Saint Theodora’s journey through the Aerial Toll-Houses


Saint Theodora’s journey

through the Aerial Toll-Houses

According to the teachings of the Church, the particular judgment of souls by God is preceded by their torments, or rather a series of tests; these take place in the regions of the air, where the evil spirits have their domain (Eph. 6. 12). They detain the souls and declare and make manifest all the sins which these souls perpetrated during their lives. We know about these torments in great detail because they were revealed to Gregory, the disciple of the holy monk St. Basil the New, who lived in the first half of the Tenth century. Gregory in his vision learned about the hour of death and the passing through torments of a woman known as the Blessed Theodora.

When Gregory asked her to tell him about her passing away and about the circumstances that attended her death and followed it, she told him in great detail the following. “My child Gregory,” she said, “you have asked me about a terrible thing, which it is frightening even to recollect.

“When the hour of my death came, I saw faces such as I had never seen before, and heard words such as I had never heard. What shall I say? Cruel and hard to endure evils, of which I formerly had no idea, encountered me then because of my evil deeds. However, through the prayers and the assistance of our common spiritual father Basil I was saved from these hardships. But how shall I tell you about that physical pain, that stress and close feeling which the dying experience? Like a man who, entirely naked, falls into a great fire, burns, melts, and Continue reading


What’s so special about the Holy Bible?


What’s so special about the Bible?

Christian belief is that the Holy Bible is the word of God, revealed to Man. God’s word is true, unchanging and eternal.

“All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness”(2 Timothy 3:16).

Proof that the Holy Bible is the word of God is found in 1 Peter 1:23:

“You have been born anew, not from perishable but from imperishable seed, through the living and abiding word of God…”

Ομοφυλόφιλοι & Ετεροφυλόφιλοι – Όλοι έχουμε ανάγκη από μετάνοια


Ομοφυλόφιλοι & Ετεροφυλόφιλοι

Όλοι έχουμε ανάγκη από μετάνοια

Διευκρινίζουμε ότι όλοι έχουμε ανάγκη από μετάνοια, ο καθένας για διαφορετικούς λόγους· ο καθένας έχει να αντιμετωπίσει τα δικά του πάθη, όχι να τ’ αποδεχτεί, αλλά να τα πολεμήσει σκληρά. Ένας ετεροφυλόφιλος ενδεχομένως έχει να αντιμετωπίσει πολλά πάθη που σχετίζονται με το σεξ – και ο γάμος δε μπορεί πάντα να τον θεραπεύσει, γιατί μπορεί να αισθάνεται την ανάγκη της μοιχείας, ή ακόμη και συνεύρεσης με πολλούς ερωτικούς συντρόφους ή της παιδεραστίας, της αιμομιξίας, της κτηνοβασίας και άλλα πολλά, που «αισχρόν εστί και λέγειν» (Εφεσίους 5, 12). Όλα αυτά τα πάθη δεν είναι «εντάξει» και ο ετεροφυλόφιλος δεν είναι οπωσδήποτε πιο ενάρετος ή πιο κοντά στο Θεό από τον ομοφυλόφιλο. Και οι δύο μπορούν να σωθούν λόγω της αγάπης του Χριστού, με τον αγώνα που θα δώσουν με τη βοήθεια της θείας χάριτος.

Θεόδωρος Ρηγινιώτης, Θεολόγος

Απόσπασμα από το άρθρο του

“Ομοφυλοφιλία και Ορθόδοξη Πνευματική κληρονομιά”



Icon corner


Icon corner

The icon corner is a small worship space prepared in the homes of Eastern Orthodox Christians.

The Book of Acts and the Epistles of the Apostle Paul record that in the early Church, Christians used to meet in the homes of the faithful. (Acts 2:46, Acts 20:7-12, 1 Corinthians 16:19, etc.) This tradition of the “House Church” continues to this day in Eastern Christianity. The home is considered to be a microcosm of the Church. The parents (both the husband and the wife) are the “clergy” of the house church, and the children are the “laity”. The wedding ceremony (“crowning”) is analogous to Ordination, and the house is blessed with a rite that is based upon the Consecration of a Church. Once a year, the priest will come to bless the house with Theophany Water.

An Orthodox Christian is expected to pray constantly. According to Bishop Kallistos Ware, “In Orthodox spirituality, there is no separation between liturgy and private devotion”. Thus the house, just like the Temple (church building), is considered to be a consecrated place, and the center of worship in the house is the icon corner.

An icon corner is normally oriented to face east. It is often located in a corner to eliminate worldly distractions and allow prayer to be more concentrated. Here is where the icons that the family owns should be located, normally including at least icons of Christ, the Theotokos, and the Patron Saint(s) of the family. An oil lamp normally hangs in front of the icons. The careful trimming of the lamp to keep it burning at all times is interpreted as symbolic of the attentive daily care faithful Christians should take over their souls. Relics of saints (if the family possesses any) and a Gospel Book and a blessing cross would be kept there, as well as incense, holy water, palms and pussywillow from Palm Sunday, candles from Pascha (Easter), and other sacred items, as well as a personal Commemoration Book (containing the names of family and loved ones, both living and departed, to be remembered in prayer).

Ideally, the icon corner is located so that it is visible when one first enters the house from the main entrance. Traditionally, when first entering the house, an Orthodox Christian would venerate the icons before greeting the members of the house.

A traditional Orthodox family will gather together every day for morning and evening prayers. Sometimes, at the end of the prayers, the head of the household will take the hand censer and cense the icons and all of the members of the household.

Often, in addition to the icon corner, a family will hang a small “portal icon” (usually of the Virgin and Christ Child) by the door, which is venerated by family and guests whenever going in or out of the house.

Source: Wikipedia

Box full of kisses (love)


Box full of kisses (love)

Some time ago, a man punished his 3-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he became infuriated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree.

Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said, “This is for you, Daddy.”

The man became embarrassed by his overreaction earlier, but his rage continue when he saw that the box was empty. He yelled at her; “Don’t you know, when you give someone a present, there is supposed to be something inside?”

The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and cried;


The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl, and he begged for her forgiveness.

Only a short time later, an accident took the life of the child. Her father kept the gold box by his bed for many years and, whenever he was discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.

Love is the most precious gift in the world.


The Three Trees – Christian Story


The Three Trees – Christian Story

Long ago in the forest, lived three tall tress, the biggest among all trees in the forest. One fine day, the three were having a chat, talking about their dream of the future.

The first tree said, “I want to grow taller and stronger, and I want a man to chop me down and make a beautiful bed of my trunk, so a great king can sleep on me.”

The second tree said, “I want to grow taller and stronger, because I want a man to chop me down and make a big yacht of my trunk, so a king can sail on me and go around the world.”

The third tree said, “If me, I don’t want anyone to chop me down. I want to be the tallest and the biggest tree in this forest, so everyone can come to me and look at me admiring my tall trunk.”

So then – the trees agreed to pray each and every day so God would make their dreams come true.

One day, a man came and chopped the first tree. The first tree was excited. He thought his dream was finally come true. But when the man found the quality of the tree trunk was not very good, he didn’t make him as a bed, he turned the tree trunk into a manger instead, for Continue reading

“Ένα έγκλημα, δεν παύει να είναι έγκλημα, επειδή το κάνουν πολλοί” και άλλες μικρές αλήθειες…


Μικρές αλήθειες…

* Η διαχωριστική γραμμή μεταξύ του καλού και του κακού περνά μέσα από την καρδιά του κάθε ανθρώπου.

* Μια πράξη αγάπης μπορεί να ζυμώσει “πέντε άρτους”. Μιά λέξη ευγενική μπορεί να χορτάσει “πεντακισχιλίους”.

* Η σεμνότητα είναι η ταξιθέτις που μας βοηθάει νά βρίσκουμε πάντα στη ζωή, τη σωστή μας θέση.

* Ένα έγκλημα, δεν παύει να είναι έγκλημα, επειδή το κάνουν πολλοί.

* Τα δάκρυα της μητέρας είναι η πιο ισχυρή υδροηλεκτρική δύναμη του κόσμου.

* Εμείς οι Χριστιανοί συναθροιζόμαστε στη Θεία Λατρεία σαν στρατός για να πολιορκήσουμε το Θεό με τις προσευχές μας

Από το βιβλίο: Αρχιμ. Ιωάννου Κωστώφ, Ψυχική Τόνωση, εκδ. Άγιος Ιωάννης ο Δαμασκηνός (τηλ. 6978461846), Σταμάτα 2017

Orthodoxy tells us to be humble – Fr. Andrew Konanos, Greece


Orthodoxy tells us to be humble

Fr. Andrew Konanos, Greece

If while being in the church we come to our egoism’s developing, hidden or explicit, both of which are equally terrible, I believe we will be in great danger.

* * *

Orthodoxy is humility. Orthodoxy is compassion. Orthodoxy means “I am the last”. The first will be the last. When one feels and shouts: “I am the first, we are the first in the whole Europe and in the whole world!” This is definitely not Orthodox mentality, even if you are an Orthodox Christian and teach the finest things. You are an Orthodox Christian, but your arrogance ruins everything. Do not forget that the Pharisees and Sadducees were the first people of their time, the most “orthodox” ones, but they lost everything. Think a bit about it. No one knows who will be saved. No one knows anything about anyone.

Clearly, paradise starts here. If you are happy in this life, you will be happy later on. If you are picky, bitter, and indignant in this life, if you put on a sour face, grumble, cry, and complain constantly, then do not think that the next life will be any different. The way you live here is not going to change there. The life of the next century is nothing other than continuation of this life.

Do you live in paradise now? Afterwards it will be the same. Do you love Christ? Afterwards you will continue loving Him. Do you love your significant other? Afterwards you will continue doing so. Do you understand? The scene will not change at the touch of a button. It is impossible to feel as if you are in hell here, in this life, and suddenly find yourself in paradise. If you are going through the emotional anticipation of hell now, you cannot say later: “Oh, great! I am in the Kingdom of God now”.

It all starts here. Many saints have felt the joys of paradise just from here and were surprised by this great delight. “I am already so happy, and I am so glad about it! The next life is yet to come, why am I so glad?” they asked. Their spiritual father answered, “All the good things that we believe in start here. Even in mortal life we can feel what the Kingdom of God, paradise, and eternal joy mean”.

I wish you to enjoy the anticipation of paradise in this life, right from this moment and after many years to go where many saints and souls of the righteous live. In this or that era each of them worked hard in their courses of salvation. Nowadays ascetic life is defined anew: the content is the same, but forms and manifestations change. Experience has shown that if we follow the old ascetic forms in the “copy-paste” fashion, we will self-destruct, move away from each other. We cannot let “ascetics”, “Orthodox Christians”, and “hermits” become the reason of such a disintegration.

From the book “On Certain Difficulties in Marriage” by Father Andrew Konanos

Translated by Julia Frolova





Faith and miracles – Blessed Elder Joel Yannakopoulos of Kalamata, Greece (+1966)


Faith and miracles

Blessed Elder Joel Yannakopoulos

of Kalamata, Greece (+1966)

Once, when Fr. Joel was traveling on a train, a rumor spread at one provincial station that a miracle had occurred in the church in the neighboring village—an icon was weeping! All of the passengers immediately left the train and rushed to see the miracle—everyone, that is, except Fr. Joel, who continued reading his book.

When the passengers returned, touched, the man sitting right across from Fr. Joel couldn’t hold back his indignation at the priest’s calmness and said, “Father, I see you don’t believe!”

“I believe,” Fr. Joel replied, “and therefore I’m not surprised by miracles. But you don’t believe, and so you ran to see the miracle and believe, didn’t you? So tell me—do you believe now?”