Σάββατο, 13 Οκτωβρίου 2018

Saint Cosmas the Melodist, the Poet & Hymnographer (October 14)!

En.wikipedia (icon from here)

Saint Cosmas of Maiuma, also called Cosmas Hagiopolites ("of the Holy City"), Cosmas of Jerusalem, or Cosmas the Melodist, or Cosmas the Poet (d. 773 or 794),[1] was a bishop and an important hymnographer (writer of hymns) of the Eastern Orthodox Church


Saint Cosmas (Greek: Κοσμάς) was probably born in Damascus, but he was orphaned at a young age. He was adopted by Sergius, the father of St. John of Damascus (ca.676 - 749), and became John's foster-brother. The teacher of the two boys was an elderly Calabrian monk, also named Cosmas (known as "Cosmas the Monk" to distinguish him), who had been freed from slavery to the Saracens by St. John's father.[2] John and Cosmas went from Damascus to Jerusalem, where both became monks in the Lavra (monastery) of St. Sabbas the Sanctified near that city.[3] Together they helped defend the Church against the heresy of iconoclasm.

Cosmas left the monastery in 743 when he was appointed Bishop of Maiuma, the port of ancient Gaza.[3] He outlived St. John by many years and died in great old age.


As a learned prose-author, Cosmas wrote commentaries, or scholia, on the poems of St. Gregory of Nazianzus. He is regarded with great admiration as a poet. St. Cosmas and St. John of Damascus are considered to be the best representatives of the later Greek classical hymnography, the most characteristic examples of which are the artistic liturgical chants known as "canons". They worked together on developing the Octoechos.[2]

Saint Cosmas has been called "a vessel of divine grace" and "the glory of the Church."[4] He composed the solemn canons for Matins of Lazarus Saturday, Palm Sunday, the Triodes (canons with only three Canticles) which are chanted during Holy Week, the first canon of the Nativity (based on a Nativity sermon by St. Gregory the Theologian), and is known for his finest work, "Canon for Christmas Day".[3]
[see the video]. Altogether, fourteen canons are attributed to him in the liturgical books of the Orthodox Church.[5] His most well-known composition is "More honourable than the cherubim…" (which is included in the Axion Estin), sung regularly at Matins, the Divine Liturgy and other services.

The hymns of St. Cosmas were originally intended for the Divine Services of the Church of Jerusalem, but through the influence of Constantinople their use became universal in the Orthodox Church. It is not certain, however, that all the hymns ascribed to Cosmas in the liturgical books were really his compositions, especially as his teacher of the same name was also a hymn writer.[2]

The Eastern Orthodox Church observes his feast on October 14 (for those Orthodox Christians who follow the Julian Calendar, October 14 falls on October 27 of the Gregorian Calendar).

See also 

Sts. Cosmas and Damian, 3rd-century martyrs


  • Other sources give the dates of his life as ca. 675 - ca. 751. Kathryn Tsai, A Timeline of Eastern Church History (Divine Ascent Press, Point Reyes Station, CA, 2004), p. 144.
  • Baumstark, Anton. "Cosmas". The Catholic Encyclopedia. New Advent. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  • Byzantine Music and Liturgy, E. Wellesz, The Cambridge Medieval History: The Byzantine Empire, Part II, Vol. IV, ed. J.M. Hussey, D.M. Nicol and G. Cowan, (Cambridge University Press, 1967), 149.
  • Alexander A. Bogolepov, The hymns of the Orthodox Church Archived 2005-06-22 at Archive.is, Orthodox Hymns of Christmas, Holy Week and Easter. Accessed 2007-04-02.
    1. Tsai, op. cit.


    • Collections of hymns, varying in number, are attributed to Cosmas, and may be found in Jacques-Paul Migne, Patrologia Graecae (P.G.), XCVIII, 459-524, and in Christ-Paranikas, Anthologia graeca carminum christianorum (Leipzig, 1871), 161-204.
    • For the above-mentioned scholia on the poems of Gregory of Nazianzus, see Cardinal Angelo Mai, Spicilegium Romanum, II, Pt. II, 1-375, and Migne, P.G., XXXVIII, 339-679.
    • In general, see Krumbacher, Gesch. der byzantinischen Literatur (2d ed., Munich, 1896), 674 sqq.
    • Alexander P. Kazhdan - Stephen Gero, “Kosmas of Jerusalem: a more critical approach to his biography,” Byzantinische Zeitschrift 82 (1989), pp. 122–132. 
External links


Sweet Poison: The Dark Side Of The International Aid Business

Note of our blog: We do not question the good intentions of the people who are fighting for Africa. Moreover, this is what the Orthodox missionaries do. But surely Africa must be freed from the need for help from the Western (capitalist) World. This is the world that exploits it.

Journeyman Pictures

Half a trillion dollars have been spent on the international aid machine in the last 50 years and it just keeps on pumping. It's an industry that's unquestionable and supported by the world's biggest celebrities; Bono, Bob Geldof, Angelina Jolie ... But recently an increasing number of experts have begun to criticise the giving game. This doc dissects the aid industry and reveals some difficult home truths about 'Aid as Business' in the Third World.

Like mana from heaven the white sacks full of grain fall from the skies onto the dusty plain, as hordes of children run after them. "We'll never get out of a mess like this", an African pastorialist states frankly.

Yet it is not just emergency aid that's under the microscope, long-term development aid projects in Africa have gone badly wrong; muddled thinking, failure and a desire to protect Western interests all undermining efforts. "The factory was useless and the white men were gone. And then the next famine came", a local says, describing what happened when Norwegian aid workers built a fish factory in Turkana. It was an ultra-modern factory, but totally unsuited to local requirements. With not enough electricity or water it closed down after 6 weeks.

Cyclical stories of 'the aid trap', dependency and NGO imperialism abound and it is puzzling how so many countries can commit so many resources to the problem with very little result. And as Professor Mamadou Diawara explains to us the cost of this failure isn't landed on the Westerners: "This money isn't a gift. African countries put themselves in debt."

From an African perspective 50 years of aid history has only one striking conclusion: "Africa is a very rich place. We have enough people... we have enough culture, we have enough natural resources, and in our view, the development of Africa can only be achieved by Africans".

You can see also

An Orthodox Christian parish in Turkana desert
Approaching the Turkana tribe
The Orthodox Church in Kenya & the Orthodox Patriarchal Ecclesiastical School of Makarios III

Orthodox Mission in Tropical Africa (& the Decolonization of Africa)
The Orthodox African Church (Patriarchate of Alexandria) denounces the exploitation of Africa by contemporary colonialists

The Sins of a Nation
«African needs to be helped, to find his divine roots, for his soul to be at peace, to become united with God...»
How “White” is the Orthodox Church?  
Eight principal areas of convergence between African spirituality and Ancient Christianity
The Church as the Liberated Zone: "All we Christians are terrorists..."
The Kingdom of Heaven, where racial discrimination has no place   
"THE WAY" - An Introduction to the Orthodox Faith 

Is capitalism compatible with Orthodox Christianity?
Grace and “the Inverted Pyramid”


St. Zlata (Chryse = "Golden") the Great Martyr of Macedonia, Greece (1795)

Full of Grace and Truth
"Zlata was born of poor peasant parents (who also had three other daughters) in the village of Slatina, in the province of Meglin. She was a meek and devout girl, wise in the wisdom of Christ and golden, not only in name but also in her God-fearing heart. Once when Zlata went out to get water, some shameless Turks seized her and took her to their home. When one of them urged her to become a Moslem and be his wife, Zlata fearlessly replied: "I believe in Christ and Him alone do I know as my Bridegroom. I will never deny Him, even though you subject me to a thousand tortures and cut me into pieces.'' When her parents and sisters found her, her parents said to her: "O daughter, have mercy on yourself and on us, your parents and sisters; deny Christ in words only, so that we can all be happy, for Christ is merciful. He would forgive such a sin, committed due to the necessities of life.''
Her poor parents, sisters and relatives wept bitterly. However, the noble soul of St. Zlata resisted such diabolical snares. She answered them: "When you counsel me to deny Christ the true God, you are no longer my parents or my sisters. I have the Lord Jesus Christ as my father, the Theotokos as my mother, and the saints as my brothers and sisters.''
The Turks then cast her into prison for three months, flogging her every day until her blood soaked the ground. Finally, they suspended her upside down and lit a fire, to suffocate her with the smoke; but God was with Zlata, and gave her strength in suffering. At last they hanged her from a tree and cut her into small pieces. Thus, this brave virgin gave her soul up to God, and went to dwell in Paradise in the year 1796. Pieces of her relics were taken by Christians to their homes for a blessing."
(taken from here - the 1st icon from here).

See here the following link for a fuller account of the Saint's life and martyrdom by St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite.
Our note: St Chryse came from regional unit of Pella, Macedonia, Greece.

Icon from here

The Holy Great-martyr Zlata of Meglin
The Turks tortured St. Zlata of golden heart,
Tormented her to death for Christ the Living God.
Golden Zlata wept not, nor did she waver,
But surrendered her whole heart to the Lord of Heaven.
The tears of parents and sisters were in vain:
Zlata sought delight through sufferings, true delight-
The delight that Christ prepares for wise virgins,
The joy that the Bridegroom bestows upon faithful brides.
The cage of the body of Zlata the Golden was destroyed,
And her soul was freed from its fragile prison.
Zlata rose up to Paradise, joyful in soul,
Taking her place among the royal, holy angels.
St. Zlata, once a poor peasant girl,
Is now glorified in Paradise as a queen. 
(taken from: here)
Another icon of St. Chryse the Great Martyr (here)

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
O Lord Jesus, unto Thee Thy lamb doth cry with a great voice: O my Bridegroom, Thee I love; and seeking Thee, I now contest, and with Thy baptism am crucified and buried. I suffer for Thy sake, that I may reign with Thee; for Thy sake I die, that I may live in Thee: accept me offered out of longing to Thee as a spotless sacrifice. Lord, save our souls through her intercessions, since Thou art great in mercy.
(taken from here)
Ἀπολυτίκια. Ἦχος γ´. θείας πίστεως.
Σκεῦος χρύσεον, τῆς παρθενίας, καὶ ἀκήρατος, νύμφη Κυρίου, ἐχρημάτισας Χρυσῆ καλλιπάρθενε· τὴν γὰρ ἁγνείαν ἀμέμπτως φυλάττουσα, ὑπὲρ Χριστοῦ, θεοφρόνως ἐνήθλησας. Μάρτυς ἔνδοξε, ἱκέτευε τὸν Νυμφίον σου, δωρήσασθαι ἡμῖν τὸ μέγα ἔλεος.
(taken from the full service of St. Chryse in Greek available here here)

 Apolytikion of St. Chryse in the Third Tone (amateur translations below)
  Golden vessel of virginity, and spotless bride of the Lord you became, O most-comely virgin Chryse, you preserved your virginity blameless for Christ, and you struggled in a divine manner. O glorious Martyr, entreat your Bridegroon, to grant unto us the great mercy.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Made golden by the All-holy Spirit, you kept spotless purity for Christ, and struggled beyond nature, O Virgin Martyr Chryse, worthy to be praised.

Simple and chaste in virtue and way of life, immobile in soul, and steadfast in all things, you shone piously. You were seen as a beautiful youth, and a chosen daughter in truth of the King of all, O golden-named virgin. Who could not therefore hymn you, seeing the greatness of your struggles, and the unspeakable love that you had towards the Creator? For after many blows and various trials you were hanged on a tree, and barbarically, your virginal body was violently torn apart, and you were perfectly joined to Christ, O Virgin Martyr Chryse, worthy to be praised.

On the 13th of this month (October), the Memory of the Holy glorious, Virgin Martyr Chryse the New, who struggled in the year 1795.


In torments, O Chryse, thou wast as brilliant As gold that hath been purified by fire. On the thirteenth, Chryse was torn to pieces.

The virgin martyr of Christ, who was golden*** in body and spirit, the holy Chryse we hymn, crying out: Hail, O bride of the Lord, and glorious Martyr.
***Note: The Saint's name "Chryse" or "Zlata" translates as "Golden".

St. Chryse the Great Virgin Martyr (here)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!
See also

Πέμπτη, 11 Οκτωβρίου 2018

Back to the old way of life! (A voice from Zimbabwe & Angola)

Photo from here (Cameroon)

Οrthodox Archbishopric of Zimbabwe & Angola

“…because, if I rebuild that, which I demolished, it is as though I admit that I made a mistake when I was demolishing it.”

This, beloved Christians, is the phrase Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians, and is full of tragedy.

T h e y  s a w  t h e  l i g h t !

- In these few words lies the whole spiritual drama that many Christians live, those who have the good fortune to have seen the light of the Faith, who have known the Word of Christ, who have repented and renounced their previous way of life, which was dark and sinful, who have managed to cleanse their soul and mind of all the remnants of their sinful life.

They, then, felt the deep and moving joy, which Christ grants to his faithful followers. They have taken the beautiful and productive path in life and have felt the truth of the Word of God: “Come unto me all of you who are tired and bear heavy loads, and I shall give you rest. Take up your yoke and follow my example, because I am meek and humble at heart and your souls will find rest, because my yoke is gentle and my load is light.” (Matthew. 11΄ 28-30)

- In short, beloved brothers and sisters, the souls of these people have succeeded in triumphing over evil and sin and have inwardly raised the flag of spiritual virtue. They have ‘demolished’ and renounced sinful and harmful passions, they have stopped living the life of vice and villainy and they felt the joy of being delivered from the fatal clutches of sin. They had stopped drinking, playing cards and other such games, stopped wasting away their lives and their fortunes and they had forgotten the disgrace and all those things that destroyed their health and self-esteem.

B a c k  t o  t h e  o l d  w a y  o f  l i f e !

- The phrase of the Apostle Paul refers to those people who have seen and have known the light of truth and suddenly, as if caught up in a terrible storm, have been drawn back down the slope of sin, blind and deaf to the tears and supplications of their families and genuine and sincere friends. These are the people who begin to rebuild their old way of life which they lived before they knew the light of Christ, and in so doing, say: “We acknowledge that the difficult battle that we have fought, in order to see the light, was our mistake. Now we prefer to return to our old way of life and to rebuild that, which we painstakingly demolished.”

Back in prison Again !

- My God! How did these souls become this way? Until now, one would look at them and admire them. Enlightened, they lived the life of peace, considerate and dynamic in their good works.

And today! In a short period of time, they have totally changed. Their virtue and decency was lost. They have chosen the way of darkness over

light. They decided to choose the chains of the devil over the ‘gentle yoke ’ of Christ. They decided to exchange the freedom of their Christian life with the prison of sin.

- Here beloved Christians, we are not referring to the people who make mistakes as a result of human weakness, who slipped in an unguarded moment.

These types of mistakes are human, and God forgives them when He sees sincere repentance, because the powers of evil exist inside us and lead us to sin. The devil is our eternal enemy who tempts us and plans and rejoices at our downfall.

We all sin, we all make mistakes. A Christian is not he who does not succumb to sin. A Christian is he who, having sinned, lifts himself up and does not lie in the mud forever.

- The Apostle Paul does not refer to those who have fallen into sin, but those who insist on living the life of sin. Those who willingly become slaves of the devil, who consciously exchange the love of the light of Christ for the love of sin.

Even the Apostle Peter fell into the clutches of sin and denied Christ. When he heard the cock crow, he remembered the word of Christ, he repented and ‘wept bitterly’ and he therefore received forgiveness.

- Many are not able to escape from the clutches of sin and repent.

Unfortunately it is so, beloved brothers and sisters. Those who, after serious contemplation, consciously betrayed the Christian Faith, will later find great difficulty in repenting again. This is the greatest misfortune which can befall man. It would have been better if they had not been born at all. If these people had never known the law of God, they would have the excuse that they did not know any better. But those who came to know Christian life and the law of God and subsequently rejected it, what excuse can they give?

How terrible! How these souls began and where they have ended up! From being blessed to being accursed.

“Lord, do not allow us to abandon your path! Help us remain close to you steadfastly, sincere, faithful, until the end!”

Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, the Christian life is one of safety, of joy, of true productivity.
In contrast, the life of sin, which is often opted for over the life of faith, is similar to certain pits of quicksand in Brittany, where, if one steps into it, it is impossible to be saved, because first the sand swallows the man until the knees, and no matter how much he tries to escape and be saved, he sinks further down, with the result that the sand becomes his frightful grave.

- Let us therefore follow the path of Christ. It is the safest path that leads to happiness and to immortality…

Κυριακή, 7 Οκτωβρίου 2018

Photographies de la paroisse orthodoxe de la résurrection du Christ dans la ville de Fiangka, dans le sud du Tchad // Photos from the Orthodox Parish of the Resurrection of Christ in the city of Fiangka in southern Chad...

In the Orthodox Vineyard of Africa
Orthodox Metropolis of Cameroon
Texte de Tchad — Wikipédia

Le Tchad, en forme longue la république du Tchad, en arabe جمهورية تشاد, est un pays d'Afrique centrale situé au sud de la Libye, à l'est du Niger, du Nigeria et du Cameroun, au nord de la République centrafricaine, et à l'ouest du Soudan. Sans accès à la mer, il fait géographiquement et culturellement transition entre Afrique du Nord et Afrique subsaharienne

Cinquième pays le plus vaste d'Afrique précédé de la Libye, le Tchad se divise en trois grands ensembles géographiques. Une partie non négligeable est constituée au nord par le désert du Sahara; le Sahel semi-aride au centre, et la savane soudanaise au sud du pays où la flore est apparente avec une végétation relativement diversifiée, conséquence d'un sol fertile et d'une pluviométrie plus ou moins normale. Le Lac-Tchad auquel se rattache le nom même du pays, est son principal cours d'eau alimenté par le Logone et le Chari en saison de pluie particulièrement. S'agissant des massifs montagneux, l'Emi Koussi constitue le point culminant du pays avec 3415 mètres d'altitude et est en effet l'un des plus anciens volcans constituant le massif du Tibesti.

Différents États et empires, tentant de contrôler le commerce transsaharien et la traite orientale, se sont succédé dans la partie centrale du pays depuis la fin du Ier millénaire av. J.-C. À partir de 1897, la France affirme sa souveraineté successivement sur le Kanem-Bornou et ses anciens vassaux, le Baguirmi puis le Ouaddaï, qu'elle réunit en 1920 en une unique colonie au sein de l'Afrique-Équatoriale française. Le Tchad obtient son indépendance en 1960, François Tombalbaye étant premier chef d'État, mais conserve une relation privilégiée avec l'ancien colonisateur, qui est depuis intervenu militairement à plusieurs reprises. Il est le théâtre de troubles récurrents liés à des dissensions internes, notamment entre musulmans du Nord et chrétiens du Sud, et plus récemment au débordement du conflit du Darfour.  

Pays agricole, producteur de coton, d'arachide, de bovins, le Tchad est devenu en 2003 exportateur de pétrole, accroissant ainsi considérablement les ressources financières de l'État, dont le chef actuel est Idriss Déby. En 2015, il est classé troisième par l'Africa Performance Index (API), outil de notation des institutions du secteur public en Afrique2. Face à la crise que traverse le pays et les difficultés liées à ses recettes devant faciliter une relance conséquente de son économie, il se trouve régulièrement en difficulté et ce, malgré l'intervention de certains de ses partenaires internationaux.

Voir aussi / See also

The Orthodox Church in Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, and the Islands of St. Thomas and Principe // A Igreja Ortodoxa nos Camarões, Chade, República Centro-Africana, Guiné Equatorial e as Ilhas de São Tomé e Príncipe

The Graduation of the Class of 2018 in the Orthodox College of Africa (Kenya)

Congratulations to our sister college - Makarios III Ecclesiastical School of Theology on their graduation. Congratulations to the class of 2018. Best of wishes and good luck.

Orthodox College of Africa, Kenya (this post from here)

The Orthodox Church in Kenya & the Orthodox Patriarchal Ecclesiastical School of Makarios III
The Orthodox Church in Kenya (tag) 

Nice orthodox women from Kenya
An Orthodox Christian parish in Turkana desert
Kenya: a dance from orthodox Turkana girls / ngoma kutoka orthodox Turkana wasichana !...
Orthodox Christian dialogue with Banyore culture
Hope for the Kikuyu (Kenya) / "The caves along the Tana River became the refuge for freedom fighters..."

The Kikuyu tribe proclaimed the Metropolitan of Nairobi as their “Elder” 

The unjust murder of a young Orthodox Christian hagiographer and catechist in Kenya

"THE WAY" - An Introduction to the Orthodox Faith
The Church as the Liberated Zone: "All we Christians are terrorists..."  
In Search of Orthodoxy (tag)

Παρασκευή, 5 Οκτωβρίου 2018

Le prix Nobel de la paix est attribué à Denis Mukwege et Nadia Murad (2018)

2018 Nobel peace prize goes to campaigners against sexual violence - Gynaecologist Denis Mukwege and Yazidi campaigner Nadia Murad are jointly awarded

Two leaders of the struggle against sexual violence in war have won this year’s [2018] Nobel peace prize. Denis Mukwege, a doctor in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has spent decades caring for victims of sexual assault in his homeland. Yazidi activist Nadia Murad has used her own story of enslavement and rape by Islamic State to draw attention to human rights abuses. 
Nobel peace prize joint winner Nadia Murad's powerful 2016 speech to the UN – video 
Nobel peace prize joint winner Denis Mukwege on finding hope in the horror of war – archive video

Mayotte - History and Ethnic Relations

Everyculture.com / Mayotte
Emergence of the Nation. 
Inhabited in the eighth century and organized into chieftainships and then a sultanate that often was threatened by Nzwani, Mayotte became a French possession in 1841, after a period of Malagasy raids and the violent seizure of power by a succession of usurpers. At the outset a sugar colony and then the administrative center of the archipelago, Mayotte lost that distinction in 1958, when the capital was moved to Moroni (Ngazidja). When the Comoros gained independence in 1975, Mayotte chose to remain French to benefit from French development funds, which residents feared it would no longer receive.  
National Identity. There is a common desire to remain French in order to preserve social equality and receive financial aid. However, Mahorans feel that they share in Comorean culture along with certain Malagasy traits and are united by their practice of Islam. This explains their reluctance to abandon their individual status under local (Islamic) law. Their French identity as an overseas collectivity is somewhat precarious: The status of the island within the French republic is considered provisional and will be reviewed in 2010.
Ethnic Relations. Mahorans, who have family ties to the inhabitants of the other Comorian islands, especially Ndzuani and the northeastern part of Madagascar, are faced with immigration from the neighboring islands (officially 26,000 Comorians and 1,500 Malagasy), where the standard of living is lower. From Ngazidja, men come to marry Mahoran women to obtain French citizenship and gain the right to enter France. Poor farmers from Nzwani arrive clandestinely. Despite this migratory pressure, violent social reactions are rare.
People from France, called wazungu (singular, mzungu), make up 4 percent of the population. They work mainly in the municipal administration and are in a position of authority. A different lifestyle, a higher economic level, and a lack of understanding of the local languages reinforce their separation from Mahorans.
Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space 
The typical two-room house is built of cob (earth mixed with rice straw), coconut fronds, or raffia. A program of social housing put in place in 1975 encourages the construction of houses made of earthen bricks and cement painted in bright colors: Sixty-five percent of the population lives in houses made out of solid materials and 75 percent of houses have electricity. Televisions are more numerous than refrigerators. The dwellings of bachelors (banga), built and occupied by themselves, are decorated with painted murals done by adolescents.
The mosque and the royal tombs from the sixteenth century in Tsingoni, the capital of the sultanate, have been restored. Some sugar factory chimneys from the nineteenth century, a reminder of the colonial period, also have been preserved.


Orthodox Mission in Tropical Africa (& the Decolonization of Africa)
How “White” is the Orthodox Church?  

The Kingdom of Heaven, where racial discrimination has no place   
The Sins of a Nation
«African needs to be helped, to find his divine roots, for his soul to be at peace, to become united with God...»
The Orthodox African Church (Patriarchate of Alexandria) denounces the exploitation of Africa by contemporary colonialists
Grace and “the Inverted Pyramid”
The Passion of Jesus Christ and the Passions of Africa

A Greek saint, who went from village to village, compared the ancient wisdom of the Orthodox Christians with the culture of the West