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A Brief Life Of Saint NECTARIOS Metropolitan Of Pentapolis, Wonderworker Of AEGINA

November 10, 2009 Leave a comment

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St. Nectarios, earthly name was Anastasios, as he was called, was from a very poor family in nineteenth century Selybria, in Thrace. He attempted to board a ship to Constantinople to find work, but he had no money for a ticket. The engines of the ship roared, yet it would not move until young Anastasios was permitted aboard. En route, the sea once raged, but Anastasios dipped his cross, which contained a piece of the True Cross, into the water three times, praying “Silence! Be still.” The waters became still, but he lost his cross. As the ship continued, a loud continuous knocking was heard from beneath the ship. When they arrived at their destination, the sailors found the cross stuck to the bottom of the ship, as if the holy Cross of our Lord led the ship… When he was 29 years of age, he became a monk on the island of Chios. The patriarch sent him to study theology in Athens, and he was ordained Priest Nektarios (when you become a monk your name is changed), and later the Bishop of Pentapolis.

However, owing to jealousy and alleged improprieties, he was removed from office, only to be rejected again in Athens and island of Euboiea. He suffered as a pauper, but he persevered, and his integrity and his wisdom shone through. The people of Euboiea embraced him. He became the Dean of the School of Theology in Athens in 1910 and helped begin a convent and became a spiritual father with healing powers for many throughout Greece. Ten years later, he was taken from Aegina to a hospital ward in Athens for the poor and incurable. He gave up his spirit there, and they prepared him for burial. His sweater was placed on the nearby bed of a paralytic, who suddenly regained his strength and walked. The room, which has since become a chapel, was filled with a beautiful fragrance for many days after his repose in the Lord our God. Healings are seen throughout the world to this day by the saint’s holy prayers. He is considered the patron saint of those with cancer, heart trouble, arthritis, for those who are seeking a job, and epilepsy.

St. Nectarios lived from 1846 until 1920. On November 9th, (1920) St. Nectarios reposed in the Lord. The Feast day for St. Nectarios is 9 November.

Professor John E. Rexine, of Colgate University wrote the following:

“Widely known among the Orthodox as a great miracle-worker, particularly as a healer of every sort of disease, St. Nectarios was a many-sided personality. He was a prolific writer, theologian, philosopher, moralist, educator, poet, ascetic and mystic.”

Categories: Lives of Saints

Saint Paraskeva the New, who have her holy relics in Iasi, Romania

October 14, 2009 Leave a comment

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Inside the Metropolitan Cathedral “Saint Parascheva”, in a silver coffin, lie the relics of Saint Parascheva. She is considered the Patron Saint and Protector of Moldavia and each year, on October the 14th, on the Saint’s Day, hundreds of thousands of people from al over the county and abroad come on a pilgrimage to Iasi to pray by her relics, and to ask the saint to intercede for them and their families. Her holy relics were brought to Iasi in 1641 by Prince Vasile Lupu.

In the Eastern Orthodox tradition there are three different saints known as St. Parascheva.

The first one was born in Rome, in the 2nd century, and is considered a healer and a protector of cattle and crops. She is commemorated on August the 8th. The second one was born in Iconia and she died during the reign of the emperor Diocletian in the 3rd century. Her feast day, October 27th, is observed mostly in Dalmatia. The third one, the one whose relics are sheltered in the metropolitan cathedral in Iasi, Romania, lived around the year 1000 A.D. and is the best known and the most widely revered by Eastern Orthodox Christians. Variations of her name include St. Parascheva of Tirnovo, St. Parascheva the Serbian, St. Parascheva of Belgrade, St. Parascheva the New, St. Parascheva the Young, and St. Parascheva of the Balkans.

St. Parascheva was born at the beginning of the 11th century A.D. into a wealthy, noble, and pious Christian family in the town of Epivat (now in Turkey) on the shores of the Marmara Sea. At the age of ten, while attending the liturgy in the “Church of the Holy Theotokos”, she heard the words, “Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me.” The words of the Lord had a profound effect on the young girl, and they became the subject of her meditations. The future St. Parascheva began to dress poor people in her expensive clothes – her good deeds later earning her recognition as a patron saint of such trades as spinning, sewing, weaving, and knitting – but her parents objected, finding the girl’s charity more than they could understand or support, and trying to get her to stop. To follow her calling, Parascheva abandoned her wealth and privileges, left her parents, and ran away to Constantinople. There, near relics of saints, she spent her time in prayer, meditating on the words of Christ.

To elude her parents, who were traveling from city to city trying to find her, she moved to Chalcedon, and then to the “Church of the Most Holy Theotokos”, in Heraclea Pontica, near the Black Sea. She spent the next five years there, living an austere life of continuous prayer and devotion. During her prayers she received visions of the Holy Virgin Mary and in one of the visions, she was instructed to go to Jerusalem. After spending some time in the city, she joined a convent in the Jordanian desert. A few years later, she returned to Constantinople and then, at the age of twenty-five, moved to the village of Katikratia where, at the “Church of the Holy Apostles”, she lived the remaining two years of her life.

Legend has it that many years later an old sinner was buried near her grave. Parascheva appeared in a dream to a local monk, showed him the place of her burial, and asked him to “take that stinky corpse away from me. I am light and sun, and I cannot bear to have near me darkness and stench.“ The monk, with some local help, began to dig out the place he had seen in his dream and when they found the remains of the Saint, her uncorrupted body was emitting spiritual fragrances. Then they interred the Saint in the “Church of the Holy Apostles”, where she had spent the last years of her earthly existence.

Later on her relics were moved to Tirnovo, in Bulgaria, then to Belgrade, in Serbia, and finally to Constantinople. In 1641, they were given as a gift to the Prince of Moldavia, Vasile Lupu, in recognition of his support for the Ecumenical Patriarchy of Constantinople. Her intact relics have remained in Iasi ever since. She is venerated as the Protector of Iasi and all of Moldavia and each year, hundreds of thousands of Orthodox faithful and hierarchs from many countries gather in Iasi to celebrate her feast day and venerate her holy relics, which continue to work miracles.






Troparion – Tone 4

You are worthy of praise, Paraskeva.
You loved the ascetic and hesychast life.
You ran with longing to your Bridegroom, Christ.
You accepted His good yoke in your tender years, marking yourself with the sign of the Cross.
You fought against impure thoughts;
through fasting, prayer and the shedding of tears you quenched the burning coal of the passions.
Now in the heavenly bridal chamber of Christ,
as you stand together with the wise virgins
intercede for us who honor your precious memory.


REFLECTION

Examples of how the saints themselves reveal their hidden relics to men justify the honor rendered to the relics of the saints-not to mention the miraculous action of these relics, which doubly justifies them. For a long, long time, no one could locate the grave of St. Parasceva. Then it happened that a sailor died, and his body was carelessly laid in the proximity of the saint’s grave. When the body turned into carrion and began to emit an unbearable stench, a monk who lived nearby summoned the peasants to help him bury the corpse. It happened that they buried him in St. Parasceva’s own grave. That night, St. Parasceva appeared in a dream to one of those peasants (George by name) who had buried the corpse. She appeared as a beautiful and exquisitely-adorned queen, surrounded by many glorious soldiers. She said: “George, exhume my relics at once, and lay them in another place; for I can no longer endure the stench from that corpse.” Then she told him who she was, and where she was from. The same night a local peasant woman named Euphemia had the same dream. The next day, the peasants began to dig and in fact found the relics of St. Parasceva. They were extraordinarily fragrant, and soon proved to be miracle-working.
Concerning the relics of St. Gervasius and St. Protasius, St. Ambrose relates how their relics were discovered in a similar manner. One night, two handsome youths and an old man appeared to Ambrose, who was awake. He thought that the old man was the Apostle Paul. While the young men remained silent, the old man spoke to Ambrose concerning them, saying that they were Christ’s martyrs, and that their relics lay in the very place where Ambrose was praying to God at that time. He went on to say that everything else concerning them would be revealed in a book that Ambrose would find in their grave. The following day, Ambrose recounted his vision and began to dig, and found the relics of both men. From the book that he found he learned that their names were Gervasius and Protasius. In the presence of St. Ambrose, a certain blind man named Severus touched these holy relics and immediately received his sight.


Categories: Lives of Saints

Saint Sergius of Radonezh

September 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Repose of the Venerable Sergius, Abbot and Wonderworker of Radonezh is  commemorated on September 25.


Troparion – Tone 4


A zealot of good deeds
and a true warrior of Christ warrior of Christ our God,
you struggled greatly against the passions in this passing life;
in songs and vigils and fasting you were an image and example to your disciples,
thus the most Holy Spirit lived within you,
and you were made beautiful by His working.
Since you have great boldness before the Holy Trinity,
remember the flock which you have wisely gathered,
and do not forget to visit your children as you promised, venerable Sergius our father!


Kontakion – Tone 8


Bound by the love of Christ, O venerable one, and following Him with unwavering desire,
you despised all carnal pleasures and you shone like the sun in your land.
Therefore, Christ has enriched you with the gift of miracles.
Remember us who venerate your most holy memory,
and who call out to you:  “Rejoice, Sergius, made wise by God!”



HYMN OF PRAISE

An example of prayerful meekness
From his youth, holy Sergius
Loved God and God’s beauty,
And instilled serenity and goodness in himself.
He filled the wilderness with ceaseless prayer,
And transformed the forest into a holy place of God.
He cared not for worldly vanity,
Nor was he ever angered.
He was utterly quiet and meek with everyone,
Yet not meek toward the wicked adversary.
With the foe of God, the father of all lies,
Who seeks to devour the souls of men,
Sergius bravely waged a bitter struggle,
Tireless and powerful unto the final victory.
Thus the elder reposed, but the saint remained
As a fiery pillar for the Russian people,
Beseeching God for every blessing
And bringing blessings down from heaven to his people.
Holy Sergius, do not cease to shine,
Do not cease to pray to the Most-high God
For the good of the Church, for the good of Russia,
In the glory of Christ, O Saint Sergius!

Categories: Lives of Saints