The King who does not wish to defend Himself with an army

“Do you think that I cannot call upon My Father and He will not provide Me at this moment with more than twelve legions of angels” (St. Matthew 26:53).

Thus spoke the Lord to the disciple who drew the sword to defend his Teacher in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is obvious from these words that the Lord could have defended Himself, if He wanted to, not only from Judas and his company of guards, but also from Pilate and the leaders of the Jews. For the might of one angel is greater than the greatest army of men, much less the might of twelve legions of angels. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The Nativity of the Most-holy Theotokos (September 8)

12B03The Holy Virgin Mary was born of aged parents, Joachim and Anna. Her father was of the lineage of David, and her mother of the lineage of Aaron. Thus, she was of royal birth by her father, and of priestly birth by her mother. In this, she foreshadowed Him Who would be born of her as King and High Priest. Her parents were quite old and had no children. Because of this they were ashamed before men and humble before God. In their humility they prayed to God with tears, to bring them joy in their old age by giving them a child, as He had once given joy to the aged Abraham and his wife Sarah by giving them Isaac. The Almighty and All-seeing God rewarded them with a joy that surpassed all their expectations and all their most beautiful dreams. For He gave them not just a daughter, but the Mother of God. He illumined them not only with temporal joy, but with eternal joy as well. God gave them just one daughter, and she would later give them just one grandson-but what a daughter and what a Grandson! Read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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 »

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 HOLY MARTYR EMILIAN AND THE VENERABLE PAMBO (JULY 18)

Saints Valentina, Pambo and Emilian (July 18).

Saints Valentina, Pambo and Emilian (July 18).

THE HOLY MARTYR EMILIAN

During the reign of Julian the Apostate, in the Thracian town of Dorostolon, lived a young man, Emilian, a servant of the mayor of the town. When the apostate emperor began to destroy Christianity throughout the realm of the Roman Empire by fire and sword and, when the emperor’s representative came to Dorostolon to kill the Christians, he did not find a single one. Rejoicing at this, he sponsored a great banquet for the citizens of Dorostolon and ordered sacrifices to be offered to the idols and rejoicing ensued throughout the entire town, day and night. That night, St. Emilian entered the pagan temples, markets and the streets of the town and smashed all of the idols with a sledgehammer. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The Holy Great Martyr Saint Procopius (July 8)

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Procopius was born in Jerusalem of a father who was a Christian and a mother who was a pagan. At first, his name was Neanias. Following the death of his father, the mother raised her son completely in the spirit of Roman idolatry. When Neanias matured, Emperor Diocletian saw him and, at once, took a liking to him and brought him to his palace for military service. When this nefarious emperor began to persecute Christians, he ordered Neanias to go to Alexandria with a garrison of soldiers and there to exterminate the Christians. But, on the road, something happened to Neanias similar to that which happened to Saul [Paul]. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

June 19, The Prologue from Ohrid, Bishop Nikolai Velimirovch

19 ΙΟΥΝ ΑΓ ΠΑΙΣΙΟΣ Ο ΜΕΓΑΣ ΚΑΙ ΙΟΥΔΑΣ ΑΠΟΣΤΟΛΟΣ1. THE HOLY APOSTLE JUDE

Saint Jude was one of the Twelve Apostles. He was the son of Joseph and Salome and the brother of James, the brother of the Lord. With Salome, the daughter of Angeja the son of Varahina, the brother of Zacharias, Joseph the carpenter had four sons: James, Hosea, Simon and Jude. This Jude is sometimes called: «Jude, the brother of James» because of his more famous brother (St. Luke 6:16 Acts 1:14). St. Jude begins his epistle in this manner: «Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ and the brother of James» (St. Jude 1:1). Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

About how death and life depend on the tongue

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«Death and life are in the power of the tongue» (Proverbs 18:21).

Did not our Lord Himself confirm this when He said that for every empty word men will give an answer before the Dread Judgment? Didn’t He explicitly say: «But I tell you, that of every idle word men speak, they shall give account on the Day of Judgment. For by your words, you shall be justified and by your words, you shall be condemned» (St. Matthew 12: 36-37). Whoever is justified will receive life. Whoever is condemned will receive death. Therefore, do you see how life and death are in the power of the tongue? The Apostle James says: «For in many things we all offend. If anyone does not offend in word, he is a perfect man, able also to lead round by a bridle the whole body» (St. James 3:2). Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

About the poor man and his Creator

Painting of Vasily Maximov (1844-1911)

Painting of Vasily Maximov (1844-1911)

«He who mocks the poor, blasphemes his Maker (Creator)» (Proverbs 17:5).

If you are wealthy, in what are you wealthy, if not in the property of God? The things which constitute your wealth, whose are they, if not God’s? Therefore, if you become proud in that which you possess, you become proud with the property of another, you become proud with that which is loaned to you by God. Why do you then mock the poor man who has less of someone else’s property in his hands? Why do you mock him if he borrowed less from God than you? If he took less, he owes less; and you who took more, owe more. Not only should you not mock the poor man, you should admire him. Behold, he leads a struggle on the battlefield of this world with much less means than you. Both of you are soldiers, only you fight as a soldier abundantly equipped with all the needs and he fights naked and hungry. If the both of you succumb and surrender to your enemy, he will be judged more leniently than you. However, if you are both victorious, he will receive a greater reward than you and his victory will be more celebrated than yours. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The Prologue from Ohrid, Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich (JUNE 16)

tikhonamathus_OPT1. SAINT TIKHON, BISHOP OF AMATHUS

Saint Tikhon was a miracle-worker. Following the death of Blessed Mnemonius, Tikhon was unanimously elected a bishop and consecrated by the renowned Epiphanius for the Diocese of Amathus. His purity of life and zeal for Orthodoxy recommended him for this office. There were still pagans on Cyprus at that time. With apostolic zeal St. Tikhon undertook to convert the unbelievers into believers. In that, he had great success. After lengthy labor in the vineyard of the Lord, Tikhon took up habitation in blessed eternity about the year 425 A.D. He was called a miracle-worker because of the many miracles he worked during his life. Tikhon’s father was a baker. When his father left him alone in the store, he would distribute bread free of charge to the poor. Once, his father reproached him for this. Tikhon prayed to God and their granary was so filled with wheat that the door could not be opened without difficulty. Again, at another time, he planted withered branches of a vine and the vine became green and, in due time, brought forth fruit. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The Holy Martyrs Vitus, Modest and Crescentia

saint-vitus-06 St. Vitus was born in Sicily of famous but non-believing parents. Modest was his teacher and Crescentia was his governess. St. Vitus was baptized at an early age and, at the age of twelve, withdrew to live a life of great mortification. Angels appeared to him, directed and strengthened him in his mortification and he, himself, was as radiant and beautiful as an angel of God. The hand of a judge who beat him withered but Vitus healed his hand through prayer. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »