Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Consecration of the Church of the Monastery of Pantocrator in Constantinople


On this day (4th of August) we commemorate the Consecration of the very beautiful and divine Temple, of the royal Monastery of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ the Pantocrator, in Constantinople.

Verses

Modeled beautifully after the old laws,
You are welcomed with discourses of consecration.

The Monastery of Christ Pantocrator is located on the fourth hill of Constantinople overlooking the Golden Horn, east of the Church of the Holy Apostles and north of the Aqueduct of Valens. Built between 1118-1136, it was a large monastic complex with a hospital. It is possible that the nearby Şeyh Süleyman Mosque was once part of the complex, perhaps serving as its library. There are also several cisterns in the vicinity, including the prominent is Unkapanı Cistern. At one time it held more than a dozen tombs of Byzantine/Roman emperors.

Holy Martyr Thathuel

St. Thathuel the Martyr (Feast Day - August 4)

Verses

Thathuel died when he was hanged from an apple tree,
Thereby gathering foreign apples in Eden.

The Holy Martyr Thathuel met his end by being hanged from an apple tree.



Monday, August 3, 2020

A Guided Tour of the Mosaics of Hagia Sophia with Photios Kontoglou


By Photios Kontoglou (1895-1965)

Hagia Sophia is the boast of Orthodoxy, the mother of all churches.

For us Greeks it is the castle of our freedom and religion, a fairytale church as well as a palace.

The building was built by the architects Anthemios and Isidoros, by order of the pious emperor Justinian.

Today we will not talk about the building, but only about the mosaics that decorate it.

Most of them represent ornamentation.

Of the iconography most were icons of Christ, the Panagia, angels, saints, as well as emperors and empresses.

Compositions are very few.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Homily for the Eighth Sunday of Matthew - On Hunger and Abundance (Metr. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos)


Homily on Hunger and Abundance

By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos

(Eighth Sunday of Matthew - 14:14-22)

The multiplication of the five loaves and the two fish is the miracle we heard today in the Gospel, which is known to all Christians, and is one of the most well-known events from the life of Christ. It is impossible for anyone to feed five thousand people, not counting women and children, with five loaves and two fish, and even to be left with a surplus.

Hunger is a big problem of our time. There are entire populations on the planet that suffer from a lack of necessities for their survival, and at the same time other populations throw away food from leftovers that they cannot consume. Christ is not responsible for this, nor should we expect Christ to come to perform this miracle, but it is the work of Christians, who must care about people who are suffering and tormented. Christ with this miracle showed us that we should also be interested in the needs of our fellow human beings and be moved by their problems.

Of course, this must be the interest of the governments of each country, but also the interest of the so-called rich people towards people who are deprived of even the most necessary. It is not possible in our time to consume large sums for cosmetics and luxury items, while there are people who die of hunger and various deprivations. If governments are not interested in this issue, then they have failed.

The Church, with its worthy pastors, is doing what it can in this matter. There are organizations that have been organized and are trying to deal with this great social problem, which as the needs of the family increase, so it grows. It is not only about hunger, but also about the fact that it is not possible for people to meet the demands of the modern age. The Church operates various institutions, but also with its Funds for the Poor helps people as much as possible. But the problem is not solved by charities. The State must become more social and focus on the problems facing people and their families today.

We should all take an interest in tackling this problem, and have good management of material goods. This is shown by the fact that many of our fellow human beings give priority to expensive entertainment, to the purchase of material goods that are not so necessary and thus are deprived of other goods that are necessary for their lives. We see families taking out holiday loans, making big financial gambles to make a lot of money, imitating those who can afford to live more comfortably, and then falling into great financial difficulty.

Therefore, Christ continues to perform this miracle today, in the sense that when the passions of ambition, lust and greed are healed, by the power of Christ, then there are the necessary material goods for our survival, but also we help those in need.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.


Homily for the Epistle Reading on the Eighth Sunday After Pentecost (Metr. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos)


Homily for the Epistle Reading of the 
8th Sunday after Pentecost 
(1 Corinthians 1:10-17)

By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos

The Church of Corinth, founded by the Apostle Paul, was a blessed Church, as can be seen from the two epistles that the Apostle Paul sent to it, in which the gifts of the Holy Spirit were rich and evident. Among the gifts were prophecy, wisdom, knowledge, the discernment of spirits, the gifts of healing, of powers, of tongues. Through the gifted and the gifts, the Holy Spirit, who was rich in the Church, the blessed Body of Christ, was manifested in various ways. It was a real "theological school of the early Church".

Gospel Commentary for the Eighth Sunday of Matthew (St. John Chrysostom)


Eighth Sunday of Matthew - 14:14-22

By St. John Chrysostom

(Homily 49 on Matthew)

"But when Jesus heard of it, He departed thence by ship into a desert place apart; and when the multitudes had heard thereof, they followed Him on foot out of all the cities."

See Him on every occasion "departing," for not by His appearance only, but by His actions He would have this confirmed, because He knew the devil's craft, and that he would leave nothing undone to destroy this doctrine.

He then for this end retires; but the multitudes not even so withdraw themselves from Him, but they follow, riveted to Him, and not even John's tragical end alarmed them. So great a thing is earnest desire, so great a thing is love; in such wise does it overcome and dispel all dangers.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Commemoration of the Miracle of Panagia Antiphonitria at Konstamonitou Monastery


The Panagia Antiphonitria Icon is located in the katholikon of Konstamonitou Monastery on Mount Athos, and it became famous in the following way.

On August 1, 1020, the eve of the monastery’s feast day (Transfer of the Relics of the Protomartyr Stephen from Jerusalem to Constantinople), the ecclesiarch Father Agathon, was overcome with great sorrow. The monastery’s feast day was approaching, and its supplies were so depleted that there was not enough oil to light the church lamps for the solemn celebration.

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