It is the most revered one in Chilandar, and the most significant icon for the Serbian people. According to legend, it belongs to the icons painted by the Apostle and Evangelist St. Luke, the first Christian painter. There is a painting of St. Nicholas on the reverse side of the icon.
The icon earned its name in the 8th century during the time of the iconoclast fury. One of the greatest opponents to it was Saint John Damascene (+c.780, Comm.4 December), at that time still living the secular life. Monk John Damascene was zealous in his veneration of holy icons. Because of his writing against the iconoclasts, he was slandered by the emperor and iconoclast Leo III the Isaurian (717-740), who informed the Damascus caliph that the Monk John was committing treasonous acts against him. The caliph gave orders to cut off the hand of the monk and take it to the marketplace. Towards evening Saint John, having asked the caliph for the cut-off hand, put it to its joint and fell to the ground before the icon of the Mother of God. The monk begged Our Lady to heal the hand, which had written in defense of Orthodoxy. After long prayer he fell asleep and saw in a dream, that the All-Pure Mother of God had turned to him promising him quick healing. Before this the Mother of God bid him toil without fail with this hand. Having awakened from sleep, the Monk John saw that his hand was unharmed. In thankfulness for this healing the Monk John placed on the icon an hand fashioned of silver, from which the icon received its name "Of Three Hands".
According to tradition, the Monk John wrote a song of thanksgiving to the Mother of God – "All of creation rejoiceth in Thee, O Full of Grace", which appears in place of the Mother of God hymn "Mete it is in truth" in the Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great.

After having been miraculously healed, John Damascene entered a monastic order. He spent his monastic life in the Lavra of St. Sava of Jerusalem. He brought along the miracle-working icon of his Benefactor, the Virgin of the Three Hands. There were two more relics in the Lavra: the miracle-working icon of the Virgin Galaktotrophousa (She Who Suckles) and pateritsa, the episcopal staff of St. Sava of Jerusalem. The legend has it that on his deathbed this saint foretold that a royal son of the same name, Sava, would come to the monastery, and that at the moment of his paying tribute to the tomb the tied up staff will fall to the ground. He bequeathed both monastery relics to the future monk with the name Sava, as his blessing. John Damascene added his own bequest, that the royal son should be presented with the icon of the Virgin Troyeruchitsa.
Five centuries later the prophecy of St. Sava of Jerusalem came true. The Serbian monk Sava arrived to Lavra. While he was paying tribute to the saint’s tomb, the episcopal staff fell down. The miracle repeated the next day, all doubts of the monks gone. They knew for sure then that the Serb Sava was the one they had been waited for.

The miracle-working icon of the Virgin Troyeruchitsa was cherished on the courts of all the rulers of the Nemanyich dynasty. In the late 14th century it was transferred from the court of the Tzar Dushan the Mighty to the monastery Studenica. In the early 15th century, Studenica became the target of the Turkish invaders. Advised that the Turks were approaching the monastery, the monks quickly took out all of the valuable objects. They tied the icon of the Virgin Troyeruchitsa to the pack-saddle of a donkey, and let it go wherever the Virgin led him. The donkey passed through Serbia and Macedonia, to arrive to Mount Athos. It stopped in the vicinity of Chilandar. Seeing the donkey and understanding what was going on, the monks from the monastery hurried to meet it. When they took the icon off the donkey, the animal dropped dead.

At the end of the 15th century, Chilandar had a problem regarding election of the new abbot. Numerous monks of Serbian, Russian, Greek and Bulgarian origin could not come to a decision. Then, during an evening service, the voice of the Holy Virgin was clearly heard coming from the icon, saying that she was their abbess. The next morning, during the morning service, the icon was found on the abbatial throne.
Thinking that it was a trick, the monks returned it to the altar. But the same thing repeated the next day. The monks understood then that they should not continue with the election or move the icon from the abbatial throne. Thus the Virgin Troyeruchitsa became the abbess and patron of Chilandar.

In the year 1905, at the request of the Headquarters of the Russian Tzar Army, then at war with Japan, a copy of the icon Troyeruchitsa was made and sent to the battlefield, to help the Orthodox Russian army. The Russians indeed started to win the battles. After the peace was signed between the two empires, the copy of the icon was returned to Chilandar.

In the 90s of the 20th century, the magnificent copy of the Virgin Troyeruchitsa arrived to Serbia. It is displayed in the Temple of St. Sava, on the Vrachar plateau, on a special proskynetarion in the nave, next to the abbatial throne. There is an ever-burning big sanctuary lamp in front of the icon, the oil of which has already healed many a sick person. The icon of the Virgin Troyeruchitsa is the first Athonite relic which has been taken out of the Holy Mountain, against the canonical rules. In 1993 it was displayed in the church of St. Demetrios in Salonika, and was visited by more than a million of believers. It performed another of its many miracles there, giving sight to a 33-year-old man who had been blind ever since his birth.

We are Greeks

We are Greeks.
Greeks of bitter times
and despair.

At the heart of the sea
at the cross of the horizon
my homeland cries and laments.

We keep guard in this corner of the open sea
onto our small country. Our voice - centuries
that will come.

We keep guard in this corner and we are strangling to survive.

Our hope is grindstoned in our faith.

By Michalis Pashardis (1974)


St. Evgeni (Rodionov) the Soldier-martyr (23rd)

– When he was 11 years old, Yevgeny Rodionov received from his grandmother a little cross on a chain. He wanted to wear it to school, but his mother, a devout atheist, warned him against it, since the communist authorities frowned on such things. Yevgeny wore it anyway and refused to ever take it off.

When Yevgeny grew, up he enlisted as a soldier in the Russian army. When he was 19, he was violently taken hostage by Muslim Chechen rebels. They kept him hanging by his wrists in a basement. He was left days without food and was severely beaten. He did not take off his cross even at the hardest moment of beastly tortures.

The Muslims ordered Yevgeny and several other Russian prisoners to deny Christ and convert to Islam. Unlike most of his fellow prisoners, Yevgeny refused to betray his Savior and was beheaded by his torturer, Ruslan Khaikhoroyev, on May 23, 1996. The Muslim executioner told his mother, “Your son had a choice to stay alive. He could have converted to Islam, but he did not agree to take his cross off.”

Yevgeny’s mother, Lubov, has been able to recover her son’s body to give him a proper burial. After seeing her son’s boots in a shallow grave full of four dead soldiers, she would not believe it was him until she saw his cross still around his neck. She found his head later.

Veneration of this Holy Martyr has been spreading and pilgrims are flocking from miles away to venerate his miracle working relics. An Icon that was made of Yevgeny has begun weeping myrrh. Yevgeny’s father died shortly after the return of his son’s body, not being able to live with the torment of loosing his son.

Yevgeny’s mother, who never before set foot in a church, put off the world and is now an Orthodox Christian believer, saved by the example of her son, the Holy Martyr Yevgeny Rodionov.


China wonder.SouthWest of Kunming in Yunnan

A place in south west of Kunming, Capital city of Yunnan Province. Because of remoteness and lack of infra structure and lodging etc. This place is not listed in the tourist map of China.

The red land of the eastern river is a place where one almost can not find in China's tourist maps. Even if there is, it has only a few words to introduce it.

It is located in the southwestern part of KUNMING, 2600 ft. above sea level, a remote area.
Because of its lack of infrastructure, transportation problem, inadequate lodging facilities.
ordinary travel agency would not think of going there.
Even the people living there are not so aware or familiar with its existing beauty.
But for those who have seen the pictures of the Red land , no one can resist being attracted to its beautiful scenery! Just like a painting of a great magnificent landscape.

Because the soil contains such components as oxidized Iron, etc kind of metallic minerals. after a long period of oxidation , gradually added and mixed in the soil that produced this extra-ordinary reddish brown soil.

Here in this place, Mountains and hills , every inch of land are cultivated and planted to the maximum by the inhabitants, Consequently causing unwanted damage to the place... erosion.

Just like Taiwan, How long could this magnificent phenomenon exist? We do not know. That's why there is an advocacy of returning to forestry.

Dongchuan Red Land represents Yunnan mountain valley most attractive colors.

Excursion is the soul's relaxation and banquet.

Crops on the Red Land such as ; potatoes, oats, corn, oil flower vegetables, Different color crops so arranged ,when looking from afar it seems like God painted them on a cloth so full of gorgeous color.
Each family was distributed with different size and shape of land, Each has its own preference kinds of crops. That caused and produced this beautiful pieces of colors. During harvest time, the soil is shoveled up and makes this unusually red color.

In September , white color oil flowers are in bloom on the whole mountain, It is a pity they covered up the beautiful red color. The best time for sightseeing tour is middle of November .

The whole mountain is like covering with a beautiful colored cloth. How I wish to lie down enjoying the breeze and looking at the ever-changing clouds in the sky.

Early in the morning, donkey-ridden cart full of harvest transporting to the town, while a few of the children walking toward the different direction to school.

Different seasons, different time, different sunlight, produce different kind of colors.

Just like a mixing colors plate so bright and splendid.

Bad temper donkey did not want to work with the bull , such uncoordinated working force., This is the first time I saw such kind of farming method and wondered why.

The poorer farmer used horse to take the place of donkey. later I knew that since different kinds of animals had different temperaments , they were used together to control each other. If one of them refused to move, the other one would force it .
That is to increase production . I think such ancient method could only be seen here only.

Clear sky with a rainbow after the rain.

This hollowed place is the most distinct part of the land. Later , in order to promote tourism it was named
Lexiaguo ( meaning--- the place where beautiful colors set)

A town in Lexiaguo.

Lexiaguo is full of crops that its curves and lines were made so beautiful by the sunlight.

The curve-like crops' lines enhanced more clearly by the red soil.


Sentimental moments in Fiji.

It was a sentimental moment at the Missionary House in Sabeto, Fiji as His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilochios, greeted the two Orthodox, Fijian girls on their return from Greece.

They spent five months on the island of Rhodes at the monastery of Panaghia Ipseni where under the Abbess Mariam and the sisters there they learnt a lot about Orthodoxy and most importantly how to chant and read in Greek.

With the grace of God and the blessings of our Eminence we hope they will return to continue what they have started.

"Great are your achievements of faith"



In October of 2001, my sister started getting very sick. She had stomach spasms and she was having a hard time getting around. Walking was a major chore. It took everything she had just to get out of bed; she was in so much pain.

By March 2002, she had undergone several tissue and muscle biopsies and was on 24 various prescription medications. The doctors could not determine what was wrong with her. She was in so much pain, and so sick she just knew she was dying.

She put her house, bank accounts, life insurance, etc., in her oldest daughter's name, and made sure that her younger children were to be taken care of.

She also wanted her last hooray, so she planned a trip to Florida (basically in a wheelchair) for March 22nd.
On March 19, I called her to ask how her most recent tests went, and she said they didn't find anything on the test, but they believe she had MS.
I recalled an article a friend of mine e-mailed to me and I asked my sister if she drank diet soda? She told me that she did. As a matter of fact, she was getting ready to crack one open that moment.
I told her not to open it, and to stop drinking the diet soda! I e-mailed her an article my friend, a lawyer, had sent. My sister called me within 32 hours after our phone conversation and told me she had stopped drinking the diet soda AND she could walk! The muscle spasms went away. She said she didn't feel 100% but, she sure felt a lot better.
She told me she was going to her doctor with this article and would call me when she got home.
Well, she called me, and said her doctor was amazed! He is going to call all of his MS patients to find out if they consumed artificial sweeteners of any kind. In a nutshell, she was being poisoned by the Aspartame in the diet soda... and literally dying a slow and miserable death.
When she got to Florida March 22, all she had to take was one pill, and that was a pill for the Aspartame poisoning! She is well on her way to a complete recovery. And she is walking! No wheelchair! This article saved her life.

If it says 'SUGAR FREE' on the label; DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!

I have spent several days lecturing at the WORLD ENVIRONMENTAL CONFERENCE on 'ASPARTAME,' marketed as 'Nutra Sweet,' 'Equal,' and 'Spoonful.'

In the keynote address by the EPA, it was announced that in the United States in 2001 there is an epidemic of multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus. It was difficult to determine exactly what toxin was causing this to be rampant. I stood up and said that I was there to lecture on exactly that subject.

I will explain why Aspartame is so dangerous: When the temperature of this sweetener exceeds 86 degrees F, the wood alcohol in ASPARTAME converts to formaldehyde and then to formic acid, which in turn causes metabolic acidosis. Formic acid is the poison found in the sting of fire ants. The methanol toxicity mimics, among other conditions, multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus.

Many people were being diagnosed in error. Although multiple sclerosis is not a death sentence, Methanol toxicity is!
Systemic lupus has become almost as rampant as multiple sclerosis, especially with Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi drinkers.
The victim usually does not know that the Aspartame is the culprit. He or she continues its use; irritating the lupus to such a degree that it may become a life-threatening condition. We have seen patients with systemic lupus become asymptotic, once taken off diet sodas.
In cases of those diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, most of the symptoms disappear. We've seen many cases where vision loss re turned and hearing loss improved markedly.
This also applies to cases of tinnitus and fibromyalgia. During a lecture, I said, 'If you are using ASPARTAME (Nutra Sweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc) and you suffer from fibromyalgia symptoms, spasms, shooting, pains, numbness in your legs, Cramps, Vertigo, Dizziness, Headaches, Tinnitus, Joint pain, Unexplainable depression, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, blurred vision, or memory loss you probably have ASPARTAME poisoning!' People were jumping up during the lecture saying, 'I have some of these symptoms. Is it reversible?'

Yes! Yes! Yes!
STOP drinking diet sodas and be alert for Aspartame on food labels! Many products are fortified with it! This is a serious problem. Dr. Espart (one of my speakers) remarked that so many people seem to be symptomatic for MS and during his recent visit to a hospice; a nurse stated that six of her friends, who were heavy Diet Coke addicts, had all been diagnosed with MS. This is beyond coincidence!

Diet soda is NOT a diet product! It is a chemically altered, multiple SODIUM (salt) and ASPARTAME containing product that actually makes you crave carbohydrates.

It is far more likely to make you GAIN weight!
These products also contain formaldehyde, which stores in the fat cells, particularly in the hips and thighs. Formaldehyde is an absolute toxin and is used primarily to preserve 'tissue specimens.'
Many products we use every day contain this chemical but we SHOULD NOT store it IN our body!
Dr. H. J. Roberts stated in his lectures that once free of the 'diet products' and with no significant increase in exercise; his patients lost an average of 19 pounds over a trial period.
Aspartame is especially dangerous for diabetics. We found that some physicians, who believed that they had a patient with retinopathy, in fact, had symptoms caused by Aspartame. The Aspartame drives the blood sugar out of control. Thus diabetics may suffer acute memory loss due to the fact that aspartic acid and phenylalanine are NEUROTOXIC when taken without the other amino acids necessary for a good balance.
Treating diabetes is all about BALANCE. Especially with diabetics, the Aspartame passes the blood/brain barrier and it then deteriorates the neurons of the brain; causing various levels of brain damage, Seizures, Depression, Manic depression,Panic attacks, Uncontrollable anger and rage.
Consumption of Aspartame causes these same symptoms in non-diabetics as well. Documentation and observation also reveal that thousands of children diagnosed with ADD and ADHD have had complete turnarounds in their behavior when these chemicals have been removed from their diet.
So called 'behavior modification prescription drugs' (Ritalin and others) are no longer needed. Truth be told, they were never NEEDED in the first place!

Most of these children were being 'poisoned' on a daily basis with the very foods that were 'better for them than sugar.'
It is also suspected that the Aspartame in thousands of pallets of diet Coke and diet Pepsi consumed by men and women fighting in the Gulf War, may be partially to blame for the well-known Gulf War Syndrome.

Dr. Roberts warns that it can cause birth defects, i.e. mental retardation, if taken at the time of conception and during early pregnancy. Children are especially at risk for neurological disorders and should NEVER be given artificial sweeteners.

There are many different case histories to relate of children suffering grand mal seizures and other neurological disturbances talking about a plague of neurological diseases directly caused by the use of this deadly poison.'

Herein lies the problem: There were Congressional Hearings when Aspartame was included in 100 different products and strong objection was made concerning its use. Since this initial hearing, there have been two subsequent hearings, and still nothing has been done. The drug and chemical lobbies have very deep pockets.

Sadly, MONSANTO'S patent on Aspartame has EXPIRED! There are now over 5,000 products on the market that contain this deadly chemical and there will be thousands more introduced. Everybody wants a 'piece of the Aspartame pie.'

I assure you that MONSANTO, the creator of Aspartame, knows how deadly it is.

And isn't it ironic that MONSANTO funds, among others, the American Diabetes Association, the American Dietetic Association and the Conference of the American College of Physicians?
This has been recently exposed in the New York Times. These [organizations] cannot criticize any additives or convey their link to MONSANTO because they take money from the food industry and are required to endorse their products.

Senator Howard Metzenbaum wrote and presented a bill that would require label warnings on products containing Aspartame, especially regarding pregnant women, children and infants. 10pt"
The bill would also institute independent studies on the known dangers and the problems existing in the general population regarding seizures, changes in brain chemistry, neurological changes and behavioral symptoms.
The bill was killed.
It is known that the powerful drug and chemical lobbies are responsible for this, letting loose the hounds of disease and death on an unsuspecting and uninformed public. Well, you're informed now!