Τετάρτη, 17 Ιανουαρίου 2018

St. Moses the Black Brotherhood Annual Conference 2017 (videos)



Please, click on the links to see the videos.

2017 Conference: Welcome by Fr. Moses Berry and first talk by Mr. John Gresham


Fr. Roman Star - "The Desert Fathers"
Dr. Albert Raboteau - "Forgiveness in the African American Religious Tradition"
Fr. Moses Berry - "The Righteous Ancestors"
Fr. Deacon Samuel Davis
Fr. Nathaniel
Dorothy Berry 


Click here!

See also here!

Father Deacon Turbo Qualls - Father Justin Mathews  

Hieromonk Alexii - "The first deacons: following Apostolic model for overcoming structural racism"

Icon from here

Father John Kowalcyzk "The prison cell as a sacred space of forgiveness and healing" - Archbishop Michael Keynote address


Fr. Paul Abernathy "Ministry for Christ: Modern American Martyrdom - Mother Katherine Weston "Orthodoxy 101"

Bishop Thomas

Young Preachers Panel facilitated by Hieromonk Alexii

***

Fr. Deacon Turbo Qualls' on Forgiveness: A homily given at St. Mary's Orthodox Church in Kansas City on Sunday August 20th. The Gospel reading that day was Matthew 18:23-35.

 
See also

Fr. Moses Berry, a descendant of African slaves, Orthodox priest and teacher in USA
SONGS OF FREEDOM: The Rastafari Road to Orthodoxy  
Native Americans & Orthodoxy

Eight principal areas of convergence between African spirituality and Ancient Christianity
Orthodox African Americans
(tag)

Theosis (deification): The True Purpose of Human Life
Travelers on the Way to the Light
The ancient Christian Church - About Orthodox Church in the West World...
The Way - An introduction to the Orthodox Faith


Δευτέρα, 15 Ιανουαρίου 2018

Die Zukunft der Orthodoxie in Afrika

 
Im Gesprdch mit Papst und Patriarch Petros VII (1998).

 
Könnten Sie als Bischof der Orthodoxen Kirche in Afrika die Gegenwart der Orthodoxie in diesem gewaltigen und bevölkerungsreichen Kontinent heute charakterisieren - angesichts der Tatsache, daί die griechische Presenz immer mehr zurόckgeht ?

Durch Gottes Gnade wurde mir die Ehre zuteil, Vorsteher des alten Patriarchates von Alexandreia und ganz Afrika zu werden, dieses vom Apostel und Evangelisten Markus, dem Zeugen sowohl des Lebens wie der glorreichen Auferstehung unseres Heilandes Jesus Christus, gegrόndeten Patriarchates. Seit das Patriarchat im Jahre 40 n.Chr. gegrόndet worden ist, hat sich das orthodoxe Christentum auf dem ganzen Schwarzen Kontinent ausgebreitet: von Egypten bis nach Sόdafrika, von Ethiopien nach Westafrika.
Ich habe das Griechisch-Orthodoxe Patriarchat von Alexandreia oftmals als das Patriarchat der armen Nationen dieser Erde bezeichnet. Es dient den Nationen des Schwarzen Kontinents mit enormer Liebe und Ernsthaftigkeit ohne irgendeinen Gedanken an eigennόtzige Motive oder gar an materielle Ausbeutung. Es verkόndet das Wort Gottes unseren Mitmenschen - ohne Ansehen der Hautfarben, der Sprache oder Rasse.
Was die Gegenwart der Orthodoxie in Afrika heute angeht, so möchte ich sie als lebendig bezeichnen, allerdings auch als sehr unterstόtzung- und hilfsbedόrftig. Wir brauchen fehige Mitarbeiter, die einen auίergewöhnlichen Glauben an Gott und Liebe fόr ihre Mitmenschen aufweisen. Wir mόssen uns immer wieder klar machen, daί die Orthodoxie als eine Kirche niemals statisch sein kann; sie wandelt sich mit den Zeiten. Wir können nicht in den sόίen Treumen von einer glorreichen Vergangenheit leben, sondern wir mόssen uns unserer Verpflichtungen gegenόber unseren Mitmenschen bewuίt werden und so weiterschreiten in die Zukunft.

Tunesien, foto von hier

Die griechische Presenz mag in den Lendern Afrikas aufgrund von politischen Verenderungen, steigenden Kriminalitetsraten und Rόckbόrgerung usw. schwinden, aber das bedeutet nicht, daί die Orthodoxie damit auch schwinden wόrde. Die Nationen Afrikas begrόίen die Botschaft unserer Kirche mit groίer Freude und wissen die Ernsthaftigkeit unserer Intentionen wohl zu schetzen.
Das grundsetzliche Problem, dem sich die Orthodoxe Kirche gegenόber sieht, ist heute, einen geeigneten Klerus zu finden: Menschen mit glόhendem Eifer, die gewillt sich, alles fόr die Mission zu opfern.
Was die schwindenden griechischen Gemeinden angeht, so respektieren wir zwar ihre Entscheidung, Afrika zu verlassen, aber wir bedauern doch, daί sie diesen Kontinent verlassen, der ihnen so viel gegeben hat. Deshalb ermutige ich persönlich die Griechen, in Afrika zu bleiben, wann immer dies möglich ist.
Aber: Die Orthodoxie ist keine Sache nur fόr Griechen. Alle Völker haben das Recht auf die Orthodoxie und die Weisheit, die Wahrheit und Fόlle des christlichen Glaubens, wenn sie ihn wehlen. Ich will dabei keinerlei Druck ausόben oder versuchen, jemanden einer Gehirnwesche zu unterziehen, aber wir sollten doch die Worte unseres Herrn anwenden, der sagte: "Wer mir nachfolgen will ... ". Und auf diesem Konzept basierend schreitet unsere Kirche voran - langsam, aber stetig.

Orthodoxe Christen in Sierra Leone, foto von hier

Man hat geschrieben, daί nach der Passivitet Ihrer Vorgenger die Orthodoxie im 21. Jahrhundert aufblόhen wόrde. Bedeutet das auch, daί sich einheimische Afrikaner der Orthodoxie zuwenden, und wenn ja, warum ?

Es steht mir nicht zu, die Effektivitet oder Nichteffektivitet meiner Vorgenger zu beurteilen: Dieses Urteil soll Gott im Jόngsten Gericht sprechen, wenn die Werke aller Menschen beurteilt werden. Ich will selbst niemanden richten, sondern mich darauf beschrenken zu fragen, was ich der Kirche Christi bringen kann. Ich schaue dabei kritisch auf unsere Zukunft als Kirche in Afrika und versuche unter Einbeziehung jeder individuellen Situation die notwendigen Entscheidungen zu treffen. Zu diesem Zeitpunkt kann und will ich aber nicht sagen, ob ich meine Aufgabe gut erfόlle, denn es ist nicht meine Sache, meine eigenen Anstrengungen zu beurteilen. Gott wird mein Richter sein.
Als Patriarch bin ich veranwortlich fόr die Aufsicht όber die Orthodoxe Kirche in Afrika, und solange es der Wille unseres vielerbarmenden Herrn ist, will ich als Sein demόtiger Diener im Weinberg arbeiten zum Wohle unserer Mitmenschen als Diener der heiligen Mysterien Christi. Bei Zeiten wird dann die Geschichte die Frόchte unserer Arbeit beurteilen. Laίt uns also geduldig sein.
Im Hinblick auf den zweiten Teil Ihrer Frage, glaube ich, daί alle Menschen Hoffnungen, Treume und Ideologien haben. Das ist auch nicht falsch oder negativ - es ist schlicht menschlich. Wir alle haben Treume und glauben an bestimmte Vorstellungen, die wir erfόllt sehen möchten. Jeder hat solche Ambitionen: Es were unnatόrlich, wenn wir sie nicht hetten. 

Kenya, von hier
 
Es ist offensichtlich falsch, wenn man sich zur Orthodoxie flόchtet, weil sie einen sicheren Hafen böte. Orthodoxie schlieίt Kampf und nicht Bequemlichkeit ein. Ein orthodoxer Christ ist ein richtiger "Soldat Christi", ein Kempfer, der immer fόr seine Sache eintritt. Er kempft sein ganzes Leben einen teglichen und nie unterbrochenen Kampf. Denn in der Orthodoxie haben wir nicht die Erfahrung religiöser "Augenblicke", sondern unser ganzes Leben ist geheiligt; wir sind wahrhaft gesegnet durch unsere Teilhabe am sakramentalen Leben der Kirche, durch das wir die Göttlichen Gnade des Heiligen Geistes empfangen.
Foto von hier
Orthodoxie bedeutet nicht, eine gute Zeit, einen leichten Zugang haben, sondern sie umfaίt vielmehr einen geistlichen Kampf gegen άbertretung, Leidenschaft und sόndige Begierden. Der orthodoxe Christ muί immer mit seinem alten Selbst kempfen und dabei durch Gottes Gnade nach dem neuen, in Christus wiedergeborenen Selbst suchen.
Solche, die geistlich faul oder indifferent sind, haben keinen Platz in einer solchen Umgebung; nicht weil sie inadequat weren oder weil die Kirche ihnen uninteressiert gegenόber stόnde, sondern weil sie sich durch ihr eigenes Verhalten von der Kirche trennen. Sie wollen ja garnicht dazu gehören. Wenn Gott auch will, daί alle Menschen gerettet werden, so respektiert Er doch die Freiheit des Wollens, wenn jemand nicht gerettet werden möchte. Das ist der Grund, warum der religiös Uninteressierte, der Verfόhrte oder der, der materielle Vorteile sucht, die Orthodoxie verschmeht. Sie haben niemals wirklich in der Spiritualitet eines orthodoxen christlichen Lebens gelebt, und so verlassen sie es, verraten es, wenden ihren Rόcken, ohne es je wirklich verstanden zu haben.
Daraus folgt: Die Orthodoxie ist fόr jeden Menschen erreicht; es liegt an uns, zu entscheiden, wie die Orthodoxie in unserem eigenen Leben lebendig wird.

Kenya, von hier

Wie nahmen die eingeborenen Afrikaner die Orthodoxie auf ?

Afrikaner nehmen die Orthodoxie mit der schlichten Ernsthaftigkeit ihrer edlen Seelen auf. Sie sind so einfache Menschen, und doch so reich in den echten Gefόhlen von Liebe und Gόte. So nehmen sie auch den Glauben der Apostel ohne Zögern an, wenn sie vom orthodoxen Klerus angesprochen werden, sofern sie selbst bereit sind fόr die Orthodoxie. Die Orthodoxie ist die reine Religion, die sie nicht einfach nur erreicht, sondern ganz umfaίt - nicht aus Eigeninteresse, sondern einfach, weil sie die Wahrheit Gottes bietet.

Wie hilft das Missionswerk den Afrikanern in ihrem teglichen Leben ?

Das Ziel der orthodoxen Mission des Patriarchates von Alexandreia ist nicht nur, das Wort Gottes unter unseren afrikanischen Bόdern zu verbreiten, sondern auch, ihnen zu helfen bei der Anhebung ihrer Lebensstandards auf ein modernes Niveau: Schulen und Hospiteler werden eingerichtet; die eingeborenen Afrikaner erhalten Unterricht, wie man systematisch Viehzucht und Ackerbau entwickeln kann, so daί sie im Laufe der Zeit ökonomisch selbstendig werden. Das Patriarchat hat auch schon fόr verschiedene Studenten Studienpletze eingerichtet, nicht allein, um Theologie zu studieren, sondern auch andere Fachrichtungen und Wissenschaften wie Medizin, Jura und Literatur.
Wir dόrfen auch nicht vergessen, daί dieser Einsatz von Freiwilligen aus Griechenland, Finnland und anderen Lendern geleistet wird - im Namen der Orthodoxen Kirche. An dieser Stelle möchte ich einen Aufruf an die Mitglieder des Klerus richten sowie an die Mönche, die Erzte, Krankenschwestern und alle, die die Fehigkeiten und den Wunsch haben, mit ihrem Einsatz beizutragen zu dem heiligen Unternehmen, das Christentum zu unseren armen afrikanischen Schwestern und Brόdern zu bringen: Kommt zu uns und wirkt mit bei dieser schweren, aber bemerkenswerten und heiligen Aufgabe !

Rwanda, von hier

Die Nationen des Schwarzen Kontinents werden in den Medien oft so dargestellt, als seien sie unfehig, den Bedόrfnissen ihrer Menschen zu entsprechen. Wόrden Sie der Auffassung zustimmen, daί die Orthodoxe Kirche eine Einrichtung ist, die die Kraft hat, das menschliche Leiden in Afrika zu mildern - und wenn ja, auf welche Weise ?

Es ist wahr, daί die Mehrheit der afrikanischen Staaten sich ernsten ökonomischen Problemen gegenόber sieht. Viele unserer lieben Brόder und Schwestern stehen vor dem Hunger und sogar dem Verhungern. Nur allzu oft, sind sogar Grundnahrungsmittel nicht verfόgbar, und die politische Situation verscherft heufig dieses Problem noch. Die Orthodoxe Kirche kann dieses Problem nicht grundsetzlich lösen, aber sie kann es angehen: Statt diese Dinge zu ignorieren, mόssen wir die eingeborenen Afrikaner erziehen, damit sie ihren eigenen Staat, ihren eigenen Boden, ihr eigenes Land zu nutzen verstehen, damit sie όberhaupt einen gewissen Grad von Unabhengigkeit erreichen und auf eigenen Fόίen stehen. Ruhig, ohne groίes Aufheben, ohne Fanfarenklang tuen wir vom Griechisch-Orthodoxen Patriarchat, was immer wir können, um unseren bedrengten Mitmenschen zur Seite zu stehen. Das heiίt nicht, daί wir erwarten, die Kirche könne alle unsere Probleme lösen; die Kirche wird jedoch in ihren Anstrengungen fortfahren, weil sie immer auf der Seite all derer steht, die in Not sind.
Eine andere grundlegende Rolle der Kirche besteht darin, Politiker heranzubilden im Geiste christlichen Denkens. Die Mechtigen, die die Kontrolle όber die Welt ausόben wollen, mόssen aufwachen und das Menschliche in jedem einzelnen Bόrger wahrnehmen. Es ist ihre Aufgabe, so zu handeln, wie Gott dies will, denn auch sie sind Glieder seiner Kirche. Statt Massenvernichtungswaffen zu bauen, sollten sie ihre Macht anwenden, um das Problem des Hungers in der Welt zu lösen. Und statt Millionen und Abermillionen fόr Raumfahrtprogramme zu verschleudern, die dem gemeinen Mann keinen Nutzen bringen, sollten sie ihre Kenntnisse auf solche Felder wie die medizinische Forschung lenken, auf Felder, die die Möglichkeit bieten, das menschliche Leiden zu mildern. Gleichermaίen mόssen die groίen Korporationen ihre immensen materiellen Interessen aufgeben und die Hand zu Freundschaft und Unterstόtzung ausstrecken.
 

Interview veröffentlicht in der Zeitschrift "Nemesis";
όbersetzt nach dem vom Patriarchat publizierten englischen Text durch Kerstin Keller.


Four ancient saints on January 15th: Paul of Thebes (Egypt), John Calabytes “the Hut-Dweller”, Pansophius of Alexandria (the Monk & Martyr), & Saint Gerasios Palladas, Patriarch of Alexandria

 
Orthodox Church in America / Lives of the Saints
 
Venerable Paul of Thebes
Saint Paul of Thebes was born in Egypt around 227 in the Thebaid of Egypt. Left orphaned, he suffered many things from a greedy relative over his inheritance. During the persecution against Christians under the emperor Decius (249-251), Saint Paul learned of his brother-in-law’s insidious plan to deliver him into the hands of the persecutors, and so he fled the city and fled into the wilderness.
Settling into a mountain cave, Saint Paul dwelt there for ninety-one years, praying incessantly to God both day and night. He sustained himself on dates and bread, which a raven brought him, and he clothed himself with palm leaves.
Saint Anthony the Great (January 17), who also lived as an ascetic in the Thebaid desert, had a revelation from God concerning Saint Paul. Saint Anthony thought that there was no other desert dweller such as he. Then God said to him, “Anthony, there is a servant of God more excellent than you, and you should go and see him.”
Saint Anthony went into the desert and came to Saint Paul’s cave. Falling to the ground before the entrance to the cave, he asked to be admitted. The Elders introduced themselves, and then embraced one another. They conversed through the night, and Saint Anthony revealed how he had been led there by God. Saint Paul disclosed to Saint Anthony that for sixty years a bird had brought him half a loaf of bread each day. Now the Lord had sent a double portion in honor of Saint Anthony’s visit. The next morning, Saint Paul spoke to Anthony of his approaching death, and instructed him to bury him. He also asked Saint Anthony to return to his monastery and bring back the cloak he had received from Saint Athanasius. He did not really need a garment, but wished to depart from his body while Saint Anthony was absent.
As he was returning with the cloak, Saint Anthony beheld the soul of Saint Paul surrounded by angels, prophets, and apostles, shining like the sun and ascending to God. He entered the cave and found Abba Paul on his knees with his arms outstretched. Saint Anthony mourned for him, and wrapped him in the cloak. He wondered how he would bury the body, for he had not remembered to bring a shovel. Two lions came running from the wilderness and dug a grave with their claws.
Saint Anthony buried the holy Elder, and took his garment of palm leaves, then he returned to his own monastery. Saint Anthony kept this garb as a precious inheritance, and wore it only twice a year, on Pascha and Pentecost.
Saint Paul of Thebes died in the year 341, when he was 113 years old. He did not establish a single monastery, but soon after his end there were many imitators of his life, and they filled the desert with monasteries. Saint Paul is honored as the first desert-dweller and hermit.
In the twelfth century Saint Paul’s relics were transferred to Constantinople and placed in the Peribleptos monastery of the Mother of God, on orders of the emperor Manuel (1143-1180). Later, they were taken to Venice, and finally to Hungary, at Ofa. Part of his head is in Rome.
Saint Paul of Thebes, whose Life was written by Saint Jerome, is not to be confused with Saint Paul the Simple (October 4).
 
Venerable John Calabytes “the Hut-Dweller”
Saint John the Hut-Dweller was the son of rich and illustrious parents, and was born in Constantinople in the early fifth century. He received a fine education, and he mastered rhetoric and philosophy by the age of twelve. He also loved to read spiritual books. Perceiving the vanity of worldly life, he chose the path that was narrow and extremely difficult. Filled with longing to enter a monastery, he confided his intention to a passing monk. John made him promise to come back for him when he returned from his pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and take him to his monastery.
He asked his parents for a Gospel so that he might study the words of Christ. John’s parents hired a calligrapher to copy the text, and had the volume bound in a golden cover studded with gems. John read the Gospel constantly, delighting in the Savior’s words.
The monk kept his promise to come back for John, and they went secretly to Bithynia. At the monastery of the “Unsleeping” (Akoimitoi), he received monastic tonsure. The young monk began his ascetical labors with zeal, astonishing the brethren with his unceasing prayer, humble obedience, strict abstinence, and perseverance at work.
After six years, he began to undergo temptations. He remembered his parents, how much they loved him, and what sorrow he caused them. He regretted leaving them, and was filled with a burning desire to see them again.
Saint John explained his situation to the igumen Saint Marcellus (December 29) and he asked to be released from the monastery. He begged the igumen for his blessing and prayers to return home. He bid farewell to the brethren, hoping that by their prayers and with the help of God, he would both see his parents and overcome the snares of the devil. The igumen then blessed him for his journey.
Saint John returned to Constantinople, not to resume his former life of luxury, but dressed as a beggar, and unknown to anyone. He settled in a corner by the gates of his parents’ home. His father noticed the “pauper,” and began to send him food from his table, for the sake of Christ. John lived in a small hut for three years, oppressed and insulted by the servants, enduring cold and frost, unceasingly conversing with the Lord and the holy angels.
Before his death, the Lord appeared to the monk in a vision, revealing that the end of his sorrows was approaching, and that in three days he would be taken into the Heavenly Kingdom. Therefore, he asked the steward to give his mother a message to come to him, for he had something to say to her.
At first, she did not wish to go, but she was curious to know what this beggar had to say to her. Then he sent her another message, saying that he would die in three days. John thanked her for the charity he had received, and told her that God would reward her for it. He then made her promise to bury him beneath his hut, dressed in his rags. Only then did the saint give her his Gospel, which he always carried with him, saying, “May this console you in this life, and guide you to the next life.”
She showed the Gospel to her husband, saying that it was similar to the one they had given their son. He realized that it was, in fact, the very Gospel they had commissioned for John. They went back to the gates, intending to ask the pauper where he got the Gospel, and if he knew anything about their son. Unable to restrain himself any longer, he admitted that he was their child. With tears of joy they embraced him, weeping because he had endured privation for so long at the very gates of his parental home.
The saint died in the mid-fifth century, when he was not quite twenty-five years old. On the place of his burial the parents built a church, and beside it a hostel for strangers. When they died, they were buried in the church they had built.
In the twelfth century the head of the saint was taken by Crusaders to Besançon (in France), and other relics of the saint were taken to Rome. 

Venerable Pansophius of Alexandria, the Martyr 
 

The Monk Martyr Pansophius, was a son of the Alexandrian proconsul Nilus. After the death of his father, he distributed his inheritance to the poor and settled in the desert, where he lived in asceticism for twenty-seven years.
During the persecution by Decius (249-251) Saint Pansophius was brought to trial before the prefect of Alexandria. The monk boldly confessed his faith in Christ and denounced pagan errors, for which he was fiercely beaten with rods. He died from these beatings, thereby receiving a martyr’s crown (249-251). 

Saint Gerasios Palladas, Patriarch of Alexandria

Diakonima.gr (= Offer of Help & Service)
 
Saint Gerasios Palladas was born in the village of Skillous of Pediada in Crete. He learned his first letters from his father Theodoros, who was first-priest and a preacher in Chandakas, and later continued his studies in Kerkyra (Corfu) and Venice. Besides Greek, he knew Latin and Hebrew. He taught and preached in Peloponnesos, in Ioannina, in Arta and in Paramythia. 
He served as Metropolitan of Castoria and Adrianople (from 1686). In 1688 he was elected Patriarch of Alexandria and, after a fruitful twenty-two years in this position, he retired to Vatopaidi Monastery, where he blessedly reposed in January of 1714. He was officially recognized as a saint by the Patriarchate of Alexandria in 2002, and he is commemorated on the 15th of January.
 
Please, see also

Saint Paul of Thebes, the First Hermit in Egyptian Desert 
Three Africans ancients saints: Anthony the Great (the Professor of Desert), Athanasius the Great & Cyril of Alexandria (Feast days on 17 & 18 January)
Saint Syncletika of Alexandria, the First Great Holy Mother of the Egyprian Desert (January 5)  
August 7: the day of the 10.000 African Orthodox SaintsMore saints on January 15th
 
Ancient Christian faith (Orthodox Church) in Africa
The Orthodox Church of Alexandria & the Patriarchate of Alexandria 
Dream Team of the Desert
Orthodox Monasticism
LIVE, BEYOND THE LIMITS!
The holy anarchists... in the Egyptian Desert
Hymn to the African Saints  

Theosis (deification): The True Purpose of Human Life
The Kingdom of Heaven, where racial discrimination has no place

Κυριακή, 14 Ιανουαρίου 2018

Fathers slain at Sinai and Raithu

The Holy Monastic Fathers Slain at Sinai and Raithu. There were two occasions when the monks and hermits were murdered by the barbarians. The first took place in the fourth century when forty Fathers were killed at Mt. Sinai, and thirty-nine were slain at Raithu on the same day.
Mount Sinai, where the Ten Commandments had been given to Moses, was also the site of another miracle. Ammonios, an Egyptian monk, witnessed the murder of the forty holy Fathers at Sinai. He tells of how the Saracens attacked the monastery and would have killed them all, if God had not intervened. A fire appeared on the summit of the peak, and the whole mountain smoked. The barbarians were terrified, and fled, while the surviving monks thanked God for sparing them.
That day, the Blemmyes (an Arab tribe) killed thirty-nine Fathers at Raithu (on the shores of the Red Sea). Igumen Paul of Raithu exhorted his monks to endure their suffering with courage and a pure heart.
The second massacres occurred nearly a hundred years later, and was also recorded by an eyewitness who miraculously escaped: Saint Nilus the Faster (November 12). The Arabs permitted some of the monks run for their lives. They crossed the valley and climbed up a mountain. From this vantage point, they saw the bedouin kill the monks and ransack their cells.
The Sinai and Raithu ascetics lived a particularly strict life: they spent the whole week at prayer in their cells. On Saturday they gathered for the all-night Vigil, and on Sunday they received the Holy Mysteries. Their only food was dates and water. Many of the ascetics of the desert were glorified by the gift of wonderworking: the Elders Moses, Joseph and others. Mentioned in the service to these monastic Fathers are: Isaiah, Sava, Moses and his disciple Moses, Jeremiah, Paul, Adam, Sergius, Domnus, Proclus, Hypatius, Isaac, Macarius, Mark, Benjamin, Eusebius and Elias. 

ST. NINA'S MONASTERY & ST. NINA'S COFFEE (from Africa to Georgia)

st Nina's Coffee

ABOUT ST. NINA’S MONASTERY

 
THE SACRED MONASTERY OF SAINT NINA is a monastic community of Orthodox Christian nuns of the Patriarchate of Georgia located near Union Bridge, Maryland not far from our country’s capital. We’re multi-ethnic and pan-Orthodox, celebrating services in English, Georgian, Greek, Arabic, Slavonic, German and welcoming pilgrims from across the country and around the world.

Our life is totally dedicated to God and our neighbor: we work, we pray, we receive pilgrims and guests. Each one of us left the world in search of something—of Someone—real and living... God, and in Him each unique person we encounter along the way, whether it be another Sister, a pilgrim, or someone who likes our coffee.

Our own practice of monastic hospitality (of which coffee is an essential element), our connections to Orthodox nuns in a coffee-growing region of Uganda, and the compatibility of coffee roasting with our community life led us to try our hand at roasting African beans. Success! It was so good we wanted to share it. First with our pilgrims and friends. And then with the wider world.

Each bag of St. Nina’s Coffee is hand-roasted by the Sisters of St. Nina’s Monastery in small batches using only the highest-quality fair trade, organic beans. And we do it the way we do everything else—for Christ. With love, care, and prayer.

Every purchase of our coffee is a real help to one of the newest and youngest Orthodox monastic communities in America. With God’s blessing and the help of many good people, we are turning a historic estate of more than 130 acres into a spiritual home and haven for all. Our goal is to become self-sustaining, living like the Apostles by the work of our hands.

​Enjoy St. Nina’s Coffee—and let us know how you like it!

 
PS—St. Nina’s Coffee is good on its own, but why not try it with some all-natural bread baked by the Fathers of the Holy Spirit Monastery or even with their handcrafted loukoumi, a sweet Mediterranean delight that’s a fixture of traditional monastic hospitality? See this link for details.
 

OUR STORY

   TRADITION HAS IT that coffee was first discovered by monastics in Africa, where the coffee plant is indigenous. A monk once noticed that goats chewing coffee cherries were especially energetic and thought—eat these beans and pray the night through! Rejoicing, he brought some to the abbot, who scoffed and threw them into the fire, inadvertently inventing the first roast. What a heavenly smell! Maybe these beans aren’t so bad, after all… The rest is history.​

    THE STORY OF COFFEE CONTINUES at St. Nina's Monastery in Union Bridge, Maryland, where we Sisters hand-roast our coffee in small batches, praying with our minds while we work with our hands. With love, care, and prayer, we bring out the best in the beans, allowing all to savor the taste and aroma of the world's finest coffees.

OUR COFFEES

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe

ETHIOPIA HAS AN ANCIENT TRADITION of coffee, and thus it’s no surprise that Ethiopian coffee, and in particular coffee grown in the Yirgacheffe region, became almost synonymous with specialty coffee in the United States. It's smooth and sweet and easy to drink without being watery. St. Nina's signature medium roast brings out the best in this responsibly-sourced Yirgacheffe, allowing you to savor all the special qualities which make this region's coffee unique. Enjoy it every day.
 

Ugandan Bukonzo

THIS COFFEE IS SO SINGLE-ORIGIN that it can be traced all the way back to the Nayabirongo washing station in the Rwenzori region of Uganda. It's part of a cooperative in which the majority of farmers are women working together to improve the lives of their families, their children, and their community—by producing wonderful coffee. We chose this cooperative of largely women farmers because studies show that empowering women in developing societies with a steady income causes all socioeconomic indicators to rise. So it's a great coffee you can feel good about.

SUBSCRIBE TO ST. NINA'S COFFEE

Become a St. Nina's subscriber and get 4 bags of freshly roasted St. Nina's Coffee delivered free for only $40 a month! It's easy—just complete and submit the subscription form and then click below to subscribe!

 
St. Nino (Nina), Equal of the Apostles and Enlightener of Georgia 

The virgin Nino of Cappadocia was a relative of Great-martyr George and the only daughter of a widely respected and honorable couple. Her father was a Roman army chief by the name of Zabulon, and her mother, Sosana, was the sister of Patriarch Juvenal of Jerusalem. When Nino reached the age of twelve, her parents sold all their possessions and moved to Jerusalem. Soon after, Nino’s father was tonsured a monk. He bid farewell to his family and went to labor in the wilderness of the Jordan.

After Sosana had been separated from her husband, Patriarch Juvenal ordained her a deaconess. She left her daughter Nino in the care of an old woman, Sara Niaphor, who raised her in the Christian Faith and related to her the stories of Christ’s life and His suffering on earth. It was from Sara that Nino learned how Christ’s Robe had arrived in Georgia, a country of pagans.

Soon Nino began to pray fervently to the Theotokos, asking for her blessing to travel to Georgia and be made worthy to venerate the Sacred Robe that she had woven for her beloved Son. The Most Holy Virgin heard her prayers and appeared to Nino in a dream, saying, “Go to the country that was assigned to me by lot and preach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will send down His grace upon you and I will be your protector.”

But the blessed Nino was overwhelmed at the thought of such a great responsibility and answered, “How can I, a fragile woman, perform such a momentous task, and how can I believe that this vision is real?” In response, the Most Holy Theotokos presented her with a cross of grapevines and proclaimed, “Receive this cross as a shield against visible and invisible enemies!”

When she awoke, Nino was holding the cross in her hands. She dampened it with tears of rejoicing and tied it securely with strands of her own hair. (According to another source, the Theotokos bound the grapevine cross with strands of her own hair.)
 
Icon from here

Nino related the vision to her uncle, Patriarch Juvenal, and revealed to him her desire to preach the Gospel in Georgia. Juvenal led her in front of the Royal Doors, laid his hands on her, and prayed, “O Lord, God of Eternity, I beseech Thee on behalf of my orphaned niece: Grant that, according to Thy will, she may go to preach and proclaim Thy Holy Resurrection. O Christ God, be Thou to her a guide, a refuge, and a spiritual father. And as Thou didst enlighten the Apostles and all those who feared Thy name, do Thou also enlighten her with the wisdom to proclaim Thy glad tidings.”

When Nino arrived in Rome, she met and baptized the princess Rhipsimia and her nurse, Gaiana. At that time the Roman emperor was Diocletian, a ruler infamous for persecuting Christians. Diocletian (284-305) fell in love with
Rhipsimia and resolved to marry her, but Saint Nino, Rhipsimia, Gaiana, and fifty other virgins escaped to Armenia. The furious Diocletian ordered his soldiers to follow them and sent a messenger to Tiridates, the Armenian king (286-344), to put him on guard.

King Tiridates located the women and, following Diocletian’s example, was charmed by Rhipsimia’s beauty and resolved to marry her. But Saint Rhipsimia would not consent to wed him, and in his rage the king had her tortured to death with Gaiana and the fifty other virgins. Saint Nino, however, was being prepared for a different, greater task, and she succeeded in escaping King Tiridates’ persecutions by hiding among some rose bushes.

When she finally arrived in Georgia, Saint Nino was greeted by a group of Mtskhetan shepherds near Lake Paravani, and she received a blessing from God to preach to the pagans of this region.

With the help of her acquaintances Saint Nino soon reached the city of Urbnisi. She remained there a month, then traveled to Mtskheta with a group of Georgians who were making a pilgrimage to venerate the pagan

idol Armazi. There she watched with great sadness as the Georgian people trembled before the idols. She was exceedingly sorrowful and prayed to the Lord, “O Lord, send down Thy mercy upon this nation

...that all nations may glorify Thee alone, the One True God, through Thy Son, Jesus Christ.”

Suddenly a violent wind began to blow and hail fell from the sky, shattering the pagan statues. The terrified worshipers fled, scattering across the city.

Saint Nino made her home beneath a bramble bush in the garden of the king, with the family of the royal gardener. The gardener and his wife were childless, but through Saint Nino’s prayers God granted them a child. The couple rejoiced exceedingly, declared Christ to be the True God, and became disciples of Saint Nino. Wherever Saint Nino went, those who heard her preach converted to the Christian Faith in great numbers. Saint Nino even healed the terminally ill Queen Nana after she declared Christ to be the True God.

King Mirian, a pagan, was not at all pleased with the great impression Saint Nino’s preaching had made on the Georgian nation. One day while he was out hunting, he resolved to kill all those who followed Christ.

According to his wicked scheme, even his wife, Queen Nana, would face death for failing to renounce the Christian Faith. But in the midst of the hunt, it suddenly became very dark. All alone, King Mirian became greatly afraid and prayed in vain for the help of the pagan gods. When his prayers went unanswered, he finally lost hope and, miraculously, he turned to Christ: “God of Nino, illumine this night for me and guide my footsteps, and I will declare Thy Holy Name. I will erect a cross and venerate it and I will construct for Thee a temple. I vow to be obedient to Nino and to the Faith of the Roman people!”

Suddenly the night was transfigured, the sun shone radiantly, and KingMirian gave great thanks to the Creator. When he returned to the city, he immediately informed Saint Nino of his decision. As a result of the unceasing labors of Equal-to-the-Apostles Nino, Georgia was established as a nation solidly rooted in the Christian Faith.

Saint Nino reposed in the village of Bodbe in eastern Georgia and, according to her will, she was buried in the place where she took her last breath. King Mirian later erected a church in honor of Saint George over her grave.

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