Posts Tagged ‘saviour jesus christ’

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

 

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

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Reading Time: 3minutes

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How and Why Walt Disney Is Trying To Corrupt You and Your Children

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Reading Time: 2minutes

I've seen a number of videos exposing, a lot of symbolism, occultism and evil contained in Walt Disney's most famous videos.

I've been amazed that a first glimpse innocent looking cartoon can contain so much magical stuff, occult and hidden satanic symbolism.
Its been amazing that we still, are continuously flooding the youth with such openly anti-christian contained cartoons.

I guess even a lot of Christian devoted couples are playing this evil message movies.
On the first look it is not immediately evident what is happening in the movies, a kid could never understand how much bad stuff is contained inside. However a grown parents can easily see if they observe the movies closely. If you don't believe me check the few videos below and also just play some of your favourite kids cartoon and do a critical analysis of what is inside. There is no doubt there is everything inside, everything instead of our Saviour Jesus Christ.
We have become terribly crazy, since we learn the kids to look for anti-Christian lives, even from the very early stages of their childhood.

The result from such movies in the growing up youth is clear; they are attracted to movies with murder violence, sex related plots, stealing lies, ungodly music, love for evil and not a search for good, hatred, betrayal and all the evils, our grandfathers were teaching us to avoid …

How and Why Walt Disney Is Trying To Corrupt You and Your Children

Was Disney Satanic – Part 1

Was Disney Satanic – Part 2

Disney is pure evil

Journalism – How Disney Movies Corrupt Young Minds

There are plenty of psychological books explaining the badness over a child mind of such movies, yet parents are not careful to protect their children but rather encourage them to watch disney's production thinking they help the kid to develop their brain …
If you're a Christian and you know this things exist and they're preached, please be careful and try to select carefully what kind of movies you play to your kids.

If you're a grow up Christian and you've been raised with this movies, don't be in wonder why you have a very severe desire for sex, money, power and occult. The desire for all this ungodly things was 'installed' in you since the time of your youth simply by being bombarded with Disney's, Hanna Barbera and the rest of the 'all times cartoon' American popular cinema and cartoons.

Why saint George is depicted on icons killing a Dragon (an ancient story of saint George killing the last dragon) – A Collection of 7 icons of Saint Martyr George

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Reading Time: 4minutes

saint_Georgios-killing-the-dragon-in-cave
Saint George is one of the most venerated Orthodox Christian saints in the Eastern Orthodox Church. My interest in saint George is cause of the reason, I myself bear the name Georgi (the Bulgarian equivalent of George). Saint George is mostly venerated in the Slavonic Christian-dome.In almost all Church icons depicting st. George in Orthodox and Roman Catholic christiandome saint George is piercing killing a dragon.
One of the reasons, st. George is depicted piercing the dragon is a reference of st. George victory over satan, through his martyrdom.

The Beast (Dragon) on the iconi is a straight reference to the Holy Bible; Chapter Revelation also known under the name Apocalypse.

In revelation, we read humanity and our saviour Jesus Christ will finally once and for all will kill the "ancient beast" = (satan)

In same logic, as Saint Martyr George has been victorious over Satan by his unshakable confession of faith in Jesus Christ in early 5th century A.D. , we believe in the Orthodox Church he is given the crown of (eternal) life as a prize for bearing un-human tortures in the name of the of Christ.

To illustrate visually the victory of saint George over Satan through his immesurable faith confession with which he become, there is a an early tradition in iconography in the Church to depict st. George killing a dragon.

The other reason why saint George is depicted to kill a Dragon is due to a Lebanon / Palestinian ancient story saying; There was a huge Dragon living somewhere in nowdays Lebanon / Palestinian lands.
The beast created a huge havoc killing many people and systematically torturing people in the area.

As the Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition continues …. the Dragon is said to have inhabited one of the caves near some village.
Interesting, the story tells these very same dragon was the last Dragon crawling the earth before the final disappearance of dragons.

Many brave local people tried to kill the beast but many died as the beast was unbeatable.
Being unable to beat-up the dragon with a physical (human) force the local population turnted to God for help – saying continously prayers to Saint George to help them defeat their dragon mischief.

Soon after, Saint George appeared on a white horse and pierced the "old dragon / snake". The dragon liberation miracle is said to be evidenced by local people and according to Orthodox monk books is one of the many great miracles occuring in past times.
The report of the miracle has quickly spread around all Lebanon / Palestinian lands and soon, being confirmed as real spread along all Russia as well as the rest of the Slavonic and Orthodox Christian world (Bulgaria, Serbia), Greece, Egypt (Alexandria) etc..
To illustrate saint George's appearance miracle, monastic iconographers started depicting saint George as we see him until this very day – Riding a horse and slaughtering a monstrous beast.

Below are seven 12-th century earlyicons of saint Saint Great-Martyr George killing the dragon;;
I've collected the icons from various website online. Hope this collection will be blessing for all Christ brother and sisters and generally anyone reading this post:

12-th century mosaic icon of st. George the Great Martyr Xenophontos Monastery

12-th century mosaic icon of st. George the Great Martyr Xenophontos Monastery

Orthodox Christian icon saint George dated to 1130 - 1150 A.D.

Orthodox Christian icon saint George dated to 1130 – 1150 A.D.

Saint Georgius the Dragon Slayer icon XII century orth icon

Saint Georgius the Dragon Slayer icon XII century orth icon

St. George Enamel icon Georgia 12th century

St. George Enamel icon Georgia 12th century

saint George Christian icon Yuriev Monastery Novgorod 12th century

saint George Christian icon Yuriev Monastery Novgorod 12th century

st. George Staraya Ladoga Orthodox Christian icon

st. George Staraya Ladoga Orthodox Christian icon

sv. Georgius 12th century Aios

sv. Georgius 12th century Aios

Nowdays saint George Holy Relics particles are kept for veneration in many Orthodox Christian countries monasteries. Here in Bulgaria saint George Holy Relics are kept in a Monastery nearby the seacoast in Pomorie. Any Christian visiting Bulgaria have the opportunity to venerate the Holy in (Pomorie's Monastery – St. Great Martyr Georgi.
 

Ancient Christian Coptic Oriental Orthodox icons – The reason for asymmetric body members in early Christian iconography

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Reading Time: 5minutes

While checking some information on Coptic Eastern Oriental faith, I've stumbled upon a very beautiful (and unique) ancient Orthodox Christian icon depicting Saint Menas and our saviour the Lord Jesus Christ, below is the very beautiful icon

Saint Mena (Sv. Mina) and The Lord Jesus Christ icon from 6th century

Saint Mena (Sv. Mina) and The Lord Jesus Christ icon from 6th century

As you can see the iconography is very interesting, the images differ from modern day iconography the portraits are not looking so serious but looks like "childish". This childish forms and faces on the early Christian iconography is not accidental; it expresses the childish like pure faith our Christian devoted ancestors had. This early Christian faith and spiritual life icon is obviously in conjunction with our Saviour Jesus Christ words as red in the Gospel according to Matthew:
 

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.

Matthew 18:1-5

This icon as well as the early Christian icons are very different from nowdays iconography probably for reason;
the images difference, the seriousness and the lack of brightness in the faces of nowdays iconography is a clear sign of the great decay of both Orthodox Christian as well as the down-fall of spiritual life worldly.
I've seen similar childish looking image icons in some Bulgarian ancient relics museums in my child years and always thought the depictions are so kiddish because iconographers of that time did not have the painting knowledge and skills to draw better ones.
Now as I know Christianity much better than then, I understand my previous assumption for the reason of the kiddish looking images is wrong.
Saint Mena (Sv. Mina) and The Lord Jesus Christ icon from 6th century

Very interesting in the early Christian iconography are the shapes. If you take a close look to above icon, you will notice the disparity of the two body members; the hands, head and eyes are unusually big. My guess for the lack of correspondence of body members is the attempt of early iconographers to put accent on most important members of our bodies;

– The head (holding the mind and thoughts of the saints)
– The hands through which the daily food is raised and the eyes through which the world is comprehended are much bigger than in a real person portrait.
– The mouth which is almost the size of the eyes; obvious reference that for early Christian contemplating was much more precious (important) thing, than speech.
This is also in accordance with the New Testament holy scriptures which says like so concerning the tongue:
 

8 But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.
9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God;
10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.
11 Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water?
12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs?
Nor can salt water produce fresh.

Notice also the Halos of the two saints, the size of the halos is almost one third of the whole body of the saints. The Gospel hold by our and all humanity Saviour Jesus Christ is also enormous sized; corresponding almost the height of the arm of Christ on the icon.
The size of the Gospel stresses out the importance of the Holy Bible writtings for early Christians. Nowdays the size of Gospels or Holy Bible especially among protestant Churches "tradition" is becoming smaller and smaller following the spirit of the time proclaiming mobility …

Today the iconography Orthodox Christian "school" has severely changed and the icon images are much more complicated than in ancient times.
The complication of images and elements on Orthodox Icons is a "mirror" of the internal complicated world of us modern-time Christians. This over-complication of our internal spiritual world, does separate us from God instead of uniting us as it is well known in Holy Orthodox Christian tradition God is best known through simplicity and pureness in life thoughts and actions.

The Coptic Oriental Orthodox Church is the only Church, where there is still iconographers drawing in the style of the ancient times childish looking icons. The reason Copts preserved this ancient iconography is that they have conservated big portion of the ancient faith rejecting the decisions of all 7 Orthodox Ecumenical Church Councils. Copts still accept only ecumenical council decisions up to the III-rd ecumenical council. This is also the reason why Eastern Oriental Orthodox Christians are considered not in official communion with the rest of Eastern Orthodox Churches. I had the opportunity by God's grace to meet an Coptic Orthodox Christian (a guy called Baky); From what I've seen and experienced within the few months with Baky my conclusion is Coptic Orthodox layman faith is much stronger than the one in most of other Orthodox Christians I know. The official standpoint of our Eastern Orthodox Church concerning the copts are that they're in heresy and not really orthodox. I'm not sure if this is really true, since I have spend few months with this Coptic Christian brother this autumn and winter and from what I've seen and heard as well as researched on coptic Orthodox it seems their overall Church teaching, Holy Liturgies and everything is very much orthodox (with very little service and faith differences). Here are few beautiful Coptic Orthodox Christian icons still being drawn in the spirit of early days Christianity.

Saint Abba Anthony the Great Coptic Oriental orthodox Icon

Abba (saint) Anthony the Great the father of Orthodox Christian Monastic Life

Coptic Orthodox Oriental Icon Abba Anthony and saint Paul

Coptic Orthodox Oriental Icon of Saint Anothony the Great – "the founder" of Monastic life

Coptic Oriental Orthodox Icon Tobias old testamential Book story

Tobias Old Testamential Story coptic icon

Holy Family Flight into Egypt Coptic Orthodox Icon

Holy Family – Flight into Egypt Coptic Orthodox oriental icon

Christ the Saviour Coptic Oriental Orthodox icon

Christ the Saviour – Coptic Oriental Orthodox icon

Holy Theotokos Coptic Oriental Orthodox icon

Holy Theotokos Coptic Oriental icon

Saint Athanasius defender of pure orthodoxy Oriental Orthodox icon

Saint Athnasius coptic orth icon

The Dormition of Holy Theotokos Mother Mary Coptic Orthodox Oriental Icon

The Dormition of Virgin Mary Coptic icon

Short introduction to one of the most ancient Churches the Coptic Orthodox Christian Church

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Reading Time: 2minutes

As an Orthodox Christian, striving to know the ancient practies of our Saviour Jesus Christ Church by God's grace some few months ago I was granted to I spend few months of time with an Coptic Oriental Orthodox Christian (Medhat Baky). Before meeting with Baky, I knew not that in Egypt there are Christians at all. The little time I spend with this Oriental Orthodox was very beneficial in spiritual sense. I was amazed of the deepness in which Baky knew Christian faith. Moreover I was amazed by the Grace of this Christian as Christ's joy and presence was very powerful in him. Unfortunately for some reasons historical and political reasons Copts Orthodox are not in official communion with the Eastern Orthodox Church. Copts rejected decisions of Holy Fathers on all Ecumenical Councils after 3rd one.Interestingly the same Church which has for 20th Pope (Patriarch) saint Anthony the Great which jealously was protecting true Christianity on III-rd ecumenical council did not participated in the rest of the Church ecumenical councils. Because of that in-participation of Copts in ecumenical councils, nowdays there are some dogmatical issues, where we the Eastern Orthodox (in my view incorrectly accuse) copts for being Mia-physits (Monophisits). According to definition Mia Physis
The dogmatical problem of Monophisitism, is quite severe, according to our Orthodox Eastern understanding by monophisite we accuse Copts for believing falsely that on the Cross the divine nature of Christ suffered only. Though the Monophisitism issue holds back the true communion re-union between us and copts I believe this whole issue is more on a "phylosophical" than a faith level. Coptic Orthodox nowdays is mostly in Egypt, Ethiopia and Africa and numbers 18 000 000 members. It is interesteng to mention even though, officially they're considered divided from the Only Holy (Apostolic) Orthodox Church because of their reject of Ecumenical Council 4, 5, 6 and 7, Copts spiritual life is still preserved in the early centuries and faith in them is strong. It would be great if this 18 000 000 of Christians the whole worldwide congregation of Orthodox Christians which as of time of writting is estimated from 300 000 000 to 400 000 000 people ! 🙂

Officially Copts Reject the accusation of Chalcedon ecumenical council (for disbelieving the two natures of Christ). Just for the sake of info on the Chalcedon Ecumenical council copts were judged to be heretics. Back in the day copts claim there was a political reason, as there were church fights to abolish the independent Egyptian Pope – which maintained that Church and State should not mingle.
Well anyways, I don't know who is right and who is wrong Copts or us, but what I know for sure is nomatter the dogmatical difference between us Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox in essence our faith is alsmost the same.

Coptic Church gave birth of many saints, through years many of this saints are also saints in whole Orthodox realm. Below is a nice videos I found on youtube explaining well, the basics of Copt faith and few interesting facts of their ancient faith.

Christians of the Nile Valley: An Introduction to the Coptic Orthodox Church – Part 1

Christians of the Nile Valley: An Introduction to the Coptic Orthodox Church – Part 2

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.

Weekend with a lot of friends

Monday, April 7th, 2008

Reading Time: 2minutes
I spend the weekend with a lot of friends. God has prepared another great time for me. In Friday I was out with Alex, and we had a long discussion for who is God, because he thinks he can know the Lord without our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ which is completely wrong and impossible like it’s written how our Lord says “I and the Father are one” and again “Noone comes to the Father except through me“. At friday I was out with Static a friend and brother in Christ 🙂 We went to the school where he lives “Dimitar Talev”. This is the second time when I visit this school but it’s so colourful and I like it so much that I wished for a second to be pupil again :). In Sunday I went to Liturgy as often I went to bed very late in Saturday so I wasn’t able to wake in the morning and I went to the Church service somewhere around 9:30. The Priest’s preach was about the gospel’s where our Lord Jesus freed and healed a boy who was very often abused by wicked spirits, he also mentioned how some of the ppl fasts only abstaining from food and how this ain’t fast at all. He gave us interesting example how the animals who ate meet are cruel and animals who eat grass are very meek and pure. For example he said look into the fox, wolf they eat meet and they’re fierce animals whether animals like sheeps and rabbits eat only grass and are mostly good. He also mentioned that the st. Ioan Zlatoust(John / James the Goldenmouth) said that the fasting gives wings to the soul. In the church I saw Stelio the man who introduced me to the Orthodox Faith and after the Service we spend some great time in the park talking about the past during the communist regime here in Bulgaria, also the current state in the country etc. etc. In 12:30 we had previously arranged meeting with two of my colleagues from the College. We had to make the SPSS project which we have to complete and pass to the teacher today. Thanks God everything just went smoothly. And we had to make just a little text to the project in order to complete it. In 09:00 we went to the Fountain with Vlado (hellpain), because he was here for the weekend. Now just after I came home I prayed I take a shower. And I intend to read a bit from the bible and go to sleep.

END—–

Theophany (Jesus’s baptizm in Jordan) feast in Bulgarian Orthodox Church on 6th of January

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Reading Time: 3minutes

Baptism of Christ Theophany Old Orthodox icon

On 6th of January in our Bulgarian Orthodox Church just like in the most Christian realm, we celebrate the great feast of Theophany / Epiphany (Baptizm of our Saviour Jesus Christ in Jordan).

What exactly we celebrate is the Baptizm of our Saviour Jesus Christ in Jordan by st. John the Baptist (John the Forerunner as we call him in the church). This day is very important for us as Christians and this is why the holy fathers in the church has ordered this feast to be among the 12 most important feasts in our Church, the so called (Lords feasts).

On Theophany's day it is a rule in orthodox Church that the Great Blessing of Water is performed. The Blessing of the water and the preceding holy water from the priests blessing is taken by Church layman and we bring a little of this water to our homes to bless through that our homes.

In our Church belief the Holy Water from the Theophany feast is considered the most powerful in spiritual sense holy water as this water is the same water with which our sinless Saviour and lamb (Son) of God Jesus Christ was baptized in Jordan.

The reason why we call the feast Theophany is because God in his essence of Holy Trinity appeared clearly to mankind for a first time in Human history. Our Holy Trinity (3 essence God in one indistructable and insaparatable God – one God as God said for himself in the beginning of writtings) has revealed himself in front of all the people gathered along John the Baptist in Jordan waiting to be baptized in his three essences:

1. God the Father spoke from heaven manifesting and testifying about Jesus Christ being his beloved and only son and saviour of mankdin
,br />2. God the Son (Jesus Christ), has physically appeared to receive the baptizm to fulfill all righteousness and (the old testemential prophecies) and to begin his 3 years mission on earth.

3. God Holy Spirit) has descended from heaven on Jesus Christ in a publicly observable form of a dove

Theophany's feast is called by some english speaking orthodox christians Epiphany, but this is a term less used in orthodox christendom and much more spread in Roman Catholic one.

The Gospel readings in the church tell of the Lord's baptism by John in the Jordan River. The epistle reading of the Divine Liturgy tells of the consequences of the Lord's appearing which is the divine epiphany.

After the end of the st. Basil the Great Holy Liturgy served, the Great Blessing of Water is performed by one or more priests (depending on the number of present priests). The meaning of the blessing of the waters meaning is to show that mankind and all of God's creation, were created to be blessed and filled with the sanctifying of God's presence.

A very local unique bulgarian tradition on this number is that if the great blessings of water is performed by a priest near a river or a sea shore the cross be thrown in the water in order to bless the waters. Pulling out the holy cross from the Sea Bulgarian local Tradition on Theophany feast

Then a number of brave man jump in and do a race swimming aiming to pull out the crucifixion of the water. It is believed that the one who could pull out the cross will get God's great blessings through the upcoming church year.A person who pulled out the cross on Theophany Bulgarian tradition

Let us pray trust and hope on God to also appear to us who seek him, and show us his Holy Trinity wholeness mercies just like he did himself to the people waiting for Baptizm from John the Baptist by the holy prayes of the Theotokos and his holy saints and all heavinly hosts. Amen

Feast of Saint Stephen’s martyrdom in Bulgarian Orthodox Church / Saint Stephen the first Christian Saint

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Reading Time: 3minutes

Saint Stephen Martyrdom Orthodox Christian Icon

It is 27th of December, the 3rd day of Christmas and in those day in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church we co-memorate saint Stephen's Martyrdom.

Its a well known fact that by his martyrdom Saint Stephen become the first Christian martyr
Stephen's name etymology comes from Greek (Stephanos) and translated means "Crown".

What we know from Orthodox Church's tradition is that Stephen was a very young in his age of Martyrdom probably in his 20s.

Stephen's glorious martyrdom has inspired and strengthened significantly the early seveerly hunted Church and has give a lot of courage and faith to many of our early Saint Martyrs. These early Church saints now incesently pray to God to have mercy on our earthly Church.
Its not much known fact St. Stephen held a rank in the early Church clergy, he was a HieroDeacon.
Hierodeaconism in our church is considered the maximum rank of deaconship one can have just before he is ordained for a Priest.

St. Stephen Orthodox Christian icon

St. Stephen was burning for love in Christ and had a strong faith in God, turning many Jewish to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He has shown the truth way to many by teaching them, how to properly interpret the Old Testament (Ancient Jewish) writtings.
He explained to many jewish, how all the old scriptures testify about the coming of the Messiah (Christ), which will save all who believe in his name from sins hell damnation.
As Jewish looked for ways to shutter any kind of preaching of the Gospel and kill Christianity, they saw Stephen as a big enemy just like all Christians in those early days. Therefore they looked for ways to accuse him and execute them and end up the large numbers of jewish people converting from Jewism to Christianity
The whole story of stoning (execution) of st. Stephen is described in the Holy Scriptures in the book called Acts of the Apostles

As he was about to die, Stephen looked up to heaven and said;

"Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God."
Then, as he was being stoned, he cried out, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.".Our Beloved saints last words were, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." manifesting his saintship and deep Christ love even during his last moments of earthly living.
St. Stephen is celebrated in almost all West Roman Catholic Church and in Anglicans.
Churches who co-mmemorate the great saint are located in all around the world.
St. Stephen is also considered a patron saint of Republika Sprska (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Stephen's name later probably become the origin name for western's so popular Steven name).
Saint Stephen Orthodox Christian Icon 11th century byzantine icon
 

Saint Stephen's Byzantine Icon from the 11th Century

Let by the Holy Prayers of St. Stephen God have mercy on the Church and increase our faith and mercies to us sinners.