St. Antipas of Pergamum

The Hieromartyr Antipas, a disciple of the holy Apostle John the Theologian (September 26), was bishop of the Church of Pergamum during the reign of the emperor Nero (54-68).

During these times, everyone who would not offer sacrifice to the idols lived under threat of either exile or execution by order of the emperor. On the island of Patmos (in the Aegean Sea) the holy Apostle John the Theologian was imprisoned, he to whom the Lord revealed the future judgment of the world and of Holy Church. Read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Holy Father PARTHENIUS, Bishop of LAMPSACUS – February 7

Saint Parthenius was the son of the deacon Christodoulus from Melitopolis on the Hellespont. Although illiterate, he listened attentively to the reading of Holy Scripture in church, and he did his best to put what he heard into practice. Working as a fisherman, he would give whatever he earned from the sale of his catch to the poor, keeping nothing for himself. His charity became well-known in the area, and Philetus, the Bishop of Melitopolis, obliged him to accept ordination to the priesthood, with a commission to traverse the diocese visiting the Christians in their homes. The Grace of God brought forth abundant fruit in him through many miracles and healings. One day, he met a man on the road whose eye had been dislodged by the horn of a bull. He restored the eye to its socket and healed the wound. On another occasion, he cured a woman of a fatal cancer solely by the sign of the Cross. Then again, when a mad dog attacked him, he brought the creature down stone dead with a simple puff of his breath.

Read more…

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Απολυτίκιο και Κοντάκιο του Αγίου Νικολάου (με εξήγηση) – Apolytikion and Kontakion of St Nicholas

Απολυτίκιον. Ήχος δ’.

Κανόνα πίστεως, και εικόνα πραότητος, εγκρατείας διδάσκαλον, ανέδειξε σε τη ποίμνη σου, η των πραγμάτων αλήθεια δια τούτο εκτήσω τη ταπεινώσει τα υψηλά, τη πτωχεία τα πλούσια. Πάτερ Ιεράρχα Νικόλαε, πρέσβευε Χριστώ τω Θεώ, σωθήναι τας ψυχάς ημών.

Ερμηνεία Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

St. Irenaeus of Lyons (feast day 23 August)

A modern-day Byzantine Orthodox icon of St Irenaeus.

A modern-day Byzantine Orthodox icon of St Irenaeus.

Information as to his life is scarce, and in some measure inexact. He was born in Proconsular Asia, or at least in some province bordering thereon, in the first half of the second century; the exact date is controverted, between the years 115 and 125, according to some, or, according to others, between 130 and 142. It is certain that, while still very young, Irenaeus had seen and heard the holy Bishop Polycarp (d. 155) at Smyrna. During the persecution of Marcus Aurelius, Irenaeus was a priest of the Church of Lyons. The clergy of that city, many of whom were suffering imprisonment for the Faith, sent him (177 or 178) to Rome with a letter to Pope Eleutherius concerning Montanism, and on that occasion bore emphatic testimony to his merits. Returning to Gaul, Irenaeus succeeded the martyr Saint Pothinus as Bishop of Lyons. During the religious peace which followed the persecution of Marcus Aurelius, the new bishop divided his activities between the duties of a pastor and of a missionary (as to which we have but brief data, late and not very certain) and his writings, almost all of which were directed against Gnosticism, the heresy then spreading in Gaul and elsewhere. In 190 or 191 he interceded with Pope Victor to lift the sentence of excommunication laid by that pontiff upon the Christian communities of Asia Minor which persevered in the practice of the Quartodecimans in regard to the celebration of Easter. Nothing is known of the date of his death, which must have occurred at the end of the second or the beginning of the third century. In spite of some isolated and later testimony to that effect, it is not very probable that he ended his career with martyrdom. His feast is celebrated on 28 June in the Latin Church, and on 23 August in the Greek. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Where Are Those Who Say There is No God?

nifon crostandSt Kronid, in his remarkable first-hand account of his long struggle with severe depression and blasphemous thoughts, writes: «My only consolation and joy was, in my free minutes, to open the book of The Lives of the Saints to read about Niphont, the wonder-worker of Cyprus, who suffered similar thoughts for the course of four years.» He is here referring to the following incident from the life of St Niphon (the Russians call him Niphont), Bishop of Constantia in Cyprus (commemorated December 23):

The Lord allowed a special affliction to come upon Niphon, so that tried like gold in a furnace, he might be proved worthy of divine grace. The man of God was delivered into the power of Satan, and for four years was out of his mind. Once, while keeping an all-night vigil in his room, the saint heard a sudden, frightful noise, moving from right to left. He was terrified and wondered what it might be. Immediately the devil appeared, raging and roaring and filling the blessed one with such trepidation that his thoughts bebecame utterly confused. Coming to himself a little, Niphon tried to pray and make the sign of the Cross. Seeing this, the devil screeched, «Leave off your entreaties to God, and I will put an end to my attacks!»

Niphon answered, «I will never obey you, unclean spirit. If God has given you permission to destroy me, so be it; I submit gratefully. If not, then know that you will soon be vanguished.»

«You are deceived, Niphon,» lauged the devil. «There is no God; have you ever seen Him?» Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

St. John Maximovitch, the wonderworker.

SaintJohnArchbishop John was born on June 4, 1896, in the village of Adamovka in the province of Kharkov in southern Russia. He was a member Maximovitch family, to which St. John of Tobolsk also had belonged. His father, Boris, was a marshal of nobility in one part of Kharkov province; and his uncle was rector of Kiev University. He received at baptism the name of Michael, his heavenly protector being the Archangel Michael. He was a sickly child and ate little. …

In 1924 Vladika was ordained reader in the Russian church in Belgrade by Metropolitan Anthony, who continued to exert great influence over him; and Vladika in his turn showed the utmost respect and devotion to his superior. In 1926 Metropolitan Anthony tonsured him a monk and ordained him hierodeacon in the Milkov Monastery, giving him the name John, after Vladika’s own distant relative, Saint John Maximovitch of Tobolsk. On November 21 of the same year Vladika was ordained hieromonk by Bishop Gabriel of Chelyabinsk. From 1925 to 1927, Vladika was an instructor of religion at the Serbian State High School, and from 1929 to 1934 he was a teacher and tutor at the Serbian Seminary of St. John the Theologian at Bitol. There he served the Divine Liturgy in Greek for the local Greek and Slavic communities, who had the greatest esteem for him.

The city of Bitol was in the diocese of Okhrida, and at that time the ruling bishop of this diocese was Nicholas Velimirovitch, a Serbian Chrysostom, a noted preacher, poet, writer, and organizer and inspirer of the popular religious movement. He, as much as Metropolitan Anthony, valued and loved the young Hieromonk John, and himself exerted a beneficial influence upon him. More than once he was heard to say, «If you wish to see a living saint, go to Bitol to Father John. » … Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

All Saints Sunday

All Saints. Greek icon from the Holy Monastery of Stavroniketa of Mount Athos (late 16th - early 17th cent.)

All Saints. Greek icon from the Holy Monastery of Stavroniketa of Mount Athos (late 16th - early 17th cent.) From "Pemptousia" magazine.

Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh

In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

The Mother of God and the Saints whose memory we keep today, those who are known to us because God has revealed them and because they have been understood and recognised, either by their contemporaries, or years, at times – centuries later, all the Saints are the response of the earth to the love of God. And this response is given by them not only in their own name but in the name of all creation and in our names also; because each of us has the privilege to be called by one name, our Christian name, the name of one of those Saints. And the Saints whose names are ours stand before God and pray that their name should not be made unworthy in the eyes of the Lord. The Saints of God embrace the whole of Creation in their love, in their intercession, in their prayer, in their real, continuous presence. How wonderful it is that we belong to this vast family of men, of women, of children who have understood what the Lord meant when He came, and lived, taught and died for us! They responded with their own heart, they understood with all their mind, and they accepted His message with all their determination, to overcome in themselves all that has been the cause of the crucifixion; because if only one person on earth had strayed, fallen away from God, Christ would have come to save at the cost of His life. This is His own testimony to a Saint of the early centuries who had been praying that the sinners should be confounded; and Christ appeared to him, and said, “Never pray that way! If one sinner have existed, I would have died for him.” Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »