Archive for the ‘Christianity’ Category

Saint Martyr Antepas of Pergamum mentioned in the Book of Revelation of saint John the Apostle – 4th Sunday of Great Lent saint John the Climacus

Sunday, April 11th, 2021

Reading Time: 9minutes

Saint_Antipas-of-Pergamum-burned-in-a-metal-bull

Saint Antepas of Pergamum

Saint Martyr Antepas commemoration in the One Holy Eastern Orthodox Church is on 11 of April. The veneration of this saint in the past centuries was great in both the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Western Church (The Roman Catholic Church), especially before the great schism in 1054. Saint Antepas was well known among people in the medieval times for being a saint invoked in troubles with a toothache and all kind of teech diseases which were a true plague in the prior ages as people did not have much knowledge on how to heal or recover teeths and usually in case when someone got a tooth ache the ultimate solution to remove the teeth. 

His Vitae (Living) is mostly interesting as he is a saint according to Orthodox Church tradition that was one of the spiritual titans in the first century, where the church was mainly troubled by persecusion by the jews who refused Christ as Messiah, by the pagan crowds and starting from second part of I-st century officially persecuted by the Roman Empire authorities. In this bloody century for the Church where martyrs lay down the foundation of the Church many saints become a victims of jewish fanatism and pagans atrocities. Saint Antepas is one of those saints who at that time was a bishop of the Church of Pergamum mentioned in the Prophetic boof The Book of Reveletaion (the last book) of the Holy Bible book cannon that is included in every (protestant, anglican, orthodox, catholic Holy Bible). Saint John the Apostle the author of Book Revalation has been exiled on mount Paphos (today Cyprus) at time of Martyrdom of Saint Antepas. St. John the Apostle while being in the cave exiled, received in a vision by Christ the revelation of the furute things to come before the end of the world and antichrists false messiah appearance. Before his revelation it is not known whether saint John knew physically his brethren in Christ antipas but this hypothesis is little likely as appearance the book of Revelation has been revealed to John in a single vision by The son of God Jesus Christ where in mystical vision in which the merits and the deficiency of the Church has been presented of the 7 Churches of Asia Minor present at the first century in the world. The Church of Pergamum was one of the Seven Churches of which the Revelation speaks which surrounded by all kind of uncleanness, idolatry and satanic deeds of the Pergamum people and this diseases partially started even plaguing members of the Church who with time had fallen away from faith due to their sinful deeds and undesire for repentance. The book of Revelation mentions the martyrdom of Antepas as a truthful witness of Christ who steadily kept the faith in the Risen Christ enduring martyrdom. "I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.". Book of Revelations 2:13.
The spiritual State of the Church of Pergamum is described as follows,

"I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth." Rev. 2:13

Saint-Antepas-of-Pergam-mentioned-on-Book-of-Relevation-by-saint_John-the-apostle


Saint Antepas was a missionary bishop who lived in time of Roman Emperor Domition II-nd, By the Revelations book we found out that in the 1st century the Pergamum Church Bishop has been a pious saintly man firm in his faith. The Church tradition's memory give us a little more details on the Martyrdom of Antepas. 

According to tradition and history. The citizens of Pergamum (Pergam) were fanatic admirers of their pagan idols and spend their life in all kind of wickedness. Those who observed their lives got the impression that among them really lives satan himself. Among such uncleanness Antepas has been a true headlight in the dark night or like a rose among prickles, showing path to salvation through the three Christian main viritues of Faith, Pope and Love. Even though Antepas witnessed people ungodliness, he did not embarass from the malice of pagans, but on the contrary good heartedly and with a diligence performed his Christian obligations of a shepherd and preacher, revealing deceptions of idolatries and advised them to turn better for their good to the Truthful one God the creator and Ruler of Universe who has send his Only Begotten son to Cross on Golgotha to suffer for the sins of man and return the fallen man to the Holy Trinity God the Father the Son and the Holy spirit and by his suffering showing us the narrow but straight way to heaven of the Suffering by accepting one's personal Cross uniting and nailing it to Christ's cross by handing over all one's life to Christ.

Saint_martyr_Antipas-icon-on-Metal-Plate

St. Antepas preaching turned quickly many of the pagns to Christ's Church. The pagans lost many of their faithful admirers, worshippers of the idols decreased highly and the toll for the idols as well (monetary funds for the shamans) in Pagan temple decreases. Antipas was blamed for his missionary work and revealing the truth to the blind by envious and hard-hearted, greedy idolatries.

In the same time Domitian being loyal to the Roman gods also proclaimed a persecution announcing christians as enemies of the empire. Attaining bravery by that the pagan priests catched Antepas and brought him before the city ruler, blaming him that he become a reason for the gods to become angry and as a reason for the so-called idols (thought to be gods) to stop caring about Pergamon in which they no longer received the high honor for their service to the idols.

– Is that true? asked the ruler of Pergamon – that you have been not giving veneration to the gods, and you teach the others to despire the gods and not give them honour? 
This is why our city is suffering because the gods has been offended and no longer have mercy and take care about this place and our well being.
Leave out Christianity repent and give obbey our law. If you do not give honor to the idols and continue to despise the gods, we will torture you according to roman law.

Antipas replied:

– I AM CHRISTIAN ! And the unwise king's orded i cannot perform and to the false gods i will not obey.
To give you a concreate and clear answer I tell you, the so called gods are not gods and they have no power to protect the city.
Leave your delusions, repent for the wickedness and believe in Christ, who embodied from Heaven to save all humans.
He is the only true God and he is about to come again in the end of ages to Judge everyone according to their deeds – everyone will either receive a gift or punishment.

 

– What is that new teaching shouted enraged the city ruler. You do obey to some new invented by your own law and reject the ancient worships, given us by the fathers. Leave the new faith and stop venerating for God a man who was crucified shamefully as a villain in times of Pilates.
Obey the king order and live in peacefully. We'll help you everything, we'll love you as our sons, because your advanced age requires it – that we all love you and venerate you as a father.

Antepas replied:
– Nomatter what you tell me – I am not that reckless (foolish) for being lived until the old age and being near end of my earthly days, to leave the true faith and to retreat to the salvational faith. You will not deceive my mind because it is enlightened by the wisdom of the Divine books. If you do not repent and do not stop worshipping your idols and you do not believe in the True God you will perish (both physically and spiritually).

Maddened by raged, the pagans crow did not wanted to hear any more the words of the pious elder – bishop. They captured him and drag him to the pagan temple. There was an idol: a big bull, forged by copper. Heating him up till it become red and they throw in the Bishop Antipas. He did not feared but with joy made the Sigh of the Cross and reverently cry out in prayer:

– Oh God,m who have revealed the secret mystery of our our Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for all the good deeds to me in my life. Thank you, you have granted me in that hour to be written in the list of the martyrs for your teaching. Receive my departering from temporary life my soul and engift it with your Grace.

Enduring peacefully and with firmness the terrible torturs, saint Antepas prayed for his enemies and for the whole world. Gradually his bodily powers weakened and he quitly passed to Christ. 
Christians with great honor and according to Church tradition buried the body of the saint martyr. 
His Holy relics were saved and God has engifted them with the healing power. 

Saint-Martyr-Antipas-of_Pergamum

Fourth Sunday of The Great Lent Sunday of Saint John the Climacus.
Saint John Lestvichnik and his Book a Spiritual Ladder to Heaven (Lestvica)

 

Saint-John-The-Scholastic-Lestvichnik-writting-the-Ladder-guide-book-for-ascending-spiritually-to-heaven

Fourth Sunday of the Great Lent – Saint John Lestvichnik / John the Climacus and his Ladder to Heaven

This year the second year of the "Coronavirus pandemy" 2021 the 4th Sunday of the Great Lent which every year commemorates the glorious Holy father and "a commander" of the MonksSaint John the Climacus / Saint John The Sinaites / John the Scholastic that lived in the 6th-7th century. He is mostly known in Bulgaria / Russia and the Slavonic Churches as Saint John Lestvichnik.  Saint John was ascetic monk on the mount of Sinai born circa 579 and passed away to Christ year. 649 A.D. He is revered a saint in both Eastern Orthodox Church as well as the Roman Catholic Church and the rest of the Oriental Orthodox Churches, though he is lesser known in the in the Western world .e.g in Roman Catholic Church. Saint John eagered for a higher spiritual life and thus has spend 20 years in the desert in hermitage, studying and practicing the writtings of the holy fathers to advance his spiritual life and attain spiritual perfection by overcoming all the main passions that are a stopper for a man to become fully spiritually enlightened and reach "in the flesh" the kingdom of heaven and become a victor against the evil passions.  

Saint-John-the-Climacus-sveti-Ioan-Lestvichnik-orthodox-icon

A lot can be said about saint John Lestvichnik and his world famous book Lestvica (Ladder ) Κλῖμαξ known in Latin world as Scala Paradisi a ladder of divince ascent.

In Lestvica the later chosen Abbot of Raitha Monastery st. John Lesvichnik describes to brethren monks on how to overcome different temptations and the attached moving passions and is well known in his life time for being a light beam for good truthtful spiritual lifesaint John Lestvichnik. Even Pope Gregory the Great wrote to him recommend himself to his prayers, and sent him a sum of money for the hospital of Sinai, in which the pilgrims were wont to lodge.

In the Book Ladder that should be tabletop book for all Christians,we hear of the ascetic practice of carrying a small notebook to record the thoughts of the monk during contemplation. Some parts of the books sounds scary and completely strange for the modern readers as we're all sunken in comfort and excessness of things.
Κλῖμαξ is mostly known in the Eastern Orthodox Church and highly estimated by anyone who actiively practices orthodoxy for being the best guide for a person to check his current spiritual life.

 

The Ladder describes how to raise one's soul and body to God through the acquisition of ascetic virtues. Climacus uses the analogy of Jacob's Ladder as the framework for his spiritual teaching. Each chapter is referred to as a "step", and deals with a separate spiritual subject. There are thirty Steps of the ladder, which correspond to the age of Jesus at his baptism and the beginning of his earthly ministry. Within the general framework of a 'ladder', Climacus book falls into three sections. The first seven Steps concern general virtues necessary for the ascetic life, while the next nineteen (Steps 8–26) give instruction on overcoming vices and building their corresponding virtues. The final four Steps concern the higher virtues toward which the ascetic life aims. The final rung of the ladder – beyond prayer (προσευχή), stillness (ἡσυχία), and even dispassion (ἀπάθεια) – is love (ἀγάπη).

Let by the prayers of Saint Antepas, Saint John Lesvichnik and Saint John The Apostle, the All Merciful God to have mercy on our Souls and veliver us from temptations and all evils in present and coming and grant peace and relief to all suffering for the truth and enlighten man to turn back in repentance to Christ !
Amen

6 of April Short Living and Death of Saint Methodius a brother of Constantin Cyril – Christian Enlighteners of the Bulgarian and Slavonic Lands

Wednesday, April 7th, 2021

Reading Time: 7minutes

Saints_Cyril_and_Methodius_Bulgarian_Enlighteners_Icon_by_Avram_Dichov,_1892

Saint Methodius was the bigger child of the two brothers enlighteners of Bulgarian Lands and the Slavonic nationsSaint Cyril (known as The Philosopher) and Saint Methodius born in Thessaloniki
a region of the Byzantine empire. Thessaloniki and its regions according to manuscripts has been mostly inhabited by Slavs at IX century.

In his young age he has chosen to be a Byzantine army man. For 10 years he has been assigned to govern a region of Slavonic lands part of Byzantine Eastern Empire. 
Even though he had been a successful in his worldly career and has been taking a respectful service for the Byzantine Emperor he felt the calling of God, gave up his high position in
aristocracy and entered one of the many monasteries of the empire in mount of Olympus Asia Minor region. Soon after to the same monastery came his younger brother Constantine
Since that moment the two brothers never departed until death of Cyril who died in Rome. And even in his death has been highly venerated by the Pope and considered saint even in
time of his burial at the famous Basillica Church San Clemente where they reside for veneration by Slavs even to this day.

San_clemente_fresco_Saint_Cyril-And-Methodius-in-Rome.

The receiving of Saint Cyril and Methodius in Rome with the Relics of Saint Clement 4th Pope of Rome

The two God chosen man also achieved a glorious deed which was not achieved by anyone before. The creation of the Glagolic Alphabet which become the foundation of the Cyrillic alphabet
currently used of about 300 000 000 people worldwide including by us Bulgarians. The new language was developed to be able to share the high truths of Christ the Gospel and his Church services and books  and 
most impotantly the eternal salvation prepared by God The Holy Trinity The Father the Son and the Holy Spirit for all those who love him and servce him.

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The Holy relics of Saint Cyril in San Clemente Crypt

As knowing the truth about Heaven and Hell and the Heavenly
kingdom they were highly conserned for the high see of Slavs in the Empire who still have been in darkness of idolatry and paganism. Inspired by God they soon creating an Alphabet in which  translated the whole Holy Bible (The Gospel of Christ the Epistle books and Old Testament book  and Church service books translating the Eastern Orthodox Holy Liturgy of Saint John The Crysostom and Saint John The Basil.
in language understandable for the Slavs. The glagolic alphabet has been soon translated to the Cyrillic Alphabet by the 7 pupils of Saint Cyril and Methodius and has been spread in Bulgarian lands first then in Serbia, Kiev
and rest of Slavonic nations.

Saint_Methodius-Archibishop-of-Moravia-and_Pannonia

In Great Moravia a region today situated in Chech Republic the two saint brothers teached and baptized the local Slavs , teaching them the Eternal heavenly truths of the Gospel.
The German clergy envied the two apostle equal mans mission great success and tried to rebaptize and teach the already baptized according to a Roman Rite and spread their own influence pushed by a lust for power.
Hence Methodius (also called by Western histographs Method) has been chased away from Moravia by the German clergy to the nearby Pannonia, where king Kocel  who appreciated St. Methodius great deeds for his people and
not understanding why the German-clergy is chasing such a saintly man has moved him to Rome to Pope Adrian II-nd with an enquiry to ordain him a Bishop. The Pope ordained him almost immediately and accepted St. Methodius
and St Cyrilus with all his clergy in honour, because the 2 saints were bringing a highly esteemed gift the Holy Relics who were attained by them earlier in their Baptizmal Mission to The Hazars (an assignment given to them by the Eastern Byzantine Emperor
and successfully achieved).
During their travel in Herzon the two saints has found the Holy Relics of Saint Clement Ist the 4th Pope of Rome who has been exiled and passed away to Christ as a martyr in Herzon (Today's Crimea) in the distant 2nd century.
After his consecration in Rome saint  Metho has been raised from a simple Gospel preacher to the high clergy rank of Archibishop for Pannonia and Moravia, a region who has been under the rule of the Bishop of Rome.

The fight against the clean life of the saint continued with full power even after his raise to the throne of archibishopship. The envious pseudo spiritual missioners sent by the Pope hungering not for Christ but for earthly power slandered
frequently against Method. to the local prince. because Methodius was publicly rebuke their unclean life being filled with the power of Christ spirit who detests all uncleanness in man. At other times suggested to the pope that Methodius is
against the Western Church and eagers to cut Moravia and Pannonia from the diocese of Rome and give it to the Byzantines. In parallel the German "clergy" was frequetnly sending letters slandering against Methodius accusing him in inobedience to the Eastern Christian Emperor
and the The Great Church of Byzantium the homechurch of st. Cyril and Method. and to whom they were obedient still …
Methodius being already in advanced age had to go everywhere by person and rebuke and testify about himself that all this is a far away from truth. His enemies succeeded eventually and for 2 years and a half he has been thrown in prison without the knowledge of the pope.
Finding out about this ungodly deed of his inobedient power-lust german clergy Pope John VIII issued a special order bulla for the immediate liberation of his archibishop.

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Icon of Saint Cyril and Methodius painting from 1848 y.

Even in this hardships saint Methodius never stopped to preach the Gospel to the Slavs and spread the Good news of Jesus Christ The Son of God enbodiment, life, Crucifix for the sins of all mankind anf Glorious Resurrection through which all those who believe are saved if they persist in the good deeds of Christ and stick to the trutfullness  of the Church of Christ which at the time of St. Cyrilus was before the Great Schism in year 1054, when the Roman Catholics has fallen away from the One Church who kept and preserved the head of the Church Jesus Christ teaching the Holy Eastern Orthodox Church.
Being even in prison Saint Methodius continued to translate The Holy books from Greek to the new language invented and adjusted for the Slavs talk. 
He left us as a heritage the Translation Copy of All Books of Holy Bible except the book of Maccabees which is today only present in the Orthodox Bible and considered one of the non-canonical but God inspired books, as well as the Nomocanon (the book with rules and Church laws of the Church and the clergy).
Nomocanon comes from .(Greek: Νομοκανών, Nomokanōn; from the Greek nomos – law and kanon – a rule). It is  a collection of ecclesiastical law, consisting of the elements from both the Civil law and the Canon law.
Nomocanons even today forms part of the canon law of the Eastern Catholic Churches (through the Eastern Catholic canon law) and of the Eastern Orthodox Churches.

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Saint Methodius the Slav-Bulgarian enlighter passed silently to Christ full of God''s Grace in saintship on 6th of April year 885 A.D. His burial was in Velegrad Chech Republic, and according to the Church tradition about his living  he "lays in the Great Moravian Church in the left side of the wall behind the alter dedicated to the Mother of God the Holy Theotokos Virgin Maria". A church service dedicated to him is still presented in the Bulgarian Church's manuscripts and a copies of it in preservation museums in Russia.

The deeds of Saint Methodius and Saint Cyrilus has a mark on the whole world's events. Even to this day as in Bulgaria, we have a translation of the Bible based on the Cyrillic language named after saint Cyrilus the brother of Methodius based on his started work to translate Glagolic alphabet to Cyrillic, continued by his pupils and fully completed by Saint Clement (Kliment) of Ohrid, who was warmly accepted by Saint Apostle equal King Boris I of Bulgaria. Thanks to him the deeds of Saint Methodius and their pupils and we have the cyrillic alphabet and Bulgarian Orthodox Church and spirituality even today. The deeds of Saint Cyrilus and the Cyrillic are recognizable worldwide in the face of the strange for the Western and the Asians Cyrillic language used by Russians.

Two Saints Cyril and Methodius has were officially proclaimed as a protectors of Europe recently by Pope John Paul II, for a reason as the ex-Pope has seen and experienced the powerness of prayers of the two saints while he was a cardinal in Bulgaria before his raise to the Roman Popeship throne about little know nowadays.

The Memory and veneration of Saint Methodius and Cyrilus logically are mostly observed in Bulgaria logically as Bulgaria was the first Empire country historically to accept the spiritual fruits the new language.  Many Schools and institutions, streets are named after the two saints.
The official Church veneration of St. St. Cyril and Methodius is on 11 in Church and  May in secular tradition. The Bulgarian Orthodox church has established a number of feasts connected to the two saints as they''re the prime patron saints thanks to whose prayers the Bulgarian Church has been established survived through centuries and conitnues its triumphal march towards the kingdom of heaven.

Let by the two saints Methodius and Cyril Bulgaria and Europe have Peace, Faith and Love and Enlightenment about the true teaching of Christ the Holy Orthodoxy!
 

Exaltation of the Holy Cross day in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church / Veneration of the Holy cross church feast

Saturday, April 3rd, 2021

Reading Time: 6minutes

Exaltation of the Holy Christ Cross icon, day in the Bulgarian Orthodox ChurchThe Universal Exaltation of the precious and life-giving Cross XVII century – icon from village of Belovo Trqvna region

he Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross (Elevation of the Cross)'s day is feted on 14th of September each year in accordance to the new calendar order, according to old church calendar, the Church celebrated it on 27th of September.

The day is marked by a strong fasting, for short we refer in Bulgarian to this big Church feast as (The day of the Cross / Krystov den).
The Holy Orthodox Christian Church does worship the cross 4 times a year on:

  • Third Sunday after the start of the Great Lent
  • Holy Friday (Good Friday)
  • 1st of August
  • and

  • 14th of September – The Exaltation of the Holy life giving Cross

On this day, we the orthodox christians go to the Church and admirationally bow and kiss the Holy Cross on which our Saviour Jesus Christ suffered for our salvation.Through his cross suffering our Lord has granted to all of us the Christians an unbeatable "weapon" against evil and sin.
Through cross Christ has been victorious over sin and death.

According to old Church tradition, on the day Christian people were asking for the priest to go to their homes and do vodosvet (sprinkle their houses with a blessed holy water).Vodosvet is one of the Orthodox Church mystics, there is a specific prayers begging God for forgiveness of sins, asking for good health and blessing. The prayers are being red over a vessel containing clean water. Finally he blesses the vessel with Water with the life Giving cross 3 times (as a symbol of the Holy Trinity). Then the priest uses a the cross and a tiny piece of twig to sprinkle all the people and objects in the house.

On the holy exaltation of the holy cross feast we also celebrate also the following 3 events:

1. The miraculous appearance of the Holy Cross to emper st. Constantine
2. The finding in Jerusalem of the Holy life-giving cross in Golgotha
3. The return of the Life-giving cross from persian captivity
On 14th of September, according to Church tradition saint John of John Chrysostom has give away his spirit and joined the assembly of saints of God, however because of the Exaltation great significance, the church holy fathers decided that this is celebrated on 13th of September.

The Antiphon for the Exaltation of the Cross feast is singed and translated from Slavonic its meaning goes like this:

Troparion-Vyzdvizhenie-na-Svetiq-Kryst-Gospoden-Exalation-of-the-Cross-Church-slavonic

 

Troparion of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross voice 1 / Тропар на светия Кръст, глас 1

Спаси, Господи, люди Твоя и благослови достояние Твое, победы на сопротивныя даруя, и Твое сохраняя Крестом Твоим жительство.

Troparion voice 1

Save Oh Lord, your people and bless possession, grant us oh Lord a victory over our enemies and save your inheritance with your Cross

Troparion voice 2

You've been lifted willingly on the cross, grant you mercies to your inheritance oh Christ our Lord,
stregthen the spirits of the pious king and to your people,
grant us victory against our enemies,
Surround us with peace and with peace give us unbeatable victory

In the Glorification part of the Holy Liturgy feast service its singed:

We magnify you, oh Christ life giver,
and your Holy cross, because you have saved us from the enemy.

What does the Church tradition says about the finding of the holy cross of Christs sufferings?

After the Church crucifixion of Christ, according to the tradition of that times, the weapon for punishment from this kinds – the cross tree was buried in the ground on the same place, where the punishment was executed.
Following the tradition on Gologthas where Christ was crucified was buried the cross used for crucifixion.
In later times, emperor Adrian in his attempt to destroy christianity and the place of pilgrimage of Golgotha has issued an order to built a pagan shrine on the same place.
Later under the reign of Emperor st. Constantine the cross appeared in the sky in a miraculous way and again under his reign the Golgotha place which means literally translated( the place of the Skulls) was discovered.

Third Sunday after start of the Great Lent – Sunday of the Veneration of the Holy Cross

Today 03.04.2021 we the orthodox are in the blessed period of the Great Lent. It is no coincidence the Church has set this feast on exactly this date. It is set on 3rd week of the 43 days (7 Weeks) that lasts the fasting period on the Eastern Orthodox Christian church because this is a little bit less than the half of the lent period. We know by the experience of spiritual fathers that once we start the job the hardest periods are nearby in 40% once the work is done and in that times it is a desire of the person to leave and quit the job but if he perseveres suddenly when the set goal is progressing this is overcome but then again in the end of the period of the goal to complete we start desiring to quit the started job and loose all energy put together, as a plan of the evil which wants us to always loose energy (both spiritual and physical) and never gain anything. Thus the Church set the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross to give us a way to attain new energy for the cross to be able to goodly continue in the deed of the lent. By the cross and his glorious power hence the spirit of despondency is crashed down and we're strenghtened and rejoice for the great glory our God has given us.
The_Exaltation-of-the-Holy-Cross-of-Christ-bishop-Polikarp-Bulgarian-Orthodox-Church
 

The exaltation of the cross is also a feast of everyone celebrating his own cross. The victory over death and everything was once fulfilled by Christ on the Cross. The humanity is saved already but it is up to everyone's free will to accept this salvation or not. The path is set it is the path of the Cross of Christ, meaning acceptance (humility) of all the unpleasant life events and situations, accepting everydays unexpected changes believing that this is God's providence and cross for each one of us, accepting the pain and suffering that is part of the personal cross we hold, accepting that one day our beloved and friends will pass away from this life, accepting the fact we age and the aging guarantees sufferings of the body but the spirit is refreshed by the grace of God, accepting all and enduring everyhing for the sake of the cross … 

Sunday-of-the-Veneration-of-the-Holy-Cross-Bulgarian_Orthodox-Church

The cross is a holder of the Universe and there is no power that will ever overwhelm it as it is said in the Church singings The Cross is the Holder (binds together) the whole universe. It is by the Cross all the evil has been conquered and life eternal has been giving. The path of the cross is the suffering, this is hard for the modern man to accept as we have been set to believe the only measure for success is prosperity, personal well being, physical health, posessing things. On the contrary the Christian says the most blessed and best thing one can have is the cross meaning personal suffering for and with Christ. By the suffering of the Cross Christ has glorified the bodily flesh he was possessing while being on earth in the body. By the Cross Christ has become the one begotten of all the sons of God. By the cross saints has conquered all evils and has sanctified, by the cross we still continue to progress in the goodness. 
Let with the Holy miracle making power of our Saviour's cross by the prayers of all the Saints and our Theotokos (Holy Virgin Merry) God grant to all of us christians victory of our enemies! Amen

 

Saint Markianos and Martyrios a church reader and sub-deacon holy martyrs for Christ – The feast of Sub-deacons

Sunday, October 25th, 2020

Reading Time: 6minutes

saint-Markian-and-Saint-Martirios-cleargymen-church-martyrs-3rd-century
Saint Markianos (Saint Markian) and Martyrios are little known saints in the Western realm and there is too little of information in English about this two early martyrs who lived circa year 340. What is special about them is that besides being a strong confessors of the True Eastern Orthodox faith, they served in the Church as simple 'reader' and 'sub-deacon'. This two designations were very much respected in the early Church as sub-deacons were usually the ones who have served in the Church inseparable as a Church service helpers to the patriarchs or some high clergy as Metropolitans and Bishops. We have many saints in the Church that are from a simple warriors as Saint Georg and Saint Dimitrios the Wonderworker (The MyrhBringer) to monks, bishops, patriarchs and pretty much all kind of people from the society from the begger to the richest and most famous kings and queens. However it is rare to meet in the ( Act of the Martyrs – latin: Acta Martyrum), to find  canonized saints that were in the lowest step in Church hierarchy as a simple 'psalm' and holy writtings reader or a sub-deacon. A Sub-deacon for those who don't know is a pearon that is a like a servant helper to the priest or bishop) that has been responsible for helping with the Church service and resolution of material and administrative needs of the christian community.
Usually in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the church reader or sub-deacons were and asre still called hipodeacon or "ipodiakon" in Greek / Slavonic church language), they didn't have the right at that early ages of christianity to publicly teach on faith matters or do apologetics (defendings of faith), however this 2 saintly man Markianos and Martyrios seem to have been a burning with the power of the spirit of God in their heart and the situation they were put in when the Church was under persecution and the patriarch Paul of Constantinople I(was patriarch from 340 ~ 350 AD). Saint Paul removed from his Church headship sent to Exile in Armenia and some time after drawned. He is commemorated in the Church on 6th of November. Hence considering situation St. Markian and Martyrius had to either defend and die for the faith or be scared and run away far in the caves or distant places of the empire such as villages on the outskits far away from the center city Rome …

The Heresy of Arius has been the most modern and the new modified faith claiming Christianity gathering followers in a viral way, and due to that the Arians have been in position where most of the public authorities in the Roman empire has been on their side against the Orthodox Christians.

Marcian_and_Martyrius_the_notaries_of_Constantinople-circa-355AD. 

Due to that in the church communities in near and distant lands of empire, the Arians were fiercely persecuting the Orthodox, and for a time even Emperor Saint Constantine The Great were deceived by their hypocrisy. It was terrible times for true confessors of faith. But not only Arians were persecuting Christians, as paganism were still deeply rooted in many of the lands and the Edict of Mediolan who gave equal rights to the religion in AD 313 was not strictly followed and senators of Roman regions with Paganist beliefs, were also harshly raising persucutions against their enemies the Christians who according to them are destroying the ancient culture and beautfy of paganism, not venerating the old pagan gods and against the wicked debauchery customs who were followed by pagans in 3rd / 4th century.

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Practically everyone who have admitted publicly Jesus Christ as a Creator of the World and a Son of God one hipostasys of the Holy Trinity God The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit, were captured put to prison and quickly executed, if they don't turn out from their christian beliefs.

Arians has taken a lead even more with the set on the throne of Emperor Constantius II the son of Constantine I-st, as he has also fallen in the Arianism* heresy and who has taken in the court as a close advisory Eusebius and Philip who due to their half-pagan half-arian half superstitious understanding of the world have led a fierce war against Christianity and did a lot of evils to Christ Church.

* Arianism – believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who was begotten by God the Father, and is distinct from the Father (therefore subordinate to him), but the Son is also God the Son but not co-eternal with God the Father. Arian theology was first attributed to Arius (c. AD 256–336), a Christian presbyter in Alexandria of Egypt.
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Until dethronment of Patriarch Paul I, St. Markianos and St. Martyrios have been a notaries of St. Paul (a typist to the patriarch and a kind of personal secretaries of the Patriarch) besides serving as Church reader and sub-deacon. They were famous for their time with their warm preaching of the Words of God – the Gospel of the Christ following the example of the apostles. Due to the raising heresies they also take an active part in writting many documents against the heretical "arians" and so called "macedonians" who teached anti-christian teachings who were newly invented and unknown to the ancient church teachings. They've had a special gift from God to be able to speak in a way to defend the faith so noone with his knowledge or high-education couldn't stand overcome them in disputes on church matters and many times they have disputed with Arian heretics exposing their fallacy (delusions) putting them to shame.

After the exile of Patriarch Paul heresy-archs arians turned their poisonous hatred against the patriarch two pupils Markianos and Martyrios. Craftly acting they acted slyly with a craftul lie and promised them a lot of gold a good place in the emperor's court, to raise them in the church hierarcy (in the part of the church which was already confessing arian heresy) and give them a lot of privileges from the king with the condition to accept, support and confess arianism.

But God's servents despised everythingfrom this world, rejected the offered golden gifts, preferred eternal Heavenly honors than short and vain worldly and even laughed at them.

As Arians saw nothing can't convince them to their malice teaching, heretics condemned them to death, which was desired by the confessors (which remembered well the exile and the manly martyrdom of their teacher St. Patriarch Paul) and with all their being desired to be with Christ in the Eternal prepared palaces, where life will be without end in never ending bliss as promised by Christ in the Holy Scriptures. They preferred Christ more than the temporary life enjoyments.

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When brought to the place of the execution of their false made accusement and sentence for being blasphemers of Christ, two saints asked for a small time
to pray. Brough up their eyes to the heaven and prayed with the words:

" – Oh Lord, who have unseenly created our hearts, who arrange all our deeds – "He formed the hearts of them all; he understands everything they do." (Psalm 33:15), receive with peace the souls of your servents, because we're mortified for your name – "Yet for Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." (Psalm 44:22). We're joyful that you give us such a death, we depart from this life because of your name. Let us to participate in the eternal life in You, the source and giver of life."

Praying with this words, they bowed their holy heads and under sword and was killed by beheading by the unfortunate arians because of their confession of the divinity of Christ as true uncreated Son of God who existed before all ages before the creation of the world as we Christians believe to this date.

Some of the Christians took their holy relics and buried them outside the Melandissia Gate of the Constantinople. Later Saint John of Chrysostom built a church in their name over the place of their miracle-working relics. There the sick for many ages received divine healings  of different incurable diseases by the prayers of the holy martyrs of God, Praised in Trinity in all ages.

By the prayers of your Holy Martyrs St. Markianos and Martyrios Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on us !

Saint Petka Paraskeva of Bulgaria of Epivates Thracia (famous as St. Petka of Tarnovo) feast day 14 October

Friday, October 16th, 2020

Reading Time: 9minutes


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The inhabitants of Thracia are of a great and royal origin and due to recent historical studies, Thracians have been one of the most developed nations for its time they're developments and achievements especially in crafts such as vessel creation even up to day are perhaps the most unique.
It is still unknown of the exact technology used to create such a elegant and precise vessels. A little is known of the Thracians society as they have reached their bloom in a high speed and the place of the later Roman Empire province Thracia has been in a place where it was destroyed to the ground and robbed at multiple times eradicating unique piece of one of the best created ever forms of art.
Territories of Thrakia has been geographically today located in Southeast Europe, now split among Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey, which is bounded by the Balkan Mountains to the north, the Aegean Sea to the south, and the Black Sea to the east.

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Territy of Thracia shown on a contemporary European (Balkans Maps)

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One of the most famous piece of such art is the World Famous Thracian's Treasuary.

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The thrakians Empire and civillization has its bloom from 5th – 4th century before Christ era (B.C.). 
Saint Petka of Epivates region Thrakia was of a Bulgarian origin and lived much later in Xth – XI-th century A.D in Thracia. It is known she was of Bulgarian origin (her mother and father was of Bulgarian origin.) of the first generations who has received in 9-th century Baptism, in the times of the Baptism of Bulgaria conducted by the Apostle equal Saint King Boris I the Baptizer of Bulgaria in year 864 AD.  Thracians as an ancient and a blessed nation in craftship and arts was among the nations who received baptism on a good 'soil', as the seed of beauty and goodness has already been in their civillization.
 

The short Living of Saint Petka of Bulgaria (of Epivates)


Out of this Christian atmosphere has rised Saint Petka also known as (Parashkeva). Saint Petka name means literally translated Friday and due to being born in Thracia on today territory of Balkans she is been venerated highly not only in Bulgaria but across all Orthodox Christians nations on the Balkans – Bulgarians, Romanians, Serbs, Greeks, Macedonians. Due to that Saint Petka is also famous as "Saint Petka of The Bulkans".
Saint Petka could be therefore heard to be called often Petka of Serbs (of Belgrade), Saint Petka of Moldova (of Iași), Mother Paraskeva / ParashkevaParascheva the New, Parascheva the Young, Ancient Greek: Ὁσία Παρασκευὴ ἡ Ἐπιβατινή, Greek: Οσία Παρασκευή η Επιβατινή ή Νέα, Romanian: Cuvioasa Parascheva, Bulgarian / Serbian : Света Петка / Sveta Petka or Петка Параскева / Petka Paraskeva, Paraskeva Pyatnitsa, Parascheva of Tirnovo).

The first information about her living is found in a local educated person (writter) which as of the time were too little and writter  in Greek in short. It did not follow the Church cannons and due to that by an order of Patriarch of Constantinople Nikolas IV Musalon of Constantinople deacon Vaslik has described in a more well systemized way her living, the Greek original unfortunately is now lost. At the time of writting her biography, she has been mostly popular in the realms of Byzantine Empire Thracia.

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The Bulgarian Empire during the reign of Ivan Asen II. Atlas of Dimitar Rizov year 1917

Since the time of King Ivan Asen II a new biogprahy of saint has been written in Bulgarian which included narration of the transfer of her holy relics to Medieval Capital of Bulgaria Tarnovo. However peak and the key towards the immerse veneration to St. Petka that is evident to this very date has played the biography written by last Bulgarian Patriarch also a saint – st. Euthymius of Tarnovo. in year 1385 AD short before the fall under Turkish Slavery of Bulgaria in y. 1393.

Saint Patriarch Eutymious was the last person who in 1393 has actively parcipated in the protection of the fortified Tarnovo and see with his eyes the fall down of the city (by treachery).

When asked by the terrified people 'To whom do you leave us holy father, when the Turkish were taking him away?' He replied heart tearingly 'To the Holy Trinity The Father, The Son and The Holy Trinity our God I leave you and to the most Blessed Mother of God Theotokos now and For Eternity !!!'

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Saint Patriarch Eutymius (Evtimij) blessing the people in Medieval Bulgarian city Tarnovo for a last time before the Turkish took him away for imprisonment
Picture source Pravoslavieto.com

St Euthymius of Tarnovo work is one of the most unique bibliographies and a precious piece of medieval literature it is innovative for its time and spectacular, emotion rich creation, who become famous far before the borders of Bulgaria in the whole Slavonic world of that time, especially in todays territory of ex soviet countries Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and even far Russia.

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Saint Patriarch Eutymious of Bulgaria
Picture source Pravoslavieto.com

The veneration of Saint Petka of Bulgaria as a protector of family and a warm prayerer for all those who venerate her in this country has slowly spread in the coming centuries by pupils of St. Euthymius of Tarnovo who according to some historians whose works came to us in the form of the a bit more standardized Church Slavonic used in the Eastern Orthodox Churches as a fruit of the works of St. Euthymus.

The Living of Saint Petka Parashkeva

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Saint Petka Parashkeva Picture source Pravoslavieto.com

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 Desertous and silent living you loved after Christ your groom, diligently you ran to and his good yoke you took in your younghood,
with the Sign of the Cross against the thought enemies you have manly armed, with fasting feats and prayer and with tear drops the coals of passions extinguished oh highly famed Paraskevo. And now in the Heavenly halls with the wise virgins you stay in front of Christ, pray for us who venerate your holy remembrance.

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Let us piusly sung our reverend  mother Saint Petka, because by living the corruptable in live, received the imperishable in eternity, becoming holy intercessor for all in trouble and exhausting from the evils of life. For the reason she received from God imperishable fame, glory and grace to be a wonder worker.

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NB ! St. Petka of Epivates has not to be confused with Saint Petka (from Inokia who lived in 303 AD venerated on 28 of October) or  St Petka the Roman (feast day 26 July).

St. Petka's  has been born in city of Epivates in Byzantium (today city called Selim Pasha nearby Odrin's Aegian City) in 10-th Century from a famous and respectful family, her father Nikita has been very rich landowner.

She lived in the second part of X-th century. According to hear living by Patriarch Eutymious, her smaller brother Eutymious who become a monk has been a Metropolitan of Maditos for 40 years and in year (989 – 996) died aged 81 and is shortly after canonized as saint, his younger sister St. Paraskeva passed away after him in the new 11-th century and is aged at least 85 in the time of passing in the city of Kallikrateia. 

The living continues that near the age of 10 year old she heard in a Christian temple a voice by Jesus Christ himself in resemblance to Saint Apostle Paul and said the Evangelical New Testamental words:
"Whoever wants to walk after me, let him deny himself, to take his cross and follow me !".

The unexpected vision convinced the young Paraskeva to immediately exchange her new clothes to a beggers to leave all her belongings to the poor and live a silent living similarto begger for a time in work and prayer, though she did not leave her parents home. On a few occasions all she had worked for has been distributed to the poor.

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Greek typical depiction of Saint Petka of Epivates

When her parents died, her brother as already a monk and Bishop. St. Petka leave her house and travelled to Constanople and received a nun tonsure and as a nun she lived for 5 years near the deserted Church of the "Protection of the Virgin Mary" in the capital suburb of Heraklia. She travelled to the Holy lands visiting Jerusalem and Church of Holy Sepulchre.
Following the example of the blessed famed Saint Mary of Egypt, she lived in Jordan's desert many years till eldership.

Feeling and foreseeing her death, she travelled back through Constantinople to city of Epivates. Settle near the Church "Holy Apostles", where after 2 years of living in deep prayer and fasting labours living in solitary in holiness passed away silently to Christ in heavenly life. Compassionate Christians immediately buried her body of the nun outside of the city walls as a foreigner. A shortly after numerous miracles started happening on her grave.

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Saint Petka Parashkeva Bulgarian Icon from Klisura Monastery located nearby Sofia Bulgaria

In 1230 King Ivan Asen II the most powerful South-eastern European ruler demanded from the the Knights of the Crusaders to submit him her holy relics who are found still in Tracian city Kaliakratea ruled at that time by the Holy Latin Empire. King Ivan Asen II together with the patriach Joachim the first receives her holy relics with honor and settles her incorruptabilities into the newly creates Church in honour of herself St. Petka behind Tsarevets Fortress. Saint Petka became from that point considered as a protectress of the city, the throne and the country.
Her holy relics arrived from Kallikrateia in Tarnovo, the Capital of Second Bulgarian Empire in year 1230 AD, she has been thus called Paraskeva of Tarnovo and has been venerated as a protectress of the Tarnovo city the Bulgarian nation and the country. The attitude towards Saint Petka Tarnovska as a protectress of Bulgarian nation and contry is been clearly seen by the mention in the Bulgarian and International acts (documents) and manuscripts of that XII – XII century.

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Romanian Monks and Priests venerate the holy relics of Saint Petka of Epivates in Iashi Romania

In subsequent years, St. Petka Paraskevi’s holy relics were transferred to various churches in the region.

In 1393 due to the fall of Bulgarian capital to save them her holy relics were transferred to fortress of Bdin today city of Vidin Bulgaria, but 3 years later 1396 Vidin's fortress also fall under the ungodly yatagan of  the muslim enslaver and to protect the relics they were again transferred to Belgrade, specifically the Ružica Church. When Belgrade fell to Ottoman forces in 1521, the relics were transferred to Constantinople. In 1641, the relics were transferred to Trei Ierarhi Monastery, in Iaşi, Moldavia (nowadays, eastern part of Romania). In 1888, they were transferred to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Iaşi.

Since 1888 they are kept in Romanian city of Iaşi and are a target of pilgrims from all around Romania, Bulgaria and other Orthodox Christian countries of the Balkans. For the day her memory is remembered in the Romanian Church usually about 200 000 people mostly from Romania and others travel to Iaşi's Cathedral in the Trei Ierarhi Monastery (Three Hierarchs – saint John Crysostom, St. Basilius the Great and St. Gregory the Great) of the  for a blessing and to beg the saint for her families, personal issues, curings especially of eye diseases

A severe drought in 1946-47 affected Moldavia, adding to the misery left by the war. Metropolitan Justinian Marina permitted the first procession featuring the coffin containing the relics of Saint Paraskevi, kept at Iaşi since then. The relics wended their way through the drought-deserted villages of Iaşi, Vaslui, Roman, Bacău, Putna, Neamţ, Baia and Botoşani Counties. The offerings collected on this occasion were distributed, based on Metropolitan Justinian's decisions, to orphans, widows, invalids, school cafeterias, churches under construction, and to monasteries in order to feed the sick, and old or feeble monks.

In the historical document with Venezia as of (year 1347), King Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria swears in the name of most holy considered matters, the document says – quote "in the name of God, The Most Holy Theotokos, The Holy Cross and The Most Holy Paraskeva of Tarnovo".

 
Since Second Bulgarian Kingdom, St. Petka has been venerated as a main patroness and protector of Bulgarian nation and country, protectress of countries of Moldova, Romania and Bulgarian cities of Veliko Tarnovo, Gabrovo and Troyan.

In Bulgaria it is an old tradition to name our childs in favour of Saint Petka, my grand-grand mother God Forgive us has also been called Parashkeva in favor of Saint Petka.

Holy Mother Petka Paraskeva (Parashkevo) Pray the Lord Jesus Christ to have mercy on All us the sinners !

8 October year 927 the feast of Bulgarian Orthodox Church become autocephalous independent from Constantinople

Monday, October 12th, 2020

Reading Time: 8minutes

On 8 of October 927 the Bulgarian Orthodox Church has become autocephalous, this historical event is quite memorable for me as it happens to be almo  my birthday.
Thus I found it worthy to write few raw lines on the feast. This post will probably will not be of interest to any serious historian but still might be interesting for people keen on history.

The requirement of Church organization on the Bulgarian lands that is indepedent from the center of Christianity as of then Constantinople has existed with the Glorious and World changing event of receiving Holy Baptism of the Ruler of Bulgaria Saint King Boris-Mikhail in year 864 from Constaniple's Emperor Mikhail III who ruled Byzantine Empire from year (842 – 867).
 

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The event for the history of the Civilillized world and the Christian history wordwide is only comparable to the act of saint emperor Constantine's Milano Edict  The Edict of Milan (LatinEdictum Mediolanense, Greek: Διάταγμα των ΜεδιολάνωνDiatagma tōn Mediolanōn) was the February AD 313 agreement to treat Christians benevolently within the Roman Empire. Which opened the doors for Christianity to not only be equal religion within the empire but even to become official religion for the Eastern Roman (Byzantine empire).

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Assembly of Synod of Holy Fathers

The Milano's edict is today little known both in Eastern and Western world as people have more interest for money and business than to truth, virtues and history, so I find it useful to share with readers this forgotten history …

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Saint Emperor Constantine

Western Roman Emperor (and later canonized for Saint) Constantine I and Emperor Licinius, who controlled the Balkans, met in Mediolanum (modern-day Milan) and, among other things, agreed to change policies towards Christians following the Edict of Toleration issued by Emperor Galerius two years earlier in Serdica (today the city of Sofia Bulgaria).
The document is found in Lactantius' De Mortibus Persecutorum and in Eusebius of Caesarea's History of the Church.

It was already a set path for Europe to become Christian and the majority of people and missionaries all through europe has spread the Good words of the Lord Jesus Christ throgh the European lands. Many missionaries both in Greece and the Balkans as well as the far lands of Kiev and North has been preaching for the coming centuries. Christianity has become already official religion for big part of the civillized (non-barbarian) world such as the Hellenes, France, Germany, Hungary,Romania, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia etc.. Monastic life has been also well established all through europe and many missionaries has come from the far deserts of Egypt to baptize and teach Christianity in the West in Ireland, England and even the Netherlands in the 7th century. Rome as a Christian center of the Western Empire even though the hardships has established and in the rule of Charlemagne has seriously expanded Christianity in the west.

The largest unbaptized lands with a paganism at that time seems to be few tribes such as the Vikings, the Gotts, The Traks and perhaps the Slavs. The biggest part of which seems to be the Slavs who has been settled in a large parts of Balkans Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia as well as Croatia, Chech, Poland and even in far Moscow.

This people has been following a peaceful paganism and has been still unenlightened. Thanks to Saint Cyril and Methodius and 7 pupils Saint Gorazd, saint Naum, saint Sava, saint Angelarius and Saint Clement of Ohrid (known as Ohridski) tireless work for Christ to translate the Holy Bible in the so called Church-Slavonic which in practice is a form of Ancient Bulgarian (in Glagolitic Script – Glagolica) which was mainly used before saint Clement Ohridski and other pupils of Saint Methodius such as the medieval famous author of many early Christian books Constantine of Preslav who worked in the Preslav Scriptorium and Christian school.
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Constantine of Preslav

Saint King Boris-Mikhail  in that time took the right decision to baptize his large for that time lands populated by Bulgarians and Slavs under his rule and enlighten them with the Gospel and faith in the Jesus Christ and the true God the Holy Trinity (the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit).

It took him quite a long to decide whether to baptize his country citizens with the faith from the Western Empire (The Latins) or the Eastern Empire (the Byzantines) who at that time has been in process of creating and establishing the Great Church Schism from year 1054, and due to that he led a corresponce to both Byzantine empire as well as pope Nicolas I. 

One of the questions asked to both the The Pope and the Byzantine emperor has been about his desire of the Bulgarian Church to be an independent Church with independent head and ruleship that is able to take an independent decisions for its destiny. He wanted that as he was understanding the importance for the Cultarial freedom of Bulgaria from Helinism or the Latins. As he found that the Pope can't offer him too much and considering the closeness of the Byzantine empire to his lands as well seeing the Eastern Christianity to be more indepth and filled with beauty he has baptized from Byzantia and has received a Byzantian archibishop.
In the beginning the church services and the preach in Bulgaria has been in Greek and due to the common Bulgarian and Slavs couldn't understand Christianity. Thanks to the Holy Brothers Cyril and Methodius and the acceptance of their pupils by saint King Boris slowly in Preslav and Pliska in 9th 10th century and Ohrid in middle of 10th – 11th century a Spiritual Schools and Scriptoriums has been established which allowed a few years later gradually to have for Bulgaria the Holy Gospel and Church services to be served in the Bulgarian language (in the better understood by both Bulgariand and Slavs cyrllic).

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The baptism of Bulgarians Ioan Skilica (John Skilica)

Saint King Boris-Mikhail completed his earthly life as a humble Monk in the last years of his life, he has put on the throne Vladimir Rasate who tried to bring back paganism and faith in Tangra after his death. When heard about the evilness of his first born son and the hostility to Christianity and his plans to overrule the work of his father Saint King Boris is famous for getting out of the Monastery fighting again his son and with a Miracle about which is written even to the Pope to have win with his weaker supporter army against Vladimir-Rasate. He has blinded his son and put on the throne his second Son, King Simeon who has been officially later recognized by Romans and Byzantines the title usually only given to Byzantine Emperors  – Basileus of Bulgarians (Emperor of Bulgarians).

On the summoned in year 893 Council of Preslav together with the enthronization of King Simeon as a Bulgarian Ruler it was taken as a decision to change the Greek language in the Church with the Old Bulgarian (liked to be called in Russian sources as Church Slavonic). During his governship King Simeon (893 – 927) has gradually changed the Greek higher clergy with a Bulgarian and Created the Bulgarian Exarchate.

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Veliki Preslav Fortress 

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The Golden Church Saint John also known as the Round Church built by Simeon I the Great in Preslav built in 907, aiming to show the
high importance of the new established Bulgarian Church – Known to have been one of most beautiful Churches in Europe

During the rulership of Simeon's (second son) successor saint King Peter I (927 – 970 ) rise on throne, thanks to his wise politics and a lot of efforts to increase the prestige and spirituality in the Church following the path of his father. The Bulgarian Church has been recognized officially by the byzantine Emperor as an independent Church with a Mother Church the Church of Constantinople (today governed by the Ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew).

During the diplomatic negotiations between the King and the ruler of Byzantines Roman Lakapin  in year 927, the emperor has re-ratified the earlier disputed
as well the Church canonical uplifting ordination  of the head of Bulgarian Church the exarch to be a Patriarch of Bulgaria.

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Byzantines has always questioned the title of "Basileus of Bulgarians" with which King Simeon I the Great used to sign his documents, as Basileus was believed to be only supremacy title of the Byzantine emperor. The proud Byzantines did not wanted to accept another new-born Nation with less than 3 centuries of history could be their rivalry neither political nor spiritual and morever to be on the same importance in the known World with authority of the Eastern Emperor.

The archives of Vatican keeps a copies of the decision of the emperor's synclitis (meeting) for the recognition of the Bulgarian Patriarchy officially on 8th of October.
For a First Bulgarian Patriach was selected Patriach Damian (Drystyr) nowadays the city of Silistra with a patriachal seat in medieval city of Veliki Preslav (Great Preslav). Soon after the Patrairchal seat was moved to Silistra.

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Saint Ahil Church (Bulgarian Patriarchy) main seat in Prespa

The Eparchy of Dorostol has been existing even to this day, even though the exarchs and patriachal seat and patriachs through the centuries has been concentrated in the mother patriarchal city for our Church Preslav and in Ohrid as well as later for II centuries in city of Turnovo until 1393 when in city of Tarnovo (Trnovo) Fall raided by the Ottoman Turkish invaders. 
During the Ottoman's slavery of Bulgaria it has ceased to exist and has been reduced by the Turkish mostly under the influence of Patriarch of Constantinople to Archibishopship center in Ohrid.

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The Patriarchal Church Ascension of Christ in Carevetz (The city of Kings) Hill Turnovo

After the Liberation of Bulgarian in the Russian-Turkish Bulgarian liberation war (1877 – 1878) in which Bulgaria has been liberated. The Bulgarian Church has been an Exarchy for a while in a dark period when the Bulgarian Church was recognized by the Phanariots (The Greeks). The Schism put over the Bulgarian Church was removed in 22 February 1945 y., few weeks after the enthronement of Patriarch Stephan I of Bulgaria. Unfortunately the next years coincided with the dark years of the imposed totalitarian regime of the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP), which led to active persecution of the Church, the humilation and torture of priest and Church leaders and martyrdom of many clergymen and people who were against the unhuman kind of the new power that take over.

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One of those many martyrs for Christ is a supposedly a saint Boris Razumov of Nevrokop who was killed by a order of communists by an orthodox priest to his own eparchy who has joined the party by the order of the BCP.

 

June 29 the Feast of The Glorious and First among Apostles Peter and Paul in the Church and What were the names of The twelve Apostles

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

Reading Time: 8minutes

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Saint Apostle Peter and Paul are the most glorious of all Christ desciples thanks to whom by God's mercy and Grace the nations have received the good news of the Lord Jesus's Christ Crucifix for the sins of all us the sinful people whose evils and unthankfullness is on the way to reach its climax in this days of apostacy where the Church built on top of the Holy Martyrs blood and the Blood and tortures for Christ and the Truth of this two holy man is in one of its biggest temptetation caused by the Coronavirus hysteria exeggerated by the mass-media and purposing to mark a slavery upon human mind and took away the freedoms of man and change the life as we know it.

The Holy Apostles day is the End of the post-Pentecostal fasting which is in the Church from the ancient days of the Church. Rhe date selected being the anniversary of either their death or the translation of their relics.

Fasting is among the 4 main fasts in the One Holy Orthodox Church and the feast in the number of the biggest feasts of the Church. If one reads the historical records for all the places this two simple man was to preach the Gospel he is puzzled and couldn't comprehend how could it be for a simple Roman and a Fisherman to be able to walk through so many lands by boats, ships, through rivers, by carrets, on horses, donkeys, axes, elephants and God knows what kind of other animals typical for the multiple countries and lands this two most holy man has visit. 
It is even more amazing that their frutis of faith planted in the nations are still present today in so many Christians through the world …

The saint Peter and Paul fasting has been set for the reason the Apostles, have fasted immediately after Pentecost the descent of the Holy spirit over The desciples of Christ on the 50th day after the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The feast has been setup because the Apostles immerse joy of the Holy Spirit who filled their heart spirits, soul and body made them understood how much dirty and how much in sin they and all the humanity is and how much cleanness is necessery in order for them to start their hard mission of spreading the fact of the Resurrection they have witnessed with their own eyes. A small bracket to open here that Saint Paul never had the  chance to see in Body the Savior just like Saint Paul and the rest of the Apostles, but he was illuminated by The Lord Jesus Christ's appearance to him on the road of the mask when he was on a journey to hunt for christians and put them to court and to death.

Saint Paul was so fierce (by his zillotism) for the Old Testamental Jewish pharisee faith who was based on human interpretation of God's laws, that he was even physically present on the Killing of Saint Archideacon Stephan.
Saint Paul was the one holding the dresses of the Killers of the first Christian martyr St. Stephan thinking that this devilish deed was truthful and pleasant to God. 
But God loved Saint Paul for his Zilotism and his heart aiming to know the Truth and because of that on the Road to Damascus appeared, blinding him from the unbearable light that was emitted by the Lord Jesus Christ who has answered the simple prayer of St. Paul who was honestly looking for the truth. On the Question Saint Paul asked the Unknown bright man who appeared in Glory and surrounded by Angels and Archangels he asked "Who are you Lord"? The reply came, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting'." Acts of the Holy Apostles 9:4-5.

This moment changed Paul forever to make him from a fierce persecutor to a truthful desciple. However as it is said in the Holy Scriptures noone who sees the Lord can't stay alive in the Flesh and perhaps due to that the appearance of Christ left St. Paul to be blind for 3 days until God sent Ananias to heal his eyes by the ordination of Hands in the name of Jesus Christ – again a miracle of God aiming to strengthen the weakness of Faith of Saint Paul and stimulate him to continue on the way of Salvation. Even after the healing of his eyes, later in his eyes by God's providence the eyesight of Paul become weak again and he had to dictate his Apostle letters in the New Testament to his desciples who put it on paper and quite rarely write with his own hand due to his visionary problems. But apperantly the weak physical eye sight doesn't always mean a blindness as with his spiritual eyes the holy apostle was seeing much more than with his physical eyes and one weakness of seeing the physical let him contemplate the eternal.

It is little known fact that saint Paul among with his preaching the Gospel everywhere he went had a profession of making Tents and has worked hardly along with praying day and night, and the sleepless nights of vigil, the tortures by different anti-christians, jews, pagans, philosophers, magicians and others multitude of people who led by his spiritual blindness and passions has done multiple evils and tried in all means to stop Paul to preach the Gospel. But they did not succeeded and we see today the Result as there is rarely a man in the civillized world in all continents who doesn't heard or know about him 20-teen centuries after his martyrdom in the Capital of Roman Empire Rome.

saint-Paul-and-Peter-holy-icon

Saint Peter on the other hand was known for his simplicity and he like all of us was suffering of sickness of weakness of faith, he even rejected to know Christ thrice on the Christ trial, even though he was with Christ for the 3.5 years of Christ's preaching his Salvation Way to the world. But again just like with Paul, God made the miracle of preliminary foretelling him the future, warning him that he is about to reject Christ as his teacher a fact that occured just like prophecised by Christ earlier. Saint Peter seeing that The Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God knows the future believed him and recover his trust in the Resurrection and with repentance came to believe and await the Resurrection of Christ which by the mercy of God he soon saw with his own eys. Soon after this mercy of God and his preparation with the Eyes of Christ and his desires to follow the will of God for his life led him to completely sacrifice all he had in his remaining earthly life for Christ. Saint Peter "Simon" (Σίμων Simōn in Greek), means stone and he is called that way for the fact he become a stone on which the Church of Christ was build and this stone is present their in the Church and everyone in both Christians and not Christians knows him well.

Saint-Apostle-Paul-and-Peter-embrace

 

In a dialogue between Jesus and his disciples (Matthew 16:13–19), Jesus asks, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" The disciples give various answers. When he asks "Who do you say that I am?", Simon Peter answers, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Jesus then declares:

Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Cephas (Peter) (Petros), and on this rock (petra) I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

Saint Peter is known to have been in Antioch and Corinth and many other lands and is believed to have been the First PopSaint-Apostle-Paul-and-Peter-embrace.jpge of Rome.

Saint-Apostle-Peter-Crucifix-with-head-downed-cross-as-he-said-he-is-unworthy-to-die-as-the-saviour

Early Church tradition says that Peter probably died by crucifixion (with arms outstretched) at the time of the Great Fire of Rome in the year 64. This took place three months after the disastrous fire that destroyed Rome for which the emperor (Nero) wished to blame the Christians. This "dies imperii" (regnal day anniversary) was an important one, exactly ten years after Nero ascended to the throne, and it was "as usual" accompanied by much bloodshed. Traditionally, Roman authorities sentenced him to death by crucifixion. In accordance with the apocryphal Acts of Peter, he was crucified head down. Tradition also locates his burial place where the Basilica of Saint Peter was later built, directly beneath the Basilica's high altar.

On the next day 30th of June the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and some of the other Eastern Orthodox Churches celebrate another great feast The Assembly of the 12 Apostles which honors all the 12 Apostles who were the main building blocks whose preach and martyrdom for Christ put the second stones on the Building of the Church which was based on the main base cornerstone Jesus Christ whom with his holy blood for the Salvation of mankind made the existence of the Ship of Salvation (as the holy fathers) call the Church posslble.

Feast-of-The-Assembly-of-the-Holy-Apostles-and-St-Peter-and-Paul

Below are the Church Troparions and Kontaktions (Praising songs in the Church sang in Holy Liturgy) on 29 of June that every year marks Feast of the Glorious Apostles who enlightened the Universe, I put the songs in Both English and in Cyrillic translated out of Old Bulgarian (Church Slavonic).

Here are the names of the 12 Apostles as we know them by Church Tradition

The 12 disciples of Lord Jesus Christ

1. Peter
2. James
3. John
4. Andrew
5. Bartholomew or Nathanael
6. James, the Lesser or Younger
7. Judas
8. Jude or Thaddeus
9. Matthew or Levi
10. Philip
11. Simon the Zealot
12 . Thomas

 

Troparion — Tone 4

O first-enthroned of the Apostles, / and teachers of the universe, / intercede with the Master of all / to grant peace to the world, / and to our souls great mercy.

Kontakion — Tone 2

O Lord, You have taken to Yourself the steadfast and divinely-inspired heralds, the leaders of Your disciples, / for the enjoyment of Your blessings for and their rest; / for You have accepted their labors and their deaths as above all burnt offerings, / for You alone know the hearts of men.

Kontakion — Tone 2

Today Christ the Rock glorifies with highest honor / the rock of Faith and leader of the Apostles, / together with Paul and the company of the Twelve, / whose memory we celebrate with eagerness of faith, / glorifying Him Who glorified them.

ТРОПАРЬ, ГЛАС 4-Й

Апостолов первопрестольницы и вселенныя учителие, Владыку всех молите мир вселенный даровати и душам нашым велию милость.

Первенствующие из апостолов и Вселенской Церкви учителя, Владыку всех молите мир миру даровать и душам нашим великую милость.

КОНДАК, ГЛАС 2-Й

Твердыя и боговещанныя проповедатели, верх апостолов твоих, Господи, приял еси, в наслаждение благих Твоих и покой: болезни бо онех и смерть приял еси, паче всякаго всеплодия, Едине сведый сердечная.

Непоколебимых и богогласных проповедников, высших из Апостолов Твоих, Господи, Ты принял в наслаждение благ Твоих и покой, ибо страдания их и смерть благоволил принять как жертву, выше всякой жертвы, Единый, ведающий сердца наши.

ВЕЛИЧАНИЕ

Величаем вас, апостоли Христовы Петре и Павле, весь мир ученьми своими просветившия и вся концы ко Христу приведшия.

Прославляем вас, апостолы Христовы Петр и Павел, весь мир своим учением просветивших и приведших ко Христу народы всей земли.

Let by the Prayers of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul and the Apostle James, John, Andrew, Bartholomew (Nathnael), James (the lesser or Younger), Judas, Jude (Thaddeus), Mathew (Levi), Philip, Simon Zealot and Thomas God have mercy on all Christians in our age and the ages to come till the Second Glorious Coming of Christ and in the Frightening Judgement day.

Crossing the Finger (Crossed Fingers) – A good luck sign with Early Christian origin and deep symbology

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Reading Time: 3minutes

 

 

Why we cross the fingers good luck sign evokes Christ blessing and depicts cross with hand fingers

 

 

I had a small Skype chat today with my dear Indian friend of mine Happy. She is now in situation with uncertain outcome, where the Indian government has to approve her mother's application for Visa. As being uncertain she used the classical English saying: "fingers crossed – i cross the fingers". I was curious about the origin of Crossing the Fingers and thought for a second over how Cross-ing the fingers originated and how it visually looks like. It depicts a a X cross shape, also interestingly the X is the first letter of the Greek and Slavonic IC XC depicted on each and every icon of our Savior Jesus Christ. XC – stands forΧριστός (in Greek) and
XP-christ-church-slavonic

 in Slavonic, thus obviously crossing the fingers depicts also first letter ofΧριστός – Christ  – Messiah (savior of the World). Having the insight I hurried to explain Happy, why I think people used to be crossing fingers when in situation with uncertain outcome.

Just out of curiosity I searched for Crossed_fingers and found it good explained in Wikipedia. After all, my assumption turned right, crossing the fingers is made not just out of old superstitious as many might thought, It was made on purpose by early times Christians. Crossing the fingers is an external expression of the Internal faith,hope,loveand unceasing prayer that early Christians possessed.

Crossing the fingers was very popular in times, when Christians use it as a sign to recognize each other in times of persecution. The reason for crossing the fingers is that it resembles the Sign of the Cross. It is believed even  to this day in the One Holy Apostolic Church the Orthodox Church the sign of the Cross when being made invokes over one the protection and blessing of Christ. Sign of the Cross is being done in prayer in the Church in times of trouble in difficult life time events and when evil is faced. The crossed finger sign was also used as a secret way for Christians to tell each other to assemble for prayer and holy liturgy worship service. There is even symbolism in why people cross fingers with exactly those two fingers with which the gesture is done. In very ancient Church times Christians used to make the sign of the cross over their body using two fingers and not three.

Icon of Saint Paul from Ephesus 4-th century preparing to make the sign of the cross

4th-century icon of St. Paul the Apostle from Ephesus – Wall Painting

The sign of the cross when being depicted on one's body was done with the exact two fingers with which the crossed finger gesture is completed.

crossed fingers sign of the cross resembles the salvation of mankind through the Lord Jesus Christ's crucifix

Today crossing the fingers is a popular "good luck" invocation automatic reaction, most people who do it as not being realized Christian don't know why they do it they just believe it will be a magical mantra like which will give them good outcome of problem or difficult situation. It is little sad that we the modern people who think we know a lot and are smart or educated, didn't know even the basics of what made us the nations we're which in the biggest part was Christian faith kept by our ancestors for centuries.

Christ is Risen Eastern Orthodox Resurrection Paschal Greeting in Different Languages

Friday, April 24th, 2020

Reading Time: 10minutes

Resurrection-of-Christ-holy-orthodox-icon-Voskresenie-Hristovo

Happy Easter to All Orthodox Christians worldwide ! 
We are the the bright week –  this is the week after The Feast of Feasts Resurrection of Christ. This year in 2020, we Orthodox Christians celebrated this feast on 19th, 20th and 21st of April. The celebrations of the Feast of Christians and the Paschal joy continues for the whole week, so I found some time to quickly blog to share the Joy of the Resurrection of the Savior Jesus Christ who has freed all People from the Fear of the Death by Manifestating Death has been overtaken by Life Eternally.
Earlier years, I've blogged shortly on the Christ is risen in many languages. But this time I decided to extend my previous blog by adding some more details on which are the Member Churches consisting the Christ body of Holy Orthodoxy, What is the Creed of Faith (Symbol of Faith) difference Between Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics and why we're not catholics and do celebrate Easter on a different date from Roman Catholics. Finally I will post the Paschal Greeting translated to as many languages I could find.

In the Eastern Orthodox Christian world which is the True Church of Christ consists of 15 National Churches each traced back to the Holy Apostles of Christ, each of Churches is in eucharistic Communion with the other. 

Canonical Orthodox Christ Churches as of year 2020 are the following:

1. Orthodox Church of Constantinople
2. Orthodox Church of Alexandria
3. Orthodox Church of Antiochia
4. Jerusalem Patriarchal Orthodox Church
5. Bulgarian Orthodox Church
6. Georgian Orthodox Church
7. Serbian Orthodox Church
8. Russian Orthodox Church
9. Romanian Orthodox Church
10. Orthodox Church of Cyprus (archibishopship)
11. Greek Orthodox Church
12. Albanian Orthodox Church
13. Polish Orthodox Church
14. Orthodox Church of Chech Lands and Slovakia
15. American Orthodox Church


Historically Christ Church was one before the Great Schism that was perhaps the greatest tragedy of mankind after Christ's Crucifix it occured in 1054 A.D. About this saddening events, the manuscripts and contemporary saints says with this terrible event, the whole world shaked its basis. The result of the Bulla brought by Pope's messangers in Hagia Sophia Cathedral in Constantinople in the Holy Alter of the Church putting in document of official schism and the Church of the east condeming the Western Church Cuhrch action headed by the pope due to the false Creed of faith inclusion legallized by the pope with the so called 'Filioque' word formula that changed the original agreement of Church fathers decisions on the First Ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D. (which by the way puts Anathemas on anyone who dares to change the Creed of Faith as well change by the Popes in the well known ancient Baptism Formulas like oilment (receving the sign of the holy spirit during baptism).

The historical number of Orthodox Churche dioceses were much more numerous but with the time and the hardships this are the only ones that left as official Churches, many dioceses were destroyed by the Muslims Conquests and Roman Catholics orders like the Jesuits whose fight against orthodoxy has been severe in their attempt to make the whole world to turn to the pope, this is very well known by the many remains of Uniates around Europe, especially in nowadays Ukraine. There is a lot of nations like Chechz and Hungarians whose for many centuries confessed orthodoxy but due to the economic relations with the West and the converion of their rulers (princes / Kings) etc. to Roman Catholicism has gradually converted their Eastern Churches to Roman Catholics.

The origional Nicean Creed (Nicea-Constantinople) creed of faith reads as this:

Nicean Creed of Faith ( Agreed on 381 Anno Dommini in Emperor Constantine City of Byzantine Empire Constantinople)

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds (æons), Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;

by whom all things were made;

who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary, and was made man;

he was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried, and the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father;

from thence he shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead. ;

whose kingdom shall have no end.

* And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spake by the prophets.

In one Holy Catholic and apostolic Church; we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Western Church head Bishop the Pope and local priests due to some historical regions of Spain and other parts of Western Europe's aim to fight heresies included the word Latin word Filioque in above translated text (Word which is translated as "And from the Son") in above starred line 'And in te Holy Ghost, The Lord Giver of Life who proceedeth from the Father' become 'And in the Holy Ghost, The Lord Giver of Life who proceedeth from the Father (Filioque) = and from the Son.' this was acceptable for the Eastern Churches until the moment when this Confession of Faith has been legalized for the Whole Western Church with a decree so called pope 'Bulla' with which it become the official confession of faith for the whole Catholic Church. The Eastern Church of course was following the accepted Canon rules from the first Ecumenical Council in 381 A.D. and rejected to accept the definition of the Pope at first in the Face of Saint Patriarch Photios I of Constantinople (year 810 –  893) and become official in 1054 by the rule of Pope Leo whose legates tried to claim Headship of the Pope over the whole Church and questioned the title of the Constantinople Ecumenical Patriarch Michael I Cerularius.
Along with the chages of the Creed of Faith the West, the years during centuries VII and IX centuries has already put a lot of differences in the East and West Church along doctrinal, theological, linguistic, political, and geographical lines so the split was a reflection of all this. The Latin Church was much more power hungry and more progressive for its time and authoritarian, trying to combine the Worldly power with the Spiritual one given by the line of Apostoles from Christ Ceasaris-Papism, where the Eastern Church was governed in the ancient model of the Worldly power in face of Eastern Roman empire Emperor and the Patriarch who was a governor of the Spiritual power. The schism was worsened also by the many Latins raids in the Eastern Empire Christian brothers and the sacking of Constantinople in 8-13 April year 1204. Of course both Wester and Eastern Roman Empire had an appetite for a conquest over the other and often this has lead the secular rulers on both sides to try to manipulate activities of the spiritual leaders of both to work for their interests, but the schism would never occur if the spiritual establishment of the Church which are the Holy Canons (decision of the Ecumenical Councils) were not breached by the Western Church.
One of this breaches of the Ancient canons is the Celebration of Eastern Pascha which says the Christian Pascha should never coincide with Jewish Pascha. However in the Western Church this rule was breached and nowadays The Eastern (The Day of the Resurrection of Christ) in the Roman Catholic Church (Western Church) coincides most of the years with Jewish Pascha (both Roman Catholics and the executors of Christ who never accepted him the Jews celebrate together … a sad fact).

Nowadays most of the Ancient Churches of the East together with the Eastern Orthodox Churches, who are confessing the Faith of Christ such as it was handed by the Saint Fathers has a very specific ancient way of confession of faith similar to the Creed of Faith which was a very common short ancient way to confess the faith when two Christians met it is perhaps originating from the times of the Heresies in the 1st century right after the Christ Crucifix, when the pupil of Christ used it to confirm the Glorious and unexplainable Miracle of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the Death in Real Body in the 3rd day from the Grave in the Cave where his body was buried.

Resurrection-of-Christ-Anastasis-Greek-orthodox-icon

The Greeting Formula is the well known in the Eastern Orthodox Churches such as in Bulgaria / Greece / Russia / Serbia etc. Christ is Risen.
On every easter Almost everyone in the Orthodox Christian Countires greats everyone else both in homes on the street at work or anywhere relatives friends and even unfamiliar people who has to do business deeds with the immersely joyful greeting.

ХРИСТОС ВОСКРЕСЕ / CHRIST IS RISEN !!!!! !!!

Then the greeted Person answers back

ВОЙСТИНУ ВОСКРЕСЕ / TRULY HE IS RISEN (INDEED HE IS RISEN) !!!!!!!!

In the Orthodox Churches, believers do greet themselves with this heartful joyful greeting for the whole 40 days after the Feast of Resurrection of Christ.

In Russia, Ukrain, Belarus and the surrounding Slavonic lands there is this tradition that the greeting is repeated 3 times as an interaction between person A and person B, for example.

Person A (3 times) greets:
ХРИСТОС ВОСКРЕСЕ = CHRIST IS RISEN !!!
Person B (3 times) answers:
ВОЙСТИНУ ВОСКРЕСЕ = TRULY HE IS RISEN !!!

Resurrection-of-Christ-Velikden-orthodox-holy-icon

Below is a good list with Paschal Resurrection Greeting in multiple languages, for those who has curious polyglot minds who want to learn few words in different languages.

Indo-European languages

Greek: Χριστὸς ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη! (Khristós anésti! Alithós anésti!)

Voskresenie-Gospoda-Nashego-Iisusa-Hrista-Mosaic

Slavic languages

Church Slavonic: Хрїсто́съ воскре́се! Вои́стинꙋ воскре́се! (Xristósŭ voskrése! Voístinu voskrése!)

Belarusian: Хрыстос уваскрос! Сапраўды ўваскрос! (Chrystos uvaskros! Sapraŭdy ŭvaskros!)

Bulgarian: Христос воскресе! Воистину воскресе! (Khristos voskrese! Voistinu voskrese!), as if in Church Slavonic; Христос възкресе! Наистина възкресе! (Khristos vâzkrese! Naistina vâzkrese!) in Modern Bulgarian

Croatian: Krist uskrsnu! Uistinu uskrsnu!

: Kristus vstal z mrtvých! Vpravdě vstal z mrtvých!

Macedonian: Христос воскресе! Навистина воскресе! (Hristos voskrese! Navistina voskrese!), traditional; or Христос воскресна! Навистина воскресна! (Hristos voskresna! Navistina voskresna!)

Polish: Chrystus zmartwychwstał! Prawdziwie zmartwychwstał!

Russian: Христос воскрес(-е)! Воистину воскрес(-е)! (Khristos voskres(-е)! Voistinu voskres(-е)!) (the version with -e is in Church Slavonic, one without it is in modern Russian; both are widely used)

Rusyn: Хрістос воскрес! Воістину воскрес! (Hristos voskres! Voistynu voskres!)

Serbian: Христос васкрсе! Ваистину васкрсе! (Hristos vaskrse! Vaistinu vaskrse!) or Христос воскресе! Ваистину воскресе! (Hristos voskrese! Vaistinu voskrese!)

Slovak: Kristus vstal z mŕtvych! Skutočne vstal (z mŕtvych)! (though the Church Slavonic version is more often used)

Slovene: Kristus je vstal! Zares je vstal!

Ukrainian: Христос воскрес! Воістину воскрес! (Khrystos voskres! Voistynu voskres!)

Tosk Albanian: Krishti u ngjall! Vërtet u ngjall!

Armenian

Western Armenian: Քրիստոս յարեա՜ւ ի մեռելոց: Օրհնեա՜լ է Յարութիւնն Քրիստոսի: (Krisdos haryav i merelotz! Orhnyal e Haroutyunen Krisdosi!)

eastern dialect, Քրիստոս հարյա՜վ ի մեռելոց: Օրհնյա՜լ է Հարությունը Քրիստոսի: (Khristos haryav i merelotz! Orhnyal e Harouthyoune Khristosi!); literally "Christ is risen! Blessed is the resurrection of Christ!")
 

Christus-Resurrexit-Latin-icon-Christ_Resurrection

 

Germanic languages

 

Anglic languages

Scots: Christ has ryssyn! Hech aye, he his ain sel!

English: Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Or Christ is risen! Truly, he is risen!

Old English: Crist is ārisen! Hē is sōþlīċe ārisen!

Middle English: Crist is arisen! Arisen he sothe!

Danish: Kristus er opstanden! Sandelig Han er Opstanden!

West Frisian: Kristus is opstien! Wis is er opstien!

German: Christus ist auferstanden! Er ist wahrhaft auferstanden! or Der Herr ist auferstanden! Er ist wahrhaftig auferstanden!

Icelandic: Kristur er upprisinn! Hann er sannarlega upprisinn!

Faroese: Kristus er upprisin! Hann er sanniliga upprisin!

Low Franconian languages

Dutch: Christus is opgestaan! Hij is waarlijk opgestaan! (Netherlands) or Christus is verrezen! Hij is waarlijk verrezen! (Belgium)

Afrikaans: Christus het opgestaan! Hy het waarlik opgestaan!

Norwegian

Bokmål: Kristus er oppstanden! Han er sannelig oppstanden!

Nynorsk: Kristus er oppstaden! Han er sanneleg oppstaden!

Swedish: Kristus är uppstånden! Han är sannerligen uppstånden!

Italic languages

Latin: Christus resurrexit! Resurrexit vere!

Romance languages

Aromanian: Hristolu anyie! Di alihea anyie!

Resurrection-of-Christ-Coptic-christian-icon

Catalan: Crist ha ressuscitat! Veritablement ha ressuscitat!

French: Le Christ est ressuscité ! En vérité il est ressuscité! Or Le Christ est ressuscité ! Vraiment il est ressuscité !

Galician: Cristo resucitou! De verdade resucitou!

Italian: Cristo è risorto! È veramente risorto!

Portuguese: Cristo ressuscitou! Em verdade ressuscitou! or Cristo ressuscitou! Ressuscitou verdadeiramente!

Arpitan: Lo Crist es ressuscitat! En veritat es ressuscitat!

Romanian: Hristos a înviat! Adevărat a înviat!

Romansh: Cristo es rinaschieu! In varded, el es rinaschieu!

Sardinian: Cristu est resuscitadu! Aberu est resuscitadu!

Sicilian: Cristu arrivisciutu esti! Pibbiru arrivisciutu esti!

Spanish: ¡Cristo resucitó! ¡En verdad resucitó!

Walloon: Li Crist a raviké! Il a raviké podbon!

Baltic languages

Latvian: Kristus (ir) augšāmcēlies! Patiesi (viņš ir) augšāmcēlies!

Lithuanian: Kristus prisikėlė! Tikrai prisikėlė!
 

Celtic languages

Goidelic languages

Old Irish: Asréracht Críst! Asréracht Hé-som co dearb!

Irish: Tá Críost éirithe! Go deimhin, tá sé éirithe!

Manx: Taw Creest Ereen! Taw Shay Ereen Guhdyne!

Scottish Gaelic: Tha Crìosd air èiridh! Gu dearbh, tha e air èiridh!

 

Brythonic languages

 

Breton:Dassoret eo Krist! E wirionez dassoret eo!

Cornish: Thew Creest dassorez! En weer thewa dassorez!

Welsh: Atgyfododd Crist! Yn wir atgyfododd!

Indo-Iranian languages

Ossetian:Чырысти райгас! Æцæгæй райгас! Or бæлвырд райгас! (Ḱyrysti rajgas! Æcægæj rajgas or bælvyrd rajgas!)

Persian: مسیح برخاسته است! به راستی برخاسته است!‎ (Masih barkhaste ast! Be rasti barkhaste ast!)

Hindi: येसु मसीह ज़िन्दा हो गया है! हाँ यक़ीनन, वोह ज़िन्दा हो गय یسوع مسیح زندہ ہو گیا ہے! ہاں یقیناً، وہ زندہ ہو گیا ہے!‎ (Yesu Masīh zindā ho gayā hai! Hā̃ yaqīnan, voh zindā ho gayā hai!)

Marathi: Yeshu Khrist uthla ahe! Kharokhar uthla ahe!

Abkhazian: Kyrsa Dybzaheit! Itzzabyrgny Dybzaheit!
 

Jesus-Christ-Resurrected-arabic-coptic-icon

Afro-Asiatic languages

 

Semitic languages

 

Standard Arabic: المسيح قام! حقا قام!‎ (al-Masīḥ qām! Ḥaqqan qām!) or المسيح قام! بالحقيقة قام! (al-Masīḥ qām! Bi-l-ḥaqīqati qām!)

Aramaic languages

 

Classical Syriac: ܡܫܝܚܐ ܩܡ! ܫܪܝܪܐܝܬ ܩܡ!‎ (Mshiḥa qām! sharīrāīth qām! or Mshiḥo Qom! Shariroith Qom!)

Assyrian Neo-Aramaic: ܡܫܝܚܐ ܩܡܠܗ! ܒܗܩܘܬܐ ܩܡܠܗ!‎ (Mshikha qimlih! bhāqota qimlih!)

Turoyo: ܡܫܝܚܐ ܩܝܡ! ܫܪܥܪܐܝܬ ܩܝܡ!‎ (Mshiḥo qāyem! Shariroith qāyem!)

 

East African languages

 

Tigrinya: Christos tensiou! Bahake tensiou!

Amharic: Kristos Tenestwal! Bergit Tenestwal!

Hebrew: המשיח קם! באמת קם!‎ (Hameshiach qam! Be'emet qam!)

Maltese: Kristu qam! Huwa qam tassew! or Kristu qam mill-mewt! Huwa qam tassew!

Egyptian

Coptic: (Pi'Christos aftonf! Khen oumetmi aftonf!)

Judeo-Berber: Lmasih yahye-d ger lmeytin! Stidet yahye-d ger lmeytin!


Dravidian languages

Tamil: கிறிஸ்து உயிர்த்தெழுந்தார், மெய்யாகவே அவர் உயிர்த்தெழுந்தார்.

Malayalam: ക്രിസ്തു ഉയിര്ത്തെഴുന്നേറ്റു! തീര്ച്ചയായും ഉയിര്ത്തെഴുന്നേറ്റു! (Christu uyirthezhunnettu! Theerchayayum uyirthezhunnettu!)
 

Eskimo–Aleut languages

Aleut: Kristusaaq Aglagikuk! Angangulakan Aglagikuk!

Pacific Gulf Yupik: Kristusaq ungwektaq! Pichinuq ungwektaq!

Central Yupik: Kristuussaaq unguirtuq! Ilumun unguirtuq!

Mayan languages

Tzotzil: Icha'kuxi Kajvaltik Kristo! Ta melel icha'kuxi!

Tzeltal: Cha'kuxaj Kajwaltik Kristo! Ta melel cha'kuxaj!

Christ-resurrection-Anastasis

 

Austronesian languages

Malayo-Polynesian

Batak: Tuhan nunga hehe! Tutu do ibana hehe!

Carolinian: Lios a melau sefal! Meipung, a mahan sefal!

Cebuano: Nabanhaw Si Kristo! Nabanhaw gayud!

Waray: Hi Kristo nabanwaw! Matuod nga Hiya nabanhaw!

Chamorro: La'la'i i Kristo! Magahet na luma'la' i Kristo!

Fijian: Na Karisito tucake tale! Io sa tucake tale!

Filipino: Nabuhay muli Si Kristo! Nabuhay talaga!

Hawaiian: Ua ala hou ʻo Kristo! Ua ala ʻiʻo nō ʻo Ia!

Indonesian: Kristus telah bangkit! Dia benar-benar telah bangkit!

Kapampangan: Y Kristû sinûbli yáng mèbié! Sinûbli ya pin mèbié!

Malagasy: Nitsangana tamin'ny maty i Kristy! Nitsangana marina tokoa izy!

Cook Islands Māori: Kuo toetu’u ‘ae Eiki! ‘Io kuo toetu’u mo’oni!

 Austroasiatic languages: Mon-Khmer

: Preah Christ mean preah choan rous leong vinh! trung mean preah choan rous leong vinh men!

 Vietnamese

: Chúa Ki-tô đã sống lại! Ngài đã sống lại thật!

 Thai

Thai: พระคริสต์เป็นขึ้นจากความตาย! or พระคริสต์ทรงกลับคืนพระชนม์ชีพ!

Basque

Basque: Cristo Berbiztua! Benetan Berbiztua!

Japanese

Japanese: ハリストス復活!実に復活! (Harisutosu fukkatsu! Jitsu ni fukkatsu!)

 Korean

Korean그리스도 부활하셨네! 참으로 부활하셨네! (Geuriseudo buhwalhasyeonne! Chameuro buhwalhasyeonne!)

 Na-Dené languages

Athabaskan languages

Navajo: Christ daaztsą́ą́dę́ę́ʼ náádiidzáá! Tʼáá aaníí daaztsą́ą́dę́ę́ʼ náádiidzáá!

Tlingit: Xristos Kuxwoo-digoot! Xegaa-kux Kuxwoo-digoot!

Niger–Congo languages

: Kristo Ajukkide! Kweli Ajukkide!

Swahili: Kristo Amefufuka! Amefufuka kweli kweli!

Gikuyu: Kristo ni muriuku! Ni muriuku nema!

Quechuan languages

Quechua: Cristo causarimpunña! Ciertopuni causarimpunña!

Mongolic languages

Classical Mongolian: Есүс дахин амилсан, Тэр үнэхээр амилсан! (Yesus dahin amilsan, ter uneheer amilsan)

Turkic languages

Turkish: Mesih dirildi! Hakikaten dirildi!

Uyghur: ‫ئەيسا تىرىلدى! ھەقىقەتىنلا تىرىلدى!‬‎ (Əysa tirildi! Ⱨəⱪiⱪətinla tirildi!)

Azerbaijani: Məsih dirildi! Həqiqətən dirildi!

Chuvash: Христос чĕрĕлнĕ! Чăн чĕрĕлнĕ! (Hristos čĕrĕlnĕ! Čyn čĕrĕlnĕ!)

Khakas: Христос тірілді! Сыннаң тірілді! (Hristos tíríldí! Sınnañ tíríldí!)

Uzbek: Масих тирилди! Хақиқатдан тирилди! (Masih tirildi! Haqiqatdan tirildi!)

Sino-Tibetan languages

Chinese: 基督復活了!他確實復活了! (Jīdū fùhuó-le! Tā quèshí fùhuó-le!) or 耶穌復活了,真的他復活了! (Yēsū fùhuó-le, Zhēnde tā fùhuó-le!)

Uralic languages

Estonian: Kristus on üles tõusnud! Tõesti on üles tõusnud!

Finnish: Kristus nousi kuolleista! Totisesti nousi!

Hungarian: Krisztus feltámadt! Valóban feltámadt!

Karelian: Hristos nouzi kuollielois! Tovessah nouzi!

Glorious-Resurrection-of-Jesus-Christ-icon

Constructed languages

International auxiliary languages

Esperanto: Kristo leviĝis! Vere Li leviĝis!

Ido: Kristo riviveskabas! Ya Il rivivesakabas!

Interlingua: Christo ha resurgite! Vermente ille ha resurgite! or Christo ha resurrecte! Vermente ille ha resurrecte!

Quenya: (Hristo Ortane! Anwave Ortanes!)

Klingon: Hu'ta' QISt! Hu'bejta'!

 

Saint Mary of Egypt – a hermit who spend 47 years in the Desert a prayer helper in Christians repentance during in Great Lent in The Holy Eastern Orthodox Church

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

Reading Time: 6minutes

https://www.pravoslavie.bg/wp-content/uploads/Sveta-Maria-Egipetska

Saint Mary of Egypt  ( Ϯⲁⲅⲓⲁ Ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁ Ⲛⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ Света Мария Египетска ) lived either in the distant year 530 Anno Dommini (After Christ).
She was born in Egypt, notable for its great help and example model for penitence and everyone that is the painful but soul cleaning process of repentance. 

Saint Mary was an ordinary person, who ran away from her parents in the age of 12 fleeing from Egypt to Alexandria. Like every young person whose blood wants a lot of enjoyment and new things, spend her teenage years until the age of 29 becoming a harlot leading a life filled with all kind of worldly enjoyment with a noisy companies, with the usual Drinking nights, the sexual immorality sweetness deeds.
 
She was spinning flax to make her daily living and often begging on the streets but together with that she had an insatiable and an irrepressible passion for lust offering sexual favors to many strangers during her countless night adventures of voluptuousness.

In her Vita (Biography), it is described she often refused the offered money for her sexual favours, even though her night partners offered her money being very satistfies with this wild lady …

After 17 years spend in this "notorious" harlot lifestyle well reassembling the modern pop and holiday stars, at the age of 29, she decided to make a far travel (perhaps out of boredom) from Alexandria to Jerusalem for the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Her motive to travel in a ship filled with pilgrimage Christians was unclean, like her lifestyle, The Vita says she thought, "Perhaps there in Jerusalem she can have even more partners she can fornicate with to satisfy her uncontrolled lust.".
As she was a homeless and poor woman to pay her pilgrimage, to pay the very expensive for the time ship passage ticket by offering sexual favors to other pilgrims.
And  continued her habitual lifestyle for a short time after arrival in Jerusalem

In Jerusalem Mary tried to Enter the Church of Holy Sepulchre where Christ Resurrected from the Death, together with the crowds of people entering the temple for pilgrimage out worldly interest but an unseen power has kept her at the front gates of the Temple. At first she thougth this is due to the Many people who were also trying to enter the Church and she tried another time, but the same happened, she couldn't move the empty space of the entrance like there was an invisible barrier preventing her to move in. A sudden remorse, pain and understanding about her impurity and sinfullness filled her with unbearable remorse …

Mary looked up the front door and saw the common icon of the Mother of God Theotokos hanging on the top and she decided to pray this unearthly beautiful never seen lady to forgive her impurity and help her enter the Church. After her short fervent warm prayer in which she promised to leave the world and become an ascetic if she is permitted to enter the Church. After which she tried another time and could enter the Church and following the long queue venerated the relic of the True Cross where the Crucifix of Christ.

saint-Mother-Mary-of-Egypt-a-great-help-for-the-repentance-of-Christian-pomoshtnica-v-pokaianie
On her way out she looked at the same icon on the top of the Entrance Door and Give thanks to the Theotokos and heard voice, telling her, "If you cross Jordan River, you will find a grorious rest". Amazed by the miracle, she immediately went to the Sant John the Baptist monastery on the Bank of Jordan River for which she has heard earlier confessed her sins in front of monastic priest  and received the Holy Communion.
On next morning following the prescription of the Virgn Mary's voice heard earlier crossed Jordan and started her angel like life in desert solitude as a hermit to spend 47 years in deep penitence, from which she had spend 17 years of unceasing fight.


She took with her only 3 loaves of bread and once over she lived on what she can find in the desert.

Approximately one year before her death, a wandering monk priest father who was crossing the desert, hoping to find a holier person than himself …

To humble his high self esteem God has given him to meet by his great providence the hermit spirutual mother.
At first he thought he is meeting a beast or an Angel as the body of Great spiritual mother was completely naked and almost unrecognizable as human from the inter severe fasting and Mary was hiding from his clothes has dissolved by the sun and the high amplitude temperatures over the many years spend in desert.

Zosimas who was at the age of 53 himself being in monks schima and had a long years of spiritual endurance amazed by the seen "ghost"-like bowed in front of the Angel equal hermit and asked her prayers and desired to ask her about spiritual things.

She asked Zosimas to toss her his mantle to cover herself with, and then she narrated her life's story to him.
After the short conversation, he was amazed by the many details regarding spiritual knowledge and the knowledge of the holy scriptures the hermit mother had (she was freely quoting parts of the Holy Bible Scriptures by heart, even though she spend 47 years in desert and never had books, neither could read !

She asked him to meet her at the banks of the Jordan, on Holy Thursday of the following year, and bring her Holy Communion. When he fulfilled her wish, she crossed the river to get to him by Walking on the surface of the water – just like Jesus Christ is described to Walk on the Water in the Scriptures.  The great Hermit Mother received Holy Communion, telling him to meet her again in the desert the following Lent to bury her body.

Saint-Maria_of_Egypt-receiving-holy-communion-from-priest-Zosima-in-the-desert

The next year, Zosimas travelled to the same spot where he first met her, some twenty days' journey from his monastery, and found her lying body there dead incorruptable and intact just like prophecised by the saint.
According to the long Vitae of the saint a miracle happened in front of the eyes of the stoned to death Zosima as a lion come out of the desert and dig a grave for the saint.

lion-burying-the-body-of-saint-mother-Mary-of-Egypt

According to an inscription written in the sand next to her head, she had died on the very night he had given her The Blood and Flesh of Christ (Holy Communition) and had been somehow miraculously transported to the place he found her, and her body was preserved incorrupt for that long time till her death. He buried her body with the assistance of a passing lion. On returning to the monastery he related her life story to the brethren, and it was preserved among them as oral tradition until it was written down by St. Sophronius, the Patriarch of Jerusalem (634–638).

Saint Mary of Egypt feast day is kept by the Orthodox according to the Fixed Cycle on April 1. On the Moveable Cycle, the Orthodox Church also commemorates her on the fifth Sunday of Great Lent on which day it is customary for the priest to bless dried fruit after the Divine Liturgy.
The Life of St Mary, by Saint Sophronius, is appointed to be read during the Matins of the Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete on the preceding Thursday.

Here is the Church troparion and kontaktion verses:

Troparion — Tone 8
The image of God was truly preserved in you, mother, / for you took up the Cross and followed Christ. / By so doing, you taught us to disregard the flesh, for it passes away, / but to care instead for the soul, since it is immortal. / Therefore your spirit, holy mother Mary, Rejoices with the angels!

Kontakion — Tone 3
Having been a sinful woman, / you became through repentance a Bride of Christ. / Having attained angelic life, / you defeated demons with the weapon of the Cross. / Therefore, most glorious Mary, you are a Bride of the Kingdom!

Holy Mother Mary of Egypt pray the Lord to have mercy on us the sinners!