Saturday, December 16, 2017

Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphou: The Raising of Children According to Contemporary Saints

   
This is a wonderful talk from a great Metropolitan of Cyprus, and spiritual child of St. Iakovos Tsalikis of Evia. Here, he uses the words and example of many contemporary Orthodox Saints from Greece and Cyprus to give good advice about the blessed marital relationship, pre-conception counseling, pregnancy, delivery, nursing, and the raising of children. This video has English subtitles. Please note that this does not negate or replace the personal pastoral care and advice of your parish priest / spiritual father who knows you and your family situation in a much more detailed and personal way. But may some of the words from these great Saints, including St. Porphyrios, St. Paisios, St. Iakovos and Elder Sophrony, inspire and encourage in this great task. 
   
“Let everything take second place to our care of our children, our bringing them up to the discipline and instruction of the Lord. If from the beginning we teach them to love true wisdom, they will have great wealth and glory than riches can provide."
-St. John Chrysostom
      
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Elder Symeon Kragiopoulos: God sees into the heart of every man


The Parable of the Wedding Feast (Luke 14:16-24) (source)
  
Elder Symeon Kragiopoulos: God sees into the heart of every man
(On the Sunday of the Forefathers, The Parable of the Great Supper)
Man goes about his business, minds his family and does not take heed of what God says. All the people who refuse to respond to God’s invitation are not ignorant of God. They are, on the whole, honest people, but their heart is stuck on the things of this world; it’s not given to God. That is why man, right away, responds negatively to God’s invitation. And he does not wonder why the negative attitude, why the negative intention. Being christian, we tend to rest on our laurels but deep down in our heart the old man lives together with his rights, in his own “establishment”, in his own kingdom; under no circumstances does the old man surrender to God. And we let the old man be, and we nourish him.
  
God becomes man and dies of love to us, and still, we despise this love. There is nothing worse than that. This world exists for the salvation of those who wish to be saved. And God lets the world be, until his “house may be filled”[1].
  
And God “forces” some people to enter his house. But how can it happen that God “forces” people? That is not difficult to understand. Don’t we often see it happen with people who had no idea of who God is, who had no plan or intention to find God or believe in God, let alone, reach communion with God? Regardless of these, God who sees into the heart of every man and knows what every man intends to do, finds a way to reach man. So, God meets up with the most indifferent person or even the most negatively disposed one at some crossroads: He allows for something to happen to him and as this person finds himself in a difficult situation, as he is shaken up, he realises that this is God calling for him. As a result, man is “made” to follow the path of repentance, is “forced” to humble himself and respond to God’s call. And he is saved.
  
May God find a way for all of us to be saved. And let this happen whichever way God wants, as long as we are all saved.
[1] Luke 14: 23
   
Transcribed talks by Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos
From: Holy Hesychasterion “The Nativity of Theotokos” Publications.
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

"You work strange and awesome wonders throughout the earth..."

St. Nicholas the Wonderworker (source)
  
You work strange and awesome wonders throughout the earth, and upon the sea far off, speedily delivering those in dangers, becoming the physician of the ailing, and the nourisher of the poor, and bearing the name of victory of the people, as you were shown to be the victory of the faithful against enemies.
-from the Matins Canon to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker
  
(source)
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Akathist to St. Iakovos Tsalikis of Evia (+1991)

St. Iakovos Tsalikis of Evia (+1991) (source)
  
Note: The following is an amateur translation from the Greek text, offered for the many who love the Saint and who benefit from his speedy help. Also note that the meter of this translation is not set to match the original music.
  
Akathist to our Venerable Father Iakovos, who lately shown forth in Evia,
translated from the Greek text written by Dr. Charalampos Bousias  
  
Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone. O Champion General.
In Evia you lived practically, and were adorned with the pure roses of virtues, giving fragrance to your fellow refugees in these latter days, O Father, you who equalled the feats of the sacred David [of Evia] and the most sympathetic deliverer of those who suffer, therefore we cry out: Rejoice, O blessed Iakovos.
   
You were shown forth to be a light-bearing angel to us in our days, O Iakovos, lover of God (3), for you ceaselessly directed your nous towards God, having also trampled upon the enemy through asceticism, therefore we cry out to you:
Rejoice, O pillar of chastity,
Rejoice, O lamp of spotlessness.
Rejoice, dwelling-place of the Three-Sun Godhead,
Rejoice, offspring of Livisiou of Makri.
Rejoice, newly-illumined light of God-bearing ascetics,
Rejoice, abyss of humility and canon of mindfulness.
Rejoice, you who granted heavenly gifts to those who came to you,
Rejoice, you who watered them with mystical rain.
Rejoice, icon of the wisdom of the Creator,
Rejoice harbor of love of the age to come.
Rejoice, radiant ray of sympathy,
Rejoice, standard of prayer and fasting.
Rejoice, O blessed Iakovos.
   
You followed the steps of the former desert ascetics in these days, O Father, and showed forth the Monastery of St. David to be a strong valve of the steadfast, O Iakovos, who ceaselessly cry out to God at your struggles, Alleluia.
   
O holy one, you were an offspring of Livisiou, and from your childhood days you traveled paths as a refugee, tasting bitterness, and were deprived of bread for your food, while the faithful you made fully fed, who therefore cry out to you these things:
Rejoice, bread of the hungry,
Rejoice, lighthouse of those storm-tossed.
Rejoice, you who granted the water of salvation to all,
Rejoice, you who trampled upon the enemy who hates good.
Rejoice, fruitful tree distributing fruits,
Rejoice, most radiant star of divine sympathy.
Rejoice, for your made full the hearts of those hungry,
Rejoice, for you cast out every tribulation for those close to you.
Rejoice, you who grant joy to the faithful,
Rejoice, corruption, casting away the demon.
Rejoice, image of the life in Christ,
Rejoice, standard of the modest life.
Rejoice, O blessed Iakovos.
   
Having received divine power, you escaped the traps of childhood, and kept the robe of your soul chaste and white, ever casting out evil words far from you, O venerable Iakovos, and we cry out with fervor: Alleluia.
   
You hastened to the Monastery of the Venerable David as a deer to the springs of waters, and you were filled with true asceticism as a gift from God, O venerable one, watering with the streams of joy those who cry out to you in faith:
Rejoice, the well of steadfastness,
Rejoice, the nectar of gladness.
Rejoice, example of the monastic way,
Rejoice spiritual pillar of beauty.
Rejoice, most fragrant myrrh of the truly pure life,
Rejoice, star shining with the rays of grace to the faithful people.
Rejoice, for you quench the fires of the flesh,
Rejoice, for you pour forth gifts of healing.
Rejoice, ever-flowing river of wonders,
Rejoice, fierce striker of the demons.
Rejoice, through whom evil is conquered,
Rejoice, through whom every mortal is strengthened.
Rejoice, O blessed Iakovos.
   
Having a burning faith, you gave yourself to a multitude of struggles, and softened your flesh as wax, O ascetic, that your nous might be winged towards our Lord and God, O all wondrous Iakovos, to Whom you chanted in a spotless tongue: Alleluia.
   
The godly-minded David heard your fervent prayer, O divine Iakovos, and not only made you to serve in his monastery, O Father, but made you the sacred Abbot, O Iakovos, to whom we cry out:
Rejoice, the might of young chastity,
Rejoice, the boast of divine fasting.
Rejoice, you who were zealous for the deeds of the Fathers,
Rejoice, you who trampled upon the roaring of the enemy.
Rejoice, earthly angel, communicant with the Venerable,
Rejoice, heavenly man, guide on the monastic way.
Rejoice, for you lately lived ascetically on Evia,
Rejoice for you rightly were granted the crown of glory.
Rejoice, paintbrush of the graces of the Spirit,
Rejoice, newly-radiant lamp of purity.
Rejoice, deposer of shameful passions,
Rejoice, imitator of God-bearing men.
Rejoice, O blessed Iakovos.
   
Wishing to imitate the ways of the divine David, you approached him man-to-man every evening, O wise one, and throughout the whole night, O Father Iakovos, you chanted to the Creator, and mystically chanted, crying out: Alleluia.
   
St. Iakovos Tsalikis of Evia (source)
   
Dawned from amidst the dark clouds of winter, O Iakovos, a light-bearing star truly lit your path towards the sacred cave of the venerable David, which through prayer became your palace, therefore we cry out these things:
Rekoice, equal in honor to the Angels,
Rejoice, equal in deeds to the Venerable.
Rejoice, radiant workshop of prayer,
Rejoice, treasury of the divine life.
Rejoice, for you enlightened Greece with your rays,
Rejoice, for you watered them with your pious teachings.
Rejoice, the radiant guide towards poverty.
Rejoice, the God-loving practitioner of righteousness.
Rejoice, never-ending river of tears,
Rejoice, unconquerable flailing of the demons.
Rejoice, the new pride of the faithful,
Rejoice, the radiant vessel of grace.
Rejoice, O blessed Iakovos.

You became an inhabitant of perfect love towards your neighbor, ceaselessly praying on behalf of those near you, and for those who are terribly suffering, O Father. Speedily hasten to the aid of those who approach you in faith, and cry out loudly: Alleluia.

  
Shining in Evia as a newly-illumined moon, you enlightened with the rays of your simple words the rational flock dwelling in the dark and moonless night of ignorance, O all-precious one, therefore we who have been radiantly illumined cry out these things:
Rejoice, the healing of the sick,
Rejoice, the support of the storm-tossed.
Rejoice, most-radiant light of poverty,
Rejoice, most-bright lamp of fasting.
Rejoice, for you gladdened the choir of the faithful,
Rejoice, for you saddened the enemy who hates the good.
Rejoice, the newly-built foundation of the Church,
Rejoice, the one in extreme piety.
Rejoice, sweet nourishment of my soul,
Rejoice, present boast of my heart.
Rejoice, appearance of the heavenly light,
Rejoice, river of many kinds of wonders.
Rejoice, O blessed Iakovos.

The island of Evia magnifies your painful struggles with much endurance, O Iakovos, and everyone perceives you to be the protector of those who are sick, and takes boast in you, O Elder and leader of the Monastery of St. David, and in response to your sacred intercessions, cries out: Alleluia.
  
You purified your nous with vigil, fasting, and utter humility, and were lifted up to the heights of virtues of all kinds that are difficult to gaze upon, O spotless priest Iakovos, and you move your refugees to cry out ceaselessly:
Rejoice the chisel of dispassion,
Rejoice, the foundation of chastity.
Rejoice, the partaker of unspeakable grace,
Rejoice, the beloved of Christ the Master.
Rejoice, for you neglected earthly and passing things,
Rejoice, for you desired the wondrous things of heaven.
Rejoice, all-radiant lamp enlightening those in darkness,
Rejoice, unassailable pillar making firm the storm-tossed.
Rejoice, foundation of meekness,
Rejoice, ruler of humility.
Rejoice, you who beheld the beauty of God,
Rejoice, you who ever behold His radiance.
Rejoice, O blessed Iakovos.
  
Truly a strange hearing! How you trampled upon scorpions, O wise one, and through your prayer were unmoved by the assalts of the enemy, O Elder and Father, and remained glorifying the King of all with spotless lips, chanting: Alleluia.
  
You were shown to be wholly sanctified in our days, O all-blessed Iakovos, for you renounced every vile and dark pain and with prayer shown as the sun with goodness. Therefore, we cry out to you these things:
Rejoice, divine preacher of simplicity,
Rejoice, trumpet of modesty to all.
Rejoice, heavy-laden vine of piety,
Rejoice, the great teacher of the spiritual life.
Rejoice, undiminished type of the ancient ascetics,
Rejoice, very precious boast of monastics in asceticism.
Rejoice, for you endured deprivations upon the earth,
Rejoice, for you trampled upon the conceit of the enemy.
Rejoice, canon of righteous asceticism,
Rejoice, icon of love and watchfulness.
Rejoice, famed leader of your monastery,
Rejoice, radiant lamp of virginity.
Rejoice, O blessed Iakovos.
  
You were shown to be a newly-founded tower of chastity and perfect love, O Iakovos, and therefore we have come to know you to be a divine and joyous myrrh-container of discernment, O precious one, and we cry out to you mystical hymns: Alleluia.
  
You watered the all-sacred monastery of the venerable David with rivers of your sweat, and in it bore as fruit steadfast monastics who desire to see the Lord, O Iakovos, and who now cry out these things:
Rejoice, fragrance of asceticism,
Rejoice, lyre of the faith.
Rejoice, swallow of the godly mindset,
Rejoice, lamp of eternal resolve.
Rejoice, golden crown of heavenly virtues,
Rejoice, golden cloud richly granting healings.
Rejoice, most-precious shield of goodness,
Rejoice, shelter from the delusion of the crooked-mouthed enemy.
Rejoice, perfect fragrance of asceticism,
Rejoice, you who turn away shameful delusion.
Rejoice, sower of fruit of much prayer,
Rejoice, planter of God-pleasing plants.
Rejoice, O blessed Iakovos.
    
The ranks of the Orthodox gathered from all ends of creation to bury your joyous and wondrous body, and the people seeing you blessed you, O venerable and blessed Iakovos, and were moved to faith, crying out: Alleluia.
  

St. Iakovos of Evia, "O Me Sychoreire", or "The 'Forgive me'" (source)
  
You are a sheltering wall for the people of Evia in truth, and a most-fervent protector of those who approach you, and your intercessions to God which you offer daily, O ascetic. Therefore, we hasten that we might be protected through your grace, crying out to you in reverence:Rejoice, vessel pouring forth healings,
Rejoice, attacker of the error of the enemy.
Rejoice, divine bouquet of asceticism,
Rejoice, newly-built foundation of watchfulness.
Rejoice, new support of the faith of Christ,
Rejoice, pillar of purity and the monastic way.
Rejoice, for you sanctified the forests of Evia,
Rejoice, for you beautified the choirs of your monastery.
Rejoice, the divine adornment of the faithful,
Rejoice, our defender in dangers.
Rejoice, deliverer of your refugees,
Rejoice, the consolation of all the faithful.
Rejoice, O blessed Iakovos.
  
You did not give rest to your eyelids, or repose to your divine head, O Father, until your spirit proceeded to the hand of God, O new beloved one among ascetics, and you gave up your spirit, joining the chorus that sweetly hymns the Creator: Alleluia.
 
You were shown to be a true friend of Christ, the height of things desired, Whom you desired from childhood, O Iakovos. Therefore, you have become a divine word and sacred deed, a prototype of chastity, and therefore, the ascetics cry out:
Rejoice, the adornment of the unmarried,
Rejoice, the protection of mankind.
Rejoice, lifting up towards the deeds of the venerable,
Rejoice, imprint of the wisdom of God.
Rejoice, holy communicant with the heavenly armies.
Rejoice, blessed man and director towards God.
Rejoice, divine manna that nourishes the hungry,
Rejoice, comely mouth that drives away evil.
Rejoice, unwaning light that shines like fire,
Rejoice, adornment of the faithful people.
Rejoice, you who burn up the brushwood of nature,
Rejoice, fire that quenches delusion.
Rejoice, O blessed Iakovos.
  
You impart grace to all from the uncreated Trinity, for you were made worthy to see things aforetime, and to guide the faithful towards eternal life, and perfect joy, O Iakovos, therefore we piously hymn you, crying out: Alleluia.
  
You taught to chant with contrition unto the Savior of all, O Iakovos, and all entreat your help, that we receive grace richly from on high. Therefore, the faithful hasten to cry out to you things like this:
Rejoice, container of asceticism,
Rejoice, myrrh-vessel of simplicity.
Rejoice, adornment of Northern Evia,
Rejoice, guide towards the perfect life.
Rejoice, unassailable wall of love for Christ,
Rejoice, sword that cuts apart the roaring of the evil enemy.
Rejoice, for you spoke to the Saints as to friends,
Rejoice, for you now dwell with them in the heavenly mansions.
Rejoice, fellow-dweller with the divine David,
Rejoice, new enemy of satan.
Rejoice, shield against the invisible foe,
Rejoice, sweetness in the soul of your entreater.
Rejoice, O blessed Iakovos.
  
O fervent defender of those who hasten to you, and river of many kinds of wonders (3), with the clouds of your intercessions, rain upon us peace, and grant us your blessing, O Iakovos, that we might chant unto you: Alleluia.
  
Sts. Porphyrios, Paisios and Iakovos the New Venerable Wonderworkers (source)

And again the Kontakion.
      
Apolytikion of St. Iakovos Tsalikis in the Plagal of the First Tone.
The prototype of discernment and modesty, the wonderworking leader of the Monastery of David the venerable, who plowed and sowed love in the hardened hearts of the God-bearing people, O Father Iakovos. Do not neglect to intercede with Christ on behalf of those who call upon you in faith.
     
Sts. David and Iakovos of Evia (source)
   
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Video on the Life and Miracles of St. Iakovos Tsalikis: "A Saint of our Days"

Video on the Life and Miracles of St. Iakovos Tsalikis: "A Saint of our Days" - with English subtitles (source)
   
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Elder Iakovos Tsalikis of Evia (+1991) Canonized a Saint

St. Iakovos Tsalikis of Evia, with the Monastery of St. David where he lived and reposed (source)

Today, Monday November 27th, together with breaking news of Romfea.gr, Elder Iakovos Tsalikis was canonized by the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, under the leadership of Patriarch Bartholomew.
It should be noted that the memory of St. Iakovos Tsalikis will be celebrated on November 22nd.
   
Apolytikion to St. Iakovos Abbot of the Holy Monastery of St. David (+1991)
(written by Charalampos Bousias)
Plagal of the First Tone.
The prototype of discernment and modesty, the wonderworking leader of the Monastery of David the venerable, who plowed and sowed love in the hardened hearts of the God-bearing people, O Father Iakovos. Do not neglect to intercede with Christ on behalf of those who call upon you in faith.
   
Note***: The official service of St. Iakovos has not been released yet so the commonly used apolytikion may change in the future.
   
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Elder Joseph of Vatopedi: "Now we are on our way to venerate the Nativity of our Christ..."

The Nativity of Christ (source)
 
"Now we are on our way to venerate the Nativity of our Christ. What shall we tell Him? What will show our worth to Him? Now is truly the hour to gather a little care, a little painful work, a little self-denial, a little humility, a little self-reproach, so that we might say with fervor before the Infant: 'O All-Good One, have you come for me? Receive me the poor one! I don't have anything!" This He desires. He desires nothing else."
-Elder Joseph of Vatopedi

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