iconandlight

Iconography and Hand painted icons


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.


Saint Ambrose, Bishop of Mediolansus (Milan), I knew of your fearlessness; that is why I helped you to be chosen as bishop. Correct our faults as the Law of God teaches, and heal our unrighteousness.

Γέννηση του Ιησού Χριστού_ Рождество Христово_ Nativity of Christ-icon1122528d9401e31c_kSaint Ambrose, Bishop of Mediolansus (Milan) (397).
Martyr Athenodorus of Mesopotamia (304).
Saint Ammoun, Bishop of Nitria, reposed in peace.
holy 300 Martyrs in North Africa slain by the Arian Vandals (474-475)
Saint Neophytos died when he was thrown into the sea.
Saint Dometios died by the sword.
Saints Isidore, Acepsimas, and Leo died by fire.
Martyrs Gaianos and Gaius died by fire.
St. Ignatius, who was near Blachernae, reposed in peace.
father Paul the Monk, the subordinate
hesychast Gregory, Founder of Gregoriou Monastery on Mount Athos(1405)
Martyr Philothea of Arges, Protectress of Romania (1206-1208)
Gerasimos, Ascetic of Euboea, (c. 1320)
Anthony the New, Wonderworker of Siya (1556).
holy Martyrs Priscus, Martin, and Nicholas; the first (Priscus) was starved, the second (Martin) cut to pieces with an axe, and the third (Nicholas) died by fire. The services in their honor were held near the wall of Blachernae.
Consecration of the Church of the Most Holy Theotokos at the Curator.

Commemorated on December 7

Saint Ambrose,
Bishop of Mediolanum (Milan)

Αμβρόσιος Μεδιολάνων-St Ambrose of Mediolansus–Milan_Свт. Амвросий Медиоланский_palermo_e13Saint Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, was born in the year 340 into the family of the Roman prefect of Gaul (now France). Even in the saint’s childhood there appeared presentiments of his great future. Once, bees covered the face of the sleeping infant. They flew in and out of his mouth, leaving honey on his tongue. Soon they flew away so high that they could no longer be seen. Ambrose’s father said that the child would become something great when he reached manhood.

After the death of the father of the family, Ambrose journeyed to Rome, where the future saint and his brother Satyrius received an excellent education. About the year 370, upon completion of his course of study, Ambrose was appointed to the position of governor (consular prefect) of the districts of Liguria and Aemilia, though he continued to live at Mediolanum (now Milan).

In the year 374 Auxentius, the Arian Bishop of Mediolanum, died. This led to complications between the Orthodox and the Arians, since each side wanted to have its own bishop. Ambrose, as the chief city official, went to the church to resolve the dispute.

While he was speaking to the crowd, suddenly a child cried out, “Ambrose for bishop!” The people took up this chant. Ambrose, who at this time was still a catechumen, considered himself unworthy, and tried to refuse. He disparaged himself, and even tried to flee from Mediolanum. The matter went ultimately before the emperor Valentinian the Elder (364-375), whose orders Ambrose dared not disobey. He accepted holy Baptism from an Orthodox priest and, passing through all the ranks of the Church clergy in just seven days, on December 7, 374 he was consecrated Bishop of Mediolanum. He dispersed all his possessions, money and property for the adornment of churches, the upkeep of orphans and the poor, and he devoted himself to a strict ascetic life.

Ambrose combined strict temperance, intense vigilance and work within the fulfilling of his duties as archpastor. St Ambrose, defending the unity of the Church, energetically opposed the spread of heresy. Thus, in the year 379 he traveled off to establish an Orthodox bishop at Sirmium, and in 385-386 he refused to hand over the basilica of Mediolanum to the Arians.

The preaching of St Ambrose in defense of Orthodoxy was deeply influential. Another noted Father of the Western Church, St Augustine (June 15), bore witness to this, having accepted holy Baptism in the year 387 by the grace of the preaching of the bishop of Mediolanum.

St Ambrose also actively participated in civil matters. Thus, the emperor Gracian (375-383), having received from him the “Exposition of the Orthodox Faith” (De Fide), removed, by decree of the saint, the altar of Victory from the halls of the Senate at Rome, on which oaths were wont to be taken. Displaying a pastoral boldness, St Ambrose placed a severe penance on the emperor Theodosius I (379-395) for the massacre of innocent inhabitants of Thessalonica. For him there was no difference between emperor and commoner. Though he released Theodosius from the penance, the saint would not permit the emperor to commune at the altar, but compelled him to do public penance.

The fame of Bishop Ambrose and his actions attracted to him many followers from other lands. From faraway Persia learned men came to him to ask him questions and absorb his wisdom. Fritigelda (Frigitil), queen of the military Germanic tribe of the Markomanni, which often had attacked Mediolanum, asked the saint to instruct her in the Christian Faith. The saint in his letter to her persuasively stated the dogmas of the Church. And having become a believer, the queen converted her own husband to Christianity and persuaded him to conclude a treaty of peace with the Roman Empire.

The saint combined strictness with an uncommon kindliness. Granted a gift of wonderworking, he healed many from sickness. One time at Florence, while staying at the house of Decentus, he resurrected a dead boy.

The repose of St Ambrose, who departed to the Lord on the night of Holy Pascha, was accompanied by many miracles. He even appeared in a vision to the children being baptized that night. The saint was buried in the Ambrosian basilica in Mediolanum, beneath the altar, between the Martyrs Protasius and Gervasius (October 14).

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Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Αμβρόσιος Μεδιολάνων -St Ambrose of Mediolansus– Milan_Свт. Амвросий Медиоланский__e1354843281678Fear of God drives all fear from the hearts of men. In every great hierarch of the Orthodox Church, we see meekness and fearlessness wonderfully united. St. Nicholas grabbed the sword of the executioner and pulled it away so that innocent men would not be beheaded. St. Chrysostom reproached the Empress Eudoxia for her misdeeds without consideration for the unpleasantness and danger to his own life, to which he was exposed as a result. And there are many, many other examples similar to this: Emperor Valentinian the Elder, upon hearing of Ambrose‘s stern criticism of him, said: “I knew of your fearlessness; that is why I helped you to be chosen as bishop. Correct our faults as the Law of God teaches, and heal our unrighteousness.” When Valentinian the Younger, at the instigation of his mother Justina, an Arian, ordered that the cathedral church in Milan be yielded to the heretics, Ambrose shut himself in the church with the faithful and would not come out for three days. He sent a message to the emperor and empress that, if they desired his death, he was prepared at any moment “here in the church to be run through either by the sword or spear.” Hearing this, the emperor and empress withdrew their decree. When a riot occurred in Thessalonica, at which time about seven thousand people were beheaded by the decree of Emperor Theodosius the Great, Ambrose became so enraged at the emperor that, when the emperor visited Milan and wished to enter the church, the saint forbade him. The emperor said to Ambrose: “Even David sinned and was not deprived of God’s mercy.” To this the bishop replied: “As you have imitated David in sin, imitate him also in repentance.” The emperor was ashamed, turned back and repented bitterly of the sin he had committed.
http://www.westsrbdio.org/en/prologue/718-december-9

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Apolytikion. For the Saint
Mode 4.

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

Exaposteilarion
Mode 2. N/M (On the mountain.)

O Ambrose, you were a champion of Orthodoxy, a firm foundation of the Church, the supporter of hierarchs, and a wise shepherd, guiding the flock to pastures of true religion. You drove out the untamed factions of heretics like wild beasts, O revealer of God, and you publicly taught that the Holy Trinity is consubstantial.

Tour virtuale of the Basilica of Saint Ambrose in Milan – εικονική περιήγηση στην Βασιλική του Αγίου Αμβροσίου στο Μιλανο
http://www.basilicasantambrogio.it/la-basilica/tour-virtuale/