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Σάββατο 31 Οκτωβρίου 2009

THE IDIOT By Dostoyevsky.

"Pavlicheff was a man of bright intellect and a good . Christian, a sincere Christian," said the prince,
suddenly. "How could he possibly embrace a faith which is unchristian? Roman Catholicism is, so to speak, simply the same thing as unchristianity," he added with
flashing eyes, which seemed to take in everybody in the room.
"Come, that's a little too strong, isn't it?" murmured the old man, glancing at General Epanchin in surprise. "How do you make out that the Roman Catholic religion is unchristian? What is it, then?" asked Ivan Petrovitch, turning to the prince.
"It is not a Christian religion, in the first place," said the latter, in extreme agitation, quite out of proportion to the necessity of the moment. "And in the second place, Roman Catholicism is, in my opinion, worse than Atheism itself. Yes, that is my opinion. Atheism only preaches a negation, but Romanism goes further; it preaches a disfigured, distorted Christ, it preaches Anti-Christ—, 1 assure you, I swear it!
This is my own personal conviction, and it has long distressed me. The Roman Catholic believes that the Church on earth cannot stand without universal temporal Power. He cries 'non possumus!' In my opinion the Roman Catholic religion is not a faith at all, but simply a continuation of the Roman Empire, and everything is subordinated to this idea, beginning with faith. The Pope has seized territories and an earthly throne, and has held them with the sword. And so the thing has gone on, only that to the sword they have added lying, intrigue, deceit, fanaticism, superstition, swindling; they have played fast and loose with the most sacred and sincere feelings of men; they have exchanged everything for money, for base earthly POWER! And is this not the teaching of Anti-Christ?
How could the upshot of all this be other than Atheism? Atheism is the child of Roman Catholicism, as it proceeded from these Romans themselves, though perhaps they would not believe it. It grew and fattened on hatred of its parents; it is the progeny of their lies and spiritual feebleness. Atheism! In our country, it is only among the upper classes that you find unbelievers; men who have lost the root or spirit of their faith; but abroad whole masses of the people are beginning to profess unbelief, at first because of the darkness and lies by which they were surrounded; but now out of fanaticism, out of loathing for the Church and Christianity!"
"Ihe prince paused to get breath. He had spoken with extraordinary rapidity, and was very pale. All present interchanged glances, but at last the old dignitary burst out laughing frankly. Prince N. took out his eye-glass to have a good look at the speaker.
The German poet came out of his corner and crept nearer to the table, with a spiteful srnile. "You exaggerate the matter very much," said Ivan Petrovitch, with rather a bored air. "'Ihere are, in the foreign Churches, many representatives of their faith who are worthy of respect and esteem."
"Oh, but I did not speak of individual representatives. I was merely talking about Roman Catholicism, and its essence—of Rome itself. A Church can never entirely disappear; I never hinted at that!..."


And so, the Feasts of Feasts has passed by us: and the Royal Gates in the Lord's temples are shut; and the services are no longer as triumphant as it was during Holy Week. What then, brethren, has this feast left in our souls?

Christian holidays, you see, do not pass before us, one after another, just to leave our souls idle, but in order to discharge us from the cares and affairs of life's concerns; to put it another way: the Lord provides us with holidays in order that we might temporarily put aside thinking about, concerning ourselves with, rejoicing at, grieving over, that which is worldly, earthly, quick to pass; but instead, that we might meditate upon, concern ourselves with, rejoice at, that which is heavenly and eternal. It was precisely for this reason, as well, that the holiday just past was given co us.
The Lord made us worthy of beholding the All-Radiant Feast of Christ's Resurrection in order that we might descry in it the first-fruits of the universal resurrection of all mankind in the last days of the world: Christ rose from the dead, being the first fruits of those who had died (i Cor 15:20), says the Word of God. It was for us, you see, that the Lord suffered, died, was buried, and arose: His death, burial and resurrection is, as it were, our own death, burial and resurrection. It is for this reason that we sang during the Matins of Bright Week: Yesterday was I interred with Thee, O Christ; conjointly with Thee do I rise today. (Paschal Canon Ode 3, Troparion 2).
Yes, we, all of us, invariably shall rise up; and we all look for and await the resurrection of the dead. This is as certain as it is certain that there will be a day tomorrow. Has this ever entered your heads; have you given any thought to this during the holiday? Yet it was necessary to think upon this, without fail. All the great holidays of the Church - and the Feast of Pascha in particular - remind us of our redemption, through Jesus Christ, from the age to come.


Translated by Luke Hartung, from the Book: "Family Life " by Elder Paisios the Athonite, published by the Sacred Hesychastirion of St. John the Evagelist, Souroti, Greece (2002), re-printed with permission.

Geronda, many people return home from work stressed out. —I suggest to men that if they can, they should find an open church after work, go in, light a candle and stay inside for ten to fifteen minutes. Or go sit in a park somewhere and read a small section of the Gospel, so as to quiet down a bit. Then they can go home in peace, smiling, instead of stressed out and ready to pick a fight. They shouldn't bring work problems home with them—leave them at the door on the way out.
—But Geronda, some of them are justified, for their work responsibilities fill them with anxiety.
—It fills them with anxiety because they don't involve God in their dealings. The sluggard who says "O, God will take care of things..." is better off than such people. I'd rather someone be an employee and do his work well, with philotimo—but simplifying his life, concentrating on the essentials and quieting his mind—rather than a factory owner and constantly whining and moaning because he is always in debt. Pride gets in and says, "I'll borrow this amount, I'll take care of this and that, and tidy things right up..."; but afterwards his business fails, he goes bankrupt, and then must sell everything, etc.
Many people don't use their mind at work. They tire unnecessarily and thus no work gets done. Later they aren't able to snap out of it, and get all stressed out. For example, someone wants to learn a certain trade and, because he doesn't pay attention, for years he comes and goes, without making any progress, because he never uses his mind. He should observe what his work requires of him and do it. Look, when I worked in the world as a carpenter, I saw that the furniture I made required a lathe. What did I do? Did 1 go find someone to do the work for me? No, I got myself a lathe and learned how to use it. Next, I saw that I needed to make spiral staircases. So I sat down, called to mind the math and geometry I had learned, and figured out how to make them. If you don't use your mind, you end up working too hard. What I want to emphasize is how one should use his mind, because at work one meets with a whole heap of challenges. In this way he will become a good craftsman; and from then on he will know what to do—he will make progress. Therein lies the entire foundation. The mind ought to be creative in all matters. Otherwise man remains an under-achiever and wastes his time.
—Geronda, for someone strained at work, what is to blame?
—Perhaps they don't approach their work with good thoughts? If they confront it rightly, then whatever job they do will seem like a festival.
—Geronda, when someone is upset because his job is difficult or distasteful—for example, he works construction or washes dishes at a restaurant—how should he find peace?
—If he will remember that Christ washed the feet of His disciples he will quit worrying. It's as if Christ was saying to us: "You should do likewise." Whether one is washing dishes or digging ditches, he should rejoice. Another cleans out sewers filled with germs because the poor man doesn't have any other work. But is he any less of a person? Isn't he also an image of God? Once there was a family man who cleaned out sewers for a living, and who had attained a great spiritual state. He suffered from pulmonary tuberculosis; and although he had the chance to quit, he didn't want to, because he thought, "why should someone else have to suffer?" He loved the beggarly life, and for that, God gave him grace.
Work doesn't make the man. I once knew a longshoreman who had raised the dead. One day, when I was dikaios (the director of a skete who is elected each year by its elders) at the Skete of Iveron, someone who was around 55 years old visited me. He had arrived late in the evening, and slept outside rather than knock and disturb the fathers. When the fathers saw him they brought him inside and informed me. "My goodness," I told him, "why didn't you ring the bell so that we could let you in and take care of you?" "What are you saying my father?" he said to me, "How could I disturb the monks?" I noticed that his face had a certain radiance. I understood that he must have lived very spiritually. Afterwards, he explained to me that he had been left a young orphan when his father died; as a result, when he married he greatly loved his father-in-law. At first he and his wife lived in his in-laws house but after a time they moved into their own house. But he was constantly worried because his father-in-law swore a lot. He had pleaded with him many times not to swear, but he got even worse. His father-in-law once became seriously ill. They took him to the hospital, but after a few days he died. The man, however, was not with him at the hour he gave up his soul because he was unloading a ship. When he arrived at the hospital and found him in the morgue, he prayed with great pain: "My God, I beg Thee to resurrect him that he may repent, and then take him." Immediately the dead man opened his eyes and began moving his hands. As soon as the attendant saw him he fainted. Ihey got his things together and took him home, perfectly well! He lived another five years in repentance and then died. The man said to me, "My father, 1 thank God so much for doing me this favor. Who am I that God would grant me such a gift?" He had great simplicity and such humility that it didn't even enter his mind that he had raised the dead. Out of his gratitude towards God, he was blind to that which he had done.
Many people suffer because they fail to receive recognition through vain, worldly honor, or fail to become rich in pointless, mundane things. It doesn't occur to them that in the other life—the real life—such stuff is not needed, nor can they take it with them. To that place we can only take our works, which here and now acquire for us a passport for that great and eternal journey.


Παρασκευή 30 Οκτωβρίου 2009


By Blessed Elder Philotheos Zervakos (+1980), the remarkable confessor and spiritual guide, vigorous defender of the Orthodox Christian Faith, itinerant preacher, and illuminating writer!

Rise up Chrysostomes, Greories, Germanuses, Tarasiuses, Nikifori, Fotii and the rest, the old and recent Holy Patriarchs of Constantinople, who sacrificed yourselves for your flocks, to see who is on your throne. You, like the good shepherds have sacrificed your souls for your own sheep, while the present ones sacrifice their sheep for themselves and they open the door and invite the wolves to come in and destroy the flock.

When has a Patriarch fallen in such a slide, that he voluntarily struggles to deliver his flock to the wolves to be torn apart? The cause is pride, the root and cause of all sins, all the evil, all heresies, calamities and sorrows and even greater than the calamities and unhappiness, the deprivation of God's grace. The wolf shepherds, false teachers, false prophets and false christs, were expelled from Christ's flock and as unrepentant, they were placed under everlasting anathemas by the Holy Fathers, who are the true imitators of the Chief Shepherd Christ and His followers, the good, true and divine shepherds, the preservers of the decent and holy seven Ecumenical Synods. The Orthodox Church is not used to innovations like the Westerners and the Protestants, who after their separation and without ceasing have taken up to perform innovations or reforms, to such a disrespectful and insane degree to innovate all the mysteries and holy tradition and deleting many...

There are two reasons that make the present day Arch-hier-archs to innovate and reform the Chutch, first pride, which makes most of the hierarchs, save some, to believe they are wiser that the Holy Fathers, and secondly gluttony and love of self. By most of them becoming, lovers of the flesh, they were abandoned by the grace of the Holy Spirit.

If the Patriarch does not accept but tejects the suggestions of the Government of the Holy Synod, Arch-hierarchs, priests and lay followers, and insists on the union (of the Churches), then he should be renounced. For in case they do not oppose but retreat and say that they will follow the Pattiarch, then there would be a far reaching desttuction. Then I would have nothing else to say but woe to the Orthodox Church of Greece. Woe and to the Greek nation. For it shall be immeasurably worse than the subjugation to the Muslim and the false prophet Mohammed

If the Pope wishes the union, let him recognize and confess all his deceits, heresies and innovations made by various Popes from the beginning and over a period of time, having separated themselves from the Orthodox Church, he will be received only if he repents, cries bitterly and humbles himself.

Tf they do not reject pride, both Patriarch and Pope, and do not humble themselves, imitating our Lord, not only would they not succeed but instead they will increase the separation and they will create many scandals, disturbances, confusions and great damage to and loss of their flocks. If they would imitate the Lord and humble themselves, the union will succeed, they will benefit themselves and their flocks and the name of the Father in Heaven will be glorified through them like through the Apostles, for the "Lord opposes the proud and raises the humble".

Papism is the Forerunner of the Antichrist

Orthodoxy was firmed up by the Holy Apostles and the enacting Fathers through the seven Ecumenical Synods, while illumined by the Holy Spirit. Papism is the forerunner of the antichrist, for the Pope having been captured by arrogance and conceit, and wishing to have the highest authority of the Church and State, he tore the Church of Christ.

The Pope worshipers have fallen in many false beliefs and heresies modifying the mysteries of the Orthodox Church. Instead of the baptism they are sprinkling, instead of the mystery of communion they have Jewish unleavened bread. They got rid of the fasts and even the holy oil, nor can they perform blessings by sprinkling with holy water because they are excommunicated and thus their blessing does not hold.

I would not refrain to mention something I witnessed myself when I went to the Holy Mountain for pilgrimage. When the Emperor Constantine Michael and Patriarch Vekkos who were Pope worshipers went to the Holy Mountain during the period 1170-1200, they were pressing the monks to receive the Papism and to co-celebrate with the papists. Those that had accepted and co-celebrated, their bodies remained in-corrupt but give off a foul odor. Those that refused to co-celebrate and were killed by the papists, their relics give offa pleasant odor. I wish through the grace of the Holy Spirit to enlighten your mind, to give you strength and reject the dream of deceit and languish and return to the bosom of the Church.

If the present Hierarchs do not accept the decisions, the Canons and the traditions given by the divine Apostles and Holy Fathers of the Church but ignore them, who would then respect their own?

The Church and State and their leaders of the present evil days sleep the heaviest sleep of negligence and laziness, and if they do not wake up, as well as the clergy and the people to repentance in the service of God's commandments, of the virtues and good works, they will have to answer during the great judgment and will be punished.

Hold Fast to your Faith Hold onto your faith firmly and remain immovable on the

traditions of the Divine Fathers, for we have arrived at the age that even the strong in faith are lost. Toil by studying and learning, for everything good is achieved with hard work and suffering. We shall not feel the labor of virtue when we consider the clouds of martyrs and saints and in the future we shall be glorified.

How happy and blessed we shall be, if through a little toil we shall be judged worthy to camp in the lovely camps of Paradise and inherit the goods of the Heavenly Kingdom of God.

'Ihe apostle Paul, the mouth of Christ, commands: Do not communicate in the works of sterile darkness that you may not become controlled. In cases where our Orthodox Faith is ignored or slandered, it is permissible to check it and have just anger, most justifiable, but silence is not permissible. But the checking must be done with discernment and prudence not with disturbance and anger, but with divine anger. God does not give up His Church and to those who fight her He will humble them and they will be smashed like a ceramic roof, but those who hold their Orthodox faith and confession till death, shall be blessed.

I bless you from the heart to never be timid in your struggles, even if you see the enemies of the Church becoming stronger... 'Ihe one that struggles for the Orthodox faith and for our holy Church has the Almighty God for an ally, while the one that struggles for deceit has the ever cunning devil for ally, the weak master of darkness, of lies and all heresies, fallacies and wickedness. There is nothing more honorable, modest and holier when one struggles for the faith. And if while struggling he is killed by the enemies, without bending, he is the brightest victor and he will receive the trophy of the call above and the heavenly crown. So fight for the faith and struggle until death, to become worthy heir of the Kingdom of Heaven.

In the present time, when the Church is attacked in many ways and means by many and diverse fighters, your effort in confronting and combating will succeed, with God's help and will save some from today's flood of sin.

I congratulate you for your zeal for the dissemination of the Christian truths and for the benefit of the Christians. We should know that according to the toil and willingness each one works, rewards will be given by the wage giver Christ. While there is time, let us work spiritually and sow with labor so that we may reap in peace.


Source: 'AnAthonite Gerondikon"-—St. Athanasios of Holy Mountain is commemorated on July 5th.

Agreat while after St. Athanasios of Athos had started constructing the Great Lavra (around 961), he faced a great economic difficulty: he had neither the money to pay the craftsmen's wages, nor did he have any food. So he started out for Karyes, the Holy Mountain's capital, to find out what he ought to do.
After he had walked for two hours, suddenly there appeared before him a glorious lady, who asked him, "Abba Athanasios, where are you going? Why have you abandoned the project which you have started, a project which pleases God? Go back and finish it!"
Astonished, he looked at her with awe and asked, "Who are you? My lady, how do you know me, and how do you order me to return? With what can I continue the monastery's construction, since no means are left for it?"
Then she 'told him that she was the Mother of God. She ordered him to return, and she promised that she would take care of the money and the food supplies. The saint asked her to give him a sign in confirmation of this. "Here, hit with your staff this rock," she told him, and immediately ftesh water sprang from the rock - which to this day is still flowing.
St. Athanasios returned to his monastery where he found money, and his storage bins were full of food, even as the Iheotokos had promised. With renewed desire and zeal he continued, and soon the monastery was completed (963), and he gave thanks and glory many times to her blessed name.


By Archim. Gen. Raptopoulos, from the book "Papism and Early Fighters of Orthodoxy," published by the Orthodox Brotherhood of St. Xeni (translated by the Greek Orthodox Monastery of Pantokrator - Melissohori Thessalonikis, Greece).
Beware oj false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, hut inwardly they are ravening wolves. (Me 7:15)

Unia: What is the meaning of this word? It is a Polish word and its meaning is "union." The one that belongs to Unia is called Uniatc. Every Uniate has his life's purpose to draw Orthodox Christians to the falsehoods of Papism. If, however, this is what a lay Uniate wishes, the desire for proselytizing Orthodox to Papism is that much more for the Uniate clergy.
With great yearning the Pope seeks to fully subordinate the Orthodox under his jurisdiction and to his falsehoods. He wishes to become the "head" of the Church. This yearning he has had for a very long time—-since the 6th century, and especially since he officially separated from the Orthodox Church in 1054. Yes, since that time! He has tried in so many ways to succeed in his goal! But he has (thus far) succeeded in nothing. So, in his embarrassment and contemplation of what he should have done better and more effectively, he created the Uniate "church."
How It All Started
Unia was first founded by the Latins during their Latcrno Synod of 1215, by Pope Innocente the 4'''. Limited efforts were made until the i6th century. It was then that officially and inexplicably Unia was created in Poland by two Jesuits, Possevin and Skarga. Ihese two monks were architects of the Polish Uniate establishment. And this was done in their efforts to proselytize the Orthodox of Poland and southwest Russia. They were greatly helped by the king of Poland, Si-gismundus the 3rd, who was brought up by the two Jesuits until his 2ist year of age.
Under the protection of Sigismundus the 3rd, the two Jesuits officially set up their satanic task. In 1587 the two Jesuits induced the king of Poland to call the Synod at Brest in Lithuania, the Archbishop of Kiev presiding. The topic of the synod was the union of the Orthodox with the Latin Church. The result of the synod was substantially nothing.
So, a second Synod was called again at Brest on Dec 2, 1594. In this synod, the primacy of the Pope and the Filioque were recognized. 'Ihis pleased the Pope. In fact two bishops were sent to Rome to declare officially the decision of the Synod to Pope Clemente the 8th. However the union was not realized. For this reason the Polish king ordered in 1596 to reconvene the Synod at Brest, to officially declare the union with Rome. And What Happened?
The archbishop of Kiev with other hierarchs declared the union, but the people reacted. Clerics, aristocrats and the public, led by Constantine Ostrogoski, publicly protested. 'Iliey disapproved the events and declated their devotion to the early Church and to the Patriarch of Constantinople. A tragic event in the history of the Orthodox Church was then unleashed by the Latin. This event is the story that uncovered the true meaning, the face of Unia and the intentions of the Latin Pope.

Unia as the "Dorian Horse"

Unia looks very different to what it actually aims to represent. It appears Orthodox; and why? The Uniate clerics are dressed like the Orthodox clerics. They wear the rassa and have beards. 'Ihey possess the total appearance of an Orthodox cleric. Their Churches are in everything Orthodox-looking. They lack those cold Latin statues that give the appearance and the feeling of an idolatric temple. Instead of statues they have icons. And the whole structure of the Church, inside and outside, is Orthodox in appearance. Their "divine liturgy" is performed in every language of each country in which it exists and always acts in a proselytizing manner. The "same" (in appearance but not in grace) divine liturgy. No simple Orthodox Christian could possibly suspect anything different from Orthodoxy. Thus, our Orthodox brethren could easily find themselves being advised by Uniates priests and worshipping in Uniate Churches.
All these constitute the Dorian horse. It is the wolf in sheepskin. Inside the Dorian horse hide the Latin Pope's men whose goal is to subordinate every Orthodox to the Vatican. To Latinitize them. To murder the Orthodox faith, the only true faith. Have we not seen this through the ages? Is it not always under the nice sheepskin that wolves aspiring to devour Orthodox hide? And those wolves are the mortal enemies of Orthodoxy. They are the camouflaged Prankish priests. They are as they are called in the 1989/24-3-1907 encyclical of the Patriarch Joakim 3rd "wolves in the form of sheep." Wolves that we must beware, as we were forewarned by our Lord Himself. Who doesn't remember His words? Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (Mt 7:15). They are wolves and you easily understand this when you hear them during their "liturgy," commemorating the Pope of Rome, the one who possesses abysmal hatred against the Orthodox Faith. Reverting to the Use of Force
The Uniates, crafty men of the Pope, often use this as a means to proselytize Orthodox Christians to the falsehoods of Papism. They use the Dorian horse, the sheepskin, the "camouflage.""They use craftiness and deceit. However, if these means do not prove adequate, then they revert to the use offeree. They have devised a thousand and two ways to force the Orthodox into submission to the Pope.
There are three recent characteristic occasions, which have happened in cities of Slovakia and which the Director of the Holy Synod's official Publication, John Hatziphotis, uncovers.

First Event
In the city of Mihalovce, the Uniates applied psychological and physical force on the Orthodox bishop John, They took over his Church and Diocese headquarters and forced him to move with all his bishopric to an old tavern. Groups of Uniate monks cut off the water, fuel and electricity, thus destroying his electronic equipment that were at the new "Diocese." The same Bishop John suffered a heart attack shortly thereafter and was transferred to the Branov Hospital. Second Event
In the city of Medgilaborce on 23 October 1991, the Uniates, with the support of 80 policemen entered the Orthodox Church and removed all the Orthodox icons. Third Event
In the city of Stropkov, on n January 1991, the Uniates and Roman Catholics together started to destroy the house of the Orthodox priest, where in a toom was a small Church used by the parish. They destroyed the roof, cut off the electricity and telephone and finally they evicted the priest, who now performed the services in a small wooden house, where the faithful brought some icons, which they guarded carefully so that the Uniates wouldn't take them and burn them. Slaughters and Executions
Which slaughter and executions should we report first? And from when shall we start? Unia drips with blood. Blood from so many of her innumerable victims who refused to worship the Pope and accept his falsehoods. But let us note some typical bloody events that bring shame the Uniates and the Pope.
In Poland
The first blood was poured abundantly by the Uniates in Poland and southwest Russia. The Polish king Sigismun-dus, through the prompting of the two Jesuits, Possevin and Skarga, and when he realized that through the pseudo-synods of Brest in Lithuania he accomplished basically nothing, he declared in 1596 the open persecution of the Orthodox who refused to surrender to the Pope. A river of blood was poured by this persecution. The representative of the Patriarchate of Constantinople Archimandrite Nikiphoros was arrested and thrown in prison where he died of hunger. The representative of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in Poland, Kyrill Lukaris and later Patriarch of Alexandria, just managed to escape and thus avoid imprisonment and certain death. In this persecution therefore, {the first one that Sigismundus declared with the prompting of the Uniates) several Orthodox were murdered, others were exiled and many others were tortured. All of the Orthodox Churches and holy monasteries were turned over to the Uniates. Unia's intentions for all Orthodox in Polandand southwest Russia were clearly submission through destruction and / or death.
Ihe description of the ever memorable Metropolitan Germ-anus of Thyatera on this persecution is noteworthy: "From the Orthodox some were expelled, some had their arms and legs smashed, others were bayoneted and others were killed at the stake, while the women had their breasts cut off while their children were burnt on skewers." In Czecoslovakia
When the Communists took over Czechoslovakia, the Papist Uniates found the opportunity to openly attack all Orthodox Christians with awesome savagery. Let us hear the Metropolitan Dorotheos of Prague and all Czechoslovakia describe just a few of the vandalisms by the Uniates in the following areas,
1. Litmanova, in the area Star-Loumbova: The Church was destroyed and a concerted and systematic persecution was unleashed on all Orthodox.
2. Klenova, in the area of Houtnene: Durung the Paschaof 1969, the Uniates fired at the Church, injuring several worshippers.
3. Stopkov, in the area of Svintik: The Uniates destroyed the Church. They climbed on the bell steeple and broke off the Orthodox triple Cross. They brought down the priests house and threw his furniture on the street and destroyed it.
4. Tsekov, in the area of Trcmbosov: They took over the Church by force during the Divine Liturgy. The priest performing the Liturgy was beaten up so badly that he needed long hospital care. And this was the least. The worst was that the priest did not manage to complete the Divine Liturgy.
5. Malee Zalouzitce, in the area of Mihalovce: In this village there were 42 Orthodox and 28 Uniate families. The Uniates and the Catholics gathered 3000 followers from the county to destroy the Orthodox Church. The Orthodox defended their Church and protected it from desecration, but lots of blood was spilled- In the end the Uniates succeeded in taking over the church. And even though a lot of Orthodox blood was spilled (literally covering the road and the Church compound), it did not stop the Uniate "priests" from stepping in and entering the Church of the Orthodox, to perform their "liturgy."
6. At Kousmitce, in the area of Trembisov: The Church was destroyed and the priest was severely beaten by the fanaticalUniates. They beat him mercilessly and with no pity; he was saved by a few government officials and allowed to go to thecity for treatment. At the same time, the Uniates were shout ing and demanding to hang him!
The Metropolitan of Prague vainly protested to the Vatican. The Vatican kept quiet. What could it say since it created Unia and since it blesses its crimes in all Orthodox countries? As the Hierarch of Czechoslovakia correctly noted, "Vatican's silence speaks for itself."
In Serbia
As the "Orthodox Press" wrote in November of 1961, "the biggest slaughter of the Orthodox since the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ was executed in Serbia for the benefit of Papism."
And who were the butchers? Who else but the Papist Uni-ates? They are the specialist butchers of those who do not submit to the Franks but wish to die Orthodox. 'Ihus the Papist Uniates, known as Ustashi, on April of 1941, after the overtaking of Yugoslavia by the Germans and Italians, they acted as they wished. However it was the Vatican that ordered them to action.
Their leader the infamous Ante Pavelic, was named to his post with the blessing of the Vatican and of Mussolini. So then, fully ready and allied with the Germans and Italians, they commenced with their macabre task. They entered northwest Yugoslavia and they started the slaughter. They started with the priests. All Orthodox priests of the area were rounded up, were tied with wires to temporary crosses and were then executed mainly by stoning. They then invited the Orthodox people to convert to Catholicism, under the threat of death. Then 800,000, from very young children in elementary school to old people, gave one and only answer: "NO. We wish to die for the Orthodox faith of our ancestors".
The Uniates then gave the signal for the general slaughter. The atrocities that the Ustashi committed on the defenseless Serbian population were the worst in World War II. There exist several books and web sites displaying facts, pictures and historical accounts of the related events (WARNING: The photographs within these sites and books are quite explicit and are not recommended for young children). Approximately 800,000 Orthodox were killed after great tortures. They died but did not succumb, they did not become Latins, they did not worship the Pope. May the memory of these 800,000 Orthodox martyrs be eternal. In Ukraine
In Ukraine, the Uniates confiscated so many Orthodox Churches, that the Orthodox Church there had so few churches for her needs. The savagery and hatred of the Uniates against the Orthodox was expressed in various ways. We provide here one event. One day the Uniates arrested the Orthodox vicar who was earlier a Uniate and later returned to Orthodoxy. Revenging his return to Orthodoxy, these wolves in sheepskins took the Orthodox cleric and forcefully drowned him in the river.
Where is therefore the love of the Pope, of the Vatican, of the Roman Catholic Church when it commits so many crimes with her infamous Unia? What is the meaning of the famous theological dialogue, when the Pope continuous to maintain Unia, this detachment of death? Let us not be deceived. The Pope wishes to subordinate all Orthodox to his falsehoods or he stands ready to exterminate them.
Unia and her crimes stand as the loud voice of truth and represent an absolute shame for the tactics, methods and ambitions of the Vatican. May the memory of the many Orthodox martyrs at the hands of the Uniates serve as loud voice of reason for all those who wish to enslave Orthodoxy to the evil forces of ecumenism and full subjugation to the Latin Pope.

Editor's Note: For those who wish to study the historical events surrounding the Uniate crimes of recent past (in Serbia—by the Ustashi} we recommend a book titled "The Vatican's Holocaust," byAvro Manhattan. Mr. Manhattan (1914-1990) was the world's foremost authority on Roman Catholicism in politics. A resident of London, during WWII, he operated a radio station called "Radio Freedom" broadcasting to occupied Europe. He was the author of over 20 books including the best-seller "The Vatican in World Politics," going through 57 editions. He was a Great Briton who risked his life daily to expose some of the darkest secrets of the Papacy. His books were#r on the Vatican's "Forbidden Index" for the past 50 years! In "The Vatican's Holocaust," he presents a factual and sensational account of the most horrifying religious massacre of the 2oth century. Revelations of forced conversions, mass murder of non-Catholics, extermination camps, disclosures of Catholic clergy as commanders of concentration camps; data is documented with names, dates, places, pictures and eyewitness testimony.
Another revealing and more accessible source of historical information about the same events is available on the Web at http://pavclic-papers.com/misc/about.html, and is titled "The Pavelic Papers." It presents historical information, data, and historical documents related to the Ustashi crimes upon the Serbian people under the leadership of Ante Pavelic and with the guidance of Alojzije Stepinac (the Latin Archbishop of Zagreb—later Cardinal—and head of the Croatian Catholic Church, and a favorite of Pope Pius XII) and the blessings of the Vatican.

ONLY WITH A PURE HEART Is ONE ABLE TO SEE GOD By the Blessed Surgeon St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol, translated from Greek by Christos Karamitsos.

Every time before Christ healed someone, He asked that person if he believed. And only if he believed, He performed the miracle.
Every time a miracle occurs, the Holy Spirit acts, and for someone to receive the Holy Spirit an open heart is necessary, and it is made open by faith. Just as the reception of radio waves necessarily requires an antenna, similarly for the reception of divine grace a pure heart full of faith is needed.
Our Lord does not impose His grace on anyone. One asks for faith, hope and love and only then does the Lord give His grace: when by faith one's heatt is opened before Him. This happening is a great mystery, and this mystery happened every time Christ performed miracles.
The Holy Apostle Paul says that all the essence of the gospel message is found in hope, faith and love. Consequently, it is necessary that we have a strong and steadfast faith for us to be Christians and inheritors of divine grace.
If you believe that the electron exists without seeing it, then by what right do you say that our faith in God, Who also has not been seen by anyone, is unreasonable?
I will say that we too know God by His energies; by the manifestations of His power; by how He acts in our hearts; by the grace that we feel. Not anyone can prove faith. Many have tried to prove that God exists and many that He does not exist. 'But never has anyone been able to prove one or the other. Only with a pure heatt can one see God...
Faith is the most valuable treasure on Earth and we must guard it more than anything else.


Τετάρτη 28 Οκτωβρίου 2009

ON CREMATION By Fr. Victor Patapov.

The influence of the Western secular customs is becoming stronger in some Orthodox communities as if their aspiration is "to be like everyone else." In these remarks we will examine one phenomenon— the practice of cremating the bodies of the deceased, to which some Orthodox in the United States have recently chosen.
Arguments in favor of burning the bodies of the dead come down to three basic themes: the high costs associated with burial; cemeteries occupying too much scarce land, especially in small countries; and the soul rather than the body being the important part of man. The practice of cremation is not new and has occurred in pagan cultures and among peoples confessing Buddhism and Hinduism now. These religions, especially Buddhism, teach disdain for the body, which is a kind of prison for the soul.
But Christians adopted the Old Testament custom of giving the deceased over to the earth. Burial expresses our faith that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and that we live in the hope of Resurrection from the dead, according to the image of Christ, Who was buried (not cremated). The honor accorded by Christians to the bodily temple springs from the truth of the psycho physical union of body and soul and from the knowledge that man is the crown of God's creation. On the body of each man without exception lies the imprint of the image and likeness of God. In the divine incarnation, that is, in the advent of the Son of God, Our Lord and God and Savior Jesus, our body was sanctified in a special way.
Europe began to resort to cremation at the beginning of the Age of Enlightenment, when Western civilization began to move away from God. Early in the i8th century, a change took place: Faith in God was replaced by faith in the power of human Reason. Amid anticlericalism and religious doubt, cremation came as a challenge to the Church and as an expression of denial of the physical resurrection from the dead at the last day. Burning the bodies of the dead appealed to ideologists of secular humanism because it emphasized their faith in the dissolution of human existence, and the denial of life beyond the grave. The Church, like a loving mother, in order to safeguard Her children from the corrupting influence of the growing secularization of this world, forbids burning the bodies of the dead.
People who agree with the custom of burning the bodies of the dead may not necessarily think that they arc denying life beyond the grave. But this does not change the fact of the matter, that at the root of the recent practice of cremation lies the denial of eternal life. The practice is anti-Christian. The faithful children of the Orthodox Church must flee from it.T One ought not to forget that the incorruption of the remains of many saints testifies to God's particular good will toward these righteous ones and their flesh. Holy relics are the visible expression of an existence transfigured and glorified. Holy relics remind us that the body of a Christian can be incorrupt and can become a relic. In the Church's Order of the Funeral Service, the body of the deceased is plainly called relics: And so, taking up the relics, we go forth to the grave, followed by all the grave. The hierarch, or the priest, taking a shovelful of soil, streweth it crosswise over the relics saying: The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof, the world, and all that dwell therein. And then the grave is filled up in the usual manner.
The incorrupt body of a saint truly tells us that Death is not all-powerful, for it was not created by God but entered the world only as a temporary shadow of sin. The size of this shadow increases as the owner moves away from God, and it shrinks according to his return to the source of life eternal and perfect. The incorrupt saint testifies to us that physical death is temporary—the general resurrection of the dead will overcome it, when the creature, who begins in God, finds his completion in Him.
The holy relics of God's saints shine on us with the glory of Jesus Christ's Paschal victory, that Jesus Christ the New Adam gained over death. The Son of God became the Son of Man in order to renew mankind in Himself, and to lead mankind out of death's embrace. The voluntary descent unto death by Christ, the incarnate Life, broke the authority of death. Death retreated in fear before Him, admitting its own defeat. To burn the bodies of the dead repudiates them as holy relics.
We are called to prayerfully remember the dead. The main such commemoration is, of course, during the Bloodless Sacrifice, the Holy Eucharist. Another commemoration is prayer at the place of burial, at the deceased's grave, which is adorned with the Life-Creating Cross—the sign of Christ's victory over death. With cremation, when the ashes are scattered to the wind, strewn over the earth, cast into the water, and so on, we lost a place where we might come in order to recall our love for the deceased. Knowing that in the grave lie the bones of people beloved by us is a source of consolation. Here one can resort to prayer, take care of the grave and adorn it, and think about life and death and about one's own spiritual future.
Traditional funerals, of course, really do encompass many preparations and take up much time. It is necessary to make arrangements with the funeral bureau and the cemetery administration, and to bring the deceased to the church and from the church to the cemetery. Someone experiencing separation from a loved one cannot wish to deal with these matters, but prefers to focus his strength and attention on the "last kiss." Besides, the cost of American
funerals grows steadily, and cremation requires less expense and bother. These facts, however, cannot justify a decision to burn the bodies of the deceased. Already in various Orthodox Councils of Bishops it has been repeatedly resoived as a matter of principle not to permit the burning of the bodies of Orthodox Christians in crematoria, seeing that this custom has been introduced by the godless and the enemies of the Church.
Friends of the family will always help plan and accomplish the funeral. Friends always turn up in misfortune. No one, and especially not the Church, requires of us a fine coffin and a splendid burial, which will in no way help the deceased in the other world. If there is extra money, donate it to the church with a request for the commemoration of the reposed, or give it to the poor in memory of the loved one. Alms in memory of the dead can bring special benefit to those departed to a better world. If means for a funeral are lacking, the priest can arrange with the administration of the funeral bureau for a free burial. This is done throughout America because the funeral bureaus are interested in keeping good relations with the parishes that they serve. Each Orthodox parish should set up special charitable cemetery fund for the burial of needy parishioners.
In conclusion, let us turn to the Book of Needs of the Orthodox Church... The Order of the Funeral Service for Laymen reads: For earth thou art and unto earth shalt thou return (Gen 3:12). Come ye, therefore, let us kiss him who was but lately with us; for he is committed to the grave; he is covered with a stone; he taketh up his abode in the gloom; he is interred among the dead... As we gaze upon the dead who lieth before us, let us all accept this example of our own last hour. For he vanisheth from earth like the smoke; like a flower he is faded; like the grass he is cut down. Swathed in a coarse garment he is concealed in the earth.
The Church teaches us to bury the bodies of the dead in the earth. Everything that the Church has decreed is for our salvation. If we seriously strive for the blessed life of eternity, let us submit to the will of God and His Holy Church, for everything else is truly vanity and corruption.


Being banished from Paradise, Adam and Eve immediately began to thirst and hunger, to freeze and shiver, to have labors and sweat, and to endure all those difficulties and griefs that we even now endure. Therefore, they soon felt into what a bitter condition they had descended, and to what a great misfortune they had become subject. Then they realized both their own hardness of heart and their lack of repentance, as well as God's unutterable condescension and compassion towards them. 'Iherefore, even walking and sitting outside Paradise, they repented and shed tears, beat themselves in the face and tore out the hair of their head, lamenting over their former hardness of heart.

And this they did not for just one day or two, or for ten days, but for their whole lifetime. For how can one not weep, remembering their meek and condescending Master, that unutterable delight of Paradise, those indescribable good things and beauties of the flowers of Paradise, that care-free life without labor, and that communion with angels?

In worldly life, when servants are appointed by an eminent master in order to serve him, as long as they preserve attention, respect, and obedience towards their lord they have boldness before him, enjoy his favor and love, and live with him in peace and satisfaction. But when they become proud and begin to step away from the will of their master and despise their fellow servants, they lose not only their boldness before him, but even his favor and love; and at his order they are banished into a far country where they are subjected to innumerable necessities and sorrows, and the more they suffer and are in misfortunes, the more they feel the bitterness of their condition, remembering the peaceful and satisfied life that they have lost.

This same thing was experienced by our first ancestors also, who lived in Paradise and took sweet delight in its great good things. They acknowledged the greatness and value of these good things after they had lost them, being banished from Paradise; then they recognized also the whole greatness of the evil which they had done. Therefore they ceaselessly grieved and wept, calling on God's compassion.

And what did God do, being quick and ready to mercy, and slow to punishment? He foresaw that they would finally become humble and repent, and therefore He foreordained a special means for abolishing His righteous sentence upon them. But, He did not immediately bring into execution this foreordained decree, but assigned for this His own place and time and fashion, so as to teach us to love wisdom and not to rise up against our Creator and God

Just as He foreordained, so later did He do: for those whom He banished from Paradise for their brazenness before Him and their unrepentant heart, since they had humbled themselves and wept over themselves, He arranged a way for the restoration of what had been lost.

And this is what it was: The Only-begotten Son and Word of the Unoriginate Father descended from the heavens to earth, and not only became man like them, but even was pleased to endure a violent and shameful death; then He descended into Hades, brought them up from there and restored them. And thus, since Christ so suffered for them, as you hear every day, that He returned them from such a distant exile, would He not have had pity on them, if they had repented then in Paradise? How could he not have had pity on them, when He by nature is the Lover of mankind and compassionate, and He created them in order that they might take sweet delight of the good things of Paradise and might glorify their Benefactor?

But so that you might the better understand this and believe my words, hear yet more: If they had repented then, when they were still in Paradise, they would have received again only Paradise and nothing more.

But inasmuch as, being banished from Paradise for their lack of repentance, they then repented, wept much and were in great misfortunes, therefore God the Master of all, for their labors and sweat, for the misfortunes which they endured and for their good repentance, was pleased again to honor them and to glorify them so as to cause them to forget the whole evil that they had caused.

And what did He do? Behold how great is God's Love of mankind! Descending to hades and bringing them out, He did not bring them again into the same Paradise from which they had been banished, but He raised them up to the heaven of heavens; and when He sat down at the right hand of His God and Father, He sat them down together with Him. Just think what great honor He gave to Adam who by nature was His slave, and vouchsafed him to be God's own father according to His grace-given dispensation. See to what a height our Master Christ raised him up for his repentance, humility, lamentation and tears! O the power of repentance and tears! O the ocean of Love of mankind which is beyond words, and mercy which cannot be traced out!

And not only Adam did God honor and glorify, but also us his sons, those, that is, who have begun to please him by repentance, tears, lamentation and by all of which we have spoken; and even up to now He glorifies and honors like Adam those who repent well and do what Adam did. Further, those who up until now and in the future will do this and repent, whether they be laymen or monks, He will glorify like Adam, as He Himself, our true God, has said: Truly I say to you, I will not leave them ever, but show them to be My brethren and friends, fathers and mothers, kinsmen and co-inheritors. I have glorified them and will glorify them, both in the heavens on high and on the earth below; and of their life and rejoicing and glory there shall be no end.
'Tell me, then, my brother: What profit was there for our first ancestors in that laborless and carefree life which they had in Paradise, when they were careless, disdained God by not believing Him, and transgressed His commandment? For if they had believed Him, Eve would not have considered the serpent to be more trustworthy than God, Adam would not have believed Eve rather than God, and they would have refrained from eating of the forbidden tree. But they ateand did not repent, and for this they were banished from Paradise.

Moreover, from banishment also they received no harm, but great benefit. This is by power of the dispensation of our salvation. For our Master Christ descended from the heavens, by His death loosed the bonds of our death, and took away the condemnation that came down to us from the transgression of our first parents; by the power of holy Baptism He regenerated us, recreated us and delivered us from every condemnation and made us in this world completely free, so that our enemy the devil might no longer act in us and against us by violence and force. He honored us with the same autonomy which was given us in the beginning, and He gave us more power against the enemy than all the saints had who lived before the dispensation of Christ, so that those who desire might easily conquer the enemy. And when such ones die they do not descend to Hades like the ancients, but ascend to the heavens and are vouchsafed to receive the repose and eternal joy which are there, only to a certain degree at the present time, but completely and entirely after the resurrection.

And so let no one invent excuses for his sins and say that we, by virtue of the transgression of Adam, are entirely subject to the action of the devil and are dragged by force into sin. Fhey who think and speak thus consider that the dispensation of the Incarnation of our Master and Savior Jesus Christ was useless and in vain. Such an opinion is the opinion of heretics and not of the Orthodox. For what other reason did Christ descend and become Incarnate, and for what else did He suffer if not in order to loose the condemnation which proceeded from sin, and to deliver our race from slavery to the devil and from the activity in us of this our enemy? This is true autonomy: in no way to be subject to someone else. We are all born sinners from our forefather Adam who sinned; we are all criminals from a criminal, slaves of sin from a slave of sin, subject to the curse and death from him who was subject to the curse and death.

And because of Adam who received the action of the cunning devil, and by his counsel was moved to sin, and enslaved himself to him and lost his autonomy, we also, as his children, are subject to the action and the compulsory dominion of the devil and are his slaves. But our Lord came down from the heavens, was Incarnate and became man like us in everything except sin, in order to annihilate sin. He was conceived and born so as to sanctify the conception and birth of men. He was raised up and grew little by little so as to bless every age of life. He began to preach at the age of thirty, having become a full-grown man, so as to teach us not to jump out of line and go before those who are greater than us in mind and virtue, that is, are more intelligent and virtuous than we, especially if we are still young and not perfect in understanding and virtue. He preserved all the commandments of His God and Father so as to loose every transgression and to deliver us criminals from condemnation. He became a slave, took the form of a slave, in order to raise us, the slaves of the devil, once more into the condition of masters and to make us masters and possessors over the devil himself, our former tyrant.

(This is confirmed by the saints who have cast out the devil, as a weak and infirm one, as well as his servants, not only in their lifetime but also after their death.}. He was hung upon a Cross and became a curse, as the prophet says: Cursed is everyone that hangeth upon a tree {Deut 21:23), m order to loose the whole curse of Adam. He died in order to put death to death, and He rose in order to annihilate the power and activity of the devil who had authority over us by means of death and sin.

Thus out Lord, having cast into the midst of the death-dealing poison of sin the unutterable and life-giving activity of His Divinity and His Flesh, has liberated our race from the working of the devil; and purifying us by holy Baptism and bringing us to life by the communion of the most pure Mysteries of His precious Body and Blood, He makes us holy and sinless. But He then leaves us again to have autonomy, so that it might not seem that we serve our Master by compulsion, but rather by our own free will. Therefore, as in the beginning Adam in Paradise was free and sinless, and by his free will obeyed the enemy, was deceived and transgressed the commandment of God, so on the contrary we, being regenerated by holy Baptism, delivered from slavery and becoming free, if we do not obey by our own free will our enemy thedevil, this cunning one will in no way be able to place in us any kind of evil.

Now, before the law and the coming of Christ, without the aid of those means of which we have spoken, many and very many pleased God and manifested themselves as irreproachable; among their number the righteous Enoch was honored by God by being translated, and Elias was raised to heaven in a fiery chariot. Therefore, what kind of justification can we give, it after the manifestation of grace, after such and so great benefactions, after the annihilation of death and sin, we do nor manifest ourselves as holy; if after being regenerated by the holy Baptism which we have received, standing under the protection of the holy angels by whom we are surrounded, and under the action of the grace of the Holy Spirit which we have been vouchsafed to receive, we do not become even like those who were before grace, that is, before Christ, but we remain in carelessness, and disdain and transgress the commandments of God?

And that we, if we are careless about our salvation, will be punished more than those who sinned before Christ, the Apostle Paul indicates when he says: If the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward, how shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation (Heb 2:2-3).
And thus, each one of us, no matter what transgression he might have fallen into, let him not accuse Adam, but let him reproach himself. And let him show true and worthy repentance like Adam, if he desires to be vouchsafed the Kingdom of Heaven. Amen.

A PARABLE By St. Silouan of Mount Athos.

An eagle was flying in the heights and delighting in the beauty of the word, and he thought: "I cover great expanses, and I see valleys and mountains, seas and rivers, meadows and forests. I see towns and settlements, and how men live; while here a village rooster knows nothing except his own yard. I shall fly to him and tell him about the life of the world."
The eagle flew onto the roof of the country house and saw how gallantly and merrily the rooster was strolling amidst his hens. And the eagle began to speak to the rooster of the world's beauty and wealth. At first, the rooster listened with attention, but did not understand anything. The eagle, seeing that the rooster did not understand anything, was saddened, and it became hard for him to speak with the rooster; while the rooster, not understanding what the eagle was saying, began to be bored, and it became hard for him to listen to the eagle.
Thus it happens when a learned man speaks with an unlearned man, but even more when a spiritual man speaks with an unspiritual man. A spiritual man is like the eagle, while an unspiritual man is like the rooster; the mind of a spiritual man meditates on the law of the Lord day and night and by prayer ascends to God, while the mind of an unspiritual man is attached to the earth or occupied with thoughts. And when a spiritual man meets an unspiritual man, intercourse for them both is boring and difficult.

ON CONDEMNATION From "Counsels from the Holy Mountain: From the Letters and Homilies of Elder Efhraim.

Be attentive, my child, that you not judge any soul. For God permits the one who judges his neighbor to fall, so chat he learns to have sympathy for his weak brother. The rnercy of God supports all of us, but if we become proud, God will remove His grace and we shall become worse than the others.
It is one thing to condemn someone and another to be fought by thoughts of condemnation. To condemn is a terrible passion, but to be fought by such thoughts and to fight back—this is an occasion for crowns.
Each person must bear the weaknesses of others. Who is perfect? Who can boast that he has kept his heart undefiled? Hence, we are all sick, and whoever condemns his brother does not perceive that he himself is sick, because a sick person does not condemn another sick person.
Love, endure, overlook, do not get angry, do not flare up, forgive one another, so that you resemble our Christ and are counted worthy to be near Him in His Kingdom. My child, avoid condemnation—it is a very great sin. God is greatly saddened when we condemn and loathe people. Let us concern ourselves only with our own faults—for these we should feel pain. Let us condemn ourselves and then we shall find mercy and grace from God.
Love one another, and do not be embittered out of egotism. Humility is a sure guide; it does not let the one who possesses it hit the reefs of carelessness and be shipwrecked, but as a luminous guide it leads him faultlessly on sure ground.
Egotism is the most evil of evils; it causes all our lapses through non-submissive thoughts. Fear this and strive to get rid of it, for the more it remains within us, the more it will wound us with the proportionate pain.
I beg that you not criticize one another, for this is downright egotism. Excuse your brother's fault; this is evidence of humility and love. The brother who acts thus will find much grace from God, but he who judges and scandalizes his neighbor should know that not only will he not find grace, but even if he has something he will lose it, so that he may learn the lesson of humility through suffering.
Be particularly afraid of inner criticism, that is, thoughts of criticism, because it docs not come to light through the spoken word, in which case it is likely to be corrected by someone who hears it. Be careful, I say, about criticism from within, which imperceptibly makes us fatally guilty and deprives us of the life of divine grace and offers as a most bitter drink the death of the soul. I pray that love and freedom from criticism will reign in every expression among you, so that the Holy Spirit may rest in your souls.

Ι. Βαρνάβας Καρακαλλινός (+2009).Ο αγγλικανός ιερεύς.Είμαι πανευτυχής και πολύ ευγνώμων στην αγάπη του Θεού, που βρίσκομαι στο Περιβόλι της Παναγίας.

Ό ιερομόναχος Βαρνάβας Καρακαλλινός εκοιμήθη εν Κυρίω τη 20η Φεβρουαρίου (5η Μαρτίου ν.ή.) 2009. Ήταν Αμερικανός στην καταγωγή και κατά την πίστη Διαμαρτυρόμενος, αλλά ασπάσθηκε την αγία ορθόδοξο πίστη και έγινε μοναχός της Ιεράς Μονής Καρακάλλου, σε ηλικία πενήντα πέντε ετών.
Ό π. Βαρνάβας γεννήθηκε τη 12η Σεπτεμβρίου του 1942 στο Παίν Μλόφ της πολιτείας Αρκάνσας. Το 1965 έλαβε το μεταπτυχιακό στην γαλλική γλώσσα και εργάσθηκε ως καθηγητής πανεπιστημίου στο ARKANSAW A AND M COLLEGE (1965-1972) και μετά στο ειδικό Λύκειο MONTROSE ACADEMY (1973-1977). Ή αδελφή του διηγείται πως όταν ήταν παιδί τον συγκινούσε πολύ ή πνευματική ζωή, ή σκέψη για το ζήτημα της σωτηρίας. Με πόθο να αφιερωθεί, το 1977 εισήλθε στο αγγλικό σεμινάριο του NASHOTA HOUSE και το 1980 «χειροτονήθηκε» αγγλικανός ιερεύς, και στις διακοπές του, επισκεπτόταν και ορθόδοξα μοναστήρια. Όταν γνώρισε τον Γέροντα Σωφρόνιο του Έσσεξ, είπε ότι αισθάνθηκε απτή την παρουσία του Θεού.
Με τον ενδόμυχο προβληματισμό περί της σωτηρίας της ψυχής ενδιαφέρθηκε να μάθη, μέσω βιβλίων, ό,τι είχε σχέση με την ορθόδοξο πίστη. Με την πάροδο του χρόνου, και έπειτα από πολύχρονη αναζήτηση της αλήθειας, αντιλήφθηκε και αισθάνθηκε στην ψυχή του, την στερημένη θείας χάριτος, επιπόλαιο μορφή του δυτικού χριστιανισμού, ιδιαίτερα μετά από την καθιέρωση της χειροτονίας των γυναικών. Ούτω τον Φεβρουάριο του 1993 αρνήθηκε δημοσίως την αγγλικανή ιεροσύνη και βαπτίσθηκε στην Ορθόδοξο Εκκλησία Με ολοένα αυξανόμενη την επιθυμία να γνωρίσει τον Θεό μέσω της προσευχής, αποφάσισε να γίνει μοναχός. Το 1994 προσήλθε στην Ί. Μονή Αναλήψεως στο Ρισάκα της πολιτείας Γεωργίας (Η.Π. Α.). Αν και προτιμούσε να παραμένει απλός μοναχός, δέχθηκε την ιεροσύνη για τις ανάγκες της αδελφότητας. Όμως δεν αναπαυόταν εκεί με τον τρόπο της μοναχικής βιωτής, διότι ή ψυχή του ζητούσε ένα πιο παραδοσιακό τρόπο μοναχικής πολιτείας, και έτσι επισκέφθηκε το μοναστήρι του Γέροντος Εφραίμ στην Αριζόνα. Με προτροπή του Καθηγουμένου της Μονής, σε ηλικία πενήντα πέντε ετών, έκανε το μεγάλο βήμα της πίστεως, και έφυγε από την πατρίδα του για το Άγιον Όρος, για πάντα. Ποτέ δεν επέστρεψε στην Αμερική.
Το 1997 ήλθε στο Άγιον Όρος και βρήκε τον τόπο της μετανοίας του στην Ιερά Μονή Καρακάλλου, όπου ο Γέροντας Άρχιμ. Φιλόθεος και ή αδελφότητα τον δέχθηκαν με πολλή αγάπη. Διακονούσε ταπεινά και σιωπηλά στο μαγειρείο, και συνήθιζε να λέγει συχνά στον Γέροντα: «Είμαι πανευτυχής και πολύ ευγνώμων στην αγάπη του Θεού, που βρίσκομαι στο Περιβόλι της Παναγίας».
Δυσκολεύθηκε να μάθη καλά τα ελληνικά, αλλά πρόσφερε αυτή την αδυναμία του στον Θεό σαν ξενιτιά για την εσταυρωμένη αγάπη. Δεν καταλάβαινε τα τροπάρια που έψαλλαν οι Πατέρες, όμως προσευχόταν με το κομποσχοίνι του για τους συνανθρώπους του, που είχαν ανάγκη από προσευχή. Όσο μπορούσε βίαζε τον εαυτό του στην επίκληση του ονόματος του Ιησού, τις ώρες που βρισκόταν, κυρίως, στον ναό σαν αντιστάθμισμα των ψαλμών που δεν καταλάβαινε.
Ό π. Βαρνάβας ήταν ένας κρυφός αγωνιστής, προσπαθούσε να μιμηθεί, το κατά δύναμη, τους παλαιούς Πατέρες. Αν και ήταν καθηγητής πανεπιστημίου της γαλλικής γλώσσας, όμως ποτέ δεν είπε σε κανένα τίποτα, ούτε πρόφερε μία λέξη στα γαλλικά. Ομοίως δεν μιλούσε ποτέ για την οικογένεια του και για την ζωή του πριν ασπασθεί την Ορθοδοξία. Αληθώς αρμόζει να ειπούμε και γι' αυτόν το «ελαθεν βιώσας».
Όταν προσεβλήθη από την ασθένεια του καρκίνου (είχε διαγνωσθεί καρκίνος του προστάτη σε επιθετική μορφή), παρ' όλους τους πόνους και την ταλαιπωρία της νοσηλείας, συνέχισε εντονότερα τον πνευματικό αγώνα- πήγαινε συχνά στο οστεοφυλάκιο της Μονής και καλλιεργούσε την μνήμη του θανάτου, και για να έχει πάντοτε προ οφθαλμών την εικόνα του θανάτου, είχε φωτογραφίες του οστεοφυλακίου στο κελλί του.
Οι τελευταίες μέρες του στο νοσοκομείο ήταν μαρτυρικές. Από την χημειοθεραπεία προκλήθηκαν επώδυνα εγκαύματα σ' όλο το σώμα του, με αποτέλεσμα ή κάθε κίνηση να είναι βασανιστική. Ό μεγάλος του πόθος ήταν να επιστρέψει στο Μοναστήρι, για να αφήσει την τελευταία του πνοή στο Περιβόλι της Παναγίας, που τόσο αγάπησε, όπως ομολόγησε ο ίδιος με δάκρυα στον Γέροντα, όταν τον επισκέφθηκε, μία εβδομάδα πριν την κοίμηση του στο νοσοκομείο, λέγοντας εμφαντικά «θέλω να επιστρέψω στο Μοναστήρι, να γυρίσω στο Καρακάλλου».
Όμως ή τελευταία του επιθυμία δεν εκπληρώθηκε. Ό π. Βαρνάβας έκοιμήθη στο νοσοκομείο. Οικονόμησε ο θεός να λυτρωθεί από τους δριμύτατους πόνους, και ετελειώθη από ανακοπή καρδιάς.
Αφού λοιπόν μεταφέρθηκε στο Άγιον Όρος, κηδεύτηκε στον τόπο της μετανοίας του, στην Ί. Μ. Καρακάλλου, πριν από την αγρυπνία της Κυριακής της Ορθοδοξίας. Ή ζωή του μακαριστού ήταν μία νέα μαρτυρία στη νίκη της Ορθοδοξίας.
Ιούνιος 2009 μοναχός Νεκτάριος Καρακαλλινός


Το Ί. Λείψανο του Αγ. Γεωργίου του Νεαπολίτου .Υπό του Ι.Ν.Αγίου Ευσταθίου Νέας Ιωνίας Ιωνίας εξεδόθη την 12ην'Οκτωβρίου ή ακόλουθος ανακοίνωσης:

«Στις 3 Νοεμβρίου τελείται ή μνήμη του Άγιου Ιερομάρτυρας Γεωργίου του Νεαπολίτου. Ό Άγιος Γεώργιος υπηρέτησε ως Λειτουργός του Υψίστου στην Νεάπολιν (Νεβ-Σεχήρ) Καππαδοκίας και μαρτύρησε το 1797 κατευθυνόμενος εις Μαλακοπήν, προκειμένου να τέλεση την Θεία Λειτουργία. Το Ιερόν αυτού Λείψανο, το όποιον σώζεται ακέραιο εκομίσθη το 1924 εις Ελλάδα και σήμερον ευρίσκεται στον Ιερόν Ναό Αγίου Ευσταθίου Νεαπολέως Νέας Ιωνίας Αττικής.
Επί τη μνήμη του Αγίου Γεωργίου τελούνται κατά έτος πανηγυρικές τελετές και εκδηλώσεις.
Την παραμονή της εορτής 2 Νοεμβρίου: Μέγας Εσπερινός ώρα 6η μ.μ.
Ώρα 9η μ.μ. έναρξης αγρυπνίας κατά την Άγιορειτικήν τάξιν, ή οποία θα λήξη την 5ην πρωϊνήν. Θα ψάλουν τα εγκώμια του Αγίου.
Ανήμερα της εορτής. Από 7ης πρωινής έως και 11ης θα τελεσθή ο Όρθρος και Αρχιερατική Θεία Λειτουργία.
Το εσπέρας της εορτής θα τελεσθή ο εσπερινός της αποδόσεως της εορτής του Αγίου και θα γίνει ή λιτάνευσης του Ιερού αυτού Λειψάνου πέριξ του Ιερού Ναού. Ακολούθως θα αναγνωσθούν οι Χαιρετισμοί του Αγίου.
Των Ιερών Ακολουθιών θα προστή ο Σεβασμιότατος Μητροπολίτης Νέας Ιωνίας και Φιλαδέλφειας κ.κ. Κωνσταντίνος και εις αυτός θα ψάλει πολυμελής Βυζαντινή Χορωδία υπό τον πρωτοψάλτη κ. Κωνσταντίνο Αγγελίδη».


Ο Άγιος Γεώργιος ο Νεαπολίτης (3 Νοεμβρίου) του οποίου το σκήνωμα (άφθαρτο, εκτός της Αγίας Κάρας του που έχει αποκοπεί) φυλάσσεται στον Ι.Ν Αγίου Ευσταθίου Άνω Νέας Ιωνίας στην Αθήνα (μαζί με την αγία κάρα), έχει κάνει πολλά θαύματα:

1. Διαβάζουμε στη Βιογραφία του: "...Ανήσυχοι οι Νεαπολίτες (που περίμεναν να επιστρέψει ο άγιος από γειτονικό χωριό που είχε πάει και δεν επέστρεφε-τον είχαν σκοτώσει οι Τούρκοι) βγήκαν σε αναζήτησή του. Βρήκαν το άγιο σώμα του άψυχο στο δρόμο μεταξύ των δυο χωριών και την τίμια κεφαλή και θρηνώντας και κλαίγοντας για τον σκληρό θάνατο του ποιμένα τους τον κήδευαν επιτόπου βιαστικά, φοβούμενοι τη μανία των Αγαρηνών. Πάνω στον τάφο μια πέτρα έφερε την απλή επιγραφή : «Ιερεύς Γεώργιος»

Πέρασε έτσι αρκετός καιρός, όταν μια νύκτα ο άγιος ιερομάρτυς εμφανίζεται σε όραμα σε μια ευλαβή χήρα διηγούμενος τα όσα συνέβησαν και προτρέποντάς την να ενημερώσει τη Δημογεροντία, για να φροντίσουν να τον βρουν στην τοποθεσία όπου είχε ταφή. Η γυναίκα δεν έδωσε σημασία, όταν όμως έπειτα από λίγες μέρες το όνειρο επαναλήφθηκε, έντρομη έπραξε όσα της ζήτησε ο άγιος.

Δίχως αναβολή οι ευσεβείς Νεαπολίτες με επικεφαλής τον ιερέα τους, ονόματι Νεόφυτο, γιο του επίσης ιερέα Βασιλείου, συνεφημερίου του αγίου, σπεύδουν και ανασκάπτουν τον πρόχειρο εκείνο τάφο. Ω, του θαύματος! Το λείψανο του Αγίου υπάρχει σώο και ακέραιο διαχέοντας ουράνια ευωδιά και Χάρη! Αφού το προσκύνησαν με ευλάβεια και δέος, το τοποθέτησαν σε ξύλινη λάρνακα και το μετέφεραν στην οικία του π. Νεοφύτου όπου, κατά την επιθυμία του ίδιου του Αγίου, φυλασσόταν σε ένα κελί. Εκεί προσέρχονταν πάρα πολλοί, ντόπιοι και ξένοι, για να προσκυνήσουν τον Άγιο και να λάβουν αγιασμό από το σεπτό λείψανό του.

Αρχίζουν να τελούνται θαύματα. Ασθένειες και αναπηρίες θεραπεύονται, άτεκνοι αποκτούν παιδιά, ψυχικά νοσήματα εξαφανίζονται, ακόμη και για ανομβρία καταφεύγουν στον Άγιο οι Νεαπολίτες, για να δουν σε λίγη ώρα την ευλογημένη βροχή να πέφτει δυνατή. Όλοι ομολογούσαν πόσο θαυματουργός αναδείχτηκε ο Άγιος Γεώργιος!

Το 1924, με την ανταλλαγή των πληθυσμών, αναχώρησαν και οι Έλληνες της Καππαδοκίας για την ελεύθερη Ελλάδα παίρνοντας ο καθένας μαζί του ό,τι θεωρούσε πολυτιμότερο. Ο τότε εφημέριος του Ναού της Κοιμήσεως της Θεοτόκου αρχιμανδρίτης Ιγνάτιος, θεωρώντας πρώτο του καθήκον την ασφαλή μεταφορά του θαυματουργού και άφθαρτου λειψάνου του Αγίου Γεωργίου, το μετέφερε από την παραλία της Μερσίνης με ατμόπλοιο στην Αττική. Κατά τη διάρκεια του ταξιδιού είχε μεγάλη θαλασσοταραχή, η οποία όμως κόπασε με θαύμα του Αγίου (Το θαύμα είναι πως επί κάποιες συνεχόμενες μέρες κάθε βράδυ εμφανιζόταν στο πλοίο ένας Ιερωμένος και θύμιαζε το χώρο που φυλασσόταν το σκήνωμα του Αγίου. Ο Κυβερνήτης νομίζοντας πως είναι ο πατήρ Ιγνάτιος του έκανε παρατηρήσεις να μην θυμιατίζει το βράδυ γιατί φοβόντουσαν οι ναύτες. Ο πατήρ Ιγνάτιος απάντησε - και έτσι ήταν-πως όλα αυτά τα βράδια κοιμόταν γιατί ήταν κουρασμένος από την ταλαιπωρία. Του είπε όμως πως στο πλοίο φυλασσόταν το λείψανο του Άγιου Γεωργίου του Νεαπολίτου οπότε και άναψαν καντήλι στο χώρο. Κάποια στιγμή, κατά τη διάρκεια του ταξιδιού έγινε φοβερή θαλασσοταραχή κατά την οποία αναποδογύρισε το λείψανο του αγίου. Μόλις το έβαλαν στη θέση του, αμέσως η θάλασσα γαλήνεψε).

Στην Αττική το ιερό λείψανο παραδόθηκε στους Νεαπολίτες, οι οποίοι το τοποθέτησαν με ευλάβεια στον Ιερό Ναό του Αγίου Ευσταθίου στη Νέα Νεάπολη του Περισσού. Από τότε άπειρα είναι τα θαύματα και οι ιάσεις που ενεργεί ο Άγιος Γεώργιος σε όσους με πίστη επικαλούνται το όνομά του."

2. Νεωκόρος στην εκκλησία του αγίου Ευσταθίου μου είχε πει εμένα όταν τον ρώτησα για τον άγιο (το 2000) πως πρόσφατα τότε (ίσως και μέσα στο 2000) δικηγόρος που δεν είχε παιδιά ερχόταν κάθε μέρα στην εκκλησία και άναβε κάθε φορά μια λαμπάδα στον άγιο για να πετύχει το ποθούμενο, πράγμα που γρήγορα εκπληρώθηκε.


Του κ. Κων. Ε. Δεληγιάννη, Δρος Φιλ. Καθηγητού Βυζαντινής Αρχαιολογίας και Τέχνης

Θα ευφραίνεται ή θεοφιλή ψυχή προσκάλεσε τις έξι μοναχές τότε του μακαριστού Μητροπολίτου ΣΙΔΗΡΟΚΑΣΤΡΟΥ κυρού Ιωάννου Παπάλη με τα επιτεύγματα, τις θεάρεστες προσπάθειες, τους κόπους και τους ιερούς αγώνες των μοναζουσών του Ιερού Ησυχαστηρίου Τιμίου Προδρόμου στο Ακριτοχώρι Σιδηροκάστρου. Θα ευφραίνεται, γιατί ήταν αυτός, όντας φιλομόναχος και ασκητικός Ιεράρχης, πού μετά από πολλές ταλαιπωρίες(1980) μετά από αίτημα του πνευματικού της μικρής αδελφότητας Γέροντος Αλεξίου Ξενοφωντινού στην ήρεμη και συγχρόνως μαγευτική περιοχή έξωθεν του Ακριτοχωρίου να γίνει ο τόπος του τελικού καταλύματος της μοναστικής αδελφότητας. Τον Αύγουστο του 1981 είχε τεθεί ο θεμέλιος λίδος του Ησυχαστηρίου, βορειοανατολικά της λίμνης Κερκίνης στις υπώρειες(του επιβλητικού ορούς· Μπέλες σε μία καταπράσινη και ήσυχη τοποθεσία, οπού δεν υπήρχε άλλη Μονή.
Ή αδελφότητα όμως μεγάλωσε θεαματικά, πλήθυνε και ο αριθμός των ευλαβών προσκυνητών, όχι μόνο από την Μακεδονία, αλλά και από άλλες περιοχές της Ελλάδος, γιορτές και Κυριακές στη θεία Λειτουργία οι περισσότεροι προσκυνητές, τις κρύες και βροχερές μέρες του χειμώνα, παρακολουθούσαν τις ιεροτελεστίες από το προαύλιο. Δημιουργήθηκε λοιπόν επιτακτική ανάγκη για νέα μεγαλύτερη Εκκλησία. Θα ήταν ωραιότατο δώρο στην ιερή και αιματοποτισμένη γη της Μακεδονίας. Έτσι ή δραστήρια με ένθεο ζήλο, ευγένεια, ευφυΐα και διακριτικότητα Γερόντισσα Ιακώβη Καίμα. με την απόλυτα σύμφωνη γνώμη του Ηγουμενοσυμβουλίου και την αμέριστη συμπαράσταση του πνευματικού των Γέροντος Αλεξίου. Ηγουμένου και της Ιεράς Μονής οσίου Ξενοφώντος του Αγίου Όρους, αποφάσισαν το χτίσιμο νέου μεγάλου Καθολικού.
Έτσι τον Ιούνιο του 1999 τέθηκε ο θεμέλιος λίθος από τον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη κ.κ. Βαρθολομαίο, με την ευκαιρία της εκεί επισκέψεως του. περιδιαβαίνοντας την ιερή περιοχή της Μακεδονίας.
Προτιμήθηκε, επιτυχέστατα, ο τύπος της Ελληνιστικής, λεγόμενης Βασιλικής, όπως έχει δομηθεί ή Βυζαντινή και μεγαλοπρεπής μητροπολιτική Αγία Σοφία της Αχρίδας. με τα παραβήμαντα, τους ψήλους τρούλους, τον διώροφο νάρθηκα, την θαυμάσια πρόσοψη ανακτορικού τύπου και τους δύο πύργους βόρεια και νότια του νάρθηκα. Συνολικά ο ιερός ναός εδώ έχει πέντε τρούλους. τον κεντρικό για άπλετο φωτισμό. έναν στην πρόθεση και έναν στο διακονικό και άλλους δύο, τύπου πυργίσκων, εδώ όμως έγιναν παρεκκλήσια, βόρεια και νότια στον στεγασμένο διώροφο εξώστη, όπως στην Αγία Σοφία Αχρίδας. Τα σχέδια δόμησης του Ιερού ναού έγιναν από έναν άριστο εικαστικό σχεδιαστή και ξυλόγλυπτη ιερομόναχο, τον πατέρα Σεραφείμ. Μελετώντας διάφορα εγχειρίδια Βυζαντινής Αρχιτεκτονικής, ο πατήρ Σεραφείμ εντυπωσιάστηκε από την Αγία Σοφία Αχρίδας, την οποία επισκεφθεί και μελέτησε επί τούτου δίνοντας λύση στην αδελφότητα.
Πολύ επιτυχής και εντυπωσιακά συμβολική ή επιλογή της Αγίας Σοφίας. λόγω της γειτνιάσεως του Ησυχαστηρίου με την Βυζαντινή Αχρίδα και λόγω της αισθητικής τελειότητας της. Ή Αγία Σοφία Αχρίδας είναι κτίσμα του Χαρτοφύλακα της Αγίας Σοφίας Κωνσταντινουπόλεως και μετέπειτα Αρχιεπισκόπου Αχρίδας Λεοντίου, 1037 - 1056. όπως έχει γίνει αποδεκτό από την επισήμανση στον· ελληνικό κώδικα (COD. PARIS GREC.880, TOL. 407 - 8), οπού σαφώς δηλώνεται ότι «ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Λέων είναι ο κτίσας την Εκκλησία εν ονόματι της Ανίας του Θεού Σοφίας». Την εποχή ακριβώς αύτη, της βυζαντινής δόξας, προσφέρονταν οι κατάλληλες προϋποθέσεις για θρησκευτικά και πολιτισμικά μνημεία στην αναγεννώμενη περιοχή της Αχρίδας μετά την παγίωση της βυζαντινής ισχύος. Να σημειωθεί, εν παρόδω, ότι τα περισσότερα εκλεκτά βυζαντινά μνημεία στις περιοχές αυτές, στο Ιππέκιο κ.λπ. έγιναν τα δοξασμένα χρόνια του Βυζαντίου και της Μακεδονικής δυναστείας. Όποιος είναι ανιστόρητος ή δεν γνωρίζει τη δόξα του Βυζαντίου και την πνευματική προσφορά του στην ανθρωπότητα, δεν δικαιούται να ομιλεί περιφρονητικά για τα κλέη του Βυζαντίου. Αυτό, λοιπόν, το λαμπρό βυζαντινό μνημείο υπήρξε το πρότυπο για τη σχεδίαση του Ι. Ναού του Τιμίου Προδρόμου, από τον π. Σεραφείμ.
Από την στιγμή που άρχισε ή ανέγερση, όλοι οι παράγοντες συντονίστηκαν αρμονικά, ο νυν επιχώριος Μητροπολίτης, που συνεργάζεται αρμονικότατα με την αδελφότητα κ. Μακάριος, ο Γέρων Αλέξιος, ή εργατικότατη και ευλαβέστατη Γερόντισσα Ίακώβη, οι αδελφές, κυρίως ή «μηχανικός» αδελφή Σιλουανή, οι ειδικοί Πατέρες της Μονής Ξενοφώντος, κυρίως ο π. Σεραφείμ και βέβαια ο εκλεκτός λαός του Θεού, πού με εντυπωσιακή στοργή περιέβαλαν και υποστήριξαν το θεάρεστο αυτό έργο με κάθε είδους βοήθεια, μικρή η μεγάλη. Σπουδαίοι δωρητές υπήρξαν φερώνυμες επιχειρήσεις, κυρίως της Μακεδονίας, Θράκης και Θεσσαλίας.
Ή ανάθεση του έργου έγινε, μετά από τις απαραίτητες διεργασίες σ' έναν ευλαβή, ευσυνείδητο και εργατικότατο επιτυχημένο μηχανικό, τον κ. Ιωάννη Μεϊχανετζόγλου. Όταν επισκέφθηκα για να μελετήσω το Μνημείο —είχα ακούσει ευνοϊκά σχόλια από Μακεδόνες συναδέλφους— βρήκα όλους τους παράγοντες, με πρώτη και καλύτερη την Ηγουμένη, να παρακολουθούν τις εργασίες στο εργοτάξιο. Το συνεργείο εργάζεται από τις 8 το πρωί μέχρι να δύσει ο ήλιος. Το οικοδομικό συνεργείο έχει μαζί του έμπειρους λιθοξόους. μαρμαρογλύπτες, εθελοντές πτυχιούχους Καλών Τεχνών, οι όποιοι με βάση τα σχεδία του πατρός Σεραφείμ κατασκευάζουν τα απαραίτητα μαρμάρινα αρχιτεκτονικά μέλη. πλαίσια θυρών, κιόνια. επίκρανα κιονίσκων, παραθύρων και λοιπών αρχιτεκτονικών μελών. Αξιοσημείωτη ή απόφαση του μηχανικού κ. Μεϊχανετζόγλου να δομηθεί ο ναός με τον παραδοσιακό τρόπο με λιδοδομία μεγάλων λίθων κα\ πλίνθων από την ίδια τη περιοχή, με πλινθοπερίκλειστο σύστημα. Το μάρμαρο, πού χρησιμοποιήθηκε, είναι σερράικο μεγάλης αντοχής, ενώ τα ωραιότατα κόκκινα τούβλα είναι και αυτά δωρεά κάποιας γειτονικής βιομηχανίας τούβλων.
οι διαστάσεις του Ιερού Ναού είναι 35 μ. μήκος και 32 μ. πλάτος. Λίαν επιλεκτικός ο μηχανικός κ. Μεϊχανετζόγλου. συνεπικουρούμενος και από τον πατέρα Σεραφείμ, παίρνει σαν βάση τον τύπο της Βασιλικής, αλλά συνθέτει τετρακιόνιο σταυροειδή εγγεγραμμένο, κατά τον αθωνικό τύπο, λίαν επιτυχώς, με διπλά τυφλά άψιδώματα πίσω, δυτικά, περίστυλο δίκλιτο και διώροφο με αξονικές κιονοστοιχίες, αρκετά ευρύ. που περιβάλλει όλο το ιερό ναό με δίλοβα παράθυρα σε παράταξη και συνεχές οριζόντιο γείσο. Στη βόρεια πλευρά μέσα στο ιερό ναό. κλιμακοστάσιο και καμαροειδείς χώροι, σα χρησιμοποιηθούν ως εξομολογητήρια και άλλες πνευματικές ανάγκες ιερέων και πιστών.
Πάλι, βόρεια, αλλά εξωδεν του Ιερού Ναού κατασκευάστηκε αναλημματικός τοίχος, πού προστατεύει από κατολισθήσεις και βροχοπτώσεις, συνηθισμένα φαινόμενα στην περιοχή.
Πιστεύω ότι ο νέος ιερός ναός είναι τόπος σπουδής για την χριστιανική αρχιτεκτονική.
Πληροφορήθηκα από τον υπεύθυνο μηχανικό, κ. Μεϊχανετζόγλου, ότι το μνημείο με τον ρυθμό πού δουλεύουν οι εργάτες και οι άλλοι εικαστικοί παράγοντες θα είναι έτοιμο, το κέλυφος του Ιερού Ναού για τα εγκαίνια οπωσδήποτε τον ερχόμενο χρόνο.
Μελετώντας το λαμπρό αυτό Μνημείο της Ορθόδοξου Λατρείας, προς τιμήν του αγίου και Προφήτου Τιμίου Προδρόμου, με την πανέμορφη λίμνη Κερκίνη στην ποδιά του, είκοσι πέντε χιλιόμετρα από τα έλληνοβουλγαρικά και τόσα περίπου από το άλλο, το λεγόμενο κράτος των Σκοπίων, φαντάστηκα τον περικαλέστατο Ι. Ναό του Τιμίου Προδρόμου σαν ένα εθνικό βυζαντινό φρουρό, που φυλάει τις πύλες του Ελληνισμού και της Ορθοδοξίας, προσκομίζοντας σε Σλάβους και λοιπούς Ορθόδοξους γείτονες το Φως το αληθινό.
Συχνά πυκνά επισκέπτονται το Ησυχαστήριο μεγάλος αριθμός Αρχιερέων Ιερέων, Μοναχών, Μοναζουσών, από τη Βουλγαρία. Σερβία, Ρουμανία. Τσεχία, Ρωσία και άλλες χώρες για να εξυπηρετηθούν, να διδαχθούν τη λειτουργική και λατρευτική μοναστική ζωή, μετά τη θρησκευτική ελευθερία, πού πνέει στην Ανατολική Ευρώπη.
Να δώσει ο Κύριος να ακουστεί, στα εγκαίνια του νέου Ιερού Ναού ο λόγος του Θεού «τούτον τον οίκον ο Πατήρ ωκοδόμησε. τούτον τον οίκον ο Υ ιός εστερέωσε. τούτον τον οίκον το Πνεύμα το άγιον ανεκαίνισε... σε δοξάζομεν Κύριε... Κραταίωσον αυτόν εις αιώνα αιώνος».