The Basil Leaf. A Sweet scent of spiritual Fragrance. C h u r c h S t a f f Parish Priest, Editor: Fr. Demetrios Kounavis

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1 A M o n t h l y P u b l i c a t i o n o f H o l y C r o s s G r e e k O r t h o d o x C h u r c h o f J u s t i c e, I L C h u r c h S t a f f Parish Priest, Editor: Fr. Demetrios Kounavis The Basil Leaf ANOTHER SALVATION OPPORTUNITY A Sweet scent of spiritual Fragrance N o v e m b e r Parish Council President: Paraskevas Jim Lilas Secretary: Christina Arvanites Rebecca Mallios Chanter: Athanasios Hatzis George Villis Philoptochos President: Joanna Pinos Church School: Chrisanthe Litsogiannis Joan Kanatas Greek School: Maria Poulos I n s i d e t h i s i s s u e : Blanket Drive 2 Calendar 3 Greek Articles 4-5 Archangel Michael 6-7 Kid s Page 9-10 Ad Page 11 Check out our website: It seems like yesterday when the summer heat was upon us. And here we are again preparing to enter the transformative period called Advent and Christmas. It is a marvelous and sacred time in our church calendar. Advent is a forgotten 40 days of invitation to renew our commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ. It is forty days to inventory the quality and direction of our lives. It is forty days to avail ourselves of the opportunity of saving our souls. By the Grace of God it is a time to bring balance, holiness, peace and purpose to our lives. Thanksgiving and Christmas become meaningless and devoid of joy if we only see it as a time of just feasting. Indeed, we ought to also fast, according to our church guidelines. We ought to learn self-denial and bodily self-discipline. But if we only center the Holy season on our stomachs, we miss the whole spiritual purpose. A saying attributed to the Holy Fathers of the church says: The devil does not eat, he does not drink and he does not marry and this great ascetic formally is not less a devil. We must put this into the proper context. Fasting should be a means to draw us closer to God by focusing on Him. In addition to food considerations, the holidays should be a time of spiritual growth and personal life changes. Let us pray for positive attitude adjustments and habit rehabilitation that brings out the good in all of us and reconciles us to God and to one another. Do you want to make your holidays really count? Do you want to greet Jesus the new born Babe with a joyous Christ is born, Glorify Him? Consider the following 10 unofficial Commandments as part of personal renewal. Put them on your refrigerator door, read them frequently and practice them with conviction and prayer. 1. Keep skid chains on your tongue; always say less than you think. Cultivate a low, persuasive voice. How you say it, often counts more than what you say. 2. Make promises sparingly, and keep them faithfully, no matter what it costs. 3. Never let any opportunity pass to say a kind and encouraging word to or about somebody. Praise good work, regardless of who did it. If criticism is needed, criticize helpfully, never spitefully. 4. Be interested in others, their pursuits, their work, their homes and families. Make merry with those who rejoice; with those who weep, mourn. Let everyone you meet, however humble, feel that you regard them as a person of importance. 5. Be cheerful. Don t burden or depress those around you by dwelling on your minor aches and pains and small disappointments. Remember, everyone is carrying his own cross. 6. Keep an open mind. Discuss, but don t argue. It is a mark of a superior heart to be able to disagree without being disagreeable. 7. Let your virtues speak for themselves. Refuse to talk of another s vices. Discourage gossip. It is a waste of valuable time and is extremely destructive. 8. Be careful of another s feelings. Wit and humor at the other person s expense are rarely worth it and may hurt when least expected. 9. Pay no attention to ill-natured remarks about you. Remember, the person who carried the message may not be the most accurate reporter in the world. Simply live so that nobody will believe them. 10. Don t be anxious about the credit due you. Do your best and be patient. Forget about yourself, and let others remember. Practice forgiveness and charity. Happy Thanksgiving and Advent! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you!


3 Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat 5:30pm: Grand Raffle Banquet 6pm: YAL Meeting am: St. Nectarios 10 Liturgy at St. Nicholas at Holy Cross November pm: Philoptochos Meeting 7pm: Parish Council Meeting 4 7pm: Orthodox Life in English 11 7pm: Orthodox Life in English Metropolis of Chicago Clergy Laity, Madison, Wisconsin Liturgy at St. Nicholas 6-8pm: FAMILY NIGHT at Holy Cross St. Spyridon 6:15pm: Paraklesis and Orthodox Life in Greek Liturgy at Holy Cross 10am: HOPE 6:15pm: Paraklesis and Orthodox Life in Greek Liturgy at St. Nicholas Liturgy at Holy Cross Liturgy at St. Nicholas 5pm: Vespers 6pm: Couples Ministry 5pm: Vespers Theotokos at Holy Cross 10am: Making Blankets for the Elderly 10am: Greek School 5pm: Vespers Liturgy at St. Nicholas NO Greek School 5pm: Vespers 1 Church School 5 Senior Luncheon at am: Greek School 8 Church School am: Greek School General Assembly 15 Church School am: 40 Day 20 9am: 40 Day 21 8am: Entry of the 22 Church School 23 9am: 40 Day 24 9am: 40 Day 29 NO Church School 30 8am: St. Andrew 25 8am: St. Katherine 26 9am: 40 Day 27 9am: 40 Day 28 9am: 40 Day

4 ΤΑ ΕΙΣΟΔΙΑ ΤΗΣ ΘΕΟΤΟΚΟΥ Στις 21 Νοεμβρίου η Ορθόδοξος Χριστιανική Εκκλησία μας γιορτάζει τα Εισόδια της Θεοτόκου. Όλοι γνωρίζομε το συμπαθέστατο βιβλικό ζευγάρι του Ιωακείμ και της Άννας. Ζευγάρι πιστό στον ένα και αληθινό Θεό των πατέρων τους. Ήταν και οι δύο τους άνθρωποι καλόγνωμοι καί ειρηνικοί και η συμβίωσή τους κυλούσε ήρεμα. Ωστόσο μια μελαγχολία βάραινε τις ψυχές τους. Και στων δύο τις καρδιές φώλιαζε η ίδια λαχτάρα. Να γίνουν γονείς, να αποκτήσουν έστω καί ένα παιδί'' Η Άννα με τις θερμές προσευχές που καθημερινά έστελνε στον Θεό της, είχε τάξει να προσφέρει, να αφιερώσει το παιδί που θα της χάριζε ο Κύριος στην υπηρεσία την δική του. Είχε διαβάσει η Άννα στα ιερά γράμματα (Παλ. Διαθήκη) για μια άλλη Άννα την γυναίκα του Ελκανά που πριν εκατοντάδες χρόνια είχε και αυτή τον ίδιο καημό, νά αποκτήσει ένα παιδί. Ό Κύριος των Δυνάμεων είχε εισακούσει τότε την θερμή προσευχή της Άννας του Ελκανά και της χάρισε ένα αγοράκι. Όλοι ξέρουμε τον μεγάλο προφήτη Σαμουήλ, το ευλογημένο παιδί της προσευχής. Αυτά σκεφτόταν η Άννα του Ιωακείμ με τη μεγάλη πίστη της στον Θεό και ήλπιζε. Μήπως λιγόστεψε η δύναμις του Κυρίου της; Μήπως εμίκρυνε το παντοδύναμο χέρι του; (Αρ.ια:23 Ησ:νθ:1). Καί έτσι μ' όλο που τα χρόνια κυλούσαν αφήνοντας πάνω στην Άννα τ' αχνάρια τους, εκείνη δεν έπαψε να προσεύχεται θερμά και να περιμένει το θαύμα. Μα το πότε θα γίνει το θαύμα που ο καθένας μας περιμένει, μόνον ο Θεός το γνωρίζει, Εκείνος ξέρει την κατάλληλη στιγμή και όχι εμείς οι ανυπόμονοι. Ο κόσμος πλήγωνε το αγαπημένο ζευγάρι και δεν το άφηναν ούτε θυσίες να προσφέρει στον Θεό, γιατί τότε επικρατούσε η γνώμη ότι οι άνθρωποι που δεν γεννούσαν παιδιά δεν είχανε το δικαίωμα της προσφοράς θυσιών. Μα να, το πλήρωμα του χρόνου φθάνει σε μιά εποχή που οι ανθρώπινες ελπίδες έχουνε σβύσει. Και η Άννα γέννησε την μονάκριβη στον κόσμο θυγατέρα της, όταν το κεφάλι της ήταν άσπρο από τα γερατειά καί τα όργανά της νεκρωμένα λόγω της ηλικίας, γέννησε την κόρη της, την μικρή Μαρία, την εκλεκτή του Θεού. Στις 8 Σεπτεμβρίου γιορτάζουμε την γέννηση της μικρής Παναγίτσας μας. Χαρά γέμισε το σπιτικό και τις ψυχές του πιστού ζευγαριού. Στήν δύση της ζωής τους ανέτειλε και γι' αυτούς ο ήλιος της χαράς!! Μα μέσα στη χαρά τους δεν ξεχάσανε το μεγάλο τους τάμα, "να αφιερώσουν τήν κόρη τους στον Ναό, στην υπηρεσία του Θεού". Τα πρώτα χρόνια της ζωής της Μαρίας πέρασαν γρήγορα για την Άννα και έφθασε η ώρα της εκπληρώσεως του τάματός της. Αυτή την όμορφη επέτειο γιορτάζομε στις 21 Νοεμβρίου. Χαρούμενο καί βαθειά συγκινημένο το γερασμένο ζευγάρι, περιτριγυρισμένο από φίλους, συγγενείς και κοπέλες γιορτινά ντυμένες με άσπρες λαμπάδες στα χέρια, προχωρεί το δρόμο που φέρνει στον Ναό. Η μικρή Μαρία ντυμένη στα άσπρα, ανάμεσα στον πατέρα και την μητέρα της, προχωρεί χαρούμενη στην αφιέρωση. Προχωρεί σαν να μαντεύει τον ευλογημένο προορισμό της. Η εκκλησία μας με ωραιότατα τροπάρια λαμπρύνει την γιορτή αυτή: Απολυτίκιον: Σήμερον της ευδοκίας Θεού το προοίμιον και της των ανθρώπων σωτηρίας η προκήρυξις` εν ναώ του Θεού τρανώς η παρθένος δείκνυται και τον Χριστόν τοις πάσιν προκαταγγέλλεται. Αυτή και ημείς μεγαλοφώνως βοήσωμεν` χαίρε της οικονομίας του κτίστου η εκπλήρωσις. Κοντάκιον: Ο καθαρώτατος ναός του Σωτήρος η πολυτίμητος παστάς και παρθένος το ιερόν θησαύρισμα της δόξης του Θεού, σήμερον εισάγεται εν τω οίκω Κυρίου, την χάριν συνεισάγουσα την εν πνεύματι θείω ην ανυμνούσιν άγγελοι Θεού. Αύτη υπάρχει σκηνή επουράνιος.

5 Έτσι η Μαρία ταμένη από την μητέρα της, αφιερώθηκε και αφοσιώθηκε στον Θεό, ο οποίος την αντάμειψε όσο καμιά άλλη γυναίκα στον κόσμο. Μέσα στα αγνά σπλάχνα της εσκήνωσε ο Ίδιος ο Θεός. Έγινε μάνα Θεού και έμεινε η αειπάρθενος μητέρα εις τους αιώνας. Γιατί όταν ο άγγελος Γαβριήλ της έφερε τό θείον μήνυμα, έσκυψε το κεφάλι ταπεινά και είπε: «Ιδού η δούλη Κυρίου γένοιτό μοι κοιτά τό ρήμα σου». Τελεία υποταγή, Και ήξερε πώς αυτό που ζητούσε απ' αυτήν ο Κύριος, δηλαδή το να βρεθεί η μνηστευμένη Μαρία έγκυος, τιμωρείτο με λιθοβολισμό. Το ήξερε και όμως έσκυψε το κεφάλι της μπροστά στο θέλημα του Θεού με πλήρη υποταγή και εμπιστοσύνη. Εμείς όλοι που αγοραστήκαμε (Α' Κορ. στ: 20, ζ:23, Γαλ. γ 13, Εβρ, θ:12, Α' Πέτρ. α:18, 19, Αποκ. ε:9) από τον Χριστό, με τίμημα το άγιον αίμα Του τί κάνουμε; Του ανήκουμε στ αληθινά; Αυτό θα το ψάξουμε μέσα μας. Θα το ψάξουμε στον τρόπο της ζωής μας. Αφήσαμε το τιμόνι του πλοίου μας, που είναι η ίδια η ζωή μας, με εμπιστοσύνη στα χέρια του μεγάλου και αλάθητου καραβοκύρη μας; Δεχόμαστε τίς φουρτούνες και τις μπόρες (αρρώστιες, θάνατοι, αντιξοότητες) με υποταγή λέγοντας: "Γεννηθήτω το θέλημά σου Κύριε", όπως δεχόμαστε τις μπουνάτσες και το πρίμο αγέρι (τις καθημερινές ευλογίες); Αν τώρα μετά το ψάξιμο που θα κάνουμε, βρούμε πως τις χαρές και τις ευλογίες τις δεχόμαστε υμνούντες τον Κύριο, τις δε δοκιμασίες αγανακτούντες καί ζητούντες τον λόγον απ' αυτόν, τότε δεν μπορούμε να νοιώθουμε σαν παιδιά δικά του, αφού δεν του δινόμαστε ολοκληρωτικά. Εύχομαι η λαμπρή γιορτή των Εισοδίων να σταθεί η αφορμή και η ευκαιρία για την αυτοκριτική και τον αυτοέλεγχό μας. Έτσι θα διαπιστώσουμε αν έχουμε ή όχι αφιερωθεί ολοκληρωτικά στον Κύριο. Αν "ναι" ας συνεχίσουμε τον όμορφο αγώνα μακάριοι. Αν "όχι", ας αρχίσουμε αυτόν τον αγώνα όσο είναι ακόμα καιρός. ~ Ἀπὸ τὴν Ὀρθόδοξος Χριστιανική Γωνιά Ο φύλακας-άγγελος της Αγίας Τραπέζης Διάβασα ένα συγκλονιστικό γεγονός και θέλησα να το μοιραστώ μαζί σας... Κάποιο βράδυ ένας ιερέας, πήγε κάπως αργά στην εκκλησία, γιατί είχε ξεχάσει κάτι που έπρεπε οπωσδήποτε να το πάρει, ξεκλείδωσε την πόρτα και μπήκε μέσα. Ήταν σκοτεινά. Από την Ωραία Πύλη, την οποία είχε ξεχάσει ανοιχτή {δεν είχε τραβήξει την κουρτίνα), βλέπει έναν αστραφτερό Άγγελο με ξίφος πύρινο στο χέρι, να στέκεται δίπλα στην Αγία Τράπεζα! Τρόμαξε τόσο πολύ, που τράπηκε σε φυγή! Φοβήθηκε! Φτάνοντας στον Νάρθηκα (ο Ναός ήταν μεγάλος), ακούστηκε μία φωνή: "Στάσου!" Στάθηκε, λοιπόν, κοκκάλωσε, μαρμάρωσε! Μη φοβάσαι, του είπε πολύ γλυκά η φωνή. Είμαι ο Άγγελος - φύλακας του Ναού. Όταν μία Τράπεζα σε έναν Ναό καθαγιάζεται και γίνεται Αγία, ο Κύριος, ο Παντοκράτωρ, ο Βασιλεύς των βασιλευόντων και Κύριος των κυριευόντων, τοποθετεί έναν ακοίμητο Αγγελο - φύλακα δίπλα στην Αγία Τράπεζα. Σε όλη αυτή τη διάρκεια που έλεγε ο Άγγελος αυτά στον ιερέα, αυτός ήταν ακίνητος στον Νάρθηκα και άκουγε έντρομος, με την πλάτη προς το Ιερό. Και συνέχισε με ακόμη πιο γλυκιά φωνή ο Άγγελος: Έλα, γύρισε, κλείσε σε παρακαλώ την Ωραία Πύλη, που ξέχασες ανοιχτή. (Ο Άγγελος είπε στον ιερέα "σε παρακαλώ". Πόσοι από εμάς λέμε στον συνάνθρωπο μας "σε παρακαλώ;" Πόσοι;). Γύρισε ο ιερέας, (του είχε φύγει ο φόβος, μέσα του βασίλευε γαλήνη) και δεν είδε πλέον τον Αγγελο. Προχώρησε διστακτικά, αλλά τώρα χωρίς φόβο, με σεβασμό. Με δέος έπιασε την κουρτίνα της Ωραίας Πύλης και σιγά - σιγά την έκλεισε. Μέσα του όμως άρχισε να αναρωτιέται: "Μην ήταν φαντασία μου; Μήπως ονειρευόμουν; Μήπως έχω παραισθήσεις;". Ως απάντηση, όμως, άκουσε μυριάδες Αγγελικές φωνές να ψάλλουν το "Άξιον εστί". Δεν άντεξε στο άκουσμα της γλυκιάς αυτής αγγελικής ψαλμωδίας και λιποθύμησε! Έπεσε κάτω! Όταν ύστερα από λίγο συνήλθε, πήγε σπίτι του και δεν μίλησε σε κανέναν. Μετά από 15 χρόνια διηγήθηκε το συμβάν, λίγο πριν πεθάνει. Έτσι, σε κάθε Ναό, δίπλα στην Αγία Τράπεζα, υπάρχει ένας Άγγελος, που εμείς δεν τον βλέπουμε, αλλά εκείνος μας παρακολουθεί σιωπηλά!!!

6 Miracles of the Archangel Michael of Mantamados in Lesvos The Archangel Michael of Mantamados (Gr. O Μανταμάδος) refers to a miraculous icon of the Archangel Michael on the island of Lesvos and is one of the four miraculous icons of the Archangel in the Dodecanese of Greece. The monastery is known locally as Taxiarches (the Archangels) and the feast of the icon is celebrated on November 8 (the Synaxis of the Bodiless Powers) and September 6 (the Miracle at Colossae). History There are two accounts surrounding the date of this icon, one having to do with the Ottoman Turkish occupation and destruction of 1462, and the other with Saracen pirates during the 9th and 10th centuries during which the entire island was invaded. In either case, the story of the creation of the icon shares the theme that the target of the raids was the Monastery of the Taxiarchis. The pirates threatened the monks with death if they would not reveal the whereabouts of the hidden villagers (some say treasures of the monastery). The monks refused and the invaders slaughtered all of the monks except for one novice-monk, named Gabriel who remained hidden. As the pirates where leaving, the novice climbed to the roof of the monastery to be sure that the pirates had left. However, the pirates noticed him from afar and returned to kill him as well. It is at this point in the story that the Archangel Michael makes his appearance in front of the Saracens with his own sword drawn forcing them to retreat in terror. Thanks to this miracle from the Archangel the monk survived and descending to the courtyard buried the bodies of his fellow brotherhood. The monk still in deep respect and reverence for having witnessed the Archangel Michael in all his fury, gathered up the earth that was red by the blood of the martyred monks and shaped it into the icon-sculpture of the Archangel as it is today; while it was still vivid in his memory. According to legend, the monk did not have enough of this dirt-blood mix and so the head of the Archangel has turned out disproportionately larger to the rest of his body. Characteristic Miracles of the Icon Centuries have passed but the bas-relief icon still preserves its freshness and remains as if untouched by time and the kisses of thousands of pilgrims. On the cheeks and forehead of the icon, believers place metal coins (for blessing) that leave marks on the face though these marks then fade away. From time to time, the Archangel s eyes are filled with tears which Christians wipe away with little pieces of cotton. They do the same with the beads of perspiration which occasionally appear on the icon. Another miracle is that a good and faithful person who approaches the icon to pray may receive a unique reaction from St. Michael the Archangel. The expression on the face of the icon might change to a healthy shade of red and sometimes there is a joyful smile on the face of the icon. But when a bad person approaches the icon, the Archangel Michael s face darkens and becomes fierce and, on certain occasions, some people are held back from approaching by an invisible force. It is widely believed that the Archangel has appeared many times in the past to the Turks by whom he is respected and revered but also feared. Offerings to the Icon Offerings to the Archangel vary. Inside the church, a variety of military offerings such as swords, shields and uniforms may be seen. One of the most famous offerings to the Archangel was a pair of metal shoes known as the Archangel s Shoes which subsequently showed signs of wear. Thereafter, more pilgrims have brought metal shoes and placed them near the Archangel s icon. They then ask him to help find what they are searching for. Young ladies usually ask for help in finding a suitable husband. When their paths lead them back to the monastery, the pilgrims search for the shoes they had offered the Archangel. They then check the sole to see if the shoes have been worn and, if they have, it is a sign that the Archangel has used them to search on their behalf and that their prayer will be answered; if not, they take it to mean that he has not yet had the time to carry out that search! The Unexpected Rescue On 20th July, 1974, from the early hours of the morning, the radio was broadcasting news of the invasion of Cyprus by hostile Turkish forces. On the morning of the day after the Turkish attack, the sacristan of the church of the Archangels in Lesvos arose very early. As he put things in order in the church, he came before the full size image of the Archangel, which is located on the right hand side of the courtyard, to light the vigil candle when suddenly the sacristan stood mesmerized as if he had turned to stone. His eyes gaped as he searched for the icon of the Archangel which was missing. He was bathed in a cold sweat. His trembling hands made the sign of the Cross time after time. But, how is it possible he kept saying to himself for an image two meters by one and a half, painted directly onto the wall and with a huge frame, to have disappeared? He was still standing in the same position when the priest of the church arrived to say the daily Liturgy. He was surprised and concerned to see the look of amazement on the face of the sacristan whose eyes were glued to the same spot to which he also pointed with his hand. The priest turned to see what had so affected the sacristan and saw that, in the place of the Archangel s icon, there was a massive brown-colored frame. News of the event spread rapidly through the neighboring villages and to the island s capital, Mitylene, and there were many people who wanted to witness the miraculous event with their own eyes and to worship there. The icon was missing for a whole week. The icon suddenly reappeared in its original place, in the same miraculous way as it had disappeared. Time went by. One cold winter morning the sacristan of Mantamados heard the galloping of a horse. He went outside and saw a young man who had just gotten down from his horse and was carrying a goat on his shoulders. They entered the church together and the young man proceeded to the Archangel s icon and left the goat in front of it. He then lit a candle which was as tall as he was. He then knelt down and worshipped before the icon, caressing with trembling hands and eyes full of tears the clay face of the Archangel. He is my saviour he said passionately, turning to the sacristan. He saved me from the Turks! Tell me, my boy, what happened? asked the sacristan with interest as they walked out of the church. During the last incidents between the Greeks and the Turks, began the young man, I was carrying out my military duties in Cyprus. It was past midnight on August 12th, when we were caught unexpectedly in the firing line of the Turkish Cypriots. We were always on our guard because we knew how treacherous the enemy could be. We were having difficulties with their naval attack but were unharmed by their air force fire. Within a few hours, we had the situation under control and prepared to counter-attack. It was as if we had wings on our feet. We hunted them down and almost chased them into the sea. Full of enthusiasm, we were running towards the enemy with almost no back up. Suddenly, I see not more than five meters in front of me an unidentified shape. I stop immediately and then, in the hazy dawn light, I see clearly that it s a Turkish machine gun! I see the barrel of the gun turning towards me and, having nowhere to hide, I fall to the ground and cover my head with my helmet. 'My Archangel!' I say to myself. 'Save me!' The moment I uttered these words I remembered my father who was miraculously saved from certain death during the Albanian war, after he promised to bring a goat to the Archangel. 'My Archangel, save me!' I murmured again, making the same promise of the offering of a goat.

7 "At that moment, a deafening noise almost took away my hearing. 'I ve been shot!' I thought to myself and images of all those I loved crossed my mind. Then, I felt someone touching me, searching for me, lifting me. They were our people. 'Are you hurt? How do you feel?' I vaguely heard them asking. I checked my body with my hands but found no wound. Then, I remembered the machine gun and looked towards where I had seen it but saw nothing. 'Right here!' I shouted. 'There was a Turkish machine gun!' We went closer and checked but did not find it. In the place where it had been located there were only shards and a huge hole in the ground. "It seemed that at the critical moment, a ship s bombshell or some other mortar shell had totally destroyed the dangerous machine gun, while a superior force kept me safe from any harm that the explosion or fire might cause me." The sacristan listened carefully to the young man s story and seemed deeply moved. He then said: Yes, my boy, it was the Archangel who rescued you. Just when the Turks invaded Cyprus, this icon mysteriously disappeared for a week! The young man was stunned. He gazed tenderly at the icon of the Archangel Michael, his eyes filled with tears. It was one more thank you for that unexpected rescue. Archangel Michael s Intervention During an Operation One of the numerous miracles of the Taxiarchi of Mantamados in Lesvos (Mitilini) is the healing of a young boy, Vasilis Karastiras from Athens, Greece. The Archangel made an apparition to that boy. Young Vasilis was playing when he fell and injured his head very badly. He was transferred to the nearest hospital where they claimed blindness and paralysis caused by the trauma. The hospital chief invited Vasilis parents in his office and said to them: He is in a critical condition. He needs to be in the operation room immediately, but the hopes of the operation succeeding are close to zero percentage. You have got to decide soon, before it s too late. The mother thought that she was losing the ground off her feet. The father asked: Isn t there any other choice, doctor? I m afraid, not the head doctor replied. So the father took a pen and signed the forms allowing the operation to be performed on his child. The child was taken to the operation room and while he was being prepared for the operation, according to his memory, the darkness of his eyes flew away and a bright vision took its place. He was standing before a temple with arches and the front exterior wall of the building was made of red rocks. A blinding light was coming through the temple s open door. Vasilis reached the door and saw a handsome lad, bathed in light with his arms stretched. The lad was calling for the child: Come, Vasili, don t be afraid, you are going to be fine. I will lead the doctor s hands throughout the operation. The child approached, kneeled before the lad, embraced his legs and leaned his head over his left thigh. The lad stretched his hand to pet the child s head. Before the vision was gone, the little boy s eyes caught a glimpse of a dark figure with silver wings standing inside the temple. The operation was a success! The paralysis and the blindness were cured. The doctors said that it was a miracle! The day on the calendar was the 8th of November, the day we celebrate the Great Taxiarches. Years went by and Vasilis was desperately trying to locate the place he had seen in his vision but all his efforts gave no fruit. That was until one day, when he recognized the temple of his vision in a television show. Deeply moved, he set off as a pilgrim to the Taxiarches Monastery, to offer his savior his tears of gratitude. Giving Birth The Taxiarchi's interventions in Mrs. Michailaris life from Elefsina are written below. She used to be childless and so was her sister, that s why they both turned to the Archangel Michael's assistance. During a wake they did in honor of the Taxiarchi, Mrs. Michailari begged him to help her with her problem. At down she fell asleep. She had a dream that she was in the Archangel s temple with her sister, when suddenly the Taxiarchi appeared in all His Glory. She immediately fell on her knees and begged Him for a child. He stretched his hand as if He wanted to assure them both and said: Don t worry. You re both going to have children. Thank God for that gift. Within four years, her sister gave birth to a child but she didn t. Nine years had gone by, so she started getting desperate. She turned to science. Hard times with no results. She was then informed that there was a doctor in England that could give one percent chance of giving birth after operating on women and she prepared her luggage for a trip to England. But she felt a conscience control. At the last minute she hesitated. She thought of turning to the Taxiarchi for enlightenment on her decisions. She went to his temple in Mantamados and pleaded with him. On the same night and while she was praying, she saw him coming out of his icon, totally alive with a sad look upon His face like He was saying: Why did you lose heart? Why did you lose your faith in God and your hope? Weren t you convinced by the example of your sister? She immediately fell on her knees and begged for forgiveness with tears in her eyes. Then, she heard him say to her: You re not going abroad. You are not going to have a child over there. Here, in your country, you are going to have a child. Within a month she was pregnant and she gave birth to a cute baby girl, Barbara. When the girl turned six, she took her and went to the temple to do a vigil of thanksgiving together. The mother left her child in a little cell to sleep and she went to the church to attend the vigil. When she returned to her cell the girl was awake and said to her: Mom, when you where at the church the Taxiarchi was here all night and kept me company. Later on the faithful woman lived another miraculous proof of the Archangel s protection. On the day the Taxiarches are celebrated, in 1989 she experienced a harsh and intense pain in her uterus. Within a short period of time it got worse. The necessary medical examinations were done and she waited for the results. The doctors talked about operation. When she heard of that she refused to do it and started crying like a baby. She, again, turned to the Taxiarchi and prayed with faith to him so that he would again make a miracle. Praying relaxed her troubled soul and when she went to bed she had a dream of the Virgin Mary - as a queen on her throne - and the Taxiarchi standing beside Her. They were both smiling at her. The next morning she set off for the hospital to do the pre-operation tests. She had too many tests and waited for the results. Then, the doctors called her and said to her that she was totally healthy and that she could go home! She has been healthy ever since and she praises the Lord for the Archangel s grace He has given us. Information in this article is extracted from the book Poetic History and Miracles of St. Michael, the Archangel of Mantamados, 4th edition, authored by Fr. Eustratios Dissos, Abbot of the Monastery of the Archangel of Mantamados.

8 Η κατάργηση των οκτώ παθών Η κατάργηση των οκτώ παθών ας γίνεται με τον εξής τρόπο: Με την εγκράτεια καταργείται η γαστριμαργία. Με τον θείο πόθο και την επιθυμία των μελλόντων αγαθών καταργείται η πορνεία. Με την συμπάθεια προς τους φτωχούς καταργείται η φιλαργυρία. Με την αγάπη και την καλοσύνη προς όλους καταργείται η οργή. Με την πνευματική χαρά καταργείται η κοσμική λύπη. Με την υπομονή, την καρτερία και την ευχαριστία προς τον Θεό καταργείται η ακηδία. Με την κρυφή εργασία των αρετών και την συνεχή προσευχή με συντριβή καρδιάς, καταργείται η κενοδοξία. Με το να μην κρίνει κανείς τον άλλο, ή να τον εξευτελίζει, όπως έκανε ο αλαζόνας Φαρισαίος, αλλά να νομίζει τον εαυτό του τελευταίο από όλους καταργείται η υπερηφάνεια. Έτσι λοιπόν αφού ελευθερωθεί ο νους από τα παραπάνω πάθη και ανυψωθεί στο Θεό, ζει από εδώ τη μακάρια ζωή και δέχεται τον αρραβώνα του Αγίου Πνεύματος. Και όταν φύγει από εδώ, έχοντας απάθεια και αληθινή γνώση, στέκεται μπροστά στο φως της Αγίας Τριάδος, και καταφωτίζετε μαζί με τους αγίους αγγέλους στους απέραντους αιώνες. Church Registry Baptism: October 18th Christos, son of Effie and +David Bonny Wedding: October 25th Elanee Athanasiou to Daniel Kohn Funeral: October 31st Thomas Nicolopoulos ~Άγιος Ιωάννης ο Δαμασκηνός Η αγάπη για τους ζώντες και κεκοιμημένους αδελφούς μας είναι χρέος ~Άγιος Ιωάννης της Κροστάνδης Μερικοί ρωτούν γιατί μνημονεύουμε τα ονόματα των κεκοιμημένων και των ζώντων στις προσευχές που κάνουμε γι αυτούς. Ο Θεός σαν παντογνώστης που είναι, δεν ξέρει τα ονόματά τους και τις ανάγκες τους; Όμως αυτοί που μιλούν και σκέπτονται έτσι, ξεχνούν ότι την προσευχή δεν την κάνομε για ενημέρωση του Θεού. Φυσικά ο Θεός δεν έχει ανάγκη τέτοιας ενημερώσεως. Άλλη είναι η σημασία αυτής της προσευχής. Προσευχόμεθα υπέρ των ζώντων και των μεταστάντων και τους μνημονεύουμε με τα ονόματά τους, για να δείξουμε, ότι τους αγαπάμε με όλη μας την καρδιά. Γιατί δεν είμαστε απλώς συγγενείς ή φίλοι ή γνωστοί, αλλά «αλλήλων μέλη». Μέλη της Μιάς Εκκλησίας. Του Ενός Μυστικού Σώματος του Χριστού. Υπάρχει τεράστια διαφορά ανάμεσα στη μηχανική και απαθή μνημόνευση των ονομάτων και στην ολοκάρδια προσευχή. Το ένα απέχει από τον άλλο, όσο ο ουρανός από τη γη. Η προσευχή πρέπει να είναι ειλικρινής εκδήλωση αγάπης. Η αγάπη είναι η πρώτη και μεγάλη εντολή. Γι αυτό ο Θεός τη δέχεται. Και γι αυτό την περιμένει! Η αγάπη για τους ζώντες και κεκοιμημένους αδελφούς μας είναι χρέος. Το πρώτο από όλα. Κάθε λέξη στην προσευχή, κάθε λέξη που πηγάζει από τα βάθη της καρδιάς, έχει πολλή δύναμη: «Πολύ ισχύει δέησις δικαίου ενεργουμένη», λέγει η Αγία Γραφή. Και αν έχει τόση μεγάλη σημασία η μνημόνευση των ονομάτων ζώντων και κεκοιμημένων σε οποιαδήποτε προσευχή, πόσο μεγαλύτερη σημασία και αξία έχει, όταν μνημονεύονται τα ονόματα στην ιερότερη προσευχή, στη Θεία Λειτουργία; Στη Θεία Λειτουργία ο ιερέας επισφραγίζει τη μνημόνευση των ονομάτων ζώντων και κεκοιμημένων με τα λόγια «Απόπλυνον, Κύριε, τα αμαρτήματα των ενθάδε μνημονευθέντων δούλων Σου τω αίματί Σου τω αγίω».


10 KID s CORNER During the Divine Liturgy we have two processions in which the Priest and the acolytes leave the Sanctuary by the North Door of the Iconostasion, and the Priest enters the Sanctuary through the Royal Gates. When these processions are made, the acolytes each carry something. The first procession is called THE LITTLE or LESSER ENTRANCE. This time the Priest carries the Gospel Book. The second procession is called THE GREAT ENTRANCE. This time the Priest carries the Holy Gifts of bread and wine. In the processions, the acolytes carry the fan, cross and lights The CROSS represents Christ who sacrificed Himself for us. The LIGHTS represent the light which Christ s Gospel brought to the world. Fans - These are called EXAPTERYGA six-winged because they represent the Cherubim. God is always surrounded by the Cherubim. The Bible tells us that they constantly sing, Holy Holy Holy, Lord God of Hosts! In the Cherubic Hymn we hear: We who mystically represent the Cherubim sing the Thrice-Holy Hymn to the Life-Giving Trinity.

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