In his youthful years, Saint Parthenius was a fisherman. He could not read or write, but he went to church, listened to the scripture readings and put to life everything that he heard. He sold fish on the market and gave most of his earnings to the poor. His piety and righteousness earned him numerous gifts of God's grace, most notably, of healing and driving out the demons. News about his outstanding life reached the bishop of his area. He arranged for him to be educated and ordained him as the Bishop of Lampascus.
Lampascus was a city in Asia Minor where almost all residents were Pagans. Yet through his ascetic exploits, charity and miracles of healing and tireless preaching most people were converted to Christianity. An unmercenary, he continued to heal the sick better than doctors, never refusing anyone. His virtue scared away all the demons. According to tradition, a demon that he had once cast out from a poor man begged him to let him come into somebody else, even a pig. The saint replied, "You can come live in me!" The demon ran away in horror crying "I cannot live in a Gods house!"
Thanks to his miracles, Saint Parthenius is now considered the protector and supporter of cancer patients.
In 1923, the future martyr was only 26 years old. Seeing the unfolding persecution of the Church, he was ordained priest with the words, "We need to protect the faith". Priest Valerian Novitsky was arrested and executed in 1930.
St. Paisios of the Holy Mountain is known to many believers. The Orthodox Church canonised him as a saint on January 13, 2015. We dwell on the life of St. Paisios and the miraculous help that people receive through his holy prayers.
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.
Saint Varus' life teaches us the power of unwavering faith. He shows that our life in this world is only a fleeting moment of transition to eternity and that worldly honours and comforts are worthless compared to our everlasting salvation.
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.
Saints Anthony and Theodosius of the Kiev Caves lived in the 11th century. They are commonly regarded as the founders of monasticism in Ancient Rus’, the cradle of today's Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.
The Optina Monastery is a famous stauropegion of the Russian Orthodox Church, located in the Kaluga region. A stauropegion is a church or monastery exempt from the jurisdiction of the local bishop and directly subject to the highest authority…