Glorification of the Venerable Herman of Alaska, Wonderworker of All America

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ALASKA OF MY HEART

NATIVE AMERICANS MET ORTHODOXY

AMERICA OF MY HEART

 0809stherman

Glorification of the Venerable Herman of Alaska,

Wonderworker of All America

Source:

http://oca.org

http://oca.org/saints/lives/2015/08/09/102241-glorification-of-the-venerable-herman-of-alaska-wonderworker-of

OCA – ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA

Venerable Herman of Alaska, Wonderworker of All America. A spiritual mission was organized in 1793, made up of monks of the Valaam Monastery. They were sent to preach the Word of God to the native inhabitants of northwestern America, who only ten years before had come under the sovereignty of Russia. St Herman was among the members of this Mission.

St Herman came from a family of merchants of Serpukhov, a city of the Moscow Diocese. His name before he was tonsured, and his family name are not known. (The monastic name is given when a monk takes his vows). He had a great zeal for piety from youth, and at sixteen he entered monastic life. (This was in 1772, if we assume that Herman was born in 1756, although sometimes 1760 is given as the date of his birth.) First he entered the Trinity-Sergius Hermitage which was located near the Gulf of Finland on the Peterhof Road, about 15 versts (about 10 miles) from St Petersburg.

MIRACULOUS HEALING OF HERMAN

At the St Sergius Hermitage there occurred the following incident to Father Herman. On the right side of his throat under his chin there appeared an abscess. The swelling grew rapidly, disfiguring his face. It became difficult for Continue reading “Glorification of the Venerable Herman of Alaska, Wonderworker of All America”

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Fr. Simeon de la Jara from Peru: On a righteous path from Peru to Mount Athos, Greece

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HIPPIES MET ORTHODOXY

ROMAN CATHOLICS MET ORTHODOXY

LATIN AMERICA OF MY HEART

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simeon1

Fr. Simeon de la Jara from Peru:

On a righteous path from Peru to Mount Athos, Greece

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AMERICA OF MY HEART

When Miguel Angel de la Jara Higgingson was seven, his mother had a vision. She sensed that her son would some day leave her for a “far away place, like an island, there where people of solitude lived who pray all the time and rarely step out into the world”. Even she, however, could probably not have imagined just how far from his native Peru, both physically and spiritually, his life’s search would take him.

Now he is Father Simeon the hermit, an Orthodox Christian monk of Eastern Orthodox Church who lives on Mount Athos, a self-administrating, all-male monastic community on the Athos peninsula – the eastern most of three jutting peninsulas in the northern Greek prefecture of Halkidiki in Greece.

However, it’s not just his Peruvian origins that make Father Simeon such a well-known figure among visitors to Mount Athos; it’s also his radiant presence as an artist, poet and painter that makes him so sought after, especially by the young.

His journey began in 1968, when at the age of 18 he left Peru to discover the world. After travelling through Europe and Asia for over two years – during which time he was exposed to eastern philosophies and religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism and yoga – he finally settled in Paris, where he lived for the next three years.

It was in Paris that he first met a GreekOrthodox monk and learned about Orthodoxy, a meeting that was to have a profound effect on him. For the next two and a half years he studied hagiography (icon painting) with Leonide Ouspensky, while his interest in Orthodoxy deepened.

He first visited Greece in 1972, where he accepted the Orthodox faith, before returning to stay in 1973, originally joining the monastery of Agios Georgios (St George) on the large Greek island of Evia. When, in 1974, the entire monastery relocated to Agios Grigorios (St Gregory) on Mount Athos, Simeon followed, living at the Agios Grigorios Monastery until 1987. He subsequently became a hermit, moving to the old hermit’s cell of Timios Stavros near the Stavronikita monastery, where he built a new dependency and formed a complex.

On first meeting Father Simeon, one is struck by his youthful passion and joy – qualities which, as he says, “one cannot hide”. A compassionate listener and gentle speaker, he responds to questions with spontaneity and rigour, without ever becoming dogmatic or distant. Behind his piercing eyes is an inquisitive mind, forever seeking ways to express the love and joy he wants to share with others.

After 24 years in Greece, Father Simeon declares a profound love and admiration for Greek culture and language, saying he prefers writing in Greek to even his native Spanish. To his extensive travels he owes a rich and varied experience, as well as a love of French Surrealism, tatami mats, Japanese food and Chinese art. And to his Peruvian family he owes his love of art.

According to Simeon, it is the need to tap into the inner joy in all things which Continue reading “Fr. Simeon de la Jara from Peru: On a righteous path from Peru to Mount Athos, Greece”

The new face of Mayan Christianity – Orthodox Holy Week & Easter of Mayans in Guatemala

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NATIVE AMERICANS MET ORTHODOXY

AMERICA OF MY HEART

The new face of Mayan Christianity

Orthodox Holy Week & Easter of Mayans in Guatemala

Christianity among the Mayan Native Americans is undergoing a dramatic change in places like Guatemala and Southern Mexico. This shifting of religious identity is part of a larger trend that is enveloping much of Latin America.

According to the Pew Research Center report, published in November of 2014, “historical data suggests that for most of the 20th Century, from 1900 through the 1960′s, at least 90% of Latin America’s population was Roman Catholic.” Remarkably, however, in just one lifetime, the Pewsurvey indicates that only “69% of adults across the region identify as Roman Catholic.”

Up until recently, Orthodox Christianity did not play much of a role in this changing landscape. Most of our parishes consisted of immigrant colonies, established mainly to perpetuate the customs, languages  and traditions of their respective ethnic cultures  and mother churches in Europe.

The title of a recent article in the Huffington Post by Carol Kuruvilla, however, announces a major shift in this approach to the church’s mission: “The Greek Orthodox Church In Latin America Is Not Very Greek.” Embracing this change and adapting to this new reality, Archbishop Athenagoras, since his 1996 appointment by Patriarch Bartholomew to shepherd the Central American Church, has reached out to the indigenous people of this vast region, encompassing Mexico, Central America, Columbia, Venezuela, and the Caribbean Islands. Of his 52 active clergy, only 3 are of Greek descent. The enthusiastic reception by His Eminence Athenagoras of many thousands of Mayan Christians into the Orthodox fold has transformed his church into a unity of diverse people, sharing one faith, but speaking many native dialects, as on the day of Pentecost. On a recent visit to the village of Aguacate, he was able to begin Holy Week with the Mayan faithful, who now comprise the  vast majority of his growing flock in Central America.

Sources:

http://www.thewordfromguatemala.com

THE WORD FROM GUATEMALA

http://www.mayanorthodoxy.com

MAYAN ORTHODOXY

https://www.facebook.com/jessebrandow

JESSE BRANDOW: MISSIONARY TO GUATELAMA & MEXIKO

https://plus.google.com/108567236579845938336/posts

MAYAN ORTHODOXY – GOOGLE PLUS

https://www.youtube.com/user/mayanorthodoxy

MAYAN ORTHODOXY – YOU TUBE

Native American Pathways to Orthodoxy – Marriane Poulos

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AMERICA OF MY HEART

Native American Pathways to Orthodoxy

by

Marriane Poulos

Source:

http://www.stlukeorthodox.com

http://www.stlukeorthodox.com/html/evangelist/1998/nativeamericanpaths.cfm

ST. LUKE ORTHODOX

I first felt the words of Christ come to life on a Pueblo Native American reservation in New Mexico, at “Ok’Ay Oh Ween Geh,” (Place of the Strong People.) The first time I stepped into the home of my Pueblo friend I was told, “This is not just my home, it is yours, too. And know that you always have a place to come home to, no matter how long it takes you to return.” How Christ-like this Indian elder was. The more our friendship grew, the more I was able to admire his goodness. Once I even saw him give the last of his money to an enemy. I also began to learn more of his people’s history. When the Spanish first came to the Southwest they called the Native Americans pagans. By force the colonizers converted them to Catholicism. They severely beat and hung many tribal leaders unless they allowed themselves to be baptized, immediately. They were made slaves. They were given Spanish names. “The Pueblo,” as a name did not exist yet. To themselves they were simply known only as “The People”. So it was in this atmosphere of evil The People were introduced to Christ, for the very first time. Despite the surrounding cruelty in Continue reading “Native American Pathways to Orthodoxy – Marriane Poulos”

Why I abandoned Papism – Saint Martyr Bishop Paul Ballester-Convolier (+1984)

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AMERICA OF MY HEART

This article of the then Hierodeacon Fr. Paul Ballester-Convollier was published in two follow up articles by the “Kivotos” Magazine, July 1953, p. 285-291 and December 1953 p. 483- 485. The previous Franciscan monk who had turned to Orthodoxy was made titlebearing bishop Nanzizian of the Holy Hierobishopric  of North and South America with its seat in Mexico. There he was met with a martyric death, the confessor of the Orthodox faith. The news of his murder was reported on the first page of the newspaper “Kathemerini” (Saturday 4 February 1984) thus: “THE GREEK ORTHODOX BISHOP PAUL WAS MURDERED IN MEXICO. As it became known from the city of Mexico, before yesterday the bishop Nianzizian  Paul Di Ballester of the Greek archbishopric of North and South America died. He was murdered by a 70 year old Mexican, previous military and suffering from psychiatric illness. The funeral was attended by the Archbishop Jacob who was aware of the work of the active bishop. It should be pointed out that Bishop Paul was of Spanish origin, was received into Orthodoxy as an adult and excelled as a shepherd and author. The Mexican authorities do not exclude the possibility that his murderer was driven to his act through some sort of fanaticism.

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Why I abandoned Papism

By

Saint Martyr Bishop Paul Ballester-Convolier

 A horrible dilemma.

My conversion to Orthodoxy began one day while I was reordering the Library catalogues of the monastery I belong to. This monastery belonged to the Franciscan order, founded in my country of Spain. While I was classifying different old articles concerning the Holy Inquisition, I happened to come across an article that was truly impressive, dating back to 1647. This article described a decision of the Holy Inquisition that anathematized as heretic any Christian who dared believe, accept or preach to others that he supported the apostolic validity of the Apostle Paul.

It was about a horrible finding that my mind could not comprehend. I immediately thought to calm my soul that perhaps it was due to a typographical error or due to some forgery, which was not so uncommon in the western Church of that time when the articles were written. However, my disturbance and my surprise became greater after researching and confirming that the decision of the Holy Inquisition that was referred to in the article was authentic. In fact already during two earlier occasions, namely in 1327 and 1331, the Popes John 22nd and Clemens 6th had condemned and anathematized any one who dared deny that the Apostle Paul during his entire apostolic life, was totally subordinate to the ecclesiastic monarchal authority of the first Pope and king of the Church, namely the Apostle Peter. And a lot later Pope Pius 10th, in 1907 and Benedict 15th, in 1920, had repeated the same anathemas and the same condemnations.

I had therefore to dismiss any possibility of it being due to an inadvertent misquoting or forgery. So I was thus confronted with a serious problem of Continue reading “Why I abandoned Papism – Saint Martyr Bishop Paul Ballester-Convolier (+1984)”

Elder Ephraim’s Orthodox Monasteries in North America

Elder Ephraim’s Orthodox Monasteries in North America

A different light: Youthfull travellers in contemporary America – Nun Nectaria McLees

http://heavenonearthorthodoxy.wordpress.com

HEAVEN ON EARTH – ORTHODOXY

A different light: Youthfull travellers in contemporary America

by

Nun Nectaria McLees

Source:

http://www.roadtoemmaus.net/

https://www.roadtoemmaus.net/back_issue_articles/RTE_47/A_DIFFERENT_LIGHT.pdf

ROAD TO EMMAUS

Twentieth-century readers knew Kerouac’s On the Road and Jack London’s earlier hobo classic, The Road, but how many of us know what the 21st-century counter-culture is up to, their life-styles and aspirations? We see the tattoos, nose-rings, attitudes, but do we hear the cries of the heart from young people searching for truth? In the following interview Rainbow (Xenia) Lundeen and Seth (John) Haskins, both baptized Orthodox after this conversation, share the by-ways they’ve taken in trying to live out the Gospel in their lives.

RTE: Rainbow and Seth, what are your backgrounds and how did you become travelers?

RAINBOW: When I was very young, my parents were dedicated Seventh Day Adventists, but after bad experiences with the church they left Christianity, and my brother and I were raised pretty much as agnostics. When I was twelve, I had some Christian classmates who tried to convince me that Christ was God, but it seemed so superficial that when they said things like, “Jesus loves you,” I put my fingers in my ears. Not long after, though, while listening to Christmas music alone in my room, I suddenly experienced not just a heavenly feeling, but the presence of Someone who I knew was Jesus Christ Himself. I accepted Christianity then, but it wasn’t until ninth grade when I began hanging out with Christian friends that it became part of my life. Galatians says, “If we live in the Spirit then we should walk in the Spirit,” and it struck me that Christianity wasn’t just a list of rules of things I shouldn’t do. If I believed in Continue reading “A different light: Youthfull travellers in contemporary America – Nun Nectaria McLees”