Posts Tagged ‘death’

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

 

The beheading of Saint John the Baptist feats in Eastern Orthodox Church – A short history of saint John Forerunners Holy Relics

Saturday, September 14th, 2019

Reading Time: 13minutes

Beheading_of_St_John_the_Baptist_Icon_IX-century

Saint John the Baptist (The Forerunner of Christ) is all known for being the baptizer of the Lord Jesus Christ in Jordan's river in Israel.

However as nowadays most people are away from the Church and from traditions, that many generations of our ancestors used to follow, little know the details of his beheading and the meaning of why he is venerated so much by so many generations in the last 2000 years.

Thus In this small article, I'll try to shed some light on the Saint John Beheading feast known in Church Slavonic world as Oseknovenie (Осекновение) = beheading and is considered a day of sorrow for the Church for the reason the biggest Old Testamental prophet, a hermit and a man of Gigantic spiritual significance Saint John the Baptist has been beheaded unfairly for having no fault at all but this happened so his righteousness raise up even more and be clear for the generations to come.

The feast of Saint John the Baptist is celebrated on 29 of August in Eastern Orthodox Church, where old Calendar Churches celebrate the feast (13 days) later on 11 of September – I'll not get into details about calendars as this is a long discussion for a separate article.

It should be said in the Church saint John the Baptist is considered the highest saint among all“the first among martyrs in grace”, venerated next in glory to Virgin Mary.

The Martyrdom of Saint John happened in the 32 years after the Nativity (The Birth) of Christ as this is said in the Gospel of Mathew 14:1-12 and Gospel of Mark (6:14-29) in New Testament.

Saint-John-The-Baptist-Orthodox-Bulgarian-icon

Many of the small details, we know about saint John and his earthly living are not given in the Gospel however, but are instead given in the Chuch Tradition (that is kept in the main books and the Living of the Saints, as well as all the books written by the officially canonized saints over the years that used for Eastern Orthodox Church services Singing for many centuries).

From there we know the beheading of Saint John happened short time before the Crucifixion of Christ. After the death of Herode the Great, Romans divided the territory of Province of Palestine in 4 parts and on top of each placed his governor.

Herodos Antipa received by Emperor Augustus Galilea as a territory of Governance. He had a law binded marriage, who was a daughter of king Arepha. Herod left her and cohabited (unlawfully) with Herodias who was his mistress and brother's wife.

As Herodos was a governer and recpetively example for all his subordinate in his Kingdom and was living unlawfully with that woman saint John who knew him personally rebuked him multiple times publicly advising him to leave that woman and live with his lawfully marriaged one as it was written in God's law – that such people are worthy for death just like moreover this was the unwritten law followed by all kind of peoples of his time from noble to smallest and poorest.

Herodoes did not listened and wanted to get rid of saint Johns somehow but he was scared to accuse him for some kind of kingdom lawlessness as the knew saint John was a true prophet of God and feared the people who recognized him as a true prophet  as well as feared he might be put off throne for his evil deed if he finds an excuse to kill the prophet of God.

As the critics on Herodoes living with a concubine while being in marriage, eventually not finding any other way to shut Saint John's mouth, king Herodoes put saint John in Prison with the excuse Saint John was a rebel and preaching things against established authority (About this event is said in Bible Gospel of Luke 3, 19-20).

For his birthday Herodoes prepared enormous banquet in which in front of the many invited guests danced (Salome / Salomia) – the daughter of Herod II and Herodias and her dancing was so much pleasing for the already drunk Herod and in his drunkenness he promised to give her anything she desired up to half of his kingdom.
Salome was still young woman and as it was the tradition then not knowing what would be the best to ask for, she asked her Mother and the Mother being in unlawful relations with Herod in her hatred for the rebuking prophet saint John asked, the head of Saint John the Baptist on a platter.

The-Beheading-of-Saint-John-The-Baptist-Salomnia-dance-in-front-of-Herodos-Sv.-Ioan-Krastitel

The dance of Salome with Saint John's head on a Platter Orthodox icon

Even though Herod was appaled by this strange request, he had to reluctanly agree to keep his word as he was a ruler of a great power and for that time, not keeping a word publicly given would make him though weak, a fraudulant and eventually this will be reason for a rumors for his unseriousness to circulate the kingdom, thus unwillingly he agreed sent soldier to the prison to behead Saint John and the Head of the saint was brought to the perverted Solome and the harlot mother of hers Herodias.

Due to Church tradition when the Head of the 'Biggest in Spiritual Power' of Man born after Christ, as the Gospel speaks was brought to the lecherous feast, the Head even in the platter continued to rebuke, the unwalfullness of Herod.
 

The Jewish famous Historian Flavius Josiphus in his historical book Antiques of the Jews wrote, the reason for beheading of Saint John was:

"lest the great influence John had over the people might put it into his [John’s] power and inclination to raise a rebellion, (for they seemed ready to do any thing he should advise), [so Herod] thought it best [to put] him to death."

Flavius also states that many of the Jews believed that the military disaster that fell upon Herod as his throne fall a by the hands of Aretas his (father-in-law) was God's immediate punishment for unrighteous behaviour.
There is no exact date when behading of Saint John occured but the historians place it somewhere in year 28 or 29 A. D. (Anno Dommini).

Execution_of_John_the_Baptist_orthodox-icon


The body of saint John was buried immediately (separately from the body) as Herodias for her hatred for the prophet ordered the body to be buried separately from the head, it was buried in the small Palestinian Village (Sebaste), whileHerodias took his holy head and buried it in a dung heep. 
Later Joanna (canonized later by saint known as Saint Joanna) – a wife of Herods steward, secretly went to place took the head and buried in the Mount of Olives, where it remained hidden for many centuries.

But the wrath of God is never late soon after Salome was passing a frozen river and while walking on it the ice collapsed and her body up to the head fall hanging in the water, while her head was sitting still over the water.
Just as she used to kick her feet on the ground, she was now, like dancing, making helpless movements in icy water.
 

So Salome hung until the sharp ice cut through her neck. Her head, cut off with a sharp ice, then her head was brought to Herod and Herodias, as John the Baptist's head had once been brought to them, and her body had never been found. The king of Arif of Arabia, in revenge for the dishonor of his daughter – the wife of Herod the four-owner – moved his troops against the wicked king and defeated him. The Roman emperor Guy Julius Caesar Caligula (37-41) in anger sent Herod, together with Herodias, into captivity to Gaul, and then to  . There they were consumed by the sprawling earth.


By a divine revelation the head of Saint John has been found in the 4th century (Celebrated in the Church with a special feast known as The First Finding of Saint John's the Baptist head by a governing official of Eastern Roman empire district who eventually choose to become a monk (monk Inokentij / Innocent). The head of saint John has been found by both divine revelation and the testimony of an Old Jew who confirmed the Jewish oral tradition for the burial of John the Baptist head on that exact place .
Innocent decided to build a Church and a monastic Cell in glory of Saint John the Baptist as the place was holy and sanctified by the graceous head of St. John.
Fearful that holy relics of such a high importance, might be soon stolen and sold, mocked over by unbelievers or destroyed, he immediately hide (burid) the St. John on the very same place, where he found it in the same vessel it was orginally.
Unfortunately on monk Innocent dead the Church fell into ruin was abandoned due to its desert location and eventually as it always happened in that times with old buildings, people used its construction stones for fortifying their own near village houses.

The Second Finding of the Head of Saint John the Baptist, happened some years later in 452 A.D. , during the days of Constantine the Great by two Christian monks who went for a Jerusalem for pilgrimage.who had God given revelation (Saint John himself appeared in a kind of a Vision to the two) and hsa indicated for the same hidden location where Innocent found it (laying under the Church ruins altar).
After digging on the place, the holy relic was found placed in a sack and brought with them to heir home land. On the way back they've met a potter not telling him what was inside the bag and asked him the bag to carry being lazy to do. Saint John the Baptist appeared the potter and told him to take his head and bring it away from this careless lazy monks immediately. The potter took Saint John's head home, and kept it there praying fervently to saint John the Baptist daily, soon before his death he put the head in a container and gave it to his sister.
The 1st and 2nd finding of saint Johns head is established as a feast celebrated yearly in Eastern Orthodox Church on 24 of February.

beheading-of-saint-John-icon

The feast of Beheading of Saint John in the Church is always observed in the Eastern Orthodox Churches Bulgarian, Russian, Serbian, Greek, Romanian, Georgian etc. with a strict fasting as a sign for the great sorrow we Christians have for the beheading of the Greatest of Prophets and Highest in sight of God born of man.

In some cultures, the pious will not eat food from a flat plate, use a knife, or eat round or red food (such as tomatoes, watermelon, red peppers etc.) on this day.

A short time after a Hieromonk Eustathius (considered by Church historians) to be part of the Arian heretical division happen to have th chance to possess the holy head and he used it frequently to attract followers to the Heretical teachings of Arius (a Lybian heretic presbyter who was condemned in 325 A.D. on the First Council of Nicea convened by Saint Emperor Constantine The Great. Being in a hardships Eustathius buried the head in a cave near Emesa (circa 810 – 820) and soon after a monastery was built on that place by God's providence.

In the year 452, St. John the Baptist appeared to Archimandrite Marcellus of this monastery and indicated where his head was hidden in a water jar buried in the earth. The relic was brought into the city of Emesa and was later transferred to Constantinople.

Saint_John_Head_Holy-relics-Caput-Sti-Joannis-Baptistae-Praecurssoris-Domini-1

The current pressumable relics of head of Saint John the Baptist kept in San Silvestro in Capite Rome

The head of John Baptist disappeared once again after it was transferred from Comana of Cappadocia during a period of Muslim raids (about 820) and was again hidden in the ground during a period of iconoclastic persecusion.
After the veneration of icons was restored in year 850, A vision was revelead by God to patriarch Ignatius of Constantinople (ruling on patriarchial throne in 847 – 857) saw a vision revealing the place where the head of saint John was hidden around y. 850. The patriarch as the order was then communicated about his vision to emperor Michael III, who sent a delegation to Comana, where the head was found. Soon after the head was transferred to city of Nyc and here on 25 of May it was placed in a church in emperor court in Constantinople. The Church feast of the Third Finding of Saint John Baptist head is established for celebration in the Eastern Orthodox Church on 25 of May.

Third-finding-of-Saint-John-the-Baptist-head-holy-relics-orthodox-icon

Currently many small particles of Saint John Head are available for generation among many Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches.

The-Face-of-saint-John-the-Baptist-in-Cathedral-of-Our_Lady-in-Amiens-Cathedral

The head  is claimed to be in San Silvestro (Saint Silvester) in Capite in Rome or in Amiens Cathedral, said to have been brought from Constantinople by Wallon de Sarton as he was returning from the Fourth Crusade.
There are also some sources claiming that the real head of John the Baptist is buried in Turkish Antioch or Southern France.

Amiens_-_Cathedrale_Notre-Dame_France

Amiens Cathedrale Notre Dame France – one of most magnificent Gothic edifice in Europe.

During the French Revolution the kept Head in Amiens has been secretly hidden by the Amiens city Mayor in his own home to protect this sacred relic from the destruction (as many holy relics saints disappeared or have been destroyed) by the rebellious enraged crowds fighting for the rights of "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" being the goals of the Masonic bortherhoods and many secret societies in France in that time.

Also a reliquary at the Residenz in Munich, Germany, is labeled as containing the skull of John the Baptist by Catholics. In history some sources claim the St. John used to be owned by Knight Templars
А piece of Saint John Baptist skull is held at the Eastern Orthodox Romanian skete Prodromos on Mount Athos.

Further on according to Church tradition saint Luke the Evangelist went to the city of Sebaste bringing with him the right hand of Saint John the Forerunner which was conducting numerous of miracles.

Some of the Relics of John the Baptist are said to be in the possession of the Coptic Orthodox Monastery of Saint Macarius the Great in Scetes, Egypt.
It is said John the Baptist's arm and a piece of his skull can be found at the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul, Turkey.

the_Holy-head-of-saint-John-the-Baptist-relics

It is said John the Baptist's arm and a piece of his skull can be found at the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul, Turkey.
At the time of Mehmed the Conqueror, the skull was held in Topkapı, while after his death, his stepmother Mara Branković, a Serbian princess, brought it to Serbia. It was then kept a while at the Dionisios monastery at Mount Athos, then the skull fragment was sent to a nearby island in order to prevent the outbreak of a plague; however, the Ottoman fleet seized it and delivered it to Hasan Pasha of Algeria, who held it in his home until his death. It was then returned to Topkapı. The skull is kept on a golden plate decorated with gold bands with gems and Old Serbian inscriptions. The plate itself is stored in a 16th-century rock crystal box.

The-Face-of-saint-John-the-Baptist-in-Cathedral-of-Our_Lady-in-Amiens-Holy-Relics

The face of St. John the Baptist, in the Cathedral of Our Lady in Amiens.

St. John's arm was brought from Antioch to Constantinople at the time of Constantine VII. It was kept in the Emperor's chapel in the 12th century, then in the Church of the Virgin of the Pharos, then in the Church of Peribleptos in the first half of the 15th century. Spanish envoy Clavijo reported that he saw two different arms in two different monasteries while on a visit to Constantinople in 1404. With the Fall of Constantinople, the Ottomans seized possession of it. In 1484, Bayezid II sent it the knights of Rhodes, while they held his brother Cem captive in return. In 1585, Murad III had the arms brought from Lefkosia castle to Constantinople (henceforth known as Istanbul). The arm is kept in a gold-embellished silver reliquary. There are several inscriptions on the arm: "The beloved of God" on the forefinger, "This is the hand of the Baptist" on the wrist, and "belongs to (monk) Dolin Monahu" on the band above the elbow.

In July 2010, a small reliquary was discovered under the ruins of a 5th-century monastery on St. Ivan Island, Bulgaria. Local archaeologists opened the reliquary in August and found bone fragments of a skull, a hand and a tooth, which they believe belong to st. John the Baptist, based on their interpretation of a Greek inscription on the reliquary.The remains have been carbon-dated to the 1st century. Currently The found relics are being placed for veneration in the sea resort town  of Sozopol, Bulgaria in the Church of saint saint Cyril and Methodius.

The_Holy_Relics-of-Saint-John-The-Baptist-kept-in-Saint-Cyril-Church-Sozopol

Saint John the Baptist Holy Relics in Sozopol Bulgaria

 

Sozopol-Lithia-Lity-with-the-holy-relics-of-saint-John-the-Baptist
 A Lity (Orthodox Vespers) in front of Saint Cyril and Methodius Church in Sozopol resort Bulgaria

There is much to be said in Saint Johns beheading and many great Theology books have been written on the topic however I hope the goal of this article to give a very brief overview for the ordinary people to know our human history over the last 2000 which is highly entangled with Christian faith  succeeded to give a very brief overview on the history of the beheading of saint John the Baptist and the deep history across his holy relics veneration over the centuries.

As a closure for the Article I find worthly to share the sung troparion in the Church services glorifying of saint John the Forerunner in Old Bulgarian / Church Slavonic, Greek and English

TROPARION IN CHURCH SLAVONIC

Па́мять пра́веднаго с похвала́ми, тебе́ же довле́ет свиде́тельство Госпо́дне, Предте́че: показа́л бо ся еси́ вои́стинну и проро́ков честне́йший, я́ко и в струя́х крести́ти сподо́бился еси́ Пропове́даннаго. Те́мже за и́стину пострада́в, ра́дуяся, благовести́л еси́ и су́щим во а́де Бо́га, я́вльшагося пло́тию, взе́млющаго грех ми́ра и подаю́щаго нам ве́лию ми́лость.

TROPARION IN GREEK

Μνήμη Δικαίου μέτ' ἐγκωμίων, σοὶ δὲ ἀρκέσει ἡ μαρτυρία τοῦ Κυρίου Πρόδρομε· ἀνεδείχθης γὰρ ὄντως καὶ Προφητῶν σεβασμιώτερος, ὅτι καὶ ἐν ῥείθροις βαπτίσαι κατηξιώθης τὸν κηρυττόμενον. Ὅθεν τῆς ἀληθείας ὑπεραθλήσας, χαίρων εὐηγγελίσω καὶ τοῖς ἐν ᾍδῃ, Θεὸν φανερωθέντα ἐν σαρκί, τὸν αἴροντα τὴν ἁμαρτίαν τοῦ κόσμου, καὶ παρέχοντα ἡμῖν τὸ μέγα ἔλεος.

TROPARION (TONE 4)
O Prophet and Forerunner of the coming of Christ, in spite of our eagerness to render you due honor, we fall short when singing your praise. Your glorious birth saved your mother from the shame of barrenness, returned to your father the power of speech, and proclaimed to the world the Incarnation of the Son of God.

KONTAKION (TONE 3)
The woman who had been barren becomes fertile and gives birth today to the Forerunner of Christ. He is the greatest and last of the prophets, for standing in the waters of the Jordon River, he placed his hands on Christ whom all the prophets had announced, and in so doing he became a prophet himself, a preacher and a forerunner of the Word of God.

A proof Islam is false religion not pleasable to God? 717 people died during Hajj in Mecca on Greatest Muslim feast Kurban Bayrami

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Reading Time: 5minutes

The frequent deaths in Mecca in Muslim Islamic Hajj a proof islam is a false religion

This year on 24 September, for one more time on the day of Greatest Muslim feastEid-Al-Adha in turkey known as Kurban Bayrami (translated as Feast of Sacrifice) Saudi Arabia's Hajj (during the veneration of the greatest Muslim relic Kaaba (stone)  in Mecca (said to be the birth place of Muhammad), again at least 717 poor people were killed(crushed to death) and 863 injured during Hajj's common million muslim people's prayer gathering. |

Sadly Incidents like this for Muslim pilgrims are not news and they happen quite often sadly and if taken the statistics of death toll of pilgrims for the past years is shocking.

Here are some statistics on the latest 25 years of deaths of pilgrims on a Hajj travel or those who directly died in Mecca:

Mosquee_Masjid_el_Hara_a_Mecque
 

Some notable incidents during Hajj and Mecca pilgrimages in the last 25 years include:
 

  • July 2, 1990: A stampede inside a pedestrian tunnel (Al-Ma'aisim tunnel) leading out from Mecca towards Mina and the Plains of Arafat led to the deaths of 1,426 pilgrims, many of them of Malaysian, Indonesian and Pakistani origin.[2][3]
  • May 23, 1994: A stampede killed at least 270 pilgrims at the stoning of the Devil ritual.
  • April 9, 1998: at least 118 pilgrims were trampled to death and 180 injured in an incident on Jamarat Bridge.[4]
  • March 5, 2001: 35 pilgrims were trampled to death in a stampede during the stoning of the Devil ritual.[5]
  • February 11, 2003: The stoning of the Devil ritual claimed 14 pilgrims' lives.[6]
  • February 1, 2004: 251 pilgrims were killed and another 244 injured in a stampede during the stoning ritual in Mina.[7]
  • January 12, 2006: A stampede during the stoning of the Devil on the last day of the Hajj in Mina killed at least 346 pilgrims and injured at least 289 more. The incident occurred shortly after 13:00 local time, when a busload of travellers arrived together at the eastern access ramps to the Jamarat Bridge. This caused pilgrims to trip, rapidly resulting in a lethal stampede. An estimated two million people were performing the ritual at the time.
  • September 24, 2015: 717 pilgrims were killed and another 800 injured during a stampede in the 2015 Hajj


The Kabba stone is the central pilgrimage place for muslims and accoriding to Islam faith it is a stone which came from heaven, there are pleny of legends and superstitious speculations regarding this stone circulating among muslims and it is hard to say which is really true, however what is sure is Hajj on Mecca has been practiced by muslims since the early days of Islam even to this very day.

From a Christian staind point going to venerate a stone is simply a venerating an idol (as a stone is a creation) and not the creator and is very different from us Christians venerating the icons, as we venerate not the icon itself but the image of personality depicted on it The Lord Jesus Christ (Christ meaning Messiah), The Most holy Theotokos Virgin Mary, John the Baptist the Angels, Archangels and Saints who immitated Christ's life and who reached immerse holines even in this life being able to perform miracles.

Tomb-of-Islam-creator-Mohammad

One really strange thing which I guess no muslim could answer is why if Muhammad was the greatest and last prophet of Allah, he did not perform any miracles in lifetime or after death. Another thing is the veneration of the grave of Muhammad (At the Green Dome) practiced in Islam that is a really strange thing and contradicts the laws of the Qu'ran instructing not to venerate anything except Ala.

I would say the main proof against Islam as being the right faith in God is the fact Muhammad died like every normal person. The greatest venerated prophet for 1.5 billion muslims more venerated even than the Isa's Allah messanger (Isa is Jesus's name in Qu'ran) died like every normal person with a peaceful death without any super-natural indication he was a prophet after his death.

In Christianity we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the son of God (The Father the Son and the Holy Spirit) which we call The Holy Trinity (a undividable unity between the 3 hyposthasis.
The proof for us Christians that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Savior of Mankind is the empty Tomb (Grave of Christ), because JESUS HAS RISEN AND WITH BODY IN HEAVEN!
 

    It is interesting that these bright days for muslims often end up with immerse sorrow for some families which loose beloved husbands in accidents like this.

    Interestingly on Christian Easter feast be it Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox there is no records of tragic incidents.
    Even it can be considered a miracle that on Eastern feasts in Jerusalem's Church of Resurrection where the Lord Jesus Christ has been risen (resurrected) from the dead there are no crushing incidents even though the big crowds, neither there are any burned people even though the whole Holy Sepulchure (Resurrection) church is filled withpeople holding lighted up candles with the every year reoccuring of Miracle Holy Fire.

    The_Ressurrection_of_Christ-orthodox-icon

    The lack of incidents on The day of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (Eastern) in my humble opionion is a clear sign that this feast is a pleasing God.

    Muslims believe and claim that it is the greatest joy of all to die for (God) Allah and those incidents are sent blessing from Allah for those who died in those incidents and in a sense dying for God is a blessing if you die for God's sake as a martyr while testifying faith in God but being killed while you're on a way to venerate God seems a bit illogical to me.
    I have red the Holy Bible Old Testament as well as the Qu'ran sometimes ago two books which more or less are being regarded by muslims and in none of them I found not a story of someone on the way to pilgrim God or who have promised to pilgrim God who have been killed, so I guess this kind of thinking is an invention of Mullam / Imams who try to justify the event and make it look beneficial for islaam, a justification which I believe most of people looking for truth and non muslims would never justity.

    Crucifixion_by_Theophanes_the_Cretan

    From a my view point the crushment of people during a pilgrimage is a clear sign God's Grace and Holy Angels doesn't guard the place but the devil is let to often kill those poor peoplebecause of the rejection of muslims of the true Light the Lord Jesus Christ as a true Son of God and a saviour of the Lord who came to give his holy life on the cross not only for Christians who believed in him but for all People from all religions in the world from all ages including the direct descending from Muhammad (as I heard from some Kurdish muslim people) Muslim.

    I pray our Lord Jesus Christ to have mercy on the  souls of all this Mecca pilgrimages who died yesterday and the in the past accidents through the years and to have mercy and open the spiirtual eyes of Muslim around the world and enlighten them with the truthful word of the Holy Gospel.

     

    Thomas Sunday – The day of Disbelievers

    Monday, April 28th, 2014

    Reading Time: 4minutes

    Thomas-sunday-the-day-of-disbelieve-Thomas-reaching-to-Jesus-wounds

    A week passed since we Christian celebrated Resurrection of Christ (Pascha). Each year on first Sunday after Easter in orthodox Church is celebrated the so called Thomas Sunday. So why is it called Thomas Sunday and why it is the day of disbelievers?
    The root of this ancient Christian feast comes after commemoration of Christ desciple St. Thomas who disbelieved the testimony of ( 10 apostles ) and the Virgin Mary  that Jesus Christ is Risen from the Death.

    The disbelieve of Thomas was logical and human cause even though Thomas was with the Apostleswith Christ for 3 years, saw all Jesus miracles and shared the Secret Supper (Last Supper), and even knew in advance (heard by Jesus on Last supper) that Jesus will betrayed mocked, hanged on the Cross and Rise from the death on the third day, he disbelieved.

    Thomas Sunday (Sundy of Thomas) is "the day of Disbelievers", because all are disbelievers in moments of their life not only those who believe God but all the humanity!  Even the most faithful Christian, be it a deacon, monk or priest has difficult moments in life where God's existence or providence for one's faith is seriously questioned.
    The fallen nature of man is such that the initial belief in God given to man in Eden (Paradise garden) is broken, and only in Jesus's name through the Gift of Faith given by the Holy Spirit, believe in God is restored.

    Thomas very much like unto everyone of us doubted the rumors of Christ resurrection and said he would only believe in Resurrected Christ only if he sees his hands nails print and put his fingers into Christ’s wounds to test he is not seeing a Ghost but Christ is alive in a body after his death.

    Here is the Gospel reading re-telling the story in short:

    “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” (John 20:19)

    “But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:24-26)

    And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
    Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
    Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
    Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
    Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.
    But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31)

    We Christians should be joyful for have not seen Christ in Flesh but have believed for we are blessed for his believe without seeing.

    By same faith in God without seeing him even in old times the Jews were led by the Lord God in the desert have won wars by their believing without seeing God, prophets has prophecised, Simeon (The God receiver) hold The Savior (Christ) in his hands, by faith David won the battle with Goliath, by faith we understand the universe was formed at God’s command, by faith we know that the visible came out of the invisible.

    o Kyrios mou kai o Theos mou (Greek) – My Lord and my God (Jn. 20:28) this declaration of faith clearly shows an unexpressable excitement of Thomas and his unexpectency to see Christ resurrected. Here it is interesting that here the son of God Jesus Christ is called by Thomas exactly how Jewish used to call God Yahweh (One and Only God) in the Old testament.

    Today the evangical story is very accurate for our generation – a generation of disbelievers, even we who say we believe often doesn’t justify our believe with our deeds, we say we believe but we don’t keep God’s commandment “to love God and our neigbor like ourselves.” Often only difference between believers and disbelievers is on Sunday we believers visit Church and “play Christians”, but even but in daily life our deeds are same like unbelievers. Often many are disbelievers not because they reject God but because they never heard the Gospel or misheard it, also we disbelieve because we’re very much like st. Thomas, we often say “I will believe in God if I see him”, but even Thomas who saw God before the Crucifix and knew him disbelieved – a proof that often seing once could still leave space for doubt. The glorious event of Christ showing himself Alive to Thomas was made by Christ to establish the Church and strengthen faith of first Christians in resurrection. Nowadays there are plenty of people who question God’s existence saying that they will believe if they see but they’re not given to see the resurrected Christ because God knows that even if we see the Lord Jesus Christ resurrected we would try to rationally explain the phenomenon with holograms, modern technology or science.

    Thomas Sunday is not only a day of Thomas disbelieve it is a day of disbelieve of all humanity. , St. Thomas should be an example even to all of us Christian disbelievers and non-believers that even if we disbelieve and doubt and strive to see God, He is powerful to come and appear Resurrected in His Glory to our souls.
    Let us therefore have the Wisdom of the Holy Apostles and say together with them “Lord, Increase our faith.” Luke 17:5

    Origin of Halloween (All Hallows Eve) or the Day of All Saints is actually Christian

    Thursday, October 30th, 2014

    Reading Time: 6minutes

     

     

    The-Christian_Original-of-Halloween-Cross_on-a-pumpkin

     

     

    Many people would "celebrate" Halloween today, however many don't know or understand the true feast origin. It would probably news to many thathalloween that is today so much associated with satanism, evil spirits and horror has christian origin! Here is what wikipedia States about Halloween quote:
     

    The word Halloween or Hallowe'en dates to about 1745 and is of Christian origin. The word "Halloween" means "hallowed evening" or "holy evening". It comes from a Scottish term for All Hallows' Eve (the evening before All Hallows' Day). In Scots, the word "eve" is even, and this is contracted to e'en or een. Over time, (All) Hallow(s) Eve(n) evolved into Halloween. Although the phrase "All Hallows'" is found in Old English (ealra hālgena mæssedæg, all saints mass-day), "All Hallows' Eve" is itself not seen until 1556.

     

    All-Saints-day-Latin-Roman-Catholic-icon

    Before Christianization of Western societies – e.g. Irish, Old English, Scots and the other Gaelic nations, in Ancient celtic traditionsSamhain (celebrated at end of October) give the beginning of the Celtic New Year. Celts believed that the spirits of the dead over the previous year come to roam the world looking for living people to possess. As a mean of protect Celts put on their face animal skin and other objects in order to be as scare as possible to drive out spirits from themselves. The Celtic people of Europe and Britain were pagan Druids (priests / educated people) whose major celebrations were marked by the seasons. At the end of the year in northern Europe, people made preparations to ensure winter survival by harvesting the crops and culling the herds, slaughtering animals that wouldn't make it. Life slowed down as winter brought darkness (shortened days and longer nights), fallow ground, and death. The imagery of death, symbolized by skeletons, skulls, and the color black, remains prominent in today's Halloween celebrations.

    seasonal_activities_medieval_seasons_calendar

    The "Samhain" season used to be a favourite times before Christianization and (even by some witches, later haunted by Inquisition) for occult practices such as divination and communication with the dead. They sought "divine" spirits (demons) and the spirits of their ancestors regarding weather forecasts for the coming year, crop expectations, and even romantic prospects. Bobbing for apples was one practice the pagans used to divine the spiritual world's "blessings" on a couple's romance.

    Interetingly in Eastern Europe countries, there is similar traditions in multiple countries – e.g. Romania, Moldova Serbia, Greece, Macedonia, Croatia even in my own Bulgarian culture we still have regions celebrating similar pagan feast, on whose feast KukeriKukers are called the dressed people in the form and masked as scary beasts with hornsdance on the streets in hope to drive away with their awful looking outlook any "evil spirits". Kukeri traditionally appear still in Eastern Bulgaria, the feast has been known to have origin fromThracians.

    kukeri in Bulgaria Shiroka Lyka

    It is intriguing that since, even very ancient times people believed in immortality of the human spirit and this is not coincidence, because from ancient times people know "instinctively" the soul is importal and life continues on after physical dead of the body.

    The modern version of Halloween celebrated mainly by kids wandering the homes of neighbors with the question "Trick or Treat?" started being marked in that way in England, Belgium, Germany, Austria and Italy at least as early as 15th century.
    Traditionally groups of poor children would go to homes collecting the so called soul-cakes (special burned small breads) made as an aim of remembrance of the Christian relatives who passed away – it was a very widespread custom to give food to strangers as a mean of charity  just like it is still in Orthodox Christian countries, we give away food to strangers as an aim to remembrance of our departed (and forgiveness of sins) to our relatives.

    Halloween-christian-tradition-soul-cake-with-Cross-on-it

    In the Middle Ages, churches displayed the holy relics of martyred saints for veneration and those parishes that were too poor to have relics let parishioners dress up as the saints insteada practice that some Christians continue in Halloween celebrations today.

    Cross_and_Halloween_origin-of-feast

    Unfortunately the Christian root of Halloween tradition gradually mixed with some of the old still not completely forgotten beliefs of paganism in pre-christian times and with the gradual raise of materialism, the protestant reformation, the enlightenment, the french revolution, the world wars etc. this mostly Christian traditions loose their Christian ground and left mostly its pagan element.
    After Christianization of Europe from the 9th century onwards the Church, pagan traditions continued to be practiced by many, probably because the Church "mass" language and preaching was in Latin, people doesn't have bibles and many even baptized doesn't really had a good knowledge / understanding on Christian faith.
    It is not a coincidence the Church's decision to place the All Hallows Eve (The Day of All Saints) on "Halloween" feast on 1  November.

    Pope_Gregory_III-icon-Catholic-Pope-who-fighted-iconoclasm-heresy

    The feast of All Saints on its current date, is traced to the foundation by Pope Gregory III (731–741) – (who was a defender of true Orthodox Christian faith  and openly against the heresy of Iconoclasm) who set this date to be  "of the holy apostles and of all saints, martyrs and confessors, of all the just made perfect who are at rest throughout the world", the feast was moved to 1 November from the prior feast from 13 May suppressed.

    With the emigration of many Europeans to America the secular Halloween feast has been transferred to America and set itself as one of the United States citizens tradition in which reminded emigrants for their homeland europe making the feast popularity to boast. The bloom of TV advertisement and the decrease of faith in people, increase of occult mindset in society made the feast primordial understanding to invert associating Halloween with evil which is fun in the mass. This is quite strange as evin the ancient pagans, had not associated with evil but used the feast as a mean to protect from evil. That's another sign in what kind of tragic state currently society is … sadly the feast Americanization made it to the number of "International feasts". And now there is almost no country where Halloween is not celebrated in a secular way.

    It is not a hidden fact that Halloween feast for its connection with magical powers, paganism and occult is often believed and said to be 'A feast day for Witches and magicians', its considered important feast in Anton Sandor Lavey's Church of Satan.

    A lot of parents nowdays does encourage their children to celebrate the feast not understanding the real Christian roots of it and teaching children to enjoy evil often without even realizing the psychological damage this makes to a kid.
    Some countries such as Russia has already legislation prohibiting the pupils in school to mask like monsters and celebrate publicly the feast.
    roman_catholic_christian_halloween_pumpkin
    If you're a parent it is always a good idea to tell your kid that the truth isHalloween feast is not connected to darkness as it is often publicly illustrated but on the contrary Halloween tradition is early Christian one.

    Saint Abraham the Bulgarian co-memoration in Bulgarian Orthodox Church

    Monday, April 2nd, 2012

    Reading Time: 4minutes

    saint Abraham the Bulgarian, sv. Avramii Bolgarski

    Saint Abraham the Bulgarian is an Orthodox Christian saint venerated across most Slavonic Christian dome. His co-memoration in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church (BPC) is on 1st of April.

    What is unique about this saint is that he used to be born and grown in the tradition of the Muslim (Islam) faith and by the great providence of God he converted to the true faith of Christianity.

    St. Abraham of (Bulgaria), was born in Volga Bulgaria in a community of Muslim Volga Bulgars (old Bulgarians). Nowdays Volga Bulgaria is located in Tararstan Russia. The saint used to be an islamic merchant and His martyrdom for Christ happened in March 6 (according to old Church Calendar) in year 1229.

    He used to live in a very complex situation, when the islamic influence of Arabs in his motherland was quite severe. St. Abraham of Bulgaria used to be a rich man for his time, he was a merchant.
    Because of the trade he travelled a lot to the Byzantine Empire and the Orthodox Christian principalities. This give him an opportunity to get to know Christian faith little by little.

    He was accustomed to a wordly life but still always accepted strangers and similar to the Old Testamental father of nations st. Abraham he's been very hospitable to poor people.
    By Gods grace he become convinced Muslim faith does not teach a true faith to the one God,  being pointed by God himself towards the right salvation way, he accepted Jesus Christ as a Lord and Saviour being baptized and hence converting to the truthful Christian faith.

    His Christian baptizmal was accepted from Russian traders, who lived nearby the place of Great Bulgar.
    Being baptized in the Christian faith Saint Abraham of Bulgaria not only confessed Christian faith across his fellow people, but he also led very harsh (ascetic like) life, wearing secretly below his clothes a heavy chains during his worldly travels. The profit he made from trade often he shared with the poor.Once he went for a trade to the city of Great (Bulgar) Bulgar. There he was arrested because there was a rumor, he cursed (islamic faith believed prophect) Mohammed and the muslim faith.


    Saint Abraham Avramii Bylgarski Bulgarian Martyr saint old drawing

    Muslims catched him and started convincing him to reject Christ, accusing him at a blasphemy. Abraham was not scared of muslim threats of expel and even putting to death. As Muslims failed to force him "by words" to convert back to Islam, they took him and put him in jail because of his denial of (their) Islamic faith.

    In jail he was tortured but, they failed to convince him to deny Christ, seeing they have no way to convince him to accept Muslim faith once again, saint tormentors first cut his hands, then the legs and finally disgraced by his boldness and continues confession of Christ they beheaded him.

    Soon afterwards the city of Bulgar was captured and burned down by the Mongols, many people in that time saw this is Gods punishment for the innocent shed blood of Abraham the Bulgar.
    The local Christians took his body and buried him in the Christian cemetery of the ancient city of (Bolgar) / Bulgar.
    On the place, where the saint was buried, a healing water spring emerged. The first man who received healing from this spring by Christ's grace was a muslim.

    Miracle Making Spring Well Saint Abraham the Bulgarian

    Great healing miracles happened on the saint grave. Local Christians took their relatives and bring them to the saints grave for a miracle healing and a prayer intercession of the saint. A rumour about the saints great graceous grave quickly spread and some people told about the miracle healing grave f st. Abraham to prince Georgi / (George) Vsevolodich.One year later again on 6th March 1230, the body of the saint was carried in the city of Vladimir, where the prince and his family, the Vladimirsk Bishop, the clergy and the local people received the holy relics of st. Abraham (of Bulgaria). The holy relics was kept in the local church "Dormition of Mother Mary" on 6th of March in the year of 1230.

    The co-memoration of st. Abraham the Bulgarian is being observed in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, since very ancient times.
    Nowdays both Christians and Muslim celebrate the saints feast.

    Icon of Orthodox Christian Saint Abraham of Bulgaria and his Holy Relics

    Interesgingly, nowdays St. Abraham the Bulgarian is venerated as a saint by both Orthodox Christians and by Muslims. Many Muslims from Turkey and other muslim countries come each year for the saints feast day to pray and ask for healing or prayer intercession to God.

    Even to this very day people receive by Jesus's grace through saint Abraham the Bulgarian's prayers – a various incurable disease healings. The healings occur on the same holy spring where the saint was buried. Many people are also healed from incurrable diseases through the veneration of the incorruptable saint holy relics kept in the Church Dormition of Mother Mary.

    The Satanic roots of Metal and Rock Music genre – Two parts Christian movie exposing connection between Satanism and Metal music

    Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

    Reading Time: 3minutes

    Some long time ago a bit before I repent and believed in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour, I've done quite an extensive research on the trustability of the Holy Bible and mostly the Church and Christian writtings. In that times, as an ex-metal head I had a profound interest if there is really a connection between Modern Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Music?

    My research back then was quite thoroughful and I found plenty of proofs clearly showing a clear connection between most of the hard rock and heavy / death metal bands to satanism. I used to listen this anti-christian music for about 8 years repeatedly believing the message is not  really bad, even though subconsciously I knew something is not right with the music.

    It was quite shocking to me to find that one of my favourite hard rock / psychedelic bandsLed Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Doors, Rolling Stones etc. e, had a clear connection with Alester Crawley (a new age occultist magician and a forefather of modern satanism …).

    Crawley was a completely insane person proclaiming himself under the alias "The Beast". This psycho travelled all around America, cursing people and cities and teaching people to worship evil. In other words the guy was a complete modern day anti-christ. I found in youtube few short 20 minute, movies exposing the relation between the new age ecumenistic beliefs and Crawley. Along with the musicians spoken about and their exposure to be a bible and God deniers, the movie explains why the message of this popular figures is anti-Christian in essence. This short few movies explains how this terrible guy Crawley become an inspirator of many of the today world popular played rock bands in most of the radio stations …


    Satanism – The Root of Rock Music (part 1)


    Satanism – The Root of Rock Music (part 2)

    Another interesting documentary exposing some of the major pop and rock culture and musicians connection with satanism and the occult is They Sold Their Souls to the devil. The movie is again a short research on popular musicians, who openly say in their interviews they sold their souls for fame to the devil. . Many of the star musicians featured in this videos, even say openly they're possessed by evil spirits.


    They Sold Their Souls to the devil part 1 of 3


    They Sold Their Souls to the devil part 2 of 3


    They Sold Their Souls to the devil part 3 of 3


    They Sold Thir Souls to the devil part 4 of 4

    Some people might think this is a joke non-serious, some crazy christian propaganda, but if you watch it without bias and analyze it nomatter if Christian or atheist you will see most of the things said in the video reflect the reality. Actually it's very sad reality, today's world has rapidly headed towards non-christianity, occult and satanism. Believe it or not, the elite in the world, we see daily on TV or hear on the Radio and read for as heroes in the newspapers has a strong connection with magicians, occult and fake spirituality. Many of them think loving evil is fun and okay but in fact it is a big lie we're said. As I've red someone says, once a lie is repeated many times it appears to sound like truth….
    Anyways we should know Evil is evil and no good can come of worshipping the evil our ancestors and forefathers knew that pretty well and they used to teach us in a spirit to obey good and walk after good and not evil. Modern pop-rock culture teach us something else it teach us to go after the ways of dis-obeying satan took … Pitily our dying generation forgot that evil seeking will bring just evil and now systematically many  governments and medias are working seriously for  destroying the Christian moral and pureness hence by that we  seek to destroy ourselves hurrying towards our own destruction….

    Lets hope God will be merceful and turn more people to him and unveil them the truth we read in the Holy Bible. I have hope more and more people will realize that we have to be living in a moderate and saintly way and not like the rock and pop stars shown in those videos. We should pray for each other and love each other and keep an eye on our children to let them not go the bad ways of witchcraft, unholiness and sinfulness  the modern pop – rock culture push us to.

    The Resurrection of Lazarus feast in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church (The day of Lazarus / Lazarus Saturday)

    Saturday, April 16th, 2011

    Reading Time: 5minutes
    The Resurrection of Lazarus Orthodox Icon Sinai

    It’s one day before the the great feast of Palm Sunday . On this day in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church we do have a reading of the glorious miracle with the raising (resurrecting) of Lazarus, that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ did in front of many Jewish people.

    In the gospel readings, we hear that the Lord has went nearby the place where Lazarus has been buried.
    The Jewish tradition of this time is that their dead be buried in a small cave, while the body is being wrapped up in a specific white clothe matter. This kind of burial ceremony is directly related to most of the ancient Jewish beliefs about the resurrection of the death which will take place.

    In that time, Lazarus has been dead (or in grave) for already 4 days, even in the Gospel, we read that the rottening body has started to decay and hence the rotting flesh to smell badlhy …

    The gospel also taught us, Lazarus has been a friend of our Lord Jesus Chirst, and Christ himself loved him. Very interesting fact concerning Lazarus earthly life is also that he has been a brother of the sisters Mary and Martha.
    Mary is actually the same Mary which we read about in the Gospel of Luke, the same mary which bows and cries in front of Jesus’s feets, repenting and begging the saviour for a forgiveness of her sins.

    Even though our Lord has been sent a word 4 days before he came, whether the overall journey to the place where Lazarus was at that point was only 2 days. The Lord has come on the 4th day to Bethany (a village near Jerusalem)

    When the Lord came in Bethany he found that Lazarus is dead and has been in the tomb for 4 days. On his arrival he met Martha and Mary in turn.
    Marta was loudly crying regretting that Christ haven’t arrived earlier otherwise he would have healed from the sickness and he would not die..

    The Lord replied to Marta’s lamention with his majestic words: “I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in Me shall live, even if he dies. And everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die”.
    As the gospel reading continues, we’re told that Christ has been sorrowful in himself and the Lord Jesus further said the famous phrase: “Jesus wept!
    In the presence of a crowd of mourners (obviously many people has loved Lazarus), the Lord did his glorious miracle of Lazarus Resurrection.

    After on the heavy stone which was sealing the cave with Lazarus dead body was moved away by the order of the Lord.
    The Lord entered in the cave prayed and said to Lazarus: “Lazarus come forth!”
    Hearing the order of the son of God and our saviour Lazarus has risen up with the funeral clothes still wrapping his body. Jesus instructed some people from the crowd to remove the grave-cloths from Lazarus and let him walk.
    As many people in the grave has saw the indescribable miracle the people witnessing the miracle “believed in him”.

    The meaning of the Lord’s “Come forth!” is crucial, as with the the glorious miracle of Lazarus Raising the Lord has shown his authority over death and live.
    Even the death was submissive to the Lord’s order! Even the death couldn’t go against his mighty word and silently obeys!

    This story was given by our God the Holy Trinity to clearly show us that he is the one in charge over death and over life on earth and hence he is the one in charge of every human being still breathing on this earth.
    On the other hand the raising of Lazarus was done to show to us who still doubt in our hearts and minds and disbelief about the promised Resurrection of the Death in the glorious day of the Lord.

    Our Lord has even wept, clearly showing to us that he is not indifferent to our suffering, but on the contrary is suffering with our pain himself.

    After Christ’s Crucifixion, death, Resurrection and Ascension, Lazarus has become a vigilant Christ disciple. He has further compelled to seek refuge away from Jerusalem to avoid the anger of high priests and the pharisees, who wanted to kill him.
    Lazarus has leaved Judea to seek refuge in another country. He found his refuge in Kittium (today called Larnaca) and situated in Cyprus.
    According to Orthodox Church tradtion Lazarus has been ordained to become the first Church bishop of Kitium.

    Little is known about Lazarus after Our Lord’s Resurrection and Ascension except that during his thirty year he never smiled or joked except for one occasion. One day, he saw someone stealing a clay pot and he laughed saying, “the clay steals the clay”.

    Another famous tradition connected to Lazarus is the discovery of Mount Athos in 52AD.
    Lazarus was very close to the Virgin Mary and he was very grieved that he could not return to Jerusalem to visit her (he was still in fear of the Jews).
    The Theotokos learned of his sorrow and sent him a letter to comfort him.
    She asked that he might send a ship to her that she might visit him in Cyprus.
    With great joy, Lazarus sent a ship to the Holy Lands to bring the Virgin Mary and John, the beloved disciple to Cyprus for a visit.
    On their journey, a great storm blew them off course and carried them to the shores of Ephesus and then the ship to the shores of Athos, Greece.
    Unaware that divine providence had brought her to this area, the Virgin Mary completely taken by the beauty of the area, prayed to her son that this could be her garden devoted to prayer to “fight the good fight of faith”.
    Having converted, blessed and established a new christian community from the local idolaters they set sail for Cyprus and met with Lazarus.
    The day of Lazarus as we call it in Bulgaria is one of the great Christian feasts in our Orthodox Church, even though it’s not among the 12 greatest Christian feasts it’s one of the major feats throughout the Church year.
    The first tomb of Lazarus in Bethany remains as a site for pilgrims to this very day. The second tomb, on the island of Cyprus, was found in Kittium sometime in A.D. 890, with his relics inside and bearing the inscription “Lazarus, the Friend of Christ.”
    The commemoration of the day the Lord Jesus has risen Lazarus from the death is one of the few feasts during the great Lent which are considered days of spiritual joy in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and all other national Orthodox Churches around the world.
    The feast is also known under the name Lazarus Saturday is always commemorated in Orthodox Churches, one day before the Palm Sunday feast.
    By the Holy prayers of Lazarus let our Lord Jesus be merciful to us the sinners! Amen.

    A preaching words Paschal greeting for Great Saturday and the Resurrection day by Byzantium Emperor Theodore II Ducas Laskaris

    Friday, April 29th, 2011

    Reading Time: 4minutes
    Theodore Ducas Lascaris coin Christian Seal

    Below’s text is a Paschal greeting of the Byzantium Emperor Thedodore Ducas Lascaris, the text is really beautiful, I’ve translated it from Bulgarian translation which was translated from Greek, the general idea of the text is clearly observable. I’m really sorry if the text has translation mistakes. Have an enjoyable reading!

    “Christ is risen from the death”, that are the words of the Angel; this saw the women; this testifies Pilatus stamps, this is what the empty grave of the Saviour proclaims; this is what testifies for the moved tomb (about 2 tons) stone; the guardians lay bare by their own speech; the grave guards acknowledges and takes the money; the High Priests [Anna and Caiphas] show off they’re guilty; Pilatus is feeling guilt; the centurion on the curtain tear down does believe; the sun has prooved the Godly essence of Christ darkening itself during the crucifix; the resurrected bodies of the many dead saints does testified about the truth; the whole nature confirmed the Resurrection, which has happened in the end of the Saturday, in the beginning of the [first day of the week].

    Rejoice oh Man: Christ has Risen from the dead; the testimonial is truthful; Rejoice for you have been freed; hell is bound up, Rejoice!; It’s the day of the Resurrection, rise up your voice; The master of our salvation has risen up from the dead; rejoice oh heaven and earth, see through the resurrection a harmony between holy Angels and humans has been established; rejoice oh you plants; the execution of Christ has been on a Cross, but through the Cross the Resurrection has accomplished; Adam has been risen up again; Eva has been released from the chains; Christ has preceeded over the prophets; The Kings Solomon and David are salute with victorious songs!

    Rejoice oh man the darkness has lessen [in the world] the light has come; the shadow has fade away quickly; grace come in; the spring of life has rised. Does somebody needs to hear about God? Doesn’t everybody know, that he rose up from the dead? Why Pilatus is riotous; Chaiphas thinks where to have the assembly of the Jewish elders. Rejoice oh also you robber, and enter in paradise, when everyone is gathered there; here is the firy sword has turned it’s back; the grandparent has been released; rejoice oh you children of him. From Eva has the has the falling come, from the immaculate Theotokos – the rising up; through disobey death has come, through humility of the Son of God has the resurrection was given as a gift. Through a woman the fall up come, and through a woman is the resurrection preached.

    Christ is Risen from the death!, let the clouds flow the rain of joice, let the plants draw a fresh leaves and the earth does bring forth fruits.

    The creator of all has Risen from death and you rejoice; virtuous branches bring forth your fruits.
    Who is not joious today; who is not feeling sweet joy, who is not rejoicing?

    Risen up from the death, Christ destroyed kingdom of hell, He is Risen and destroyed the devil; he has risen and erased sin; he has Risen and decreased the idol-mania; He has risen and chased away dilusions; he has risen and rescued Adam; he has Risen and made the engles motionless for evil; He has risen and rescued Man; He has risen and joined the heaven ones with the earth ones, ruling himself as a King of the whole world and most-supreme ruler of all; angels and man, elements, elemental force something unseen so far by the demons.

    Therefore rejoice with unspeakable joy; rejoice oh you who hear that Christ is Risen from the death; who does not obey to the first and the last in accordance with the God driven voice (Revel. 22:13), who is not glorifying him? The darkness has been crucified, we’re free from the chains; we’re risen to the upper (heavenly) kingdom.

    It’s the day of the Resurrection; who is not picking up a spiritual guitar, to sing up many times a repeating song, with songs, psalms and great joy and with a piercing melody to cry out?: “He is risen from the death” Christ has risen from the death

    Let all demons phalanx run far away; and the ruler of darkness with his army let enter the Tartara (hell), because the master of life has Risen and the evil one’s kingdom is robbed.

    Let noone all you who are truthful be on the feast with poor garments; let we the Orthodox, does dress our corporeal and spiritual eyes with the shiny garments of goodness; let we the orthodox christians, be dressed up shiny; the enemy [the devil] is dead; the Bishop of Bishops has Risen; yesterday’s sorrow has turned to joy, what is keeping us to sing together with the pupils, to sing up victorious songs together with the Maryies? The Godly home-building is achieved: the descendance of [the Holy Spirit], the conceal, the birth of a Virgin, the baptizmal, the Godly signs, the suffering and Resurrection; Christ has risen from the death, rejoice ohh all you nations.

    Likely we on Great Sunday with a divine hymn do glorify the risen from the death Master Christ – truly Risen, truly without doubt.
    And for us oh God where from will there be mercy sent for our petitions.

    Theodore II Laskaris head painting
    Paschal Greeting Text by Byzantium’s Emperor Theodore II Ducas-Lascaris (1254-1258 AD)
    Translated from Bulgarian (Original text translated from Greek by Alexey Stambolov)

    Farting all the day

    Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

    Reading Time: 2minutes
    Can’t stop farting terribly the whole day :] Yesterday I ate tons of food without thinking I’ll suffer in the morning.I woke up with terrible acids in the stomach. It’s like the sin. When you sin again and again you don’t realize sinleads consequences after him body suffering illness and death in the end both spiritual and physical. My daystarted terrifying. I was feeling cold most of the day. I have a bad blood movement so it’s very usual for me to feel cold.I hate this coldness! I went to the college for an hour it happened I have hour after 1 hour. I was almost ready to sleep walking.Today I’m terribly sleepy. On my home I met “Narf” a collegue in the college who is an IRC maniac and linux fan also :]. He proposedto drink coffee. So we spent an hour on a coffee. He explained me about the structure of the IRC in general it seems the backbone of the UniBG irc is debian.spnet.net. After an hour we went to the college but it seems like our English class was not after an hour but 2 hours, again the dumbs mismatched The Schedule. Nomen was infront of the college and we drunk coffee together on the fountain. I had Introduction to Management after the Business English. My classes ended in 15:45. I take Habib and we went home and discussed his plans about his future. He have plans to fly for UK if they approve him for Visa and make some money to be able to pay his taxes. After that Nomen come home we played MAMEs. A very commical situation was in the midday when I was with Nomen infront of a food kiosks, he was wayting for his snack, suddenly I farted terribly :]]. And we started laughing cause it smelled very brutally :]] I have peace almost the whole day. And I feel God’s love through his holy spirit. Thanks Lord Shabbaoth glory be to your Holy name Father!END—–