Tuesday, December 11, 2018

"The Lord glorified you with a multitude of wonders and awesome deeds..."

St. Spyridon the Wonderworker (source)
The Lord glorified you with a multitude of wonders and awesome deeds, O blessed one, for in the holy Synod, you proclaimed the Holy Trinity, and you raised the dead, and transformed the snake into gold, and paradoxically, you turned back and passed through the raging river through your prayers.
-Exaposteilarion for the feast of St. Spyridon the Wonderworker
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

"Well done, good and faithful servant!"

St. Nicholas the Wonderworker (source)
Well done, good and faithful servant! Well done, worker in the vineyard of Christ! You bore the heat of the day, and to you was given the talent, while you did not grumble against those who came after you. Therefore, the gate of the heavens have been opened unto you. Enter into the joy of your Lord, and intercede on behalf of us, O St. Nicholas.
-Idiomelon of the 50th Psalm, Matins for St. Nicholas
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

"You were mystically illumined with the radiance of the Spirit..."

St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia (source)
You were mystically illumined with the radiance of the Spirit, and were thus shown forth to be a true prophet of noetic and divine things, O Porphyrios. For through your zeal for ascetic deeds, you overtook all, reaching a height of virtues hard to climb. And having received a multitude of gifts from the Spirit, you grant many gifts and wonders to those who entreat you, while your life instructs all, calling them to repentance. But, O venerable and compassionate Father, intercede for salvation of souls for those who of those who take refuge in your boldness [before God].
-Idiomelon from the Great Vespers for St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Milesi, Attica, built by St. Porphyrios

Monastery of the Transfiguration of Christ built by St. Porphyrios in Milesi, Attica (source)
Brief history of the Monastery
The Holy Monastery of the Transfiguration of Christ (celebrated August 6th), though technically a dependency, was founded by St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia in Milesi, Attica, geographically between Oropos and Malakassa in the northern suburbs of Athens.

From one's first step as a pilgrim in the area, one encounters the sanctity of the place and the total silence. One is struck by the astonishing Holy Church and the beautiful green surroundings.

A multitude of people hasten to the holy Hesychasterion which honors the memory of the Venerable Porphyrios on December 2nd, the day of his repose, in order to partake in the grace of this Saintly Elder.

The building of the monastery began in 1981, and the building occurred in stages, with the Katholikon being founded in 1990, with permission of Archbishop Seraphim of Athens. The walls of the church were completed in the spring of 1992, a few months after the repose of St. Porphyrios.
St. Porphyrios on his bed at the monastery near the end of his life (source)
After St. Porphyrios retired from the chaplaincy at the Polyclinic of Athens (St. Gerasimos near Omonoia), he lived a few years at St. Nicholas in Kalisia, Penteli, but ultimately moved to Milesi of Malakassa, where he continued to live humbly, struggling with his illnesses.

That place became a true pilgrimage. The Elder chose obscurity, but God glorified him. "The world," as he wrote later, "took me from my good place, and everyone calls me a saint. However, I feel that I am the greatest sinner of the world...and I entreat all those who knew me to pray for me."
The interior of the Katholikon (source
His last breath was humble and far from the world in Kavsokalyvia of Mount Athos, on December 2nd, 1991, as he had been informed by God that his end was near. His repose was known only by his fellow cell-mates in Kavsokalyvia, and so his funeral was humble in the Garden of the Panagia.
Information and Hours of Operation
Ιερόν Γυναικείον Ησυχαστήριον Αγίου Πορφυρίου Μεταμορφώσεως του Σωτήρος
Milesi, Malakasa, Greece 190 11
+30 2295 098261
The Monastery is open from sunrise to sunset, except for being closed from 2-4PM daily. Vespers is served daily at either 5PM (winter hours) or 6PM (summer hours). Orthros and Divine Liturgy are served every Sunday from 7-10AM.
Pilgrims to the monastery can venerate the bed and personal articles of St. Porphyrios, a place full of grace (source)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Metropolitan Neophytos on St. Porphyrios and other Contemporary Saints

This is a wonderful talk in Greek (with English subtitles) by Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphou (Cyprus) on his experiences with St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia and other contemporary Saints and Elders of the Orthodox Church. This occurred on his Eminence's recent visit to the Monastery of the Transfiguration in Milesi (outside of Athens). This monastery was built and spiritually guided by St. Porphyrios. Pilgrims to the monastery can venerate the cell of St. Porphyrios and many of his personal articles. The Bishop came as a simple pilgrim and was asked by the Abbess to give a talk after lunch about his relationship with St. Porphyrios. May the Saint help all those who need his help throughout the world! (source)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

"Mary, the spotless one, and spiritual tabernacle..."

The Entrance of the Theotokos to the Temple (source)
Mary, the spotless one, and spiritual tabernacle, is offered today in the house of God, and is received by the hands of Zacharias, as a sanctified vessel of the Lord.

O, your wonders surpassing mind, O Spotless One! Strange is your nativity, strange the manner of your raising, and strange and paradoxical is everything about you, O Bride of God, and inscrutable to mortals.

Behold, a joyous springtime has shone forth today to the ends of the earth, gladdening our soul and mind and nous with grace, at the festival of the Theotokos today, and let us mystically rejoice.
-from the Matins Canons for the Great Feast of the Entrace of the Theotokos to the Temple
The Entrance of the Theotokos to the Temple (source)
Most-holy Theotokos, save us!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Remarkable Story of an Appearance of St. Herman

St. Herman of Alaska (source)
"I recently discovered this on a friend’s Facebook page and thought it worth sharing. This took place at Holy Resurrection church in Claremont, NH:
“Sometime ago, we invited a local “tree surgeon”, Leo M., to cut down a couple of dead trees in the back of the church property. He came and worked with his wife, Kathleen, doing the job quickly and with kindness to the rest of the surroundings. But they strongly resisted being paid, insisting on offering their work gratis to our church. The reason for it was the following story that happened to them a few years before, just after they had gotten married.
They both were big enthusiasts of serious mountaineering and rock climbing, and therefore for their honeymoon trip they decided to go to Alaska, to bag the highest peak of North America, mount Denali (aka McKinley), 20,320 feet. They prepared their expedition very thoroughly, staying in the camp at the foot of the mountain, talking to guides, studying the maps, checking the equipment, and waiting for a long stretch of good weather.
Everything went just fine for a few days of their exciting, but extremely difficult ascent. At the end of one day, on a narrow path, they met an old, strange looking man in a long robe, who was walking down the mountain. In a friendly manner he greeted them and advised them to turn around and return to the base camp as quickly as possible because the weather was changing into a bad storm. Soon, he said, it will be very dangerous around here. And in answer to their unasked question, how could he know such a thing, he told them that he is local and knows the climate very well. Leaving them surprised and uneasy, he continued on his way.
A few minutes later, when Leo and his wife made a wise decision to turn back and tried to recall the appearance of the old man, they realized that he hadn’t had a back pack or any other hiking gear with him. How could he have made it up so high in the bare rocky mountain in sub-zero temperatures and without any food or protection?!
Anyway, to make a short story shorter, a few days later, almost at the bottom of the mountain, they were indeed caught by a severe storm. They survived it, constantly in their minds thanking the old man who had warned them of the danger. A week later, still staying at the base camp, they were told that some other climbers, who were at the higher elevations than they during the storm, never came back.
But the focal point of the story is this: at the camp cafeteria they noticed a picture of their rescuer, pinned on a bulletin board between all kinds of papers and photos of the mountain. They recognized him from the first, at a glance. When they asked the waiter about his name, he told them, ” It’s St Herman of Alaska.” The photo was of the icon of St Herman from the Orthodox church nearby.
The Saint told them the truth: he was indeed a local guy…”
“By enduring the trials of nature, the storms’ cold and wind together with hunger, thou didst kindle spiritual peace, warmth and satiety, and become unaffected by the elements, truly a heavenly man and earthly angel, O wondrous Herman; so wishing to honor thee as is meet we cry out: Rejoice, conqueror of nature’s hardships! Rejoice, thou who wast arrayed in the virtues! … Rejoice, O venerable Father Herman, adornment of Alaska and joy of all America! ” (From Akathist to St Herman)"
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!