Posts Tagged ‘bread’

The feast of 26 Zographou Bulgarian Holy Mount Athos Martyrs – burned alive by the Roman Catholic Crusaders

Friday, October 24th, 2014

holy-26-martyrs-of-holy-mount-athos-Zographos-zographou-monastery-martyrs-from-the-roman-catholic-crusaders

On 23 October (10 of October in Julian Calendar every year in Zograph Monastery in Holy Mount Athos is celebrated the martyrdom of the 26 Martyrs who were martyed by Latin crusaders in October 10, 1280. The 26 martyrs were burned alive after refusal to accept Union with the Roman Catholic Church as ordered by Byzantine emperor Michael VIII Paleologos. The then wanting to secure his throne emperor gave allowance for Crusaders together with his mercenaries Tatars and and Turks to go and “convert” the Orthodox Slavs to accept the union with the pope who wanted a primacy in the Church.

Mt. Athos stood in firm opposition to the Union. The Athonite monks sent a letter to Michael pointing out that the primacy of the Pope, his commemoration in the churches, celebrating the Eucharist with unleavened bread, the insertion of the “filioque” [“and from the Son”] into the Creed, could not be accepted by Orthodox, and they asked the emperor to change his mind. “We clearly see,” the letter said, “that you are becoming a heretic, but we implore you to forsake all this and abide in the teachings that were handed down to you…. Reject the unholy and novel teachings of a false knowledge, speculations, and additions to the Faith.”


Holy Theotokos – The Virgin Mary icon which spoke with a human voice to a Zographou monk

An icon spoke to an old monk warning that the “enemies of Christ” are coming. The monk went to forewarn the brothers (as he was living 30 minutes afar in a grave-yard), but for his surprise the Holy icon of the Theotokos which spoke to him was found on the monastic entrance.
The brother went and told the abbot (Igumen) Thomas who told to the brothers to either flew in the woods if they’re weak in spirit and to the strong he said to stay and cofess the Holy Orthodox faith. Abbot Thomas together with the 23 monks (24 monks including the abbot) toghet with 4 pilgrims decided to stay in the monastery and suffered martyrdom. The Crusaders who were returning from Jerusalem sent by the ungodly emperor tried to convince the 26 confessors to accept Roman Catholic doctrines such as “filioque” (The teaching that the Holy Spirit cames also from the Son) and to celebrate the eucharist with unleavened bread (like the Jewish) and wanted the confessors to accept the papal union accepted also by the emeror Michael. The 26 Martyrs rebuked these heresies and explained that the “filique” is against the decisions of the 7 Church Councils. Also they give the proof that the Holy Spirit doesn’t proceed from the Son by retelling how John The Baptist baptized Christ and how the Holy Spirit descent over the Lord Jesus Christ in form of a dove. This didn’t convince the papists and the truthful words of the Zographus monks rebuked their error the papists were angered and burned the tower with the holy Martyrs alive. One of the monks fall of the burning tower and the latin though he is dead left him behind however he survived more 30 days! – even though he was on a dying bed and later told what happened to the brothers which came from their hiding places to the monastery. The Holy Martyrs prayed from the fire their last prayer to God to save the Holy Mount Athos and every true Christian on earth from heresies. When they ended their prayer they heard a voice from heaven “Rejoice for great is your reward in heaven!”. The Roman Crusaders heard the voice and were scared howeveras their spiritual eyes were darkened by the lack of the Grace of the Holy Spirit, they kept in their heart tightening. The Martyrdom happened according to Greek chronicles on 10 of October 1280.

The names of the Martyrs for Christ were as follows:

Igumen Thomas, and the monks Barsanuphius, Cyril, Michael, Simon, Hilarion, James, Job, Cyprian, Sava, Jacob, Martinian, Cosmas, Sergius, Menas, Joasaph, Joannicius, Paul, Anthony, Euthymius, Dometian, Parthenius, and four laymen.

The tower building where the holy martyrs were burned was partially kept even though the fire until 1874 however the tower was already too old and it was about to ruin – that’s why it hadto be destroyed. To preserve the memory about the martyrdom of 26 martyrs all brothers of the Zographou monastry decided in one spirit to build on its place a monument.

monument-26-Zographou-martyrs-from-the_Latins-Bulgarian-Zograph-monastery-holy-mount-Athos

This happened the same year 1873. The monument had to be sanctified on the day when the memory of the martyrs is celebrated at the eve after sunrise began a night vigil. The night was moonless and on the heaven one could see only few stars. All around was silence. During the vigil exactly in midnight, after beginning the living and martyrdom of the the holy Zographos martyrs”, above the church all 600 hundred people saw a fire column. Column lighted up the whole monastery and the whole region with such a bright light, that even the small objects in the monastery could be seen. This divine column stayed over the Church for 3-4 minutes and moved and stayed above the monument for 3-4 minutes more and after that started ascending above and formed a ring like a crown, crowning the place where the holy martyrs suffered.

burning-of-26-bulgarian-martyrs-on-holy-mount-athos-zographou-monastery-by-the-crusaders roman catholiclatins

This unusual event continued for about 15 minutes. An eyesights of the miracle were all the brotherhood, guests and hermits who came from nearby Sketes for the feast.

That’s how the Almight God has shown by this miracle omen showing in front of everybody how Godly was the martyrdom of this great confessors of the true faith and loyalty to the Holy Orthodox Church.

Holy 26 Martyrs and Cofessors of the true faith pray the Lord Jesus Christ to save our souls!

Our beloved brother in Christ Ipodqkon Georgi (Atonski / from Mount Athos) has passed away

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

Ipodqkon Georgi Atonski from Dobrich

Below I post the only picture I have of this beloved brother in Christ ipodqkon Georgi You see our brother on the right side of the Metropolitan of Varna and Great Preslav Kiril.
Georgi served as an ipodqkon in the Church Holy Trinity here in Dobrich and was well known and loved by the Church community there.
He also was a really good loving and decent man completely devoted to our Orthodox faith, standing firm in the faith.
He worked for many months in Holy mount Athos as a repair workers cook, where he cooked for about 70 people.

Before he worked in Holy Mount Athos, he used to be a restaurant chef in Sandanski.
Since about 6 or 7 months time he become sick, his assumption for the sickness was that it might be of a bad sploit old food which was consumed by accident by him and the rest of the workers.
He shared with me that all of the workers felt sick after eating it but all of them except him has vomited the food afterwards.

He gets poisoned and urgently transfered back in a hospital in Bulgaria. Consequently he went under a lot of examinations which failed to proof the exact type of sickness he was suffering from.
He was prescribed to eat only fasting food (some bread, apples, oil and a few of other light meals). He was prescribed a lot of medications he tried but none of them really helped him and he on a numerous times has shared with me he is not feeling weel, though I was not really believing his health situation is so severe.

The exact state he was experiencing was infirmity, headaches, skin rushes, he could hardly stay on his foots for more than few hours, as lastly he shared with me.
He also got rashes from most of the food he consumed. His life was a real tragedy as I remember I saw him just 3 weeks ago and he was about to go to Sofia for some examinations.
Even though his hardships in life, he was not loosing faith and believed all that was happening was according to God’s will and did accepted his sickness with humility.
During the about 7 months he spend in sickness he was many times being hospitalized in Hospitals in Dobrich, Varna and Sofia.

In each of the hospitals he spend a couple of weeks on injections and live sustaining medical systems.
During this periods, when he was in his home here in Dobrich somewhere in Balik, he often chatted with me over Skype, giving me good spiritual advices.
He also often called my landline phone to consult on various stuff concerning his problems with his notebook. As in the last days he could only lay and use the computer.
The computer he had was one of the few possessions he had, in his last days he did not have money at all as all of his savings were spend for examinations and drugs…

I remember still one time when I walked with him towards the bus-station and I was in a terrible desperation, being faithless.
He instructed me I should pray and told me not to despair and stop smoking as I was nervously smoking…
He lived a life similar in many ways to the life of the saints. He had a strong love for monasticism and had the desire to either become a monk or priest.
He told me many miraculous things he has seen and heard when he was in holy Mount Athos.

Last time I saw my beloved brother Georgi near the Church saint George (sveti Georgi) and for my grief I behaved partly as an asshole, and I repent I was not behaving better.

In this last time I saw him he shared for his great gratitude for God that he was allowed to visit the holy Lands (Jerusalem) The Holy Sepulchure church in Jerusalem.
Even in this last days, obviously living in infirmity he had his strong dedication to the Church and come to the Church services for Resurrection / (Easter) and was mostly being present on holy liturgies in Sundays.

The last time I saw him in the Church he did the Gospel and red some psalms. He was always serious and looked for the spiritual in everything, very rare kind of person to meet today.
Georgi blessed me with a couple of small icons (two copies of icons of Saint Georgi [Fanailska and Araviiska] miraculous icons from mount Athos as well as an icon picture of the Altar of Holy Sepulchure Jerusalem church), and I pray in front of them when I pray to God.

These are two of the icons brother Georgi give me as a gift and blessing from Holy Mount athos:

Saint Georgi Zographus miraculous making icon

Saint Georgi Zographus Miracle making icon

Saint Georgi Fanuilska Zographus Bulgarian Monastery miracle making icon

My beloved brother in Christ Georgi (God Forgive him / Bog da prosti) has also blessed me with a wonderful digital movie about the Bulgarian monastery in Holy Mount Athos Zographus. The movie about Zographus is explaining thoroughfully the history of the holy cloister and showing the originals of the Holy miraculous icons and monks who spoke about today’s spirituality and what is it to be a monk on holy mount athos (one of the most holy places on earth today).

I know also that Georgi was a wonderful a really talanted cook (even a chief) as he was responsible to take an eye for 6 cooks during his work as chief in Sandanski.
In the just recently passed away Resurrection day, he has cooked an Easter cakes and banica as well as some other meals using a holy mount athos recipee.

After the Resurrection early Holy liturgy was over we ate together with the brothers and sisters from Georgi’s delicious meals praising God and rejoicing for our Lord has Resurrected from the dead…
I will really miss my namesake (adash) as I used to call him often. I just hope one day I would see him again if by God’s grace I’m allowed to enter Heaven.
Just about 1 year ago his mother passed away, then some few years before his father has passed away and now not more than a year after his parents he is gone as well.
When I look over this tragedy it’s really hard to understand it but using the Holy Scriptures, one can easily understand why it happened that way as,

His early departure from this life is according to the words in the Holy Bible in Isaiah 57:1:


The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.

I hope ipodqkon Georgi will find grace in front of God to pray for me the sinner and the rest of us who’re still living in ours sins on this sinful earth.

As the memory of the righteous lasts forever he will be forever remembered as I believe he was in the number of the rightous …

Please Orthodox Brothers and sisters pray for ipodqkon’s Georgi’s soul that our merciful God forgives him his trespasses and grants him an ever lasting joy with all the saints in the heavenly church, in paradise!

God forgive you our and my beloved brother Georgi! Let your memory last forever. Amen!

Great & Holy Thursday / Maundy Thursday (Thursday of Mysteries) day in the Orthodox Church

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Today, a day before the suffering of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for our sins remission we do commemorate the day of the Last Supper or (The Supper of Mysteries) in the Orthdox Church.

According to our Church tradition today is the day on which the saviour has established the Church mystery of the Sacrements! (Eucharist)

Here are the exact passages from (Matthew 26:26-28), where by the word of the Lord the Eucharist was established:


“Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.'” (Mt. 26:26-28)

The feast is celebrated with a morning Holy Liturgy among all Eastern Orthodox Churches around the world.
It’s common that many layman do confess and take the sacraments on this date.

Before sacraments are received we the layman confess our unworthiness for Christ and beg for him to make us worthy to receive the communion with the prayer:



I believe, O Lord, and I confess that Thou art truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who camest into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first (see 1 Tim 1:15).

I believe also that this is truly Thine own most pure Body, and that this is truly Thine own most precious Blood. Therefore I pray Thee: Have mercy upon me and forgive me my transgressions, committed in word and deed, whether consciously or unconsciously.

And make me worthy to partake without condemnation of Thy most pure Mysteries, for the remission of sins and unto life everlasting.

Of Thy Mystical Supper, O Son of God, accept me today as a communicant. For I will not speak of Thy Mystery to Thine enemies, neither like Judas will I give Thee a kiss; but like the thief will I confess Thee: “Remember me, O Lord, in Thy Kingdom.”

May the communion of Thy Holy Mysteries be neither to my judgment, nor to my condemnation, 0 Lord, but to the healing of soul and body.

This prayer is actually said everytime before we do take the sacraments through the year, so it’s one of the most-important prayers in our Orthodox Church life.

The Holy Communion establishment is also an act of remembrance a of the Lord’s suffering for the remission of our sins according to his commandment.

One major difference between Orthodoxy and Protestanism concerning Eucharist is that we orthodox believe that by taking the sacraments, we do receive the Most-holy flesh and blood of Christ and through his blood and flesh, the damage sin has created in our hearts, minds and souls (which is forgiven by God in the the mystery of the confessment) is being recovered completjely.