Greek Orthodox Church

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Metropolitan of Thebes and Levadia, Greece.

The Greek Orthodox Church is one of two branches of Christianity which originated as a result of the Great Schism. The triggering event for the break was the refusal of the Patriarch of Constantinople, Michael Cerularius, to recognize the Church of Rome as the head of the faith, as well as the refusal of a group of Roman Legates (sent by Pope Leo IX) to bestow the title of Ecumenical Patriarch on Cerularius. Following this, the Cerularius excommunicated the legates, while the head of the legates excommunicated Cerularius.

The schism was preceded by very apparent hostilities on both sides. Both the Western and Eastern branches of Christianity had attempted to suppress the language of the other. There had been longstanding doctrinal disputes dividing the branches, reaching back to the early (180 AD) days of the Church. Among other divisions were the mandated celibacy of Roman priests, the Roman Church's use of unleavened bread for sacrament, and the Western Church's insertion of the phrase "and the son" into the section of the Nicene Creed which reads, "And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son."

Saint Nektarios of Aegina

See also: Saint Nektarios of Aegina

Saint Nektarios of Aegina is one of the most renowned Greek saints. He is venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church and was officially recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1961. He lead a life of love, holiness, charity and humility and was greatly love by the people.[1]

According to St. Nectarios Church:

But the love and admiration of the people for him turned to his disadvantage. Because of his holy virtues, because of the spotless life that he led, because of his holy sermons, and because of all those things which made him stand out, immediately malice arose among his colleagues who were also Metropolitans of the See of Alexandria, and amongst the bishops and higher clergy. They did not like St. Nectarios because he was different from them. For this reason they slandered him to the Patriarch, Sophronios, saying that the holy Father had his eye upon the Patriarchal Throne, because he had this "false show of piety," as they called it. They did not want to recognize his true virtue and unmatched spiritual beauty. Instead they said that all his virtue was only a show so that he would be considered holy by the people. He was accused of using his popularity with the people to dethrone the Patriarch. Since our Holy Father was truly so popular with the people, the Patriarch was easily convinced that he was in danger. For if the people rose up, truly Nectarios would have much power. Little did they know the true worth of the man. Little did they understand that he was not a proud man, and not ambitious, as they were, for positions and for power and for glory. The Saint made no attempt to justify himself but placed all his hope in the promise of Christ who has said: Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account (Matt. 5:11).[2]


Greek icon of Saint Nektarios of Aegina

Famous Greek Orthodox Church

Reknown blue domes of the Church dedicated to St. Spirou in Firostefani, Santorini island (Thira), Greece.

External links

References

  1. The Life of St. Nectarios, St. Nectarios Church website
  2. The Life of St. Nectarios, St. Nectarios Church website