Culture

Hieromartyr Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons

The Hieromartyr Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, was born in the year 130 in the city of Smyrna (Asia Minor). He received there the finest education, studying poetics, philosophy, rhetoric, and the rest of the classical sciences considered necessary for a young man of the world.

His guide in the truths of the Christian Faith was a disciple of the Apostle John the Theologian, Saint Polycarp of Smyrna (February 23). Saint Polycarp baptized the youth, and afterwards ordained him presbyter and sent him to a city in Gaul then named Lugdunum [the present day Lyons in France] to the dying bishop Pothinus.

A commission was soon entrusted to Saint Irenaeus. He was to deliver a letter from the confessors of Lugdunum to the holy Bishop Eleutherius of Rome (177-190). While he was away, all the known Christians were thrown into prison. After the martyric death of Bishop Pothinus, Saint Irenaeus was chosen a year later (in 178) as Bishop of Lugdunum. “During this time,” Saint Gregory of Tours (November 17) writes concerning him, “by his preaching he transformed all Lugdunum into a Christian city!”

Movie depicting tribulations of St Nektarios of Aegina coming to cinemas across Greece soon

Movie theatres across Greece will be showing a new film ‘Man of God’ depicting the life and tribulations of Saint Nektarios of Aegina.  Based on a true story, ‘Man of God’ will highlight the inspiring and struggling life of Saint Nektarios, played by leading actor Aris Servetalis (42). ‘Exiled unjustly, convicted without trial, slandered without cause, yet his love for God and his fellow men conquered all. Man of God depicts the tribulations of Saint Nektarios of Aegina, as he bears the unjust hatred of his enemies, while preaching the Word of God and wishing good to everyone.’ 

Bishop Fotijе: A Hymn to the Eighth Day

The Publishing House of the Diocese of Zvornik-Tuzla “Sinai” has published a collection of poems under a general title “A Hymn  to the Eighth Day” written by Serbian Bishop of Bijeljina and Zvornik-Tuzla Fotije.

The collection contains 136 poems depicting blessings and gravities of human existence, starting from the praise to the One Who is and proceeding to reflecting on illnesses and passions we are subject to, from the verses about the fathers who gave us  lessons of life and going further to exhortations to  the diocesan faithful who are thirsting for seeing God in the face of man, from the plagues of  troubled times in which the harvest suffers to the joy of the nature that surrounds us, from reminiscences of student days to the memory of the Kingdom to come.

Petros Sasaki: a master from Japan settled in Finland

RIISA, the Museum of the Finnish Orthodox Church in Kuopio, has organized an exhibition on the painter and iconography teacher Petros Sasaki, who succeeded in renewing the Orthodox iconography in this country.

Petros Sasaki was a Japanese Orthodox born in 1939 in Ōdate, a town located in the northern part of Honshu Island. After graduating from high school in 1958, he entered the Orthodox Seminary in Tokyo in 1961. In 1964, he left to study art in Athens, where he remained until 1967. There, he met a Finnish student Johannes Seppälä (1944-2017), and they became friends. Johannes Seppälä is particularly known for the large number of his translations of Greek texts into Finnish. He was ordained a deacon in 1967 and a priest in Greece in June 1972. The Finn spoke of his friend to the then head of the Finnish Orthodox Church, Archbishop Paul (Olmari – 1914-1988). The latter encouraged the young Japanese to come to Finland to develop iconography there.