When was such a wonder of wonders ever seen by men? How does the Queen of all lie breathless? How has the Mother of Jesus reposed? Thou, O Virgin, wast the preaching of the prophets; thou art heralded by us. All the people venerate thee; the angels glorify thee. Rejoice, thou who art full of grace, the Lord is with thee, and through thee, with us. With Gabriel we hymn thee, with the angels we glorify thee; and with the prophets we praise thee, for they announced thee.
Habakkum beheld thee as an overshadowed mountain, for thou art (more…)
This article on A Reader’s Guide to Orthodox Icons begins with a very brief history about the snakes, but it is particularly interesting for its discussion on the symbolism of these serpents in Orthodoxy.
In a tiny Greek village in the south of Kefallonia, a miracle occurs every year after the feast of the Transfiguration (Aug 6). Around the bell-tower of the chapel at Markopoulo, small venomous snakes appear. These snakes crawl around the church, and upon the icons of the Mother of God in an act of apparent veneration. The snakes remain in the confines of the chapel, docile throughout, until the feast of the Dormition (Aug 15), when they disperse and become almost impossible . . .
The Akathist to the Theotokos is a spiritual weapon to wield against the various afflictions that trouble us — suffering through trials and temptations, trying to overcome the passions, or being in a state of indecision or uncertainty about God’s will. Typically the personal prayers of intercession (for yourself or on the behalf of others) are offered at the end of the Akathist. It is also a custom for Orthodox Christians to (more…)
By Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky, +1936), the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad
The prayers sung in church today explain to us, brothers, that the Lord revealed His divine Transfiguration with the specific goal of persuading His followers that they, too, are to adorn their inner image with virtues, and to shine also with external spiritual beauty. Within our souls lies the insatiable thirst of seeing the (more…)
Each year a miracle occurs in a small Greek village in Kefallonia. Between the feasts of Transfiguration (August 6) and the Dormition of the Theotokos (August 15), snakes with small crosses on their heads and tongues come from the bell tower and enter the church to venerate icons. They disappear after Dormition until the next year.
The following is an excerpt from C. S. Lewis’ Introduction to On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius the Great.
There is a strange idea abroad that in every subject the ancient books should be read only by the professionals, and that the amateur should content himself with the modern books. Thus I have found as a tutor in English Literature that if the average student wants to find out something about Platonism, the very last thing he thinks of doing (more…)
“My brethren, do all that is in your power not to fall, for the strong athlete should not fall, but, if you do fall, get up again at once, and continue the contest. Even if you fall a thousand times, because of the withdrawal of God’s grace, rise up again at each time, and keep on doing so until the day of your death. For it is written: ‘If a righteous man falls seven times,’ that is, repeatedly throughout his life, ‘seven times shall he rise again’ [Proverbs 24:16].”
+ St. John of Karpathos, from the collection of letters to monks in India