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November 30, 2023

Greek Folk Customs for the Feast of Saint Andrew

Any Cretan housewife who does not make pancakes today will have a hole in the pan, this is what the custom that accompanies the feast of Saint Andrew, also called Trypotigana, commands.

But how did this custom come about? First of all, we are going through a period of fasting but also the beginning of the olive harvest season and the production of the first oil of the year, so it was not difficult to combine the celebration, on the one hand, with a fasting meal and on the other hand with a sweet that would contain oil to honor the blessed product that entered every household.

In his book "Folk Rituals in Crete" the author and journalist Nikos Psilakis writes: "... At the end of the month, however, the first olives should have been ground and the new oil should have reached every household. Frying on Saint Andrew's feast day (or the eve) was to be done with oil from the new harvest. The use of the new olive oil incorporated a special ritual. They often poured the oil into the pan crosswise while saying a wish, such as 'good luck' or 'and next year'. It is probably an echo of its beginnings, the custom of sharing the first fruits of the harvest or offering them to the gods."

Encomium to Saint Andrew the Apostle (St. Proclus of Constantinople)

Homily 19

Encomium to Saint Andrew the Apostle

By St. Proclus, Archbishop of Constantinople

The net of the apostolic fishing is strong.
The casting-net of commemorating Andrew is wonderful.
Unbroken is the net of the immortal dead.
For with time the snares, which not human skill, but grace has weaved, do not grow old.
(5) For even if the fishermen were to depart from life, yet the instruments
of eloquent fishermen do not grow old with time, as well as the net with/in
which they catch the world.
Those who draw (the nets) are not seen, but the nets have been filled.
They have not obtained a fishing rod, which time destroys.

November 26, 2023

Homily for the Thirteenth Sunday of Luke (Archim. George Kapsanis)

Homily for the Thirteenth Sunday of Luke

On the Pious Young Man

By Archimandrite George Kapsanis

(Delivered in 1989)

The rich young man, as we heard today in the holy Gospel, was very concerned about the problem of his salvation, how he will inherit eternal life. That is why he asked Christ what to do. How to be saved.

He knew the commandments because he was a pious youth. He knew God's law. Do not steal, do not commit adultery, do not bear false witness, etc. "These things I have kept from my youth," he said. And this young man was waiting for the Lord to tell him, that in as much as you kept them, you won the Kingdom of heaven.

On the Two Important Commandments in the Law (St. Luke of Simferopol)

On the Two Important Commandments in the Law

St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

Of the three Gospel readings that you heard this day, I want to focus your attention on the first, for it is extremely important for all Christians, for every person who loves God. So, listen: “Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 'Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?' Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets'" (Matthew 22:35–40).

Remember, remember that everything is based on these two most important commandments in the entire Law: all the prophets, the entire Law, our entire faith.

Thirteenth Sunday of Luke Resource Page

November 25, 2023

Features of Monastic Life in the Life of the Holy Great Martyr Katherine (St. Theophan the Recluse)

Features of Monastic Life in the Life of the Holy Great Martyr Katherine

By St. Theophan the Recluse

(A Homily Delivered in a Convent of Tambov on November 24, 1861)

For those celebrating in honor of Saint Katherine, it is best to engage in the features of the life of the Great Martyr. For you and me, sisters, this is all the more fitting since the life of Saint Katherine is, in its main features, a complete depiction of monastic life. I do not make any stretch in this application. See for yourself. Here is the icon of Saint Katherine in front of you! She kneels before the Mother of God, holding in her arms the Infant Savior, who gives Saint Katherine a wedding ring. This is the most important moment of her life - becoming a bride of the Lord. But, as you know, it was preceded by a desire and search for something better, and followed by martyrdom. The desire for the best led the great martyr to the Lord. Having united with the Lord, she was led into the feat of martyrdom and crowned with His crown. These are the main features in the life of Saint Katherine. The same main moments are in your life, if you go through it as you should.

November 24, 2023

The Life of Saint Nikodemos the New of Beroia

The vita is no doubt so short because so little is known about Nikodemos. Philotheos became interested in this saint when he was superior of the monastery of Philokales in Thessalonike in the early 1340s, and inquired into the history of the holy man to whom one of the monastic chapels was dedicated. As he learned, Nikodemos had come to Thessalonike at the beginning of the 14th c., toward the end of his life, after years as a wandering hesychast. He  joined the Philokales monastery, but spent much time outside the cloister, playing the holy fool by consorting with prostitutes. His behavior aroused so much indignation that he was killed in 1307 by some local citizens, and subsequently denied burial at his monastery. Some years later a fragrant odor led to the discovery of his uncorrupted relics, and proper burial in a tomb in his original resting place outside the monastery. After several miraculous healings, the monks of Philokales built a chapel in the same location, with the support of a donation from emperor Andronikos II. His cult spread rapidly, and by 1321 an image of Nikodemos was included in the katholikon of the Hilandar monastery on Mt. Athos. (Alice-Mary Talbot, translator)

The Life of Saint Nikodemos the New of Beroia

By Philotheos Kokkinos

1. Who could pass over the story of the truly great ascetic Nikodemos, and not relate his accomplishments to God-loving ears to the best of his ability? For such an omission would certainly cause immense harm to lovers of the good. Therefore, completely casting aside my fear and hesitation, I will  briefly mention a few of his deeds for those who knew him. No one should dismiss my work offhand, judging it not worthy of the effort, since my purpose is a spiritual one, training and encouraging lovers of virtue to emulate him. Therefore I should invoke God and His initiate, on behalf of whom and for whom is the present account, so that the endeavor at hand may turn out in accordance with our prayers; for this <Nikodemos>, a most precious and true offshoot, confirmed Christ’s calling in his deeds and his death. For what he was going to be was called forth in advance.

Saint Clement of Rome: the Great Apostolic Father

By Lambros Skontzos
One category of Fathers of our Church are called the "Apostolic Fathers". These are the disciples and successors of the Holy Apostles, who received our holy faith from them. One of them was Saint Clement, the Hieromartyr and third Bishop of Rome.

He came from Rome and lived at the end of the 1st century AD and was active during the reigns of the emperors Dometian (81-96), Nero (96-98) and Trajan (98-117). According to tradition, he was of royal descent.

His parents were called Faustus and Matthidia. Thanks to his noble origin and the financial comfort of his family, he had a brilliant education.

November 23, 2023

On Giving Thanks To God (St. John Chrysostom)

By St. John Chrysostom

Therefore bearing these things in mind, let us also fulfill all our duties to our neighbor, and to God let us give thanks continually. For it is too unbecoming, enjoying as we do His beneficence every day, to not acknowledge in word the favor; while this acknowledgment also benefits us. Since He needs not anything of ours, nevertheless we stand in need of all things from Him. Thus thanksgiving itself adds nothing to Him, but causes us to be more familiar with Him. 
For if people bring to their memory the benefits they have received, the more the love potion will be warmed up; and much more when we continually bring to mind the accomplishments of our Master towards us, shall we be more diligent in regard of His commandments.

November 22, 2023

How I Came To Know Saint Iakovos Tsalikes (Metr. Nicholas of Fthiotida)

By His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Fthiotida

I was very lucky or rather blessed, that from the first years of my Priesthood, when I was serving as a Deacon in the Sacred Metropolis of Halkida near the late Metropolitan of Halkida Mr. Nicholas Selentis, I got to know the holy elder Father Iakovos Tsalikes, who recently the Holy and Great Church of Christ in Constantinople, at the suggestion of His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Mr. Bartholomew, recognized and ranked him among the Saints of the Orthodox Church.

I remember that the ever-memorable Nicholas was looking for the saints and sought to meet them. This is how he was first connected by spiritual ties with Saint Paisios the Athonite, about whom we will write about their friendship and communication another time.

From his childhood he met the Holy Elder of Paros, Father Philotheos Zervakos, whom he had as a spiritual father during his childhood and teenage years.

Saints Iakovos of Evia and Porphyrios of Kavsokalyva Appear in a Hospital in the United States

A [Greek] university professor had a serious heart attack. He went to the doctors to be examined and they told him that his condition is serious and nothing can be done. "You are doomed," they told him.

He, meanwhile, had a brother in America who called him and said:

"Come and let the doctors see you here."

So he goes to America, and the doctors there repeated to him what the doctors in Greece had told him.

Only one heart surgeon told him:

"Look, we can do a very risky operation, which if it succeeds you can be saved, but if it doesn't work, you may stay in the operating room. Do you want to do it?"

November 21, 2023

Homily on the Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos in the Temple (St. Nektarios of Aegina)

The following homily was delivered by Saint Nektarios the Wonderworker, Metropolitan of Pentapolis, during a vigil on November 20/21, 1904, for the feast of the Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos in the Temple, which took place in the Church of Panagia Kapnikarea in Athens.

"Today" our Holy Church chants "is the prelude of God's pleasure and the proclamation of man's salvation." Glad tidings for humanity, who deeply groaned under the weight of sin and existed under the tyranny of the devil. Glad tidings for all those who by Adam lived and died, for the salvation of the entire human race has been accomplished. The divine promise given to the first-formed held the salvation of the first-formed and their descendants of the world who accepted the Son of the promise.

Homily Two on the Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos (St. Luke of Simferopol)

Homily on the Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos

Young Leaves of a True Grapevine

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered in 1956)

Christ said: "Without Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). Those who do not believe in Him may be indignant and say: “Oh, really, without His help we do not create great things, political and social, scientific and technical!” But they don't understand these words at all. He spoke about something completely different: about holy and righteous deeds, pleasing to God and blessed by Him, about difficult obstacles on the path to the kingdom of heaven, which can only be overcome with His Divine help.

Homily One on the Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos (St. Luke of Simferopol)

Homily on the Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos

Keep Yourselves Undefiled From the World

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered in 1956)

The Holy Apostle James said: "Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world" (James 1:27). How and with what does the world defile us? There is a lot of all kinds of infection in the air that surrounds us; along with it, we often inhale bacteria from infectious diseases and get sick. But what's worse is that it contains a lot of moral miasma that infects our hearts and minds. We are defiled by the miasma of uncleanness and depravity, which we often hear about, sometimes even witnessing this base and vile sin. People, especially young people, deeply inhale the stench of moral impurity when reading sensual novels, looking at disgusting pictures, listening to bad songs.

November 20, 2023

The Parable of the Foolish Rich Man (Archimandrite Joel Yiannakopoulos)

The Parable of the Foolish Rich Man

(Luke 12:13-21)

By Archimandrite Joel Yiannakopoulos

At the moment when the Lord gives the above-mentioned advice to His disciples, then "one from the crowd said to Him, 'Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.'" This complaining brother was obviously the youngest. He complained because his elder brother did not want to share the property with him and was exploiting it. This younger brother wants to take advantage of the moral influence of the Lord, so he begs to help him in the distribution of the paternal inheritance. The Lord declares that the purpose for which He came into the world was not to get involved in financial matters, so He says to him: "Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?" The Lord's address to the complaining brother as "man" shows His disapproval of him, because in the midst of so many spiritual words of the Lord, his mind was attached to material matters. Who appointed Me, says the Lord, a judge, to judge your dispute and differences, so that I can distribute the property between you? This is not My work, it is the work of the earthly authorities.

November 19, 2023

"I Will Pull Down My Barns": A Homily of Basil the Great on Covetousness

"I Will Pull Down My Barns" (Lk. 12:18)

By St. Basil the Great

1  Temptations come in two forms. Sometimes affliction proves the heart like  gold  in  a  furnace,  testing  its  purity  by  means  of  suffering.  But  for many,  it  is  prosperity  of  life  that  constitutes  the  greatest  trial.  For  it  is equally difficult to preserve one’s soul from despair in hard times, and to prevent it from becoming arrogant in prosperous circumstances.  The great Job, that invincible athlete, is an example of perseverance in the first kind of temptation. With a steadfast heart and an unwavering mind, he braved all the devil’s violence as if it were a raging current.  The more daunting and  formidable  the  tactics  employed  against  him  by  the  adversary,  the more Job’s superiority over the temptations was clearly demonstrated. But there are others who are examples of the temptations that come from the good  life,  including  the  rich  man  whose  story  was  just  read  for  us.  Not only did he possess wealth, but he hoped to obtain even more. As the lover of humankind, God did not immediately judge him for the ingratitude of his ways, but rather attempted to satisfy him by adding even more wealth to  what  he  already  had,  thus  inviting  his  soul  to  a  more  sociable  and civilized demeanor.

November 17, 2023

On the Canonization of Elder Athanasios the Lavriotis

By Metropolitan Panteleimon of Koroneia

With great joy and jubilation I read the news of the canonization of Elder Athanasios the Lavriotis by the Holy Synod of our Ecumenical Patriarchate under the presidency of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Mr. Bartholomew, which allegedly took place through the actions of the elected Metropolitan of Kifisia Mr. Kyrillos.

Of course, in the consciousness of his spiritual children, Father Athanasios was always a Saint.

I remember, with nostalgia I would say, the humble cell of Elder Athanasios next to the Chapel of Nerantziotissa in Amarousio.

Encyclical on the Canonization of Saint Gervasios of Patras

From Patras on the 16th of November 2023
Protocol Number 329
 Encyclical 454th





the Christeponymous Body

of the Holy Metropolis of Patras

My blessed children,

Today is a day of celebration and gladness for the city of Patras.

The Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, following the august announcement by His All-Holiness and Ecumenical Patriarch, Mr. Bartholomew, ranked among the Saints of our Orthodox Church, the sanctified spiritual father and Preacher of Patras, the fervent teacher of the divine Dogmas of the Church, the God-loving, Saint-loving and People-loving, the Priest of the poor and refugees, the nurterer of widows and orphans, the founder of the first Catechetical School in Greece, the student of Saint Nektarios, the grandfather of the people of Patras, Venerable Gervasios Paraskevopoulos, the renowned and sign-bearing Priest, the beloved of the people, the zealous and ardent worker of the Lord's Vineyard.

November 16, 2023

The First Vespers for Saint Gervasios in Patras

Shivers of emotion went through the hearts of the people of Patras, with the joyful announcement of the canonization, by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, of Father Gervasios of Patras.

The news came from the Queen city, during the time of the Divine Liturgy. The bells of all the churches vibrated through the air of Patras and called the multitudes of Patras to prayer and sacred enthusiasm.

In the Doxology, the Apolytikion of the Saint and his Magalynarion were chanted for the first time.

In the evening, on Thursday, November 16, 2023, a multitude of Priests and Monastics and pious Christians, from Patras and elsewhere, flooded the area of the Camp of Fr. Gervasios, at Saint Paraskevi in Sychaino, where in a sacred climate of enthusiasm and deep emotion, the first Vespers of our Venerable and God-bearing Father Gervasios of Patras was celebrated.

Synaxarion of our Venerable Father Athanasios the New of Amarousio

This blessed and newly-appeared luminary of the Church came from a village in Achaia, which the mountain inhabitants of the Peloponnese call Tourlada. He was born in 1891 to poor but most pious parents, Vasilios and Konstantina Hamakiotis, and he received the name George at baptism.

From his youth he gave examples of what he was to become. He demonstrated modest moral conduct and exercised the fear of God. Praying to the Lord at night, he longed for the great ministry of the priesthood, but first he received the schema of the angelic state of the monastics. Thus, when he was fifteen years old, full of divine eros, he reached the Holy Lavra of Achaia, where his father's brother, Chariton Anagnostopoulos, was also living as a monk at the time. There, after a seven-year trial and then after studying at the Priestly School of Arta, he was tonsured a monk and was renamed Athanasios. On the 14th of September 1921, he was ordained a presbyter and from then on he shone like a bright lamp on the lampstand of the Sacred Gospel in the saint-producing Monastery of Lavra, spreading everywhere the light of divine virtues and excelling for ten years with his actions, his words and all of his gifts.

Two New Saints Canonized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate - Elders Gervasios Paraskevopoulos and Athanasios Hamakiotis

The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate has canonized two new Saints of the Orthodox Church today, the 16th of November 2023. The announcement of the canonization of Elder Gervasios Paraskevopoulos (+ June 30, 1964) was announced with great joy and after much anticipation by the Metropolis of Patras, while the canonization of Elder Athanasios Hamakiotis (+ August 17, 1967) was joyfully announced by the Metropolis of Kifisia, Amarousion and Oropos. The announcements are translated below:

Announcement of the Sacred Metropolis of Patras

A day of celebration and cheerfulness dawned for the city of Patras. Joyful news and glad tidings arrived from the Queen of the cities and like a bright lightning flashed across the sky and the ears of the people of Patras were filled with the voice of the Patriarch of the Nation, the renowned Bartholomew, that the sanctified spiritual father and teacher of Patras, Gervasios the sign-bearer, was ranked officially in the list of the Saints of the Orthodox Church.

Hearts leaped, eyes shed tears, bells rang joyfully, on hearing the joyous message.

Doxologies were uttered to the highest heavens, people with angels spiritually celebrate.

The First-Called welcomes Gervasios into the holy chorus of the Saints of Patras.

The birthplace of Gervasios, the children of Arcadia, like deer leap for joy.

The High Priest of Patras, together with the charitable Sacred Clergy and the Saint-loving and God-loving People, glorify God with thankful songs and sacred hymns, and the First of Orthodoxy and the Nation, His All-Holiness and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, they gratefully thank and most reverently kiss His Holy right hand, entreating the Lord for His long life, to the glory of God and of Ecumenical Orthodoxy, and with Him they give thanks from the bottom of their hearts to the renowned Holy and Sacred Synod.

● The renowned and venerable Saint Gervasios of Patras, saw the light of the visible sun, in mountainous Arcadia, in the beautiful village of Granitsa (Nymphasia today), in the year 1877.

As a child, he was orphaned by his mother and despised by people. The Panagia was his comfort, in the Monastery of Kernitsa near his village. "My God", once said the little George (that was his baptismal name), seeing the Saints in the frescoes of the Monastery, "My God, make me stick to the wall too."

Years passed since then and God heard his prayer and supplication and fulfilled his request.

Little George Paraskevopoulos, after many adventures, hardships, tears and efforts, arrived in Patras and knocked on the door of the late Metropolitan of Patras Hierotheos Metropoulos of Arcadia, who now became his protector. At the funeral of Hierotheos, which was performed in Patras by Saint Nektarios, George met Saint Nektarios, and he studied as a deacon in Rizarios protected by Saint Nektarios. He finished the Theological School and emerged as a wise and hierophant priest, who shone as an Army Chaplain in the Balkan wars, as a Preacher of Patras, as Chancellor of the renowned Archbishop Chrysanthos, as a protector of orphans and widows, as a nurturer of the penitent, as a father and intercessor of persecuted refugees, as a founder of Catechetical Schools, Camps and Creative Development Schools, a vigilant teacher of the young, tireless spiritual father and sign-bearer by the grace of God, while he was still alive.

He reposed on the day of the Holy Apostles in 1964. Thousands of now orphaned people mourned him and sent him to eternity, chanting "Agios" ["Saint"]. He rests in his beloved place, in Saint Paraskevi in the Sychaina Camp, which he founded.

In 2014, His Eminence Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Patras, on the completion of 50 years since his repose, transferred his Relics, in the presence of other Metropolitans and thousands of people in Patras, who sang resurrection hymns and with joy of soul and heart exclaimed: "Agios, Agios" showering with flowers and tears his holy Relics.

● Then His Eminence Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Patras took the necessary actions for the canonization of Father Gervasios and after the opinion of the authority of the Synodal Committee on Doctrinal and Legal issues and the unanimous Decision of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, the File was sent to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in order to reach the auspicious day, which by divine inspiration, His All-Holiness and Ecumenical Patriarch Mr. Bartholomew, was proposed today, 11/16/2023, at the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Patriarchate and the official ranking of Saint Gervasios of Patras in the lists of the Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church was decided.

Wherefore the renowned and sacred Clergy of the Apostolic Metropolis of Patras and the pious, God-loving and Saint-loving People, honoring Gervasios, with a rejoicing heart, bless him by chanting:

"Rejoice divine offspring of Arcadia and the sacred treasure of the Church, rejoice divine teacher of the people of Patras, godly-minded Gervasios, with protection cover your children."

And we entreat God with raised hands in supplication, on behalf of the First of Orthodoxy and Nation, saying:

"Lord, through the intercessions of Saint Gervasios, keep our Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in good health for many years and have mercy and save us all."

Glory be to God for all things!
Announcement of the Sacred Metropolis of Kifisia, Amarousion and Oropos

The Holy and Sacred Synod of the Revered Ecumenical Throne of Constantinople, under the presidency of His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Mr. Bartholomew, during the Session of November 16, 2023, decided on the classification into the Hagiologion of the Orthodox Church the Hieromonk Athanasios (Hamakiotis), founder of the Sacred Hesychasterion of Panagia Faneromeni in Rodopolis of Attica and for many years the priest of the historic Sacred Church of Panagia Neranziotissa in Amarousio.

Our Sacred Metropolis delights and rejoices in hearing the above Decision of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The celebration of his memory was set for the 17th of August of each year, the day of his venerable repose, and on the 23rd of October, the day of the translation of his sacred relics.

Our local Church expresses its thanks and gratitude to His Eminence Ecumenical Patriarch Mr. Bartholomew and with Him the members of the revered Sacred Synod, as we announce to the Sacred Clergy, the Monastic Brotherhoods and Sisterhoods, and the Christeponymous body of the Sacred Metropolis the following worship gatherings for this event:


5 p.m.: Sacred Hesychasterion of Panagia Faneromeni in Rodopolis. Placing the Holy Relics of our Holy and God-bearing Father Athanasios the New of Amarousio and Rodopolis in the Katholikon and the celebration of the Festive Hierarchal Vespers.



7–10.30 a.m.: Matins followed by a Festive Hierarchal Divine Liturgy, officiated by our Shepherd, His Eminence Metropolitan Kyrillos of Kifisia, Amarousion and Oropos. After the end of the Divine Liturgy, a procession of the sacred relics will follow in the premises of the Sacred Hesychasterion.


5 p.m.: Sacred Metropolitan Chapel of Panagia Neranziotissa. Reception of Honorable Skull from the Sacred Hesychasterion and then the celebration of the Hierarchical Vespers.



7–10.30 a.m.: Matins afollowed by a Festival Hierarchal Divine Liturgy, officiated by our Shepherd, His Eminence Metropolitan Kyrillos of Kifisia, Amarousion and Oropos. After the end of the Divine Liturgy, there will be a procession of the Honorable Skull around the Sacred Chapel.


5 p.m.: Hierarchical Vespers followed by a Sacred Supplicatory Canon to Saint Athanasios the New.

The Honorable Skull of our Holy Father Athanasios the New of Amarousio and Rodopolis will remain for veneration in the Sacred Metropolitan Chapel of Panagia Neranziotissa in Amarousio until WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 29, where daily Sacred Services will be held.

We invite the Sacred Clergy and the pious Christians of our Metropolis to participate in the first celebration of the classification in the Hagiologion of the Orthodox Church of our Holy and God-bearing Father Athanasios the New of Amarousio and Rodopolis.

Apolytikion of Saint Athanasios
Tone 4 "Tachy prokatalave"

The boast of the Lavra and guardian of Amarousio, the shepherd who adorned the Monastery of Faneromeni, Athanasios O faithful. Come let us reverently hymn with gladness, that our diseases may be healed which requires faith. for he has been shone to be a vessel of grace.

November 14, 2023

A Few Heavenly Thoughts on Eternal Truths as Taught by Saint Gregory Palamas

By St. Justin Popovich

Saint Gregory lived and flourished in the fourteenth century, and all with the same spirit, the same life, the same prudence and divine wisdom as the holy Fathers who lived before him. In his reasoning about the eternal gospel truths, he is always "with all the saints" (Eph. 3:18): always of one spirit with them - the spirit of Christ; of one mind with them - the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16); one life with them - the life of Christ. Together with them, he conveys to us the divinely inspired, apostolic gospel, and patristic interpretations, and confessing, and testifying as a martyr to the holy truths of our salvation and deification, our sanctification and glorification. He preaches and confesses, explains and defends holy truths with his holy mind, holy language, holy life, holy suffering, and holy words. When he thinks - he thinks with the Holy Spirit; when he feels, when he speaks, when he creates - he does it all with the Holy Spirit. That is why he, along with all the holy Apostles and holy Fathers and holy Martyrs and holy Confessors, is our immortal and infallible leader, our eternal and fearless military leader through all the difficulties and storms of our earthly life, through all the deserts and rainforests of our earthly delusions, for all Orthodox from now to the Last Judgment.

November 13, 2023

Thousands Venerate the Skull of Saint John Chrysostom in Athens for the First Time

On Saturday evening, November 11, 2023, a multitude of people welcomed the Honorable Skull of Saint John Chrysostom, which for the first time in history has been brought to Athens from its permanent home at Vatopaidi Monastery. Saint John Chrysostom had received much of his secular education in Athens in the fourth century, and this reception of his skull marks its first return to the capital of Greece in over 1600 years.

The sacred head had been brought by Archimandrite Ephraim of Vatopaidi and was received by Metropolitan Philotheos of Thessaloniki and Bishop Philotheos of Rogoi, assistant bishop of the Archdiocese of Athens who represented the Archbishop of Athens Hieronymos. It was brought to the Church of Saint Eleutherios, where a Doxology took place. It will remain in this church until November 16th, where there will be a daily Divine Liturgy and Services and the doors will remain open 24 hours a day. 

A Church Founded by Saint Kallinikos of Edessa in 1973 is Consecrated in His Name

On Sunday, November 12, 2023, in Perikleia of Almopia, the first parish church of the Sacred Metropolis of Edessa, Pelli and Almopia dedicated to Saint Kallinikos of Edessa, who was a former Metropolitan of the region and reposed in 1984, was consecrated.

The consecration ceremony was conducted by two spiritual children of Saint Kallinikos, Metropolitan Joel of Edessa and Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos. The Divine Liturgy was presided over by Metropolitan Hierotheos, with Metropolitan Joel as his co-liturgist.

In his sermon, the Metropolitan of Nafpaktos expressed his gratitude to God for his participation in the consecration of this temple and thanked the Metropolitan of Edessa for the invitation.

A Copy of the Cross of Constantine the Great Containing the True Cross Has Been Gifted to the City of Patras from Vatopaidi Monastery

Every year in the city of Patras, the Sacred Metropolis celebrates in the month of November a series of festive events known as the "Protokleteia", which refers to the Apostle Andrew, who was the first-called (protokletos) disciple of the Lord. This is because the city of Patras is where the Apostle Andrew suffered martyrdom by crucifixion, and he remains the patron saint of the city. In Patras one can find his majestic temple, his tomb and sacred skull, which was returned to Patras from the Vatican on September 26, 1964. November is therefore the month of Saint Andrew in Patras, whose feast day is on November 30th.

Mount Athos is Getting Its First Major Supermarket

AB Vassilopoulos is a Greek supermarket chain that currently has 636 stores, and this November it will open a new location in Karyes, the capital of Mount Athos. Because Mount Athos only allows males, it will be entirely staffed by men.

The supermarket, which will have an area of approximately 400 square meters, is to be located in what used to be the Cell of Saint Nicholas (the so-called Samaradiko [Saddlery]), which belongs to the Monastery of Great Lavra, and is located directly across from the Church of Protaton, the central cathedral of Mount Athos.

Specifically, this is a multi-purpose building which was constructed architecturally fully in harmony with the area, and has hospitality dormitories, a restaurant-café, a physical therapy clinic, a store with ecclesiastical items, an optical store, and the soon-to-be supermarket chain store.

November 12, 2023

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

He Who Has No Mercy Ceases To Be Human

Luke 10:25-37

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered on November 19, 1950)

The Parable of the Good Samaritan is one of the most important parables of Jesus Christ, for it, like lightning, illuminated with divine light the darkness of human life, full of enmity and hatred, and the exaltation of some over others. Enmity was the law of life in ancient times, when only strength was respected, and no one thought about mercy. And the Lord made it clear how to rebuild our lives so that our behavior would be salutary and pleasing to God. He taught that we should base our attitude towards people on mercy and love.

Eighth Sunday of Luke Resource Page


The Church as a Therapeutic Center (Metr. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos)

November 11, 2023

Miracles of Saint Vincent the Deacon and Martyr (St. Gregory of Tours)

By St. Gregory of Tours

88. The Tomb of an Unworthy Man

At Toulouse some say there was a man named Antoninus who was an enemy of God and the most hateful of all men because he had committed many crimes. It happened that after completing the days [of his life] he migrated from this world. He was buried in the church of the blessed Vincent, in which while alive he had prepared a tomb. One night, while drowsiness seized everyone in a deep silence and everyone quietly rested their limbs in soothing sleep, that man's sarcophagus was thrown out of the holy church through a window and dumped in the middle of the courtyard. At daybreak it was found there, with its lid cracked. The man's relatives did not understand the power of God and did not realize the insult suffered by the saint in whose church they had rashly buried this unworthy man. They placed the sarcophagus in the same place as previously and buried it deeper. But at the next daybreak they found it again thrown outside in the middle of the courtyard. Then they understood the great deeds of God. Thereafter no one touched the sarcophagus, and still today it remains as a witness in the place where it was thrown. Let these stories about rash people suffice.

November 10, 2023

Glorification to Saint Arsenios the Cappadocian (St. Paisios the Athonite)

 By St. Paisios the Athonite

Father Arsenios (Hatzefendis) preached Orthodoxy correctly with his orthodox life.

In asceticism, he withered his flesh out of his fervent love for God and transformed souls with his Divine Grace.

He believed a lot and healed many, believers and unbelievers.

Few words, many miracles.

He lived a lot and hid a lot.

Saint Orestes: the Young Physician and Invincible Athlete of the Faith from Tyana in Cappadocia

By Aristeides Theodoropoulos, Educator

Among the numerous martyrs, who sacrificed themselves for their steadfast and unshakable faith in the Savior and Redeemer Christ, is the young martyr of Christ, Saint Orestes, who is honored on November 10, and who came from Tyana in Cappadocia and, according to some sources, was a physician by profession.

Saint Orestes was born, lived and was martyred during the time when the emperor of Rome was the cruel and paranoid Diocletian, who had unleashed a relentless persecution against the Christians in 303 AD. The young Orestes boldly proclaimed that the only true God is our Crucified and Risen Lord Jesus Christ. His fiery preaching motivated many to embrace Christianity and abandon the false religion of idols. When the ruler of the region Maximinus was informed that Orestes was preaching the faith in Jesus Christ, he ordered to arrest him and bring him before him. Maximinus tried with promises and rich gifts to convince him to abandon the blameless Christian faith and then worship lifeless idols. But the efforts of the ruler were fruitless and a series of horrible tortures awaited the young Orestes. First they stripped him and whipped him mercilessly. They then threw him in jail for seven days without food in the hope that he would change his mind. In prison the unshakable faith of the young confessor of the Lord's name grew so much that it enraged Maximinus even more. Then he gave the order for him to be led before a pagan temple to participate in sacrifices to false gods. But the invincible and glorious martyr of Christ remained steadfast in his faith and, praying, completely crushed the lifeless idols.

November 9, 2023

Saint Nektarios and the Nun Who Was Noetically in Church (St. Ephraim of Katounakia)

Saint Ephraim of Katounakia said the following story about Saint Nektarios:

A young woman went to Saint Nektarios in Aegina to become a nun, let's say, she was a novice, and he said to her:

"My child, be a shepherd, for we have five to ten little sheep: graze them."

"Well, may it be blessed."

The Dental Visitation of Saint Nektarios to Elder Ambrose Lazaris

Elder Ambrose Lazaris (+ 2006) had a special relationship with Saint Nektarios, who had appeared to him several times.

We know of several cases when the Saint and Father Ambrose communicated.

One night, therefore, the Elder told a young priest, who had been his spiritual child from a layman, to go the next day at noon to Spyrou Merkouri Street, where the Elder lived at the time, to take him to the dentist.

Saint Nektarios and the Prophetic Word for Elder Simon Arvanitis

By Monk Zosimos

Panagiotis [the baptismal name of Elder Simon Arvanitis (+ 1988)] visited Mount Athos a few times. When he was young he liked to go on long journeys. Once he started from Athens and walked to Ouranoupolis. There he put his clothes on his back and swam to Mount Athos!

The Elder would later tell George Pantazis that at the age of 16 he went with a friend to Kavsokalyva of Mount Athos.

There the Fathers were gathered and waiting for Metropolitan Nektarios Kephalas to arrive, our well-known Saint Nektarios [the Bishop of Pentapolis and Wonderworker], who would be visiting them.

The Nephew of Saint Nektarios Recalls a Miraculous Rescue by his Uncle

Anastasios Kephalas was the 13th and the youngest child of Haralambos Kephalas, who was the brother of Saint Nektarios. Saint Nektarios was not only an uncle to Anastasios, but a godfather, since it was he who baptized him. Saint Nektarios reposed in Athens on November 8th 1920, and Anastasios, who was 12 years old at the time, was the last living relative to speak with him. Anastasios had a 3 hour conversation with Saint Nektarios on his deathbed.

Below is an excerpt from an interview Manolis Melinos conducted with Anastasios for his book I Spoke With Saint Nektarios, in which Anastasios relates a miracle by his uncle Saint Nektarios on his behalf when he was a soldier in Albania in 1940.

The Holy Synod of the OCA Has Canonized the Righteous Matushka Olga of Alaska

The Proclamation of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America on the Glorification of the Righteous Servant of God Matushka Olga

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

To the beloved Clergy, Monastics, and Faithful of the Orthodox Church in America

God is wondrous in His Saints

November 8, 2023
Chicago, IL

The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America has heard the petition of The Right Reverend ALEXEI, Bishop of Sitka and Alaska, expressed in his November 2, 2023 letter to His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, concerning the glorification of the Servant of God, the Righteous Matushka Olga.

In this letter, His Grace Bishop ALEXEI states: “I am writing to Your Beatitude with respect to the departed handmaiden of God and faithful Orthodox Christian, Matushka Olga Nicholai of Kwethluk, known by the pious peoples of the Kuskokwim as Arrsamquq.  Her humility, her generosity, her piety, her patience, and her selfless love for God and neighbor were well-known in the Kuskokwim villages during her earthly life.  Her care for comforting the suffering and the grieving has also been revealed after her life by grace-filled manifestations to the faithful throughout not only Alaska, but all of North America.  The first peoples of Alaska are convinced of her sanctity and the great efficacy of her prayers.  For this reason, after prayerful consideration, I, Alexei, Bishop of Sitka and Alaska, am hereby making the formal request to Your Beatitude as the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America to begin the process that, if it be in accord with God’s will, would lead to her glorification.”

November 8, 2023

The Monastery of the Pammegiston Taxiarchon in Nenita of Chios and Its Lifesize Icon of the Archangel Michael

Nenita, a large village of Chios which oversees the olive groves and the coast, is about 18 kilometers from the town of Chios and 2 kilometers from the sea. During medieval times, Nenita was the largest village of all the mastic villages (a series of fortified villages built in the 14th century during Genovese rule, from 1346-1566) with 2.5 thousand inhabitants, while today it has approximately 1180 inhabitants. Nenita is now one of the largest villages of Chios with rich social and cultural activity. Despite the intense movement of the population from the villages to the city, a phenomenon that is observed in most of the villages of the island, Nenita remains a lively and populous village that is upgraded year by year. The inhabitants of Nenita engage in agriculture and produce mastic, olives, olive oil, almonds and grapes. Nenita is one of the 21 villages (Mastichoria) of southern Chios where the mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus) is cultivated, only there and nowhere else in the world, and from which mastic is extracted.

November 7, 2023

Eldress Galaktia and the Prayer to the Archangel Michael in Times of Trouble

According to her caregivers, Eldress Galaktia of Crete said the following about the Archangel Michael:

I was with the Commander of all and the entire military staff. All the officers came, but the First also came. A great and terrible loss! What will happen? Look... What is the enemy doing out there?

"If God is with us, who can be against us."

"Lord save your people and bless your inheritance."

November 6, 2023

Saint George Karslides and the Pregnant Woman Who Unintentionally Lost Her Baby

A pregnant mother, who unintentionally lost her baby while carrying something heavy, was given a penance by Saint George Karslides for her to do forty prostrations every night throughout Great Lent. He said to her: "If you can, I want you to dress an orphan as well." Merciful himself, he taught others to always be merciful, for love will cover a multitude of sins. Indeed, the mother bought fabric and sewed a dress for a very poor little orphaned girl. When she gave it to the girl, they were both overjoyed. This is how the Saint taught love, simply and gracefully.

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