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Lives of the Saints - an Information Only Thread

Irish Hermit

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Saints of the Soviet Era: The Life of Metropolitan Nicholas of
              Alma-Ata and Kazakhstan, Confessor
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http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/print41949.htm

God never abandoned the Moscow Patriarchate but rather adorned her
with zealous Orthodox confessors, martyrs, elders and wonder-workers.

Despite the various sins and failings of some amongst her, a vibrant,
even miraculous, spiritual life was carried on unseen by the world.

Here is St Nicholas Metropolitan of Alma-Ata. Through his prayers may
we all find mercy with God

 

mike

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I would be grateful for any info or icon of St. Cornelia, something more than this: http://saints.sqpn.com/saintca1.htm
TIA
 

ialmisry

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Serbian church to honor Gary-born St. Varnava

From his childhood in Gary to his death in Yugoslavia, St. Varnava always protected his faith and was dedicated to a Christian life.

St. Varnava is the first American-born Serbian to be proclaimed an Orthodox saint, said the Rev. Thomas Kazich, who also is a Gary native.

St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church will honor St. Varnava during a service at 6 p.m. Thursday at the church, 9191 Mississippi St., Merrillville. Kazich, with the Serbian Diocese of North America, and the Rev. Marko Matic, a priest at St. Sava, will be involved in the service.

"Not that many people know we have a saint in our neighborhood," Matic said.

Varnava was born in Gary in 1914 and lived at a home near 12th Avenue and Madison Street, Kazich said.

Varnava, whose secular name was Vojislav Nastic, was the first person baptized at St. Sava when it was located in Gary.

"He grew up in a very spiritual family," Matic said.

He also served as an alter boy at the church.

"He was at the services every Sunday," Kazich said.

Varnava went to Froebel Elementary School while he and his family lived in Gary for about nine years. They moved Yugoslavia in 1923, Kazich said.

From his childhood in Gary to his death in Yugoslavia, St. Varnava always protected his faith and was dedicated to a Christian life.

St. Varnava is the first American-born Serbian to be proclaimed an Orthodox saint, said the Rev. Thomas Kazich, who also is a Gary native.

St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church will honor St. Varnava during a service at 6 p.m. Thursday at the church, 9191 Mississippi St., Merrillville. Kazich, with the Serbian Diocese of North America, and the Rev. Marko Matic, a priest at St. Sava, will be involved in the service.

"Not that many people know we have a saint in our neighborhood," Matic said.

Varnava was born in Gary in 1914 and lived at a home near 12th Avenue and Madison Street, Kazich said.

Varnava, whose secular name was Vojislav Nastic, was the first person baptized at St. Sava when it was located in Gary.

"He grew up in a very spiritual family," Matic said.

He also served as an alter boy at the church.

"He was at the services every Sunday," Kazich said.

Varnava went to Froebel Elementary School while he and his family lived in Gary for about nine years. They moved Yugoslavia in 1923, Kazich said.

From his childhood in Gary to his death in Yugoslavia, St. Varnava always protected his faith and was dedicated to a Christian life.

St. Varnava is the first American-born Serbian to be proclaimed an Orthodox saint, said the Rev. Thomas Kazich, who also is a Gary native.

St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church will honor St. Varnava during a service at 6 p.m. Thursday at the church, 9191 Mississippi St., Merrillville. Kazich, with the Serbian Diocese of North America, and the Rev. Marko Matic, a priest at St. Sava, will be involved in the service.

"Not that many people know we have a saint in our neighborhood," Matic said.

Varnava was born in Gary in 1914 and lived at a home near 12th Avenue and Madison Street, Kazich said.

Varnava, whose secular name was Vojislav Nastic, was the first person baptized at St. Sava when it was located in Gary.

"He grew up in a very spiritual family," Matic said.

He also served as an alter boy at the church.

"He was at the services every Sunday," Kazich said.

Varnava went to Froebel Elementary School while he and his family lived in Gary for about nine years. They moved Yugoslavia in 1923, Kazich said.

From his childhood in Gary to his death in Yugoslavia, St. Varnava always protected his faith and was dedicated to a Christian life.

St. Varnava is the first American-born Serbian to be proclaimed an Orthodox saint, said the Rev. Thomas Kazich, who also is a Gary native.

St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church will honor St. Varnava during a service at 6 p.m. Thursday at the church, 9191 Mississippi St., Merrillville. Kazich, with the Serbian Diocese of North America, and the Rev. Marko Matic, a priest at St. Sava, will be involved in the service.

"Not that many people know we have a saint in our neighborhood," Matic said.

Varnava was born in Gary in 1914 and lived at a home near 12th Avenue and Madison Street, Kazich said.

Varnava, whose secular name was Vojislav Nastic, was the first person baptized at St. Sava when it was located in Gary.

"He grew up in a very spiritual family," Matic said.

He also served as an alter boy at the church.

"He was at the services every Sunday," Kazich said.

Varnava went to Froebel Elementary School while he and his family lived in Gary for about nine years. They moved Yugoslavia in 1923, Kazich said.

From his childhood in Gary to his death in Yugoslavia, St. Varnava always protected his faith and was dedicated to a Christian life.

St. Varnava is the first American-born Serbian to be proclaimed an Orthodox saint, said the Rev. Thomas Kazich, who also is a Gary native.

St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church will honor St. Varnava during a service at 6 p.m. Thursday at the church, 9191 Mississippi St., Merrillville. Kazich, with the Serbian Diocese of North America, and the Rev. Marko Matic, a priest at St. Sava, will be involved in the service.

"Not that many people know we have a saint in our neighborhood," Matic said.

Varnava was born in Gary in 1914 and lived at a home near 12th Avenue and Madison Street, Kazich said.

Varnava, whose secular name was Vojislav Nastic, was the first person baptized at St. Sava when it was located in Gary.

"He grew up in a very spiritual family," Matic said.

He also served as an alter boy at the church.

"He was at the services every Sunday," Kazich said.

Varnava went to Froebel Elementary School while he and his family lived in Gary for about nine years. They moved Yugoslavia in 1923, Kazich said.

Varnava was ordained a priest in the early 1940s, and the Serbian Church elected him to become a bishop in 1947, Kazich said.

Varnava began to preach against the Communist way of life after becoming a bishop, and Yugoslavia's Communist government arrested him on treason charges.

During his trial, Varnava wasn't allowed to deliver a final defense plea because "it was feared that he would expose and reveal the government's criminal, terroristic and tyrannical policies," according to a report written by Kazich.

In 1948, Varnava was sentenced to 11 years at one of the worst prisons at the time in Yugoslavia, Kazich said.

He spent about three years there, and the government intended to kill him when he was being transferred to another prison, Kazich said. He was placed on a train car with other prisoners, and the government ran another train into the car, he said.

Varnava survived the crash, but his legs were broken.

"And he suffered from that for the rest of his life," Kazich said.

Due to health problems, Varnava was released from prison in 1951, but he always was under guard by the Communist government until he died in 1964.

St. Varnava was canonized about five years ago.

http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/gary/article_59a68bb0-72af-5dc8-ba04-17adac7f2376.html?mode=story
 

Alpo

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34 Holy Martyrs of Valaam Monastery

John Sanidopoulos said:
These thirty-four venerable Fathers of the Monastery of the Transfiguration at Valaam on Lake Ladoga bravely offered their lives for the holy Orthodox Faith, on 20 February 1578.

They were massacred by a company of converts to Lutheranism, who, after beleaguering the monastery, had vainly tried to make them renounce Orthodoxy.

Since the day of their martyrdom an office of commemorationhas been celebrated for them each year in the katholicon of the monastery.

The names of these holy confessors and martyrs are: Hieromonk Titus, Tikhon (Great Habit monk), and the monks Gelasius, Sergius, Barlaam, Savvas, Conon, Sylvester, Cyprian, Poemen, John, Simon, Jonas, David, Cornelius, Niphon, Athanasius, Serapion, and the novices Athanasius, Luke, Leontius, Thoma, Dionysius, Philip, Ignatius, Basil, Pachomius, Basil, Theophilus, John, Theodroe, and John.

Their memory was officially recognized by the Patriarchate of Moscow in August 2000.
MYSTAGOGY
 

Salpy

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About St. Frumentius, who brought the Orthodox faith to the people of Ethiopia:

http://orthodox-mission.blogspot.com/2011/03/orthodox-mission-ethiopia.html
 

Salpy

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About St. Ninian, a saint of the British Isles:

http://orthodox-mission.blogspot.com/2011/02/missionary-history-st-ninian.html
 

mike

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St. Hierarch-Martyr Bruno of Querfurt, the Apostle of Prussians

Commemorated on 14th of February​

Saint Bruno of Querfurt (c. 970 – February 14, 1009), also known as Brun and Boniface, is a sainted missionary bishop and martyr, who was beheaded near the border of Kievan Rus and Lithuania while trying to spread Christianity in Eastern Europe. He is also called the second Apostle of the Prussians (Old Prussians).

Bruno was from a noble family of Querfurt (now in Saxony-Anhalt). He is rumored to have been a relative of the Holy Roman Emperor Otto III. At the age of six he was sent to be educated in Magdeburg, seat of Adalbert of Magdeburg, the teacher and namesake of Saint Adalbert. While still a youth he was made a canon of Magdeburg cathedral. The fifteen-year-old Otto III made Bruno a part of his royal court. While in Rome for Otto's imperial coronation, Bruno met Saint Adalbert of Prague, the first Apostle of the Prussians, killed a year later, which inspired Bruno to write a biography of St Adalbert when he reached the recently Christianized and consolidated Kingdom of Hungary himself. Bruno spent much time at the monastery where Adalbert had become a monk and where abbot John Canaparius may have written a life of Saint Adalbert. Later, Bruno entered a monastery near Ravenna, founded by Otto, and underwent severe ascetic training under the guidance of St. Romuald...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruno_of_Querfurt
 

Irish Hermit

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Celtic and Old English Saints          7 August

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
* St. Claudia
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Was the first Pope of Rome a Celt?

The Christian faith came to England in the first century AD. Tertullian
wrote a tract against the Jews about 200 AD and mentions that there were
areas in Britain that were inaccessible to the Romans but had been
conquered by Christ. The first notable Christian was probably a man
named Bran, who was the father of Caractacus, king of the Silurian tribe
in Britain. He, and his family were taken captive to Rome in 50 AD, and
faced a public execution. Included in this party were Bran's father Llyr
Llediaith, his son Caractacus, and the children of Caractacus who
included the beautiful Claudia and probably Linus. When they arrived in
Rome, in chains, the emperor Claudius had Caractacus brought before the
Roman Senate. There he made an impassioned speech and as a result was
not only given a pardon but also a pension and rooms in the Imperial
palace. Caractacus was eventually returned to England as a puppet king
but his family were retained in Rome as surety for his loyal behaviour.
They were allowed to live normally in Rome. It was probably during this
time that the whole family became Christians. We do know from Paul's
epistle to the Romans, written in 58 AD, that there were several
Christians in Caesar's household at this time. It is very likely that
these people shared the Christian gospel with the Royal hostages who
were also living in the imperial palace.

It is possible that it was this same Linus who became one of the leading
members of the church in Rome. A Linus eventually became its senior
elder or bishop in the latter half of the first century. Clement, the
early church father, who lived in Rome at this time wrote of the
"saintly Linus, brother of Claudia". Bran, Linus and Claudia's
grandfather, eventually returned to Britain in AD58 where he was the
focus for the church that developed around him. The ancient Welsh Triads
tell us that,

"Bran brought the faith of Christ to the Cambrians."

It was likely that this same Claudia married a young Roman Senator named
Pudens, whose full name was Rufus Pudens Pudentia. His family owned a
large home in the centre of Rome. A Spanish poet, called Martial, lived
in Rome at this time. He was not only a contemporary of Pudens but also
his friend. He usually wrote short scurrilous poems but he treats his
friends marriage with great respect. Several of his poems mention this
marriage.

"O Rufus, my friend Pudens marries the foreigner Claudia."

Although Claudia was a relatively common name, the following poem
suggests that this Claudia was the daughter of Caractacus.

"Concerning Claudia Rufina -
Seeing Claudia Rufina has sprung from the azure Britons, how come she
has the feeling of a Latin maid?
Thanks to the gods, she has borne many children to her holy husband."

The description of a Roman Senator as being 'holy' is most unusual and
taken together with other information does suggest that he had become a
Christian. This affluent couple used their home as a Christian centre,
and it is likely that Paul might have visited their house. At first this
house, which still stands in Rome was called the 'Palatium Britannicum',
presumably because of the link with the family of Caractacus. Another
name was the 'Hospitium Apostolorum', or 'Apostles House'. The apostles
referred to probably included Paul and Peter. Today the house is called
'St. Pudentiana'. There is an inscription on the wall of this house
saying,

"This is the house of Sanctus Pudens, in which many martyrs were buried
by Pudentiana and Praxedes themselves."

Praxedes was one of the sons of Pudens and Claudia. It is known that the
children of this couple were martyred for their Christian faith. Another
interesting fact is that Emperor Constantine the Great, the first
Christian Roman Emperor, was himself a fourth generation descendant of
Caractacus through another of his sons, Cyllinus. Cyllinus' son was
named Coel, who during his short reign founded the fortress town of
Colchester in Essex, which still bears his name. Most people know of him
as 'Old King Cole' of nursery rhyme fame! Coel's daughter, Helen, was a
Christian and she became the mother of Constantine the Great.

Although the precise details of this story are not proven, it does
demonstrate how active the early church was. It is also fascinating
because Paul mentions the names of these leading Roman Christians in one
of his epistles to Timothy.

"Eubulus greets you, and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the
brothers." (2 Timothy 4 v. 21)

Another Life:

1st century. Saint Claudia, mother of Pope Saint Linus, is said to have
been the daughter of the British king Caractacus, who was sent to Rome
with his family in chains when he was defeated by Aulus Plautius.
Released by Emperor Claudius, one of his daughters took the name
Claudia, remained in Rome, was baptized, and is the Claudia mentioned in
Saint Paul's second letter to Timothy (4:21). Another tradition makes
her the daughter of Cogidubnus, a British ally of Claudius, who took the
emperor's name. In a third postulation, Martial mentions a British lady,
Claudia Rufina, and says she was married to his friend Aulus Pudens, a
Roman senator, which would mean she was the mother of Saints Praxedes
and Pudentiana. Another tradition has this senator the Pudens also
mentioned in the same letter of Saint Paul (2 Timothy 4:21)
(Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopaedia).

Lives kindly supplied by:
For All the Saints:
http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/ss-index.htm

These Lives are archived at:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celt-saints
**************************************
 

mike

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Saints Benedict, John, Matthew, Isaac and Christian, the Protomartys of Poland

Commemorated on 12th of November​

The Five Holy Martyrs were slain on the night of Nov. 10-11, 1003 at their hermitage in Miedzyrzecze (which has also been known as Kazimierz). The murderers stole the monks’ vestments and the antimension, a cloth containing relics of saints that was kept on the altar. According to their own testimony at their trial, they then set a fire, hoping they could hide their crime. But the monastery and the martyrs’ bodies did not burn...

http://ampoleagle.com/the-five-holy-martyrs-p1497-131.htm
 

Melodist

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St Patrick - March 17th



[quote author=http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp?SID=4&ID=1&FSID=100821]Saint Patrick, the Enlightener of Ireland was born around 385, the son of Calpurnius, a Roman decurion (an official responsible for collecting taxes). He lived in the village of Bannavem Taberniae, which may have been located at the mouth of the Severn River in Wales. The district was raided by pirates when Patrick was sixteen, and he was one of those taken captive. He was brought to Ireland and sold as a slave, and was put to work as a herder of swine on a mountain identified with Slemish in Co. Antrim. During his period of slavery, Patrick acquired a proficiency in the Irish language which was very useful to him in his later mission.

He prayed during his solitude on the mountain, and lived this way for six years. He had two visions. The first told him he would return to his home. The second told him his ship was ready. Setting off on foot, Patrick walked two hundred miles to the coast. There he succeeded in boarding a ship, and returned to his parents in Britain.

Some time later, he went to Gaul and studied for the priesthood at Auxerre under St Germanus (July 31). Eventually, he was consecrated as a bishop, and was entrusted with the mission to Ireland, succeeding St Palladius (July 7). St Palladius did not achieve much success in Ireland. After about a year he went to Scotland, where he died in 432.

Patrick had a dream in which an angel came to him bearing many letters. Selecting one inscribed "The Voice of the Irish," he heard the Irish entreating him to come back to them.

Although St Patrick achieved remarkable results in spreading the Gospel, he was not the first or only missionary in Ireland. He arrived around 432 (though this date is disputed), about a year after St Palladius began his mission to Ireland. There were also other missionaries who were active on the southeast coast, but it was St Patrick who had the greatest influence and success in preaching the Gospel of Christ. Therefore, he is known as "The Enlightener of Ireland."

His autobiographical Confession tells of the many trials and disappointments he endured. Patrick had once confided to a friend that he was troubled by a certain sin he had committed before he was fifteen years old. The friend assured him of God's mercy, and even supported Patrick's nomination as bishop. Later, he turned against him and revealed what Patrick had told him in an attempt to prevent his consecration. Many years later, Patrick still grieved for his dear friend who had publicly shamed him.

St Patrick founded many churches and monasteries across Ireland, but the conversion of the Irish people was no easy task. There was much hostility, and he was assaulted several times. He faced danger, and insults, and he was reproached for being a foreigner and a former slave. There was also a very real possibility that the pagans would try to kill him. Despite many obstacles, he remained faithful to his calling, and he baptized many people into Christ.

The saint's Epistle to Coroticus is also an authentic work. In it he denounces the attack of Coroticus' men on one of his congregations. The Breastplate (Lorica) is also attributed to St Patrick. In his writings, we can see St Patrick's awareness that he had been called by God, as well as his determination and modesty in undertaking his missionary work. He refers to himself as "a sinner," "the most ignorant and of least account," and as someone who was "despised by many." He ascribes his success to God, rather than to his own talents: "I owe it to God's grace that through me so many people should be born again to Him."

By the time he established his episcopal See in Armargh in 444, St Patrick had other bishops to assist him, many native priests and deacons, and he encouraged the growth of monasticism.

St Patrick is often depicted holding a shamrock, or with snakes fleeing from him. He used the shamrock to illustrate the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Its three leaves growing out of a single stem helped him to explain the concept of one God in three Persons. Many people now regard the story of St Patrick driving all the snakes out of Ireland as having no historical basis.

St Patrick died on March 17, 461 (some say 492). There are various accounts of his last days, but they are mostly legendary. Muirchu says that no one knows the place where St Patrick is buried. St Columba of Iona (June 9) says that the Holy Spirit revealed to him that Patrick was buried at Saul, the site of his first church. A granite slab was placed at his traditional grave site in Downpatrick in 1899.[/quote]

St Patrick's Confession
[quote author=http://saintsilouan.org/orthodoxy/saints/patrick/confession/]For there is no other God, nor ever was before, nor shall be hereafter, but God the Father, unbegotten and without beginning, in whom all things began, whose are all things, as we have been taught; and his son Jesus Christ, who manifestly always existed with the Father, before the beginning of time in the spirit with the Father, indescribably begotten before all things, and all things visible and invisible were made by him. He was made man, conquered death and was received into Heaven, to the Father who gave him all power over every name in Heaven and on Earth and in Hell, so that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and God, in whom we believe. And we look to his imminent coming again, the judge of the living and the dead, who will render to each according to his deeds. And he poured out his Holy Spirit on us in abundance, the gift and pledge of immortality, which makes the believers and the obedient into sons of God and co-heirs of Christ who is revealed, and we worship one God in the Trinity of holy name.[/quote]

St Patrick's Breastplate
[quote author=http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/i/i024.html]I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.
I bind this day to me for ever,
by power of faith, Christ's Incarnation;
his baptism in Jordan river;
his death on cross for my salvation;
his bursting from the spicèd tomb;
his riding up the heavenly way;
his coming at the day of doom:
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
of the great love of cherubim;
the sweet "Well done" in judgment hour;
the service of the seraphim;
confessors' faith, apostles' word,
the patriarchs' prayers, the prophets' scrolls;
all good deeds done unto the Lord,
and purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the starlit heaven
the glorious sun's life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea,
around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
his eye to watch, his might to stay,
his ear to hearken, to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
his heavenly host to be my guard.

Christ be with me,
Christ within me,
Christ behind me,
Christ before me,
Christ beside me,
Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort
and restore me.
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of
all that love me,
Christ in mouth of
friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
praise to the Lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord.[/quote]

[quote author=http://oca.org/FStropars.asp?SID=13&ID=100821]Troparion - Tone 3
Holy Bishop Patrick,
Faithful shepherd of Christ's royal flock,
You filled Ireland with the radiance of the Gospel:
The mighty strength of the Trinity!
Now that you stand before the Savior,
Pray that He may preserve us in faith and love!

Kontakion - Tone 4
From slavery you escaped to freedom in Christ's service:
He sent you to deliver Ireland from the devil's bondage.
You planted the Word of the Gospel in pagan hearts.
In your journeys and hardships you rivaled the Apostle Paul!
Having received the reward for your labors in heaven,
Never cease to pray for the flock you have gathered on earth,
Holy bishop Patrick![/quote]
 

Asteriktos

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St. Justin Popovich (June 14)

Thread about his glorification

Mini-reviews of some of his works:
Commentary on the Epistles of St. John the Theologian
The Theory of Knowledge of St. Isaac the Syrian
Man and God-Man

Saint Justin was born to pious and God-fearing parents, Proto Spyridon and Protinica Anastasia Popović, in Vranje, South Serbia, on the Feast of Annunciation, March 25, 1894 (April 7 by the New Calendar). At baptism, he was given the name Blagoje, after the Feast of the Annunciation (Blagovest means Annunciation or Good News). He was born into a priestly family, as seven previous generations of the Popovices (Popović in Serbian actually means "family or a son of a priest") were headed by priests.

Blagoje Popović completed the nine-years' studies at the Theological Faculty St. Sava in Belgrade in 1914. In the early twentieth century the School of St. Sava in Belgrade was renowned throughout the Orthodox world as a holy place of extreme asceticism as well as of a high quality of scholarship. Some of the well-known professors included the rector, Fr. Domentian; Professor Fr. Dositej, later a martyr; and Dr. Atanasije Popović ; and the great ecclesiastical composer, Stevan Mokranjac. Yet one professor stood head and shoulders above the rest: the then Hieromonk Nikolai Velimirović, Ph.D., the single most influential person in Fr. Justin's life.

During the early part of World War I, in autumn of 1914, Blagoje served as a student nurse primarily in South Serbia—Skadar, Niš, Kosovo, etc. Unfortunately, while in this capacity, he contracted typhus during the winter of 1914 and had to spend over a month in a hospital in Niš. On January 8, 1915, he resumed his duties sharing the destiny of the Serbian army, he passed a path of Golgotha from Peć to Skadar (along which 100,000 Serbian soldiers died) where on January 1, 1916, he entered the monastic order in the Orthodox cathedral of Skadar, and took the name of St. Justin, after the great Christian philosopher and martyr for Christ, St. Justin the Philosopher.

Shortly after becoming a monk, Father Justin, along with several other students, traveled to Petrograd, Russia, to begin a year's study in the Orthodox seminary there. It was here the young monk Justin first dedicated himself more fully to Orthodoxy and the monastic way. He learned of the great ascetics of Russia: St. Anthony the Great and St. Theodosius of the Kiev Caves in Kiev, St. Seraphim Sarovsky, St. Sergius of Radonezh, St. John of Kronstadt, and others.

After his year's study and sojourn in Russia, Fr. Justin Popović entered, by the prompting of his older colleague, Fr. Nikolai Velimirovich later Bishop Nikolaj, the Theological School in Oxford, England. Justin attended the studies of theology at Oxford in the period 1916-1919, but his doctor's thesis under the title "Filozofija i religija F.M.Dostojevskog" (The Philosophy and Religion of F.M. Dostoevsky) was not accepted.

In 1923, Fr. Justin became the editor of the Orthodox journal The Christian Life; and in this journal appeared his first doctoral dissertation, "The Philosophy and Religion of Dostoevsky," for which he was persecuted at Oxford. Together with his fellow colleagues from the Oxford University he has edited the periodical The Christian Life for twenty years.

In 1926 he was promoted to the title of the Doctor of Theology at the Faculty of Theology, University in Athens (his dissertation being "Problem ličnosti i saznanja po Sv. Makariju Egipatskom", The Problem of Personality and Cognition According to St. Macarius of Egypt). For his course on the Lives of the Saints, Justin began to translate into Serbian the Lives of the Saints from the Greek, Syriac, and Slavonic sources, as well as numerous minor works of the Fathers—homilies of Ss. John Chrysostom, Macarius, and Isaac of Syria. He also wrote an exquisite book, The Theory of Knowledge According to St. Isaac.

From 1930 until 1932 after a stint as Professor in the Theological Academy of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Prizren, he was an associate and escort of Bp. Joseph (Cvijovich) of Bitola in reorganizing the Church of the Carpatho-Russians in Czechoslovakia. This area had been besieged by those espousing Uniatism, where previously converted Christians of these regions started their conversion back into Orthodoxy.

Fr. Dr. Justin was chosen, in 1934, as Professor of Dogmatics at the Theological Faculty of St. Sava in Belgrade. As the professor at the University of Belgrade he was one of the founders (1938) of the Serbian Philosophical Society along with a number of noted intellectuals of Belgrade.

He was also the professor of Dogmatics at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology of the University of Belgrade from 1934 until 1941, until the World War II. In 1945, within the perspective of the newly established communist and atheistic regime, the likes of a zealous Christian such as St. Justin, who was now beginning to convert the intellectuals to faith in Jesus Christ, had no place. Considered ineligible by the Communist party, together with a few fellow professors, he was ousted from the Faculty in 1945. As an ecclesiastical person and clergyman St. Justin spent 31 years in the Monastery Ćelije under the continuous surveillance of the Communist Party police.

Saint Justin of Ćelije fell asleep in the Lord on March 25, 1979, on his birthday, the Feast of the Annunciation (April 7 by the New Calendar).

-- Source: Orthodoxwiki
The orthodoxwiki has links to some of his writings, as does the regular wiki article.
 

hecma925

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Melodist said:
St Patrick - March 17th



[quote author=http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp?SID=4&ID=1&FSID=100821]Saint Patrick, the Enlightener of Ireland was born around 385, the son of Calpurnius, a Roman decurion (an official responsible for collecting taxes). He lived in the village of Bannavem Taberniae, which may have been located at the mouth of the Severn River in Wales. The district was raided by pirates when Patrick was sixteen, and he was one of those taken captive. He was brought to Ireland and sold as a slave, and was put to work as a herder of swine on a mountain identified with Slemish in Co. Antrim. During his period of slavery, Patrick acquired a proficiency in the Irish language which was very useful to him in his later mission.

He prayed during his solitude on the mountain, and lived this way for six years. He had two visions. The first told him he would return to his home. The second told him his ship was ready. Setting off on foot, Patrick walked two hundred miles to the coast. There he succeeded in boarding a ship, and returned to his parents in Britain.

Some time later, he went to Gaul and studied for the priesthood at Auxerre under St Germanus (July 31). Eventually, he was consecrated as a bishop, and was entrusted with the mission to Ireland, succeeding St Palladius (July 7). St Palladius did not achieve much success in Ireland. After about a year he went to Scotland, where he died in 432.

Patrick had a dream in which an angel came to him bearing many letters. Selecting one inscribed "The Voice of the Irish," he heard the Irish entreating him to come back to them.

Although St Patrick achieved remarkable results in spreading the Gospel, he was not the first or only missionary in Ireland. He arrived around 432 (though this date is disputed), about a year after St Palladius began his mission to Ireland. There were also other missionaries who were active on the southeast coast, but it was St Patrick who had the greatest influence and success in preaching the Gospel of Christ. Therefore, he is known as "The Enlightener of Ireland."

His autobiographical Confession tells of the many trials and disappointments he endured. Patrick had once confided to a friend that he was troubled by a certain sin he had committed before he was fifteen years old. The friend assured him of God's mercy, and even supported Patrick's nomination as bishop. Later, he turned against him and revealed what Patrick had told him in an attempt to prevent his consecration. Many years later, Patrick still grieved for his dear friend who had publicly shamed him.

St Patrick founded many churches and monasteries across Ireland, but the conversion of the Irish people was no easy task. There was much hostility, and he was assaulted several times. He faced danger, and insults, and he was reproached for being a foreigner and a former slave. There was also a very real possibility that the pagans would try to kill him. Despite many obstacles, he remained faithful to his calling, and he baptized many people into Christ.

The saint's Epistle to Coroticus is also an authentic work. In it he denounces the attack of Coroticus' men on one of his congregations. The Breastplate (Lorica) is also attributed to St Patrick. In his writings, we can see St Patrick's awareness that he had been called by God, as well as his determination and modesty in undertaking his missionary work. He refers to himself as "a sinner," "the most ignorant and of least account," and as someone who was "despised by many." He ascribes his success to God, rather than to his own talents: "I owe it to God's grace that through me so many people should be born again to Him."

By the time he established his episcopal See in Armargh in 444, St Patrick had other bishops to assist him, many native priests and deacons, and he encouraged the growth of monasticism.

St Patrick is often depicted holding a shamrock, or with snakes fleeing from him. He used the shamrock to illustrate the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Its three leaves growing out of a single stem helped him to explain the concept of one God in three Persons. Many people now regard the story of St Patrick driving all the snakes out of Ireland as having no historical basis.

St Patrick died on March 17, 461 (some say 492). There are various accounts of his last days, but they are mostly legendary. Muirchu says that no one knows the place where St Patrick is buried. St Columba of Iona (June 9) says that the Holy Spirit revealed to him that Patrick was buried at Saul, the site of his first church. A granite slab was placed at his traditional grave site in Downpatrick in 1899.
St Patrick's Confession
[quote author=http://saintsilouan.org/orthodoxy/saints/patrick/confession/]For there is no other God, nor ever was before, nor shall be hereafter, but God the Father, unbegotten and without beginning, in whom all things began, whose are all things, as we have been taught; and his son Jesus Christ, who manifestly always existed with the Father, before the beginning of time in the spirit with the Father, indescribably begotten before all things, and all things visible and invisible were made by him. He was made man, conquered death and was received into Heaven, to the Father who gave him all power over every name in Heaven and on Earth and in Hell, so that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and God, in whom we believe. And we look to his imminent coming again, the judge of the living and the dead, who will render to each according to his deeds. And he poured out his Holy Spirit on us in abundance, the gift and pledge of immortality, which makes the believers and the obedient into sons of God and co-heirs of Christ who is revealed, and we worship one God in the Trinity of holy name.[/quote]

St Patrick's Breastplate
[quote author=http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/i/i024.html]I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.
I bind this day to me for ever,
by power of faith, Christ's Incarnation;
his baptism in Jordan river;
his death on cross for my salvation;
his bursting from the spicèd tomb;
his riding up the heavenly way;
his coming at the day of doom:
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
of the great love of cherubim;
the sweet "Well done" in judgment hour;
the service of the seraphim;
confessors' faith, apostles' word,
the patriarchs' prayers, the prophets' scrolls;
all good deeds done unto the Lord,
and purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the starlit heaven
the glorious sun's life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea,
around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
his eye to watch, his might to stay,
his ear to hearken, to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
his heavenly host to be my guard.

Christ be with me,
Christ within me,
Christ behind me,
Christ before me,
Christ beside me,
Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort
and restore me.
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of
all that love me,
Christ in mouth of
friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
praise to the Lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord.[/quote]

[quote author=http://oca.org/FStropars.asp?SID=13&ID=100821]Troparion - Tone 3
Holy Bishop Patrick,
Faithful shepherd of Christ's royal flock,
You filled Ireland with the radiance of the Gospel:
The mighty strength of the Trinity!
Now that you stand before the Savior,
Pray that He may preserve us in faith and love!

Kontakion - Tone 4
From slavery you escaped to freedom in Christ's service:
He sent you to deliver Ireland from the devil's bondage.
You planted the Word of the Gospel in pagan hearts.
In your journeys and hardships you rivaled the Apostle Paul!
Having received the reward for your labors in heaven,
Never cease to pray for the flock you have gathered on earth,
Holy bishop Patrick![/quote]
[/quote]

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
 

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Archbishop Luka (born Valentin Felixovich Voyno-Yasenetsky)

(His feast day is May 29/June 11)


ST. LUKE THE DOCTOR AND ARCHBISHOP OF CRIMEA

1877-1961


During the twentieth century, the Russian church went through her own cruel martyrdom. For seven decades a countless multitude of martyrs and confessors went through their own personal "crucifixion," offering their own blood.

One such moving martyrdom is that of Archbishop Luke, professor of Topographic Anatomy and Surgery. This man with rare talents and gifts, who served people as a pastor and as a doctor, with admirable love and self-denial, continued the traditions of the great Holy Unmercenary Doctors of our Church. This incredible figure and his divine greatness is the cause of astonishment, admiration, and divine consolation.

In today's presentation, we will try to briefly draw near this individual, and make a diagram of his journey.

Before we do that, let us travel together to the holy land of Russia, to examine the physical, social and spiritual environment in which St. Luke lived. We find ourselves in the nineteenth century, a difficult and troubled era. The standards of living for the Russian people were very low. Their living conditions were repulsive. It was of no surprise that new nihilistic ideologies and theories found fertile ground, and gradually affected a large part of the Russian people.

During this difficult time, the role of counterbalancing the spiritual erosion of the Russian people was played by a number of Russian monasteries and great "starets (elders)." Let us first visit the monasteries of Sarov and Diveevo, where the figure of St. Seraphim of Sarov is prominent. A countless number of people went there, longing to see him. He received everyone with love, addressing them sweetly: "My joy, Christ is Risen."

Near the monastery in Sarov, a women's monastery was built in Diveevo, which the saint greatly helped. A little before he "fell asleep" he foresaw and forewarned about all the distressful things that were to follow. He said that there would be such great sorrow and so many martyrs, that the angels would not have time to collect all the souls.

However, he foresaw that 70 years later, the Church would again shine. In 1990, his relics and personal items were found in Petersburg and were brought to Diveevo. Today, 250 nuns live in Diveevo, who practice the sleepless prayer, just as of St. Seraphim directed.

Another renown monastery is Valaam, located on the evergreen islands of Lake Ladoga. Monastic life began there during the twelfth century. Initially, the central monastery was built and around it many sketes. It's a quiet and beautiful place.

Another very important one is the monastery of Optina, which played a catalytic role in Russia's spiritual life during the nineteenth century. Within 100 years, it unveiled 15 saints; they are the famous starets. Thousands of people went to them, including intellectuals and scientists of that era.

In Western Ukraine lies the Pochaev monastery, a blessed spot, where the Virgin Mary appeared and where her footprint remains on a rock. This monastery was a bulwark for the Orthodox and against the Uniates.

We now come to 1877. St. Luke was born on April 14, known in the world as Valentin Voino-Yasenetsky. His earthly motherland was Kerch, the ancient Greek-Pontian area in Crimea. During the ninth century in this area, the Greeks built the famous church of St. John the Baptist, one of Crimea's most important monuments. Today, St. Luke's bust also sits in front of the Church.

The saint's father was a pharmacist. However, the pharmacy was not doing well so he decided to leave it. He then worked as a civil servant. The saint's mother was Maria Kudrim, distinguished for her philanthropic works. Apart from St. Luke, the couple Voino-Yasenetsky had four other children, three boys and two girls in total.

Because the family's financial situation was worsening, the parents decided to move to Kiev, the cradle of Russian Christianity. It is a very beautiful and exceedingly green city, with the Dnieper River running through it. The first Christian prince, St. Vladimir, baptized his people in this river in the year 988, and established the Orthodox faith in the Russian land. The Voino-Yasenetsky family lived in a house in the city centre, on Kresatic Street. Young Valentin did not seem to be unique as a child. They all considered him average and said, "nobody can expect this child to do anything significant with his life." However, he did stand out due to his seriousness, honesty, morals, and sensitivity. From a very early age, he manifested his talent in art. While in secondary school, he also studied in Kiev's academy of fine arts. At the age of 15, he took part in an art contest and won first prize.

Within his soul two worlds were at constant battle, those of doubt and of faith. The key factor to affect his soul was the illustrious monastery of Pechersk Lavra – the Lavra of the Caves. The monastery lies on a very green 28 hectares (about 70 acres) within the city of Kiev, right on the Dnieper River. It has been home to thousands of monks and produced numerous saints. Other than the archeological value and interest which it has for visitors, the Lavra holds unique spiritual treasures. The ancient ascetics dug their cells underground and lived a confined life, practicing ceaseless prayer.

As the years passed by, two big intricate catacombs were created, and on each side of the pathways they built their cells. The confined ascetics filled in the doorway and left only a window. Everyday a monk would pass by and leave them some bread and water. They lived on that. When someone did not take this meager sustenance for 3 to 4 days, they knew that he had died. Then, the other monks would close up the window and the cell would become their grave. When, after years, these cells were opened, all the ascetics' relics were found incorrupt. It is a unique phenomenon in the world, one place consisting of 118 incorrupt holy relics.

There, in the catacombs, the skulls of other saints are kept that smell of myrrh. The skulls strangely become wet. Every now and then, the monks collect this myrrh and give it to the pilgrims. Pechersk Lavra is truly a blessed place. The entire life, motion and vivid monastic tradition, which had continued for centuries, had a decisive effect on young Valentin, who used to visit it and draw the pilgrims and monks.

During the same period, he was influenced by the ideas of the great Russian writer Tolstoi's, with whom he exchanged letters on a personal basis. However, he soon understood his errors in matters of faith and stopped communication. At the same time, he did not seize to diligently read the Holy Scriptures.

When he finished school, he was indecisive on what path he should take. Initially, he signed up at law school, but a year later he left it. After that, he left for Munich to study at the School of Fine Arts next to the famous professor Knir but soon returned to Kiev. Within him he had realized the intense interest in serving others, his fellow man. At this difficult turning point, he discussed his concerns with a professor, who encouraged him to study medicine. In this way, he would be able to render his assistance to the villagers who had poor medical care.



In year 1898, he began his studies at the Medical School of the University of Kiev, famous for its excellent educational level. Right from the start his interest turned towards anatomy.

He finished his studies with honors and a specialization in surgery. He immediately began operating, especially on ophthalmologic illnesses. At that time, trachoma was widespread, a terrible disease of the eyes and many people became blind. The young doctor implemented a difficult method, Cheiloplasty, and granted sight to thousands of people.

Before he had the time to work in rural areas, the Russian-Japanese War broke out and Valentin volunteered to serve with the Red Cross. Together with other doctors they took the train to the Far East. The trip lasted a month. They settled in the city of Chita and he, despite the fact that he was young, took up managing one of the surgical departments of the military hospital. He operated on the injured soldiers and performed operations from the simplest to the most difficult with incredible ease.

In Chita, he met Anna Vasilevna, a volunteer nurse, exemplary for her morals. They got married and had four children.

From 1905 to 1910 he worked in various provincial hospitals. The needs were great. He needed to be a surgeon and a gynecologist, a pathologist and a pediatrist, a hygienist and a dentist.

At that time he came across the problem of general anesthesia. It had just started to be applied, but because there were no anesthesiologists and the right means were missing, general anesthesia was more dangerous than the operation itself. That's why he attempted to find new ways of local anesthesia. Indeed soon enough, at 29 years old, he discovered a new method of local anesthesia in the sciatic nerve. He later presented this report as his dissertation and was approved with honors. Very often he would go up to Moscow to prepare his dissertation.

In 1910, he moved to the city of Pereslav Zalesky. He found himself in a pretty and scenic city, but working conditions were bad. The hospital was composed of 50 beds, but its operational equipment was primitive. There was neither electricity, nor an X-ray machine. Water was brought in daily by the water-seller in a barrel.

Every morning, a carriage would take him to the hospital. He took advantage of this time as well. During the journey, he read about methods in foreign languages and managed to learn seven languages. He performed surgical operations for long hours, while at nights he shut himself in his office, and under the dim light of a petrol lamp he continued his scientific studies.

In Pereslav Zalesky, he performed 650 – 1000 operations a year while on his own. He was one of the first doctors in Russia who dared to perform difficult surgeries on the kidneys, stomach, gallbladder, even the heart or the brain with great success.

Towards the end of his stay in Pereslav Zalesky, he thought of giving attention to the surgery of purulent infections, for the which very few things were taught in university. And then something strange happened. He describes: "I put together the draft of the book, I wrote the prologue, and then suddenly, the following strange thought came to my mind. When this book is completed, the name of a bishop will be on it."

1917 was a very difficult year, not only for himself, but also for Russia. The country was in turmoil. The Tsarist system fell. Multiple temporary governments followed, political destabilization and the October Revolution. At that time, St. Luke's wife contracted tuberculosis. So, they were forced to leave Pereslav Zalesky and move to Tashkent.

They settled into a spacious house and St. Luke was immediately assigned as the director of the surgical department of the state hospital which he diligently organized.

Nevertheless, the political situation worsened. Right after the October Revolution, civil war broke out, lasting for four years and disrupting the vast country.

Millions of people died; many say 20 million and, of course, many more were injured. There were however, other unfortunate victims: children, deprived of their parents, trying to survive by eating garbage. St. Luke went to the hospital day and night risking his life. The few hours that he had back at home, he had to take care of his sick wife and see his children, cook, clean and wash.

In 1918, he became the leader for the Foundation of the University of Tashkent and was voted professor of topographic anatomy and surgery.

The political situation was uncontrollable. Civil war rampaged everywhere. The Tsar's family was held under confinement, in Yekaterinburg. In July 1918, the royal family was executed without a trial.

This murder heightened passions and savagery. People were in despair. For the slightest thing, you could be arrested. A small lie was enough. Something similar happened to St. Luke. Because he told off a problematic and drunkard worker of the hospital, the man slandered him to the authorities. One morning, while he was entering the operating room, they arrested him and lead him to Tashkent's railway station. They had then arrested 2000 soldier rebels. They brought them to trial briefly, condemned them to death and executed them on the spot. St. Luke queued and waited for his execution. The hours seemed endless. Late at night, after 16 hours of waiting, a partisan recognized him. He learned how he had been "framed" and intervened. They set him free. And here his heart's grandeur and his self-denial are evident. Instead of returning home, he went back to the hospital. Like nothing had happened, he entered the operating room at midnight and begun to operate.

However, this dreadful event aggravated his wife Anna's already deteriorating health. A few days later she died in the saint's arms. She was only 38 years old and St. Luke was 43. They buried her in Tashkent's cemetery. He wrote on her grave: "Anna Vasilevna, 38 years old. A pure heart, which passionately sought truth."

St. Luke had been left a widow with four small children. Right at this very difficult moment God provided the solution. A very faithful nurse, who had been left a widow, took up raising his children and became their second mother."

At this point we should say a few words on his medical and surgical skills. Today, in Russia, he is considered the top surgeon of the twentieth century. As the academic professor Kasisrky writes, "...his name and skills had become a legend. He could perform the most difficult operations without any problems." He himself would say, "A surgeon must have the eyes of an eagle, the heart of a lion and the hands of woman," (that is, have a fine sense of touch). Once, he took a stack of twenty sheets of thin paper and a lancet. He told his children to tell him how many sheets to cut through in only one movement. His children told him seven, and in one go he cut through seven sheets, astonishing everyone.

Apart from his scientific training, he was distinguished for his deep faith in God. Inside the operating room he would ask God for help. On the wall he had hung an icon of Christ and the Virgin Mary and in front placed an oil lamp. He would light it, pray for a few minutes and after that he would make a cross on the patient's body, using the gauzes and iodine, where the operation was to take place. Only then would he proceed with the surgery.

Even though St. Luke was always close to the church, during that period he took part more actively in Tashkent's church life. This gave the faithful particular joy. One day, in the cathedral church, there was place a clergy-laity tribunal, with the aim of prosecuting the Archbishop of Tashkent, Innocent. Valentin, then a doctor, was also called to the hearing, and he vigorously defended the archbishop. Archbishop Innocent was acquitted and particularly moved by the doctor's stance. When the session was over, the archbishop waited for the doctor at the door. They walked around the church two or three times, while the archbishop thanked him for his defense. Suddenly the archbishop stopped, looked the doctor in the eyes and said, "Doctor, you must become a priest." The saint, with no hesitation replied, "Your Eminence, if it is God's will that I should be a priest, then I will."

Indeed, in January 1921, he was ordained a deacon and then a priest. This occasion of the ordination of a famous university professor, was to be like a bolt of lightning for Tashkent. The saint took up daily duties and preached God's word on every occasion. He also confronted the mockery of his colleagues and students who thought that he was now "finished with science." However, he contradicted them.

Let's digress to look at the political situation dominating the Soviet Union. The civil war ended in 1921. The winners gave themselves to a merciless persecution of all the people they believed to be suspects, counterrevolutionists, etc. The prisons were filled up and the revolutionary courts were working nonstop. An unexpected event would worsen the situation. Lenin got sick. In a period of two years he succumbed to multiple strokes that would finally confine him to a wheelchair. Then the battle for succession started. Despite predictions, Stalin prevailed – a ruthless man, who not only drove millions of citizens to their death, but even his comrades and friends.

During 1920s, "reformatory" military camps for were founded, that is, forced labour camps under the name "Gulag." Within a few years gulags spread across the huge country. They started from Solovki Monastery. It was built during the fourteenth century on the Solovki Islands in the White Sea. It was a large monastic center, with the central monastery and many sketes on all the islands. The winter cold is harsh there, lasting 8-9 months. Because it's impossible for anyone to escape, Solovki became the perfect place for a military prison.

The detainees worked sixteen hours a day and if they underperformed, they were executed as saboteurs. If they wished to punish someone, he was sent to Sekirnaya Skete, which was on a hill. There, they took their clothes and tortured them naked in the snow and ice. As food, they only gave them daily a soup made of rotten potatoes. After a few months, when the detainees were exhausted, they took them to the edge of the hill, where wooden steps had been set up with 365 steps. They tied them up with ropes like small barrels and threw them off the iced steps. The detainees found tragic death. There were so many dead that a tree formed the sign of the cross with its branches.

All the other camps started from Solovki. The detained worked as slaves, and countless died from torture, sicknesses and hardship.

At the same time a merciless war started against the Church. Using various legislations, the Church was chained up. Many churches and artistic monuments were closed down, blown up, transformed into gymnasiums, military camps and entertainment centers. The holy icons were burned. Numerous churches were plundered, while saints' holy relics were desecrated.

Three hours from St. Petersburg, close to the Svir River, is the Monastery of St. Alexander of Svir. St Alexander was a great figure, he was granted to see the Holy Trinity and after his death, his relics remained incorrupt.

In 1918, the revolutionaries entered the monastery and executed all the monks. After that, they took St Alexander's relic and threw it in fire. However, the relic did not get burned. They then transferred it to a museum for mummies in St. Petersburg. In 1997, the monastery reopened and the fathers asked for the holy relic back, but the museum's administrative body would not give it back as they considered it a mummy. Upon the fathers' insistence, the museum's administrative body brought in an X-ray machine and performed a radiography on the saint's body and realized that it was not embalmed, but incorrupt. In this way, they were forced to return it to the fathers and the saint returned to his home.

The people demonstrated their heroic spirit on many occasions defending the churches. I will only bring up one touching case. In the city of Olonets, in 1927, they tried to destroy a church. A young girl, about 25 years old at the time, was informed of it. She ran to the church, entered and locked herself in and yelled at the workers, "Demolish the church and kill me with it."

The workers waited for her to come out, since they didn't want to kill her. Finally, after a few days they left. And this girl remained the guard of the church for 25 years. She cleaned it and took care of it, while the people brought her food. The church was saved. At the end of her life she became a nun and took the name Varvara. She "fell asleep" at the age of 96 and was buried next to the church. They all honor her as a saint.

Among the victims were clerics and monks. Throughout Russia, only in the year 1922, 8100 clerics and monks were executed. In St. Petersburg, on the wall you see, over 40 fathers of St. Alexander Nevsky monastery were executed.
On one Sunday, again in St. Petersburg, they arrested 40 priests while they were performing the liturgy. They took them to Smolensk cemetery close to Saint Xeni's grave. They provided them with the tools to dig a big hole. After that they threw them in and buried them alive. In this way, the blood of many neomartyrs spilt, and today the Russian Church can boast for her countless new holy martyrs.

Lets return to Tashkent. At this difficult time, St. Luke chose to be ordained a priest. However, new responsibilities awaited him. Archbishop Innocent was exiled in 1923 and the people proposed that Father Valentin take his place. He humbly accepted God's new calling, knowing all too well the dangers. At that time, there was an exiled bishop in Tashkent, who initially tonsured him a monk. As there was no church, his tonsure took place in his children's bedroom. It was there he gave his monastic vows and Valentin was named Luke. Because the bishop was not able to ordain him a bishop on his own, he suggested he go to Penjikent, where two exiled bishops remained. He left during the night, cutting through Uzbekistan with the travel means available at that time, confronting many dangers. His first stop was Samarkand. From then on, things were even more dangerous because of rebel combatants. With a much of difficulty he continued for Tajikistan. In the city of Penjikent he found the two bishops who ordained him an archpriest in complete secrecy, during the night. The date was May 31, 1923. Afterwards he returned to Tashkent.

His anointment brought about new disturbances in Tashkent. The partisans started to slander him and undermine him through the press. It was a short while after, on Saturday June 9, 1923 when he was arrested and led to Tashkent's prison. This is how eleven years of imprisonment and exile began. He remained imprisoned for two months and then he was sent to Moscow, where he visited the martyr Patriarch Tikhon twice, who was placed under confinement in Donskoy Monastery. Patriarch Tikhon encouraged him not to stop his medical and surgical activities because in this way he could help people. Patriarch Tikhon, after bearing the great burden of persecution, "fell asleep" on May 25, 1925. His words were very prophetic: "The night will be very long and very dark." He has recently been classified among the saints.

A week later St. Luke was taken to terrible Lubianca, the building of CK-KGB. In this building he was interrogated with the interrogators' harsh methods, with a spotlight in his face. Millions of people were interrogated and condemned in this building, while many were lead underground where they were executed with a bullet through the neck.

After his interrogations and his condemnation they put him in the awful "Black Crow," the CK's police van. The "Black Crow" was a Russian's worst nightmare. It transported the arrested and was always full. Many of the detainees suffocated. St. Luke was taken to Moscow's worst prison, Butyrka. The chambers were overfilled. Most of the detainees slept on frozen floors. The blinds on the windows were shut. An electrical lamp was constantly on and the detainees never knew whether it was night or day. Sleep was a real torture. They did not fit on the floor and to turn over they had to work together. There could have been 30-40 people in a chamber for six. In those prisons, the saint became aware of his first symptoms of heart failure, which would worsen during his exile and accompany him for the rest of his life.

Two months later they transferred him together with two other detainees to the prison of Taganka, on foot. One day they gave him a fur coat from the Red Cross as a present. He didn't keep it for too long. He gave it away to a young detainee that was shivering from the cold.

In December of 1923 and during the harsh cold, despite the fact that he was sick, he was sent into exile to Siberia. The train trip lasted a month. For food each day, they gave them half a herring, a piece of bread and a glass of water. The train compartments did not differ from prison cells. They were also full of prisoners and each stole from the other.

A month later, they reached the town of Krasnoyarsk in the heart of Siberia. Later he was exiled to the city of Yeniseisk, 430 kilometers northwards. The trip took place inside a ship's dark hull; today, it's a museum. In midwinter, he reached Yeniseisk. Its quarters were more humane. A room in the house of a wealthy inhabitant. With him were two other priests. The house was converted into a chapel and a clinic where he examined patients.

A little later he asked to be employed at the hospital of Yeniseisk. The doctors were surprised but also happy to have a famous surgeon with them. They gave him permission, so he started operating. The needs there were also many. Waiting lists extended up to two months. In 1924 he attempted to perform an innovative and extremely difficult operation. A man with a serious kidney failure was brought in, and St. Luke attempted and succeeded in doing the world's first animal to human kidney transplant.

As a reward, the local authorities sent him far away to a forgotten village, Hayia, which barely had eight homes and was stranded by snow. Despite all the difficulties there and very little equipment he possessed, he did not seize to operate. Among other operations, he operated on a patient suffering from cataracts with great success. We should note that he would sterilize his equipment in a samovar.

In the summer, he was taken back to Yeniseisk. The saint was "hosted" in the prison's isolation ward that was full of bugs and would not let him rest. Afterwards, they set him free and he was able to perform operations and serve the liturgy in an old monastery of Yeniseisk.

He operated endlessly. The inhabitants loved him exceedingly. Nonetheless, as love for him grew, so did the authorities' hate for him. So they decided to send him to the freezing north. In the port of Yeniseisk, they loaded him onto a barge and via the River Yenisei, he traveled approximately 2000 km (about 1240 miles) further north. The trip was endless, monotonous, boring, tiresome and tormenting. The food was minimal, or rather, the prisoners had become food for lice.

At some point they reached the city of Turukhansk. Here, climate conditions render life unbearable. The winter is dark and never ending. Everything is frozen. In the small summer season swarms of mosquitoes make the inhabitants' life torture. St. Luke worked at the small hospital. There was no other doctor, nor was there the right equipment. The only thing he found was a bottle of alcohol and a small pocket knife. He operated using them and tied the wounds with the patients' hair.

On the Yenisei's banks there was also a small monastery, with a relic of Saint Vasilios Magaseisk. Saint Luke would perform the liturgy there. In his face people found the real shepherd and doctor of souls and bodies. But again, the people's love bothered the local authorites. He was invited to give an explanation for his operations, liturgies and preaching. One night, they notified him to get ready and leave quickly for the North.

At this point we will again open a parenthesis. At that time, millions of prisoners were taken to the tundra, the frozen north. There, snow doesn't melt away completely, not even in the summer, which lasts for two to three weeks. The prisoners had to build new towns, factories, streets, railways from nothing in the middle of nowhere. Temperatures there can reach -60°C (-76°F) and when it's windy the situation is unbearable. Detainees died in heaps. The area is sown with the bodies of prisoners. To this day, when the snow melts and water flows from the mountains where there had been mines, human bones come out from the earth. The dead were innumerable, nobody can calculate the number. In the city of Norilsk, built by prisoners in the 1930s, they have erected "the Golgotha of Norilsk," with many crosses and monuments of different nationalities, a reminder of the torments of these people. And in the surrounding cities, a few small museums take us back to that tragic era.

St. Luke almost followed this same path. The trip of over 400 km (250 miles) had to be done in a sleigh. It was a painful trip, in the heart of winter. The cold was terrible. Darkness awful. The first stop was Selivanikha, a small village. He continued the trip over the Yenisei River. Having passed the northern polar circle, they reached the village of Plahin, consisting of 15 people. He was given a room in a wooden small house. There was ice all around. So tremendous is the cold there that birds are unable to live. The small wooden stove was not inadequate. The water in the bucket froze. When it was windy the situation was desperate. He remained in Plahin for about two and a half months. Only God's grace kept him alive.

In March, the director of the CK sent another sleigh to bring him back. In Turukhansk, a patient died helpless. The people revolted and demanded that their bishop and doctor return. This is how he again found himself in Turukhansk, and undisturbed, continued his work in the hospital and the monastery.

His sentence was nearing its end. He waited in agony. He saw riverboats leaving with the prisoners but he was not called. At the end of August, boat lines seized because the river froze and so he need to wait for the next summer. Finally, he was freed in November 1925. Now he would be forced to travel by means of a sleigh over the frozen Yenisei. The trip was difficult and dangerous. Altogether, they traveled approximately 2000 kilometers (1240 miles). He reached Krasnoyarsk and from there traveled by train to Tashkent.

He again took up his archbishop's duties. He was not given a position in the university so he received patients at home. Many young adults gathered around him, whom he helped as a father and they helped him at his work. They would run around finding poor patients and notify him. The people loved him very much.

Not much time passed when new problems arose. A mentally ill patient and professor committed suicide. His suicide was characterized as murder and they started accusing the Saint as an accomplice. For a whole year they slandered him through the newspapers. They even wrote theatrical plays about the bishop murderer. Finally, in 1930, he was arrested. Again, he was imprisoned in Tashkent, again cruel interrogations, threats, blackmail. Everyone defended his innocence in vain. He remained in the prisons of Tashkent for a whole year and then condemned into exile in Northern Russia. They took him to the railway station. They behaved inhumanely. Someone who was present at the time recounts: "we gathered many people.. We saw him from afar. They dragged him by his beard, as if he were a bum. They spat in his face. At that moment, I suddenly thought how Jesus Christ was scoffed at the same way."

He himself writes about the train trip: "The wagon was so full of lice that I had to take off my clothes morning and night, and daily I found hundreds of them. Among them were also some huge black lice that I had never seen before."

Days later they reached the city of Kotlas. It was also built by prisoners inside endless forests and many of them died in martyrdom. St. Luke was initially brought to the prisons of Kotlas and after that was taken three kilometers further to Makariha. They lived in miserable makeshift shacks. Many of the prisoners were sent off to the woods to cut trees and make shacks. They were forced to sleep on the terrain facing cold weather and humidity. Many committed suicide. In Makariha at the time, a typhoid epidemic and other sicknesses broke out. The detainees died helpless. Everyday they dug a huge pit in Makariha and buried around 70 dead. Today in Makariha many monuments are placed reminding about the tragedy of those people.

St. Luke witnessed this drama, the carnage of the dead, without being able to offer anything. A little later, they transported him to Kotlas' hospital and allowed him to operate because the needs were so great. It was not long when he was again transferred. On a riverboat on the Dvina River, he was taken to Arkhangelsk. It is one of Russia's most northern cities. They had sent thousands of prisoners at the time so he had a very difficult time finding a house. The exiled shivered in the streets, there were not enough houses. He finally found a room in a big house where other exiles were staying. The authorities allowed him to operate in the hospital but he faced jealousy from his colleagues. He went to church in the church cemetery, but even there they looked at him suspiciously.

In 1932, a tumor appeared so he went to St. Petersburg, where he was operated by an oncologist. Fortunately, the tumor was benign. In St. Petersburg he was invited to see Kirov, a high ranking executive partisan. He proposed that they give him the greatest surgical centre of the country, the only term being, to throw away his religious vestment and deny Christ. He did not accept and returned to the place of his exile.

In 1933, his famous book was published Treatise on the Surgery of Purulent Infections and was signed Bishop Luke. This book was accepted enthusiastically and has been repeatedly published. Professor Polianoff stated: "There is no other book in our country with so much knowledge on surgery and so much love for the human being."

From 1933 to 1937 he remained in Tashkent. He lived quiet family moments with his children, which he had been deprived of for so long. He worked mainly in the scientific research field, which really pleased him. He needed to learn every detail about pus. He wrote to his son: "I am making extraordinary discoveries. I am working endlessly. I want to write a lot of things. I fear that I won't have the time. I am at the culminate point of my age. I need to get the time...".

He was one step away from discovering penicillin. He did not do so in time.

The thirties were the age of Stalin's omnipotence. The Gulag Archipelago was at its peak. Millions of people were sent to concentration camps and worked in forced labor. In Belomor canal more than 300,000 people worked to open up a 280 kilometer canal, digging with primitive means in granite. At least 100,000 died while others were maimed. In 1936, terrorism had reached its peak. In Moscow the famous Moscow trials were taking place, where the leaders of the revolution were exterminated. Arrests of innocent people had taken the form of an epidemic. And, of course, Bishop Luke was assumed a suspect.

A night, in 1937, commissioners entered his house and arrested him. Outside awaited the "Black Crow" to take him to Tashkent's prisons. The charges were that as a doctor he was killing patients, that he was preparing a counterrevolution and a plan to murder Stalin. Many of his collaborators were also arrested, who succumbed to torture and testified against him. Himself, so as to be forced to sign, was put to the cruel, torturous chained interrogation. Set on a chair under a strong spotlight, he was interrogated night and day, by different interrogators for thirteen days and nights.

They wouldn't let him eat or sleep. He often fainted, and they would throw at him cold buckets of water to bring him back to his senses. Because he did not sign the accusation, he was sentenced for another thirteen days and nights to chain interrogation. His body was filled with wounds from the blows. They left him for two years in the Tashkent prisons in continuous threats and torture.

In 1939, they charged him again with another three years of exile to Siberia. New torment with the train voyage for Krasnoyarsk and after that, a riverboat to the town of Great Murta. There he went to the hospital and asked to be allowed to operate. They did hire him, but because there was no other position available they hired him as the hospital's custodian. They gave him a small room within the hospital quarters where he lived in poverty. There too, he developed a large surgical activity despite the very poor working circumstances.

There was no church inside the village. St Luke went every morning to a small nearby forest to pray. He placed an icon on a log, kneeled in the mud or on ice and prayed. But even this place was defiled by young atheist komsomols. God was exiled from everywhere.

Today, people still living in Great Murta remember him with much love. There still isn't a church in the town. The people, though, have started its construction and it will be dedicated to St Luke. In fact, the day the cornerstone was added, a woman was miraculously healed by the saint. There, they placed the cross, a reminder of the saints miraculous intervention, while in front, they have left the rock on which the sick woman was seated. On that day, the world scenery was reigned by war. Hordes of Germans entered Russia and caused huge disasters and countless victims. The whole country was placed under trial.

In Krasnoyarsk the trains arrived full of wounded soldiers, in complete purulent traumas. Many of them died helpless. The doctors were very few. St Luke, touched by this sad situation, sent a letter to the president of the high Soviet Kalinin and asked that he be allowed to operate on the soldiers. The answer came immediately. Soon enough, he was transferred to Krasnoyarsk, hired as the head doctor of the military hospital 1515 and advisor of all military hospitals of the area.

There too he faced his colleagues' suspicions, constant monitoring by the KGB. His residence was a narrow, humid room in the hospital. He also faced contempt from superiors. They considered him a secondary class citizen and forbade him to eat in the military hospital's restaurant. On many days he remained unfed. Some nurses, who felt sorry for him, secretly brought him some food. They never heard him complain. He endured everything with great faith in God. In one of his letters to his son he wrote, "I loved martyrdom, which so strangely cleanses the soul."

Every now and then he went to the train station and choose the most heavily wounded to operate on. All the soldiers, loved him extensively, because they felt he had saved their lives. The intensive work had also affected his health. Fatigue overtook him. Still, he always thought about those suffering and served them in incredible self-denial.

No church was to be found anywhere. They were all closed. But now Stalin needed the Church. And in 1943 he gave the Church a breath of freedom. He freed many priests that were detained and allowed some churches to be opened. St. Luke was employed as Archbishop of Krasnoyarsk. In the city, they allowed the opening of a small church of St. Nicholas in a suburb, 7 kilometers away from the centre. On February 28, 1943, the Saint served the first Divine Liturgy. In this humble church, church life was reinitiated in Siberia. But to get there he would have to walk seven kilometers in the mud and ice. Often, he sunk and was unable to continue.

Today, in Krasnoyarsk a church is being built in honor of Saint Luke within the general hospital. Contemporary doctors are thankful to him and feel benefited from the tradition he passed on. A big statue of the saint has been placed on a central spot of the city. Passers by will always stop, say a couple of words as a prayer and leave him some flowers.

In 1944, they transferred him to Tabof as a head doctor and archbishop. There too, everything had been destroyed. With much effort, he rebuilt the ruined church of Holy Protection and started liturgies and preaching with a lot of joy, because as he said in his first homily, "For fifteen years my mouth was closed." At the same time he worked at the city's two hospitals, the general and military, while he lectured in the Medical School and in medical conferences.

Within the ecclesiastical sphere, he committed great effort to reorganize his province. He preached God's word in the churches. People ran to hear him speak and were deeply affected.

Authorities were alarmed. They recognized his enormous scientific, social and patriotic contribution, but they could not accept his preaching and pastoral contribution. Often he was invited to scientific conferences or to the university, with the requirement not to walk in his religious cassock and bishop's pendant. He did not give in to these demands, and it seems he was no longer afraid. Within two years, Tabof's people grew to extremely love him. And here, the traces he left endure.

Today, the city's general hospital bares his name. His bust has been placed in the front courtyard, while close by, in the Medical History museum, a large section is dedicated to St. Luke.

Despite his great work load, he took part in the Moscow Patriarchate's Councils. In 1946, he was finally recognized. Some partisans slandered the saint to Stalin and demanded his execution. Stalin angrily swore at them vulgarly and concluded: "We cannot execute those people any longer, but we need to honor them." And indeed, St. Luke was honored with the state's greatest public award, the 1st Stalin award out of fifteen scientists. The ceremony took place in Moscow. Everyone was present. The only one missing was St. Luke, as he could not afford the train ticket. The prize was accompanied by 200,000 rubles. He then sent a telegraph to Stalin, asking that this money be given to the war orphans.

That same year, by order of Stalin, they constructed the saint's bust, that up to this day exists in the Klenofsky Museum in Moscow, among other great scientists' busts. Many foreign journalists arrived to interview him and special broadcasts were made. But his health was deteriorating and in 1946 he lost his sight in one eye. The Church transfered him to the Archdiocese of Simferopol and Crimea.

Crimea is a beautiful area, with intense Greek colors, but also hardship. The catastrophes left by the war were numerous there too, the Church ruined. And St. Luke fought a titanic battle to revive it. In this effort he faced the reactions of the local authorities, who continuously created difficulties and undermined him. The poor were many so he organized administering food rations in his house. Many times he remained unfed, so as not to deprive the poor from food. There too, he was invited to conferences and to teach lessons in the Medical School. At times, authorities demanded that he did not show up in his cassock. He refused, hence some conferences were cancelled.

His daily life was full. He woke up very early and did his prayers for 2-3 hours. After that he read an excerpt from the Old and New Testament. Following that, he went to his office and occupied himself with the matters of the Archdiocese. In the afternoon he would always accept patients free of charge.

Different people would come to his medical office: atheists, those of different religions and of different nationalities. He offered his help without discriminating.

In 1956, he lost his sight from his other eye as well. Despite being blind now, he continued to work tirelessly, to preach and serve the liturgy. In 1957, in Simferopol, they celebrated his 80th birthday.

And when Stalin died in 1953, Chruchstschow attempted de-Stalinization. Most of the prisoners were freed and military camps closed. This positive development is overshadowed by a new war against the Church. Chruchstschow reopens the counter-church front. Churches are seized, closed and blown up. Priests are persecuted. St. Luke faced many problems and fought to keep the churches open. Agonizing through letters he writes to his children:

"It keeps getting harder for someone to manage church affairs. It's a martyrdom. I cannot bear it at my age of 80. But with the Lord's help I will continue my difficult work."

The authorities seek his exemplary punishment because he refused to close the churches. But they did not dare jail or exile him.

In another letter to his son, he wrote:
"I am much more deeply sorrowful than you are for their hastening my end...In general the situation in the church is becoming unbearable."

The archbishop's earthly life approached its end. On Christmas 1960, he performed the liturgy for the last time, while on Lent Sunday he gave his last homily. From then on he stayed at home. He prepared himself for the great voyage by prayer. A little before his "falling asleep" he baptized his great granddaughter Tatiana, today a doctor in Odessa.

One day he said to his niece, "I wonder, will they allow you to sing the 'Trisagion" at my funeral?" His niece did not understand what he told her. She understood at his funeral.

Sunday of All Saints of Russia came on June 11, 1961. It was a quarter to seven in the morning when Saint Luke took his last breath and his soul flew to heaven. He left so that he could have the time to perform the divine liturgy at the heavenly altar. The sad fact was spread as fast as lightning. For three days, thousands of people came to venerate his relics. In front of his casket they broke out into burning tears and shouted: "Our father has left, our saint" and told about his benefactions and miracles.

All those people wanted to have a grandiose funeral and to carry his relics in Simferopol's central avenue. But on the day of the funeral, an urgent telegraph came from Moscow that forbid carrying the dead in the central streets.

The ones that wanted to take part, had to take free buses free which travelled on outlying roads all the way to the cemetery. No chanting was allowed. Within three minutes everything had to be concluded and the deceased had to be already in the grave.

The ceremony was watched by many police officers to make sure this order was observed. But right after the funeral procession the people revolted. Fights and conflicts with the police followed. At some point the road cleared and the vehicle carrying the casket tried to leave. A few women broke through, grabbed ahold of the car, while three heroines fell in front of the vehicle's wheels and got it to stop, screaming: "Only over our dead bodies will you go where you want."

At that point, a big flock of pigeons appeared in the sky, circled over and followed the procession. In the end the policemen retreated. The procession went into the main avenue that was filled with a crowd and there were roses covering the ground for approximately two kilometers. All the people sang the "Trisagion" with one voice for three and a half hours.

He was buried in the All Saints cemetery, and from then on, his grave became the Pool of Siloam. His miracles are countless. And so, in 1996 the Russian Church went on to place him in the official list of saints. In March of 1996, the Archbishop of Crimea Lazarus and his priests recovered his relics. During the recovery, a sweet aroma spread across the area. In his relics, his heart, his brain his eyes and lungs were found incorrupt.

On the March 20, 1996 his relics, together with the participation of thousands of people were taken to the Church of the Holy Trinity in Simferopol. In 2001, they was placed inside a beautiful silver reliquary, donated by Greece.

In 1997, in front of the hospital of Simferopol, his statue was placed by Archbishop Lazarus, while in 2005 his bust was placed at the Medical School, where the church of St. Luke is being built.

He is commemorated on the June 11. Every year thousands of people come to the celebration from all parts of Ukraine, Russia and abroad.

In the morning on the feast's eve, the Medical School with the dean leading them, sing the Akathist Hymn to the Saint and place their medical shirts in front of the reliquary to bless them.



On the day of the Saint's commemoration they perform the Divine Liturgy and a procession of his holy relic.

His miracles are countless. Not only in Crimea, but in Greece as well. His appearances and interventions are many. He has appeared to many people in their sleep wearing his hierarchical vestments and medical uniform. He holds surgical tools in his hands, gauzes, syringes, etc. And after he presents himself to the patients, he tells them that he has come to operate on them. Many find an incision or blood on their bodies when they wake up in the morning.

Really, what was it that glorified Saint Luke and gave him so much grace? He had many virtues. But I believe that what distinguished him the most was love, the crown of virtues. Love towards God and fellowman. A genuine offering of love, sacrifice, self-denial.

In the land of Palestine there are two lakes and a river. The first is a small lake, that of Tiberia. Even though its a small lake, it's alive, has many fish and there Christ's apostles fished. The second lake found in the South is the Dead Sea and is four times bigger than the first. But it is dead. It has no trace of life. The two lakes are joined through the Jordan river. It starts from Tiberia and goes on to the Dead Sea. And this is the paradox. For centuries now, Tiberia offers its waters, gives and remains constantly alive. And it does become empty. For centuries now the Dead Sea endlessly receives those waters, but it does not liven up. It takes the waters and remains dead. This is the nature of love. We don't ask for love, we don't demand it from others. We only offer it, without retaining, without calculating and only then we are alive. The person who from a young age has learned to take and not to offer, is disabled, dead, unhappy. The person who learned to love, to sacrifice, to offer and be offered is alive and happy.

This was St Luke – a man of love, offering, sacrifice, self-denial. That is why he received so much grace from God and continues to live, to perform miracles, to be so close and console us.

May his life inspire us and may we have his blessing.

http://www.impantokratoros.gr/st_luke_doctor.en.aspx
http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2008/10/st-luke-archbishop-of-simferopol.html
 

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    Does anyone know anything about St. Archondia, feast day September 3?  My friend, whose grandparents are from Greece, would like to have an icon written for her mother's patron saint, St. Archondia.  She asked me to try to find any information about this saint.  In the book:  Wondrous is God in His Saints:  I found "St. Archontinus, martyr with St. Chariton, September 3."  in The Book of Saints by Mary P. Hallick, I found:  "St. Archonton, the word is translated as 'ruler, magistrate'.  September 3 is reserved in memory of St. Archonton the martyr."  Also in the same book: " Archontisa, feminine of Archonton." 
 
    Can anyone tell me anything about St. Archondia [St. Archonton; St. Archontinus]?  Was he martyred in Greece in the early centuries A. D.?  Has anyone ever seen an icon of this saint?

    On the internet I found a Greek archeologist named Archondia Thanos.  I found a recent obituary for Archondia Kallergis of Lancaster, PA who was born Archondia Drosos in Phili, Kos, Greece.  I also found an ad for Archondia Apartments in Kefalos, Kos, Greece.  The name Archondia must be at least fairly popular in Greece so why is this saint so obscure?

    Thank you for any help.                                                  Sincerely, Carolyn
 

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mike said:
Looking for some English info on St. Nicephor Kantakouzenos.
Well, I since I wasn't able to find anything in English about him, I wrote this myself.

St. Hieromartyr Nicephorus Kantakouzenos
Commemorated on 3rd Sunday after Pentecost (Synaxis of Belarusian Saints)

He was born in the 40s of XVI century in the city of Trikalia (Greece) in an arystocratic family. He studied in Venetia, where he was ordained a deacon and served in St. Mark's cathedral for 7 years. For a time he also was lecturing at Padua University. In the early 80s he moved to Constantinople.

During his missions as a patriarchal emissary Nicephorus met Konstanty Ostrogski and Jan Zamoyski. At the time of absence of Patriarch Jeremiah II Nicephorus was managing the affairs of the Patriarchate becoming its locum tenens.

After the enthronement of Patriarch Gabriel, in 1596, Nicephorus, as a patriarchal exarch to the Commonwealth and Moldavia went to Moldavia where he convened a Church council in Iasi that spoke against the union with the Roman Church. During his stay in Moldova he also negotiated the release of a contingent of 7 thousands of Polish soldiers surrounded by larger Turkish army. After the invitation from Zamoyski, Nicephorus went to Chocim only to be treacherously arrested on suspiction of being a Turkish spy. After 6 months he run away from the prison and, thanks to the support from Ostrogski, went to Brest.

There he headed the Orthodox council that did not accept the Brest union and laicized Uniate bishops led by Michael (Ragoza). After the council he did not return to Constantinople but stayed in Poland to continue his anti-Uniate actions. Shortly afterwards, he was arrested again and despite the insufficient evidence sent to prison in Malbork castle. He died in Malbork of hunger in 1599.

He was canonized by the Church of Belarus in 2002.
 
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Would like to post the life of a Belorussian new martyr, hope this is ok:

Saint Seraphim of Zhyrovichy: An Example of a True Orthodox Christian

Archimandrite Seraphim was born with the name of Roman in 1901 in a large peasant family. Despite the lack of money, the future archimandrite managed to get a quite decent education. When he was 21 he went to the Monastery of Zhyrovichy, where within a year, on April 1, 1923, he was tonsured as a monk and took his new name – Seraphim. In three more years he became a hierodeacon. In 1939 he became father superior of the monastery.

http://catalogueofstelisabethconvent.blogspot.com.by/2016/09/saint-seraphim-of-zhyrovichy-example-of.html

 

mike

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ElisabethConvent said:
Would like to post the life of a Belorussian Belarusian new martyr, hope this is ok:

Saint Seraphim of Zhyrovichy: An Example of a True Orthodox Christian

Archimandrite Seraphim was born with the name of Roman in 1901 in a large peasant family. Despite the lack of money, the future archimandrite managed to get a quite decent education. When he was 21 he went to the Monastery of Zhyrovichy, where within a year, on April 1, 1923, he was tonsured as a monk and took his new name – Seraphim. In three more years he became a hierodeacon. In 1939 he became father superior of the monastery.

http://catalogueofstelisabethconvent.blogspot.com.by/2016/09/saint-seraphim-of-zhyrovichy-example-of.html
ftfy
 

RaphaCam

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PeterTheAleut said:
THE MARTYRDOM OF PETER "On another occasion I was relating to him how the Spanish in California had imprisoned fourteen Aleuts, and how the Jesuits were forcing all of them to accept the Catholic Faith. But this Aleut would not agree under any circumstances, saying, 'We are Christians.' The Jesuits protested, 'That's not true; you are heretics and schismatics. If you do not agree to accept our faith then we will torture all of you.' Then the Aleuts were placed in cells until evening; two to a cell. At night the Jesuits came to the prison with lanterns and lighted candles. They began to persuade the Aleuts in the cell once again to accept the Catholic Faith. 'We are Christians,' was the answer of the Aleuts, 'and we will not change our Faith.' Then the Jesuits began to torture them, at first the one while his companion was the witness. They cut the toes off his feet, first one joint and then the other joint. And then they cut the first joint on the fingers of the hands, and then the other joint. Afterwards they cut off his feet, and his hands; the blood flowed. The martyr endured all and steadfastly insisted on one thing: "I am a Christian.' In such suffering, he bled to death. The Jesuit promised to torture to death his comrades also on the next day.

But that night an order was received from Monterey stating that the imprisoned Aleuts were to be released immediately, and sent there under escort. Therefore, in the morning all were dispatched to Monterey with the exception of the martyred Aleut. This was related to me by a witness, the same Aleut who was the comrade of the tortured Aleut. Afterwards he escaped from imprisonment, and I reported this incident to the supreme authorities in St Petersburg. When I finished my story, Father Herman asked, 'And how did they call the martyred Aleut?' I answered, 'Peter; I do not remember his family name.' The Elder stood up before an icon reverently, made the sign of the Cross and pronounced, "Holy newly-martyred Peter, pray to God for usl"
Just a random piece of curiosity that hopefully ups the thread: it seems St. Peter the Aleut wasn't technically an Aleut. He was an Alutiiq. The ethnonym is apparently close enough to be mixed with "Aleut", and it seems people used to call both Aleuts and Alutiiqs the same, but their languages are extremely different and they don't share the same habitat. Compare Aleut numbers "ataqan, aalax, qaankun, siching, chaang" with Alutiiq "allringuq, mal'uk, pingayun, staaman, talliman".
 

Volnutt

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RaphaCam said:
PeterTheAleut said:
THE MARTYRDOM OF PETER "On another occasion I was relating to him how the Spanish in California had imprisoned fourteen Aleuts, and how the Jesuits were forcing all of them to accept the Catholic Faith. But this Aleut would not agree under any circumstances, saying, 'We are Christians.' The Jesuits protested, 'That's not true; you are heretics and schismatics. If you do not agree to accept our faith then we will torture all of you.' Then the Aleuts were placed in cells until evening; two to a cell. At night the Jesuits came to the prison with lanterns and lighted candles. They began to persuade the Aleuts in the cell once again to accept the Catholic Faith. 'We are Christians,' was the answer of the Aleuts, 'and we will not change our Faith.' Then the Jesuits began to torture them, at first the one while his companion was the witness. They cut the toes off his feet, first one joint and then the other joint. And then they cut the first joint on the fingers of the hands, and then the other joint. Afterwards they cut off his feet, and his hands; the blood flowed. The martyr endured all and steadfastly insisted on one thing: "I am a Christian.' In such suffering, he bled to death. The Jesuit promised to torture to death his comrades also on the next day.

But that night an order was received from Monterey stating that the imprisoned Aleuts were to be released immediately, and sent there under escort. Therefore, in the morning all were dispatched to Monterey with the exception of the martyred Aleut. This was related to me by a witness, the same Aleut who was the comrade of the tortured Aleut. Afterwards he escaped from imprisonment, and I reported this incident to the supreme authorities in St Petersburg. When I finished my story, Father Herman asked, 'And how did they call the martyred Aleut?' I answered, 'Peter; I do not remember his family name.' The Elder stood up before an icon reverently, made the sign of the Cross and pronounced, "Holy newly-martyred Peter, pray to God for usl"
Just a random piece of curiosity that hopefully ups the thread: it seems St. Peter the Aleut wasn't technically an Aleut. He was an Alutiiq. The ethnonym is apparently close enough to be mixed with "Aleut", and it seems people used to call both Aleuts and Alutiiqs the same, but their languages are extremely different and they don't share the same habitat. Compare Aleut numbers "ataqan, aalax, qaankun, siching, chaang" with Alutiiq "allringuq, mal'uk, pingayun, staaman, talliman".
Yeah, the Russians tended to just use one word for all Native populations. Nowadays, the people of the Aleutian Islands tend to go by "Unangax," though I don't think "Aleut" is considered a slur the way "Eskimo" sometimes is.

The Alutiiq (which is really just the word "Aleut" transliterated into Sugstun, their language) or Sugpiat as they call themselves, live mostly on and around Kodiak Island, which was the first capital of Russian America. Same climate, just a lot more trees and a little less wind.
 

stanley123

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RaphaCam said:
PeterTheAleut said:
THE MARTYRDOM OF PETER "On another occasion I was relating to him how the Spanish in California had imprisoned fourteen Aleuts, and how the Jesuits were forcing all of them to accept the Catholic Faith. But this Aleut would not agree under any circumstances, saying, 'We are Christians.' The Jesuits protested, 'That's not true; you are heretics and schismatics. If you do not agree to accept our faith then we will torture all of you.' Then the Aleuts were placed in cells until evening; two to a cell. At night the Jesuits came to the prison with lanterns and lighted candles. They began to persuade the Aleuts in the cell once again to accept the Catholic Faith. 'We are Christians,' was the answer of the Aleuts, 'and we will not change our Faith.' Then the Jesuits began to torture them, at first the one while his companion was the witness. They cut the toes off his feet, first one joint and then the other joint. And then they cut the first joint on the fingers of the hands, and then the other joint. Afterwards they cut off his feet, and his hands; the blood flowed. The martyr endured all and steadfastly insisted on one thing: "I am a Christian.' In such suffering, he bled to death. The Jesuit promised to torture to death his comrades also on the next day.

But that night an order was received from Monterey stating that the imprisoned Aleuts were to be released immediately, and sent there under escort. Therefore, in the morning all were dispatched to Monterey with the exception of the martyred Aleut. This was related to me by a witness, the same Aleut who was the comrade of the tortured Aleut. Afterwards he escaped from imprisonment, and I reported this incident to the supreme authorities in St Petersburg. When I finished my story, Father Herman asked, 'And how did they call the martyred Aleut?' I answered, 'Peter; I do not remember his family name.' The Elder stood up before an icon reverently, made the sign of the Cross and pronounced, "Holy newly-martyred Peter, pray to God for usl"
Just a random piece of curiosity that hopefully ups the thread: it seems St. Peter the Aleut wasn't technically an Aleut. He was an Alutiiq. The ethnonym is apparently close enough to be mixed with "Aleut", and it seems people used to call both Aleuts and Alutiiqs the same, but their languages are extremely different and they don't share the same habitat. Compare Aleut numbers "ataqan, aalax, qaankun, siching, chaang" with Alutiiq "allringuq, mal'uk, pingayun, staaman, talliman".
Many of the details of the martyrdom of St. Peter the Aleut are similar to those of St. Jacob the Persian, which raises eyebrows.  Further, a wikipedia article on Peter the Aleut makes it difficult to believe that there were any Jesuits any where near California in 1815. Also there is an article by the Orthodox priest Father Oliver Herbel that St. Peter the Aleut did not exist. Do most Orthodox today accept what Father Herbel has said, or accept that the story of the Jesuit torture of St. Peter the Aleut is not true, or do most Orthodox accept the martydom story of St. Peter the Aleut, as true?
 

RaphaCam

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Slowly cutting people is far from an original narrative piece, and even if there weren't Jesuits in California at this moment, which I haven't seen been demonstrated, there were Catholic monastics in 1815 California, and the villified Jesuits so abhorred by the Eastern Orthodox might easily get overlapped with Franciscans, just like any Alaskan might be called an Aleut.
 

Iconodule

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Here is a good response to Fr. Oliver's article:

https://orthodoxhistory.org/2011/01/31/is-the-st-peter-the-aleut-story-true/
 

hecma925

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St. Peter the Aleut, pray unto God for us.
 

Jude1:3

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Here's a great place to listen to The Lives of Saints (Patristic Nectar). It's free, all you have to do is create a user id and password :

 
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