Dear Readers: A long time supporter of the Mystagogy Resource Center has informed me that they would like to donate $3000 to help me continue the work of this ministry, but they will only do it as a matching donation, which means that this generous donation will only be made after you help me raise a total of $3000. If you can help make this happen, it will be greatly appreciated and it would be greatly helpful to me, as I have not done a fundraiser this year. If you enjoy the work done here and want to see more of it, please make whatever contribution you can through the DONATE link below. Thank you!
(Total So Far - Day 8: $2640)

May 31, 2019

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

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

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

2. The Vow of Archbishop Elpidophoros and St. Iakovos Tsalikes

3. Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra Has Reposed

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

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

6. The Wondrous Relationship Between St. Iakovos Tsalikes and St. John the Russian

7. Rare Documentary of Mount Athos from 1983 Made by NBC News

8. A Description of Greek Orthodox Easter in Jerusalem in 1915

9. Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra Resource Page

10. Apostolic Tradition and Apostolic Succession in the Mystery of the Church

1. "L'Agonie De Byzance" or "The Agony of Byzantium" (A 1913 Film About the Fall of Constantinople)

2. Nikolai Gogol as a Religious Personality

1. Copernicus in Orthodox Greece

1. The Wildest Monsters of the Apocalypse

1. On Ghostly Appearances, or Visitations from the Spirit World (St. Sebastian Dabovich)

2. Five Christian Saints Associated with Werewolves

3. Movie Review: "Hail Satan?" (2019)

4. Escaping the "Bags of Tricks" of Evil Powers

1. Philoumenos of Jacob’s Well: The Birth of a Contemporary Ritual Murder Myth

1. Questions and Answers 80 - 86

1. Book Review: "Best. Movie. Year. Ever.: How 1999 Blew Up the Big Screen"

1. Welcome to Orthodox Youth Resources!

1. Welcome to Know Thyself!

1. Welcome to Salvation of Sinners!

1. Welcome to Praxis and Theoria!

Holy Martyrs Eusebius and Haralambos


The two athletes burned with fiery zeal,
In no wise dizzy as they went to be burned in the fire.

The Holy Martyrs Eusebius and Haralambos met their end by fire.

May 30, 2019

The Vow of Archbishop Elpidophoros and St. Iakovos Tsalikes

Yesterday the newly-elected Archbishop of America, Elpidophoros, visited the Monastery of the Venerable David in Evia (Euboia) to fulfill a vow before assuming the responsibilities of his new office. "Today's concelebration at the Monastery of the Venerable David the Elder is a pilgrimage that is like a vow for me," revealed the new Archbishop.

The veneration Archbishop Elpidophoros has towards St. Iakovos goes back to a personal experience he had with him before the Elder was canonized. As he explained, the Elder one night appeared to him as he slept, without recognizing at the time who the cleric was, but he remembered his appearance. "Some days later it so happened that I saw a photograph of him, and then I remembered that this was the priest I saw in my sleep. It was a blessing from God, where the Saint gave special attention to me." He went on to explain that he felt him to be "alive."

Holy Martyr Euplos

St. Euplos the Martyr (Feast Day - May 30)


Euplos was wrapped in a hide and burned by the sun,
Because of the noetic light he did not see the sun.

The Holy Martyr Euplos met his end by being wrapped in the hide of an ox, and placed under the burning sun.

Holy Martyrs Romanos and Teletios

Sts. Romanos and Teletios (Feast Day - May 30)


Romanos yielded strength together with Teletios,
Together meeting their end by a sword.

The Holy Martyrs Romanos and Teletios met their end by a sword.

Holy Martyr Natalios

St. Natalios the Martyr (Feast Day - May 30)


Entering into the chorus of martyrs by the sword,
Is testified in scripture of Natalios.

The Holy Martyr Natalios met his end by the sword.

May 29, 2019

An Ottoman Volunteer Defends Besieged Constantinople (1453)

By Nikos Nikoloudis

At the fall of Constantinople, in 1453, it was not only Greeks pitched against Turks, as is, perhaps, widely believed, but there was also a good number of foreigners involved. Some of these were forced to fight on the side of the Ottomans, such as an attachment of Serbs sent by the despot of medieval Serbia, Đurađ Branković, who was a subject of the Ottomans. Others again, such as Orban, the Hungarian (or Rumanian) canon maker, joined the Ottomans on the expectation of making a profit (Orban was richly rewarded for the construction of the massive bombard which the Turks used during the siege and which was trained, for the most part, on the gate of Saint Romanos). Most of the foreigners, however, were in the opposing camp, on the side of the Byzantines. It is well known that close to or within Constantinople lived many foreigners, mainly Italians, who maintained commercial interests in the City. They were inevitably obliged to take part in its defence, in order to preserve their favoured trading position. Among these were people from Venice, Ancona, and Catalonia, while the Genoese, who had under their control the neighbouring suburb of Peran (today’s Galata) maintained a favourable stance towards the Constantinopolitans after the beginning of the final siege.

Synaxarion of the Holy Hieromartyr Olbianos the Bishop of Anaea with his Disciples

St. Olbianos of Anaea (Feast Day - May 29)


Olbianos I say was very happy,
For on behalf of God he died all-happy.

He was during the reign of Emperor Maximian, and during the consulate of Alexander and Maximus, when Julias Sextus and Aelianus governed Asia, in the year 301. For the faith of Christ he was brought before the previously mentioned governors. When Agrippinus and Clementius, the custodians of the idols, were offering sacrifices to the false god Rhea, Saint Olbianos was urged to sacrifice to her. Then the Hierarch of Christ with many demonstrable proofs, elevated and exalted the faith of Christ, while the religion of the idols he spoke against and demeaned.

Saint Alexander, Patriarch of Alexandria (+ 326)

St. Alexander of Alexandria (Feast Day - May 29)


I reverence the august end of Alexander,
I know as august Alexander the Pope.

Little is known of Alexander’s early life. He is thought to have been born about the year 250, probably in Alexandria. As a priest he experienced the persecutions of Christians under the emperors Galerius and Maximinus. Upon the repose of Archbishop Achillas of Alexandria in 313, he came to lead the Church of Alexandria as the thirteenth Pope in succession since the Apostle Mark.

Alexander was faced with three significant issues upon his elevation. These were the dating of Pascha, the efforts of Meletius of Lycopolis to undermine him, and Arianism.

A schismatic sect, led by Erescentius, disputed the timing of the date for Pascha. While the controversy was not fully settled until the decision of the First Ecumenical Synod in 325, Alexander prepared a special treatise that defused the issue until the Synodal decision in which he cited the earlier statements of Dionysius on the matter.

Holy Martyrs Who Were a Man and his Wife

Holy Martyrs who were a Man and his Wife (Feast Day - May 29)


Your bones woman were struck with that of the man,
I am of your bones, she declared to the man.

The Holy Martyrs who were a Man and his Wife met their end by having their bones broken with wooden clubs.

A Hymn to the City of Constantinople (St. Nikolai Velimirovich)


By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Constantinople, wondrous city near the Bosphorus blue,

With your glory, whose glory can be measured?

You were an awesome battleground of spiritual warriors,

Blasphemous heretics and saints of God.

As through a sieve you sifted throughout the centuries long

And declared apostates and servants of God.

By many sins you are soiled, and by filth of sinners,

You are consecrated with the abundance of the blood of martyrs.

Who could enumerate the spiritual heroes,

And all heavenly visions and your mysteries, all?

The angels of God often swooped down upon you,

And men, as angels, to heaven were raised.

The Mother of God, many times, within you appeared,

To deliver those in danger, the sick to heal.

The flock of wonderful saints, over you, hover

And the prayers of your children, to the Most High, bear.

O, how many saints were your children!

As many as there are lilies next to lilies and saints next to saints!

History and calendar, in red, you wrote,

By your effort even the great Symbol [The Creed] was written.

And about you, in such a way, this could be said:

Among the many cities, a red letter you are.

With Holy Faith, you enlightened the universe

From paganism and heresies, the world you healed.

Tortured much, but not slain, you have not yet passed.

That is why we all celebrate you! Confessor, that you are!

Throughout the earth and in the heavens, your glory echoes;

Everyone baptized, a great gratitude owes you.

May 28, 2019

Saint Niketas, Archbishop of Chalcedon

St. Niketas of Chalcedon (Feast Day - May 28)

In the northwest area of the island of Lefkada there is a resort village called Agios Niketas, named after a church there dedicated to Saint Niketas, which was built probably in the early 18th century by unknown builders in an uninhabited area during Venetian rule. The church always operated as an Orthodox church and was used by the inhabitants of nearby settlements, at least since the beginning of the 19th century. With the establishment of the Agios Niketas settlement in the 1830s and in consultation with the local Metropolitan of Lefkados and Agia Mavras Eugenios II, originating from the area, the Saint is designated as the patron saint of the new settlement and the sacred temple is transferred to a larger church with easier access, so that it fully serves its inhabitants. According to tradition, at the location where the church is today, there once were rocks. An icon was miraculously found here, that bore the name "Saint Niketas," but he was dressed as a Bishop. When those who found the icon brought it to the Metropolitan, he could not figure out which Saint Niketas this was. Among the saints of the Church there is a Saint Niketas who was a Martyr and another a Monk, but we have none who were a Bishop. In around 1860 experts on Mount Athos were contacted, where there are catalogues of little known saints, and from there they were informed that it was probably Saint Niketas the Archbishop of Chalcedon, who is barely known, and is listed for commemoration on May 28th in the Lavra Codex Δ 39, Θ 87, Δ 36 και Ω 147. A Service was composed in his honor by the Athonite monk Iakovos Melendytes in 1861.

Holy New Hieromartyr Arsenios, Bishop of Beroea

St. Arsenios of Beroea (Feast Day - May 28)


Arsenios was a great shepherd of Beroea,
Eagerly he died on behalf of his flock.

Saint Arsenios was the Bishop of Beroea in Macedonia around the 15th century. He was a pious and virtuous Bishop who protected his flock in a period of Islamization when under Turkish rule, through his writings and preaching.

For this reason he was taken by the Turks and tortured. At first they would immerse him in a deep pit of water, then a Turk cut off his right hand since with it he wrote to strengthen the faith of the Christians. He was then imprisoned under harsh conditions. Despite his suffering, Bishop Arsenios continued to glorify Christ and counseled the Christians to remain firm in their faith.

Saint Germain, Bishop of Paris (+ 576)

St. Germain of Paris (Feast Day - May 28)

Saint Germain was born near Autun in what is now France in 496 to noble Gallo-Roman parents. Germain studied at Avallon in Burgundy and at Luzy under the guidance of his cousin Scallion, who was a priest. At the age of 35, he was ordained by Saint Agrippinus of Autun and became abbot of the nearby Abbey of Saint Symphorian. He was known for his hardworking and austere nature; however, it was his generous almsgiving which caused his monks to fear that one day he would give away all the wealth of the abbey, resulting in their rebellion against him. While in Paris in 555, Sibelius, the Bishop of Paris, died, and King Childebert had him consecrated as the Bishop of Paris.

Saint Ignatius the Wonderworker, Bishop of Rostov (+ 1288)

St. Ignatius of Rostov (Feast Day - May 28)

Originally Saint Ignatius was a cleric in Rostov, then he labored at the Theophany Monastery in Rostov. In 1261, when he was the archimandrite of this monastery, the Grand Duke Alexander Nevsky appointed him assistant to the Bishop of Rostov Cyril, and after the death of the latter, on 19 September 1262, Metropolitan Cyril III of Kiev appointed Ignatius to be the Bishop of Rostov.

The chronicle under 1266, 1269, 1271, 1276-1278 mentions his participation in marriages and burials of members of the princely family. In 1274 he was at a synod in the Vladimir Cathedral, assembled by Metropolitan Cyril to eliminate unrest in the church and clergy. He also participated in the Christian enlightenment of the Beloozersk region .

Venerable Philothea the Virgin-Martyr

Venerable Philothea the Virgin-Martyr (Feast Day - May 28)

The Venerable Virgin-Martyr Philothea was born in Molyvoto in Pamphylia of Asia Minor. Her parents, the Patrician John and his wife Irene, gave her a Christian upbringing, but they died when Philothea was still young. From her youth she was interested in the ascetic life. When she was fourteen years old she was obliged to marry a seventeen year old named Constantine, however she was able to convince him that they should preserve their virginity, and not know each other, following the example of Venerable Ammoun of Egypt (Oct. 4) and his wife.

Philothea became an orphan at a young age. She lost her mother when she was three, and her father shortly after her marriage. Her husband became a priest but died six years later. Philothea then liberated her servants and sold all the family wealth, giving the proceeds to the poor, to churches, and to monasteries, and she withdrew to an island in the middle of a lake, near Molyvoto. There she practiced fasting, prayer, and all-night vigils, and her asceticism became well-known in the region, and God blessed her as a Wonderworker.

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyrs Crescens, Paul and Dioskoridos of Rome

Sts. Crescens, Paul and Dioskoridos (Feast Day - May 28)


In the furnace Dioskoridos was Shadrach,
Paul was Meschach and Crescens was Abednego.

These Saints lived in Old Rome, where through their teachings many unbelievers were offered to Christ. The Greeks had them arrested, harshly beat them, then placed them in a lit furnace. In this way the renowned ones received the crown of martyrdom.

May 27, 2019

The Wondrous Relationship Between St. Iakovos Tsalikes and St. John the Russian

Elder Iakovos Tsalikis would regularly visit the Shrine of St. John the Russian in Prokopi, often when he would travel to see the doctor in Athens. He very much loved St. John the Russian. During one of his visits, the following took place, as he recalled:

“Once, I saw the Saint alive inside of his reliquary. I asked him: 'My Saint, how did you live in Asia Minor, what virtues and blessings did you have?'

The Saint responded to me: 'I slept in the cave in which was the stable and covered myself with straw to take cover in the winter so I wouldn’t freeze. I had humility and faith.'

Saint Therapon of White Lake (+ 1426)

St. Therapon of White Lake (Feast Day - May 27)

Saint Therapon of White Lake, Wonderworker of Luzhetsk, in the world Theodore Poskochin, was born in the year 1337 at Volokolamsk into the noble Poskochin family. From his childhood, he was raised in faith and piety, which he displayed throughout his life as a holy ascetic.

At the age of forty he was tonsured a monk by the abbot of Moscow’s Simonov Monastery, Saint Theodore, a nephew of Saint Sergius. As a monk in this monastery Therapon became close to Saint Cyril of White Lake (June 9). Together they passed through their ascetic struggles of prayer and fasting. They were under the spiritual guidance of Saint Sergius of Radonezh (Sept. 25), who visited the monastery to instruct the brethren. Saint Therapon went north, to the frontier of White Lake, on monastery matters. The harsh northern land attracted the ascetic, and he decided to remain there for his ascetic endeavors.

Synaxarion of the Holy Hieromartyr Therapon of Sardis

St. Therapon of Sardis (Feast Day - May 27)


Scourged to death on behalf of the Master,
Therapon was anointed as a kindly healer.

This Saint became a priest in the city of Sardis because of his excellent and virtuous conduct. Arrested by the ruler Valerian for teaching the faith of Christ, he was bound and endured punishments. After this he was brought bound to the city called Sinaos, and then to Ancyra in Galatia. Arriving at the river called Astela, he was laid down on the ground on his back, and he was beaten with rods. With the ground being watered by his honorable blood, a tree grew with very big acorns that bore fruit. This tree remains there until today, whose leaves remain on it always, and it heals every long-term and short-term sickness. From there the Saint was brought to Thrace near the river Hermos, where the Diocese of Satala is located, which is under the Metropolis of Sardis. There the renowned one tasted many terrible punishments, and was finally beheaded, and by this he received from the Lord the unfading crown of martyrdom.

Holy Martyr Eusebiotes

St. Eusebiotes the Martyr (Feast Day - May 27)


In expectation of the crowns Eusebiotes,
The fire with which you were afire was as the dew of Hermon.

The Holy Martyr Eusebiotes met his end by fire.

Holy Martyr Alypios

St. Alypios the Martyr (Feast Day - May 27)


Having honored the chief corner stone,
Your head was crushed by a stone Alypios.

The Holy Martyr Alypios met his end by having his head crushed by a stone.

May 26, 2019

Meeting with the Samaritan Woman

By Prof. George Mantzaridis

Any encounter with Christ astonishes people. If you’re not astonished, you should ask yourself whether you actually encountered Christ, if you really felt His presence. This astonishment isn’t inexplicable, nor absurd, but rather it’s understandable and rational. It’s something that occurs when the natural meets the supernatural, the relative meets the absolute and the transitory meets the eternal.

When people who are overcome with the fear of death meet the Lord of Life, when the creature gazes upon its Creator, the relationship is incommensurate, unexpected surprises occur. And these surprises become all the more moving when the Lord humbles Himself before His creation, in order to serve it. Indeed, the surprises here aren’t restricted to the general nature of things, but also extend to their particular details.

‘I Am He Who is Speaking to You’

By Hierodeacon Raphael Misiaoulis

Christ is Risen!

It is the fifth Sunday after Easter and the Church presents us with the dialogue between the Lord and a Samaritan woman. This was a dialogue of real substance and a validity that will last throughout the ages, with a great deal to say to each of us.

Christ goes to Samaria, to the town of Sychar, to the place where the patriarch Jacob had made a well[2]: ‘And from the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, he bought for one hundred pieces of money the plot of land on which he had pitched his tent. There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel [God the God of Israel]’[3]. He later gave this piece of land to his son, Joseph. So when Jesus went and stopped at the place where the well was, tired, and in the full heat of noon- ‘for it was the sixth hour’[4]- He waited for someone to come by and draw some water for Him to drink. He was the All-Powerful Lord. Couldn’t He have arranged to drink by Himself, without needing any assistance from others? At this point, He teaches us that we must have patience, must work together with others, help them and be helped by them: ‘bear one another’s burdens’[5]. We need to wait for the right moment for something to happen in our life and not expect everything here and now.

May 25, 2019

Saint Anthimos the Arethiotis (+ 1870)

Translation of the Sacred Relics of Venerable Anthimos Arethiotis
(Feast Day - May 25)

By Dr. Haralambos Bousias

‘Whoever observes the whole of the law, but errs in one thing, is guilty of everything’ (Jas. 2:10). And the damage is unimaginable! You lose eternity, that is, everything. This is what happened to the young man in the Gospel, and is the case with so many others in life. The devil binds people with so many ropes. But whether we’re bound by one rope or another, the fact remains that we’re bound to the devil. Say that the devil’s bound us with a hundred ropes and, through our struggles, we manage to free ourselves of ninety-nine. We’re still not free. We’re still bound, even if it’s only by one rope. To be free of our bonds, we have to cut the hundredth one, and of course, not alone, but with God’s divine assistance. And then, when we’ve cut through them, we should still say that we’re unworthy servants of the Lord (Luke 17:10), as did the unsung Elder, Saint Anthimos Arethiotis, the ascetic of the Monastery of the Panagia, in Retha of Valtos, because humility crowns our every struggle.

Venerable Olbianos

Venerable Olbianos (Feast Day - May 25)


Olbianos had an all-happy life,
I write all-happiness as the obtaining of his allotment.

Venerable Olbianos met his end in peace.

Holy Martyr Celestine

St. Celestine the Martyr (Feast Day - May 25)


Celestine was stabbed with iron in the heel,
With his spur he crushes the trampled snake.

The Holy Martyr Celestine met his end by being pierced in his heel with an iron rod.

May 24, 2019

Apostolic Tradition and Apostolic Succession in the Mystery of the Church

By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos

In a previous article I announced that I was going to publish a text in which I would attempt to interpret what the Apostolic Tradition and the Apostolic Succession are within the mystery of the Church. This is the purpose of this present article, which does not claim to be authoritative, but emphasizes a few truths and is open to correction. In any case, in the Church we always remain in the fear of God and in a state of discipleship. The Apostles of Christ have continued as Disciples of Christ for ever.

From time to time different ecclesiological issues arise on account of contemporary problems, and an attempt is made to deal with them and resolve them in the best manner. Thus ecclesiological issues emerge in our day as well, and many responses are formulated.

The decisions of the Local and Ecumenical Councils are significant and divinely inspired. They show how the Fathers resolved the issues that arose in their time, according to the words of the Apostle Peter, “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us” (Acts 15:28). The illumination of the Holy Spirit is sought, which is given to the Saints, who are vessels of the Holy Spirit and instruments of God.

May 23, 2019

Second Sermon On Mid-Pentecost (Peter Chrysologus)


On the Middle of Pentecost

By Peter Chrysologus, Archbishop of Ravenna

It is fitting that we made our way to gather at the midpoint of our great solemnity, since Jesus, our God and our Lord, the Consecrator of all feasts, proceeded, at the halfway-point of a festival, to go up to Jerusalem (cf. Jn. 7:14). For just as an avid traveler aiming for his destination is ever so happy to call to mind how much of his journey he has already completed, and he is thereby made stronger to complete what remains and has all his strength renewed, so now with solemn joy and devotion we observe this day which tempers and moderates the ardor of our anticipation, so that with our minds refreshed we may arrive at the grace and happiness of the Holy Spirit. This day has even greater appeal to us, because even though we might be unwilling,* nevertheless, it has drawn us most happily to the sacred feast of Pentecost.

Holy Martyr Seleukos

St. Seleukos the Martyr (Feast Day - May 23)


Seleukos was brought without lament to the saw,
And departs this very lamentable life.

The Holy Martyr Seleukos met his end by the saw.

Holy Martyr Salonas the Roman

St. Salonas the Roman (Feast Day - May 23)


Refusing to offer a libation to idols,
Salonas was decapitated, and became a libation to God.

The Holy Martyr Salonas the Roman met his end by the sword.

May 22, 2019

Four New Websites for the Mystagogy Resource Center

Dear Readers:

Christ is Risen!

As I promised last week, the four new websites are now live. They are:

You can click on each link and read an introduction. Make sure to sign up either through social media or email to be updated when new posts are posted. There is some trouble with the feed for two of them, which I will try to fix as soon as possible. Hope you enjoy the new material.

Editing of old posts and populating the new subject links above is going along well, but it will take a while before it is completed.

I wish to extend a thank you to all those who have made a contribution so far during our spring fundraiser. We are still far from our goal, so if you have still not made a contribution, please do so. Thank you in advance.

With love in the Risen Christ,

John Sanidopoulos

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 Sermon On Mid-Pentecost (Peter Chrysologus)


On the Middle of Pentecost

By Peter Chrysologus, Archbishop of Ravenna

1. Although some things seem hidden by the depth of their mystery, nevertheless, no solemnity which the Church observes is fruitless. Commemorating a divine feast does not depend on the disposition of our wills, but it must be celebrated in view of its own merits. A true Christian spirit has never entertained the idea of putting up for discussion feasts which have solid grounding in the tradition of the Fathers and in the very seasons themselves, but desires to treat them with due reverence and speaks of them with nothing but respect.

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

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

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.

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


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)


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.

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.

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)


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


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.