He dedicated himself to a life of monasticism and served as the keeper of the True Cross of the Saviour, a key Christian relic. Starting as the bishop of a beleaguered Christian community, he converted the majority of the Pagans by his example of humble, righteous and pious life, and by working multiple miracles.
Born into an illustrious family in Thessalonoka, he renounced the prospects of a comfortable secular life to become a monastic. He obeyed the words of Jesus Christ, giving away his possessions and travelling to Egypt to serve Him as a desert hermit. Five years later, he travelled to Palestine to live in a desert cave where he became severely ill. In a dream, he had a vision of the Golgotha in which the good thief descended from the cross to lead him to Christ, and entrusted to his keeping His Cross. The saint was healed completely after the vision.
Living in Jerusalem, he earned his bread as a shoemaker and gave away most of his earnings to the poor. His humility and almsgiving made him widely known across the city, and the Bishop of Jerusalem ordained him into the priesthood. As a priest, he became the guardian of the True Cross. His vision of the Golgotha thus became true. After three years, he was elected the Bishop of Gaza.
When he became bishop, Christians were a small and persecuted minority in Gaza, and with his service and righteous life, he was working hard to change this situation. One year, when the area came under the threat of famine because of a protracted drought, he gathered all the Christians in the city and told them to fast. Then he celebrated an all-night vigil and went in procession, and on the next day, it rained. Hundreds of Pagans converted after that incident. In another miracle, as Bishop Porphirius was carrying a cross, the main temple of Aphrodite collapsed. Another several hundred unbelievers found faith after that. After 2o years of his service, Gaza became a majority Christian territory.
The courage of the Holy Royal Martyrs, their mercy, steadfast faith and readiness to entrust their fate to the Lord softened the hearts of many and showed the way of the Lord to the generations to come.
St. Paulinus was simple and compassionate. He came out of the peasantry and became an archbishop. His cuff is kept as a great shrine in the Novospassky Monastery where he was once tonsured a monk.
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.
"There is only one thing to say about this remarkable monastic: the sweetest of souls! One conversation with Father Silouan was enough to make anyone grow fond of him."
On the 8th of July, the Orthodox Church celebrates a very special feast — the day of Saint Peter and Fevronia. These two saints from the 13th century are considered the patron saints of family, love, and fidelity.
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.
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…
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.