The cross which the Lord has preserved for us, and even in an active church, is not just a relic or amazing artistic image—it is a wonderworker. The endless stream of pilgrims to it bears witness: the Russian heart seeks the Cross. The Godenov cross is a unique sacred object, miraculously found many centuries ago in Yaroslavl. And as in the past, thousands of pilgrims come to the cross. Igumena Evstolia (Afonina), abbess of the Pereslavl-Nikolsky Monastery, whose podvoriye in the city of Godenovo houses the sacred cross in its St. John Chrysostom church, speaks on the cross, its history, and the miracles connected with it.
Deputy chief editor of the AgionOros (“Holy Mountain”) publishing house, editor-in-chief of the AgionOros website, expert on Greece Athanasius Zoitakis talks about the new pro-sodomite law in Greece and its consequences
When I saw him praying in church, then I thought: if there is some person who holds the helm of the whole world, it isn’t the president of America, it isn’t a communist, it isn’t any person of this world—it’s Elder Paisios. He is able to steer the rudder of the whole world.
Of course I prayed, and asked Great Martyr Barbara, because it was the eve of her commemoration. And the prosphora turned out fine! Sunday, at the Liturgy, Father Superior sees the prosphora and they are normal service prosphora… “Fr. Cyprian, whose prosphora are these?” “Ours, Batiushka.” “What happened to you?” “Batiushka, it’s God’s mercy.”
As the Lord said in the Gosples, He that is able to receive it, let him receive it (Mt. 19:12): one person may be capable of living an intense inner life, regularly go to church, and continually search his own conscience—as St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov) says, so that their minds would always swim in the Gospels, in the teachings of Christ. Another person might be so inwardly disposed that it is an ascetic labor for him to receive Communion only twice a year.
In the Soviet years, as it still is today, it was called Elbrus Avenue. Commander Igor Rozin of the avalanche squad, a rescuer and mountain climber, travelled on it more than once. Priest Igor hurried the same way from Terskol to services. He was ordained in 1999, being given the only surviving building from 1937 as a church. “Once I happened to meet him—I hadn’t seen him in a long time. He asked if I could restore an old Bible for him. I was surprised,” related Dmitry, a neighbor of the Rozin family in Terskol and a colleague from the Vysokogorny Institute. “And he said: ‘I’ve become a priest.’
There are optimists, there are pessimists, and there are also whining complainers who pour out abuse upon the faith, upon our ecclesiastical authorities, and upon the entire country—for them everything is bad. If you read your fill of such things you will lose the desire to live any longer. Of course, a Christian will talk about problems but his talk will be combined with hope for change. What we say is different from what non-believers say. Let us suppose that both they and we face some hopeless situation. We have the hope that if we ask, if we appeal to the Lord, He can help us. The non-believer has no one to turn to.