Pemptousia and OCN have entered a strategic partnership to bring Orthodoxy Worldwide. Greek philosophers from Ionia considered held that there were four elements or essences (ousies) in nature: earth, water, fire and air. Aristotle added ether to this foursome, which would make it the fifth (pempto) essence, pemptousia, or quintessence. The incarnation of God the Word found fertile ground in man’s proclivity to beauty, to goodness, to truth and to the eternal. Orthodoxy has not functioned as some religion or sect. It was not the movement of the human spirit towards God but the revelation of the true God, Jesus Christ, to man. A basic precept of Orthodoxy is that of the person – the personhood of God and of man. Orthodoxy is not a religious philosophy or way of thinking but revelation and life standing on the foundations of divine experience; it is the transcendence of the created and the intimacy of the Uncreated. Orthodox theology is drawn to genuine beauty; it is the theology of the One “fairer than the sons of men”. So in "Pemptousia", we just want to declare this "fifth essence", the divine beaut in our life. Please note, not all Pemptousia articles have bylines. If the author is known, he or she is listed in the article above.
Elder Germanos was born in the village of Avgorou in the Famagusta region of Cyprus in 1906, to God-fearing parents, Nikolaos and Margarita Hatzigeorgis. When, as a child, he read the life of Saint Ioannis the Hut-Dweller, he was moved to take the decision to follow the monastic way of life.
At the age of 16 he entered the Monastery of Stavrovouni. He displayed exemplary zeal and remarkable obedience as a novice monk. He was given the blessing of the habit at the age of 24 and his name was changed from Georgios to Monk Germanos. He was ordained deacon the following year, tonsured as a Great Schema monk at the age of 29 and ordained hieromonk when he was 38 years old.
The purity of his life, his proven sobriety and his administrative abilities were the principal reasons for his election as abbot in 1952, when the previous abbot, Elder Dionysios II, of blessed memory, fell asleep in the Lord. As abbot he was the first to show a good example in all aspects of the monastic life: first in forbearance, forgiveness, meekness, patience, service, diligence, silence, and participation in divine services. He was meticulous about cultivating unceasing prayer within his soul.
One of his chief virtues was his deliberate anonymity. He scrupulously avoided any self-promotion to the outside world, and even to those around him. He took the greatest care to hide his virtues, which is why so few were able to recognize the incomparable treasure that was hidden behind his usually lowly appearance. His unceasing prayer, with tears, his angelic presence before the dread Altar of the Lord at the time of the Divine Liturgy and the unique and inimitable example of his whole way of life reaped the richest of spiritual harvests, not only in his monastery itself, but also among women’s monasticism in Cyprus, which flourished and was supported largely due to his efforts.
He was a wonderful confessor and spiritual guide who brought a whole host of people to repentance and to a genuine spiritual return to Christ. The whole of his life really was a living testimony to the living Jesus.
His life on earth was sealed with a martyr’s end. On the afternoon of 31 August, 1982, the final day of the Church’s year and a day dedicated especially to the Mother of God, to whom the Elder was extremely devoted, and while he was returning from hard work in the olive groves, he fell down a steep ravine where, alone and unaided he met a martyr’s death. As the Church year came to a close, so, too, did the life of the Elder, a genuine ecclesiastical figure whose whole life was, in essence, an enduring sacrifice, an unceasing liturgy. Without question he was transported to where the eternal Liturgy is celebrated, to the Altar above. The monks who sought him throughout the whole of that evening, finally came across him the next day in a attitude of death and prayer, arms and legs crossed, so that even this sign of his spiritual efforts was visible, even in those last agonizing moments of his martyr’s death, which, like the pains of another birth, introduced him into eternity.
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OCN has partnered with Pemptousia, a Contemporary post-modern man does understand what man is. Through its presence in the internet world, Pemptousia, with its spirit of respect for beauty that characterizes it, wishes to contribute to the presentation of a better meaning of life for man, to the search for the ontological dimension of man, and to the awareness of the unfathomable mystery of man who is always in Christ in the process of becoming, of man who is in the image of divine beauty. And the beauty of man springs from the beauty of the Triune God. In the end, “beauty will save the world”.
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