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TNLawPiper
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Post by TNLawPiper » Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:32 am

SHEMH2004 wrote:I'm diggin' this thread. I am Baptist, but I enjoy reading other view points and teachings and thoughts in Christianity as a whole. I especially like the "Top 40"...solid teachings. I look forward to seeing what everyone else posts up! :)
+100!

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Post by Thunktank » Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:09 pm

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Humility (Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee)

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The Following is an excerpt from Great Lent, by Alexander Schmemann
From Chapter 2: Preparation for Lent

The next Sunday [after Zaccheus Sunday] is called the "Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee." On the eve of this day, on Saturday at Vespers, the liturgical book of the Lenten season-- the Triodion-- makes its first appearance and texts from it are added to the usual hymns and prayers of the weekly resurrection service. The develop the next major aspect of repentance: humility.

The Gospel lesson (Lk. 18:10-4) pictures a man who is always pleased with himself and who thinks that he complies with all the requirements of religion. He is self-assured and proud of himself. In reality, however, he has falsified the meaning of religion. He has reduced it to external observations and he measures his piety by the amount of money he contributes to the temple. As for the Publican, he humbles himself and his humility justifies him before God. If there is a moral quality almost completely disregarded and even denied today, it is indeed humility. The culture in which we live constantly instills in us the sense of pride, of self-glorification, and of self-righteousness. It is built on the assumption that man can achieve anything by himself and it even pictures God as the one who all the time "gives credit" for man's achievements and good deeds. Humility-- be it individual or corporate, ethnic or national-- is viewed as a sign of weakness, as something unbecoming a real man. Even our churches-- are they not imbued with that same spirit as the Pharisee? Do we not want our every contribution, every "good deed," all that we do "for the Church" to be acknowledged, praised, publicized?
.....

The Lenten season begins then by a quest, a prayer for humility which is the beginning of true repentance. For repentance, above everything else, is a return to the genuine order of things, the restoration of the right vision. It is, therefore, rooted in humility, and humility-- the divine and beautiful humility-- is its fruit and end. "Let us avoid the high-flown speech of the Pharisee," says the Kontakion of this day, "and learn the majesty of the Publican's humble words..." We are at the gates of repentance and at the most solemn moment of the Sunday vigil; After the Resurrection and the appearance of Christ have been announced-- "having beheld the Resurrection...."-- we sing for the first time the troparia which will accompany us throughout the entire Lent:

Open to me the gates of repentance, O Giver of Life,
For my spirit rises early to pray towards thy holy temple.
Bearing the temple of my body all defiled;
But in Thy compassion, purify me by the loving kindness of Thy mercy.

Lead me on the paths of salvation, O Mother of God,
For I have profaned my soul with shameful sins,
and have wasted my life in laziness.
But by your intercessions, deliver me from all impurity.

When I think of the many evil things I have done, wretch that I am,
I tremble at the fearful day of judgement.
But trusting in Thy living kindness, like David I cry to Thee:
Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy.

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Post by Baines » Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:18 pm

Just an observation...

Its startling how close lent is! Even more so I would imagine for the Old Calendar brethren who just finished the Nativity fast. Lord have mercy!
Lord, save me whether I will it or not...-St. John Chrysostom

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Post by Thunktank » Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:15 pm

Baines wrote:Just an observation...

Its startling how close lent is! Even more so I would imagine for the Old Calendar brethren who just finished the Nativity fast. Lord have mercy!
Yeah, Father mentioned the sign up sheet for the Chili cook off for Feb. 7th Meat Fair Sunday, I was shocked! 8O

Lent is coming early this year.

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Post by Thunktank » Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:18 pm

TNLawPiper wrote:
SHEMH2004 wrote:I'm diggin' this thread. I am Baptist, but I enjoy reading other view points and teachings and thoughts in Christianity as a whole. I especially like the "Top 40"...solid teachings. I look forward to seeing what everyone else posts up! :)
+100!
I'll post more stuff like that when I come across it. I haven't saved it because I wasn't thinking of CPS. But I will now. :)

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Post by TNLawPiper » Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:21 pm

Orthodox folks seem so much wiser than your average Protestant. Perhaps it has something to do with the beards...

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I mean, doesn't he just seem like a guy that could talk on end for days? Of course, at the same time, he seems as though he wouldn't exercise that ability.

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Post by Thoth » Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:44 pm

Baines wrote:Just an observation...

Its startling how close lent is! Even more so I would imagine for the Old Calendar brethren who just finished the Nativity fast. Lord have mercy!
Too close, just today we were joking that non fasting days have been cancelled.

Tomorrow we start the 3 day Jonah's Fast (Fast of Nineveh) and then we start Lent on Feb 8. (We don't do meat fare or cheese fare).

Then following pentecost, 48 day long Apostles fast!
"Go and reconcile with him who has trespassed against you before he comes and apologises to you and steals your crown" - H.H. Pope Cyril VI<br><br>"O Lord I was not aware of the treasure within me that is You" - H.H. Pope Shenouda III

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Post by Thoth » Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:08 pm

TNLawPiper wrote:Orthodox folks seem so much wiser than your average Protestant. Perhaps it has something to do with the beards...

Image

I mean, doesn't he just seem like a guy that could talk on end for days? Of course, at the same time, he seems as though he wouldn't exercise that ability.
Hey thats my Patriarch, H.H. Pope Shenouda III.

And TNLP its yes on both counts.

He once mentioned that his saddest day was when he was ordained a bishop because he could no longer live in the solitude of the desert.
"Go and reconcile with him who has trespassed against you before he comes and apologises to you and steals your crown" - H.H. Pope Cyril VI<br><br>"O Lord I was not aware of the treasure within me that is You" - H.H. Pope Shenouda III

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Post by Thoth » Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:52 am

On this Day (Jan. 25, Tobah 17) we commorate:

The Departure of St. Maximus and St. Dometius.

On this day is the commemoration of the two honored saints Maximus and his brother Dometius . Their father's name was Valentinian, he was one of the Roman emperors who feared God and was Orthodox in faith. God gave him these two sons who were angelic in their purity and holiness since their young age, always praying and reading the holy books.

When they realized the vanity of this world and all its glory, they decided to leave it and live a monastic life. They asked their father to allow them to go to the City of Nicea, to pray in the place where the first Universal Council was held in 325 A.D. Their father rejoiced, and he sent an entourage of soldiers and servants with them, as was the custom for the children of kings.

When they arrived, they asked the soldiers to go back to their father and tell him that they wanted to stay there for some time. Then they revealed their thoughts to a saintly monk, that they desired to put on the holy garb of the monks. The monk did not agree with them because he feared their father, but he advised them to go to Syria where St. Agabius abided.

They went to St. Agabius and stayed with him until his departure. Before he departed, he put on them the monastic garb, and told them that he saw St. Macarius in a night vision saying, "Command your two sons to come to me after your departure, so that they may become my children." Then St. Agabius told them, "I desired to see St. Macarius in the flesh, but I have seen him in the spirit. After my departure, you should go to him in peace."

God granted them the gift of healing the sick. Their report was heard in all the countries, especially among the sea merchants and the travellers. They learned the trade of making ships' sails, and they were able to support themselves with money earned from selling them, and they gave the rest to the poor and the needy.

One day, one of their father's stewards saw a ship with the names "Maximus and Dometius" on its sail . He inquired of the owner of the ship about these names. The owner told the steward, "These are the names of two monk brothers, which I have written on my ship as a blessing, so that God with their prayers may prosper my business." He described the brothers to him, as one with a full beard, and the other without a beard. The steward recognized them and he took the man and brought him before the Emperor. When the Emperor made certain about what he had heard, he sent their mother and the princess, their sister, to meet them. When the women met with the two saints and recognized them, they wept. Their mother wanted them to return with her, but the Saints refused, and they comforted the hearts of their mother and sister.

After a while, the Patriarch of Rome departed, and they remembered Maximus, whom they wanted to ordain in his place. His father rejoiced when he heard this. When the news arrived to St. Maximus and his brother, they remembered the command of their father Abba Agabius. They disguised themselves, and took the road along the Mediterranean sea shore, and when they were thirsty, God transformed for them the salty water into sweet water. They became very tired of walking, and their feet were bleeding. They slept on a hill because of their exhaustion and God sent them a certain power that carried them to the wilderness of Scetis where St. Macarius was residing. They told St. Macarius that they wanted to live under his guidance. When St. Macarius saw that they were of rich background, he thought that they would not be able to live in the desert because of its harsh living conditions. They answered him saying, "If we are not able to live here, our father, we will return to where we came from." Then he taught them how to plait palm leaves, and he helped in building a cave (cell) for them. He also told them about someone who would take the work of their hands to sell and bring them back bread.

They lived in this manner for three years, never communicating with anyone. They only went to church to partake of the Divine Sacraments silently. St. Macarius marvelled, for they did not go to him all these years. He prayed to God to reveal to him their secret. He went to visit them in their cell where he stayed the night with them. When he woke up at midnight, as was his custom, to pray, he saw the two saints praying and a ray of light going from their mouths to heaven, and the devils were all around them like flies, and the angel of the Lord standing with a sword of fire to protect them. The next day, St. Macarius put on them the holy schema, and asked them to pray for him. They bowed to the ground before him in silence.

When they completed their course, and the Lord wanted to take them away from the sorrows of this temporal world, St. Maximus became sick. He sent word to St. Macarius, asking him to come. When St. Macarius arrived, he found St. Maximus ill with a fever, and he comforted him. St. Macarius saw a company of prophets and saints, including St. John the Baptist and Emperor Constantine, gathered around the Saint until he delivered his pure spirit in dignity and in honor. St. Macarius wept and said, "Blessed are you, O Maximus."

St. Dometius, his brother, wept bitterly, and asked St. Macarius to pray on his behalf to the Lord Christ to take him also to be with his brother. After three days, he also became sick, and when St. Macarius knew by the spirit he went to visit him. On his way, he saw the company of saints who carried St. Maximus before carrying the soul of St. Dometius ascending up to heaven. When he arrived at the cave, St. Macarius found that St. Dometius had passed away. St. Macarius put St. Dometius' body with his brother's, whose departure was on the 14th day of this month. St. Macarius ordered that the monastery be called after their names, the monastery of "El-Baramus" (i.e. The Monastery of the Romans) as it is known until today.

Their prayers be with us. Amen.
"Go and reconcile with him who has trespassed against you before he comes and apologises to you and steals your crown" - H.H. Pope Cyril VI<br><br>"O Lord I was not aware of the treasure within me that is You" - H.H. Pope Shenouda III

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Post by Monarchist » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:47 am

Monday, January 12, 2010 (Julian Calendar)
Week of the Publican and the Pharisee Tone 8 Fast Free Week



MARTYRESS TATIANA AND THOSE SUFFERING WITH HER AT ROME (+ 226-235).
SAINTED SAVA, ARCHBISHOP OF SERBIA (+ 1237).
MONK MARTINIAN OF BELOZERSK (+ 1483).
MARTYR MERTIUS (+ 284-305).
MARTYR PETER ABESSALOMITES (ANEIAKOS) (+ 309-310).
NUN EUPRAXIA OF TABENYSSA (+ 393).
MONK GALAKTION OF BELOZERSK (+1506).
ICONS OF THE MOTHER OF GOD NAMED "AKATHIST", "MLEKOPITATEL'NITSA" ("MILK-BEARING") AND "POPSKAYA"("PRIESTLY").

The Holy Martyress Tatiana was born into an illustrious Roman family -- her father was thrice elected consul. He was secretly a christian and raised his daughter devoted to God and the Church. Having reached the age of maturity, Tatiana did not enter into marriage but with all her strength devoted herself to the Church. She was made deaconess in one of the Roman churches and served God, in fasting and prayer tending the sick and helping the needy. By her righteousness Tatiana gained in future to be crowned with the crown of martyrdom.
When Rome came to be ruled by the sixteen year old Alexander Severus (222-235), all power was concentrated in the hands of the evil enemy and persecutor of christians Ulpian. Christian blood flowed like streams. Deaconess Tatiana was also arrested. When they brought her into the temple of Apollo so as to force her to offer sacrifice to the idol, the saint began praying -- and suddenly there occurred an earthquake -- the idol was smashed into pieces, and part of the temple collapsed and fell down on the pagan priests and many pagans. The demon inhabiting the idol ran out with an howl from that place, in front of which all saw it flying through the air like a ghost. They then began to beat the holy virgin about the eyes, but she bravely endured everything, praying for her tormentors that the Lord would open for them their spiritual eyes. And the Lord heard the prayer of His servant. The executioners came to see, that four Angels encircled the saint and fended off from the blows; they heard a Voice from the heavens addressed to the holy martyress. All of them, eight men, believed in Christ and fell on their knees to Saint Tatiana, begging them to forgive them their wrongs against her. For confessing themselves christians they were subjected to tortures and execution, receiving Baptism by blood. Saint Tatiana was again given over to tortures on another day: they uncovered her and beat her, they cut at her body with razors, and from her wounds then there permeated a fragrance in the air. The torturers became exhausted and said, that someone invisible was beating at them with iron staffs, and nine of them fell dead. They then threw the saint in prison, where she prayed all night and with the Angels sang praise to the Lord. A new morning began, and they again took Saint Tatiana to the court. The torturers beheld with astonishment that after such terrible torments she appeared completely healthy and even more radiant and beautiful than before. They began to urge her to offer sacrifice to the goddess Diana. The saint seemed to appear agreeable, and they took her to the heathen temple. Saint Tatiana made the sign of the cross and began to pray -- and suddenly there sounded a crash of deafening thunder, and lightning struck the idol, the sacrificial offerings and the pagan priests. They again fiercely tortured the martyress, and at night they again threw her in prison, and again there appeared Angels and healed her wounds. On the following day they took Saint Tatiana to the circus and let loose at her an hungry lion; the beast did not touch the saint but only lay meekly at her feet. They wanted to pen up the lion back in its cage, and here instead it clawed up one of the torturers. They threw Tatiana into a fire, but the fire did not harm the martyress. The pagans, thinking that she was a sorceress, cut her hair to deprive her of magical powers, and locked her up in the temple of Zeus. But it was impossible to take away the power of God. On the third day pagan priests came with an encircling throng, preparing to offer sacrifice. Opening the temple, they beheld the idol thrown down into the dust and the holy martyress Tatiana joyously invoking the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. All the instruments of torture were worn out, and they carried out a sentence of death: the valiant sufferer was beheaded with a sword. Also executed as a christian together with her was her father, for having shewn her the true faith of Christ.

Sainted Sava, first ArchBishop of Serbia, -- in the world Rostislav (Rastko), was a son of the Serbian autocrat Stefan Nemani and Anna, daughter of the Greek emperor Romanos. From his early years he fervently attended church services and fostered an especial love for icons. At seventeen years of age, having met a Russian monk from Holy Mount Athos, Rostislav secretly left his father's house and set off to the Russian Panteleimonov monastery. (By Divine Providence in the year of the saint's birth -- 1169 -- the ancient monastery of the great-martyr and healer Panteleimon was restored for eternal keeping to Russian monks.) Knowing that his son was on Athos, his father mobilised his retainers headed by a faithful voevoda and wrote to the governor of the district which included Athos, that if his son were not returned to him, he would go to war against the Greeks. Having arrived at the monastery, the voevoda / military-chief was ordered not to take his eyes off Rostislav. During the time of evening Divine-services, when the soldiers were fallen asleep under the influence of wine, Rostislav took monastic vows (the year 1186) and sent to his parents his worldly clothes, his hair and a letter. The monk Sava sought to persuade his powerful parents to accept monasticism. The monk's father (the commemoration of the Monk Stefan, in monasticism Simeon, Tsar of Serbia, is situated under 13 February) together with his son pursued asceticism at the Batopedeia monastery. On Athos they established the Serbian Khilendaria monastery, and this monastery received its name by imperial stauropegia / grant. At Khilendaria monastery, the monk Save was ordained to the deaconate and then presbyter. For his monastic deeds on Mount Athos, the monk was deemed worthy of the dignity of archimandrite at Soluneia / Thessalonika. At Niciea in the year 1219 on the feast of the Dormition / Uspenie of the MostHoly Mother of God, the OEcumenical Pattriarch Germanos ordained archimandrite Sava to the dignity of ArchBishop of All Serbia. For this the monk petitioned the Greek emperor for permission that the ArchBishop be consecrated by a Sobor of bishops in Serbia -- a very important consideration in this time of frequent wars between eastern and western powers. Having returned to the Holy Mountain from Nicea, the saint made the rounds of all the monasteries for the last time; he made prostration in all the churches and, calling to mind the blessed lives of the wilderness fathers, he made his farewells with the ascetics in deep remorse, "leaving from the Holy Mountain, as though from some Divine paradise". Dejected by his grievous separation from the Holy Mountain, the saint went along the path from Athos just barely moving. Only the words of the MostHoly Mother of God that had come to the saint in a dream -- "having My Patronage to the King of all, My Son and God, about what dost thou still sorrow?" -- these words roused him from despondency, changing sorrow into joy. In memory of this appearance, the saint commissioned at Soluneia large icons of the Saviour and of the Mother of God, and put them in the Church of the Philokalia.
In Serbia, the activity of the Hierarch in organising the work of his native Church was accompanied by numerous signs and miracles. During the time of Liturgy and the all-night vigil, when the saint came to cense over the grave of his father the monk Simeon, the holy relics exuded fragrant myrh.
Being in charge of negotiations with the Hungarian king Vladislav, who had declared war on Serbia, the glorious sainted bishop with heavenly signs not only brought about the desired peace for his country, he also brought the Hungarian monarch to Orthodoxy. Having secured a beginning for the historical existence of the autonomous Serbian Church, Saint Sava contributed also to the strengthening of the Serbian state. In order to insure the independence of the Serbian state, the holy archbishop Sava crowned his powerful brother Stefan as tsar. Upon the death of Stefan -- his eldest son Radislav having been crowned tsar, Saint Sava set off to the Holy Land "with tears to worship at the holy grave of Christ and fearsome Golgotha". Having returned to his native land, the saint gave his blessing and crowned Vladislav as tsar; to further strengthen the Serbian throne, he betrothed him with the daughter of the Bulgarian prince Asan. The holy hierarch made the rounds of all the Serbian land, he reformed monastic rules on the model of the athonites and palestinians, and he established and consecrated many churches, strengthening the Orthodox in their faith. Having finished his work in his native land, the saint appointed as his successor the priestmonk Arsenii, ordaining him bishop and giving his blessing to all. He then set off on a journey of no return, wanting "to end his days as a wanderer in a foreign land". He passed through all of Palestine, through Syria and Persia, Babylon, Egypt and Anatolia, everywhere visiting the holy places, conversing with great ascetics, and gathering up the priestly remains of saints. The saint finished his wanderings at Trnovo in Bulgaria at the home of his kinsman Tsar Asan, where with spiritual joy he offered up his soul to the Lord (+ 1237). At the time of transfer of the holy relics of Sainted Sava to Serbia in 1237 the healings were so numerous, that the Bulgarians began to complain about Asan, "that he had given up such a treasure". In the saint's own native country, his venerable relics were placed in the Church of Mileshevo, bestowing healing on all who approach with faith. The inhabitants of Trnovo continued to receive healing from the remnants of the grave of the saint, which pious Asan ordered to be gathered together and placed in a newly built sarcophagus.
The legacy of Sainted Sava lives on in the orthodox Church traditions of the Slavic nations. With his legacy is linked the first introduction of the Jerusalem Ustav to Slavic Monastic Rules: the Serbian Khilendaria monastery on Athos lives by the Typikon of Saint Sava to the present time. The redactions of the book "The Rudder" belonging to the Sainted Bishop -- with the commentaries of Alexis Aristines, are the most widely disseminated in the Russian Church. In the year 1270 the first copy of "The Rudder" of Saint Sava was sent from Bulgaria to the metropolitan of Kiev Kirill. From this was copied one of the most ancient of the Russian "Rudders" -- the Ryazansk "Rudder" of 1284. It in its turn was the source for a printed "Rudder" -- published in the year 1653 and invariably since that time republished in the Russian Church. Such was the legacy of Sainted Sava to the canonical treasury of Orthodoxy.

The Monk Martinian of Belozersk, in the world Michael, was born in the year 1370 in the village of Berezniko, not far from the Kirillov monastery. At age thirteen he left his parents and went secretly to the Monk Kirill of Belozersk (Comm. 9 June), about whom many had spoken of to him as being a great ascetic. The youthful Martinian began zealously to imitate his teacher, with whom he dwelt in complete obedience. At the monastery he studied reading and writing, and with the blessing of the monk Kirill, he became occupied with the copying of books. In time Martinian was ordained deacon and then priest-monk. After the death of the monk Kirill (+ 1427) blessed Martinian withdrew for silence to a deserted island, situated on Lake Vozha. Several monks gradually gathered around him. The monk Martinian established for them a church of the Transfiguration (Preobrazhenie) of the Lord and introduced a general ustav-rule for the inhabitants. Yielding to the persistent requests of the brethren of Ferapontov monastery, he consented to become hegumen of the monastery and brought it into a brighter condition.
The monk Martinian rendered spiritual support to great prince Vasilii Vasil'evich in the difficulties of his time, when his first-cousin Dimitrii Shemyaka illicitly pretended to the Moscow throne. He was always an advocate of truth and justice. Afterwards, upon the entreaty of the great prince, the monk accepted upon himself the governing of the monastery of the Monk Sergei of Radonezh.
In 1455 the monk Martinian again returned to the Ferapontov monastery. The last years of his life he was grievously ill and not able to walk, and the brethren carried him to church. The monk died at age 85. His relics were uncovered in the year 1514 -- and the commemoration of the uncovering is celebrated on 7 October.

The Martyr Mertius was a soldier. He suffered in Africa for the Name of Christ during the reign of Diocletian (284-305). The emperor demanded him to offer sacrifice to idols and, receiving refusal, gave him over to torture. The saint suffered fierce torments, not uttering even one moan. He was thrown into prison, where he died from hunger and wounds.

The Martyr Peter Abessalomites (Aneiakos) was a native of the village of Aneia in Palestine. During the time of a persecution against christians he was arrested and brought to the governor of Palestine. In vain did the judge and the people urge him to honour the pagan gods to escape torture. "I then truly shalt have mercy on myself, when I neither recant the Gospel nor offer sacrifice to idols", -- answered the saint, and he was burned at the stake.
In some mesyatseslavs / saints-lives his memory is inserted twice: 12 January as the martyr Peter Abessalomites, and 13 January -- as Peter Aneiakos, since it was mistakenly assumed that these were different persons.

The Nun Eupraxia of Tabenyssa (Tabeneia the Older), was the mother of the Nun Eupraxia, maiden of Tabenyssa (Comm. 25 July). She was the spouse of the pious senator Antigones, who was connected by birth with the emperor Theodosius the great (379-395). Becoming widowed, Saint Eupraxia devoted herself completely to the service of the lord. Having made the rounds of many monastic establishments and having left liberal alms, she came to the Tabenyssa monastery, where the hegumeness was the nun Theodoula, known for her strict rule. Deeply moved by the pure way of convent life, Saint Eupraxia came often to this monastery and always brought her daughter with her, who was then eight years old. The virtues and prayers of her parents summoned a particular grace of god upon the maiden, and even from her youthful years she desired to dedicate herself to God. To her mother's great joy, hegumeness Theodoula kept the child Eupraxia at the convent and gave blessing for her to take monastic vows.
The nun Eupraxia carried on works of liberal charity, and increased her fasting and prayer. Hegumeness Theodoula, possessing the gift of perspicacity, told her about her impending end. Knowing about the nearness of her demise, the nun Eupraxia gave thanks to the Lord for His great mercy towards her. She made her farewell with the sisters of the convent and with her daughter, giving her the parting last words: "Love the Lord Jesus with intense reverence; respect the sisters; never dare to think, that they are below thee and should serve thee; be poor in thy thoughts so as to profit by spiritual treasures". After three days the saint offered up her soul to the Lord (+ 393) and was buried at the convent, where her daughter continued her arduous ascetic deeds.

The Monk Galaktion of Belozersk was a student and cell-attendant of the monk Martinian of Belozersk and lived together with his mentor at the Ferapontov monastery.
The monk Galaktion cared with a filial love for the aged Abba Martinian. When his preceptor became completely infirm of body, the monk Galaktion took him to church on his shoulders. Beholding the spiritual maturity of his student, the monk Marinian blessed the monk Galaktion in his spiritual deed of folly. By his secret ascetic deeds blessed Galaktion reached high spiritual perfection, and obtained the grace of perspicacity. He foretold, that Kazan would be conquered by tsar Ivan, who was not yet even born. He foresaw his own end and the end of several of his fellow ascetics, and he also spoke of the fires and other disasters awaiting Ferapontov monastery. Blessed Galaktion died in the year 1506 and was buried at the foot of his teacher, the monk Martinian, at Ferapontov monastery.

The "Akafistnaya / Akathist" Icon of the Mother of God is located in the Khilendaria cathedral iconostasis. It received the designation "Akathist" because, during a fire at the cathedral in 1837 an akathist was read before it, and it remained unharmed -- to the solace of the monks.

The "Mlekopitatel'nitsa" ("Milk-bearing") Icon of the mother of God was at first located at the Lavra of the Monk Sava the Sanctified near Jerusalem. The holy founder of the Lavra at his death foretold that a pilgrim Sava from Serbia would visit the Lavra, and gave orders to pass on to him as a blessing the wonderworking icon. This occurred in the XIII Century. Sainted Sava of Serbia took the icon to Khilendaria on Holy Mount Athos and put it on the right side of the iconostas in the church in front of the Kareia cells, afterwards named Typikarnitsa, since the Ustav of Sainted Sava was preserved there.

The "Popskaya" ("Priestly") Icon of the Mother of God stands in the Khilendaria cathedral by a column of the left kleros. A certain heretic priest, having declared himself orthodox, acted at Khilendaria monastery with evil purpose, but he was punished. At the time of the procession for blessing water he took this icon -- but stumbled, fell into the sea and drowned. Since that time the procession with the cross is always done with this icon, and invariably a priest carries it, from which it was called by the Serbs Popskaya / Priestly.


Copyright 1996 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
"Never say that God is just. If He were just you would be in hell. Rely only on His injustice which is mercy, love, and forgiveness." - St. Isaac the Syrian

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Post by Thunktank » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:57 pm

Top Ten Signs You Might Be Russian Orthodox
By ‘Dmitri Letterman’

• On Wednesdays and Fridays you eat Japanese food.

• You’re used to skipping breakfast on Sundays.

• You can automatically subtract 13 days from today’s date.

• On your first encounter with long words, you pronounce them stressing the ‘next to the next to last’ syllable.

• You wonder why the Pope crosses himself backwards when you see him on TV.

• You wear comfortable shoes to church, because you know you’ll be standing a long, long time.

• To you, a ‘topless’ gal is one without a headscarf.

• You get great deals on Christmas trees and Easter candy.

• You spend time figuring out the best way to remove smoke stains from your ceiling.

• When you see a shopping-mall Santa, your first instinct is to hold out your hands to get his blessing.



Train Tale

Two people meet on a train. After some introductory chat, they discover both are Orthodox and of Russian descent.
Vlad: Old Calendar or New Calendar?
Alex: Old.
Vlad: Very good. Do you have a three-hour Vigil in church every Saturday night and before every holy day, even if the holy day is on a Monday?
Alex: Yes.
Vlad: Excellent. Pews or no pews?
Alex: No.
Vlad: Clean-shaven or bearded priest?
Alex: Bearded.
Vlad: Does he wear his cassock and cross on the street?
Alex: Da.
Vlad: Is your jurisdiction ecumenist or non-ecumenist?
Alex: Non.
Vlad: Do you have an old-man Trinity icon?
Alex: Uh, yes.
Vlad: Aha! Heretic!

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Post by Thunktank » Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:09 pm

His Grace Metropolitan Jonah takes the torch of the OCA leadership for life in America for the Orthodox.

Sanctity of Life Sunday

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Post by Del » Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:12 pm

Thunktank wrote:His Grace Metropolitan Jonah takes the torch of the OCA leadership for life in America for the Orthodox.

Sanctity of Life Sunday
Your patriarch rawks!
"Utter frogshit from start to finish." - Onyx

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Post by TNLawPiper » Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:39 pm

Thunktank wrote:His Grace Metropolitan Jonah takes the torch of the OCA leadership for life in America for the Orthodox.

Sanctity of Life Sunday
This is a bit off-topic, so don't allow me to chase it very far, but what are the icons worn around the necks of the Patriarchs?

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Post by Thunktank » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:18 pm

TNLawPiper wrote: This is a bit off-topic, so don't allow me to chase it very far, but what are the icons worn around the necks of the Patriarchs?
The Bishops often wear a pectoral cross along with engolpia (medallions) of our Lord Jesus Christ (we very rarely simply say Jesus) and the Theotokos (we rarely simply say Mary and Jesus) or a combination thereof. Priests in some jurisdictions wear the pectoral cross.

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Post by Thunktank » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:36 pm

Just recieved an email from a friend with a link to the ROCA in Haiti.

Orthodox Missions in Haiti

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Post by Baines » Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:10 pm

Here's a great article that we should all read, especially us who like myself are newly or recently, or soon to be illumined.

http://theinnerkingdom.wordpress.com/20 ... f-the-oca/
Lord, save me whether I will it or not...-St. John Chrysostom

That's not a pipe, that's a pipe!

http://www.tobaccocellar.org/tinlist.php?cellar=1223

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Post by Monarchist » Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:19 pm

Tuesday, January 13, 2010 (Julian Calendar)
Week of the Publican and the Pharisee Tone 8 Fast Free Week



MARTYRS ERMIL AND STRATONIK (+ C. 315).
MONK IRINARCH, HERMIT OF ROSTOV (+ 1616).
MONK ELEAZAR OF ANZERSK (+ 1656).
MONK JAMES, BISHOP OF NIZIBA (+ 350).
MONK MAXIMOS KAUSOKALIBITES OF ATHOS (+ 1354).

The Holy Martyrs Ermil and Stratonik, by origin Slavs, lived at the beginning of the IV Century during the time of persecution against Christians by the emperor Licinius (307-324). They were friends. Saint Ermil served as deacon in the city of Singedonum (Belgrade). Condemned by Licinius to imprisonment, he was long and cruelly tortured for the Name of Christ, but he remained unyielding. Saint Stratonik was a superintendent of the prison and a secret christian. Seeing the agonising torments of his friend, he was not able to keep from weeping, and he revealed that he was a christian. They subjected him also to torture. After the torturing, they put the martyrs into a net and threw them into the Danube/Dunai. On the third day, the bodies of the saints were discovered on the bank of the river by christians and buried near Singedonum. Their venerable heads are located in the Church of Saint Sophia, where the Russian pilgrim Antonii saw them in the year 1200.

The Monk Irinarch, Hermit of Rostov, was born into a peasant family in the village of Kondakovo in the Rostov district. In Baptism he received the name Ilia. During his 30th year of life took monastic vows at the Rostov Borisoglebsk monastery. There he began fervently to labour at monastic tasks, he attended church services, and by night he prayed and slept on the ground. Once, taking pity on a vagrant who did not have shoes, Saint Irinarch gave him his own boots and from that time he began to go barefoot through the frost. The hegumen did not fancy such an ascetic behaviour, and he began to humiliate him, compelling him to stand for an hour or nearly two on the frost opposite his cell, or to ring the bells for a long time. The saint endured everything with patience but he did not change his conduct. The hegumen continued to be hard-hearted, and the monk was obliged to transfer to the Abramiev Theophany monastery, where he was accepted into the number of the brethren and he was soon chosen as steward. The monk fulfilled his monastic obediences with zeal, but grieved that the monastic brethren and servants did not look after the property of the monastery, wasting it without measure. One time in a dream he saw the Monk Abraham of Rostov (Comm. 29 October), who comforted him and gave him blessing to distribute necessities to all without consternation. Later, during a time of the singing of the Cherubimic hymn, the monk Irinarch sobbed out loudly. To the question of the archimandrite he answered: "My mother has died!"
Leaving Abramiev monastery, the monk Irinarch transferred to the Rostov monastery of Saint Lazarus, settled into a solitary cell and dwelt in it for three years in privation and hunger. Here he was visited by Blessed John the Fool, nicknamed the Big Simpleton. The saints encouraged each other by spiritual conversation. The starets / elder, however, had a desire to return to his original monastery -- the Borisogleb monastery. He was accepted back with love by the strict Varlaam and he began even more severely to practise ascetic deeds at the monastery. Having withdrawn into solitude, the monk chained himself with iron chains to a wooden chair, and he placed on himself heavy chains and crosses. For this he endured the mockery and sneers of the monastic brethren. During this time he was visited by his old friend, Blessed John the Fool, predicting the Lithuanian invasion upon Moscow. The Monk Irinarch spent 25 years shackled in chains and fetters at arduous tasks. His ascetic deeds accused those living carelessly at the monastery, and they made up lies to the hegumen, that the starets taught that they should not go to monastic work but rather pursue asceticism like him. The hegumen believed the slander and he banished the holy starets from the monastery. Humbly submitting, the Monk Irinarch again went to Rostov and dwelt in the monastery of Saint Lazarus for one year. Meanwhile the Borisoglebsk hegumen regretted his conduct and sent monks after the monk Irinarch. He returned, blaming himself, that he did not live such as the brethren who underwent righteous work, of which he was lacking. The monk continued to bear his own heavy fetters, and working, he made clothes for the needy, and he knitted hairshirts and klobuks. He slept at night for an hour or two, the remaining time he prayed and beat his body with an iron cane.
Saint Irinarch had a vision that Lithuania would invade Moscow, and that churches there would be destroyed. He began to weep bitterly about the impending disaster, and the hegumen ordered him to go to Moscow and warn tsar Vasilii Ioannovich Shuisky (1606-1610) about the terrible misfortune. The Monk Irinarch carried out the order. He refused the gifts offered him and having returned, he began to pray fervently, that the Lord would show mercy on the Russian land.
Enemies appeared against Russia, they began the conquest of the city, beat up the inhabitants, and robbed churches and monasteries. The False-Dimitrii and a second Pretender sought to conquer Russia for the Polish king. Borisogleb monastery was also overrun by the enemy, who came to the holy hermit and were amazed at the direct and bold talk of the elder, predicting catastrophe for them.
Sapega, remaining at the Borisogleb monastery, wanted to see the elder sitting in chains, and he was amazed at such an ascetic exploit. When the Polish nobles in company with Sapega told him, that the elder prayed for Shuisky, the monk boldly said: "I am born and baptised in Russia, and for the Russian tsar I pray to God". Sapega answered: "The truth in granddad there is great -- in what land one lives, that land also one serves". After this the monk Irinarch began to urge Sapega to leave Russia, predicting death for him otherwise.
The Monk Irinarch paid attention to the course of the war and sent his blessings and a prosphora to prince Dimitrii Pozharsky. He gave an order for him to come nigh Moscow, predicting: "Ye shall see the glory of God". To assist Pozharsky and Minin the monk handed over his cross. With the help of god the Russians vanquished the Lithuanians, prince Pozharsky took possession of the Kremlin, and in the Russian land peace gradually began to return. Starets Irinarch as before incessantly prayed God with tears for the deliverance of Rus' from enemies and, possessing the power to work miracles, he healed the sick and demoniacs.
The day of his death was revealed to him, and summoning his students Alexander and Kornilii he gave them his instructions, After taking leave from all he quietly expired to the Lord into eternal peace (+ 13 January 1616). The holy elder left behind 142 copper crosses, seven shoulder chains, chains in length 20 sazhen which he carried on his neck, iron foot shackles, eighteen hand fetters, "bonds" which he wore on his belt, by weight in poods, and iron canes by which he thrashed his body to drive away demons. In these works, as the elder called them, he spent 38 years, and having lived in the world for 30 years, he died in his 68th year from birth. After the death of the Monk Irinarch many miracles occurred at his grave, especially the healing of the sick and the demoniac by the laying upon them of the crosses and chains of the saintly ascetic.

The Monk Eleazar of Anzersk was born in the city of Kozel'sk into the merchant family Sevriukin. With the blessing of his parents he went off to the Solovetsk monastery, where he took monastic vows from the hegumen Saint Irinarch (+ 1628, Comm. 17 July). At the monastery he displayed an astonishing artistic gift: he learned carving imagery on wood and he took part of the embellishing of the Transfiguration cathedral. With the blessing of the hegumen, he went off in 1612 to the island of Anzersk, where he became an hermit and dwelt constantly in prayer and meditation on God. In order to obtain subsistence for himself on the island wilderness, the Monk Eleazar carved wooden goblets, which he left at the landing place. In the year 1616 the Monk Eleazar was elevated to schema-monk. Monastics, having gathered round the monk, organised a skete with a strict rule of monastic life along the ancient form. Monastic cells were built far away from one another. The hermits gathered together only for Saturday and Sunday Divine-services. Among the disciples of the Monk Eleazar was the priest-monk Nikita -- the future Patriarch Nikon. Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich (1613-1645), learning about the ascetic life of the saint, summoned him to Moscow. The Monk Eleazar there predicted for him the birth of a son, and in return the tsar generously gave him help to build on the island a stone church in the Name of the Holy Trinity and a monastery. The Monk Eleazar was interested in the writing of books. He composed and copied out three books -- "Flower-beds", in which he relates ancient accounts. There belongs to him also a commentary on the order of the rule on monastic cell life. The Monk Eleazar died in extreme old age.

The Monk James, Bishop of Niziba, was the son of prince Gefal' (Armenia) and received a fine upbringing. From the time of his youth he loved solitude, and for a long time he lived in the mountains around about the city of Niziba (on the border of the Persian and Roman empires), where he carried out strict ascetic exploits: he lived under the open sky, fed himself with tree fruits and greens, and dressed himself in goat-skins. The monk passed all this time in prayerful conversations with God. During a persecution by the emperor Maximian (305-311) he was glorified by a courageous confession of faith. Because of his strict and pious life the inhabitants of Niziba chose him as their bishop (not later than the year 314). Saint James was glorified by his ardent zeal for the Orthodox faith, by great miracles and by the gift of perspicacity. By his prayers Niziba was saved from an invasion by Sapor, the emperor of Persia. Saint James, amongst the fathers of the I OEcumenical Council, was one of the prominent defenders of the Orthodox faith. A wise and educated pastor, he constructed at Niziba a public school, in which he himself was an instructor. He made a strong impression on the hearts of his listeners by the high morality of his life. Sainted Gregory, bishop of great Armenia, turned to him with a request to write about the faith, and the Nizibite pastor sent to him by way of reply a detailed Discourse (18 Chapters): about the faith, about love, fasting, prayer, spiritual warfare, the resurrection of the dead, the duties of pastors, about circumcision against the Jews, about the choice of foods, about Christ as the Son of God, and so on. His composition distinguishes itself by its persuasive clear exposition and warmth.
Saint James died peacefully in about the year 350.

The Monk Maximos Kausokalibites was educated at the church of the MostHoly Mother of God at Lampsakos. At seventeen years of age he left his parental home, accepted monasticism and passed his obedience under the finest spiritual instructor in Macedonia -- the starets Mark. Upon the death of his instructor, the monk pursued asceticism under the guidance of several desert fathers of extremely strict life. Having arrived in Constantinople, the Monk Maximos was constantly at the Blakhernai church of the MostHoly Mother of God, as though he had taken up his abode at the entrance. In order to conceal his ascetic deeds of fasting and prayer, and to avoid celebrity, the monk conducted himself like a fool. On Athos the Monk Maximos fulfilled his obedience in the Lavra of the Monk Athanasias, and on the summit of the Holy Mountain he was deigned a vision of the Mother of God. The Monk Maximos told about his vision to a certain elder, pursuing asceticism by the church of the holy Prophet of God Elias at Carmel, who declared the monk fascinating. But this disbelief also the monk turned to good, under the appearance of vanity and pride having concealed his prodigious ascetic deeds, and privation, wandering hardship and solitude. For the greater disdain through common gossip about his being a fool, the Monk Maximos did not establish a settled abode, rather he wandered from place to place like a lunatic, having burned his hut -- a grass shelter (kausokalibit' -- signifies "hut-burner"). Those of the Holy Mountain, knowing about the extreme deprivations and sorrows of the Monk Maximos, for a long time regarded him with contempt, even then when the monk had attained the heights and perfections of contemplative life. When the Monk Gregory of Sinai (+ c. 1310, Comm. 8 August) arrived on Athos, having spent his life in mental prayer, he encountered the pretendingly distracted one, and striking up a conversation with him, he began to call him nothing other than an earthly angel. The Monk Gregory persuadingly besought Saint Maximos to leave off from the aspect of fool and to take up an abode in one place, so that others might learn from his spiritual experience. Heeding the words of Saint Gregory and the advice of other elders, the monk selected for himself a permanent dwelling in a cave nearby the reknown elder Isaiah. Knowing about his gift of perspicacity, the Byzantine emperors John Paleologos (1341-1376) and John Kantakeuzenos (1341-1355) visited the monk and were surprised by the fulfilling of his predictions. The hegumen of Batopedeia monastery, Theophanes, wrote about the Monk Maximos: "I invoke God in witness, that I was an eyewitness to several of his miracles: once, for instance, I saw him going through the air from one place to another; I listened, as the monk forecast a prediction concerning me, that first I would be an hegumen, and then Metropolitan of Okhrid; he even revealed to me about my sufferings for the Church". Just only before his death did Saint Maximos abandon his solitude, and settle near the Lavra of the Monk Athanasias, where he offered up his soul to the Lord at 95 years of age (+ 1354). Just as during life, so also in death the Monk Maximos was glorified by many miracles.


© 1999 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
"Never say that God is just. If He were just you would be in hell. Rely only on His injustice which is mercy, love, and forgiveness." - St. Isaac the Syrian

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Post by Jocose » Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:30 pm

Amazing story shown on 60 minutes about Patriarch Bartholomew and the Turkish government oppressing Christians.

CLICK HERE

Unfortunately you will have to watch a lipitor commercial after the first minute or so.
"And for Freds sake, DO NOT point anyone towards CPS or you'll put them off of both Christianity and pipe smoking forever." ~ FredS



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Post by OldWorldSwine » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:16 pm

Train Tale

Two people meet on a train. After some introductory chat, they discover both are Orthodox and of Russian descent.
Vlad: Old Calendar or New Calendar?
Alex: Old.
Vlad: Very good. Do you have a three-hour Vigil in church every Saturday night and before every holy day, even if the holy day is on a Monday?
Alex: Yes.
Vlad: Excellent. Pews or no pews?
Alex: No.
Vlad: Clean-shaven or bearded priest?
Alex: Bearded.
Vlad: Does he wear his cassock and cross on the street?
Alex: Da.
Vlad: Is your jurisdiction ecumenist or non-ecumenist?
Alex: Non.
Vlad: Do you have an old-man Trinity icon?
Alex: Uh, yes.
Vlad: Aha! Heretic!
That's high-frickin'-larious!
"There's what's right and there's what's right and never the twain shall meet."

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