Archive for August, 2013

Pravmir: Mercy as a Way of Life

The Sisters of Mercy: Some History

“… One of the most famous followers of this movement in Russia was the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, who in 1909 founded the Martha and Mary Convent of Mercy, which resembled a monastic house in its rule of life. A hospital, an outpatient clinic, a pharmacy, a home for orphaned girls, a Sunday school, a library, and a soup kitchen were all constructed in the convent. The Grand Duchess herself, along with her pupils, spent sleepless nights as a nurse at the beds of the seriously ill, assisted at operations, and visited Moscow slums. The sisters lived in the religious community itself, where they followed a monastic way of life without themselves being nuns. They gave temporary vows (for one, three, or six years, and only later for life) and had the option of leaving the convent to get married or of being tonsured directly to the small schema.

The noble work of the sisters of the Convent of Martha and Mary and the martyrdom of its superior served as the ideological impetus for the emergence of a multitude of such communities of mercy in the late 1980s and early 1990s throughout all of historical Russia.

The Sisterhood of Mercy dedicated to the Grand Duchess Elizabeth and the Nun Barbara opened in Kiev in 1998, founded by Fr. Roman Baranovsky, rector of the hospital church dedicated to St. Michael, first Metropolitan of Kiev. Now 145 sisters carry out their obediences at this church. …”

Read more

(Lots of wonderful pictures)

from Mercy as a way of life, by Anastasia Pika, November 12, 2012, published in

picture from Monks and Mermaids (A Benedictine Blog) Sunday, 25 November 2012

In Moscow, a Divine Liturgy for Persons who are Deaf

Our Lady of Tikhvin

Our Lady of Tikhvin

Beginning in 1991, Archdeacon Pavel Troshenkin “won permission from the church leaders to turn his back to the altar and sign parts of the services at Moscow’s Novodevichy Convent, where he served.”

Frs. Pyotr Kolomeitsev and Andrei Goryachev followed in his footsteps, and in 1994 founded a Parish for the deaf community at the Church of Our Lady of Tikhvin, also in Moscow.

“Rendering Church Slavonic into sign language has been a major undertaking. Over the past 10 years, the task has been pursued by a team of priests and also by sign-language interpreters, including Maria Danilevskaya, Pavel Afanasyev and Yekaterina Berezina. ” These quotes have been taken from a blog post which can be accessed here: To The Ends of the Earth: Liturgy for the Deaf

Read the whole story, which was written by Andrei Zolotov Jr., and published in the Moscow Times on January 11. 2001.

There is a video included in the blog post in which the Trisagion Hymn is being rendered into sign language for the congregation.

Icon from St. Joseph Melkite Catholic Church: TYPES OF ICONS OF OUR LADY, THE THEOTOKOS

Icon of the Mother of God Weeping Tikhvin on Mt Athos
The Guide or Indicator of the Path (Hodigitria) 

The Weeping Tikhvin Icon of Mt. Athos is to be found behind the altar in the Prophet Elias Skete. On February 17, 1877 (Thursday of the Second Week of Lent) seven monks remained in the church after the Hours had been read. They were astonished to see tears flowing from the right eye of the icon, and collecting on the frame. Then a single large tear came from the left eye.
The monks wiped the tears from the icon’s face, then left the church and locked the doors behind them. Three hours later, they returned for Vespers and saw traces of tears on the icon, and a single tear in the left eye. Again they wiped the tears from the icon, but they did not reappear.
Regarding this manifestation of tears as a sign of mercy from the Mother of God, the monks established an annual commemoration of the icon on February 17. The weeping Tikhvin Icon of Mt. Athos is not to be confused with the original wonderworking Tikhvin Icon (June 26).

A question for Abba Pambo: Which is better, a life focused upon asceticism and mortification or upon corporal works of mercy?

Abba Pambo 

Abba Pambo’s answer to the question can be found in the online Prologue of Ohrid, on July 18th, Old Calendar (July 31st, New).  From the material, read the selection regarding the Venerable Pambo (†386), the Venerable Paisius and Isaiah, and also the Reflection. To read online, click here: July 31st (New Style) • July 18th (Old Style)

Of course, all the materials for the day would be most edifying as well. The Prologue of Ohrid is an outstanding source on the lives of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Saints commemorated on each day of the year; it also includes a daily reflection, a contemplation, a homily, and a concluding prayer. A written copy of the Prologue also includes a hymn. The online version includes icons. 

The online version has been graciously provided by the St. Sergius Publishing House of the Western American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate. To access site, click here:  St. Sergius Publishing House 

The Prologue was compiled and composed by St. Nikolai Velimirovic †1956  (for his story, click here: Orthodox Wiki: Saint Nikolaj Velimirović )

For more from Abba Pambo click here: St Pambo of Nitria, Abbot A.D. 385 

Source of icon: Cost of Discipleship: To Have a Heart 

Live Tomorrow: An Orthodox Christian Charity for Sick and Disabled Children in the Ukraine

Dmitri, Alexander, Victor, and Daniel

Dmitri, Alexander, Victor, and Daniel 

If you want to get a close-up look at the situations of  individual children who are served at a ministry for children with disability in an Orthodox Christian country (Ukraine), there is no better webpage for this than that of LIVE TOMORROW  (click to access) which was founded in 2010. It’s a ministry for young people with severe disabilities and also young people with cancer. Concerning the ministry to children with cancer, they have a Facebook page: Cancer Kids Ukraine – Live Tomorrow.

And the ministry also has a Facebook page, also named Live Tomorrow.

Some of the children: 

Sophia Zanko 

Taras Lomaha 

Sasha Mironenko

George Petrik

Vitaly Brik; Memory Eternal!

picture from Photos of Cancer Kids Ukraine- Live Tomorrow Facebook Page


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