Friday, October 13, 2017

Metropolitan Athanasios of Lemesos: "Are there virtuous lay people in our contemporary world?"

Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

The Holy Belt of the Theotokos to visit Larissa, Greece

Elder Ephraim of Vatopedi carrying the Holy Belt of the Theotokos (source)
Larissa and all of greater Thessaly, Greece, will greet the Holy Belt (Zoni) of our Panagia, which is treasured at the Holy Great Monastery of Vatopedi. The reception will occur with honor of the head of state on Tuesday, in front of the square Perifereias, Thessalias, by the Metropolitan of Larissa and Tyrnavou Ignatios There will be a litany of pomp towards the Holy Church of St. Nicholas, where there will be daily services until Sunday November 19th. The Holy Belt will be brought to Larissa by Elder Ephraim, Abbot of the Monastery of Vatopedi.
The Holy and wondrous Belt (Zoni) of the Theotokos, one of the only treasures of the Theotokos to have survived to our days, and treasured by the Monastery of Vatopedi on Mount Athos, will soon make one of its rare trips outside of the Holy Mountain. This is a great and rare blessing for the people of Greece, especially for women, children, and others who cannot visit the Monastery of Vatopedi themselves. Many miracles occur through the Theotokos, especially helping couples that have difficulty having children. Please pass this on to any friends or family and take advantage of this great gift.
Most-holy Theotokos, save us!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Elder Ephraim of Arizona on Pains and Afflictions

Christ crucified (source)
Here in this vain world, my child, we shall be afflicted, we shall be embittered, we shall feel pain. But all this is for a limited time; it is temporary—let us pray that God does not abandon us to an eternal degree and measure, for then we would not bear it. 

Whenever you are in pain and are afflicted, call to mind Him Who was Crucified and then you will find much relief. For who could gaze at the Crucified One and reflect on His Passion which He suffered for us, and not find balm for his wounds, whether spiritual or physical? Look up, my child, there on Golgotha, there where the holy Lamb triumphed victoriously in order to wash the wounds of our sins and passions with His Blood. 

His compassion is great; never lose your confidence in Him Who was crucified for you...
-Elder Ephraim of Arizona

Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Sts. Porphyrios and Paisios on our Modern Age

Sts. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia and Paisios the Athonite (source)
Our age is like the age of Christ. Then, the world had reached a terrible state. God, however, felt sorry for us. And now, we should not loose hope. I see amidst calamities that a man of God appears, who will bring back and unite the world towards the good.
-St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia
Today, there are more words and books and fewer living examples.  We admire the holy Athletes of our Church, but without understanding how much they struggled, because we have not struggled ourselves.  Had we done so, we would appreciate their pain, we would love them even more and strive with philotimo to imitate them.  The Good God will of course take into account the age and conditions in which we live, and He will ask of each one of us accordingly.  If we only strive even a little bit, we will merit the crown more than our ancestors.
-St. Paisios the Athonite
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia: "Transfigure anything that happens to you into something good..."

St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia (source)

The spiritual struggle is this: to transfigure anything that happens to you into something good. If you have tribulations, then give yourself to prayer. Slowly you will be able to heal all of your weaknesses [through Christ].
-St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia: "You can't force the other person..."

St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia (source)
You can't force the other person. Their hour will come, the time will come, it is enough to pray for them. With silence, tolerance, and most especially with prayer, we benefit the other mystically. The grace of God cleanses the horizons of their nous, and confirms him in His love.
-St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Holy Monastery of Chrysopigis, Chania, Crete

The Holy Monastery of Chrysopigis, Chania, Crete (source)

The Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegic Monastery of Chrysopigi lies a short distance from the town of Chania. It was founded in the middle of the 16th century in the last period of Venetian rule in Crete. The Monastery is dedicated to our Lady of the Life-Giving Spring, who is known popularly as ‘Chrysopigi’, the Golden Fountain.
The founder of the Monastery was a physician and philosopher by the name of Ioannis Chartophylax, a prominent citizen of the town of Chania, who founded the Monastery in the middle of the 16th century.
During the period of Venetian rule the Monastery of Chrysopigi developed into an important spiritual centre for Chania with numerous monks and a rich library.
Icon of Panagia Chrysopigis ("The Golden Fount", or the Life-giving Spring of the Theotokos) (source)
In 1654, during the period of Ottoman rule, the Monastery became a Patriarchal Stavropegic establishment. It suffered greatly at Ottoman hands, sharing the fate of the rest of Crete. In 1821, on the outbreak of the Greek Revolution, it was destroyed and abandoned. In the years following 1848, however, the Monastery was renovated and rejuvenated with the advent of new monks.
During the Second World War the Monastery was commandeered for use as their Administrative Headquarters by the occupying German forces. The monks were forced to leave, grievous damage was caused to the buildings and the architectural structure was seriously compromised. There followed a period of what appeared to be terminal decline.
In 1976 the Monastery of Chrysopigi was transformed into a coenobitic community of sisters. The new community restored the Monastery from its foundations, while at the same time pursuing the work of renewal in a spiritual and social dimension.
At the Monastery of Chrysopigi, worship is the centre of life. The Divine Liturgy and all of the daily services attract many young people from near and far.
The feast day of the monastery (source)
The sisters of the community ply the traditional monastic crafts: icon-painting and also the fresco painting of Churches, ecclesiastical embroidery, stone carving, book-binding, bee-keeping, candle-making, and the production of incense and of hand-made soap et al.
An important activity of the Monastery is the publication of books. The books containing the words of Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia have been translated into more than twenty languages.
The sisters cultivate the Monastery lands using organic farming methods. The organic produce of the Monastery lands provides food for the community and for visitors. Olive oil which is produced in larger quantities is placed on the market in appropriate packaging.
The olive groves of the monastery (source)
The monastic community seeks to raise ecological consciousness through environmental education programmes aimed at school children of all ages and at students, as well as other groups of young people.
At the same time, the treasures which survived in the Monastery are conserved and preserved in the Ecclesiastical and the Folk Museum.
The Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegic Monastery of the Life-Giving Spring-Chrysopigi
73100 Chania, Crete
Tel: +3028219-91125, 28210-29840
Fax: +30 28210 97600
Some of the holy relics treasured by the Monastery, including the left hand of St. John Kalyvites (source)
Besides the katholikon of the Monastery, there are the chapels in honor various saints, many in caves surrounding the monastery. The chapels include those in honor of St. John the Theologian, St. Catherine, St. Charalampos, St. John Kalyvites, St. Arsenios of Cappadocia, the Holy Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, St. Anthony, Panagia Myrtidiotissa / St. Silouan the Athonite, and the Holy New Martyrs of Crete.
Video of the consecration of the katholion of the Monastery, on September 2nd, 2012, by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew (source)
The Monastery also had St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia as a spiritual Father and guide, so they honor and celebrate him. For example, the Abbess of the Monastery recently gave a wonderful talk in Canada on the life of St. Porphyrios:

Patriarch Bartholomew recently blessing the groundbreaking at the Monastery for a new church in honor of St. Porphyrios (source)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!