Friday, September 29, 2017

Sts. Porphyrios and Paisios on our Modern Age

Sts. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia and Paisios the Athonite (source)
Our age is like the age of Christ. Then, the world had reached a terrible state. God, however, felt sorry for us. And now, we should not loose hope. I see amidst calamities that a man of God appears, who will bring back and unite the world towards the good.
-St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia
Icons of contemporary Elders: Sts. Paisios and Porphyrios, along with Elders Joseph the Hesychast and Sophrony of Essex (source)
Today, there are more words and books and fewer living examples.  We admire the holy Athletes of our Church, but without understanding how much they struggled, because we have not struggled ourselves.  Had we done so, we would appreciate their pain, we would love them even more and strive with philotimo to imitate them.  The Good God will of course take into account the age and conditions in which we live, and He will ask of each one of us accordingly.  If we only strive even a little bit, we will merit the crown more than our ancestors.
-St. Paisios the Athonite
Sts. Iakovos, Paisios and Porphyrios the New wonderworkers and Spiritual guides of Greece (source)
The New Venerable Wonderworkers Sts. Porphyrios, Paisios and Iakovos (source)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia: "Transfigure anything that happens to you into something good..."

St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia (source)

The spiritual struggle is this: to transfigure anything that happens to you into something good. If you have tribulations, then give yourself to prayer. Slowly you will be able to heal all of your weaknesses [through Christ].
-St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia: "You can't force the other person..."

St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia (source)
You can't force the other person. Their hour will come, the time will come, it is enough to pray for them. With silence, tolerance, and most especially with prayer, we benefit the other mystically. The grace of God cleanses the horizons of their nous, and confirms him in His love.
-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, September 28, 2017

The Holy Monastery of Chrysopigis, Chania, Crete

The Holy Monastery of Chrysopigis, Chania, Crete (source)

The Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegic Monastery of Chrysopigi lies a short distance from the town of Chania. It was founded in the middle of the 16th century in the last period of Venetian rule in Crete. The Monastery is dedicated to our Lady of the Life-Giving Spring, who is known popularly as ‘Chrysopigi’, the Golden Fountain.
The founder of the Monastery was a physician and philosopher by the name of Ioannis Chartophylax, a prominent citizen of the town of Chania, who founded the Monastery in the middle of the 16th century.
During the period of Venetian rule the Monastery of Chrysopigi developed into an important spiritual centre for Chania with numerous monks and a rich library.
Icon of Panagia Chrysopigis ("The Golden Fount", or the Life-giving Spring of the Theotokos) (source)
In 1654, during the period of Ottoman rule, the Monastery became a Patriarchal Stavropegic establishment. It suffered greatly at Ottoman hands, sharing the fate of the rest of Crete. In 1821, on the outbreak of the Greek Revolution, it was destroyed and abandoned. In the years following 1848, however, the Monastery was renovated and rejuvenated with the advent of new monks.
During the Second World War the Monastery was commandeered for use as their Administrative Headquarters by the occupying German forces. The monks were forced to leave, grievous damage was caused to the buildings and the architectural structure was seriously compromised. There followed a period of what appeared to be terminal decline.
In 1976 the Monastery of Chrysopigi was transformed into a coenobitic community of sisters. The new community restored the Monastery from its foundations, while at the same time pursuing the work of renewal in a spiritual and social dimension.
At the Monastery of Chrysopigi, worship is the centre of life. The Divine Liturgy and all of the daily services attract many young people from near and far.
The feast day of the monastery (source)
The sisters of the community ply the traditional monastic crafts: icon-painting and also the fresco painting of Churches, ecclesiastical embroidery, stone carving, book-binding, bee-keeping, candle-making, and the production of incense and of hand-made soap et al.
An important activity of the Monastery is the publication of books. The books containing the words of Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia have been translated into more than twenty languages.
The sisters cultivate the Monastery lands using organic farming methods. The organic produce of the Monastery lands provides food for the community and for visitors. Olive oil which is produced in larger quantities is placed on the market in appropriate packaging.
The olive groves of the monastery (source)
The monastic community seeks to raise ecological consciousness through environmental education programmes aimed at school children of all ages and at students, as well as other groups of young people.
At the same time, the treasures which survived in the Monastery are conserved and preserved in the Ecclesiastical and the Folk Museum.
The Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegic Monastery of the Life-Giving Spring-Chrysopigi
73100 Chania, Crete
Tel: +3028219-91125, 28210-29840
Fax: +30 28210 97600
Some of the holy relics treasured by the Monastery, including the left hand of St. John Kalyvites (source)
Besides the katholikon of the Monastery, there are the chapels in honor various saints, many in caves surrounding the monastery. The chapels include those in honor of St. John the Theologian, St. Catherine, St. Charalampos, St. John Kalyvites, St. Arsenios of Cappadocia, the Holy Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, St. Anthony, Panagia Myrtidiotissa / St. Silouan the Athonite, and the Holy New Martyrs of Crete.
Video of the consecration of the katholion of the Monastery, on September 2nd, 2012, by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew (source)
The Monastery also had St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia as a spiritual Father and guide, so they honor and celebrate him. For example, the Abbess of the Monastery recently gave a wonderful talk in Canada on the life of St. Porphyrios:

Patriarch Bartholomew recently blessing the groundbreaking at the Monastery for a new church in honor of St. Porphyrios (source)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

"Now not dimly, but face to face..."

St. John the Theologian (source)
Now not dimly, but face to face, you have been granted to see the flood of delight, the river of peace, and the fount of immortality; drawing from which you divine life.
-From the Canon to St. John the Theologian
St. John the Theologian, reclining on the immaculate bosom of Christ at the Mystical Supper (source)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Monday, September 18, 2017

A Doxology by St. Nektarios

The Vision of the Three Angels, symbolizing the Holy, Consubstantial, Life-giving and Undivided Trinity (source)
A Doxology by St. Nektarios
"God, to me, is glory and wealth and boast. He is the sweetest and most pleasant thing. He is my care and my nourishment. Me soul is a creation of the breath of God. My body is the fashioning of God. By divine grace, I am one of God's generation. From God I received my being, and also the ability to move and breathe and to speak.

To God I daily entrust my spirit. To God I pray. I live with God, I serve and find myself with God.

I am so happy with the great, mighty and living God, Who is the provider of assistance and the worker of good things. He follows whatever I think, say and do. I receive God as the awesome judge of whatever I have done. I have God Who is calm and forgiving, forbearing and greatly merciful, savior and redeemer.

I know God Who is the beginning of all things, Who gives good things, Who is the fore-knower, overseer, all-wise, all-knowing, Who knows both the future and the present and the past. I hymn, I glorify, I bless and I supremely exalt the good, holy, righteous and true God.

I venerate and worship God Who loves mankind. I believe in God, I hope in God, I love God, Who is the spring of love. My soul and my mind exalt God and find rest. My heart desires God greatly.

I confess one Three-sun and Tri-hypostatic God. I proclaim one God: beginningless, everlasting, simple, surpassing-essence and undivided. This Unity and Trinity. These I confess, believe and proclaim.

The end, and to the Three-sun Godhead, be kingdom, praise and glory unto the ages of ages. Amen."
-St. Nektarios of Pentapolis, the Wonderworker
(amateur translation of text from source)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

"The Three Girls of the Trinity..."

Sts. Sophia, and her daughters Faith, Hope and Love (source)
The Three Girls of the Trinity were aflame with zeal for the trinity of virtues: Hope, Faith and Love, and were enrolled together with the same name, to be called towards tortures.
-Exaposteilaron from the feast of Sts. Sophia, Faith, Hope and Love
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

"A Diplomacy of Icons"

"A Diplomacy of Icons", as thousands walk in a litany of prayer at the recent visit of the wondrous icons of Panagia Soumela and Panagia of Kazan to St. Petersburg (source)
Most-holy Theotokos, save us!

Friday, September 15, 2017

A poetic prayer of thanksgiving to St. Ephraim of Nea Makri

St. Ephraim of Nea Makri, the Newly-revealed Hieromartyr Wonderworker (source)
A poetic prayer of thanksgiving to St. Ephraim of Nea Makri
O Saint Ephraim, I wanted
To cry out to all
Of your many wondrous deeds
And to cry with joy.
You have become a consolation
And a hope of the faithful.
You heal them medically
Which benefits everyone.
Day and night you walk,
Run, and hasten
To help young and old,
Without ceasing.
Because of this everyone honors you
And hastens to your Monastery,
And lights candles in your honor
Within their soul.
Thus, when I learned
Of your holy name,
I hastened immediately to be saved
From my tortures.
I entreat you, O Saint,
Give me the joy
To speedily escape
And I will become well.
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

" Let all the trees of the forest rejoice..."

Christ planting the trees in the Creation of the world (source)
Let all the trees of the forest rejoice, for Christ, Who planted them in the beginning, has sanctified their nature by being stretched out upon the tree, which we now see exalted, we worship Him and you we magnify.
-From the 9th Ode of the Canon for the Exaltation of the Precious Cross
Christ the Tree of Life (source)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

The Church of St. Luke the Surgeon, Nafplion, Argolidos, Greece

The pilgrimage Church of St. Luke the Surgeon, Levkakia, Argolidos (outside Nafplion), Greece (source)
With religious formality and grandeur, the consecration of the Holy Church dedicated to St. Luke the Surgeon, Archbishop of Simferopol in Nafplion on Saturday April 29th, 2017.

The celebrations began the afternoon of Friday April 28th, with the reception of the Holy Relics, and the celebration of the hierarchical vespers. Immediately afterwards was the opening of the museum in honor of St. Luke the Surgeon.

The day of the consecration on Saturday April 29th, Ieronymos Archbishop of Greece and a multitude of hierarchs celebrated the consecration of the church and the Divine Liturgy.
Archbishop of Greece Ieronymos (right), and Metropolitan Nektarios of Argolidos (left), celebrating the consecration of the church of St. Luke on April 29th, 2017 (source)
On April 27th 2014 was the laying of the cornerstone. The Church was finished the spring of 2017 on the occasion of the 140th birthday of St. Luke (April 27th 1877).

This holy pilgrimage of St. Luke was in large part due to the inspiration of Metropolitan Nektarios of Argolidos, who was the one responsible for first translating the life of St. Luke into Greek, helping to spread his veneration throughout Greece. Many churches have been built in St. Luke's honor, many churches and monasteries treasure portions of his holy relics, many icons of the saint adorn churches in Greece, and many thousands have benefitted from the Saint's speedy help.

Not even two weeks passed since Metropolitan Nektarios' enthronement in Argolidos, when completely unexpectedly appeared Ioannis Saoulides (of Greco-Russian descent), and his children George and Demetrios, who live and work in St. Petersburg, but who also have ties with Argolida, and who are discerned for their piety and deep faith.

They took it upon themselves totally to build the Church of St. Luke.

The Holy Church of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple Levkakion offered the space in the area called "Kritharaki", and on April 27th, 2014, the cornerstone was laid.
The beautiful Byzantine and Russian hybrid design of the church and its iconography (source)
The church architecture, iconostasis with its icons, and bells are all Russian in design, creating a beautiful and unique hybrid of Russian and Byzantine design to the church. Below the church is a museum dedicated to St. Luke, with many articles and pictures from his life.

According to the Metropolis website, the pilgrimage church is open daily from 7:30AM to 8PM to those who wish to venerate the Saint, with daily Divine Liturgies beginning at 7:30AM. Also, every Tuesday and Thursday, Vespers and Paraklesis to St. Luke are served beginning at 6PM, and the first Wednesday of every month the Mystery of Holy Unction is celebrated at 6PM.
The beautiful icon of St. Luke the Surgeon, adorning his church in Nafplion, painted in Russia (Source)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Friday, September 8, 2017

"He Who seals the abyss, and opens it again..."

The Nativity of the Theotokos (source)
He Who seals the abyss, and opens it again, Who takes up water into the clouds, and makes it rain, You are He, O Lord, Who made the root blossom from the fruitless Anna the holy one, bringing forth as spotless fruit the rod that is the Theotokos.
-from the Canon of Nativity of the Theotokos
Most-Holy Theotokos, save us!