Posts Tagged ‘church’

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

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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.

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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 !

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 

The-medieval-world-famous-Golden_Church_in_Veliki_Preslav-the-round-Church-ruins.

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.

 

Happy New Church Year ! – The Eastern Orthodox Church Year celebrated every 1st of September and some history on the Indiction

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

Reading Time: 3minutes

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Happy New Year, Happy New Church Year !  🙂

On first of September every year the Holy Eastern Orthodox Church to which I belong is celebrating the beginning of a new Church Calendar feast year.

It is a common practice here in Bulgaria (as we are one of the 14 Eastern Orthodox Churches worldwide) it is a tradition to serve holy liturgies across the country and prayers are lifted to heaven for the well being of the Bulgarian nation and the world.

In the past the beginning of the new year was called also the beginning of the indiction.
In the VI-th century at the time of Emperor Justinian The Great in Byzantine Empire was introduce the Cyclical Calendar based calculation of days (based on indictions ) – this is delivered from latin word indictio (meaning announcement).
Indictions
were celebrated originally on a cyclical periods of 15 years when the а financial review of the properties (possessions) of citizens  that were taxated.

In the Latin Empire the word indictio has been used to mark the exact amount of taxes owed each year and in this is how with the beginning of the new indiction was beginning the new financial year of the empire according to some historians the origin of indictions system has been originating from Egypt.

The official byzantine calculation of indictions begun at the time of Saint Emperor Constantine on 1st of September year 312 A.D.
Historically it is interesting fact both in the Western and in the Eastern Latin empire March was another time marking a New Year …

On 1st of September in the Church it is accepted to read the Bible chapter where Jesus Christ red in the synagogue the prophecy of Isaiah (Is. 61:1-2) for the occurance of the favorable year of God. The Byzantines see in that reading a reference of the Lord for a celebration of a New Year. 

In the Menologion of Basyl II from the 10th century it is said "From that time, he has granted to us the Christians this feast".

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It is interesting fact that in Byzantium this Bible reading was red in the Church by the Patriarch in Hagia Sophia Church Cathedral or another Church where it was common for him to serve Holy Liturgy on that date.

In Russia even though the Baptismal and Christianization of the nation until 15th century the Church New year begun on 1st of March. This is evident from all medieval manuscripts including The most famous and among most ancient Russian manuscript written by the eminent Nestor so called Primary Manuscript (Primary Chronicle) also called Tale of Begone Years.
 

With an Emperor decree of King Peter the I-st(The Great) the new year in Russia is transferred to 1st of January.

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Saint Simeon the Stylites

Our Bulgarian Orthodox Church by tradition according to the main Church service instructions book – the Typikon marks on the first day of the new year as a very important "tiny Lord feast" and has tradition to celebrate the memory of saint Simeon the Stylites who spend mostly all his life praying on a Stylite and was a notable ascet of the Orthodox Church.

 

A living saint in Bulgaria Dqdo (Elder) Dobri of Baylovo village – The living Christ example we Christians should follow

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

Reading Time: 3minutes

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In this dark days of humanity, we can rarely find persons who live in a holy way like the saints from the Holy Bible or the Books of the Living of the Saints

Saintship has been slowly disappearing from earth just like it's prophecised by Christ our Saviour and the Holy Apostles and in later times by many monks, Church hierarchs, patriarchs and hermits.

In Bulgaria as in most parts of the Orthodox world the Christian faith apostacy is also clearly seen.
We can no longer see saint hermits like our patron saint of Bulgaria Saint John of Rila

Even in this dark days God still shows mercy to us and still present us some of his saints.
The topic of this article as you have already red in the title is Elder Dobri of the Baylovo village

Elder Dobri of Baylova has been a regular person like all of us with a family and children just until 12 years ago.
About 12 years ago the I would call him The Living saint has decided to let all the earthly passions and sorrows for Christ and his eternal salvation.
He despised the earthly goodness and become a beggar, all the collected money he got were distributed among other poor people or donated to Churches and monasteries belonging to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.

Day by day and a coin by coin, he has collected thousands of levs (the bulgaria national currency).
The gathered money were given to support the live of monasteries and Churches, by this very date. This old man is the greatest donator for the Cathedral Church St. Alexsander Nevski (situated at the heart of Bulgaria's capital Sofia)

His words spoken just like the saints are full of grace and goodness. One of his famous sayings are:

Man has Always two wills in himself in every moment of his life, the will to do good and the will to do evil
As all the truths his sayings are simple but represent the ultimate truth which was also said in many other forms in The Holy Bible Gospels and God's law.

The external outlook of Dqdo Dobri is also saintly, he has long beard a shining eyes and a national folklore dress.
He looks like he has been out of some old Bulgarian tale.

It's very striking fact that he that this old man is the biggest donator for our Cathedral Temple, we have many millionaires and businessman in Bulgaria but nobody has decided to donate to our Church such a high sum of money.

Elder Dobri's donation for the St. Alexander Nevski's Church is in value 35700 levs (around 19000 euros).
Dqdo Dobri is a beggar for Christ, this is one of the major types of saintship we read about in the living of the saints.
All the collected money from people are given for God's Glory. It's amazing heroism and an example, all we the Christians should follow to fulfill Christ's law of love and inherit the internal salvation.
A friend of mine who has the blessing to see Elder Dobri with her own eyes and have a small talk with him, has shared with me that even though he wears an old ragged clothes, his clothes and body emit a roses like odor!

As the fame about the same has grown these days, the Bulgarian National television has prepared a small video about the saint. I believe the video as a true blessing for us the Christians and will encourage us to persist in the good deads.
Here I present you the videos you can see the living saint, I hope by his holy prayers God will show mercy to all us who watch his graceful words:


The Living Christian Saint from Baylovo Village – Bulgaria


Elder Dobri from Baylovo – Bulgaria

Inteview with Elder Dobri in his house in Baylovo (the interview is in Bulgarian)

The Celebration of the feast of the temple Holy Trinity

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Reading Time: < 1minute
Just few weeks ago it was the feast of our temple here in Dobrich the holy triniy. For this event a lot of priests either from Dobrich and the district as well as the Metropolit Kiril of Varna. Father Veliko has insisted to ordain me with a church rank. The church rank I received grants me oportunity to enter the holy altar and help in the church services (the holy liturgies). My sister has captured a couple of snapshots both video and pictures the pictures I’ve upload and can be seen

Can you swim after communion? – What is better not to do after receiving the holy sacraments

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Reading Time: 4minutes

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I took the sacraments this Sunday, and as we're on a holiday and we go to swimming daily. I never swim eucharist in my wife, so a logical came is it allowed to swim after receiving the holy sacraments?

I've googled around to see for an answer but it seems from what I find there is no official plain answer telling whether swimming is allowed or not after communion.

As there is no official church position on this question, this question is solved privately with your priest (spiritual father), if you have such, if not you can do it according to your own conscious.

I've red there are some priests who say, the best practice is not to swim after communion at least 9 hours after holy communion.

For monks the question to swim or not after receiving the holy sacraments is clearly answered as monks are not allowed to go to a beach / undress or wear a swimwear. The reason for that swimming could turn to pleasing the flesh and even a passion in some cases.

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For layman swimming is allowed, but it is dangerous to swim for the only reason, one can hurt himself during swimming and there might be bleeding and it is well known rule to try to follow not to have bleeding or open wounds during communion. Of course in some cases for old people who believe and take the holy blood and flesh of the Lord Jesus Christ with permanent open wounds this rule cannot be observed and with such there might be exceptions. But the general rule for healthy people to follow is to preserve themselves from bleeding after receiving holy communion.
Also an interesting thing that is good to observe after communion is not to take haircut on the same day, cut nails and even it is recommended to not take shower the same day.
The reason to generally try to not wash the body is because the blessing and renewal of the body by the holy spirit which is received in form of Christ's blood and flesh is bathing us and we don't want to wash out this blessing.

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Of course to shower or not after communion is a personal decision. Also the one of the reasons not to haircut on same day as holy communion is it is usual to get a shower after haircut and it is better not to do that. No bleeding on the same day as communion is because we physically receive holy Christ's body and flesh and his holy gifts run through all our body including in the blood and we don't want to have to waste and "spill" this grace through bleeding.
Also on day of receiving holy sacraments it is church rule not to kiss, not to spit and walking barefoot (for the danger that you can hurt yourself and have a blood spill).

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If for some reason you fall and bleed the proper way to deal with the situation is to burn the tissue with the blood.

The number 9 hours to wait is significant in that it reminds us of the hours our Lord Jesus Christ spent to pay our debts with his holy blood and thus grant us salvation. This is the way of the cross starting from 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM, the trial, crucifixion, death, and laying in the tomb took a total of 9 hours.
Also trying consedering not to spit, not chew chewing gum, wash, take shower and kiss is important as it is a mean of watchfulness and as Christians we have to be watchful, at least some minor time after being allowed to re-join the Holy Body of Christ through the holy sacraments gifts in Church.

If you're bringing to communion your kids it is a different story and you can be less vigilent to obseve all this, as it is impossible to know what a kid could do.
It should be known except spitting, right after receiving the holy communion all is not a must observe rules but it is good ones to follow.

Most of the information of this post is based on Coptic Oriental Orthodox forum with questions and answers on wha it is better not to do after communion, anyways as we Eastern Orthodox Chrsitians are so close in faith to Copts, the answers there are true for us too.

My cousin’s Marriage – Impressian from Burgas (Bulgaria) marriage and Kamenartzi herbal healer

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

Reading Time: 3minutes
kamenar-near-burgas-herbal-healing-bai-Dimitar-natural-healear-who-was-healing-cancer
We (Me and My Family) had to stand up early in the morning around 4:30 in Saturday and we traveled to Burgas. First we had to go to a herbman to prescribe me some Herbs. The herbamn is called “bai Dimitar” where bai is a bulgarian specific title for a man on age after the middle age he is located in Kamenartzi village (a small village near Bourgas). He is a sort of strange guy and is speaking very strange things. I hope this herbs will help me. I have to boil them and drink them five times a day. After that we went to Bourgas in my aunt Galia and uncle Galen’s apartment. Everything was a sort was going smooth, Gergana my cousin which was going to merry dressed with a bride dress and waited for his future man (son-in-law). The guy appeared with a limosine and an orchestra. Some ordinary Bulgarian rituals were followed after that the ceremony continued in the council house. Where they became man and wife officially (in front of Bulgaria). After that it followed a celebration in a Bourgas Hotel called “Bulgaria”. The celebration of the marriage included again different traditional Bulgarian dances, guest also danced and ofcourse the Bulgarian familiar horos. I did eat a lot of food and drinked a lot of the meaningless of marriage and all this vanity into celebrity and a lot of empty words spokened there I also convinced myself that I would NEVER EVER allow to have a marriage celebration like this. Some 20 or 30% of the music was Chalga which ofcourse drived me mad. In somewhere 05:00 in the morning we traveled back by car with my father driving. My father is driver from some few months and I definetely can’t say he is an experiencable type of driver which may allow himself to drive with speed higher than the maximum allowed, anywayz he did and I just tried to make him aware that he is braking the driver codex rules. He instead of taking my notes which I made with the idea that I would like to be home back ALIVE, nagged him and he started yelling at me and telling me to stop to complain. That ended in again making me hate him and regret I have parents like this which was a expected to happen since I was angry at all the stupidity and the low intelectual level of most of the ppl who were invited into the Marriage ceremony (although most of them were businessman and a ppl with a high degrees, education). The thing that irritated me the most that the had a marriage ceremony in a orthodox Church and they probably did this just because this is the ordinary way most ppl in Bulgaria does. PFF.. I have slept just for a hour or two today so I probably will go to sleep soon. But first I intend to go for a Liturgy in St. George’s orthodox church. This is after 20 minutes from now. Well thats most of how I spend my saturday on “nothing”. The good thing from all that was that Niki, a.k.a. Nomen’s brother has given me his PSP for the weekend. So I had the time to examine it and generally play with it. I even used a free wifi access in the restaurant where we were and did a bit of browsing :)END—–

Saint Anthony’s Cave and the Coptic Orthodox Church / Extreme Pilgrim – Ascetic Christianity movie

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Reading Time: 5minutes

saint Anthony icon and desert Christian hermit fathers saint Anthony Cave and monastery

 

I held interest in Coptic Orthodox Church. As I had meet a Coptic Orthodox Christian and his faith has significantly impressed me. Before some time I've found on youtube a video talking about one Australian person who from Atheist become Coptic Christian and later choose a living as Desert Monk Father in  one of the most ancient Christian monasteries monastery  Saint Anthony The Great. Father's Lazarus until this very day lives in Saint Anthony's Monastery. You can see an interesting documentary about fr. Lazarus "different life"  in the Last Anchorite a Movie about Coptic Oriental Orthodox hermit life.

Every Orthodox Christian as well as any Christianity historian should know very well the name of st. Anthony the Great. St. Anthony is probably the father of Monastic life and the monastic tradition started by his followers is living in various Christian monasteries (predominary Eastern Orthodox and Coptic Orthodox) all around the world. The monastery was established in year 356 by direct followers of the Great saint. Saint Anthony himself was illiterate but same time achieved holiness and God knowledge which only few in whole human history did. Recently my personal thoughts on Human Progress, ProgRes = (Programmed Resources), were leading in the same path testifying myself that the the path of "Higher Education" and big knowledge we all took, though leading us to big inventions and "fleshly developments" is more and more depriving us of the path of Truth and Love for God, which in its essence is a life of simplicity and humility.
 Saint Anthony's desert Monastery is one of the oldest Christian monasteries  in  history of mankind. It is  one of the innumerous God miracles that the monastery built by saint Anthony's pupils is existing until today for already ABOUT 17 centuries (1700 YEARS!!!!)! It is located deep in the Red Sea Mountains (334 km from egypt Capital Cairo) very near to the Saint Catherine's Eastern Orthodox Monastery.

Saint Anthony the Great, is among the most venerated Christian saints also for  the reason he fearlessly defended true Christianity from the heresy of Arius during  first Ecumenical Council in NiceaA.D. 325. Arianism used to be one of the most deadly spiritual  heresies since the Birth of Christ's Church. Arians rejected the Godly nature of Christ. Many protestant Christian sects nowadays are matching teachings taught by Arians. 

Below movie BBC Extreme Pilgrim – Ascetic Christianity was produced by a Protestant (Anglican) Priest Father Peter Owes. From an Eastern Orthodox Christian perspective it is interesting  to see his easy digestive "pinky" view on Christian faith and general life as it is typical for most western people.

Saint Athonoy's Cave and Saint Anthony Monastery – Extreme Pilgrim – Ascetic Christianity

During watching the movie some of his sayings are quite inappropriate and very much displaying the protestant bloated view of Christianity that is ruling over England, however near the end of the movie one can see Peter's change for good (the monastery and monks prayers changed him); he talks more spiritually wise and he started changing his understanding of Christianity and life. As the Extreme Pilgrim Ascetic is a few parts documentary the other 2 parts are exploring the Wondering Mystics of the Himalayas Mountains and a Confu-Monks of Central China (Buddhism) etc.

As most of the people in the Western World, though Peter being a devoted Christian and priest in the Church of England (Anglican Church), "pater" Owes does not have obviously clear understanding on True Christian belief system. In his complete sequelmovie he is putting on the same plane Buddhism, Mysticism and Christianity lowering truthfulness of our Christian faith to the other religions! This is no strange as this tendency is quite evident in Western European Countries (mixed Roman Catholic / Protestant countries). The previous Roman Catholic Pope himself John Paul II was for unification of all world religions not in the name of Jesus Christ but in the name of  a fake (anti-Christian) World Peace.

For Christians not aware of the existence of Ecumenical World Religious Unification movement check Ecumenism – A terrible treat to Orthodox Christianity see here.
It is great Father Peter made this video so we Christians can have a look on how a hermit christian life is like. Though the movie is so nice the general message it spreads sadly is  very much in the spirit of World Religions Ecumenism that is so popular in these days, so Christians has to be careful with that.

Hopefully after he experienced some authentic hermitage Christianity, Peter Owes spiritual eyes will re-open for the true Christian Church and faith tradition kept  in , the One Holy Apostolic Church – the Orthodox Church. I should also mention, that though Coptic Spirituality is on such a high level, Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria is sadly officially not  in eucharist communion with  Easter Orthodox Church due to their rejection of the Ecumenical Councils after the III-rd Ecumenical Church Council (gathering). Along with preserving a very ancient Church tradition practices in the Coptic Church, from what I've saw in further researching about Coptic Orthodox Church has a bit of inclanation in iconography towards Roman Catholicism iconography. Of course some of this Roman Catholic iconography  fragments are also evident in some of 19th century iconography in Russia, but in general in rest of Eastern Orthodox world this is much less than what I see in Coptic Church.

Most of the belief system and feast days of Coptic Orthodox Christians is almost identical to the rest of the Eastern Orthodox Church, making our Churches core teaching identical, however we're not officially one Church in holy communion unionl.

From what I've saw also it is evident that Coptic Church adopted a lot of arts along with the Greek language for their liturgy, as they sing the Kyrie Eleison prayer in Greek = (Lord Have Mercy). Also something to be noted is some of early Christian traditions in Copts were unchanged, they make the sign of the cross (from left to right) – little similar to Roman Catholics, whether we the Eastern Orthodox Christians, make the sign of the cross from right to left – you might want to see at my previous article why Orthodox Christians make the sign of the Cross different from Roman Catholics.

In any means, I'm mostly thankful to God will blessing me to have a look at the Cave of Saint Anthony  – where he spend most of his life and the Great monastic life they still thankfully lead in this spiritual cloister  ! I also hope my little post will be of help of people searching for Authentic Christianity and interested to strengthen their faith.

Here is the Church prayers saint Anthony the Great Glorification Hymns (Troparion and Kontaktion) as we sing them in the Eastern Orthodox Church:

Troparion (Tone 8)

You are most glorious, O Christ our God!
You have established the Holy Fathers as lights on the earth!
Through them you have guided us to the true faith!
O greatly Compassionate One, glory to You!

Kontaktion (Tone 8)

 

The Apostles' preaching and the Fathers' doctrines have established one faith for the Church.
Adorned with the robe of truth, woven from heavenly theology,
It defines and glorifies the great mystery of Orthodoxy

Let by the Holy Prayers of Saint Anthony the Great, God have mercy on all of us Orthodox Christians.

8 November: Bulgarian orthodox Church Patriarch Maxim Farewell service in st. Nedelia Cathedral, Sofia

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Reading Time: 3minutes

Holy Liturgy for the passing of Patriarch Maxim of Bulgarian Orthodox Church

Thousands of people came to venerate and ask for a last blessing The Bulgarian Orthodox patriarch his All Holiness Maxim. The  (Holy Liturgy Service) took place inCathedral Church Saint Nedelia

Cathedral Church of Saint Nedelia Sofia Bulgaria picture from wikipedia

Cathedral of Sveta Nedelia (Saint Nedelia) is one of the most famous landmarks in Bulgaria's capital Sofia. It is a medieval Church many times rebuild, and its primal building was done in the 10th century many times rebuild, current Church building is made in XIX century. st. Nedelia's Cathedral  keeps the Holy Relics of King Stephan Milutin

Holy Relics of Saint Serbian King Milutin, Bulgaria, Sofia st. Nedelia Cathedral

The Holy King Milutin's Holy Relics are transferred in Bulgaria in the 1460s, whether the holy relics was for years kept across several monasteries in Churches throughout Bulgaria. St. Nedelia's Church building is blessed to store the Holy Saint Relics since the 18th century when the Church become Bishop's residence. It was common the Church to be called St. King Milutin because in the late 19th and 20th century because of significance of holding the Holy remains of Saint Serbian king Milutin

Saint King Milutin Holy Relics Sofia saint Nedelia Church photo from wikipedia

It is no strange that the Holy Liturgy where people can venerate the patriarch will be served exactly in this Church and again it is due to God's human incomprehensible providence.

Saint Serbian King Milutin Holy relics as kept in Saint Nedelia Church Sofia Bulgaria

In the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, we have celebrated saint Serbian King Stephan Milutin's veneration just 9 days ago (on 30th of October). It is obviously a providence of God and God inspired BOC Holy Synod decision to do the ( Farewell)  Holy Liturgy in the Church holding the Great Saint of Serbia and All Orthodoxy Stephan Milutin Holy Relics.

The Holy Liturgy  was headed by Plovdiv region Metropolitan Nikolay.

Which as of now is temporary chosen to serve as Metropolitan for Eparchy of Sofia.

Patriarch Maxim Opelo (Funeral Service) in sant Nedelia Church Sofia Bulgaria

Crowds of people from all around Bulgaria, came to venerate for a last time the Holy Hierarch. The police was forced to prohibit temporary entrance of people in the temple due to the high amount of people trying to enter and venerate patriarch Maxim.

His all Holiness Patriarch Maxim, Patriarch of Bulgarian Orthodox Church's Farewell Church Service

Many priests from across Bulgaria come to venerate the Holy Patriarch and take participation in Patriarch's Farewell's Holy Liturgy

Patriarch Maxim Funeral and Orthodox priests on Patriarch Farewell Service ( Liturgy )

To venerate our wise patriarch for the Farewell Holy Liturgy came the ecomenical Constantinople Patriarch Bartholomeus

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomeus giving his condolescence and veneeration to Patriarch Maxim's body
 

The funeral of his all holiness will be tomorrow in Troyanski Manastir Through my lifetime I did not have the opportunity to venerate the patriarch. In my mind however I'm deeply bowing in front of him and asking for his blessing.
By God's providence, today in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church it is a big Church feast, Arhangelov den (Assembly of the Holy Archangels). The patriarch Zaupokoina Slujba ( Patriarch Opelo ) as we call it in Bulgaria will be served in Sofia's Cathedral Church of Saint Alexander Nevski tomorrow morning.

Tiny Bulgarian kid venerating patriarch Maxim's body in st. Nedelia Church - Patriarch Maxim's Opelo

Lets hope by his all holiness Patriarch Maxim prayers who "introduced himself in the Lord" as we say in the Church, the state of our Bulgarian Orthodox Church will improve and more and more Bulgarian young people will find Christ and truthfulness of the One Holy Apostolic – Orthodox Christian faith.

Head of Bulgarian Orthodox Church for 41 years Patriarch Maxim (aged 98) passed away / Patriarch Maxim short Biography

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Reading Time: 5minutes

Head of our Bulgarian Orthodox Church, his all holiness Patriach Maxim passed away to Christ early this morning 06 November 2012 around 03:30 а.m.

Our beloved patriarch headed the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in truth for the immersely high 41 years! Patarirch Max was the oldest among all Orthoodox Christian patriarchs. Just 8 days earlier, we have celebrated in the Church his 98 birthday.
People who know the patriarch personally, said from his youth even even to his old years he used to be "The same humble person".

Our patriarch birthname "in the world" was Marin Naydenov Minkov and Pena Bordjukova. The patriarch was born from a father Nayden Minkov Rachev. Almost none is known about how  the future Bulgarian Church patriarch  who headed the Church ( 1971 – 2012 ) lived in his young years, similarly little is known about his family (parents) background, all we know is his parents was very pious people.

His Holiness Patriarch Maxim was born in Oreshak a little village near the city of Lovech, Bulgaria. His education was given in his native birth place – the mountain village of Oreshak.

In year 1935 His Holiness completed Sofia's Spiritual Seminary School ( Sofiiska Duhovna Seminaria ). In 1942 his holiness completed a Theological Degree in Sofia State University – saint Clement of Ohrid ( Saint Kliment Ohridski ).

Patriarch Maxim (become monk) in his early years in 27 years old, after the usual period for testing novice monks (2 to 5 years) in Trojan's Monastery (Troianski Manastir), this  means hisholiness become novice monk in the very young age of 21 or 22 years. He was ordained to monk receiving the monk name of Maxim on 13 of December 1941 under the Church degree of Hierodeacon.

A small note to make here for those unfamiliar with Orthodoxy is in Orthodox Church it is accepted that once a person is ordained to be a Monk or Priest (part of white or black brotherhood), he is usually given a name of a Church saint.

His holiness was given the monk name of Maxim after one of the greatest Christian saints of all times Maxim the Confessor . Saint Maxim (The Confessor) was martyred for Christ in nowadays Bulgaria lands.

After a while, he was for a short time he served as a Hierodeacon to Lovchanski's Metropolitan (Metropolit of Lovech) and in year 1942, his holiness was assigned as a Theology Teacher in Sofia's Spiritual seminary ( Sofiiska Duhovna Seminaria ), he served as a Christian Theology teacher for about 5 years from y. 1942 to 1947.

In 14 May 1944 from HieroDeacon he was consecrated to be  Hieromonk, 3 years later in 1947, he was raised to Archimandrite and assigned as Protosingel of Dorostolsko – Chervenska Eparchy ( Dorstol's Eparchy ) by Mitrpolitan Mihail (Michael).

By decision of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church Holy Synod, Archimandrite Maxim was send to serve as a rector for  Bulgarian Christian community  in Moscow, his ministry in Moscow lasted almost 6 years from 1950 to 1955.

Archibishop Maxim came back to Bulgaria in 1955 and was assigned as a Head Secretary for the Bulgarian Orthodox Church Holy Synod. As a primary secretary of Bulgarian Church Holy Synod he served in year 1955 to 1960. Along with his duties are primary secretary of Holy Synod in 1957 to 1960, he was serving as a Chairman of the Editorial Board of the Synodal periodical spiritual literature print.

In 30 December 1956, he was hierotonize ( ordained ) as  Bishop Branitskogo (Branitski) – this happened after proposed by his all holiness patriarch Cyril and decided on one of the regular Holy Synod of Bulgarian Orthodox Church meetings.

Patriarch Maxim in his early patriarchate years picture

30 of October his holiness was assigned to serve as Metropolitan Lovchanski ( Metropolit of Lovchanski Church region ).

Patriarch Maxim blessing with Crufixi Cross and Sceptre

After the passing to Christ of our previous Bulgarian Church patriarch, his holiness patriarch Cyril (Kirilos), in the following in the Patriarchate Church (national) assembly of BOC (Bulgarian Orthodox Church) 4 -8 July 1971 in Sofia, Metropolitan Lovchanski Maxim was canonically chosen to be vicar of the BOC Holy Synod.

Patriarch Maxim sitting Patriarchate throne and with patriarch crown and scepter

His entronization as new patriarch took place on 4 July 1971 in Alexander-Nevski's ( Bulgarian Holy Synod ) council. Patriarch Maxim became the 21-st ( Primate ) Patriarch of the Bulgarian Orthodox.

According to Bulgarian Church internal law, the patriarch of Bulgaria is also a Metropolitan of Sofia.

Patriarch Maxim of Bulgaria Orthodox Church
Little after he was chosen the Patriarch of all Russia at that time Pimen, in his speech spoke of the recently chosen Bulgarian patriarch as a prominent hierarch with many virtues.

In November y. 1974 the Assembly of Sofia's Spiritual Academy awarded His All holiness Patriarch Maxim of Bulgaria for his great theological contributions Phd scientific rank( honoris causa ).

Patriarch Maxim smilng

To celebrate his 60th anniversary BOC Synodal Publishing of Sofia issued a collection of his works entitled "In the field of the Lord" (Sofia publishing 1975). The book includes words, speeches and articles of Patriarch Maxim for period 1950 – 1974.

In 1974, the Council ofthe SofiaTheological AcademyawardedPatriarchMaxim forhistheological writingsa degree of Doctorof Theologyhonoris causa.60th Anniversary ofPatriarch MaximSynodalPublishingin Sofiaissued a collection ofthe worksof his work"In thefield of the Lord" (Sofia, 1975).The book includes thewords,speeches and articlesfor1950-1974Patriarch Maxim's.

Patriarch Maxim blessing the Bulgarian Orthodox Christians

Last year the newly chosen Patriarch of all Russia, Cyril met our Patriarch Maxim.

Over the last years the patriarch has suffered severely with Diabetes and had a health complications, "being powerful in his infirmities", just like Holy apostle saint Paul. Patriarch Maxim leaded the Bulgarian Orthodox church wisely preventing the Church from complete disintegration and managing to keep the Church existent even though the severe attempts of Communist authorities to destroy the Church. His long given rulership over the Church is something very rare in whole Church history since Christ and in my view can be considered indicator that his holiness patriarch Maxim was pleasing to God in his service.

The funeral of Patriarch is to be served in Troyanski Manastir (Trojan Monastery), in the Church Dormition of the Holy Theotokos behind miracle making icon of the Virgin Mary on Friday 9th of November 2012. By God's providence and the Holy Synod of BOC decision, his body will be laid in the same monastery, where he was ordained as monk. The funeral preparations will be made by the Abbot of Troyanski Monastery Branitski / Bishop Grigorius (Grigorij).

The Bulgarian Government announced Friday to be a day of sorrow in memoriam of patriarch Maxim. Along in the whole Bulgarian country Churches Za Upokojna slubja (A service prayer for the newly introduced patriarch in the Lord ) were served yesterday and will be continuously served in the next 3 days.

Now what is left is we pray for our patriarch's soul and by patriarch Maxim's prayers the Lord Jesus Christ to bless our Bulgarian Orthodox Church with another good and wise patriarch.