Theology

The Entry of the Most Holy Mother of God into the Temple

According to Holy Tradition, the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple took place in the following manner. The parents of the Virgin Mary, Saints Joachim and Anna, praying for an end to their childlessness, vowed that if a child were born to them, they would dedicate it to the service of God.

When the Most Holy Virgin reached the age of three, the holy parents decided to fulfill their vow. They gathered together their relatives and acquaintances and dressed the All-Pure Virgin in Her finest clothes. Singing sacred songs and with lighted candles in their hands, virgins escorted Her to the Temple (Ps. 44/45:14-15). There the High Priest and several priests met the handmaiden of God. In the Temple, fifteen high steps led to the sanctuary, which only the priests and High Priest could enter. (Because they recited a Psalm on each step, Psalms 119/120-133/134 are called “Psalms of Ascent.”)

International monastic symposium in the monastery of Prohor of Pcinja

International monastic symposium in the monastery of Prohor of Pcinja
International monastic symposium in the monastery of Prohor of Pcinja
International monastic symposium in the monastery of Prohor of Pcinja
International monastic symposium in the monastery of Prohor of Pcinja

On the occasion of the great jubilee - 950 years of the monastery of the Venerable Prohor of Pcinja in the Diocese of Vranje -  an international monastic symposium entitled "950 years of the Venerable Prohor Pčinjski" was held on October 30 and 31, 2020.

Several metropolitans, bishops, abbots and abbesses from ten countries (Russia, Greece, Cyprus, Belarus, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, Republika Srpska, Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia) took part in the two-day symposium in the monastery of Venerable Prohor and presented a total of 13 papers on the topics of the organization of the monastic life, the monastic feat, the problems of modern monasticism and the history of monasticism.

Saint Peter of Cetinje

Saint Peter of Cetinje
Saint Peter of Cetinje
Saint Peter of Cetinje
Saint Peter of Cetinje

Saint Peter was born in Njegushi, Montenegro on April 1, 1747. He was tonsured a monk and ordained to the diaconate when he was only seventeen. He accompanied his uncle Bishop Basil to Russia the following year in order to study there. His uncle died within a year after arriving in Russia, and so Peter was obliged to return to Montenegro.

The Image of Elder Ambrose of Optina in Dostoevsky's Elder Zosima

The Image of Elder Ambrose of Optina in Dostoevsky's Elder Zosima
The Image of Elder Ambrose of Optina in Dostoevsky's Elder Zosima
The Image of Elder Ambrose of Optina in Dostoevsky's Elder Zosima
The Image of Elder Ambrose of Optina in Dostoevsky's Elder Zosima

The great Russian author Feodor Dostoevsky found in St. Ambrose of Optina not only inspiration for the character of Elder Zosima in Brothers Karamazov—he also acquired peace and repentance in the famous elder’s tiny monastic cell. The following is an overview of Feodor Mikhailovich’s relationship to Elder Ambrose of Optina, who is celebrated today.

How close did Dostoevsky’s Zosima come to Ambrose of Optina? What did the famous author take away from his memorable meeting with St. Ambrose? The well-known Dostoevsky scholar Professor Sergei Vladimirovich Belov (June 23, 1936–November 7, 2019) discusses St. Ambrose as one of the important personages in Feodor Dostoevsky’s life in this chapter from his two-volume encyclopedia entitled, F. M. Dostoevsky and His Circles.1

The writer’s wife, A. G. Dostoevskaya, recalls: “On 16 May 1878, our family was stricken with a terrible misfortune—our youngest son Lyosha [diminutive of Alexei] died <…>. In order to soothe Feodor Mikhailovich at least a little and distract him from his sad thoughts, I asked Vl[adimir]. S. Soloviev, who visited us during those days of our sorrow, to persuade Feodor Mikhailovich to go with him to Optina Hermitage, where Soloviev was planning to go that summer. It was Feodor Mikhailovich’s longtime dream to visit Optina Hermitage….”

Saint Petka of the Balkans, you are glory and praise of Belgrade

   

Saint Petka or Parascheva of the Balkans  (Greek Παρασκευή - Friday)  was an ascetic female saint of the 11th century. She was born in the town of Epibatos (today Selimpaşa) on the shore of the Sea of Marmara between Silivri and Constantinople in Thrace in the half of  X century. She was of Serbian origin, from a wealthy and pious family. She had a brother, whose name was Euthymios, and who took monastic vows when he was very young, and later he was elected for Bishop of Madyta (989-996).