Iconography and Hand painted icons

Prophetic visions of Elder Anthony the Russian. After the demonic storm, there will come a divine sunshine

Αποκάλυψη-σάλπιγγες_ΑΠΟΚΑΛΥΨΗ-ΣΑΛΠΙΓΓΕΣ_49882. bSynaxarion.
On July 28, we commemorate the holy Apostles and Deacons Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, and Parmenas (1st century).
On this day we also commemorate the holy Martyr Eustathius of Ancyra.(c. 316)
On this day we also commemorate the holy Martyr Acakius of Miletus (c. 321); and the consecration of the church of the Most Holy Theotokos in the Quarter of Deaconess.
On this day the holy Martyr Drosis died after she was cast into a crucible of gold.
On this day the devout Paul Xeropotaminos, who founded two Monasteries on Mount Athos, Xeropotamou and Saint Paul’s (which is dedicated to Saint George), and who flourished in the year 820, reposed in peace.
On this day we also commemorate our devout Mother Irene of Cappadocia, who lived in asceticism in the Monastery of Chrysovalantou (912).
The holy New Martyr Christodulus of Cassandra (1777).
Our Father among the Saints Samson of Wales, Bishop of Dol in Brittany (c. 565).
Our Father among the Saints Pitirim, Bishop of Tambov (1698).

“After the demonic storm, there will come a divine sunshine”…
Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

“Prophetic visions of Elder Anthony”
Alexander Krasnov
Prepared by Tatyana Shvetsova

With every passing year the number of technogenic catastrophes and natural calamities increases alarmingly all over the world. In fact, they have become something of a common occurrence, terrible as it sounds. Still, there is no way one can become used to them, or accept them. It’s a tremendous shock every time… 

So it is no wonder that among the Orthodox believers in our country there is an upsurge of truly apocalyptic sentiments, which were further whipped up by the recently published in Ukraine book by Orthodox clergyman Alexander Krasnov “Spiritual Conversations and Edifications of Elder Anthony.” The book became a bestseller here in Russia, filling many people with gloom, causing them to look with great anxiety at today’s reality and referring them yet again to the Apocalypse by St. John the Theologian. In his book Father Alexander describes his encounters with a certain Elder by the name of Anthony. The Lord had endowed this zealot with two prophetic visions, which he, in turn, narrated to the clergyman not long before his own demise.

Since theses prophetic visions concern not only Russia but the entire world, we felt obliged to acquaint you with them. We offer you an excerpt from the aforementioned book by Father Alexander, where Elder Anthony speaks of his visions.

Γεώργιος Τροπαιοφόρος _St George the Trophy-bearer_ Св Георгий Победоносец_წმინდა გიორგი გმირავს_Παυλος Ξηροποταμουb0a042 (2) - ΑντιγραφήSometime in the early 1970-ies during the Holy Liturgy I witnessed my first vision…

I see a huge crowd of people, streaming forward as if drawn by some unseen force. While in this constant motion, some people are feasting, some fornicating, others plotting evil against their fellow men. And all this – while they are moving forwards. The people are all very different: there are laymen, clergy, the military, politicians – everyone. A greater part of the people are simply thrusting their way ahead, with no concern for others, while a minor part are moving calmly. An awning abyss lies ahead, leading into Hell. A majority of the people, upon reaching it, are plunged down. Moreover, not only the rich, but the people strained in means also hurtle down into Hell. For they share one common idol – the lusts of the world.

There are others, who do not hurtle down, but descend slowly, only to be lifted up by certain luminous persons, who help them across. While still others calmly cross, or better still – fly across the abyss, their feet not touching the ground. It was fearsome. There was not so much a moaning, as a terrible howling coming from the abyss, coupled with a loathsome fetor. This was more than just a foul smell, but a stench, augmented by feelings of terror and finality. In those years of the seeming Soviet welfare it was hard for me to assess the portent of the vision. Today – it’s quite a different thing…

The second vision was of a different nature…
I was, by grace of God, granted a vision pertaining to something that people had been asking me about. If the first vision could be easily described with more or less accuracy, it is practically impossible to do justice to the second one. So I shall attempt to narrate it in some consistency, and not in the way the vision was offered me .

To make it easier for you to understand the following, let me begin by saying a few words about the creation of the Universe. The Lord created all living things in line with a very specific system, where the actions of even the minutest fragment of the Universe impact the life of the entire Universe. Actions of the unreasonable beasts cannot cause harm to the Universe. They are limited by their instincts and self-regulating attributes of Nature itself in the manner of brakes.

But with Man, created by God in His own similitude – is quite another matter. Not only actions, but the very thoughts of Man impact the surrounding medium, the environment, all the Universe.

ΛΩΤ_Lot the Just abandoning the city of Sodoma_Лот _87ce6445bd1efeb4d18020cae2dd708aIt was not the Lord that wiped off the face of the Earth Sodom and Gomorrah but sinful Man. What I imply here is that all tragedies that strike man and Nature are not consequences of the Lord’s wrath, for He is All-Merciful. These tragedies occur as a direct outcome of the detrimental actions of mankind itself, led astray by the wiles of the devils. And now, let me pass over to the actual vision of that which, alas, awaits us all in the not-so-distant future. After all, some of what I saw in the vision is already taking place in the present.

So, this is the vision offered me by God: First of all, all manner of technical glitches. The system of existence created by Man is, in effect, satanical, since it counters all of God’s laws. This is why it will start to fail.

Planes will fall from the skies, ships sink, atomic powers stations and chemical plants will explode. All this will take place on the backdrop of terrible natural calamities, hitting all countries of the world, but America first and foremost. These shall be hurricanes of unheard-of force, earthquakes, scorching droughts and veritable deluges. In fact, it will be hard to find a place on earth not affected by these disasters, where man could find a safe haven. Man’s tranquility will only lie in God’s hands, in his faith in the Lord’s benevolence, since Mother Earth will no longer afford this sanctuary. It is the cities that wrathful Nature will hit the hardest, since they have severed their ties with it completely. Just one destruction of a multi-tier state-of-the-art tower threatens hundreds of souls, buried under the rubble without an opportunity for Holy Communion and penance.

These modern houses, built on piles, piercing the earth like arrows straight down to the Hellfire, will bring people an infernal death under the debris. Those who will survive shall envy those blessed with a quick death, since their fate shall be terrible – a slow torturous death from starvation and suffocation. The towns shall present a truly horrendous sight. Even those that succeed in escaping destruction, deprived of electricity and water supply, heating and food, shall resemble huge stone tombs, for so many people shall be dying there… Gangs of brigands will roam the streets, their crimes going unpunished. Even daytime will bring no peace or safety in the city, while at night people shall form large groups, seeking safety in numbers to survive until dawnbreak. Alas, the sunrise shall not herald a happy new day, but mark the beginning of more sorrows in an attempt to survive another day. You needn’t think that the village, rural areas will be much better off. The fields, poisoned by toxic downpours and riddled by drought will not yield any crops…

Ιησούς-πέντε άρτοι_Inmultirea-painilor-5Terrible numbers of cattle will fall, and people, unable to bury all the dead beasts, will leave them to lie and rot there, poisoning the air with a dreadful stench of decay. The peasant folk shall undergo raids on them by the townspeople, who will be ready to murder one for a slice of bread! Yes, the very slice of bread that you find unpalatable these days without a topping of sauces and spices, shall provoke people into spilling blood over it.

For the villagers, just as for the town residents, night time will be frought with terrors, since it will bring with it plunder and robbery. While for the rural folk it will be imperative to somehow preserve their farm equipment, for they cannot do any work without it and are sure of a death from starvation. Just as in the cities, not only food, property, but people themselves shall become the hunted. Cannibalism shall become a common phenomenon. All laws of morality will be trampled underfoot. The very existence of humanity and its essence shall be directed towards a rejection of the Lord’s Providence and His Grace. While the Commandments, given people by the Lord, are nothing else but a road to a tranquil and happy life in peace and harmony with Him. All the rest, violating the Commandments, is detrimental to the world and all existing in it and depending on it.

Everything begins with the minor things: licentious dress and morals, a joint instruction of boys and girls, and not under the guidance of a man of the church, but a secular individual. It is out of these minor things that the great terrible ones stem. Many times Satan attempted to render moral degradation universal, pandemic, yet invariably came up against the formidable denunciation of the Church. For the spirits of darkness this is what they fear the most – denunciation. For it is when the light of Truth is extinguished that the evil, devilish instigations are the most potent. The world is obscured by the gloom of overabundance of a dozen so-called ‘developed’ countries, which the enemy of mankind has chosen to be instrumental in stupefying the whole world. The principal shock weapon here is the slogan of Freedom! So much blood has been spilt in all the revolutions and coups, social and pseudo-religious manifestations, political and mystical strife – all laid at the altar of the demon of freedom!Μωϋσής Προφήτης_ Prophet Moses the God-seer_ Моисей пророк Икона_ Byzantine Orthodox Icon_ 1310041munnamed (3)Yes, the one who rebelled against God, and was thrown down, the vermin that attempted to appropriate the Lord’s place – he is the principle seeker of ‘freedom’! His freedom is not the ability granted Man by the Lord to seek perfection in virtue. His ‘freedom’ is a yoke, whereby man is deprived of the chance to choose between good and evil, leaving him but the possibility to march straight into Hell. This is the freedom that shall reign. I saw the great lengths the universal evil is prepared to go to in a bid to malign the Holy Church, the immaculate Body of Christ! First of all, they shall sling abuse at it in all the papers, on radio and television. The Orthodox Church and Orthodox Christians shall be scoffed and ridiculed, as will be their rites, fasts, the Christian way of life – everything that was always the mainstay of the people’s vitality. Thousands and thousands of destroyers of Orthodoxy shall be infiltrated into the Church itself, among the clergy. Despite an overall outward piety, their spirit will be alien, anti-Christian, and the people shall turn away from the churches where these representatives of the clergy are predominant. So the resurrected, or newly-built churches shall stand empty. However, the light of true sanctity shall continue to flicker in some places. He who seeks shall find… Nobody shall be able to exonerate oneself saying: “Lord, I sought yet did not find!” Amidst the gloom of total lack of Faith and godlessness, lights of Truth flickers all across the land.

Yet, the true clergy shall be persecuted and hounded, and subjected to all manner of disparagement. The demon’s henchmen shall not stop short of murder, if the Lord sees it fit for the pious to accept the halo of a martyr. There shall be many of them, pious martyrs of this time! One of the freedoms that the demon’s henchmen attempt to inculcate in people at any cost is the freedom of moral licentiousness. Alas, people have already accepted it, and made it an inalienable part of contemporary life. Fornication is no longer branded as such, but perceived as sexual freedom. Depravation sets in at an early age in the guise of education in sexual culture and behavior of the sexes. Children are shown naked bodies, the sexual act – all in a bid to fire lustful passions, which they refer to as natural instincts. The press and television are inundated with naked bodies and terrible scenes of fornication. The nakedness in today’s dress is only the beginning. The final aim is much, much more horrible – the feast of Astarte and Baal, where hundreds and hundreds of heathens fornicated, stupefied with alcohol and drugs. That is where the proponents of sexual freedom drag humanity – to worship the demons of fornication. One is a slave to the one who vanquishes one, and people are enticed into this giftwrapped slavery…

However, even the common sin of fornication is not enough for the demons’ retainers: sodomy and pederasty shall be dished out as ultimate manifestations of freedom. The propaganda of these disgusting sins will gather incredible force – almost stronger than sexual licentiousness! Incidents of homosexual marriages shall receive as much éclat as the discovery of antibiotics in its time! Sodomy will be markedly spreading: initially among the artists and politicians. The sin of sodomy will become a label of the future. Already now licentious debaucheries are held under the guise of annual carnivals of homosexuals in America! All this will become a part of the Russian scene, too, in no less an ugly manifestation.

ΑΓ ΓΕΩΡΓΙΟΣ Γεώργιος Τροπαιοφόρος_St-George the Trophy-bearer_СвГеоргий Победоносец_333All who resist these ugly demonic onslaughts will be branded as impinging on another’s freedom, as grossly ignorant or even enemies of the state and its interests, since all states shall regard a protection of the demonic freedoms, rather than moral values, as their ultimate goal. Indeed, they are demonic, for even today you will not encounter an Orthodox article anywhere but in a church publication. What rubbish is written and said! Yet, there is no opposition of views, different outlooks on life. So much for freedom when one is only allowed to sling mud at holiness and purity! All else is taboo. All this started with minor things, a long time ago. It started long before the [1917 Bolshevik] revolution, when parish schools were transferred under secular authority. And so the Godless set off there to teach and thus train cadres for the revolutions of 1917! I was blessed with a vision of how youth, under the powerful spell of satan due to multitudinous sins, and intoxicated by drink and drugs, is helpless before the ultimate summons of Hell and will be driven to commit suicide! There shall be a disastrous upsurge in the number of suicides. So much so, that such an end will no longer surprise others. It will become almost the norm, as a matter of course…

All the more so since the number of people struck down by horrible diseases, transmitted sexually, will be so great, and the sufferings of the victims so terrible, that society shall come to accept suicide as ultimately a respite, an act of mercy. Authorities will go so far as to even incite people to it! Everything will be aimed at destroying the souls of the strayed.

Another dreadful demonic trap will be inducing people to increment their earnings, seek wealth as an ultimate goal in life. The very passion of covetousness is in itself harmful, as all things inordinate. And inordinacy leads to destruction of nature.

The second part of this trap lies in the manner of applying this wealth.

What is today’s money? A ghost, an illusion, like all of the devil’s ‘miracles’. A greater part of the money is kept in banks or in stocks and bonds. These banks shall go bust, and people will be brought to their knees! This might happen in a blink of an eye. There have already been numerous successful ‘rehearsals’ of this. And industry shall grind to a halt due to natural calamities and wars. So, what will man be left with? With a mass of useless things, on the accumulation of which he spent years of his life. Now he sees that their value is quite relative, even in the safe and happy world, and certainly they are worth nothing in a world of catastrophe and disaster. Now, imagine that the power and water supply have been cut off, there is no heating… One will readily give all he has for a saw, an axe, a stove… While a precious few possess these things out of a hundred or so… I know I have frightened you beyond measure with my narratives. But believe me, it is much more terrifying to see it all! What I saw is more ugly and disgusting than I could ever describe to you in words. However, I cannot tell all, for I must not instill depression and despondency in the present with my visions of the future.”

This was an excerpt from a book by Orthodox clergyman Alexander Krasnov “Spiritual Conversations and Edifications of Elder Anthony.” We hope that our narrative will not let you fall into despondency, but instead, will inspire you to be ever more zealous in fulfilling the Lord’s Commandments, for there lies the road to Salvation, as promised by the Lord to all faithful Christians.
Excerpts from Orthodox clergyman Alexander Krasnov’s book, “Spiritual Conversations and Edifications of Elder Anthony.”
Copyright © 2004 The Voice of Russia

St. Paisios the Athonite

Παΐσιος o Αγιορείτης _Saint Paisios of Mount Athos_Паи́сий Святого́рец_vpcuviosul-paisie-aghioritul3ae53eeca7c0a149a173cLet us not expect the spiritual spring if we don’t first pass through the spiritual winter during which the spiritual vermin die. We mustn’t expect the divine to blossom within us if the human hasn’t first died.

We should know that there are not only natural laws but also spiritual. Therefore the future wrath of God cannot be confronted by cooperating with sinners (because we would receive a double wrath), but by repentance and obedience to the Lord’s commandments.”
We have to pray a lot, and with pain in our hearts, so that God will intervene: our times are very hard to understand. A lot of ash, rubbish, and indifference has accumulated, and a strong wind will be needed to blow it all away.
It’s frightening! The Tower of Babel is upon us! Divine intervention is needed: Great upheavals are happening. What a bedlam! The minds of whole nations are in confusion. But in spite of the ferment I feel a certain consolation inside, a certain confidence. God still dwells in a part of the Christians. God’s people, people of prayer, still remain, and God in his all-goodness still tolerates us and will put everything in order. Don’t be afraid! We’ve gone through many storms, and still haven’t perished. So should we be afraid of the storm which is now gathering? We’ll not perish this time either!
God loves us. In Man there’s a hidden power which comes out when necessary. The difficult years will be few. Just a lot of thunder. Don’t get upset in the least, for God is above everything. 

Difficult times are ahead. Great trials await us. Christians will suffer great persecutions. Meanwhile, it’s obvious that people don’t understand that we’re on the verge of the end times, that the seal of the Antichrist is becoming a reality. As if nothing’s happening. That’s why Holy Scripture says that even the chosen will be deceived.οι ψυχές στο χέρι του Θεού_Души праведных в руце Божией_Orthodox icon_The souls of the righteous in the hand of God_ Manasija (Resava) monasery, Serbia, 15th century2345Apolytikion of the Apostles — Tone 3

O Holy Apostles, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

Troparion of the Apostles — Tone 4

Holy companions of the Apostles of Christ,/ God chose you as ministers of His flock,/ O Prochoros preacher of things divine,/ holy Nicanor, Timon and Parmenas./ Intercede with Christ our God that we may be granted the forgiveness of our sins.

Apolytikion of St Irene of Cappadocia — Plagal Tone 1

Not a temporal kingdom on earth didst thou obtain, but Christ, thy most comely Bridegroom, vouchsafed thee heavenly crowns, and thou reignest as a queen with Him eternally; for thou didst dedicate thyself unto Him with all thy soul, O Irene, our righteous Mother, thou boast of Chrysovalantou, and mighty help of all the Orthodox.

Troparion of the holy hierarch Pitirim, Bishop of Tambov, in Tone IV —

Teacher of faith and piety, beacon of the Church, example for monastics, O most wise and holy hierarch Pitirim: Piously hast thou tended thy flock and led it to Christ. Wherefore, though adorned in the highest with a crown of glory, thou dost abide with us on earth in spirit, radiating miracles. Entreat Christ God, that our souls be saved.

Troparion of the Smolensk Icon of Our All-holy Mistress, the Theotokos, in Tone IV —

We shall never cease to speak of thy power, unworthy though we are, O Theotokos; for if thou hadst not interceded , who would have delivered us from so many misfortunes? Who would have kept us free until this day? We shall never depart from thee, O Mistress, for thou ever savest thy servants from all evils.


In the days of Noah, it was like this, the flood was approaching. The ark is the church. Only those who are in it will be saved. Saint Nectarius of Optina

Μυροφόρες_ Myrrhbearers_ Жёны-мироносицы_femeile_mironositeΧριστός ανέστη! Αληθώς ανέστη!
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
ХристосВоскрес! Воистину Воскрес!
ქრისტეაღსდგა! ჭეშმარიტადაღსდგა!
«Χαίρετε»! «Ειρήνη υμίν»

Saint Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis and Metropolitan of Cyprus (403)
Saint Calliope (Callitropos), nun, sister of St. Epiphanius of Cyprus
Patriarch Germanus I of Constantinople (740)
Saint Domitilla the martyr (c. 81-96)
Saints Nereus and Achilleus the martyrs (100)
Saint Dracontius, Bishop of Nicaea (c. 1st to 3rd centuries)
Saint Polybius, Bishop of Cyprus, Wonderworker (5th century) and Saint Sabinus, Archbishop of Cyprus (successor of St. Epiphanius to the Cypriot cathedra) (5th century)
Saint Theophanes, Archbishop of Cyprus (7th century)
Venerable Theodore of Kythera, ascetic (922)
Martyr Pancratius of Rome (304) and Martyr Dionysius (Denis), uncle of St. Pancratius (304)
Saint Theophanes, Bishop of Solea (Solia), Cyprus, later a hermit in the Troodos Mountains; the Outpourer of Myrrh (1550)
New Martyr John of Wallachia, at Constantinople (1662)
Saint Nectarius (Tikhonov) of Optina (1928)
New Martyr Abbess Athanasia (Lepeshkina), of the Smolensk Hodigitria Convent near Moscow (1931) and Martyr Evdokia Martishkina (1938)
Discovery of the holy relics (1961) of Saint Irene of Lesvos the Virgin-martyr (1463)

Commemorated on May 12

St. Tsar Martyr Nicholas II of Russia
’I was born on the feast-day of St Job the Long-suffering…”

Νικόλαος Β΄ Τσαρος της Ρωσίας_ Tsar Nicholas II of Russia_ святого страстотерпца Николай II_unnamed (16)Tsar-Martyr Nicholas was born in St. Petersburg on May 6, 1868, the day upon which the Holy Church celebrates the memory of St. Job the Long-Suffering. And how prophetic this turned out to be – for Nicholas was destined to follow the example of this great Old Testament Saint both in circumstance and in faith. Just as the Lord allowed the Patriarch Job to suffer many things, trying him in the fire of calamity to test his faith, so was Nicholas tried and tempted, but he too never yielded and remained above all a man of God.

Tsar Nicholas himself used to say: “I was born the same day as righteous Job the Long-Suffering was celebrated and I am ready to accept the tribulations of God and to suffer the sufferings to the end.” And indeed all his life was a Golgotha (Calvary).

Not only the Tsar, but the whole of his blessed family, met their fate with truly Christian patience. Thus on March 13, 1917, the Tsarevich Alexis wrote to his sister Anastasia:
“I will pray fervently for you and Maria. With God everything will pass. Be patient and pray.”
And shortly after the abdication the Empress said: “Our sufferings are nothing. Look at the sufferings of the Saviour, how He suffered for us. If this is necessary for Russia, we are ready to sacrifice our lives and everything.”


Νικόλαος Β΄ Τσαρος της Ρωσίας_ Tsar Nicholas II of Russia_ святого страстотерпца Николай II_fSaint Tikhon Patriach of Moscow writes about the birthday of our Tsar-Martyr Nicholas:
We find out justification in the fact of our Sovereign’s birthday coinciding with the day which the Orthodox Church has consecrated to the memory fo the long-suffering Job. To man this coincidence will seem to be but mere chance. But in the eyes of a believer there can be no chance, and only the more so when the elected by the Lord Himself in the time of need (Ecclesiastes 10:4). Consequently it is no mere chance, but rather a mysterious coincidence, that the birth of our Sovereign and the memory of the long-suffering Job come on the same day…

By permission of God, dreadful clamities befall this righteous man, and shock after shock strike at him. One after the other messengers come to him bringing sad news about the loss of all his possessions. And when the preceding messsenger was still speaking,there came one more to tell him about the loss of all his children and servants. Then, in his own turn, he is stricken with a painful disease- leprosy. Was it easy for Job to bear all this? “Was this strength the strength of stones and was his flesh of brass?” (Job 6:12).”If his griefs were thoroughly weighed and his calmities laid in the balance together,” possibly they would have outweighed the sand of the sea (Job 6:1-2).
Yet Job bore manfully all this misfortunes that befell him, and “in all this did not Job sin with his lips” (Job 2:10), he did not murmur against God…

Now brethren, let us trun from the ancient times to our days, from the man who “was the greatest of all the men of the east” (Job 1:3) to our country and its Supreme Chief…
Our Tsar received,as Job did of yore, tiding after tiding, telling of failing crops, of devastating fires, of earthquakes, mountain landslides and inundations…

Like Job, misunderstood by his friends and suffering from this misunderstanding, the Russian people, with its crown bearing Chiefat its head, have failed to this day to receive a correct valuation from their neighbors. Their best intentions are met with mistrust and are suspected of insincerity. Monstrous scheming is ascribed to them. Their best endeavors are commented upon in an unfavourable way, are distorted and laughed at. All the good in them is passed by in silence and their failings are manified to a huge size and are announced to all the world…

Let us not continue the enumeration of those foolish accusations: all our compatriots who abroad know them well. “Judge them, O Lord,that do me inustice; war againstthem that war against me” (Psalm 34:1).

Grant unto our beloved Sovereignthe successfulness of Moses, the manliness of David and wisdom of Solomon, together with the patience of Job.
Help him, O Lord, and all the Russian people to believe in Christ’s truth and int he righteousness of his labors and to hold to the way of the Lord, as in the past, in spite of anything our ill-wishers may say. Thus the Lord shall not forsake us, but will strengthen us with the hand of His truth, and those who go against us shall be brought to shame (Isaiah 41:10-11).

“Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord” (St. James 5:11)….
Excerpt , A Sermon On The Occasion Of The Birthday Of Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II By Saint Tikhon Patriach of Moscow


ΣΕΡΑΦΕΙΜ Τσιτσαγκωφ_St Seraphim Chichagov of Leningrad_Св Серафим (Чичагов)_file_608The Tsar, as a fervent lover of the Beatitudes of Christ, strove to emulate them all. He was truly meek, sought after righteousness, and was acknowledged by all who knew him as pure hearted. As desirous of peace, he made an unprecedented suggestion to the world early in his reign — that all nations come together and meet in order to cut down on their military forces and submit to general arbitration on international disputes. The result of his proposal, the Hague Peace Conference, was convened on May 18, 1899, and served as the precedent for the later League of Nations and United Nations. As a giver of mercy he was unparalleled in Russian history pardoning criminals, even revolutionaries; giving away vast quantities of his own land to alleviate the plight of the peasants; and countless other charitable deeds of which only God knows. And, of course, few mourned as he did, and few were persecuted unjustly as he was.

There soon began an endless succession of tragedies, even a small number of which would have broken a lesser man. But for the Tsar they only served to further refine the nobility of his soul.

In May, 1917, a Sarov archimandrite, who was sorrowing over the fate of the Royal Family, fell asleep during prayer and saw a vision of the Family together with St. Seraphim. And the saint told him not to sorrow, that God would not forsake his chosen ones, and that He had sent him, Seraphim, to comfort the Royal sufferers in the hour of their trial.
“Do you see the radiant light come from the faces of the Royal sufferers? This is a sign that they are under the special protection of God, as being righteous ones… Look at the face of the Empress and you will see that the light coming from it is brighter than the others. This is a sign that she will suffer more slander than any from the followers of the world’s slanderer.”

St. Tsar Martyr Nicholas II of Russia And His Family were murdered by the Bolshevik revolutionaries on 17 July 1918 in Yekaterinburg at the Ipatiev House.
The killing of Tsar Nicholas, opened the way to the destruction of Orthodox Russia and its transformation into Babylon.
Thus ended the life of the Christ-like Tsar, as a sacrifice for the Orthodox Faith and for the Russian people, both of whom he so fervently loved and believed in.
The Tsar, spiritually united at birth to the righteous and long-suffering Prophet Job laid down his life for his friends, and what’s more—even for his enemies, showing the greatest of love. Upon the Cross our Lord called out Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do (Lk. 23:34).


Saint Nectarius (Tikhonov) of Optina

ΝΕΚΤΑΡΙΟΣ_nektarij_optinskij_st_-nektary-of-optina-0_14ffe6_bf99ab61_orig - CopyIn 1917 the elder Nectarius of Optina prophesied: “A hard time is coming. The number six has passed in the world, and the number seven has begun. Now begins the age of silence. Be silent, silent,” said batiushka, and tears flowed from his eyes. “And now his Majesty is not his own man, he is suffering such humiliation for his mistakes. 1918 will be still worse. His Majesty and all his family will be killed, tortured. And our tsar will stand before the throne of God wearing the crown of a great-martyr. Yes, this tsar will be a great-martyr.
“In the last days,” he said, “the world will be encircled by paper and iron. Noah’s time is a figure of our own. The flood was approaching. Noah knew about it and told the people, but they did not believe him. He hired workers to build the ark, and they, while building the ark, did not believe, and so they only received the agreed pay for their work, but were not saved. Those days are a prefiguring of ours. The ark is the Church, only those who are in it will be saved.”

Once he advised: “Pray simply:” Lord, grant me your grace! ” A cloud of sorrows is falling on you, and you pray: “Lord, grant me your grace!” And the Lord will carry a thunderstorm past you. “

“Lord, grant me Thy grace,” the venerable elder Nectarios taught to pray and said: “And now a cloud is coming at you, and you pray: Give me grace, and the Lord will carry the cloud past.”

Valuable memories of Elder Nektarios can be found in Father Vasily Shustin, who visited him with his wife. “Father tells me,” says Fr. Vasily – …Now I will say that soon there will be a spiritual hunger for books. You won’t get spiritual books. It is good that he is collecting this spiritual treasure, it will be very useful. A hard time is coming now. The number six has passed in the world and the number seven begins, the century of silence. Shut up, shut up, says the priest, and tears flow from his eyes. The sovereign endures the humiliated for his mistakes. In 1918 it will be even harder. – The sovereign and the whole family will be killed, tortured. One pious girl had a dream: Jesus Christ is sitting on the throne, and there are 12 apostles near him, and terrible groans are heard from the ground. And the Apostle Peter asks Christ: When, Lord, will these torments end? – And Jesus Christ answers him: “I give the term until 1922. If people do not repent, do not come to their senses, then everyone will perish like that. ” Immediately before the Throne of God, our Sovereign is also in the crown of the Great Martyr. Yes, this Sovereign will be a great martyr. Recently, he redeemed his life, and if people do not turn to God, then not only Russia, but all of Europe will fail.

Archpriest Vasily Shustin told how the priest, without reading, went through the letters:
“On one of my visits to Optina Pustyn, I saw Father Nektariy read sealed letters. He came out to me with the received letters, of which there were about fifty, and, without printing, began to sort them. Some he postponed with the words: “Here you need to give an answer, but these thanks can be left unanswered.” He, without reading, saw their content. He blessed some of them, and even kissed some … “

The Monk Nektarios, being a seer, predicted in 1917: “Russia will rise and will not be rich in material, but it will be rich in spirit, and in Optina there will be seven more lamps, seven pillars.”

“If at least a few faithful Orthodox remain in Russia, God will have mercy on her,” Father Nectarius predicted in the early 1920s, who remained the only elder of Optina Pustyn after the death of Father Anatoly Jr. And he added with a smile: “But we have such righteous people.”. And the elder said: “In the last times the world will be girded with iron and paper”.

Here is what the Optina Elder Nektary answered to the nun Nektaria, who in 1924 asked the priest “about the end of the world”: « … it is not useful for people to know the time of the second coming. “Watch and Pray”, – said the Savior, it means that there is no need to foresee events, but in due time everything will be revealed to be true”.

We need, leaving European customs, to love Holy Russia and repent of the past passion for them, to be firm in the Orthodox faith, to pray to God, to repent for the past”.

Once a young doctor Sergey Nikitin came to Kholmischi for advice, but instead of solving the visitor’s problems, father delivered a monologue about the flood, secretly exposing the current situation. “Imagine,” he said to the surprised guest, “it is now completely unreasonable to believe that the era experienced by the human race in the antediluvian time was bleak, wild and ignorant. In fact, the culture then was very high. People knew how to do a lot of things, extremely witty in design and magnificent in appearance. Only on this man-made property they spent all their strength and souls. They concentrated all the abilities of their primitive young nature in only one direction – the full satisfaction of bodily needs. Their trouble is that they “became flesh.” So the Lord decided to correct this one-sidedness of theirs. Through Noah, he announced the flood, and for a hundred years Noah called people to correction, preached repentance in the face of God’s wrath, and built an ark to prove the right words. And what do you think? It was very strange for the people of that time, accustomed to the elegant form of their civilization, to see how an old man who had gone out of his mind knocks together some kind of awkward box of enormous size in the age of magnificent culture, and even preaches on behalf of God about the coming flood … ” “In the days of Noah, it was like this,” said the elder Nadezhda A. Pavlovich another time, “the flood was approaching. Noah knew about him and told people, but they did not believe. He hired workers to build the ark, and while building it, they did not believe, and therefore received only payment, but were not saved. Those days are a prototype of our days. The ark is the church. Only those who are in it will be saved.” And again: “Noah called all the people, but only cattle came.”

Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who is coming to judge the living and the dead, have mercy on us sinners, forgive the sins of our whole life, and with them weigh the fates hiding us from the face of the Antichrist in the hidden wilderness of Your salvation. Amen.


Conversion of an atheist.

Here is another testimony, received from Monk Ippolit of the Zosima Hermitage (near Moscow):

Νικόλαος Β΄ Τσαρος της Ρωσίας_ Tsar Nicholas II of Russia_ святого страстотерпца Николай II_9-sf-mc-tarul-nicolae-1918-1“Before my entrance into the Monastery, as I recall, I brought a portrait of Emperor Nicholas II and one of his wife, Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna, to my parents. Since they were taught during the Soviet period to think of the tsars as despotic, my parents were puzzled that there could be talk of glorification, and looked with alarm at these two portraits, hung in a prominent place. My mother, educated as a woman of letters, immediately recalled ‘Bloody Sunday’ in 1905, the shooting of workers by Lensky; but, being a God-fearing woman from childhood, she restrained herself from too many opinions and only posed the question, ‘How can this be?!’ to herself. My father, by his own admission an unbeliever, did not spare his opinions, but since he had a grudge against the Communists at that time, he expressed sympathy for the fate of the Royal Martyrs. The nervousness of our domestic atmosphere, with various comments directed at the Tsar, aggravated the critical situation of my parents or, to be more precise, of my father. He was threatened with prison since he, through his simplicity and ignorance, had fallen in with a crowd of swindlers. They had already been indicted for a criminal act, interrogations had already taken place, and a date for the trial had been appointed. Then my father had a dream at night. The Tsar himself stood there in an officer’s uniform of the royal army with shoulder straps — he was tall, blue-eyed and radiant. He stood half-turned towards my father, and someone dressed in black said, ‘Venerate him and he will help you’ — and my father bowed down before him. He further recalled that the Tsar was surrounded by his family. After this dream my father and mother went to a small village church dedicated to the Archangel of God, Michael, and all the Heavenly Bodiless Hosts, and had a moleben served to the Royal Martyrs, which the parish priest agreed to serve, after first hearing about the dream my father had had. And what happened? About three or four days later there was a coup in Moscow, the infamous shooting at the White House. Immediately thereafter there was a coup in the regional government; and the head of the local government, who hated my father and wanted in any way possible to convict him and send him to prison, was replaced. The change of officials gave hope for my father to be treated with leniency. After a while the trial took place. My father was given one year of probation. Later he was given amnesty, and they dismissed his conviction — and out of six people convicted, his was the only dismissal.

“After this incident my fathers attitude towards the Tsar changed and even became reverent. Now that he had felt real help — he who until then had disparaged all things holy — he ran again, when he encountered ordinary difficulties, to him from whom he had seen this help — to Tsar Nicholas II and all the Royal Martyrs, and that’s the way it was. My father, a farmer, once found himself with nothing to sow. There were no seeds for planting and this threatened him not only with being left without money, but with having to give away all his possessions to settle his debt. Again he, together with my mother, had a moleben served to Tsar-Martyr Nicholas and all the Royal Martyrs. Immediately after this, the superior of a nearby monastery came to see my father at home and told him that he had an acquaintance who wanted to give him seeds for planting. All the land was planted — 370 acres.”

Saint Irene of Lesvos the Virgin-martyr said, if you only knew the terrible pain that I had undergone… it is impossible to even imagine it… The Turks burnt me alive inside this clay pot.

The destiny of a true Orthodox ruler, St. Tsar Nicholas II of Russia

Νικόλαος Β΄ Τσαρος της Ρωσίας_ Tsar Nicholas II of Russia_ святого страстотерпца Николай II_85a19c7ba4e43ddeApolytikion of Epiphanius, Bp. Of Cyprus in the Fourth Tone

O God of our Fathers, ever dealing with us according to Thy gentleness: take not Thy mercy from us, but by their entreaties guide our life in peace.

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 Nectarius, pray to Christ our God to save our souls!

Kontakion of 14 Elders of Optina Monastery
Plagal of the Fourth Tone

To Leo, Moses, Anatolius, and Anthony; to Barsanuphius, Macarius, Hilarion: to Isaacius and Nicon, the righteous Martyrs; to Nectarius and Joseph and Isaacius, Anatolius, and Ambrose, who outshineth all, let us cry with joy: Rejoice, O Elders of Optina

Apolytikion of Renewal Tues.
Fourth Tone

On Lesbos, ye strove in contest for the sake of Christ God; ye also have hallowed her with the discovery of your relics, O blessed ones. O God-bearer Raphael, with thee, we all honour Nicholas the deacon and Irene the chaste virgin, as our divine protectors, who now intercede with the Lord.

Tropar-Dismissal Hymn of the Royal Martyrs. First Tone

Most noble and sublime was your life and death, O Sovereigns;* wise Nicholas and blest Alexandra, we praise you,* acclaiming your piety, meekness, faith, and humility,* whereby ye attained to crowns of glory in Christ our God,* with your five renowned and godly children of blessed fame. * O passion-bearers decked in purple, intercede for us.

Glory…, in Tone VI —

Who can recount thy labors and sufferings? O great passion-bearer, martyred Tsar Nicholas, thou didst assume the grievous burden of authority, not for the sake of glory, but as a Christian king and servant of Christ, as one concerned for the good of his people, enduring a multitude of tribulations. All of these things did the Lord permit because of the sins of the people, and that He might reveal thy piety, showing the world thy longsuffering, which was like that of the much suffering Job, that thou mightest receive a glorious martyr’s crown in the heavens, like unto that of Abel. And now joining chorus there with the angels, thou dost intercede for us before God, praying for the salvation of our souls.

Song 3
Having set me on the rock of faith, Thou have expanded my lips against my enemies. Make my spirit glad to sing continually: “No-one is as holy as our God, no-one is more righteous than Thee, O Lord.”

You exchanged the diadem of your perishable terrestrial kingdom for the imperishable crown of the Kingdom of Christ and instead of the scepter you have received a cross in your hand – you are rejoicing with the Tsarina and children.

In the day of much-afflicted Job you were born; much distress you endured: disdain, treachery, expulsion, brutal murder, and after-after the death-slander against your honest name; yet you received your reward not from the men, but from the Lord. Thereby, intercede for the salvation on behalf of the sons of Russia.

Aforementioned Job’s pleasant life had your life become identical to, holy Great-Martyr; not merely honor and glory, as well as Tsar’s crown, but also life itself Satan had desired to take away from you, yet he was overcome to you.

To The Virgin
Thou have been gracious to accept the scepter of the All-Russian kingdom from the hand of the holy Tsar, O Potent Lady. Do not cease covering holy Russia with thy glorious protection.

Song 9
The Word of God came from God in unspeakable wisdom-to renew Adam, who utterly fell into corruption-from the Holy Virgin was inexplicably incarnated for our sake; the faithful ones extol Him single-mindedly.

It would be better for you not to be born, wicked tormentors, for it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the Day of Judgment than for the murderers of the Holy Tsar; by his prayers, Lord, strengthen the faith of the Orthodox ones.

You commanded us, Holy Tsar, not to avenge your murder, saying: “Lest evil be multiplied in the land of Russia, for evil will not defeat evil, but only love will.” Therefore, pray that we will amass love for God and our neighbors.

Prayer of the Optina Elders

Lord, give me peace of mind to meet everything that the coming day brings me. Let me completely surrender to Your holy will. For every hour of this day, instruct and support me in everything. Whatever news I receive during the day, teach me to accept it with a calm soul and firm conviction that everything is Thy holy will. In all my words and deeds guide my thoughts and feelings. In all unforeseen cases, do not let me forget that everything is sent down by You. Teach me to act directly and reasonably with each member of my family, without embarrassing or upsetting anyone. Lord, give me the strength to endure the fatigue of the coming day and all the events during the day. Guide my will and teach me to pray, believe, hope, endure, forgive and love. Amen.”

Both now. Of Pascha. Mode pl. 1.

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

May God put His hand upon the world and save it, When the great countries fight each other, it’s the small countries that suffer injustices. Much, much prayer is needed to enlighten the great leaders of the world… Saint Paisios of the Holy Mountain

Prayer is a powerful weapon
by Saint Paisios of the Holy Mountain

“Much Prayer Is Needed”

Παναγία ΠΑΝΑΓΙΑ Παρηγορητρια_ ιερό ναό αγιου Δημητριου Βύρωνος Αθήνα, 8-9-2020In the past, in order to do something, a worldly person would think. If he were a spiritual person, he would think and pray. In our time, even “spiritual” people not only don’t pray, they don’t even think. In fact, this frequently involves serious matters, and all they do is practice on people. In all circumstances, before we act we should say, “Have I thought about this? Have I prayed about this?” When someone acts without thinking and without praying, he acts satanically. And you often see many Christians acting in a way that doesn’t allow God to intervene. They imagine that they can manage everything by themselves. Whereas even an unbeliever may say an occasional “God will provide”, the “believer” won’t. Someone may have strong objections, for example, to the carnival and try to attack it directly, whereas he can pray and God will pour down such hail that it will scatter everyone and cancel every activity. Or, let’s say, some people criticize a bishop and the others make an appeal to the Council of State. But they don’t even stop there. They go on to have demonstrations, disturbances, articles in the newspaper…An endless array of human efforts that leave no room for God to act. They don’t resort to prayer, for God to respond through prayer. With humility and prayer all the seemingly unsolved problems can be corrected.

Today we live in apocalyptic times. It doesn’t take a prophet to understand this. Things are moving fast. What awaits us, we don’t know. That a crisis is coming is clear from the current situation. And this is one more reason from the current situation. And this is one more reason why we must rely more on prayer and fight evil with prayer. This is the only solution. We must appeal to God to have mercy on His creation–although we are unworthy of His pity. There will be no end to the problems. Everyone will do whatever comes into his head. What Saint Cosmas said will take place: “One will walk for hours to find a human being: and those who survive will be eating with golden spoons.” Of course, some think: “Since the prophecies will be fulfilled anyway, what’s the use of prayer?” God sees events unfolding in this manner, but we still pray for some evil to be less harmful and to be limited in scope. That’s why it is written in the Gospel that “for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened (cf., St. Matthew 24:22; St. Mark 13:20). For example, in a war a miracle takes place through the power of prayer, more people are saved, there are fewer casualties, in which case people are helped spiritually, believe and are transformed in the good sense of the term.

This situation is serious. It is a miracle that the world is still here and hasn’t been blown to pieces. May God put His hand upon the world and save it, for the whole world depends on three or four individuals. The fate of the world is in the hands of a few madmen. The proverb says, “The horses kick and the chickens die.” That’s how it is. When the great countries fight each other, it’s the small countries that suffer injustices. The large nations kick each other and the small ones are destroyed. Much, much prayer is needed to enlighten the great leaders of the world, for, if they want to, they can destroy the world. God can give them a little enlightenment very easily. If God enlightens, someone can give an order and everything changes.Προσευχή_prayer_proseyhi_ Молитва_114026.b-Geronda (Elder), with your blessing, tell us a few things for which we should be particularly praying.

First of all, we should beseech God that our prayer will draw those who are now living and those who will live in the future to devotion to God. In my prayer I say, “Extend your mercy on those who know Thee and then I add, and on those who do not Thee.” I even say, “Lord, save the impious.” (Of course the Church has properly arranged to say, “Lord, save the pious,” for the impious may be cursing the pious for praying for them.) When again the priest says, “For those who have asked us, unworthy though we be, to pray for them,” I like to add and “for those who have not asked us to pray for them.” Because we should pray for those who ask us and for those who don’t ask us, for those we know and for strangers, too. There are so many thousands of people who have greater need and more serious problems than those who have asked us to pray for them. We should also pray for those who have suffered injustices, that justice may prevail, that grace may be given to those in prison that their sufferings may be transformed into opportunities for spiritual help.

When I put wood on the fire, I praise God and say, “My God, provide warmth for those who don’t have it.” When again I burn the letters people send me–I read them and burn them because they contain private material and personal confessions–I say, “May God burn up all their flaws; may He help them lead a spiritual life and sanctify them.” I also make it a habit to ask the Saints to protect the people who bear their name, and the Communion of Saints to protect those without a Patron Saint.

-Geronda (Elder), which is better, to ask for God’s mercy in general, or to refer to specific and concrete requests in accordance with “Ask, and it shall be given you” (St. Matthew 7:7)

-You should pray in general and say, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on those who are suffering in body and in spirit.” This prayer includes those who have fallen asleep in the Lord. When someone you know comes to mind, say a prayer for him, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on your servant so-and-so,” and then move on to a prayer for everyone, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon the whole world.” You may, of course, bring to mind someone who is in need and pray a little for that person, but then you should say, “Lord Jesus Christ have mercy upon us” and be pained for everyone so the train (i.e., the prayer) doesn’t leave with only one passenger. We shouldn’t get caught up with one person and then be unable to help either ourselves or others with our prayer. For instance, when you pray for a cancer patient, pray for all cancer patients, and add a prayer for all those who have already fallen asleep in the Lord. Or when you encounter some unfortunate person, let your mind and heart reach out immediately to all the unfortunate people and pray for them. As a child I remember a beggar who died outside a Turkish home, ten meters away from out home. His name was Petros. The Turkish woman found him in the morning lying outside her home and nudged him to get up; she then realized he had died. I still remember him in my prayer. How many such “Petros” are there in the world!

Αρσένιος ο Καππαδόκης_St. Arsenios of Cappadocia_Св Арсений Каппадокийский ΑΓ ΑΡΣΕΝΙΟΣ ΚΑΙ ΠΑΙΣΙΟΣ Icon-777When we think of specific matters and see that our fellow human beings are suffering, our heart is moved, and we benefit from this. Thus, our pained heart can move from specific matters to the more general and provide greater help through prayer of the heart…

“…There are many who are working and they’re working hard. Some are working for the good of the Church and of the State. Others are working to bring about harm; they stay awake searching for ways to destroy the world. Still others band together to find ways to prevent the previous ones from doing evil. Others again work day and night to find solutions to the solutions to the general problems of the world. Pray then that God may enlighten even the evildoers to do less evil, or prevent them altogether from doing anything evil. Pray that God enlightens the good people to help the world. Pray for those who want to work but cannot because they are sick. Pray for the healthy who need work but cannot find any. Think of the various cases that may exist and pray for their solution. When the mind goes out to all of these people, the heart is stirred by the pain and suffering and then the Prayer becomes prayer of the heart. There are so many people who have a need in the course of the day. There should be no waste of time. From the person who doesn’t have a great need for prayer–regardless of whether he thinks he does–one can move on to think of all those whose need is greater. Thus help comes to the one who thought he had need, because he became the cause for the other person to pray for many. (Source: Spiritual Awakening, by Saint (Elder) Paisios of Mount Athos, Spiritual Counsels II)