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At exactly 9am, morning of Wednesday November 9th, 2016, visited the monastery, Archbishop "Theogonst", assistant to "Kyrle", Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia. He was a accompanied by a group. Bishop Metaos, abbot of St Mary El Sourian monastery, welcomed them along with many monks from the monastery's committee. Wherefore his holiness heard a presentation on the monastery history and an explanation of the life of many holy fathers who lived in the monastery since its existence. And the changes of the monastic life and how a monk spends his day. At the end of the visit, Bishop Metaos and his holiness exchanged memorable gifts.

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Essential conditions to spend a spiritual retreat in the monastery

To carry a legal proof of personality.

To be not less than 16 years of age.

To carry a letter from the recognition father directed to the Abbot or the father responsible for the retreat house.

To be punctual to the timings of the prayers, work and retreats in the retreat house.

The retreat period does not exceed three days.

Between a retreat and another, there should be a minimum period of 2 months.

Not to visit the Abbot or the monks fathers except with a permission from the father responsible for the retreat house.

To be calm in order to maintain and respect the sanctity of the place.

 

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Hatour 25, 1733 - December 4, 2016, Fourth Sunday of Hatour

Vespers

Psalms 86:12, 10

12 I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And I will glorify Your name forevermore.

10 For You are great, and do wondrous things; You alone are God. [NKJV]  Alleluia

Matthew 17:14-21

14 And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, 15 Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him. 17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me. 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, Why could we not cast it out? 20 So Jesus said to them, Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, `Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting. [NKJV]  Glory is due to our God to the age of all ages. Amen

Matins

Psalms 143:8

8 Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You. [NKJV]  Alleluia

John 20:1-18

20:1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him. 3 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. 4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went away again to their own homes. 11 But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 Then they said to her, Woman, why are you weeping? She said to them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him. 14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking? She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away. 16 Jesus said to her, Mary! She turned and said to Him, Rabboni! (which is to say, Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, `I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.' 18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her. [NKJV]  Glory is due to our God to the age of all ages. Amen

Liturgy

1 Corinthians 4:1-16

4:1 Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I know nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one's praise will come from God. 6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other. 7 For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? 8 You are already full! You are already rich! You have reigned as kings without us--and indeed I could wish you did reign, that we also might reign with you! 9 For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! 11 To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. 12 And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; 13 being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now. 14 I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. 15 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 16 Therefore I urge you, imitate me. [NKJV]  The Grace of God the Father be with you all. Amen

2 Peter 1:1-8

1:1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. [NKJV]  Do not love the world, nor the things which are in the world. The world shall pass away and all its desires; but he who does the will of God shall abide forever. Amen

Acts 16:40-17:7

40 So they went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia; and when they had seen the brethren, they encouraged them and departed.

17:1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ. 4 And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas. 5 But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. 7 Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king--Jesus. [NKJV]  The word of the Lord shall grow, multiply, be mighty and be confirmed in the holy church of God. Amen

Psalms 100:3

3 Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. [NKJV]  Alleluia

Mark 10:17-31

17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 18 So Jesus said to him, Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: `Do not commit adultery,' `Do not murder,' `Do not steal,' `Do not bear false witness,' `Do not defraud,' `Honor your father and your mother.' 20 And he answered and said to Him, Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth. 21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me. 22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! 24 And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. 26 And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? 27 But Jesus looked at them and said, With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible. 28 Then Peter began to say to Him, See, we have left all and followed You. 29 So Jesus answered and said, Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel's, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time--houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions--and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first. [NKJV]  Glory is due to our God to the age of all ages. Amen