Saints Athanasius and Cyril were the archbishops of Alexandria and steadfast defenders of the purity of the Christian faith against the most influential heresies of their times. Both highly educated and well versed in theology and philosophy, they left behind a host of apologetic works still studied today. In their advocacy, they faced many hardships and risks. They exposed themselves to multiple dangers, but never wavered in their mission.
Saint Athanasius served as Patriarch of Alexandria for 47 years, starting 325. At one stage, he remained the only bishop that had not fallen into heresy. His refutation of Arianism was well received by the church fathers but earned him the wrath of the Arians for the rest of his life. Persecuted by his opponents, he spent more than two decades in exile. He had his first open battle with the followers of the Arian heresy in 325, when, at 28 years of age he spoke eloquently at the First Ecumenical Council at Nicea against the heretics.
Saint Syril is honoured for his role in the Council of Ephesus of 431, which defended the Christian faith from the false teachings of Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, regarding the person of the Virgin Mary. The victory of St. Cyril at the council did not appear certain at the time, as his opponent was highly influential and had powerful supporters, such as Patriarch John of Antioch. The Council's decision was swayed by St. Cyril's brilliant defence of the true teaching.
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.
Of the many saints commemorated in the Orthodox Church throughout the liturgical year, two are very unusual ones - Saints Peter and Fevronia. In Belarussian Orthodox Church, we celebrate their feast day on July 8th.
On the Easter day of 1982, two monks and spiritual children of Elder Paisios came to Elder John’s cell to sing the Paschal troparion together. Father John told them this story about celebrating Easter in the cell of Elder Paisios.
Our lay sister Tatiana Zhedik met the relatives of the Hieromartyr Simeon Kaminsky a long ago in 2003 in Cincinnati, Ohio. This meeting reveals to us the story of the life of a little-known Belarusian saint.
On the 19th of December (6th of December), the Orthodox commemorate one of the most loved and revered saints in the world - Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker. Saint Nicholas means a lot to everyone here at St Elisabeth Convent.
The example of the martyr saints shows how the grace of the holy spirit can empower us to reach untold levels of bravery and spiritual strength, despite our physical weakness.
The unprecedented historic phenomenon of holiness became the main result of the bloody twentieth century in Russia. It is difficult to find anything comparable to the feat of these people in the whole history of the world.