September 14, Feast of the Holy Cross
Each year on September 14 the Orthodox Church celebrates the feast of “The Elevation of the Honorable and Life-giving Cross.” This is one of the great feasts of the Church year.
his feast commemorates two events:
The finding of the Cross by the Empress Helen (the mother of St. Constantine the Great) on Golgotha in 326 AD, the place where Christ was crucified.
The recovery of the Cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified from the Persians.
The ceremony of Elevation as performed in Church is actually a patriotic one, with prayers for the Rulers and their people, for Church and State, and for their establishment and preservation. The key to the observance is to be found in the Hymn for the Feast, the Troparion, which runs as follows:
“Oh Lord, save thy people and bless thine inheritance: To our Rulers grant victories over the barbarians,And by thy Cross protect thine own Estate.”

September 14, Feast of the Holy Cross

Each year on September 14 the Orthodox Church celebrates the feast of “The Elevation of the Honorable and Life-giving Cross.” This is one of the great feasts of the Church year.

his feast commemorates two events:

  • The finding of the Cross by the Empress Helen (the mother of St. Constantine the Great) on Golgotha in 326 AD, the place where Christ was crucified.
  • The recovery of the Cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified from the Persians.

The ceremony of Elevation as performed in Church is actually a patriotic one, with prayers for the Rulers and their people, for Church and State, and for their establishment and preservation. The key to the observance is to be found in the Hymn for the Feast, the Troparion, which runs as follows:

“Oh Lord, save thy people and bless thine inheritance:
To our Rulers grant victories over the barbarians,
And by thy Cross protect thine own Estate.”

Thou art the good Shepherd…

Thou art the good Shepherd; seek me, Thy lamb, and neglect not me who have gone astray. [John 10:11-14]

Thou art my sweet Jesus, Thou art my Creator; in Thee, O Savior, I shall be justified.

I confess to Thee, O Savior, I have sinned, I have sinned against Thee, but absolve and forgive me in Thy compassion.

- From the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete

The Feast of the Nativity of Our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary is celebrated on September 8  each year. The Feast commemorates the birth of the Mother of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Background

The birth and early life of the Virgin Mary is not recorded in the Gospels or other books of the New Testament, however this information can be found in a work dating from the second century known as the Book of James or Protevangelion.

According to the story found in this book, Mary’s parents, Joachim and Anna, were childless for many years. They remained faithful to God, but their prayers for a child were unanswered. One day, when Joachim came to the temple to make an offering, he was turned away by the High Priest who chastised him for his lack of children. To hide his shame, Joachim retreated to the hill country to live among the shepherds and their flocks.

As Joachim was praying, his wife Anna was praying at the same time at their house in Jerusalem. An angel appeared to both of them and announced that Anna would have a child whose name would be known throughout the world. Anna promised to offer her child as a gift to the Lord. Joachim returned home, and in due time Anna bore a daughter, Mary.

On temptations

Believe me, God does not send us temptations beyond our ability to resist, except perhaps for pride, for conceit, and for complaining, by which we ourselves aggravate our sorrows. Be careful not to complain or become faint-hearted. Magnanimity and patient endurance lighten sorrows, but faint-heartedness and complaining multiply and exacerbate them.

- St. Macarius

After all, what does He want from us?

After all, what does He want from us? That we should cast away from within us all the sin that defiles us. At midnight or even noon, because we sin throughout the day, enter into the depth of your soul and speak with Him who forgiveth all thine iniquities (cf. Ps. 103:2). And then say: “Forgive me, O Lord, forgive me, for I did not know that they occur before Your eyes! I was after all dead-hearted and did not think about You.” Do that throughout the day and learn to stand before God, for thus will you cleanse yourself and prepare for the coming Judgment.

And again you will see not only your smallness and the abundance of your sins, but the also goodness of God, Who desires not the death of the ungodly, as that the ungodly should turn from his way and live (Ez. 33:11).

- Hieroschemamonk Julian (Lazar)

Troparion to the New Martyrs of Russia

Saints featured: New Martyr Elizabeth, Hieromartyr Benjamin of Petrograd, New Martyr Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and Gallich, and the Holy Royal Martyrs of Russia (St. Tsar Nicholas II and family), and the countless millions of Russian Orthodox martyrs of the 20th century.

This is a facebook page dedicated to the Holy New Martyr Elizabeth, the Grand Duchess of Russia.

Please Saint Elizabeth, pray for me the sinner <3

The holy freedom of Christ

In truth there is only one freedom - the holy freedom of Christ, whereby He freed us from sin, from evil, from the devil. It binds us to God. All other freedoms are illusory, false, that is to say, they are all, in fact, slavery.

- St. Justin Popovich, Ascetical and Theological Chapters

Prayers please…

Please pray for me right now, that everything will be fine! I know God has a plan about everything but please pray that I’ll trust Him and He’ll help me… Please send to me and to the people involved (God knows the situation) as many prayers as you can… Especially ask for the intercessions of St. Seraphim of Sarov, Saint Xenia of Russia and Saint Matrona the Blind.

Thank you <3 <3

For another time, let&#8217;s see how many we are :)
(note: you can add your fb under this pic if someone wants to add you)

For another time, let’s see how many we are :)

(note: you can add your fb under this pic if someone wants to add you)

The phenomenon of the Holy Snakes of the Virgin Mary has been occurring for centuries during the festivities to the Theotokos between August 5 and August 15 in the village of Markopoulo on the island of Kefalonia, Greece. 

The small black snakes appear at the Eastern Orthodox Church of Panagia of Langouvarda on the site of a monastery, established as a nunnery and dedicated to Our Lady of Langouvarda.

The snakes have a small cross on their head and their tongues are also in the shape of a cross. They are known to belong to the Telescopus fallax species, also known as the European Cat Snake, and they appear in and around the courtyard of the church, on the walls and on the bell tower. The snakes show no fear while the services are held and are harmless during the festivities. As soon as the Liturgy concludes on the 15th of August, they become hostile and aggressive and disappear back into the wilderness of the area. The snakes cannot be found until the following year.

The inhabitants of the villages consider them to be holy, collecting them and setting them on the silver icon of the Virgin of the Snakes (Panagia Fidoussa). It has been documented by the locals that during World War II and the year of the island’s destructive 1953 earthquake in August, the snakes failed to appear. The locals now use this as a sign that if the snakes do not show just before the 15th of August that something bad is imminent.

This year, the snakes hadn’t appear until August 11, so panick attacked the believers that live in the island, because when they fail to appear, then it seems to mean that some sort of disaster is coming to the island.

Blessed Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos!

In giving birth you preserved your virginity,

In falling asleep you did not forsake the world, O Theotokos.

You were translated to life, O Mother of Life,

And by your prayers, you deliver our souls from death.

The principal thing..

The principal thing is to walk before God, or under God’s eye, aware that God is looking at you, searching your soul and your heart, seeing all that is there. This awareness is the most powerful lever in the mechanism of the inner spiritual life.

-St. Theophanes the Recluse

Our World Is In An Ugly Storm&#8230; Save Us O Lord&#8230;

Our World Is In An Ugly Storm… Save Us O Lord…

Fasting Guidelines: Dormition Fast 2014

Today, as every year, I post the guidelines for the fasting of the Dormition of Theotokos. The guidelines in this post are general. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that should be practiced with the oversight and direction of your spiritual father.

The general guidelines for the Dormition Fast are as follows:

WEEKDAYS are Strict Fast Days. On these days we abstain from meat, dairy, fish with backbones, fowl, wine, and oil.

SATURDAYS and SUNDAYS are Wine and Oil Days. On these days the fast is relaxed to permit wine and oil, but we still abstain from meat, dairy, fish with backbones, and fowl.

The one exception to these general rules is that the Great Feast of the Holy Transfiguration of our Lord, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ (August 6), which always falls during the Dormition Fast, is celebrated as a Fish, Wine, and Oil Day. On this great feastday, the fast is further relaxed to permit fish with backbones, in addition to wine and oil, but we still abstain from meat, dairy, and fowl.

Notes:

  1. Meals for the fast should follow the dietary restrictions and be cooked simply. Portions should be smaller than usual.
  2. If you have a medical condition that requires you to relax the fasting guidelines, then do so.
  3. Generally speaking, children and elderly people are allowed to relax the fast under the guidance of their spiritual father.

Blessed fast!

(This icon is called “Dormition of the Mother of God”, by the hand of Matthew Garrett, 2007)