Sunday, September 30, 2012

2nd Sunday of Luke

September 30

Tone of the week: Plagal of the Fourth Tone

Sixth Eothinon

Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
You descended from on high, O compassionate One, and condescended to be buried for three days, so that from the passions You might set us free. Our life and resurrection, O Lord, glory be to You.

Seasonal Kontakion in the Second Tone
O Protection of Christians that cannot be put to shame, mediation unto the creator most constant: O despise not the voices of those who have sinned; but be quick, O good one, to come unto our aid, who in faith cry unto thee: Hasten to intercession and speed thou to make supplication, O thou who dost ever protect, O Theotokos, them that honor thee.

Resurrectional Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Arising from the tomb, O mighty Saviour, Thou didst rouse the dead; Thou didst raise Adam; while Eve danceth in her joy at Thy blest Resurrection, O Lord. And the world's farthest regions keep the festival on Thine arising from the dead with gladness and thanksgiving, O Thou Who art greatly merciful.


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

Saturday, September 29, 2012

St Cyprian of Ustiug

Commemorated on September 29

Saint Cyprian of Ustiug was a rich landowner, but turning from the vanities of the world, he received the angelic schema with the name Cyprian at the monastery of the Holy Trinity at Gledeno.

The inhabitants of the newly-established city of Ustiug begged St Cyprian to build a monastery somewhere near the city. St Cyprian, went about the city and observed its layout, then chose a place near shallow lakes at the Ostrozh falls and he started to construct a cell.

By the year 1212, he began to build a monastery in honor of the Entrance into the Temple of the Most Holy Theotokos, and a church in the name of St Michael, the Chief Commander of the Heavenly Hosts. The inhabitants of Ustiug, seeing the godliness of the holy ascetic, brought him all the necessities for building the monastery, and many began to pursue asceticism together with St Cyprian, who received everyone with joy and with love.

The holy monastery grew, and according to the account in the Ustiug Chronicle, St Cyprian "was chosen head of the holy monastery and pastor of the flock of Christ," but out of humility he did not accept the priestly office. By his bed, there was a stone, evidence of the monk's ascetic deeds. During his night prayers, the ascetic held it in his hands so as to maintain vigilance and be constantly at prayer. St Cyprian died on September 29, 1276 and was buried in the monastery he founded. Afterwards, at his tomb, a church was built in honor of the Feast of Mid-Pentecost.


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

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Apostle Aristarchus of the Seventy

Commemorated on September 27

Saint Aristarchus was one of the Seventy Apostles, whom the Lord Jesus Christ sent to proclaim the good news of the Gospel (Luke. 10:1-24).

St Aristarchus, a co-worker of the holy Apostle Paul, became bishop of the Syrian city of Apamea. His name is repeatedly mentioned in the Acts of the Holy Apostles (Acts 19:29, 20:4, 27:2) and in the Epistles of St Paul (Col. 4:10, Philemon 1:24). He accompanied St Paul on his travels (Acts 16:29), and was Bishop of Apamea, Syria.

St Aristarchus is also commemorated on April 15 with Sts Pudens and Trophimus and on January 4 with the Seventy Apostles.


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

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Arrival of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God in Georgia

Commemorated on September 26

The Iveron Icon of the Mother of God (which is preserved on Mt. Athos) was kept in the home of a certain pious widow, who lived near Nicea. During the reign of the emperor Theophilus, the Iconoclasts came to the house of this Christian, and one of the soldiers struck the image of the Mother of God with a spear. Blood flowed from the place where it was struck.

The widow, fearing its destruction, promised the imperial soldiers money and implored them not to touch the icon until morning. When the soldiers departed, the woman and her son (later an Athonite monk), sent the holy icon away upon the sea to preserve it. The icon, standing upright upon the water, floated to Athos.

For several days, the Athonite monks had seen a fiery pillar on the sea rising up to the heavens. They came down to the shore and found the holy image, standing upon the waters. After a Molieben of thanksgiving, a pious monk of the Iveron monastery, St Gabriel (July 12), had a dream in which the Mother of God appeared to him and gave him instructions. So he walked across the water, and taking up the holy icon, he placed it in the church.

On the following day, however, the icon was found not within the church, but on the gates of the monastery. This was repeated several times, until the Most Holy Theotokos revealed to St Gabriel Her will, saying that She did not want the icon to be guarded by the monks, but rather She intended to be their Protectress. After this, the icon was installed on the monastery gates. Therefore this icon came to be called "Portaitissa" or "Gate-Keeper" (October 13). This comes from the Akathist to the Mother of God: "Rejoice, O Blessed Gate-Keeper who opens the gates of Paradise to the righteous."

There is a tradition that the Mother of God promised St Gabriel that the grace and mercy of Her Son toward the monks would continue as long as the Icon remained at the monastery. It is also believed that the disappearance of the Iveron Icon from Mt. Athos would be a sign of the end of the world.

The Iveron Icon is also commemorated on February 12, March 31, October 13 (Its arrival in Moscow in 1648), and Bright Tuesday (Commemorating the appearance of the Icon in a pillar of fire at Mt. Athos and its recovery by St Gabriel).

On September 26, 1989, a copy of this famous icon arrived in Tbilisi, Georgia from the Iveron Monastery on mt. Athos. This copy had been painted by the monks on Mt. Athos as a symbol of love and gratitude to the Georgian people.


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

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

St Arsenius the Great, Catholicos of Georgia

Commemorated on September 25

Saint Arsenius the Great, a pupil and spiritual son of Gregory of Khandzta, was the youngest son of a certain aristocrat, Mirian, from Meskheti in southern Georgia.

On their way to Abkhazeti, St. Gregory’s companions Theodore and Christopher stopped in Meskheti at the home of Arsenius’ family. Mirian and his wife, Kravaia, asked the monks to bless their children and, astonished at the fathers’ virtue, they entrusted their youngest son to their care.

Gregory of Khandzta later traveled to Abkhazeti to visit Theodore and Christopher, and on his way back to the monastery he brought with him the young Arsenius, the future catholicos of Georgia, and the youth Ephraim, the future wonderworker and bishop of Atsquri. The monks Theodore and Christopher journeyed with them as well.

The monks of Khandzta met the young men with grave displeasure, since the rules of the monastery forbade the presence of youths, but St. Gregory assured the brothers that this was an exceptional circumstance in which God’s holy will would soon be revealed. St. Gregory entrusted the young men’s upbringing to his companions and disciples, the hermits Theodore and Christopher.

When Arsenius had reached the appropriate age, his father Mirian bypassed the Church Council and had his son enthroned as catholicos of all Georgia by his own initiative (he was helped by a small group of bishops and laymen). Mirian’s interference in the affairs of the hierarchy was a blatant offense to the Church and the faithful.

A Church council assembled in Javakheti to decide on a way to address Mirian’s behavior. The circumstances were particularly difficult, since the leader of the council, Bishop Ephraim of Atsquri, had grown up with St. Arsenius. But Church law upheld the judgment of the Church and the faithful, and it was decided to ask Arsenius to resign as catholicos. At that very moment, however, St. Gregory arrived at the meeting and assured the holy fathers that Arsenius’s enthronement was a fulfillment of God’s holy will.

The disturbance was soon calmed and the love between Ephraim and Arsenius restored, and the catholicos blessed the old church at Khandzta. With his God-pleasing example and divine love St. Arsenius enlightened the Georgian Church and the faithful until his final day on earth.

St. Arsenius is also commemorated as a great historian and philologist. He is credited with the remarkable historical work On the Division of the Georgian and Armenian Churches. In this exposition St. Arsenius logically proved that the Georgian Church had followed the path of true Christianity steadfastly throughout history, while the Armenian Church had strayed from the true path when it accepted the Monophysite heresy. To his pen also belong many remarkable hymns and Lives of Saints. His work The Life and Martyrdom of Abibos of Nekresi is particularly worthy of note.

Catholicos Arsenius the Great is known also as an active builder of churches. He constructed the Cathedral of Tkobi-Erda in the region of Ingushetia (near present-day Chechnya), in the Assa River Valley.

St. Arsenius led the flock of the Georgian faithful for twenty-seven years and joyfully appeared before Christ in the year 887.


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

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Icon of the Mother of God of Slovenka

Commemorated on September 23

The Slovenka Icon of the Mother of God manifested itself on September 23, 1635 at the village of Slovenka, Kostroma district. A certain hunter while hunting by chance discovered a small rickety church, overgrown with moss. He went inside and saw that all the church utensils had rotted with time, except for the altar icon of the Mother of God, which was perfectly unharmed. A monastery was afterwards built at this place.


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

Friday, September 21, 2012

Apodosis of the Elevation of the Venerable and Life-Giving Cross

September 21

Saint Helen, the mother of Saint Constantine the Great, when she was already advanced in years, undertook, in her great piety, the hardships of a journey to Jerusalem in search of the cross, about the year 325. A temple to Aphrodite had been raised up by the Emperor Hadrian upon Golgotha, to defile and cover with oblivion the place where the saving Passion had been suffered. The venerable Helen had the statue of Aphrodite destroyed, and the earth removed, revealing the Tomb of our Lord, and three crosses. Of these, it was believed that one must be that of our Lord, the other two of the thieves crucified with Him; but Saint Helen was at a loss which one might be the Wood of our salvation. At the inspiration of Saint Macarius, Archbishop of Jerusalem, a lady of Jerusalem, who was already at the point of death from a certain disease, was brought to touch the crosses, and as soon as she came near to the Cross of our Lord, she was made perfectly whole. Consequently, the precious Cross was lifted on high by Archbishop Macarius of Jerusalem; as he stood on the ambo, and when the people beheld it, they cried out, "Lord have mercy." It should be noted that after its discovery, a portion of the venerable Cross was taken to Constantinople as a blessing. The rest was left in Jerusalem in the magnificent church built by Saint Helen, until the year 614. At that time, the Persians plundered Palestine and took the Cross to their own country (see Jan. 22, Saint Anastasius the Persian). Late, in the year 628, Emperor Heraclius set out on a military campaign, retrieved the Cross, and after bringing it to Constantinople, himself escorted it back to Jerusalem, where he restored it to its place.

Rest from labour. A Fast is observed today, whatever day of the week it may be.

Apolytikion in the First Tone
Lord, save Your people and bless Your inheritance, granting our rulers to prevail over adversaries, and protecting Your commonwealth by Your 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 2010(with 2009's link here also and further, 2008's, even 2007!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Greatmartyr Eustathius (Eustace) Placidas with his wife and children of Rome

Commemorated on September 20

The Holy Great Martyr Eustathius was named Placidas before his Baptism. He was a military commander under the emperors Titus (79-81) and Trajan (98-117). Even before he came to know Christ, Placidas performed acts of charity, helping the poor and destitute. Therefore, the Lord did not leave the virtuous pagan remain in the darkness of idolatry.

Once while hunting in a forest, he saw a stag which would stop now and then to look him right in the eye. Placidas pursued it on horseback, but could not catch up. The stag leaped over a chasm and stood on the other side facing him. Placidas suddenly saw a radiant Cross between its antlers. In surprise 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 replied, "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. It was to save mankind that I came into the world."

Placidas cried out, "Lord, I believe that You are the God of Heaven and earth, the Creator of all things. Master, teach me what I should do." Again the Lord replied, "Go to the bishop of your country and receive Baptism from him, and he will instruct you."

Placidas returned home and joyfully 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 a 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 in peace and freedom at the place where the ship landed.

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 his identity to them.

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?" the emperor inquired. "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.


Your holy martyr Eustáthius and his wife and sons, O Lord,
through their sufferings have received 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!


Podoben: "Seeking the highest..."
Having openly imitated the Passion of Christ,
and having eagerly drunk of His cup, O Eustáthius,
you became a partaker and fellow heir of His glory,
receiving divine forgiveness from on high from the God of all.


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

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Afterfeast of the Holy Cross

September 19

Apolytikion in the First Tone
Lord, save Your people and bless Your inheritance, granting our rulers to prevail over adversaries, and protecting Your commonwealth by Your Cross.


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

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Martyr Irene of Egypt

Commemorated on September 18

Saint Irene endured martyrdom with Sts Sophia and Castor in Alexandria.


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

Monday, September 17, 2012

Martyr Faith with her mother and sisters at Rome

Commemorated on September 17

The Holy Martyrs Saint Sophia and her Daughters Faith, Hope and Love were born in Italy. Their mother was a pious Christian widow who named her daughters for the three Christian virtues. Faith was twelve, Hope was ten, and Love was nine. St Sophia raised them in the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. St Sophia and her daughters did not hide their faith in Christ, but openly confessed it before everyone.

An official named Antiochus denounced them to the emperor Hadrian (117-138), who ordered that they be brought to Rome. Realizing that they would be taken before the emperor, the holy virgins prayed fervently to the Lord Jesus Christ, asking that He give them the strength not to fear torture and death. When the holy virgins and their mother came before the emperor, everyone present was amazed at their composure. They looked as though they had been brought to some happy festival, rather than to torture. Summoning each of the sisters in turn, Hadrian urged them to offer sacrifice to the goddess Artemis. The young girls remained unyielding.

Then the emperor ordered them to be tortured. They burned the holy virgins over an iron grating, then threw them into a red-hot oven, and finally into a cauldron with boiling tar, but the Lord preserved them.

The youngest child, Love, was tied to a wheel and they beat her with rods until her body was covered all over with bloody welts. After undergoing unspeakable torments, the holy virgins glorified their Heavenly Bridegroom and remained steadfast in the Faith.

They subjected St Sophia to another grievous torture: the mother was forced to watch the suffering of her daughters. She displayed adamant courage, and urged her daughters to endure their torments for the sake of the Heavenly Bridegroom. All three maidens were beheaded, and joyfully bent their necks beneath the sword.

In order to intensify St Sophia's inner suffering, the emperor permitted her to take the bodies of her daughters. She placed their remains in coffins and loaded them on a wagon. She drove beyond the city limits and reverently buried them on a high hill. St Sophia sat there by the graves of her daughters for three days, and finally she gave up her soul to the Lord. Even though she did not suffer for Christ in the flesh, she was not deprived of a martyr's crown. Instead, she suffered in her heart. Believers buried her body there beside her daughters.

The relics of the holy martyrs have rested at El'zasa, in the church of Esho since the year 777.


The Church celebrates and rejoices
In the feast of the three daughters: Faith, Hope, and Love
And their Mother Sophia, named for her wisdom:
For in them she gave birth to the three godly virtues.
Now they eternally behold their bridegroom, God the Word.
Let us rejoice spiritually in their memory and cry:
O our three Heavenly Protectors,
Establish, confirm and strengthen us
In Faith, Hope and Love.


You blossomed in the courts of the Lord
as a fruitful olive tree,
holy martyr Sophia;
in your contest you offered to Christ the sweet fruit of your womb,
your daughters Faith, Hope, and Love.
Together with them intercede for us all.


The holy branches of noble Sophia,
Faith, Hope, and Love,
confounded Greek sophistry through Grace.
They struggled and won the victory
and have been granted an incorruptible crown by Christ the Master of all.


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

Sunday, September 16, 2012

St. Nikolai Velimirovic - About the World Crisis

From here.

St. Nikolai Velimirovic

Letter # 38 - World Crisis

Answer to a Priest about the World Crisis

You ask me, O man of God, where did today's crisis come from and what does it mean? Who am I to be asked about such a great thing? "You should only speak when what you have to say is better than silence," says St. Gregory the Theologian. And even though I believe that silence would be better right now, I will give you my opinion on it for the sake of my love for you.

Crisis is a Greek word, and it means judgment. In the Holy Scripture this word is used many times. The Psalmist says, "therefore, the godless will not stand up in judgment" (Ps. 1: 5). In another place, it says, "I sing of mercy and judgment" (Ps. 101: 1). Wise Solomon writes, "the judgment of all comes from the Lord" (Prov. 29: 26). The Savior Himself said that "the Father has given all judgment to the Son," and later "now is the judgment of the world come" (John 5: 22, 12: 31). Apostle Peter writes, "for it is time that the judgment of God's house begin" (1 Pet. 4: 17).

Replace the word judgment with crisis and read, "therefore, the godless will not stand up in crisis - I sing of mercy and crisis - toe crisis of all comes from the Lord - the Father has given all crisis to the Son - now is the crisis of the world come - for it is time that the crisis of God's house begin.

So far, European nations have used the word judgment in¬stead of crisis, whenever some trouble fell upon them. Now, the old word is replaced with the new - the understandable with the incomprehensible. When there was a drought, people would say, "God's judgment!" When there was a flood, "God's judgment!"

When there was a war or a plague, "God's judgment!" When there was hail, earthquakes, pests, mice and other troubles, again and every time God's judgment! And that means - crisis through droughts, crisis through floods, through wars, plagues etc. Today's financial-economic trouble is also considered by the people to be God's judgment, but they don't say judgment, but crisis. So that the trials are multiplied through confusion! For when we used an understandable word, judgment, we also under¬stood the cause of the trouble; we knew the judge who allowed the trials; and the goal of the trial was also known. However, as soon as we used the word crisis, a word incomprehensible to all and every one, nobody knows how to explain anything - why, where from, to what end? That is the only difference between today's crisis and those crises of drought, flood, war, plague, insects or other pestilences.

Do you ask me about the cause of today's crisis or today's judgment of God? The cause is the same forever and ever. The cause of droughts, floods, plagues, and other whips of mankind is also the cause of today's crisis: apostasy of the people. The people have caused this crisis by the sin of apostasy, and God has allowed it in order to awaken the people, that they might come to their senses, become more spiritual and return to Him. Through modern sins comes modern crisis. God really did use modern means to put some sense into modern people - He struck the banks, the stock markets, finances and currencies. He has overturned the tables of the exchangers around the world, just as He did a long time ago in the Temple in Jerusalem. He has created an unprecedented panic among the merchants and money exchangers. He lifts, casts down, stirs, confuses, frightens. All to make the wise little heads of European and American wise men wake up, come to their senses and become more spiri¬tual. So that being anchored in the harbors of material security, they might remember their souls; confess their transgressions and bow down to the Almighty God - the Living God.

How long will the crisis last? As long as the people's spirit remains unchanged. Until those haughty people who caused this crisis capitulate before the Almighty. Until the peoples and nations remember to translate the incomprehensible word crisis into their own languages so that they may say "God's judgment!" You also, honorable father, ought to say "God's judgment" instead of crisis and everything will be clear.

Greetings and peace to you.

Euphemia the Great Martyr

September 16

Saint Euphemia was from Chalcedon and lived in virginity. According to some, she suffered martyrdom during the reign of Diocletian, in 303; according to others, in 307. Her sacred relics are preserved in the Patriarchate in Constantinople.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
O Lord Jesus, unto Thee Thy lamb doth cry with a great voice: O my Bridegroom, Thee I love; and seeking Thee, I now contest, and with Thy baptism am crucified and buried. I suffer for Thy sake, that I may reign with Thee; for Thy sake I die, that I may live in Thee: accept me offered out of longing to Thee as a spotless sacrifice. Lord, save our souls through her intercessions, since Thou art great in mercy.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Thou strovest valiantly in thy sacred contest; and even after death, thou makest us holy with streams of healings, O all-famed Euphemia. For this cause we venerate thy most holy dormition and with faith we stand before thine all-ven'rable relics, that we be freed from illness of the soul and also draw forth the grace of thy miracles.


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

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Afterfeast of the Holy Cross

September 15

Apolytikion in the First Tone
Lord, save Your people and bless Your inheritance, granting our rulers to prevail over adversaries, and protecting Your commonwealth by Your Cross.


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

Friday, September 14, 2012

A letter of complaint by His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus to the US Foreign Minister

From here.

TEL. +30 210 4514833
FAX. +30 210 4518476

7 September 2012

To the
Daniel Smith
Ambassador of the USA

Your Excellency

I submit in writing my strong protests concerning the way my name is mentioned in the report of the Foreign office concerning religious freedom and I would kindly request you to forward this letter to Her Excellency the Secretary of State.

I would like to thank your Excellence in advance and may our Giftgiving Lord bless you with Health, Happiness and Progress.

TEL. +30 210 4514833
FAX. +30 210 4518476
7 September 2012

To: Hillary Clinton
United States Secretary of State
USA Minister of Foreign Affairs

Your Excellency,

In the Report of your Department referring to the respect for religious freedom internationally and particularly in my country, my name is mentioned and my actions as well as my speeches are described without me having any chance to explain how things really stand.

As a world citizen and inhabitant on this planet I feel I am obliged to express my protest since there is obviously a violation of the Human Rights and the USA constitution in the way this specific Department Reports are constructed.

The founding of your country by the Leaders of your Nation was based on the Universal values which were born in my country; that is the freedom, democracy and respect of the human personality.

Since you are an experienced politician and a person of major contribution in your great country, you are certainly aware that according to the rules of law convicting someone without giving him the chance to apologize is unacceptable because the universal law of justice demands both sides to be heard before judgment.

Therefore I express my strong dissatisfaction that without being asked about what I really said or what really happened, I am literally accused internationally of being a so-called fundamentalist and violating the rights of my fellow men.

If the Services of your Ministry had the courtesy and the consciousness to ask me before accusing me about the specific issues, I would have informed them that I addressed in writing  the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Athens and requested the Blessing of the school year in the Roman Catholic School of Jean D’ Arc of Piraeus to come into effect exactly in the way the Roman Catholic School of Saint Paul of Piraeus does. I suggested that the blessing of the school year should be conducted by an Orthodox priest for the Orthodox students and by a Roman Catholic priest for the Roman Catholic students (who comprise a minority in this school), given the fact that in the Orthodox self consciousness and according to the canon law it is forbidden to pray together with people who believe in different dogmata and do not take part in the Holy Communion.

However, the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church did not condescend to give us an answer and in this way I was not able to protect the Orthodox consciousness of the students in this school and as their Bishop and Shepherd I had no other way but appealing to the justice of Law and to the corresponding Law Services.

What else could I have done to confront the intransigent attitude and the obstinate obsession against the Orthodox Self Consciousness? Is there, in your opinion irrationality in my view? The justifiable conclusion which is deducted is that the Report was biased against me since there was no knowledge of the real facts and no mention was made in the attitude of the Roman Catholic Archbishop. In your Report there are unprovable allegations about my beliefs and combine them with ant-semitic expressions which supposedly were mine but these are distortions of my words trying to defame me.

I have never expressed myself against the Jewish Nation which I respect exactly as much as every other Nation on Earth. However, I must communicate the strong opposition of the Orthodox Jewish against the distortion of Judaism and the deviation from the divine approach to life into an apocryphistic system based on the dark teaching of Kabbalah, the surviving of eosphorism and the practice of black magic.

Therefore, I have never expressed anti-Semitic views. However as a Christian Bishop I had the right to interpret the Prophesies of the Old Testament and especially those of Prophet Daniel and Prophet Isaiah and prove that the longed for Messiah came in this world in the person of Lord Jesus Christ and the one who is expected by Judaism to come (and for whom the restoration of the Third Temple of Solomon and ceremonial and worship symbols – as publicized though the Internet – are prepared) is the one who is referred in the Apocalypse of Evangelist John as the Antichrist. 

Finally, do you consider as fundamentalism and anti-Semitism the obvious and universal reality that the bank system is one of the favorite economic activities of the powerful – in your country – Jewish lobby? Would you be kind enough to inform us who the three international Financial Institutions Moody’s Standard and Poor’s and Fitch belong to?  

Could you inform us what Nationality the founder of the Tri later Commission is? Could you inform us what is the Nationality of the members of the Bene Berith Lodge, which sites in Washington and has branches all over the world including my country? Could you inform us who comprise the governing body of the appearing as think Tank Bildeberg Group?

As a conclusion, I sincerely wish the Peace of God and feelings of understanding and tolerance between people to prevail on Earth. However the freedom of consciousness is of ultimate value which we are obliged to defend even with our lives and surely justice imposes the respect of all people’s rights especially of the weaker ones and of those who do not have power in this world.

Yours respectfully
The Metropolitan of Piraeus
+ Seraphim

Monkmartyr Macarius of Dionysiou on Mt Athos

Commemorated on September 14

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

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Forefeast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross

September 13

Apolytikion in the Second Tone
We offer Thee in mediation the life-giving Cross which, of Thy goodness, Thou hast given unto us, the unworthy, O Lord. Save Thy hierarchs and Thy flock, and grant Thou peace through the Theotokos, O only friend of man.


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

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hieromartyr Dositheus of Tbilisi

Commemorated on September 12

Thirty-five thousand Persian soldiers marched toward Georgia in the year 1795. The Georgian king Erekle II (1762–1798) and his two thousand soldiers declared war on the invaders as they were approaching Tbilisi. The Georgians won the first skirmish, but many perished in the fighting. The enemy was shaken and was preparing to flee the battleground, when several traitors reported to Aqa Muhammed Khan that King Erekle had lost nearly his entire army. This betrayal decided the fate of the battle: the one hundred fifty soldiers who remained in the Georgian army barely succeeded in saving the life of King Erekle, who had willed to perish on the battlefield with his soldiers.

All of Tbilisi was engulfed in flames. The plunderers murdered the people, set fire to the libraries, destroyed the print shop, and vandalized the churches and the king’s palace. They slaughtered the clergy in an especially cruel manner.

Unfortunately, history has not preserved the names of all those martyrs who perished in this tragedy, but we do know that a certain Metropolitan Dositheus of Tbilisi was killed because he would not abandon his flock. While the invaders simply killed most of the clergymen, from St. Dositheus they demanded a renunciation of the Christian Faith. They commanded him to defile the True and Life-giving Cross of our Lord. But the holy hieromartyr Dositheus endured the greatest torments without yielding to the enemy, and he joyfully accepted death for Christ’s sake. The invaders slaughtered Christ’s devoted servant with their swords.

St. Dositheus was martyred on September 12 in the year 1795.


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

Monday, September 10, 2012

Apostle Lucius of the Seventy

Commemorated on September 10

The Holy Apostle Lucius of the Seventy was bishop in Syrian Laodicia (a former chief city in Phrygia). The holy Apostle Paul mentions him in the Epistle to the Romans (Rom. 16: 21), among the other Christians whom he greets.


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

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Uncovering of the relics of St Theodosius the Archbishop of Chernigov

Commemorated on September 9

Today we commemorate the glorification of St Theodosius on September 9, 1896, and the uncovering of his holy relics.

St Theodosius is also commemorated on February 5.


O Hierarch Father Theodosius,
You are a most worthy Bishop.
You were a light to your flock;
Then you were translated to the eternal Mansions.
Pray at the Throne of the King of Glory,
That we may be delivered from present evils
And that our souls may be saved by your prayers, O Holy One!


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

Saturday, September 08, 2012

St George (John) and St John of Georgia

 St George                                                                                  St. John

Commemorated on September 8

Archimandrite John (Basil Maisuradze in the world) was born in the town of Tskhinvali in Samachablo around 1882. He was raised in a peasant family and taught to perform all kinds of handiwork. Basil was barely in his teens when he helped Fr. Spiridon (Ketiladze), the main priest at Betania Monastery, to restore the monastery between 1894 and 1896.

From his youth Basil was eager to enter the monastic life, and in 1903, according to God’s will, he moved to the Skete of St. John the Theologian at Iveron Monastery on Mt. Athos. Among the brothers he was distinguished for his simplicity and obedience. He was tonsured a monk and named John in honor of St. John the Theologian, whom he revered deeply and sought to emulate.

The monk John was soon ordained to the priesthood. Throughout his life the holy father dedicated himself to serving God and his brothers in Christ in hopes that his own life might be fruitful for them.

Fr. John remained on Mt. Athos for seventeen years. Then, due to the increasingly troubling circumstances there, he left the Holy Mountain with the other Georgian monks sometime between 1920 and 1921. He settled at Armazi Monastery outside of Mtskheta, where the Bolsheviks had left just one monk to labor in solitude. Once a band of armed Chekists broke into the monastery, led both Fr. John and the other monk away, and shot them in the back.

Believing them to be dead, they tossed them in a nearby gorge. A group of people later discovered Fr. John’s nearly lifeless body and brought it to Samtavro Monastery in Mtskheta. The other monk suffered only minor injuries and returned to the monastery on his own.

When his health had been restored, Fr. John went to Betania Monastery, where his first spiritual father was still laboring. He was appointed abbot shortly thereafter. Accustomed to hard work from his childhood, he skillfully administered the agricultural labors of the monastery. When visitors came to the monastery seeking advice or solace, Fr. John welcomed them warmly, spreading a festal meal before them. He enjoyed spending time with his guests, especially with children.

It is said that he always had candy or a special treat to give to the little ones. The children loved him so much that on the feast of St. John the Theologian, while he was sprinkling the church with holy water, they skipped around him and tried to tousle his hair. The children’s parents were ashamed, but Fr. John cheerfully assured them that it was fitting to be so joyous on a feast day.

Truly Fr. John was endowed with a deep love for young people, and he was also blessed with the divine gifts of prophecy and wonder-working. Once a certain Irakli Ghudushauri, a student at Moscow Theological Seminary, visited him at the monastery. Fr. John received him with exceptional warmth, blessing him with tears of rejoicing. This student would later become Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II, the beloved shepherd who continues to lead the flock of the Georgian faithful to this very day.

Fr. John disciplined himself severely. He worked hard all day and slept on a single piece of wood. He would spend entire nights praying. Many wondered when he rested and where he had acquired such a seemingly infinite supply of energy.

Occasionally thieves would steal food or domestic animals from the monastery. But the monastery also had many protectors, even within the Soviet government. A group of Christians who worked for the government while secretly practicing their faith supported Fr. John and Fr. George (Mkheidze) (see below), explaining and justifying them to the government as “guardians of a national cultural monument.”

Many of the miracles performed by Fr. John are known to us today, though he was wary of receiving honor for his deeds. Frs. John and George healed the deaf, and many of the terminally ill were brought to them for healing. After spending several days in the monastery, the infirm would miraculously be cleansed of their diseases. Fr. John bore the heaviest workload in the monastery. He sympathized deeply with Fr. George, who was ailing physically and unfit for strenuous labor. But Fr. John departed this life before Fr. George. Fr. John became ill and reposed in 1957, at the age of seventy-five. He was buried at Betania Monastery.

Fr. George (Mkheidze) was born in the village of Skhvava in the Racha region around 1877. He received a military education—a highly esteemed commodity among the Georgian aristocracy—but instead of pursuing a military career in defense of the Russian empire, he dedicated himself to Georgia’s national liberation movement. At one point the pious and learned George worked for St. Ilia the Righteous as his personal secretary. He often met St. Ilia’s spiritual father, the holy hierarch Alexandre (Okropiridze), and the holy hieromartyr Nazar (Lezhava), and he was acquainted with other important spiritual leaders of the time as well.

Desiring to sacrifice his life to God, George was tonsured into monasticism by the holy hieromartyr Nazar. His rare character combined a nobleman’s deportment with a monk’s humble asceticism. Fr. George was ordained a priest and soon after elevated to the rank of archimandrite.

Filled with divine love and patriotic sentiment, the holy father willingly endured the heavy burdens and spiritual tribulations afflicting his country at that time.

In 1924, while Fr. George was laboring at Khirsa Monastery in Kakheti in eastern Georgia, an armed Chekist mob broke into the monastery. The perpetrators beat him, cut off his hair, shaved his beard, and threatened to take his life. He sought refuge with his family, but to no avail—his brothers, who were atheists, shaved off his beard while he was sleeping. (One of Fr. George’s brothers later committed suicide, and the other, together with his wife, was shot to death by the Chekists.) In the same year, Fr. George visited Betania Monastery and was introduced to Fr. John (Maisuradze), with whom he would labor for the remainder of his life.

Fr. George’s health was poor, and he was able to perform only the lightest of tasks around the monastery. He tended the vegetable garden and took responsibility for raising the bees. He was extremely generous. At times he would give all the monastery’s food to the needy, assuring Fr. John that God Himself would provide their daily bread.

Tall, thin, and with an upright posture, Fr. George was strict in both appearance and demeanor. He spoke very little with other people, and children did not play with him as they did with Fr. John. Knowing his character, they tried to please him by reciting prayers and behaving themselves. Fr. George did not like to leave the monastery, but it was often necessary for him to travel to Tbilisi to visit his spiritual children— among whom were many secret Christians who worked for the government.

Fr. George was endowed with the gifts of prophecy and healing, but he was careful to hide them. When constrained to reveal them, he would pass them off as though they were nothing extraordinary. Once a certain pilgrim arrived at the monastery and was surprised to discover that Fr. George knew him by name. Sensing his great amazement, Fr. George told the pilgrim that he had attended his baptism some thirty years earlier, thus concealing his God-given gift. Fr. George knew in advance when his nephew was bringing his sisters, whom he had not seen in forty-eight years, to visit him at the monastery during Great Lent.

Enlightened with this foreknowledge, Fr. George prepared fish and a festal meal in honor of the occasion.

The prayers of Fr. George and Fr. John healed the former’s nephew, who was afflicted by a deadly strain of meningitis. They restored hearing to a deaf child and healed many others of their bodily infirmities.

In 1957, when Fr. John reposed in the Lord, Fr. George was tonsured into the great schema. He was given the name John in honor of his newly departed spiritual brother. Fr. George-John now bore full responsibility for the affairs of the monastery. His health deteriorated further under the weight of this heavy yoke. His spiritual children began to come from the city to care for him.

Once a twenty-year-old girl arrived at the monastery, complaining of incessant headaches. She had been told that the water from Betania Monastery would heal her. She remained there for one week and was miraculously healed. When she left to return home, Fr. George-John walked five miles to see her off, in spite of his physical frailty.

The Theotokos appeared to Fr. George-John in a vision and relieved his terrible physical pain. The protomartyr Thekla also appeared to him, presenting him with a bunch of grapes. Several days before his repose, the holy father was in the city when an angel appeared to him and announced his imminent repose. The angel told him to return to the monastery to prepare for his departure from this world.

St. George-John (Mkheidze) reposed in 1960. He was buried at Betania Monastery, next to Fr. John (Maisuradze). These venerable fathers were canonized on September 18, 2003, at a council of the Holy Synod under the spiritual leadership of His Holiness Ilia II, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia. Frs. John and George-John have been lovingly deemed “one soul in two bodies.”


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

Friday, September 07, 2012

The Forefeast of the Nativity of the Theotokos

September 7

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
From the root of Jesse and the loins of David the King, Mariam, the child of God, is born for our sake this day. Hence, all creation exulteth on its renewal. Both Heaven and the earth rejoice together now. Praise her, O ye tribes of nations here below. The righteous Joachim rejoiceth, and Anna keepeth feast, crying out: The barren beareth the Theotokos, the nourisher of our life.

Kontakion in the Third Tone
On this day the Virgin and Theotokos Mary, the bridal chamber of the Heavenly Bridegroom, by the will of God is born of a barren woman. Being prepared as the chariot of God the Word, she was pre-ordained for this, since she is the divine gate and the true Mother of Life.


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