Friday, August 18, 2017

"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

Constantine the New Martyr of Capua

August 18








SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!):

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

St. Constantine Brancoveanu andf His Four Sons Constantine the Younger, Stephen, Radu, Matthew and His Loyal Counsellor Ianache Vacarescu

Commemorated on August 16

The holy Prince Constantine Brancoveanu, the son of Prince Matthew Basarab, was born in 1654. When his parents died, he was raised and educated by his uncle, Constantine Cantacuzino. When another uncle, Prince Serban Cantacuzino died on on October 19, 1688, Constantine was chosen to succeed him as Prince of the Romanian Land (Wallachia). Saint Constantine was a wise and just ruler who was guided by Christian principles, and worked for the benefit of his people. He also built and restored many churches and monasteries. His philanthropy extended even into Transylvania and Moldavia, which were ruled by others.

In 1714, after a reign of twenty-five years, Saint Constantine, his sons, and his sons-in-law were arrested by soldiers sent to Bucharest by Sultan Ahmed III (1703-1730).The prisoners were brought to Constantinople, where they were tortured for four months. Prince Constantine was told that if he and his sons wanted to escape death, they would have to convert to Islam and pay a large sum of money. Constantine did not have the money required by the Turks, and he did not wish to convert to the Moslem faith.

Seeing that neither tortures nor threats would induce the prisoners to forsake Christ, the Turks sentenced them to death. Before his own execution, Saint Constantine had to watch as his sons were beheaded before his eyes.

On the Feast of the Dormition (August 15), The sixty-year-old prince, his sons, and his counsellor Ianache Vacarescu died as martyrs for Christ. Their bodies were left unburied for three days, then they were thrown into the sea. Their relics were recovered by Orthodox Christians who brought them to the Monastery of the Theotokos on the island of Chalki.

Saint Constantine’s wife Marica brought his holy relics back to Bucharest and placed them in the church of Saint George the New, which he had founded. He was glorified by the Orthodox Church of Romania in 1992.

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SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!):

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

St. Macarius the Roman



Saint Macarius the Roman was born at the end of the fifteenth century into a wealthy family of Rome. His parents raised him in piety and gave him an excellent education. He might have expected a successful career in public service, but he did not desire honors or earthly glory. Instead, he focused on how to save his soul.

He lived in an age when the Christian West was shaken by the Protestant Reformation. While others around him were pursuing luxury and lascivious pleasures, he studied the Holy Scriptures and the writings of the Fathers. Saint Macarius was grieved to see so many darkened by sin and worldly vanity, and was disturbed by the rebellions and conflicts within the Western Church. With tears, he asked God to show him the path of salvation, and his prayer did not go unanswered. He came to realize that he would find the safe harbor of salvation in the Orthodox Church.

Saint Macarius left Rome secretly, and set out for Russia without money, and wearing an old garment. After many sufferings on his journey, he arrived in Novgorod, where he rejoiced to see so many churches and monasteries. One of these monasteries had been founded three centuries before by his fellow countryman, Saint Anthony the Roman (August 3).

Saint Macarius came to the banks of the River Svir, where Saint Alexander of Svir (April 17 and August 30) had founded the monastery of the Holy Trinity. Saint Alexander received Macarius into the Orthodox Church and tonsured him as a monk. Macarius, however longed for the solitary life. He moved to an island on the River Lezna, forty-five miles from Novgorod, where he engaged in ascetical struggles and unceasing prayer.

The winters were very cold, and the summers were hot and humid. The marshy area was also a breeding ground for mosquitos, which tormented the saint. Saint Macarius survived on berries, roots, and herbs. Sometimes bears would come to him for food, and they allowed him to pet them.

Such a great lamp of the spiritual life could not remain hidden for long. One rainy night someone knocked on his door and asked him to open it. Several people, who seemed to be hunters, entered his cell. Astonished by his appearance, and the divine light shining from his face, the men asked for his blessing. They told him they had come to the forest to hunt, and only by the prayers of the saint did God permit them to find him.

“It is not my sinful prayers,” he told them, “but the grace of God which led you here.”

After feeding them, he spoke and prayed with them, then showed them the way out of the marsh. Saint Macarius was concerned that his peace would be disturbed, now that his dwelling place was known. His fears were justified, because many people sought him out to ask for his advice and prayers.

The holy ascetic decided to move even farther into the wilderness, choosing an elevated place on the left bank of the Lezna. Even here, however, he was not able to conceal himself for very long.
Sometimes a pillar of fire would rise up into the sky at night above his place of refuge. During the day, the grace of God was made manifest by a fragrant cloud of smoke. Drawn by these signs, the local inhabitants of the region were able to find him once more.

Some of his visitors begged Saint Macarius to permit them to live near him and to be guided by his counsels. Seeing that this was the Lord’s will, he did not refuse them. He blessed them to build cells, and this was the foundation of his monastery.

In 1540, they built a wooden church dedicated to the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos. Saint Macarius was ordained to the holy priesthood by Bishop Macarius of Novgorod, who later became Metropolitan of All Russia. The hierarch also appointed Saint Macarius as igumen of the monastery.
Saint Macarius was an example to the others, and was given the gifts of clairvoyance and wonderworking from God. He wore himself out with his labors and vigils, encouraging others not to become faint-hearted in their own struggles.

After several years, he entrusted the monastery to one of his disciples, and returned to the island where he had first lived. There he fell asleep in the Lord on August 15, 1550. His disciples buried him outside on the left side of the Dormition church which he had founded.

The Hermitage of Saint Macarius was never a prosperous monastery with many monks, but it was distinguished by the high level of spiritual life. In the seventeenth century, many of the monasteries near Novgorod were plundered by Swedish invaders. The Hermitage of Saint Macarius was also burned in 1615, and some of the monks were put to the sword.

By the eighteenth century, the monastery had become a dependency of the Saint Alexander Nevsky Lavra in Saint Petersburg. The Empress Catherine closed it in 1764, just as she had closed other monasteries, and it was designated as a parish church. Although pilgrims still came to venerate the saint’s relics and to celebrate his Feast Day, the buildings soon fell into ruin.

In the mid-nineteenth century, some benefactors restored the two churches and the miraculous healing spring which the saint himself had dug. About this time an old priest was living there, and he celebrated the church services until his death. In 1894, the monastery began to function once more under the noted missionary Hieromonk Arsenius, who introduced the Athonite Typikon. The monastery was destroyed by the Soviets in 1932.

Saint Macarius the Roman is commemorated on August 15 (the date of his repose), and also on January 19 (his nameday).

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SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!):

Monday, August 14, 2017

Forefeast of the Dormition of the Mother of God

Commemorated on August 14

The Troparion of the Forefeast invites us to gather on this day in gladness, for the Theotokos is about to depart from earth to heaven

TROPARION - TONE 4

Dance with joy, O peoples! / Clap your hands with gladness! / Gather today with fervor and jubilation; / sing with exultation. / The Mother of God is about to rise in glory, / ascending from earth to heaven. / We ceaselessly praise her in song as truly Theotokos.

KONTAKION - TONE 4

Today the universe dances with joy at your glorious memorial, / and cries out to you, O Mother of God: / “Rejoice, O Virgin, pride of Christians!”




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SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!):

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Icon of the Mother of God of Minsk

Commemorated on August 13

The Minsk Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos was brought by the holy Prince Vladimir from Korsun in the Crimea and placed in Kiev’s Cathedral of the Tithes (the consecration of the church in 996 is commemorated on May 12).

In the year 1500, during the capture of Kiev by Khan Mengli-Gyr, a certain Tatar stripped the cover and adornments from the icon, and threw it into the Dniepr River. After a while it was found floating in the River Svislocha, near Minsk.

Surrounded by an extraordinary light, the icon was brought to shore and taken to the church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos, in the holdings of the Minsk appanage princes. This occurred on August 13, 1500.

The Minsk Icon was brought to the Uniate Monastery of the Holy Spirit in 1616, and returned to the Orthodox in 1839. The church of the Holy Spirit Monastery became an Orthodox cathedral, which was dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul. Every Friday, an Akathist was served before the holy icon, and many miracles have been recorded.

The Minsk Icon, of the Hodigitria type, is more than four and a half feet tall, and three feet wide.

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SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!):

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Sergios, Stephen and Kastor

August 12

APOLYTIKION OF SERGIOS, STEPHEN AND KASTOR

Plagal of the Fourth Tone

You are a guide of Orthodoxy, a teacher of piety and modesty, a luminary of the world, the God inspired pride of monastics. O wise Sergios, Stephen and Kastor, you have enlightened everyone by your teachings. You are the harp of the Spirit. Intercede to Christ our God for the salvation of our souls.


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SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2016(with 2015's link here also and further: 2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!):