|Orthodox Calendar 2018|
Martyrs and Confessors Gurias and Samonas (299-306), and Abibus (322), of Edessa. St. Paisius (Velichkovsky) of Moldavia and Mt. Athos (1794).
Martyr Demetrius of Thrace (307). Martyrs Elpidius, Marcellus, and Eustochius, who suffered under Julian the Apostate (361). St. Philip, founder of Rabang Monastery (Vologda) (1457).
“Kupyatich” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (1182).
Repose of St. Herman, Wonderworker of Alaska (1836). St. Quinctian, bishop of Seleucia (4th c.). St. Thomas the New, patriarch of Constantinople (665- 668).
Repose of Abbot Arsenie Boca of Romania (1989).
Thoughts for Each Day of the Year
Metropolitan Laurus (Skurla)The students of St Paisius were influential among monastics—on the Holy Mountain, in Moldavia and in Russia. Russia was a source of a particularly large number of his students, under whom a broad rebirth of spiritual life occurred, along with interest in and love for the reading and studying of books; elders and monastic superiors came to the fore who preserved the legacy of St Paisius.
|The Elder would spend entire days with the brethren; the doors to his cell would sometimes stay open until 9 o'clock in the evening. Monks would come to talk about spiritual and practical matters. Also, the Elder’s daily reading of patristic books and his discussions on them was very significant in the spiritual life of the monks.|
|Saint Paisius Velichkovsky was born in Poltava in Little Russia on December 21, 1722, and was the eleventh of twelve children.|
Edited by Archimandrite Alexander (Mileant)The Elder was asked "How do you, Father Herman, manage to live alone in the forest, don't you get bored?" He answered "No, I'm not alone there! There is God, and God is everywhere! There are holy angels! How can one be bored with them? With whom is it more pleasant and better to converse, angels or people? Angels, of course!"
|From the Service to our Holy and God-Bearing Father, Saint Herman, Wonderworker of Alaska.|
|When they finally started their exciting, but extremely difficult, ascent, everything went just fine for a few days. But at the end of one day, on a narrow path, they met an old, strange-looking man in a long dark robe. He was walking in the opposite direction, down the mountain. In a friendly manner he greeted them and advised them to turn around and return to the base camp as quickly as possible because the weather was changing into a severe storm.|
|“I clearly remember,” he says, “all the features of the Elder’s face, which shone with grace: his pleasant smile, meek and attractive gaze, his humble, quiet manner, and his amiable words. He was not tall, he had a pale face, covered with wrinkles, his eyes were gray-blue and full of brightness, and on his head he had a few gray hairs. His speech was not loud, but very pleasant.”|
|A new book on St. Herman of Alaska entitled, Herman A Wilderness Saint From Sarov, Russia to Kodiak, Alaska was released in November 2013 by the Printshop of St. Job of Pochaev.|
|St. Herman's years of solitude on Spruce Island caused no little wonder among those unfamiliar with the mysteries of spiritual life. A man once asked, "Fr, Herman, do you live alone in the forest? Do you never become lonely? .... No, I am not alone ," he replied, "God is there as He is everywhere. His angels are there. Is it possible to be lonely in their company? Is it not better to be in their company than in that of people?"|
Vera JohnstonA Russian missionary to America! Yes, indeed, a servant of God, lowly and simple of heart, who attained to such perfection of spirit that in our day and generation there are many in Alaska and throughout the Orthodox parishes in the United States who think that Herman, the humble monk, should be and will be canonized—a saint of the Church.
|The story of Saint Herman of Alaska. 2007.|
|Spruce Island is considered by many Orthodox Christians to be one of the holiest sites in North America. The island was home to the hermitage of Herman of Alaska during the early 1800’s. Every year, in early August, the Orthodox Church in America celebrates the canonization of Saint Herman with a Liturgy, pilgrimage, and banquet.|
|Seeing the glorious life of podvig of Father Herman, seeing his miracles, seeing the fulfillment of his prophecies and finally his blessed falling asleep, "generally all the local inhabitants have an awesome respect for him as a holy ascetic, and are entirely convinced of his having pleased God," witnessed Bishop Peter.|
Fr. Herman (Podmoshensky)And here, in the midst of this pre-Christmas joy so filled with impressions, there enters into the American consciousness a Russian monk from Valaam who was also connected with children, coziness, spice-cake, pretzels, covered by the Alaskan snow—St. Herman the Wonderworker of America.
|Special attention will be devoted to the person of one of the first Orthodox missionaries of North America – St. Herman of Alaska (c.1757-1837; feast: July 27/August 9), a native of Russia’s Ryazan region.|