iconandlight

Iconography and Hand painted icons


Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of our God, and we shall behold the glory of His Transfiguration…

Μεταμόρφωσις του Σωτήρος Χριστού_Преображение Господне_Transfiguration of Jesus- Greek Byzantine Orthodox Icon.p0210130036.bSynaxarion.
On August 6 is the commemoration of the divine Transfiguration of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ.
New Martyr Abbacum of Thessalonica (1628)
Repose of Abbess Maria (Ushakova) of Diveyevo (1904)
Repose of Elder Tryphon of Kapsala, Mount Athos (1978)

”O Lord, in the light of Thy countenance shall they walk, and in Thy, Name shall they rejoice all the day long.”

Hymn of Praise
The Transfiguration of Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovic

There, where Israel defeated Sisar
There also condescended, the Heavenly King
Prayer, to go and to nightly vigils,
The glory of His Transfiguration, to manifest,
And the faith of His followers, to confirm
In the eternal victory of Him the Victor.
There, divine light from Himself, He released
Dispels the thick darkness, and illuminated Tabor;
The Light, for a long time, which in Himself contained
From which, to the world, a little at a time dispensed
Abundant rays, now released,
Jubilant rays, sweet rays.
The glow of humanity, to reveal to heaven,
To earth and to men, the Divine Truth.
Let the firmament, its Representative see,
Let the earth recognize God, the Savior.
From the Prolog by Saint Nikolai Velimirovic
http://prologue.orthodox.cn/August6.htm

***

Saint Sophrony (Sakharov) of Essex

Μεταμόρφωσις του Σωτήρος Χριστού_Преображение Господне_Transfiguration of Jesus- Greek Byzantine Orthodox IconTransfiguration-FullWhat can I do to inherit eternal life”?

And I was given the answer:

“Pray, as Saint Gregory Palamas, who cried for many years, “Lord, Enlighten my darkness,” and he was heard.

“Pray in the words of the Ecclesiastical Ode “Enlighten, O Giver of Light, and me the sinner with Your light inaccessible”, and strengthen your faith, remembering that the Church does not pray for things that cannot be done.”

Then, that Man, in excluding the possibility that such a prayer would remain without the above answer, closed his argument as follows:

” When your soul knew this light, then, when it happened to lose it, you will burn for it, and mimicking the Saint Simeon the New Theologian will seek and will I cry unto them:

Come, O true light!
Come, O eternal life!
Come, O raising of the fallen!
Come, O rising of those who lie down!
Come, O resurrection of the dead!
Come, All-Holy King.
Come, and dwell in us
and live continually, inseparably within me,
and you reign in us
ever and unto the ages of ages.

***

The spiritual homeland of the person whose soul has been purified is within. The sun that shines there is the light of the Trinity. The air breathed by the entering thoughts is the Holy Spirit the Comforter. With the person dwell the angels. Their life, their joy, their cause for celebration is Christ the light of the Father’s light. Such a person rejoices every hour in the contemplation of his soul, and marvels at the beauty that appears, a hundred times brighter than the brightness of the sun … That is the kingdom of God hidden within us, according tο the words of the Lord.» Ιsaac οf Nineveh Ascetic Treatises, 43 (p. 176-7)

***

A Greek-American family man who saw the Uncreated Light
St.Paisios the Athonite

Μεταμόρφωσις του Σωτήρος Χριστού_Преображение Господне_Transfiguration of Jesus- Greek Byzantine Orthodox Icon.p0210130039.by_e184af91The Geron (=elder) once told me the following story:
“A Greek-American doctor had once visited me. He was Orthodox, but didn’t have too much to do with religion… He didn’t even keep the fast on Fridays…nor did he go to Church very often. He recently had an experience, and wanted to discuss it with someone. One evening, while he was praying in his apartment, the “heavens opened up”. He was flooded by light, and the ceiling disappeared, as did the other forty floors above his apartment. He remained in that flood of light for a very long time – he couldn’t even tell for how long!

I stood amazed! Because I could feel and understand that this incident was “from God”. It was real… He had actually seen the “uncreated light” [*].

What had he done in his lifetime? How did he live, to deserve such divine things?

He was married; he had a wife and children. His wife had said to him: “I’m sick and tired of housework; I want to be able to go out for a walk every now and then.” Well, she wasn’t exactly employed, so she started to go out with her girlfriends and pressured him into accompanying her every night on her outings. After a while, she said: “I want to be able to go out with my girlfriends, alone.” He accepted this, for his children’s sake. Later, she “wanted to go on vacation by herself….”. What could he do? He gave her money and the car.

She then asked him to rent out an apartment, so that she could live on her own; she would also invite her friends over. He would speak to her, he would counsel her, ‘how do our children feel about all this?’. She was adamant. In the end, she extracted a large sum of money from him and deserted him. She felt too confined!

A few years later, he learnt that she had ended up a prostitute in the clubs of Piraeus!

He was distraught! He lamented over her fate! He thought of looking for her. But what would he tell her?..

He knelt down to pray: “My God…help me, tell me what to say… what to do… to save this soul…”. You see, he was hurting for her. He wanted “that soul to be saved”. No male ego, no vindictiveness, no contempt… he truly hurt inside, seeing her wretched state. He ached for her salvation…

That was the moment when God opened up the heavens… and flooded him with His light.

You see?… You see?….. He was in America….. and in what kind of an environment was he living?….. And yet, how many of us live on this Holy Mountain, inside the grace of the Holy Mother, without any sort of progress!

Glory be to God ! Glory be to God! »

* «uncreated light»: It is called uncreated, in other words, it has not been created, it is without a beginning; it is a divine energy, God; it has been experienced, by major spiritual ascetics; it is the desired achievement of ascetic living; it is considered an experience of theosis.
It is a participation of the human in the Divine energy… “…communicants of divine nature…”
Translation by A. N., An excerpt from the book:  “Father Paisios told me”, by Athan. Rakovalis, “Orthodox Hive” Publications, pages 27-29
http://oodegr.co/english/asynithista/empeiries/oikogen1.htm

***

Experiences of Taborite Light of St. Ambrose of Optina

Μεταμόρφωσις του Σωτήρος Χριστού_Преображение Господне_Transfiguration of Jesus- Greek Byzantine Orthodox Icon.p0210voznesenieIn his youth, the nineteenth-century Russian elder, St. Ambrose of Optina, had a glimpse of this eternal progress of love in heaven, which he recorded in a manuscript published after bin death:

«I am outside the forest, somewhere far away, in another world, quite unknown to me, never seen by me, never imagined by me…. Around me there is bright white Light! Its transcendence u so pure and enticing that I am submerged, along with my perception, into limitless depths and cannot satisfy myself with my admiration for this realm, cannot completely fill myself with its lofty spirituality. Everything is so full of beauty all around. So endearing this life … so endless the way. I am being swept across this limitless, clear space. My sight is directed upwards, does not descend anymore, does not see anything earthly. The whole of the heavenly firmament has transformed itself before me into mu general bright Light, pleasing to the sight…. But I do not see the sun. I can see only its endless shining and bright Light. The whole space in which I glide without hindrance, without end, without fatigue, is filled with white, just as are its light and beautiful benign, transparent as a ray of sun. And through them I am admiring this limitless world. The images of all these beings unknown to me are infinitely diverse and full of beauty…. I also am white and bright as they are. Over me, as over them, there reigns eternal rest. Not a single thought of mine is any longer enticed by anything earthly; not a single beat of my heart is any longer moving with human cares or earthly passion. I am all peace and rapture. But I am still moving in this infinite Light, which surrounds me without change. There is nothing else in the world except for the white, bright Light and these equally radiant numberless beings. But all these beings do not resemble me, nor are similar to each other; they are all endlessly varied, and compellingly attractive. Amidst them, I feel incredibly peaceful. They evoke in me neither fear, nor amazement, nor trepidation. All that we see here does not agitate us, does not amaze us. All of us here are as if we have belonged to each other for a long time, are used to each other and are not strangers at all. We do not ask questions, we do not speak to each other about anything. We all feel and understand that there is nothing novel for us here. All our questions are solved with one glance, which sees everything and everyone. There is no trace of the wars of passions in anyone. All move in different directions, opposite to each other, not feeling any limitation, any inequality, or envy, or sorrow, or sadness. One peace reigns in all the images of entities. One Light is endless for all. Oneness of life is comprehensible to all….»772

In this vision is contained a clear image of the goal of our life…; here is what Christ opened to us.

In his last talk with His disciples before His crucifixion, Christ told them: «In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you мая be also. And whore I go you know, and the way you know».

When Christ said this, His disciple Thomas asked Him, «Lord, we do not know where You are going. And how can we know the way?»

Christ replied, «I am the Way».773He became man so that we could forever dwell in Him, and He in us; so that we could experience throughout eternity the total infusion of His Light, His Uncreated Energy, sharing in His Being.

772 Chetverikov, Elder Ambrose of Opt- ina, pp. 27–28.
hieromonk Damascene (Christensen), Christ the Eternal Tao, 72. The Progression of Eternity
https://azbyka.ru/otechnik/world/christ-the-eternal-tao/4_101#note772_return

***

Blessed elder Theodore of Vyritsa*
A Wondrous Narrative on the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Savior

Μεταμόρφωσις του Σωτήρος Χριστού_Преображение Господне_Transfiguration of Jesus- Greek Byzantine Orthodox Icon.p0210130041.bNear Yaroslavl [in Russia] there lived a boy by the name of Theodore. When he was six years old, he visited an Eldress named Xenia, who had the gift of foresight; and she said to him:
“Who has come to see me? Theodore,what joy! For forty-five years you will pasture cows and goats. Never use a stick or a staff on them and never speak nasty or angry words, and the animals will obey you. Then you will go to St. Petersburg, to Blessed Xenia, my patron Saint; after which you will go to our holy land, to Vyritsa, to the Elder there.”

Theodore lived with his parents, and such thoughts as these never crossed his mind. However, soon he was left an orphan, and from the age of six he did indeed pasture cattle. He worked as a herdsman for exactly forty-seven years, as the Eldress had foretold to him. He never beat any animal and he never uttered a nasty word; nor did he ever lose a single cow. He had fashioned a horn, which he would blow, and with it he would call the cows. He herded cattle until he was fifty years old. He never received any wages, but ate in the homes of the cattle-owners, who also provided him with clothing. Everyone was fond of him on account of his affability and guilelessness.

He was often very distressed at not being able to go to Church on the great Feasts, because he had to take the cows out to pasture every day. On one occasion, on the Feast of the Transfiguration, he was especially sorrowful and prayed to God: “All the Faithful are praying in Church today, and I am unable to be with them. I am always with the cows and the goats.”

When Theodore had taken the cows out to pasture, he placed an Icon on a tree and prayed there for hours before it. On that day, he prayed with particular ardor.
Suddenly, he saw a flash of extraordinary light above the Icon; the light was brighter than the sun. Then our Savior appeared with Moses, Elias, and the Holy Apostles Peter, James, and John. Theodore had no idea how long the vision lasted.

By the time he came to his senses, it was already afternoon. He realized that he would have to return the animals to their ownerʼs house, because it was milking time, and at that moment the vision disappeared. Theodore got up and wept, beseeching the Lord to reveal to him whether what had happened was a genuine vision or just his imagination. He took his horn, called the cows, and turned towards the herd. He was astounded by what he saw: all the cows were kneeling, and tears flowed from their eyes!

For forty-seven years Theodore worked as a herdsman, and then he retired. He did not have any relatives, nor was he married. He remembered the guidance that he had been given in his childhood and travelled to St. Petersburg. It was then 1949….
* Source: Agios Kuprianos, No. 297 (July-August 2000), p. 323. Translated from the work of Vasily Nikolaevich Mouraviev, Elder Hieroschemamonk Seraphim of Vyritsa, 1865–1949, adapted by Alexander Trofimov [in Russian] (Moscow: St. Alexey Brotherhood, 1996), pp. 131– 132.

At Vespers: Exodus 24:12-18, 33:11-23, 34:4-6, 8; I Kings 19:3-9, 11-13, 15-16.
At the Orthros (Matins): Luke 9:28-36.
At the Divine Liturgy: II Peter 1:10-19; Matthew 17:1-9.
The event of the Transfiguration is recorded in three of the four Gospels: Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-8, and Luke 9:28-36.

Μεταμόρφωσις του Σωτήρος Χριστού_Преображение Господне_Transfiguration of Jesus- Greek Byzantine Orthodox Icon1304066549_city-nonresonant0142Apolytikion of the Feast. 
Grave Mode.

You were transfigured upon the mountain, O Christ our God, showing to Your disciples Your glory as much as they could bear. Do also in us, sinners though we may be, shine Your everlasting light, by the intercessions of the Theotokos, O Giver of light. Glory to You. (3)

Idiomelon 2.
Mode 2.

On Mount Tabor, You were transfigured in glory, O Christ our God, and to Your Apostles You revealed the glory of Your divinity. We pray You, shine on us also, with the light of true knowledge of You, and guide us on the path of Your commandments, for only You are good and love humanity.

Glory
Mode pl. 1.

Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of our God, and we shall behold the glory of His Transfiguration, glory as of the only Son from the Father. By light let us receive light, and when we are uplifted by the Spirit, let us sing hymns to the consubstantial Trinity to the ages.

Both now
Mode pl. 1.

Moses, the seer of God, and Elias, the fiery charioteer who races unburnt across the heavens, saw You in the cloud at Your Transfiguration, O Christ; and they bore witness that You are the Author and Fulfiller of the Law and the Prophets. We pray You, O Master, count us worthy, like them, to receive Your illumination, and to sing Your praises to the ages.

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Saint Paraskevi told me that Charalambos will be fine. This is also the work of all Saints in general; to help and protect us suffering people from visible and invisible temptations. Saint Paisios the Athonite

Παρασκευή η Επιβατηνή_ Paraskeve the New of Romania_ Параскева_ Sf.Parascheva de la Iași_moastele-sfintei-parascheva-iasiSynaxarion From the Menaion.
On July 26, we commemorate Saint Paraskeve, the devout Martyr of Christ (138-161).
On this day we also commemorate the holy Hieromartyrs Hermolaus, Hermippus, and Hermocrates at Nicomedia (c. 305)
On this day we also commemorate the holy Martyr Oraiozela and Virgin-martyr Jerusalem of Byzantium, friend of St. Oraiozela, near the Bosphorus (c. 81-96)
On this day we also commemorate the devout Ignatius Steironites; and the consecration of the church Archangel Gabriel over in Chaldae; and the consecration of the Temple the Holy Archangel Michael in Scallae; and Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos “of Emvolon” (in Pegadion by the New Colonnade), Constantinople.
On this day we also commemorate the Saint Appion.
On this day we also commemorate the devout Gerontius, founder of St. Anne’s Skete, Mount Athos (13th century)
Venerable Iakov Netsvetov of Atka Island and Ikogmute, missionary priest to the Yup’ik on the Yukon River, Enlightener of Alaska (1867)
On this day we also commemorate the devout Theodosius of the Caucasus, Schema-Igumen (Hieroconfessor Theodosius of Minvody) (1948)

Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica of Serbia

“Therefore, we are called to be children of light and children of God filled with divine love.
So that everywhere we walk or go, the peace in us would flow everywhere, full of love and goodness.

We are the sons of light and love, the sons of God, His Children. As such we must have His qualities and His attributes of love, peace, and kindness toward all.”

***

Saint Paisios the Athonite
A miracle of the Saint Paraskeve

Παρασκευή_Paraskevi_Параскева Римская_001Only God is omnipresent; the Saints go from one place to another with such speed that distances are abolished; there are no near or far distances for them. When I was in the Sanatorium, there was one, the poor, chronically ill – they called him Charalambo. A nurse from the Sanatorium was also engaged. Back then, doctors didn’t have the means to treat tuberculosis, and he was in danger of dying. His mother, in her pain, went to a Monastery of Saint Paraskevi to pray. Meanwhile, they had him in intensive care and wouldn’t even let his fiancee in. At some point, his mother calls her and says: “Don’t worry. Saint Paraskevi told me that Charalambos will be fine. He also told me: “Now I’m also going to the Sanatorium of Lamia; someone is in danger there too”. At that time the sick man got well. Then the nurse at the Sanatorium of Lamia calls and at that very moment someone who was in danger there miraculously recovered. At what speed did Agia go! If a car ran at that speed, it would have disintegrated. She didn’t burn super gasoline, nor did the tires break down!
This is also the work of all Saints in general; to help and protect us suffering people from visible and invisible temptations. Our job is, as much as we can, to live spiritually, not to upset Christ, to light the candle to the Saints and ask them to help us. In this life we ​​need help, so that we can get close to Christ. In the next life, if God claims us and we go to Him, neither will we “weary” the Saints, but neither will there be any reason to ask them to help us…. The miracle is a mystery; it is only lived and not explained; the mind cannot interpret it. (Saint Paisios Agioreitou. Discourses VI. On Prayer)
(Google translate)

***

Saint Theodosius of Minvody of the Caucasus (1948)

The elder foretold the first, 1941 war… He went out to get firewood in a grove with a nun. He had a hatchet in his belt. But in the grove he began to hew down the young saplings at the root. Matushka held him back:
“Batyushka! It’s a pity to hew down such a young one!”
But he made his choice and hewed it down. Again she held him back. But he looked at her and said:
“In this way will the Lord soon, very soon, hew down all this is young, strong and atheist to the very root… God will not have pity because they rise up and war against the Lord God…”
And a month later the war broke out…

But the elder was talking about another, future war, in comparison with which the past war would not appear to have been a war:
“Do you really think that that was the war (1941-45)?! The war is still to come. It will begin from the east. And then from all sides, like locusts, the enemies will spread over Russia… That will be the war!”

***

To the question: “What will happen to Ukraine and Belorussia?” the elder replied that everything is in the hands of God. Those among those people who are against union with Russia – even if they consider themselves to be believers – will become servants of the devil. The Slavic peoples have one destiny, and the monastic Fathers of the Kiev Caves [Lavra] will yet utter their weighty word – they together with the choir of the new martyrs of Russia will by their prayers obtain a new Union of the three brother peoples.

***

Θεοδόσιος του Μινβόντι Καυκάσου_Theodosius of Minvody of the Caucasus_Феодосий Кавказский_ΘΕΟΔΟΣΙΟΣ ΚΑΒΚΑΖ-0_d4694_fd9d2e1_orig - Αντιγραφή (2)One of the elder’s nuns was pasturing some goats. One day the elder came out of his hut at the moment they were driving the goats out to pasture. He looked at the goats and said:
“That one will be taken away by a wolf today.”
When the sister heard this, she watched her little flock very attentively. She didn’t let them wander in different directions, but kept them all together. And suddenly, towards evening, a wolf jumped out. The flock panicked and scattered in various directions, and the wolf took the very goat that the elder had pointed out and took into the wood.
The sister kept weeping, considering herself to be responsible. The elder noticed that she had tears in her eyes and asked:
“Why are you crying?”
“It’s my fault that the wolf took away the goat.”
“There’s no need to cry. The Lord told the wolf to take the goat which I pointed to in the morning. Why should you cry when the Lord commanded it?
Calm down and rejoice that we have served for the fulfilment of the Almighty’s will. We won’t perish because of this wolf, but if the poor wolf had not taken the goat, he would have been threatened with starvation. And not only the wolf would have perished, but the whole family. For, you know, she has small children. Don’t pay attention to the fact that it is a beast, but know that we have helped a mother!”
When the sister heard this instruction, she calmed down and understood that we have to take pity on the animals and beasts.

***

Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica of Serbia

“We can keep guard over the whole world by keeping guard over the atmosphere of heaven within us; for if we lose the Kingdom of Heaven, we will save neither ourselves nor others. He who has the Kingdom of God within himself will imperceptibly pass it on to others. People will be attracted to the peace and warmth in us; they will want to hear us, and the atmosphere of heaven will gradually pass on to them.It is not even necessary to speak to people about this. The atmosphere of heaven will radiate from us even when we keep silence or talk about ordinary things. It will radiate from us even though we may not be aware of it.”
We Christians have been called to spread Divine peace and the atmosphere of heaven. There are very few of those who realize that this is how we should be – a source of goodness, peace, and joy.
A man who has within him the Kingdom of Heaven radiates holy thoughts, Divine thoughts. The Kingdom of God creates within us an atmosphere of heaven, as opposed to the atmosphere of hell that is radiated by a person when hades abides in his heart. The role of Christians in the world is to filter the atmosphere on earth and expand the atmosphere of the Kingdom of God.

There can be no peace in the world unless there is inner peace in each one of us.
Peace and joy are the greatest riches in this world and in the world to come.
We are the sons of light and love, the sons of God, His Children. As such we must have His qualities and His attributes of love, peace, and kindness toward all.
When we are united with the Lord, then our soul is at peace and Grace descends upon us.
A person who dwells in a state of Grace is ready to weep for anyone. He weeps when he sees the suffering of an animal, a plant, a person… Such a person is always ready to shed tears for the whole world. That means that the Grace of God is in that person and that his tears are a gift from God. Those are tears that save. They bring a soul to perfection. Perfection cannot be reached by worrying about the things of this world. The Lord has said that we are not to burden ourselves with food and drink and with the cares of this world.
When you find a soul akin to your own, stay with it, for it is a great joy to make friends with those who think alike.
Excerpt from the book: Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica. Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives – The Life and Teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica . Transl. Ana Smiljanic. St Herman of Alaksa Brotherhood, 2009.

Saint Parasceva of Rome appearing to a young Elder Iakovos (Tsalikis) of Evia
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2017/07/25/saint-martyr-parasceva-of-rome-appearing-to-a-young-elder-iakovos-tsalikis-of-evia/

Saint Martyr Parasceva of Rome, By Hieromonk Makarios Of Simonos Petra
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2021/07/25/saint-martyr-parasceva-of-rome-by-hieromonk-makarios-of-simonos-petra/

Saint Nun-martyr Paraskeve enlighten our mind and the Eyes of our heart
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2020/07/25/saint-nun-martyr-paraskeve-enlighten-my-mind-and-my-heart/

Apolytikion of St Parasceve
Mode 1.

Your diligence corresponded to your name, Paraskeve, which denotes preparedness. Through faith you inherited the promised dwelling that was prepared for you, O prizewinning Martyr. Therefore you pour out cures and healings, and you intercede on behalf of our souls.

Apolytikion of St Parasceve – Tone 1

Ready for godliness, O namesake of preparedness,/ thou didst inherit as a dwelling a faith worthy of thy name./ O prize-winning Parasceva, thou dost pour forth healings/ and art interceding for our souls.

Apolytikion of St Gerontios — Tone 3

You were shown to be praiseworthy in self-control, you received incorrupt praise, bearing O God-bearer Gerontios, the virtues of asceticism with which you were ornamented, being seen as a model of Vouleutirion Monastery. Venerable Father, entreat Christ God, to grant us the great mercy.

Troparion of St Jacob — Tone 4

Righteous Father Jacob, / adornment of Atka and the Yukon delta, / offspring of Russian America, / flower of brotherly unity, / healer of sickness, / and terror of demons, / you offered yourself as a living sacrifice / to bring light to a searching people. / Pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved!

We are called to be children of light (Elder Thaddeus)


St. Elias Diamantidis, the Myrrh-streamer, the miraculous of Batumi from Pontus, 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.

Γεώργιος ο Τροπαιοφόρος_St George the Trophy-bearer_Св Георгий Победоносец_Μανουήλ Πανσέληνου_ Πρωτάτον_Άγιον Όρος_ 23788Synaxarion From the Menaion.
On July 21, we commemorate our devout Fathers John and Symeon of Emesa, the Fool for Chirst.
On this day we also commemorate the holy Martyr Acakius of Cappadocia, in Heptascalon; and the contest of the holy Martyrs Theophilus, Trophimus, and the thirteen with them; and the holy Martyrs Justus and Matthew; and we also celebrate the Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos in the district of Armatius.
On this day the three holy Martyrs of Melitene died as they were dragged over rocks.
On this day we also commemorate the holy Martyrs George, Theodore, and Eugene.
Our devout Father Parthenius, Bishop of Radobysdion, Arta, reposed in peace in the year 1777.
Our righteous Fathers Onuphrius the Silent and Onesimus the Recluse of the Kiev Caves.
Uncovering of Relics (1649) of St Our righteous Mother Anna of Kashin, Princess, Schemanun and Miracle Worker (1337) wife of St Michael of Tver
Sts. Raphael (1640-1645) and Parthenius (1660) of Old Agapia Monastery (Romania)

Repose of Abbess Arsenia (Sebryakova) of the Ust-Medveditsk Convent (ru) (1905)
Martyr Ilia Chavchavadze of Georgia, the Righteous (1907)
Repose of Abbess Euphemia of the Ravanica and St. Petka monasteries, Serbia (1958)
St. Elias Diamantidis, the Myrrh-streamer, the miraculous of Batumi from Pontus (1946)

St. Elias Diamantidis, the Myrrh-streamer

Ηλίας Διαμαντίδης_Отец Илия Диаманти́дис Мироточивый_St. Elias Diamantidis_124325467876876St. 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.

He 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_ св вмч Георгий победоносец_St. George the Trophy-bearer_წმინდა გიორგი გმირავს_ΠΑΤΡ.ΦΑΝΑΡΙ - CopyOne 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 Church. Elijah 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 Elijah to be ordained a priest to be able to baptize and to give Divine Comunion to Christians. As a priest Elijah 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 .

πόλεμος_ Γεώργιος ο Τροπαιοφόρος _Saint George the Trophy-bearer_ Святой Георгий Победоносец_წმინდა გიორგი გმირავს_9354007875He 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.

A 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
From the book: “Ascetics in the World”– Vol I, 5th narrative. The Sacred Hermitage of St. John the Forerunner, Metamorphosis, Chalcidice

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.

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 the venerable ones, in Tone IV:

O God of our fathers, * ever deal with us according to Thy meekness. * Take not Thy mercy from us, * but by the prayers of these saints ** direct our life in peace.

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.

Troparion of St George the Great Martyr Tone 4

As the deliverer of captives and defender of the poor, healer of the infirm and champion of kings, victorious great martyr George intercede with Christ our God for our souls salvation.

Troparion, The Finding of the honored relics of the Venerable right-believing Great Princess and Nun Anna of Kashin— Tone 4

Having been enlightened by Divine grace, O venerable one, / and having bound your wise soul to the love of Christ, with uprightness of mind, you scorned corruptible and earthly goods. / You armed yourself courageously against noetic enemies with the Sign of the Cross, / extinguishing the coals of the passions through the ascetical struggles of fasting and prayer. / O Anna worthy of glory, / even after death you pour forth grace upon those who come to your relics. / Now, in the heavenly Bridal Chamber with the wise virgins, pray to Christ for us who honor your holy memory.

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

Saint Ilia Chavchavadze of Georgia had forgiven his murderers’ offense long before, in his prophetic poem “Prayer”:

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!


The enormous meekness and the immense nobility of saints

Παναγία Πλατυτερα-χωρα του Αχωρητου_Panagia Platytera_ Богоматерь Знамение11 (2)1 1Saint Meletius of Antioch (381)
Saint Mary (Marinus) at Alexandria nun, and her father Eugene, monk, of Alexandria (6th century)
Saint Sisinnios, ‘Bishop of God’, in the region of the Metropolis of Ephesus (c. 919-944)
Hieromartyr Urbanus, Pope of Rome (223-230)
Saint Prochorus of Georgia, builder of Holy Cross Monastery near Jerusalem (1066)
New Monk-martyrs Luke (Mukhaidze) (1277) and Nicholas (Dvali) (1314), of Jerusalem, and the holy fathers of the Georgian monasteries in Jerusalem
New Martyr Christos the Gardener, at Constantinople (1748)
Saint Meletius, Archbishop of Kharkov (1840)
Venerable Meletios of Ypseni (Meletios of Lardos), in 1855
Appearance of the Iveron Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (“Panagia Portaitissa” or “Gate-Keeper”), Mt. Athos (9th century)
Repose of the cave-dweller Anastasia (Logacheva) of Ardatov (1875)

Commemorated on  February 12

Saint Meletius, Archbishop of Antioch
by St Nikolai Velimirovich

Meletius, this great and holy man, was an exceptional interpreter and protector of Orthodoxy. His entire life was dedicated in a struggle against the Arian heresy which did not recognize the Son of God as god and blasphemed the Holy Trinity. On three occasions, Meletius was banished and exiled from his archepiscopal throne to Armenia. The struggle between the Orthodox and the heretics was waged so bitterly that on one occasion, when St. Meletius was preaching to the people in Church concerning the Holy Trinity in unity, his personal deacon, a heretic, raced toward him and covered his mouth with his hand. Not being able to speak with his mouth covered, Meletius spoke in signs. Namely, he raised his clenched hand in the air, opening at first his three fingers and showed them to the people. After that, he closed his hand and raised up one finger. He participated in the Second Ecumenical Council [Constantinople 381 A.D.], where Emperor Theodosius showed him special honor. At this Council, God revealed a miracle through His hierarch. Namely, when Meletius was propounding the dogma of the Holy Trinity to Arius, at first he only raised three fingers, separately one by one, and after that folded them into one. At that moment, before all those present, a light shown like lightening from his hand. At this Council Meletius confirmed Gregory the Theologian on the patriarchal throne in Constantinople. Earlier, however, Meletius had ordained Basil the Great to the deaconate and baptized John Chrysostom. After the close of the Council, St. Meletius completed his earthly life in Constantinople. His relics were translated to Antioch.
http://prologue.orthodox.cn/February12.htm

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Ιωάννης Χρυσόστομος_ ΙΩΑΝΝΗΣ ΧΡΥΣΟΣΤΟΜΟΣ-45356346St. John Chrysostom cites the following example from the life of St. Meletius, which demonstrates the immense nobility of this great hierarch. “It would be unjust to omit that which occurred during the banishment of Meletius from Antioch. When the governor sat in the coach, and with the saint seated beside him, he began to drive with great speed through the square. From all sides, the citizens hurled stones as hail at the head of the governor, for they could not be parted from their hierarch easily and were prepared to part with life rather than part with this saint. But what did this blessed man do? Seeing the stones flying, he covered the head of the governor with his cloak. Thus, he shamed his adversaries by his enormous meekness and, by this, he taught a lesson to his followers as to what kind of forgiveness we should show toward those who offend us; that it is not enough to refrain from doing them any evil but rather, with all our power, to remove any danger that threatens them.”

Concerning the external appearance of Meletius, Chrysostom further says: “In truth, the greatest satisfaction was to see his holy face. Not only when he taught or preached but also when men simply looked at him, he was in such a position to instill into the soul of the spectators every virtue.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by St Nikolai Velimirovich, Bishop of Zica, Serbia (+1956)
http://prologue.orthodox.cn/February12.htm

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On the justice and judgements of God.
Saint Paisios of the Holy Mountain

“For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 5:20)

Παΐσιος ο Αγιορείτης _Преподобный старец Паисий Святогорец_ St.Paisios of the Holy Mountain_69897233I always wondered how someone could become a saint and what was the distinctive trait, which made the saints receptive to God’s grace. One day, I went to Father Paisios and asked him:
– Elder, what do saints have that makes them different from the rest of us and thus they receive the grace of God?
Our saints had divine justice instead of human justice, he replied.

What is divine justice? I asked him once again.

He answered by telling me some charming stories:
– Suppose, two men are sitting at the table to eat. In front of them, there is a plate with ten peaches. If one of them greedily eats seven peaches leaving three for his friend, he is being unfair to him. This is injustice.
Instead, if he says: “Well, we are two and the peaches are ten. So, each one of us is entitled to eat five peaches.” If he eats the five peaches and leaves the other five for his friend, then he applies human justice. That is why, many times, we go to court to find human justice.
However, if he understands that his friend likes peaches very much, he can pretend that he is not very fond of them and eat only one, and then says to him: “please eat the rest of the peaches, as I don’t really like them; besides, my stomach aches and I should not eat any more.” This person has divine justice; he prefers to be unfair to himself by human standards and be rewarded for his sacrifice by God’s grace, which he will abundantly receive.
I will tell you another story, so you can have a better understanding. If someone tells me: “Father, you must leave your cell because it belongs to me. Go down and stay by the cypress tree (which is located in the garden of the cell).” If I have divine justice, I will gladly accept it, thank him for his offer and be satisfied, because he allowed me to have my cypress tree back. However, if I acted according to human justice, because this is what I wish to apply to my life, I would reject his offer and start arguing with him, and eventually end up in court.

The true Christian must never condemn, or press charges against his fellow men, even if someone takes by force his clothes. There is a difference between those people who believe in Christ and those who do not. Christians abide by the law of divine justice whereas the unfaithful ones by the law of human justice.

Human justice is zero compared to divine justice. Our Lord was the first one to apply divine justice. Neither did He find excuses for Himself when He was being accused, nor protested when people spat on Him, or threatened when He was suffering. He patiently and silently endured everything, without reacting in the least. He even let them tear His clothes off; thus God was ridiculed for standing naked in the presence of His own creations. The most important thing was that He did not only seek help from human justice, but, instead, He justified His persecutors and prayed to His Father to forgive them. “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Lk 23:34).

Unfortunately, we do not follow the example of God and never cease to condemn others in order, for example, to take back the money they owe us, sometimes demanding also its interest. Consequently, what appears at first like justice turns out to be the beginning of an injustice.

Some people say that we should not let others, especially Christians, usurp our property, for it is our forebearance that makes them act unjustly. This is a wiseless excuse indicating that we love our material belongings more than our souls. When we neglect our prayer and spiritual work, and instead take to court the people who treat us unjustly, we obviously consider our material possessions more valuable than the salvation of our soul, as the command of the Gospel that says “And of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again,” (Lk 6:30) if, according to Apostle Paul, we cannot gladly tolerate the looting or stealing of our possessions, bearing in mind that the pressing of charges and return of our belongings will not erase the sin off the greedy robber.

Hence, it is good for us to endure the rudeness of those who wrong us, and pray for them to be released from greediness through repentance. We shouldn’t be asking to get back whatever has been taken away from us. God’s justice aims at man himself and hopes that the greedy person will return to Christ, free from sin. God’s justice has no interest in material possessions themselves.

When someone wavers between human and divine justice, he resembles the one who sometimes worships God and other times the idols.
Divine justice is against human law. Human law is inflexibly equal to all, for it never deviates, but attributes justice to everyone, by putting more emphasis on its regulations than on each individual person. However, divine justice at times deviates and is sympathetically granted to all; it doesn’t mistreat people who deserve punishment, while it plentifully rewards the praiseworthy ones.

Παΐσιος o Αγιορείτης_Παναγια _Saint Paisios of Mount Athos_Паи́сий Святого́рец_vpcuviosul-paisie-aghioritul3a2ce6e0aed5649c1bc224 - ΑντιγραφήSo, divine justice and charity is an expression of God’s sympathy towards humanity, whereas human justice and fair judgment tend to be an expression of ill-will. Human justice exists to bar the evildoings of malicious people. Just as dry weed cannot grow where there is a fire burning, divine justice cannot co-exist with impartial judgment. The person who has trust in divine justice is neither upset when treated unfairly, nor seeks his justice; on the contrary, he accepts the false accusations as if they were true, and does not try to convince others that he has been slandered; instead he asks to be forgiven.
Some of our saints called themselves intemperate, without of course being so, because they hoped and trusted in divine justice. Others endured the accusation of adultery, a sin they detested, and undertook the task of bearing its consequences. They tolerated it because they firmly believed in divine justice; that is, even if they were treated unjustly from a human point of view, they hoped divine justice, which neither makes mistakes, nor forgets, would divinely act at the right time.

Justice is like a cork; no matter how hard we press it to the bottom of the sea, it will always come back to the surface. Therefore, we should endure with pleasure any kind of injustice done to us for the sake of Christ. He urged us to always seek God’s justice and “all these things shall be yours as well” (Mt 6:33). When we apply divine justice to our lives, we will always be justified.

I will tell you an incident, which is indicative of how God rewards those who love, apply and seek divine justice, and therefore prefer to be treated unfairly by human standards.

One day, one of the pilgrims said to me:
– Elder, I constantly read the Book of Psalms and have noticed that the psalms of David refer to two categories of people; the righteous people whom God will reward: “The righteous flourish like the palm tree, and grow like the cedar in Lebanon” (Ps 92:12), “For the Lord is righteous, he loves righteous deeds…”(Ps 11:7), “for the Lord knows the way of the righteous…”(Ps 1:6), “Rejoice in the Lord, oh righteous! Praise befits the upright” (Ps 33:1), “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of their troubles” (Ps 34:17), “For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered for ever. He is not afraid of evil tidings; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord” (Ps 112; 6-7), “…Lord loves the righteous…the way of the wicked he brings to ruin” (Ps 146: 8-9); and the unjust ones for whom He foresees evil in their lives: “for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish” (Ps 1:6), “The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and his soul hates him that loves violence” (Ps 11:6), “As smoke is driven away, so drive them away; as wax melts before fire, let the wicked perish before God! But let the righteous be joyful; let them exult before God!” (Ps 68:2-3).

Apolytikion of Saint Meletius Abp. Of Antioch
​ Fourth Tone

A model of faith and the image of gentleness, the example of your life has shown you forth to your sheep-fold to be a master of temperance. You obtained thus through being lowly, gifts from on high, and riches through poverty. Meletios, our father and priest of priests, intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.

Troparion of Saint Meletius of Antioch — Tone 4

You appeared to your flock as a rule of faith, / An image of humility and a teacher of abstinence. / Because of your lowliness, heaven was opened to you. / Because of your poverty, riches were granted to you. / O holy bishop Meletius, pray to Christ our God to save our souls!

Troparion — 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 mother Mary, pray to Christ our God to save our souls!

Troparion of Saint Alexis of Moscow — Tone 4

The fervent protector of Apostolic dogmas, / The pastor and teacher of the Russian Church: / By celebrating the memory of the blessed bishop Alexis / We glorify with our songs Christ our God. / He has given us a faithful worker / And a fountain of healing grace, / The praise and confirmation of Orthodox Christians!

Apolytikion of Saint Meletius of Lardos — Tone 1

The luminary of Lardos, the boast of the island of Rhodes, and of majestic Ypseni the God-bearing founder, Meletios, let us the faithful honor as a vessel of heavenly gifts, who regulates miraculous gifts to those who with longing cry out: Glory to Christ who glorified you, Glory to Him who made you wondrous, Glory to Him who through you works healings for all.


Abba Isaac’s book is worth as much as an entire library of the fathers… Abba Isaac will help you greatly because he makes people understand the deeper meaning of life. Studying Abba Isaac even just a little alters the soul through the vitamins it provides’. St. Paisios of Mount Athos

Ισαάκ Σύρος_ St. Isaac of Syria_ Св. Исаак Сирин_DSC_7570ΦΥΣSaint Isaac the Syrian, the Great Hesychast, Bishop of Nineveh (7th century)
Saint 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

“Above all, love silence…”
Thirst after Jesus and He will satisfy you with His love
St. Abba Isaac the Syrian

Ισαάκ ο Σύρος_ St. Isaac of Syria_ Св. Исаак Сирин__4948487363In 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’.

St. Paisios, who would read the Ascetical Homilies of St. Isaac beneath the icon of the saint, would say of St. Isaac: “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.” ”Abba Isaac’s book is worth as much as an entire library of the fathers… ”

St. Paisios, when he heard rumors that scholars accused St. Isaac of being a Nestorian, he prayed about this situation. 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.”Ισαάκ του µεγάλου ησυχαστού και πολύ αδικηµένουавтограф старца ПаисияOne 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).

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Abba Isaac the Syrian:
An Approach to his World.
Archim. Vasileios Abbot of Iveron Monastery

Ισαάκ ο Σύρος_ St. Isaac of Syria_ Св. Исаак Сирин_15631497389_74dbe56d08_kA monk has written: “I read Abba Isaac. I remained motionless. I breathed in. I took in paradise. I was experiencing a marriage between my being and the beyond, what is over there and what is in us. In the whole of my body I was delighting in my baptism into the uncreated and unapproachable.

A gate opened. I went into a different space. Another spirit came and found me. It was very light, enduring, a spirit of resurrection. This was what counted in my life, and nothing else.

I was enriched with other senses. It was different ground that I trod. I stood on different feet. I saw all that was previously well-known and familiar to me with different eyes, and heard it with new ears. And everything took on meaning.

Suddenly all the same things exist in a different way. A different light comes from within them and makes life shine.

Then the value of each person and his beauty is revealed as something different. There is a different relationship between things and between people.
You move about freely where previously you were stumbling. You speak quite clearly where at first you could not say a word.
You love everyone. And you remain free, leaving them pure and whole.
A sense of forgiveness and forbearance spreads everywhere. You are grateful to God. You forgive everyone. You do not bother anyone. No one touches you. You do not look for human justification.

Gladness comes from all sides. From darkness, light. From poverty, wealth. From jostling, stillness. From despair, calm and renewed hope.

Going further into Abba Isaac, in my mortal body I was wedded to incorruption, making it my spouse (cf Proverbs 8:2, Septuagint version).

I vanished from the earth.

The increase does not end. Life is ours. And death is ours. We live in order to die: we live with the aim of being extended, of becoming capable of entering into a marriage with death, with dying, with loss of everything. And so we gain everything. We find it. We enjoy it. We exist with and for these things, being absent, removed and nonexistent.

Our struggle is to attain to the maturity of ‘non-existence’ – to be found worthy of this crowning honor – to the freedom of traveling and being present everywhere through complete immobility and absence.

We are confined within the prison of the present age, within the walls of appearances – ‘no visible thing is good’ (St. Ignatius of Antioch) – in the sterility of what is relative. In the dumbness of mechanical motion and life.

The music that is truly such swells up as we journey. Movement is prayer. The journey is vision. The extension is gladness. When we have gone beyond everything, this expression, Word (Logos), Passover, Christ.”

***

Ισαάκ ο Σύρος_ St. Isaac of Syria_ Св. Исаак Сирин_ΙΣΣΑΚ ΣΥΡΟΣIt is a ceaseless journey, an ascent, an ascension. All things reach the point of transcendence. They are surpassed. They are done away with. They cease.

We enter into absolute silence and repose.

A person is freed from passions, from ignorance, from vice. He is not bound by ‘the other means which dishonor a man.’ The present life is not big enough for him. He does not bind himself to the present life.

He is not confined to worldly ethics and hope. ‘For the hope of this present life enfeebles the thinking.’ Despair shatters the hard, confining shell of worldly hope, the prison of sterility – ‘no weapon is stronger than despair’ – pouring forth torrents of light in darkness.

He does not make good works, virtue, his aim in life. He attains these, and by the grace of God moves on beyond them: ‘Faith’s way of life is more exalted than virtue, and its labor is not works, but perfect rest and consolation.’

Calmly he moves on beyond the bounds of motion, speech, sensation, knowledge, activity of any kind. ‘He becomes a free man and a ruler of himself, and as a son of God with authority he freely wields all things.’

In the end he casts off even his own freedom. ‘Then a man’s nature is deprived of its free will… it is led whither it knows not by some other power… at that moment it is held fast in captivity.’ He finds himself then in the ‘ignorance’ which is above all knowledge and the ‘captivity’ which is the above all freedom.

He has broken every barrier. He has attained the Unattainable. ‘His intellect is confounded and swallowed up in awestruck wonder, and forgets the very desire of its own entreaty.’

From now on ‘the mind no longer possesses prayer, or movement, or weeping, or dominion, or free will, or supplication, or desire, or fervent longing for things hoped for in this life or in the age to come.’

But getting there takes a real struggle.”

***

Ισαάκ ο Σύρος_ St. Isaac of Syria_ Св. Исаак Сирин-a_594531e7All the struggles, the asceticism, the virtues, have the goal of bringing us to humility. “Without humility all our works are in vain, every virtue and every righteous labor.
The saints do not receive a reward for their virtue or their toil in pursuit of virtue, but because of the humility it engenders.
“If humility becomes ours, she will make us sons of God, and even without good works she will present us to God.” “But without her, works are of no profit to us, and rather prepare us for many evils.”
This is the fullness of the Kingdom; “the time appointed for the promise and the fulfillment of hope” (Vespers of Pentecost).
“Humility is a certain mysterious power which perfected saints receive when they have completed the whole course of their discipline.”
“This virtue includes all in itself.” It is the power that the Apostles received at Pentecost.
“It was concerning this that the Lord commanded: “Do not depart from Jerusalem, until you are clothed with power from on high”. Jerusalem is virtue; the power is humility.
In fact, it can be said that Abba Isaac is the great mystagogue of the mystery of humility. All his ascetical homilies have this as their goal and their source. All spiritual struggles flow out into the wide sea of humility. And from humility proceeds the divine rest which restores the beauty in which man was first created. “Anything whatsoever possessing humility is of its nature comely.”
He recognizes humility as deification (“the humble-minded man is reckoned by all as God”); and when he is about to speak of it, he hesitates and “is filled with fear” like one who knows that it means speaking about God.
This sacred hesitation and divine sensitivity rises from every page of his book, because the Abba overflows with the gift of humility.
And “this it is which has sweetened the fragrance of the race of men.”

Ισαάκ ο Σύρος_ St. Isaac of Syria_ Св. Исаак Сирин_A-67-St-Isaac-Above-allTroparion, 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.

Troparion, in Tone VIII:

With the streams of thy tears thou didst irrigate the barren desert, * and with sighs from the depths of thy soul thou didst render thy labors fruitful an hundredfold, * and didst become a beacon for the whole world, resplendent with miracles. ** O Ephraim our father, entreat Christ God, that our souls be saved.

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.

Glory …, in Tone II:

With hymns and songs let us praise Isaac the God-bearer, who by asceticism became the peer of the angels and in the virtues became divine; for like a lofty palmtree, watered with showers of tears, by the power of the Spirit he produceth most sweet fruit for the Church of Christ, and without ceasing intercedeth with Christ, the Bestower of light, that He grant us cleansing and remission of sins.

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.

Sessional Hymn, in Tone IV:
Spec. Mel.: “Go thou quickly before …”:

As a divinely radiant lamp of stillness thou shinest the never-waning light of a virtuous life upon the ends of the earth, O wise one; wherefore, we, the choirs of monastics, hymn thee as a divine luminary, O God-bearer Isaac, and we study thy radiant discourses with love.

Glory …, in Tone IV:

Let us, the choirs of monastics, honor Isaac of blessed memory, the hierarch and God-bearer among ascetics, as one full of divine grace; for having rendered his mind pure through most exalted hesychia, he became an instrument of the Holy Spirit, encouraging all to seek the goodly Pearl, and to disdain that which is an illusion. And delighting now in glory on high, he doth ever intercede on behalf of our souls.

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.

St Ephrem the Syrian

Make me whole, O Lord, and I will become whole! O only wise and merciful Physician, I beseech Thy benevolence: heal the wounds of my soul and enlighten the eyes of my mind that I may understand my place in Thine eternal design! And in as much as my heart and mind have been disfigured, may Thy grace repair them, for it is as true salt. What shall I say to Thee, O Knower of the heart who searchest the heart and the inner workings of men? Indeed, Thou knowest that, like a waterless land, my soul thirsts after Thee and my heart longs for Thee. And Thy grace has always saved those that love Thee. Thus, as Thou hast always heard me, so now do not scorn my prayer. For Thou seest that my mind, like a prisoner, seeks Thee, the Only true Savior. Send Thy grace, that it may satisfy my hunger and quench my thirst. For insatiably do I desire Thee, O my Master! And who can have enough of Thee if he truly loves Thee and thirsts for Thy truth? O Giver of light! Fulfill my supplications and grant me Thy gifts according to my prayer; impart to my heart just one drop of Thy grace, that the flame of Thy love may begin to burn in my heart; and, like a fire, may it consume evil thoughts like thorns and thistles! Give me all this in abundance; grant it to me as God unto man, as the King to His subjects, and increase it as a kind Father. (Psalm 4)
My gift to the Reader: “A Spiritual Psalter,” by our Father St Ephrem the Syrian

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!


St. Anatoly II the Younger of Optina, A Prophesy of Future Lawlessness, Do not fear troubles… Bravely stand in faith, and if needed joyfully endure persecutions and other troubles, for than the Lord will stand by you… God is more powerful than devil, and will never abandon His servants.

Παναγία Πλατυτερα-χωρα του Αχωρητου_Panagia Platytera_ Богоматерь Знамение11 (2)1 1Kazan’ Icon of the Mother of God of Sitka in Alaska
Apostles Silas and Silvanus (Silouan) of the Seventy and those with them: Crescens, Epenetus, and Andronicus;
Saint Julitta of Caesaria
Righteous John presbyter, ascetic on Sinai and in the region of Edessa (400)
Saint Angelina, princess of Serbia
St. Anatolius II (Potapov) “the Younger”of Optina Hermitage, the Confessor (1855-1922).

Commemorated on July 30

After the demonic storm, God’s sunshine will appear.
St. Paisios of the Holy Mountain

A Prophesy of Future Lawlessness,
St. Anatoly II the Younger of Optina

Ανατόλιος ο νέος της Όπτινα_St. Anatoly the Younger of Optina_Св. Анатолий (Потапов) Оптински__581884_originalMy child, know that in the last days hard times will come, as the Apostle says, behold due to poverty in piety, in churches the heresies and schisms will appear”, and as the Holy Fathers foretold, than on the thrones of hierarchs and in monasteries, there will be no men tested and experienced in the spiritual life. Wherefore, heresies will spread everywhere and deceive many. The enemy of the human kind will act skillfully, if possible, leading the chosen ones to heresy. He will not begin by discarding the dogmas on the Holy Trinity, divinity of Jesus Christ, on Theotokos, but will unnoticeably start to distort the Teachings of the Holy Fathers from the Holy Spirit – the Church teaching itself. Cunning of the enemy and his “tipics” will notice a very small number of those most experienced in spiritual life. Heretics will take over the Church, everywhere will appoint their servants, and the spirituality will be neglected. But the Lord will not leave His servants without protection, and in ignorance. He said “by the fruits you will recognize them”. And strive to distinguish them from real pastors; those spiritual thieves who are snatching the spiritual flock, do not enter through the door into the sheepfold, but cross in the other place” as the Lord said it, that is, they will enter in illegal way, with force(violence) destroying God’s order. The Lord calls them the criminals.

Truly, their real duty is persecution of true pastors, their imprisonment, for without that the spiritual flock may not become captured. Therefore, my son, when you see in the Church mocking of the Divine act, teaching of the Fathers, and God-established order, know that the heretics have already appeared, even though for some time they might hide their evil intensions, or will unnoticeably deform the divine faith, to better succeed by deceiving and tricking the inexperienced .

They will persecute not only the pastors, but also the servants of God, for the devil who is directing the heresy cannot bear living in Divine order. Like wolfs in sheep skin, they will be recognized by their vainglorious nature, love for lust, and lust for power – those will be betrayers causing hatred and malice everywhere; and therefore the Lord said that one will recognize them by their fruits. The true servants of God are – meek, brotherloving and obedient to the Church (order, traditions..).

At that time, monks will endure great pressures from heretics, and the monastic life will be mocked. The monastic families will be impoverished, the number of monks will reduce. The ones remaining, will endure violence.

These haters of the monastic life, who merely have the appearance of piety, will strive to draw monks on their side, promising them protection and worldly goods(comforts), but threatening with exile to those who do not submit. From these threats, the weak at heart will be very humiliated (tormented).
If you live to see that time, rejoice, for at that time the faithful, not possessing other virtues will receive wreaths merely for standing in faith, according to the Word of the Lord “everyone who confesses Me before men, I will confess before My Heavenly Father”.

Fear the Lord, my son!, dont lose the received wreath, not to be rejected by Christ into the utter darkness and eternal suffering.

Bravely stand in faith, and if needed joyfully endure persecutions and other troubles, for than the Lord will stand by you… and holy Martyrs and Confessors with joyfully watch at your struggle.

But, in these days, woe be to monks tied to possessions and riches, and who for the sake of love of comfort agree to subjugate themselves to the heretics. They will lull their conscience saying: we will save the monastery, and the Lord will forgive us.Unfortunate and blinded, they are not even thinking that through heresies and heretics, the devil will enter the monastery, and than it will no longer be a holy monastery, but bare walls from which Grace will depart from forever.

But God is more powerful than devil, and will never abandon His servants. There will always be true Christians, till the end of time, but they will choose lonely and deserted places. Do not fear troubles, but fear pernicious heresy, for it drives out Grace, and separates from Christ, wherefore Christ commanded consider the heretic as let him be unto thee as a heathen man and publican.
And so, strenghten yourself, my son, in the Grace of Christ Jesus. With joy hasten to the confession and enduring the suffering, like Jesus Christ’s good soldier who said: “Be faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life ” (Rev.2:10).

To Him, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, honor and glory unto ages of ages. Amen

St. Anatoly of Optina “Last times and now” collection of writtings
Orthodox Life magazine Volume 43 – Issue No. 3, 1993
http://stvladimirs.ca/wordpress/instructions-by-st-anatoly-of-optina/

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Prophecy of St. Nilus (d. circa AD 430)

Ανατόλιος ο νέος της Όπτινα_St. Anatoly the Younger of Optina_Св. Анатолий (Потапов) Оптински__5842 - yAfter the year 1900, toward the middle of the 20th century, the people of that time will become unrecognizable. When the time for the Advent of the Antichrist approaches, people’s minds will grow cloudy from carnal passions, and dishonor and lawlessness will grow stronger. Then the world will become unrecognizable.

People’s appearances will change, and it will be impossible to distinguish men from women due to their shamelessness in dress and style of hair. These people will be cruel and will be like wild animals because of the temptations of the Antichrist. There will be no respect for parents and elders, love will disappear, and Christian pastors, bishops, and priests will become vain men, completely failing to distinguish the right-hand way from the left.

At that time the morals and traditions of Christians and of the Church will change. People will abandon modesty, and dissipation will reign. Falsehood and greed will attain great proportions, and woe to those who pile up treasures. Lust, adultery, homosexuality, secret deeds and murder will rule in society.

At that future time, due to the power of such great crimes and licentiousness, people will be deprived of the grace of the Holy Spirit, which they received in Holy Baptism and equally of remorse. The Churches of God will be deprived of God-fearing and pious pastors, and woe to the Christians remaining in the world at that time; they will completely lose their faith because they will lack the opportunity of seeing the light of knowledge from anyone at all. Then they will separate themselves out of the world in holy refuges in search of lightening their spiritual sufferings, but everywhere they will meet obstacles and constraints.

And all this will result from the fact that the Antichrist wants to be Lord over everything and become the ruler of the whole universe, and he will produce miracles and fantastic signs. He will also give depraved wisdom to an unhappy man so that he will discover a way by which one man can carry on a conversation with another from one end of the earth to the other.

At that time men will also fly through the air like birds and descend to the bottom of the sea like fish. And when they have achieved all this, these unhappy people will spend their lives in comfort without knowing, poor souls, that it is deceit of the Antichrist.

And, the impious one!—he will so complete science with vanity that it will go off the right path and lead people to lose faith in the existence of God in three hypostases. Then the All-good God will see the downfall of the human race and will shorten the days for the sake of those few who are being saved, because the enemy wants to lead even the chosen into temptation, if that is possible… then the sword of chastisement will suddenly appear and kill the perverter and his servants.

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Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

Άγιος Παΐσιος ο Αγιορείτης _Преподобный старец Паисий Святогорец_ St.Paisios of the Holy Mountain_απο την Ιερά Μονή Τιμίου Προδρόμου , στη Μεταμόρφωση Χαλκιδικής_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. But since we know what awaits us, let’s develop love in ourselves, to the degree that we can. That’s the main thing: for true brotherly love to exist between us. Kindness, love — that’s strength!

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.

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.

…With God’s permission, a strong jolt will come our way. Difficult times lie ahead. We will be greatly tasted. We have to take this warning seriously and live spiritually. It is circumstances that are forcing us and will force us in the future, to labour spiritually. But we should try to do so by choice and joyfully rather than by necessity when various sorrows come upon us. Many Saints would plead to live in our times so that they would have the chance to struggle for Christ..

***

Wakefulness and sobriety are needed. All that a person does he must do for the sake of God. Christ must be at the source of every movement. Much attention is required, for when we do something with the aim of pleasing others we gain no benefit. We ascend to the heavens not through earthly striving but by humbling ourselves spiritually. He who goes low goes sure and never falls. Ours is an age of sensationalism and hullabaloo. But the spiritual life is not noisy. Divine enlightenment is required and when it’s not there the person abides in darkness. He may act out of good intentions but create many problems in his confusion, both for the Church and for society. There was a time when the Holy Spirit enlightened us and showed us the way. A grand business! Today it finds no reason to descend to us. Difficult years are ahead. The Old Testament Tower of Babel was child’s play compared with our age.

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The Seal of the Antichrist Becomes a Reality

Παΐσιος o Αγιορείτης _Saint Paisios of Mount Athos_Паи́сий Святого́рец_v413164_paisiosIt’s possible that you’ll live through much which is described in the Book of Revelations. Much is coming to the surface, little by little. The situation is horrible. Madness has gone beyond all bounds. Apostasy is upon us, and now the only thing left is for the ‘son of perdition’ (2 Thess. 2:3) to come.
The world has turned into a madhouse. A great confusion will reign, in which each government will begin to do whatever comes into its head. We’ll see how the most unlikely, the most insane, events will happen. The only good thing is that these events will happen in very quick succession.

Ecumenism, common markets, a one-world government, a single made-to-order religion: such is the plan of these devils. The Zionists are already preparing their messiah. For them the false-messiah will be king, will rule here, on earth.
A great discord will arise. In this discord everyone will clamor for a king to save them. At that moment they’ll offer up their man, who’ll say: “I’m the Imam, I’m the fifth Buddha, I’m the Christ whom Christians are awaiting. I’m the one whom the Jehovah’s Witnesses have been waiting for. I’m the Jewish messiah.”

Difficult times are ahead. Great trials await us. Christians will suffer great persecutions. Meanwhile, it’s obvious that people don’t understand that we’re on the verge of the end times, that the seal of the Antichrist is becoming a reality. As if nothing’s happening. That’s why Holy Scripture says that even the chosen will be deceived.
The Zionists want to rule the earth. To achieve their ends they use black magic and satanism. They regard satan-worship as a means to gain the strength they need to carry out their plans. They want to rule the earth using satanic power. God is not something they take into account.

One sign that the fulfillment of prophecy is near will be the destruction of the Mosque of Omar in Jerusalem. They’ll destroy it in order to restore the Temple of Solomon which used to be on the same place. In the end the Jews will pronounce the Antichrist messiah in this rebuilt temple.
The rabbis know that the true Messiah has already come and that they crucified Him. They know this, and yet they are blinded by egoism and fanaticism.

***

How great is the devil’s hatred of mankind! How strong is the enemy’s desire to destroy us! And yet we forget with whom we are doing battle. If only you knew how many times the devil has already wound his tail around the earth, planning to destroy it! However, God does not allow him to do it, He ruins all his plans. God extracts benefit even from the evil which the devil attempts to do to us; God turns this evil into good.

Look: the merciful God never allows great trials to continue for more than three generations. He always leaves some good stock available. Prior to the Babylonian captivity the Israelis concealed the fire from their last offering to God in an empty well, in order to afterwards light the fire for new offerings. And, in fact, when they returned from captivity seventy years later, the fire used for the first offering to God was lit from the one they found in the well. In difficult times not everyone inclines towards evil. God keeps a good stock for future generations. The Communists held up for 75 years – exactly three generations. And the Zionists, despite going strong for so many years, at the end will not last even seven.

Miraculous Icon of Mother of God ”Our Lady of Sitka” Troparion — Tone 4

Today, like the morning sun rising over us, / Your all-honored icon enlightens the world with rays of mercy / And our land reverently receives it / as a divine gift from on high, / Glorifying you, O Birthgiver of God, Our Lady of Sitka, / With joy magnifying Christ our God Who was born of you. / Pray to Him O Lady Mary, Queen and Theotokos / That all cities and lands be protected from our enemies, / And that they will be saved who in faith venerate your most pure icon / That has come to dwell with us, O Virgin Mother, / who shows us the way to Christ.

Troparion of Apostles — Tone 3

O holy apostles/ entreat the merciful God// that He grant to our souls remission of transgressions.

Miraculous Icon of Mother of God ”Our Lady of Sitka” Kontakion — Tone 8

O Mother of God, chosen from all generations to be the protectress of the Christian people; / We offer you songs of thanksgiving for your wonderworking Icon that has come to Alaska. / You are a fountain of mercy and help all who seek refuge in you. / Defend us in all afflictions, necessities and tribulations that we may cry to you: / Rejoice, zealous defender of the Orthodox faithful in America.

Apolytikion of Holy Elders of Optina Monastery in the Plagal of the First Tone

For your greatness in prayer and humility and love, for your ascetical firmness and Orthodoxy of faith, God hath given His exceeding wondrous gifts to you as unto prophets of His will, as to angels on the earth, and stewards of men’s salvation. Wherefore enlighten us also, O universal lights of Optina.

O Theotokos and Virgin, rejoice, O Mary full of grace; the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb; for thou hast borne the Savior of our souls.

My hope is the Father, my refuge is the Son, my protection is the Holy Spirit: O Holy Trinity, glory to Thee.

All my hope I place in thee, O Mother of God: keep me under thy protection.


My brother Great-Martyr Panteleimon, do you think you are more compassionate than me? Learn that it is my will in which it happens many times for the body to suffer in order for the soul to be saved.

Παντελεήμων ο Ιαματικός ¬¬_ St Pantaleon all-compassionate_ Святой Пантелеймон целителяSts. George and Panteleimon the Great MartyrsSaint Panteleimon the Great Martyr and Unmercenary Healer (305)
The blind man who confessed Christ and was martyred with St. Pantileimon.
St. Anthusa the Confessor, abbess of Mantinea in Asia Minor and her 90 monastic sisters (759)
Blessed Nicholas Kochanov, fool-for-Christ at Novgorod. (1392)
New Martyr Christodoulos of Cassandra, at Thessaloniki (1777)
Repose of Abbess Pulcheria of Viatka Nativity Convent (1890).
Repose of Abbot Sava (Ostapenko) of the Holy Dormition Pskov-caves monastery (1980)

Commemorated on July 27

Sickness and Pain Are A Gift of God

Παντελεήμων_St. Panteleimon the Unmercenary Healer_ Пантелеймон Целитель бессребреник_23234In the Kalyva of Saint Chrysostomos of the Skete of Koutloumousiou of the Monastery of Saint Panteleimon on Mount Athos, there lived years ago Monk Daniel who for 20 years was sick and had headaches and backaches, kidney and heart problems, leg problems and pain sometimes throughout his entire body.

Many times he travelled to doctors and received numerous X-ray examinations and radiographies, but the outcome was always the same. The doctors could not find any physical explanation for his sickness. Yet Monk Daniel continued to suffer his sicknesses and there was not a physician or scientist to be found that could help him.

One 27th of July, during the vigil of Saint Panteleimon, brother Daniel prayed with tears in his eyes and pleaded with Saint Panteleimon saying: “Saint of God and protector of our Skete, you who are a physician and for the love of Christ was martyred and spilled your blood, show your love and plead to the Master Christ to grant me health, so that with health I could glorify His name and psalmodize during the vigils.”

Having said this, Monk Daniel grew a bit tired and took some sleep. He then in a vision saw Saint Panteleimon kneeling before the throne of God pleading for the health of Daniel. Monk Daniel heard the Master Christ say to Saint Panteleimon: “My brother Great-Martyr Panteleimon, do you think you are more compassionate than me? Do you think you love humanity more than me? I understand that out of love for me you spilled your blood, but did I not also spill mine and daily spill my blood for the salvation of people’s souls? Learn that it is my will in which it happens many times for the body to suffer in order for the soul to be saved. This is how I want many people to be saved.”

When brother Daniel heard this he awoke and glorified the name of God, thanked Saint Panteleimon for his effort and mediation, and immediately, as the same monk related, a great burden was lifted off of him and related that we must endure with patience, joy and thanksgiving the cross and situation of our sicknesses.

***

St. Paisios of the Holy Mountain

Miracle working icon of St. Panteleimon (18th-century) from the Holy Skete of Koutloumousi, Mount Athos. Panteleimon2Close to Karyes, there were two Romanians living as ascetics in the same Cell. One of them fell gravely ill at one time and the other, unfortunately, could hardly be bothered to look after him. Thus he kept begging Saint Panteleimon either to cure the invalid quickly, or to take him from this life, in order to be spared the small amount of trouble involved in looking after him.

One day, while he was again begging Saint Panteleimon, the Saint appeared to him and said:

“What are you begging for? You are devoid of virtues. Take care of your brother and you will get a trivial reward from God.”

The words of Saint Panteleimon startled the monk. From then on he looked after the invalid with the utmost willingness and asked God to keep him alive for many years, so that he could continue to take care of him in his old age.
From Athonite Fathers and Athonite Matters, pp. 147-148.

***

A Vision of the Holy Unmercenaries by Elder Theophylactos of New Skete (amateur translation)

Άγιος Παντελεήμων_St. Panteleimon the Unmercenary Healer_ Пантелеймон Целитель бессребреник__2015-04-04 16.51.36“Another time I had the same battle and despair afflicted me terribly. I knew of course what a battle was, but I could not change. Because of my inexperience I did not fight with it from the beginning, when this passion first appeared to me, and this became my personal cross. As I sat to rest, I saw a band of men of different ages climbing the road up from the Kyriakon, and heading to where my kalyve was; they were talking among themselves. I tried to see who they were and where they were going. When they passed the cross in the road, and approached my outer gate, they stopped for a short time and I heard them clearly say:

“Won’t we pass by our dwelling place?”

In reality, they opened my door and entered in line chanting their apolytikion:

“The twenty-numbered godly phalanx, that shines with heavenly grace, the radiant band of Unmercenaries let us hymn…”

Leading them all was St. Panteleimon: young, blonde, magnificent and with a physician’s medal on his chest. The rest followed him chanting their hymn melodiously. They climbed the stairs of the kalyve above where the church is, and entering, they stood in two lines as two choirs and began to chant hymns from their service. When they finished the psalmody, they returned and exited towards the upper area of the Skete, having left me their blessing and much consolation; for many days I was full of joy and spiritual happiness.”

Don’t be cry, Father. I am always with you. I am Panteleimon… The appearance to St. Nicholas Planas
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2020/07/26/48685/

Saint Panteleimon and Father Evangelos Chalkidis
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2019/07/26/saint-panteleimon-and-father-evangelos-chalkidis/

Holy Panteleimon the Great Martyr and Healer by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2016/07/26/holy-panteleimon-the-great-martyr-and-healer/

Apolytikion, Tone 3

HOLY prizewinner and healer Panteleimon, intercede with the merciful O God that He grant unto our souls forgiveness of offences.

Kontakion. Plagal of First Tone.

INCE thou art an imitator of the Merciful One, and hast received from Him the grace of healing, O prizewinner and Martyr of Christ our God, by thy prayers heal the diseases of our souls, and ever dispel the stumbling‐blocks of the enemy from them that cry unceasingly: Save us, O Lord

Ikos 2

Possessing divinely inspired knowledge, O valiant warrior Panteleimon, thou didst astound the Emperor Maximian by the courage of thy soul and by the words with which thou didst fearlessly preach Christ. Wherefore praising thy boldness, we cry unto thee:
Rejoice, thou who didst despise Maximian’s threats.
Rejoice, thou who didst not follow the advice of the godless.
Rejoice, propagator of true adoration.
Rejoice, uprooter of demon worship.
Rejoice, accuser of the fury of torturers.
Rejoice, overthrower of the delusion of idolatry.
Rejoice, thou who didst disperse the assembly of the godless.
Rejoice, thou who didst exchange the corruptible for heavenly joy.
Rejoice, converser with immaterial angels.
Rejoice, fellow chorister of longsuffering saints.
Rejoice, thou by whom Satan was put to shame.
Rejoice, thou by whom Christ is glorified.
Rejoice, Saint Panteleimon, Great Martyr and Healer.


Christ is all love, kindness and consolation, and He never stifles man, but possesses an abundance of spiritual oxygen — divine consolation. Today, living in such complicated times, we have to be not merely ready, but triply ready, at the minimum! St Paisios of Mount Athos

Εις Άδου Κάθοδος_Ανάσταση_Harrowing of Hell_Сошествие Христа в ад_0_3db84_28462408_origΧριστός ανέστη! Αληθώς ανέστη!
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
ХристосВоскрес! Воистину Воскрес!
ქრისტეაღსდგა! ჭეშმარიტადაღსდგა!

«Rejoice!» «Peace be unto you!»

St Paisios of Mount Athos

The basic thing is for man to take care not to lose the Grace of God, so as to have divine enlightenment. For everything is in vain if there is no divine enlightenment.

Those who withdraw themselves from Christ are deprived of divine enlightenment, for like fools they forsake sun-drenched places so as to retire to the shade. Hence, it is natural for them to be cold and fall spiritually ill. God has endowed us all with gifts, but not all of us utilize them for the salvation of our souls and the salvation of our fellow men. Instead, most of us, most of the time, use them to the detriment of others and ourselves.

With this divine enlightenment one easily finds the keys to divine meanings, so as to interpret the Spirit of God in a very simple and natural way, without causing an intellectual headache.

The more a person progresses in the spiritual life attending to himself, the wider the eyes of the soul open and the more clearly he discerns his mistakes and the many benefactions of God. Thus man is humbled and inwardly crushed, and then the Grace of God — divine enlightenment — comes naturally and he becomes more discerning.

***

Άγιος Παΐσιος ο Αγιορείτης _Преподобный старец Паисий Святогорец_ St.Paisios of the Holy Mountain_Παισιος ο αγιορείOurs is an age of sensationalism and hullabaloo. But the spiritual life is not noisy. Divine enlightenment is required and when it’s not there the person abides in darkness.

There was a time when the Holy Spirit enlightened us and showed us the way. A grand business! Today it finds no reason to descend to us. Difficult years are ahead. The Old Testament Tower of Babel was child’s play compared with our age.

Providence tells me that the Antichrist wants to subjugate the world using this system. It will be foisted upon people with the help of the mechanisms which control the world economy, for only those who receive the mark, an image with the number ‘666’, will be able to take part in economic life.. Little by little, after the introduction of ID cards with the three sixes, after the creation of a personal dossier, they’ll use cunning to introduce the mark.

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. But since we know what awaits us, let’s develop love in ourselves, to the degree that we can. That’s the main thing: for true brotherly love to exist between us. Kindness, love — that’s strength!

***

Today’s situation can be resisted only spiritually, not by worldly means. The storm will continue to rage a bit, will throw all the flotsam, everything unnecessary, onto the shore, and then the situation will become clearer. Some will receive their reward, while others will have to pay their debts.

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

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

Indifference is unacceptable even for laymen, and all the more so for the clergy. An honest, spiritual man doesn’t do anything with indifference. “Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully”, says the Prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 48:10). There’s a war on today, a holy war. I must be on the front lines.

We have to witness our faith with boldness, because if we continue to be silent we’ll have to answer in the end. In these difficult days each must do what’s in their power. And leave what’s out of their power to the will of God. In this way our conscience will be clear.

If we don’t resist, then our ancestors will arise from their graves. They suffered so much for the Fatherland, and we? What are we doing for it?.. If Christians don’t begin to witness their faith, to resist evil, then the destroyers will become even more insolent. But today’s Christians are no warriors. If the Church keeps silent, to avoid conflict with the government, if the metropolitans are silent, if the monks hold their peace, then who will speak up?

***

Παναγία ΠΑΝΑΓΙΑ Παρηγορητρια_ ιερό ναό αγιου Δημητριου Βύρωνος Αθήνα, 8-9-2020Our time is like a bubbling and steaming cauldron. One needs temperament, audacity, courage. Take care not to be caught unprepared, if something is to happen. Start getting ready now so that you’ll be able to resist difficulties. Christ Himself tells us: “Therefore be ye also ready” (Matt. 24:44), doesn’t He? Today, living in such complicated times, we have to be not merely ready, but triply ready, at the minimum!

No matter what happens, we must continue to pray, think and act. It’s best to always stand up to a difficult situation using spiritual means.

God expects patience, prayer and struggle from us.

Difficult times are ahead. Great trials await us. Christians will suffer great persecutions. Meanwhile, it’s obvious that people don’t understand that we’re on the verge of the end times, that the seal of the Antichrist is becoming a reality. As if nothing’s happening. That’s why Holy Scripture says that even the chosen will be deceived.

***

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.

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!

In order to hold back a great evil, great holiness is needed. A spiritual person can hold back evil and help others. In the spiritual life the biggest coward can attain great courage by entrusting himself to Christ and His divine help. He can go to the front lines, do battle with the enemy, and win! So therefore we will fear God alone, not people, no matter how evil they may be. The fear of God makes any coward into a hero! A person becomes fearless to the extent he unites with God.

Knowing the truth, a person will begin to mull things over and shake himself out of his sleep. What’s going on will begin to cause him pain. He’ll begin to pray and to be on his guard, so as to not fall into that trap.

ΤΥΦΛΟΥΣ ΔΥΟ-Κυριακή-Ζ-ΜατθαίουChrist-healing-the-blind_Исцеление слепорожденного_-слепорожденного.1304254467_monastery-chHe who pays attention to and preserves his spiritual purity, preserves Divine Grace also, and always sees clearly. He turns even unclean things to his advantage, making them clean in his good spiritual factory. He turns useless paper into clean napkins, notebooks, etc. He transforms broken bronze into candlesticks and chandeliers, and gold into holy chalices. On the contrary, the man who assents to deceit and thinks deceptively, transforms good into evil, not unlike the factory that produces war supplies and that makes gold into bullets and cartridges for cannons, since for this purpose its machinery was constructed.

Hence, let us never consent to an evil thought; let us always energize the good if we wish to transform the evil factories of our hearts into good factories.

One should not struggle, however, with sick scholastic meticulousness and be choked by stress (fighting with thoughts), but should simplify his struggle and place his hope in Christ and not in himself. Christ is all love, kindness and consolation, and He never stifles man, but possesses an abundance of spiritual oxygen — divine consolation. Thorough spiritual work is one thing and sick meticulousness is another; the latter chokes with its inner anguish (due to thoughtless external strain) and afflicts the forehead with splitting headaches.

Neither should we pressure others with such scholastic pedantry, causing ourselves headaches in order only to persuade them, repeating the truth many times when they are ignorant of it, aware only of lies. (It is like winding a clock whose spring has come off its spindle.) There are also those who know the truth but adopt it in their own way in order to support their ideas. It is better to avoid such people so as not to tire oneself in vain and squander the great truths, for when the wall is built of clay (In earlier times, many homes were built with small rectangular clay bricks, which were left out in the sun to dry), plaster from lime will not take hold, but only a mixture made of clay and straw.


Now read the prophecy — how to read a newspaper: everything is clearly written. Take the Hagia Sophia and the gates will open. These gates nobody knows … Prophecies Saint Paisios the Athonite

Εις Άδου Κάθοδος_Ανάσταση_Holy Resurrection of Jesus Christ_Воскресение Иисуса Христа_ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΗ_1ih4506анастасисΧριστός ανέστη! Αληθώς ανέστη!
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
ХристосВоскрес! Воистину Воскрес!
ქრისტეაღსდგა! ჭეშმარიტადაღსდგა!

«Rejoice!» «Peace be unto you!»

The Fall of Constantinople, May 29th, 1453
Venerable Virgin-martyr Theodosia of Constantinople (730)
Virgin-martyr Theodosia of Tyre (308)
New Martyr Andrew of Argentes, in Chios (1465)
New Martyr John (or Nannus) of Smyrna (1802)
New Hieromartyr Euthymios (Agritellis) of Zela, in Pontus, Bishop (1921)
Icon of the Mother of God “Non-Slumbering Eye” (“Unsleeping Eye”)

Commemorated on May 29

Synaxis of Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia in Butovo
Butovo was the largest site of mass executions and burials of victims of political repression of the mid-20th century. In the period from August 1937 to October 1938 alone, more than 20,000 people were shot and buried there.

Commemorated on the fourth Saturday after Pascha

Prophecies of Saint Paisios the Athonite

During the procession of Dreadful Predstatelnitsy in 1992 an umbrella over the icon of Panagia had Ensign of Ioannina. When we were on the right of it was me, and left old man, who at one point said to the officer: — Come, pray well, and so will be the standard-bearer in the City (Constantinople) when enter. And, turning to me, said, — Hear what I said? — Yes, Gerontius, I heard. Amen. — I told him. Then he smiled and uttered his characteristic: — A! (Well, it is!). A day later, I went into his cell and asked on the City. And he said: — Constantinople take back, but not us. We, from the fact that most of our young people went down, unable to do that. God, however, is designed so that others will take City and give it to us — as a solution to their problem.

Small group of students from Afoniady down to the elder. They focus on one theme: they heard, as if the old man said to some that we take Constantinople. And they wanted to do to hear it from his mouth, and especially to ask if they would be living at the time. So they talked to each other on the road, that someone had to ask Elder about this topic. So they came and sat down with him, no one, however, dared to ask such a question. They got up, took the blessing and headed for the trail. Elder, seeing them smile said: — And remember: Constantinople and take and you live and you at that time! Students struck like a thunderbolt from what he said, and they were surprised about grace, which he had, and that it shall receive everything and more that will take place in their generation, all these horrible things.

Mr. DK visited the Old Man. At the time, the Soviet Union was very strong in all respects and no one could even suggest that it may be destroyed — it was still under the rule of Brezhnev. The elder, among other things, said: — You’ll see that soon the Soviet collapse. Mr. D. said: — But such a strong power, Gerontius, who fell apart. And to claw it dare not touch. — You’ll see! Elder predicted that the Soviet Union would collapse, and that Mr. D. is still alive and will see it (despite the fact that he was already at the age). And the old man went on: — Know that Turkey will collapse. There will be war two and a half years. We shall be victorious because we — Orthodox. — Gerontius, we tolerate damage in the war? — Hey, at most, one or two of the island will take, but we will give, and Constantinople. You’ll see, you’ll see!

Παναγία Πλατυτερα-χωρα του Αχωρητου_Panagia Platytera_ Богоматерь Знамение11 (2)1 1One afternoon came to Kelly Elder group of pilgrims. Taking a blessing, they sat in the outer arhondarike. Old man with a good nature brought them a traditional Turkish delight, refreshing water and fresh plums, which earned him the previous pilgrims. He sat down and began to talk: Elder: How to live in the world?
Dimitri: In general, Gerontius, media spread evil and aim for it. Being corrupt and small children.
Elder: The law says that? Filing a suit?
Dimitri: We try, Gerontius, do something, but they do not take the words.
Elder: You always have a clean conscience, doing my duty. Else But God.
Dimitri: Can you tell us, Gerontius, how we behave in this evil world? So … in general.
Elder: Need reasoning. Do you have a confessor?
Dimitri: Yes, Gerontius.
Elder: Counsel with the priest, because sometimes we can not say ‘yes’ or ‘no’, so it requires reasoning. Here the old man got up and left them alone, and they, seizing the right moment, agreed to request the Elder tell Constantinople. Soon the old man came back and, to the amazement of all, before they could ask about anything — showing that his spiritual “radar” caught their thoughts — said to them:
Elder: What you say, whether we take City? They were numb and did not say anything. Elder: Tell me whether we take City? Group in amazement did not answer. Elder (Jokingly): Big Mouth …
Theodore: Take, Gerontius.
Elder: Glory to you, O God. (Crosses to the east and looking to the side of the City.)
Dimitri: If God bless, Gerontius, take it.
Elder: Yes, this is from God! Take it! Just do not we hire him, and give it to us. Those who take it from the Turks, give it as a solution, we, as will assume that it is profitable for them.
Dimitri: Gerontius, how long it will go wrong?
Elder: Maybe it can be! However, we will take the examination.
Dimitri: Will the proper guidance?
ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΣΟΦΙΑ Ναός τῆς Ἁγίας Σοφίας τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως _byzantine-mosaicsElder: God is satisfied. In this war, all come out winners. The Greek army will be a spectator. No one will return winner. The arena will be Palestine, their grave — the Dead Sea. This will be the first in half a time. But it will be the second half a: after the event people will come to despair, and then everything will be studying the Gospel and Scripture. Christ will spare the world and show the sign for faith. Then thou shalt seek the unbeliever
Dimitri: Gerontius, Troparion of the prophet Elijah said he — “the forerunner of the Second Coming of Christ.” He is known to have died, as Enoch. Will the prophet Elijah to the ground?
Elder (Smiling): The Prophet Elijah and prepares sharpens his knife! And even before the start with the patriarchs, princes, priests, and monks!
Nikolai: And the mundane.
Elder: Do you — ignorance, we have — sins. Is it not said in prayer to the Divine Liturgy: “O our sins did and the human ignorance”? The prophet Elijah is sharpening his knife: but need much attention, because some of the things that is to say the Fathers, and otherwise interpret the world as, say, shestimilii reported by Saint Cosmas Aetolian. (Turks leave, but will come up again and reached shestimiliya. Eventually their chase to the Red Apples (Kokkinh Mhlia). The Turks third die and another third sign of the cross and the last third will go to the Red apple.) No can not explain it. Shestimilie there Langadase, Kilnise, in Thrace, in Corinth, but no one knows, those of whom he speaks, — six miles of territorial waters. You do not read the prophets, in Joel, Zechariah, Ezekiel, in Daniel? It says it all. Seven years in Palestine will not burn wood, and sticks, but how do you know the difference between sticks of wood! You are now in the homes of heaters (with a smile), while here I’m burning wood in the stove, and I know what’s what. (This is the prophecy of Ezekiel — 39, 9-10: “Then the people of the cities of Israel shall go forth, and set on fire and will burn the weapons, shields and armor, bows and arrows, clubs and spears, seven years will burn them. And will not take no wood from the field, neither cut down any out of the forests, but they will burn only weapon, and robbed of their robbers, gatherers and rob them, saith the Lord God. “)
Christ: Jews …
Elder: One pious Jordanian told me that the Jews dug under the Dome of the Rock is many meters deep tunnel, and want to destroy the mosque to build the Temple of Solomon, as Then, they say, the Messiah, that is, Antichrist. Then Arabians say to Christians: Do you not say, as Christians, that the Messiah has already come? Now what they say here, the Jews?
Elder, bringing back the pilgrims had come up a treat, and asked one of them:
Elder: Whether we take the city? What do you think?
Christ: I will go to the Northern Epirus.
Elder: Take the City, Northern Epirus take seven of us!
Christ: Seven and I — eight!   Elder: Good for you! I transferred the relics of St. Cosmas Aetolian — they are heavy! What can I say, guys, these things write and tell our books (church), but who reads them? The people do not have a clue. Sleeping in sandals!
Dimitri: This, Gerontius, signs of the times?

Παναγια_αγ Σοφια Κωνσταντινουπολη_0_3cd6c_bd94e014_origElder: Signs, signs of the times can not see … You have to be sorry, sheep, not to understand what is going on … Many of the Fathers prayed, that live in our time, because it is — the time of the Confessors. We sleep in sandals. Soon be asked to Christians, as people asked for their political beliefs.
Nikolai: Zavedut whether we thing of Gerontius?
Elder: And, bravo! Case. Dimitri: Gerontius, Greece suffer?
Elder: Greece has passed a lot of storms, however, will still be! Greece in no way be affected, because God loves it. In Asia Minor, we had a lot of relics. On each piece of land you will find relics. Take the Hagia Sophia and the gates will open. These gates nobody knows … we shall see, however, what will? What then will be the minarets?
Nikolai: We destroyed them. Theodore: Will do their belfries.
Elder (Smiling): No, they will become the pillars for the Stylite, and will dangle beads to the bottom!
Dimitri: Leaders of this war are the Jews?
Elder: Yes, the Jews are. Many will promote and Dad, because all the children of the devil will be his (ie the Pope) and he will tell them to follow the Antichrist. Therefore, the holy Cosmas said: “Pope curse because it will cause. ” Holy Pope meant that particular time, which will help the Antichrist interned. Other Pope compared to him seem good. After this, the first time they hear and wonder, what is showed to them the love of the Elder, the group remained for some time silent and worried. The elder stood, and blessed them, and pointed the way so they do not get lost and get there. They left his cell Elder shocked, thinking that God prepareth in the future. They also thought that such apocalyptic events should never be forgotten. The names of these, and love your brothers asked to pray for them, but will find favor with God. Amen.

Now read the prophecy — how to read a newspaper: everything is clearly written.

“As long as there is faith and hope in God, a lot of people will rejoice. All that will happen in these years. The time has come.”

Help Saint George and you, Saint Cosmas,
to take the City and the Hagia Sophia!

αγια σοφια_Κωνσταντινούπολη_Constantinople_Константино́поль-empress_zoe_mosaic_hagia_sophia001 - CopyConstantinople will be liberated, will become Greek again. Hagia Sophia will open again. As long as there is faith and hope in God, a lot of people will rejoice. The time has come. St.Paisios of the Holy Mountain
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2020/05/28/44484/

I sent two birds to the Red Apple Tree… The Marbled King – ”O Marmaromenos Vasilias”
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2017/05/29/i-sent-two-birds-to-the-red-apple-tree-the-marbled-king-o-marmaromenos-vasilias/

Constantinople will be liberated, will become Greek again. As long as there is faith and hope in God, a lot of people will rejoice. The time has come. St.Paisios of the Holy Mountain
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2019/05/28/constantinople-will-be-liberated-will-become-greek-again-as-long-as-there-is-faith-and-hope-in-god-a-lot-of-people-will-rejoice-the-time-has-come-st-paisios-of-the-holy-mountain/

In Asia Minor, we had a lot of relics. On each piece of land you will find relics… our villages will be liberated, our enslaved homelands… faith and hope in God. Prophecy Saint Paisios the Athonite
https://iconandlight.wordpress.com/2021/05/18/58187/

Kontakion
(Plagal of the Fourth Tone)

O Champion General, we your faithful inscribe to you the prize of victory as gratitude for being rescued from calamity, O Theotokos. But since you have invincible power, free us from all kinds of perils so that we may cry out to you: Rejoice, O Bride unwedded.


On Holy and Great Friday, I will lock myself in my Kalyvi.. the only thing we should be doing is praying. St. Paisios of the Holy Mountain

Σταύρωσις_The Crucifixion_Greek-Byzantine-Orthodox-Icon_Распятие_ИИСУСА_ХРИСТА_ (1)On this day, Holy and Great Friday, we celebrate the awesome, holy, and saving Passion of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ: the spitting, the blows, the buffeting, the mockery, the reviling, the purple robe, the reed, the sponge, the vinegar, the nails, the spear, and above all, the Cross and Death which He condescended to endure willingly for our sakes. Also the saving confession on the cross of the grateful Robber who was crucified with Him.

Verses for the Crucifixion
Even dead on the Cross, You as God are living
O naked corpse and living God’s Logos.

For the grateful Robber
The Robber opened the locked gates of Eden
Using the key of his “Remember me” confession

Saint Paisios the Athonite
On Holy and Great Friday, I will lock myself in my Kalyvi. 

εμπαιγμός του Χριστού_Издевательства над Иисусом_Capture---- (1)If we want to really feel the significance of a feast day, we must abstain from all work. On Holy and Great Friday, for instance, the only thing we should be doing is praying. For people who live in the world, Holy Week is full of chores. On Great Friday, they will exchange good wishes “Happy Easter!” This is so wrong! On Holy and Great Friday, I will lock myself in my Kalyvi (monastic hut). Silence will be of great help to the soul. It’s very much like the time that follows the reception of the Great Schema, when a monk or nun will spend a whole week in silence to allow Divine Grace to fill the soul and to appreciate what has actually taken place. In silence, we get the opportunity to rest a little, to study and pray. When a good thought crosses our mind, when we examine ourselves, or say the Jesus Prayer, we will really come to feel something of the divine event celebrated on that day.

But for the true monks, every week is Holy Week. Every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday they experience Holy and Great Wednesday, Holy and Great Thursday, and Holy and Great Friday, that is, the days of the Passion of Christ, and every Sunday is for them Pascha, the Day of the Resurrection. Why must we wait until Holy Week to remember the Passion of Christ? Why should we be like people who live in the world? Can’t we realize what Christ is risen means, without eating lamb? You see, Christ said, Therefore be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh. [Mt 24:44] He did not say, “Get ready right now!” From the moment Christ said, “Be ready!” we must all, but especially monks and nuns, be constantly vigilant and ready.
We must study and live through these divine events all the time. When someone studies the events of each feast day, he will be naturally moved to pray with particular reverence. Then, during liturgical services, our mind will be absorbed by the events we are celebrating and we will follow with great reverence the chanting of hymns. When our mind thinks divine thoughts, we get to live through these holy events, and in this manner we are transformed.

When we work on holy days, we give the devil rights and then he gets involved in our affairs. The Psalm reads, Better is a little that the right eons has than the abundance of many wicked. [Ps 37:16] This is the kind of life that will receive a blessing. The rest is as worthy as shavings. But in order to live this way, we must have faith, philotimo and reverence, and put God in charge of our lives. Otherwise, we’ll never get the job right whether it is on holy days or on week days and we’ll end up spending our time on nonsense. And you’ll see that God will never abandon you. I have never worked on a Sunday or a feast day, and God has never left my side and has always blessed my work.

We should try to the best of our ability, not to devote ourselves to work at the expense of our spiritual life, which should always come first; this way, no matter what job we do, we’ll have the blessing of God. It’s our spiritual life that must come first, not material things.
If we put spiritual matters first, God will take care of us.

If we monks and nuns, who wear the monastic cassock, will not respect the Canons of the Church, and violate and dishonor Her age-old traditions, what possible meaning can our lives have?

In the old days, when farmers out in the fields heard the church bell announcing Vespers, they would do the sign of the cross and cease all work. The women of the neighbourhood would do the same. They would stand up, cross themselves and stop knitting or anything else they were doing. And God would bless them. They had their health and enjoyed life… Now they have abolished the feast days, distanced themselves from God and the Church, and not surprisingly, end up spending all the money they earn on doctors and hospitals…

I always tell people that if they want to avoid calamities in their life, they should stop working on Sundays and feast days. Work schedules could be arranged to keep these days free. Where there is spiritual sensitivity, everything is possible; solutions will be found. That’s really the issue here. Even if a particular solution is to our disadvantage, and we suffer a loss, in the end we’ll be twice blessed. But so many people fail to understand this. They do not even attend the Divine Liturgy. The Divine Liturgy sanctifies. If a Christian will not go to Church on Sunday, how will he be sanctified?
An Excerpt from With Pain and Love for Contemporary Man by Elder Paisios the Athonite 

St. Elder Sophrony of Essex

Whoever gives up his cross cannot be worthy of the Lord and become His disciple. The depths of the Divine Being are revealed to the Christian when he is crucified for our Savior. The Cross is the foundation of authentic theology.”

We must have the determination to overcome temptations comparable to the sorrows of the first Christians. All the witnesses of Christ’s Resurrection were martyred. We should be ready to endure any hardship

Ο Χριστός Ελκόμενος επί Σταυρού_24203_st.-nicholas-in-prilep-_Greek-Byzantine-Orthodox-Icon_Homily:
About the fulfillment of the great prophecy
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič

“Like a lamb led to the slaughter” (Isaiah 53:7).).

Throughout the many centuries of time the discerning Prophet Isaiah foresaw the awesome sacrifice on Golgotha. From afar he saw the Lord Jesus Christ led to the slaughter as a lamb is led to the slaughter. A lamb permits itself to be led to the laughter as it is led to the pasture: defenseless, without fear and without malice. Thus, Our Lord Christ was led to the slaughter without defense, without fear and without malice. Neither does He say: “Men, do not do this!” Neither does He question: “Why are you doing this to Me?” Neither does He condemn anyone. Neither does He protest. Neither does He become angry. Neither does He think evilly of His judges. When blood poured out over Him from the thorny wreath, He was silent. When His face was soiled from being spat upon, He was silent. When His Cross became heavy along the way, He endured. When His pain became unbearable on the Cross, He did not complain to men but to the Father. When He breathed His last, He directed His gaze and sigh toward heaven and not toward earth. For the source of His strength is heaven and not earth. The source of His consolation is in God and not in men. His true homeland is the Heavenly Kingdom and not the earthly kingdom.

“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (St. John 1:29 ). This was the first cry of St. John the Baptist when he saw the Lord. And, behold, now on Golgotha that prophecy was fulfilled. Behold, under the weight of the sins of the entire world, the Lamb of God lay slaughtered and lifeless.

O brethren, this is a costly sacrifice even for our sins. The blood of this sinless and meek Lamb was destined for all times and all generations, from the first to the last person on earth. Christ also felt the pains on the Cross for our sins even those of the present day. He also wept in the Garden of Gethsemane for our wickedness, our weakness and our sinfulness. He also destined His blood for us. Brethren let us not then despise this indescribable costly price by which we have been redeemed. Because of these sacrifices of Christ we, indeed, have some worth as people. Without these sacrifices, or if we disavow these sacrifices, our worth, by itself alone, is equal to nothing. It is equal to smoke without a flame or a cloud without light.

O Lord, unequaled in mercy, have mercy on us also!

To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
http://livingorthodoxfaith.blogspot.gr/2009/12/prologue-april-1-april-14.html 

Προσευχή Γεθσημανή-Ιησούς Χριστός_Jesus-Christ_Christ's Prayer in Gethsemane_молитва в Гефсимании-114026.b

Antiphon 1. Mode pl. 4.

The rulers of the people gathered together, against the Lord and against His Anointed.

They testify a lawless word against me. Lord, O Lord, do not forsake me.

Let us present our senses pure to Christ, and as His friends, let us lay down our lives for Him. Let us not, like Judas, be choked by the cares of life; but in our rooms let us cry, “Our Father, who art in heaven, deliver us from evil.”

Glory. Mode pl. 1

Come, O Christ-bearing people, let us contemplate how Judas the Betrayer and the unlawful priests conspired against our Savior. Today, they declared the immortal Logos as deserving death. They delivered Him to Pilate and had Him crucified on The Place of the Skull. And yet, as the Savior was suffering these things, He cried aloud and said, “Father, forgive them this sin, so that the Gentiles may come to know my resurrection from the dead.”

Glory. Both now. Mode pl. 2

Today, He who suspended the earth in the waters is suspended on a cross. (3) The King of the Angels wears a crown of thorns. He who wraps the sky in clouds is wrapped in a fake purple robe. He who freed Adam in the Jordan accepts to be slapped. The Bridegroom of the Church is fixed with nails to the cross. The Son of the Virgin is pierced with a spear. We worship Your Passion, O Christ. (3) Show us also Your glorious Resurrection.

By Your enormous and all-infinite compassion for us, O Christ God, have mercy on us. Amen.