Wednesday, November 26, 2014

"Main Posts" after Saint or Feast of the Day

Please be sure to scroll down past the Saint or Feast of the day.

After the Saint or Feast of the day I post my "Main Posts". These may be anything including original articles, book reviews, adding new blogs to my web page and just about anything new I may wish the reader to read.

Please note I do not always have "Main Posts" posted.

I tend to leave "Main Posts" up for several days.

Sophocles

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

St Clement the Bishop of Ochrid and Enlightener of the Bulgarians

Commemorated on November 25

Saints Clement, Bishop of Ochrid, Equal of the Apostles, Naum, Sava, Gorazd and Angelar were Slavs, disciples of Sts Cyril and Methodius (May 11). At first they lived as ascetics in Moravia, where St Gorazd succeded St Methodius as bishop. He was fluent in Slavonic, Greek and Latin. Sts Clement, Naum, Angelar and Sava were priests.

The Enlighteners of the Slavs were opposed by German missionaries, who had the support of the Pope and the patronage of the Moravian prince Svyatopolk. The struggle centered around the questions of the need for divine services in Slavonic, the Filioque and Saturday fasting. Pope Stephen VI prohibited the use of Slavonic in church.

The proponents of the three-tongued heresy (who wanted to use only Hebrew, Greek, or Latin for Church purposes), after setting aside the ancestral language of the Slavic peoples, brought the disciples of St Methodius to trial, including St Clement. They subjected them to fierce torture: dragging them through thorns, and holding them in prison for a long time, just as they had done with their spiritual Father, St Methodius.

In 886, some of the prisoners were sold to slave-traders, and ended up in the Venice marketplace. The ambassador of the Byzantine Emperor Basil the Macedonian went to Venice, ransomed the saints and brought them to Constantinople. The older confessors were banished. It is not known where St Gorazd went, nor where St Sava found shelter. Naum and Angelar went to Bulgaria.

In 907 Moravia collapsed under the onslaught of the Magyars, and Moravian refugees escaped along those same paths followed earlier by the saints they had exiled.

The Bulgarians received the Slavonic confessors with respect and requested them to conduct divine services in the Slavonic language. The Bulgarian prince Boris sought out such people as the disciples of St Methodius, who labored for the enlightenment of his nation. The saints immediately began to study Slavonic books collected by the Bulgarian nobles.

St Angelar soon died, and St Clement received the appointment to teach at Kutmichivitsa, a region in southwest Macedonia. In the Eastern Church a worthy man was chosen to be a teacher, someone known for his pious life, and possessed with a gift of words. St Clement was a teacher while he was still in Moravia. In Bulgaria, St Clement worked as an instructor until 893. He organized a school at the princely court, which attained high esteem during the reign of Simeon. In southwest Macedonia he created separate schools for adults and for children.

St Clement instructed the children in reading and in writing. The total number of his students was enormous. Those chosen and accepted for the clergy amounted to 3500 men. In the year 893, St Clement became Bishop of Dremvitsa, or Velitsa, and St Naum took his place.

St Clement was the first Bulgarian hierarch to serve, preach and write in the Slavonic language. To this end he systematically prepared clergy from among the Slavic people. The holy bishop labored for the glory of God into his old age. When his strength failed, and he was unable to fulfill his responsibilities in the cathedral, he asked Tsar Simeon to let him retire.

The Tsar urged the saint not to forsake the cathedral, and St Clement agreed to continue his episcopal service. After this he went to Ochrid, to a monastery he founded. There the saint continued with his translation activities and translated important parts of the PENTEKOSTARION.

Soon the saint became seriously ill and departed to the Lord in the year 916. The saint’s body was placed in a coffin he made with his own hands, and was buried in Ochrid’s St Panteleimon monastery.

St Clement is considered the first Slavonic author. He not only continued the translation work begun by Sts Cyril and Methodius, but also left behind works of his own composition, the first samples of Slavonic spiritual literature.

Many of the lessons and sermons of St Clement were brought to Russia, where they were read and lovingly copied by pious Russian Christians.

St Clement is also commemorated on July 27.

SOURCE:

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2013(with 2012's link here also and further, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Hieromartyr Gregory (Peradze) of Georgia

Commemorated on November 23

Archimandrite Gregory (Peradze) was born August 31, 1899, in the village of Bakurtsikhe, in the Sighnaghi district of Kakheti. His father, Roman Peradze, was a priest.

In 1918, Gregory completed his studies at the theological school and seminary in Tbilisi and enrolled in the philosophy department at Tbilisi University. Three years later, in 1921, he began to teach at the university, but the Georgian Church soon sent him to Germany to study theology. From 1922 to 1925, Gregory studied theology and eastern languages at the University of Berlin, and in 1925 he transferred to the philosophy department at the University of Bonn, where he received a doctoral degree in philosophy for his dissertation “The Monastic Life in Georgia from Its Origins to 1064.”Gregory continued to attend lectures in theology at the University of Louvain until 1927.

In 1927, Gregory moved to England to continue his career in academia, and there he became acquainted with the old patristic manuscripts that were preserved in the library collections of the British Museum and Oxford University. In July of that year, Gregory was named an associate professor at the University of Bonn, and he returned there to lecture on the history of Georgian and Armenian literature. In 1931, Gregory was tonsured a monk, ordained a priest, and appointed dean of the Georgian church in Paris. A year later he was invited to Oxford to lecture on Georgian history.

A new period in St. Gregory’s life began later in 1932, when the Metropolitan of all Poland, Dionysius Waledinsky, invited him to be a professor of Patrology and the chair of Orthodox Theology at Warsaw University. He often delivered lectures at academic conferences and in academic centers throughout Europe. He sought tirelessly for ancient Georgian manuscripts and historical documents on the Georgian Church. His searches took him to Syria, Palestine, Greece, Bulgaria, Austria, Romania, Italy and England. As a result of his labors, many long-lost Georgian manuscripts surfaced again.

Humility and industriousness characterized the Hieromartyr Gregory throughout his life. In difficult moments he often repeated the words of St. John Chrysostom: “Glory be to God for all things!”

In the 1920s, as the Red Army was securing its occupation of Georgia, the nation’s treasures were carried away to France for safekeeping. Later, in the 1940s, Georgian society was unaware that, due to St. Gregory’s efforts alone, many treasures of Georgian national culture were spared confiscation by the Nazis in Paris. Risking execution at the hands of a firing squad, St. Gregory wrote in the official documentation presented to the Nazis that these items were of no particular value but were precious to the Georgians as part of their national consciousness.

Nor did most of Georgian society know that, in Paris, Archimandrite Gregory had founded a Georgian church in honor of the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Nino and a parish journal called Jvari Vazisa, or “The Cross of Vines.”

In May of 1942, St. Gregory was arrested by the Gestapo. The priceless Georgian manuscripts he had preserved and many sacred objects that had been crafted by ancient Georgian masters and collected by St. Gregory during his travels (in hopes of returning them to Georgia) disappeared after his apartment was searched.

Archimandrite Gregory was arrested for sheltering and aiding Jews and other victims of the fascist persecutions. He was incarcerated at Pawiak Prison in Warsaw, and deported to Auschwitz at the beginning of November.

In the camp an inmate killed a German officer. The guards drove everyone out of the barracks absolutely naked, forcing them to stay in the below-freezing temperatures until someone confessed. St. Gregory decided to take the blame for the murder, thus saving innocent prisoners from freezing to death. The guards let loose the dogs on the martyr, poured gasoline over him, and lit him on fire. Then they said, “Poles, go warm yourselves around him, your intercessor.”

According to the official German documentation, Gregory Peradze died on December 6, 1942 [November 23, old style], at 4:45 in the afternoon. (According to another account, the martyr entered the gas chamber in place of a Jewish man with a large family. This was reported by a former prisoner, who, after being liberated, visited Metropolitan Dionysius and gave him St. Gregory’s cross.) In the end, like Christ Himself, Archimandrite Gregory died for having taken upon himself the sin of another.

SOURCE:

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2013(with 2012's link here also and further, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple


November 21


Reading:
 
According to the tradition of the Church, the Theotokos was brought to the Temple at three years of age, where she was consecrated to God and spent her days until she was fourteen or fifteen years old; and then, as a mature maiden, by the common counsel of the priests (since her parents had reposed some three years before), she was betrothed to Joseph.

Apolytikion of Entry of the Theotokos in the Fourth Tone
 
Today is the prelude of God's pleasure and the proclamation of man's salvation. The Virgin is clearly made manifest in the temple of God and foretells Christ to all. Let us also cry out to her with mighty voice, "Hail, fulfillment of the Creator's dispensation."

Kontakion of Entry of the Theotokos in the Fourth Tone
 
Today, the most pure temple of the Savior, the precious bridal chamber and Virgin, the sacred treasure of God, enters the house of the Lord, bringing the grace of the Divine Spirit. The Angels of God praise her. She is the heavenly tabernacle.

SOURCE:

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2013(with 2012's link here also and further, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Holy Martyrs Eustathius, Thespesius and Anatolius of Nicea



The Holy Martyrs Eustathius, Thespesius and Anatolius, natives of the city of Gangra, were the children of a rich merchant. They were baptized by Bishop Anthimus of Nicomedia (September 3). They died as martyrs at Nicea, after suffering fierce tortures.



SOURCE:

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2013(with 2012's link here also and further, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)