Creation – Fr. Antonios Alevizopoulos, Greece

http://havefaithorthodoxy.wordpress.com

HAVE FAITH – ORTHODOXY

Creation – Fr. Antonios Alevizopoulos, Greece

Orthodox Christians believe that God is “the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invis­ible”. The world is not eternal; only God is eternal. He created the entire world out of nothing: “for he spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood forth” (Ps. 33,9).

Man cannot determine the manner in which the world came into being; for it is not an object of scien­tific examination, for it transcends man’s “rational” ability (his logic). Man is part of created reality, he cannot become an “observer” of the manner in which he himself was created!

The world is not of the same nature with God; “by nature” it is entirely different. The world is not a creation from the essence of God, “light from light” but the fruit of God’s volition and freedom; there is an insurmountable chasm separating God’s essence from the essence of the created world.

God need not have created the world. The world, however, was pre-eternally in God’s “thought”. Thus the creation of the world does not mean a change in God’s life. The world came into being according to God’s plan and at a time which pre-eternally existed in God’s will.

Before making visible creation, God created the spiritual world, i.e. the angels: “When the stars were created, all my angels with a loud voice praised me”, says God to Job (Job 38,7). Neither angels nor men existed pre-eternally. Angels are spiritual persons. They were created in time and are limited by Continue reading “Creation – Fr. Antonios Alevizopoulos, Greece”

What does the daily invocation of the saints signify?

What does the daily invocation of the saints signify?

Saint John of Kronstadt, Russia (+1908)

What does the daily invocation of the saints signify — of different ones each day, during the whole year, and during our whole life? It signifies that God’s saints — as our brethren, but perfect — live, and are near us, ever ready to help us, by the grace of God. We live together with them in the house of our Heavenly Father, only in different parts of it. We live in the earthly, they in the heavenly half; but we can converse with them, and they with us. God’s saints are near to the believing heart, and are ready in a moment to help those who call upon them with faith and love.”

From the Book: St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ

Source:

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com/2014/05/01/st-john-of-kronstadt-what-does-the-daily-invocation-of-the-saints-signify/

ORTHODOX CHURCH QUOTES

What Every Christian Needs To Know About All Of The Christians Who Saved Jews In The Holocaust ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* A growing list of Orthodox Christians that rescued Jews during the Holocaust era

http://orthodox-heart-sites.blogspot.com

ORTHODOX HEART SITES

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What Every Christian Needs To Know

About All Of The Christians Who Saved Jews In The Holocaust

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

A growing list of Orthodox Christians that

rescued Jews during the Holocaust era

Much has been said regarding the famed Yad Vashem awards given to a number of Roman Catholics and Protestants. What needs to be noted however, is that there were just as many Orthodox Christians who were participants of rescuing Jews from the Nazi death squads and who selflessly did so at the expense of their own lives in a number of cases. May God honour their blessed memory as I list, although still growing, of a number of these blessed souls.

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Chiune Sugihara (1900-1986)-This Japanese diplomat in WWII was a convert to the Orthodox Church due to his contact with the Russian Orthodox Church via his first wife. Despite leaving his first wife, he never wavered in his Orthodox Christian faith and managed to lead his second wife, Yukiko, to the Orthodox Faith. He and Yukiko, worked tirelessly to write passports via their embassy in Lithuania, to allow many Polish Jews to leave the region to escape Nazi death camps. When he was asked as to one of his motivations for his actions, he mentioned his faith in God. He was discharged from his position unceremoniously after the War, and was only to be discovered later by one of the Jews he rescued, in Russia. He was later awarded Yad Vashem by Israel in 1985, one year before his death, but was too ill to receive the award and thus his son received it on his behalf. His wife, Yukiko, mentions that she had read the Book of Lamentations in the Old Testament, and thus was motivated to ask her husband to save the Jews as well in Lithuania.

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Archbishop Damaskinos of Athens (1891-1949)-This blessed Archbishop of Athens, when Greece fell under Nazi occupation in 1941, did everything possible to rescue Jews from death. He is renowned for writing a letter to the occupying government protesting atrocities committed against Jews and urged the government to desist from arresting them or committing any harm towards them. In addition, when asked to put the names down of Jews to be arrested and taken away by the Nazi forces for throwing into concentration camps, he put his own name on the list. In addition, he was known for quietly urging a number of congregants to issue baptismal certificates for Jews to allow them to escape.

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Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Zakynthos (1890-1958)- Similar to the above, also risked his life to save the Jewish community in Zakynthos, Greece. He and also Mayor Loukás Karrer, refused to comply with Nazi demands of listing the Jews in the island for deportation and instead submitted their own names. In addition, they made sure that the Jews were distributed throughout various villages to prevent capture. Both were awarded by Israel in 1978 with Yad Vashem for their good work.

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Angelos Evert (1894-1970)- A police officer during the Nazi occupation of Greece, he was inspired by Archbishop Damaskinos to act selflessly for the Jews and was also responsible for issuing Christian identities for Jews in Greece. Awarded in 1969 by Israel with Yad Vashem.

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Prince Constantin Karadja (1889-1950)-Serving as a diplomat in Romania under Nazi occupation, he personally organised the saving of 10,000+ Jews in Romania using all his diplomatic ability. He was awarded Yad Vashem posthumously in 2005.

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Princess Helen of Greece and Denmark (1896-1982)- She was married to King Carol II of Romania and was renowned for saving Jews in Romania. And caring for the wounded under Nazi occupation. For her righteous work, she was also awarded Yad Vashem by Israel too.

Amongst the 2 most prominent churches renowned for helping and rescuing Jews are the Bulgarian and Serbian Orthodox Church. There were many clergy and laymen that risked their necks to rescue Jews from Nazi deportations and atrocities.

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In the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, there is Patriarch Cyril aka Konstantin Markov Konstantinov (1901-1971), who personally risked his life to stop the Nazi deportation of Jews in Bulgaria.

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Dimitar Peshev (1894-1973)-Although he was a politician that signed a law in Bulgaria that supported anti-Jewish behaviour due to Nazi occupation, yet actions spoke louder than words. He was a friend to the Jewish community in Bulgaria, and when he learnt from a Jewish friend of a Nazi attempt to deport Jews in Bulgaria to various death camps, he personally went out of his way to stop this. He worked to sabotage Nazi operations in this regard and even wrote letters to stop any further anti-Jewish measures. He was finally recognized by Israel in 1973 and was awarded Yad Vashem.

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Maria Skobtsova (1891-1945)- Also has been canonised by the Russian Church as St. Mary of Paris. Also known by many as Mother Maria. She became a nun despite coming from a prominent family, and as a nun in 1940, when France was occupied by Nazi Germany, personally engineered the saving of Jews in France through her convent. She and Father Dimitri Klepinin (who was also canonised a Saint by the Russian Church as well) worked tirelessly to save Jews from death camps and to organise rescue missions. She and Father Klepenin organised baptismal certificates to be issued for Jews in France. Both she and Father Klepenin were martyred in Nazi death camps. She chose to die in the place of a Jewish woman in 1945. She was issued Yad Vashem posthumously and was canonized along with Father Dimitri Klepinin in 2004 by both the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and also by the Moscow Patriarchate.

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Father Dimitri Klepinin (1904-1944)-Canonized as St. Dimitri Klepinin in 2004, he worked alongside Mother Maria Skobtsova to rescue Jews. Serving under the Russian Orthodox Church as was St. Mary of Paris, he was initially serving the émigré community in France. Nazi occupation changed a lot for him and saw him being arrested for issuing false baptismal certificates to Jews and to be deported to the death camp of Dora, near Buchenwald. He was posthumously awarded in 1987 Yad Vashem by Israel and canonized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate as well as Moscow Patriarchate alongside Maria Skobtsova.

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Alexej Alexandrovich Glagolev (1901-1972)-A Ukrainian Orthodox priest that was awarded posthumously along with his wife and daughter in 1991 with Yad Vashem by Israel. Their son was awarded nine years later with the same. He and family were personally responsible for organising rescue of Jews and issuing them with baptismal certificates. He often faced beatings from the Nazis and his family also faced constant persecution too.

Since 2007, 127 Serbian nationals, and members of the Orthodox Church, have been listed as recipients of Yad Vashem. What can be said, is that the Serbian Orthodox Church played a great role in the rescue and saving of Jews from both Nazi German forces and the Croatian Ustache.

This list is by no means complete. However, what is certain, is that all these selfless men and women, are jewels of the Orthodox Church to the whole world. May their memory be blessed and eternal and may God forgive them of all their sins, both voluntary and involuntary. Amen

Source:

http://www.pravmir.com/what-every-christian-needs-to-know-about-all-of-the-christians-who-saved-jews-in-the-holocaust/

PRAVMIR.COM

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY AND THE WORLD

The Glorification of the Saints in the Orthodox Church – Fr. Joseph Frawley, USA

http://saintsofmyheart.wordpress.com

SAINTS OF MY HEART

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The Glorification of the Saints in the Orthodox Church

Fr. Joseph Frawley

Source:

https://oca.org

https://oca.org/fs/glorification-of-saints

ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA

This article was written by Fr. Joseph Frawley, a member of the Orthodox Church in America’s Canonization Commission. It was originally published in the April-May 2000 issue of The Orthodox Church Newspaper.

While the glorification of saints in the Orthodox Church has been taking place for nearly 2000 years, few people today are certain about how this really happens. Does the Church “make” a saint? Are there special panels which decide who can be considered for sainthood? Are saints “elected” by a majority vote? Does a person have to perform a certain number of miracles in order to quality as a saint? The answers to these questions may be surprising to some.

We know that there are several categories of saints: prophets, evangelists, martyrs, ascetics, holy bishops and priests, and those who live a righteous life “in the world.” What they all have in common is holiness of life. Three times in the Book of Leviticus (Ch 11, 19 and 20) God tells us to be holy, because He is holy. We must consecrate ourselves, for we are His people. Saint Peter reiterates this commandment in the new testament, challenging us to obey God’s commandments and submit our will to His will (1 Pet 1:16). Everyone is challenged to manifest holiness in their lives, for we all must become saints! This is our special – and common – calling from God. It is not something reserved for the clergy, monastics, or those who are “more pious.” Everyone who has been baptized into Christ must live in such a way that Christ lives within us. “Do you not know,” Saint Paul asks, “that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Cor 3:16).

So, the glorification of saints in the Orthodox Church is a recognition that God’s holiness is manifested in the Church through these grace-filled men and women whose lives were pleasing to God. Very early on, the Church recognized the righteous ancestors of Christ (Forefathers), those who predicted His coming (Prophets), and those who proclaimed the Gospel (Apostles and Evangelists). Then those who risked their lives and shed their blood to bear witness to Christ (Martyrs and Confessors) were also recognized by the Church as saints. There was no special canonization process, but their relics were treasured and the annual anniversaries of their martyrdoms were celebrated. Later, the ascetics, who followed Christ through self denial, were numbered among the saints. Bishops and priests who proclaimed the True Faith and fought against heresy were added to the list. Finally, those in other walks of life who manifested holiness were recognized as saints.

While the glorification of a saint may be initiated because of miracles, it is not an absolute necessity for canonization. The Roman Catholic Church requires three verified miracles in order to recognize someone as a saint; the Orthodox Church does not require this. There are some saints, including Saint Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain (July 14) and Saint Innocent of Moscow (commemorated March 31), who have not performed any miracles, as far as we know. What is required is a virtuous life of obvious holiness. And a saint’s writings and preaching must be “fully Orthodox,” in agreement with the pure faith that we have received from Christ and the Apostles and taught by the Fathers and the Ecumenical Councils.

Can the Church “make” a saint? The answer is no. Only God can do that. We glorify those whom God Himself has glorified, seeing in their lives true love for God and their neighbors. The Church merely recognizes that such a person has cooperated with God’s grace to the extent that his or her holiness is beyond doubt.

Are saints “elected” by special panels or by majority vote? Again, the answer is no. Long before an official inquiry into a person’s life is made, that person is venerated by the people where he or she lived and died. His or her memory is kept alive by the people who pray for his or her soul or who ask him or her for intercession. Sometimes people will visit his or her grave or have icons painted through their love for the person. Then a request is made, usually through the diocesan bishop, for the Church to recognize that person as a saint. A committee, such as the Orthodox Church in America’s Canonization Commission, is formed to research the life of the person who is being considered for glorification and to submit a report to the Holy Synod stating its reasons why the person should or should not be recognized as a saint. Then the Holy Synod decides to number that person among the saints and have icons painted and liturgical services composed.

The formal Rite of Glorification begins with a final Memorial Service for the person about to be canonized, after which Vespers and Matins with special hymns to the saint are chanted and the saint’s icon is unveiled. The saint’s life is published and the date of his or her commemoration is established. The other Orthodox Churches are notified of the glorification so that they can place the new saint’s name on their calendars.

Through the prayers of all the saints, may we be encouraged to follow their example of virtue and holiness.