Iconography and Hand painted icons

Let us prepare ourselves to be filled with the Holy Spirit so that we must truly be in the world in which we live an incarnate presence of Christ and the temple of Spirit, a vanguard of the Kingdom. Anthony Bloom of Sourozh

Ανάληψη_The Ascension of the Lord_ Вознесение Господне _ _0_a9fdcSynaxarion From the Menaion.
On May 28 we commemorate the holy Hieromartyr Eutychius, Bishop of Melitene (1st century) .
On this day we commemorate the holy Martyr Heliconis of Thessalonica (244).
On this day we commemorate the Venerable Nicetas the Confessor, Archbishop of Chalcedon and His Brother, the Priest Ignatius (early 9th century)
On this day we commemorate the Blessed Andrew of Fool-for-Christ of Constantinople (911)
On this day we commemorate the Venerable Virgin-Martyr Philothea of Pamphylia, Wonderworker (16th century)
On this day we commemorate the Saint Ignatius of Rostov, Bishop and Wonderworker (1288)
On this day we commemorate the Venerable Sophronius of Bulgaria, Monk (1510)
On this day we commemorate the New Martyr Mitros (or Demetrios) of Tripolitsa of Peloponnesos (1794)
On this day we commemorate the New Hieromartyr Zachariah, Priest of Prusa (1802)
On this day we commemorate the Saint Helena Manturova of Diveyevo (1832), the spiritual daughter of St. Seraphim of Sarov.
Blessed Domnica (Likvinenko), Ascetic of Cherson (1967)
Icon of the Mother of God “the Unbreakable Wall”.
Icon of the Mother of God the “Softener of Evil Hearts”

On this day, the seventh Sunday of Pascha, we celebrate the First Ecumenical Synod in Nicaea of the three hundred eighteen Godbearing Fathers.

Repose in the Lord of Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea,
Holy Elder Eumenios Saridakis (May 23, 1999)
Elder Justin Pârvu of Romania (June 16, 2013).
Abbess Macrina of the Monastery of Panagia Odigitria in Portaria (June 4, 1995)

Luminous stars of the spiritual sky,
illumine my mind with the light of your rays.
Against Arius
Arius be a stranger to God’s glory,
for calling the Son a stranger to the Father’s essence.

Sermon on Sunday between Ascension and Pentecost
Anthony Bloom of Sourozh
22 May 1988

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

Οικουμενική Σύνοδος Α,της Νίκαιας_ First Ecumenical Council of Nicea _Первый Никейский собор _2During the Last Supper our Lord Jesus Christ told His disciples that separation was near, that He was to ascend to His God and to His Father as He would repeat again to the women who came to the grave. And when their hearts were filled with sorrow at the thought that they will not see Him again, He said, “Your hearts are full with sorrow and yet, you should rejoice for Me that I am returning to My Father. But I will not,” he added, “leave you orphan, I will send you the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father, whom I will send to you and who will teach you all things.” And so do we here now while we are still in the light of the Ascension.

St. Paul grieved about the necessity of living in the world and in the flesh. He said, “To me life is Christ and death would be a gain, a blessing, because as long as we are in the flesh, we are separated from Christ.” And yet, this separation is not total, we are not separated irremediably, we are not separated desperately from Christ if we only long for Him, if we only love Him, if as St. Paul longed to die to be inseparably forever with Him because according to the promise the Holy Spirit has come on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit whom we call the Comforter by word, which in ancient languages has a much wider meaning. It means the one who consoles, the one who gives strength, the one who brings joy. His presence indeed can console us from our separation from Christ because the Holy Spirit if we only live according to the Gospel, if we become not only in word or in imagination but in all truth, in action and in thought, in our heart and in our being disciples of Christ, the Holy Spirit dwells in us. We become His temples and He speaks to us either in unutterable groaning or with that wonderful clarity that allows us to call ‘Father’ the God of Heaven because in Christ and by the power of the Spirit we have become the children of the Living God.

So the separation from Christ is a separation in space, it is the loss of that moving, wonderful contact of humanity as we know it on earth but it is the beginning of a new discovery of Christ, the Christ not only risen but ascended, the Christ who according to today’s Gospel is resplendent with the glory, the shining that belonged to Him before all ages, the shining, the resplendence, the splendour of Divinity. And it is this Christ whom we meet in prayer, whom we discover through and in the Holy Sacraments, to whom we can get united only by a faithfulness in life, it is this Christ of whom Paul speaks when he says, “We no longer know Christ according to the flesh”, we do not touch Him as Thomas did, we do not hear and see Him as Apostles and the women, and all crowds of people did, but we know the Christ of the Spirit, the risen and ascended Christ, who is everywhere where two or three are gathered together, who is everywhere when a lonely soul cries for Him, when a life is being dedicated to Him.

And so we are confronted with this mystery of a separation, which is a victory, a separation, which leads us to a new knowledge, to a new discovery of Christ. His Divinity is no longer veiled for us by His human presence, He is revealed to us as God resplendent not only in His Godhead but also in His humanity. And so it happens also all the time when people meet on a human level and then discover one another in the Holy Spirit, a discovery that makes humanity resplendent with eternity.

Let us rejoice in the Ascension but also let us remember that in a week’s time we will stand here remembering the day of Pentecost, not only remember it as an event of the past but bringing it back by presenting ourselves to the descent of the Holy Spirit as the Apostles offered themselves to Him in the Upper Room nearly 2,000 years ago. But to do this we must be disciples of Christ, we must be His own, we must be faithful to the word of His preaching, we must follow the example which He gave us, we must truly be in the world in which we live an incarnate presence of Christ and the temple of Spirit, a vanguard of the Kingdom.

Let us devote the coming week to preparing ourselves by searching our lives, by rejecting at least in intention and determination all that is unworthy of our calling. Let us prepare ourselves to come open, empty to be filled with the Spirit, so that we truly may be also in an ever-increasing way become the temples of His presence. Amen.


Οικουμενική Σύνοδος Α,της Νίκαιας_ First Ecumenical Council of Nicea _Первый Никейский собор _Μ.ΛΑΥΡΑ01 The words of the prayer of Christ are also magnificently realized in the Holy Fathers, the successors to the apostles. Saint Nicolai Velimirovic explains:

“Christ’s prayer [`Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We are.’] is not only for the apostles – although it is firstly for them – but is also for all those who have and will come to faith in Christ through their word. This prayer, then, was also for the hoily Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council, that we commemorate today. `Keep them!’ – the Lord prayed to His Father. And the Father kept them from the errors of Arius , and inspired, illumined and strengthened them by the Holy Spirit to defend and confirm the Orthodox Faith. This prayer is for all of us who are baptised in the apostolic Church and who have from the apostles and their successors, come to know the saving name of Christ the Saviour.” Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic, Homilies, V. 1, on the 6th Sunday after Pascha.


St. Sophrony of Essex

In Christ and the coming of the Holy Spirit God gave us the full and final revelation of Himself. His Being now for us is the First Reality, incomparably more evident than all the transient phenomena of this world. We sense His divine presence both within us and without: in the supreme majesty of the universe, in the human face, in the lightning flash of thought. He opens our eyes that we may behold and delight in the beauty of His creation. He fill our souls with love towards all mankind. His indescribably gentle touch pierces our heart. And in the hours when His imperishable Light illumines our heart we know that we shall not die. We know this with a knowledge to prove in the ordinary way, but which for us requires no proof, since the Spirit Himself bears witness within us. “For us, Christians, Jesus Christ is the measure of all things, divine and human. “In Him dwells the fulness of the Godhead” (Col 2:9) and of mankind. He is our most perfect ideal. In Him we find the answer to all our problems, which without Him would be insoluble. He is n truth the mystical axis of the universe. If Christ were not the Son of God, then Salvation through the adoption of man by God the Father would be totally incomprehensible. With Christ man steps forward into divine eternity.

I heard my Most-merciful Creator when, with His most sweet and pure lips, He spoke three words to me, which so sweetened my heart and inflamed it with love for Him, that I melted as warm wax from spiritual warmth… St. Andrew the Fool for Christ

Orthodoxy has its own true and infallible Pope, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the wisdom and power of God, who rules all and everything,… O All-seeing God, strengthen our hearts that we neither be blind leaders not blind followers. Saint Nicholas Velimirovich

St Nicholas Archbishop of Myra and the First Ecumenical Council

Living as Orthodox means self-sacrifice, not for one minute or one day, not for a week, a month or a year, but for a lifetime …. Elder Justin (Pârvu)

If your heart becomes one with Christ’s heart, you feel what He feels. Elder Evmenios Saridakis

Resurrectional Apolytikion.
Mode pl. 2.

When the angelic powers appeared at Your tomb, the soldiers guarding it feared and became as dead. And standing by the sepulcher was Mary, who was seeking Your immaculate body. Unassailed by Hades, You divested it of spoils. Then You met the Virgin. You granted life. O Lord, risen from the dead, glory to You!

Apolytikion For the Fathers.
Glory. Mode pl. 4.

Supremely blessed are You, O Christ our God. You established the holy Fathers upon the earth as beacons, and through them You have guided us all to the true Faith, O greatly merciful One, glory be to You.

Both now. Apolytikion of the Feast. From Pentecostarion – – –
Mode 4.

You ascended in glory, O Christ our God, after You filled the Disciples with joy, by promising to send them the Holy Spirit, and You blessed them and established their faith, that You are the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world.

Troparion Blessed Andrew Fool-for-Christ of Constantinople, Tone 4

Thou didst choose foolishness for the sake of Christ/ and didst make the crafty one foolish./ Thou didst persevere with thy struggle in the midst of turmoil,/ and Christ has brought thee to paradise./ Intercede with Him, O Andrew for those who honor thee.

Apolytikion of Saint Helena Manturova of Diveyevo
Tone Plagal of the Fourth Tone

In thee the image was preserved with exactness, O Mother;for taking up thy cross, thou didst follow Christ,and by thy deeds thou didst teach us to overlookthe flesh,for it passeth away, but to attend to the soul since it is immortal.Wherefore, O righteous Helena, thy spirit rejoiceth with the Angels.

Troparion, tone 1

You shone with the virtues of meekness, humility and reverence, / you appeared to the mysterious head of the Mill community in Deveyevo, / our reverend mother Elena, / even until death, in perfect obedience to the elder Seraphim, you remained, / and you were honored to see the Lord, / ask us boldness to Him alone serve / for the salvation of our souls.

Troparion of St Ignatius of Rostov Tone 4

Thy doctrine was a source of enlightenment;/ thou didst receive a flock as a Hierarch and wast an heir to the Apostles./ Thou didst receive the gift of wonderworking:/ O holy Bishop Ignatius,/ entreat Christ our God to save our souls.

Apolytikion of St Eutyches ― Tone 4

As a sharer of the ways and a successor to the throne of the Apostles, O inspired of God, thou foundest discipline to be a means of ascent to divine vision. Wherefore, having rightly divided the word of truth, thou didst also contest for the Faith even unto blood, O Hieromartyr Eutyches. Intercede with Christ our God that our souls be saved.

Troparion of St Nicetas Tone 4

In truth you were revealed to your flock as a rule of faith, / an image of humility and a teacher of abstinence; / your humility exalted you; your poverty enriched you. / Hierarch Father Nicetas, / entreat Christ our God that our souls may be saved.

For the Fathers. From Pentecostarion
Mode pl. 2. That woman, who was spurned.
For with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption; and He shall redeem Israel from all his transgressions.
Who is it, O Savior, that rent Your garment? * “Arius,” You said, who creates divisions, * dividing the Trinity’s equipotent dominion. * He rejected You as being one of the Trinity’s persons. * He teaches Nestorius not to use the term Theotokos. * But the holy Council in Nicea * proclaimed that You are the Son of God and share the throne * with the Father and the Spirit, O Lord.

Mode pl. 2. When the saints deposited.

When the holy Shepherds brought all of their pastoral knowledge * to the Council and they stirred * their most righteous anger now justifiably, * they drove out with the sling of the Holy Spirit * the offensive and corruptive wolves, * and from the complement of the Church of Christ they expelled them all, * as having fallen mortally, and as being ill and incurable. * Thus they demonstrated themselves as loyal servants of the Lord, * and sacred mystics of the divine * and inspired preaching of Christ.


There is a lot of sin in the world, a lot of impiety and unbelief. This is why there must be a war… Orthodoxy is being slaughtered… St. John the Russian, the New Confessor of Prokopion to St. Iakovos (James) Tsalikis

Ανάληψη_The Ascension of the Lord_ Вознесение Господне _15392581861_da1e522967_k - Copy - CopySynaxarion From the Menaion.
On the twenty‐seventh of this month (May) we commemorate our righteous and God‐bearing Father John the Russian, the New Confessor, who was sold as a slave to a certain Hagerene and was taken by him into Asia Minor, into Procopion, a town of Cappadocia, and struggled there in the ascetical life, and reposed in the Lord in the year 1730.
On this day we also commemorate the holy Hieromartyr Helladius (4th century)
On this day we also commemorate the holy Hieromartyr Therapon of Sardis, by beheading (259)
The holy Martyr Julius the Veteran of Dorostolum in Moesia (297)
The holy Martyr Efsebiotes died by fire.
The holy Martyr Alypius died when his head was crushed by a stone.
Venerable Melangell of Wales, Abbess (590)
Venerable Bede the Confessor, Hieromonk of Wearmouth-Jarrow (735
Saint Michael of Parekhi, Georgia (8th-9th century)
Saint Basil of Khakhuli, son of King Bagrat III (11th century)
Saint Philip I, Metropolitan of Moscow (1473)
Venerable Therapont of White Lake, Abbot of Byelozersk (White Lake) and Mozhaisk (1426)
Venerable Therapont of Monza, Abbot of Monza (1597)
Venerable Hiero-schema-monk Lazarus of Pskov-Caves Monastery (1824)
Translation of the relics (1472) of Sts. Cyprian (1406), Photius (1431), and Jonah (1461), Metropolitans of Kiev
Translation of the relics (1667) of Venerable Nilus of Stolobny Island (1554)

The captive showed himself to be full of graces,
As he led away captive the prince of darkness.
On the twenty‐seventh John ascended in light.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (Roman 8: 35-37).

Appearance of the St. John the Russian to St. Iakovos (James) Tsalikis

‘Only saints can talk about the saints as they share common spiritual experiences and understand each other’

Ιωάννης ο Ρώσος_John the Russian_св Иоанн Русский_2705 - Copy“On Sunday morning, July 15th, 1990, Fr. Iakovos (In English: James) Tsalikis came from his small cell to the church to celebrate the Divine Liturgy. Inside the Altar he related to the Fathers of the monastery everything that St. John the Russian told him “spiritually” the night before, “the Lord knows how” in front of holy burial shrine with St. John’s incorrupt remains in the church named after him at Prokopi, Euboea, Greece.

– “They think that I am asleep, that I am dead, and the Christians do not count on me. But I am alive. I see everyone. My body is inside but I go out of my burial shrine many times. I run among people in order to help them. There is a lot of pain. They do not see me. I see them and hear what they say. I then return to my burial shrine. But Father, listen to what I will tell you. There is a lot of sin in the world, a lot of impiety and unbelief.”

– “Why do you say these things, my Saint?” I responded. “Don’t you see how many people come to your burial shrine and venerate you?”

– “Many come, Fr. Iakovos, but only a few are my children”, St. John added and he continued…

– “This is why there must be a war: Because there is a lot of sin in the world.”

– “No, my Saint”, I said fretfully. “Since I was a small boy I have always experienced wars and afflictions; in Asia Minor, where I was born, and when we came to Greece. Afterwards, my saint, if the war comes, souls will perish before they can repent in time.”

There must be a war, there must be a war, there must be a war”, the Saint replied sadly but with a steady voice.

And he continued to say that there will be certain floods, fires and other destructions in the region of Euboea (Greece), and other tribulations as well. Everything that the Saint told the Elder that night has occurred and is occurring. On August 1st, 1990 war was declared on the Persian Gulf, while a little later, in Euboea, there were floods and fierce storms. People died and material resources were destroyed. Fires had destroyed forests and other large areas.” (A Holy Elder, the Blessed Fr. Iakovos. Rovies, Euboea: 1993).

Ιωάννης ο Ρώσος_John the Russian_св Иоанн Русский_Ιακωβος_-Iakovos-Tsalikis-of-Evia-Icon-Orthodox - CopyBut the war of which St. John the Russian spoke three times is the 3rd World War and not a local war, because those occur all the time. This war has not occurred yet because many great elders were around (Paisios, Iakovos, Porphyrios, Ambrosios and many others men and women in Greece only). These elders, who are all Saints, are an impediment to the devil’s destructive plans and instruments because they live forever. And since their deaths they are able to intervene even faster for those who call upon them.
“You should know that many Saints invisibly come and help us. God does not permit us to see them, but daily we have many saints at our side,” said Elder Ambrosios Lazaris (+2006). Also, foreseeing the “achievements” of the New World Order in 1990 he said: “Because God wishes to hold people firm, He will soon make his Saints visible. Because temptations will become so great and the afflictions so unbearable, God will make Saints appear – even great Saints such as St. Demetrios and St. George. People will hear that in one week, such and such Saint appeared in Crete; in another, such and such Saint in Macedonia, one here another there.


“…The Saint’s presence (together with Saint George the Trophybearer) in March 1999 in Serbia is moving. As the invincible General, our Panagia, strengthened our [Greek] soldiers in 1940, thus St. John the Russian, confirmed to many who saw him in visions: ‘I am going to Belgrade, because Orthodoxy is being slaughtered.’ And this occurred: the Saint, arrayed as a soldier, strengthened many Serbs at that time through his wonderworking presence, as many credible Serbian witnesses confess…”


Ιωάννης Ρώσος_ Saint John the Russian_Святой Иоанн русский_ΙΩΑΝΝΗΣ ΡΩΣΟς3From The Garden of the Holy Spirit: Elder Iakovos of Evia (1920-1991)
The St. Elder Iakovos lived in St. David’s for forty years. He imitated Saint David, and followed his path. His ascetic struggles were equivalent to the old saints.

“Elder Iakovos Tsalikis would regularly visit the Shrine of St. John the Russian in Evia. He much loved Saint John the Russian
He said: “Once, I saw the Saint alive inside of his reliquary. I asked him: “My Saint, how did you live in Asia Minor, what virtues and blessings did you have?
The Saint responded to me: “I slept in the cave in which was the stable and covered myself with straw to take cover in the winter so I wouldn’t freeze. I had humility and faith.”
In a short while he said to me: “Wait, Fr. Iakovos, because now two people have come to pray for a sick child. Wait until I go help him.”
Immediately the reliquary appeared empty, because the Saint left. In a short while, he returned, though I didn’t see how he did, but I saw him inside his reliquary like a [living] man!”


Once, the Turks had sacked the church with St. John’s body while it was in in Asia Minor. They then proceeded to throw the Saint’s body into the fire to burn it. However, they soon saw the Saint appear as if he were alive and arise and walk amidst the flames; the Turks then fled in fear. This is the reason that the Saint’s body is darkened to this day from the smoke of the flames. However, it nonetheless remained utterly incorrupt and wonderworking.

A non-believer physician (who at one time, with great disrespect, had called the relics of the Saint a “mummy”), was healed from an incurable and terminal illness when the humble Saint appeared to him and said, “I am he whom you called the ‘mummy’, and I heal you by the Grace of my Lord Jesus Christ”!Ιωάννης Ρώσος_ Saint John the Russian_Святой Иоанн русский_iorus_relicsSt. John the Russian, the New Confessor of Prokopion

The Holy Confessor John the Russian was born in Little Russia around 1690, and was raised in piety and love for the Church of God. Upon attaining the age of maturity he was called to military service, and he served as a simple soldier in the army of Peter I and took part in the Russo-Turkish War. As the war continued intensively near Castle of Azov, the Ottoman army captured him as prisoner. He was sent, just like the other prisoners to Istanbul. At that time, Omer Esat (Eset) who served as Janissary Agha in the Ottoman army took with him to his hometown Ürgüp after the war in order to get him served as a slave.

Spending the next 12 years of his life at Omer Esat Agha’s Mansion, .. He lived in the Kayakapı Neighbourhood until his death (27th of May 1730).
Feeling love and compassion to humans, animals and all living creatures in nature during his relatively short life, the Saint was well known to always walk with arms crossed on his chest and to keep saying the word “Holy God”. He mostly spent his life between Omer Esat Agha’s house and the Hagia Yorgi (St. Georgios) Church close to his house. He greeted all the people he saw with the name of God and wished mercy and love to be with them.

It was observed that everything was in abundance at Omer Esat Agha’s Mansion; number of healthy animals constantly increased and prospered after the arrival of Saint John the Russian.

He was tortured to deny Christ. At Prokopi he was subjected to the scorn and hatred of the Turks for being a “kiafir”, that is an unbeliever of Islam, for which he was tortured.
He was beaten with sticks, kicked and spat on, and a red hot metal bowl was put on his head, burning his hair and scalp. He was then thrown into the mire of a stable and made to live with the animals.

Saint John endured all his tortures with perseverance and remarkable bravery. His indomitable Christian character, his wonderful inner world, which since his childhood had been devoted to Christ, shone like the sun. To the beatings, insults and kicks of the Turks he responded with the words of Saint Paul:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Rom. 8:35).

From morning until late evening the saint served his Turkish master, fulfilling all his commands. He performed his duties in the winter cold and summer heat, half naked and barefoot. Other slaves frequently mocked him, seeing his zeal. St John never became angry with them, but on the contrary, he helped them when he could, and comforted them in their misfortune.

The saint’s kindness and gentle nature had its effect on the souls of both the master and the slaves. The Agha and his wife came to love him, and offered him a small room near the hayloft. St John did not accept it, preferring to remain in the stable with the animals. Here he slept on the hay, covered only by an old coat. So the stable became his hermitage, where he prayed and chanted Psalms.
St John brought a blessing to his master simply by living in his household. The cavalry officer became rich, and was soon one of the most powerful men in Prokopion. He knew very well why his home had been blessed, and he did not hesitate to tell others.

Sometimes St John left the stable at night and went to the church of the Great Martyr George, where he kept vigil in the narthex. On Saturdays and Feast days, he received the Holy Mysteries of Christ.

During this time St John continued to serve his master as before, and despite his own poverty, he always helped the needy and the sick, and shared his meager food with them.

Ιωάννης ο Ρώσος_John the Russian_св Иоанн Русский_-copper-dish-of-food-Miracle-Prayer-Icon-Orthodox - CopyOne day, the officer left Prokopion and went to Mecca on pilgrimage. A few days later, his wife gave a banquet and invited her husband’s friends and relatives, asking them to pray for her husband’s safe return. St John served at the table, and he put down a dish of pilaf, his master’s favorite food. The hostess said, “How much pleasure your master would have if he could be here to eat this pilaf with us.” St John asked for a dish of pilaf, saying that he would send it to his master in Mecca. The guests laughed when they heard his words. The mistress, however, ordered the cook to give him a dish of pilaf, thinking he would eat it himself, or give it to some poor family.

Taking the dish, St John went into the stable and prayed that God would send it to his master. He had no doubt that God would send the pilaf to his master in a supernatual manner. The plate disappeared before his eyes, and he went into the house to tell his mistress that he had sent the pilaf to his master.

After some time, the master returned home with the copper plate which had held the pilaf. He told his household that on a certain day (the very day of the banquet), he returned from the mosque to the home where he was staying. Although the room was locked, he found a plate of steaming pilaf on the table. Unable to explain who had brought the food, or how anyone could enter the locked room, the officer examined the plate. To his amazement, he saw his own name engraved on the copper plate. In spite of his confusion, he ate the meal with great relish.

When the officer’s family heard this story, they marveled. His wife told him of how John had asked for a plate of pilaf to send to his master in Mecca, and how they all laughed when John came back and said that it had been sent. Now they saw that what the saint had said was true (Compare the story of Habakkuk, who miraculously brought a dish of pottage to Daniel in the lions’ den [Dan. 14:33-39], in the Septuagint).

Toward the end of his difficult life St John fell ill, and sensed the nearness of his end. He summoned the priest so that he could receive Holy Communion. The priest, fearing to go to the residence of the Turkish commander openly with the Holy Gifts, enclosed the life-giving Mysteries in an apple and brought them to St John.

St John glorified the Lord, received the Body and Blood of Christ, and then reposed. The holy Confessor John the Russian went to the Lord Whom he loved on May 27, 1730. When they reported to the master that his servant John had died, he summoned the priests and gave them the body of St John for Christian burial. Almost all the Christian inhabitants of Prokopion came to the funeral, and they accompanied the body of the saint to the Christian cemetery.

Three and a half years later the priest was miraculously informed in a dream that the relics of St John had remained incorrupt. Soon the relics of the saint were transferred to the church of the holy Great Martyr George and placed in a special reliquary. The new saint of God began to be glorified by countless miracles of grace, accounts of which spread to the remote cities and villages. Christian believers from various places came to Prokopion to venerate the holy relics of St John the Russian and they received healing through his prayers. The new saint came to be venerated not only by Orthodox Christians, but also by Armenians, and even Turks, who prayed to the Russian saint, “Servant of God, in your mercy, do not disdain us.”


A Shipwreck Averted

Ιωάννης ο Ρώσος_John the Russian_св Иоанн Русский_Προσευχη-of-Evia-stable-horses-Prayer-Icon-Orthodox-6 - CopyA loaded merchant ship sailing in the North Sea on its way to a port in the Netherlands suddenly encountered a terribly heavy sea. It seemed that the ship would be sunk at any moment by the enormous waves and that its crew of Greek sailors were facing the last moments of their lives. The ship’s steering gear and radar had ceased working and there was no way of knowing where the ship was being driven. Amid the roaring of the storm the voice of the captain could be heard. He was not giving orders, for they were not needed.
Experienced sailor that he was, he was telling his crew the truth: “We are going down. Pray to God for our salvation.”
He himself went to the ship’s icon shrine where there was an icon of Saint John the Russian. Aware of what was about to happen, he knelt and prayed: “My Saint John, I am not asking you to save me or this valuable ship, but I am praying for these poor sailors who travel in foreign places and who eat the bread of exile kneaded with the salt of the sea so that they can support their families, and who tonight will be lost. Saint John, I want you to save them.
All night, while the sea boomed and the freezing north wind howled, the captain beseeched Saint John continually in his heart.
The dreadful night passed. Dawn came. And what did the sailors see? Their ship was moored and safe in the port of Rotterdam.
Who was the “great captain” who had guided the ship through the storm and brought them there? It was Saint John the Russian.
Nobody could persuade Captain Dimitris Varoutsikas, who over the years had seen many things on the high seas, otherwise. Stunned by this miracle he telephoned the shipping company to say that he was laying up the ship for repairs and coming to Greece.
In his own way he wanted to express a spontaneous “thank you” to Saint John. Once in Greece he took his wife to a big shop where ecclesiastical items are sold and bought a ciborium, a book of the Holy Gospels, a chalice, liturgical fans, a cross for blessing, and oil-lamps, all made of gold, enamel and silver – gifts for Saint John the Russian. These valuable treasures now upon the Holy Altar remind us of the miracle of faith and of prayer and of the salvation of those anguished and distraught sailors.Προκόπι Ürgüp Kayakapı ναός αγ Γεωργίου-Ιωάννης Ρώσος_ Saint John the Russian_Св Иоанн русский-Προσευχή-33386bfe3e2eb8a0b2The blessed John made that stable into a hermitage. The Life of St. John the Russian by Photios Kontoglou
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2021/05/26/the-blessed-john-made-that-stable-into-a-hermitage-the-life-of-st-john-the-russian-by-photios-kontoglou/Ιωάννης Ρώσος_ Saint John the Russian_Святой Иоанн русский_123459532735_DSC00328Troparion of St John the Russian,
in Tone IV:

He Who summoned thee to the mansions of heaven * hath preserved thy body incorrupt after death; * for as a captive thou wast taken to Asia, * where thou didst emulate Christ. ** Wherefore, entreat Him, that our souls be saved.

Or this Troparion of St John the Russian,
in Tone IV:

The Lord, Who summoned thee forth from thine earthly captivity * to the mansions of heaven, * preserveth thy body intact, imparting to it * the ability to heal, O righteous John; * for thou, who wast captured in Russia and sold in Asia, * didst live piously among the Moslem infidels, * and in great endurance having sown here in tears, * thou hast there reaped ineffable joy. ** Wherefore, entreat Christ God, that our souls be saved.

Troparion of St Helladios Tone 5

The hosts of heaven,/ marvelling at thy steadfast courage,/ were astonished by thine endurance, O blessed one./ For though in a mortal body/ thou didst shame the bodiless by the power of the Cross,/ O Hierarch Helladios,/ defender of godliness and invincible soldier of Christ.

Troparion of St Melangell Tone 8

Preferring the rigours of monasticism to worldly status and marriage, 0 pious Melangell,/ though wast fifteen years on a rock, emulating the example of the Syrian Stylites./ Wherefore, 0 Saint, pray to God that He will give us strength to serve Him as He wills,/ that we may be found worthy of His great mercy.

Troparion of St Therapon of Sardis Tone 4

By sharing in the ways of the Apostles, you became a successor to their throne. / Through the practice of virtue, / you found the way to divine contemplation, O inspired one of God; / by teaching the word of truth without error, / you defended the Faith, even to the shedding of your blood. / Hieromartyr Therapon, entreat Christ God to save our souls.

Troparion of St Bede Tone 8

Throughout the dark years of thy times, O Bede, thou didst water the English lands and all the West with outpourings of grace; and like a skilled sower thou didst cast the seed of divine knowledge far and wide over the fields of thy Master, where, springing forth, it hath borne fruit for Him an hundredfold. Wherefore, having thus acquired boldness before Him, O venerable one, pray thou unceasingly that our souls be saved.

Tone IV—

Thou wast tried like gold in the crucible of tribulations, O thou of valiant mind, ill-treated by those who held thee captive; wherefore, after thy repose thy holy soul came to dwell with the angels and rejoiceth with them as is meet. And thou dost gladden those who have recourse to thy relics with the gift of healings. Therefore, gazing upon the beauty of the Master with the righteous, pray thou for the salvation of our souls.

On the Aposticha, these Stichera, in Tone II:

O divinely wise John, illumined by the grace of God and given wings by divine love, thou didst pass unhindered through the night of suffering of a slave’s life in the midst of infidels, and didst attain unto the never-waning day of the freedom of paradise, enlightening the fullness of the faithful with the rays thereof.

Made captive by Tartars and sold into bondage to Moslems, O most honored one, thou wast made to dwell in a horse’s stall, as Job sat upon his dung-hill, afflicted and oppressed; wherefore, in accordance with the righteous judgment of God, thou hast found consolation in the bosom of Abraham after thy repose, where the abode of all those who rejoice is found.

Glory …, in Tone VI:

Possessed of a goodly mind, a watchful heart and love unfeigned, and ever uniting himself to God in vigils of prayer, the righteous John received his blessed repose on this day: he soareth aloft in the purity of his soul to rejoice with the elect of the heavenly Father, but hath left us his holy relics for our consolation and sanctification. And hastening to them, we cry out to him: O God-pleaser, ask thou forgiveness of sins, peace and great mercy for those who hymn thee!

Sessional Hymn, in Tone IV:

Thou wast a captive on earth, O divinely wise one, enduring all manner of ill treatment; and thou didst offer thy virtues to God like fragrant incense and a right acceptable sacrifice. Him do thou entreat, that He grant cleansing of sins to those who honor thy holy memory.

Apolytikion of Holy Ascension in the Fourth Tone

O Christ our God, You ascended in Glory and gladdened Your disciples by the promise of the Holy Spirit. Your blessing assured them that You are the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world.

Troparion of Holy Ascension, Tone IV:

Thou hast ascended in glory, O Christ our God, * having gladdened Thy disciples with the promise of the Holy Spirit; * and they were assured by the blessing * that Thou art the Son of God, ** the Redeemer of the world. (Thrice)

O Lord, ascended into heaven, illumine our mind with Your understanding that we may more easily adopt Your unfathomable love toward mankind and weep–weep from sorrow because of our hardened hearts and because of our darkened and malicious minds and weep because of joy, because of Your love toward us, who are darkened and embittered. St. Nicholai Velimirovich

Ανάληψη_The Ascension of the Lord_ Вознесение Господне _15392581861_da1e522967_k - Copy - CopySynaxarion From the Menaion.
On May 25 we commemorate the Third Finding of the Precious Head of the holy and glorious Prophet, Forerunner, John the Baptist.
On this day the holy Martyr Celestine died after his heels were pierced with iron spikes.
Our devout Father Olbian reposed in peace.
Our Father among the Saints Dionysius the Confessor, Bishop of Milan.
Our Father among the Saints Zenobius, Bishop of Florence
On this day the Our devout Father Therapont of Cyprus, Hieromartyr (300-305)
On this day the Saint Thekla of Pereyaslavl, nun, (mother of St. Daniel, Abbot of Pereyaslavl-Zalesski +1540) (16th century)
Saint Innocent of Cherson and Taurica (1857)
Commemoration of the Reunion of 3,000,000 Uniates with the Orthodox Church at Vilnius in 1831
The Saints of Volhynia: Yaropolk, Prince of Vladimir; Stephen, Bishop of Vladimir; Macarius of Kanev; Igor, Grand Duke of Chernigov and Kiev; and Juliana, Princess of Olshansk, whose Synaxis we celebrate.
Repose of recluse George of Zadonsk (1836)
Repose of righteous Vladimir Natawe (1927-2000), An Orthodoxy Indian Chief of the Native American Mohawk

On this day, Thursday of the sixth week of Pascha, we celebrate the Ascension of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Verse: Thou didst sit at the right hand of the Father O Word
Granting unto thine initiates a most steadfast faith

O Master, leave not as orphans, But as Thou didst promise, * send us Thine All-holy Spirit…

Ascension (6th Thursday after Pascha)
St. Nicholai Velimirovich

Ανάληψη_The Ascension of the Lord_ Вознесение Господне _01351e62120f9f8d386How the Lord, blessing His disciples, was raised above the earth and borne to heaven and how the disciples watched Him as He ascended until a cloud hid Him from their sight.
How all the gravitational forces on earth were unable to keep the body of the Lord from ascending.
How, by His Ascension, the Lord showed Himself to be above the laws of nature.
How two angels appeared to the disciples while they were still gazing after the ascended Lord and how the angels proclaimed that the Lord would come again in the same manner as the disciples saw Him ascending into heaven.
How the disciples worshiped Him and how they returned to Jerusalem with great joy.
How He began His saving work on earth as an ordinary humble worker.
How He completed His saving work by His miraculous and glorious Ascension into heaven.
How, by His Ascension, He manifested His Divine Nature and His Divine Might.
How, by His Ascension into heaven, He reveals to man that there exists a better, loftier world and life: a heavenly world and heavenly life.
How, by His Ascension, He signified the triumphant completion of His entire work on earth in the course of some thirty-three years.
How, by His Ascension, He teaches us that we should direct all of our aspirations toward heaven and not toward earth.
How he first resurrected bodily and then ascended bodily.
How after death the souls of righteous men first ascend into heaven while the body awaits the general resurrection, general transfiguration and general ascension.
St. Nikolai Velimirovic, The Prologue of Ohrid – Volume One


About the incomparable love of Christ
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

“And to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:19).

“The love of Christ that surpasses knowledge!” Surpasses, not the knowledge of God, but surpasses the knowledge of man, darkened and embittered by sin. God’s knowledge is equal to God’s love and neither surpasses the other. But man’s knowledge, alienated from God, does not comprehend God’s love at all, shown through the Lord Jesus Christ. God understands man but man does not understand God. God attempted, by reason, to enable man to understand through nature and through the Old Revelation, through the Law and the prophets, but man did not want to submit to that knowledge. Then, God attempted to overcome men through love and through this love to draw them to Himself. From that [love] comes the Incarnation of the Son of God, from that [love] thence is His sacrifice and His suffering to the death. Such inexpressible love of God, beyond words and knowledge, have captured and returned many to God, i.e., made them to understand; gave them a new knowledge, pure and bright. But, it confused many of them, again, for it did not agree with their darkened and embittered understanding.

“And to know,” says the apostle. How can we brethren, know that which is beyond knowing and beyond understanding? In no other way than by a change of mind, awakening and sharpening of the mind, illumination and elevation of the mind: in brief, the acquiring of a new mind, which would have the capability to understand the love of Christ which is beyond the present sinful mind of men.

O the depth of God’s wisdom and knowledge! Whoever even approaches just a little closer to You that one feels that You are, at the same time, the depth of the love of God.

O Lord, ascended into heaven, illumine our mind with Your understanding that we may more easily adopt Your unfathomable love toward mankind and weep–weep from sorrow because of our hardened hearts and because of our darkened and malicious minds and weep because of joy, because of Your love toward us, who are darkened and embittered.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
http://prologue.orthodox.cn/April29.htmάγγελος_Ανάληψη_Παντάνασσα, Μυστράςimg24Our Ascended Lord, The Saving Swallow Who Opened the Way to the Eternal Spring. by St. Nicholai Velimirovich

He who bears heaven within his soul will ascend to heaven. St. Nicholai Velimirovich

The feast of the Ascension is the celebration of heaven now opened to human beings, heaven as the new and eternal home, heaven as our true homeland. Fr Alexander Schmemann

The Ascension of our Jesus Christ, the Lord took our human nature with Him into the Mystery of the Trinity. Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh

My revolution was still thundering, because it was muted, like the tread of a rabbit… My path to the Orthodox Church was a “secret path”. Vladimir Natawe, Chief of the Native American Mohawk

Scripture readings for the Feast are the following: At Vespers: Isaiah 2:2-3, 62:10-63:9; Zechariah 14:1,4,8-11.
At the Orthros (Matins) Mark 16:9-20;
At the Divine Liturgy: Acts 1:1-12; Luke 24:36-53.

Apolytikion of Holy Ascension in the Fourth Tone

O Christ our God, You ascended in Glory and gladdened Your disciples by the promise of the Holy Spirit. Your blessing assured them that You are the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world.

Troparion of Holy Ascension, Tone IV:

Thou hast ascended in glory, O Christ our God, * having gladdened Thy disciples with the promise of the Holy Spirit; * and they were assured by the blessing * that Thou art the Son of God, ** the Redeemer of the world. (Thrice)


Leaving things of earth upon the earth; consigning things of ash unto the mound; come, let us rouse ourselves, lift up eyes and thoughts, and to the heights ascend. Let our faces and our senses, mortals, likewise look to heaven’s gates. Imagine us upon the mount called Olivet to gaze upon the Redeemer riding on a cloud. From there, the Lord went straightaway to the heavens. There, the Liberal One distributes gifts to His Apostles: as a father calling them, confirming them; directing them as sons; saying to them, “I do not part from you. I am with you, and there is, therefore, none against you.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Tone 6

Not parted from the Father’s bosom, O sweetest Jesus, and having lived among those on earth as man, today You have been taken up in glory from the Mount of Olives, and exalting in Your compassion our fallen nature, You have seated it with the Father. Therefore the heavenly ranks of the Bodiless Powers were amazed at the wonder, and beside themselves with fear; and seized with trembling, they magnified Your love for mankind. With them, we on earth also give glory for Your condescension to us and Your Ascension from us; and we supplicate You, saying: “At Your Ascension You filled with boundless joy the Disciples and the Theotokos who bore You; by their prayers make us also worthy of the joy of Your elect through Your great mercy!”

Idiomelon. Mode 1.

Now that You have ascended to heaven, from where You descended, please do not leave us orphans, O Lord. May Your Spirit come and bring peace to the world. Show the sons of men Your mighty works, O Lord who love humanity.

The blood of the martyrs is the seed of Christianity. Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Εις Άδου Κάθοδος_Ανάσταση_Holy Resurrection of Jesus Christ_Воскресение Иисуса Христа_ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΗ_1ih4506Χριστὸς Ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς Ἀνέστη!
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
Христос Воскрес! Воистину Воскрес!
ქრისტეაღსდგა! ჭეშმარიტადაღსდგა!

Synaxarion From the Menaion.
On May 24 we commemorate our devout Father Symeon Stylites the Younger of Wonderful Mountain (c.592).
On this day we also commemorate the holy Martyrs Meletios the Commander and those with him: John, Stephen, Serapion the Egyptian, Callinicus the Magus, and twelve Counts and Tribunes: Faustus, Festus, Marcellus, Theodore, Meletius, Sergius, Marcellinus, Felix, Photinus, Theodoriscus, Mercurius, and Didymus; three women: Marciana, Palladia, and Susanna; two infants: Kyriacus and Christian; and another 11,208 who witnessed with them. The service in their honor is celebrated in the Temple of the holy Martyr Plato, found in the vestibule called Domninus, in Constantinople.
On this day we also commemorate the Saint Kyriakos of Evrychou, in Cyprus, the Wonderworker
Venerable Nikita Stylites, Wonderworker of Pereyaslavl-Zalesski (1186)
Saint Gregory of Novgorod, Archbishop (1193)
Translation of the relics (c.1067) of St. George of the Holy Mountain and Georgia (1065)
Commemoration of Inauguration of the church of Virgin Mary in Karrais of Syria

The blood of the martyrs is the seed of Christianity.
Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

In one of the writings of the martyrdom of Christians during the reign of the Persian Emperor Sapor, it is said: “The swords became dull, the sword-bearers fell and the sword-makers fatigued, but the Cross is uplifted even higher and glistened from the blood of Christ’s martyrs.” How many and how many times did the persecutors of Christians complacently think that they were through with Christianity forever? In essence, their lives have ended while Christianity has always regenerated itself and blossomed anew. Nevertheless, even in addition to that experience, some of our contemporaries think, that the Christian Faith can be uprooted by force. But, they do not say by what means. They forget that all those means have been tried and all without success. With reason Tertullian cried out to the pagans: “In vain do you spill our blood. For the blood of the martyrs is the seed of Christianity.”
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Γεώργιος_Δημήτριος_Προκοπιος_Αρτεμιος_ george-dimitri-procopius-artemy-17c_hilanderathos_Георгий_Димитрий_Прокопий_Артемий_2196.5883HYMN OF PRAISE
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Martyrs radiant, their blood they shed,
And the entire black earth, with their blood they stained
The fire was powerful in which they were burned,
But, more powerful the love, with which they loved Christ.
For the greatest good, a martyr to be
With what kind of riches, can this be compared?
All-victorious Christ, the King of that age,
Your brave souls in heaven welcomed.
From the hands of the angels, He took them to Himself,
And all your weighty pains, He blessed.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

If the world does not a saint produce, the world, a fig tree is without fruit and worth, a dead barren tree! Glory to wonderful Simeon, of the Wonderful Mountain. Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Troparion, in Tone I:

A desert dweller, an angel in the flesh and a wonder-worker * wast thou revealed to be, O our God-bearing father Symeon. * Receiving heavenly gifts through fasting, vigils and prayers, * thou healest the infirm and the souls of those who with faith have recourse unto thee. * Glory to Him Who hath given thee strength! * Glory to Him Who hath crowned thee! ** Glory to Him Who through thee worketh healings for all!

Apolytikion of Symeon the Stylite
First Tone

Thou becamest a pillar of patience and didst emulate the Forefathers, O righteous one: Job in his sufferings, Joseph in temptations, and the life of the bodiless while in the body, O Symeon, our righteous Father, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

Troparion of St Nicetas the Stylite Tone 4

O Nicetas, thou didst despise the lusts of youth with true discernment./ In thy courageous life thou didst defeat the enemy and wast pleasing to God in thy prudence./ Thou hast received the gift of wonderworking/ and dost cast out demons and healest infirmities./ Entreat Christ our God to save our souls.

Troparion — Tone 8

The image of God was truly preserved in you, O Mother, / for you took up the Cross and followed Christ. / By so doing, you taught us to disregard the flesh, for it passes away; / but to care instead for the soul, since it is immortal. / Therefore your spirit, O venerable Martha, rejoices with the angels.

Tone VIII: Spec. Mel.: “O most glorious wonder …”:

Taking wing with divine desire, * while yet bearing the flesh * and clad in dust, * thou didst manifestly become a dweller with the angels, * having forsaken earthly things * and ascended to the heavenly, O father, * ever mounting to God * on thy lofty pillar, ** and shining forth in thine ascents. (Twice)

Christ is risen from the dead, by death trampling down upon death, and to those in the tombs He has granted life.

May we bear our cross daily and NEVER, EVER be ashamed to wear our baptismal cross and be ready at all times to defend our holy Orthodox Christian Faith by living a holy life in accordance with the commands of Christ. New-Martyr Eugene Rodionov – Saint Eumenios Saridakis, Lord Jesus Christ, I want You to save all people.

ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΗ ΤΟΥ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ_Holy Resurrection of Jesus Christ_Воскресение Иисуса Христа_56929.bxchrist-the-conqueror-of-0Χριστὸς ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη!
Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
ХристосВоскрес! Воистину Воскрес!
Kristus (ir) augšāmcēlies! Patiesi viņš ir augšāmcēlies!
ქრისტეაღსდგა! ჭეშმარიტადაღსდგა!

Synaxarion From the Menaion.
On May 23 we commemorate the holy Myrrh-bearer Mary the wife of Clopas, who reposed in peace. (1st c.)
On this day we also commemorate our devout Father Michael the Confessor, Bishop of Synnada.(826)
Saint Manaen (Manahen), prophet and teacher of the Church of Antioch (Acts 13:1) (1st century)
The holy Martyr Salonas of Rome died by the sword.
The holy Martyr Seleucus died when he was sawn in two.
Saints Eutychius and Florentius, two monks who governed a monastery in Valcastoria near Nursia, Italy (540)
Our righteous Mother Euphrosyne of Polotsk, Princess (1173)
Saint Damian (Damianos in monasticm), (King Demetrius) of Georgia (1125-1156), Hymnographer (1156)
Hieromartyr Daniel with 30 monks and 200 laymen of Uglich, during the Polish–Muscovite War (1608
Synaxis of All Saints of Rostov and Yaroslavl
Slaying of Soldier Eugene Rodionov in Chechnya (1996)
On this day we also commemorate our devout Father Eumenios Saridakis (1999)
Uncovering of the relics of martyrs Evdokia (Sheikova), Daria (Timagina), Daria (Ulybina), and Mary (Neizvestnaya) of Puzov (1919)– village of Suvorovo of the Nizhny Novgorod region (2001)

Saint Eumenios Saridakis:
the holy friend of lepers

Ευμένιος Σαριδάκη_Elder Eumenius Saridakis_Св. старец Евмени Саридакис_707_55033047333075_n (2)St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia used to say about Elder Evmenios: “ You should go and receive the blessing of Elder Eumenios, for he is the hidden Saint of our time. A saint like Elder Evmenios comes along only once every two hundred years ”.

Only saints can talk about the saints as they share common spiritual experiences and understand each other’

Saint Eumenios Saridakis said: “If your heart becomes one with Christ’s heart, you feel what He feels”. Lord Jesus Christ, I want You to save all people.

On a book about elder Eymenios he mentions an incident.
Once Elder Eumenios said that a 3rd world war would happen in the lands of Germany, Russia in Ukraine. “We were all on the front”. “What do you mean by all?” “All,there was father Porphyrios,father Iakovos,father Paisios, all the monks we went to the front”. The writer then mentions that Elder Eymenios meant a spiritual front. And then Elder Eymenios says “And I was crying, crying. Father Porphyrios saw me and said Don’t cry father Eymenios like that,nothing will happen, Panagia will make mercy”. This is the testimony from Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphu. In the end the Metropolitan mentions that they – the Elders – knew each other, they were a company.


Ευμένιος Σαριδάκη_Elder Eumenius Saridakis_Св. старец Евмени Саридакис_evmenio-3On Elder Eumenios (Saridakis)
Metropolitan Neophytos (Masouras) of Morphou

Which memories of Elder Eumenios are most dear to you?

—Well, there are many. First of all, he was diligently non-judgmental. If, thanks to his gift of clairvoyance, he noticed that you were judging about something or, even worse, condemning someone, he began “to act.” He would just go silent, not speaking with you. But if he knew you well, then he could get angry and give you a piece of his mind. And you understood: The elder saw your sin, that you condemned someone.

He was more sensitive to judgment and condemnation than to carnal and other types of sins. You had to have a lot of patience to be his spiritual child. You had to constantly hear Geronda’s comments about this. He himself had a great capacity for non-judgment. If his cell caught fire, he would try to put out the fire. But if you said to him later: “Accursed fire! Geronda, you nearly caught fire!” he would answer: “What’s wrong with you? The fire was very beautiful!” Many don’t understand me when I say things like that. For example, it’s gotten hot on Cyprus now. If you would tell the elder: “This heat is terrible!” he would answer you: “The heat is wonderful.” And it was always clear that he spoke this way, truly believing it. He didn’t even want to condemn the weather!

Ευμένιος Σαριδάκη_Elder Eumenius Saridakis_Св. старец Евмени Саридакис_Παναγία Κουδουμιανής_3485735Once, when it had rained for several days, I said: “Most Holy Theotokos, how much more will be poured out?!” Elder Eumenios answered: “As much will be poured out as is pleasing to the Most Holy Theotokos.” He didn’t want us to condemn anyone. They would tell him: “Papandreou said this or that,” when there were changes in the government of the country. “Well done, Papandreou,” he would respond. It was the same if you discussed other politicians, for example about Karamanlis4: “Well done, Karamanlis!” Once some zealots wanted to tell him something about the patriarch: “The patriarch is holy,” he said, interrupting them. That is, he absolutely did not allow criticism of politicians, Church affairs, and… meteorology.

His quality of not judging allowed you to realize how pure he was physically. Know that a non-judgmental person becomes chaste and circumspect. It’s difficult for the devil to tempt such people, especially in the flesh.

The elder was a very joyful person. That’s the second thing that was particularly memorable about him. Few people can be found with such joy. Many have a sense of humor, but he had rather the gift of rejoicing. I don’t think the Lord will account me worthy to see such a person again. I remember his indescribable joy at many Liturgies and services that lasted for five hours. Until the very last prayer, the smile never left the face of Fr. Eumenios.

Probably few know that a demon battled against him for some time. Recently a possessed young man related how he asked the saint to heal him and the saint answered him: “I will help you, but know why this happened to you. It befell me out of pride, but you—out of blasphemy.”

—When the demon took power over him, did Fr. Eumenios already know Elder Nicephoros?

—Yes, they knew each other. But out of humility, St. Nicephoros did nothing. He sent Elder Eumenios to his hometown—to the island of Crete, and he was exorcised by two great saints, who are not officially glorified: Elders Nikodemos the Confessor and Anastasios (Koudoumianos), his close friend. They are great Cretan saints. When the fame of his ability to cast out demons spread, Nikodemos left the island and retired to Mt. Athos, where he lived in a skete in Kapsala, not far from Karyes…

There were other people in Limodon who were sanctified by prayer, patience, and obedience to Elders Eumenios and Nicephoros….

Blessed Gerasimos (Phocas) used to call Limodon the “Holy Mountain of Athens.” The “Holy Mountain of Athens” was a place of refuge for human pain. People mercilessly tormented by this terrible disease patiently bore their crosses, led by Elder Eumenios, this spiritual fruit of St. Nicephoros, of St. Anthimos, of St. Pachomios… Fr. Eumenios supported and instilled hope in those patients whom “God found faithful.”
In a spiritless age he lived among us and supported the people of God. And today, when dark clouds of all kinds—national, moral, social, interpersonal, economic—darken the skies over our homeland and the world as a whole, these souls—souls that are pure before the Lord—can see St. Eumenios above the clouds with his elder, St. Nicephoros, and all those pious and righteous ones who were with him. Let us entreat that these dark clouds would depart from our horizon by their holy prayers before the Lord. (Ioannis Zanis- spoke with Metropolitan Neophytos (Masouras) of Morphou- Translated by Jesse Dominick)


ΕΥΓΕΝΙΟΣ ΡΟΝΤΙΟΝΩΦevgeny-rodionovSaint Evgeny Rodionov, the widely venerated Russian soldier who was beheaded by Chechen Muslims for refusing to remove his cross and deny Jesus Christ, is a real saint for our times. How many would not hesitate to remove their cross in order to save his earthly life? Such a simple thing, such a seemingly small confession of faith which we poor and weak ones take for granted every day, yet this young soldier persevered in faith in spite of horrible tortures, and earned a glorious, heavenly crown.
As Hieromonk Joachim exhorts us at the end of his sermon on St Evgeny (below):
And may we, dear brothers and sisters, learn from Evgeny’s constancy, dignity and bravery to face and overcome our own daily temptations to betray Christ. May we bear our cross daily and NEVER, EVER be ashamed to wear our baptismal cross and be ready at all times to defend our holy Orthodox Christian Faith by living a holy life in accordance with the commands of Christ.


New-Martyr Eugene Rodionov of Chechnya

Рядовой Евгений Родионов, Ο Άγιος Νεομάρτυρας Ευγένιος Ροντιόνωφ, Saint Evgeny Rodionov the New MartyrEugene Rodionov,19 years old, did not lose his faith despite horrible tortures “The Chechen captivity is the most horrid, the most inhuman and barbaric thing that can ever happen,” says Eugene’s mother. She had to survive hell to find her son, the body of her son, to be more precise. Eugene’s death coincided with his 19th birthday. Eugene’s mother, Lubov, was a little late: she was just seven kilometers far from the place of her son’s execution.

“Eugene was born 30 minutes after midnight on May 23, 1977. His delivery was not hard. He was a good and healthy child, his weight was 3900 grams. I was so relieved, when I heard his first cry. As if he was trying to say: “I came into this world, love me!” I incidentally looked at the window. It was dark outside, and I suddenly saw a falling star. I went pale, my heart turned to a cold small piece. Doctors tried to convince me that it was a good sign. They told me
that a falling star was a sign of good life for my baby. However, I had to live with a sense of something dangerous coming over us. Time made me forget about it, but I had to remember the sign in 19 years.”

The Russian patriotic press has already reported about the deed of a 19-year-old Russian soldier, Eugene Rodionov. This young man found himself in the Chechen captivity in 1996. He did not betray either his fatherland or his faith. He did not take off his cross even at the hardest moment of beastly tortures. The state decorated Eugene with the Order of Courage. People’s donations made it possible to put a two-meter high Orthodox cross on his grave. People come to visit his grave from most distant parts of Russia. His mother, Lubov Rodionova, says that people’s attitude changed her entire awareness of life. A WWII veteran once came to visit Eugene’s grave. He took off his military decoration – the Bravery Medal – and put in on the tombstone. Eugene Rodionov’s biography was published in a book that came out in 2002. The book was called “The New Martyr of Christ, Warrior Eugene.” This is not really a book, but a booklet, which was written by priest Alexander Shargunov. However, we know little about Eugene’s inmost thoughts, feelings, emotions, or what he had to go through during three months of the Chechen hell. A lot of things remain a mystery.
Lubov Rodionova shared her thoughts with the priest about her son’s childhood, his interests at school, his attitude to the military service. She also shared her most horrible thoughts – about the news of his alleged desertion from the army, and what followed that news afterwards.
 Eugene Rodionov was taken captive with three other soldiers at night of February 14th, not far from the Chechen settlement of Galashki. The guys arrived from the Kaliningrad region. They patrolled the border between the republics of Chechnya and Ingushetia. Their control and registration post was located some 200 meters far from the security detachment. The post was just a small cabin, without any light or wire communication. The cabin did not even have a military support, in spite of the fact that it was a single cabin on the mountainous road, which was used for carrying weapons, ammunition, captives, drugs and so on. The border guards stopped an ambulance vehicle to check it. More than ten armed Chechens got out of the vehicle. Needless to mention that it was very easy for them to cope with young inexperienced soldiers. The guys showed as much resistance as they could, but the outcome of the fight was evident before it even started. Lubov Rodionova believes that this incident happened over officers’ negligence, basically.

“The captivity has always been considered to be the most horrible thing that can ever happen to a person. It implies no freedom, but only tortures and humiliation. Experience showed that the Chechen captivity is the most horrid, the most inhuman and barbaric thing that can ever happen,” Lubov Rodionova believes.

Ευγένιος Ροντιόνωφag_Evgeniy RodionovAs soon as she learned that her son was a captive of Chechen guerrillas, she started looking for him all over Chechnya for nine months. She had to go through every horror imaginable. “I think that God was watching over me. I was walking along mined roads, but I did not step on a bomb. He protected me from bombings, he did not let me die, because my duty was to find my son, to bury him on his native land, according to Christian traditions. I have realized that recently. When I was walking along those military roads, I just kept silence, praying to God in my heart.”

Chechen bandits murdered Eugene Rodionov on May 23, 1996 in the Chechen settlement of Bamut. Russian troops occupied the village the next day. Lubov Rodionova learned about her son’s death only in September. She had to put a mortgage on her own apartment in order to find Eugene’s body and to take it away along with the bodies of his murdered friends. A Chechen man agreed to show her the place, where Eugene was buried. She had to pay him a lot of money for that.

“When I came to Chechnya in the middle of February, a living private cost ten million rubles. This price was 50 million in August. A friend of mine was told to pay 250 million rubles for her son, since he was an officer. It was nighttime, when I and some sappers were digging the pit, in which the bodies of four Russian soldiers were thrown. I was praying all the time, hoping that my Eugene was not going to be there. I could not and did not want to believe that he was murdered. When we were taking out the remnants, I recognized his boots. However, I still refused to accept the fact of his death, until someone found his cross. Then I fainted.” Eugene Rodionov was murdered by Ruslan Khaikhoroyev. This bandit confessed that himself. “Your son had a choice to stay alive. He could have converted to Islam, but he did not agree to take his cross off. He also tried to escape once,” said Khaikhoroyev. The guerrilla was killed together with his bodyguards on August 23, 1999 in a fight between armed Chechen groups.

When Lubov Rodionova came back home, Eugene’s father died five days after the funeral. He could not stand the loss of his son. Archpriest Demetrius Smirnov, acting chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate department for cooperation with the Armed Forces, says that Eugene Rodionov will definitely be canonized. The adequate inquiry has already been made, although more information about Eugene’s fate is needed. Father Demetrius said that Eugene would be canonized as soon as the information was collected.

A sign in memory of the brave Russian border guard was put at the entrance to the school, where he studied. There was also a documentary released about him. The writings on Eugene’s grave cross run: “Russian soldier Eugene Rodionov is buried here. He defended his Fatherland and did not disavow Christ. He was executed on May 23, 1996, on the outskirts of Bamut.” “We know that he had to go through horrible long-lasting sufferings that could be compared to the ones of great martyrs in ancient times. They were beheaded, dismembered, but they remained devoted to Jesus Christ anyway,” priest Alexander Shargunov said during the requiem in Eugene Rodionov’s memory.

Taken from Desert Wisdom Book Room at All Saints of North America Orthodox Church.

Fr. Eumenios (Saridakis) supported and instilled hope in those patients whom “God found faithful.” Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphou

Holy Elder Eumenios Saridakis an extraordinary, blinding radiance appeared, and the divine light penetrated deep into his soul.

Elder Evmenios Saridakis, The providential experience about the commemoration of the heretics

Apolytikion Saint Evmenios Saridakis of lepers in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

In thee the image was preserved with exactness, O Father; for taking up thy cross, thou didst follow Christ, and by thy deeds thou didst teach us to overlook the flesh, for it passeth away, but to attend to the soul since it is immortal. Wherefore, O righteous Eumenius, thy spirit rejoiceth with the Angels.

Apolytikion of St Michael of Synnada Tone 4

You are a guide of Orthodoxy, a teacher of piety and modesty, a luminary of the world, the God inspired pride of monastics. O wise Michael, you have enlightened everyone by your teachings. You are the harp of the Spirit. Intercede to Christ our God for the salvation of our souls.

Troparion Saint New-Martyr Eugene Rodionov of Chechnya (1977-1996)

Thy martyr, Evgeny, O Lord, in his sufferings has received an incorruptible crown from Thee, our God, for having Thy strength he has brought down his torturers, has defeated the powerless insolence of demons. Through his prayers save our souls.

In his sufferings, O Lord, Thy martyr Evgeny received an imperishable crown from Thee, our God;for possessed of Thy might, he set at naught the tormentors and crushed the feeble audacity of the demons.By his supplications save Thou our souls.

Troparion of St Euphrosyne Tone 4

Thou didst give thy wealth to the poor,/ and despise the rank of princess and temporal betrothal./ Thou didst betroth thyself to Christ thy Bridegroom,/ and thy wreath was spiritual and bodily purity./ Now thou dost stand before Him:/ Remember us who venerate thee,/ O Euphrosyne.

The Man Born Blind the first thing he saw love incarnate, he met God’s compassion, God’s tenderness…. Anthony of Sourozh (Bloom)

Εις Άδου Κάθοδος_Ανάσταση_Holy Resurrection of Jesus Christ_Воскресение Иисуса Христа_ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΗ_1ih4506Χριστός ανέστη! Αληθώς ανέστη!
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
ХристосВоскрес! Воистину Воскрес!
ქრისტეაღსდგა! ჭეშმარიტადაღსდგა!
«Rejoice!» «Peace be unto you!»

On May 21 we commemorate the holy, glorious, God-crowned and great Sovereigns Constantine and Helen, the Equals to the Apostles.
Martyrs Polyeuctus, Victorinus, and Donatus, at Caesarea in Cappadocia.
Saint Adelphios, Bishop of Onouphis, in Byzantine Egypt (c. 362, or c. 431)
Saint Christopher I, Patriarch of Antioch (967)
Hieromartyrs Timothy, Polius and Eutychius, deacons, in Mauretania Caesariensis (Morocco)
Blessed Constantine (Yaroslav), prince, and his children Michael and Theodore, Wonderworkers of Murom (1129)
Saint Helen of Decani, Serbia, Princess (c. 1350)
Venerable Cassian the Greek, monk of Uglich, Wonderworker (1504)
Saint Constantine the Fool-for-Christ, of Novotorzanin, Russia (c. 16th century)
New Martyrs King Constantine Brancoveanu of Wallachia and his four sons Constantine, Stephen, Radu, and Matthew, and his counsellor Ianache (1714)
Synaxis of Hieromartyrs of Karelia.
Synaxis of Hieromartyrs of Ufa.
Repose of Elena Pavlova of Chepel, Kharkov (1885)
Synaxis of the “Vladimir” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (1521)
Synaxis of the “Virgin of Tenderness” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos from Pskov-Pechersk (1524)

Synaxarion From the Pentecostarion.
On this day, the sixth Sunday of Pascha, we celebrate the miracle that our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ performed on the man born blind.
On this day, the Sunday of the Blind Man, is celebrated Synaxis of all the saints associated with Aitolia-Acarnania

Giver of light, Lyght out of Lyght, one blind
From birth, O Word, you furnish now with eyes.

Anthony of Sourozh (Bloom)
4 June 1989

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

Τυφλού-Christ-healing-the-blind_Исцеление слепорожденного_-263_dionisiat8We heard today the story of the man born blind. We do not know from experience what physical blindness is, but we can imagine how this man was walled in himself, how all the world around him existed only as a distant sound, something he could not picture, imagine. He was a prisoner within his own body. He could live by imaginations, he could invent a world around himself, he could by touch and by hearing approximate what really was around him; but the total, full reality could only escape him.

We are not physically blind, but how many of us are locked in themselves! Who of us can say that he is so open that he can perceive all the world in its width, but also in its depth? We meet people, and we see them with our eyes; but seldom it happens that beyond the outer shape, features, clothes, – how often does it happen that we see something of the depth of the person? How seldom it is that we look into a person’s eyes and go deep in understanding! We are surrounded by people and every person is unique to God, but are people unique to us? Are not people that surround us just ‘people’, who have names, surnames, nicknames, whom we can recognise by their outer looks but whom we do not know at any depth?

This is our condition: we are blind, we are deaf, we are insensitive to the outer world, and yet, we are called to read meanings. When we meet a person, we should approach this person as a mystery, that is as something which we can discover only by a deep communion, by entering into a relationship, perhaps silent, perhaps in words, but so deep that we can know one another not quite as God knows us, but in the light of God that enlightens all and each of us.

And more than this: we can do, each within his own power, within his own gifts, what Christ did: He opened the eyes of this man. What did this man see? The first thing he saw was the face of the Incarnate Son of God, in other words, he saw love incarnate. When his eyes met the eyes of Christ, he met God’s compassion, God’s tenderness, God’s earnest concern and understanding. In the same way could so many people begin to see, if by meeting us they meet people in whose eyes, on whose face they could see the shining of earnest, sober love, of a love that is not sentimental but is seeing, a love that can see and understand. And then, how much could we be to people around us a revelation of all the meanings that this world holds and contains through art, through beauty, through science, through all the means by which beauty is perceived and proclaimed among human beings.

But are we doing this? Is our concern to convey the width, and the depth, the beauty and the meaning of things to every person whom we meet? Are we not rather concerned with receiving than with giving? And yet, Saint Paul who knew what it meant to receive and to give, said, ‘It is a more blessed thing to give than to receive’. And yet how much had he received! He had received the knowledge of God in his own experience; he had received teaching, and knowledge, and experience within the Old Testament, and then Christ revealed Himself to him: what did he not receive! And yet, he exulted more in giving than in receiving, because he did not want to be the owner of all the richness that had come his way; he wanted to share it, to give it, to set aglow and afire other lives than his own.

Let us reflect on how rich, how richly endowed we are, how much it was given us to see, and to hear. And let us realise at the same time how tragically walled we are within ourselves unless we break this wall in order to give, as generously, as richly, as abundantly as we were given. And then indeed, our joy will be fulfilled according to Christ’s promise. And no one, nothing will ever be able to take it away from us. Amen!


Μυροφόρες_Myrrhbearers_Жёны-мироносицы_beli-andjeo-mileseva1 (1)Saint Constantine the Great 
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

At the time of the First Ecumenical Council [Nicaea, 325 A.D.], the quarreling clerics wrote accusations one against the other and presented them to the emperor. Emperor Constantine received all of these accusations and not opening them, burned them over a flaming candle. To the amazement of those around him, the emperor said:
“If I would see with my own eyes a bishop, a priest or a monk in a sinful act, I would cover him with my cloak, so that no one would ever see his sin.” Thus, this great Christian emperor embarrassed the scandalmongers and sealed their mouths.
Our Faith prohibits us to be spies of the sins of others and stresses that we be merciless judges of our own sins. The sick person in the hospital is concerned with his own particular malady so that he has neither the will nor the time to question others who are ill or to mock their illness.
Are we not all in this world as patients in a hospital? Does not our own common sense underline that we look at our own illness and not at another’s illness? Let no one think that they will be cured of their illness in the other world. This world is merely a hospital and a place for healing and, in that world, there is no hospital; there is only a mansion or only a prison.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič for Old Calendar date April 22, and New Calendar date May 5.

Κωνσταντίνος ο Μέγας _St. Constantine the Great_ св. Константи́н Вели́кий_20150319-003If only we could realise how blind we are! how earnestly would we try to detain Christ. O merciful Lord, open our eyes to the path of salvation. Anthony Bloom of Sourozh – St Nikolai Velimirovic

The Vision of St. Paisios of St. Constantine the Great, I am Constantine the Great… I descended from heaven to reveal the glory which monks receive in heaven.

Κωνσταντίνος ο Μέγας _St. Constantine the Great_ св. Константи́н Вели́кий_ ΕΛΕΝΗ_580300_3850_nKathisma. Tone 8.

The Master and maker of all things, as he passed along found a Blind Man sitting by the way, lamenting and saying: ‘Never in my life have I seen the sun shining or the moon shedding its light; therefore I cry out to you, born of a Virgin to enlighten the universe: Enlighten me, as you are compassionate, that falling down I may cry to you: Master Christ God, grant me forgiveness of my offences through the multitude of your mercy, only lover of mankind’. (Twice).

Kontakion. Tone 4

With the eyes of my soul mutilated I come to you, O Christ, as the man blind from birth, crying to you in repentance: You are the radiant light of those in darkness.

The Ikos.

Grant me a stream of inexpressible wisdom, and knowledge from above, O Christ, light of those in darkness and guide of those who stray; that I may recount what the divine book of the Gospel of peace teaches: the miracle of the blind man; for being blind from birth he receives both physical eyes and eyes of the soul, as he cries: You are the radiant light of those in darkness.

Apolytikion of Equal of the Apostles and Emperor Constantine and his Mother Helen
Plagal of the Fourth Tone

He beheld the image of Your Cross in the Heavens and, as Paul, he too did not receive the call from men. Your Apostle among Kings placed the care of the Royal City in Your hands. Through the intercessions of the Theotokos, O only Loving Lord, keep it ever in peace.

Troparion — Tone 8

Having seen the figure of the Cross in the heavens, / and like Paul not having received his call from men, O Lord, / Your apostle among rulers, the Emperor Constantine, / has been set by Your hand as ruler over the Imperial City / that he preserved in peace for many years, / through the prayers of the Theotokos, O only lover of mankind.

Troparion of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God— Tone 4

O Mistress, Empress and Lady, / defend all who are in danger and misfortune / or weak from many sins, / and who stand before your holy Icon / praying with tears, humility, repentance, and invincible hope, / free them from all evil, / give them the grace they need. / And save us all, O Virgin Mother of God, / for You are the divine refuge of those who follow you!

Troparion of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God — Tone 4

Today the most glorious city of Moscow rejoices resplendently, / perceiving your wonderworking Icon as the radiance of the sun, O Sovereign Lady. / Now, having come to it, we pray to you and cry: “O most wondrous Lady Theotokos, / pray to Christ our God, Who was incarnate of you, / that He may deliver this city and all Christian cities and countries, preserving them unharmed from every intrigue of the enemy, / and that He may save our souls, for He is merciful.”

Glory. Both now. Tone 8.

Christ our God, spiritual Sun of justice, by your pure touch you enlightened the one who had been deprived of light from his mother’s womb; by shedding your rays on the eyes of our souls, show us to be sons of the day, that we may cry to you with faith, ‘Great and ineffable is your compassion for us. Lover of humankind, glory to you!‘

The Lord Christ is sweeter than honey and milk; He is a closer kin to us than our father and mother; more dear to us than our own children and friends; Lord Jesus, the Treasury of all eternal riches, help us to unbind ourselves from everything and to cling to You, our Good and our Life. Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΗ ΚΥΡΙΟΥΧριστὸς Ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς Ἀνέστη!
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
ХристосВоскрес! Воистину Воскрес!
ქრისტეაღსდგა! ჭეშმარიტადაღსდგა!

Synaxarion From the Menaion.
On May 20 we commemorate the holy Martyr Thalleleos the Unmercenary, at Anazarbus in Cilicia, and his companions Alexander and Asterius (284).
We also commemorate the Sts. Zabulon and Susanna, of Cappadocia and Jerusalem , parents of St. Nina (Nino), enlightener of Georgia, ((3rd c.-4th c)
We also commemorate the Saint Lydia of Philippi (Lydia of Thyatira), the equal to the Apostles, mentioned in Acts 16:14-15 (1st century)
We also commemorate the holy Martyr Asclas of the Thebaid, Egypt who died when he was cast into a river (287).
We also commemorate the Holy martyr Plautilla the Roman (67), the mother of St. Flavia Domitilla
We also commemorate the Holy Martyrs of Mamilla, Jerusalem (614)
We also commemorate the Our devout Father Thalassios of Libya reposed in peace (648)
We also commemorate the Our devout Father Anastasius, Bishop of Brescia in Lombardy, in Italy and Confessor (610)
We also commemorate the Our three devout and God-bearing Fathers Niketas, John, and Joseph, Founders of the sacred and royal New Monastery (that is, Nea Moni) on Chios, reposed in peace (c. 1050).
On this day was the removal and transfer of the relic(1087) of our Father among the Saints Nicholas, bishop of Myra in Lycia, the wonder-worker (330/343).
We also commemorate the St. Daumantas (Timothy, Dovmont-Timothy), prince of Pskov (1299)
We also commemorate the Our righteous Father Stephen of Piperi in Serbia (1697)
New Hieromartyr Pavel Lazarev, martyred on the feast of Pentecost (1919)
Venerable Olympiada Verbetska, Igumenia of Kozelschansk women’s monastery of the Nativity of the Mother of God (1938)
Repose of blessed nun Eldress Galaktia Kanakaki of Crete, in the village of Pompia Moires, Heraklion, May 20, 2021

About love above every other love
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

” Whoever loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me” (St. Matthew 10:37).

Χώρα στην Κωνσταντινούποληanastasis (3)The entire Gospel teaches that we should leave the lesser for the sake of the greater; the transient for the intransient; the worst for the sake of the best; the less valuable for the sake of the more valuable. If the Good News [Gospel] would not promise greater value, who would leave the lesser? If the Gospel would not reveal the glow of the precious goods, who would leave the less valuable goods? Who would leave honey and milk if he did not find something sweeter? Who would leave father and mother if he did not find someone closer in kinship? Who would leave children and friends if he did not recognize someone more dear? Who would willingly give up his life to suffering and death if he did not perceive immortal life?

The Lord Christ is sweeter than honey and milk; He is a closer kin to us than our father and mother; more dear to us than our own children and friends; more precious than all visible treasures; more costly than this life for He gives life eternal. Everything in the world compared to Him [Christ] is inferior, trivial, bitter, weak, less valuable and transitory. Whoever receives Him [Christ] it is easier for him to leave everything; everything, because he has received the best and Him Who is the very best.

O Lord Jesus, the Treasury of all eternal riches, help us to unbind ourselves from everything and to cling to You, our Good and our Life.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič


Saint Nicholas of Zicha in Serbia, describes the precious relationship between Christ and His saints in this way: “The saints are a burnished mirror in which are reflected the beauty and strength and majesty of Christ. They are the fruit on that Tree of Life which is Christ . . . . As the sun among the stars and a king among his nobles, so is Christ among His saints. This works in both directions-from Christ to the saints and from them to Christ: the saints are given meaning by Christ, and Christ is revealed through the saints”.

Ζαβουλών και Σωσσάνα-γονεις αγ.Νινας_Sts. Zabulon and Sosana Parents of the Equal-to-the-Apostles Nino_Прпп. Завулона и Сосанны, родzabulon-sosanaVenerable Zabulon and Sosana, Parents of the Equal-to-the-Apostles Nino (4th century)

According to Holy Tradition, St. Nino and Great-martyr George were blood relatives. At the same time as St. George’s martyrdom, a certain nobleman, the servant of God Zabulon, arrived in Rome from Cappadocia. Zabulon began to serve in the emperor’s army, and before long he was widely recognized as a courageous cavalryman and a fine soldier.
During a battle with the Franks the Lord granted victory to Zabulon — he captured the Frankish king and his suite and delivered them to the Roman emperor. The emperor sentenced the captives to death, but before they were executed they confessed their desire to be baptized into the Christian Faith. Zabulon relayed this to the emperor, and Zabulon himself became their godfather. Then he pleaded with the emperor to have mercy on his godchildren, and the emperor set them free.
Nearly all the Franks were converted to Christianity as a result of Zabulon’s struggles on behalf of the Faith. A 9th-century Georgian hymnographer wrote, “Her father Zabulon converted Gaul with his sword, and blessed Nino converted Georgia with the Life-giving Cross.”
Some time later, St. Zabulon journeyed to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage. While he was there he distributed all his possessions to the poor and began to serve Patriarch Juvenal of Jerusalem. There he met Sosana, the sister of the patriarch. Shortly thereafter they were joined in marriage by the patriarch.
The newly wedded couple moved to Cappadocia, where they had a baby girl whom they named Nino. While raising Nino, St. Sosana served God and the needy with great dedication.
When Nino reached the age of twelve, her parents sold all their possessions and moved back to Jerusalem. With the blessing of Patriarch Juvenal, Zabulon departed for the wilderness to begin a life of asceticism. The place where he labored is known only to God. With the patriarch’s blessing, Sosana ministered to the poor and infirm. On December 10, 1996, the Georgian Orthodox Church declared Zabulon and Sosana, the parents of St. Nino, confessors of the Christian Faith. Living during a time when pagan religions were still widely practiced and Christians were often persecuted, they converted many people and then abandoned worldly things to follow God alone.
Through the prayers and intercessions of Sts. Zabulon and Sosana, new luminaries of the Georgian Church, may the Most Holy Trinity bless all who in faith and love pray unto them!

Archpriest Zakaria Machitadze
For further information on the book THE LIVES OF THE GEORGIAN SAINTS by Archpriest Zakaria Machitadze contact St. Herman Press: St. Herman Press, P.O. Box 70, Platina, CA 96076


St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalivia

Ζαβουλών και Σωσσάνα-γονεις αγ.Νινας_Sts. Zabulon and Sosana Parents of the Equal-to-the-Apostles Nino_Прпп. Завулона и Сосанны, родA child’s upbringing commences at the moment of its conception… For this reason a mother must pray a lot during her pregnancy and love the child growing within her, caressing her abdomen, reading psalms, singing hymns and living a holy life. This is also for her own benefit. But she makes sacrifices for the sake of the embryo so that the child will become more holy and will acquire from the very outset holy foundations.

Do you see how delicate a matter it is for a woman to go through a pregnancy? Such a responsibility and such an honour!

I will tell you something about other animate and non-rational be­ings and you will understand what I mean. In America the following experiment was carried out: in two identical rooms which were kept at exactly the same temperature flowers were planted in identical soil and watered in exactly the same way. There was, however, one differ­ence: in the one room gentle, soothing music was played. And the re­sult? The flowers in that room displayed an enormous difference in relation to the flowers in the other room. They had a quite different vitality, their colours were more attractive and they grew incompara­bly better.

What saves and makes for good children is the life of the parents in the home. The parents need to devote themselves to the love of God. They need to become saints in their relation to their children through their mildness, patience and love. They need to make a new start every day, with a fresh outlook, renewed enthusiasm and love for their children. And the joy that will come to them, the holiness that will visit them, will shower grace on their children.

Become saints and you will have no problems with your children. The sanctity of their parents releases the children from their problems. Children want to have saintly people at their side, people with lots of love who will neither intimidate them nor lecture them, but who will provide a saintly example and pray for them. You parents should pray silently to Christ with upraised arms and embrace your children mystically.

A child needs to be surrounded by people who pray and pray ardently. A mother should not be satisfied by giving her child a physical caress, but should also coddle it with the caress of prayer. In the depths of its soul the child senses the spiritual caress that its mother conveys to it and is drawn to her. It feels security and certainty when its mother mystically embraces it with constant, intense and fervent prayer and releases it from whatever is oppressing it.
Mothers know how to express anxiety, offer advice and talk incessantly, but they haven’t learned to pray. Most advice and criticism does a great deal of harm. You don’t need to say a lot to children. Words hammer at the ears, but prayer goes to the heart. Prayer is required, with faith and without anxiety, along with a good example.

The sanctity of the parents saves the children. For this to come about, divine grace must act on the souls of the parents. No one can be sanctified on his own. The same divine grace will then illuminate, warm and animate the souls of the children… ‘Pray, and when you have to, speak to your children with love. Lots of prayer and few words. Lots of prayer and few words for everyone… it is better to speak mystically to the heart of others through secret prayer rather than to their ears.

Pray and then speak. That’s what to do with your children. Prefer prayer and speak to them through prayer. Speak to God and God will speak to their hearts.

This is the most perfect way — for the mother to speak to God and for God to speak to the children. One way is the perfect way — for the mother’s and father’s holiness and love in Christ to speak. The radiance of sanctity and not human effort makes for good children.

Γεώργιος_Νίνα της Γεωργίας-προσευχη_Св Георгий Победоносец родственник-Св Нина_St. George and his kinswoman St Nino2333314We must see God in the faces of our children and give God’s love to our children. The children should learn to pray. And in order for children to pray they must have in them the blood of praying parents. This is where some people make the mistake of saying, ‘Since the parents are devout and pray, meditate on Holy Scripture and bring up their chil-Eph,6:4 dren in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, it is natural that they will become good children.’

When children grow up in an atmosphere of freedom and at the same time are surrounded by the good example of grown-ups, they are a joy to see. The secret is to be good and saintly and to inspire and radiate. The life of the children seems to be affected by the radiation of their parents.

How do you live and what do you radiate? Does Christ radiate in you? That is what is transmitted to your child. This is where the secret lies. And if this is done when the child is young, it will not be necessary for it to undergo ‘great travail’ when it grows up. Solomon the Wise uses a beautiful image about exactly this subject, un¬derlining the importance of a good start and good foundations: He who Wisd. 6:14 seeks her [Wisdom] early shall have no great travail; for he shall find her [DC] sitting at his doors. The person who ‘seeks her early’ is the person who oc¬cupies himself with Wisdom from an early age. Wisdom is Christ.
When the parents are saintly and transmit this to the child and give the child an upbringing ‘in the Lord’, then the child, whatever the bad influences around it, will not be affected because by the door of its heart will be Wisdom — Christ Himself. The child will not undergo great tra vail to acquire Wisdom. It seems very difficult to become good, but in reality it is very easy when from an early age you start with good expe¬riences. As you grow up effort is not required; you have goodness within you and you experience it. You don’t weary yourself; it is yours, a pos¬session which you preserve, if you are careful, throughout your life.
A selection from Wounded by Love: The Life and the Wisdom of Elder Porphyrios, trans. by John Raffan (Limni, Evia, Greece: Denise Harvey, 2005), 195-205


Eldress Galaktia of Crete

Γαλακτια Κρητης_Galaktia of Crete_1621526547595934-0 - Copy (2)She would say: “I have made an agreement with the Virgin Mary, that I should empty my house and that she should send me what I would need to spend each day”, “sometimes she was late to test me. However, I am not worried because I know that it will definitely come.” “And indeed,” she would continue, “after a few days, it would arrive. The Virgin Mary does not fail on Her word”.

“From my heart I can see what God is and what I am. God is everything and I am a nothing. I thank him, however, for showing me how messed up I am and giving me the opportunity to repent. I live the mystery of His Love daily, whatever I ask for He gives me. He does not deny me anything, even if I am His most naughty child. He treats me like a child bringing him good news. He takes care of me and supports me to the extent that I can not stand it, even though He ought to give me water to drink from New York’s sewers and not that from my own village because it is clean.”

“I see everybody’s thoughts (λογισμοί). Some people come here just to scrutinize me and create problems for others, but I do not care. While they are here, I do not speak, I pray, looking into their hearts and I secretly embrace them with my love. They leave with good thoughts and most of them come back changed.”

The four “horsemen” Saints, Menás, George, Dimitrios and Nikitas were considered almost her constant companions. She described them with simplicity of heart and astonishing accuracy. She thought that vision is a natural idiom of all people, and so we can all receive the same visions.

The Eldress oftentimes found herself engulfed within bright azure-white light
“Oftentimes I would find myself suddenly and quietly engulfed within bright infinite azure-white Light, when everything around me was shining brightly with a blessed, bright Light”!

The old woman happily revealed to her first cousin Katherine (Rethymniotaki) who was taking care of her, that she had received a visit from the Lady Theotokos and she was accompanied by Saint Paraskevi.
Our Lady told her:
– “Your suitcase is ready and your record is stellar. Your departure is imminent.”
– “Take me now, my Panagia, since I am ready,” the humble Eldress begged.
The Virgin Mother smiled and replied,
– “You received a small extension. I will take care of the matter soon.”

With the “binoculars” of the nous and her most meticulous attention, she detected not only the heavens and the depths but also the hiding places of other peoples hearts. She had experiential knowledge of the degrees of heaven. “Heaven,” she would say, “has many degrees of grace that extend to infinity; they never end…” This means that she saw the alternations of the ages. She also let her mind descend to the fiery and dark kingdom of Hell. She saw many, but never disclosed who. “I light candles,” she would say, “I pray a lot and I try to move them into a better place, because they are mixed.”

When they routinely asked for her blessing, she would say:

“May you have the blessings of the Beginningless Father, His Co-Eternal Son, the Divine and Life-Creating Spirit, the Virgin, the Forerunner and the Baptist, who is the highest of all the Saints but also an austere visitor, of the Apostles and All the Saints. Be under the protection of the Celestial Powers. And if you deem my blessing worthy, may it be blessed.”

Sts. Zabulon and Sosanna, Parents Saint Nina Enlightener of Georgia, relative of St. George the Trophy-bearer

Let us inspire our children the love for God, whilst showing them at the same time how to find out for themselves God’s will. If we teach children to love God and his Saints, then “all these things will be given to you as well”. Sister Magdalen of Essex

When the parents have God’s grace within them, the children sense it. Elder Sophrony of Essex

ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΗ ΤΟΥ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ_Holy Resurrection of Jesus Christ_Воскресение Иисуса Христа_anastasi xristou moni xorasMode pl. 1. From Pentecostarion

Christ is risen from the dead, by death trampling down upon death, and to those in the tombs He has granted life.

Troparion of St Thalelaeus Tone 1

O Thalelaeus, thou didst defeat idolatrous error by thy martyr’s contest./ Thou wast a treasury of healing,/ freely curing all who run to thy church with faith/ and who cry out with love:/ Glory to Him Who has strengthened thee; glory to Him Who has made thee wonderful;/ glory to Him Who through thee works healings for all.

Troparion of St Thalelaeus Tone 4

Your holy martyr Thallelaeus and his companions, O Lord, / through their sufferings have received incorruptible crowns from You, our God. / For having Your strength, they laid low their adversaries, / and shattered the powerless boldness of demons. / Through their intercessions, save our souls!

Apolytikion of St Lydia, the equal to the Apostles

Through thee the divine likeness was securely preserved, O Mother Lydia, for thou didst carry the cross and follow Christ. By example and precept thou didst teach us to ignore the flesh because it is perishable, and to attend to the concerns of the immortal soul. Therefore thy soul doth rejoice with the angels.

Troparion — Tone 2

Imitating the ancient Holy Fathers, / you loved the ascetical life, fortifying yourself by prayer, fasting, and tears; / therefore, after your repose your body appeared incorrupt and spiritually fragrant. / As we venerate it with love, O Father Stephen, pray to Christ God to save our souls.

Troparion of Ss Nicetas, John and Joseph of Chios Tone 1

Come you faithful who love these blessed men of God;/ let us thankfully hymn the three holy Fathers, righteous Nicetas, John and Joseph./ They are the adornment and praise of the ascetics of Chios,/ and they ever intercede with the Trinity for us.

Troparion of St. Nina, Tone 4

O handmaid of the Word of God, who in preaching equaled the first-called Apostle Andrew, and emulated the other Apostles, enlightener of Iberia and reed-pipe of the Holy Spirit, holy Nina, pray to Christ our God to save our souls.

Apolytikion of St Galaktia of Crete
(Plagal of the Fourth Tone)

In thee the image was preserved with exactness, O Mother;for taking up thy cross, thou didst follow Christ,and by thy deeds thou didst teach us to overlookthe flesh,for it passeth away, but to attend to the soul since it is immortal.Wherefore, O righteous Galaktia, thy spirit rejoiceth with the Angels.

Through the prayers and intercessions of Sts. Zabulon and Sosana, may the Most Holy Trinity bless all who in faith and love pray unto them!

Saint Paisios the Athonite, Turkey will be dissected. This way our villages will be liberated, our enslaved homelands. Constantinople will be liberated, will become Greek again.In Asia Minor, we had a lot of relics. On each piece of land you will find relics.

ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΗ ΤΟΥ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ_Holy Resurrection of Jesus Christ_Воскресение Иисуса Христа_56946.bΧριστός ανέστη! Αληθώς ανέστη!
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
ХристосВоскрес! Воистину Воскрес!
ქრისტეაღსდგა! ჭეშმარიტადაღსდგა!

«Rejoice!». «Peace be unto you!»

Day of Remembrance of the Pontic Greeks Genocide of Asia Minor
May 19th of each year

Saint Paisios the Athonite said:
«Holy Arseny Cappadocian (November 10) said in Farasah believers that they will lose the fatherland, but soon again get it.»

Άγιοι Πόντου_ΠΟΝΤΟΣ_pontus-11”Can we read the signs of the times? ..Our times say something which is very worrying: while centuries back the Christian Church proclaimed its message in a credible, acceptable way, while people who heard the message did receive it and believed it, it seems that our message reaches only the few. It is not because the truth has changed, or because we must preach another Gospel than the integrity of the Gospel of Christ. … And here, we must read the signs of the times. The times, the people around us, the world is standing in judgement over us.” (Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh)

Saint Paisios the Athonite predicted that:
Know that Turkey will collapse. There will be war two and a half years. We shall be victorious because we — Orthodox.
“Turkey will be dissected in 3 or 4 parts. The countdown has begun. We will take the lands that belong to us, the Armenians will take theirs and the Kurds their own. The Kurdish issue is at the works, They will be eradicated because they are a nation that was built without God’s blessing. One third of the Turks will go back to where they came from, the depths of Turkey. One third will be saved because they will become Christians, and the other third will be killed in this war.”
“Turkey will be dissected. This will be to our benefit as a nation. This way our villages will be liberated, our enslaved homelands. Constantinople will be liberated, will become Greek again. Hagia Sophia will open again,”
Greece in no way be affected, because God loves it. In Asia Minor, we had a lot of relics. On each piece of land you will find relics. Take the Hagia Sophia and the gates will open. These gates nobody knows … we shall see, however, what will?
“As long as there is faith and hope in God, a lot of people will rejoice. All that will happen in these years. The time has come.”

Once I came down and saw Elder somewhat embarrassed and upset. He gave me and he began to speak: — Some came here and started talking to me, that is a war, and that the Turks will be included in Greece, and that we shall put six miles from Corinth (explaining the mistake, spoiled his thoughts, prophecy Cosmas Aetolian). Then I picked up, and said that the worst enemy of the Greeks is that when the world some Greeks, as you spread that if war happens, Turks chase us to Corinth, because when the war starts, everyone will bruised spirit and they retreat to Corinth. Besides, if it was true, we must not say. Even more so when it is — a lie. And you repeat once again that this does not say anywhere, because he made a lot more evil than would have made many Turkish division. I told them this, and they forced me to explain, even though I never wanted to talk about the prophecies that shestimilie, which says Saint Cosmas — is six miles of the sea shelf. This is an issue for which we recently gnawed with Turkey, and it will be the case, because we “seize.” However, they should not enter into Hellas: they will move only on the six miles, and then they will find a great evil from the north, as the Scripture says, and “there will be nothing direct.” One third of Turks will be killed, a third will take Christianity, and the rest will go away in Asia. We are in no way suffered from the Turks. Some unimportant things destroyed, and they will find God’s wrath. This I heard from them and was upset. I could not believe that the Greeks themselves — that spread things in the world — will have the greatest help the Turks. I also started to say, said St. Cosmas, “then come, when they come two summers and two paschal together,” now that the Resurrection (Easter) coincides with the Annunciation — and passed the winter as the summer — which means that the Turks would attack Hellas (Greece). We all became a prophet, my father, and explain things to our mind, as we want. And here I had to tell them that St. Cosmas, when he said: “Then will come” does not mean the Turks. Granted that then comes freedom for residents of Northern Epirus. Indeed, this year opened after many years abroad, and they may, in some way, to communicate freely with his homeland. My father, I have seen that quite a lot of harm cause these people, explaining things to my poor mind. And not only convey its other corrupt thought.

So “noble” is divided into parts of Turkey Asked the elder brother of the events in Serbia, and that, among other things, said:
— Europeans are now doing, for the Turks, independent of where Muslims live (Bosnia and Herzegovina). I see, however, that the partition of Turkey noble way: rebel Kurds and Armenians, and the Europeans need to make independent and these nations. Then Turkey will say: we did you a favor there, now this way should become independent Kurds and Armenians. So “noble” is divided into parts of Turkey. Holy Arseny said in Farasah believers that they will lose the fatherland, but soon again get it.


Last Words before death: A Final letter
Alexandros Akritidis, tradesman of Trapezounta (Trabzon)

1921 7pm, 5 Sunday
My beloved Clio,

Παναγία Σουμελά_Sümela Manastırı_Монастырь Панагия Сумела_ Sumela Monastery_Soymela2Today in prison virtually all of us, from different regions, undertook mass and holy communion. It has been decided that we are all to be killed by hanging. Tomorrow 60 of us including 5 from Trapezounta will be taken to the gallows for execution.

On Tuesday I will no longer be alive. May God claim the skies and give you His blessing and patience so that you don’t encounter any more hardship.

When you learn about this deplorable event, do not spoil the world, have patience.
The children must continue to play and dance. I hope you can organise things as you know best.

Let my dear Theodore undertake the fatherly duties and not do wrong to any of the other children. Yergon should finish his schooling and become a good citizen. He can take Gianni to work with him. Of the little ones, send Panagioti to school, and Valentini must learn to sew. Do not leave Fofo from beside you for as long as you live.

To Stathis I give me best wishes and his obligation to you, to fulfil all the family duties that I would normally do without pay.

To Priest Simeon may he keep me in his memory for as long as he lives. Give 5 liras to Filoptochon, 5 liras to Merimnan and 5 liras to Lykasti’s school May all my brothers and sisters in law forgive me, as well as all my siblings and friends.

Goodbye, I go to our father and may you all forgive me.


Al. G. Akritidis

Source: The Brotherhood of Kromni Kalamaria, Greece
‘Living Memories of Pontus’ Merimnas Pontion Kirion, Thessaloniki, Greece 1988
page 196, translated from Greek


“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34)
Saint Nikolaj Velimirović of Ohrid and Žiča

A letter to the blacksmith Costa

Αγιος Γεωργιος Χαλιναρας Χαρσερας Αργυρουπολεως του Ποντου23What such a true and merciful man does not know the meaning of these words! I think you know it but are looking for confirmation. To people who are true and merciful God Himself reveals the mysteries, though His Spirit. If you were the only blacksmith in Jerusalem when the Lord was crucified, they would not have found anyone to forge the nails.

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” (Mat 10:34)
Thus said the Lord. Read it as if He had said, “I did not come to reconcile truth and lie, wisdom and stupidity, good and evil, justice and violence, bestiality and humanity, God and mammon; but I came to bring a sword so that I may cut and separate one from the other, so they do not mingle”

What will you cut with O Lord? With the sword of truth, or with the sword of God’s word, which is the same thing. For the truth is God’s word and God’s word is the truth. Apostle Paul advises, “Take ye up the spiritual sword which is the word of God” ( Eph 6:17) Saint John saw in a vision “The Son of Man between two candlestands” – “and from His mouth proceeded a double edged sword.“((Rev. 1, 13-16). What can the sword that proceeds from the mouth be if not the word of God, the word of truth? That is the sword that Jesus Christ brought on to the earth. That sword is for the salvation of the world, not unto the reconciling of good with evil, – then, now, always and forever.

That this understanding is correct  can be seen from following words of Christ: “For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law” (Matthew 10:35) Indeed,  if the son follows Christ, yet the father remains in the darkness of lies, Christ’s sword of truth sword will divide them. The truth is dearer than his father. And if the daughter follows Christ, yet her mother stubbornly persists in her denial of Christ, what communion can there be there? Is not Christ sweeter than a mother? Likewise, with the bride and her mother-in-law.

But do not misunderstand, that one who knows and loves Christ must physically separate themselves from their relatives immediately. It does not say that. It is enough for the soul to be separate, and that he doesn’t receive any of these unbelieving thoughts and actions into his soul. For if believers separated themselves from unbelievers physically and immediately then two opposing camps would be created in the world.  Who then would teach the unbelievers and correct them?  The Lord himself endured having the unbelieving and unfaithful Judas with him for three years. Wise Paul writes, “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy” (I Coninthians 7: 14).

In finishing, I can declare how these words are interpreted Theophylact of Ohrid , thus: “by father and mother mother-in-law understand all that is old; by his son and daughter and daughter-in-law understand, all that is new. The Lord wants His new and Divine Commandments and teachings to conquer  all our old sinful habits and customs.”
And so the words about the sword that he brings to the earth, correspond completely to Christ the peacemaker and Christ the peacegiver.Christ brings His heavenly peace, like a heavenly balm, to those who sincerely believe in Him. But he did not come to bring peace between the sons of light and sons of darkness.
Greetings to you and the children.

Peace be upon you and God’s blessing
Saint Nicolai Velimirovich, Missionary Letters, Part 1, Letter 9, “To a Blacksmith about the meaning of Christ’s words, “I came not to bring peace but a sword”
• Original Serbian: Писмо 9. Ковачу Кости о значењу Христових речи: Нисам дошао да донесем мир него мач

Ποντος_ξεριζωμος_3erizomosPaschal Troparion tone 1

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!

Human life thirsts only after the things of God Who gives us “the living water”. Lord, immortal source of every good which the heart of man can desire and which the mind of man can imagine, have mercy on us sinners and unworthy ones. With Your powerful right hand, turn us away from our godless and vain works and quench us with Your sweet and living water. Saint Paisios of Mount Athos – Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Φωτεινή η Σαμαρείτιδα_Святой Фотини or Светлана рядом с древней _ St. Photine the Samaritan Woman _0facb4007a6b2616_LΧριστὸς Ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς Ἀνέστη!
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
ХристосВоскрес! Воистину Воскрес!
ქრისტეაღსდგა! ჭეშმარიტადაღსდგა!
Kristos (İsa) dirildi! Gerçekten dirildi!
Al-Massih-Qam! Hakkan Qam!
«Rejoice!» «Peace be unto you!»

Synaxarion From the Menaion.
On May 14 we commemorate the holy Martyr Isidore of Chios (251).
On this day we also commemorate the holy Hieromartyr Therapon Bishop of Cyprus (3rd century).
On this day we also commemorate the holy Martyr Alexander of Centumcellae (3rd century).
We also commemorate the holy Martyrs Alexander, Barbarus, and Acoluthus.
We also commemorate our father among the saints Leontos II, Patriarch of Jerusalem, who reposed in peace (1190).
We also commemorate the Saint Isidore of Rostov, Fool-for-Christ and Wonderworker (1474)
We also commemorate the holy Martyrs Anthony the Abbot, with 40 monks and 1,000 laymen, and the Righteous Martyr Daniel, with 30 monks and 200 laymen, who were martyred in Russia by the Latins (1609).
The holy Neo-martyr Mark of Crete, who witnessed in Smyrna, died by the sword (1643).
The holy Neo-martyr John the Bulgarian, the goldsmith, died by the sword (1802).
The holy New Hieromartyr Isidore (Kolokolov) Bishop of Mikhailov (1918 or 1919)
Synaxis of the Yaroslavsk (Pechersk) Icon of the Mother of God (1823)

Synaxarion From the Pentecostarion.
On this day, the fifth Sunday of Pascha, we celebrate the feast of the Samaritan Woman.

Coming to fetch her fleeting water, a woman
The living water draws, by which You wash her soul’s sordes.
By the intercessions of Your Martyr Photini, O Christ our God, have mercy on us. Amen.

“Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks, so longeth my soul after Thee, O God. My soul is athirst for God; yea, even for the living God!” (Psalm 41/42:1-2)

30. Abba Poemen also said,‘It is written: “As the hart longs for flowing streams, so longs my soul for Thee, O God.” (Ps. 42.1) For truly harts in the desert devour many reptiles and when their venom burns them, they try to come to the springs, to drink so as to assuage the venom’s burning. It is the same for the monks: sitting in the desert they are burned by the venom of evil demons, and they long for Saturday and Sunday to come to be able to go to the springs of water, that is to say, the body and blood of the Lord, so as to be purified from the bitterness of the evil one.’


Saint Paisios of Mount Athos and the painting
By priest Nectarios Savidis

Φωτεινή Σαμαρειτιδα_ άγιος Νικόλαος ορφανός-234536547An athonite monk, who went very often to see starets Paisios, has recently related me a happenstance he witnessed himself and that’s very useful for soul.
Once a painter visited starets Paisios in his cell.
The starets, with his remarkable, educational sense of humour, asked him:

“My son, would you be able to make me a painting representing a theme I’d tell you about?” “I’d like to hang it in my cell.”
“I’d be glad to do it, gheronda”, the painter answered with great delight. “This is my job”. “What would you like to be painted in it?”
“Could you paint some mountains?”
“Very easily”, the painter said.
“Could you also paint some trees I’ll tell you about?”
“Of course, gheronda.”

After the starets told him some other things he wanted to have in the painting, asked him in the end:

“Could you also paint a fountain with water flowing from it?”
“Of course, gheronda, this thing is not difficult at all for me”, the painter answered plainly.

Then the starets asked him:
“But from that painted fountain could anyone drink water to quench his thirst?”
“No, gheronda.”
“You see, that much differ the things of men from those of God!” the starets told him. “If someone cannot quench his thirst with the water from a painted fountain, the less he would quench it with the things of men.” “Human life thirsts only after the things of God Who gives us “the living water”.

These wise words spread the fragrance of the Holy Spirit! Therefore let’s go back to the words of our elders, so that our soul would quench its thirst in our “waterless” times.


St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Φωτεινή Σαμαρειτιδα_-234536547 262_dionisiatTeofanCretanul“Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks, so longeth my soul after Thee, O God. My soul is athirst for God; yea, even for the living God!” (Psalm 41/42:1-2)

This is not a cry by a poor and simple man, who had no way of refreshing his soul with human wisdom, worldly knowledge and skills, philosophy and art: the knowledge of the fine threads from which the lives of men and nature are woven. It is not; but it is the sad and heartfelt cry of a king, rich with earthly riches, genial in mind, noble in the motions of his heart, and powerful in the strength and acts of his will. Refreshing his soul with all of these, for which the unfree soul craves in this world, King David suddenly felt that his spiritual thirst was not only unquenched but had grown to such proportions that all this material universe was in no way able to quench it. He then felt himself to be, in this world, in a barren and dry land, where no water is (Psalm 62/63:2), and cried to God as the only Source of immortal drink, for which a rational, awakened soul yearns. “My soul is athirst for God; yea, even for the living God!“


There is no need to prove that bodily nourishment cannot satisfy the soul of man, nor can bodily drink quench its thirst. But even all this spirit of life, that shines through all created things, giving them life and harmony, is incapable of feeding and refreshing the soul.
The body directly receives food that is in essentials identical to the body. The body is of the earth, and food for the body is of the earth. This is why the body feels at home, among its own, in the world. But the soul suffers; it is crucified and suffers; it is disgusted and protests at having to receive food indirectly, and this a food not identical to itself. The soul therefore feels itself, in this world, to be in a foreign country, among strangers.
That the soul is immortal, and that it, in its essence, belongs to the immortal world, is proved by the fact that, in this earthly world, it feels itself a discontented traveller in a foreign land, and that nothing in the world can fully feed and refresh it. And even were the soul to be able to pour the whole universe into itself like a glass of water, its thirst would not only not become less but would, of a certainty, become greater. For then there would not remain in it one single illusory hope that it would, beyond the next hill, light on an unsuspected source of water.
St. Nikolai Velimirovich, “24. The Gospel on the Giver of Living Water and the Samaritan Woman John 4:5-42,” Homilies Volume 1: Commentary on the Gospel Readings for Great Feasts and Sundays Throughout the Year

O Lord, immortal source of every good which the heart of man can desire and which the mind of man can imagine, have mercy on us sinners and unworthy ones. With Your powerful right hand, turn us away from our godless and vain works and quench us with Your sweet and living water.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Sunday of the Samaritan woman, nothing can fill us, because man is too deep for things material, too vast – only God can fill this vastness and this depth. Anthony (Bloom) Metropolitan of Sourozh

Sunday of the Samaritan woman, nothing can fill us, because man is too deep for things material, too vast – only God can fill this vastness and this depth. Anthony (Bloom) Metropolitan of Sourozh

O wondrous path of little things, I sing thee a hymn! St. John Maximovitch

In Spirit and in Truth, Fr. John Breck

Φωτεινή η Σαμαρείτιδα_Святой Фотини or Светлана рядом с древней _ St. Photine the Samaritan Woman _ΠΡΩΤΑΤΟ _samarineancaApolytikion of the Feast.
Mode pl. 4.

O Lord, midway through the feast, give drink to my thirsty soul from the living waters of right belief. You, O Savior, proclaimed to everyone, “Let whoever is thirsty come to Me and drink.” You are the fountain of life, O Christ our God. Glory to You!

Apolytikion of Saint Isidore the Martyr of Chios
Fourth Tone

Thy Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for Thee received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since he possessed Thy strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons’ strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

Ode 7. Irmos.
‘He who delivered the Children from the furnace, becoming man suffers as a mortal, and through suffering he clothes the mortal with the glory of incorruption: the only blessed and most glorious God of our fathers’..

You are the water of life, the Woman of Samaria cried out to Christ; therefore, O Word, give me, who am ever thirsty, your divine grace to drink, that I may no longer, Lord Jesu, be mastered by the drought of ignorance, but may proclaim your wonderful works.

For the Samaritan Woman. From Pentecostarion
Idiomelon. Mode 1.

The Well of wonders came to the well, to salvage the daughter of Eve. It was about the sixth hour, the same time of day that Eve had exited Paradise, beguiled by the serpent. So the woman of Samaria came to draw water. Seeing her, the Savior said to her, “Give me a drink of water, and I will fill you with water welling up to eternal life.” Then that wise woman ran back to the city, and she said to the people at once, “Come and see Christ the Lord, the Savior of our souls!”

Glory. From Pentecostarion
Mode pl. 2.

Beside Jacob’s well sat Jesus, where He found the Samaritan woman; and He asked her for water, He being the One who covers the earth with clouds. How amazing! He who rides on the Cherubim conversed with a promiscuous woman. He who suspended the earth in the waters was asking for water. He who pours out fountains and pools was requesting a drink of water. He truly wanted to get her back, since she had been caught by the hostile enemy; He wanted to give her a drink of the water of life, since she was dreadfully aflame in her offenses, as the only compassionate Lord who loves humanity.

Both now. Of Pascha. – – From Pentecostarion – –
Mode pl. 1.

It is the day of the Resurrection. Let us shine brightly for the festival, and also embrace one another. Brethren, let us say even to those who hate us, “Let us forgive everything for the Resurrection.” And thus let us cry aloud, “Christ is risen from the dead, by death trampling down upon death, and to those in the tombs He has granted life.”

Μεσοπεντηκοστής – Αδελφοί μου, ας ανοίξουμε τις θύρες των ψυχών μας στη Σοφία του Θεού, την ενσαρκωμένη στο Πρόσωπο του Κυρίου Ιησού Χριστού! Κύριε, η Σοφία και η Δύναμις του Θεού, άνοιξε τις ψυχές μας ώστε ο άγιος λόγος Σου να μπορεί να εισέλθει εκεί και να μας φωτίσει, να μας ενισχύσει και να μας αναστήσει.! Άγιος Νικόλαος Βελιμιροβιτς

Μεσοπεντηκοστή_ Σοφία- καί – Λόγος- του- Θεού_Mid-Pentecost_ Преполовение _0Mesopentikosti266924.pΧριστός ανέστη! Αληθώς ανέστη!
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
ХристосВоскрес! Воистину Воскрес!
ქრისტეაღსდგა! ჭეშმარიტადაღსდგა!

Συναξάριον Πεντηκοσταριου
Τῇ Τετάρτῃ τοῦ Παραλύτου τὴν τῆς Μεσοπεντηκοστῆς ἑορτάζομεν ἑορτήν.

στὼς διδάσκει τῆς ἑορτῆς ἐν μέσῳ
Χριστὸς Μεσσίας τῶν διδασκάλων μέσον.

Για τους στενόμυαλους, για τους οποίους το έγκλημα είναι πιο κοντά από την αγάπη του Θεού
Αγίου Νικολάου Βελιμίροβιτς

ζητεῖτέ με ἀποκτεῖναι, ὅτι ὁ λόγος ὁ ἐμὸς οὐ χωρεῖ ἐν ὑμῖν.. Ιω. 8,37

Γιατί δεν μπορούσε ο λόγος του Χριστού να επικρατήσει στη γερουσία των Εβραίων προεστώτων; Διότι ήταν τόσο γεμάτοι με κακία, ώστε δεν υπήρχε τόπος μέσα τους για τον θείο σπόρο, για τη θεία επαγγελία. Οτιδήποτε φύτρωνε μέσα στις καρδιές τους ήταν ο σπόρος του σατανά, του αντίχριστου. Γι’ αυτό ζητούσαν να σκοτώσουν τον Χριστό. Μέσω του προφητάνακτος ψαλμωδού μιλάει ό Κύριος: Σχολάσατε και γνώτε ότι εγώ ειμί ο Θεός (Ψαλμ. 45:10). Είναι λοιπόν απαραίτητο να κενωθεί κανείς από οτιδήποτε αντιτίθεται στον Θεό, δηλαδή από καθετί εσωτερικό, το οποίο εμποδίζει το φως της γνώσεως του Θεού να κατοικήσει μέσα μας.
Όταν ο άνθρωπος αδειάσει τον εαυτό του απ’ αυτό, τότε και μόνον τότε μπορεί να καταλάβει ότι ο Θεός είναι Θεός. Όσο η ψυχή του ανθρώπου είναι γεμάτη με σκέψεις χωρίς Θεό, συναισθήματα χωρίς Θεό και επιθυμίες χωρίς Θεό, ό άνθρωπος είναι εντελώς ανίκανος να ακούσει η, να δεχθεί τον λόγο του Θεού. Όταν οι άνθρωποι δεν έχουν Θεό μέσα τους, ενεργούν υποκινούμενοι από μια κολασμένη παρόρμηση να ξεριζώσουν τον Θεό απ’ την ψυχή εκείνου πού Τον έχει.
Αλλά ζητείτε με αποκτείναι. Γιατί; Διότι ούτε ένας θείος λόγος του Χριστού δεν μπόρεσε να βρει καταφύγιο ή αποδοχή στις άθεες καρδιές τους. Μη, έχοντας τίποτε κοινό με τον Κύριο Ιησού Χριστό οι Εβραίοι πρεσβύτεροι ήταν εξαρχής ανίκανοι να έχουν οποιοδήποτε είδος φιλικής σχέσης μαζί Του.

Ω Κύριε Ιησού, ευλογημένε Σωτήρα μας, βοήθησέ μας να κενωθούμε άπ’ όλους τούς αμαρτωλούς σπόρους μέσα μας, ώστε ο άγιος λόγος Σου να μπορεί να εισέλθει εκεί και να μας φωτίσει, να μας ενισχύσει και να μας αναστήσει.

Ότι Σοι πρέπει πάσα δόξα, τιμή και προσκύνησις εις τούς αιώνας των αιώνων. Αμήν.
Πηγή: Αγίου Νικολάου Βελιμίροβιτς, «Ο Πρόλογος της Οχρίδας», (Φεβρουάριος), Εκδ. Άθως, 2015.


Μεσοπεντηκοστή: αναδαυλίζοντας την δίψα για το Φως του Παρακλήτου
«Εγώ τω διψώντι δώσω εκ της πηγής του ύδατος της ζωής δωρεάν»[1]
π.Ζαχαρίας Ζάχαρου, Ιερά Μονή Τιμίου Προδρόμου Έσσεξ Αγγλίας

….Μικρό μεν πράγμα η ανθρώπινη καρδιά, αλλά ολόκληρος ο κόσμος δεν μπορεί να τη γεμίσει. Η καρδιά του ανθρώπου είναι ο θρόνος του Βασιλέως του Μεγάλου, ο τόπος όπου η αιώνια ημέρα διαυγάζει και Φωσφόρος ανέσπερος ανατέλλει[7]. Όταν χαράξει η ημέρα του Κυρίου στην καρδιά, τότε ο «όντως άνθρωπος» αρχίζει καινούργια ζωή· «εξέρχεται επί το έργον αυτού έως εσπέρας»[8].

Όλες οι Γραφές, από την Παλαιά Διαθήκη ως και την Αποκάλυψη κάνουν λόγο για το ύδωρ της ζωής της αιωνίου, για τη δίψα της ψυχής για τον Θεό, η οποία κατασβήνει μόνο με τη δωρεά Του. Ο παλαιός Ισραήλ γνώριζε να ανάγει τη δίψα του από το βιοτικό στο πνευματικό επίπεδο. Τη φυσική δίψα του στην έρημο τη μετέτρεπε σε δίψα της ψυχής «προς τον Θεόν τον ζώντα»[9].Οι επαγγελίες του Ισραήλ αναφέρονταν στην εποχή που ο εκλεκτός λαός «μετ’ ευφροσύνης» θα αντλούσε ύδωρ «εκ των πηγών του σωτηρίου»[10]. Ο Κύριος υποσχέθηκε το μεσσιανικό νερό, δηλαδή την ευδαιμονία μέσα στην ευλογημένη και υπεράγαθη Βασιλεία Του, με τους λόγους: «Εάν τις διψά, ερχέσθω προς με και πινέτω»[11]. Η συμπλήρωση των επαγγελιών είναι ο Ίδιος, το Αρνίον, που «ποιμαίνει» τους εκλεκτούς Του «και οδηγήσει αυτούς επί ζωής πηγάς υδάτων, και εξαλείψει ο Θεός παν δάκρυον εκ των οφθαλμών αυτών»[12].

Το τροπάριο της Μεσοπεντηκοστής αποδίδει πολύ όμορφα το νόημα αυτής της περιόδου. Εκφράζει τέλεια τον πόνο και τον πόθο της ψυχής, που αν και βάλλεται πανταχόθεν από την ακηδία που πολεμάει τα τέκνα του αιώνος τούτου, ωστόσο, στρέφεται με όλη την έφεσή της προς τον Κύριο, εκζητώντας την κραταιά βοήθειά Του, και το μόνο που επιθυμεί είναι η δωρεά του Αγίου Πνεύματος, ώστε επαξίως να υμνεί τον Κύριο.

«Μεσούσης της εορτής, διψώσάν μου την ψυχήν, ευσεβείας πότισον νάματα· ότι πάσι, Σωτήρ, εβόησας· Ο διψών ερχέσθω προς με και πινέτω. Η πηγή της ζωής, Χριστέ ο Θεός, δόξα σοι»[13].

Ο Χριστιανισμός δεν είναι κάτι το ουδέτερο. Επαγγέλεται τίποτε λιγότερο από την ένωση του χοικού και πεπερασμένου ανθρώπου με τον άπειρο Θεό. Πολύ θα ωφελούμασταν, αν κάναμε δική μας, προσωπική προσευχή λόγους σαν τους παραπάνω η αν, ως προετοιμασία για να εορτάσουμε την Πεντηκοστή θεοπρεπώς, διαβάζαμε καθημερινά αργά και προσεκτικά τον Άμωμο[14], αφήνοντας τα νοήματά του να διαπεράσουν το είναι μας. Ο Ψαλμός αυτός εκφράζει και καλλιεργεί την ακόρεστη δίψα του ανθρώπου για την ένωσή του με τον Άγιο των Αγίων, καθώς βάζει σε λόγια την εξομολόγηση της ψυχής που ποθεί«αναλύσαι και συν Χριστώ είναι»[15]· της ψυχής που ποθεί να μεταβεί από «των λυπηροτέρων επί τα χρηστότερα και θυμηδέστερα»[16], από αυτή την παροδική και μάταιη ζωή, στην αιώνια και πλούσια ζωή της Βασιλείας του Θεού.

Για να παραμένει η προσδοκία για το χάρισμα της Πεντηκοστής σταθερή και αυξανόμενη, πρέπει ο άνθρωπος να φέρει συνεχώς στον νού του τον ερχομό του Κυρίου και να Τον αναμένει. Πρέπει να μην αποκάμνει στην προσευχή να καταξιωθεί «σταθήναι έμπροσθεν του Υιού του ανθρώπου»[17]. Οι πρώτοι Χριστιανοί είχαν μεγάλη έμπνευση, διότι προσδοκούσαν την παρουσία του Κυρίου και ο ερχομός Του ήταν γι’ αυτούς επικείμενος ανά πάσα στιγμή. Γι’ αυτό και προσεύχονταν: «Ελθέτω χάρις και παρελθέτω ο κόσμος ούτος»[18]. Ήξεραν ότι η χάρη του Αναστάντος Χριστού είναι η Βασιλεία του Θεού. Και είχαν τέτοιο πόθο για τον ερχομό της, που τέλειωναν την προσευχή τους λέγοντας, «μαράν αθά», «έρχου, Κύριε». Δεν περίμεναν παθητικά, με αδράνεια, αλλά Τον καλούσαν να έλθει ταχέως. Και όχι μόνο Τον καλούσαν, αλλά «έσπευδον προς την ημέραν του Θεού»[19], έτρεχαν προς τον Κύριο, επισπεύδοντες την παρουσία Του. Η προσμονή τους για τον ερχομό της Βασιλείας του Θεού ήταν τόσο δυνατή, που επισκίαζε τα πάντα και τους ενέδυε με την τόλμη να οδηγούνται με θάρρος ακόμη και στο μαρτύριο. Με τα αίματα αυτών των Μαρτύρων και τα δάκρυα των Οσίων, χάρη στις προσευχές και τις μεσιτείες τους, στερεώθηκε και διατηρήθηκε η πίστη πάνω στη γη.

Ας προετοιμαστούμε να προσεγγίσουμε τη μεγάλη και τελευταία εορτή της Πεντηκοστής με την πίστη ότι και εμάς ο Κύριος Ιησούς Χριστός δεν θα μας λησμονήσει, αλλά θα μας επισκεφθεί. Και σε εμάς θα εξαποστείλει τα δόματα της αγαθότητάς Του. Όπως λέει ο Ίδιος στο Ευαγγέλιό Του: «Ει ούν υμείς, υπάρχοντες πονηροί, οίδατε δόματα αγαθά διδόναι τοις τέκνοις υμών, πόσω μάλλον ο Πατήρ ο εξ ουρανού δώσει Πνεύμα αγαθόν τοις αιτούσιν αυτόν»[20], ώστε να τους οδηγήσει «εν γη ευθεία». Με την υπόσχεση του Κυρίου και τον άψευστο λόγο Του ως «άγκυραν της ψυχής ασφαλή τε και βεβαίαν»[21], ας παραδοθούμε στον συσσεισμό της ενέργειας του Πνεύματός Του και ας αποτινάξουμε από επάνω μας τα λέπια της αμαρτίας και τη φθορά του θανάτου, ώστε με όλη μας την καρδιά στραμμένη προς τον Κύριο να δεχθούμε και εμείς το «φλογίζον και υετίζον» χάρισμα του Μεγάλου Θεού μας, το οποίο θα μας μεταβιβάσει από τα εφήμερα και απατηλά στα αιώνια και αληθινά. Τότε θα γνωρίσουμε ότι είμαστε παιδιά του Ουρανίου Πατρός. Και για εμάς έχει ετοιμάσει μεγάλη κληρονομιά, τη Βασιλεία των Ουρανών. Σε εμάς η επαγγελία[22], του Πατρός και του Υιού και του Αγίου Πνεύματος. «Αμήν».

1. Αποκ. 21,6. -7. Βλ. Β΄ Πετρ. 1,19.
8. Βλ. Ψαλμ. 103,23.
9. Ψαλμ. 41,3.
10. Ησ.12,3.
11. Ιωάν. 7,37.
12. Αποκ. 7,17.
13. Απολυτίκιον Μεσοπεντηκοστής.
14. Ψαλμ. 118.
15. Φιλιπ. 1,23.
16. Εσπερινός Δευτέρας Αγίου Πνεύματος,ε’ Ευχή γονυκλισίας.
17. Βλ. Λουκ. 21,36.
18. Οι Αποστολικοί Πατέρες, Διδαχή, Εκδ. οίκος Αστήρ, Αλ. και Ε. Παπαδημητρίου, Αθήναι 1953, παρ. 10, στίχος 6, σ. 18.
19. Βλ. Β΄ Πετρ. 3,12.
20. Λουκ. 11,13.
21. Εβρ. 6,19.
22. Βλ. Πραξ. 2,39.

Αδελφοί μου, είθε να γίνουμε κι εμείς άξιοι δια της πίστεως, να εισέλθει ο Κύριος Ιησούς στις καρδιές μας και να γευόμαστε την άρρητη αγάπη Του! Κύριε Ιησού Χριστέ, η Ζωή μας, η Σοφία και η Αγάπη μας, καθάρισέ μας και είσελθε στην καρδιά μας! Άγιος Νικόλαος Βελιμιροβιτς

Μεσοπεντηκοστής – Αδελφοί μου, ας ανοίξουμε τις θύρες των ψυχών μας στη Σοφία του Θεού, την ενσαρκωμένη στο Πρόσωπο του Κυρίου Ιησού Χριστού! Κύριε Ιησού, η Σοφία και η Δύναμις του Θεού, άνοιξε τις ψυχές μας και σκήνωσε μέσα ς’ αυτές! Άγιος Νικόλαος Βελιμιροβιτς

Μεσοπεντηκοστής, ζητείτέ με αποκτείναι, ότι ο λόγος ο εμός ου χωρεί εν υμίν. Ιω. 8,37 Αγίου Νικολάου Βελιμίροβιτς

Η δίψα για τον αληθινό Θεό

Μεσοπεντηκοστής, εορτή της Αγίας Σοφίας στην Κωνσταντινούπολη

Κύριε και Θεέ μας, Συ που θαυματουργικά μετέβαλες το ύδωρ σε οίνο, μετάβαλε το ύδωρ της ύπαρξής μας σε Θείο οίνο, ώστε να μοιάσουμε μ’ Εσένα και να συγκατοικήσουμε στην αιώνια Βασιλεία Σου, μαζί με τους αγίους εξαστράπτοντες αγγέλους Σου και τον απόστολό Σου Σίμωνα τον Κανανίτη τον Ζηλωτή. Άγιος Νικόλαος Βελιμίροβιτς

Αναγνώσματα Εσπερινού:
Προφητεία Μιχαίου (Κεφ. Δ’, 2 ς’, 2 Ε’, 4)
Προφητεία Ησαΐου (Κεφ. ΝΕ’, 1)
Παροιμίες (Κεφ. θ’, 1)
Απόστολος: Πράξεις 14: 6-18
Ευαγγέλιο Θ. Λειτουργίας: Ιωάννη 7: 14-30

Ἀπολυτίκιον τῆς Μεσοπεντηκοστῆς Ἦχος πλ. δ’

Μεσούσης τῆς ἑορτῆς, διψῶσάν μου τὴν ψυχήν, εὐσεβείας πότισον νάματα ὅτι πᾶσι Σωτὴρ ἐβόησας· ὁ διψῶν, ἐρχέσθω πρός με καὶ πινέτω· Ἡ πηγὴ τῆς ζωῆς, Χριστὲ ὁ Θεὸς δόξα σοι.

Δόξα… Καὶ νῦν … Ἦχος πλ. δ’

Μεσούσης τῆς ἑορτῆς, διδάσκοντός σου Σωτήρ, ἔλεγον οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι· Πῶς οὗτος οἶδε γράμματα, μὴ μεμαθηκώς; ἀγνοοῦντες, ὅτι σὺ εἶ ἡ σοφία, ἡ κατασκευάσασα τόν κόσμον· Δόξα σοι.

Στιχηρὰ ἰδιόμελα Ἦχος α’
Ἰωάννου Μοναχοῦ

ν τῷ ἱερῷ ἐπέστης ἡ σοφία τοῦ Θεοῦ, μεσούσης τῆς ἑορτῆς, διδάσκων καὶ ἐλέγχων τοὺς ἀπειθεῖς Ἰουδαίους, τοὺς Φαρισαίους, καὶ Γραμματεῖς, καὶ βοῶν παρρησίᾳ πρὸς αὐτούς· ὁ διψῶν, ἐρχέσθω πρός με, καὶ πινέτω ὕδωρ ζωηρόν, καὶ οὐ μὴ διψήσῃ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, ὁ πιστεύων τῇ ἐμῇ χρηστότητι ποταμοὶ ῥεύσουσιν ἐκ τῆς κοιλίας αὐτοῦ ζωῆς αἰωνίου. Ὢ τῆς ἀγαθότητος, καὶ τῆς εὐσπλαγχνίας σου, Χριστὲ ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν· Δόξα σοι.

Κοντάκιον Ἦχος δ’
Ὁ ὑψωθεὶς ἐν τῷ Σταυρῷ

Τῆς ἑορτῆς τῆς νομικῆς μεσαζούσης, ὁ τῶν ἁπάντων Ποιητὴς καὶ Δεσπότης, πρὸς τοὺς παρόντας ἔλεγες, Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός· Δεῦτε καὶ ἀρύσασθε, ὕδωρ ἀθανασίας· ὅθεν σοι προσπίπτομεν, καὶ πιστῶς ἐκβοῶμεν· Τοὺς οἰκτιρμούς σου δώρησαι ἡμῖν· σὺ γὰρ ὑπάρχεις πηγὴ τῆς ζωῆς ἡμῶν.

Ὁ Οἶκος

Τὴν χερσωθεῖσάν μου ψυχήν, πταισμάτων ἀνομίαις, ῥοαῖς τῶν σῶν αἱμάτων κατάρδευσον, καὶ δεῖξον καρποφόρων ἀρεταῖς· σὺ γὰρ ἔφης πᾶσι, τοῦ προσέρχεσθαι πρός σὲ Λόγε Θεοῦ πανάγιε, καὶ ὕδωρ ἀφθαρσίας ἀρύεσθαι, ζῶν τε καὶ καθαῖρον ἁμαρτίας, τῶν ὑμνούντων τὴν ἔνδοξον καὶ θείαν σου Ἔγερσιν παρέχων ἀγαθέ, τὴν ἀπὸ τοῦ ὕψους ἐνεχθεῖσαν ἀληθῶς τοῖς Μαθηταῖς σου, Πνεύματος ἰσχύν, τοῖς σὲ Θεὸν γινώσκουσι· σὺ γὰρ ὑπάρχεις πηγὴ τῆς ζωῆς ἡμῶν.

Ὁ οὐρανὸν τοῖς ἄστροις

τὸν κρατῆρα ἔχων, τῶν ἀκενώτων δωρεῶν, δός μοι ἀρύσασθαι ὕδωρ, εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν, ὅτι συνέχομαι δίψῃ, εὔσπλαγχνε μόνε οἰκτίρμον. (Δίς)

Κατὰ Ἰωάννην 7:14-30

Τῆς ἑορτῆς μεσούσης, ἀνέβη ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν καὶ ἐδίδασκε. καὶ ἐθαύμαζον οἱ ᾿Ιουδαῖοι λέγοντες· πῶς οὗτος γράμματα οἶδε μὴ μεμαθηκώς; ἀπεκρίθη οὖν αὐτοῖς ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν· ἡ ἐμὴ διδαχὴ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐμή, ἀλλὰ τοῦ πέμψαντός με· ἐάν τις θέλῃ τὸ θέλημα αὐτοῦ ποιεῖν, γνώσεται περὶ τῆς διδαχῆς, πότερον ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐστιν ἢ ἐγὼ ἀπ᾽ ἐμαυτοῦ λαλῶ. ὁ ἀφ᾽ ἑαυτοῦ λαλῶν τὴν δόξαν τὴν ἰδίαν ζητεῖ, ὁ δὲ ζητῶν τὴν δόξαν τοῦ πέμψαντος αὐτόν, οὗτος ἀληθής ἐστι, καὶ ἀδικία ἐν αὐτῷ οὐκ ἔστιν. οὐ Μωϋσῆς δέδωκεν ὑμῖν τὸν νόμον; καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐξ ὑμῶν ποιεῖ τὸν νόμον. τί με ζητεῖτε ἀποκτεῖναι; ἀπεκρίθη ὁ ὄχλος καὶ εἶπε· δαιμόνιον ἔχεις· τίς σε ζητεῖ ἀποκτεῖναι; ἀπεκρίθη ᾿Ιησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· ἓν ἔργον ἐποίησα, καὶ πάντες θαυμάζετε διὰ τοῦτο. Μωϋσῆς δέδωκεν ὑμῖν τὴν περιτομήν, οὐχ ὅτι ἐκ τοῦ Μωϋσέως ἐστίν, ἀλλ᾽ ἐκ τῶν πατέρων, καὶ ἐν σαββάτῳ περιτέμνετε ἄνθρωπον. εἰ περιτομὴν λαμβάνει ἄνθρωπος ἐν σαββάτῳ ἵνα μὴ λυθῇ ὁ νόμος Μωϋσέως, ἐμοὶ χολᾶτε ὅτι ὅλον ἄνθρωπον ὑγιῆ ἐποίησα ἐν σαββάτῳ! μὴ κρίνετε κατ᾽ ὄψιν, ἀλλὰ τὴν δικαίαν κρίσιν κρίνατε.

῎Ελεγον οὖν τινες ἐκ τῶν ῾Ιεροσολυμιτῶν· οὐχ οὗτός ἐστιν ὃν ζητοῦσιν ἀποκτεῖναι; καὶ ἴδε παρρησίᾳ λαλεῖ, καὶ οὐδὲν αὐτῷ λέγουσι. μήποτε ἀληθῶς ἔγνωσαν οἱ ἄρχοντες ὅτι οὗτός ἐστιν ἀληθῶς ὁ Χριστός; ἀλλὰ τοῦτον οἴδαμεν πόθεν ἐστίν· ὁ δὲ Χριστὸς ὅταν ἔρχηται, οὐδεὶς γινώσκει πόθεν ἐστίν. ἔκραξεν οὖν ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ διδάσκων ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς καὶ λέγων· κἀμὲ οἴδατε, καὶ οἴδατε πόθεν εἰμί· καὶ ἀπ᾽ ἐμαυτοῦ οὐκ ἐλήλυθα, ἀλλ᾽ ἔστιν ἀληθινὸς ὁ πέμψας με, ὃν ὑμεῖς οὐκ οἴδατε· ἐγὼ οἶδα αὐτόν, ὅτι παρ᾽ αὐτοῦ εἰμι κἀκεῖνός με ἀπέστειλεν.