Author Topic: Orthodox Elders  (Read 16069 times)

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Offline Christodoulos

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Orthodox Elders
« on: November 29, 2007, 10:14:22 AM »
God bless !

Some orthodox Elders:

Romanian Elders on Ecumenism:

Élder Arsenie on Ecumenism:

Father Ioanichie on Vigilance:

Elder Cleopa on Prayer:

Elder Cleopa on the fear of God:

Elder Adrian on our times:

Father Dumitru essence of christianity:

Father Sofian:

Elder Justin :

Geron Porphyrie:

Blessed Geron Iakovos:

Geron Anthimos:

Saint Justin Popovic: (serbian)

Saint Nikolaj: Prayers by the Lake

Saint Nikolaj of Zica:

Persecution of the Monks of Esphigmenou:

Miracles of Orthodoxy in the Holy Land:

Ta Phidakia tis Panagias - the sankes of the Panagia:

Serbian orthodoxy:

Miracles of God - a serbian video:


Offline pathofsolitude

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Re: Orthodox Elders
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2007, 02:04:30 AM »
There is soon to be no publicly known elders left. Really they are all very old.

They themselves say that World Church will keep getting more socially, politically, ecumenically based until the Orthodox faithful will wonder where the Spirit has gone. This is true prophesy.
The great apostasy has occured. Get out of there while you can!!! Its better to be priestless than to have a heretic bishop. The apostles taught that the church consists of saints only. There are about 7,000 Spirit-bearers currently in the catacombs.

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Orthodox Elders
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2007, 02:08:09 AM »
There is soon to be no publicly known elders left.
Elders are rarely "publicly known" during their lifetime. They tend not to make a display of themselves, and most experienced Orthodox Christians are suspicious of those that do.

Really they are all very old.
Hence the term "Elder" perhaps? ;)
If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.

Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Orthodox Elders
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2007, 11:52:23 AM »
God bless !

Elder Gervasios of Patras ( 1877- 1964 )

What can we say about his exceeding love for church services ? He was par excellence the kind of parish Priest who loved Services ( can there be any other kind ?).

The Elder loved the Hours and Vespers enormously. He said the prayers of Vespers so compunctionately and slowly that one could not remain on earth when attending him. He was often seen weeping during Vespers.

It should be noted that when he intended to celebrate the Liturgy he would not lie down at all the previous night, but would spend the whole night sitting in a chair. Consequently, he would celebrate the Divine Liturgy the next day, reduced to a shadow. It was impossible for someone to observe a Divine Liturgy celebrated by the Holy Father, along with his fiery Sermon and not come out flying in heavenly Spheres.

Father Gervasios was aflame with divine Love.

But the good shepherd did not overlookd the poor and needy. He was charitable both night and day. How many times was he seen, when thick Darkness prevailed walking the poor neighborhoods in order to practice the virture of charity !

The founder of catechetical schools:

It is impossible for a student to have come out or to be coming out of the catechetical schools of Father Gervasios today and not to be move simple at the names "Father" or "Sacred Rudder".The catechists of Father Gervasios would break into tears when they spoke about our Sacred Tradition.

He spoke, but he also lived, from the time he was still very young, as a truly Orthodox clergyman, not wishing to depart even in the least from our Holy Tradition and from the sacred Canons of our Church. Father Gervasios very zealously guards the Sacred Traditions according to the letter with precision along with the Dogmas.

"We are," he writes, "against innovations, modernizations, and westernizations. Throughout our life we have supported a return to the past, to the years of the Church's glory.

He also imparted this spirit to his spiritual children. It was moving to see young people aged 12 and 14 saying in their conversations with other:" The Fathers do not say this", or " Thus says the Tradition of our Church". Everything performed in the Church, the sacred vessels, the sacred Vestments, the outward dress of the clergy, the iconography, the ecclesiastical music, the services - "everything" , he used to say, "must be in harmony with the Sacred Tradition of our Holy Church."

How many of those Fathers who maintained and handed down Orthodoxy unadulterated, were tortured, maimed and suffered in every way.....

Characteristic is the Elder's answer when he was asked by his spiritual children what positions they should take after the change of the Calendar. The prudent clergyman answered: " What was done was is not correct, because no one has the right to change and alter anything at all, except after the calling of a general Synod, such as the Ecumenical Synods, because whatever the Fathers decreed in Synods by the descent of the Comforter from on high, wich so many centuries respected, and wich they sealed well with their blood and handed down to us, is for every Orthodox the only appointed thing.
Netherless, be careful lestt they proceed to other innovations arbitrarily, because as I see it, this is the first step towards Papism. For the time being we will obey these innovators, remaining on guard for subsequent changes. We are being attacked from all sides. May the Lord preserve his flock, amy God enlighten them:"

I cannot present to you with the pen even dimly his burning love for the Tradition and Sacred Canons of our Holy Church. " But Orthodoxy for us," the Holy Father characteristically wirtes, " is nothing other than God and the Sacred Canons. Ignorance of them is the main cause of the spiritual downfall of the whole Orthodox pleroma, along with many of the Sherherds of the Church, not a few of whom, even though they are not ignorant of the letter of these, nevertheless, do not live according to their spirit."

Many of the modernist theologians maintain that the Sacred Canons are later inventions with no relation to the Teaching of the Lord, or they consider them to be archaic manuscripts. Father Gervasios however, was grieved when he saw the indifference, the coldness, and also the shamelessness of these Theologians or Clergy.

He longed, if it were possible, "for the bells of the whole of Orthodoxy to be rung, calling an alarm, so that this destructive delusion might cease."

Woe to those Christians, whose Bishops neglected or ceased struggling for this battle above all. The eternal Motto of the Holy Father was: " Back to the Canons and the Fathers,"

From the book: Elder Gervasios ( Paraskevopoulos ) of Patras - by Hierodeacon Cyrill Kostopoulos, orthodoxos Kypseli Publivations

« Last Edit: December 03, 2007, 11:53:13 AM by Christodoulos »

Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Orthodox Elders
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2007, 04:57:47 PM »
God bless !

Elder Sabbas:

The Cell of Saint Nicholas, Kapsala,
Karyes, Mount Athos August 13, 1991

  Dear Father Nicodemus,

          During your visit to our cell a few days ago, you repeated your un-Orthodox dogmatic pronouncements that we are outside the Church because we do not commemorate Patriarch Demetrios. You also made some other statements as well, for which cause we feel constrained to write the following for your fuller instruction, since the evidence and refutations we tendered during our conversation destroyed your peace and made you angry.

          In the Sayings of the Desert Fathers it is written that when Abba Agatho was asked if he were proud, a fornicator, and a heretic, he answered that he confirmed the first two accusations, for it was profitable for his soul to do so, but not that he was a heretic, for that signifies separation from God. 1

          According to you (and according to all the monasteries of Mount Athos as well, except for the Monastery of Esphigmenou, the Skete of Prophet Elias, and many zealot Fathers), we are deceived and are schismatics. You find it difficult to admit that the Patriarchate of Constantinople is preaching heresy, because you would be required to admit that your holding communion with these wolves and not shepherds is worthy of condemnation, or you would have to cease following them, according to the command of all the Holy Fathers and Councils.

          You attempt to justify the Phanar, but their words and actions show you to be in error. In vain do you invoke the opinion of Father Paisios and of others who are indulgent with present conditions and make concessions, that is, they deal with it by “economy,” but when the time comes (supposedly when Demetrios shall enter into communion with the Pope, as you said), you will separate yourselves from whatever is not in concord with the teachings of the Holy Fathers and Councils. You greatly deceive yourselves.

         As for the admonitions to which you refer — whether of Elder Paisios, or of your neighbor papa-Isaac, or of anyone else — which maintain that Demetrios rightly divides the word of truth, how can you expect us to accept them as being pleasing to God when they are clean contrary to Orthodox teaching? Since the Truth is betrayed, should it not be called iniquity rather than economy, concession, accommodation, or indulgence? You maintain your stand because Elder Paisius said, “Demetrios is misled by the hierarchs around him to do that which he does not want,” and “If we stop commemorating [the Patriarch] we will be outside the Church!” and much more, to which can be applied the words of Saint John Chrysostom, “All their words are foolishness, and the tales of foolish children.” These words of theirs are the fruit of a new theology, which the Phanar used in the notorious Encyclical of 1920 by calling heretics “fellow heirs of the grace of God.”

         You bring forward the words of Saint John Chrysostom, “Not even the blood of martyrdom blots out schism,” and of Saint Ignatius the God-bearer, “Let nothing be enacted without the bishop.” You conclude that when we separate ourselves from our bishop, we are outside the Church.

Full text:


Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Orthodox Elders
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2007, 06:47:54 PM »
God bless !

The Holy Hierarch Glicherie the Confessor of Romania (1924-1985) :

Countless were the many trials to wich the True Faith was subjected, following the introduction of the gregorian Calender into the orthodox Church of Romania.

Led by Hieromonk Glicherie, the Hieromonks of Neamt Monastery opposed this Papal-minded innovation in the Church, choosing instead the way of exile. Pursued by the enemy, they found moments of respite in teaching the people to persevere in piety by maintaining the teaching of the Holy Fathers.

The words and deeds of Metropolitan Glicherie in defending the true faith continually reveal to us his vigorous religious coscience and the martyric strength of his beliefs.

His Holiness was thus obvious even during lifetime. After his repose, he appeared to several people, fittingly asking to be glorified in the ranks of the Saints. His fragrant bones were exhumed, washed in wine, according to Tradition, dried and anointed with Holy Myrrh, in preperation for the great day of his Glorification.

His Glorification took place in the Church of the Slatioara Monastery on June 15th (os)1999 the Feastday of the newly Hierarch Glicherie.

From his life and persecutions:

........Father Barliba the village Priest ( N C) when he heard about this, became angry, seeing that part of the flock was avoiding him, that they were not attending the village Churchm and that they were goiing to Services celebrated on the Old Calendar- as a result of wich, his income was declining.He went to the village Police and convinced them that the two Fathers were enemies of the state, thinking that they were defending"national interest" the police went up into the mountains and arrested Father Glicherie.......

During the three months of detention at the police station in Piatra Neamt, before the trial took place, Father Glicherie suffered much, having been persecuted and mocked by the police in many ways. They took him to the basement, where drunken policmen would come at night and beat him, until they would become exhausted. During the day Father was forced to wash the floors, while the policemen would climb on his back or beat him so savagely that the walls were covered with his blood.

..........The police came, dragged him out of the shed, and began hitting him o the head with their rubber clubs. The pious Priest tried to protect his head with his handsm but he was thrown to the ground. The Police then kicked him with their boots. Finally, they pulled him and hauled him of to the jail, wich was full, throwing him to the floor, indifferent to the fact that he was wearing a cassock. Other Policemen came, recognized him, and dragged him into a room in wich the floor and walls were covered with blood stains from those previously interrogated there. He spend the whole night there, aftter wich iin the morning, they took him to the police station. There, they dressed the wounds that literally covered his body and took photographs of him......

....During Great Lent, before the Holy Pascha of 1985, because he had lost his appetite, Metr. Glicherie lost a great deal of weight, forcing him to spend more and more time in his cell, immobilized in bed. During this time, since he loved the Church Services so much, he was made worthy to see Angels serving at the Holy Liturgy and to see St. George- for whom he had such devotion, having borne his name since Baptism and having read his Akathistos every day- as a Soldier. All of this was observed and recorded by his disciple, Father Maxime.

The life of the Holy Hierarch and Confessor Glicherie of Romania, by Metropolitan Vlasie, CTOS.

Holy Hierarch and Confessor Glicherie of Romania pray unto God for us !

« Last Edit: December 03, 2007, 09:31:24 PM by Christodoulos »

Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Orthodox Elders
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2007, 12:06:27 PM »
God bless !

Holy Confessor For The Old Calendar
Orthodox Life, Vol. 30, No.6., November-December, 1980

The discovery of incorrupt relics in the Monastery of Khozeva near Jerusalem By monk Ioasaph

In the remote sketes of the Greek monastery of Sts. John and George the Khozeva, the relics of a certain Hieromonk who reposed twenty years ago have been found to be incorrupt. This narrative concerns the Romanian priest John, who struggled in asceticism in the gorge of the brook Khozeva, which is situated in the wilderness of Judea thirty-five kilometers east of Jerusalem.

In view of the fact that during his lifetime Fr. John earned the respect of many for his pious manner of life, there is reason to suppose that we are here speaking of the manifestation of a new saint.

Below a short biography of Fr. John is outlined from materials obtained in conversation with Monk Ioannikos, his fellow ascetic, who now resides at the monastery of St. George of Khozeva (Chozevite)

Fr. John was born in 1913, in the Romanian province of Doroga, to poor family. Having first lost his mother (when he was six years old) and then his father (when he was nine), he was left utterly orphaned. Nonetheless, he succeeded in obtaining a secondary education and excelled in his inclinations toward literature and poetry. On completion of his education, he entered the famous Monastery of Niamets and soon became a rassaphore monk there. In 1936, Fr. John arrived in the Holy Land, where he made the acquaintance of Fr. Ioannikios, and together with him entered the Lavra of St. Sabbas the Sanctified.

A year later, Fr. John took the Great Schema. He continued to struggle ascetically at the Lavra until 1940, after which he departed for the Monastery of St. Gerasimos on the River Jordan, near the Dead Sea. However, the British authorities then in power soon took him into custody, since he was a Romanian national, and kept him in a building situated over the Lithostroton, on the site of Herod's Fortress Antonia. In 1941, they released him and he returned once again to the Lavra of St. Savva. In 1947, at the request of Patriarch Nicodemus of Romania, Patriarch Timotheos of Jerusalem ordered Fr. John to be ordained hierodeacon and then immediately Hieromonk; this was done so that he could be sent to the half-empty monastery of the Romanian Ecclesiastical Mission on the River Jordan near Jericho.

After his ordination at the Holy Sepulchre of the Lord, the newly ordained Hieromonk remained in Jerusalem, and then together with his inseparable companion, Fr. Ioannikios, departed for the Jordan. There Fr. John often encountered Fr. Ignaty, the Russian hegumen from the Oak of Mamre, who periodically paid visits there from Hebron to tend the nearby orchard of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission. Between them a close friendship grew.

Finding himself, however, under the jurisdiction of the Romanian Ecclesiastical Mission, the clergy of which are sent from Romania, Fr. John came into conflict because his views and convictions, for the most part over the question of the new calendar. Being a zealous proponent of the Old Calendar, he could not reconcile himself with the indifference to the question of his superiors, who considered themselves officially New Calendarists. He himself strictly continued to maintain the Old Calendar in the Divine Services since he was on the territory of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

Finally to put and end to the friction, in 1951, he decided to leave the Jordan, and with his faithful disciple Ioannikios he entered the Greek Monastery of St. George of Khozeva.

More detailed life and photos:


Offline ma2000

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Re: Orthodox Elders
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2007, 01:06:35 PM »
I don't want to debate, but, just as an observation, the post before the last is about someone who was not in communion with the other Orthodox Churches.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2007, 01:10:01 PM by ma2000 »
Asemănându-te obiceiurilor râvnitorului Ilie şi urmând Botezătorului pe drepte cărări, Părinte Antonie, te-ai făcut locuitor pustiului şi ai întărit lumea cu rugăciunile tale. Pentru aceasta, roagă-te lui Hristos Dumnezeu, să mântuiască sufletele noastre.

Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Orthodox Elders
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2007, 02:02:05 PM »
I don't want to debate, but, just as an observation, the post before the last is about someone who was not in communion with the other Orthodox Churches.

God bless !

This "someone" is the great Holy Hierarch and Confessor Glicherie of Romania who suffered extrem persecution by New Calendarian Hierarchy !


Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Orthodox Elders
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2007, 06:28:28 PM »
God bless !

The Appearance of the Holy Cross near Athens:

In the early 1900's and especially in the 1920's -- as still today -- there were strong anti-Church and secularist forces in power in Greece and in the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Among the actions of these powers was the forcible introduction of the Gregorian Calendar. The Gregorian Calendar is adequate for functions of business, the stock exchange, and other worldly, secular activities. Liturgically, however, it is practically useless, and even harmful. It is no way possible to reconcile the Gregorian Calendar with the canonical Orthodox Christian Paschalion--the determination, in accordance with the decrees of the First Ecumenical Council, of the date of Pascha, the Feast of Feasts. Moreover, the introduction of a Church calendar change by a local church created an unacceptable liturgical disunity within the Church itself.

Vast numbers of the people of Greece refused to accept these anti-canonical, anti-Church modernisms which were being forced upon them by state police power. The upholders of Tradition suffered - and continue to suffer - persecution, imprisonment, and deprivation at the hands of secular police powers. But the spiritual eyes of the true Orthodox Christians saw clearly even if, at the time, they did not completely comprehend the evil of the new calendar. It was a forerunner and a sign of the greatest heresy in the history of the world - Ecumenism. Many people, however, became confused. Some began to waiver. Just as the Arians were in control of the worldly power in 351 and were able for a whole to force their heresy upon the empire, so at this time, the calendar renovations controlled the worldly power of Greece. In such a troubled and dangerous time, the All-Merciful God heeded the needs of His people.

Again, as in 351, God sent a wondrous apparition of the sign of the All-Honorable Cross to seal the truth and put the false teachers to shame. The appearance of the Precious Cross in 351, took place during the time of St. Cyril was patriarch in Jerusalem. The Cross reached from Golgotha to the Mount of Olives, and was almost two miles in length. This miraculous sign remained in the sky over the Holy City for a week. See "The Wondrous Apparition of the Sign of the All-Honorable Cross Over Jerusalem in 351 AD, Orthodox Life, Vol. 22, No. 2 (March-April 1972), pp. 13-17.

This appearance of the sign of the Cross took place in this manner:

In 1925, on the eve of the feast of the Exaltation of the All-Honorable and Life-giving Cross of our Savior, 14 September according to the Orthodox Church calendar, the All-night Vigil was served at the Church of St. John the Theologian in suburban Athens. By nine o'clock that evening, more that two thousand of the true-Orthodox faithful had gathered in and around the church for the service, since only a few true-Orthodox churches had been unwittingly left open by the civil authorities - most had been closed. Such a large gathering of the people could not, however, go unnoticed by the authorities. Around 11PM the authorities dispatched a battalion of police to the church "to prevent any disorders which might arise from such a large gathering." The gathering was too large for the police to take any direct action or arrest the priest at that time, so they joined the crowd of worshippers in the already overflowing courtyard of the Church.

Then, regardless of the true motives for their presence and against their own will but according to the Will, which exceeds all human power, they became participants in the miraculous experience of the crowd of believers.

At 11:30PM, there began to appear in the heavens above the church, to the northeast, a bright, radiant Cross of light. It illuminated not only the church and the faithful but, in its rays, the stars of the clear, cloudless sky paled and the churchyard was filled with an almost tangible light. The form of the Cross itself was an especially dense light which could be clearly seen as a Byzantine cross with a crossbar toward the bottom. This heavenly miracle lasted for half an hour, until midnight, and then the Cross began to rise vertically, as the cross in the hands of the priest does in the ceremony of the elevation of the Cross in church. Having come straight up, the Cross began gradually to fade away.

Human language is not adequate to convey what took place during the apparition. The entire crowd fell prostate upon the ground with tears and began to sign prayers, praising the Lord with one heart and one mouth. The police were among those who wept, suddenly discovering, in the depths of their hearts, a childlike faith. The crowd of believers and the battalion of police were transformed into one united flock of faithful. All were seized with a holy ecstasy.

The vigil continued until 4:00AM, when this human torrent steamed back into the city, carrying the news of the miracle because of which they were still trembling and weeping.

Many of the unbelievers, sophists and renovationists, realizing their sin and guilt, but unwilling to repent, tried by every means to explain away or deny this miracle. But the fact that the form of the cross had been so sharply and clearly defined as that of the Byzantine Cross, with a crossbar at the bottom for a foot-rest, completely negated any attempt to explain away as an accidental physical phenomenon.

The fact that such an apparition of the Cross had also occurred during the height of the first great heresy must strike the Orthodox with an especial sense of the magnitude of the importance of the calendar question and of all that is connected with it. No sensible person can discuss this issue lightly, with secular reasoning or with worldly arguments. Renovationists, like the Arians in 351, are left without extenuation or mitigation.

Reprinted from Orthodox Life, Vol. 22, No. 2 (March-April, 1972), pp. 18-20.

"I Too Was There" Eyewitness Accounts of the Appearance of the Cross over the Church of St. John the Theologian at Mt. Hymettus, September 14, 1925.

I was one of the men from the Police Institute who were sent to stop the vigil that night, some fifty years ago, at the country Church of St. John the Theologian.

The Old Calendarists were keeping vigil there, because it was the eve of the feast of the Exaltation of the Precious Cross (according to the Church Calendar, not the papist! -ed.)

Since many people had gathered - more than two thousand individuals - we did not attempt to seize the priest as we had been ordered, but we sat down quietly in the nearby court and waited for them to finish.

At about 11:30 at night, we heard a loud and strange uproar coming from the shouts of the multitude. Without any delay, we ran to see what was happening - and we saw. The whole multitude of the faithful was in a state of excitement. Some were weeping and others, crying out "Lord, have mercy," were kneeling and had turned their eyes toward heaven, and yet others were fainting, overwhelmed with great emotion. Then we too looked and beheld the marvel: an enormous radian Cross, very high above the church was illumining the whole area. At first, we were seized with fear, but immediately we came to ourselves and, forgetting the purpose for which we had been sent, we fell to our knees and wept like little children.

Of course, it is superfluous for me to tell you that, filled with emotion, we attended the rest of the vigil to the end - no longer as persecutors but as faithful Christians. In the morning when we returned to the Institute, we told everyone about the great marvel that we had been deemed worthy to see. Afterwards there was an investigation and all of us swore under oath that we had seen the Precious Cross clearly, high in the sky.

John D. Glymis Retired Police Officer, 78 years of age 73 Aristotle Street Peristeri ( a suburb of Athens)

On that night in 1925, when the Precious Cross appeared, I was making the last run with the tram, which I was operating. I had reached Omonoia and was going around the square when I saw everyone looking up toward heaven and crying, "Look! - the Cross! - the Cross!" Immediately I stepped on the brakes and stopped the vehicle. I stuck my head out the tram's door and I, the unworthy one, also saw the Precious Cross of Our Lord - may His Name be glorified; it was shining over Mount Hymettus. I don't remember how long this lasted. I know only one thing - the Precious Cross which I saw the night turned me into a different man. Since then, everyone in my family has become a faithful child of the Church of the True Orthodox Christians.

Athanasios Primals Retired Tram Conductor, 80 years of age 17 Kavales Street Nicea (a suburb of Athens)


Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Orthodox Elders
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2007, 05:06:53 PM »
God bless !

Elder Ieronymos Apostolides the righteous 1883-1966:

Born Vasilios Apostolides, Fr. Ieronymos was born in 1883 in the village Galyveri of Cappadocia in Asia Minor. His pious parents, Anastasios and Elizabeth, had six children. As a boy he was deeply impressed by the fervent prayers of both his mother and the secret ascetics who lived in the cave-churches of turkish-occopied Cappadocia. As a young man he was ordained deacon by Metropolitan Sophronius of Amisos in Asia Minor. Later, he visited the Holy Land and stayed for nine monthes in the Monastery of St. John the Forerunner near the River Jordan. On his return, he served as a deacon in the Church of St. George in Constantinopel, where he was long remembered for his holiness, his zeal, and his wounderful voice. The exchange of Populations in 1922 brought Fr. Ieronymos, as well as millions of his fellow Greeks, back to Greece as refugees, ending the two thousend-year-old Greek Christian civilization in Asia Minor.

Thus just two years after the repose of St. Nectarios, the Island of Aegina gave refuge to another righteous one. When Deacon Vasilios arrived on Aegina, he became acquainted with a priest who was eventually consecrated Metropolitan Panteleimon of Karistia ( Evia).

Metropolitan Panteleimon convinced Vasilios that he should accept the priesthood, and a year after his ordination he was tonsured a monk, with the name Ieronymos (Jerome) after Elder Ieronymos of Simonopetra on the Holy Mountain. Soon after the ordination, however, Fr. Ieronymus had a terrifying Vision of the Lord Himself as a baby lying on the Holy Altar.He was so shaken and convinced of his unworthiness to serve Holy Liturgy that he retired from active ministry and went to live in a small monastery-skete named Evangelismos ( Annunciation), on the outskirts of town. He lived in one small room, wich he also used as a workshop. For his private prayers he would enclose himself in a tiny, circular. white-washed room, bare of decoration, wich reminded him of the many small rock churches in his native Cappadocia. He was assisted by a nun, Sister Eupraxia, who reposed in 1990.

Local People often came to Fr. Ieronymos for advice, and his prayers were believed to be a healing balm. One old villager could only repeat, " he was so kind. When I went to him for confession or adivice, he was so very kind...." Another said, " Even when you laid eyes on him, you felt that his blessing and God's grace filled you so completely that you walked away like a new person." His clairvoyance was pronounced, and his visitors were often awestruck by how deeply he kew their affairs and souls. But he was always gentle. A novice who now helps look after the monastery relates that, when people came to him, the Elder always offered them loukoumi . If they refused he would smile and say, "Don't be disobedient."

He spoke frequently about the coming of the Antichrist, and also warned that the planned change of the Calendar would open the door to other untraditional changes in the Church.
After the civil Calendar was installed, he didn't join one of the old calendar, but stayed with the main body of the Greek church although he always quietly celebrated the old Julian Calendar dates.

He was also a healer and so great wa his interest in medicine that he assisted in
establishing the Aegina Hospital. To those who were suffering from physical ailments, he often gave out a herbal medicine wich he had learned to make on Mount Athos. His spiritual children, however, were never sure if the benefit was from the medicine itself, or if the herbs were only a cover for his unceasing prayer.

Once, as he passed by a small workshop where craftsmen were laboring, he felt in his soul that something was wrong and strongly urged them to go home early. The workers ignored the priest's advice and continued working until late that afternoon, when there was an explosion and several suffered severe injuries. Everyone survived however, and the workers themselves attributed this to the prayers of Fr. Ieronymos.

Another story, from a retired employee of the old bakery, relates that Fr. Ieronymos one day ordered some flour so that he could make bread. He requested that it be milled by a certain time and left the shop. A few hours later the lazy worker who was to prepare his flour began swearing about the job, blaspheming the names of the Lord and the Mother of God. Suddenly the bakery employees saw Fr. Ieronymos running towards the shop. Going straight up to the worker who was responsible for his order he said, " Excuse me, excuse me. If I've upset you just forget the whole thing, don't do the work." From two kilometers away he had heard someone cursing on account of him. The workers were astonished and they all repented and begged his forgiveness.

When the Elder was about sixty years old he lost his right arm. German Soldiers who were stationed on Aegina during the W.W.II occupation of Greece, knew that Fr. Ieronymos was interested in mechanical things-particulary clocks and watches-and that he often opened them to see how they ran. One day a soldier maliciously gave him a live grenade. Fr. Ieronymos did not know what it was, and when he pulled out the pin it exploded and blew his arm off.

At least once, and perhaps twice after his accedent,while he was praying in his small crypt-chapel, two of his spiritual children came quietly to the door to see if he was free to talk.
Opening the door, they saw him praying, seemingly in an ecstasy with both arms raised in prayer, the missing one as strong and vital as a young man's. Fr. Ieronymos quickly came to himself, and said " Well, don't think this is anything. In heaven there are many greater miracles than this. Don't speak about it."

After suffering for two months from a painful disease he died in an Athens hospital on October 2, 1966 (OS).


The evil one cannot comprehend the joy we receive from the
spiritual life; for this reason he is jealous of us, he envies us
and sets traps for us, and we become grieved and fall. We must
struggle, because without struggles we do not obtain virtues.

The Holy Spirit often visits us; but if He does not find rest how
can He remain? He departs. Joy is in the hearts of those who are
cleansed and who are able to maintain within themselves the grace
of the Holy Spirit of the All-holy Trinity. There is no greater
joy and happiness for man. I am not able to describe to you how
one feels then.

The evil one cannot comprehend the joy we receive from the
spiritual life; for this reason he is jealous of us, he envies us
and sets traps for us, and we become grieved and fall. We must
struggle, because without struggles we do not obtain virtues.



from the book: EVLOGEITE ! A Pilgrim's Guide to Greece, by Mother Nectaria McLees, St. Nicholas Press
« Last Edit: December 11, 2007, 12:11:20 AM by PeterTheAleut »

Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Orthodox Elders
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2007, 01:07:38 PM »
God bless !

Elder Paisios:

Elder, tell me about God, speak to me, how is he?”

The elder did not speak and I continued to drive, on curves furthermore on the mountain.

My God! I began suddenly feeling God everywhere. In the car, outside on the mountains, far in the distant galaxies. He was everywhere, he filled everything, but he was nothing of all of these things. An essence which pierced through all the other ones, without getting mixed up or being confused with these. A power present everywhere, which nevertheless no one perceives, outside of every viewpoint. Someone cannot discover it with this own…haughty effort. A power which only is self revealed. All these mountains, stars, trees, people, existed and were maintained alive thanks to His power. He could in one moment annihilate them, for them to cease existing without noise or thunder or resistance. Just as we turn the switch and in one moment the light disappears.

He’s so almighty and nevertheless so courteous. He does not pressure anyone with his almightyness or his presence. He is so near us and so unseeable simultaneously, so that we do not feel any burden, some obligation from his presence alone. So that he does not burden us at all, to not create any obligation to us, to leave us completely free, to do whatever we want. Not for us to be forced by his beauty to some degree. He could easily impose his love not with fears and power and strength, but simply with the sweetness of His presence, which no one could resist. Yet, He does not do it, out of an infinite…, incomprehensible respect for man’s freedom.

He doesn’t do it, out of love for man. He loves us so much, he desires us so much strongly that his innards are burned, out of desire and love for us. For this reason he limits himself, he disappears from our perception and tries in a thousand ways, with infinite wisdom with dreadful attention and interest, as a “raging” lover to draw us to his love. To wake us up, to motivate our interest, to make us understand and love Him.

He sits and occupies himself with each one of us personally, and simultaneously with the whole universe, the infinitely powerful one. And because he has interest for this infinite universe the love and interest he has for each one of us personally is not lessened not even to the slightest degree, does not subside even in thought.

God wants our love. He does not demand it. Love is an emotion which is born and lives only in the air of freedom, outside of it, it ceases existing, it is perverted, altered, it dies. For this reason, God leaves us completely free to gain our love, which can be born only in this freedom.

What do we have and God loves us? Some beauty, some smartness, some power, some virtue? Nothing! We are nonexistent before Him and His gifts. And not only do we not have something worth it for one to love us, but we also have very many things which stink and push away and strongly urge someone to be averted from us and to hate us. We are fainthearted to His generosity. Of very slight intelligence before a vast intellect. Wicked before His smartness. Grabbers, at the moment when He wholeheartedly offers. That which He grants us richly, overflowing, we want to grab. We respond to His kindness with grabbing and mockery. Ungrateful to His benefactions. Haughty in behavior before His almightyness. Sly and insufficient before His Wisdom. He wants to grant us His Grace, He wants to give us beauty, life, Wisdom, power. We do not want to take them as gifts. Our egotism destroys them, our pride makes them filthy. We cannot keep any of His gifts due to our evil disposition. And if something of these remains in our soul, we immediately get puffed up from pride, as if we obtained them with our value, as if it is not a gift, without toil. We lift up our eyebrow and look down at our neighbor. The gift is lifted up and leaves from our soul. God opposes the prideful, while to the humble He gives grace” “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of Lights” (James 1:17).

What can I say? Where should I stop? A big bunch of horribleness we are. Our fallen human nature, which voluntarily remains fallen and sunk in the filth of the passions, only regurgitation and asphyxiation it calls forth from its filth.

As the prophet Isaiah also used to say. It does not refer to a wound which is rotting, of a deep wound which man.. has wholly from head to fingernails he is one wound. Where can you put gauze? Where medicine?…God Himself, Christ was needed to recreate from the beginning, with His birth, our nature which voluntarily and with rage we destroyed on our own. He out of kindness and love to reform it from the beginning.

This is human nature today. It was not thus always. We were not created thus, we ended up thus. Our choices formulated us thus. We constantly choose evil and thus destroy ourselves. And whereas we were created beautiful, bright, almighty, wise and honored, dominating the material world, immortal, we ended up today mortal, dark, subject to the needs of material life, to pain, to illness, to affliction, to corruption, to death. We do not have knowledge, we do not have wisdom, as blind people we go about in the world, we rip and fall and are wounded and don’t know where we tripped, because we fell, who puts us obstacles to trip on and he tries to throw us into wild valleys and to kill us, to laugh mockingly, and to celebrate in his wickedness, the man hater, the inventor of wickedness, the father of falsehood, the ancient dragon, our very ancient enemy, the devil.

And God loves us. He still loves us. With a love which burns, with a love which trembles with longing, with a love which overlooks the pain which we cause it, with a love which accepts to enter into our toil, which accepts to suffer from the craziness of our evil. O my God! How much pain do we cause you!

God loved us so much, that He accepted to become a man. He moderated His majesty in our humility. He accepted to ascend on the Cross. He accepted to leave the devil with his sly plots to put Him up on the Cross and there, to crush the head for the snake. Now henceforth we can defeat the devil whenever we want. And all these for our sake. For me and for you.

I continued feeling God and to understand Him with my heart. A deep calmness flooded me. Every fear was annihilated. Since the almighty God exists, since He knows everything, since He is so good, since He is so wise, since He loves me so much, what should I fear?

I am in His embrace! I am in His palm. Who can do anything to me?…I was certain of the beginning, the course and the end of the world. I rejoiced, because in the end, as always He will be the victor and kindness and holiness will triumph.

God is Spirit! The world is matter. The spirit surpasses matter, supports it in existence, brings it into existence, maintains it in existence, however it is a completely other thing from matter. Matter is destined to disappear. The spirit always exists. Time is a result, a quality of matter. In the matter the spirit exists time does not exist. Eternity is the manner of existence of the Spirit. Past and future coincide in a vast present. It is simultaneously everywhere from the infinite universe and in my car.

He is very simple in nature, however so mysterious. How deeply my soul was satisfied! How much I rejoiced! How much I was comforted! How much do I want to relive it again! I rejoice in the thought that when I die I will begin, I hope, to live near Him. So much that…I long to die. I would like to die today, if I knew that I would meet Him. I fear my sin, my evil, that it might separate me from Him.

I remember that I read in Saint John Damascene “We believe in one God, immaterial, unlimited, infinite, without beginning, eternal, almighty, immortal, timeless, noetic light…” (Saint John Damascene, “Precise Exposition of the Orthodox Faith”).

I don’t think that this state lasted a lot. If I judge from the road the car did, 3-4 kilometers probably, but due to the many curves I was going slowly.

I certainly was not, as I am now that I am writing. I had suffered a change… distinct. Man is altered from many things. From drink, from narcotics, from pleasure, from the climate, from water, from pain, affliction, fear, however… this alteration… does not have a match. It is unique.

I lived in a form of… ecstasy, a type of intoxication, without however having lost my senses and my contact with the material world. A “vigilant intoxication” as the ancient ascetics and Saints characterize it in their writings.

As if someone pulled away a curtain from my mind, from my soul, and I began living in the same world on the one hand, but in the whole world, whereas first I lived in a part of it.

Imagine a deaf person who suddenly begins hearing. He lived in the same world, but without the sounds. Now he hears too.

Imagine a blind person who suddenly begins seeing. The same world now has images and colors too.

So thus I also lived in the same world, just that I felt God also and within Him many many, deep, important, and beautiful things. I was suddenly a partaker of the material and of the spiritual world. I imagine somewhat thus must people have been. Adam and Eve in Paradise must have been much better, because as the Holy Scripture also says, they saw, heard and spoke with God. Then human nature had not yet suffered the destruction, which I have today. The sensorial spiritual instruments worked well. My own “spiritual eyes” no longer see. They were covered with the thick scales of my evil. “My spiritual ears” no longer hear. They were plugged up from the mud of my sin. “My spiritual language” became paralyzed from the laziness of the soul. I am wholly buried in the filth of my passions.

Someone took me out for one moment from in there, and I also lived as a human. Now I again live like a filthy and sick man, deaf, blind and senseless.

Do I truly desire I wonder to live thus? If they granted it to me again, I would accept it joyfully. Now I know the path to go there on my own. However I don’t walk this path and no one is at fault outside of my laziness. I know well, that, if I work in the vineyard of my Lord Jesus Christ, I will certainly arrive there. And the work is for me to keep His commandments. The keeping of the commandments produces a spiritual work. Some effort of soul mainly is needed. Keeping the commandments the soul learns many things and simultaneously is cleansed and the spiritual instruments begin slowly slowly functioning.

Unfortunately I don’t do that which each of you probably did. For this reason I believe that I am worthy of every shame and am responsible also before you and the whole of humanity that a treasure was granted to me and I don’t utilize it. So I am a useless and ungrateful person. The only thing that remains for me to do is to ascertain it, to admit it, to confess it. I don’t despair however, because I know His mercy and love. I hope to be honor loving… a bit… sometime… with His help.

If I were truly a man with love of honor, with good disposition, I would be struggling now with fervor and zeal, as the elder does.

Make notice of something else, too. Did you pay attention to the generosity of the elder, who imitates God, our Lord Jesus Christ?

What did I ask of him? A few words… Some discussions. How did he respond to my request? With a wholehearted fiery prayer, which moved God, and I the wretched one lived this incalculable experience. What wealth! What generosity! My God, forgive me!! How much must he love me to pray so fervently for me?

All these things I write without toil, without thought. I am not sitting to construct thoughts, soap bubbles of the mind without content. Usually the people of our age work with the… head. They sit, they think-think, pressure their mind, to produce thoughts and knowledges.

Because they think that the instrument of knowledge is only logic. Leave that some from the great pressuring they do to the mind… get unscrewed. Others less others more, and they run afterwards to the psychiatrists. Sunk in ignorance and darkness, we are ignorant not only of the outer world but also of the inner world, of our own self. Inside there, there is another instrument of knowledge. Faith. Within faith one lives many things. He lives them and does not think of them. Afterwards comes the mind, logic to arrange them, to make them thoughts, words, letters, whichever of these can become thoughts and words. Most things cannot be “translated” into human language. The soul is much more wealthy, deeply, penetrating and sensing than our language.

I pray all of you to want to live these things. To not just read them, to think of them, to discuss them, to criticize them and to consume them only. I pray that you will seek them in your life, as others seek money, glory. If you toil more than a merchant, if you show the same persistence as an athlete or dancer, you will achieve, I think. The Holy Mountain is a very good door, to enter into Orthodoxy, but there also exist “Athonites” aside from the Holy Mountain, people with gifts and love. Just as there exist non-Athonites, people outside of the Haghioritic Tradition, inside the Holy Mountain.

“Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you” (Math. 7:7).

I get frustrated and grieve that I cannot describe this experience. I read them and it does not resound even one-thousandth from this experience from within this text. How can I describe? How can I say how true, how deep, how intense, how calm, so joyous, so satisfying, so healing how tender, how warm, how friendly, how protective, how life-giving… how joyous… how, how, how of all the good things it was.

I remember phrases from Christian ancient texts. “God becomes all things for those who love Him: he becomes nourishment, garment, comfort, consolation, knowledge, power… all things.

At some moment I began telling the Elder these things I am feeling. He was not speaking. He did not want me to speak of these. He did not want me to realize that he was the cause. What was I telling him the lost one? Come, dear father, to show you your vineyards, which our race also says.

Slowly slowly, little by little, it went out,.. it was lost… it pulled back… or rather my perception closed. The gift finished…. What did it leave behind? Gratitude, deep satisfaction, but also unhealable thirst for Him. How can one be simultaneously deeply satisfied also, but also feel His deep lack? To be very joyous that he met Him, but also unto writing saddened that he lost Him? How poor the yogis and the Gurus seem! How false! How wretched! Sunk in the most basic ignorance, deceived in false imaginations, they praise themselves and get puffed up for these things they know… for their experiences! But if you don’t know God, then what do you know? If you don’t possess the most basic, the most central thing, then what do you possess?

They resemble some gypsies who dress themselves with flashy colors, with loud jewelry, with a loud and badly showing offing manner, far from coordination and fashion. And once they dress up thus, they go to an atmosphere aristocratic from many generations, to be praised without imagining the poor ones how much more they are humiliated.

We have a God who is a true aristocrat. We have a god who gave us the right to call him Father. We have a God who calls us His children. We have a God who became man for us, our Lord Jesus Christ, who is not ashamed not to call us, but to become our brother.

The poor things don’t have anything… Just false, lifeless, idols, thousands of imaginary deities, theories and practices, which don’t lead anywhere. They turn in the emptiness and don’t encounter anything except the false sense and the delusion with which the devil keeps them imprisoned. Until he destroys them or makes them his instruments… and both for their eternal hardship.


Source:  Elder Paisios, the Experience of God: OODE
« Last Edit: December 11, 2007, 12:14:27 AM by PeterTheAleut »

Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Orthodox Elders
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2007, 01:29:00 PM »
God bless !

St. Raphael, St. Nikolaos, St. Irene



Having contended on Lesvos for the sake for Christ God, you have sanctified the island since the discovery of your sacred relics, O blessed ones; wherefore we honor you, O God-bearing Raphael, together with Nikolaos and virgin Irene, as our divine protectors and intercessors with the Lord.

Let all of us honor as our protectors and miracle-workers the holy Martyrs who manifestly contended for Christ, whose sacred relics were hidden under the earth for many years, and who have manifested themselves to us in wondrous ways: Raphael, Nikolaos, and divine Irene, as well as those who contended with them in a godly-minded manner.

Let us honor with hymns the Hosiomartyrs of Christ, divine Raphael and venerable Nikolaos, together with Irene, the guardians of Lesvos, for helping us.

The life, character, message and miracles of three Saints who suffered martyrdom by the Turks on the historic island of Lesvos in 1463, ten years after the fall of Constantinople, and began manifesting themselves in 1959 to many persons - men, women and children. These Martyrs are Raphael, Abbot of a monastery at the site called Karyes near the village of Thermi, Lesvos, his Deacon Nicholas, and the tweleve-year old Virgin Irene, daughter of the mayor of Thermi who happened to be at the monastery with her parents when the Turks invaded it.

Five hundred years after their martyrdom they began appearing to many residents of Thermi and nearby villages in dreams and visions. They revealed the cruel tortures to which they were subjected at the monastery, rendering it - in the words of St. Raphael - a "Second Golgotha." They offered guidance for the excavations there, which guidance led to important finds. And St. Raphael has been calling people to repentance, giving spiritual counsels and consolation, and curing every kind of disease.


1.Christ and We
Only where Christ dwells is there blessedness. Where Christ blesses there is heavenly repose. Where Christ turns His benveolent gaze there is inexpressible true joy. Christ, with His unceasing love for us and His great humility, loves us and invisibly reproves us and reminds us through His miracles that there is life in the Kingdom of Heaven.

2. The Path of Christ
The path of Christ is somewhat difficult, but with patience, will, and humility one makes progress... It involves tribulation and suffering, without which it is not possible for one to find the path open for the benefit of his soul.

3. Repentance and Regeneration
When a person is in a state of bondage to sin and has as an obstacle sadness and cannot concentrate, it means that he is without the regeneration of our Savior Jesus Christ and is far from Him.

But when a man "comes to himself" and feels that his soul is far from God and becomes aware of his sinfulness, and with tears of repentance entreats our Heavenly Father to forgive him and bring him back to the heavenly joy of our Christ, then the regeneration of his soul takes place.

4. Care of the soul
When a Christian exercises watchful care, he heals his soul and does not allow it to be lost....Do not let your soul go astray in matter, in the corruptible things of the world. Life has no value if we do not take care of the soul. Therefore, do not let yourselves go astray and lose your soul Read carefully the Gospels, because these were written with the Grace and the glory of God, to be read by the faithful that their life might shine.

On days when a Saint is celebrated, Christians ought to pray more ardently, with contrition and love, and entreat the Saint to intercede with God for the salvation of their soul. The feast day of every Saint is for Christians a serious reminder of the great sufferings which the Saints experienced for the sake of Christ's faith. They were glorified by God and with glory they received a place in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Let us then honor the Saints and invoke their help, in order that they might strengthen us in our prayer. And we may rest assured that our prayer will be listened to by God.

A guileless spirit is one which has no badness within it. Badness is a characteristic of the evil one, who seeks by means of wickedness to divert man from the path of virtue and from God. Consequently, great carefulness and effort are needed in order that there might reign in the soul a guileless and pure spirit.

How much care do people exercise in order to save their soul? What medicines do they use in order to protect it from the microbes of sin which threaten and attact it? And yet, the Lord has indicated the medicines: love, warm prayer, and humility. They must employ all of them, seeking at the same time the help of God, through which alone can the soul be regenerated and be freed from the microbes of sin...Sin must be banished from the soul: greed, rapacity, impatience, improper imagination.

Examine your self and strive to adorn it with love, humility, compassion and hope. Seek the regeneration of your soul, enlightened by the voice of the Gospel and helped by God. With fear and love for the Heavenly Father, proceed to sow the seeds of God's word on good soil. Cultivate the talent given by Christ for the salvation of your soul.

5. We ought to obey God
In order to advance in the path of Christ, one needs besides other basic things, complete obedience to the Commandments of God.

Follow the straight path which has been charted by our Lord Jesus Christ, and do not allow yourselves to be encircled by sin...Today's path which is followed by various societies is directed towards sin. The cause of this is the development of civilization - of wrongly conceived civilization - towards which the various leaders are striving by diverse means to direct mankind, trying to create a new way of life, different from that prescribed by the Lord.

6. Love your fellow men and forgive them
Among your religious duties is that of loving your fellow men and always forgiving them. If you dod this, you will be filled with joy, and with health both of the soul and of the body.

Forgive an pray, in order to live your life serenely. And do not do to others that which you do not want them to do to you, or return the evil which they have done to you.

Good deeds and love for one's neighbor will result in a holy end for everyone who inwardly supplicates: "Save me, my Christ." Through love and prayer he will be saved.

You have and eat; give each day to someone who is poor to eat also.

7. Ask God to forgive you
Always entreat the Creator to forgive you. He knows all the hidden deeds and thoughts which people do not confess, perhaps from shame, from lack of strength to tell the truth.

8. Cultivate patience
Patience is a heavenly gift, a gift from the Heavenly Father...With patience, and love for yur fellow men, you become a victor in life's continual trials.

When there is no patience, all goodness in the soul is quickly suppressed and sin grows.

Patrience adorns the soul with diamonds which are not of the earth but belong to the Jerusalem that is Above.

Patience increases obedience to the Divine words that have been written, are being written, and will be written.

Exercise patience out of love for your fellow man. Exercise patience in order to benefit your soul. For it you do not take yur soul into consideration, you lose your patience.

Patience must grow and not diminish, because when it diminishes sin increases in the life of man, evil resutls.

Patrience is a sweet word. Patience is a sweet breath. Patience is an invincible weapon. Patience is a priceless adornment of man. Patrience is a blessing of God.

When our Lord Jesus Christ was in His earthly life and taught the crowds, if He did not have patience within Himself what would have happened? He came to earth in order to save the lost sheep and to uplift us through His patience, and then to go up to Golgotha for us who are unworthy and careless.

Patience reigns quietly and fruitfully in the lfie of the man who does not harm or endanger anyone, who is content with little and is obedient to the commandments of the Heavenly Father.

9. Have faith
Have faith that is as unshakeable as a rock, so that nothing frightens you...The person who has deep faith within himself, and fixes his attention on the good path, and seeks to improve the condition of his soul and to adapt his thought to the good is happy... The happiness of man consists in faith in God and in good acts which are done with love.

We cure those who believe in us and come to us with faith.

10. Cultivate humility

A good Christian love his fellow men, helps the poor, and is very humble.

11. Keep the ordained fasts
The Holy Fast of Forty Days (tessarakoste - "Great Lent") is the greatest fast, one which every Christian must observe without grumbling. A person who possesses bodily health must not protest about the fast; and he is inexcusable if he does not keep it.

During the forty day period of the fast, a Christian ought to attend church services regularly.

A person must also keep the fast of Wednesday and Friday.

During the great fast of the first fifteen days of August, some persons were black clothes, in order to honor the Theotokos. But if this is not accompanied by fasting and by prayer it is in vain.

12. Confess and receive Holy Communion
Confess, and receive Holy Commmunion so long as you practice love towards your fellow men and do for them all the good that lies within your power. This is therapeutic for both the soul and the body.

13. Read religious books

In all our undertakings in life we should begin with a read of the Gospel. Christians who want to show obedience to the word of God should read regularly and study carefully, word for wor, the Law of the Gospel, endeavoring to understand it fully, dwelling more on those words which of essential import. Study the Acts of the Apostles.... All the heralds of Christ, that is, the Apostles and the Saints, had wisdom which they acquired through the descent upon them of the Holy Spirit.

Read the Salutations to the Theotokos.

14. Pray

Say these prayers:
"In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
"Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us."
"Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit."
"We venerate Thine immaculate icon..."
"The Cross, the guardian of the whole oecumene..."
The Creed and the Lord's Prayer... "O All-Holy Lady Theotokos (the light of my darkened soul, my hope and protection)..."
And whatever other prayer you know.

15. Missionary activity
The compassionate soul loves, helps, consoles, shares the suffering of an afflicted fellow human being. It works for the spreading of the Gospel, motivated by love for the sinner. We ought to feel sorrow within our souls for persons who live far from God.

The stand of the Lord towards Zacchaeus should serve as a lesson for Christians. Through His stand the Lord showed that we ought to embrace sinners with our love and not to avoid them. It shows us that we ought to seek the power of God to bring them to the rengeneration which is effected by our Savior Jesus Christ.

So let us approach sinners with love. And if in the end we do no succeed in bringing them close and fully to the path of God, let us even then not cease praying for them. Perhaps our fervent prayer will be listened to by our compassionate God and He will grant to them the regeneration of their soul.

16. Profitableness of the Christian life
Happy is the Christian who studies and follows the teaching of Christ. He is happy in this temporary life and in the life after death. Yes, he will be happy after death, because the soul does not vanish after death, is not perishable like the body, but continues to live, to exist. Through death, it is simply separated from the perishable body.

Source:  Modern Orthodox Saints Vol. 10, StS. Raphael, Nicholas, Irene of Lesvos, Constantine Cavarnos, Institute for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies
« Last Edit: December 11, 2007, 12:13:59 AM by PeterTheAleut »

Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Orthodox Elders
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2007, 02:04:39 PM »
God bless !

John Moschus:

The life of brother Theophanes and his marvellous vision, and of communicating with heretics

There was an old man of great merit in God's eyes called Cyriacus, who belonged to the laura of Calamon near the River Jordan. A pilgrim brother called Theophanes from the region of Dora came to him for counsel about his thoughts of fornication. The old man encouraged and instructed him with advice about modesty and chastity, which greatly edified the brother.

Truly, father," he said, "if it weren't that in my part of the country I am in communion with the Nestorians I would love to stay with you."

When the old man heard the name of Nestor he was so overcome with fear that this brother would be damned that he fell down and prayed, and begged him to abandon this most evil and pernicious heresy and return to the holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

"There is no hope of being saved unless we truly feel and believe that Holy Mary is the Theotokos," he said, "and this is true."

"That's all very well, father," said the brother, "but all the heretics say the same, that unless we are in communion with them we cannot be saved. Unfortunately I don't know what to do. So pray to God for me that I may be quite certain which is the true faith."

The old man was delighted to hear what the brother was saying.

"Come and sit in my cave," he said, "and put your whole trust in God that he will reveal to you of his mercy what is the true faith."

He left the brother in his own cave and went out by the Dead Sea, praying to God for the brother. About the ninth hour of the next day the brother saw someone of truly awesome appearance standing next to him.

"Come, and see the truth," he said, and led him to a dark and stinking place throwing up flames of fire, and in the flames he saw Nestorius, Eutyches, Apollinaris, Dioscuros, Severus, Arius, Origen and others like them.

"This is the place prepared for the heretics, blasphemers, and those who follow their teachings," he said to the brother. "So then, if you like the look of this place persist in your teachings, but if you would prefer to avoid this punishment return to the holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, as the old man told you. For I tell you, even if a person practises all the virtues there are, unless he believes rightly he will be crucified in this place."

At these words the brother came to himself. He went back to the old man and told him all that he had seen, and returned to the communion of the holy Catholic Church. He stayed with the old man, and after four years with him he rested in peace.


Veneration of an Icon of MARY, the Most Holy Theotokos:

Abba Theodorus Aeliotes told us about an anchorite on the Mount of Olives, a great (spiritual) athlete, battling strenuously with the spirit of fornication.

"Why can't you leave me alone?" he cried with a loud moan one day when the demon was attacking him particularly strongly. "You've been with me all my life. Get away from me!"

The demon suddenly appeared visibly before him.

"Swear to me," he said, "that you won't tell anyone what I am about to say to you, and I won't bother you any further."

"By him who lives in the high heavens," he replied, "I swear not to tell anyone what you say to me."

"Stop venerating this icon," the demon said, "and then I will stop attacking you."

Now this icon consisted of a lifelike painting of our holy lady Mary the Theotokos carrying our Lord Jesus Christ.

"Give me time to think about this," said the anchorite.

The next day he let this same abba Theodorus know about it. He told him everything that had happened. Theodorus was at that time living in the Laura of Pharan.

"It was very wrong of you, dear abba," the old man said to the anchorite, "to swear an oath to the demon. Nevertheless you have done the right thing in telling me about it. What you need to do now is to make sure you have no truck with any dealings in that realm, lest you renounce the worship of God, our Lord Jesus Christ and his mother." He went on to say a great deal more to strengthen and comfort him before leaving him in his cell.

The demon appeared to the anchorite once more.

"What's this, you wicked old man?" he said. "Didn't you swear to me that you would not tell anybody? So why have you told all to that person who visited you? I'm telling you, you will be condemned as a perjurer in the day of judgment."

"I know that I have sworn an oath and broken it," the anchorite replied, "but that oath sworn in the name of my God and Creator I have broken in order that I should not be obedient to you. But as for you, the prime source of false counsel and perjury, you will not be able to escape the punishment prepared for you."


Vision of Abba CYRIACUS of the Laura of Calamon, and the two books of the ungodly Nestorius:

We visited abba Cyriacus, a presbyter of the Laura of Calamon near the River Jordan, who told us the following tale -

One day I saw in a dream a woman dressed in purple whose looks immediately inspired trust, and with her two venerable men of dazzling appearance. And I knew that the woman was our Lady, the holy birthgiver of God, and the two men with her John the Baptist and John the Evangelist. I went outside and begged them to come in and offer prayer in my cell, but they would not. I stayed like that for a long time, begging and praying, 'Let not the humble be turned away with confusion' (Psalms74.21), and many other such prayers. When she saw me persisting in prayer and repeating the same request she replied to me quite severely:

"You have an enemy of mine in your cell, and you still want me to come in?" she said. Upon which she disappeared.

I earnestly began to accuse myself and examine my conscience as to whether I had allowed some sin against her to enter my mind, for there was no one else in my cell. Only me. I argued away mentally for a long time but could not find any way in which I could have sinned against her. I could see that this was making me very depressed so I went and picked up a book, hoping that reading might drive away my mournful thoughts. The book I picked up was one I had borrowed from the blessed Isychius, a presbyter of the church of Jerusalem, but as I turned the book over I noticed that two treatises of the ungodly Nestorius were written at the end of it. I immediately recognised that this was the enemy spoken of by our Lady, the Theotokos and Mary the Evervirgin. I immediately got up and took the book back to the person who had lent it to me.

"Take you book back, brother," I said to him, "for it has not done me as much good as it has harm."

He wanted to know what harm it had done, so I told him the whole of what happened, whereupon he became so inflamed with zeal for God that he immediately tore the two Nestorian treatises out of the volume and consigned them to the fire.
"There shall no enemy of our Lady,the Most Holy Theotokos and Evervirgin Mary remain in my house" he said.


The miracle of the Most Holy Theotokos against Gaianus the mime, who blasphemed against her in the theatre

Heliopolis is a city in Phoenician Lebanon, where a certain mime called Gaianus put on a blasphemous show for the people, blaspheming especially against the Most Holy Theotokos.

"What harm have I done to you?" asked the Most Pure Mother of God, who appeared to him one day. "Why are you insulting me and blaspheming against me in front of so many people?"

However he made no attempt to amend his ways, but blasphemed all the more.The Most Holy Mother of God appeared to him again and reproved him.

"Stop, I beg you," she said, "stop doing your own soul so much harm."

But his blasphemy became even worse. She appeared to him a third time, with much the same reproof. Again he refused to repent, again he uttered more blasphemies. She appeared to him again during his midday nap, saying nothing, but pointing to his feet and his hands. When he woke up he found that his feet and his hands were crippled. And this unfortunate man, lying there crippled, admitted to everyone the reason for his condition and how it had happened to him, and that the crucifying punishment for his blasphemies had been nothing but merciful.


Miracle of the Most Holy Theotokos in which Cosmiana, the wife of the patrician Germanus, was persuaded to return from the Severian heresy to the true faith of Christ

Anastasius the presbyter told us this story. He was the guardian of the Holy Tomb from which our Lord and God Jesus Christ rose from the dead. One Sunday evening he was approached by Cosmiana, the wife of the patrician Germanus, asking to be allowed to venerate alone the holy and life-giving memorial to our Lord Jesus Christ. But when she approached the sacred shrine our Lady the Most Holy Theotokos appeared visibly to her accompanied by several other women.

"You are not one of us," she said. "How dare you enter here? You may not go in. You are not one of us." She was an adherent of that brainless Severian heresy, but she implored insistently that she might be found worthy of entering in.

"Believe me, woman," said the Theotokos, "you shall not enter here unless you are in communion with us."

When she realised that it was because she was a heretic she was not allowed to enter, and that entry would continue to be forbidden unless she returned to the holy Catholic and apostolic Church of Christ our God and Lord, she immediately summoned a deacon who brought the holy chalices from which she received the holy body and precious blood of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. And then without any let or hindrance she was counted worthy of adoring the holy and venerable tomb of our Lord Jesus Christ.


In Christ

Source:  Spiritual Meadow of John Moschus, from the Monachos Patrisic texts:
« Last Edit: December 11, 2007, 12:18:46 AM by PeterTheAleut »

Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Orthodox Elders
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2007, 10:34:06 AM »
God bless !

One day, after my return from India, I asked the Elder Paisios about the yogis:

I can’t understand it father: they are intelligent, educated people, with a lot of potential, so why must they be evil? They have no reason to be!! I just can’t understand it!…

The Elder looked at me, he shook his head and didn’t say anything right then. (The text that follows was written at the time, when the event took place).

Several days later, and specifically, just before Easter of 1984, the following occurred:         

I was in Thessalonica one afternoon, alone, reading something and thinking of something – I don’t know what.           

Then, completely unexpectedly and abruptly, completely and overwhelmingly, the world disappeared around me.  There were no… visual images; there were no sounds, or a sense of touch. All five senses had ceased to function and to send messages. The outer world had suddenly and completely disappeared. Just like when we flick the light switch and the room is suddenly immersed in darkness.

My mind was not preoccupied with the messages being sent by the five senses. All of my energy, all of my attention had been directed elsewhere. It was totally absorbed, totally drawn into a spiritual domain. It was subdued by a spiritual happening.

I saw light and darkness. A white light, soft and sweet, very intense and shining on one side; a deep, thick darkness on the other side. At first, my attention was drawn to the dark area. It generated a feeling of fear and awe at the same time. I was overcome by a creepy feeling but also by curiosity. I wanted to find out what that was. My mind moved towards it, and I began to realize the magnitude of denial. The deeper one went in, the thicker the darkness became and the denial increasingly bigger. There was a tremendous force in there; a kind of “majesty” I dare say. It was the negative aspect of things.

The more that the light tugged in its ascent, the darkness would likewise tug downwards. To the end, without hesitation, overwhelmingly. Vast love over here, vast hatred over there. Absolute altruism poured forth from the light…. The opposing darkness drew away, towards absolute egotism. The darkness denied the light; it was repulsed by it, it pushed it away! In this way, it “created” another ground.

The world and all beings were creations of the light. The “existential space” of every person, of each person individually, is a creation, a creature of the light. The light permeated and flooded all those “spaces”.  One certain conscience decided to keep out of its own “existential space” the light that had created it. It was denying the light. The light respected the free choice of its creation and stayed out. A dark “existential space” now appeared. Darkness had thus become reality. By denying the light, it was “creating” darkness. Darkness did not exist on its own. Light existed on its own. Darkness existed, only while there was a denial of the light. Darkness cannot exist without the light. The light has no need of darkness in order for it to exist. Light can exist on its own.

Darkness was the result of an intention, a conscience. It was the way that a certain being chose to exist: the Devil. Darkness began to exist without a reason, without a cause. Someone simply decided. Motivated only by his intention, he denied the light. It was this denial that made darkness a reality, and brought it to “existence”, gave “birth” to it; to another space, opposing the space of light.

This act of denial resembles “creation”, but it isn’t. It was a mimicry of God’s creation….. in reverse. It was a faithful imitation, on the opposite side. He was trying to rob God; he was trying to steal the possibility to create. He wanted to be God. He behaved like a “God”. Because he didn’t have the power of creation inside him, by denying all of creation, all of the light, all of the energy, all the grace of God, by stretching things to their limits, he made “reality” out of .. non-existence; he “created” death: the darkness. Before this, there was no death, no darkness; everything was filled with light and life.

Just as everything is united, thus it is with separation. Just as existence came from inside love, thus hatred is born inside the darkness of non-existence. Just as creation, so with destruction. The light extends itself infinitely, so does darkness. I could not feel the existence of a boundary anywhere. The light shone more, the dark got darker in its attempt to swallow the light. Reversal was absolute.

God existed; his attributes, His energies. Light existed: infinite…. grand….simple.

The denial by darkness was infinite, vast, simple, plain, without pretense, deep, savage, persistent, destructive, self-destructive, mania, madness, fury.

I couldn’t see around me I could only feel. Several souls, with a mad, shrieking laugh, would jump into the darkness that pulled them in deeper like an ocean, and they would disappear.

Terrified, I pulled myself towards the light. I was seeking its protection. I felt afraid of the dark, and its savageness and its madness. I didn’t want it. I found myself back on ... the brink of the light and felt very relieved; as though I had escaped from a great danger.

I had penetrated very little into the darkness. It was like briefly dipping my head under water.  I could only guess… sense the depth of that ocean. I could comprehend the power of sin; its charm, its temptation, its nucleus, its essence… but I also comprehended its non-existence, its almost laughable weakness.. It doesn’t really exist. It is an absence. It cannot exist on its own. As fearsome as it may be when it gains you, it is totally ridiculous and powerless when you stay away from it. It cannot even defeat a child, if it doesn’t surrender on its own.

But I didn’t penetrate the light very much either. I barely crossed its border, very close to its outermost edge. But how comforting it felt… and what reassurance it gave me… It filled me with life… peace…joy….knowledge….. It loved me so much, and was giving me valuable gifts whose existence I wasn’t aware of... It was giving me of its own, even though I was unworthy.

Suddenly, images and sounds from my room flooded my mind. The switch had been turned back on. It had stopped, just as it had begun. One profound lesson, in just a few moments; a lesson that could not be explained by any form of speech.  Succinct differences and yetsuch profound and important meanings, which don’t exist in… words, or fit into thoughts. A revelation. But more of a test. A trial. Who to be with and who to leave. My deepest intention was tried .. it was judged. The inclination of my heart was revealed.

Fortunately, my heart – although moving initially towards the darkness – finally found respite in the light. Fortunately, the light accepted me.

What was the light? Christ says in John’s Gospel “I came as light unto the world, so that everyone who believes in me, shall not remain in the dark” (John 12:46) and the Apostle explains “because you are children of the light and must walk as children of the light” in life, in your decisions). (John I, 1:5-7, 2:8-11)

This event submerged my conscience in the mystery of intent and the freedom of people and angels.

The freedom of intent is a divine gift and an incomprehensible mystery, inexplicable to human logic in its depth and its essence.

But God surpasses the human mind, as do His actions, His creations and His gifts. Only man’s mind can comprehend them, and only by the Grace of the Holy Spirit can he probe deeper.         

With intellectual… discovery, we end up in hypotheses, probabilities, viewpoints or fantastic ideologies. What I call “intellectual soap bubbles”.

People and angels were endowed by God with unfettered intention. They are self-motivating. They are not compelled morally by anything. They can move as they wish in the moral, spiritual sphere, to the degree and the intensity that they desire.         

Deep inside the center of their existence, this mystery of freedom is operative.  These beings lean towards good or evil through an inner disposition, an inner decision of their own. Simply because that’s how they want to! There isn’t any actual reason or cause that would justify their decision. Even more, there is no way that this free will can be retracted.

This decision, this free will, this choice… is a mystery. They are good or bad, deep down, because that’s how they chose. Without any excuse, without an explanation

These beings shape themselves. They are self-created, self-motive. They decide how they will be; the ontology of their own nature, the way they will exist. This freedom of theirs has something divine about it, because it is a gift of God

The first being that misused its freedom in the course of time was the archangel Lucifer. He was the big denier. He was the “creator” of darkness. He is the source of evil, the king of darkness; he is the one who entices humans into his realm, his way of existence. He is the inventor of malice.

He had no reason to act that way. He had many reasons and everything around him that induced him to remain with God, ascend spiritually, enjoy divine bliss and be justified as an existence.

But, he was…free…and at some point he chose denial, he chose to distance himself from God, and to this day insists on it. And the more that time goes by, the worse he gets!

The same happens to the people who follow him. Without a reason, without a cause; simply because they want to, they turn against God, even though they know that this means self-destruction. There is a certain madness in these brains. There was nothing skewed inside them. They alone chose to let this vice, this madness of pride to be born inside them.

God respects the freedom with which He endowed His creatures, and does not abolish it dynastically, even when it is turned against Him. He tries in a thousand ways to attract them back to His love. They don’t want this!

God’s love is far greater than a mother’s love, or a father’s love, who will scheme in every possible way to draw their children towards the good, and draw them as far away as possible from every sorrow, pain, sickness and misery.

But the devil, the demons, magicians, evil people do not want to change!  What perversion! How stupid of them! To prefer death over life, hate over love, pain over bliss, sorrow over joy, war over peace, malice over kindness… and all of this, for no reason…no cause….no pretext.

It is inconceivable! It is madness!

And yet, there are consciences (demons and people), who do make this choice. One’s mind boggles at the magnitude of this folly. They destroy themselves on their own, whereas they could have lived, and “seen things” differently. They alone give birth to this madness inside their soul; it is the madness of pride, the dark mother that gives birth to thousands of other dark offspring: passions. This murky octopus that strangles and suffocates the soul. They are truly a deeply pitiful sight, because they are gravely ill.

The Elder had once told me that: “if only the Devil had asked for God’s mercy once only, God would have forgiven him”.

Another elder nearby was praying for the Devil. He felt pity for him. He too was a creation of God. He was an archangel; yet look at his wretched state now. So, he was praying for him. Then, the wily one appeared around the corner and started to mock and abuse him with hand gestures. He was standing there with his huge horns and foul stench. He gestured abusively again and again, with both hands, proving that THE DEVIL IS IMPENITENT.

The elder was father Paisios himself; he just didn’t want to tell me openly….but he eventually admitted it, another time.

I thank God for the experience that He gave me, because by not believing that someone can be evil, I was exposing myself to mortal dangers.

God of course knows, but deep inside me there is the conviction that the elder’s blessings took effect and this spiritual gift was bestowed on me which gave me the answer – the abundant answer – to the questions that I had posed to the Elder with regard to the Gurus (why must they be evil? They have no reason to be!! etc.)…

• «it is in Him that life exists, and life is the light of mankind, and the light shines inside darkness, and darkness did not prevail over».

• «I came as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me shall not remain in the darkness » (John, 12:46).

• «for God is light, and no darkness whatsoever is found within Him» (John I, 1:5).

• «whomsoever exercises unrighteousness hates the light and does not approach the light for fear that his works shall be censured» (John 3:20).


Source:  Elder Paisios; Light or Darkness, OODE
« Last Edit: December 11, 2007, 12:20:31 AM by PeterTheAleut »

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Orthodox Elders
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2007, 04:16:20 AM »
Copying and pasting such large blocks of text from other sources is OK on OCnet, but please tell us in each such post where you got the material.  By law, the author must receive the credit due him.  - Peter
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Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Orthodox Elders
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2007, 05:51:17 PM »
God bless !

Holy Martyr Ephraim of Nea Makri
(+1425, commemorated January 3)
heavenly intercessor for drug addicts,
suicidals, and despairing youth

St. Ephraim of Nea Makri or St. Ephraim of Mount Amomon (Greek: Άγιος Εφραίμ Νέας Μάκρης / του Όρους των Αμωμών), believed to have lived from 1384 to 1426, is venerated as a martyr and miracle-working saint by many Greek Orthodox Christians in Greece. His status as a saint is controversial, as there are no sources testifying to his existence as an historical person. Believers regard him as a "newly revealed" ("νεοφανείς") saint, whose existence is a matter of divine revelation rather than historical proof.

St. Ephraim's name and biography, complete with exact dates and details, is said to have been revealed to a hermit nun, Makaria Desipri, in a series of divinely inspired dreams in 1950. Following these dreams, a body believed to be that of the saint was found in the ground near the nun's hermitage, on the site of an abandoned medieval monastery on the slopes of Mount Amomon, near the town of Nea Makri, in Attica, Greece. The saint, whose body was kept as a holy relic, quickly became the object of popular veneration, as he came to be known as a worker of miraculous healings. On the site of his supposed life and martyrdom a Monastery of the Annunciation of Our Lady (Ιερά Μονή Ευαγγελισμού της Θεοτόκου) was later erected. In 1998, St. Ephraim was officially declared a saint by the Synod of the Orthodox Church in Greece, pending approval by the Patriarch of Constantinople.

According to the dreams revealed to Makaria Desipri, St. Ephraim was born on 14 September 1384 in Trikala, Thessalia. His civil name was Konstantinos Morphes. He became a monk, took the monastic name of Ephraim and moved to Attica to live in what was then the Monastery of the Annunciation of Our Lady on Mount Amomon. In 1424 the monastery was destroyed by marauding Ottoman troops. Ephraim escaped and lived for another year as a hermit among the ruins of the monastery. In September 1425 he was captured in another Turkish raid. He was held captive and tormented for more than eight months, until he was finally tortured to death on 5 May 1426. A mulberry tree, believed to be that on which the saint was hanged, is today shown as an object of veneration inside the re-erected monastery.

St. Ephraim is portrayed in iconography as a slim, ascetic figure with black hair and beard, clad in the black robes of a monk. His feast days are 3 January (the anniversary of the discovery of his body), and 5 May (the anniversary of his martyrdom).

The monastery in Nea Makri, the centre of the saint's veneration and his miracle-working, is now a much-frequented place of pilgrimage attracting thousands of visitors, especially people praying for the healing of illnesses. The monastery was the object of a public scandal in 2005, as the nuns of the monastery and the bishop of Attica accused each other of embezzling money from pilgrims' donations.

A miracle of the Saint:


Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Orthodox Elders
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2007, 06:08:04 PM »
God bless !

Elder Porphyrios:

Elder Porphyrios was born in the village of Aghios loannis in the province of Karystia on the Greek island of Evia (Euboea) on the 7th February 1906. The name he received at birth was Evangelos. His parents, Leonidas and Eleni Bairaktaris, were poor farmers and had difficulty in supporting their large family. For this reason his father left for America where he worked on the construction of the Panama Canal.

Young Evangelos was the fourth child of the family. As a boy he looked after sheep on the hills and had completed only the first class of primary school when, at the age of seven, he was obliged on account of his family's extreme poverty to go to the nearby town of Chalkida to work. He worked there in a shop for two or three years. Thereafter he went to Piraeus to work in a general store owned by a relative.

At the age of twelve he left secretly to go to the Holy Mountain. His longing was to imitate Saint John the Hut-dweller whose life he had read and for whom he felt a special affinity. The grace of God led him to the hermitage of Saint George in Kavsokalyvia where he lived in obedience to two elders, natural brothers, Panteleimon, who was a fa­ther confessor, and Ioannikios, who was a priest. He devoted himself with great love and in a spirit of utter obedience to the two elders who had a reputation for being exceptionally austere.

He became a monk at the age of fourteen and took the name of Niketas. Two years later he took his final monastic vows of the Great Schema. Shortly thereafter God granted him the gift of clear sight.

At the age of nineteen he became very seriously ill and was obliged to leave the Holy Mountain. He returned to Evia where he went to live in the Monastery of Saint Charalambos at Levka. A year later, in 1926, and at the age of twenty, he was ordained priest at the Church of Saint Charalambos in Kymi by the Archbishop of Sinai, Porphyrios III, who gave him the name Porphyrios. At the age of twenty-two he became a confessor and spiritual father. For a time he was parish priest in the vil­lage of Tsakei in Evia.

He lived for twelve years in the Monastery of Saint Charalambos in Evia serving as a spiritual guide and confessor and then for three years in the deserted Monastery of Saint Nicholas in Ano Vatheia.

In 1940, on the eve of Greece's entrance into the Second World War, Elder Porphyrios moved to Athens where he became chaplain and con­fessor in the Polyclinic Hospital. He himself said that he served there for thirty-three years as if it were a single day, devoting himself untir­ingly to his spiritual work and to easing pain and suffering.

As of 1955 he made his home in the tiny Monastery of Saint Ni­cholas in Kallisia on the foothills of Mount Penteli. He rented this monastic dependency along with the surrounding area from the Penteli Monastery and worked the land with great diligence. At the same time he carried out his copious work of spiritual guidance.

In the summer of 1979 he moved to Milesi, a village some thirty miles north of Athens and overlooking his native Evia, with the dream of founding a monastery there. To begin with he lived in a caravan un­der exceedingly adverse circumstances and later in a simple room con­structed from breeze blocks where he endured without complaint his many health troubles. In 1984 he moved into a room in a wing of the monastery which was under construction. In spite of the fact that the elder was seriously ill and blind, he worked constantly and unstinting-ly for the completion of the monastery. On the 26th February 1990 he was able to see his dream becoming reality when the foundation stone of the church of the Transfiguration was laid.

During the final years of his earthly life he began to prepare himself for his death. His desire was to return to the Holy Mountain and to his beloved Kavsokalyvia where, secretly and silently, just as he had lived, he would tender up his soul to her Bridegroom. He was often heard to say, 'My desire now that I have grown old is to go and die up there.'

So it was that he came to his saintly end in his hermitage in Kav­sokalyvia on the morning of 2nd December 1991.

The last words that were heard to pass from his lips were the words from our Lord's high-priestly prayer which he loved so much and re­peated so often: that they may be one.


On the upbringing of Children:


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Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Orthodox Elders
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2007, 07:05:40 PM »
God bless !

Elder Tadej of Serbia:

A Conversation with Archimandrite Tadej

“Sacred Fathers say - ideal of Christian life
is not making miracles, healing the sick,
or resurrecting the dead,
but an ultimate humility”

In the summer of 1991 the Old man Tadej talked to two Belgradian students who recorded the conversation. One of them said:

- Excuse me Father, would you bless my recording of your words and we could refresh ourselves spiritually afterwards?

- Well, no, what’s use, my words aren’t… (words faint) no use of it, he replaid. - You are coming with problems, I have many problems, so Lord soothes us. I complain to you, you complain to me and all is well after… Lord soothes!

Then he telling the two students and the others also present there perhaps the most beautiful words we ever heard about the current situation on the earth, about the situation of the Man on the globe, about his position in relation to time and eternity, in relation to God.

Surrounded by secrets

- People think they are something, but a man is nothing. Vladika Nikolaj says, “What is a man? A sack of stinky meat and nothing else”. Nothing. Hot head. Has no idea he is nothing, a weapon in hands of evil spirits. Evil.

God does what He wants to do with us. However, He gave us un area where we can think and decide whether we want to do good or not. Spirits had fallen before Man was created. Many centuries before. Not all spirits have preserved their positions. Man is the crown of creation. He was created to be the master of all material world, so that everything is submitted to him… Material world, space, was not as it is now. Upon the fall it obtained toughness and rotteness. Despite toughness and rotteness it has its beauty… Yes…

Our ancient fathers were immortal. They did not depend on time and space the way we are. Look, they moved the way thoughts move… After the fall everything was disturbed. God, being entire love knew that not all created creatures would be able to keep their position, hence he gave them time from the Creation to Final Judgement. It is the time for all reasonable beings to come to their senses, to return to their Parent’s embrace. To join the absolute good, absolute love…

But people liked evil more than good. “Padishash” Nature! It is easier for them to think evil than good. But when a person think of evil thoughts they do not let him at peace after.

How big our fall is! Tremendous. Awful. We cannot come to ourselves, nor do anything on our own. We have no idea how reflexive forces of reason are terrorizing us ("padishash" spirits). We think they are our thoughts. We are bothered by envy, menace, hatred. It is tiranny about tiranny. Sole does not want it but it cannot release itself. It has been accustomed to it from old times; therefore the root is so big and deep. It has to be thrown out. One has to transfer himself into love. To be absolutely calm, silent. It is not easy. You see how terrible the man’s fall is.

Man is not self-sufficient. He depends on God’s help. Man thinks he knows something. Hot head. All is revealed to him from eternity. God’s secret is everywhere. We are surrounded by secrets. We are tremendous secret to ourselves. We do not know what we are. Where did we come from? Where are we heading? What kind of a creature is the creature that reasons, moves and speaks what he knows. He heard something from someone, he reasons, it came to his mind. He creates something, does not know how. What kind of secret is inside him? How his internal organs work without his will and work perfectly? And he disturbs all with his thoughts.

- Do illnesses come from sin? - asks one of the students.

- From fall of thoughts. From thoughts. All usually think good and evil. What thoughts we have, such life we have. Spirit feeds itself with thoughts, body with food.

- Are there our own thoughts and the thoughts that are placed in outwardly?

- They are being placed in from all sides. Radiuses of thoughts are on all sides. If revealed, they would turn out into a tremendous net. And everyone has a radio station in his inner being. Man is a much more precise apparatus than a radio station, or a TV set, it’s just that its function is disturbed. What a precise being a man is! How divine! But we do not know how to appreciate that. We do not know how to join the source of life and feel the joy of life. But we always let enemy impute to us… Lord revealed to St. Anthony the radius of thoughts surrounding us. When he saw them, he sighed: “O, Lord, who can pass through this?” And a voice he heard: “Only humble and gentle ones”. They touch only such. They comprise merely of peace and silence. Divine radiuses, a sign of an absolute divine power. They do not join anything negative.

- Father, I would like to know Gods will. How to make our choices, to find a job here or there, to marry or not to marry.

- God is opening a path for us himself. He reveals in line with His sacred will. Through Parents His sacred will announces itself. If we obey parents everything will go well and will be blessed. If we oppose to them, there’s nothing for us. It goes, goes, but more backward then forward. For instance, suppose you fell in love with a girl and want to have her at any cost. But father and mother say: “Listen son, she is not for you”. In vain, devil tied up your mind, captured you, you stubbornly insist you want her, period. “Son, she is not for you”, parents say again. “We shall find another girl for you”. They refuse; they want it at any cost. They get married. They think all is ideal. They are in love. After some time their love fades and nothing remains. Best is when parents make preagreements, when difference in age is not too big and even if a young couple have never seen each other before, when get together it’s perfect. When love blooms in marrage. Then marriage is not premeditated, a cuple has their parent’s blessing and all goes well after… Marriage life, it is not so nice life, sweet… Oh, it is sour. Even then you see you are not free. You are tied up, firmly. Harnessed in a cart you must pull because you are beaten. Children demand. You have to pull whether you want it or not. And when you were free, you had some other thoughts… and now you must think not only of yourself but also about many others.

- Two ways are in life: cleric life or marriage, or is there some other way? How can I learn what is the right way for me?

- Not everyone can accept clergy life. Yes. Cleric life is not easy. Life on the earth is not at all regardless of circumstances. The one who lived the way he wanted and how his heart demanded was Solomon, King Solomon and the son of King David. He ruled for forty years, never fought against anyone. God blessed him with wisdom. He also built the Jerusalem temple. Many would come from all sides of the world to him to listen to him… And he says: “Whatever my heart wished I fulfilled. I wanted to have beatiful vineyards, so I planted them. Palaces I had too. I had the most modern standing army in Jerusalim. But I did not fight against anyone”, Fr. says and continues: “I wanted to have plenty of gold and silver and God gave it to me. I tried various lifestyles to see if there is a permanent consolation here on the earth to go on living like that… But I see only vanity above vanity here on the earth and spirit is uneasy. No consolation. A permanent one...” You see, Solomon says this. A wise person. Meaning, have what you want , be what you want, nothing else matters to you. Short, as if you never have lived. You thought you’ve taken all wisdom of this world. Hot head. And if only you could take a look from aside, you would see yourself showing off like a turkey, there is nothing (laugh). Empty head…

Yes. Who on this Globe was or will be a universally familiar with everything? Nobody. Everyone takes his own direction in learning, putting bits together and in this way we become one entity. People adore philosophers, various scientists, always quote their words. Nobody pays attention to God’s promise to our ancient parents to send a savior of the world and bring us back to our original condition. No one knew it would be God himself. Only He who created us can bring us into our original status, who else? And He did come but they did not accept Him…

You see, we are baptized in Christ, we are Christians formally and not the way God wants. There is nothing good in us. As soon as we become aware that we think evil and can be angry and humiliate our closest, nothing good can happen… But they read it and yet do not comprehend. Who out of all philosophers could have said for himself: “I am the Way, Truth and Life”. No one could say that. And also: “I am the bread of life”. Or: “Who believes in me has eternal life”. But people are narow-minded. They understand little, comprehend little. Everything else but truth is closer to him.

We believe we are of some significance… No significance whatsover. Yes. Ideal of Christian life, as sacred fathers says, is ultimate soothing. Ultimate soothing. Those awarded by God’s kindness, he who is calm and gentle, he is not angry. Even if you curse him, you are getting angry and he feels sorry for you for bothering yourself.

- To conclude, tell us please if a remedy for us fallen and ill exists?

- It certainly does exist. To obey. To soothe and listen. For someone calm and gentle and who obeys our people say: “Who obeys much gets”. He who obeys is soothed. And as soon as we oppose, you notice at once your enemy is destroying your life. It simply does not work any more…

- Father, my parents are divorced. My Mum has brought me into faith… Father is against God. Who to obey? - asks a girl.

- Well, it is not up to you if your parents are getting on well or not, if they quarrel, if they are good or not good. They have to be something sacred for you. So that you can get God’s blessing and be well off. Yes. We must not insult parents, not even in thoughts. And it’s up to them how they behave toward us. It’s their business. There are some parents who were extremly drastic, who torture their children. Two brothers for instance had a good mother who tells them to obey father although he… to get God’s blessing. Today they work in the “Litas” in Pozarevac and do not allow any comment about their father be uttered. No one is allowed to make offences. The two brothers say: “Our father is sacred for us”. They had years of hardship with their father who was merciless to them. But you see, God blessed them and they are full of life energy. Thankful to God. For, God’s blessing had it that we come to this world through our parents. For what they are, they will answer before God, they will answer for us too. And we do not answer for them. We shall answer for how we, or if we respected them or not. The state of spirit on the earth is that bad because even little children, five-year-olds, oppose their parents. This is the reason why we are in such a bad situation, we do not obey our parents. The same situation is everywhere in this world.

« Last Edit: December 11, 2007, 07:07:05 PM by Christodoulos »

Offline Christodoulos

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Re: Orthodox Elders
« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2008, 07:42:05 PM »
I would really like to know what this is. That poor man, his hands look awful, like talons. Is it leprosy?

God bless !

These are the complete incorrupt reliquies of my Patron Saint, one of the greatests Saints of Russia, St. Alexander of Svira, they are incorrupt to this day ( and myrrh-streaming) since 500 years and miracle working, it is said that it is because he found worthy to see the Most Holy Trinity.

Venerable Alexander the Abbot of Svir
Commemorated on August 30

Saint Alexander of Svir was born on July 15, 1448, on the feastday of the Prophet Amos, and was named for him in Baptism. St Alexander was a beacon of monasticism in the deep forests of the Russian North, living in asceticism, and he was granted the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit.

His parents, Stephen and Vassa (Vasilisa) were peasants of the near Lake Ladoga village of Mandera near Lake Ladoga, at the bank of the River Oyata, a tributary of the River Svira. They had sons and daughters who were already grown and lived away from their parents. Stephen and Vassa wanted to have another son. They prayed fervently and heard a voice from above: "Rejoice, good man and wife, you shall bear a son, in whose birth God will give comfort to His Church."

Amos grew up to be a special child. He was always obedient and gentle, he shunned games, jokes and foul talk, he wore poor clothes and so weakened himself with fasting, that it caused his mother anxiety. Upon coming of age, he once met some Valaam monks who had come to the Oyata to purchase necessities, and for other monastery business.

By this time Valaam was already known as a monastery of deep piety and strict ascetic life. After speaking with the monks, the young man was fascinated by their account of the skete life (with two or three monks together) and the solitary life of the hermit. Knowing that his parents had arranged a marriage for him, the youth went secretly to Valaam when he was nineteen. In the guise of a traveler, an angel of God appeared to him, showing him the way to the island.

Amos lived for seven years at the monastery as a novice, leading an austere life. He spent his days at work, and his nights in vigilance and prayer. Sometimes he prayed in the forest bare-chested, all covered by mosquitoes and gnats, to the morning song of the birds.

In the year 1474, Amos received monastic tonsure with the name Alexander. After several years, his parents eventually learned from Karelians arriving in Mandera where their son had gone. Following the example of their son, the parents also went to the monastery and were tonsured with the names Sergius and Barbara. After their death, St Alexander, with the blessing of the igumen of the monastery, settled on a solitary island, where he built a cell in the crevice of a cliff and continued his spiritual exploits.

The fame of his asceticism spread far. Then in 1485 St Alexander departed from Valaam and, upon a command from above, chose a place in the forest on the shore of a beautiful lake, which was afterwards named Holy. Here the monk built himself a hut and dwelt in solitude for seven years, eating only what he gathered in the forest (Later at this place, Holy Lake, 36 versts from the future city of Olonets and 6 versts from the River Svira, St Alexander founded the monastery of the Life-Creating Trinity, and 130 sazhen (i.e. 910 feet) off from it, at Lake Roschina, he built himself a hut on the future site of the St Alexander of Svir monastery).

During this time the saint experienced fierce sufferings from hunger, frost, sickness and demonic temptations. But the Lord continually sustained the spiritual and bodily strength of the righteous one. Once when suffering with terrible infirmities, he not only was unable to get up from the ground, but was unable to even lift his head. He just lay there and sang Psalms. Then a glorious man appeared to him. Placing his hand on the sore spot, he made the Sign of the Cross over the saint and healed him.

In 1493 while hunting for deer, the adjoining land-owner Andrew Zavalishin happened to come upon the saint's hut. Andrew spoke to him of a light he had seen at this place, and he entreated the monk to tell him about his life. From that point Andrew started to visit St Alexander often, and finally through the monk's guidance, he went to Valaam, where he was tonsured with the name Adrian. Later, he founded the Ondrusov monastery, and led a saintly life (August 26 and May 17).

Andrew Zavalishin was not able to keep silent about the ascetic, in spite of the promise he had given. News of the righteous one began to spread widely, and monks started to gather around him. Therefore, St Alexander withdrew from the brethren and built himself a dwelling place 130 sazhen from the monastery. There he encountered a multitude of temptations. The demons took on beastly shapes, they hissed like snakes, urging him to flee. However, the saint's prayer scorched and dispersed the devils like a fiery flame.

In 1508, twenty-three years after he came to this secluded spot, the Life-Creating Trinity appeared to St Alexander. One night he was praying in his hut. Suddenly, an intense light shone, and the monk saw Three Men, robed in radiant white garb, approaching him. Radiant with heavenly Glory, They shone in a pure brightness greater than the sun. Each of Them held a staff in His hand.

The monk fell down in terror, and coming to his senses, prostrated himself on the ground. Taking him up by the hand, the Men said: "Have trust, blessed one, and fear not." The saint was ordered to build a church and a monastery. He fell to his knees, protesting his own unworthiness, but the Lord raised him up and ordered him to fulfill the commands. St Alexander asked in whose name the church ought to be dedicated. The Lord said: "Beloved, as you see Those speaking with you in Three Persons, so also construct the church in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, the Trinity One-in-Essence. I leave you peace and My peace I give you." And immediately St Alexander beheld the Lord with out-stretched wings, going as though along the ground, and He became invisible.

In the history of the Russian Orthodox Church this appearance is acknowledged as unique. After this vision the monk began to think where to build the church. Once, while praying to God, he heard a voice from above. Gazing up to the heavens, he saw an angel of God in mantiya and klobuk, such as St Pachomius (May 15) had seen.

The angel, standing in the air with outstretched wings and upraised hands, proclaimed: "One is Holy, One is the Lord Jesus Christ, to the Glory of God the Father. Amen." Then he turned to St Alexander saying, "Build on this spot the church in the Name of the Lord Who has appeared to you in Three Persons, Father and Son and Holy Spirit, the Undivided Trinity." After making the Sign of the Cross over the place three times, the angel became invisible.

In that same year a wooden church of the Life-Creating Trinity was built (in 1526 a stone church was built here). And at the same time as the building of the church, the brethren began to urge St Alexander to accept the priesthood. For a long time he refused, considering himself unworthy. Then the brethren began to implore St Serapion, Archbishop of Novgorod (March 16), to convince him to accept the office. And so in that very year St Alexander journeyed to Novgorod and received ordination from the holy archbishop. Soon afterwards, the brethren also asked the saint to be their igumen.

As igumen, the monk became even more humble than before. His clothes were all in tatters, and he slept on the bare ground. He himself prepared food, kneaded dough and baked bread. One time there was not enough firewood and the steward asked the igumen to send any idle monks for firewood. "I am idle," said the saint, and he began to chop firewood. Another time, he carried water.

When all were asleep, the saint was often busy grinding wheat with hand-stones to make more bread. At night he made the round of the cells, and if he heard vain conversations, he lightly tapped on the door and departed, but in the morning he admonished the brother, imposing a penance on him.

Towards the end of his life, St Alexander decided to build a stone church of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos. One evening, after singing an Akathist to the Most Holy Theotokos, he settled down to rest in the cell and suddenly said to his cell-attendant Athanasius, "Child, be sober and alert, because at this hour we will have a wondrous and astounding visit."

Then came a voice like thunder, "Behold the Lord and His Mother are coming." The monk hastened to the entrance to the cell, and a great light illumined it, shining over all the monastery brighter than the rays of the sun. The saint beheld the All-Pure Mother of God over the foundation of the Protection church sitting at the site of the altar, like an empress upon a throne. She held the Infant Christ in Her arms, and a multitude of angels stood before Her shining with indescribable brightness.

He fell down, unable to bear the great light. The Mother of God said, "Arise, chosen one of My Son and God. I have come here to visit you, My dear one, and to look upon the foundation of My church. I have made entreaty for your disciples and monastery. From this time on there will be an abundance; not only during your life, but also after your death. Everything your monastery requires will be granted in abundance. Behold and watch carefully how many monks are gathered into your flock. You must guide them on the way of salvation in the Name of the Holy Trinity."

The saint arose and saw a multitude of monks. Again the Mother of God said: "My dear one, if someone carries even one brick for the building of My church, in the Name of Jesus Christ, My Son and God, his treasure will not perish." Then She became invisible.

Before his death the saint displayed wondrous humility. He summoned the brethren and told them: "Bind my sinful body by the legs and drag it to a swampy thicket and, after covering it with skins, throw it in." The brethren answered: "No, Father, it is not possible to do this." Then the holy ascetic ordered that his body not be kept at the monastery, but in a place of seclusion, the church of the Transfiguration of the Lord. St Alexander departed to the heavenly Kingdom on August 30, 1533 at the age of 85.

St Alexander of Svir was glorified by wondrous miracles during his life and upon his death. In 1545, his disciple and successor, Igumen Herodion, compiled his Life. In 1547 the local celebration of the saint began and a service was composed for him. On April 17,1641, during the rebuilding of the Transfiguration church, the incorrupt relics of St Alexander of Svir were uncovered and his universal Church celebration was established on two dates: the day of his repose, August 30, and the day of glorification (and the uncovering of his relics), April 17.

St Alexander of Svir instructed and raised up a whole multitude of disciples, as the Mother of God had promised him. They are the Holy Monks: Ignatius of Ostrov, Leonid of Ostrov, Cornelius of Ostrov, Dionysius of Ostrov, Athanasius of Ostrov, Theodore of Ostrov, and Therapon of Ostrov.

Besides these saints, there are disciples and conversers with St Alexander of Svir, who have separate days of commemortation: St Athanasius of Syandem (January 18), St Gennadius of Vasheozersk (February 9), St Macarius of Orodezh (August 9), St Adrian of Ondrosov (May 17), St Nicephorus of Vasheozersk (February 9), St Gennadius of Kostroma and Liubimograd (January 23).

All these saints (except St Gennadius of Kostroma) are depicted on the Icon of the Monastic Fathers who shone forth in the land of Karelia (icon from the church at the Seminary in Kuopio, Finland). The festal celebration of the Synaxis of the Saints who shone forth in Karelia is celebrated by the Finnish Orthodox Church on the Saturday falling between October 31 and November 6.

The incorrupt relics of the saint were removed from the Svir Monastery by the Bolsheviks on December 20, 1918 after several unsuccessful attempts to confiscate them. There was an infamous campaign to liquidate the relics of the saints which continued from 1919 to 1922. Many relics of Russsian saints were stolen and subjected to "scientific examination" or displayed in antireligious museums. Some were completely destroyed.

Hoping to prove that the relics were fakes, the Soviets conducted many tests. However, the tests only confirmed that the relics were genuine. Finally, the holy relics were sent to Petrograd's Military Medical Academy. There they remained for nearly eighty years.

A second uncovering of St Alexander's relics took place in December 1997.

The relics were found to be incorrupt, just as they were when they were confiscated. The saint's appearance matched the description in the records from 1641. Once it was determined that these were in fact the relics of St Alexander, Metropolitan Vladimir of St Petersburg permitted them to be taken to the church of St Sophia and her three daughters Faith, Hope, and Love (September 17) for four months before their return to the Svir Monastery. As people venerated St Alexander's relics they noticed a fragrant myrrh flowing from them.

The holy relics were taken to the St Alexander of Svir Monastery in November 1998, and miraculous healings continue to take place before them.

EDIT:  Moderatorial request fulfilled (see next post)...  Previous message modified accordingly...  - PeterTheAleut
« Last Edit: January 01, 2008, 08:21:26 PM by PeterTheAleut »

Offline Christodoulos

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« Last Edit: January 01, 2008, 08:06:33 PM by Christodoulos »

Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Orthodox Elders
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2010, 02:53:36 AM »
God bless !

Some orthodox Elders:

Romanian Elders on Ecumenism:

Élder Arsenie on Ecumenism:

Father Ioanichie on Vigilance:

Elder Cleopa on Prayer:

Elder Cleopa on the fear of God:

Elder Adrian on our times:

Father Dumitru essence of christianity:

Father Sofian:

Elder Justin :

Geron Porphyrie:

Blessed Geron Iakovos:

Geron Anthimos:

Saint Justin Popovic: (serbian)

Saint Nikolaj: Prayers by the Lake

Saint Nikolaj of Zica:

Persecution of the Monks of Esphigmenou:

Miracles of Orthodoxy in the Holy Land:

Ta Phidakia tis Panagias - the sankes of the Panagia:

Serbian orthodoxy:

Miracles of God - a serbian video:


Old thread, I know, but so glad to stumble upon it!
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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Orthodox Elders
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2010, 09:58:13 AM »
So what's the definition of 'elder'?