Pages

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Miracle of the Church of the Prophet Elijah in Chernobyl


The only church in Chernobyl dedicated to the Old Testament Prophet Elijah is first mentioned by chronicles in the 16th century. Following the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in April 1986 the church was closed. Services in it were resumed in 2001. The church contains the revered icons of “The Saviour of Chernobyl” and of St. Nicholas the Wonder-Worker.

In April 2011, on the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl catastrophe, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia visited Chernobyl. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church served a funeral service (panikhida) there for the repose of the accident victims. The Patriarch then noted that the containment and stoppage of the nuclear power station accident “became a great moral feat for thousands of people” and called upon the gathered people not to forget the Chernobyl disaster victims.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A 9th Century Saint and Patriarch of Constantinople Who Disputed the Book of Revelation


In traditional icons of Saint Nikephoros, Patriarch of Constantinople from 806 to 815 A.D., he holds a Gospel book, since a primary task of a Bishop is to teach his flock the teachings of Christ. However, in his Chronography, to which is appended a list of the canonical writings accepted as Holy Scripture, followed by a list of disputed, or antilegomena, texts and then apocryphal texts, there is one book that is not listed as a canonical book of the New Testament that is normally listed today, but is rather placed among the antilegomena - namely, the Book of Revelation. He does not say why he places the Book of Revelation among the antilegomena, but it is significant that a Patriarch of Constantinople and a Saint of the Church from the ninth century rejected the Book of Revelation as canonical Scripture, and placed it among other disputed books such as the Revelation of Peter, the Epistle of Barnabas and the Gospel of the Hebrews.

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Second Coming of Christ on Mount Athos


The beautiful and detailed icon above is titled "The Second Coming of Christ on the Holy Mountain" and was painted by Elder Panteleimon of Kavsokalyva.

It depicts the future Judgement Day when the Lord will sit in judgment. Behind Him is Mount Athos, with the ladder of divine ascent leading to heaven, where the Theotokos stands on a cloud interceding. On the right and left of Christ are the resurrected monks brought to judgement, the righteous of whom stand at His right hand, having the Theotokos as their advocate. On the left hand is the lake of fire, prepared for the damned.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Last Things and the Kingdom of God


By Fr. Maximos Moschos of Mount Athos

It is characteristic and remarkable that St. John the Baptist preached repentance because the Kingdom of God is coming (Mt. 3:2.). Our Lord also preached repentance and belief in the Gospel because the Kingdom of God is at hand; it has come (Mt. 4:l7; Mk. 1:15). Following the commission of Christ, the Disciples also preached repentance (Lk.6:12.) precisely because the Kingdom has come (Mt. 10:7). And at the end of his public ministry, Christ directed the Disciples to preach in His name repentance and forgiveness of sins (Lk.24:47). That is, the basic point of the preaching centered around the Kingdom of God, and all the details had to do with how this Kingdom could prevail. The Kingdom of God has no end (Lk. l:33); it will be given to all those who would observe its prerequisites (Mt. 21:43). One enters the Kingdom of God after a struggle (Mt.1 1:12) and it comes quietly into the heart of the believer (Lk.17:20-21). Some of the prerequisites for entrance into the Kingdom of God are: doing the will of God (Mt. 7:21), spiritual rebirth through faith and baptism (Jn. 3:3-8), humility (Mt.18:3), a child-like attitude (Mt.19:14), patience in persecution (Mt. 5:10), sacrifice of possessions (Mt. 13:44-46), a greater perfection than that of the Pharisees (Mt. 5:20), love for the needy brethren (Mt. 25: 34-36), and finally seeking after the Kingdom of God (Mt. 6:33). The Kingdom of God is also called eternal life, which is the blessed and thrice-happy life in Paradise near our heavenly Father, but which begins in part from here and now. It is noted here that certain words have a double meaning, a literal and a metaphorical meaning. There are those people who are bodily dead and those who are spiritually dead (Lk. 9:60). There is the physical death, but also the spiritual death, which is the result of sin and the carnal mind (1 Cor. 15:56; Rom.8:6). There is also the natural life, such as that of the animals, and the spiritual life that comes as an added gift of God (Jn. 5:40; 6:53). He who believes in the Lord and keeps His word will go from death to life and will never see spiritual death (Jn. 5:24; 8:5l). Our Lord is the Resurrection and the Life (Jn. 11:25). He gives the eternal life (Jn. 10: 28). His words are truth and life, and they guide us to eternal life (Jn. 6:68). The obedience to His will brings us to eternal life (Jn. 12:50). Also, He who receives Holy Communion, that is, eats and drinks Christ through the Holy Eucharist, has eternal life (Jn. 6:54). He who believes in Christ has eternal life, and he who does not believe has the wrath of God (Jn. 3:36). Eternal life is the knowledge of God, which we acquire through faith, virtue and experience of the divine blessings (Jn. 17:3).