Thursday, September 9, 2021

A Letter from the Archbishop of Cyprus to All the Youth and Students of Cyprus


With an encyclical that will be read during the first days of classes in the schools of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus urges young people to take advantage of the opportunity given to them during their school years, in order to reap the greatest possible benefit from what will be taught, but also to complete themselves as personalities within the society, which will welcome them upon the completion of their studies. Though not everything here will apply to a general audience, it certainly forms a good foundation and model upon which pastoral advice for the youth at the beginning of the school year could be based on anywhere in these times.

Monday, August 9, 2021

How Saint Nikanor the Wonderworker Became the Protector and Guardian of the Children of Kastoria


In the year 1908, Kastoria suffered from a severe smallpox epidemic, resulting in the death of many young children.

At that time, a request was sent from the city to the Monastery of Zavorda, that the relics of Saint Nikanor (+ August 7, 1549) be sent to Kastoria. The fathers granted the request. They sent the relics accompanied by the brother of the Monastery, then the young Deacon Nikephoros (Papasideris), who came from Dispilio, and later became Metropolitan of Kastoria. As soon as the relics reached the city, the deadly epidemic immediately stopped and, in the expression of the then Kastorians, "the disease was cut with a knife". 

Since then, Saint Nikanor the Wonderworker is the protector and guardian of the children of Kastoria.


Monday, May 10, 2021

Youthful Judgmentalism and "Woke" Culture

Christopher Columbus statue in Newport, RI

“Extraordinary creatures you young people are, altogether. The past you hate, the present you despise, and the future is a matter of indifference. How do you suppose that can lead to any good end?” 

Erich Maria Remarque, Three Comrades (1938)
 
Yesterday I decided to go for a drive and catch up on some podcasts I've fallen behind on. It was a fairly nice day so I ended up driving through Newport, Rhode Island. As I came I was stopped at a traffic light I noticed a statue of man immediately to my left that I had never noticed before. From the side he appeared as a man from the Renaissance period, holding a globe in his right hand and at the base of the statue I could make out the word "Pinta". Immediately I realized it was Christopher Columbus. And as soon as I realized it was Columbus, I wondered how this statue has managed to survive "cancel culture", so I looked it up online, and predictably I read how in 2020 the mayor proposed for it to be replaced by "another Italian", since it was put up by the Italian community in the 1950's.
 

Friday, April 23, 2021

A Model Sermon for Children Attending a Presanctified Liturgy


 By Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Mani

First of all, I want to congratulate you for coming to church today and standing quietly, with reverence, here in the house of God.

I will tell you a few words about the Presanctified Divine Liturgy - this special Liturgy - which is performed only during this period of Great Lent.

The wise Fathers of the Church have instituted the Presanctified Divine Liturgy because at this time we cannot perform the normal, the glorious, the perfect, as we say, Divine Liturgy, and this is because this period is one of mourning, it is a period of fasting, of greater self-control and prayer, it is a period of greater spiritual struggles.

Friday, April 16, 2021

The Response of Saint Amphilochios Makris to a Request for Spiritual Advice from a Sixteen Year Old Girl


My child, the advice I give you will be a beacon throughout your life. These paternal words will guide you and bring you like a hurricane and auspicious wind near the eternal and happy port of your adoring love. Let your soul sail quietly on the calm waters so that it can reach its end. But to be able to reach this end of happiness, you need a lot of struggle and wrestling against the passions.
 
It is a struggle throughout this life of bitter exile, because in this life we are strangers and wandering sojourners, asking for refuge everywhere. We will find refuge and perfect rest only near our eternal homeland and there we will live in real security. There we will enjoy the unfading and all-white crown of our efforts.

Monday, March 29, 2021

My Mother Forced Me to Go to Confession


The priest was waiting for the next person to confess. He saw a young boy, about fifteen, walking in hesitantly. He welcomed him and motioned for him to sit in the chair opposite him.

The Crucified One on the small table with the small oil lamp looked at them affectionately and protectively. The atmosphere smelled of incense from the vespers that had just preceded.

The young boy with his head down did not speak. The priest also waited, offering a short prayer, as he did for all the faithful who found the courage to come to the mystery of repentance.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

The Parable of the Prodigal Son: An Instructive Lesson for Youth (St. John Maximovitch)

 

By St. John Maximovitch

"And the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the portion of goods that fall to me'" (Luke 15:11-32).

The Parable of the Prodigal Son is a most instructive lesson for youth. We see in the prodigal son the true character of flighty youth: light-minded, thoughtless, thirsting for independence; in short, everything that usually distinguishes the majority of youths.

The younger son grew up in his parents’ house. On reaching adolescence, he already began to imagine that life at home was too restrictive. It seemed unpleasant to him to live under his father’s rule and his mother’s watchful eye.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Orthodox Christian Youth and Suicide (St. Ephraim of Katounakia)

 
By Professor George Kroustalakis

Question: Elder, I would like you to tell us a little bit about the suicide, which you mentioned earlier, of young people in particular, which is often seen nowadays. We see that some young people, when faced with certain difficulties in life, usually "failures", are led to despair and eventually, without even struggling, sometimes end their lives violently.

Answer: These young people are distant from the Church. The Patriarch Abraham went a hundred years until Isaac was born. And Sarah was ninety. He never despaired! No.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Short Film: "Strange Mystery" (2020)

 

To commemorate the 100th anniversary since the death of Saint Nektarios (1920-2020), a short film about the childhood years and struggles of Saint Nektarios was made by Alexandros Fotopoulos and Stelios Fetanis, titled "A Strange Mystery", which was shown virtually to all the Middle School and High School students of Crete on December 23, 2020, as a Christmas story. The film is in Greek, but should not be missed, so I have written out the story below presented in the film in order to understand what you are seeing as you watch it.
 
Before he became known as Saint Nektarios, he was born and baptized with the name Anastasios Kephalas. He was one of the six children of Demmosthenis and Vasiliki, and was born on October 1st, 1846, in Eastern Selybria of Thrace. His parents were very poor but pious Christians who brought up their children according to the teachings of our Church. His grandmother also played a major role in inspiring him to live a life consistent with his Christian beliefs.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Interview With a Popular Orthodox Christian Metropolitan About the Challenges of his Childhood

 

Interview with Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol in Cyprus

By Elita Michailidou

On February 19, 2020

Interviewer: Does Metropolitan Athanasios have a worldly name? Did he have a worldly name?

Metropolitan Athanasios: Of course, I didn't fall from heaven!

I: What is your name?

MA: Andrew

I: When were you born?

MA: February 8, 1959