Posts Tagged ‘Greece’

Saint Andrew the First called Apostle “Protocletus” by Jesus Christ celebrated on 30 June and 30 November in Bulgarian Orthodox Church

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

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38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?

39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.

40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.

41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.

John 1:38-41 King James Version (KJV)

Church Troparion (Tone 4)

    Andrew, first-called of the Apostles
    and brother of the foremost disciple,
    entreat the Master of all
    to grant peace to the world
    and to our souls great mercy.

Church Kontakion (Tone 2)

    Let us praise Andrew, the herald of God,
    the namesake of courage,
    the first-called of the Savior's disciples
    and the brother of Peter.
    As he once called to his brother, he now cries out to us:
    "Come, for we have found the One whom the world desires!"

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Saint Andrew the first called Bulgarian Icon

The saviour Jesus Christ choose saint Andrew (the brother of saint Peter) to be the first among apostles in the number of his 12 (desciples) apostoles. The name Andrew is translated from Greek to Brave / Manhood, there is no known Hebrew or Aramic name as that which means that most likely the name Andrew was perhaps given by him in later times when he preached among pagans.
It is believed. As the gospel tells us he immediately turned to Christ follower and desciple being honored to be the first desciple and among the first that received baptism after Jesus Christ, he was one of the desciples of saint John the baptist (as we and once he heard the "living water" words of the savior he immediately followed without reasoning.

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The Lord Jesus Christ summons saint apostle Andrew for apostelship service (VI Century Ravenna Mosaic)

Saint Andrew's birth place according to our Orthodox Christian tradition is the village of Bethsaida on the Sea of Gallee (which has actually the size of a Lake), he was called with his brother saint Peter and promised by Jesus to be made a  "fishers of men" (Greek: ἁλιεῖς ἀνθρώπων, halieis anthrōpōn).
At the beginning of Jesus public life both apostles are said to have occupied the same house in Capernaum. He is believed to be the first bishop and founder of the holy see of Byzantium (later Constantinople today's Istanbul) in A.D. 38 and have ordained the first bishop of the city Stachys. He is known to have preached also among Thracians and travelled through the Black sea shelf (today Bulgarian lands) establishing Christian communities across the shelf lands.

He also preached in today's Greece in Peloponnese, Greece, and Epirus: he converted many to the Faith and ordained bishops and priests for them.

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Saint Andrew Georgian Icon holding the Holy Theotokos Icon

On a boat he entered Georgia from Ajara, preached Christianity in Atsquri, built small church there and left miracle-working icon of Theotokos (the Holy Virgin Mary). Travelling back from Georgia, he visited today Russian lands, went through Kiev, he planted a cross on one of the high hills of Kiev, and he prophesied a city that would have many golden-domed churches, and a bright Christian future for the Rus' people.

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Saint Andrew's prophecy of Kiev depicted in Radzivill Chronicle.

St. Andrew was martyred in Peloponnese, in the city of Patras. The Proconsul Aegeates' family believed in the miracles and preaching of St. Andrew, and the enraged Proconsul tortured and crucified St. Andrew. The new converts wanted to remove him from his cross, but the saint would not allow them. Instead, he comforted them from the cross and as he prayed an extraordinary light encompassed him for about a half hour. When it left, he gave up his soul. It was the year 62 AD.

St. Andrew's relics were taken to Constantinople, his head to Rome and a hand  perhaps transferred from Kiev to Moscow when the Russian capital changed.

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The X Crossed Martyrdom of saint Andrew

Early texts, such as the Acts of Andrew known to Gregory of Tours describe Andrew as bound, not nailed, to a Latin cross of the kind on which Jesus is said to have been crucified; yet a tradition developed that Andrew had been crucified on a cross of the form called crux decussata (X-shaped cross, or "saltire"), now commonly known as a "Saint Andrew's Cross" — supposedly at his own request, as he deemed himself unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross as Jesus had been. The iconography of the martyrdom of Andrew – showing him bound to an X-shaped cross – does not appear to have been standardized until the later Middle Ages.

Saint Andrew is the patron saint of several countries and cities including: Barbados, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Ukraine, Amalfi in Italy, Esgueira in Portugal, Luqa in Malta, Parañaque in the Philippines and Patras in Greece. He was also the patron saint of Prussia and of the Order of the Golden Fleece. He is considered the founder and the first bishop of the Church of Byzantium and is consequently the patron saint of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

It is interesting that in Romania there is a cave in Romania the so called Saint Andrew Cave where saint Andrew lived for a while on his journey from Black Sea Shelf to Kiev after he preached the Gospel to Daco-Roman people in province Dobrudja Region nowadays (Scythia Minor), this tradition was a local believe and was not widely aknowledged until the 20th century.

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Entrance to Saint Andrew Cave in Dobrudja

According to Hippolyte of Antioch, (died c. 250 C.E.) in his On Apostles, Origen in the third book of his Commentaries on the Genesis (254 C.E.), Eusebius of Caesarea in his Church History (340 C.E.), and other sources, such as Usaard's Martyrdom written between 845–865, and Jacobus de Voragine's Golden Legend (c. 1260), Saint Andrew preached in Scythia, a possible reference to Scythia Minor, whose territory was part of Bulgaria but was integrated into Romania in the late 19th century.

Let by the prayers of saint Andrew we Christians grow in the understanding and love and be able to withstand the temptations of the hard times we live in!

 

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My independent view on Ukraine-Crimea Russia VS Western World crisis

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

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I've been following what is happening in Ukraine over the last 6 months and I see with pain this poor brotherly Slavonic country is being literally destroyed by Radicals. It is obvious that the Revolution in Ukraine looks very similar to Revolution in Egypt, the War in Syria and obviously doesn't happen by itself but was financed by foreign forces to serve someone's interests. I known that in Ukraine people live poor, but even after the change in power it is less likely that they will start living better.

In my view Ukraine's people got infected by European Union's external appearance for prosperity and freedom. Such an outlook is just on the surface and everyone who lives in EU knows that well. It is my understanding that the European Union is based on fairy tales for freedom, friendship of nations based on economy. EU sets itself on rules and regulations and vague words combined with economic factors. With the crisis appearing one after another in country members of EU (Greece, Slovenia, Cyprus, Spain etc.) it is obvious that the EU is artificial union and not working well. Many country who belong to EU for some years already have seen that and even some like England want out of the European Union. With this in mind it is fully unclear to me why Ukrainians want and think that membership in EU will solve there economic problems … on the contrary once they join the EU, they will have to fulfill thousands of rules and regulations which will destroy there local country economy and will make them put out all country money out of the country into the pockets of Western Nations. Same nation genocide scenario was executed in Bulgaria and give "good satisfactory fruits". By the rules and regulations on Bulgaria our local economy was destroyed making our contry market completely dependent on other Western country market for daily products and external Western business investments. The failure of Bulgaria as a concurent on EU market run the wheel of EU economy, opening a new space for new investments and trade. Same happened with Romania and most likely will happen also with EU's newest member Croatia very soon.

Ukraine is a brotherly nation to Russia and even historically this two nations share very similar faith. Of course the two nations differ but the similarities and even the language makes them brotherly nations. Ukraine was part of Russian Empire and is called Ukraine (from the word end part of Russia). Historically Ukrainian were known as "MaloRus", Russians were known as "Rus" and Belarusian as (White Rus).
Currently in Ukraine live 8,334,100 Ethical Russians (17% of Ukraine's population), the highest density of Russians is in Crimea with 58 % of Ethnic Russians.

Of course the economic crisis in Ukraine as every Crisis is not only a Crisis of material goods but a Crisis of spirituality. Big part of Ukrainian Church separated from Russian Orthodox Church and are not in canonical unity with rest of Orthodox Churches. Besides that the number of Uniats (Orthodox Christian who are under the rule of the Roman Pope) seem to be growing over the last years there. After the fall of USSR, the number of protestants and other Christian sects in Ukraine also has grown. The decay of Russian Orthodox Church diocese in Ukraine set a space for more and more religious spiritual divisions which affected the material country realm. Talking about religion it is worthy to mention a very curious and not much known fact is that current Prime Minister Oleksandr Turchynov (who took place of Viktor Yanukovych) is protestant pastor. The other key actor of the Ukrainian Revolution is Arseniy Yatsenyuk who is not even Urainian but Ethic Ukrainian Jew.

Concerning Crimea historically give birth to Kievan Rus (and so to say is like mother land of all Russians as we known them), from year 1783 to 1917 was a territory part of Russian Empire, then from 1922 to 1991 it was part of Soviet Union, from 1991 to 1998, Crimea was autonomous Republic. Crimea is well known from history where Russian Empire fought with French Empire in Crimean War (1853-1856). It is no strange why Russia wants Crimea so hard as they have historically fought for this land and over the last few centuries it was Russian teritory. It will be no strange either if Crimea becomes a reason for another war …

So Who is right Russia or the Western World (European Union / United States)?
For me from the facts it is more than clear that neither the Euroepan Union nor United States share a close history / language / culture with Crimea, neither ever this was their territory. Meaning Westerners doesn't have the right to escalate the situation by putting oil in the fire, but should better keep silent and let Ukraine Russia and Crimea solve their problem alone (in a peaceful way). But why Europeans and Americans try to intervene? Well simple economically European Union has more interest to have a new Member country membering ~ 45 millions and a nice tourist destination Crimea than to have a member with 3 million less, and US's influence on world by having a western oriented Ukraine will raise. This is the reason why they make so much noise and don't want to accept the referendum in Crimea for unification with Russia, because they have politic interests there.

Ukrainians was mislead to believe the fight for Ukraine is a nation heroism, where in reality what is happening in Ukraine is just serving biggest countries interests. The bad thing is what is happening there is a good reason for emerge of national war and we know from history such a small conflicts combined with a world economic crisis led to World War I and World War II. I don't say that such a war will emerge but I think Western World should be careful to not provoke a war in Europe through recognizing Crimea's people decision to become part of Russia.

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The Thrice Holy Orthodox Christian hymn sang on Holy Mount Athos

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

 

Last year by Holy Virgin Mery Theotokos I was able to visit probably the second by holiness place in the world – Holy Athos. Agios Oros as called in greek is an island in the deep of Greece inhabited only by male monks. In fact there is a prophecy that if woman start visiting the place by God's desire the place will sunk. Holy Mount Athos is alsothe biggest orthodox monks community nowdays existing on the planet. Athos is inhabited by more than 1600 monks all from different orthodox nations. Some of the Orthodox Monasteries present by nationalities are:
 

– Ours Bulgarian Monastery (Saint Martyr George the Glory Bringer)
– Serbian
– Russian
– Greek

Probably there are more but this is ruffly the main ones I can remember
There are also Ukrainian and monks belonging to the other orthodox Churches. There are a lot of monks on Agios Oros that still are living a type of life as hermits. Even probably there are secret people who live completely as hermits. As the times are changing quickly and the earth is going to destruction the existence of such a big place inhabited by monks to pray Christ for us is truly a great God mercy to us. If you're interested in Agios Oros and you're orthodox Christian and want to visit it for pilgrimage pray to The Holy Theotokos and if it is God will you will be permitted to go.

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