Monday, November 19, 2012

Fr Ephraim Peters on Transforming your Baptismal Garment into the Armor of Christ

Fr Epraim Peters - Transforming your Baptismal Garment into the Armor of Christ.
This is an audio recording of this fantastic talk given at the St. Methodios Retreat Center in New Hampshire on 11-10-2012 by Fr Ephraim Peters.  Unfortunately only the first part was recorded, this is however an excellent 1 hour talk.  Please enjoy this link below...

I Pray you Enjoy this as much as I did,
In Christ's Love,
Fr Ted Toppses

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Excellent Video on Archimandrite Gabriel

Archimandrite Gabriel -- an Orthodox monk from the Podlasie province in Poland -- is the founder and sole inhabitant of the Kudak grove hermitage by river Narew. During his first few years there, he lived and prayed in a wagon house, without electricity, running water, or contact with the outside world. After five years, thanks to the help of people of Orthodox faith from local villages, the grove saw the rise of a wooden church, a dormitory for monks, and outbuildings.

Pilgrims are drawn to the place by archimandrite Gabriel's personality: he can find common ground with anyone, he grants spiritual advice, heals with herbs, and keeps bees. When necessary, he rolls up his sleeves and works on building the hermitage right alongside everyone else.

The archimandrite's biggest concern is finding a successor. Prospective monks don't last long in the hermitage, however. They can't stand the lack of access to civilization, common comforts, and contact with their peers.

Biełsat TV 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The life of St. Iakovos the New Venerable Martyr celebrated on November 1st

The life of St. Iakovos the New Venerable Martyr celebrated on November 1st

Saint Iakovos was born in the villiage of Kastoria to Christian parents, Matrino and Paraskevi. He became a shepherd and over time became wealthy, which caused his brother to become jealous. His brother then slandered Iakovos to a judge, claiming that he had found treasure (which must mean that he claimed that his wealth was not rightly earned…) In order to escape his brother’s envy, Iakovos left for Constantinople where he worked as a sheep trader and again became wealthy.

One day, however, he went to the Patriarch, confessed [his sins] and then distributed his wealth to the poor and went to Mount Athos, where he became a monk in the Docheariou Monastery. Afterward he went to the Monastery of the Venerable Forerunner (which was a skete of the Sacred Monastery of Iviron), where he lived in peace under obedience to a certain elder named Ignatios.

While striving [in asceticism] to acquire the virtures, he departed from there and went to the interior of Mount Athos, where he established himself together with six disciples, and distinguished himself as a teacher of virtue in monastic lifestyle. Later he departed with his disciples from Mount Athos and went to Kastro Petra and from there to Meteora, where he became a teacher of monks. Afterwards he went to the Monastery of the Venerable Forerunner of Deverkistas, near Nafpaktos, where he lived prayerfully on the Word of God. 

It was there that he was slandered by the Turks, which in turn caused the Christians to revolt against their authority. He was arrested and led together with two of his disciples to the Bey of Trikala, who locked him in jail for 40 days. From this jail he was sent in irons, together with his disciples, Iakovos the Deacon and Dionysios the Monk, to Didymoteicho of Thrace, to Soultan Selim. Then after unspeakable tortures, they were sent to Adrianopolis, where the Sultan met them and pressured them to to convert. The Saint, with his disciples, responded with one voice saying: “We will never deny our Lord Jesus Christ, even if you punish us with countless tortures.” Then the Sultan gave the order for the executioners to pierce their flesh with iron nails, they punched Iakovos in the face, and removed strips of flesh from his chest and sprinkled salt and vinegar into the wounds. They whipped his two disciples mercilessly with the sinews of cattle. However, because the three were unbending in their faith, they were hanged on November 1, 1520. 

The relics of the Venerable Martyr Iakovos and those martyred with him, can be found in the Monastery of Saint Anastasia near Thessaloniki. The life and akolouthy (rite) of this new martyr was authored by Theophanes the Rhetorician of Thessaloniki, who was his contemporary. 

I am very grateful for this provisional translation by an Orthodox Christian, prior to this I have been unable to find this in English.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Is Christ at your gate? Orthodox Sermon Luke 16:19-31

This is a live recording of the sermon for this past Sunday 11-04-2012 on Is Christ at your gate?
Fr Ted Toppses
Holy Trinity Geek Orthodox Church in Lewiston Maine