iconandlight

Iconography and Hand painted icons


Every virtue is tasteless and cold if it is not seasoned and warmed by divine love. St Nikolai Velimirovich

Παναγία η Μοσχοβίτισσα_1592_αγίου Αρσενίου Ελασσώνος_Αφιέρωμα-αγιου-Αρσενιου-265x300Saint Arseniosof Elassonos and Archbishop of Suzdal and Tarus (1625)
Saints Theodosia the Princess (daughter of Emperor Hadrian), and the Eunuch Gerontios (c. 117-138)
Martyrs Dadas, Quinctillian and Maximus, the Lectors (c. 284-305)
Martyrs Eleutherius of Persia, and Zoilus, by beheading (4th century)
Saint Ursus, Bishop of Ravenna and Confessor (396)
Saint Martin the Confessor, Pope of Rome (655)
Two Confessor Bishops, who were exiled to the Crimean peninsula together with St. Martin the Confessor, Pope of Rome (ca. 655)
Venerable martyr Christophoros, of the Great Lavra of St. Sabbas the Sanctified.
New Hieromartyr Stephen (Bekh), Bishop of Izhevsk (1933) and Translation of the relics (1967) of the Holy New Martyr George of Acre-Ptolemais from Cyprus, in Palestine (1752)

Commemorated on April 13

Hymn of Praise
Saint Martin the Confessor, Pope of Rome
by St Nikolai Velimirovich

Αρσένιος Ελασσώνος_Арсений Суздальского-Элассонский_Saint Arsenios of Elassonna-Arsenius of Suzdal_Arseny_of_Tver_(fresco) - ΑντιγραφήSaint Martin the Pope, before the Senate speaks:
May my body be crushed and burned,
And the most cruel sufferings, I will joyfully endure;
But, the True Faith, I will not deny.
The Good Savior was God and Man,
Two natures different with two wills, He bore,
But, two natures in one person,
And, both wills in a single light.
Such a Faith, all the Fathers passed on to us,
For such a Faith, many suffered.
May I suffer also; of all, the least
The servant of my Lord, of all the most sinful!
Thus, Martin confessed his faith to all
And truth did he speak before the heretics.
O what is the worth of man when he fears God:
Above little men, he [Martin] stands as a mountain!
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by St Nikolai Velimirovich, Bishop of Zica, Serbia
http://prologue.orthodox.cn/April14.htm

***

St Nikolai Velimirovich

Αρσένιος Ελασσώνος_Арсений Суздальского-Элассонский_Saint Arsenios of Elassonna-Arsenius of Suzdal_003215“It is better to be a simpleton and to approach God with love than to be a know-it-all and, at the same time, be an enemy of God.” These are the words of the priest-martyr, St. Iraneaus of Lyon. The truth of these words have been confirmed at all times and is also confirmed in our time. One thing must be added to this, namely, that the lovers of God are not simpletons because they know God well enough that they are able to love Him. Of all human knowledge, this knowledge is more important and greater. To this must be added that the enemies of God cannot be more knowledgeable, even though they consider themselves as such, because their knowledge is unavoidably chaotic, for it does not have a source and does not have order.

For the source and order of all knowledge is God. Some of the saints, such as Paul the Simple, did not know how to read or write yet with the strength of their spirit and divine love surpassed the entire world. Whosoever approaches God with love, that person is not capable of crime. Knowledge without love toward God is motivated by the spirit of criminality and war. St. Euthymius the Great taught: “Have love; for what salt is to food, love is to every virtue.” Every virtue is tasteless and cold if it is not seasoned and warmed by divine love.

Theotokos of Tikhvin (Tikhvinskaya) Troparion Tone 4

Today, like the eternal sun,
Your Icon appears in the sky, O Theotokos.
With rays of mercy it enlightens the world.
This land accepts the heavenly gift from above,
Honoring You as the Mother of God.
We praise Christ our Lord who was born of You.
Pray to Him, O Queen and sovereign virgin
That all Christian cities and lands be guarded in safety,
And that He save those who kneel to His divine, and Your holy image, O unwedded bride.

Kontakion of St Pope Martin Tone 8

O High Priest and Teacher of Mysteries, thou didst pour forth streams of doctrine;/ thou didst expound the true theology that Christ has two natures and wills./ Intercede for those who cry: Rejoice, blessed Father Martin.

Kontakion of Appearance of the Icon of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos of Tikhvin
Plagal of the Fourth Tone

Let us run, O ye peoples, to the Virgin Queen, the Theotokos, thanking Christ our God; and gazing tenderly at her miraculous icon, let us fall down and cry to her: O Lady Mary, having visited this land by the wonderous appearance of thy venerable icon, keep all Christians in peace and prosperity, and make them heirs of the heavenly life; for to thee we cry with faith: Rejoice, O Virgin, salvation of the world.


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

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

Commemorated on November 19

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

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

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

Barulas’s mother stood by, and encouraged her son:
“Become worthy, O Son, of the rank of martyrdom.”
As a lamb beneath the sword, Barulas bent his neck,
And glorified Christ, himself and his mother.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
http://prologue.orthodox.cn/November18.htm

***

Homily:
on love that surpasses knowledge
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

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

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

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

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

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
http://prologue.orthodox.cn/November18.htm

Apolytikion of Prophet Abdias
Second Tone

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

Kontakion of Prophet Obadiah
Plagal of the Fourth Tone

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


Fear not! because all things are possible to God and in God … Lord, take us by the hand and save us. Anthony Bloom of Sourozh

Κοίμησιν τῆς Θεοτόκου _Dormition of the Mother of God_ Успение Богородицы_pzZQQbpvkjc9th Sunday of Matthew
Matthew 14:22-34

Saint Anthusa of Seleucia (280/298), and Martyrs Charesimus and Neophytus her servants (c. 253-259)
Hieromartyr Athanasius, Bishop of Tarsus in Cilicia, who baptized her; by beheading (c. 257)
Martyrs Agathonicus of Nicomedia and his companions:
Zoticus, Theoprepius, Acindynus, Severian, Zeno, and others, who suffered under Maximian (4th century)
Martyrs Irenaeus, Or, and Oropsus.
Martyr Julian of Heliopolis in Syria (c. 362)
Saint Ariadne (515), daughter of Emperor Leo I.
Saint Andrew of Tuscany (c. 880)
Venerable Isaac I (Antimonov, the “Elder”), Schema-Archimandrite of Optina Monastery (1894)
Synaxis of Panagia Proussiotissa (Mother of God of Proussa) in Evrytania, Greece (c. 829–842) (also: August 23)
Georgian Icon (Iveron Icon, Iverskaya) of the Most Holy Theotokos, at the Monastery of St. Alexis of Moscow (1650)

Commemorated on August 22

”No one who runs to you for help comes back from you ever frustrated in his cause, O Virgin Theotokos. But he asks for the favor and receives the bestowal which is appropriate for his request”

The Gruzinian (Georgian) Icon of the Mother of God

Γεωργιανή εικόνα της Παναγίας_Gruzinian (Georgian) Icon of the mother of God_of Georgia_Грузинская икона Божией Матери_μονη Ραιθω-2333icon1In 1622, the Persian Shah Abbas I, after the devastating invasion of Orthodox Georgia, took part of the Robe of the Lord, and some especially revered icons. Three years later, when the Russian clerk Stephen Lazarev, who was in Persia to do some trading, a certain person from the Shah’s retinue offered to let him purchase one of the stolen Georgian icons: an icon of the Most Holy Theotokos. At the same time, at Yaroslavl, the merchant Gregory Lytkin, by whom Stephen was employed, had a revelation of his clerk’s imminent arrival with the precious acquisition.

Lytkin had been instructed by a voice from above to take the Icon from Yaroslavl to Arkhangelsk, near the Pinega River. Here, 16 versts from Kholmogorsk, was the Black Mountain monastery (which took its name from the mountain, on which a church was built in 1603.) Later, it was called Krasnogorsk (Beautiful Mountain).
Here the merchant delivered the Georgian Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos in 1629, during the reign of Tsar Michael.

In 1654, Hieromonk Makarios of Krasnogorsk Monastery brought the Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (which had been brought from Persia) to Moscow for restoration, and to be covered with a new riza. It was placed in the newly-built church, dedicated to the Life-giving Trinity, at Nikitnikov Lane near the Saint Barbara Gate, where the Kremlin masters carried on their iconographic work.

About that time, a plague or pestilence was raging in Moscow. At the request of the master silversmith Gabriel Evdokimov, whose son was near death, a Moleben was served in his house before the Georgian Icon of the Mother of God from Krasnogorsk Monastery. The patient soon recovered. In gratitude for this miraculous healing, a copy of Georgian Icon was made and placed in Holy Trinity church. From that time, the church was also called Georgian.

The gracious help of the Most Holy Theotokos continued to be conferred by the aforementioned copy of her Icon. During the plague epidemic of 1654, the Moscow merchant Stephanov prayed continuously to the Queen of Heaven. The Most Holy Virgin appeared to him three times in a dream saying: “Pray to the Georgian Theotokos, on the Glinishchi at the mills, and you will be spared.” The Holy Trinity church at Nikitniki was also called the church of the Great Martyr Nikḗtas (one of the chapels) on Glinishchi, near the mills. The merchant did not take his family from Moscow as he intended, but began to pray fervently in the Holy Trinity church. The epidemic did not touch him or his family.

Concerning the Georgian Icon of the Mother of God, which was in Moscow’s Alekseevsky Convent…

In the same deadly plague epidemic of 1654, one of the nuns at the Alekseev Convent fell ill. While she addressed long prayers to the Heavenly Healer, the sick woman suddenly remembered the miraculous recovery she had heard about from the Icon of the Mother of God, which is in the church of the Life-giving Trinity by Saint Barbara’s Gate. However, there was no one to send there. After some time, an unknown monk came to the Convent. Turning to the sick nun, he said: “Do not be sad that the Georgian Icon of the Mother of God cannot be brought here. You have here exactly the same Icon as the one brought from Georgia. You will find it in the cave, and you shall behold God’s mercy.”

The allegorical meaning of these words became clear afterward in the monastery sacristy, which was laid out like caves, when a hitherto unknown Icon of the Mother of God was discovered. After a Moleben, the miraculous Icon was carried to the cells of the nuns who were suffering from the pestilence. All of them were healed. From that time, the epidemic in Moscow began to abate.

In the XVIII century, the pious peasants of the village of Klyucharev, Korchev county, Tver Province, presented the caretaker of the Moscow Archangel Cathedral with a copy of the Georgian Icon of the Mother of God, which became highly regarded by the locals, when the rye crop was threatened with destruction in the late 1860s. Vast fields of newly-sprouted crops were being eaten by an unknown worm, and nothing they did was of any use. Then the peasants prayed for help to the Most Holy Theotokos, whose Georgian Icon they revered. After a Cross Procession around the fields with the Icon, a sudden, unprecedented torrential rain fell. Streams of water washed the worms out of the ground, which were eaten by a large flock of birds. The many copies of the icon testifies to its deep veneration. ( https://www.oca.org/saints/lives/2021/08/22/102376-icon-of-the-mother-of-god-of-georgia )

***

9th Sunday of Matthew
1 Corinthians 3:9-17 / Matt. 14:14-22
“Remember us, O Lord, when Thou comest into Thy Kingdom”
Don’t Fear Difficult Things. Christ Walking on the Water
Anthony Bloom Metropolitan of Sourozh
9th August, 1987

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

The more deeply we live in the Holy Liturgy or according to circumstances that make us more perceptive of its words, the more widely it unfolds before us, acquiring a greater depth revealing to us things both human and divine.

How often have we heard at the beginning of the Beatitudes the words “Remember us, O Lord, when Thou comest into Thy Kingdom!” — in the glory of Thy Kingship … And these words sound so natural and simple. And yet, if we imagine for one moment that when the Lord Jesus Christ comes in glory, having conquered for us and for God, overcome all evil, and made this world into His Kingdom of love, of holiness, of perfect beauty — that one of us could be forgotten: what would happen to us? Forgotten of God … It is only because we are remembered that we exist, that we live! It is only because He remembers us even when w e forget ourselves and one another that we continue to be sustained by the power of life which is His, by His blessing, by His sacrificial love … How wonderful it is to think that we are secure in God’s all-remembrance, even when people forget us! And it happens, it happens: I remember a dark day when I was with a family, and the door opened, and a man who had been five years in the war and was thought to be dead, walked in; his wife looked at him and said “You are alive? We thought you were dead!” … And these words meant, “we counted on your death, because once you were dead, life had begun anew, in a new manner; I had met other people, I had married another man; you have come — and you should not have come, you should have remained dead” …

Ιησούς Χριστός_ΠΕΡΠΑΤΩΝΤΑΣ ΠΑΝΩ ΣΤΑ ΚΥΜΑΤΑ_Jesus-Christ_Walking-on-Water- Господне Иисус-Христос-Byzantine Orthodox Icon008590WECan you imagine what this man felt? And can you imagine what would happen to anyone of us, however sinful, if, standing before God we saw that He did not remember our name, our face, our existence … And how wonderfully inspiring it is to think that even if the whole world should forget us — there is One Who will never, never forget: it is the Lord Jesus Christ, it is God One in the Trinity, God Who is Love …

Think of what happened in today’s Gospel (Matthew 14:22-34): Peter, together with the other disciples, saw Christ as a phantom, as a ghost walking on the waters, he was filled with terror: a ghost! And they all cried out in fear. And Christ said “Fear not! It is I!” … They were tossed by the sea, as we are tossed by the circumstances of our life, by the storms that arise within us. But when they heard the voice of Christ, Peter said, “Let me come unto Thee, walking on the waters.” He knew it was impossible, humanly speaking, but it was possible because all things are possible to God and in God … And Christ said “Come!” … And Peter left the frail security of the skiff in which he was with the other disciples, and began to walk; and suddenly he looked at the sea instead of looking at Christ, he looked at the storm instead of looking at Him Who is the Lord of the storm, as He is the Prince of Peace. And because he remembered himself and the storm, he began to drown; and that very moment when he had lost sight of God, he cried “Help!”, and Christ took him by the hand and brought him to shore.

Here again we see that even at moments when we are carried away by our fears, by our doubts, carried away by the storm that rages within or around us, there is One Who remembers in love, in compassion, in an understanding that goes beyond our own understanding. Because He has plumbed all the depths of human frailty and has carried all the weight of human sin, He can say “Fear not!” — and take us by the hand and save us.

Let us think for a moment of what that means: to be remembered, and what it means to all of us, each of us that there should be people who remember us, for whom we exist, for whom we matter. A French writer has said: To say to a person “I love you” is tantamount to saying “you shall never die”. Because it is a supreme affirmation of this person, a person who is thus affirmed, cannot fall out of eternity, of God’s eternity, because all love is of God. How wonderful that salvation is offered and given, how wonderful that we may be partakers of this gift, granting it to others by our love and by our eternal remembrance. Amen.
http://www.mitras.ru/eng/eng_79.htm – http://www.mitras.ru/eng/eng_128.htm

The anchoress Polychronia informed in the divine way about Saint Anthusa of Tarsus in Cilicia repose. Divine eros, divine madness takes a person beyond the earth’s pull; it lifts him up to the Throne of God.
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2019/08/21/the-anchoress-polychronia-informed-in-the-divine-way-about-saint-anthusa-of-tarsus-in-cilicia-repose-divine-eros-divine-madness-takes-a-person-beyond-the-earths-pull-it-lifts-him-up-to-the/

Lord Jesus, the Conqueror of the world, help us also to conquer the world with faith in You. And the victory that conquers the world in our faith . Saint Nikolai Velimirovič – Saint Paisios of Mount Athos
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2021/01/15/lord-jesus-the-conqueror-of-the-world-help-us-also-to-conquer-the-world-with-faith-in-you-and-the-victory-that-conquers-the-world-in-our-faith-saint-nikolai-velimirovic-saint-paisios-of-mount-a/

Παναγιά Προυσιώτισσα_Icon of Panagia Prousiotissa-Prusiotissa-Prototypo-2Troparion of the Dormition of the Mother of God Feast — Tone 1

In giving birth thou didst preserve thy virginity;/ in falling asleep thou didst not forsake the world, O Theotokos./ Thou wast translated to life, O Mother of Life,/ and by your prayers you deliver our souls from death.

Apolytikion of Icon of Prusa
First Tone

O Lady, by thine icon of Proussa, thou art shown forth as the great proctectress of Greece and worker of dread wonders, for thou grantest sight unto the blind, O thou all-spotless Virgin Mariam; thou dost cast out wicked demons and healest all that flee unto thee while crying: Glory unto thy childbirth without seed. Glory to Him that hath made thee wonderous. Glory to Him that worketh such manner of marvels through thee.

Troparion of the Mother of God of Georgia — Tone 4

Today the Monastery of Krasnogorsk rejoices brightly and Raithu Hermitage celebrates with it; / like the dawn of the sun shining from the east, / we perceive your wonderworking Icon, O Sovereign Lady, / by which you disperse the fog of temptations and troubles from those who cry to you with faith: / “Deliver our Monastery, and all Christian countries, from all the intrigues of our enemies, / and save our souls as the Merciful Protector of the Christian race.”

Kontakion of the Mother of God of Georgia — Tone 6

Although by Divine permission your revered Icon was desecrated and pierced with a spear by the pagans, O Sovereign Lady, / in our Orthodox country it is glorified and lovingly revered by all. / Therefore, through you, the blind receive sight, the deaf hear, / the mute speak, the lame walk, the sick are strengthened, and the grieving receive comfort and joy. / Therefore, we pray you, O Merciful Mother, / always extend your mercies toward us as the Blessed one.

Troparion of St Anthusa the Nun, and those with them— Tone 4

Your holy martyrs O Lord, / through their sufferings 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!

Martyr Agathonicus and those with him, Troparion in Tone IV —

In their sufferings, O Lord,/ Thy martyrs received imperishable crowns from Thee our God;/ for, possessed of Thy might,/ they set at nought the tormentors and crushed the feeble audacity of the demons.// By their supplications save Thou our souls.

Troparion of St Isaac I of Optina— Tone 8

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


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.


Instead of condemning others, strive to reach inner peace. Keep silent, refrain from judgment. St Seraphim of Sarov

Μυροφόρες_ Myrrhbearers_ Жёны-мироносицы__thumb13Χριστός ανέστη! Αληθώς ανέστη!
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
ХристосВоскрес! Воистину Воскрес!
ქრისტეაღსდგა! ჭეშმარიტადაღსდგა!

«Rejoice!» «Peace be unto you!»

Saints Martyrs Lucillian of Byzantium, 4 martyred Youths and Paula the Virgin (c. 270-275)
Saint Achillas, Bishop of Alexandria (312)
Saint Hieria, widow, of Mesopotamia (312)
Saint Athanasius the Wonderworker, hieromonk of Traiannou Monastery in Bithynia (c. 933)

Commemorated on June 3

An old man was asked, ‘How can I find God?’ He said, ‘In fasting, in watching, in labors, in devotion, and, above all, in discernment. I tell you, many have injured their bodies without discernment and have gone away from us having achieved nothing. Our mouths smell bad through fasting, we know the Scriptures by heart, we recite all the Psalms of David, but we have not that which God seeks: charity and humility.'”

The Desert Fathers

***

“You cannot be too gentle, too kind. Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other. Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of him who gives and kindles joy in the heart of him who receives. All condemnation is from the devil. Never condemn each other. We condemn others only because we shun knowing ourselves. When we gaze at our own failings, we see such a swamp that nothing in another can equal it. That is why we turn away, and make much of the faults of others. Instead of condemning others, strive to reach inner peace. Keep silent, refrain from judgment. This will raise you above the deadly arrows of slander, insult and outrage and will shield your glowing hearts against all evil.”

– St Seraphim of Sarov

***

It seems to me, and I am personally convinced, that the Church must never speak from a position of strength…It ought not to be one of the forces influencing this or that state. The Church ought to be, if you will, just as powerless as God himself, which does not coerce but which calls and unveils the beauty and the truth of things without imposing them. As soon as the Church begins to exercise power, it loses its most profound characteristic which is divine love [i.e.] the understanding of those it is called to save and not to smash…”

– Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

***

“If you cannot be merciful, at least speak as though you are a sinner. If you are not a peacemaker, at least do not be a troublemaker. If you cannot be assiduous, at least in your thought be like a sluggard. If you are not victorious, do not exalt yourself over the vanquished. If you cannot close the mouth of a man who disparages his companion, at least refrain from joining him in this.”

– St. Isaac the Syrian

***

St. Porphyrios

“There are two paths that lead to God: the hard and debilitating path with fierce assaults against evil, and the easy path of love. There are many who chose the hard path and ‘shed blood in order to receive Spirit’ until they attained great virtue. I find the shorter and safer route is the path of love.

That is, you can make a different kind of effort: to study and pray and have your aim to advance in the love of God and of the Church. Do not fight to expel darkness from the chamber of your soul. Open a tiny aperture for the light to enter, and the darkness will disappear. The same holds true for our passions and desires. Do not fight them, but transform them into strengths by showing disdain for evil.”

Do not choose negative methods to correct yourselves. There is no need to fear the devil, hell or anything else. These things provoke a negative reaction…The object is to live, to study, to pray and to advance in love…
– Elder Porphyrios, WOUNDED BY LOVE, p. 136

The appearance of St. Loukillianos to St. Paisios the Athonite “Elder, I am Loukilianos”.
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2019/06/02/29152/


Kindness is one of God’s many qualities; therefore, it always spreads joy, drives away the clouds, and opens up hearts like the spring sunshine which makes the earth blossom. St. Paisios the Athonite

Μυροφόρες_ Myrrhbearers_ Жёны-мироносицы_1302627922_st.-pauls-mount-athos-019-1-origΧριστός ανέστη! Αληθώς ανέστη!
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
Христос Воскрес! Воистину Воскрес!
ქრისტეაღსდგა! ჭეშმარიტადაღსდგა!

St. Paisios the Athonite

Those who suffer deeply for the salvation of the whole world and help in their own way (as strugglers) and humbly entrust themselves to the hands of God, feel the greatest joy in the world. Their life is a constant doxology, for they flutter about internally like angels, glorifying God day and night. Those, however, who neglect the salvation of their souls and try to find joy and rest in this vain life, are continually tortured and entangled in endless worldly machinery and live in hell in this life.

Those who have philotimo, because they move within the heavenly sphere of doxology, joyfully accept their trials as well as their blessings, and glorify God for them. Thus, they are continuously receiving God’s blessing from everything and are melting internally out of gratitude towards God, which they express in every spiritual way possible, like children of God.

The fervent love of Christ nourishes more than any other material food and gives many calories to the soul and body. Oftentimes, it even cures incurable diseases without medication and brings rest to souls. .

Those who do not sacrifice their physical health for the love of Christ, scorning their bodily rest, will not find spiritual rest, either in this life or in the next, eternal life.

Those who, out of pure love, sacrifice even their own lives to protect their fellow men, imitate Christ. These people are, of course, the greatest heroes, because even death trembles before them, since they defy death out of love. Thus, they triumph with immortality, and, taking the key to eternity out from beneath the gravestone, they proceed freely to eternal blessedness.

It is preferable for a sensitive person to be himself killed once, out of love, in order to protect his fellow man, than to cop out or back out and be constantly slaughtered by his conscience for the rest of his life.

Sacrifice for our fellow man conceals our great love for Christ. Those who have good intentions to give alms, but have nothing and on this account are afflicted, give charity with the blood of their hearts.

Those who want to be martyred for the love of Christ when martyrdom is not an option, can manifest this love that burns within them through bodily asceticism for the sake of the souls of the reposed which are burning, so that these souls will find a little rest.

Indifferent and merciless people, who think only of their own selves, insensitively satisfying themselves, simultaneously fill their hearts with much anguish. Within them works the little worm of a troubled conscience, and they are tormented already in this life. Merciful people, on the other hand, since they are always filling others with love, are always filled with the love of God and His abundant blessings…

Kindness is one of God’s many qualities; therefore, it always spreads joy, drives away the clouds, and opens up hearts like the spring sunshine which makes the earth blossom. It even warms up snakes and takes them out of their cold holes so they, too, can enjoy God’s kindness. .

When someone gives his heart to God, then the mind of this man is also seized by the love of God. He is indifferent towards worldly things and continually thinks about the Heavenly Father, and being divinely in love, he glorifies his Creator day and night like an angel.

“To some people your love will be expressed with joy and to others it will be expressed with your pain. You will consider everyone your brother or your sister, for we are all children of Eve (of the large family of Adam, of God). Then, in your prayer you will say: ‘My God, help those first who are in greater need, whether they are alive or reposed brothers in the Lord.’ At that point, you will share your heart with the whole world and you will have nothing but immense love, which is Christ”

***

Μυροφόρες_ Myrrhbearers_ Жёны-мироносицы_M_13a7df9e386a906918cf7b8a4d9b0cf781Inasmuch as the Good God treats us with love and kindness and invites us to Paradise, so must we not treat our fellow men barbarously, setting our conscience at rest with the thought that we send souls to Paradise with our cruel ways.

Whoever behaves in a barbaric way, ostensibly to benefit souls spiritually, is worse than Diocletian, for Diocletian was an idolater and not a Christian.

Christ does not commend killing people with cruel behavior and sending souls to Paradise, but He wants us to help our fellow men so that we might all go to Paradise together. Those who endure martyrdom from Christians receive a greater reward than the Martyrs, if they suffer with joy and do not judge those who torture them, but are grateful to them for the recompense of their sins, or, if they were not blameworthy in their life, for the reward and crown they will receive from Christ.

Similarly, he who preaches the word of God egotistically and in a frenzy (from his passions) resembles the porcupine that transports grapes on its spikes in order to feed its children, but by moving about nervously it increasingly makes them bleed — especially if they are sensitive — instead of feeding them.

Those who have much discernment, have noble love and humility as well. They even sweeten bitter truth with their kindness and express it with much simplicity. They help more positively than do sweet words, just as bitter medicine is more beneficial than sweet syrups.

Inner love is evident to people because it sweetens the person externally and beautifies him with Divine Grace, which cannot be concealed due to its radiance.

The angel, as an angel, always spreads what he possesses — heavenly joy and delight.

from the book Epistles by St. Paisios the Athonite (Souroti, 2002),


Our Lord never soiled anyone, but cleansed all who wished to be cleansed. Make our brothers, O Lord, whom we have soiled, brighter than we in Your kingdom. Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Χριστός_ascensHomily:
About knowing and doing
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

“If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it” (St. John 13:17).

The most important aspect of this scripture text of our Lord, brethren, is thatthe Lord does not mitigate knowing, but stresses doing. He does not say to the apostles, “Blessed are you when you know this.” Some pagan teachers who viewed salvation only in terms of knowledge spoke in this manner. However, our Lord says, “Blessed are you if you do it.” The knowledge of salvation was given to us by the Lord Jesus Himself, and no one is able to attain that knowledge through his own efforts. Some of the ancient Greek philosophers said that mankind cannot come to the knowledge of the truth, nor can be saved, until God Himself comes to earth. Our Lord came among men and revealed this knowledge to them. Whosoever receives this knowledge also accepts the obligation to fulfill it.

O, how much easier will it be at the judgment for those who never received this knowledge at all, and consequently, did not fulfill it, than for those who received this knowledge and neglected to fulfill it.
O, how much easier it will be at the judgment for unlearned pagans than for the learned Christians.

Our Lord alone showed Himself not only as a Knower, but also as a Doer. His perfect knowledge complimented His perfect doing. Before the eyes of His disciples, He personally fulfilled all of His own commandments. He gave them this commandment and completed this act of humility and love when He washed the feet of His disciples. He then commanded that they should do this to one another. Our Lord did not dwell among men to soil men, but to wash them. He never soiled anyone, but cleansed all who wished to be cleansed. What kind of shame is it for many of us who labor much to wash ourselves and labor twice as much to soil others?

O, my brethren, we muddy our own blood brothers. Even Christ weeps when He sees how we, with the mud of slander, soil those whom He has washed with His own blood.

O Lord forgive us! We sin everyday against our own brothers. Make our brothers, O Lord, whom we have soiled, brighter than we in Your kingdom. You are just and You see all.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
prologue.orthodox.cn/March1.htm

Glory …, First Mode

Let us cleanse ourselves, brethren, with the queen of the virtues: for behold, she is come, bringing us a wealth of blessings. She quells the uprising of the passions, and reconciled sinners to the Master. Therefore let us welcome her with gladness, and cry aloud to Christ our God: O risen from the dead, who alone art free from sin, guard us uncondemned as we give thee glory.


The parable of the Prodigal Son speaks to us not only of sin and repentance but also of the forgiveness that God gives us. Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh

άσωτος γιος_ the Prodigal Son_ Притча о блудном сынеprodigal-son-greek-1035426c93013c2e8d53002849e0886071_hdSunday of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32)

Parable of the Prodigal Son
Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh
1967, 26 February

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

The parable of the Prodigal Son speaks to us not only of sin and repentance but also of the forgiveness that God gives us. When the prodigal son had come to his senses through suffering, privation, loneliness and rejection he set out to his father’s house, and his father, who had probably often looked out for his return, saw him from afar. The Gospel tells us that love and tenderness and pity filled his heart, “his son was dear to him” and without waiting for his son’s arrival the old man who had been deeply hurt by the young man’s sins and heartlessness ran to meet him, fell on his neck, embraced and kissed him.

Is that how we meet each other when we see from a distance someone coming from that far country to which all of us at some moment, frequently perhaps, get drawn by sin, a former friend, relation or acquaintance returning to us? Is that how we meet him? To begin with, is it often that our love is so unshakeable that we constantly go to the door of the house and look into the distance hoping for his return? And when we do see a person who once was close but has become estranged moving our way, are we often pierced to the heart by the old love and tenderness and pity? And do we often make the first move towards him without waiting for his repentance or words of regret, embrace him and try to console him for his own inconstancy in love and friendship? Do we not in fact more often behave like the son who had nothing to reproach himself with before his father? When that one returned from work in the fields and heard sounds of rejoicing in the house he asked a servant what it was about, and hearing that his younger brother who was starving had returned, he was unwilling to go in. His sinful brother through shame and fear had understood what he had done, and seeing the state he had reduced himself to had come from the far country to his father’s house uncertain how he would be received. But he, the righteous one was standing outside the house where there was rejoicing over the return to life of one who was dead, and waiting for his father to come and implore him, “enter into the common joy. I rejoice, the servants rejoice, your brother rejoices, partake of our joy.” But the righteous son rebukes his father saying that for all those years of work and virtuous living he had received no reward, whereas when that “son of yours” returned the father had slain the fatted calf. And the father says, “should we not have rejoiced when your brother came back?” But the elder son sees in the prodigal only the sinful son of his father whom he can no longer accept as a brother, though his father reminds him that if the prodigal also is his son, he must be the righteous one’s brother.

άσωτος γιος_ the Prodigal Son_ Притча о блудном сынеFiul-cel-pierdut-10Again I say, does it often happen that we perceive someone who has sinned, not necessarily against us but done wrong in general as our brother? Do we not more often say “your son” with contemptuous rejection? Do we often admit that he is our brother all the same, he is dear to the father and should be infinitely dear to us? But no, we are like the son who thought himself virtuous because he was a good worker, although he remained alien to the spirit of his father’s house.

One further comment. The father did not allow his son to ask to become a servant; he could not take him as a servant but only as a son returned. And he told then to bring his original robe, not the best garment in the house but the one he used to wear before he became a stranger, before he shed it to dress up as a foreigner. When the son put on his former robe instead of his rags he felt it fit him snugly, and his father ordered then to bring him the ring, not just a ring, but the ring with which in older times a man sealed his letters. The father put complete trust in him. Why? Why did he not first demand proofs of his repentance? Because he knew that if his son had overcome shame and fear in order to come home his return was secure. But when a person, formerly a friend but who has hurt either us or someone dear to us, approaches us, are we ready to entrust ourselves to him, give him the old affection? No, and therefore the reconciliation is not permanent. That is why a person is so afraid of seeking reconciliation; he knows he will not meet the father but only false, humiliating virtue which says “you are not my brother even if my father does acknowledge you as his son”.

Let us consider this question of forgiveness, because soon it will be forgiveness Sunday and it might catch us unprepared. Amen.
http://www.mitras.ru/eng/eng_157.htm

A family man flooded with Taborian Light, He seen the “uncreated Light”. When the Grace of God is within us, then day is within our souls. Saint Paisius the Athonite – Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2019/08/11/30716/

Your sins are my sins, St. Nikolai Velimirovic Bishop of Ochrid
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2018/02/07/your-sins-are-my-sins-st-nikolai-velimirovic-bishop-of-ochrid-2/

Tone 3 Kontakion (from the Lenten Triodion)

I have recklessly forgotten Thy glory, O Father; and among sinners I have scattered the riches which Thou gavest me. And now I cry to thee as the Prodigal: I have sinned before Thee, O merciful Father; receive me as a penitent, and make me as one of Thy hired servants!

Tone 1 – ‘Lord, I have cried unto Thee…’

Brethren, our purpose is to know the power of God’s goodness,
For when the Prodigal Son abandoned his sin,
He hastened to the refuge of his Father.
That good man embraced him and welcomed him:
He killed the fatted calf and celebrated with heavenly joy!
Let us learn from this example to offer thanks to the Father who loves all people,
And to the Victim, the glorious Saviour of our souls!

Doxastikon in Tone Six

Loving Father, I have gone far from you, but do not forsake me, nor declare me unfitted for your Kingdom. The all-evil enemy has stripped me naked and taken all my wealth. I have squandered like the Profligate the graces given to my soul. But now I have arisen and returned, and I cry aloud to you, ‘Make me as one of your hired servants, You who for my sake stretched out Your spotless hands on the Cross, to snatch me from the fearsome beast and to clothe me once again in the first robe, for You alone art full of mercy’.


Lord Christ, our most wonderful truth and our endearing love, enter into us and receive us into Thyself. Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Ζαχαρίας Προδρόμου_ Zechariah (priest)_ Захария отец Иоанна Крестителя _304145Hieromartyr Blaise, bishop of Sebaste and the holy Two Children and Seven Women beheaded with him (316).
Saint Zacharias the Prophet, Father of the venerable Forerunner, the finding of whose holy relics we commemorate(409).
St. Empress Theodora, who upheld Orthodoxy., wife of Emperor Theophilus the Iconoclast (867)
Hieromartyr Lucius of Adrianopolis in Thrace (348).
Hieromartyr Saturninus the Priest of Abitene in Northwestern Africa, and those with him
New Martyr George of Kratovo of Serbia

Commemorated on February 11

Homily:
on how the faithful must grow
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ (Ephesians 4:15).

Θεοδώρα βασιλισσα_St Theodora_Св Феодора _Εικόνα-Άγία-Θεοδώρας-ΤζάνεBrethren, here is all that is asked of us on this earthly journey: that we hold to the truth and that we live in love. Truth is revealed by Christ the Lord, and the example of love is given in Christ the Lord. Neither can one come to the truth apart from Christ the Lord nor find an example of true love apart from Him. Seeing this only true path to light and salvation in the confusion of many false paths, the Apostle Paul reminds us beforehand: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14).

Only God can reveal the truth; only God can show true love. One man can know more than another man, but only God can reveal the truth. Thoughts come to man like the wind, and illusions can seem to be truth to him. Deluded by his own thoughts, one man deludes another; deceived by illusions, one man then deceives another; but truth is in God and of God.

Brethren, Christ is our whole truth and our whole love. When we think of Christ, we think of truth; when we act according to Christ, we act correctly; when we love Christ, we love Love itself. By Christ we live, by Christ we grow, by Christ we become immortal and are glorified. He is our Head-not merely the titular head of a group, but the actual head of a living body, of which we are members. Adhering to truth and love, we are made worthy to dwell eternally in this Body of Christ.

O Lord Christ, our most wonderful truth and our endearing love, enter into us and receive us into Thyself.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič 
http://livingorthodoxfaith.blogspot.gr/2010/04/prologue-november-28-december-11.html

Apolytikion of Relics of Zachariah
Second Tone

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

Apolytikion of Zacharias the Prophet
Fourth Tone

In the vesture of a priest, according to the Law of God, thou didst offer unto Him well-pleasing whole-burnt offerings, as it befitted a priest, O wise Zacharias. Thou wast a shining light, a seer of mysteries, bearing in thyself clearly the signs of grace; and in God’s temple, O wise Prophet of Christ God, thou wast slain with the sword. Hence, with the Forerunner, make entreaty that our souls find salvation.

Apolytikion of Empress Theodora
Plagal of the First Tone

As a right worthy namesake of gifts bestowed of God, and a divinely-wrought image of holy wisdom and faith, thou didst make the Church to shine with godly piety; for thou didst demonstrate to all that the Saints in every age have shown honor to the icons, O Theodora, thou righteous and fair adornment of the Orthodox.

Apolytikion of Hieromartyr Blaise
Fourth Tone

As a sharer of the ways and a successor to the throne of the Apostles, O inspired of God, thou foundest discipline to be a means of ascent to divine vision. Wherefore, having rightly divided the word of truth, thou didst also contest for the Faith even unto blood, O Hieromartyr Blaise. Intercede with Christ our God that our souls be saved.


One who lives in love receives from God the fruit of life. He breathes, even in this world, the air of resurrection.. Saint Isaac the Syrian

Ισαάκ ο Σύρος_ St. Isaac of Syria_ Св. Исаак Сирин_A-67-St-Isaac-Above-allSaint Isaac the Syrian, the Great Hesychast (7th century)
Ephraim the Syrian (373)
James the Ascetic, of Porphyreon (Porphyrianos) in Palestine.
Palladius the Hermit of Antioch, Wonderworker (4th century)
Martyr Charita
Flavian, a deputy-prefect of Rome, martyred in Civita Vecchia in Italy under Diocletian (ca. 304)
George Ugryn the Martyr (1015), brother of Ephraim of Novotorzhok
Ephraim of Novotorzhok, Abbot and Wonderworker, founder of the Sts. Boris and Gleb Monastery (Novotorzhok) (1053)
Ephraim of the Kiev Caves, Bishop of Pereyaslavl (ca. 1098)
“Sumorin Totma” Icon of the Mother of God (16th century)

Commemorated on January 28

Blessed Elder Ieronymos of Aegina wrote the following about the insight we can gain from Saint Isaac:“Isaac is the mirror. There you will behold yourself.”

“If anyone went to a psychiatric hospital and read to the patients Abba Isaac, all those who believed in God would get well, because they would recognize the deeper meaning of life.” St. Paisios of Mount Athos

St. Paisios of Mount Athos and Abba Isaac the Syrian, the Great Hesychast

Ισαάκ ο Σύρος_ St. Isaac of Syria_ Св. Исаак Сирин_ΙΣΣΑΚ ΣΥΡΟΣOne day, sitting at the bench outside of Stavronikita, the Elder was visiting with pilgrims, among whom was a high school teacher of theology. The theology teacher, repeating a popular Western error, claimed that Abba Isaac the Syrian was a Nestorian. Father Paisios tried to persuade him that Abba Isaac was not only Orthodox but also a saint, and that his Ascetical Homilies possess great grace and strength. But the Elder’s words were in vain: the theology teacher stubbornly insisted on his views. The Elder left for his hermitage, praying and so sad that he was in tears.
When he had come to a spot on the path near a large plane tree, something happened to him. These words, “something happened”, were the only description he gave us of the incident, not wanting to reveal the exact details. According to one testimony, he saw in a vision the choir of the holy fathers passing before him, and one of them, stopping, said to him, “I am Isaac the Syrian. I am completely Orthodox. The Nestorian heresy was indeed present in my region, but I fought against it.” We are not in a position to endorse or to reject the reliability of this witness. We know for certain only that the Elder experienced a supranatural occurence that confirmed with perfect clarity the holiness and total Orthodoxy of Abba Isaac.
Originally appeared in Elder Paisios of Mount Athos by Hieromonk Isaac p. 226, The Holy Monastery of Saint Arsenios the Cappadocian (2012).

Through divine revelation it was revealed to him that in fact St. Isaac was Orthodox and he wrote in his Menaion for January 28th the following words after the description of the feast of St. Ephraim the Syrian: “…and Isaac the Great Hesychast and much unjustly accused.”

In his book Ἐπιστολές (Letters) Saint Païsios writes: ‘Abba Isaac will help you greatly because he makes people understand the deeper meaning of life and if people believe in God, he helps them to dispel any complex, great or small, that they may have. Studying Abba Isaac even just a little alters the soul through the vitamins it provides’.
Writing about Papa-Tikhon in his book Αγιορείται Πατέρες και αγιορείτικα (Athonite Fathers and Athonite Matters), Saint Païsios says: ‘One day he asked me what books I read and I answered “Abba Isaac”. “Goodness gracious me, there’s a great saint. Abba Isaac wouldn’t hurt a fly”. He said this in order to point out the great spiritual sensitivity of the Saint’.

***

Saint Isaac the Syrian

“Be persecuted, but persecute not;  Be crucified,but crucify not;  Be wronged, but wrong not; Be slandered, but slander not.Have clemency, not zeal, with respect to evil. Lay hold of goodness, not legality. “

If a soul is feeble and lacks sufficient strength for enduring great temptations and therefore asks God not to be exposed to them, and God hears it — then know surely, that by whatever measure the soul lacks sufficient strength for great temptations, is the same measure it lacks sufficient strength to cope with big endowments. Because God does not grant big endowments without great temptations. God determines temptations commensurate to endowments.

The man who endures accusations against himself with humility has arrived at perfection, and he is marvelled at by the holy angels, for there is no other virtue so great and so hard to achieve.”

The path of God is a daily cross. 

A man who is truly humble is not troubled when he is wronged and he says nothing to justify himself against the injustice, but he accepts slander as truth; he does not attempt to persuade men that he is calumniated, but he begs forgiveness.

Therefore one who lives in love receives from God the fruit of life. He breathes, even in this world, the air of resurrectionLove is the KingdomSuch is the ‘wine to gladden the heart of man’ (Psalm 104.15). Blessed is he who drinks of this wine... the sick have drunk of it and become wise.

Ισαάκ ο Σύρος_ St. Isaac of Syria_ Св. Исаак Сирин__4948487363And what is a merciful heart?’ ‘It is the heart’s burning for the sake of the entire creation, for men, for birds, for animals, for demons, and for every created thing; and by the recollection and sight of them the eyes of a merciful man pour forth abundant tears. From the strong and vehement mercy which grips his heart and from his great compassion, his heart is humbled and he cannot bear to hear or to see any injury or slight sorrow in creation. . . .’

“As a handful of sand thrown into the great sea, so are the sins of all flesh in comparison with the mercy of God. And just as a strongly flowing spring is not obstructed by a handful of dust, so the mercy of the Creator is not stemmed by the vices of His creatures.”

Blessed is the man who knows his own weakness,
The commandments of God are greater than all the treasures of the world,

The person who lives in love reaps the fruit of life from God, and while yet in this world, even now breathes the air of the resurrection.

If you cannot be merciful, at least speak as though you are a sinner. If you are not a peacemaker, at least do not be a troublemaker. If you cannot be assiduous, at least in your thought be like a sluggard. If you are not victorious, do not exalt yourself over the vanquished. If you cannot close the mouth of a man who disparages his companion,m at least refrain from joining him in this.

In all respects belittle yourself before all men, and you will be raised above the princes of this age.

The mouth, which is continuously giving thanks, receives blessing from God. St. Abba Isaac the Syrian
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2020/01/27/the-mouth-which-is-continuously-giving-thanks-receives-blessing-from-god-st-abba-isaac-the-syrian/

The man who hungers and thirsts for God’s sake, God will make drunk with His good things. St. Isaac of Syria
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/the-man-who-hungers-and-thirsts-for-gods-sake-god-will-make-drunk-with-his-good-things-st-isaac-of-syria/Εφραίμ ο Σύρος_St. Ephraim the Syrian_ΚΟΙΜΗΣΗ-bef0aa47a0648746Troparion, in Tone V:

Illumined by rays of the virtues, O God-bearer Isaac, in spirit thou wast shown to be an all-radiant beacon of the life which is in Christ; and by thy divinely inspired teachings, O father, thou dost guide safely to the way of salvation those who bless thee as a godly servant of Christ. (Twice)

Apolytikion of Isaac the Syrian in the Plagal of the First Tone

He that thundered on Sinai with saving laws for man hath also given thy writings as guides in prayer unto monks, O revealer of unfathomable mysteries; for having gone up in the mount of the vision of the Lord, thou wast shown the many mansions. Wherefore, O God-bearing Isaac, entreat the Saviour for all praising thee.

Aposticha stichera, in Tone V:
Spec. Mel.: “Rejoice …”:

Rejoice, O sacred Isaac, emulator of the angels in thy manner of life! For, undertaking their way of life, with understanding thou didst please God in righteousness. Wherefore, thou didst suppress the uprisings of the passions and didst acquire the radiance of dispassion, wherewith thou didst shine forth as a heavenly luminary. For this cause we bless thee as a divine teacher of the way of Christ and a most excellent judge of the contest, who asketh for all cleansing, salvation and mercy divine.

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

Rejoice, O sacred Isaac, divinely wise preacher of hesychia! For, exercising thyself in asceticism, thou didst cleanse thyself of all dross; wherefore, thou didst avoid all earthly stumbling-blocks, and wast shown to be most exalted in heart, ineffably receiving the immaterial light, for in body thou didst pass through the darkness which surpasseth light, and in purity didst with a perfect mind hold converse with the Creator. Intercede with Him, O father, that we also may be given the light of grace divine.

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

Rejoice, O sacred Isaac, instructor and paragon of monastics, model of abstinence and noetic prayer, and of every form of life sublime! For having done as our Savior hath said, O venerable one, thou didst instruct men well in purity, in modesty and perfection of life. Wherefore, do thou ever send down upon us strength from on high, O father, that we may be well-pleasing unto our God, that we may at last inherit the kingdom of Christ.

Kontakion, in Tone VIII: Spec. Mel.: “To thee, the champion leader …”

By thine angelic way of life thou wast shown to be a divine instrument of
the Comforter, and a model for monastics in all things, O blessed Isaac. As the habitation of grace divine, ask grace and heavenly light for us who cry out to thee: Rejoice, O divinely wise father!

Ikos: An angel in ascetic labor wast thou shown to be in the flesh, O Godbearing Isaac, and by thine angelic voice hast thou set before us the words of salvation, whereby guided to a higher life, we cry out to thee: Rejoice, star out of Syria; rejoice, lamp of stillness! Rejoice, thou who art more sublime than earthly thoughts; rejoice, partaker of heavenly enlightenment! Rejoice, divinely inscribed pillar of hesychasts; rejoice, mouth flowing with the honey of spiritual teachings! Rejoice, for thou wast filled with God-given wisdom; rejoice, for thou deliverest from the evil of the passions! Rejoice, most fervent of the servants of Christ; rejoice, our godly teacher! Rejoice, wise God-bearer Isaac; rejoice, our instructor, guided by God! Rejoice, O divinely wise father!

Tone VIII:
Spec. Mel.: “O all-glorious wonder …”:

O divinely eloquent father Isaac, denying thyself, by great inner stillness
thou didst furnish thy mind with wings to soar aloft toward heavenly love, and by divine visions and deeds thou dost lead us toward perfection; wherefore, we honor thee as a wise teacher and guide, celebrating thy holy memory.

A Prayer to Our Lord Jesus Christ

Lord Christ our God, Who hast healed my passions through Thy Passion, and hast cured my wounds through Thy wounds, grant me who have sinned greatly against Thee tears of compunction. Transform my body with the fragrance of Thy life-giving Body, and sweeten my soul with Thy Holy Blood from the bitterness with which the foe has fed me.

Lift up my downward looking mind to Thee, and take it out of the pit of perdition, for I have no repentance, I have no compunction, I have no consoling tears, which uplift children to their heritage. My mind has been darkened through earthly passions, I cannot look up to Thee in pain. I cannot warm myself with tears of love for Thee.

But, O Lord Jesus Christ, Treasury of good gifts, give me thorough repentance and a diligent heart to seek Thee; grant me Thy grace, and renew in me the lineaments of Thy image. I have forsaken Thee – do not forsake me! Come out to seek me; lead me up to Thy pasturage and number me among the lambs of Thy chosen flock. Nourish me with them on the grass of Thy Holy Mysteries, by the prayers of Thy Most Pure Mother and all Thy saints. Amen.

Through the prayers of St Isaac the Syrian, of all the ascetic Fathers and all the saints, O Lord of compassion and hope, have mercy on us and save us!