Posts on Orthodox subjects such as spirituality, practices, saints, services, and history

Parable of the Good Samaritan

The Parable of the Good Samaritan can be found in Luke 10:25-37. This cartoon has English subtitles with narration and dialogue in Greek and was produced by the Russian Ministry of Culture.


St. Nektarios on Being a Christian

posts-pic-st-nektarios-of-aegina4A Christian must be courteous to all.

His words and deeds should breath with the grace of the Holy Spirit, which abides in his soul, so that in this way he might glorify the name of God.

He who regulates all of his speech also regulates all of his actions.

He who keeps watch over the words he is about say also keeps watch over the deeds he intends to do, and he never goes out of the bounds good and benevolent conduct.

The graceful speech of a Christian is characterized by delicateness and politeness.

This fact, born of love, produces peace and joy.

On the other hand, boorishness gives birth to hatred, enmity, affliction, competitiveness, disorder and wars.

St. Nektarios of Aegina
The Path to Happiness, 7

Agni Partheni (O Pure Virgin) by St. Nektarios

St. Nektarios loved to write hymns to honor the Theotokos. His most famous hymn is Agni Partheni (O Pure Virgin), which he composed while he was dean of the Rizarios Theological School of Athens. It appeared his book of hymns called A Small Theotokarion (Athens, 1905).

This playlist contains several different recordings of this hymn in English, Slavonic, and Greek.

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A Prayer to the Immaculate Virgin by St. Nektarios of Aegina

post-icon-theotokos5Take away from me, O Virgin, the fetters of sin,
of my lusts and other transgressions:
the terrible carelessness and the overcaring,
the evil curiosity and the talkativeness,
the useless incontinence and the haughtiness,
the negligence, the drunkenness and the lack of mercy,
the bad desires, the terrible impurity,
the extravagance, the darkness,
the great insensitivity.

Take away the tendency to say jokes,
the enjoyment, the prodigality.

The laughter of immorality and every evil.

Give me, O maiden, fasting,
carefulness, vigilance and perfect obedience.

Give me carefulness in all
and acute discernment,
silence, order and holy patience.

Grant to me, O Lady, eagerness to work
and to attain my perfection,
and zeal for virtues and exercise.

Keep, O most-holy One,
my soul, my heart and my mind
in holiness and guard it in virginity.

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Source: Edited and translated from the Greek by Nikolaos S. Hatzinikolaou, Holy Cross Orthodox Press, Brookline, Massachusetts, reprint 2002, pp. 221-225

Heaven and Earth in The Icon

Jonathan Pageau discusses cosmology in icons in the third article in his series at Orthodox Arts Journal.

Heaven and Earth in The Icon

by Jonathan Pageau

posts-icon-fiery-ascension-elijahOne of the main purposes of the icon, in its imitation of our Lord himself, is to participate in connecting Heaven and Earth. By making visible in earthly terms — in people, events and things — a glimpse of heavenly truth, they lead us towards the transfiguration of the world. This transfiguration is beyond words of course, but like all mystical truth, we can nonetheless skirt around it, point to the edges of this vision in order to help us participate in it more fully.

This possibility of uniting Heaven and Earth is anchored in the Christological definitions of the Church, in the duality of . . .

. . . Continue Reading

Classical Music for Forming Your Soul

Our last two articles (“Forming the Soul – Spirit, Soul and Body” and “Forming Young Souls“) discussed how classical music helps to form the soul. Therefore, we offer this short video with numerous brief selections of the best of Russian composers. Many of these melodies will be surprisingly familiar to most people.

The Best of Russian Composers (Glinka to Shostakovich)


1) Glinka: Ruslan and Lyudmila Overture.
2) Borodin: Polovtsian Dances (Prince Igor). (more…)