29/07/2012

St. Panteleimon, the Great Martyr.




His Eminence Panteleimon Metropolitan of Antinoes


St Evouli (the mother of ) St. Panteleimon – St Hermolaos (his teachers)

            During the end of the 3rd century AD St. Panteleimon, the Great Doctor and Martyr, was  born.  His father, Eustrogios, was not only very rich but was well known for his zeal in idol worship; whereas his mother St. Euboule was a faithful Orthodox Christian full of Holy Spirit, love and kindness.  Her only interest was to guide her only begotten son in the true faith and virtuous life. 

            St. Panteleimon's first name was Pantoleon.  When he was very young his mother, St. Euboule, passed away and his father taught him to worship the false gods of their ancestors.  He studied under the guidance of the wise doctor Euphrosynos, and shortly differentiated from all his other classmates in wisdom and all virtues.  Even the Roman Emperor Maximianus admired his kind character, that he ordered Euphrosynos to teach him all the secrets of medicine, so that Pantoleon become his own personal  imperial doctor. 

            At that period of time, in the Greek city of Nicomedia, there was an old man named Ermolaos, who was the Orthodox Priest of the city.  He foresaw, that the young Pantoleon will become a vessel of Christ's Grace and will glorify Him through his life.  One day, as Pantoleon was passing by, he called the young doctor to his house and asked him about his family and religious beliefs.  Pantoleon, as noble as he was, answered with politeness to all his questions.  St. Ermolaos said to him, that the medicine which Asclepius, Hippocrates and Galenus taught is of no value, nor the gods of the Empire are true gods, but false and work of man. He taught Pantoleon about the Orthodox Christian Faith and that Christ is the only True God, Who created heaven and earth, and reminded him that his mother believed in Jesus Christ.  He also emphasied that Christ is the True Physician of both soul and body and  assured him, that if he believed in Christ, he shall cure all illnesses through God's Healing Grace.

24/07/2012

The Miraculous Icon of Panagia Elaiovritissa – Holy Monastery of Vatopedi


The Holy Icon of Panagia Elaiovritissa is dated to the 14th century and is located in the (Docheion) olive oil store of the Holy Monastery of Vatopedi. On the Friday of Bright Week (1st Friday after Easter) a procession of the Icon takes place from the olive oil store to the Katholicon of the Monastery, this is the days the Holy Icon is celebrated.
According to tradition, the following Miracle is attributed to this Icon. In the time when Saint Gennadios was the keeper of the olive oil store, the Monastery suffered from a shortage of olive oil and Saint Gennadios only allowed for the olive oil to be used for the needs of the Church.
The cook of the Monastery protested this decision to the Abbot of the Monastery. The Abbot decided to make the olive oil available to all of the fathers and trusted in the providence of our Most Holy Theotokos to take care of the needs of the Monastery. A few days had passed at Saint Gennadios went to the olive oil store to distribute oil to various parts of the Monastery. When he opened the door, he noticed that the olive oil wells were so full that there was olive oil spilling from them onto the ground and had reached the door. From that point a beautiful fragrance came from the Icon which was placed in the room, this fragrance continues to this day.

09/07/2012

Daily readings from scriptures July 2012


1 1Cor 12:27-31;13:1-8 Mt 8:5-13
2 Rom 12:4-5,15-21 Mt 12:9-13
3 Rom 14:9-18 Mt 12:14-16,22-30
4 Rom 15:7-16 Mt 12:38-45
5 Rom 15:17-29 Mt 12:46-13:3
6 Rom 16:1-16 Mt 13:4-9
7 Rom 8:14-21 Mt 9:9-13
8 Rom 10:1-10 Mt 8:28-9:1
9 Rom 16:17-24 Mt 13:10-23
10 1Cor 1:1-9 Mt 13:24-30
11 1Cor 2:9-3:8 Mt 13:31-36
12 1Cor 3:18-23 Mt 13:36-43
13 1Cor 4:5-8 Mt 13:44-54
14 Rom 9:1-5 Mt 9:18-26
15 Titus 3:8-15 Mt 5:14-19
16 1Cor 5:9-6:11 Mt 13:54-58
17 1Cor 6:20-7:12 Mt 14:1-13
18 1Cor 7:12-24 Mt 14:35-15:11
19 1Cor 7:24-35 Mt 15:12-21
20 1Cor 7:35-8:7 Mt 15:29-31
21 Rom 12:1-3 Mt 10:37-11:1
22 Rom 15:1-7 Mt 9:27-35
23 1Cor 9:13-18 Mt 16:1-6
24 1Cor 10:5-12 Mt 16:6-12
25 1Cor 10:12-22 Mt 16:20-24
26 1Cor 10:28-11:7 Mt 16:24-28
27 1Cor 11:8-22 Mt 17:10-18
28 Rom 13:1-10 Mt 12:30-37
29 1Cor 1:10-18 Mt 14:14-22
30 1Cor 11:31-12:6 Mt 18:1-11
31 1Cor 12:12-26 Mt 18:18-22; 19:1-2,13-15 

08/07/2012

Patriarch Pavle of Serbia: An Extraordinary Man of His Times



Archpriest Luka Hovakovic  
The Patriarch on the tram


It is difficult to speak about my service with Patriarch Pavle without sounding like I am boasting. Knowing the Patriarch was everyone’s privilege, not just of those who served with him or helped him in his administrative duties. After all, he was a very simple person; one could often see him walking through the streets of Belgrade or riding a city tram. Those whose duty it was to accompany him sometimes grew indignant: “Your Holiness, you have a car after all!” Whenever possible, however, he preferred to use public transport.

Nineteen Years with Patriarch Pavle


My service – as it happens, for which I am grateful to God – was always connected with His Holiness. I served with Patriarch Pavle for nineteen years, until his very last day.
During his primacy I held several positions: I was a teacher in the department of canon law at the Theological Faculty at the University of Belgrade; I taught homiletics and Russian at seminary (I graduated from the Moscow Theological Academy, so I had learned Russian); for nine years I was in charge of the Patriarchal Library; and for ten years I was secretary of the ecclesiastical court. I was also involved in the development of the Patriarchate’s information system by networking computers and purchasing and installing programs needed by the church administration.
His Holiness did not bless me to be ordained to the priesthood immediately. I served in the rank of deacon for fourteen years, which was quite normal with him. There was never any hurry in matters of ordination; he waited for the right time for a person.

ON THE UPBRINGING OF CHILDREN

By Elder Porphyrios (+1991).


    A large part of the responsibility for a person's spiritual state lies with the family.
Achild's upbringing commences at the moment of its conception. The embryo hears and feels in its mothers womb. Yes, it hears and it sees with its mother's eyes. It is aware of her movements and her emotions, even though its mind has not developed. If the mother's face darkens, it darkens too. If the mother is irritated, then it becomes irritated also. Whatever the mother experiences—sorrow, pain, fear, anxiety, etc.—is also experienced by the embryo.

If the mother doesn't want the child, if she doesn't love it, then the embryo senses this and traumas are created in its little soul that accompany it all its life. The opposite occurs through the mother's holy emotions. When she is filled with joy, peace and love for the embryo, she transmits these things to it mystically, just as happens to children that have been born.

"One Day in the Life of a Men's Monastery"

Documentary about daily life of a Men's Monastery in Abkhazia
length - 26 min.

With the blessing of: the Chairman of the Council of the Holy Metropolitanate of Abkhazia Dorofei (Dbar) and the Father Superior of the Monastery of St. Simon the Zealot Hieromonk Andrei (Ampar)

02/07/2012

Saint John Maximovitch.


Condensed biography of Saint John Maximovitch (1896-1966)

Saint John was born on 4 June 1896 in the village Adamovka in the province of Kharkov in Southern Russia. He was a descendent of the aristocratic family Maximovitch, a member of which was pronounced a saint in 1916, the hierarch John Maximovitch, Metropolitan of Tobolsk, whose incorrupt relics are in Tobolsk to this day. This holy hierarch reposed at the beginning of the 18th century but he carried the torch of his grace to his distant nephew, Michael (the baptismal name of Saint John, who later received the name of his uncle when he was tonsured a monk). His father Boris was a marshal of the nobility in a region of Kharkov and his uncle was rector at the University of Kiev. His relationship with his parents was always excellent. Throughout his youth, Michael was sickly and ate very little. He was a quiet kid, very polite and deeply religious. When he played he would dress his play soldiers as monks, collect icons and religious books and enjoyed reading about the lives of the Saints. At night he would stand praying for long periods. Because he was the eldest of five siblings, it was he who knew the lives of the Saints very well and became their first teacher of the Faith. He was very austere with himself in the application of ecclesiastic and national traditions. So much did he impress his teacher, who was a French woman and Catholic, that she was influenced by young Michael’s Christian life and was baptized Orthodox.

He had a country house near a monastery where little Michael would visit often. At the age of 11 his parents Boris and Glaphyra sent him to the Military School of Poltava where he continued to live, with his faith deeply rooted. For when kids are absent from their home for long time, their youthful souls are easily influenced. He, however, remained steadfast in his faith. There he also met the Bishop of Poltava, Theophan, a much loved hierarch, who influenced Michael. At a military parade while passing by the cathedral, little Michael (who was 13 then) crossed himself, and his classmates laughed at him and mocked him, and he was punished by his officers for the action. However Prince Constantine, who was a benefactor of the school, told them not to punish cadet Michael for with his action he showed deep and healthy religious feelings. In 1914, he completed the military school and wished to continue his studies at the Theological School of Kiev. However, his parents insisted that he go to law school and Michael obeyed them. His classmates observed that he read about the lives of the saints even more than his lessons and yet he was a good student. Time passed and he completed his studies. However, at that time the anti-Christian movement had started to spread in Russia, but Michael had deep faith inside him and he was bold. The ecclesiastic council of Kharkov was discussing whether to take down the silver bell of the church to melt it.