January 31, 2024

Miracles 3 and 4 of Saint Arsenios of Paros

By Archimandrite Philoetheos Zervakos
Miracle 3

In Lagada, in the estates of the Monastery of Saint George and of other neighbors who had farmhouses and estates bordering on the estates of the Monastery, the residents of the farmhouses noticed that wild oxen were entering the estates at night and causing damage. When the people living in the farmhouses realized this, they ran to chase them away and the wild oxen that appeared, instead of coming out of the entrance of the estates, came down from steep slopes; while the people ran to reach them in order to drive them out of the entrance, they were in danger of falling and killing themselves. They went and announced this to the Saint, then residing in the Monastery, who comforted and reassured them saying to them:

"Do not be afraid children, have courage. I will come to drive away these wild oxen. Know, however, that they are not real oxen, but envious demons in the form of oxen, to trouble you. When they come, notify me to come and drive them out."

Saints Cyrus and John Resource Page

Miracles of Saints Cyrus and John for Theodora Who Had an Eye Disease and for her Husband Christodoros Who Was Shipwrecked

The Miracles of Saints Cyrus and John

Miracles 8
On Christodoros Who Was Shipwrecked

By St. Sophronios of Jerusalem 
There was a certain Christodoros, a virtuous, pious and educated man who manifested his reverence toward the saints. His case is a good occasion to tell the readers of the miracles performed by Cyrus and John, when and how they had been written, in accordance with the will of God and with the co-operation of the martyrs themselves.

For Eulogos, bishop of Alexandria [581-608], appointed this Christodoros to manage the treasure of the saints. [He thus administered the church of Irene dedicated to?] John the Forerunner [text corrupt]. Eulogos' successor, Theodoros [bishop 608-609], delegated him to the herd [text corrupt]. John [the Merciful, 610-619] in turn, who took Theodoros' place by the divine will, was a devoted friend of the poor. It was he who decided that Christodoros would manage the temple of the martyrs [in Menouthis]. Under this bishop the miracles accomplished by the martyrs were written down and transmitted.

Christodoros thus sailed on the Mareia lake intending to get to Mareotis to inspect the properties of the saints. Since it was wintertime, suddenly a storm arose and raised big waves on the lake. They tossed the boat here and there, so that it could no longer be controlled, and Christodoros was in danger. He thought that he was going to die and that his body would feed the fish and crocodiles.

So before it happened, he turned to the saints with a prayer. Knowing that they can save from death those whom they want to help, he begged them for rescue, since it was because of them that he was in danger.
They heard his supplication and rushed to assist him, since there is no obstacle to their aid and salutary appearance, be it on land, or on the sea or the lake, be it close or distant in space. Thus, whenever anyone calls on them as allies, they arrive at once, and help him and deliver him and protect him. If there is an attack of invisible enemies, they support him in the battle. When they win the battle against those enemies, they chase them to their dishonour, appointing as the winner the one who had invoked them.

If the insult comes from evil people, they dismiss it easily. If the attack comes from mischievous beasts, they decide on the means of salvation. If the suffering [of an illness] is a fierce and insufferable torture, they calm it and heal it as gentle physicians. If there is a danger in the water of a sea or a lake, they bring stillness and rescue their venerators.

Thus they saved Christodoros, calming the waves on the lake and made the boat sail safely. He escaped death, but, due to these dramatic circumstances on the lake and the perturbation of the air and sea, fell incurably ill. His temperament became unbalanced, which resulted in an excretion of the internal humours out of the skin of his body, and so he was in danger again. The best Asclepiades [= pagan doctors] who were summoned were helpless and contented themselves predicting that he was to die and would not wake up the following day. When he heard this sentence, he recalled the aid of the saints that he had received just a bit earlier.
Along with the martyrs John and Cyrus he also invoked Theodore, a commander among the martyrs, to pay him a visit; for Christodoros was an admirer of Theodore and often used to call him and ask for protection out of this great affection to him.

He [Theodore] received his prayers as if they were coming from a friend, and moved to the greatest compassion, appeared to Christodoros in a dream arriving from afar to bring him the desired aid. He had a sign lifted up in his right hand and a raised cross, making it clear that he was coming to release him. He said: "Christodoros, do you know why I have come here?" When the latter stated his ignorance, the former said: "It is for you that I rushed here to call my principal Cyrus on behalf of you."

When the martyr Theodore said this, Cyrus manifested himself at once, accompanied by his brother John. They approached the bed with a common zeal. They examined the one lying on it, touching his wounds with their hands, and calm as with a nitron the perturbation of the excretions [of his body]. And having accomplished this gently, all the three withdrew.

But it happened in a dream. Thus, when he woke up in reality, his disease receded with the sunshine. In effect, the buboes on his skin flaked off and remained on the bed resembling the scales of fish. But after five days, when all the buboes were removed from his body, the saints reappeared to him. They commanded him to take a bath and anoint himself entirely with some boiled peas. This remedy was to remove all the defilement and the rest of the eruption of the buboes. Thus, when he was entering the bath, he still had the scars of the buboes on his body, but when he went they left, there was no single trace of them any more and he was as if new-born. Having obtained healing, he venerated and honoured the martyrs. 
The Miracles of Saints Cyrus and John

Miracles 9
On Theodora Who Had an Eye Disease

By St. Sophronios of Jerusalem

This miracle was performed by the martyrs Cyrus and John on behalf of Theodora, a wife of Christodoros whose miraculous healing was described in the preceding chapter of the Miracles. This Christodoros was in charge of managing the finances of the shrine of Cyrus and John in Menouthis as he was appointed to this function by Eulogos, bishop of Alexandria [581-608]. His wife Theodora had a grave eye disease and was treated by many physicians in Alexandria. She was thus upset by her husband's nomination as the financial manager (oikonomos) of the shrine because it was located far from the city. She tried to persuade her husband to refuse the nomination under the pretext that their house in the city would be left abandoned. And she was likely to succeed in persuading him (because wives have great power and influence over their husbands), if the saints who favoured the nomination, did not appear to the woman in a dream and convince her that she should accompany her husband to their shrine in Menouthis. They asked her why she did not wish to move to Menouthis, and she revealed that she did not want to be away from her doctors who cured her eye disease. Then the saints showed her in a vision their sanctuary and the ill people who gathered there to sleep, and described the disease of each one of them. This way they persuaded her, and she agreed to go to Menouthis. Once she got there, she was immediately released from the disease. She did not do anything to be cured, but to be content with contemplating the sanctuary. For it was so agreeable that it was able to cure diseases truly disagreeable.

However, Theodora also obtained another miracle afterwards. Some time after being healed, she went to wash herself in the bath of the saints. During the bath, she slipped on some sticky ointments and fell on her back. The fall was serious, since she got a deep wound on her elbow and bled a lot. But the martyrs appeared and healed the wound immediately. On the night following that day the woman went to sleep despite the great pain, because she wanted to obtain healing from the saints in the fastest way. The martyrs hastily appeared. Standing by they commanded her to wipe her elbow with a sponge soaked in the wine of Mareotis and apply on the wound some flesh of labrax (a species of sea-fish). And since they thought that this damage was of demonic origin, they also ordered that she took a bath, so that they set a monument of their healing in the same manner, in which the insulting accident happened. When their order was executed, Theodora obtained healing at once. The demons were defeated, their machinations were proved vain and the martyrs were glorified.


A Miracle of Saints Cyrus and John for Kosmiana Who Had a Back Injury

The Miracles of Saints Cyrus and John

Miracle 33

On Kosmiana Who Had a Back Injury

By St. Sophronios of Jerusalem

There was a certain Kosmiana who did not suffer from any disease. One day she had a longing to go to the sanctuary of Cyrus and John to venerate their relics. Thus she mounted her donkey and headed for Menouthis. The father of envy, however, saw her great desire, and decided to prevent her zealous arrival at the martyrs’ sanctuary and her accomplishment of this pious act of veneration.

When the woman was halfway along her journey, he [the devil] suddenly threw to the ground the donkey which was carrying her. She fell on her back which was shattered. For some time she seemed to be dead, but then she returned to her senses. Those who accompanied her wanted to take her back to the city, so that she could be examined by physicians. The woman, however, understood that it was a demon who planned to prevent her visit to the martyrs, and asked her assistants to take her to the sanctuary. So with great difficulty they again placed her on the donkey, and carefully carried her to Cyrus and John. She prayed to the martyrs and venerated their tomb, and then she had herself carried back to the city, since she did not want to reside in the sanctuary until she regained her strength. She addressed the martyrs, saying that, since she had not been suffering when she decided to venerate them, so she would not stay in their sanctuary to obtain a complete cure. She asked them instead to heal her in the city [Alexandria] and then left Menouthis, although her life was in danger.

January 30, 2024

The Three Hierarchs and Mount Athos (Monk Moses the Athonite)

The Three Hierarchs and Mount Athos

By Monk Moses the Athonite

The three greatest luminaries of the three-sunned divinity have some, little known, relationship with this Holy Mountain of the Triune God and the Mother of God.

An ancient and sacred tradition of the Athonites speaks of the revealer of heavenly things Basil, the lover of silence, the ascetic of Pontus, the rule maker of our monasticism, to be an ascetic on a slope of Mount Athos. There "exists there on a rocky and rough place the old skete named after Saint Basil, after a kyriakon temple that is still preserved."

Precious relics of the Saint are kept in many monasteries. The most valuable one is preserved in Great Lavra and is certainly the most cherished gift of the emperor Nikephoros Phokas to his friend the venerable Athanasios, who asked for it himself. In the imperial chrysobull of 964 it is mentioned: "(The all-holy and most-venerable divine head) of the greatest luminary of the ecumene and the ecumenical teacher and hierarch of the great Caesarea of Cappadocia, Saint Basil the Great, arrived as you requested... and is hereby given." The venerable builder of the Lavra with his rules is considered the founder of Basilian monasticism in Athos.

January 29, 2024

Homily on the Fifteenth Sunday of Luke - Personal Encounter With Christ (Metr. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos)

 Homily on the Fifteenth Sunday of Luke

Personal Encounter With Christ

By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

"Zacchaeus, make haste and come down" (Lk. 19:5)

To satisfy his metaphysical search, Zacchaeus sought to encounter Christ and He, showing the purpose of His incarnation, called him to a personal encounter: "Zacchaeus," He said to him, "make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house." We will formulate a few thoughts about the personal encounter with Christ.

The communion of man with Christ and of Christ with man is primarily a personal event. Christ does not meet with the mass, but with the persons who are worthy to receive His divine teaching and to hear His heavenly call.

Christ is a Person. The same goes for man. Therefore a personal encounter (face to face) creates the proper conditions for salvation. Indeed, the knowledge of God is experienced at the limits of the personal relationship.

January 28, 2024

Homily for the Feast Day of Saint Ephraim the Syrian (St. Luke of Simferopol)

Homily for the Feast Day of Saint Ephraim the Syrian

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered on January 28/February 7, 1948)

Not a single month of the year is as saturated with the memory of well-known saints as January. In January, the Holy Church commemorates the great ecumenical saints: Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom, each individually and all three together; it celebrates the memory of Saint Gregory of Nyssa, brother of Saint Basil the Great, the memories of Saint Athanasios the Great and Cyril of Alexandria, and the greatest venerables: Theodosios the Great, Anthony the Great, Makarios of Egypt, Makarios of Alexandria, Euthymios the Great, Ephraim the Syrian.

This galaxy of God's saints illuminates us from the sky with the bright brilliance of the largest stars, and among them shines the bright star of Saint Ephraim. His birth was heralded by his mother by an extraordinary vision: she dreamed of a baby from whose mouth a grapevine grew; it spread rapidly and quickly and covered the entire earth with branches; wonderful grapes grew on it; birds flew from everywhere and pecked at the berries, but no matter how much they pecked, the number of berries did not decrease.

Homily for the Sunday of Zacchaeus (St. Luke of Simferopol)

 Homily for the Sunday of Zacchaeus

15th Sunday of Luke

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered on February 18, 1945)

Our Lord Jesus Christ walked through the city of Jericho. As always, He was accompanied by a huge crowd of people. The chief of the publicans, Zacchaeus, lived in Jericho at that time. Tax collectors were called publicans, who in those days were cruel people: they robbed the people, collecting taxes so that most of the money remained for themselves.

The people hated them and considered them grave sinners. And so, this sinful man Zacchaeus was inflamed with a desire to see the Lord Jesus Christ, about whom he had heard much. Zacchaeus was very short and therefore climbed a tree to see the Lord from there. When the Lord reached the tree on which Zacchaeus was sitting, He stopped and said: “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” Zacchaeus quickly climbed down from the tree and began to run home to receive the Lord Jesus Christ. When the Lord was in his house, people grumbled at Him, saying: “Why did He come to the house of such a notorious sinner?” And Zacchaeus, shocked by Christ’s visit, stood before Him and said: “Lord, I will give half of my property to the poor, and if I have offended anyone, I will repay him fourfold” (Luke 19:5, 7–8).

Homily on the Sunday of Zacchaeus (St. John Maximovitch)

Homily on the Sunday of Zacchaeus

By St. John Maximovitch

Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost (Lk. 19:1-10).

Homily on Zacchaeus of Little Stature (St. Nikolai Velimirovich)

Homily on Zacchaeus of Little Stature
By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

"Today, salvation has come to this house" (Luke 19:9).

Thus it was spoken by the One Whose word is life and joy and restoration of the righteous. Just as the bleak forest clothes itself into greenery and flowers from the breath of spring, so does every man, regardless of how arid and darkened by sin, becomes fresh and youthful from the nearness of Christ. For the nearness of Christ is as the nearness of some life-giving and fragrant balsam which restores health, increases life, give fragrance to the soul, to the thoughts and to the words of man. In other words, distance from Christ means decay and death and His nearness means salvation and life.

January 27, 2024

Fr. John Romanides as a Professor of Dogmatics at Holy Cross School of Theology in Boston (6 of 8)

d. Orthodox Triadology and Christology

"The dogma of the Holy Trinity and the dogma of Christology are inseparable and their separation is incomprehensible. In order to understand the Christological dogma, one must know the dogma of the Holy Trinity.

In the Fourth Gospel we observe in the reply of Christ to Philip, Christ says that since you see Me, you also see the Father (Jn. 14:9). This passage is a beautiful source of the dogma of the Holy Trinity, it is the key. The Son is an exact image of the Father. The energy is one; that is, when the Father speaks, consequently the Son also speaks. The action is done through the Son (Christ) on behalf of the Father. The only difference is that the Father is the First Person of the Holy Trinity and the Son is the Second Person.

Likewise, the Prophets of the Old Testament, when they see the angel of the Lord (the Second Person of the Holy Trinity), say 'I saw the Lord' (the Father, First Person of the Holy Trinity). Here is the parallel between the passage of the Gospel and the saying of the Old Testament 'I saw the Lord.'

January 26, 2024

Fr. John Romanides as a Professor of Dogmatics at Holy Cross School of Theology in Boston (5 of 8)

c. Divine Inspiration and the Interpretation of Holy Scripture

"The highest way of knowing God is the vision of God's glory. The writers of Holy Scripture either saw the glory of God (directly) or they wrote on behalf of other people who saw the glory (indirectly).

The purpose of Holy Scripture is educational. Seeing the glory of God is a phenomenon, because it is an experience that transcends human reason (although the human mind understands, that in this experience it truly partakes of the glory of God); it transcends human categories of logic and illumines his nous. Consequently, the person who was illumined by this experience is usually in a position to teach the people about God, about His glory.

Thus, those who read Holy Scripture have indirect knowledge of God, which comes through the writings of the Prophets, Apostles and Saints. The direct way of knowing the glory, i.e. by sight, did not stop with the Apostles, but continued under the Fathers, who directly saw the glory of God (and even today there are ascetics, who see the glory of God by vision). Because many Fathers have seen the glory of God, that is why they are called Divinely Inspired in the troparia of the Church."

January 25, 2024

The Casket and Reliquary Containing the Head of Saint Gregory the Theologian

The Head of Saint Gregory the Theologian is one of the most precious relics of the Vatopaidi Monastery. The Patriarch of Jerusalem Chrysanthos Notaras ruled on its authenticity. The Head often traveled with the monks who went out on fundraising campaigns.

In 1709 it was brought to Wallachia, where its rectangular casket was crafted with the help of the ecclesiarch Neophytos. The dedicators of the work were the first wife of the ruler Sherban Cantacuzene and their daughter Maria Balaceanu.

Encomium to Saint Gregory the Theologian (Niketas the Paphlagonian)

January 23, 2024

The Skulls of the Monastery of Saint Dionysios of Olympus

According to an Athonite tradition and belief, the skulls of monks can reveal certain things about their lives. We see this when we take a tour of the Ossuary in the Monastery of Saint Dionysios of Olympus. 
For example, if a skull has a darkened color, it could indicate that the monk lived either a sinful or heretical life, but if it is golden-yellowish then it could indicate that the monk was virtuous and holy. Another strong indicator of holiness is if a skull exudes a myrrh-like substance that is fragrant. 
It is also believed that hieromonks (monks who have been ordained as priests) have something the skulls of regular monks don't have: on top of the cranium there is a form of the sign of the cross dividing it in four. 

Archbishop Elpidophoros Completes His Pilgrimage to Mount Athos and the Sacred Supervisory of the Holy Mountain Issues a Statement

On Tuesday 23 January 2024, the Sacred Supervisory of Mount Athos issued the following statement of clarification in regards to the recent visit of Archbishop Elpidophoros to Mount Athos:

"Following the developments regarding the visit of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America to the Holy State, the Sacred Supervisory is in the unpleasant position of expressing its sorrow for the inaccuracies and untruths of the various publications on various websites. Following this, it clarifies that there was a unanimous decision of the Sacred Community of the Representatives of the twenty Sacred Monasteries, so that there would not be the customary reception of the Hierarch by the Sacred Supervisory, and the Sacred Monasteries would act on the matter according to their judgment.

This unanimous decision of the Sacred Community was taken because of the published photographic material after the end of the mystery of the baptism of the infants in the Sacred Church of Panagia Faneromeni in Vouliagmeni (about which baptism no qualms were expressed by us). Due to the participation of His Eminence the Archbishop of America in the photographs after the mystery, and in fact in official ecclesiastical garb, a false impression was created regarding the acceptance by the Church of the mystery of marriage for those of the same-sex, a message contrary to the dogmas and teachings of the Orthodox Church."

This statement makes clear that the Sacred Community of the Holy Mountain had no issue with the baptism of the children by the Archbishop, but it was the pictures taken afterwards that caused a scandal, and for this reason it was left up to each individual monastery of Mount Athos to decide whether or not to receive him and how to receive him.

According to reports, instead of going straight to Karyes and visiting the Sacred Supervisory upon his arrival, per their request though this would be the proper procedure under normal conditions, Archbishop Elpidophoros went straight to Xenophontos Monastery, where he was welcomed by Abbot Alexios, as the Archbishop wrote on Facebook: "We begin this holy pilgrimage to Mount Athos with a profound sense of awe and joy, welcomed by Elder Alexios, the Αbbot of the Holy Monastery of Xenophontos. May our pilgrimage be blessed!" "We celebrated the Feast of Theophany at the Holy Monastery of Xenophontos."

From there the Archbishop went to visit the Sacred Community on his way to Philotheou Monastery, but no one was there to greet him due to it being the feast of Theophany according to the Old Calendar, so after venerating the Holy Icon of Axion Estin in the Church of Protaton they proceeded to Philotheou.

It should be noted that Archbishop Elpidophoros and his entourage were guarded on a twenty-four-hour basis by five policemen, two from the Mount Athos Police Department and three from Thessaloniki from the Bomb Disposal Department.

Abbot Nikodemos then welcomed the Archbishop at Philotheou Monastery. The Archbishop wrote on Facebook: "In our Greek Orthodox community in America, Philotheou Monastery holds a unique place in our hearts. It is the birthplace of Orthodox Monasticism in the United States, founded by the revered late Elder Ephraim of Philotheou, whose influence remains deeply etched in our church. This is precisely why, on my visit to Philotheou Monastery, I was keen not to journey alone but rather to guide a group of pilgrims—devout laypeople, each significant in their own right. It was important for me to present them the origins of our monasteries in America and illustrate their profound connections to Orthodoxy and the Orthodox Spirituality of Mount Athos."

Then he went to Simonopetra Monastery, as he records: "During the heartfelt reception at the Holy Monastery of Simonos Petra, I seized the opportunity to reiterate the unwavering faithfulness of the Greek-American community. They demonstrate their commitment by dedicating their personal time and efforts for the betterment of our Church. Their love and reverence for Mount Athos are profound. Whenever possible, I encourage them to make a pilgrimage to Mount Athos."

After stopping by Karakallou Monastery and being welcomed there, his last stop was at Pantokratoros Monastery, as the Archbishop wrote: "The last stop of our pilgrimage to Athos: Pantokratoros Monastery." After this they also visited the Cell of Saint Anna under Iveron Monastery, then departed for Ouranoupolis to return to Thessaloniki.

January 22, 2024

When Saint Bessarion of Agathonos Met Saint Paisios the Athonite

By Father Damaskenos, Abbot of Agathonos Monastery

Once, in the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian, located in Souroti, Father Bessarion met with Elder Paisios the Athonite.

Although it was the first time they had seen each other, they addressed each other by their names as if they had known each other.

At one point, in the conversation between them, Elder Paisios said to Father Bessarion: "I'm jealous of you, Father Bessarion."

Saint Timothy the Apostle Resource Page

St. Timothy the Apostle (Feast Day - January 22)


Adorned with a wreath of divine eros Timothy,
You were beaten with clubs that painted the earth with your blood.
On the twenty-second your spirit was raised Timothy.

Why Did Saint Paul Write a Second Epistle to Timothy? (St. John Chrysostom)

By St. John Chrysostom

What is the reason of his writing this second Epistle to Timothy? He had said, "I hope to come unto you shortly" (1 Timothy 3:14), and as this had not taken place, instead of coming to him, he consoles him by a letter, when he was grieving perhaps for his absence, and oppressed by the cares of the government, which he had now taken in hand. For even great men, when they are placed at the helm, and are charged with the direction of the Church, feel the strangeness of their position, and are overwhelmed, as it were, by the waves of business. This was particularly the case when the gospel was first preached, when the ground was everywhere unturned, and all was opposition and hostility. There were, besides, heresies commencing from the Jewish teachers, as he has shown in his former Epistle. Nor does he only comfort him by letters, he invites him to come to him: "Do your diligence," he says, "to come shortly unto me," and, "when you come, bring with you the books, but especially the parchments" (2 Timothy 4:9-13). And he seems to have written this Epistle when his end was approaching. For he says, "I am now ready to be offered up"; and again, "At my first defense no man stood with me" (2 Timothy 4:6-16).

- Excerpt from Homily 1 on Second Timothy

Saint Anastasios the Persian Resource Page

St. Anastasios the Persian (Feast Day - January 22)


Anastasios is strangled by the throat,
The cord becoming beautified with brilliance.
On the twenty-second Anastasios underwent strangling.

Saint Bessarion of Agathonos Revered Saint Anastasios the Persian

Saint Bessarion of Agathonos had great reverence for Saint Anastasios the Persian, and was even found worthy to depart this life on his feast day, January 22nd, making it now the feast day to commemorate both of them on the same day.

Often times Saint Bessarion would encounter Greeks who were named Anastasios, and on the feast of Saint Anastasios the Persian he would wish them many years for their name day. However they would tell him that they celebrate their name day on Pascha, since they were named after the Resurrection (Anastasi). To this, the Elder would reply: "You should celebrate on Saint Anastasios the Persian, because on Pascha we all celebrate."

I would think this would be similar advice for those women named Anastasia, to not celebrate on Pascha but perhaps either on Saint Anastasia the Roman (October 29) or Saint Anastasia the Pharmakolytria (December 22).

Papa-Fotis from Mytilene and Saint Anastasios the Persian

Some afternoons we went to his [Papa-Fotis Lavriotis from Mytilene] Hesychasterion, in Pamfila, before sunset and then we took him by car to the city, and on the way he would do Vespers, and would say the troparia.

One day I realized that he sees Saints and I thought of doing an experiment. I secretly said to myself that I will invoke a Saint, and I will see his reaction.

I began to say: "SAINT ANASTASIOS THE PERSIAN, INTERCEDE FOR US." I said it mentally three times and Father Photios turns to the car window and says:

"Who are you?"

But there was no one, not even a person passing by, since we were on the move, nor could I see anything. Then he turns and says to me:

"You summoned him?"

I said, "Yes!"

He then laughed at my experiment.

Then he said to me: "Silence, okay?"

"May it be blessed, Elder" I said.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

January 21, 2024

Homily on the Twelfth Sunday of Luke - The Prayer of Jesus (Metr. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos)

Homily on the Twelfth Sunday of Luke

The Prayer of Jesus

By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

"and they lifted up their voices and said: 'Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.'"

The ten leprous men as soon as they saw Christ "lifted up their voices and said: Jesus, Master, have mercy on us," that is, they shouted loudly: "Jesus, Teacher, have mercy on us."

This small prayer, as seen in today's Gospel passage, has great power, because when it is said with faith, it attracts God's mercy that frees man from all evil spirits.

The prayer of the lepers is the continuous prayer of the Church that we hear in every church service. To every request of the Priest, the people respond with "Lord have mercy". Since we too are members of the Church and must acquire an ecclesiastical phronema, which means that the life and mindset of the Church must become our life and our mindset, this supplication must become our unceasing prayer.

Reflection on the Twelfth Sunday of Luke (St. Theophan the Recluse)

Twelfth Sunday of Luke

Luke 17:12-19

By St. Theophan the Recluse
Ten lepers were healed, but only one came to thank the Lord. Isn’t there generally a similar proportion of people who are grateful after receiving benefactions from the Lord? Who has not received good things; or, rather, what do we have in us, or what ever happens to us that is not good for us? Even so, is everyone grateful to God, and does everyone give thanks for everything? There are even those who permit themselves to ask, “Why did God give us existence? It would be better for us not to exist.” God gave you existence so that you would be in eternal blessedness; He gave you existence as a gift, as a gift He has furnished you with every means for attaining eternal blessedness.

January 20, 2024

Twelfth Sunday of Luke Resource Page


Fr. John Romanides as a Professor of Dogmatics at Holy Cross School of Theology in Boston (4 of 8)

b) The Three Ways of Knowing God

"The main feature of Orthodox theology is the knowledge of God's energies [activities], which knowledge comes as follows:

1) Natural Way (by observing nature, which is flawed).

2) Prophetic and Direct Way.

3) Biblical Way.

According to Jewish assumptions, apart from simple belief in the existence of God (Natural way), there are two ways of knowing God.

January 19, 2024

Fr. John Romanides as a Professor of Dogmatics at Holy Cross School of Theology in Boston (3 of 8)

I will also present the contents of the Dogmatics course for the next year, namely the first semester of 1961-1962, under the title "Theological Dogmatics 2."
Dogmatics 2 (1961-1962)


I. Christology in the Old Testament, Apocalyptic Literature and the New Testament

II. Christology of Dynamic Monarchianism

III. Christology of Modalistic Monarchianism

IV. Christology of Arius

V. Christology of Athanasios the Great

VI. The Reaction of the Following from the Point of View of Christology and Triadology:
a. Eustathius of Antioch
b. Diodorus of Tarsus
c. Theodore of Mopsuestia

VII. Christology of the Cappadocian Fathers

VIII. Christology of Apollinarius

January 18, 2024

"A Masterpiece", "A Picture of the Tree of Life": What C.S. Lewis Said About Saint Athanasius the Great and his 'On the Incarnation'

By C.S. Lewis

His epitaph is Athanasius contra mundum, "Athanasius against the world." We are proud that our own country has more than once stood against the world. Athanasius did the same. He stood for the Trinitarian doctrine, "whole and undefiled," when it looked as if all the civilised world was slipping back from Christianity into the religion of Arius—into one of those "sensible" synthetic religions which are so strongly recommended today and which, then as now, included among their devotees many highly cultivated clergymen. It is his glory that he did not move with the times; it is his reward that he now remains when those times, as all times do, have moved away.

January 17, 2024

Homily on our Venerable Father Anthony the Great

By Archimandrite Photios Ioakeim

Anthony our great Father, the first inhabitant of the desert, the founder of monasticism, the pride of the Orthodox, the boast of the ecumene, the glory of the faithful, the seal of the Gospel, the heir of eternal good things, the support of the ecumene - as we sing in his beautiful apolytikion. The patron of the village of Spilia, has summoned us again this year, my beloved brethren in the Lord, to this blessed temple of his, in the celebration of his brilliant memory, so that we can joyfully honor him with hymns and psalms and spiritual odes and become partakers of his grace and blessing, glorifying the only true Triune God, "who is glorified in His saints."

This venerable heavenly citizen and earthly angel, who was found worthy, like few others in history, of the lofty title of "Great" for his truly great divine works, was found worthy by divine Providence and for the benefit of posterity, to be biographed by another "Great" man of the Church, Athanasios the Great, whom he had as his disciple for a while. This wonderful Life of Anthony the Great was written by Athanasios the Great as the archbishop of the renowned metropolis of Alexandria, and he initially sent it to monks in Egypt, so that they could study it and have it as a model of life. The later Synaxaria of Anthony the Great also draw from this wonderful life, and from him we will also glean the most important things from the equal to the angels life of our celebrated saint.

Fr. John Romanides as a Professor of Dogmatics at Holy Cross School of Theology in Boston (2 of 8)

...continued from part one.

2. The Content of his Dogmatics

After the death of Father Stefanos Avramidis, his daughter Efi Avramidis, because she knew my connection with her father and with Father John Romanides, gave me a section of her father's archive, with interesting information.

Among other things, there are notes that Father Stefanos had in his possession from the lectures of Father John Romanides at the Boston Theological School during the year 1960-1961 (p. 126) and the year 1961-1962 (p. 113). Also, there are various texts (p. 81) and other texts with notes.

When one reads all this material one finds that they do not come from texts that were given by their Professor, after all Father John Romanides was not accustomed to giving written notes, as it was also easier for him to speak in the English language, to English speaking students, but they are notes taken by various students of his, whose initials are often placed at the end of the notes. It is probable that Father John saw them, because for many of the words there are corrections and additions. In these notes there are the following initials of the names and surnames of those who kept them: Ν.Τ., Σ.Β., Γ.Σ. δθκ, Σ.Λ.Α., Σ.Σ. δγκ, Σ.Δ.Β., Σ.Α./πκ, Σ.Α./δκ, Σ.Α./δκ, Ν.Φ./δγκ etc.

January 15, 2024

January 15, 1889 - The Day Saint Nektarios Was Ordained Metropolitan of Pentapolis

Photo of St. Nektarios taken on the day of his ordination as Metropolitan of Pentapolis.
Saint Nektarios was ordained to the priesthood by Patriarch Sophronios IV on March 23rd 1886 in the Patriarchal Church of Saint Savvas. The same year he was awarded with the office of Archimandrite by the Metropolitan of Nubia as mandated by Patriarch Sophronios IV. On the 15th of January in 1889, the titular Metropolitan Neilos of Pentapolis having reposed, the Patriarch of Alexandria Sophronios IV (1798-1899) elevated Archimandrite Nektarios to Metropolitan of Pentapolis.

The Ordination of Saint Nektarios as Metropolitan
In Codex 66 of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, and specifically on page 394, there is a handwritten record of the Act of election of the new Metropolitan of Pentapolis, in calligraphic letters according to the custom of the time, covering almost the entire said page. Among other things, we read the following: "At the prompting and with the permission of His All-Holiness and Beatitude the Pope and Patriarch of the great city of Alexandria and all of Africa" there gathered in the Church of Saint Nicholas in Cairo, besides himself, the former Archbishop of Kerkyra Antonios Hariatis and the Archbishop of Sinai Porphyrios Maroudas, and they proceeded to the election of the new Metropolitan of Pentapolis. Three names made up the so-called Triprosopos, i.e. the three candidates from which the new Metropolitan of Pentapolis would be chosen. The aforementioned codex describes the process as follows:

January 14, 2024

Homily Two for the Leavetaking of Theophany (St. Luke of Simferopol)

On the Light of Christ

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered on January 21, 1945)
“The people who sat in darkness saw a great light, and to those who sat in the land of the shadow of death a light shone upon them” (Is. 9:2).

These words refer to the inhabitants of the country of Transjordan, to the inhabitants of the land of Naphtali and Zebulun, to the pagans, for the Lord Jesus Christ came to them and illuminated their impenetrable pagan darkness with His heavenly light.

I will also apply these words to you, who for many years also sat in darkness and the shadow of death. For many years you were deprived of worship and the Mysteries of Christ, for many years you did not hear the preaching of the Gospel, for many years you did not hear church singing and prayers. And a new generation has already grown up - young people who do not know Christ at all, to whom no one preached about Him, to whom no one preached His teaching, who know nothing about the Christian faith. And they, these unfortunate children, and all of you, deprived of the preaching of the Gospel of Christ for many years, were like these people who inhabited the country of Zebulun and sat in darkness and the shadow of death. And the light of Christ shone over them when Christ Himself came.

January 13, 2024

Homily One for the Leavetaking of Theophany (St. Luke of Simferopol)

The Light of Christ Shone Over the World

Matthew 4:16

By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered on January 21, 1945)

Jesus Christ came to the inhabitants of the country of Transjordan, to the inhabitants of the land of Naphtali and Zebulun, who were at that time pagans, and “the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned” (Matthew 4:16). These words also apply to you, who for many years were deprived of worship, the Mysteries of Christ, and did not hear the preaching of the Gospel, church singing and prayers. A new generation of young people has already grown up who do not know Christ at all, and to whom no one has preached the Christian faith or His teachings. And these unfortunate children are similar to the people who inhabited the country of Zebulun and sat in “darkness and the shadow of death.” And His light shone over them when, by the grace of God, the temples were opened, for our Lord Jesus Christ is the only and true light. This is what Saint John the Theologian says about Him in the first chapter of his great Gospel, which is read once a year at Easter Matins: “In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it” (John 1:4–5).

Homily on Holy Theophany (St. Chrysostomos of Smyrna)

Theophany in Smyrna in 1922 with Metropolitan Chrysostomos
By St. Chrysostomos, Metropolitan of Smyrna (+ 1922) 
"When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased'” (Matthew 3:16-17).

Bright and glorious, pious and beloved Sacred Polycarp readers, was the past celebration of the Nativity of the Lord; however, brighter and more glorious, is the present day of Theophany.

Then, when Jesus was born, the heavens cracked and opened and revealed all their divine majesty and joy; and then there was a star, leading the magi from the East "and stood over where the Child was;" and then an angel appeared to the shepherds, he said to them: "Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, for unto you is born this day a Savior." An angelic choir, "a multitude of heavenly hosts," emerging from the heavens, glorified our God-man, our Redeemer, chanting "Glory to God in the Highest, and on the earth peace among those whom He is pleased."

January 12, 2024

The Christian Minority

By Protopresbyter Themistokles Mourtzanos

Today, perhaps more than ever in recent years, Christians feel like a minority in society. The characterization is not necessarily numerically correct. Certainly it is in regard to the noise made against the faith. Although we Christians were always the "little leaven", however in the Greek reality we did not have the feeling that our position was without value for the many.

We certainly do not live in a state of persecution today. There is, although many people dispute it, a period of democracy and freedom, when any ideas, opinions and positions on life are free to manifest. We are not always ready to make a case for our faith and its content, as well as about the position we take against the challenges of our times. We easily remain in a conservative understanding of life, but at the level of morality, we are not able to explain, first within ourselves, and then to others why we say "yes" and why we say "no" to the choices of the modern spirit. We are not, after all, so imperceptible that our example is shocking. Nor are we so ready to admit our sins and faults that our positions may have honesty.

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