Thursday, September 30, 2010

Martyr Gaiana of Armenia

Commemorated on September 30

Saint Gaiana was the abbess of a women's monastery in Asia Minor. When the emperor Diocletian (284-305) saw a portrait of St Rhipsime, he fell in love with her and wanted to marry her. She refused, saying that she was a bride of Christ. Fearing that the emperor's agents would seize Rhipsime, the abbess and the nuns fled to Armenia. Diocletian sent word to King Tiridates of Armenia, asking him to capture Rhipsime and send her to him, or to marry her himself.

Armed soldiers took Rhipsime away from her place of refuge. When nothing would induce the holy virgin to marry the king, he sent for St Gaiana, hoping she might persuade her. The abbess, however, told her that death would be preferable to life with the king. After many cruel torments, St Rhipsime surrendered her pure soul to God.

Inspired by Rhipsime's example to endure torments for Christ, the abbess St Gaiana and two other nuns endured similar tortures, after which they were beheaded. The other nuns were run through with swords and their bodies thrown to be devoured by wild beasts.

The wrath of God befell emperor Tiridates, and also his associates and soldiers who had participated in the torture of the saints. Beset by demons, they became like wild boars (as once with Nebuchadnezzar, Dan. 4: 30), ranging through the forests, rending their clothes and gnawing at their own bodies.

Troparion - Tone 4

Your holy martyr Rhipsime and Gaiana, O Lord,
Through their sufferings have received their incorruptible crowns from you, our God.
For having your strength they laid low their adversaries,
And shattered the powerless boldness of demons.
Through their intercessions, save our souls!

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2009(with 2008's link here also and further, 2007's):

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Martyrs Dadas, Gabeddas and Kazdoa of Persia

Commemorated on September 29

The Martyrs Dadas, Gabeddas and Kazdoa accepted death for Christ under the Persian emperor Sapor. Dadas was chief steward under Sapor, and Sts Gabeddas and Kazdoa were the cruel emperor's own children.

Not knowing that St Dadas was a Christian, the emperor appointed him as governor of one of the Persian districts. When it was discovered, he was stripped of all honors, sent to the court of the cruel torturer Andromelik and was condemned to be burned. Approaching the stake, St Dadas shielded himself with the Sign of the Cross, and the fire went out.

Seeing this miracle, the emperor's stunned son Gabeddas believed in Christ and in the hearing of all, confessed his faith. The judge reported this to the emperor, and he commanded St Gabeddas to be fiercely tortured. But in all the sufferings divine strength preserved the saint.

An angel of the Lord comforted him, and each time the Lord restored health and strength to him. Beholding the miraculous healing of the holy martyr, many prisoners in the prison with him became Christians, even the sorcerer Gargal, and thus accepted martyrdom. The emperor's daughter Kazdoa, sister of the Martyr Gabeddas, secretly visited him in prison and brought him water.

Another time Kazdoa saw her brother when the torturers tortured him anew. The holy martyr was hung on a cross, and a volley of arrows shot at him, but the arrows bounced off and struck the archers. Seeing his sister, he prevailed upon her to believe in Christ. St Kazdoa confessed herself a Christian, and by the command of her father the emperor Sapor, she was cruelly beaten and thrown into prison where her brother languished.

Suffering from her wounds, St Kazdoa asked her brother to pray for her. St Gabeddas, having said the prayer, assured his sister that she would suffer no more. On the following day during new tortures St Gabeddas, saw two presbyters Dadias and Abdi, asked them to bring oil and water, since he deeply wanted to receive holy Baptism.

At this moment a cloud overshadowed the martyr, from which poured out water and oil, and a voice was heard: "Servant of God, you have already received Baptism." The face of the martyr became radiant, and in the air was the fragrance of perfume. The torturer commanded the saint to be pierced with spears, and after several hours he died with prayer on his lips.

His body was cut into three parts, but the priests Dadias, Abdi and the deacon Armazates took the holy relics and buried them reverently. The body of the holy Martyr Dadas, whom they also tortured for a long time and cut in parts, was also secretly buried by Christians.

At midnight the Martyr Gabeddas appeared to the priest Dadias, gave him a vessel with oil and sent him to the martyr Kazdoa to anoint her with oil and give her the Holy Mysteries. The priest did this and, at the very last, said to the holy martyr: "Sleep, sister, until the coming of the Lord," and St Kazdoa departed to the Lord. The mother of the holy martyr prepared her for burial and with joy buried her with the Martyr Gabeddas.

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2009(with 2008's link here also and further, 2007's):

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Venerable Schemamonk Cyril the Father and Venerable Schema-nun Maria the Mother of the Venerable Sergius of Radonezh

Commemorated on September 28
Saint Cyril and his wife Maria were the parents of St Sergius of Radonezh (September 25). They belonged to the nobility, but more importantly, they were pious and faithful Christians who were adorned with every virtue.

When the child in Maria's womb cried out three times in church during Liturgy, people were astonished. Although frightened at first, Maria came to see this event as a sign from God that her child would become a chosen vessel of divine grace. She and her husband agreed that if the child was a boy, they would bring him to church and dedicate him to God. This child, the second of their three sons, was born around 1314. He was named Bartholomew at his baptism.

Because of civil strife, St Cyril moved his family from Rostov to Radonezh when Bartholomew was still a boy.

Later, when their son expressed a desire to enter the monastic life, Sts Cyril and Maria asked him to wait and take care of them until they passed away, because his brothers Stephen and Peter were both married and had their own family responsibilities. The young Bartholomew obeyed his parents, and did everything he could to please them. They later decided to retire to separate monasteries, and departed to the Lord after a few years. It is believed that Sts Cyril and Maria both reposed in 1337.

Forty days after burying his parents, Bartholomew settled their estate, giving his share to his brother Peter. He then went to the monastery when he was twenty-three years old, and was tonsured on October 7 with the name Sergius (in honor of the martyr St Sergius who is commemorated on that day). As everyone knows, St Sergius of Radonezh became one of Russia's greatest and most revered saints.

St Cyril was glorified by the Orthodox Church of Russia in 1992. He is also commemorated on January 18, and on July 6 (Synaxis of the Saints of Radonezh).

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2009(with 2008's link here also and further, 2007's):

Monday, September 27, 2010

Martyr Epicharis of Rome

Commemorated on September 27
The Holy Martyr Epicharis lived at Rome during the reign of Diocletian (284-305). For her steadfast confession of Christ as Savior they subjected her to tortures: they suspended her and tore at her body with iron hooks, and then they beat at her with tin threshing rakes. The holy martyr prayed, and an angel of God struck down the torturers. Then St Epicharis was beheaded.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2009(with 2008's link here also and further, 2007's):

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Repose of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian

Commemorated on September 26

The Holy, Glorious All-laudable Apostle and Evangelist, Virgin, and Beloved Friend of Christ, John the Theologian was the son of Zebedee and Salome, a daughter of St Joseph the Betrothed. He was called by our Lord Jesus Christ to be one of His Apostles at the same time as his elder brother James. This took place at Lake Gennesareth (i.e. the Sea of Galilee). Leaving behind their father, both brothers followed the Lord.

The Apostle John was especially loved by the Savior for his sacrificial love and his virginal purity. After his calling, the Apostle John did not part from the Lord, and he was one of the three apostles who were particularly close to Him. St John the Theologian was present when the Lord restored the daughter of Jairus to life, and he was a witness to the Transfiguration of the Lord on Mount Tabor.

During the Last Supper, he reclined next to the Lord, and laid his head upon His breast. He also asked the name of the Savior's betrayer. The Apostle John followed after the Lord when they led Him bound from the Garden of Gethsemane to the court of the iniquitous High Priests Annas and Caiphas. He was there in the courtyard of the High Priest during the interrogations of his Teacher and he resolutely followed after him on the way to Golgotha, grieving with all his heart.

At the foot of the Cross he stood with the Mother of God and heard the words of the Crucified Lord addressed to Her from the Cross: "Woman, behold Thy son." Then the Lord said to him, "Behold thy Mother" (John 19:26-27). From that moment the Apostle John, like a loving son, concerned himself over the Most Holy Virgin Mary, and he served Her until Her Dormition.

After the Dormition of the Mother of God the Apostle John went to Ephesus and other cities of Asia Minor to preach the Gospel, taking with him his own disciple Prochorus. They boarded a ship, which floundered during a terrible tempest. All the travellers were cast up upon dry ground, and only the Apostle John remained in the depths of the sea. Prochorus wept bitterly, bereft of his spiritual father and guide, and he went on towards Ephesus alone.

On the fourteenth day of his journey he stood at the shore of the sea and saw that the waves had cast a man ashore. Going up to him, he recognized the Apostle John, whom the Lord had preserved alive for fourteen days in the sea. Teacher and disciple went to Ephesus, where the Apostle John preached incessantly to the pagans about Christ. His preaching was accompanied by such numerous and great miracles, that the number of believers increased with each day.

During this time there had begun a persecution of Christians under the emperor Nero (56-68). They took the Apostle John for trial at Rome. St John was sentenced to death for his confession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, but the Lord preserved His chosen one. The apostle drank a cup of deadly poison, but he remained alive. Later, he emerged unharmed from a cauldron of boiling oil into which he had been thrown on orders from the torturer.

After this, they sent the Apostle John off to imprisonment to the island of Patmos, where he spent many years. Proceeding along on his way to the place of exile, St John worked many miracles. On the island of Patmos, his preaching and miracles attracted to him all the inhabitants of the island, and he enlightened them with the light of the Gospel. He cast out many devils from the pagan temples, and he healed a great multitude of the sick.

Sorcerers with demonic powers showed great hostility to the preaching of the holy apostle. He especially frightened the chief sorcerer of them all, named Kinops, who boasted that they would destroy the apostle. But the great John, by the grace of God acting through him, destroyed all the demonic artifices to which Kinops resorted, and the haughty sorcerer perished in the depths of the sea.

The Apostle John withdrew with his disciple Prochorus to a desolate height, where he imposed upon himself a three-day fast. As St John prayed the earth quaked and thunder rumbled. Prochorus fell to the ground in fright. The Apostle John lifted him up and told him to write down what he was about to say. "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, saith the Lord, Who is and Who was and Who is to come, the Almighty" (Rev 1:8), proclaimed the Spirit of God through the Apostle John. Thus in about the year 67 the Book of Revelation was written, known also as the "Apocalypse," of the holy Apostle John the Theologian. In this Book were predictions of the tribulations of the Church and of the end of the world.

After his prolonged exile, the Apostle John received his freedom and returned to Ephesus, where he continued with his activity, instructing Christians to guard against false teachers and their erroneous teachings. In the year 95, the Apostle John wrote his Gospel at Ephesus. He called for all Christians to love the Lord and one another, and by this to fulfill the commands of Christ. The Church calls St John the "Apostle of Love", since he constantly taught that without love man cannot come near to God.

In his three Epistles, St John speaks of the significance of love for God and for neighbor. Already in his old age, he learned of a youth who had strayed from the true path to follow the leader of a band of robbers, so St John went out into the wilderness to seek him. Seeing the holy Elder, the guilty one tried to hide himself, but the Apostle John ran after him and besought him to stop. He promised to take the sins of the youth upon himself, if only he would repent and not bring ruin upon his soul. Shaken by the intense love of the holy Elder, the youth actually did repent and turn his life around.

St John when he was more than a hundred years old. he far outlived the other eyewitnesses of the Lord, and for a long time he remained the only remaining eyewitness of the earthly life of the Savior.

When it was time for the departure of the Apostle John, he went out beyond the city limits of Ephesus with the families of his disciples. He bade them prepare for him a cross-shaped grave, in which he lay, telling his disciples that they should cover him over with the soil. The disciples tearfully kissed their beloved teacher, but not wanting to be disobedient, they fulfilled his bidding. They covered the face of the saint with a cloth and filled in the grave. Learning of this, other disciples of St John came to the place of his burial. When they opened the grave, they found it empty.

Each year from the grave of the holy Apostle John on May 8 came forth a fine dust, which believers gathered up and were healed of sicknesses by it. Therefore, the Church also celebrates the memory of the holy Apostle John the Theologian on May 8.

The Lord bestowed on His beloved disciple John and John's brother James the name "Sons of Thunder" as an awesome messenger in its cleansing power of the heavenly fire. And precisely by this the Savior pointed out the flaming, fiery, sacrificial character of Christian love, the preacher of which was the Apostle John the Theologian. The eagle, symbol of the lofty heights of his theological thought, is the iconographic symbol of the Evangelist John the Theologian. The appellation "Theologian" is bestown by Holy Church only to St John among the immediate disciples and Apostles of Christ, as being the seer of the mysterious Judgments of God.

Troparion - Tone 2

Beloved apostle of Christ our God,
hasten to deliver a defenseless people.
He who allowed you to recline on His breast,
receives you as you bow before Him.
Implore Him, John the Theologian,
to disperse the persistent threat from the heathens,
entreating for us peace and great mercy.

Kontakion - Tone 2

Who shall declare your greatness,
O virgin disciple,
for you pour forth wonders and are a source of healings,
and pray for our souls as Theologian and friend of Christ.
SOURCE(and Icon on left):

SOURCE(Icon on right):

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2009(with 2008's link here also and further, 2007's):

What is Divine Revelation?

From here.

What is Divine Revelation?

By Fr. Anthony Alevizopoulos.

According to the Orthodox faith, the Church is not founded on written texts but on the confession that Christ is God-Man (Theanthropos), namely that in the person of Christ, God was joined with man, “indivisibly, immovably, unmistakably, inseparably,” and man has come into actual communion with God, and in the person of Christ God and man were hypostatically united, in one unique hypostasis.

The Son and Word of God continues to be hypostatically united with His body and as the Head of the Church, He is always united with us (Matt. 18:20; 28:20). The presence of Christ is activated by the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church (1 Cor. 12: 3). This is why the Church is also “….the pillar and ground of the truth” (1Tim. 3:15; 1Cor. 2:7-11).

Our holy faith was delivered to the body of Christ, “to the saints once and for all” – and whoever does not belong to this body, cannot properly interpret Holy Scripture (2 Thess. 3:6; 2 Peter 3:16; Jude 3-4). In this sense holy tradition is the experience of the Church, the holy memory of the Church, which is guarded as a precious treasure (2 Tim. 1:13-14).

Holy Scripture does not contain the fullness of the divine revelation. Already in the Old Testament the importance of oral tradition and the care of its passing down from generation to generation is highlighted (Ps 43:2, 44:1; Joel 1:3). The New Testament mentions that it does not have the completeness of the words and works of Christ (John 21:15).

The same Holy Scriptures make use of Tradition (Num. 21: 14-15; Matt 2:23; Acts 20:35; 2 Tim 3:8, Jude 14). Christ did not exhort His disciples to write books but to preach, promising that He would always be with them (Matt. 28:20) and that He would send them the Holy Spirit to be with them (John 14:16), to teach and to remind them of His teaching (John 14: 25-26), to guide them “to the whole truth” by revealing to them the deeper meaning of the words of Christ, all those things that they were not able to “bear” by their own power to (John 16: 12-15).

The apostles were also not limited to written texts – they passed on to the first Christians much more than what was written “with paper and ink” (2 John 12; 3 John 13-14; 1 Cor. 11:34). Some of those things written proved to relevant to the time, because they were not maintained by the Church, such as the number of deacons (Acts 6:3), the order of widows (1 Tim 5:9), the washing of feet (John 13:14).

At the center of Holy Scripture is the person of Christ (John 5:38-39; Gal. 3:24). Without Christ, we cannot understand Holy Scripture (2 Cor. 3:14). Therefore, union to the body of Christ, namely to the Church, assures the purity of the Gospel truth (1 Tim. 3:15).

Holy Scripture is not intended for just anyone, but for the faithful, who are gathered in one body. Holy Tradition is the atmosphere in which the body lives and understands the truth properly; it is the constant experience of the Church, her conscience – not personal opinions, teachings and writs of men (Isaiah 29:13; Matt. 15:3,4,9; Mark 7:8; Col. 2:8).

Based on the treasure of the holy memory of the Church, the study of Holy Scripture leads to unity, and not the breakdown of the Church. This way the will of Christ for the unity of the faithful is fulfilled (John 17:20-21). That is why the apostles advised Christians to hold onto the traditions – that is, the treasure with which they entrusted them (1 Cor. 11:2; Phil. 4:9) “either by word or by epistle” (2 Thess. 2:15; 2 Tim. 1:13).

The shepherds of the Church were placed in this position to remain alert, namely to be guards [episcopos (bishop) = overseer] of the purity of the life and of the teaching of the Church (Acts 20:28-31): “stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands… Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me… that good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the the Holy Spirit which dwelleth in us” (2 Tim. 1:6,13,14), “and the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others” (2 Tim. 2:2).

In other words, apostolic succession goes together with apostolic teaching. In this way, we understand the words of Saint Ignatius (110): “Because Jesus Christ, our true life, is the mind of the Father, just like the bishops who have been appointed all over the world are with the mind of Jesus Christ (“mind in Jesus Christ”). Therefore, you too follow the mind of the bishop, something you already do, for the worthiness of your ministry’s name which is also worthy of God, and joined together with the bishop, like the strings with the guitar” (Ign., Eph. 3, 2-4,1).

This teaching is not a recent one – it is a conviction from the beginning of Christianity: “From the dogmas and the truths that the Church guards, some we have received from written teaching while others that have mystically reached us we have received from the tradition of the apostles. Both elements, written and oral traditions, have the same importance for the faith. And no one who has even a little knowledge of ecclesiastical practices raises any objections concerning them. For if we set out to abandon whatever customs are unwritten, that somehow they do not have great importance, without realizing it we would harm the essence of the Gospel or rather we would turn the message into a name void of meaning” (Great Basil, About the Holy Spirit, 27:66).

During the time of St. Basil the Great, whoever had even “a little knowledge of the ecclesiastical practices” agreed that divine revelation was mystically guarded by the Church in its fullness. As an example, St. Basil mentions the custom of “those hoping in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” showing their faith “by making the sign of the Cross.”

Here, therefore, we have a basic difference with the Protestant world. Their claim “sola scriptura (by scripture alone)” leaves Scripture itself bare, exposed to the “authentic interpretation” and the “infallibility” of each pastor.

Holy Scripture cannot be made absolute, because it would replace the living Christ with the letter of the Bible, becoming divine isolated from the life of the body of Christ, from the life of the saints (Jude 3). Holy Scripture is the “word about God which passed through the hearts of the saints, it is the word of God concerning God” (G. Metallinos), the truth delivered “once and for all” to the saints (Jude 3), and in fact not the fullness of truth but a part of it. It cannot be understood separately from the Church (1 Tim. 3:15).

Manual on Heresies and para-Christian Groups
By : Fr. Anthony Alevizopoulos
PhD. of Theology, PhD. of Philosophy

Saturday, September 25, 2010

First Translation of the relics of St Herman the Archbishop of Kazan

Commemorated on September 25

Today we commemorate the first translation of the relics of Saint Herman, Archbishop of Kazan, in 1595.

After his death on November 6, 1567 he was buried in the church of St Nicholas the Hospitable. In 1595, at the request of the inhabitants of Sviyazhsk, the saint's relics were transferred from Moscow to the Sviyazhsk Dormition monastery. St Herman is also commemorated on November 6 (his repose) and June 23 (second transfer of his relics in 1714).


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2009(with 2008's link here also and further, 2007's):

Friday, September 24, 2010

Martyr Juvenal of Alaska

Commemorated on September 24

Saint Juvenal, the Protomartyr of America, was born in 1761 in Nerchinsk, Siberia. His secular name was John Feodorovich Hovorukhin, and he was trained as a mining engineer. In a letter to Abbot Nazarius of Valaam (December 13, 1819), St Herman says that St Juvenal "had been an assistant at our monastery and was a former officer."

After his wife died in 1791, John entered a monastery at St Petersburg (St Herman's Letter of December 13, 1819) and was tonsured with the name Juvenal. Three years later, he went to Alaska as a missionary.

During 1794, the hieromonks Juvenal and Macarius spent two months in the area around Kodiak teaching the inhabitants about Christ and baptizing them. They traveled in small boats of hide in all sorts of weather, dividing up the territory among themselves. St Herman tells of a conversation he heard one day as he walked with the hieromonks to a small hill on the south side of the harbor. They sat down facing the sea, and spoke of various things. Soon they began to discuss where each of them should go to preach. Aflame with zeal and eager to set out on their journey, a friendly argument ensued between Fr Macarius and Fr Juvenal. Fr Macarius said he intended to go north to the Aleutian Islands, and then make his way to the Alaskan mainland, where the inhabitants had invited him to visit. The monks had a map of Captain Cook's which indicated that some Russians were living near a certain river in that particular area, and Fr Macarius hoped to find them.

Fr Juvenal interrupted, saying that he believed that the Alaskan mainland was his territory. "I beg you to yield to me and not offend me in this," he told Fr Macarius, "since the ship is leaving for Yakutan. I shall begin preaching in the south, proceeding north along the ocean, cross the Kenai peninsula, then from the port there I shall cross to Alaska."

Fr Macarius became sorrowful and said, "No, Father. Do not restrict me in this way. You know the Aleutian chain of islands is joined to Alaska, therefore it belongs to me, and also the whole northern shore. As for you, the southern part of America is sufficient for your whole lifetime, if you please."

As he listened to their apostolic fervor, St Herman says he "went from joy to rapture" (Letter to Abbot Nazarius, May 19, 1795).

In 1795, Father Juvenal baptized over 700 Chugatchi at Nushek, then he crossed Kenai Bay and baptized the local people there. In 1796, according to native oral tradition, St Juvenal came to the mouth of the Kuskokwim near the present village of Quinahgak, where he was killed by a hunting party (There is a forged diary attributed to Ivan Petroff which gives a slanderous version of Fr Juvenal's death, and alleges that he was martyred at Lake Iliamna).

The precise reason for St Juvenal's murder by the natives is not known. However, they later told St Innocent something about his death. They said that St Juvenal did not try to defend himself when attacked, nor did he make any attempt to escape. After being struck from behind, he turned to face his attackers and begged them to spare the natives he had baptized.

The natives told St Innocent that after they had killed St Juvenal, he got up and followed them, urging them to repent. The fell upon him again and gave him a savage beating. Once more, he got to his feet and called them to repentance. This happened several times, then finally the natives hacked him to pieces. Thus, the zealous Hieromonk Juvenal became the first Orthodox Christian in America to receive the crown of martyrdom. His unnamed guide, possibly a Tanaina Indian convert, was also martyred at the same time.

It is said that a local shaman removed St Juvenal's brass pectoral cross from his body and attempted to cast a spell. Unexpectedly, the shaman was lifted up off the ground. He made three more tries with the same result, then concluded that there was a greater power than his own at work here. Years later, a man showed up at the Nushagak Trading Post wearing a brass pectoral cross exactly like the one worn by St Juvenal.

A column of light arose from his holy relics and reached up to Heaven. It is not known how long this phenomenon continued.

St Juvenal, in his tireless evangelization of the native peoples of Alaska, served the Church more than all the other missionaries combined.

Troparion - Tone 4

Today Alaska rejoices and America celebrates
for the New World has been sanctified by martyrdom.
Kodiak echoes with songs of thanksgiving,
Iliámna and Kenái observe the Festival of Faith.
The apostle and martyr Juvenaly is glorified
and Peter the Aleut is exalted by his voluntary sacrifice.
In their devotion and love for the Lord
they willingly endured persecution and death for the Truth.
Now in the Kingdom of Heaven they intercede for our souls.

Kontakion - Tone 4

Today Valaam joins Alaska in celebrating this joyous feast,
as her spiritual son Juvenaly embraces the New Martyr Peter with love.
Together they suffered for the Lord in America
and united the Old World with the New by their voluntary sacrifice.
Now forever they stand before the King of Glory and intercede for our souls.

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2009(with 2008's link here also and further, 2007's):

Pope calls for 'God-centered' global economy

From here.

Hat tip to Nathan.

Some of us  in Orthodox blogdom do actually believe what the Church teaches through Her Scriptures and Holy Fathers.  Namely, the real and actual return of Jesus Christ to judge the world.  But, the teaching strangely absent from so many, including Orthodox, that prior to His return, The Anti Christ must take the reigns of global government.

Now, some may take this to mean on my part that I am saying this pope is him, The Anti Christ. That is not what I am saying.  However, if one is not steeped in Orthodox Anthropology and Eschatology, with their attendant understandings of typology, posts such as this one make no sense and may in fact come across as merely the postings of a  neurotic and  narrow man.

Notice that The Pope's motif is none other than the  Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew's, the Green Patriarch.  

Lord have mercy.

Here is the article in full.

Pope calls for 'God-centered' global economy

Pope Benedict XVI today called for reforming the United Nations and establishing a "true world political authority" with "real teeth" to manage the global economy with God-centered ethics.
In his third encyclical, a major teaching, released as the G-8 summit begins in Italy, the pope says such an authority is urgently needed to end the current worldwide financial crisis. It should "revive" damaged economies, reach toward "disarmament, food security and peace," protect the environment and "regulate migration."

Benedict writes, "The market is not, and must not become, the place where the strong subdue the weak."
The encyclical, Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth) is a theologically dense explication of Catholic social teaching that draws heavily from earlier popes, particularly PaulVI's critique of capitalism 42 years ago. And echoing his predecessor John Paul II, Benedict says, "every economic decision has a moral consequence."

FAITH & REASON: Experts say pope's economic views draw from politics
Issued days before his Friday meeting with President Obama, the pope's views here are "to the left of Obama in terms of economic policy," particularly in calls for redistribution of wealth, says political scientist Thomas Reese, a Jesuit priest and senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

The encyclical also echoes Benedict's many speeches, saying that to reach sound a global economy every responsibility and commitment must be rooted in the values of Christian truth. 

Without that, he says, "there is no social conscience and responsibility." Neither, he says, are mere "good sentiments" enough. Human progress requires God, and today's choices concern "nothing less than the destiny of man." 

Although Benedict says the church has no "technical solutions to offer," he asserts that religion has a role in the public square. His very specific suggestions on the economy, ecology and justice are addressed not just to Catholics, but to everyone, from heads of state to household shoppers.

According to the encyclical:

•Labor must be safeguarded after years of rampant market forces leaving citizens powerless in the face of "new and old risks" and without effective trade union protections. 

•Elimination of world hunger is essential for "safeguarding the peace and stability of the planet," and the problem is not resources but their inequitable distribution. 

•"Demographic control" through an "anti-birth mentality" that promotes abortion and birth control "cannot lead to morally sound development." He blasts those who support abortion "as if it were a form of cultural progress."

•The environment is "God's gift to everyone" and we have a "grave duty to hand the earth on to future generations" in good condition, says Benedict. He laments, "how many natural resources are squandered by wars!" 

•"Financiers must rediscover" ethics and not use "sophisticated instruments" to "betray the interests of savers." 

•Consumers, must "realize that purchasing is always a moral — and not simple economic — act." In this context, the ecological crisis is seen as a crisis in human ecology. 

"The pope is saying you need just structures and people who act justly," says Steve Colecchi, director of the office of international justice and peace for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. "He's calling on every level of society to be rooted in an ethical vision of the human person."

The "true world political authority" that Benedict calls for should keep solutions as simple and local as possible but still create solidarity for the common good. 

Reese notes the "strong language here on the redistribution of wealth — not something people like to talk about in the USA. If the Catholic right is against the redistribution of wealth, they're against the pope. He doesn't believe an unregulated marketplace is going to solve all the problems of economy and poverty."

Kirk Hanson, executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara (Calif.) University, praised Benedict for including an emphasis on "life ethics" as "essential" to a healthy social and economic order.

Lew Daly, senior fellow at Demos, a New York City-based public policy organization and author of God's Economy: Faith-Based Initiatives and the Caring State, praised the text as "a turning point for the church and particularly for the American church, because our nation and our society is both the epicenter of wealth and the epicenter of inequality.

"Nearly half of the world's population lives on less than $2.50 a day and nearly 80% live on less than $10 a day. In the meantime a relative handful of corporations and wealthy families have grown rich far beyond the greatest emperors and kings of the past. 

"There may be growth, but a faithful Catholic does not call this progress, the pope argues, until the growth is more equitably shared according to the design of the Creator," says Daly.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Holy Martyrs Andrew and John, and John's Children Peter and Antoninus

Commemorated on September 23

The Holy Martyrs Andrew and John, and John's Children Peter and Antoninus, suffered in the ninth century in the time of the cruel African ruler Ibrahim. After the capture and destruction of the Sicilian city of Syracuse, Ibrahim captured and brought to Africa St John and his two children, Peter and Antoninus, whom he compelled to study the Arab language and sciences.

When the youths had grown, Prince Ibrahim was so fond of them for their wisdom and virtuous life, that he named Antoninus his kinsman, and he appointed Peter as his chief steward. Once he learned that the youths secretly confessed faith in Christ, however, Ibrahim flew into a furious rage, ordering them to be bound with iron shackles and beaten with knotted rods.

After prolonged scourging, they put St Antoninus on a donkey, tied him on with straps, then drove him through the city, beating and ridiculing him with abuse. The martyr endured all the insults and gave thanks to God. St Peter was thrown into prison after a fierce beating with the rods.

An order was issued to arrest John, the father of the holy martyrs. The brutal Ibrahim grabbed him by the neck with his left hand, and with his right he thrust a knife into his throat. They threw the body of the father together with the bodies of his sons. They then lit a large fire and cast the bodies of the holy martyrs into it.

As for St Andrew, the torturer wore him down with hunger, and then ran him through with a spear in the chest. When the martyr prayerfully began to give thanks to God, Ibrahim ran him through a second time. As he lay dying from loss of blood, they beheaded the righteous martyr with a sword.

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2009(with 2008's link here also and further, 2007's):

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

St Peter the Tax-Collector

Commemorated on September 22
Saint Peter, Former Tax-Collector, was the chief collector of taxes in Africa in the service of the emperor Justinian (527-565). He was a cruel and merciless man.

One day he threw a morsel of bread to a beggar who annoyed him by incessantly begging alms. In a vision Peter saw himself as dead and how the holy Angels weighed his deeds on the scale of the righteous judgment of God. On the side of good deeds nothing was placed except a morsel of bread, thrown at the beggar, but this prevented the opposite side from being pulled down by his vicious deeds.

Peter pondered the meaning of the dream, and thought that if one loaf of bread, thrown involontarily, was of such help to him, then he might receive much more help for good deeds performed with compassion and from the heart. He repented and completely changed his life. He liberally distributed alms to the needy, and fed and clothed many.

On day, in a dream, Peter saw Jesus Christ. The Lord was dressed in clothes which the saint once gave to a beggar. Peter then distributed his substance to the poor and ordered his slave to sell him into slavery and to give the money to the poor. The slave reluctantly carried out the orders of his master.

For many years St Peter worked diligently and humbly for his master. One day he was recognized by tradesmen to whom he had been known earlier. They told the master who his servant was. Having overheard this conversation, the saint quickly fled from the city. In departing, he worked a miracle: the gatekeeper, a deaf-mute slave, was ordered by St Peter to open the gates in the name of Jesus Christ. He fulfilled the command, and at once received his hearing and speech. He rushed around everywhere to tell his master and added moreover, that when the saint commanded him to open the gates, fire came forth from his mouth touching his face, after which he began to hear and speak. Everyone went to look for Peter, but the search proved in vain. The saint hid and remained hidden until his death.

The Life of St Peter was passed along by St John the Merciful, Patriarch of Alexandria (November 12), who in turn knew it from a man personally acquainted with the saint.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2009(with 2008's link here also and further, 2007's):

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Uncovering of the relics of St Demetrius (Dmitri) the Metropolitan of Rostov

Commemorated on September 21

In 1702, Saint Demetrius, Metropolitan of Rostov, arrived at the Rostov cathedral and also visited the monastery of St James, Bishop of Rostov (November 27 and May 23).

He served Liturgy at the cathedral church of the Conception of the Most Holy Theotokos, after which he indicated to those present the site of his future burial on the right side of the temple. "Behold my resting place," he said, "here I will settle for eternity." St Demetrius reposed on October 28, 1709.

Contrary to the saint's wishes, which he expressed in his will, the clergy and people of Rostov asked the locum tenens of the patriarchal throne, Metropolitan Stephen Yavorsky of Ryazan, who had come for the funeral, to conduct the burial at the cathedral church of the city.

Metropolitan Stephen insisted on burying the body of his deceased friend beside St Joasaph, who was St Demetrius's predecessor. However, a grave was not prepared until the arrival of Metropolitan Stephen, even lthough about a month had elapsed since the saint's death.

Due to the urgent departure of Metropolitan Stephen from Rostov, a hastily constructed wooden frame was placed into the grave, in which the body of the saint was buried on November 25. This circumstance, foreseen by the Providence of God, led to a quick uncovering of the relics.

In 1752 repairs were being done at the cathedral church of the monastery, and on September 21, the incorrupt body of St Demetrius was discovered. The place of burial had been affected by dampness, the oaken coffin and the writing on it were decayed, but the body of the saint, and even the omophorion, sacchos, mitre and silken prayer rope were preserved undamaged.

After the uncovering of the holy relics many healings were worked, which were reported to the Synod, by whose order Metropolitan Sylvester of Suzdal and Archimandrite Gabriel of Simonov arrived at Rostov to examine the relics of St Demetrius, and to investigate the incidents of miraculous healings.

A decree was issued by the Synod on April 29, 1757 numbering St Demetrius, Metropolitan of Rostov among the saints, and establishing his feastdays for October 28 (the day of his repose) and September 21 (the uncovering of his relics).

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2009(with 2008's link here also and further, 2007's):

Monday, September 20, 2010

Martyr Theopiste with her husband Holy Great Martyr Eustathius and her children Sts Agapius and Theopistus of Rome

Commemorated on September 20

Saint Theopiste was the wife of the Great Martyr Eustathius, and was born in the first century.

Once while hunting in a forest, Placidas (the name of St Eustathius before his Baptism) saw a stag with a radiant Cross between its antlers. The military commander heard a voice coming from the Cross saying, "Why do you pursue Me, Placidas?"

"Who are You, Master?" asked Placidas. The Voice repied, "I am Jesus Christ, Whom you do not know, yet you honor Me by your good deeds. I have appeared here on this creature for your sake, to capture you in the net of My love for mankind. It is not fitting that one as righteous as you should worship idols and not know the truth."

The Savior told him to go to the bishop and be baptized. With joy Placidas returned home and recounted everything to his wife Tatiana. She in turn told him how the evening before in a mysterious dream she had been told, "Tomorrow you, your husband and your sons shall come to Me and know that I am the true God. The spouses then proceeded to do as they had been bidden.

They hastened to the Christian bishop, who baptized all their family, and communed them with the Holy Mysteries. Placidas was renamed Eustathius, his wife was called Theopiste, and their children, Agapius and Theopistus.

On the following day, St Eustathius set out to the place of his miraculous conversion and in fervent prayer he offered up thanks to the Lord for having called him onto the path of salvation.

Again St Eustathius received a miraculous revelation. The Lord Himself foretold his impending tribulations: "Eustathius, you shall suffer many misfortunes, as did Job, but in the end you will conquer the devil."

Soon St Eustathius was plunged into misfortune: all his servants died of the plague and his cattle perished. Brought to ruin, but not despairing in spirit, St Eustathius and his family secretly abandoned their home, to live unknown, humble and in poverty.

They went to Egypt to board a ship sailing for Jerusalem. During the voyage a new woe beset the saint. The ship owner, enchanted by Theopiste's beauty, cruelly set Eustathius and his children ashore, keeping the wife for himself.

In great sorrow the saint continued on his way, and new woe beset him. Coming to a tempestuous river, he went to carry his two sons across in turn. When he had brought one across, the other was seized by a lion and carried off into the wilderness. As he turned back towards the other, a wolf dragged that child into the forest.

Having lost everything, St Eustathius wept bitterly, but he realized that Divine Providence had sent him these misfortunes to test his endurance and devotion to God. In his inconsolable grief, St Eustathius went on farther, prepared for new tribulations.

In the village of Badessos he found work and spent five years in unremitting toil. St Eustathius did not know then that through the mercy of God, shepherds and farmers had saved his sons, and they lived right near him. He also did not know that the impudent shipowner had been struck down with a terrible disease and died, leaving St Theopiste untouched. She lived at the place where the ship landed in peace and freedom.

During this time it had become difficult for the emperor Trajan to raise an army for Rome to deal with a rebellion, for the soldiers would not go into battle without their commander Placidas. They advised Trajan to send men out to all the cities to look for him.

Antiochus and Acacius, friends of Placidas, sought him in various places. Finally, they arrived in the village where St Eustathius lived. The soldiers found Eustathius, but they did not recognize him and they began to tell him of the one whom they sought, asking his help and promising a large reward. St Eustathius, immediately recognized his friends, but did not reveal to them his identity.

He borrowed money from one of his friends and fed the visitors. As they looked at him, the travellers noted that he resembled their former commander. When they saw a scar on his shoulder from a deep sword-wound, they realized that it was their friend there before them. They embraced him with tears and told him why they were seeking him.

St Eustathius returned to Rome with them and again became a general. Many new recruits were drafted into the army from all over the empire. He did not know that two young soldiers who served him, and whom he loved for their skill and daring, were actually his own sons. They did not know that they were serving under the command of their own father, nor that they were brothers by birth.

While on campaign, the army led by Eustathius halted at a certain settlement. The soldier-brothers were talking in their tent. The elder one spoke about his life, how he had lost his mother and brother, and how in a terrifying way he had been parted from his father. The younger brother then realized that before him was his very own brother, and told him how he had been rescued from the wolf.

A woman overheard the soldiers' conversation, since their tent was pitched right next to her house, and this woman realized that these were her sons. Still not identifying herself to them, but not wanting to be separated from them, she went to their commander, St Eustathius, to ask him to take her to Rome with him. She said she had been a prisoner, and wanted to go home. Then she came to recognize the commander as her husband, and with tears she told him about herself and about the two soldiers who were actually their sons. Thus, through the great mercy of the Lord, the whole family was happily reunited.

Soon thereafter the rebellion was crushed, and St Eustathius returned to Rome with honor and glory. The emperor Trajan had since died, and his successor Hadrian (117-138) wanted to celebrate the event of victory with a solemn offering of sacrifice to the gods. To the astonishment of everyone, St Eustathius did not show up at the pagan temple. By order of the emperor they searched frantically for him.

"Why don't you want to worship the gods?" inquired the emperor. "You, above all others, ought to offer thanks to them. They not only preserved you in war and granted you victory, but also they helped you find your wife and children." St Eustathius replied: "I am a Christian and I glorify and give thanks to Him, and I offer sacrifice to Him. I owe my life to Him. I do not know or believe in any other god than Him."

In a rage, the emperor ordered him to take off his military belt and brought him and his family before him. They did not succeed in persuading the steadfast confessors of Christ to offer sacrifice to idols. The whole family of St Eustathius was sentenced to be torn apart by wild beasts, but the beasts would not touch the holy martyrs.

Then the cruel emperor gave orders to throw them all alive into a red-hot brass bull, and St Eustathius, his wife Theopiste, and their sons Agapius and Theopistus endured a martyr's death. Before being placed in the bull, St Eustathius prayed, "Grant, O Lord, Thy grace to our relics, and grant to those who call upon us a place in Thy Kingdom. Though they call upon us when they are in danger on a river or on the sea, we entreat Thee to come to their aid."

Three days later, they opened the brass bull, and the bodies of the holy martyrs were found unscathed. Not one hair on their heads was singed, and their faces shone with an unearthly beauty. Many seeing this miracle came to believe in Christ. Christians then buried the bodies of the saints.

Troparion - Tone 4

O glorious Theopiste,
You were hunted from heaven and captured in the net of faith.
Together with your husband and sons
You were tested and tempted but triumphed in contest.
You gladden those who cry to you:
Glory to Christ who glorified you!
Glory to him who has crowned you!
Glory to him who proved you a second Job!

Kontakion - Tone 2

O Holy Theopiste,
You were an imitator of Christ in His passion;
You drank of His cup with courage and became a partakeR of His glory:
Therefore the God of all gave you divine power to work wonders!


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2009(with 2008's link here also and further, 2007's):

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Saints David and Constantine of Smolensk and Yaroslav

Commemorated on September 19

Saint David and his brother St Constantine were sons of the holy right-believing Prince Theodore of Smolensk and Yaroslavl. They were born at the Golden Horde. St David ruled at Yaroslavl after his father. The second son, Constantine, had evidently died earlier.

The relics of Sts Theodore, Constantine and David were uncovered on March 5, 1463.

Troparion - Tone 4

From your youth you clung to Christ’s love
And you eagerly kept his laws.
You were enriched with miraculous gifts
And now pour forth healings, Theodore, David and Constantine
Pray to Christ our God to save those who honor you!

Kontakion - Tone 8

While in the flesh you were radiant lamps living like the angels.
By fasting, vigils and faith you grew like the trees in paradise.
You blossomed in prayer through the grace you received.
You have become mighty physicians, healing infirmity of souls.
O glorious wonderworkers Theodore, David and Constantine,
Pray to Christ our God for the forgiveness of those who venerate your memory!


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2009(with 2008's link here also and further, 2007's):

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday after Holy Cross

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Lifted up on the Cross by Your free will, Christ God, grant mercies to the new commonwealth that bears Your name. Gladden our faithful rulers by Your power, giving them victories over their adversaries. May Your alliance be for them a weapon for peace, an invincible standard.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2009(with 2008's link here also and further, 2007's):

Friday, September 17, 2010

156 Martyrs in Palestine-The Holy Martyrs Peleus and Nilus, Bishops of Egypt, Presbyter Zeno, Patermuthius, Elias and another 151 Martyrs

Commemorated on September 17

The Holy Martyrs Peleus and Nilus, Bishops of Egypt, Presbyter Zeno, Patermuthius, Elias and another 151 Martyrs suffered during the reign of the emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311). The majority of them were Egyptians, but there were also some Palestinians among them. Firmilian, the governor of Palestine, arrested 156 Christians. They gouged out the eyes of the holy martyrs, cut the tendons of their feet, and subjected them to all manner of tortures. They beheaded 100 of the martyrs, and burned the rest.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2009(with 2008's link here also and further, 2007's):

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Greatmartyr Euphemia the All-praised

Commemorated on September 16

The Holy Great Martyr Euphemia the All-Praised was the daughter of Christians, the senator Philophronos and Theodosia. She suffered for Christ in the year 304 in the city of Chalcedon, on the banks of the Bosphorus opposite Constantinople.

The Chalcedon governor Priscus circulated an order to all the inhabitants of Chalcedon and its surroundings to appear at a pagan festival to worship and offer sacrifice to an idol of Ares, threatening grave torments for anyone who failed to appear. During this impious festival, 49 Christians were hidden in one house, where they secretly attended services to the True God.

The young maiden Euphemia was also among those praying there. Soon the hiding place of the Christians was discovered, and they were brought before Priscus to answer for themselves. For nineteen days the martyrs were subjected to various tortures and torments, but none of them wavered in their faith nor consented to offer sacrifice to the idol. The governor, beside himself with rage and not knowing any other way of forcing the Christians to abandon their faith, sent them for trial to the emperor Diocletian. He kept the youngest, the virgin Euphemia, hoping that she would not remain strong if she were all alone.

St Euphemia, separated from her brethren in faith, fervently prayed the Lord Jesus Christ, that He strengthen her in her impending ordeal. Priscus at first urged the saint to recant, promising her earthly blessings, but then he gave the order to torture her.

The martyr was tied to a wheel with sharp knives, which cut her body. The saint prayed aloud, and as it happened, the wheel stopped by itself and would not move even with all the efforts of the executioners. An angel of the Lord, came down from Heaven, removed Euphemia from the wheel and healed her of her wounds. The saint gave thanks unto the Lord with gladness.

Not perceiving the miracle that had occurred, the torturer ordered the soldiers Victor and Sosthenes to take the saint to a red-hot oven. But the soldiers, seeing two fearsome angels in the midst of the flames, refused to carry out the order of the governor and became believers in the God Whom Euphemia worshipped. Boldly proclaiming that they too were Christians, Victor and Sosthenes bravely went to suffering. They were sent to be eaten by wild beasts. During their execution, they cried out for mercy to God, asking that the Lord would receive them into the Heavenly Kingdom. A heavenly Voice answered their cries, and they entered into eternal life. The beasts, however, did not even touch their bodies.

St Euphemia, castinto the fire by other soldiers, remained unharmed. With the help of God she emerged unharmed after many other tortures and torments. Ascribing this to sorcery, the governor gave orders to dig out a new pit, and filling it with knives, he had it covered over with earth and grass, so that the martyr would not notice the preparation for her execution.

Here also St Euphemia remained safe, easily passing over the pit. Finally, they sentenced her to be devoured by wild beasts at the circus. Before execution the saint began to implore that the Lord deem her worthy to die a violent death. But none of the beasts, set loose at her in the arena, attacked her. Finally, one of the she-bears gave her a small wound on the leg, from which came blood, and immediately the holy Great Martyr Euphemia died. During this time there was an earthquake, and both the guards and the spectators ran in terror, so that the parents of the saint were able to take up her body and reverently bury it not far from Chalcedon.

A majestic church was afterwards built over the grave of the Great Martyr Euphemia. At this temple the sessions of the Fourth Ecumenical Council took place in the year 451. At that time, the holy Great Martyr Euphemia confirmed the Orthodox confession in a miraculous manner, and exposed the Monophysite heresy. Details of this miracle are related under July 11.

With the taking of Chalcedon by the Persians in the year 617, the relics of the holy Great Martyr Euphemia were transferred to Constantinople (in about the year 620). During the Iconoclast heresy, the reliquary with the relics of St Euphemia appears to have been thrown into the sea. Pious sailors recovered them. They were afterwards taken to the Island of Lemnos, and in the year 796 they were returned to Constantinople.

Troparion - Tone 4

Your lamb Euphemia calls out to You, O Jesus, in a loud voice:
“I love You, my Bridegroom, and in seeking You I endure suffering.
In baptism I was crucified so that I might reign in You,
and I died so that I might live with You.
Accept me as a pure sacrifice,
for I have offered myself in love.”
Through her prayers save our souls, since You are merciful!

Kontakion - Tone 4

Podoben: “As You were voluntarily raised...”
You completed your struggle well, all-praised Euphemia;
even after death, you pour out healing on us for our sanctification.
We stand beside your venerable relics
to honor your holy falling asleep,
that in faith we may be delivered from the weaknesses of our nature
and to obtain the grace of your miracles.
SOURCE(and Icon on left):

SOURCE(for Icon on right):

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2009(with 2008's link here also and further, 2007's):

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

St Bessarion, Archbishop of Larissa

Commemorated on September 15

Saint Bessarion, Archbishop of Larissa, lived during the sixteenth century and founded the Dusika monastery in Thessaly.



SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2009(with 2008's link here also and further, 2007's):

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Repose of St. Anthimus, Bishop of Georgia

Commemorated on September 14

Saint Anthimus of Iberia was one of the most highly educated people of his time. He was fluent in many languages, including Greek, Romanian, Old Slavonic, Arabic, and Turkish and well-versed in theology, literature, and the natural sciences. He was unusually gifted in the fine arts—in painting, engraving, and sculpture in particular. He was famed for his beautiful calligraphy. Finally, St. Anthimus was a great writer, a renowned orator, and a reformer of the written Romanian language.

Little is known about the youth of St. Anthimus. He was a native of the Samtskhe region in southern Georgia. His parents, John and Mariam, gave him the name Andria at Baptism. He accompanied King Archil to Russia and helped him to found a Georgian print shop there, but after he returned he was captured by Dagestani robbers and sold into slavery. Through the efforts of Patriarch Dositheus of Jerusalem, Anthimus was finally set free, but he remained in the patriarch’s service in order to further his spiritual education.

Already famed for his paintings, engravings, and calligraphy, Anthimus was asked by Prince Constantine Brincoveanu (1688–1714) of Wallachia (present-day Romania) to travel to his kingdom around the year 1691. After he had arrived inWallachia, he began to manage a local print shop. The printing industry in that country advanced tremendously at that time, and the chief inspiration and driving force behind the great advances was the Georgian master Anthimus. He succeeded in making Wallachia a center of Christianity and a major publisher of books for all the East.

In 1694 Anthimus was enthroned as abbot of Snagov Monastery (in present-day Romania), where he soon founded a print shop. In the same year his new print shop published Guidelines for the Divine Services on May 21, All Saints’ Day. The book was signed by Subdeacon Michael Ishtvanovich, future founder of the first Georgian print shop.

In 1705 Anthimus, “the chosen among chosen abbots of Wallachia,” was consecrated bishop of Rimnicu Vilcea, and in 1708 he was appointed metropolitan of Hungro-Wallachia. The whole country celebrated his elevation. As one abbot proclaimed: “The divine Anthimus, a great man and son of the wise Iberian nation, has come to Wallachia and enlightened our land. God has granted him an inexhaustible source of wisdom, entrusted him to accomplish great endeavors, and helped to advance our nation by establishing for us a great printing industry.”

Under the direct leadership of St. Anthimus, more than twenty churches and monasteries were erected in Wallachia. Of particular significance is All Saints’ Monastery, located in the center of Bucharest. The main gates of this monastery were made of oak and carved with traditional Georgian motifs by St. Anthimus himself. The metropolitan also established rules for the monastery and declared its independence from the Church of Constantinople.

From the day of his consecration, Metropolitan Anthimus fought tirelessly for the liberation of Wallachia from foreign oppressors. On the day he was ordained he addressed his flock: “You have defended the Christian Faith in purity and without fault. Nevertheless, you are surrounded and tightly bound by the violence of other nations. You endure countless deprivations and tribulations from those who dominate this world…. Though I am unworthy and am indeed younger than many of you—like David, I am the youngest among my brothers— the Lord God has anointed me to be your shepherd. Thus I will share in your future trials and griefs and partake in the lot that God has appointed for you.”

His words were prophetic: In 1714 the Turks executed the Wallachian prince Constantine Brincoveanu, and in 1716 they executed Stefan Cantacuzino (1714–1716), the last prince of Wallachia.

In his place they appointed the Phanariote (a member of one of the principal Greek families of the Phanar, the Greek quarter of Constantinople, who, as administrators in the civil bureaucracy, exercised great influence in the Ottoman Empire after the Turkish conquest.) Nicholas Mavrokordatos, who concerned himself only with the interests of the Ottoman Empire.

During this difficult time, Anthimus of Iberia gathered around him a group of loyal boyar patriots determined to liberate their country from Turkish and Phanariote domination. But Nicholas Mavrokordatos became suspicious, and he ordered Anthimus to resign as metropolitan. When Anthimus failed to do so, he filed a complaint with Patriarch Jeremiah of Constantinople.

Then a council of bishops, which did not include a single Romanian clergyman, condemned the “conspirator and instigator of revolutionary activity” to anathema and excommunication and declared him unworthy to be called a monk. But Nicholas Mavrokordatos was still unsatisfied and claimed that to deny Anthimus the title of Metropolitan of Hungro-Wallachia was insufficient punishment. He ordered Anthimus to be exiled far from Wallachia, to St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mt. Sinai. Metropolitan Anthimus, beloved of the Romanian people, was escorted out of the city at night since the conspirators feared the reaction of the people.

But Metropolitan Anthimus never reached Mt. Sinai. On September 14, 1716, a band of Turkish soldiers stabbed St. Anthimus to death on the bank of the Tundzha (Tunca) River where it flows through Adrianople, not far from Gallipoli, and cast his butchered remains into the river.

Thus ended the earthly life of one more Georgian saint—a man who had dedicated all of his strength, talent, and knowledge to the revival of Christian culture and the strengthening of the Wallachian people in the Orthodox Faith.

In 1992 the Romanian Church canonized Anthimus of Iberia and proclaimed his commemoration day to be September 14, the day of his repose. The Georgian Church commemorates him on June 13.

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2009(with 2008's link here also and further, 2007's):

Something a little different-Ever wonder how they did the music for The Good, the Bad & the Ugly?

I got this from a friend on e-mail.  Since I was a kid, thanks to my dad, I have always loved "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly", along with the other two in the same genre, "A Fistful of Dollars" and "For a Few Dollars More".

The musical scores for these films have cemented their impact on me for life, it would seem.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Martyrs Chronides, Leontius and Serapion of Alexandria with Martyrs Seleucus and Stratonicus in Scythia

Commemorated on September 13

The Holy Martyr Chronides suffered for the Christian Faith in the third century with Sts Stratonicus, Serapion, Leontius and Seleucus. StsChronides, Leontius, and Serapion were from Egypt. After fierce torments for their confession of faith in Christ, the holy martyrs were savagely killed. Sts Chronides, Leontius and Serapion were bound hand and foot and cast into the sea. Their bodies were carried to shore by the waves, where Christians gave them burial.

SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2009(with 2008's link here also and further, 2007's):