September 30, 2023

Second Sunday of Luke Resource Page

Second Sunday of Luke 
(Luke 6:31-36)
Second Sunday of Luke: Gospel Reading
"How Can I Become a Saint?": A True Story 

Testimonies Regarding the Miraculous Discovery of the Sacred Relics of the Holy New Martyr Akylina

Narrative of a Dream of a Pious Woman About the 
Burial Place of the Holy New Martyr Akylina

Ten days after the discovery of the sacred relics of the Holy Great Martyr and Prize-Bearing Kyranna, the following miraculous event happened to me. Saint Kyranna appeared to me in a dream and spoke to me about her friend, Angelina as she called her, and that they are and coexist together.

After a few days I informed His Eminence Metropolitan John of Langada, Liti and Rentini of the dream that Saint Kyranna found me worthy me to see.

During this time, a girl appeared in my dream who told me she was Angelina and urged me to read the Supplicatory Canon of Saint Parthenios, Bishop of Lampsakis, because Nikodemos of Ierissos is being operated on, due to an illness he himself did not know about, stressing at the same time not to look elsewhere to find her, since we know where she is.

Saint Angelina who appeared to me in my dream was young in age, a tall girl with blond hair, of exceptional beauty and she was standing at the outer door that leads to the interior of the Sacred Bema of the Sacred Temple of the All-Great Taxiarches of Ossa. She was telling me how I should measure seven steps from the door near the Sanctuary of the Temple and she pointed out to me a spot where I would stand, exactly opposite, looking at the wall of the Temple and on which there was a sign of the Cross. And the Saint continued saying that there we will find her Bones and continued saying: "Wound to the bones, bitter red water."

September 25, 2023

The Monastery of Saint Thekla in Mosfiloti of Cyprus (History and Miracles)

The Sacred Monastery of Saint Thekla is located about 500 meters south of the Mosfiloti village in the District of Larnaca in Cyprus. It is built in the middle of a small, verdant valley, in an area that provides the necessary peace for the monastic community that abides in it.

According to tradition, which was recorded by the British traveler William Turner in 1815, the Monastery of Saint Thekla was built by Saint Helen during her visit to Cyprus in the beginning of the 4th century AD, when she had also established the Monastery of Stavrovouni. The relevant tradition reports that Saint Helen arrived at the region where the monastery stands today, prayed to God and then Holy Water started flowing from the earth that helped her and her escorts to cool off. She then constructed a church over this spot, which she dedicated to the early martyr and Equal to the Apostles, Saint Thekla.

The Holy Water spring exists today and it is used by the faithful for the cure of skin diseases and eczemas.

In the trail through which Saint Helen and her escort passed, next to the monastery, there were, until recently, trees of an oblique shape. A sort of certification by nature that it bowed as the Saint was passing by.

A Letter of Saint Silouan the Athonite to Two Women

When Saint Sophrony Sakharov set about collecting the letters of his spiritual father, Saint Silouan, he asked all the Saint's correspondents to entrust him with the originals of the letters and to keep copies for themselves.

Therefore almost all the letters of Saint Silouan are found in the library of the Monastery of Saint John the Baptist in Essex.
Archimandrite Serge Chévitch (1903–1987) kept in his archive many of the copies given to him by the correspondents, among which was the letter below.

Patriarchate of Antioch Will Canonize Two New Saints This Fall

Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East declared during the Divine Liturgy he presided over on the occasion of the Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos at Saydnaya Monastery in Syria (9/8/23), that the sessions of the Holy Synod will be officially initiated on October 18th of 2023 during which many topics will be raised. One of the most important topics is that the Holy Synod is heading towards canonizing the Hieromartyrs Father Nicholas Khashi, and his son Father Habib Khashi, two Damascene priests who martyred for the faith in the last century.

As a layman, Father Nicholas was an activist for the return of the Patriarchate of Antioch, which had been under Greek rule since the Melkite Catholic schism, to Arab control and was active in the establishment and development of schools for the community. He was then ordained to the priesthood, where he served the Archdiocese of Damascus. Patriarch Meletios (Dumani) then commissioned him as the overseer of the Metropolis of Mersin, whose bishop Alexander (Tahan) had abandoned it due to the poverty and unrest he was experiencing. In Mersin, Father Nicholas succeeded in reuniting his scattered flock and caring for and strengthening the faithful, who were subjected to various forms of persecution and ethnic cleansing. The Turkish authorities became disillusioned with Father Nicholas and arrested him based on the slander against him, then tortured him until he was martyred.

September 24, 2023

Homily for the First Sunday of Luke - "Fishers of Men" (Metr. Augoustinos of Florina)

 Homily for the First Sunday of Luke

Luke 5:1-11

"Fishers of Men"

(A Homily Delivered on a Radio Station in Larissa in 1949)

By Metropolitan Augoustinos (Kantiotes) of Florina

"Do not be afraid; from now on you will be fishers of men." (Lk. 5:10)

Those of us, my beloved, who live in this corner of the Balkans, which is bathed by the waves of the Mediterranean, will have seen the beautiful sight that fishing presents. Homer and other ancient poets gave a description of fishing.
As then, so today, small ships, the trawlers, tear the waters, proceed to the depths, open the nets in a semicircle, and with them the fishermen, holding the two ends of the trawl, drag it to the shore.

He approaches. What does he bring? Everyone's curiosity peaks, the children impatiently wait to see. Fishermen, rejoice! the net is full, fish small and great.

September 22, 2023

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

The Commonwealth of the Church

The Laity

By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou
The Church is the Body of Christ, as the Apostle Paul writes, and it has individual members, but it is also a community of theosis, as Saint Gregory Palamas writes.

This means that with Holy Baptism and Holy Chrismation we enter the Church, we become members of the Body of Christ, we participate in the Divine Liturgy, we partake of the Body and Blood of Christ and we proceed on the path of theosis, with our participation in the Mysteries and with the observance of the commandments of Christ and asceticism according to Christ.

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, 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 Eumenios (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 2021:
- (07/21)  Synaxis of All the Holy Physicians, Sunday Closest to October 17 and 18
In 2022:

- (1/11) Hieromartyr Cyril I Loukaris of Crete (d. 1638), June 27
- (1/11) Hieromartyr Cyril VI of Thrace, Patriarch of Constantinople (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) Jeremiah I, Patriarch of Constantinople (d. 1546), January 13
- (1/10) Monk Gerasimos Mikragiannanitis the Hymnographer (d. 1991), December 7
- (10/3) Eldress Gabriela (Papagiannis) (d. 1992), March 28 
- (11/16) Archimandrite Gervasios (Paraskevopoulos) of Patras (d. 1964), June 30
- (11/16) Hieromonk Athanasios (Hamakiotis) the New of Amarousio and Rodopolis (d. 1967), August 17 & October 23

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?

September 16, 2023

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

  On the Exaltation of the Cross of the Lord

The Seal of the Cross on the Heart

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea
"I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus" (Gal. 6:17), writes the holy Apostle Paul. All monks and nuns wear the so-called paraman, which consists of a wooden cross on the chest and a quadrangular plate on the back, connected to it with ribbons, on which the instruments of the cross are depicted, and these words of the apostle are written around them. The paraman serves as a constant reminder of the Cross of Christ. But it is not enough to just wear a paraman on your body. All saints had the Cross of Christ inscribed on their very hearts. Not only monks, but also all true Christians must achieve this mark, for the Cross is the banner and seal of Christ.

How can you inscribe the Cross of Christ on your heart? An image of the Cross of the Lord should be a necessary accessory of every Christian home, and prayer before it should be a daily activity for all its inhabitants. After all, every view of the Cross of Christ, every thought about it invariably puts a holy seal on our heart. And the bitter tears shed over the greatest untruth of the world, revealed in the execution of the Savior, fix the image of the Cross in souls.

Encomium on the Nativity of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos (St. Nicholas Cabasilas) - 5 of 5

 ...continued from part four.

13. Once again, that she dwelt in that untrodden place is not something that honors the Virgin, but rather that place. Just as the old Passover is honored by the addition of the slaughter that it symbolized, and the baptism of John by the spiritual baptism, and the rest of the symbols by the true realities. Because, if other symbols symbolized and led to other realities, the Holy of Holies certainly led to the all-holy Virgin. The fact that entry into the Holy of Holies was allowed only to the High Priest and that once a year while he had previously been cleansed of sins, indicated the mysterious pregnancy of the Virgin, who bore within her the only sinless One, the One who with a single sacred rite and once throughout the ages wiped out all sin. And the fact that the Holy of Holies was again untrodden to all men, except the holiest of all, was a sign that showed that the blessed Virgin never brought into her soul anything that was not entirely holy. And the temple was so highly respected, precisely because it was going to receive her in it, since nothing else of what was in it was possible to give it this majestic modesty. Nothing, indeed, was so valuable that its value would put it beyond the reach of many. It was even possible for all people to hold the manna in their hands and take it in their dwellings and eat it. And the staff had nothing more sacred than the priests who held it and for whose sake it blossomed shoots and leaves. Finally, of the tablets, the most precious of all, the ones that contained the law, everyone could hold them in their hands. So what should we consider that honored that place so much, if not the prefigurations of the All-Immaculate, that is, that all the things that were there had their reference and led to her? For this very reason, while it was inaccessible to all men, it was accessible to her. And as soon as the Virgin appeared, she immediately abolished the law that had been in force from the beginning, which shows on the one hand that the temple did not allow any other people to enter, because it honored her and reserved itself only for her, and on the other hand, that it was so far superior to men and never accepted even the slightest element of human inferiority. And this was done in order to show that, if the space that represented the Virgin was so far away from everyone and had, so to speak, nothing in common with people and the universe, what should we think about the realities themselves, since of course it is possible to know the height and value of the largest from the measure of the smallest things?

Homily on the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos (St. John Maximovitch)

By St. John Maximovitch

(Delivered in Qingdao in 1948)

“O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all” (Ps. 103:24), the Psalmist proclaimed even in ancient times.

What is that wisdom (or "sophia" in Greek) by which all things were created?

Another Psalm says, “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth” (Ps. 32:6).

And the holy Evangelist John the Theologian proclaims: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:1-3).

September 15, 2023

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

 On the Exaltation of the Cross of the Lord

Crucified With Christ

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

You have now heard the Gospel reading, which reveals the full horror of the Lord’s torment on the cross (see John 19:6–11, 13–20, 25–28, 30–35). They presented our Savior, the Son of God, to the court of the pagan Pilate: he interrogated Him, but Jesus did not answer a word. Pilate is surprised: “How dare you not answer me!? Don’t You know that I have the power to crucify You and have the power to release You?”

Jesus' answer amazed Pilate even more: "You would not have any power over Me if it had not been given to you from above. Therefore, he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin" (John 19:11). The pagan Pilate, feeling with all his heart the irresistible Divine power of the Lord Jesus Christ, was amazed. He decided that he needed to let Him go, that he was a sinless Man, a Righteous One, who could not be executed. Having brought Jesus to the judgment seat, he sat down on a stone platform and, turning to the angry Jews, pointing to the Lord, said: "Here is your King" (John 19:14). Those accursed ones, full of malice against the Lord, cried out in one voice: "Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him... we have no king but Caesar" (John 19:15). “If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar” (John 19:12).

September 14, 2023

Homily on the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (St. John Maximovitch)

 By St. John Maximovitch

The Cross, which before Christ was an instrument of execution and caused fear and disgust towards it, after Christ’s death on the Cross became an instrument and banner of our salvation.

With it, Christ crushed the devil, from it He descended into hades and, freeing those who languished there, led them into the Kingdom of Heaven.

The image of the Cross is frightening for demons and, as a sign of Christ, is revered by Christians.

The Lord revealed it in heaven to Emperor Constantine, who was marching on Rome to fight the persecutor who had seized power, and, having built a banner in the form of a Cross, Emperor Constantine won complete victory. Having received help through the Cross of the Lord, Emperor Constantine begged his mother, Queen Helen, to find the most life-giving Cross, and the pious Helen, going to Jerusalem, after many searches, found it.

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

 On the Exaltation of the Cross of the Lord

The Cross - Praise of Christians

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered on September 14, 1945)

The Great Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is very ancient. It is known that it was celebrated already in the 5th century. It was established in connection with the joy of finding the Cross on which Christ was crucified.

The Equal to the Apostles Helen, mother of the first Christian Emperor of Byzantium, Constantine the Great, went to Jerusalem with the goal of finding this Cross. This was a difficult task, for Jerusalem, after the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, was destroyed twice by the Romans and lay all in ruins. And on Golgotha, at the site of the execution of the Lord, the Roman Emperor Hadrian, in order to destroy the memory of the Cross of Christ, ordered a lot of earth to be poured in and a pagan temple of Venus to be built.

Universal Exaltation of the Honorable and Life-Giving Cross Resource Page

Elevating the neck O Savior,
Creation sees the Cross elevated.
On the fourteenth the Wood of the Cross is elevated.
Sunday Before the Elevation of the Honorable Cross

Sunday After the Elevation of the Honorable Cross

September 13, 2023

An 18th Century Critique of an Athonite Practice of Re-Baptizing Converts

By Metropolitan Job of Pisidia

Narratives of pilgrims’ journeys have always been precious witnesses to our knowledge of the history of the development of worship... The Wanderings (Мандри) of Vasil Grigorovich Barsky, [which are] the notes of his long pilgrimage to the Christian West and East – the journey of almost his entire life – took place between 1723 and 1747, when he died, a month later having returned to Kiev. They introduce us, in particular, to the peculiarities of worship in the Greek-speaking world under the Ottoman empire, and describe in sufficient detail the Athonite liturgical practice still in use to this day.

Born in 1701 near Kiev, Vasil (Basil) Barsky was an exceptional pilgrim, quite different from the others. As a young twenty-year-old student of the Kiev Theological Academy, he left his homeland, interested in discovering foreign lands. He left with his knowledge of Latin and Slavic languages, which he acquired at the academy, and with theological and liturgical education, which gave him the opportunity, unlike many other pilgrims, to describe and evaluate in detail the divine services he attended in various places of the Christian world, both in the West (Pest, Vienna, Bari, Rome, Venice) and in the East (Corfu, Mount Athos, Palestine, Egypt, Cyprus, Patmos, Constantinople, Athens and Crete)....

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

 The Commonwealth of the Church

The Reader

By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

Among the Lower Clergy, though they are not Clergy as we know them in modern reality, along with the Chanter is the Reader.

Various readings from the Old Testament and the New Testament have been included in the worship of the Church and there needed to be some Christians who, together with the Chanters, recited these texts during the Sacred Services.

Thus, the Reader reads, apart from the texts of the Old Testament, the Psalms, the Prophecies, and the Apostolic Readings at the Divine Liturgy or at other services, such as for example during the Great Hours. Chanters are also Readers, but Readers may not be Chanters.

September 11, 2023

Oikos to Saint Euphrosynos the Cook

Oikos to St. Euphrosynos the Cook
You showed yourself to be, an inviolate ascetic, O Euphrosynos the friend of the Creator; having shined with humility and obedience, temperance, nepsis and prayer, as the luminously bright sun, you illuminate the faithful who cry out:

Rejoice, adornment of solitaries;
Rejoice, boast of cooks.
Rejoice, gardener of perfect character;
Rejoice, inheritor of the garden of grace.
Rejoice, apple paired and sweet, delivered sacredly;
Rejoice, lily most beautiful, enjoyed abundantly.
Rejoice, for showing yourself to be a horn of humility;
Rejoice, for you are the divine honor of monastics.
Rejoice, revered vessel of the Spirit;
Rejoice, bright tablet of prudence.
Rejoice, giver of divinely-given delights;
Rejoice, deliverer from arduous distress.
Rejoice, blessed Euphrosynos.

50 Professional Photos of the Chapel of Saint Theodora in Vasta of Arcadia

In 2014, Christos Kintis posted 50 professional photos of the Chapel of Saint Theodora in Vasta of Arcadia, with the phenomenon of the 17 trees on its roof that has stood intact for centuries. See the photos

September 10, 2023

Homily for the Sunday Before the Elevation of the Honorable and Life-Giving Cross (Theophanes Kerameus)

 By Theophanes Kerameus (+ 1152)

Come today, O God-loving assembly, let us celebrate the forefeast of the elevation of the life-giving Cross. The divinely-sweet voice of the Gospel echoes in my hearing, which addresses the mystery of the crucifixion, setting as an example the bronze serpent that the Israelites had hung on the wooden staff. And for me the readings become precursors and foretellings of the veneration of the Cross. So let us carefully turn our gaze to the all-illumined words of the Gospel using them as a projection of the royal scepter.

The Lord said: "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven." It is good that He said that. Indeed, this Gospel passage, looking to the purpose of the day, suppressed what had preceded it. So when that disciple of the night came to the Lord - you surely understand that I mean the Pharisee Nikodemos - and the Savior taught him about the "born from above", he, because his mind was still possessed by Jewish thickness, automatically came to thoughts of the womb imagining carnal birth. So when the Lord saw him not following Him at the height of this doctrine, He said to him: "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven;" as if to say: You, Nikodemos, are not amenable to heavenly mystagogy and are trying to find some human explanation; but "no one has ascended to heaven" to introduce these things there, or "came down from heaven", except He who came down from heaven and teaches these things there, "the Son of Man who is in heaven".

September 9, 2023

Encomium on the Nativity of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos (St. Nicholas Cabasilas) - 4 of 5

 ...continued from part three.    

9. Thus the All-Immaculate with her rightful gifts and their utilization herself wove for herself this crown. For, while the help she received from God was the same as that received by all, she so far exceeded the others by what she added of herself, that she not only conquered wherever they were conquered, but also conquered so brilliantly, so that her victory may be sufficient for her own glory as well as for other people and be like a victory achieved by all. For she did not prove the human race worse by surpassing it as an adversary, but embellished it. Nor did she make it ashamed as if defeated, but showed it more brilliantly. Not even by becoming extremely beautiful herself did she reveal the ugliness of her race, but she gave them more beauty. Nor again, by successfully defending human nature in herself, did she thereby clearly transfer the cause of sin to each man separately, making the responsibilities heavier for men. On the contrary, having herself prospered in an unprecedented way, she dishonored and defeated sin, in order to free from all evil the oppressed and vanquished. And thus the beauty which was given to human nature, she preserved not only in herself, but, as far as possible, in all other men, unadulterated by every foreign element.

September 8, 2023

Homily on the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos (St. Justin Popovich)

By St. Justin Popovich

The Lord who dwells in heaven, wanting to appear on earth and live among people, first established on it the abode of His glory, His Most Pure Mother. For it is the custom of emperors to prepare a palace for themselves in the city to which they intend to go. And just as the palaces of earthly kings are built by the most experienced craftsmen from precious materials in the most beautiful places, more beautiful and spacious than other human abodes, so the palace of glory of the Heavenly King was to be built. In the Old Testament, when God wanted to live in Jerusalem, Solomon built a temple for Him through the most experienced builder Huram, who was very skilled, wise and full of knowledge (3 Kings 7:13-40; 2 Chronicles 2:13-14.; 4:11-16). Solomon built the temple from the most expensive materials, from excellent stones, from fragrant trees: cedar and cypress from Lebanon, and from pure gold, on the highest place, on Mount Moriah. The fact that cherubs, various trees and flowers are sculpted on its walls contributes a lot to the beauty of the temple. The temple was huge in terms of space, so that many Israelites could comfortably fit in it, and the glory of the Lord descended upon it in fire and cloud. However, that temple was not enough to accommodate the uncontainable God. Solomon built a temple for Him, but the Most High does not live in temples made with hands. "Where is the home you would build me?" says the Lord. "And where is the place for my rest" (Is. 66:1; Acts 7:48).

September 6, 2023

The Cave of the Archangel Michael of Panormitis in Rhodes (History and Miraculous Testimonies)

By Lazos Mantikos,
Journalist for the Greek TV station Antenna

Surely everyone will have something to say about the Archangel Michael of Panormitis. The name has an ancient origin. Based on etymology, there are two versions: Because it is on a bay (ormos) or it is related to the deserted location of Apomero (ermo) located southwest of the beautiful island of Symi. It is one of the largest pilgrimage sites of the Dodecanese and has a pan-Hellenic pan-Orthodox reputation.

My Testimony
I will begin with my own story... When I brought my newborn daughter to Rhodes, my sister brought as a gift prayer ropes that had been blessed from the Sacred Monastery of the Commander Michael in Panormitis of Symi. One of them was to be put on her little leg. I didn't want the newborn baby to have anything on her. I said it in general, to make her feel comfortable. But I did not imagine that in my sleep I would see the Archangel Michael of Panormitis looking at me fiercely with his long gray hair and dressed in his silver armor. Terrified I woke up not knowing who it was, then I saw the icon they had left on my daughter's bed. He was exactly as I saw him in my dream.

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

 The Commonwealth of the Church

The Chanter

By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

Usually people characterize the Bishop as High Clergy and the Presbyters and Deacons as Lower Clergy. However, this is not correct from the Church's point of view. Because in the texts of the Church, the High Clergy are the Bishop, the Presbyter and the Deacon, who belong to the three degrees of the Priesthood, and to the lower degree belong the Subdeacons, the Chanters, the Readers, because they help the Clerics in their liturgical ministry.

The Lower Clergy also includes chanters, or as they are usually called, sacred chanters. This is the chanter who is on the right side of the Temple, at the right analogion and is called the right chanter, and there is also the chanter who is on the left side of the Temple, at the left analogion and is called the left chanter. In the Patriarchal Church the right chanter is called Protopsaltis and the left chanter is called Lampadarios.

September 5, 2023

The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece Warns of New Activity of the Church of Scientology

The Drug-Free World chapter of Athens is supported by the Church of Scientology of Greece.

Regarding New Activity of Scientology in Greece

September 4, 2023
The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece with a sense of responsibility informs Christians everywhere that the "Church of Scientology" which operated in Greece in the form of an association under the name "Greek Center of Applied Philosophy" (Κέντρο Εφαρμοσμένης Φιλοσοφίας Ελλάδος - K.E.F.E.) with two decisions of the Greek Judiciary (7380/1996 of the Athens Court of First Instance and 10.493/1997 of the Athens Court of Appeal) was found to be "an organization with medically, socially and morally dangerous and harmful practices."

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