Thursday, July 4, 2019

Saints - English Orthodox Web 12


ORTHODOX WEB


Saints

English Orthodox Web 12

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY – MULTILINGUAL ORTHODOXY – EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH – ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΙΑ – ​SIMBAHANG ORTODOKSO NG SILANGAN – 东正教在中国 – ORTODOXIA – 日本正教会 – ORTODOSSIA – อีสเทิร์นออร์ทอดอกซ์ – ORTHODOXIE – 동방 정교회 – PRAWOSŁAWIE – ORTHODOXE KERK -​​ නැගෙනහිර ඕර්තඩොක්ස් සභාව​ – ​СРЦЕ ПРАВОСЛАВНО – BISERICA ORTODOXĂ –​ ​GEREJA ORTODOKS – ORTODOKSI – ПРАВОСЛАВИЕ – ORTODOKSE KIRKE – CHÍNH THỐNG GIÁO ĐÔNG PHƯƠNG​ – ​EAGLAIS CHEARTCHREIDMHEACH​ – ​ ՈՒՂՂԱՓԱՌ ԵԿԵՂԵՑԻՆ​​

ORTHODOX WEB: http://orthodoxweb.blogspot.com - Abel-Tasos Gkiouzelis - Email: gkiouz.abel@gmail.com

♫•(¯`v´¯) ¸.•*¨*
◦.(¯`:☼:´¯)
..✿.(.^.)•.¸¸.•`•.¸¸✿
✩¸ ¸.•¨ ​

http://englishorthodoxweb3.blogspot.com - Conversions to Orthodoxy
http://englishorthodoxweb7.blogspot.com - Conversions to Orthodoxy
http://englishorthodoxweb8.blogspot.com - Conversions to Orthodoxy
http://englishorthodoxweb9.blogspot.com - Conversions to Orthodoxy
http://englishorthodoxweb10.blogspot.com - Conversions to Orthodoxy

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Quotes of Saints

* "Christ has made my soul beautiful with the jewels of grace and virtue. I belong to Him Whom the Angels serve".
—Saint Agnes the Virgin-Martyr of Rome

* "So I live among barbarous tribes, a stranger and exile for the love of God".
—Saint Patrick of Ireland

“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”
-St. Jerome

“Since Christ Himself has said, “This is My Body” who shall dare to doubt that It is His Body?”
-St. Cyril of Jerusalem

“Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”
-St. Augustine

“Our hearts were made for You, O Lord, and they are restless until they rest in you.”
-St. Augustine of Hippo

“Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you!”
-St. Augustine

“O Master, make me chaste, but not yet!”
-St. Augustine

“’Eat my flesh,’ [Jesus] says, ‘and drink my blood.’ The Lord supplies us with these intimate nutrients, he delivers over his flesh and pours out his blood, and nothing is lacking for the growth of his children”
-St. Clement of Alexandria

“Priests have received a power which God has given neither to angels nor to archangels. It was said to them: ‘Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose, shall be loosed.’ Temporal rulers have indeed the power of binding; but they can only bind the body. Priests, in contrast, can bind with a bond which pertains to the soul itself and transcends the very heavens. Did [God] not give them all the powers of heaven?…What greater power is there than this? The Father has given all judgment to the Son. And now I see the Son placing all this power in the hands of men. They are raised to this dignity as if they were already gathered up to heaven”
-St. John Chrysostom

“Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.”
-St. Ignatius of Antioch

“Give something, however small, to the one in need. For it is not small to one who has nothing. Neither is it small to God, if we have given what we could.”
-St. Gregory Nazianzen

“Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort me and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.”
-St. Patrick

“I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I desire his blood, which is love incorruptible”
-St. Ignatius of Antioch

“Whether, therefore, we receive what we ask for, or do not receive it, let us still continue steadfast in prayer. For to fail in obtaining the desires of our heart, when God so wills it, is not worse than to receive it; for we know not as He does, what is profitable to us.”
-St. John Chrysostom

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The Martyrology of Oengus the Culdee: 
Félire Óengusso Céli dé



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Saint Verena of Switzerland, from Egypt (+320)

September 14

Saint Verena (Thebes, ca. 260 – Zurzach, ca. 320) according to tradition, she was associated with the Theban Legion and died on September 14, 320.

Tradition states that she was brought up in the 3rd century in the Theban region (modern day Luxor in Upper Egypt) in a noble Christian family.

The name Verena means “the good fruit”. According to tradition, Verena was of a noble Christian family from the village of Garagous, near Luxor. Her parents sent her to Sherimon, Bishop of Beni Suef, to be instructed in the Christian faith, after which he baptized her. She was a relative of Saint Victor (or alternately, Saint Maurice) of the Theban Legion. As soldiers’ relatives were allowed to accompany them in order to look after them and take care of their wounds, Verena accompanied the legion on its mission to Rhaetia (part of modern-day Switzerland).

Verena was still in Milan when word was received that Saint Maurice, Saint Victor and the other members of the Theban Legion, who had proceeded north, were martyred. Verena went to Agaunum (modern Saint-Maurice) in Switzerland to venerate them. First, she led the life of a hermit in a place called Solothurn, from there she went to Koblenz, but later moved into a cave near present-day Zurich. As a hermit, Verena fasted and prayed continuously. Several miracles were attributed to her intercession. Verena was a spiritual counselor for young girls and due to her expertise as a nurse used to look after their physical health.

As a result of her fame, the local governor arrested her and sent her to jail, where Saint Maurice appeared to her to console and strengthen her. After she was released from jail, she continued her good works.

Due to her, many converted to Christianity. Saint Verena fed the poor and nursed the sick, especially those suffering from leprosy. She used to wash their wounds and put ointments on them, not fearing infection. She died in Switzerland in 320.

The Verena Minster church was built over the grave of Saint Verena in a Roman cemetery. She is one of the most revered saints in Switzerland.

She is often portrayed with either bread, or a jar of water in one hand, and a comb in the other, symbols of her care for the poor and lepers.

Source:


EDELWEISS OF MY HEART

ORTHODOX SWITZERLAND

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PDF Books and Quotes of Saint Paisios of Mount Athos, Greece (+1994) in 13 Languages

English Books:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXeGg5OGRvU21Sbmc
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXMVVDZW9FSzhVUjA
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXQV9VWFNpUkVITE0
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXQzJqdVlzSHpqTjg

French Books:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXYml1Sy1iMk1JMm8
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXRkxRbzVSZXY0SVU
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXNXdyYlNMT1RjUkk
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXVm5iS2JMU0liZVU
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXTllPX3hOUmxFbXc
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXaTluSnNtbGprd0E
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXOEhGQkZsXzdqNTg
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXVW5tcnRtNjdtc2M
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXOVY2VGRVcE5jNlU
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXcVEyN2hQY3ZtMUE

German Books:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXbHpoTnpkTjZVeGM
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXOTZ6TjIxd215dUk
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXVzNvMVZGWDFqLVE
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXWGNZUXBETUdLaDQ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXRlF6RWd3Y21aczA
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXQmkzMmhTUlZYNms
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXMi01TXZCVXY3aDg
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXYW9kNmNqR01pNXM
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXSEkxcVhrZDV2UjQ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXcE1uS2xjTF9WOEk
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXTDBvdWpZaDNsVUk
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXYV8tOU9HYzhSVkU
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXRUpRWXlRbmlIbDQ

Greek Books:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXcnRIY1U1YlIzSEE
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXakhyWXRKaWZ2UnM

Spanish Books:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXSU9tVUVMM2tTcGc
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXaUt5ZHpLY3VNVFk
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXSGJQSURsWUlKbWs

Italian Books:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXRHZyOWRLYnc4Z3c
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXVERpWkZMSl9iam8
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXb2VFNGZiQ2l0c3M
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXSXFoRnJQbDIzRkk
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXcXFjdGg2Szk1ZzA
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXOHNJSkJsdkZFbGc
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXdVlPd0lGY1IxUDA
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXdG03Z0E4akpNMkU
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXNGdyVktud25Lejg
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXMDlMcFh5SjNiNUE
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXQ1FiM1NUSlg5Vnc
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXdnFyY0w5d1g2LU0
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXaTlIMEtLX0prOU0
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXQkJHZXJ0NVNtWU0
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXS21fMkpWWTY2dm8
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXRmhtamhOVUdia2M
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXM3R6RVpTaUVJT0U

Persian Book:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXWHctR2xPVHdvSDA

Russian Books:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXSFI5cnRDcTdXRUk
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXUnpPeEY2djVScFE
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXRS1Sb2JNYjZGQ00
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXc2hyZ0pmMFJpNzA
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXbG8zYlJuOUNmdDQ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXMkFFcmlxNFI1REk
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXQ1VKRE5xSTF0aDQ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXc2JMaU9tWERZSTQ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXeUk4RFBrTDQtbGc
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXX2dkTmNndVdSSzA
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXc25hVWVYNDNRbjg

Serbian Books:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXZ1BPejkyZ0dWd1U
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXSHJFVkN3OGcyTWM
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXaVlIbzVhYzEwU2c
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXY1JzT0IxRnlleXc
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXVjVMZDVuaEVfZVE

Albanian Books:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXcnJ6RkpmSS1kbGc
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXOFg1S2Flei16UGM

Arabic Book:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXd0tRdGMzWGsxd0E

Bulgarian Books:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXeko0b1NOSFRsYzg
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXcGptdTRWZGlkdW8
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXc1k3RXEtZC1iQkk
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXaWdITVpyRDA0Nzg

Turkish Books:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXRlJIVGtJTlFuYWM
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXdVBkZVVHN3VQTG8
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXeVV4SGUzcnRwSjA
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXUjBRVW16eXctbDA
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXeTEzMVh1TjFHZzQ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzdlO0t7MOiXUjV2R253c25nNjQ

Source:

http://paisiosekklisaki.blogspot.com

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Saint Kiara (St Ciara / Cera) 
of Kilkeary, Ireland (+679)

January 5, March 15 and December 15

Saint Cera (St Kiara) of Ireland (alternately Chera, Chier, Ciara, Cyra, Keira, Keara, Kiera, Cier, Ciar) was an abbess in the 7th century who died in 679. Her history is probably commingled with another Cera (alternately Ciar, Ciara) who lived in the 6th century. However, some authors maintain that monastic mistakes account for references to Cera in the 6th century or that a single Cera had an exceptionally long life span.

There are two stories connected with the saint(s). In the first story, Cera’s prayers saved an Irish town from a foul smelling fire. When a noxious blaze broke out in “Muscraig, in Momonia,” St. Brendan instructed the inhabitants to seek Cera’s prayers. They followed his instructions, Cera prayed in response to their supplications, and the fire disappeared. Since St. Brendan died in 577, this story likely refers to an earlier Cera. “Muscraig, in Momonia” may refer to Muskerry, an area outside of Cork. “Momonia” refers to southern Ireland in at least one ancient map.

The other story relates how St. Cera established a nunnery called Teych-Telle around the year 625. Cera was the daughter of Duibhre (or Dubreus) reportedly in the blood line of the kings of Connor (or Conaire). She, along with 5 other virgins asked Saint Fintan Munnu for a place to serve God. He and his monks gave the women their abbey in Heli (or Hele). Heli may have been in County Westmeath. He blessed Cera, and instructed her to name the place after St. Telle who had given birth to four children, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the plain of Miodhluachra that day.

St. Cera eventually returned to her own province and founded another monastery, Killchree, which she governed until her death in 679. “Cill Chre” means “the Cell of Cere, Ciara, Cera or Cyra.”

St. Cera’s feast day is March 15, and a festival on July 2 also commemorated her. Both dates are reported to have been the day of her death. Statements also show December 15.

Source:

http://irelandofmyheart.wordpress.com

IRELAND OF MY HEART

Orthodox Ireland

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Saint Jacob Netsvetov of Alaska (+1865)

The evangelizer of the Yup’ik Eskimo and Athabascan peoples of Alaska

July 26

Saint Jacob Netsvetov, Enlightener of Alaska, was a native of the Aleutian Islands who became a priest of the Orthodox Church and continued the missionary work of St. Innocent among his and other Alaskan people. His feast day is celebrated on the day of his repose, July 26.

Father Jacob was born in 1802 on Atka Island, part of the Aleutian Island chain in Alaska. His father, Yegor Vasil’evich Netsvetov, was Russian from Tobolsk, Russia, and his mother, Maria Alekscevna, was an Aleut from Atka Island. Jacob was the eldest of four children who survived infancy. The others were Osip (Joseph), Elena, and Antony. Although not well off, Yegor and Maria did all they could to provide for their children and prepare them to live their lives. Osip and Antony were able to study at the St. Petersburg Naval Academy and then were able to become a naval officer and ship builder, respectively. Elena married a respected clerk with the Russian-American Company. Jacob chose a life with the Church and enrolled in the Irkutsk Theological Seminary.

On October 1, 1825, Jacob was tonsured a sub-deacon. He married Anna Simeonovna, a Russian woman perhaps of a Creole background as was he, and then in 1826 he graduated from the seminary with certificates in history and theology. With graduation he was ordained a deacon on October 31, 1826 and assigned to the Holy Trinity-St. Peter Church in Irkutsk. Two years later, Archbishop Michael ordained Jacob to the holy priesthood on March 4, 1828. Archbishop Michael had earlier ordained John Veniaminov (St. Innocent) to the priesthood. With his elevation to the priesthood, Father Jacob began to yearn to return to his native Alaska to preach the Word of God.

Upon departing, Archbishop Michael gave Father Jacob two antimensia, one for use in the new church that Father Jacob planned to build on Atka, and the other for use in Father Jacob’s missionary travels. After a molieben, Father Jacob and his party set off for Alaska on May 1, 1828. The travelers included Father Jacob, Anna his wife, and his father Yegor who had been tonsured reader for the new Atka Church. This journey, which was always hard, took over year to complete, which was completed on June 15, 1829.

Father Jacob’s new parish was a challenge. The Atka “parish” covered most of the islands and land surrounding the Bering Sea: Amchitka, Attu, Copper, Bering, and Kurile Islands. But, he was to meet the challenge as clothed in his priestly garments, he actively pursued his sacred ministry. To his parishioners, his love for God and them was evident in everything he did as he made his appearances while enduring the harsh weather, illness, hunger, and exhaustion. For him life was Christ. Being bi-lingual and bi-cultural, Father Jacob was uniquely able to care for the souls of his community.

Since St. Nicholas Church was not yet available, Father Jacob built a large tent in which to hold his services, and after the church was completed he took the tent with him on his missionary travels. By the end of 1829, six months after arriving at Akta Father Jacob had recorded 16 baptisms, 442 chrismations, 53 marriages, and eight funerals.

With the completion of the church on Atka, Father Jacob turned to education of the children, teaching them to read and write both Russian and Unangan Aleut. Initially the Russian-American Company helped support the school, but in 1841 the school was re-organized as a parish school. Many of his students would prove to be distinguished Aleut leaders. While living in the north areas was difficult, Father Jacob was active in the intellectual life as well; in addition to his own subsistence needs, he was active in collecting and preparing fish and marine animal specimens for the museums in Moscow and St. Petersburg. He corresponded with St Innocent on linguistics and translation matters. He worked on an adequate Unangan-Aleut alphabet and translations of the Holy Scriptures and other church publications. In addition to praises from St. Innocent he began to receive awards for his services. In time he was elevated to Archpriest and received the Order of St. Anna.

Father Jacob’s life was not without its personal sufferings. 1836 and 1837 were to bring successively the death of his beloved wife Anna in March 1836, the destruction by fire of his home in July 1836, and the death of his father, Yegor, in 1837. After considering the message of these misfortunes, he petitioned his bishop to return to Irkutsk so that he could enter a monastic life. A year later he request was granted contingent on the arrival of his replacement. But none came. Soon Bishop Innocent arrived and invited Father Jacob to accompany him on a trip to Kamchatka. During the voyage Bishop Innocent seemed to have accomplished three things with Father Jacob: with the healing salve of the Holy Spirit provided words of comfort, dissuaded Father Jacob from entering a monastery, and revealed to the saintly priest the Savior’s true plan for his life that was for him to preach Christ to those deep in the Alaskan interior.

On December 30, 1844, St. Innocent appointed him head of the new Kvikhpak Mission to bring the light of Christ to the people along the Yukon River. With two young Creole assistants, Innokentii Shayashnikov and Konstantin Lukin, and his nephew Vasili Netsvetov, Father Jacob established his headquarters in the Yup’ik Eskimo village of Ikogmiute. From there, now known as Russian Mission, he traveled to the settlements for hundreds of miles along the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers, visiting the inhabitants of settlements along the way. For the next twenty years he learned new languages, met new people and cultures, invented another alphabet, and built more churches and communities. At the invitation of the native leaders he traveled as far as the Innoko River baptizing hundreds from many, and often formerly hostile, tribes. He continued even as his health deteriorated.

Yet the devil’s presence came to stir up spurious and slanderous charges against him in 1863. To clear the air his Bishop Peter called him to Sitka where he was cleared of all the charges. As his health worsened he remained in Sitka serving at the Tlingit chapel until his death on July 26, 1864. He was 60 years old.

During his last missionary travels in the Kuskokwim/Yukon delta region he is remembered for baptizing 1,320 people and for distinguishing himself as the evangelizer of the Yup’ik Eskimo and Athabascan peoples.

Source:

http://alaskaofmyheart.wordpress.com

ALASKA OF MY HEART

ORTHODOX ALASKA

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Saint John Karastamatis
of Alaska and Santa Cruz, California, USA, 
from Greece

A novel figure of Orthodox Christianity

Martyred by the Satanists in 1985

May 19

The Holy Martyr, Father John of Santa Cruz, was born in 1937 in the Greek village of Karastamatis from the Island of Andros. At the age of 20 years he leaves for America and later started a family. He is ordained priest and for 10 years he ministers with apostolic zeal many churches in Alaska.

In 1981, father John came to the Church of Prophet Elijah in Santa Cruz,CA which he restored and renewed. Under his ministry, this church is soon to become the center of Orthodox catechesis throughout this region where many people were alienated from God and the Church.

Father John was simple in conduct, loved his parishioners and his door was always open for everyone, even atmidnightif he was called. He preached with great fervor. Fr. John loved God and desired for everyone to love Him. He would go to parks and public streets to talk to young people who knew nothing about Christ or were Jews.

In his native village from theIslandofAndros, a miracle occurred involving the white lilies: considered to be the flowers of the Virgin Mary. When the lilies bloom, they get uprooted and are placed in the Church before the miraculous icon of the Mother of God. Later of course, the leaves and flowers wither and fall, leaving only a dry stem. The dry stalks, however, are left like this near the icon of the Virgin and during the Dormition fast, the lilies begin to sprout and flourish thus at the feast of the Dormition, the lilies are already blossomed. This phenomena is repeated each year.

Father John, when he was growing up on the island of Andros knew about this miracle. So he went to the Monastery of St Nicholas from the island and asked Abbot Dorotheos for few dried lilies. He took few dried stalks with him toAmericaand placed them in the church of Santa Cruz at the icon of the Blessed Virgin. The stalks have miraculously blossomed and flourished during the feast of Assumption. This miracle had strengthen the faith of many, to have more reverence to the Blessed Virgin.

Father John was a sensitive and beautiful soul. At the instruction of Elder Dorotheos, he wrote poems and religious hymns. He was deeply touched by the miracles of the Virgin and the lives of the saints.

As a small child, he loved to go to St. Nicholas monastery on the island of Andros, saint whom he loved dearly. An icon of the Virgin from this monastery began to shed blood and myrrh and Father John began to talk about the miracles of Our Lady with greater divine zeal and many people of different faiths become Orthodox.

His preaching has angered some who began to threaten him by phone and letters, to cease preaching. But Father John became even more passionate about his ministry saying: “As long as my eyes have tears, I will preach Christ and Orthodoxy.”

He advised the faithful to guard themselves against the pitfalls of the Antichrist and not to take the mark. Then the telephone threats on his life become even more intense, but Father John did not worry for anything.

In the evening of May 17, 1985 he telephoned the Abbot Dorotheos and asked him about the miracles of the myrrh streaming icon of Blessed Virgin – Myrrhovlytissa, because he wanted to preach a sermon on her for the following Sunday.

The next day on May 18, Father John was at home alone with her son Photius. The presbytera (his wife) and their daughter Mary were away from home. The boy went out with his friends, and Father John left to the church to finish his sermon.

The boy returned home later that evening and seeing that his father was missing anxiously went to look for him at the Church.

There, the boy was faced with a terrible sight: his father was found on the floor slaughtered and unrecognizable… he had been hit in the head with a hammer and his whole body was butchered with knifes. As the police had later discovered, because father John didn’t die right away, the criminals took the cross he was wearing around the neck and hanged him with its chain. The blood poured from his wounds and flooded the floor of the Holy Shrine. The Satanists used his blood to write their slogans and the mark 666 on the walls of the Church. The blessed father John suffered martyrdom in the very place where he was photographed with the cross in his hand, almost prophesizing of what would follow.

Before his martyric death, three wonderful things had happened:

The blossoming lilies of the Virgin had wilted at once, one week before his martyrdom and they had never blossomed since.
2. The Icon of the Blessed Virgin wept, and her traces of tears can still be seen on her image.
3. On three consecutive Sundays before his martyrdom, during the Divine Liturgy, the boy while giving him warm water (to prepare the Holy Communion) saw a strange phenomenon, his father’ face was shining scattered in rays of light and darkness, but father John strictly told him not to reveal anything.
The police searched for the killers and found three people: a couple and the son of the man with another woman. They were priests and worshipers of Satan. They drank cobra venom while they were arrested and two of them died and the third: the young men lost his mind and could not testify.

Because Fr John face was disfigured, his relics could not be displayed at the funeral, his body was covered in father’ usual gold-vestments and the coffin sealed.

When Abbot Dorotheos learned about the martyrdom of Father John, wrote to his presbytera asking to send his priestly vestments when they celebrated together the feast of Saint Dorotheos at the Monastery in 1981. The time passed but he received no response from father John’s family.
On the eve July 4, at the monastery of St. Nicholas from Andros, a athonite vigil was celebrated in honor of St. Athanasius of Mt. Athos and many pilgrims have come from Athens. As the vigil was about to end, the monastery bells began to beat themselves as for a solemn feast. They stopped for awhile, but the bells started ringing again so harmoniously that everyone was astonished.

Seized with fear and awe, the faithful started to pray the paraclesis of St. Nicholas, waiting for a miracle to happen. That afternoon, elder Dorotheos got a call from Mary, the daughter of Father John, who had come specifically to the monastery baring the vestments of her father. She brought them into the monastery and were received with joy by all pilgrims. The bells were ringing in the monastery that morning exactly at the time when the ship entered the harbor caring the Martyr vestments.

The apparitions of blessed father John after his martyric death are many.

On the eve of the feast of St. Nicholas, in 1986, abbot Dorotheos together with several women was preparing the necessary things for the monastery patronal feast. At one point, they saw the blessed father John walking through the monastery gardens and heading towards them. They all were frightened and began to shout: “Papa Iani!” Then he disappeared from their sight. Immediately after this to their surprise, came the postman with a package from Switzerland containing a wooden carved image (icon) with Father John, from some Russian believers that honored him as saint. Father John had asked that his icon may be spread to all Christians so they may learn about his martyrdom and of missionary work.

In February 1987, the abbot Dorotheos went to Switzerland for a surgery. While talking to the faithful there, about Fr. John and his martyrdom, he appeared to them, he blessed them, then he disappeared from their sight.

Before his martyrdom, when Fr John served in Andros with the abbot Dorotheos, he donated to the monastery his epitrahyllum (priest stole). Elder Dorotheos when he went toSwitzerland, took it with him a piece of the stole spreading ineffable aroma to those present.

In Orthodox America and the Russian Church Abroad, Fr. John is honored/venerated as a Saint by the faithful. A booklet with a service to the saint has been published. The events and details on Fr John’ martyrdom were provided to the abbot Dorotheos, by Fr. John’ daughter: Maria.

His memory is celebrated on May 19, on the eve of the feast of the translation of Saint Nicholas holy relics, because as a child Fr. John had great devotion to St. Nicholas.

His blessing be to all of us. Amen.

“The OSIOS FILOTHEOS OF PAROS, NO 17, May-August 2006, Thessaloniki” by the blog author.

Source:

http://orthodoxword.wordpress.com

http://orthodoxword.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/the-new-hieromartyr-john-karastamatis-of-santa-cruz/

ORTHODOX WORD
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Saint Panagis Basias the Fool for Christ, on Kefallonia Island, Greece (+1888) and the woman who revolted against God

A certain mother on the island of Kefallonia, Greece, who had just lost her two sons, one after the other, was totally devastated and revolted against God. Saint Panagis Basias ran to her house but as she refused to open the door cursing him, he opened her door by making the sign of the Cross on it. When he entered the living room , the portraits of the deceased were on the wall.The two faces came to life and they drew pistols and killed each other. Saint Panagis revealed to their mother afterwards that they had fallen in love with the same woman and they were about to die in this manner, had God not intervened to save them from this greater disaster.

Sources:

https://foolforchristfullofchrist.wordpress.com

FOOL FOR CHRIST – FULL OF CHRIST

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Saint Begnet of Ireland and her Holy Well in Dalkey Island, Ireland (7th century)

November 12

Saint Begnet (also Begneta, Begnete, Begnait or Becnait) is a patron saint of Dalkey, Ireland. The name Begnet is most likely a diminutive form of Beg or Bec. She is noted as a “virgin, not a martyr”. St Begnet was an Irish princess who lived in the 7th century. Her feast day is November 12. Two ruined churches in Dalkey are named for Begnet, one on Dalkey Island, and the other near the 15th-century stone townhouse now serving as Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre, in the area known as Kilbegnet. A holy well located near the martello tower on the island is also associated with her.

St Begnet’s father was Colman, the son of Aedh in the parish of Kilbegnatan (Kilbegnet or Cill Becnait). Like many other female virgin saints, she is described as beautiful and desirable, but she refused her numerous suitors in favor of religious devotion. Her social status is sometimes given as “Irish princess”, and thus she would have been a valuable bride. She is said variously to have lived as an anchorite or to have served as the first abbess of nuns on a small island off the coast of England.

She gave her name to the two churches in the area and Dalkey town and surrounding area was for many centuries known as Kilbegnet. Perhaps she came from Dalkey, or perhaps she sailed from here to pioneer her religious order. It may also be possible the churches were dedicated to her memory by missionaries, spreading the faith after her death.

As a child, St Begnet was visited by an angel who gave her a bracelet inscribed with a cross as a mark of her vocation.

St Begnet grew up to become a beautiful woman and had many suitors. Her parents arranged her marriage to the son of the King of Norway. But still dedicated to the vows she had taken, Begnet had no wish to take a husband. To avoid marriage, she left home, leaving everything but the bracelet given to her by the Angel. She found passage in a small boat and sailed to Northumbria on the West Coast of England. There she was received into the Church by Bishop Aidan and became the first abbess of nuns. Her convent was constantly plundered by pirates, so after several years Begnet moved inland towards Cumberland.

Her bracelet became an object of veneration after her death.

The 9th century granite church named after the virgin Saint, St Begnet, probably replaced an earlier wooden church dating back to the Early Christian period. The Nave dates to the 10th century and later the Bellcote and Chancel were added in the 13th century. Inside the Nave on the eastern side of the doorway is a Stoup and there is an Ambry built into the southern wall of the chancel. Scattered throughout the graveyard are a number of decorated headstones and on the northern side of the church is a rare Tau Cross.

In the Dalkey heritage centre there is the Rathdown Slab. The slab was found in the graveyard surrounding St Begnet’s Church in 1855. The Rathdown Slabs are usually linked to churches dated to the 11th and 12th century. The first slabs were recorded by Austin Cooper in 1781 and since then the number of viking slabs has risen to around 30. This particular slab is one of the finest examples and standing at about 5 ft tall one of the largest. It is thought the slab may have been decorated originally with viking art such as the cup marks, but that a number of christian symbols such as the large ring with a cross in the centre, may have been added later. Other examples have been recorded at Kilgobbin Church, Rathmichael Church, Whitechurch, Ballyman, Kiltiernan, Tully Church, Killegar and more recently in Dundrum.

Source:

http://saintsbookorthodoxy.wordpress.com

SAINTS BOOK - ORTHODOXY


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Icon corner

The icon corner is a small worship space prepared in the homes of Eastern Orthodox Christians.

The Book of Acts and the Epistles of the Apostle Paul record that in the early Church, Christians used to meet in the homes of the faithful. (Acts 2:46, Acts 20:7-12, 1 Corinthians 16:19, etc.) This tradition of the “House Church” continues to this day in Eastern Christianity. The home is considered to be a microcosm of the Church. The parents (both the husband and the wife) are the “clergy” of the house church, and the children are the “laity”. The wedding ceremony (“crowning”) is analogous to Ordination, and the house is blessed with a rite that is based upon the Consecration of a Church. Once a year, the priest will come to bless the house with Theophany Water.

An Orthodox Christian is expected to pray constantly. According to Bishop Kallistos Ware, “In Orthodox spirituality, there is no separation between liturgy and private devotion”. Thus the house, just like the Temple (church building), is considered to be a consecrated place, and the center of worship in the house is the icon corner.

An icon corner is normally oriented to face east. It is often located in a corner to eliminate worldly distractions and allow prayer to be more concentrated. Here is where the icons that the family owns should be located, normally including at least icons of Christ, the Theotokos, and the Patron Saint(s) of the family. An oil lamp normally hangs in front of the icons. The careful trimming of the lamp to keep it burning at all times is interpreted as symbolic of the attentive daily care faithful Christians should take over their souls. Relics of saints (if the family possesses any) and a Gospel Book and a blessing cross would be kept there, as well as incense, holy water, palms and pussywillow from Palm Sunday, candles from Pascha (Easter), and other sacred items, as well as a personal Commemoration Book (containing the names of family and loved ones, both living and departed, to be remembered in prayer).

Ideally, the icon corner is located so that it is visible when one first enters the house from the main entrance. Traditionally, when first entering the house, an Orthodox Christian would venerate the icons before greeting the members of the house.

A traditional Orthodox family will gather together every day for morning and evening prayers. Sometimes, at the end of the prayers, the head of the household will take the hand censer and cense the icons and all of the members of the household.

Often, in addition to the icon corner, a family will hang a small “portal icon” (usually of the Virgin and Christ Child) by the door, which is venerated by family and guests whenever going in or out of the house.

Source:

http://easternorthodoxchurch.blogspot.com

EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH

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Saint Alberic of Utrecht, 
the Netherlands (+784)

August 21 & November 14

Saint Alberic of Utrecht (died 21 August 784) was a Benedictine monk and bishop of Utrecht, in what is today the Netherlands.

Saint Alberic was the nephew of Saint Gregory of Utrecht. Little is known of Saint Alberic before he joined the Order of Saint Benedict. It is known that he served as prior of the Cathedral of Saint Martin. When Saint Gregory died in 775, Saint Alberic succeeded his uncle as the bishop of Utrecht. His bishopric was noted for the success of its mission among the pagan Teutons, as well as the reorganization of the school of Utrecht. In addition, Saint Alberic directed the mission of Ludger in Ostergau.

Saint Alberic was a good friend of Alcuin, a teacher and poet from York, England, preeminent among the scholars of that era. This relationship likely speaks to Saint Alberic’s own intelligence, as the saint has been noted for his “encyclopedic knowledge of the faith”.

Source:

http://netherlandsofmyheart.wordpress.com

NETHERLANDS OF MY HEART

ORTHODOX NETHERLANDS

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Saint Martyr Longinus the Centurion, who stood at the Cross of the Lord (+1st century)

October 16

The Holy Martyr Longinus the Centurion, a Roman soldier, served in Judea under the command of the Governor, Pontius Pilate. When our Savior Jesus Christ was crucified, it was the detachment of soldiers under the command of Longinus which stood watch on Golgotha, at the very foot of the holy Cross. Longinus and his soldiers were eyewitnesses of the final moments of the earthly life of the Lord, and of the great and awesome portents that appeared at His death. These events shook the centurion’s soul. Longinus believed in Christ and confessed before everyone, “Truly this was the Son of God” (Mt. 27:54).

According to Church Tradition, Longinus was the soldier who pierced the side of the Crucified Savior with a spear, and received healing from an eye affliction when blood and water poured forth from the wound.

After the Crucifixion and Burial of the Savior, Longinus stood watch with his company at the Sepulchre of the Lord. These soldiers were present at the All-Radiant Resurrection of Christ. The Jews bribed them to lie and say that His disciples had stolen away the Body of Christ, but Longinus and two of his comrades refused to be seduced by the Jewish gold. They also refused to remain silent about the miracle of the Resurrection.

Having come to believe in the Savior, the soldiers received Baptism from the apostles and decided to leave military service. Saint Longinus left Judea to preach about Jesus Christ the Son of God in his native land (Cappadocia), and his two comrades followed him.

The fiery words of those who had actually participated in the great events in Judea swayed the hearts and minds of the Cappadocians; Christianity began quickly to spread throughout the city and the surrounding villages. When they learned of this, the Jewish elders persuaded Pilate to send a company of soldiers to Cappadocia to kill Longinus and his comrades. When the soldiers arrived at Longinus’s village, the former centurion himself came out to meet the soldiers and took them to his home. After a meal, the soldiers revealed the purpose of their visit, not knowing that the master of the house was the very man whom they were seeking. Then Longinus and his friends identified themselves and told the startled soldiers to carry out their duty.

The soldiers wanted to let the saints go and advised them to flee, but they refused to do this, showing their firm intention to suffer for Christ. The holy martyrs were beheaded, and their bodies were buried at the place where the saints were martyred. The head of Saint Longinus, however, was sent to Pilate.

Pilate gave orders to cast the martyr’s head on a trash-heap outside the city walls. After a while a certain blind widow from Cappadocia arrived in Jerusalem with her son to pray at the holy places, and to ask that her sight be restored. After becoming blind, she had sought the help of physicians to cure her, but all their efforts were in vain.

The woman’s son became ill shortly after reaching Jerusalem, and he died a few days later. The widow grieved for the loss of her son, who had served as her guide.

Saint Longinus appeared to her in a dream and comforted her. He told her that she would see her son in heavenly glory, and also receive her sight. He told her to go outside the city walls and there she would find his head in a great pile of refuse. Guides led the blind woman to the rubbish heap, and she began to dig with her hands. As soon as she touched the martyr’s head, the woman received her sight, and she glorified God and Saint Longinus.

Taking up the head, she brought it to the place she was staying and washed it. The next night, Saint Longinus appeared to her again, this time with her son. They were surrounded by a bright light, and Saint Longinus said, “Woman, behold the son for whom you grieve. See what glory and honor are his now, and be consoled. God has numbered him with those in His heavenly Kingdom. Now take my head and your son’s body, and bury them in the same casket. Do not weep for your son, for he will rejoice forever in great glory and happiness.”

The woman carried out the saint’s instructions and returned to her home in Cappadocia. There she buried her son and the head of Saint Longinus. Once, she had been overcome by grief for her son, but her weeping was transformed into joy when she saw him with Saint Longinus. She had sought healing for her eyes, and also received healing of her soul.

Source:

http://oca.org

ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA

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The 9 Saints nonuplet sisters Virgin-Martyrs of Portugal: Saints Wilgefortis (Liberata) the crusified, Marina, Quiteria, Genibera, Eufemia, Marciana, Germana, Basilia & Victoria the Virgin-Martyrs in Mediterranean (+139) 
and Saint Ovidius 3rd Bishop of Braga, Portugal (+135)

Saint Virgin-Martyr Wilgefortis (Liberata) the crusified in some icons show her with a beard in a memory of Virgin Mary’s miracle to avoid to marry the pagan king

The names of the 9 Virgin-Martyrs from Portugal:

Saint Wilgefortis or Liberata or Eutropia the crucified, Virgin-Martyr in Aguas Santas, Spain (July 20, +139)

Saint Marina or Margarida, Virgin-Martyr in Aguas Santas, Spain  (January 18, +139)

Saint Quiteria, Virgin-Martyr in Aire-sur-l’Adour, France (May 22, +139)

Saint Eufemia or Eumelia, Virgin-Martyr in Braga, Portugal (September 16, +139)

Saint Marciana or Marica, Virgin-Martyr in Toledo, Spain (January 9, +139)

Saint Germana Virgin-Martyr and the Saints Paul, Gerontius, January, Saturninus, Suxessus, Julius, Katus and Pia, Martyrs in Numidia, North Africa (January 19, +139)

Saint Victoria / Vitoria / Rita, Virgin-Martyr from Braga, Portugal (November 17, +139)

Saint Genibera / Genebra / Gemma, Virgin-Martyr from Braga, Portugal (+139)

Saint Basilia or Basilissa, Virgin-Martyr from Braga, Portugal (July 12, +139)

Feast days: Jan 9, 18 & 19, May 22, June 3, July 12 & 20, Sep 16

* * *

The Saints 9 Virgin-Martyrs of Portugal were born in the year 119 A.D. in Braga, Portugal. They were the daughters of pagan Castelius Lucius Severus and Calsia.

Her mother, Calsia was disgusted at the fact that she went through nine childbirths and not one of them was male. She called on her maid Sila to dispose of them by drowning the nine infants. Sila was a follower of Christianity so she ended up giving the babies to a Christian monk to be raised in the Christian community. Their father King Lucio was completely unaware of their birth.

Saint Ovidius the Bishop of Braga in Portugal, took care of the girls, baptized them Christian, and taught them all about Christianity. St Quiteria was the most dedicated out of her sisters when it came to their faith. She was fascinated with the Virgin Mary and the words of Christ. The monk eventually told the girls that their biological parents were the Royal Rulers of the country, but none of them had the desire to live a luxurious life.

St Wilgefortis (Liberata), St Quiteria and their seven other sisters around breaking Christians out of jail. This lasted for a few years until they were caught and brought to the King. Once the King realized who they were he asked them to live in the palace. While the sisters lived there they praised Jesus everyday and eventually turned their room into a prayer hall. When the King realized they were Christians he told them to give it up and marry Roman pagans. They refused and were locked up in jail. In jail they praised and glorified Jesus, and eventually an angel came and told St Quiteria “Happy and fortunate you are, for you deserved to find grace in front of God, so that God has chosen you as his spouse. It is God’s will, that you are to live in solitude in the mount Oria and there you will exercise in oration and contemplation”. The angel released them from jail and they escaped all going in different directions. St Quiteria followed the angel and lived on the top of a mountain, where she was eventually captured. Once she again declined the marriage offer, she was imprisoned. Again she was freed by an angel, and returned to the mountain along with a group of other women whom she converted to Christianity. Along the way she had received the crown of martyrdom, and met Prosen Lastiano the ruler of the city Aufragia. She converted him to Christianity, but then a few days later he gave it up and became a pagan again. Prosen and his soldiers reached the mountain with intentions to kill her, but as the were ascending he fell down suddenly and lost all feeling in his hands and legs. Through the prayer of St Quiteria he regained his senses, and became full of faith. King Lucio was infuriated at the fact that his daughter converted women from his palace and one of his good friends to Christianity. Lucio and his soldiers left the palace so they could hunt her down. When they finally found her at the Aire-sur-l’Adour church in Gascony, France, he again tried to force her into marriage, and she declined because she wanted to remain a virgin for Jesus. Her father then ordered one of his soldiers to behead her, and it was done instantly. They also beheaded all of the other Christian women she was with. Αfter she was beheaded she walked to the Church of the Virgin Mary with her head in her hands.

Saint Marina was condemned to die in an oven. But she was rescued from this fate by St. Peter, who brought her out of the oven and water to cool her off. Later she was beheaded, but her head bounced around three times causing three fountains to spring from the ground.

In the place where she martyred there are:

-The prison of Saint Marina

-The church of Ascension: The oven of torture

-“Piocas”: The pond, where she was refreshed by St. Apostle Peter

-The sacred Fountains of Saint Marina: The places where her head bounced

-Saint Marina’s Oaks: Places with miraculous properties

-Vacariza carving stones

A parallel archaeological excavation and study of the local church has shown that the earliest layer of the present Church was built in the 6th century (AD 502 – 593).

Saint Wilgefortis, or Liberata, was martyred after Saint Marina in Aguas Santa in Spain. She was promised by her father to a pagan king. She took a vow of virginity and tried to stave off the wedding through prayer; she hoped to become repulsive and thus undesirable. Her prayers were answered in an odd way. She sprouted a beard.Her father, furious, had her crucified.

Saint Euphemia, or Eumelia, another sister, threw herself from a cliff to avoid capture. When she fell, the rock opened and swallowed her whole; a spring immediately appeared on the spot. This idea of being swallowed by rock and a subsequent spring echoes the Galician legends around St. Jacques and legends around Saint Fris, whose cult is centered in Gascony….where a lot of the 9-sisters action was said to have taken place.

Their sister Saint Marciana arrested in Toledo in Spain, where she was martyred.

Their sister Saint Victoria arrested in Cordoba in Spain, where she was martyred.

Their sister Saint Germana arrested and martyred in Numidia in North Africa, with the Saint Martyr Paul and 17 other Holy Martyrs.

Their sisters Saint Genibera and Saint Basilia arrested and martyred in Mediterranean Sea.

Saint Ovidius, also Saint Auditus, is a Portuguese saint. Saint Ovidius was a Roman citizen of Sicilian origin. Tradition states that he was sent to Braga by Pope Clement I, where he served as the city’s third bishop around 95. He baptized Saint Wilgifortis (Liberata) and her sisters after they were abandoned by their mother.

He was martyred for his Christian faith in 135.

The Portuguese call him Santo Ovídio, and sometimes, by the folkloric São Ouvido (literally “he who is heard” or “ear”), a folk-etymological translation of the Latin name Auditus; this name was then rendered as Ovídio. Because of his name, Saint Auditus or Ovidius was traditionally invoked against auditory diseases.

His feast day is June 3.

Source:

http://portugalofmyheart.wordpress.com

PORTUGAL OF MY HEART

ORTHODOX PORTUGAL

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Saint Moses the Ethiopian, 
Monk and Priest-Martyr in Egypt (+405)

August 28

Saint Moses the Ethiopian (330–405), (also known as Abba Moses the Robber, the Black, the Abyssinian, the Ethiopian and the Strong) was an ascetic monk and priest in Egypt in the fourth century AD, and a notable Desert Father.

Moses was a servant of a government official in Egypt who dismissed him for theft and suspected murder. A large, imposing figure, he became the leader of a gang of bandits who roamed the Nile Valley spreading terror and violence.

On one occasion, a barking dog prevented Moses from carrying out a robbery, so he swore vengeance on the owner. Weapons in his mouth, Moses swam the river toward the owner’s hut. The owner, again alerted, hid, and the frustrated Moses took some of his sheep to slaughter. Attempting to go In front of local authorities, he took shelter with some monks in a colony in the desert of Wadi El Natrun, then called Sketes, near Alexandria. The dedication of their lives, as well as their peace and contentment, influenced Moses deeply. He soon gave up his old way of life, became a Christian, was baptized and joined the monastic community at Scetes.

Moses had a rather difficult time adjusting to regular monastic discipline. His flair for adventure remained with him. Attacked by a group of robbers in his desert cell, Moses fought back, overpowered the intruders, and dragged them to the chapel where the other monks were at prayer. He told the brothers that he did not think it Christian to hurt the robbers and asked what he should do with them. Moses was zealous in all he did, but became discouraged when he concluded he was not perfect enough. Early one morning, Saint Isidore, abbot of the monastery, took Moses to the roof and together they watched the first rays of dawn come over the horizon. Isidore told Moses, “Only slowly do the rays of the sun drive away the night and usher in a new day, and thus, only slowly does one become a perfect contemplative.”

Moses proved to be effective as a prophetic spiritual leader. The abbot ordered the brothers to fast during a particular week. Some brothers came to Moses, and he prepared a meal for them. Neighboring monks reported to the abbot that Moses was breaking the fast. When they came to confront Moses, they changed their minds, saying “You did not keep a human commandment, but it was so that you might keep the divine commandment of hospitality.” Some see in this account one of the earliest allusions to the Paschal fast, which developed at this time.

When a brother committed a fault and Moses was invited to a meeting to discuss an appropriate penance, Moses refused to attend. When he was again called to the meeting, Moses took a leaking jug filled with water and carried it on his shoulder. Another version of the story has him carrying a basket filled with sand. When he arrived at the meeting place, the others asked why he was carrying the jug. He replied, “My sins run out behind me and I do not see them, but today I am coming to judge the errors of another.” On hearing this, the assembled brothers forgave the erring monk.

Moses became the spiritual leader of a colony of hermits in the Western Desert. Later, he was ordained a priest

At about age 75, about the year 405 AD, a group of Berbers planned to attack the monastery. The brothers wanted to defend themselves, but Moses forbade it. He told them to retreat, rather than take up weapons. He and seven others remained behind and were martyred by the bandits.

His feast day is on August 28.

Source:

Wikipedia

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Saint Maughold the Irish,
Bishop of Isle of Man, British Isles  (+488)

April 25

Saint Maughold (also known as Macaille, Maccaldus, Machalus, Machaoi, Machella, Maghor, Mawgan, Maccul, Macc Cuill); died ca. 488 AD) is venerated as the patron saint of the Isle of Man, an island in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland. Tradition states that he was an Irish prince and captain of a band of freebooters who was converted to Christianity by Saint Patrick. His feast day is April 25. He is not St MacCaille of Croghan, County Offaly, who received Brigit of Kildare into Christian life.

One day, Maughold tried to make a fool out of Patrick. Maughold had placed a living man in a shroud. He then called for Patrick to try to revive the allegedly dead man. Patrick came, placed a hand on the shroud, and left. When Maughold and his friends opened the shroud, they found the man had died in the interim. One of Maughold’s friends, a fellow named Connor, went over to Patrick’s camp and apologized to him. Patrick returned and baptized all of the men assembled. He then blessed the man who had died, who immediately returned to life, and was also baptized. Patrick then criticized Maughold, saying he should have been helping his men into leading good lives, and told him he must make up for his evil.

As penance for his previous crimes, Patrick ordered him to abandon himself to God in a wicker boat without oars. Maughold drifted to this isle, where two of Patrick’s disciples, Saint Romulus and Saint Conindrus (Romuil and Conindri), were already established. Tradition says he landed on the north-east corner of the Isle near Ramsey, at the foot of a headland since called Maughold Head, where he established himself in a cave on the mountain side. He is said to have been chosen by the Manx people to succeed Romuil and Conindri as bishop.

He is today best remembered on the Isle of Man for his kind disposition toward the Manx natives. Several places on the island, including, Maughold parish, St. Maughold’s Well, and St. Maughold’s Chair are named after him.

Source:

http://faithbookorthodoxy.wordpress.com

FAITHBOOK - ORTHODOXY

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Saint John of Damascus, Syria (+780)

December 4

Saint John of Damascus was born about the year 680 at Damascus, Syria into a Christian family. His father, Sergius Mansur, was a treasurer at the court of the Caliph. John had also a foster brother, the orphaned child Cosmas (October 14), whom Sergius had taken into his own home. When the children were growing up, Sergius saw that they received a good education. At the Damascus slave market he ransomed the learned monk Cosmas of Calabria from captivity and entrusted to him the teaching of his children. The boys displayed uncommon ability and readily mastered their courses of the secular and spiritual sciences. After the death of his father, John occupied ministerial posts at court and became the city prefect.

In Constantinople at that time, the heresy of Iconoclasm had arisen and quickly spread, supported by the emperor Leo III the Isaurian (717-741). Rising up in defense of the Orthodox veneration of icons [Iconodoulia], Saint John wrote three treatises entitled, “Against Those who Revile the Holy Icons.” The wise and God-inspired writings of Saint John enraged the emperor. But since the author was not a Byzantine subject, the emperor was unable to lock him up in prison, or to execute him. The emperor then resorted to slander. A forged letter to the emperor was produced, supposedly from John, in which the Damascus official was supposed to have offered his help to Leo in conquering the Syrian capital.

This letter and another hypocritically flattering note were sent to the Saracen Caliph by Leo the Isaurian. The Caliph immediately ordered that Saint John be removed from his post, that his right hand be cut off, and that he be led through the city in chains.

That same evening, they returned the severed hand to Saint John. The saint pressed it to his wrist and prayed to the Most Holy Theotokos to heal him so that he could defend the Orthodox Faith and write once again in praise of the Most Pure Virgin and Her Son. After a time, he fell asleep before the icon of the Mother of God. He heard Her voice telling him that he had been healed, and commanding him

to toil unceasingly with his restored hand. Upon awakening, he found that his hand had been attached to his arm once more. Only a small red mark around his wrist remained as a sign of the miracle.

Later, in thanksgiving for being healed, Saint John had a silver model of his hand attached to the icon, which became known as “Of the Three Hands.” Some unlearned painters have given the Mother of God three hands instead of depicting the silver model of Saint John’s hand. The Icon “Of the Three Hands” is commemorated on June 28 and July 12.

When he learned of the miracle, which demonstrated John’s innocence, the Caliph asked his forgiveness and wanted to restore him to his former office, but the saint refused. He gave away his riches to the poor, and went to Jerusalem with his stepbrother and fellow-student, Cosmas. There he entered the monastery of Saint Sava the Sanctified as a simple novice.

It was not easy for him to find a spiritual guide, because all the monks were daunted by his great learning and by his former rank. Only one very experienced Elder, who had the skill to foster the spirit of obedience and humility in a student, would consent to do this. The Elder forbade John to do anything at all according to his own will. He also instructed him to offer to God all his labors and supplications as a perfect sacrifice, and to shed tears which would wash away the sins of his former life.

Once, he sent the novice to Damascus to sell baskets made at the monastery, and commanded him to sell them at a certain inflated price, far above their actual value. He undertook the long journey under the searing sun, dressed in rags. No one in the city recognized the former official of Damascus, for his appearance had been changed by prolonged fasting and ascetic labors. However, Saint John was recognized by his former house steward, who bought all the baskets at the asking price, showing compassion on him for his apparent poverty.

One of the monks happened to die, and his brother begged Saint John to compose something consoling for the burial service. Saint John refused for a long time, but out of pity he yielded to the petition of the grief-stricken monk, and wrote his renowned funeral troparia (“What earthly delight,” “All human vanity,” and others). For this disobedience the Elder banished him from his cell. John fell at his feet and asked to be forgiven, but the Elder remained unyielding. All the monks began to plead for him to allow John to return, but he refused. Then one of the monks asked the Elder to impose a penance on John, and to forgive him if he fulfilled it. The Elder said, “If John wishes to be forgiven, let him wash out all the chamber pots in the lavra, and clean the monastery latrines with his bare hands.”

John rejoiced and eagerly ran to accomplish his shameful task. After a certain while, the Elder was commanded in a vision by the All-Pure and Most Holy Theotokos to allow Saint John to write again. When the Patriarch of Jerusalem heard of Saint John, he ordained him priest and made him a preacher at his cathedral. But Saint John soon returned to the Lavra of Saint Sava, where he spent the rest of his life writing spiritual books and church hymns. He left the monastery only to denounce the iconoclasts at the Constantinople Council of 754. They subjected him to imprisonment and torture, but he endured everything, and through the mercy of God he remained alive. He died in about the year 780, more than 100 years old.

Saint John of Damascus was a theologian and a zealous defender of Orthodoxy. His most important book is the Fount of Knowledge. The third section of this work, “On the Orthodox Faith,” is a summary of Orthodox doctrine and a refutation of heresy. Since he was known as a hymnographer, we pray to Saint John for help in the study of church singing.

Source:

https://oca.org

https://oca.org/saints/lives/2016/12/04/103473-martyr-john-of-damascus

ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA

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Become fools for Christ

Saint Maria Skobtsova of Paris (+1945):

«It would be great lie to tell searching souls “Go to church, because there you will find peace”.

The opposite is true.

The Church tells those who are at peace and asleep: “Go to church, because there you will feel real anguish for your sins, for your perdition, for the world’s sins and perdition.

There you will feel an unappeasable hunger for Christ’s truth.

There, instead of becoming lukewarm, you will be set on fire; instead of pacified, you will become alarmed; instead of learning wisdom of this world you will become fools for Christ”».

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Saint Samuel the Prophet of Old Testament

August 20

The Prophet Samuel was the fifteenth and last of the Judges of Israel, living more than 1146 years before the Birth of Christ. He was descended from the Tribe of Levi, and was the son of Elkanah from Ramathaim-Zophim of Mount Ephraim. He was born, having been besought from the Lord through the prayers of his mother Hannah (therefore he received the name Samuel, which means “besought from God”). Even before birth, he was dedicated to God. Her song, “My heart exults in the Lord,” is the Third Ode of the Old Testament (1 Sam/1 Kings 2:1-10).

When the boy reached the age of three, his mother went with him to Shiloh and in accord with her vow dedicated him to the worship of God. She gave him into the care of the High Priest Eli, who at this time was a judge over Israel. The prophet grew in the fear of God, and at twelve years of age he had a revelation that God would punish the house of the High Priest Eli, because he did not restrain the impiety of his sons. Eli’s whole family was wiped out in a single day.

The prophecy was fulfilled when the Philistines, having slain in battle 30,000 Israelites (among them were also the sons of the High Priest, Hophni and Phinees), gaining victory and capturing the Ark of the Covenant. Hearing this, the High Priest Eli fell backwards from his seat at the gate, and breaking his back, he died. The wife of Phinees, upon hearing what had happened in this very hour, gave birth to a son (Ichabod) and died with the words: “The glory has departed from Israel, for the Ark of God is taken away” (1 Sam/1 Kgs 4: 22).

Upon the death of Eli, Samuel became the judge of the nation of Israel. The Ark of God was returned by the Philistines on their own initiative. After returning to God, the Israelites returned to all the cities that the Philistines had taken. In his old age, the Prophet Samuel made his sons Joel and Abiah judges over Israel, but they did not follow the integrity and righteous judgment of their father, since they were motivated by greed.

Then the elders of Israel, wanting the nation of God to be “like other nations” (1 Sam/1 Kgs 8: 20), demanded of the Prophet Samuel that they have a king. The Prophet Samuel anointed Saul as king, but saw in this a downfall of the people, whom God Himself had governed until this time, announcing His will through His chosen saints. Resigning the position of judge, the Prophet Samuel asked the people if they consented to his continued governance, but no one stepped forward for him.

After denouncing the first king, Saul, for his disobedience to God, the Prophet Samuel anointed David as king. He had offered David asylum, saving him from the pursuit of King Saul. The Prophet Samuel died in extreme old age. His life is recorded in the Bible (1 Sam/1 Kgs; Sirach 46:13-20).

In the year 406 A.D. the relics of the Prophet Samuel were transferred from Judea to Constantinople.

Source:

https://plus.google.com/118322750499799988897

Orthodox Saint of the Day

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Saint Ia, Missionary and Virgin Martyr in Cornwall, England, from Ireland (+450)

February 3

Saint Ia of Cornwall (also known as Eia, Hia or Hya) was an evangelist and martyr of the 5th century in Cornwall. She was an Irish princess, the sister of Saint Erc of Slane and a student of Saint Baricus.

St Ia went to the seashore to depart for Cornwall from her native Ireland along with other saints. Finding that they had gone without her, fearing that she was too young for such a hazardous journey, she was grief-stricken and began to pray. As she prayed, she noticed a small leaf floating on the water and touched it with a rod to see if it would sink. As she watched, it grew bigger and bigger. Trusting God, she embarked upon the leaf and was carried across the Irish Sea. She reached Cornwall before the others, where she joined Saint Gwinear and Felec of Cornwall. They had up to 777 companions.

She founded an oratory in a clearing in a wood on the site of the existing Parish Church that is dedicated to her. Ia was martyred under “King Teudar” (i.e., Tewdwr Mawr of Penwith) on the River Hayle and buried at what is now St Ives, where St Ia’s Church—of which she is now the patron saint—was erected over her grave. The town built up around it. Her feast day is February 3.

Source:

http://irelandandbritishisles.wordpress.com

IRELAND AND BRITISH ISLES - ORTHODOXY

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The Virgin Mary

The Orthodox Faith

The Virgin Mary is the woman God chose to bear His Son in this world. The Orthodox believe in the ever-virginity of Mary. Since God chose her to manifest His presence among men, she is called, " All Holy" and the bridge between God and man. For this reason, she is highly praised and venerated in the Orthodox Church. The Orthodox always pray to the Virgin Mary, beseeching her to intercede for us to God. The Orthodox do not worship the Virgin Mary-worship is do to God alone. The Orthodox make a distinction between worship and intercessory prayer. Just as we ask other people to pray for us, we ask the Virgin Mary, for she has found favor in God's eyes and has a very unique relationship with God, to pray (intercede) for us. It should be noted that the Virgin Mary and all the saints are ceaselessly praying for all of us.

Source:



ORTHODOX PHOTOS

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On May 17, 2017, twelve dolphins 
brings Icon of Holy Virgin Mary Mother of God to shore in Sochi, Russia

In a rather unusual occurrence, a pod of dolphins “returned” an icon of the Mother of God to people on the beach in Sochi, reports The Russian People’s Line, and Orthodox England.

A colonel and his wife, relaxing and enjoying the beach atmosphere on May 17, were witnesses to the event, their attention being drawn when a group of twelve dolphins swam all the way up to the beach itself. The bewildered couple wondered what the typically smart animals were doing on the beach, when suddenly they threw something out of the water, immediately swimming off.

The object was covered in mud, and seemingly completely unimportant. Though other people were lounging on the beach as well, no one paid it much attention. Eventually the colonel’s wife asked her husband to go see what the object was, and, having cleared away the mud, the colonel was shocked to find that the dolphins had delivered an icon of the Theotokos, which they later realized was of the type “of the Sign.”
How the icon wound up on the ocean floor, and how the dolphins knew that it needed to be returned to shore, no one knows. Perhaps the dolphins recognized in the icon the grace of their Creator and of His Most Pure Mother.

The colonel then brought the icon to Moscow, with hopes of showing it to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, and telling him the miraculous story of how it was “found.”

Source:


HOLY VIRGIN MARY MOTHER OF GOD

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Saint Isidore the German Fool-for-Christ 
in Rostov, Russia (+1474)

From Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy

May 14

Saint Isidore Tverdislov (“Constant of Word”), Fool-for-Christ, Wonderworker of Rostov. He was born in Germany of rich parents. From his youth, he led “an unsullied life and had a compassionate understanding.” Leaving his parental home and “desiring the Kingdom of God,” Saint Isidore distributed his wealth to the poor. Taking up the staff of a wanderer, he visited many lands and cities.

It is not known where he accepted the holy Orthodox Faith, but he was raised in Catholicism. Finally, he arrived in Russia and decided to live in Rostov. Here Saint Isidore, “in filth and snow and rain and cold” and “enduring every outrage,” settled in a rickety wooden hut that he himself had made. He chose a foolish manner of life for the sake of Christ, which Saint Paul describes in his Epistle” (1 Cor.4:10-13).

Saint Isidore spent all his time at unceasing prayer, not allowing himself much sleep or rest. “He stood at all night vigil and praise” to dedicate his body “everlastingly to God.”

By day the blessed one made the rounds of the city, acting like a fool. “Like Job of old in his patience,” Blessed Isidore, while still alive, was “an earthly angel and a heavenly man,” “a compassionate soul, and pure of thought, and vigilant heart and faith unassailed, and true love without pretense.” During his life he received the grace to work miracles.

Saint Isidore reposed in the year 1474. They learned of his death only when passing by his hut they noticed a special fragrance. At the place of his burial in the city of Rostov the church of the Ascension of the Lord was built, in which his relics rest in a crypt as a source of miracles to the present day.

Blessed Isidore is termed “Tverdislov” [“Constant of Word”] since that he spoke constantly. [The title “Tverdislov” seems unique to Saint Isidore. This supplemental account of him is from Bulgakov’s NASTOLNAYA KNIGA (1900).]

Source:



OCA – ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA

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Saint Patrick the Enlightener of Ireland  (+461)

Commemorated by the Eastern Orthodox Church on March 17

Saint Patrick, the Enlightener of Ireland was born around 385, the son of Calpurnius, a Roman decurion (an official responsible for collecting taxes). He lived in the village of Bannavem Taberniae, which may have been located at the mouth of the Severn River in Wales. The district was raided by pirates when Patrick was sixteen, and he was one of those taken captive. He was brought to Ireland and sold as a slave, and was put to work as a herder of swine on a mountain identified with Slemish in Co. Antrim. During his peri
od of slavery, Patrick acquired a proficiency in the Irish language which was very useful to him in his later mission.

He prayed during his solitude on the mountain, and lived this way for six years. He had two visions. The first told him he would return to his home. The second told him his ship was ready. Setting off on foot, Patrick walked two hundred miles to the coast. There he succeeded in boarding a ship, and returned to his parents in Britain.

Some time later, he went to Gaul and studied for the priesthood at Auxerre under St Germanus (July 31). Eventually, he was consecrated as a bishop, and was entrusted with the mission to Ireland, succeeding St Palladius (July 7). St Palladius did not achieve much success in Ireland. After about a year he went to Scotland, where he died in 432.

Patrick had a dream in which an angel came to him bearing many letters. Selecting one inscribed “The Voice of the Irish,” he heard the Irish entreating him to come back to them.

Although St Patrick achieved remarkable results in spreading the Gospel, he was not the first or only missionary in Ireland. He arrived around 432 (though this date is disputed), about a year after St Palladius began his mission to Ireland. There were also other missionaries who were active on the southeast coast, but it was St Patrick who had the greatest influence and success in preaching the Gospel of Christ. Therefore, he is known as “The Enlightener of Ireland.”

His autobiographical Confession tells of the many trials and disappointments he endured. Patrick had once confided to a friend that he was troubled by a certain sin he had committed before he was fifteen years old. The friend assured him of God’s mercy, and even supported Patrick’s nomination as bishop. Later, he turned against him and revealed what Patrick had told him in an attempt to prevent his consecration. Many years later, Patrick still grieved for his dear friend who had publicly shamed him.

St Patrick founded many churches and monasteries across Ireland, but the conversion of the Irish people was no easy task. There was much hostility, and he was assaulted several times. He faced danger, and insults, and he was reproached for being a foreigner and a former slave. There was also a very real possibility that the pagans would try to kill him. Despite many obstacles, he remained faithful to his calling, and he baptized many people into Christ.

The saint’s Epistle to Coroticus is also an authentic work. In it he denounces the attack of Coroticus’ men on one of his congregations. The Breastplate (Lorica) is also attributed to St Patrick. In his writings, we can see St Patrick’s awareness that he had been called by God, as well as his determination and modesty in undertaking his missionary work. He refers to himself as “a sinner,” “the most ignorant and of least account,” and as someone who was “despised by many.” He ascribes his success to God, rather than to his own talents: “I owe it to God’s grace that through me so many people should be born again to Him.”

By the time he established his episcopal See in Armargh in 444, St Patrick had other bishops to assist him, many native priests and deacons, and he encouraged the growth of monasticism.

St Patrick is often depicted holding a shamrock, or with snakes fleeing from him. He used the shamrock to illustrate the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Its three leaves growing out of a single stem helped him to explain the concept of one God in three Persons. Many people now regard the story of St Patrick driving all the snakes out of Ireland as having no historical basis.

St Patrick died on March 17, 461. There are various accounts of his last days, but they are mostly legendary. Muirchu says that no one knows the place where St Patrick is buried. St Columba of Iona (June 9) says that the Holy Spirit revealed to him that Patrick was buried at Saul, the site of his first church. A granite slab was placed at his traditional grave site in Downpatrick in 1899.

Saint Patrick, please pray for us the sinners!

Source:


SIMPLY ORTHODOX

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Faith and miracles

Blessed Elder Joel Yannakopoulos 
of Kalamata, Greece (+1966)

Once, when Fr. Joel was traveling on a train, a rumor spread at one provincial station that a miracle had occurred in the church in the neighboring village—an icon was weeping! All of the passengers immediately left the train and rushed to see the miracle—everyone, that is, except Fr. Joel, who continued reading his book.

When the passengers returned, touched, the man sitting right across from Fr. Joel couldn’t hold back his indignation at the priest’s calmness and said, “Father, I see you don’t believe!”

“I believe,” Fr. Joel replied, “and therefore I’m not surprised by miracles. But you don’t believe, and so you ran to see the miracle and believe, didn’t you? So tell me—do you believe now?”

Source:



ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

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Saint Andrew the Fool for Christ 
of Totma, Russia (+1673)

October 10

Saint Andrew of Totma, the Fool-for-Christ was born in the year 1638 in the village of Ust-Totma in Russia and chose to leave the world while still a child. With the blessing of Stephen, igumen of the Resurrection monastery in Galich, Andrew took upon himself the arduous calling of fool-for-Christ. He lived at the church of the Resurrection of Christ in the city of Totma on the banks of the River Sukhona.

Walking barefoot in both winter and summer, Andrew wore tattered clothing, and ate only bread and water, and that in such a small quantity that it just barely kept him from starving. He prayed both day and night, and if anyone gave him anything, he would give it away to the poor. For his efforts and toil the Blessed Andrew acquired the gift of wonderworking.

One winter a blind man by the name of Azhibokai came to the blessed fool, asking for healing while offering him a large sum of money. But the fool fled away. Azhibokai then washed his eyes with snow from where the saint had stood. In doing so, he was able to see.

The time of his own death was revealed to the Blessed Andrew. He made his confession, received the Holy Mysteries and peacefully fell asleep in the Lord in 1673. Over his grave was built the bell-tower church of the holy Martyr Andrew Stratelates (August 19), whose name he bore. Many miracles were witnessed at the grave of the Blessed Andrew.

Source:


ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA

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Blessed Fr. George Paulidis Bishop of Nicea, Piraeus, in Greece (+1990) and the phone of a woman who wanted to kill herself

Fr. George Paulidis Bishop of Nicea, Piraeus, in Greece:

«One winter night, his phone ring around midnight. Just picked up the phone, a female voice spoke:

"I do not know whom I speak , but before committing suicide , I wanted to listen for the last time a human voice...".

Divine providence ring the phone of Fr. George. Was there any discussion, without disclosing his status, Fr. George (it was then Bishop of Nicea, Piraeus) except that he speaks with a cleric. He never learned what happened next, but I'm sure that the Grace of God will not let a human soul disappear like that night».

Source, Greek book:

Fr. John Costoff

From Atheism to Christ

Publications: St. John Damascene, Athens 2011


TRUTH TARGET

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Saint Paisios of Mount Athos (+1994) the temptation of atheism when he was 11 years old and the appearance of Jesus Christ to him

From the age of eleven [says Saint Paisios], I would read the lives of the Saints, I would fast and keep vigil. My older brother would take the books and hide them, but that didn’t stop me. I would just go into the forest and keep reading there.

Later, when I was fifteen, a friend of my brother named Costas told my brother, “I’ll make him willingly give up all this nonesense.” He came and explained to me Darwin’s theory of evolution. I was shaken by this, and I said, “I’ll go and pray, and, if Christ is God, He’ll appear to me so that I’ll believe. I’ll see a shadow, hear a voice—He will show me a sign.” That’s all I could come up with at the time.

So, I went and began to pray and make prostrations for hours; but nothing happened. Eventually I stopped in a state of exhaustion. Then something Costas had said came to mind: “I accept that Christ is an important man,” he had told me, “righteous and virtuous, Who was hated out of envy for His virtue and condemned by His countrymen.” I thought to myself, “since that’s how Christ was, even if He was only a man, He deserves my love, obedience, and self-sacrifice. I don’t want paradise; I don’t want anything. It is worth making every sacrifice for the sake of His holiness and kindness.”

God was waiting to see how I would deal with this temptation. After this, Christ Himself appeared to me in a great light. He was visible from the waist up. He looked at me with tremendous love and said, “I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in Me, even if he dies, he shall live” (Jn. 11:25). He was holding the Gospel in His left hand, open to the page where the same words were written.

With this event, the uncertainties that had troubled my soul were overcome, and in divine grace I came to know Christ as true God and Savior of the world. I was convinced of the truth of the God-man, not by men or books, but by the very Lord Himself, who revealed Himself to me even at this young age. Firmly established in faith, I thought to myself, “Come back now, Costas, if you want, and we’ll have a talk.”

Source:


SAINT PAISIOS OF MOUNT ATHOS

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Saints Virgins Ethenea (Ethna) and 
Fidelmia (Fedelma) of Ireland (+433)

January 11

Died 433. One summer day the little daughters of King Laoghaire of Connaught, Ethna and Fedelma, who were barely out of childhood and full of fun, went for their daily bath in a private place near the palace, a place to which no one ever came so early in the morning. But this special day they were surprised to hear voices and see tents encamped on the grassy slope near the pool.

There was a drone of a strange language and every now and again a sweet voice broke into song and mingled with that of the birds in the nearby woods and the murmuring of the river. Saint Patrick and his companions, who had arrived during the night with a message for the King of Connaught, were praying the Divine Office in Latin. Finally, each group spied the other.

The older princess asked, Who are you, and where do you come from?

Patrick hesitated, then said: We have more important things to tell you than just our names and where we’re from. We know who the one true God is whom you should adore…

The girls were delighted, rather than annoyed. In a flash something seemed to light up inside them, to make a blinding white blaze in their hearts and minds. They knew at once that this was real, real news and that it was true. It all happened instantaneously. Then they asked a whole torrent of questions:

Who is God? Where does He live? Will He live forever? and on and on as excited young people do.

Patrick answered each question quickly and simply. He, too, was delighted: the light that blazed up in the girls was in the man, too, and the three lights together made a tremendous glow. Everyone else stood listening raptly, feeling lucky to be witnesses to the saintly man and the sweet girls–and the Holy Spirit in their midst.

Oh, tell us how to find the good God. Teach us more about the kind Jesus, who died upon the Cross. Tell us more, more, more, the princesses urged. But there was no need for more; the two had already received the gift of the Spirit of Truth.

Patrick led them to their bathing pool, where he baptized them. For a short time thereafter, Ethna and Fedelma were very quiet for they were in deep prayer. Meanwhile, Patrick prepared to offer the Holy Sacrifice. Then the princesses began again, I want to see Jesus Christ now, said Ethna.

And so do I, echoed Fedelma. I want to be with Him in His home forever.

Patrick, moved by this loving longing, very gently explained that they would not be able to see God until after their death. They were still young, so it would be a long time before they could see Him as He is. If they lived good Christian lives, then they would be able to go to God for always and great joys would replace the present sorrows. The girls pondered this as Patrick began the Offering.

As the holy Offering went on everyone was still, but the river and woods seemed to sing God’s praises. Then the youngest man rang a little bell and all bowed their heads. Jesus Christ was with them in the grassy knoll in the king’s park. Soon the bell rang again. Patrick beckoned the princesses forward and gave them Holy Communion.

For a little while the girls looked so happy and so beautiful that they were like angels. And then, we are told, they died. They longed so much to be with Jesus that they died of longing. Saint Patrick was exceedingly happy to have met such quick and whole-hearted belief (Benedictines, Curtayne).
This other retelling of the meeting between Patrick and the two young girls is from Muirchu’s 7th century Life of Saint Patrick:

On his missionary travels, Saint Patrick came to Rathcroghan near Tulsk. At the well of Clebach beside Cruachan (probably today’s Tobercrogheer), he pauses for a rest.

Rathcroghan, the rath of Croghan, is an ancient Celtic royal burial place, rich in earthworks and earlier megalithic remains. The seven-foot-high standing stone in the middle of a ring-fort is said to mark the burial place of the pagan monarch Daithi.

While Patrick and his clerics are assembled at the well, two royal maidens, fair Ethne and red-haired Fedelma, come to wash their hands. These two daughters of Loeghaire are being brought up in Connacht by the two wizards, the brothers Mael and Caplait. Surprised at the strange appearance of the monks and priests, the girls ask them who they are, and where they come from. Patrick replies that it were better for them to believe in the true God than to ask such questions.

Ethne then asks him:

What is God? Where is God. And of whom is God?
And where is God’s dwelling place?
Does your God have sons and daughters?
Has he gold and silver? Is he immortal?
Is he beautiful?
Have many people fostered his son?
Are his daughters beautiful and beloved of men?
Is he in heaven or on earth?
Or on the plain?
In what manner does he come to us?
In the mountains? In the glens?
Is he young or old?
Tell us of him, in what manner is he seen?

Filled with the Holy Spirit, Patrick answers them:

Our God is the God of all men, the God of Heaven and Earth,
of seas and rivers, of Sun and Moon and stars,
of high mountains and deep valleys,
the God over Heaven and in Heaven and on Earth,
and in the sea and in all that is therein.
He informs all these things, he brings life to all things,
he surpasses all things, he sustains all things.
He gives light to the Sun, and to the Moon by night.
He makes fountains in the dry land and islands in the seas,
and he sets the stars in their places.
He has a Son, co-eternal with himself and in his own likeness.
Neither is the Son younger than the Father,
nor the Father older than the Son.
And the Holy Spirit breathes in them.
The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit cannot be divided.
In truth I wish to unite you to the Heavenly King,
you who until now are the daughters of an earthly king.
Believe!

With one voice and heart, the two girls answer: In what way can we believe in the Heavenly King? Instruct us most diligently so that we may see him face to face, inform us and whatever you tell us we will do.

Patrick asks them if they believe that in baptism the sin of their father and mother will be cast off, to which they reply We believe.

Patrick asks them if they believe in repentance after sin, in life after death, in resurrection on the Day of Judgement, in the oneness of the Church. To all of these questions the girls reply We believe.

They are then baptized, Patrick blesses the white veils over their heads, and they beg to see the face of Christ. Patrick tells them that until they receive Communion and taste death, they cannot see Christ’s face. They reply: Give us the Communion so that we may see the Son, our Bridegroom.

They receive the Holy Eucharist and fall asleep in death. They are wrapped together in one shroud, and are greatly bewailed by their friends.

The Druid Caplait, the foster-father of one of the girls, comes to Patrick lamenting. Patrick preaches to him and he, too, believes, and is baptized and tonsured. The other Druid, Caplait’s brother Mael, comes to Patrick to tell him that he will bring his brother back to the pagan creed, but Patrick preaches to Mael also, and he, too, is converted, and tonsured.

The period of mourning then being over, the bodies of Ethne and Fidelma are buried near the well of Clebach. A circular ditch is dug around the burial place, as is customary (Tirechan adds) among the inhabitants of Ireland.

from Muirchu’s Life of Saint Patrick
Troparion of Ss Ethenia and Fidelmia
Tone 5
O daughters of King Laoghaire and first-fruits of Patrick’s mission,
most pious Ethenia and Fidelmia,
you were blessed to receive the monastic veil from Ireland’s Enlightener.
Weeping and lamenting we call upon your charity.
Pray to Christ our God
that He will raise up a new Patrick in our day,
that we may be led into the Way of Salvation.

Kontakion of Ss Ethenia and Fidelmia
Tone 4
Having been tonsured, O most pure and righteous virgins Ethenia and Fidelmia,
you were found worthy to tarry in this vale of tears
and to receive the Body and Blood of Christ, just once,
before going to your eternal reward.
We chant your praises and implore Christ our God
that, in the day of Judgment,
He will not find us wanting.

Source:



CELTIC SAINTS

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Saint Panagis Basias the Priest and Fool for Christ on Kefallonia Island, Greece (+1888) 
led to the Holy Confession those who 
were about to die suddenly

St Panagis had the gift of foresight and prophecy, which he used to correct people. To those who were about to die soon violently, recommended they should go to confess their sins and to those who were about to commit a serious offense he warned them by giving them an inkling of what was going to happen. On a rainy night , he came across someone who was about to commit a sin and he shouted out:”Sin, sin, go back home!”.

Sources:


VASILEIA

&


SAINTS BOOK – ORTHODOXY

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Blessed Fr. Photios Lavriotis the Fool for Christ on Lesbos Island in Greece (+2010) 
and his cassock

Father Photios Lavriotis the Fool in Christ who lived in Island of Lesvos in Greece (+2010) completed a total of 68 years as a clergyman, a liturgist of the Holy Sanctuary. He was loved by all and known for his courage, asceticism, and commitment to Orthodox tradition. For the peculiarity of his appearance, he said: “I am a monk, which is why I do not attach much importance to my cassock”.

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ST JOHN MAXIMOVITCH 
IN THE NETHERLANDS

Archbishop John Maximovitch

By HEGOUMEN ADRIAAN

Netherlands Orthodox Church

Archbishop John is honored as the Founder of the Netherlands Orthodox Church, and the first Life of him to appear after his death was in the Dutch- language periodical of this Church (their article that follows appeared in the same issue).

Later, the major Life to date of Vladika (The Orthodox Word, Nov.-Dec., 1966) was translated in full into Dutch and printed in the same organ. The veneration and love of the Orthodox Dutch for Vladika was summed up in Bishop Jacob’s Foreword to their Life of him: “I have no spiritual father any more and shall indeed find no other, certainly not one like him, who from up in the middle of the night to say: Go to sleep now, what you are asking of God will certainly be all right. Vladika, thank you for everything, and remember us, your Dutch Church, at the Throne of God.”

VLADIKA JOHN, nicknamed Shanghaisky, was a person of the type one longs to meet, even if it is only for once in a lifetime. When then such a meeting has become reality, the remembrance remains unforgettable. He was literally a unique personality, completely his own type, because many characteristics, in themselves already rare, were united in him to an exceptional degree. 

Still ever do I see before me how he came to look us up in our church about fifteen years ago. To the eye he made no great impression: small, a dumpy figure, an irregular face in a mess of tangled head- and beard-hairs. A serious speech impediment made him extremely difficult to understand, even though he spoke German, French, and English. But he did not say much. Very calm, without taking any notice of the people who were waiting for him, he inspected the whole church. He went to kiss the altar and looked in detail at and into everything that was on it. After 3PM he studied by one the surrounding icons and the books, the printed as well as the handwritten ones. After a full hour he made his 
departure: he had wanted to make acquaintance with the Dutch priests, and when we had difficulties we had only to make our way to him.

 A year later we indeed had serious ecclesiastical difficulties.. 

After having for a long time made fruitless attempts in various directions, we decided to hazard a chance with him also. That was the beginning of a long and friendly relationship that has been full of blessing, both for us personally and for the Netherlands Church, which he then took under his omophorion. For with him this meant that he really took us under his protection as well, and he generously defended us against all the attacks which from lack of understanding and sometimes even out of ill-will were leveled at the young and vulnerable community.

In this way we also received the opportunity of learning to know him better, including his unbelievable way of life. For he often came visiting, and during his visitations of the Russian Church in the Netherlands he always used to stay with us in she monastery, where he felt completely at home. Furthermore, we were repeatedly with him in France, in the monastery of Lesna or in his room at the Russian Cadet Corps in Versailles.



What struck one first of all was his unbelievably strict asceticism. It was as if a desert saint out of the first centuries had come to life again. Never did he go to bed; he even possessed no bed. On some occasions, during heavy illness, he was nursed somewhere else. He slept in short snatches, sometimes for a few minutes while standing praying, at night for a few hours sitting upright in a chair and–very disturbing for many-for a few minutes also during a conversation which did not interest him, but of which he nevertheless never lost the thread of the discussion. He used to walls barefoot, even over the sharp gravel of the park at Versailles. Later this was forbidden him by the Metropolitan, after serious blood-poisoning through a piece of glass. He took only one meal a day, towards midnight — at least when that was looked after for him; otherwise he omitted that also.

But still much more impressive was the living example of his prayer. He celebrated the Divine Liturgy daily, however few people there were present. At this service he took much time over the preparation of the Gifts. The diskos was full to overflowing because of the many commemorations. From every pocket he pulled out pieces of paper with names, and every day new ones were added out of letters from all parts of the world in which people asked for his prayers, especially for the sick. In addition, be kept a sharp image in his memory of each of the many people whom he had met in his active life. He knew and understood their needs and that was already a comfort. At the Great Entrance with the Gifts he began again, with the commemorations that had been sent inside to him in the meantime, so that the choir sometimes had to repeat the Cherubikon three times. After the Divine Liturgy be was still for hours in the church. With minute care he cleansed the chalice and disk, the table of preparation and the altar. 

At the same time he ate some prosphora and drank much hot water.

He did the different Hours of Prayer of the day aloud, wherever he happened to be, often standing in the train or on a ship, in between the other passengers (for he traveled much). He read the morning mail in the afternoon, after the Divine Liturgy, but a trusted person had to open his letters in order to see whether there were any urgent intentions. Sometimes he gave announcements of the contents beforehand, even of affairs about which he had heard nothing for a long time. He took strict care that in church and especially in the altar nothing was said about anything else than what related to the service.

His attention went out in the first place to the sick and the lonely, whom he visited even in the remotest places. For this he carried on a strap around his neck a flat leather case with a heavy icon of the Mother of God, a copy of the wonderworking Icon of Kursk, which the emigrant Church had brought with it out of Russia. There he sang with his broken voice at the sick man’s side the little office of the Mother of God (Moleben) and eventually brought the Holy Communion as well.

His preference went for children, whom he so readily had around him. He always informed himself about them, he catechized them, sent them cards and brought presents for them with him. He could look at them in their eyes for minutes at a time with that warm, radiant look, which encompassed you completely, as a mother puts her arms around her baby.

This look is something unforgettable for everyone who came in contact with him. As badly as he could express himself in words, so were his eyes full of meaning. A chance bodily contact made one think of something hard and massive, like a knotty tree trunk. But if he looked at you, then you knew yourself for that moment to be the most loved person in the world.



Naturally, many who only knew him superficially were offended at his appearance. He knew no way of outward worthiness, he was under all circumstances only himself: the monk who thought only of prayer and the needs of those in trouble. But much greater! is the number of those who admired him indeed for that and loved him, even though he was tiresome to them with his requests. The story is famous of how he stayed in Washington for many days in succession in the waiting of the ministry of external affairs until he extracted the entry permit for his thousands of Russian refugees from China, including the sick, which no one had managed to do previously. Everywhere he went people appeared who wanted to speak with him. If he walked in Paris, then people hurried to him from all sides to ask his blessing and to kiss his hand. Then you saw the elegantly-dressed ladies often first wiping their mouths clean, because they knew that he had a dislike for lipstick. In addition, the train to Dieppe (where the cadet corps had later been housed) left too late from the Gare Saint Lazare on many occasions, because the conductor saw from afar the Russian Monseigneur, who was held up by people every time. Nevertheless, he also often missed trains on his journeys, for time was for him but a vague concept.

There would be many other such anecdotes to tell. There is for example that tramp in Lyons, who so enthusiastically told how Vladika John used to walk through Shanghai at night during the difficult years in order to give out bread and money, even to drunkards. He remembered Vladika kindly, regardless of how much bitter criticism he had toward others.

In the same way as he lived he has also died, completely unexpectedly, alone in his room, when he had just gone to sit down in order to rest after the church service, during his visit to Seattle, in the far north of his extensive diocese. We shall always be grateful for having known him and for having been taken up into his wide love. We trust that this bond of love will still work continuously for our good, now that he is yet more directly linked with his Lord, of Whom he has been one of the most faithful servants on earth in our time.

Source:


SAINT JOHN WONDERWORKER

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Fools for Christ – Fr. Rick’s Sermons

St George Greek Orthodox Church in St Paul, Minnesota, USA

Someone once said, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt”. Another person said, “The mouth is the grocer’s friend, the dentist’s fortune, the orator’s pride and the fool’s trap”. The dictionary defines a “fool” as: “a silly or stupid person; a person who lacks judgment or sense”. Psalm 14:1 & 53:1 “A fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God'”. Proverbs 12:15 “The way of the fool is right in his own eyes (but he who heeds counsel is wise)”.

So what does St. Paul mean when he says in today’s Epistle Reading from the 10th Sunday of Matthew (1Corinthians 4:9-16), “We are fools for Christ’s sake? (v.10)”. After all he is referring to himself and the rest of the “apostles” (v.9). The same men who were chosen by Jesus to be His closest disciples and were responsible for spreading the Good News of His Resurrection beyond Jerusalem into Europe, Africa and Asia. Are the apostles fools because they were condemned to death (v.9), weak, dishonored (v.10), hungry, thirsty, poorly clothed, beaten, homeless (v.11), reviled, persecuted (v.12), defamed, and filthy (v.13)? A person would have to be a stupid to endure all those indignities, right? Who, in their right mind, would put up with all that? Then, to top all off, St. Paul closes with a plea to the Corinthians, “I urge you, imitate me?” (v.16). Yeah, right!

Did anyone know that there is a class of saints known as “Fools for Christ”? Just like there are prophets, apostles, hierarchs, martyrs, confessors, ascetics and healers, there are approximately 45 saints with a special title “Fool for Christ”. What are the characteristics, qualities and accomplishments of a person who is called a “Fool for Christ”?

The fool-for-Christ set for himself the task of battling within himself the root of all sin, pride. In order to accomplish this he took on an unusual style of life, appearing as someone bereft of his mental faculties, thus bringing upon himself the ridicule of others. In addition he exposed the evil in the world through metaphorical and symbolic words and actions. He took this ascetic endeavor upon himself in order to humble himself and to also more effectively influence others, since most people respond to the usual ordinary sermon with indifference. The spiritual feat of foolishness for Christ was especially widespread in Russia. –(Excerpted from The Law of God, Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, NY: 1993). Saint Andrew of Constantinople is considered to be the first such saint, although Saint Basil of Moscow is also widely known. (Orthodox Wiki lists 48 saints with tile “Fool for Christ”). http://orthodoxwiki.org/Fool-for-Christ

Here are but two examples of saints with this title Andrew of Constantinople and Xenia of St. Petersburg.

Blessed Andrew, Fool-for-Christ, was a Slav and lived in the tenth century at Constantinople. From his early years, he loved God’s Church and the Holy Scriptures. Once during a dream, the saint beheld a vision of two armies. In the one were men in radiant garb, in the other, black and fiercesome devils. An angel of God, who held wondrous crowns, said to Andrew, that these crowns were not adornments from the earthly world, but rather a celestial treasure, with which the Lord rewards His warriors, victorious over the dark hordes. “Proceed with this good deed,” the angel said to Andrew. “Be a fool for My sake and you will receive much in the day of My Kingdom.”
The saint perceived that it was the Lord Himself summoning him to this deed. From that time Andrew began to go about the streets in rags, as though his mind had become muddled. For many years the saint endured mockery and insults. With indifference he underwent beatings, hunger and thirst, cold and heat, begging alms and giving them away to the poor. For his great forbearance and humility the saint received from the Lord the gift of prophecy and wisdom, saving many from spiritual perils, and he unmasked the impiety of many. While praying at the Blachernae church, St Andrew beheld the Most Holy Mother of God, holding her veil over those praying under her Protection (October 1). Blessed Andrew died in the year 936.


Our righteous Mother Xenia of Petersburg was born about the year 1730. She was married to a Colonel named Andrew; when she was twenty-six years old, her husband died suddenly, having been drinking with his friends. Left a childless widow, Xenia gave away all that she had, and vanished from Saint Petersburg for eight years; it is believed that she spent this time in a hermitage, learning the spiritual life. When she returned to Saint Petersburg, she wore her husband’s military clothing, and would answer only to the name Andrew, that is, the name of her late husband. She took up the life of a homeless wanderer, and was abused by many as insane; she bore this with great patience, crucifying the carnal mind through the mockery she endured, and praying for her husband’s soul. She was given great gifts of prayer and prophecy, and often foretold things to come; in 1796 she foretold the death of Empress Catherine II. Having lived forty-five years after her husband’s death, she reposed in peace at the age of seventy-one, about the year 1800. Her grave became such a source of miracles, and so many came to take soil from it as a blessing, that it was often necessary to replace the soil; when a stone slab was placed over her grave, this too disappeared over time, piece by piece. Saint Xenia is especially invoked for help in finding employment, lodging, or a spouse. http://www.goarch.org/chapel/saints/402

At first glance we may not relate at all to the fool for Christ. However, we probably do relate much more than we think. How many opportunities are we faced with, sometimes each day, where we might consider a display of our faith as foolish? What do I mean? When eating in a public place, do we take the opportunity to pray and make the sign of the cross or do I avoid it not wanting to look odd? Some may even feel odd and avoid praying with close friends, relatives and family. Do we share our faith in Christ with others, even after they have shared theirs with us, or do we keep it ourselves not wanting to appear too religious? In a water-cooler discussion at work, or over dinner with friends, when a controversial moral-ethical topic comes up, do we throw our Orthodox Christian teaching in the ring, or keep it to ourselves, not wanting to appear to conservative, preachy or a prude? What about being approached by a beggar or pan-handler? Do we gladly give a hand-out or do we keep our hands in our pocket, avoid eye contact and keep moving. After all, “A food and his money are soon parted,” right? I like to say, “A generous man and his money are soon parted, but he is all the more rich”. There is no doubt that many segments of today’s society generally look down upon deeply held religious beliefs and the expression thereof and the people expressing them as foolish. Consider for a moment what Christ and St. Paul say about foolishness:

Matthew 7:26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine and does not do them is like a foolish man”.

Luke 24:25 “O foolish ones and slow of heart to believe”.

1Corinthians 1:20-29 “20Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29that no flesh should glory in His presence”.

“Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seems to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He takes the wise in their own craftiness” (1 Corinthians 3:18-19 KJV).

We must not be afraid to be a fool for Christ’s sake. In other words, we must be willing to live our faith in Christ at all times even if it makes us look silly, weak and foolish to those who do not share that same faith. And remember, not every fool is a fool for Christ’s sake. Amen!

Source:



Saint George Greek Orthodox Church

Greek Orthodox Metropolis Of Chicago

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Saint Molagga (Molacus / Laicin) of Timolague, Co. Cork, Ireland (+655)

January 20

St Molagga’s father was named Dubhligh(dh) and his mother Mioncolla, both of whom were of humble stock and they lived at (Cloch)-Liathmhuire, near Fermoy, Co Cork. The parents were quite old and without children when St Cu(o)imin Fada (12th November) with his brother St Comdhan and some companions passed the way and asked for assistance which was given. After being told of the circumstances of the couple, St Co(u)imin informed them that they would beget a son who would become famous in Ireland for his virtues, sanctity and learning. Also, that he would be a glorious light in his generation, the counsellor and director of the country people and their shield in adversity. Soon, Dubhligh and Mioncolla experienced a miraculous change in their persons; they lost all the signs of age and looked young again. Further, Mioncolla conceived and bore Molagga after 7 months. The people wondered at the changes and how they could have a child. The circumstances of his Baptism also had a miraculous character, which was performed by St Cuimin by happy chance, as the parents met him while intending to go elsewhere. Nearby, a new fountain and stream suddenly appeared to provide water for the Baptism and St Coimin saw angels present at the ceremony.

When growing up, St Molagga acquired many virtues and much knowledge from a number of holy masters and teachers. It is thought that he was trained for a time by St Coimin. When he became an adult a number of disciples attached themselves to him and he founded a monastery near Fermoy, possibly at Tullach-Mhin, Co Tipperary or at Teampall-Molagga, about one mile North-East of Kildorrery (Cill-dá-rí or Church-of-the-Two-Kings), in County Cork. Nearby are found a number of L(e)abba (=bed of)-Molagga which became scenes of miracles for pilgrims in later times.
Around 620, accompanied by other saints and companions, St Molagga visited the court of the local King Cuanna whose queen had just died in childbirth. He Baptised the boy-child as Cuíganmáthair (Caoi-gan-má÷air meaning, sorrow-without-mother) and expressed a wish that the child should not be without a mother, upon which the queen was restored to life. He also predicted an important future for the child.

Some time later, to show his disapproval of the actions of the King and nobles, St Molagga left the area and travelled to Conor (Co Antrim). On the journey he had to pass over water which was accomplished miraculously using merely a framework of twigs in place of a boat. In another place he left his bell behind him and it was miraculously restored to him and the place where this occurred was subsequently called Tearmonn-an-Chluig, or Sanctuary or Glebe or Place-of-the-Bell. Next, he crossed the sea to Scotland and cured a 17-year-old boy who had been dumb from birth. Afterwards he travelled to St David’s monastery in Wales and restored a dead monk to life. There, after some time, he had a vision from an angel who instructed him to return to Ireland. He landed near Dublin where he cured a chieftain of a wasting ulcer. The chieftain thereupon gave him a site for a Church and monastery in Fingall. There he brought bees from Wales and so the place was henceforth called Lann-Beachaire or the Church-of-the-Bees. He then proceeded to Clonmacnoise where he remained for a while before returning to his own territory in Co Cork where he was warmly welcomed back and he was given many gifts for his Church and monastery at Tegh (=House of)-Molagga.

While he was away, Cuíganmáthair had grown up and become King of Munster, but had been struck by a disease and feared for his life. Because of his crimes he resolved on a pilgrimage and thus wanted to abdicate. His nobles and subkings were concerned at this because it would de-stabilise the kingdom so they asked St Molagga for help and in return they conferred the privilege of refuge to his Church. A convention of nobles and clerics was called at Tegh-Molagga which included the Abbot of Emly, the Bishop of Cork, St Cuimin Fada and possibly even St Fursey (Abbot of Lagny). All the problems were resolved and the grants to St Molagga confirmed. One prince objected and was chastised by a miracle. However, he repented and St Molagga cured him. Later, he restored 7 others to life in order for them to make repentance. St Molagga is also said to have founded the Church at Timoleague, Co Cork but some scholars disagree.

In 664, Ireland was struck by a devastating plague, called the Buidhe-Chonaill or Yellow Fever. Corcabhaiscind in South-West Co Clare was particularly badly affected. St Molagga went there and found only 33 men and 28 women alive. He blessed them and there were no further deaths from the plague and later they increased and multiplied. Subsequently, St Molagga was held in the greatest of veneration there, even for a long time after his death, and he became Patron of the locality.
St Molagga is said to have survived the plague even though he was very old at the time. He was distinguished for many virtues and miracles and he was loved and admired by all. He died on the 20th of January but the year in uncertain. Tradition says he was buried at one of the Leaba-Molagga. He is listed in most of the Irish Calendars as well as the Kalendar of Drummond in Scotland. His feast was celebrated in early times, particularly in North-East Cork, Timoleague and in Dublin. The original Church at Timoleague was replaced by a Franciscan Friary in 1240, and nothing remains of our Saint’s monastery. There is an old poetic lament in Gaelic ‘Caoine Tí Molagga’ i.e. The Lament for the House (=Church and monastery) of Molagga.

One of St Molagga’s chief objectives was to shed the light of religion and science, by his instructions and example, over those ages which had been kept in the dark. He also wished to demonstrate the greatness of the Church, and her sanctity allied to the constant progress of Christian civilisation. He proved quite equal to such an undertaking, hard as it was, and not unfraught with peril under difficult conditions. Deep erudition was needed, no apocryphal documents would be accepted, no doubtful texts quoted, nor contestable arguments advanced, when he had to deal with those learned men who were his adversaries, when the relics of paganism were not wholly extinct in Ireland, and when Christians needed the wholesome food of sound doctrine, and the salt of true wisdom, to preserve them from contamination and the dangers of their age. And, whenever was it otherwise? As the French say; “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”.

Parish Church

To the north of the oratory is the Parish Church known as Templemolaga. It is a large rectangular building, 11.8 metres in length by 7.2 metres wide. Very little remains of the church apart from the low walls. The west wall has been rebuilt. The present doorway may not be original. The original masonry and plinth at the base of the south wall suggests the church may be Romanesque. We do know that by the 16th century the church lay in ruins.

Other one ancient Monastery of St Molagga in Labbamolaga, Co. Cork, Ireland

The walls of two churches remain within a subrectagular enclosure. The smaller church has deep antae and a lintelled doorway; inside is a slab which tradition holds indicates the grave of the founding saint. The larger and later church had a nave and chancel, but is without any features, and the walls only remain to a height of c.0.60 m.

The monastery can probably be identified as Tulach-min-Molaga, founded by St Molagga, of Timoleague and Lann Beachaire, in the 7th century. Its current name, literally, ‘Molaga’s bed’, probably refers to the saint’s final resting place or grave here.

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What is a Saint who called Fool-for-Christ?

A saint who has the title Fool-for-Christ is one who is known for his apparent, yet holy, insanity.

Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. (1 Corinthians 3:18-19)

One form of the ascetic Christian life is called foolishness for the sake of Christ. The fool-for-Christ set for himself the task of battling within himself the root of all sin, pride. In order to accomplish this he took on an unusual style of life, appearing as someone bereft of his mental faculties, thus bringing upon himself the ridicule of others. In addition he exposed the evil in the world through metaphorical and symbolic words and actions. He took this ascetic endeavor upon himself in order to humble himself and to also more effectively influence others, since most people respond to the usual ordinary sermon with indifference. The spiritual feat of foolishness for Christ was especially widespread in Russia. –(Excerpted from The Law of God, Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, NY: 1993)

Source:

Orthodox Wiki

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The alms of Saint Panagis Basias, 
Fool for Christ, Priest on Kefallonia Island 
in Greece (+1888)

He had sold all his family’s possessions and gave away whatever financial sources he came across to the poor , whom he considered to be his children. When he came into town, a bunch of poor women always followed him, and he would give them whatever he had, to the point of not having anything to eat himself. Like a new St Nicholas, he knew which family was in need and he intervened to support them or strengthen their faith to God. His love for his neighbor was mixed with bravery and he would often enter a shop, open the cash register drawer and get whatever he thought was necessary for his alms…One day a baker refused to give him what he asked for and his dough failed to rise.

Sources:


VASILEIA

&


SAINTS BOOK – ORTHODOXY

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Saint Panagis Basiasthe Fool for Christ of Kefallonia Island in Greece (+1888) and the family which sent away a poor man 
empty-handed

St Panagis Basias, fool for Christ, priest on the island of Kefallonia, some other time visited a home, where, as they were expecting visitors, they had a pot boiling on fire and he overturned it , because a poor man had just passed by and they had sent him away empty-handed.

Sources:


VASILEIA

&


SAINTS BOOK – ORTHODOXY



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Saint Thaney / Teneu of Wales and Glasgow, Scotland (+6th century)

Protector of the abused and rape victims

July 18

Saint Thaney / Teneu became pregnant after being raped when she was very much still a child. She was so innocent in her youth that her abuser was able to make her believe that he was in fact a woman and that his act of violence was normal behaviour among women. When the pregnancy became visible, her family rejected the young mother and threw her from a cliff to die. By God’s care, Thaney survived the fall and she sailed in a coracle across the Firth of Forth to Saint Serf’s community in Culross, where she gave birth to a little boy, the future Saint Mungo (Kentigern).

Source:


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If God is making you wait, 
you're in good company

Joseph waited 13 years.

Abraham waited 25 years.

Moses waited 40 years.

Jesus waited 30 years.

If God is making you wait, you're in good company.

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Saint Andronik Bishop of Kyoto (Japan) and Perm (Russia), Hieromartyr in Russia, from Povodnevo, Yaroslavl, Russia (+1918)

June 4, June 6, June 7 and July 7

Archbishop Andronik (August 1, 1870 – July 7, 1918), was a bishop in the Russian Orthodox Church and a saint, glorified as Hieromartyr Andronik, Archbishop of Perm in 2000.

Archbishop Andronik was born as Vladimir Nikolsky, on August 1, 1870, in Povodnevo, a village in Myshkin uyezd, Yaroslavl diocese. His father was a deacon in the Russian Orthodox Church. After he finished his studies at the Yaroslavl Seminary in 1891, he entered the Moscow Theological Academy. On August 1, 1893, during his studies in Moscow, he was tonsured a monk and given the religious name of Andronik. He was ordained to the diaconate on August 6 of that same year. On July 22, 1895, he was ordained as a priest.

From 1895, Andronik was assigned first to the theological seminary of Kutaisi in Georgia and then at the seminary at Ardon as inspector and instructor.

In 1897, Andronik was assigned as a member of the Russian Orthodox mission to the Empire of Japan, under Bishop Nikolai (Kasatkin), later glorified as St. Nicholas of Japan, to assist him in his missionary work, which he began 1861. Hieromonk Andronik was very surprised by this assignment and felt inadequate for the position, but ultimately he accepted it as God’s will. His journey began in St. Petersburg, on September 21, 1897, and continued from Odessa with Archimandrite Sergius (Stragorodsky) on October 26. Traveling through European countries and the United States, they arrived in Japan on December 26. He wrote and published a book about this journey, A Missionary Journey to Japan (published in Kazan, Russia in 1899).

On November 5, 1906, Andronik was consecrated as the first Bishop of Kyoto, which became the seat of the West Japan Diocese of the Japanese Orthodox Church. Although Bishop Andronik was the bishop of Kyoto, he lived in Osaka which, while it then was the second largest city in Japan, was also where most of Orthodox faithful lived. After he arrived in Osaka, he began to feel ill and found performing his duties difficult. After serving in Osaka for three months, he asked leave to resign and to depart from Japan. On May 27, 1907, he left Japan and returned to Russia. There, he was assigned on October 26 to be the deputy to Bishop Eulogius of Kholm. In 1908, he was assigned bishop of Tikhvin in Novgorod diocese.

On July 30, 1914, Andronik was appointed bishop of Perm and Solikamsk. Eleven days before, on July 19, World War I began. As the war progressed, he worked energetically for one and a half million inhabitants and 570 churches in this region.

In summer 1916, Andronik traveled to the Imperial Russian Army headquarters outside St. Petersburg where Tsar Nicholas II was leading the army. The purpose of this trip was to warn the Tsar about Rasputin. However, the Tsar would not take him seriously and his trip failed. But Nicholas II was pleased with the gift Bishop Andronik gave him on behalf of the people, a pair of soldier’s boots that the province of Perm provided the army.

In 1917, Andronik became Bishop of Perm and Kungur, and became one of the seven hierarchs in the pre-conciliar synod preparing for the Local Council of the Russian Church in Moscow. He was very active throughout the council, from August 1917 until April 1918, which was the end of the second session of the Council. As the agitation of the Bolshevik take-over intensified on January 25, 1918, Bishop Adronik made a written appeal to the faithful to defend the heritage of the Church from the aggressors and looters as attacks became more frequent.

Andronik was a firm supporter of the Tsar. From his point of view, it was God’s will that the anointed Tsar should reign over the empire; hence, the monarchy was an appropriate governmental system for Christians. But this did not mean he supported tyranny: the Tsar should listen to his people, and the monarch and the people should come to peace.

In February, in the Perm region, the Bolsheviks began to loot churches and monasteries. When the second session of the Council ended, Andronic returned to Perm. Patriarch Tikhon had elevated him to archbishop on April 25, Palm Sunday. On Holy Thursday, April 16, the Bolsheviks carried out a search of his residence. He remained calm and continued the services of Holy Week and Pascha (Easter).

The Bolshevik authorities increased pressure on the church in the following weeks. Finally Archbishop Andronik was arrested at midnight on July 4. In response, the clergy in Perm went on strike from the night he was arrested until July 13, halting all divine services in the region except baptism and the last rites for the dying. There are various accounts of his death. The apparently most consistent says that on July 7, 1918 he was taken to the forest and forced to dig his own grave. After lying down in it, he was covered with earth and shots were fired into the dirt.

In 2000, the Russian Orthodox Church glorified him as Hieromartyr Andronik, Archbishop Of Perm, one of the Russian New Martyrs and Confessors. His feast day is July 7.

Source:


JAPAN OF MY HEART

ORTHODOX JAPAN

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Saint Aaron the Welsh, Abbot of the Monastery of Island Cézembre, near Aleth, France (+552)

21 & 22 June

Saint Aaron of Aleth (died after 552), also called Saint Aihran or Eran in Breton, was a sixth-century hermit, monk and abbot at a monastery on Cézembre, a small island near Aleth, opposite Saint-Malo in Brittany, France. Some sources say that he was born of British stock in Armorican Domnonia.

Aaron was a Welshman who lived in solitude near Lamballe and Pleumeur-Gautier, before finally settling in Aleth. He attracted numerous visitors while there, including Saint Malo, it is said, in 544, and became their abbot. He died soon afterwards. Saint Malo then succeeded to the spiritual rule of the district subsequently known as Saint-Malo, and was consecrated first Bishop of Aleth. Aaron’s feast day is 21 June (at Saint-Malo) or 22 June (elsewhere). He is mentioned in Les Vies des Saints de Bretagne.

Aaron is believed to have died in the town of Saint-Aaron in Lamballe, France.

Source: Wikipedia

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Saint Anthony-Onuphrius of Suprasl Monastery in Poland, Monk-Martyr in Thessalonica (Greece), from Lithuania (+1516)

February 4

Anthony of Supraśl (Polish: Antoni Supraski) was a Ruthenian monk and martyr, now venerated in the Polish Orthodox Church.
Anthony was born on the territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania into an Orthodox family, although his social status and lay name remain unknown. According to tradition, in his youth he was known for his angry character, having eventually killed a man in a bar brawl. Wishing to atone for sin, he entered the Supraśl Orthodox Monastery some time before 1506, where he received the name Anthony.

Considering his penance insufficient, Anthony asked the abbot for permission to go to a Muslim country, where he might receive martyrdom, which was then refused. Anthony had only received permission to go to Mount Athos, where he made his vows of Great Schema and took the name Onuphrius. He then went to Thessalonica, into the Church of the Theotokos Acheiropoietos, which had been converted into a mosque, and began to pray demonstratively. He was arrested and thrown into prison, demanded by the kadi to convert to Islam, which he consistently refused while attacking the religion. Finally, he was sentenced to be burned at the stake. Going to the place of execution, Anthony continued to denounce Islam, and even spat on the face of one of the guards. At this point, he was fatally hit by a club. His body was burned.

Source:


POLAND OF MY HEART

ORTHODOX POLAND

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Saint Brendan the Navigator from Ireland to North America (+578)

“They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.”

Psalm 107:23-24

St Brendan, The Navigator was born in Fenit Co. Kerry in 484. Educated by Bishop Erc in Kerry, set his skills to developing his knowledge to the art of ship building and the rules of the seas around Fenit Island. Building a simple boat made out of wood and leather, St Brendan set sail and discovered America in search of the Promised Land of the Saints. His journey and adventures were outlined in his journal the Navigatio Sancti Brendani which even inspired the Great Christopher Columbus himself on his voyage of discovery many years later.

* * *

Our father among the saints Brendan was born about 484 AD to an Irish family near the present city of Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland. At a very young age he began his education in the priesthood and studied under St. Ita at Killeedy. Later he completed his studies under St. Erc, who ordained him in 512 AD.

During the next twenty years of his life, St. Brendan sailed all around the Islands surrounding Erie (Ireland), spreading the word of God and founding monastery after monastery. The most notable of these is Clonfert in Galway, which he founded around 557 AD, and which lasted well into the 1600s. St. Brendan died around 578 AD and his feast day is marked on May 16th.

Brendan’s first voyage took him to the Arran Islands, where he founded a monastery, and to many other islands which he only visited, including Hynba Island off Scotland, where he is said to have met Columcille (Columba). On this voyage he also traveled to Wales, and finally to Brittany, on the northern coast of France.

The event that St. Brendan is most celebrated for, however, is his voyage to the “Land of Promise”. Sometime in his early journeys, St. Brendan heard from another monk the story of a land far to the west, which the Irish claimed was a land of plenty.

He and a small group of monks including, possibly, St. Machutus, fasted for forty days, then set sail for this land in order to investigate and ‘convert’ the inhabitants. Altogether the journey took seven years.

In the ninth century, an Irish monk wrote an account of the voyage in the Navigatio Sancti Brendani (Voyage of St. Brendan). This book remained popular throughout the entire Middle Ages, and made Brendan famous as a voyager.

The account is characterized by a great deal of literary license and contains references to hell where “great demons threw down lumps of fiery slag from an island with rivers of gold fire” and “great crystal pillars”. Many now believe these to be references to the volcanic activity around Iceland, and to icebergs.

Upon reaching their destination, they engaged a guide who took them around the land. They went inland but were prevented from going further by a great river. Soon after this, St. Brendan, and the remainder of his colleagues sailed back to Ireland. Only a few survived the journey.

In modern times the story was dismissed as pure fabrication, but in the 1970′s a man named Tim Severin became fascinated with the story and decided to replicate St. Brendan’s journey. Severin built a boat made of hides tanned with oak bark just like the one described in the ancient text. The hides were sewn together over a bent frame of ash wood and the seams were sealed with animal fat and grease. With a group of volunteers he set sail for America and made his way to Newfoundland. His journey is covered in “The Brendan Voyage: Across the Atlantic in a Leather Boat”.

Source:


ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

Tim Severin – The Brendan Voyage (1976–1977)

It is theorized by some scholars, that the Latin texts of Navigatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis (The Voyage of St. Brendan the Abbot) dating back to at least 800 AD tell the story of Brendan’s (c. 489–583) seven-year voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to a new land and his return. Convinced that the “Navigatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis (The Voyage of St. Brendan the Abbot)” was based in historical truth, in 1976 Severin built a replica of Brendan’s currach. Handcrafted using traditional tools, the 36-foot (11 m), two masted boat was built of Irish ash and oak, hand-lashed together with nearly two miles (3 km) of leather thong, wrapped with 49 traditionally tanned ox hides, and sealed with wool grease.

Between May 1976 and June 1977, Severin and his crew sailed the Brendan 4,500 miles (7,200 km) from Ireland to Peckford Island, Newfoundland, stopping at the Hebrides and Iceland en route. He considered that his recreation of the voyage helped to identify the bases for many of the legendary elements of the story: the “Island of Sheep”, the “Paradise of Birds”, “pillars of crystal”, “mountains that hurled rocks at voyagers”, and the “Promised Land”. Severin’s account of the expedition, The Brendan Voyage, became an international best seller, translated into 16 languages.

The boat is now featured at the Craggaunowen open-air museum in County Clare, Ireland.

Source: Wikipedia

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The Glorification of the Saints 
in the Orthodox Church

This article was written by Fr. Joseph Frawley, a member of the Orthodox Church in America’s Canonization Commission. It was originally published in the April-May 2000 issue of The Orthodox Church Newspaper.

While the glorification of saints in the Orthodox Church has been taking place for nearly 2000 years, few people today are certain about how this really happens. Does the Church “make” a saint? Are there special panels which decide who can be considered for sainthood? Are saints “elected” by a majority vote? Does a person have to perform a certain number of miracles in order to quality as a saint? The answers to these questions may be surprising to some.

We know that there are several categories of saints: prophets, evangelists, martyrs, ascetics, holy bishops and priests, and those who live a righteous life “in the world.” What they all have in common is holiness of life. Three times in the Book of Leviticus (Ch 11, 19 and 20) God tells us to be holy, because He is holy. We must consecrate ourselves, for we are His people. Saint Peter reiterates this commandment in the new testament, challenging us to obey God’s commandments and submit our will to His will (1 Pet 1:16). Everyone is challenged to manifest holiness in their lives, for we all must become saints! This is our special -  and common -  calling from God. It is not something reserved for the clergy, monastics, or those who are “more pious.” Everyone who has been baptized into Christ must live in such a way that Christ lives within us. “Do you not know,” Saint Paul asks, “that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Cor 3:16).

So, the glorification of saints in the Orthodox Church is a recognition that God’s holiness is manifested in the Church through these grace-filled men and women whose lives were pleasing to God. Very early on, the Church recognized the righteous ancestors of Christ (Forefathers), those who predicted His coming (Prophets), and those who proclaimed the Gospel (Apostles and Evangelists). Then those who risked their lives and shed their blood to bear witness to Christ (Martyrs and Confessors) were also recognized by the Church as saints. There was no special canonization process, but their relics were treasured and the annual anniversaries of their martyrdoms were celebrated. Later, the ascetics, who followed Christ through self denial, were numbered among the saints. Bishops and priests who proclaimed the True Faith and fought against heresy were added to the list. Finally, those in other walks of life who manifested holiness were recognized as saints.

While the glorification of a saint may be initiated because of miracles, it is not an absolute necessity for canonization. The Roman Catholic Church requires three verified miracles in order to recognize someone as a saint; the Orthodox Church does not require this. There are some saints, including Saint Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain (July 14) and Saint Innocent of Moscow (commemorated March 31), who have not performed any miracles, as far as we know. What is required is a virtuous life of obvious holiness. And a saint’s writings and preaching must be “fully Orthodox,” in agreement with the pure faith that we have received from Christ and the Apostles and taught by the Fathers and the Ecumenical Councils.

Can the Church “make” a saint? The answer is no. Only God can do that. We glorify those whom God Himself has glorified, seeing in their lives true love for God and their neighbors. The Church merely recognizes that such a person has cooperated with God’s grace to the extent that his or her holiness is beyond doubt.

Are saints “elected” by special panels or by majority vote? Again, the answer is no. Long before an official inquiry into a person’s life is made, that person is venerated by the people where he or she lived and died. His or her memory is kept alive by the people who pray for his or her soul or who ask him or her for intercession. Sometimes people will visit his or her grave or have icons painted through their love for the person. Then a request is made, usually through the diocesan bishop, for the Church to recognize that person as a saint. A committee, such as the Orthodox Church in America’s Canonization Commission, is formed to research the life of the person who is being considered for glorification and to submit a report to the Holy Synod stating its reasons why the person should or should not be recognized as a saint. Then the Holy Synod decides to number that person among the saints and have icons painted and liturgical services composed.

The formal Rite of Glorification begins with a final Memorial Service for the person about to be canonized, after which Vespers and Matins with special hymns to the saint are chanted and the saint’s icon is unveiled. The saint’s life is published and the date of his or her commemoration is established. The other Orthodox Churches are notified of the glorification so that they can place the new saint’s name on their calendars.

Through the prayers of all the saints, may we be encouraged to follow their example of virtue and holiness.

Source:



ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA

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Saint Maurus (St Maur) from Rome, Abbot of the Monastery of Glanfeuil, France (+584)

January 15

Saint Maurus (or Maur), was the first disciple of Saint Benedict of Nursia (512–584). He is mentioned in Saint Gregory the Great’s biography of the latter as the first oblate; offered to the monastery by his noble Roman parents as a young boy to be brought up in the monastic life.

Four stories involving Maurus recounted by Gregory formed a pattern for the ideal formation of a Benedictine monk. The most famous of these involved Saint Maurus’s rescue of Saint Placidus, a younger boy offered to Saint Benedict at the same time as Saint Maurus. The incident has been reproduced in many medieval and Renaissance paintings.

Saints Maurus and Placidus are venerated together on 5 October.

A long “Life of St. Maurus” appeared in the late 9th century, supposedly composed by one of Saint Maurus’s 6th-century contemporaries. According to this account, the bishop of Le Mans, in western France, sent a delegation asking Benedict for a group of monks to travel from Benedict’s new abbey of Monte Cassino to establish monastic life in France according to the Rule of St. Benedict. The Life recounts the long journey of Saint Maurus and his companions from Italy to France, accompanied by many adventures and miracles as Maurus is transformed from the youthful disciple of Benedict into a powerful, miracle-working holy man in his own right. According to this account, after the great pilgrimage to Francia, Saint Maurus founded Glanfeuil Abbey as the first Benedictine monastery in Gaul. It was located on the south bank of the Loire river, a few miles east of Angers. The nave of its thirteenth-century church and some vineyards remain today (according to tradition, the chenin grape was first cultivated at this monastery.)

Scholars now believe that this Life of Maurus is a forgery by the late-9th-century abbot of Glanfeuil, Odo. It was composed, as were many such saints’ lives in Carolingian France, to popularize local saints’ cults. The bones of Saint Maurus were ‘discovered’ at Glanfeuil by one of Abbot Odo’s immediate predecessors, Abbot Gauzlin, in 845. Gauzlin likely invented or at least strongly promoted the cult of Benedict’s disciple, taking advantage of Glanfeuil’s proximity to two famous and prosperous Benedictine culture centers of the Loire region: the cult of Saint Benedict’s bones at Fleury and that of Saint Scholastica’s relics at Le Mans.

Maurus was born c. 510, the son of Equitius, a nobleman of Rome. At the age of about twelve, Maurus was sent to the care of St. Benedict at Subiaco to be educated. Gregory the Great in the Dialogues relates an account wherein the young oblate Placidus, when sent to fetch water from the lake, was carried away by the current. Back at the monastery, Benedict realized this and directed Maurus to run and save the boy. Maurus did not realize that, in his haste to reach Placidus, he had run out upon the water. After bringing Placidus back to shore, Maurus attributed the miracle to the prayers of St. Benedict; the abbot, to his disciple’s obedience.

Maurus was ordained a deacon, and subsequently, Benedict, prior to leaving for Monte Cassino, appointed him coadjutor at Subiaco. During his tenure, various miraculous cures were attributed to his prayers. Around 528, Benedict summoned Maurus to join him at Monte Cassino.

Around 543, Innocentius, the Bishop of Mans, sent his vicar, Adenard, to Monte Cassino to request Benedict to send some monks to Gaul. Maurus was dispatched and, during the journey, obtained a number of cures for the sick and injured encountered along the way. Through the generosity of King Theudebert, he founded Glanfeuil Abbey, which he governed for many years. He resigned the abbacy in 581 to spend the remainder of his life in solitude and prayer. The abbey of Glanfeuil, was later called St. Maur-sur-Loire. Maurus died at Glanfeuil Abbey 15 January 584.

Maurus was originally buried in the abbey church at Glanfeuil. When, in 868, Odo and the monks of Glanfeuil were obliged to flee to Paris in the face of Vikings maurauding along the Loire, the remains of St. Maurus were translated to the abbey of Saint-Pierre-des-Fossés, later renamed Saint-Maur-des-Fossés. In 1750 the relics were relocated to Saint-Germain-des-Prés, where they remained until dispersed by a Parisian mob during the French Revolution. Saint Maurus is still venerated by Benedictine congregations today, many monks adopting his name and dedicating monasteries to his patronage.

The cult of Saint Maurus slowly spread to monasteries throughout France and by the 11th century had been adopted by Monte Cassino in Italy, along with a revived cult of Saint Placidus. By the late Middle Ages, the cult of Saint Maurus, often associated with that of Saint Placidus, had spread to all Benedictine monasteries.

The Congregation of St. Maur took its name from him. The surname “Seymour” is derived from Saint Maur.

In art, he is depicted as a young man in the garb of a monk, usually holding an abbot’s cross or sometimes with a spade (an allusion to the monastery of Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, literally “Saint Maurus of the Ditches”).

Another of Saint Maurus’ attributes is a crutch, in reference to his patronage of cripples. He was invoked especially against fever, and also against rheumatism, epilepsy, and gout. He is also sometimes depicted with a scale, a reference to the implement used to measure a monk’s daily ration of bread, given to him by Benedict when he left Montecassino for France. The monks of Fossés near Paris (whence the community of Glanfeuil had fled from the Vikings in 868) exhibited this implement throughout the Middle Ages.

Source:

Wikipedia

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May 9, 2019: Blessed Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra Monastery of Holy Mount Athos in Greece, reposes in the Lord

Ormylia, Greece, May 9, 2019

A revered Athonite elder, Archimandrite Aimilianos (Vafides), who long served as the abbot of Simonopetra Monastery, one of the 20 ruling moansteries on Mt. Athos, reposed in the Lord today, May 9, reports Romfea.

The funeral will be held tomorrow at the Annunciation Monastery in Ormylia, Chalkidiki, where the nuns had cared for the sick and elderly Fr. Aimilianos for many years.

Elder Aimilianos was a monk of Meteora before moving with his brotherhood to Simonopetra on Mt. Athos in 1973. He was elected and enthroned as abbot of the monastery that same year, serving in that capacity until 2000, becoming one of the most beloved and revered elders on the Holy Mountain and in all of Orthodoxy in the 20th century.

May his memory be eternal!

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Orthodox Wiki provides a fuller biography:

Alexandros Vapheides was born in Piraeus, Greece, in October 1934. His higher-level education began with his studies at the University of Athens where he received, in 1959, a degree in theology. His intentions were to enter holy orders, become a priest, and then become a foreign missionary after consulting with his friend Anastasios Yannoulatos (now Archbishop of Albania), who supported his intention but thought he should prepare for this work by spending time at a monastery. Yannoulatos had him contact the Bishop of Trikala, who he thought would initiate the young Alexandros into a monastic life.

Entering the monastic life, Alexandros was tonsured a monk and given the name Aimilianos on December 9, 1960 and two days later, December 11, he was ordained a deacon. On August 15, 1961, Dn. Aimilianos was ordained a hieromonk. His bishop then had him spend time at several monasteries before placing him at the Monastery of St. Vissarion in the foothills of the Pindus Mountains. It was while at St. Vissarion Monastery that Fr. Aimilianos seemed to have had a kind of spiritual crisis and profound religious experience that transformed him radically and influenced his subsequent work, a transformation that made the young twenty-seven-year-old hieromonk into a charismatic elder.

Emerging from the experience, Fr. Aimilianos was a different man, like the dramatic conversion of St. Paul, he had become energized and single-mindedly dedicated to the revitalization of monastic life. He was soon appointed abbot of Meteora with the additional duties as diocesan preacher and confessor. As a preacher he soon took the Meteora region captive as his brilliant, mesmerizing speeches resonated especially with the young people who came in great numbers to hear him. Having heard Fr. Aimilianos, many were attracted to a monastic life under his guidance, so that soon he headed a large and dynamic community.

With his fame as well as the natural attraction of Meteora, many tourists came, adding to the pressures on the community. As life at Meteora became increasing difficult under the pressures of tourism, an opportunity arose when the governing body of Mt. Athos invited him and his community of monks and novices, in 1973, to repopulate the ancient Monastery of Simonopetra, the organization and structure of life of which was dramatically altered under the charismatic elder.

Elder Aimilianos also founded, in 1974, Panagia Philanthropini, a Center for Social Advancement and Medical Prevention and Research, (Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Who Loves Humankind) that is located in northern Greece, near the town of Ormylia, Chalkidiki. The center functions as an adjunct to the Sacred Convent of the Annunciation of the Mother of God, a large monastic community with over 120 nuns from various nations—the majority of whom hold university degrees. The convent is a dependency of the Monastery of Simonopetra.

Elder Aimilianos retired as abbot in 2000.

Source:



ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

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Saint Maughold the Irish, 
Bishop of Isle of Man, Irish Sea  (+488)

April 25

Saint Maughold (also known as Macaille, Maccaldus, Machalus, Machaoi, Machella, Maghor, Mawgan, Maccul, Macc Cuill); died ca. 488 AD) is venerated as the patron saint of the Isle of Man, an island in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland. Tradition states that he was an Irish prince and captain of a band of freebooters who was converted to Christianity by Saint Patrick. His feast day is April 25. He is not St MacCaille of Croghan, County Offaly, who received Brigit of Kildare into Christian life.

One day, Maughold tried to make a fool out of Patrick. Maughold had placed a living man in a shroud. He then called for Patrick to try to revive the allegedly dead man. Patrick came, placed a hand on the shroud, and left. When Maughold and his friends opened the shroud, they found the man had died in the interim. One of Maughold’s friends, a fellow named Connor, went over to Patrick’s camp and apologized to him. Patrick returned and baptized all of the men assembled. He then blessed the man who had died, who immediately returned to life, and was also baptized. Patrick then criticized Maughold, saying he should have been helping his men into leading good lives, and told him he must make up for his evil.

As penance for his previous crimes, Patrick ordered him to abandon himself to God in a wicker boat without oars. Maughold drifted to this isle, where two of Patrick’s disciples, Saint Romulus and Saint Conindrus (Romuil and Conindri), were already established. Tradition says he landed on the north-east corner of the Isle near Ramsey, at the foot of a headland since called Maughold Head, where he established himself in a cave on the mountain side. He is said to have been chosen by the Manx people to succeed Romuil and Conindri as bishop.

He is today best remembered on the Isle of Man for his kind disposition toward the Manx natives. Several places on the island, including, Maughold parish, St. Maughold’s Well, and St. Maughold’s Chair are named after him.

Source: Wikipedia

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Sunday of All the Saints

By

Metropolitan Panteleimon of Antinoes

With our Lord’s love I welcome all of you at this divine service and pray that the Love of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will rest in the hearts of all.  For He has said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word” (John l4:23) and elsewhere He says: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John l4:23).

Our Lord wishes to give us a peaceful heart, for He is the Prince of  Peace and He is the One who reconciled man to God.  “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world   gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John l4:27).  The peace which God offers to man differs from that of the world.  The world seeks external peace; whereas God offers the internal peace, which no one can offer.  This peace man receives, when he opens his heart to Christ and welcomes Him within his soul with faith and trust.

In the Gospel of St. Matthew the Son of God teaches us saying, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentile and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt. ll:29).  Elsewhere He teaches us saying: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?  Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matt.l6:24-26).

Man’s aim in life is to achieve his sanctification and salvation in Jesus Christ.  St. Peter reminds us of what God had spoken to man in the Old Testament: “For I am the Lord your God: you shall therefore sanctify yourselves: and you shall be holy, for I am holy” (Lev. ll:44.  l Peter l:l6).  To achieve this sanctification one must follow Christ, for He said:  “For without Me you can do nothing” (John l5:5).  God is our only Lord, and Jesus Christ is our Lord and God.  He is the Son of God the Father, Who came into the world to save man from the bonds of death.  He is the Saviour of all mankind, Who took up flesh in order to sanctify man’s nature.  He is the Revelation of God the Father to the world, 
Who reveals to us the true knowledge of God and grants to us understanding of all heavenly things. He is the unique God-man, Who proclaims and says: “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John l4:6).

No one can achieve true knowledge of God except through the Revelation, which God Himself has revealed to man.  No one can achieve the true aim in life, which is man’s sanctification, except through the Church, which Christ has established by the shedding of His precious Blood. No one can achieve his salvation except through Jesus Christ.

Only when man turns to the true God, can he become a living image of His Divine glory.  St. Paul teaches us saying: “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit” (l Corinth. 6:l9).  God abides within us, when we practice His Commandments.  This practice proves our love to God, because our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ said, “if you love Me, practice My commandments”(John l4:l5).  “If you keep my commandments you shall abide in My love” (John l5:l0).  Elsewhere our Lord assures us saying, that man can bear fruit only if he abides in Him.  “Abide in Me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me … If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw  them into the fire, and they are burned” (John l5:4, 6).

With these words of Jesus Christ one can understand the importance of abiding in Christ.  This means, that one must abide within the original Body of Christ and not to cast himself outside of the Church by creating his own man made organizations.  What man creates is unable to offer him salvation.  Man is indisposed to achieve salvation by his own authority.  If anyone separates himself from the Body of the Church, then the Church is neither injured, nor does She suffer.

God Himself has no need of anyone.  He did not create the invisible and visible world because He needed the logical beings to worship or glorify Him.  He created out of nothingness all things, those which we know and all those which we do not know.  The creation of the invisible world of the angels and the visible universe is the result of God’s love.  He was not forced to create, but out of love He created the world.

He gave us His Church out of love and wishes that all mankind will be saved.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:l6).

See the greatness of God’s love!  He loves us so much, that He gave His only begotten Son to be sacrificed on the cross for our salvation.   God’s love is expressed through the creation of the world and especially in the work of the salvation of man.  St. Paul teaches us saying, that “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).

Christ invites every man to follow Him and to partake in salvation.  Man is free to choose whether he wishes to become a faithful disciple of the True God or to turn against Him.  God does not force anyone.  Man has received from God the gift of having a free will, to practice good or to do evil.  The beauty of man’s creation is that God respects man’s free decision so much that He never interferes in his actions.

Christ invites us all to take up our cross and follow Him.  This is the way of salvation.  We must follow in the footsteps of our Lord knowing, that at the end we will participate in His Heavenly Kingdom.  “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke l7:20).   Again our Lord assures us saying:  “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it” (Luke l8:l7).

St. Paul, the Apostle of the Nations, teaches us saying:  “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom. l2:l-2).  Each and everyone of us must offer a living sacrifice to God, which is our whole life.  He gave us life and we are called to offer our life as a living sacrifice back to Him.  This means, that man should be holy in all aspects of life.  Not only when he is in Church, but in his whole life man must prove, project and testify the life of Christ through his own life and body.

Man in the Orthodox Church is called to imitate Christ Himself.  Man is called to become an imitator of God, because we have the honour of being God’s children by Grace in Jesus Christ.  St. Paul calls out:  “Be imitators of God as dear children.  And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma” (Eph. 5:l-2).  He also invites us to become imitators of the Saints of our Holy Orthodox Church, whose life reflect the life of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  “Imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Heb. 6:l2).

The Saints of our Holy Orthodox Church are those fellow Christians, who through their life, revealed the life of Christ in this world.  They proved that all the teachings of our Lord, given to us through Holy Scriptures, can be practiced by all men irrelevant of age or sex.  They themselves had practiced the word of God in their life and found salvation.  They are the living proof that within our Church man can be saved.  Take out the Saints from the Church and man has no living proof that he can be saved.  Everything then is just good and fine words, which one finds in all religions.  But one thing is solid proof that within the Orthodox Faith man is sanctified by God, when he practices His Commandments and remains within the Body of Christ.

The Saints are Christ’s friends, who imitated Christ’s Sacrifice. They themselves offered their life as a living sacrifice and many, millions of them, have died for our Holy Orthodox Faith.  From the time of St. Steven’s martyrdom to the latest Saint in Orthodoxy, Christ reveals to His Church His beloved friends and faithful disciples in order to encourage the rest to follow their example.  This is the reason why our Orthodox Church projects the life of the Saints, in order to have prototypes in our life.  Here they are surrounding us.  Their holy icons are reminding us of one thing, that they gave their life for Christ’s glory; they followed Christ and they are now inviting all of us to follow the footsteps of our Saviour, to become holy as they became holy in Christ.

For them St. Paul spoke in the Epistle to the Hebrews saying: “Who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.  Women received their dead raised to life again.  Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.  Still others had trial of mocking and scourging, yes, and of chains and imprisonment.  They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, and were slain with the sword.  They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented – of whom the world was not worthy.  They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.  And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.  Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb. ll: 33- l2:2).

We must never forget, my beloved friends, that “the saints will judge the world” (l Corinth. 6:2).  The Saints are not worshipped by our Church; nor do we offer to them sacrifices, as many who do not understand the truth of Orthodoxy accuse our Church.  This is a false accusation by those who believe in falsehood and heresy.  The Orthodox Church honours only the Saints as being Christ’s friends, who proved to be true Christians.  They are the true heroes of our Christian Faith.  They are the victorious soldiers of Christ, who gained victory over Satan and all his evil forces.

Their holy icons which decorate our Holy Churches and homes tell us about their life, their sufferings for Christ’s name sake and they  invite all of us to follow their example.

Today, my beloved friends, our Orthodox Church is celebrating the feast day of All the Saints.  Let us become imitators of those who inherited the promises of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  Let us change our life and practice God’s Commandments.  Let us project the life of Christ through our own bodies.  Let us renounce sin and the sinful desires of the flesh, which enslave us to this world of vanity.  Let us lead a spiritual life as holy people of God.  You hear the priest during every Sunday service inviting all to partake in Holy Communion and saying:  “The holy Gifts, for the holy people of God”.  Let us struggle to become holy through the Grace and Love of Christ.

My beloved friends, today, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is offers to us the opportunity to become a living temple of His Divine Grace and Glory.  Let us all partake in this invitation, for this is the Will of God.  Let no one remain in sin, but rather let all of us turn to Christ our God to achieve our sanctification, for the glory of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

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A Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus

by

Saint Patrick of Ireland (+461)

Part I

1

I am Patrick, yes a sinner and indeed untaught; yet I am established here in Ireland where I profess myself bishop. I am certain in my heart that “all that I am,” I have received from God. So I live among barbarous tribes, a stranger and exile for the love of God. He himself testifies that this is so. I never would have wanted these harsh words to spill from my mouth; I am not in the habit of speaking so sharply. Yet now I am driven by the zeal of God, Christ’s truth has aroused me. I speak out too for love of my neighbors who are my only sons; for them I gave up my home country, my parents and even pushing my own life to the brink of death. If I have any worth, it is to live my life for God so as to teach these peoples; even though some of them still look down on me. I Cor. 15:10 Phil. 2:30

2

I myself have composed and written these words with my own hand, so that they can be given and handed over, then sent swiftly to the soldiers of Coroticus. I am not addressing my own people, nor my fellow citizens of the holy Romans, but those who are now become citizens of demons by reason of their evil works. They have chosen, by their hostile deeds, to live in death; comrades of the Scotti and Picts and of all who behave like apostates, bloody men who have steeped themselves in the blood of innocent Christians. The very same people I have begotten for God; their number beyond count, I myself confirmed them in Christ.

3

The very next day after my new converts, dressed all in white, were anointed with chrism, even as it was still gleaming upon their foreheads, they were cruelly cut down and killed by the swords of these same devilish men. At once I sent a good priest with a letter. I could trust him, for I had taught him from his boyhood. He went, accompanied by other priests, to see if we might claw something back from all the looting, most important, the baptized captives whom they had seized. Yet all they did was to laugh in our faces at the mere mention of their prisoners.

4

Because of all this, I am at a loss to know whether to weep more for those they killed or those that are captured: or indeed for these men themselves whom the devil has taken fast for his slaves. In truth, they will bind themselves alongside him in the pains of the everlasting pit: for “he who sins is a slave already” and is to be called “son of the devil.” Jn. 8:34, 44 (O.L.)

5

Because of this, let every God-fearing man mark well that to me they are outcasts: cast out also by Christ my God, whose ambassador I am. Patricides, they are, yes and fratricides, no better than ravening wolves devouring God’s own people like a loaf of bread. Exactly as it says: “the wicked have scattered your law, 0 Lord,” which in these latter days he had planted in Ireland with so much hope and goodness; here it had been taught and nurtured in God’s sight. Eph. 6.-20 Acts 20.-29 Ps. 14:4 Ps. 119.126

Part II

6

I do not overreach myself, for I too have my part to play with “those whom he has called to himself and predestined” to teach the gospel in the midst of considerable persecutions “as far as the ends of the earth, even if the enemy reveals h’s true envy through the tyranny of Coroticus, who fears neither God nor the priests whom he has chosen and to whom he has given the highest divine power, namely that “those whom they bind on earth are bound in heaven.” Rom. 8:30 Matt. 16:19

7

Accordingly, I beseech especially you “holy and humble in heart,” that it is unlawful to flatter men like these, nor should you eat or drink in their company, neither should anyone feel any obligation to receive alms from such men; not until the time comes when they do penances so harsh that their tears pour out to God, and that they agree to free those servants of God and the baptized handmaids of Christ. For these did he die, for them was he crucified. Dan. 3:87

8

“The Almighty turns away from the gifts of wicked men.” “He who offers sacrifice from the goods of the poor, is like a man who sacrifices a son in the sight of his own father.” “Those riches,” it is written, “which he has gathered in unjustly will be vomited out of his belly.” “And now the angel of death comes to drag him away. He will be mauled by angry dragons, killed by the serpent’s tongue. Moreover, everlasting fire is consuming him.” So, “Woe to those who feast themselves on things that are not their own.” Or, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and suffers the loss of his own soul?” Ecclus. 34:19-20 Job 20.15-16, 26 Hab. 2:6 Matt. 16.-26

9

It would take too long to discuss or argue every single case, or to sift through the whole of the Law for precise witness against such greed. Sufficient to say, greed is a deadly deed. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods. You shall not murder. A homicide may not stand beside Christ. Even “He who bates his brother is to be labeled murderer.” Or, “He who does not love his brother dwells in death.” therefore how much more guilty is he, who has stained his own hands in the blood of the sons of God, those very children whom only just now he has won for himself in this distant land by means of our feeble encouragement. Rom. 13:9 Exod. 20:13, 17 I Jn. 3:15, 14

Part III

10

Could I have come to Ireland without thought of God, merely in my own interest? Who was it made me come? For here “I am a prisoner of the Spirit” so that I may not see any of my family. Can it be out of the kindness of my heart that I carry out such a labor of mercy on a people who once captured me when they wrecked my father’s house and carried off his servants? For by descent I was a freeman, born of a decurion father; yet I have sold this nobility of mine, I am not ashamed, nor do I regret that it might have meant some advantage to others. In short, I am a slave in Christ to this faraway people for the indescribable glory of “everlasting life which is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” Acts 20.22 Rom. 6.-23

11

And if my own do not want to know me, well and good, “a prophet is not honored in his own country.” Indeed, perhaps we are not “from the same sheepfold,” or possibly we do not have “one and the same Father for our God.” As he says, “He who is not with me, is against me” and he who “does not gather with me, scatters.” We are at cross purposes: “One destroys; another builds.” “I do not seek things that are mine.” Not by my grace, but it is God “who has given such care in my heart,” so that I should be among “the hunters or fishers” whom God foretold “in those final days.” Jn. 4:44 Jn. 10:16 Eph. 4:6 Matt. 12:30 Ecclus. 34:23 I Cor. 13:5 11 Cor. 8:16

12

They are jealous of me. What am I to do, Lord? How bitterly they despise me! just see how your sheep are torn apart and despoiled, and by those gangsters I have named, bound to the last man by the inimical mind of Coroticus. Far away from the love of God is the man who betrays my Christians into the hands of the Scotti and Picts. “Ravenous wolves” have gulped down the Lord’s own flock, which was flourishing in Ireland and tended with utmost care. Now I have lost count how many sons and daughters of the kings of the Scotti have become monks and virgins of Christ. For which reason, “may these injuries done to the just not find favor in your sight,” even “to the lowest depths of hell may you not be pleased.”

13

Which of the saints would not refuse to feast and decline the company of such men? See how they have filled their houses with the spoils of dead Christians? Why, they devote their lives to plunder! Miserable men, they have no idea how they feed poison, food that surely kills, to their friends and even to their own children; just as Eve never realized that she was handing out certain death to her own man, her husband. It is always the same with those who do evil: they labor long only to yield death as their everlasting punishment.

14

Roman Christians in Gaul behave quite differently: it is their custom to send holy, capable men to the Franks and other nations with several thousand soldiers so as to redeem Christian prisioners, yet YOU would rather kill or sell them on to a far-off tribe who know nothing of the true God. You might as well consign Christ’s own members to a whorehouse. What kind of hope can you have left in God? Can you still trust someone who says he agrees with you? Do you listen still to all those flatterers who surround you? God alone will judge. For it is written, “Not only those who do evil, but also all those who agree with them, are to be

15

For myself, I do not know “what I shall say,” or how “I may speak anymore” of those who are dead of these children of God-whom the sword has struck down so harshly, beyond all belief. For it Is written, “Weep with those that weep, and again “If one member grieves, then all members should grieve together.” Because of this, the whole Church “cries out and for its sons and daughters” who so far have not been killed by the sword. For they have been taken far away and abandoned in a land where sin abounds, openly, wickedly, impudently; there freeborn men are sold, Christians are reduced to slavery, and worst of all among the most worthless and vilest apostates, the Picts. Jn. 12:49 Rom. 12:15 1 Cor. 12:26 Matt. 2:18,- Jer. 31:15

16

Because of all this, my voice is raised in sorrow and mourning. Oh, my most beautiful, my lovely brethren and my sons “whom I begot in Christ,” I have lost count of your number, what can I do to help you now? I am not worthy to come to the help of God or men. “We have been overwhelmed by the wickedness of unjust men,” it is as if “we had been made outsiders.” They find it unacceptable that we are Irish. But it says “Is it not true that you all have but one God? Why then have you, each one of you, abandoned your own neighbor?” I Cor. 4:15 Ps. 65:3 Ps. 69:8 Eph. 4:5, 6 MaL 2:10

Part IV

17

And therefore I grieve for you, how I mourn for you, who are so very dear to me, but again I can rejoice within my heart, not for nothing “have I labored,” neither has my exile been “in vain.”

And if this wicked deed, so horrible, so unutterable, had to happen, thanks be to God, as men, believing and baptized, you have left this world behind for paradise. I can see you all clearly: you have set out for where “there will be no more night,” “no more lament, neither death.”

“There your hearts will leap, like calves let free from the tether, and you will trample down the wicked underfoot, and they will be like dust under your feet.” Phil. 2:16 Apoc. 22:5, 21:4 MaL 4:Z 3

18

Therefore will you reign with the apostles and the prophets and all the martyrs. You will attain the eternal kingdoms. just as he testifies, exactly as he declares: “They will come from East and the West, and they will rest with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.” “While outside howl the dogs, the poisoners, the homicides,” and “Their fate, with liars and perjurers, is the lake of everlasting fire.” Where, says the Apostle, not without reason, “The ‘Just man will scarcely be saved, yet the sinner and the flagrant lawbreaker, where shall he stand?”

Matt. 8:11 Apoc. 22:15 Apoc. 21:8 I Pet. 4:18

19

And so, now you, Coroticus-and your gangsters, rebels all against Christ, now where do you see yourselves? You gave away girls like prizes: not yet women, but baptized. All for some petty temporal gain that will pass in the very next instant. “Like a cloud passes, or smoke blown in the wind,” so will “sinners, who cheat, slip away from the face of the Lord. But the just will feast for sure” with Christ. “They will judge the nations” and unjust kings “they will lord over” for world after world. Amen. Wisd. 5:14 Ps. 68:2, 3; 3:8

20

I bear witness before God and his angels that this will come about, just as he has revealed my lack of learning. To repeat: these are not my words, but God’s own words-and the apostle’s and the prophets’, which I have merely chiseled out in Latin: and they have never lied. “He who is found to have believed will be saved; but he who did not believe will be condemned, God has spoken.” Mk. 16:15, 16

21

My chief request is that anyone who is a servant of God be ready and willing, to carry this letter forward; may it never be hidden or stolen by anyone, but rather, may it be read aloud before the whole people-Yes, even when Coroticus himself is present.

May God inspire these men sometime to come to their senses in regard to God again, so that they may repent, however latter day, of their grave crimes, namely homicide against the brothers of the Lord, and that they free these baptized women whom they have taken, so that then they may deserve to live to God and be made whole once more, here, now and for eternity.

Peace to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. AMEN.

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Translated by John Skinner in his book The Confession of St. Patrick.

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Saint Andrew the Fool-For-Christ 
at Constantinople, Asia Minor (+936)

May 28 & October 2

Saint Andrew, Fool-for-Christ, was a Slav and lived in the tenth century at Constantinople. From his early years, he loved God’s Church and the Holy Scriptures. Once during a dream, the saint beheld a vision of two armies. In the one were men in radiant garb, in the other, black and fiercesome devils. An angel of God, who held wondrous crowns, said to Andrew, that these crowns were not adornments from the earthly world, but rather a celestial treasure, with which the Lord rewards His warriors, victorious over the dark hordes. “Proceed with this good deed,” the angel said to Andrew. “Be a fool for My sake and you will receive much in the day of My Kingdom.”

The saint perceived that it was the Lord Himself summoning him to this deed. From that time Andrew began to go about the streets in rags, as though his mind had become muddled. For many years the saint endured mockery and insults. With indifference he underwent beatings, hunger and thirst, cold and heat, begging alms and giving them away to the poor. For his great forebearance and humility the saint received from the Lord the gift of prophecy and wisdom, saving many from spiritual perils, and he unmasked the impiety of many.

While praying at the Blachernae church, Saint Andrew beheld the Most Holy Mother of God, holding her veil over those praying under her Protection (October 1). Saint Andrew died in the year 936.

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