Saint Paraskevi the Holy & Glorious Virgin-Martyr of Greece, from Rome (+161) – Patron Saint of the eyes – July 26



Holy Skull of St. Paraskevi, Moni Petraki.jpg

Holy Skull of St. Paraskevi in Petraki Monastery, Athens, Greece



Saint Paraskevi the Holy & Glorious Virgin-Martyr of Greece, from Rome (+161)

Patron Saint of the eyes

July 26

The holy and glorious Virgin-Martyr Saint Paraskevi (also Paraskeva) was arrested during the reign of the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius (r. A.D. 138-161) under the penalty of refusing to worship idols and adhering to the state pagan religion. After enduring many tortures, she was eventually released by the emperor, continuing to profess Christ. She was eventually tortured and beheaded by the Roman governor Tarasius in the year 180. The Church commemorates her on July 26.

Saint Paraskevi, The Parthenomartyr, (July 26th), was born in a village near Rome during the reign of Hadrian (117-138 AD). Her parents were the pious Christians Agathonikos (Agathon) and Politea. Her parents prayed fervently for a child, and God finally blessed their piety. They gave great honor to Friday, the day of Our Lord’s suffering. Being born on this day, her parents named her Paraskevi (“Friday” in Greek, but literally “preparation”).

St Paraskevi obtained an excellent education from both secular and Scriptural instructors. She was also very knowledgeable in the field of philosophy. Bolstered by her Christian upbringing, she often conversed with other women about Christianity, trying to strengthen their faith in this new religion. Many distinguished families wanted this beautiful, educated and rich woman to marry their sons. Her understanding and kindness made her even more desirable. However having a higher goal in life, St Paraskevi rejected any marriage proposals.

When she was 20 years old, both her parents died 1eaving her as the sole heir to the family fortune. St Paraskevi did not use her fortune for herself. Filled with the spirit of Christ and Christian ideals, she sold all her worldly possessions using the money to relieve human suffering. There was a portion retained to a community treasury that supported a home for reverent virgins who stayed in a kenobion, a type of commune like a contemporary monastery. These women prayed and fasted doing charitable works. They preached primarily to Hebrew and idol worshiping women giving them an opportunity to learn about Christian salvation.

She left Rome at the age of 30 and began her holy mission, passing through many cities and villages. St Paraskevi’s activities occurred during a period that the Jews and Romans persecuted the Christian religion with the greatest intensity. Antoninus Pius (138-161) ruled Rome at this time, and he did not execute Christians without a trial. She was not caught immediately or put to death. Instead, Antoninus protected Christians against the blind mania of the Jewish and Roman inhabitants. Christians could only be brought to trial if another citizen lodged a formal complaint against them. Antoninus however had to repeal this law because of the many disasters which had befallen Rome and which were blamed on the Christians.

Strong in faith, learning, and eloquence, Paraskevi spoke persuasively to her fellow Roman citizens, leading them from idolatry to faith in Christ. Eventually, Antoninus heard of St. Paraskevi’s holy mission. Upon her return to Rome, several Jews filed complaints about her and Antoninus summoned her to his palace to question her. Attracted by her beauty and humility he tried with kind words to make her denounce her faith, even promising to marry her and make her an empress. Angered by her refusal he had a steel helmet, lined with nails and compressed on her head with a vice. It had no effect on the Saint and many who witnessed this miracle converted to Christianity. Thrown into prison, Paraskevi asked God to give her the strength to face the terror that awaited her. Antoninus again continued her torture by having her hung by her hair and at the same time burning her hands and arms with torches. The Saint suffered greatly, but had the will not to submit to the pain. Antoninus then prepared a large cauldron of oil and tar, boiled the mixture and then had Paraskevi immersed in it. Miraculously she stood in it as if she being refreshed rather than burned. Angered, Antoninus thought that she was using witchery to keep the contents cooled. Antoninus then approached the cauldron only to be blinded by the hot steam and searing emissions coming from the area. At this moment the mighty emperor asked for the intervention of St Paraskevi to heal him from this affliction to which she responded:

“Emperor, the Christian God is healing you from the blindness that was given to you as a punishment”.

Immediately, he regained his sight. Humbled by the miracle he freed the Saint, allowing her to continue her missionary activity and ended all persecutions against the Christians throughout the Roman Empire.

From this episode it is clear to the Christians that St Paraskevi has the intercessional ability to help people with visual ailments.

Astonished by the miracle, Antoninus released Paraskevi. He also ceased persecuting Christians throughout the Roman Empire.

This period was brief. After Antoninus’ death in 161, a plague broke out throughout the empire. Romans took it as a sign from their gods that that they were angered by the tolerance of Christianity. Under Antoninus’ successor, Marcus Aurelius (161-180), the laws dealing with “non-believers” were cahnged and the persecutions against the Christians resumed.

Despite these dangers, Paraskevi persevered in her missionary endeavors, spreading the Gospel wherever she traveled. By authority of emperor Aurelius the provincial eparchs Asclepius and Tarasios captured St Paraskevi. Having refused Asclepius’ demands to sacrifice to pagan gods, she was thrown into a snake pit. The Saint made the Sign of the Cross over the serpent and the serpent perished. Asclepius had heard of the Saint’s previous miracles, realized that a great and mighty power guarded Paraskevi and decided to set her free while Asclepius and his court were all converted.

Tarasios however was less tolerant. St Paraskevi was tied and beaten and afterwards imprisoned and a huge rock placed on her chest. She prayed to Christ to help her be strong. The next morning Paraskevi was taken willingly to the Temple of Apollo. Everyone praised Tarasios, thinking that he had succeeded in breaking St Paraskevi’s faith. However, upon entering the temple, the Saint raised her hand and made the sign of the cross. Suddenly, a loud noise was heard and all the idols in the temple were destroyed. The priests and idolaters dragged her from the altar, beat her, and pushed her out of the temple. The priests demanded that Tarasios kill Paraskevi. She was convicted and condemned to death by beheading.

It was customary to give the condemned their last wish. She asked to be left alone for a few moments so that she might pray for the last time. Afterwards, the roman soldiers returned and executed the Saint.

Many healing miracles occurred as a result of St Paraskevi’s divine intervention. It is said that that merely coming in contact with he dirt of her grave faithful, crippled could walk, demonized would return to health and that the infertile would bear children. Most importantly St Paraskevi healed the blindness of the roman emperor Antoninus Pius while she was in a heated cauldron. Her merciful disposition to her tormentor has made her an intercessor Saint for the healing of eye ailments.

Her remains were eventually taken to Constantinople, where they are venerated by the faithful to this very day.

Appropriate to your calling, O Champion Paraskevi, you worshipped with the readiness your name bears. For an abode you obtained faith, which is your namesake. Wherefore, you pour forth healing and intercede for our souls.

O most majestic One, we have discovered your temple to be a spiritual clinic wherein all the faithful resoundingly honor you, O famed and venerable martyr Paraskevi.

Tomb in Pounta, Greece

According to the tradition of the people of Epirus, Paraskevi was not martyred in Rome as mentioned in her traditional hagiography, but in Thesprotia where the Monastery of Saint Paraskevi of Pounta stands today. According to this tradition, strongly held by the locals, the headless body of the saint was entombed here and her tomb is still venerated today.

It is said that the persecutors of St. Paraskevi dragged her to the edge of the river Acheron to behead her. As the sword was raised over her head, she grabbed a stone pillar that she held so tightly that the print of her hands melted into it leaving an indelible mark. A church was eventually erected here by the faithful in her honor and housed her holy relics. Her skull was eventually placed in the walls of the church, though today it is kept in Moni Petraki in Athens.

According to the author and novelist Spyros Mouselimis, in his article “The Monastery of Pountas and the Feast of Saint Paraskevi” (Ηπειρωτική Εστία, 10, pp. 638-641, 1961), Pountas Monastery was known for its healing waters and numerous miracles. The pilgrims would cut off portions of the stone pillar of St. Paraskevi as a talisman, to the point that in 1960 the size of the stone was half its original size.

The property of the Monastery at one time was very great. According to Lambridis, at the end of the 19th century the annual revenue of the Monastery was 20,000 piastres, from which a boarding school was supported on its premises until 1913. After the population exchange of 1923 the Monastery was abandoned and did not operate again until 1975. Only the eastern side of the original Holy Altar area of the Katholikon survives today, while the rest of the church was restored in 1989 together with the inscription for the tomb of St. Paraskevi.

Today the Monastery operates as a female convent.

Source: Orthodox Wiki










A modern Saint in a brother – Saint Porphyrios of Athens, Greece (+1991)



Athens, Greece


Saint Porphyrios of Kafsokalivia (Mount Athos) & Athens, Greece (+1991)

December 2


A modern Saint in a brother

Saint Porphyrios of Athens, Greece (+1991)

In the old days, during the feast of the Theophany, we used to sanctify homes. One year I also went to sanctify. I would knock on the doors of the apartments, they would open for me, and I walked in singing “In Jordan, You were baptized O Lord….”

As I went along  Maizonos Street in the center of Athens (Greece) I saw an iron door. I opened it, walked into the courtyard which was full of tangerine, orange and lemon trees, and proceeded to the stairs. It was an outdoor staircase that went up, and down was the basement. I climbed the stairs, knocked on the door, and a lady appeared. Since Continue reading “A modern Saint in a brother – Saint Porphyrios of Athens, Greece (+1991)”

エギナの聖ネクタリオス St Nektarios of Aigine ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Japanese




エギナの聖ネクタリオス (+1920)

(St Nektarios of Aigine Island, Greeece)


エギナの聖ネクタリオス(ギリシア語: Άγιος Νεκτάριος Αιγίνης, 英語: Saint Nektarios of Egina、1846年 – 1920年)は、正教会の聖人。日本正教会で多用される教会スラヴ語由来の転写ではネクタリイ。

修道院の設立と指導、数多くの著述、信徒の精神的指導、および数々の奇蹟によって知られる。神学者、哲学者、詩人、教育者、禁欲主義者、神秘主義者などと称されるほどの多才な面があった。歌詞は公祈祷の祈祷文によるものではないが、全世界の正教会で愛唱される聖歌『アグニ・パルセネ』(ギリシア語: Αγνή Παρθένε)を作曲してもいる。

1846年10月1日、トラキアのシリヴリアの貧しい家庭に生まれた。生まれた際の俗名はアナスタシオス・ケファラス(ギリシア語: Αναστάσιος Κεφαλάς)。14歳のとき、働きつつ教育を受けるためにコンスタンディヌーポリに移住。1866年からはキオス島の学校で教えつつそこに7年間住み、30歳で修道士となる。3年後、輔祭となり、ネクタリオスの名を与えられる。1885年にアテネ大学を卒業。大学時代から、多くの聖書註解を含む多くの著述を行う。





Saint Nektarius (St Nectarios) of Aigine Island, Greece (+1920) – November 9



St Nektarius of Aigine Island, Greece (+1920)

Saint Nektarius (St Nektarios)

of Aigine Island, Greece (+1920)

November 9



Saint Nektarius, the great wonderworker of modern times, was born Anastasius Kephalas in Selebria, Thrace on October 1, 1846.

Since his family was poor, Anastasius went to Constantinople when he was fourteen in order to find work. Although he had no money, he asked the captain of a boat to take him. The captain told him to take a walk and then come back. Anastasius understood, and sadly walked away.

The captain gave the order to start the engines, but nothing happened. After several unsuccessful attempts, he looked up into the eyes of Anastasius who stood on the dock. Taking pity on the boy, the captain told him to come aboard. Immediately, the engines started and the boat began to move.

Anastasius found a job with a tobacco merchant in Constantinople, who did not pay him very much. In his desire to share useful information with others, Anastasius wrote down short maxims from spiritual books on the paper bags and packages of the tobacco shop. The customers would read them out of curiosity, and might perhaps derive some benefit from them.

The boy went about barefoot and in ragged clothing, but he trusted in God. Seeing that the merchant received many letters, Anastasius also wanted to write a letter. To whom could he write? Not to his parents, because there were no mail deliveries to his village. Not to his friends, because he had none. Therefore, he decided to write to Christ to tell Him of his needs.

“My little Christ,” he wrote. “I do not have an apron or shoes. You send them to me. You know how much I love you.”

Anastasius sealed the letter and wrote on the outside: “To the Lord Jesus Christ in Heaven.” On his way to mail the letter, he ran into the man who owned a shop opposite the one in which he worked. The man asked him where he was going, and Anastasius whispered something in reply. Seeing the letter in his hands, the man offered to mail it for him, since he was on his way to the post office.

The merchant put the letter in his pocket and assured Anastasius that he would mail it with his own letters. The boy returned to the tobacco shop, filled with happiness. When he took the letter from his pocket to mail it, the merchant happened to notice the address. Astonished and curious, the man could not resist opening the letter to read it. Touched by the boy’s simple faith, the merchant placed some money in an envelope and sent it to him anonymously. Anastasius was filled with joy, and he gave thanks to God.

A few days later, seeing Anastasius dressed somewhat better than usual, his employer thought he had stolen money from him and began to beat him. Anastasius cried out, “I have never stolen anything. My little Christ sent me the money.”

Hearing the commotion, the other merchant came and took the tobacco seller aside and explained the situation to him.

When he was still a young man, Anastasius made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. During the voyage, the ship was in danger of sinking in a storm. Anastasius looked at the raging sea, and then at the captain. He went and stood beside the captain and took the helm, praying for God to save them. Then he took off the cross his grandmother had given him (containing a piece of the Cross of Christ) and tied it to his belt. Leaning over the side, he dipped the cross into the water three times and commanded the sea, “Silence! Be still.” At once, the wind died down and the sea became calm.

Anastasius was saddened, however, because his cross had fallen into the sea and was lost. As the boat sailed on, sounds of knocking seemed to come from the hull below the water line. When the ship docked, the young man got off and started to walk away.

Suddenly, the captain began shouting, “Kephalas, Kephalas, come back here.” The captain had ordered some men into a small boat to examine the hull in order to discover the source of the knocking, and they discovered the cross stuck to the hull. Anastasius was elated to receive his “Treasure,” and always wore it from that time forward. There is a photograph taken many years later, showing the saint in his monastic skufia. The cross is clearly visible in the photo.

On November 7, 1875, Anastasius received monastic tonsure at the Nea Moni Monastery on Chios, and the new name Lazarus. Two years later, he was ordained a deacon. On that occasion, his name was changed to Nektarius.

Later, when he was a priest, Father Nektarius left Chios and went to Egypt. There he was elected Metropolitan of Pentapolis. Some of his colleagues became jealous of him because of his great virtues, because of his inspiring sermons, and because of everything else which distinguished Saint Nektarius from them.

Other Metropolitans and bishops of the Patriarchate of Alexandria became filled with malice toward the saint, so they told Patriarch Sophronius that Nektarius was plotting to become patriarch himself. They told the patriarch that the Metropolitan of Pentapolis merely made an outward show of piety in order to win favor with the people. So the patriarch and his synod removed Saint Nektarius from his See. Patriarch Sophronius wrote an ambiguous letter of suspension which provoked scandal and speculation about the true reasons for the saint’s removal from his position.

Saint Nektarius was not deposed from his rank, however. He was still allowed to function as a bishop. If anyone invited him to perform a wedding or a baptism he could do so, as long as he obtained permission from the local bishop.

Saint Nektarius bore his trials with great patience, but those who loved him began to demand to know why he had been removed. Seeing that this was causing a disturbance in the Church of Alexandria, he decided to go to Greece. He arrived in Athens to find that false rumors about him had already reached that city. His letter of suspension said only that he had been removed “for reasons known to the Patriarchate,” and so all the slanders about him were believed.

Since the state and ecclesiastical authorities would not give him a position, the former Metropolitan was left with no means of support, and no place to live. Every day he went to the Minister of Religion asking for assistance. They soon tired of him and began to mistreat him.

One day, as he was leaving the Minister’s office, Saint Nektarius met a friend whom he had known in Egypt. Surprised to find the beloved bishop in such a condition, the man spoke to the Minister of Religion and Education and asked that something be found for him. So, Saint Nektarius was appointed to be a humble preacher in the diocese of Vitineia and Euboea. The saint did not regard this as humiliating for him, even though a simple monk could have filled that position. He went to Euboea to preach in the churches, eagerly embracing his duties.

Yet even here, the rumors of scandal followed him. Sometimes, while he was preaching, people began to laugh and whisper. Therefore, the blameless one resigned his position and returned to Athens. By then some people had begun to realize that the rumors were untrue, because they saw nothing in his life or conversation to suggest that he was guilty of anything. With their help and influence, Saint Nectarius was appointed Director of the Rizarios Seminary in Athens on March 8, 1894. He was to remain in that position until December of 1908.

The saint celebrated the services in the seminary church, taught the students, and wrote several edifying and useful books. Since he was a quiet man, Saint Nektarius did not care for the noise and bustle of Athens. He wanted to retire somewhere where he could pray. On the island of Aegina he found an abandoned monastery dedicated to the Holy Trinity, which he began to repair with his own hands.

He gathered a community of nuns, appointing the blind nun Xenia as abbess, while he himself served as Father Confessor. Since he had a gift for spiritual direction, many people came to Aegina to confess to him. Eventually, the community grew to thirty nuns. He used to tell them, “I am building a lighthouse for you, and God shall put a light in it that will shine forth to the world. Many will see this light and come to Aegina.” They did not understand what he was telling them, that he himself would be that beacon, and that people would come there to venerate his holy relics.

On September 20, 1920 the nun Euphemia brought an old man in black robes, who was obviously in pain, to the Aretaieion Hospital in Athens. This was a state hospital for the poor. The intern asked the nun for information about the patient.

“Is he a monk?” he asked.

“No, he is a bishop.”

The intern laughed and said, “Stop joking and tell me his name, Mother, so that I can enter it in the register.”

“He is indeed a bishop, my child. He is the Most Reverend Metropolitan of Pentapolis.”

The intern muttered, “For the first time in my life I see a bishop without a panagia or cross, and more significantly, without money.”

Then the nun showed the saint’s credentials to the astonished intern who then admitted him. For two months Saint Nektarius suffered from a disease of the bladder. At ten thirty on the evening of November 8, 1920, he surrendered his holy soul to God. He died in peace at the age of seventy-four.

In the bed next to Saint Nektarius was a man who was paralyzed. As soon as the saint had breathed his last, the nurse and the nun who sat with him began to dress him in clean clothing to prepare him for burial at Aegina. They removed his sweater and placed it on the paralyzed man’s bed. Immediately, the paralytic got up from his bed, glorifying God.

Saint Nektarius was buried at the Holy Trinity Monastery on Aegina. Several years later, his grave was opened to remove his bones (as is the custom in Greece). His body was found whole and incorrupt, as if he had been buried that very day.

Word was sent to the Archbishop of Athens, who came to see the relics for himself. Archbishop Chrysostomos told the nuns to leave them out in the sun for a few days, then to rebury them so that they would decay. A month or two after this, they opened the grave again and found the saint incorrupt. Then the relics were placed in a marble sarcophagus.

Several years later, the holy relics dissolved, leaving only the bones. The saint’s head was placed in a bishop’s mitre, and the top was opened to allow people to kiss his head.

Saint Nektarius was glorified by God, since his whole life was a continuous doxology to the Lord. Both during his life and after his death, Saint Nektarius has performed thousands of miracles, especially for those suffering from cancer. There are more churches dedicated to Saint Nektarius than to any other modern Orthodox saint.


Անմահ ջուրը – Սբ. Աթանաս Աթոսացու (+1000) – St Athanasius the Athonite ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Armenian





Սբ. Աթանաս Աթոսացու (+1000)

(St Athanasius the Athonite)


Անմահ ջուրը



Մեծ Լավրացի մի տարեց ծեր հիվանդ էր ու մահճակալին գամված: Երկար ժամանակ տևեց նրա հիվանդությունը և սպասում էին, որ կննջի:

Մի օր իր հնազանդ վանականին պատվիրում է իրեն Սբ. Աթանաս Աթոսացու այազմայից` օրհնված աղբյուրից ջուր բերել: Վանականը վերցնում է ջրի տարան, սակայն ծուլանում է գնալ մինչև այազմա և մի մոտակա աղբյուրից է ջուր լցնում: Սպասում է ժամանակ անցնի, որպեսզի ծերը չհասկանա, թե չի գնացել այազմա: Եվ այսպիսով, ջուրն իր հիվանդ ծերին է տանում: Ծերն այն ընդունում է հավատքով՝ որպես այազմա. խաչակնքվում է, խմում և տարօրինակ կերպով առողջանում: Այդ պահին վանականի խիղճն իրեն տանջում է ու իր մեղքը խոստովանում: Այդ պահից այդ աղբյուրի ջուրն «անմահ» են կոչում:

Հունարենից թարգմանությունը՝ հայր Հերոնիմոս Մայիլյանի:

Աղբյուր. Από την ασκητική και ησυχαστική αγιορείτηκη παραδοση, εκδ. Ιερόν Ησυχαστήριον <Άγιος Ιωάννης Πρόδρομος>, Άγιον Όρος 2011.


PDF Books & Quotes of Saint Paisios of Mount Athos, Greece (+1994) in 13 Languages





St Paisios of Mount Athos, Greece (+1994)

July 12


PDF Books & Quotes

of Saint Paisios of Mount Athos, Greece (+1994)

in 13 Languages


English Books:

Albanian Books:

Arabic Books:

Bulgarian Books:

French Books:

German Books:

Greek Books:

Spanish Books:

Italian Books:

Persian Books:

Russian Books:

Serbian Books:

Turkish Books:


Saint Paisios of Mount Athos in Greece (+1994) & the young George the Tibetan Buddhist monk





Saint Paisios of Mount Athos, Greece (+1994)

July 2


Saint Paisios of Mount Athos in Greece (+1994)

& the young George the Tibetan Buddhist monk



George, a young man of sixteen or seventeen, came to Mount Athos in Greece to go from one monastery to another. Though Greek by blood, he had been raised abroad from early childhood among Tibetan Buddhist monks in their monastery. He had made a great deal of progress in meditation, and he had become an accomplished sorcerer, able to summon any demon he wanted. He was also an expert in the martial arts. Using the power of Satan, he made impressive displays of his abilities: he broke hazelnuts in his palm, and tossed away the shells while the nuts remained attached to his hand. He could read closed books. He struck large rocks with his bare hand, and they shattered like walnuts.

Some monks brought George to Saint Paisios so that he could help him. George asked Saint Paisios what powers he had, what he could do, and the St Paisios answered that he himself didn’t have any power, and that all power is from God.

George, wanting to demonstrate his power, concentrated his gaze on a large rock in the distance, and it shattered. Saint Paisios took a small rock and made the sign of the Cross over it, and told him to destroy it too. He concentrated and performed his magic, but he couldn’t shatter it. Then he started trembling, and the satanic powers―which he thought he controlled―since they weren’t able to break the rock, turned against him and hurled him to the opposite bank of the river. Saint Paisios picked him up in a miserable condition.

“Another time,” recounted St Paisios, “while we were talking, he suddenly stood up, grabbed me by the arms and spun me around backward. ‘Let’s see Hadjiefendis get you lose, if he can,’ he said. I felt it was like blasphemy to say that. I moved my hands a little, like this, and he was jerked away. He jumped up in the air and tried to kick me, but his foot stopped near my face, like it had hit an invisible wall! God protected me.

“At night, I kept him there, and he slept in my cell. The demons dragged him down into the pit and thrashed him for failing. In the morning he was in a bad state, injured and covered in thorns and dirt. He confessed, ‘Satan beat me up because I couldn’t defeat you.’”

St Paisios convinced George to bring him his magical texts, and he burned them. “When he came here”, St Paisios recalled, “he had some sort of charm or amulet with him. I went to take it, but he wouldn’t give it to me. I took a candle and said, “Lift the leg of your pants up a little.” Then I put the lit candle against his leg―he yelled and jumped up. “Well,” I said, “if the flame from a little candle is for you, how are you going to endure the fire of hell that you’re going to end up in because of what you’re doing?”

St Paisios kept the young man close to him for a little while and helped him, so long as he was willing to be obedient. He felt such compassion for him that he said, “I would leave the desert and go out into the world to help this boy.” He made an effort to learn if he had been baptized and even found out the name of the church where his baptism had taken place. Shaken by the power and the grace of the Elder, George wanted to become a monk, but he wasn’t able to.

Saint Paisios would refer to George’s case to show what a delusion it is to think that all religions are the same, that everyone believes in the same God, and that there’s no difference between Tibetan Buddhist and Orthodox monks.

From the Book:

Elder Paisios of Mount Athos

©2012 For the English Language by The Holy Monastery Saint Arsenios the Cappadocian