He was the tenth of the minor prophets of the Old Testament. He prophecised in the latter half of the sixth century BC, soon after the return of the Jews from captivity in Babylon. They returned to the ruins of their main place of worship, the Jerusalem Temple. They began to rebuild it, but the shortage of people and skills, and opposition from the local people drenched their enthusiasm.
Haggai authored the book of Haggai, one of the shortest in the Old Testament. It raises the themes of God's will, obedience and disobedience. He teaches us that when we live by the will of God, we can count on his assistance and encouragement. He also shows us the importance of thinking long-term, beyond immediate survival and well-being. "You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat but never have enough. Give careful thought to your ways," teaches the Lord through the Prophet Haggai, urging the people to rebuild the temple in His glory.
His narrative is interactive, dialectical and distinguished by effective use of rhetoric. Thus, he resorts to repetition to highlight the main messages and their relevance for the present day. "Give careful thought of your ways," he admonishes his readers. He also urges all us to be strong in following the will of God.
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.
He taught that fighting the devil to the end is a duty of every Christian. "Whoever has not experienced temptation cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
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.
We are preparing to celebrate the memory of a saint who showed us beyond all doubt that sainthood is still a worthy goal to pursue, even in our hectic times. His name is Saint John of Shanghai and San-Francisco.
He is remembered for his great modesty and humility, and also for the grace and forgiveness with which he reacted to false accusations of having career ambitions.
May 23rd (June 5th) is the day when the Orthodox commemorate a very special Belarusian saint, St Euphrosinia of Polotsk. As you may know, the abbess of our Convent bears the saint’s name, which means that it is her name day as well.
Recently, we had a unique opportunity to talk about the holy martyr Vladimir Pasternatsky with his granddaughters, Nina Fedorovna Chmyreva and Tatiana Romanovna Khmelevskaya. The sister told us about their saintly grandfather and his family