A great man is one who collects knowledge the way a bee collects honey and uses it to help people overcome the difficulties they endure - hunger, ignorance and disease!
- Nikola Tesla

Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.
- Franklin Roosevelt

While their territory has been devastated and their homes despoiled, the spirit of the Serbian people has not been broken.
- Woodrow Wilson

The Hagia Sophia

The Mystical Light of the Great Church and its Architectural Dress

by Charalambos P. Stathakis

Dear reader, as you run like the rest of us along the dizzy main road, stop, stay aside for a while. Let the others be dizzy, and take the secret underground trail, which will lead you through the dewdrops of the leaves, the crystal smile of the sun, the city’s underground galler- ies, your knowledge, and your feelings, to the doorstep of the Hagia Sophia. Because all dew- drops, all sunrays, and all beauty lead there. That is what you will be told by my friend, the author, whom I am fond of and whom I send you to, Charalambos Stathakis: the doctor, the warm and humane researcher, the scientist devoted to his work and his patients, who has given a series of scientific papers, who, nevertheless, retains a nest of beauty untouched in his heart, which makes him outstanding—even though he is not a specialist in architecture, nor a historian, nor a theologian, nor a Byzantinist—it makes him stand out in all these together and in entirety.

If you let yourself into his relentlessly personal approach to the Hagia Sophia with humble obedience, the light that transforms the building and is transformed in the building will be revealed to you.

Watch how he stands in front of Hagia Sophia, how he walks among her gold-lit corners, how he touches her heaven-dropped structures, and how he converses with her history, her legends, the interpretations of architects and theologians—he who is the least of all, but because of this also the first. Follow him with discipline on this trail. Work hard to comprehend him. Then return to the beginning to experience it again written in full and in one piece. Study his illustrations with patience. Do not halt on some technical imperfections. Receive what you are given. It comes from a non-specialist and this is why it helps us non-specialists to comprehend the Church, which may be simple in the experience it conveys, but not in its structure and its structural solutions. This is why it is revealed to us gradually by the mystagogical text and the accompanying illustrations. In this way, reader, you will experience the blessed originality of the author in interpreting architecture and space through light.

You will then see how the light helps him in a pioneering comprehension of this mystery: a) in the answer he gives to the question of whether the two external buttresses were con- ceived by Anthemios and Isidore from the start, b) in the explanation of the enormous exte- rior arches based on light, c) in the explanation of the contrast between the exterior and interior thickness of the arch (which, in our view, constitutes the correct understanding of Agathias’ text), d) in the understanding of the ellipticity of the dome, e) in the analysis, for the first time, of the significance of the plaque with the representation of the Church, above the central door in the interior of the Church, f ) in perceiving the lack of harmony in the relationships between the parts of the Church as a transcendence of the “perfection of measurement” for the sake of “spiritual perfection,” and g) in his original point of view about the interior decoration, that is, whether or not there was iconography in the Hagia Sophia from the beginning. Stride the bridge which breaks through the light, dear reader. Follow humbly, with asceticism and obedience, the revelation granted to you by Charalambos Stathakis, a personal interpreter, a relentlessly personal seer, who has a vision of the Great Church, not simply as a resplendent building, but as a living Entity with characters of a Person.

Fr. Stamatis Skliris


People Directory

Алиса Марић

Алиса Марић (Њујорк, САД, 10. јануара 1970), професор универзитета и доктор економских наука, позната је српска шахисткиња, велемајстор, бивша министарка омладине и спорта у Влади Републике Србије. Према својим резултатима сматра се најбољом југословенском и српском шахисткињом свих времена.

Рођена је 10. јануара 1970. у Њујорку (САД), где је њен отац радио у Уједињеним нацијама. У породици математичара, оца Небојше, професора факултета и мајке Живане, професора у средњој школи, Алиса и сестра близнакиња Мирјана Марић-Стаменковић научиле су да играју шах веома рано, у узрасту од четири године.

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Publishing

Western American Diocese - Annual 2013

2013 marked several momentous occasions: 50 years of the founding of the Western American Diocese, 150 years of the birth of Archimandrite Sebastian Dabovich, Holy Apostle to the Americas, 1700 years of the Edict of Milan, and a special tribute to Nikola Tesla! Our main focus during this three-day Jubilee Celebration was on the freedom to pursue our faith since the time of Constantine 1700 years ago and how to better live a spiritual life.

As a special tribute, a beautiful commemorative edition of the Annual was prepared, which reflects the History of the Western American Diocese! It is adorned with beautiful photographs and historical articles from our parishes and monateries! It also showcases the wonderful work that has been done over the past year throughout our Diocese and information about our many ongoing ministries. This publicaton also includes a Directory of Parishes.

There are two version of this publication available. Our Hardcover version sells for $15. Our Softcover version sells for $10 and includes Ads & Greetings from families and businesses throughout our Diocese.