Niphon ScStr - History

Niphon ScStr - History


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Niphon
(ScStr: t. 475; 1. 153'2"; b. 24'9"; dph. 17'3"; dr. 11'3"; s. 12.5 k.; cpl. 70; a. 1 20-pdr. P.r., 2 12-pdr. r., 4 32-pdrs.)

Ni phon, a wooden and iron screw steamer launched at Boston in February 1863, was delivered to the Navy at Boston 22 April 1863; commissioned at Boston Navy Yard 24 April 1863, Aeting Ens. Joseph B. Breek in command; and was formally purchased 9 May 1863.

Assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron Niphon was first stationed off Fort Fisher, N.C. which proteeted Wilmington from attack by sea. She captured blockade runner Banshee at New Inlet, N.C., 29 July 1863. On 18 August she chased steamer Hebe, carrying drugs, clothing, coffee, and provisions for the Confederacy, and forced the blockade runner aground north of Fort Fisher where she was abandoned. The boats from Niphon were sent to destroy Hebe but were swamped in heavy seas and their crews captured. Then Shokoken opened fire on Hebe and she was burned to the waterline.

With James Adger, Niphon eantured steamer Cornubia north of New Inlet 8 November. Cornubia's papers exposed the whole scheme by which the Confederacy had clandestinely obtained ships in England. The next day Niphon captured blockade runner Ella and Annie off Masonboro Inlet, N.C. attempting to slip in with a cargo of arms and provisions. Trying to escape, the runner rammed Niphon but surrendered to Federal bluejackets who boarded her when the ships had swung broadside.

After capturing Ella and Annie, Niphon returned to Boston for repairs, but was back off New Inlet 6 February 1864. On 21 April, Niphon, Hou~quah, and Fort Jackson destroyed salt works at Masonboro Sound, N.C. On 27 August, Niphon and Monticello ventured up Masonboro Inlet to silence a Confederate battery. Landing parties from the ships captured arms,

ammunition, and food stuffs. A boat expedition from Niphon landed at Masonboro Inlet, N.C. 19 September to gain intelligence on the defenses of Wilmington. They learned that

raider C.S.S. Tallahassee and several blockade runners were at Wilmington. That day Acting Master Edmund Kemble relieved Breek in command.

On the 25th, Niphon, Howquah, and Governor Buckingham, in an engagement with blockade runner Lyn;r and Confederate shore batteries, chased the blazing steamer ashore where she burned until consumed.

Late on the night of 29 September, Ni phon fired upon Night Hawk as she attempted to run into New Inlet, and observed her go aground. A boat crew led by Aeting Ensign Semon boarded the steamer and, under fire from Fort Fisher, set her ablaze and brought off the crew as prisoners.

Niphon ran British blockade runner Condor aground off New Inlet, 1 October, but was prevented from destroying the steamer by intense fire from Fort Fisher. Among the passengers on board Condor was one of the most famous Confederate agents of the war, Mrs. Rose O'Neal Greenhow who, fearful of being captured with her important dispatches, set out in a boat for shore. Her craft overturned in the heavy surf. The crew managed to get ashore; but the lady weighted down by $2,000 in Confederate gold in a pouch around her neck, drowned.

On the 7th, Union blockader Aster chased blockade runner Annie ashore at New Inlet, under the guns of Fort Fisher, but the 285-ton Federal wooden steamer ran aground herself and was destroyed to prevent capture. Niphon rescued Aster's crew under a hail of fire from Confederate batteries and towed out Berberry after the Northern steamer had become disabled trying to pull Aster off the shoal.

On the last day of October, Wilderness and Niphon seized another blockade runner named Annie off New Inlet, N.C., a British steamer with cargo of tobacco, cotton, and turpentine.

Late in November Niphon, in need of extensive repairs, steamed to Boston where she decommissioned 1 December. She was sold at publio auction there 17 April 1865, and was documented as Tejuca 23 October 1865 and was sold abroad in 1867.


St. Niphon the Bishop of Novgorod

Saint Niphon embraced his archpastoral duties with great zeal, strengthening his flock in the Orthodox Faith, and striving to prevent them from becoming separated from the Church, which is the same as being separated from Christ Himself.

The saint was also zealous in building and repairing churches. He built a new stone church in the center of Novgorod, dedicating it to the Most Holy Theotokos. He repaired the roof of the church of Holy Wisdom (Christ, the Wisdom of God), and adorned the interior with icons.

When war broke out between Novgorod and Kiev, Saint Niphon showed himself to be a peacemaker. Meeting with the leaders of both sides, he was able to pacify them and avert the war. In the same way, he always tried to settle arguments and to reconcile those who were at enmity.

He instructed his flock in the law of God, preaching to them, reproving, rebuking, and exhorting them patiently and with sound doctrine (2 Timothy 4:2) so that they might obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory (2 Timothy 2:10).

When the people of Novgorod drove away their prince, Vsevolod, they invited Prince Svyatslav to govern them. The new prince wanted to enter into a marriage which was against the Church canons. Not only did Saint Niphon refuse to perform the ceremony, he also told his clergy to regard this betrothal as unlawful. Prince Svyatoslav brought priests in from elsewhere to perform the wedding, and the holy hierarch was not afraid to denounce his behavior.

After the death of Metropolitan Michael of Kiev, the Great Prince Isaiaslav wished to have the schemamonk Clement succeed him. However, he wanted to have Clement consecrated without the blessing of the Patriarch of Constantinople.

At a council of bishops, Saint Niphon declared that he would not approve the consecration without the permission of the Patriarch of Constantinople. He reminded the other bishops that this was contrary to the tradition of the Russian Church, for Russia had received the Orthodox Faith from Constantinople. Starting in 1448, however, the Russian Church began to elect its own primate without seeking confirmation from Constantinople.

The uncanonical consecration took place despite the objections of Saint Niphon. Metropolitan Clement tried to force the saint to serve the Divine Liturgy with him, but he refused. He called Clement a wolf rather than a shepherd, for he had unjustly assumed an office which he did not deserve. Saint Niphon refused to serve with Clement, or to commemorate him during the services.

In his fury, Clement would not permit Saint Niphon to return to Novgorod. Instead, he had the saint held under house arrest at the Kiev Caves Monastery. When Isaiaslav was defeated by Prince George, Saint Niphon returned to Novgorod, where the people welcomed him with great joy.

The Patriarch of Constantinople sent a letter praising Saint Niphon for his steadfast defense of church teachings. He also sent Metropolitan Constantine to Rus in order to depose Metropolitan Clement, and to assume the see of Kiev himself. Saint Niphon prepared to journey to Kiev to meet Metropolitan Clement.

Saint Niphon again took up residence in the Kiev Caves Monastery, where he became ill. Thirteen days before his death, he revealed to the brethren that he had had a wondrous dream. Saint Theodosius (May 3) appeared to him and announced his imminet departure from this world.

Saint Niphon reposed in peace on April 8, 1156. Now he stands before the throne of God, interceding for us before the All-Holy Trinity, to Whom be all glory, honor, and worship forever.


Contents

Assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, Niphon was first stationed off Fort Fisher, North Carolina, which protected Wilmington, North Carolina, from attack by sea. She captured the blockade runner Banshee at New Inlet, North Carolina on 29 July 1863. On 18 August she chased the steamer Hebe, carrying drugs, clothing, coffee, and provisions for the Confederacy, and forced the blockade runner aground north of Fort Fisher where she was abandoned. The boats from Niphon were sent to destroy Hebe, but were swamped in heavy seas and their crews captured. Then USS Shokoken opened fire on Hebe and she was burned to the waterline.

With USS James Adger, Niphon captured the steamer Cornubia north of New Inlet on 8 November. Cornubia’s papers exposed the whole scheme by which the Confederacy had clandestinely obtained ships in England. The next day Niphon captured the blockade runner Ella and Annie off Masonboro Inlet, North Carolina, attempting to slip in with a cargo of arms and provisions. Trying to escape, the runner rammed Niphon but surrendered to Federal bluejackets who boarded her when the ships had swung broadside. Ella and Annie was later commissioned in the Union Navy as USS Malvern.

After capturing Ella and Annie, Niphon returned to Boston for repairs, but was back off New Inlet on 6 February 1864. On 21 April, Niphon, USS Howquah, and USS Fort Jackson destroyed the salt works at Masonboro Sound, North Carolina. On 27 August, Niphon and USS Monticello ventured up Masonboro Inlet to silence a Confederate battery. Landing parties from the ships captured arms, ammunition, and food stuffs. A boat expedition from Niphon landed at Masonboro Inlet on 19 September to gain intelligence on the defenses of Wilmington, North Carolina. They learned that raider CSS Tallahassee and several blockade runners were at Wilmington. That day Acting Master Edmund Kemble relieved Breck in command.

On 25 September, Niphon, Howquah, and USS Governor Buckingham, in an engagement with blockade runner Lynx and Confederate shore batteries, chased the blazing steamer ashore where she burned until consumed.

Late on the night of 29 September, Niphon fired upon Night Hawk as she attempted to run into New Inlet, and observed her go aground. A boat crew led by Acting Ensign Semon boarded the steamer and, under fire from Fort Fisher, set her ablaze and brought off the crew as prisoners.

Niphon ran the British blockade runner Condor aground off New Inlet on 1 October, but was prevented from destroying the steamer by intense fire from Fort Fisher. Among the passengers on board Condor was one of the most famous Confederate agents of the war, Mrs. Rose O'Neal Greenhow who, fearful of being captured with her important dispatches, set out in a boat for shore. Her craft overturned in the heavy surf. The crew managed to get ashore but the lady, weighted down by $2,000 in Confederate gold in a pouch around her neck, drowned.

On the 7th, the Union blockader USS Aster chased the blockade runner Annie ashore at New Inlet, under the guns of Fort Fisher, but the 285-ton Federal wooden steamer ran aground herself and was destroyed to prevent capture. Niphon rescued Aster’s crew under a hail of fire from Confederate batteries and towed out USS Berberry, after the Northern steamer had become disabled trying to pull Aster off the shoal.

On the last day of October, USS Wilderness and Niphon seized another blockade runner named Annie off New Inlet, North Carolina. She was a British steamer with cargo of tobacco, cotton, and turpentine.

Late in November Niphon, in need of extensive repairs, steamed to Boston where she was decommissioned on 1 December. She was sold at public auction there on 17 April 1865, and was documented as Tejuca on 23 October 1865 and was sold abroad in 1867.

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.


Contents

The seat of the patriarchate was formerly Antioch, in what is now Turkey. However, in the 14th century, it was moved to Damascus, modern-day Syria. Its traditional territory includes Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Kuwait, Arab countries of the Persian Gulf and also parts of Turkey. Its territory formerly included the Church of Cyprus until the latter became autocephalous in 431. Both the Orthodox Churches of Antioch and Cyprus are members of the Middle East Council of Churches.

Its North American branch is autonomous, although the Holy Synod of Antioch still appoints its head bishop, chosen from a list of three candidates nominated in the North American archdiocese. Its Australasia and Oceania branch is the largest in terms of geographic area due to the relatively large size of Australia and the large portion of the Pacific Ocean that the archdiocese covers.

The head of the Orthodox Church of Antioch is called Patriarch. The present Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch is John X Yazigi, who presided over the Archdiocese of Western and Central Europe (2008–2013). He was elected as primate of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All The East as John X of Antioch (Yazigi) on December 17, 2012. He succeeded Ignatius IV who had died on December 5, 2012. Membership statistics are not available, but may be as high as 1,100,000 in Syria [4] and 400,000 in Lebanon where they make up 8% of the population or 20% of Christians who make up 39-41% of Lebanon. The seat of the Patriarch in Damascus is the Mariamite Cathedral of Damascus.

The Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch is one of several churches that lay claim to be the canonical incumbent of the ancient see of St Peter and St Paul in Antioch. The Oriental Orthodox Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch makes the same claim, as do the Syriac Catholic Church, the Maronite Church, and the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, all of them Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See. These three, however, mutually recognize each other as holding authentic patriarchates, being part of the same Catholic communion. The Roman Catholic Church also appointed titular Latin Rite patriarchs for many centuries, until the office was left vacant in 1953 and abolished in 1964 and all claims renounced.

Pauline Greco-Semitic roots Edit

According to Luke the Evangelist- himself a Greco-Syrian member of that community:

The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.

St Peter and St Paul the Apostle are considered the cofounders of the Patriarchate of Antioch, the former being its first bishop. When Peter left Antioch, Evodios and Ignatius took over the charge of the Patriarchate. Both Evodios and Ignatius died as martyrs under Roman persecution.

Hellenistic Judaism and the Judeo-Greek "wisdom" literature popular in the late Second Temple era amongst both Hellenized Rabbinical Jews (known as Mityavnim in Hebrew) and gentile Greek proselyte converts to mainstream Judaism played an important part in the formation of the Melkite-Antiochian Greek Orthodox tradition. [5] Some typically Grecian "Ancient Synagogal" priestly rites and hymns have survived partially to the present in the distinct church service, architecture and iconography of the Melkite Greek Orthodox and Greek Catholic communities of the Hatay Province of Southern Turkey, Syria and Lebanon. [6]

Some historians believe that a sizable proportion of the Hellenized Jewish communities and most gentile Greco-Macedonian settlers in Southern Turkey (Antioch, Alexandretta and neighboring cities) and Syria/Lebanon – the former being called "Hellenistai" in the Acts – converted progressively to the Greco-Roman branch of Christianity that eventually constituted the "Melkite" (or "Imperial") Hellenistic Churches in Western Asia and North Africa

As Jewish Christianity originated at Jerusalem, so Gentile Christianity started at Antioch, then the leading center of the Hellenistic East, with Peter and Paul as its apostles. From Antioch it spread to the various cities and provinces of Syria, among the Hellenistic Syrians as well as among the Hellenistic Jews who, as a result of the great rebellions against the Romans in A.D. 70 and 130, were driven out from Jerusalem and Palestine into Syria. [7]

Acts 6 points to the problematic cultural tensions between the Hellenized Jews and Greek-speaking Judeo-Christians centered around Antioch and related Cilician, Southern-Anatolian and Syrian "Diasporas" and (the generally more conservative) Aramaic-speaking Jewish converts to Christianity based in Jerusalem and neighboring Israeli towns:

The ‘Hebrews’ were Jewish Christians who spoke almost exclusively Aramaic, and the ‘Hellenists’ were also Jewish Christians whose mother tongue was Greek. They were Greek-speaking Jews of the Diaspora, who returned to settle in Jerusalem. To identify them, Luke uses the term Hellenistai. When he had in mind Greeks, gentiles, non-Jews who spoke Greek and lived according to the Greek fashion, then he used the word Hellenes (Acts 21.28). As the very context of Acts 6 makes clear, the Hellenistai are not Hellenes. [8]

"There is neither Jew nor Greek" Edit

These ethno-cultural and social tensions were eventually surmounted by the emergence of a new, typically Antiochian Greek doctrine (doxa) spearheaded by Paul (himself a Hellenized Cilician Jew) and his followers be they 1. Established, autochthonous Hellenized Cilician-Western Syrian Jews (themselves descendants of Babylonian and ‘Asian’ Jewish migrants who had adopted early on various elements of Greek culture and civilization while retaining a generally conservative attachment to Jewish laws & traditions), 2. Heathen, ‘Classical’ Greeks, Greco-Macedonian and Greco-Syrian gentiles, and 3. the local, autochthonous descendants of Greek or Greco-Syrian converts to mainstream Judaism – known as “Proselytes” (Greek: προσήλυτος/proselytes or ‘newcomers to Israel’) and Greek-speaking Jews born of mixed marriages.

Paul's efforts were probably facilitated by the arrival of a fourth wave of Greek-speaking newcomers to Cilicia/Southern Turkey and Northwestern Syria: Cypriot and ‘Cyrenian’ (Libyan) Jewish migrants of non-Egyptian North African Jewish origin and gentile Roman settlers from Italy- many of whom already spoke fluent Koine Greek and/or sent their children to Greco-Syrian schools. Some scholars believe that, at the time, these Cypriot and Cyrenian North African Jewish migrants were generally less affluent than the autochthonous Cilician-Syrian Jews and practiced a more ‘liberal’ form of Judaism, more propitious for the formation of a new canon:

[North African] Cyrenian Jews were of sufficient importance in those days to have their name associated with a synagogue at Jerusalem (Acts 6:9). And when the persecution arose about Stephen [a Hellenized Syrian-Cilician Jew, and one of the first known converts to Christianity], some of these Jews of Cyrene who had been converted at Jerusalem, were scattered abroad and came with others to Antioch [. ] and one of them, Lucius, became a prophet in the early church there [the Greek-speaking ‘Orthodox’ Church of Antioch]. [9]

These subtle, progressive socio-cultural shifts are somehow summarized succinctly in Chapter 3 of the Epistle to the Galatians:

There is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither slave nor free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28). [10]

Dual self-designation: "Melkites" and "Eastern Romans" Edit

The unique combination of ethnocultural traits inhered from the fusion of a Greek cultural base, Hellenistic Judaism and Roman civilization gave birth to the distinctly Antiochian “Eastern Mediterranean-Roman” Christian traditions of Cilicia (Southeastern Turkey) and Syria/Lebanon:

The mixture of Roman, Greek, and Jewish elements admirably adapted Antioch for the great part it played in the early history of Christianity. The city was the cradle of the church. [11]

Some of the typically Antiochian ancient liturgical traditions of the community rooted in Hellenistic Judaism and, more generally, Second Temple Greco-Jewish Septuagint culture, were expunged progressively in the late medieval and modern eras by both Phanariot European-Greek (Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople) and Vatican (Roman Catholic) theologians who sought to 'bring back' Levantine Greek Orthodox and Greek-Catholic communities into the European Christian fold.

But members of the community in Southern Turkey, Syria and Lebanon still call themselves Rûm which means "Eastern Roman" or "Asian Greek" in Arabic. In that particular context, the term "Rûm" is used in preference to "Yāvāni" or "Ionani" which means "European-Greek" or Ionian in Biblical Hebrew (borrowed from Old Persian Yavan = Greece) and Classical Arabic. Members of the community also call themselves 'Melkites', which literally means "monarchists" or "supporters of the emperor" in Semitic languages - a reference to their past allegiance to Greco-Macedonian, Roman and Byzantine imperial rule. But, in the modern era, the term tends to be more commonly used by followers of the Greek Catholic Church of Antioch and Alexandria and Jerusalem.

Interaction with other non-Muslim ethnocultural minorities Edit

Following the fall of the Turkish Ottoman Empire and the Tsarist Russian Empire (long the protector of Greek-Orthodox minorities in the Levant), and the ensuing rise of French colonialism, communism, Islamism and Israeli nationalism, some members of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch embraced secularism and/or Arab Nationalism as a way to modernize and "secularize" the newly formed nation-states of Northern Syria and Lebanon, and thus provide a viable "alternative" to political Islam, communism and Jewish nationalism (viewed as ideologies potentially exclusive of Byzantine Christian minorities).

This often led to interfaith conflicts with the Maronite Church in Lebanon, notably regarding Palestinian refugees after 1948 and 1967. Various (sometimes secular) intellectuals with a Greek Orthodox Antiochian background played an important role in the development of Baathism, the most prominent being Michel Aflaq, one of the founders of the movement. [12]

Abraham Dimitri Rihbany Edit

In the early 20th Century (notably during World War I), Lebanese-American writers of Greek-Orthodox Antiochian background such as Abraham Dimitri Rihbany, known as Abraham Mitrie Rihbany (a convert to Presbyterianism), popularized the notion of studying ancient Greco-Semitic culture to better understand the historic and ethnocultural context of the Christian Gospels : his original views were developed in a series of articles for The Atlantic Monthly, and in 1916 published in book form as The Syrian Christ.

At a time when most of the Arab world area was ruled by the Ottoman Empire, France and England, Rihbany called for US military intervention in the Holy Land to fend off Ottoman Pan-Islamism, French colonialism, Soviet Communism and radical Zionist enterprises- all viewed as potentially detrimental to Christian minorities.

After the death of the head of the Patriarchate of Antioch, Ignatius IV (Hazim), Patriarch of Antioch, Syria, Arabia, Cilicia, Iberia, Mesopotamia and All the Middle East, on December 7, 2012, Metropolitan Saba Esber was elected locum tenens until the election of the new patriarch. On Monday, December 17, 2012, the Holy Synod of Antioch announced [13] the election of Metropolitan John (Yazigi) as the new Patriarch, taking the name John X.


Acton Memorial Library Civil War Archives

Niphon, a wooden and iron screw steamer launched at Boston in February 1863, was delivered to the Navy at Boston 22 April 1863 commissioned at Boston Navy Yard 24 April 1863, Acting Ens. Joseph B. Breck in command and was formally purchased 9 May 1863.

Assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, Niphon was first stationed off Fort Fisher, N.C. which protected Wilmington from attack by sea. She captured blockade runner Banshee at New Inlet, N.C., 29 July 1863. On 18 August she chased steamer Hebe, carrying drugs, clothing, coffee, and provisions for the Confederacy, and forced the blockade runner aground north of Fort Fisher where she was abandoned. The boats from Niphon were sent to destroy Hebe but were swamped in heavy seas and their crews captured. Then Shokokon opened fire on Hebe and she was burned to the waterline.

With James Adger, Niphon captured steamer Cornubia north of New Inlet 8 November. Cornubia’s papers exposed the whole scheme by which the Confederacy had clandestinely obtained ships in England. The next day Niphon captured blockade runner Ella and Annie off Masonboro Inlet, N.C., attempting to slip in with a cargo of arms and provisions. Trying to escape, the runner rammed Niphon but surrendered to Federal bluejackets who boarded her when the ships had swung broadside.

After capturing Ella and Annie, Niphon returned to Boston for repairs, but was back off New Inlet 6 February 1864. On 21 April, Niphon, Howquah, and Fort Jackson destroyed salt works at Masonboro Sound, N.C. On 27 August, Niphon and Monticello ventured up Masonboro Inlet to silence a Confederate battery. Landing parties from the ships captured arms, ammunition, and food stuffs. A boat expedition from Niphon landed at Masonboro Inlet, N.C. 19 September to gain intelligence on the defenses of Wilmington. They learned that raider C.S.S. Tallahassee and several blockade runners were at Wilmington. That day Acting Master Edmund Kemble relieved Breck in command.

On the 25th, Niphon, Howquah, and Governor Buckingham, in an engagement with blockade runner Lynx and Confederate shore batteries, chased the blazing steamer ashore where she burned until consumed.

Late on the night of 29 September, Niphon fired upon Night Hawk as she attempted to run into New Inlet, and observed her go aground. A boat crew led by Acting Ensign Semon boarded the steamer and, under fire from Fort Fisher, set her ablaze and brought off the crew as prisoners.

Niphon ran British blockade runner Condor aground off New Inlet, 1 October, but was prevented from destroying the steamer by intense fire from Fort Fisher. Among the passengers on board Condor was one of the most famous Confederate agents of the war, Mrs. Rose O’Neal Greenhow who, fearful of being captured with her important dispatches, set out in a boat for shore. Her craft overturned in the heavy surf. The crew managed to get ashore but the lady weighted down by $2,000 in Confederate gold in a pouch around her neck, drowned.

On the 7th, Union blockader Aster chased blockade runner Annie ashore at New Inlet, under the guns of Fort Fisher, but the 285-ton Federal wooden steamer ran aground herself and was destroyed to prevent capture. Niphon rescued Aster’s crew under a hail of fire from Confederate batteries and towed out Berberry, after the Northern steamer had become disabled trying to pull Aster off the shoal.

On the last day of October, Wilderness and Niphon seized another blockade runner named Annie off New Inlet, N.C., a British steamer with cargo of tobacco, cotton, and turpentine.

Late in November Niphon, in need of extensive repairs, steamed to Boston where she decommissioned 1 December. She was sold at public auction there 17 April 1865, and was documented as Tejuca 23 October 1865 and was sold abroad in 1867.


Saint Niphon, Bishop of Cyprus

Saint Niphon, Bishop of Cyprus was born in Paphlagonia, and was educated at Constantinople. In childhood he was gentle and good, and he often attended church services, but in his youth he began to lead a prodigal and sinful life. He sometimes came to his senses, and he was horrified by the extent of his fall but believing that he was lost and could not receive forgiveness, he resumed his impious life.

He once met a friend who gazed into his face for a long time with astonishment. When Niphon asked why he was staring, the friend replied, &ldquoI have never seen your face like this before. It is black, like that of an Ethiopian.&rdquo These words showed to Niphon his fallen state, and he began to cry out to the Mother of God, begging Her intercession.

After an intense and long prayer he saw that the face of the Mother of God on the holy icon was radiantly bright with a smile. From that time Niphon prayed incessantly to the Queen of Heaven. If he fell into sin, the face of the Mother of God turned away from him, but after tears and prayers, She mercifully turned toward him again.

Finally, Niphon completely turned his life around and began to spend his time in prayer and repentance. After an illness, from which he received healing from the Mother of God, he received the Holy Mysteries, and then accepted monastic tonsure and intensified his efforts, exhausting his body in the struggle against the passions.

This struggle lasted for many years, and devils often attacked Saint Niphon, but with the help of God he overcame them. He received from God the gift to discern evil spirits and defeat them, and also to see the departure of the soul after death. Already advanced in age, and arriving at Alexandria, he was pointed out to the Patriarch in a vision as one worthy to assume the office of bishop. They made him bishop of the city of Constantia on the island of Cyprus. However, he did not remain there for long. Saint Niphon knew the time of his death three days beforehand. Saint Athanasius the Great visited him before his blessed repose. On his deathbed the saint was granted to see angels and the All-Pure Mother of God.


Running the Blockade

"I am satisfied that no vessel should escape out of Wilmington after the blockade is perfected if the orders I have instituted are strictly carried out." — Adm. David Dixon Porter, United States Navy, Commanding North Atlantic Blockading Squadron

Situated on the eastern bank of the Cape Fear River, some 25 miles north of its confluence with the Atlantic, North Carolina's principal seaport could not have been better suited for running the blockade. The town was safely out of range of any Federal bombardment from the ocean, and its close proximity to the major transshipment points for incoming European goods was ideal. Nassau in the Bahamas was only 570 miles away, while Bermuda was 674 miles nearly due east of Wilmington. Transatlantic merchantmen ferried goods earmarked for the Confederacy to these and other neutral ports. Here the materials were off-loaded onto sleek, shallow draft steamers for the last leg of the journey: the dash through the Federal blockade lines and into the Cape Fear River, under protection of its formidable defensive works. Having safely delivered their cargoes the runners then returned through the blockade to the transshipment points, usually bearing Southern export items such as cotton, naval stores or lumber.

The Federal dragnet consisted of three main blockade lines. Farthest out to sea was the cruiser line, whose ships patrolled the ocean with a sharp lookout for incoming vessels headed for Cape Fear. Further in was a middle line, followed by a line of "bar tenders" just off the shoal waters of Cape Fear. The navy's lighter vessels ventured in as close to the river inlets as they dared, especially at night. Blockaders that closed within range of Confederate shore batteries were sure to draw hostile fire.

As the war progressed the blockade became more and more effective, but the navy could not meet the challenge of stopping all shipping trade helpful to the Confederate cause. As a result, the officers and men of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron were operating under strict orders from Adm. David D. Porter. Blockaders engaging a suspicious vessel had to give proper signals as to the direction of the chase, in order to ensure the vessel's capture. For example, if a runner eluded the bar tending line of blockaders, the middle line was to be notified so that it could either stop the runner, or notify the cruiser line of the runner's approach.

Failure to adhere to the rules brought the wrath and disdain of Adm. Porter. In November 1864, the English steamer Annie, laden with cotton, tobacco and spirits of turpentine, was captured by the Wilderness and Niphon while attempting to run the blockade from New Inlet. The runner surrendered after a brief chase of ten minutes, during which 13 shots were fired from the Federal gunboats. As the crew of the Annie was being transferred to the Niphon, the guns of Fort Fisher joined the action, and a shell entered the Wilderness, causing some damage. During this affair, the captors made no signal to other Federal vessels in the area, and were thus promptly accused of trying to claim the prize for themselves. Porter was furious, maintaining that the Annie's capture was jeopardized by the failure to warn the adjacent vessels of her approach. The officers of the Wilderness and Niphon were reprimanded. "This war is not being conducted for the benefit of officers or to enrich them by the capture of prizes," Porter declared, "and every commander is deficient in the high moral character which has always been inherent in the Navy who for a moment consults his private interests in preference to the public good, hesitates to destroy what is the property of the enemy, or attempts to benefit himself at the expense of others."

This incident illustrates the danger of tackling blockade runners under the guns of Fort Fisher. This giant installation, the largest earthen fort in the Confederacy, was the key to the river defense system below Wilmington.

Text used with permission. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication prohibited.

Notice: Blockade-Runner graphic © Mark A. Moore.
All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication prohibited.


He was born in the Peloponnese peninsula in southern Greece to a Greek mother and an Albanian father. [3] He was tonsured a monk at Epidaurus, taking the religious name of Nephon. He was involved in calligraphy and copying manuscripts. He then followed a monk named Zacharias and settled in the Monastery of the Theotokos in Ohrid. When Zacharias was elected Archbishop of Ohrid, Nephon went to Mount Athos and there he was ordained a hieromonk. In 1482 he was elected Metropolitan of Thessaloniki and at the end of 1486 he was elected Patriarch of Constantinople, [4] supported by the wealthy Prince of Wallachia, Vlad Călugărul, who thus inaugurated Wallachian participation in the history of external influences on the Patriarchate's election process. [5] : 195

After eighteen months a scandal arose, which led to Nephon's removal. Specifically, the previous patriarch, Symeon I, died without making his will. İşkender Bey, one of the sons of Symeon's main sponsor, George Amiroutzes, had converted to Islam and was at the time the treasurer of the Sultan. [6] He requested that all the inheritance of Symeon, which included also ecclesiastic items, should pass to the Sultan's treasury. To avoid this, Nephon pretended that a nephew of the deceased patriarch was the legitimate heir, finding three monks that bore false witness. After discovering the truth, Sultan Bayezid II confiscated the property of Symeon, punished the clergy involved in the scandal, and exiled Nephon. [7] [3] Nephon was exiled to some island in the Black Sea off Sozopol and was deposed in the first months of 1488. According to scholar Steven Runciman, Nephon was a foolish and unsatisfactory patriarch. [5] : 198

In summer 1497 Nephon was elected for the second time to the patriarchal throne, always with the support of the Wallachian ruler Radu IV the Great, [5] : 195 but his reign lasted only until August 1498 when he was overthrown by the young Joachim I, who was supported by Constantine II of Georgia. [5] : 198 Nephon was sentenced to life imprisonment and exiled to Adrianople.

So great was the reputation of Nephon that the Wallachian ruler Radu IV bowed down when he went to visit the jailed patriarch. Shortly after Radu obtained bail for Nephon from the Ottoman Sultan. Nephon moved to Wallachia, where he was given a warm welcome by the clergy and laity and where he immediately ordained two bishops. In 1502 the Holy Synod elected him Patriarch of Constantinople for the third time and sent emissaries to Wallachia to inform him, however Nephon resolutely refused the appointment and did not return to Constantinople. [4]

Between 1503 and 1505, Nephon de facto led the Church of Wallachia, until he came into conflict with the Prince. [8] The conflict arose because of the intransigence of the patriarch in refusing to celebrate the marriage of Radu's older sister Calpea with the Moldovan boyar Bogdan Logothete, who had already been married. Threatened by Radu, Nephon gathered the people, made a speech, and excommunicated the groom. He also prophesied accidents, left the patriarchal vestments on the altar and departed the church, taking to a deserted hut. In order to avoid the outcry of the people, Radu tried to placate the old man with flattering words, promises and gifts and begged him to forgive his brother-in-law, but Nephon remained adamant and left for Macedonia, taking with him two of his students. In Macedonia he went through all the towns performing missionary preaching. On his return to Mount Athos, he appeared unrecognizable to the monks of the Monastery of Dionysiou, who initially thought him a simple herdsman.

Nephon died in the Monastery of Dionysiou on Mount Athos in 1508. Immediately after his death he was honored as a saint in many areas and the Eastern Orthodox Church recognized him as a saint just nine years later, in 1517, setting his feast day on August 11. His relic is kept in a shrine in the Monastery of Dionysiou, where there is a chapel in his name.


Saint Niphon, Bishop of Novgorod

Saint Niphon was a monk of the Kiev Caves Monastery, where he struggled in asceticism. In imitation of the Holy Fathers, he uprooted the passions through fasting, vigil, and prayer, and adorned himself with every virtue. He was chosen as Bishop of Novgorod when Bishop John retired to a monastery after twenty-five years of episcopal service. Saint Niphon was consecrated bishop in Kiev by Metropolitan Michael and other hierarchs.

Saint Niphon embraced his archpastoral duties with great zeal, strengthening his flock in the Orthodox Faith, and striving to prevent them from becoming separated from the Church, which is the same as being separated from Christ Himself.

The saint was also zealous in building and repairing churches. He built a new stone church in the center of Novgorod, dedicating it to the Most Holy Theotokos. He repaired the roof of the church of Holy Wisdom (Christ, the Wisdom of God), and adorned the interior with icons.

When war broke out between Novgorod and Kiev, Saint Niphon showed himself to be a peacemaker. Meeting with the leaders of both sides, he was able to pacify them and avert the war. In the same way, he always tried to settle arguments and to reconcile those who were at enmity.

He instructed his flock in the law of God, preaching to them, reproving, rebuking, and exhorting them patiently and with sound doctrine (2 Timothy 4:2) so that they might obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory (2 Timothy 2:10).

When the people of Novgorod drove away their prince, Vsevolod, they invited Prince Svyatslav to govern them. The new prince wanted to enter into a marriage which was against the Church canons. Not only did Saint Niphon refuse to perform the ceremony, he also told his clergy to regard this betrothal as unlawful. Prince Svyatoslav brought priests in from elsewhere to perform the wedding, and the holy hierarch was not afraid to denounce his behavior.

After the death of Metropolitan Michael of Kiev, the Great Prince Isaiaslav wished to have the schemamonk Clement succeed him. However, he wanted to have Clement consecrated without the blessing of the Patriarch of Constantinople.

At a council of bishops, Saint Niphon declared that he would not approve the consecration without the permission of the Patriarch of Constantinople. He reminded the other bishops that this was contrary to the tradition of the Russian Church, for Russia had received the Orthodox Faith from Constantinople. Starting in 1448, however, the Russian Church began to elect its own primate without seeking confirmation from Constantinople.

The uncanonical consecration took place despite the objections of Saint Niphon. Metropolitan Clement tried to force the saint to serve the Divine Liturgy with him, but he refused. He called Clement a wolf rather than a shepherd, for he had unjustly assumed an office which he did not deserve. Saint Niphon refused to serve with Clement, or to commemorate him during the services.

In his fury, Clement would not permit Saint Niphon to return to Novgorod. Instead, he had the saint held under house arrest at the Kiev Caves Monastery. When Isaiaslav was defeated by Prince George, Saint Niphon returned to Novgorod, where the people welcomed him with great joy.

The Patriarch of Constantinople sent a letter praising Saint Niphon for his steadfast defense of church teachings. He also sent Metropolitan Constantine to Rus in order to depose Metropolitan Clement, and to assume the see of Kiev himself.

Saint Niphon again took up residence in the Kiev Caves Monastery, where he became ill. Thirteen days before his death, he revealed to the brethren that he had had a wondrous dream. Saint Theodosius (May 3) appeared to him and announced his imminent departure from this world.

Saint Niphon reposed in peace on April 8, 1156. Now he stands before the throne of God, interceding for us before the All-Holy Trinity, to Whom be all glory, honor, and worship forever.


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Comments:

  1. Lance

    I think this technique is no longer relevant, there are newer methods.



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