Saint Porphyrios of Kafsokalivia & Athens, Greece (+1991) & his wild birds




Saint Porphyrios

of Kafsokalivia & Athens, Greece (+1991)

& his wild birds

Saint Porphyrios was born Evangelos Bairaktaris in the village of Aghios Ioannis in the province of Karystia on the Greek island of Euboea (mod. Evia). The youngest of four, he left school after the first grade and worked in the town of Chalkida at a shop to make money for the family. He was a hard and obedient worker, and stayed there for a few years before moving to Piraeus on the mainland (it is Athens’ port) and working in a general store run by a relative.

Although he hardly knew how to read at the time, Elder Porphyrios had a copy of the Life of St John the Hut-Dweller which he read as a boy. St John inspired him. St John the Hut-Dweller was late fifth-century Constantinopolitan saint who secretly took up the monastic life at the famed monastery of the Acoimetae (Unsleeping Ones). After living for some years according to a very strict rule, St John was granted permission by his abbot to go life near his parents so as to cleanse his heart of earthly love for them. He then dwelled in a hut beside his family, identity unknown, for three years. He revealed himself to his mother on his deathbed.

Young Evangelos was inspired by St John the Hut-Dweller’s story and wanted nothing more than to become a monk. He tried to run away to Mt Athos, the Holy Mountain, to become a monk on a few occasions. When he was 12, he succeeded at his goal and entered the life of obedience to two very strict and severe elders. At the age of 14, he became a monk under the name Niketas, and at 16 he took his full vows.

During these early years of the monastic life, Elder Porphyrios was given no praise but many tasks. He spent much time alone on the mountain with no one but the birds. He learned the Psalms and the prayers by heart. And at age 19, he received a gift from the Holy Spirit of clear sight. When this gift came, he saw his elders approaching his position even though they were far away and around a corner. He knew what they were doing. Later in his life, Elder Porphyrios was able to use this gift of sight to counsel and care for Continue reading “Saint Porphyrios of Kafsokalivia & Athens, Greece (+1991) & his wild birds”

A Native American Prayer – We will fly on wings like eagles




A Native American Prayer

We will fly on wings like eagles


Dear God

I bow my head

and ask,

If it be Thy will,

please save this land

from those who seek

to destroy it.




So we are truly on a wing and prayer. What an incredible symbol. When I was in Alaska as part of Alaska Team 2001 sent by the Orthodox Christian Missionary Center ( I saw a bald eagle, everyday, and if I saw one, I ALWAYS saw three minimum.

I’ve always loved our national symbol and spending the time that I did in Alaska gave me such a feeling of peace and love for this land in which I was born and for it’s Native Peoples that I can’t even express. Seeing Eagles everyday gave me a feeling like I was sharing my experience with them.

I am aware that such atrocities were committed against the Indigenous Populations here in both North & South America (let’s not forget the Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders as well), by Western Europeans in the name of God and of “Progress”. While Alaskans were not totally exempt from all that, it should be noted that the Orthodox Church in Alaska more often helped and protected the Alaskans (where & when they could).

Anyone who is interested can check out our website at: for more information and through that site you can reach out to our Spiritual Adviser Fr. Thomas Andrew who is a Native Yupik Priest. Also, I’ll refer you to a PDF of our Journal (also available on our website) in particular an article written by Fr. Michael Oleksa, another Native Priest living and serving in Alaska. They are just two of the Native clergy serving Our Lord and their People in the North.


Father Cleopa Ilie of Romania (+1998) & the birds in the Divine Liturgy






Father Cleopa Ilie of Romania is a Saint of our days who died in December 2, 1998.

In May of 1948, on the feast of Ss. Constantine and Helen, Father Cleopa delivered a homily in which he said, “May God grant that our own rulers might become as the Holy King and Queen were, that the Church might be able to also commemorate them unto the ages.” The next day the state police took him to prison, leaving him in a bedless cell without bread or water for five days. After being released Father Cleopa, upon good counsel, fled to the mountains of Sihastria, where he lived in a in a hut mostly underground. There the elder prayed night and day seeking the help of God and the Theotokos.

During this time the elder was visited by the grace of God in the following way. Fr. Cleopa told his disciples that when he was building his hut, birds would come and sit on his head. The first time he served Liturgy on a stump in front of his hut, as he was communing the Holy Mysteries, a flock of birds came and gathered, such as he had never seen before. As he gazed upon them in astonishment, he noticed that each one had the sign of the Cross marked on it forehead.

Another time, after the preparation for Liturgy and having read all the prayers, he set the Antimension on the tree stump and began the Liturgy with the exclamation, “Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages!” Again the birds appeared, and as they perched in the branch of the tree they began to sing in beautiful and harmonic voices. Fr. Cleopa asked himself, “What could this be?” And an unseen voice whispered to him, “These are your chanters on the cliros.” These signs and others encouraged the Elder immensely during his time of exile.

Another time, he was serving the Divine Liturgy when he was living as a recluse and he had no choir. As he approached the time for the Cherubic Hymn, he heard a voice behind him tell him that he has his choir. Elder Cleopa looked around and birds with crosses on their heads descended and started singing the Cherubic Hymn, and then vanished when the Liturgy was over.

Rapporto con il mondo animale – San Paisios del Monte Athos, Grecia (+1994) ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Italian


Rapporto con il mondo animale

San Paisios del Monte Athos, Grecia (+1994)

Una delle specificità dell’anziano Paisios fu quella di avere un rapporto profondo e armonioso con il mondo naturale e animale a lui circostante.

Egli insegnava: “Se ami gli animali, costoro lo sentono e ti vedono in un altro modo, come un amico. Nel paradiso, prima della caduta, gli animali erano amici dell’uomo, Adamo aveva il carisma della previsione spirituale, intuiva i bisogni degli animali e li aiutava. L’aquila mangiava solo gli animali morti; solo dopo è divenuta selvaggia e mangia anche quelli vivi. Tutti gli animali erano domestici, ma dopo la caduta si sono inselvatichiti”. Non mancò chi testimoniò d’aver visto il monaco dialogare con passerotti, orsi, serpenti e aquile e questi gli obbedivano. Altrove l’Anziano disse:

“Quando io mi metto al posto della bestia selvaggia, inizio ad amarla e posso avere compassione pure per i serpenti. […] L’amore divino tocca gli animali selvaggi. Una bestia selvaggia è in grado di discernere se un cacciatore viene a ucciderla. Si avvicina all’uomo che l’ama, non ha paura di lui”.

“Egli chiamava i leprotti selvatici come noi chiamiamo i gatti e questi non avevano paura di vivere con lui. Questo leprotto era stato trovato dall’Anziano nei presso degli albicocchi, gli aveva fatto un segno di croce sulla fronte e chiese al suo figlioccio Basilio come ad altri cacciatori di non ucciderlo”.


Hiéromoine Isaac, L’Ancien Paissios de la Sainte Montagne, L’Age d’Homme, Lausanne 2008.

Sfintii si animalele ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Romanian





Sfintii si animalele

Stiinta moderna defineste relatia dintre om si animale ca fiind una extrem de complexa. Din aceasta perspectiva, animalele sunt considerate fiinte cu care putem avea relatii sociale. Manifestam simpatie si afectiune fata de acestea insa, in acelasi timp, le exploatam pentru beneficiul nostru, pentru companie, sport sau hrana. Acestea sunt deopotriva “persoane” si “lucruri”, prieteni si hrana. Comunicam cu animalele, dar, de asemenea, le ucidem si ne hranim cu ele.

Mai mult, exista un conflict intre simpatia noastra fata de unele animale si teama de altele. Un alt paradox privitor la aceasta relatie este creat chiar de formele denaturate ale ei, pe de-o parte, de dragostea excesiva fata de animale, idolatrizarea acestora, iar pe de alta, de lipsa totala a ei, concretizata in adevarate dezastre ecologice.

Pentru un crestin relatia dintre om si animale, devine cu atat mai complexa si mai bogata, atunci cand este inteleasa si traita din perspectiva adevarului revelat cuprins in Sfanta Scriptura si Sfanta Traditie si, mai ales, din perspectiva modului in care au trait-o si o traiesc sfintii. In relatia dintre sfant si animale toate aceste contradictii si conflicte dispar deoarece in el se manifesta dragostea curata si inflacarata nu numai pentru Dumnezeu si Continue reading “Sfintii si animalele ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Romanian”

Sainte Pharaïlde de Belgique et de Bruay-sur-l’Escaut, France (+740)╰⊰¸¸.•¨* French




Bruay-sur-l’Escaut, France


Gand, Belgique




Sœur de Ste Gudule et nièce de Ste Gertrude de Nivelles, Pharaïlde voit le jour dans la région de Gand (Belgique). Malgré son désir de se consacrer à Dieu, ses parents l’obligent à épouser un jeune seigneur prénommé Guy. Elle devient rapidement veuve et profite de sa liberté pour se consacrer entièrement à la prière et à la charité.

Plusieurs miracles lui sont attribués, dont celui, d’une oie à qui elle aurait rendu la vie alors qu’elle avait déjà été tuée et plumée. Ses reliques ont reposé temporairement dan l’abbaye Saint-Bavon de Gand, avant d’être plusieurs fois transférées en divers lieux pour échapper aux dévastations causées par les guerres.


Sainte Pharaïlde, ou Veerle en néerlandais, est une sainte ayant vécu de 650 à 740 – ce qui est une exception pour l’époque. Elle est née en Belgique, dans l’actuel Brabant, et a vécu à Steenockerzeel en Belgique et à Bruay-sur-l’Escaut dans le nord de la France.

Le début de sa vie

Elle est née en 650 en Gaule septentrionale. Sa famille possédait beaucoup de biens dans ce qui est actuellement le Hainaut et le Brabant ; certains Continue reading “Sainte Pharaïlde de Belgique et de Bruay-sur-l’Escaut, France (+740)╰⊰¸¸.•¨* French”

Saints & the animals that served them – PDF



Click to access saints-animals.pdf

Saints & the animals that served them – PDF


Saint Artemon of Laodicea, Syria

Saint Brendan of Ireland

Saint Elijah the Prophet

Saints Florus & Laurus, Martyrs in Illyria, Croatia

Saint Gerasimus of Jordan Desert

Saint Kevin of Ireland

Saint Mamas of Caesarea, Cappadocia, Asia Minor

Saint Menas, Great Martyr of Egypt

Saint Seraphim of Sarov, Russia

Saint Sergius of Radonezh, Russia

Saint Tryphon of Campsada, Apamea, Syria