Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit Orthodox Church
Archpriest Steven C. Kostoff
4285 Ashland Ave, Cincinnati OH 45212 - (513) 351-0907
St Nektarios the Wonderworker Resource Page

NEW FOR 2022

 

St Nektarios of Aegina, the Wonderworker

The recent success of the deeply profound and moving film, MAN OF GOD (by director Yelena Popovic), has served to re-introduce this great saint to a global Orthodox audience, and to many outside the Orthodox Church.

Here in our parish, we traditionally sing the beautiful hymn composed by St Nektarios, 'Rejoice, O Unwedded Bride', during the Dormition Fast and on the Feasts of the Theotokos. Two large groups of us went to see the film, MAN OF GOD, during its US theatrical release on March 21 and 28, and participated in a special Zoom discussion on the film hosted by Fr Steven following the second showing. There is a deep love for St Nektarios among us, and some of our parishioners have been profoundly helped by his prayers and intercessions.

We have taken this opportunity, therefore, to create a special page dedicated to St Nektarios, where we will continue to gather resources and articles of interest on this beloved intercessor and wonderworker. Persecuted and slandered in his own time, he was actually a dedicated teacher and prolific church writer, a wise and good shepherd of souls and arch-pastor, with a profound depth of Christ-like humility and self-sacrificial love for his fellow man. He was later revealed to be a healer and miracle worker, and the discovery of his incorrupt relics some time after his death further sparked the love and veneration of him which continues to grow even in our own time, a century after his repose.

Holy Bishop Nektarios, pray to God for us!

 

A Brief Life of St Nektarios

St Nektarios Resource Page (MYSTAGOGY) - Includes dozens of links to different accounts of his life, his original writings, documentary films, accounts of miracles, and much more.

Scroll down for our special features on the film, MAN OF GOD:

Special Orthodox Documentary on St Nektarios

A Wellspring of Humility - St Nektarios of Aegina

2021  |  Produced by Trisagion Films  |  39:09

St. Nektarios was one of the most influential figures in Orthodoxy during the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century and yet during his lifetime he suffered unjust persecution, often lived in poverty, and was ridiculed and marginalized by those of the world who judge only by appearances and hearsay. Yet, when we look back with the advantage of time, we can see a devout Christian who throughout his life put in to practice everything that Christ taught. When persecuted and reviled, Nektarios blessed. When evil tried to overcome him, he overcame evil with good. This due to his overwhelming love for Christ and others and his boundless humility and longsuffering. He is one who through great hardship overcame the world through God's grace and came to live the resurrection even in this life.

St. Nektarios taught that one should find balance between their intellectual and spiritual formation. This he achieved in his own life, being both a bright scholar and a true ascetic and mystic of Christ. He wrote numerous influential books, including God’s Revelation to the World, The Ecumenical Synods of the Church, Sketch Concerning Man, Christology, Know Thyself, and On the Immortality of the Soul. These were writings of a high standard, reminiscent of the early Church Fathers and the books, along with his many articles and letters to theologians and clerics, and his sermons, contributed greatly to the spiritual renewal of Greece.

But above all, St. Nektarios was devoted shepherd of Christ. He counseled and healed many through God's grace. Even today, there are stories of miracles that occurred through his intercessions both during his lifetime and after his blessed repose. St. Nectarios, please pray for us.

MAN OF GOD - Special Film Release Event and Resources

 

'MAN OF GOD' - special film release event

  • Film about one of the most beloved saints of the 20th century: St Nektarios of Aegina,
  • See below for film trailer, interviews, updates, and more.

 

UPDATE 3/30:

UPDATE 3/30:

  • Official Film Soundtrack posted (see below)

UPDATES 3/23:

 

From Fr Steven:

Dear Parish Faithful,

Yesterday evening (Monday, March 21), fifteen members of our parish sat in a relatively empty cinema and together watched an amazing film - "Man of God." Everything about the film was of the highest quality - the script, the acting, the recreation of late 19th - early 20th c. Egypt and Greece, the musical score, and a fine eye from the director for the larger narrative and those details that leave a lasting impression. The director, by the way, is Yelena Popovich, a Serbian-American, who is an Orthodox believer. She has made a film unapologetically focusing on a "holy man" (the actual meaning of the word "saint") of deep faith and piety - St. Nektarios of Aegina (+1920) The Orthodox scholar, Constantine Cavarnos has described St. Nektarios in the following manner: "Metropolitan of Pentapolis, great Theologian, Philosopher, Moralist, Educator, Ascetic, Mystic, Miracle-Worker and Healer." His written legacy is quite prolific.

 

Continue reading Fr Steven's film review here...

 

 

MAN OF GOD grabs 4th place among top grossing films in USA

MARCH 23, 2022

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE

"Man of God" was a box office success on the first night of its two-night-only release, finishing in fourth position among the top-five highest grossing films, behind “The Batman", "Jujutsu Kaisen 0" and "Uncharted" on Monday, March 21.


#1 The Batman
#2 Jujutsu Kaisen 0
#3 Uncharted
#4 Man of God


“Man of God” was originally scheduled to be released in select theaters nationwide for one night only (March 21). But, due to popular demand, Fathom Events added another showing, on March 28. 

Scroll down for more info on this powerful film, including the Official Trailer, interviews with the drector, Yelena Popovich, and much more...

 

MAN OF GOD Original Soundtrack from the film

POSTED MARCH 30, 2022

 

Film Soundtrack available in both CD and digital download.

 

Amazon  |  Apple Music  |  Official Website on Caldera Records  |  About Zbigniew Preisner

 

Caldera Records is proud to present Zbigniew Preisner's score for the motion picture "Man of God" from 2021, directed by Yelena Popovic. Popovic's biopic chronicles the most turbulent years in the life of a man who had made it his mission to serve others and improve the conditions of those in need: Saint Nektarios. Popovic's film shows how Nektarios helps the poor and destitute, provoking three objectors within the church turn to the bishop's patriarch Sophronios. No longer wiling to hide their anger at Nektario's servitude towards sinners and harlots, his enemies claim he will bankrupt the church and usurp the patriarchy. Without trial, Nektarios is convicted and exiled from Egypt in 1891.

 

Particularly because of his deep love for Greece, its culture and people, Zbigniew Preisner was delighted to score "Man of God" – and agreed to do so without having read the script. From the beginning, it was clear to Preisner he wanted to use a choir,– a Byzantine one. After some searching, he collaborated with the Choir of Chanters, "The Maestros of the Psaltic Art", one of the most famous Byzantine Choirs.

 

Following their collaboration of "Valley of Shadows", Zbigniew Preisner and Lisa Gerrard* worked together again. The latter recorded her sung parts –written by her –in Australia.

 

Furthermore, Preisner felt it the right choice to use Greek instruments. It was obvious and necessary for a film about a Greek saint. The local color is provided by a qanun, a string instrument not dissimilar to the zither and often associated with Greece and its culture.

 

"Man of God" is also notable for its mix of symphonic and electronic music, used to achieve spiritual metaphysics. "Man of God" is one of Zbigniew Preisner's richest scores, a unique exploration of symphonic music infused with local, Greek, colour, electronics and Byzantine elements, particularly in the employment of Lisa Gerrard's special talent, used to powerful effect. The 45th CD-release of Caldera Records features a detailed booklet-text by Stephan Eicke and elegant artwork by Luis Miguel Rojas. The CD was mastered by Leszek Kaminski and produced by Stephan Eicke and John Elborg.

 

 

* Lisa Gerrard is perhaps best known for her soundtrack for the Academy Award-winning film, GLADIATOR, directed by Ridley Scott.

 


'MAN of GOD' in theaters

Two nights in March: 3/21 and 3/28

The #1 movie in Greece last year, 'Man of God' depicts the life of a 20th century saint, his struggles, his deep faith in God and his unwavering compassion. "This movie was supported by St. Maxim the Greek Institute and Vatopedi Monastery for the spiritual enrichment of Orthodox Christians and all of humanity."

See the trailer here, or scroll down to watch on this page.

Read the Press Release here.

____________

Playing locally at the following cinemas:

Mon. March 21, 7:00pm -

AMC Newport on the Levee 20, Springdale Showcase Cinemas, Milford 16.

Mon. March 28, 7:00pm -

Milford 16, Western Hills 14, Regal Deerfield Towne Center Stadium 16

Advance tickets can be purchased here: https://www.fathomevents.com/events/Man-of-God

____________

More information on the remarkable story leading to the making of the film, in this podcast at Ancient Faith.

Learn more about St Nektarios of Aegina here.

 

Mickey Rourke portrays the paralyzed man healed by St Nektarios at the climax of the film, 'Man of God'.
Mickey Rourke portrays the paralyzed man healed by St Nektarios at the climax of the film, 'Man of God'.
Mickey Rourke portrays the paralyzed man healed by St Nektarios at the climax of the film, 'Man of God'.

 

SYNOPSIS:  Exiled unjustly, convicted without a trial, slandered without cause. The life of St. Nektarios of Aegina was one of persecution and prosecution. A priest of the common people, his popularity provoked the jealousy of the clergy in Alexandria and as a result, he was defrocked and expelled from Egypt.

 

In contrast to his religious “superiors”, Nektarios cared for the poor, taught peasant girls to read and write, and performed miracles. Even his last moment on earth was used to help another: upon his death, Nektarios’ undergarment was removed, and as it fell upon a paralyzed man in the hospital bed next to him, the lame man arose to walk. So, too, do we hope MAN OF GOD will awaken the paralyzed faith in audiences around the world.


The Director: Yelena Popovich

In this interview to Basilica News Agency, Yelena Popovich "speaks of the value of Orthodoxy and of God’s presence in her life and in the life of the film’s collaborators."

In her words:

"Ironically, I discovered Orthodoxy in the West. An honest Orthodox Christian whose heart is in the right place can offer a lot anywhere he/she goes. Some say that Orthodoxy is the best-kept secret..."

In the interview, she gives clear life advice directed towards young women based on her own experience working in fashion and cinema:

Yelena Popovic left Serbia for the USA when she was only 16 and she lived for a long time in Los Angeles. She left the city as soon as she felt she was surrounded by spiritual ugliness.

“I would just stand in the middle of the street and look up at the billboards. And there was not one billboard that wasn’t displaying darkness, violence, things that are very negative,” she recounted in a video interview.

"To the young women who would like to migrate to the west all I can say is please do not put yourself in danger. There is no need to do that. There is always a way to make things happen without getting into trouble. Do not take the path that looks easy, take the right path and accept to struggle with integrity and God will help you to achieve your goals."

Read the full interview here.

MAN OF GOD - Official Trailer, Interviews, and more

 

Special, in-depth Interview with director Yelena Popovich,

 

on Ancient Faith Today Live, with Fr. Thomas Soroka (Feb 4, 2022, 1:18:57)

 

FURTHER INTERVIEWS AND INFO:

ADDED MARCH 23, 2022:

Hank Hannegraaf interview with Director Yelena Popovich & Metropolitan Cleopas: Hank Unplugged Podcast. (1:25:20)

Ancient Faith Radio hosts Fr. Nicholas and Dr. Roxanne Louh interview director Yelena Popovic on MAN OF GOD, her new movie about St. Nectarios. This movie is winning acclaim and reviews from all over the world. (1:00:57)

PREVIOUS INTERVIEWS & LINKS:

Watch an interview on OrthodoxTV (41:02) hosted by Fr Christopher Metropulos: Let's Talk with Yelena Popovic, writer and director of "Man of God"

Watch a long-form (1:38:14) video interview: MASTERCLASS: YELENA POPOVIC (Faith and Film: Man of God)

Listen to this 33 min. conversation with Yelena Popovich on The FILM Podcast.

Her next film project is in development, and is a biographical action-drama about the great early desert father, ABBA MOSES THE BLACK.