St. Nectan of Hartland (June 17)

St Nectan was born in Wales and lived in the sixth century, but we know few details about his life. He was the oldest of the twenty-four children of St Brychan of Brecknock (April 6). While he was still living in Wales, God inspired him to imitate the example of St Anthony (January 17) and other ascetics, and to embrace the monastic life.

Read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Mighty in Meekness – St. John the Russian (May 27)

One of the most popular saints among Greeks today is St. John the Russian whose incorrupt relics are the boast of the island of Euboia. The multitudes who visit his shrine are such that there is daily bus service to the shrine from Athens. Countless miracles flow from his relics and icons, and even now-when the spirit of the world is having such an oppressive effect on traditional Greek piety–icons of the Saint are often found in buses and in nearly all Orthodox homes. St. John was neither a celebrated hierarch, nor an eloquent theologian, but a simple young man who spent the better part of his life in a stable. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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St. Vitus (May 16)

The Holy Martyrs Vitus, Modestus, and Crescentia suffered for Christ during the reign of Emperor Diocletian (284-305).

St Vitus was the son of an illustrious Sicilian dignitary, the pagan Gelas. Gelas tried to turn his son from Christianity, but failed. Paternal love then turned to hatred, and he decided to kill Vitus. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

St. Zeno of Verona (April 12)

Saint Zeno, Bishop of Verona, was born a Greek and came from Syria. In his youth he became a monk and devoted himself to the study of Holy Scripture. Visiting several monasteries, the saint came to the city of Verona and settled there. The people chose him as bishop of the city.

The emperors Constantius (353-361) and Valens (364-378), were advocates of the Arian heresy, which had been condemned at the First Ecumenical Council at Nicea in the year 325. Under their patronage the Arians began a persecution against the Orthodox. St Zeno bravely endured all the oppression from the heretics. Read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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 »

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 »

A hymn to St Genevieve

Blessed was the birth of this young maid,

To which the hierarch Germanus bare witness,

And that which he foresaw in spirit

The outcome of her life hath proven.

He suspended a coin of bronze

Upon her virginal bosom,

To be a seal of her virginity,

As it bare the insignia of the Cross. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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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…

Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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 »

Various Miracles of Saint Barbara

The Miraculous Icon of Saint Barbara in London, England

This is a miraculous icon of Saint Barbara which currently is in Harrow, London. It belongs to a Greek family from Egypt who has had it for generations. It was handed down to them while living in Alexandria, travelled with them during a pilgrimage to the Holy Lands, and when they decided to move to England they now reside in London where this icon has become well-known among the Greeks and even non-Greeks. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

New Hieromartyr John Karastamatis of Santa Cruz

Fr. John Karastamatis was born in 1937 in the Greek village of Apoika, on the island of Andros. As a boy on the island of Andros, John witnessed many miracles with which God blessed the pious villagers, and thus he was made aware of the closeness of God to the lives of those who seek Him. The heavenly saints, especially the local ones, also manifested their closeness and the power of their intercessory prayer by appearing to and helping the people. John nourished his young soul by learning of the lives of these saints and martyrs, whose unquenchable desire to be faithful to Christ in the face of deprivation, torment and physical death inspired him to also be a servant of God. Although he did not attend any theological school, he wanted to put his faith into practice by someday becoming a priest. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

An incredible miracle in Serbia (part 7)

Continued from (6)

The awful experience of the tortures in hell

Another cloud was waiting for us there. We went inside and it transferred us somewhere to the west. I have the impression that we did not travel for a long time towards the west because the cloud suddenly changed direction and quickly descended towards a ravine. My angel guide ushered me into a dark place. From the very first steps we took, we descended into darkness so thick and so dark, that no other could be worse than this one. We were hit by a terrible stench from the depth of this darkness and I could barely breathe.

Read more…

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The Holy Great Female Martyr Euphemia (11th July & 16th September)

Byzantine mosaic of St. Euphemia of the 6th century. Porec, Basilica of Euphrasius.

Byzantine mosaic of St. Euphemia of the 6th century. Porec, Basilica of Euphrasius.

Saint Euphemia is commemorated on September 16, the day on which she was martyred. On this day, however, is commemorated the miracle surrounding her honorable relics, which was manifested at the time of the Fourth Ecumenical Council in Chalcedon. This Council was convened during the reign of Emperor Marcian and the Empress Pulcheria in the year 451 A.D., after the death of Emperor Theodosius the Younger. The reason for summoning this Council was the heresy of Dioscorus, the Patriarch of Alexandria and Eutyches, an Archimandrite from Constantinople, who spread the false teaching that in Christ the Lord there were not two natures, divine and human, but only one, a divine nature. At this Council Anatolius, Patriarch of Constantinople, and Juvenal, Patriarch of Jerusalem, played the most prominent roles. Because a conclusion could not be reached through debates and testimonies from either side, Patriarch Anatolius motioned that the Orthodox and the heretics write down their confessions of faith and then place them in the sarcophagus where the relics of St. Euphemia reposed. They all agreed to this. Therefore, the two confessions of faith were written and placed on the bosom of the great female martyr. The sarcophagus was closed, sealed with the emperor’s seal and military guards were appointed. read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

St. Irene the Great Martyr (5 May)

The holy Great Martyr Irene was born in the city of Magedon in Persia during the fourth century. She was the daughter of the pagan king Licinius, and her parents named her Penelope.

Penelope was very beautiful, and her father kept her isolated in a high tower from the time she was six so that she would not be exposed to Christianity. He also placed thirteen young maidens in the tower with her. An old tutor by the name of Apellian was assigned to give her the best possible education. Apellian was a Christian, and during her lessons, he told the girl about Christ the Savior and taught her the Christian Faith and the Christian virtues.

When Penelope reached adolescence, her parents began to think about her marriage. One day, a dove flew through the window carrying an olive branch in its beak, depositing it upon a table. Then an eagle swooped in with a wreath of flowers in its beak, and also placed it upon the table. Finally, a raven flew in carrying a snake, which it dropped on the table. Penelope was puzzled by these events and wondered what they meant. 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 »

St. John of Rila – October 19

Свети Иван РилскиVenerable St. John of Rila, a great spirit-filled ascetic struggler of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, is the heavenly patron of the Bulgarian People.

He was born in the year 876 in the village of Skrino in Sardica Province (which today is Sofia). Orphaned at an early age, the boy hired himself out to strangers as a shepherd. It happened that a rich man beat him because a cow and its calf had gotten lost. For a long time, the little boy wept and prayed that God help him. At the time he located the cow and the calf, the water level of the Sturma River had risen sharply. The young shepherd prayed, made the sign of the cross over his outer clothing, laid it on the surface of the water, picked up the calf and carried it across, as if on dry land, to the other shore, where the cow was waiting for them. The rich man, who had been hiding in the woods, was terrified upon witnessing this miracle; giving the boy a generous reward, he released him from service.

The boy gave away his fortune, and went off to his native village. When and where he received monastic tonsure is unknown. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

St Elessa of Kythera – feast day August 1 (in English and Greek)

An Orthodox icon of St Elessa of Kythera from Mount Athos.

A Greek Orthodox icon of St Elessa of Kythera from Mount Athos (1956).

St Elessa came from the Peloponnese and was the daughter of a rich Greek, named Elladios. Her mother Eugenia was a devout Christian and was barren. So through prayer she had Elessa miraculously, whom she raised according to the dictates of the Gospel and under the difficult situations caused by her pagan husband. At the age of 14 years, Elessa was orphaned by her mother and was thus left the lady of her father’s rich house. Countless were her beneficences and charities for the deprived and suffering fellow people. Sometime, though, her father induced her to marry a pagan ruler, but she refused. So when one day her father left for a trip, Elessa divided all her belongings to the oor and with her most loyal of servant-girls, escaped to the island of Kythera. There through prayer, she did many miracles. But when her father returned from the trip and learned what had happened, he was very angry, and upon discovering where Elessa was, he left to bring back. But Elessa’s opinion was contrary to that of her pagan father. Then he, after he tortured her mercilessly, he finally decapitated her and she thus all-worthily obtained the crown of martyrdom. (The memory of this Saint is not mentioned anywhere in the «synaxaristes»: we find her as a martyr only at Kythera).
Καταγόταν από την Πελοπόννησο και ήταν κόρη ενός πλούσιου Έλληνα, που ονομαζόταν Ελλάδιος. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

A simple biomedical presentation of the first miracle of Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi (Mount Athos), who smiled 45 minutes after his death.

Part 1. The contemporary situation.

The present contribution describes a miracle that, as far as we know, is almost unheard of in the entire history of Christianity. A dead person (Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi) smiled. Impressive is the fact, that this smile occurred 45 minutes after his death. This is photographically documented. There have been reported a lot of miracles with dead persons (prophets, saints, e.t.c.). But almost never before did occur a miracle like the one that happened on July 1, 2009 in the Holy Great Monastery of Vatopaidi (Mount Athos, Greece)

Since many months, the spiritual family of Elder Joseph (namely the Brotherhood of the Holy Great Monastery of Vatopaidi and especially Abbot Ephraim) suffers a unique, for our days, persecution. The latter consists of all kinds of lies and slander. Every father is sad, when his children are acused. But he is much more sad, when the acusations are faulty. Elder Joseph, being the spiritual father of this family, suffered from this persecution as well. But where sin abounded (in this case the unjust and systematic persecution of the Vatopaidi Brotherhood and of Abbot Ephraim by the pathetic watchdogs of the New World Order), grace did much more aboud (in this case the smile from eternity) (Apostle Paul, Letter to Romans, chapter 5, vers 20). Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

THE HOLY AND GREAT MARTYR PANTALEON [PANTELEIMON] ( July 27)

Saints Panteleimon and Hermolaus. Byzantine wall-painting of the late 13th century at the Church of Panagia Olympiotissa at Elassona, Greece.

Saints Panteleimon and Hermolaus. Byzantine wall-painting of the late 13th century at the Church of Panagia Olympiotissa at Elassona, Greece.

Pantaleon was born in Nicomedia of a Christian mother and a pagan father. His mother was called Eubula and his father Eustorgius. As a young man he studied the science of medicine. The priest, Hermolaus, invited Pantaleon to be with him and taught him the Faith of Christ and baptized him. Pantaleon miraculously cured a blind man whom the other doctors treated in vain; he cured him by the power of Christ and baptized him. Out of envy the doctors accused Pantaleon of being a Christian and he went before the Emperor Maximian to stand trial. «He stood before the earthly king in body but in thought he stood before the heavenly King.» Before the emperor, he freely declared that he was a Christian and, before the eyes of the emperor, he healed a paralytic of a long-standing illness.

More… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

THE VENERABLE FEMALE MARTYR PARASCEVA [PARASCEVE] (July 26)

Agia Paraskevi

Parasceva was born in Rome of Christian parents and from her youth was instructed in the Faith of Christ. With great fervence, St. Parasceva endeavored to fulfill all the commandments of God in her life. Believing strongly and living according to her faith, Parasceva directed others on the path [of salvation] with the help of the True Faith and pious living. When her parents died Parasceva distributed all of her property to the poor and was tonsured a nun. As a nun she preached the Faith of Christ with an even greater zeal, not hiding from anyone, even though at that time the Roman authorities bloodily persecuted the Faith of Christ. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Why’s the smile of elder Joseph of Vatopedi from eternity?

keidia-5

Honorable Mr. Papanikolaou,

A few hours after the entombment of elder Joseph, you posted at your website an article with the title «Funeral of Blessed Elder Joseph of Vatopedi – A Smile From Eternity«, describing in a few words the event aided by a few pictures. [transl’s note: original greek article] Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »