A very popular saint, St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, a city in Asia Minor, lived during the fourth century, St. Nicholas became known for his warm and generous heart, his love for children and the poor, his care for the sick and his gift-giving. Poor many he was, and continues to be, a shining symbol of Christ’s love and compassion. Continue reading
Constantinople, November 27, 2017
According to exclusive information from the Greek-language Orthodox site Romfea, the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate resolved today to officially number the blessed Elder Iakovos (Tsalikis) of Evia among the saints of God. Continue reading
Saint Barbara was from Heliopolis of Phoenicia and lived during the reign of Maximian.
She was the daughter of a certain idolater named Dioscorus. When Barbara came of age, she was enlightened in her pure heart and secretly believed in the Holy Trinity. About this time Dioscorus began building a bath-house; before it was finished he was required to go away to attend to certain matters, and in his absence Barbara directed the workmen to build a third window in addition to the two her Father had commanded. She also inscribed the sign of the Cross with her finger upon the marble of the bath-house, leaving the saving sign cut as deeply into the marble as if it had been done with an iron too. (When the Synaxarion of Saint Barbara was written, the marble of the bath-house and the cross inscribed by Saint Barbara were still preserved, and many healings were worked there.)
When Dioscorus returned, he asked why the third window had been added; Barbara began to declare to him the mystery of the Trinity. Because she refused to renounce her faith, Dioscorus tortured Barbara inhumanely, and after subjecting her to many sufferings he beheaded her with his own hands, in the year 290. Saint Barbara is commemorated on December 4th.
Entry of the Theotokos to the Temple
When the Most-Holy Virgin Mary reached the age of three, her holy parents Joachim and Anna took her from Nazareth to Jerusalem to dedicate her to the service of God according to their earlier promise. It was a three-day journey from Nazareth to Jerusalem but, traveling to do a God-pleasing work, this journey was not difficult for them. Continue reading
Commemorated on 29 August
“The divine Baptist, the Prophet born of a Prophet, the seal of all the Prophets and beginning of the Apostles, the mediator between the Old and New Covenants, the voice of one crying in the wilderness, the God-sent Messenger of the incarnate Messiah, the forerunner of Christ’s coming into the world (Esaias 40: 3; Mal. 3: 1); who by many miracles was both conceived and born; who was filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb; who came forth like another Elias the Zealot, whose life in the wilderness and divine zeal for God’s Law he imitated: this divine Prophet, after he had preached the baptism of repentance according to God’s command; had taught men of low rank and high how they must order their lives; had admonished those whom he baptized and had filled them with the fear of God, teaching them that no one is able to escape the wrath to come if he do not works worthy of repentance; had, through such preaching, prepared their hearts to receive the evangelical teachings of the Saviour; and finally, after he had pointed out to the people the very Saviour, and said, “Behold the Lamb of God, Which taketh away the sin of the world” (Luke 3:2-18; John 1: 29-36), after all this, John sealed with his own blood the truth of his words and was made a sacred victim for the divine Law at the hands of a transgressor. Continue reading
Panagia of Harou is the name of the unique icon which depicts the Virgin Mary cradling the crucified Christ, rather than the Christ child, hence its name (haros in Greek means “death”). This icon is found in the Church of St. John the Theologian in Leipsi, Greece. The annual commemoration of the icon takes place on August 23 when the island of Leipsi fills with pilgrims from all over the Dodecanese, to witness the procession of the icon around the entire island and see the annual blossoming of the dead bouquet of lilies on the icon.
In 1943, during the Nazi Occupation, a family whose home was adjacent to the church tried faithfully and respectfully to save some of its meagre supply of oil in order to light the Virgin’s vigil light. On the 25th of March 1943, the feast day of the Annunciation, the family’s youngest daughter left six white lilies in front of the Panagia’s icon, together with a prayer for a speedy liberation of the country. The lilies wilted, then in August the flowers started to revive and on the 23rd of August they had sprouted 12 new buds and gave off a beautiful fragrance.
Ever since then, this miracle is repeated every year, except the year of the death of that devout young woman who first brought the flowers to the church. In spring, the devotees put lilies on the icon and the flowers are left there to wither. In an inexplicable way, the withered branches start giving buds and on the day of the celebration, they blossom and become fragrant.
Homily of St. Luke of Simferopol on the Transfiguration of Christ (delivered in 1956, August 6)
The great feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord causes us to remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.” (John 14: 10-11) Continue reading