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Christ is Risen!

“The time, the kairos, is ripe now. Let us organize ourselves for this sacred mission, of the evangelism of our communities at large, acting as a unified body, as the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.”

+Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis
  Letter to fellow local clergy, June 19, 1998

Orthodox Witness is an organization dedicated to Orthodox Christian evangelism. Our goal is to bring together Orthodox clergy and laity from all Orthodox jurisdictions into a unified and coordinated effort to spread the truth of Orthodoxy, its mindset and way of life to all people in their locality, through modern media: the web, social media, video, and other outlets, for the glory of the triune God and the exaltation of His Holy Orthodox Church.

Latest articles on "Over the Rooftops"

Our original articles and translations

THE AKATHIST HYMN: History, Significance, Analysis

Take a glance at this post and see the structure of “The Akathist Hymn”, an acrostic poem and “jewel of Theology” comprised of a prelude and 24 stanzas.

renouncing Satan

How Christians of the 3rd millennium can apply The Ladder of Divine Ascent in life

Almost fourteen centuries after Saint John wrote “The Ladder” for monks of his day, the way upward remains the same today.

The ultimate goal of ecumenists is to mix-up the faithful

In the past, the devotees of ecumenism pretended to be pious and traditional. Today, they have thrown off their sheepskins, showing their real intentions.

bishop ambrosios

Bishops: Do not persecute the priests for preserving Orthodox traditions!

In a fiery open letter, Metropolitan Ambrosios of Kalavryta writes that bishops have done more to tear down our faith than anti-Christian government rules.

Brizoles

Abba Pambo’s frightful prophecy about the End Times

A monk once asked Abba Pambo, “Is it true, Abba, that the customs and traditions of Christians will change and there will be no priests in the churches?”

The purpose of temptations

Saint Nektarios of Pentapolis explains why God allows temptations and counsels us to “place our trust in God”.

Latest "Sparks"

Short translations from Greek sources + shared articles from other websites

May 25, 2022

God tolerates, endures, understands …. and us?

by + Saint Evmenios the New (Saridakis)

Many of us want the thieves to go to jail, the murderers to be executed, the offenders to be punished ... When you repay evil with evil, evil multiplies. When you see someone being punished justly and you rejoice, it shows a hard-hearted person ... When you judge others by purely external criteria, you are not fair. When you do not tolerate them, you make your life difficult in the name of your justice and you will be shown the same treatment for your own crimes. God tolerates, waits, understands, sympathizes, is crucified for every human being. He only knows how to love, to speak to our conscience discreetly, to hinder with kindness. Christ said, “Blessed are the meek, the quiet, the lowly, and the one who weeps for his own sins, for they will inherit the earth...” Love, forgive, justify and endure in order to be loved, to be forgiven, to be accepted, to be deeply calmed from this life. Live as the last of all, like the soil we tread on, but which supports us all. A Saint of our day was telling us: “Never accuse any priest or one who has dedicated his life to God, neither the worldly nor the greatest sinners, even if you see them sinning. View all the people who live on earth and those who have fallen asleep since the creation of the world, them as holy and righteous, and view only ourselves as sinners, the least of the all people, and worthy of condemnation and of many punishments. It is good and God-pleasing to die for the world and to live eternally with God.”

Source (in Greek): http://trelogiannis.blogspot.com/2022/05/blog-post_797.html

September 13, 2021

“Woe to you when people speak well of you”

by + Metropolitan of Florina Augoustinos (Kantiotes) (+2010)

“The main characteristic of the bishop and the priest is a fighting spirit, boldness. It is what the apostle Paul said that, “Those who wish to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” [2 Tim. 3:12] If you see a priest, if you see a theologian, if you see a metropolitan or an archbishop who is not persecuted, but is enjoying the love and appreciation of all, then the word of Christ applies, “Woe to you when people speak well of you” [Luke 6:26]; know very well that he is not walking correctly. The same thing applies to someone who calls himself Orthodox, but does not want to go against the current, this avalanche that is coming down to destroy the world.”

September 13, 2021

Saint John’s simple mitre and vestments

by Matushka Maria Kotar

"His cassock of a bright blue color was made from a thin “material for poor people”. His sakkos also was different. Although it was part of his bishop’s vestments, it was made from white canvas on which small purple and orange crosses had been cross-stitched by the children of his orphanage. His miter… looked more like a large, strangely shaped skufia with small cheap icons sewn on all four sides. All of his vestments were too large for him…" (Source: OrthoChristian.com)

August 30, 2021

St. Mark of Ephesus and the Uprising of the Orthodox Laity

by Robert Arakaki

“The time has come for the laity to raise the alarm—to call out “Fire!” Express to your priest your concerns about this false ecumenism and ask if he plans to voice this concern with others. Contact your Orthodox friends and let them know your concerns. Let us work together and mobilize to block this false ecumenism, just as the Orthodox laity did in the time of Mark of Ephesus.”

February 8, 2021

Elder Evmenios calms a tiger at the London Zoo

by Monk Simon

When Elder Evmenios Saridakis and a group of his spiritual children visited the London Zoo, the Elder found himself in front of a very furious Indian tiger.

She was jumping up and down, behind the barbed wire, roaring and everyone was standing at a great distance.

Father Evmenios approached her and began to talk to her:

“Tiger, tiger, my tiger, calm down, my tiger,” and he was crossing her with his hand.

Then the tiger put both paws in front of her and bowed her head three times as if repenting. And she calmed down.

The people watching from afar were shouting: “Father, Father, excellent!”

From the book of the Monk Simon, “Father Evmenios, the Good Shepherd and Miracle Worker”.

Source (in Greek): http://trelogiannis.blogspot.com/2021/01/blog-post_751.html

February 8, 2021

“I obeyed. I started reading the Psalter. But I don’t understand anything!”

by Staretz Barsanuphius

Staretz Barsanuphius to a believer who was in despair and spiritual impasse.

An intellectual who was disturbed writes to me:

“I feel terrible. Externally everything is going well. My family is united and loving. My wife is good. What’s bad is that I have no one to open my heart to. That’s why I’m constantly mentally tired. My wife does not understand it. The children are small. What’s left form me to do? How can I get rid of this bitterness and mental fatigue?”

I answered advising him to read the Psalms. There, in Psalm 93, he will see the words: “O Lord, when anxiety overwhelms me, Your consolation delights my soul” (v. 19 BSB). Hold unto this verse. And resolve to read the entire Psalter. I believe, God will comfort you.”

Some time passes, and I receive a letter. “I obeyed. I started reading the Psalter. But I don’t understand anything!”

I answer him: “Staretz Ambrose in a similar situation gave the following answer: ‘You may not understand, but the demons understand it just fine. And they will flee from you.’ Read it, even if you don’t understand it. I don’t know what will happen, but I repeat: Read the Psalms. Every day. Even a little at a time. And the Lord will not leave you. He will come with His mercy. And He will help you. And He will comfort you. Forever.”

“Staretz Barsanuphius”, Published by the Holy Monastery of Nikopolis

Source: http://trelogiannis.blogspot.com/2021/02/blog-post_66.html (in Greek)

Translated by F.E.H.

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