Orthodox icon of Saint Pachomius the Great, the founder of the cenobitic monastic life. Icon of 14th cent. Mount Athos.
This icon shows the moment that the Angel of God gives the attire, the Schema and the rules of the monastic life to Saint Pachomius.
Commemorated May 15.
Saint Pachomius the Great was both a model of desert dwelling, and with Sts Anthony the Great (January 17), Macarius the Great (January 19), and Euthymius the Great (January 20), a founder of the cenobitic monastic life in Egypt.
Saint Pachomius was born in the third century in the Thebaid (Upper Egypt). His parents were pagans who gave him an excellent secular education. From his youth he had a good character, and he was prudent and sensible.
When Pachomius reached the age of twenty, he was called up to serve in the army of the emperor Constantine (apparently, in the year 315). They put the new conscripts in a city prison guarded by soldiers. The local Christians fed the soldiers and took care of them.
When the young man learned that these people acted this way because of their love for God, fulfilling His commandment to love their neighbor, this made a deep impression upon his pure soul. Pachomius vowed to become a Christian. Pachomius returned from the army after the victory, received holy Baptism, moved to the lonely settlement of Shenesit, and began to lead a strict ascetic life. Realizing the need for spiritual guidance, he turned to the desert-dweller Palamon. He was accepted by the Elder, and he began to follow the example of his instructor in monastic struggles.
Once, after ten years of asceticism, St Pachomius made his way through the desert, and halted at the ruins of the former village of Tabennisi. Here he heard a Voice ordering him to start a monastery at this place. Pachomius told the Elder Palamon of this, and they both regarded the words as a command from God.
They went to Tabennisi and built a small monastic cell. The holy Elder Palamon blessed the foundations of the monastery and predicted its future glory. But soon Palamon departed to the Lord. An angel of God then appeared to St Pachomius in the form of a schemamonk and gave him a Rule of monastic life. Soon his older brother John came and settled there with him.
St Pachomius endured many temptations and assaults from the Enemy of the race of man, but he resisted all temptations by his prayer and endurance.
Gradually, followers began to gather around St Pachomius. Their teacher impressed everyone by his love for work, which enabled him to accomplish all kinds of monastic tasks. He cultivated a garden, he conversed with those seeking guidance, and he tended to the sick.
St Pachomius introduced a monastic Rule of cenobitic life, giving everyone the same food and attire. The monks of the monastery fulfilled the obediences assigned them for the common good of the monastery. Among the various obediences was copying books. The monks were not allowed to possess their own money nor to accept anything from their relatives. St Pachomius considered that an obedience fulfilled with zeal was greater than fasting or prayer. He also demanded from the monks an exact observance of the monastic Rule, and he chastized slackers.
His sister Maria came to see St Pachomius, but the strict ascetic refused to see her. Through the gate keeper, he blessed her to enter upon the path of monastic life, promising his help with this. Maria wept, but did as her brother had ordered. The Tabennisi monks built her a hut on the opposite side of the River Nile. Nuns also began to gather around Maria. Soon a women’s monastery was formed with a strict monastic Rule provided by St Pachomius.
The number of monks at the monastery grew quickly, and it became necessary to build seven more monasteries in the vicinity. The number of monks reached 7,000, all under the guidance of St Pachomius, who visited all the monasteries and administered them. At the same time St Pachomius remained a deeply humble monk, who was always ready to comply with and accept the words of each brother.
Severe and strict towards himself, St Pachomius had great kindness and condescension toward the deficiencies of spiritually immature monks. One of the monks was eager for martyrdom, but St Pachomius turned him from this desire and instructed him to fulfill his monastic obedience, taming his pride, and training him in humility.
Once, a monk did not heed his advice and left the monastery. He was set upon by brigands, who threatened him with death and forced him to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. Filled with despair, the monk returned to the monastery. St Pachomius ordered him to pray intensely night and day, keep a strict fast and live in complete solitude. The monk followed his advice, and this saved his soul from despair.
The saint taught his spiritual children to avoid judging others, and he himself feared to judge anyone even in thought.
St Pachomius cared for the sick monks with special love. He visited them, he cheered the disheartened, he urged them to be thankful to God, and put their hope in His holy will. He relaxed the fasting rule for the sick, if this would help them recover their health. Once, in the saint’s absence, the cook did not prepare any cooked food for the monks, assuming that the brethren loved to fast. Instead of fulfilling his obedience, the cook plaited 500 mats, something which St Pachomius had not told him to do. In punishment for his disobedience, all the mats prepared by the cook were burned.
St Pachomius always taught the monks to rely only upon God’s help and mercy. It happened that there was a shortage of grain at the monastery. The saint spent the whole night in prayer, and in the morning a large quantity of bread was sent to the monastery from the city, at no charge. The Lord granted St Pachomius the gift of wonderworking and healing the sick.
The Lord revealed to him the future of monasticism. The saint learned that future monks would not have such zeal in their struggles as the first generation had, and they would not have experienced guides. Prostrating himself upon the ground, St Pachomius wept bitterly, calling out to the Lord and imploring mercy for them. He heard a Voice answer, “Pachomius, be mindful of the mercy of God. The monks of the future shall receive a reward, since they too shall have occasion to suffer the life burdensome for the monk.”
Toward the end of his life St Pachomius fell ill from a pestilence that afflicted the region. His closest disciple, St Theodore (May 17), tended to him with filial love. St Pachomius died around the year 348 at the age of fifty-three, and was buried on a hill near the monastery.
St. Paisios the Elder icon
Orthodox icon of Saint Paisios, the Elder of Mount Athos.
Commemorated July 12.
St. Paisios the Elder icon (2)
Orthodox icon of Saint Paisios, the Elder of Mount Athos (2).
Commemorated July 12
St. Paisios the Elder icon (3)
Orthodox icon of Saint Paisios, Paisius the Elder of Mount Athos (3).
Commemorated July 12.
St. Paisios the Elder icon (4)
Orthodox icon of Saint Paisios, Paisius the Elder of Mount Athos (4).
Commemorated July 12.
St. Paisios the Great icon
Orthodox icon of Saint Paisios the Great.
Commemorated June 19
Saint Paisius the Great lived in Egypt. His parents, Christians, distributed generous alms to all the needy. After the death of her husband his mother, on the suggestion of an angel, gave her young son Paisius to the clergy of the church.
The youth Paisius loved monastic life and spent his time in one of the Egyptian sketes. Renouncing his own will, he lived under the spiritual guidance of Saint Pambo (July 18), finishing all the tasks assigned him. The Elder said that a new monk in particular needs to preserve his sight, in order to guard his senses from temptation. Paisius, heeding the instruction, went for three years with his eyes cast downwards. The saintly ascetic read spiritual books, and he was known for his ascetic fasting and prayer. At first he did not eat any food for a week, then two weeks. Sometimes, after partaking of the Holy Mysteries of Christ, he survived without food for seventy days.
Saint Paisius went into the Nitrian desert in search of solitude. There he lived in a cave carved out by his own hands. The saint was granted a wondrous vision: the Lord Jesus Christ revealed to him that through his labors the Nitrian wilderness would become inhabited by ascetics. He asked the Lord where the monks would obtain the necessities of life in the desert. The Lord said that if they would fulfill all His commandments, He Himself would provide all their necessities, and would deliver them from demonic temptations and cunning.
In time, a number of monks and laymen gathered around Saint Paisius, and a monastery was established. The most important rule of Saint Paisius was that no one would do anything by his own will, but in all things would fulfill the will of his elders.
Since his tranquility was being disturbed by so many people, the saint withdrew to another cave farther away. Once, he was transported to a paradisical monastery and partook of the immaterial divine food. After his ascetic labors for salvation, the Lord granted His saint the gift of prescience and healing the souls of men.
One of his disciples, with the saint’s blessing, went to sell his handicrafts in Egypt. On the way he encountered a Jew, who told the simple-minded monk that Christ the Savior is not the Messiah, and that another Messiah will come. Confused, the monk said, “Maybe what you say is true,” but he did not attribute any particular significance to his words. When he returned, he saw that Saint Paisius would not acknowledge his arrival, and he asked the reason for his anger. The saint said, “My disciple was a Christian. You are not a Christian, for the grace of Baptism has departed from you.” The monk repented with tears, and begged to have his sin forgiven. Only then did the holy Elder pray and ask the Lord to forgive the monk.
A certain monk on his own initiative left the desert and moved near a city. There he had encounters with a woman, who hated and blasphemed Christ the Savior. Under her influence, he not only left the monastery, but also scorned faith in Christ, and finally he reached a state of total disbelief.
Once, through the blessed Providence of God, Nitrian monks came by his home. Seeing them, the sinner remembered his own former life and he asked the monks to ask Saint Paisius to pray for him to the Lord. On hearing the request, the saint prayed fervently, and his prayer was heard. The Lord, appearing to His saint, promised to forgive the sinner. Soon the seduced monk’s woman companion died, and he returned to the desert where, weeping and distressed for his sins, he began to labor at deeds of repentance.
Saint Paisius distinguished himself by his great humility, and performed ascetic deeds of fasting and prayer, but he concealed them from others as far as possible. When the monks asked which virtue is the highest of all, the saint replied, “Those which are done in secret, and about which no one knows.”
Saint Paisius died in the fifth century at a great old age, and he was buried by the monks. After some time his relics were transferred by Saint Isidore of Pelusium (February 4) to his own monastery and placed beside the relics of his friend Saint Paul, with whom Saint Paisius was particularly close during his life.
St. Pambo icon
Orthodox icon of Saint Pambo. Icon of 14 cent., church of Protato Mount Athos
Commemorated July 18.
Saint Pambo lived the ascetic life in the Nitrian desert in Egypt. St Anthony the Great (January 17) said, that the Monk Pambo by the fear of God inspired within himself the Holy Spirit. And the Monk Pimen the Great (August 27) said: “We beheld three things in Father Pambo: hunger every day, silence and handcrafts”. The Monk Theodore the Studite termed St Pambo “exalted in deed and in word.”
At the beginning of his monasticism, St Pambo heard the verses from the 38th [39th] Psalm of David: “preserve mine path, that I sin not by my tongue”. These words sank deep into his soul, and he attempted to follow them always. Thus, when they asked him about something, he answered only after long pondering and prayer. He would say, “I must think first, and perhaps I can, in time, give an answer, with God’s help.” St Pambo was a model of a lover of work for his disciples. Each day he worked until exhausted, and by the bread acquired by his own toil.
The disciples of St Pambo became great ascetics: Dioscorus, afterwards Bishop of Hermopolis (this Dioscorus, bishop of Hermopolis, is distinguished from another Dioscorus, an arch-heretic and Patriarch of Constantinople. He lived rather later and was condemned by the Fourth Ecumenical Council), and also Ammonius, Eusebius and Euthymius, mentioned in the life of St John Chrysostom. One time St Melania the Younger (December 31) brought St Pambo a large amount of silver for the needs of the monastery, but he did not leave off from his work nor even glance at the money that was brought. Only after the incessant requests of St Melania did he permit her to give the alms to a certain monastic brother for distribution to the needs of the monastery. St Pambo was distinguished by his humility, but together with this he highly esteemed the vocation of monk and he taught the laypeople to be respectful of monastics, who often converse with God.
St. Panages Basias of Kephallonia icon
Orthodox icon of Saint Panages, Panagis Basias of the island of Kephallonia.
Commemorated June 9.
Among the brightest blossoms of Cephalonia's garden is St. Panagis Basias. Son of the devout and well-to-do couple Michael Typaldos-Basias and Regina Delaporta, he was born in Lixouri in 1801.He was highly educated and spoke Italian, French and Latin. His career began as a grammar school teacher. Soon he became inspired by the radical preaching of Kosmas Flamiatos and Efsevios Panas, two men of the Church who believed that the British occupying the Ionian Islands at the time were essentially tyrants attempting to undermine the population's Orthodox faith.
As a result, he left his official teaching post, continuing his mission by giving lessons at home. At the age of 20, following his father's death, feeling his natural inclination as well as the influence from the character of the Great Ascetic St Gerasimos and his neighbor St. Anthimos, he leaves everything behind and goes to the tiny island Vlahernon off the coast of Livathos.
This was used as a place of exile of clergymen by the British rulers. Exiled on the island at that time was the famous cleric Nikolaos Kantounis from Zakynthos. However, his widowed mother's and orphaned sister's pleas forced him to cut short his stay at Vlaherna. He did return to the world but his entire life proved to be a continuous ascetic strive and adherence to the monastic existence he had chosen.In 1836 he was ordained as deacon and clergyman by the Archbishop of Cephalonia Parthenios Makris.He lived for Christ and His Church.
He liturgized and preached on a daily basis, spending the remaining time of his day visiting the homes of the faithful who were in need of comfort, charity, spiritual guidance, relief and compassion. He was an exceptional confessor who impressed the image of Christ upon the souls of his congregation. God granted him the gift of prophecy which he used to foretell future events to those around him, something that is mentioned in the proposal for his sainthood. Reflections of his many miracles, prophecies and accounts of his devout life are still with us.
On May 21st 1864 he experienced the joy of the Union of the Ionian islands with Greece, a goal he had worked hard for by preaching and cultivating the Orthodox tradition during a period of political and social turmoil. The devasting earthquakes of Palliki in 1867 destroyed his house forcing him to live as a guest from then on, "poor but enriching others" and "having nothing and having it all" , in his cousin Ioannis Geroulano's house (the latter was the father of famous surgeon Marinos Geroulanos).
His widespread fame as a miracle worker forces him to claim mental illness, embracing the strategy of many saintly men before him, in order to avoid the fall into arrogance and egotism. For five years his is confined to a bed, never stopping however to bless, guide and console the devout who visited him. During this time he had a visit from the new Archbishop Germanos Kalligas, whom he informed that he would eventually become Archbishop of Athens and All Greece.
He passed away on June 7th 1888. At a mass-attended funeral service held over three days, the eulogy was delivered by the Metropolitan of Cephalonia Germanos Kalligas. His pious life and the repetitions of the miracles he performed remained alive in the conscience of devout Christians for the next 88 years, leading the Metropolitan of Cephalonia Prokopios Menoutis to order Restitution of His Sacred Remains.
The procedure to obtain Sainthood Decree by the Ecumenical Patriarchate was delayed by the well-known, unfortunate Ecclesiastic problems in Cephalonia. After his enthronment, the peacemaker new Metropolitan of Cephalonia Spyridon, performed with full honors all indicated Sainthood Induction ceremonies on September 7th 1986. The ceremonies, following the Patriarchic and Synodic Decree issued on February 4th 1986, were attended by representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Holy Synod, and a large number of bishops.
The Saint's praises were delivered by Archbishop Germanos Kalligas, Father Zisimos Typaldos and written by Amilkas Alivizatos, Father Elias Mastrogianopoulos, the Lixourian born Bishop of Trikki and Staggon Herouvim Anninos and the Reverend Konstantinos Gellis. The radiance of his personality was so immense that even the satyric poet Andreas Laskaratos, known for his anti-tradition and anti-clergy views, noted in footnote 6 of his book The Mysteries of Cephalonia that " ..I have honored and loved virtue everytime I found it in the clergy". The faithful have the opportunity today to honor and worship the Saint's Tomb and Sacred Remains, kept in a silver larnax in St. Spyridon's Church in Lixouri.
St. Pandora the Martyr icon
Orthodox icon of Saint Pandora the Martyr.
Commemorated September 1.
St. Panteleimon icon (1)
Orthodox Icon of Great-martyr and Healer Panteleimon.
Commemorated July 27.
NOTE: the name of the store in the icon is a watermark. Your icon will not have it
The Great Martyr and Healer St. Panteleimon was born in the city of Nicomedia into the family of Eustorgios, an illustrious pagan, and was given the name Pantoleon. His mother Euvula was a Christian. She wanted to raise her son in the Christian faith, but she died when the future great martyr was but a youth. Pantoleon's father entered him into a pagan elementary school; after his graduation, the youth began to study medicine with Euphrosynos, a physician well known in Nicomedia ; Emperor Maximian (284-305) heard of him, and wanted to see him at the palace.
At that time, the Hieromartyr priests Hermolaus, Hermippos and Hermokrates, who had survived the burning of 20,000 Christians in the Church of Nicomedia in the year 303, were living in secret in Nicomedia . More than once, St. Hermolaus saw Pantoleon going past his place of refuge. Once, the presbyter called the youth to come into his home, and told him of the Christian Faith. After that, Pantoleon visited Hieromartyr Hermolaus every day. The youth once happened to see on the street a child that had been bitten by a great snake that was still nearby.
Pantoleon began to pray to our Lord Jesus Christ that the dead child be resurrected and that the poisonous reptile might die. He firmly resolved that should his prayers be answered, he would become a follower of Christ and would accept Holy Baptism. Pantoleon saw the child come back to life, and the great viper burst into pieces. Following this miracle, Pantoleon was baptized by St. Hermolaus with the name Panteleimon (all-merciful). In discussions with Eustorgius, St. Panteleimon prepared him for conversion to Christianity; when his father saw his son heal a blind man by invoking the Name of Jesus Christ, he came to believe on Christ, and was baptized, along with the man who had regained his sight.
After his father's death, St. Panteleimon dedicated his life to the suffering, sick, needy and indigent. Everyone who came to him, he treated pro bono, healing them by invoking Jesus Christ. He would visit those in prison, especially Christians, whose numbers filled all of the prisons, and healed their wounds. Soon, word of the merciful physician spread throughout the entire city. Forsaking other physicians, the people of the city turned only to St. Panteleimon for medical care.
Out of jealousy, physicians told the emperor that St. Panteleimon was treating Christian prisoners. Maximian attempted to persuade the Saint to rebut the reports and to offer sacrifice to the idols, but St. Panteleimon confessed himself to be a Christian, and in the presence of the emperor, healed a paralytic by calling on the Name of Jesus Christ. Enraged to hear the healed paralytic praising Christ, Maximian had him executed, and he had Panteleimon submitted to the cruelest of tortures.
The Lord appeared to the Saint and strengthened him before his trials. Great Martyr Panteleimon was suspended from a tree, was raked with iron claws, burned with torches, stretched on a wheel, thrown into boiling oil, and then cast into the sea with a heavy stone around his neck. Throughout all of the trials, the Great Martyr remained unharmed, and courageously rebuked the Emperor.
At the same time, the Priests Hermolaus, Hermippos and Hermokrates were brought before the pagan court. All three resolutely confessed their faith in the Savior, and were beheaded. At the emperor's order, Great Martyr Panteleimon was thrown to the wild beasts in the circus to be torn asunder. However, the wild animals licked his feet and crowded to touch the Saintu's hands.
The audience rose up from their seats and began to shout 'Great is the Christian God!' Enraged, Maximian ordered his soldiers to cut down with their swords anyone who praised the Name of Christ, and to behead Panteleimon. They brought the Saint to the place of execution, and tied him to an olive tree. While the Great Martyr was praying, one of the soldiers struck him with a sword, but the sword turned soft as wax, and caused him no harm.
When the Saint had finished his prayers, a voice could be heard, calling the Passion-bearer by name, and summoning him to the Heavenly Kingdom . On hearing the voice from Heaven, the soldiers fell to their knees before the Holy Martyr and begged his forgiveness. The executioners refused to go on with the execution, but Great Martyr St. Panteleimon ordered that they obey the emperor's orders, and said that otherwise they would have no share with him in the life to come. In tears, and kissing the Saint, the soldiers bade him farewell.
When the Martyr was beheaded, milk flowed from his wounds. At the moment of his death, the olive tree to which he had been tied burst forth with fruit. Many who witnessed the execution came to believe on Christ. The Saint's body, thrown onto a bonfire, remained unharmed by the flames, and was given a Christian burial Great Martyr St. Panteleimon's servants Laurence, Vassos, and Provian witnessed his execution and heard the voice from Heaven.
They recorded the story of the Holy Great Martyr's life, sufferings, and martyric death. Particles of Great Martyr St. Panteleimon's holy relics were distributed throughout the entire Christian world. His most-honorable head is now in the Russian Monastery of Great Martyr St. Panteleimon on Mt. Athos . In our church, a relic is housed in the right cuff in a large icon of the Great Martyr, next to the ancient Not Made by Hands Icon of the Savior in the lower assembled row of the Icon Screen.
In the Orthodox Church, Great Martyr St. Panteleimon is revered as an awesome and powerful saint, patron of soldiers. His original name, Pantoleon, which means in all ways like unto a lion, explains that aspect of his veneration. His name at Baptism, Panteleimon, i.e. call merciful, refers to his veneration as a healer. Among Western Christians, he is considered to be the patron saint of physicians.
One can see a connection between the two aspects of his veneration, for soldiers, more often than others, sustain wounds, and are thus most in need of a physician-healer. This is why Christians, who wage spiritual battle, likewise run to this Saint with a plea to be healed of spiritual wounds. The name of Holy Great Martyr St. Panteleimon is invoked during the Mystery of Holy Unction, during the Blessing of the Waters, and in prayers for the sick.
St. Panteleimon icon (2)
Orthodox Icon of the Great-martyr and Healer Panteleimon (2).
Commemorated July 27.
St. Panteleimon icon (3)
Orthodox Icon of Saint Panteleimon the Great-martyr (3).This is a copy of a 13 cent icon with scenes from Saint Panteleimon's life. Monastery of saint Catherine Sinai.
Commemorated July 27.
St. Panteleimon icon (4)
Orthodox icon of Saint Panteleimon the Great Martyr and Healer (4).
Commemorated July 27.
St. Paraskeve (Friday) icon (1)
Orthodox Icon of the Great Martyr Paraskeve of Rome.
Commemorated July 26.
Her life by Saint Kosmas Aitolos:
Let us say something about the good earth. St. Paraskevi was a twelve year old maiden from a noble house. Left an orphan, she divided up all her possessions among the poor, and with these she purchased Paradise.In place of cosmetics, she wore tears, remembering her sins. In place of earings, she kept her ears open to hear the Sacred Scriptures. In place of a necklace, she fasted often, which made her neck shine like the sun. In place of rings, she acquired calluses on her fingers from the many prostrations she made. In place of a golden belt, she had her virginity which she guarded all her life.
In place of a dress, she was covered by modesty and fear of God. This is how the Saint decked herself.If there is any maiden who wishes to adorn herself, let her consider what this Saint did and let her do the same if she wishes to be saved.In this way, brethren, St. Paraskevi acquired learning and became very wise. Because of her purity, God found her worthy to perform miracles. She cured the blind, the deaf and she raised the dead.Two Jews, sons of the devil, seeing the Saint perform miracles, envied her and betrayed her to King Antoninus as a Christian.
So the King summoned her and asked her to deny Christ and to worship the gods and she would become queen.The Saint replied: "I am not foolish like you to deny my Christ and to go to the devil; to leave life and go to death. May you leave the darkness and come to the light."Do you hear, my brethren, how outspoken a young girl was before a king?Whoever has Christ in his heart fears nothing in the world. If we too wish not to fear either people or demons, let us have God in our hearts.
The King said to the Saint: "I'll give you three days to obey; if you don't I'll put you to death."The Saint replied: "O King, what you wish to do in three days time, do it now, for I will not deny my Christ."The King then ordered a big fire to be lighted and over it a large pot was placed, filled with tar and sulfar. Seeing the pot, the Saint rejoiced, for she was to depart from this false world and to go to that which is real and eternal.The King ordered the Saint to be put into the pot to be boiled. The Saint made the sign of the Cross and got in the pot.
The king waited two, three hours and seeing she was not being boiled, he said: "Paraskevi, why aren't you burning?"The Saint said: "Because Christ cooled the water and I don't burn."The King replied: "Sprinkle me with the water so I can see whether it burns or not."The Saint took some water in her two hands and threw it into his face, and immediately behold the miracle - he became blind and his face was flayed.The King then shouted: "Great is the God of the Christians.
In him I also believe. Come out and baptize me."The Saint got out and baptized him and his entire kingdom. Later another king beheaded her and she went to Paradise to rejoice forever.This woman yielded a hundred-fold, according to the Lord's word.