I am sure that such feelings and experiences are shared by a great many believers. Year after year, spiritually accompanying the Myrrh-bearing Women, we successively experience fear, astonishment, and awe at the view of the stone miraculously rolled away from the entrance to the Savior’s tomb by an invisible power.
Why do we celebrate this for 40 days? Because the Church is showing us that this is our reality. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ changed the whole world and it was an answer to the tragedy and suffering of the innocent One who went to the cross for our sakes.
Despite the centuries-old ban on women being on the Holy Mountain, this saint was directly related to the laying of the first stone on the Holy Mountain in 1881 in the foundation of the cathedral of St. Elijah Skete, founded in 1757 by St. Paisius Velichkovsky.
Pascha is a time of miracles. Pascha itself is the most important miracle in the history of mankind. Schema-Hieromonk Valentin (Gurevich), father-confessor of Donskoy Monastery in Moscow, speaks about the New Martyrs (who were killed but rose from the dead with Christ and have been raising their descendants and the life in modern Russia from the dead from generation to generation) and the spirit of Pascha with which the life of the Church of Christ is filled.
God created us by His love to be partakers of His Divinity, to drink from Him forever as from a sacred spring, the Divine water of life. And blessed is the man who diligently preserves himself from sins, who courageously conquers himself with the word of Divine love, for such a man purifies his soul, he frees himself from the spiritual filth which humiliates him and deprives him of the ability to enjoy such a sacred gift as happiness.
Today, when the world ever more resembles the foolish rich man in the Gospel parable, when comfort, success and a long life are proclaimed as practically the main values in human existence, we, the disciples and followers of the Saviour, along with the apostle Paul boldly testify: “For me to live is Christ”, and death is no longer the end of our existence.
This year the Annunciation, celebrated on March 25/April 7, falls on Holy Saturday. Graduate of the Sretensky Theological Seminary Reader Seraphim Appatov speaks about the liturgical and other particularities of the day, given that Holy Saturday is coinciding with one of the Twelve Great Feasts.