“When you are about to pray to the Most-Holy Mother of God, be firmly assured, before praying, that you will not depart from her without having received mercy.Continue reading
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!
O much-hymned Tree of the Cross! O Life-bearing Tree of the Cross! O thrice-blessed Tree of the Cross! O honorable Cross, joyous sign of our redemption!
Show us sinners the path to the salvific life.
Dear friends! “…For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God (1 Cor. 1:18). Yesterday we visibly touched this power, having participated in the Elevation of the Cross of the Lord. The Life-creating Wood passed by each of us, carried out from the Holy of Holies, from the earthly Heaven, from the altar of the Lord. It passed by and was lifted on high, and descended to the earth to again be raised, overshadowing all corners of the earth, that everyone would see, understand, and feel the power and authority of this great sign of victory.Continue reading
How honored and magnified is mankind through the Holy Virgin Mother of God, for it has been made worthy of renewal and sonship by God; She Herself was made worthy by Her immeasurable humility and exceedingly great purity and holiness to be the Mother of the God-man! She is ever the most powerful Intercessor for the Christian race before Her Son and God! She is our Hope unashamed; She turns away from us the dark cloud of God’s righteous wrath, opens to us the ancient paradise by Her powerful intercessions.
John was called by God to be the forerunner of his Divine Son, to usher Him into the world, and to prepare mankind by repentance to receive the Redeemer, whom the prophets had foretold at a distance through every age from the beginning of the world, never ceasing to instill in the people of God faith and hope in Him by whom alone they were to be saved.
At first St. John led a most austere life in the wilderness, exercising himself in prayer and meditating on the high mission he was called to perform. In the thirtieth year of his age, John came from out his seclusion. This was also the age at which the priests and Levites were permitted by the Jewish law to begin the exercise of their functions. Clothed in camel’s hair, held to his person by a girdle of raw leather, the man of the desert, who knew not the luxuries of a dwelling-house, nor the taste of cooked food, himself subsisting on locusts and wild honey, comes to the thinly settled banks of the river Jordan, and preaches repentance, baptizing all comers…Continue reading
” . . . when the Church tells us in her hymns and icons that the Apostles were miraculously gathered from the ends of the earth in order to be present at the repose and burial of the Mother of God, we as Orthodox Christians are not free to deny this or reinterpret it, but must believe as the Church hands it down to us, with simplicity of heart.”
St. John Maximovich
“Let us be happy, beloved brothers and sisters that we belong to the Holy Orthodox Church, worthily and rightly glorifying the Most Holy Sovereign Theotokos on this eminent day out of all the days of the year with special solemnity.Continue reading
The last Christianity will take from the ancient only a shell, the content will be imperceptibly replaced by a new spirit, a different lifestyle, way of thinking and other values.
Secularized Christianity, with its wings cut off, is not only not scary for the devil, but also will serve him: after all, the antichrist will impersonate Christ, the Messiah, the God-man.
The devil, preparing the way for the antichrist, will be interested in spreading secularized, lifeless, formal Christianity throughout the world, and even all religions will try to “make friends” with him.
All religions recognize their “spiritual kinship” with Christianity, and even will admire the height of his teachings, the sanctity of his moral requirements, the beauty of his symbolism, etc. Continue reading
The Holy Great Martyr Marina was born in Asia Minor, in the city of Antioch of Pisidia (southern Asia Minor), into the family of a pagan priest. In infancy she lost her mother, and her father gave her into the care of a nursemaid, who raised Marina in the Orthodox Faith. Upon learning that his daughter had become a Christian, the father angrily disowned her. During the time of the persecution against Christians under the emperor Diocletian (284-305), when she was fifteen years old, Saint Marina was arrested and locked up in prison. With firm trust in the will of God and His help, the young prisoner prepared for her impending fate.
The governor Olymbrios, charmed with the beautiful girl, tried to persuade her to renounce the Christian Faith and become his wife. But the saint, unswayed, refused his offers. The vexed governor gave the holy martyr over to torture. Having beaten her fiercely, they fastened the saint with nails to a board and tore at her body with tridents. Continue reading
“Fasting is a commandment of God. Because of this, we should also fast, my children.
I have not neglected fasting in my 70 years. My mother taught me fasting from childhood. I am not being a hypocrite when I fast, but I am doing that which my parents taught me and that which I keep until today.
Fasting has never brought sickness upon me.
Physicians and Bishops say that careful fasting is very beneficial to man. Once, a doctor told me: “Father, don’t eat for five days, nor even drink a drop of water, because we will do a test to see what is going on with your body.” Therefore I fasted for five days. It had done great things to me.
How much more are we benefited when we fast for our soul! Because within our body inhabits an eternal soul. Therefore, let us take care for our soul, which is truly immortal. Continue reading
Saint Mark, Archbishop of Ephesus, was a stalwart defender of Orthodoxy at the Council of Florence. He would not agree to a union with Rome which was based on theological compromise and political expediency (the Byzantine Emperor was seeking military assistance from the West against the Moslems who were drawing ever closer to Constantinople).
Saint Mark countered the arguments of his opponents, drawing from the well of pure theology, and the teachings of the holy Fathers. When the members of his own delegation tried to pressure him into accepting the Union he replied, “There can be no compromise in matters of the Orthodox Faith.”
Although the members of the Orthodox delegation signed the Tomos of Union, Saint Mark was the only one who refused to do so.
When he returned from Florence, Saint Mark urged the inhabitants of Constantinople to repudiate the dishonorable document of union. He died in 1457 at the age of fifty-two, admired and honored by all.