Saint Nikephoros the leper

osiosnikiforoslepros (1)Fr. Nikephoros (in the world, Nicholas) was born in a village of Chania, in Serikari.

His parents were simple and pious villagers, who while he was still a small child, died and left him an orphan.

Thus, at the age of thirteen he left his home, traveled to Chania and began to work in a barbershop.

There he started to show the first signs of Hansen’s disease (i.e. leprosy).

At that time, lepers were exiled to the island of Spinaloga, because leprosy was a transmissible disease and was treated with fear and horror. Nicholas, when he was sixteen years old and when the signs of his disease began to be more visible, to flee from enclosure on Spinaloga fled with a boat for Egypt.

There he remained working in Alexandria, again in a barbershop, however the signs of his disease became even more evident, especially on his hands and face. Due to the suggestions of a clertche fled to Chios where there was a home for lepers, in which was a priest, Fr. AnthimbsVagianos; JaterSt. Anthimos of Chios.

Nicholas reached Chios in 1914 at the age of 24. At the leper home in Chios, where there was a grouping of many beautiful little homes, was a chapel of St. Lazaros, where was preserved the wonder-working icon of Panagia of Ypakoe (Obedience). In that place was opened the stadium of virtues for Nicholas. Within two years St. Anthimos-discerned that he was ready for the angelic schema and tonsured him a monk-with the name Nikephoros.

The disease progressed and evolved in the absence of suitable medicines, and brought many great changes (the medicine was found later, in 1947).

Fr. Nikephoros lived with indiscriminate, genuine obedience, with austere fasting, working in gardens. He also compiled in a catalogue the miracles of St. Anthimos, which he had seen with his own eyes (many took the place of healing of the demon- possessed). Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Archbishop Ieronymos of Greece to Visit U.S.

ieronymos_400Theodore Kalmoukos

Special to The National Herald

Archbishop Ieoronymos of Athens and All Greece will visit the U.S. from May 15-21 upon the invitation of Archbishop Demetrios of America. His Beatitude will start his visit in Boston where Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology will honor him with an honorary of Theology Degree. He then will visit New York where he will officiate at the Divine Liturgy at the Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedrals. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

In the Tomb of Lazarus

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St. Lazarus’ tomb, Bethany.

Largely ignored by much of Christendom, the Orthodox today celebrate ”Lazarus Saturday” in something of a prequel to next weekend’s Pascha. It is, indeed a little Pascha just before the greater one. And this, of course, was arranged by Christ Himself, who raised His friend Lazarus from the dead as something of a last action before entering Jerusalem and beginning His slow ascent to Golgotha through the days of next week (Orthodox celebrate Pascha a week later than Western Christians this year). Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

A Word on Anger

Geroge CalciuFr. George Calciu

Man today lives under such overwhelming pressure that his nerves are strained to the limit, and even the slightest provocation arouses in him the sin of anger.

Causes for anger could be the child who does not listen to us, or the husband or wife who contradicts us, or the driver who cuts us off with his car, or only seems to us to cut us off, giving a motive for us to be roused to anger.

Even if, through self-restraint, our anger is not outwardly expressed or is not heard by the one who provoked it, it is still a sin, because it harms our soul and our heart  It is an action against one’s own self, under the temptation of the devil to be angry.

 

The savior warns us in severe terms concerning anger that gives birth to verbal conflicts and the use of abusive words. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Reading in Communion

orthodox-nun“Seeing they do not see and hearing they do not hear…” (Matt. 13:13)

This is Jesus’ description of those who encountered Him but did not understand. Just because we see something doesn’t mean we see it. Just because we hear something doesn’t mean we’ve heard it. This is particularly true of Holy Scripture. Just because we read it doesn’t mean we’ve read it.

Why do we read the Scriptures?

I assume that anyone who is “reading the Scriptures” is, in fact, a believing Christian, otherwise they would just be reading a collection of ancient writings held in esteem by Christians. For the books of the Bible to be “Scripture” is to say that they are considered somehow inspired and somehow authoritative. But to read them as Scripture also asks the question: “Whose Scripture?” The answer is, “The Christian Community’s – the Church’s.”

Some point famously to Paul’s admonition to Timothy: Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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The Tree Heals the Tree

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Readers of the New Testament are familiar with St. Paul’s description of Christ as the “Second Adam.” It is an example of the frequent Apostolic use of an allegoric reading of the Old Testament (I am using “allegory” in its broadest sense – including typology and other forms).

Christ Himself had stated that He was the meaning of the Old Testament (John 5:39).

Within the Gospels Christ identifies His own death and resurrection with the Prophet Jonah’s journey in the belly of the fish.

He likens His crucifixion to the serpent raised on a staff by which Moses healed the people of Israel.

Without the allegorical use of the Old Testament – much of the material in the gospels and the rest of the New Testament would be unintelligible.

Orthodox Christians are very accustomed to this manner of handling Scripture – the hymnography (largely written during the Patristic period) of the Church’s liturgical life is utterly dominated with such a use of allegory. The connections between New Testament and Old – between dogma and the allegory of Scriptural imagery is found in almost every verse offered within a service.

Those who are not familiar with the Eastern liturgical life are unaware of this rich Christian heritage and of its deep doctrinal piety and significance. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

“Greece will be saved and will stand on its own feet soon”- Elder Efthymios , the Hayiorite.

300(18)By George Theocharis

Fr Efthymios, the Hayiorite, is a quiet and humble monk, filled with God’s grace. I was taken aback by the absolute serenity in his movements and in the tone of his voice. He lives in a cell at Kapsala, underneath Karyes, with five other monks. He is only fifty years old yet he is already famous throughout the world. He is believed to be Fr Paisios’ successor.

Dozens of pilgrims visit him every day from all over the world to pay their respects and find a solution to their problems. Most come to hear him speak, finding solace away from the currents of everyday turbulence as if anchoring at a quiet port. .. We did the same thing twenty odd days ago. Two former Mps who had voted in favor of the two bailouts for Greece were amongst the group.

-“Niko, I told you not to do this”, he told one of the Mps, who had already met him on a previous occasion.

“You must know, my children, that this financial crisis will benefit Greece a great deal. You will notice this in a little while. It is like a storm which will pass. This is an opportunity to reinforce our faith to our Triune Lord”, the elder explained humbly. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »