Saturday, May 8, 2021

Orthodox Parables and Stories: Miracle working icon of St. Panteleimon

The beautifully preserved icon of St. George in the monastery of Zograf soon became known not only to all of Mount Athos, but also to all of Greece. Such a great number of healings and miracles flowed from it, that one Greek bishop, having heard about it, began to doubt the truth of what was happening.

- Well, okay, I heard about the miraculous icons, and about all kinds of healings, but not in such large numbers! No, there is clearly a lie hidden here, it's all made up by monks! Miracles are miracles, but not that supernatural! Miracles should be more modest. Monks exaggerate or invent them in order to attract more pilgrims to the monastery. Of course, they are cunning out of selfish motives, hoping to divert the flow of money to their monastery. I will go to Zograf and show them how they deceive the people!

The newly arrived bishop is received with reverence in Zograf. But he is already preset against the monastery and its inhabitants. He does not believe in the miraculous nature of the icon of Saint George the Victorious, in the fact that so many miracles flow from it, and so many human troubles are healed by his intercession before God, the holy Great Martyr George. He enters the temple and casually asks:
- Well, where is that icon of yours... the miraculous one? Show it to me.
- Here, Vladyka, look, this is our main holy relic: the icon of St. George miraculously brought here from Palestine.
The bishop looks at it and says with a laugh:
- Is this the one?! Miraculous?!

And he pokes his finger directly into the face of the saint. When he tried to take his finger away from the icon, it turned out that the finger was stuck. The bishop pulls and tugs at him - but the finger is not taken away. Having come to his senses, he begins to pray with crying, and he keeps pulling his finger: the pain is terrible, but the icon does not give up the finger! Then they began to serve molebens with akathist to the great martyr George. The bishop chants, prays and cries, asks for forgiveness for his unbelief. Both day and night - for several days he stands in front of the icon on his outstretched hand, on his stuck finger, begs to let him go. But, apparently, the disbelief of the bishop was so great that Saint George decided to punish him both for the sake of admonishing as the bishop, and for the sake of instructing everyone else.

What to do?! Then the monks brought a scalpel and cut off the pad of his index finger. To this day, that withered piece of the bishop's finger is still on the icon, to the right, near the nostril of the Great Martyr. I had a chance to see it with my own eyes. It's an amazing sight! Imagine a surface covered with a thick layer of glue. If you touch the slightly dried glue with your finger and then pull it up, it will be followed by the glue sticking to it, as if it were a small volcano cone. But everyone understands that the levkas and the colorful layer on the icon is a completely dry, hard, one might say petrified, surface. Its age, before the bishop's finger boldly touched it, was at least seven centuries old... And suddenly I see that this petrified paint layer with levkas has risen, as if for a moment it became sticky, like glue, pulled away from the surface of the board a centimeter by the finger of the archpriest - and so it remained frozen together with a dried up piece of meat... By all the laws of physics this could not be. But it was. And we contemplated the miracle with our own eyes: a severed edge of a finger embedded in the surface of the paint."

(From the book "Holy Mount Athos")

"Ask, and it shall be given you!"

"Ask, and it shall be given you!" - Photographer Lasha Shalamberidze publishes two photographs taken in Tsachkhuri monastery.

The first photo was taken in 2018 and shows a childless couple praying in a monastery. In the second photo from 2021, the same couple has already been taken with a child

Fr. Philaret (Metan) - an illegal Confessor (†1976)

Panagia Portaitisa restores the monks vision


When the Cypriot Elder Chrysostomos Katounakiotis (1920 - 2005) had a serious eye problem and was about to go blind, instead of visiting a doctor to receive examination and treatment, he went to the Holy Iveron Monastery where he prayed in front of the miraculous icon of Panagia Portaitissa.  Then, at the suggestion of practicing monks, he instilled drops of lemon in his eyes. After prayer and the practical treatment, he completely regained his light.

From the book of the monk Philip, "Elder of the desert of Mount Athos".

PHOTO Elder Chrysostomos Katounakiotis (From the archive of Kostas Papageorgiou)

Friday, May 7, 2021

The dialogue between Christ and the devil in hell | Mother Christofora |...

The prayer to the Holy Spirit...

The prayer to the Holy Spirit, "O Heavenly King", said in almost every Orthodox prayer service is NOT said from Paschal matins (the first service of the Pentecostarion), which begins at midnight on the Sunday of Pascha, until the Vespers service for Pentecost. Anywhere this prayer occurs it is omitted, and until Ascension Thursday, is substituted with the Paschal troparion (Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life), sung three times. We are like the Apostles during this period, "waiting" for the Holy Spirit to come, and the absence of this prayer makes a strong statement of our profound need for the Holy Spirit.

Hristos a înviat! în mai multe limbi. Cântă părinți athoniți.