26/08/2012

Holy Chilandar cell of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary,Marouda- Mount Athos

Holy Chilandar cell of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary,Marouda- Mount Athos

Martyrs Adrian and Natalia of Nicomedia - August 26

The Martyrs Adrian and Natalia were married in their youth for one year prior to their martyrdom, and lived in Nicomedia during the time of the emperor Maximian (305-311). The emperor promised a reward to whomever would inform on Christians to bring them to trial. Then the denunciations began, and twenty-three Christians were captured in a cave near Nicomedia.

They were tortured, urged to worship idols, and then brought before the Praetor, in order to record their names and responses. Adrian, the head of the praetorium, watched as these people suffered with such courage for their faith. Seeing how firmly and fearlessly they confessed Christ, asked: "What rewards do you expect from your God for your suffering?" The martyrs replied: "Such rewards as we are not able to describe, nor can your mind comprehend." St Adrian told the scribes,"Write my name down also, for I am a Christian and I die gladly for Christ God."

The scribes reported this to the emperor, who summoned St Adrian and asked: "Really, have you gone mad, that you want to die? Come, cross out your name from the lists and offer sacrifice to the gods, asking their forgiveness."

St Adrian answered: "I have not lost my mind, but rather have I found it." Maximian then ordered Adrian to be thrown into prison. His wife, St Natalia, knowing that her husband was to suffer for Christ, rejoiced, since she herself was secretly a Christian.

She hastened to the prison and encouraged her husband saying: "You are blessed, my lord, because you have believed in Christ. You have obtained a great treasure. Do not regret anything earthly, neither beauty, nor youth (Adrian was then 28 years of age), nor riches. Everything worldly is dust and ashes. Only faith and good deeds are pleasing to God."

23/08/2012

The teachings of elder Sophronios of Essex. Married life and the Jesus prayer


                There are some people who wish to incorporate married life with the sweetness of prayer, praying like the ascetics.  But this effort cannot be accomplished. This is why married people become worried and distraught.  The prayer of the heart requires purity of heart and body.  We must discreetly guide and inform married couples that it is better to stop the prayer of the heart rather to stop communicating with one another for the sake of the marriage.  If the marriage fails then the husband will seek out another woman and most likely the wife will seek out another man, and if this happens, then all prayer is lost.  When the family disintegrates then prayer is lost.  Discreet coordination is required between the married and spiritual state guided by an experienced Spiritual Father.

OUR GREATEST MISSION IN LIFE IS THE DIVINE LITURGY

                Our greatest missionary work in life takes place in the Divine Liturgy.  The Fathers of the Church would always build an Altar of Sacrifice in whatever country or city they traveled to.  And this is so, because when the heart is sweetened by the Divine Liturgy, it then seeks God.  It then desires to live an Orthodox ecclesiastical life, the heart of which is the Holy Eucharist.

                I told the brotherhood that it should always be a priority for it to perform the Divine Liturgy in the Monastery.  The prayers of the Divine Liturgy should not be intoned for personal gratification because at that moment the priests are expressing the prayers of all those praying in Church.  And for this reason the priests should not be praying with self-centered feelings.  We do not celebrate as individuals.

THE LEADERS OF THE NATIONS DOMINATE ALL PEOPLE

Mount handicraft

Mount handicraft ... with love and pray.The monks even when they work does not stop saying the prayer "Lord Jesus Christ Have mercy on me''

Adam in paradeiso

'Adam was headless as guardian of Paradise, for the crafty thief stealthily entered; leaving aside the fruit -- which most men would covet -- he stole instead the Garden's inhabitant! Adam's Lord came out to seek him; He entered Sheol and found him there, then led and brought him out to set him once more in Paradise.'

St. Ephrem of Syria

21/08/2012

If you die before you die

If you die before you die .. 
you will not die when you die ...

11th SUNDAY OF St MATTHEW



By
His Eminence  Metropolitan Panteleimon of Antinoes
Matth. 18:23-35

One of the basic Teachings of our Orthodox Christian Faith is the Teaching which concerns the Second Coming and the Last Judgement of the entire world by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  According to this, our Lord Jesus Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead.  This Second Coming will not be as humble as the first appearance, but will be glorious and awesome. The Lord will be accompanied by numerous angelical hosts and will sit on a Throne to judge all the works of men.  Nothing can be hidden from the flaming eyes of the Just Judge, who will judge with justice all the works of men, those which were done in secret and in public; and no one can hide or avoid this terrible Day.  Our deeds, words and thoughts, even our most secret emotions and desires will be exposed before the entire universe, men and angles, in order that each and everyone receive their reward or punishment.

Thus, in today’s Gospel reading, our Lord Jesus Christ assures us about the reality of this future event and spoke about the Parable of the King who wanted to receive an account from all his servants.  During this meeting, one of the servants was found to be in debt with ten thousand talanta.  The servant was in terrible situation, because he was unable to repay his Master.  The King order immediately to arrest the servant’s wife, children and all his belongings, he himself to be thrown into prison until he repays all he debts.

The poor servant, at the hearing of his Master’s decision, seeing his catastrophe, fell down to his knees and beseeched his Master’s mercy and philanthropia, promising that, if he will give him a second chance he will repay all his debt.  The Master showed mercy and released him from all his debts.  Now, he doesn’t owe anything.  Everything has been wiped clean away.

18/08/2012

Transfer of the necessary supplies. Karoulia - Mount Athos


Transfer of the necessary supplies.
Karoulia - Mount Athos

Mount Athos

The historic monasteries and the buried cells in the cliffs characterize the Mount Athos as the greatest living museum of art, ethnology and ecclesiastical history.

17/08/2012

The miraculous vine of Saint Symeon

The miraculous vine of Saint Symeon the fragrant at the monastery of Chilandar.Grew alone in a miraculous way, without sowing a vine consolation for the Fathers of the Abbey. The grapes of the vine that miraculously heal the sterilization of childless women.

16/08/2012

The Dοrmitiοn οf the Theotokos


By His Eminence Metropolitan Panteleimon of Antinoes
 It is not an easy task for anyone to describe the glory of the Mother of God. It is also extremely difficult to put into words the virtues and holiness of the Living Temple of God, namely the Holy Theotokos.
Now, let us investigate what the Bible says concerning the Theotokos. In Genesis, the first Book of the Old Testament, God promised Adam and Eve that from a virgin the Saviour of mankind shall be born, when He says to the serpent: "Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle and all the brutes of the earth, on thy breast and belly thou shalt go, and thou shalt eat earth all the days of thy life. And Ι will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her seed, he shall watch against thy head, and thou shalt watch against his heel" (Gen. 3:l5-l6). This promise is called "Protoevangelio" (the first Good News) because it is the first message that God gave man concerning the salvation of mankind. The virgin will give birth without having a relationship with a man, and the Child will crush the head of the invisible enemy, namely Satan. The image of the heel is used by God to prophesy the Crucifixion and the Resurrection of our Lord.

12/08/2012

FROM THE SAYINGS OF THE ELDER PORPHYRIOS TWELVE SPIRITUALLY EDIFYING SAYINGS


1. The soul is a profound being and only God understands it.
2. Why do we chase after shadows? We should turn on the Light and the shadows will dissipate of their own accord.  We should allow Christ to fill our souls and the demons will leave on their own.
3. A person may speak about his sins and then brag about them while another person will speak of his sins and will be humbled by them. 
4. A lazy person cannot become a Christian.  It requires a great deal of work, a lot of work.
5. If you desire, you can become a saint in Omonia Square.  (This is in reference to the years that the Elder Porphyrios lived and ministered to the faithful in Omonia Square in downtown Athens, Greece.)
6. God loves us very much. He constantly has us in His thoughts and He protects us. We must believe this reality well and not be afraid of anything in life.
7. You must ask God to forgive your sins.  And God, from whom you ask this with pain and humbleness, will forgive your sins and He will heal your bodily ills.
8. Morbid grief and worry is not from God, it is a trap of the devil.
9. God concerns Himself with all the details of our lives.  We must understand that He is not indifferent to our needs.  We are not alone in this world. (I learned this spiritual truth in a revelation that I received in the altar of St. Sophia Church).
10. You should fill up your souls with the presence of Christ, with divine love, with joy.  The joy of Christ will heal you.
11. You should not be concerned whether or not people like you, but you should be concerned about loving Christ and all your fellow human beings.  Only in this way will your soul be filled with Jesus Christ.
12. The most important thing in our lives is to love Christ and then all our problems will be resolved.

Translated from the Greek by:
+Fr. Constantine J. Simones, August10, 2012.

11/08/2012

The Holy Martyr Susanna (Commemorated on August 11)

               The Holy Martyr Susanna the Virgin was the daughter of Presbyter Gavinius and a niece of the Holy Bishop Caius of Rome (283-296). She was raised in strict Christian piety and in her youthful years dedicated herself to God. The family of the saint was related to the emperor Diocletian (284-305), who heard reports of her virtue and beauty.
             
Having decided to give St Susanna in marriage to his co-emperor Maximian (305-311), Diocletian sent his own kinsman, the dignitary Claudius, to the priest Gavinius, and then his own brother Maximus. Both of them, together with the wife of Claudius Prepedigna and her sons Alexander and Cythius, accepted Baptism after conversation with the pious family. Having learned that the entire family of his relatives had been converted to Christianity, Diocletian sent them into exile.
            Soon they burned the martyrs at Ostia, not far from Rome, and threw the ashes into the sea. They took the holy virgin Susanna to the palace, and the empress tried to persuade her to submit. But the empress, secretly a Christian, supported the martyr in her intention to preserve her virginity for the sake of the Lord. She explained to the emperor about the virgin's unwillingness to enter into marriage with a pagan. Diocletian gave permission to his co-ruler to defile the holy virgin, but an angel defended her.
         Macedonius began to urge the martyr to offer sacrifice to the idols. "I offer myself in sacrifice to my Lord," she answered. Then Macedonius cut off the martyr's head. The empress secretly buried the body of the saint. The room where the murder occurred was consecrated into a church by the holy Bishop Caius. Soon the father of St Susanna, Presbyter Gavinius, accepted a martyr's end, as did St Caius in the year 296.

10/08/2012

Icon & Worship


 For the Orthodox Christian a portable icon is not an autonomous work of art, but rather a basic and inseparable element of divine worship and liturgical life. It also expresses essential principles of church dogma, based on the theology of the icon, the principal exponent of which in the age of Iconoclasm was St. John of Damascus (ca. 676–745). The iconoclastic controversy, it should be remembered, convulsed the Church and disrupted the Byzantine Empire, and while this movement prevailed it was forbidden to decorate churches with figurative subject and to make or venerate portable icons.

05/08/2012

9th Sunday οf St. Matthew


By
His Eminence  Metropolitan Panteleimon of Antinoes
Through the Divine Economy the Love of the Holy Trinity is expressed to mankind. "Through marvellous deeds and prophetical words God prepared man to participate once again in His Love and True Life" (St. Basil). This tτue love of God to mankind is expressed in every Holy Sacrament in the Orthodox Church.
Today we shall examine the following: Firstly, the fτuits of the Divine Liturgy. Secondly, the preparation of the Ρriest prior to the Divine Liturgy, and thirdly, how the faithful can receive the fτuits of the Divine Liturgy.
After the Bishop or Priest has blessed the Offering Gifts, in other words the bread and wine, and the Gifts have been consecrated to become the actual Body and Blood of Christ, he continues, saying the following prayer: "So that they may be to those who partake of them forvigilance of soul, forgiveness of sins, communion of Your Holy Spirit, fulfill­ment of the Κingdοm of Heaven, confidence before You, and not in judgement or condemnation."
Through the Holy Sacrament of the Divine Eucharist, Christ offers to man His precious Body and Blood so that man can become one body with his Saviour. Our Lord Himself, when He spoke for the first time about this Sacrament, said: ''He who eats ΜΥ flesh and drinks ΜΥ Blood abides in me, and Ι in him" (John 6:56). When man participates in this Holy Sacrament, he receives Christ inside of him, and Christ receives man. Christ becomes the Temple, and the Dweller therein. St. John Chrysos­tom teaches us: ''It is necessary for us to learn about the miracle of the Sacrament, what it is, why it was instituted, and what the benefits are. We become one Body with His flesh, not only in words, but in reality. Through Holy Communion our Lord wanted to show us His longing Love for us. For this reason He united Himself with us so that we can be united with Him in one Body, namely the Church, which has Him as Head thereof.
Christ's love for man was not only satisfied in the Incarnation, the Passion, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, but continues and extends furthermore into the offering of the Divine Eucharist.

Daily readings from scriptures August 2012


1 1Cor 13:4-14:5 Mt 20:1-16
2 1Cor 14:6-19 Mt 20:17-28
3 1Cor 14:26-40 Mt 21:12-14,17-20
4 Rom 14:6-9 Mt 15:32-39
5 1Cor 3:9-17 Mt 14:22-34
6 Exod 24:12-18; Exod 33:11-34:8; 1Kg 19:3-162Pet 1:10-19 Mt 17:1-9
7 1Cor 15:29-38 Mt 21:23-27
8 1Cor 16:4-12 Mt 21:28-32
9 2Cor 1:1-7 Mt 21:43-46
10 2Cor 1:12-20 Mt 22:23-33
11 Rom 15:30-33 Mt 17:24-18:4
12 1Cor 4:9-16 Mt 17:14-23
13 2Cor 2:4-15 Mt 23:13-22
14 2Cor 2:14-3:3 Mt 23:23-28
15 Gen 28:10-17; Ezek 43:27-44:4; Prov 9:1-11 Php 2:5-11 Lk 10:38-42; 11:27-28
16 2Cor 4:1-6 Mt 24:13-28
17 2Cor 4:13-18 Mt 24:27-33,42-51
18 1Cor 1:3-9 Mt 19:3-12
19 1Cor 9:2-12 Mt 18:23-35
20 2Cor 5:10-15 Mk 1:9-15
21 2Cor 5:15-21 Mk 1:16-22
22 2Cor 6:11-16 Mk 1:23-28
23 2Cor 7:1-10 Mk 1:29-35
24 2Cor 7:10-16 Mk 2:18-22
25 1Cor 1:26-29 Mt 20:29-34
26 1Cor 15:1-11 Mt 19:16-26
27 2Cor 8:7-15 Mk 3:6-12
28 2Cor 8:16-9:5 Mk 3:13-19
29 2Cor 9:12-10:7 Mk 3:20-27
30 2Cor 10:7-18 Mk 3:28-35
31 2Cor 11:5-12 Mk 4:1-9

04/08/2012

A Recent Miracle of Elder Paisios in Serres


The following article is pre-published, and will appear in the September 2012 issue of the Greek periodical ΔΙΑΛΟΓΟΣ. The author has allowed for its distribution, because of the hard times we are living in, especially in Greece.
 A few weeks ago another contemporary miracle of Elder Paisios was received in a small village of Serres. It was described by the subdeacon Amphilochios of the Holy Cathedral Church of the Archangels in Serres, as lived by Pantelis K.
 Pantelis, 18 years old, a young drug user, had a terrible accident with his motorcycle just outside his village, which resulted in serious head injuries and he suffered a concussion. He was probably under the influence of substances because, although he was in rehab programs, this demon of heroine was not leaving him. He entered the intensive care unit of Serres General Hospital with head injuries.
 The doctors had him in repression, and after an inpatient infection he was found to be in a coma with the final opinion being that he was brain dead. The doctors, having no other possibilities available to them, threw up their hands and told the bereaved mother that the situation was in God's hands.

03/08/2012

The last sunset of the 20th century

Nikos Deja Vu - The last sunset of the 20th century

Place: Santorini Island Greece
Date: 31/12/1999
The Orchestra of Colors in:
Manos Hatzidakis, "The smile of Giokonda"
A rare film, tribute to Manos (RIP) and to 90's for ever...
It is just magical...
Enjoy it!

01/08/2012

The Fast of the Dormition of the Holy Theotokos





By Fr. Gabriel Barrow
From The Word, June 1977
    For the first fourteen days of August during each year, the Holy Orthodox Church enters into a strict fast period in honor of the Mother of God, the Virgin Mary. The eminent Orthodox theologian, Father Sergei Bulgakov, beautifully expresses the high regard which the Orthodox Christians have for the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, for her special role in the salvation of mankind, when he affirms, “The warm veneration of the Theotokos is the soul of Orthodox Piety.” St. John of Damascus, one of the great Orthodox fathers, pointed out that when the Blessed Virgin Mary became the Mother of God and gave birth to Christ, the Redeemer of Mankind, she became the mother of mankind. We call the Virgin Mary “Theotokos”, from the Greek, which means “The Birth-Giver or the Bearer of God.” This is the highest title that can be bestowed upon any member of the human race.
The Theotokos, the Virgin Mary, was “blessed amongst women,” and she was chosen “to bear the Savior of our souls.” We, therefore, as Orthodox Christians, consider her to be the Queen of all the saints and the angels.
Knowing that she holds such a high place in the Kingdom of Heaven and that she is eternally present at the throne of God interceding for mankind, we, as good Orthodox Christians, must pray for her love, guidance, and protection. We must never forget to ask for her intercessions in times of sickness and danger, and we must constantly thank her for her care and her prayers in our behalf.

Every year the Orthodox Church sets aside the first fourteen days of August in honor of the Virgin Mary. This fast period is climaxed on August 15th, when the Church gathers to celebrate the Great Feast of the Dormition (Falling-Asleep) of the Theotokos. During this fourteen day fast period, the Orthodox Church prescribes that the Paraclesis Service be held in honor of the Mother of God.
The word “paraclesis” has two different meanings: the first is “consolation,” from which the Holy Spirit is called the “Paraclete,” or “Consoler”; the second is “supplication” or “petition”. The Service of the Paraclesis to the Theotokos consists of hymns of supplication to obtain consolation and courage. It should be recited in times of temptation, discouragement or sickness. It is used more particularly during the two weeks before the Dormition, or Assumption, of the Theotokos, from August 1 to August 14. The theme of these Paraclesis Services centers around the petition. . “Most Holy Mother of God, save us.
If you have a problem or if something is burdening your soul, if you feel spiritually uneasy and if you are not at peace with yourself and with those around you, then, you should come to the Church during the first fifteen days of August and ask for the intercessions of the Mother of God. Even if you are fortunate enough to be one of those very few who are at peace with themselves and with God, then those blessed ones should come to these services and thank God and His Blessed Mother for the blessings that they have bestowed upon you and your family.
Since these Paraclesis Services to the Theotokos are primarily petition for the welfare of the living, let the whole Church pray for you during the first fifteen days of August and especially on the Great Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos on August 15th. Don’t let your laziness and your apathy cause you to miss this great blessing and inspiration that the Church can bestow upon you. Let the peace and holiness that only the Mother of God can give you enter into your life. “Let us lay aside all earthly cares,” and let us truly, during these fifteen days, participate in the fasting and prayer life of the Church so that we can “taste and see that the Lord is good” and so that we may fully experience the spiritual blessings that the Church offers to us at this holy time. “Blessed is he whom He shall find watching.” Come and pray to the Theotokos with us and with the Church and by her prayers and intercessions, may our souls be saved!
MOST HOLY THEOTOKOS, SAVE US!