The Holy Great Martyr Marina

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

The descent of the Holy Spirit – Pentecost

The economy of our salvation is accomplished! The operation of the Most Holy Trinity have now come into effect to accomplish it. What God the Father has willed, the Son of God fulfilled in Himself, and the Holy Spirit has now descended in order to impart it to the faithful. For our salvation is according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the Blood of Jesus Christ (I Pet. 1:2). For this sake we are baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, obliged, to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you (Matt. 28:19–20). Those who do not confess the Most Holy Trinity cannot participate in the saving action of Its Hypostases and thus receive salvation. Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, the Trinity one in essence and undivided, granting us confession of Itself! “O Father Almighty, and Word, and Spirit, one nature united in three Hypostases, transcendent and extremely divine! Into Thee have we been baptized, and Thee shall we bless throughout all ages.”

Thoughts for Each Day of the Year by St. Theophan the Recluse

 

The Assembly of the Holy and All-praised Apostles

appostles
The Synaxis of the Glorious and All-Praiseworthy Twelve Apostles of Christ appears to be an ancient Feast. The Church honors each of the Twelve Apostles on separate dates during the year, and has established a general commemoration for all of them on the day after the commemoration of the Glorious and First-Ranked among the Apostles Peter and Paul. All Apostoles, with the exception of St. John The Theologian, were martyred. The Church unites them in a common celebration

 

 

 

 

The Sven Caves Icon of the Mother of God


The Sven Caves Icon of the Mother of God was painted by Saint Alypius. On the icon the Mother of God is depicted sitting upon a throne, and with the Divine Infant on Her knees. Saint Theodosius is on the right side of the throne, and Saint Anthony of the Caves on the left. Until the year 1288 it was in the Kiev Caves monastery, where it was glorified by miracles. In 1288 it was transferred to the Briansk-Svensk monastery, which is dedicated to the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos.

Prince Roman of Chernigov, then at Briansk, became blind. Hearing about the miracles worked by the icon of Saint Alypius, the prince sent a courier to the monastery requesting that the icon be sent to him at Briansk. They sent a priest with the icon along the River Desna. After the voyage the boat landed on the right bank of the River Svena. After lodging for the night they went to the boat to pray before the icon, but they did not find it there. Continue reading

What is most important on the holy day of Pascha

What is most important on the holy day of Pascha is our Communion with the Risen Christ, which is principally manifest in the reception of the Holy Mysteries at the holy service, and for which we repeatedly pray in the services of Great Lent.

Leaving the Paschal service before the end of Liturgy is a sin — or the result of a lack of understanding of the Church service.

If one is compelled to do so by unavoidable necessity, then an egg, which is merely a symbol of resurrection, cannot take the place of actually partaking of the Resurrection in the Divine Liturgy, and the distribution of eggs before the Liturgy would be an act of disdain for the Divine Mystery and a deception of the faithful. Continue reading

Venerable Simeon the Myrrhgusher

Saint Simeon the Myrrh-Gusher, King of Serbia Stephen Nemanya was the Great Zhupan of Serbia, and lived during the twelfth century. The saint toiled much for his fatherland: he united a large portion of the Serbian lands, and strove for the political independence of his country from the Byzantine Empire. In his zeal for the Orthodox Church, he defended his nation against heresy and false teaching.

At the age of eighty, Stephen went to Mt. Athos, where his son Saint Sava (January 12), was glorified by the holiness of his life. Together they restored the desolate Hilandar monastery, to which monks from various lands began to gather.

Saint Simeon was a great ascetic and wise guide for the monks. He died on February 13, 1200, and his relics began to exude myrrh. Saint Sava transported his father’s relics back to Serbia, and placed them in a church of the Most Holy Theotokos at the River Studenitsa. Saint Simeon had richly adorned this church while he was still ruler of Serbia.

The Meeting of the Lord

SRETENIEAt this Meeting the Lord is surrounded on the one side by Simeon — righteousness which awaits salvation, but not of itself, and Anna — a life of strict fasting and prayer, made alive by faith; and on the other side by essential, comprehensive and steadfast purity — the Virgin Mother of God, and by humble, silent submission and devotion to the will of God — Joseph the Betrothed.

Transfer all of these spiritual attitudes to your heart and you will meet the Lord; not carried to you, but coming to you Himself. You will take Him into the embrace of your heart, and you will sing a hymn which will pass throughout the heavens and gladden all the angels and saints.

Saint Theophan the Recluse