Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers


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In Categories: Miscellaneous Topics

2. In the Skete of little Saint Anne lived a certain Hieromonk Savvas, called the famous Papa-Savvas. Father Joachim Spetsieres had him as spiritual father. The Empress of Russia Catherine also had him as spiritual father. He served the Liturgy every day; he was God-bearing, clairvoyant, a teacher of mental prayer.

Sometimes some people asked him, what moves you to commemorate so many names in the Proskomedia?

He answered, "When I was younger, we called the Bishop to consecrate the church above the Holy Monastery of Saint Dionysios" for it was there that he first practiced hesychasm, with his elder Papa-Ilarion, himself also a famous spiritual father. "After the consecration the Bishop said to my Elder, May I give Papa-Savvas some names to commemorate for 40 days, since he will serve the liturgy every day? The Elder said to him, Give as many as you want. And he gave me 62 names.

When I had finished 39 liturgies and was going to the 40th, I leaned against the analogion and waited for the Elder to come, to receive the time to serve the Liturgy. I fell asleep and saw in my sleep that I was wearing the priestly vestments and standing before the Holy Table. On the Holy Table was the holy Diskos of the Liturgy, and the holy Chalice full of the holy Blood of Christ. Then I saw Papa-Stephanos come, take the paper from the proskomedia and the communion spoon, draw near to the Holy Table and put the paper upon it, near the holy Diskos. Afterwards he dipped the spoon in the holy Blood of Christ and erased a name. Again he dipped and erased another, and so forth until all were done and the paper was clean.

"Then I awoke and in a little my Elder also came. Immediately I told him the above. The Elder said, Didn't I tell you not to believe in dreams? After the Liturgy he said to me again, You are not worthy that the sins of these people be forgiven: through faith they received the forgiveness of sins. So this is the reason why I commemorate the names of all." REF:Elder Ephraim of Philotheou Mount Athos, "Counsels from the Holy Mountain"

3. Immense is the benefit of the Divine Liturgy, of commemorations, etc.; full of sure benefit for those who repented, who had a little yeast of the virtues, but who by reason of negligence, indolence, and occasional procrastination did not arrive on time to knead the bread of virtues; for these people, the prayers of the Church and their own prayers, charity, philanthropy, etc., fill up their lack, through the multitude of God's mercies!

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem says, concerning all Liturgies, that all who are commemorated, for the sake of whom intercession is made, receive the greatest benefit. REF:Elder Ephraim of Philotheou Mount Athos, "Counsels from the Holy Mountain"

The new venerable Photini, the one from Asia Minor, in one of her many ecstasies of soul saw a man of sacred appearance, like a priest, and he said to her, "My daughter, give your names to the priest; give him also the work of commemorating them, for the souls of those who have died receive great benefit! Be attentive that you not forget to give the names to the priest!" REF:Elder Ephraim of Philotheou Mount Athos, "Counsels from the Holy Mountain"

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