George (Karslidis) of Drama

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Saint George Karslidis
George (Karslidis) of Drama.jpg
Venerable Elder and New Confessor
BornJanuary 1, 1901
Chadik, Tsalka, Georgia
DiedNovember 4, 1959
Taxiarches (Sipsa), Drama.
Venerated inEastern Orthodox Church
CanonizedNovember 2, 2008, Monastery of the Ascension of Christ, in Taxiarches (Sipsa), by Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.[1]
Major shrineRelics in Monastery of the Ascension of Christ, in Taxiarches (Sipsa), Drama.[2]
FeastNovember 4 (ns)[3][4][5] October 24 (os)[6][7]

Venerable Elder and New Confessor Saint George (Karslidis) of Drama (Greek: Ὁ Όσιος Γεώργιος Καρσλίδης της Δράμας), January 1, 1901 – November 4, 1959, was a Greek Elder[note 1] known for his gifts of spiritual discernment and clairvoyance.

George Karslidis was born in 1901 in Chadik, Tsalka, Georgia. His grandparents were refugees who had come from Argyroupolis, Pontos following the Crimean War. At a young age, he is orphaned, losing both his father and his mother on the same day. Wounded by the abusive treatment given to him by his older brother, he escaped, alone, to the mountains, where he was saved by Turkish villagers, who took him with them back to Pontos.[8] He is known to have been in Georgia, Armenia, and Russia before spending most of his life in the village of Taxiarches (Sipsa), in Drama, Northern Greece. He founded the Monastery of the Ascension of Christ in the village of Taxiarches (Sipsa), which was officially consecrated in 1939, and became the spiritual leader of the community of Drama. Like other contemporary elders and many saints throughout Christian history, Karslidis would sometimes be seen levitating in prayer during the Divine Liturgy.[9][note 2]

Karslidis' relics are kept in the Monastery of the Ascension of Christ, in Taxiarches (Sipsa), Drama,[2] and he is one of few saints known to bear an imprint of the sign of the cross on his skull. He was glorified on Sunday November 2, 2008, during the visit to the city of Drama of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I,[1][note 3] and his Feast Day is celebrated every year on November 4.[3][4][5]

The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church decided at its meeting of December 24, 2008 to add Karslidis' name to the menology of the Russian Orthodox Church, establishing his feast day on October 24/November 6.[6][7][note 4]

Life[edit]

In Georgia[edit]

George Karslidis was born in Chadik, Tsalka, Georgia in 1901[12][13]. His parents Savvas and Sophia baptized him with the name Athanasios. However, while he was still an infant, his parents died on the same day, and he was raised by his grandmother, who raised him with exemplary Pontic piety.[4]

From a very early age, Karslidis gave signs of his inclination towards God. While still a child, he prayed constantly, practiced fasting, and at the age of seven years he went on a pilgrimage to venerate Panagia Soumela, at the Soumela Monastery.[4]

At the age of just nine years old Karslidis became a Novice monk at a monastery in Georgia,[4] after travelling to Tiflis, Georgia, where a priest cared for him. Thus beginning his monastic life, he waited nearly ten years to be officially tonsured a monk, which took place in July 1919, at the age of eighteen. He was given the new name Symeon.[14] Soon afterwards he was ordained a Hierodeacon.[4]

During the days of the persecution of the church by the communists in Georgia, Karslidis and his fellow monks were arrested as "enemies of the state", suffering imprisonment, humiliation, executions, public shaming, and tortures. He was sentenced to death by firing squad, and was shot, but survived miraculously,[4] as the three bullets which hit him only grazed him, and did little harm.

In 1923, Saint George Karslidi (son of Savva) had left Tiflida and gone to Sokhum, Georgia, where he was ordained as a priest by Archimandrite George Tsulaia in 1925, 9th of September. Saint George had acquired several languages throughout his lifetime – the Pontian dialect (which is the closest dialect to ancient Greek), Turkish, Georgian, Russian, and Greek.[15]

Karslidis was given the new name George. By this time he had acquired the reputation of being a God-bearing elder and so people flocked to him.[16]

In Greece[edit]

In 1929, Karslidis settled in the village of Taxiarches (Sipsa), in Drama, Northern Greece, where he lived the remaining thirty years of his life.[3]

In 1936 Karslidis managed to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, visiting the sites of Christ's life, and visiting various monasteries and hermitages.[17]

In 1938 the Greek government made a permanent distribution of farmland, and Karslidis was given an acre of land, on which he managed to build the foundations of a humble monastery dedicated to Christ's Ascension. The monastery was officially consecrated in 1939.[17]

Karslidis foresaw the coming of World War II as well as the Greek Civil War that would follow it.[17] He was sentenced to death for the second time in his life in 1941 by Bulgarian forces, but after he prayed with calmness and asked them to proceed with their work, they abandoned him out of fear and ran away; thus once again he survived miraculously.[3][4]

Karslidis died a few hours after midnight on November 4, 1959, and was buried behind the Katholikon of the Monastery of the Ascension.[1]

Monastery of the Ascension[edit]

After Karslidis' death, the monastery he had worked so hard to establish fell into disrepair until 1970, when Metropolitan Dionysios (Kyratsos) of Drama undertook its renovation. Since then the monastic life has been re-established, with a monastic sisterhood dedicated to Christ, and to the memory of the monastery's founder.[18]

On April 25, 1971, the monastery was consecrated, and on November 5, 1976 it was granted official recognition by the Church of Greece.[19]

Counsels[edit]

  • "Love all your fellow men, even your enemies. This is the most basic thing. Always love not only those who love us, but also those who hate us. Let us forgive them and love them all even if they have done us the greatest evil; then we are truly children of God. Then our own sins are also forgiven...Always preach love. This is the most basic law of God: love and love alone."[20]
  • "Neither should wealth impress you, nor honor, but always walk justly. Eat your bread with your honorable sweat and not through unjust means. The things you gain honorably, do not squander aimlessly. Live honorably and humbly, and as much as possible extend your hands in charity...Knock on the doors of the poor, the sick, the orphans. You should prefer the homes of the afflicted to the homes of the joyous. If you do good works, you will have a great reward from God."[20]
  • "Strive to intensify your faith, and during the Divine Liturgy be undistracted and attached to the celebration of the service so that you might be granted to behold the majesties of God."[21]
  • "The Panagia does not want big candles, she wants charity shown to the poor."[21]
  • "If you pray without giving alms, your prayer is dead. Your hand should always be open. Give alms to orphans and widows. Alms and prayers go together."[22]
  • "Don't be sad, for we will all depart from here. We are passing travelers. We came here to show our works and to leave."[22]
  • "God cares for everyone. Despair is in effect a lack of faith."[23]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In Orthodox theology, the charism of Eldership (itself an extenuation of Prophesy) continues to this day in monasticism. An experienced monastic Elder (Greek: Geronta; Slavonic: Starets) will provide guidance not only for their fellow monks, but for the laity as well.
  2. ^ In the tenth century Saint Luke of Steiris (Luke Thaumaturgus) was one of the earliest saints to be seen levitating in prayer.[10]
  3. ^ The official Announcement by Church of Greece was on November 3, 2008:
    (in Greek) Μετά το τέλος της Θείας Λειτουργίας, που τελέσθηκε το πρωί της Κυριακής με βυζαντινή μεγαλοπρέπεια στο Μητροπολιτικό Ι. Ναό της Δράμας, με τη συμμετοχή του Μακαριωτάτου Αρχιεπισκόπου Αθηνών και πάσης Ελλάδος κ.κ. Ιερώνυμου και πλήθος Μητροπολιτών από τη βόρεια Ελλάδα, η Α. Θ. Π. ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης κ.κ. Βαρθολομαίος αναφέρθηκε στη ζωή και το έργο του νέου αγίου της Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας, του Οσίου Γεωργίου του Καρσλίδη του Ομολογητού. Λίγο νωρίτερα, ανέγνωσε την Πατριαρχική και Συνοδική Πράξη της αγιοκατάταξης του Οσίου στο εορτολόγιο της Εκκλησίας.[11]
  4. ^ (in Russian) "24 декабря 2008 года определением Священного Синода Русской Православной Церкви имя преподобного Георгия (Карслидиса) включено в месяцеслов Русской Церкви с установлением празднования его памяти 6 ноября, как это установлено в Константинопольском Патриархате (журнал № 109)."[7]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b c (in Greek) ΙΕΡΑ ΜΟΝΗ ΑΝΑΛΗΨΕΩΣ ΤΟΥ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΤΑΞΙΑΡΧΩΝ (ΣΙΨΑ) ΔΡΑΜΑΣ. Μοναστήρια της Ελλάδας. Retrieved: 30 July 2014.
  2. ^ a b (in Greek) ΤΟΠΙΚΗ ΑΓΙΟΛΟΓΙΑ Archived 2014-09-30 at the Wayback Machine. Ιερά Μητρόπολις Δράμας. Retrieved: 30 July 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d Great Synaxaristes: (in Greek)Ὁ Ὅσιος Γεώργιος Καρσλίδης. 4 Νοεμβρίου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h (in Greek) Όσιος Γεώργιος Καρσλίδης ο Ομολογητής. Ορθόδοξος Συναξαριστής. 04/11/2014.
  5. ^ a b (in Greek) Τυπικὸν τῆς Μεγάλης τοῦ Χριστοῦ ᾽Εκκλησίας. 4η Νοεμβρίου 2014. Οἰκουμενικὸν Πατριαρχεῖον Κωνσταντινουπόλεως (Ecumenical Patriarchate). Retrieved: 18 August 2015.
  6. ^ a b (in Russian) 6 ноября (24 октября). Православная Энциклопедия под редакцией Патриарха Московского и всея Руси Кирилла (электронная версия). (Orthodox Encyclopedia – Pravenc.ru).
  7. ^ a b c (in Russian) Торжества по случаю первой годовщины канонизации и 60-летия со дня преставления преподобного Георгия (Карслидиса) прошли в г. Драма (Греция). Официальный сайт Русской Православной Церкви (Patriarchia.ru). 9 ноября 2009 г. 15:21. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  8. ^ Excerpt From: Anonymous. “Saint George of Sipsa, From Child to Saint.” iBooks.
  9. ^ Middleton, Herman A. "Elder George of Drama." In: Precious Vessels of the Holy Spirit: The Lives and Counsels of Contemporary Elders of Greece. 2nd Edition. Thessalonica, Greece & Ashville, NC: Protecting Veil Press, 2004. p. 183.
  10. ^ Katherine I. Rabenstein. Saints of February 7. St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Washington, D.C. Retrieved: 30 July 2014.
  11. ^ (in Greek) Νέος Άγιος στο Ορθόδοξο εορτολόγιο. ECCLESIA.GR. ΝΟΕΜΒΡΙΟΣ 2008. 3/11/2008. Retrieved: 30 July 2014.
  12. ^ Ὃ ὅσιος Γεώργιος τῆς Δράμας - Νέα ἔκδοση, Ιερά Μονή Αναλήψεως του Σωτήρος Ταξιαρχών Δράμας (Σίψα), Πορφυρία Μοναχή, 2019
  13. ^ Middleton, Herman A. "Elder George of Drama." In: Precious Vessels of the Holy Spirit: The Lives and Counsels of Contemporary Elders of Greece. 2nd Edition. Thessalonica, Greece & Ashville, NC: Protecting Veil Press, 2004. p. 179.
  14. ^ Middleton, Herman A. "Elder George of Drama." In: Precious Vessels of the Holy Spirit: The Lives and Counsels of Contemporary Elders of Greece. 2nd Edition. Thessalonica, Greece & Ashville, NC: Protecting Veil Press, 2004. p. 180.
  15. ^ Excerpt From: Anonymous. “Saint George of Sipsa, From Child to Saint.” iBooks
  16. ^ Middleton, Herman A. "Elder George of Drama." In: Precious Vessels of the Holy Spirit: The Lives and Counsels of Contemporary Elders of Greece. 2nd Edition. Thessalonica, Greece & Ashville, NC: Protecting Veil Press, 2004. p. 181.
  17. ^ a b c Middleton, Herman A. "Elder George of Drama." In: Precious Vessels of the Holy Spirit: The Lives and Counsels of Contemporary Elders of Greece. 2nd Edition. Thessalonica, Greece & Ashville, NC: Protecting Veil Press, 2004. p. 184.
  18. ^ Middleton, Herman A. "Elder George of Drama." In: Precious Vessels of the Holy Spirit: The Lives and Counsels of Contemporary Elders of Greece. 2nd Edition. Thessalonica, Greece & Ashville, NC: Protecting Veil Press, 2004. p. 187.
  19. ^ (in Greek) ΙΕΡΕΣ ΜΟΝΕΣ – 2) Αναλήψεως Του Σωτήρος. Ιερά Μητρόπολις Δράμας. 18/10/2011 . Retrieved: 30 July 2014.
  20. ^ a b Middleton, Herman A. "Elder George of Drama." In: Precious Vessels of the Holy Spirit: The Lives and Counsels of Contemporary Elders of Greece. 2nd Edition. Thessalonica, Greece & Ashville, NC: Protecting Veil Press, 2004. p. 189.
  21. ^ a b Middleton, Herman A. "Elder George of Drama." In: Precious Vessels of the Holy Spirit: The Lives and Counsels of Contemporary Elders of Greece. 2nd Edition. Thessalonica, Greece & Ashville, NC: Protecting Veil Press, 2004. p. 190.
  22. ^ a b Middleton, Herman A. "Elder George of Drama." In: Precious Vessels of the Holy Spirit: The Lives and Counsels of Contemporary Elders of Greece. 2nd Edition. Thessalonica, Greece & Ashville, NC: Protecting Veil Press, 2004. p. 191.
  23. ^ The Stavronian Archived 2014-07-20 at the Wayback Machine. The Orthodox Parish of the Holy and LifeGiving Cross, Lancaster, U.K. No. 092, July 2014. p. 6.

Sources[edit]

  • Middleton, Herman A. "Elder George of Drama." In: Precious Vessels of the Holy Spirit: The Lives and Counsels of Contemporary Elders of Greece. 2nd Edition. Thessalonica, Greece & Ashville, NC: Protecting Veil Press, 2004. pp. 178–191. ISBN 9608761409
  • Moses, Monk of Mount Athos. The Blessed Elder George Karslides (1901–1959). Thessaloniki: Orthodox Kypseli Publications, 1998. 149 pp.
  • October 22/November 4. Orthodox Calendar (PRAVOSLAVIE.RU).

In Greek[edit]