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Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

ORTHODOXY OR DEATH!

Christ the Savior

Holy Mother of God

Canon XLV of the Holy Apostles: “Let any Bishop, or Presbyter, or deacon that merely joins in prayer with heretics be suspended, but if he had permitted them to perform any service as Clergymen, let him be deposed.”

Saint Nino (Nina)

Celebration of Saint Nino (Nina) Equal of the Apostles and Enlightener of Georgia

(27th of Januray)

SiantNino

The virgin Nino of Cappadocia was a relative of Great-martyr George and the only daughter of a widely respected and honorable couple. Her father was a Roman army chief by the name of Zabulon, and her mother, Sosana, was the sister of Patriarch Juvenal of Jerusalem. When Nino reached the age of twelve, her parents sold all their possessions and moved to Jerusalem. Soon after, Nino’s father was tonsured a monk. He bid farewell to his family and went to labor in the wilderness of the Jordan.

After Sosana had been separated from her husband, Patriarch Juvenal ordained her a deaconess. She left her daughter Nino in the care of an old woman, Sara Niaphor, who raised her in the Christian Faith and related to her the stories of Christ’s life and His suffering on earth. It was from Sara that Nino learned how Christ’s Robe had arrived in Georgia, a country of pagans.

Soon Nino began to pray fervently to the Theotokos, asking for her blessing to travel to Georgia and be made worthy to venerate the Sacred Robe that she had woven for her beloved Son. The Most Holy Virgin heard her prayers and appeared to Nino in a dream, saying, “Go to the country that was assigned to me by lot and preach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will send down His grace upon you and I will be your protector.”

SaintNinoCross

The Grapevine Cross also known as the Georgian cross or Saint Nino’s cross, is a major symbol of the Georgian Orthodox Church and dates from the 4th century AD, The legend has it that she received the grapevine cross from the Virgin Mary

But the blessed Nino was overwhelmed at the thought of such a great responsibility and answered, “How can I, a fragile woman, perform such a momentous task, and how can I believe that this vision is real?” In response, the Most Holy Theotokos presented her with a cross of grapevines and proclaimed, “Receive this cross as a shield against visible and invisible enemies!”

When she awoke, Nino was holding the cross in her hands. She dampened it with tears of rejoicing and tied it securely with strands of her own hair. (According to another source, the Theotokos bound the grapevine cross with strands of her own hair.)

Nino related the vision to her uncle, Patriarch Juvenal, and revealed to him her desire to preach the Gospel in Georgia. Juvenal led her in front of the Royal Doors, laid his hands on her, and prayed, “O Lord, God of Eternity, I beseech Thee on behalf of my orphaned niece: Grant that, according to Thy will, she may go to preach and proclaim Thy Holy Resurrection. O Christ God, be Thou to her a guide, a refuge, and a spiritual father. And as Thou didst enlighten the Apostles and all those who feared Thy name, do Thou also enlighten her with the wisdom to proclaim Thy glad tidings.”

When Nino arrived in Rome, she met and baptized the princess Rhipsimia and her nurse, Gaiana. At that time the Roman emperor was Diocletian, a ruler infamous for persecuting Christians. Diocletian (284–305) fell in love with Rhipsimia and resolved to marry her, but St. Nino, Rhipsimia, Gaiana, and fifty other virgins escaped to Armenia. The furious Diocletian ordered his soldiers to follow them and sent a messenger to Tiridates, the Armenian king (286–344), to put him on guard.

King Tiridates located the women and, following Diocletian’s example, was charmed by Rhipsimia’s beauty and resolved to marry her. But St. Rhipsimia would not consent to wed him, and in his rage the king had her tortured to death with Gaiana and the fifty other virgins. St. Nino, however, was being prepared for a different, greater task, and she succeeded in escaping King Tiridates’ persecutions by hiding among some rose bushes. 

When she finally arrived in Georgia, St. Nino was greeted by a group of Mtskhetan shepherds near Lake Paravani, and she received a blessing from God to preach to the pagans of this region. 

With the help of her acquaintances St. Nino soon reached the city of Urbnisi. She remained there a month, then traveled to Mtskheta with a group of Georgians who were making a pilgrimage to venerate the pagan idol Armazi. There she watched with great sadness as the Georgian people trembled before the idols. She was exceedingly sorrowful and prayed to the Lord, “O Lord, send down Thy mercy upon this nation …that all nations may glorify Thee alone, the One True God, through Thy Son, Jesus Christ.”

Suddenly a violent wind began to blow and hail fell from the sky, shattering the pagan statues. The terrified worshipers fled, scattering across the city.

St. Nino made her home beneath a bramble bush in the garden of the king, with the family of the royal gardener. The gardener and his wife were childless, but through St. Nino’s prayers God granted them a child. The couple rejoiced exceedingly, declared Christ to be the True God, and became disciples of St. Nino. Wherever St. Nino went, those who heard her preach converted to the Christian Faith in great numbers. St. Nino even healed the terminally ill Queen Nana after she declared Christ to be the True God.

King Mirian, a pagan, was not at all pleased with the great impression St. Nino’s preaching had made on the Georgian nation. One day while he was out hunting, he resolved to kill all those who followed Christ.

According to his wicked scheme, even his wife, Queen Nana, would face death for failing to renounce the Christian Faith. But in the midst of the hunt, it suddenly became very dark. All alone, King Mirian became greatly afraid and prayed in vain for the help of the pagan gods. When his prayers went unanswered, he finally lost hope and, miraculously, he turned to Christ: “God of Nino, illumine this night for me and guide my footsteps, and I will declare Thy Holy Name. I will erect a cross and venerate it and I will construct for Thee a temple. I vow to be obedient to Nino and to the Faith of the Roman people!”

Suddenly the night was transfigured, the sun shone radiantly, and KingMirian gave great thanks to the Creator. When he returned to the city, he immediately informed St. Nino of his decision. As a result of the unceasing labors of Equal-to-the-Apostles Nino, Georgia was established as a nation solidly rooted in the Christian Faith.

St. Nino reposed in the village of Bodbe in eastern Georgia and, according to her will, she was buried in the place where she took her last breath. King Mirian later erected a church in honor of St. George over her grave.

Difference tra Ortodossi e Cattolici

Ecumenism is the heresy of heresies!

An Open Letter to Patriarch Ilia II of Georgia

From the Brotherhood of the Monastery of Saint Shio of Mghvime

Visit to the WCC of His Holiness ILJA II, Catholicos Patriarch of All Georgia. Dr. Konrad Raiser and H.H. Ilja II. Switzerland May 1996;

“Christ the Lord called that Church the Catholic Church which maintains the true and saving confession of the Faith. It was for this confession that He called Peter blessed when He declared ‘…upon this rock [i.e., of right faith] I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’ (Matt. 16:18)’.” _Saint Maximus the Confessor (Migne PG 90, 132A)

“We are orphans and fatherless…” _Lamentations of Jeremiah 5:3.

“Whoso readeth, let him understand.” _Matt. 24:15

In ancient Sodom there lived the righteous Lot and his family. Our long-suffering God awaiting the conversion the change of heart of the Sodomites bestowed upon them all that they needed: air water food… life itself. Lot was for them a certain example of righteousness, a model for their correction. But in vain. The measure of lawlessness and sin overflowed; the Lord brought out the family of Lot and destroyed the city of Sodom by fire thus taking away that life which He Himself had granted.

Like unto Sodom becomes that church in which the abomination of heretical doctrines finds itself a lodging place. Long-suffering and merciful is the Lord and just as the destruction of Sodom was delayed for the sake of righteous Lot; so too for the sake of His righteous servants for the time being He shall not withdraw the grace of the Holy Spirit from that church which is deviating into the heretical gloom so offensive to Him. But for how long? Where is that boundary beyond which lawlessness exceeds His long-suffering and mercy? If the time for an exodus like Lot’s is come then such a time is the termination of the period [allowed for repentance], it is the time for the execution of the judgments of God, the time of righteous anger, the time for the taking away of the very Spirit of Life. The going forth from the midst of sin by the true children of the Church serves as an indication of the spiritual death of the hierarchy of a Local Church. And only then when the Lord shall have led forth all of them, all those faithful to Him_His true Church_will the grace of His Holy Spirit completely abandon the assembly of those who have remained behind.

Lot forewarned his sons-in-law of the approaching judgment but was mocked by them. And his sons-in-law were burned together with all the Sodomites.

We also have the example of Nineveh. The Ninevites repented and the judgment of God was suspended. But what of Sodom? Was Sodom capable of changing? Sodom, in which there was not even a consciousness of the need for amendment?

  1. Ecumenism is heresy! That is quite clear. Moreover, it is the heresy of heresies.
  2. Of all the errors which the so-called “Ecumenism” comprises, the most fundamental and profound is its error concerning the very nature of the Church itself. This is an ecclesiological heresy. It is contrary to the Nicean-Constantinopolitan confession of faith, for it asserts that there is no “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church“.
  3. The so-called “World Council of Churches” already in its very name contains this contradiction of the Orthodox Christian doctrine concerning the Church. And in its “Branch Theory” it totally rejects this dogma. And the “Council” endeavors to accomplish this fundamental rejection by its militant practice of “religious pluralism”.
  4. The Orthodox Church, by participating in the activities of the aforementioned “World Council of Churches”, declares her agreement with all its [the WCC’s] teachings and activities. By this very means she becomes a party to all the falsehood and errors of the Council. She becomes heretical to the degree that the Council itself is heretical.
  5. This heresy is introduced even more deeply into the body of the Church by the participation of her hierarchy in the various forms of liturgical concelebrations conducted by the institutions of the Council in the course of its routine activities.
  6. The Georgian Orthodox Church (GOC) has been an active member of the WCC for a considerable time (since 1962). This lively participation, manifested in the activities of her senior hierarchs, is the path of falling away into heresy, or rather, it is essentially already heresy.
  7. Both in their numerous public appearances, and also ex cathedra, the senior hierarchs of the GOC have shown themselves to be apologists and preachers of the heresy of Ecumenism. At the Local Council in 1995 participation in this movement was recorded in the official documents and confirmed by the ecclesiastical authority. By this means this heresy was definitively implanted into the body of the Local Georgian Church.
  8. When the Church begins in any degree to accept heretical teachings, then saving grace wanes in her. Once the Church as a whole accepts a heresy, then saving grace departs from this community, since salvation for its members has become impossible, even if they were to lay down their lives for their convictions.
  9. There are only two routes of escape from the situation which has arisen in the GOC: either the Church renounces its error, or else those seeking salvation quit the assembly of the unfaithful.
  10. The Church’s rejection of the heresy of Ecumenism must be expressed by its departure from the WCC. There is no other way.
  11. This can be done only by the senior hierarchs of the GOC_this is their prerogative. But the hierarchs refuse to do this.
  12. Some of the hierarchs consider such a step inconsistent with the contemporary processes of global integration. Subordinating, in their own conceptions, the life of the Church to the mere laws by which society functions, they threaten the Christians with economic difficulties, political, religious, and cultural isolation, and a like multitude of imagined horrors.
  13. Such a way of thinking is based on a lack of faith in the providential care for the Church by her Creator and Founder. This is unbelief, this is real atheism which captivates the mind and conscience. They do not realize that the Lord does not abandon His true servants. His eye slumbereth not; and mighty is His right hand.
  14. Other of the hierarchs, not possessing a true Christian consciousness and not wishing to comprehend the very essence of the dogmas of the Church of Christ, consider that membership in the WCC is not so very significant a sin. Such as these seek by means of various compromises to deceive both God and themselves.
  15. So what then remains for an Orthodox Christian seeking salvation to do, who is certain that this very salvation is not possible without a true faith free of heretical abomination?
  16. “…and they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.” Acts 5:41.

“…But as for those who…severe themselves from communion with their president, that is, because he publicly preaches heresy and with bared head teaches it in the Church, such persons are not only not subject to canonical penalty…, but are worthy of due honor among the Orthodox. For not bishops, but false bishops and false teachers have they condemned, and they have not fragmented the Church’s unity with schism, but from schisms and divisions have they earnestly sought to deliver the Church.” (Canon XV of the First-Second Council of Constantinople)

In his commentary on Canon XIV of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, Zonar writes: “Those are also heretics who even partly disagree with the teaching of the Church or who only slightly distort it.”

The Monastery of our Righteous Father Shio of Mghvime (the Cave-dweller) severs eucharistic communion with Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II because of his heresy of Ecumenism.

Archimandrite George, Abbot of the monastery
Archimandrite John
Hieromonk Nicholas
Monk Kyrion
Novice Bessarion
Novice Guram

April 14/27 1997

The Abbot of the Lavra of the Righteous David of Garedzhe, Archimandrite Gregory, severs eucharistic communion with Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II because of his heresy of Ecumenism, and resigns from the office of abbot.

Archimandrite Gregory

April 17/30, 1997

Betania Monastery severs liturgical communion with Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II because of his heresy of Ecumenism.

Abbot of the Monastery,

Hieromonk Haggai
Monk Eutyches
Monk Gabriel

April 18 / May 1, 1997

The Abbot of the Zarzma Monastery, Archimandrite George, severs eucharistic communion with Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II and Bishop Sergius of Akhaltsikhe on account of their having fallen into the heresy of ecumenism.

Archimandrite George May 2/15, 1997

To the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, Ilia II,
And to the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Georgian Orthodox Church

Your Holiness; Most-reverend Bishops:

We humbly wish to inform you that with the blessing of the ruling bishop of the Shemokmedi diocese, Kyr Joseph, a meeting of the clergy of the Guria region was held on May 6/19 of this year. At this meeting we considered the situation which has arisen in the bosom of the Mother Church, in particular, the declarations of the brotherhoods of the St. Shio of Mghvime, Betania, and St. David of Garedzhe monasteries. We most humbly beg you not to rend the robe of the Church of Christ by schism.

For love’s sake, resolve to leave the World Council of Churches.

Otherwise we shall subscribe to the decision of the aforementioned brotherhoods and shall sever eucharistic communion with you.

1 ) Abbot of the Shemokmedi Monastery of St. Nicholas, Archimandrite Nicholas
2) Spiritual Father of the Dzhikheti Convent, Archimandrite Andrew
3) Rector of the Shemokmedi Cathedral, Protopriest Basil
4) Rector of the Church of SS. Julitta and Cyriacus, Priest Matthew
5) Rector of the Church of St. George in Dvabchu, Priest Constantine
6) Deacon of the Shemokmedi Cathedral, Fr. Cyriacus

video: The Heresy of Ecumenism and the Hope of the West

The followers of Christ

What do we mean by the word “Orthodox”?

SHORTLY AFTER THE DOCTRINE of Christ began to be propagated among the Gentiles, the followers of Christ in Antioch began to be called Christians (Acts 11:26). The word “Christian” indicated that those who bore this name belonged to Christ: belonged in the sense of devotion to Christ and his Doctrine. From Antioch the name of Christi an was spread everywhere.

The followers of Christ gladly called themselves by the name of their beloved Teacher and Lord; and the enemies of Christ called His followers Christians by carrying over to them the ill-will and hatred which they breathed against Christ.However, quite soon there appeared people who, while calling themselves Christians, were not of Christ in spirit. Of them Christ had spoken earlier: “Not everyone that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 7:5). Christ prophesied also that many would pass themselves off for Christ Himself: “Many shall come in my name, sayings I am Christ” (Matt. 24:5). The Apostles in their epistles indicated that false bearers of the name of Christ had appeared already in their time: “as ye have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now there are many antichrists” (1 John 2:19).They indicated that those who stepped away from the doctrine of Christ should not be considered their own: “They went out from us but were not of us” (1 John 2:19). Warning against quarrels and disagreements in minor matters (1 Cor. 1:10-14), at the same time the Apostles strictly commanded their disciples to shun those who do not bring the true doctrine (2 John 1:10). The Lord, through the Revelation given to the Apostle John the Theologian, sternly accused those who, calling themselves faithful, did not act in accordance with their name; for in such a case it would be false for them.

Of what use was it of old to call oneself a Jew, an Old Testament follower of the true faith, if one was not such in actuality? Such the Holy Scripture calls the synagogue of Satan (Apocalypse 2:9).

In the same way a Christian in the strict sense is he only who confesses the true doctrine of Christ and lives in accordance with it. The designation of a Christian consists in glorifying the Heavenly Father by one’s life. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). But true glorification of God is possible only if one rightly believes and expresses his right belief in words and deeds. Therefore true Christianity and it alone may be named “right-glorifying” (Orthodoxy). By the word “Orthodoxy” we confess our firm conviction that it is precisely our Faith that is the true doctrine of Christ. When we call anyone or anything Orthodox, we by this very fact indicate his or its non-counterfeit and uncorrupted Christianity, rejecting at the same time that which falsely appropriates the name of Christ.

Prologue of John Moschus

To his beloved in Christ Sophronius Sophista

It is obvious to all, my beloved son, that the meadows present their most beautiful appearance in Springtime, with its pleasing variety of flowers of every sort, demanding the attention of all who gaze, impossible to ignore, beneficial in all sorts of ways, for they delight the eyes and give pleasure t

 o the sense of smell. Part of this meadow indeed flourishes with the colour of roses, part grows white with lilies, easily attracting the attention of the onlooker away from the colour of the roses. Other parts shimmer with the colour of violets, copying in their own colour the imperial purple. The profusion of various differing sights and fragrances of countless flowers everywhere gratify the senses. Think of this present work like this, Sophronius, my holy and most faithful son, since you will find in it the virtues of the holy men who have enlightened our time “planted by the running waters”, as the Psalmist says (Psalms 1.3). And though all of them are acceptable to God and of great grace, yet each one of them is distinguished by some particular grace more than the others, so that out of this great variety of virtues arises a charming picture of pleasing beauty. Out of these flowers I have picked the most beautiful, and woven a corona for you out of this imperishable and everlasting meadow, my most faithful son, which I offer to you, and through you to everyone.For this reason it seems good to call this present work a Meadow, for the delight, comfort and usefulness which those who read may take from it. It is not only right belief and meditation on divine truth which lead to a life and morals of integrity, but also the examples of other people, and written accounts of their virtuous lives. Therefore I have undertaken this task trusting in the Lord, beloved son, and hoping that it will commend itself to your charity. Just as a bee seeks out only what is useful and true so I have I described the lives of the holy fathers that souls may be enlightened.

Bishop Nikolai (Velimirovic) of Okhrid and Bitol

We offer for your consideration the following excerpt from a letter to a certain engineer who complained about his boring job:

You complain that you are tired of your job. All other activities seem more interesting to you, and you, and you are troubled and anguished about not being able to find something better. I thought ab out this for a long time before picking up my pen to answer you. I tried to put my self in your place, and to play your part. I imagined myself at your worksite, in the locomotive car, in the midst of the roar of the machine and the pounding of the wheels. Sweaty, covered in soot, I cheerfully looked ahead. Behind me was arrayed an entire little people: old people, parents and children, nobility, diplomats, officials, peasants, workers, and day laborers. They had all been thrown together by circumstance, and they all depended on me. Some talked among themselves and some were lost in thought, but each was mentally striving to get to his final destination. Whether he gets to that station depends on me, and I depend only on God. The passengers could not even imagine how much they depended on me. They were not thinking of me – they didn’t even know me. And that is precisely what made me happy. When the train was ready to move, no one came to look at me, or to make my acquaintance. No one asked, “Is our engineer crazy? Is he intoxicated? Is he blind? After all, we have entrusted him with our lives! He is the most important person in the galloping city of which we have become residents for a time.” Such thoughts did not even occur to them, and that made me immeasurably happy. It makes me happy that so many people without even a glance entrusted their lives to me, to me, a stranger hidden in the heart of the locomotive. Trembling with joy, I began to thank the Lord: – O great and wondrous God! Glory and praise to Thee, for giving me life, and intellect, and such an important job! You gave me a task very much like Thy work, o God. After all, Thou o Lord, hidden, invisible and unknown, operate the machine of the world with Thine Holy Spirit. It is enormous, Thy passengers are without number. Thou art the [locomotive] Engineer for the entire world. Many, many travelers do not even think about Thee, do not consider the Mystery of Thine existence, but with trust sit down in Thy train and go, and go. And that most gladden Thee, immeasurably gladden Thee. Thou knowest where to grant rest to Thy passengers, where to feed them, and whom to discharge, and where. Frankly, they know little about the remarkable final destination toward which Thy marvelous train is moving, but they trustingly enter, trustingly travel, and trustingly alight. They put their trust in Thee, to the hidden, invisible, unknowable! I thank Thee a thousand times and bow before Thee, my All-seeing and All-powerful Creator and Engineer. In all of the dangers threatening this my journey, I place my hope in Thee alone. Only Thou canst help me bring it to its final destination without losing any of my passengers.

My young friend, what better job are you seeking? Is there any other better than yours? The Apostle Peter was a fisherman, and the Apostle Paul wove mats. Consider how much more important and interesting your job is than theirs, and thank Providence Who entrusted you with such an occupation.

Wishing you health, and may the blessings of the Lord be upon you!