Heavenly Birth of Swiss Archimandrite Symeon of Tolleshunt Knights, Essex, England

http://englandofmyheart.blogspot.com

ENGLAND OF MY HEART

Heavenly Birth of Swiss Archimandrite Symeon

of Tolleshunt Knights, Essex, England

Archimandrite Symeon died in the very early hours of Friday 21 August 2009 at the monastery of St John the Baptist where he lived at Tolleshunt Knights, near Maldon in Essex, as a result of lymphoma. He was fully conscious to the last and died in great peace.

His funeral was celebrated at 3pm on the Friday in the monastery church, where the brothers and sisters of the community were joined by a congregatino of nearly 500 who had come from all over Britain, various countries in Europe and Russia. The body of Father Symeon will rest from now on in the crypt of the monastery, beside that of Father Sophrony (Sakharov), of whom he has been one of the oldest disciples.

Born in 1928 in the canton of Vaux in Switzerland, René Jean Bruschweiler studied law at university and began to practise as an advocate, until he encountered the Orthodox Church, and then the monastic life, through close contact with Archimandrite Sophrony. Father Sophrony had come back from Mount Athos because of health problems and settled at the castle at Sainte Geneviève des Bois. Symeon then followed his spiritual father when he left in 1959, with five other monks who had come and enlarged the community, to found a monastery in south-east England.

Father Symeon translated the works of Archimandrite Sophrony from Russian into French, the most famous being Saint Silouan, Monk of Mount Athos, as well as several important works by Saint Ignatius Briantchaninov.

Quiet, humble, gentle, pure-hearted and good, Archimandrite Symeon attracted a great number of spiritual children, monastic and lay, after Archimandrite Sophrony died. He regularly visited France for the annual congress of the Association of Saint Silouan, of which he was president and other conferences, and was assiduous in his visits to monasteries with which he had a particular association and concern, especially as a much loved and deeply revered confessor.

May he rest in peace and may his memory be eternal.

Fr. Pierre Haab, Switzerland: His long journey from Roman Catholicism, Buddhism and Hinduism to Orthodoxy

http://orthodoxweb.blogspot.com

ORTHODOX WEB

Fr. Pierre Haab, Switzerland: His long journey from Roman Catholicism, Buddhism and Hinduism to Orthodoxy

Aviv Saliu-Diallo, Pierre Haab

Fr. Pierre Haab, a Swiss former Roman Catholic who was disappointed with his religion and was carried away by Buddhism, Hinduism and other screamingly “fashionable” Eastern teachings and who is now a subdeacon of the Orthodox Cathedral of the Exaltation of the Cross in Geneva, speaks about his conversion to Orthodoxy.

* * *

—Can you tell us a few words about your family, education and the story of your conversion to the Orthodox faith?

I was born in an under-developed, impoverished, hungry country where the sky is permanently overcast with dark clouds—of course, in the spiritual sense. I am speaking of Switzerland, and especially of the city of Geneva—the center of world freemasonry and finances, the stronghold of obscurantist heresy, and a materialistic megalopolis that is enjoying the lulling, stable comfort that easily protects it from the numerous everyday tragedies of humanity.

My parents raised me in the Roman Catholic faith that they had inherited from their ancestors, for which I am extremely grateful to them; they implanted the fundamentals of Christian Revelation in me from childhood—namely faith in God, the doctrine and the necessity of prayer.

We were a practicing Catholic family. We attended Mass on Sundays and major Church feasts, and prayer was a part of our daily life (at least it was so for the first ten years of my childhood). My father, a journalist, devoted his professional life to the protection of the oppressed and justice. As far as my parents are concerned, they did their best to provide the continuity of religious education in our family.

As for the Church, though in my case the more precise name was “Papism”, the situation was different. As a child (in the 1950s) I felt comfortable in that religious environment; for example, I had no problem with prayers in Latin. Although for me faith was “the faith in obedience,” I used to ask many questions, and the adults—my parents and priests—were unable to answer them. And if they did answer me, they did it with a smile and condescendingly, thinking that I was trying to get to the core of the matter too seriously. They gave me to understand that performing the morally required duties was enough for me. And I decided that I would get the answers to my questions later through my independent, in-depth research and analysis of the primary sources, where the morals come from. Judging by my childhood memories, I always had a thirst for truth.

So I was waiting for some changes, when, at the very dawn of my youth, a crucial event happened in the West—a real revolution in Papism (which is still going on today). I mean the Second Vatican Council of 1962. Over a short span of several months (or, in some cases, two to three years) a whole set of rules which had been shaped in the living daily reality of Western Christianity formany centuries, were abolished, declared invalid and obsolete and even partly prohibited; in the twinkling of an eye this heritage was declared the lifeless and dusty relics of archeology. For example, thenceforth during the Mass the officiating priest and the altar were “turned around” and must face toward the congregation; the use of Latin—the centuries-old language of Western liturgies—was banned; the Sunday Mass was moved to Saturday evening—in order to give believers the opportunity to go skiing or sleep more on Sunday morning; the cassock (or soutane)—a non-liturgical garment traditionally worn by Catholic clergy—was declared “unnecessary”; all fasts (the Eucharistic fast, Lent and fasting on Fridays) were abolished; the sacramental wafers are distributed among the faithful by lay people (of both sexes) to “assist” the priest in his “work” and so on.

On the whole, it was an unhealthy thirst for changes. Continuity was no longer supported—it was seen as a sign of death. Instability became the norm, coupled with its main and inevitable consequence—the complacent confidence that thanks to our modern civilization we infinitely surpass all that came to us from the past. In ancient times people were “ignorant churls”, weren’t they? While we are at the forefront of evolution… Or, according to Nietzsche, “‘We have invented happiness,’ say the last men and blink.” The slogan of that revolution was l’aggiornamento, that is, “a bringing up to date”—bringing the Church into compliance with the ever changing world, which presupposes that the Church is condemned to run unendingly after the world.

In this context, I got no answer to the questions I had asked, nor found I any inner guidance.

Thus, little by little, I began to distance myself from the “Catholic” Church. By Weiterlesen „Fr. Pierre Haab, Switzerland: His long journey from Roman Catholicism, Buddhism and Hinduism to Orthodoxy“

„We have to return to our Roots“ – A conversation with Fr. Gabriel Bunge from Switzerland & Nun Cornelia Rees

http://romancatholicsmetorthodoxy.wordpress.com

ROMAN CATHOLICS MET ORTHODOXY

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Fr. Gabriel Bunge, Switzerland

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„We have to return to our Roots“

A conversation with Fr. Gabriel Bunge from Switzerland

&

Nun Cornelia Rees

Source:

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/65138.htm

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

About fifteen years ago, I had a unique opportunity to visit the hermitage of a Catholic priest-monk and theologian in the mountains of Switzerland. He was well known for his writings on the holy fathers of the early Christian Church, and no less well known for his unusual—from the modern, Western point of view—monastic lifestyle. Somewhat familiar with how Catholic monasteries generally look today, I was not expecting to feel so at home as an Orthodox monastic in his Catholic hermitage.

After ascending a wooded mountain path to a small dwelling among the trees, we were greeted by an austere looking, elderly man, his gray beard flowing over black robes. His head was covered by a hood bearing a red cross embroidered over the forehead. It was as if we had been transported to the Egyptian desert, to behold St. Anthony the Great. As he and his co-struggler Fr. Raphael treated us to tea, we talked about the Church, East and West, and about the Russian Orthodox Church. But there was no talk of them joining that Church—it would have been uncomfortable to even mention it. Weiterlesen „„We have to return to our Roots“ – A conversation with Fr. Gabriel Bunge from Switzerland & Nun Cornelia Rees“

Video – Klaus Kenneth, Germany: Born to Hate, Reborn to Love – From Hippies, atheism, Hinduism, Buddhism & Protestantism to Orthodoxy

http://hippiesmetorthodoxy.wordpress.com

http://atheistsmetorthodoxy.wordpress.com

ATHEISTS MET ORTHODOXY

HIPPIES MET ORTHODOXY

Klaus Kenneth, Germany: Born to Hate, Reborn to Love

From Hippies, atheism, Hinduism, Buddhism & Protestantism to Orthodoxy

A Life Changed By Icons – Vasily Tomachinsky, USA & Germany

http://heavenonearthorthodoxy.wordpress.com

HEAVEN ON EARTH – ORTHODOXY

A Life Changed By Icons

by

Vasily Tomachinsky, USA & Germany

Source:

https://journeytoorthodoxy.com

https://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2015/10/a-life-changed-by-icons/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

—Please tell us about your background and your journey to the Orthodox Church.

My name is Cliff (Isaac in Orthodox Baptism) Gardner, and this is my background. I was raised in a Protestant Southern Baptist family. We were in the military; my father was in the U.S. Air Force. I have four brothers, a family of five boys, and we moved all over the world. We lived most our lives in America and then in Germany, where I was as a teenager. No matter where my parents moved, they always found a Southern Baptist church, including in Puerto Rico, where I was born, and Germany, where our German pastor was Southern Baptist!

I grew up in Miami, Florida where my mother was from, so we moved back to Miami after my father retired from the Air Force. Miami is where I went to high school. It was when I was in the high school that I felt called to be a missionary. I wanted to be a Protestant missionary/Bible translator in Indonesia. So I went to a Bible school in Chicago called the Moody Bible Institute—a famous Bible school. I studied Bible-Theology/Greek; it was at Moody where I first started to interact with people from the Muslim world. I was very attracted to working with Muslims. I ended up going to the University of Illinois at Chicago where I studied linguistics, Middle East studies and Arabic. This is how I met my wife Marilyn.

She was raised in Pakistan, as her parents were Baptist missionaries for over thirty-five years there. She went to nursing school in Chicago. She was a nurse and I was a linguist, and we met back to back in an Indian restaurant.

“I was amazed by the worship, the liturgy, and the icons.”

We first moved to Pakistan in 1986 where I taught English to Pakistani government employees. Pakistan was Marilyn’s home, and we were involved in a Protestant church there. Then we moved to Egypt in 1989, where we lived for seven years; this is where I first encountered Orthodoxy. I don’t think I ever met anyone who was Orthodox before I moved to Egypt. I had an Egyptian friend in Chicago, so I had met one Oriental Orthodox person before. But when I moved to Egypt, I was an English teacher and I started to meet Coptic Orthodox Christians, who were very amazing and very faithful. One of my Weiterlesen „A Life Changed By Icons – Vasily Tomachinsky, USA & Germany“

Saint Verena of Switzerland, from Egypt (+320) – September 14

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SAINTS BOOK – ORTHODOXY

Saint Verena of Switzerland, from Egypt (+320)

September 14

Saint Verena (Thebes, ca. 260 – Zurzach, ca. 320) according to tradition, she was associated with the Theban Legion and died on September 14, 320.

Tradition states that she was brought up in the 3rd century in the Theban region (modern day Luxor in Upper Egypt) in a noble Christian family.

The name Verena means „the good fruit“. According to tradition, Verena was of a noble Christian family from the village of Garagous, near Luxor. Her parents sent her to Sherimon, Bishop of Beni Suef, to be instructed in the Christian faith, after which he baptized her. She was a relative of Saint Victor (or alternately, Saint Maurice) of the Theban Legion. As soldiers‘ relatives were allowed to accompany them in order to look after them and take care of their wounds, Verena accompanied the legion on its mission to Rhaetia (part of modern-day Switzerland).

Verena was still in Milan when word was received that Saint Maurice, Saint Victor and the other members of the Theban Legion, who had proceeded north, were martyred. Verena went to Agaunum (modern Saint-Maurice) in Switzerland to venerate them. First, she led the life of a hermit in a place called Solothurn, from there she went to Koblenz, but later moved into a cave near present-day Zurich. As a hermit, Verena fasted and prayed continuously. Several miracles were attributed to her intercession. Verena was a spiritual counselor for young girls and due to her expertise as a nurse used to look after their physical health.

As a result of her fame, the local governor arrested her and sent her to jail, where Saint Maurice appeared to her to console and strengthen her. After she was released from jail, she continued her good works.

Due to her, many converted to Christianity. Saint Verena fed the poor and nursed the sick, especially those suffering from leprosy. She used to wash their wounds and put ointments on them, not fearing infection. She died in Switzerland in 320.

The Verena Minster church was built over the grave of Saint Verena in a Roman cemetery. She is one of the most revered saints in Switzerland.

She is often portrayed with either bread, or a jar of water in one hand, and a comb in the other, symbols of her care for the poor and lepers.

Source: Wikipedia