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Iconography and Hand painted icons


Saint Boniface and Righteous Aglae (Aglais, Aglaida) of Rome, When a philotimo-filled soul thinks of God’s blessings, it is enough to send it exploding towards Heaven, even more so if the soul also meditates on its many sins and God’s abundant mercy and compassion

Προσκυνηση τριων μαγων_Поклонение волхвов Три царя _Adoration of the Three Magi_4_КондакSaint Boniface the Martyr at Tarsus, in Cilicia(290) and Righteous Aglae (Aglais, Aglaida) of Rome (c. 303)
Martyrs Elias, Probus, and Ares the Egyptians, in Cilicia (308)
Martyrs Polyeuctus at Caesarea in Cappadocia, and the Deacon Timothy at Mauretania, by fire (309)
Saint Gregentios of Himyaritia Missionary Archbishop of Zafar (capital of the Himyarite tribal confederacy) (552)
Saints George the Scribe, and Sabbas, monks of Khakhuli Monastery (11th century)
Saint Seraphim (Romantsov), of Sukhumi, Abkhazia, Elder of Glinsk Monastery (1975)
Repose of Blessed Hieromonk Hermogenes, founder of Kirensk and Albazin Monasteries in Siberia (1690)

Commemorated on December 19

Hymn of Praise
The Holy Martyr Boniface
by St Nikolai Velimirovich

Αγλαΐας της Ρωμαίας6f412-ag-aglaiaA sinful soul was in Boniface,
A sinful soul oppressed by sin.
He repented and, through Christ, began to shine,
And a hundred times he sighed.
He beheld the suffering of the holy martyrs;
He beheld the sufferings, and melted like wax.
He wept, and by his tears he was sanctified,
Repenting for all his sins.
What is life? It is intended for sacrifice:
Either to the devil or to the Creator.
The first sacrifice stinks like a dead corpse,
The second ascends to the Savior.
Repentance means restoration to life,
And it was restoration for Boniface.
For the salvation of his soul, he sacrificed his body;
He purchased the Kingdom with a sack of bones.
The distance from a sinner to a penitent,
And from a penitent to a martyr,
Is no further than one finger is from another,
Is no further than the earth is from the Cross.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by St Nikolai Velimirovich,
http://prologue.orthodox.cn/December19.htm

***

Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

– Geronda, what is it that God wants from us?
– God wants from us our good intentions, our good will, which will be expressed by even our limited but full of philotimo spiritual struggle, and the awareness of our sinfulness. Everything else is given by Him. One doesn’t need muscles in the spiritual life. We must struggle hum­bly, we must ask for God’s mercy and we must be grateful to Him for everything. He who abandons himself into the hands of God, without any plan of his own, will pass into God’s plan. As long as man is hooked onto himself, he remains behind; he does not progress spiritually because he obstructs God’s mercy. In order to grow spiritually he must place great trust in God.

At all times God caresses the hearts of all the people with His love, but we are not aware of it because our hearts have gathered a crust. When man has cleansed his heart, he is deeply moved and madly excited, because he can then see the benefactions, the blessings of God, Who loves all people in the same way.

For those who are suf­fering, God is pained; for those who are living a spiritual life, He rejoices. When a philotimo-filled soul thinks of God’s blessings, it is enough to send it exploding towards Heaven, even more so if the soul also meditates on its many sins and God’s abundant mercy and compassion.

~ When man becomes aware of God’s providential care. and the eyes of his soul have been purified, he can experience and live the fullness of divine providence with his cleansed heart, which is then overwhelmed by a pro­found sense of gratitude and spiritual madness, in the good sense of the term.

For God’s blessings, when man is aware of them, create a crack in his heart, and break it. Then, as the hand of God caresses his philotimo-filled heart and touches the crack, man experiences an inner ex­plosion that increases his gratitude toward God. All those who struggle and are aware of their sinfulness and God’s blessings, entrusting themselves to His abundant mercy, elevate their soul to Paradise with great certainty and less bodily effort. Saint Paisios of Mt. Athos – Spiritual Counsels, Vol. 2: Spiritual Awakening

God takes our sucks and makes them carpets for Paradise.

Let us not expect the spiritual spring if we don’t first pass through the spiritual winter during which the spiritual vermin die. We mustn’t expect the divine to blossom within us if the human hasn’t first died.

***

When we arrived at his cell, we sat at the guestroom and I asked him:
-Father, what made our saints, not only endure their martyrdom but also constantly feel joy about it, while we can’t even stand the bite of a mosquito?

– Everything has to do with having a correct thinking. If our thoughts are firmly secured in our faith, no one can ever take them away.
Then, he brought the Old Testament and told me that section 4 in the Book of Maccabes explains very clearly how positive thoughts can help us disregard pain and torture. He began reading the text and explaining it to me. When he finished, he told me:
– This text from the Old Testament clearly indicates that man is free and with his good thoughts, he can overcome his passions and desires and whatever else derives from them.

***

Βονιφάτιος_Byzantine Orthodox Icon_0_9455b_72354624_XXXLWe must have positive thoughts, otherwise none of the spiritual fathers- not even the saints- can help us. When Jesus was on the Cross and all the terrible events were taking place, two thieves were also being crucified with Him. “And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour” (Mk 15:33). “…And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom; and the earth shook, and the rocks were split; the tombs were also opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs, after his resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.” (Mt 27:51-53). Each one of them had a different attitude towards Him, even though they were both placed next to the same God; a God who had never been blamed for, or accused by anyone for the slightest sin. On the contrary, many people were benefited by Him: some had cured of a specific disease, others had been resurrected and all these miracles took place in public. Now, even nature was reacting against the injustice done to Him.

The thief placed on the left cross had created inside his mind a “factory”, which produced only negative thoughts. “…One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying ‘Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us’.” (Lk 23:39). Although he could see what was going on around him, he never questioned himself about it. The one on the right, who had a positive way of thinking, reacted as follows: “But the other rebuked him saying, ‘Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.’

And he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom’.” (Lk 23:40-42). Both thieves had the same almighty God placed between them who could help them. The negative thinking of the one on the left prevented God from helping him, whereas the one on the right- who had committed terrible crimes and was legitimately being punished- was able to “move” Jesus with his positive attitude. And He said to him: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Lk 23:43). We should keep in mind that God “cannot” help us, even if He really wants to, unless we acquire a positive way of thinking. Concerning the spiritual progress of a disciple monk, it is more important for him to develop good thoughts than to be guided by a spiritual father who is considered a living saint…”

Looking at this subject from a different point of view, Elder Paisios stressed and greatly emphasised the specific characteristic of love, that is, that “love is not irritable or resentful” (1Cor 13:4). He used to say that “we should never, even under the worst circumstances, allow a negative thought to penetrate our soul. The person, who, under all circumstances, is inclined to have positive thoughts, will always be a winner; his life will be a constant festivity, since it is constantly based on his positive thinking.
Priestmonk Christodoulos (1998) “Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain”Holy Mountain

***

God loves us, but we often do not understand it.
God gives us opportunities to know Him, if only we take hold of the messages. He finds a thousand ways to make us come to know Him. St. Basil says somewhere, ‘Make weakness material for virtue.’ No matter what evil comes upon us, if we have patience, it is possible that what we see as evil, will guide us to virtue. The greatest evil is to become estranged from God. 

Let us entrust our life to God, and may it be done as He wishes. Whatever the outcome may be for us, that’s the one that is for our good. For God does not want the perdition of man, but his salvation. There is no need for despair, rather we should have courage and hope in God. Despair is disbelief. He who sincerely believes in God never despairs. You despair because you don’t believe in the power of God, Who governs all things. (Elder Ieronymos of Aegina)

Completely have trust in God, leave everything in His hands, and believe that His love will act for your own benefit. Then God will take care of everything, because there is nothing He cannot do; everything is easy for Him. The difficult thing is for man to decide to humble himself and leave everything to God’s providence and love. St. Paisios of the Holy Mountain (Athos)

May St. Boniface pray for us that our repentance may lead us to holier lives.

Apolytikion of Martyr Boniface & Companions in the Fourth Tone

Thy Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for Thee received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since he possessed Thy strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons’ strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

Kontakion of Martyr Boniface & Companions in the Fourth Tone

Thou didst offer up thyself of thine own choosing as a spotless sacrifice to Him that for thy sake, O Saint, shall soon be born of a Virgin Maid, O all-renowned and wise crown-bearer Boniface.

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

Sending thee, her manservant, before her, O Boniface, * Aglais acquired a divine master * who tamed the passions, * attained mastery over tyrants, * cast down the enemy, * and was arrayed in a crown of victory. * Wherefore, having constructed for thee a holy temple all-adorned, * she enshrined thee therein, praising thee in sanctity.


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

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

“Much Prayer Is Needed”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Saint Mary Magdalene with great love toward the resurrected Lord, and with great zeal, she proclaimed the Holy Gospel to the world as a true apostle of Christ.

Μυροφόρες_Myrrhbearers_ Жёны-мироносицы_μη μου απτου_Icon_of_Noli_me_tangere-Не прикасайся ко МнеAN00453552_001_lSaint Mary Magdalene, the Holy Myrrh-bearer and Equal to the Apostles
virgin-martyr Marcella of Chios (14th century);
Venerable Cornelius of Pereyaslavl (1693);
translation of the relics of the Hieromartyr Phocas, the bishop of Sinope (117);

Commemorated on July 22

Love our Christ, just as Saint Mary Magdalene loved Him.
Elder Ignatios Kapnisis of Euboea

Mary Magdalene was one of the myrrh-bearing women and “equal to the apostles”. She was born in the town of Magdala along the shore of Lake Gennesaret and was from the tribe of Issachar. She was tormented by seven evil spirits from which the Lord Jesus freed her and made her whole. She was a faithful follower and servant of the Lord during His earthly life. Mary Magdalene stood beneath the Cross on Golgotha and grieved bitterly and mourned with the All-Holy Birth-giver of God. After the death of the Lord she visited His sepulchre three times. When the Lord resurrected she saw Him on two occasions: once alone and the other time with the other myrrh-bearing women.

She traveled to Rome and appeared before Tiberias Caesar and presenting him with a red colored egg, greeted him with the words: “Christ is Risen!” At the same time, she accused Pilate before Caesar for his unjust condemnation of the Lord Jesus. Caesar accepted her accusation and transferred Pilate from Jerusalem to Gaul where, this unjust judge, in disfavor with the emperor, died of a dread disease. After that, Mary Magdalene returned from Rome to Ephesus to St. John the Theologian whom she assisted in the work of preaching the Gospel. With great love toward the resurrected Lord, and with great zeal, she proclaimed the Holy Gospel to the world as a true apostle of Christ. She died peacefully in Ephesus and, according to tradition, was buried in the same cave in which seven youths were miraculously put to sleep for hundreds of years and, after that, were brought to life and then died (August 4). The relics of St. Mary Magdalene were later transferred to Constantinople. There is a Russian Orthodox convent dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene near the Garden of Gethsemane. Prologue from Ochrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič 

***

Counsels on Divine Eros of St. Paisios of the Holy Mountain

– Elder, is “divine eros” the love we feel for God?
 
Μαρία Μαγδαληνή_Mary Magdalene, the Holy Myrrh-bearer_ ΜΑΓΔΑΛΗΝΗ-Христа-Марии-Магдалине.-Роспись-кафоликона-монастыря-Дионисиат-на-Афоне.-Сер.-XVI-в.-e1407026652957 Divine eros is something far superior to one’s love for God. It is a kind of madness. “Love – eros – madness” – is along the same lines as “envy – hatred – murder”. A precise love of God – complete with sacrifices – simmers slowly inside the heart; then, just like steam, divine eros (which cannot be held back) bursts forth and unites with God.  Divine eros can soften even the toughest bones so much, that a person can no longer stand upright; he actually falls down!  He then resembles a wax candle in a warm environment, which cannot stand firmly upright. It falls to one side, then it falls to the other side… you straighten it, but again it bends, again it falls, because of the heat of its environment, which is too hot for it to bear.. When a person finds himself in such a state and he needs to go somewhere or do something, he cannot… He struggles; he has to actually struggle to get out of that state….

– Elder, when someone is in a state of divine eros, and if he is in pain, can he feel that pain?

– If the pain is very intense, it is subdued and becomes tolerable. If the pain is minimal, it disappears altogether… Haven’t you seen how people who are in love with each other are entirely oblivious? They can hardly sleep… A monk once told me: “Geron, a brother of mine has fallen in love with a gypsy girl and has lost his sleep over her. He keeps repeating her name, over and over again… Is he perhaps bewitched? I have been a monk for so many years, and even I don’t feel that much love for the Holy Mother as he feels for that gypsy! I don’t feel my heart leaping like that!”

Unfortunately, there are spiritual people who are scandalized by the term “divine eros”. They haven’t perceived what “divine eros” means, and they are attempting to remove this term from the Menaia and the Paracletic texts, because they claim that it scandalizes. Where have things come to! On the contrary, if you speak to secular people (who have experienced “secular eros”) about divine eros, they immediately say: “That must be something a far superior thing.” There have been so many youngsters who have experienced “secular eros”, whom I immediately “aligned” when I mentioned divine eros to them! I ask them: “Have you ever lost your footing on account of the love that you felt for someone? Have you ever felt that you cannot move and you cannot do absolutely anything?” They then immediately comprehend how this must be a really superior state, and we understand each other perfectly thereafter. They usually respond with: “If we feel that way with something secular, imagine what that celestial feeling must be like!”

 How can one become dotty, Elder, by their love for God?
 
– Well, by keeping company with …other dotty ones, who will infect you with their spiritual dottiness! I will pray to one day see you… a complete madman! Amen…
 
I too have a small experience of spiritual madness, which comes from divine eros.In that state, a person reaches the stage of divine absentmindedness and wants to think of nothing else except God, the divine, the spiritual, the celestial… While divinely in love, he is deliciously ablaze internally, and he explodes externally in a mad manner – within the divine confines of modesty – and glorifies his God and Maker like an angel, day and night….
 
 Is that what we call “ecstasy”, Elder?
– Yes. That is when a person “takes leave of himself” – in the good sense, of course. That is also what we mean by ….”stand aside and shudder, o heavens” (έκστηθι φρίττων ουρανέ) [from the Eirmos of the 8th Ode of the Canon of Easter Saturday].
Divine madness takes a person beyond the earth’s pull; it lifts him up to the Throne of God, and makes him feel like a puppy at his master’s feet; a puppy licking His Feet joyfully and with reverence…
Translation by A. N
Source: “Spiritual Counsels” , St. Paisios of the Holy Mountain, vol.5 p.205-206

***

Troparion, Tone 1

O holy Mary Magdalene, thou didst keep Christ’s commandments/ and follow Him Who for our sakes was born of a Virgin./ Today we celebrate thy memory/ and receive forgiveness through thy prayers.

Apolytikion in the First Tone

When Christ God had been born for our sakes from the Virgin, thou faithfully didst follow him, keeping His statutes and heeding His sacred laws, O august Mary Magdalene. Hence, as we today observe thy holy remembrance, we receive the loosing of our sins and transgressions through thy holy prayers for us.

Kontakion (Tone 3)

Standing before the Cross of the Savior,
Suffering with the Mother of the Lord,
The most glorious Mary Magdalene offered praise with tears.
She cried out: What is this strange wonder?
He who holds the whole creation in His hand chooses to suffer:
Glory, O Lord to Your power!


When St. Arsenios of Cappadocia was rescued by St. George

St. Arsenios of Cappadocia

Commemorated on November 10th

When St. Arsenios of Cappadocia was rescued by St. George

Αρσένιος ο Καππαδόκης_St. Arsenios of Cappadocia_Св Арсений Каппадокийский_ Sf. Arsenie Capadocianul_1ΑΡΣΕΝΙΟΣ ΚΑΠΠΑΔΟΚΗΣ (6)One day, Vlasios persuaded his younger brother, Theodoros, to go with him to a field which belonged to their father, which lay close to a torrent called the Evkasis. As they were crossing this torrent, the water carried Theodoros away, and Vlasios, in tears, called on Saint George, whose Chapel was close by. While Vlasios was crying and asking the Saint to help, because his conscience was troubled for having put his brother in danger, he suddenly saw Theodoros next to him, joyfully telling him how a horseman, dressed like a monk, had hauled him out of the water, set him on his horse and brought him out of the torrent. From then on, Theodoros maintained that he, too, was going to become a monk. In this way God saw to it that he would take the right road from an early age. This event had its effect on Vlasios, as well, who in his own way, also gave himself to God, by glorifying Him as a teacher of Byzantine Music. He later came to live in Constantinople.
Theodore later became a monk.

Continuing to grow, Theodore moved to Nigde and after to Smyrna to continue his studies.

When he was about 20 years old he went to the Holy Monastery of the Precious Forerunner Flavianon, and later he was tonsured a Monk and took the name Arsenios. Unfortunately he did not have much time for hesychia, because at that time there was a great need for teachers, and Metropolitan Paisios II ordained him Deacon and sent him to Farasa for teach letters to the neglected children. This naturally was done in secret, with two thousand precautions, so that the Turks wouldn’t learn what they were doing. At the age of 30 he was ordained a priest in Caesarea with the title of Archimandrite and the blessing to be a spiritual father…

His cell, small, unadorned, was located in the world. He lived in the world, but at the same time established to live outside the world. In this, and for his divine feats, he was much aided by the two days (Wednesday and Friday) when he remained locked in his cell, in prayer. These bore more fruit spiritually, because they blessed the work of the other days. For hours he remained on his knees praying to God for His people, which he had entrusted to His servant Arsenios…

Father Arsenios proclaimed true Orthodoxy with his Orthodox life. He mortified his flesh in asceticism from his ardent love of God, and modified souls with the Grace of God. He believed deeply and healed many, believers and non-believers. Few words, many miracles. He experienced much and hid much. Within his hard outer shell, he concealed his sweet, spiritual fruit. A very harsh father to himself, but also a very loving father to his children. He never beat them with the law.… As minister of the Most High, he did not tread the earth, and as co-administrant of the sacraments he shone upon the world.

The inhabitants of Farasa would say “in our Homeland we did not know of any doctor, we ran to Hatzefendis [what the people would call St. Arsenios]. He reposed on November 10th 1924. (Source: Elder Paisios of Mount Athos, Saint Arsenios the Cappadocian, Thessaloniki 2007)Γεώργιος ο Τροπαιοφόρος_ св вмч Георгий победоносец_St. George the Trophy-bearer_წმინდა გიორგი გმირავს_d0%b9

Apolytikion of St. Arsenios of Cappadocia in the Third Tone

You strived to live a life trully inspired by God, you became a holy vessel of the Paraclete, bearer of God, Arsenios, and you were given the grace to perform miracles, offering to everyone your quick help, our holy Father, we plead you, pray to Jesus Christ our Lord to grant us His grand mercy.

Apolytikion of St George the Victory-bearer Tone 4

Liberator of captives, defender of the poor, physician of the sick, and champion of kings, O trophy-bearer, Great Martyr George, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

May St. Arsenios and Saint George intercede for us all and help us!


Don’t be afraid!God loves us.God is above everything. St.Paisios of the Holy Mountain

Αγία Σκέπη Θεοτόκου-Покров Пресвятой Богородицы pokrov-protection-theotokos- Byzantine Orthodox Icon2“After the demonic storm, there will come a divine sunshine”…
Let God use evil to good,as God is Good.

St.Paisios of the Holy Mountain

Something is in the works. We still haven’t understood properly either what’s going on, or the fact that we will die. I don’t know what will come of this. The situation is very complicated. The fate of the world depends on just a few people, but God is still putting on the brakes. We have to pray a lot, and with pain in our hearts, so that God will intervene: our times are very hard to understand. A lot of ash, rubbish, and indifference has accumulated, and a strong wind will be needed to blow it all away.

It’s frightening! The Tower of Babel is upon us! Divine intervention is needed: Great upheavals are happening. What a bedlam! The minds of whole nations are in confusion. But in spite of the ferment I feel a certain consolation inside, a certain confidence. God still dwells in a part of the Christians. God’s people, people of prayer, still remain, and God in his all-goodness still tolerates us and will put everything in order. Don’t be afraid! We’ve gone through many storms, and still haven’t perished. So should we be afraid of the storm which is now gathering? We’ll not perish this time either!

God loves us. In Man there’s a hidden power which comes out when necessary. The difficult years will be few. Just a lot of thunder.

Don’t get upset in the least, for God is above everything. He rules everyone and will bring all to the defendant’s bench to answer for what they’ve done, according to which each will receive his just desserts from God. Those who’ve in some way helped the cause of good will be rewarded, and those who do evil will be punished. God will put everyone in their place in the end, but each of us will answer for what they did in these difficult years, both in prayer and in deeds.

Today 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;…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. 

There’s a war on today, a holy war.

In the past our nation lived spiritually, so God blessed her, and the saints helped us in miraculous fashion. And we were victorious against our enemies, who always outnumbered us. Today we continue to call ourselves Orthodox Christians, but we don’t live Orthodox lives.

I see that something is in the works, that something lies just around the corner, but it’s constantly being put off. Little delays all the time. Who’s creating the delays? God? Another month passes, then another couple of months! That’s how it all goes.

Apolytikion The Protection of Our Most Holy Lady 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.


Papa-Fotis Lauriotis the “Fool For Christ” of Mytilini

Papa-Fotis Lauriotis the “Fool For Christ” of Mytilini

Reposed on March 5, 2010

παπα-Φώτης Λαυριώτης_Father Photis Lavriotis of Mytilini_старец Фотий из Митилене (Лесбос)_images96754718814381_1392675527491876_2422396364038074406_n - CopyHe was an unmarried Archimandrite who worked tirelessly for the gospel, yet in a silent and real way, as displayed in the fact that he would walk around barefoot in both summer and winter.He was loved by all and known for his courage, asceticism, and commitment to Orthodox tradition. For the peculiarity of his appearance, he said: “I am a monk, which is why I do not attach much importance to my dress.”

St. Paisios the Athonite

-Father Paisios, when I walk in the streets of Thessaloniki, I face the following problem: As I walk, I come across various beggars most of whom are women holding babies in their arms, and claiming they are ill and in need of financial assistance. I always think they are lying to me. What would you do in my place?
-I, too, came across one of these women who asked for help, he replied. I immediately sympathised with her problem but I had very little money on me. I gave her 500 drachmas and told her: “Please forgive me as I do not have more money on me. However, I will give you my address so you can write to me and send me your own. When I go back to Mount Athos, I will try to collect some money to forward you.”
She took my address and I felt she was touched by my offer. After some time, I received a letter from her which did not include her address. Instead, she had enclosed the 500 drachma bill I had given her, and was asking me to forgive her for putting me in a difficult situation and thanked me for my kindness. I believe that if someone develops positive thoughts, even in the case of the woman beggar, he will not be a loser, because God, who knows our deepest intentions, will do him justice.

“God opposes the proud, but gives Grace to the humble.” (1Pet 5:5).

Priestmonk Christodoulos , “Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain”,On Positive Thinking, Holy Mountain (1998)