September 21, 2023

Homilies on the Commonwealth of the Church - The Parish Council (Metr. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos)

 The Commonwealth of the Church

The Parish Council

By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

The commonwealth of the Church, as I have repeatedly emphasized in these sermons, is synodical and hierarchical. This means that the Church at all its levels is governed by a synod and its members are in a hierarchy among themselves.

We see this in the Metropolitans, who meet to resolve various issues that arise in the Church, sometimes this is done in the Hierarchy of the Church, where all active Metropolitans participate, and sometimes in the Permanent Holy Synod, which consists of twelve members and rotates according to the seniority of the High Priesthood. Both of these synodal bodies are presided over by the respective Archbishop of Athens and All Greece.

September 20, 2023

All Saints Canonized Under the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Bartholomew I (1991 - Present)

Since Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew became Patriarch of Constantinople on October 22, 1991, he has not ceased to officially recognize various Saints that have been submitted to him for canonization. This is an action he inherited from his predecessors, especially Patriarch Athenagoras, who beginning in 1955 recognized nine Saints as part of a renewal of Orthodox spirituality, and this action coincided with such tragedies as the Septembriana looting in Istanbul and the political problems in Cyprus, which demoralized the Orthodox of those regions and forced them to emigrate from their homelands. From this time he had listed among the Saints of the Church such revered people as Saints Nektarios of Aegina, Kosmas the Aitolos, Nikodemos the Hagiorite and the Newly-Revealed Raphael, Nicholas and Irene of Lesvos. While still the Metropolitan of Philadelphia, Bartholomew published an article on the importance of this development, and when he became Patriarch, recognizing its great value as an inspiration for the flock of Christ, so he continued this great work. Listed below is the evidence of this work, where the dates the canonization took place are listed, as well as the year of their death, and the days of their commemoration.
In 1992:

- (2/6) Hieromonk Savvas the New of Kalymnos (d. 1947), April 7 or 5th Sunday of Lent
- (7/23) Priest Nicholas Planas (d. 1932), March 2
- (8/14) New Martyrs Christodoulos and Anastasia (d. 1821), Bright Tuesday
- (8/14) The 179 Martyrs of Ntaou Penteli (d. 1680), April 10 or Bright Tuesday
- (8/14) Hieromonk Anthimos of Chios (d. 1960), February 15

In 1994:

- (3/4) Hierodeacon Makarios Kalogeras of Patmos (d. 1737), January 19
- (10/15) Rostislav the Illuminator, Duke of Moravia (d. 870), October 29

In 1995:

- (1/9) Hieromartyr George of Neapolis (d. 1797), November 3
- (1/9) Hieromonk Athanasios of Paros (d. 1813), June 24

In 1997:

- (11/24) Monk Xenophon, Founder of the Athonite Monastery of Xenophontos (d. sometime between 1018-1035), April 24

In 1998:

- (3/19) Monk Joachim of Vatopaidi, from Ithaca, who is also known as "Papoulakis" (d. 1868), March 2
- (5/5) The 6 Martyrs of Megara - Seraphim, Dorotheos, Iakovos, Demetrios, Vasilios, Sarantis  (d. 4th cent.?), August 16
- (5/5) The 4 Martyrs of Megara - Adrianos, Polyeuktos, Platon, George (d. 4th cent.?), February 1
- (12/1) Emmeleia, mother of St. Basil the Great (d. 375), January 1
- (12/1) Anthousa, mother of St. John Chrysostom (d. 407), November 13

In 2000:

- (4/11) Theophanes, Metropolitan of Peritheorion (14th century), May 3
- (4/11) Martyr Dionysios of Vatopaidi (d. 1822), July 31
- (4/11) Hierotheos, First Bishop of Hungary (d. 11th c.), August 20
- (4/11) Stephen, First King of Hungary (d. 1038), August 20
- (9/19) Martyrs Plato, Bishop of Tallin and All Estonia and the Presbyters Michael and Nicholas (d. 1919), January 14
- (9/21) New Hieromartyrs of Crete - Gerasimos of Crete, Neophytos of Knossos, Joachim of Chersonisos, Hierotheos of Lampis, Zacharias of Sitia, Joachim of Petra, Gerasimos of Rethymnos, Kallinikos of Kydonia, Melchizedek of Kisamos, Kallinikos of Diopolis (d. 1821), June 23

In 2002:

- (7/30) The 5 Martyred Ascetics of Leipsoi - Monk Neophytos of Amorgos (d. 1558); Monk Jonah of Leros (d. 1561), February 28; Monk Neophytos the Fazos (d. 1609), December 8; Monk Jonah of Nysiros (d. 1635); Monk Parthenios of Philipopolis. A common celebration of these Holy Martyrs is on the Sunday After July 10.

In 2003:

- (5/22) Gregory (Kallides), Metropolitan of Herakleia and Raidesto (d. 1925), July 25

In 2004:

- (1/16) The Martyrs of the Patriarchal Exarchy of Western Europe - Protopresbyter Alexi Medvedkov (d. 1934, Presbyter Dimitri Klepinine (d. 1944), Nun Maria Skobtsova (d. 1945) and her son Iuri Skobtsov (d. 1944) and Elias (Ilya) Fondaminsky (d. 1942), July 20
- (7/24) The Estonian Hieromartyrs Vassili Solovski (d. 1919), January 12; Joann Pettai (d. 1919), January 27; Joann Sarv (d. 1937), December 3; Karp Elb (d. 1937), September 24; Stefan Grivonogov (d. 1919), January 12
- (11/16) Monk Joseph the Gerontogiannis of Kapsa (d. 1874), August 7

In 2007:

- (1/8) Monk Parthenios (d. 1905) and Hieromonk Evmenios (d. 1920) of Koudouma Monastery, July 10
- (4/30) New Martyr Constantine of Kappua (d. 1610), August 18

In 2008:

- (3/18) Hieromonk George Karslidis the Confessor (d. 1959), November 4

In 2009:

- (11/18) The Family of Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessaloniki - His Parents Konstantios and Kalloni and his Siblings Makarios, Theodosios, Theodote, Epicharis (14th century), December 18 or the Sunday after November 14

In 2010:

- (4/29) Arsenios, Archbishop of Elassonos and Archbishop of Suzdal and Tarus (d. 1626), April 13 or May 8
- (7/8) The 1241 New Martyrs of Naousa, (d. 1822), Sunday of Thomas

In 2011:

- (3/2) Hieromonk Ephraim the New of Nea Makri (d. 1426), May 5
- (10/4) Sophia (Hortokoridou) of Kleisoura (d. 1974), May 6

In 2012:

- (2/22) The 11 New Martyrs of the First Occupation of Estonia by the Soviets - Presbyters Vassili Ristkok (d. 1942), Johannes Kraav (d. 1941), Joann Sergejev (d. 1944), Arteemi Vapper (d. 1944) and Nikolai Leisman (d. 1943); Deacons Vassili Astanin and Peter Koslov; Presvytera Marta Leisman (d. 1943); Laypeople Joann Lagovski (d. 1941), Theodor Petai (d. 1942) and Anna Petai (d. 1948). These Holy Martyrs are commonly commemorated on June 14.
- (12/10) Monk Nikephoros the Leper (d. 1964), January 4

In 2013:

- (7/10) Akakios, Bishop of Liti and Rendini (late 15th cent.), August 16
- (7/10) Damaskinos the Studite, Bishop of Liti and Rendini (d. 1577), November 27
- (7/10) New Martyrs David the Great Komnenos, Emperor of Trebizond, and his Three Sons: Basil, George and Manuel, and his Nephew Alexios (d. 1463), November 1
- (11/27) Hieromonk Porphyrios of Kavsokalyva (d. 1991), December 2
- (11/27) Hieromonk Meletios of Ypseni (d. mid. 19th cent.), February 12
In 2015:

- (1/13) Monk Paisios the Athonite (d. 1994), July 12

In 2016:

- (8/29) Hieromartyr Vlasios of Akarnania (d. 1006), July 7

In 2017:

- (11/27) Archimandrite Iakovos (Tsalikes) of Evia (d. 1991), November 22

In 2018:

- (8/29) Hieromonk Amphilochios (Makris) of Patmos (d. 1970), April 16
- (11/29) Monk John of Valaam (d. 1958), June 5
- (11/29) Martyr John of Ilomantsi (d. 1918), March 8

In 2019:

- (3/20) New Martyrs of Estonia Between 1944 and 1955 - New Hieromartyrs Peeter (Pähkel), Bishop of Tartu and Pechory (d. 1948); Alypy (Ivlev), Archimandrite (d. 1950); Vladimir Irodionov, Protopresbyter (d. 1945); Ioann Vark, Priest (d. 1952); Leonid Lavrov, Priest (d. 1954); Seraphim Ulyanov, Priest (d. 1955); and the Martyrs Alexander Gadalin, church warden (d. 1951); Andrei Punsun (d. 1955). These Holy Martyrs are commonly commemorated on August 20.
- (6/13) Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and Crimea (d. 1961), June 11
- (11/27) Archimandrite Sophrony (Sakharov) of Essex (d. 1993), July 11
- (11/27) Archimandrite Hieronymos of Simonopetra (d. 1957), May 9

In 2020:

- (2/14) Seven New Martyrs of Kastoria - Mark Peter Markoulis of Kleisoura (d. 1598), November 12; New Martyr John Noultzos (d. 1696), April 21; New Martyr George who was once a Hagarene (d. 1809 or 1815), August 18; New Hieromartyr Basil Kalapalikes (d. 1902), June 21; New Hieromartyr Platon Aivazidis (d. 1921), September 21. On the Sunday of the Blind Man all Seven New Martyrs of Kastoria are commemorated together.
- (3/9) Monk Joseph the Hesychast (d. 1959), August 16
- (3/9) Hieromonk Ephraim of Katounakia (d. 1998), February 27
- (3/9) Monk Daniel of Katounakia (d. 1929), September 7
- (6/23) Kallinikos, Metropolitan of Edessa, Pella, and Almopia (d. 1984), August 8

In 2022:

- (1/11) Hieromartyr Cyril I Loukaris of Crete (d. 1638), June 27
- (1/11) Hieromartyr Cyril VI of Thrace (d. 1821), April 18
- (4/14) Archimandrite Eumenios (Saridakis) the New (d. 1999), May 23
- (6/14) Archimandrite Bessarion of Agathonos (d. 1991), January 22
- (6/14) New Hieromartyr Ananias Lampardes, Metropolitan of Lacedaemon (d. 1764), April 15 and Sunday of the Myrrhbearers

In 2023:

- (1/10) Ecumenical Patriarch Jeremiah I (d. 1546), January 13
- (1/10) Monk Gerasimos Mikragiannanitis the Hymnographer (d. 1991), December 7

September 19, 2023

Homilies on the Commonwealth of the Church - The Neokoros (Metr. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos)

 The Commonwealth of the Church

The Neokoros

By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

In the service staff of the Church, which is included among the lower clergy, there is also the Neokoros [known in English as the Sexton], who is responsible for the order in the Sacred Temples and their cleanliness. The Neokoros is also called a Lamplighter, because he lights the lamps, or Assemblyman, because in the past he called the Christians to the services, or Bell Ringer, because he rang the bells, or Ecclesiarch, because he took care of the good functioning of the Sacred Temples.

The word "neokoros" means the servant and guardian of the Temple. The word neos in the Attic dialect means "temple", and the verb koreo means "to clean," "to sweep," so a neokoros is the one who takes care of and cleans the Sacred Temple.

September 17, 2023

On the Sunday After the Exaltation of the Honorable and Life-Giving Cross (Metr. Chrysostomos of Smyrna)

 By Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Smyrna

(Published on September 17, 1911)

The Lord said: "If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? For what can a man give in return for his life? For whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." And he said to them, "Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power." (Mark 8:34-38; 9:1)

Homily on the Sunday After the Exaltation of the Cross of the Lord (St. Luke of Simferopol)

On the Sunday After the Exaltation of the Cross of the Lord

Bear Your Cross

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea
(Delivered on September 30, 1945)
"Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it” (Mark 8:35).

These words of Christ, words of great importance and depth, can cause bewilderment in many. After all, we want to save our soul, but the Lord says that if we strive for this, we will lose it, and in order to save the soul, we need to lose it - lose it for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself and the gospel.

What does this mean? How to understand this?


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