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Do not be afraid, Brethren, “the hairs of your head are counted” much less the days of your life! Good Lord, Wise Provider Who knows the number, measure and time of all, banish from us every fear, except the fear of You. Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Μεταμόρφωσις του Σωτήρος Χριστού_Преображение Господне_Transfiguration of Jesus- GЮго-западный компартимент Россия. Псков. Спасо-Преображенский Мирожский монастырь0768jO Lord, in the light of Thy countenance shall they walk, and in Thy, Name shall they rejoice all the day long.
«the light of thy countenance, O Lord, has been manifested towards us. »

Homily
About God’s omniscience and providence
Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

“Even all the hairs of your head are counted” (St. Matthew 10:30).

Brethren, “the hairs of your head are counted” much less the days of your life! Do not be afraid, therefore, that you will die before your appointed time nor yet hope that you will somehow be able to extend your life for one day against the will of Him Who counts and measures. Let this knowledge teach you meekness and fear of God.

“The hairs of your head are counted” much less your sufferings on earth! Do not be afraid, therefore, that you will suffer more beyond measure. Fear even less that your sufferings will remain forgotten and unaccounted for by Him Who sees all. This knowledge will teach you patience and confidence toward your Creator and Provider.

“The hairs of your head are counted” much less your friends and enemies on earth! Do not be afraid, therefore, that you will have either too many friends or too many enemies. Neither be afraid that your enemies will overcome you nor be assured that your friends will defend you. Concern yourself only that you have God for a friend and do not be afraid of anything. Behold, He is your only friend Who loves you without change.

O Good Lord, Wise Provider Who knows the number, measure and time of all, banish from us every fear, except the fear of You. That through fear of You, we may arrive to the pure and holy love toward You, our Creator and Benefactor.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
http://prologue.orthodox.cn/January22.htm

Παναγια_λιτανεια_πολεμος κριμαικος_Е-Зайцев.-Молебен-на-Бородинском-поле_Отечественная война 1812_9613HOMILY
on how only the foolish deny God
St. Nikolai Velimirovich

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt. They have done abominable works (Psalm 13:1).

The mind is the rudder of man’s entire being. It counsels, persuades and guides. Both the soul and the body act according to the mind. If the mind is upright before God, then the whole man is upright. If the mind is iniquitous before God, the whole man is iniquitous. Even if someone merely thinks, “There is no God,” the thought immediately manifests itself in his deeds. Evil thoughts come first and evil deeds inevitably follow. Do you see how well the inspired prophet knows the nature of man? First, he underlines the cause, then he cites the consequences. Evil deeds necessarily proceed from evil thoughts. That is why, brethren, you should not believe those who say: “I do not believe in God, but I do good deeds.” First of all, he who does not believe in God does not know what good is, nor can he differentiate good from evil. By his disbelief, a man cuts himself off from the greatest Good and the Source of every good!

Furthermore, let us carefully study this: you will see that all the deeds of the ungodly are corrupt and hateful. They are corrupt because they are evil, worthless and transitory; they are hateful, because they are contrary to the will of the Living God. The godless cannot distinguish good from evil, for only in the light of God’s law can one determine precisely what is good and what is evil. However, it can also be that those who merely say they believe in God do corrupt and hateful deeds, acknowledging God with their lips but denying Him in deeds. It is good to confess God with your lips, but that is a long way from being enough! One must also acknowledge Him with the heart, and confirm one’s faith by good deeds. Even so, it does happen that a man believes in his heart, and confesses with his lips, and still sins. This happens either from the weakness of the will or from the devil’s arrows. Let such a one repent, and he will be forgiven immediately.

Repentance is salvific even for the godless; how much more so for a believer? As long as a man is on earth, he has a chance for repentance. But who can be certain that his time will extend beyond this night? Hence, delaying repentance is utter foolishness.

O most gracious Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God; help us to repent as Thou dost help us to breathe.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
Prologue of Ohrid: Lives of the Saints by St. Nikolai Velimirovich
http://livingorthodoxfaith.blogspot.com/2010/04/prologue-october-9-october-22.html

Μεταμόρφωσις του Σωτήρος Χριστού_Преображение Господне_Transfiguration of Jesus- Greek Byzantine Orthodox Icon_Preobrazhenie_St. Panteleimon Church-Skopje1304066549

Apolytikion of the Transfiguration of our Lord (Grave Tone)

You were transfigured on the Mount, Christ God revealing Your glory to Your disciples, insofar as they could comprehend. Illuminate us sinners also with Your everlasting light, through the intercessions of the Theotokos. Giver of light, glory to You.

Fourth Tone. By Cosmas the Monk

THE mountain once shrouded in gloom and smoke is now honourable and holy, whereon Thy feet have stood, O Lord. For the mystery hid before the ages hath in these last times been made manifest by Thy dread Transfiguration unto Peter, John and James. Since they could not endure the radiance of Thy countenance and the brightness of Thy garments, they were borne down to the ground upon their faces; and seized with amazement, they marveled as they saw Moses and Elias speaking with Thee of the things that should befall Thee. And a voice from heaven bare witness, say in: This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him. It is He that granteth the world great mercy.

PSALM 13

1 [For the end, Psalm of David.] The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. They have corrupted [themselves], and become abominable in their devices; there is none that does goodness, there is not even so much as one. 2 The Lord looked down from heaven upon the sons of men, to see if there were any that understood, or sought after God. 3a They are all gone out of the way, they are together become good for nothing, there is none that does good, no not one. 3b Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood: destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes. 4 Will not all the workers of iniquity know, who eat up my people as they would eat bread? they have not called upon the Lord. 5 There were they alarmed with fear, where there was no fear; for God is in the righteous generation. 6 Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the Lord is his hope. 7 Who will bring the salvation of Israel out of Sion? when the Lord brings back the captivity of his people, let Jacob exult, and Israel be glad.


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

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

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

Commemorated on May 6th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have fear of God…Have Love…Have compassion.

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

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

“Let the mouth become basil and a rose.”

My soul is burning for Christ!

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

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

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

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

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

Paschal troparion or Christos anesti Tone 1

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

Troparion to Righteous Job the Long-Suffering Tone 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


I know of a priest in Athens. He is the most humble of priests and the most simple of men. Alexandros Papadiamandis on St. Nicholas Planas

Νικόλαος Πλανάς St. Nicholas Planas Святой Николай Планас-5656άγ. Νικόλαος Πλανάς, σκηνέςSaint Nicholas Planas of Athens (1932)
Hieromartyrs Nestor the Bishop, and Tribiminus the Deacon, at Perge in Pamphylia (ca. 250)
Martyr Troadius of Neo-Caesarea, and those with him (251)
Virgin-martyr Euthalia of Sicily (252
Martyr Hesychius the Senator (the Palatine), of Antioch (ca. 304)
Saint Agathon of Egypt, monk (5th century)
440 Martyrs slain by the Lombards in Italy (Martyrs of Campania) (ca. 579)
Saint Ambrose (Khelaia) the Confessor, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia (1927)
Repose of Abbess Philareta of Ufa (1890)
Appearance of the Kolomenskoye “Reigning” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (1917)

Commemorated on March 2nd

Abba Agathon

ΑΓΑΘΩΝ_Αγάθων_st-agatho_of-egypt_andthecrippledman-65765The same Abba Agathon was walking with his disciples. One of them, finding a small green pea on the road, said to the old man, ‘Father, may I take it?’ The old man, looking at him with astonishment, said, ‘Was it you who put it there?’ ‘No,’ replied the brother, ‘How then,’ continued the old man, ‘can you take up something which you did not put down?’

It was said of Abba Agathon that for three years he lived with a stone in his mouth, until he had learnt to keep silence.

It was said of him and of Abba Amoun that, when they had anything to sell, they would name the price just once and silently accept what was given them in peace. Just as, when they wished to buy something, they gave the price they were asked in silence and took the object adding no further word

Whenever his thoughts urged him to pass judgement on something which he saw, he would say to himself, Agathon, it is not your business to do that.’ Thus his spirit was always recollected.

Abba Agathon said, ‘If I could meet a leper, give him my body and take his, I should be very happy.’ That indeed is perfect charity.

One day when the brethren were conversing about charity, Abba Joseph said, ‘Do we really know what charity is?’ Then he told how when a brother came to see Abba Agathon, he greeted him and did not let him go until he had taken with him a small knife which he had.

Abba Daniel said, ‘Before Abba Arsenius came to live with my Fathers, they dwelt with Abba Agathon. Now Abba Agathon loved Abba Alexander because he was both ascetic and discreet. Now it happened that all the disciples were washing their rushes in the river, but Abba Alexander was washing his with discretion. The other brothers said to the old man, ‘Brother Alexander is getting nowhere.’ Wishing to cure them he said to him, ‘Brother Alexander, wash them thoroughly because they are flax.’ The brother was hurt by these words. Afterwards the old man comforted him, saying, ‘Did I not know that you were working well? But I said that in front of them in order to cure them by your obedience, brother.’

***

Saint Nicholas Planas of Athens
the most humble of priests and the most simple of men

ΝΙΚΟΛΑΟς ΠΛΑΝΑς-AGIOS-NIKOLAOS-PLANASHe was compassionate, and had no care for wordly things or estates. Night and day he was absorbed in divine worship, and with his small parish of St. Panteleimon in Neo Kosmo which was comprised of thirteen families. The people loved him. His simplicity, his island piety, his kindness, his chastity, his lack of love for money, drew everyone to divine worship. Everyone wanted him to bless their homes, their stores. And he ran everywhere joyously. From aristocratic homes down to the poorest homes, he never kept a drachma on him. The poor always waited outside the church for him to distribute whatever he had in his pocket.

His patience and forbearance were unlimited. He had a helper, Michael, who always accompanied him and chanted if no one else was there. Even though he loved the elder a lot, at the same time he tormented him. On freezing days of winter when he was forced to be near Father Nicholas while he commemorated for unending hours, Michael would shout “Come o-o-on, Father-er-er-er! You are looking to take the dead out of hades and bury us with the cold…” Another time, he did not allow him to do a supplication service to the Panaghia at the end of the Liturgy. Father Nicholas was pout-faced all day and would say to himself, “Imagine Michael not allowing me to do a supplication service!…” And he would repeat again, “Imagine, he wouldn’t allow me.” When sometimes they argued in church, the elder would hide in the altar so as not to take part. And once he was advising one of his spiritual children on how to restrain her anger, and would say, “Do you think, my child, that I don’t know how to speak out? I know but I think of the result.”

Yet one other incident reveals the unsurpassed faith and piety which he had in the performance of his sacred duties. He went one day to commune a leper, but the illness had destroyed his lips so much that he could not take the Holy Body of the Lord, and it fell a little to the side of his mouth. Without hesitation, Father knelt and took the Divine Pearl which had fallen, and “consumed It”! Those who have a difficult time consuming because they fear germs should see this!! What a blasphemy! The irrational throughts of darkened unbelievers….

In the various churches where he celebrated he was the consolation and refuge of people. He was the “sacred little elder” who comforted every human pain.

On March 2, 1932, however, his holy life reached its end. He liturgized for the last time on the Sunday of the Prodigal Son. Like a little bird he gave up his holy soul to Him Whom he had worshipped his whole life long.

(Source: From the article, “Papa-Nicholas Planas” in “Orthodoxos Phhiotheos Martyria”., Vol.64, Orthodoxos Kypseli Publications, January-March., 1996. Translated Father Nicholas Palis of Aliquippa, of the Kismisis Tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Church, Aliquippa, Pa.)

***

Alexandros Papadiamandis on St. Nicholas Planas

Νικόλαος Πλανάς St. Nicholas Planas Святой Николай Планас-0_1bd076_5f5fa174_origI know of a priest in Athens. He is the most humble of priests and the most simple of men. For any divine service, if you give him one drachma, half a drachma, or one tenth, he takes it. If you do not give him anything, he does not ask… If you give him only two drachmas, he does not complain. Every list bearing the names of the dead to be commemorated, when once given to him, he keeps always. For two and three years he continues to commemorate the names. At every Prothesis he commemorates two or three thousand names. He never becomes weary. His Prothesis lasts two hours. The Liturgy another two. After the dismissal of the Liturgy, he distributes to all present whatever pieces of prosphora or antidoron he has in the sanctuary. He keeps practically nothing.

From The Songs of God:

After three days we accompanied little Koula to the grave. The “professional” priests and the chanters chanted the usual hymns from the “Blessed are the blameless in the way” up to the “Let us give the final kiss”. Papa-Nicholas, from the Island of Naxos, of the Church of Saint John in the Field, appeared as though he were doing a separate service. He murmured to himself, and his eyes seemed filled with tears. “What are you murmuring, Father?” I asked him from behind the stall on which he leaned. “I am saying the Funeral Service for Children to myself,” answered Papa-Nicholas. The Service for Children befits this guileless man.

Apolytikion of St. Nicholas Planas
Plagal First Tone

Let us praise our protector, the godly Nicholas;
as one endowed with blest virtue,
he shone forth as true priest of the most high God,
and was His fervent worshipper.
For, by his holy life on earth, he has left us most sublime,
divine and unfailing teachings of long-suffering, meekness, patience, unfeigned humility
and true God-like love.

Kontakion (Tone 3)
Humble of spirit and pure of heart, illustrious in life and dispassionate of a truth, wast thou, O wise one. Thou didst illumine all by the virtues and dost grant grace unto them that draw nigh unto thee; and by thine intercessions, thou dost heal them that call upon thee, O Father Nicholas.

Megalynarion
As a simple shepherd of Christ God’s lambs, thou didst tend thy flock well on the pasture of piety, nourishing their spirits with ceaseless supplications and leading them to Christ, O wise Father Nicholas.


St. Elias Diamantidis, the Myrrh-streamer, ”There will be a war in Constantinople and Saint Sophia will open and it will celebrate the Divine Liturgy. The king with six fingers will be then.”

Γεώργιος ο Τροπαιοφόρος_St George the Trophy-bearer_Св Георгий Победоносец_Μανουήλ Πανσέληνου_ Πρωτάτον_Άγιον Όρος_ 23788St. Elias Diamantidis, the Myrrh-streamer, the Wonderworker of Pontus (1946)
Synaxis of Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos of “Armatia”, Constantinople.
Saint Symeon of Emesa, Fool-for-Christ (590), and his fellow ascetic Saint John (590)
Martyr Ilia Chavchavadze of Georgia, the Righteous (1907) (July 20)

Commemorated on July 21

”I have seen injured souls who have endured injustice with good thoughts, and have been showered with God’s Grace in this life.” St.Paisios of the Holy Mountain

St. Elias Diamantidis, the Myrrh-streamer

St. Elias Diamantidis was born in the Pontus in the Greek village Houmourkianton of Surmene region, in the year 1880.

His mother died in 1888 and he was orphaned. His father remarried and got a barbarian and evil woman. The stepmother tortured little Elijah. She used hung him upside down on the branch of the tree for an hour and watched his martyr’s claim while he was tearing her to the release. She stripped him and with a bunch of nettles beat him in the secret places of body. She fired his clothes and the scared child was running to blow it off. All day she was leaving him hungry, giving him only a little dry bread.

She sent him to graze calves at this age and threatened him with torture if the animals did damage. When he returned in the evening his father was asking if he ate something the evil stepmother answered for him “I’ve fed him, I’ve fed him.”

For many torture he never complained. Instead he was full of kindness and endured it all with forbearance applying: “Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother.”1

Later, when his father died, his mother, aged now, had the fear that Elijah would avenge her for what she did to him. He reassured her: “Do not be afraid, mother, I will take care of you well”. She stayed in the bed and Elijah left no one else to care of her. He fed her with a lot of love, washed her, offered everything. Instead of bile and vinegar, he rendered her with manna and water. She was broken, she repeated, and repeated, “Elijah, I was very tyrannous, I did a lot to you, forgive me, my child,” and he always responded her: “Do not be upset, Mother, you are forgiven.”

St Paisios read his life, and did emphasize that Father Elias from a young age received the divine Grace because he endured the torture of his stepmother.

Ηλίας Διαμαντίδης_Отец Илия Диаманти́дис Мироточивый_St. Elias Diamantidis_124325467876876He married and acquired six daughters, but he also adopted two orphan girls and raised them as his own. He was working as a baker and bought a big house in Karakatzi Hani. His house became an inn for strangers and the poor. He secretly was helping the hungry. He was sending Turkish women to give mercy to hide himself, and to remain in obscurity. He paid them and transported food at night to homes in need.

Elijah loved God very much. He did not know letters and was sad for it. Ones in his sleep, appeared an Angel, and began to teach him letters, chanting and hagiography.

On Sundays he was chanting at the Church of the Holy Cross, in the village of Tsita (Çida -Dirlik Köyü) of Sürmene. He had exceptionally beautiful voice and was chanting with reverence, as he had been taught by Angel. Having love and appeal to prayer, he always woke up early to pray.

In 1918, their live, like all the Greeks of the Pontus, became unbearable by the brutalities of the Turks. On the eve of the Lights, at the time of Blessing Holy water, the Turks surrounded the Church of the village. That is how many families started to leave for Russia the same day. Among them was the family of Elias. He left later, traveling for fifteen days in the snow.

In Batumi, in the village of Mahmoudia, his daughter Agape was established with her husband Abraham, who was very rich. He bought for his father-in-law Elias a large expanse of the mountain and Elijah built his own home. He continued to practice the baker’s profession and continued to help the poor. He forced strangers to come to his home.

He was crying from joy when he was visited by beggars, refugees and poor people. He was serving them and feeding them until they were satisfied. He himself was eating last.

Once he hosted two brothers monks for two years, Pachomios and John, they were dressing secular clothing for the fear of the loyal communists and asceticed on a rock of Sohum. Of these, John was later reposed in Pontus and Pachomios on Mount Athos.

***

Γεώργιος ο Τροπαιοφόρος _Saint George the Trophy-bearer_ Святой Георгий Победоносец_წმინდა გიორგი გმირავს_8384472164_644d7f_oOne night Elijah saw Saint George in his dream, who ordered him to build near his home the Church in His name. He even showed him the point where he would hang His icon and the other icons, and He promised him that He would help him and act miracles.

He build the church with boards and covered her with herbs. From the outside it looked like a barn, so as not to be suspicious of the Communists. He himself painted the icons and placed them as St. George indicated. His  daughter Agape, who was a hidden nun (Maria), cared for the ChurchElijah ordered her to hold the light of candle of St. George always on. When it went off, she heard a characteristic sound and then went to add oil and clean its wick. They felt in various ways the presence of St. George. When the Saint came, they heard a footprint and saw the horse’s footsteps on the dirt road.

He was waking at 3 o’clock at night and praying until morning. He prayed prayer with a lot of pain. He was using  prayer rope and his tears were running all the time. If he did not wake up, St. George was touching him gently and saying, “wake up, the time has passed”. He awakened his family to pray, while the orphan Avgoula was wakened up at 3.30 with a quiet voice.

Elijah went to the priest and told him about the Church he discovered. The priest was old and for the fear of the loyal communists, he was not wearing a garment. He urged Elias to be ordained a priest to be able to baptize and to give Divine Comunion to Christians. As a priest Elias was ordained by the Bishop of Batumi. He wore a priestly garment that he had inherited from a priest’s uncle, the priest-George and he secretly served in the Church of St. George that was discovered after a dream in the estate and restored and in other desert churches.

He suffered greatly from the Soviet regime. He was arrested and tortured many times, but with the power of God he did not retreat, but he remained a constant confessor. When he came out of prison while still suffering from torture, he secretly went to his chapel every night, and with the faithful Christians they performed the Divine Liturgy.

He was an ascetic and frugal. Usually his food was a little waterless rice, the little walnuts or a little boiled cabbage. At end of life he was drinking tea with a rusk. His children also got used from young to fasting. During the day he was working on his estate. He cultivated vegetables and many kinds of fruit trees, even teas.

The Father as a blessing had the right hand of St. papa-John Triantafyllidis who became sanctified. Also a Sovereign ruler gave him the heart and the finger of a 12 year child, named Mary, who was as well very tortured from her stepmother and merciful and remained indestructible after her exhumation. As St. George promised, he gave father Elias the gift of healing the suffering ones. He was reading to them the Gospel, blessing them with the Cross and giving them to venerate the relics of St. John the New Merciful and Mary. Even the Turks and Armenians who were healed were blessed with the Cross.

The healing gift of the father became known everywhere. People were coming from very remote, Armenians, Georgians, even Turks to be healed.

Apart of many miracles he did, he preached verifiable facts because he had the prophetic charisma too. He said to the orphan Avgoula once, “My daughter, Augi, this way that you walk, stay on it and you will end pure. You will go to Heaven as Christ’s nymph. I asked Saint-Nicolas and He told me that Augi will go as Christ’s nymph to Heaven. You will not get married. ” Many people have asked her for marriage. But it happened as it was prophesied by father Elias.

Everything someone had in his heart he knew it “

He often prophesied, saying, “There will be a time when men will become women and women will become men. Then there will be a great curse in the world. There will be a war in Constantinople and the Russians will overpower They will reach the River Euphrates. Saint Sophia will open and it will celebrate the Divine Liturgy. The king with six fingers will be then. And he said, “Wake up Russia and grasp your weapons.” That is, come to repentance, to faith, and reject the atheism.

He often saw St. George.

But the envy of the people did not leave him quiet. One of his family relatives from his wife’s side accused him to the communists that he is hiding gold. He said that with the miracles he does he gathers to give him, while father Elias did not take money in his hands. They came and ravaged his house, seized everything, and he and his wife Sotiria, were imprisoned.

Γεώργιος ο Γοργος- Τροπαιοφόρος_ св вмч Георгий победоносец_St. George the Trophy-bearer_წმინდა გიორგი გმი23A woman narrated that during the Liturgy, when father Elijah was serving, the light came from St. George’s icon and stood on him.

He often did litany, because he predicted some catastrophe that was coming on.

When the time of his repose was approaching, he stayed in the last few days. He did not accept food, fed by prayer. He saintly reposed in peace  in July 1946. At the hour of his repose a light descended from the Heaven and his room was overflow with fragrance. His right hand became like the wax testifying his secret alms. He was buried as he desired in the courtyard of the Church of his beloved Saint George. On his right was buried his presbyter Sotiria, who reposed in 1963 at the age of 83, and on his left, his daughter Agape (nun Maria).

During the nights light was coming out of his grave. The soldiers from the nearby Russian outposts saw it without being able to explain it, and that feared them. Every night at twelve o’clock at midnight, the light came and the myrrh was flowing out of his grave. Those who did unction with the myrrh, from whatever illness they suffered, immediately were becoming well. This became known, and now there were so many who went for healing to the grave of father Elias, that it could not be hidden. It became famous pilgrimage.

The great influx of believers at the grave of father Elijah created problems and the situation became out of control, so it was decided to make the bone recovery. They opened the grave by lifting the slab and light came from the grave. The relic of father Elias was intact and fragrant. They buried it again and forbade people to come to the grave. Later, when things changed and freedom was given, the faithful began again to go to the tomb of St. Elias, proclaimed him Saint in Batumi and put his icon in the Church.

In 1962, Georgian bishops opened his tomb again. His relic was not found. His grave had been despoiled. After that his tomb hatched a holy water that miraculously works for those who do wash themselves or drink.

May St. George and St. Elias intercede for us all and help us!

  1. Leviticus 18:7

(amateur translation)
From the book: “Ascetics in the World”– Vol I, 5th narrative. The Sacred Hermitage of St. John the Forerunner, Metamorphosis, ChalcidiceΗλίας Διαμαντίδης_Отец Илия Диаманти́дис Мироточивый_Илии ΗΛΙΑΣ-iliya-diamantidis75446273Prophetic poem “Prayer” of Saint Ilia Chavchavadze of Georgia:

Our Father Who art in Heaven!
With tenderness I stand before Thee on my knees;
I ask for neither wealth nor glory;
I won’t debase my holy prayer with earthly matters.
I would wish for my soul to rest in heaven,
My heart to be radiant with love heralded by Thee,
I would wish to be able to ask forgiveness of mine enemies,
Even if they pierce me in the heart:
Forgive them, Lord, for they know not what they do!

***

“I await a thousand deaths for myself,” wrote St. Athanasius the Great to his flock in Egypt at the time of the terrible Arian heresy. Every religious man can say this about himself who, in the spirit, has glanced and seen the net in which is contained every human soul in this world. The more spiritual a man is, the denser the net becomes. Such is the will of God: that the most spiritual are saved by the most narrow path. The Psalmist David also says: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous” (Psalm 34:19). However, in the end, victory and glory belong to the righteous. They need only to arm themselves with faith and forbearance. Whoever believes also understands their suffering. He who clothes himself with patience, will see victory and glory. To him who loves the Lord, even the narrowest path is sufficiently wide enough, the greatest pain an easy yoke and the most violent death, a joyful wedding feast.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

Troparion, In Tone VIII:

In thee, O Father, the image of God was preserved unspoiled, * for taking up thy Cross, and following Christ, * thou didst teach by thine own example to despise the flesh as transient, * that we should rather bestow upon the immortal soul particular care; * wherefore, together with the Angels, thy most pure spirit rejoiceth, O venerable Elias.

At the Aposticha, these stichera: In Tone I:

Spec. Mel.: Of the heavenly orders.

Thy festival, O God-bearer, * hath arrived brighter than the sun; * illuminating those who in faith have recourse unto thee, * filling them with the sweet fragrance of immortality * and radiating healing unto their souls, O holy Father, * fervent intercessor for our souls.

ODE IX
Irmos: All are awestruck at hearing of God’s ineffable

Like a great sun that shines forth with the majesty of thy deeds, O most wise one, thou hast enlightened the ends of the earth, and in thy death thou hast been exalted from light unto a most brilliant light; wherefore we cry unto thee: Enlighten our thoughts, O holy Father Elias.

In the hollows of fasting hast thou, O most praised Father, blossomed like a sweet-smelling rose, and as a lily hast thou filled the consciences of the faithful with the fragrances of thy virtues and miracles; wherefore, O holy one, drive away from us putrid passions

Troparion

Son of the Georgian people and martyr for thy nation, most glorious Ilia the Righteous, pray to Christ God to have mercy on our souls.

Troparion of Venerables SYMEON and JOHN — Tone 4

Righteous John and divine Symeon,/ united to God and united in soul to one another:/ one of you lived an inspired life in the desert,/ and the other by his foolishness made a fool of Belial./ Now you are rejoicing in heavenly glory: ever watch over us.