The Illumined Heart

The Illumined Heart By Frederica Mathewes-Green. Published by Paraclete Press, 2007   In The Illumined Heart, Frederica Mathewes-Green writes about the experiences of Anna and her family, to explain how the teachings of the Orthodox Church were preserved from the time of the Apostles until today. When Jesus taught his Disciples, they in turn taught others and passed down Christ's teachings to the churches they started. The disciples spread Christ’s teachings through both written and verbal communication, as St Paul says: “Brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word [...]

By |2018-08-11T15:57:47+00:00August 11th, 2018|Comments Off on The Illumined Heart

Making the sign of the Cross

Making the sign of the Cross   In Holy Orthodoxy, everything we do reflects the Apostolic and living theology of the Church. This is most evident in the way we make the sign of the cross, being the symbol of Christ’s victory over death. Using only the right hand, we join our thumb and first two fingers and lay the last two fingers flat against our palm. The three fingers together signify the Holy Trinity, i.e. Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and the two fingers in the palm represent the dual natures of Christ, i.e. divine and human. We touch [...]

By |2018-08-11T15:55:21+00:00August 11th, 2018|Comments Off on Making the sign of the Cross

St Maximus the Confessor (On the Liturgy)

St Maximus the Confessor (On the Liturgy)   St Maximus the Confessor was born in 580 AD to an aristocratic family of Constantinople, and received the finest education. He was an imperial secretary for four years before realising his calling to become a monk at the age of 34. He lived through the tumultuous events of the 7th century, which saw Jerusalem occupied by Persians and Christ’s True Cross taken and carried away; its subsequent recovery by Byzantine Emperor Heraclius; the Persian attack on Constantinople averted miraculously by the Theotokos’ defence of the city (from which the Akathist Hymn arose); [...]

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Hymn to the Theotokos

Hymn to the Theotokos   Την Ωραιότητα της Παρθενίας Σου Θεοτοκίον Ἦχος γ' Τὴν ὡραιότητα τῆς παρθενίας σου, καὶ τὸ ὑπέρλαμπρον τὸ τῆς ἁγνείας σου, ὁ Γαβριὴλ καταπλαγείς ἐβόα σοι Θεοτόκε, Ποῖόν σοι ἐγκώμιον προσαγάγω ἐπάξιον; τί δὲ ὀνομάσω σε; ἀπορῶ καὶ ἐξίσταμαι· διὸ ὡς προσετάγην βοῶ σοι, Χαῖρε ἡ Κεχαριτωμένη. Awed by the beauty of your virginity and by the brilliance of your purity, Gabriel cried aloud to you, O Mother of God, “How can I praise you as I should? With what name shall I call you? I am at a loss and amazed; therefore as I was [...]

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Father Simon Arvanitis (1901-1988)

Father Simon Arvanitis (1901-1988)   Father Simon was born in 1901 in Koukouvaounes, Attica, Greece. At the age of 16 he went to Mount Athos with friends in order to receive the blessing of Metropolitan Nectarios (St Nectarios). The Saint took his hands and told him prophetically: “You will become a Spiritual Father and save souls”. Simon’s love for God grew, and at age 24 he secretly left his family to be tonsured a monk at the monastery of St Haralambos. However he longed to be a cave-dwelling hermit, and continually begged this from the Monastery elders. The elders prayed [...]

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