A Hundred Years Later

Today the Tsar is with Sts. Boris and Gleb, with St. Sergius, with Blessed Ksenia, with St. Seraphim. There is neither treason nor flattery around him. He has much more power and strength.

The sovereign emperor has more power today than one hundred years ago. A hundred years ago, propaganda efforts turned him into a monster, personifying the state system, earmarked for ruthless annihilation. Cruelty, indifference, luxury, and debauchery were attributed to the regime. All of this was automatically transferred to the image of the reigning house, and so successfully that yesterday’s “loyalists” silently partook of the murder of the head of state and the whole household.

And today? Today we have been sobered by the events of the previous century. After all, we know that the luxury of the oligarchs exceeds that of the tsars at times, although wholly devoid of any moral justification. The debauchery of today’s global Sodom makes us look at many sinners of former times as at kindergarten students. And the indifference of people to one another in a world where money is the main value is unmatched. As for cruelty, the twentieth century surpassed all. The tongue goes numb here and fingers refuse to type.

Sermon by Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky) on the Royal Family

At one time, even fairly recently, the date July 17 in the so-called “new style,” was marked as a day of sorrow, because on this day the Russian people and the Russian diaspora remembered the great evil act when the Royal Family was brutally killed in the basement of Ipatiev House.

This was a day of mourning, but no longer! Now the Royal Family has been glorified as a family of holy martyrs. Never forget that when the Church glorifies a saint, the act itself does not create the saint, it only declares to the people that this person or this group of people have been glorified in God.

In the collection of the Lives of Saints we see a wonderful example. Once there was a man who occupied a very lofty position, he was renowned and wealthy, but he left to join a monastery, to become a monk, and took up the life of the ascetics, in fasting, prayer and deprivation. Others lived nearby who shared his way of life, many of them were more severely ascetic than he. Yet the faithful began to flock to him, benefiting from his inspired spiritual discussions and guidance, and the Lord glorified him with the gift of sagacity and miracles. One of the monks asked his elder: why is this so? “This man is an ascetic, of course, but he is no better than the others, in fact, there are others who lead stricter ascetic lives, but are not granted the gifts of discernment or miraculous works, with such spiritual talents. Why did the Lord bestow these upon him, then?”

The Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia

Sermon read by Archbishop Mark of Berlin on the feast day of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia in 2001

The Divine meaning of suffering can be understood only through the help of grace. For this, the Lord consoles His sorrowful disciples and all of us, sending us “the Comforter… even the Spirit of truth” Who “will guide you into all truth” (John 15:26, 16:13).

The Holy New Martyrs of Russian are close to us in time and in spirit, the spirit in which we were raised, which we have assimilated to the best of our abilities. Today, the iconostasis of our church contains relics of the Holy Martyrs Elizabeth and Barbara, who are particularly close to us. Holy Grand Duchess Elizabeth was a princess of Darmstadt, who left her homeland and found a new one, both spiritual and physical. In the terrible years of persecution, her cell-attendant, the Russian novice Barbara, joined her, and they proceeded towards martyrdom together. 

Celebration of the Feast of Saint Bartholomew the Apostle

Celebration of the Feast of Saint Bartholomew the Apostle
Celebration of the Feast of Saint Bartholomew the Apostle
Celebration of the Feast of Saint Bartholomew the Apostle
Celebration of the Feast of Saint Bartholomew the Apostle

In commemoration of the Feast of Bartholomew the Holy Apostle, patron saint of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, His All-Holiness presided over Great Vespers at the Holy Monastery of Zoodochos Peghe in Baloukli on the evening of Sunday, June 10, 2018, as well as the Divine Liturgy at the Venerable Patriarchal Church of St. George the following morning.

Members of the Holy and Sacred Synod, together with Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Throne, were present in prayer for both days of the solemn celebration. Among others in attendance were also various Hierarchs, Church representatives and clergy from throughout the world, as well as foreign diplomats serving in the City and Ankara.

The Placing of the Honorable Robe of the Most Holy Mother of God at Blachernae

The Placing of the Venerable Robe of the Most Holy Theotokos at Blachernae: During the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Leo the Great (457-474), the brothers Galbius and Candidus, associates of the emperor, set out from Constantinople to Palestine to venerate the holy places.

In a small settlement near Nazareth they stayed in the home of a certain old Jewish woman. In her house they noticed a room where many lamps were lit, incense burned, and sick people were gathered. When they asked her what the room contained, the pious woman did not want to give an answer for a long time. After persistent requests, she said that she had a very precious sacred item: the Robe of the Mother of God, which performed many miracles and healings. Before Her Dormition the Most Holy Virgin bequeathed one of her garments to a pious Jewish maiden, an ancestor of the old woman, instructing her to leave it to another virgin after her death. Thus, the Robe of the Mother of God was preserved in this family from generation to generation.

Ecumenical Patriarchate elects Metropolitan of Ancyra for first time since 1922

The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate elected three new metropolitans at its session Tuesday, including the election of a Metropolitan of Ancyra for the first time since 1922. The Metropolis of Ancyra was a metropolitan see of Galatia Prima. It survived the Seljuk Turkish conquest at the end of the 11th century, and remained active until the end of the Ottoman Empire and the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1923. The last bishop of Ancyra was His Eminence Metropolitan Constantine (1922-1934), who resided in Istanbul following the population exchange. 

The Centennial Anniversary of the “Day of Prayer for Serbia” in Washington

  Under the spiritual patronage of the Bishop of Eastern American, His Grace Irinej, the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America is organizing a multi-day celebration of these significant events in Washington DC.

On July 28, 1918 the government of Woodrow Wilson, the President of the United States of America, issued a proclamation marking that day "A Day of Prayer for Serbia". It was determined that on that day the Serbian flag would wave at the White House and that church bells throughout America would ring in honor of Serbian victims of World War I. A large number of Serbs from America had left their families and homes in the New World, desiring to help their brothers in the battle for honor and freedom in the homeland and join the Serbian army. Many of them never returned. Recognizing their sacrifices and love for the Serbian people, but remembering the great friends of our people in America, the Serbian Orthodox Church is organizing a celebration of the 100th Anniversary of President Wilson's proclamation, the breakthrough of the Salonika Front and the end of the World War I.