March 29, 2023

Homily on Being a Servant and Child of God (St. Luke of Simferopol)

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered on April 6, 1947 - Tuesday of the 4th week of Great Lent)

“For God so love the world, that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16). He gave for our salvation, gave in order to deliver us from our sins, to deliver us from unrighteousness, from our uncleanness. The Son of God fulfilled this greatest work, and saved us all, and taught us how we should live, gave us His holy commandments.

Glorify the name of Christ in your hearts! Remember, put this forever in your hearts, that this is the greatest mercy of God. If you do this, you will be intelligent, deeply intelligent, you will know the truth and reality. But it is not enough to know - one must fulfill, one must follow this path, and to follow the path of Christ means to fulfill the commandments of Christ.

March 27, 2023

Second Homily for the Fourth Sunday of Great Lent (St. Luke of Simferopol)

 The Wisdom of the World and the Wisdom of a Pure Heart

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

To you, my flock, I will say the words that the Holy Apostle Paul wrote to his Philippian flock, and may you put them in your heart: “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ” (Phil. 1:9-10).

How to understand this? How should our love grow in knowledge and all discernment? There are two completely different areas of knowledge. One is the one that all scientists are engaged in: they explore nature and everything that happens in it, accumulate vast knowledge of the wisdom of this world, and the other is the one that even people who are completely unlearned reach; to perceive this knowledge, one must only have a pure heart.

The Last Niece of Saint Nikephoros the Leper Has Reposed

The Sacred Metropolis of Kissamos and Selinos sorrowfully announced the death and funeral of Ioanna (Yiannoula) Mandrabazakis, the last living niece of our Venerable Father Nikephoros the Leper, on March 23rd 2023. She was the daughter of the sister of Saint, Smaragdas Nikolakakis, of the Tzanakakis family.

Metropolitan Amphilochios of Kissamos and Selinos noted:

"It is with reverence and emotion that we send off today, on the journey of eternity, our revered eldress Ioanna (Yiannoula) Mandrabazakis, the last living niece of our Holy Father Nikephoros the Leper. Our late sister Yiannoula, as we all knew her, was a graceful and blessed person, with an unfeigned and deep faith in God and a heartfelt devotion to Saint Nikephoruo. Her 'uncle', as she called the Saint, whom she had met and loved through the stories of her late mother, Smaragdas Nikolakakis, of the Tzanakakis family, the sister of Venerable Nikephoros according to the flesh.

March 26, 2023

Homily Three on the Annunciation of the Theotokos (St. Luke of Simferopol)

 By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered in 1957)

The Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos is one of the greatest events in the history of the world, which we now celebrate not only with joy and love, but also with tremulous fear, for this is the “foremost”, that is, the beginning of our salvation.

I will not retell the only great conversation in the history of the world between the Archangel Gabriel and the Blessed Virgin Mary, I will dwell only on the words: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, therefore the Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).

No one and never, from the creation of the world to the end of it, was born and will not be born like the God-man Jesus Christ. No one has ever been born without a father. Nobody was born and will not be born by the influx of the Holy Spirit. No one has ever been indwelled by the Spirit of God with such complete fullness as He indwelled in the Blessed Virgin Mary. No one was overshadowed by the power of the Most High and no mother's womb was sanctified with such fullness and power as the womb of the Blessed Virgin.

Homily One on the Annunciation of the Theotokos (St. Luke of Simferopol)

 By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered on April 7, 1945)

“Today marks the crowning of our salvation and the revelation of the mystery before all ages. For the Son of God becomes the son of the Virgin, and Gabriel proclaims the grace.”

Now the great mystery of our Christian faith has been fulfilled, what the holy prophet Isaiah predicted seven hundred years before the Nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Emmanuel, which means: 'God is with us'” (Is. 7:14).

Why did this holy prophet say that the Lord would be called Emmanuel, while the Archangel Gabriel, who now greeted the Blessed Virgin Mary, said that She would call His name Jesus? What does this mean? This is explained by the meaning of the name Emmanuel: "God is with us."


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