Friday, September 30, 2016

The Parable of the Rich Fool

In St Luke’s Gospel (12: 16-21) we read the parable of the rich fool. This is a very important parable for our understanding of what is important and what our priorities should be in life. It is apparent that we do not know the day when we will depart from this world. But, that is why it should be imperative for us to be ready for such an occasion, as is evident in the parable of the wise and foolish virgins (Matthew 25: 1-13). Following is the parable of the rich fool,


The Lord told this parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no room to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.” When he had said this, he cried, “Those who have ears to hear, let them hear!”
St Basil the Great, among other Church Fathers, has commented on the above parable, explaining:
“But whom do I treat unjustly,” you say, “by keeping what is my own?” Tell me, what is your own? What did you bring into this life? From where did you receive it? It is as if someone were to take the first seat in the theatre, then bar everyone else from attending, so that one person alone enjoys what is offered for the benefit of all in common - this is what the rich do. They seize common goods before others have the opportunity, then claim them as their own by right of pre-emption. For if we all took only what was necessary to satisfy our own needs, giving the rest to those who lack, no one would be rich and no one would be poor… But what do we find in this man? … an unwillingness to give. This is the return he made to his Benefactor. He forgot that we all share the same nature; he felt no obligation to distribute his surplus to the needy … Greed would not permit him to part with anything he possessed, and yet because he had so much there was no place to store his latest harvest … “What should I do?” It would have been so easy to say: “I will feed the hungry. I will open my barns and call in all the poor.”[1]




[1] Bulletin of Spiritual Edification, 22November 2015, No. 1415, p.1. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

ANNUAL CONSTANTINOPLE LECTURE - “Easter, Calendar, and Cosmos: an Orthodox View”

THE ANGLICAN & EASTERN CHURCHES ASSOCIATION


ANNUAL CONSTANTINOPLE LECTURE
Thursday 17th November 2016

Lecture to be given by
Professor Andrew Louth
Emeritus Professor of Patristic and Byzantine Studies in the
Department of Theology & Religion, Durham University

“Easter, Calendar, and Cosmos: an Orthodox View”
at
Southwark Cathedral
by kind permission of
The Dean and  Chapter



5.30pm                Evensong
6.00pm                Lecture
7.15 – 9.00pm    Reception

(Tickets for the Reception : £20 per person)

Return completed form and contact for any further information:
The Secretary, Anglican & Eastern Churches Association, C/O The Old Deanery,
Dean’s Court, London,  EC4V 5AA.                        Email: janet.laws@londin.clara.co.uk
(Telephone : Office number – 020 7248 6233)
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..……………………………

Tickets for the Reception are £20 per person. Cheques should be made payable to:
The Anglican & Eastern Churches Association and sent with this application to the above address. Closing date is Friday 11th November 2016.
Name:....................................................................................................................................................
Address:………………………………………………………………………………………………………………...……………………………………………………………………….…………………….             Postcode: ……………………

GuestsName(s)…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………



Wednesday, September 28, 2016

World War II

Here is an interesting video depicting the constant border changes in Europe during World War II, commencing from the invasion of Poland by the Nazis up to the surrender of Nazi Germany.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Politics, Economy, Religion, Art: A contribution to the dialogue between Greece and Germany and a Tribute to Fr. Apostolos Malamoussis

Politics, Economy, Religion, Art:
A contribution to the dialogue between Greece and Germany
and a Tribute to Fr. Apostolos Malamoussis
 
Organized by the Volos Academy for Theological Studies
and the Catholic Academy of Bavaria
 
An International Conference will be held in Volos on September 27-28, 2016, organized by the Volos Academy for Theological Studies in cooperation with the historic Catholic Academy of Bavaria. In the conference, which is part of an official visit of staff and friends of the Catholic Academy to the city of Volos and their acquaintance with Orthodoxy and Greece, a comparative approach of the relations between Greece and Germany will be provided. The scope of the conference is not limited to a theological topic. It rather intends to touch a wide range of issues, which refer to both the history and cultural relationship between Germans —and particularly the Bavarian people— and Greeks, as well as on key common problems of today. This approach, however, could not be exhaustive, but an ambitious discussion is intended to take place on key issues as well as a strengthening of the relations between the two Academies through a frank dialogue along with their contribution to the work of mutual understanding and reconciliation between Germans and Greeks, Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians. Distinguished speakers will present their positions, while enough time will be available for a thorough discussion.

The conference will end with a tribute to the Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne Fr. Apostolos Malamoussis for his long service to the local Orthodox Metropolis, and his genuine and ecumenically open witness of Orthodoxy and Hellenism to Germany. Fr. Apostolos Malamoussis was born in 1947 in a small village in Pelion, named Mouressi, near Volos. Since 1972 and for more than 40 years he is a priest of the Holy Metropolis of Germany. He is widely known both in Germany and Greece, due to his consistent commitment to the peaceful coexistence and harmonious cohabitation of people of different ethnic and religious origin and his struggle against racism, xenophobia and terrorism. He participates on behalf of the Orthodox Metropolis in the Supreme Council of Integration in Germany, which has been established by the German Chancellery. One should mention also his contribution to a) the enshrinement of the historic church of the Christ’s Transfiguration (known also as Salvator Kirche) to the Metropolis of Germany and the Ecumenical Patriarchate in 1999, located at the center of the city of Munich; b) the introduction in 2000 of the conduct of the Epitaph on Good Friday at the famous Marienplatz in Munich city center; and c) the blessing of waters at the day of the Epiphany in the Izar river that crosses the city, as well as the adoption in 2005 of the Greek-Bavarian Day of Culture.
 
 
Program
Tuesday, September 27
9.45-10.00: Greetings
10.00-11.00: Refugee Crisis and its challenges for the Churches and the European societies
Prelate Bernhard Piendl, Director of the Caritas in Bavaria
Rev. Meletis Meletiadis, Pastor of the Greek Evangelical Church in Volos
11.00-11.30: Break
11.30-13.00: Discussion
13.00: Lunch
 
15.00-16.00: Mutual Stereotypes
Kostas Koutsourelis, Writer, Director of the journal Neon Planodion
Bernhard Remmers, Director of the Journalist Seminary of the Catholic Church of Germany
16.00-16.30: Break
16.30-18.00: Discussion
18.00: Dinner
19.30-21.00: Economic Crisis and its impact (round table discussion)
Professor Franz-Christoph Zeitler, Former Vice President of Bundesbank and Former General Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Finances of Germany
Alecos Papadopoulos, Former Minister of Finances, Interior Affairs, Public Health of Greece
Moderators:
Dr. Pantelis Kalaitzidis, Director of the Volos Academy for Theological Studies
Florian Schuller, Director of the Catholic Academy of Bavaria
 
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
10.00-11.00: Greece and Bavaria: Dialogue in Art
Professor Manos Stefanides, National and Capodistrian University of Athens
Professor Thomas Raff, Augsburg University
11.00-11.30: Break
11.30-13.00: Discussion
13.00: Lunch
 
15.00-16.00: Religion and Church in Greece and Bavaria
Professor Michael Ebertz, Freiburg Catholic Faculty
Professor Vasilios Makrides, Faculty of Philosophy of Erfurt University
16.00-16.30: Break
16.30-18.00: Discussion
18.00: A Tribute to Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne, Fr. Apostolos Malamoussis, who will be awarded by the Metropolitan Ignatius of Demetrias with the Golden Cross Medal of the Metropolis of Demetrias. The praise of the honoured priest will be delivered by Professor Athanasios Vletsis (Faculty of Orthodox Theology, München University).
20.00: Dinner with Greek music and dance program
 
 
Media Sponsors: ERA (Hellenic Radio), Volos
                        Radio Station, Orthodox Witness 104FM
                        Elliniki Gnomi (Greek Newspaper in Germany)
Admission is free and open to the public. Registration is however required: Please contact the Volos Academy secretariat: info@acadimia.org,giannoutaki@acadimia.orginfo.acadimia@gmail.com
For more information please visit:  www.acadimia.org

Source:  www.acadimia.org

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Supplicatory Canon to the Virgin Mary, by Petros Gaitanos

Last month a new cd with Byzantine Music was released in Greece, by the famous singer and chanter Petros Gaitanos. This cd has hymns from the Supplicatory Canon to the Virgin Mary, which is one of the most famous services within the Orthodox Church, dedicated to the Mother of God, the Theotokos, showing her significance for the Church and for the salvific plan of God for His Creation.


Any CD dedicated to a Service or a Saint is of course important. However, the reason for dedicating this post on Londinoupolis is due to a more personal relation towards this new project. One of the choir members is my good friend Alexios Nestouris, who is a great chanter and who has studied Theology (BD and MA) at the University of Athens, School of Theology. He is currently a chanter in the Athens area.
For those who wish to listen to a part of the cd, please see the following YouTube video: 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Hand, Toronto

Walking around the Toronto Financial District, Canada, one sees a number of sculptures. One interesting sculpture is The Hand, made by Canadian artist Sorel Etrog. The open hand, standing upright, features bronze fingers that are looped to each other to highlight one of Etrog’s most popular themes, i.e. integration. However, it does make for a great picture, where visitors can hi-five the sculpture. 


Saturday, September 24, 2016

O Joyful Light


The below hymn is sung at every Vesper, in the Orthodox Church. The video is a slow version of the hymn in Arabic:

“O joyful light of the holy glory of the im­mortal Father, the heavenly, holy, blessed Jesus Christ. Now that we have reached the setting of the sun and behold the evening light, we sing to God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is fitting at all times to praise you with cheerful voices, O Son of God, the Giver of life. Behold, the world sings your glory.”



Friday, September 23, 2016

Evil Thoughts of Evil People

Evil people and foolish. This indicated where the following passage, from the Old Testament Book (Wisdom of Solomon 1:16-3:12) is leading. Are we to support the evil practices in our lives or are we to aspire to a greater existence, to communion with God, to the continuation of our lives in the Kingdom of God, being part of life eternal. We can think only of this life…however, what will happen when we depart this life and enter the next chapter of our existence? Will we then decide to change our life, our practices, our beliefs? This might be too late. Let us aspire to stay away from evil people and evil thoughts; let us aspire to reach communion with our Creator.



16   The words and deeds of evil people are an invitation to death. They think of death as friendly and desirable— they are partners with death, just as they deserve. 1Their foolish minds lead them to say to each other: “Life is short and sad— the end is certain to come, and no one escapes the grave. 2Only by chance were we born, and after we are gone, everything will be as though we had never been. Our breath is merely smoke, and reason is a spark from the beat of our hearts. 3When that beating ends, our bodies turn to dust, and our spirits vanish into thin air. 4In time we will be forgotten and so will our deeds. Life disappears like a cloud; it melts away like mist in the heat of the sun. 5Time fades away like a shadow, and no one returns from death. 6   “So make the most of life, especially while you're young. 7Drink the very best wine, wear expensive perfume, and enjoy the spring flowers. 8Decorate your head with rosebuds before they wilt. 9Do your share of celebrating! Party always and everywhere— that's what life is all about. 10Abuse the poor and the honest! And do the same to widows and old people. 11After all, might is right, and weakness is useless. 12   “Destroy law-abiding people! Get them out of the way. All they do is condemn you for breaking the law and doing what we know is wrong. 13They claim to know the Lord God and to be his children. 14That's why they criticize your very thoughts. 15“Just looking at good people is a heavy burden— their lifestyle is so different; in fact, it's strange. 16They think you're trash, and they won't have anything to do with you. They claim God is their Father and that he will reward them. 17“So test what they say by watching them die. 18If those so-called good people really are God's children, he will look after them. 19We will insult and torture them to find out how gentle and patient they are. 20We will sentence them to a shameful death— after all, they have said that they will be protected.” Evil People Are Foolish 21That's the reasoning of those who are evil, and they are both blind and foolish. 22They don't understand what God has in mind, and they don't know the reward for living right. 23   God created us to live forever, just as he himself does. 24But death entered the world because the devil was jealous, and so all his followers die. 1The souls of those who have pleased God are safe in his hands and protected from pain. 2   Only in the minds of the foolish are those people dead and their death considered a disaster 3or a destruction. In fact, they are at peace 4and destined never to die, though others may have thought they were being punished. 5   They will be richly rewarded, because God tested them for a while and found them worthy of being his children. 6God tested them like gold in a fiery furnace, and he accepted them like a pleasing sacrifice. 7When God shows them mercy, they will be like shining sparks setting weeds on fire. 8The Lord will rule them forever and let them rule over nations. 9All of God's faithful people will understand truth and live with him in love, because God is kind and merciful to those he chooses to be his holy people. Punishment for the Wicked 10The wicked will be punished, as their evil thoughts deserve. They rebelled against the Lord and abused his people. 11They are terribly miserable, because they reject wisdom and sound advice. Their future is hopeless, and everything they do is completely useless. 12Their wives are foolish; their children are evil and under God's curse.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

An Ecumenical Pilgrimage with The Anglican & Eastern Churches Association to SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA 17th - 22nd April 2017

An Ecumenical Pilgrimage with

The Anglican & Eastern Churches Association to

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

17th - 22nd April 2017

One of the remotest towns in Western Europe in the most westerly part of Spain, Santiago has been a goal of pilgrimage for over a thousand years. All this time people have travelled here by foot, by horse, by bicycle, and now by car and by coach following the historic trail that was finally recognised in 1987 by the council of Europe as its first European Cultural Route. The journey was long and often arduous - but century after century pilgrims have kept coming on a journey of discovery not only of this historic and beautiful region of Spain but also of themselves, seeking to allow God a space in which, amidst the very physical business of travelling, he may be able to reach out to us and we find new glimpses of him.
“Whoever goes to Saint James and not to the Saviour, visits the servant and misses the master”. During our pilgrimage there will be daily acts of worship reflecting the different Christian traditions from which Pilgrims come.



Day one – Monday 17th April 2017
Gatwick – Porto – Santiago de Compostela
Scheduled flight departing at 11:50am from Gatwick to Porto. On arrival we transfer by private coach to our centrally-located hotel in Santiago for a five-night stay. Dinner will be in the hotel each night.

Day two – Tuesday 18th April
Santiago de Compostela
Morning guided tour. Pilgrims' Mass at noon. During this service the great censor, the Botafumeiro, is often used. It is swung by six men until it practically touches the ceiling; an unforgettable sight! The rest of the afternoon will be at leisure. We make our own way back to our hotel.

Day three – Wednesday 19th April
Lugo and Monte del Gozo
We start the day with a visit to the fortified town of Lugo where St Francis founded a monastery. We visit Lugo's remarkable cathedral. We continue from Lugo along the pilgrimage route to Lavacolla. For those who wish, there will be the opportunity to walk the last part of the pilgrimage route into Santiago from Lavacolla, where according to the Pilgrim’s Guide of Aimery Picaud, pilgrims would “take off their clothes and for the love of the Apostle, wash the dirt from their bodies”. Afterwards, pilgrims raced each other to the Monte del Gozo (Mount of Joy), where pilgrims would catch their first glimpse of the towers of Santiago de Compostela. Many would complete the final part of the journey barefoot!

Day four – Thursday 20th April
Noia & Finisterre
We depart from Santiago on the final stage of our journey to "The end of the Earth". The town of Noia is our first stop, named after Noah, and where his dove is said to have found an olive branch. Continue to the town of Muros, once an important port serving Santiago de Compostela. Continue to the fishing village of Corcubion, with its strange statue of St Mark in the parish church - our final port of call is Cape Finisterre, where we can gaze out over the Dark Sea and the horizon beyond, to signify the end of our journey.

Day five – Friday 21st April
Santiago de Compostela
Today will be free in Santiago de Compostela. Apart from browsing in the shops or strolling in the park, you may wish to visit the cathedral’s various museums or the special churches of St Martin Pinario or Santa Maria del Sar. In the late afternoon, why not visit the five-star Hostel Los Reyes Catolicos, for a cup of tea or a drink?

Day six – Saturday 22nd April
Porto – Gatwick
Transfer to Porto Airport for scheduled return flight, arriving at Gatwick Airport at 4:40pm.

This tour involves a substantial amount of walking, some of which will be over irregular
surfaces such as cobblestones and badly-maintained walking areas. If everyday walking
is something you find difficult, this tour may be unsuitable for you.
This itinerary is subject to change without prior notification.


PRICE = £729
Includes:
• TAP Portugal scheduled flights: Gatwick - Porto - Gatwick.
• All airport departure taxes.
• 5-nights accommodation in shared twin-bedded rooms with private facilities: Hotel Gelmirez (3 stars), Santiago de Compostela. http://www.hotelgelmirez.com/en/
• Meal plan: 5 breakfasts and 5 dinners.
• All touring and transfers by air-conditioned coach.
• Entrance fees appropriate to the itinerary.
• Guided tours by fully licensed local English-speaking guides: half-day in Santiago on 18 April; full-day on 20 April.
• ATOL and ABTA financial protection.

Extras:
• Travel insurance currently at £32 per person.
• Single rooms supplement at £120 for 5 nights (limited availability).
• Lunches and drinks.
• Gratuities.
• Fuel surcharges if passed on by the airline.
• U.K. transfers.

To reserve your place on the tour you will need to complete a booking form and return it to Pax Travel Ltd with a deposit of £180 (plus the insurance premium if the cover we offer is required) per person.
The above price is guaranteed for the first 30 bookings Pax Travel receives before Friday 30th September 2016. Further bookings may be subject to a flight surcharge.
The Anglican & Eastern Churches Association’s website: www.aeca.org.uk
Chairman: The Rev’d Canon Dr William Taylor.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Do demons really have any power?

Many Christians and other form other religions always understand the world in right and wrong, God and evil, light and dark. However, does evil exist? Does darkness exist? A Christian understanding would be that evil does not, ontologically, exist. When we have evil, we basically understand the lack of God, of goodness, of light. Therefore, if evil does not exist, does evil (i.e. Satan, the demons etc.) have any power? St Anthony the Great gives an answer to this questions, claiming:


‘Let us not be deceived by the demons who do all things in deceit, even to frightening us with death. For they are weak and can do nothing but threaten…The demons have no power, but are like actors on the stage, changing their shapes and frightening children with disruptive apparitions in various forms, for which they ought to be mocked as showing their impotence…’[1]




[1] Bulletin of Spiritual Edification, 24th July 2016, No.1450, p.4. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

‘Greeks and Cypriots in the United Kingdom, 1815 – 2015: Culture, Commerce and Politics’

This research conference, the first dedicated to the subject, will mark the official inauguration of the Centre for Greek Diaspora Studies (CGDS) at Royal Holloway, University of London. This two day conference will be the first time researchers studying the history of the Greek and Cypriot communities in the United Kingdom come together and present their work. This event will take place at the Hellenic Centre (16-18 Paddington St, London W1U 5AS) from Friday 14 October until Saturday 15 October 2016.


Presentations will cover a broad range of topics related to social, cultural, commercial and political history and diaspora studies. Co-organised by the Hellenic Institute / Centre for Greek Diaspora Studies at Royal Holloway, University of London, the Cyprus High Commission, Cultural Section, and the Embassy of Greece.



Under the auspices of the High Commissioner for the Republic of Cyprus, Euripides L. Evriviades, and the Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic, Dimitris Caramitsos-Tziras. Free entry; booking essential on 01784 443 086 or at CGDSConference2016@rhul.ac.uk


Monday, September 19, 2016

The Holy Hierarch Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury

St Theodore was the eighth Archbishop of Canterbury (668-690), and one of England's great saints. He was a Greek from Tarsus, the home of the Holy Apostle Paul. He was a highly- educated monk living in Rome who was quickly advanced through all the clerical ranks and consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury at the age of sixty-five. St Adrian, an African who was the abbot of a monastery near Naples, was sent to assist St Theodore.
St Theodore arrived in Kent in 669, when he was almost seventy years old. In spite of his age, he was quite energetic, travelling throughout England, founding churches and consecrating bishops to fill those Sees which were left vacant by an outbreak of plague. He also created new Sees and established a school in Canterbury where Greek was taught.


St Theodore summoned a council of the entire English Church at Hertford in 672. Not only was this the first church council in England, it was the first assembly of any kind attended by representatives from all over the country. In 679 he convened another synod at Hatfield to maintain the purity of Orthodox doctrine and to condemn the heresy of Monothelitism.
St Theodore fell asleep in the Lord in 690, and his body remained incorrupt for a long time. St Theodore was, as St Bede expresses in his Ecclesiastical History, ‘the first archbishop whom all the English obeyed.’ Under his leadership, the English Church became united in a way that the various tribal kingdoms did not. The body of canon law drawn up under his supervision, and his structure of dioceses and parishes, survived the turmoil of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and are substantially intact today. He was respected for his administrative skills, and also for his moral and canonical decisions.
The History of the English Church and People of St Bede gives detailed information about St Theodore’s life and work as Archbishop of Canterbury (Books IV and V). The feast of St Theodore is kept on the 19th of September.
Source: http://www.sourozh.org/web/British_Orthodox_Saints

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Being Ashamed

Reading the Bible one finds many ideas and ideals we the faithful should follow in order to live a better life and achieve our objective in live, i.e. communion with God. It is interesting to see how the Bible promotes the idea of being ashamed in a number of circumstances. These instances allow us to become better people, better Christians and follow a more Christ-centred life. This can be found in Sophia Sirach (41: 14-27) where we read:


14 My children, do as I teach you and live at peace. Wisdom that is not expressed is like a treasure that has been hidden—both are useless. 15 A person who covers up his foolishness is better than one who keeps his wisdom to himself.
16 My children, listen and I will teach you the circumstances when it is proper to be ashamed.[f] Sometimes it is entirely out of place.
17     Before your parents, be ashamed of immoral behaviour.
Before a ruler or an important person, be ashamed of a lie.
18     Before a judge, be ashamed of criminal behaviour.
Before a public assembly, be ashamed of breaking the law.
Before a friend or partner, be ashamed of dishonesty.
19     Before your neighbours, be ashamed of theft.
Be ashamed of breaking a promise,[g]
of leaning on the dinner table with your elbows,
of stinginess when you are asked for something,
20             of not returning a greeting,
of staring at a prostitute,
21             of turning down a relative's request,
of depriving someone of what is rightly his,
of staring at another man's wife,
22             of playing around with his slave woman (keep away from her bed!)
of insulting your friends,
of following up your gifts with criticism,
23             of betraying secrets.


These are times when it is proper for you to be ashamed, and people will respect you for it.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Agatha Christie – Royal Mail First Day Cover

The newest collection of the Royal Mail First Day Cover is dedicated to Agatha Christie, having six stamps from six of her works (Murder of the Orient Express, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, The Body in the Library, And Then There Were None, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and A Murder is Announced).
On 15 September 1890, in the seaside of Torquay in Devon, Frederick and Clara Miller had a baby girl whom they named Agatha Mary Clarissa. Growing up at Ashfield with her brother Monty and sister Madge, and educated at home, the young Agatha lived in a comfortable middle-class environment where reading was a priority.
In 1912, 22 year-old Agatha met Archibald Christie. The couple had a somewhat turbulent courtship but would ultimately marry on 24 December 1914. During the First World War, while her husband served in the Royal Flying Corps, Agatha enrolled as a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse in a Red Cross Hospital in Torquay. In 1915, she began working at a hospital dispensary and it was there that she would acquire a very useful working knowledge of poisons. Drawing upon her new experiences, in 1916 she wrote her first detective story, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, basing the nationality of her detective, Hercule Poirot, on that of the Belgian refugees who had arrived in Torquay. When the finished article was submitted to a British publisher, however, it was rejected. Four years later, it was finally published in the USA and in the UK in January 1921.


Almost two and a half years after the birth of Agatha’s daughter Rosalind, the Christies set off on a 10-month Grand Tour in January 1922, during which they visited South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Canada. Agatha’s next book, The Secret Adversary, was published at the same time, followed by The Murder on the Links (1923), Poirot Investigates (1924), The Man in the Brown Suit (1924), and The Secret of Chimneys (1925).
The summer of 1926 saw the end of Agatha’s first marriage and the publication of her sixth detective novel, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, notable for its innovative sleight of hand.  
Early in 1930, Agatha met a young archaeologist, Max Mallowan, on an impromptu trip to Iraq and later that year they were married in Edinburgh. The year 1930 also saw the first appearance of a new solver of crimes, Miss Marple, whose sharp detecting skills were revealed in The Murder at the Vicarage.
In the 10 years following her second wedding, Agatha published more than 20 books, including her two most famous works, Murder on the Orient Express (1934) and And Then There Were None (1939). The next decade saw her established as a major playwright. The Mousetrap opened in London’s West End in November 1952 and has been running ever since.

After writing 66 detective novels, six romance novels, 150 short stories, 19 plays, two poetry collections and two memoirs, 85-year-old Agatha Christie died on 12 January 1976 at her home in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, the undisputed queen of crime. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Street Art, China Town, Toronto

Street art has always made a great impression on me. According to where one finds the street art, it seems to depict cultural, historical, religious and many more features of the local people. Below we find street art from China Town in Toronto, which is one of the oldest China Towns in Canada, dating from the 1900s. For those who live or know London (England) this seems to be the Camden Town of Toronto, with great views of the city and a great variety of Street Art, featuring not only Chinese themes, but also Caribbean, Polynesian, African and many more.











Thursday, September 15, 2016

Travelling According to Old Testament Book Sophia Sirach

Travelling the world is a very popular objective of many people, especially today where travel is assisted by modern technology. It is, however, interesting to see how the idea of travelling has been, historically, a positive thing, allowing for the traveller to learn about the world, about other cultures, religions, peoples, making him/her much wiser than a person who does not travel, does not venture out into the world. And as many people say: it is not about the destination, it’s about the journey.


In the Old Testament Book Sophia Sirach (34: 9-12) we find an interesting paragraph on the positives of travelling. There we read:

‘9 A well-travelled[b] person with wide experience knows many things and talks sense. 10 You can't know much if you haven't experienced much, but travel can make you cleverer. 11 In my own travels I have seen many things and learned more than I can put into words. 12 I have been in danger of death many times, but I have always been able to escape by relying on past experience.’

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Talk: Development of Postal Communication in Cyprus, from the 14th to 20th century

The Cyprus High Commission-Cultural Section and the British Library cordially invite you to a public lecture by Paul Skinner Lead Curator, Philatelic Collections, British Library entitled

“Development of Postal Communication in Cyprus, from the 14th to 20th century”


The lecture will provide a description of the conditions and development of postal routes to and from Cyprus, reflecting the growth of commercial activity and population. Topics will include the Venetian period, the Ottoman postal service, Austrian and British post offices that operated in Cyprus, and Cypriot posts including the development of rural posts.

Held under the auspices of the High Commissioner for the Republic of Cyprus Euripides L. Evriviades

Friday, 23 September 2016, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB, Conference Centre, Brönte Room at 6:15 p.m.

A drinks reception will follow.


Attendance is free but registration is required. If you plan to attend please email Chris Michaelides chris.michaelides@bl.uk and type Cyprus Lecture in the subject line.

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Significance of Baptism for a Christian

Baptism, one of the Holy Sacraments of the Church, is a significant event in every Christian’s life. It is not only a service which allows us to enter into a group, into a new family. Baptism allows us to enter the Body of the Church, the Body of Christ, and be in communion with Him and with the other faithful. It allows us to leave our individual understanding of life and our existence, entering into a communion of faith, where we are members of a greater relationship, of truth and love.


‘The triple descent into the water of baptism and triple emergence from it is not a type or an instructive allegory, but the tangible experience of a real event. At baptism, human existence ceases to be a result of biological necessity. In contrast with the natural birth, which forms a biological unit subject to the facts of nature, baptism raises existence to freedom from natural necessity, to the personal distinctiveness which subsists only as an ecclesiological hypostasis of communion and loving relationship. Man ceases to be an individual species, a closed circuit of purely biological succession, a mere social unit. He joins the communion of saints, which is a manifestation of God in Trinity. He himself receives the name of a saint, and from this first moment of baptism he is potentially realizing in his own person the revelation and “glory” of God. “Build him up upon the foundation of Thine apostles and prophets,” the celebrant prays, “that he may not be overthrown; but implant him firmly as a plant of truth in Thy holy, catholic and apostolic Church.” This direct, hypostatic entry into the body of the Church is “knowledge” and enlightenment.’[1]



[1] Yannaras, Christos, The Freedom of Morality, (1996), p.141.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

St George Yilanli Church, Cappadocia

St George Church (Yilanli Church) is located in Soganli Valley, Cappadocia. The icons date back to the 14th century. The themes evident here are quite unique, for example on the roof is depicted the Ancient of Days, not evident in other Churches in Cappadocia. The Church is named after St George due to a depiction of St George on horseback fighting a snake and wolves. 






Saturday, September 10, 2016

Photographic Exhibition – The Greek Orthodox Cathedrals and Churches of London

From the 4 until the 7 September there was a great photographic exhibition in North London (Dugdale Centre, Thomas Hardy House) with a unique theme, The Greek Orthodox Cathedrals and Churches of London.



There are 23 Greek Orthodox Cathedrals and Churches in London. However, the photographer immortalised not only the buildings and the icons with his camera, but also the people, whether they were priests, chanters, helpers, or faithful who were present during the Divine Liturgy.



Alexios Gennaris who is the exhibition’s photographer, visited and photographed all 23 churches. This endeavour took him exactly one year to complete, from January to December 2015. This exhibition was organised by Alexios Gennaris and James Neophytou (Exhibition Producer).


On a personal note, I would like to thank Alexi for his great work and for including a picture of myself, whilst chanting at All Saints Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Camden Town.



For those who missed this exhibition, do not worry. There are more photographic exhibitions to follow:


11 September: 12.30- 17.00: Community Hall of St Panteleimon Church, 660 Kenton Road, Harrow, HA3 9QN, London.


19 December 2016 – 11 January 2017: Arts Depot, 5 Nether Street, North Finchley, London, N12 0GA.
January 2017: The Hellenic Centre, 16-18 Paddington Street, London, W1U 5AS, where it is going to be part of the ‘Celebration of Christian and Greek Literature’ event.


Friday, September 9, 2016

Saint Kieran (Ciaran) founder of Clonmacnoise Monastery, Ireland

Saint Kieran (Ciaran) of Clonmacnoise, also known as St. Kieran the Younger, was born around 512 AD in Connacht, Ireland, a town located in the northern part of County Roscommon. The son of Beoit, a carpenter and chariot-builder, Kieran inherited a love of learning from his mother’s side of the family, as his maternal grandfather had been a bard, poet, and historian. Baptised by deacon Justus (“the righteous one”), who also served as his first tutor, the boy Kieran worked as a cattle herder. Even this early in his life, stories testifying to Kieran’s holiness are told. Some later believed that his work as a herdsman foreshadowed the care he would offer the many who sought his wisdom.
Kieran continued his education at the monastery of Clonard, which was led by St. Finnian. Yet another story, of the “Dun-Cow of Kieran,” is associated with his move to this abbey. What is quite certain is that Kieran quickly gained the reputation of being the most learned monk at Clonard, and was asked to serve as tutor to the daughter of the King of Cuala, even as he continued his own studies. His friend and fellow student, Columcille of Iona, testified to Kieran’s brilliance by saying, “He was a lamp, blazing with the light of wisdom.” Besides being renowned for his brilliance, Kieran also had a great capacity for friendship with other leaders of the early Irish church. In addition to Justus, Columcille, and Finnian, Kieran counted Enda of the Aran Islands as his mentor, and both Senan of Scattery Island and Kevin of Glendalough as friends and colleagues. Kieran’s years of residence at Clonard were also marked by miraculous events that benefited the entire monastery.


After completing his studies under Finnian, Kieran left Clonard and moved to the monastery of Inishmore in the Aran Isles, which was directed by St. Enda. While a member of this monastic community, Kieran was blessed with the vision of a great tree, which anticipated his own foundation of a renowned monastery. From Inishmore, Kieran went to visit his religious brothers at Isel in central Ireland. His stay here was brief, as the other monks envied his fame as a scholar, and resented what they considered his excessive charity to the poor. Asked to leave Isel, Kieran was led by a stag to Inis Aingin, or Hare Island. While he lived here for 3 years and 3 months, brothers from all over Ireland came to study under Kieran, and more miracles attested to his holiness.
Kieran departed Hare Island with eight monastic brothers, and eventually settled at a location in the centre of Ireland, on the east bank of the River Shannon. Here, in the year 544, he founded the great monastery of Clonmacnoise .
Students by the thousands came to study there, not only from Ireland, but also from England and France. Clonmacnoise became Ireland’s centre of study, art, and literature. To this day, tourists and pilgrims visit the site of Kieran’s monastery to see some of the finest monastic ruins and high crosses in all of Ireland. A mere 7 months after establishing Clonmacnoise, Kieran died, perhaps of the plague. Because of his prominence in the early Irish church, St. Kieran is known as one of the “Twelve Apostles of Ireland.” The Feast of St. Kieran is celebrated on September 9th.
Stories & Legends of St. Kieran
Kieran & A Fortunate Fox
One day as Kieran was watching the cattle some distance from the home of deacon Justus, Kieran realized he was able to hear his tutor’s instruction as closely as if he were in Justus’ house. On another occasion, while Kieran was out in the cattle pasture, a fox emerged from the forest and approached him. He treated the animal gently, so that it returned quite often. Kieran asked the fox to do him the favour of carrying his text of the Psalms back and forth between him and Justus. One day, however, the fox was overcome by hunger, and began to eat the leather straps that covered the book. While the fox was eating, a hunting party with a pack of hounds attacked him. The dogs were relentless in their pursuit, and the fox could not find shelter in any place except the cowl of Kieran’s robe. God was thus glorified twice – by the book being saved from the fox, and by the fox being saved from the hounds.
The Dun-Cow of Kieran
When it was time for Kieran to leave home for the monastery of Clonard, he asked his parents for a cow to take with him as a contribution to the community. His mother refused this request, so Kieran blessed a cow of the herd, and the cow followed him to Clonard, accompanied by her calf. Not wishing to take both the cow and the calf, Kieran used his staff to draw a line on the ground between the animals. After that, neither the cow nor the calf would cross this line, and the calf returned home. The milk provided by Kieran’s cow was reputed to amply supply all in the monastery, as well as their guests.
Kieran Helps in a Time of Famine
During a time of famine, when it was Kieran’s turn to carry a sack of oats to the mill in order to provide a little food for the monks, he prayed that the oats would become fine wheat. While Kieran was singing the Psalms with pure heart and mind, the single sack of oats was miraculously transformed into four sacks of the best wheat. Kieran returned home and baked bread with this wheat, which the older monks said was the best they had ever tasted. These loaves not only satisfied their hunger, they were said to heal every sick person in the monastery who ate them.
The Vision of the Great Tree
While in the Aran Islands with St. Enda, both monks saw the same vision of a great and fruitful tree growing on the banks of a stream in central Ireland. This tree sheltered the entire island, its fruit crossed the sea surrounding Ireland, and birds came to carry off some of that fruit to the rest of the world. Enda interpreted this vision for his friend by saying, “The great tree is you, Kieran, for you are great in the eyes of God and all people. All of Ireland will be sheltered by the grace in you, and many will be nourished by your fasting and prayers. Go to the centre of Ireland, and establish your church on the banks of a stream.”
A Cow Comes to Kieran’s Aid
A careless monk dropped Kieran’s text of the Gospels into the lake surrounding Hare Island, where it remained underwater for a long time. On a summer day when the cattle went into the lake, the strap of Kieran’s book stuck to the foot of one of the cows. When the book was retrieved, it was dry, with not a letter blurred or a page destroyed.[1]