Life of St. Martyr John the Bulgarian – born circa year 1763 martyred 5 of March, 1784
Blessed John was a native of Bulgarian and as such he has been by inheritance an Orthodox Christian in the 18 century, where still Bulgaria was under the Ottoman Turks Slavery in which time being an Orthodox Christian was taugh as often Turks did they best to convert every Christian they can to the truthful in their opinion Islamic faith. Under the atmosphere of many great hardship for Christians. By some chance he succumbed to the devil's wiles and denied Christ.
But after some time he realized his great transgression, feeling he fall badly from Grace and began to repent of his denial of the Christian faith.
In this state of mind, seeking to calm his conscience (internal voice of the soul who was talking in him that he did a huge wrong against the love of the Good Christ, he left his birthplace and came to Mount Athos, looking for help to heal his great soul wound.
Here John served, a spiritual elder for three years for the sake to receive a great help for his soul and receive forgiveness for his deniel of Christ. But because his conscience still troubled him, he was always depressed, sad, and silent and couldn't find peace with himself.
His very appearance indicated from far sight that he had suffered some great accident or badness in his life which doesn't give him any moment of peace and does not give him to living just like every ordinary person did.
As he could no longer bear the pangs of conscience of the internal man, John left Holy Mount Athos, came to Constantinople (Istanbul), dressed as a turk and in this guise entered the "Hagia Sophia (Wisdom of God)" mosque, which for many years has been the greatest symbol of Orthodox Christianity until the fall of Constantinople under Turks on May 29 1451.
There he began to cross himself with the Sign of the Cross, the Orthodox Christians does and to pray in a Christian way, which greatly smite the Agarians.
Enraged, they attacked him harshly and asked him why he was doing this?
In a responce, he fearlessly confessed that he was a Christian, and that is why he Crossed himself as a Christian and worshiped Christ Only, who is the Son of God and true God!
The Hagarenes tried to divert him from his firm Creed of Faith (to save his earthly life) – as it was the common norm that "anyone who did such a shameful to muslims deed was worthy for dead", but when they tried hard to make him denounce his deed, pardon himself for his "unrighteous deed against the prophet Mohammed" and the Islamic faith but failed and were completely convinced that John was adamant and will not renounce his beliefs neither sorry for his embarassment, they immediately cut off his head outside in the courtyard of Hagia Sophia.
This happened on March 5, 1784. Thus, blessed John received a bright martyr's crown from Christ God at the age of 19 (and according to other biographical sources when he was just 18 years old).
Living of St. John the Bulgarian (from the Greek Neon Martirologon)
Blessed John was a native from Bulgaria, young in age, about 18 years old, handsome in face, and literate.
On some occasion that befell him, he renounced – alas! from Christ.
But then, after a short time, he became aware of the evil he had done, repented and, leaving his birthplace, came to Holy Mount Athos monk republic and stayed in the great Lavra of St. Athanasius (founded in year 963 AD), where he ministered to a crippled spiritual elder and along dedicating his time to reading the holy books.
But because his conscience was gnawing o him because, the denial of Christ committed, he always walked dark, sorrowful and silent, so that by his sad appearance he showed everyone that he had experienced some great misfortune.
So, one day, under the pretext of going to his native place, he set out and went to Constantinople, where he put a Turkish distingushing muslim uniform that every muslim wear the red hat (fez) on his head and put on red shoes on his feet, and in this guise entered the mosque of Hagia Sophia (that was then a mosque but earlier the most glorious Christian temple who Saint Constantine has built and a symbol to the world for Christian). There he began to be crossing his shoulders with the sign of the cross and perform Christian worship.
When the Agareans saw him, they were indignant and fell upon him and sternly asked him why he was doing this?
And he, fearlessly confessed that he was a Christian and as a Christian he depicts the sign of Salvation his Life giving Cross and worships Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God and God.
The Agareans tried in various ways to convert him to islam, but found no way.
Finally, seeing the steadfastness of his conviction, they beheaded him outside the courtyard of the aforementioned mosque, and in this way, on March 5, 1784, the saint received the crown of martyrdom from Christ our God, Who deserves glory and power throughout the ages!
Living Source: From "Neon Martirologon", a translation from the Greek epic. Parthenius
In the Eastern Orthodox World to which my homeland Bulgaria belongs is deeply saddened and worried about the all time worsening situation with the New Worldwide pandemics which caused suffering and death to already thousands of people. We the Orthodox Christians have the rule that if you can't manage a problem you have to pray God to fix the problem and repent and try to fix what is at your power. This is exactly what pushed the Monks from Biggest on Earth Monk Republic situated on an Island near Greece the Holy Mount Athos to create a All Monasteries Night Vigil for concillation of the The God the Holy Trinity – The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit with the mankind who has done a terrible deeds over the last 30 years against Gods well known law.
All kind of well known and prohibited sins about which the Holy Church, The Saint Writtings, Church Tradition and The Holy Bible warned us would cause a mass suffering, deaths and a havoc, that their unfollowing will bring. As the warnings and signs given by God to mankind in the form of various Cataclysms especially visible in Italy over the last few years and in virtually all countries has been ignored and the attention of the people was falsely led to material stuff and for the never ending consumer needs by the spiritually highly blind mankind, well it is not strange the payback for the Godlessness of mankind is at hand with the quickly spreading new infectious disease codenamed Coronavirus COVID-19.
Of course atheists reject that and they are giving the result of the Coronavirus to Biological Warfare / animal origin or simply a human hygiene breach, but nomatter that for anyone that has the desire to see it, it is clear that what is happening is one of the many God's mercies to mankind.
As over the centuries many times we were send the Lord, other misfortunes wars and epidemics as an attempt to save us and bring up our eyes out of the material things which are doomed to be gone one day to the Heavenly and All time lasting spiritual things. Since the boom of the COVID-19 pandemics, Monks from Holy Mount Athos has made a Call to all Orthodox Christians world wide from All the Holy Eastern Orthodox country 14 Churches and every Orthodox Christian on Earth to read every day at 21:00 o'clock psalms and a special prayers to The well Known helper in Epidemics and Deadly diaseses Saint Haralambos (Св. Харалампий) / Saint Charalampos of Magnesia on the Maeander (Greek city in Ionia so called Asia Minor).
and the Mother of God (Theotokos) called Acathist to Panagia ( Всецарица ) Pantanassa – a miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary from the holy and great Monastery of Vatopedi, Mount Athos, Greece depicting the Theotokos enthroned and holding her son Lord Jesus Christ.
As the result of this Pandemics would be a prison like state for humanity economics and a decay of civillization as we know it and the clear realization of the Monks on Holy Athos whose spiritual seeing has been widely open to see the things happening on earth such as they're and the overall late temptations within the Church and the actions of some of the Hierarchs that are trying to destroy the unity and love we had for the last 2020 years …
The athonites today decided to pray all night long continuously as they do on a Big Christian feasts such as Resurrection, Nativity and Dormition etc. (which by the way for the Athos island are relatively common but all monasteries all Night vigil together is unique and only happened in most harsh times in human history, where full spiritual backup was necessery).
In each and every monastery just like in every Holy Liturgy served we pray for the inceasingly praying for the sick with Coronavirus, the lonely, the suffering the hungry, the saddened, people in pay for our parents, grandma, grandpas, sons daughters all Nations the God-fearing governmental powers and us the childs of the Holy Eastern Orthodox Church.
This prayer is to be streamed straight from the Monasteries is to be streamed online for everyone who can to be unite to become part of the prayer by listening it and secretly repeating deep in his heart the prayer that is said to be giving the highest goods on earth, the so called Jesus Prayer.
This prayer is very simple and the long version os if consists of the words "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Blessed God, have mercy of me the sinner!". The shorter one is simply "Lord Jesus Christ Have mercy on me", and the shortest one is "Lord Have Mercy". Monks on Athos depending on their nationality repeat "Lord Have Mercy, Lord Have Mercy, Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me …" in Greek Bulgarian, Romanian, Serbian, Greek, Georgian, Russian etc. praying for themselves and benefitting from the spiritual well of Eternity spreading this Grace through themselves for the world.
Lets not forget that the Holy Bible and The experience from the Church history and tradition, tells us about multiple epidemics such as Black Death who were destroyed by many miracles for the humility and prayers of the saintly man and the merfiness of Christ and his Holy Mother The Holy Theotoks Virgin Mary and numerous Saints.
It is in the Church tradition in this heavy times of pestilence to make Lithia (Holy Cross Procession, Procession with Miracle making icons, Holy relics from saints) has been used to put an end to the diseases and the God's grace which has been attarcted for the faith of People and their timely repentance stopped the diseases, this can be checked in multiple ancient manuscripts and history books, written by various historions.
Also the story of the paralytic, the blindly born, the lepper, the deaf and innumerous other sick people is found in the Bible and we read that they were easily healed by the savior, so we need to come back to our faith, which we have changed with the Friday lustful enjoyment meet in Discos, Caffeterias, Bars Cinema, Theather and kind of spiritually unhealthy and most of time unusuable activities from the perspective of the Eternal Soul…
Perhaps it is not a coincidence that this difficult for every living soul situation happened exactly during the time of the Great Lent in which the whole Church is praying to God for forgiveness of the multitude of sins done since the last year Lent time …
Let us pray that this terrible disease who is physically separating us, do on the contrary unite us and bring us spiritual-growth, Knowledge of God, turning out from the sinful habits, thoughts and deeds to do what is pleasant good and wonderful as the Bible says and which has been the ultimate reason why we Human were created in the Beginning.
Lord Jesus Christ son of the Blessed God have mercy on us the Sinners !!!! Lord Jesus Save and Heal the Sick, protect the Healthy, give us repentance, give us your love and strenght, forgive us our terrible sins, be with us always until the End of Ages and in all Eternity !
Morning Prayers from Optina Desert / Утренние молитвы Оптина Пустынь
It is a blessing to listen the morning prayers in ancient Church Slavonic, it is double blessing when listening morning prayers as prayed from Optina Desert. Optina Desert(Optina Pustyn) , also known as the Optina Hermitage Monastery is one of the ancient monasteries in Russia. It is not clear exact date when monastery was established, but its establishment was no later than the 15th century. Optina word means Living together. Nuns lived in the cloister before y. 1504. The monastery is very notable with theOptina Elders and played key role in spiritual life of Russia during the 19th century.Optina cloister is very famous for their Startsy (Elders) people who possess the graceful gifts from God for healing, foretelling events to come, possessing the gift of spiritual guidance etc. From the 19th centuries to nowdays this place has attracted crowds of people looking for spiritual guidance (advise), englightnment or a blessing for important thing to partake in life. Many of the Russian most famous people of all time likeFyodor Dostoevsky, Vasily Zhukovsky, Nikolai Gogol, Ivan Turgenev, and Vasily Rozanov visited visited the monastery. Optina cloisterpossesses one of the richest spiritual libraries in the world, collected with help of Slavophile Kireyevsky brothers (who are buried within the monastery walls).
The starets Saint Amvrosy is said to have been a prototype of Father Zosima in Dostoyevsky's novel The Brothers Karamazov. The monastery is most famous with a group of saints the Optina Elders among which is the most famous oneVenerable Ambrose of Optina (5 Dec 1812 – 23 October 1891)
The holy Fathers made the Optina Hermitage (or Poustinia) a focus for the powerfulrenewal movement that spread through the Church in Russia beginning early in the nineteenth century, and continuing up to (and even into) the atheist persecutions of the twentieth century. Saint Paisius Velichkovsky (November 15) was powerfully influential in bringing the almost-lost hesychastic tradition of Orthodox spirituality to Russia in the eighteenth century, and his labors found in Optina Monastery a 'headquarters' from which they spread throughout the Russian land. The Optina Elders were spiritual masters who became renowned throughout the Orthodox world for their holiness and spiritual gifts. Among them the most known are: Schema-Archimandrite Moses, Schema-Hegumen Anthony, Hieroschemamonk Leonid, Hieroschemamonk Macarius, Hieroschemamonk Hilarion, Hieroschemamonk Ambrose, Hieroschemamonk Anatole (Zertsalov) and Hieroschemamonk Barsanuphius. The monastery was destroyed during the Russian Bolshevik Revolution and many of the fathers faced exile torture and martyr death by the communist authorities. In 1987 with the beginning of Perestroika, Optina Pustyn was one of the first abbeys to be returned to the Russian Orthodox Church. In the 1990s its most notable startsy were glorified as saints. Otpina Elders are commemorated together on October 10 (October 23 on the Gregorian Calendar). A very important prayer left as heritage from Optina's Elders is the prayer of the Optina Elders Prayer of the Optina Elders
Grant unto me, O Lord, that with peace of mind I may face all that this new day is to bring.
Grant unto me to dedicate myself completely to Thy Holy Will.
For every hour of this day, instruct and support me in all things.
Whatsoever tidings I may receive during the day, do Thou teach me to accept tranquilly, in the firm conviction that all eventualities fulfill Thy Holy Will.
Govern Thou my thoughts and feelings in all I do and say.
When things unforeseen occur , let me not forget that all cometh down from Thee.
Teach me to behave sincerely and rationally toward every member of my family, that I may bring confusion and sorrow to none.
Bestow upon me, my Lord, strength to endure the fatigue of the day, and to bear my part in all its passing events.
Guide Thou my will and teach me to pray, to believe, to hope, to suffer, to forgive, and to love.
The Orthodox Christian Morning Prayers in English
Morning Prayers From the "Jordanville" Prayerbook
Having risen from sleep, before any other action, stand reverently, considering thyself to be in the presence of the All-seeing God, and, having made the sign of the Cross, say:
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Then pause a moment, until all thy senses are calmed and thy thoughts forsake all things earthly; and then make three bows, saying:
The Prayer of the Publican:
O God, be merciful to me a sinner. Thrice.
The Beginning Prayer:
O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, for the sake of the prayers of Thy most pure Mother and all the saints, have mercy on us. Amen.
Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.
O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present and fillest all things, Treasury of good things and Giver of life: Come and dwell in us, and cleanse us of all impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. Thrice.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen. . – O Most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, blot but our sins. O Master, pardon our iniquities. O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy name's sake.
Lord, have mercy. Thrice.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Our Father, Who art in the heavens, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Troparia to the Holy Trinity:
Having risen from sleep, we fall down before Thee, O Good One, and the angelic hymn we cry aloud to Thee, O Mighty One. Holy, Holy, Holy art Thou. O God; through the Theotokos, have mercy on us.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
From bed and sleep hast Thou raised me up, O Lord: enlighten my mind and heart and open my lips that I may hymn Thee, O Holy Trinity:
Holy, Holy, Holy art Thou, O God; through the Theotokos, have mercy on us.
Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Suddenly the judge shall come, and the deeds of each shall be laid bare; but with fear do we cry at midnight. Holy, Holy, Holy art Thou, O God; through the Theotokos, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy. Twelve.
Prayer of Saint Basil the Great to the Most Holy Trinity:
As I rise from sleep, I thank Thee, O Holy Trinity, for through Thy great goodness and patience Thou wast not angry with me, an idler and sinner, nor hast Thou destroyed me with mine iniquities, but hast shown Thy usual love for mankind; and when I was prostrate in despair, Thou hast raised me up to keep the morning watch and glorify Thy power. And now enlighten my mind's eye, and open my mouth that I may meditate on Thy words, and understand Thy commandments, and do Thy will, and hymn Thee in heartfelt confession, and sing praises to Thine all-holy name: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
O come let us worship God our King.
O come let us worship and fall down before Christ our King and God.
O come let us worship and fall down before Christ Himself, our King and God.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy; and according to the multitude of Thy compassions blot out my transgression. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know mine iniquity, and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee only have I sinned and done this evil before Thee, that Thou mightest be justified in Thy words, and prevail when Thou art judged. For behold, I was conceived in iniquities, and in sins did my mother bear me. For behold, Thou hast loved truth; the hidden and secret things of Thy wisdom hast Thou made manifest unto me. Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be made clean; Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow. Thou shalt make me to hear joy and gladness; the bones that be humbled, they shall rejoice. Turn Thy face away from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence,! and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation, and with Thy governing Spirit establish me. I shall teach transgressors Thy ways, and the ungodly shall turn back unto Thee. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness. O God, Thou God of my salvation; my tongue shall rejoice in Thy righteousness. O Lord, Thou shalt open my lips, and my mouth shall declare Thy praise. For if Thou hadst desired sacrifice, I had given it; with whole-burnt offerings Thou shalt not be pleased. A sacrifice unto God is a broken spirit; a heart that is broken and humbled God will not despise. Do good, O Lord, in Thy good pleasure unto Sion, and let the walls of Jerusalem be builded. Then shalt Thou be pleased with a sacrifice of righteousness, with oblation and whole-burnt offerings. Then shall they offer bullocks upon Thine altar.
The Symbol of the Orthodox Faith:
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ. the Son of God, the Only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages. Light of Light; true God of true God, begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father by Whom all things were made; Who for us men, and for our salvation. came down from the heavens, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man; And was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried; And arose again on the third day according to the Scriptures; And ascended into the heavens, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father. And shall come again, with glory, to judge both the living and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life; Who proceedeth from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spake by the prop! hets. In One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the remission of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, And the life of the age to come. Amen.
Prayer I, of St. Macarius the Great:
O God, cleanse me a sinner, for I have never done anything good in Thy sight; but deliver me from the evil one, and let Thy will be done in vi me, that I may open mine unworthy mouth without condemnation, and praise Thy holy name: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Prayer II, of the same saint:
Having risen from sleep, I offer unto Thee, O Saviour, the midnight hymn, and falling down I cry unto Thee: Grant me not to fall asleep in the death of sin, but have compassion on me, O Thou Who wast voluntarily crucified, and hasten to raise me who am reclining in idleness, and save me in prayer and intercession; and after the night's sleep shine upon me a sinless day, O Christ God, and save me.
Prayer III, of the same saint:
Having risen from sleep, I hasten to Thee, O Master, Lover of mankind, and by Thy loving-kindness, I strive to do Thy work, and I pray to Thee: Help me at all times, in everything, and deliver me from every worldly, evil thing and every impulse of the devil, and save me, and lead me into Thine eternal kingdom. For Thou art my Creator, and the Giver, and Provider of everything good, and in Thee is all my hope, and unto Thee do I send up glory, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Prayer IV, of the same saint:
O Lord, Who in Thine abundant goodness and Thy great compassion hast granted me, Thy servant, to go through the time of the night that is past without attack from any opposing evil: Do Thou Thyself, O Master, Creator of all things, vouchsafe me by Thy true light and with an enlightened heart to do Thy will, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Prayer V, of St. Basil the Great:
O Lord Almighty, God of hosts and of all flesh, Who dwellest on high and lookest down on things that are lowly, Who searchest the heart and innermost being, and clearly foreknowest the secrets of men; O unoriginate and everlasting Light, with Whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning: Do Thou, O Immortal King, receive our supplications which we, daring because of the multitude of Thy compassions, offer Thee at the present time from defiled lips; and forgive us our sins, in deed, word, and thought, whether committed by us knowingly or in ignorance,. and cleanse us from every defilement of flesh and spirit. And grant us to pass through the night of the whole present life with watchful heart and sober thought, ever expecting the coming of the bright and appointed day of Thine Only-begotten Son, our Lord and God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, whereon the judge of all shall come with glory to reward each according to his deeds. May we not be found fallen a! nd idle, but watching, and upright in activity, ready to accompany Him into the joy and divine palace of His glory, where there is the ceaseless sound of those that keep festival, and the unspeakable delight of those that behold the ineffable beauty of Thy countenance. For Thou art the true Light that enlightenest and sanctifiest all, and all creation doth hymn Thee unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Prayer VI, likewise by St. Basil:
We bless Thee, O Most High God and Lord of mercy, Who ever doest with us things both great and inscrutable, both glorious and awesome, of which there is no measure; Who grantest to us sleep for rest from our infirmities, and relaxation from the labours of our much-toiling flesh. We thank Thee that Thou hast not destroyed us with our iniquities, but hast shown Thy loving-kindness to man as usual, and while we were lying in despair upon our beds, Thou hast raised us up that we might glorify Thy dominion. Wherefore, we implore Thy boundless goodness: Enlighten the eyes of our understanding and raise up our mind from the heavy sleep of indolence; open our mouth and fill it with Thy praise, that we may be able steadily to hymn and confess Thee, Who art God glorified in all and by all, the unoriginate Father, with Thine Only-begotten Son, and Thine All-holy and good and life-creating Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Prayer to the Most Holy Theotokos:
I sing of thy grace, O Sovereign Lady, and I pray thee to grace my mind.
Teach me to step aright in. the way of Christ's commandments.
Strengthen me to keep awake in song, and drive away the sleep of despondency.
O Bride of God, by thy prayers release me, bound with the bonds of sin.
Guard me by night and by day, and deliver me from foes that defeat me.
O bearer of God the Life-giver, enliven me who am deadened by passions.
O bearer of the unwaning Light, enlighten my blinded soul.
O marvellous palace of the Master, make me to be a house of the Divine Spirit.
O bearer of the Healer, heal the perennial passions of my soul.
Guide me to the path of repentance, for I am tossed in the storm of life.
Deliver me from eternal fire, and from evil worms, and from Tartarus.
Let me not be exposed to the rejoicing of demons, guilty as I am of many sins.
Renew me, grown old from senseless sins, O most immaculate one.
Present me untouched by all torments, and pray for me to the Master of all.
Vouchsafe me to find the joys of heaven with all the saints.
O most holy Virgin, hearken unto the voice of thine unprofitable servant.
Grant me torrents of tears, O most pure one, to cleanse my soul from impurity.
I offer the groans of my heart to thee unceasingly, strive for me, O Sovereign Lady.
Accept my service of supplication and offer it to compassionate God.
O thou who art above the angels, raise me above this world's confusion.
O Light bearing heavenly tabernacle, direct the grace of the Spirit in me.
I raise my hands and lips in thy praise, defiled as they are by impurity, O all immaculate one.
Deliver me from soul corrupting evils, and fervently intercede with Christ, to Whom is due honour and worship, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Prayer to our Lord Jesus Christ:
O my plenteously merciful and all merciful God, Lord Jesus Christ, through Thy great love Thou didst come down and become incarnate so that Thou mightest save all. And again, O Saviour. save me by Thy grace, I pray Thee. For if Thou shouldst save me for my works, this would not be grace or a gift, but rather a duty; yea, Thou Who art great in compassion and ineffable in mercy. For he that believeth in Me, Thou hast said, O my Christ, shall live and never see death. If, then, faith in Thee saveth the desperate, behold, I believe, save me, for Thou art my God and Creator. Let faith instead of works be imputed to me, O my God, for Thou wilt find no works which could justify me. But may my faith suffice instead of all works, may it answer for, may it acquit me, may it make me a partaker of Thine eternal glory. And let Satan not seize me and boast, O Word, that he hath torn me from Thy hand and fold. But whether I desire it or not, save me, O Christ my Saviour,! forestall me quickly, quickly, for I perish. Thou art my God from my mother's womb. Vouchsafe me, O Lord, to love Thee now as fervently as I once loved sin itself, and also to work for Thee without idleness, diligently, as I worked before for deceptive Satan. But supremely shall I work for Thee, my Lord and God, Jesus Christ, all the days of my life, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Prayer IX, to the Holy Guardian Angel:
O holy angel that standeth by my wretched soul and my passionate life, forsake not me a sinner, nor shrink from me because of mine intemperance. Give no place for the cunning demon to master me through the violence of my mortal body, strengthen my poor and feeble hand, and guide me in the way of salvation. Yea, O holy angel of God, guardian and protector of my wretched soul and body, forgive me all wherein I have offended thee all the days of my life; and if I have sinned during the past night, protect me during the present day, and guard me from every temptation of the enemy, that I may not anger God by any sin. And pray to the Lord for me, that He may establish me in His fear, and show me, His servant, to be worthy of His goodness. Amen.
Prayer X, to the Most Holy Theotokos:
O my most holy lady Theotokos, through thy holy and all-powerful prayers, banish from me, thy lowly and wretched servant, despondency, forgetfulness, folly, carelessness, and all filthy, evil, and blasphemous thoughts from my wretched heart and my darkened mind. And quench the flame of my passions, for I am poor and wretched, and deliver me from many and cruel memories and deeds, and free me from all their evil effects. For blessed art thou by all generations, and glorified is thy most honourable name unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Prayerful Invocation of the Saint Whose Name we bear:
Pray unto God for me, O holy God pleaser N., for I fervently flee unto Thee, the speedy helper and intercessor for my soul.
Song to the Most Holy Theotokos:
O Theotokos and Virgin, rejoice, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, for thou hast borne the Saviour of our souls.
Troparion to the Cross:
Save, O Lord, Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance; grant Thou victory to Orthodox Christians over enemies; and by the power of Thy Cross do Thou preserve Thy commonwealth.
Then offer a brief prayer for the health and salvation of thy spiritual father, thy parents, relatives, those in authority, benefactors, others known to thee, the ailing, or those passing through sorrows. And if it be possible, read this commemoration:
For the Living:
Remember, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, Thy mercies and compassions which are from the ages, for the sake of which Thou didst become man and didst will to endure crucifixion and death for the salivation of those that rightly believe in Thee; and having risen from the dead didst ascend into the heavens and sittest at the right hand of God the Father, and regardest the humble entreaties of those that call upon Thee with all their heart; incline Thine ear, and hearken unto the humble supplication of me, Thine unprofitable servant, as an odour of spiritual fragrance, which I offer unto Thee for all Thy people. And first, remember Thy Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, which Thou hast provided through Thy precious Blood, and establish, and strengthen, and expand, increase, pacify, and keep Her unconquerable by the gates of hades. calm the dissensions of the churches, quench the raging of the nations, and quickly destroy and uproot the rising of heresy, and b! ring them to nought by the power of Thy Holy Spirit. Bow.
Save, O Lord, and have mercy on the Russian Land and her Orthodox people both in the homeland and in the diaspora, this land and its authorities. Bow.
Save, O Lord, and have mercy on the holy Eastern Orthodox patriarchs, most reverend metropolitans, Orthodox archbishops and bishops, and all the priestly and monastic order, and all who serve in the Church, whom Thou hast appointed to shepherd Thy rational flock, and through their prayers have mercy and save me, a sinner. Bow.
Save, O Lord, and have mercy on my spiritual father N., and through his holy prayers forgive my sins. Bow.
Save, O Lord, and have mercy on my parents, Names, brothers and sisters, and my kindred according to the flesh, and all the neighbours of my family and friends, and grant them Thine earthly and spiritual good things. Bow.
Save, O Lord, and have mercy on the aged and the young, the poor and the orphans and widows, and those in sickness and sorrow, misfortune and tribulation, those in difficult circumstances and in captivity, in prisons and dungeons, and especially those of Thy. servants that are persecuted for Thy sake and the Orthodox Faith by godless peoples, by apostates, and by heretics; and remember them, visit., strengthen, comfort, and by Thy power quickly grant them relief, freedom, and deliverance. Bow .
Save, O Lord, and have mercy on them that hate and wrong me, and make temptation for me, and let them not perish because of me, a sinner. Bow.
Illumine with the light of awareness the apostates from the Orthodox Faith, and those blinded by pernicious heresies, and number them with Thy Holy, Apostolic, Catholic Church. Bow.
For the Departed:
Remember, O Lord, those that have departed this life, Orthodox kings and queens, princes and princesses, most holy patriarchs, most reverend metropolitans, Orthodox archbishops and bishops, those in priestly and clerical orders of the Church, and those that have served Thee in the monastic order, and grant them rest with the saints in Thine eternal tabernacles. Bow.
Remember, O Lord, the souls of Thy departed servants, my parents, Names, and all my kindred according to the flesh, and forgive them all transgressions, voluntary and involuntary, granting them the kingdom and a portion of Thine eternal good things, and the delight of Thine endless and blessed life. Bow.
Remember, O Lord, also all our fathers and brethren, and sisters, and those that lie here, and all Orthodox Christians that departed in the hope of resurrection and life eternal, and settle them with Thy saints, where the light of Thy countenance shall visit them, and have mercy on us, for Thou art good and the Lover of mankind. Bow.
Grant, O Lord, remission of sins to all our fathers, brethren, and sisters that have departed before us in the faith and hope of resurrection, and make their memory to be eternal. Bow.
It is truly meet to bless thee, the Theotokos, ever-blessed and most blameless, and Mother of our God. More honourable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, who without corruption gavest birth to God the Word, the very Theotokos, thee do we magnify.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Lord, have mercy. Thrice.
O Lord, bless.
And the dismissal:
O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, for the sake of the prayers of Thy most pure Mother, our holy and God-bearing fathers and all the saints, have mercy on us. Amen.
Last year by Holy Virgin Mery Theotokos I was able to visit probably the second by holiness place in the world – Holy Athos. Agios Oros as called in greek is an island in the deep of Greece inhabited only by male monks. In fact there is a prophecy that if woman start visiting the place by God's desire the place will sunk. Holy Mount Athos is alsothe biggest orthodox monks community nowdays existing on the planet. Athos is inhabited by more than 1600 monks all from different orthodox nations. Some of the Orthodox Monasteries present by nationalities are:
– Ours Bulgarian Monastery (Saint Martyr George the Glory Bringer) – Serbian – Russian – Greek
Probably there are more but this is ruffly the main ones I can remember There are also Ukrainian and monks belonging to the other orthodox Churches. There are a lot of monks on Agios Oros that still are living a type of life as hermits. Even probably there are secret people who live completely as hermits. As the times are changing quickly and the earth is going to destruction the existence of such a big place inhabited by monks to pray Christ for us is truly a great God mercy to us. If you're interested in Agios Oros and you're orthodox Christian and want to visit it for pilgrimage pray to The Holy Theotokos and if it is God will you will be permitted to go.
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