Tag Archives: Saints

A Warrior Saint… On Veteran’s Day

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How fitting that the Church honors St. Menas today, a military officer from the late 3rd/early 4th century who gave up everything for Christ. From the OCA website:

When the emperors began the fiercest persecution against Christians in history, the saint refused to serve these persecutors. He removed his soldier’s belt (a sign of military rank) and withdrew to a mountain, where he lived an ascetic life of fasting and prayer.

Once he happened to arrive in the city during a pagan festival. At the climax of the games the saint’s accusing voice rang out, preaching faith in Christ, the Savior of the world. At his trial before the prefect Pyrrhus, the saint bravely confessed his faith, saying that he had come to denounce the impious. The prefect was angered, and had Menas arrested.

Pyrrhus offered to restore the saint’s former rank if he would offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. When he refused, he was put to cruel tortures, then he was beheaded. This occurred in the year 304. Christians gathered up the martyr’s relics by night and hid them until the end of the persecution. Later, they were brought to Egypt and placed in a church dedicated to St Menas southwest of Alexandria.

The saint received grace from God to work miracles, and to help those in need. St Menas is noted for healing various illnesses, delivering people from possession by demons, and as a protector, especially during times of war. …

The Mystagogy blog also recounts how St. Menas saved numerous pious Christians from an ambush by the Turks in the 19th century, and how the intercession of St. Menas helped to turn the tide in World War II.

Pray for us, St. Menas!

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The Sign of the Cross

Cross outside Prophet Elias Chapel
When, then, you make the sign of the cross on the forehead, arm yourself with a saintly boldness, and reinstall your soul in its old liberty; for you are not ignorant that the cross, is a prize beyond all price. Consider what is the price given for your ransom, and you will never more be slave to any man on earth. This reward and ransom is the cross. You should not then, carelessly make the sign on the forehead, but you should impress it on your heart with the love of a fervent faith. Nothing impure will dare to molest you on seeing the weapon, which overcometh all things.

St. John Chrysostom (+407)

Embracing Those Who Criticise You

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It is one thing neither to be stung nor angered by affronts and insults, nor by temptations and trials, and another to be pleased by them. It is one thing to pray for the people who do such things, and another to impress on one’s spirit the face of each one of them, and then, with tears of sincere love, to embrace them dispassionately as true friends without the least trace of dislike making its nest in the soul.

St. Symeon the New Theologian

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As a pilot calls on winds and a storm-tossed mariner looks homeward, so the times call on you to win your way to God. As God’s athlete, be sober; the stake is immortality and eternal life.

St. Ignatius of Antioch

“…for all the ‘mysticism’ of our Orthodox Church that is found in the Lives of Saints and the writings of the Holy Fathers, the truly Orthodox person always has both feet firmly on the ground, facing whatever situation is right in front of him.  It is in accepting given situations, which requires a loving heart, that one encounters God.”

– Fr. Seraphim Rose (+1982), God’s Revelation to the Human Heart, p. 28

“O Lord, grant that I may meet all that this coming day brings to me with spiritual tranquility. Grant that I may fully surrender myself to Thy holy Will.

“At every hour of this day, direct and support me in all things. Whatsoever news may reach me in the course of the day, teach me to accept it with a calm soul and the firm conviction that all is subject to Thy holy Will.

“Direct my thoughts and feelings in all my words and actions. In all unexpected occurrences, do not let me forget that all is sent down from Thee.

“Grant that I may deal straightforwardly and wisely with every member of my family, neither embarrassing nor saddening anyone.

“O Lord, grant me the strength to endure the fatigue of the coming day and all the events that take place during it. Direct my will and teach me to pray, to believe, to hope, to be patient, to forgive, and to love. Amen.”

Morning Prayer, Met. Philaret of Moscow (+1867)

The 12 Mandates Given to St. Hermas

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1. Believe in God.

2. Live in simplicity and innocence; do not speak evil and give alms to all who beg.

3. Love truth and avoid falsehood.

4. Preserve chastity in your thoughts.

5. Learn patience and generosity.

6. Know that with every man, there is a good and an evil spirit.

7. Fear God and not to fear the devil.

8. Do every good and to refrain from every evil deed.

9. Pray to God from the depth of the soul with faith that our prayer will be fulfilled.

10. Guard against melancholy as the sister of doubt and anger.

11. Question true and false prophecies.

12. Guard against every evil desire.

“Hermas, commemorated May 31st, was one of the Seventy Apostles. He is mentioned in the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans. “Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes and the brethren which are with them” (Romans 16:14). Hermas was a Greek by birth but lived in Rome for a long time. He was a bishop in Philippoupolis and ended his life as a martyr. He compiled a very instructive book called “The Shepherd” according to revelations from an angel of God. Hermas was a wealthy man but because of his sins and the sins of his sons, he fell into extreme poverty.”

Source: Orthodixie

Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom

Is there anyone who is a devout lover of God? Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival!  Is there anyone who is a grateful servant?  Let them rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord!

Are there any weary with fasting?  Let them now receive their wages!

If any have toiled from the first hour, let them receive their due reward;

If any have come after the third hour, let him with gratitude join in the Feast!

And he that arrived after the sixth hour, let him not doubt; for he too shall sustain no loss.

And if any delayed until the ninth hour, let him not hesitate; but let him come too.

And he who arrived only at the eleventh hour, let him not be afraid by reason of his delay.  For the Lord is gracious and receives the last even as the first. He gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour, as well as to him that toiled from the first. To this one He gives, and upon another He bestows. He accepts the works as He greets the endeavor. The deed He honors and the intention He commends.

Let us all enter into the joy of the Lord!  First and last alike receive your reward; rich and poor, rejoice together! Sober and slothful, celebrate the day!

You that have kept the fast, and you that have not, rejoice today for the Table is richly laden! Feast royally on it, the calf is a fatted one. Let no one go away hungry. Partake, all, of the cup of faith. Enjoy all the riches of His goodness!

Let no one grieve at his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed. Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again; for forgiveness has risen from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free.
He has destroyed it by enduring it.

He destroyed Hades when He descended into it. He put it into an uproar even as it tasted of His flesh. Isaiah foretold this when he said, “You, O Hell, have been troubled by encountering Him below.”

Hell was in an uproar because it was done away with.

It was in an uproar because it is mocked.

It was in an uproar, for it is destroyed.

It is in an uproar, for it is annihilated.

It is in an uproar, for it is now made captive.

Hell took a body, and discovered God.

It took earth, and encountered Heaven.

It took what it saw, and was overcome by what it did not see.

O death, where is thy sting? O Hades, where is thy victory?

Christ is Risen, and you, O death, are annihilated!

Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down!

Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice!

Christ is Risen, and life is liberated!

Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead; for Christ having risen from the dead, is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

To Him be Glory and Power forever and ever. Amen!