Fr. Thomas Hopko: 55 Maxims for Christian Living

Fr. Thomas Hopko, Dean Emeritus of St. Vladimir's Seminary and teacher of seminarians and priests for decades passed away in 2015. Fr. Tom was first a pastor, a man with a generous heart and burning love for Christ who directed many towards our Lord. Below are 55 maxims that Fr. Tom says are necessary for a sound Christian life. Memory eternal to Fr. Thomas Hopko. Click the print icon below to print and save. Be always with Christ. Pray as you can, not as you want. Have a keepable rule of prayer that you do by discipline. Say the Lord’s Prayer … [Read more...]

Met. Joseph Urges Orthodox to March for Marriage

The letter below was received from Met. Joseph urging Orthodox Christians to join the March for Marriage in Washington DC on April 25, 2015. From the letter: We are clearly on the cusp of a historic Supreme Court decision that could mark a powerful affirmation of marriage between one man and one woman, upon which all major civilizations have flourished – or, it can initiate a direction which the Holy Orthodox Church can never embrace. Throughout the history of our faith our Holy Fathers have led the Orthodox laity to gather in unison to preserve the faith against heresy from … [Read more...]

A Miracle by Elder Paisios

I held off talking about this miracle by Elder Paisios publicly until the miracle was complete, which it nearly is. I was asked to write an account of the miracle to be included in the papers sent to the Ecumenical Patriarchate where a decision will be made soon on the canonization of Elder Paisios as a Saint. I offer it here for the glory of God and the edification of the reader. [Editor's Note: July 9, 2015. Elder Paisios is now St. Paisios of Mt. Athos. He was canonized January 13, 2015 and his feast day is celebrated on July 12. Learn more about St. Paisios on Orthodox Wiki.] … [Read more...]

Dachau 1945: The Souls of All Are Aflame

Source: Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese In 1945, a Paschal Liturgy like no other was performed. Just days after their liberation by the US military on April 29, 1945, hundreds of Orthodox Christian prisoners at the Dachau concentration camp gathered to celebrate the Resurrection service and to give thanks. by Douglas Cramer The Dachau concentration camp was opened in 1933 in a former gunpowder factory. The first prisoners interred there were political opponents of Adolf Hitler, who had become German chancellor that same year. During the twelve years of the camp's existence, over … [Read more...]

Orthodox Pascha (Easter) in Dachau

Learn more about the Dachau Concentration Camp. Read another account by Douglas Cramer: Dachau 1945: The Souls of All Are Aflame. By Gleb Alexandrovitch Rahr - Prisoner R (Russian) The last transport of prisoners arrives from Buchenwald. Of the 5,000 originally destined for Dachau, I was among the 1,300 who had survived the trip. Many were shot, some starved to death, while others died of typhus... April 28th: I and my fellow prisoners can hear the bombardment of Munich taking place some 30 km from our concentration camp. As the sound of artillery approaches ever nearer from … [Read more...]

Wisdom from St. Nectarios

St. Nectarios: Living Life as a Christian Christians, have we understood the great responsibility that we have taken on before God through baptism? Have we come to know that we must conduct ourselves as children of God, that we must align our will with the will of God, that we must remain free from sin, that we must love God with all our hearts and always patiently await union with Him? Have we thought about the fact that our heart should be so filled with love that it should overflow to our neighbor? Do we have the feeling that we must become holy and perfect, children of God … [Read more...]

How and Why Do We Fast?

Source: Antiochian Archdiocese By Fr. Steven Ritter Fasting is, according to St. John Chrysostom, the third most important element in our spiritual practices outside the worship of God in community. What are the other two? They are almsgiving, which indicates a mature spiritual Christian's willingness to help others, even at the expense of his or her own well-being, and prayer, which should be self-evident as the primary means by which we commune with God and He forms His will in us. However, what we normally hear about most at this time of the year is fasting, and in fact our Lenten … [Read more...]

A Brief History of St. Paisios

On January 13, 2015, the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Synod unanimously added the blessed Paisius to the roles of the Saints of the Church. This decision was made following the application by the Committee on Canonical issues. Saint Paisius of Mt. Athos, known to the world as Arsenios Eznepidis was born in 1924 in Farasa Cappadocia. He departed this world in July of 1994. He was a Greek monastic who had become widely recognized for his way of life and his works. The name of his father was Prodromos and he was the president of the town of Farasa. His mother was named Evlampia. He had … [Read more...]

Anticipating Needs

Bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ Galatians 6:2 If you watch the altar servers closely, you will see that they anticipate the needs of the priest. The priest is the primary celebrant of the Divine Liturgy, the one who pilots the ship. But in order for the priest to do his job well he needs their help. Their work is important. They light the candles and incense, they hand the incense to the priest, they move about the altar area frequently to make sure that the Divine Liturgy is celebrated smoothly without any bumps and stops. The Church works the same … [Read more...]

St. John Maximovitch and the Dove

When I came to San Francisco to be close to the saintly Archbishop John Maximovitch, I heard a lot of fascinating accounts of his ascetic life. Frequently I visited St. Tikhon's Orphanage, founded by this Saint, and run then by his long-time assistant, Mrs. Maria Alexandrovna Shakhmatova (+1967). Archbishop John was a very busy man, and I did not dare to be often in his presence... The orphanage was no longer a place where children were sheltered....Within its walls was Archbishop John's tiny office, which was so small that even a bed would not fit, where he both lived and had his … [Read more...]