Iconography and Hand painted icons

He saw an old man walking right on the waves, St. Nicholas blessed the ship with both hands and immediately the wind died down. The storm was over. St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia

Γέννηση του Ιησού Χριστού_ Рождество Христово_ Nativity of Christ-icon1122528d9401e31c_kSt. Nicholas the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia
Martyrs Dionysia, her son Majoricus, her sister Dativa, Leontia, Emilian the Physician, Tertius, Boniface, and Severus of Carthage.
Abramius, Bishop of Cratea in Bithynia, disciple of Saint Sabbas the Sanctified.
New Martyr Nicholas of Caramania
New Hieromartyrs Nicholas, Priest of Novo-Nikolskaya, Nicholas, Missionary of Moscow, and Nicholas, Priest of Tobolsk.

Commemorated December 6

It Happened in Siberia
by Alexandra Dabbart

Νικόλαος Μύρων της Λυκίας_Святой Николай Мирликийский_St. Nicholas Archbishop of Myra_1301424502_icons-020For twenty years I lived in Lima, Peru. During that time a Russian parish was established there. Our deacon, the late Eugene Nikolaevich Dolmatev, related to me a miracle which occurred through the intercession of St. Nicholas.
It happened in Siberia. The White Army under Kolchak was retreating. Eugene Nikolaevich, in spite of a severe wound suffered in the First World War, served in Kolchak’s forces in the rank of first lieutenant. It was a harsh winter.
Entering a village, the partisans seized a peasant suspected of collaborating with the Reds. It was decided to execute him. Eugene Nikolaevich ordered the prisoner to be locked up.
That night, as the lieutenant was sitting alone writing out the accusation, there came a knock at the door. He opened it and in stepped an old man wearing a skoufia, like those worn by monks, and an old cassock. “Mister officer,” he said, “you have an arrested peasant here. Don’t kill him. He’s innocent.”
“And who are you?” inquired Eugene Nikolaevich.
“I am the rector of the local church, Fr. Nicholas,” answered the old man, and he left.
Eugene Nikolaevich thought it over and decided to release the prisoner. Early in the morning he ordered a sleigh to be harnessed, had the prisoner get in, took some bread, and told the escorts: “I’m going to shoot him.” Once in the forest he untied the prisoner, gave him the bread, and said: “Into the woods with you, and don’t cross our path again!”
Returning to the village, Eugene Nikolacyich went to the church. It was locked. He asked a peasant walking by: “Where does Fr. Nicholas live? … “The Reds shot him long ago,” came the reply.
Eugene Nikolaevich was taken aback, but he decided to look around the church anyway. Someone unlocked the door for him, and he went inside. Suddenly he saw to the right an icon of St. Nicholas and immediately recognized him as his nocturnal visitor; in the icon the wonderworking hierarch was depicted wearing the very same skoufia.

By Alexandra Dabbart, Novoye Russkoe Slovo, December 20, 1980. Quoted by Orthodox America.


An account from the Soviet Union, 1965

Νικόλαος Μύρων της Λυκίας_Св Николай Мирликийский_St. Nicholas of Myra_ΣΤΡΕΙΔΑς mon_Stavronikita_AfonIn February, 1965, a bus full of people was going towards a city. Next to the driver there was sitting an old man with a white beard, tall, and full of vigor.He wore a heavy coat with a fur collar, and a fur cap with flaps. The bus was going slowly because of the snow which was falling outside. At one turn, the chains of the back wheels came off. The bus skidded and almost collided with another full bus. All these things happened very quickly. The driver lost control of the bus, and everyone’s heart jumped. Finally the two buses halted at a distance of barely three-quarters of an inch apart, without any mishap.

Then the old man made the sign of the Cross and cried out: “Glory to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee! Blessed be thy name, O All-holy mother of God, who has saved us …” In a few moments the other bus left. The driver and his assistant went out to put on the chains.

Smiling, one young man opened a conversation with the old man. “Forgive me elder,” he said, “but I could not hold back from laughing when I heard you call upon the non-existent Heavenly Powers and saw you make your Cross. Habit, of course, is second nature. I see that you wear the distinguishing mark of a scientist. But in our times, in the year 1965, it is an incongruity.”

The conversation attracted the attention of all. The old man, without becoming troubled, said, “Gladly, My young comrade, shall I answer you. And if you want I shall make a self-criticism … Wherefore, do you know what I think? All of us are somewhat hypocrites. All of us pretend that we are atheists, dedicated members of the Party, with profound knowledge of Marxism and many other things. And yet there comes a moment every once in a while when the real man expresses himself. Behold, just as it happened even now! This mishap was sufficient to demonstrate it. Since you sit in that place, you of course did not see what happened behind you. I, however, who sit sideways, saw at least another eight or ten making their Cross. It is something within us which we will never be able to uproot, because it would be like uprooting our very bowels. Thus, every day all of us fall into ‘errors-—that is, we remember that there exists a certain great, unknown, and good Power Whom we pretend to ignore …”

“I assure you that this personally never happens with me,” said the young man.

The old man chuckled and said, “You will permit me to prove you false, beloved comrade, because just previously you said, ‘These things in our times, in the year 1965, are an incongruity.’ What was the reason for you to remember that one thousand nine hundred and sixty-five years have passed from the time when the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, was born!”

“This,” said the young man after having been taken aback a little, “is an evil remnant of an evil past, which must definitely be wiped out. The way you are speaking, you are going to convince us that even miracles take place!”

The old man was silent some moments, and afterwards said, “Yes my beloved one, there are even miracles of God which you yourself will believe, just as all that are here will also believe. When, however, you see them, you will be obliged to keep silent because, if you speak, there is danger that they will close you in some psychiatric clinic.”

The bus had come into the main artery. The heavy snow stopped and thus the driver was able to increase the speed. At one moment, all—as many as were looking at and listening to the old man—saw his place empty! Two or three that were close to his seat made the sign of the Cross, saying, “Holy, holy is God the Almighty.” One of them turned toward the back of the bus and shouted, “Do you understand now who saved us from the collision? He himself, the old man with the white beard, was the Protector of our People … Saint Nicholas!” “I do not know what we are going to do comrades,” said one other in the meantime, “but wherever I may be, I am going to tell of this miracle of Saint Nicholas! And let them lock me in a psychiatric ward if they can. I have you all as witnesses; and especially you, comrade …” The young communist covered his face with his hands for a long time.

After about two hours, the bus stopped and all got down to drink hot tea. The young communist approached several of his fellow]passengers, full of emotion. He asked for their addresses. He also gave them his. All the other others did the same among themselves. “Do you know what I purpose, comrades?” said one young woman, “Let us not lose contact with one another. This which we saw today and heard with our ears is a great thing. Very great. What can it forbode? Certainly something good, because the little old grandfather was the Protector of our People.”

The above miracle was written by an eyewitness. “I cannot write more,” he says, “because I am overcome with emotion and am weeping. I also was on the bus.”
From Contemporary Miracles in Russia by Archimandrite Haralampos Basilopoulos, 1966. Translated by Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Jamaica Plain. Massachusetts. Published by Orthodox Life, May-June, 1967. From the Holy Orthodox Metropolis of Boston.


Νικόλαος Μύρων της Λυκίας_Святой Николай Мирликийский_St. Nicholas Archbishop of Myra_78_B_8bit_PE-IC27-DS2-Q1I heard this story from Hieromonk Theophylact, a monk of the Pskov Caves Monastery, during the latter half of the 1980s. He was told it by a military man—a first-rank captain and man of faith. How did come to the faith?
In his youth he commanded a torpedo boat on the Pacific Ocean. One day the boat went out on its watch into the sea. The weather forecasts were good, and nothing indicated any trouble. Just the same, on the horizon there appeared at first a large dark cloud, which started growing rapidly. A sharp wind blew, which grew into a strong squall. A storm began. Huge waves started beating against the small ship.

The ship was tossed from side to side. Water flowed into the machinery area. The ship was on the verge of stopping, and that would fatal for all.

The captain was no coward, but nevertheless the fear of death reached his heart—after all, he was not alone; he answered for the entire company. What should he do? Then suddenly he remembered his mother’s words of long ago: “Pray to God. He saves people everywhere.” And the words of his grandfather, an old sea dog: “Whoever has not been to sea has never prayed to God.” The captain had not gone to church since childhood—first there was the young pioneers, the komsomol, and then his service. He did not know how to pray. But inside, in his soul he was shouting, “Lord, save me! Lord have mercy!”

Νικόλαος Μύρων της Λυκίας_Святой Николай Мирликийский_St. Nicholas Archbishop of Myra_18361Suddenly, a miracle happened. He saw an old man walking right on the waves, wearing the garments of a priest. The captain even had time to look at his face—regular features, a small beard, and a clear gaze. The old man blessed the ship with both hands and immediately the wind died down. The sea went flat. The storm was over. The Captain caught his breath.

Returning, he promised to himself to go without delay to a church and place a candle as a sign of thanks for his deliverance and the salvation of the crew. But in the Far East during the years of persecution, nearly all the churches had been destroyed.

Nevertheless, an opportunity soon presented itself. He was sent on an assignment to Leningrad. While travelling along the Ring Road, the captain noticed a beautiful five-domed cathedral. He left the tram and walked over to it. It was the St. Nicholas Cathedral, of naval glory. But the captain did not know about this. He went into the half-dark lower church, bought a candle for two rubles and fifty kopecks and looked around for a candle stand to place it on. He noticed an icon with the image of a pious elder in the garb of a bishop and decided, “I’ll place a candle before this grandpa.” The captain walked closer, looked at the icon, and froze. The facial features corresponded exactly to those of the amazing elder who had stopped the storm on the Pacific Ocean! “Whose image is that?” the captain asked a church-worker in a dark apron. “What do you mean, whose? It’s the holy hierarch and wonderworker Nicholas, defender of those who sail the sea,” she replied.

This incident was written down in slightly different word by Fr. Theophylact in his collection, This Happened in Our Time. Twenty-seven years have passed since I read it. Much has been erased from my memory, but the main thing remained: the image of St. Nicholas, the merciful, miraculous deliverer of those who are perishing.
Deacon Vladimir Vasilik


Άγιος Νικόλαος Μύρων της Λυκίας_Святой Николай Мирликийский_St. Nicholas Archbishop of Myra0_71570_bb5e84c3_XXXL“What are you doing?” he asked. “Is this all the wheat you have? No more?”
The fathers replied that this was all they had indeed, and: that they were unable to buy any more because of the Occupation. It should be noted that 10,000 okas’ weight of J wheat were needed a year for the monastery’s survival, and they could not buy even one oka of it.
The unknown priest took a few wheat kernels in his hand, 1 blessed them and threw them on top of the rest of the wheat. I He blessed the four points of the horizon, the monastery, and the sea, and then was about to leave.
“Where do you come from?” the fathers asked him. “Stay J to have some bread and olives!”
“I come from very far away—from Lycia’s Myra,” he said and departed.
One of the brothers had in the meantime gone for some food to offer their visitor, but the elder who was the monastery’s actual protector had vanished. The remaining 150 okas of blessed wheat lasted to the end of the year, that is, from the month of December when St. Nicholas appeared to them, until the following July when the new crop came.

From “On the Wondrous Interventions of the Mighty Right Hand of Divine Providence,” An Athonite Geronikon: Sayings of the Holy Fathers of Mount Athos, compiled by Archimandrite Ioannikios Kotsonis, translated from the Greek by sisters of the Holy Monastery of St. Gregory Palamas, published 2003 by Holy Monastery of St. Gregory Palamas in Thessaloniki.


A Miracle of St. Nicholas of Myra in Lycia

Νικόλαος Μύρων της Λυκίας_Γεώργιος_Св Николай Мирликийский_St Nicholas Archbishop of Myra-8844Hieromonk Theophylact (Belyanin), who labored at the Pskov Caves Monastery, shared this story with me. The story made it into his manuscript collection “It Happened in Our Time.”
It happened in the 1970s. There was a Soviet family loudly celebrating the birthday of the father of the household. As is the custom, they were celebrating with a feast, toasts, and libations. And in the midst of all the merry-making, they somehow forgot about the father’s five-year-old son. He was twirling around the guests, climbed under the table, and suddenly, unbeknownst to his parents, crawled out onto the balcony, which was off limits for him. Their apartment was on the eighth floor.

In the swing of things, the boy was finally missed. They looked for him, but he was nowhere. He wasn’t in the living room, or in the kitchen, or in the hallway. The door was locked, so he couldn’t leave. The parents darted for the open balcony door, but he wasn’t on the balcony either! In horror, the father looked below with a shudder, expecting to see the body of his son sprawled out on the ground—but his Sasha was quietly playing on the grass. Not waiting for the elevator, the father dashed down the stairs, jumped outside, picked up his son, hugged him, and asked,

“Sasha, how did you get here?”

“Papa, you won’t yell?”

“No, son.”

“You know, I was bored, so I went out on the balcony and was looking down below, and it was so interesting. I leaned over, and suddenly I was flying down. But while I was flying, some old grandpa caught me.”

“What grandpa? Your grandpa was sitting with us.”

“No, a different one, so handsome, with a short white beard. He was dressed like in church. He carried me down, put me down on the grass, and disappeared.”

The father didn’t know what to think. It didn’t fit at all into his materialistic head. It was against all laws of physics, and especially the law of gravity. But his son was there, alive, and he couldn’t pass through the locked door! It was absolutely against all laws.

To the delight of all the guests, the father carried Sasha home, sat him on his lap, and didn’t take his eyes off of him. Suddenly the son said, “Pop, I remember who this grandpa looked like.”

At first the father didn’t understand: “What grandpa?”

“Come on! The one that saved me.”

Sasha took his dad to his grandmother’s room. There he clambered up onto the stool and pointed his finger at the ancient icon of St. Nicholas in the modest prayer corner:

“Papa, it’s him!”
Deacon Vladimir Vasilik
Translated by Jesse Dominick – https://orthochristian.com/109288.html

St Nicholas Archbishop of Myra and the First Ecumenical Council

St. Nicholas Archbishop of Myra, a knight of the powerful Faith, by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

St. Nicholas Archbishop of Myra the Wonderworker, “I come from very far away—from Lycia’s Myra”

Childhood and early life of St. Nicholas Archbishop of Myra
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2016/12/05/9907/Νικόλαος Μύρων της Λυκίας_Св Николай Мирликийский_St Nicholas of Myra_23ΕΝ ΘΑΛΑΣΣΗApolytikion of Nicholas the Wonderworker in the Fourth Tone

A rule of faith are you, and an icon of gentleness, and a teacher of self-control. And to your flock this was evident, by the truth of your life and deeds. You were humble and therefore you acquired exalted gifts, treasure in heaven for being poor. O Father and Hierarch St. Nicholas, intercede with Christ our God, and entreat Him to save our souls.

Tone IV: Spec. Mel.: “As one valiant among the martyrs …”:

The grace of God the Spirit * having anointed thee with divine myrrh * set thee to preside as bishop for the people of Myra, * and perfumed with the myrrh of thy virtues * the ends of the world, O most sacred one, * for by thy sweetly spiritual prayers * thou dost ever drive away the fetid passions. * Wherefore, we praise thee with faith ** and celebrate thy most sacred memory, O Nicholas

Being here, and appearing in dreams, O Nicholas, * thou didst save those who were about to be unjustly put to death, * in that thou art compassionate, * as one right loving, * as a most fervent deliverer, as a true intercessor * for those who with faith ask of thee defense, * O most sacred father, * thou fellow citizen with the angels, ** peer of the apostles and prophets.

Tone 2. When from the Tree.

Bodily you dwelt in Myra, but anointed with spiritual myrrh you were revealed truly to be myrrh, Holy Nicolas, High Priest of Christ; and with myrrh you make fragrant the faces of those who with faith and love ever celebrate your most revered memory, as you free them, Father, from disasters, dangers and afflictions by your prayers to the Lord.

Truly you have been revealed, like your name, as a mighty Victory [Niki] of the faithful People [Laos] in trials, Holy Nicolas, true servant of Christ; for invoked everywhere you come swiftly to help those who with love take refuge under your protection; for appearing night and day by faith, you save them from trials and calamities.

Holy Nicolas, sacred herald of Christ, you are a great and fervent helper for those in dangers, those on land and those who sail, those far off and those nearby, a most compassionate and mighty intercessor. Therefore assembled together we cry, ‘Intercede to the Lord that we may be rescued from every calamity’.

Glory. Tone 6.

Lovers of feasts, let us assemble and with songs of praise hymn the ornament of Hierarchs, the glory of the Fathers, the fount of wonders and greatest helper of believers, as we say, Hail guard, august leader and immovable pillar of the people of Myra. Hail brightly shining beacon, who irradiate with your wonders all the ends of the earth. Hail divine joy of the afflicted, and most fervent defender of the wronged. And now, all-blessed Nicolas, do not cease to intercede with Christ God on behalf of those who ever honour with faith and love your joyous and all-festive memory.

At the Liti we sing Idiomels.
Tone 1.

Man of God and faithful servant and steward of his mysteries, and man of the desires of the Spirit, living monument and breathing image, with wondering admiration the Church of Myra has received you as a divine treasure and intercessor for our souls.

At the Aposticha. Prosomia. Mode pl. 1. Rejoice .

Rejoice, pure habitation wherein * the Holy Trinity made its dwelling, most sacred mind, * the Church’s unshaken pillar, and the believers’ support, * for you are the help of all who are oppressed. * O Star that at all times dispels the gloom of adversities * and of temptations by the radiance of your prayers * that are well received, holy Hierarch Nicholas, * calm haven wherein those who meet the turbulent storms of life * and are surrounded by tempests escape for refuge and hence are saved. * To Christ pray with fervor, * holy father, that great mercy be given to our souls.

Glory. – From Menaion -Mode pl. 2.

O man of God and loyal servant and minister of the Lord, man of holy desires, chosen vessel, pillar and foundation of the Church of Christ, and inheritor of the Kingdom, be not silent in calling out to the Lord on our behalf.

Both now. Prefestal. Tone 6.

Virgin without bridegroom, where have you come from? Who begot you? And who is your mother? How do you carry the Creator in your arms? How was your womb not corrupted? We see great marvels have come to pass on earth, All-holy, and we make ready in advance that which fits your need: the Cave from the earth; and we ask heaven to provide the Star; and Magi are advancing from the eastern regions of the earth towards the west, to look on the salvation of mortals being suckled as a babe.

What our part should be: take on the history of mankind, and carry them on our shoulders in an act of mercy and of love. Let us be those who bring the world to the perfect beauty God has willed for it! Anthony Bloom Metropolitan of Sourozh

Ιησούς Χριστός θεραπεία της συγκύπτουσας_Christ healing a Woman’s Infirmities in the synagogue on the sabbath_ womanTenth Sunday of Luke
Healing a woman in the synagogue on the Sabbath (Luke 13:10-17)

Saint Sabbas the Sanctified (532).
Saint Karion (Cyrion) and his son St. Zachariah of Egypt (4th c.).
Saints Nectarius of Bitol (1500), and his elder, St. Philotheus, of Karyes Skete, Mt. Athos
Commemoration of St. Cosmas the Protos and Companions, killed by the Latins (1276) and the monks of Karyes, Mt. Athos, martyred by the Latins (1283). The Righteous Martyrs dwelling in the cells on Athos who censured the Latin-minded Emperor Michael Paleologus and the Patriarch John Beccus.

Commemorated on December 5

Miracles of Christ on the Sabbath Day
Anthony Bloom Metropolitan of Sourozh
9 December 1979

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

Time and again we read in the Gospel of the anger which the Lord Jesus Christ provoked by performing an act of mercy, a miracle of healing on a Sabbath day. And we cannot help asking ourselves a question: Why did He do it so constantly, so persistently, with such insistence? Could it be to challenge those who surrounded Him? Could it be to provoke them? Could it be simply a pedagogical action?

I believe that there is a great deal more in His action. The Lord created the world in six days; on the seventh day He rested of His toils and labours. But what happened to the world then? The seventh day was the day when the world came into the hands of man to be brought to its fulfilment and to its completeness; the seventh day, the Sabbath of the Lord is the day of man. The whole of human history falls in that day. But God did not leave man to work alone as the Lord Jesus Christ says in the Gospel, as reported by Saint John, My Father still works, He shows His work to His Son for Him to fulfil them. And in another passage He teaches us, He tells us that His judgment is true because it is not His judgment; He hears the words of the Father and that is the judgment He pronounces.

And so, history is the day of man, but man is called to be guided by the wisdom, by the love of God. It is because we are so often seeking for our own ways, it is because we do not ask ourselves what is God’s way in one situation or the other that the world has become so ugly, and so frightening, and so tragic. There is a Hebrew poem that describes the misery of this world into which man does not bring the love of God; it says, Man has ceased to believe in God and love has departed this world. Men have hanged themselves in forests, have drowned themselves in lakes, in rivers. Heaven is no longer mirrored in the lakes, in the woods; the bird does no longer sing songs of paradise, and the Prophet himself on his pedestal has become a mere statue.

Is this not what we have become? Not statues but so much alike the wife of Lot who turned back and who became a statue of salt. We have remained salt and yet we are petrified, immobile, we do not fulfil on earth this function of ours. And Christ shows us, by working His miracles, His acts of love and of compassion on Sabbath day, time and again, He Who is the only true man, the only man who is in total, ultimate oneness with God, what our part should be: take on the history of mankind, take every situation in which we or others find themselves, and carry them on our shoulders in an act of mercy and of love. A Western writer has said that a Christian is the one to whom God has committed the care of His world and of other people. Are we discharging this basic central commission of ours, do we care? We may care with tenderness, we may care sternly, but we must care. And then, this seventh day when God in His mercy and love has committed this world to our care, still can become the day of the Lord. And the City of man which is been built without God, which so often is like the Tower of Babel, may still unfold and attain the greatness and the holiness of the City of God in which the Lord Jesus Christ, true God but also true Man, is called to be a citizen, the heart of it, but also one of us.

Is not this call great enough? Is not God’s faith in us sufficiently inspiring? Are we going to defeat His hope, to reject His love for ourselves or for others? Or are we going to learn from the ways in which Christ fulfils His human vocation in the day of the Lord, shall we not learn from Him and together with Him build the world which God has dreamed, has willed and is still loving in his distress and so often in our betrayal of Him!

Let us learn to love one another actively, bear one another’s burdens, listen to the Living God when He speaks, listen with all our energy, look into His ways and be those who fulfil His will and bring the world to the perfect beauty He has willed for it! Amen.


Blessed Nicolai Velomirivitch posits a significant aspect of this healing – none can plausibly claim that it was the result of auto-suggestion, a common slander of miracles by unbelievers:
“The Lord worked this wonderful miracle, not at the request of, or in response to the faith of, the woman, but on His own initiative and in His own power. Is this not a clear rebuttal to all those who seek maliciously to belittle the divine greatness of Christ’s miracles, intimating that these miracles only come about through auto-suggestion on the part of those to whom they happen? Where is there a trace of “magical” auto-suggestion in this twisted woman? Her infirmity prevented her from even seeing Christ’s face. She did not ask Christ for mercy, nor did she express faith in Him by any sign. Not only thins; the woman was not even near Christ. She did not go up to Him, but He called her to Him.” (Homilies, Volume 2, Page 279)

Saint Sabbas the Sanctified, Lord Jesus Christ, our true Enlightener and Savior, into Thy hands we give over our minds and our hearts.

Faithful is He Who commanded us not to be concerned about bodily things, and mighty is He to feed us in time of hunger. Saint Sabbas the Sanctified
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2019/12/04/36138/Σάββας ο Ηγιασμένος_St Sabbas the Sanctified_св. Савва Освященный_ 334521354Troparion of the saint, in Tone VIII—

With streams of thy tears thou didst irrigate the barren desert, and with sighs from the depths of thy soul thou didst make it to bear fruit an hundredfold. Thou wast a beacon to the whole world, radiating miracles. O Sabbas, our father, entreat Christ God, that our souls be saved!

Ikos: O leader of the fathers, adornment of the venerable, boldness of fasters before Christ, citizen and gardener of the desert: how can I hymn thy life, O venerable one? for thou dost shine forth in brilliance unto the ends of the earth, like the sun. Wherefore, I cry unto thee:
Rejoice, beauteous glory of the Cappadocians!
Rejoice, honored standard of the whole world!
Rejoice, most goodly scion of the desert!
Rejoice, godly delight of the righteous!
Rejoice, for thou didst disdain that which is fleeting and corruptible!
Rejoice, for thou dost dwell with the angels in the heavens!
Rejoice, correction and rule of monastics!
Rejoice, rousing of the slothful to God!
Rejoice, divinely flowing fountain of miracles!
Rejoice, honored instrument of the Spirit!
Rejoice, thou by whom the East is adorned!
Rejoice, thou through whom the western lands shine forth!
Rejoice, O Sabbas most rich!

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

Rejoice, truly fragrant vessel of the struggles of fasting; for, having taken thy cross upon thy shoulder and offered thyself to Christ the Master, O most blessed one, thou didst trample down the base understanding of the flesh, didst illumine thy soul with the virtues, and didst take flight to divine desire. Wherefore, surrounding thy most holy shrine, O all-lauded Sabbas, we ask that, by thy supplications, we may receive God’s love for mankind, and that the world be granted great mercy.

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

O God-bearing Sabbas, having drawn nigh unto the fire of the Spirit, thou hast shown thyself forth as a divinely radiant ember, enlightening the souls of those who have recourse to thee in faith, O thou of godly wisdom, leading them to the never-waning Light, O venerable one. And, bedewed from on high with grace divine, thou didst quench the burning coal of the desert. Wherefore, Christ, the Helmsman of divine righteousness, hath manifestly bestowed upon thee a crown of victory, O blessed one. Him do thou entreat, that He grant our souls great mercy.

Stichos: Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord; in His commandments shall he greatly delight.

Thy life was clearly a ladder spanning the gulf between earth and the heavens, O divinely wise one, whereby thou didst ascend to the heights and wast vouchsafed to converse with the Master, O most blessed one. Having enlightened thy mind with the radiance there, with the rays thereof thou didst receive splendor equal to that of the angels. Standing now before Him, pray thou, O venerable one, that we who celebrate thy divine and most sanctified memory may stand with thee, and that He grant the world great mercy.

Glory…, in Tone VIII—

We honor thee as the instructor of a multitude of monks, O Sabbas, our father; for we have truly learned to walk aright in thy steps. Blessed art thou, who didst labor for Christ and didst renounce the power of the adversary, O converser with the angels. With them entreat the Lord, that He have mercy upon our souls.

Now and ever…, Theotokion—

O unwedded Virgin, who ineffably gavest birth unto God in the flesh, Mother of God Most High: Accept thou the entreaties of thy servants, O all-immaculate one, bestowing upon all cleansing from transgression. And now, receiving our supplications, do thou pray that we all be saved.

Gospel of St. Luke (Chapter 10, Verses 10-17)
Luke 13:10-17

Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.” The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound-think of it-for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath? And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.

Tough years will come, but don’t be afraid. God does not forsake His children, he will protect them brazenly, if you don’t have anything to eat, you will wake up in the morning finding a loaf of bread on the table and you will say: “Where did this come from?” Don’t think about the future, everything is in God’s hands. Elder Ambrose Lazaris of Dadiou

Γέννηση του Ιησού Χριστού_ Рождество Христово_ Nativity of Christ-icon5792Prophet Sophonias (635 B.C.).
St. John the Hesychast, disciple of Saint Sabbas the Sanctified, former bishop of Colonia (454-558),
Saint George of Cernica Romania
New Martyr Angelis of Chios formerly a doctor of Argos (1813)
Saint George Sedov, Confessor (1960)

Commemorated December 3

Words of Eternal Life by Father Ambrose Lazaris of Dadiou

Towards the end of August 2001, someone asked him to pray to Saint Nektarios to help him and the Elder said:
“Let the Saint be, my child. He is now in America running to save lives”.
On September 11th, the disaster at the Twin Towers took place. Some months earlier he had seen what was going to happen and had warned that it was going to change history.
“A great evil will begin in America, and not just in September. Alas!”
He had given this warning to the Metropolitan of Sisaniou, Anthony, in one of the latter’s visits, in the presence of other people. However, he did not give any explanation.
“Your Eminence, wait and see what calamity will befall the Americans in two months.” (p. 119)

Αμβρόσιος Λάζαρης_Elder Ambrose of Dadiou_Старец Амвросий Лазарис_geron-amvrosios-07In 1990, he had said that the Lord will soon start revealing his Saints in front of people, because He wishes to strengthen mankind. Since temptations will be great and the trials unbearable, the Lord will instruct his Saints to show up, especially great Saints like Saint Demetrios or Saint George. People will hear that this Saint appeared in Crete this week, next week in Macedonia, the other one there, etc.

– Tough years will come, but don’t be afraid. God does not forsake His children, he will protect them brazenly.
– What do you mean, Elder?
– Well, if you don’t have anything to eat, you will wake up in the morning finding a loaf of bread on the table and you will say: “Where did this come from?” But you must have faith. Without faith, nothing happens.

Because very hard times are coming for mankind, God took certain people and made them officers.

Things will advance very rapidly. The devil will prevail. Whoever approaches him, he will strike and he will crush. He has no friends.

Whoever gets the mark (of the beast), will not find a moment of peace. You must acquire strong faith, by yourselves, with patience, with kindness, with fairness. We must not lose the faith! Have steadfast faith, and God will provide help. Without praying, we are doomed. Don’t think about the future, everything is in God’s hands. Read the Patristic texts every day a little and God will enlighten. Then your mind (nous) will grow stronger.

The Elder was speaking about the end of the world and was saying that it will only last as long as it takes to sing the Exapsalmos [the six Psalms at the beginning of Orthros]: a few minutes.
“At the time of our judgment, the angels will sing the Exapsalmos in the heavens. All the people, who will be alive at the time, will die simultaneously and immediately afterwards they will rise again. Everyone will possess their bodies, but without matter, they will take no room, each one of us will see the others’ bodies and we will all be 33 years old.

“The Lord will hold the Book of Life, the Gospel, and immediately we will move to the right or the left by ourselves, because we will know if we are destined to go to Paradise or not. That’s the reason why inside the church, the icon depicting Christ at the Throne of the Lord, is showing Him holding an open book without an oil candle. This means that there will be no mercy during His Second Coming. Whereas on the iconostasi, where all the icons are, His icon depicts Him holding a closed book and on top there is an oil candle burning. This means that we are still living in the hour of mercy.”

“You must be careful because the Evil One is setting traps. Do not laugh! He is next to us and you cannot see him. Listen to what I am saying to you. Do not stop praying!
“The Devil pushes people to commit a sin and then he scares them off and they are embarrassed to confess it.
“I went to Hell for 15 minutes and I thought I was there for three hours.”

Αμβρόσιος Λάζαρης_Elder Ambrose of Dadiou_Старец Амвросий Лазарис_images“The prayer “Lord, have mercy” is like a sword which cuts the Devil in half.”
Poor people! Both monks and laymen! We are living during the difficult times, but the struggle is a struggle. You must not stop struggling, not even for a second. You must fight until the end. Then at the last minute, the Lord, who awards people the wreath, will give you not the futile possessions of this life, but will make you worthy of reigning in His Kingdom! Forever! Not just for a thousand or a hundred thousand years.‘Forever’ means it has no end.”

Malice is the worst sin and we cannot have any excuses. It must be expelled from inside us.
The Saints also committed sins, but they were sanctified. As human beings, they have also committed trespasses, but they were sanctified.

 Out of the 10 million Greeks, the 2 million will be saved, because they are steadfast. Why, did you see what you’re telling me? You won’t change course the way you are, even if they chop your head off. That’s how those 2 million of the Greeks are.
But the 8 million that the wolf took and choked, where are they? You really don’t know what corruption exists inside Greece. An unimaginable catastrophe, both of the spirit and of the body.

St John the Silent (the Hesychast) disciple of Saint Sabbas the Sanctified, former bishop of Colonia, Will I be saved? This question should torment every one of us..

I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee… St John the Silent bishop of Colonia of St Sabbas Monastery

Apolytikion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

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

Troparion St. Ambrosios Lazaris of Dadiou In Tone VIII:

   In thee, O Father, the image of God was preserved unspoiled, * for taking up thy Cross, and following Christ, * thou didst teach by thine own example to despise the flesh as transient, * that we should rather bestow upon the immortal soul particular care; * wherefore, together with the Angels, thy most pure spirit rejoiceth, O venerable Ambrosios.  

Love, worship of and craving for God, the union with Christ and with the Church is Paradise on earth. Saint Porphyrios the Kapsokalyvite

Γέννηση του Χριστού_Nativity of Christ_Рождество Христово_112349Prophet Habakkuk (Abbacum) (7th c. B.C.).
Venerables John, Heraclemon, Andrew, and Theophilus of Egypt (4th c.).
Venerable Jesse (Ise), bishop of Tsilkani in Georgia (6th c.)
St. Stephen-Urosh IV, king (1371), and St. Helen of Serbia.
Venerable Cyril of Philea (1110).
Venerable Ioannicius, monk of Devich (1430) .
New Hieromartyrs Alexis, Constantine, Nicholas, Sergius, Vladimir, John, Theodore, Nicholas, John, Nicholas, Paul, Sergius priests, Hieromartyr Danact, Cosmas,, Woman Hieromartyrs Theuromia, Tamara, Antonina, and Mary; and Virgin-martyrs Mary and Matrona (1937).
Saint Porphyrios the Kapsokalyvite of Milesi , Oropos
Icon of the Mother of God, named “Gerontissa”.

Commemorated on 2 December

Holy Elders Who Reposed on December 2nd.
Elder Ambrose Lazaris of Dadiou Monastery († 2006)
Elder Cleopas Ilie of Sihastria Monastery. († 1998)
Elder Elpidios of Nea (New) Skete, Holy Mount Athos twin brother of the Holy Martyr Filoumenos († 1983)
Elder Anastasios Koudoumas Crete († 2013)
Elder Luke “the Guestmaster” of Valaam (Schema-abbot Luke), (1965)

Saint Porphyrios the Kapsokalyvite

Πορφύριος Καυσοκαλυβίτης_ Порфирий (Баирактарис )Кавсокаливит_ St Porphyrios (Bairaktaris) the Kapsokalyvite-ΠΟΡΦLove, worship of and craving for God, the union with Christ and with the Church is Paradise on earth.

We must become filled, replete with the Holy Spirit. This is where the essence of spiritual life lies. This is an art––the art of arts. Let us open our arms and throw ourselves into Christ’s embrace.

Pray to God with love and yearning. And when you repeat the prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.” Say it slowly, humbly, gently and with divine love. Pronounce the name of Christ with sweetness. Say the words one at a time: “Lord…Jesus…Christ…have mercy on me,” smoothly, tenderly, affectionally, silently, secretly, mystically, but with exaltation, with longing, with passion, without tension, force of unbecoming emphasis, without compulsion and pressure. In the way a mother speaks to the child she lovesL “my little boy…me darling girl…my little Johnny…my sweet Mary!”

We shouldn’t continue relentlessly in order to acquire what we want; rather we should leave all things to the will of God. What happens when we peruse what we want? These always increase and we are never satisfied with what we have. The more we chase after these wants the more elusive they become. If we pray for good grades next we will ask for a good job. Then it will be for a better job and so forth.
What should we ask for in our prayer?

In our prayer we should ask only for the salvation of our soul…. The secret is to ask for your union with Christ with utter selflessness, without saying “give me this” or “give me that.”… We should ask for the will of God to be done.
The enemy is our egoism.

Πορφύριος Καυσοκαλυβίτης_Порфирий Кавсокаливит_St Porphyrios the Kapsokalyvite_23333ΠΟΡΦΥΡΙΟΣOnly a person who has humility receives these gifts from God; he attributes them to God and he uses them for His glory. The good, humble, devout man who loves God, deluded or led astray. He feels in his heart that he is truly unworthy, and that all those things are given to him so that he may become good, and for that reason he makes his ascetic struggle.
Our aim must be to become holy and God may then grant us additional powers. Grace does not come to those who are ego-centered. It comes only to those who are humble, selfless, and love God above all else.

To benefit others you must live in the love of God, otherwise you are unable to do good to your fellowman. You mustn’t pressurize the other person. His time will come, as long as you pray for him. With silence, tolerance and above all by prayer we benefit others in a mystical way.

Seeking Christ is the highest of goals in our Orthodox faith. There is nothing higher. ,“He is the summit of desire.” The more you give yourself to the love of Christ, the more you want to give yourself. We must love Him with all our soul, heart, strength, power and mind. We must plug our heart into His love and be united with Him. As we pursue the Way of Love we come to a point where we are united with Christ. It is at this point that satiety ceases. This is called theosis. We find ourselves in union with God and bathed in His light. We know then that nothing will ever again separate us.

Apolytikion St. Porphyrios the Kapsokalyvite – Mode 1

“The son of Evia (Euboea), the Elder of All Greeks, *
the initiate of Divine Vision and True friend of Christ. *
Porphyrios, O faithful, let us praise *
who from childhood was filled with divine gifts *
the demonized are redeemed and the sick are healed who cry out
“Glory to Him who gave His might to you! *
Glory to Him who made you Holy! *
Glory to Him, who, through you, effects cures for all.”

Kontakion St. Porphyrios the Kapsokalyvite in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone.

The most-holy temple of the Comforter,
And the beloved of the All-Pure Theotokos,
Let us praise Porphyrios from our heart,
For he loves and heals all, and protects,
And intercedes, that we be granted theosis.
Therefore, we cry out:
Hail, O Father Porphyrios.

Sermon of Saint Porphyrios about Orthodox Christian Faith

Apostle of Christ the Savior Andrew, first-called star, by your prayers, help us. Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

ΑΝΔΡΕΑΣ ΑΠΟΣΤΟΛΟΣ-Saint Andrew the Apostle-св. Андрей Первозванный-20130712090240-600x450St. Andrew the First-Called Apostle (62)
Saint Frumentius, Archbishop of Abyssinia (380)
Saint Alexander of Methymna, Wonderworker, first Bishop of Methymna on Lesbos and a member of the First Ecumenical Council (c. 325)
Saints Castulus and Euterpis, martyrs in Rome.
Saint Trojanus of Saintes (Troyen), a priest in Saintes in France where he later became bishop after St Vivianus (533)
Saint Constantius, confessor, a priest in Rome who opposed the Pelagians and at whose hands he suffered a great deal (5th century)
Saints Peter I and Samuel I (5th-6th centuries), Catholicoi of Georgia.
Saint Vakhtang Gorgasali, King of Georgia (502)
Father John, disciple of Saint Lazarus the Stylite  of Mount Galesius near Ephesus, Asia Minor (11th century)
Saint Andrew (Saguna), Metropolitan of Transylvania (1873)
Saint Elias, Schemamonk of Valaam and Verkhoturye (1900)

Commemorated on November 30

The Holy Apostle Andrew the First-called
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

ΑΝΔΡΕΑΣ ΑΠΟΣΤΟΛΟΣ-Saint Andrew the Apostle-св. Андрей Первозванный- (6663)St. Andrew, by the Spirit enlightened,
And the First-called Apostle of Christ,
Proclaimed the Lord day after day,
And baptized the people with the Cross.
Like a gardener in his own garden,
Through village and town he walked,
And skillfully grafted wild trees,
Watering them with Living Water,
Until he came to the end of his days,
And saw the Cross awaiting him.
Joyful Andrew said to the Cross:
“Greetings, O Cross! God sanctified thee,
Christ sanctified thee with His body.
O Cross, be thou my resting place.
From the dust of the earth, take me;
To God in the highest, raise me up,
And let Christ take me from thee-
The very Christ Who, because of me, was crucified on thee.”
Disciple of the holy Baptist,
And apostle of Christ the Savior
O Andrew, first-called star,
By your prayers, help us.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
​ prologue.orthodox.cn/November30.htm


Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Ανδρέας Απόστολος-Saint Andrew the Apostle-св. Андрей Первозванный-c5906ca6e1c639355429186728c3bdeaSt. John Chrysostom says: “All is given to the Apostles.” That is, all gifts, all power, all the fullness of grace which God gives to the faithful. We see this in the life of the great apostle, St. Andrew the First-called: He was an apostle, evangelist, prophet, pastor and teacher (Ephesians 4:11). As an evangelist, he carried the good news of the Gospel to the four corners of the earth; as a prophet, he prophesied the baptism of the Russian people and the greatness of Kiev as a city and a Christian center; as a pastor, he established and organized many churches; as a teacher, he tirelessly taught people right up to and during his crucifixion, when he taught from the cross until his last breath. In addition to this, he was a martyr, which is also according to the gift of the Holy Spirit, and is not given to everyone. And so we see in this apostle, as in the others, the fullness of the grace of the Spirit of God. And every great work that a follower of Christ performs must be ascribed to that grace. St. Frumentius testifies this to us. When he returned from Alexandria to Abyssinia as a consecrated bishop, he began to perform the greatest miracles, thus converting great masses of people to the Faith. Then the amazed king asked him:“So many years have you lived among us and never have we seen you perform such miracles. How is it that you do so now?” To this, the Blessed Frumentius replied to the emperor: “This is not my work, but the work of the grace of the priesthood.” The saint then explained to the king how he had forsaken parents and marriage and the whole world for the sake of Christ, and how he had-by the laying on of hands by St. Athanasius-received the grace of the priesthood: miracle-working grace.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič


​ Apolytikion of Apostle Andrew the 1st Called
​ Fourth Tone

As first of the Apostles to be called, O Andrew, brother of him (Peter) who was foremost, beseech the Master of all to grant the world peace and our souls great mercy.

Doxasticon St. Andrew the First-Called Apostle, Tone 8

Let us acclaim Andrew, the preacher of the Faith and servant of the Word. For he fisheth men out of the deep, holding in his hands the Rood instead of a rod; letting down its power like a fishing line, he draweth up souls from the error of the enemy, and offereth them as a wellpleasing gift unto God. O ye faithful let us ever extol him with the choir of Christ’s disciples, that he might intercede with Him to be gracious unto us in the Day of Judgment.

Kontakion of Apostle Andrew the 1st Called
​ Second Tone

Let us praise the namesake of bravery, the divinely eloquent and first to be called of the Disciples of Christ, the kinsman of Peter. As he called out to him in days of old, so now he calls to us, “Come, we have found Him for whom we yearned.”

Saint Arsenie Boca of Romania, the Prophet of the End Times

Γέννηση του Χριστού_ Рождество Христово_ the-n-ΝΑΟΣ ΑΓ ΣΕΡΑΦΕΙΜ ΣΑΡΩΦ ΣΑΝΤΑ ΡΟΖΑ ΚΑΛΙΦΟΡΝΙΑVenerable Monk-martyr and Confessor Stephen the New of Mt. St. Auxentius (767) and those who suffered martyrdom for the holy icons’ sake: Andrew; Peter; Anna, who refused to bear false witness against Saint Stephen; Basil; Stephen; two Gregories; John and many others (767)
Martyr Irenarchus of Sebastia and the Seven Women martyred with him.
Saint Theodore, Bishop of Theodosiopolis in Armenia (end of 6th century)
Martyrs at Tiberiopolis (361-362) Timothy, Bishop of Tiberiopolis; Theodore the Bishop; Peter, John, Sergius, Theodore, and Nicephorus the Priests; Basil and Thomas the Deacons; Hierotheus, Daniel, Chariton, Socrates, Comasius, and Eusebius the Monks; and Etimasius, in Tiberiopolis.
Martyr Christos the Gardener, of Albania, at Constantinople (1748)
Theodore, Archbishop of Rostov (1394)
Saint Arsenie Boca of Romania (1989)
Elder Ignatius Kapnisis of Evia (Reposed in the Lord in 28 November 2019)

Commemorated on November 28

Saint Arsenie Boca of Romania, the Prophet of the End Times

Αρσένιος Μπόκα-Arsenie Boca-sf-arsenie-boca1-Арсений (Бока) -icoana-23334566_v4nFuSaint Arsenie Boca was born on September 29th, 1910 in Vata de Sus, Hunedoara County, Romania and among many things, he prophesied his own date of death. Years before the actual revolution against communism which took down the Iron Curtain, Arsenie Boca said that he will die at about 3 weeks before the revolution and that’s exactly what happened. On the same day he also prophesied the fall of communism in Europe and that Romania will be the only country in Europe which will violently overthrow its communist government, saying that “other countries will switch to capitalism peacefully, just like one changes its shirt with a different one, while Romania will be the only country in Europe that will make the transition to capitalism through bloodshed, and many will die”, and that’s exactly how it happened.

Related to the communist revolution he said: “This guy will die on Christmas day!” When he was asked “Which guy?” He replied “This guy that you say God is not getting you rid of.” Then he was silently asked “Ceausescu, father?” Arsenie Boca said: “Yes! This guy and I too will die at about 3 weeks before him.” The quote goes on with him saying “I will die of poisoning plot which I will not attempt to stop because by then my spiritual mission here on Earth would be over by then anyway”.

It is rumored that Ceausescu was concerned with his power and that he secretly paid a visit to father Arsenie, asking him what he thinks about his rulership. Arsenie Boca warned Ceausescu that if he continues to tyrannically rule Romania, he will surely die in a violent way. Angered by what he was told, the dictator left, threatening Arsenie Boca. A few days later, Father Arsenie died of poisoning on November 28, 1989, at about 3 weeks before Ceausescu’s own death, just like he prophesied and he was buried on December 4, 1989 at the Prislop Monastery.

On Christmas day of 1989, Romanians overthrown their communist government by executing the dictator Ceausescu family just as the prophet said. The military also opened fire on protesters, resulting in a total of 1104 people killed and 3352 injured.

Arsenie Boca said that after the revolution, “Many will leave Romania and migrate to foreign countries but few of them will ever return. However, the time will come when all of them will want to return but no one will be able to because Romania will be surrounded by fire.” The prophecy goes on with Father Arsenie warning that “In one day, Romania will be occupied by 3 foreign countries, Hungary, Bulgaria and Russia. A rain of fire will fall over those who occupied us. Bucharest will become the second Jerusalem.” What he meant was that Bucharest will be wiped just like Jerusalem and no stone will be left on top of other stone, but the prophet goes on comforting those who are panicked saying that Virgin Mary herself will be on her knees praying to God for Romania’s forgiveness.

Father Arsenia Boca said that we are living in the final times and that Romania’s capital city, Bucharest will be wiped off the face of the planet by fire.

Father Arsenie prayed for the salvation of Americans saying to God: “God please do not punish the Americans, please forgive them and have mercy on them, they too are your creation.” but God took his spirit to America and he was shown how America really is, after that Father Arsenie said “Yes God, they are worthy of destruction!”. Shortly after this, he painted what he was shown at the Draganescu church, New York City’s skyline with World Trade Center on fire, thus he prophesied the terrorist events of 9/11.

Among many other things related to America, Father Arsenie also prophesied the disaster of Apollo 13 mission, the invention of the cell phones and even space shuttles, which were all painted with dozens of years before they happened.

Αρσένιος Μπόκα-Arsenie Boca-sf-arsenie-boca1-Арсений (Бока) -sf-serafim-si-parintele-arsenie-boca2333Arsenie Boca also warned that in the final days, religions will become more and more interested in ecumenism (union). He said that this would be one of the greatest heresies of all times.

Father Arsenie Boca prophesied the end of communism but he also warned of what will come next: “The red scum, the hammer and sickle, the five-pointed star will disappear, but after that the six-pointed star will come and there will be anarchy”, referring to a future Jewish rule over the world, since the hexagram known as “Star of David” is used only by them and the state of Israel. He also said that the Devil is working on corrupting people and destroying the world since the ancient times and his primary goal is to control and dominate the entire world. He goes on saying “the world will focus on Romania for a short period of time because there will be changes and specific signs in this country which are outside of material understanding”.

Father Arsenie Boca was a strong opponent of communism and in 1945 and 1948 he was arrested for aiding anti-communist fighters in the Carpathian Mountains. In 1945-1946 Father Arsenie warned that there will be times when everything will be so bad, that “Everything will be corrupted, at work, in shops, state institutions and especially the politics. Corruption and immorality will work its way even inside the church, tainting priests and the heads of church. Churches will be destroyed by communists but new ones will be built and others will be repaired after communism ends, yet people will loose faith and all those churches will all be empty. There will be chaos, people’s homes will be destroyed, people will step upon people, people will eat human flesh and drink human blood but I and my generation will not be alive to see these things.”

He advised Christians that in the final times, its your duty to save and guide astray people to a correct path, advising “Your neighbor drinks alcohol in bars, your cousin ran away unmarried, your son is running away from church, your children are partying every night and spit after priests! Don’t you have anyone to bring to Jesus? Maybe you can bring yourself.”

One woman said to Father Arsenie “Almost every food is poisoned these days”, referring to chemicals which are added in foods. Father Arsenie replied “Do the Holy Cross sign on everything that you eat and drink: water, tea, coffee, cookies, fruits, bread and any type of food. Even if they were poisoned, the sign of the Holy Cross cancels everything which is poisoned.”..

He said that he is only a messenger of God and Jesus Christ, a messenger to guide us in our final apocalyptic times which we are currently living in right now.
Recently his icon located at the Prislop Monastery was seen crying, photographed and video taped by thousands of Romanians. (source)


Elder Ignatius Kapnisis of Evia say :

Ιάκωβος Εύβοιας_Ιγνάτιος Καπνίσης_Elder Ignatius Kapnisis of Evia_St. Iakovos of Evia_Св Иаков Тсаликис Эвбейский–Старец Игнатий Эвбейский_1987_Without humility all virtues is zero. In humility are all virtues.

Only the humble enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

When we compare ourselves with God sees what we are.

When emptied of us throughout our egoism, the whole God enters our.

“God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” James 4:6

Humility is the conviction of our heart that we are more sinful than all men.

The more the saints approach God, the more they see themselves as sinners.

Be compared ourselves with God and not with other people.

Humility is the perfection of Christian life.

Perfect Christian will say humble man.

Humility is the key of Paradise.

When life seems dire, do yourself a tea and drink it in the prettiest cup, Saint Arsenie Boca of Romania

All the diamonds of the world are trash compared to one moment in God’s light! Saint Arsenie Boca of Prislop (of Romania)

Troparion, in Tone IV:

Struggling in fasting upon the mountain, thou didst slay the noetic hordes of the enemy with the weapon of the Cross, O most blessed one, and didst manfully arm thyself again for martyrdom, slaying Copronymus with the sword of the Faith. And for both hast thou been crowned by God, O ever-memorable venerable martyr Stephen.

Troparion of ST STEPHEN the New — Tone 4

Trained in asceticism on the mountain, / with the weapon of the Cross you destroyed the spiritual assaults of the hostile powers, all-blessed one; / Again you bravely prepared for combat / and slew Copronymus with the sword of faith; / for both struggles you have been crowned by God, monk-martyr Stephen of eternal memory.

Stichera on the Aposticha from the Oktoechos; Glory …, in Tone VIII:

Having preserved intact that which is according to the image of God, O venerable father, thou didst most manfully champion the image of Christ, fearing not the threats of Copronymus; yea, thou didst slay him with the sword of the Spirit. Wherefore, having acquired boldness before God, save thy flock from all heresies, O much-suffering Stephen.

Irmos: There is none as holy as Thee, O Lord my God,

Thy mind, made beautiful through gazing upon God, O father, was shown to be most comely, truly filled with every grace, and partaking of divine splendor.

Venerating the precious icon of Christ and her who gaveth birth to Him, O blessed one, with the power of the divine Spirit thou didst despise the vile command of the impious emperor.

St. John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai loved children. And that love remained in my heart forever. Above all he loved orphaned children and took special care of them

Γέννηση του Ιησού Χριστού_ Рождество Христово_ Nativity of Christ-iconDSC_0216Saint Stylianos of Paphlagonia The Protector of Children (7th century)
Saint Alypius the Stylite of Adrianopolis (640)
Saint Nikon “Metanoeite,” the Preacher of Repentance (998)
Saint George the New Martyr of Chios
Saint Akakios of Sinai who is mentioned in The Ladder
Dedication of the Churchs of the Greatmartyr George in the district of Cyparission in Constantinople and at the Golden Gates in Kiev
Saint Innocent of Irkutsk (1731)
Saint Athanasius, “the Iron Staff” and Saint Theodosius of Cherepovets, disciples of Saint Sergius of Radonezh (1388)

Commemorated November 26

The firm pillar of asceticism has fallen,
For Stylianos has left this life.
Stylianos joyfully stands by God on the twenty-sixth.

The Archbishop Who Knew Everything
Reminiscences of a Spiritual Daughter of St. John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francisco.

Nun Theodosia (Tikhonovich) was born in Paris, raised alongside Russian emigrants, tonsured a nun in the Holy Land, and now she lives at the Kiev Caves Lavra. She had the privilege of associating with saintly men who remained in her heart forever. Mother Theodosia tells how St. John of Shanghai taught those under his care to be merciful to others …

Στυλιανός ὁ Παφλαγόνας-Stylianus of Paphlagonia-25bd25ce25bd25ce25b725cf2582…I was born in France in 1954. My mother who hailed from the Poltava region [central Ukraine] was sent to a Nazi concentration camp, but survived, so my sister and I were born in Paris. We were very poor and hungry in our childhood, and our mother was often sick. Our living conditions distressed her greatly, and so we were sent to an orphanage. However, we spent all weekends and holidays at the Convent of the Mother of God of Lesna. It is 100 kilometers (about sixty-two miles) away from Paris… And, if I can boast about it, I am a goddaughter of St. John of Shanghai. I was born ten weeks premature and weighed 1.5 kilos (c. 52.91 ounces) and was almost dying. A week later St. John baptized me and I have considered him as my protector ever since.

—What memories of him can you share?

The only memories I have of St. John are those of my childhood. Above all he loved orphaned children and took special care of them. St. John taught us to love prayer and be merciful towards others.
For example, he would take us to a hospital with him. I remember, there were three of us little girls: Lyalya, Lelya and Lyulya. I was Lelya. There was also a boy named Philip. First the archbishop took us to a shop and said:
“Choose toys for yourselves.”
We had no toys at all at that time. We were very poor.
So he said to me:
“You, Lelya, will take two toys.”
I was a child but I already realized that a number before comma on a price tag meant “expensive”, and a number after comma on a price tag meant “cheap”. Thus I was looking at the toys very closely. Then Vladyka came up to me and said:
“Don’t look at the prices. Just select what you like.”
In my childhood I liked “furry” soft toy rabbits very much, so I chose two rabbits—a bigger one and a smaller one—and hid the latter behind my back.

Στυλιανός ὁ Παφλαγόνας-Stylianus of Paphlagonia-στυλιανος 5Next we proceeded to a children’s hospital. On seeing St. John the babies immediately burst out crying. The fact is that his physical appearance was not attractive, he was humpbacked, with unusual hair, and he would often walk barefoot. In a word, he was like a “fool-for-Christ”. We approached one of the girls, and he said:
Lelya, give your toy to this girl.”
But I thought to myself that I had not yet had time to play with them. So I gazed at Vladyka, and then at the girl. And St. John told me:
“This girl is now ill, and you are well. But later you will be ill, too.”
I loved Vladyka so much that I couldn’t help but obey him. So I gave the bigger rabbit to that girl, keeping the smaller one behind my back. And from that day on I had a nickname—“Rabbit”.

When we went out of the hospital, Vladyka said to my friend Lyalya:
“You will become a matushka [the Russian word that may refer to either a nun or a priest’s wife in the Orthodox environment as a rather informal and affectionate form of address—Trans.].”
But the girl shouted: “No, I don’t want to live at a convent!”
“Well, you will have to accept it. You will be a matushka,” he replied. Now she is a priest’s wife in Geneva.
This is what he said to me:
“Where you take your first steps you will take your last.”
The holy bishop used to speak figuratively, so we interpreted his words in the following way: If my first steps were at a convent, then my final steps were to be taken at a convent as well.

Only Philip refused to give his toys to sick kids pointblank. St. John and Philip were standing at the bed of a sick boy: and the both boys were crying—the sick child was afraid of the strangers, while Philip did not want to share his toy.
Later Vladyka John said to him:
“You will come to a bad end.”
And, alas, when Philip grew up he became a drug addict and died very young…

We loved our Vladyka John dearly and were ready to follow him everywhere, although he was strict. I would hold his staff when he served at Lesna Convent, and I was not allowed to shift from one foot to another—I was supposed to stand straight. He demanded the same of others as well. We were not supposed to talk in the church. Vladyka John never omitted anything at the Liturgy, services were very long and so we sometimes grumbled mentally: “When will this service finally end?”
We were little yet we loved him beyond all measure, and we have kept this love over all these years. And I know that if I pray to him my prayer will certainly be answered. The same thing occurs with people who come to the Kiev Caves Lavra—they address their petitions to the holy fathers in the Caves, and I am sure that their prayer requests are always fulfilled.

—If he was strict, unattractive and sometimes behaved weirdly, then why was he loved so dearly?

He knew everything. Words cannot explain it. I loved him as a child and was attached to him…

Στυλιανός ὁ Παφλαγόνας-Stylianus of Paphlagonia-St_Stylianos_the_Hermit_Hand-Painted_Byzantine_Icon_03-500x646There is one more story, this time from my early childhood. I was young, but very stubborn. I already had a duty to place the eagle rugs [the small circular rugs on which a bishop stands during the service. They depict an eagle (symbolizing his power) hovering over a city (symbolizing his diocese)—Trans.] on the floor during hierarchal services. One day a bishop kicked an eagle rug aside, saying that he wouldn’t stand on it after Vladyka John. And I loved Vladyka John so much. So I thought to myself: “Ah well! I’ll show you!” I decided not to tell Mother Theodora anything this time. There was a meeting of the Holy Synod on the following day with five hierarchs celebrating the Liturgy. I laid eagle rugs in front of each of them but one. The abbess commanded:
“Lelya, the eagle rug!”
But I shook my head.
She repeated again: “Lelya, the eagle rug!”
But I shook my head again.
After the Liturgy everybody began to ask me: “Lelya, what is the matter? Why did you not place the eagle rug?”
At the same moment Vladyka John entered and uttered, “But maybe someone didn’t want to stand on this eagle rug?”
I was five and a half years old, and I thought: “Now Vladyka is going to give me away and tell everybody about my mischievous behavior and childish tricks.”
But before I was fully exposed I said, “Oh, I am sorry, Vladyka! I stole some cucumbers in the kitchen-garden yesterday! I had such a great temptation!”
He loved children. And that love remained in my heart forever.

Oleg Karpenko spoke with Nun Theodosia (Tikhonovich), Translated by Dmitry Lapa

Ιωάννης Μαξίμοβιτς_Saint John (Maximovitch) of San Francisco the Wonderworker_св. Иоанн Максимо́вич - Сан Францисский_186170208_w640_h640_3_S5465475554758Apolytikion in the Third Tone

A living monument of self restraint, an immovable pillar of the Church you were shown to be, blessed Stylianos, for you were dedicated to God from your youth, and were seen as a dwelling place of the Spirit. Holy Father, entreat Christ our God, to grant us His great mercy.


You were dedicated from God the Benefactor from childhood, as the great Baptist (St. John), and were shown a zealot and an imitator and type of his pure life and virtuous ways. Therefore like him, O Father, you dwelt in the desert in fasting and vigil, having purified your nous, and brought to mind ceaseless prayer to the Lord. Therefore you were filled with light that surpasses all thought, and with God-given graces, being shown a helper of all, and a most-speedy healer in afflictions. For Christ radiantly glorifies you, O Stylianos, who from childhood glorified Him.


Sacred pillar placed by God, and a multitude of virtues which your life imparts to us, O Father Stylianos, in godly manner order our minds, of those who praise you.

There is a lot of sin in the world, a lot of impiety and unbelief… there must be a war. Appearance of the St. John the Russian to St. Iakovos (James) Tsalikis

Εισόδια της Θεοτόκου_Entrance of the Theotokos_Боянская церковь_2591Saint Iakovos (Jacob – James) Tsalikis of Evia
Commemorated on November 22

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30.

”Young Iakovos expressed from a young age an inclination for monastic life. He was known as the monk in the village because of his monastic practices of fasting and prayer. While still a young boy he had a visitation from Saint Paraskevi who revealed to him in detail the religious life that he would follow in his life. His fervor for the Church from a young boy was so profound that he learned by heart the whole text of the Divine Liturgy at age seven….”

Άγιος Γέροντας Ιάκωβος της Εύβοιας_St. elder Iakovos of Evia_Старец Иаков (Тсаликис) Эвбейский -πολυχρονιας7Saint Iakovos said: “I, my brother, say these things to the Saint’s ears, and he opens a direct line with our Christ!”

When we put on the cassock, we begin with the goal of sanctifying our soul. Care is necessary, however. For love of the world’s honor and glory, our egotism can make us lose our soul, rather than sanctify it.

Priests’ wives must live a holy, nearly monastic life, with great reverence toward the priest, and must dress very modestly.

Priests shouldn’t cut their hair. In Asia Minor, when priesys would comb their hair, they would put a white clth down and whatever strands of hair fell, they would gather, put them in a little bag, and when they died, they would bury it with them. Thus is because, when the Holy Spirit descends during ordination, the priest is sanctified; even his hair is sanctified.”

People are blind and do not see what takes place in church during the Divine Liturgy. Once I was serving and I could not make the Great Entrance because of what I saw. I suddenly felt someone pushing me by my shoulder and guiding me toward the holy prothesis. I thought it was the chanter. I turned around and saw a huge wing that the Archangel had laid on my shoulder, and that he was guiding me to make the Great Entrance. What amazing things take place in the altar during the Divine Liturgy! … Sometimes I cannot handle it, and so I pass out in a chair, and thus some concelebrants conclude that I have got something wrong with my health, but they do not realize what I see and hear.

When the priest cuts of the particles from the prosphora and commemorates the names of the faithful during the prothesis, and angel of the Lord descends and takes this commemoration and places it before the throne of Christ as a prayer for those commemorated.

Elder Iakovos Tsalikes (1991) once confessed an old woman and he put a canon on her to not commune for three years.
“Why don’t you commune?” asked the priest of her parish.
“Fr. Iakovos put a canon on me,” she responded. She also told him the reason.
He said: “No, grandmother, don’t worry. He’s an illiterate monk. I’m educated and I’ll undo the canon. Come Sunday so I can give you communion.”
But as the grandmother approached to receive, she felt the holy spoon to be empty and cold, and did not understand the taste of the Holy Communion.
This wondrous event repeated for two more Sundays, so the woman worried and went again to Elder Iakovos.
“My child,” he told her, “a canon cannot be undone. You must fulfill the canon I put on you.”

Γέροντας Ιάκωβος της Εύβοιας_ St. elder Iakovos of Evia_Старец Иаков (Тсаликис) Эвбейский -gerondas_Iakovos4In the beginning of 1989, the Elder Iakovos became very distressed by afflictions that befell persons he knew and loved. He received a phone call from the village of Prokopi. Father John (Vernezos), the priest in charge of the shrine of Saint John the Russian, had just come back from America where he had undergone heart surgery.
In spite of all odds, the difficult by-pass operation was successful. Saint John the Russian had also been present and directed the effort! The doctor in charge acknowledged, in fact, that some power was guiding his hand.

Despite his own bad health and the bad weather – it was winter – Father Elder Iakovos visited with Father John in his house. Not only that, but upon arrival, he also asked forgiveness: “Excuse me for troubling you, but I had to come and visit the servant of the divine John the Russian!” The people in the house thought that some bodiless, weightless angel had entered the home, for his figure emitted a serene light.
Seeing the incision in Father John’s leg where the veins had been removed for the by-pass, Elder Iakovos stooped – rather, fell down – and embraced Father John’s legs. Blessed Elder Iakovos, now in his latter years, had great respect for priests and thought that priests were somehow angelic.


“There is a lot of sin in the world, a lot of impiety and unbelief… there must be a war”
Appearance of the St. John the Russian to St. Iakovos (James) Tsalikis

Ιωάννης Ρώσος_ Saint John the Russian_Святой Иоанн русский_ag_ioannis_rossosBefore the calm there will be a 3rd World War, whose weapons will kill one third of all mankind. It will be a miniature version of the End of Time. St. John the Russian (who lived in Asia Minor) warns us that, from 1990 onwards, it cannot happen otherwise:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Ιάκωβος της Εύβοιας_ St. elder Iakovos of Evia_Старец Иаков (Тсаликис) Эвбейский -_85f6bcf185a24dab70c2cae67716a6b1He could not offer theological explanations, but by his humble demeanor he demonstrated his direct living contact with God. He never entertained any thoughts about preaching, but he was himself a living sermon. His words and counsels were plain and practical – no analyses or elaboration. He used short phrases, often elliptic, even incomplete. However, this does not mean that his words were in any way deficient. On the contrary, they possessed divine power and penetrating ability that comforted and enlightened the hearts of his listeners. The grace filling the Elder’s soul imparted in his words a divine breath that touched the human soul. Anyone who got to know him, could see in him a manifestation of God’s presence and divine energies on earth.
His “teaching” was basically a recounting of the miracles and signs performed, as he said by St David and St John the Russian. It was not organized along lecture lines. Only at the end of his narration, after describing how some people had come to repent, how others had become well through the power of St David’s holy relics, would he give some special advice to each case.
The Elder used to say, “My heart is like a garden.” “My heart, my child, is a garden”. He had reached such a degree of spiritual dispassion that his heart became the garden of the Holy Spirit. Despite his many illnesses and sufferings and his distress over others misfortunes, he remained joyful and cautioned everyone about depression. He knew that depression was the world’s most painful disease.
His apparitions are countless. Many call upon him and the Elder hastens to help them. Many who are sick are healed and many find help in their spiritual and material problems. He comforts everyone. From The Garden of the Holy Spirit: Elder Iakovos of Evia (1920-1991)

St. Iakovos of Evia pray to God for us! Pray that we labor in the fast with joy, and let God’s light illumine our hearts. Pray that our days are filled with humility, and that we learn to love others in charity, just as God loves us. Pray that we can learn to live out our Christian vocation in all times and places, and in all circumstances.

Apolytikion St. Iakovos of Evia in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

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

Troparion, in Tone IV:

Today is the prelude of God’s good will * and the proclamation of the salvation of mankind. * The Virgin hath manifestly appeared in the temple of God, proclaiming Christ unto all. * To her let us cry aloud: ** Rejoice, thou fulfillment of the Creator’s dispensation!

Metropolite Neophytos of Morfou: “Elder Iacovos, as I experienced Him”

The Mother of God in the Holy of Holies found the “deep heart” through her humble prayer and she began to intercede for the whole world. Fr Zacharias Zacharou

Εισόδια της Θεοτόκου_ Entrance of the Theotokos_entrance-theotokos-Studenica_Forefeast of the Entry into the Temple of the Most Holy Theotokos
Saint Gregory the Decapolite (†842).
Theoctistus the Confessor, Patrician (855
Saint Proclus of Constantinople (447)
Martyrs of Persia under Shapur II (343)

Commemorated on November 20

Fr Zacharias Zacharou (disciple of Fr. Sophrony of Essex)

How did Christ reveal this way upon earth? He revealed it by coming down from heaven to earth, and even more so, by going down to the nethermost parts of the earth (cf. Eph. 4:10). That is to say, His way is a humble way. He is a humble God (cf. Matt. 11:29)… God showed His love to man by disclosing the Way of His Son upon earth; and man, in his turn, shows his love to God when he follows this Way, which is the way of humility.

…I will give you another example about the way of the Lord, nearer to His incarnation, which has to do with His Mother, the Most Holy Virgin Mary. She was dedicated to the temple of God from a very young age, and in that temple the Mother of God lived in prayer and under instruction in the Law and the Prophets of the Old Testament. And the Mother of God made two discoveries in the temple. In praying, she suddenly discovered her “deep heart,” as we learn from holy Tradition. This, however, may also be seen in the verses of the New Testament. According to the definition of the Old Testament, “man is a deep heart” (cf. Ps. 64:6). And this deep heart of man, as King Solomon says, requires a divine and noetic sensation, the sensation of God (cf. Prov. 15:14 Lxx). So, the Mother of God found the “deep heart” through her humble prayer. In fact, when she found her “deep heart,” there she met God, because God is met in the depths of our heart.

Εισόδια της Θεοτόκου_Entrance of the Theotokos_Введение во храм Пресвятой Богородицы_εισοδια 1Then she discovered a second thing: her unity with the rest of mankind, and she began to intercede for the whole world in the Holy of Holies at a very young age. While she was instructed in the Prophets by the priests of the temple, she read the text of Isaiah which says, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel,” God with us (Isa. 7:14), the passage we read every year at Christmas; and by the grace of God, her whole being was ignited by those words, and she began praying from that moment in this way: “Oh God of my Fathers, make me worthy to be the servant of that woman who will bring Immanuel to the world.” And in the fervency of this humble prayer, to become the servant of the mother of Immanuel, the Archangel Gabriel appears and says to her, “Not the servant, but the mother.” That is why she says that God “hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden” (Luke 1:48). So, why did that happen? Because the Mother of God, prophetically, put herself in the Way of the Lord, and fulfilled, prophetically, the law which her Son was to give – that “those who will humble themselves shall be exalted” (cf. Matt. 23:12) – she was exalted most highly, above the Cherubim and Seraphim. Because she placed herself prophetically in the Way of the Lord – and the Way is the Lord – the Lord was united with her, and became her Son. So we see how important it is to know the Way of the Lord.

If there is anything about monasticism that is beneficial to the Church, it is precisely that it preserves upon earth this great science of God, which initiates man into the Way of the Lord, the way by which he learns to “go down.” All monastic life is organized in such a way so as to impart unto us the spirit of this way of “going down.”

I remember that when I became a priest and spiritual father, Fr. Sophrony, our father founder, said to me, “Don’t be afraid to encourage young people to learn to ‘go down,’ because it is the only way for them to overcome their passions.” We have to learn this way otherwise we cannot become passionless, we cannot fulfill the commandment of God, who said, “Be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48). We have to learn this perfection in order to mirror, to reflect upon earth, the perfection of our Heavenly Father. This perfection was manifested in the flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we are all called to be imitators of our Lord. And if monasticism is justified, it is justified in this way: that it is a science that teaches people the way of “going down.”

The texts entitled “Monasticism” (The Science of “Going Down”), by Archimandrite Zacharias, The Enlargement of the Heart (Mount Thabor Publishing, 2006

Troparion — Tone 4

The twofold lamps of divine gifts, / Proclus, shepherd of New Rome, and Gregory, scion of Decapolis, / guide us by the light of grace as divinely-inspired fathers. / Let us draw near and eagerly beseech them, / that we may receive forgiveness and salvation of our souls.

Troparion of the saints, in Tone IV:

O God of our fathers, deal with us ever according to Thy meekness. Take not thy mercy away from us, but through their supplications direct our life in peace.

Glory …, Now & ever …, of the forefeast, in the same tone:

Anna now beforehand doth betroth joy unto all, bringing forth the only Ever-virgin as fruit which allayeth grief, and today she bringeth her, rejoicing, into the temple of the Lord, in fulfillment of her promise. For she is the pure Mother, the temple of God the Word.

Glory …, Now & ever …, of the forefeast, in Tone IV:

Today the Theotokos, the temple which contained God, is brought into the temple of the Lord, and Zachariah receiveth her; today the Holy of holies rejoiceth, and the choir of the angels doth mystically keep festival. And we, celebrating with them today, cry out with Gabriel: Rejoice, O thou who art full of grace! The Lord is with thee, Who hath great mercy!

O my brethren, how feeble are words when one needs to speak of the love of Christ. Oh, if only we too would be made worthy by faith, so that the Lord Jesus would enter our hearts, and that we would taste of His ineffable love!

Γέννηση του Χριστού_Nativity of Christ_Рождество Христово_112349Prophet Obadiah (Abdias) (9th century B.C.).
Martyr Barlaam of Caesarea in Cappadocia (304)
Martyr Azes of Isauria and with him 150 soldiers (284).
Martyr Heliodorus of Magidus in Pamphylia (273).
St. Barlaam, abbot of the Kiev Caves.
St. Hilarion the Wonderworker of Iberia of Thessalonica (875).
Simon the Wonderworker of Calabria (10th century).
Repose of Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow (1867).
Saint Ioannicius, Schema-Archimandrite, of Glinsk Hermitage (1914)

Commemorated on November 19

Hymn of Praise
The Holy Martyrs Romanus and Barulas
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Barulas beheld the tortures of St. Romanus,
And Romanus beheld Barulas, sad and tear-stained.
Barulas had a child’s innocent soul;
Barulas had a heart purer than a lily.

And the wicked eparch asked Barulas:
“Come, my child, without bribery, speak the truth:
Is Christ better, or our gods?”
“Christ is far better than your idols!”
“Had I known, O Child, I would not have asked you!
How is Christ better? Come, tell me.”
“Christ is the Creator of the world,
Idols are fancies of the demon’s kingdom.”
The governor, now furious, beat the child.
But this was pleasant to the child, and he spoke louder:
“O people, abandon the cursed demons,
Christ alone is God; He enlightens men.”

Barulas’s mother stood by, and encouraged her son:
“Become worthy, O Son, of the rank of martyrdom.”
As a lamb beneath the sword, Barulas bent his neck,
And glorified Christ, himself and his mother.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič


on love that surpasses knowledge
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

… to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge (Ephesians 3:19).

Η Γέννηση του Ιησού Χριστού_ Рождество Христово_ Nativity of Christ Икона186333_originalThe love that surpasses knowledge, that exceeds our understanding, is the love of Christ. No one can have even an inkling of the quality or the greatness of this love until Christ enters into him. Can anyone who has never tasted honey have any idea of its taste? Only when Christ enters into the heart of man by faith, does man know the inexpressible taste of the love of Christ-its sweet and intoxicating fragrance and incomparable comprehensiveness. Just as a man who has Christ in his heart touches the breadth, length, depth and height of the knowledge of divine wisdom, so this man with Christ in his heart also touches the limitless open seas of the divine love of Christ.

O my brethren, how feeble are words when one needs to speak of the love of Christ -words are never weaker than in this situation. Indeed, what can one say before such astounding proofs of His love? He created us out of love, He was incarnate out of love, and out of love He accepted mockery and death for our sake. He opened the heavens for us out of love, and He revealed to us the immortal glory prepared for us! Even all this is only a part of the inexhaustible wealth, glory, beauty and life-creating sustenance that is the love of Christ. Oh, if only we too would be made worthy by faith, so that the Lord Jesus would enter our hearts, and that we would taste of His ineffable love!

O Lord Jesus Christ, our Life, our Wisdom and our Love, cleanse us and enter into us.

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

Apolytikion of Prophet Abdias
Second Tone

As we celebrate the memory of Thy Prophet Abdias, O Lord, through him we beseech Thee to save our souls.

Kontakion of Prophet Obadiah
Plagal of the Fourth Tone

As a divinely-chosen Prophet, thou foretoldest things far off, that on Mount Sion salvation should come to pass, for Heaven’s myst’ries shone on thee; as thou dwellest in Heaven with the Prophets, rejoicing in Christ whom ye foretold, entreat Him, O Obadiah, to save us, who honour thee with love.