Three Saints of India: Saints Joasaph, Barlaam & Abenner (+4th century)

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SAINTS OF MY HEART

Three Saints of India

Saints Joasaph, Barlaam & Abenner (+4th century)

August 28 & November 19 

In the time of Constantine the Great (4th century) there lived in India a pagan king named Abenner, who had only one son, Joasaph (yo-sahf). Abenner was a wise administrator and fearless warrior, loyal to the Indian code of honor, courage and the hatred of Christians.

When the Prince was born, astrologers and wise men were called to prophesy the Prince’s destiny as king. All of them said the same: that he would be a wise and powerful king. But one dared to tell the truth: the Prince would become Christian and give up his throne. The King was furious. He ordered every Christian to be killed or banned from the kingdom, and he put the Prince in a private, guarded castle to shield him from any possible Christian influence.

For twenty years of his life–his entire childhood and youth–Joasaph was confined to the castle. During this time he was taught the skills of wisdom and warfare. The King visited his son often, and was pleased to find his boy qrowing into a fine, strong young man. Finally, convinced that the prophecy was false, Abenncr agreed to let the Prince see his future kingdom. The impression Joasaph received seemed mixed. The world was indeed a very beautiful place, but the sins, sorrows and eventual death of man dimmed its beauty in Joasaph’s eyes, and made him doubtful. No longer content with his luxuries in the palace, he strove to find a life that was soul-fulfilling, unlike what he felt succession to the throne would be.

At the same time, the holy monk Barlaam was told by God that he must bring the salvation of God’s word to the Prince over 1,000 miles away. In time Barlaam arrived and, disguised as a merchant with a “pearl of great price,” was able to get into the castle. Barlaam explained the Orthodox Christian faith to the young Prince, who in turn was immediately devoted and demanded to be baptized. In the months that followed the entire household was converted, including King Abenner who eventually became a hermit and a Saint of the Orthodox Christian Church.

Barlaam left, and Joasaph became king. But he was not content there and missed his spiritual father. Finally he gave his kingdom to relatives and went away to a desert monastery, doing many great things in his time.

(Compiled and illustrated by Martinian Prince, age 14: original Life in the writings of St. John Damascene)

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Saint John Chrysostom Orthodox Church (ROCOR), India

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ORTHODOXY IS LOVE

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Saint John Chrysostom Eastern Orthodox Church (ROCOR), India

When you reach Lingarajapuram using the google map below, look for this cross at the top of our church.Contact Fr. Silouan Benedict at +91990003530 or sunilben@yahoo.com/ silouan.benedict@gmail.com for more details.

Father Silouan Benedict (Sunil)
No 1, 2nd Cross, Munithayappa Layout,
Opposite Banaswadi Railway Station,
St. Thomas Town Post,
Lingarajapuram,
Bangalore – 560084
Karnataka, India
+919900013530/31/32
sunilben@yahoo.com
silouan.benedict@gmail.com

Source:

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THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OUTSIDE OF RUSSIA (ROCOR)

AUSTRALIAN & NEW ZEALAND DIOCESE

 

India: Orthodox Mission – Eastern Orthodox Church

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ORTHODOX HEART

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India: 

Orthodox Mission

2006: The first Russian Eastern Orthodox parish of St Thomas in New Delhi, India

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2006: The first Russian Eastern Orthodox parish

of St Thomas in New Delhi, India

On January 6-7, Russia marks Christmas, one of the most important holidays for followers of the Russian Orthodox faith. Recent polls have indicated that more than 70 percent of Russians consider themselves to be Orthodox Christians. India has a population of 24 million Christians, most of them Catholic, but there are many different church groups in the country. The Russian Orthodox Church, one of the largest among Eastern Orthodox churches in the world, has never had any noticeable presence in India. However with an increasing number of Russians living in India, the church is looking to provide religious services in the country.

The first Russian Orthodox Parish in Delhi named after the apostle Thomas was registered in 2006 when Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church (at that time serving as chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations), visited India.

It was then decided to build a church in the premises of the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Delhi, however, till today such plans remain on paper. Archpriest Gennady Moroz who is in charge of St.Thomas Church in New Delhi and the head of Russian Orthodox parish in Pakistan and Nepal, told RIR the plans to construct the church in Delhi are still uncertain.

But then came the idea of establishing a permanent parish in Goa, where almost 10,000 Russians live for at least six months in a year. Russian priest Stanislav Rasputin, who is from the Petrozavodsk and Karelia Eparchy, while visiting Goa in September this year said: “I am happy that Russian people in Goa finally feel the need of the permanent parish here. During this mission I could see myself that this is very much required.”

Although the idea of a permanent parish in Goa is yet to be approved by Moscow Patriarchate, the initiative gained support from Russian consulate in Mumbai and the Honorary Consul of Russia in Goa Victor Albuquerque. “Starting a Russian orthodox parish here in Goa would be really good as Russian people need not only beach, sun and parties, but a place for spiritual activities. Though to establish a parish we really need to bring people around”, Albuquerque told RIR.

 

Preaching to the faithful

Several Russian Orthodox priests have visited India with official and semi-official missions recently. Deacon Georgy Maksimov, one of the first priests to visit India said the church’s main aim was to interact with Russian compatriots. “Not all of them were Orthodox believers, there were atheists and even those who considered themselves converted to Hinduism. We had quite interesting discussions,” he said.

Stanislav Rasputin visited India four times since 2011 and has found an interest in the Russian Orthodox faith from unexpected quarters. “Several years ago a group of almost 120 Christians from Chandrapur (Maharashtra) sent a request to convert them to Orthodoxy,” Rasputin says. “There was an Anglican bishop who studied the history of church in order to understand where the original church that formed 2000 years ago was. After studying sources he understood that Anglicanism that emerged in the 16th century was not at all complete as it did not have the continuity with the original church. He understood that the Eastern Orthodox Church was the one closest to the origins”. The ex-Anglican priest and his large congregation were converted by Stanislav Rasputin in 2012.

The services are conducted by the Russian priest not only in English but in Marathi, thanks to local church leaders who translated the Liturgy and some books on church history into local languages.

“I think it will be right to say that Russian Orthodox Church is not preaching the gospel in India,” insists Father Gennady Moroz. “And to face any critics in India the Russian Orthodox Church has firstly to be established there. The rare visits of orthodox priests that happen as the result of multiple requests from believers cannot be called missionary work.” He emphasizes that that Moscow Patriarchate can send a priests to India only after receiving repeatedly requests from people living here.

 

Source:

RUSSIA & INDIA REPORT

 

Orthodoxy in India Today – Fr. Ignatios Sennis

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ORTHODOXY IS LOVE

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ORTHODOXY IN INDIA TODAY

The Mission: Synergy with God

It is well-known that the main goal of the Church is to bring to her fold all people for the salvation of their souls. This goal is achieved basically with mission in the broader sense of the word. Mission is our cooperation with the salvific work of God who died on the cross so that all may become one in Him. Therefore every Chrisitan who considers himself or herself an energetic member of the Church, is called to mission. That mission includes reaching out to those who are suffering, especially since Christ, whose footsteps we follow, died on the cross for them. The conclusion is that mission is not just one of the works of the Church, but it is her basic ministry for the renewal and transformation of the world, of all peoples and all nations, so that they can become the co-inheritors and co-participants of the kingdom of Jesus Christ through His gospel.

The Beginnings

These thoughts, by dear brothers and sisters, guided my first steps, a few years ago, in order to journey to far lands where millions of people still live today in idol worshipping idols and false gods. Certainly, before us came many great and holy missionaries. The first missionary to India was Apostle Thomas, who preached the Gospel of Christ in South India, performed miracles, and finally martyred for His Lord in Moulapore, an ancient city near Madras. To our day, these areas are dominated by a vibrant Christian element, even though the local church has cut itself off from the Orthodox Patriarchates and is broken up to different denominations. Since the time of Apostle Thomas until the 20th century, there was no Orthodox Mission in India, even though there were many Greeks in West Bengal, who built a cemetary and a glorious church dedicated to the Transfiguration of Christ. A systematic Orthodox Mission started in 1980 in the rural area of Arambah, in West Bengal, 150 km from Calcuta. Fr. Athanasios Anthides, a Greek priest-monk from Egypt, experienced in the missions in Africa, was the first to come to Continue reading “Orthodoxy in India Today – Fr. Ignatios Sennis”