St. Nectarius the Wonderworker,

Today the Orthodox church commemorates St. Nectarius (sometimes spelled Nectarios) the Wonderworker…

Here is a link for many pieces of writing about St. Nectarius.

And, I’d like to begin with recognizing and commemorating him through the following prayer:

“You lived your life in a holy way, O St. Nectarios; being a Bishop rich in wisdom, you have glorified the Lord with your life of virtue; being strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit, you drive out evil spirits and heal the sick. Intercede for those who come to you in faith.”

 

The following excerpt was found on the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church websiteContinue reading

Commemoration of St. Demetrios

(from goarch.org)

October 26 the Orthodox Church commemorates St. Demetrios the Myrrhbearer & Great Martyr of Thessaloniki…

Saint Demetrius was a Thessalonian, a most pious son of pious and noble parents, and a teacher of the Faith of Christ. When Maximian first came to Thessalonica in 290, he raised the Saint to the rank of Duke of Thessaly. But when it was discovered that the Saint was a Christian, he was arrested and kept bound in a bath-house. While the games were under way in the city, Maximian was a spectator there. A certain friend of his, a barbarian who was a notable wrestler, Lyaeus by name, waxing haughty because of the height and strength of his body, boasted in the stadium and challenged the citizens to a contest with him. All that fought with him were defeated. Seeing this, a certain youth named Nestor, aquaintance of Demetrius’, came to the Saint in the bath-house and asked his blessing to fight Lyaeus single-handed. Receiving this blessing and sealing himself with the sign of the precious Cross, he presented himself in the stadium, and said, “O God of Demetrius, help me!” and straightway he engaged Lyaeus in combat and smote him with a mortal blow to the heart, leaving the former boaster lifeless upon the earth. Maximian was sorely grieved over this, and when he learned who was the cause of this defeat, he commanded straightway and Demetrius was pierced with lances while he was yet in the bath-house, As for Nestor, Maximian commanded that he be slain with his own sword.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone

The world has found in you a great champion in time of peril, as you emerged the victor in routing the barbarians. For as you brought to naught the boasts of Lyaios, imparting courage to Nestor in the stadium, in like manner, holy one, great Martyr Demetrios, invoke Christ God for us, that He may grant us His great mercy.

Kontakion in the Second Tone

God, who gave you invincible power and with care kept your city invulnerable, royally clothed the Church in purple with the streams of your blood, for you are her strength, O Demetrios.

October 21: Monk Hilarion the Great…

Today is the commemoration of Monk Hilarion the Great. I copied the following from the Holy Trinity Orthodox site:

The Monk Ilarion the Great was born in the year 291 in the Palestinian village of Tabath. He was sent for study to Alexandria, where he became acquainted with Christianity and accepted holy Baptism. Hearing an account of the angelic life of the Monk Anthony the Great (Comm. 17 January), Ilarion set out to him, in order to study that which is pleasing to God. Ilarion soon returned to his native-land. His parents had already died. Having distributed his familial inheritance to the poor, Ilarion set out into the wilderness surrounding he city of Maium. The monk struggled intensely with impure thoughts, vexations of the mind and the burning of the flesh, defeating them with heavy toil, fasting and fervent prayer. The devil sought to terrorise the saint with phantoms and apparitions. During times of prayer Saint Ilarion heard children crying, women wailing, and the growling of lions and other wild beasts. The monk perceived that it was the demons causing these terrors, in order to drive him away from the wilderness, and therefore he overcame his fear with the help of fervent prayer. Continue reading

St. John of Kronstadt commemorated October 19th…

“Saint John of Kronstadt was a married priest, who lived with his wife in virginity. Through his untiring labours in his priestly duties and love for the poor and sinners, he was granted by our Lord great gifts of clairvoyance and miracle-working, to such a degree that in the last years of his life miracles of healings — both of body and of soul — were performed countless times each day through his prayers, often for people who had only written to him asking his help. During his lifetime he was known throughout Russia, as well as in the Western world. He has left us his diary My Life in Christ as a spiritual treasure for Christians of every age; simple in language, it expounds the deepest mysteries of our Faith with that wisdom which is given only to a heart purified by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Foreseeing as a true prophet the Revolution of 1917, he unsparingly rebuked the growing apostasy among the people; he foretold that the very name of Russia would be changed. As the darkness of unbelief grew thicker, he shone forth as a beacon of unquenchable piety, comforting the faithful through the many miracles that he worked and the fatherly love and simplicity with which he received all. Saint John reposed in peace in 1908.” (Great Horologion)

Righteous John of Kronstadt, Troparion, in Tone IV — Continue reading

Prophet Joel commemorated October 19th…

The Holy Prophet Joel lived 800 years before the Birth of Christ. He made prediction about the desolation of Jerusalem. He likewise prophesied, that upon all flesh would be poured out the Holy Spirit through the Saviour of the world (Joel 2: 28-32).

© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

(From Holy Trinity Orthodox Church website)

(Also commemorated are Varus and Cleopatra, in the icon with St. Joel.) Continue reading

Happy New Year!


Creation The Orthodox New Year – By Fr. Michael Harper

It
can be frustrating to move suddenly from the end, back to the beginning
of something. But this is what Orthodox believers do as we move from August
31st – the last day of the old year, to September 1st, the first day of
the new year. 

It
is part of the goodness of God, that He, who has no beginning and no ending,
the Eternal Trinity, should take such care to give us a year which begins
and ends, and then begins all over again. In our human and finite state
we need fresh starts, and this is one of them. From the peaks of Pascha,
Ascension, Pentecost, and Transfiguration, we move back to beginnings,
the Nativity of the Mother of God, and then in December of the Son of
God Himself. We start this wonderful cycle all over again. But the Holy
Spirit, as we trust Him, will renew this new year to us, and give us a
whole new understanding of it.
"Behold
I will do a new thing", God says through the prophet Isaiah (43:19).
The new wine will come to us in new wineskins.
The
God who has put eternity in our hearts, knows our human frailty. He knows
that marriages need their anniversaries, and all of us, especially children,
need their birthdays from year to year. We in the Orthodox Church also
hold a special place for the anniversaries of those who have died in Christ.
We recall every year the glorious deaths of the saints. But the whole
of this is held in a solid framework – the Orthodox Calendar.

Through
the God inspired wisdom of our fathers and mothers, we have a beautifully
constructed lectionary, which flows through the year, like the streams
of an effortless river, blessing whatever they touch.
It
is significant that the last great feast of the old year is that of the
Dormition of Mary, the Mother of God. Her human passing was to heaven's
glory. And the first great feast of the new year is her Nativity. It is
not that Mary is more important that Christ, around which most of the
Calendar revolves. Mary is not God. She did not exist from eternity. But
she is honoured in this way because she is our supreme example. She lived
a life of complete obedience to God.

(The icon above is of Christ creating the sun, moon and stars on the fourth day. Fresco detail, Suchevitsa Monastery, Romania.)