Monday, April 29, 2019

Selected hymns from the Feast of the Holy Venerable Martyrs of Ntaou Penteli

Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!

The Holy Venerable Martyrs of the Monastery of Christ Pantocrator, Ntaou (TAO) Penteli, Martyred on Holy Pascha in 1680, Celebrated most commonly on Tuesday of Bright Week, but variously either on another day of Bright Week or on St. Thomas Sunday (source)
  
Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone.
As the sanctified lambs of the Lord chosen from various places, and gathered into your flock, O Pantocrator, you were therefore put to death violently by barbarians, and rejoicing, you proceeded to the heavenly mansions. Therefore, O Venerable Martyrs of Christ, you ever entreat on behalf of our souls.
  
Great Vespers Stichera of the Venerable Martyrs in the First Tone.
The Lord has shown forth many ways to salvation, for you, O divine Fathers, chose beforehand the way of asceticism and the way of the Cross out of love for the Creator. Therefore, you counted the joys of this life as refuse and vanity, O Most-venerable Ones.
  
You hastened to Penteli, O Blessed Ones, and desired to imitate the life of the Angels with purity and obedience. You ever proceeded forward from Earth towards Heaven in a godly manner, being shown to be Paradise.
  
You cried out: "Christ is risen", as you were being slaughtered, O lambs of the Lord and God-bearing Fathers, showing forth in deed that you had found the heavenly life together with the chosen, being sons of the Resurrection.
  
Doxastikon of the Stichera in the Plagal of the First Tone.
O Master Christ Pantocrator, You Who gloriously rose from the dead, and taught to us the power of Your Resurrection, and having the authority over death that is temporary. Therefore, these Venerable Fathers who rest here and who believed in Your Godhead, were taken up as upon the clouds by the cutting blade of the godless, and were made to be inheritors of Your gifts. Through their intercessions, O Good One, grant us a place as well in Your Kingdom.
  
Idiomelon of the Litia in the First Tone.
Rejoice in the Lord, O Mountain of Penteli, for from your crevices has sprung forth a resurrectional rose, the Venerable Martyrs of the Monastery of the Pantocrator, granting fragrance to the faces of the whole Church, and confirming in their souls love for God. For they appeared to be faithful, as champions of the conscience, and rightly received the honor of martyrdom, as they ceaselessly intercede with the risen Christ on behalf of our souls.
  
The Martyred Fathers of Ntaou Penteli (source)
  
Doxastikon of the Aposticha in the Plagal of the First Tone.
After Your life-giving resurrection, O Master Christ, You mystically appeared to Your greatly-burdened Disciples who had return to work, and You blessed their labors, and their nets were straightway filled with a multitude of 153 fish. While on the light-bearing day of Your Resurrection, You gathered a similar number unharmed from the Monastery of the Pantocrator of Your crown-bearing and God-bearing martyred Fathers. As they stand among us as communicants of Your [Mystical] Supper, they offer up intercessions on behalf of us to You the true Fish* [O Christ], and send down richly upon us Your mercy.
  
*Note: "Ιχθύς" is an ancient Christian symbol for Christ, as it stands for "Ihsous Xristos, Theou Yios, Sotir", or "Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior".
  
Kontakion of the Venerable Martyrs in the Fourth Tone. You appeared today.
You took upon yourselves the Cross of the Lord, O Fathers, and shine like precious stones through your asceticism. Therefore, to the barbarians you cry out: "The Lord is risen!"
  
Oikos
You lived your lives pleasing to Christ, while in the dwelling place of the body, O Venerable Ones, desiring to be arrayed in the abiding [vesture] that is radiant and not made by hands. Therefore, you were received by the right hand of the Pantocrator, Who granted to you the betrothal of the Holy Schema. Praising the Resurrection of the Lord, as pure lambs you entered, by the cutting sword of barbarians, into the Kingdom founded by God, where you ever shine with the light of the Lord Who trampled upon death, and, O boasts of the Monastery of Tao, together you chant: "Truly, the Lord is risen!"
  
Synaxarion
On this day, we celebrate the memory of the Holy Glorious Venerable Martyrs of the Holy Monastery of the Pantocrator (Tao) of Mount Penteli, who were slain by the sword by the godless Hagarenes on the radiant day of the glorious Resurrection of our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Verses.
You praise Christ Who is risen in glory,
Radiantly, O Fathers, and were rent by the sword together.
  
Detail of a fresco depicting the martyrdom of the Venerable Martyrs of Ntaou Penteli (source)
  
Exaposteilarion of the Venerable Martyrs in the Second Tone.
Celebrate, O Fathers of the Monastery of the Pantocrator, for you suffered martyrdom out of love for Christ Who trampled upon corruption, and Who grants the Resurrection to all those bearing the name of Christ, as an eternal gift.
  
Prosomoia of the Praises in the First Tone. O all-lauded martyrs.
At Christ's resurrection from the dead, the world rejoices, for the laws of nature are recreated, and the might of death is utterly deposed by the Author of our life, Whom you followed, O Fathers of the Pantocrator, by martyrdom, joining with Him in life.
  
Rejoice, O sacred Monastery of Tao, for your Martyrs were sent to Paradise as the myrrh brought to the Risen One by the Myrrh-bearers, and you became intercessors to the Lord, while those who venerate your Relics glorify Him, ever bearing in mind Your flock.
  
Verse: God is wondrous among His Saints.
As a thief in the night, the Bridegroom, O Saints, came and found you watching, and bearing your lamp with many virtues, therefore He gathered you into His eternal Supper, which the mind of man cannot fathom, nor has ever heard.

Verse: To His Saints that are on His Earth, the Lord has made them wondrous.
Seeking the things on high, where Christ is seated as Master on the right hand of His Father, after having fulfilled His glorious deeds of economy, O Blessed Fathers, the offspring of Tao and the great lights of the Church, you were granted to be with Him through the perfection of your life by the sword.
  
Doxastikon of the Praises in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone.
A voice was once heard in Ramah, and wailing for the incomparably evil slaughter of the Holy Innocents. But there is no mourning or wailing in Penteli at the sudden slaughter of the God-bearing Fathers of the Monastery of the Pantocrator, for among them stands the risen Master, Who harmoniously offers peace, saying: "He who believes in me, even if he dies will live, and will partake of eternal rejoicing before my supremely-radiant Face." As you were made worthy of this, O Venerable Athletes, intercede for us on the day of Judgment.

Megalynarion
Come, O famed Monastery of the Pantocrator in Penteli, and rejoice harmoniously at the struggle of your Venerable Children, who became martyrs of Christ's Resurrection.
(source)
  
The Martyred Fathers of Ntaou Penteli (source)
  
Christ is risen from the dead, by death, trampling down upon death, and to those in the tombs, He has granted life!
Truly the Lord is risen!

Vasiliki Rallis on the Revelation of Sts. Raphael, Nicholas and Irene of Lesvos

Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!   
This is a moving talk from Mrs. Vasiliki Rallis, who was one of the many simple villagers who witnessed the appearing and miracles and the finding of the Holy Relics of Sts. Raphael, Nicholas and Irene in Thermi of Lesvos. Her talk is in Greek with English subtitles (source)
   
Christ is risen from the dead, by death, trampling down upon death, and to those in the tombs, He has granted life!
Truly the Lord is risen!

Akathist to St. George the Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer, the Wonderworker

Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!

St. George the Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer (source)
  
Akathist to St. George the Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer, the Wonderworker
Begin with the usual introductory prayers….Heavenly Comforter….Holy God, Holy and Mighty…etc. During the Easter season, begin with Christ is Risen… (3x)
  
Kontakion 1
To you, O champion leader and victorious Saint George, we offer a hymn of praise as our intercessor and speedy helper. Holy Great Martyr, as one who has boldness before the Lord, deliver us from dangers of all kinds that we may cry unto you: Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Wonderworker.
  
Ikos 1
The Creator of angels and Maker of all creation has revealed you to His Church as a guardian and passion-bearer for the faith. You are an inspiration for us, and we lift up praises to you for the ascetic labors of your sufferings, Saint George, in this manner: Rejoice, you who loved unto the end Jesus, the Son of God.
Rejoice, you who laid down your life with love for His Name.
Rejoice, confessor called forth by God.
Rejoice, spiritual athlete glorified by the grace of God.
Rejoice, you who dwelled with the angels.
Rejoice, you who are the equal of the prophets.
Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Wonderworker.
  
Kontakion 2
Beholding how the wicked idolaters were persecuting the Christians, You did not fear their wiles and tortures, divinely wise George. As a good soldier of Christ, you distributed all your possessions among the poor and then voluntarily ran to that ungodly gathering, singing unto Christ, your commander and God: Alleluia.

  
St. George the Great-Martyr and Trophy-bearer (source)
  
Ikos 2
Mentally comprehending the One God divinely worshipped in Three Persons, with a firm mind You confessed Him before the assembly of the ungodly. Thus, you exposed the unwise king’s foolish worship of creation. In admiration of your lofty love of wisdom, Saint George, accept from us these fervent praises:
Rejoice, wise preacher of the One True God.
Rejoice, faithful advocate of the All-Holy Trinity.
Rejoice, you who manifest the great mystery of the True Faith unto the unbelievers.
Rejoice, you who exposed the deception of idol worship.
Rejoice, revelation of holy wisdom.
Rejoice, image of divine inspiration.
Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Wonderworker.
  
Kontakion 3
 
 
The power of God, which enlightens every man that comes into the world, visited you also, while you were suffering in prison, O George wise in humility. You despised all the corruptible things of this life as chaff. You faithfully held unto Christ alone, so that after fighting the good fight for His Name, you might be granted eternally to chant with the angels: Alleluia.
  
St. George the Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer (source)
  
Ikos 3
Possessing a mind and heart enlightened by the Holy Spirit, by His inspiration you fervently struggled for the Name of Christ, even unto blood. Standing courageously in the faith, you exposed the puffed-up pride of the ungodly congregation. Let us, then, come to you, most wonderful George, singing praises unto you:
Rejoice, shield lifted for preservation of piety.
Rejoice, sword raised for the beheading of evil.
Rejoice, confirmation of the Christian Church.
Rejoice, comfort of those gathered in prayer.
Rejoice, encouragement of the faithful.
Rejoice, fear and disgrace of the unbelievers.
Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Wonderworker.
  
Kontakion 4
 
 
The mad persecutor, breathing murder against you, O passion-bearer George, longed for your blood like a thirsty dog, ordering your body stretched out on a wheel and giving you over unto the most evil torments. Then you, taking strength in the Lord, with hope and trust in God, cried aloud: Alleluia.
  
St. George the Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer (source)
  
Ikos 4
When Diocletian and the priest of the idols heard words of wisdom from you, they were enraged with hatred for you, and even more so when you said: O tormenting king, why do you torture me in vain? For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. The faithful therefore humbly cry unto you, O George of great fame, in this way:

Rejoice, you who shed your blood upon the wheel for your courageous confession of the Faith.
Rejoice, you who magnified the triumph of the Faith by your blood.
Rejoice, zealot together with the apostles.
Rejoice, imitator of the voluntary Passion of Christ.
Rejoice, unshakable champion of the Faith.
Rejoice, passion-bearer harder than adamant.
Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Wonderworker.
  
Kontakion 5
 
 
You were as a star sent by God, O Saint George, for with your miraculous healing and release from the wheel by an angel before the eyes of all, you enlightened the unbelievers to believe in the Trinity in One Essence, and to sing unto Him together with you: Alleluia.
  
St. George the Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer (source)
  
Ikos 5
 
 
The people beheld the miracles of the power of God so clearly taking place in you, and meekly accepted the teaching of Christ from you. They cried aloud, saying: Truly great is the God of the Christians. It is fitting that we also sing praises unto you, George worthy of glory, and so we cry out:

Rejoice, you who dispersed the darkness of unbelief by the radiant word of salvation.
Rejoice, you who converted unbelievers to Christ by your martyr’s confession of faith.
Rejoice, you who lead legions of earthly soldiers unto the heavenly army.
Rejoice, you who dwelled with the heavenly hosts as a soldier of Christ.
Rejoice, glory of courageous soldiers.
Rejoice, beauty of the all-radiant choirs of martyrs.
Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Wonderworker.
  
Kontakion 6
 
 
Zealous in faith, like unto those Spirit-bearing preachers, the apostles, you were crucified unto the world, O Martyr George. Just as Jonah was in the belly of the sea monster, you were hurled headlong into the furnace of the lime pit so that through your life might be manifested the glory of the Lord Who is wondrous in His saints. Then, in the lime pit as in a temple of glory, you noetically cry out: Alleluia.

  
St. George the Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer (source)
  
Ikos 6
 
 
Having shone forth in His Resurrection from the tomb on the third day, Jesus, the Almighty Conqueror of hades and death, saved you from corruption, O victorious George. After three days you were found alive in the lime pit, with your hands lifted and singing unto God. The ungodly were sorely afraid and stricken with terror, but we rejoice and compose a hymn of victory unto you:
Rejoice, you who cast down the puffed-up pride of the devil by your being cast down in disgrace into the lime pit.
Rejoice, you who overcame the persecutor’s bestiality by your miraculous salvation from God.
Rejoice, for as one without guile, you prayed as for benefactors for those who worked evil against you.
Rejoice, for you were zealous for their conversion as Paul was for the Jews.
Rejoice, man of spiritual desires.
Rejoice, victor through the power of Christ.
Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Wonderworker.
  
Kontakion 7
Desiring by any means to ensnare your heart for service to the idols, the wicked persecutor contrived to mislead you by magical spells. Therein you, chosen of God, cry out with David: In God is my salvation and my glory, and faithfully chant unto Him: Alleluia.
  
St. George the Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer (source)
  
Ikos 7
 
 
That evil servant of Satan, Diocletian, revealed a new villainy. In his insane zeal for the idols, he ordered you to be given poison, Saint George, but you were filled with faith and hope. Even though you drank the deadly poison, yet you remain unharmed, O praised-one of God. We marvel at your holiness and sing unto you:
Rejoice, for you were not disgraced by your hope in the living God.
Rejoice, for you counted your torment as nothing.
Rejoice, expeller of soul-destroying demons.
Rejoice, destroyer of the wiles of magicians.
Rejoice, through you God is shown to be wondrous in His saints.
Rejoice, through you the Name of Christ is piously glorified.
Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Wonderworker.
  
Kontakion 8
 
 
There came to the wicked king a strange and terrible counsel from a certain wizard: that he command you, as proof of the truth of the Christian Faith, by your word to resurrect a dead man. You, Saint George, having no doubt whatsoever, sang unto Him Who is not the God of the dead but the God of the living: Alleluia.
  
St. George with his parents (source)
  
Ikos 8
The all-desirable and Sweetest Jesus, Whom You loved with all your soul and heart, most blessed George, attended to the fervent prayer of your faith and speedily commanded the resurrection of the dead man at your word. This was to the glorification of His Name and the confirmation of the faithful, so that the unbelievers and the blind might be astounded and thereby gain knowledge of God. For this reason, we dutifully cry unto you:
Rejoice, through you the Lord of Hosts manifested wonders.
Rejoice, through you He resurrected a dead man from the tomb.
Rejoice, you who grant the mental vision of faith unto the blinded wizard.
Rejoice, you who showed the way to the Holy of Holies unto many who suffered for Christ.
Rejoice, astonishment of Rome.
Rejoice, exaltation of the Christian race.
Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Wonderworker.
  
Kontakion 9
 
 
All the angels rendered praise unto God, Who granted you such courage, victorious George, that even when locked up in prison you did not cease to keep vigil in prayer. As a great communicant of the mystery of divine grace, you were vouchsafed to behold the Lord in a vision. He crowned your head with the crown of incorruption, so that we might cry out with you: Alleluia.
  
St. George the Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer (source)
  
Ikos 9
 
 
The learned orators are unable with their rhetorical tongues to render worthy praises unto you, Martyr George, for your labors and sufferings which you assumed voluntarily for Christ and the Church. We also, not knowing how to properly praise you, chant this hymn with faith:

Rejoice, by your voluntary suffering for Christ and the Church you crucified the old Adam in yourself.
Rejoice, by your courageous suffering you receive a crown of righteousness from the Lord.
Rejoice, rule of pious zeal.
Rejoice, model of self-sacrifice.
Rejoice, for you pleased not yourself, but Christ alone.
Rejoice, for you were prepared for any form of death for the sake of your Savior, Christ.
Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Wonderworker.
  
Kontakion 10
 
 
Desiring to
save the souls perishing in idolatry, O Saint George, lover of God, you were zealous for God like Elias. Entering the temple of the idols, by the power of God you drove out the demons, shattering the idols and putting their priests to shame. Thereafter as conqueror, not with men but with angels, you chant unto God: Alleluia.
  
St. George the Trophy-bearer, surrounded by St. Polychronia his mother, and St. Alexandra whom he helped bring to Christ (source)
  
Ikos 10
 
 
More unfeeling than a wall, your hard-hearted tormentor, O Great Martyr, did not see God, Who so clearly worked miracles through you, but to the end remained as an asp, stopping his ears. He commanded you to be executed as a criminal by beheading. Though grieving over the loss of his soul, you joyfully accepted your end, for which we praise you with love in this manner:
Rejoice, you who kept faith, hope and love unto the end.
Rejoice, you who worked many great miracles at your beheading.
Rejoice, you who were crowned to the glory of God’s goodwill toward those on earth.
Rejoice, you who were adorned with majesty in Heaven.
Rejoice, man of God.
Rejoice, good soldier of Christ.
Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Wonderworker.
 
Kontakion 11
 
 
You render a hymn unto the Most Holy Trinity exceeding others, holy Saint George, not in word and mind only, but by the living sacrifice of your whole self. Imitating Him Who was crucified for us, Christ the Lamb without blemish, you voluntarily laid down your life for your friends. Even though we are incapable of praising such courage as yours, for no man has greater love than this, yet being grateful we sing unto Him Who is wondrous in the saints: Alleluia.
  
St. George the Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer (source)
  
Ikos 11
 
 
You are a light-receiving lamp of the True Light to those on earth, Saint George, chosen of God, for You enlighten the hearts of the faithful and guide them all to divine understanding, instructing us also to joyfully cry aloud:
Rejoice, for you dwell in the all-radiant angelic mansions.
Rejoice, for you commune with the never-waning light of the Trinity not in a mirror, but face to face.
Rejoice, provider for the needy and defender of the wronged.
Rejoice, healer of the infirm and support of kings.
Rejoice, champion of faithful soldiers in battle.
Rejoice, fervent intercessor for the salvation of sinners.
Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Wonderworker.
  
Kontakion 12
 
 
Knowing the grace granted by God, we celebrate your memory, Great Martyr George. Running with fervent prayer to your miraculous icon, we are protected by your all-powerful help in the Lord as by an invincible wall. In praise of your aid to others, we fervently cry unto God: Alleluia.
  
St. George the Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer (source)
  
Ikos 12
 
 
Singing of your glorious end, by which you were magnified as a good soldier of Christ, we pray you, O passion-bearer and helper in all good for us: Protect us as we earnestly cry to you:
Rejoice, by you the Church of the faithful is enlightened.
Rejoice, for your name is praised even among the faithless.
Rejoice, wondrous glory of the confessors.
Rejoice, lofty praise of the martyrs.
Rejoice, protector of those who honor your memory.
Rejoice, deliverer of those who confess Christ God.
Rejoice, Saint George, Great Martyr and Wonderworker.
  
Kontakion 13
Most blessed and holy Great Martyr George, accept our hymn of praise and deliver us from every evil by your fervent intercession unto God, so that we may sing with you: Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia. 12
 
(Repeat Kontakion 13 three times.)
Repeat Kontakion 1 and Ikos 1.
  
Sts. George and Demetrios, among the first and greatest of the Great Martyrs of Christ (source)
  
A Prayer
Great Martyr George, we hasten to you for triumph over every torment and distress and over all pride and passion, that we may glorify Jesus Christ as zealous conquerors of this world and heirs of the Heavenly Kingdom. We acknowledge our unworthiness of such holy victory but, in praise of the courage, hope and trust which you have demonstrated throughout your life and into your martyrdom, we lovingly beseech your aid in battle against sin. Pray for us, Saint George, that we may be granted the grace to confess the Faith before others and to fulfill the Commandments under all circumstances and among all people. Let us witness of Christ the Lord that everyone might see His radiant light and believe in His holy teachings. Amen   
This prayer was adapted from https://akathistreconstructed.wordpress.com/george-great-martyr/, to which we are greatly appreciative. (source)
   

St. George the Great Martyr and Trophy-bearer (source)
  
Christ is risen from the dead, by death, trampling down upon death, and to those in the tombs, He has granted life!
Truly the Lord is risen!

Christ's Holy Light that Recreates, Gives Light and Sanctifies

Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
The Holy Light from the Sepulcher of Christ, Jerusalem (source)
  
The greatest miracle* in the world is the Holy Light in Jerusalem, which springs forth every year from the All-holy Tomb [of Christ] on Great Saturday (between noon and 2pm).

It descends from heaven and everyone sees it, Orthodox and non-Orthodox. It is the Uncreated Light, which for a few minutes (4-10) does not burn! No one on earth can make fire that does not burn.

The Holy Light does not burn, it does not corrupt because it is in essence a spiritual Light, which recreates, gives light and sanctifies! Many take the Holy Light with candles and lamps, and whatever sick part of their body is crossed is healed!

After a few minutes, the Holy Light transforms from something Uncreated to something created and it begins to burn. And if this did not occur, the candles and lamps would never burn out and evil people would play "games" with the Holy Light and we would have blasphemies and perversions.

At some point, however, the Holy Light will cease to come. It will be the time of the antichrist. The Holy Light is the resounding confirmation that Orthodoxy is the only Truth, the only true religion...
-Elder Ephraim of St. Andrew Skete.
  
(source)
  
*Elder Ephraim of course is not minimizing the astounding miracles that occur on a daily basis, such as the transformation into the Body and Blood of Christ in every Divine Liturgy. He is referring to extraordinary, overt and external miracles.
  
Christ is risen from the dead, by death, trampling down upon death, and to those in the tombs, He has granted life!
Truly, the Lord is risen!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

"The Lord spoke to Job through the whirlwind and clouds..."

" The Lord spoke to Job through the whirlwind and clouds..." (Job 38:1)
  
(source)  
"When the stars were made, all my angels praised me with a loud voice." (Job 38:7)
  
"And who prepared a course for the violent rain, and a way for the thunders;  to rain upon the land where no man, the wilderness, where there is not a man in it; so as to feed the untrodden and uninhabited , and cause it to send forth a crop of green herbs? Who is the rain's father? and who has generated the drops of dew? And out of whose womb comes the ice? and who has produced the frost in the sky, which descends like flowing water? who has terrified the face of the ungodly?" (Job 38:25-30)
  

"And who is he that numbers the clouds in wisdom, and has bowed the heaven to the earth?" (Job 38:37)
    
   "And do the gates of death open to thee for fear; and did the porters of hell quake when they saw thee?"
(Job 38: 17)
  
"I have heard the report of thee by the ear before; but now mine eye has seen thee. Wherefore I have counted myself vile, and have fainted: and I esteem myself dust and ashes." (Job 42:5)
  
"They that saw me abhorred me: the very persons whom I had loved, rose up against me." (Job 19:19)
  
"And they stood aloof and abhorred me, and spared not to spit in my face...They have risen up against on the right hand of offspring; they have stretched out their foot, and directed against me the ways of their destruction. My paths are ruined; for they have stripped off my raiment..." (Job 30:10-13)
  
"Who will tell him his way to his face, whereas he has done ? who shall recompense him? And he has been led away to the tombs..." (Job 21:28-32)
  
(source) 
"Where then is yet my hope? or shall I see my good? Will they go down with me to Hades, or shall we go down together to the tomb?" (Job 17:15-16)
  
"For I know that he is eternal who is about to deliver me, to raise up upon the earth my skin that which I am conscious of in myself, which mine eye has seen, and not another, but all have been fulfilled to me in bosom." (Job 19:25-27)
  
"And the Lord blessed the latter end of Job, than the beginning...And Job died, an old man and full of days: and it is written that he will rise again with those whom the Lord raises up." (Job 42: 12, 17)
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Monday, April 22, 2019

"It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God..."

The Betrayal of Christ (source)
 
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, for He is the Judge Who tries consciences and thoughts of the heart. Let no one enter troubling the spotless faith, but in meekness and fear let us approach Christ, that we might receive mercy and find grace, and receive help at the proper time.
-Idiomelon at the lighting of the lamps for Holy Monday
 
(source)
 
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

"He Who is seated upon the Cherubim and upon the foal for us..."

Christ's Entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (source)
 
He Who is seated upon the Cherubim and upon the foal for us, and has arrived at His Passion willingly, today He hears from the Children the: "Hosannah", the multitudes crying out: "O Son of David, hasten to save those whom You have fashioned, O Blessed Jesus! For because of this You have come, that we might come to know Your glory."
-Kathisma from the Matins for Christ's Entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
 
(source)
 
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

"O Lord, Your voice destroyed the kingdom of Hades..."

Christ raising Lazarus from the dead (source)
  
O Lord, Your voice destroyed the kingdom of Hades, and the word of Your authority raised up a man four-days-dead from the tomb. And Lazarus became a foretaste of regeneration and salvation, for all things are possible for You, O Master and King of All. Grant your servants forgiveness of sins and great mercy.
-from the Vespers Stichera for the Raising of Lazarus, written by Leo the King
  
(source)
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Cross-bearing Theotokos of Paris

Icon of the Cross-bearing Theotokos painted by St. Maria of Paris (source)
  
The Theotokos and St. Genevieve, the Protectors of Paris (source)
 
 
Notre Dame de Paris in flames (source)
  
Most-holy Theotokos, save, protect, heal and guide your children who suffer throughout the world!
Most-holy Theotokos, save us!
 

Bishop Kallistos (Ware) on his Spiritual Father, St. Amphilochios of Patmos

This video is of a talk of Bishop Kallistos (Ware), in which he gives an overview of the life, sayings, and his personal experiences of St. Amphilochios of Patmos, his spiritual father. Bishop Kallistos' talks are typically wise, humorous and generally edifying, and so, on the first feast day of the newly-canonized St. Amphilochios of Patmos, may this new Saint pray for all those who are suffering throughout the world.
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

St. Amphilochios of Patmos: "Your heart must really be aflame..."

Jesus Christ the Bridegroom (source)
   
Please put this commandment into practice:  Cultivate love towards the Person of Christ to such an extent that, when you pronounce His name, tears fall from your eyes. Your heart must really be aflame. Then He will become your teacher. He will be your Guide, your Brother, your Father, and your Geron (Elder).
-St. Amphilochios of Patmos
  
(source)
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Friday, April 12, 2019

"Panagia had a silent life..."

Copy of the wondrous icon of Panagia Vimatarissa of Vatopedi Monastery (source)
  
Panagia had a silent life. Within, however, she prayed ceaselessly! Her prayer of the heart did not have any measure of comparison. It is something inconceivable to men, and even to the Angels, and because of this Panagia is the rector of all of the teachers of noetic prayer.

A short time before Panagia left this world, the disciples of Christ entreated her to give them a unique teaching, as a spiritual inheritance. Panagia told them:
"Life is like trade, and man resembles a merchant. Blessed is he who trades rightly with the time of his life! Trade your life as my Son said, that you might gain the Kingdom of the Heavens."

We use our time, either doing good works to obtain the Kingdom of the Heavens, or working sins, towards our damnation.
-Elder Ephraim of St. Andrew Skete
  
(source)
  
Most-holy Theotokos, save us!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

"Flee from the flames, O my soul..."

Abraham and Lot fleeing the destruction of Sodom, while Lot's wife remained and turned to a pillar of salt (source)
  
The Lord once rained fire from heaven and consumed the land of Sodom.

Seek salvation on the mountain as did Lot, O my soul, and find thy refuge in Zoar.

Flee from the flames, O my soul, flee from the burning heat of Sodom, flee the destruction of the divine fire.

Thou knowest, O my soul, how the cities to which Christ offered the Gospel were cursed. Fear their example and their punishment, for the Master likened them to Sodom and condemned them all to hell.
-Excerpt from the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete
  
  
The Destruction of Sodom (source)
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

St. Paisios on the Donkey that carried Christ

Christ's Entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (source)
  
I would want very much to be the little donkey that carried Christ, and later I would cry [for Him]!
-St. Paisios the Athonite
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

A great wonder of St. Iakovos of Evia

In this moving clip from a talk by Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphou (Cyprus), he discusses how St. Iakovos of Evia was able to enlighten him as to God's will and providence, as he pondered why his brother was killed at the young age of 24. Truly, our Lord "desires all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4)
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Fr. Andreas Konanos on Anxiety and Stress

This is a good talk from Fr. Andreas Konanos, a popular preacher in Greece in recent years. Fr. Andreas has a very light-hearted, positive style and tends to discuss a lot of topics in a spiritual manner that resonate with people today. This talk is on anxiety and stress, and the role of our bodies, minds, relationships and our spiritual life in affecting our lives (with English subtitles). I hope his wide-ranging and wise thoughts and advice may be helpful and give consolation to many who continue to suffer daily.
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

A Miracle of the Newly-revealed Wonderworkers: "The first time in my life I have seen such a thing!" the doctor told them.

Sts. Raphael, Nicholas and Irene of Lesvos (source)
  
D. saw in a dream that she was in the Church of St. Raphael in Ano Souli, Marathon, together with a multitude of people. On the Holy Rock of St. Raphael [where St. Raphael appeared and advised them Fathers to build his Monastery there], he saw that there was a full body icon of St. Raphael, but there were some other pieces of velvet and other coverings like on the Holy Altar before the icon of St. Raphael, and most of the people would not pass by to venerate St. Raphael. She thought, why is there a Saint before them but people are not going to venerate him? And then she saw a small girl (it was St. Irene) in black clothes (it was during Great Lent when she had this dream) and she passed through the multitude of people to come up beside her and tell her: "Mrs. D., St. Raphael heard your prayer. That which you are seeking, he will do for you." And she awoke. What she was seeking was for her daughter to find an honorable husband, as she was still single. From then on she had faith in St. Raphael and his companions Sts. Nicholas and Irene that they would take care of her daughter and that she might be married in the best way. She continued to pray daily to Sts. Raphael, Nicholas and Irene, along with St. Ephraim [of Nea Makri], as his Monastery was nearby as well.

About one year later, her daughter saw a dream that she was in the Church of St. Raphael, Ano Souli, Marathon, and there was a liturgy going on. There was also the Holy Relic of St. Ephraim in the Church as well. At one point, she saw the Relic of St. Ephraim stand up and point to her saying: "And I will help you as well!" With this dream, she was strengthened and her faith was made more sure that she had both Saints as her helpers, and with their intercessions her marriage might take place in the best manner.
  
Sts. Raphael and Ephraim the Newly-revealed Hieromartyrs and Wonderworkers of Christ (by Alevizakis, sources 1 and 2)
  
St. Raphael of course also helped her wondrously with a severe problem with her health which she overcame. The doctor diagnosed a mass in her right breast, and after a biopsy revealed that it was malignant. They did not tell her that it was malignant, however, but that they must work "prophylactically" to remove the mass. The only thing that her mother knew for sure was that her blood pressure was always up and she worried she would suffer a stroke from her worry and agony. Ultimately, however, she related her concerns to the Fathers of the Monastery of St. Raphael, Ano Souli, who gave her strength and holy oil from the vigil lamp of St. Raphael. She brought this immediately to her daughter to place on the place where she had the problem. After a few hours she had the operation. The doctor was astonished that the mass had become totally benign. "The first time in my life I have seen such a thing!" the doctor told them. He told them: "Go light a candle because a miracle has occurred." From then, she rejoices with utter health knowing that whatever occurs, it will be with her thanksgiving and faith in the wonderworking Sts. Raphael, Nicholas and Irene for her health and her situation.
(source)
   
Sts. Raphael, Nicholas and Irene of Lesvos (source)
   
Note: A faithful Christian related a vision he saw in which St. Raphael and St. Ephraim showed their deep respect for each other:
"I saw Saint Efraim and Saint Raphael of Mytilene coming down from the sky. They were standing facing each other. Then, Saint Raphael made his cross and a prostration to Saint Efraim. Saint Efraim, then made his cross and a prostration to Saint Raphael and after that they turned to us, blessed us, and went away."
   
Excerpt from the book: Visions and Miracles of the Great Martyr and Miracle-Worker Ephraim Neophanoys, Volumes A&B.
 
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!