Together with Saint Seraphim of Sarov, I send you the sweetest greeting:
“‘Christ is risen, my joy.’
Χριστός ανέστη! Αληθώς ανέστη!
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
ХристосВоскрес! Воистину Воскрес!
Kristus (ir) augšāmcēlies! Patiesi viņš ir augšāmcēlies!
Le Christ est ressuscité! Vraiment Il est ressuscité!
Hristos a înviat! Adevărat a înviat!
Cristo ha resucitado! Verdaderamente, ha resucitado!
Kristos (İsa) dirildi! Gerçekten dirildi!
Christos E Anviat! Adeverat Anviat!
Al-Masih-Qam! Hakkan Qam!
«Rejoice!». «Peace be unto you!»
All Saints of Sinai
Commemorated on Wednesday of Bright Week
Saint Isidora, the Fool for Christ of Tabennesi
Commemorated on May 1
About humility as a precursor of glory [honor]
St. Nikolai Velimirovic Bishop of Ochrid
“…And humility goes before honors [glory]” (Proverbs 15:33).
Here, the word is about true glory and not false glory; about glory that is eternal and not about glory that dies. Glory that is of man is glory that dies, and glory that is of God is eternal. Those whom men glorified are not glorified and those whom God glorifies are glorified. Our Lord said to the Jewish scribes: “How can you believe who receive glory [honor] from one another and do not seek the glory [honor] which is from the only God?” (St. John 5:44). See how our Lord makes a distinction between the glory from men and the glory from God. And about Himself, He said: “I do not receive glory from men” (St John 5:41).
He who seeks glory from men travels the path of pride and he who seeks glory from God travels the path of humility. No one is glorified by God without humility. The saints of God were the most humble servants of God. The Most Holy Birth-giver of God [Theotokos] was adorned with overwhelming humility. To her great humility, she ascribed her being chosen as the Mother of God: “Because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid” (St. Luke 1:48). But the humblest of the most humble, our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, was the founder of asceticism. During His earthly life, humility always preceded glory.
Brethren, it must also be that way in our life if we desire true glory. For if humility does not precede glory, glory will never come.
O Lord Jesus, Model and Teacher of humility, our only glory and the Glorifier of all the humble and meek, inspire us with Your inexpressible humility.
To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.
Saint Isidora, the Fool for Christ
by St. Nikolai Velimirovic Bishop of Ochrid
Isidora lived in the fourth century and was a nun in a convent in Tabennisi. She pretended insanity in order to conceal her virtues and her mortification. Isidora performed the most menial tasks, fed on the leftovers on the dishes, served all and everyone and was despised by all and everyone. At that time, an angel of God revealed to the great ascetic Pitirim about Isidora’s secret. Pitirim came to the convent and when he saw Isidora he bowed down to the ground before her. And so, she to him. Then the sisters informed Pitirim that she was insane. “All of you are insane” replied Pitirim, “and this one is greater before the Lord than I and all of you; I only pray that God will render to me that which is intended for her at the Dreadful Judgment!” Then the sisters became ashamed and begged both Pitirim and Isidora for forgiveness. From then on, everyone began to show respect for Isidora. And she, to escape the honors of men, fled the convent to a place unknown and died about the year 365 A.D.
St. Isidora the Fool of Tabenna, Troparion in Tone VIII —
In thee, O mother, that which was created according to the image of God was manifestly saved; for, taking up thy cross, thou didst follow after Christ; and, praying, thou didst learn to disdain the flesh, for it passeth away, hut to care for thy soul as a thing immortal. Wherefore, with the angels thy spirit doth rejoice, O venerable Isidora.
Kontakion of the venerable one, in Tone II —
Having acquired the mind of Christ, O divinely wise one, thou didst reject the wisdom of this world, showing the appearance of drunkenness to men, but worshiping God with understanding, meditating on His wisdom every hour, filled with the Holy Spirit. Wherefore, we all cry out: Rejoice, O Isidora, thou boast of Tabenna!
Irmos: Whirled about in the abyss of sin, I appeal to the unfathomable abyss of thy compassion, from corruption raise me up, O God.
When the Lord chastened Saint Pitirim for ‘traveling in the cities’ mentally while living as a solitary, he was instructed to seek you, O Isidora, fool for Christ.
The nuns, seeing only foolishness, did not discern your unceasing prayer to Christ God whom you loved with your heart, soul, mind and strength. Focusing on the rags upon your head, they missed your resplendent crown of love.