My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE. Ο ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΕΝ ΤΩ ΜΕΣΩ ΗΜΩΝ! ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΑΙ.
OUR HOLY FATHER SAINT NEKTARIOS OF AEGINA BISHOP OF PENTAPOLIS AND MIRACLE WORKER (Part II)
Saint Nektarios lived like an Angel in the flesh with the rays of the Uncreated Light shining around him, yet once again he was calumniated by certain members of the Hierarchy who made malicious accusations about his monastery. He bore these latter trials with the patience of Christ, meekly and without complaint, as he did the painful illness which afflicted him for more than eighteen months before he spoke of it. He thanked God for putting him to the test in this way and did his best to keep the pain he suffered secret until the last days of his life. After a final pilgrimage to an icon of the Mother of God venerated not far from the monastery, he told his disciples of his coming departure for Heaven and was taken to a hospital in Athens where, after fifty days of suffering borne with a patience that edified all who visited him, he gave up his soul in peace to God on November 8th, 1920.
The faithful Orthodox Christians of Aegina, the nuns of his monastery and all the Christians who had come close to him, mourned the loss of the meek and compassionate disciple of Christ who, in the likeness of the Divine Image of his Master, endured all his life calumnies, persecutions, and false accusations. But God has glorified him, and miracles have abounded since his departure for those who approach his holy relics with faith or who rely on his powerful intercession. His body remained incorrupt for more than twenty years, distilling a delicate, heavenly scent, and then returned to the earth in the usual way. His holy relics were strongly redolent with the same perfume at the time of their translation (anakomide) in June 1953. This sweet perfume has continued ever since to rejoice the faithful Orthodox Christians who come with faith and love to venerate his precious holy relics with the assurance that Saint Nektarios has been received by God into the abode of the Righteous. His veneration was formally recognized in 1961. The list of his miracles grows longer every day, and his shrine at Aegina has become the most visited place of pilgrimage in all of Greece.
We, at Saint Andrew parish, have witnessed at least two miracles at our Saint Nektarios Chapel by him.
Apolytikion (Dismissal) Hymn of Saint Nektarios:
Selyvria's offspring and Aegina's guardian, the true friend of virtue revealed in these last times, Nektarios let us, the faithful, praise as inspired servants of Christ; for he pours out healings of every kind for those who devoutly cry: Glory to Christ who gave you glory! Glory to Him who made you wondrous! Glory to Him who through you works healings for all!
The Holy Spirit has enlightened the gathered members of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa, under the leadership of H.B. Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, more than a century since Saint Nektarios, the Great Teacher and Father of the Holy Eastern Orthodox Church was expelled from the Church of Alexandria, to reach the following decision:
"Taking into account the resolution of the Church to rank Saint Nectarios amongst the Saints because of his innumerable miracles and his acceptance within the religious the conscience of the Orthodox Christians throughout the world, we appeal to the mercy of the Ever-Charitable God.
We hereby restore the ecclesiastical order of the Saint of Our Century, Saint Nektarios, and grant to him all due credits and honors. We beseech Saint Nektarios to forgive both us, unworthy as we are, and our predecessors, our brothers of the Throne of Alexandria, for opposition to the Saint and for all which, due to human weakness or error, our Holy Father, Bishop of Pentapolis, Saint Nektarios, suffered."
PETROS VIII, By the Grace of God Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa.
Beloved and faithful children of the Church,
In these modern times, when our way of life is constantly changing, when the products of technology and the numerous experiences of our daily life, confused man's incurable, crushing the hope of our hearts and destroying man's character, the Saints of our Church bear witness to man's salvation, the majesty of man's spirit and the ontological concept of hope and the recognition of human life.
One of the Great Saints of our Orthodox Church, who lived and experienced the joyful meeting and continuous coexistence with Christ our God, who aimed to build a new world, to separate man from his stained inheritance and to reform the human personality, is Saint Nektarios, Bishop of the ancient Kyrenian Pentapolis, the Wonder-worker.
All that our Church believes and experiences is to be found in the inner personality of Saint Nektarios. This is substantiated through our life experience.
The whole grace of the Church exists in his life, and the burning flame which is Saint Nektarios, passes on to us the essence of the mystery of the Church.
He is truly formed by great experiences. He is able to transfuse us with holiness and grace because he himself was tested and saved.
Saint Nektarios lived in our Patriarchate and became the humble servant of the world, despite the difficulties caused by malicious intent, the atmosphere of contempt and defeat, enmity and injustice. He achieved absolute humility. In virtuous silence, he endured the turmoil of his flaming soul. Like Noah in his ark, he relived the experience of humanity mixing the waters of the deluge, the water of Baptism and the tears of his eyes. He overcame every trial and temptation through continuous prayer.
He became the vessel of God's Grace. He is the poor, the unseen, the meek, the kind, the wonder-worker, the protector of God's Divine Love for mankind.
In the life of Saint Nektarios, the world, mankind, every one of us finds his measure, the scale by which to compare, the Truth. We realize the ugliness of our spiritual self-centeredness; we see perfection in the fear that we might wound God's Love; we search for the only, the essential evangelical reality - that we must renounce ourselves and take up our cross in our daily lives. And the life of Saint Nektarios also reveals something completely different: the power of man, mobilized by the presence of God, freedom of choice and the deep desire to be a child of God.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ through the holy intercessions of our Father Saint Nektarios be with you all.
(To be continued)
"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!" -- Saint John Chrysostom
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God