His name translates as 'servant of God', and he was one of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament. He wrote the fourth book of the minor prophets, the Book of Obadiah. It is one of the shortest books in the bible, where he predicted the coming of the Saviour from Mount Zion and the salvation of the gentiles.
He lived a life full of dangers and perils. He served at the court of the Israeli King Ahab, who reigned at the time when the God-chosen people fell away from God and began to offer sacrifices to idols. He was one of the few who remained loyal, continuing to serve the true God in secret. The impious wife of the apostate king launched the persecution of all prophets, directing her wrath at the Prophet Elias. Obadiah offered the beleaguered prophets shelter and gave them food. Three parties of soldiers were sent to capture Elias, two of which two perished in the Divine fire. By the prayer of Elias, and the Lord spared the third, led by Obadiah. Obadiah left military service and eventually acquired the gift of prophecy.
From the perspective of the present day, Obadiah's prophesies remind us about the dangers of pride, selfishness and disregard for the implications of our actions on other people. He tells us the tragedy of the people of Edom who took up arms against God's people and formed alliances with their enemies – only to find themselves betrayed. In icons, he is painted as a sage with a white beard, holding a scroll predicting that all those who rely on human scheming in defiance of the will of God will be humbled.
Prince Vladimir was the first to embrace and choose the Heavenly Kingdom together with the Russian people. He was the first to set out on the path of the Cross. For him, this could not have been but related to a big inner struggle.
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.
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.
Saint Anthony the Great, the Father of all monks, is a revered and well-known saint among many Christians, including the Orthodox and Catholics. His extraordinary lifestyle and faith still inspire people even today to become monks.
December 19, the memorial day of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra, is a patronal feast in our convent. St. Nicholas (Velimirović) of Serbia has left us an instructive message dedicated to this great saint.
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.
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.
As the sages of the East used to say, one would be cursed to live in a time of abrupt change. Saint Sergius of Radonezh lived in one of Russia's most troubled periods and left us some valuable insights that have survived his day.