I spend the Christmas eve for a first time in Monastery with the brotherhood in Pomorie monastery. The night on 24-th against 25-th when Christmas is celebrated in Bulgaria was marked by the usual morning service and a Holy Liturgy. Silent Night Holy Night song was sung in the Church near the end of the Holy Liturgy.
All went well except small fire incident, out of a suddenr right after the end of the Church service a fire ignited in one of the monastery store rooms. Actually it was a huge miracle that the fire didn't spread in whole monastic cell buildings as the fire used to be active without anyone noticing it for about 6 hours or so. The restult of fire was that just one room full of sheets and sanitary equipment burn out completely. The fire happened in a room nearby my room on second stage one stage lower (on first floor). The fire brigade come quickly and stashed the fireplace without serious troubles.
The fire would have quickly spread if in the burning room if only one of the water tubes didn't break up pouring water inside on the burning stuff. The fire emerged around 12:40 and was already Ðµxtinguished for less than hour. Thanks God there was no one in the burning room and no victims Another sure miracle is that today weather is very calm no wind blowing so fire didn't ignited in a quick pace and was easily extinguished.
Below are the immersly beautiful Christmas Church Troparion, Kontaktion and Feast singings as translated to English
Thy nativity, O Christ our God, has shown to the world the light of wisdom; for by it, those who worshipped the stars were taught by a star to adore Thee the Sun of Righteousness, and to know Thee, the Orient from on high. O Lord, glory to Thee."
Today the virgin, gives birth to the incomprehensible One; and the earth offers a cave to the unapproachable One; Angels and shepherds glorify Him; the Wisemen journey with a star; since for our sakes is born the ETERNAL GOD, as a little Child.
Christ is born, glorify him. Christ is from heaven, go to meet him. Christ is an earth, be ye lifted up. Sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing out with gladness, all ye people. For he is glorified.
To the Son begotten of the Father without change before the ages, and in these last times without seed made flesh from a Virgin, to Christ God let us cry aloud: Thou hast exalted our horn. Holy are Thou, O Lord!'
Rod of the root of Jesse, and flower that blossomed from his stem, O Christ, Thou hast sprung from the Virgin. From the Mountain overshadowed by the forest Thou hast come, made flesh from her that knew not wedlock, O God who art not formed from matter. Glory to Thy power, O Lord.
As Thou art God of peace and Father of mercies, Thou hast sent us Thy Angel of great counsel, Who grants us peace; so we are guided by the knowledge of God, watching before dawn we glorify Thee, only Lover of mankind'.
The monster from the deep spat Jonas from its bowels like a new born babe, just as it had received him; while the Word having dwelt in the Virgin and taken flesh, came forth, yet kept her incorrupt, for being himself not subject to decay, he preserved his mother free from harm'.
The Youths brought up together in godliness, scorning the impious decree, feared not the threat of fire, but standing in the midst of the flame they sang: God of our Fathers, blessed are Thou!
The furnace moist with dew was the image and the figure of a wonder past nature; for it did not burn those it had received; even as the fire of the Godhead did not consume the Virgin's womb into which it has descended. Therefore in praise let us sing: Let all creation bless the Lord, and highly exalt Him to all the ages.
Magnify, O my soul, the most glorious Theotokos, more honourable and more glorious than the hosts on high. 'I behold a strange and wonderful mystery, heaven is the Cave, the Cherubim thrown — Virgin, the Manger the Place in which Christ lay, the God whom nothing can contain. Whom we praise and magnify.
I wish to my dear readers have a great and blessed Christmas Holiday time, let Christ's love, peace and mercies are abundant in your hearts!
Christianity is well known to have almost “countless” number of known and unknown Christian martyrs. Martyrdom has been considered of a high esteem especially in the dawn of Christianity. Short after the martyrdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, many faithful to his teaching (including many of the holy apostles) endured martyrdom similar to the Lord’s crucifix on Golgotha.
We’re almost living in a peaceful age with no official persecution of Church the if compared to many of the previous centuries. Nomatter faithful Christian still shed their blood for Christ. Probably in Christian missions, all around the world even in the moment of writting this article some faithful Christ servent is suffering martyrdom. In this post I will devote to one modern day Russian martyr saints of our Orthodox Christian faith – Father Danail Sysoev. He is most recent martyr saint I know of. Fr. Sysoev is still not officially canonized in the Russian Orthodox Chuch because according to Church canons, to proclaim someone officially a saint – 50 years or so has to pass since the saints earthly death. Fr Danail Sysoev was a faithful God servent who has who lead a lot of people to the Lord Jesus Christ, by writting books, radio and TV talks, preaches and spiritual governing. I heard of him by Vsevolod a Russian brother in Christ from Moscow, I met just few days ago. Vsevolod shared with me that he is a spiritual child of father Danail Sysoev, because it was through him he was lead to Christ ….
Father Danail Sysoev was a fervent missionary for Christ and turned probably tens of thousands (or even hundreds of thousands) of people to faith in Christ in the only fully thruthful Orthodox Christian faith.
The Father was threaten numerous times over phone to stop preaching Christ or else he would be killed. But the continuing threats did not frightened him at all but on the contrary he even more fervently continued preaching the Gospel following the instructions of the Lord himself who said himself:
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spiritteaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. – Mathew 28:19-29
The father has done a great work for the heavenly kingdom, writting in his short 35 years of eartly living – 28 books ! ! !, besides that he was leading holy liturgies, doing missionary work, was a confessor of many and was taking care for his family ! ! !
The new-martyr saint works are explaining in good detail the Orthodox Christian faith and how by following and understanding correctly our faith we can reach paradise (The Heavenly Jerusalem) our Lord Jesus Christ promised us. The Hierarch inspired hundred of thousands Christians all around the world to do a missionary work and live a life for Christ and is a well known and probaly the most bright nowadays primer of a person who worked hard for bring Christ kingdom on earth – just like our Church holy fathers. Danail Sysoev was “dreaming” (desiring) for martyrdom. He even explained in his works that Martyrdom is one of the best glorious ending a Christian can have for his faith (this is also in concurrence with holy fathers writtings and our Church 2011 years tradition.
The Father was famous among Muslims in Russia for leading open debates with Muslims, questioning validity of Islam? Showing with multiple sources that Christ is the only “door” and God through which one can enter heaven. Because of that and because of his truthful life like Christ said he was persecuted, blasphemed and killed for Christ’s name. The missionary work Fr. Sysoev is one of the biggest missionary present works done within the Russian Orthodox Church.
Whole Russian nation was in shock in 20th of November 2009, when an unknown masked man entered the Church where the father was serving, the killed called out Father Sysoev’s name and shot him twice – once in forehead and once in chest …
The whole brutal scene occured in Moscow Church building which the father built himself collecting money in his lifetime….
Below is a short TV report of the brutal murder of the new-martyr, as well as the last preach of the father translated to English:
By the fr. last preach it is easy to determine the great spiritual experience and spiritual heights the martyr reached prior to his martyrdom. There is also a full length documentary in Russian about Father Daniil Sysoev life but unfortunately I couldn’t find it with english subtitles, however it will be worthy for Christians speaking any Slavic language. You can check – (Ð¯ Ð¸Ð´Ñƒ Ð´Ð¾Ð¼Ð¾Ð¹ (ÐŸÐ°Ð¼ÑÑ‚Ð¸ Ð¾Ñ‚Ñ†Ð° Ð”Ð°Ð½Ð¸Ð¸Ð»Ð° Ð¡Ñ‹ÑÐ¾ÐµÐ²Ð°) on url – http://youtu.be/sqk0EambOQw
It is a public secret that Mobile Phones which does us very good and generally makes our daily lifes way easier are also a big enemy to our natural ihnibited freedom. Life has become such that it is almost inevitable to do any business or do a daily simple jobs without using Mobile Phone. There is almost none practically today that has wilfully rejected to use the mobile phone on any basis, almost anyone except some strangers like Richard Stallman and probably few others security freaks.
I've been shocked to find out the Father of Free Software (Richard Mathew Stallman), well known in the hacker dome as RMS does not own and didn't use any mobiles. The concerns he pointed are very much logical and rightful. Owning a mobile is a great security hole in personal privacy (mobile phones can be easily sniffed by Mobile Operators) as well as anyone wearing a mobile can be tracked up to 5 to 2 meters to the exact location where he is based on the mobile phone cells to which the mobile is connected.
Many people are not aware actually of the severeness of the issue of constant tracking of people everywhere through this call "goodies". Many mobile operators are already running a software which is building place behaviour patterns of every user of their mobile network. In other words, as we're used to bring and use the mobile everywhere in automated program is creating a map for each number assigned in some of the mobile operators. The gathered data about our location going habits can then be easily used as a indicator for predicting our future behaviour, bying habits (how many times we go to super-market), how many times we go to cinema, what kind of interests we hold etc. etc. This combined with Google, account monitoring could possibly create a system similar to the old movies Big Brother, where all people goods and even attitudes or desires is monitored, influenced and controlled ….
The severeness of the future implications of this constant "personal surveillance and tracking device" as Stallman use to call it is very dangerous for our freedoms.
I tried to live without a mobile phone, just like Stallman for about months, and to tell you the truth the world around seems completely different when you decide not to use 'em. The time I lived wihtout a mobile, clearly show me we have come to the point we cannot any more live without GSM. We fall the trap of dependanding the little "talk box" communication for absolutely everything, obviously sacrificing privacy and freedom for convenience. Mobiles are just one side of the coin, as the non-free software which is ruling the software market and the use of computers puts another treat and takes away many foundamential freedoms we used to have in the less technological world.
Apple as a vendor of software and hardware also denies and breaks our freedom very badly, as the company tracks everyone who owns anything created by apple connected to the internet. Besides that non-free software producers, could change the user software with a press of a button giving them the opportunity to decide what is good and bad for us, leaving us at a state of a helpless dependable users.
The topic of technological little-by-little enslavement, we're going through nowdays and the denying freedoms, we experience while being convinced by companies that we became more free by each next mambo-jambo gadget or by owning the latest smart-phone is very huge and complex but unfortunately underseen in society. I don't understand why, is it due to the low technical skills of mass users is it due to a "not-care what will happen in future" attitude, but obviously people openly discussing or protesting the technologization taking away our freedom is almost zero ….
Here is the video I found in youtube in which Stallman is asked few, questions on Ipads (IBADS) and Mobile Phone use. I believe his short explanation synthesizes the problem quite well ;;;;
I just wonder after you check the video, Would you still accept an Ipad as a birthday gift ? 🙂 Do you still think cell-phones are "good" freedom safe and reliable ?
I'm currently once again on a pilgrimage in Pomorie Monastery St. George (Bulgaria) – EU as you should read in my previous day post. The brotherhood here is very hospital, since our coming (with Kliment), we were treated like being a part of the monks community. We're given food and allowed to eat together with the monks on one table and even we can enter into some of the interesting discussions after food :). The life in a monastery is actually quite fascinating, though on the outside it seems boring.
As a general rule monks eat a meal twice a day. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the meals are cooked and served usually without oil (except if the Abbot didn't bless differently). The abbot in the Monastery is like a King. The order in the whole monastery resides very much a Kingdom, where the abbot is king some of the monks are his (left and right hand and counselors) etc.
Just like in kingdoms, there are workers who help the kingdom to flourish. With the case with the monastery workers are (mostly believing people) hired (with a wage) to help with the monastery works.
The kitchen "district" has a (chef) cook lady, person/s (usually believing Christians) who help with cooking cutting and vegetables and various meal preparations etc. and serving the brotherhood and workers dinner and lunch. Oh yes I almost forgot, monks didn't eat breakfast. Their usual first meal is like 12 or 12:30 as a straight dinner.
As in Other Orthodox monasteries, here in Pomorie Monastery the monastery is named after the heavenly protector of the place Saint Martyr George.
The brotherhood life here is not as tough as the monasteries located in desert destinations, though just like in other mountain situated Orthodox Christian monasteries the monks has an established everyday Morning and Evening Church Service.
The morning Church service usually starts around 06:00 or 06:30, while on a feast days like Sunday (The Day of Resurrection of Jesus Christ) the service starts a bit later in 07:00 or at very special occasions in 07:30 …
The Evening Services usually start around 04:30 or 05:00 o'clock and continue (depending on Church calendar feast day (saint)) from 30 to 40 minutes up to 2, 3 hours (in biggest feasts or fasting periods). All the monks should be present on Morning and Evening service, where a bell is rang whether the monks has to gather together for a Church service prayer.
As of time of writting officially Pomorie monastery has 4 monk brothers. One is the Abbot, the abbot's left hand, one other hiero-monk who sometimes is serving the Holy Liturgy church services and another monk who is in his 70s and is mostly doing Church book readings. Occasionally the brotherhood accepts a novice pupils who want to enter the monastic life, but as long as my observations goes (during the few years I came as a pilgrim here) many of the novices find the monastic life for them and quit after a few months or a year time.
Just a year earlier the brotherhood, here had 6 monks. Unfortunately the oldest monk Father Tikhon who lived inside the monastery more than half of his life (40 years in the monastery W0W!) passed away after a short sickness and hospitalization. Another one of the monks (Father Joanikius) was transferred by the Sliven's Metropolitan (named also father Joanikius) to serve his monkship (obedience) in our Bulgarian Monastery situation in Holy Mount Athos (Greece) , e.g. to Zographus monastery.
The Abbot of the monastery (Father Yierotej) is a young and energetic person (35 years old) with a good sense of humour and a great God given wisdom grace and joyful temper.
Besides the core monks brothrehood currently the monastery has 5 workers and about 5 to 10 persons (people who are in hardships and have no place to stay) and were accepted to get a healing and a life stabilization while living for a while in the monastery. Some of those people are almost full time living inside the monsatic walls helping with their knowledge and talents to the brotherhood The overall number of people who inhibit the monastery is about rawly 15 people. All this people are given free meals 2 times daily and eat together often either in the monastic kitchen or the dining-room (which is also serving as a guest room).
Before and after each meal intake the people gathered together in the dinner-room pray together asking Jesus Christ to bless their food and drink. Usually the Abbot whenever on the table is the one to ask God for a food blessing. After the meal is complete the Abbot or some of the monks says a thanksful prayer thanking Jesus for giving the daily bread and asking God to give us also the heavenly spiritual food.
The most common food eaten here is vegetables and fruits and in non-fasting days they eat some youghurt, cheese or fish. Eating meat however is un-common and most of the food consumed is fasting food (meat is considered inappropriate food for Orth Christian Monks). The monastery is surrounded by a around a meter monastic walls. In the middle of the monastery is located the Monastic Church Saint Martyr George whichs basic walls dates back to the distant XIX century.
Facing the church about 40 meters from the Chuch are located the monks dwelling rooms also in monastic language called (cells). The monk's cell is full of icon and holy water, crucific crosses and all kind of faith related books so in a sense the monks room looks like a tiny Church.
Right in the middle of Pomorie Monsatery there is a holy spring – disease healing water which by God's providence healed the first Abbot and beneficient of the monastery (ironically the Turkish Abbot Salim Bey who converted from Islam to Christianity and donated all his land to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in the 18 century when still Bulgaria was enslaved by Turkish).
The monastic yard is filled with green beautiful Peach and Plumb Trees. In the monastery yard they have sew of; potatoes, tomatoes, corn and few other "basic" self-grown. vegetables.
Along with the plants in one of the corners near the monastic wall there is a henhouse where some chickens and few turkeys are grown for getting fresh (natural) eggs.
In the old days the brotherhood was growing all their food by themselves as it was a tradition in the Monasteries, however with the changing times and the huge decrease of monks, growing all the monastic food on their-own became an impossible task ….
The monastery is mainly living on pilgrim or local believing people donations and the monastic land, as well as to sales of Orthodox icons and tiny faith related objects (crosses, holy bibles, church related books and literature) etc.
As I hear from some of the monks the harsh economic situation and severe world crisis that is plaguing the world also has a negative influence on the financial balance of the holy cloister too. A monk shared with me the financial expenses of the monastery tend to be "dangerously" growing lately as the amount of people whose the brotherhood is feeding and taking care (healing) daily along with the money for restoration works are raising and the monastery experiences a shortage of money. Still they're not discouraged but as I was told praying and hoping on God's grace to send them kind heart donators to help the monastery.
Most of the people who are in the monsatery not for a theraupetic reason (with a severe disease) work all day long. Though the work seems to be never ending here, one feels calm, relaxed and gracious. Even staying for few hours here, makes you filled-up with God's grace and gives you new energy and hope to continue the harsh daily stress filled life.
Besides the Monastery the town of Pomorie is also very beuatiful and have all the facilities and entertainment a tourist might like to have from a modern beach resort. Yesterday I went and had my first beach time here in Pomorie. Something interesting I noticed on the beach is the sand color which here in Pomorie is a bit blackish. The sea coast here near the beach is not big but feels cozy and there are bars near the beach shore, so anyone wanting to enjoy some of the world goods too can have a fanastic time here 🙂
On 6th of January in our Bulgarian Orthodox Church just like in the most Christian realm, we celebrate the great feast of Theophany / Epiphany (Baptizm of our Saviour Jesus Christ in Jordan).
What exactly we celebrate is the Baptizm of our Saviour Jesus Christ in Jordan by st. John the Baptist (John the Forerunner as we call him in the church). This day is very important for us as Christians and this is why the holy fathers in the church has ordered this feast to be among the 12 most important feasts in our Church, the so called (Lords feasts).
On Theophany's day it is a rule in orthodox Church that the Great Blessing of Water is performed. The Blessing of the water and the preceding holy water from the priests blessing is taken by Church layman and we bring a little of this water to our homes to bless through that our homes.
In our Church belief the Holy Water from the Theophany feast is considered the most powerful in spiritual sense holy water as this water is the same water with which our sinless Saviour and lamb (Son) of God Jesus Christ was baptized in Jordan.
The reason why we call the feast Theophany is because God in his essence of Holy Trinity appeared clearly to mankind for a first time in Human history. Our Holy Trinity (3 essence God in one indistructable and insaparatable God – one God as God said for himself in the beginning of writtings) has revealed himself in front of all the people gathered along John the Baptist in Jordan waiting to be baptized in his three essences:
1. God the Father spoke from heaven manifesting and testifying about Jesus Christ being his beloved and only son and saviour of mankdin ,br />2. God the Son (Jesus Christ), has physically appeared to receive the baptizm to fulfill all righteousness and (the old testemential prophecies) and to begin his 3 years mission on earth.
3. God Holy Spirit) has descended from heaven on Jesus Christ in a publicly observable form of a dove
Theophany's feast is called by some english speaking orthodox christians Epiphany, but this is a term less used in orthodox christendom and much more spread in Roman Catholic one.
The Gospel readings in the church tell of the Lord's baptism by John in the Jordan River. The epistle reading of the Divine Liturgy tells of the consequences of the Lord's appearing which is the divine epiphany.
After the end of the st. Basil the Great Holy Liturgy served, the Great Blessing of Water is performed by one or more priests (depending on the number of present priests). The meaning of the blessing of the waters meaning is to show that mankind and all of God's creation, were created to be blessed and filled with the sanctifying of God's presence.
A very local unique bulgarian tradition on this number is that if the great blessings of water is performed by a priest near a river or a sea shore the cross be thrown in the water in order to bless the waters.
Then a number of brave man jump in and do a race swimming aiming to pull out the crucifixion of the water. It is believed that the one who could pull out the cross will get God's great blessings through the upcoming church year.
Let us pray trust and hope on God to also appear to us who seek him, and show us his Holy Trinity wholeness mercies just like he did himself to the people waiting for Baptizm from John the Baptist by the holy prayes of the Theotokos and his holy saints and all heavinly hosts. Amen
Yesterday night, one more Computer Genius – John McCarthy has passed away at the age of 84. John McCarthy is mostly famous for the creation of Lisp Programming language, which was probably the most used programming language in the short past. There are plenty of corporate old iron hardwares which still run programs written in Lisp. Lisp is the language in which Richard Stallman has created his so famous EMACS text editor for GNU.
Computer Technology students, should have studied certainly Lisp in the form of Lisp Scheme. Lisp is the the second oldest high level programming language only to be predeceded by Fortran . Lisp gave birth to the so called Macro programming languages and was invented by McCarthy in 1958, while he was in Massachusetts MIT university. What is so important about Lisp is that it is de-facto the first language in the world which was written to be suitable for AI (Artificial Intelligence) researches. There is plenty of interesting information about Lisp as well as a number of forks and variations circulating for almost all the existing major operating systems nowdays.
Besides LISP creation McCarthy was in the first team who did a the first Remote Computer Chess game. The game played was among USSR and US scientists, where the moves were transferred by telegraph. In 1972 MCCarthy was awarded with the Turing Award – (Today probably the most prestigious award for incredible technology achievements in the world). McCarth’s home website had a lot of great papers on programming languages, mathematical theory of computation and most importantly philosophical words and notes on Artificial Intelligence His site has a lot of his essays as well as his personal views on the world and predictions (foreseen probabilities by him) on the world future. McCarthy had even written a short Sci-Fi story (The Robot and The Baby), the story aim was to explore the question, whether robots should have simulated emotions.
John McCarthy is among the brightest computer genius who ever live on this planet as well as a true “icon” for a computer hacker. The news for his death is quite shocking especially after the sudden death of the creator of C programming Language and UNIX Denis Ritchie , and a week earlier the pass of Steve Jobs It seems like no coincidence, that the brightest computer minds are departuring this life, probably God is taking them one by one just like he gave them the gifts to invent and revolutionize the technology we use today. Surely McCarthy has left a huge landmark on technology and his name will be in the books for the generations to come.
This year the holy relics the good tradition by God’s grace was continued as the holy relics of the saints:
Saint Great Martyr George
Saint Venerable Macrina
Saint Cyprian and Saint Justina
were for veneration in the Monastery Church called also Saint Great Martyr George / Sveti Velikomachenik Georgi
Here are the pictures of the holy relics I was able to obtain:
Saint Great Martyr George hand holy relics Saint Venerable Macrina Holy Relics (hand bone) Saint Cyprian and Justina Holy relics Saint Martyr Marina Holy relics There were also few other particles of saints which are permanently in the Pomorie monastery and christian pilgrims can freely go there to venerate them so I would not post pictures of this holy relics here.
What is really striking is that all the Holy relics had a very specific odor (similar to Roses) but as the monk Father Sergii said (an Odor not of this world). God’s grace can be felt with one’s spiritual heart when he is near the holy relics of this great saints, the monk father Sergii also told me that the reason for the odor is that God testifies in through the odor that the holy relics belong to his holy saints. Each saint holy remains had a different (parfume like) odor, it’s really amazing and hard to believe if you don’t smell it yourself but I have smelled the scent myself, the almost 15th century old bones (miraculously preserved by today) emits a specific beautiful odor. The preservation of this holy relics for all this centuries is another great miracle of God, as any normal not hermetically preserved bone kept for veneration for all this years would have decayed by so far, however this saints relics are obviously not! As you can see truly Great is God in his saints! Glory be to the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit now and forever and ever. Amen!
It is the second year I take the time to come for a pilgrimage in Pomorie’s Monastery st. great Martyr George (Georgi).<</b>
I’m named after the great Christian saint (It’s my Name day today :)!) and I do wanted to receive a spiritual blessing here in the monastery.
The believing Orthodox Christians this year could receive a spiritual blessing this year from the Monastery as some of the Holy Relics of many great saints are temporary in the monastery for the Monastery’s feast day which is the day we commemorate our great Orthodox Christian martyr saint Georgi.
It’s unique that this year by God’s grace the monastery has temporary received a small particle of the holy relics of st. George. The pilgrims could come here and does venerate the great saint martyrs for which I thank God for being allowed by his providence to be here in the monastery and venerate the holy relics.
Here are few photos of the Holy relics from the monastery, on the pictures you see the holy relics of Saint Cyprian & St. Justina on the right, st. George’s holy relics in the center and st. Macrina’s holy relics on the left.
On the picture above you see the Abbot of Pomorie monastery Father Ierotei (who is a truly great father and a wonderful spirited man !) with the holy relics (bones) of saint Macrina on his left.
On this last picture you can see the holy relics of the Pomorie’s monastery embedded into icons (the two icons on the right).
I thank God for blessing me with being here in this holy cloister and blessing me with being able to venerate the holy martyrs relics and through this bless me and strengthen me.!
It’s important to say that we the orthodox Christians had the tradition to venerate our saint holy remains as a way to venerate God himself in accordance to the holy bible psalm which says Great and Glorious is God in his saints!
I’m sorry to provide my readers with this bad quality pictures, I’ll try to put some better quality pictures of the holy remains in very short time. Being able to show this holy remains to other orthodox christian brother and sisters is also a great grace and blessing which by God’s grace was given to us the sinners! Just to close I’ll say glory be to our God – The Holy Trinity now and forever and ever amen!
It’s 9th and it’s the 3rd day of the Russian and Serbian Christmas as well as Christmas for all those Orthodox Churches and monasteries, who still observe the old orthodox calendar / (star stil)
I’m just coming back from the Orthodox Church service in Nijmegen . The Church service was great, the Father there Father Sergius is a priest for almost 30 years and is a really gracious and gentle priest!
After the Church service it is common that the Church community gathers together in the kitchen room (a small room in the church), where we had a dinner, tea and coffee together. I should say the Church community is really tight, mainly constituted of Russians and Ukrainians but there are also quite of Dutch people who by God’s grace found the true church of Christ and thus converted to Orthodox Christians. It’s really amazing to see a western people with a profound interest and dedication in Orthodoxy and in Eastern Church life! This is definitely a miracle of God!
After the Church service, one of the choire members lady had organized a Russian like Children festival to celebrate Christmas and the Russian New Year.
There was some children games organized for the children. After some of the games in which children had to do some kid games. Snegurochka and Det Moroz had entered the Church as a great delight for the children.
It’s interesting to say that in Bulgaria we also have Snegurochka that we call Snezhanka and Det Moroz which in Bulgarian is Dqdo Mraz
This kind of children feast and a way to complete the 3 days Christmas festival in which we celebrate the unexplainable mystery of our Saviour Jesus’s Christ incarnation had added up to the great joy of the Church service as well as bring back some old memories of my youth where in the Kinder Garden when I was a kid we used to also await and receive the two dear guests, the old man Dqdo Mraz and his assistans Snehznka 🙂
After the children performed some singing dancing and children exercises as well as had some songs and dances together with Det Moroz and Snezhanka it was time for the end part of the feast which is the recital of children rhymes and christmas songs. Since there were mostly Russian kids there, most of the children performances was in Russian, however there were few Dutch kids so there was some recitals and singing in Dutch and even in English! 🙂
As Det Moroz was very pleased with the great acting of the youngsters he brought in the two sacks packed up with kid presents and after each children performance, he gave a present to the kid. The kids were completely shining as a result since they were rewarded for their parcipation in the feast and had some photos with Det Moroz and Snezhanka 🙂
After the whole celebrations were over, we the people who left in the Church went in the church kitchen and had a wonderful table full of delicious foods and drinks, some of which were traditional Christmas Russian meals including my favourite’s Russian Salad / Ruska Salata
I had some very nice chats with some of the church members in the mean time and after the great meal together we cleaned up the Church, asked Father Sergii for a blessing and each one of the church brothers and sisters headed back home.
As a matter of fact since I’ve started talking about the Russian Orthodox Church in Nijmegen, maybe it will be nice to mention that the Church Bulding is actually an Byzantine Chapel taken from Roman Catholics, so the Church didn’t really have a classical Orthodox Church architecture, however this is not a problem at all since everything within the Church icons, iconostasis, alter wall , icons etc. are Russian and serbian Orthodox icons. The alter was also reconstructed in order to be suitable with the Church requirements for an Orthodox Church alter, it’s interesting fact that the man who sells candles and does a lot of the Russian Church minor maintenance is a Bulgarian just like me 🙂
Currently the Orthodox Russian Church in Nijmegen had church services every two weeks (9th January, 23 January, 6th February etc.)
Although I should say that in the Church building the Serbians had their Orthodox Church service every two weeks also, which means that the Serbs has their Orthodox Church services in the same Church in Nijmegen on (16,30 ,13 of January etc.)
Therefore there is an Orthodox Church service every week in Nijmegen by God’s mercy where services alternate with each other, one week is Russian Orthodox Church and one week is the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Hope this info is helpful to somebody! Again Merry Russian and Serbian Christmas! Cheers!
I haven’t blogged for quite some time. First I glorify the Almighty God our Blessed Holy Trinity for his abundant mercy towards me!! Glory be to the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit! Now and forever and ever! Amen. I start with this loud words and I have so many things to say. But yes yesterday a joyful news came to me it seems my Exemption letter for Internship has been Approved! I prayed to God that he make them approve this exemption letter because I want to graduate asap and go back to Bulgaria. Here in the Netherlands I feel really terrible, the spiritual state of the country is simply softly said terrible, even though they seem to be an advanced country from the tangible aspect of the things from the intangible/spiritually poor. Not to say that I feel like the devil is controlling most of their lives already. The complete mix of negroes, chinese, indonesians and all other type of races makes the country mixed. Here in the air it feels like a spirits of gluttony are crawling around all the time, also quite often I feel like madness crossing around the air. Sometimes I have that strange thoughts in my mind that something is really wrong with that country. Maybe I had a nice point about that.This SHR project is getting schizophrenic, anyways glory be to God for his abundant mercy towards me and sustaining me always. Yesterday was a terrible day I felt so confused such a profound spiritual sorrow was rulling me that I can hardly bear it, I had a couple of terrible days this days. Since some time I am suspecting there is something wrong here, everytime I have classes with most of the teachers here I feel terrible afterwards and I usually need a couple of days to recover to some sane state. In their presence I experience profound spiritual sorrow and suffering, I’ve been in a similar spiritual states before and I know that this simply can be described in the biblical word hell. Since some time I suspect something is wrong with this guys (I mean the tachers), a couple of days Mr. Joop Vinke the guy who seems to be like a dean to us mentioned during some of the theater sports answered my question where have been yesterday “to the rotary club” and then he added like every other day before, it was not clear is he mean it or not. My suspects became even stronger, because I know that one of my employers used to be attending rotary club as well I know some really terrible things happened in his life and I think he quit that club, anyways. Last week on Friday I met one of my other teachers (Mr. Da Ponte) and I spoke with him, the conversation flowed as he mentioned something about the Lord making the sun circle around the earth, I was interested by his statement so asked him if he believes in God and if he is a roman catholic. He said he is not roman catholic and then what followed was a sort of preach about what he believes and his God as I continusly asked him questions. From his description I left with the impression that he is probably believing in the same God of the masonry (I’ve red about that just a couple of days before). So many things matched, the teacher even mentioned that a lot of teachers in that school are also believing in God and I was left with the impression that he meant the same God as he believes, so I make the connection that they are probably rotarians, masons or taking participation in some sort of organization like that which has to deal pretty much with the occult. A couple of days before I spoke with a brother in Christ (Stelian) and I explained him what is happening and about this BHC (business ethics classes), I explained him how much they want you to accept what they say and if you don’t you are not worthy, I also explained to Stelio the whole story and how this guys are able to make you feel really bad. Since this guys tried to teach us their methods and I tried a couple of times their methods and saw the effect how by doing “something” “unconsciously” you can alter the other into a state of broken spiritness and terrible suffering while at the same time you feel overflowed with joy, a sort of stealing his living power or Angels so to say. I don’t want to enter into details about that since its to me surely related with demonic manifestation. I’ve also remembered that one of the guest lecturers that Mr. Vinke has brought here mentioned that he is rotarian, the coincidences started becoming too much seriously. I also spoke with a student who has graduated and I asked him if he feels that bad thing inside of him, I was stunned when he confirmed. Also in that SHR project it really is schizophrenic I feel that spiritually something really wrong is happening there I started thinking and I could recognize many of the things done in classes of Mr. Vinke has to deal with the paranormal even though not openly showed, even his theater sports has a lot of unconscious spiritism involved, not to mention his Werewolf games including vampires, whitches etc. a lot of the theater sport games include games which include things with dying, you play dead etc., etc. I also have noticed that teachers often are pointing me and saying that I’m not changing, many of the students here are changing seriously for bad. I know by my saviour Jesus Christ who said “by their fruits you will know them”, seeing their fruit suffering, confusion, hate, lies etc. I started being more and more convinced that this guys are dealing with the devil. So if my theory is right and I think it probably is, most of the teachers are members of the rotary club. Maybe they even see it as harmless way to improve their business contacts but I know this is not the case, and this guys are giving oaths, having their strange believes spiritual leaders and do worship the devil even though not openly. I shared all that with a couple of my colleagues and many of them probably just thought that I’m out of my mind. But the holy spirit in me testified all that the things I am thinking are true. I’ve shared what is happening with a brother in Christ (a priest) in the orthodox Church Bulgaria and he said he is gonna mention my name on the altar before God on the Divine Liturgies. I guess this matters because today even though I am not completely okay I feel much relieved and better and I feel God! Glory be to the Immortal and Holy of Israel now and unto ages of ages. I try to learn the gospel a bit early in the morning and a bit late at night before I go to bed I also try to pray a bit each morning and evening and trust the Lord to keep me and protect me from the schemes of the evil one! Yesterday I was at Ina’s place and tried to explain her that this project we do now has something to deal with evil spiritism. I even have suspected that this guys from the rotary club ask their members to share information about certain people that the rotary members work with and then try to bring some curses and spells if they see somebody as a problem to their practices. I suspect that this guys somehow use their members as a channels to spread their evil spirituality. I’ve also taken the advice of Stelio to start caring an Icon in me whenever I go to school. Quite often here and especially in the dormitory I feel something is happening inside of me, my heart starts beating unsteady I also feel spirits flying around and trying sort of trying to conquer me this more or less has to deal with their broken spirituality here. Often I feel completely exhausted like somebody stealing my living power and willingness. Also I have noticed that here in their discoteques, they don’t allow you to enter with a hat? My assumption is that there are somethings placed in the discoteques which has to deal with inducing thoughts in you. On saturday I and Sali entered into a discoteque, I was not so willing so I’ve removed my hat I’ve borrowed temporary from Sali. After being in the discoteque on the day after and on Monday I had terrible headache and felt weak and pretty much like almost dying, Also I felt something on my forehead happening, just like I felt on a numerous times the Holy Spirit annointance and the Lord’s spiritual sign on my forehead, I’ve red in revelation that the Antichrist is going to put something on ppl’s forehead and and their right hands I’m more and more starting to think that this in some phase is already working, I’ve felt aches on my right hand on a numerous occasions, here often Its like I fight for my spiritual survivance. People around I see as they’re dead and just living to consume “limed tombs” as they are called in the gospel. I know that all I’ve written here might seem like too much of a conspiracy, however I’m pretty much sure that many of the things I suppose are true to a certain high degree or even completely.END—–
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