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August 25/Sept. 7, 2011


Readings on The Gift of the Grace of the Holy Spirit

Presented by The Very Reverend Hieromonk Nikolai (Perekestov)

at Saint Nicholas Monastery, North Fort Myers, FL

Readings from Today’s Meeting:

1.      Kontzevitch, I. M. The Acquisition of the Holy Spirit: Orthodox ascetic theology.  St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 1996, p. 80.  Call no. BX581.K613 1988.

2.      Maximus the Confessor, Saint.  From The Philokalia, vol. 2. London: Faber and Faber, 1981 p. 180-181.  Call no. BV4495.P513 v. 2

3.      Photios, Saint.  On the Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit.  Translated by Holy Transfiguration Monastery.  Studion Publishers, 1983, p. 113.  Call no. BT123.P4813 1983

4.      Sts. Kyril and Methody Society.  The Life of Innokenty of Alaska and his famous sermon Indcation of the Way into the Kingdom of HeavenChilliwack: Synaxis Press, 1976, p. 44.  Call no. BX597.I5815 1976.

5.      Sophrony, Archimandrite.  Wisdom from Mount Athos: the writings of Staretz Silouan 1866-1938.  Translated by Rosemary Edmonds.  Crestwood: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1974, p. 115-116.  Call no. BX382.S5 1975

6.      A Wonderful revelation to the World: a conversation of Saint Seraphim of Sarov with N. A. MotovilovSeattle: St. Nectarios Press, 1993, p. 14-15, 22-23, and 27.  Call no. BT127.S473 1993.  Also available at: 


Supplementary Reading

1.      Cyril of Jerusalem, Saint.  Lectures on the Christian Sacraments.  Edited by F. L. Cross.  Crestwood: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1977, p. 64-66.  Call no. BV800.B973 C76 1977.


September 29/October 12, 2011


Readings on “Create in me a clean heart, O God”

Presented by The Reverend Father Steven Webb

at Saint Nicholas Monastery, North Fort Myers, FL

 Readings from Today’s Meeting:

1.      Augustine, Saint.  On the Psalms.   Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. 8.  Edited by Philip Schaff.  Peabody, Ma: Hendrickson Publishers, 1994, p. 193-194

2.      Cassiodorus, Senator.  Explanation of the Psalms, vol. 1.   Translated and annotated by P. G. Walsh.  Ancient Christian Writers series.  New York: Paulist Press, 1990, p. 503-504

3.      Papavassiliou, Archimandrite Vassilios.  Psalm 50 [Sermon].  Available at

4.      Logothetis, Archimandrite Spyridon.  The Heart: an Orthodox Christian spiritual guide.  Lepanto, Greece: Holy Transfiguraiton of our Savior Jesus Christ Monastery, 2001.

5.      Theodoret of Cyrus.  Commentary on the Psalms, Psalms 1-72. Translated by Robert C. Hill.   The Fathers of the Church series.  Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2000, p. 299-300

6.      Orthodox Study Bible, Psalms and the New Testament.  2 Corinthians 11:16 to 12:9

7.      Prayer Book.  Jordanville: Holy Trinity Monastery, 2003.  Various pages


Supplementary Reading

1.      Ambrose, Saint.  Select Works and Letters.  Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, 2nd series, vol. 10.  Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace.  Peabody, MAP: Hendrickson Publishers, 1994, p. 335

2.      Editors of Orthodox America.  “Born Again! Blessed Augustine.”  Orthodox America, Vol. 1, no. 8 (Feb. 1981), p. 5.  Also available at:

3.      Hierotheos, Metropolitan of Nafpaktos.  The Mind of the Orthodox Church.  Translated by Esther Williams.  Levadia, Greece: Birth of the Theotokos Monastery, 1998, p. 147-151

4.      Romanides, John S.  Patristic Theology: the University lectures of Fr. John Romanides.  Translated by Hieromonk Alexios (Trader).  Uncut Mountain Press, 2008, p. 130-133

5.      Psalm 51: 10 [Commentaries].  Biblos: available at:


October 27/November 9, 2011


Readings on The Holy Unmercenaries

Presented by the Very Reverend Archpriest Damian Criscella

at Saint Nicholas Monastery, North Fort Myers, FL

Readings from Today’s Meeting:

1.      The Explanation by Blessed Theophylact of the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.  House Spring, MO: Chrysostom Press, 1992, p. 83-84

2.      Holland, Fr. Seraphim.  “Freely ye have received, freely give,” a fundamental principal of priestly ministry” (homily).  McKinney, TX: St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, 2009

3.      Velimirovic, Bishop Nikolai.  “The Holy and Great Martyr Panteleimon.”  The Prologue from Ochrid: Lives of the Saints and Homilies for every day of the year, Pt. 3: July-Sept.  Birmingham: Lazarica Press, 1986, p. 115

4.      “Sickness and pain are a gift from God: Saint Panteleimon comes to the aid of Monk Daniel.”

5.           “St. Julian (Elian) the Martyr and Unmercenary of Emesa (Homs).”

6.      “Holy Unmercenary Healers Zenais and Philonilla of Tarsus.”  The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church: OctoberBuena Vista: Holy Apostles Convent, 2004, p. 214-215

7.      “St. Tryphon the Great Martyr and Unmercenary.”


Supplementary Reading

1.      Paraklesis (Supplication Service) to the Holy Unmercenaries

2.      The Holy Unmercenary Saints and their Commemoration Dates

3.      “Holy and Wonderworking Unmercenaries Kosmas and Damian of Asia.”  The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church: NovemberBuena Vista: Holy Apostles Convent, 2004, p. 1-12

4.      “Holy and Wonderworking Unmercenaries Cosmas and Damian of Rome.”  The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church: JulyBuena Vista: Holy Apostles Convent, 2004, p. 1-4

5.      Hronas, GeorgiaThe Holy Unmercenary Doctors: The saints anargyroi, physicians and healers of the Orthodox Church.  Minneapolis: Light and Life Publishing, 1999


December 1/14, 2011

Readings on The Long Walk Home, a Personal Memoir of Persecution

Presented by Anatole Kurdsjuk

at Saint Nicholas Monastery, North Fort Myers, FL

Readings from today’s meeting

1.      Acts 14: 21-22; and II Timothy 3: 10-13

2.      Prologue from Ochrid: Lives of the saints and homilies for every day of the year.  By Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic.  Translated by Mother Maria.  Birhimgham: Lazarica Press, 1986, vol. 2, pp. 107-108

3.      “Homilies of St. John Chrysostom on the Acts of the Apostles: Homily XXXI.”  Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, vol. II, First series.   Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1994, p. 198

4.      The Long Walk Home with miracles along the way: a historical memoir.  By Anatole Kurdsjuk.  West Conshohocken, PA: Infinity Publishing, 2005, pp. 63-69

5.      New Martyrs of Russia.  By Archpriest Michael Polsky.  Translated from the Russian edition.  Montreal: Monastery Press, 1972, pp. 11-16

6.      New Confessors of Russia.  By Archimandrite Damascene (Orlovsky).  Platina: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 1998, pp. 13-15


Supplementary readings

1.      The Long Walk Home with miracles along the way: a historical memoir.  By Anatole Kurdsjuk.  Book in its entirety

2.      New Confessors of Russia.  By Archimandrite Damascene (Orlovsky).  Platina: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 1998.  Book in its entirety

3.      The New Martyrs of Russia.  By Archpriest Michael Polsky.  Translated from the Russian edition.  Book in its entirety

Russia’s Catacomb Saints: lives of the new martyrs.  By Ivan Mikhailovich Andreev.  Platina: St. Herman of Alaska Press, 1982


January 17/30, 2012

Readings on the Holy Tsar-Martyr Paul I of Russia

Presented by The Reverend Father Constantine DesRosiers

at Saint Nicholas Monastery, North Fort Myers, FL


Sources of information about the life and reign of Tsar-Martyr Paul (Petrovich) are still few, and often filled with the erroneous assertions of his opponents.  There has been, however, some re-examination of this brave, heroic figure’s life and brief reign.  We present a selection of materials to assist inquirers who would like to know more about this Tsar who is regarded by many as a great friend to the poor, and a staunch ally of the Orthodox Church.



Books and Web sites

1.      DesRosiers, Fr. Constantine.  The Emperor-Martyr Paul I of Russia.  Available from the author, a priest at St. Xenia Orthodox Church in Methuen, MA

2.      DesRosiers, Fr. Constantine.  Paul I and Nicholas II: imperial parallels in faith, statesmanship and Martyrdom.  Unpublished manuscript 

3.      Florinsky, Michael T.  Russia: a history and interpretationNew York:Macmillan, 1947

4.      Illustrated History of the Russian Empire. Edited by Nikita Chakirov.  Section on Emperor Paul consists of  two sections, one in English, pp. 156-157, and one in Russian, pp. 147-155 

5.      Japan: Russian Orthodox Youth Committee, 1971

6.      Kamensky, Alexander.  “Paul I: Russian Hamlet.”  Russian Life, Vol. 44, no. 3 (May-June 2001), p. 41-50

7.      Kenney, James J., Jr.  “Lord Whitworth and the conspiracy against Tsar Paul I: the new evidence of the Kent archive.”  Slavic Review, Vol. 36 (June 1977), pp. 205 and 211.  A summary of the article appears at:

8.      Monarch idealist—Emperor Paul of RussiaOrthodox America.

9.      “Paul I—the mad Tsar?”  Alexander Palace. Home of the Last Tsar—Romanov and Russian History.

10.  Ragsdale, Hugh, ed..  Paul I: a reassessment of his life and reign.   Series in Russian and East European Studies, no. 2.  Pittsburgh: University Center for International Studies, 1979

11.  Ragsdale, Hugh.  Tsar Paul and the question of madness: an essay in history and psychology. New York: Greenwood Press, 1988.    Also in full text at:

12.  Redington, Norman Hugh.  “Emperor Paulus of Russia.”  Saint Pachomius Library.

13.  Tsar-Martyr Paul.  Two articles about Emperor Paul and a prayer for his repose at this web site.

14.  Waliszewski, K.  Paul the First of Russia, the son of Catherine the Great.  Archon Books, 1969

15.  Wikipedia.  “Paul I of Russia.”



1.      Voice of RussiaRussia: People and Events.  “Russian Hamlet.”

Numismata and Exonumia

1.      Coin and Medals of Imperial RussiaYale University.

2.      Photos and information about coins struck during Tsar Paul’s reign. Money Museum. Zarenreich Russland, Paul I.  Photos and information about the 5 kopek and 1 Ruble coins issued (struck) under the authority of Tsar Paul.;jsessionid=DED4841935B1F5E293512C03E45DC08A?i=0&aid=7&gid=19&cid=164&pi=0&ps=10


May 7/20, 2012


The Church Calendar

A Reading Guide to accompany a

Lecture presented by

The Reverend Father Constantine DesRosiers

at Saint Nicholas Monastery, North Fort Myers, FL

1.      Abboud, Rev. Gregory.  The Holy date of Easter: when is it?  Brooklyn, NY: Syrian Orthodox Archdiocese, 1963 

2.    Casian, Hieromonk.  A Scientific examination of the Orthodox Church calendar.  Edited by Archbishop Chrysostomos of Etna and Hieromonk Gregory.  Etna: Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, 1998

3.      DesRosiers, Richard V.  A Brief account of the history of the Julian Calendar.  Incorporates the article by Perepiolkina listed below.  Unpublished paper.  Available from the author 

4.      “Early Roman Calendar.”  Calendars through the Ages.

5.      Fomenko, A. T., Kalasnikov, VladimirV., Nosovskii, Gleb V., and Nosovskymay, G. V.

Geometrical and statistical methods of analysis of star configurations dating Ptolemy’s

Almagest.  CRC Press, 1993.  This book includes an explanation of the Great Indiction

6.      “The Late, Great Typikon.”  Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Washington, D.C.

7.      Macrobius.  Saturnalia, Vol. 1: Books 1-2.  Translated by Robert A. Kaster.  Loeb Classical Library, 2011.

8.      Molchanov, Protopriest Boris.  “Understanding Our Church Calendar: (scientific and historical background).”  Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

9.      Monk of the Eastern Church.  The Year of grace of the Lord: a scriptural and liturgical commentary on the calendar of the Orthodox Church. Translated from the French by Deborah Cowan.  Crestwood:  St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1980. 

10.  Orthodox Church Calendar: in defense of the Julian Calendar including the 70th anniversary of the Pan-Orthodox Congress in Constantinople by Bishop Photius of Triaditsa and The Julian Calendar by Ludmila Perepiolkina.  Jordanville:  Holy Trinity Monastery, 1996. 

11.  Ovid.  Fasti.

12.  Perepiolkina, Ludmilla.  “The Julian calendar: a thousand-year icon of time in Russia.” 

Orthodox Life, Vol. 45, no. 5 (Sept.-Oct. 1995), p. 7-37.

13.  Plutarch.  Selected Lives and Essays, v. 1.  “Numa Pompilius.”   Roslyn, NY: Walter J. Black, 1951, paragraphs 18-19.  A full text translation by John Dryden is at:

14.  Plutarch.  Selected Lives and Essays, v. 2.  “The Life of Julius Caesar,” Paragraph 59.  Roslyn, NY: Walter J. Black, 1951.  Also in full text at:*.html#59

15.  Suetonius.  The Lives of the Twelve Caesars.  “The Life of Julius Caesar,” Paragraph 40.   New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.  Also in full text at:*.html#40 

Roman Calendar circa 60 B.C., prior to Julius Caesar’s Reforms (Public domain at Wikipedia)


May 11/24, 2012


Readings on the Survival of the Church under persecution

– the first 300 years:

Presented by The Reverend Father Constantine DesRosiers

at Saint Nicholas Monastery, North Fort Myers, FL

St. George brought before the Emperor Diocletian

1.      Barnes, Timothy.  Early Christianity and the Roman EmpireLondon, Variorum Reprints, 1984.

2.      Bede.  A History of the English Church and People, chapters 7 and 8.  Any edition.

3.      Celsus.  On the true doctrine: a discourse against the Christians.  Translated by R. Joseph Hoffmann.  New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. 

4.      Chadwick, Henry.  The Early ChurchNew York: Penguin, 1993. 

5.      Cyprianus, St.  De Lapsis [On the lapsed].  IntraText Digital Library.

6.      Digeser, Elizabeth DePalma.  The Making of a Christian empire:  Lactantius and RomeCornell University Press, 2012

7.      Eusebius.  Ecclesiastical  History.  Any edition.

8.      Eusebius.  “Life of Constantine.”  Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 1Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1994, p. 405-559. Also in full text at:

9.      Field, AnneFrom Darkness to Light: how one became a Christian in the early Church.  Ben Lomond, CA: Conciliar Press, 1997.

10.  Hayes, Alan L.  Early Christianity (to A.D. 843).  Toronto: Toronto School of Theology, 2008.

11.  Kesich, Veselin.  “The Church before Paul.”  St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly, Vol. 43, no. 1 (1999), p. 3-36.

12.  Josephus.  Antiquities of the Jews, Book XVIII

 Also Book XX:

13.  Josephus.  The Jewish War.  Translated by G. A. Williamson.  New York: Penguin Books, 1981. 

14.  Justin Martyr.  Dialogue with Trypho.   Early Christian Writings.

15.  Lactantius.  De Mortibus Persecutorium [On the manner in which the persecutors died.]  Kessinger Publishing, 2004. 

16.        Lucian.  “Death of Peregrinus.”  Selected Satires.  Translated and edited by Lionel Casson.  Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1962, p. 368-370. Also in full text at:

17.        Medieval Sourcebook: The Martyrdom of Polycarp.  Translated by J. B. Lightfoot.

18.        Meyendorff, John.   Imperial unity and Christian divisions: the Church 450-680 A.D.  Crestwood: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1989.

19.  Phillips, Fr. Andrew.  “The Real St. George.”  Pravoslavie Rus.

20.  Plato.  Timaeus.  Translated by B. Jowett.  E-book available from Project Gutenberg.

21.  Pliny the Younger.  “Letters XCVI and XCVII.”  The Letters of Pliny the Younger.   Translated  by Betty Radice.  Penguin, 1969. Also in full text at “Letters XCII and XCIII.”  Fordham University.

22.                                                             Plotinus.   The Six Enneads.  Translated by Stephen McKenna and B. S. Page.   Fordham University,

Also available in the Great Books series by Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 17.

23.                                                             Roberts, Rev. Alexander and James Donaldson, eds.  Ante-Nicene Fathers: translations of the writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325.  Vol. VII: Fathers of the Third and Fourth Centuries: Lactantius,Venantius, Asterius, Victorinus, Dionysius, Apostolic teaching and constitutions, homily and liturgies. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Also in full text at:

24.                                                             Runciman, Steven.  The Medieval Manichee: a study of the Christian dualist heresyCambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991. 

25.                                                             Schmemann, Alexander.  Historical road of Eastern Orthodoxy.  Crestwood: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1977.

26.                                                             Sozomen.  “Ecclesiastical History.”  Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 2.  Peabody, MA:  Hendrickson Publications, 1994, p. 179-427.

27.                                                             Tacitus.  “The Burning of Rome.”  The Annals of Imperial Rome.  Translated by Michael Grant.  Penguin, 1975.  Also Tacitus, Annals, Book 15:  Paragraph 44.

28.                                                             Valasecchi, Maria Christina.  “What’s inside Rome’s ancient catacombs?”

29.                                                             Ware, Timothy.  “The Beginnings.”  The Orthodox ChurchBaltimore: Penguin Books, 1964.


The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer, by Jean-Leon Gerome (1883)


May 14/27, 2012


Saint Constantine the Great

A Reading Guide to accompany a

Lecture presented by

The Reverend Father Constantine DesRosiers

at Saint Nicholas Monastery, North Fort Myers, FL

1.      Alfoldi, Andrew.  The Conversion of Constantine and Pagan Rome.  Translated by Harold Mattingly.  Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1948.

2.      Arakaki, Robert K.  “Constantine the Great: Roman emperor, Christian saint, history’s turning point.”  Again, Vol. 26, no. 3 (Fall 2004), p. 28-31. Also at:

3.            Baker,G. P.  Constantine the Great and the Christian revolutionNew York: Barnes and Noble, 1967.

4.            Barnes, Timothy.  Constantine and EusebiusCambridge, MAHarvard University Press, 1981.

5.            Barnes, Timothy.  The New Empire of Diocletian and ConstantineCambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982. 

6.            Baynes, Norman H. and Henry St. Lawrence Moss.  Byzantium: an introduction to East Roman civilizationOxford: Clarendon Press, 1948.


Sts. Constantine and Helen

Baynes, Norman H.  Constantine the Great and the Christian ChurchNew York: Haskell House, 1975.

8.            Burckhardt, Jacob.  Age of Constantine the Great.  Translated by Moses  Hadas.  Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983.  Once influential, but now a largely discredited work written from the once all too accepted Nietzscheian perspective.

9.            “Canons of the First Ecumenical Council.”  Translated by Henry R. Percival and John Fulton.  Orthodox Church of Estonia

10.        Chadwick, Henry.  The Early ChurchNew York: Penguin Books, 1993.

11.        Christian symbolism on the bronze coins of Constantine the Great.

12.        “Commemoration of the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council (commemorated on May 29).”  Orthodox Church in America

13.         “Council of Arles of 314.”  Orthodoxwiki.

14.        “Councils of Elvira, Arles, and Ancyra.”  History of the Christian Church, vol. II: Ante-Nicene Christianity.  Christian Classics Etherial Librari.,arles#highlight

15.        Eusebius.  Ecclesiastical HistoryBaltimore, MD: Penguin books, 1964. 

16.        Eusebius.  “Life of Constantine.”  Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 1Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1994, p. 405-559. Also in full text at:

17.        “First Ecumenical Council.  Orthodox Church in America.  Dept. of Christian Education.

18.        Horologion.  “Constantine, Equal to the Apostles (May 21).  Boston, MA: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1997, p. 488-489.

19.        Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church, May.  Article on “Equal to the Apostles Constantine and Helen” on May 21.  Buena Vista: Holy Apostles Convent, 2006, p. 985-1097.

20.        Hardenbrook, V. Rev. Fr. Thaddaeus.  “Emperor Constantine the Great (306-337): the importance of his faith in the history of the Church.”

21.        Jones, Arnold Hugh Martin.  Constantine and the conversion of EuropeUniversity of Toronto Press, 1978.  Not written from an Orthodox viewpoint.

22.  Lactantius.  On the manner in which the persecutors died.  Kessinger Publishing, 2004.  Intra-text concordance to this work can be found at:

23.        Makarios of Simonos Petra, Hieromonk.  Synaxarion: Lives of the saints of the Orthodox Church.  “Constantine the Great and his mother Empress Helena.”  Ormylia: Holy Convent of the Annunciation of Our Lady, 2005, p. 226-238.

24.        Newman, John Henry.  Two essays on Biblical and on ecclesiastical miraclesWestminster, MD: Christian Classics, 1969.

25.        Orthodox Church in America.  “Equal of the Apostles and Emperor Constantine with his mother Helen, commemorated May 21.”

26.        Ostrogorsky, George.  History of the Byzantine state.  Translated by Joan Hussey.  Oxford: Blackwell, 1968.

27.        Vasiliev, A. A. History of the Byzantine Empire.  Translated by Mrs. S. Ragozin.  Madison, 1928-1928. 

28.        Velimirovich, Bishop Nikolai.  “The Holy Emperor Constantine and the Empress Helena.” The Prologue from OchridBirmingham: Lazarica Press, 1986, p. 204-205

29.        Ware, Timothy.  The Orthodox ChurchBaltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1964, p. 24-27.


Troparion (Tone 8):  Having seen the figure of the Cross in the heavens, And like Paul not having received his call from men, O Lord, Your apostle among rulers, the Emperor Constantine, Has been set by Your hand as ruler over the Imperial City That he preserved in peace for many years, Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O only lover of mankind.


Kontakion. (Tone 3)  On this day Saint Constantine and blessed Helen, his mother, have revealed the Cross, the Wood worthy of all veneration.  For the Jews, it is dishonor; but faithful rulers have it as a weapon vanquishing their opponents.  For our sakes hath it been shown forth as a great ensign, dread and most awesome in war.

First Ecumenical Synod of Nicaea



 Schemanun Theodora-Amphilochia fell asleep in the Lord on Tuesday, March 31,2015.    

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Father Deacon Christophe Lepoutre


Beyond Technical Sobriety
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& Spiritual Sobriety

by Father Christophe Lepoutre
Pastoral Counselor, MS

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