Category Archives: AMERICA

Video: Blessing the ground for St Katherine Orthodox Chapel in Vermont, USA

http://heavenonearthorthodoxy.wordpress.com

HEAVEN ON EARTH – ORTHODOXY

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Blessing the ground for

St Katherine Orthodox Chapel in Vermont, USA

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Video – From Glory to Glory: The Journey of Fr. Anthony Salzman, GA, USA

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http://orthodox-heart-sites.blogspot.com

ORTHODOX HEART SITES

USA OF MY HEART

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From Glory to Glory:

The Journey of Fr. Anthony Salzman, GA, USA

Link: Vashon Monks ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island, Washington, USA

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USA OF MY HEART

LINKS JOURNEY

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https://vashonmonks.com

Vashon Monks

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All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island, 

Washington, USA

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9933 SW 268th St, Vashon, WA 98070, USA

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Video: Orthodox in Dixie – Eastern Orthodox Church in South Carolina, USA

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AMERICA OF MY HEART

USA OF MY HEART

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Orthodox in Dixie

Eastern Orthodox Church in South Carolina, USA

Robert Arakaki, Hawaii, USA: From Unchurched Hawaiian to Local Orthodox

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http://hawaiiofmyheart.wordpress.com

USA OF MY HEART

NATIVE AMERICANS OF MY HEART

HAWAII OF MY HEART

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Robert Arakaki, Hawaii, USA:

From Unchurched Hawaiian to Local Orthodox

http://journeytoorthodoxy.comHERE

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

I grew up unchurched. I became a Christian in high school through reading the Living Bible. I was active in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at the University of Hawaii. My home church was Kalihi Union Church (KUC), a fine evangelical congregation that was part of the United Church of Christ (UCC).

I was deeply troubled by the UCC’s liberal theology and wanted to help it return to its biblical roots. This led me to study at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary for the Continue reading Robert Arakaki, Hawaii, USA: From Unchurched Hawaiian to Local Orthodox

Confession: The Healing Sacrament – By Jim Forest, USA & the Netherlands

http://holyconfessionofyourheart.wordpress.com

HOLY CONFESSION OF YOUR HEART

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Confession: The Healing Sacrament

by

Jim Forest, USA & the Netherlands

Source:

http://www.antiochian.org

http://www.antiochian.org/content/confession-healing-sacrament

A young monk said to the great ascetic Abba Sisoes: “Abba, what should I do? I fell.” The elder answered: “Get up!” The monk said: “I got up and I fell again!” The elder replied: “Get up again!” But the young monk asked: “For how long should I get up when I fall?” “Until your death,” answered Abba Sisoes. —Sayings of the Desert Fathers

“When I went to my first confession,” a friend told me, “tears took the place of the sins I meant to utter. The priest simply told me that it wasn’t necessary to enumerate everything and that it was just vanity to suppose that our personal sins are worse than Continue reading Confession: The Healing Sacrament – By Jim Forest, USA & the Netherlands

About Yoga – Journey to Orthodoxy

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WHAT ABOUT YOGA?

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http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/?s=yoga

About Yoga

Journey to Orthodoxy

Fr. Philip Silouan Thompson, USA: Moving East – From Roman Catholicism & Protestantism to Orthodoxy

http://usaofmyheart.wordpress.com

http://romancatholicsmetorthodoxy.wordpress.com

ROMAN CATHOLICS MET ORTHODOXY

USA OF MY HEART

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Walla Walla, Washington, USA

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Moving East

by Philip Silouan Thompson

Sources:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.comHERE

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Fr. Phil Thompson is the author of the Silouan blog, an excellent site for information. He is also a well known iconographer in North American Orthodoxy, and this, his story, was taken from his own website http://silouanthompson.net

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Awe came upon every soul, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common… Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:42-47)

When I became a Christian in 1980, I was living with a Roman Catholic family and Continue reading Fr. Philip Silouan Thompson, USA: Moving East – From Roman Catholicism & Protestantism to Orthodoxy

Holy Confession: Confidentiality

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AMERICA OF MY HEART

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Holy Confession: Confidentiality

 

From “Guidelines for Clergy” (Orthodox Church in America):

“The secrecy of the Mystery of Penance is considered an unquestionable rule in the entire Orthodox Church. Theologically, the need to maintain the secrecy of confession comes from the fact that the priest is only a witness before God. One could not expect a sincere and complete confession if the penitent has doubts regarding the practice of confidentiality. Betrayal of the secrecy of confession will lead to canonical punishment of the priest.

St. Nicodemus the Hagiorite exhorts the Spiritual Father to keep confessions confidential, even under strong constraining influence. The author of the Pedalion (the Rudder), states that a priest who betrays the secrecy of confession is to be deposed. The Metropolitan of Kos, Emanuel, mentions in his handbook (Exomologeteke) for confessors that the secrecy of confession is a principle without exception.”

In St. Nicodemus the Hagiorite’s Exomologitarion, he writes:

“Nothing else remains after confession, Spiritual Father, except to keep the sins you hear a secret, and to never reveal them, either by word, or by letter, or by a bodily gesture, or by any other sign, even if you are in danger of death, for that which the wise Sirach says applies to you: “Have you heard a word? Let it die with you” (Sir. 19:8); meaning, if you heard a secret word, let the word also die along with you, and do not tell it to either a friend of yours or an enemy of yours, for as long as you live. And further still, that which the Prophet Micah says: “Trust not in friends… beware of thy wife, so as not to commit anything to her” (Mic. 7:5).

For if you reveal them, firstly, you will be suspended or daresay deposed completely by the Ecclesiastical Canons, and according to political laws you will be thrown in jail for the rest of your life and have your tongue cut out. Secondly, you become a reason for more Christians not to confess, being afraid that you will reveal their sins, just as it happened during the time of Nektarios of Constantinople when the Christians did not want to confess on account of a Spiritual Father who revealed the sin of a woman. The divine Chrysostom both witnessed these things and suffered because of them on account of his trying to convince the people to confess. It is impossible for me to describe in words how much punishment this brings upon you, who are the cause of these things.”

St. John of the Ladder writes:

“At no time do we find God revealing the sins which have been confessed to Him, lest by making these public knowledge, He should impede those who would confess and so make them incurably sick.”

The Byzantine Nomocanon states, in Canon 120:

“”A spiritual father, if he reveals to anyone a sin of one who had confessed receives a penance: he shall be suspended [from serving] for three years, being able to receive Communion only once a month, and must do 100 prostrations every day.”

Source:

ORTHODOX WIKI

 

JIM & NANCY FOREST: BECOMING ORTHODOX – FROM USA TO NETHERLANDS, FROM PROTESTANTISM TO ORTHODOXY

http://usaofmyheart.wordpress.com

USA OF MY HEART

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Alkmaar, Netherlands

 

 

Becoming Orthodox

by Jim Forest

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Jim & Nancy Forest

Alkmaar, North Holland, Netherlands

Jim is an American living in Holland since 1977

From USA to Netherlands

From Protestantism to Orthodoxy

Source:

https://jimandnancyforest.com

https://jimandnancyforest.com/2012/01/becoming-orthodox/

JIM & NANCY FOREST

I am sometimes asked how the son of atheist parents ended up not only a Christian but a member of the Orthodox Church.

In fact it wasn’t so big a leap as it sounds. For starters my parents weren’t people for whom atheism was a religion unto itself. Their atheism seemed to mainly to do with being on the Left. Their real interest was in the down-and-out — people who were being treated like beasts, underpaid or jobless, trapped in slums, without health care, etc. When I was Continue reading JIM & NANCY FOREST: BECOMING ORTHODOX – FROM USA TO NETHERLANDS, FROM PROTESTANTISM TO ORTHODOXY

LINK: ORTHODOX CITY HERMIT

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http://irelandandbritishisles.wordpress.com

http://greatbritainofmyheart.wordpress.com

http://rejoicecelticsaints.wordpress.com

http://smileofireland.bloogspot.com

IRELAND OF MY HEART

IRELAND & BRITISH ISLES

GREAT BRITAIN OF MY HEART

REJOICE CELTIC SAINTS

SMILE OF IRELAND

PAINTING LEAVES

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http://orthodoxcityhermit.com

Orthodox City Hermit

Christian Insights on Culture, Art, Literature

MY NEW SITE: RIVERSIDE OF MY HEART – CALIFORNIA, USA

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http://riversideofmyheart.wordpress.com

Riverside of my heart

California, USA

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FACEBOOK: NATIVE AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP (NAOCF)

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http://americaofmyheart.wordpress.com

http://nativeamericansmetorthodoxy.wordpress.com

http://latinamericaofmyheart.wordpress.com

http://usaofmyheart.wordpress.com

LINKS JOURNEY

AMERICA OF MY HEART

NATIVE AMERICANS MET ORTHODOXY

LATIN AMERICA OF MY HEART

USA OF MY HEART

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https://www.facebook.com/pages/Native-American-Orthodox-Christian-Fellowship-NAOCF/160917590660985

Native American Orthodox Christian Fellowship (NAOCF)

Facebook

LINK: SAINT HERMAN OF ALASKA MONASTERY IN PLATINA, CALIFORNIA – 2 VIDEOS CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY 36 ON A MOTORCYCLE

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Welcome to the Saint Herman Monastery, Platina, California

Saint Herman of Alaska Monastery in Platina, California

10 Beegum Gorge Rd, Platina, CA 96076, USA

Red Bluff, CA, to St Herman’s Monastery in Platina, CA

California Highway 36

Hydesville, CA, to St Herman Monastery in Platina

California Highway 36

HERE – Red Bluff

HERE – Platina

HERE – Platina

California Highway 36 on a motorcycle

California Highway 36 on a motorcycle

Pilgrimage to St Herman of Alaska Monastery in Platina, California, USA

ALASKA – FROM BBC SERIES “STEPHEN FRY IN AMERICA” – STEPHEN FRY ENCOUNTERS THE ORTHODOX CHURCH IN ALASKA, USA – VIDEO

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http://alaskaofmyheart.wordpress.com

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USA OF MY HEART

ALASKA OF MY HEART

LINKS JOURNEY

Canoe Wonder Lake
Alaska, USA

Alaska – From BBC Series “Stephen Fry in America”

Stephen Fry encounters the Orthodox Church in Alaska

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ON SECULARISM – ST PAISIOS THE ATHONITE, GREECE (+1994) – VIDEO PART 1-2 ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Weekly Homily & Discussion in Toronto, Canada – Toronto Time Lapse Video

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AMERICA OF MY HEART

AUSTRALIA & ST PAISIOS OF MY HEART

LINKS JOURNEY

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Toronto, Canada

St. Paisios the Athonite – On Secularism

Part 1-2

Weekly Homily & Discussion in Toronto, Canada

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St Paisios of Mount Athos, Greece (+1994)

Weekly Homily and Discussion on the recently canonized Saint Paisios of Mount Athos concerning secularism.

Took place on January 14th, 2015 at Apostle Paul Orthodox Christian Bookstore in Toronto, Canada

Tiny Toronto (Time Lapse – Tilt Shift – 4k)

VIDEO – HOW TO TIE AN ORTHODOX PRAYER ROPE

https://orthodoxyislove.wordpress.com

ORTHODOXY IS LOVE

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How To Tie an Orthodox Prayer Rope

Preferably use 100% woolen yarn for knitting needles number 9.

For practice until you learn it properly, use a thick twine to solve easily in every mistake.

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DE QUÉ MANERA PODEMOS NOSOTROS HONRAR A NUESTROS DIFUNTOS CERCANOS – SAN JUAN MAXIMOVITCH, EE.UU (+1966) – Spanish

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http://stjohnmaximovits.wordpress.com

http://usaofmyheart.wordpress.com

AMERICA OF MY HEART

LATIN AMERICA OF MY HEART

SAINT JOHN MAXIMOVITCH

USA OF MY HEART

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San Juan Maximovitch, +1966

California

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San Juan Maximovitch
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San Juan Maximovitch

De qué manera podemos nosotros honrar a nuestros difuntos cercanos

San Juan Maximovich, EE.UU, +1966

Fuente:

http://catecismoortodoxo.blogspot.gr – Aquí

CATECISMO ORTODOXO

Vemos a menudo la tendencia que tienen los familiares de la persona fallecida, al incurrir en erogaciones para que el sepulcro y el sepelio sean lo más lujosos posible. Por lo general, el mayor gasto se efectúa en la realización de suntuosas lápidas.

Mucho dinero desembolsan los familiares y los amigos en plantas y flores, que además deben retirarse del ataúd antes de cerrarlo, para que ello no intensifique la descomposición del cuerpo.

Algunos quieren a través de la litografía manifestar su respeto al difunto y la condolencia a sus familiares. Este Continue reading DE QUÉ MANERA PODEMOS NOSOTROS HONRAR A NUESTROS DIFUNTOS CERCANOS – SAN JUAN MAXIMOVITCH, EE.UU (+1966) – Spanish

KELLY FAMILY – SANTA MARIA (ENGLISH & SPANISH) – VIDEO

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http://smileofireland.wordpress.com

HEART MUSIC HEART

IRELAND OF MY HEART

SMILE OF IRELAND

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Kelly Family – Santa Maria

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English & Spanish

THE 2 NEW SAINTS OF EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA: SAINT SEBASTIAN DABOVIC OF SAN FRANCISCO & JACKSON, CALIFORNIA, USA (+1940) & SAINT MARDARIJE USKOKOVIC 1ST SERBIAN BISHOP OF USA & CANADA (+1935) – THE GLORIFICATION OF TWO SAINTS WAS TAKE PLACE ON SEPTEMBER 5, 2015 – VIDEO OF JACKSON, CA, USA

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USA OF MY HEART

CALIFORNIA OF MY HEART

AMERICA OF MY HEART

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Native Americans in Jackson, California
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Jackson, CA, USA
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Jackson, CA, USA

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Jackson, California, USA

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San Francisco, California, USA
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Canada

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Saint Sebastian Dabovitc of San Francisco & Jackson, California, USA &

Saint Mardarije Uskokovic 1st Serbian Bishop of USA & Canada

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The glorification of Hierarch Mardarije (Uskokovic) and Archimandrite Father Sevastian (Dabovic)

will take place on Saturday, September 5, 2015,

in the Western American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church

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Άγιος Μαρδάριος Ουσκόκοβιτς

Saint Mardarije Uskokovic 1st Serbian Bishop of USA & Canada

December 12, +1935

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St Sebastian Dabovitc of San Francisco & Jackson, CA, USA

Saint Sebastian Dabovitch of San Francisco & Jackson, California, USA

November 30, +1940
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Icon of Saint Sebastian of Jackson and San Francisco written by Father Stamatis of Athins, St. Steven's Serbian Orthodox Cathedral, Alhambra, California #SerbianOrthodoxChurch, #Veneration,#Relics,#PatriarchIrinej,#SaintStevensChurch, #WesternAmericanDiocese,#PatriarchIrinej #SaintSebastian,#SaintSebastianOfSanFranciscoAndJackson,#Serbs
St Sebastian Dabovitc of San Francisco & Jackson, CA, USA

St. Mardarije and PanagiaSebastian_Dabovich__74611.1435365619.319.400Veneration of the relics of St. Steven's Serbian Orthodox Cathedral, Alhambra, California #SerbianOrthodoxChurch, #Veneration,#Relics,#PatriarchIrinej,#SaintStevensChurch, #WesternAmericanDiocese,#PatriarchIrinej #SaintSebastian,#SaintSebastianOfSanFranciscoAndJackson,#Serbs

Holy Relics of St Sebastian Dabovitc of San Francisco & Jackson, CA, USA

Veneration of the relics of St. Steven's Serbian Orthodox Cathedral, Alhambra, California #SerbianOrthodoxChurch, #Veneration,#Relics,#PatriarchIrinej,#SaintStevensChurch, #WesternAmericanDiocese,#PatriarchIrinej #SaintSebastian,#SaintSebastianOfSanFranciscoAndJackson,#Serbs

WHAT IS THAT? – LOVE YOUR PARENTS – VIDEO

http://orthodoxsaintvalentine.wordpress.com

ORTHODOX SAINT VALENTINE

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What is that?

Love your parents

PILGRIMAGE TO ST HERMAN OF ALASKA MONASTERY IN PLATINA, CALIFORNIA, USA – VIDEO

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USA OF MY HEART

CALIFORNIA OF MY HEART

AMERICA OF MY HEART

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Pilgrimage to St Herman of Alaska Monastery in Platina, California, USA

In September of 2009 my family, along with a very close friend of ours made a pilgrimage to Saint Herman of Alaska Monastery in Platina, California. This was not our first trip up the mountain, but it was different then the past trips as Father John (Hieromonk) invited us to visit the Old Russian cathedral where Saint John Maximovitch first called home in San Francisco, Ca. We couldn’t find a place to stay the night that was within our budget so Father John put us up in the choir loft of the old cathedral. We were blessed more than we could really put into words on this trip. Glory to God for all things +++

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Facebook: St Herman of Alaska Monastery in Platina, California, USA

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LINK: ORTHODOX CANADA

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AMERICA OF MY HEART

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Orthodox Canada

A TYPICAL SAN FRANCISCO MORNING – VIDEO

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http://californiaofmyheart.wordpress.com

CALIFORNIA OF MY HEART

USA OF MY HEART

A_TYPICAL_SAN_FRANCISCO_MORNING

A Typical San Francisco Morning – USA

“GOD CAN CREATE BEAUTY FROM COMPLETE DESOLATION” – ST OLGA OF ALASKA, USA (+1979)

http://alaskaofmyheart.wordpress.com

http://creationtruthorthodoxy.wordpress.com

CREATION TRUTH ORTHODOXY

ALASKA OF MY HEART

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Alaska

olga

“God can create beauty from complete desolation”

Saint Olga of Alaska, USA, +1979

SPRUCE ISLAND, ALASKA, USA: A PILGRIMAGE TO THE ATHOS OF AMERICA… – PHOTOS

http://alaskaofmyheart.wordpress.com

ALASKA OF MY HEART

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Alaska

http://deathtotheworld.com/gallery/spruce-island/

Spruce Island, Alaska, USA

A pilgrimage to the Athos of America…

Photos

YOUNG PENITENT – A TRIBUTE TO FR. SERAPHIM ROSE, CALIFORNIA, USA – VIDEO

http://usaofmyheart.wordpress.com

http://californiaofmyheart.wordpress.com

http://americaofmyheart.wordpress.com

USA OF MY HEART

CALIFORNIA OF MY HEART

AMERICA OF MY HEART

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Seraphim Rose before became a monk

Fr. Seraphim Rose (1934-1982)

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Young Penitent – A Tribute to Fr. Seraphim Rose

California, USA

CHURCHES IN NORTH AMERICA – FIND THE PARISH NEAREST YOU

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USA & CANADA OF MY HEART

AMERICA OF MY HEART

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http://oca.org/directories/na-churches

Churches in North America – Find the parish nearest you

Canonical Orthodox jurisdictions represented in North America

Eastern Orthodox Church

GOD’S MAGNIFICENT CREATION ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* CREATION CALLS – BRIAN DOERKSEN, CANADA

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AMERICA OF MY HEART

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God’s Magnificent Creation

Creation Calls – Brian Doerksen

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Creation Calls

(Brian Doerksen)

I have felt the wind blow
Whispering Your name
I have seen Your tears fall
When I watch the rain

How could I say there is no God
When all around creation calls
A singing bird, a mighty tree
The vast expanse of open sea

Gazing at a bird in flight
Soaring through the air
Lying down beneath the stars
I feel Your presence there

I love to stand at ocean’s shore
And feel the thundering breakers roar
To walk through golden fields of grain
’Neath endless blue horizon’s frame

Listening to a river run
Watering the earth
Fragrance of a rose in bloom
A newborn’s cry at birth

I believe, I believe
I believe

THESE TRUTHS WE HOLD – THE HOLY ORTHODOX CHURCH: HER LIFE AND TEACHINGS – BY ST TIKHON’S MONASTERY & PRESS, PENNSYLVANIA, USA – VIDEO POCONO LAKE, PA, USA

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AMERICA OF MY HEART

USA OF MY HEART

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Pocono Lake, Pennsylvania, USA

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These Truths We Hold

The Holy Orthodox Church: Her Life and Teachings

Source:

http://orthodoxyinamerica.org

http://orthodoxyinamerica.org/about_orthodoxy.html

ORTHODOXY IN AMERICA

The following articles on Orthodoxy are from the book, These Truths We Hold – The Holy Orthodox Church: Her Life and Teachings, published by and available from Saint Tikhon’s Seminary Press:

LINK: ORTHODOXY IN AMERICA

http://usaofmyheart.wordpress.com

http://americaofmyheart.wordpress.com

AMERICA OF MY HEART

USA OF MY HEART

de28d496-79cf-4f05-811b-118133991aefhttp://orthodoxyinamerica.org

Orthodoxy in America

PHOTOS WITH BEAUTIFUL HORSES…!

http://paintingleaves.blogspot.com

PAINTING LEAVES

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Photos with beautiful horses

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ARISTÓTELES Y EL PADRE SIMEÓN DE LA JARA DE PERÚ – MARIO VARGAS LLOSA – Spanish

http://hippiesmetorthodoxy.wordpress.com

http://romancatholicsmetorthodoxy.wordpress.com

http://latinamericaofmyheart.wordpress.com

HIPPIES MET ORTHODOXY

ROMAN CATHOLICS MET ORTHODOXY

LATIN AMERICA OF MY HEART

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Padre Simeón de la Jara

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Aristóteles y el Padre Simeón de la Jara de Perú

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AMERICA OF MY HEART

La aldea de Ouranoupolis, en el norte de Grecia, está cerca de las ruinas de Stagira, donde nació Aristóteles y, además, es el puerto obligado para quienes peregrinan al vecino Monte Athos, centro espiritual de la Ortodoxia. El hotel donde me alojo lleva el nombre del filósofo que fue preceptor de Alejandro y el encuentro al que asisto se titula: «La tragedia, entonces y ahora: de Aristóteles al tercer milenio». Nada más bajar del autobús que me trajo desde Salónica, zangoloteando entre olivares, cipreses y enjambres de turistas alemanes, me presentan al pope que me había propuesto conocer aunque fuera filtrándome de contrabando en la montaña sagrada de las iglesias orientales: el Padre Simeón.

Mario Vargas Llosa

Me habló de él hace un par de noches, en Atenas, mi amigo Stavros, mientras cenábamos en una terraza impregnada de aromas, bajo un cielo lleno de estrellas parpadeantes: «Si vas al Monte Athos, tienes que conocerlo. Es un monje-sacerdote, ermitaño, pintor, poeta, místico, reverenciado en toda Grecia, una de las figuras más destacadas de la Iglesia Ortodoxa. Y, cáete de espaldas, el Padre Simeón no es griego sino peruano». Desde entonces, este compatriota no se ha apartado de mi mente ni un solo momento. Y aquí me lo encuentro, entre los congresistas, invitado para hablar de la Poética de Aristóteles, la tradición mística y su propia poesía.

Es un hombre de cincuenta y dos años, de luengas barbas y plateada cabellera, ojos claros y largas manos que mueve al hablar con la misma elegancia con que lleva el imponente hábito que, a su paso, concentra todas las miradas. Es verdad: todos los griegos presentes lo rodean, lo siguen, lo acosan con una curiosidad efusiva a la que él parece consentir no sin dificultad. Es afable, cortés y habla despacio, como luchando contra el aturdimiento que deben producirle tantas voces, tanta gente, tanto trajín, comparados con el silencio y la quietud de la ermita erigida en una ladera cercana al monasterio de Stavronikita, donde ora, medita, escribe y pinta, solo con su fe, desde que en 1987 abandonó su clausura en el monasterio de Agios Grigorios para hacer vida de anacoreta.

Todo es griego en él, salvo su español, limeñísimo a más no poder. Un español muy suavecito, perezoso con las sílabas finales de las palabras, y musicalizado, de alta clase social, procedente de Miraflores o San Isidro, y forjado en un colegio de curas para niños bien: ¿el Santa María o la Inmaculada? Él se ríe: «Frío, frío. Estudié en el Claretiano». Su apellido es de la Jara, una familia que ha dado al Perú juristas y políticos destacados, una célebre promotora de la música criolla y la bohemia, y una pareja, los padres de Simeón, excepcionalmente comprensiva, pues, cuando en los años sesenta, su hijo, alumno destacado en el colegio, les anunció que «para no hacer concesiones al establishment» había decidido no presentarse a los exámenes de fin de año y por lo tanto cerrarse las puertas de una profesión liberal, en vez de hacer un dramón griego, se resignaron. Para entonces, Miguel Ángel, el futuro Padre Simeón, un muchacho rebelde y soñador, se había convertido en el primer peruano. Leía a los surrealistas y a Rimbaud, sobre budismo y taoísmo, y se había dejado el cabello hasta los hombros. Su apariencia indignó a una patota de jóvenes sanisidrinos, que le dio una tremenda paliza, a resultas de la cual estuvo varios días en el hospital, con amnesia. Cuando salió, sus prudentes padres optaron por enviarlo al extranjero.

Estuvo en el swinging London de finales de los sesenta, y después en París, y luego -naturalmente- en la India y en Nepal, haciendo yoga y estudiando budismo e hinduismo, pero no se quedó allí, dice, porque el espectáculo callejero de la miseria multitudinaria y eterna llegó a alterarle el sistema nervioso. Regresó a París, se instaló en el Barrio Latino y estaba aprendiendo chino cuando un buen día, en un restaurancito modesto, lo intrigó un religioso de hábitos ampulosos que comía solo. Era un sacerdote ortodoxo griego, de origen suizo, cuya amistad cambiaría su vida de raíz. «Dios se hizo hombre para que el hombre pudiera ser dios». Dice que esa frase, que escuchó a aquel pope en la primera conversación que celebraron, todavía le resuena en la memoria, treinta años después.

La primera consecuencia de esa nueva amistad fue que Miguel Ángel reemplazó el chino por la hagiografía y se puso a aprender a pintar íconos, en el taller de Leonide Ouspensky, a la vez que empezaba leer a los teólogos y místicos de la Iglesia Ortodoxa. En 1972, luego de un viaje recorriendo iglesias ortodoxas de Serbia y Grecia, se convirtió formalmente y al año siguiente decidió hacerse religioso. Fue aceptado como novicio en el monasterio de Agios Georgios (San Jorge), en la isla de Evia o Euboia, a la que llegó, a sus veintidós años, sin hablar una palabra de griego. Pero me asegura que, a los seis meses, ya podía entenderse con los otros monjes, y que, en todo caso, su maestro de novicios chapurreaba algo de inglés.

El Padre Simeón tiene una manera de contar los episodios de su extraordinaria vida, que, se diría, no hay en ellos nada de insólito ni excepcional, sino una sucesión de ocurrencias de una bostezante banalidad. Cuando yo, malogrado por mi vocación truculenta, le replico que no pudo ser tan fácil ni tan simple, que cambiar de la noche a la mañana de lengua, de régimen de vida, de cultura, de estado, tener que levantarse a medianoche y pronunciar un millar de veces al día el nombre de Jesús y cumplir con las agobiantes jornadas de trabajo físico y espiritual en aquel monasterio en el que fue, por un buen tiempo, un total extranjero, debió costarle esfuerzos y sacrificios desmedidos, dudas atroces, sufrimientos, él niega con la cabeza y adopta una expresión de disculpas, como apenado de decepcionarme. «Fue una experiencia muy hermosa», insiste. «Desde el primer momento en el monasterio, comprendí que había encontrado por fin lo que andaba buscando».

No sólo lo encontró en la religión; también en la cultura y la lengua de Grecia, que se fueron haciendo cuerpo de su espíritu y recreando su personalidad. Cuando, a mediados de los años setenta, toda la comunidad de monjes de Agios Georgios se trasladó al Monte Athos, el Padre Simeón ya leía y hablaba el griego y hasta había empezado a garabatear sus primeros poemas en esa lengua. En los trece años que permaneció en el monasterio de San Gregorio, en el Monte Athos, se ordenó sacerdote, y su trabajo intelectual y teológico debió dejar una huella en su comunidad pues desde 1983 sale de Grecia a dar conferencias sobre la Ortodoxia y el Monte Athos (Una de ellas en la sede de la OTAN!) y en esa década se publican sus primeros ensayos religiosos y sus libros de poemas. El último, Me Imation Melan (Con Manto Negro) contiene, además, reproducciones de sus grabados y pinturas, un arte que había practicado de joven, en Lima, y que retomó al retirarse del monasterio de Agios Georgios en 1987 a la ermita donde hasta ahora vive.

En su conferencia, dicha en griego, y de la que los intérpretes nos dan una versión probablemente muy rudimentaria, el Padre Simeón explica que para él escribir es una manera de vivir más profundamente la naturaleza que lo rodea en la montaña, y otro modo de orar y de encontrar momentánea redención y consuelo, y hace sutiles aproximaciones entre el ejercicio de su vocación y la descripción aristotélica de la catarsis. Son razonamientos que sigo con dificultad, pero quien habla no es un pedante ni un farsante, sino alguien que, a ojos vista, hace denodados esfuerzos para comunicar con total sinceridad una experiencia que, por lo demás, sabe muy bien no es totalmente racionalizable. Es la misma impresión que me da en las charlas que celebramos estos días, paseando por las calles de Ouranoupolis -a las que el turismo ha vuelto idénticas a las de la Costa del Sol o a las de los balnearios de la República Dominicana- o escabulléndonos de los psicoanalistas, filólogos y filósofos del congreso: un hombre sencillo, que no parece medir en toda su dimensión la notable aventura de la que ha sido protagonista. Cuando se lo insinúo, rehuye la respuesta con risueñas evasivas: «Y las aventuras que espero vivir todavía».

Como estuvo cerca de 24 años sin hablar español, de pronto tiene un blanco, una duda lo asalta y se resiste a continuar hasta que, del fondo de la memoria, rescata la palabra perdida. Entonces, se le iluminan los ojos y dilata su cara una sonrisa de alivio. Su vida de monje y de ermitaño no lo ha aislado del siglo: recibe una correspondencia diluviana -le escriben muchos presos, por ejemplo-, numerosas personas lo vienen a visitar, y, cada cierto número de años, obtiene permiso de su comunidad para hacer un largo viaje. El último, por China y Asia del Sur, le llenó la cabeza de imágenes que ha volcado en poemas, pequeños como haikús, y en dibujos. Ahora se dispone a partir a Etiopía, en un largo periplo que lo hará recorrer todo Egipto. Cuando le bromeo que, tal vez, de esa peregrinación resulte que la Iglesia Etíope, de monjes cenicientos maravillosamente enturbantados, gane un nuevo adepto, no se ríe. Se encoge de hombros y, la mirada perdida en una súbita ensoñación, murmura: «Quién sabe».

La verdad es que, pensándolo bien, el Padre Simeón parece una de esas raras excepciones de la especie humana capaz de cambiar de vida todas las veces que haga falta, incluso ahora. Para qué lo haría? Para no apolillarse en la rutina ni convertirse en una estatua; para seguir explorando las infinitas posibilidades del mundo y de la vida hasta el último aliento con esa curiosidad regocijada con la que me interroga sobre todo lo que sé y no sé. Cuando le digo que su historia me recuerda mucho a la de Thomas Merton, el poeta norteamericano que se hizo cartujo y que narró su peripecia en una hermosa autobiografía, me dice que no la ha leído y no parece interesarse mucho por hacerlo. (En efecto, comparada a su propia historia, la de Merton es bastante menos original). Pero sí conoce algunos de sus poemas y su libro sobre los padres del desierto.

Por qué me ha impresionado tanto conocer al Padre Simeón que, cuando nos despedimos, tengo la impresión de separarme de un viejo y querido amigo? Por su rica calidad humana, desde luego. Pero también, sin duda, porque su caso es una ejemplar demostración de la manera como la libertad cabalmente asumida puede emancipar a un ser humano de todos los condicionamientos gregarios -religión, patria, cultura, lengua, costumbres- que, para los ciudadanos del común, funcionan en la práctica como otros tantos campos de concentración, y reemplazarlos por otros, libremente escogidos, de acuerdo a sus deseos y a sus sueños. Siendo agnóstico, las conversiones religiosas me suelen dejar bastante frío. Pero reducir la historia del Padre Simeón a un mero cambio de fe, sería desnaturalizarla. Su historia es la de un desconcertado joven hippy que a fuerza de valentía, sensibilidad y testarudez fue capaz de rechazar todos los destinos que su tiempo, su familia y su país le tenían asignados, y construirse uno a su propia medida y vocación, un destino que lo enriqueció personalmente y que ha enriquecido -¡todavía más¡- a la tierra de Aristóteles.

© Mario Vargas Llosa, 2002.

Fuente:

http://www.laraza.com/news.php?nid=21159

LARAZA

EP. 52: COFFE WITH SR. VASSA & STEVEN CHRISTOFOROU IN NEW YORK, USA – ENGLISH VIDEO WITH GREEK, SPANISH, RUSSIAN & ITALIAN SUBS

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USA OF MY HEART

EDELWEISS OF MY HEART

AMERICA OF MY HEART

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Ep.52: Coffee with Sr. Vassa & Steven Christoforou in New York, USA

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Subtitles: Greek, Spanish, Russian and Italian

Press subs button in YouTube video

In this episode Sr. Vassa from Austria interviews the famous Steven Christoforou of the “Be the Bee” YouTube podcasts, in New York City! Steven shares his amazing story, how he left a prestigious job on Wall Street to first study theology at seminary, and then to work full-time for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese as director of Youth Ministry. See be the Bee at the following links:

http://youtube.com/y2am

http://bethebee.goarch.org

BE THE BEE

LINK: ORTHODOXY & ANIMALS

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http://orthodoxyandanimals.tumblr.com

Orthodoxy & Animals

I’m Orthodox. I love animals. Here are some pictures of animals with a connection to Orthodoxy

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26 GREAT PHOTOS WITH ORTHODOX MONKS & ANIMALS!

http://paintingleaves.blogspot.com

PAINTING LEAVES

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26 great photos with Orthodox monks & animals

Continue reading 26 GREAT PHOTOS WITH ORTHODOX MONKS & ANIMALS!

LINK: ANCIENT FAITH BLOGS – USA

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http://americaofmyheart.wordpress.com

AMERICA OF MY HEART

USA OF MY HEART

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http://blogs.ancientfaith.com

Ancient Faith Blogs

USA

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HOLY THURSDAY OF HOLY WEEK AT ARCHANGEL MICHAEL ORTHODOX CHURCH IN OHIO, USA – VIDEO

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http://americaofmyheart.wordpress.com

AMERICA OF MY HEART

USA OF MY HEART

Columbus Ohio

Holy Thursday of Holy Week

at Archangel Michael Orthodox Church

in Campbell, Ohio, USA

THE MANE MAN – AN INTERVIEW WITH TROY POLAMALU OF PITTSBURGH STEELERS TEAM, SAMOA & USA – JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

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http://americaofmyheart.wordpress.com

http://arizonaofmyheart.wordpress.com

USA OF MY HEART

AMERICA OF MY HEART

ARIZONA OF MY HEART

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Photos: Troy Polamalu, his wife Theodora &

their son Paisios called after Saint Paisios of  Mt. Athos, Greece

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Polamalu was born in Garden Grove, California. He is of Samoan descent.

Troy Aumua Polamalu (born Troy Aumua on April 19, 1981), is a former American football strong safety who played his entire twelve-year career for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Southern California (USC), and earned consensus All-American honors. He was chosen by the Steelers in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He was a member of two of the Steelers’ Super Bowl championship teams, and was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2010.

Polamalu is married to Theodora Holmes and has two sons: Paisios, born on October 31, 2008, and Ephraim, born September 16, 2010. Theodora is the sister of NFL player and USC Trojans alumnus Alex Holmes.  He resides with his family in Pittsburgh during the football season and San Diego, California during the off-season.

Polamalu is well read in the history and theology of early Christianity, which ultimately led both him and his wife to convert to Orthodox Christianity in 2007. He makes the Sign of the Cross after every play. Among his spiritual activities was a 2007 pilgrimage to Orthodox Christian sites in Greece and Asia Minor. He seldom gives interviews, but when he does, he often speaks of the role his spirituality plays in his life. Polamalu has said that he tries to separate himself from his profession as much as possible, including not watching football games at home. He prays after each play and on the sidelines. His sons are both named after after Saint Paisios of Mt. Athos, Greece (+1994) and his Spiritual Father, Fr. Ephraim of Arizona.

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ARIZONA OF MY HEART

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https://workersectingreece.wordpress.com/?s=paisios

Articles & videos about St Paisios of Athos (+1994)

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The Mane Man

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2010/08/24/wild-interview-with-troy-polamalu/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

On this sunny So-Cal day, Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu graciously postpones his morning workout to ruminate about not just football – but life and what’s most important in it. I narrow our chat to three topics.

By Gina Mazza

Pittsburgh Magazine, August 2009

Football is a given: How was this year’s Super Bowl experience versus XL? Tomlin versus Cowher? Goals for the coming season?
Fatherhood is new in Polamalu’s life since the birth of his son, Paisios, named after a beloved contemporary Greek Orthodox monastic, Elder Paisios, on Oct. 31, 2008. Has daddy-dom been life-changing? Will he encourage his son to play professional sports? How’s that
beautiful new mom doing?

And last but not least: Faith. In order to properly meet Polamalu where he lives, this is the requisite, the grounding force that gives meaning to everything he does, every play he makes. Polamalu’s evident gratitude to the one who made him Continue reading THE MANE MAN – AN INTERVIEW WITH TROY POLAMALU OF PITTSBURGH STEELERS TEAM, SAMOA & USA – JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

AKATHIST HAWAIIAN IVERON ICON OF VIRGIN MARY IN CONNECTICUT, USA – HAWAII’S MIRACLE ICON (ST JOSE MUNOZ-CORTEZ’S ICON OF VIRGIN MARY)

http://hawaiiofmyheart.wordpress.com

HAWAII OF MY HEART

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Photo: Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Akathist Hawaiian Iveron Icon of Virgin Mary in Connecticut, USA

Hawaii’s miracle icon

Sung in St. Panteleimon Church, Hartford, CT October 19, 2012. Protopriest Dionisiy Nalitov with Father Constantine Semyanko, Father Brendan Crowley and Father Kevin Kalish serving. Choir under the direction of Nicholas Semyanko.

DAILY LIVES OF THE SAINTS – BY ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA – OCA

http://saintsofmyheart.wordpress.com

SAINTS OF MY HEART

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http://oca.org/saints/lives

Daily Lives of the Saints

by

Orthodox Church in America – OCA

╰⊰¸¸.•¨* French articles – Français

http://franceofmyheart.wordpress.com

http://mayotteofmyheart.wordpress.com

MAYOTTE ISLAND OF MY HEART

FRANCE OF MY HEART

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https://workersectingreece.wordpress.com/?s=french

French articles – Français

MAN OF GOD – LIFE OF SAINT JOHN MAXIMOVITCH OF SHANGHAI & SAN FRANCISCO (+1966) – ENGLISH & RUSSIAN VIDEO

http://stjohnmaximovits.wordpress.com

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ST JOHN MAXIMOVITCH

AMERICA OF MY HEART

Sunset over Downtown Manhattan, NYC, USA Wolfgang Sulzer www.wolfgangsulzer.com View of Manhattan Skyline from Brooklyn. #cityscape #newyorkcity #skylineUnknown-2

Man of God – Life of Saint John Maximovitch of Shanghai & San Francisco

Fest Day July 2

ORTHODOXY TODAY – ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

Dreaming - Photography by Ness Farmilo bit.ly-1LrqD7b Torres Del Paine, Patagonia. #clouds #mountains #lake

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/page_2620.htm

Orthodoxy Today

Orthodox Christianity

COMING TO ORTHODOXY – ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

http://atheistsmetorthodoxy.wordpress.com

ATHEISTS MET ORTHODOXY

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http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/page_2625.htm

Coming to Orthodoxy – Orthodox Christianity

THE SHOCKING TRUTH ABOUT CHRISTIAN ORTHODOXY – JOHN BEHR, USA

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AMERICA OF MY HEART

USA OF MY HEART

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The Shocking Truth about Christian Orthodoxy

John Behr, USA

Fr. John Behr takes on those who dismiss Jesus Christ on “historical grounds,” by explaining how historicism itself is problematic and, indeed, heretical. The alternative to historicism as our mode of interpretation, he explains, is Christ on the cross as the foundation of all our knowledge and interpretation.

The Very Rev. Dr. John Behr is the Dean of St. Vladimir’s Seminary in Crestwood, N.Y., where he is also Professor of Patristics, teaching courses in patristics, dogmatics, and Scriptural exegesis. He also teaches at Fordham University, where he is the Distinguished Lecturer in Patristics.

This lecture was delivered as part of the annual Augustine College Weston Lecture series on March 23rd, 2012.

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Fr. John Behr is the Dean of St Vladimir’s Seminary and Professor of Patristics, teaching courses in patristics, dogmatics and scriptural exegesis at the seminary, and also at Fordham University, where he is the Distinguished Lecturer in Patristics.

http://www.svots.edu/profile/very-rev-dr-john-behr

http://www.svots.edu

SVOTS

ST VLADIMIR’S ORTHODOX THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

NEW YORK

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St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (Crestwood, New York) is one of three institutions of professional theological education in the Orthodox Church in America. The other two schools are St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (South Canaan, Pennsylvania) and St. Herman’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (Kodiak, Alaska).

VIDEO: ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN MONASTERY OF SAINT XENIA IN CALIFORNIA, USA – ENGLISH & SERBIAN SUBS

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USA OF MY HEART

Eagle Falls 1.1 (HDR) - Photography by Ken Fong http--bit.ly-1BaByBz Eagle Falls, Lake Tahoe, California #waterfall #nature #sunlight

Photo: California, USA

Orthodox Christian Monastery of St. Xenia in California, USA

St. Xenia Serbian Orthodox Skete (Monastery)

P.O. Box 260

Wildwood, CA 96076

USA

IF A ROMAN CATHOLIC OR A PROTESTANT WANTS TO CONVERT TO ORTHODOXY (EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH), WHAT ARE THE STEPS? – Q&A IN “SIMPLY ORTHODOX”

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HEART QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

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If a Roman Catholic or a Protestant wants to convert to

Orthodoxy (Eastern Orthodox Church), what are the steps?

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Questions & Answers

in

SIMPLY ORTHODOX

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http://simplyorthodox.tumblr.com

Here is the original question:

SIMPLY ORTHODOX

Hello,

The best is first to be willing to spend the time to really understand the commonalities and differences between Roman Catholicism or Protestantism and Orthodoxy (Eastern Orthodox Church).

In most cases, a person begins the process of conversion by speaking with a local Orthodox priest, who gives instructions (or catechism) on the teachings and beliefs of the Orthodox Church. These beliefs and doctrines have continued unchanged for over 2000 years, since the time of Jesus and the Twelve Apostles. This process of catechism could take many months. Once you have learned about the faith and teachings of the church, you would then be ready to be baptized as a member of the Orthodox Church, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (ie. the Holy Trinity). Baptism is by triple immersion in water. At the same time, you would be Chrismated, which means receiving the Holy Oil and the Holy Spirit.

Thanks for your message! If you need anything, I am here 🙂

I thank God that the truth of the Orthodox Church is being revealed to all over the world!!!

PS. Some very useful sites are:

http://simplyorthodox.tumblr.com – SIMPLY ORTHODOX

http://romancatholicsmetorthodoxy.wordpress.com – ROMAN CATHOLICS MET ORTHODOXY

http://gkiouzelis.wordpress.com – ORTHODOX HEART SITES

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com – JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

MARIA TSALLA OF POLLUX BAND, GREECE: A PERSONAL MIRACLE OF SAINT JOHN MAXIMOVITCH OF SHANGHAI & SAN FRANCISCO

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AMERICA OF MY HEART

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St.-John-of-San-Francisco

http://stjohnmaximovits.wordpress.com

http://ex2x2lettersfromgreece.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/groups/211026374035/permalink/10151823170044036/

St John Maximovitch

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Saint John Maximovitch of Shanghai & San Francisco, +1966

photo

Maria Tsalla

of Pollux Band, Greece

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A Personal miracle of St. John Maximovitch

of Shanghai and San Francisco (+1966)

 By Maria Tsalla

In 2007, when I was fifteen years old and had lost my father, my prayers each night hid a certain complaint, because God had taken my father so early, and even though I asked to see him at least in a dream, this desire of mine was not fulfilled.

God’s answer to my complaint was not long in coming; it came by way of a dream. In my dream, I was in a strange Church and was waitting in a line with other pilgrims. In front of me were children of various nationalities. As I waited at the end of this line, some people from the upper gallery motioned for me to go forward, and at these instructions the children obediently made way for me.

I found myself in front of an Icon depicting a Saint that I had never seen before. He was elderly and had a grey beard. As I gazed upon the Icon, the Saint stepped out of it like an apparition and told me to go to the right. Heading in the direction he had indicated to me, I saw a reliquary, out of which arose the same elderly man I had seen in the Icon. This time, however, he was not an apparition, painted in the colours used by Iconographers, but was flesh and blood.

I approached him, and we both sat down on the reliquary. He did not frighten me; I felt as if I were sitting with a friend on a bench and not with a Saint on a reliquary. He looked in my eyes with love and tenderness. His eyes emitted love and effection, and beautified his aged and bent body. Embracing me paternally, he spoke to me in a different language – not Greek or other languages that people speak. It was as if our souls were communicating. He told me that thenceforth he would be my father. His embrace filled my soul with calm and his fragrance made the dream real.

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Saint John Maximovitch

I woke up thinking about him, and with many questions as to who the elderly man was. Alongside the questions, however, I also had an answer to my question: “Do I have a father?”. Of course I did; I just did not know his name. I asked for help from my mother, who is a catechist and knows a great deal about Saints and their lives. None of those she mentioned, however, corresponded to the description I gave her. I only knew that he had a gray beard, was elderly, short, and bent, and, in any event, a foreigner, since the Church did not look Greek Orthodox, nor were the other pilgrims Greek, and he had not spoken to me in Greek.

My mother advised me to pray to him to reveal to my who he was. The answer to my prayer did not come through a dream this time, but rather through a birthday gift given to me by my spiritual Father (to whom I had never told the dream). I opened the gift and saw that it was a book. When I opened it, I saw the “strange” Church (“strange” to me, that is, because it was Russian) that I had seen in my dream, the Icon of the Saint, his reliquary, and the man himself! That is how I learned his name: St. John Maximovitch, the protector of orphans. Thus it was that I learned the name of my father – the father of all orphans, the afflicted, the weak, the poor, and the wronged. The Saint never leaves me, but is always near me and often appears in my dreams to give me support, consolation, and advice in difficult moments.

God took my [biological] father, but He also took care to send me an incorrupt one (the incorrupt Relics of the Saint are located in San Francisco), who is also on earth and who reminds us that whoever follows Christ has no reason to fear death.

I feel myself fortunate; but, at the same time, since God permitted such a thing to happen to me, the most sinful one, I have a responsibility to help as many people as possible learn about St. John Maximovitch, so that, just as I have been changed, he might also bring about a change for many other people who are reading these words now and who are searching for a place of refuge and a paternal embrace. The only thing I could do as a fifteen year old was to make a Facebook page called SAINT JOHN MAXIMOVITCH https://www.facebook.com/groups/211026374035/permalink/10151823170044036/, which today numbers more than 3,000 members. In the embrace he offered me,we all fit!

Maria Tsalla, Greece

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上海及旧金山的圣伊望 – SAINT JOHN MAXIMOVITCH IN CHINESE

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TAIWAN & HONG KONG OF MY HEART

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上海及旧金山的圣伊望

 上海及旧金山的圣伊望(英语:John of Shanghai and San Francisco,俗名米哈伊尔·鲍里索维奇·马克西莫维奇, 俄语:Михаил Борисович Максимович; 1896年6月4日-1966年7月2日)是俄羅斯東正教国外圣主教公会的上海、西欧以及旧金山和美国西部总主教,他也是一位著名的东正教苦行僧和显行灵迹者,拥有超强的说预言、透视,以及祈祷治愈病人的能力,1994年被俄羅斯東正教国外圣主教公会封为圣人。

生平

1896年6月4日,米哈伊尔·鲍里索维奇·马克西莫维奇出生于俄国南部哈尔科夫省阿达莫弗卡村,虔诚信仰东正教的贵族家庭,渊源于塞尔维亚,与18世纪圣人托博尔斯克的圣伊望都主教属于同一家族。他的父亲塞尔维亚的鲍里斯·伊万诺维奇·马克西莫维奇(1871年-1954年),为哈尔科夫省贵族领袖,1950年代移居委内瑞拉。他的两位兄弟也生活在国外,一位兄弟接受大学理科教育,在南斯拉夫成为一名工程师,另一位兄弟毕业于贝尔格莱德大学法律系,任职于南斯拉夫警察机构。

从1907年到1914年,米哈伊尔·鲍里索维奇·马克西莫维奇就读于波尔塔瓦士官武备学校,1918年毕业于哈尔科夫皇家大学法律系,随后就职于哈尔科夫地方法院。米哈伊尔在年轻时信仰颇为虔诚,他的精神导师是哈尔科夫总主教安托尼。他原本打算进入基辅神学院,但在在父母的坚持下改读法律。

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南斯拉夫

十月革命后,米哈伊尔·马克西莫维奇一家随白军撤退,经君士坦丁堡,1921年全家流亡到南斯拉夫的贝尔格莱德。1925年,米哈伊尔毕业于贝尔格莱德大学,获得神学学位。根据他的同时代人描述,

在那个时候,他生活在贫困中,以卖报纸谋生。在那个时代的贝尔格莱德,雨季时泥泞难行。马克西莫维奇穿着沉重的毛皮衣服和俄国旧靴子,经常会摔倒,在密布污垢的街道上,行走缓慢

1924年,马克西莫维奇代表当时的俄罗斯东正教国外教会领袖安东尼都主教,起草了一份关于俄罗斯继承权起源的报告,探讨的问题是,法律如何符合俄罗斯人民的精神和历史传统。

1926年,米哈伊尔·马克西莫维奇剃度成为一名修士,法名伊望,并由基辅都主教安托尼祝圣为辅祭。同年11月21日他又被车里雅宾斯克主教伽弗里伊尔祝圣为修士司祭。此后几年,他任教于基金达镇的塞尔维亚文法学校(至1929年)以及比托拉市的使徒约翰修道院。这一时期,他发表了一系列的神学作品:《圣母和施洗约翰崇拜与俄罗斯神学思想的新方向》、《神圣正教会如何崇敬圣母》、《索菲亚:天主智慧研究》,站在东正教的立场上,与宣传софиологии神学概念的谢尔盖·尼古拉耶维奇·布尔加科夫进行论战。1934年5月28日,他被祝圣为主教。

像许多俄罗斯移民一样,他非常尊重保护俄国难民的南斯拉夫国王亚历山大一世。多年以后,他在法国马赛街头被谋杀现场,为国王主持追思仪式。其他东正教神职人员羞于与主教在街上举行仪式,这时伊望主教拿了一把扫帚,打扫干净人行道的一片地方,睡下,然后用法语主持了仪式。

上海

1934年6月3日,伊望被分派到上海教区担任主教。安东尼都主教致函季米特洛夫总主教,写道:“我衷心向您推荐伊望主教约翰。这个人身材矮小,身体虚弱的人几乎是像个孩子。但是他是一个坚定严格苦修的奇迹。”

当伊望主教来到上海时,位于当地法租界亨利路的主教座堂尚未完成,而当地基本由白俄组成的东正教团体处于深刻的分裂之中:例如圣尼古拉堂自1927年起,脱离上海教区,改受哈尔滨教区和西欧都主教叶夫洛吉庇护,不服从中华正教会。为了实现和解,1934年12月18日,伊望主教前往这座教堂作彻夜祈祷,并带领次日的晨祷。到1936年2月,伊望主教主持完成了位于上海法租界中心的罪人之保障圣母主教座堂建筑。

在中国时,伊望主教被称为慈善家,他迅速介入已有的慈善机构,成为各种慈善事业协会的董事,并为贫穷家庭的儿童创办了以扎东斯克的圣吉洪命名的孤儿院。圣吉洪孤儿院最初只有8个孩子,后来达到数百人,前后合计总数共计有3500人。主教本人亲自前往上海贫民区的街头,寻找患病和营养不良的儿童,把他们带到孤儿院。在伊望主教的传记中写道,

他最喜爱的是孩子,他非常愿意与他们在一起。他一直关心他们,检查他们,给他们发贺卡和礼物。他可以看着他们的眼睛好几分钟时间,目光温暖,放射出的光芒深入人的灵魂,像一位怀抱婴儿的母亲。这种目光是令人难忘的。虽然这位苦行僧的身体像干树皮,但所有见过他一眼的人,都觉得他是地球上最可爱的人。

伊望主教重视宗教教育,拜访监狱和精神病院的患者。在此期间,他据称通过祈祷治愈了许多已经无望治愈的疾病。正是在这里,他行的神迹首次为人所知,这要归功于他的祈祷。作为一名公众人物,他不可能完全掩饰他苦修的生活方式。他不间断地处于祈祷状态之中,常常进行彻夜祈祷,每天只进食一次,而且从不在床上睡觉,只在后半夜在椅子上或地板上休息一二个小时,然后清晨就醒来,开始每日从不间断的事奉圣礼。即使在日本占领期间,他也经常不顾宵禁,仍然进行牧灵工作,日本占领当局也从未骚扰他。

在中国的东正教主教,原本都服从流亡的俄羅斯東正教国外圣主教公会。1945年8月,苏联红军出兵占领满洲,这时,东正教哈尔滨教区和中华正教会北京总会,先后宣布归属苏联支配的俄罗斯东正教会莫斯科牧首阿列克谢一世。伊望主教主持的上海教区和奥西波夫大司祭主持的天津教区则继续忠于流亡慕尼黑的俄羅斯東正教国外圣主教公会。伊望主教是远东地区唯一继续效忠国外圣主教公会的主教。1946年,北京总会魏克托总主教前往上海劝说,伊望主教向中国政府控告魏克托在上海沦陷期间通敌。魏被上海警备司令部扣押了魏克托,高等法院检查处进行侦查,这时苏联政府介入干预,魏克托始被不予起诉而释放。魏克托对伊望主教采取绝罚处分,而慕尼黑的俄羅斯東正教国外圣主教公会则表彰伊望主教,并晋升他为总主教。

当共产党夺取中国政权时,白俄们选择再次逃难。1949年5月4日,解放军夺取上海前夕,伊望总主教率领神职人员和教友离开上海,首先前往菲律宾Tubabao岛建立一所难民营,大约容纳5000名白俄。伊望总主教亲自前往华盛顿哥伦比亚特区,以确保他的教友们获准进入美国。还有少部分白俄得以前往澳大利亚。

items-to-bless西欧

1951年,伊望总主教被调往西欧总主教区,先后在巴黎和布鲁塞尔任职。在这个教区,恢复敬礼未分开的西方教会(即在天主教和东正教分裂之前)的圣人。由于他仔细研究这些圣人的生平,东正教会开始纪念巴黎的主保圣人圣日内维耶、爱尔兰的圣帕特里克以及其他知名的西方圣人。如同在上海一样,他积极从事慈善和牧灵工作,而这里的会众更为分散。他照顾法国和荷兰的东正教会,由于当地神职人员的努力,得以在法国和荷兰出版礼仪书。他也牧养希腊,阿拉伯,保加利亚和罗马尼亚东正教堂区,赋予它们特殊的地位。此外还祝圣了一位东正教司铎,前往西班牙马德里传教。

在他任职期间,在布鲁塞尔建立了以义人约伯命名的纪念堂,以纪念殉难沙皇尼古拉二世。

根据他的同时代人描述,

主教在家里身穿最便宜布料的法衣,脚穿凉鞋,而且常常赤脚。他是一位真正的禁欲派(нестяжатели),追随着另一位伟大的俄罗斯圣徒-圣尼尔·索尔斯基。他是一位上帝的人。

伊望总主教的活动不仅受到许多东正教信徒的赞赏,还受到其他宗教信徒的赞赏。有一个故事说,巴黎的一位天主教神父告诉他的会众,在现代世界也有奇迹和圣人,其证明是俄罗斯赤脚圣伊望走在巴黎街头。

旧金山

1962年,伊望总主教迁往旧金山,次年出任旧金山及美国西部总主教。那时,他被认为是俄羅斯東正教国外圣主教公会主要的候选人之一,但是旧金山只有一位年老的主教在那里事奉。在旧金山,他又遇到一个分裂的社团和一座未完成的主教座堂。几乎在他的任命程序刚启动时,他就成为一些教会领袖诽谤的目标,被控告在主教座堂修建中涉嫌财务违规。参加1963年旧金山审判的一部分圣主教公会主教支持这一控诉,但是最终伊望总主教被证明无罪。

伊望总主教在有生之年最终得以完成了位于旧金山列治文区(Richmond District)盖瑞大道(Geary Boulevard),奉“诸忧苦者之喜乐”圣母为主保的主教座堂,后来自己也安葬在这里。他也为社团带来来某种程度的和平。

伊望总主教对待违反传统东正教虔诚的行为非常严格。因此,当他得知一些教友在万圣节周日晚上之前在舞会娱乐,默默地在房间内走动,然后悄悄地离开。第二天早上,他颁布了一项命令《主日和瞻礼前夕禁止事项》:

神圣的主日和瞻礼前夕,是基督徒祷告和敬畏的时刻,预备好参加或出席神圣礼仪。因此要求所有东正教徒,因为它直接关系到教会仪式。在瞻礼前夕参与娱乐,尤其罪孽深重。如果在主日和瞻礼前夕去舞会或类似的娱乐,翌日不能参加唱经班,等待、进入祭台或站在唱经楼。

封圣

1966年,伊望总主教带着“库尔斯克之根·符印之母”圣像巡游各地。这一年的7月2日(儒略历6月19日),伊望访问西雅图圣尼古拉教堂,在密室祷告时去世。伊望总主教逝世后,许多信徒都以书面确认,正如他所祈祷的,发生了奇迹。他的遗体运回了旧金山,安葬在他兴建的诸忧苦者之喜乐圣母主教座堂主祭台下。他的遗体虽然未经防腐处理,但是到1993年,在打开圣伊望主教灵柩时,却发现其依然完好未朽坏。1994年7月2日,在伊望主教去世28周年之际,被俄国域外教会隆重地封为圣人。他的纪念日定在最接近7月2日的星期六。他在世界许多地方都得到敬爱和庆祝,一部分圣髑奉安于塞尔维亚、俄罗斯、阿索斯山、保加利亚,2008年又有一小部分圣髑来到中国的北京、上海和香港牧区。1996年,在伊望主教的百年诞辰,纽约约旦谷上帝圣三修道院的修士司祭安德列神父绘制了圣伊望的圣像,描绘伊望总主教用十字架和三叉烛行祝福礼的情景,这幅圣像因接触过伊望主教不朽的法体圣髑,被东正教徒认为可以因圣伊望主教的代祷而蒙受蒙受祝福。

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ST JOHN MAXIMOVITCH

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