January 29, 2023

Homily for the Seventeenth Sunday of Matthew (St. Luke of Simferopol)

 By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

Our Lord Jesus Christ tells us: "Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you" (John 12:35). You still have the light of Christ, you still have the possibility to go to the temple, to listen to the commandments, to listen to the Gospel. Walk in this light. Because when death comes, that light will go out for you. Beyond the grave there is no repentance and you will be repaid according to what you have done in your life.
Therefore walk in the light while you have the light, so that the darkness, the eternal darkness, the darkness of death does not overtake you. The holy apostle Paul says: "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Cor. 6:2). Now, while we live, is for us the accepted time, a time of salvation. Now we must think about our salvation and prepare for eternal life. This is what all Christians do, all who love Christ.

January 28, 2023

Saint Ephraim the Syrian, the Ascetic Bishop

By Alexandros Christodoulos

Saint Ephraim, who is called "the wonderful" by Symeon the Metaphrastes, was born of poor parents in the city of Nisibis in Mesopotamia, around 306. His ancestors confessed Christ during the persecution of Diocletian, that is why he writes that "I am a relative of martyrs". He himself continued this family legacy of love for Christ. During his childhood he was taught about Christ by his parents but also by the holy bishop James, the great Hierarch of Nisibis. He quickly left the world and departed for the mountains with the anchorites, where he became his disciple. He taught him the love of virtue and the uninterrupted study of the word of God. He became a vessel of the gifts of the Holy Spirit after spiritual struggles and his advancement in purification and sanctification.

January 27, 2023

Testimony of a Miraculous Rescue by St. Paisios the Athonite in America

Testimony of Loukas Georgiou (Retired Colonel, Salamis)

When I was serving in Cyprus, in 1989, the sergeant mentioned to me that, when he was studying at the Theological School of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, he had a journalist friend from Thessaloniki who knew Elder Paisios the Athonite (1924-1994) very well.

So, this journalist told him that at one time (he didn't remember exactly when) he had to go to America, to meet a Greek-American for a business appointment.

So he went, met the Greek-American, finished the work he had, and then they visited some cities in America.

January 25, 2023

Homily on the Holy Hierarch of Christ Gregory the Theologian (Archimandrite George Kapsanis)

By Archimandrite George Kapsanis

(Delivered in 1991 at the Athonite Monastery of Gregoriou)

We thank Saint Gregory the Theologian, because with the Grace of the All-Holy Spirit given to him, he taught and dogmatized in a classical way about the Divinity of the Word and the three Persons of the Holy Trinity and silenced the heretics.

Saint Gregory's theology is not only from human learning, which the Saint had in abundance, but it is also from his pure intellect, with which he observed the heavenly and divine mysteries, as the liturgical service repeatedly says today.

January 23, 2023

Brief Life of Saint Bessarion of Agathonos

Saint Bessarion Korkoliakos, the Agathonite, was born in Petalidi, Messenia in 1908, where he learned his first letters. His secular name was Andrew. At the age of 18 he went to Kalamata, where he connected with spiritual people and decided to enter the holy clergy. He became a Monk and took the name Bessarion. Then he was ordained a Deacon, Priest and received the office of Archimandrite.

His higher studies were at the Scholarcheio. However, the continuous study of the sacred books, the texts of our Church, the books of the chanter's stand, had made Saint Bessarion a man of broad and profound theological education.

January 22, 2023

Saint Bessarion of Agathonos Resource Page

St. Bessarion of Agathonos (Feast Day - January 22)

Sacrificer of the Master Christ Bessarion,
Cover those who sing your hymns in their prayers.
Elder Bessarion: A Saint in the People's Consciousness 

Homily on the Fifteenth Sunday of Luke (Archpriest Rodion Putyatin)

 By Archpriest Rodion Putyatin

At one time, Jesus Christ passed through Jericho. And then someone named Zacchaeus, the head of the publicans and a rich man, sought to see Jesus, who He was, but could not follow the people, because he was small in stature. Running ahead, he climbed a fig tree to see Him, because He had to pass by it. Jesus, when He came to this place, looking, saw him and said to him: "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I need to be in your house." And he hastened down and received Him with joy. And everyone, seeing that, began to grumble and said that He had come to a sinful man. Zacchaeus, having repented, said to the Lord: “Lord, I will give half of my property to the poor, and if I have offended anyone, I will repay fourfold.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is the son of Abraham, for the Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost.”

January 21, 2023

Saint Zosimos of Syracuse as a Model for our Lives

By Protopresbyter Fr. George Papavarnavas

Saint Zosimos came from Sicily. When exactly he lived is not recorded in the Synaxaria. What we know is that his parents were pious and raised him "in the education and admonition of the Lord." And also, because they had an estate near a Holy Monastery called Saint Lucia and they took him to this Monastery from a young age, little Zosimos had the blessing of associating with those monks, who, as evidenced by the way of life they inspired in him, had the right faith and were pious and service-loving monks. The abbot made sure that Zosimos learned letters and especially theological letters. Then he became a monk in this Holy Monastery and after the death of its Abbot he was elected Abbot. Later, when the Bishop of Syracuse reposed, God through the Church made him the Bishop of Syracuse. He sacrificially loved the rational sheep of Christ's flock and spent his life in shepherding them.

A Homily on the Sainthood of Saint Bessarion of Agathonos Before His First Feast


In the heart of winter, in the city of Lamia and the Metropolitan Church of the Annunciation of the Theotokos there, as well as in front of the Sacred and Incorrupt Relic of Saint Bessarion of Agathonos, which in the afternoon of June 20th was universally welcomed for the first and only time in the Cathedral of the Metropolis of Fthiotidos, a Multi-Hierarchical Panikhida (Service for the Repose of the Departed) was held, during which the Lamentations of the Saint were chanted.

The Service of the Epitaphios of Saint Bessarion was led by His Eminence Metropolitan Theologos of Serres and Nigrita, and was broadcast directly on Greek television, radio and the internet.

Agathonos Monastery Receives a Rare Gift Before the First Celebration of the Feast of Saint Besasarion of Agathonos

In addition to the elaborate Sacred Coffin and many other tributes, His Eminence Metropolitan Symeon of Fthiotidos, the spiritual father and patron of the Dormition of the Theotokos Monastery of Venerable Agathonos, on June 19th, in anticipation of the first official celebration of Saint Bessssarion of Agathonos, offered a special gift to the Monastery of Agathonos: an artistic and rare copy of the "Patriarchal and Synodal Act of the Inscription of Venerable Bessarion (Korkoliakos) of Agathonos in the Hagiologion of the Church" with the signature of His All-Holiness our Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Venerable Members of the Holy Patriarchal Synod, with elaborate iconography of the Transfiguration, the Panagia Agathonitissa, the Holy Glorious Apostle Herodion who was the first Bishop of the Church in Fthiotidi, and our Holy and God-bearing Father Bessarion of Agathonos. 

January 20, 2023

The Three Day Feast of the Newly-Canonized Saint Bessarion of Agathonos Begins With a Procession of His Incorrupt Relic

On June 14th 2022, Saint Bessarion of Agathonos (+ January 22, 1991) was canonized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and on January 22nd 2023 it will be his first official festal celebration in his honor. In the Greek city of Lamia, festivities have already begun on January 20th, marking the beginning of a three day celebration. Today, for the first time, the incorrupt relics of Saint Bessarion left the Monastery of Agathonos, which were discovered to be incorrupt and miraculous on March 3rd 2006, and were brought into the heart of Roumeli, to the Cathedral of the Metropolis of Lamia.

After the morning Divine Liturgy, the Sacred Relic was placed by the monks and nuns from Fthiotida and elsewhere on a military vehicle and led by the Chancellor of the Metropolis, Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne Fr. Ephraim Triantafyllopoulos, the Abbot of the Monastery Archimandrite Fr. Germanos and a number of fathers, to the Nursing Home of the Metropolis, outside of Spercheiada, where the sick from all the institutions of the Metropolis were blessed by the Saint, and then a second stop was held at the Lianokladi Square, at the focal point of the Spercheiada valley, through which the Saint passed every day either going out to minister from the Monastery or returning to it.

January 18, 2023

The Depiction of the Three Temptations of Christ in a Church of Kastoria

Jesus Christ, immediately after His baptism in the Jordan River, was led by the Holy Spirit to the Judean desert to be tempted and tested morally as a man. There He remained and lived forty days with absolute fasting and constant prayer. During these days He was severely tempted three times by the Devil. These temptations of His are recounted by the three Synoptic Evangelists in their divinely inspired works.

The three demonic temptations presented here, which Christ successfully repelled, were apparently communicated by the Lord Himself to His disciples, with the aim of communicating them to all Christians, so that they (Christians) too would follow His example, i.e. resist the corresponding temptations that constantly present themselves in their lives.

Saint Cyril of Alexandria Heals a Paralyzed Girl from Germany

Mrs. Vasiliki from Germany testifies to the following miracle. With prayer and faith, Saint Cyril of Alexandria healed her child from an incurable disease and while she had been paralyzed, she was suddenly able to move her arms and legs normally.

My name is Vasiliki and I live in Germany. Saint Cyril visited my house and my faith became even stronger. About a year ago I gave birth to a healthy baby girl, I baptized her and called her Marina. She was a child full of energy, health and vivacity. But suddenly, when she was eight months old, she became paralyzed.

January 17, 2023

Saint Anthony the Great in the Art and Literature of the West

 Hieronymus Bosch. Temptation of Saint Anthony. 1505. Lisbon, National Museum of Ancient Art

Of the many Western European images associated with ascetic virtues, healing powers and demonic temptations, the most popular motif stands out from the 15th century - the Temptation of Saint Anthony.

The earliest work to depict Saint Anthony being assaulted by demons is a wall painting in the atrium of Santa Maria Antiqua of the 10th century. The subject became especially popular in the late European Middle Ages, from around 1450. The century following saw the most famous depictions in book illumination, prints and paintings. These include among others the depictions of Martin Schöngauer (ca. 1470), Hieronymus Bosch (ca. 1505),  Matthias Grünewald (1512–1516), Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) and David Teniers the Elder (1582–1649).

The Practical Form of Christianity (Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi)

 By Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi

We have completed the whole cycle of the Divine feasts, and today after we have now celebrated the Foundation of our Church, we have seen the true God in whom we believe, because it is the only feast that is called Theophany, where the entire Mystery and the meaning of the Triune God was revealed.

This is when people had to believe. The magnificent Forerunner, the seal of the Prophets, closed the Synagogue with one hand and opened the Church with the other.

January 16, 2023

Homily Two for the Twelfth Sunday of Luke (St. Luke of Simferopol)

Homily on the Grateful Samaritan

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered on December 13, 1953)

Our Lord Jesus Christ, as you have now heard, having healed ten lepers, commanded them to go and show themselves to the priests, as the law of Moses prescribed. They went and on the way they were all cleansed, all were healed, but only one of them returned to the Lord Jesus Christ and fell at His feet, thanking Him for the healing. And it was a Samaritan. The Lord said with surprise: “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? How did they not return to give glory to God, except for this foreigner?" (Luke 17:17–18).

January 15, 2023

Homily One for the Twelfth Sunday of Luke (St. Luke of Simferopol)

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered on December 17, 1950)

You heard in today's Gospel reading how our Lord Jesus Christ miraculously healed ten lepers, and how ungrateful nine of them turned out to be.

This Gospel is read at every thanksgiving service for our edification.

The miracle performed by the Lord Jesus Christ was the greatest blessing for the unfortunate lepers, for leprosy is one of the most terrible, most horrible diseases. Leprosy is a very contagious disease, people die from it, rotting alive, and therefore in ancient times lepers were expelled from cities and villages, and they did not dare to enter them, did not dare to come close to people, they asked for alms from afar. And now the unfortunate lepers are isolated from the healthy: they are placed in leper colonies, where they remain until death.

January 14, 2023

Homily on the Trinity Consubstantial and Indivisible (St. John Maximovitch)

By St. John Maximovitch

Father, Son and Holy Spirit are of one essence, one nature, one substance. Therefore, the Three Persons are the Trinity consubstantial. People also have one essence, one nature.

But while God is the Indivisible Trinity, divisions constantly occur in people. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit have one thought, one will, one action. What the Father desires, the Son desires, and the Holy Spirit also desires. What the Son loves, the Father and the Holy Spirit love. What is pleasing to the Holy Spirit is pleasing to both the Father and the Son. Their actions are also one, they all perform jointly and in accordance. Not so with people. They have constant differences of opinion, different desires. Already a small child manifests his desires, willfulness, disobedience to his loving parents. The more it grows, the more it separates from them and, often in our time, becomes completely alien to them. In general, there are almost no identical opinions between people, on the contrary, constant divisions in everything, enmity, quarrels between individuals, wars between peoples. Adam and Eve before the fall were in everything agreed with each other and unanimous. Having sinned, they immediately felt estrangement. Justifying himself before God, Adam shifted the blame on Eve. Sin divided them and continued to divide and separate the human race. Being freed from sin, we draw closer to God and, being filled with goodness from Him, we feel our unity with other people. That unity is far from perfect and incomplete, because everyone has some share of sin. The closer we are to God, the closer to each other, just as the rays are closer to each other, the closer they are to the sun. In the coming Kingdom of God there will be unity, mutual love and harmony. The Holy Trinity is always unchanging, all-perfect, consubstantial and indivisible.

Homily Three on the Feast of the Lord’s Theophany (St. John Maximovitch)

 By St. John Maximovitch

Today the nature of the waters are sanctified. Today , the Son of God is baptized in the waters of the Jordan, not in need of purification Himself, but in order to cleanse the sinful human race from defilements.

Today the heavens are opening up and the voice of God the Father is heard: "This is My beloved Son."

The Holy Spirit descends on the Savior of the world standing in the Jordan, confirming that He is the incarnate Son of God.

January 13, 2023

Homily Two on the Theophany of the Lord (St. Luke of Simferopol)

 By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol

(Delivered in 1958)

When we celebrate one of our greatest feasts - the Baptism of the Lord or Theophany - then we are faced with a bewildered question: why did He come to the Jordan, why was our Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God, who took on human flesh for the sake of saving us, accursed sinners, baptized?

This bewildered question arises only among us, and not among the crowd of people standing on the banks of the Jordan and contemplating the baptism of the Lord Jesus could it arise, since no one yet knew Him as the Only Sinless One, as the true Son of God.

January 11, 2023

A Farewell to the Mosaicist of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Sotiris Varvoglis

Sotiris and Patriarch Demetrios in 1988

By the Great Archon Aristides Panotis

At the beginning of the new year, a great and modest artist of ancient mosaics, suddenly passed into eternity on January 8, 2023, leaving behind his loving family and that of the knowledge of the art of mosaics to his children and to his many students and friends, who appreciated in recent years his multi-talented contribution to a multitude of Greek church lintels.

But his top artistic contribution was deposited mainly in the Throne of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the Phanar, both in the new "House of Christ's Hungry" erected by the family of P. Angelopoulos, such as the three mosaics of the Entrance, as well as his works in the Patriarchal Church of Saint George, like the "Reclining Christ Child", which leave the last Byzantine memory to the pilgrims of the revered three-aisled basilica of the Phanar.

Saint Theodosios the Cenobiarch Resource Page


Theodosios abbot of the common life,
As a common monastic you lost your life.
On the eleventh the Cenobiarch departed this life.

The Appearance of Saint Theodosios the Cenobiarch in Rakantzi of Kefallonia

The evening before the feast of Saint Theodosios the Cenobiarch (Jan. 11), Father Gerasimos Fokas would celebrate his feast with a vigil and Divine Liturgy at night in Rakantzi of Kefallonia. One year it was a rainy and cold night, when few managed to attend this vigil, but they had a divine visitation. A pious woman noticed that Father Gerasimos was celebrating the Divine Liturgy with another priest that she did not know. When she later asked Father Gerasimos who this priest was, he confessed that it was Saint Theodosios.

January 10, 2023

Elder Gerasimos Mikragiannanitis and Ecumenical Patriarch Jeremiah I Have Been Canonized By the Ecumenical Patriarchate

Today, the 10th of January 2023, the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate made the decision to register Elder Gerasimos Mikragiannanitis and Ecumenical Patriarch Jeremiah I in the list of saints of the Orthodox Church.

January 9, 2023

Welcome to the Main Page of the Mystagogy Resource Center!

Dear Readers:

Thank you for visiting the new main page for the Mystagogy Resource Center.

The Mystagogy Resource Center began as a labor of love in 2009, with the goal of bringing Orthodox Christians throughout the world to a deeper knowledge of their faith and tradition.

This is done from my own personal perspective, based on some of the knowledge I have acquired and experiences I have had. Whatever I find interesting and wish to share, is conveyed through this ministry.

Because my interests are vast, what began as a labor of love, has now evolved into a library of resources, and it is only getting bigger and better every day.

People all around the world have responded positively to what I have to offer, so I have continued to do what I am doing, and plan on expanding and developing it as far as I can.

Currently the Mystagogy Resource Center consists of twelve websites, which can be accessed by clicking on each of them above. Each website focuses and concentrates on different themes of various interest. Multiple websites are required primarily because one website is too small for the large amount of information published, but also because people may be more interested in one subject over another.

One way I hope to help people find information on all these websites much easier is by creating subject links, which can be seen on the left side of this web page. This will be my attempt of bring all my websites together on one page according to subject.
On the right side of this page is a Search option to find words and subjects mentioned on this website, a LinkTree which has links to all my social media accounts that you can subscribe to, as well as my YouTube channel and various links (Paypal, Patreon, Venmo) to how you can support this ministry.

Please follow the Mystagogy Resource Center on social media to get the latest and most up to date information.

If you would like to be updated by email for each website, please submit your email address on each individual page as indicated.

This ministry is a one man operation. It takes a lot of time and work to bring you all the material. Everything is free and open to the public. For this reason I ask for your financial support either through an annual contribution or monthly subscription donation as indicated below and in my LinkTree. This alone will keep this ministry going and thriving.

I have no intention of pleasing anyone with what I post. People have different perspectives on various things, and that's fine with me. If you find what I do to be distasteful to you, then I encourage you to be open to expanding your perspective, but if this cannot be done, then I encourage you to go elsewhere and focus on what you prefer.

Sometimes I touch upon very controversial subjects that may be too much for the average reader to handle. My goal is not to be divisive, but to educate.

I hope everyone enjoys what I have to offer. Now feel free to explore.

With love in Christ,

John Sanidopoulos

Become a Patreon or Paypal Supporter:

Recurring Gifts

Contact Form


Email *

Message *