Orthodox Calendar 2021
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Святой Филипп, апостол от 70-ти Собор преподобных старцев Оптинских Седьмой Вселенский Собор
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October 11
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October 24
18th Sunday after Pentecost. Tone 1.
No fast.

Cовершается служба, не отмеченная в Типиконе никаким знакомHoly Apostle Philip of the Seventy, one of the seven deacons (1st c.). Commemoration of the Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council (787). Cовершается служба, не отмеченная в Типиконе никаким знакомSt. Theophanes Graptus (“the Branded”), confessor and hymnographer, bishop of Nicaea (850). Synaxis of the Elders of Optina: Sts. Leonid (repose) (1841), Macarius (1860), Moses (1862), Anthony (1865), Hilarion (1873), Ambrose (1891), Anatole I (1894), Isaac I (1894), Joseph (1911), Barsanuphius (1913), Anatole II (1922), Nektary (1928), New Hiero-confessor Nikon (1931), and New Hieromartyr Archimandrite Isaac II (1937).

Martyrs Zenaida (Zenais) and Philonilla, of Tarsus in Cilicia (1st c.). St. Theophanes, faster, of the Kiev Caves (12th c.).

New Hieromartyr Juvenal (Maslovsky), archbishop of Ryazan and Shatzk (1937).

Sts. Nectarius (397), Arsacius (405), and Sinisius (427), archbishops of Constantinople. St. Cainnech (Kenneth), abbot, of Aghaboe (Ireland), and missionary in Scotland (600). St. Ethelburga, foundress of the monastery of Barking (England) (ca. 676). St. Gommar, patron of Lier (Neth.) (775). Commemoration of the Miracle from the Icon of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Beirut of Phoenicia (7th c.). St. Sabbas, fool-for- Christ, of Vatopedi, Mt. Athos (1349). St. Philotheus (Kokkinos) of Mt. Athos, patriarch of Constantinople (1379).

Thoughts for Each Day of the Year
According to the Daily Church Readings from the Word of God
By St. Theophan the Recluse

St. Theophan the Recluse

Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost. [Gal. 1:11-19; Luke 7:11-16]

   The Lord sees a mother weeping over the death of her son and has compassion on her; another time he was called to a marriage, and rejoiced together with the family. By this He showed that to share ordinary everyday joys and sorrows is not contrary to His spirit. This is what true, reverent Christians do, who live their life in fear [of God]. However, they distinguish some everyday life routines from others; for much has entered into these routines which cannot be God’s good will. There are customs that come from passions, which arise for their indulgence; others are kept alive by vanity and busyness. He who has the spirit of Christ, will be able to distinguish the good from the bad: he adheres to the one and rejects the other. He who does this with the fear of God is not alienated by others, though he does not act like them, because he always acts in the spirit of love and compassion toward the infirmities of his brothers. Only a spirit of zeal beyond measure rubs people the wrong way and produces disharmony and division. Such a spirit cannot refrain from teaching and criticizing. But the [one with the spirit of Christ] is only concerned with ordering his and his family’s life in a Christian way; he does not permit himself to interfere in the affairs of others, saying to himself, “Who set me as a judge?” He quietly makes everyone well disposed to himself, and inspires respect for those routines to which he holds. A supervisor makes himself unloved, and evokes disapproval for the good routines to which he holds. Humility in such cases is needed—Christian humility. It is the source of Christian good sense, which knows how to act well in a given situation.


Apostle Philip of the Seventy, One of the Seven Deacons

Holy Apostle Philip of the Seventy, one of the 7 Deacons is not to be confused with Saint Philip one of the Twelve Apostles (November 14). This Philip was born in Palestine, was married and had children.

St. Theophanes the Confessor and Hymnographer, Bishop of Nicea

Saint Theophanes, Confessor and Hymnographer, Bishop of Nicea was the younger brother of the Saint Theodore the Branded (December 27).

Venerable Leonid of Optina

Leo Nagolkin, the future Saint Leonid, was born in Karachev in the Orlov Province in 1768. As a young man he worked for a merchant, making long and frequent trips on his employer’s business. He met all sorts of people, and this experience helped him later in life when visitors of diverse backgrounds would come to him for spiritual advice.

St. Macarius of Optina (1788-1860)

Olga Rozhneva

On September 7/20 we celebrate the memory of the great Optina elder, Macarius. The saint’s life is deeply edifying for contemporary people. What kinds of lessons can we learn from the elder’s life?

Venerable Moses of Optina

Saint Moses (Putilov) was born on January 15, 1782 in the city of Borisogleb in the Yaroslavl province, and was baptized with the name Timothy.

St. Hilarion of Optina (1805-1873)

Olga Rozhneva

St. Hilarion was a skilled spiritual physician. He taught people who were suffering to go over their whole previous life from the age of seven, to recall forgotten unrepented sins, in which were often hidden the reason for a spiritual illness.

God Gives Prayer to Him Who Prays: Selected Sayings of St. Hilarion of Optina

St. Hilarion of Optina

In the pure writings of the Holy Fathers, we see that he who desires to cleanse his heart of the passions must call on the Lord for help—this is so. We cannot say the Jesus Prayer without our thoughts being plundered. With beginners, God does not demand undistract­ed prayer: it is acquired with much time and labor. As the writings of the Holy Fathers say: "God gives prayer to him who prays,” thus we must neverthe­less continue to pray, orally, and with the mind.

The Prayer Rule of St. Ambrose of Optina To Be Read in Times of Temptation

St. Ambrose, elder of Optina offered to those who came to him with various sorrows and trials a special, brief prayer rule that is possible for any Christian to read. The elder knew from his own experience the effectiveness of these prayers, how they strengthen one's enfeebled spirit, and how they scatter the enemy's attacks if read with faith and hope in God's almighty help. This prayer rule, comprised of the Psalms of David, we offer here together with extracts from the letters of St. Ambrose.

The Life of St. Ambrose of Optina

God’s abundant benevolence that resided in him, was the source of those spiritual blessings that allowed him to serve those that visited him, comforting the grieving, strengthening the faith in those that were wavering and directing everybody toward the path of salvation.

St. Ambrose, Elder of Optina

Archpriest Sergius Chetverikov

Why do people experience depression? "Depression, according to Mark the Ascetic, is a spiritual cross sent to us in order to cleanse our former sins. Depression comes also for other reasons: from offended self-love, because we are not getting our own way; also from vainglory, when one sees that his equals enjoy greater privileges; from stressful situations during which our faith in God's Providence and hope in His mercy and omnipotent help is put to test.

Sermon on the Commemoration Day of St. Ambrose, Elder of Optina

Hieromonk Vasily (Roslyakov)

Today we too, in approaching the coffin of our holy Father Ambrose, Elder of Optina, rejoice with same inexpressible joy of Christ’s resurrection. Hymning the Tomb of our Savior, we say, “How life-giving, how much more beautiful than paradise, and more resplendent than any royal palace proved Thy tomb, oh Christ, the source of our Resurrection!” And in the troparion to St. Ambrose we sing, “As to a healing spring do we come to thee, Oh Ambrose, our father!”

“Love is Tested By Adversity.” Elder Ambrose of Optina

Fr. Sergius Chetverikov

"The love that animated Fr. Ambrose was of the kind that Christ commanded his disciples to have. It differs greatly from the feeling that the world knows as love. It is no less poetic, but it is broader, purer and knows no bounds. Its main difference is that it gives everything and asks nothing in return."

A Reply to One Well Disposed Towards the Latin Church

St. Ambrose of Optina

The Eastern Orthodox Church, from apostolic times until now, observes unchanged and unblemished by innovations both the Gospel and Apostolic teachings, as well as the Tradition of the Holy Fathers and resolutions of the Ecumenical Councils, at which God-bearing men, having gathered from throughout the entire world, in a conciliar manner composed the divine Symbol of the Orthodox Faith [the Creed], and having proclaimed it aloud to the whole universe, in all respects perfect and complete, forbade on pain of terrible punishments any addition to it, any abridging, alteration, or rearrangement of even one iota of it.

Counsels to a Christian on Unceasing Watchfulness over Oneself

St. Ambrose of Optina

On June 27/July 10, the Church celebrates the uncovering of the relics of St. Ambrose of Optina. We offer to our readers a letter from the forthcoming book by Pokrov Publications, St. Ambrose of Optina. Letters to Laymen.

St. Ambrose of Optina on the Struggle with the Passions

Olga Rozhneva

“When these three fields are cleansed, then other passions stemming from them are also imperceptibly cut off with them—that is, anger and remembrance of wrongs, earthly sorrow, envy, hatred, coolness and laziness regarding prayer and works of piety.”

St. Ambrose of Optina

Olga Glagoleva

In the history of Russia, as in world history, there are saints who serve as “milestones,’ as it were, on the road to the Most High. One such righteous one was St. Ambrose of Optina, whose memory is celebrated on October10/23.

Sayings of St. Ambrose of Optina

St. Ambrose of Optina

"Strive in all things to live according to the Divine commandments, and remember that the Lord is present and sees the disposition of your heart. While fulfilling an obedience, consider that it has been given by the Lord through a person, and that your salvation depends on your zeal in fulfilling it."

Miraculous help from St. Ambrose in our days

"The Lord is nearer to us than it seems, and through people and situations He always guides us through life by the prayers of our venerable and God-bearing father Ambrose, elder of Optina, and of all the saints—of course, for those who follow Christ."

Venerable Anatole I of Optina

From a very early age, Alexis wanted to become a monk. He even thought about going to the Roslavl forests to live with the hermits at that place.

Venerable Joseph of Optina

Saint Joseph of Optina was born on November 2, 1837 in the village of Gorodishcha in the province of Kharkov.

Venerable Barsanuphius of Optina

Elder Barsonuphius’s “Old, Old Ladies”

Novice Elena Shamonina

I used to need one-on-one talks, and the elder’s constant attention. Now I would be happy just to sit and listen to phrases from batiushka’s talks with others.

St. Anatoly (Potapov) of Optina

Olga Rozhneva

August 12 is the commemoration day of Venerable Anatoly (Potapov), one of the last of the Optina elders. In contrast to the preceding Optina saints, there was no one left to compose the life of this elder after the Revolution. There remained only fragmented memories of pilgrims, notes of spiritual children, and letters of the elder, in which biographical details were often lacking, but in which his image rises up brightly and vividly. We honor the memory of the elder and reminisce with these recollections.

Optina Monastery and the Righteous Transmission of Tradition—Elder Anatole (the “Younger”)

Subdeacon Matthew Long

Elder Nektary said of Elder Anatole when a pilgrim had gone to him for advice, “Well now, that’s good that you wound up going to Fr. Anatole for guidance. Some people seek me out as an elder; but I—what can I tell you—I’m just a pie without a filling. But Fr. —well, he’s just like a pie with filling.”

Hieroconfessor Nectarius Of Optina

The last of the famous elders of Optina, Nectarius, was born in the town of Yeltz of poor parents, Basil and Helena Tikhonov, in 1857 or 1858. He was baptized in the Yeltz church of St. Sergius and given the name Nicholas.

A True, Obedient Servant of the Lord

Olga Rozhneva

“Everything is gained by prayer. You are only approaching the first step, you haven’t yet ascended it, only approach it and you still have to enter the door, but you can’t go in by any effort if God’s mercy is not there. That is why you first of all need to ask, “Open unto me the doors of Thy compassion, O Lord!”

Venerable Nikon of Optina

Martyrs Zenaida (Zenais) and Philonilla, of Tarsus in Cilicia

The Martyrs Zenaida and Philonilla lived in Tarsus in Cilicia during the first century, and were related to the holy Apostle Paul.

Venerable Theophanes the Faster of the Kiev Near Caves

The relics of Saint Theophanes lie in the Near Caves of Saint Anthony.

St Kenneth, Abbot of Aghaboe in Ireland

Dmitry Lapa

St. Kenneth became renowned for his sermons, which were full of inspiration and rated very highly by his contemporaries. Among other things, the saint was a well-known spiritual poet and theologian as well. These written works include commentaries on all four Gospels, known as the “Chain of St. Canice”.

Venerable Philotheus, Patriarch of Constantinople

Saint Philotheus was a native of Thessalonica, and received the monastic tonsure at an early age. After living for a time at Mt Sinai, he went to Mt Athos and became the igumen of the Great Lavra.