Blog Posts

Photini on St Photini

Did you know that the woman at the well, also known as the Samaritan woman, has a name? I was surprised to learn that in Eastern Orthodox hagiography, she was baptized by the apostles with the name Photini, Greek for “luminous one” or “she who is filled with light.” This name is often translated as Svetlana (Slavic), Fatima (Arabic), Fiona (Celtic), or Claire (European). It was a thrill for me to discover that Photini was such an influential figure in the early church. In fact, she is so highly revered that she is said to be “equal to the apostles” in her liturgical rank, a venerable title given to saints whose public witness is comparable to the ministry of Christ’s original disciples.

Teva webinar recap

As part of our webinar series, Dr. Teva Regule walked us through the importance of integrating girls and boys into the liturgy.  For those of you who are not familiar with Dr. Regule’s work: she is a well-known Othodox scholar, not just in her academic area of liturgics but as an active leader and founder of many youth and women organizations. She gave her webinar on one area she is most excited about, how some parishes are emulating some of the practices that are already in use in the Patriarchate of Antioch, actively including young people in the liturgy as a means of deepening their knowledge and understanding of our faith.

Nearly Forgotten Saints

This list is based on information at

The month of June starts with the feast day of some very well known saints: 


Holy Myrrh-bearers Mary and Martha, sisters of St Lazarus (1st c.)

Mary and Martha, with their brother Lazarus, were especially devoted disciples of our Lord; their story up to the time of the Resurrection can be found in Luke 10 and John 11-12. Mary and Martha were among the Myrrh-bearing women. They, with their brother, reposed in Cyprus, where Lazarus became first Bishop of Kition after he was raised from death by Christ.

Mother Maria Skobstova 1

Mother Maria of Paris (Mother Maria Skobtsova) wrote a paper called (in English) “Concerning the Emulation of the Mother of God” that has made me love her. Mother Maria bases her argument off the idea that, if God became human at the incarnation, then his mother, the Theotokos has already achieved theosis: she’s a human who has become god or divinized. To Mother Maria, therefore, to fulfill the life in the Church, you have to imitate Christ AND the Mother of God. Which means since Christ voluntarily took up his cross for us and dies, we all have to take up our cross. And we also have to imitate the Mother of God. What does that mean?

Event Recap Chaplains Panel

If you would like to watch the recording of this panel discussion, we would be happy to provide to you for a donation of $9 (which supports our ongoing programs). You can find a donation form here.

Then [Jesus] said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.”” (Matthew 26:38)

Amber Schley Iragui board member

Axia Women is delighted to welcome Amber Schley Iragui as a member of our operating board. If you've noticed an beautiful new look to our website and social media, she's the one responsible! 

Amber holds a BA in Theology and English Literature from the University of Portland. She has a career as an art director with ga transformative impact at  publishing houses, most notably St. Vladimir's Seminary Press and Ancient Faith Children's Books. She was also a co-founder of  The Wooden Button, a Waldorf-inspired preschool located in Manhattan, and is a parishioner St Nicholas Orthodox Church, Portland, Oregon. 

Georgian Jesus Prince of Peace

As far back as I can remember, I was taught that war was evil and something in which a Christian should not participate. Jesus’ Gospel command to “love your enemies'' was clearly something He expected His followers to do. Since joining the Orthodox Church in the 1980’s, it’s been painful for me to witness our hierarchs bless our Orthodox men and women to participate in the many wars our nation has engaged in over the years. However, with the recent war in Ukraine, there seems to be a growing awareness of the evil of war and its incompatibility with our faith in Jesus Christ.