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Iconography and Hand painted icons

Paradise is not a place on the map. It is a condition of spirit. Paradise is Christ.

Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς_Jesus-Christ_Иисус-Христос-Byzantine Orthodox Icon223Bless the crown of the year with your goodness, O Lord. 
Establish, O Good One, the fruitful vine, which your right hand has planted with love upon the earth, preserving your Church, O All-powerful.
Grant, Lord, that those who in faith sing your praise as God of the universe, may pass through this year abounding in spiritual works, well-pleasing to God.

Start of the Indiction, beginning the Liturgical Year;
Righteous Joshua, the son of Nun (ca. 16th c. BC)
Holy 40 ascetic virgin-martyrs and their teacher the Hieromartyr Ammon the Deacon at Heraclea in Thrace (321-323)
Venerable Martha, the mother of St Simeon Stylites (428); Saint Symeon the Stylite the Elder (459);
Saint Symeon of Lesbos (ca. 845)
Saint Victorius (Victurius), a disciple of St. Martin of Tours who became Bishop of Le Mans in France in ca. 453 (ca. 490);
Saint Meletius the Younger, of Thebes, Greece(1105);
New-Martyr Angelis of Constantinople (1680); Venerable Anthony of Agyia
Commemoration of the Great Fire of Constantinople (ca. 470);
Synaxis of the Most-Holy Theotokos of Miasena Monastery, in memory of the finding of her icon (864);
Celebration of the “All-Blessed” or “Pamakarista” Icon (11th c.)

Commemorated on September 1

The Kingdom of Heaven is Christ Himself.. Paradise is not a place but way of life.
Paradise is Christ.

The Messiah is born and the gates of Eden are opened. The Savior comes and the tree of life blossoms.
Paradise is not a place on the map. It is a condition of spirit. When a person knows God and lives in communion with Him, this is paradise.
Fr. Thomas Hopko, The Winter Pascha: Readings for the Christmas-Epiphany Season

St. John of Kronstadt

The Lord says: ‘Seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things as well will be given unto you’ (Matthew 6.33)
Give yourself up entirely to God’s providence, to the Lord’s Will.. Trust entirely in Him: He knows how to lead you safely through this present life, and to bring you to Himself — into His eternal Kingdom. To trust in God means to confide to Him our life, our fate, all our future, and to wait with confidence for the fulfilment of His promises. Thy name, Lord, is Almighty, because Thou holdest not only heaven and earth, but also all mankind, the life of every man, the hearts of all in Thy Hand;
There is nothing impossible unto those who believe; lively and unshaken faith can accomplish great miracles in the twinkling of an eye.
My Life in Christ , St. John of Kronstadt.ΑΘΩΣ-ΔΕΗΣΗ5478645543

Homily
About the power and the mission of Christ, as Isaiah prophesied
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance to our God” (Isaiah 61: 1-2).

This great and programmed prophecy, the Lord Jesus read at the beginning of His saving work before the Jews in Nazareth and having read this, He sat down and said: “Today is this scripture fulfilled” (St. Luke 4: 16-21). One of the darkest prophecies for the Jewish scribes and priests, He read, closed the book and said: “Today is this scripture fulfilled.” None of the Jews dared to touch this prophecy for no one knew to whom this prophecy pertains. Seven centuries have passed since this prophecy was spoken and written and no one knew to whom it pertains. And when that one [Christ] came, upon whom this prophecy pertains, He read it and applied it to Himself. Thus our great Lord justified His prophet and presented Himself to the world.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me.” Why does He speak so when He is equal to the Spirit as He is to the Father? As St. Chyrsostom interprets, it is for the sake of witnessing to the people. He does not say the grace of the Spirit [is upon Me], for the grace of the Spirit is upon the faithful people but the Spirit Himself is upon Him as was manifested on the Jordan river. The Spirit is the witness of the Son and the Son was never without the Spirit for one moment. The Lord Jesus often mentions the Father and the Holy Spirit first out of infinite love, toward the Father and the Spirit and love always ascribes its own to others and second for the sake of instruction to proud men that they do not emphasize themselves but rather to give honor to others, equal to themselves.

Everything else that is said in this wonderful prophecy, the Lord fulfilled by His miraculous works, word for word. He came primarily to proclaim the mercy of God to men but at the same time, to proclaim the Dread Judgment to those who would despise and reject that mercy.

This is the vision of Isaiah, the son of Amos, the prophet of God, the true prophet.

Brethren, let us venerate Isaiah whose God-inspired mouth foretold the Savior and our salvation and let us worship without ceasing our wonderful Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

We worship You our Lord and Savior and we give You thanks for Your All-wise plan for our salvation.

To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
http://livingorthodoxfaith.blogspot.com/2010/04/prologue-august-31-september-13.htmlπιστις_Pistis-Elpis-Agapi-me-dakrya (1)At the Gate of the Year. God is the Lord of history, but we must be co-workers with God… Anthony Bloom Metropolitan of Sourozh
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2018/12/31/at-the-gate-of-the-year-god-is-the-lord-of-history-but-we-must-be-co-workers-with-god-anthony-bloom-metropolitan-of-sourozh/

Live, so that your life will be filled with love, light, wisdom, and knowledge! Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2016/12/31/live-so-that-your-life-will-be-filled-with-love-light-wisdom-and-knowledge-protopresbyter-alexander-schmemann/

“O CHRIST our GOD,
Desire of our hearts,
Diffuse the light of Thy truth over us
That in Thy light, unworthy as we are,
We may behold Thy glory
As of the only-begotten of the Father
And so be fashioned after
Thy searchless image,
In the likeness of which
Thou didst create man.” by Father Sophrony

Apolytikion of Beginning of the Indiction
Second Tone

Creator of the universe, setting times and seasons by Your sole authority, bless the cycle of the year of Your grace, O Lord, guarding our rulers and Your nation in peace, at the intercession of the Theotokos, and save us.

Idiomelon of the Praises in the Fourth Tone, for the New Ecclesiastical Year

Your paths, O God, your paths are great and wonderful; therefore we magnify you for the might of your dispensation, for, light from light, you visited your wretched world, and in your good pleasure, O Word, did away with the first curse on ancient Adam, and you fixed for us times and seasons for glorifying your all-pervading goodness. Lord, glory to you!

The Creator who wisely made all things new out of nothing, and arranges the revolutions of the seasons by his will, praise in hymns and highly exalt him to the ages.
To God who arranges all things and alters the seasons for the varied guidance of mankind we sing: Praise him in hymns and highly exalt him to the ages.

Of the Indiction. Ode 3. The Irmos..
Establish me, O Christ, on the unshakeable rock of your commandments, and enlighten me with the light of your face; for none is holy but you, O Lover of mankind.

Establish, O Good One, the fruitful vine, which your right hand has planted with love upon the earth, preserving your Church, O All-powerful.

Grant, Lord, that those who in faith sing your praise as God of the universe, may pass through this year abounding in spiritual works, well-pleasing to God.

The Gospel According to Luke 4:16-22

At that time, Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the sabbath day. And he stood up to read; and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke well of him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.

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