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 eight siblings. On August 7th, one week before the residents of Farasa left for Greece, he was baptized by the priest of the parish, Fr. Arsenios. … [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 way. The Church is Christ's body, his arms and legs. This means that the work that Christ does in the world is often accomplished by … [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 prayer-room and office...I would visit him there, and have long constructive talks that shaped my life. One day I came to see Mrs. Shakhmatova, and she, as … [Read more...]

A Prayer by Elder Paisios

The love of the Elder Paisios for the whole world is well known. The Elder has helped a whole host of people before and after his physical death. But the question is from where did he receive his ability to help people and to perform miracles? He received this heavenly power through his fervent prayers to God. The following prayer of his was given to a convent which had asked the Elder for a prayer rule that could be used by the nuns in their evening vigils. This directive was given to the nuns during the final years of his life. The main emphasis of this prayer is his profound love for all of humanity. This prayer can be used by every Christian believer since it takes in all the issues of life that need our prayers. Even the … [Read more...]

The Real Santa Claus

A Dedicated Servant of God More than 1,600 years ago, in the year 270 AD, St. Nicholas was born not far from Myra, in a land that is now part of the country of Turkey. In those days Orthodox Christians were persecuted for their faith. It wasn't easy to be a Christian. Many of them were tortured and executed because they believed in Christ. Nicholas was taught by his parents to love the Lord with his whole mind, heart, soul, and with all his strength. When they died he inherited their money. He used this to help the poor, the hungry, and the sick. Whenever he helped anyone he did it secretly, so that only God would know, He did not want praise from people; he wanted his reward to be only in Heaven. After he gave away the money his … [Read more...]