Iconography and Hand painted icons

Blessed Prascovia (Parasceva) Ivanovna of Sarov and Diveyevo. The Fool in Christ is a Prophet and a Apostle, is a living witness to the truth that Christ’s kingdom is not of this world;

Παρασκευή-Πάσα του Σάρωφ, η δια Χριστόν Σαλή_Blessed Parasceva Ivanovna (Pasha of Sarov)_Блж. Параскева Дивеевская_09Synaxarion.
On September 23 we remember the conception of the holy and glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John.
On this day we commemorate the holy martyrs Andrew, John, Peter and Anthony of Syracuse, martyred in Africa (9th century)
On this day we commemorate the holy Martyr Rais the virgin of Egypt. (308)
On this day we commemorate the holy women Xanthippe and Polyxeni the sisters, of Spain, disciples of the Apostles, and Rebecca (109)
The holy New Martyr Nicholas the Grocer (“O Pantopolis”) witnessed in Constantinople in 1672 and died by the sword.
The holy New Martyr John, the former Hagarene and Dervish, of Epirus from Vrahori (today’s Agrinio) (1814).
Our righteous Father Adamnan, Abbot of Iona, biographer of St. Columba (704)
Repose of Abbess Eupraxia of Old Ladoga Convent (1823)
Repose of Hieroschemamonk Jerome of Solovki (1847)
Myrrh-streaming Iveron Icon of the Theotokos “Hawaiian” (2007)

“The Fool in Christ is a Prophet and a Apostle, is the living conscience of society.”
Metropolitan Kallistos Ware

Inspired by the Spirit, the fool carries the act of metanoia or ‘change of mind’ to its farthest extent. More radically than anyone else, he stands the pyramid on its head. He is a living witness to the truth that Christ’s kingdom is not of this world; he testifies to the reality of the ‘anti-world’, to the possibility of the impossible. He practises an absolute voluntary poverty, identifying himself with the humiliated Christ…Forgoing family life, he is the wanderer or pilgrim who feels equally at home everywhere, yet settles down nowhere… Yet thereby he becomes a channel for the higher wisdom of the Spirit. He is the living conscience of society… The life of a holy fool is thought to be lived in imitation of the advice of St. Paul in the First Letter to the Corinthians: “If anyone among you considers himself wise in this age, let him become a fool so as to become wise. For the wisdom of this world, is foolishness in the eyes of God” (3:18-19).
The Yurodivy is a Saint who acts intentionally foolish in the eyes of men while at the same time mysteriously helping people. Fools-for-Christ may employ unexpected and unconventional behavior to deliver prophecies, reveal the truth, unmask delusions, and beneficially influence those who are indifferent. In this way the Yurodivy conceal their virtues, increase their humility, eradicate pride (by avoiding man pleasing and the praise of men) and dedicate themselves, wholeheartedly, to fulfilling the will of God… in the heart of a fool-for-Christ lives the memory of the Cross and the One Crucified, the slaps on His face, the spitting and the flagellation, which encourages them at any moment to endure any reviling and oppression for Christ’s sake. (Metropolitan Kallistos Ware ,THE ORTHODOX WAY ,CHAPTER 5: GOD AS SPIRIT, Fathers in the Spirit and Fools)


Blessed Prascovia (Parasceva) Ivanovna of Sarov and Diveyevo
Synaxarion (September 22)

Παρασκευή-Πάσα του Σάρωφ, η δια Χριστόν Σαλή_Blessed Parasceva Ivanovna (Pasha of Sarov)_Блж. Параскева Дивеевская_bl.-ParaskevaBlessed Prascovia Ivanovna,1 in the world Irina, was born in the early 19th century in the village of Nikolsky, Spassky District, Tambov Province. Her parents, Ivan and Darya, were serfs of the noble family of the Bulygins. When the maiden reached the age of seventeen, her master gave her in marriage to the peasant Theodore. Submitting unmurmuringly to her parents’ and master’s will, Irina became an exemplary wife and housewife. Her husband’s family loved her for her meek manners, her love of labor, and because she loved church services. Praying fervently, fleeing visitors and society, she never participated in village games. Thus she and her husband lived for fifteen years, but the Lord did not bless them with children. After these fifteen years had passed, the masters Bulygin sold Irina and her husband to the German masters Schmidt in the village of Sukrot. In five years after resettlement, Irina’s husband became sick with tuberculosis and died. Later, when the blessed one was asked what her husband was like, she replied, “He was just as silly as me.”
After her husband’s death the Schmidts took her in as a cook and bookkeeper. They tried several times to marry her off a second time, bur Irina decisively refused. “I won’t get married again even if you kill me!” So they left her alone.

In a year and a half a catastrophe occurred—two paintings were discovered missing in the nobleman’s house. The servant woman blamed Irina, trying to prove that she had stolen them. The commissary of the rural police came with soldiers, and the landowners convinced him to punish Irina. The soldiers at the orders of the commissary whipped her cruelly, broke her skull and tore her ears. But even during the punishment Irina continued to say that she had not stolen the canvases. Then the Schmidts called a local fortune-teller who said that the paintings had been stolen by a woman named Irina, but not this Irina, and that they could be found in the river. They began to search for them, and did in fact find them in the place the fortune­teller had named.

After enduring the punishment, Irina was no longer able to live with the heterodox landowners and, leaving them, went to Kiev on a pilgrimage.

The holiness of Kiev and her meetings with elders completely changed her inner state—she now knew for what and how to live. Now she desired that only God live in her heart, the only Lover of all mankind and merciful Christ, the Giver of all good things. Unfairly punished, Irina felt more profoundly the unspeakable depths of Christ’s suffering and His mercy.

The landowner at that time reported her missing. In a half year the police found her in Kiev and sent her with an armed escort to her masters. The trip was long and torturous—she had to fully experience hunger, cold, the cruel treatment of the convoy soldiers, and the crudeness of the men who arrested her.

The Schmidts, feeling guilty before Irina, “forgave” her for running away and made her the gardener. Irina served them for over a year, but having come into contact with that holy place and spiritual life, she could no longer remain in servitude, and she ran away.

The landowners once again sent out a search party, and in a year the police found her in Kiev. After placing her under arrest they sent her back under escort to the Schmidts, who, wanting to show their authority over her, did not receive her but threw her our onto the street with neither warm clothing nor a piece of bread. Having received the tonsure in Kiev with the name Parasceva, she was not saddened—she knew her path, and the fact that the landowners had thrown her out only served as a sign that the time had come for her to fulfill the blessing of the elders.

She wandered around the village for five years like a lunatic, and was the laughing-stock not only of the children but of all the peasants. She developed the habit of living year round under the open sky, enduring cold, hunger, and summer heat. Then she hid herself in the Sarov forest and lived there for over two decades in a cave that she had dug herself.

They say that she had several caves in various spots in the vast, impenetrable forest, where at the time many wild animals roamed. She sometimes went to Sarov or Diveyevo, but she was most often seen at the Sarov mill, where she came to work.

At one time Pasha possessed a remarkably pleasant appearance. After her life in the forests of Sarov and the years of ascetic labor and fasting, she came to look like St. Mary of Egypt: thin, brown-skinned from the sun, with short hair—long hair was a hindrance in the woods. Barefoot, in a men’s monastic shirt, an overcoat that was open at the chest, with arms exposed, the blessed one came to the monastery and threw into a terror everyone who did not know her.

Before she moved into Diveyevo Convent she lived a while in one village. Seeing her ascetic life, people began to turn to her for advice, and to ask her prayers. The enemy of mankind taught evil people to attack and rob her. They beat her up, but did not find any money on her. The blessed one was found lying in a pool of blood with a broken skull. She was sick for a year after this, and she never really recovered from it the rest of her life. The pain in her broken head and in her lower chest tormented her constantly, but she scarcely paid attention to it, and only every now and then she would say, “Ach, Mamenka, how it hurts! No matter what I do, Mamenka, the pain in my chest doesn’t go away!”
When she still lived in the Sarov forest, some Tartars rode past who had just robbed the church. The blessed one came out of the woods and scolded them, for which they beat her till she was half dead and broke her skull. The Tartars came to Sarov and told the guestmaster, “An old lady came out and yelled at us, and we beat her up.”

The guestmaster said, “That must be Prascovia Ivanovna.” He mounted a horse and went to get her.

Her wounds healed after the beatings, but her hair grew back unevenly, so that her head itched and she was always asking to be “checked” [for lice].

Before she moved into Diveyevo, Prascovia Ivanovna often visited Diveyevo’s blessed Pelagia Ivanovna. Once she went in and sat silently next to the blessed one. Pelagia Ivanovna looked at her a long time and said, “Yes! It’s good for you, no worries like I have; look how many children I have!” Pasha (diminutive for Prascovia) arose, bowed to her and quietly left, without having said a word.

A few years passed. One day Pelagia Ivanovna slept, then suddenly jumped up, just as if someone had woken her, ran to the window, and leaning halfway out began to peer into the distance and threaten someone.

Near the Kazan Church the gate opened, and in walked Prascovia Ivanovna, headed straight for Pelagia Ivanovna’s, muttering something to herself.

Walking up closer and seeing that Pelagia Ivanovna was saying something, she stopped and asked, “What, matushka, shouldn’ t I come?”
“Still early? Not time yet?”
“Yes,” Pelagia Ivanovna affirmed.

Prascovia Ivanovna bowed low to her and, without entering the monastery, went out the same gate.

Six years before blessed Pelagia Ivanovna’s death Pasha again appeared in the monastery, this time with some sort of doll, and later with many dolls: taking care of them, feeding them, calling them children. Now she would stay for weeks, sometimes months at a time in the monastery. During the final year of blessed Pelagia’s life, Pasha lived there without leaving. In late autumn of 1884 she walked past the walls of the cemetery church of the Transfiguration and, hitting her finger again at the post said, “They will go a-dying just as I’ll knock over this post; you won’t even have time to dig the graves!”

These words soon came true—Pelagia Ivanovna died, and after her, so many nuns that the forty-day prayers2 never ceased for an entire year; it even happened that they would have two funerals at once.

When Pelagia Ivanovna reposed, at two o’clock in the morning they rang the large monastery bell. The cliros nuns with whom blessed Pasha lived at the time, thinking it might have signaled a fire, were all alarmed and jumped out of their beds. Pasha arose all radiant and began to place icons all around the room and light candles.

“Well, there,” she said, “What fire? There’s no fire, just a little snow has melted here, and now it will be dark!”

Several times Pelagia Ivanovna’s cell-attendant invited Pasha to move into the reposed one’s cell.

“No, it’s forbidden,” replied Prascovia Ivanovna. “Mamenka there won’t allow it,” as she pointed to Pelagia Ivanovna’s portrait.
“I don’t see it.”
“You don’t see it, but I see it—she doesn’t bless!”

Παρασκευή-Πάσα του Σάρωφ, η δια Χριστόν Σαλή_Blessed Parasceva Ivanovna (Pasha of Sarov)_Блж. Параскева-Паша Дивеевская_-b835-623062396163__1-02So she left, living first with the cliros nuns, and then in a separate cell near the gates. In her cell was a bed with enormous pillows, upon which she rarely lay, for dolls rested on it.

She required those who lived with her to arise at midnight to pray, and if someone refused she would make such a noise, fighting and shouting, that they would arise against their will to placate her.

In the beginning Prascovia Ivanovna went to church and watched sternly over the sisters’ daily attendance. During her final ten or so years the blessed one changed some of her rules: For instance, she never left the monastery and did not even go far from her cell; she did not go at all to church but received Communion at home, and rarely at that. The Lord Himself revealed to her what rules and way of life to follow.

Having taken tea after Liturgy, the blessed one sat down to work, knitting socks or spinning thread. She conducted this work with ceaseless Jesus Prayer, and for that reason her thread was highly valued in the monastery; they made belts or prayer ropes out of it. She used the knitting of stockings as a parable for exercise in ceaseless Jesus Prayer. Thus, one day a visitor came to her with the thought of moving closer to Diveyevo. She said in answer to his thoughts, “Well, why not? Come to us in Sarov, we’ll collect mushrooms and knit stockings,” that is, make prostrations and learn the Jesus Prayer.

Before she moved into Diveyevo Monastery, Pasha wandered from the monastery on far-away obediences or went to Sarov, to her beloved former dwelling places. On her travels she took a simple walking stick that she called a cane, a bundle with various things, or a sickle over her shoulder and several dolls in her lapel. With her cane she sometimes threatened people who bothered her or those guilty of some transgression.

One day a pilgrim came and asked to be permitted into the cell, but the blessed one was busy, and the cell-attendant decided not to disturb her. But the pilgrim insisted, “Tell her, that I am just the same as she!”

The cell-attendant was amazed at such a lack of humility and went to relay his words to the blessed one.

Prascovia Ivanovna did not answer but took her cane, went outside and began to beat the pilgrim with all her strength, exclaiming, “Ach, you soul-destroyer, deceiver, thief, pretender!…”

The pilgrim left and no longer insisted upon a meeting with the blessed one.

The sickle had great spiritual meaning for the blessed one. She cut weeds with it and, under the pretense of this work, made full prostrations to Christ and the Mother of God. If people came to her of the upper classes, with whom she did not consider herself worthy to sit, the blessed one would arrange for them to be served refreshments, bow to their feet, and leave to cut weeds-that is, to pray for them. She never left the cut weeds in the fields or in the monastery yard, but always gathered them and took them to the horse stable. As an omen of some unpleasantness she would give her guest burdock or spiny pine cones….

She prayed her own prayers, but she knew certain prayers by heart. She called the Mother of God “Mamenka behind the glass.” Sometimes she would stop as though rooted to the spot before the icon and pray, or kneel wherever she happened to be—in the field, in her room, or in the middle of the street—and pray fervently with tears. Sometimes she would go into the church and put out all of the candles and lampadas near the icons, or she would not allow the lampadas in her cell to be lit. Requesting the Lord’s blessing for every step and action, she sometimes asked loudly, then answered herself, “Should I go? Or wait?… Go, go quickly, silly!”—and then she would go. “Should I pray some more, or finish? St. Nicholas the Wonder­worker, is it good that I ask? Not good, you say? Should I leave? Leave, leave, quickly, Mamenka! I hurt my finger, Mamenka! Should I have it fixed? No? It will heal by itself!”

During the days when she was struggling with the enemy of mankind she would begin to talk without pause, but it was impossible to understand her; she broke dishes and other things, worried, shouted, and argued. One day she woke up in the morning upset and worried. After midday office a visiting noblewoman came to see her, greeting her and wishing to talk with her, but Prascovia Ivanovna shouted and waved her arms. saying, “Go away, go away! Don’t you see, there, the devil? They cut off the head with an axe, they cut off the head with an axe!” The visitor was frightened and left, not understanding anything, but soon the bell was rung to bring to news that an epileptic nun had died during a fit in the hospital.

Παρασκευή-Πάσα του Σάρωφ, η δια Χριστόν Σαλή_Blessed Parasceva Ivanovna (Pasha of Sarov)_Блж.святых блаженных Дивеевских Пелагии, Параскевы_______20120211_1324941234 (1)One day the virgin Xenia from the village of Puzina came to the blessed one to ask her blessing to join the monastery.

“What are you saying, girl?!” the blessed one yelled. “First you need to go to Petersburg, and serve all the noblemen; then if the Tsar gives me money, I’ll build you a cell!”

In a little while Xenia’s brothers began to divide the inheritance, and she again came to Prascovia Ivanovna and said, “My brothers want to divide the inheritance, and you don’t bless me! As you like, I won’t obey you, and will build a cell.”

The Blessed Pasha, troubled at her words, jumped up and said, “What a silly girl you are! Well, the nerve! You see, you don’t know how many infants are more important than we are!” Having said this, she laid down and stretched out. In the fall Xenia’s relative died and a girl, a complete orphan, was left in her care.

One day Prascovia Ivanovna went to see a priest in the village of Arzamas, at whose house at the time a psalmist was on liturgical business. She went up to him and said, “Lord! I beg you, get a good wet nurse or some nanny.”
And what do you know? The psalmist’s previously healthy wife got sick and died, leaving an infant.

One of the peasants of the nearby village bought some cement sand. He was offered several extra pounds for free; he thought about it and took it.

“A lot richer you’ll be for obeying a demon! You’d do better to live by the truth that you lived by!…”

When the new church was being built in Diveyevo, Abbess Alexandra decided not to ask a blessing from blessed Prascovia Ivanovna.

A solemn prayer service was taking place at the site of the building, when the Abbess’ aunt Elizabeth came to see Prascovia Ivanovna. She was old and hard of hearing. She said to the blessed one’s novice, Dunya, “I will ask, and you tell me what she answers, otherwise I won’t hear.”

She agreed.
“Mamashenka, they’re donating a cathedral to us.”
“A cathedral, a cathedral,” Prascovia Ivanovna replied, “ But I had a look: wildberry trees are growing in the corners, they could knock the cathedral over.”
“What did she say?” asked Elizabeth.
“Why say it?” Dunya thought. “They have already laid the foundation for the cathedral,” and she answered, “She blesses.”
The cathedral was never finished.

One hierarch came to the monastery. She expected him to come to her, but he went on to the monastery clergy. She waited for him until evening, and when he came she flew at him with a stick and tore the veil on his klobuk. He hid out of fear in Mother Seraphima’s cell. When the blessed one fought she was so fearsome that she made everyone tremble. Later some men attacked the hierarch and beat him.

One Hieromonk Iliodore (Sergei Trufanov) came to see her from Tsaritsyn. He had come with a procession, along with many people. Prascovia Ivanovna received him, sat him down, then took his klobuk off of him, his cross, and all his medals and awards, then put them all in her trunk, locked the lid and tucked the key in her belt. Then she asked that a box be brought to her, where she planted an onion, watered it and said, “Onion, grow call….” and then lay down to sleep. He sat there crestfallen. He was supposed to begin the Vigil, and he could not stand up. It was good, at least, that she had tied the key to her belt and was lying on the opposite side, so that they could untie the key and take everything out of the trunk for him.

A few years passed and he cast off his priestly rank and renounced all of his monastic vows.

One day Bishop Hermogenes (Dolganov) came to her from Saratov. He had just had a great misfortune—someone had thrown a child to him in his carriage with a note saying, “Thine own of thine own.”

He ordered a large prosphoron and went to the blessed one with the question, what should he do? She grabbed the prosphoron, threw it at the wall, so that it bounced off and hit the room divider. She didn’t want to answer. On the next day, she did the same thing. On the third day she locked herself in, and did not even come out to greet the hierarch. What to do? He so respected the blessed one that he did not want to leave without her blessing, even though matters in his bishopric demanded his attention. Then he sent a cell-attendant. She received him and gave him tea. The hierarch asked through him, “What should I do?” She answered, “I prayed and fasted for forty days, then they sang the Pascha.”

Her words meant that apparently, all of his current sorrows needed to be endured with dignity, and they would resolve themselves successfully in their own time. The bishop rook her words literally, went to Sarov and lived there for forty days, fasting and praying, and during that time his problem dissipated.

Sometimes Prascovia Ivanovna would begin to make a fuss, and to the nuns who came to see her she would say, “Get out of here, you rascals, this is the cashier.” (After the monastery closed, her cell would be turned into a cash-bank.)

One time, Eudocia Ivanovna Barskova, who never joined a monastery, bur never got married either, went on a pilgrimage to Kiev. On the return trip she stopped in Vladimir, at the house of one blessed merchant who received all pilgrims. In the morning he called her, blessed her with a picture of the Kiev­Caves Lavra and said, “Go to Diveyevo; there Blessed Pasha of Sarov will show you your path.”

Dunya3 flew as on wings to Diveyevo. During Dunya’s entire two-week trip (she had walked nearly two hundred miles) blessed Prascovia would come out on the porch, sighing and waving her arms, saying, “Ay, my little droplet4 is coming, my servant is coming.”

She arrived in the evening, after Vigil—and ran straight to Prascovia lvanovna.

Mother Seraphima, the senior cell-attendant, came out and said, “Go away, girl, go away. We’re tired, come tomorrow, after the early Liturgy.

They led her out to the gate, and Prascovia Ivanovna wailed, “You’ re sending my servant away. Why are you sending my servant away? My servant has come! My servant has come!”

In the morning Dunya came to the blessed one; she met her, spread out napkins on the bench, blew away the dust and sat her down, began to serve her tea and to treat her. Dunya remained with the blessed one. Prascovia Ivanovna entrusted her right away with everything, and the senior cell-attendant, Mother Seraphima, came to love her.

Nun Alexandra (Trakovskaya), the future abbess, asked Dunya, “Aren’t you afraid of the blessed one?”
‘‘I’m not afraid.”
As soon as Mother Alexandra walked away, the blessed one said, “She’ll be a mother.” (That is, an Abbess.–Auth.)

Every night at twelve o’clock Prascovia Ivanovna was given a hot samovar.

She would only drink tea if the water in the samovar had been brought to a boil, otherwise she would say, “It’s dead,” and would refuse to drink it. Incidentally, when she would pour a cup of tea she would seem to forget about it, and it would cool off. When she had drunk a cup, and even when she hadn’t, she would then light and put out candles all night. She prayed all night until morning in her own manner.

Παρασκευή-Πάσα του Σάρωφ, η δια Χριστόν Σαλή_Blessed Parasceva Ivanovna (Pasha of Sarov)_Блж. Параскева Дивеевская_)15631575859_Mother Raphaella related that when she joined the monastery, she often had to keep the night watch. She could easily see Prascovia Ivanovna’s cell from far away. She saw every night at twelve o’clock in the blessed one’s cell candles being lit, and the blessed one’s figure moved quickly around, now putting candles out, now lighting them. Raphaella wanted very much to see how the blessed one prayed. Having received a blessing from the sister who kept watch with her to walk along the lane, she headed in the direction of Prascovia Ivanovna’s house. The curtains were open in all the windows. Stealing up to the first window, she had just tried to climb onto the cornice to peek into the window, when an arm quickly pulled the curtains shut. She went to the second window, to the third, and the same thing was repeated. Then she went all the way around to another window where the curtains were never closed, and the same thing happened. Thus she never saw a thing.

A little time passed and Mother Raphaella came to see the blessed one, who received her and said, “Pray.”

Mother Raphaella began to pray on her knees. “Now lie down.”

Then the blessed one began to pray herself. What prayer it was! She suddenly became transfigured, raised her arms, and tears screamed copiously from her eyes; it seemed to Raphaella that the blessed one rose into the air—she did not see her legs on the ground.

Mother Raphaella also told how a half-year before the death of her mother she had gone to Prascovia Ivanovna. The blessed one started peering in the direction of the bell tower, but there was nothing there.

“They’ re flying, flying, there, one after another, higher, higher,” and she clapped her hands, “and higher still!”

Mother Raphaella immediately understood. In a half year her mother died, and in another half year her grandfather.

When Raphaella joined the monastery, she was constantly late for services. She went to the blessed one, who said, “A good girl, but she’s a lay-about. Mother prays for you.”

Schema-Archimandrite Barsanuphius of Optina was transferred out of Optina Monastery and appointed Archimandrite of Golutvin Monastery. He became very ill, and wrote a letter to Blessed Prascovia Ivanovna, whom he had visited, and in whom he had great faith. Mother Raphaella brought the letter. When the blessed one heard the letter, she only said, “Three hundred sixty-five.” In exactly 365 days the elder reposed. This was confirmed by the Elder’s cell-attendant, who was present when the blessed one’s answer was received.

When they brewed her tea, she waited for an opportunity to seize the packet and pour the whole thing into the teapot. She would empty it completely, then not drink the tea. When they poured in the tea leaves, she would try to knock their arms so that more poured in; then the tea would brew very strong, and she would say, “The broom, the broom.” She would then pour all of that tea into a wash bowl, and dump it outside. Eudocia took one rim while the blessed one took the other saying, “Lord, help us; Lord, help us,” as they took the bowl outside. When they had carried it onto the porch, the blessed one would pour it out saying, “Bless, Lord, on the fields, on the meadows, on the dark oak groves, on the tall hills.”
If someone brought jam, they tried not to give it to her directly, and if she should happen to receive any, she rook it straightway to the cleaning room and turned it upside-down into the washtub chanting, “Swear to God, from inside, swear to God, from inside.”

Dunya related that the blessed one loved her very much and treated her like a friend. Dunya would intentionally come up to the blessed one without a headscarf. The latter would immediately take out a new one and cover her head with it. In a little while she would come to her again bareheaded. Mother Seraphima commented, “Ducia,5 you’ll take all of her scarves that way.”

But Dunya gave them away to others.

Παρασκευή-Πάσα του Σάρωφ, η δια Χριστόν Σαλή_Blessed Parasceva Ivanovna (Pasha of Sarov)_Блж. Параскева Дивеевская_Параскева, Серафим и Александра204_0190009bPrascovia Ivanovna was occupied with people all day long. Her monastic cell-attendant, Mother Seraphima, read Prascovia Ivanovna’s entire cell rule for her. Prascovia Ivanovna was tonsured into the great schema, but she had no time to read her rule, so Mother Seraphima read her own monastic rule as well as the schema rule for Prascovia Ivanovna. Mother Seraphima had a separate cell in the monastery. For appearances’ sake she had a bed with a feather mattress and pillows, on which she never lay; she only rested in an armchair. The two of them lived as one soul. It was better to offend Prascovia Ivanovna than Mother Seraphima. If you should offend her, then it was best not to come anywhere near Prascovia Ivanovna.

Mother Seraphima died of cancer, and her illness was so torturous that she rocked on the floor from pain. When she died, Prascovia Ivanovna went to the church. The sisters immediately took note of her, for by that time she rarely went to church. But she said to them, “You foolish ones—you look at me, but you don’t see that she has three crowns.” This was about Mother Seraphima.

On the fortieth day Prascovia Ivanovna waited for the priests to come and serve a Pannikhida in her cell. In the evening she waited, but they passed by, and she became upset, saying accusingly,” Ech, priests, priests … passed me by … if they would just swing a little incense, my soul would be consoled.”

One day Eudocia had a dream. There was a beautiful house and a room with what they call Italian windows—very large. The windows were open into the garden; extraordinary apples hung from the trees, even knocking against the window, and everywhere it was dressed and swept. She saw Seraphima, who told her, “Let me show you the place where Prascovia Ivanovna is.” Then she awoke and went to Prascovia Ivanovna; but when she tried to tell the blessed one she covered her mouth…

Notwithstanding the many miracles that people witnessed during the seventy years following the repose of St. Seraphim of Sarov, there was resistance to the opening of his relics and his canonization. They say that the Tsar insisted upon the canonization but almost the entire Synod was against it, the only supporters being Metropolitan Anthony (Vadkovsky) and Archbishop Cyril (Smirnov).

During that time blessed Prascovia Ivanovna fasted for fourteen or fifteen days, not eating anything, so that she could not even walk, bur crawled on her hands and knees.

Some time during the evening Archimandrite Seraphim (Chichagov) came and said, “Mamashenka, they won’t let us open the relics.”
Prascovia Ivanovna said, “Take my hand; let’s go out in the open.”
Mother Seraphima took one arm and Archimandrite Seraphim the other.
“Grab a tool. Dig on the right—there are the relics.”
The investigation into the relics of St. Seraphim was conducted on the night of January 11, 1903.

During that time in the village of Lomasov, eight miles from Sarov, a fiery glow was seen in the sky above the monastery and, crossing themselves, the witnesses ran there to ask about it. “Where did you have the fire? We saw a glow.”

But there was no fire. Only later did one hieromonk quietly say, “Tonight a commission came and opened the remains of Father Seraphim. Only St. Seraphim’s bones remained, and the Synod was confused. What should they do? No incorrupt relics, only bones. One eldress who was still alive at the time and knew the Saint said then, “We bow down before miracles, not bones.” There was talk amongst the sisters that the Saint himself appeared to the Tsar, who then used his authority to insist upon the opening of the relics. When it was decided to canonize the Saint and open the relics, grand princes came to Sarov and Diveyevo to blessed Prascovia lvanovna.

At that rime in the Royal Family there were four daughters, but the boy heir had not yet been born. They came to the Saint to pray for the granting of an heir. Prascovia Ivanovna had the custom of showing everything with the dolls, and now she was preparing a boy-doll. She made him a bed out of scarves that was soft and high. “Quiet, quiet, he’s sleeping,” she would say. Everything that she said was relayed to the Tsar by telephone, and he himself came later.

Eudocia Ivanovna told how Mother Seraphima was getting ready to go to Sarov for the opening of the relics, but she suddenly broke her leg. Prascovia Ivanovna healed her.

It was revealed to the blessed one that after the Tsar had been greeted in the abbatial quarters, and they had sung him a concert, he would seat everyone to breakfast but he himself would come to her.

Mother Seraphima returned with Dunya from the reception, and Prascovia Ivanovna would not allow them to clean up anything. There were potatoes in the skillet and the samovar was cold.

While they argued with her they heard from the shed, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us.” In walked Nicholas Alexandrovich and Alexandra Feodorovna.

Already in their presence, the others laid out the carpet, cleared the table, and brought in a hot samovar. Everyone left, except the Royal couple and Prascovia Ivanovna, but their Highnesses could not understand what the blessed one was saying. Soon the Tsar went out and said, “The senior among you, please come in.”

The discussion took place in the cell-attendant’s presence, who related later that the blessed one told the Tsar, “Your Highness, come down from the throne yourself.”

Σύναξη των Αγίων Diveevo Собор Дивеевских святыхp1916amup66a156rqsk1u4k18bjWhen they began to part, Prascovia lvanovna opened the chest of drawers. She took out a new tablecloth, spread it on the table, and started setting out food; linen cloth of her own work (she spun her own thread), a new lump of sugar, colored eggs, and some sugar in pieces. She tied it all up in a bundle very firmly, with several knots, so that when she had tied it she had to sit down from the exertion. She then gave it to him, saying, “Tsar, carry it yourself.”

She herself stretched out her hand, saying, “And give us some money, we need to build a hut.”6

The Tsar had no money with him. He immediately sent for some, and he gave her a wallet of gold coins, which was then taken directly to the Abbess.

When Nicholas Alexandrovich left, he said that Prascovia lvanovna was a true slave of God. Everywhere, everyone received him like a Tsar; only she treated him like a simple human being. Prascovia Ivanova died on September 22, 1915.

Before her death she was always making prostrations before the Tsar’s portrait. She herself was already physically unable to do so—the others lifted her up and set her down.

“Why, Mamashenka, do you pray so to the Tsar?” “Sillies. He will be higher than all the Tsars.”
She said of the Tsar, “I don’t know … a monastic saint, I don’t know … a martyr.”
Not long before she died, the blessed one took down the portrait of the Tsar and kissed his feet with the words, “My dear one is already near the end.”

The blessed one died a long and difficult death. She was paralyzed just before death. She suffered very much. Some were amazed that such a great slave of God would die with such suffering. It was revealed to one of the sisters that through these sufferings she bought the souls of her spiritual children from hell.

When the blessed one was dying, one nun in Petersburg went out onto the street and saw how Prascovia Ivanovna’s soul rose up into the heavens.
From Igumen Damascene (Orlovsky), New Confessors of Russia, Nizhny Novgorod Province,(Platina: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 1998).

1 This Life is taken from the Chronicles of the St. Seraphim-Diveyevo Monastery, compiled by Archimandrite Seraphim (Chichagov), St. Petersburg, 1903; and information given by Nun Seraphima Bulgakova
2 It is Orthodox custom to pray for the reposed at the Liturgy for forty days after death. In monasteries, the Psalter is also read for them for forty days.
3 Diminutive of Eudocia.
4 Eudocia lvanovna was very short in stature.
5 Another diminutive of Eudocia.
6 A new cathedral.

Memorial House of Blessed Paraskevi of Diveyevo

Παρασκευή-Πάσα του Σάρωφ, η δια Χριστόν Σαλή_Blessed Parasceva Ivanovna-Pasha of Sarov_Блж. Параскева-Паша Дивеевская_-4639-a (1) - ΑντιγραφήBlessed Maria Ivanovna of Diveyevo, fool for Christ’s received her spiritual nourishment from Blessed Prascovia Ivanovna, to whom she went for advice. When they would ask her why she was known as “Ivanovna,” she would reply, “All of us blessed ones are Ivanovny, [children] of [St.] John the Forerunner.”

Apolytikion of Conception of the Forerunner
Fourth Tone

Rejoice, O thou barren one who hadst not borne until now; for lo, in all truth thou hast conceived the lamp of the Sun, and he shall send forth his light over all the earth, which is afflicted with blindness. Dance, O Zacharias, and cry out with great boldness: The one to be born is the blest Prophet of God Most High.

Mode 4. Come quickly.

Sing now, O barren one who did not bear before, * for you have indeed conceived the burning lamp of the Sun; * and he will illuminate * all the world afflicted * with spiritual blindness. * Dance, O Zacharias, and now openly cry out: * “The one who is to be born is a Prophet of the Most High God.”

Apolytikion of Saints Xanthippe, Polyxena, and Rebecca
―Tone 3

You accepted the light, of the divine faith, your works shined, with piety, Venerable Polyxene the divinely-inspired, and you magnified Christ by your life, as well as by your blameless actions, therefore intercede to the Lord who glorified you, to grant us the great mercy.

Apolytikion of Saint New Martyr Nicholas the Huckster from Karpenisi
― Tone 3

You brought victory to the Church, forever bringing to your homeland your gloriously triumphant contest, Nicholas. The imperishable glory of Neomartyrs, you showed us the path of the Lord as a youth, wherefore beseech with fervent entreaties Christ to ever grant us victory.

Troparion of Saint New Martyr John the Hagarene from Vrahori
— Tone 3

Your holy martyr John, O Lord, / through his sufferings has received an incorruptible crown from You, our God. / For having Your strength, he laid low his adversaries, / and shattered the powerless boldness of demons. / Through his intercessions, save our souls!

Troparion “HAWAIIAN” Myrrh-streaming Iveron Ikon of the Theotokos
— Tone 6

From thy Holy Icon, O Lady Theotokos, blessed myrrh has flowed abundantly./ Thou hast thereby consoled those, in exile, faithful/ unto thee, and hast enlightened the unbelievers by/ thy Son’s light. / Therefore O Lady, with tears we bow down to thee./ Be merciful to us in the hour of judgment./ Lest having received thy mercy we be punished as those who have been contemptuous of it./ But grant us// through thy prayers to bring forth spiritual fruit, and save our souls

Apolytikion of the Blessed Parasceva (“Pasha of Sarov”), Fool-for-Christ, of Diveyevo
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 Parasceva, thy spirit rejoiceth with the Angels.

The other troparion of the Blessed Parasceva (“Pasha of Sarov”), Fool-for-Christ, of Diveyevo,
In Tone I:

Having heard the voice of Thine Apostle Paul, saying: * We are foolish for Christ’s sake, * Thy servant Parasceva, O Christ God, * did love the life of the foolish for Thy sake on earth. * Wherefore in venerating her memory * we entreat Thee, O Lord, to save our souls.Ντιβεγιεβο_Diveyevo St. Seraphim of Sarov_Серафи́мо-Диве́евский монасты́рь- __Дивеево-с-высотыΠαρασκευή-Πάσα του Σάρωφ, η δια Χριστόν Σαλή_Blessed Parasceva Ivanovna (Pasha of Sarov)_Блж. Параскева Дивеевская_05-060Παρασκευή-Πάσα του Σάρωφ, η δια Χριστόν Σαλή_Blessed Parasceva Ivanovna (Pasha of Sarov)_Блж. Параскева Дивеевская_Seraphin_(Chichagov)_and_Pasha_of_SarovΠαρασκευή-Πάσα του Σάρωφ, η δια Χριστόν Σαλή_Blessed Parasceva Ivanovna (Pasha of Sarov)_Блж. Параскева Дивеевская_07Παρασκευή-Πάσα του Σάρωφ, η δια Χριστόν Σαλή_Blessed Parasceva Ivanovna (Pasha of Sarov)_Блж. Параскева Дивеевская_03Παρασκευή-Πάσα του Σάρωφ, η δια Χριστόν Σαλή_Blessed Parasceva Ivanovna (Pasha of Sarov)_Блж. Параскева-Паша Дивеевская_sv.-

When it is necessary to defend the faith and you do not, your soul perishes; and if you perish defending the faith, you will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.St Gabriel the Confessor of Samtavro – The Holy Martyrs of Zographou

Ζωγραφιτες_Μονή Ζωγράφου47i2KmiSynaxarion .
On September 22, we commemorate the holy Hieromartyr Phocas the Wonderworker, who died after being severely burnt in a bathhouse (117).
On this day we also commemorate Saint Phocas the gardener of Sinope (320).
On this day we also commemorate the holy Martyr Isaac, and also Saint Martin.
On this day we also commemorate the holy Martyrs Maurice and the Theban Legion, including the officers Candidus and Exuperius, at Agaunum, Gaul (c. 287)
On this day we also commemorate the holy 26 Martyrs of Zographou Monastery, Mount Athos, martyred by the Latins (1284)
On this day we also commemorate the Venerable Cosmas, Desert-dweller of Zographou, Mt. Athos (1323)
On this day we also commemorate the Blessed Parasceva (“Pasha of Sarov”), Fool-for-Christ, of Diveyevo Monastery (1915)
New Hieromartyrs Sergius Uklonsky, Joseph Arkharov, Alexis Uspensky, Priests, Zachariah (Lobov), Archbishop of Voronezh, Dmitry Troitsky, Deacon, Martyr Basil Shikalov (1937)
Andronicus (Surikov), Hieromonk, of Moscow (1938), Alexander Vinogradov, Priest (1942)
On this day we also commemorate the Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos “She Who Is Quick to Hear” (14th century)
Repose of Abbot Innocent of Valaam Monastery (1828)

The Holy Martyrs of Zographou
by St Nikolai Velimirovich

Ζωγραφίτες Ὁσιομάρτυρεςagioi agiou oroys0001 - ΑντιγραφήHeroes of Zographou, knights of truth,
Sacrificed themselves for the Orthodox Faith,
And shamed the proud, shameless Latins,
As their souls rose up to the Kingdom of God.
The tower’s flames mounted up to heaven,
As the monks in the fire sent up praise to God!
Heaven with its angels beheld that spectacle,
As the criminals crawled about like worms below the tower.
In the flames, Abbot Thomas, a true parent,
Encouraged his brethren, and began the Psalms:
He who glorifies the Lord does not fear death,
And he who dies for God will not perish.
The sacrifice is offered, and the altar of oblation remains:
The bodies were burned, the souls flew off,
And by that sacrifice, Zographou increased in glory
With magnificence eternal and true.
St. George the knight, cherishes his knights
As the Mother of God cherishes all heavenly citizens.
In these knights of righteousness, the Church rejoices:
They are her children, her fruitful branches.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by St Nikolai Velimirovich,


By God’s providence, the greatest number of miracles and heavenly manifestations occur during the martyrdom of His servants. On the day that the Latins set out for the Monastery of Zographou, an old monk had an obedience in a vineyard half an hour’s distance from the monastery. At the prescribed time, he read the Akathist before the icon of the Mother of God. However, when he began to pronounce the word “Rejoice!” a voice came to him from the icon: “Do thou also rejoice, O elder! Flee from here now, or misfortune will befall thee; go and tell the brethren of the monastery to lock themselves in, for the God-opposing Latins have attacked this, my chosen Mountain, and are already near.” The frightened elder fell to his knees and cried out in fear: “How can I leave thee here, my Queen and Intercessor?” At this he again heard the voice: “Do not worry about me, but go quickly!” The elder went to the monastery immediately. But when he reached the monastery gates he beheld that same icon of the Mother of God. In a miraculous manner, the icon had preceded him to the monastery. The amazed elder related all that had been revealed to him to the abbot and the brethren. At that, all of them glorified God and the Mother of God.

Once, during the celebration of the Feast of the twenty-six martyrs of Zographou, on October 10, 1873, there was a great all-night vigil. It was a moonless night. In the middle of the night, while the monks were chanting and reading the lives of the holy martyrs in the church, a noise was suddenly heard, and over the church a fiery pillar appeared, extending from earth to heaven. It was so bright that things at a distance could be seen as though it were midday. This wondrous manifestation lasted for about a quarter of an hour and then disappeared.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by St Nikolai Velimirovich,


St Gabriel the Confessor of Samtavro

When it is necessary to defend the faith and you do not, your soul perishes; and if you perish defending the faith, you will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Γεώργιος Τροπαιοφόρος_Αχειροποίητη εικόνα_Ζωγράφου Αγίου Όρους_St George the Trophy-bearer iconAcheiropoietos_Monastery Zographou_Свя Георгий_нерукотворн__Zografou (1)Saint Gabriel said* : “Do you know the central square in Tbilisi? During the May Day Demonstration, the government speakers and the speaker’s rostrum stood there. Behind them, on the building of the Executive Committee of the Communist Party, there always hung portraits of the party leaders in full figure, two floors in height. At the peak of the demonstration, when the square was packed with people and while a member of the government was delivering a speech, suddenly a portrait of Stalin burst into flames. Fr. Gabriel had gained entrance to a window and poured kerosene on the back of the portraits and then set them on fire.”

“Perhaps it is a legend?”

“Some things, of course, have been enshrouded by legend; but he burned the portraits. Lenin’s portrait burned immediately, too. Horror came over the square, they all froze and from fear and everything became still. While the pictures of the leaders were in flames, from the second floor window, Fr. Gabriel gave a sermon: “The Lord said, ‘Thou shalt not make unto thee idols, or any graven images… Thou shalt not bow down before them nor serve them for I am the Lord your God, Thou shalt have no other Gods!’ (Exodus 20:3-5). People, come to your senses! The Georgians have always been Christians! So why are you bowing down before Idols? Jesus Christ died and rose again… But your cast idols will never be resurrected. Even during their life they were dead…”

“It is impossible to imagine… How could they let him utter another phrase!?”

“Evidently he also said another phrase, and perhaps more. The doors of the Executive Committee building had been locked; he had entered the attic earlier and sat there until the demonstration began. They brought him down; it is true, quick enough: they brought in some fire engines and raised ladders…”

“But when they brought him down, the crowd fell upon him, breaking through all the barricades… They kicked him, hit him with rifle butts, and flailed him with fire hoses. They screamed: ‘Let me finish off that louse!’ Each person wanted to trample the enemy of the people underfoot with their shoes, to express their zeal. The firemen dragged him away.”

“How was it that he was not shot?”

Γαβριήλ της Γεωργίας-Λένιν-Гавриил (Ургебадзе) Самтаврийский-წმ. ღირსი მამა გაბრიელი აღმსარებელ903ee8a645 (1)“The reason they didn’t shoot him is that they carried him off almost like a corpse. His face couldn’t be made out; he was one bloody mess. His skull was fractured and there were seventeen bones broken in his body. He lay barely conscious for almost a month. But he was treated carefully so that investigations could be conducted… It seemed that they were going to arrange a show trial-but they couldn’t even get the condemned man onto a stretcher. He didn’t respond to the treatment at all; the entire time he was at death’s door, but didn’t die. This is what I was told; I had only been born at that time. Beyond that I don’t know anything with certitude; Fr. Gabriel won’t speak with anyone about it. Either it dragged on until Khrushchev amnesty, or they tried for a long time to uncover a conspiracy, to get out of him the names of the conspirators. Then, either he was certified psychologically not responsible for his actions, or it became too unpleasant for the authorities. When they finally released him, he was suspended from Priestly ministry. Not only in the Church, but for ten years time they wouldn’t hire him anywhere. It is fortunate for him that there was a house, that he had a mother-the old woman who opened the gate for you. Both of them lived on his pension: since he was a certified lunatic, he was allotted by the State seventeen rubles a month. No one would let him into their house to earn a little money on the side; everywhere people knew and were afraid of him. Neither he nor his mother could appear outside in the daylight; if they did, the neighbors would let their dogs loose on them… At first he wondered among the villages and was hired to guard vineyards or attend to the fire in Churches. Then his mother became paralyzed from all the trauma and he could no longer go anywhere. For several years he could be found sitting at the portico of some Church with an outstretched hand. Only the people who did not know him would give him anything-his acquaintances turned away from him or derided him.”

But after that even more horrible things happened to him. In order to please the authorities, the hierarchs of the Church did not allow him to come into the church and did not let him into the services—they drove him away. Batiushka5 did not have the possibility of receiving Holy Communion, which he wanted with all his heart. He could go several days without food, could go a long time without sleep, but he could not live without the Church. And the starets often cried out of powerlessness, opening his soul to his sisters.

Father Gabriel endured a lot of reproach from the atheists, but he never condemned even those who beat him terribly after setting fire to the portrait of Lenin.
“Father Gabriel categorically forbade us to condemn anyone,” writes Abbess of the Samtavrian monastery Ketevan (Kopaliani), “and he said this: “If you see a murderer, or a harlot, or a drunkard lying on the ground, do not condemn anyone, because God let him go a reason, and your reason holds in his hands. If yours also lets go, you will be in a worse position: you can fall into the sin in which you condemn another, and perish.
The elder hid his spiritual gifts under the guise of foolishness, but those around him felt grace in him and listened to his advice.

*The account is taken from an interview with Fr Gabriel in the Death to the World magazine, one year before his repose in 1995. Saint Gabriel Urgebadze burning a portrait of Lenin, May 1, 1965. As for “Lenin Square”, the scene of the burning of the Soviet-leader’s portrait, that square is now called “Freedom Square”, and a golden statue of Saint George the Victory-Bearer now stands on the podium where Vladimir’s likeness once stood.

St. Praskovya Ivanovna (Pasha of Sarov) fool for Christ’s of Diveyevo, yes, yes, indeed we are fools for Christ’s sake! Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Blessed Praskovya Ivanovna ”Pasha of Sarov”,Fool-for Christ of Diveyevo

Troparion of the Hieromartyr Phocas.
Mode 4.

Becoming a partner with the Apostles in way of life and successor to their thrones, O God-inspired Saint, in the active life you found an entrance to contemplation. Hence you rightly expounded the word of truth, and you shed your blood in struggling for the faith, O Hieromartyr Phocas. Intercede with Christ our God, beseeching Him to save our souls.

Troparion of the Twenty-Six Martyred Monks of Zographou, in Tone I—

Having honorably passed through life by asceticism in the Monastery of Zographou, O venerable regiment, ye twenty-six valiant fathers, ye offered yourselves as sacrifices to God in the fire, with the steadfast resolve of piety. Wherefore, ye have received a twofold wreath from the Lord God, sending up glory unto Him Who hath crowned you.

Then the other troparion of the martyrs, in Tone IV—

Rendering honor today as is meet, O venerable martyrs, we offer up praise at your annual feast, for for us it is the cause of good things; and celebrating the all-night vigil we chant: O proclaimers of the Spirit, faithful servants of the Trinity, pray ye fervently to the Lord in our behalf!

Apolytikion of the Blessed Parasceva (“Pasha of Sarov”), Fool-for-Christ, of Diveyevo
(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 Parasceva, thy spirit rejoiceth with the Angels.

The other troparion of the Blessed Parasceva (“Pasha of Sarov”), Fool-for-Christ, of Diveyevo,
In Tone I:

Having heard the voice of Thine Apostle Paul, saying: * We are foolish for Christ’s sake, * Thy servant Parasceva, O Christ God, * did love the life of the foolish for Thy sake on earth. * Wherefore in venerating her memory * we entreat Thee, O Lord, to save our souls.

At the Aposticha, these stichera, in Tone V: Spec. Mel.: “Rejoice…”—

Rejoice, O divine regiment of the Monastery of Zographou, victorious company, pillars of piety, and steadfast, unyielding and undaunted contenders against the enemy, who, taking your stand upon the tower, did most boldly condemn the falsehood of the Latins, of Michael, the vainglorious emperor of Byzantium, and with him the mindless Beccus, denouncing them all exceedingly, in that they had cast the flock of Christ to the lions. Wherefore, entreat ye the Savior, that He grant us great mercy.

Stichos: Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.

Rejoice, ye victorious multitude who prevailed in the sacred battle and have joyfully received a crown from the Lord! And now, gazing upon the ineffable glory of the blessed, deified by communion with God, emulating the singing of the immaterial seraphim, and offering up spontaneous entreaty for the world, in that ye made yourselves temples of the Holy Spirit, ye behold the mysteries of the exalted wisdom of God. Beseech Christ, that He send down great mercy upon our souls.

Akathist to the Venerable Gabriel of Samtavro, Confessor and Fool-for-Christ
Ikos 4

When the inhabitants of Iberia heard of thy boldness in glorifying the name of Christ out loud, they marvelled at thy feat. Having put to shame the worship of an idol, thou didst ascend to the cross of sufferings. Singing of thy feat, O Venerable Father Gabriel, we proclaim to thee:

Rejoice, spirit-bearing child of the fathers of Betania;
Rejoice, zealot of monastic feats.
Rejoice, bright adornment of the Church of Christ;
Rejoice, illumination of the Iberian land.
Rejoice, thou who didst enrich thyself by poverty and reason;
Rejoice, thou who partookest of heavenly glory.
Rejoice, thou who didst capture the devil by thy exploits;
Rejoice, thou who didst commit an image of the Godless leader to fire.
Rejoice, thou who didst preach the faith of Christ while in bonds;
Rejoice, thou who didst bring sinners to repentance.
Rejoice, thou who wast confined to a home for the insane;
Rejoice, thou who wast glorified by Divine miracles.
Rejoice, O venerable confessor Gabriel, fool for Christ and wonderworker!

You need to repent more with your heart than with tears. Repentance is the abandoning of all false paths that have been trodden by men’s feet, and men’s thoughts and desires, and a return to the new path: Christ’s path. Help us to repent, O God, and save us from condemnation.

Ιωνάς προφήτης_Jonah or Jonas prophet_Иона пророк-Menologion_of_Basil_008Synaxarion.
On Sept ember 21 we commemorate the Apodosis of the Exaltation of the Cross.

Prophet Jonah (8th century BC)
Apostle Quadratus of the Seventy, bishop of Athens (130).
Martyr Eusebius of Phoenicia (2nd c.) and Martyr Priscus of Phrygia.
Holy Six Martyrs, by the sword (298)
Martyrs Eusebius, Nestabus, Zeno, and Nestor and Busiris, the Confessor of Gaza (4th c.).
Hieromartyr Hypatius, bishop of Ephesus, and his presbyter Andrew (730).
Sts. Isaacius and Meletius, bishops of Sitis (Σίτης) in Cyprus.
Venerable Jonah the Sabbaite (9th c.), father of Sts. Theophanes the Hymnographer and Theodore Graptus
Venerable Daniel, abbot of Shugh Hill (Novgorod) (16th c.).
Venerable Joseph of Zaonikiev Monastery (Vologda) (1612).
New Hieromartyr Platon (Aivazidis), Protosyncellus of Metropolitan Germanos Karavangelis of Amasya (1921)
St. Ioane (Maisuradze) (1957) and St. Giorgi-Ioane (Mkheidze), (1960), confessors, of Georgia
Uncovering of the relics (1752) of St. Demetrius, metropolitan of Rostov (1709)

Commemorated on September 21

Walking humanity through history is a long journey. On this long journey, humanity ‘ gets dirty ‘ ‘ and ‘ ‘ dust ‘ ‘ always with the same dust and ‘ ‘ wash ‘ ‘ always with same water. Dust is sin and water is Repentance. Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Hymn of Praise
The Holy Prophet Jonah
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Ιωνάς προφήτης_Jonah or Jonas prophet_Иона пророк-0_8d228_27812c1c_origs1018006Nineveh! Nineveh resounds with sin,
And God sends Jonah to heal Nineveh.
Jonah does not want to, and flees from God!
Oh, where will you go, Jonah, to hide from the Most High?
Jonah sleeps; he sleeps and the tempest rises.
God moves slowly, but He will find you in time.
Hurled into the waves, swallowed by the whale,
“From whom did I flee?” Jonah asks himself.
“I fled from Him, from Whom one cannot hide!”
God chastises Jonah and yet delivers him,
And, by His providence, glorifies him forever.
Jonah, you do not want to speak to the Ninevites,
But through your punishment you will prophesy the immortal Christ.
You do not want to by words? Then you must, by deeds,
Prophesy Christ and the death and resurrection of the body!
Your deeds, Jonah, will not fade away,
And Christ the Lord will speak of you to men,
That, through you, the mercy of the Living God might be revealed,
By which you will be saved, as well as Nineveh.
Through you, the power of repentance shall be revealed-
The power of repentance and God’s forgiveness.
You pitied the gourd, and God pitied men.
Help us to repent, O God, and save us from condemnation.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič


St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Ιωνάς προφήτης_Jonah or Jonas prophet_Иона пророк-0_8d228_27812c1c_origGod was the reason of true faith and good behavior and of the knowledge of technology among people.

While people continually felt God above them, before them, and around them, in the same way air and light is felt, they attributed and dedicated all their technological works and handiwork to Him, their Lord and Creator.

When the feeling of God’s presence became dulled and spiritual vision darkened, that is when pride entered into tradesmen and technologists, and they started to give glory exclusively to themselves for their buildings, handiwork and intellectual works, and began to misuse their work that is when the shadow of cursedness began to fall on technology.
St. Nikolai Velimirovich, From the Complete Works of Bishop Nikolai [in Serbian], Book 12, p. 23. Translated from the Serbian by Marija Miljkovic.


Many complain against technology.
Many accuse modern technology for all the woes in the world.
Is technology really to blame, or those who create technology and use it?
Is a wooden cross to blame if somebody crucifies someone on it?
Is a hammer to blame if a neighbor breaks his neighbors skull?
Technology does not feel good or evil.
The same pipes can be used for drinking water or the sewer.
Evil does not come from unfeeling, dead technology, but from the dead hearts of people.


Repentance is the abandoning of all false paths that have been trodden by men’s feet, and men’s thoughts and desires, and a return to the new path: Christ’s path. But how can a sinful man repent unless he, in his heart, meets with the Lord and knows his own shame? Before little Zacchaeus saw the Lord with his eyes, he met Him in his heart and was ashamed of all his ways.
St. Nikolai Velimirovic, “The Thirty-Second Sunday After Pentecost: The Gospel on Repentant Zacchaeus, Luke 19:1-10,” Homilies Volume II: Sundays after Pentecost


Γαβριήλ ο διά Χριστόν σαλός και Ομολογητής της Γεωργίας-წმ. ღირსი მამა გაბრიელი აღმსარეSt. Gabriel the Confessor of Mtskheta also admonished: “You need to repent more with your heart than with tears.”

Sometimes Father Gabriel walked around with a sign on his chest, on which was written: “A man without love is like a jug without a bottom.” At the same time, he carried with him a leaky jug through which he looked at people like through binoculars.
The ascetic admonished: “Whoever learns to love will be happy. Just don’t think that love is an innate talent. Love can be learned, and we must do it. ” The elder explained: “There is no person on earth who could fully explain what love is. On earth you will never understand it. “
He also said: “If someone is sick and in need of medicine, but it must be brought from afar, perhaps at night, and through the forest, where wolves roam, – and you, without hesitation, go on a journey to save your neighbor – this is and there is love. ” He also said: “How will a person’s soul be calm when a neighbor is in danger? If you have a patient at home and there is no one to look after him, it is better not to go to church, to stay at home. “
Father Gabriel taught: “We must love everyone. But if you can’t, at least wish everyone well.

He also said: “The Lord had mercy on the harlot, he saved the thief. Mary of Egypt was a harlot, but with the help of God she began to struggle in the wilderness, fasted, prayed and conquered the passions, was cleansed and became worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven. The Lord will diminish and exalt ”.
The elder remarked: “Others’ sins are none of your business. You sit and cry over your sins. ” He also said: “Only with a heart full of love can one expose the sins of another person.”
He also instructed: “Do not judge, God Himself is the judge. The one who condemns is like an empty ear of wheat, whose head is always raised and who therefore always looks down at others. “


Saint Ioane (Maisuradze) and Saint Giorgi-Ioane (Mkheidze)
St. Gabriel the Confessor of Mtskheta, Georgia

Ιωάννης Μαϊσουράτζε - Ιωάννης – Γεώργιος Μχεΐτζε Saint Ioane (Maisuradze) - Saint Giorgi-Ioane (Mkheidze. იოანე (მაისურაFather Raphael (Karelin) narrated the story of the St. Gabriel the Confessor of Mtskheta, Georgia himself: “When I was standing in prayer, I suddenly heard a voice:” Hurry, go to Betania. “ This voice was repeated three times. I left prayer rule, dressed, took a staff and a bag and went to Bethany. On the way I bought some bread. There was no passing car, and I went on foot. I was walking through the forest, and some force was hurrying me: “Don’t stop, go quickly.” By evening I arrived at the monastery.

Schema-Archimandrite John, the last surviving monk, met me. He said: “I prayed, child, that you would come to me and read over me a prayer of death.”

Despite the fact that Schema-Archimandrite John was ill for a long time, nothing foreshadowed his imminent death: he met me on my feet, not in bed; his appearance was even more cheerful than when I saw him in last time…

Evening came. Schiarchimandrite blessed me to light the candles. He gave me the book “Kurtkhevani” (this is the name of the Trebnik in Georgian. – Ed. Note), opened in the place where the canon for the exodus of the soul was, and told me to read it. I cried and began to ask: “Father, may I die before you and instead of you.” He replied: “You do not know what you are talking about and what you are asking for.” I continued to cry, falling at his feet. Then he got up and uttered the first exclamation solemnly, like a bishop during a divine service. I could not disobey and began to continue my prayer. I read the canon for the exodus of the soul to the end …

Then I began to read the Jesus Prayer aloud, and suddenly Father John seemed to start, joy was reflected on his face. “My brother and father John came for me,” he said, “and with him …” and he fell silent, his head sank on his chest. Minutes of silence passed. I went up to him. He was already dead … I prayed all night. In the morning, people came to the monastery, as if having learned about the death of the abbot. We informed Patriarch Ephraim about the death of the great elder … “

St. Gabriel the Confessor of Mtskheta, Georgia said:Father Giorgi and Father Ioane were two pillars of fire standing front of God for Georgia and for salvation of human souls. Father Giorgi possessed unlimited strength of prayer. I put him into the grave myself and put a book of the New Testament and a cross on his chest. He lies incorrupt in the grave; I not’only believe in this, but also see it. Open his grave; why would an incorrupt father lie in the soil!”

The Theotokos appeared to Fr. Giorgi-Ioane in a vision and relieved his terrible physical pain. The protomartyr Thekla also appeared to him, presenting him with a bunch of grapes. Several days before his repose, the holy father was in the city when an angel appeared to him and announced his imminent repose. The angel told him to return to the monastery to prepare for his departure from this world.
St. Giorgi-Ioane (Mkheidze) reposed in 1960. He was buried at BetaniaMonastery, next to Fr. Ioane (Maisuradze).


,,When the word of God was no longer uttered in Georgia, the Monastery of Betania carried out a significant mission: it was the only place in the country where eternal and life-giving truth of God was still preached overtly, where active confession of the faith was carried out with not only eloquent words of the monks, but also with their very pure and ascetic life… [[Fathers from Betania] were like a beacon standing above the omi- nous and dark abyss, which showed the way to the salvation haven for the spiritually bewildered population”.
(Archimandrite Lazare Abashidze, “Iveria of Betania”, Tbilisi, 1994, pg. 29; 31)

Γαβριήλ ο διά Χριστόν σαλός και Ομολογητής της Γεωργίας-წმ. ღირსი მამა გაბრიელი აღმსარეApolytikion of the Holy Cross – First Tone

O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance. Grant victories to the to the Emperor over the barbarians; and by the power of Thy Cross, preserve Thy habitation. (3 times)

Troparion Holy Prophet Jonah – Tone 2

The memory of your Prophet Jonah, we celebrate today, O Lord. By his prayers we entreat you: O Christ God, save our souls!

Apolytikion of Prophet Jonah
Third Tone

To the Ninevites, thou wast a trumpet, blaring fearful threats of Heaven’s judgments, at the which they repented with all their hearts; and from the sea-monster’s belly didst thou foreshow the Lord’s divine Resurrection to all the world. Hence, entreat Him to bring out of corruption all of us, who honour thee, O Jonah, as a friend of God.

Kontakion of Prophet Jonah
Third Tone

Thou didst pass three days and nights within the sea-monster’s entrails, showing forth the Lord’s descent into the belly of Hades; for when He had freely suffered His saving Passion, He arose out of the sepulchre on the third day. Hence, we honour thee, O Prophet, who wast deemed worthy to be a figure of Christ.

Apolytikion of St Apostle Quadratus — Tone 3

O Holy Apostle Kodratos, intercede with the merciful God that He grant unto our souls forgiveness of offences.

Troparion of St Apostle Quadratus — Tone 1

Thy life became radiant with wisdom; thou didst draw down the fire of the Spirit/ and discern the doctrines of life,/ Quadratus, Apostle of Christ./ We cry to thee as to an enlightener:/ Glory to Christ Who has glorified thee; glory to Him Who has crowned thee:/ glory to Him Who through thee works healings for all.

Saint Ioane (Maisuradze) (1957) and Saint Giorgi-Ioane (Mkheidze), (1960), the Confessors of Georgia

Troparion — Tone 8

By a flood of tears you made the desert fertile, / and your longing for God brought forth fruits in abundance. / By the radiance of miracles you illumined the whole universe! / O our holy father John, pray to Christ our God to save our souls!

Troparion — Tone 8

By a flood of tears you made the desert fertile, / and your longing for God brought forth fruits in abundance. / By the radiance of miracles you illumined the whole universe! / O our holy father George, pray to Christ our God to save our souls!

Apolytikion of St. Gabriel (Urgebadze) the Fool-for-Christ of Georgia ― Tone 4

As the Master Christ hid His divinity, clothing it in humanity, and, unseen by us, brought into being His ineffable glory, likewise didst thou hide thy glory by means of foolishness, and by the wonder of thy confession wast shown forth as a shepherd of souls; O venerable Father Gabriel, entreat Christ God to have mercy on our souls.

The Book of Jonah

Jonah prayer: Jonah 2: 3-10,
(the Sixth ode of the Holy Psalter)

I cried in my affliction to the Lord my God, and he hearkened to me, even to my cry out of the belly of hell: thou heardest my voice.
4 Thou didst cast me into the depths of the heart of the sea, and the floods compassed me: all thy billows and thy waves have passed upon me.
5 And I said, I am cast out of thy presence: shall I indeed look again toward thy holy temple?
6 Water was poured around me to the soul: the lowest deep compassed me, my head went down to the clefts of the mountains;
7 I went down into the earth, whose bars are the everlasting barriers: yet, O Lord my God, let my ruined life be restored.
8 When my soul was failing me, I remembered the Lord; and may my prayer come to thee into thy holy temple.
9 They that observe vanities and lies have forsaken their own mercy.
10 But I will sacrifice to thee with the voice of praise and thanksgiving: all that I have vowed I will pay to thee, the Lord of my salvation.

A good deed spreads through the heavenly world like an electrical current. St Nikolai Velimirovich

Αγία Τριάδα_ Holy Trinity_День Святой Троицы_ Святая Троица _800px-Троица_Ветхозаветная_Андрей_Рублёв_10be5b_e534b9f3_orig - CopySynaxarion
On September 19, we commemorate the holy martyrs Trophimus, Sabbatius and Dorymedon of Synnada (276-282)
Our Father among the Saints Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury (690)
The Righteous Virgin Martyr Pomposa of Cordova in Spain, beheaded by the Moors in Cordoba (853)
Saint Felix and Constantia, martyrs under Nero in Nocera near Naples, in Italy (1st century)
Blessed Igor (George), tonsured Gabriel, great prince of Chernigov and Kiev (1147)
Saint Theodore, Prince of Smolensk (1299) , and his sons David (1321) and Constantine (c. 1322), the Wonderworkers
New Hieromartyr Constantine (Golubev), Priest, of Bogorodsk, and two martyrs with him (1918)
New Hieromartyr Nicholas Iskrovsky, Protopresbyter (1919)

The Holy Martyrs Trophimus, Sabbatius and Dorymedon
by St Nikolai Velimirovich

In the third century, during the reign of Emperor Probus, when Atticus was governing Antioch, two Christians, Trophimus and Sabbatius, both eminent and honorable citizens, came to that city. They arrived just as a pagan festival and sacrificial offerings to the idol of Apollo were taking place at nearby Daphne. Atticus made every effort to ensure that all citizens took part in this festivity. When someone noticed that Trophimus and Sabbatius were not participating in the festivity, he told Atticus. Atticus brought them to trial, and when they refused to renounce Christ he subjected them to tortures, one after the other. After he beat and tortured Trophimus, Atticus sent him to Phrygia to Dionysius, an even crueler torturer of Christians. Then Atticus took Sabbatius from prison and began to try him. When the torturer asked Sabbatius who he was and what his rank was, he replied: “My rank and dignity and homeland and glory and wealth is Christ, the Son of God, Who lives forever, and by Whose providence the universe exists and is governed.” For that, he was beaten and torn and scraped with an iron implement until the bones showed through beneath his flesh. Under these tortures he reposed. In Phrygia, the torturer Dionysius subjected Trophimus to great torture, then kept him in prison for even greater tortures. A certain senator Dorymedon, a secret Christian, came to the prison and ministered to Trophimus. When the torturer learned of this, he began to torture both of them in the same way, and finally threw them to the wild beasts, but the wild beasts did not touch them. Holy Dorymedon even shouted at the she-bear, pulling her ears so that she would tear him apart, but in spite of all that, the bear became gentler. In the end, the torturer ordered that Saints Trophimus and Dorymedon be beheaded with the sword. The souls of both of these holy martyrs now reign in heaven.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by St Nikolai Velimirovich,


ΕΤΟΙΜΑΣΙΑ ΘΡΟΝΟΥ_Throne-Σταυρός_Holy-Cross_Αποκάλυψη_toixografia_068Even the dead sense and know the good deeds that are performed for them. Christians need not have any doubt in this. A good deed spreads through the heavenly world like an electrical current. An imperial clerk, Magistrian, was sent by the emperor on an important errand. Along the way, Magistrian saw a poor dead man, completely naked. He was moved with pity, removed his shirt, dressed the dead man, and buried him honorably. After a while, Magistrian had an unfortunate accident: he fell from his horse and broke his leg, and lay sick in bed for a long time. On one occasion, several doctors gathered around him to take counsel concerning his illness. The doctors agreed that his leg would have to be amputated. That night Magistrian could not sleep, but grieved and wept. At midnight a man suddenly appeared in his room and asked him: “Why are you weeping?” When Magistrian explained his condition, the unknown man then rubbed the infected leg with his hand and the leg was healed. “For God’s sake, tell me-who are you?” asked Magistrian. The unknown man replied: “Look at me, and see, is not this your shirt? I am he whom you saw naked and dead, and whom you dressed in this shirt. And behold, for your good deed God has sent me to heal you. Give thanks to God!”


St. Gabriel the Fool for Christ of Samtavro in Georgia († 1995)

Γαβριήλ ο διά Χριστόν σαλός και Ομολογητής της Γεωργίας-წმ. ღირსი მამა გაბრიელი აღმსარებელი-სალოსი-St. Gabriel the წმ. გაბრიელი აღმსარებელი და სალოსი0getImage3%9b“The seas will dry up, the mountains will collapse, but the glory of Christ will not be exhausted.

Death is transformation. Do not be afraid of death – fear the judgment of God… Imagine how your heart beats when you stand in front of a professor in an exam. How much more terrible it is to stand before God at the Judgment! The greatness of God is incomparable with anything.

Who gave you the soul, and to the One it belongs.

Strive relentlessly towards God. Seeing your striving, God will give you everything you need.

The Lord does not leave a person, but a person leaves God. Hell is separation from the Lord.

The righteous man is not afraid of God.

God is endless love.

He who loves kindness and justice loves God, and God will love him like his own son. Whoever learns to love will be happy. Just don’t think that love is an innate talent. Love can be learned and we must do it. Without sacrifice for the sake of the Lord and neighbor, nothing in spiritual life will come of it. You cannot learn to love without sacrifice. God does not accept empty words. God loves work. Good deeds are love

I think you will agree with me that many priests talk a lot, read sermons about how Christ suffered, what deeds He did, and teach others how to do it. But the matter does not go beyond words. And the elder showed everything by his example. He suffered a lot in his life, and then he also played the fool: he could dance, go to a beer bar, while feeling who exactly needs help. My translation of the book includes the memoirs of those people who testified: “Yes, I was in a pub then and wanted to commit suicide at night. And suddenly a priest came up and said: “What are you, brother! Instead, do this and that. ” And this man began to see life from the other side. And this is how Fr. Gabriel saved so many.
Источник: https://certprof.ru/en/use-in-the-car/prepodobnyi-o-gavriil-ispovednik-i-yurodivyi-gavriil-urgebadze/

Troparion of the martyrs, in Tone VIII—

God Who is praised in Trinity hath glorified a trinity of martyrs: Trophimus, Sabbatius and Dorymedon. For, believing in Him, they cast down the enemy. By their supplications, O Christ our God, have mercy upon us.

Troparion of the Holy Martyrs Trophimus, Sabbatius and Dorymedon
— Tone 3

Adorned with the might of the Trinity you cut off the thorns of error,/ blessed Trophimus delight of the Church,/ wise Sabbatius adornment of athletes,/ and Dorymedon glory of the faithful./ We praise you with hymns.

Troparion of St Igor (George), great prince of Chernigov and Kiev, in Tone IV—

Illumined by divine baptism, enlightened by the splendors of the Holy Spirit, thou didst take the Gospel of Christ into thy heart, fulfilling the word of the Son of God by thy deeds, O right-believing Prince Igor. Entreat our all-good Savior, that He grant us peace and mercy, and the salvation of the souls of us who cherish thine honored memory.

Troparion of St Theodore, Prince of Smolensk , and his sons David and Constantine
— Tone 4

From your youth you clung to Christ’s love / And you eagerly kept his laws. / You were enriched with miraculous gifts / And now pour forth healings, Theodore, David and Constantine / Pray to Christ our God to save those who honor you!

Glory…, Now & ever…, troparion of the feast, in Tone I—

O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance; grant victory unto Orthodox Christians over their adversaries, and by the power of Thy Cross preserve Thou Thy commonwealth.

O Good Lord, Wise and Holy, fill us with Your Life-creating wisdom. Teach the children to seek God’s help. Saint Nikolai Velimirovič – Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia

Σοφία–Πίστη-Ελπίδα-Αγάπη_Saint Sophia-Faith- Hope -Love_Св.София-Ве́ра, наде́жда, любо́вь_-0_156c4f_aab2f60a_XLSynaxarion.
On September 17, we commemorate the holy martyrs and valiant Virgins: Faith (Vera), Hope (Nadezhda), and Love (Lyubov), and their mother Sophia. (c. 137)
On this day we commemorate the holy martyr Agathocleia and Martyr Theodota at Nicaea (230)
On this day we commemorate the holy martyrs Maximus, Theodotus and Asclepiodote of Marcianopolis in Thrace (305-311)
On this day, we commemorate Saint Lucia and her son, the martyr Germinianus of Rome (303)
On this day we commemorate the holy 100 martyrs of Egypt; 56 Martyrs of Palestine, including (310): Peleus and Nilus, Bishops of Egypt; Zeno, Priest; Patermuthius and Elias, noblemen, by fire.
Saint Satyrus of Milan, elder brother of St Ambrose of Milan in Italy (376)
On this day we remember the holy martyrs Charalambos, Pantoleon and those with them. The synaxis in their honor was held in their martyrium, which was in Deuterus.
On this day we remember the holy hieromatyrs Heracleides and Myron, bishops of Tamasus, Cyprus (1st century)
On this day we remember the Venerable Anastasius of Perioteron, in Cyprus, Wonderworker (12th century)
On this day we remember the Saint Euxiphius of Cyprus, monk (12th century)
On this day we remember the Saint Joachim I, Patriarch of Alexandria (1567)
On this day we remember the Saint Innocent Stepanov of Glinsk Hermitage (1888)
On this day we remember the New Hieromartyrs Paul, Theodosius, Nicodemus and Seraphim (1918)
On this day we remember the Virgin-martyr Irene Frolov (1931)
Icon of the Mother of God of Constantinople (“Tsaregrad”) (1071), Icon of the Mother of God of Macariev (“Directress”) (1442)

About two different types of wisdom
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God” (I Corinthians 3:19).

Σοφία–Πίστη-Ελπίδα-Αγάπη_Saint Sophia-Faith- Hope -Love_Св.София-Ве́ра, наде́жда, любо́вь_-xxixio_x12x-51Even this scriptural concept is one great news which Christianity proclaims to the world. One is the wisdom according to God and from God and the other is the wisdom according to the world and from the world. Wisdom, according to God, is from the Holy Spirit. The apostles were filled with such wisdom when the Holy Spirit descended upon them. Wisdom, according to the world, is from the senses and from material and it represents true insanity before God if it is not seasoned and inspired by the Holy Spirit of God.
All worldly wisdom which is guided only by the physical senses, without regard for the Holy Spirit, is insanity before God and before God’s angels; for such a wisdom does not perceive either the spirit or the purpose of this world; rather it knows this world only as ashes from without and ashes from within; as ashes which the wind of chance piles up and strews at one moment this way and at another moment that way.
All wisdom of man which is directed only by the senses and by physical conceptions and fantasies is insanity before God and before angels and saints of God, for it does not know man as man; that is, as a spiritual being related to God, rather it knows man only as a body from without and as a body from within; as a body according to form and as a body according to essence. It is the same as if a monkey, looking at an iron locomotive, described it and said, “This is iron on the outside and iron on the inside; iron which heats it and iron which operates it, iron which gives it direction and iron which stops it!” Brethren, who is able to be filled with the wisdom of God except him who, at first, empties himself of the insanity’s of the world? With God’s help, each one of us can do this. However, to our desires and to our efforts, without Faith, God’s help goes to assist us. For God alone is Goodness, Wisdom and Holiness.

O Good Lord, Wise and Holy, fill us with Your Life-creating wisdom.

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


Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia

It’s great to walk, to work, to move and to have your health. But first you should have your spiritual health. Your spiritual health is fundamental, then comes bodily health. Almost all sicknesses come from the lack of trust in God and this creates stress.

A large part of the responsibility for a person’s spiritual state lies with the family. A child’s upbringing commences at the moment of its conception.

The sanctity of the parents is the best way of bringing up children in the Lord.

Σοφία–Πίστη-Ελπίδα-Αγάπη_Saint Sophia-Faith- Hope -Love_Св.София-Ве́ра, наде́жда, любо́вь_-Sofia-Romana-martiriul-man-biz-s11-INWe 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 children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, it is natural that they will become good children.’ But nevertheless we see the very opposite result on account of coercion.

It is not sufficient for the parents to be devout. They mustn’t oppress the children to make them good by force. We may repel our children from Christ when we pursue the things of our religion with egotism. Children cannot endure coercion. Don’t compel them to come with you to church. You can say, ‘Whoever wants can come with me now or come later.’ Leave God to speak to their souls. The reason why the children of some devout parents become rebellious when they grow up and reject the Church and everything connected with it and go off to seek satisfaction elsewhere is because of this pressure which they feel from their ‘good’ parents. The so-called ‘devout’ parents, who were anxious to make good Christians of their children with their human love, pressurized their children and produced the opposite result. The children are pressurized when they are young, and when they reach the age of sixteen, seventeen or eighteen years old, they end up the opposite of what was intended. By way of reaction they start to mix with bad company and to use bad language.

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. If the parents insist, ‘Come on now, go and make confession, go and receive Communion’, and so on, nothing is achieved. But what does your child see in you? 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, underlining the importance of a good start and good foundations: He who seeks her [Wisdom] early shall have no great travail; for he shall find her sitting at his doors. The person who ‘seeks her early’ is the person who occupies 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 travail 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 experiences. 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 possession which you preserve, if you are careful, throughout your life.”

What is true for parents is also true for teachers. With prayer and sanctity you can also help children at school. The grace of God can overshadow them and make them good. Don’t attempt with human methods to correct bad situations. No good will come of this. Only with prayer will you produce results. Invoke the grace of God on all the children — for divine grace to enter their souls and transform them. That is what it means to be a Christian.
You teachers transmit your anxiety to the children, without realizing it, and this affects them. With faith anxiety dissolves. What is it that we say? ‘We commit our whole life to Christ our God.’
Respond to the love of the children with discernment. And once they love you, you will be able to lead them to Christ. You will become the means. Let your love be genuine. Don’t love them in a human way, as parents usually do. This does not help them. Love in prayer, love in Christ. This is truly beneficial. Pray for each child you see, and God will send His grace and will unite the child to Him. Before you enter the classroom, especially difficult classes, repeat the prayer, ‘Lord Jesus Christ…’. And as you enter, embrace all the children with your gaze, pray and then start your lesson, offering your whole self. By making this offering in Christ, you will be filled with joy. And in this way both you and the children will be sanctified.

There are often orphan children at a school. It’s a hard thing to be an orphan. A child who’s deprived of its parents, especially at an early age, becomes unhappy in life. But if it acquires spiritual parents in Christ and our Holy Lady, it becomes a saint. Treat orphan children with love and understanding, but above all bring them into contact with Christ and the Church.”

Teach the children to seek God’s help

Γεώργιος ο Τροπαιοφόρος_παιδι_ св Георгий победоносец_St. George the Trophy-bearer_ გიორგი გმირავს_Greek Byzantine Orthodox Icon__7444410193602936832_n“The medicine and great secret for children’s progress is humility. Trust in God gives perfect security. God is everything. No one can say that I am everything. That cultivates egotism. God desires us to lead children to humility. Without humility neither we nor children will achieve anything. You need to be careful when you encourage children. You shouldn’t say to a child, ‘You’ll succeed, you’re great, you’re young, you’re fearless, you’re perfect!’ This is not good for the child. You can tell the child to pray, and say, ‘The talents you have, have been given to you by God, Pray and God will give you strength to cultivate them and in that way you will succeed. God will give you His grace.’ That is the best way. Children should learn to seek God’s help in everything.

Praise is harmful to children. What does Scripture say? Oh my people, those who call you blessed lead you astray, and pervert the path of your feet. The person who praises us leads us astray and perverts the paths of our life. How wise God’s words are! Praise does not prepare children for any difficulties in life and they grow up badly adjusted; they lose their way and in the end they become failures. Now the world has gone haywire. Little children are constantly being praised. We are told not to scold children, not to go against their will and not to impose on them. The child learns to expect this, however, and is unable to deal maturely with even the slightest difficulty. As soon as it encounters opposition, it is defeated and drained of all strength.

Prime responsibility for the failure of children in life lies with their parents and thereafter with their teachers. They praise them constantly. They fill them with egotistical words. They do not lead them to the spirit of God and they alienate them from the Church. When the children grow up a little and go to school with this egotism they abandon and disdain religion and they lose their respect for God, for their parents and for everyone. They become stubborn, hard and unfeeling, with no respect for religion or for God. We have produced a generation of egotists and not of Christians.”


προσευχομενος_praying_Молитва_Μητερα πηγαινει στην εκκλησια το παιδι της122940714_9241_“Children are not edified by constant praise. They become self-centred and vain. All their lives they will want everyone to be praising them constantly, even if they are being told lies. Unfortunately, nowadays all people have learned to tell lies and the conceited accept those lies as their daily sustenance. ‘Say it, even if it’s not true, even if it’s ironical,’ they say. God does not want this. God wants truth… When you praise children constantly and indiscriminately, they fall prey to the temptations of the evil one. He sets the mill of egotism in motion, and accustomed as they are to praise from their parents and teachers, they make progress at school perhaps, but what is the gain? In life they will be egotists and not Christians. Egotists can never be Christians.

An egotist is mixed-up and is led by the devil and the evil spirit. And so, growing up in the spirit of egotism, his first task is to deny God and to be a badly adjusted egotist in society.

The natural state of man as created by God, however, is humility. Egotism, on the contrary, is something unnatural, an illness and contrary to nature… Humility is from God; it is something essential for the human soul. It is something organic. And if it is missing, it is as if the heart were missing from the human organism. The heart gives life to the body and humility gives life to the soul. With egotism a person is given over to the part of the evil spirit, that is, he develops with the evil spirit and not with the good spirit.

παιδι_προσευχη_4364564This is what the devil has succeeded in achieving. He has turned the earth into a labyrinth so that we are unable to come to an understanding with one another. What has happened to us without our realizing it? Do you see how we have been led astray? We have turned our world and our age into one large psychiatric hospital! And we don’t understand what’s gone wrong. We all ask, ‘What’s become of us, where are we going, why have our children taken off, why have they left their homes, why have they resigned from life, why have they given up their studies? Inside me Why is all this happening?’ The devil has succeeded in concealing himself and in making people use other names. Doctors and psychologists often say when someone is tormented, ‘Ah, this person has a neurosis or is suffering from anxiety.’ They don’t accept that the devil is inciting and arousing egotism in the person. But yet the devil exists and is the spirit of evil. If we say he doesn’t exist, it is as if we are rejecting the Gospel that speaks of him. He is our enemy, our adversary in life, the contrary of Christ, which is why he is called the Anti-Christ. Christ came to earth to release us from the devil and to grant us salvation.

The conclusion is that we need to teach our children to live humbly and simply and not continually to seek praise and applause. We need to teach them that there is humility and that this is the healthy state of life.
The mind-set of our contemporary society does harm to children. It is based on another psychology and another theory of education that is addressed to the children of atheists.


Humility, once firmly established, makes the foundation for wisdom strong . King Solomon famed for his wisdom said, “When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2). David the Prophet and King said, “The testimony of the Lord is sure, making the wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7), “the simple” referred to here being the humble.

Χριστος_αγ Σοφια Κωνσταντινουπολη_198588.pWISDOM / ΣΟΦΙΑ ΣΟΛΟΜΩΝΤΟΣ


The spiritual life of a mother imperceptibly, silently will help the souls of her children. My mother taught me to Jesus prayer. How many mothers who had a holy life had their children sanctified too! Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

παιδια_προσευχη_2_~1Apolytikion of Martyrs Sophia, Pistis, Elpis and Agape
Fourth Tone

O Lord Jesus, unto Thee Thy lamb doth cry with a great voice: O my Bridegroom, Thee I love; and seeking Thee, I now contest, and with Thy baptism am crucified and buried. I suffer for Thy sake, that I may reign with Thee; for Thy sake I die, that I may live in Thee: accept me offered out of longing to Thee as a spotless sacrifice. Lord, save our souls through her intercessions, since Thou art great in mercy.

Troparion — Tone 4

The Church celebrates and rejoices / In the feast of the three daughters: Faith, Hope, and Love / And their Mother Sophia, named for her wisdom: / For in them she gave birth to the three godly virtues. / Now they eternally behold their bridegroom, God the Word. / Let us rejoice spiritually in their memory and cry: / O our three Heavenly Protectors, / Establish, confirm and strengthen us / In Faith, Hope and Love.

Troparion — Tone 5

You blossomed in the courts of the Lord / as a fruitful olive tree, / holy martyr Sophia; / in your contest you offered to Christ the sweet fruit of your womb, / your daughters Faith, Hope, and Love. / Together with them intercede for us all.

Troparion of Ss SOCRATES and STEPHEN ― Tone 1

Thou didst win the crown of martyrdom,/ O noble Socrates and Stephen,/ when thou, following in the footsteps of both our nation’s Patron and our protomartyr,/ didst resist the edict of the God-hating Diocletian./ Pray to God that we also may be given strength to be faithful, even unto death,/ that we too may inherit eternal life.

Apolytikion of Ss HERAKLEIDES and MYRON ― Tone 4

You shepherded the flock, of the Savior Christ, and with divine springs, blessed one, you watered all souls, wherefore the choir who honors you sings, hymns to you and celebrates with dance, your holy memory. Ever entreat on our behalf, Hierarch Herakleides.

Mode 1. In heaven be amazed.

The sacred progeny of devout St. Sophia * were Faith and Hope and Love, her most decorous daughters. * They showed that the wisdom of the pagan Greeks was nonsensical. * They competed well and were victorious Martyrs. * They received the crowns of incorruptible glory * from Christ who is Lord of all.

Kontakion — Tone 1. In heaven be amazed.

The holy branches of noble Sophia, / Faith, Hope, and Love, / confounded Greek sophistry through Grace. / They struggled and won the victory / and have been granted an incorruptible crown by Christ the Master of all.

Troparion of the Feast, in Tone I—

O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance; grant victory unto Orthodox Christians over their adversaries, and by the power of Thy Cross preserve Thou Thy commonwealth.

If I had known what kind of glory the Saints have, I would have done whatever I could to undergo much worse tortures. The Apparitions of the Saint Euphemia to Saint Paisios the Holy Mountain

Παΐσιος Αγιορείτης-Ευφημία_Преп. старец Паисий Святогорец_St.Paisios of the Holy Mountain_ Ευφημία_2323234423444158620351989676_nSynaxarion.
On September 16, we commemorate the holy Great Martyr and all-praised Euphemia, and the holy Martyrs Victor and Sosthenes of Chalcedon, who believed in Christ through her (304)
On this day we commemorate the holy martyr Melitene of Marcianopolis in Thrace (c. 138-161)
On this day we commemorate the holy martyr Sebastiana, disciple of Apostle Paul, martyred at Heraclea (86)
On this day we commemorate the Venerable Dorotheus, hermit of Egypt (4th century)
On this day we commemorate the holy New Martyrs Isaac and Joseph, at Karnu of Iberia, Georgia (808)
Our Father among the Saints Ninian, Equal to the Apostles and Enlightener of Scotland.
On this day we commemorate the holy Martyr Ludmilla, grandmother of St. Wenceslaus, Prince of Bohemia the Czechs (927)
On this day we commemorate the Saint Cyprian, Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia, Wonderworker (1406)
On this day we commemorate the Uncovering of the relics of the New Martyr Blessed Theoktista Mikhailovna, Fool-for-Christ, of Voronezh (1936)
On this day we commemorate the holy New Hieromartyr Gregory (Raevskii) of Tver, Priest (1937)
On this day we commemorate the holy Icon of the Mother of God Support of Humble, near Pskov (1420)

The Apparitions of the Saint Euphemia to Saint Paisios the Holy Mountain

Άγιος Παΐσιος ο Αγιορείτης _Преподобный старец Паисий Святогорец_ St.Paisios of the Holy Mountain_απο την Ιερά Μονή Τιμίου Προδρόμου , στη Μεταμόρφωση Χαλκιδικής_Father Paisios was going through a very difficult phase. A problem was created in the Church at that time and many bishops had gone to him to ask for his help. However, it was a very complicated problem and even if he wanted to, he was unable to assist; as he said, no matter from which side you look at the problem, you come face to face with a spiritual impasse. So, he decided to turn his efforts to solve the problem into prayer. During that time, Father Paisios constantly prayed for God to give solution to the Church’s problem;

On February 27, 1974 St. Euphemia the Martyr visited the Elder in order to instruct him regarding a Church matter: “I had returned from the world, where I went to take care of a Church-related issue. On Tuesday, around 10 am, I was in my cell praying the service of the Hours. I heard a knock on the door and a woman’s voice saying, ‘Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers…’ (This is a standard greeting used when approaching the door of a monk’s home or cell). I thought to myself: ‘How did a woman arrive on Mt. Athos?’ All the same, I felt a divine sweetness inside me. I then asked:

– Who is it?

– It is Euphemia, she answered.

I thought: ‘Which Euphemia’? ‘Did some woman pull a crazy stunt and came to Athos dressed as a man? What do I do now?’

She knocked again. I ask, ‘Who is it?’ ‘Euphemia,’ she responds again.

I thought again not to open the door. After knocking for the third time, she opened the door herself. But the door’s latch was on the inside. I jumped out of my cell and saw a woman with a head scarf. Accompanying her was someone who looked like the St. Luke the Evangelist, who then disappeared. Even though I was certain that this was not a temptation, I asked her who she was.

– Euphemia the martyr, she answered.

– If you are Euphemia, let us go and worship the Holy Trinity. Whatever I do, you do as well. I went into the church and did a metanoia (taking a long bow while making the sign of the Cross) saying: ‘In the name of the Father.” She did the same while doing a metanoia. ‘And the Son.’ ‘And the Son’ she said with a high-pitched voice.

Παΐσιος Αγιορείτης _Преп. старец Паисий Святогорец_St.Paisios of the Holy Mountain_Ευφημία_23232344– Say it louder, so I can hear it, I said, and she said it louder. Afterwards, the Saint sat on a small stool and I sat on a small chest while she solved my problem (regarding a church matter).

She then told me of her life. I knew that there was a St. Euphemia but I knew nothing of her life. When she related her martyrdom to me, I didn’t just hear it; it was as if I was seeing it and experiencing it. I shuddered! Oh!

– How did you endure such sufferings? I asked.

– If I had known what glory awaits the Saints, I would have done whatever it takes to endure even greater sufferings. After this happened, I could not eat anything for three days. I leapt about and continually glorified God. I didn’t eat; nothing… just a continuous doxology.”

Troparion of the Great-martyr, in Tone IV:

Thy martyr Euphemia, O Jesus, crieth out with a loud voice: “I love Thee, O my Bridegroom, and, seeking Thee, I suffer; I am crucified and buried in Thy baptism; I suffer for Thy sake, that I may reign with Thee; and I die for Thee, that I may live with Thee. Accept me as an unblemished sacrifice, who offer myself to Thee with love!” Through her supplications save Thou our souls, in that Thou art merciful.

Glory …, Now & ever …, Troparion of the feast, in Tone I:

Save O Lord, Thy people and bless Thine inheritance; grant now unto the faithful victory over adversaries, and by the power of Thy Cross do Thou preserve Thy commonwealth.

Glory …, that of the Great-martyr, in Tone IV:

Thy martyr Euphemia, O Jesus, crieth out with a loud voice: “I love Thee, O my Bridegroom, and, seeking Thee, I suffer; I am crucified and buried in Thy baptism; I suffer for Thy sake, that I may reign with Thee; and I die for Thee, that I may live with Thee. Accept me as an unblemished sacrifice, who offer myself to Thee with love!” Through her supplications save Thou our souls, in that Thou art merciful.

The Church is not a temple built with stones, sand and mortar by the faithful, and destroyed by the fire of barbarians. The Church is Christ Himself. O resurrected Lord, You are the foundation of our salvation and eternal life.

Πανάγιος Τάφος Church of the Holy Sepulchre_ Иерусалимский Гроб Господень__dscn2192-largeSynaxarion.
On September 13, we remember the Commemoration of the Founding of the Church of the Resurrection (the Holy Sepulchre) at Jerusalem (336); Forefeast of the Exaltation of the Cross.
On this day we commemorate St. Cornelius, the Centurion (1st century)
On this day we commemorate Saint Aristides the Athenian, martyr philosopher (120)
On this day we commemorate the holy Serapion, Cronides, and Leontius, of Alexandria (c. 237), Martyr Straton of Bithynia (3rd century), Martyrs Elias, Zoticus, Lucian at Tomis in Moesia (320), Gordian, Macrobius, Seleucus Martyr and Valerian of Galatia (320)
On this day we commemorate the Our righteous Father Eulogius I, Patriarch of Alexandria (608)
On this day we commemorate the Our righteous Father Peter of Atroa, in Bithynia (or of Agrea) died in peace (see also: January 1)
On this day we commemorate the Saint Cornelius of Padan-Olonets, disciple of St. Alexander of Svir, and with him Sts. Dionysius and Misael (16th century)
On this day we commemorate the Our righteous Father John of Prislop in Romania (15th-16th centuries)
On this day we commemorate the Royal Great Martyr Ketevan, Queen of Kakheti Georgia (1624)
Saint Meletius I Pegas, Patriarch of Alexandria (1601)
Our devout father Hierotheos the New, who led an ascetic life in the Monastery of Iviron on Mount Athos, died in peace in 1745.
Our Father among the Saints Maurilius, Bishop of Angers.
Repose of Monk Dorotheus, last hermit of the Roslavl Forests (1866)
Icon of the Theotokos “Dubovich”

New Israel fulfilling ancient law,
Honours your tomb, O Word, with dedication.
Sanctified on the thirteenth was the Temple of Christ’s Resurrection.

About the one and only foundation of salvation
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

“For no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11).

Ναὸ τοῦ Παναγίου Τάφου, ποὺ ὁ Μέγας Κωνσταντῖνος ἀνήγειρε στὸν τόπο τοῦ Γολγοθᾶ καὶ τὸ Ναὸ αὐτὸ ἐγκαινίασε κατὰ τὸ ἔτος 330-AnamnisiEgainionNaouAnastaseos01The Jews say, ” the foundation is Moses.” The Muslims say, ” the foundation is Mohammed.” The short-sighted naturalists say, ” the foundation is nature.” We ask: Did Moses resurrect from the dead? Did Mohammed ascend into heaven? Does nature bestow the Holy Spirit the Comforter? Moses did not resurrect. Mohammed did not ascend into heaven. Nature, not only does not bestow the Holy Spirit the Comforter to men, but breathes hatred against man and growls at him and bares its talons.

One cannot be the foundation of the world who is conceived in sin; who himself sinned; who wandered and sought counsel in women; who, by someone else’s power, performed certain works; who crumbled in the grave and whose name leads to confusion in regard to the way, the truth and the life. Mohammed and Moses were conceived in sin and they committed sins; they sought counsel from women; with the power of others they performed deeds; in the grave they lay decomposed; their names lead men to confusion about the way, the truth and the life.

That is why, brethren, we have no where to turn in history and to seek another such foundation except the Lord Jesus Christ Who was conceived without sin; Who did not commit any sin; Who did not wander and Who did not seek counsel from anyone; Who by His own power performed mighty deeds; Who did not decay in the grave; and Whose Name does not lead men into confusion regarding the way, the truth and the life.

The apostle does not say that Christ laid down some foundation but that He Himself is that established foundation. He is All-justice, that is why He is the foundation of every justice. He is All-truth, that is why He is the foundation of every truth. He is All-wisdom, that is why He is the foundation of every wisdom. He is All-power, that is why He is the foundation of every power. He is All-good, that is why He is the foundation of every good. He is All-life, that is why He is the foundation of life in both worlds, in this and in the next.

O resurrected Lord, You are the foundation of our salvation and eternal life.

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


Saint David of Gareji,
the most humble pilgrim of the Holy Land

Δαβὶδ Γκαρετζας_Saint David of Gareja_Давид Гареджийский-დავით გარეჯელი_icon_david_garedziiskii_sSaint David of Gareji was Syrian by birth. The future ascetic became a disciple of Saint John of Zedazeni and journeyed with him to Georgia. Saint David and his spiritual son Lucian settled on a mountain above Tbilisi, the capital of Kartli.
After some time Saint David set off on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. He entrusted Lucian to fulfil his responsibilities at the monastery and took some of the other brothers with him. When the pilgrims were approaching the place called the “Ridge of Grace,” from which the holy city of Jerusalem becomes visible, Saint David fell to his knees and glorified God with tears. Judging himself unworthy to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, he was satisfied to gaze upon the city from afar.
Then he stood at the city gates and prayed fervently while his companions entered the Holy City and venerated the holy places. Returning, Saint David took with him three stones as treasures from the “Ridge of Grace.” That night an angel appeared to the patriarch of Jerusalem and informed him that a certain pious man named David, who was visiting from afar, had taken with him all the holiness of Jerusalem.
The angel proceeded to tell him that the venerable one had marched through the city of Nablus, clothed in tatters and bearing on his shoulders an old sack in which he carried the three holy stones. The patriarch sent messengers after the stranger with a request that he return two of the stones and take only one for himself. St. David returned the two stones, but he declined the patriarch’s invitation to visit him. He took the third stone back with him to the monastery, and to this day it has been full of the grace of miraculous healing.
After Saint David brought the miraculous stone from Jerusalem, the number of brothers at the monastery doubled. The venerable father ministered to all of them and encouraged them.


St. Paisios of Mount Athos

” The Church is the Church of Christ and He is the One Who governs Her.
The Church is not a temple built with stones, sand and mortar by the faithful, and destroyed by the fire of barbarians.
The Church is Christ Himself. ”

Προσευχη_prayer_proseyhi_Молитва_2ryVq2nXPacWhen someone venerates the holy Icons with devoutness and fervent love,he absorbs the colours from them and the Saints are imprinted on his soul. The Saints are pleased when they are lifted up from the paper or the wood and imprinted in people’s hearts. When a Christian devoutly kisses the holy Icons and prays for help from Christ, Panagia, the Saints, he draws into his heart not only the Grace of Christ,of Panagia , and of the Saints, but also the whole of Christ, or of Panagia, or of a Saint, and places them upon the iconostasis of his own temple. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Cor 6;19.3;16)You see, every divine service begins and ends with the veneration of the Holy Icons. If people could understand this they would feel such joy, they would receive so much power!

You see, someone may lean against the wall where an Icon has stood and he receives Grace, while another may own the best Icon, but because he is not devout, receives no benefit. Or one may benefit from a simple wooden cross, while another, who is not devout, may not even benefit from the True Precious Cross itself . Cultivate your devoutness and your modesty as much as you can. This will help you receive the Grace of God. For, if someone is devout and spiritually modest and humble too, he can expect to receive divine Grace. If he has no devoutness and no humility, the Grace of God does not come to him.What does the Sacred Scripture say? But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word. ISA 66;2.

The elder’s life was fragrant with deep and unaffected reverence, just as the angels in heaven worship God day and night “with great reverence.” This was clear to see from his relationship with God and from the expressions on his face when coming into contact with sacred things. He reacted to sacred objects as though they were alive.

Plainly, the elder saw reverence as a fundamental virtue for every Christian — although, rigorous as his criteria were, he considered it something rare…. The elder considered reverence to be extremely important in all of a Christian’s life and struggles, and especially those of a monk. A person’s reverence, he believed, acts as a steady factor in his life, affecting everything and raising his spiritual level.

He didn’t want people to offer God candles made from impure or artificial beeswax or to fill their lamps with olive oil of poor quality or with seed-oil. On the contrary, he emphasized, “[we should] offer our best to God in worship. We should offer up our best efforts and our pure prayer — not our yawning.” He considered it greatly irreverent to use prosphora for the liturgy that was tainted with mold. “Christ gives us His Body and Blood,” he would say, “and we give Him moldy prosphora?” He would walk miles to find prosphora for the Divine Liturgy, and when he carried it he would hold it by the side, taking care not to touch the seal.

The elder tried to show gratitude and be pleasing to the One whom he loved. Out of his great love, he offered to God the very best, and he conducted himself with refinement, with spiritual sensitivity and reverence. And God, being pleased, bestowed His grace on the elder in abundance.

Excerpt from Elder Paisios of Mount Athos by Hieromonk Isaac.

It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. Oh, how desperate and hopeless is every struggle against Christ! …against Saints. Greatmartyr Ketevan the Queen of Georgia

Ναός ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΕΩς Πανάγιος τάφος_Ιεροσόλυμα Ιερό Κουβούκλιο_Кувуклия храма Гроба Господня_a8d0e50c948c4c0f0a5787161fc8c85Apolytikion of Consecration of the Church of the Resurrection
Fourth Tone

Thou hast shown the earthly beauty of the holy tabernacle of Thy glory to be like unto the splendour of the heavenly firmament, O Lord. Strengthen it for ever and ever, and accept our prayers which we unceasingly offer therein unto Thee, through the Theotokos, O Thou Who art the Life and Resurrection of all.

Troparion of the Dedication, in Tone IV:

Thou didst show forth the beauty * of the holy dwelling-place of Thy glory here below, O Lord, * like the splendor of the firmament on high. * Establish it throughout all ages, * and through the Theotokos * accept the supplications we unceasingly offer unto Thee therein, ** O Thou life and resurrection of all.

Troparion of St CORNELIUS — Tone 4

O blessed Cornelius, thou wast distinguished in works of righteousness/ and received the enlightenment of godliness,/ and wast a fellow labourer with the Apostles,/ for thou didst share their work and preach Christ’s incarnation to all./ With them pray that all who honour thee may be saved.

Troparia of Saint Ketevan :

Being wounded by divine zeal, thou didst receive many wounds and endure multifarious tortures. With boldness having acquired the Kingdom of Heaven instead of the transitory crown of a queen, O thrice-holy Ketevan, intercede with Christ God to have mercy on our souls.

Troparion — Tone 3

Your holy martyr Ketevan, O Lord, / through her sufferings has received an incorruptible crown from You, our God. / For having Your strength, she laid low her adversaries, / and shattered the powerless boldness of demons. / Through her intercessions, save our souls!

Elevation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross
Troparion of the Forefeast — Tone 2

We lift up in prayer the lifegiving Cross/ which Thou in Thy goodness hast given us, unworthy as we are./ O Lord, save all who pray to Thee,/ and grant peace through the Mother of God, O only Lover of mankind.

At the aposticha, stichera of the forefeast, in Tone V—

Rejoice, O life-bearing Cross, invincible victory of piety, gate of paradise, confirmation of the faithful, rampart of the Church, whereby corruption hath been destroyed and abolished, and the power of death hath been trampled down, and we have been raised up from earth to the heavens, O invincible weapon, opponent of the demons, glory of the martyrs, true adornment of the venerable, haven of salvation, grant the world great mercy.

Glory…, of the Dedication, the composition of Anatolius, in Tone II—

Celebrating the dedication of the most sacred temple of Thy resurrection, we glorify Thee, O Lord, Who hast sanctified it and perfected it with Thine all-perfect grace, Who art adorned therein by the faithful with sanctifying, mystic and sacred sacrifices, receivest unbloody and all-pure sacrifices from the hands of Thy servants, and bestowest great mercy and cleansing from sins upon those who rightly make offering.

After the first chanting of the Psalter, this sessional hymn,
in Tone IV: Spec. Mel.: “Go thou quickly before…”—

Christ hath enlightened all by His advent and hath restored the world by His divine Spirit, and the souls of men are made new again; for a house hath now been raised up to the glory of the Lord, where Christ our God reneweth the hearts of the faithful, unto the salvation of men.

Kontakion of Consecration of the Church of the Resurrection
Second Tone

Do Thou renew the consecration and enlightenment of the Spirit in the hearts of them that faithfully celebrate the consecration of Thy house and temple which, according to Thy good pleasure, was built in Thy Divine Name, O Thou Who alone art glorified in the Saints.

Mode 4. You appeared today.

Lord, Your Church appears to us * to be like heaven * full of light, and guides with light * all who believe in You, O Christ. * And we who stand in it cry to You: * Savior, establish forever this holy house.

Ναός ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΕΩς Ιεροσόλυμα_ Church of the Holy Sepulchre_ Иерусалимский храм Гроба Господня_The_Church_of_the_Holy_Sepulchre-JerusalemΝαός ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΕΩς Ιεροσόλυμα Αγία Αποκαθήλωση_ Church of the Holy Sepulchre_ Камень в Иерусалимский храм Гроба Господня_78396wΝαός ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΕΩς Ιεροσόλυμα Πανάγιος Τάφος Church of the Holy Sepulchre_ Иерусалимский Гроб Господень__208

Yes, be sure of God’s forgiveness, be sure that God will respond to your prayer; Can we say to God: Forgive as I forgive? That salvation is at hand! Anthony of Sourozh

Σταύρωσις_The Crucifixion_Greek-Byzantine-Orthodox-Icon_Распятие_ИИСУСА_ХРИСТАKrestopoklonnaja_nedelja_ikony_Raspjatija_09Synaxarion.
On September 11, we commemorate our righteous mother Theodora of Alexandria.
On this day we commemorate our devout father Euphrosynus the Cook.
On this day we commemorate the holy martyrs Diodorus, Diomides and Didymus of Laodicea in Syria.
On this day we commemorate the holy martyr Ia, who was well stricken in age; and the 9,000 martyred with her in Persia..
Holy Martyr Theodora of Vasta, in the central Peloponnese (10th century)
Venerable Elias the Cave-dweller of Calabria (Elia Speleota), and his spiritual father St. Arsenios (c. 960)
The holy Martyrs Demetrius, his wife Evanthia, and Demetrianus their son.
Saint Patiens, Bishop of Lyons.
Saint Deiniol, First Bishop of Bangor in Wales.
Our righteous Fathers Sergius and Herman, the Wonderworkers of Valaam, the recovery of whose holy relics we commemorate.
Repose of the young Elder Melchizedek of Mzensk (1846)
Matuska Lyubushka (= Love) Fool for Christ of Susanino of St. Petersburg (1997), spiritual daughter of Saint Seraphim of Viritsa (-1949)
Glorification of St. Xenia of Saint Petersburg, Fool-for-Christ (1978)

Sunday before Exaltation of the Cross
Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh
24 September 1989

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

Σταύρωσις_The Crucifixion_Greek-Byzantine-Orthodox-Icon_Распятие_ИИСУСА_ХРИСТА_‚22In today’s Gospel we are told that God did not send His Only-Begotten Son into the world to judge the world but to save the world. The Living God became a true and living man, shared with us all our human destiny, our creatureliness, the situation of a fallen world, all its sufferings including the tragedy of death which implies the tragic loss of consciousness of His communion with the Father: My God, My God, why hath Thou forsaken Me?.. And we are saved by His life and by Hid death, we are saved by His words, Father, forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing. But do such words apply to us who know, who should know haven’t we heard the Gospel? Do we not know what happened to Christ because of our sinfulness? Are we not aware that the words spoken by Christ apply to all of us? and yet, with a difference.
Saint Seraphim of Sarov said to one of his visitors, Yes, be sure of God’s forgiveness, be sure that God will respond to your prayer; but remember one thing: the price He had to pay to have power to forgive, and don’t ask Him lightly for forgiveness, don’t bring unworthy prayers unto Him, because it is His death that pleads our forgiveness. And we cannot, without a response from our deepest self turn to God and ask forgiveness at the cost of His death, if we bring nothing, nothing at all but our desire to be free of the burden that crushes us.
And if we ask ourselves what can we bring we can bring first of all our gratitude. Our gratitude for that love which alone can save; a love so great that He accepted not only our human destiny, but to loose communion with the Father in order to identify Himself with us in all ways and respects, He, the Son of God, left God-less upon the Cross, and pleading for us that we may be forgiven…
But there is something else which we can learn from today’s second Lesson: the story of the woman taken in adultery. This woman had been sinning, freely, light-mindedly, without understanding, indeed as one of those who did not know what they were doing! And of a sudden she found herself face to face with the fact that sin means death. She was taken in the act, and the Old Testament proclaimed death unto her. She realised then what sin was. And she was brought to Christ by the crowd who wanted to apply the harshness of the old-testamental law to her, without mercy. And Christ saw that at that moment she had understood everything. She knew that sin meant death, an ultimate destruction in the eyes of the people of the Old Testament who died in separation from God because only in Christ do we find our way back to Him. There was no other way than the descent into the sheol, the place of the irremediable and eternal absence of God. She knew that everything was over, not only the things that happen in time, but all eternity had become darkness and death: if she only could return to temporary life, to have time to repent, to have time to live in a way that was worthy of God and of herself, she would do it!
And this is what Christ saw in her, this is why He turned to the judges, the sinful men and women who were prepared to kill this woman for her sins while they did not realise their own sinfulness and that they were carrying death upon their shoulders because of them. Let those of you who are without sin cast the first stones and no-one dared, because at that moment, these words so simple and so direct brought to their consciousness the fact, that, Yes no one of them was without sin, and all had deserted God, renounced their dignity, had betrayed their vocation, and there was no other judgement about them than a death sentence: they could not pronounce it against this woman, because to pronounce it meant that they accepted it for themselves.
And Christ Who knew the hearts of those who were before Him, knew that this woman had gone through the gates of death, and could come back by a divine act that would resurrect her: yes, truly bring her back from an anticipated, but certain death. And He told her, Where are those who were condemning thee? Has no one done so? No. Neither do I condemn thee, go in peace, but sin no more!.. And these words she could indeed receive in her heart, those words indeed could become the law of her life, because now she knew in her body, in her soul, in her heart and mind, in all her being that sin was death. And she accepted forgiveness which meant life!
Where do we stand, each of us, when we come to confession, when we ask forgiveness from other people, when we are begged by others to forgive them where do we stand? Are we aware that death is at work in us because of our God-lessness, our sinfulness, the fact that we have chosen? This woman did not know what she was doing, but we have the Gospel speaking to us, we have Christ speaking to us, we know all things: where do we stand?
Let us learn from her; and let us learn also from these men who came armed with stones, to stone the sinner, and realised that they were locked in the same tragedy of sin and death with her, and that they could not condemn her, because to condemn her meant to condemn themselves to the same death.
Are we aware of this when we refuse forgiveness? I am not speaking of the light-minded words of forgiveness which we pronounce so easily but do we forgive from the depth of our heart? Can we say to God: Forgive as I forgive?
Let us stay with this thought, but also with the victorious joy that God has send His Son into the world not to judge it but to save it! That salvation is at hand! That it is for us to take it and it is given gratuitously, as love is gratuitous and redeeming. Amen.

Lord, You are our strength. Help us to endure to the end with faith that You are beside us. – Patience of sorrows is the highest virtue of our time, Blessed Lyubushka Fool for Christ of Susanino

Σταυρός_Ελκόμενος επί Σταυρού_Holy-Cross_Крест Господня_S1luarea_crucii--_Greek-Byzantine-Orthodox-Icon_Resurrectional Apolytikion Mode 4.

When the women Disciples of the Lord had learned from the Angel the joyful message of the Resurrection and rejected the ancestral decision, they cried aloud to the Apostles triumphantly: Death has been despoiled, Christ God has risen, granting His great mercy to the world.

Apolytikion of Nativity of the Theotokos
Fourth Tone

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

Troparion of the venerable one, in Tone VIII—

In thee, O mother, that which was created according to the image of God was manifestly saved; for, accepting thy cross, thou didst follow after Christ; and, praying, thou didst learn to disdain the flesh, for thou didst transcend it, and to take care of thy soul, for it is immortal. Wherefore, thy soul doth rejoice with the angels, O venerable Theodora.

Troparion, in Tone IV—

Ye have been shown to be truly obedient to the Gospel of Christ, O venerable ones, for the sake of the love of Christ despising the world and all that is therein as though it did not exist; and making your abode on an island of the sea, ye diligently struggled thereon against the wiles of invisible foes, wisely subjecting your flesh to your spirit through fasting, vigil and standing all night. Wherefore, from the right hand of the Almighty ye have received fitting crowns. And now, standing before the all-holy Trinity, O most blessed fathers Sergius and Herman, pray ye that the suffering Russian land be preserved and our souls be saved.

Another Troparion, in Tone I—

Fleeing the tumult of the world, O ye lovers of serenity and piety, from the East did ye arrive at the calm haven of Valaam, and thereon evangelically following after Christ in the virtues, ye ascended to the summit of perfection. And now, delighting in the vision of God at thy universal festival, O most blessed Sergius and Herman, entreat God, Who lovest mankind, that He save us all who piously honor you.

My sweet child! We will share the precious bond of love forever. For you will pray for me here on earth, and I will pray for you in heaven! Saint Father Tychon Athonite of the Kapsala.

Κολακεία της Παναγιας__ласкание Девы Марии_289_dionisiatSynaxarion.
On September 10, we commemorate the holy women martyrs Menodora, Metrodora and Nymphodora.
On this day we commemorate the holy martyr Barypsabas.
On this day St. Pulcheria the Empress reposed in peace.
On this day we commemorate the holy Apostles Apelles, Luke and Clement.
On this day we commemorate the holy woman martyr Ia who died by the sword.
Sts. Peter (826) and Paul (9th c.), bishops of Nicaea.
Venerable Cassian, abbot of Spaso-Kamenny and St. Cyril of White Lake Monasteries (1469).
Our righteous Father Paul the Obedient of the Kiev Caves.
Repose of Elder Tychon Athonite Russian ascetic of the Kapsala (Golenkov, 1884-1968) Mount Athos, the spiritual father of St. Paisios the Athonite
Synaxis of the Icon of the Theotokos “Trikeriotissas” (1825)
Synaxis of the Theotokos “Orchomeniotissa” (“Panagia Skripou”) (1943)

Saint Father Tychon Athonite of the Kapsala

“Angels are a light for monastics, and monastics are a light for the world.”
Blessed is the life of those who dwell in the desert, winged as they are by divine eros.

Παπα-Τύχων Ρώσος ασκητής_Elder Tikhon-Russian ascetic-старац Тихон (Голенков) Афонский_παπα ΤΥΧΩΝ-hsyxexod1The Russian ascetic, Father Tychon Athonite, said, “God blesses with one hand in the morning the entire world, and uses both hands to bless the humble man. A humble person is above the whole world.“

But in addition to humility, Elder Paisios points out that Papa-Tychon ‘also emphasized the study of God, that is, people’s minds should be constantly turning toward God’ . Elder Paisios then goes on to write:
He also stressed the study of the Holy Scriptures and the holy fathers: Evergetinos, the Philokalia, St John Chrysostom, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, St Maximos, Symeon the New Theologian, Abba Macarios and Abba Isaac. ‘Study,’ the elder would say, ‘warms up the soul and cleans out the mind, so that people willingly live in asceticism and acquire virtues, but when they don’t do so, they acquire passions.’

Father Tychon Athonite, said, Always pray before you start any work. Say “God, give me strength and enlightenment” and then start your work. And in the end, say “Thank God”.

To find a good spiritual father, you must pray for three days, and then God will enlighten you. And on your way, pray to God to enlighten him to tell you kind words.

The eyes of the Russian hermit Father Tychon were always full of tears. He would wipe them constantly with a wet handkerchief which he carried always in his hand. His stole was usually damp with tears, and the wooden cross he used to bless with, was worn out. He would often say that we ought to wash Jesus’ feet with our tears all the days of our lives, and wipe them with our hair while prostrating ourselves before Him. In his own cell, the wooden cross before which he prayed was soaked with his tears.

The Elder emphasises Papa-Tychon’s great poverty and frugality—one of the many examples he gives being the herring the old man would get ‘for the joyous Twelve Days of Christmas’ every year. Having used the fish for the Christmas feast, he would save the backbone, and for the other feasts he would dip it into some boiled water before tossing rice in, thus making the most frugal ‘fish soup’! As Elder Paisios writes, ‘In this way, he observed the dispensation for fish but also condemned himself for eating fish soup in the desert! Then, he would hang the backbone on the nail again for the next dispensation, until it became quite white and only then would he throw it away’.

Our contemporary hermit of Kapsala, Elder Methodios, a disciple of the great ascetic father Tychon, used to tell me: “Father Tychon would not allow us to throw out the fish bones. He would use them over and over again, boiling them, and making the broth into a soup.”

We must not waste aimlessly the fruit, the inner core of our power and then leave the shells for God. The many cares of life sap the marrow of our heart and leave nothing for Christ.
Those who work too hard and are full of worries forget God. Father Tychon used to say, “The Pharaoh gave the Israelites too much work and just enough food to forget God.” In our days, the devil has made people lose themselves in matter and all kinds of distractions; they work too much and they eat too much. This way they come to forget God, and they lose the ability or rather the will, to make good use of the freedom given to them, and sanctify their soul. Fortunately, however, and against the devil’s desires, there is a good side to this; people are so busy that they don’t have enough time to sin as much they would have liked to.
Too Much Work and Worry Is the Mark of a Secular Monk
Let us be careful, then, not to behave like Martha. Let us pray that we will become good “Marys”.
Taken from Elder Paisios, Spiritual Counsels Vol1,”With Pain And Love For Comtemporary Man”

Παπα-Τύχων Ρώσος_Elder Tikhon-Russian ascetic-старац Тихон (Голенков) Афонский_2333…Once somebody had sent him a cheque from America. As he was getting it from the post office, however, a layman saw him and was overcome by the temptation of avarice. So he went to the elder’s cell at night to rob that the elder had already given the money he had been sent to Mr. Theodoros, the grocer, to buy bread for the poor. After he had tormented the elder a good deal – he had him tied by the neck with a rope – he ascertained that there really was no money there and so he was ready to leave. Fr. Tychon said to him: “God forgive you, my child.”
The malefactor then went to another elder with the same intention, but the police caught up with him there and he confessed of his own accord that he had also been to Father Tychon’s. The policeman sent a colleague and asked the elder to answer questions, since there would be a trial for the thief. The elder was deeply upset and told the policeman: “But, my child, I forgave the thief with all my heart.”
The officer paid absolutely no attention to the words of the elder, since he was carrying out orders from above and he tugged at him and said: “Come along quickly, elder! There is no ‘I forgive’ and ‘Forgive me’ here.”
In the end, the police chief took pity and let him go back to his cell from Hierissos [a port situated outside the Athonite peninsula] because he was crying like a little child at the thought that he would be to blame for the thief being punished.
Whenever he remembered this case, he could never get it out of his mind and would say to me: “My child, those lay people who are in the world have completely different habits! There is no such thing as ‘Bless’ or ‘God forgive you’!”
From Athonite Fathers and Athonite Matters by St. Paisios of Mount Athos, pp.34-35

Whenever he would have a visitor, after praying with them in the chapel and visiting for a while, Papa-Tychon ‘would get up with great joy and say: “Now, I have a treat for you”’ .
He would draw some water from the cistern to fill a cup for the visitor and put some in his own tin can (an old food tin which he also used to boil water); afterwards, he would go and look for some Turkish delight, which sometimes would be either as hard as rock or half-eaten by ants, but since it was a blessing from Father Tychon it was not at all disgusting.

By this asceticism, together with a great humility, he acquired the gift of unceasing prayer, even during his sleep. “Whenever one prays,” he used to say, “the prayer must unite with the heart just like you join two different things together with glue.

Παΐσιος Αγιορείτης-Τυχων Αγιορειτης_св.Паисий Святогорец- Тихон Афонский_St.Paisios of the Holy Mountain_TihonGolenkovPaisiy2313Early in 1968, Father Tikhon began to feel the coming of his death and talked about it a lot. He was growing weaker. After the Feast of Dormition, his health deteriorated further, and he could no longer get out of bed. He could not eat and had nothing but water. Nevertheless, he did not insist on having company, as he did not want to interrupt his prayerful conversation with the Lord.

Elder Paisios remembers: “When the last week of his earthly life came, he let me sit by his side in the cell, parting only for short periods for solitary prayer. A committed ascetic, he was not used to having anyone serve him; and so he was grateful for even the smallest assistance that I could provide.

On one of his last days, I walked out of the cell to bring him some water. When I returned, he looked at me with bewilderment as if he did not know who I was.

“Why are you?” he asked. “Are you saint Sergius?”
“No, father,” I replied. I am Monk Paisios.
“Ah! Now I know. Look, my beloved child. The Mother of God came here with Saint Sergius and the Holy Venerable Seraphim. Where did they go?”
At that point, I realised that something unusual was happening. Father Tikhon had received a visit from the dead. So I asked,
“What did the Mother of God say to you?”
“She said that she would take me to herself on the feast day of her nativity”.

It was the evening of 7 (20) September, on the forefeast of the Nativity of the Theotokos. Three days later, on the tenth, he departed to God.
On the Day of the Nativity, Father Tikhon said to me,

“Tomorrow I will go, and I want you to bury me. And I wish to give you my blessing.

For three hours that evening, he held his hands on my head, blessing me with great love, knowing that he was leaving the earth forever.

He said, “My sweet child! We will share the precious bond of love forever. For you will pray for me here on earth, and I will pray for you in heaven! I trust that the Lord will have mercy on me, a sinner. For sixty years, I have lived here as a monk and never stopped pleading with Him, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!”

“Soon, I will be at his throne in heaven. Do not stop praying for me, and I will keep coming every year to see you. If you continue to live in my cell, I will be happy. May God’s will be done, my child. He waved his hand towards the stock of cans – six with sardines, and four with squid that one of his visitors had brought him and he had not touched. “See, I have enough food for you for three years!”

His supplies would not have lasted me a week.

Yet his last ten days were a precious gift from God. It was an honour to be by his side at the end of his life and attend his honourable departure. One thing that impressed me most of all was that Father Tikhon had prepared letters to all of the bishops whom he knew asking them to mention him in their prayers after his death. Father Tikhon asked for his body to be left in the grave until the end of time, and not dig it up after three years, as is the custom on Mount Athos.

Τύχων Ρώσος Παΐσιος Αγιορείτης_Tikhon-Russian ascetic-старац Тихон Голенков Афонский_20190704084920-0663God alone will know and can appreciate the spiritual accomplishments of His every saint. No said would ever be willing and able to evaluate them themselves, as they know how to see their sins, not their righteousness. Never in their lives were they looking for human praise of worldly glory. Their sainthood is visible to us only in the outward manifestations of their virtues, which alone are amenable to any description. Perhaps for the sake of His love of us sinners and our spiritual benefit, the Lord lets them reveal to us some of their experiences. That way, we can be inspired to oppose our sin and reach out for the immaculate beauty that was already given to them on this earth.

“I do not think that Father Tikhon will be upset with me for my discussion of his spiritual achievements, like the venerable elder Silouan was, whose life was so reverently described by the now-departed Schema-Archimandrite Sophronius. When the first book about his life by Sophronius saw light in Paris, elder Silouan remarked to Father Tikhon, “The blessed Father Sophronius made me famous, which I was hoping to avoid at all costs. Because the saints were shunning worldly fame, the Lord Himself is glorifying them in heaven.

May the blessings of Father Tikhon and the prayers of all the saints remain with us forever. Amen!

Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds
Source: https://obitel-minsk.ru/chitat/den-za-dnyom/2021/gora-afon-gora-svyataya-5-10
Father Tikhon – the last Russian elder on Mount Athos. Lavra of the Holy Trinity and Saint Sergius, 1997
Mount Athos – the Holy Mountain Orthodox Calendar, 2008. – Minsk: Saint Elisabeth Conven

O Holy and God-bearing Father Tychon Athonite, pray to Christ our God that we too may receive the Heavenly Light of Christ’s Eternal Kingdom!

Papa-Tychon of the Holy Mountain-Russian ascetic

Father Tychon Athonite of the Kapsala, “You and me, we will have precious love unto the ages of ages, and I will come every year and see you.”

I live with the angels and archangels, with all the saints, with the Mother of God and with Christ.’ Father Tychon Athonite Russian ascetic of the Kapsala

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone

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

In Tone I:
Spec. Mel.: Of the heavenly orders.

Thy festival, O God-bearer, * hath arrived brighter than the sun; * illuminating those who in faith have recourse unto thee, * filling them with the sweet fragrance of immortality * and radiating healing unto their souls, O holy Father, * fervent intercessor for our souls.

Glory …, In Tone VIII:

We honor thee as a teacher of monastics, * O Tychon our Father, * for from thee we have truly learned to walk upon the straight and narrow path. * Blessed art thou who labored for Christ and laid to waste the might of the enemy; * O friend of the Angels and companion of the holy and just ones, * do thou, with them, ever intercede before the Lord that our souls may be saved.

At the Aposticha, the Stichera, In Tone VI:

O most blessed God-bearer, Father Tychon! * As did the Prophet of old, * so hast thou covered the earth with thy tears * never giving sleep unto thine eyes * nor even allowing thine eyelids to close in slumber * thus manifesting the yearning of thy heart after Christ, * Whom thou didst exceedingly love; * wherefore, thou art an example to all monastics * elevating them to the comprehension of every virtue; * wherefore, we also bless thee, * magnifying Him Who hath glorified thee.

The Reading from the Book of Proverbs

The mouth of the righteous droppeth wisdom: but the tongue of the unjust shall perish. The lips of just men drop grace: but the mouth of the ungodly is perverse. False balances are an abomination before the Lord: but a just weight is acceptable unto Him. Wherever pride entereth, there will also disgrace: but the mouth of the humble doth meditate wisdom. The integrity of the upright shall guide them, but the overthrow of the rebellious shall spoil them. Possessions shall not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness will deliver from death. When a just man dieth, he leaveth regret: but the destruction of the ungodly is speedy and causeth joy. Righteousness traceth out blameless paths: but ungodliness encountereth unjust dealing. The righteousness of upright men delivereth them: but transgressors are caught in their own destruction. At the death of a just man his hope doth not perish: but the boast of the ungodly perisheth. A righteous man escapeth from a snare, and the ungodly man is delivered up in his place. In the mouth of ungodly men is a snare for citizens: but the understanding of righteous men is prosperous. In the prosperity of righteous men a city prospereth, but at the destruction of the wicked there is exultation. At the blessing of the upright a city shall be exalted, but by the mouths of ungodly men it is overthrown. A man void of understanding sneereth at his fellow citizens: but a sensible man is quiet.

The Virgin Mary is the Mother of God and the Mother of the whole world and no fire is greater than Her Love !!! Her hands are wings, and no calamity is stronger than her Protection!

Γενέσιον της Θεοτόκου_Nativity of the Theotokos_Рождество Пресвятой Богородицы_--dionisiuSynaxarion From the Menaion.
On September 8 is the Nativity of our most holy Lady Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary.
Synaxis of Icon Our Lady of Saydnaya (Shaghoura) Syria
Our Father among the Saints Sophronius, Bishop of Achtalia in Iberia (1803)
On this day the holy siblings Rufus and Rufianus died by the sword.
On this day Saint Severus died by the sword. On this day Saint Artemidoros died by fire.
A very edifying story about love, Saint Nicetas the Chartolarian of Constantinople, the Hidden (12th c.)
Our righteous Father Arsenius of Konevets.
Our righteous Father Serapion of Pskov (1481). Our righteous Father Lucian of Alexandrov (1654)
Synaxis of Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign”, the “Kursk-Root”
Icon of Sophia, the Wisdom of God, Pochaev , Glinsk, Lesna, “Donskoy” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (Theotokos “Of the Don”) (1380) – Remembrance of envoke the Moscow from advancing of tatars in 1380 by church procession with Icon of the Mother of God of the Don 

Anna, all mothers truly you surpassed,
Until your daughter should become your Mother.
Anna brought into the light on the eighth of this month God’s own Mother.

Icon of the Mother of God of the DON (1380)

Παναγία του Ντον_Don Icon of the Mother of God_ Богоматерь Донская. Феофан Грек_0_1a5910_77b018b1_orig - ΑντιγραφήThe Donskoi Icon of the Mother of God was written by Theophan the Greek. On the day of the Kulikovo Battle (8 September 1380, the Feast of the Birth of the MostHoly Mother of God), the Icon was amidst the orthodox Russian army, giving it help during battle with Mamai. It was approved on the shaft as a banner, and throughout the continuation of the war remained with the Russian army.
But after the victory it was passed on by the Don Cossacks as a gift to their commander, Greatprince Dimitrii Donskoy (1363-1389), who then transferred it to Moscow. The Icon at first came to be at the Kremlin Uspensky Sobor (Dormition Cathedral), and later at the Blagoveschenie-Annuniciation Cathedral (the Icon is now in the Tretyakov State Gallery). In commemoration of the victory on the banks of the River Don it was given the name of the Donskoi Icon.

St. Sergius of Radonezh blessed Prince Dmitry of Moscow to struggle against the Golden Horde. The Battle of Kulikovo took place on 8 September 1380 and contributed to the integration of the Russian regions. «The Life» tells the story of how the saint, foreseeing a victory, sent a letter to Prince Dmitry to notify him. The messenger managed to deliver it to the Russian army before the start of the battle.

According to more recent sources, St. Sergius not only blessed Prince of Moscow to fight, but delegated two monk-warriors to help him. They were Peresvet and Oslabia, who were ‘well trained in military affairs and could command the army regiments, they also had the strength and boldness, and courage’ and became heroes of the Battle of Kulikovo. Sergius of Radonezh blessed the feat of defending the fatherland.

Chronicle reported that on the eve of the battle, the messenger from the Holy Trinity Monastery handed to Prince Dmitry bread baked at the monastery and the letter of St. Sergius, ‘Without any doubt, go against them, and God and the Holy Trinity will help you’. During all the fight, St. Sergius prayed unceasingly and his inner eye saw the battlefield, he named the fallen soldiers killed on the Don to the brethren. Today, the Kulikovo Field is a museum complex including a memorial church in honour of St. Sergius of Radonezh, which was errected in 1913-1918 by the famous architect Alexey Shchusev.


Saint Paisios the Athonite

All you will need to do is one thing: kneel and say, ‘Through the intercessions of the Theotokos, Saviour, save us’, and you will have a great protection.”

I know that evil like uncontrollable fire threatens you and your children. But hug Glykophilousa and do not be afraid! She has the power to put out the fire that threatens our home! She has the power to put out the fire that threatens our children! She has the power to extinguish the fire that threatens our Soul! Because the Virgin Mary is the Mother of God and the Mother of the whole world and no fire is greater than Her Love !!! Her hands are wings, and no calamity is stronger than her Protection! Embrace Her!”


Κολακεία της Παναγιας__ласкание Девы Марии___20120201_18733801St. Nikolai Velimirovich

St. Dionysius the Areopagite writes of the immeasurable joy, the outer and inner radiance, and the indescribable fragrance that he sensed in the presence of the Holy Theotokos when he visited her in Jerusalem. In his zeal, he says that if he had not known the One True God, he would have recognized her, the Holy Virgin Mary, as God. The Holy Virgin made such a powerful and unique impression on men during her earthly life-and she received an incomparably greater power and glory after her physical death when, by the will of God, she was exalted above the heavenly hosts. Her power comes from her ceaseless prayer for the faithful, for all those who turn to her for help.
When St. John of Novgorod and his people prayed to her for help against a hostile army, he understood that she was simultaneously praying to the Lord with tears in their behalf, and Novgorod was miraculously saved. As she was compassionate toward her crucified Son, so the Holy Most-pure One is also compassionate toward all those in need, and who turn to her for help. It could be said that the entire earth is covered by the miracles of her mercy. Even today, there lives in Belgrade a café owner (C. J.), who was born in the village of Labuni te outside Struga. His mother brought him blind to the Monastery of Kali to, where, after the priest prayed over him before the icon of the Holy Theotokos, he received his sight. The first monk at Pochaev saw a fiery pillar extending from earth to heaven, and in that flaming pillar he saw the Holy Theotokos. She was standing on a rock. On the spot where she stood, a spring of healing water sprang forth: even today, it heals many of the sick.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič 


Saint John of Kronstadt

Γενέσιον της Θεοτόκου_Nativity of the Theotokos_ Рождество Пресвятой Богородицы_65547756Know and remember, that the matter of your Salvation is always near to the heart of Our Lady, the Mother of God, for it was for this that the Son of God, by the favour of the Father, and the cooperation of the Holy Spirit, chose her out of all generations and was Incarnate of her in order to save the human race from sin, the curse and the eternal death, of everlasting torments. As the matter of our Salvation is near to the Saviour, so likewise it is near to her. Turn to her with full faith, trust, and love.”

Save us, thy race, Our Lady! Save us, we who are of one blood with thee! Save us, Mother of Life and Mother of us all, although we are not worthy to call thee Our Mother! Cleanse, sanctify, strengthen and save us through thy Prayers!”

When you are about to Pray to our Lady the Holy Virgin, be firmly assured, before Praying, that you will not depart from her without having received mercy. To think thus and to have confidence in her is meet and right.”

O heavenly Mother, my only love… O most radiant Day, dawn in my soul… Poem XV (15), St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Παναγία του Ντον_Don Icon of the Mother of God_ Богоматерь Донская. Феофан Грек_0_1a5913_ce4659c8_origApolytikion of the Feast.  
Mode 4.

Your Nativity, O Theotokos, imparted joy to the entire earth, for out of you has risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God. He nullified the curse and instead gave His blessing; and causing death to be neutralized, He granted us eternal life. (3)

Tone VI:
The composition of Sergius the Patriarch:

Today God, Who resteth on the noetic thrones, hath prepared for Himself a holy throne on earth. He Who hath established the heavens by His wisdom hath in His loving-kindness created an animate heaven. For the God of wonders, the Hope of the hopeless, hath caused His Mother to spring forth as a Life-bearing plant from a barren root. Glory to Thee, O Lord!

Tone VI:
The composition of Stephen of Jerusalem:

Today is the pronouncement of universal joy! Today the winds have blown which herald salvation, and our nature is released from barrenness! For the barren woman is shown to be the mother of her who remaineth virgin even after giving birth to the Creator, from whom God taketh to Himself that which is alien to Him by nature, and Christ, the Deliverer of our souls, Who loveth mankind, doth accomplish salvation for the lost by means of flesh.

At the Aposticha, Prosomia.

of Germanus the Patriarch, in Tone IV:

The joy of the whole world hath shone forth upon us from the righteous Joachim and Anna: the most laudable Virgin who, because of her surpassing purity, becometh the animate temple of God and is known as the one true Theotokos. Through her prayers, O Christ God, send down peace upon the world and great mercy upon our souls.

Tone 8.

Verse: The wealthy of the people will entreat your face.

Rejoice, company of mortals; rejoice, temple of the Lord; rejoice, holy mountain; rejoice, divine table; rejoice, lampstand all filled with light; rejoice, honoured glory of the orthodox; rejoice, Mary, Mother of Christ God; rejoice, all-blameless; rejoice, throne of fire; rejoice, tabernacle; rejoice, bush unconsumed by fire; rejoice, hope of all.

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


Wisdom hath built a house for herself and set up seven pillars. She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine in a bowl and prepared her table. She hath sent forth her servants, calling with a loud proclamation to the feast, saying: “Whoso is foolish, let him turn aside to me.” And to those who want understanding, she saith: “Come” eat of my bread, and drink wine which I have mingled for you. Leave folly, that ye may reign forever; and seek wisdom, and improve understanding by knowledge.” He that reproveth evil men shall get dishonor to himself; and he that rebuketh an ungodly man shall disgrace himself. Rebuke not evil men, lest they should hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give an opportunity to a wise man, and he will be wiser: instruct a just man, and he will receive more instruction. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the counsel of the law is the character of a sound mind. For in this way thou shalt live long, and years of thy life shall be added to thee.