Iconography and Hand painted icons

The Holy Icon of Panagia of the Akathist and the Holy icon of the Mother of God the Hodegetria or the ‘Directress’.

Παναγία Πλατυτερα-χωρα του Αχωρητου_Panagia Platytera_ Богоматерь Знамение11 (2)1 1On the fifth Friday of Great Lent we sing the entire Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos.

“Rejoice, unfading rose.
Rejoice, the only one who budded forth the unfading apple.
Rejoice, birth-giver of the aromatic balm of the King of all.
Rejoice, O Bride unwedded, the world’s salvation.”

The Holy Icon of Panagia of the Akathist
– Holy Monastery of Dionysiou Mount Athos

One of the most treasured and revered Icons of Mount Athos is that of Panagia of the Akathist Hymn or Salutations of the Holy Monastery of Dionysiou. It is the oldest Icon chronologically of all of the others of Mount Athos.

It is made of beeswax and mastich, a product derived from tree sap along with myrh. On the back of the Holy Icon, a silver plate is fixed and the Emperor Alexios 3rd Komninos and Saint Dionysios, the founder of the Holy Monastery of Dionysiou are depicted on it. The following writing is also inscribed on the back. “This is the miraculous Icon which Patriarch Sergios held whilst circling the walls of Constantinople and which ridded the city of the barbarian siege and was donated to the Monastery of Dionysiou by Emepror Alexios.”

Παναγια_χαιρετισμοι_τη υπερμαχω Στρατηγω_επι σοι χαιρε κεχαριτωμενη_The_Hymn_to_the_Virgin,_Eπί_Σοί_Xαίρει_In_Thee_Rejoiceth.._4)It is therefore the Icon that Patriarch Sergios, during that historic night in the year 626 A.D., used to lead the procession with other clergy and faithful, around the walls of Constantinople, thus giving the small number of soldiers and the polpulation the courage to continue to defend the City of Cities. It is historically accepted that the supernatural powers of the Holy Icon was key in defending Constantinople and ridding her of the Avar invaders. There is no other historical explanation since the Byzantine army with Heraclius was in Persia waging war and was not there to defend the city. The leader of the Avars, Hagano, surrounded the entire city via land and sea. He sent a message to the defenders of the city, “Don’t be fooled by your God, tomorrow I will be the ruler of your city.”

This statement had a negative impact on the soldiers and population of the city and affected their confidence in defending the city. In the midst of this fear, Patriarch Sergios issued a statement to the soldiers and people of the city, in reply to Hagano’s comments. “It is a shame to lose faith. Think as people that they do not believe in God and in the results of a Holy war. I entrusted the city and its people into the hands of Our Lady, The Theotokos. Let us pray fervently to Panagia.” Once the message had spread, a sense of confidence and renewal in the soldiers and people took hold. Patriarch Sergios, immediately held a procession led with the Holy Icon of Panagia of the Akathist Hymn, the Holy Belt of Panagia, relics of saints and thousands of faithful around the city walls. One of the greatest miracles then occurred. The invaders heard what sounded like many thousands of soldiers commencing an attack against them. It was in fact an attack by an unseen force which destroyed the majority of their forces and left their remaining soldiers confused, who in turn fled.

This was the result of the fervent prayers and tears of the faithful who rejoiced with fervor at this joyous occasion and glorified the Lord and the Holy Icon of Panagia. All the faithful of the city gathered at the Church of Blacherna, where Patriarch Sergios chanted the famous hymn: Τη Ύπερμάχω Στρατηγώ τα νικητήρια….. for the rest of the night, a vigil took place before the Holy Icon, where all of the salutations of the Theotokos were chanted thus resulting in the first ever occurrence of the Akathist Hymn service, the service took its name from this occurrence.
In the 13th century, the Holy Icon of Panagia of the Akathist Hymn, was donated to the Holy Monastery of Dionysiou, Mount Athos, by Emperor Alexios.Παναγία_Τείχος ει των Παρθένων, Θεοτόκε Παρθένε_soson-teixos-1

Holy icon of the Mother of God the Hodegetria or the “Guide” or ‘Directress’.
by Saint Nikolai Velemirovic

The Evangelist Luke himself painted [wrote] this icon on wood. The All-holy Birth-giver of God saw this icon and blessed it. St. Luke donated this icon to the statesman Theophilus for whom he wrote the Acts of the Apostles. From Antioch, this icon was later brought to Jerusalem, from Jerusalem, Empress Eudocia took it and sent it to Constantinople as a gift to the emperor’s sister, the pious Pulcheria. Pulcheria placed the icon in the church of Blachernae, her own memorial church.

The All-holy Birth-giver of God once appeared to two blind men and led them into the church of Blachernae before her icon and there, restored their sight. Because of this, this icon was called Hodigitria the Guide.

When the army of the Persian King Chozroes and the Scythian King Kagan attacked Constantinople, Patriarch Sergius brought this icon out to the ramparts of the city and processed with it around the ramparts. The All-holy Birth-giver of God then saved the Christians from the non-Christians. The armies of the adversaries became confused, the sea became agitated, the boats sank and the enemies who remained alive fled. From that time, the commemoration of this miracle of the All-holy Birth-giver of God was instituted on the fifth Sunday of the Honorable Fast Season [Lent] by chanting the Akathist. During the time of iconoclasm, this icon was brought to the monastery of the Pantocrator and there it was sealed in a wall and a votive light was left there to burn in front of it. As it was sealed, so it was later found.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

She smiled and said: “I will be your mother”, A Profound Miracle by the Holy Mother of God

Fr. Sofian Boghiu talks about how quickly the prayers of Mother of God are heard and fulfilled by her Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.
He also recounts a story from the prison with a miraculous appearance of Virgin Mary.
This man of God was imprisoned for 6 years for his faith during the oppressive Communist Regime in Romania.

A modern day miracle story of the Mother of God – Fr. Sofian Boghiu

An angel of the first rank was sent down from heaven to say to the Theotokos: Rejoice! (3) And perceiving You, O Lord, taking bodily form, he stood in awe and with his bodiless voice, cried aloud to her as follows:

Rejoice, through whom joy shall shine forth;
Rejoice, through whom the curse shall vanish.
Rejoice, fallen Adam’s restoration;
Rejoice, the redemption of Eve’s tears.
Rejoice, height that is too difficult for human thought to ascend;
Rejoice, depth that is too strenuous for Angels’ eyes to perceive.
Rejoice, for you are the throne. of the King;
Rejoice, for you hold him who sustains everything.
Rejoice, star that shows forth the Sun;
Rejoice, womb in which God became incarnate.
Rejoice, through whom creation is renewed;
Rejoice, through whom the Creator becomes an infant.
Rejoice, O Bride unwedded.

O all-hymned Mother, worthy of all praise, who brought forth the Word, the Holiest of all Saints [3 times], as you receive this our offering, rescue us all from every calamity, and deliver from future torment those who cry with one voice: Who is more: Alleluia.

Kontakion, Plagal of the Fourth Tone

O Champion General, we your faithful inscribe to you the prize of victory as gratitude for being rescued from calamity, O Theotokos. But since you have invincible power, free us from all kinds of perils so that we may cry out to you: Rejoice, O Bride unwedded.

Exapostilarion. As God you adorned.

Your godly Protection, Maiden Mother of God, overshadows the faithful; and protects and guides the Orthodox flock and preserves it unscathed from dangers of every kind.


You are the Protection of Orthodox Christians, O Virgin, protecting all the faithful. And so your people takes refuge in your Protection, and with faith magnifies your watchful care.

Someone Else, my brother, rules everything and not the greats of this world… Make your heart a monastery. Saint Luke of the Crimea

ΠΑΝΤΟΚΡΑΤΩΡ_Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς_Jesus-Christ_Иисус-Христос-Byzantine Orthodox Icon-Φώτη Κόντογλου75106.bSaint Luke of the Crimea

“Remember, remember my beloved child, that all of the happenings of our life are part of the utterly unknown economy of God.

Now we do not understand their meaning, but later we will understand them. Now we sense that we are treated unjustly and cursed. Later we will understand that from everything we would have an awesome benefit: a humble mind.”

“Do all things in order to seek Him and place Him within your heart. Your little heart should soften, my child, from the touch of grace, every instant when you think how much God loves you and how much he has protected your from spiritual death, protecting you from the filth that the demons bring to the mind of men…”

May the sweetest Jesus be always in your thoughts, may He be a harbor to which you return again and again… Furthermore, do not cease to call upon the Panagia to help whenever you have need, and more.”

Continue your path with courage, with much courage. Let your heart rejoice in the Lord, and He will grant it all nourishments [lit. vitamins] and all energy that is needed so that it does not collapse. Nothing should seem difficult to you.”

Someone Else, my brother, rules everything and not the greats of this world…”

“Courage, courage; gaze high and you will see the Lord, when you weep, when you seek with longing, when you bleed, then you will see how He stretched out His Beloved and Comforting hand with a  crown.”

“I Loved Martyrdom, which so strangely cleanses the soul”.

Our Lord gave us paradoxical and wondrous commandments. He said that He does not desire sacrifice, but mercy, mercy towards all those who need it. A great, uncountable multitude of people await someone to show them compassion, to tell them one word of love and consolation. People wait for someone to show them tenderness and to help them, but instead of this, they meet coldness and indifference around them. But above this, from some, even Christians, they see disdain and disgust.”
“Make your heart a monastery. There sound the semandron, there call your vigil, cense and whisper ceaseless prayers. God is next to you…”

Troparion of St. Luke of Simferopol – Tone 1

O herald of the way of salvation, confessor and archpastor of the Crimean flock, faithful keeper of the traditions of the fathers, unshakeable pillar and teacher of Orthodoxy, pray unceasingly to Christ our Saviour to grant salvation and strong faith to Orthodox Christians, O holy hierarch Luke, physician wise in God.

Psalm 90

1 [Praise of a Song, by David.] He that dwells in the help of the Highest, shall sojourn under the shelter of the God of heaven. 2 He shall say to the Lord, Thou art my helper and my refuge: my God; I will hope in him. 3 For he shall deliver thee from the snare of the hunters, from [every] troublesome matter. 4 He shall overshadow thee with his shoulders, and thou shalt trust under his wings: his truth shall cover thee with a shield. 5 Thou shalt not be afraid of terror by night; nor of the arrow flying by day; 6 [nor] of the [evil] thing that walks in darkness; [nor] of calamity, and the evil spirit at noon-day. 7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. 8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou observe and see the reward of sinners. 9 For thou, O Lord, art my hope: thou, my soul, hast made the Most High thy refuge. 10 No evils shall come upon thee, and no scourge shall draw night to the dwelling. 11 For he shall give his angels charge concerning thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 12 They shall bear thee up on their hands, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 13 Thou shalt tread on the asp and basilisk: and thou shalt trample on the lion and dragon. 14 For he has hoped in me, and I will deliver him: I will protect him, because he has known my name. 15 He shall call upon me, and I will hearken to him: I am with him in affliction; and I will deliver him, and glorify him. 16 I will satisfy him with length of days, and shew him my salvation.

Saint Nikephoros the Leper appears in Bulgaria and gives the cure for Coronavirus: There is a cure and this is the Holy Communion. There’s also a herb to drink, it’s thyme, it kills viruses.

Saint Nikephoros the Leper
Commemorated on January 4

St. Nikephoros, a 20th-century saint who suffered from leprosy for many decades, has emerged as a major saint to turn to during this time of crisis after word spread that he had appeared to an man in Greece earlier this month, telling him not to fear the virus, because he would protect and heal all those who have faith and turn to him in prayer.

Fr. Ananias Koustenis speaks about this appearance in a recently-published video.


Saint Nikephoros the Leper appears in Bulgaria and gives the cure for Coronavirus

Νικηφόρος ο Λεπρός-saint-nicephorus-the-leper“…… I learned from the internet that the journalist Angel Bonchev was preparing a book about the unknown for us Saint Nikephoros the Leper, at a critical moment when the world was covered by the coronavirus pandemic and thousands died, killed by this new plague.

I called him on the phone and he briefly told me about his suffering life and the heavy cross that had been given to him. I was very anxious and disturbed in the weeks before by all that was heard on the media, but at that moment I felt comforted, especially when I learned that St. Nikephoros had appeared to a man in Greece to inspire courage and a willingness to help people against this evil.

Since up to this point I did not have much information about his life, akathist, prayers, I was comforted by the little I already knew and told myself that the saint would help, I had faith that he would be with us, I felt close to him. I cried all night, praying to him, thinking about what was happening in the world and the cases of infected people that were growing every day in Bulgaria.

Saint Nikephoros the Leper: The first night

At 4 o’clock that night I fell asleep. In my dream, he visited me – Saint Nikephoros the Leper. I recognized him immediately. I saw him in his black dew, standing up, holding a golden cross in his right hand. He addressed me with the words: “Warn all Christians to pray to me, but repeatedly. Let them also read the services. There is a cure and this is the Holy Communion. There’s also a herb to drink, it’s thyme, it kills viruses. And in any case, be sure to visit the house of God at this difficult time, because there is no contagion there and no one can be infected. ” It was the first night.

Second night

The next night, he came again and said this time that many Christians, and not only, had prayed to him because he had also spread through social networks about his appearance in Greece. He also told me to tell to my son to pray to him, but not only once, as he had once said to him, – that is not enough. “Many times,” the saint repeated. The next day I asked my child, “How many times have you prayed to St. Nikephoros?” And he replied that only once in the morning. I explained to him that it was not enough.

The third night

The third night I saw him again. But this time, the most important thing I understood was that Bulgaria would be protected from the virus. I turned to him with the question: “Will all of Bulgaria be preserved?” He said to me, “Yes!” At that moment I saw our country as a map, and he stood over it, over Southern Bulgaria, and more precisely somewhere over Plovdiv. And he said, “Ring the bells, ring the bells, ring the bells!” I asked, “Are there bells in the Diocese of Plovdiv?” “Yes!” He said very briefly and affirmatively. Then he ascended to heaven, and with his golden cross in his hand he blessed from above. From the very cross a light came down and illuminated the whole country. The last thing he said was, “It will pass!”

After all this, a tremendous change occurred in me – the reassurance and strength that Saint Nikephoros the Leper Miracle Worker breathed into me, in the face of the panic that has engulfed everyone in the world and in our country … ”

Based on a testimony from, https://3rm.info/main/79440-svidetelstvo-o-starice.html

Saint Nikephoros the Leper said: “My children, do you pray? And how do you pray? …with the prayer of Jesus you should pray, with the “LORD JESUS CHRIST, HAVE MERCY ON ME”. Thus you should pray. This way is good.”

Some testimonies of those who met him:

“While he was prostrate with wounds and pains, he did not complain, but he showed great patience.”

“He had the charisma of consoling those who were sad. His eyes were permanently irritated, and he had limited sight. He also had stiffness in his hands and paralysis in his lower limbs. Nonetheless, he endured all of this in the sweetest, meek, smiling, delightful way, and he was also pleasant and lovable.”

“His face, which was eaten away by the marks of his illness, and his wounds, shone. It was a joy for those who saw this destitute and seemingly feeble man saying, May His holy name be glorified.”

The life of Saint Nikephoros was a brilliant example and model for everyone.Νικηφόρος ο Λεπρός_Nikephoros the Leper of Chios_Никифор Хиоски_Ευμένιος Σαριδάκη_Eumenius Saridakis_Св Евмени Саридакис445Apolytikion in the First Tone

Nikephoros the Venerable, through his struggles with leprosy, and his manliness in asceticism, astonished the Angels, for suffering as another Job, he endured, glorifying God, and now he is crowned with glory by Him, with wonders of discernment. Hail, O guide of monastics, hail, O covering of light, hail to you, from whose Relics pour forth joyous fragrance.

Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

As the bravest athlete of steadfastness, and the greatest diamond of patience, who was tried by the turmoil of affliction, and thus were glorified by God, let us honor Nikephoros the Leper, and crying out to him: hail, O namesake of victory.


Come, O divine, Christ-loving multitude, let us adorn the friend of Christ, Nikephoros the Leper, with hymns of praise, as the perfect struggler of divine steadfastness.

Doxastikon of the Stichera in the Plagal of the Second Tone

The lover of piety, the fighter of the good fight, the cornerstone of patience, come let us honor the venerable Nikephoros together. For he passed through the fire and water of the scourge of leprosy, and passed on to joyous abundance. And in the furnace of trials you were shone to be bronze, shining more than gold, bestowing upon all souls the saving joy.


You were shown steadfast in asceticism, O Nikephoros, and endured the pain of leprosy. And therefore in every manner you offered thanksgiving to Him, bringing forth praises from a clean heart, O God-bearer. Therefore we, inspired by your piety, in fervor cry out to you these words:

Hail, O strength of continence,
Hail, O Atlas of endurance.
Hail, you who endured the pain of the flesh with manliness,
Hail, you who came to know the beauty of the spirit in wisdom.
Hail, the type of the righteous, and diagram of monastics,
Hail, the guide of the faithful in divine virtues.
Hail, the pillar of light enlightening creation,
Hail, the lamp of the Church that gladdens souls.
Hail, the boast and beloved son of Crete,
Hail, the glory of Chios, and disciple of Anthimos.
Hail, you who through leprosy were purified more than gold,
Hail, you who kept faith towards Christ, your Bridegroom.
Hail, O namesake of victory.

What smells so in the awesome wilderness, As beautiful incense in a chest of the temple? That, Mary breathes – With holiness, she exudes! Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Μαρία Αιγυπτία_Saint Mary of Egypt Icon _святая Мария Египтяныня__33315831_p18kgq513t1riv1unl14tb1rh41a1gaSaint Mary of Egypt

Commemorated on April 1 and the fifth Sunday in Great Lent.

Saint Mary the Egyptian
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

The biography of this wonderful saint was written by St. Sophronius, the Patriarch of Jerusalem. Once, during the Honorable Fast [Lenten Season], a certain .priest-monk (Heiromonk), the Elder Zosimus, withdrew into the wilderness beyond the Jordan, a twenty-day trek. Suddenly, he caught sight of a human being with a withered and naked body whose hair was as white as snow and who began to flee from the sight of Zosimus. The elder ran for a long while until this person crouched down in a brook and cried out: “Abba Zosimus forgive me for the sake of the Lord. I cannot face you for I am a naked woman.”

Zosimus then tossed his outer garment to her which she wrapped around herself and then showed herself to him. The elder was frightened upon hearing his name spoken from the mouth of this woman he did not know. Following his prolonged insistence, the woman related her life story.

Μαρία Αιγυπτία_Saint Mary of Egypt Icon _святая Мария Египтяныня_ 3cNMarAiguptShe was born in Egypt and at the age of twelve began to live a life of debauchery in Alexandria where she spent seventeen years in this perverted way of life. Driven by the adulterous flame of the flesh, one day she boarded a boat which was sailing for Jerusalem. Arriving at the Holy City, she wanted to enter the church in order to venerate the Honorable Cross but some invisible force restrained her and prevented her from entering the church. In great fear, she gazed upon the icon of the All-Holy Mother of God in the vestibule and prayed that she be allowed to enter the church to venerate the Honorable Cross, all the while confessing her sinfulness and uncleanness and promising that she would go wherever the All-Pure One would direct her. She was then permitted to enter the church. Having venerated the Cross she again entered the vestibule and, before the icon, gave thanks to the Mother of God. At that very moment she heard a voice saying: “If you cross over Jordan you will find real peace!” Immediately she purchased three loaves of bread and started out for the Jordan where she arrived that same evening.

The next day she received Holy Communion in the Monastery of St. John and crossed over the Jordan river. She remained in the wilderness for forty-eight years in great torment, fear and struggle with passionate thoughts as though with wild beasts. She fed on vegetation.

Afterward, when she stood for prayer, Zosimus saw her levitate in the air. She begged him to bring her Holy Communion the following year on the shore of the Jordan where she would then come to receive it. The following year, Zosimus arrived on the shore of the Jordan in the evening with Holy Communion. He wondered how this saint would cross the Jordan. At that moment, in the light of the moon, he saw her as she approached the river, made the sign of the cross over it and walked upon the water as though upon dry land. After Zosimus administered Holy Communion to her, she begged him to come the following year to the same brook where they had first met.

Zosimus came and discovered her lifeless body on that spot. Above her head in the sand was written: “Abba Zosimus, bury the body of the humble Mary on this site; render dust to dust. I died on April 1, the same night of the saving-suffering of Christ, after having received Communion of the Divine Mysteries.” From this inscription Zosimus first learned her name and the other and awesome miracle was that, she, on that same night the previous year, when she received Holy Communion, arrived at this brook which took him twenty days to travel. Thus, Zosimus buried the body of this wonderful saint, Mary the Egyptian. When he returned to the monastery Zosimus related the entire history of her life and the miracles which he had personally witnessed.

Thus, the Lord knows how to glorify penitent sinners. St. Mary is also commemorated on the Fifth Sunday of the Honorable Fast (Fifth Sunday in Lent). The Church holds her up as an example to the faithful during these fast days as an incentive for repentance. She died about the year 530 A.D.Μαρία Αιγυπτία_Saint Mary of Egypt Icon _святая Мария Египтяныня__333

Hymn Of Praise
Saint Mary the Egyptian
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Penitent wonderful, self-tormentor,
Mary hid herself from the face of men.
Oh yes, sinful me,
By passion, darkened.
Passions are beasts which eat at our heart,
In us as serpents, secretly they weave a nest.
Oh yes, sinful me,
By passion consumed!
In order to save sinners, You suffered O Christ,
Now, do not loathe impure me!

Hearken to the cry of Mary,
Of all, the most-sinful!

The Lord showed compassion, Mary He healed,
Her darkened soul, He whitened as snow.
Thanks be to You, O All-Good One,
Oh Lord, most dear!
An impure vessel You cleansed and,
With gold you gilded it,
Filled it to overflowing with Your grace –
That is true mercy,
To you O God, be glory!

And Mary became radiant with the Spirit
As an angel of God, by strength girded,
By Your power, O Christ
Mercy, Most pure!

What smells so in the awesome wilderness,
As beautiful incense in a chest of the temple?
That, Mary breathes –
With holiness, she exudes!
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Apolytikion (Dismissal) Hymn: Plagal of the Fourth Tone

In you the image was preserved with exactness, O Mother; for taking up your cross, you did follow-Christ, and by your deeds you did teach us to overlook the flesh, for it passes away, but to attend to the soul since it is immortal. Wherefore, O righteous Mary, your spirit rejoices with the Angels.

Kontakions Hymn. Fourth Tone

Having escaped the gloom of sin, O blest Mary, and shining brightly with the light of repentance, thou didst present thy heart to Christ, O glorious one, bringing Him His Holy and All-Immaculate Mother as a greatly merciful and most bold intercessor. Hence, thou hast found the pardon of thy sins and with the Angels rejoices for evermore.

Miraculous appearance of Our Lady Theotokos of Saidnaya “Thus, you will be saved by the pandemic” The orders of the Virgin for the elimination of the Covid 19; her appearance to a nun of Lady Saidnaya”s covent in Syria

Most Holy Mother of God of Saidnaya Syria
Commemorated on September 8

παναγια Σεινταναγια_Theotokos Seidanagia, Syria-On Sunday night, the official fb account of the Greek Orthodox Monastery of Holy Mother Saidnaya located in Damascus countryside in Syria, announced a great miracle and appearance of Virgin Mary, associated with the covid 19 pandemic.

A nun from Egypt called one of the sisters of the Covent of the Lady Saidmaya and told her what had happened to her. Τhe nun from Egypt said: While I was watching the icon of the Virgin Mary , I saw her asking her Son: Jesus Christ, I beg you, lift the epidemic (Coronavirus) out of the world.. But the Lord returned his Face.

The Virgin continued to beg her Son, but He refused to listen to her and said: This world is alienated from Me , thiw world is deprived of mercy, of love and of prayer.

After the end of the call from Egypt,the nun of the Monastery of Saidnaya was verysaddened.She turned her eys to the icon of the Virgin Mary and began to scream:

”Oh Virgin,don’t leave us. Continue praying for all of us, and through your Intercession to Jesus Christ,thiw epidemic to be eliminated and every patient to be healed”.

While she was still crying,she felt that she was transferred inside the Holy Sanctuary of the Lady of Saidnaya which is an uncontaminated holy place. There, she started to was prepare the oil-soaked small cotton from the incandescent candlestick which are offered to the pilgrims of the Holy Monastery. The cottons contained some impurities and the nun started to clean them.

At this moment anothernun enters by the door of the Holy Sanctuary (al Saghura) and says to her. I want you to congratulate me on my victory.”! The first nun,astonished , asked her: “Why, what happened?” The other nun replied: ”I triumphed! I persuaded my Son and my God to dominate his Mercy and remove this epidemic from the world. Tell the whole world to draw on the windows and doors of his houses and on the forehead of everyone, a cross with a holy oil; thus the epidemic will be supressed.

For the intercession of the Mother of God and for her supplications, oh Lord, have mercy on us and save us …Amen
27 March 2020
https://dimpenews.com/2020/03/30/thus-you-will-be-saved-by-the-pandemic-the-orders-of-the-virgin-for-the-elimination-of-the-covid-19-her-miraculous-appearance-to-a-nun-of-lady-saidnayas-covent-in-syria/Παναγία Σεϊδανάγια_Theotokos of Saidnaya, Syria- Панагии или Седная(Сайднайя)210064.p

Apolytikion of Nativity of the Theotokos
Fourth Tone

Your birth, O Theotokos, brought joy to the whole world, for from you dawned the sun of righteousness, Christ our God. Freeing us from the curse, He gave us His blessings. Abolishing death, He granted us eternal life.

O Theotokos and Virgin, rejoice, O Mary full of grace; the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb; for thou hast borne the Savior of our souls.

Kontakion (Plagal of the Fourth Tone)

O Champion General I your City now inscribe to you triumphant anthems as the tokens of my gratitude, being rescued from the terrors, O Theotokos. But since you have the dominion unassailable, from all kinds of perils free me so that unto you, I may cry aloud: Rejoice, O Bride unwedded.

All my hope I place in you, Mother of God, guard me under your protection.Παναγία Σεϊδανάγια_Theotokos of Saidnaya, Syria- Панагии или Седная(Сайднайя)85137459Παναγία Σεϊδανάγια_Theotokos of Saidnaya, Syria- Панагии или Седная(Сайднайя)manastirea-saydnaya-2

Abba Eulalius with the great patience and humility is highly regarded in the eyes of God.

Ασκητες_asketes-Ερημίτες_Hermit_отшельник- еремит_dormsabbscribes_i_gerontiko342454354Abba Eulalius

There was a brother called Eulalius in a monastery, who was adorned with great graces of humility. If some of the more careless brothers committed faults it was their custom to lay the blame on him, for when he was questioned by the senior brothers he would make no denials but would prostrate himself before them and admit that he was a sinner and should be found guilty. This happened again and again, but when condemned by the rules of the monastery to a fast of two or three days he simply bore it patiently. The most senior brothers did not realize that he was putting up with all this through the virtue of humility, and at last went in a body to the father of the monastery.
“Father,” they said, “What is to be done? How much longer must we put up with all the breakages and general negligence committed in the monastery by this brother Eulalius? Nearly all the vessels and utensils in the monastery have been damaged or fatally broken through his negligence. Why should we put up with this?”
“Let us just bear with this brother for a few more days,” replied the father of the monastery, “and then I shall decide what is to be done about him.” And so saying, he dismissed them.
He went into his cell and prostrated himself in prayer, casting himself on the mercy of God that it might be revealed to him what should be said and done about this frequently accused brother. And the truth of the matter was then revealed to him.
He called all the brothers to a meeting.
“Believe me, brothers,” he said, “I greatly prefer the mattula [probably a written list of monastic infringements] of brother Eulalius, with his humility and patience, to everything else that is done by those who, to tell you the truth, are nothing but grumblers as they go about their work in the monastery. And in order that the Lord may demonstrate how highly this brother is regarded in the eyes of God, I order that the mattulae of all the brothers be brought to me”.
And when that was done he ordered that a fire should be lit and that they should all be cast into it. All were burnt except the mattula of brother Eulalius, which was found to be completely untouched by the fire. At this sight the brothers were very frightened and fell on their face on the floor, seeking pardon and forgiveness from Christ the Lord, at the same time commending with great admiration the patience and humility of brother Eulalius.
In the end they made such a fuss of him, singing his praises as one of the great fathers, that Eulalius found that he could not bear all this honour and praise.
“Woe is me,” he cried. “I have been unlucky enough to have lost my humility, which for such a long time I have striven to acquire with the help and strength of Christ the Lord.”
And he got up in the middle of the night, left the monastery, and fled to the desert where nobody knew him, and dwelt there in a cave. He had no desire for temporal human praise, but only for the celestial, eternal glory of our Saviour Christ in the world to come.


Chapter CXXV
The lovely deed of abba SERGIUS the anchorite.

One of the fathers at Sinai told us about abba Sergius the anchorite.
When he was at Sinai he was put in charge of the burdones (?beasts of burden). On a journey one day they suddenly saw a lion on the pathway. Drivers and beasts (burdonarii burdonesque) took fright and fled. But abba Sergius took a eulogia (?sacred text) from his wallet and offered it to the lion
“Accept this eulogia of the fathers,” he said, “and go back so that we can proceed.”
The lion took the eulogia and departed.
http://www.vitae-patrum.org.uk/page151.htmlΑσκητες_asketes-Ερημίτες_Hermit_отшельник- еремит_dormsabblionAbba Doulas said, ‘If the enemy induces us to give up our inner peace, we must not listen to him, for nothing is equal to this peace and the privation of food. The one and the other join together to fight the enemy. For they make interior vision keen.’

It was said of Abba Helladius that he spent twenty years in the Cells, without ever raising his eyes to see the roof of the church.

Abba Isaiah said, ‘When someone wishes to render evil for evil, he can injure his brother’s soul even by a single nod of the head.’

He also said that when there was an agape and the brethren were eating in the church and talking to one another, the priest of Pelusia reprimanded them in these words, ‘Brethren, be quiet. For I have seen a brother eating with you and drinking as many cups as you and his prayer is ascending to the presence of God like fire.’

You must have heard particulars about Ephraim, the deacon of the Church of Edessa; for he is one of those who deserve to be remembered by religious people. Having completed in worthy fashion the journey of the Spirit, without being diverted from the straight |140 road, he was counted worthy of the grace of natural knowledge, and afterwards of the knowledge of God1 and final blessedness. So having always practised the quiet life and for many years continuing to edify his visitors, at last he left his cell, for the following reason. A great famine having come upon the city of Edessa, he felt compassion for the whole country-side, which was being destroyed, and approached those who were rich in material things and said to them: “Why do you not take pity on human nature being destroyed, instead of letting your wealth be corrupted for the condemnation of your souls?” They considered the matter and said to him: “We have no one whom we can trust to minister to the famine-stricken. For all are dishonest in business affairs.” He said to them: “What do you think of me?” Now he had a great reputation among all, not falsely but truly. They said to him: “We know you to be a man of God.” “Then trust me,” he said. “See, on your behalf I appoint myself hospitaller.” And he raised money, and partitioned the porticoes and made up some 300 beds, and so nursed the sufferers from the famine, burying those who succumbed and treating those who had hope of life, and in a word out of the funds entrusted to him provided day by day hospitality and assistance for all the inhabitants.  So when the year was completed and prosperity returned and all went home, no longer having anything to do he entered his own cell and died after a month, God having provided him this opportunity of gaining a crown just before his end. Also he left some writings, most of which deserve to be studied.

Chapter CXXII
Two monks who came naked into church for Communion, unnoticed by anyone except abba STEPHEN.

When we visited abba Stephen the Cappadocian in Mount Sinai he told us the following story:
Some years ago when I was in Raythum I was in Church on Maundy Thursday, and after the offering of the sacred oblation with all the fathers present, I saw two anchorites come in. They were naked, but none of the fathers noticed their nakedness except me. When they had received the body and blood of the Lord they went out of the church and were about to go away. I went out as well, however, and prostrated myself before them.
“Do me a kindness,” I said, “and take me with you,” so they knew that I had seen them naked.
“No, stay where you are and be at peace,” they said.
I begged them once more to take me with them.
“You can’t come with us, ” they said, “stay where you are. The place where you are is a good place.”
But they did say a prayer with me, and then as I watched they walked on the water of the Red Sea and crossed over to the other side.

Troparion; (Tone IV):

O God of our Fathers * who ever dealest with us according to Thy tender compassion, * withdraw not Thy mercy from us, * but by the intercessions of our Fathers ** direct our lives in peace.

(Tone VIII):

Illumined by the brilliant lightning of the Fathers, * let us now enter as if into a beautiful Paradise, * and delight beside the river of sweetness therein. * Beholding with wonder their valor, * let us strive to equal them in the virtues, * crying aloud unto the Savior: * O God, by their intercessions ** make us partakers of Thy heavenly Kingdom.

(Tone IV):

Wandering as it were among flowers of the virtues * in the meadow of God-bearing ascetics, * we are filled with the breath of sweet fragrance. * For by suffering they became hardened against temptations, * and by abstinence they subjected the flesh to the spirit, * living the life of angels here on earth; ** wherefore they have been deemed worthy of glory.

St John Climacus by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Σινά Θεοβάδιστο Όρος_monastery of the God-trodden Mount Sinai_Гора Синай_ΣΙΝΑ mt sinai iconSaint John Climacus of Sinai, Author of “the Ladder” of Divine Ascent (+605 or 649)

Commemorated on March 30

St John Climacus
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

John Climacus is the author of “The Ladder of Divine Ascent.” John came to Mt. Sinai as a sixteen year old youth and remained there, first as a novice under obedience, and afterwards as a recluse, and finally as abbot of Sinai until his eightieth year. He died around the year 649 A.D. His biographer, the monk Daniel, says about him: “His body ascended the heights of Sinai, while his soul ascended the heights of heaven.” He remained under obedience with his spiritual father, Martyrius, for nineteen years. Anastasius of Sinai, seeing the young John, prophesied that he would become the abbot of Sinai. After the death of his spiritual father, John withdrew into a cave, where he lived a difficult life of asceticism for twenty years.

Ιωάννης της Κλίμακος _ St. John Climacus of Mount Sinai_ св. Иоанна Лествичника Синае_ΣΙΝΑΙΤΗΣ-Saint-Gregory-of-Sinai- Григорий Синаит.0_4947201302_359eb87a82_bHis disciple, Moses, fell asleep one day under the shade of a large stone. John, in prayer in his cell, saw that his disciple was in danger and prayed to God for him. Later on, when Moses returned, he fell on his knees and gave thanks to his spiritual father for saving him from certain death. He related how, in a dream, he heard John calling him and he jumped up and, at that moment, the stone tumbled. Had he not jumped, the stone would have crushed him. At the insistence of the brotherhood, John agreed to become abbot and directed the salvation of the souls of men with zeal and love. From someone John heard a reproach that he talked too much. Not being angered by this, John however remained silent for an entire year and did not utter a word until the brothers implored him to speak and to continue to teach them his God-given wisdom.

On one occasion, when six-hundred pilgrims came to the Monastery of Sinai, everyone saw an agile youth in Jewish attire serving at a table and giving orders to other servants and assigning them. All at once, this young man disappeared. When everyone noticed this and began to question it, John said to them, “Do not seek him, for that was Moses the Prophet serving in my place.”

During the time of his silence in the cave, John wrote many worthwhile books, of which the most glorious is “The Ladder.” This book is still read by many, even today. In this book, John describes the method of elevating the soul to God, as ascending a ladder.

Before his death, John designated George, his brother in the flesh, as abbot. George grieved much because of his separation from John. Then John said to him, that, if he [John] were found worthy to be near God in the other world, he would pray to Him, that, he, [George], would be taken to heaven that same year. And, so it was. After ten months George succeeded and settled among the citizens of heaven as did his great brother, John.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Apolytikion of Saint John Climacus: Plagal of the Fourth Tone

With the rivers of your tears, you have made the barren desert fertile. Through sighs of sorrow from deep within you, your labors have borne fruit a hundredfold. By your miracles you have become a light, shining upon the world. O John, our Holy Father, pray to Christ our God, to save our souls.

Ikos: Truly, O father, thou hast made thyself into a temple of God, adorned through thy divine virtues with faith, hope and true love, as if with gold shining from afar; thou hast explained the laws of God, and practiced abstinence as a if a fleshless one; having acquired wisdom, courage, chastity and humility, thou hast been raised on high, illumined with unceasing prayer, and attained unto the tabernacles of heaven, O father John our teacher.