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.
He was born in Vryoulla or Vourla in Asia Minor. As a seventeen-year-old, he and six other Christians were deceived and converted to Islam. When he appeared before his mother in Turkish clothing, she threw him out, saying: “I gave birth to a Christian, not a Turk”. He left, greatly saddened and soon came to understand the harm he had done himself. In Smyrna, he confessed to an Athonite spiritual father, who advised him to go to the Holy Mountain.
He came under the guidance of Elder Stefanos at the skete of Saint Ann, at the house dedicated to Saint John the Theologian. “Persecuted and reviled”, he underwent “many trials and tribulations, because of the envy of the hater of good, but continued patiently, without complaint and, with enormous gratitude, glorifying God and Our Lady His Mother, in the belief that everything was for the remission of his sins”. After his tonsure, at which his name was changed from Nikolaos to Nektarios, he gave himself over completely to the ascetic life. “His eyes became two springs flowing continuously” and “everyone was amazed at the truly divine alteration in this young man”. Every day he begged the Mother of God to allow him to end his life as a martyr.
With the blessings of the holy fathers, and accompanied by his Elder, he went off to his martyrdom. He arrived in his home-town of Vourla, where, with great joy and patience he suffered various horrible tortures for Christ’s sake. Promises of honours and glory left him entirely unmoved. His eyes were trained on the heavens. In prison he gave advice to others and foretold future events, through continuous prayer and fasting. Finally, he was beheaded at the age of 21.
After the transfer of his relics, his Elder received his skull and took it back to the Skete of Saint Ann. Parts of the relics of the martyr were given to his devout mother, and they performed many wonderful miracles.
There is an icon of the saint with scenes from his martyrdom in the church of Saint George, Nea Ionia Athens, where his memory is honoured by his fellow-countryman (families of refugees from Asia Minor). The service and the story of his martyrdom are in a manuscript in the Athonite monastery of Saint Panteleimon and it is from here that information has been drawn for inclusion in the feast days of the Church.
His memory is honoured on July 11, the day of his martyrdom.
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OCN has partnered with Pemptousia. A Contemporary post-modern man does not 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”.