Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior. His Gospel reads: "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest..." (source)
With sincere Christians prayer is
continual, because we continually sin; gratitude is perpetual,
because everyday, every moment, we receive fresh mercies from God,
beside the old mercies, which are numberless. Praise is also
perpetual, because we perpetually see the glory of God's works in
ourselves and in the world, especially the glory of His infinite love
towards us. -St. John of Kronstadt,
"My Life in Christ"
The Entrance of the Theotokos to the Temple (source) (source)
Let the heaven above rejoice today, and let the clouds sprinkle forth gladness, at the utterly paradoxical and great deeds of our God, for behold, the Gate that is beheld in the East, who was born from a barren womb through promise, and offered to be the dwelling-place of God, today enters the Temple, as a spotless offering that is brought forth. Let David rejoice, plucking the lyre, for it is written, they shall be led to the King with the virgins behind her, her companions shall be brought in, within the tent of God, wherein is His mercy seat, to be raised to be the dwelling-place for Him Who was ineffably begotten of the Father before the ages, for the salvation of our souls. -Idiomelon of the Litia for the Entrance of the Theotokos, First Tone, by George of Nikomedia.
Give thanks to God for everything. Try to be manly. Pull yourself together a bit. Do you know what Christians are suffering in other countries? There are such difficulties in Russia! But here many exhibit indifference. There’s not enough disposition to kindness, love of devotion. You see, if we don’t begin to make war against evil, to expose those who tempt believers, then the evil will grow larger. If we throw aside fear then the faithful will be emboldened a bit. And those who wage war against the Church will have a harder time. In the past our nation lived spiritually, so God blessed her, and the saints helped us in miraculous fashion. And we were victorious against our enemies, who always outnumbered us. Today we continue to call ourselves Orthodox Christians, but we don’t live Orthodox lives.
Icon of Christ "The Angel of Great Counsel" (source)
However great the heaven of heavens may
be, or the upper waters which form a roof over the celestial regions,
or any heavenly place, state or order, they are no more marvelous or
honorable than the cave, the manger, the water sprinkled on the
infant and His swaddling clothes. For nothing done by God from the
beginning of time was more beneficial to all and more divine than
-St. Gregory Palamas, "Homily 58: On the Saving Nativity of Christ"
St. Menas the Great Martyr and Wonderworker (source)
Let us gather to praise the ever-memorable Menas, the brave servant of Christ, O faithful, with martyrical praises and spiritual odes. For he set to battle invisible enemies, and lawfully struggled, having rightly received the trophy of victory. And now, he dances in the heavens with the indissoluble choir of the Angels, entreating for peace to the world, and the great mercy. -Doxastikon of the Praises in the First Tone, by Anatolios.
You were seen as bread, baked by the flames that touched you, offered as a spotless sacrifice, perfect as an offering, and as a spiritual whole-burnt offering, pouring forth divine fragrance, which was smelled by God, O healer of God Menas. -Troparion from the Canon of St. Menas, Ode VIII.
O venerable Arsenios, you were offered to the Lord, and served Him spotlessly, through your ascetical way of life, for you received the divine fire, which the Savior came to cast upon the earth, for you surpassed the thought of those who dwell on the earth, and became as one outside of the world and the flesh, living the life of an angel. And you became a treasury of divine gifts, and were shown to be a worker of wonders, and a virtuous icon of praxis, in our generation. Therefore, as you partake of the rewards for the pains which you endured, do not cease to intercede, O Father, on behalf of those who celebrate your holy memory with faith and fervor. -Doxastikon of the Stichera for the feast of St. Arsenios of Cappadocia
Icon of St. Nektarios the Wonderworker, with scenes from his life (source)
O how holy and pleasing to God was your life, O God-bearer Nektarios, and O how strange are the wonders which you work daily through your grace! Who would not wonder at you, who are truly worthy of honor? Or who would not glorify you, who was glorified by the Lord? For your divine relics appeared as a spring of healings, curing terrible sicknesses and driving out the unclean spirits, and all who approach them with faith, receive [blessings towards] salvation of souls and healing of bodies, as they glorify Christ, Who wondrously glorified you. -Idiomelon of the Liti for the feast of St. Nektarios the Wonderworker
Icon of Archangel Michael the Taxiarch of Mandamados (source)
Rejoice with us, all you commanders of the Angels, for your leader and our champion, the great Chief Captain, marvellously appearing today in his sacred shrine, sanctifies it; therefore as is right let us cry out to him with songs of praise: Shelter us in the shelter of your wings, Michael greatest of Archangels!
-Doxastikon of the Stichera
With lips of fire the Cherubim sing your praise, Christ God; with bodiless mouths the choir of Archangels sings a never-ending hymn of glory; Michael, the Chief Captain of the Powers above, offers to your glory an unceasing hymn of victory. For he has shone on us today that for this shining festival we may fittingly ring out in song the thrice-holy hymn with lips of clay; for all things have been filled with your praise, and you grant the world through him your great mercy.
For what purpose does the Lord add day
after day, year after year, to our existence? In order that we may
gradually put away, cast aside, evil from our souls, each one his
own, and acquire blessed simplicity; in order that we may become, for
instance, gentle as lambs, simple as infants; in order that we may
learn not to have the least attachment to earthly things, but like
loving, simple children, may cling with all our hearts to God alone,
and love Him with all our hearts, all our souls, all our strength,
and all our thoughts, and our neighbor as ourselves. Let us hasten,
therefore, to pray to the Lord, fervently and tearfully, to grant us
simplicity of heart, and let us strive by every means to cast out the
evil from our souls - for instance, evil suspiciousness, malevolence,
malignity, malice, pride, arrogance, boastfulness, scornfulness,
impatience, despondency, despair, irascibility and irritability,
fearfulness and faint-heartedness, envy, avarice, gluttony, and
satiety; fornication, mental and of the heart, and actual
fornication; the love of money, and in general the passion for
acquisition; slothfulness, disobedience, and all the dark horde of
sins. Lord, without Thee we can do nothing! Bless us Thyself in this
work, and give us the victory over our enemies and our passions. So
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth...And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." John 1: 14, 16-17
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and to the ages of ages! Amen!
"As the Prophets saw, as the Apostles taught, as the Church has received, as the Teachers express in dogma, as the inhabited world understands together with them, as grace illumines, as the truth makes clear, as error has been banished, as wisdom makes bold to declare, as Christ has assured, so we think, so we speak, so we preach, honouring Christ our true God, and his Saints, in words, in writings, in thoughts, in sacrifices, in churches, in icons, worshipping and revering the One as God and Lord, and honouring them because of their common Lord as those who are close to him and serve him, and making to them relative veneration.
This is the faith of the Apostles; this is the faith of the Fathers; this is the faith of the Orthodox; this faith makes fast the inhabited world." Excerpt from the Synodikon of the Sunday of Orthodoxy (http://www.anastasis.org.uk/synodikon.htm)
By the Grace of God, here are presented a few true stories of the Saints, sayings of the Holy Fathers, sacred icons, and many other things so that, maybe in a small way, we may remind ourselves that (though we might not be ready to accept it) Jesus Christ is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, and that the Holy Orthodox Church is full of Christ's GRACE and TRUTH, and is no less than the Kingdom of God on earth.
I must say that I am not a part of the clergy, so I hope to primarily put forth quotations from the Gospel, Saints and Holy Fathers, and not my own opinions. But if you see my own words or opinions, keep in mind that they are my opinions or comments and they have little weight, as opposed to the quotations from Christ, the Saints and the Fathers which do.
I ask forgiveness if in this site any of my passions are acting, hindering the Grace of the Holy Spirit because of my sins. I apologize for any errors of mine, mistakes, problems with translations, etc. due to my ignorance and conceit. If anyone notices any mistakes or can suggest a better translation, please let me know. I try to post all of my sources. Please also let me know if I am violating any copyrights or other laws, and I will do my best to comply.
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!
-I try to update this site fairly regularly. If you are looking for a specific subject, feel free to search for an earlier post that might cover it. I habitually go back and update previous posts too, so though there may not be new info at the top of the site(e.g. for some saint or feast), it's possible that I've updated a previous post with more information, images, etc.
-Please consider the sources for all materials presented. I try to only post reliable information, but I can't be held responsible for every inconsistency or incorrect fact. If you notice an error, please post a comment and let me know. Please keep in perspective material presented without a source, or amateur translations from me.
-Though I don't have explicit permission to reproduce all the material I use on this blog, if I am made aware of some copyright or usage issues, I am very willing to remove the materials in question. If you quote or use material from my blog, please cite the sources where I took it from. If you use some of my amateur translations, please make it clear somehow that it was not a professional translation (unless you can verify my translation).
-Please do not make comments to a post that are irrelevant to the topic being discussed. If there are general comments / questions about the blog, feel free to search for and comment on one of the posts titled "Blog Info / Updates / Suggestions". Comments that are irrelevant to the topic of the post will be deleted.
-If you have a question or a comment about the topic of sources of a post, feel free to comment. However, I ask you to avoid being argumentative, accusatory, combative or bickering. This was not envisioned as a forum for debates, but as another venue to present the stories, writings and miracles of the Holy Fathers and the Church.