Posts Tagged ‘Army’

In Praise of Holy 40 Martyrs of Sebaste – a medieval work by Saint Clement of Ohrid (The Wonderworker)

Wednesday, March 9th, 2022

Holy_40_Martyrs-martyrdom-Bulgarian-icon

I consider / think for the will of the same mind and the equality of wisdom of these fourty martyrs and in amazement, I resort to Christ,  by whom clearly comes every good giving and every gift, as the Many-Blessed Paul said and blessed: “Thou are Christ – a God’s power and wisdom.” And with that power, were filled the many-blessed fourty warriors, martyrs for Christ.

They shone in the world like the brightest stars and illuminated the whole universe with the rays of the knowledge of God, having among them the spiritual sun – Christ. Illuminated by its light and adorned with great beauty, they blossomed with special faith like fragrant lilies, abundantly watered with the dew of the Holy Spirit. Decorating themselves with good deeds, they became beloved of their Lord, because in purity and love they surpassed each other. They shone like lamps with spiritual radiance: some with fasting and abstinence, others with good faith and hospitality; some with kneeling prayer and sincerity, and others with humility and meekness; some with vigilance and sincere love, and others with love and mercy for the poor. Indeed, the power of the Holy Spirit was with them, urging them to every good deed and by faith protecting them from every calamity.

And so, they were as homogeneous in appearance and beauty. Weaved through faith and love like a golden necklace, they were connected to each other by unanimity. Leaving the vain way of life, they zealously wished to stand before the unspoken glory of God through good deeds and sincere love. They urged each other to hurry to the holy path of feat. Instead of armor, they put on the faith, and instead of a shield, they armed themselves with The Cross and appeared in battle like Lightning – Riding against thousands and tens of thousands and were glorified with Victory. They fought a double war – with Visible and Invisible enemies.

Ivory_Relief-from-Constantinople_40_Martyr-10th-century-now-kept-in_Bode-museum-Berlin

Ivory Relief icon 40 Martyr 10th century from Constantinople now kept in Bode museum Berlin

The devil, who could not see their beauty and faith, as well as their pure life, fought against them by entering the malevolent court of Licinius, who was autocratic at the time. He raised persecution against Christians. Wanting to deceitfully capture the faithful martyrs, Licinius forced everyone to worship idols. But the ancient prophet proclaimed and said: “Lord will not leave the rod of the wicked on the lot of the righteous, so that the righteous do not stretch out their hands to iniquity. Lord, do good to the good and to the righteous at heart! ” With this light they illuminated themselves, striving brilliantly and wonderfully in martyrdom, despising the ordinary pleasure of joy. Cheering each other on, they said to each other, “Brethren, let us not be afraid of this short-lived torment, which passes quickly like a shadow, but brings us into the eternal dwellings. Therefore, brothers, stand firmly armed against the adversery-enemy, so that we may be adorned with victorious crowns of Christ God!
Because for the sake of earthly life and for the sake of the mortal king we did not spare ourselves in battles, but, having fallen into many troubles, protected by the power of God, we emerged victorious, then – if we try to follow him, taking upon ourselves his voluntary sufferings, we hope that he will be with us, as he promised: “When you are taken to assemblies, to authorities, to prisons, to kings and princes, and to tormentors for my name's sake, do not worry about what to say or what to answer, for I will give you words and wisdom that all your adversaries will not be able to resist or contradict. And do not be afraid of those who kill the body and can do no harm to the soul; but be afraid of him; who, after the murder, has the power to throw into hell. "

With these words, they learned and supported each other, and powerfully trampled on the devil's cunning. They gladly endured all kinds of sorrows, saying to themselves the apostolic word: "God is not unjust, brethren, to forget your labor."

40_Holy_Martyrs-of-Sebaste-Sebastia-in-the-ice-cold-lake-icon

40 Holy Martyrs of Sebaste martyrdon in the Lake Εκκλησιαστικό Μουσείο (Alexandrupoli, Greece Church Museum)

When they stood at night, in the cold, in the middle of the swamp, near the town of Sebastia, here is one of them, turning away, ran to the bathroom (built near the plateau) and, touching the heat, it melted like ice and died. And suddenly an unspeakable light shone from the sky on them, and the cold turned from it into warmth. And forty crowns descended from heaven upon their heads. Only one wreath remained, with nowhere to stop.The guardian, seeing this miracle, took off his clothes, jumped to the martyrs and cried out in a loud voice: “I believe in the Son of God Jesus Christ, in whom even these holy martyrs believe; may He honor me with the same glory, so that I may complete with them a martyr's deed! ” And immediately the crown of unspeakable glory descended on his head and stood. This is God's mercy, as the Lord Himself said, "The last shall be first, and the first last."

oly_Forty_Martyrs_Church-in-Veliko-Tarnovo-Trnov-Bulgaria
Church of Holy Martyrs, ex-Capital of Bulgarian Empire Tarnovo / Trnov, Bulgaria

Therefore, how can we praise the most holy company, from which this wretched man fell away, as Judas once fell away from God's chosen company, and as the devil fell away from the angelic staff and from the light and became the ruler of darkness and deserved eternal torment. His envy engulfed this wretched man. But still the devil was trampled by the invincibles.

The church nourished them with spiritual food, crowned them with the brightest wreaths; he made them companions of the angels and showed them to the whole universe as bright lamps. With their miracles they shine more than the sun. The prophet announced about them in antiquity, saying: “You have tested us, O God, you have melted us as silver is melted; put men over our heads. We went through fire and water and you set us free. " As they desired this eternal peace, they left behind the beauty of life, houses, wealth, fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers, wife, children, and even despised their lives, according to the Lord's command. That is why the Lord has miraculously shown all His favor to them. Indeed, they were vessels of good use, chosen for the service of the only ruler and our savior, Jesus Christ. Nothing could separate Christ's love from them: no fire, no water, no other suffering.

That is why today we celebrate their memory with respect and, giving them the due praise, we say: "Rejoice, all-honorable and wonderful company of the most glorious army!"

They became like the disembodied forces and surpassed them; for they, being disembodied, stand in their place and enjoy the unspeakable beauty. And the martyrs, having swum the earthly ravaged sea , illuminated the whole world with their blood. With spiritual wings, they flew up and stood before the unspeakable glory of God. They abundantly heal the sick, cast out demons, alleviate suffering, enlighten churches, keep the peace, guide people to good deeds, cast out demons and quickly destroy their cunning, enrich the poor in two ways – mentally and physically – destroy heresies. Shining with the brightest dawns, they became great advocates – martyrs for the faith.


Chapel_of_the_Forty_Martyrs_holy-martyrs-holy-relics-Church-of-Holy-Sepulchre-Jerusalem

Chapel of the Forty Martyrs containing the Holy Relics Church of Holy Sepulchre Jerusalem


So what mouth or which tongue will be able to praise these heavenly lamps, which appeared brighter than the sun? With their pure relics, they illuminated the whole world like stars. They warmed the day's frost, ignited by the Holy Spirit. And fiery flames extinguished them, as once the godly youths in Babylon. With their golden bones they illuminated the streams of the river, adorned all the churches with their fragrant relics, delighted the world with their unspeakable miracles, banished deception, and planted the truth, stepped on the devil, rejoiced Christ! That is why the right hand of the Almighty adorned them with bright wreaths and illuminated them with the rays of the unspeakable light, honored them wonderfully and with the honor to stand before God, clothed them with God-woven clothes, filled them with the power of the Holy Spirit and made them equal to disembodied forces. . That is why God is wonderful among his saints, always glorifying those who glorify him, and miraculously honoring them with unspeakable miracles. I want to tell one of their many miracles, namely how children listen to their noble mother.

Sveti-40_Mychneici-Bylgaria-Holy-40-Martyrs-Manastir_-_Vrachesh-Bulgaria

A Nun Monastery near Vrachesh Village, Bulgaria – Monastic Church

When these blessed martyrs surrendered their holy souls into the hands of the Lord, one of them was still breathing. His mother, seeing that he was left alive, rejected the female weakness, took male audacity, took his beloved son on his shoulders and, following him (after the car loaded with the bodies of the martyrs), said to him: "Do your best, Sufferer for Christ, be courageous and strengthen your heart, and may my soul rejoice for you! Do not fall away, as Judas once fell away from the apostles, nor as one of you has now fallen away, but give God all your hope and your spirit, and he will support you; for, behold, Christ is standing before you, brother, to receive your soul and await your arrival. ” As she spoke this, her son, carried by her, surrendered his soul into the hands of the Lord. She took it, placed it with the saints, and said, "Rest, child, with your holy company, and remember me with them in your holy prayers, so that I may accomplish your martyrdom." Then she returned with joy, praising God. Have you heard, brethren, of the love and boldness of the Christ-loving mother? How she feared neither the king, nor the tormentor, nor the sword, nor the fire, but only the life-giver of God.

Merdanya_monastery_40_Martyrs-after-the-battle-of-Klokotnitsa-by-Bulgarian-ruler-Ivan_Asen-II-near-Lyaskovec

Church of 40 Holy Martyrs in Merdanya Monastery near Lyskovec Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria (The monastery in thankfulness to the martyrs for helping the Bulgarian King Ivan Asen II in the Famous Medieval battle of Klokotnitsa which occured on 9th of March year 1230 near the Village of Klokotnitsa – As a result, Bulgaria emerged once again for short time as the most powerful state in South-Eastern Europe)

Therefore, if we reject from ourselves any fear of men, let us make room in ourselves for the fear of God. May he enlighten our souls and hearts! May we always abide in fasting, in purity and sincere love, in meekness and obedience, abstaining from all evil. Let us adorn ourselves with good deeds, like these most holy martyrs, glorifying the Most Holy Trinity, one in three persons – the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit – now and always, and forever. Amen!

Text originally existing in Church Slavonic and translated to Bulgarian language by Archimandrite Dr. Atanasii Bonchev (who was also the Author of the Book the Living of the Saints used in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church even today)
 

The Menaion (one of Liturgy service books) of the Eastern Orthodox Church lists the names of the Forty Martyrs as follows:

  • Hesychius, Meliton, Heraclius, Smaragdus, Domnus, Eunoicus, Valens, Vivianus, Claudius, Priscus, Theodulus, Euthychius, John, Xantheas, Helianus, Sisinius, Cyrion, Angius, Aetius, Flavius, Acacius, Ecditius, Lysimachus, Alexander, Elias, Candidus, Theophilus, Dometian, Gaius, Gorgonius, Eutyches, Athanasius, Cyril, Sacerdon, Nicholas, Valaerius, Philoctimon, Severian, Chudion, and Aglaius.


A curious fact is in the Eastern Orthodox Church, there is a prayer mentioning the Forty Holy Martyrs of Sebaste is also placed in the Orthodox Wedding Service (referred to as a "crowning") to remind the bride and groom that spiritual crowns await them in Heaven also if they remain as faithful to Christ as these saints of long ago.

Hearing on the enormousness of Saintship of the Holy Fourty Martyrs and their endurance. 
Let us ask them for their holy prayers for more peace, love, faith and hope and endurance and patience on the hard trials each one of us face constantly!

Holy 40 Martyrs of Sebastia Pray the Lord Jesus Christ so we find mercy in God!

6 of April Short Living and Death of Saint Methodius a brother of Constantin Cyril – Christian Enlighteners of the Bulgarian and Slavonic Lands

Wednesday, April 7th, 2021

Saints_Cyril_and_Methodius_Bulgarian_Enlighteners_Icon_by_Avram_Dichov,_1892

Saint Methodius was the bigger child of the two brothers enlighteners of Bulgarian Lands and the Slavonic nations Saint Cyril (known as The Philosopher) and Saint Methodius born in Thessaloniki
a region of the Byzantine empire. Thessaloniki and its regions according to manuscripts has been mostly inhabited by Slavs at IX century.

In his young age he has chosen to be a Byzantine army man. For 10 years he has been assigned to govern a region of Slavonic lands part of Byzantine Eastern Empire. 
Even though he had been a successful in his worldly career and has been taking a respectful service for the Byzantine Emperor he felt the calling of God, gave up his high position in
aristocracy and entered one of the many monasteries of the empire in mount of Olympus Asia Minor region. Soon after to the same monastery came his younger brother Constantine
Since that moment the two brothers never departed until death of Cyril who died in Rome. And even in his death has been highly venerated by the Pope and considered saint even in
time of his burial at the famous Basillica Church San Clemente where they reside for veneration by Slavs even to this day.

San_clemente_fresco_Saint_Cyril-And-Methodius-in-Rome.

The receiving of Saint Cyril and Methodius in Rome with the Relics of Saint Clement 4th Pope of Rome

The two God chosen man also achieved a glorious deed which was not achieved by anyone before. The creation of the Glagolic Alphabet which become the foundation of the Cyrillic alphabet
currently used of about 300 000 000 people worldwide including by us Bulgarians. The new language was developed to be able to share the high truths of Christ the Gospel and his Church services and books  and 
most impotantly the eternal salvation prepared by God The Holy Trinity The Father the Son and the Holy Spirit for all those who love him and servce him.

The_Grave-of-Saint-Cyril-in-San-Clemente

The Holy relics of Saint Cyril in San Clemente Crypt

As knowing the truth about Heaven and Hell and the Heavenly
kingdom they were highly conserned for the high see of Slavs in the Empire who still have been in darkness of idolatry and paganism. Inspired by God they soon creating an Alphabet in which  translated the whole Holy Bible (The Gospel of Christ the Epistle books and Old Testament book  and Church service books translating the Eastern Orthodox Holy Liturgy of Saint John The Crysostom and Saint John The Basil.
in language understandable for the Slavs. The glagolic alphabet has been soon translated to the Cyrillic Alphabet by the 7 pupils of Saint Cyril and Methodius and has been spread in Bulgarian lands first then in Serbia, Kiev
and rest of Slavonic nations.

Saint_Methodius-Archibishop-of-Moravia-and_Pannonia

In Great Moravia a region today situated in Chech Republic the two saint brothers teached and baptized the local Slavs , teaching them the Eternal heavenly truths of the Gospel.
The German clergy envied the two apostle equal mans mission great success and tried to rebaptize and teach the already baptized according to a Roman Rite and spread their own influence pushed by a lust for power.
Hence Methodius (also called by Western histographs Method) has been chased away from Moravia by the German clergy to the nearby Pannonia, where king Kocel  who appreciated St. Methodius great deeds for his people and
not understanding why the German-clergy is chasing such a saintly man has moved him to Rome to Pope Adrian II-nd with an enquiry to ordain him a Bishop. The Pope ordained him almost immediately and accepted St. Methodius
and St Cyrilus with all his clergy in honour, because the 2 saints were bringing a highly esteemed gift the Holy Relics who were attained by them earlier in their Baptizmal Mission to The Hazars (an assignment given to them by the Eastern Byzantine Emperor
and successfully achieved).
During their travel in Herzon the two saints has found the Holy Relics of Saint Clement Ist the 4th Pope of Rome who has been exiled and passed away to Christ as a martyr in Herzon (Today's Crimea) in the distant 2nd century.
After his consecration in Rome saint  Metho has been raised from a simple Gospel preacher to the high clergy rank of Archibishop for Pannonia and Moravia, a region who has been under the rule of the Bishop of Rome.

The fight against the clean life of the saint continued with full power even after his raise to the throne of archibishopship. The envious pseudo spiritual missioners sent by the Pope hungering not for Christ but for earthly power slandered
frequently against Method. to the local prince. because Methodius was publicly rebuke their unclean life being filled with the power of Christ spirit who detests all uncleanness in man. At other times suggested to the pope that Methodius is
against the Western Church and eagers to cut Moravia and Pannonia from the diocese of Rome and give it to the Byzantines. In parallel the German "clergy" was frequetnly sending letters slandering against Methodius accusing him in inobedience to the Eastern Christian Emperor
and the The Great Church of Byzantium the homechurch of st. Cyril and Method. and to whom they were obedient still …
Methodius being already in advanced age had to go everywhere by person and rebuke and testify about himself that all this is a far away from truth. His enemies succeeded eventually and for 2 years and a half he has been thrown in prison without the knowledge of the pope.
Finding out about this ungodly deed of his inobedient power-lust german clergy Pope John VIII issued a special order bulla for the immediate liberation of his archibishop.

Saints-Cyril-Methodius-Zahari-Zograph-1848.

Icon of Saint Cyril and Methodius painting from 1848 y.

Even in this hardships saint Methodius never stopped to preach the Gospel to the Slavs and spread the Good news of Jesus Christ The Son of God enbodiment, life, Crucifix for the sins of all mankind anf Glorious Resurrection through which all those who believe are saved if they persist in the good deeds of Christ and stick to the trutfullness  of the Church of Christ which at the time of St. Cyrilus was before the Great Schism in year 1054, when the Roman Catholics has fallen away from the One Church who kept and preserved the head of the Church Jesus Christ teaching the Holy Eastern Orthodox Church.
Being even in prison Saint Methodius continued to translate The Holy books from Greek to the new language invented and adjusted for the Slavs talk. 
He left us as a heritage the Translation Copy of All Books of Holy Bible except the book of Maccabees which is today only present in the Orthodox Bible and considered one of the non-canonical but God inspired books, as well as the Nomocanon (the book with rules and Church laws of the Church and the clergy).
Nomocanon comes from .(Greek: Νομοκανών, Nomokanōn; from the Greek nomos – law and kanon – a rule). It is  a collection of ecclesiastical law, consisting of the elements from both the Civil law and the Canon law.
Nomocanons even today forms part of the canon law of the Eastern Catholic Churches (through the Eastern Catholic canon law) and of the Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Sveti_Sveti-Saints_Kyril-i-Metodij

Saint Methodius the Slav-Bulgarian enlighter passed silently to Christ full of God''s Grace in saintship on 6th of April year 885 A.D. His burial was in Velegrad Chech Republic, and according to the Church tradition about his living  he "lays in the Great Moravian Church in the left side of the wall behind the alter dedicated to the Mother of God the Holy Theotokos Virgin Maria". A church service dedicated to him is still presented in the Bulgarian Church's manuscripts and a copies of it in preservation museums in Russia.

The deeds of Saint Methodius and Saint Cyrilus has a mark on the whole world's events. Even to this day as in Bulgaria, we have a translation of the Bible based on the Cyrillic language named after saint Cyrilus the brother of Methodius based on his started work to translate Glagolic alphabet to Cyrillic, continued by his pupils and fully completed by Saint Clement (Kliment) of Ohrid, who was warmly accepted by Saint Apostle equal King Boris I of Bulgaria. Thanks to him the deeds of Saint Methodius and their pupils and we have the cyrillic alphabet and Bulgarian Orthodox Church and spirituality even today. The deeds of Saint Cyrilus and the Cyrillic are recognizable worldwide in the face of the strange for the Western and the Asians Cyrillic language used by Russians.

Two Saints Cyril and Methodius has were officially proclaimed as a protectors of Europe recently by Pope John Paul II, for a reason as the ex-Pope has seen and experienced the powerness of prayers of the two saints while he was a cardinal in Bulgaria before his raise to the Roman Popeship throne about little know nowadays.

The Memory and veneration of Saint Methodius and Cyrilus logically are mostly observed in Bulgaria logically as Bulgaria was the first Empire country historically to accept the spiritual fruits the new language.  Many Schools and institutions, streets are named after the two saints.
The official Church veneration of St. St. Cyril and Methodius is on 11 in Church and  May in secular tradition. The Bulgarian Orthodox church has established a number of feasts connected to the two saints as they''re the prime patron saints thanks to whose prayers the Bulgarian Church has been established survived through centuries and conitnues its triumphal march towards the kingdom of heaven.

Let by the two saints Methodius and Cyril Bulgaria and Europe have Peace, Faith and Love and Enlightenment about the true teaching of Christ the Holy Orthodoxy!
 

How to edit, convert, join, split and re-time movie subtitle files on Linux (Fix Subtitles bad timing) / Install subtitle manipulation console tools for Linux

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

As a Linux user I sometimes face difficulties with watching subtitled, movies. I mostly use Mplayer, Totem or VLC to watch the common video files.
The most common problems I face with subtitles are caused by bad timing, many times the solution to the bad timing issues is very simpleand comes up to changing the default movie player I use MPlayer to VLC or Totem.

However at many occasions trying to watch the movie with different kind of movie player does not help.
In this dark moments I get seriously irritated I am not a regular Windows user, where such kind of problems are almost none as many of the Windows movie player problems does fix bad timing issues automatically.

Luckily there is a work-around to this subtitles timing issues and other mishaps caused by guys who created a Movie subtitle files with a Windows subtitle editor program, subtitles timing, the Linux work-around takes a few more minutes to install a package called Subtitles

The Subtitles text utility is written in Perl and contains two executables subplay and subs .

Subtitles is the Linux subtitle Swiss Army Knife as it is capable of convert, join, split, and re-time of subtitles files

Installing Subtitles tools on Linux is a trivial job and it comes to download and installation of the 2 perl executables.
Here is how:

1. Download Subtitles.tar.gz toolsI have mirrored Linux Subtitles (Subtitles.tar.gz) here originally the binaries are to be found on URL address: http://karasik.eu.org/software/ , issue the commands:

linux:~# cd /usr/local/src
linux:/usr/local/src# wget https://www.pc-freak.net/files/Subtitles.tar.gz
...
2. Unarchive it

linux:/usr/local/src# tar -zxvvf tar -zxvvf Subtitles.tar.gz...
linux:/usr/local/src# cd Subtitles-1.0

3. Compile and install Subtitles system widePitily the Subtitles tools are not currently available as a packages in the repositories of Debian and Ubuntu Linux and thus easy installation without compilation via apt-get is unfortunately not available.

Here is the commands with which to compile and install Subtitles:

linux:/usr/local/src/Subtitles-1.0# perl Makefile.PL
...
linux:/usr/local/src/Subtitles-1.0# make
...
linux:/usr/local/src/Subtitles-1.0# make test
...

All tests successful.Files=1, Tests=17, 1 wallclock secs ( 0.05 usr 0.00 sys + 0.06 cusr 0.01 csys = 0.12 CPU)Result: PASS

linux:/usr/local/src/Subtitles-1.0# make install

Installing /usr/local/share/perl/5.10.1/Subtitles.pm
Installing /usr/local/man/man1/subplay.1p
Installing /usr/local/man/man1/subs.1p
Installing /usr/local/man/man3/Subtitles.3pm
Installing /usr/local/bin/subplay
Installing /usr/local/bin/subs
Appending installation info to /usr/local/lib/perl/5.10.1/perllocal.pod

Now as we have the subs executable installed, Let’s say your movie subtitles displays 5 seconds earlier before the movie scenes (bad timing), all you need to do to adjust your subtitles to show up in correct movie scenes is issue:

hipo@linux:/home/hipo/Movies$ subs -i -b 5 your_movie_subtitle_file_name.sub

now check out the subtitle files once again with your favourite player and the early subtitles display on your movie should be fixed.
Let’s have another scenario, say that your movie file is encoded to display 24 frames per seconds (fps) but the subtitle file is created to display the subtitles for a 25 fps, to solve this situation issue:

hipo@linux:~# subs -i -a 24/25 your_movie_subtitle_file.sub

Another possible scenario where subs command will be a precious asset is if you for example want to merge two subtitle files into one.Let’s say you have subtitles for a movie which are split over in 2 parts and the corresponding subtitles are in 2 different files, but eventually you find a better quality of the movie (DVD quality) in a single file and therefore you need the movie subtitles to be stored in one single file.
In that case to merge the subtitle files from let’s say the files movie_subtitle_file1.sub and movie_subtitle_file2.sub use the command:

subs -z movie_subtitle_file1.sub movie_subtitle_file2.sub

Some few other helpful things you can do with subs on Linux, are for example: splitting a file after a determined period of time, separating overlapped lines, and joining files into a single subtitle.

If you want to remove all the comments of gestures, facial expressions loud laughing etc. which displays usually the annoying (‘[Sneezing]’ or ‘[Music playing]) during the movie screen play, issue:

subs -e 's/[s-]*[.*]s*n*//gs' movie_subtitle_file.sub

Also other interesting Linux tool which is useful if you want to make conversions between subtitle in a (.sub) format to (.srt) format is called sub2srt perl script:

sub2srt’s home page is located on the URL address: http://www.robelix.com/sub2srt/, just to ensure it won’t just disappear with time I have created sub2srt mirror here

The most basic usage of sub2srt linux converting tool is by simply passing input sub and output srt file names like so:

linux:~# ./sub2srt 5rFF-pop.sub 5rFF-pop.srt

sub2srt supports changing of fps rate per second during conversion with the -f option as well as creationg of converted files in dos like end of file (CR+LF) with the –dos option.

Hope this article makes sense. If you find it useful, please drop me a thanks comment 😉