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Today they’re trying to destroy faith… The Lord though at the appropriate time will present the Marks, the Eugenikos and the Gregory Palamas’ who will assemble all our deeply scandalized brothers, to confess the Orthodox faith and strengthen the traditions of the Church and give great joy to our Mother, the Church.” St. Paisios the Athonite – St. Athanasius of Brest-Litovsk

Ζαχαρίας Ιωάννη Προδρόμου_Zechariah priest_Захария отец Иоанна Крестителя_0_8963e_fe156ac6_Synaxarion.
On September 5, we commemorate Zacharias the Prophet, the father of the Forerunner.
On this day St. Abdaeus of Hormidz-Ardashir, Persia, died when he was beaten with spiked rods (c. 420)
On this day, we commemorate the holy martyrs Medimnus, Urban, Theodore, and 80 priests and deacons. (370)
On this day we commemorate St. Peter of Athira, and Appearance of Apostle Peter to Emperor Justinian at Athyra (Thrace), near Constantinople (552)
Martyrdom of Venerable Athanasius of Brest-Litovsk, Abbot, of Brest-Litovsk, by the Latins (1648)

Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Ζαχαρίας Ιωάννη Προδρόμου_Zechariah priest_Захария отец Иоанна Крестителя_ DECANI_CX4K3404Men strive in vain to discover those things that God intentionally conceals from them. If God had not permitted, men would never have found gold and silver beneath the earth, or the power of steam or the glow of electrical light. In vain, Herod slaughtered countless children in Bethlehem in order to slay One. That One was hidden from the sight and sword of Herod. In vain did Herod seek John. Behold the wonder: soldiers pursued the aged Elizabeth, who was fleeing with John in her arms-and could not catch up with her! The enraged Herod summoned Zacharias and demanded: “Give me your son John!” The aged priest meekly replied: “I am now serving the Lord God of Israel. I know not where my son is.” Insane with rage, Herod ordered Zacharias slain in place of John. The servants of the king entered the Temple and asked Zacharias: “Where have you hidden your son? Give him to us for the king has so ordered. If you do not give him to us, you yourself will die.” Zacharias replied: “You will kill my body but the Lord will receive my soul.” Thus Zacharias was slain, but Herod was not content with that.
The wicked king had no peace, day or night, for he was tormented by a foreboding that John could be that newborn king proclaimed by the Magi from the East. Herod tried to find him, but in vain, for God had intentionally hidden him.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič 
http://livingorthodoxfaith.blogspot.gr/2010/04/prologue-september-5-september-18.html

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Remembering Holy Hieromartyr Athanasius the Abbot of Brest-Litovsk, Confessor and Defender of Orthodoxy in Poland and Lithuania

Αθανάσιος του Μπρεστ_Athanasius of Brest-Litovsk_0905athanasius-brestskyWe remember today the blessed martyr, Igumen St. Athanasius (Filipovich) of Brest-Litovsk, the steadfast and learned monastic who together with his monastery resisted the Union of Brest, and who fell victim both to the hatred of the Jesuits and to the vagaries of Russian border politics.

Athanasius is the ecclesiastical name of this gentle monk, but we do not know his earthly name. We do know, however, that he was born around 1597 to a fairly well-to-do Belarusian family, and that he was tutored by an Orthodox parish school from a very early age, and later graduated from a Jesuit university. He kept a diary in his youth, and had a remarkable gift for languages, being knowledgeable in Greek and Latin as well as in Polish and White Russian. He made his living as a court tutor for the Polish-Lithuanian Chancellor’s family, as well as for those of several merchants of the realm. However, he found his monastic vocation in Vilnius, where in 1627 he joined the monastery attached to the Church of the Holy Spirit, and later the Holy Ascension Monastery in Dubovsk, where he was ordained a hieromonk. This monastery was seized by the Jesuits not four years later, however, and the monks of Dubovsk were relocated to Kupiaticka.

Athanasius distinguished himself as a monk by his care for his brothers and for the poor. On one occasion as he was travelling outside the monastery he met a lame man and bore him up on his back. This lame man spoke with him about matters of faith, and Athanasius took this incident as a sign from God that his podvig would be to struggle for the Orthodox way in the Polish and Lithuanian lands.

At another time, he was tasked with finding donors to his monastery for the task of rebuilding the Church of the Icon of the Mother of God. He prayed before this icon, and the Blessed Virgin appeared to him, telling him to go to the court of Mikhail Feodorovich, the Tsar of Russia, for help in building the Church, and he obeyed. The journey was long, arduous and dangerous, given the lawlessness that prevailed in that time on account of the Thirty Years’ War; but under the protection of the Mother of God, Athanasius reached Moscow in safety and was welcomed warmly by the Tsar, who proceeded to make a generous donation for the rebuilding of the church at Kupiaticka.

In 1640, Hieromonk Athanasius was elected to be the igumen (abbot) of the Monastery of St. Simeon in Brest, where he would live out the rest of his life struggling on behalf of the Orthodox Christians who lived in that city, who were discriminated against by the authorities for their faith and who were constantly being harangued by the Jesuits who sought to convert them to the Unia. Moved to pity for them, he exhorted the Orthodox believers of Brest to be strong in their faith, and eventually, again guided by the Holy Theotokos, he went before the Polish sejm. Taking the icon of the Mother of God of Kupiaticka and the cross with him, he appeared in Warsaw before the Polish noblemen and king, and he spoke out loudly against the Jesuits and the Union of Brest, saying that the Mother of God had warned him of God’s displeasure that the Orthodox Christians of Brest were so persecuted.

For his daring to speak thus before the Polish king, St. Athanasius was thrown into the dungeons and pronounced mentally ill, though in fact the good monk was simply following in the Russian tradition of yurodstvo—”foolishness for Christ.” On the day of Christ’s Baptism, he escaped from the dungeon and went out into the cold streets of Warsaw wearing nothing but a cloak and cowl, running into the Latin churches and warning them of the punishment of God. The authorities were called, and they had him flogged and kicked, then thrown into a ditch. A Polish judge stripped him of his abbatial office and even of his status as a hieromonk, a judgement which was to be confirmed by Metropolitan Peter of Kiev. However, the Metropolitan refused to condemn the holy hieromonk, and reinstated Athanasius as the igumen of St. Simeon Monastery.

The persecutions of Orthodox believers in Brest resumed, however, and riots instigated by the Jesuits made it impossible for the Orthodox clergy to hold Divine Liturgy in their own churches. For a third time the Mother of God appeared to St. Athanasius; once again he was sent to plead the case of the Orthodox believers before the Polish King; and once again he was thrown into prison: this time on a trumped-up charge that he had conspired against the Polish kingdom when on his visit to Russia to raise funds for the Church. During his second imprisonment he wrote lengthy epistles to the Polish king denouncing the Unia, reminding the king of his promise of religious tolerance in his realm, and pleading that the Orthodox believers might be permitted to worship in peace; but the most the Polish king would do was to release him to Metropolitan Peter on the understanding that he would spend the rest of his days in Kiev and never again return to Brest as a monk or a priest. The Metropolitan gladly welcomed his brother in Christ, and Athanasius stayed at the Monastery of the Caves in Kiev as long as Metropolitan Peter remained alive. But he returned to Brest in 1647 upon the Metropolitan’s repose.

When the rising of the Zaporozhian Cossacks occurred the following year, Athanasius was taken prisoner for a third and final time, and charged, without a shred of proof, with having provided material support to the Cossacks in the form of smuggling gunpowder through the monastery (sadly a common charge against Orthodox churches by the Uniates even to this day). When no proof of material-smuggling was found in the search of the monastery, Athanasius was then charged with profaning the Latin Church and the Unia. When he again denounced the Unia before his interrogators, he was thrown into prison, where the Jesuits alternately threatened him with torture and cajoled him with freedom, if he would join the Uniates. The holy monk refused to renounce his faith, crying aloud, “Anathema to the Union!” On September 5, 1648 the monk was taken from the castle by the Polish soldiery into the forests outside of Brest, tortured cruelly with red-hot coals, flaying and burning, and forced to watch as his grave was dug. One last time he was told to renounce the Orthodox faith, and he refused. The soldier who was ordered to carry out the execution, seeing the steadfastness of the holy martyr, knelt before him and asked Athanasius’s forgiveness, before shooting him twice in the head. This failed to kill the holy saint, however, and the soldiers threw him into the open grave. The holy hieromartyr managed to cross his arms before he landed in the grave and was buried alive.

The students at the monastery school of St. Simeon described that night as one of terror for them; though not a cloud appeared in the sky, sounds of thunder were heard and flashes of lightning were seen. It was over eight months before the monks of St. Simeon dared to leave the city and look for the body of their igumen, having been told by a local boy where the monk had been executed; they had to steal out in secret to dig up St. Athanasius’s relics because the land still belonged to the Jesuits. When they dug up his body at last, his relics were shown to be free of corruption, and he was moved into the monastery and given a proper burial there.

The relics of holy Hieromartyr Athanasius have been translated several times. The Monastery of St. Simeon suffered a fire in 1815; the relics were found to be intact and reinterred beneath the altar when the church was rebuilt, eventually moved into the sarcophagus so the parishioners could pray over the relics. In 1893, the relics were transferred to the church named in the hieromartyr’s honor in Grodno; and some of the relics were subsequently moved to an Orthodox convent in the bordering province of Lublin; when the nuns were relocated first to Siberia and then to Paris, the relics of St. Athanasius went with them, before being restored to Lublin in 1996. The courage, the steadfastness in the faith, and the love for the persecuted by which the holy monk lived his life are virtues for which all Orthodox Christians should strive; and St. Athanasius of Brest-Litovsk remains a beloved source of inspiration for Russian and Polish Orthodox Christians alike.

Holy Hieromartyr Athanasius, Confessor of Orthodoxy, pray to God for us sinners!

http://heavyangloorthodox.blogspot.com/2016/09/remembering-holy-hieromartyr-athanasius.html
https://orthochristian.com/97049.html

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St. Paisios the Athonite

Παΐσιος o Αγιορείτης _Saint Paisios of Mount Athos_Паи́сий Святого́рец_vpcuviosul-paisie-aghioritul3ae53eeca7c0a149a173cToday they’re trying to destroy faith, and for the edifice of faith to fall they quietly pull out one stone, then another. But we’re all responsible for the destruction; not just those who destroy but we who see how faith is being undermined and make no effort to strengthen it. As a result the seducers are emboldened to create even greater difficulties for us, and their rage against the Church and the monastic life increases.
Today’s situation can be resisted only spiritually, not by worldly means. The storm will continue to rage a bit, will throw all the flotsam, everything unnecessary, onto the shore, and then the situation will become clearer. Some will receive their reward, while others will have to pay their debts.

Today there are many who strive to corrupt everything: the family, the youth, the Church. In our day it’s a true witness to speak up for one’s people, for the state is waging war against divine law. It’s laws are directed against the Law of God.

But we are responsible for not letting the enemies of the Church corrupt everything. Though I’ve heard even priests say: “Don’t get involved in that. It’s none of your business!” If they had reached such a non-striving condition through prayer I would kiss their feet. But no! They’re indifferent because they want to please everyone and live in comfort.

Indifference is unacceptable even for laymen, and all the more so for the clergy. An honest, spiritual man doesn’t do anything with indifference. “Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully”, says the Prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 48:10). There’s a war on today, a holy war. I must be on the front lines. There are so many Marxists, so many Masons, so many Satanists and assorted others! So many possessed, anarchists and seduced ones! I see what awaits us, and it’s painful for me. The bitter taste of human pain is in my mouth.

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Άγιος Παΐσιος ο Αγιορείτης _Преподобный старец Паисий Святогорец_ St.Paisios of the Holy Mountain_Παισιος ο αγιορεί“Today unfortunately, the European courtesy has come in and they try to show themselves as being nice. They wish to show superiority and finally they end up worshiping the two horned devil. “One religion, they tell you, should exist” and they level out everything. Some also come to me and tell me, “All of us who believe in Christ should create one religion.” Now it is as if you are telling me, I told them, about gold and copper, so many carats of gold and that much copper, that was separated, to gather them and make them one again. Is it correct to mix them again? Ask a jeweler. Is it proper to mix trash with gold? So much struggle was waged to distil the dogma. The Holy Fathers must have known something for prohibiting the relationships with the heretics. Today they say: “We should pray together not only with the heretics but also with the Buddhist and with the fire worshiper and the demon worshiper. The Orthodox must also be present in common prayers and in their conferences. It is a presence.” What presence? They resolve everything with logic and justify the unjustifiable. The European mind also believes that spiritual matters can also come into the Common Market. Some of the Orthodox who are shallow and wish to make a promotion, “a mission,” they arrange conferences with the heterodox to cause a sensation, believing this way that they promote Orthodoxy, by becoming so to speak “Hungarian goulash” with the false believers. Then the super-zealots take hold of the other end; they also blaspheme against the Mysteries of the New-calendarists, etc. and deeply scandalize the souls who have piety and Orthodox sensitivity. On the other hand, the heterodox come to conferences, act like teachers, take whatever good spiritual thing they find from the Orthodox, they process it, they give it their own color and mark and they present it as a prototype. And the strange contemporary world becomes touched by such strange things and is spiritually destroyed. The Lord though at the appropriate time will present the Marks, the Eugenikos and the Gregory Palamas’ who will assemble all our deeply scandalized brothers, to confess the Orthodox faith and strengthen the traditions of the Church and give great joy to our Mother, the Church.”

Apolytikion of Zachariah
Second Tone

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

Troparion of the Martyred Monk Athanasius of Brest, in Tone II—

Blessed art thou, O Athanasius our father, for thou didst live by faith, standing vigilantly for the holy Orthodox Faith, ever chanting with compunction the akathist hymn to the all-pure one, admonishing all not to adulterate the holy Orthodox Faith, in witness to the Truth whereof thou didst suffer even unto the death. And, honoring thy holiness, we cry out to thee with boldness: O venerable martyr Athanasius our father, thou art our boast and adornment!

in Tone IV:
Spec. Mel.: “Thou hast granted a sign …”:

With the oil of anointing and holy vesture upon thyself, * O ever-memorable Zacharias, * thou didst minister unto God like an angel, * mediating, O blessed one, * between the Creator and His creation, * and manifestly receiving the words of the divine Spirit. * Wherefore, we call thee blessed, * and celebrate today thy holy festival, * glorifying the Savior. (Twice)

O divinely inspired Zacharias, * thou didst behold born of a maiden * a Babe Who is equally unoriginate with the Father; * and unto thine own child thou dost prophecy manifestly beforehand: * “A prophet shalt thou truly be, * preparing His ways!” * With him we call thee blessed * and in sacred manner we celebrate thine honored festival, * O God-bearer who art most rich.

Thou wast the living and animate temple * of the divine Spirit; * and, ministering unto God * with a pure heart, O glorious one, * in the midst of the temple thou wast unjustly slain, * finishing thy godly course in martyrdom, O right-glorious one. * Wherefore, with thine own blood * thou hast entered into the temple of heaven, * entreating cleansing for our souls.

At the aposticha of the Martyred Monk Athanasius of Brest, these stichera, in Tone IV—

Rejoice, O venerable martyr Athanasius, chosen vessel of God, for, having loved Christ from thy youth, by a voice of command thou wast called to serve His Orthodox Church; and having labored for Him in the sweat of thy brow, thou didst guide the people with the light of the true Faith. Wherefore, by thy supplications ask now of Christ, the Bestower of light, that He grant peace and confirmation to our Church and enlightenment to our souls.

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

Rejoice, O leader of monks who wast chosen beforehand by the providence of God for this! For by the choice of God thou wast made abbot of the monastery of Brest, that by thy right praiseworthy life and by thy glorious stand in Holy Orthodoxy thou mightest magnify the Orthodox people in the right Faith. And having received the abbatial staff, thou didst do the will of Him Who sent thee forth to this struggle. Wherefore, we also cry aloud unto thee: O Athanasius our father, by thy supplications insure the good estate of our homes and communities.

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

We bless thee, O venerable martyr Athanasius, for thou wast illumined with the light of heavenly knowledge in the workings of thy pastorship and thy defense of the Truth; for thou didst see a wondrous vision, beholding the regiments of the army of heaven vanquishing the persecutors of the true Church of Christ, and having armed thyself with trust in God, as a God-fearing man, thou didst rise up against the enemies of the Orthodox Faith, undaunted either by imprisonment, or fetters, or tortures, or death. But having endured all these, thou hast received from God the crown of victory. Wherefore, we beseech thee: entreat Christ God, that He protect our Church from the assaults of the enemy.

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Good Lord, strengthen the faith in us and have mercy on us.

Νίνα της Γεωργίας_ Saint Nina_ წმინდა ნინო_Света Нина Грузије_ святой Нины ИберииΝΙΝΑ b4529287cbf4Saints Salome of Ujarma and Perozhavra of Sivnia, disciples of St. Nino, Enlightener of Georgia (ca.361)
Saint Paul of Thebes (342)
Holy 6 Monk-Martyrs of the Desert, who reposed peacefully.
Saint John Kalyvites (the hut-dweller) of Constantinople (~450)
Prochorus, Abbot in the Vranski Desert on the River Pchinja, in Bulgaria (10th century) and Saint Gabriel, Founder of Lesnov Monastery in Bulgaria

Commemorated on January 15

Saints Salome of Ujarma and Perozhavra of Sivnia

ΣΑΛΩΜΗ ΟΥΤΖΑΡΜΑ_saints_salome_of_ujarma_Саломия Уджармская (IV в.), сподвижница святой Нины 0_181bc8_c481aa2f_origSaints Salome of Ujarma and Perozhavra of Sivnia were the helpers and closest companions of St. Nino, Enlightener of Georgia. St. Nino herself had converted them to the Christian Faith.
Salome was the wife of Revi, the son of King Mirian, and Perozhavra was married to the ruler of the Kartli region. Both women were queens, but they succeeded in serving St. Nino while retaining their imperial roles. St. Nino taught them to pray, and the0women fasted regularly and performed good works. As a result of their influential social status, the two queens were able to help St. Nino tremendously in spreading the Christian Faith.
After the conversion of Kartli, with inspiration from St. Nino and by the order of King Mirian, St. Salome erected a cross in Ujarma in the Kakheti region.
When St. Nino fell ill in the village of Bodbe, the queens Salome and Perozhavra stood by her bed and wept bitterly at having to part with their beloved teacher and healer. They entreated St. Nino, who was finishing her last hours on this earth, saying, “Tell us, our Queen, how did you come to our country to free our souls, and where were you raised? Tell us how to continue your good works. You who have delivered us from bondage to the enemy, tell us, what shall we do?”
From the information that St. Nino then related to them, Sts. Salome and Perozhavra wrote The Life of St. Nino, Enlightener of Georgia. The Apostolic Orthodox Church of Georgia commemorates them on January 15, the day following the commemoration of St. Nino.
O Holy Saints Salome and Perozhavra, standing before Christ our King and our God, have mercy on us and save us! (on the book THE LIVES OF THE GEORGIAN SAINTS by Archpriest Zakaria Machitadze, St. Herman Press Platina)

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Saint John Kushchnik (Kalybites – “the Hut-Dweller”)
St. Nikolai Velimirovic

ΙΩΑΝΝΗΣ ΚΑΛΥΒΙΤΗΣ-John Kalyvites ( = the hut dweller) . Преподобный Иоанн Кущник65645654John was born in Constantinople of wealthy and distinguished parents during the reign of Leo I. He was the only child of his parents. Drawn by the inclination for the spiritual life, the young John secretly fled with a monk to a monastery in Asia Minor. In this monastery he remained for six years in the greatest restraint, prayer and obedience toward the abbot. Then the devil assailed him with temptation that he should leave the monastery and return home to his parents and there to live with them as a nobleman. Indeed, he returned to the home of his parents dressed as a beggar. He saw his parents, but did not introduce himself. He took up lodging as a beggar in their courtyard, living, so to say, from the crumbs which the servants threw to him and enduring many ridicules from everyone. As such, John lived for three years constantly praying to God that He save the souls of his father and mother. When John fell ill and sensed death approaching, he made himself known to his parents who recognized him by a precious book of the Gospels which they had given him in his childhood and which he had kept for himself as his only possession. And so, this young man, even though he was very wealthy, defeated the devil and saved his soul and the souls of his parents. He died in the Lord about the year 450 A.D.
Source: St. Nikolai Velimirovic, The Prologue of Ohrid – Volume One
http://prologue.orthodox.cn/January15.htm

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Homily
by St Nikolai Velimirovic
About the trial of our faith

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearance of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7).

Παύλος Θηβαίος_St Paul of Thebes_Св. Павел Фиве́йский_ღირსი პავლე თებაიდელი_ΠΑΥΛΟΣ ΘΗΒΑΙΟΜBrethren, our faith is tried more often than is the reed rocked by the winds. Trials are like the winds: a weak faith they will uproot and a strong faith will be strengthened even more. Trials are also like the flame in which straw is burned and gold is purified.

Man’s intellectual pursuits and suppositions also try our faith. These are very strong and bitter winds. But we can overcome them if we are willing to adhere to the words of God and if, in opposition to those intellectual pursuits, we are able to emphasize the teachings of the Faith of Christ.

Our faith is further tried by fear and shame: fear of men who persecute the Faith and shame of men who arrogantly despise the Faith. These also are strong winds which we must resist if we wish to remain alive. How will we resist them? By the fear of God which should always be greater in our soul than the fear of men and of shame before the apostles, saints and martyrs who were not ashamed of their faith before emperors, princes and sages of this world.

Our faith is further tried by suffering and misery. This is the fire in which our faith either has to be burned like straw or to be tempered as pure gold. We will resist these trials if we would but remember Christ crucified on the Cross for us and so many thousands of martyrs for the Faith who, in their patience, conquered all and emerged from the flames as gold and who for centuries glow among the angels and among men.

Our faith is also tried by death, the death of our relatives and friends and the death of mankind in general. This is the bitter fire in which the faith of many have been burned. Is death the end of everything? It is not, but rather believe that it is the beginning of everything; it is the beginning of a new and just life. Believe in the Resurrection of Christ, believe in life beyond the grave and believe in the general resurrection and the Dreadful Judgment.

O Good Lord, strengthen the faith in us and have mercy on us.

To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.
http://prologue.orthodox.cn/July2.htm

Your word, O Lord, is life and truth. Cleanse us by Your All-powerful word as You cleansed Your apostles to bear much fruit and to be made worthy of Your kingdom.

O Lord, Eternal and Immortal, allow these holy words of Yours to ring in the souls of Your faithful always whenever a persecution is raised up against Your Holy Church that, holding on to Your right hand, we may not be afraid.

Send your petition to God and the saints by means of the telegraph of faith and you will speedily obtain an answer. Think of them with your whole heart and they will be present with you. St. Nikolai Velimirovic
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2021/01/14/send-your-petition-to-god-and-the-saints-by-means-of-the-telegraph-of-faith-and-you-will-speedily-obtain-an-answer-think-of-them-with-your-whole-heart-and-they-will-be-present-with-you-st-nikolai-v/Αντώνιος ο Μέγας_St Anthony the Great_Св. Антоний Вели́кий_ ანტონი დიდი_orthodox icon_Παυλος Θηβαιος_2326688Troparion of St. Nina of Georgia, Tone 4

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

Troparion — Tone 8

In you the image was preserved with exactness, O Mothers, / for taking up your cross, you followed after Christ. / By so doing, you taught us to disregard the flesh, for it passes away, / but to care instead for the soul, since it is immortal. / Therefore, most venerable Mothers Salome and Perozhavra your spirits rejoice with the Angels.

Troparion Venerable Paul of Thebes — Tone 3

Inspired by the Spirit, / you were the first to dwell in the desert in emulation of Elijah the zealot; / as one who imitated the angels, you were made known to the world by Saint Anthony the Great. / Righteous Paul, entreat Christ God to grant us His great mercy.

Troparion Venerable John Calabytes “the Hut-Dweller” — Tone 4

From your early youth, / you longed with fervor for the things of the Lord. / Leaving the world and its pleasures, / you became an example of monastic life. / Most blessed John, you built your hut at the door of your parents’ house and overcame the devil’s guiles. / Therefore Christ Himself has worthily glorified you.

Kontakion — Tone 2
(Podoben: “Having received the grace…“)

Because of your love of God you forsook a bed for rest, O Mothers Salome and Perozhavra, / you illumined your souls with fasting, thoroughly vanquishing your enemies; / but by your intercessions destroy the evil designs of our adversaries.

Venerable Paul, in Tone I:
Spec. Mel.: “Joy of the ranks of heaven …”:

O thrice-blessed Paul, * thou didst show thyself to the world * to be the beginning of the life of the heaven-scaling path of virtue; * for well didst thou appoint spiritual ascents in their soul, * whereby thou didst achieve the apex of the virtues * through abstinence and many pangs.

Furnishing thy mind with wings to fly to divine desire, O blessed one, * thou didst ascend to the upper desert * and didst draw nigh unto the darkness, * wherein thou wast radiantly illumined by the understanding of God * and wast anointed on the tablets of thy heart * with the splendor of the virtues.

The desert blossomed with the beauteous flowers of thy virtues; * for thou didst destroy the thorns of the passions therein, * and didst plant the right glorious pangs * of thy divine words. * Wherefore, like a lily planted by God, * thou dost now perfume us with the sweet fragrance of thy life.

venerable John, in Tone II:
Spec. Mel.: “When from the Tree …”:

When at the behest of God thou didst flee the beauties of the world, rejoicing, O father, thou didst prefer the narrow and exceeding hard path of pain to the broad one. Wherefore, clothed in the image of God, thou didst receive the care of souls, O divinely blessed one, for thine avoidance and denial of pleasures.

Wounded by the love of Christ, Whose ineffable poverty thou didst love, thou didst conceive of a strange life, a strange undertaking, O father; and as a homeless pauper at thy parents’ gate, thou didst endure affliction and oppression. Wherefore, thou wast filled with spiritual gifts and hast inherited riches in the heavens which cannot be taken away.

Bearing the sacred Gospel in thy hands, O father, thou becamest a fulfiller thereof. Spurning the possessions of thy parents, by tears and poverty thou didst perfect thy whole life, O venerable John. Wherefore, thou dost now delight in divine consolation and never-ending gladness, O all-blessed one.


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..
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2019/12/02/35614/

I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee… St John the Silent bishop of Colonia of St Sabbas Monastery
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2016/12/02/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.  


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

Επταβηματίζουσα Παναγία_Αννα_Byzantine Orthodox icon-290_dionisiatMartyrs Demetrius, his wife Evanthia, and their son Demetrian, at Skepsis on the Hellespont (1st century)
Venerable Theodora of Alexandria (491)
Holy Martyr Theodora of Vasta, in the central Peloponnese (10th century)
Saint Paphnutius the Confessor, Bishop in the Egyptian Thebaid (4th century)
Saint Euphrosynus the Cook of Alexandria (9th century)
Venerable Elias the Cave-dweller of Calabria (Elia Speleota), and his spiritual father St. Arsenios (c. 960)
Translation of relics of Sergius and Herman, Wonder-workers of Valaam Monastery (1542-1550)
Matuska Lyubushka (= Love) Fool for Christ of Susanino of St. Petersburg (1997), spiritual daughter of Saint Seraphim of Viritsa (-1949)
Glorification of St. Xenia of Saint Petersburg, Fool-for-Christ (1978)

Commemorated on September 11

“He who endures to the end will be saved”Patience of sorrows is the highest virtue of our time, said Staritsa Blessed Lyubushka Fool for Christ of Susanino

HOMILY
About enduring to the end
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

“But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved” (St. Matthew 24:13).

Παναγια Γλυκοφιλουσα_Божией Матери Икона_Virgin Mary –Byzantine Orthodox Icon_181_05df0d1c0ff023a96defd95ff1b75821O Lord most wonderful, You have endured all, all to the end. That is why You became not only blessed but the source of blessings for all men who desire good forthemselves throughout the ages of ages.
The apostles endured all to the end and entered into blessed eternity. The saints willingly endured the difficulties and sufferings to the end and were glorified, both in heaven and on earth.
The martyrs willingly endured all pains to the end and became the adopted co-inheritors of the Kingdom of Christ.

Every founder of a new organization recruits followers for himself with the promise of good fruits and many pleasures but deliberately remains silent about the hardships and labors which lead to those fruits and pleasures. Our Lord Jesus is the only one Who spoke the whole truth to His followers, both the bitter and the sweet side of the truth. He did not promise fruits without service, nor glory without suffering, nor ultimate rest without the thorny path, nor victory without struggle, nor pleasure without bitterness, nor the kingdom without tears and self-denial.

Although our Lord counted the many difficulties which would befall His followers, in the end He does not abandon them without comfort. He gives meaning to their sufferings and does not leave them in darkness. He says, “The one who perseveres to the end will be saved.” What is that blessing which awaits those who endure to the end that He Jesus fully revealed and that has been witnessed even until today and is being witnessed by many saints, who, have either appeared in glory to the faithful from the other world or who, while yet in the flesh, were uplifted in the spirit to a vision of that glory and blessedness which await the faithful, the chosen and persevering?

O Lord, You are our strength. Help us to endure to the end with faith that You are beside us.

To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič 
http://prologue.orthodox.cn/March9.htm

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ΣΕΡΑΦΕΙΜ ΒΙΡΙΤΣΑ_Σεραφείμ-Saint Seraphim of Vyritsa_Преп. Серафим, Вырицкий__7c205y_92f012c6Lyubushka of Susanino (Lyubov Ivanovna Lazareva; 1911/1912 (?) – 1997), Blessed, ascetic. She lived with her elder brother in Peresburg after her parents died in 1923. She worked at the factory “Red Triangular”, then she worked at the linen factory. She was settled in the psychiatric hospital but she escaped. She lived without home and passport, wandered, leaded the life of “God’s fool”. She moved to Kuban before WWII, where she lived for six years, then she returned to Leningrad. She lived in a forest, in a cemeteries. St Seraphim of Vyritsa and Archimandrite Naum from the Holy Trinity- St Sergius Lavra were her spiritual teachers. She lived in the settlement of Vyritsa as homeless for seven years and from 1974 she lived in the house of L.I. Mironova. From 1983 she lived in the settlement of Susanino of the Gatchina District where Mironova bought the house. Lyubushka of Susanino was well-known as a prophetess and thousands of people came to her for the spiritual advices. From the end of 1995 she was in the Nicholas- Shartomsky Monastery of the Ivanovj District for about year and from 1997 she was in the Kazan Convent in the town of Vyshny Volochok of the Tver District where she died after the serious illness. She was buried in the Kazan Convent and the Chapel was constructed under her grave. The “Lyubushka House” having the prayer room was built in Susanino near the church.

 Blessed – wanderer Lyubushka, as well as her spiritual mentor St. Seraphim Vyritsky, accepted the feat of pillar domination. She prayed, never allowing herself to sit down, nor lie down. In the village of Susanino, not far from the Kazan Church, Lyubushka’s house has been preserved, which was built especially for her and in which she did not live a day. The memory of blessed Lyubushka is still alive today – every year on the day of her angel, September 17, pilgrims from all over Russia come to Susanino. 

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Conceal your spiritual treasures
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Λιούμπουσκα-Αγάπη η δια Χριστόν Σαλή του Σουσάνινο_старицы Любушки Сусанинской_Lyubushka of Susanino_2 (1)22Conceal your spiritual treasures and do not reveal them unnecessarily. Behold, how men conceal and hide their material wealth and how, when forced to reveal how much they have, they always conceal the greater amount and only reveal the lesser amount. Very few are the number of men who want to reveal all that they possess, and fewer still are those who would reveal more than they, in reality, possess. This, the world considers frivolous and mindless. This clearly shows you how you need to conceal your spiritual wealth, that is, your virtues, your good works, your fastings, your vigils, and your prayers. Why do not the wise children of this world reveal their material wealth? For two reasons: So that thieves would not hear of it and not to provoke the envy of evil men. There also exist envious and jealous thieves after spiritual treasure. They are the spirits of envy. As soon as you reveal your spiritual treasure, they will endeavor to belittle it and to squander it. Just as soon as you reveal it without need [let us say, out of vanity, so as to be praised], they have seized it and disparaged it; and you, O rich man of spiritual treasure, will imperceptibly and suddenly become a poor man. Many who were spiritually rich, the saints, made themselves out to be fools before the world so that by appearing foolish, they would conceal their great wisdom and strength within themselves. The Abba Isaiah writes, “Those good works which are performed in secret are more pleasing to God.” St. Nilus of Sinai says, “The covered skin of the body is white, but the uncovered skin in parched and black.” So it is with our concealed and revealed good works.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
http://livingorthodoxfaith.blogspot.gr/2009/12/prologue-march-9-march-22.html

***

Learn to become invisible… so that God can see you and bless you.
Tito Colliander

Ξένη ἡ διὰ Χριστὸν Σαλή_St. Xenia of Petersburg_ Святая Ксения Петербургская_3198 (2)It all takes place in the heart, and in silence, deep within us; and this is another serious matter, on which the holy Fathers lay much stress: keep your lips tight shut on your secret! If one opens the door of the steam bath the heat escapes, and the treatment loses its benefit.

Thus say nothing to anyone of your newly conceived purpose. Say nothing of the new life you have begun or of the experiment you are making and experiences you expect to have. All this is a matter between God and you, and only between you two. The only exception might be your father-confessor.

This silence is necessary because all chatter about one’s own concerns nourishes self-preoccupation and self-trust. And these must be stifled first of all! Through stillness one’s trust grows in Him who sees what is hidden; through silence one talks with Him who hears without words. To come to Him is your endeavour, and in Him shall be all your confidence: you are anchored in eternity, and in eternity there are no words.

Hereafter you will consider that everything that happens to you, both great and small, is sent by God to help you in your warfare. He alone knows what is necessary for you and what you need at the moment: adversity and prosperity, temptation and fall. Nothing happens accidentally or in such a way that you cannot learn from it; you must understand this at once, for this is how your trust grows in the Lord whom you have chosen to follow. (taken from The Way of the Ascetics by Tito Colliander)

Apolytikion of Nativity of the Theotokos
Fourth Tone

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


Brethren, let Christ, the resurrected and living Lord, pour faith into your hearts and your hearts will be filled and overly filled. Lower the living Christ into your heart and you will be permeated with the truth and you will sense unspeakable sweetness. Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Παναγία_Божией Матери Икона_Virgin Mary –Byzantine Orthodox Icon_ORESTEIA_2013__1Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

The superhuman courage and readiness of our Christian foretellers to endure all sufferings and voluntary death for Christ, evoked fear on their tormentors. Emperor Maximian, a fierce and merciless persecutor of Christians, ordered his pro-consul in Antioch to release St. Andrew Stratelates from prison to freedom out of fear that the people, who respected Andrew more than they did the emperor, would rebel. Emperor Valens ordered his eparch in Edessa to slay all Christians who opposed Arius. The eparch had more human compassion than the emperor and secretly warned the Christians at night not to come out of the city the following day into the field where they usually held services (since the Arians had seized all the churches in the city) so that they would not be killed. The next day, contrary to this warning, all the Christians set out happily to the field, rejoicing that they will suffer and die for the True Faith. The eparch, going with the soldiers from the city, saw a Christian woman with a child in her arms as she hurried past the soldiers toward the field. The eparch said to her: “Have you not heard that the eparch, with his soldiers, will come and kill all that he finds there?” The woman answered: “I heard and, because of that, I am hurrying that I may die for Christ with the others.” The eparch further asked: “And why are you taking this child with you?” The woman replied: “I also want my child to become worthy of martyrdom together with me.” Hearing and seeing this, the eparch became frightened and returned and informed the emperor. The emperor became greatly frightened and revoked his order concerning the massacre.

Ιησους Χριστος_παραβολή καλού Σαμαρείτου_Parable of the Good Samaritan_9641d6e7a1b8cdb8Homily
About Christ in the hearts of the faithful
Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

“And that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Ephesians 3:17).

That person does not have Christ who only has Him on his tongue. Neither does that person have Christ who has Him only on paper. Neither does that person have Christ who has Him only on the wall. Neither does that person have Christ that has Him in the museum of the past. That person, in truth, has Christ who has Him in his heart. For Christ is Love and the throne of love is the heart.

If Christ is in your heart then, for you, He is God. If He is only on your tongue, or on paper or on a wall, or in the museum of the past and even though you call Him God, for you, He is but a toy. Beware then, O man, for no one can play around with God without punishment.
The heart apparently is a narrow organ, but God can dwell in it. When God dwells in it, then it is filled and overly filled and nothing else can position itself in it. If, however, the whole world were to settle in it, it remains empty without God.

Brethren, let Christ, the resurrected and living Lord, pour faith into your hearts and your hearts will be filled and overly filled. He cannot enter and dwell into your hearts except through your faith. If you do not possess faith, Christ will remain only on your tongue or on your paper or on your wall or in the museum of the past. What kind of benefit do you have from that? What kind of benefit do you have to hold life on your tongue and death in your heart? For, if you hold the world in your heart and Christ on your tongue, you hold death in your heart and life on your tongue. Water on the tongue of the thirsty does not help. Lower the living Christ into your heart and you will be permeated with the truth and you will sense unspeakable sweetness.

O resurrected Lord, cleanse our hearts from the deadly guests who dwell in it and You Yourself take up dwelling in it, that we may live and glorify You.

To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič 
http://livingorthodoxfaith.blogspot.gr/2009/12/prologue-april-21-may-4.html


My spirit required eternal life, and eternity. Lord, strengthen the faith in us and have mercy on us. St. Sophrony the Anthonite

αποκαθήλωση_Положение во Гроб_Jesus Christ Crucifixion_Byzantine-Orthodox-Icon_144567659Forefeast of the Procession of the Precious and Life-giving Cross of the Lord.
Righteous Joseph of Arimathea who buried the Master Christ (1st century).
Virgin Martyresses Sisters aged 14 MAXIMA and very young DONATILLA & aged 12 SECUNDA (Septima) in Tebourba (or Tuburbo) in North Africa (303)
St. Germanus, Bishop of Auxerre in Gaul (448).
Righteous Eudocimus of Cappadocia, Military Commander of Cappadocia (9th century)
Translation of the Relics of Apostle Philip to Cyprus.
Saint Arsenius, Bishop of Ninotsminda in Georgia (1082)
Repose of Elder Gerasim the Younger of Kaluga’s St. Sergius Skete (1918).

Commemorated on July 31

Homily:
About Joseph of Arimathea
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

At that time Joseph of Arimathea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the Kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. There was another great man who had come from Arimathea, or Ramathain, on Mount Ephrem: the Prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 1:1 ).
This Joseph is mentioned by all four Evangelists, specifically in connection with the dead Lord’s burial. John calls him a disciple of Jesus secretly (19:38); Luke – a good man and a just (23:50), Matthew – a rich man (27:57). (The Evangelist does not call Joseph rich from vanity, to show that the Lord had rich men among His disciples, “but in order to show how it was that he was able to get Jesus’ body from Pilate. To a poor and unknown man, it would not have been possible to penetrate to Pilate, the representative of Roman power.”- Jerome: “Commentary on Matthew“.) He was noble in soul: he feared God and waited for the Kingdom of God. In addition to his outstanding spiritual traits, Joseph was also a rich man of good standing. Mark and Luke call him a counsellor. He was, then, one of the elders of the people, like Nicodemus. Also, like Nicodemus, he was a secret admirer and disciple of the Lord Jesus. But, even though these two men were secret followers of Christ’s teaching, they were nevertheless ready to lay themselves open to danger by standing together with Christ. Nicodemus once asked the embittered Jewish leaders to their faces, when they were seeking an excuse to kill Christ: “Doth our law judge any man before it hear him?” (John 7:51). Joseph of Arimathea laid himself open to even greater danger by taking thought for the Lord’s body when His known disciples had fled and dispersed, and when the Jewish wolves, having killed the Shepherd, could at any moment fall on the sheep. That what Joseph was doing was dangerous is indicated by the Evangelist by the word “boldly”. He needed, then, more than courage; he needed daring to go to Caesar’s representative and ask for the body of a crucified felon. But Joseph, as Nicephorus says, “in his greatness of soul, threw off his fear and shook off all subservience, showing himself to be a disciple of Jesus Christ”.
+ St. Nikolai Velimirovich, Homilies: Commentary on the Gospel Readings for Great Feasts and Sundays Throughout the Year, Volume 1, “22. The Second Sunday After Easter: The Gospel on the Myrhh-Bearing Women”

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Homily:
About the trial of our faith
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearance of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7).

Ιωσήφ της Αριμαθαίας_St Joseph of Arimathea_ Иосиф Аримафейский__Saint-Joseph-of-Arimathea-cf83cf89cebcceb1-cf84cebfcf85-cf87cf81ceb9CX4K2833Brethren, our faith is tried more often than is the reed rocked by the winds. Trials are like the winds: a weak faith they will uproot and a strong faith will be strengthened even more. Trials are also like the flame in which straw is burned and gold is purified.

Man’s intellectual pursuits and suppositions also try our faith. These are very strong and bitter winds. But we can overcome them if we are willing to adhere to the words of God and if, in opposition to those intellectual pursuits, we are able to emphasize the teachings of the Faith of Christ.

Our faith is further tried by fear and shame: fear of men who persecute the Faith and shame of men who arrogantly despise the Faith. These also are strong winds which we must resist if we wish to remain alive. How will we resist them? By the fear of God which should always be greater in our soul than the fear of men and of shame before the apostles, saints and martyrs who were not ashamed of their faith before emperors, princes and sages of this world.

Our faith is further tried by suffering and misery. This is the fire in which our faith either has to be burned like straw or to be tempered as pure gold. We will resist these trials if we would but remember Christ crucified on the Cross for us and so many thousands of martyrs for the Faith who, in their patience, conquered all and emerged from the flames as gold and who for centuries glow among the angels and among men.

Our faith is also tried by death, the death of our relatives and friends and the death of mankind in general. This is the bitter fire in which the faith of many have been burned. Is death the end of everything? It is not, but rather believe that it is the beginning of everything; it is the beginning of a new and just life. Believe in the Resurrection of Christ, believe in life beyond the grave and believe in the general resurrection and the Dreadful Judgment.

O Good Lord, strengthen the faith in us and have mercy on us.

To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
http://livingorthodoxfaith.blogspot.com/2010/04/prologue-july-2-july-15.html

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St. Sophrony the Anthonite

Ιωσήφ Αριμαθαίας_St Joseph of Arimathea_Иосиф Аримафейский__Saint-Joseph-of-Arimathea-CX4K2833“No one on this earth can avoid affliction; and although the afflictions which the Lord sends are not great men imagine them beyond their strength and are crushed by them. This is because they will not humble their souls and commit themselves to the will of God. But the Lord Himself guides with His grace those who are given over to God’s will, and they bear all things with fortitude for the sake of God Whom they have so loved and with Whom they are glorified for ever. It is impossible to escape tribulation in this world but the man who is given over to the will of God bears tribulation easily, seeing it but putting his trust in the Lord, and so his tribulations pass.”

My profound conviction is that if you—this goes for everybody—do not live through these ordeals[:] poverty, humiliations, perhaps even hunger, utter abandonment by everybody—by men and even by God too . . . you will never know divine love.” 

“The heart that is not broken by the wounds of tribulations and has not been humbled unto the end by every form of poverty, both spiritual and material, will never be fitted to receive divine grace.”

Everything subject to decay lost its value for me. When I looked at people, without thinking further I saw them in the power of death, dying, and my heart was flooded with fellow-suffering. I wanted neither fame from those ‘dead mortals’ nor power over them. I did not look to people to like me. I despised material wealth and did not think much of intellectual assets which afforded no answer to what I was seeking. Had I been offered centuries of happy life, I would have refused them. My spirit required eternal life, and eternity.

“It is vital to have experienced, if only once, the heavenly fire which Christ brought with Him to know with our entire being what it is to be even a little like Christ.”

“Essentially speaking, it is impossible to ‘live’ as a Christian. It is only possible to ‘die’ as a Christian, a thousand deaths every day.”

“[The soul] cannot come down from the cross because every time she considers ‘coming down’ [cf. Matt. 27:40] from this cross the flow of real eternity decreases in her.”

No one descends from the Cross, but they take him down” Christ to Elder Sophrony (Sakharov)

St Germanus the Bishop of Auxerre discerned a special divine purpose for St. Geneviève of Paris
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2016/07/30/st-germanus-the-bishop-of-auxerre-discerned-a-special-divine-purpose-for-st-genevieve-of-paris/

Troparion of the Forefeast, Tone 1.

O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance. Grant Thou unto Orthodox Christians victories over adversaries, and by Thy Cross preserve Thy people.

Troparion of St JOSEPH ― Tone 2

Noble Joseph took Thine immaculate Body down from the tree,/ wrapped It in a clean shroud and spices,/ and having embalmed It, laid It in a new sepulcher./ But on the third day Thou didst rise, O Lord,/ granting the world great mercy.

Apolytikion of St JOSEPH ― Tone 2

The noble Joseph, taking down thy most pure Body from the Tree, wrapped it in clean linen and sweet spices and laid it in a new tomb. But on the third day thou didst rise, O Lord, granting the world great mercy.

Apolytikion of St JOSEPH ― Plagal Tone 1

Let us honor the man that gave burial to God and showed compassion to Him by Whose mercy all things exist, Christ the Angel of Great Counsel’s Noble Counselor, who gave his narrow grave to Christ and received as recompense the vast spaciousness of Heaven, where he entreateth the Savior to show His mercy to those praising him.

Apolytikion of St GERMANUS ― Plagal Tone 4

By endurance you gained your reward, venerable Father, you persevered in prayer unceasingly, you loved the poor and provided for them in all things. Blessed Germanus of Auxerre, intercede with Christ God that our souls may be saved.

Troparion of St Eudocimus, Tone 4.

He who did call thee from earth unto heaven keepeth thy body unharmed after death, holy Eudocimus; for thou didst live a sober and holy life and didst not defile thy flesh; so with boldness intercede with Christ that we may be saved.

Kontakion of the Forefeast, Tone 4.

O Thou Who was raised up on the Cross of Thine own will, do Thou bestow Thy bounties now upon Thy people which is named after Thee, O Christ our God. Gladden Orthodox Christians with Thy power, granting them victories over their adversaries; for they have for their aid Thy weapon, the invincible trophy of peace.

Kontakion of St JOSEPH ― Tone 2

Joseph of Arimathea took Thee, the Life of all, down from the Tree as one dead,/ and wrapped Thee in clean linen and spices./ He yearned to embrace and kiss Thy pure Body with heart and lips/ yet he restrained himself with fear./ He cried to Thee rejoicing:/ Glory to Thy condescension, O Lover of Mankind.


Lord Jesus, Sufferer above the sufferers and Victor above the victors increase our faith and strengthen us with the power of Your Grace as you did strengthen Your holy apostles. Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Προσευχή-αγια-ΝΙΝΑ_PRAYER- Моление-8456ce96d63bc489b24e155e84b2dc5b (1)The Placing of the Honorable Robe of Our Lord Jesus Christ at Moscow (1625)
St. Nina – Equal to the Apostles, Enlightener of Georgia (4th century)
Synaxis of the Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos of Konevits
Holy 45 Martyrs at Nicopolis in Armenia, including Leontius, Maurice, Daniel, Anthony, Alexander, Anicetus, Sisinius, Meneus, Verelad, and Timothy (c. 319)
Saints Rufina and Secunda, two virgin-martyrs in Rome under Valerian, buried at Santa Rufina on the Aurelian Way (257)
Martyr Apollonius of Sardis, Lydia, by crucifixion (3rd century)
Martyr Tithoes (4th century)
The Myriad (10,000) Venerable Fathers of the desert and caves of Nitria, martyred by the impious Patriarch Theophilus of Alexandria (c. 398)
Saint Athanasios the Pentaschoinitis, near Amathous, in Cyprus (7th century)
Saint Amalberga of Maubeuge, a Merovingian nun (690)
Saint Amalberga of Temse, a nun at Munsterbilzen Abbey in Belgium (c. 772)
Venerable Anthony of the Kiev Caves Lavra, Founder of Monasticism in Russia (1073)
Saint Gregory, Bishop of Assos near Ephesus (1150), the Discovery of His Relics in 1935 (see also: 1st Sunday after November 10; March 4 )
Saints Eumenius (1920) and Parthenius (1905), restorers of Koudouma Monastery on Crete.

Commemorated on July 10

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

St. Gabriel the New Confessor of Georgia

Κατάθεση ιερού Χιτώνος Κυρίου_the Precious Robe of our Lord Jesus Christ in Moscow_Положение ризы Господней в Успенском Соборе_Polozhenie-chestnoi-Rizy-Gospoda-We are witnessing the End Days.

The Lord our God will demand love for God and the neighbor; whoever holds out to the end will be saved.

A humbled man is protected from temptations. No one can enter the Kingdom of God without humbleness.

Never lose hope for God’s Providence.The believers will be protected by the Holy Spirit. Whatever happens, never lose your hope. Help each other. God will clear your mind and you will know how to react. The one who endures will be saved.No true believer will feel either hunger, or thirst. The believers won’t wither in the time of disasters. The Lord will work miracles for them. One leaf of a plant will be enough food for a month. Even the lump of the earth will be changed into the bread by making a sign of the cross over it.

The wicked deeds started by communists are only a prologue.The worst is ahead. The world has never witnessed such a sorrow from the time immemorial.

***

Love dominates all rules and laws.

Denounce a man with love.

Devoted love for man made St. Shio of Mgvime retreat to a cave.

Egoism is opposed to love. Egoist never gives anything out but wants everything for himself. All the riches of the world could never be enough for an egoist.

When having meals, remember those, who are in need, hungry, thirsty, suffering – this way you learn how to receive a Divine Grace.

Humbleness will tame even the fiercest lion.

Faith and love are perceived through sufferings.

Monasticism is an angelic order. To achieve perfection, one must pass through the fire of temptation.

Ecumenism is a super heresy.

Christ didn’t walk on the roads laid with carpets. He was simple; hypocrisy and pomposity were repulsive for Him. Christ wore only one tunic knitted by the Holy Mother of God.

Have you sinned? Repent immediately.

***

Homily
About the steadfastness of faith
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

“Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world” (1 Peter 5:9).

Γεώργιος_Νίνα της Γεωργίας-προσευχη_Св Георгий Победоносец родственник-Св Нина_St. George and his kinswoman St Nino2333314Brethren, the most important fortress of the souls of men is the fortress of faith. It is upon this fortress that the devil vehemently attacks with all his arrows and all of his wiles. For the impure and evil spirit knows that when this fortress is destroyed he enslaves the soul of man forever. That is why the holy apostles prayed to the Lord: “Increase our faith” (St. Luke 17:5).

Brethren, let us also pray daily that the Lord increases our faith, that He empower and strengthen our faith. The serpent primarily protects its head in danger, which is why the Lord Himself called it wise. Let us also protect the head of our spiritual life which is faith. Nothing in this world can replace faith in God: neither philosophy, nor science, nor treasure, nor glory, neither the entire world from one end to the other with all its transitory illusions. This the devil knows. That is why he especially attacks our faith, instilling doubt in us, causing us to waver, confusing our thoughts and disturbing our hearts. Since the devil knows that faith is the principle thing, it is all the more necessary that we should know it also. Because of us Christ descended to earth, because of us He suffered on the Cross and gave us the covenant of an All-saving Faith.

We can neither strengthen faith nor increase faith except through suffering. That is why the much-suffering Apostle Peter says: “That the same afflictions (such as yours) are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” The apostle does not speak of his affliction out of humility but rather speaks of the affliction of our brethren in Christ. One in faith and one in affliction. Brethren, you do not suffer alone for the True Faith but your other brethren also suffer for the same Faith.

Let this comfort your afflictions. But most of all let the afflictions of the First-born in suffering, our crucified Lord Jesus Christ Himself, comfort you.

O Lord Jesus, Sufferer above the sufferers and Victor above the victors increase our faith and strengthen us with the power of Your Grace as you did strengthen Your holy apostles.

To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
http://livingorthodoxfaith.blogspot.com/2010/04/prologue-july-14-july-27.html

***

Every saint – man or woman – regardless whether they live in a condominium or a wooden shack, possibly even raising ten children, also has a piece of desert in his/her heart. They need it, in order to withdraw there and to hearken to the subtlest music in the world: prayer.

The Translation of the Honorable Robe of our Lord Jesus Christ, Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2016/07/09/the-translation-of-the-honorable-robe-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-saint-nikolai-velimirovic/

I Believe, Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/24062/

Apolytikion of Robe of Christ in Moscow
Fourth Tone

On this day let us the faithful run to the divine and healing robe of our Saviour and God, Who was pleased to wear our flesh and pour out His holy Blood on the Cross, whereby He hath redeemed us from slavery to the enemy. Wherefore, we thankfully cry to Him: By Thy precious robe save and defend Orthodox Christians, and bishops, and cities, and all men everywhere, and save our souls, for Thou art the Friend of man.

Troparion Saint Nina, Equal of the Apostles and Enlightener of Iberia, Tone IV

O Holy Nina, equal of the apostles, minister of the word of God, who emulated the first called Andrew and the other apostles in apostolic preaching, enlightener of Iberia and harp of the Holy Spirit: entreat Christ God, that our souls be saved.

Troparion of the 45 Martyrs at Nicopolis in Armenia — Tone 4

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

Troparion of St Anthony of the Caves — Tone 4

Thou didst leave the tumult of the world to follow Christ according to the Gospel;/ thou didst lead a life equal to the Angels and reach the haven of Mount Athos./ From thence with thy fathers’ blessing thou didst illumine thy fatherland at Kiev,/ where thou didst lead a multitude of monks along the path to Christ and His kingdom./ Pray to Him, O Saint Anthony, that He may save our souls.


When we choose Christ we are carried beyond time and space, beyond the reach of what is termed ‘tragedy’. Tragedy is to be found solely in the fortunes of the man whose gaze has not gone beyond the confines of this earth. Saint Sophrony (Sakharov) of Essex the Athonite

Σταυρός_Ανάσταση_Μονή Τιμίου Προδρόμου Έσσεξ-St. John The Baptist Monastery-Essex-England-Монастырь святого Иоанна Крестителя (Эссекс-RastignΧριστός ανέστη! Αληθώς ανέστη!
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
ХристосВоскрес! Воистину Воскрес!
ქრისტეაღსდგა! ჭეშმარიტადაღსდგა!

«Rejoice!». «Peace be unto you!»

Saint Sophrony (Sakharov) of Essex the Athonite

The tragedy of our times lies in our almost complete unawareness, or unmindfulness, that there are two kingdoms, the temporal and the eternal. We would build the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, rejecting all idea of resurrection or eternity…

I first met with the notion of tragedy, not in life but in literature. The seeds of tragedy, it seemed to me in my youth, are sown when a man finds himself wholly captivated by some ideal. To attain this ideal he is ready to risk any sacrifice, any suffering, even life itself. But if he happens to achieve the object of his striving, it proves to be an impudent chimera: the reality does not correspond to what he had in mind. This sad discovery leads to profound despair, a wounded spirit, a monstrous death.

Different people have different ideals. There is the ambition for power, as with Boris Godounov. In pursuit of his aim he did not stop at bloodshed. Successful, he found that he had not got what he expected. ‘I have reached the height of power but my soul knows no happiness.’ Though the concerns of the spirit prompt a nobler quest, the genius in the realm of science or the arts sooner or later realises his inability to consummate his initial vision. Again, the logical denouement is death.

The fate of the world troubled me profoundly. Human life at whatever stage was unavoidably interlinked with suffering. Even love was full of contradictions and bitter crises. The seal of destruction lay everywhere.

Σωφρόνιος του Έσσεξ_Elder Sophrony of Essex_მამა სოფრონი_Старец Софроний (Сахаров) Эссекс_933925640-2333I was still a young man when the tragedy of historical events far outdid anything that I had read in books. (I refer to the outbreak of the First World War, soon to be followed by the Revolution in Russia.) My youthful hopes and dreams collapsed. But at the same time a new vision of the world and its meaning opened before me. Side by side with devastation I contemplated rebirth. I saw that there was no tragedy in God. Tragedy is to be found solely in the fortunes of the man whose gaze has not gone beyond the confines of this earth. Christ Himself by no means typifies tragedy. Nor are His all-cosmic sufferings of a tragic nature. And the Christian who has received the gift of the love of Christ, for all his awareness that it is not yet complete, escapes the nightmare of all-consuming death.

Christ’s love, during the whole time that He abode with us here, was acute suffering. ‘O faithless and perverse generation,’ He cried. ‘How long shall I suffer you?’ (Matt. 17.17). He wept for Lazarus and his sisters (cf. John 11.35). He grieved over the hard-heartedness of the Jews who slew the prophets (cf. Matt. 23.37). In Gethsemane his soul was ‘exceeding sorrowful, even unto death’ and ‘his sweat was as it were drops of blood falling down to the ground’ (Matt. 26.38; Luke 22.44). He lived the tragedy of all mankind; but in Himself there was no tragedy. This is obvious from the words He spoke to His disciples perhaps only a short while before His redemptive prayer for all mankind in the Garden: ‘My peace I give unto you’ (John 14.27).

And a little further on: ‘I am not alone, because the Father is with me. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world’ (John 16.32, 33). This is how it is with the Christian: for all his deep compassion, his tears and prayers for the world, there is none of the despair that destroys. Aware of the breath of the Holy Spirit, he is assured of the inevitable victory of Light. The love of Christ, even in the most acute stress of suffering (which I would call the ‘hell of loving’), because it is eternal is free of passion. Until we achieve supreme freedom from the passions on this earth suffering and pity may wear out the body but it will only be the body that dies. ‘Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul’ (Matt. 10.28).

We may say that even today mankind as a whole has not grown up to Christianity and continues to drag out an almost brutish existence. In refusing to accept Christ as Eternal Man and, more importantly, as True God and our Saviour- whatever the form the refusal takes, and whatever the pretext- we lose the light of life eternal. ‘Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovest me before the foundation of the world’ (John 17.24). There, in the Kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, must our mind dwell. We must hunger and thirst to enter into this wondrous Kingdom. Then we shall overcome in ourselves the sin of refusing the Father’s love as revealed to us through the Son (cf. John 8.24). When we choose Christ we are carried beyond time and space, beyond the reach of what is termed ‘tragedy’…

God reveals Himself, mainly through the heart, as Love and Light. In this light man contemplates the Gospel precepts as the reflection on earth of celestial Eternity, and the Glory of Christ as of the only-begotten of the Father- the glory the disciples saw on Mount Tabor…

Would you like to experience the grace of Christ? Then seek this grace from Him Who can bestow it. If it seems that it is not for you, since you cannot believe, my advice is to set your heart on believing and you will be able to believe. Through faith you arrive at faith. Persist in wishing for faith and it will be granted to you.

From the book: Archimandrite Sophrony, His Life is mine, Chapter 4: The Tragedy of Man. London 1977, p. 37-40.


He who has strong faith also has great patience in suffering. Lord, the God of the long-suffering and patient Job, teach us to bless Thy name in our sufferings. Saint Nikolai Velimirovič 

ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΗ ΤΟΥ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ_Holy Resurrection of Jesus Christ_Воскресение Иисуса Христа_ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΗ 001Χριστός ανέστη! Αληθώς ανέστη!
Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
ХристосВоскрес! Воистину Воскрес!
ქრისტეაღსდგა! ჭეშმარიტადაღსდგა!
Kristus (ir) augšāmcēlies! Patiesi viņš ir augšāmcēlies!

Righteous Job the Long-suffering.
Blessed Sophia the ascetic of Kleisoura, the Pontian (1974)
Saint Seraphim of Mt. Domvu of Livadeia (1602)
Venerable Job of Pochaev, abbot and wonderworker (1651)
Venerable Micah (Micheas), the disciple of the Saint Sergius of Radonezh (1385)
Birthday of Royal Martyr Tsar Nicholas II

Commemorated on May 6th

A brother said to Abba Poemen, ‘My heart becomes lukewarm when a little suffering comes my way.’ The old man said to him, ‘Do we not admire Joseph, a young man of seventeen, for enduring his temptation to the end? And God glorified him. Do we not also see Job, how he suffered to the end, and lived in endurance? Temptations cannot destroy hope in God.’

Abba John the Dwarf said, ‘You know that the first blow the devil gave to Job was through his possessions; and he saw that he had not grieved him nor separated him from God. Whith the second blow, he touched his flesh, but the brave athlete did not sin by any word that came out of his mouth in that either. In fact, he had within his heart that which is of God, and he drew on that source unceasingly.’

Hymns of Praise
Job, the Suffering Servant,
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Ιώβ ο πολύαθλος_Job the Long-suffering_Иов Многострадальный_ΙΩΒ-555Tell me brother, what you are able to endure,
And how much of a man you are, I will tell you.
Job the righteous rich man and all glorious
By Satan, on a dunghill was thrown,
And with pus and sores covered,
To dogs and to men, a horrifying sight!
Whatever he had, in a day perished
Except faith and except patience.
But with the weapon of faith and patience
Job, the horrible Satan overcame.
The uneven struggle, God looked on,
To the righteous one, victory He imparted.
With victory, all other riches,
And the envious devil shamed.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
http://prologue.orthodox.cn/December22.htm

ΙΩΒ πολύαθλος_Job the Long-suffering_Иов Многострадальный_ ΓΚΡΑΤΣΑΝΙΤΣΑ2- - CopyHomily
on long-suffering Job
St. Nikolai Velimirovich

The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away (Job 1:21).

Brethren, let the righteous one fear nothing; all shall be well with him. [1] The whole of Sacred Scripture shows us that God will never forsake the righteous. The example of Job shows us this as clearly as the sun. Job had seven sons and three daughters; he had riches, respect among the people, and friends. And he lost all of this in one day. He did not grumble against God but fell down upon the ground and worshiped and said,

Naked came I out of my mother’s womb and naked shall I return thither (Job 1:20-21).

Then Job lost his health, the last of what he had, and his entire body, from the top of his head to the heels of his feet, was covered with sores and pus. And Job sat in ashes and lifted up praise to God. His wife tried to persuade him to renounce his God, but righteous Job said to her:
Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? (Job 2:10).

His friends reproached him, saying that he was sinful and proud in his understanding and righteousness before them, but Job humbly prayed to God and patiently endured all his wounds and misfortunes.

It happens today, as it did then, that when some misfortune befalls us, our neighbors consider themselves to be more intelligent and more righteous than we are. But the most wise God permitted all these misfortunes to fall on Job in order to test not only Job His servant but also his kinsmen and his friends. When each of them had shown what kind of person he was, when each of them had been tested before God, then God, with His almighty right hand, restored Job to health, returned twice as much wealth as He had taken away, and gave him again seven sons and three daughters.

He who has strong faith, brethren, has clear spiritual sight, so that he can see the finger of God in his prosperity as well as in his suffering. He who has strong faith also has great patience in suffering. When God gives to him, he gives thanks, and when God takes away, he blesses:
Blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:21).

O Lord, the God of the long-suffering and patient Job, teach us to bless Thy name in our sufferings.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
[1] And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28) https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/new-testament/romans/8.asp
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
http://prologue.orthodox.cn/December22.htm

***

St. Sophia the Righteous, the “Ascetic of the Panagia”

Σοφία η εν Κλεισούρα_St. Sophia the Ascetic of Kleisoura_Св. Софии (Хотокуриди)_kleisoura~0“Sophia Saoulidi, the “ascetic of the Panagia”, was born in a village of Trebizond in Pontus of Asia Minor in 1883. Her asceticism began in Pontus on a mountain away from her relatives. It was there that one day Saint George appeared to her and warned her to notify the villagers of a coming persecution and to flee, and in this way she saved the village. 

She came to Greece in 1919 as an exile. when they arrived in Greece the Panagia appeared to her and said: “Come to my house.” Sophia asked: “Where are you and where is your house?” The Panagia responded: “I am in Kleisoura.” Therefore she went and settled at the Monastery of the Birth of the Theotokos in Kleisoura of Kastoria.

In 1967 Sophia became very sick and was in great pain. Her stomach had open sores that smelled. She took the pain courageously, saying: “The Panagia will come to take away my pain. She promised me.” Some Athenians have her on videotape explaining what happened soon thereafter:
The Panagia came with the Archangel Gabriel and Saint George, as well as other Saints. The Archangel said: ‘We will cut you now’. I said: ‘I am a sinner, I must confess, receive communion, then you can cut me’. ‘You will not die’, he said, ‘we are doing a surgery on you’, and he cut me open.”

As with many Saints, she had a special relationship with wild animals, especially with bears in the forest, but also with snakes and birds…
Eldress Sophia fell asleep in the Lord on May 6, 1974 and was buried on the grounds of the Monastery. She was well-known in Western Macedonia, and many who knew her come to pray at her tomb. Her relics are kept in the Monastery, and upon request to the nuns can be venerated by the faithful.”Σοφία η εν Κλεισούρα_St. Sophia the Ascetic of Kleisoura_Св. Софии (Хотокуриди)_031Repent, because the clouds of wrath of God have approaching the earth. Great evil is coming, comes from a lot of sin.

The fear of God makes a person wise. What is the fear of God? Not that one should be afraid of God, but to be afraid to sadden someone, to harm someone, to do them no wrong, and to not make accusations. This is wisdom. After all this, God will illumine you as to what to do in your life.

Panagia told me where, in the Holy Books of the chosen of my Son, it says everything that will occur in time. A third war will occur…Three-quarters of mankind will be destroyed…Only one-quarter will be saved…

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on Your world, and later, on us!

Greece, if she keeps the faith, will be saved from the evil which is about to come. If, however, she does not keep the faith, she will be destroyed…All the demons will fall upon her…The evil will come and the wheat will be separated from the chaff, the sheep from the goats…

If the world repents, we will take back the City [Constantinople] with Love… If we do not repent, we will take it back with blood…

Have fear of God…Have Love…Have compassion.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on Your world, and later, on us!

Did you see? Did you hear? Shut your mouth!

“Let the mouth become basil and a rose.”

My soul is burning for Christ!

May you be well. May you have joy! Repent, my children…May you have prayer…day and night…wherever you walk, wherever you are found, wherever you are standing, always you should say: “My Christ, have mercy on me!” With a sweet tongue speak to God, that your prayer might reach Him.

Epistle of James 5,10-11: Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. 11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

Book of Job – Τo βιβλίο του Ιώβ
http://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/septuagint/chapter.asp?book=25

St. Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II Romanov of Russia ‘’I was born on 6 May, on the feast-day of St Job the Long-suffering…”. And all his life he was a Golgotha.
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2020/05/06/i-was-born-on-6-may-on-the-feast-day-of-st-job-the-long-suffering-and-all-his-life-he-was-a-golgotha-holy-tsar-nicholas-ii-romanov-of-russia/

St. Ephraim the Great Martyr of Nea Makri said: “I will do many miracles, I will help many people, before the sufferings come!…before the misfortunes (calamities) come”
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2020/05/04/st-ephraim-the-great-martyr-of-nea-makri-said-i-will-do-many-miracles-i-will-help-many-people-before-the-sufferings-comebefore-the-misfortunes-calamities-come/

Paschal troparion or Christos anesti Tone 1

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

Troparion to Righteous Job the Long-Suffering Tone 1

As an indestructible pillar of courage, you repulsed the attacks of Belial and remained unmoved in temptation. Therefore, O wise Job, the Church praises you as a model of endurance and an example of virtue; and she is made radiant by your great deeds.

Tone IV: Spec. Mel.: “Thou hast given a sign …”:

O blessed Job, thou wast known to be * righteous and guileless, * truthful, blameless and faithful, * abstaining from every evil thing, * truly adorned with the virtues * and resplendent in piety. * Wherefore, we call thee blessed * and, rejoicing, we celebrate today * thy holy and honored festival.

Arrayed in the riches of piety * as in a costly robe of purple, * and adorned with mercy and righteousness * as with a divine crown, * thou didst exercise dominion * over the tyrannical passions, * O blameless Job; * wherefore, thou hast passed over to the noetic kingdom, * to stand before the eternal King, O all-glorious one.

Righteous Job the Much-Suffering, Troparion, Tone I —

Seeing the richness of the virtues of Job,/ the enemy of the righteous plotted to steal them;/ yet though he broke down the tower of his body,/ he could not steal the treasure of his spirit;/ for he who, having stripped me naked, took me captive/ found the soul of the blameless one fully armed./ Wherefore, anticipating my need before the end, O Savior,// deliver me from the deceiver and save me.

Kontakion of the saint, in Tone VIII: Spec. Mel.: ”As the first-fruits …”:

Shown to be truthful and righteous, pious, blameless and sanctified, O most glorious one, thou true favorite of God, thou hast enlightened the world with thy patience, O most patient and valiant one. Wherefore, O thou who art divinely wise, we all hymn thy memory.

 ODE IX
Irmos: Eve, through weakness, abode under the curse of disobedience; but thou, O Virgin Theotokos, hast put forth blessing for the world through the Offspring of thy child-bearing. Wherefore, we all magnify thee.

Job was worthily crowned with splendor for his patience; but thou, O Satan, the only enemy of the righteous, wast put to shame, for thine expectation proved in vain, and thou weepest and art downcast, unable to bear the crowning of the righteous one.

Gazing upon Thine immortal glory, insofar as it is possible for men to behold it, and seized with fear and trembling greatly, Job cried out with reverence: “I am dust and earth, but Thou art the Lord!” Wherefore, we all magnify thee.

The books of life have received thee as is meet, and the store-houses of heaven have taken thee in like ripe grain, and thou art full of the days of the Spirit, O blessed Job, favorite of the Lord. Wherefore, we all call thee blessed.

Triadicon: O worshipful Trinity our God, thou Unity in three Hypostases, all-holy and one in glory, thou hast shown Thyself to the world as light, life and incorruption. Save Thy servants from deception, that we may worship Thee with faith.

Theotokion: Thou hast been shown to be a receptacle of Wisdom far exceeding the mind, O all-immaculate Maiden, and an animate throne and gate; wherefore, virgins, loving thee as their Queen, O Virgin, have brought themselves forth, following in the train of thee, the divine Maiden.

 


The Miracle of the Monks in the Caucasus. A single saint is an extraordinarily precious phenomenon for all mankind. By the mere fact of their existence – unknown, maybe to the world but known to God – the saints draw down on the world…

Ασκητες_asketesaΕρημίτης_Hermit_отшельник- еремит_i_058d7b0ad0e7851492On Saturday of Cheese Fare Week we commemorate all the Saints, both Fathers and Mothers of the Lord, known by name and unknown, “who brightly shone forth living ascetically”.

Verses
To the souls of the Righteous, whose memory abideth
Forever, do I offer these my words as abiding oblations

“I saw in Egypt,” testifies Rufinus, “fathers who live on the earth but lead a heavenly life … new prophets, of whose worth there is the testimony of their gift of signs and miracles. None of them is anxious over food and clothing, for they know that after all these things do the Gentiles seek (Matt. 6:32). They seek justice and the Kingdom of God, and all this, according to the promise of the Savior, will be added to them. Their faith is such that it can move mountains. Thus certain of them by their prayers stopped river torrents that were about to inundate neighboring villages, crossed over Waters as on dry land, subdued wild beasts, and performed numberless miracles; so that there is no doubt that it is by their virtues that the world stands.” “The heavens, speckled with a multitude of stars, are not as bright,” says Chrysostom, “as the Egyptian desert, which displays everywhere the huts of monks … It is better than paradise, where we see in human form numberless choirs of angels, throngs of martyrs, assemblies of virgins; we see the whole tyranny of the devil overthrown, and the Kingdom of Christ shines.”

Αγία Σκέπη της Υπεραγίας Θεοτόκου -Покров Пресвятой Богородицы-ikona_pokrov_e30a78e7a5203684c977The Miracle of the Monks in the Caucasus

In the 1960’s, the KGB authorities caught everyone who was hiding there, mostly monks, and sent them to correctional camps.

One experienced officer, a member of the party, was given the task of monitoring a group of monks. He watched the monks from the air on the radio and reported all their movements, and soldiers on the ground surrounded them, pressing them to the steep peak, at which they hoped to overtake and arrest them.

The hunt for the monks has been going on for several days and is drawing to a close. The monks had nowhere to go, they climbed to the very top of the mountain, behind them were soldiers with dogs catching up, and in front of them was a bottomless, steep abyss. The officer’s helicopter hovered right above the monks, the pilot let them know that it was all over. Suddenly, something unusual began to happen below. The monks all at once knelt and prayed for a long time, then they got up and went to the edge of the abyss. “Will they really jump? This is certain death! What? Did they decide to commit suicide? ”The helicopter pilot thought with annoyance.

But at this time one of the monks made the sign of the cross and blessed the abyss with a large cross and with one step, stepped into the gap! But he didn’t fall. For some reason, by some miracle he remained hanging in the air over the abyss and slowly went through the air as if on a path. The other monks followed him and also went through the air one by one, rising up disappeared into the clouds.

This made such a strong impression on the pilot that he even lost control over the airplane fell into the clearing, where he was found and picked up by the soldiers. A few months later, when he recovered, he was called to the special unit for an explanation. Instead of answering, he put a party ticket on the table and asked to be fired. Having retired, this former pilot officer accepted baptism and became a believer.”
https://throughthegraceofgod.wordpress.com/the-miracle-of-the-monks-in-the-caucasus/

Ασκητες_asketes-Ερημίτες_Hermit_отшельник- еремит_dormsabbscribes_i_gerontiko342454354Saint Silouan the Athonite

The saints embrace the whole world with their love.
“A single saint is an extraordinarily precious phenomenon for all mankind. By the mere fact of their existence – unknown, maybe to the world but known to God – the saints draw down on the world, on all humanity, a great benediction from God…”
“Because of these people, I believe the Lord preserves the world, for they are precious in His sight, and God always listens to His humble servants and we are all right because of their prayers.”
“Prayer keeps the world alive and when prayer fails, then the world will perish… ‘Nowadays,’ perhaps you will say, ‘there are no more monks like that to pray for the whole world,’ But I tell you that when there are no more men [or women] of prayer on the earth, the world will come to an end and great disasters will befall.. . . when the earth ceases to produce saints, the strength that safeguards the earth from catastrophe will fail. They have already started.”
(Saint Silouan the Athonite, pg. 222, 223.)

***

Saint Paisios the Athonite

Father Paisios was once asked if it would not be better if he left his monastery to go into the world so that he could better help people.

The army has many divisions and each one fights from its own position; the navy at sea, the airplanes in the air and the army on the land.  A very specialized position is the one of the radio operator.  His main characteristic is that he connects all the army divisions with the headquarters, which send help in case of emergency.  The radio operator must not be close to the combat zone, but higher up in a quiet place, so that he may clearly transmit the messages.  When the soldiers fight and are in danger, they should not say to the radio operator:  “What are you doing up there?  Come and fight with us.”  His duty is to stay where he is and receive orders from headquarters, and keep them up to date regarding the outcome of the combat.

Ερημίτης_ΕΡΗΜΙΤΗς_untitled-6Apolytikion of Holy Protection of the Theotokos in the First Tone

O Virgin, we extol the great grace of thy Protection, which thou didst spread out like a bright cloud beyond all understanding; for thou dost invisibly protect thy people from the foe’s every assault. Since we have thee as our shelter and certain help, we cry to thee with our whole soul: Glory to thy great deeds, O most pure Maid. Glory to thy shelter most divine. Glory to thy care and providence for us, O spotless one.

Apolytikion of Cheesefare Saturday, Fourth Tone

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

Tone 8 (Repeat: “Come, all faithful …”)

Rejoice, Egypt, land of faith! Rejoice, holy Libya, and the Thebaid chosen by God!
Rejoice, every place and country that have brought forth citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, raising them in abstinence and labor, offering them to God as perfect in love.
They are stars guiding our souls, and by the brightness of their wonders and the miracles they wrought, they have shed their spiritual light over all the earth. O all-blessed fathers, pray for our souls!

Who among men can speak of the perfection of your lives, holy fathers? What tongue can utter the sanctity of your efforts: the sufferings in virtue, the control of the flesh;
the struggles with passions, in vigils, in prayers and in tears? Truly ye were angels while ye lived in the world. Ye laid low the highest powers of evil. Ye performed miraculous and wonderful signs. Therefore pray with us, O most blessed fathers, to gain for our souls eternal joy!

After the 1st reading from the Psalter (16th Kathisma), the Sessional hymns:
(Tone VIII):

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

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

We entrust to You, loving Master, our whole life and hope, and we beseech, pray, and implore You: Grant us to partake of Your heavenly and awesome Mysteries from this sacred and spiritual table with a clear conscience for the remission of sins, the forgiveness of transgressions, the communion of the Holy Spirit, the inheritance of the Kingdom of Heaven, and boldness before You, not unto judgment or condemnation.

Commemorating our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life unto Christ our God.