hippolyte Delehaye does mention him without any biographical information. However, the Lavra Codex I 70 f. 2026 does contain the following information about him:

Venerable Jordan the Wonderworker

St. Jordan the Wonderworker (Feast Day - May 2)

Verses

Although the Jordan flows from the depths of the earth,
From there Jordan gushes forth miracles.

Venerable Jordan the Wonderworker met his end in peace.


Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Sermon on Pascha and the Good Thief (St. Maximus of Turin)


Sermon on Pascha and the Good Thief

By St. Maximus of Turin

Most fittingly does the world rejoice, with great gladness, upon this day; for with Christ returning from the dead the hope of resurrection has everywhere been awakened in the hearts of men. For it is but right that when the Lord of creation triumphs, the creatures He has made should also rejoice. This day the heavens rejoice, for now at length they see the earth, defiled by sin, made clean in the Blood of the Lord. The multitudes of the hosts of heaven rejoice, for their king has overthrown in battle the hosts of the prince of evil. The sun rejoices, and now with unceasing thankfulness holds back by its joyful beams that woeful darkness that overshadowed it as Christ was dying. And together with them we too above all others must rejoice, for whom the Only-Begotten Son of God, Who also is True God, clothed Himself in our flesh, that through that flesh He might come to the Cross, by the Cross suffer death, and through death despoil the kingdom of hades. Should we not rejoice: we whose sins the Mystery of this new Mystery has taken away, to whom heaven is given, paradise restored?

The Month of May in the Orthodox Church


By John Sanidopoulos

The month of May (in Latin, Maius) was named for the Greek Goddess Maia, who was identified with the Roman era goddess of fertility, Bona Dea, whose festival was held in May. It is the fifth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and the third of seven months to have a length of 31 days. May is a month of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. In antiquity (among the Romans) May was considered as the month devoted to the memory of the dead, which is why they were afraid to marry in this month. In France even now still exists a saying: "A May wedding is a dead wedding." Summer began in May for the ancient Greeks, which is why they wore wreaths of flowers and decorated their houses with greens.

Commemoration of the Consecration of the Nea Ekklesia in Constantinople

An approximate reconstruction of Nea Ekklesia.

On this day (1st of May) is celebrated the Consecration of Nea Ekklesia, when the Patriarch goes to the palace, and from there goes by procession to the Nea Ekklesia, and liturgizes there.

Emperor Basil I the Macedonian was the founder of the Macedonian dynasty, the most successful in Eastern Roman history. Basil regarded himself as a restorer of the empire, a new Justinian, and initiated a great building program in Constantinople in emulation his great predecessor. The Nea Ekklesia was to be Basil’s Hagia Sophia, with its very name, "New Church", implying the beginning of a new era.

Holy Martyr Savvas

St. Savvas the Martyr (Feast Day - May 1)

Verses

The fig branch bore fruit early,
With Savvas hanging from it hand-bound.

The Holy Martyr Savvas met his end by being hanged from a fig tree.


The Best of April 2019 by the Mystagogy Resource Center (MRC)


Below is the monthly review for the month of April 2019 of the ten most popular articles on johnsanidopoulos.com, then all the posts made on the other websites of the Mystagogy Resource Center.

JohnSanidopoulos.com

1. A First Look at the Holy Light (Holy Fire) of Jerusalem 2019

2. History and Authenticity of the Relic of the Crown of Thorns

3. The True History of the Palatine Cross in Notre Dame Cathedral

4. Why Are Holy Week Morning Services Celebrated in the Evening and Evening Ones Celebrated in the Morning?

5. The Path to Theosis in the Life of Saint Mary of Egypt

6. What Was the Occupation of St. Mary of Egypt Before Her Repentance?

7. Eldress Mary Magdalene (Marie Madeleine Le Beller), Hermitess of Sinai (+ 2013)

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