The Alcoholic Monk

Once on Mount Athos there was a monk who lived in Karyes. He drank and got drunk every day and was the cause of scandal to the pilgrims. Eventually he died and this relieved some of the faithful who went on to tell Elder Paisios that they were delighted that this huge problem was finally solved.

Saint Paisios answered them that he knew about the death of the monk, after seeing the entire battalion of angels who came to collect his soul. The pilgrims were amazed and some protested and tried to explain to the Elder of whom they were talking about, thinking that the Elder did not understand.

Saint Paisios explained to them: “This particular monk was born in Asia Minor, shortly before the destruction by the Turks when they gathered all the boys. So as not to take him from their parents, they would take him with them to the reaping, and so he wouldn’t cry, they just put raki* into his milk in order for him to sleep. Therefore he grew up as an alcoholic. There he found an elder and said to him that he was an alcoholic. The elder told him to do prostrations and prayers every night and beg the Panagia to help him to reduce by one the glasses he drank.

After a year he managed with struggle and repentance to make the 20 glasses he drank into 19 glasses. The struggle continued over the years and he reached 2-3 glasses, with which he would still get drunk.”
The world for years saw an alcoholic monk who scandalized the pilgrims, but God saw a fighter who fought a long struggle to reduce his passion.

Without knowing what each one is trying to do what he wants to do, what right do we have to judge his effort?

  • Raki is a Turkish unsweetened, anise-flavored hard alcoholic drink that is popular in Turkey, Greece, Albania, Serbia, and other Balkan countries as an apéritif.

The Beheading of the Glorious Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist John.

Troparion, in Tone II —

The Glorious Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist John

The memory of the righteous is celebrated with hymns of praise,/ but the Lord’s witness is sufficient for thee, O forerunner./ Thou wast truly shown to be more honorable than the prophets,/ in that thou wast counted worthy to baptize in the streams Him Whom thou didst proclaim./ Wherefore, having suffered, rejoicing, for the truth,/ even unto those in hades thou didst proclaim God,/ Who had manifested Himself in the flesh,// Who taketh away the sin of the world and granteth us great mercy.

Continue reading “The Beheading of the Glorious Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist John.”

Liv er ental

Der findes nogle ord, som ikke kan være i flertal. Salt, f.eks., eller vand eller luft. På engelsk kalder man sådanne ord “utællelige”, fordi det simpelt hen er umuligt at tælle antallet af sandkorn eller antallet af dråber vand (eller hvilken mindste enhed man hypotetisk set ville gå ned til, hvis man ville give sig af med at tælle vandet).

Sådan er det også med liv. Det er også utælleligt. Ikke fordi der, som i de andre tilfælde, er så mange, at det er uoverskueligt at tælle dem alle, men tvært imod fordi der kun er ét, og når der kun er det, så er det i sagens natur utælleligt. Continue reading “Liv er ental”


Patriarchal Paschal Encyclical 2010 from Irenej, Patriarch of Serbia

The Bright Resurrection of Christ, Troparion. Tone V —
Christ is risen from the dead, trampling on death by death, and on those in the tombs bestowing life.

Kontakion, Tone VIII —
Though Thou didst descend into the grave, O Immortal One, yet didst Thou destroy the power of hell, and didst rise again as Conqueror, O Christ our God, saying to the myrrhbearing women, Rejoice! and giving peace to Thine Apostles, and offering to the fallen resurrection.

Troparion —
O great and holiest Passover, Christ! O Wisdom, Word and Power of God! Grant that we may more perfectly partake of Thee in the unending Day of Thy Kingdom.

Exaposieilarion —
Having slept in the flesh as a mortal, O King and Lord, Thou didst rise on the third day. Thou didst raise up Adam from corruption and abolish death, O Passover of incorruption, Salvation of the world!

Kontakion —
Though Thou didst descend into the grave, O Immortal One, yet didst Thou destroy the power of hell, and didst rise again as Conqueror, O Christ our God, saying to the myrrbearing women, Rejoice! And giving peace to Thine Apostles, and offering to the fallen resurrection.

Troparia —
In the grave bodily, in hell with the soul as God, in Paradise with the thief, and on the throne with the Father and the Spirit wast Thou Who fillest all things, O Christ the Infinite.

Pictures from our celebrations

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Foredrag af Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) af Pergamon

Metropolitan John af Pergamon

For nogle år siden oversatte jeg en tekst, som er en gengivelse af et foredrag holdt af Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) af Pergamon. Jeg har besluttet at gøre den danske oversættelse tilgængelig her.

Den oprindelige tekst kan findes på Orthodox Research Institute.

God læselyst!



Theophany of our Lord, Troparion, Tone I —
When Thou, O Lord, wast baptized in the Jordan,/ the worship of the Trinity was made manifest;/ for, the voice of the Father bare witness unto Thee,/ calling Thee His beloved Son;/ and the Spirit in the form of a dove/ confirmed the certainty of His word./ O Christ our God, Who hast appeared and enlightened the worlds,// glory be to Thee!

Kontakion, Tone IV —
Thou hast appeared today to the whole world,/ and Thy light, O Lord, hath been signed upon us/ who hymn Thee with understanding./ Thou hast come, Thou hast appeared,/ the Light unapproachable.


Glorify Him!

Troparion, Tone IV —

Thy nativity, O Christ our God,
hath shone forth the light of knowledge upon the world;
for therein those who worship the stars
have been taught by a star to worship Thee,
the Sun of righteousness,
and to know Thee the Orient from on high.
O Lord, glory be to Thee!

Kontakion, Tone III idiomelon —

Today the Virgin giveth birth unto the Transcendent One,
and the earth offereth a cave to the unapproachable One.
Angels and shepherds give glory,
the magi journey with the star.
For unto us a Child is born, the preeternal God.


Lovpris Ham!

Troparion, 5. tone:

Din fødsel, Kristus, vor Gud,
har fremskinnet kundskabens lys over verden;
thi derved har de, som tilbeder stjerner,
af en stjerne lært at tilbede Dig,
retfærdigheds Sol,
og at kende Dig, Solopgang fra det høje.
Herre, ære være Dig!

Kontakion, 3. tone:

I dag føder Jomfruen den Transcendente,
og jorden byder den Utilnærmelige en grotte.
Engle og hyrder giver ære,
de vise mænd rejser med stjernen.
Thi os er et Barn født – Gud før al evighed.

For more texts on the feast, go to Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church’s Calendar page.

Music taken from

Pictures from the day

Badnji Dan – Christmas Eve

It’s Badnji Dan, Christmas Eve, according to our orthodox calendar, and I am going to go out with my brother and friend Miša to fell the young oak for tonight.

Grant, O God, that there be health and joy in this home, that our grain and grapevines yield well, that children be born healthy to us, that our property increase in the field, pen, and barn!

Those who want to read more about Serbian customs when celebrating the Nativity of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, are welcome to do so in a very standardized version on WikiPedia.

Pictures from the day

Happy 2010

Happy 2010 with the following podcast of fr. John Finley – a poetic collection of dictums of late Fr. Alexander Schmemann, all describing the orthodox vision of the Holy Eucharist, from which we draw our life: