"Today the concept of truth is viewed with suspicion, because truth is identified with violence. Over history there have, unfortunately, been episodes when people sought to defend the truth with violence. But they are two contrasting realities. Truth cannot be imposed with means other than itself! Truth can only come with its own light. Yet, we need truth. ... Without truth we are blind in the world, we have no path to follow. The great gift of Christ was that He enabled us to see the face of God".Pope Benedict xvi, February 24th, 2012

The Church is ecumenical, catholic, God-human, ageless, and it is therefore a blasphemy—an unpardonable blasphemy against Christ and against the Holy Ghost—to turn the Church into a national institution, to narrow her down to petty, transient, time-bound aspirations and ways of doing things. Her purpose is beyond nationality, ecumenical, all-embracing: to unite all men in Christ, all without exception to nation or race or social strata. - St Justin Popovitch

Friday 15 October 2010

St. Pachomios of Chios (Feast Day - October 14)

St. Pachomios of Chios was born in 1840 on the island of Chios. He was tonsured a monk at the age of twenty-two at the Holy Monastery of Saint Savvas in the Holy Land. He returned to Chios in 1865 and founded the Skete of the Holy Fathers. He fell asleep in the Lord on October 14, 1905.

St. Pachomios and the Monastery of the Holy Fathers on Chios served also as an inspiration to both St. Nektarios the Wonderworker (+1920) and St. Anthimos of Chios (+1960).

In 1866, at the age of 20, Anastasios (the future St. Nektarios) went to the island of Chios, where he was appointed a teacher. After 7 years, he entered into the Monastery of the Holy Fathers under the care of the venerable elder Pachomios. After 3 years as a novice Athanasios was tonsured a monk and given the name Lazarus. A year later he was ordained a Deacon and received the name Nektarios. Elder Pachomios and a wealthy local benefactor convinced the young monk to complete his high school studies in Athens.

In 1888, at the age of 19, Argyrios (the future St. Anthimos) visited the Monastery of the Holy Fathers. He received a blessing from Elder Pachomios to live a monastic life when he was to return home, since his poor parents and village required his aid. After a time he retired to the Monastery, and it was here that he became a monk and took the name Anthimos given by Elder Pachomios. He fell ill there and his abbot sent him home to his parents for the sake of his health. In 1909, at the age of forty, he received the Great Schema by the successor of Pachomios, Hieromonk Andronikos.

More on St. Pachomios can be read here.

Spiritual Counsels of St. Pachomios of Chios

- This alone, O Lord: Enlighten me to know Thy will, and grant me the strength to perform it. Woe is me, the foul and impure one.

- Christ accepts whatever good you do unto your brethren as if done on His behalf.

- Whoever hears someone speaking against a brother behind his back and then goes to make it known shall not be forgiven either in this life or the next.

- Always humble yourself and do not justify yourself; throw the blame upon yourself, and you will find peace.

- Do your prayer rule with great care.

- Live in simplicity: that is, if someone insults you, bear it; or if you are reviled
or humiliated, do not retaliate or bear malice.

- Be rounded [i.e. do not have rough edges to your character].

- Reveal your thoughts clearly. [This is for monastics who reveal their thoughts to their spiritual fathers.]

- I must beseech God with humility to protect me and I ought not believe my thoughts.

- Preserve the attention of your mind.

- Attention is called the keeping of the mind, guarding of the heart, vigilance, and noetic quietude.

- When you pray, comprehend what is being said.

- Exercise restraint, which is superior to silence. Restraint is not to laugh, and not to speak idly or ill of others.

- Nothing so helps one flee from sin as remembrance of death.

- Virtue without humility is not virtue.

- Whatever you do, if you do not have humility and, especially, love, it amounts to nothing.

- Humility is to have no rancor with anyone.

- We must always say the Jesus Prayer, wherever we may be.

- When you reproach yourself, have no fear of going astray.

- Not my own will, but that of my Lord.

- I must always be ready for death; I should live as if it were the last day of my life.

- I should say the Jesus Prayer humbly, as if into His ear.

- I must always give preference to my elders.

- I must cut off my will: when the thought occurs to me to look at something, I should not look, or when it tells me to say something, I should not say it.

- I should unceasingly reproach myself.

- When they praise you, do not believe them; for they are imprecating you.

- It is impossible for God not to show mercy on one who is genuinely striving to be saved.

Antonios N. Charokopos, Elder Pachomios: Founder of the Skete of the Holy
Fathers in Chios
(Athens: 2003), pp. 189-194.

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