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Saints and Feasts of October 18

Friday, October 18, 2019

The Mysterious Fire of the Monastery of Mega Spelaion in 1934


On the night of July 19, 1934 a devastating fire destroyed a section of the Monastery of Mega Spelaion in Kalavryta, Greece together with some of its unique treasures.

According to a 30-minute documentary that aired in 1983 called Panorama of the Century, which presents archival footage of the fire in a 40-second clip, a monk who was a refugee from Asia Minor twelve years earlier, managed to rescue the wonderworking icon of the Mother of God which was said to have been sculpted by the Apostle Luke, together with a cross, some liturgical fans (exapteriga), and the incorrupt hand of Saint Haralambos.

The Experience of an American Professor Who Visited the Monastery of Mega Spelaion in 1856

The Monastery of Megaspelion, 1876, by Edward Lear, 
Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

The following excerpt comes from the travelogue of Henry Martyn Baird (1832-1906), an American historian and educator, who was a professor of Greek language and literature at New York University from 1859 until his death, and who lived in Greece for a year and recorded his travels and experiences. The travelogue is titled Modern Greece: A Narrative of a Residence and Travels in that Country with Observations of Its Antiques, Literature, Language, Politics, and Religion and it was published in 1856. The excerpt below records his experience at the Monastery of Mega Spelaion (Great Cave) in Kalavryta, Greece.

From Calavryta we had before us a two hours' ride to Megaspelion, along the pleasant banks of the small river Buraicus, winding through a narrow valley toward the Corinthian Gulf. The monastery is by far the greatest, richest, and most famous in Greece proper. Imagine a vast cavern upward of a hundred feet in height, and much wider, as the niche in which this curious establishment is situated, and this on the steep side of a mountain at a considerable distance above the ravine. The approach is along the hill-side by a path winding gradually toward it, and which might easily be defended against a host of invaders. The steep land-slopes are cultivated in front of it in a succession of terraces, each presenting the appearance of a garden. As we drew near the building, there could be nothing more singular than its appearance. A single wall, one hundred and eighty feet long, and seventy or eighty high, closes up the lower part of the cave's aperture. It is no less than twelve feet thick, and offers little hope to the assailant of his being able to force his way within. Above, it is pierced with windows, and surmounted by seven or eight wooden houses of curious and diverse aspect, built more or less lofty, according to the irregularities of the cave's mouth, and leaning against the almost perpendicular rock that towers three or four hundred feet aloft. The light materials of which they are constructed contrast singularly with the massive proportions of the wall that supports them, and from which they project considerably in different places with staircases and covered galleries sustained by props.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Retiring


Dear Readers:

Recently we had a storm in the area, and my computer hasn't been the same ever since. I wasn't home at the time, but I think it was the sudden power outage that did it. Not only the computer itself, but the monitor also. I'm gonna have to retire it today, because its just too slow. This means I need a replacement to continue my daily posts here.

The reason I'm sharing this, is because I need your help for the replacement, which will cost about $1200 for a replacement that fits my needs. I normally wouldn't ask for help for something like this, but in the past few months I've had some sudden major expenses that I need to prioritize over a new computer and I need to get back on my feet. By the time I raise funds for a new computer, it could take well over a month or two, maybe more.

Normally I ask for financial contributions twice a year, before Christmas and after Easter, but this year it will be a third specifically focused on getting a new computer. When enough funds are raised for a computer, I will immediately buy it. Next time you see a new post here means I have raised the necessary funds.

Since this request comes out of season, I have a few items to encourage the raising of funds. First is my personal icon collection which I have offered for sale in the past. Though most of those items have been sold, there are some things left which can be purchased. Please see the post before this one to view a list of the items and how to order.

The second item is a something that was offered to me by a friend some months ago to help with my next fundraising effort. I was going to offer this before Christmas, but since I'm desperate for funds now I have been granted permission to offer it. From my understanding, it is basically a dagger to commemorate the Greek Revolution with an inscription date of 1820. The dagger comes in a beautifully carved sheath. Photos are below for those interested in this item. My anonymous friend originally wanted me to offer it to the highest bidder, but I don't know how to track something like that, so instead he said he is willing to part with it to the highest donor of at least a $300 contribution, though he would prefer to see a higher donation for it.

All donations can be submitted below, either through Paypal or Mail. I'm ready to go out and get the computer at any moment. Thank you in advance.

With love in Christ,

John Sanidopoulos




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PO Box 320284
West Roxbury, MA 02132


MYSTAGOGY STORE OF ICONS & ECCLESIASTICAL ITEMS


Dear Readers:

Welcome to the Mystagogy Store of Icons and Ecclesiastical Items!

Most of the items for sale here come from my own personal collection. For many years, after moving around numerous times, most of these items have never been put to use, and been boxed away. Therefore, in an effort to raise funds for the ministry of the Mystagogy Resource Center, I will be selling most of my ecclesiastical items I don't use, hoping they will find a better home where they can be appreciated and put to their proper use. Please look through my items, and if you have any interest, email me at mystagogy@aol.com to confirm its availability before I instruct you how to make the purchase, including shipping and handling charges.

Thank you and happy shopping,

John Sanidopoulos


ICONS

St. Stylianos, 5x4
$10

St. George of Monemvasia, 4x3
$5

Theotokos, 2.5x2
$5

Theotokos from Tinos, 3.5x2.5
$7


Triptych Icon of Christ with scenes from the Annunciation
$10

Diptych Icon of the Theotokos and St. Nicholas
$5


Diptych Icon of the Theotokos and St. Andrew
$5

Plate with St. John the Russian
$15

St. Nektarios, 5x4
$10

St. Nicholas of Myra, 10x7
$20

Archangel Michael of Mantamados, 7x8
$15


Panagia Myralaion of Evia, 9x7
$15

St. Isaac the Syrian, 5x3
$5

Holy Unmercenaries Kosmas and Damian, 4x3
$5


Nativity of Christ (Christmas ornament), 5x4
$5

St. John of Kronastadt,  St. Nektarios, Elder Joseph the Hesychast, Fr. Seraphim Rose, 8x11
$15

Christ and the Theotokos folded icon, 5x8 
$10

Christ, 8x6
$10

The Theotokos, 8x6
$10


 St. John the Baptist, 8x6
$10


 Sts. Ephraim the Syrian and Mark of Ephesus, 8x6
$10

Sts. Marina, Sophia and her three daughters, and Kyriaki, 7x13
$10

St. Marina, 6x4 
$12


 St. Stephen the Protomartyr, 6x4 
$12

 St. George the Great Martyr, 6x4 
$12

 St. Demetrios of Thessaloniki, 6x4 
$12 

 Crucifixion of Christ, 6x4 
$12

 St. Pelagia of Tinos, 6x4 
$12

 St. Anthony the Great, 6x4 
$12

 St. Irene the Empress, 6x4 
$12

Apostles Peter and Paul, 9x5
$25

Archangel Michael, 10x6
$30

Archangel Gabriel, 10x6
$30


Sts. Symeon the Stylite and Symeon of the Wonderful Mountain, 10x7
$25


St. Nicholas of Myra, handpainted, 10x8. 
$75


St. Haralambos, 8x6.
$30


Mother of God "Axion Estin", 10x7.
$30

Elevation of the Holy Cross, 10x8.
$30


Jesus Christ, silver encased, 9x7.
$40

Christ the Bridegroom, silver encased, wrapped in plastic, 10x8.
$30

Mother of God, 10x8.
$20

All Saints, 10x8.
$20

Ladder of Divine Ascent, white wooden frame, glass covered, 15x12. 
$50

St. Gregory Palamas, white wooden frame, glass covered, 15x12.
$50

 St. Nicholas of Myra, 6x4.
$12

Life of St. Constantine the Great,  Ceramic tile, 8x6.
$20


Virgin Mary embracing Christ Child, 7x5. (Qty. 2)
$20


ECCLESIASTICAL ITEMS

St. Nektarios keychain
$10


Blessed Greek phylakto (amulet) 
$5 each

Prayer ropes (for wrist and finger) 
$10 for wrist, $5 for finger

Traditional prayer rope 
$20

Prayer rope
$15

Wedding Crowns
$50

4 different scents of incense from the Monastery of Panagia Eleousa in Patras, Greece
$10


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