Friday, October 15, 2010



Friday 15 October 2010

God knows you. He engraved your name on his hands and keeps your tears in a bottle (Isa. 49:16; Ps. 56:8)

I woke up this morning to find an unusual text message on my phone. It had to do with money I owe. And at this time there was no money (mist), I looked around I thought of every solution but all seemed hopeless. I turned on my computer, I found in my inbox a bible text that said for “You number and record my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in your book? (Psalm 56:8). I picked up my bible to read the full chapter, you know what? The first call I received while reading seemed like an open door to the solution but nothing changed. I fixed my hope on Him. I tell you today fear not what man can do to you, take it to God in prayer. I am here still standing. God knows you. And he is near you! How far is the shepherd from the sheep (John 10:14) or the branch from the vine (John 15:5)? That’s how far God is from you. He is near. “God is for me” (Ps. 56:9). And His kingdom needs you. The poor need you; the lonely need you; the church needs you, the cause of God needs you. You are part of “the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone” (Eph. 1:11). The kingdom needs you to discover and deploy your unique skill.

Facebook profile - Oluwatunbi Ayanfeoluwa Akindayomi -


IF NOT FOR GOD - Facebook Page -


I Need To Return To My Father’s House

Written By: Tenny Thomas on Oct 14th, 2010

Verse for the day: I Corinthians 16: 13, 14
Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.


St Paul is reminding the church in Corinth to be on their guard spiritually. He wanted them to wake up, to pay attention to their spiritual lives and their knowledge and devotion to God. Their lack of spiritual watchfulness was the foundation of the Corinthian church’s sinful condition.

Most of the time spiritual indifference and spiritual ignorance are the root problems in our lives.

This Lent, we need more than merely changing our behavior. We must be on our guard, with a focused awareness of His care and protection and His love for us as His children.

We live in a culture in which truth is regarded as relative. Our society waffles at the concept of objective, unyielding spiritual truth. It is dedicated to spiritual and ethical pluralism. If we are to be the witnesses God wants us to be, and if we are to have the relationship with God that He wants for us, then we must follow Paul’s admonition to stand firm in the faith. It is when we live out the Gospel of Christ in our daily lives, through the discipline of prayer, fasting and almsgiving that we become more Christ like.

God wants us, in the midst of our spiritual watchfulness and our commitment to stand firm in the truth of the faith, to act courageously as Christians.

To be men of courage spiritually would be unpopular, perhaps even unacceptable, behavior in society. It could mean loss of stature in with our peers, perhaps loss of jobs and economic opportunities, and loss of friends.

We are in this world to achieve the standard that God has set.

Spiritual maturity demands courageous application of the truth, unfettered support of what we know is spiritually true and the standards that are true, and bold opposition to what we know is false. This maturity comes through our indulgence in the fast rigorously. God showers His grace and strength on us when we give ourselves completely to God’s will.

We cannot do anything by our own strength, only by God’s might and support. We need to submit to the strengthening power and work of our Savior. When we submit ourselves to God, He fulfills His promise to strengthen us. And what is the strength He gives us? It is the strength to stand firm in spiritual knowledge and truth and to courageously apply spiritual truths in our lives.

Today, we must stand firm in spiritual knowledge and truth and apply them with courage. Our part is to be on guard, to recognize and know what is spiritually right and wrong, and to act with courage. God’s part is to strengthen us.

Christ likeness is the solution to our problems as individuals and as a church. Do everything in love, incorporates the Christian’s life of serving God unreservedly and putting others above ourselves. Applying this principle of love for Christ and love for each other meant a radically different church, sold out to Christ and untainted by the world. Our goal is to be like Christ!


Help us, Lord, with the grace of your Holy Spirit to be witnesses for Jesus Christ through our lives, our words and the opportunities you set before us each day. Amen.
More Articles By: Tenny Thomas -


Cooking Competition at Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI: Martha Mariam Vanita Samajam of St. George Orthodox Cathedral, Abu Dhabi conducted a cooking competition for its members. Fr. Johnson Daniel inaugurated the event after Holy Qurbana on October 8, 2010.

Dolly Varghese won the first prize in the competition, Cristee John and Suja David came on second and third places.

This is the first time that Abu Dhabi Martha Mariam Vanitha Samajam Unit conducted a cooking competition in the church. The parish members encouraged the participants by sharing the food prepared by them and by giving them feedback.

Samajam Secretary Annie Mathew and committee members made all arrangements for the competions.



Today, 7th October 2010, the Holy Synod gathered for the appointed Meeting of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, under the Presidency of His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa in the Conference Hall of the Hoy Synod.

Before the Meeting, a Divine Liturgy was held in the Holy Patriarchal Chapel of Ss Theodoroi. At around 09h30 the Synodal deliberations began. The opening was declared by His Beatitude as he addressed the Members of the Synod.

His Eminence Elder Metropolitan Paul of Memphis, first in the order of the Hierarchs of the Holy Synod, replied on behalf of the Metropolitans and Bishops to His Beatitude, to whom he addresses wholehearted congratulations on his multifaceted and tireless Hierarchal work. His Beatitude, as a gift of respect and honour to the elder hierarch, gave him a silver emblem of the ancient Patriarchate, on hi ninetieth year.

His Beatitude then spoke at length to the Synod about the work undertaken during the past year in all fields of the ecclesiastical service of the Patriarchate (Conciliatory and Official visits to the Church of Albania, Greece, Cyprus, as well as Cappadocia, missionary and pastoral visits to the Holy Metropolises of Aksum, Khartoum, Johannesburg and Pilousion, ordinations of new hierarchs, receiving of heads of state at the patriarchal See, decoration of distinguished personalities, international conferences, administrative and service issues, renovation works with special mention of the creation of the Patriarchal Museum, the total renovation of the historical Holy Monastery of St George in Old Cairo, etc).

Also, expressing the gratification of the C hurch of the Apostle Mark on the completion of thirteen productive years as a hierarch, His Beatitude gave an honourary distinction of the Cross of the Order of St Savvas with a Star to His Eminence Metropolitan Alexandros of Nigeria and to His Eminence Sergios on the occasion of his name day, he gave a valuable historical icon of St Sergios of Radonezh.

He went on to announce the resignation given months previously of His Eminence Ignatios of Central Africa, the acceptance of His Grace Ignatios Bishop of Eleusina to the order of retired clergy of the Patriarchal Throne following his personal request for this, and the appointment of His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Johannesburg and Pretoria as representing the Patriarchate of Alexandria on European Union Programmes.

The creation by Patriarchal Decree of the Holy Diocese of 1. Botswana, 2. Sierra Leone and 3. Brazzaville and Gabon followed.

The Holy Synod then immediately continued with the elections of Archimandrite Nikiphoros Mikragiannanitou to the Holy Metropolis of Central Africa, of Archimandrite Ioannis Tsaftarides to Provincial Bishop of Mozambique and of His Grace Gennadios to Provincial Bishop of Botswana, as well as the transfers of:

1. Metropolitan Seraphim from Johannesburg and Pretoria to Zimbabwe
2. Metropolitan Damaskinos from Accra to Johannesburg and Pretoria
3. Metropolitan George from Zimbabwe to Accra

Hierarchs of the Throne then read their reports of activities of the year 2009.

The deliberations of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria will continue in the evening with the reading of more reports.

Biographies of the new Bishops

The elected Bishop of Mozambique, Archimandrite Ioannis (Tsaftarides) was born in Angeryko Zakynthos in 1969. Following his schooling on the island of his birth, he studied at the Ecclesiastical School of Athens, the Theology Faculty of the University of Athens and the Theology Faculty of the University of Sophia from where he graduated in 2001. He received a Master’s Degree in 2010 from the Department of Greek and Latin Studies of the University of Johannesburg and is preparing for a doctorate at the same University.

He was ordained Deacon on 21 November 1993 from the then Metropolitan Panteleimon of Zakynthos and on 17 December of the same year he was ordained Priest from the then Metropolitan of Dodonis (now Metropolitan of Zakynthos) Chrysostomos. He was consecrated as an Archimandrite in 1998 in Zambia by the late Pope and Patriarch Petros VII.

Since 1993 he has served as a missionary for the ancient Patriarchate, serving in churches in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Cairo and South Africa.

He has organized and participated in various conferences and has written various studies.

On October 7th, 2010, by proposal of His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa he was elected by the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria as Bishop of Mozambique.

The elected Metropolitan of Central Africa, Archimandrite Nikiphoros (Mikragiannanitis, known in the world as George Konstandinou) was born in Thessaloniki in 1949.

Following his graduation from the Praktiko High School of Thessaloniki he studied at the Ecclesiastical School of Thessaloniki (1967-1969). In 1975 he graduated from the Theological Faculty of the Aristoteleian University of Thessaloniki and in 1999 was declaredas a Doctor of the Theological Faculty of the University.

In 1971 he was tonsured a monk at the Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegiake Monastery of the Holy Trinity in Tsangarolo, Hania. On 22nd August of the same year he was ordained Deacon. In 1977 he entered the Agion Oros (Skete of St Anna) and appointed as a teacher at the Ecclesiastical Academy of Mount Athos. He then went on to become deputy Head and in 1988 following a proposal of the Holy Community of Mount Athos, he was appointed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate as Dean. In 1978 he was ordained to the Priesthood by His Grace Chrysostomos of Rodostolos and was later consecrated as an Archimandrite by His Eminence Nikodimos of Ierissos and Mount Athos.

In 1997 he resigned from the Athonite Academy and following an invitation from His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Albania, he took over the organization of the first Ecclesiastical High School in Argyrokastro.

Since 2006 he has participated in the administration of the Orthodox University of the Congo “St Athanasios the Athonite”, where he lectures.

He has written many studies and has participated in many conferences in Greece and overseas.

On 7th October 2010, proposed by His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, he was elected by the Holy Synod as Metropolitan of Central Africa.



The Deliberations of the Holy Synod continued on the afternoon of 7th October 2010, with the reading of the reports of the Hierarchs for the past year.

Following the end of the evening gathering, the Metropolitans who had been transferred, His Eminence Seraphim of Zimbabwe, His Eminence George of Accra and His Eminence Damaskinos of Johannesburg and Pretoria, as well as the new Bishop of Botswana His Graqce Gennadios, gave the Great Message before His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, in the Holy Patriarchal Chapel of Ss Theodoroi.



The deliberations of the Holy Synod were completed on 8th October 2010 with the completion of the reports to the Body of the Hierarchs by the Metropolitans and Bishops, who read their activities reports for the past year, or the representations of the Alexandrian Church at Inter-Orthodox, inter-ecclesiastical and inter-Christian dialogues, conferences and committees.

In concluding the deliberations of the Holy Synod, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, having read the letters sent by the newly elected Metropolitan Nikiphoros of Central Africa and Bishop Ioannis of Mozambique, in which they gratefully accept their election, thanked all the Hierarchs of the Alexandrian Throne for their tireless effort and arduous work which they undertake on the African continent, emphasizing that at the centre of the missionary activity is still the spiritual education and quality of development in Christ of the life of our suffering African brothers and sisters, as well as the care and concern of the orphaned children, the combating of disease and education.

In reply, His Eminence the Elder Metropolitan Paul of Memphis, praised the tireless paternal care of the Venerable Primate for the clergy and Christian fullness of the Church of Alexandria.

At noon His Excellency the Consul General of Greece in Alexandria, Mr. George Diakofotakis, hosted an official lunch in the Consular Residence in honour of His Beatitude and the Members of the Holy Synod.



His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa celebrated the sixth anniversary of his election to the Apostolic and Patriarchal Throne of St Mark (9th October 2004 – 9th October 2010).

With the participation of the Members of the Holy Synod, the Bishops, the clergy and the Christian faithful, a Patriarchal and Synodal con-celebration was held at the Holy Patriarchal Church of St Savvas the Sanctified in Alexandria.

The homily was preached by His Eminence Jonah of Kampala, who spoke of the productive six year tenure of His Beatitude, which gave emphasis to the development of missionary work on the African continent.

Prior to the end of the Eucharistic gathering His Beatitude, in his brief speech, emotionally spoke of the day of his election, expressed his gratitude and unwavering trust in the Arch Shepherd Christ and wholeheartedly thanked the Hierarchs of the Throne, the diplomatic corps, the community and political heads of Egypt, the members of the Hellenic community and the Christian faithful for their ceaseless support which they have given him over the years. As a token of gratitude he donated an icon of the Mother of God to the Church.

A festive celebration followed in the Throne Room of the Patriarchal Monastery of St Savvas, where the Archon Logothetis Mr. Spyridon Kamalakis, President of the ancient Order of the Paravalenes and Mrs. Aliki Antoniou, Chairperson of the Greek Ladies Lyceum of Alexandria, gave valuable gifts to His Beatitude the Patriarch.

At noon on the same day, the Venerable Hierarch of the Alexandrian Church hosted an official lunch for the Members of the Holy Synod and his important guests.

The liturgical and spiritual functions were attended by His Excellency Mr Costas Leontiou, Ambassador of Cyprus in the Land of the Nile, Mrs. Cleopatra Diakofotakis representing the Honourable Consul General of Greece in Alexandria, representatives of the Hellenic Communities of Alexandria and Cairo, the Archon Logothetis Mr Spyridon Kamalakis, office bearers of the Throne, University lecturers, teachers, representatives of Hellenic and Arab-speaking societies and associations as well as a representation of the Hellenic Scouts of Alexandria.

Archim. P. Arathymos


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

St Martin the Merciful the Bishop of Tours

Saint Martin the Merciful, Bishop of Tours, was born at Sabaria in Pannonia (modern Hungary) in 316. Since his father was a Roman officer, he also was obliged to serve in the army. Martin did so unwillingly, for he considered himself a soldier of Christ, though he was still a catechumen.

At the gates of Amiens, he saw a beggar shivering in the severe winter cold, so he cut his cloak in two and gave half to the beggar. That night, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to the saint wearing Martin's cloak. He heard the Savior say to the angels surrounding Him, "Martin is only a catechumen, but he has clothed Me with this garment." The saint was baptized soon after this, and reluctantly remained in the army.

Two years later, the barbarians invaded Gaul and Martin asked permission to resign his commission for religious reasons. The commander charged him with cowardice. St Martin demonstrated his courage by offering to stand unarmed in the front line of battle, trusting in the power of the Cross to protect him. The next day, the barbarians surrendered without a fight, and Martin was allowed to leave the army.

He traveled to various places during the next few years, spending some time as a hermit on an island off Italy. He became friendly with St Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers (January 14), who made Matrin an exorcist. After several years of the ascetic life, St Martin was chosen to be Bishop of Tours in 371. As bishop, St Martin did not give up his monastic life, and the place where he settled outside Tours became a monastery. In fact, he is regarded as the founder of monasticism in France. He conversed with angels, and had visions of Sts Peter and Paul (June 29) and of other saints. He is called the Merciful because of his generosity and care for the poor, and he received the grace to work miracles.

After a life of devoted service to Christ and His Church, the saint fell ill at Candes, a village in his diocese, where he died on November 8, 397. He was buried three days later (his present Feast) at Tours. During the Middle Ages, many Western churches were dedicated to St Martin, including St Martin's in Canterbury, and St Martin-in-the-Fields in London.

In 1008, a cathedral was built at Tours over the relics of St Martin. This cathedral was destroyed in 1793 during the French Revolution, together with the relics of St Martin and St Gregory of Tours (November 17). A new cathedral was built on the site many years later. Some fragments of the relics of St Martin were recovered and placed in the cathedral, but nothing remains of St Gregory's relics.

St Martin's name appears on many Greek and Russian calendars. His commemoration on October 12 in the Russian calendar appears to be an error, since ancient sources give the November date.


The Acceptable Year of the Lord

Abba Seraphim presents a sermon for the British Orthodox Church
British Orthodox Church TV - Youtube


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Manuscript found in Ethiopian monastery could be world's oldest illustrated Christian work

A still colourful page from the book despite the 1600 age of the worlds oldest christian book found in a remote monastry in Ethiopia. The text was thought to be medieval but carbon dating has taken it back to the 5th century AD

Manuscript found in Ethiopian monastery could be world's oldest illustrated Christian work

A manuscript found in a remote Ethiopian monastery could be the oldest illustrated Christian work in the world, experts have claimed.

Originally thought to be from around the 11th century, new carbon dating techniques place the Garima Gospels between 330 and 650 AD.

The 1,600 year-old texts are named after a monk, Abba Garima, who arrived in Ethiopia in the fifth century.

According to legend, he copied out the Gospels in just one day after founding the Garima Monastery, near Adwa in the north of the country.

The vividly illustrated pages have been conserved by the Ethiopian Heritage Fund and it is hoped that the two volumes will be made available to visitors to the monastery which is in discussions to start a museum there.

Illustrations of the saints Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are all included in the book along with what may be the first ever Christian illustration of a building, the Temple of the Jews.

The Garima Gospels, which are believed to have magical powers, have never left the monastery.

They were written on goat skin in the early Ethiopian language of Ge'ez and are thought to be the earliest example of book binding still attached to the original pages.

The earlier date given to the manuscripts coincides with Abba (Father) Garima's arrival in Ethiopia from Constantinople in 494 AD adding weight to the legend that he was responsible, at least in part, for writing the texts.

Mark Winstanley, who helped to carry out the conservation, said: "The monks believe that the book has the magical powers of a holy text. If someone is ill they are read passages from the book and it is thought to give them strength. Although the monks have always believed in the legend of Abba Garima the new date means it could actually be true."

By Laura Roberts
Published: 1:07PM BST 05 Jul 2010


Facebook Comments

My Blog List