Saint Nilus is a saint who left a rich legacy in the history of the Eastern church. A brilliantly educated man, and a disciple of Saint John Chrysostom, he acquired perfection of the spirit and gave guidance and reassurance to many on their spiritual journey to Christ. He was one of the founders of the Hesychast tradition in Christian asceticism and left many soul-profiting writings to his successors. Readers of his works are impressed by their clarity, eloquence and brevity. Many are included in the first volume of the English Philokalia, a collection of Christian writings on the practice of spiritual life.
He made a brilliant career in civil service. While still a young man, he became Prefect of the capital of Byzantine. While in civil service, he married and had two children. Eventually, however, the couple found that their life at the imperial court distracted them from the path of service to God. They agreed to separate and retire to the monasteries in Egypt. His wife and daughter joined a women's monastery, and he and his son went to Mount Sinai. There, they dug out by hand a cave, where the saint ascetised for the next forty years.
As an ascetic, Saint Nilus suffered many misfortunes. Invariably, he found strength and reassurance in prayer. In the early fifth century, the Saracens invaded Mount Sinai and captured his son, intending to sacrifice him to the idols. The saint prayed to the Lord vehemently, and the Lord came to the rescue. The bishop of Edessa paid a ransom for his son. Saint Nylos found him after many years, both were ordained as presbyters and ascetised together on Mount Sinai until Nilus's departure to God.
Commenting on the importance of prayer in his life, Saint Nylos wrote, "The state of prayer is a passionless, settled disposition of the soul which, by supreme love, transports the wisdom-loving mind to spiritual heights."
The Greek Philokalia has a quote from Saint Neilos beneath his icon: "The state of prayer is a passionless, settled disposition of the soul which, by supreme love, transports the wisdom-loving mind to spiritual heights."
On the 21st of November, we celebrate the Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and the Other Bodiless Powers. On this day, we commemorate the Chief of the Heavenly Hosts, Archangel Michael, as well as the Other Heavenly Bodiless Powers.
The new martyrs found themselves in circumstances that most people today could barely imagine. Yet people who keep their faith at their most terrible times and obey God's commandments receive His help.
Standing of St Mary of Egypt is another name for the long Matins service on Thursday of the 5th week of Great Lent. Why is this service called this and what is so special about it? We invite you to read further to find out.
The holy martyrs, Faith, Hope, Love and their mother Sophia, are revered throughout the world. They lived in Rome in the 2nd century. When Sophia was left a widow, she devoted her life to raising her three daughters, naming them Faith, Hope…
Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker is a deeply revered saint at the Convent, and its history provides multiple examples of his intercession Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker was lived in Asia Minor in the late third and early fourth centuries, but…
Our patronal feast is like a small Easter during Great Lent. In the middle of the largest church in the Convent rests the decorated image of the Reigning Icon of the Mother of God.
We celebrate two Patron Saint days this month, the Holy Royal Martyrs on July 17 and the Convent’s Heavenly intercessor - Saint Elisabeth the New Martyr on July 18.
As the feast day of Saint Vladimir the Great of Kiev is approaching, we are preparing to sing at the all-night vigil and the Divine Liturgy the hymns glorifying his great feat and his apostolic ministry in this part of the world.