Posts Tagged ‘are’

The names of the Twelve apostles of Christ – Feast of the Twelve Glorious and Primal Apostles in Eastern Orthodox Church (30th of June)

Wednesday, June 30th, 2021

Roman_Domitilla-Katakomben_Fresko__Christus_und_die_12_Apostel__und_Christussymbol__Chi_Rho__1
Jesus and his Twelve Apostles, fresco with the Chi-Rho symbol ☧, Catacombs of Domitilla, Rome

One day after the June 29 the Feast of The Glorious and First among Apostles Peter and Paul  on 30th of June according to so called new calendar in the Eastern Orthodox Church comes, the remembrace of Feast of the gathering of 12 Glorious apostles (Σύναξη των Αγίων Δώδεκα Αποστόλων).

Simon_ushakov_last_supper_1685

The Secret Supper (Christ and the 12 Apostles iconographer Simon Ushakov y. 1685 (Jude the Iscariot the traitor without a halo)

"The names of the 12 Holy Apostles are: Simon (called Peter), Andrew his brother, Jacob the Zabedee and John his brother, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Mathew (tax collectors), James, son of Alphaeus and Levi called (Thadeus), Simon The Canonite and Jude the Iscariot who has betrayed Christ"

(Gospel of Mathew 10:2-4)

 

13 When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: 14 Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15 Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

(Luke 6:13-16)

15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)

16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.

17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.

18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.

19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.

20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.

21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, (Acts 1:15-26)

Synaxis_of_the_Twelve_Apostles_by_Constantinople_master_early_14th_circa_Pushkin_museum

The Synaxis of the Twelve Apostles. Russian, 14th century, Moscow Museum.

"Jesus had other desciples as well that were seventeen and other circles of desciples around each of the pupils, however they have alwasys been considered less venerable as they did not been so close to Christ and did not understand so well the mysterios of Christ's teaching and did not persevere as mcuh as the twelve and the seventeen of desciples. Those had been been distinguished among the King, those who have been the closest people to the Teacher" (Saint John Chrysostomos)

In Constantinople Saint King Constantine ( y. 274 – 337 ), has built a famous Church dedicated to the 12 Apostles. In historian documents there is data for a first time the feast is celebrated in the V-th century.

While the memory of each apostle has a separate day in the Church calendar yearly circle, they 12 apostles are sharing the same honor, because the Holy Scriptures and the Tradition glorifious their high efforts for building the Church on top of the corner stone that is Jesus Christ himsef and for their perseverance to accept martyrdom for Christ, thus to accent this they're is this special feast the Gathering of the 12 Glorious Apostles on 30th of June. As the Holy Scriptures says they're a friends of God (John 15:14), and when the Son of Man (Jesus) sits on the glory of his power, they all are to sit on 12 thrones, to judge the 12 Hebrew tribes (Mathew 19:28). 

In first centuries the Church has been feasting all the apostles together, Later she has included saint Apostle Paul, again the full list of names of the apostles are as follows:

1. Saint Apostle Peter the First Called (commemorated 29 June and 16 of January)

2. Saint apostle Andrew the First Called – as has been called by Christ together with Peter (30 November)

3.  Saint Jacob the Zebedee (30 April)

4. Saint Apostle John the Zebedee – the evangelist (26 September and 8 May)

5. Saint Apostle Philip (14 November)

6. Saint apostle Bartholomew or Nathanael (11 June and 25 August)

7. Saint apostle Thomas (6 October)

8. Saint apostle Mathew – evangelist (16 November)

9. Saint Apostle Jacob – son of Alpheus 9 October)

10. Saint Apostle Jude – fleshly brother of Christ (son of Joseph), called also Thadeus and Levi (19 June)

11. Saint Apostle Mathew (Mathias) (9 August)

12. Saint Apostle Paul  (Paul of Tarsus) (29 June)

The Church books define the feast day as the "Gathering of the Twelve", because this number of 12 apostles is initial and depics Christ essence of Completeness (as he is All in everything) Mathew (10:1-5)

 

ASCII Art studio – A powerful ASCII art editor for Windows / Playscii a cool looking text editor for Linux

Monday, June 28th, 2021

This post is just informative for Text Geeks who are in love with ASCII Art, it is a bit of rant as I will say nothing new, but I thought it might be of interest to some console maniac out there 🙂

ascii art studio aas program windows xp professional drawing program screenshot

While checking stuff on Internet I've stumbled on interesting ASCII arts freak software – >ASCII Art Studio. ASCII Art Studio is unfortunately needs licensing is not Free Software. But anyways, for anyone willing to draw pro ASCII art pictures it is a must see. Check it out;

Isn't it like a Plain Text pro Photoshop ? 🙂 Its a pity we don't have a Linux / BSD Release of this wonderful piece of software. I've tried with WINE (Windows Emulator) on Linux to make the Ascii Art Studio work but that was a fail. It seems only way to make it work is have Windows as a worst case install a Virtual Machine with VirtualBox / Vmware and run it inside if you don't have a Windows PC at hand.

Of course there are stuff on Linux to ascii art edit you can use if you want to have a native software to edit ASCIIs such as Playscii. Unfortunately Playscii is not an easy one to install and the software doesn't have a prepared rpm or deb binary you can easily roll on the OS and you have to manually build all required python modules and have a working version of python3 to be able to make it work.

I did not have much time to test to install it and since I faced issues with plascii install I just abandoned it. If some geek has some more time anyways I guess it is worse to give it a try below is 2 screenshots from PLAYSCII official download page. 

playscii_shot1-official.

As you see authors of the open source playscii whose source is available via github choose to have an amazing looking ascii art text menus, though for daily ASCII art editing it is perhaps much more complicated to use than the simlistic ASCII Art Studio

playscii_shot2-official

There is other stuff for Linux to do ASCII Art files text edit like:
JaVE (this one I don't personally like because it is Java Based),  Ascii Art Maker or Pablow Draw Linux (unfortunately this 2 ones are proprietary).

How to automate open xen Hypervisor Virtual Machines backups shell script

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021

openxen-backup-logo As a sysadmin that have my own Open Xen Debian Hypervisor running on a Lenovo ThinkServer few months ago due to a human error I managed to mess up one of my virtual machines and rebuild the Operating System from scratch and restore files service and MySQl data from backup that really pissed me of and this brought the need for having a decent Virtual Machine OpenXen backup solution I can implement on the Debian ( Buster) 10.10 running the free community Open Xen version 4.11.4+107-gef32c7afa2-1. The Hypervisor is a relative small one holding just 7 VM s:

HypervisorHost:~#  xl list
Name                                        ID   Mem VCPUs      State   Time(s)
Domain-0                                     0 11102    24     r—–  214176.4
pcfrxenweb                                  11 12288     4     -b—-  247425.5
pcfrxen                                     12 16384    10     -b—-  1371621.4
windows7                                    20  4096     2     -b—-   97887.2
haproxy2                                    21  4096     2     -b—-   11806.9
jitsi-meet                                  22  2048     2     -b—-   12843.9
zabbix                                      23  2048     2     -b—-   20275.1
centos7                                     24  2040     2     -b—-   10898.2

HypervisorHost:~# xl list|grep -v 'Name ' |grep  -v 'Domain-0'  |wc -l
7


The backup strategy of the script is very simple to shutdown the running VM machine, make a copy with rsync to a backup location the image of each of the Virtual Machines in a bash shell loop for each virtual machine shown in output of xl command and backup to a preset local directory in my case this is /backups/ the backup of each virtual machine is produced within a separate backup directory with a respective timestamp. Backup VM .img files are produced in my case to mounted 2x external attached hard drives each of which is a 4 Terabyte Seagate Plus Backup (Storage). The original version of the script was made to be a slightly different by Zhiqiang Ma whose script I used for a template to come up with my xen VM backup solution. To prevent the Hypervisor's load the script is made to do it with a nice of (nice -n 10) this might be not required or you might want to modify it to better suit your needs. Below is the script itself you can fetch a copy of it /usr/sbin/xen_vm_backups.sh :

#!/bin/bash

# Author: Zhiqiang Ma (http://www.ericzma.com/)
# Modified to work with xl and OpenXen by Georgi Georgiev – https://pc-freak.net
# Original creation dateDec. 27, 2010
# Script takes all defined vms under xen_name_list and prepares backup of each
# after shutting down the machine prepares archive and copies archive in externally attached mounted /backup/disk1 HDD
# Latest update: 08.06.2021 G. Georgiev – hipo@pc-freak.net

mark_file=/backups/disk1/tmp/xen-bak-marker
log_file=/var/log/xen/backups/bak-$(date +%Y_%m_%d).log
err_log_file=/var/log/xen/backups/bak_err-$(date +%H_%M_%Y_%m_%d).log
xen_dir=/xen/domains
xen_vmconfig_dir=/etc/xen/
local_bak_dir=/backups/disk1/tmp
#bak_dir=xenbak@backup_host1:/lhome/xenbak
bak_dir=/backups/disk1/xen-backups/xen_images/$(date +%Y_%m_%d)/xen/domains
#xen_name_list="haproxy2 pcfrxenweb jitsi-meet zabbix windows7 centos7 pcfrxenweb pcfrxen"
xen_name_list="windows7 haproxy2 jitsi-meet zabbix centos7"

if [ ! -d /var/log/xen/backups ]; then
echo mkdir -p /var/log/xen/backups
 mkdir -p /var/log/xen/backups
fi

if [ ! -d $bak_dir ]; then
echo mkdir -p $bak_dir
 mkdir -p $bak_dir

fi


# check whether bak runned last week
if [ -e $mark_file ] ; then
        echo  rm -f $mark_file
 rm -f $mark_file
else
        echo  touch $mark_file
 touch $mark_file
  # exit 0
fi

# set std and stderr to log file
        echo mv $log_file $log_file.old
       mv $log_file $log_file.old
        echo mv $err_log_file $err_log_file.old
       mv $err_log_file $err_log_file.old
        echo "exec 2> $err_log_file"
       exec 2> $err_log_file
        echo "exec > $log_file"
       exec > $log_file


# check whether the VM is running
# We only backup running VMs

echo "*** Check alive VMs"

xen_name_list_tmp=""

for i in $xen_name_list
do
        echo "/usr/sbin/xl list > /tmp/tmp-xen-list"
        /usr/sbin/xl list > /tmp/tmp-xen-list
  grepinlist=`grep $i" " /tmp/tmp-xen-list`;
  if [[ “$grepinlist” == “” ]]
  then
    echo $i is not alive.
  else
    echo $i is alive.
    xen_name_list_tmp=$xen_name_list_tmp" "$i
  fi
done

xen_name_list=$xen_name_list_tmp

echo "Alive VM list:"

for i in $xen_name_list
do
   echo $i
done

echo "End alive VM list."

###############################
date
echo "*** Backup starts"

###############################
date
echo "*** Copy VMs to local disk"

for i in $xen_name_list
do
  date
  echo "Shutdown $i"
        echo  /usr/sbin/xl shutdown $i
        /usr/sbin/xl shutdown $i
        if [ $? != ‘0’ ]; then
                echo 'Not Xen Disk image destroying …';
                /usr/sbin/xl destroy $i
        fi
  sleep 30

  echo "Copy $i"
  echo "Copy to local_bak_dir: $local_bak_dir"
      echo /usr/bin/rsync -avhW –no-compress –progress $xen_dir/$i/{disk.img,swap.img} $local_bak_dir/$i/
     time /usr/bin/rsync -avhW –no-compress –progress $xen_dir/$i/{disk.img,swap.img} $local_bak_dir/$i/
      echo /usr/bin/rsync -avhW –no-compress –progress $xen_vmconfig_dir/$i.cfg $local_bak_dir/$i.cfg
     time /usr/bin/rsync -avhW –no-compress –progress $xen_vmconfig_dir/$i.cfg $local_bak_dir/$i.cfg
  date
  echo "Create $i"
  # with vmmem=1024"
  # /usr/sbin/xm create $xen_dir/vm.run vmid=$i vmmem=1024
          echo /usr/sbin/xl create $xen_vmconfig_dir/$i.cfg
          /usr/sbin/xl create $xen_vmconfig_dir/$i.cfg
## Uncomment if you need to copy with scp somewhere
###       echo scp $log_file $bak_dir/xen-bak-111.log
###      echo  /usr/bin/rsync -avhW –no-compress –progress $log_file $local_bak_dir/xen-bak-111.log
done

####################
date
echo "*** Compress local bak vmdisks"

for i in $xen_name_list
do
  date
  echo "Compress $i"
      echo tar -z -cfv $bak_dir/$i-$(date +%Y_%m_%d).tar.gz $local_bak_dir/$i-$(date +%Y_%m_%d) $local_bak_dir/$i.cfg
     time nice -n 10 tar -z -cvf $bak_dir/$i-$(date +%Y_%m_%d).tar.gz $local_bak_dir/$i/ $local_bak_dir/$i.cfg
    echo rm -vf $local_bak_dir/$i/ $local_bak_dir/$i.cfg
    rm -vrf $local_bak_dir/$i/{disk.img,swap.img}  $local_bak_dir/$i.cfg
done

####################
date
echo "*** Copy local bak vmdisks to remote machines"

copy_remote () {
for i in $xen_name_list
do
  date
  echo "Copy to remote: vm$i"
        echo  scp $local_bak_dir/vmdisk0-$i.tar.gz $bak_dir/vmdisk0-$i.tar.gz
done

#####################
date
echo "Backup finishes"
        echo scp $log_file $bak_dir/bak-111.log

}

date
echo "Backup finished"

 

Things to configure before start using using the script to prepare backups for you is the xen_name_list variable

#  directory skele where to store already prepared backups
bak_dir=/backups/disk1/xen-backups/xen_images/$(date +%Y_%m_%d)/xen/domains

# The configurations of the running Xen Virtual Machines
xen_vmconfig_dir=/etc/xen/
# a local directory that will be used for backup creation ( I prefer this directory to be on the backup storage location )
local_bak_dir=/backups/disk1/tmp
#bak_dir=xenbak@backup_host1:/lhome/xenbak
# the structure on the backup location where daily .img backups with be produced with rsync and tar archived with bzip2
bak_dir=/backups/disk1/xen-backups/xen_images/$(date +%Y_%m_%d)/xen/domains

# list here all the Virtual Machines you want the script to create backups of
xen_name_list="windows7 haproxy2 jitsi-meet zabbix centos7"

If you need the script to copy the backup of Virtual Machine images to external Backup server via Local Lan or to a remote Internet located encrypted connection with a passwordless ssh authentication (once you have prepared the Machines to automatically login without pass over ssh with specific user), you can uncomment the script commented section to adapt it to copy to remote host.

Once you have placed at place /usr/sbin/xen_vm_backups.sh use a cronjob to prepare backups on a regular basis, for example I use the following cron to produce a working copy of the Virtual Machine backups everyday.
 

# crontab -u root -l 

# create windows7 haproxy2 jitsi-meet centos7 zabbix VMs backup once a month
00 06 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12 * * /usr/sbin/xen_vm_backups.sh 2>&1 >/dev/null


I do clean up virtual machines Images that are older than 95 days with another cron job

# crontab -u root -l

# Delete xen image files older than 95 days to clear up space from backup HDD
45 06 17 * * find /backups/disk1/xen-backups/xen_images* -type f -mtime +95 -exec rm {} \; 2>&1 >/dev/null

#### Delete xen config backups older than 1 year+3 days (368 days)
45 06 17 * * find /backups/disk1/xen-backups/xen_config* -type f -mtime +368 -exec rm {} \; 2>&1 >/dev/null

 

# Delete xen image files older than 95 days to clear up space from backup HDD
45 06 17 * * find /backups/disk1/xen-backups/xen_images* -type f -mtime +95 -exec rm {} \; 2>&1 >/dev/null

#### Delete xen config backups older than 1 year+3 days (368 days)
45 06 17 * * find /backups/disk1/xen-backups/xen_config* -type f -mtime +368 -exec rm {} \; 2>&1 >/dev/null

Saint Georgi of Sofia “the Newest” Bulgarian Confessor Christian saint martyred 1534 AD during reign of Turkish Sultan Selim in Medieval Serdika (Sofia)

Tuesday, June 1st, 2021

Saint-Martyr-George-of-Sofia-Georgi-Sofijski-in-traditional-wear-kalpak

Troparion, voice 4
With a soul wounded by the love of your God, the wise George the Glorious, he preached to the ungodly, Christ God, trampled with his feeth, the Turkish heresy; and when he adorned himself with the crown of martyrdom, you ascended to the heavenly multitudes: ask Christ God to preserve your homeland, this city (Sofia) and the people who always worship your deeds.

On 26-th of May the Bulgarian Orthodox Church celebrates the memory of one of the great Bulgarian Martyr saints Saint Georgi the Newest.
С~тый Геԝ̀ргїй Софїѝскїй Новѣ̀йшїй) St. Georgi (The Bulgarian equivalent name of George) is one of the 3 saints holding the name Georgi which has confessed Christianity refused to accept islam and accepted Martyrdom for Christ in period of 1396 till year 1530 and one of the 9 famous Sofia city saints. Saint Georgi of Sofia the Newest was named after the highly venerated in Bulgarian just like in whole Christian world saint George.

saint-Georgi-Sofijski-saint-great-martyr-George-and-The-Mother-of-God-iconostasis

St. Georgi was born in the city of Medieval Sofia (Sredetz), fortress of Serdika today’s Sofia in a family of Ivan and Maria – a wealthy and society recognized family of that time. He has born after a fervent and lengthly prayers of his parents who couldn’t have children for a long time and has been given a kid by the prayers of Saint Great Martyr George
It is important to say Georgi (the newest) celebrated on 26-th of May is a different saint from St. Georgi called “the new” whose memory in the Church is commemorated on 11-th of February.

saint-Georgi-Sofijski-noveishij-icon

Miracle making icon of saint Georgi Sofiyski (currently in the Church in yard of Alexandrovska Hospital Sofia)

The young Georgi quickly learned to write and read, a skills that only the most educated people usually coming from noble families could do. His favourite activity
in his free time when he was not in help of his parents was reading the Holy Scriptures.
He was grown by his parents in Christian goodness and fervency for the Christian faith.

Sveti_Georgi_Novi-Sofijski-wall-painting-icon-st-George-Sofia
Aged 25 he orphaned as his beloved father passed away to Christ. Georgi posessesed an extraordinary beauty, sharp mind and virtues, seeing the young man in his grief the local Turkish authorities tried as they usually do to attract the youngster to the islamic faith to make their way to interact with Georgi and do their business easier and most importantly have Georgi in their auhotirities congregation consisting only of people belonging to the islam as it was up to the Ottoman Turkish consistution law of the day.

To attract Georgi, turks first tried with hypocritical kindness and a care for the young to help him raise in the power of authorities of the city, not succeeding with that they have, they have forcefully wrapper the Muslim turban on his head and proclaimed him officially Muslim. Feeling offended by the ungodly deed of this enemies of Christ, immediately the saint throw the imposed turban on the ground and trampled on it.
The enraged muslim crowd seing his public offence for the prophet Muhammed handed him over to the Qadi in the court.

Neither the seductive promises of high office nor the cruel tortures could break the unshakable firmness of his Christian faith. The judge ordered that his body be cut into strips from head to toe and that the wounds received be scorched with dirty candles, which made the martyr’s body so hot that his face could not be seen. But all efforts were in vain.

The final verdict of the judge followed – Georgi to be hanged on the main barn in the city of Sofia, where there was a furnace for melting iron and copper ore. The execution command also stated that his body should remain on the gallows for three days in order to begin to decay, so that the faith of the Christians in the incorruptible relics of the saints and in the resurrection of the dead to be refuted and hence disgrace christianity. However, exhausted from his suffering mrtr. Georgi died at the hands of the executioners before they managed to hang him. To fulfill the command turks, anyhow hung him on a rope to show the sentence has been successfully carried out.

For three days the body hung on the gallows without any sign of decomposition, and on the contrary, an unusual fragrance of the holy relics of the martyr wafted through the barn. His mother sat under the gallows and grieving his beloved son hugged her son’s legs, staying next three three days to her son. The hanging took place on May 26, 1530 (according to other document sources in 1534). Thus on 26th of may the Church set a service in memoriam.

Ancient-Church-ROtonda-St-George-Sofia-Bulgaria

5-th Century Church of Rotonda St. George Centre of Sofia

The-Grave-of-Saint-Georgi-Sofiyski-Grobat-na-sv-Georgi-nai-novi

Saint Georgi Sofiyski / Saint George of Sofia the Newest grave near Rotonda Church Saint George in City Center of Sofia, Bulgari

After the expiration of the sentence, the kadi handed over the body of the martyr to be buried in a Christian way, and the burial was solemnly performed by the then Metropolitan of Sofia Jeremiah in the church “St. the great martyr George the Victorious ”. Now these relics are in obscurity. The mother of the martyr died on the 40th day of George’s death and was buried at her son’s feet.

These events took place during the reign of Sultan Suleiman I Kanuni (the Legislator) also known as Suleiman the Magnificent. This “Golden Age” for the Ottoman Empire was a time of unheard of atrocities against Christians in the territory of the empire and very difficult times for the Bulgarian people. The reign of Suleiman I and his father Selim I was a time of obscurantism and severe persecution of the Christian population, a time during which many Christian new martyrs on Balkans had the courage to defend their faith.

saint-Georgi-Sofijski-newest-icon-painting

The capture, trial and torture of St. George of Sofia The latest took place near the then Sofia. Today the place is located in the yard of the famous Alexandrovska Hospital which was a King’s hospital during the times of Kingdom of Bulgaria after liberation took place from the Turks in 1878 y.. The exact location where martyrdom occured is between street St. Georgi Sofiyski ”and“ Pencho Slaveykov ”Blvd.

There was a large stone cross with an inscription on the site, which a few years after 1944, due to the risk of being destroyed, was collected by Sofia priests and is still preserved in the altar of the church “St. Georgi Pobedonosets ”on Blvd. Partriarch Euthymius”. Until the 1940s, a liturgical procession was held from the place of death of the saint to the Rotunda on May 26.
Nowadays happily, the old Lithia tradition is being renewed and a small Lithia is conducted by Bulgarian Orthodox Christian clergy and layman.

In the garden next to the building of the Second Surgical Clinic there was a stone cross, which indicated the place and history of the martyrdom of the saint, and today a temple was built in honor of the saint.

Church-of-saint-Georgi-Sofijski-in-Alexandrovska-hospital-Sofia-Bulgaria-the-place-of-martyrdom-of-saint-Georgi-Sofijski
source: Lives of the Saints. Synodal Publishing House, Sofia, 1991, edited by Parthenius, Bishop of Lefkada and Archimandrite Dr. Athanasius (Bonchev).

Saint_Georgi-naj-novi_Sofijski

HOLY MARTYR GEORGE OF SOFIA THE NEWEST, PRAY GOD FOR US!

17th of May Saint Martyr Nikolay Sofiiski (Nikolas of Sofia) – Bulgarian Martyr Confessor saint from the XV century

Friday, May 21st, 2021

Saint Confessor Nikolay Sofijski (Nikolay of Sofia) Short Biography

 

saint_Nikolay-of-Sofia-icon-on-the-entrance-of-his-Church-in-capital-of-Bulgaria-Sofia

St. Nikolay (Nicolas) of Sofia has been born in Ioannina (city now in territory of Greece). He was a pious and with his honorable craft of shoemaking going through the stormy sea of life. When he arrived in Sofia (Serdica / Sredetz), one of the main cities of the Ottoman Empire of that time, a long remain of the glorious past when even the righteous emperor Constantine The great was considering to set as a capital of the Eastern empire either Constantinople today's Istanbul in Turkey or Sofia (Fortress of Serdika).

When Nikolay came to Sofia, he was immediately recognized by the Turkish authorities and rich people of the city  and to have him part of their "nobel" turkish society and enrich the city ruleship, the Turkish tried to push Nikolay to accept Islam. 
Once a time Turkish invited Nikolay, put a somniferous herb in his offered drink and once he fall asleep without his knowledge they have circumcised him according to Islamic tradition observance. 
Once awaken Nikolay realised what has been done to him and fall in a deep regret and mourned over the abuse of his body which according the Christian faith is a temple of the Holy Spirit. Once he started appearing on the streets of Sofia, Turkish immediately invited him to attend the mosque considering him already a muslim due to the circumcision ritual commited on him. 
He firmly rejected the offer publicly, considering himself a Christian as he never publicly resigned his Christian faith and never ever wanted to be muslim and never ever has attended another temple apart from the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church he belonged to.
Facing the rejection, the powerful of the day turks cannot believe their eyes as they already thought Nikolay accepted the fact he is already a muslim, not understanding that for a Christian the temporary flesh is nothing but a temporary hut and the Spiritual and Eternal Soul and The Spirit of God which enlightens it as well as the Eternal Kingdom of Heaven is everything. The turks thouhgt over it fleshly, thinking that having a sign of circumcision already puts a person belonging to his faith, not knowing that the the first desciples of Christ, the most holy apostles as belonging to the Jewish faith had their circumcision themselves, and this circumcision never ever hindered their faith in the Resurrected Messiah Jesus Christ.

Immediately facing the rejecting the Turks, arrested him as a traitor of their faith and put him into a harsh torments.

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Combined icon with the living of saint Nikolay of Sofia

Putting him on trial In the local court, the judge announced his opinion that Nikolay doesn't hold a fault, neither against Islam neither against the claimants.
Nevertheless the crowd put Nikolay outside of Sofia (in a similar way the Jews resurrected Christ outside of the city of Jerusalem) in Sofia's near region called "Yuch Bunar", translated from Turkish as the  ("The Tree Wells"), there they stoned to death on 17th of May year 1555 A.D., (the stoning a transgressor of the Islamic law, tradition is still followed by some countries even today, for example I heard similar cases do happen still in Saudi Arabia for sinners against islamic law).

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Saint Nikolay icon in his traditional Bulgarian clothes wear (Nosia)
holding his shoemaking instrument

His holy body has been moved to the graveyear called (Търница) Térnitza and has been burned – and the dust has been scattered through the four directions of the world North, East, South, West following islamic tradition and in attempt to completely irradicate the memory of the saint in the relatives and the living Christians of that time.  Even though due to the request of Matey Gramatik (Mathew the Gramatik – translated as Chronicler / Annalist), a boy managed to collect little burned part remains of the relics and a pious christian, secretly made a burial prayer for his Soul (Опело – called Opelo in the Slavonic Eastern Orthodox Church) according to the Christian tradition and buried him with honor.

saint_Nikolay-new-of-Sofia-sv_nikolay_novi
 

Soon after the martyrdom of saint Nikolay the New, the Metropolitan of Sredetz Iakov (Jacob), announced the canonization of st. Nikolay on a specially summoned for the consideration of saintship of St. Nikolay, a Local Church Metropolitan Council. Jacob received parts from holy relics (parts of the skull and the bones) of st. Nikolay, that has been secretly kept by a faithful Christians till then and placed the new received saint relics and placed them together in the ark (coffin) with the incorruptable holy relics of Saint King Stephan Milutin at that time located in Church of St. Archangel Michaelsee my previous article pilgrimage to the incorruptable Holy relics of Saint Stephan Milutin in Cathedral Saint Nedelya, Sofia Bulgaria. Later parts of the holy relics has been housed in in a Wood maden Church.

 

The grave of saint Nikolay of Sofia is one of the few known graves of Bulgarian saints. Today, it is situated in the city center of Sofia capital city of Bulgaria in the district "Три кладенци" / "The Three Wells". Three hundred meters from there (in the tiny park like garden between the streets of "Pirotska" and "Opalchenska") lays a Beatiful Majestic Church, dedicated to the Holy Martyr st. Nikolay Sofijski. The Church of Saint Nicolas of Sofia is one of the biggest Cathedral Churches in Bulgaria (it is second by size in city of Sofia). The Temple has been rised following a project of architecture created by Anton Tornyov after the Liberation of Bulgarian following the Russian/Bulgarian-Turkish war on 3-rd of December 1900. Church saint Nikolay Sofijski has been consecrated by Metropolitan Partenij (Parthenius of Sofia was a senior Bulgarian clergyman and church figure, Metropolitan of Sofia from 1892 to 1918. Metropolitan Parthenius is an exceptional clergyman who has left a lasting mark in the history of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.).

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Church of Saint Nikolay of Sofia in Sofia Bulgaria (corner of street "Opalchenska" and "Pirotska").


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Church Nikolay Sofijski view to Iconostasis Church interior

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Church dome paintings of St. Nikolay Sofijski

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Iconostasis of the Church (notice the beatiful flower forms curved wood)

In the beginning of XXth century in 1870s on the exact place of the grave of the saint has been built a small chapel in his memoriam. It is situated in a small yard on today's Street of "Tzar Simeon / King Simeon" it is opened for pilgrim visitors everyday in the early afternoon every working day. 
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The Chapel entrance door 

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A Heavenly beauty roman like chapel

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The Chapel on the grave of Saint Nikolas of Sofia, built on the place called "Terniza" (Tzar Simeon Street), where on 17-th of May, year 1555 A.D. where remains of the saint has been burned by turks – photo by Martin Mitov (C) 

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The Grave of Saint Nikolay of Sofia (View to Alter dedicated to the matryr saint)


The holy relics of Saint Nikolay the new are now preserved in his Church  and are brought for veneration by believers and pilgrims on each 16 and 17 of May and sometimes in a Church feasts of a higher importance.

Each 17-th of May in Sofia it is a tradition for clirics (clergy) to gather together with pilgrims and layman for a Lithia with the holy relics of saint Nikolay from the Church to the chapel, and for the following two days 18, 19th of May his holy relics are publicly displayed for veneration.

Sofia's mediaval historian and clergyman deacon Matey Gramatik (upmentioned), was a comtemporary of the saint and eyewitness of his martyrdom and death, soon after wrote his Church service and Biography (Saint Living). Today the original manuscript is preserved in the the Library of the church "St. Martyr Nikolai Novi Sofiyski" in Sofia.

Let by the holy prayers of Saint Nikolay Sofijski our homeland Bulgaria is given peace prosperity in The Hope, Faith and Love and every Good and firmness in the True faith given by Christ the Holy Eastern Orthodox faith. Let by his Holy prayers God gives peace and love to everyone in the world and grant, repentance for us the lost and spiritually poor and "fatherless" children of the 21st century.

Lazarus Sunday – The Resurrection from the Death of Lazarus in the fourth day as a proof for the Mass Coming Resurrection

Monday, April 26th, 2021

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Ancient Miracle Making Icon of Lazarus Resurrected in the 4th day after being in the grave by Christ –  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

Lazarus Sunday is one the a moveable feast in the Eastern Orthodox Church and Church set it to always be on the 6th Saturday of the Great Lent.
I decided to write few lines about Saint Lazarus because he is one of my favourite saints and because I hope anyone could benefit spiritually by this.

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The name Lazarus stems from the Latinised form of the Aramic: אלעזר, Elʿāzār, cf. Heb. Eleazar —"God helped")

The raising of Lazarus at Bethany – today the West Bank town of Al-Eizariya, which translates to "the place of Lazarus" – is the climactic narrative: exemplifying the power of Jesus "over the last and most irresistible enemy of humanity: death. For this reason, it is given a prominent place in the gospel. The feast of Resurrection of Lazarus is a great feast of importance for both us the Eastern Orthodox Christistians as well as Roman Catholics.

Back in the days when I first read about Lazarus while reading the bible for a first time I've been completely wonderstruck, reading that a man who was in the grave for 4 days could come back to life. Perhaps the resurrection of Lazarus story described was a major building block which give me  enormous joy and same time fear and hope on God's mercy towards man. Of course reading about the Resurrection that is expecting each and every of us was mostly scareful especially when I remembered all my bad innumerous sins and transgressions but same time it filled me with joy that after all the life we live now is not meaningless, but after death bed another never ending life in a never dying new resurrected bodies is awaiting each human some of is to be living in never ending joy in the new body and some to be living in a new body holding the dark landmarks of their unrepented sins for eternity (the hell) about which we are constantly warned  …

The Bible story of Lazarus brings me back in the days, whenI personally have experienced "a spiritual" resurrection when 15 years ago God by his great mercy has given me the gift of faith not because I have done something but because I was in suffer and obviously he had pity on my pain and answered my call for help. Have to say It was not me that have done something special besides a whole hearted prayers to Jesus Christ to show me if he really exists and imy promise that I will serve him if he is really God and not a history fiction. The following uneartly Joy and Peace I have received as a Gift from God while being in that desperated state I would not forget my whole life. In that very moments back in the distant 2006 I still remember I was amazed on the difference of being with God feeling his presence in your soul and the emptiness of feeling alone in a cold and dark universe that doesn't care. The moment I received the grace of God not because of me but because of his great mercy was a moment of immerse joy that was consuming all the earthly suffering and cares. The "feeling" if it at all can be named a feeling was exactly like you have been death in spirit all your life or at least a big part of your life and suddenly you come to live and have breath.

It took me a harsh battle to find out where is Christ's Church and if really there is a Church as described in the Holy Bible (Jesus Christ promised a Church) and I was not aware where this Christ Church is even though I have been blessed to have live in a Eastern Orthodox country.  During 2006 – 2007 I have to read many many books and have the chance to meet many people in Varna's Spiritual Educational Center Saint Archangel Michail and the key person Borislav Avramov who played and continues to play a main role for the existence of the center. I've the chance to meet many other good people who already have been Christians for many days and lived in the Church,as well as many other dedicated Christians who were orthodox but did not fully lived according to Church teaching. A key role in my development as a realized Christian played the monks from Pomorie Monastery Saint Great Martyr George who I have the chance by God's providence to visit many times. They have corrected many of my erronical understanding of Christianity which has been there due to my only source for Christian living examples was books and Internet. My knowledge and understanding on Christianity, Mysterious and Truths revealed by Christ hence was chaotical mixed up (as i had red too many books without any systematics, including many non-canonical books like the The Ethiopian Book of Enoch and many non-canonical books and ancient writtings which included a lot misfacts and heretisms.  This all has led me to choose to become an Eastern Orthodox Christian being convinced by the historical facts about the Church which are still being lived to this very date in the Mystery life of the One Holy Eastern Orthodox Church.

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The Resurrection of Lazarus is described in the Holy Bible's Gospel of John Book
 

Chapter 11

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1. Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.

(It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)

Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.

When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.

Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.

When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.

Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.

His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?

Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.

10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.

11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.

12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.

13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.

14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.

16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.

17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.

18 Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:

19 And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.

20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.

21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.

23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.

24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

28 And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee.

29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.

30 Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.

31 The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.

32 Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.

34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.

35 Jesus wept.

36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!

37 And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?

38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.

39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.

40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.

42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.

43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.

46 But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.

47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.

48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.

49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,

50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.

51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;

52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.

53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.

54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.

55 And the Jews' passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves.

56 Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast?

57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him.

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Saint Lazarus original Burial Place in Tomb Bethany Israel (The Tomb of Saint Lazarus in Bethany and the House of Martha and Mary is a famous pilgrimage location for Christians even day)
 

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The Resurrection of the Righteous Lazarus by Christ in the home of Simon the Lepper. 
Fresco of homilies of saint Gregory The Theologian of Nazianzus (Nizianzin)

Chapter 12 
1. Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.

There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.

Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.

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Sixth Century icon of Resurrection of Lazarus Sant Apollina Nuovo Ravenna

By raising Lazarus from the Death in such a manner in a public before the crowd of hundreds or hundred of thousands of people's eyes. Jesus clearly show he is the Master of Death and Life and the Only Begotten son.
Which was the ultimate proof for the Jews that Christ is the true expected Messiah described in old testament prophetic books. 
According to Jewish tradition the death bodies were lade in stone engraved tombs to preserve the bodies, as Jews (The Pharisees) the larger part of Jews has hold the believe for the Ultimate resurrection of the Death where they will be resurrected to live an ever lasting life with God the creator of all things. To preserve the body and keep it in a good shape s special oilment ritual has been conducted by every jew, more pompose for the rich and very simple for the poor pretty much like the funerals we organize today. Except that we Christians lay the death body in the ground and not in a tomb but in same way we believe in the Mass coming resurrection of the death (even though most of us has forgotten that).

Even today as we are in the situation of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemicsm, still jews continue the tradition to have multile attended funerals this year 2021 in February there was a big scandal in the news about all famous Jewish ultra orthodox Rabbi Rabbi Meshulam Dovid Soloveitchik whose funeral was attended by estimated 10000.

So it is no strange if Lazarus funeral has been attended by many thousands as well especially if we consider the fact that at the time of Resurrection of Lazarus Jesus was so famous that everywhere he goes he was followed by large crowds of people waiting for a healing a word a blessing to see the Messiah.

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The apostolic nature of Lazarus' appointment was given by the Church tradition, which says the bishop's omophorion was presented to Lazarus by the Virgin Mary, who had woven it herself. Such apostolic connections were central to the claims to autocephaly made by the bishops of Kition – subject to the patriarch of Jerusalem – during the period 325 – 431. The church of Kition was declared self-governing in 431 AD at the Third Ecumenical Council.

According to tradition, Lazarus never smiled during the thirty years after his resurrection, worried by the sight of unredeemed souls he had seen during his four-day stay in Hell. The only exception was, when he saw someone stealing a pot, he smilingly said: "the clay steals the clay."

In 890, a tomb was found in Larnaca bearing the inscription "Lazarus the friend of Christ". Emperor Leo VI of Byzantium had Lazarus' remains transferred to Constantinople in 898. The transfer was apostrophized by Arethas, bishop of Caesarea, and is commemorated by the Eastern Orthodox Church each year on October 17.

Lazarus_Tomb_in_St_Lazarus_Church_in_Larnaca,_Cyprus

In recompense to Larnaca, Emperor Leo had the Church of St. Lazarus, which still exists today, erected over Lazarus' tomb. The marble sarcophagus can be seen inside the church under the Holy of Holies.

After the sacking of Constantinople by the Franks during the Fourth Crusade in 1204, the Crusaders carried the saint's relics to Marseille, France as part of the booty of war. From there, "later on, they disappeared and up to the present day they have not been traced."

In the 16th century, a Russian monk from the Monastery of Pskov visited St. Lazarus's tomb in Larnaca and took with him a small piece of the relics. Perhaps that piece led to the erection of the St. Lazarus chapel at the Pskov Monastery (Spaso-Eleazar Monastery, Pskov),where it is kept today.

On November 23, 1972, human remains in a marble sarcophagus were discovered under the altar, during renovation works in the church of Church of St. Lazarus at Larnaka, and were identified as part of the saint's relics.

In June 2012 the Church of Cyprus gave a part of the holy relics of St. Lazarus to a delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church, led by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, after a four-day visit to Cyprus. The relics were brought to Moscow and were given to Archbishop Arseniy of Istra, who took them to the Zachatievsky monastery (Conception Convent), where they were put up for veneration.

Let by the Holy Prayers of Saint Lazarus God have mercy on the world and us the sinners and grant us salvation and grace to live out trough this temporary life!

The Great Canon of of Saint Andrew of Crete important repentance landmark in the Great Lent Church time

Monday, April 19th, 2021


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The Great Canon and Great example of Repentance

Every year the Great Lent, in the Orhodox Church an important part of the Fasting time and Church faithful meeting for the Services is the reading of the so called "Great Canon" .
Canon of Repentance  was composed in the distant seventh century by a notable saint in the Church saint Andrew of Crete (Greek: Ἀνδρέας Κρήτης, c. 650 – July 4, 712 or 726 or 740), also known as Andrew of Jerusalem.
He was an 8th-century bishop, theologian, homilist, and hymnographer. He is highly venerated in our One Holy Eastern Orthodox and considered in saint in the Catholic Church as well.

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His life's most important work The Great Canon prayed in singing form during every Great Lent period in the Church since then and is example for Christians for how a repentance's set stone should be set and which are the main positive and negative personages we know from the holy bible scriptures.  The Great Canon is known well and sung often by dedicated Christians even in their home in or outside of the great lent period.
The canon expresses the overall understanding of the Church through times for good and bad examples of how a man should live, if he wants to have a good life in Christ and what he should abstain and not do if he wants to accept in deed and "utilize" so to say the Salvation given by Christ on the Cross.

The Great Canon was composed by saint Adnrew in the Seventh Century ! And preserved its preserved its form and content up to this very day. 
It is  lenghtly one as it is a Church services that lasts sometimes from 1 hour 50 minutes hour or even up to 2 hours 50 hours if performed with a  Bishop or a Metropolitan. The Saint Andrews Canon is red every day in the First week during first of Great Lent divided by IV parts on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.

Great Canon Content

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Great Canon text consists of four parts, each divided into nine odes like any other regular church canon.
There are slight differences between the odes of the two compositions. In the Great Canon, there is a greater number of troparia (songs sung in honour of a Biblical major event, a saint veneration song or other song with content to glorify the miracles of Christ).
A common remembering part of the Canon heard is the begging "Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me,
At the refrain "Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me," a full prostration (a bow to the ground). is performed Also, some of the odes have additional refrains and troparia to the author of the canon, St. Andrew of Crete, and Saint Mary of Egypt who spend 47 years hermit life in the desert and is one of the greatest models of repentance in Christian history.

A basic distinguishing feature of the Great Canon is its extremely broad use of images and subjects taken both from the Old and New Testaments. As the Canon progresses, the congregation encounters many biblical examples of sin and repentance. The Bible (and therefore, the Canon) speaks of some individuals in history in a positive light, and about others in a negative one—the penitents are expected to emulate the positive examples of sanctity and repentance, and to learn from and avoid the negative examples of sin, fallen nature and pride. However, one of the most notable aspects of the Canon is that it attempts to potray the Biblical images in a very personal way to every penitent: the Canon is written in such form that the faithful identify themselves with many people and events found in the Bible.
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The earliest manuscript we know of attesting to the Great Canon (with a slightly different order of troparia and a shorter composition) is the Studite Triodion of the middle of the second half of the ninth century, stored in the library of the Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg.
This manuscript has the Canon in hits original place in the services of Great Lent – at Matins of Thursday in the fifth week (when the life of St. Mary of Egypt is read). 
Only later does it also appear at Compline of the first four days of the first week.

The Canon is a soul-piercing, heartfelt lament of the righteous for his sins. The very beginning: “Where shall I begin to weep for the action of my wretched life? What first-fruit shall I offer, O Christ, in this my lamentation? (Ode 1)—attunes the soul for mourning and repentance, for the “wounding of the heart.”

The author of the Canon laments not only for himself, but for all mankind that has sinned. He recalls every transgression, every fall, from Adam to the New Testament. The majority of the Canon—eight odes—consists of Old Testament examples. St. Andrew doesn’t just recall the sins of the forefathers, but he experiences them as his own: “I have rivaled in transgression Adam the first-formed man, and I have found myself stripped naked of God” (Ode 1).

The transgressions of the forefathers become prototypes of the passions that torment a man: “Instead of the visible Eve, I have the Eve of the mind: the passionate thought in my flesh” (Ode 1). Or another example: “To whom shall I liken thee, O soul of many sins? Alas! To Cain and to Lamech. For thou hast stoned thy body to death with thine evil deeds, and killed thy mind with thy disordered longings (Ode 2: “See now, see”). Here St. Andrew follows St. Maximus the Confessor, for whom Cain is “the acquisition, the law of the flesh,” rising up against Abel, that is, the mind, according to the symbolic interpretation, and killing him. This is what St. Maximus writes: “Had Abel kept guard over himself and had he not gone out with Cain into the field, that is, into the plain of natural contemplation, before attaining dispassion, then Cain, who is and is called the law of the flesh would not have risen up and killed him” (Ad Thalassium 49).

If in the Canon St. Andrew recalls examples of Old Testament and New Testament righteousness, then it is first of all in order to reproach his soul for sloth and for sinfulness and to call it to imitation, for example: “O miserable and wicked soul, imitate the righteous and pure mind of Joseph; and do not live in wantonness, sinfully indulging thy disordered desires” (Ode 5).

The Canon is a broad historical panorama outlining the history of human sin and human righteousness, of the rejection and acceptance of God. The contents of the Canon are deeply Christ-centered, with heartfelt appeals to Christ in every ode, for example: “May the Blood from Thy side be to me a cleansing fount, and may the water that flows with it be a drink of forgiveness. May I be purified by both, O Word, anointed and refreshed, having as chrism and drink Thy words of life” (Ode 4). The only way of purification for St. Andrew is in Christ, through sobriety, feat (podvig), and all time giving and living all for God.

saint-Andrew-of-Cretes-icon

The Great Canon of St. Andrew is, undoubtedly, based on a robust Patristic foundation, with quotes from St. Meletius of Sardis, St. Ephraim of Syria, St. Gregory the Theologian, St. Gregory of Nyssa, and St. Maximus the Confessor. And the merit of St. Andrew of Crete is that he was able to synthesize their experience and imprint it into the Canon.

What is given to us in the Canon of Repentance of St. Andrew of Crete is the Biblical, ecclesiastical, truly universal experience of repentance, of the stinging of the heart, of the excruciating removal of the old, dead man and the putting on of the New Adam, in Christ Jesus, our Lord, to Whom glory is unto the ages of ages.

Fix “init: Id “ad” respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes” – Reload /etc/inittab changes in memory apply without rebooting Linux server

Thursday, April 15th, 2021

inittab-logo-reload-inittab-without-reboot

During my daily sysadmin tasks I've been contacted by a colleague, reporting issues with missing logs in rsyslog on a very old Redhat Server release 5.11.
Exact version is:

root@linux-server:~# cat /etc/redhat-release
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5.11 (Tikanga)

After checking the logs, I have confirmed his finding that in reality since about more than a year logs were not produced and al I could find multiple messages in /var/log/messages reading like:

init: Id "ad" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
init: Id "ad" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
init: Id "ad" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
init: Id "ad" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
init: Id "ad" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
init: Id "ad" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes

I've checked the status of rsyslog which seemed to be fine

root@linux-server:~# /etc/init.d/rsyslog status
rsyslogd (pid  13709) is running…

The redhat version on the system was

root@linux-server:~# rpm -qa |grep -i rsyslog
rsyslog-3.22.1-7.el5

 

root@linux-server:~# tail -n 16 /var/log/messages
Apr 15 17:21:25 linux-server init: Id "ad" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
Apr 15 17:26:26 linux-server init: Id "ad" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
Apr 15 17:31:27 linux-server init: Id "ad" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
Apr 15 17:36:28 linux-server init: Id "ad" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
Apr 15 17:41:29 linux-server init: Id "ad" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
Apr 15 17:46:30 linux-server init: Id "ad" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
Apr 15 17:51:31 linux-server init: Id "ad" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
Apr 15 17:56:32 linux-server init: Id "ad" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
Apr 15 18:01:33 linux-server init: Id "ad" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
Apr 15 18:06:34 linux-server init: Id "ad" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
Apr 15 18:11:35 linux-server init: Id "ad" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
Apr 15 18:16:38 linux-server init: Id "ad" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
Apr 15 18:21:39 linux-server init: Id "ad" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes

 

root@linux-server:~# /etc/init.d/rsyslog status
rsyslogd (pid  13709) is running…

Since the system is so old and I've seen this message and experienced this "respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes" myself in the past on some old Redhat 6.0 before RHEL was born as well as on Slackware Linux. The /etc/inittab which is nowadays obsoleted in newer Linux distributions was used to keep respawing a processes which have the chance to die out for some reason. 

For those unfamiliar with inittab there is a short extract from man inittab to get idea what it is.

 

NAME
       inittab  –  format of the inittab file used by the sysv-compatible init
       process

DESCRIPTION
       The inittab file describes which processes are started  at  bootup  and
       during  normal  operation  (e.g. /etc/init.d/boot, /etc/init.d/rc, get-
       tys…).  Init(8) distinguishes multiple runlevels, each of  which  can
       have  its  own  set of processes that are started.  Valid runlevels are
       0-6 plus A, B, and C for ondemand entries.  An  entry  in  the  inittab
       file has the following format:

              id:runlevels:action:process
 

So for example the use of /etc/inittab was very handy to configure a separate TTY12 (physical console) in the text environment of Linux to log all your messages. Another good use if you had a bash / perl / python script that you wanted to respawn (resurrect itself if it does out) on OS level without adding additional software like Dan Bernstein's all famous daemontools inittab was the right thing to use. It is a pity nowadays inittab is obsoleted in modern Linux OSes but the most likely reason to remove it is if you put some broken script that overeats CPU or memory if it runs multiple times you can easily get into a hung system.

Thus the logical thing to do is to check /etc/inittab content for any strange issues with less /etc/inittab and near the end of file found the problematic process which was triggering a never ending error messages to rsyslog and the module to protect from such messages in rsyslog by values $SystemLogRateLimitInterval and $SystemLogRateLimitBurst

# configure rsyslog rate limiting
# Rate-limiting
$SystemLogRateLimitInterval 5
$SystemLogRateLimitBurst 50000

The problem causing respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes

Was an old version of TivSM IBM Tivoli Service Manager /opt/tivoli/tsm/client/ba/bin/dsmc, set in the past in /etc/inittab it seems some colleague after updating to a more recent version has either changed the location of dsmc binary either the architecture of old tsm itself required a record in /etc/inittab in case if for some reasons or bugs the dsmc during backup creation was dying.

root@linux-server:~# tail -8 /etc/inittab
6:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty6

# Run xdm in runlevel 5
x:5:respawn:/etc/X11/prefdm -nodaemon

#ad:2345:respawn:/opt/tivoli/tsm/client/ba/bin/dsmc sched >/dev/null 2>&1

root@linux-server:~# rpm -qa |grep -i tivsm
TIVsm-API-5.3.4-0
TIVsm-stagent-5.3.4-0
TIVsm-BA-5.3.4-0
TIVsm-API64-5.3.4-0


The logical thing to do was to check whether this binary exist at all here is the result:

root@linux-server:~$ ls -al /opt/tivoli/tsm/client/ba/bin/dsmc
ls: /opt/tivoli/tsm/client/ba/bin/dsmc: No such file or directory

Obviously someone decided to comment out the inittab support for /opt/tivoli/tsm/client/ba/bin/dsmc as the binary was not present and the dsmc backup was executed via a separate one time cron job or the service itself was configured to run continue, but forgot to reread its configuration so in the kernel memory inittab was still having the instruction to loop over the dsmc binary, since the Linux machine was not rebooted ages (1472 days) or 4.8 years time.

root@linux-server:~#  uname -a; echo; uptime
Linux linux-server2.6.18-419.el5 #1 SMP Wed Feb 22 22:40:57 EST 2017 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

 19:04:34 up 1472 days,  5:20,  1 user,  load average: 0.12, 0.07, 0.06


So what really happens is <b>inittab</b> is trying to kind of re-run all the time dsmc process in a similar way like it would in a bash never ending loop;


while [ 1 ]; do 
/opt/tivoli/tsm/client/ba/bin/dsmc sched
done

Since the $PATH location to the binary returns 'No such file or directory' message this message floods up the rsyslog every second which triggers the LimitBurst protection of rsyslog causing rsyslog to disable completely logging for 5 minutes. The next 5 minutes when the time expires for blocking out logging due to reached limit burst.
dsmc binary sends again few ten thousand of messages for few seconds which are already waiting in a queue of rsyslog and the LimitBurst anti DDoS protection activates again. The reason for the LimitBurst is simply because if it logging is not disabled quickly the repeating message is going to fill the hard drive of the system and noone will be able to login. So rsyslog activated the good protection.

It seems noone from support colleagues, never ever noticed this init: Id "ad" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes in /var/log/messages. So since the syslog was continuesly blocked by overflow of non-sense messages, systems  normal logging was interruped and respectively prevented any other meaningful error messages and warnings from the system to get properly logged  and perhaps flooed the remote rsyslog logging servers @logging-servers:514 in /etc/rsyslog.conf


Fix to respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes

Very simply make /etc/inittab get reloaded in memory with:

root@linux-server:~# /sbin/init q

or with the linked telnet, which was so much used by us sys admins in the past

root@linux-server:~# /sbin/telinit q

To make the rsyslog suspension disabled of course we need to restart it again.

root@linux-server:~# /etc/init.d/rsyslog restart

root@linux-server:~# /etc/init.d/rsyslog status
rsyslogd (pid  13710) is running…

And Voila logs from services are being delivered normally via configured stuff in /etc/rsyslog.conf, to make sure this is so:

root@linux-server:~# tail -8 /var/log/messages
Apr 15 14:36:29 linux-serverinit: Id "ad" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
Apr 15 14:41:37 linux-serverinit: Id "ad" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
Apr 15 14:51:22 linux-serverinit: Id "ad" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
Apr 15 14:56:30 linux-serverinit: Id "ad" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
Apr 15 15:01:38 linux-serverinit: Id "ad" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
Apr 15 15:06:45 linux-serverinit: Id "ad" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes
Apr 15 18:21:49 linux-server init: Re-reading inittab
Apr 15 18:21:54 linux-server kernel: imklog 3.22.1, log source = /proc/kmsg started.
Apr 15 18:21:54 linux-server rsyslogd: [origin software=”rsyslogd” swVersion=”3.22.1″ x-pid=”13709″ x-info=”http://www.rsyslog.com”] (re)start
Apr 15 18:41:54 linux-server rsyslogd: — MARK —
Apr 15 19:01:54 linux-server rsyslogd: — MARK —
Apr 15 19:21:54 linux-server rsyslogd: — MARK —
Apr 15 19:41:54 linux-server rsyslogd: — MARK —
Apr 15 20:01:54 linux-server rsyslogd: — MARK —

Adding custom user based host IP aliases load custom prepared /etc/hosts from non root user on Linux – Script to allow define IPs that doesn’t have DNS records to user preferred hostname

Wednesday, April 14th, 2021

adding-custom-user-based-host-aliases-etc-hosts-logo-linux

Say you have access to a remote Linux / UNIX / BSD server, i.e. a jump host and you have to remotely access via ssh a bunch of other servers
who have existing IP addresses but the DNS resolver recognized hostnames from /etc/resolv.conf are long and hard to remember by the jump host in /etc/resolv.conf and you do not have a way to include a new alias to /etc/hosts because you don't have superuser admin previleges on the hop station.
To make your life easier you would hence want to add a simplistic host alias to be able to easily do telnet, ssh, curl to some aliased name like s1, s2, s3 … etc.


The question comes then, how can you define the IPs to be resolvable by easily rememberable by using a custom User specific /etc/hosts like definition file? 

Expanding /etc/hosts predefined host resolvable records is pretty simple as most as most UNIX / Linux has the HOSTALIASES environment variable
Hostaliases uses the common technique for translating host names into IP addresses using either getaddrinfo(3) or the obsolete gethostbyname(3). As mentioned in hostname(7), you can set the HOSTALIASES environment variable to point to an alias file, and you've got per-user aliases

create ~/.hosts file

linux:~# vim ~/.hosts

with some content like:
 

g google.com
localhostg 127.0.0.1
s1 server-with-long-host1.fqdn-whatever.com 
s2 server5-with-long-host1.fqdn-whatever.com
s3 server18-with-long-host5.fqdn-whatever.com

linux:~# export HOSTALIASES=$PWD/.hosts

The caveat of hostaliases you should know is this will only works for resolvable IP hostnames.
So if you want to be able to access unresolvable hostnames.
You can use a normal alias for the hostname you want in ~/.bashrc with records like:

alias server-hostname="ssh username@10.10.10.18 -v -o stricthostkeychecking=no -o passwordauthentication=yes -o UserKnownHostsFile=/dev/null"
alias server-hostname1="ssh username@10.10.10.19 -v -o stricthostkeychecking=no -o passwordauthentication=yes -o UserKnownHostsFile=/dev/null"
alias server-hostname2="ssh username@10.10.10.20 -v -o stricthostkeychecking=no -o passwordauthentication=yes -o UserKnownHostsFile=/dev/null"

then to access server-hostname1 simply type it in terminal.

The more elegant solution is to use a bash script like below:

# include below code to your ~/.bashrc
function resolve {
        hostfile=~/.hosts
        if [[ -f “$hostfile” ]]; then
                for arg in $(seq 1 $#); do
                        if [[ “${!arg:0:1}” != “-” ]]; then
                                ip=$(sed -n -e "/^\s*\(\#.*\|\)$/d" -e "/\<${!arg}\>/{s;^\s*\(\S*\)\s*.*$;\1;p;q}" "$hostfile")
                                if [[ -n “$ip” ]]; then
                                        command "${FUNCNAME[1]}" "${@:1:$(($arg-1))}" "$ip" "${@:$(($arg+1)):$#}"
                                        return
                                fi
                        fi
                done
        fi
        command "${FUNCNAME[1]}" "$@"
}

function ping {
        resolve "$@"
}

function traceroute {
        resolve "$@"
}

function ssh {
        resolve "$@"
}

function telnet {
        resolve "$@"
}

function curl {
        resolve "$@"
}

function wget {
        resolve "$@"
}

 

Now after reloading bash login session $HOME/.bashrc with:

linux:~# source ~/.bashrc

ssh / curl / wget / telnet / traceroute and ping will be possible to the defined ~/.hosts IP addresses just like if it have been defined global wide on System in /etc/hosts.

Enjoy