Monday, August 19, 2019

Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphou Issues Statement Pending Police Investigation


With the help and grace of God the fasts and supplications to the Most Holy Theotokos have been completed. Let us keep our eyes fixed on her grace.

Let us continue, whoever is willing and able, to ask for her saving intercessions for the sufferings that lurk among us, for the fires to cease, for the prevention of earthquakes, for the liberation of the seas of Cyprus.

What we thought was a long way off, is nearer. The prophetic words of our contemporary saints, show us that the path to eliminating evil, and reducing evil in the world, passes through our personal repentance.

In regards to another fire, that of the flesh, the Holy Spirit and evil spirits, which some have ignited for us, we will not make any comment, fully respecting the relevant police investigation being conducted.

May the Panagia help us!

Praying on your behalf to the Lord,

† The Metropolitan of Morphou Neophytos



Unexpected Misfortunes and the Providence of God


By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

When an unexpected misfortune happens to us who are innocent, we should not immediately grieve but rather we should try to see in this the Providence of God, Who, through that misfortune, is preparing something new and beneficial for us. One day, unexpected news came to Blessed Theophanes, the abbot of Docheiariou (Aug. 19), that the Turks had seized his sister's son, forced him to embrace Islam and took him to Constantinople. Theophanes immediately traveled to Constantinople and, with the help of God, succeeded to find his nephew and to secretly bring him out of Constantinople and brought him to his monastery on Mount Athos. There, he again, received his nephew into the Christian faith and, after that, also tonsured him a monk. However, the brethren began to complain against their abbot and his nephew for fear of the Turks, for they were afraid that the Turks would find out and come and destroy the monastery. Not knowing what to do, Saint Theophanes took his nephew and, with him, secretly withdrew not only from Docheiariou but also from the Holy Mountain and came to Beroea. The later activities of Theophanes in Beroea and in Naousa proved how much that misfortune was beneficial to the Church. That which Theophanes could never succeed to achieve on the Holy Mountain, he achieved in these other places to which he had fled from that misfortune. Namely: he founded two new monasteries, where, in time, many monks were saved and where countless men found comfort for themselves. In addition to this, his holy relics among the Christian people became a source of healing for the strengthening of faith among many unbelievers and those of little faith. Thus, God wisely directs the destiny of men through unexpected misfortunes, which momentarily seem to men that they are going to their final destruction.


Saint Pitirim, Bishop of Great Perm (+ 1456)


Saint Pitirim, Bishop of Great Perm, was chosen and consecrated to the See of Perm after the suffering and death of Saint Gerasimus of Perm (Jan. 24). Before becoming bishop, Archimandrite Pitirim was head of the Chudov Monastery. He later became known as the composer of the Canon to Saint Alexis, Metropolitan of Moscow (Feb. 12), and also wrote his Life.

As bishop, Saint Pitirim first occupied himself with establishing friendly relations between the Zyryani and Voguli peoples. He circulated admonitory letters and messages, seeking to defend the Zyryani from pillage. The Voguli leader Asyka however, taking advantage of princely dissention and the remoteness of the bishop from the capital, plundered Christian settlements and killed defenseless people.

Holy Martyrs Eutychianos the Soldier and Strategios

Sts. Eutychianos and Strategios (Feast Day - August 19)

Verses

To Eutychianos.
Eutychianos was sentenced to be burned,
Great was the happiness and small the suffering by burning.

To Strategios.
Strategios bore Christ as a weapon,
Leading as a general as the flames rose.

The Holy Martyrs Eutychianos the Soldier and Strategios met their end by fire.


Sunday, August 18, 2019

Homily on the Ninth Eothinon Gospel - John 20:19-31


By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

The Eothinon read today is very well known because the first part of it is read in church during the Agape Vespers, the first day of the Resurrection of Christ, and wherever possible it is read in many languages, and also the entire text is read on Thomas Sunday. because it refers to him.

This Gospel reading describes two appearances of Christ to His disciples. The first appearance took place in the evening of the first day of the Resurrection, while Thomas was absent, and the second appearance took place the next Sunday, after eight days, in the presence of Thomas.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Ninth Sunday of Pentecost: Gospel and Epistle Reading


Ninth Sunday of Pentecost
or
Ninth Sunday of Matthew

Jesus Walks on the Water

St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 3:9-17

English

Brethren, we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another man is building upon it. Let each man take care how he builds upon it. For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw - each man's work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If any one destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and that temple you are.

Ninth Gospel Reading of Matins


Ninth Sunday Gospel Reading of Matins
(Ninth Eothinon of Orthros)

Jesus Appears To His Disciples

John 20:19-31

English

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them: "Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them: "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him: "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them: "Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe." Eight days later, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said: "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing." Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe."

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.

Synaxis of the Sven Icon of the Mother of God


The Sven Caves Icon of the Mother of God was painted by Saint Alypius of the Kiev Caves (August 17). On the icon the Mother of God is depicted sitting upon a throne, and with the Divine Infant on her knees. Saint Theodosius of the Caves is on the right side of the throne, and Saint Anthony of the Caves on the left. Until the year 1288 it was in the Kiev Caves Monastery, where it was glorified by miracles. In 1288 it was transferred to the Briansk-Svensk Monastery, which is dedicated to the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos.

Saint Theodoret of Kola, Enlightener of the Lapps in Solovki (+ 1571)

St. Theodoret of Kola (Feast Day - August 17)

Venerable Theodoret left his home in Rostov and went to the Solovki Monastery when he was only thirteen years old, where he was a scribe of books. The following year he was tonsured and placed under obedience to the wise Father Zosimas. For the next fifteen years he grew in wisdom and virtue, then was ordained a deacon by the Archbishop of Novgorod.

Theodoret spent one more year with his Elder, then asked for permission to visit other monasteries. At each place he spoke with experienced ascetics, deriving much spiritual profit from their conversation. After two years at the White Lake Monastery, Theodoret lived alone in the forest around the monastery. During his four years in the forest, he came into contact with other ascetics, from whom he learned many useful things.

Synaxis of the Theotokos in Armatios


The Synaxis of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos in the Armatios district of Constantinople was celebrated twice, on July 21 and August 17. The district of Armatios, or tou Armatiou, received its name from the military magister Armatios, nephew of the tyrant Basiliscus, and a contemporary of the emperor Zeno (474-491). A church or a monastery dedicated to the Theotokos in this district celebrated at this time.


Friday, August 16, 2019

The Only Church in Greece Dedicated to Saint Diomedes


The only church in Greece dedicated to Saint Diomedes the Physician is on the island of Chios, belonging to the Shoe Club of Chios.

It is a picturesque and elaborate church in a single-aisled Basilica style. It is made of brown Thymian stone, built in 1743 by the Brotherhood of Mavropapoutsidon, one of the two guilds of shoemakers in Chios.

What Happened to the Letter of Christ to King Abgar of Edessa?

George Maniakes sends the letter of Christ to Emperor Romanos Argyros.

In 1032 Emperor Romanos III Argyros (1028-1034) received Christ's famous letter to King Abgar of Edessa from George Maniakes after he captured Edessa. It had been previously kept in Edessa for many centuries as its most precious relic that wondrously kept the city from harm and invasions, with eye-witness testimonies of its presence there as early as the fourth century. In Constantinople it was placed in the imperial palace, until it was stolen on September 12, 1185.

The reign of Emperor Andronikos I Komnenos was characterized by his harsh measures, which included massacring all the Latin inhabitants of the city, allowing the Roman Empire to descend into a terror state. In September 1185, he ordered the execution of all prisoners, exiles, and their families for collusion with the Norman invaders. The aristocrats in turn were infuriated against him, and there were several revolts. He resolved therefore to exterminate the aristocracy, and his plans were nearly successful. While absent from Constantinople, Isaac Angelos was proclaimed his successor, and Andronikos himself was deposed.

Holy Martyr Alkiviades

St. Alkiviades the Martyr (Feast Day - August 16)

Verses

The flesh of Alkiviades was devoured by fire,
Just like stubble as the divine Moses said.

The Holy Martyr Alkiviades met his end by fire.*

Notes:

* Some believe this Alkiviades is the same as the Alkiviades commemorated on June 2nd, who was one of the Martyrs of Lyons in 177 AD. However, according to Saint Irenaeus, who described their martyrdoms, those who were Roman citizens were beheaded, while those who weren't were thrown to the wild beasts. Today's Alkiviades is described as being killed by fire, thus casting doubt on the association.


Holy Thirty-Three Martyrs of Palestine

Holy 33 Martyrs of Palestine (Feast Day - August 16)

Verses

Firm soldiers who were great in fighting close together,
By a sword brought down the army of demons.

The Holy Thirty-Three Martyrs of Palestine met their end by a sword.


Commemoration of the Depletion and Issuing Forth Again of the Holy Water in the Church of the Life-Giving Spring


Verses

The spring became empty of its wonderworking waters,
And it was once again wondrously filled.

On August 16th we commemorate the Depletion and Issuing Forth Again of the Holy Water in the Church of the Life-Giving Spring (Zoodochos Pege) in Constantinople. We do not know exactly when this miracle took place, but it probably took place on August 16, 542 when a great earthquake struck Constantinople, which is also commemorated on this day. During this earthquake, the spring probably dried up, as is common when earthquakes occur in an area of springs, since desertification might be an effect of fault motions resulting from earthquakes. This likely caused great distress among the people, but their joy was returned when the spring began to flow again. In thanksgiving for the restoration of the flow of these wonderworking waters, this feast was established.


Thursday, August 15, 2019

History of the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos


The origin of the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos is closely connected with her public veneration since the beginning of the fourth century. It developed from the early celebration of Christmas in which the Theotokos, the Mother of God our Savior, played an important role. The solemn proclamation of Mary as “the Theotokos” at the Third Ecumenical Synod of Ephesus in 431 greatly enhanced her public veneration as the “Mother of God.” This is evidenced by the fact that a few years later her divine maternity was celebrated in Jerusalem as the Feast of Mary, the Mother of God, on August 15. (cf. Armenian Lectionary, 434 A.D.)

Filon Ktenidis and the Establishment of the Monastery of Panagia Soumela in Vermio


Filon Ktenidis was born in 1889 in Trebizond, Pontus, and spent his childhood days in Kromni. In 1906 he graduated with excellent grades at the Frontistirion (High School) of Trebizond.

From 1906-1909 he began work as an accountant. Αt the same time he was a contributor to the Trapezuntine newspaper Ethniki Drasi (National Action).

In 1910 he published his own fortnightly newspaper, Epitheoro, and was expelled by the Neo Turks, fleeing to Athens, where he enrolled in the University's Medical School. In 1912-13 he volunteered in the Greek army and took part in operations in Epirus and Macedonia (Greece). In 1914-15 he returned to Trebizond to offer his voluntary services as a doctor, to the people of the outer Greek regions of Trebizond.

Photos and Videos of the Snakes of the Panagia in Kefallonia (2019)


The photos and videos here are from the Church of the Panagia in Markopoulo of Kefallonia from August 14, 2019. Two snakes made their appearance this year in Markopoulo, and the Metropolitan urged the faithful: "We should be in awe of the snakes, but we should not venerate them, as this could lead to idolatry."

Panagia Fidousa (Snakes of the Panagia) Resource Page


The Annual Appearance of the Snakes of the Panagia in Kefallonia

The Holy Snakes of the Virgin Mary in Kefallonia (1 of 2)

The Holy Snakes of the Virgin Mary in Kefallonia (2 of 2)

The Snakes of the Panagia in Kefallonia (Videos and Photos)

Documentary on the Miracle of the Snakes of the Panagia in Kefallonia from the 1960's

Panagia Soumela Resource Page


Panagia Soumela in Pontus

Saints Barnabas, Sophronios and Christopher, Founders of Soumela Monastery

Panagia Soumela - Pontus and the Pontians

Why Is Panagia Soumela So Special?

Documentary: Monastery of Saint John Vazelonas in Pontus


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

"O Daughter of Adam and Mother of God"


By Metropolitan Seraphim of Kastoria

August, the last month of our ecclesiastical year.

During the Byzantine years it was initially dedicated to the Honorable Cross, hence why we celebrate the Procession of the Honorable Cross on the first of the month, the litany in the Queen of Cities, namely Constantinople, and the rite of the Sanctification of the Waters for the avoidance of infectious diseases, as Saint Gregory Palamas informs us in one of his homilies.1

Holy Martyr Loukios the Soldier

St. Loukios the Soldier (Feast Day - August 14)

Verses

Fleeing Loukios the old leaven of error,
Burned you appeared as the new leaven of God.

The Holy Martyr Loukios the Soldier met his end by fire.



Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Directions on the Spiritual Life (St. Dorotheos of Gaza)


By St. Dorotheos of Gaza

1. In His loving-kindness God has given us purifying commandments so that, if we wish, we can by their observance be cleansed not only of sins but also of passions themselves. For passions are one thing and sins another. Passions are: anger, vanity, love of pleasures, hatred, evil lust and the like. Sins are the actual operations of passions, when a man puts them into practice, that is, performs with the body the actions to which his passions urge him. For it is possible to have passions and yet not to act from them.

2. The (old) law had as its purpose to teach us not to do what we did not want done to us; consequently it forbade only the actual doing of evil. Now however (in the New Testament) we are required to banish the passion itself, which urges us to do evil—hatred itself, love of pleasures, love of fame, and other passions.

Empress Eudocia and the Apple of Discord


According to the Chronographia of the ecclesiastical historian John Malalas (c. 491-578), upon being named Augusta by her husband Emperor Theodosius II on 2 January 423, Eudocia succeeded her sister-in-law, Pulcheria, who had been Augusta since 414.

The relationship between the two women consisted of rivalry over power. Eudocia was jealous over the amount of power Pulcheria had within the court, while Pulcheria was jealous of the power Eudocia could claim from her. Their relationship created a "pious atmosphere" in the imperial court, and probably explains why Eudocia traveled to the Holy Land in 438.

Saint Maximus of Moscow the Fool for Christ (+ 1434)

St. Maximus the Fool for Christ of Moscow
(Feast Days - November 11 and August 13)

Nothing is known about his parents, or the time and place of his birth. Saint Maximus chose one of the most difficult and thorny paths to salvation, having taken upon himself the guise of a fool for the sake of Christ. Summer and winter Maximus walked about almost naked, enduring both heat and cold. He had a saying, “The winter is fierce, but Paradise is sweet.”

Russia loved its holy fools, it esteemed their deep humility, it heeded their wisdom, expressed in the proverbial sayings of the people’s language. And everyone heeded the holy fools, from the Great Princes down to the least beggar.

Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk Resource Page

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk (Feast Day - August 13)

Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk, Bishop of Voronezh (+ 1783)

Righteous Matrona Naumovna: A Heart for the Poor

The Spiritual Blindness of Sin (St. Tikhon of Zadonsk)

Holy Martyr Koronatos

St. Konornatos the Martyr (Feast Day - August 13)

Verses

Giving your neck to be cut off Koronatos,
You cut off the error of the many-necked hydra.

The Holy Martyr Koronatos met his end by the sword.


Monday, August 12, 2019

The Russian Monk Who Drank Tea and Vodka Daily with Saint Silouan the Athonite


In a recorded talk (see video below), Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol spoke about his first trip to Mount Athos with other young people, fellow students, when he went to visit with the great holy elders of the Holy Mountain at that time, especially Elder Ephraim of Katounakia and Elder Paisios. Those who were with him spoke about how they were miracle workers, shining with light, who had the ability to prophecy, read your thoughts and expose your sins. He thought he was going to see some larger than life figures, awesome to behold. But when he met them and saw they were simple people like himself, he was somewhat scandalized for a moment. He said: "This is the great Paisios? Who has only one blanket to sleep with? Who walks in a crooked manner, due to his asceticism? He jokes around, he gives us food to eat. We ask him one question and he responds with a different topic. This is the great saint that is spoken about. Strange indeed."

Venerables Sergius and Stephen

Venerables Sergius and Stephen (Feast Day - August 12)

Verses

Sergius and Stephen sweated the same,
They were also crowned the same. This was becoming.

Venerables Sergius and Stephen met their end in peace.


Holy Martyrs Pamphilus and Capiton

Sts. Pamphilus and Capiton (Feast Day - August 12)

Verses

The blood of the reposed mixed with the earth,
Pamphilus and Capiton were attacked by the sword.

The Holy Martyrs Pamphilus and Capiton met their end by a sword.


Venerable Kastor

Venerable Kastor (Feast Day - August 12)

Verses

Like a divine wick Kastor the great is quenched,
His life was as olive oil and his relics were the light.

Venerable Kastor met his end in peace.


Sunday, August 11, 2019

Homily on the Eighth Eothinon Gospel - John 20:11-18


By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

In the Eothinon Gospel we heard today, my beloved brethren, it speaks of the appearance of the Risen Christ to Mary Magdalene, who visited the tomb of Christ at dawn, according to the description of the Evangelist John. What we notice is that she first saw the angels inside the tomb and then she saw the Risen Christ. We will examine some interesting points about these appearances.

It should be noted first of all that Mary Magdalene had a great zeal and love for Christ. Christ had expelled from her seven demons and was a pure being. What some atheist literary writers say, who attribute to Mary Magdalene sinful feelings for Christ, are blasphemous and sick, and certainly show the passionate and sick state of those who write them. Mary Magdalene was a saintly woman, she had reached a great spiritual state, and so she was made worthy to see the Risen Christ. After all, it is known that Christ appeared to those who had reached a high level of spiritual life and were able to see Him.

Eighth Sunday of Pentecost: Gospel and Epistle Reading


Eighth Sunday of Pentecost
or
Eighth Sunday of Matthew

The Miraculous Feeding of the Five Thousand

St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 1:10-17

English

Brethren, I appeal to you by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there is quarreling among you, my brethren. What I mean is that each one of you says, "I belong to Paul," or "I belong to Apollos," or "I belong to Cephas," or "I belong to Christ." Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispos and Gaius; lest any one should say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any one else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

Eighth Gospel Reading of Matins


Eighth Sunday Gospel Reading of Matins
(Eighth Eothinon of Orthros)

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

John 20:11-18

English

At that time, Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him." Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?" Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, "Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." Mary Magdalene went and said to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that He had said these things to her.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Saints Lawrence the Archdeacon, Sixtus the Pope of Rome and Hippolytus as Models for our Lives


By Protopresbyter Fr. George Papavarnavas

These three Saints lived in the third century. Archdeacon Lawrence was one of the most famous clerics of the Church of old Rome. He was a man of many and varied gifts, which he used for the glory of Christ and His Church. Among other things, he also took charge of the ecclesiastical administration. There was a severe persecution against the members of the Church, during the reign of Emperor Decius, and Pope Sixtus II of Rome, a genuine imitator of the Chief-Shepherd Christ, led his flock and was the first to sacrifice himself. He confessed his faith in Christ with a great deal of courage, and after severe torture he was beheaded. Archdeacon Lawrence was subsequently arrested, and confessed his faith in Christ with courage and boldness. It is worth noting that, when they arrested him, before torturing him, because they had learned that he was managing the Church's property, they ordered him to surrender its treasures. He accepted and went to bring them. After some time he returned with carriages, each of which was full of poor people, widows, the disabled and orphans. And to the question of the governor as to why he brought them all before him, he replied that all the treasures of the Church were reserved in them. Then the furious pagans rushed against him and roasted him alive on a large rack. What was left of his martyric remains were gathered by a pious Christian, whose name was Hippolytus, and buried with proper reverence and honor. When this event became known, the ruler ordered him to be arrested and severely tortured. They tied him to wild horses, where they dragged him on stones and thorns, and so he ended in martyrdom his earthly life.

Saint Blane of Bute

St. Blane of Bute (Feast Day - August 10)

We know very little for certain about Saint Blane for nothing written about him in or near his own lifetime survives, and anything we have dates from many years after he died. We do know that he was born on the island of Bute in the Firth of Clyde, probably around the year 565.

Apparently, Blane and his mother, Ethne, were set adrift in a small boat or coracle, without any sails or oars, and ended up in Ireland, where the young Blane received much of his education under Saints Comgall and Kenneth before returning to Bute. Here he was educated at the monastery by his uncle, Cattan.

Holy Six Martyrs of Bizye

Holy Six Martyrs of Bizye (Feast Day - August 10)

Verses

With broken bones and torn flesh,
The six athletes seized their wreaths.

The Holy Six Martyrs of Bizye* met their end by having their bones crushed and their flesh torn.

Notes:

* Bizye is the ancient Greek name for today's Vize, in the Marmara region of Turkey. Some sources say it should read Libya.


Friday, August 9, 2019

On the Controversial Statements of Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphou


I learned lately about the issue created around the sacred personality of His Eminence the Holy Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphou concerning one of his pastoral messages and the uproar of many regarding this issue.

Because the pastoral issues of Bishops have universal power, I as a humble Bishop would also like to submit some thoughts, which I think are useful for this entire issue. What I will write will be done with simplicity, as a catechism for the people, by whom it will be read.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

The Turkish Persecutor of Christians Who Was Healed by Saint Myron of Crete in 1840


In the year 1840 there lived on the island of Crete in the village of Archanes which was in the province of Temenos a certain Turk named Hussein Pasha. He had led the massacre that took place in Heraklion on June 24, 1821, remembered in the area as "the great ravage" ("ο μεγάλος αρπεντές"). One day Hussein Pasha came down with an illness that made him blind. He sought the help of doctors, but nothing could be done for him. In a desperate situation, he turned to some Christians who were friends of his, who urged him to visit the tomb of Saint Myron.

Holy Martyrs Eleutherios, Leonidos and the Holy Infants


Verses

Both athletes did not sacrifice to error,
Those in error condemned them to be punished in flames.

The Holy Martyrs Eleutherios, Leonidos and the Holy Infants* met their end by fire. Their Synaxis was celebrated in the Church of Saint Irene far off by Justinian.

Notes:

* The Holy Infants could refer to the Holy Innocents massacred in Bethlehem after Christ was born. In 1404 the Castilian ambassador Gonzalez de Clavijo claimed to have seen relics of the Holy Innocents in Galata, and perhaps was referring to these Holy Infants, whose memory was celebrated with the Holy Martyrs Eleutherios and Leonidos in the same church because portions of their relics were all there.

** This probably refers to the sixth century Church of Saint Irene in Galata built by Emperor Justinian, on the site of present-day Arap Camii.



Holy Ten Venerable Ascetics of Egypt

Holy Ten Venerable Ascetics of Egypt (Feast Day - August 8)

Verses

The ten offspring of Egypt died,
Who were equal in number to the ten plagues.

The Holy Ten Venerable Ascetics of Egypt met their end in peace.



Holy Two Martyrs of Tyre

Holy Two Martyrs of Tyre (Feast Day - August 8)

Verses

The pair tread the ground, the pole is the fear of God,
The yoke is faith, and the wheels are eagerness.

The Holy Two Martyrs of Tyre met their end by being dragged along the ground.


Holy Martyr Styrakios

St. Styrakios the Martyr (Feast Day - August 8)

Verses

By his decapitation by a sword Styrakios produced,
A noetic fragrance by being a noetic storax.

The Holy Martyr Styrakios met his end by a sword.


Wednesday, August 7, 2019

An Icon of Saints Who Shined Forth in the Twentieth Century



Saint Sozon of Nicomedia

St. Sozon of Nicomedia (Feast Day - August 7)

Verses

Like another salamander in the fire,*
Sozon the Martyr's end was apart from the fire.

Saint Sozon of Nicomedia met his end in peace, after being cast into fire and emerging unharmed.

Venerable Potamia the Wonderworker

St. Potamia the Wonderworker (Feast Day - August 7)

Verses

On behalf of God O Wonderworker you were decapitated by the sword,
Gushing forth river of miracles Potamia.

Venerable Potamia the Wonderworker met her end by the sword.


Venerable Myriad (10,000) Ascetics of the Thebaid

Holy Myriad Ascetics of the Thebaid (Feast Day - August 7)

Verses

Driven from the earth, David says,
Were your ten-thousandfold chariots O Word.

The Venerable Myriad (10,000) Ascetics of the Thebaid met their end in peace.

It is not known exactly who these 10,000 ascetics were or when they lived, or even if it refers to a general number of the numerous ascetics who lived in the Thebaid of Egypt throughout the centuries. If we were to examine the documents for a reference, it could probably refer to the 10,000 monks of Oxyrhynchus mentioned by Rufinus of Aquileia (History of the Monks of Egypt, Bk. 2, Ch. 5); Oxyrhynchus was located in the Thebaid. Rufinus describes them as follows:

The Snakes of the Panagia Have Made Their Appearance in Kefallonia (2019)


Just as every year, from the feast of the Transfiguration of Christ till the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos, or from August 6th to 15th, snakes appear in a wondrous manner in two villages of Kefallonia with chapels dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos, in Markopoulo and Arginia, that appear to worship among the pilgrims who flock to these chapels, and venerate of their own accord the icon of the Panagia.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Prophets and Apostles Shared a Mutual Vision at the Transfiguration


By Sergei V. Bulgakov

Together with the Apostles two of the greatest men of the Old Covenant appeared before the transfigured Lord - Moses and Elijah. "One died," in the expression of St. John Chrysostom, "and the other still had not tasted death", appeared to show that "Christ has authority over life and death and rules over Heaven and earth." Their appearance on the Mount of Transfiguration likewise bore witness that the transfigured Master is the God of the living and the dead, the Creator and Fulfiller of the law and the prophets. "The Prophets and the Apostles gathered on the mount were filled with joy," observes St. Ephraim the Syrian, "the Prophets rejoiced for they have beheld here His humanity which they did not see before; the Apostles rejoiced for they beheld here the glory of His Divinity which before they had not understood. They stood before the Lord as ministers, and looked at one another, Prophets at Apostles and Apostles at Prophets. There they mutually extended to themselves the sights of the prototypes of the Old and New Covenants. Thus, the mount represents the Church itself because Jesus united in it the two covenants accepted by the Church and has shown that He is the Giver of both."


The Vision of Sophiani Which Took Place in Constantinople in 1607


A Beneficial Narration Describing the Vision of Sophiani

(To be read on the 6th of August)

In an area near Constantinople, called Abydos, there lived an orthodox and pious Christian together with his virtuous and God-loving wife Sophiani in the year 1607.

One day Sophiani became ill and was bed-ridden for twenty days without being able to even lift her head. At dawn on the 3rd of August she lifted her hands to heaven and seemed to have expired. All her relatives prepared her for burial and were unable to be consoled by anyone. But they found that beneath her left breast she was still warm, so they stopped the preparations until she was completely dead.

Meanwhile, her sister according to the flesh came, named Anna, and in her pain and despair she took cold water and sprinkled it over Sophiani, which helped her to revive. Sophiani then said to her sister: "It would have been better if you had not come, my sister, because you have caused me more harm and death by coming back to this temporary life, for your voice lifted me out of that bright Paradise and the inexpressible glory of God that I enjoyed. When you saw me dead, O miserable one, you should have rejoiced more and thanked God, rather than seeing me now restored to life."

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