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RE: [orthodox-synod] 12/14 St.Spyridon of Tremythous

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  • Elias Gorsky
    Dear Stephanos, You will be glad to know that at Novo-Diveevo Convent in Nanuet, NY, there was a combined service to St Spiridon AND St Herman, with the
    Message 1 of 13 , Dec 26, 2003
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      Dear Stephanos,

      You will be glad to know that at Novo-Diveevo Convent in Nanuet, NY, there
      was a combined service to St Spiridon AND St Herman, with the magnification
      sung to both of them. I served at vigil there and then at liturgy to St.
      Herman in Montreal at the ST Herman Youth Conference. So we Russians have
      not forgotten St Spiridon.

      The liturgy in Montreal was very prayerful, served by bishop Gabriel with
      about 10 priests and one deacon. It was interesting that most (if not all)
      waiters working at the hotel were orthodox serbs who prayed with us at the
      hotel and requested at the end of the converence that a photo be taken of
      them with the bishop and clergy. Although I attended only the last closing
      day, I can vouchsafe that the conference was a great success.

      With love in Christ,
      Archpriest Ilya

      -----Original Message-----
      From: StephenATL/???????? [mailto:sbu@...]
      Sent: Thursday, December 25, 2003 8:13 PM
      To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [orthodox-synod] 12/14 St.Spyridon of Tremythous

      Bless, Father;

      and a Good Christmas Fast!

      Well, in our English-speaking parish of St. Mary of Egypt, we do
      celebrate them together. It just saddens me that St. Spyridon is
      ignored/forgotten by most ROCOR parishes, in favor of St. Herman. I
      don't think St. Herman, a humble monk in life, would approve of his
      feast completely replacing that of St. Spyridon, rather than being
      celebrated together.

      Stephanos


      Rev. Sergei Overt wrote:

      >Yes, StephanATL, you are right!
      >Though what is worse is that at many ROCOR Russian émigré
      >churches there is no service at all on this feast (St. Herman Youth
      >Conference is a great exception!) because many will not come to their local
      >Russian parish church on this day .
      >They will be celebrating a "émigré feast" one could call *secular American
      >Kreezmaz*. Perhaps eating turkey and ham with their intermarried
      >half-Orthodox relatives.
      >Many of these will also be in opposition to have anything whatsoever to do
      >with faithful Orthodox Christians of the Church of Russia (MP)
      >who do celebrate Saint Spyridon today in the many newly opened Moscow
      >Patriarchate churches of Russia !
      >(These same "staunch ROCOR parishioners" might attack the OCA for "changing
      >the calendar" and using English in the services also.)
      >This is the present sad state of our beloved ROCOR.
      >I am only being honest. Forgive me.
      >
      >----- Original Message -----
      >From: "StephenATL/????????" <sbu@...>
      >To: "SYNOD LIST" <orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com>
      >Sent: Thursday, December 25, 2003 2:07 PM
      >Subject: [orthodox-synod] 12/14 St.Spyridon of Tremythous
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >>Why does ROCOR completely ignore/forget our Holy Father Spyridon, who is
      >>at least equal to, if not greater than St. Herman of Alaska. They
      >>should be celebrated together, equally!
      >>
      >>Saint Spyridon of Tremythous - December 12th (25th)
      >>
      >>St. Spyridon was born towards the end of the III Century on the island
      >>of Cyprus. The accounts have preserved little about his life. But it is
      >>known, that he was a shepherd, and had a wife and children. He used all
      >>his substance for the needs of his neighbors and the homeless, for which
      >>the Lord rewarded him with a gift of wonderworking: he healed the
      >>incurably sick and cast out devils. After the death of his wife, during
      >>the reign of Constantine the Great (306-337), they ordained him bishop
      >>of the Cypriot city of Tremythous. Even with the dignity of bishop the
      >>saint did not change his manner of life, combining pastoral service with
      >>deeds of charity. According to the witness of Church historians, Saint
      >>Spyridon in the year 325 participated in the sessions of the First
      >>OEcumenical Council. At the Council, the saint entered into a dispute
      >>with a Greek philosopher, who was defending the Arian heresy. The plain
      >>direct speaking of Saint Spyridon showed everyone the impotence of human
      >>wisdom affront Divine Wisdom: "Listen, philosopher, to what I tell thee:
      >>we believe, that the Almighty God from out of nothing did create by His
      >>Word and His Spirit both heaven and earth, and all the world both
      >>visible and invisible. The Word is the Son of God, Who didst come down
      >>upon the earth on account of our sins; he wast born of a Virgin, He
      >>lived amongst mankind, and suffered and died for our salvation, and then
      >>He arose, having redeemed by His sufferings the Original Sin, and He
      >>hath resurrected with Him the human race. We believe, that He is One in
      >>Essence and Equal-in-Dignity with the Father, and we believe this
      >>without any sly rationalizations, since it is impossible to grasp this
      >>mystery by human reason". As a result of their discussion, the opponent
      >>of Christianity became the saint's zealous defender and later accepted
      >>holy Baptism. And after his conversation with Saint Spyridon, turning
      >>towards his companions, the philosopher said: "Listen! While the
      >>disputation with me was conducted by means of argued proofs, I could set
      >>forth to certain proofs other proofs, and by the very art of debate I
      >>could refute anything, that others might propose. But when, instead of
      >>proofs from reason, there began to issue forth from the mouth of this
      >>elder some sort of especial power, and the rational proofs became
      >>powerless against it, since it is impossible that man can withstand God.
      >>If any of you should come to think as I now indeed do, let him believe
      >>in Christ and together with me follow this elder, from whose lips doth
      >>speak God Himself". At this Council, Saint Spyridon displayed a proof in
      >>evidence of the Oneness within the Holy Trinity. He took in his hand a
      >>brick and he grasped it -- for an instant fire emerged from it upwards,
      >>water flowed downwards, and there remained clay in the hands of the
      >>wonderworker. "There are these three elements, but one tile (brick), --
      >>and Saint Spyridon then said, -- suchlike also the Holy Trinity: Three
      >>Persons, but One God".
      >>
      >>The saint concerned himself about his flock with great love. Through his
      >>prayer, drought was replaced by abundant life-producing rains, and
      >>otherwise incessant rains were replaced by fair weather. And likewise
      >>through his prayer the sick were healed and demons cast out. One time a
      >>woman came up to him with a dead child in her arms, imploring the
      >>intercession of the saint. He prayed, and the infant was restored to
      >>life. The mother, overcome with joy, collapsed lifeless. Through the
      >>prayer of the saint of God the mother was restored to life. Another
      >>time, hastening to save his friend, falsely accused and sentenced to
      >>death, the saint was hindered on his way by the unanticipated flooding
      >>of a watery brook. The saint commanded the freshet: "Halt! For thus
      >>biddeth thee the Lord of all the world, that I might cross over and a
      >>man be saved, on account of whom be my haste". The will of the saint was
      >>fulfilled, and he crossed over happily to the other shore. The judge,
      >>apprised of the miracle that had occurred, received Saint Spyridon with
      >>esteem and set free his friend.
      >>
      >>Similar instances are known from the life of the saint. One time he went
      >>into an empty church, he gave orders to light up the lampadas and
      >>candles, and then he began the Divine services. Intoning the "Peace be
      >>unto all", both he and the deacon heard in reply from above the
      >>resounding of "a great multitude of voices, proclaiming: "And with thy
      >>spirit". This choir was majestic and more sweetly melodious than any
      >>human choir. To each ectenia-petition of the litanies, the invisible
      >>choir sang "Lord, have mercy". Attracted by the church singing wafting
      >>forth, the people situated nearby hastened towards it. And as they got
      >>closer and closer to the church, the wondrous singing all more and more
      >>filled the ears and gladdened their hearts. But when they entered into
      >>the church, they saw no one besides the bishop and several church
      >>servers, nor did they hear any moreso the church singing, by which they
      >>were greatly astonished".
      >>
      >>Saint Simeon Metaphrastes, the author of his Life, likened Saint
      >>Spyridon to the Patriarch Abraham in his virtue of hospitality. "This
      >>also must needs be known, how he received strangers", -- wrote that
      >>insider of the monastic circles, Sozomen, who in his "Church History"
      >>offers an amazing example from the life of the saint. One time, at the
      >>onset of the Forty-day Great Lent a stranger knocked at his door. Seeing
      >>that the traveler was very exhausted, Saint Spyridon said to his
      >>daughter: "Wash the feet of this man, that he may recline to dine". But
      >>with it being Lent there were none of the necessary provisions, since
      >>the saint "partook of food only on set days, and on other days he went
      >>without food". His daughter therefore answered, that in the house there
      >>was neither bread, nor even flour. Then Saint Spyridon, apologizing to
      >>his guest, ordered his daughter to roast a salted ham in the food
      >>provisions, and having seated the stranger at table, he began to dine,
      >>"urging that man to do likewise. When the latter refused, calling
      >>himself a Christian, the saint rejoined: "It be no less proper to refuse
      >>this, since the Word of God hath proclaimed: "All is pure to the pure"
      >>(Tit. 1: 15)".
      >>
      >>Another historical detail, reported by Sozomen, was likewise exceedingly
      >>characteristic of the saint: he had the custom to distribute one part of
      >>the gathered harvest to the destitute, and another portion to those
      >>having need while in debt. For himself personally he did not take a
      >>portion, but simply showed the entrance to his , where each coulsupply
      >>roomd take as much as was needed, and thereafter make a return in like
      >>manner, without controls or accountings.
      >>
      >>There is also the tale by Sokrates Scholastikos about how robbers
      >>planned to steal the sheep of Saint Spyridon: in the deep of night they
      >>broke into the sheepfold, but here by some invisible power they found
      >>themselves all tied up. With the onset of morning the saint went to his
      >>flock, and seeing the tied-up robbers, he prayed and untied them and for
      >>a long while he upbraided them to leave off from their path of iniquity
      >>and earn a livelihood by respectable work. "Then, having made them a
      >>present of a sheep and sending them off, the saint said kindly: "Be ye
      >>not vigilant in vain".
      >>
      >>They often likened Saint Spyridon to the Prophet Elias (Elijah or
      >>Ilias), since it was through his prayer during the times of drought that
      >>frequently threatened the island of Cyprus, that rain occurred: "Let us
      >>view the Angelic equal Spyridon the Wonderworker. Formerly did the land
      >>suffer exceedingly from want of rain and drought: there was famine and
      >>pestilence and a great many of the people were stricken, but through the
      >>prayers of the saint there did descend rain from the heavens upon the
      >>earth: wherefore the people delivered from woe gratefully do proclaim:
      >>Hail, thou in semblance to the great prophet, in that the rain driving
      >>off famine and malady in good time is come down".
      >>
      >>All the Vitae (Lives) of the saint are striking in the amazing
      >>simplicity and powerful wonderworking, granted him by God. Through a
      >>word of the saint the dead were awakened, the elements of nature tamed,
      >>the idols smashed. At one point at Alexandria, a Council had been
      >>convened by the Patriarch in regard to the idols and pagan temples
      >>there, and through the prayers of the fathers of the Council all the
      >>idols fell down, except one -- which was very much revered. It was
      >>revealed to the Patriarch in a vision that this idol remained to be
      >>shattered by Saint Spyridon of Tremythous. Invited by the Council, the
      >>saint set sail on a ship, and at the moment the ship touched shore and
      >>the saint stepped out on land, the idol in Alexandria with all its
      >>offerings turned to dust, which then was announced to the Patriarch and
      >>all the bishops gathered round Saint Spyridon.
      >>
      >>Saint Spyridon lived his earthly life in righteousness and sanctity, and
      >>in prayer he offered up his soul to the Lord (+ c. 348).
      >>
      >>In the history of the Church, Sainted Spyridon is venerated together
      >>with Sainted Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia. His relics repose on
      >>the island of Kérkyra (Corfu), in a church named after him (except for
      >>the right hand, located in Rome). His memory is celebrated a second time
      >>on Cheesefare Saturday.
      >>
      >>
      >> A Miracle of Saint Spyridon
      >>
      >>------------------------------------------------------------------------
      >>Approximately thirteen hundred years after his repose, Saint Spyridon's
      >>body remains incorrupt on the island of Kérkyra (Corfu) generating an
      >>untold number of miracles. What is significant about this extraordinary
      >>miracle and possibly shocking to some of our Christians is the fact that
      >>God or His Saints do not necessarily accept the offerings or the prayers
      >>of heretical and deluded Christians.
      >>
      >>In 1716 the Turks had the island of Kérkyra under a tight siege. They
      >>had 50,000 troops and a good number of ships surrounding the island,
      >>cutting its lifeline from land and sea.
      >>
      >>The barbarian armies were concentrated at the far walls of the city.
      >>Pizani, a general of the forces of the Venetian Republic, was anxiously
      >>anticipating the oncoming enemy attack (Kérkyra and the nearby islands
      >>were occupied by Italy at the time). At daybreak on August 11, 1716, St.
      >>Spyridon the patron Saint of the island, appeared in front of the enemy
      >>lines holding a glistening sword in his right hand. His austere and
      >>grandiose appearance horrified the aggressors who began to recede. The
      >>Agarenes, panic-stricken by the most awesome presence and fearless
      >>attack of the Saint, abandoned weapons, machinery and animals running
      >>for their lives. This great miracle became known throughout the island.
      >>The Turks had left behind 120 cannons, a good amount of weapons,
      >>ammunition, animals and food.
      >>
      >>After this powerful, surprising and most obvious miracle, the Venetian
      >>ruler Andrew Pizani, a Papist, wanted to erect a Papist altar in the
      >>Orthodox Church of St. Spyridon (forever pushing for this was also the
      >>Papist Cardinal of the island). However, St. Spyridon appeared to Pizani
      >>in a dream saying, "Why are you bothering me? The altar of your faith is
      >>unacceptable in my Temple!" Naturally Pizani reported this to the Papist
      >>Cardinal who answered that it was nothing but an evil fantasy of the
      >>devil who wanted to nullify the noble deed. After this Pizani was very
      >>much encouraged, so he ordered the necessary materials to commence
      >>construction of the altar. The materials were piled up outside of the
      >>temple of St. Spyridon. When the Orthodox priests of the temple and the
      >>Greek leaders of the island realized this, they were cut to the heart.
      >>They asked to meet with Pizani to beg him to put a stop to this.
      >>Pizani's response was quite disheartening. He bluntly said, "As the
      >>ruler, I will do whatever I please!" At that moment, the Orthodox
      >>community of the island turned their eyes to their Saint beseeching him
      >>to put a stop to this abomination.
      >>
      >>That same night, St. Spyridon appeared to Pizani as a monk and told him,
      >>"I told you not to bother me. If you dare to go through with your
      >>decision, you will surely regret it, but by then it will be too late."
      >>
      >>The next morning Pizani reported all this to the Papist Cardinal who now
      >>accused him of being not only faithless but "yellow". Again, after this,
      >>the ruler mustered up enough courage to order the construction of the
      >>
      >>
      >altar.
      >
      >
      >>The Papists of the island were celebrating their triumph while the
      >>Orthodox were deeply grieved. Their grief could not be comforted and
      >>with tears they begged for the Saint's intervention to save them from
      >>the Papist abomination. The Saint heard their prayers and intervened
      >>dynamically. That evening, a terrible storm broke out unleashing a
      >>barrage of thunderbolts on Fort Casteli, the base of Pizani and his
      >>ammunition barracks. The entire fort ended up in a holocaust. Nine
      >>hundred Papist soldiers and civilians were instantly killed from the
      >>explosion, but not a single Orthodox-who were not allowed in the fort
      >>after dark-was harmed. Pizani was found dead with his neck wedged
      >>between two wooden beams. The body of the Papist Cardinal was found
      >>thrown a great distance from the fort. But the most amazing fact is that
      >>the same night and at the same hour another thunderbolt struck in Venice
      >>targeting the compound of Pizani, burning his portrait that hung on the
      >>wall. Strangely enough nothing else was damaged. Also, the guard of the
      >>ammunition barracks saw the Saint draw near him with a lit torch. He was
      >>carried by the Saint near the church of the Crucified without a single
      >>scratch.
      >>
      >>Prayer to St. Spyridon of Tremythous
      >>
      >> O most blessed hierarch Spyridon, thou great Saint of Christ and
      >> glorious wonder-worker!
      >>
      >> Standing in heaven before the throne of God with choirs of Angels,
      >> look down with a compassionate eye upon the people gathered here
      >> (names may be added) and asking thy powerful help.
      >>
      >> Entreat the merciful kindness of God Who loveth mankind, that He
      >> judge us not according to our iniquities, but rather act towards us
      >> according to His mercy.
      >>
      >> Ask for us of Christ our God, a peaceful and serene life, health of
      >> soul and body, a fruitful earth, and in all things abundance and
      >> prosperity; that we turn not unto evil the good things bestowed upon
      >> us by our generous God, but rather unto His glory and the praise of
      >> thine intercession.
      >>
      >> Deliver us, who with unswerving faith approach God, from all ills,
      >> whether spiritual or physical; from all discouragements and
      >> diabolical snares.
      >>
      >> Be a consoler unto those in sorrow, a healer of the infirm, a helper
      >> of those in troubles, a coverer of the naked, a defender of widows,
      >> a protector of orphans, a nourisher of infants, a strengthener of
      >> the aged, a guide unto travellers, a compass to those that sail, and
      >> pray for all that seek thy mighty intercession, that they may
      >> receive all that is profitable unto their salvation: so that, taught
      >> and kept by thy prayers, we may attain eternal rest and together
      >> with thee glorify God, Who is One in the Holy Trinity, the Father,
      >> and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
      >>
      >> A prayer read in the Admiralty Cathedral of St. Spyridon in St.
      >> Petersburg
      >>
      >> (This material compiled from various sources.)
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
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