Posts Tagged ‘orthodox christian’

Minsk Monastery trip to saint Elizabath’s Nun Convent – Spiritual realms of Belarus

Monday, April 7th, 2014

st_Elizabeth_Romanova-monastery-Church
If you happen to be in Belarus's capital Minsk and you're a Christian you would definitely will be interested to see the spiritual side of Belarus. I was in Minsk with my wife for a month and had the chance to go for a pilgrimage in st. Elisaberth's Orthodox Christian Convent.

In Belarus about 80% of population of population are Orthodox Christians with about 7% Catholics, some 4% protestants and 9% atheists. I'm Orthodox Christian myself so mostly I kept interest in exoeriencing Orthodox religion life there. The religious life in Belarus so deeply impressed me so I decided to even document it here.

I was in a couple of Orthodox Churches during the Great Lent first week attending afternoon (Great) Repentence services canon of St. Andrew of Crete. And was amazed how many people are religious in this God fearful country. All Churches where I was during the Great Canon or Holy Liturgy was so full of people that you cannot even enter the Church if you're late for the service. People attending were also very concentrated on the service and most of the people came to services bringing most of which holding a book with the Great Repentance Canon following the service and concentrated in praying and doing ground prostrations. One thing to note is Belarusian Orthodox Church is a sub-division of Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), Belarusian doesn't have their own patriarch but are under the patriarchy of Russian and all Moscow patriarch – Kiril I.

Few weeks ago for Sunday of All Orthodoxy (Triumph of All orthodoxy) for Holy Liturgy service me and Svetlana with a close friend of her Tatyiana went to St. Elisabeth's Monastery. 
Monastery is named in honour of St. Elizabeth Feodorovna Romanova – which is the last Russian Grand Princess of the Romanov family later executed with her husband and kids by Communists Bolsheviks, canonized by ROC in the 1990s.

Saint_Elizabeth_holy_orthodox_icon_monastery_Minskst_Elizabeth_Romanova-monastery-Church

The monastery as almost all Churches in Belarus is so full of people you cannot move (it seems in Russian Orthodox Church – there is an amazing spiritual awakening at the moment). I wanted to confess and even though I was in the Church building before beginning of the holy liturgy and there were two priests to confess the queue of people to confess was so long that confession lasted until the end of the Holy Liturgy. In order to able to confess I've waited on the "confession queue" for about 2 hours and a half. Even though Holy Liturgy completed confession continued and those who confessed after the Church service end was also offered the Holy Sacraments. Another stunning thing for me was the amount of young and obviously intelligent people who was in the Church – just to compare here in Bulgaria, seeing young people in most Churches and monasteries is a rare thing ..

Saint Elisabeth's Monastery is the only monastery situated in (very near 19 km away) from MINSK on Vigotskogo 6 str. We reached the monastery by taking bus from regular Minsktrans (state's bus company) city bus nr. 26, other bus and trolley riding there are – bus 18 and trolley 33, 38, 55.
Monastery was established in 1990 after dissolvement of USSR and is situatuated on a place where previously there was no church or a monastery. The SisterHood in monastery is enormous by size and consists nowadays of 7 Churches!!!

St_Elizabeth_Monastery_Monastery_Minsk-picture

The main Church of the Monastery has saint relics from all around the known Orthodox Walls, to venerate all the saint relics you will need at least 20 minutes!! The Holy Relics of the monastery are so much that they remind me very much of Monasteries I've seen on Holy Mounth Athos. The spiritual father of the monastery is father Andreya Lemoshonka.

father-Andreya-Lemeshonka-spiritual-father-of-st-Elizabeth-monastery-Minsk


From ruromrs the sisterhood in monastery consists of about 120 sisters (and even maybe more), some of them are Nuns and others are the so called "Sisters of Mercy" (something like the "White Sisters" moveing in the Roman Catholic Church) – woman who deliberately decided to help the monastery often walking the streets shops and metro stations collecting charity for poor, sick and people in need. Sisters of mercy are something exception and seeing a lady dressed in white robes on the street or metro with a prayer book at hand is something rare to see in today's crazy materialistic world. Some of this kind sisters of mercy are novice nuns in the monastery and others are just worldly woman with family whom the monastery employes on a small renumeration.

Minsk-sister-of-mercy-sestri-miloserdie-Belarus

The cloister is a unique place next to the majestic Church buildings, the monastery has a coffeteria where you can have a coffee / snacks or even a dinner after service, there is a Church shops full of icon and all kind of orthodox spiritual literature,a Christian games for kids (Orthodox Lotto, kids collapsible Churches from cardboards) as well as a food store with fasting and non-fasting food and even a shop for Christian clothing "Православная Одежда". 

orthodox-clothes-shop

Orthodox Clothes Shop near St. Elizabeth's monastery Minsk

st_Elizabeth-monastery_minsk-medovaja_lavka

A Honey Store – St. Elizabeth Monastery Belarus

st_elizabeth_monastery-food-store

Orthodox Foodstore near St. Elizabeth Monastery Misnk

In one of the Churches there is a 3 floor tiny shop first floor sell icons, books and faith related things, monastic souvenirs and on the second floor there is a herbal pharmacy  with healing herbs for almost all kind of physical and nervological disorders etc. Part of monastic life is the evening and morning service which occur everyday in the monastery. The spiritual father of a monastery Andreya Lemoshonka who is a married priest is also leading frequent lectures on faith and is often helping people coming to him for a spiritual advice, a problem or question related to faith. The Nuns are fasting each Monday, Wednesday and Friday – fasting also in Mondays even though this fasting day was only observed in ancient Church and in many Orthodox monasteries, Monday fastings (In veneration of Angels) is no longer observed – i.e. sisterhood life is very strict. Near the monastery is situated a Mental Hospital and one of the duties of nuns is to often visit the mentally sick there. The sisterhood helps orphanage homes and is bringing for Holy sacraments often a lot of sick children.

st_elizabeth-monastery-minsk1

Part of monastery service is sheltering the homeless, alcoholics and drug addicts offering them encouragement and work in the small monastic farm. The monastery has also workshops where people with disability work in making gloves, icons, decorations, souvenirs embroided by hand. Near the monastery there is a wooden shop where one can order all kind of custom crafted wooden wardrobes, chairs or anything wooden you like for your home.

What I saw there make my heart joyful. It seems Minsk Monastery achieved something which is rarely seen in Orthodox world a symbiosis between Faith, charity and a monetary funding model that works
The monastery very much reminded me to an Orthodox movie Forpost and to the Godly initiate in Bulgaria by father Ioan of Novi Khan who by his efforts, Gods help and the charity of hundreds of bulgarian takes care for about 150 homeless orphans in a monastery.

 

'Forpost' (Outpost) – What the Church Can Accomplish. 

As a closure word I want say Thanks and Glory be to the Holy Trinity The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit! for blessing me to the pilgrimage journet to St. Elizabeth's monastery!

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Trip to Geographical Center of Europe Polotsk Belarus

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

I spend 3 days from last week with my beloved girlfriend Svetlana in Polotsk Belarus. Since I'm here in Belarus for only 21 days, I'm trying to see as much as possible from what is remarkable from this beautiful green country. Polotsk is famous with;
 

  • Polotsk (Полоцк) is old Orthodox Christian Spiritual center and oldest city of Belarus (founded y. 862)
     
  • It is famous for being home city of Saint Efrosinia Polotskaya
     
  •  Polotsk  is Geographical Center of Europe
     
  • Saint Ephrosinia Church (12th century) – where Cross of st. Efrosinia is kept
     
  • Museum of Book-printing – one of the best in Europe
     
  • "The Stone of Boris" – monument of old Slavonic culture

    stone of Boris monument Polatsk Belarus
     

  • Spaso Efrosinievsky Nuns Monastery (Convent) – (established y. 1582) – monastery islocated 15 minutes from Central Train Station

It is interesting that probably the greatest Belarusian enlightener enlightener Frantsysk Skorina was born in Polatsk, Skorina is among most important people of Belarus of all time. It was in Polotsk also when first Belarusian "printer" was used.

I went to Polotsk with absoultely no idea what to expect. To reach there we travelled on a Belarusian train in a sleeping coupe. Mentioning train I should say train station in Minsk is very well organized and looks very European, the only inconvenient thing from other Western countries trains is you have to call Train Station and reserve ticket in advance. If you don't do so there is a high risk there are no free tickets.

Вокзал Vokzal Central Train Station Minsk Belarus

Central Railway Station Minsk, Belarus

Minsk Central Train Station Vokzal Minsk / Вокзал Минск

Minsk inside Central Train station (Copyright Wikipedia)

The train we were in was old probably 25 or 30 years old, but inside all was clean and well maintained, the train windows had curtains and in between coupe corridors there was even carpet. The train toilet seemed a bit ancient and was a bit dirty, but I guess this is normal as even in developed countries like Holland train toilets are bit dirty. Smoking inside the train just like in Bulgaria nowadays was prohibited. Overall train travel was from 11:53 to 08:20 The train is quite slow if compared to Western European but, was confortable and most importantly warm. Going down from train in Polotsk, I noticed even though the train station was little it was generally well organized. We left our laggage in a Luggage Keeping Room (very cheap for 1 day it costs about 1 euro or less!).

Polotsk is a famous tourist destinations for people from Russia and Ukraine, so finding and booking a Hotel in advance was a bit of a struggle. Thanksfully Svetlana managed to book in advance a Hotel Parus. Hotel cost was cheap too about 12 EURO per night for person. Parus hotel was destinated quite good, with rooms having a sightview to Dvina River
After leaving our luggage in Train Station, we went for an eat and find out prices in cafeterias are very low too. We eat quickly in tiny cafeteria – Mini Cafe and for Coffee Tea and a small snacks we pay only about 1.5 euro!
As Polotsk is small with inhabitants of only 80 000 ppl and is a famous spiritual center for centuries – the city "feels" very calm and relaxed. It is very easy to orientate too, the central part of the city is located in less than 10 minutes walk from Central Train Station. Next to train station is the Central Bus Station. The central part has few old monuments and just 3 minutes after crossing the central part (on the right)you reach the part with 3 of city landmarks;

– Historical Museum of Book Printing
– Saint Sophia Cathedral
– Bogoyavlensky sybor (Epiphany Cathedral Church)

saint Sophia Cathedral Polatsk Belarus

Saint Sophia Cathedral Polatsk

Polock River Dvina view

River view to Saint Sophia Cathedral Polatsk

polotsk-bogoyavlenski-sobor-Epiphany-cathedral-Polotsk

Cathedral of Epiphany Polotsk, Belarus

Svetlana planned, we stay 1 day in Polotsk and then travel to one of the other old cities of Belarus Grodno and then to Vitebsk, however we were so tired and Polotsk was so beautiful that we decided stay in Polotsk for one more day. On first day in Polotsk near the hotel there was a small Inn (Damyan) offering menu with traditional Belarusian kitchen food. We ate two nights there and in general  the prices there were normal for a tourist city – a dinner for 2 costs 15 / 20 euro. The inn decoration was with traditional tools and objects used in old times Belarusian living style. Unsurprisingly many of the tools were very similar to ones in Bulgaria so I felt pretty much like in our traditional  Bulgarian taverns ( Mehana ).

On Second day we catch bus number 4 (IRC) to reach to Spaso Efrosinievsky Monastery – named so in honor of st. Efrosinia of Polotsk. It is my first I visit Belarusian / (Russian) Monastery and honestly I was amazed how well all in monastery is organized.

Spaso Efrosinievski manastir Polotsk Belarus main Church building

Starting from Buildings Church buildings and even Nuns and Priests I met I can say Belarusian Spiritual Life is on supreme level. The Monastery had 3 Church buildings, where on the picture you see two of the Church buildings. The architecture of main Church was very much in Byzantine Eastern Style and the Church architecture differs from the usual Russian styled Churches, I've seen in Minsk and Polotsk. The Church architecture very much reminded me of our homeland Churches in Bulgaria.
The main Church building keeps thousand of Christian saints and st. Martyrs Holy Relics. Just to name a few – relics of St. martyr Georgi, st. Seraphim Sarovski, st. Longin (the keeper of the Lord's tomb), st. mrtr Panteleimon, st Nicolas, st Spiridon …
On the left near the alter walls are kept the Holy incorruptable body of saint Efrosinia Polatskaya, The holy incorruptible body of the saint is 10 centuries old!

saint Efrosinia Polatskaya Orthodox Christian icon

In Church photography was prohibited so unfortunately I couldn't take picture of st. Efrosinia's Holy Body. On the left and right corner of the Church near the outer doors there are a number of saints Holy relics to venerate. On the right near the Church Alter, there was a shrine containing a holy relics piece of approximately 100 of the greatest Christian saints!!!
The blessing one gets by visiting the monastery is great, being in the Church and near the Holy relics makes one feel the Pure Joy of Grace of the Holy Spirit flowing.
I and Svetlana stay for half of the evening service and then took to our hotel in Polotsk receiving the blessing of multtude of saints. On the next day, took our baggage and on our way to Train Station, we saw an old house used currently as Kids Museum. I've been in a kids museum already and I know though it is made for Children the joy to be there is not different even for adults as in each of us lives a kid. Below are few pictures from the Kids Museum 🙂

Kids-Museum-Polotsk-Belarusian-architect-Church-in-building

Inside Kids museum (Church inside building 🙂 )

old-Belarusian-things-traditional-Belarusian-instrument

Old Belarusian Musical Instrument (top in Yellow)

kids-museum-Polotsk-Georgi-and-Svetlana

Weighting tools Kids museum (Me and Svetlana)

On 3rd day of our stay in Polotsk, we catch a bus back to Minsk. The bus was a small mini-bus very similar to ones we have in Bulgaria. Just like with almost everything in Belarus it was necessary to reserve and buy our bus tickets in advance (on previous day).
In General we had great time in Polotsk. It is cheap there are things to see and it is small and everything is nearby you. If you happen be in Belarus visit Polotsk for a day or 2 its worthy.

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An awesome drum and bass song Feed me – Blood Red

Saturday, April 13th, 2013

These days I seldomly listen to music. However when I like some song I play it again and again for hours. I know listening to music is the ultimate mind self-manipulation, but as long as it stimulates functioning of brain it is cool.
My metal background often makes me like more agressive beats and therefore after I was in love with Hard Rock, Trash, Black and later White (Christian Metal), I become very keen on industrial especially on Christian industrial, as I later believed in God and started listening to more of the so called White Christian Metal / Industrial. I found D'n'B quite later in my musical taste grow up but I completely fall in love with it. These love was mitigated over the last 4 years as I become more into Orthodox Christian faith and most of my music playlist included nice Orthodox Music, still however I have these periods when I want to listen to the good old hard core beats that I grow up with. In that sense, I remembered a good old DNB beat I listened almost everyday for 2 / 3 hours a day 2 years ago. The beat is awesome thus even now 3 years later I keep the same love for it. The band is not so popular Feed Me and I even don't remember how exactly I ended up listening this beat.


 

Feed Me – Blood Red – An Awesome Drum and Bass Song!!!!

Enjoy ! 🙂

 

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Rise to Power Bulgaria Rise to Power! – Why we Bulgarians are in the bad state we are?! WHY?!

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Everyone who reads a bit of history, knows Bulgarian nation used to be among the greatest European Nations. We are from the nations in Europe which exist since the ancient 861. Bulgaria is also among the nations which become Christian in the early 864 A.D. Why then now after all this years of Glory Bulgaria came up to the bad state it is now? Wasn't we a great country which gave birth to many nations, cultures and languages. It was Bulgaria which was among the main barriers who prevented muslim (Turkish Empire) invasion in Western Europe. It was Bulgaria which was the main spiritual center keeper of truthful Orthodox Christian faith. Most of the ancient texts in Church Slavonic as Russians calls old-Bulgarian Church manuscripts are created within the territory of ancient Bulgarian Empire. It is probably news for many  Bulgarians, we Bulgarians had glory was taking territory about 1/6 of all Europe and were central spiritual and culture enlightenment center for 5 centuries. Our ancestors then suffered a lot, we were under a heavy yoke of Turkish which often mistreated us. We had countless number of Christian martyrs throughout the 5-th century of slavory under Ottoman Turkish. Our ancestors kept the Orthodox Christian faith for 5 centuries from 14 to 19 century unshakable. And now in this age most Bulgarians forgot about their source of power the Orthodox Faith in Christ. Our politicians become corrupted, because of their disbelief in God. Even our own Bulgarian brothers become corrupted because they forgot about Christ and his Holy Church. The Bulgarian Church today is in a terrible state, mostly filled with old people. Most of the priests are not missionaries and not shepherds. The 45 years of communism in 1944 to 1991 was another dark age after the 40 years of liberation. Then from 1991 till very now we're again in darkness and poorness, we suffer again. Being a Bulgarian is almost equal to being a sufferer. We need to raise and chase the people who lead the country to this darkness we're in. We're in European Union but it is very questionable if European Union helps us or just makes us poorer. Most people in Bulgaria can't pay their ordinary bills, there is almost no working social system. There is no opportunity for young initiative people. Even outside of our country, nomatter how brilliant a person is we're being mistreated. Now in big part of European Union Bulgarians are not allowed to work because, we don't belong to the Shengen Zone.We and our ancestors are great sufferers, we have been under a yoke longer than Jewish. Jewish people were under slavery of Romans 400 years, we Bulgarians were under a slavery 500 years!
In 1st World War, we were among the looser countries, in 2nd World war we were among loosers and  just around the end of the war we joined the winners. Most of time being a Bulgarian  means just being a sufferer and looser. Now situation is even more terrible, as most gipsys who live outside of Bulgaria, say they're Bulgarian. So even among western  countries, it is thought gipsys are Bulgarians …. Why this all happens Why? From a Nation of high power and great Kings and rich culture, we become poor and hated by all. Most of Bulgarians don't have money, now most of them don't have even big hearts and rich spirituality. We become both poor spiritually and  physically. Why this all happens why? If you're Bulgarian outside of Bulgaria, do something help your country, don't leave your suffering brothers and sisters, don't live just for yourself, live for your neighbors and your nation, learn  your history and culture share your food and goods with your neigbors. Don't be afraid to suffer, it is anyways our faith, at least let us suffer with dignity. Pray for Bulgaria, pray that Bulgaria heals. Why Lord you forgotten your previously beloved nation, raise up, raise up and revenge your enemies, help Bulgarians to Raise back to power and glory just like in ancient times. Chase away the evils and bad from our homeland, collect again our close Slavonic  nations remember of their motherland Bulgaria and help it and unite with it! Let light again shine over Bulgaria! Let Bulgaria Rise! Rise Bulgaria Rise!

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Father Sergii 1917 (Otec Sergii) – Last Russian movie before communism and the rise of Russian Cinema

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

 

otec Sergii Movie cover Last Monarchy movie one of first anti Tsarist movies last  movie before communism in Russia

I'm in a "quest",  getting to know Russian Culture and as Cinema is an important part of every nation Culture. I've heard of Father Sergii Movie. The movie is following a plot by a book witten by Leo Tolstoy who is considered as one of the most influential Russian and Worldly poetrists of the 19th century 'till now.

Original book story was written Leo Tolstoy in 1890.  The screening of the movie is just few years before, beginning of the Russian Civil war in 1923 and thus it is an unique piece of cinema to see. The movie still reflects the all Tsarist (Monarchic Spirit) of Russia before the Communist total take over the Monarchic Power in 1923. Besides that the movie is one of the first Russian movies ever produced.

 As watching it, I came to the conclusion the movie is of a great quality.
It is evident the Russian Empire was not so undeveloped and future-less as communist Bolshevik's painted it with the many proceeding years of communist propaganda after they did the terrible sin of killing the Russian Tsar with all his family (The Russian Royal Family) in y.  1918. The Tsar was brutally killed with his wife his family and the family doctor and few servants, being shot by Bolsheviks (Communist Guerillas) – with no trial and respect.
Later Tsar Nicolas II and all the Royal Family were canonized by the Russian Orthodox.

Watching the movie one should take in consideration, Leo Tolstoy  himself was preaching anti-Orthodoxy (Anti Orthodox Christian believ) and thus his books – (including the one used as a storyline for the movie)  is preaching a bit of  Anarchistic ideas. His idea about religion was close to certain modern "Protestants" who hold beliefs rejecting Jesus Christ's divine nature. In Church language Tolstoy was a type of Arian in the 19th century.

 

Here I include the movie in the 6 parts as provided by youtube. Anyone who held serious interest into World Cinema development and more specificly into Russian Cinema history will surely enjoy.


 

Yakov Protazanov's FATHER SERGIUS (1917) part 1 of 6


 

Yakov Protazanov's FATHER SERGIUS (1917) part 2 of 6


 

Yakov Protazanov's FATHER SERGIUS (1917) part 3 of 6


 

Yakov Protazanov's FATHER SERGIUS (1917) part 4 of 6


 

Yakov Protazanov's FATHER SERGIUS (1917) part 5 of 6


 

Yakov Protazanov's FATHER SERGIUS (1917) part 6 of 6

  Otec Sergij / Father Sergius movie storyline

The story begins with the childhood and exceptional and accomplished youth of Prince Stepan Kasatsky. The young man is destined for great things.
He discovers on the eve of his wedding that his fiancée Countess Mary Korotkova has had an affair with his beloved Tsar Nicholas I.
The blow to his pride is massive, and he retreats to the arms of Russian Orthodoxy and becomes a monk.
Many years of humility and doubt follow. He is ordered to become a hermit.
Despite his being removed from the world, he is still remembered for having so remarkably transformed his life.
One winter night, a group of merry-makers decide to visit him, and one of them, a divorced woman named Makovkina, spends the night in his cell, with the intention to seduce him.
Father Sergius discovers he is still weak and in order to protect himself, cuts off his own finger. Makovkina is stunned by this act, and leaves the next morning, having vowed to change her life.
A year later she has joined a convent. Father Sergius' reputation for holiness grows. He becomes known as a healer, and pilgrims come from far and wide.
Yet Father Sergius is profoundly aware of his inability to attain a true faith.
He is still tortured by boredom, pride, and lust.
He fails a new test, when the young daughter of a merchant successfully beds him. The morning after, he leaves the monastery and seeks out his cousin Pashenka (Praskovya Mikhaylovna), whom he, with a group of other boys, had tormented many years ago.
He finds her, now in all the conventional senses a failure in life, yet imbued with a sense of service towards her family. His path is now clearer. He begins to wander, until eight months later he is arrested. He is sent to Siberia, where he now works as the hired man of a well-to-do peasant.

Just few closing impressions to share about – The movie soundtrack which is constituting only of piano. Though the soundtrack is exceptionally simple it is  totally amazingly beatiful! The actor play of father Sergius is also very real something we rarely see in modern cinema. One thing I've noticed of the movie is the ending part, which pretty much in the "spirit of Russian" cinema which follows for many years even to this day is ending with a feeling of "incomplete" (open) ending.

Enjoy the movie 🙂

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Learn Basic Serbian language in Video lessons (Serbian English Lessons)

Monday, November 5th, 2012

learn-serbian-language-in-video-lessons-serbian-cyrillic-alphabet

I'm trying to learn some basic Serbian. It is rather ridiculous, we are not being tought even basic Serbian in Bulgarian primary and high schools. Serbia is just one border away and besides that we Bulgarian and Serbs share same Orthodox Christian faith and similar existence. Over the last 10 centuries, we Bulgarians and Serbians was both under Turkish Yoke. Even nowdays most of the problem of Serbians and Bulgarians are very similar. Both of us are trying to survive and earn basic money for their daily living. Culturally our two nations are very similar too, thus I decided today to take little time and learn some basic Serbian. Learning Serbian for Bulgarians seems to be a generally easy, I listened from friends who speak Serbian a Bulgarian can learn talking some Serbian in just few weeks time, this is logical as both our languages share the same etymological roots from Cyrillic ( Glogolic / Glagolica ).
The reason I want to learn some Serbian is Serbia in the time is I now in Holland and go to Serbian Orthodox Church in Nijmegen

Besides that I really liked Serbians as people and since in future hopefully public relations between Serbian and Bulgaria might come it might be "strategically" wise to speak a bit of Serbian 🙂
One other reason is I'm very interested nowdays in Antrophology and from anthropological perspective, speaking or at least in basic understanding Serbia as closest nation Language helps understand more about Slavonic language and early language structure and gives more knowledge on language history.
For my quest to learn some basic Serbian I've as usual checked in Youtube and found a bunch of Serbian -> English teach yourself guides. It is rather ridiculous I have to learn Serbian (A Slavonic Language), translating myself from (English – Latin) to Serbian and then to Bulgarian. So far my experience with Serbian culture shows Serbian and Serbs can understand each other in many of the cases without even having a clue on Serbian or Bulgarian. Actually about probably 50% of words in Serbian are Ancient Church Slavonic (Ancient Bulgarian). Thus for older Bulgarian people who have heard or speak using more older words communicating with Serb will be much easier. I have noticed younger Serbians, just like younger Bulgarian know little about Serbian (Slavonic) language origin as well as speak very little old Slavonic words, thus younger serbs understood less when I try speaking with them using some kind of Bulgarian, however with most older people, most of the time they understand whether I speak in pure Bulgarian language 🙂

It is worthy to mention that as I heard from my Serbian friend Andrea, Serbians nowdays are mostly writting in Latin and rarely use Cyrillic (Church Slavonic). However in the Church and among people who try to live a true Christian life, use of Cyrillic is more widespread.

Learn Serbian – English Lesson 1 – Serbian Alphabet
 

Learn Serbian – English Lesson 2 – Words Pronounciation

Learn Serbian – English Lesson 3 – Basic Phrases

Learn Serbian – English Lesson 4 – Christmas Special

Learn Serbian – English Lesson 5 – Numbers

Learn Serbian – English Lesson 6 – Animals

Learn Serbian – English Lesson 7 – Colours

Learn Serbian – English Lesson 8 – Places

Learn Serbian – English Lesson 9 – Rooms

Learn Serbian – English Lesson 10 – Cyrilic Alphabet

Learn Serbian – English Lesson 11 – Verb "to be"

Learn Serbian – Egnlish Lesson 12 – Vocabulary (1)

Learning Serbian / Croation language lesson one (Study Serbian English part 1
 

Learning Serbian / Croatian language lesson two (Study Serbian English part 2

 

Learning Serbian / Croatian Language lesson three (Study Serbian English part 3 (Travel Words)

Learning Serbian / Croatian Language lesson four (Study Serbian English part 4

 

Learn Serbian – English Colours and Clothes

Serbian Phrases – Greetings, part 1

 

Serbian for children – Learn Serbian Quickly

 

Learn Serbian 101 – How Old Are You ?

There are plenty of others Videos in youtube. Just browse through http://www.youtube.com/user/Learnserbian/videos?view=0  After you complete all the videos you should be ready to understand and speak Basic serbian 🙂

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Orthodox Christian Church songs performance of Psalms 1, 2, 3

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

I have idea to collect if possible all performance of Psalms in the Orthodox Church. I'm not sure if I would be able to find all of them in the internet. So far I could find the first 3 performed by Church choires and monasteries. Hopefully if God bless so I will be able to make a list of all Psalms as Sung by our brothers and sisters in Christ.


 

† Bigorski monastery † – Blessed is the man (Psalm 1) 2007


 

Romanian Orthodox Chant – Psalm 1,2,3 at Putna Monastery


 

PSALM 3 – ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN SONG (Sung by an Orthodox Christian


 

Fr. Yousef Asaad – Psalm 3 (Coptic Orthodox Church chant)

 

Enjoy the first 3 ones! 🙂

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History of Belarus in 5 minutes – Learn a lot for Belarus in short time

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

I've been recently interested in Belarusian History. I found few very interesting videos in youtube, so decided with people who want to learn more about Slavonic Culture. Belarus is a Slavonic culture and old Belarusian language dates back to Ancient Bulgarian traditions. Also Belarusian Ancient language includes a lot of Slavonic Ancient Bulgarian words. As a Bulgarian it is very interesting to me too the severe impact that our Great Bulgarian nation had on Slavonic Nations and Russians. Belarusians both lingually and culturely are very close to us Bulgarian. Orthodox Christian faith which later spread in Belarusian lands, has also been transferred from Bulgarian and Serbian lands to Belarus. After the pupils of Saint Cyril and Methodius, spread Slavonic alphabet in nowdays Romanian lands, Moldova and Belarus.
The first below video Belarus History in 5 minutes has a genuine video and musical arrangment. It was quite interesting to me, find out Belarussian people had a long known tradition in Musical Instruments and Folklore Music. Nowdays they produce also a great Gothic Music, just like most of celtic nations 🙂

History of Bulgarus in 5 minutes – Aristic short presentation lesson on Belarussian history


0:02
At first, there was nothing

 

0:03
now there’s a lot of everything

 

0:04
we have to thank God for that

 

0:06
He created our world in the freestyle genre

 

0:09
He said, "Budzma" (“So be it!”)

 

0:10
and Our Land appeared.

 

0:11
Ichthyosauri and other dragons…

 

0:13
in the beginning, we lived in the ocean

 

0:15
but then we left the bosom of the sea

 

0:17
and started to be called the Neuri.

 

0:19
From the earliest times

 

0:21
the Neuri could turn into wolves

 

0:23
that was a customary thing for them…

 

0:26
Žycien, Piarun, Dažboh, and Svaroh

 

0:28
our ancestors believed in heathen gods

 

0:30
but Christianity already knocked on the door.

 

0:34
Let’s know our roots! The Belarusians, the daring people!

 

0:38
In the year 862 of our era

 

0:41
the city of Polacak was mentioned for the first time

 

0:43
There, St. Safija Cathedral was build

 

0:45
(there’re only three such churches in the world)

 

0:47
Local Prince Usiaslau Caradziej

 

0:49
was a cool personage; Listen what I say!

 

0:51
St. Jefrasinnia lived in Polacak

 

0:53
the memory of her is cherished down the ages

 

0:56
The famous cross was made for her

 

0:58
(it wasn’t just super, it was marvelous)

 

1:00
but during WWII, it was lost

 

1:02
and now it’s our own grail

 

1:04
Let’s continue, let’s march ahead

 

1:07
The time of Grand Prince Mindouh came

 

1:09
and here we must remember that

 

1:11
Belarus was called Litva then

 

1:13
or rather – the Grand Principality of Litva

 

1:15
its coat of arms was Pahonia (pursuit)

 

1:16
it had a formidable army

 

1:17
Our capital Vilnia was founded by

 

1:19
Grand Prince Hiedymin

 

1:21
the legend says he had a dream about an iron wolf…

 

1:24
Wikipedia describes this event

 

1:26
Let’s know our roots!

 

1:28
The Belarusians, the daring people!

 

1:31
The year 1362

 

1:34
The sword is drawn; flags flutter in the wind…

 

1:36
In the Battle of Blue Waters

 

1:38
our army defeated three Khans of the Golden Horde

 

1:41
and the Grand Principality of Litva suddenly

 

1:43
became the largest country in Europe

 

1:45
Let’s continue, let’s march ahead.

 

1:47
Vitaut reigns in the Grand Principality

 

1:49
The Teutonic Order threatens us.

 

1:51
The Battle of Grunwald shows who’s right

 

1:53
Vitaut and Jahajla, King of Poland

 

1:55
junked the Crusaders like scrap metal

 

2:00
Francysk Skaryna was a tough guy

 

2:02
he went to study abroad

 

2:04
He was the first who printed the Bible

 

2:06
in the Old Belarusian language in Prague

 

2:08
Our warriors were tough men, too

 

2:11
they defeated the Moscow Army near Vorsa

 

2:13
in the year 1514

 

2:17
In the meantime, the Grand Principality of Litva

 

2:19
accepted its constitution – the Statute of the GPL 1588

 

2:21
In the Battle of Kircholm, we defeated the Swedish army

 

2:24
Apparently, you didn’t know this fact before.

 

2:26
Let’s know our roots!

 

2:28
In the city of Mahilou

 

2:30
7,000 invaders were killed in the fight

 

2:32
Who were these invaders? Well, these … from the East

 

2:34
representatives of the "brotherly" Russian nation

 

2:37
They were called Muscovites then.

 

2:38
And there’s already a new state

 

2:40
the Polish–Litvian Commonwealth

 

2:43
For some reason, it irritated all the neighbors

 

2:45
The three partitions of this Commonwealth

 

2:47
and we were divided between three states

 

2:49
The biggest part was occupied by Russia

 

2:51
It engendered discontent among the nobility

 

2:53
and Tadevus Kasciuska appears on the scene

 

2:56
It’s necessary to remember this name because

 

2:58
he was a great revolutionary

 

3:00
for liberty, equality and fraternity

 

3:02
he struggled even in the United States

 

3:04
but the Russian Tsar cast him into prison

 

3:06
Let’s know our roots!

 

3:10
During Napoleon’s war

 

3:13
the Belarusians fought with the Belarusians

 

3:15
and in 1863 there was a new rebellion

 

3:20
Kastus Kalinouski, a patriot of Belarus

 

3:24
and his peasant soldiers – "kasiniery"

 

3:25
struggled for independence

 

3:26
but he was caught and hanged in Vilnia

 

3:30
The world enters the 20th century

 

3:32
It’s necessary to revive our culture!

 

3:34
Bahusevic, Bahdanovic, Kupala and Kolas

 

3:36
Lastouski, Luckievic… Many people!

 

3:39
Dozens and dozens of outstanding names…

 

3:41
but the Red Revolution is approaching fast

 

3:45
Well, in the terror of the Revolution

 

3:47
a new state with a beautiful name was born

 

3:49
the Belarusian People’s Republic

 

3:51
We still celebrate the day it was proclaimed

 

3:54
But suddenly, out of the blue

 

3:56
another Republic was installed here

 

3:58
its name wasn’t romantic at all

 

4:00
Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic.

 

4:02
The 1920s. We remember that time

 

4:04
Belarusianization is everywhere

 

4:06
Writers publish their excellent works

 

4:09
Viciebsk artists create their chefs-d’oeuvre…

 

4:11
This process was stopped

 

4:12
in the year 1937

 

4:14
the blood purge began.

 

4:15
After that, one more hell – WWII

 

4:20
There were invaders, there were partisans

 

4:21
the country was torn apart again…

 

4:24
The Belarusians fought with the Belarusians again

 

4:26
shedding each other’s blood

 

4:30
The war is over! No need to fight!

 

4:32
There’re cosmonauts flying in the sky

 

4:34
Maserau, it’s time for you to speak!

 

4:36
Piesniary, it’s time for you to sing!

 

4:39
Barys Kit, make your discoveries for NASA

 

4:41
and we keep living in our country

 

4:43
which name now is the Republic of Belarus

 

4:45
We’ve got our ensign and national emblem

 

4:47
we sing our songs and read our poems…

 

4:50
the year 1991…

 

4:51
Let’s know our roots!

 

4:54
The Belarusians, the daring people!

 

4:56
We stop here, but now it’s your time

 

4:58
All of you can write your own continuation…

 

5:00
Let’s know our roots!

 

5:02
The Belarusians, the daring people!

 

5:04
Let’s know our roots!

 

5:06
The Belarusians, the daring people!

 

5:09
Budzma viedac svoj rod!

 

5:11
Salony narod, Bielaruski narod!

 

History of Belarus Гісторыя Беларусі Historia Białorusi _ – 8 minutes video explaining in short Belarusian etymological roots

Ancient Musical Instruments of Belarus

Most importantly, nowdays Belarus still hold the light of Orthodox Christian faith, just like us Bulgarians. Spiritually Bulgaria and Belarus is united in our Orthodox Christian faith. This summer, I had the blessing many Belarusians in Pomorie Monastery (An Orthodox monastery located in the Black Sea sea coast (near Burgas) in Bulgaria). I've been amazed by the faith and spirituality Belarusians still hold even in this "dark times" of Christian faith decay and increased ungodliness.

History of Belarus (A 10 minutes short History of

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My observations on brotherhood monks life in Pomorie Monastery or how life flows in a monastery

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

My Observations on Brotherhood monks life in Pomorie Monastery - How Life in Bulgarian Orthodox Monastery goes

I'm currently once again on a pilgrimage in Pomorie Monastery St. George (Bulgaria) – EU as you should read in my previous day post. The brotherhood here is very hospital, since our coming (with Kliment), we were treated like being a part of the monks community. We're given food and allowed to eat together with the monks on one table and even we can enter into some of the interesting discussions after food :).
The life in a monastery is actually quite fascinating, though on the outside it seems boring.

As a general rule monks eat a meal twice a day. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the meals are cooked and served usually without oil (except if the Abbot didn't bless differently). The abbot in the Monastery is like a King. The order in the whole monastery resides very much a Kingdom, where the abbot is king some of the monks are his (left and right hand and counselors) etc.

Just like in kingdoms, there are workers who help the kingdom to flourish. With the case with the monastery workers are (mostly believing people) hired (with a wage) to help with the monastery works.

The kitchen "district" has a (chef) cook lady, person/s (usually believing Christians) who help with cooking cutting and vegetables and various meal preparations etc. and serving the brotherhood and workers dinner and lunch. Oh yes I almost forgot, monks didn't eat breakfast. Their usual first meal is like 12 or 12:30 as a straight dinner.

As in Other Orthodox monasteries, here in Pomorie Monastery the monastery is named after the heavenly protector of the place Saint Martyr George.

The brotherhood life here is not as tough as the monasteries located in desert destinations, though just like in other mountain situated Orthodox Christian monasteries the monks has an established everyday Morning and Evening Church Service.

The morning Church service usually starts around 06:00 or 06:30, while on a feast days like Sunday (The Day of Resurrection of Jesus Christ) the service starts a bit later in 07:00 or at very special occasions in 07:30 …

The Evening Services usually start around 04:30 or 05:00 o'clock and continue (depending on Church calendar feast day (saint)) from 30 to 40 minutes up to 2, 3 hours (in biggest feasts or fasting periods).
All the monks should be present on Morning and Evening service, where a bell is rang whether the monks has to gather together for a Church service prayer.

As of time of writting officially Pomorie monastery has 4 monk brothers. One is the Abbot, the abbot's left hand, one other hiero-monk who sometimes is serving the Holy Liturgy church services and another monk who is in his 70s and is mostly doing Church book readings.
Occasionally the brotherhood accepts a novice pupils who want to enter the monastic life, but as long as my observations goes (during the few years I came as a pilgrim here) many of the novices find the monastic life for them and quit after a few months or a year time.

Just a year earlier the brotherhood, here had 6 monks. Unfortunately the oldest monk Father Tikhon who lived inside the monastery more than half of his life (40 years in the monastery W0W!) passed away after a short sickness and hospitalization.
Another one of the monks (Father Joanikius) was transferred by the Sliven's Metropolitan (named also father Joanikius) to serve his monkship (obedience) in our Bulgarian Monastery situation in Holy Mount Athos (Greece) , e.g. to Zographus monastery.

The Abbot of the monastery (Father Yierotej) is a young and energetic person (35 years old) with a good sense of humour and a great God given wisdom grace and joyful temper.

Besides the core monks brothrehood currently the monastery has 5 workers and about 5 to 10 persons (people who are in hardships and have no place to stay) and were accepted to get a healing and a life stabilization while living for a while in the monastery. Some of those people are almost full time living inside the monsatic walls helping with their knowledge and talents to the brotherhood
The overall number of people who inhibit the monastery is about rawly 15 people.
All this people are given free meals 2 times daily and eat together often either in the monastic kitchen or the dining-room (which is also serving as a guest room).

Before and after each meal intake the people gathered together in the dinner-room pray together asking Jesus Christ to bless their food and drink. Usually the Abbot whenever on the table is the one to ask God for a food blessing. After the meal is complete the Abbot or some of the monks says a thanksful prayer thanking Jesus for giving the daily bread and asking God to give us also the heavenly spiritual food.

The most common food eaten here is vegetables and fruits and in non-fasting days they eat some youghurt, cheese or fish. Eating meat however is un-common and most of the food consumed is fasting food (meat is considered inappropriate food for Orth Christian Monks).
The monastery is surrounded by a around a meter monastic walls. In the middle of the monastery is located the Monastic Church Saint Martyr George whichs basic walls dates back to the distant XIX century.

Pomorie Monastery oldest monastic found stone (orthodox depiction of Saint George basrelief).

Facing the church about 40 meters from the Chuch are located the monks dwelling rooms also in monastic language called (cells). The monk's cell is full of icon and holy water, crucific crosses and all kind of faith related books so in a sense the monks room looks like a tiny Church.

Right in the middle of Pomorie Monsatery there is a holy spring – disease healing water which by God's providence healed the first Abbot and beneficient of the monastery (ironically the Turkish Abbot Salim Bey who converted from Islam to Christianity and donated all his land to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in the 18 century when still Bulgaria was enslaved by Turkish).

The monastic yard is filled with green beautiful Peach and Plumb Trees. In the monastery yard they have sew of; potatoes, tomatoes, corn and few other "basic" self-grown. vegetables.

Flowers in front of Holy Sprint Pomorie Monastery St. Martyr George

Along with the plants in one of the corners near the monastic wall there is a henhouse where some chickens and few turkeys are grown for getting fresh (natural) eggs.

In the old days the brotherhood was growing all their food by themselves as it was a tradition in the Monasteries, however with the changing times and the huge decrease of monks, growing all the monastic food on their-own became an impossible task ….

The monastery is mainly living on pilgrim or local believing people donations and the monastic land, as well as to sales of Orthodox icons and tiny faith related objects (crosses, holy bibles, church related books and literature) etc.

As I hear from some of the monks the harsh economic situation and severe world crisis that is plaguing the world also has a negative influence on the financial balance of the holy cloister too.
A monk shared with me the financial expenses of the monastery tend to be "dangerously" growing lately as the amount of people whose the brotherhood is feeding and taking care (healing) daily along with the money for restoration works are raising and the monastery experiences a shortage of money.
Still they're not discouraged but as I was told praying and hoping on God's grace to send them kind heart donators to help the monastery.

On Pomorie Monastery's website there is an e-PayPal donation form through which willing donators can help financially the monastic community

Most of the people who are in the monsatery not for a theraupetic reason (with a severe disease) work all day long. Though the work seems to be never ending here, one feels calm, relaxed and gracious.
Even staying for few hours here, makes you filled-up with God's grace and gives you new energy and hope to continue the harsh daily stress filled life.

Besides the Monastery the town of Pomorie is also very beuatiful and have all the facilities and entertainment a tourist might like to have from a modern beach resort. Yesterday I went and had my first beach time here in Pomorie.
Something interesting I noticed on the beach is the sand color which here in Pomorie is a bit blackish. The sea coast here near the beach is not big but feels cozy and there are bars near the beach shore, so anyone wanting to enjoy some of the world goods too can have a fanastic time here 🙂

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The Living of Saint Peter and Saint Fevronia – a fascinating Russian cartoon retelling the saints story

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Saint Peter and Fevronia Orthodox Christian saints protector of happy family, love and blessed marriage

The anime Living Story of Saint Peter and Saint Fevronia is a modern story remake of an ancient Church living of two bright Russian saints.
The official movie genre is orthodox christian kids animation movie.
The 14 minutes cartoon re-tolds the living story of St. Peter and st, Fevronia in a playful and entertaining way like for kids or youngsters.
Nomatter the movie primary target audience is children, the cartoon is great to see for adults people as well :).
The movie genre is orthodox christian kids animation movie.
The plot is based on a true (historic record) story of two saints venerated each year across Orthodox Churches around the world.

The original story I watched was a Bulgarian translation from Russian. But since I found it to be so valuable, I look for a translated video and got one in youtube.Take 14 minutes break and watch it, I'm sure you will like it so much, that probably give it a second time glimpse alone or with your wife, children or girlfriend.

Unfortunately, the english title is mis-translated as it says "Tale" and not "Story" and there is difference in meaning between this two words.
It is not tale as tale is made up story and this is not a made story but a story based on the two saints who lived in the end of 12 and beginning of the thirteen century.
Here is in short the real Church living:
The two saints were living in Murom Russia. Peter was prince and Fevronia a poor maid a daughter of a beekeeper who made his family living by collecting wild honey in the forest.

Prince Peter was striken by a severe sickness and in a vision it was revealed to him, that the only one that can cure him is Fevronia (a village maid living in the village of Laskovo Russia. The prince went to her and since he saw she is a pious, good and wisdom rich maid promised her, if she manage to heal him to take her as a bride to his place.
By her warm prayers to God and herbs, Fevronia succeeded in healing the prince sickness. Being fully restored st.Peter changed his mind and wanted to break his promise to marry her, cause the young made not part of the aristocratic Russian society. He didn't yet reached his home and the sickness, came back. This time with a deep repentance, he came back to Fevronia and she cured him again. Then the prince merried her and made her a princess of Murom
 

St. Peter and Fevronia Orthodox Church saints protector of marriage

However there love in Christ had to went through high temptations. Once the couple married, the prince proud boyars requested the prince to leave his new bride, as they didn't wanted to accept a simple girl as Fevronia will be governing them. Being in uneasy situation prince Peter prefered to leave his governing power and castle but to stay with his life. Together by boat by the near river Oka they left the kingdom. Soon after Gods wrath came Murom because of people's rebellion and the people requested the chased prince family to be restored to power.
Pushed by the peasents, the boyars bringed back the couple to power. The two saints governed their kingdom with great wisdom, love and mercy to the people.

In their old age the decided to become monks in separate monasteries. St. Peter received his new monk name David and princess Fevronia took the nun name Evphrosia (Evfrosia). Even living a sepate monk / nun life the couple continued having a deep love to each other and asked God to take them from this earthly life on the same date. God answered their prayer granting them to depart this earth on the same day in the same hour!
Like in life even in death people tried to separate them.
Fevronia was put in a coffin in the nun monastery, where Peter was prepared for a monk funeral in the man monastery and they put them in separate graves.
In the morning the graves were empty and their bodies were found buried together in one grave. People realized it is Gods will they are buried together and left them buried together. Today the incorruptable bodies of the two saints can be seen and venerated in Holy Trinity's nun monastery in the town of Murom Russia. St. Peter and St. Fevronia are considered patron of the Christian marriage, couple's love and family happiness.
It is common that many young people are, asking for the two saints prayer intercession in front of God for getting a good spouse in life and good marriage.

Also the two saints are oftenly asked for prayer for improving a marriege bindings.
The two saints feast day is like the Orthodox Antipode of the Roman Catholic feast of couples in love – St. Valentine.

As you see, St. Peter and St. Fevronia living is full of wisdom and true spirituality, and there is plenty we the modern disbelieving people can learn from it.
Let God by the two saints holy prayers have mercy on us.

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