A Holy Warning

Elder Parthenios

Elder Parthenios of the Monastery of Saint Pavlos: Αn orthodox message from the Holy Mountain

“Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

The abbot of the Holy Monastery of Saint Pavlos, father Parthenios, speaks to you. I am in the monastery of Saint Pavlos since 1954 till now, with the help of our God, Virgin Mary and all of saints. Till now, we are blessed of God and we all celebrated the Holy Easter, with all of our happiness and love, the Risen of our Lord. This year it was the only year, since I came in the Mount Athos (Holy Mount), that we celebrated alone. Because all of the previous years we had with us more that 100-150-200 visitors, only in our Monastery. Together all the Monasteries of the Holy Mount had approximately 5,000 visitors, who have come every year, to honor the Holy Easter, the Risen of our Lord!

It was hard for me, that this was the year that we glory alone the God. Because of the measures they took, they left us alone with only few workers who are regular here. I am telling you that, with a lot of father’s love, I am in pain, in grief. Because all the faithful men who used to come here with us, were our consolation, to praise all together to the most important event, the Easter. All together we were chanting the pray of “Christ is Risen”, full of joy. Perhaps, God allowed this temptation to be penetrated, for our sins. Maybe He wants to activate us, cause the people got away from the Lord’s path and doing nonsense.

Our Churchs, all over the country, in Athens, in Thessaloniki and other where were like a cemetery. All the people were isolated in their houses; even the churches have closed their gates. What happened? What happened?

Unfortunately, our politicians trying to do their best. These are human measures, we cannot blame them. On the other hand, I am sending them a message. These measures are not enough. I am begging our politicians and our ecclesiastical authority, to shout at people to open the churches for the public, to go out on the roads, to take with them the holy icons and go for a litany, in order to beg our almighty God to obviate that temptation. The governors of this time cannot save us. Only the powerful God, He is the one who can save us. Open the doors of the churches, take the people outdoors, get the icons out, and get down on your knees, like the Ninevites did, to beg the God, His omnipotence, to quash this temptation. Otherwise, I don’t know where we will end up.

Please, do not be delusional, only God can save us, only our Lady Virgin, only the Saint Apostles and all the Saints together. Also can save us our pray and faith to God. “What did save the world?” “Our faith”!

Let all these thoughts of lukewarm and oligopolies, behind. We are Christians and I refer to the politicians who prepare to seal up/chip the people, but this will be their biggest scandal, because they not do justice to Christians. We, the Christians, strongly believe in His Almighty, we are baptized; we are anointed by the Holy Oil in the sealing of God. “Seal donation of the Holy Spirit, amen.”

Anyone who is not baptized, has the freedom to be sealed by the government, it is their decision. But do not force us, the Christians. Whatever you want to do against us, the God will be the Victor!

The God says: “Just as someone will confess in front of other people that he believes me, so I will do for him too, in front of my Father who live in the sky.” “Just as someone denies that he loves me, in front of the people, so I will do for him too.” Do not believe what the Zionists and Masons, the devils say; they do not believe in anything. On the other hand, we strongly believe in the real God. Whatever it takes, we confess Jesus Christ the Crucified we lean on Him our hopes, in his All-powers, nowhere else.

Many happy returns! Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

Our Lord has beaten the world. He says: “Don’t be afraid! I have been beaten the world for you!” That is our confession and our faith! Thank you so much!

Source: Enomeni Romiosini

Advertisement

The Coronavirus Diary of a Joyous Pustinik — 28

Butterfly

Christ is Risen!

 

I had a lovely surprise this morning. One of my Parishioners brought me a beautiful bunch of wildflowers; amongst them lots of Ox-eye Daisies, together with a number of “Lockdown goodies” as she describes them, one of which was another kind of flower-flour! Indeed, the English word flour is originally a variant of the word flower both words deriving from the French word fleur. At last, I can bake some bread! The wildflowers now supplement the cultivated ones the sisters brought me some weeks ago.

It reminded me of when I was in a village in Romania and a kind gentleman presented me with a huge bunch of wildflowers which he had picked. The amount, the richness and variety were amazing. I remember too visiting a hermitage where the monk was turning over the soil to bring to life the seeds which had lain dormant for so many years.

 My spiritual father when he lived near Cambridge had a large garden. He gave a large portion of it over to a meadow for sowing seeds of wildflowers. The result was a heartwarming profusion of colour: Meadow Buttercups, Cowslips, Dandelion Ragged Robin, Red Campion, Yarrow, Poppy, Chamomile, Corn Marigold, Cornflower, Evening Primrose, Vipers Bugloss, and of course, Forget-me-not.

As if I could?

 

These Island nations each have a flower which is often found as an emblem appearing on crests, coins, and flags. The national flower of Ireland is the shamrock (which is technically a plant), while Scotland’s national flower is the Thistle. Wales’ national flower is the bright yellow Daffodil. England has the Red Rose( as does Lancashire!)

 

A Garden in Harston*

 

John 12:24:  Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.”

 

Autumn’s gentle dying and sighing into aspiring worth

Witnesses the gold leaves fall to carpet, as a covering for sin, the soft green earth.

What rich abundance there is in God’s economy!

Mellow fruits and flowers are wrapped in finest robes for God’s glory.

No harsh light to pierce the eyes of the tiredness of our soul,

Only the fresh glow of holy breath to make broken bodies whole:

Until God’s flora rests in winter’s death.

 

Here in the seasoned wisdom of third age flowers

The seeds of resurrection are stored for many hours,

Until that explosion of the third-day tomb;

God’s radiance warms the ground of that stone-cold womb.

In dappled light, in a garden in Harston, at hand is Son blessed soil.

We share the joy of those who labour there and wait on God with love and toil:

For new growth in God’s garden.

 

In weeding and turning of man’s substance is revealed new seeds

Which grow into new plants of scent and colour through holy deeds.

Sweet Mill View where, often unseen by human eye, the wheel of Life is turned,

Where through careful stewardship, the labourer’s pay is earned.

A dialogue with heaven is found and a covenant made long ago

In another garden secretly comes in time to grow:

Into that spring beauty of New Life.

 

“The more resolutely, the more constantly, your heart is turned towards God and His saints the more it will be enlightened, purified, and vivified.” St. John of Kronstadt.

* Harston is a village near Cambridge, England.

* Photography by Amit Das

Elder Gregorios 40 day Memorial Service

80782350_2416154011827872_861637634340945920_n

Elder Gregorios

+19-11-2019

“Love in Christ is a sacrificial Love, a self-sacrificing, self-denying Love, Agape. You sacrifice everything for the person you love, “your neighbour”. By “our neighbour”, we mean every person as God’s Image, even our enemy. By “love” we do not mean that we should do whatever the other person wants us to do, but to love him with Christ’s burning and flaming Heart, for his salvation” (+ Elder Gregorios Papasotiriou)

*

This is how we have always felt and feel his love. Blessed Paradise, Elder. At long last, you will be reunited with your beloved spiritual father, Saint Paisios. “Kai sta dika mas.” “And to our own!”  May we be reunited with you in Heaven in God’s Kairos!

80395516_2564822247082250_924611471332081664_n79876452_1235423190002125_19557734877757440_n

All the faithful present experienced an urge to pray to Elder, and not for him. 

80421158_767691993747125_6627701451936235520_n79686065_1048267265513180_241326172183461888_n80315340_977067915998194_2080091569561534464_n80640184_447932872543924_1165895110454411264_n80494444_1191848591021578_2010228089631539200_n80059071_1052973311710959_8126907860173979648_n80350077_589087115198686_6912717203980681216_n

End of an era

gerondas Gregorios down the grave

Christ is Risen! May Angels accompany you dear Father to your reward.

Gerondas Gregorios Tomb

The Monastery Diaries 5

A special commemoration diary and photo/video blog

GERONTAS-GRIGORIOS (1)

Dear brothers and sisters, Christ is in our midst.

This is going to be the most difficult post I have ever attempted as it is about the repose of my spiritual father, + Elder Gregorios Papasotiriou, a spiritual child of Saint Paisios, Elder and Founder of the women’s monastery of St. John the Forerunner in Metamorphosis, Chalkidiki.

IMG_2180

Gerondissa Euphemia of St John the Forerunner Monastery, St Paisios in the middle, Elder Gregorios on the right. She was absent at the funeral, other than very briefly to pay her last respects to the Elder, as she is about 90 years old and very frail in her health

+Wednesday 20/11. The funeral service took place in the morning of the following day, after the vigil of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple, such an appropriate day for our spiritual father’s departure from this life and entrance into the Heavenly sanctuary.

ΓΕΡΟΝΤΑΣ ΓΡΗΓΟΡΙΟΣ 3

St. Porphyrios, when Elder Gregorios once told him that he is well, told him “no, you are not”. “Indeed, I am”, Gerondas Gregorios insisted, but it was St Porphyrios who was right. Later, when St. Porphyrios visited him at his cell in Metamorphosis, his cell exuded a sweet fragrance for six days!

DF741702-4367-4408-A9BC-07929B918430-5475-00000B61A79B0D9F

In God’s kairos, I may write more about my memories with him. His orphans and why it feels this is an end of an era for us. I really ought to start from my University years, when I would take the bus through Polygyros [ie. etymology: lots of curves] notorious curves to the  Metamorfosi village, then walk all the way uphill through olive groves to the monastery of Saint John the Forerunner, meet Gerondas Gregorios for Confession and make absolutely no plans about my stay or who we were going to spend the day and the night together. Quite an adventure back in those days …

geronta-Grigorios-Gerondas Agathaggelos.jpg

On Thursday morning, the village and the hill were packed with more people than I have ever seen in my life. People from all over the world, clergy, monastics and lay people who had come to pay their last respects to a father they owned more than their lives. And yet all this crowd were my spiritual brothers and sisters, with whom we had travelled in the past a mile or two in our pilgrimage, and we all had so many memories to share. Many of his spiritual children, when he became gravely ill, were “sent” to Gerondas Theoklitos, the Elder and founder of the monastery of St Arsenios, another spiritual child of Saint Paisios. God’s Love unites us all.

IMG_30C7A706873B-1

Such a crowd! The police were regulating the parking and the traffic, as only the priests’ and monastics’ cars were allowed all the way up to the monastery. All nearby hotels opened their rooms for free, and local people with minibuses helped people drive up and down the monastery.

The warmth of faith full of the Holy Spirit. Gerondas Gregorios was remembered in the following days at the proskomede and at the great entrance in churches and monasteries all over the world. Memory eternal.

“Christ is Risen!” What bright sorrow, χαρμολύπη! At the end of the Memorial, the nuns and monks present chanted the whole Paschal, Resurrectional Canon of St. Saint John of Damascus. 

“And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.” (John 17:11)

For a video of the funeral, go here

For more video footage and photos, go here and  here  

For some photos, see below

The Vigil and the Four Gospels

IMG_2437680ACE52-1IMG_106369FE0194-1IMG_6D0756F8413E-1

The Procession Around the Monastery Main Church (Katholikon)

IMG_940D7A666A46-1

 

IMG_BCB2BB624A4D-1IMG_AFCF8058DE8E-1IMG_065F475397F3-1IMG_2D86A567F1F7-1

IMG_89B298C90490-1

IMG_E01B0243AA39-1

IMG_6E3288CF30C3-1

IMG_B1B1B4B74444-1

IMG_ABCCCDF37D05-1
Second on the left is Gerondas Theoklitos, who prayed the traditional 100-knot rope for the departed: “Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on your servant Hieromonk Gregorios”

The Grave and the Burial

IMG_8FBDC657BE47-1

IMG_AA555C435EC7-1

IMG_FAAB74AAFC8B-1IMG_64291251FF1B-1

IMG_7AD797517667-1IMG_E6C744FF2EB2-1

IMG_710B90A340F2-1IMG_4EBEE2B6EE06-1

IMG_BCB251772948-1

IMG_E43EDE22CD3A-1

Elder Euphemius, the spiritual son of Blessed Gerondas Isaac Atallah. He is now the current Abbot of the Skete that Blessed Atallah founded on Mount Athos and the spiritual father of the nuns at St John the Forerunner Monastery.  As a dear Father pointed out to me, “I see him contemplating this holy mystery of Gerondas repose in his eyes and “being with ” Gerondas spirit and not separated from him.”

Elder Euphemios5

Elder Euthemios 3

Elder Euphemios was the only hieromonk with a purely white epitrahelion and he was leading all the services.

IMG_D85E93213643-1IMG_68BE57F7F00C-1

IMG_47B40FC3BF79-1IMG_C706CE7CBA1C-1IMG_DF70E303F694-1

IMG_4775B5F50692-1IMG_7EBE0ECD0116-1IMG_080DCC6201B7-1IMG_74016289089C-1IMG_F08778564231-1IMG_DD716F9AA2D4-1IMG_5272688FBE75-1IMG_68929EEDCE4F-1

IMG_F072D95470D5-1IMG_0F1E549C0ED7-1IMG_237072286ED5-1

For more photos, go here and here

 

The Crossing of My Red Sea

shoe nest

About four months have passed since my Elder’s last ‘words’ about my future and my life circumstances have completely changed. Indeed, problems do not merely call forth our courage and our wisdom; they create our courage and wisdom. (I have a long way to go …) How can my Elder (and God) swipe away, with just one move, all my past and present, my job, my possessions, my ‘family’, my ‘home’, my … (you name it!)?

But they can, as I was about to find out the hard way. “No buts — just do as I tell you! God has revealed all that to me (!)” The past four months I learnt first hand the blessings of an Elder’s prayers as he ‘photographed’ and ‘micromanaged’ my single step thousands of miles away.

The sea was parted; I walked on the dry ground and crossed it. And left all my past life behind. What will my future be on this ‘other’ side? I have absolutely no clue, other than I must learn to cling to God and surrender to His Will, as no one has now been left for me, other than Him and my Elder.

Abba Allois said: “Unless a man say in his heart, Only I and God are in the world, he shall not find rest.”

Asking for your prayers…