Lives of Saints - Hosios Charalambos (the servant of the Virgin Mary and the people) Christianity - Books
I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.                You shall have no other gods before me.                You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:                you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me,                and showing loving kindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.                You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain, for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.                Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.                You shall labor six days, and do all your work,                but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yahweh your God. You shall not do any work in it, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your livestock, nor your stranger who is within your gates;                for in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day, and made it holy.                Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which Yahweh your God gives you.                You shall not murder.                You shall not commit adultery.                You shall not steal.                You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.                You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.
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Hosios Charalambos (the servant of the Virgin Mary and the people)
   

The rich and historical village of Dafnes in the province of Temenous of Crete has been the birthplace of notable individuals who became the glory of their land and country. One such individual was Hosios Charalambos who lived during the last years of the Turkish occupation.

He was born at the village of Dafnes on August 16, 1723 and had three brothers. Since early childhood he showed signs of celibacy and his friends and relatives noticed that, as a child, he would retreat to a cave, during rest hours, and pray to God. His burning desire for asceticism and conscious devotion to the Commandments made him worthy of visions of the Virgin Mary. His visions led him to the monastery Kalyviani dedicated in Her memory where he became Her faithful servant. When he reached the monastery, near the Turkish occupied village of Kalyvia, he met a number of monks who were not dressed in the traditional cassock for fear of the Jenissaries. They were crypto-Christians and passed off as poor men.

As soon as the Saint established himself at the monastery he took an active role in promoting the free practice of faith, uncompromising his principles and in spite of the threats from Jenissaries. At that time, the lush and fertile valley of Messara was at the hands of the Turks. The Orthodox Christians were deprived not only of spiritual but also of corporeal nourishment. The presence of Hosios Charalambos soothed the pain, he alleviated the grief of the Christians in the area, and his intervention were very effective. Gradually the Christians acquired more and more concessions by the Turks.

The Saint served our Virgin Mother and the local population for more than twenty-five years. The indefatigable servant of our Virgin Mother's monastery begged Her mercy. The Mother of God lent a willing ear on his burning requests and fortified him to stand up against the demands and threats from the Jenissaries. On September 10, 1788, the Saint passed away at the age of 65. We became aware of the details of his arduous and manifold work by the pious nuns of the monastery. Our Church celebrates his memory on September 10 each year.

The nuns of the monastery are the best sources of information about the life and legend of Hosios Charalambos. They can tell us wonderful things, their personal experiences and about their work of love, which St. Charalambos left them as a blessing and legacy. However, we must shed our biases; we need to go through a personal purgatory. It is not enough to simply read about the lives of Saints; we must also internalise their principles. Jenissaries are lurking in the dark; they take the form of passions, idols and fads - the modern plague of our society. Actions speak better than words; therefore, the best way to pay honour to our Saints is to follow their example. We must sacrifice our ego on the altar of the common good.

Source: http://www.orthodoxchristian.info

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