St. Patrick, the Enlightener of Ireland (March 17)

The great Apostle and Enlightener of Ireland, St. Patrick, was born to a noble Roman family of Gaul or Britain in the year 387. At the age of 16 he was carried off by Irish marauders and sold as a slave to an Irish chieftain, who put him in charge of his sheep. Six years later, after the prompting of an angel, the saint fled to Gaul where he placed himself under the spiritual direction of St. Germanus of Auxerre. For 18 years he prayed and struggled and studied and was often granted a vision of Irish children calling out to him: O holy youth, come back to Erin, and walk once more amongst us.»

Celestine I, the Bishop of Rome, commissioned St. Patrick to bring the people of Ireland into Christ’s one, true fold, and so during the summer of 433 he and his companions arrived in Ireland. They were immediately persecuted by the druids and other pagans, but the saint’s meekness and wonderworking, as well as his God-inspired ability to preach the Gospel, resulted in the conversion of many thousands. In particular, St. Patrick had to do spiritual battle with the arch-druid, Lochru, who, by the power of demons and through many incantations, tried to maintain his influence on the Irish. On one occasion Lochru, like Simon Magus, was able to levitate himself high into the air in a display of sorcery; but the moment St. Patrick knelt in prayer, Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The Martyrdom of the Holy Hieromartyr Eleftherios and His Mother Anthia

During the reign of Aelius Hadrian, Roman Emperor and zealous servant of the idols, the wondrous Eleftherios was born the son of wealthy, renowned parents in the city of Rome. His father thrice held the rank of proconsul, and his mother was even more estimable, for instructed by Saint Paul, she believed in Christ and was baptized by the hand of the Apostle, taking the name of Evanthia [noble], and reared her son in piety. Read more…

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St. Eleftherios (December 15)

From a good tree comes good fruit. This wonderful saint had noble and greatly eminent parents. Eleutherius was born in Rome, where his father was an imperial proconsul. His mother Anthia heard the Gospel from the great Apostle Paul and was baptized by him. Having been left a widow early, she entrusted her only son for study and service to Anicetus the Bishop of Rome.

Seeing how Eleutherius was gifted by God and illumined by the grace of God, the bishop ordained him a deacon at the age of fifteen, a priest at the age of eighteen, and a bishop at the age of twenty. Eleutherius’s God-given wisdom made up for what he lacked in years, and this chosen one of God was appointed Bishop of Illyria with his seat in Valona (Avlona), Albania. Read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

St. Angelina of Serbia

Saint Angelina was the daughter of the Godly Orthodox Prince of Albania, the brave Scanderbeg. At that time most of the people of Albania were Orthodox Christians who were glorious in their defense of the Faith. At the court of her father who ruled this people the princess Angelina grew up, increasing in the gifts of the Spirit by the help of the Lord God, and her will made strong by the teaching of Christ. The name of her mother is not known, but we can see how she was brought up and what great care her parents gave to the training of her soul in the spirit of the Gospel teaching – and who but her mother would have given so much thought to the growth towards God of her heart and soul? Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called

The Feast of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First Called is November 30th. Our Community chose Saint Andrew as its patron saint because the first organizational meeting of our Parish was held on his Feast Day, November 30, 1979. The Patron Icon of St. Andrew, enshrined in the narthex of the Church, is a unique composition that exists nowhere else in sacred art. Iconographer Xenia Pokrovsky designed and wrote this sacred icon in egg-tempera. It depicts St. Andrew’s missionary work in the cities of Syria, from which the ancestors of many of our parishioners emigrated. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The Demonic Truth

This morning in Matins I read the Gospel reading for the day from Mark 1:23-28:

And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching! With authority he commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.

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The Prophet Joel: A Message for Today’s Secular World

Fr. George Morelli

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Joel 2: 28

These words by the prophet Joel (whose name means Yahweh is God) were spoken during the reign of King Uzziah (800 BC). Joel prophesied to the people of Judah and probably came from that area. His life overlapped the prophet Amos and the great prophet Isaiah. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The last day at the Hospital of Elder Paissios the Athonite

Eventually, Elder Paissios got cancer and was taken into hospital in Thessaloniki. At the hospital, they looked after him as best they could. Nevertheless, his cancer spread so much that the end was very near. His departure for Heaven was a matter of time. He had been preparing himself for this journey all his life. Thus, for whatever time was left, he wished to stay at the monastery of St John the Apostle in Souroti. Mr. Christofer Oikonomou, now deceased, was near him and he describes in a letter geronta’s departure from the hospital.
“Today, Fr Paisios left the hospital. There were many people there. We were told that he would give his blessing in the reception. Lots of people, women, doctors, nurses, even the ailing, were swarming besides him. He lifted up his hand and said goodbye to those sick in the other rooms. There was this man, who had the drip on his hand, bowed to kiss Fr Paisios’s hand, but Fr. Paisios kissed his instead. read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The last days of Elder Sofronios of Essex (+11 Ιουλίου 1993)

Four days before he died, he closed his eyes and did not want to talk to us anymore. His face was radiant but not sad; full of tension. He had the same expression like when he was ministering the Devine liturgy. He would not open his eyes, or utter any words, but he would lift up his hand and bless us. He was blessing us without words but I knew that he was going away. Before, I used to pray that God should let him leave longer, just as we pray during the liturgy of St. Vasilios: “prolong the time of the old”. However during those days, when I knew he was leaving, I started praying: “My Lord, give your servant a rich welcome into your Kingdom”. I was praying using St Peter’s words, as we read it in his second letter. (2 Peter 11)
Thus I was praying intensely: “Please God give your servant a rich entry into your Kingdom and place him among his Fathers”. Then, I would call the names of all his brothers, ascetics, in Ayio Oros, whom I knew he had connections with, beginning with Saint Silouanos and then all the others.  read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

This story is not a parable, it is an event;

Healing of the paralytic

Metropolitan Antony of Sourozh

What has the event related today in the Gospel (St. Matthew IX: l-8) to do with us? Who of us is aware of being paralysed? And who of us has the faith, a calm and yet passionate certainty that no one but God can give us again the freedom of our movements? Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Healing of two possessed in Gergesene

Metropolitan Antony of Sourozh 

In one of the Gospels, before the passage which was read today about the healing of two possessed in the country of Gergesene, there is a short story about Christ crossing the sea of Galilee together with His disciples. In the course of their journey a storm broke out. And as the Gospel puts it, Christ was peacefully asleep with His head on a pillow. And the apostles cried out, not in a prayer, but in indignation: Do You not care that we are perishing? Christ awoke, and He stood up, and looked at them sadly, and said: ‘O men of little faith!’ Then He turned to the storm and commanded it to be still. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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Those Kneeling Prayers!

This past Monday Eve — that is, on Pentecost Sunday afternoon — we prayed the Kneeling Prayers at the Vespers for Holy Spirit Day, on Monday. I love coming to each feast day, in its distinctiveness, and partake of some unique aspect of the Gospel of Jesus Christ communicated through that liturgical celebration. And Pentecost does not disappoint, with its annual Kneeling Prayers.

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The Assumption of our Lord

On the Thursday of the sixth week from Pascha, we celebrate the Assumption of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

When he was with his Disciples before his passion, he promised them the coming of the all-holy Spirit, saying, ‘It is right that I go away. For if I do not go away, the Paraclete will not come’. And again, ‘When he comes, he will teach you all truth. Therefore, after rising from the dead, he appeared to them for forty days, not the whole time, but at intervals, eating and drinking with them, proving the resurrection more surely. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Αναρτήθηκε στις 15 Πεντηκοστάριο. Ετικέτες: , , , , . Leave a Comment »

The human soul without Him becomes hell.

Christ healing the blind

 Sunday of the blind man

Ιn today’s Gospel, the Gospel of the blind man, we heard our Lord say, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:5)

What does it mean to have Christ as the light of the world or, on a more personal level, to have Christ as the light of our lives? In order to understand what it means to have Christ as our light, we must first acknowledge our own blindness. Like the man in the Gospel, most of us have been born blind when it comes to God and His Christ. We are unable to see that which is directly in front of us. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Αναρτήθηκε στις 15 Πεντηκοστάριο, In English. Ετικέτες: , , , , . Leave a Comment »

Come – and listen to Him!..

Metropolitan Antony of Sourozh

When the Samaritan woman came back in haste to her town and called all those who lived around her to see Christ, she said: ‘Come! Here is a Man who has told me everything I have done!’ And the people flocked around, and listened to what Christ had to say.

At times we think, how easy it was for this woman to believe and how easy it was for her, from within this shattering experience to turn to others and say: Come! Listen to one who has spoken as no-one else has ever spoken, One Who, without a word of mine has seen into the depth of my heart, into the darkness of my life, has seen and known everything. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The Conversation with the Samaritan Woman

All four Gospels speak of the Lord’s departure to Galilee. Sts Matthew and Mark note that this took place after John had been imprisoned, while St John adds that the reason for this was the rumor that Jesus was receiving and baptizing more disciples than John the Baptist, although the Evangelist explains that it was not He Himself Who was baptizing, but His disciples. After John’s imprisonment, the Pharisees’ entire hatred focused on Jesus, Who bean to seem to them more dangerous than the Baptist. As the time of His suffering had not yet arrived, Jesus leaves Judea and goes to Galilee, in order to avoid persecution by His envious enemies. Only one Evangelist, St John, relates Christ’s conversation with the Samaritan woman that took place on the way to Galilee. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Pay attention to three phrases.

Metropolitan Antony of Sourozh 

I should like you to pay attention to three phrases of today’s Gospel.

The first one is a tragic word of a man who for 38 years had been ill, without receiving any help from those from whom he hoped healing. 38 years he found not one person to help him to receive wholeness and healing. This is an image and a reality. It was reality because it happened to that one man, but isn’t it an image that should reach all of us? How many people nowadays are in desperate need of wholeness, of physical health, of support, of spiritual healing – and there is not one person who is prepared to give it: not unable to, but not prepared to, because no-one realy looks in order to see another man’s needs. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Αναρτήθηκε στις 15 Πεντηκοστάριο. Ετικέτες: , , , , , . Leave a Comment »

Apostle and Evangelist Mark (Commemorated on April 25)

The Holy Apostle and Evangelist Mark, also known as John Mark (Acts 12:12), was one of the Seventy Apostles, and was also a nephew of St Barnabas (June 11). He was born at Jerusalem. The house of his mother Mary adjoined the Garden of Gethsemane. As Church Tradition relates, on the night that Christ was betrayed he followed after Him, wrapped only in a linen cloth. He was seized by soldiers, and fled away naked, leaving the cloth behind (Mark 14:51-52). After the Ascension of the Lord, the house of his mother Mary became a place where Christians gathered, and a place of lodging for some of the Apostles (Acts 12:12). Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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Sunday of the Paralytic

by Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov)

Today is a feast day for all of us paralytics. Today, brothers and sisters, we to a certain degree are meeting our name-day, our feast day. Who among us can boast that he is strong, courageous, bearing all the misfortunes of this age, fulfilling all of Christ’s commandments? Deliver us, O Lord, if such a person stands in our midst — one cannot imagine a worse righteous or strong man! The Apostle Paul says: Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong (2 Cor 12:10). But the Apostle did not deprive himself of one thing: strong faith and undoubting hope in the Savior. “The power of God is made perfect in weakness!”

How can the world, which does not believe in God and preaches the illusory omnipotence of mankind, understand this? Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

What Christ Accomplished on the Cross

 by Hieromonk Damascene

A talk delivered at the Annual Lenten Clergy Confession of the New Gracanica Metropolitanate and the Western American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Jackson, California, March 4/17, 2004.

The topic of today’s talk—what Christ accomplished on the Cross—is of course a prime subject of contemplation during the Lenten season, as we prepare to prayerfully commemorate Christ’s passion, death, and the inevitable consequence of His death: His holy Resurrection. As we call to mind and repent of our sins during the Holy Fast, we also call to mind that which has saved us from the eternal consequences of sin. We call to mind Christ’s life-creating death on the Cross, which He underwent for the salvation of each one of us.

The Orthodox dogma of our redemption—which includes the doctrines concerning Christ’s incarnation, death and Resurrection—is the chief dogma of our Faith, together with the dogma of the Holy Trinity. I have been especially contemplating and reading Patristic writings on this subject for a few years now. It is a vast subject. In this lecture I will try to outline its main points in a linear and chronological fashion. I will speak about the state of man before the Fall and after the Fall, and then speak about how Christ saved us from the consequences of the Fall through His incarnation, death and Resurrection. Finally, I will summarize all the present and future accomplishments of Christ’s redemptive work. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Gospel for the Raising of Lazarus

John 11:1-45

Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. {2} (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) {3} Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. {4} When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. {5} Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. {6} When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. {7} Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. {8} His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? {9} Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day?

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Some miracles performed by the right hand of Saint John the Baptist (Holy Monastery of Saint Dionysios, Holy Mount Athos)

Just as we are referring to the wonders performed by Saint John, The Baptist, in the present times, we are not departing from our purpose if we also refer to some miracles performed in the past, which have so far been unknown to most of our brothers, through which it is brilliantly manifested how he protects and helps the monastery and its monks…

We will omit the totally unexpected and paradoxical appearance of this protection by the Saint, because its detailed description is read during the joint feast on the day of its commemoration, the Fourth Sunday of Lent.

Let’s talk about some events which took place in the island of Poros, and refer to the dangers which those who were at sea have avoided from the day of their departure. In order to avoid talking about these things ourselves, let’s us present the account given by the Abbot Stephanos, who refers to the reasons for this sea voyage and to some historical facts. (These accounts are found in Code 627 of the monastery, 1733-1833).

He writes: “Kassandra has fallen, everyone have been taken captives by the agarinous(Turks) who have even been threatening to capture Ayio Oros. When the monks saw the Turks advancing, they picked up their holy relics and left towards romeiko. I also left among them, with my holy relics. Taking those of the monks who wanted to leave, we deserted the monastery on the 23 of February 1821.  read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

St. Patrick, the Enlightener of Ireland (March 17)

The great Apostle and Enlightener of Ireland, St. Patrick, was born to a noble Roman family of Gaul or Britain in the year 387. At the age of 16 he was carried off by Irish marauders and sold as a slave to an Irish chieftain, who put him in charge of his sheep. Six years later, after the prompting of an angel, the saint fled to Gaul where he placed himself under the spiritual direction of St. Germanus of Auxerre. For 18 years he prayed and struggled and studied and was often granted a vision of Irish children calling out to him: O holy youth, come back to Erin, and walk once more amongst us.»

Celestine I, the Bishop of Rome, commissioned St. Patrick to bring the people of Ireland into Christ’s one, true fold, and so during the summer of 433 he and his companions arrived in Ireland. They were immediately persecuted by the druids and other pagans, but the saint’s meekness and wonderworking, as well as his God-inspired ability to preach the Gospel, resulted in the conversion of many thousands. In particular, St. Patrick had to do spiritual battle with the arch-druid, Lochru, who, by the power of demons and through many incantations, tried to maintain his influence on the Irish. On one occasion Lochru, like Simon Magus, was able to levitate himself high into the air in a display of sorcery; but the moment St. Patrick knelt in prayer, Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Moral Dilemmas of Globalization by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

We should first like to express our joy that this meeting of distinguished and dynamic economists, political figures, and other eminent dignitaries has included on the agenda of its discussions the human dimension of globalization of the economy, as well as non-economic values. There is no doubt that when ranking values the human person occupies a place higher than economic activity. Neither is there any doubt that economic progress, which is present when there is growth in economic activity, becomes useful when and only when it serves to enhance the non-economic values that make up human culture. This is the reason that justifies our Modesty’s presence among this luminous gathering of eminent economic activists although we bear no relation to matters of economy.

The advance of humanity towards globalisation is a fact arising primarily out of the private sector, in particular they are the desires of multinational economic giants. This fact finds support in the incredible development of communications. Already the role of states is being constantly downgraded, with few exceptions; whereas the role of the economically powerful is growing in magnitude, even among the larger states.

As the Primate of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the first bishop of the Orthodox Church throughout the world, we assure you that the Orthodox Church has experienced and cultivated the idea of spiritual ecumenicity. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

About fools, wiser than the world

«We are fools for Christ’s sake» (1 Corinthians 4:10).

Thus speaks the great Apostle Paul who in the beginning was guided by worldly wisdom, which is against Christ, until he recognizes the falsehood and decay of the wisdom of the world and the light and stability of the wisdom of Christ. Then, the holy apostle did not become angry with the world because they called him «a fool for Christ’s sake» neither did he, in defiance of the world, hesitate to be called by this name.

It is not of any value to us how the world is going to regard or call us. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »