Saint Amphilochios lived in the fourth century. He was from Cappadocia and a friend of Basil the Great, which is evidenced by the letters of Basil the Great to him on the occasion of various events. Among the most important letters of Basil the Great to Saint Amphilochios is that which he sent on the occasion of the consecration of the latter as Bishop of Iconium. When one reads the letters of Basil the Great to Saint Amphilochios the greatness of the personality of Saint Amphilochios can be perceived, his struggle to combat heresy and preserve the Orthodox Faith, his respect and love for Basil the Great, as well as the great love Basil the Great had for him.
Like everybody else, people who are religious, who are in touch with the sacramental life of the Church, want continuous improvements in their lives. So they devote themselves to bettering their standard of living and to acquiring material goods for themselves and their nearest and dearest. Most of them, though, don’t want to forget God, and continue to observe the Gospel commandments. But a danger lurks here: people might start thinking that the wealth they have accumulated is a sign of God’s favour towards them. That’s what they thought in the time of the Old Testament.
All too often the “remembrance of the righteous which is accompanied by encomia” is an opportunity to censure the person praising if he falls short of expressing the worth of the person being praised- because the address is not always, nor in all circumstances, equivalent to reality. But how can I speak of the Mistress of all the righteous, the Mother of God Who is the King of Righteousness, or touch very lightly on even a part of her real worth, since it is my intention to praise her memory?
Saint Gennadius lived in the fifth century. He was a Presbyter of the Great Church of Christ and was elected Patriarch of Constantinople-New Rome in 458. He worked zealously to preserve the Orthodox Faith from heresies that threatened to alter it, and he even managed the return of many heretics back to Orthodoxy. Also, due to his office, he helped Patriarch Martyrius, who was evicted improperly and illegally by Peter the Fuller, to regain his throne.
The endeavours and teaching of Saint Gregory Palamas were directed at ensuring that people could enjoy the possibility of participating in God, at demonstrating that God is not merely completely transcendental and beyond involvement but is also here with us in the world and welcomes our involvement with Him. Gregory correctly saw, in Varlaam’s views, the renewal of the theological heresies of the 4th century, those of Evnomios, Areios, and Makedonios, who, by accepting the Son and Holy Spirit as creations, deprived people of the chance of glorification [deification].
On Wednesday, November 13, 2013, His All-Holiness celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal Church of St. George in commemoration and celebration of his saintly predecessor on the Archdiocesan Throne of Constantinople. In accordance with tradition, the relics and icon of St. John Chrysostom were placed before the patriarchal throne to symbolize the saint presiding over the service. The sacred relics of St. John were returned to the Phanar from Rome in 2004.
Message by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch to the 19th Session of the Conference of the Parties (Cop 19)
This week – even as the world mourns the tragic loss of life in the unprecedented Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippine Islands – political leaders have converged on Warsaw, Poland, in yet another anticipated meeting on climate change. Concerned citizens throughout the world are hoping and praying for prompt and practical results. The conference follows on the heels of an important report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which warns of the urgency of immediately addressing the alarming escalation of climate change in order to avoid catastrophic consequences.
The Greek word for fasting, “νηστεία”, is complex. It consists of the particle “νη”, which indicates deprivation, and the verb “εσθίω”, which means “eating”. So the Greek word for fasting means total abstinence from all food. Today, however, fasting means abstaining from certain foods. This led to the creation of two words: νηστήσιμος (pro-fasting) and αρτύσιμος (non-fasting). That is, there are foods we can eat during a fast which are called νηστήσιμες, and there are foods we can’t eat which are called αρτύσιμες.
On the Nativity Fast.
Today we enter into the period often called Advent. This is the period set aside for us to prepare for the coming of Christ. Our way of preparing for the significant events in the life of Christ is to fast. The Advent, or Nativity fast, is seen as a lighter fast than Great Lent, but especially today it is a most important one. Why? Because of the craziness of the period that precedes Christmas. It is filled with secular images and activities so that too often we lose the notion that we are dong all this to prepare for the Nativity of our Lord and God and Savior is lost.