The present time is for repentance

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!

Today the Virgin appears in the temple of God, in anticipation proclaiming Christ to all…

The angels beheld the entrance of the Pure One and were amazed. How has the Virgin entered into the Holy of Holies?

Purity and holiness, light and joy—that imperceptible spirit of today’s feast and service. Upon the steps of the Old Testament shrine of the Jerusalem Temple stands the three-year-old youth, the great Holy of Holies, triumphantly and rejoicing. And her elderly and righteous parents, Joachim and Anna, and a choir of young maidens with lighted candles, “singing, playing, and exalting,” accompany she who is borne as a gift to God. Embraced by sacred delight, the high priest Zacharias, the elder and father of the Forerunner, “blessed and welcomed” the holy maiden, and according to special revelation bore her into the Holy of Holies.

Small events, so why is this celebration so joyful, so memorable and significant? Continue reading

Why Go to Church Every Sunday

Fr. Daniil Sisoyev visiting the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric, Serbian Orthodox Church

I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord (Psalm 121:1).

People often ask priests: “Why should we go to church every Sunday?” and then they begin to justify themselves.

“We need our sleep, we need to spend time with the family, do things around the house and you want us to get up and go to church. What for?”

Of course, in order to justify one’s laziness one can come up with various objections. But we have to understand the meaning behind going to Church every Sunday. Continue reading

The new disciple of Saint Demetrios

Who would not be astonished to know in depth the life of this holy hierarch, this great servant of God? Like a new disciple of Saint Demetrios, during times of persecution, he did not hide his faith in Christ, but revealed and preached the name of our Lord and Saviour wherever he went.  

The future Vladyka Boris – zealous, respected and beloved shepherd, erudite, educator and patriot, was born on the day of Saint Demetrios in 1888 in the village of Gyatto, Bitola region. He lived modestly and poorly with his parents. When he was fifteen his father died.

The young man studied in the Constantinople Spiritual Seminary and in the Faculty of Theology in Chernovtsi where at the end of his studies he received a Doctoral Degree in Orthodox Theology. After becoming Hieromonk, the Synod assigned him a mission regading the Bulgarian community in Budapest. Later, he headed the Cultural and Educational Department at St. Synod, the temple “St. Alexander Nevsky” and after that was appointed a rector of the Sofia Seminary.  Continue reading

The Optina Elders and their Sayings

The holy Optina Elders gave spiritual guidance and care to all Russia for more than a century, and continue to instruct their descendants, and continue to pray for them. Let us hold ourselves close to their instructions and teachings as to living and healing water.

Hieroschemamonk Lev (Nagolkin) (1768—1841)
St. Lev
  • Above all keep from blaming and judging your close ones. We do have something to worry about: our sinful sores stink—we have to busy ourselves about them. You will not have to answer for others, only for yourself.

  • Whoever feels that what he does is according to God, it will not be bad for him here, and it will be good for him there.

  • Keeping the Lord’s commandments revives the soul; it brings peace to your body, and abundant comfort.

St. Moses

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We magnify You, O Most Pure Virgin

We magnify You, O Most Pure Virgin, and we honor Your Protection!

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The Cross became the instrument of our salvation

Before the time of Christ, the cross was an instrument of punishment; it evoked fear and aversion. But after Christ’s death on the Cross it became the instrument of our salvation. Through the Cross, Christ destroyed the devil; from the Cross He descended into hades and, having liberated those languishing there, led them into the Kingdom of Heaven. The sign of the Cross is terrifying to demons and, as the sign of Christ, it is honored by Christians.

“O Lord, save Your people and bless Your inheritance. Grant victory unto Orthodox Christians over their adversaries, and by the virtue of Your Cross, preserve Your community.”

The beginning of this prayer is taken from the twenty-seventh Psalm. In the Old Testament the word “people” designated only those who confessed the true faith, people faithful to God. Continue reading

Fearless Defender of Orthodoxy

Biography of the newly-reposed Archimandrite Lazarus (Abashidze), written by his spiritual children

Our ever-memorable spiritual father and mentor, Archimandrite Lazarus (born Michael Petrovich Abashidze-Desimon), was born on July 23, 1959, in the town of Gagra in Abkhazia, one of the most beautiful corners of the Caucasus. He graduated from the Russian school of Gagra and studied architecture at one of Moscow institutes. According to the future archimandrite, he had a vague feeling of dissatisfaction from his childhood.

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Transition to Life

Every time we celebrate the Dormition of the Mother of God, it’s as if we’re having Easter – the Easter of the summer. Our Lady the Mother of God prepares Easter for us. A glorious crossing “from death to life”. A second Easter, holy spotless, life-giving for the human race, because today “the laws of nature are overcome”.

“How the source of life goes towards life, passing through death”, says Saint John the Damascan. The death of the life-giving Mother of the Lord transcends the concept of death, so that it’s not even called death, but “dormition” and “divine transition” and an emigration and immigration towards the Lord. And even if it’s called death, it’s a life-bringing death, since it transports to a celestial and immortal life. Continue reading