The Way of a Pilgrim

The Way of a Pilgrim Hope Publishing House, 2nd Edition 1989   The Way of a Pilgrim is an all-time classic much loved by generations of teenagers and adults. It chronicles the travels of an anonymous nineteenth century Russian Christian, and his adventures, spiritual inquiries, and inner change along his eye-opening and extraordinary journey. The pilgrim sets out with nothing but a Bible, a rosary, and some dried bread. Various incidents arise during his journey: he meets his spiritual elders, he learns the Jesus prayer, he encounters a forester, he gets a job as a church watchman, he plans for [...]

By |2018-11-28T15:23:09+00:00November 28th, 2018|Comments Off on The Way of a Pilgrim

Komboskini (Prayer Rope)

Komboskini (Prayer Rope)   The Komboskini (κομποσκοίνι) or Orthodox prayer rope is used by Christians to assist their daily prayer rule. Traditionally it is made of black wool, knotted in the form of a loop, with coloured beads at intervals and a cross and tassel at its base. The black colour is the colour of mourning or repenting for our sins and the wool symbolizes the flock of Christ, the Good Shepherd. The tassel at the end is used to wipe the tears of the repentant in prayer. Prayer ropes come in different sizes most commonly with either 33 knots [...]

By |2018-11-28T15:21:19+00:00November 28th, 2018|Comments Off on Komboskini (Prayer Rope)

St Ephraim the Syrian (on Repentance)

St Ephraim the Syrian (on Repentance)   When St Ephraim was almost an adolescent, he had a curious dream. Out of his mouth sprouted a vine with many grapes. The height of the vine was great, and the branches reached across the earth. On the branches sat various species of birds flying from branch to branch feeding from the grapes. We understand this to be his God-given ability to preach, and we are the “birds” who are able to “feast” spiritually. On the topic of repentance he begins with the words of Christ “There shall be joy in heaven over [...]

By |2018-11-28T15:19:27+00:00November 28th, 2018|Comments Off on St Ephraim the Syrian (on Repentance)

Hymn to the Theotokos   Προστασία τῶν Χριστιανῶν ... Προστασία τῶν Χριστιανῶν ἀκαταίσχυντε, μεσιτεία, πρὸς τὸν Ποιητὴν ἀμετάθετε, μὴ παρίδῃς, ἁμαρτωλῶν δεήσεων φωνάς, ἀλλὰ πρόφθασον, ὡς ἀγαθή, εἰς τὴν βοήθειαν ἡμῶν, τῶν πιστῶς κραυγαζόντων σοι· Τάχυνον εἰς πρεσβείαν, καὶ σπεῦσον εἰς ἱκεσίαν, ἡ προστατεύουσα ἀεί, Θεοτόκε, τῶν τιμώντων σε. Protection of Christians that can never be put to shame, steadfast intercession to the Creator, we sinners beg you, do not overlook the voices of our prayers. But O good Lady, we implore you, quickly come unto our aid, we who are crying out to you with faith. Hurry to intercession, [...]

By |2018-11-28T15:18:16+00:00November 28th, 2018|Comments Off on

St Luke of Simferopol, the Doctor (1877-1961)

St Luke of Simferopol, the Doctor (1877-1961)   There are often many striking similarities between saints separated by decades or even centuries. St Luke the Evangelist, for instance, was mirrored by St Luke of Simferopol, who similarly was an artist, doctor and evangelist. Born Valentin Felixovich Voino-Yasenetsky on 14 April 1877, he received an excellent secular education at the Kiev Academy of Fine Arts in drawing and subsequently at the University of Kiev in Medicine. He was married and had four children, but his wife, Anna, died at a young age. The event which defined his life was the Bolshevik [...]

By |2018-11-28T15:15:34+00:00November 28th, 2018|Comments Off on St Luke of Simferopol, the Doctor (1877-1961)