Is there biblical evidence in support of Icons?

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ORTHODOXY IS LOVE

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Is there biblical evidence in support of Icons?

In the Holy Bible, Cherubim are Angels. Icons (images) of Angels.

Exodus 26:31 > “Make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, with cherubim woven into it by a skilled worker.

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Exodus 25:17-21 > 17 “Make an atonement cover of pure gold—two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. 18 And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. 19 Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. 20 The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover. 21 Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law that I will give you.

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Hebrews 9:5 > Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.

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Acts 5:15 >As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by.

Peter’s shadow is an icon (image) of Apostle Peter.

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Abel-Tasos Gkiouzelis

What is necessary for a saving Confession? – Saint Innocent of Alaska (+1879)

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JESUS CHRIST – ORTHODOXY

What is necessary for a saving Confession?

Saint Innocent of Alaska (+1879)

What is Confession? Confession is the oral avowal of one’s sins which lie heavy upon the conscience. Repentance cleanses the soul and makes it ready to receive the Holy Spirit, but confession, so to speak, only empties the soul of sins.

Let us present a simple analogy and comparison to confession. For example, suppose you had only one vessel of some kind, which you through negligence or laziness let reach a stage where little by little it accumulated all sorts of dirt so that your vessel became not only unuseable but even unbearable to look at without repugnance. But what if a king wanted to give you as a gift some sort of fragrant and precious balm, one drop of which could heal all infirmities and protect—what then? Would you refuse such a valuable gift only because you had no other clean vessel in which to put it? No! It would be very natural for you to accept such a gift and you would try to clean your vessel. How would you begin to clean your vessel? No doubt, before anything else, you would rid it of all uncleanness; you would begin by washing it with water and, perhaps would even burn it out so that it no longer retained any of its former odors. Isn’t that so?

Now let the vessel represent the soul given to you by God, which you have brought to such a state that it has been filled with all kinds of transgression and iniquities; let the sweet-smelling balm, given by the king, signify the Holy Spirit, Who heals all infirmities and afflictions, Whom the King of heaven and earth, Jesus Christ, freely bestows upon us. To examine your vessel signifies feeling your guilt before God and recalling all sins which have stolen into your heart. To clean out the vessel typifies the confession of your sins before your spiritual father, and washing with water and burning with fire signifies a sincere and even tearful repentance and a voluntary resolve to endure all unpleasantness, needs, afflictions, misfortunes, and even calamities that befall us.

Now tell me: Is Confession profitable or needful? Certainly it is profitable and even essential; because, just as it is impossible to cleanse a vessel without ridding it of all uncleanness, so it is impossible to purge your soul of sins without confession. But tell me, is confession alone enough for the reception of the Holy Spirit? Certainly not, because in order to receive the sweet-smelling and precious balm into a defiled vessel it is not enough to just empty it, but it is necessary to wash it with water and refine it with fire. Just so, in order to receive the Holy Spirit, it is not enough just to confess or recite your sins before a spiritual father, but it is necessary together with this to purge your soul with repentance or contrition and grief of soul, and burn it out with voluntary endurance of afflictions. So then, this is what confession and repentance mean!

What does a true and correct confession consist of? When we wish to cleanse our conscience of sins in the Mystery of Repentance, 1) before everything else it is necessary to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and firmly hope that He is ready to forgive all sins, no matter of what magnitude, if only the sinner repents open-heartedly; it is necessary to believe and hope that the God of all wants and seeks our return. Of this He assures us through the prophet thus: As I live, saith the Lord, i. e., I assure and swear by My life, In desiring I do not desire, i e., I do not at all desire the death of a sinner, but entirely desire his conversion.

2) It is necessary to have a broken heart. Who is God? and who are we? God is the Almighty Creator of heaven and earth; He is the awful and righteous Judge. And we? We are weak and insignificant mortals. All people, even the greatest people, are less than dust before God, and we can never imagine how disgusting to God is any sin and how any transgression offends Him. And we, insignificant and weak, we mortals endlessly benefited by our God, dare to offend Him—the All-Good One? Oh! This is so horrible! We are such debtors before God, such transgressors, that not only should we not dare to call ourselves His children, but are not even worthy of being His lowliest servants.

Therefore, picturing all this, you see what contriteness, what lamentation it is necessary to have then, when we want to purge ourselves of sins. And such a feeling must be had not only before confession and during confession, but also after confession. And even more important, do you want to offer a sacrifice to God such as will be acceptable to Him? Naturally we all gladly want this and as far as possible we offer it. But what can we offer Him really acceptable.?—a broken heart. A sacrifice unto God is a broken spirit; a heart that is broken and humbled, here is an offering to God more priceless than all offerings and oblations!

3) It is necessary to forgive all our enemies and offenders all the harmful and offensive things they have done to us. Forgiveness—what does it mean to forgive? To forgive means never to avenge, neither secretly nor openly; never to recall wrongs but rather to forget them and, above all, to love your enemy as a friend, a brother, as a comrade; to protect his honor and to treat him right-mindedly in all things. This is what it means to forgive. And who agrees that this is difficult? So, it is a hard matter to forgive wrongs, but he who can forgive wrongs is for this reason great—truly great, both before God and before man,—Yes, it is a hard matter to forgive your enemies; but to do nothing, it is necessary to forgive, otherwise God Himself will not forgive. Jesus Christ said: If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will forgive you also your trespasses. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive you your trespasses. On the contrary to this, though you pray to God every hour, though you have such faith that you can move mountains, even though you give away all of your belongings to the needy, and give your body to be burned,—if you do not practice forgiveness and do not wish to forgive your enemy, then all is in vain, for in such circumstances neither prayer, nor faith, nor charity, will save you, in short, nothing will save you.

But if it is needful to forgive our enemies, so likewise it is indispensable to ask also forgiveness of those people whom we have offended. Thus, if you have offended anyone by word, ask forgiveness of him, come and bow down at his feet and say, “Forgive me.” Have you offended by deed? Endeavor to expiate your guilt and offenses and recompense his damage, then be certain that all of your sins, no matter how heavy they be, will be forgiven you.

4) It is necessary to reveal your sins properly and without any concealment. Some say, “For what reason should I reveal my sins to Him Who knows all of our secrets?” Certainly God knows all of our sins, but the Church, which has the power from God to forgive and absolve sins, cannot know them, and for this reason She cannot, without confession, pronounce Her absolution.

Finally, it is necessary to set forth a firm intention to live prudently in the future. If you want to be in the kingdom of heaven, if you want God to forgive your sins—then stop sinning! Only on this condition does the Church absolve the penitent of his sins. And he who does not think at all about correcting himself confesses in vain, labors in vain, for even if the priest says, “I forgive and absolve,” the Holy Spirit does not forgive and absolve him!

From Orthodox Life, vol. 38, no. 4 (July-August, 1988), pp. 20-22.

Source:

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/101542.html

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

If God is making you wait, you’re in good company

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ORTHODOX WEB

Joseph waited 13 years.

Abraham waited 25 years.

Moses waited 40 years.

Jesus waited 30 years.

If God is making you wait, you’re in good company.

An early prayer to the Theotokos, Holy Virgin Mary Mother of God

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HEAVEN ON EARTH – ORTHODOXY

An early prayer to the Theotokos,

Holy Virgin Mary Mother of God

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https://orthodox-apologetics.blogspot.com/2013/07/an-early-prayer-to-theotokos.html

ORTHODOX APOLOGETICS

This papyrus fragment is a prayer to the Theotokos written about 250 A.D., per papyrologists who have examined the handwriting style. (Theotokos means “God-bearer,” a term for Mary that was formally affirmed at the Third Ecumenical Council held at Ephesus in 431.) Some initially placed the papyrus in the fourth or fifth century (the John Rylands Library description below lists it as 3rd – 4th century), perhaps because they didn’t think that Christians would have been praying to the Theotokos that early. If the early dating is correct, this prayer must have already been part of the Church’s services or prayers, showing that petitions and prayers to the Theotokos and the Saints go back to the early days of the Church, perhaps to the second century.

The present form of the prayer in the Greek services and prayer books is:

Υπο την σην ευσπλαγχνιαν
καταφευγομεν Θεοτοκε.
τας ημων ικεσιας μη παριδης εν περιστασει,
αλλ’ εκ κινδυνων λυτρωσαι ημας,
μονη αγνη, μονη ευλογημενη

This roughly translates as (adapted from the Wikipedia entry for “Sub tuum praesidium,” the Latin version):

Beneath your compassion
we take refuge, Theotokos.
Our petitions do not despise in time of trouble,
but from dangers ransom us,
Only Holy, Only Blessed

In uncial (capital) letters this would be:

ΥΠΟ ΤΗΝ ΣΗΝ ΕΥΣΠΛΑΓΧΝΙΑΝ
ΚΑΤΑΦΕΥΓΟΜΕΝ ΘΕΟΤΟΚΕ.
ΤΑΣ ΗΜΩΝ ΙΚΕΣΙΑΣ ΜΗ ΠΑΡΙΔΗΣ ΕΝ ΠΕΡΙΣΤΑΣΕΙ,
ΑΛΛ’ ΕΚ ΚΙΝΔΥΝΩΝ ΛΥΤΡΩΣΑΙ ΗΜΑΣ,
ΜΟΝΗ ΑΓΝΗ, ΜΟΝΗ ΕΥΛΟΓΗΜΕΝΗ.

Read more:

https://theoblogoumena.blogspot.com/2007/08/john-rylands-papyrus-470.html

THEOBLOGOUMENA

Sanktulo Carranog de Irlando, Kimrio & Cornualles (+6-a jarcento) ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Esperanto

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SAINTS OF MY HEART

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Llangrannog, Kimrio

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Sanktulo Carranog 

de Irlando, Kimrio & Cornualles

(+6-a jarcento)

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Sanktulo Carantoc estis kelta sanktulo de la frua 6-a jarcento.

Li naskiĝis en la antaŭ kimra regno Ceredigion, kaj estis filo de reĝo de tiu lando (aŭ Ceredig aŭ ties filo Corun). Tamen li mem ne deziris heredi la tronon, kaj fuĝis al la marborda vilaĝo Llangrannog. Kolombo forportis la rabotaĵojn produktatajn kiam li estigis fajron, kaj Carantoc fondis preĝejon en la loko kie la birdo formetis ilin. Li translokiĝis al Kornvalo antaŭ ol prediki en Irlando. Post kiam li revenis en Kimrion li Continue reading “Sanktulo Carranog de Irlando, Kimrio & Cornualles (+6-a jarcento) ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Esperanto”

Video: Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God (Panagia in greek) – Fr. Nikon of New Scete, Mount Athos, Greece

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HOLY VIRGIN MARY, MOTHER OF GOD

Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God (Panagia in greek)

Fr. Nikon of New Scete, Mount Athos, Greece

The Saint of love, forgiveness & discernment: Saint Jacob Tsalikis of Evia Island, Greece (+1991)

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SAINTS OF MY HEART

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The Saint of love, forgiveness & discernment:

Saint Jacob Tsalikis of Evia Island, Greece (+1991)

22 November

Source:

http://orthochristian.com

http://orthochristian.com/98806.html

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

Our age and today’s culture has, unfortunately moved away from the vision and pursuit of sanctity. The Orthodox faith is based on the presence of the saints. Without these, our Church is on the path towards secularization. Naturally, as we know from Scripture, God alone is holy, and sanctity derives from our relationship with Him, and therefore sanctity is theocentric rather than anthropocentric. Our sanctity depends on the glory and the grace of God and our union with Him, not on our virtues. Sanctification assumes the free will of the person being sanctified. As Saint Maximos the Confessor says, all that we bring is our intentions. Without those, God doesn’t act. And Saint John the Damascan repeats that we render honour to the saints ‘for having become freely unified with God and having Him dwell in them and by this participation having become by grace what He is by nature’. The saints didn’t seek to be glorified, but to glorify God, because sanctity means participation in and communion with the sanctity of God.

The source of sanctity in the Orthodox Church is the Divine Eucharist. By partaking of the Holy One, Jesus Christ, we become holy. The ‘holy things’, the Body and Blood of Christ, are given as communion ‘to the holy’, the members of the Church. Sanctity follows on from Holy Communion. The ascetic struggles of the saints are not an aim but a means which leads to the aim, which is Eucharistic communion, the most perfect and complete union with the Holy One. In the Lord’s prayer, the ‘Our Father’, we see that sanctification is associated with the Kingdom of God. We ask that His Kingdom come into the world so that everyone can praise Him and can partake of His sanctity and His glory, which is what we call ‘deification’.

The Kingdom of God and deification are an eternal extension of the Divine Liturgy within space and time, as Saint Maximos the Confessor writes. By taking part in the Continue reading “The Saint of love, forgiveness & discernment: Saint Jacob Tsalikis of Evia Island, Greece (+1991)”

On two types of love – Saint Maria Skobtsova of Paris (+1945)

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FRANCE OF MY HEART

On two types of love

Saint Maria Skobtsova of Paris (+1945)

March 31

In this world there are two kinds of love: one that takes and one that gives. This is common to all types of love — not only love for man. One can love a friend, one’s family, children, scholarship, art, the motherland, one’s own ideas, oneself — and even God — from either of these two points of view. Even those forms of love which by common consent are the highest can exhibit this dual character.

Take, for example, maternal love. A mother can often forget herself, sacrifice herself for her children. Yet this does not as yet warrant recognition as Christian love for her children. One needs to ask the question: what is it that she loves in them? She may love her own reflection, her second youth, an Continue reading “On two types of love – Saint Maria Skobtsova of Paris (+1945)”

Eastern Orthodox worship

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EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH

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Eastern Orthodox worship

Eastern Orthodox worship in this article is distinguished from Eastern Orthodox prayer in that “worship” refers to the activity of the Christian Church as a body offering up prayers to God while ‘prayer’ refers to the individual devotional traditions of the Orthodox.

The worship of the Orthodox Church is viewed as the Church’s fundamental activity because the worship of God is the joining of man to God in prayer and that is the essential function of Christ’s Church. The Orthodox view their Church as being the living embodiment of Christ, through the grace of His Holy Spirit, in the people, clergy, monks and all other members of the Church. Thus the Church is viewed as the Body of Christ on earth which is perpetually unified with the Body of Christ in heaven through a common act of worship to God.

This article will deal first with the various characteristics of Orthodox worship, aside from its theological foundations as laid forth above, and will then continue to give the services of worship themselves and their structure.

Characteristics of Orthodox worship

Physical

As explained above, the Orthodox draw no distinction between the Body of Christ in heaven and that on earth, viewing both parts of the Church as inseparable and in continuous worship together of God. Orthodox worship therefore expresses this unity of earth and heaven in every possible way so that the earthly worshippers are continually reminded through all their senses of the heavenly state of the Church. The particular methods for doing this are very far from arbitrary but have been passed down from the earliest periods in Christian history through what the Orthodox call “Holy Tradition”.

Sights

Probably the most striking aspect of Orthodox worship are its visual characteristics. These are many and varied always conveying in the most striking colors and shapes possible the various phases and moods of the Church both as they change throughout the year and in individual services.

Icons

Icons are used to bring the worshippers into the presence of those who are in heaven, that is, Christ, the Saints, the Theotokos and the angels. The Orthodox believe these icons do more than visually remind the viewer of the fact that there are saints in heaven, they believe that these icons act as ‘windows’ into heaven through which we see those saints, Christ and the Theotokos. It is for this reason that God the father is traditionally not Continue reading “Eastern Orthodox worship”

What does the daily invocation of the saints signify? – Saint John of Kronstadt, Russia (+1908)

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

St. John of Kronstadt: What does the daily invocation of the saints signify . . .

ORTHODOX CHURCH QUOTES

He who does not love his brother dwells in death – Saint Patrick of Ireland (+461)

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IRELAND OF MY HEART

He who does not love his brother dwells in death

Saint Patrick of Ireland (+461)

Saint Patrick of Ireland:

“It would take too long to discuss or argue every single case, or to sift through the whole of the Law for precise witness against such greed. Sufficient to say, greed is a deadly deed. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods. You shall not murder. A homicide may not stand beside Christ. Even “He who hates his brother is to be labeled murderer.” Or, “He who does not love his brother dwells in death.” therefore how much more guilty is he, who has stained his own hands in the blood of the sons of God, those very children whom only just now he has won for himself in this distant land by means of our feeble encouragement”.

—Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus (c.450?)

The difference between Christianity and communism – Elder Joel Yannakopoulos of Kalamata, Greece (+1966)

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FAITHBOOK – ORTHODOXY

The difference between Christianity and communism

Elder Joel Yannakopoulos of Kalamata, Greece (+1966)

A communist once told Fr. Joel, “Father, communism is the same as Christianity! In terms of society, there’s no difference between them. Both communism and Christianity want equality, brotherhood, and social justice.”

“However, there is one small difference,” said Fr. Joel.

“What?”

“Christianity tells its followers: ‘Why do you have, and another does not? Go and give to him!’ But communism tells its followers: ‘Why does another have, and you do not? Go and take from him!’ Do you see the difference?”

Source:

http://orthochristian.com

http://orthochristian.com/115308.html

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

When you sit down to eat, pray – Saint Basil the Great (+379)

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HEAVEN ON EARTH – ORTHODOXY

When you sit down to eat, pray

* * *

Saint Basil the Great (+379)

When you sit down to eat, pray. When you eat bread, do so thanking Him for being so generous to you. If you drink wine, be mindful of Him who has given it to you for your pleasure and as a relief in sickness. When you dress, thank Him for His kindness in providing you with clothes. When you look at the sky and the beauty of the stars, throw yourself at God’s feet and adore Him who in His wisdom has arranged things in this way. Similarly, when the sun goes down and when it rises, when you are asleep or awake, give thanks to God, who created and arranged all things for your benefit, to have you know, love and praise their Creator.

Source:

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com

St. Basil the Great: When you sit down to eat . . .

ORTHODOX CHURCH QUOTES

2018: Saint Arsenios of Paros Island of Greece resurrects a baby girl in Belgium

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SAINTS OF MY HEART

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Saint Arsenios of Paros Island, Greece (+1877)

January 31

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2018: Saint Arsenios of Paros Island of Greece,

resurrects a baby girl in Belgium

Source:

http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com

http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2018/01/st-arsenios-of-paros-resurrects-baby.html

FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH

A few minutes ago, Nun Arsenia Tsantouli (the Abbess of the Monastery where St. Arsenios of Paros Island in Greece lived in asceticism), and the Nuns offered the following astonishing miracle:

In Belgium lived for many years the sister of Abbess Arsenia, where she had a family, and her granddaughter was made worthy 5 months ago to become a mother.

The baby girl was baptized this year, 2018, on the feast of Theophany and received the name Arsenia in honor of the Venerable Arsenios.

However, the baby got sick suddenly and they took her to the hospital with dyspnea.

After two days, January 8th 2018, the baby unfortunately left this life, leaving her parents inconsolable.

That very day, a Greek doctor, who was in that very hospital, was making his rounds, and received as a visitor an old man with a cane, whom he told that the baby was dead. The old man told him to go and perform chest compressions and breaths, and even though 24 hours had passed since her death was confirmed by science, that the child would live.

The doctor noted in a letter that he did what the old man said, and the baby Arsenia, glory to God, returned to life!

As the mother returned to the hospital in order to prepare for the funeral, she found her baby girl alive in her bed.

The Elder who spoke to the doctor was St. Arsenios himself, as his appears in his icon.

“God is wondrous among His Saints!”

Fr. Dionysios Tampakis
January 22nd 2018
The Holy Monastery of Christ of Forest – St. Arsenios, Paros Island, Greece

Protection of the Mother of God

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HOLY VIRGIN MARY, MOTHER OF GOD

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Protection of the Mother of God

The Protection of the Mother of God is one of the most beloved feast days on the Orthodox calendar among the Slavic peoples, commemorated on October 1. The feast is celebrated additionally on October 28 in the Greek tradition. It is also known as the feast of the Virgin Mary’s Cerement.

In most Slavic languages the word “cerement” has a dual meaning of “veil” and “protection.” The Russian word Pokrov (Покров), like the Greek Skepi (Σκέπη), has a complex meaning. First of all, it refers to a cloak or shroud, but it also means protection or intercession. For this reason, the name of the feast is variously translated as the Veil of Our Lady, the Protecting Veil of the Theotokos, the Protection of the Theotokos, or the Intercession of the Theotokos.

The feast

The feast day celebrates the appearance of the Mother of God at Blachernae (Vlaherna) in the tenth century. At the end of St. Andrei (Andrew of Constantinople) Yurodivyi’s life, he, with his disciple St. Epiphanius, and a group of people, saw the Mother of God, St. John the Baptist, and several other saints and angels during a vigil in the Church of Blachernae, nearby the city gates. The Blachernae Palace church was where several of Continue reading “Protection of the Mother of God”

Saint Theophanes & Saint Pansemni the former prostitute in Antiochia, Syria (+369) – June 10

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ORTHODOXY IS LOVE

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Saint Theophanes

& Saint Pansemni the former prostitute in Antiochia, Syria (+369)

June 10

The venerable Theophanes was born in Antioch, to unbelieving parents, but this did not thwart him from becoming a Christian at an early age, though he was not Baptized. When he was fifteen years old, his parents insisted he take a wife. Being married for three years, he was widowed when death intervened and took his wife.

Now unencumbered, Theophanes hastened to a Christian church, and received the Mystery of Holy Baptism. Then he built a narrow cell near Antioch, where he enclosed himself and expelled all his passions that dominated his body and soul, and excelled in the virtues.

With the passage of time, Theophanes learned that in the city dwelled a prostitute named Pansemni, who brought ruin to many men. Pricked in his heart over this calamity, both on behalf of the woman and her male admirers, Theophanes entered into deep prayer, whereupon he was enlightened to ransom Pansemni and take her as his wife. Therefore, he removed his hair shirt and donned expensive apparel. Theophanes visited his father to reveal his intentions in taking a second wife, and the father gladly gave his son ten gold coins.

Theophanes then visited Pansemni the prostitute in her home. Upon entry, he was invited to eat and drink with her. After engaging in a pleasant conversation, Theophanes bluntly asked Pansemni how long she had been involved in her indecent vocation. Unoffended, she stated she had been engaged in her occupation for twelve years. She also added that of all her admirers, Theophanes was by far the most handsome. Unaffected by the compliment, since Theophanes desired to preserve the purity of his soul and body, he told her: “I desire and intend to take you in honorable marriage.” Pansemni was quite pleased at his pleasant proposal, reasoning that it was a singular token of esteem for her, being a shameless prostitute. Accepting his proposal, Theophanes gave her his ten gold coins and told her to hasten in the preparations for the wedding.

Taking his leave, Theophanes returned to his cell outside the city. While Pansemni prepared for their marriage, Theophanes also made preparations for Pansemni by building her a cell not far from his own. Not long after, he returned to the city and visited her. However, this time he placed a condition on her. Unless she accepted the Christian faith and became a Christian, they would be unable to cohabit. Pansemni initially found this condition difficult to accept, so she requested time to consider the matter.

Seven days later Pansemni heard someone speaking about the future judgement, how the righteous would enjoy eternal life and the blessings that come from it, while the unrighteous would receive eternal condemnation. Her conscience became censured by this, and the grace of God moved her to profound contrition, allowing her heart to be transformed from impious to pious. Conscious of her sinfulness, she disowned her ancestral polytheism, and assented to the teachings of the Gospel.

Seeking the perfect path of piety, Pansemni resolved to enter the ranks of the newly-illumined, and received Holy Baptism. Her new path in life moved her to free her retinue of servants and handmaids, and she donated everything she received and acquired through her disreputable occupation to the Church of God for suitable distribution. Pansemni, therefore, bidding farewell to the pleasures of this world, devoted herself to qualities her name implied, that is, to be all-modest.

Having nothing left in the world, she hastened to Theophanes who brought her to the cell he built for her. Inflamed with divine eros, she sought to contemplate the beauty of the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, the fairest among men, and sought union with Him intensely and with longing.

Pansemni kept watch over her inward thoughts and guarded her heart in this endeavor, and through asceticism of the body and soul, her labors attracted divine grace, gaining spiritual regeneration and victory. She had such an outpouring of divine grace that she was able to dispel demons and heal diverse passions and illnesses. And this was done in a very short time, since the devout and venerable Pansemni lived only fourteen months after baptism, and she was translated to the Heavenly Bridegroom on the same day the venerable and wonderworking Theophanes surrendered his soul to the Lord.

Source:

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

ORTHODOX HEART SITES

Divine Liturgie: Pourquoi ne lit-t-on pas d’abord le saint Évangile et après l’épître? ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* French

http://divine-liturgie-orthodoxe.blogspot.com

DIVINE LITURGIE ORTHODOXE

Divine Liturgie:

Pourquoi ne lit-t-on pas d’abord le saint Évangile et après l’épître?

Saint Nicolas Cabasilas demande: «Pourquoi ne lit-t-on pas d’abord le saint Évangile et après l’épître? Ensuite il répond: ce que le Seigneur Lui-même dit, est une révélation plus complète que celle dont nous parlent les apôtres. En outre, nous avons dit que les événements pendant la Divine Liturgie correspondent à une révélation progressive et suivent un cours ascendant échelonné, avançant de l’inférieur au supérieur. Pour cela nous lisons d’abord l’épître et après le passage évangélique» (Saint Nicolas Cabasilas P.G. 150, 416 C).

Source:

Advice about Confession – Saint Paisios of Mount Athos, Greece (+1994)

http://saintpaisios.wordpress.com

SAINT PAISIOS OF MOUNT ATHOS, GREECE

Advice about Confession

Saint Paisios of Mount Athos, Greece (+1994)

Source:

http://stjohntheforerunnerblog.blogspot.com

http://stjohntheforerunnerblog.blogspot.com/2015/10/advice-about-confession-st-paisios.html

ST. JOHN THE FORERUNNER

We all know the importance of Confession, but yet so few take advantage of it. Here Saint Paisios of Mount Athos, Greece (+1994) shows us why it is so important.

A young man went to see the Elder. I arrived the moment he was ringing the bell, and waited behind him. After a while, Father Paisios opened the door and came to the fence.

-What’s up, young man, what do you want? asked the Elder.

-Father, I would like to see you and get your advice on something.

-Have you gone to confession? Do you have a spiritual father?

-No, Father, I don’t have a spiritual father and I haven’t gone to confession.

-Well, then you better go to confession and then come to see me.

-Why can’t I see you, Father?

-I will explain to you, so you can understand. Your mind is confused and troubled by the sins you have fallen into; as a result, you cannot realize the Continue reading “Advice about Confession – Saint Paisios of Mount Athos, Greece (+1994)”

Svatý Mames nebo Mamans z Malé Asie a lev (+275) – 2. září ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Czech

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SAINTS OF MY HEART

Svatý Mames nebo Mamans z Malé Asie a lev (+275)

2. září

Svatý Mames nebo Mamans (asi 258–275) byl pastýř, který byl umučen při pronásledování křesťanů v době vlády císaře Aureliána v Malé Asii.

Jako poustevník žil v míru s divokou zvěří. Byl zajat a odsouzen k roztrhání lvy v aréně. Ti ho však nechali bez povšimnutí a Mames byl ukamenován přihlížejícími diváky.

Zdroj:

Wikipedia

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

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:

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.

Saint John Chrysostom: Paschal Homily

http://saintsofmyheart.wordpress.com

SAINTS OF MY HEART

Saint John Chrysostom: Paschal Homily

Source:

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com

ORTHODOX CHURCH QUOTES

If anyone is devout and a lover of God, let him enjoy this beautiful and radiant festival.

If anyone is a wise servant, let him, rejoicing, enter into the joy of his Lord.

If anyone has wearied himself in fasting, let him now receive his recompense.

If anyone has labored from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward.

If anyone has come at the third hour, with thanksgiving let him keep the feast.

If anyone has arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; for he shall suffer no loss. If anyone has delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near without hesitation. If anyone has arrived even at the eleventh hour, let him not fear on account of his delay. For the Master is gracious and receives the last, even as the first; he gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour, just as to him who has labored from the first. He has mercy upon the last and cares for the first; to the one he gives, and to the other he is gracious. He both honors the work and praises the intention.

Enter all of you, therefore, into the joy of our Lord, and, whether first or last, receive your reward. O rich and poor, one with another, dance for joy! O you ascetics and you negligent, celebrate the day! You that have fasted and you that have disregarded the fast, rejoice today! The table is rich-laden; feast royally, all of you! The calf is fatted; let no one go forth hungry!

Let all partake of the feast of faith. Let all receive the riches of goodness.

Let no one lament his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed.

Let no one mourn his transgressions, for pardon has dawned from the grave.

Let no one fear death, for the Saviour’s death has set us free.

He that was taken by death has annihilated it! He descended into hades and took hades captive! He embittered it when it tasted his flesh! And anticipating this Isaiah exclaimed, “Hades was embittered when it encountered thee in the lower regions.” It was embittered, for it was abolished! It was embittered, for it was mocked! It was embittered, for it was purged! It was embittered, for it was despoiled! It was embittered, for it was bound in chains!

It took a body and, face to face, met God! It took earth and encountered heaven! It took what it saw but crumbled before what it had not seen!

“O death, where is thy sting? O hades, where is thy victory?”

Christ is risen, and you are overthrown!

Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen!

Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice!

Christ is risen, and life reigns!

Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in a tomb!

For Christ, being raised from the dead, has become the First-fruits of them that slept.

To him be glory and might unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

St. Emperor Justinian (+565): Dialogue with Paul of Nisibis

http://easternorthodoxchurch.blogspot.com

EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH

St. Emperor Justinian (+565):
DIALOGUE WITH PAUL OF NISIBIS

Translated by Dr. Jeffrey Macdonald, 1998.

Extract of the Discussion which the Emperor Justinian had with Paul the Bishop of Nisibis, who was a Nestorian.

Cæsar: Do you confess with us that God the Word, who has the same nature as the Father, is incarnate and has become man from the womb of the Virgin Mary and that He has taken a body which has the same nature as us and has made himself an indivisible unity [1], and that there is not another man, who would exist in a separate hypostasis, or be known apart from Himself, do you confess [this] or not? [2]

Nestorian: We confess, as we have taken from the Prophets and the Apostles, that the one who has taken the form and likeness of God has taken the form of a servant from the womb of the Virgin and is conjoined in an indivisible unity.

Orthodox: Thus I say, this is His own body, as for each of us there is a proper body.

Nestorian: Then Christ is not a particular man in His human nature, but is only God, because He does not subsist as a complete and hypostatic man in a natural unity. [3]

Orthodox: Christ is perfect man in His human nature, as He is truly also perfect God because He is one hypostasis which possesses two perfections. [4] But if there are two hypostases as you suppose, and not one, He is not able to be called one so as to possess two complete things, but each hypostasis being complete in itself, there would be no intermediary to unite the completed things. For that Continue reading “St. Emperor Justinian (+565): Dialogue with Paul of Nisibis”

Orthodox Church Quotes: Saint Paisios of Mount Athos, Greece (+1994)

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http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com/category/sayings-from-saints-elders-and-fathers/st-paisios-of-mount-athos/

Orthodox Church Quotes:

Saint Paisios of Mount Athos, Greece (+1994)

July 12

The column that was split by the Holy Fire (1579)

http://abelletters.wordpress.com

ABEL LETTERS

The column that was split by the Holy Fire (1579)

Source:

http://www.skarlakidis.gr/en/thema/18–1579-.html

On Holy Saturday 1579, according to the Church chronicles of the city of Jerusalem, the Turkish governors forbad the Greek patriarch and the Orthodox faithful to enter the Church of the Resurrection for the customary rite of the Holy Fire.

The works that make reference to this event do not specify the exact date, but they mention that at the time the patriarch of Jeru salem was Sophronius IV, the patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria and An ti och were, respectively, Jeremiah, Silvester and Joachim, and the sultan of the Ottoman Empire was Murad III.

If we look at the official lists of these four patriarchates we shall find that the four Greek Orthodox patriarchs were indeed in office in the second half of the sixteenth century, and if we examine the exact period of each patriarch’s reign and that of Sultan Murad III, we discover that the only common year in which the leadership of the five men coincided was the year 1579.

The courtyard and entrance of the Church of the Resurrection.

According to written sources, on Holy Saturday of that year, a group of Turkish soldiers forbad the Orthodox entry into the Church of the Resurrection. The crowd of the faithful remained in the church courtyard throughout the entire day, and even after the sun had set.

The Greek Patriarch Sophronius IV was in the first year of his reign. It was the first time he would perform the most important rite of the year, but the Turks deprived him of his legal right. The patriarch stood in prayer at the left side of the church doorway, near a column. And suddenly, when night had already fallen, the column split and the Holy Fire leapt from its interior.

The patriarch immediately lit his candle and passed the Holy Fire to the faithful. Within a few minutes the sacred flame had spread to all those present and the courtyard of the church was illuminated. The awestruck Turkish guards then opened the doors of the church and the patriarch along with the rejoicing faithful poured in towards the Holy Sepulchre.

The split marble column to the left of the main entrance to the Church of the Resurrection, and beside it, the author. The fissure is 1.20 meters high and resembles a flame rising upwards.

The events of that day are recorded in all the so-called Proskynitaria of Jerusalem, guides for pilgrims to the Holy Land. The oldest of these proskynitaria in which the rupture of the column is mentioned is contained in a Greek manuscript found in the Bavarian State Library in Munich. It is the Codex Monacensis Graec. 346, which contains the Proskynitarion of Priest Ananias. The codex was written by the Cretan priest Akakios in 1634 and is a copy of the original work by the priest Ananias which was written in 1608, twenty-nine years after the miracle it describes. This means that Ananias was able to collect information from individuals who actually experienced the events.

An edition of the Bavarian State Library manuscript was first published in the original Greek in 1890 by Papadopoulos-Kerameus in St. Petersburg,1 together with a Russian translation. According to the account of the Cretan Akakios, the priest Ananias relates the following:

Outside the Holy Entrance, near the west side, there are three marble columns, and from the middle column, they say, a Holy Fire emanated in the olden days. And it is quite cracked and visible still to this day. And this miracle God showed in the following manner, as they say that back then those who gave orders to the patriarch did not allow [the Christians] to enter and Continue reading “The column that was split by the Holy Fire (1579)”

The Holy Relics of the Saints

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

ORTHODOX HEART SITES

SAINTS OF MY HEART

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The Holy Relics of the Saints

Holy Relics are portions of the earthly remains of Orthodox believers, usually saints. Relics may also include clothing and vestments worn by saints, or items such as pieces of the True Cross. Particles of relics of saints usually are embedded in altar tables during consecration of churches.

The relics of the saints are venerated because in Orthodox belief the body remains temple of the Holy Spirit even after death.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem writes:

“Though the soul is not present a power resides in the bodies of the saints because of the righteous soul which has for so many years dwelt in it, or used it as its minister.”

God also performs miracles through the holy relics of saints, in this way revealing his glory and glorifying his saints in whom he is pleased. One example is the relics of Saint Nektarios, which emitted a sweet-smelling sweat after he had passed away and showed no sign of decay until 20 years after his death.

In North America, the Church is blessed to have three complete sets of relics: St. Herman of Alaska, St. John Maximovitch, and St. Alexis Toth.

Source:

Orthodox Wiki

Free will

http://cominghomeorthodoxy.wordpress.com

COMING HOME – ORTHODOXY

FREE WILL

Source:

http://orthodox-apologetics.blogspot.com

http://orthodox-apologetics.blogspot.com/2011/03/why-i-am-writing-book.html

ORTHODOX APOLOGETICS

Saint Ignatius (110 A.D.)

“For when ye are desirous to do well, God is also ready to assist you.”

Saint Justin Martyr (150 A.D.)

“But lest some suppose, from what has been said by us, that we say that whatever happens, happens by a fatal necessity, because it is foretold as known beforehand, this too we explain. We have learned from the prophets, and we hold it to be true, that punishments, and chastisements, and good rewards, are rendered according to the merit of each man’s actions. Since if it be not so, but all things happen by fate, neither is anything at all in our own power. For if it be fated that this man, e.g., be good, and this other evil, neither is the former meritorious nor the latter to be blamed. And again, unless the human race have the power of avoiding evil and choosing good by free choice, they are not accountable for their actions, of whatever kind they be. But that it is by free choice they both walk uprightly and stumble, we thus demonstrate. We see the same man making a transition to opposite things. Now, if it had been fated that he were to be either good or bad, he could never have been capable of both the opposites, nor of so many transitions. But not even would some be good and others bad, since we thus make fate the cause of evil, and exhibit her as acting in opposition to herself; or that which has been already stated would seem to be true, that neither virtue nor vice is anything, but that things are only reckoned good or evil by opinion; which, as the true word shows, is the greatest impiety and wickedness. But this we assert is inevitable fate, that they who choose the good have worthy rewards, and they who choose the opposite have their merited awards. For not like other things, as trees and quadrupeds, which cannot act by choice, did God make man: for neither would he be worthy of reward or praise did he not of himself choose the good, but were created for this end; nor, if he were evil, would he be worthy of punishment, not being evil of himself, but being able to be nothing else than what he was made.”

Tatian (160 A.D.)

“How, then, shall I admit this nativity according to Fate, when I see such managers of Fate? I do not wish to be a king; I am not anxious to be rich; I decline military command; I detest fornication; I am not impelled by an insatiable love of gain to go to sea; I do not contend for chaplets; I am free from a mad thirst for fame; I despise death; I am superior to every kind of disease; grief does not consume my soul. Am I a slave, I endure servitude. Am I free, I do not make a vaunt of my good birth. I see that the same sun is for all, and one death for all, whether they live in pleasure or destitution. The rich man sows, and the poor man partakes of the same sowing. The wealthiest die, and beggars have the same limits to their life. The rich lack many things, and are Continue reading “Free will”

St John Chrysostom on Grace and Free Will

http://heavenonearthorthodoxy.wordpress.com

HEAVEN ON EARTH – ORTHODOXY

St John Chrysostom on Grace and Free Will

A lecture delivered by David Bradshaw,
Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Kentucky,
at the parish of St John Chrysostom Orthodox Church,
House Springs, Missouri, September 29, 2007,
on the occasion of the 1600th Anniversary of St John’s repose.

Source:

http://orthodox-stl.org

http://orthodox-stl.org/grace_freewill.html

HOLY ARCHANGELS MONASTERY

HOUSE SPRINGS, MISSOURI, USA

Few questions in theology bear as directly on the lives of ordinary believers as does that of the relationship between grace and free will. As Christians, we know that we are to seek to please God and obey His commandments; yet we also believe that He helps us in such a way that to think that we have pleased Him, through our own unaided efforts, would be an act of pride. Already there is, if not outright contradiction, at least considerable tension between these two beliefs. The tension grows worse when we also take into account the conviction, firmly rooted in Scripture, that salvation is in some sense the result of divine election. Our Lord states in the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John, “all that the Father giveth me shall come to me” (6:37), and a few verses later, “no man can come to me except the Father which hath sent me draw him” (6:44).1 Taking these two statements together, it would seem that to be called by the Father is both a necessary and sufficient condition for coming to Christ (which here is tantamount to salvation). Yet in the same chapter Christ also exhorts his audience as if the choice were theirs. He urges them, “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life” (6:27), and, when they ask him what they must do to work the works of God, he replies, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (6:29). Apparently, although to be chosen by God is both necessary and sufficient for salvation, that does not exclude the necessity of our own choice, and indeed of our “labouring.” This is very confusing. It seems both that the will of the Father is the sole cause of our salvation, and that we too are, in some sense, a cause.

There are here two different but related questions. First is that of how our efforts to please God can be consistent with the fact that we are totally dependent upon His aid. Second is that of how salvation can be both determined by God’s choice and dependent on our free response. As regards the second question, Scripture adds the further complication that God’s election has in some sense been fixed from all eternity. St. Paul writes in his Continue reading “St John Chrysostom on Grace and Free Will”

Saint New Martyr Jose Munoz-Cortez from Chile & Canada who martyred in Athens, Greece (+1997) & the miracle Hawaii’s Icon of Holy Virgin Mary

http://athensofmyheart.wodpress.com

ATHENS OF MY HEART

Saint New Martyr Jose Munoz-Cortez

from Chile & Canada who martyred in Athens, Greece (+1997)

& the miracle Hawaii’s Icon of Holy Virgin Mary

Grave of St Martyr Jose (Joseph) Muñoz-Cortes 

in Holy Trinity cemetery, Jordanville, N. York, USA

http://saintsofmyheart.wordpress.com

SAINTS OF MY HEART

Saint Jose (Joseph) Muñoz-Cortes (13 May 1948, Santiago, Chile – 30/31 October 1997, Athens, Greece) was an Orthodox man, the keeper of the Iveron Icon of Montreal (Hawaii’s miracle Icon).

Jose was born in Chile into a pious Roman Catholic family of Spanish descent. He was a boy of twelve when he became acquainted with Archbishop Leontius (Filippovich) and Continue reading “Saint New Martyr Jose Munoz-Cortez from Chile & Canada who martyred in Athens, Greece (+1997) & the miracle Hawaii’s Icon of Holy Virgin Mary”

Sant Blas de Sebaste, Armenia (+316) – 3 & 11 de febrero ​╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Aragonese (Spain)

http://armeniaofmyheart.wordpress.com

ARMENIA OF MY HEART

Sant Blas de Sebaste, Armenia (+316)

3 & 11 de febrero 

Sant Blas de Sebaste estió un medico y bispe de Sebaste (l’actual Sivas) en Armenia en o sieglo IV.

Fació una vida d’ermitán en una espelunga d’a selva d’Argeus, que esdevenió a suya seu bispal.

Seguntes a tradición, Blas de Sebaste yera conoixito por o suyo don de curación miraglosa pa presonas y animals.

What is the Orthodox Church? – Saint Sebastian Dabovich of Jackson & San Francisco, CA, USA (+1940)

http://usaofmyheart.wordpress.com

USA OF MY HEART

What is the Orthodox Church?

Saint Sebastian Dabovich of Jackson & San Francisco, CA, USA (+1940)

WHAT is the Orthodox Church? The Orthodox Church is a body or community of people, who, 1—correctly believe in divine revelation; and 2—who obey a lawful hierarchy instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ himself, through the holy apostles. In order to belong to the Orthodox Church two principal conditions are required: First—to accurately accept, rightly understand and truthfully confess the divine teaching of faith; and secondly— to acknowledge the lawful hierarchy or priesthood, to receive from it the holy mysteries or sacraments, and generally to follow its precepts in matters concerning salvation.

From the Book: +St. Sebastian Dabovich, Preaching in the Orthodox Church: Lectures and Sermons by a Priest of the Holy Orthodox Church

Source:

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com

St. Sebastian Dabovich: What is the Orthodox Church?

ORTHODOX CHURCH QUOTES