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The Life of St. Seraphim of Sarov, Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh

Άγιος Σεραφείμ Σάρωφ_St. Seraphim of Sarov_ Преподобный Серафим Саровский_021948d8bb43e1orig

St. Seraphim of Sarov the Wonderworker

Commemorated on January 2 and on July 19/August 1 (The translation of the Saint’s holy relics)

“Acquire the Spirit of Peace and a Thousand Souls Around You Shall Be Saved”
( St. Seraphim of Sarov )

The Life of St. Seraphim of Sarov
Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh
June 4, 1970

I think this is one of the most difficult subjects I could have chosen. And yet I have done so because St Seraphim is practically a contemporary of ours: he died in 1833. He belongs to the 19th century. He is a man who is not so remote from us, and yet who has expressed in all his spiritual endeavour the traditional ways of monasticism, gone through the total experience of the ascetic way of life, and in the end come back. And this is the second reason why I mentioned him. Very often when we read lives of saints, we see men who after a period of disillusionment, abandon the world altogether, who go into whatever wilderness offers itself to them. It may be the physical desert. It may be another kind of desert, that of the great or small city. But there is a moment of withdrawal which at times is both the beginning and also the fulfillment of their lives.

St Arsenius the Great is a man who belonged to this type. He was one of the great men of the court of Constantinople, discovered and perceived the emptiness of the life which was his, abandoned everything and went into the desert to become the disciple of a completely illiterate monk, yet of one who was one of the great spiritual guides of his time. Being asked how it was that he, with all his culture, all his education, all the refinement of thought and life to which he was accustomed, had chosen that particular teacher, he said, `I cannot yet spell the book he is reading freely.’ The world of the spirit was open to the one, the world of human knowledge was open to the other. And later on he remained in the desert, fleeing from human contact, avoiding even chance meetings. Being asked again once why he behaved in this way, he said, `In heaven myriads of angels are in perfect harmony among themselves. On earth the wills of men are in discordant disharmony. I cannot leave the harmony even for the sake of human relationships and charity.’

Σεραφείμ του Σάρωφ μεσ_ το Αγιο Πνευμα_Беседа преп. Серафима с Николаем А. Мотовиловым_Σεραφείμ ΣάρωφSide by side with him lived another monk who, on the contrary, because of charity was prepared at times to abandon his isolation, to forsake the outer peace of the desert, to look after pilgrims. He also did that in the name of God. St Seraphim, in his life, seems to me to be a revelation of a more complete way than these two. He is a man who did not abandon the world because he was disillusioned. He never suffered from the world, except in that it was, as it always is, an ambiguous world, a world of twilight where God is present but also darkness is heavy, and the light shines and cannot be quenched, and yet in which the light does not pervade all things. He did not abandon the world either for personal reasons like some failure of his life. In every respect he was gifted. He was handsome, strong, vigorous. He was intelligent. He was successful in whatever studies he undertook – and of course in his time and under the circumstances of his life he did not go very far. But he was up to anything he attempted. He was loved and respected. He was not drawn out of the world for that kind of reason, but simply because, very soon in life – very soon indeed when he was still a small child – he perceived the beauty, the harmony, the depth of the divine, and he longed to establish himself within this harmony so that he no longer could be torn away from it. He set out to do it with ruthlessness and incredible courage, but when he had done it, by the will of God, commanded indeed by the Mother of God to do so, he came back, and for the last five years or so of his life he was, perhaps what John Robinson would call ‘the man for others’. He lived in his monastery, and he met up to 2000 people a day, who came to see him.

When I use the word ‘see’, I do it advisedly. He did not preach or make discourses. He was not surrounded by disciples who would screen his visitors and bring to him those who were in real need. He never had any disciples in that sense. But he was in himself a vision and a revelation. People came in crowds to surround him, and to see what an old monastic saying expresses by saying `no one can abandon the world unless he has seen on the face of a man the splendour of eternal life, the light of eternity.’ This is what people seemed to see. He called out of the crowd the few, those for whom he had a message, those to whom he had something to impart from God, but he did not leave the others hungry and athirst. They had seen. They had seen serenity. They had seen greatness. They had seen joy. They had seen love. And all this in a context that was not the natural context for human rejoicing or for ordinary serenity of peace. They had seen it on the face of one who was engaged in a ruthless fight for integrity of his whole person and also for the integrity of others. And this integrity is costly.

In the life of St Seraphim we find a passage which tells us that he was once with a visitor. The visitor was silently sitting in his cell, and St Seraphim was praying. Suddenly the whole cell became dark, and terror fell upon the visitor. It lasted a while. St Seraphim continued steadily to pray. Then the darkness and the terror dispersed. The visitor asked him then, `What happened, Father?’ And St Seraphim answered, `I have been praying for the salvation of a soul, and all the darkness of hell came upon us to prevent this prayer and to prevent his salvation.’ He was a man who knew how to rejoice where humanly speaking others would not have found the strength even to survive, to smile. He met every person with words of love: `My joy’, he called them. Or he greeted them with those words which sum up the whole of the gospel: `Christ is risen!’ He was not a sentimental man. There was no sentimental warmth in him, in his greetings, in his manner. The more you read about him, the more you try to perceive the peculiar qualities of his saintliness, the more you find him in a way frightening – frightening in the way things too great for us may frighten us. He was not cold, but he was like the air of the mountain-tops, bracing and indeed cold, and at the same time this coldness was fiery with light and with a warmth that was that of God, not human warmth.

In him we see resolved the problem which throughout the centuries we all have from generation to generation, that of action and contemplation. In the beginning we could be mistaken and imagine that his life was an effort at nothing but contemplation, if such a phrase makes any sense. But when we read of the way he filled the time of his contemplative years with a rule of prayer which no one of us could bear for a day, with an amount of work which few peasants could have borne, when we think that for all the years of his monastic life the only heating he had in the Russian winter was the little lamp that burnt in front of his icon, we realise all the physical, intellectual and moral effort that was involved. We will understand what our Orthodox tradition means by saying that in the beginning until God himself has come, conquered, taken possession of a man, the contemplative life is active, action, endeavour, is fight. It has nothing to do with a passive expectation of the divine mercy. It is an alert, intense striving involving the man in all possible ways.

He read extensively. He read the Bible, meditated on it deeply. He read the writings of the great spiritual masters and tried to apply them in order to understand them. He had a deep knowledge of the ascetical and mystical tradition of Orthodoxy. And then in the period which we might call the active years of his life we discover that this active life itself was perhaps a more contemplative period than it ever had been, – not only because he came out of his solitude when he had already established himself in the presence of God, in the awareness of God, in continuous prayer, but also because the way he dealt with situations and problems was typically that of a contemplative.

Άγιος Σεραφείμ Σάρωφ_St. Seraphim of Sarov_ Преподобный Серафим Саровский_Sf.-Serafim-de-Sarov_02 (1)He was asked once how it was that whenever a person came, in the few words he spoke he said what this person needed, as though he knew all the past and the present of this person’s life, all the concrete needs and circumstances. And St Seraphim said that he prays, he prays all the time, and when someone presents himself, he asks God to bless their meeting, and then he speaks the first words which God gives him to speak. This is action and contemplation bound together, interwoven into oneness, and indeed this is the only form of action which is truly the action of the Christian. The Christian is not one who applies attentively, soberly, passionately the commandments of Christ as though they were outer rules of behaviour. He is not one whose efficiency in God’s name is particularly good. What is characteristic of the Christian’s action is that every act, every word of a Christian saint is an act of God performed through a man by a man who becomes a co-worker of God. And this is possible only through a contemplative situation in life. If you remember, the Lord Jesus Christ in a few of his sayings, `I judge as I hear, and my judgment is true, because I do not aim at fulfilling my will, but the will of him who sent me’. He listens and he articulates God’s will. What he has heard from the Father he speaks aloud in the world in which he lives. In a few other passages we find that he says that his Father is still at work. He shows him what he is doing, and Christ, the Son, fulfills the action, articulates the action on earth. This is the way in which the saints act, the saints speak. They pronounce words which are God’s, they perform actions which are also God’s.

Remember the remarkable way in which St John the Baptist, the Forerunner, is defined: a voice that speaks in the wilderness. He has become so perfectly one with the divine will and with the divine message that one can’t even say of him that he is a prophet proclaiming what God says. It is God speaking through a man even more than a man speaking for God. And in the last years of St. Seraphim this is what is so striking – a man so deeply and perfectly ingrained in contemplation, so completely at one with the Lord, that he can act, or rather, that God acts in him and through him , far beyond human capabilities, not only by the words spoken, not only by the healing bestowed, not only by the advice given, not only by the many and many ways in which St Seraphim expressed his evangelical charity , but simply through his being, through the vision of a man so integrated, not only in himself, but in God, that the vision of the man was a vision of God. This is why I felt that to speak of him was worth the attempt in spite of the fact that it is impossible to do him justice.

St Seraphim was born in Kursk, which is a city of central Russia, on the 19th of July, 1759. His father and mother were builders. He was given the name of Prokhor. His father died when the boy was only 5, and his mother undertook his education. Very soon it was quite clear that in spite of his gifts for learning and for work, his heart was elsewhere. Indeed he studied, indeed he worked, but prayer was at the root of his being, and although we know nothing about his life of prayer, because he was not one to speak of himself, it is clear that there was nothing that mattered to him more, or equally. When he was 17 he asked his mother to let him go. His mother gave him her blessing and with it a cross, which he wore all his life openly on his chest.

He went first to Kiev to see one of the startzi of Kiev renowned for his life of prayer and a spiritual director. Dosifei did not allow him to stay in Kiev but taught him the Jesus prayer: `Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner’ and sent him to the centre of Russia to the monastery of Sarov – the name is derived from that of a small river that runs through the thick woods. First he returned for a while to see his mother, and then with the Jesus prayer on his lips, attentive to the words and to its effect, he made the journey of about 300 miles on foot to Sarov. He arrived there on the 20th of November,1776, on the eve of the Presentation of the Mother of God to the Temple. He walked straight from his journey into the church, obtained permission to stay, and became a novice.

He was appointed to a variety of functions, and what impressed the monks was his skill at whatever he turned his hands to, his obedience and his stability. He seems to have been a man of rare strength of will and determination. He took upon himself in all simplicity all the common life of the monastery, worked in the kitchen, and particularly excelled in the work of a builder. After a while he was sent to collect money for the monastery. Again we know little about this period of his life. All we know is that he went alone throughout Russia from village to village with nothing but his prayer to accompany him, collecting money in isolation. This experience of pilgrimage, of uprootedness, was probably important in his life. The silence of the woods, the loneliness, the aloneness and the prayer.

But he returned to this life of obedience. We usually think of obedience in terms of subjection, of enslavement. Obedience, basically is the attitude of mind of one who has understood that the human vocation is so great, is such that he cannot achieve it without help, guidance, advice. Ultimately the aim of obedience is to teach us so to listen to God’s own word as to hear, and so to hear as to fulfil it. But before we can hear and understand the word of God spoken to us in the Scriptures or in our conscience and so disentangle ourselves from our own self-will, there is a whole school that must free us from ourselves. Obedience is the situation of the disciple who wants to learn, who wants to understand not only the words spoken but the mind that has given shape to the words, the intention that has given birth to them, a will which is not his but which is a greater will than his own. And if this will is not greater, if the man who commands is even a lesser man than he who obeys, it still frees him to accept obedience. From relying upon himself it teaches him to do, inwardly and outwardly, what he has not chosen. And obedience, brought to the absurd as we see it in the writings of the early ascetics, in the end teaches us to accept the supreme absurdity of the Gospel, the folly of the Cross, the unpredictable commandments and acts of will of God himself.

He set out to listen. He set out to outgrow his own will and his own limitations, to become free. He took part in the common worship of the monastery, and what the brothers remembered about him later was the joy and peace which he radiated. He was free from self-centredness and from self-will. Everything that happened was a gift of God for him, a new situation in which he could grow into the knowledge of God and the fulfilment of his own growth. He was at peace. In that period he read a great deal: the Scriptures and also ascetic literature. After 8 years of noviciate, on the first of August, 1786, 3 years before the French Revolution, be became a monk. He was given the name of Seraphim, which means the burning, the shining, the fiery, and a year later, in 1787 he became a deacon. From that time onwards in the course of six years, almost daily he celebrated the liturgy and other services.

Σεραφείμ Σάρωφ_St. Seraphim of Sarov_Преподобный Серафим Саровский_Sf-Serafim-de-Sarov_icon_091fc67cc95ad2cd42285b69e7671739000To this period belongs a vision he had of the Lord Christ. One day when he was celebrating he came out during the liturgy to say `Oh God save thy people’, and when he moved his arm to say `and world without end’, he suddenly was struck by a light shining in the church. He looked towards the west door and he saw Christ surrounded by angels and saints coming through the church straight towards him. He turned and blessed the people, then blessed Him and then, as St Seraphim puts it, He entered into the icon of Christ that was on the right side of the Holy Doors, and this icon appeared to him in the glory of the Transfiguration. St Seraphim stood mute, incapable of speech and of movement. He was taken into the sanctuary. He stood there three hours, and he related his experience to his superior and to his spiritual father.

On the 2nd of September 1793 he became a priest. And immediately he decided to leave the monastery and to retire into the wilderness. He received the blessing of his spiritual father, and in ’94 on the 20th of November, on the 16th anniversary of the day when he had come to Sarov, he established himself at a distance of 3 or 4 miles in the wood. We know a few things about his life there. We know, as I said already, that he never heated his cell. We know also the rule of prayer he used. We know that he had a kitchen garden which was his only food for a while and then he abandoned even that and began to eat some of the plants that grow in the woods, boiling them.

We know that he read the Scriptures a great deal, and something which is characteristic of him and of two other ascetics of Russia, he named the various places around his hut by the names of places in Palestine: Bethlehem, Nazareth, Bethany, Jerusalem, etc. And he used daily to go from place to place to read the corresponding passages of the Scriptures, to meditate on them, and to stay there, as though he was in the holy land. And indeed he made it into a Holy Land. He was a man without fear, but he had to stand what so many ascetics had to stand, the fear of the night, the fear of the beasts, the wolves, the bears, the fear which the powers of darkness provoke in the soul of those who lead a lonely life. He fought for a life that would be completely inward, i.e. to escape the situation in which we are so permanently, being beside ourselves. It is very rare that we are within ourselves, so collected, so completely established inside, that we act freely because we choose to, we speak freely because we choose to. Most of the time we react rather than act, we reflect light rather than we shine.

A French scientist of this century suggested that the majority of us who imagine that the personality ends where their body is in reality are much more like an octopus with an inner emptiness and tentacles cast out all around. The digestive system, he says, of the greedy person is not in him, it reaches out towards all the edibles of the world; the five senses of the curious person are not openings that will allow him to perceive what is around. Like tentacles they cling to all objects of curiosity. And the first thing which the ascetic has to do is to draw all these tentacles in, to free himself from the enslavement of possession, the illusion that he possesses, while in reality he is being possessed, and to discover his inner self.

Άγιος Σεραφείμ Σάρωφ_St. Seraphim of Sarov_ Преподобный Серафим Саровский_serafim_10This journey inwards St Seraphim continued by cutting and cutting and cutting everything that linked him outwardly not only to what was wrong but to what was human and normal, until he was a free man. After a while and a struggle in which he spent the days in his cell and the nights outside he decided no longer to speak to anyone, to cast out this link between people and himself. When people met him in the wood he would kneel down or lie flat on his face or simply pass by, answering nothing. He never described the difficulties of this fight and what it corresponded to, but in the same 19th cent., some 50 years later, Theophan the Recluse, one of our great ascetics and spiritual guides, describes the way in which he gradually learned aloneness and seclusion. He had been a professor of philosophy. Then he became a bishop. Then he abandoned his see in order to go into a monastery. To begin with he allowed himself full freedom to go about wherever he chose. Then, when he had got accustomed to the place, he allowed himself only those journeys across the monastery that were purposeful: to church, to see someone. Then he reduced even that, and he decided not to go out of his cell except to go to church daily. And of a sudden he felt how much seeing the world around him meant to him. The day he ceased to go up to the walls of the monastery in order to see the countryside, he suddenly felt a prisoner, and it took him a long time no longer to be a prisoner, in spite of the fact that he did not see anything except the inside of the monastery.

Then he reduced his movements more and more, and in the end after several years he could stay in his cell because he was already in the inner cell of his soul. He had come back inwards and therefore the outer limitations no longer limited him. I mention this experience because St Seraphim never talked about himself. But we see in others the way in which this outer struggle corresponds to a movement inwards of the human soul. It is not asceticism in the sense of trying to achieve something extraordinary. It was simply an effort to acquire stability, to become autonomous, to become free, to be able to stand himself before God whatever the outer circumstances.

A certain number of things could be mentioned for this period. First of all, you must have seen images of St Seraphim walking bent and leaning on an axe or on a rod. This was the result of an attack of robbers. He was met by a group of men who asked for money. He said he had none. And then he, who was tall, vigorous, courageous, just dropped his axe, folded his arms, and waited. They beat him almost to death, and it is only after several days that he was able to crawl to the monastery. And there he stayed still for a long time. Two things happened in connection with this illness and this attack. When he was cured the men who had attacked him were discovered. And he was their advocate and maintained that they should not be punished. In this he had shown not only his ability to forgive, but his ability to make his own both the suffering and the sins of man. During his long illness the Mother of God appeared to him. He did not want to be treated. He asked for permission to pray. And one night the Mother of God appeared to him with several saints, St Peter and St John, and she said about him, `He is one of ours’. She touched him and he soon recovered.

ΟΡΑΜΑ-Άγιος Σεραφείμ Σάρωφ_St. Seraphim of Sarov_ Преподобный Серафим Саровский_4632347 years he spent in this endeavour, first in the monastery, then in the wood, and one day the Mother of God appeared to him and commanded him to go back. After these 47 years he was commanded to go back to the monastery. He lived there the life of a recluse in his cell, completely alone, silent, praying. Then the Mother of God commanded him to open his doors. And people began to come. For a while he did not speak to them. Later he began to receive his visitors and to speak to those for whom God had given him a message.

And this is the period of fulfillment of which I spoke in the beginning, A man who left the world, not because the world was repugnant, but because he had discovered at the heart of the world the divine presence, because he had been wounded with this desire to live the fulness of life. This man who had accepted 40 years of the hardest struggle now was in the midst of the people of God. People came and came. He healed, he blessed, he taught, he advised, he helped in all possible ways. Nothing was too small for him. One could say about him a phrase which I have heard, that only the Holy Spirit can see the significance of things too small for us to notice.

Before his death he come to church, prayed in the sanctuary, kissed all the icons, took farewell from the other monks, and then retired to prayer. He had said in the past that his death would be made manifest by a fire. Early in the morning his neighbour came out of his cell and smelt a fire in Father Seraphim’s. They broke in and they found him kneeling before the image of the Mother of God with his arms folded to his chest, his head bowed to the ground, and something was burning on which a candle had fallen.

I would like now, to conclude, to come back to the beginning. In him we see the life of a man who has gone all the way which we are called to go, a man who discovered God in the purity of his heart, but who knew and who had to conquer him by a long ruthless struggle, a man who never ceased to love his neighbours, who never turned away from them because they were sinners or unworthy of God, who knew how to respect and love them. We are told that so often when people came he received them kneeling – peasants came and he kissed their hands. He gave them his seat. He looked after them, because he had this vision of the dignity of man, the sanctity of man. And yet for a long time he struggled to become himself a man, i.e. all that a man is called to be, partaker of the divine nature, the dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit, a living revelation of Christ. In a very daring way, speaking of prayer, he says to someone: `We must pray for the Holy Spirit to come and dwell in us. But when He has come, don’t continue to pray “Come and abide in us” – that would mean that you doubt that the gift you have received is true. Let then the Holy Spirit pray and act in you.’

Σεραφείμ Σάρωφ_St. Seraphim of Sarov_Преподобный Серафим Саровский_Sf-Serafim-de-Sarov_icon_molitvi o usopshix2Before his death he said to someone, `My body is almost dead, and yet I feel in my soul as if I was just born now.’ Life, the life of God, united with the life of man. A true vision of a true man. And this is why so many people came, so many people saw him, and so many people felt they were in no need of speech. Centuries before that, an ascetic of the Egyptian desert who was asked to make a welcome speech for a visiting bishop said `I will say nothing.’ And when they insisted, he said to his brothers, `If this man cannot understand my silence, he can never understand my words.’

And the thousands who came to see him were in no need of words. His silence, the vision of this man, was enough. Isn’t this an inspiration for our times in a variety of ways? First of all, we are so passionately aware that the world which surrounds us is our world, that we do not want to turn away from it. We do not want to reject it. And indeed God so loved the world that he gave his Only-begotten Son for it. This St Seraphim also knew. But what he knew, what we forget easily, is that in order to bring into this world an action which is our vocation, an action which is God’s act through us, we must struggle without any mercy for ourselves, ruthlessly, joyfully, in order to become alive in a world which is not quite alive, to become a light in the twilight, to become warmth where there is cold. We see then Christ in action in his saints. I have had no time to speak of the outer events of his life, of his meetings, of the people he met, of the circumstances of healing and of conversions. What I wanted to show if I could, was this man and his way and his final return fulfilled both for the sake of himself and for the sake of others.

The grace of the Holy Spirit in spite of man’s fall into sin, nevertheless shines in our hearts with the divine light. Saint Seraphim of Sarov
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2018/02/20/the-grace-of-the-holy-spirit-in-spite-of-mans-fall-into-sin-nevertheless-shines-in-our-hearts-with-the-divine-light-saint-seraphim-of-sarov/
Saint Seraphim of Sarov, The Saint of heavenly Joy and of Peace.
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/saint-seraphim-of-sarov-the-saint-of-heavenly-joy-and-of-peace/
My joy, I beg you, acquire the Spirit of Peace. St. Seraphim of Sarov
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2017/07/18/my-joy-i-beg-you-acquire-the-spirit-of-peace-st-seraphim-of-sarov-2/
The prophetic letter of St. Seraphim for to St.Tsar Martyr Nicholas II of Russia
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2016/07/16/the-prophetic-letter-of-st-seraphim-for-to-st-tsar-martyr-nicholas-ii-of-russia/
The Kingdom of God awaits those who have patiently endured.St. Seraphim of Sarov
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/the-kingdom-of-god-awaits-those-who-have-patiently-endured-st-seraphim-of-sarov/
The prayer rule of St. Seraphim of Sarov
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2015/01/15/the-prayer-rule-of-st-seraphim-of-sarov/
Condescension towards your neighbor and silence protect spiritual peace.St. Seraphim of Sarov
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2014/07/18/condescension-towards-your-neighbor-and-silence-protect-spiritual-peace-st-seraphim-of-sarov/

Troparion of St. Seraphim of Sarov, Tone 4

Thou didst love Christ from thy youth, O blessed one, and longing to work for Him alone thou didst struggle in the wilderness with constant prayer and labor. With penitent heart and great love for Christ thou wast favored by the Mother of God. Wherefore we cry to thee: Save us by thy prayers, O Seraphim our righteous Father.

O great Saint of God, our venerable and God-bearing Father, Seraphim! Look down from the glory that is above, upon us who are humble and weak, burdened with our many sins, and ask thy help and consolation. Bend down to us in thy loving kindness, and help us to carry out God’s commandments without stain… Yea, O Saint of God, hearken unto us, who pray to thee in faith and love… For we place our hope in thee, O kind-hearted father: be thou indeed our guide to salvation, and bring us to the unwaning light of eternal life, by thy good intercession before the throne of the Most Holy Trinity, so that we may glorify and hymn with all the Saints, the name worthy of adoration, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, for ages of ages.

Metropolitan Anthony Bloom – St Seraphim Of Sarov

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Ο όσιος Σεραφείμ του Σάρωφ μελετούσε το Ευαγγέλιο προσευχόμενος και αξιώθηκε ασύλληπτων αρπαγών στις ουράνιες μονές

Σεραφείμ Σάρωφ_St. Seraphim of Sarov_ Преподобный Серафим Саровский_ΑΡΚΟΥΔΑ125151182_Σεραφειμ_

Άγιος Σεραφείμ του Σάρωφ

Εορτάζει στις 2 Ιανουαρίου και στις 19 Ιουλίου (ανακομιδή του αγίου λειψάνου του)

«Χαρά μου! Σε παρακαλώ, απόκτησε το πνεύμα της ειρήνης και τότε χιλιάδες ψυχές θα σωθούν γύρω σου.
Η Βασιλεία των Ουρανών είναι ειρήνη και χαρά εν Αγίω Πνεύματι.
Η ειρήνη της ψυχής διατηρείται με την αποφυγή της κατάκρισης και την σιωπή.
Εκείνος που περιφρονεί τον κόσμο είναι πάντοτε χαρούμενος».

Στην έρημο ο άνθρωπος μνηστεύεται το Θεό. Ξαναγυρίζει σ’αυτόν, αφού πρώτα έχει μετανοήσει και εξαγνισθη και, όπως ο Αδάμ στον παράδεισο, αισθάνεται τον κόσμο, με όλη του την ειρηνική ομορφιά, να είναι προορισμένος γι’αυτόν.

…Η ανάγνωση ήταν μια απ’ τις αγαπημένες ασχολίες του ανθρώπου αυτού της υπαίθρου.. Το Ευαγγέλιο – που το είχε πάντα μαζί του σ’ ένα σακκίδιο στην πλάτη του – τον συνόδευε παντού. Κάθε μέρα το διάβαζε και σχολίαζε για τον εαυτό του μερικά κεφάλαια. Ονόμαζε την ανάγνωση αυτή, που τη θεωρούσε ιδιαίτερα σημαντική, ‘’τροφοδοσία της ψυχής’’.

«Την ψυχή πρέπει να την εφοδιάζωμε με τον λόγο του Θεού, έλεγε αργότερα, διότι ο λόγος του Θεού είναι αγγελικός άρτος, με τον οποίο τρέφονται οι ψυχές πού πεινούν τον Θεό. Πάνω από όλα πρέπει να μελετά κανείς την Καινή Διαθήκη και τους Ψαλμούς. Από την ανάγνωση της Αγίας Γραφής φωτίζεται η διάνοια και υφίσταται θείαν αλλοίωση.  Θα πρέπει κανείς να μελετά τον λόγο του Θεού στην ησυχία, με προσοχή, έτσι ώστε ολόκληρος ο νους του, να βυθίζεται μέσα στις αλήθειες του Κυρίου και με τη καθοδήγηση του νόμου του να ρυθμίζει την ζωή του. Και ο ίδιος ο Κύριός μας προστάζει να διδασκόμαστε απ’ αυτές: «Ερευνάτε τας γραφάς, ότι υμείς δοκείται εν αυταίς ζωήν αιώνιον έχειν (Ιωάν. Ε’, 39)».

Και ο όσιος από την ακατάπαυστη εξάσκηση στην ανάγνωσι του λόγου του Θεού απόκτησε αυτό το χάρισμα της κατανοήσεως και παράλληλα την ειρήνη της ψυχής και το υψηλό χάρισμα της καρδιακής κατανύξεως. Στην Αγία Γραφή δεν ζητούσε μόνο την αλήθεια, αλλά και την θερμότητα του πνεύματος και συχνά, όταν διάβαζε τα ιερά βιβλία, έτρεχαν από τα μάτια του δάκρυα κατανύξεως. Από τα δάκρυα αυτά, όπως ομολογούσε ο ίδιος, θερμαίνεται ο άνθρωπος και αξιώνεται πνευματικών δωρεών, οι οποίες γλυκαίνουν τον νου και την καρδιά… Κατά καιρούς, προσευχόμενος βυθιζόταν στην παρατεταμένη θεωρία του Θεού. Στεκόταν ενώπιον της αγίας εικόνος και, χωρίς να λέγει καμμιά προσευχή ή να κάνη μετάνοιες, θεωρούσε νοερά τον Κύριο μέσα στην καρδιά του.

Άγιος Σεραφείμ Σάρωφ_St. Seraphim of Sarov_ Преподобный Серафим Саровский_Sf.-Serafim-de-Sarov_1395384423_flxypmomsntc9cuΚατά την διάρκεια της εβδομάδος, ο όσιος Σεραφείμ μελετούσε όλη την Καινή Διαθήκη με την εξής σειρά: Την Δευτέρα το κατά Ματθαίον Ευαγγέλιο, την Τρίτη το κατά Μάρκον, την Τετάρτη το κατά Λουκάν, την Πέμπτη το κατά Ιωάννην, τις υπόλοιπες ημέρες τις Πράξεις και τις επιστολές των αγίων Αποστόλων. Καμμιά φορά ακουγόταν από την πόρτα η φωνή του, καθώς, διαβάζοντας δυνατά, ερμήνευε στον εαυτό του το Ευαγγέλιο και τις Πράξεις των αγίων Αποστόλων· σ’ αυτό αφιέρωνε αρκετό χρόνο. Πολλοί έρχονταν και άκουαν τους λόγους του με ευχαρίστηση, εντρυφούσαν σ’ αυτούς, παρηγορούνταν και ωφελούνταν πνευματικά. Κάποτε σταματούσε να γυρίζει τα φύλλα του βιβλίου και βυθιζόταν ολόκληρος στην θεωρία των καθαρών, υψηλών νοημάτων του Αγίου Πνεύματος. Δεν κινούσε ούτε ένα μέλος του σώματος του· τα μάτια του ήταν ατενώς στραμμένα σ’ ένα αντικείμενο. Η ολοκληρωτική αυτή περισυλλογή του οσίου Σεραφείμ στις Ευαγγελικές αλήθειες δεν έμεινε χωρίς χάριν από τον Θεό. Η σπουδαιότερη μαρτυρία αυτού είναι το ότι αξιώθηκε ασύλληπτων αρπαγών στις ουράνιες μονές, όπως ο απόστολος Παύλος, ο άγιος Ανδρέας ο διά Χριστόν Σαλός και ο όσιος Βαρσανούφιος, οι οποίοι ηρπάγησαν έως τρίτου ουρανού.

Σχετικά μ’ ένα τέτοιο ακατανόητο στην ανθρώπινη λογική όραμα, ο δόκιμος Ιωάννης Τύχωνωφ (μετέπειτα ιερομόναχος Ιωάσαφ) διηγήθηκε τα εξής: «Κάποτε, όταν ο π. Σεραφείμ είχε τελειώσει την έγκλειστη πολιτεία του, με επισκέφθηκε ένας φιλόθεος αδελφός, με τον οποίο μοιραζόμουν συνήθως κάθε χαρά και κάθε παρήγορο λόγο, πού είχε πει ο π. Σεραφείμ. Ενώ συνομιλούσαμε, με ερώτησε ξαφνικά αν ο π. Σεραφείμ μου είχε αποκαλύψει το μέγα μυστήριο της αρπαγής του στα ουράνια σκηνώματα. Εγώ του απάντησα ότι τίποτε δεν άκουσα γι’ αυτό το μέγα έλεος του Θεού και άρχισα να τον παρακαλώ να μου πει όσο το δυνατόν περισσότερα σχετικά μ’ αυτό· εκείνος όμως, παρά την επιθυμία του δεν μπορούσε να μου πει τίποτε με σαφήνεια.

Αφού κατευόδωσα τον αδελφό, περίμενα με ανυπομονησία να βραδυαση, για να πάω στον π. Σεραφείμ και να τον παρακαλέσω να μου απαλύνει την ψυχή μιλώντας μου γι’ αυτό το μέγα έλεος του Θεού. Έτσι και έκανα μόλις βράδυασε. Αυτός με υποδέχθηκε σαν φιλότεκνος πατέρας και αμέσως κλείδωσε την πόρτα. Όταν καθήσαμε, και μόλις ήμουν έτοιμος να τον παρακαλέσω να μου διηγηθεί το μεγάλο μυστήριο, μου έκλεισε με το χέρι του το στόμα και είπε: «περιφράξου με σιωπή».

 Άγιος Σεραφείμ Σάρωφ_St. Seraphim of Sarov_ Преподобный Серафим Саровский_Sf.-Serafim-de-Sarov_serafim_sarovskiy-07Τότε άρχισε να μου εκθέτει με την χαρακτηριστική του απλότητα την ιστορία των Προφητών, των Αποστόλων, των αγίων Πατέρων και των Μαρτύρων. «Όλοι οι άγιοι, έλεγε, τους οποίους εορτάζει η εκκλησία του Χριστού, μας άφησαν την ζωή τους ως παράδειγμα προς μίμησιν όλοι ήσαν ομοιοπαθείς με μας άνθρωποι, αλλά, με την ακριβή εκπλήρωση των εντολών του Χριστού, πέτυχαν την τελείωση και την σωτηρία, έλαβαν χάρη, αξιώθηκαν ποικίλων δωρεών του Αγίου Πνεύματος και κληρονόμησαν την Βασιλεία των Ουρανών. Και ενώπιον της Ουρανίου Βασιλείας, όλη η δόξα αυτού του κόσμου είναι μηδέν. Όλες οι απολαύσεις του κόσμου αυτού δεν είναι ούτε σκιά αυτών πού έχουν ετοιμασθεί στις ουράνιες μονές για όσους αγαπούν τον Θεό· εκεί υπάρχει αιώνια χαρά και πανήγυρης. Αλλά για να ελευθερωθεί το πνεύμα μας, να υψωθεί εκεί και να τρέφεται με την γλυκύτατη συνομιλία με τον Κύριο, πρέπει να ταπεινωθούμε με την αγρυπνία, την προσευχή και την μνήμη του Κυρίου. Γι’ αυτό το λόγο εγώ, ο πτωχός Σεραφείμ, μελετώ το Ευαγγέλιο κάθε μέρα. Την Δευτέρα διαβάζω το κατά Ματθαίον Ευαγγέλιο από την αρχή μέχρι το τέλος· την Τρίτη το κατά Μάρκον· την Τετάρτη το κατά Λουκάν· την Πέμπτη το κατά Ιωάννην τις δε υπόλοιπες ημέρες τις Πράξεις και τις επιστολές των Αποστόλων· και ούτε μία ημέρα δεν παραλείπω να διαβάσω το Ευαγγέλιο και τον Απόστολο της ημέρας και του Αγίου. Με όλα αυτά όχι μόνον η ψυχή, αλλά και το σώμα μου τέρπεται και ζωογονείται· έτσι συνομιλώντας με τον Κύριο, μνημονεύοντας την ζωή και τα πάθη Του, δοξολογώντας Αυτόν ημέρα και νύκτα, αινώ και ευχαριστώ τον Λυτρωτή μου για όλα τα ελέη Του, τα οποία εξέχεε στο ανθρώπινο γένος και σε μένα τον ανάξιο».

Κατόπιν ο π. Σεραφείμ απευθύνθηκε πάλι σ’ έμενα: «Χαρά μου! Σε παρακαλώ, απόκτησε το πνεύμα της ειρήνης και τότε χιλιάδες ψυχές θα σωθούν γύρω σου».

…Μετά από μακρά σιωπή, η οποία κατά την γνώμη μου κράτησε περίπου μισή ώρα, ο π. Σεραφείμ άρχισε πάλι να ομιλή και στενάζοντας είπε με χαρά και κατάνυξη: «Αχ πολυαγαπημένε μου πάτερ Ιωάννη, αν γνώριζες τι χαρά και τι γλυκύτητα αναμένει στον ουρανό την ψυχή του δικαίου, τότε θα αποφάσιζες να υπομένεις με ευγνωμοσύνη, σ’ αυτή την πρόσκαιρη ζωή, όλα τα βάσανα, τους διωγμούς και τις συκοφαντίες• ακόμη και αν το ίδιο το κελλί μας ήταν γεμάτο σκουλήκια και αν ακόμα τα σκουλήκια κατάτρωγαν τις σάρκες μας κατά την διάρκεια όλης της επίγειας ζωής μας, και τότε, με όλη μας την καρδιά, έπρεπε να συγκατατεθούμε σ’ αυτό μόνο και μόνο για να μη στερηθούμε την ουράνια εκείνη χαρά την οποία ετοίμασε ο Θεός γι’ αυτούς πού τον αγαπούν. Εκεί δεν υπάρχει πόνος, ούτε λύπη, ούτε στεναγμός αλλά άρρητος γλυκασμός και χαρά• εκεί οι δίκαιοι θα λάμπουν όπως ο ήλιος. Αλλά όταν την ουράνια αυτή δόξα και χαρά δεν μπορούσε να την εκφράση ούτε αυτός ο άγιος Απόστολος Παύλος, τότε ποια άλλη ανθρώπινη γλώσσα θα μπόρεση να εκφράση την ομορφιά των ουρανίων σκηνωμάτων, τα οποία θα κατοικήσουν οι ψυχές των δικαίων;».

Πηγή: Αρχιμ. (Αγίου) Ιουστίνου Πόποβιτς «Οσίου Σεραφείμ του Σάρωφ, βίος», μετάφρασις από τα Σερβικά, Βασιλική Νικολακάκη, εκδόσεις «Το περιβόλι της Παναγίας», Θεσσαλονίκη, 1983.
Ειρήνης Γκοραίνωφ, Ο Άγιος Σεραφείμ του Σαρώφ. Εκδόσεις ”Τήνος,” Μετάφραση Π. Κ. Σκουτέρη

εικονες κελίου του Αγίου Σεραφείμ Σαρωφ- Σωτήρος, της Παναγίας και Ιωάννη του Βαπτιστή_три келейные иконы Преподобного Серафима — Спасителя, Богома0_1172080112 (1)

Άγιος Σεραφείμ του Σάρωφ, Ο άγιος της ουράνιας χαράς και της ειρήνης
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/%CE%AC%CE%B3%CE%B9%CE%BF%CF%82-%CF%83%CE%B5%CF%81%CE%B1%CF%86%CE%B5%CE%AF%CE%BC-%CF%84%CE%BF%CF%85-%CF%83%CE%AC%CF%81%CF%89%CF%86-%CE%BF-%CE%AC%CE%B3%CE%B9%CE%BF%CF%82-%CF%84%CE%B7%CF%82-%CF%87%CE%B1/

Κάθε ηγούμενος, ας μοιάσει με μια σοφή μητέρα. Άγιος Σεραφείμ του Σάρωφ
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2017/01/01/%CE%BA%CE%AC%CE%B8%CE%B5-%CE%B7%CE%B3%CE%BF%CF%8D%CE%BC%CE%B5%CE%BD%CE%BF%CF%82-%CE%B1%CF%82-%CE%BC%CE%BF%CE%B9%CE%AC%CF%83%CE%B5%CE%B9-%CE%BC%CE%B5-%CE%BC%CE%B9%CE%B1-%CF%83%CE%BF%CF%86%CE%AE-%CE%BC/

Απολυτίκιον Αγίου Σεραφείμ του Σαρώφ. Ήχος α΄.Της ερήμου πολίτης.

Αρετών συ δοχείον ανεδείχθης, θεόληπτε,και του Παρακλήτου η Χάρις,τη ψυχή σου ενώκησε· απλότητι τρόπων και στοργή, τα πλήθη προσήγες τω Θεώ, και της Χάριτος τους τρόπους, τοις αγνοούσι Πάτερ Σεραφείμ διεσάφησας.Δόξα τω σε δοξάσαντι Θεώ, δόξα τω σε χαριτώσαντι,δόξα τω δωρησαμένω σε ημίν,θείον διδάσκαλον.

Μεγαλυνάριoν.

Χαίροις της Ρωσίας γόνος λαμπρός, τέκνον της ερήμου, μοναζόντων υπογραμμός, Πνεύματος την κτήσιν, σκοπόν ζωής κηρύττων, ω Σεραφείμ του Σάρωφ, άνθος μυρίπνοον.

Δόξα. Ήχος δ ´.

Ασκητικήν ελόμενος ζωήν, πάντα τα σα εκ νεότητος, τω Σωτήρι ανέθου, Σεραφείμ θεόληπτε, και τον σταυρόν σου αράμενος, σεαυτόν εσταύρωσας, κόσμω και τοις πάθεσι, ζων υπέρ τα ορώμενα. Όθεν την χάριν του Πνεύματος, πλουσίως εδέξω, και της θείας ενεργείας, θεοκίνητον όργανον ώφθης, ένθεν πανταχού, η ση διαβεβόηται αρετή, η ση διαβεβόηται αρετή, και τοις προσιούσι, σωτηρίας λόγον παρετίθου, και νυν τοις απ’ αιώνος οσίοις συνών, και της θείας δόξης απολαύων, πρεύσβευε υπέρ των τιμώντων σε.


The innocent blood of the Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II and his much-suffering family that was shed will regenerate Russia and make it radiant with new glory! Saint John Maximovitch

Νικόλαος Β΄ Τσαρος της Ρωσίας_ Tsar Nicholas II of Russia_ святого страстотерпца Николай II_85a19c7ba4e43dde

St. Tsar Martyr Nicholas II of Russia And His Family, his wife Tsarina Alexandra, and their five children Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Grand Duke Tsarevich Alexei

Commemorated on July 17

Saints Grand Duchess Elizabeth, Nun-Martyr Barbara and the other New Martyrs of Alapayevsk

Commemorated on July 18

The Sin of Regicide (July 17).
Saint John Maximovitch

After The Death of Saul, who had fallen on his sword during a battle with the Philistines, an Amalekite ran to inform David, who at that time was being persecuted by Saul.
Supposing that David would be very glad at the news he brought, the messenger decided to pose as Saul’s killer, in order to increase the anticipated reward.
However, when David had heard the story made up by the Amalekite about how he, at the request of the wounded Saul, had slain him, he took hold of his garments and rent them, as did also all the people who were with him. They mourned and wept and fasted till evening. And David said to the young man that told him, Whence art thou? And he answered, I am the son of a stranger, an Amalekite. And David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed? And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died. And David said unto him, Thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the Lord’s anointed (II Kings [II Samuel in the Authorized Version] 1:1-16).
Thus the foreigner who posed as Saul’s killer was executed. He was subjected to a cruel punishment even though Saul was the persecutor of the innocent David and had done much evil, for which the Lord had departed from him.
From David’s words it is evident that he doubted the veracity of the Amalekite’s story and was not convinced that the man was indeed Saul’s murderer; nevertheless, he gave him over to death, considering that even calling oneself a regicide and boasting of such a deed was worthy of death.

Νικόλαος Β΄ Τσαρος της Ρωσίας_ Tsar Nicholas II of Russia_ святого страстотерпца Николай II_unnamed (16)How many times more grave and sinful was the murder of the Orthodox monarch anointed by God; how many times greater must the punishment be for the murderers of Tsar Nicholas II and his family?!
In contrast to Saul, who had turned away from God and because of this had been abandoned by Him, Tsar Nicholas II was an exemplar of piety and complete devotion to God’s will.
Having received not the Old Testament pouring of oil on the head, but the grace-filled “Seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit” in the Mystery of Chrismation, Emperor Nicholas II was faithful to his high calling till the end of his life and was conscious of his responsibility before God.
In his every action, Emperor Nicholas II took his conscience into account; he always “walked before the Lord God.” He was “Most Pious” during the days of his earthly well-being, not only in name, but in actual fact. In his time of trial, he displayed patience like that of righteous Job.
Against such a Tsar did criminals raise their hands, and at a time when he had already been purified, like gold in the furnace, by the trials he had endured, so that he was an innocent sufferer in the full sense of the word.
The crime against Tsar Nicholas II is all the more terrible and sinful in that his whole family was killed together with him, including the children, who were not guilty of anything!
Such crimes do not remain unpunished. They cry out to Heaven and bring God’s wrath down upon the earth.

If the foreigner — the supposed murderer of Saul — underwent death, now the whole Russian nation is suffering for the murder of the defenseless Tsar-Sufferer and his family, because it allowed such a terrible misdeed to take place and remained silent when the Tsar was subjected to humiliation and deprived of his freedom.

God’s justice requires of us a profound realization of the sinfulness of what was done, together with repentance before the Tsar-Martyr and his memory.

The memory of the innocent holy princes Boris and Gleb aroused the conscience of the Russian people during the disturbances which upset the appanage principalities, and it shamed the princes who had initiated the strife. The blood of the holy Great Prince Igor brought about a spiritual change in the souls of the Kievans and united Kiev and Chernigov in venerating the slain holy prince. Saint Andrew Bogoliubsky sanctified with his blood the monarchy of Rus’, which was confirmed only considerably later, after his death as a martyr. The veneration of Saint Michael of Tver throughout Russia healed the wounds caused by the struggle between Moscow and Tver. The glorification of the holy Tsarevich Dimitri cleared the consciousness of the Russian people, inspired moral strength and led, after severe shocks, to the rebirth of Russia.

The Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II and his much-suffering family have now entered into the choir of these Passion-bearers.

This greatest of crimes, committed with respect to him, must be expiated by fervent veneration of him and by the glorification of his struggle.

Rus’ must bow down before its humiliated, slandered and martyred Tsar, just as the Kievans once bowed down before the venerable Prince Igor whom they martyred, and just as the people of Vladimir and Suzdal bowed down before the slain Great Prince Andrew Bogoliubsky!

Then the Tsar-Passion-bearer will acquire boldness before God, and his prayer will deliver the Russian land from the calamities it is enduring.

Then the Tsar-Martyr and his fellow sufferers will become new heavenly defenders of Holy Rus’.

The innocent blood that was shed will regenerate Russia and make it radiant with new glory!

From the Sermons of Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco

Tropar-Dismissal Hymn of the Royal Martyrs. First Tone

Most noble and sublime was your life and death, O Sovereigns;* wise Nicholas and blest Alexandra, we praise you,* acclaiming your piety, meekness, faith, and humility,* whereby ye attained to crowns of glory in Christ our God,* with your five renowned and godly children of blest fame.* Martyrs decked in purple, intercede for us.

Tropar-Dismissal Hymn of the Martyrs Elizabeth and Barbara. Plagal of First Tone

Emulating the Lord’s self-abasement on the earth, * thou didst forsake royal mansions to serve the poor and disdained, * overflowing with compassion for the suffering. * And taking up a martyr’s cross, * thou in meekness didst perfect the Saviour’s image within thee, * Wherefore, with Barbara, entreat Him to save us all, O wise Elizabeth.

Kontakion of the Martyrs Elizabeth and Barbara. Third Tone

In the midst of worldliness, * thy mournful heart dwelt in Heaven; * in barbaric godlessness, * thy valiant soul was not troubled; * thou didst long to meet thy Bridegroom * as a confessor, * and He found thee worthy of thy martyric purpose. * O Elizabeth, with Barbara, * thy brave companion, * pray to thy Bridegroom for us.


Christ the King, Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh

Νικόλαος Β΄ Τσαρος της Ρωσίας_святого страстотерпца Николай II_Coronation of Tsar St. Nicholas II Romanov (Holy Communion)

St.Emperor Tsar Martyr Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra, Grand Duke Tsarevich Alexis, Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Marie, and Anastasia.

Commemorated on July 17

Christ the King
Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh

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

In one of his homilies St. John Chrysostom says that anyone endowed with power can rule, only a king can die for his people. And this we see so wonderfully and tragically manifested in God become Man in the Lord Jesus Christ. He himself says in the Gospel that the rulers of the earth subdue their people, rule over them with power but He calls us to be rulers of another kind, to give our lives to people so that they be able to follow the example given in freedom, liberated from fear and liberated by Him from sin and evil.

And yet, there is a condition to this. We so hopefully think that being Christ’s by name we can also participate in His glory, but there is a condition to it which is absolute. Do you remember how Christ on His way to the crucifixion spoke to His disciples on the way of Caesarea Philippi about His coming passion? He described it point by point, He tried to make the Apostles sense the horror of what was coming, and He, the Son of man, will die. And His last word however was that He would rise again. And the Apostles in a way that we find probably unthinkable, heard only the last words, the words that promised His victory and His glory, their freedom and their victory, and their glory as being His disciples and followers from the beginning. It is made so clear by James and John, and their mother coming up to Christ and saying, ‘When You come in Your Kingdom, let us sit on the right and left hand of Your throne, of Your glory.’ They had forgotten, they had not heard, not perceived what Christ had said about the cost to Him of this victory. All they heard was the future glory.

Aren’t we most of the time, not only from time to time but most of the time as deaf as the Apostles were, as blind, as unthinking? What the two Apostles John and James said was tantamount in saying, ‘Lord, to Thee the cross, but to us — the victory.’ But isn’t it our mentality far too often? Do we not assume that now that Christ has died and risen, we can forget about His crucifixion and think only of His enthronement on the right hand of glory? But when James and John came up to Him with their words of hope, what did Christ say? He said to them, ‘Are you prepared to drink My cup? Are you prepared to be baptised with My baptism?’ which from the Greek can be translated, ‘Are you prepared to be merged into ordeal that is to be Mine?’ These words Christ speaks to each of us.

It is not enough to think that Christ by His cross and passion, by the horror of an impossible death and His descent into hell has won for us freedom and victory and the hope of glory. If we are Christ’s, we must be prepared to drink His cup and be merged in His ordeal, in other words, to live on this earth on His terms. And His terms were the sacrificial love that made Him become Man and die on the Cross that we may live. This is the challenge of His kingship to us. Yes, He is King because a king gives his life for his people. We are His people indeed, but if it is true that we have been sent into the world as a vanguard of the Kingdom, to use the translation of a passage of the Epistle given by Moffat, if we are sent as a vanguard of the Kingdom, we must be prepared to conquer the world for Christ on the same terms as He, pay the same cost as He and not otherwise, not expect that the death was His and the victory is ours.

Νικόλαος Β΄ Τσαρος της Ρωσίας_ Tsar Nicholas II of Russia_ святого страстотерпца Николай II_LbY2CmaJllsWe are, if our baptism is true at all, not only formally, not as a ceremony but as an event of our life, we are, each of us singly and all of us together in our oneness and togetherness, we are an extension of the incarnate presence of Christ, the body of Christ as Paul and the Scripture call us. And if we are the body of Christ, we as a Church and in each of its members, are the body broken for the remission of sins of the world, we are the lamb of sacrifice, we are sent into the world to die for its salvation. First of all to die to ourselves, to renounce ourselves, to turn away from ourselves, to turn our gaze on God and then, because we will follow His gaze and follow in His footsteps, go back to men, to those who need Him, those who are lost. We are called to be like the Good Shepherd who seeks the lost sheep and brings it on his shoulders after a long search if necessary, at the cost of much travail and tiredness and danger indeed. And perhaps the Church as a whole is called to this, but according to the frailty, which is ours, each of us is not called to this. We are called like Christ to take our neighbour upon our shoulders and carry him as Christ carried His Cross, if necessary — to die upon this Cross, to die for the salvation of this neighbour of ours who in human terms is our enemy, our adversary, our persecutor, the one who is indifferent both to God and to us and indeed, to his own eternal destiny. It is only if we are prepared to take the world on Christ’s terms that we are Christ’s own people, not if we simply profess Christ as our God, as our King, as our Saviour.

This is the way in which we enter into communion with Him. But if we are in Christ and if Christ is in us, each of us must fulfill within the limits of his life, within the limitations of his capabilities what Christ has done — give our lives for others that they may be set free, renewed, that they may start into a new life. Then we will have done what characterises a king, we will have given our lives for those who are beloved of God to the point of His incarnation and death upon the Cross. If we are not prepared to respond to the words of Christ, ‘Are you prepared to drink My cup, are you prepared to be merged into My ordeal?’ we are not fulfilling the promises of our baptism because St. Paul in his Epistle to the Romans says that with Him through baptism we die His death and we rise with Him for life eternal. But our dying must not be only ceremonial and symbolical while we hope that life will be real. Our dying must be real, our offering of self, our learning to love one another, our neighbour, the lost, the persecutor, the enemy, to love him as Christ said, ‘No-one has greater love than he who gives his life for his neighbour. This is what the feast of Christ the King says to us. He is King because He has given His life. And if He is in us and we in Him, this is our vocation — give our lives. Amen.

http://www.mitras.ru/eng/eng_290.htm

The holy and righteous Saint John Maximovitch wrote in July, 1963: “Why was Tsar Nicholas II persecuted, slandered and killed? Because he was Tsar, Tsar by the Grace of God. He was the bearer and incarnation of the Orthodox world-view that the Tsar is the servant of God, the Anointed of God, and that to Him he must give an account for the people entrusted to him by destiny, for all his deeds and actions, not only those done personally, but also as Tsar.” St. John Maximovitch continues: “Thus did the Orthodox Russian people believe, thus has the Orthodox Church taught, and this did Tsar Nicholas acknowledge and sense. He was thoroughly penetrated by this awareness; he viewed his bearing of the Imperial crown as a service to God. He kept this in mind during all his important decisions, during all the responsible questions that arose. This is why he was so firm and unwavering in those questions about which he was convinced that such was the will of God; he stood firmly for that which seemed to him necessary for the good of the realm of which he was head.”Tsar Nicholas died as a martyr, with unshakable faith and patience, having drunk the cup of suffering to the dregs.

Tropar-Dismissal Hymn of the Royal Martyrs. First Tone

Most noble and sublime was your life and death, O Sovereigns;* wise Nicholas and blest Alexandra, we praise you,* acclaiming your piety, meekness, faith, and humility,* whereby ye attained to crowns of glory in Christ our God,* with your five renowned and godly children of blest fame.* Martyrs decked in purple, intercede for us.

Tropar-Dismissal Hymn of the Martyrs Elizabeth and Barbara. Plagal of First Tone

Emulating the Lord’s self-abasement on the earth, * thou didst forsake royal mansions to serve the poor and disdained, * overflowing with compassion for the suffering. * And taking up a martyr’s cross, * thou in meekness didst perfect the Saviour’s image within thee, * Wherefore, with Barbara, entreat Him to save us all, O wise Elizabeth.

Kontakion of the Martyrs Elizabeth and Barbara. Third Tone

In the midst of worldliness, * thy mournful heart dwelt in Heaven; * in barbaric godlessness, * thy valiant soul was not troubled; * thou didst long to meet thy Bridegroom * as a confessor, * and He found thee worthy of thy martyric purpose. * O Elizabeth, with Barbara, * thy brave companion, * pray to thy Bridegroom for us.


Ο Τσάρος Νικόλαος Βʹ ήταν μία ζώσα ενσάρκωσις της πίστεως στην Θεία Πρόνοια κι έγινε Μάρτυς, επειδή έμεινε πιστός στον Κύριο των κυρίων. Άγιος Ιωάννης Μαξίμοβιτς

Άγιος Τσάρος Νικόλαος Β’ της Ρωσίας και η οικογένεια του, η τσαρίνα Αλεξάνδρα, οι πριγκίπισσες Όλγα, Τατιάνα, Μαρία και Αναστασία και ο τσάρεβιτς Αλέξιος

Εορτάζουν στις 17 Ιουλίου

Αγία Οσιομάρτυς Ελισάβετ Μεγάλη Δούκισσα της Ρωσίας και η Οσιομάρτυς Βαρβάρα

Εορτάζουν στις 18 Ιουλίου

Νικόλαος Β΄ Τσαρος της Ρωσίας_ Tsar Nicholas II of Russia_ святого страстотерпца Николай II_0_a921_e8b3a169_L(2)_thumb[4]Τα πάντα εξεγέρθηκαν εναντίον του κατεξοχήν πράου, αγνού και άκρως στοργικού Τσάρου, σε τέτοιο βαθμό, ώστε εκείνη την τρομερή ώρα του αγώνα εναντίον του, παρέμεινε μόνος. Αισχρές συκοφαντίες διαδόθηκαν προκαταβολικά εναντίον του Τσάρου και της οικογένειάς του, ώστε ο λαός να επιδείξει αναίδεια στο πρόσωπό του. Ο Τσάρος Νικόλαος πέθανε ως Μάρτυρας, με ακλόνητη πίστη και υπομονή, έχοντας πιει το ποτήριο του πόνου μέχρι το κατακάθι.
Άγιος Ιωάννης Μαξίμοβιτς

«Γιατί εδίωξαν», ερωτά ο Άγιος Αρχιερεύς Ιωάννης Μαξίμοβιτς, «διέβαλαν και εφόνευσαν τον Τσάρο Νικόλαο Βʹ; Διότι ήταν Τσάρος, Τσάρος διά της Χάριτος του Θεού.

Ήταν ο φορεύς και η ενσάρκωσις της Ορθοδόξου απόψεως, ότι ο Τσάρος είναι δούλος του Θεού, ῾῾Χριστός Κυρίου᾿᾿, εις Αυτόν δε (τον Θεό) θα πρέπει να δώση λόγο (ο Τσάρος) για τον Λαό, τον οποίο του έχει εμπιστευθή (ο Θεός) και για όλες τις πράξεις του, όχι μόνον ως ατόμου, αλλά και ως Τσάρου.

Τοιουτοτρόπως επίστευε ο Ορθόδοξος Ρωσικός Λαός, ούτως εδίδασκε η Ορθόδοξος Εκκλησία και αυτή ήταν η γνώμη του Τσάρου Νικολάου. Και όταν ήταν αδύνατο εις αυτόν να εκτελέση κατά την συνείδησί του το καθήκον του ως Τσάρου, παρέδωσε το αυτοκρατορικό διάδημα, όπως ο Άγιος [Παθοφόρος] Πρίγκιψ Βόρις, διότι δεν ήθελε να γίνη αιτία διχασμού και αιματοχυσίας στην Ρωσία. Έδειξε με την πράξι αυτή μεγαλοψυχία ανάλογη με αυτήν του Δικαίου Ιώβ.
Αλλά παρέμεινε ακόμη επικίνδυνος για τους εχθρούς του, διότι ήταν ο φορεύς της συνειδητοποιήσεως, ότι η υψίστη εξουσία πρέπει να υπακούση στον Θεό και να ακολουθήση τις εντολές Του. Ήταν μία ζώσα ενσάρκωσις της πίστεως στην Θεία Πρόνοια, η οποία διευθύνει την τύχη των Εθνών και των λαών και οδηγεί τους πιστούς εξουσιαστάς προς καλές και χρήσιμες πράξεις.

Για τον λόγο αυτό (ο Τσάρος) ήταν αφόρητος στους εχθρούς της Πίστεως, ως και για όσους προσπαθούν να θέσουν την ανθρώπινη λογική και τις ανθρώπινες ικανότητες υπεράνω όλων.
Ο Τσάρος Νικόλαος Βʹ ήταν ένας δούλος του Θεού στην εσωτερική νοοτροπία (διάθεσι), στην πεποίθησί του, στις πράξεις του. Και έτσι ήταν ενώπιον των οφθαλμών ολοκλήρου του Ορθοδόξου Λαού.

Η μάχη εναντίον του συνδέεται στενά με την μάχη εναντίον του Θεού και της Πίστεως. Με μία λέξι, έγινε Μάρτυς, επειδή έμεινε πιστός στον Κύριο των κυρίων και εδέχθη τον θάνατο, όπως τον εδέχθησαν οι Μάρτυρες».

***

Ο σύγχρονός μας γενναίος και πολύπαθος Ρώσος Ιερεύς, ο π. Δημήτριος Ντούτκο ( 2005), με πολλή ζωηρότητα απολογείται υπέρ του Τσάρου Νικολάου.
‘’Ας διαβάσετε το βιβλίο του Ζιλλιάρντ : Ο Ζιλλιάρντ δεν είναι Ρωσικής καταγωγής και δεν ημπορούμε να τον υποψιαζώμεθα για μεροληψία. ᾿Εν τούτοις, αυτό που έγραψε, δεν είναι τίποτε άλλο παρά Βίος Αγίου και στο βιβλίο αυτό δεν υπάρχει τίποτε φαν-ταστικό. Γνωρίζω πρόσωπα, τα οποία είχαν μεροληπτική γνώμη για τον Τσάρο και όταν εδιάβασαν αυτό το βιβλίο, απέκτησαν στο πρόσωπό του την ευλάβεια ως προς έναν Άγιο.

Όσον αφορά εμένα, δεν ημπορώ να έχω αυτόν διαφορετικά. Για μένα είναι Άγιος, ακόμη και ένας πολύ μεγάλος Άγιος. Διαβάζοντας το βιβλίο του Ζιλλιάρντ, σκεφθήτε τον τρόπο που προσευχόταν και κάνετε μία συγκρισι με τον τρόπο που εμείς προσευχόμεθα. Σκεφθήτε πως παρέθεσε τον εαυτό του και όλους τους ιδικούς του στο θέλημα του Θεού. Σκεφθήτε την ευεργετική επίδρασι που είχε στους φύλακές του, ώστε έπρεπε να τους αλλάζουν συχνά. Σκεφθήτε όσα υπέφερε όταν είχε απογυμνωθή από όλα. Ο πρώτος εγίνετο ο έσχατος. Σκεφθήτε πόσο υπέφερε όταν έβλεπε τα όπλα να στρέφωνται εναντίον του. Η θλίψις του θα ήταν μικρότερη αν ήταν μόνος, αλλ᾿ είχε στο πλάι του την σύζυγό του, τον ασθενή Διάδοχο, τις θυγατέρες του, τους υπηρέτες του, ναι, και όλο τον Ρωσικό λαό. Τα όπλα των τσεκιστών (σ.σ. των κρατικών οργάνων της τρομοκρατίας) ήσαν εστραμμένα εναντίον όλου του Ρωσικού λαού και όχι μονο εναντίον του. Νομίζω ότι την στιγμή εκείνη ανησυχούσε για όλο τον Ρωσικό λαό, ίσως για όλο τον κόσμο, διότι τα όπλα των αθέων απειλούν τώρα όλον τον κόσμο.

Μετά από όλα αυτά, να διστάση κανείς να τον αποκαλέση Άγιο; ῾῾Μέγιστε Ρώσε Άγιε, Μεγαλομάρτυς Νικόλαε, πρέσβευε τω Θεώ υπέρ ημων!᾿᾿.

Δεν εντρέπομαι καθόλου να προφέρω αυτά τα λόγια. Μου λέγουν, ότι όσοι τον επικαλούνται στις προσευχές τους εισακούονται.(Οι αθεισταί) θέλουν να με κατακρίνουν, διότι δεν ημπορώ να λησμονήσω, ότι επυροβόλησαν τον Ρώσο Τσάρο μαζί με τα παιδιά και την σύζυγό του. Δεν ημπορούν να μου συγχωρήσουν το ότι προσεύχομαι γι᾿Αυτόν. Αλλα τώρα δεν προσεύχομαι μόνο γι᾿ Αυτόν, αλλά τον επικαλούμαι, για να προσευχηθή για μένα.

Ω μεγάλε Αγιε της Ρωσικής χώρας, Μεγαλομάρτυς Νικόλαε, μαζί με την πολυπαθή Οικογένειά σου, πρεσβευε τω Θεώ υπέρ ημών!».

Ο Ελβετός Πέτρος Ζιλλιάρντ διετέλεσε από το 1905 προσωπικος διδάσκαλος της Γαλλικής γλώσσης των Μεγάλων Δουκισσών και ύστερα του Διαδόχου Αλεξίου. Εζησε με την Βασιλική οικογένεια μέχρι της τελευταίας εξορίας της στο Τομπόλσκ.
Ο Ζιλλιάρντ έγραψε ένα θαυμάσιο βιβλίο, κατά το έτος 1921, με τίτλο: «Δεκατρία έτη εις την Ρωσικήν Αυλήν», και με υπότιτλο: «Μία προσωπική διήγησις των τελευταίων ετών και του θανάτου του Τσάρου Νικολάου Βʹ και της οικογενείας Του».

Απολυτίκιον αγίων Βασιλομαρτυρων Ρουμάνοφ
Ήχος γ’ Θείας πίστεως

Θείω στέμματι καταστεφθέντες και Βασίλειον ευρόντες χάριν, αρεταίς θεοπρεπώς διελάμψατε, ου την επίγειον δόξαν ποθήσαντες αλλά του Πνεύματος κάλλος το άφθορον όθεν, άγιοι Ρομάνοφ βασιλομάρτυρες, πρεσβεύσατε σωθήναι τας ψυχάς ημών.

Απολυτίκιον. ῏Ηχος γ’. Την ωραιότητα.
Δόξαν επίγειον σοφώς απέρριψας, των μονοτρόπων δε σχήμα επέλεξας, οσιομάρτυς του Χριστού, πανεύφημε ᾽Ελισάβετ· η θερμή αγάπη σου, προς τους πάσχοντας ένδοξε, άγγελον ελέους σε, επί γης εφανέρωσεν· το αίμά σου δε μάρτυς Κυρίου, τον πλούτον της καρδίας σου εσφράγισεν.

Ηχος πλ. α’. Χαίροις ασκητικών.

Όντως, ειρήνης θείος λιμήν, η ση καρδία εναπέφηνεν ένδοξε· τοις κλύδωσι γαρ του βίου, ουκ εταράχθη ποσώς, η εν τω Θεώ προσκαρτερία σου· οξύτονα πάντα δε, βέλη θλίψεων έφυγες, παραδιδούσα, του Θεού τω βουλήματι, πάσαν μέριμναν της ζωής σου πανεύφημε, όλη καρδία χαίρουσα, χαρά τη του Πνεύματος, επί τοις πόνοις σου πάσι, δι῾ ων τυχείν πόθω ήλπιζες, Χριστού Βασιλείας, ᾽Ελισάβετ νεομάρτυς, αειμακάριστε.

Στιχηρά ιδιόμελα.
Ήχος α’.

Τον πολύτιμον εύρες και νοητόν μαργαρίτην, τον εν τη καρδία σου κεκρυμμένον, Χριστόν τον Θεόν, ος όντως εστίν η Βασιλεία η αιώνιος· όθεν βασιλείαν επί της γης ως ουδέν ελογίσω, την δε πτωχείαν του πνεύματος σωφρόνως προείλου· διό και απείληφας άφθαρτον ουράνιον θησαυρόν, την αιώνιον προς πρόσωπον θεωρίαν του γλυκυτάτου Ιησού· αυτόν νυν ικέτευε, Ελισάβετ οσιομάρτυς, ίνα και ημείς οι εν τη μαρασμώδει γη των παθών αυτοεξορισθέντες, αξιωθώμεν και πάλιν οικήτορες γενέσθαι της ανθηράς Βασιλείας των ουρανών.


Saint Marina Great Martyr, of Antioch in Pisidia by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Saint Marina Great Martyr, of Antioch in Pisidia

Commemorated on July 17

by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Μαρίνα_Marina of Antioch in Pisidia_св Марина Антиохийская_წმიდა დიდმოწამე მარინე_andros (2)Marina was born in Pisidian, Antioch of pagan parents. At the age of twelve Marina learned about the Lord Jesus Christ; how He became incarnate of the All-Pure Virgin, how He worked many miracles, how He suffered death on the Cross and gloriously resurrected. Her young heart became inflamed with love for the Lord and she vowed that she would never marry and further desired in her soul to suffer for Christ and to be baptized in the blood of martyrdom. Her father hated her because of her faith and did not consider her as his daughter. The imperial deputy Olymbrius, learning from Marina that she was a Christian, first wished that she would become his wife. When Marina rejected that he ordered her to bow down before the idols and to that St. Marina replied: “I will not bow down nor offer sacrifice to the breathless and dead idols who do not recognize themselves nor do they know that we honor or dishonor them. I will not give them that honor which belongs only to my Creator.” Then Olymbrius subjected Marina to harsh torture and threw her into prison completely covered with wounds and blood. While in prison Marina prayed to God and, after prayer, the devil appeared to her under the guise of a horrible serpent which entwined itself around her head. When she made the sign of the cross the serpent burst and vanished. Then she was engulfed with a heavenly light and it seemed to her that the walls of the prison vanished together with the roof and a radiant and towering cross appeared and atop the cross a white dove, from which a voice came saying: “Rejoice Marina, rational [discerning] dove of Christ, daughter of Zion in the highest, for your day of rejoicing has arrived.” Marina was healed from all her wounds and pains by the power of God. The demented judge tortured her the following day, both in fire and in water, but Marina endured all as though she were in another body. Finally he condemned her to be beheaded. Before her death the Lord Jesus appeared to her with angels. She was beheaded during the reign of Diocletian but in soul and power she remained alive in the heavens and on earth. A hand of St. Marina reposes in the Monastery of Vatopedi on Mt. Athos. However, atop Mt. Langa in Albania overlooking Lake Ohrid, there is a monastery dedicated to St. Marina with a portion of her miraculous relics. Countless miracles have occurred and still occur in this monastery, whose witnesses are not only Christians but many Muslims as well. So much did the Turks have respect for this holy place that they never dared disturb either this holy place or the property of this monastery. At one time a Turk was the guardian of the monastery.

The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič for Old Calendar date July 17, and New Calendar date July 30.
http://livingorthodoxfaith.blogspot.gr/2010/04/prologue-july-17-july-30.html

Troparion St. Marina Great Martyr, of Antioch in Pisidia (Tone 4) –

Your lamb Marina calls out to You, O Jesus, in a loud voice:
“I love You, my Bridegroom, and in seeking You I endure suffering.
In baptism I was crucified so that I might reign in You,
and I died so that I might live with You.
Accept me as a pure sacrifice,
for I have offered myself in love.”
Through her prayers save our souls, since You are merciful.

The Miracles of St. Marina in Andros, Greece

Μαρίνα_Marina of Antioch in Pisidia_св Марина Антиохийская_წმიდა დიდმოწამე მარინე_μαρινα αντιοχIn October of 2000, a family from Limasol, Cyprus, named Vassiliou received the following miracle.
In Greece they are well known from the televised requests they made in order to find a donor for their young boy Andrea, who suffered from leukemia. The donor was indeed found and the parents began preparing for their trip to Houston, Texas in the U.S.A where the bone marrow transplant was going to be performed. Meanwhile, they also prayed and begged Jesus Christ to save their boy.

Before they left for the U.S.A the parents heard of St. Marina’s miracles and they called the monastery of St. Marina located on the island of Andros in Greece to ask for her blessing. The Elder of the monastery, Archimandrite Fr. Cyprianos, promised that he would pray to St. Marina. He also wished the parents for St. Marina to be with Andrea in the operating room, to help him. With Elder Cyprianos’ blessing and with strong faith that St. Marina would help indeed, the Vassiliou family went to the U.S.A.

After the necessary pre-operation tests that Andrea had to undergo, he was taken to the operating room. A short time before the operation was to begin, a woman came to see the surgeon who would be operating on Andrea. She said that she was Andrea’s doctor and asked to be allowed to observe the operation. The conversation that ensued proved that the woman was indeed a doctor. However, the surgeon replied that ‘outside’ doctors were not permitted to be present in the operating room and that his medical teams’ policy was that no doctor other than those on the team be involved in such delicate operations. The persistence of the woman however, convinced the surgeon to allow her in the operating room. But before, he asked her to leave her coordinates [presumably, credentials] at the administration desk. The unknown doctor did as told and then entered the operating room with the surgeon. During the operation, she gave several directions regarding the progress of the procedure. The operation went well and in the end the surgeon thanked the woman and exited the operating room.

Andrea’s parents immediately went to inquire about the outcome of the surgery and the surgeon replied that all had gone very well, adding that he could not understand why they had brought Andrea to him when they had such a fine doctor. The parents were surprised and responded that they had not brought any doctor with them. The surgeon insisted, however. He also told them that when he came out of the operating room Andrea’s doctor had remained there for a little longer with the rest of the operating team and therefore, she would probably still be around. He recommended that they look for her. The search, however, proved pointless, as the “woman doctor” was nowhere around. The Vassiliou couple then concluded that it must have been a doctor from Greece or Cyprus who had decided to travel to the U.S.A and contribute to the delicate operation. They expressed the wish to know who she was so that they may be able to thank her, and at the surgeon’s recommendation they then went to the administration desk to ask for her coordinates.

It was with utter surprise that they read that the unknown woman had signed with the name “Marina from Andros”. Tears of gratefulness and joy filled their eyes as they recalled that the Elder at the monastery had said to them that he wished Andrea to have St. Marina in the operating room to help him. Andrea’s parents shared with the media their joy both for the successful operation and Andrea’s recovered health and for the miracle they received. The Vassiliou family made the vow that the entire family will be present at the saint’s monastery every year on the saint’s feast day (July 17) and Elder Cyprianos reports that the family has been making the annual trip from Limassol to Andros every summer to thank Saint Marina for saving Andrea.

Miracles performed by the Saints have never ceased to take place in the Orthodox Church. With these miracles, may our Lord Jesus Christ help us build our faith.


Η Αγία Μαρίνα υπέγραψε στο βιβλίο ιατρών Αμερικανικού Νοσοκομείου ώς Marina from Andros ! Πίστη και προσευχή!

Μαρίνας στην Άνδροagia-marina-andros-8

Αγία Μαρίνα η Μεγαλομάρτυς († γ΄αι.)

Εορτάζει στις 17 Ιουλίου

Στίχοι
Χείρ δημίου τέμνει σε Μαρίνα ξίφει,
Χείρ Κυρίου χάριτι θεία δε στέφει.
Εβδομάτη δεκάτη Μαρίνα δειροτομήθη.

ΜΑΡΙΝΑ η Μεγαλομάρτυς - SAINT MARINA the Great Martyrmarina12Η οικογένεια του Βάσου Βασιλείου από την Λεμεσό της Κύπρου βρέθηκε σε πολύ δεινή θέση όταν έμαθε ότι ο αγαπημένος τους γιος Ανδρέας είχε βαριά μορφή λευχαιμίας η οποία δεν μπορούσε να θεραπευτεί εύκολα (Έτος 2000). Χρειαζόταν ειδικό μόσχευμα από δότη ο οποίος έπρεπε να ήταν συμβατός με το γιο τους. Το μόσχευμα βρέθηκε και γρήγορα το παιδί ήταν στα χέρια κορυφαίων επιστημόνων στην Αμερική, προκειμένου να γίνει η πολύ λεπτή και σοβαρή χειρουργική επέμβαση. Πριν πάνε στην Αμερική η οικογένεια τηλεφώνησε στον ηγούμενο της Ιεράς Μονής Αγίας Μαρίνας της Άνδρου στον π. Κυπριανό προκειμένου να ζητήσουν να προσευχηθεί για τον Ανδρέα τους. Εντελώς αυθόρμητα ο ηγούμενος π. Κυπριανός είπε ότι θα προσευχηθεί στην Αγία και τους τόνισε να μην ανησυχούν, αφού στο χειρουργείο θα ήταν η Αγία Μαρίνα η ίδια!!!

Λίγο πριν αρχίσει η χειρουργική επέμβαση στο νοσοκομείο MD ANDERSON του HUSTON (Χιούστον του Τέξας στις ΗΠΑ) μια γυναίκα παρουσιάστηκε στον επικεφαλής κορυφαίο Αμερικανό γιατρό KA GOUA TSAN (Κινεζικής καταγωγής) και του συστήθηκε ως η προσωπική γιατρός του μικρού Ανδρέα και μάλιστα ζήτησε να παρακολουθήσει την εγχείρηση με μεγάλη επιμονή. Εκείνος πάντως της είπε πως δεν επιτρέπεται να βρίσκεται στο χειρουργείο ξένος ιατρός και πως αποτελούσε πρακτική της ιατρικής του ομάδας να μην μετέχουν άλλοι στις λεπτές αυτές εγχειρήσεις.

Η επιμονή όμως της γυναίκας έκαμψε την αρχική αδιαλλαξία του χειρούργου.

Της ζήτησε να αφήσει τα στοιχεία της στη γραμματεία και να εισέλθει στη συνέχεια στο χειρουργείο μαζί του.

Έτσι και έγινε.

Η άγνωστη ιατρός εισήλθε στο χειρουργείο και όχι απλώς παρακολουθούσε αλλά συμμετείχε ενεργά στην εγχείρηση του μικρού Ανδρέα.

Οι γνώσεις της γυναίκας γύρω από την ιατρική φαινόταν πολύ υψηλές και παραδόξως η ομάδα δέχτηκε την γιατρό από την Ελλάδα αν και αποτελεί μόνιμη τακτική του νοσοκομείου να μην μετέχουν άλλοι γιατροί σε τόσες λεπτές εγχειρήσεις. Κατά παράδοξο τρόπο κανείς δεν ζήτησε άλλα εχέγγυα, την παρακάλεσαν μόνο να δηλώσει τα στοιχεία ταυτότητός της στην είσοδο του χειρουργείου. Κατά την διάρκεια της εγχείρησης η ”Ελληνίδα γιατρός” όχι μόνο παρακολουθούσε αλλά μετείχε ενεργά στην εγχείρηση του μικρού. Μάλιστα με επιστημονικό τρόπο εξήγησε στην ιατρική ομάδα πως έπρεπε να προχωρήσει η επέμβαση, προτείνοντας μάλιστα κάτι ριζοσπαστικό όπως τη χρήση αρχέγονων εμβρυακών κυττάρων από τον ομφαλό. Η εγχείρηση χάρις στις  υποδείξεις πήγε πολύ καλά. Η ”Ελληνίδα γιατρός” παρέμεινε λίγη ώρα στο χειρουργείο και μετά ξαφνικά αποχώρησε χωρίς να καταλάβει κανείς το πως.

Οι Αμερικανοί γιατροί ενθουσιασμένοι από τις υποδείξεις της μυστηριώδους γυναίκας μετά το τέλος της εγχείρησης θέλησαν να την γνωρίσουν πήγαν στην οικογένεια Βασιλείου και τους είπαν ότι ήταν κεφαλαιώδους σημασίας γι’ αυτούς να γνωρίσουν την ”κορυφαία γιατρό που είχαν φέρει από την Ελλάδα ή την Κύπρο”. Και πρόσθεσε ο επικεφαλής γιατρός: «Δεν μπορώ όμως να καταλάβω, πώς είχατε μια τέτοια γιατρό για το παιδί σας και ήλθατε σε μένα;».
Οι γονείς έκπληκτοι δήλωσαν ότι δεν είχαν φέρει καμία γιατρό μαζί τους.

Το νοσοκομείο έγινε άνω – κάτω για να βρεθεί η ξένη γιατρός. Αιτία οι λόγοι ασφαλείας που δεν επιτρέπουν την είσοδο αγνώστων σε τόσο σοβαρά χειρουργεία. Επειδή εκείνη είχε εξαφανιστεί απευθύνθηκαν στη γραμματεία του χειρουργείου προκειμένου να βρουν τα στοιχεία της.

Έκπληκτοι διαπίστωσαν ότι η άγνωστη γυναίκα γιατρός είχε υπογράψει με το όνομα: Marina from Andros (Μαρίνα από την Άνδρο) !!!

Οι γονείς αναλύθηκαν σε δάκρυα ενώ οι γιατροί έμειναν άναυδοι για πολλή ώρα συνειδητοποιώντας ότι η συνχειρουργός τους ήταν μια γυναίκα με σάρκα και οστά αλλά από το παρελθόν. Μια Ορθόδοξη Αγία που είχε πεθάνει (με μαρτυρικό θάνατο για την πίστη του Χριστού) πριν πολλούς αιώνες (το έτος 270 μ.Χ.). Θυμήθηκαν αυτό που τους είχε πει ο Γέροντας της Μονής: “Πηγαίνετε στην Αμερική και εύχομαι η Αγία Μαρίνα να είναι μέσα στο χειρουργείο”.

Το γεγονός γιορτάζεται δεόντως στο μοναστήρι της Αγίας Μαρίνας στην Άνδρο.

Όπου υπάρχει πίστη και προσευχή ο Θεός που είναι ο στοργικός Πατέρας μας επιτελεί ένδοξα και εξαίσια θαύματα και σημεία δια μέσου των Αγίων Του προς σωτηρία του κόσμου και ωφέλεια των ψυχών.

Ο Γέροντας Ευμένιος Σαριδάκης είδε την Αγία Μαρίνα

Μαρίνα_Marina of Antioch in Pisidia_св Марина Антиохийская_წმიდა დიდმოწამე მარინე_μαρινα αντιοχΚάποια φορά, ο Γέροντας Ευμένιος Σαριδάκης σαν νέος μοναχός αναγκάσθηκε να παραμείνη στο πατρικό του σπίτι, και είδε από το εικονοστάσι να βγαίνει η Αγία Μαρίνα από την εικόνα της, κρατώντας τον πειρασμό από τα κέρατα και δείχνοντάς του τον, του είπε: «Αυτός σας βάζει τους λογισμούς, να μην ακούτε τον Γέροντα και να νυστάζετε στις Ακολουθίες».

Ο άγιος Γέροντας Ιάκωβος Τσαλίκης της Ευβοίας έλεγε: «Έχετε πίστιν Θεού. Αιτείτε και δοθήσεται υμίν. Αυτή η πίστη με βοηθάει και με σώζει 70 χρόνια. Δεν πρέπει παιδιά μου να έχει κανείς αμφιβολίες ούτε δυσπιστίες. Να έχετε πίστη Θεού ως κόκκον σινάπεως και ότι ζητήσετε ο Θεός θα σας το δώσει. Πάντα η προσευχή στηρίζει. Να μη δειλιώμε, να μη φοβόμαστε. Ει ο Θεός μεθ’ ημών, ουδείς καθ’ημών. Πίστη και προσευχή!
Καμμιά προσευχή, παιδιά μου, δεν πάει χαμένη. Κι εμένα αυτή η προσευχή με κράτησε τόσα χρόνια. Όταν πηγαίνουμε στο γιατρό να μας θεραπεύσει, δεν του λέμε εμείς τι να κάνει. Εκείνος ξέρει τη δουλειά του. Εμείς απλώς του λέμε ότι πονάμε και σε ποιο μέρος υποφέρουμε. Η αλήθεια μας δίνεται όταν τη ζητήσουμε ταπεινά, όπως ζητούμε την υγεία μας από τον γιατρό. Δεν μπορούμε να διατάξουμε την αλήθεια, αλλά να παρακαλέσουμε να μας δοθεί, να μας αποκαλυφθεί. Γιατί η αλήθεια είναι ο Θεός, που δεν μπορούμε να τον διατάξουμε, αλλά μόνον να τον παρακαλέσουμε και να τον αγαπήσουμε. Ο γιατρός ξέρει τι θέλεις, όταν τον επισκέπτεσαι. Εσύ το μόνο, που μπορείς να πεις είναι ότι πονάς και σε ποιο σημείο νιώθεις τον πόνο σου. Τα υπόλοιπα είναι δική του δουλειά. Γι’ αυτό και οι Άγιοι Πατέρες μας συμβουλεύουν να προσευχόμαστε σαν τα μικρά παιδιά, που κλαίνε όταν πονούνε. Και δείχνουνε το μέρος όπου πονάνε.».

Απολυτίκιον της Αγίας Μαρίνας
Ήχος δ’ Κατεπλάγη Ιωσήφ

Η αμνάς σου Ιησού, κράζει μεγάλη τη φωνή· Σε Νυμφίε μου ποθώ, και σε ζητούσα αθλώ, και συσταυρούμαι και συνθάπτομαι τω βαπτισμώ σου· και πάσχω διά σε, ως βασιλεύσω συν σοι, και θνήσκω υπέρ σού, ίνα και ζήσω εν σοι, αλλ’ ως θυσίαν άμωμον, προσδέχου την μετά πόθου τυθείσάν σοι· Αυτής πρεσβείαις, ως ελεήμων, σώσον τας ψυχάς ημών.

Έτερον Ήχος πλ. α’. Τον συνάναρχον Λόγον.

Μνηστευθείσα τω Λόγω Μαρίνα ένδοξε, των επιγείων την σχέσιν πάσαν κατέλιπες, και ενήθλησας λαμπρώς ως καλλιπάρθενος• τον γαρ αόρατον εχθρόν κατεπάτησας στερρώς οφθέντα σοι Αθληφόρε. Και νυν πηγάζεις τω κόσμω των ιαμάτων τα δωρήματα.

Μεγαλυνάριον
Την λαμπάδα πάντες την φαεινήν, και της παρθενίας τον ασύλητον θησαυρόν, την νύμφην Κυρίου, και άσπιλον αμνάδα, Μαρίναν την αγίαν, ύμνοις τιμήσωμεν.

Ο Οίκος
Τω νυμφίω Χριστώ, έρωτι της καρδίας σου από βρέφους σεμνή πυρποληθείσα, έδραμες, δορκάς ως διψώσα πηγαίς αειρύτοις, Παρθενομάρτυς, και τη αθλήσει σεαυτήν συντηρήσασα, εν τω αφθάρτω όντως του Κτίστου σου, νύμφη ευκλεής, θαλάμω έφθασας εστολισμένη, πεποικιλμένη, στεφανηφόρος, νικητής λαμπαδηφόρος, ευθαλής, αφθάρτου νυμφώνος τυχούσα, και δεξαμένη ως χρυσίον, βραβεία νίκης της σης αθλήσεως.

Κανών γ’, Ωδή θ’, της Αγίας Μεγαλομάρτυρος
Ήχος δ’ Λίθος αχειρότμητος

Ήνθησας κοιλάσιν ως κρίνον, ταις των μαρτύρων Αθληφόρε, ω μάρτυς Μαρίνα ως ρόδον, την παρθενίαν εύοσμον φέρουσα, και τω τερπνώ νυμφίω σου, θείον οσφράδιον γεγένησαι.