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Fr. Daniel Byantoro was a Muslim boy who lived with his grandfather and began attending the Mosque at 5 years of age. As the boy grew older, he searched for a deeper certainty of God. In High School he met a former schoolteacher’s husband who had converted to Christianity. The young man debated the convert regarding the Trinity, the Divinity of Jesus Christ, His Incarnation and His being the Son of God. The young Muslim man won the debate, and remained unconvinced of the gospel’s truth. One night after reciting prayers and reading the Qur’an, the young man saw a “vision” that frightened him. He encountered Christ for the first time in the form of light. Confused and trembling but with unspeakable joy, the young man began to ask such questions as “Who is Jesus Christ? What is he about?” Looking to the Qur’an, he stumbled in verse 45, chapter 3 the story of the annunciation which states, Remember when the angels said: O Maryam, surely Allah glad tidings with a Word from Himself, His Name will be the Messiah, Isa, the Son of Maryam. He is great in this world and hereafter, and he is among those who are near to Allah. He had read this passage many times before but this time he felt it was illumined in a manner that could only have been accomplished by Christ. He began to see Christianity differently through the Qur’an itself, which, although denying that Christ is God, treats many points of Biblical history with reverence.

This video (fragment) lecture given by father Daniel was filmed at St Mary Orthodox Church in Falls Church, VA (01/2010), on the feast of St. Maximus the Great Confessor of Orthodoxy

(Fr. Daniel Byantoro was the first Indonesian Orthodox Christian in the current era. He has converted over 2,000 to Christianity. Gordon Walker has said of him: “He is truly gifted by God to be an Apostle to Indonesia). 

Other audio talks, pl. see St Timoty website:


The phrase a Word from Himself, His Name will be the Messiah made the biggest impression. So the Messiah, Isa (Jesus) is the the Word from God, he said to himself. God seemed a mystery in the mind of this young man. He began to ponder the meaning of the “Word” through an inner dialogue of questions and answers, beginning with, “What is a word?” and finally arriving at the conclusion, God, His Word who is called His Son, and His Spirit are not three different Gods, but the reality within the One God. Without Spirit God is dead, without Word or Mind God is an idiot. So, a One -Personed-God, without a Spirit and a Word is no God at all, rather wood and stone. These discoveries were astonishing and he thought to himself:

“If among human beings, communication is accomplished with words and impossible without them. How much more with God. God has Only One Word, Jesus Christ. In order to know God and have a relationship with Him, one has to know His Word Jesus Christ. Now I know why I did not know who God is, because I did not know His Word. Jesus Christ. I have to believe in Him!” The young man cried and said to God: “Oh Allah, yes I believe in Your Word Jesus Christ, and I will become a Christian.”

The young man invited Christ into his heart at that very moment. The young man was baptized into Dutch Reformed Protestant Christianity – the only Church he knew at this time – where his former debating opponent was an elder. He took the baptismal name of Daniel.

In 1974 while at a house prayer meeting, Daniel received the so-called “baptism of the Holy Spirit” complete with “speaking in tongues” and “prophesying” and became active in Charismatic Movement. Before this time he knew nothing on the existence of hundreds of denominations in Protestant Christianity or the difference between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism, and nothing at all of the Orthodox Church.

Witnessing Activities 

The young man Daniel was very active in witnessing for Christ among the young people, even while continuing his schooling. Many were converted several prayer meeting groups were founded. After high school, Daniel wanted to be an evangelist or missionary. Further, her desired to make the Gospel known to his own people, within the context of their culture, not as a “western-religion,” but the truth of God that originated in the Middle East/Israel, the land of all the prophets. Later as he was invited to preach among many different protestant churches, the young Daniel was bewildered by the plethora of groups and denominations with differing and opposing theological thoughts, traditions and practices. He also began to miss liturgical rhythm of life which he was used to in Islam and set his heart searching towards the ancient Christianity of the East. He knew nothing of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, rather his intuition told him that Christianity was born in the same Middle Eastern milieu as Islam.

(Taken from the website:

Also please Listen to Fr. Daniel’s podcast “Christ the Eternal Kalimat” at:



Ephrem was born in Syria of poor parents during the reign of Emperor Constantine the Great. He spent his young life rather tempestuously; but all at once a change took place in his soul and he began to burn with love for the Lord Jesus. Ephrem was a disciple of St. James Nisibis (January 13). From the enormous Grace of God, wisdom flowed from his tongue as a brook of honey and ceaseless tears flowed from his eyes. Industrious as a bee, Ephrem continually either wrote books or orally taught the monks in the monastery and the people in the town of Edessa or he dedicated himself to prayer and contemplation. Numerous are his books and beautiful are his prayers. The most famous is his prayer recited during the Honorable Fast Season which reads:


Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem The Syrian

O Lord and Master of my life!

Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk.

But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.

Yea, Lord and King! Grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my brother,

For Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.

(from the Prologue from Ohrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich)



 Selected prophecies of St. Ephraim the Syrian on the Last Days at:



Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone

With the rivers of your tears, you have made the barren desert fertile. Through sighs of sorrow from deep within you, your labors have borne fruit a hundred-fold. By your miracles you have become a light, shining upon the world. O Ephraim, our Holy Father, pray to Christ our God, to save our souls.

Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen! 


The Monastery of St Ehraim the Syrian in Greece

 Monastery of St Ephraim from Greece


„Every bit of Church dogma was imposed through the blood of those ready to give their life to defend it; being  a matter of life – not merely a theoretical speculation

(Theologian Fr Dumitru Staniloae)

“Even if all the world shall enter into communion with the (heretical) Patriarch, I will not!”

(St. Maximus the Confessor)


 St Maximus the Confessor, the greatest of Byzantine theologians, lived through the most catastrophic period the Byzantine Empire was to experience before the Crusades.

 “By birth a citizen of Constantinople and at first a high-ranking courtier at the court of the Emperor Heraclius, he then became a monk and the abbot of a monastery not far from the capital. He was the greatest defender of Orthodoxy against the so-called Monothelite heresy, which developed from the heresy of Eutyches. That is to say: as Eutyches asserted that there is in Christ only one nature, so the Monothelites asserted that there is in Him only one will. Maximus resisted this assertion and found himself in opposition to both the Emperor and the Patriarch. But he was unafraid, and persevered to the end in proving that there are in the Lord two natures and therefore also two wills. By his efforts, one Council in Carthage and one in Rome stood firm, and both these Councils anathematized the Monothelite teaching. Maximus’s sufferings for Orthodoxy cannot be fully described: tortured by hierarchs, spat upon by the mass of the people, beaten by soldiers, persecuted, imprisoned; until finally, with his tongue cut out and one hand cut off, he was condemned to exile for life in Skhimaris, where he gave his soul into God’s hands in the year 662.”

Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich in “The Prologue from Ochrid”


See also: The Life of St. Maximus



Troparion of St Maximos Tone 3
By an outpouring of the Holy Spirit/ thou didst pour forth Christ’s sacred teachings./ Thou didst expound with divine authority the self-emptying of God the Word/ and wast radiant in thy confession of the True Faith./ Glorious Father Maximos, pray to Christ our God to grant us His great mercy.

Kontakion of St Maximos Tone 2
O Maximos divinely inspired champion of the Church,/ sure and illumined exponent of Orthodoxy,/ thou harp and trumpet of godliness,/ divine and holy adornment of monks:/ cease not to intercede for us all.


(from the Speech On Love)

3.93 & 27: HE clean mind sometimes God himself comes into and teaches, sometimes the holy  angelic powers suggest the right things, sometimes the vision of the nature of things. … But to participate or not in His goodness and wisdom, depends to the will of the creatures who have reason.

3.79: Do not dishonor your conscience, perfectly instructing you always. Because she suggests you the divine and angelic opinion, she sets you free from the hidden infections of the heart and she gives you uprightness before God when you depart.

3.80: If you’ve known yourself, you will understand many, great and wonderful things. Because, thinking that you know doesn’t let you progress in knowing.

1.95: The sun of justice, rising into the clean mind, reveals himself and the reasons of all that He created and will create.

4.61: Love defeats those three, self-deception, because she is not proud. Interior envy, because she is not jealous. Exterior envy, because she is generous and serene.

1.70: All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are inside our hearts hidden.

1.31: Faith without love does not act in the soul the illumination of the divine knowledge.

3.97: When the mind receives the ideas of things, by its nature is transformed according to each and every idea. If it sees the things spiritually, is transfigured in many ways according to each vision. But if the mind becomes in God, then it becomes totally shapeless and formless, because seeing Him who has one face it comes to have one face and then the whole mind becomes a face of light.

Translated by Elpenor (The Greek Word):


Other Quotes from St. Maximus on Love

Letter 2: On Love

Louth: At one pole is self-love at the other is deifying love

Divine love…in its power is beyond circumspection or definition (L 2:85)

Nothing is more truly Godlike than divine love, nothing more mysterious, nothing more apt to raise up human beings to deification (85)

The mystery of love which out of human beings makes us gods (85)

Everything is circumscribed by love according to God‟s good pleasure…for what form of good things does love not possess?—faith, hope humility, meekness, gentleness, mercy, self-control, patience, long-suffering, kindness, peace and joy (86)

Love is the goal of every good, being the highest of goods with God, and source of every good (86)

Love alone…proves that the human person is in the image of the Creator…persuading the inclination to follow nature (86-7)

The divine and blessed love…will embrace God and manifest the one who loves God to be God himself (87)

The power of love [is] the adversary of self-love (88)

Self-love is…the first sin, the first progeny of the devil, and the mother of the passions…the beginning and mother of all evils (88)

Love gathers together what has been separated (88)

God takes form in each through his great love for mankind out of the virtue that is present in each through the ascetic struggle (90)

Love is therefore a great good, and of goods the first and most excellent good since through it God and man are drawn together in a single embrace (90)

Love is…in a definition: the inward universal relationship to the first good connected with the universal purpose of our natural kind…there is nothing that can make the human being who loves God ascend any higher (90)

[We do] not divisively [assign] one form of love to God and another to human beings, for it is one and the same and universal: owed to God and attaching human beings to each other (90)

For the activity and clear proof of perfect love towards God is a genuine disposition of voluntary goodwill toward one‟s neighbor (90)

The all glorious way of love…is truly divine and deifying and leads to God (91)

Love is said to be God Himself which from the beginning the thorns of self love have covered up (91)

For the sake of love the saints all resist sin continually finding no meaning in this present life (91)

Love…binds human beings to God and one another (91)

The grace of love…leads one to God who deifies the human being that He himself has fashioned (92)

Love “never fails” since it possesses God who is alone unfailing and unalterable (92)


(Other texts taken from the book “Maximus the Confessor” by Andrew Louth) 


Contemplation of the end of the world

Those who look carefully at the present world, making the most of their learning, and wisely tease out with their mind the logos that folds together the bodies that harmoniously constitute it in various ways—they discover what is perceived through the senses, and what is understood and what is universal, everything contained in everything and turning by the exchange of the individual qualities of each. For by nature the senses are contained by what is perceived through the senses, and what is perceived through the senses is contained by the senses through sensation, as being understood. And again the universal is corrupted by change into the particular, and the particular, turned into the universal by reduction, also suffers corruption. And there comes about the corruption of everything that owes its coming to be to others. For the union of universals with one another, which causes the coming to be of particulars, is the corruption of one another by change, and the reduction of particulars to universals by the dissolution of their being bound together, leading to corruption, is the continuance and coming to be of the universals. And learning that this is the constitution of the world of the senses—the change and corruption of the bodies through which and in which it consists, one into another—we come to understand that it follows from the natural property of the bodies in which it consists—their instability and changeability and their chameleon-like alteration of universal qualities—that it is not possible for the world to have a necessary consummation. Nor can it be rightly thought that what does not possess eternity should appear to any rational understanding as eternal, separate from change and alteration, and not rather scattered and changing in a myriad of ways.


Contemplation of the virtues

Consequently a human being is blessed who has virtues, whether or not he has any other blessings besides. If he has virtues and other advantages too, he is blessed in a general sense, as one said who was wise in divine matters. If he has virtues alone and for their own sake, he is blessed in a more circumscribed sense. For some things are thought of in a more circumscribed way, as when we think of two cubits, others in a

more general way, as when we think of a heap. For you can take away two measures from a heap, and will be left with a heap. If you take away all bodily and external advantages from the condition of general blessedness, and leave nothing whatever but the virtues, it remains a state of blessedness.

For virtue, by itself, is sufficient for happiness. Therefore every bad person is wretched, even if he has all the so-called blessings of the earth, if he is deprived of the virtues. And every good person is blessed, even if he is deprived of all earthly blessings, since he has the radiance of virtue. It is because of this that Lazarus rejoiced, at rest in the bosom of Abraham.


Contemplation of how God is understood from Creation

So therefore when the Saints behold the creation, and its fine order and proportion and the need that each part has of the whole, and how all the perfect parts have been fashioned wisely and with providence in accordance with reason that fashioned them, and how what has come to be is found to be not otherwise than good beside what now is, and is in need of no addition or subtraction in order to be otherwise good, they

are taught from the things he has made that there is One who fashioned them. So,95 too, when they see the permanence, the order and position of what has come to be, and its manner of being, in accordance with which each being, according to its proper form, is preserved unconfused and without any disorder; and the course of the stars proceeding in the same way, with no alteration of any kind, and the circle of the year

proceeding in an orderly manner according to the periodic return of the [heavenly bodies] from and to their own place, and the equal yearly proportion of the nights and days, with their mutual increase and decrease, taking place according to a measure that is neither too small nor too great, they understand that behind everything there is providence, an this they acknowledge as God, the fashioner of all.


Contemplation of divine providence

Anyone who is convinced that God exercises providence over the things that are, from which he has learnt that he exists, will judge it right and reasonable that he is none other than the guardian of the things that are and cares for them and that he alone is the fashioner of what is. For the permanence of what is, and its order and position and movement,111 and the consonance of the extremities with the middle, the agreement of the parts with the wholes, and the union throughout of the wholes with the parts, and the unblurred distinction of the parts one from another in accordance with the individuating difference of each, and the unconfused union in accordance  with the indistinguishable sameness in the wholes, and the combination and distinction of everything with everything else (not to limit myself to particulars), and the eternally preserved succession of everything and each one according to form, so that the logos of each nature is not corrupted by confusion or blurring—all this shows clearly that everything is held together by the providence of the Creator God. For it is not the case that God is good but not beneficent, or beneficent but without providence, and therefore he cares wisely for the things that are and in a way befitting God, so that they are favoured with existence and care. Providence is, then, according to the God- bearing Fathers,112 the care that comes from God to the things that are. They also define it thus: providence is the will of God through which everything that is receives suitable direction. If this will is God’s, if I may use the very words of my teachers, then it necessarily follows that what happens happens in accordance with right reason, and so no better disposition could be looked for. One who has chosen to take truth as his guide is therefore led to say that providence is either the one who is truly known to be the Creator or is a power exercised by the Creator of all things. And with animals, if we approach them in a rational way we shall find a trace of the intelligible in them which is a not unworthy imitation of what is above reason. For if we look at those beings that naturally care for their offspring, we are encouraged to define for ourselves reverently and with godly boldness that God exercises providence in his sovereign uniqueness over all beings, and not over some beings but not others, as some of the adepts of the ‘outer learning’113 have it, but of absolutely everything, in accordance with the one and indistinguishable will of goodness, and indeed of both universals and particulars, for we know that if particulars can perish because they are not within the remit of providence and fitting protection, then universals will perish with them (for universals consist of particulars), in this way propounding a rational demonstration that rightly leads by a reasonable retort to the truth. For if universals consist of particulars, then if the particular examples of any logos in accordance with which things exist and consist should perish, then it is quite clear that the corresponding universals will not continue to be. For the parts exist and subsist in the wholes, and the wholes in the parts. No reason can gainsay it. But there are those who are, as it were, unwillingly bound by the truth and betray the power of providence, arguing that it only pervades what is important to them. For they say that only universals are governed by providence,114 and that particulars are hidden from providence, being led by necessity towards the truth that they are anxious to flee. For if they say that it is because of permanence that universals are worthy of providence, they admit even more strongly that those particulars are worthy, in which the permanence and stability of the universals consist. These are admitted together through the indissoluble natural relationship that they have with each other, and both conserve permanence, nor can one be said to be foreign to the protection of the other, and again if they admit the protection of the one with respect of permanence, they have to grant the other too. Apart from that there are three ways in which the providence of God is denied.115 Some say that God does not understand the method of providence, others that he cannot will it, others that he has not the power. But it follows from the common notions that God is good and beyond goodness and eternally wills what is good for everything, and that he is wise and beyond wisdom, or rather the source of all wisdom, and certainly knows everything that is going to happen, and that he is powerful, or rather infinitely powerful, and certainly brings about in a divinely fitting way in everything what is known to him and what he wills for the good and what is fitting. For God is good and wise and powerful, and pervades everything visible and invisible, both universals and particulars, both small and great, indeed everything that possesses existence in any way whatever. He is not diminished by the boundlessness of his goodness and wisdom and power, and conserves everything in accordance with the logos of its being, both in relation to themselves and to others, and in accordance with the indissoluble harmony and permanence that relates everything one to another. Why then can we not understand that natureitself teaches us clearly about the existence of God’s providence over everything? For nature itself gives us no small proof that the knowledge of providence is naturally implanted within us, whenever it prepares us to seek salvation through prayers in sudden emergencies, as if pushing us towards God in an untaught way.117 For seized by necessity, all unawares, without choice, before we have had a chance to think of anything, as if providence itself led us to itself without any thought, faster than any mental power within ourselves, placing before us the divine help as stronger than anything else. Not that nature leads us to the possession of something unnatural. Whatever happens naturally, even if it is obscure to all, possesses the strong and unconquerable power of the demonstration of the truth. If it is the case that the reason for providence as it affects particulars is incomprehensible to us, as in accordance with the verse, his judgments are unsearchable and his ways past finding out (Rom. 11:33), then in my view they are not right who say that it shows that there is no such providence.118 For if the difference and variation between different human beings is great and incomprehensible, in ways of life and customs and opinions and choices and desires, in what they know, and their needs and pursuits, and the almost countless thoughts in their minds, and in everything that happens to them in each day and hour (for this animal, man, is changeable, sharp on occasions and changing with need), it is absolutely necessary that providence, comprehending everything with foresight in the circumscription of its individuality, should be manifest as different and manifold and complex, and should achieve harmony as it extends into the incomprehensibility of the multitudinous, in a way suitable to each individual, whether thing or thought, reaching as far as the least movement of mind or body. If therefore the difference of particulars is incomprehensible, then likewise is the infinite meaning of providence that draws them into harmony, but it should not follow that, since themeaning of particular providence happens to be infinite and unknowable to us, we should make our ignorance a ground for denying the all-wise care for the things that are, but we should receive and hymn all the works of  providence simply and without examination, as divinely fitting and suitable, and believe that what happens happens well, even if the reason is beyond our grasp. And I mean all the works of providence, not what happens by our agency in accordance with our reason, for these are quite different from the logos of providence. For the manner indicated by the great teacher of the power and grace of the Saints, according to reason and contemplation, is conjectural rather than categorical (for our mind is very far from truth itself), but trying to get hold of what has been said with the reason, and as it were tracking it down, I have done nothing more than make suggestions.


The great teacher and invincible defender of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic I. Church, Saint Mark, was the offspring and scion of the imperial city, Constantinople. Reared by most pious parents, and instructed in secular and spiritual wisdom, he became pre-eminent in both. Saint Mark lived as an ascetic on the Princes’ Islands and later in the monastery of Saint George Magana in Constantinople. He passed through all the degrees of the priesthood, and was finally advanced to the dignity of Archbishop and the lofty throne of the Metropoly of Ephesus. At the insistence of Emperor John Paleologus, the Saint was sent to the council of the Latins in Florence, to unite the churches that had been divided for so many years. He astounded the papal teachers with the divine wisdom of his words, and was the only one who did not sign the blasphemous decree of that false council. Because of this, the holy Church of Christ has ever honored this great man as a benefactor, teacher, sole defender, and invincible champion of the Apostolic Confession. He reposed in 1443.  His Feast day is celebrated on January 19/ February 1.


 Life of St Mark

From the Teachings of St Mark

 Ecumenical means “belonging to or accepted by the Christian Church throughout the word; as such, this term reflects the rule of faith given by St. Vincent of Lerins: Christian truth is that “which has been believed everywhere, always, and by all .” Thus is the correct dictionary definition of the word and the only patristic definition of it. Unfortunately, ‘ecumenical” has come to mean something quite different in the latter part of the 20th century. Under the influence of the World Council of Churches and the policy of aggioramento in the Church of Rome. “ecumenical” has come to mean the following: the unity of Christ’s Church has been shattered through the centuries; all Christian Churches are pretty much equal, and each has a “share” of the truth; therefore, all denominations must be united in order to recapture the “whole- ness” that once existed. This is modern-day ecumenism.

A superb example of the first and original kind of ecumenist is St. Mark of Ephesus, a 15th century champion of orthodoxy, sometimes called “The conscience of Orthodoxy.” The following information is condensed from a series of three articles in “The Orthodox Word” (1967), written by Archimandrite Amvrossy Pogodin:

When the foundations of Byzantium were crumbling, diplomats redoubled their efforts to find a possibility of union with Western powers for a battle against the common adversary of Christianity, Islam. Attempts were made to conclude treaties with the Turks, but these were unsuccessful. The only hope lay in the West. For this it was necessary above all to make peace with the Vatican.

A Council was convened in 1437, which established a committee of Latin and Greek theologians with the Pope and the Byzantine Emperor acting as heads. The Pope, Eugenius IV, had a very exalted idea of the papacy and aimed at subjecting the Orthodox Church to himself. Prompted by the straitened circumstances of Byzantium, the Emperor pursued his aim: to conclude an agreement profitable for his country. Few gave thought to the spiritual consequences of such a union. Only one delegate, the Metropolitan of Ephesus, St. Mark, stood in firm opposition.

In his address to the Pope at the opening of the Council, St. Mark explained how ardently he desired this union with the Latins- but a genuine union, he explained, based upon unity of faith and ancient Liturgical practice. He also informed the Pope that he and the other Orthodox bishops had come to the Council not to sign a capitulation, and not to sell Orthodoxy for the benefit of their government, but in order to confirm true and pure doctrine.

Many of the Greek delegates, however, thought that the salvation of Byzantium could be attained only through union with Rome. More and more became willing to compromise the eternal Truth for the sake of preserving a temporal kingdom. Furthermore, the negotiations were of such unexpectedly long duration that the Greek delegates no longer had means to support themselves; they began to suffer from hunger and were anxious to return home. The Pope, however, refused to give them any support until a “Union” had been concluded. Taking advantage of the Situation and realizing the futility of further debates, the Latins used their economic and political advantage to bring pressure on the Orthodox delegation, demanding that they capitulate to the Roman Church and accept all her doctrines and administrative control.

St. Mark stood alone against the rising tide which threatened to overturn the ark of the true Church. He was pressured on all sides, not only by the Latins, but by his fellow Greeks and the Patriarch of Constantinople himself. Seeing his persistent and stouthearted refusal to sign any kind of accord with Rome under the given conditions, the Emperor dismissed him from all further debates with the Latins and placed him under house arrest. By this time St. Mark had fallen very ill (apparently suffering from cancer of the intestine). But this exhausted, fatally ill man, who found himself persecuted and in disgrace, represented in his per son the Orthodox Church; he was a spiritual giant with whom there is none to compare.

Events followed in rapid succession. The aged Patriarch Joseph of Constantinople died; a forged document of submission to Rome was produced; Emperor John Paleologos took the direction of the Church into his own hands, and the Orthodox were obliged. to renounce their Orthodoxy and to accept all of the Latin errors, novelties, and innovations on all counts, including complete acceptance of the Pope as having “a primacy over the whole earth.” During a triumphant service following the signing of the Union on July 5, 1439, the Greek delegates solemnly kissed the Pope’s knee. Orthodoxy had been sold, and not merely betrayed, for in return for submission, the Pope agreed to provide money and soldiers for the defense of Constantinople against the Turks. But one bishop still had not signed. When Pope Eugenius saw that St. Mark’s signature was not on the Act of Union, he exclaimed, “And so, we have accomplished nothing!”

The delegates returned home ashamed of their submission to Rome. They admitted to the people: “We sold our faith; we bartered piety for impiety!” As St. Mark wrote: “The night of Union encompassed the Church.” He alone was accorded respect by the people who greeted him with universal enthusiasm when he was finally allowed to return to Constantinople in 1440. But even then the authorities continued to persecute him. At length he was arrested and imprisoned. But whatever his condition a n d circum stances, he continued to burn in spirit and to battle for the Church.

Finally he was liberated and, following his example, the Eastern Patriarchs condemned the False Union and refused to recognize it. The triumph of the Church was accomplished-through a man exhausted bydisease and harassed by the wiles of men, but strong in the knowledge of our Saviour’s promise: “…I will Build My Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matt. 16:18)

St. Mark died on June 23, 1444, at the age of 52. This great pillar of the Church was a true ecumenist, for he did not fear to journey to Italy to talk with the Roman Catholics, but more importantly, neither did he fear to confess the fullness of the truth when the time came

The following is the concluding section of the Saint’s encyclical letter on the subject of the false union. It is as meaningful and vital today as it was 500 years ago: “Therefore,” St. Mark writes, “in so far as this is what has been commanded you by the Holy Apostles,-stand aright, hold firmly to the traditions which you have received, both written and by word of mouth, that you be not deprived of your firmness if you become led away by the delusions of the lawless. May God, Who is All-powerful, make them also to know their delusion; and having delivered us from them as from evil tares, may He gather us into His granaries like pure and useful wheat, in Jesus Christ our Lord, to Whom belongs all glory, honor, and worship, with His Father Who is without beginning, and His All-holy and Good and Life- giving Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.”

By the prayers of St. Mark, O Christ our God, and all Thy Holy Fathers, Teachers and Theologians, preserve Thy Church in Orthodox confession and lead many into a knowledge of the Truth, unto the ages!

(An excerpt from the [forthcoming] book, Winds of Change in Roman Catholicism, by Fr. Alexey Young)


Troparian, tone 3

Holy Mark, in thee the Church has found a zealot by thy confession of the sacred Faith;/ for thou didst champion the Fathers’ doctrine/ and cast down the pride of boastful darkness./ Pray to Christ our God for those who honour thee, that we may be granted the forgiveness of sins.

Kontakion, tone 3

As one clad in invincible armour,/ thou didst cast down the pride of the Western rebellion;/ thou didst become an instrument of, the Comforter/ and shine Forth as Orthodoxy’s defender./ Therefore we cry to thee: Rejoice, O Mark, boast of the Orthodox.


Quotes by St Mark

“It is impossible to recall peace without dissolving the cause of the schism— the primacy of the Pope exalting himself equal to God.”

“The Latins are not only schismatics but heretics… we did not separate from them for any other reason other than the fact that they are heretics. This is precisely why we must not unite with them unless they dismiss the addition from the Creed filioque and confess the Creed as we do.”

“Our Head, Christ our God… does not tolerate that the bond of love be taken from us entirely.”

“We seek and we pray for our return to that time when, being united, we spoke the same things and there was no schism between us.”


St. Mark of Ephesus and the False Union of Florence


On Middle Doctrine

‘Many were tempted by the idea,’ [St.] Mark [of Ephesus] continued, ‘that one can find a medium between two doctrines. True: one can find such expressions which, having a double meaning, could at the same time express something between the two doctrines. But a doctrine midway between two contrary doctrines on the same subject is impossible; for in this case it must be something between truth and falsehood, between an affirmation and a negation. Thus, if the Latin doctrine of the Spirit’s procession from the Son is just, then ours is false. What middle doctrine can there be here?’

We see from all this that we teach conformably with Holy Scripture, and the holy Fathers, and Teachers, nothing changing or misrepresenting in the dogmas handed down to us, nothing adding to them, or taking from them, and adding nothing new.

From the interview of St. Mark with Pope Eugenius:

The Councils of the Church have condemned as rebels those who have transgressed against some dogma and have preached thus and fought for this, for which reason also they are called ‘heretics’; and from the beginning the Church has condemned the heresy itself, and only then has it condemned the leaders of the heresy and its defenders. But I have by no means preached my own teaching, nor have I introduced anything new in the Church, nor defended any foreign and false doctrine; but I have held only that teaching which the Church received in perfect form from our Saviour, and in which it has steadfastly remained to this day: the teaching which the Holy Church of Rome, before the schism that occurred between us, possessed no less than our Eastern Church; the teaching which, as holy, you formerly were wont to praise, and often at this very Council you mentioned with respect and honor, and which no one could reproach or dispute. And if I hold it and do not allow myself to depart from it, what Council will subject me to the interdiction to which heretics are subject? What sound and pious mind will act thus with me? For first of all one must condemn the teaching which I hold; but if you acknowledge it as pious and Orthodox, then why am I deserving of punishment?


 Troparion (Tone 2)

Thou didst follow the ways of zealous Elijah, and the straight path of the Baptist, O Father Anthony. Thou didst become a desert dweller and support the world by thy prayers. Intercede with Christ our God that our souls may be saved.

Saint Anthony was the first Christian to live a life of consecrated solitude. As a hermit in the desert he lived a long and saintly life that influenced countless people both in his time and for generations thereafter, even to this day.
His life had a tremendous impact on the history of early Christianity, which is the basic history of all Christian churches all over the world.
The story of his life was   written by one of Christianity’s most renowned leaders, Saint Athanasius the Apostolic who was his disciple and had a very close relationship with him.
Saint Anthony is generally considered to be the father of the monastic family. He was born about 251 A.D. of a wealthy family in Coma  (Kemn-el-Arouse) in the middle of Egypt. When he was eighteen years old, his parents died, leaving him guardian of his younger and only sister, Dious.  Six months later Anthony entered the church to hear the Gospel, in which our Lord speaks to the rich young man, “If you would be perfect, go sell all you have, give to the poor and come follow me.” (Matthew 19:21)
He took this advice as a personal invitation addressed to him by God.  He sold about 300 acres of fertile land, gave most of the money to the poor keeping only a little for his sister. 
Then he placed his sister in the charge of a community of virgins.
He was now free to devote his life to asceticism under the guidance of a holy man living near Coma. This was the custom of young ascetics to stay under a master in order to
learn the principles of spirituality, praying and fasting.After a while, Saint Anthony went to a small village called Maymoun. He took shelter in an abandoned tomb carved in the side of a mountain.  A good friend used to bring him bread and water from time to time. 
In his solitude he was fighting off the temptations of the flesh and attacks of demons.

He was about thirty-five years old when he left his retreat to move to the Eastern desert to the “Outer Mountain” at Pispir (Vista) where he lived in complete solitude.  After twenty years, his reputation attracted many followers who settled near him, and wished to copy his holy life.  Saint Anthony became their spiritual leader,  teaching them constantly  by word and by example  the ascetic life. Five years later, he again retired into solitude in the “Inner Mountain” (Mount Qolozum).
As   Saint   Anthony lived in solitude, he was tempted by boredom and discouragement. 
His soul fell into such weariness and confusion of thought that he began saying, “Lord, I want to be saved but these bad thoughts do not leave me alone; what shall I do? How can I be saved?” After a little while, he began to walk in the open and saw someone as if it was himself, sitting and working – making mats of palm leaves – and then rising to pray.
This was an angel sent by the Lord to teach Anthony how to live in the desert.  
The angel repeated what he was doing several times until Anthony understood that he had to combine manual work and prayer in order to overcome boredom.
Living in solitude (anchoritic life) made Saint Anthony a spiritual father beyond all others. He escaped from cares of the world but not from the love for his brothers. 
Thus he was obliged to visit Alexandria during the persecution against the Christians,
engineered by Maximin Daja in 316.  He spent his time ministering to the oppressed and afflicted in prisons.  When the persecution ended, he returned to his cell to be a daily martyr of his conscience, fighting always the battles of the faith. Once again, he visited Alexandria to support Pope Athanasius against the heresy of Arius in 352. Pagans and Christians alike rushed out to greet the holy old man, but he soon returned to the desert, for he felt like a fish out of the water.Saint Anthony’s rule consisted simply of prayers and manual work. He told his disciples that just as Christ was a carpenter and Paul was a tent maker, they also had to keep their hands busy to escape temptations.
He also assigned a uniform to the monks. This was a garb of white linen reaching below the knees.A wide thick belt of leather helped the monk to keep erect. This pattern is seen today in many monastic orders all over the world.
From every part of the world, people came to him, even to the innermost part of the desert,  seeking cures of the  body, mind,  and  soul; and  as  they did at Pispir, monks came to him for his sympathy and practical advice. Once Saint Athanasius had invited Anthony to Alexandria and they were joined by Didymus, who was of great learning and had lost his eyesight.  The conversation turned to the Holy Scriptures, and Anthony could not help admiring the blind man’s ability and praised his insight. The he said,
“You do not regret the loss of your eyes, do you?”  At first Didymus was reluctant to answer, but when the question was repeated, he frankly admitted that his blindness was a great grief to him.  Whereupon, Anthony said, “I am surprised that a wise man as you should grief at the loss of a physical organ which he shares with everyone, and not rejoice rather in having the gift which only saints and apostles have been thought worthy.”
In 356  A.D., Saint Anthony  died at the  age of one hundred  and five, but his place of burial was never revealed by the two  monks,Marcarius and Amatas, who buried him.
His monastery produced many great saints including Saint Hilarion of Gaza, Saint Macarius of Scete,Saint Amoun of Nitria and   Saint Paul the Simple. Intimacy with God made Saint Anthony as tenderhearted as the Master he served. Consequently, his influence extended beyond his lifetime, and the Universal Church still reveres him as one of the great saints.
His life was written by Saint Athanasius while he was in Rome, and it was very influential in spreading the ideas of monasticism throughout the Christian world. 
According to Saint Athanasius, Saint Anthony was a man of “divine wisdom” and of grace, although he never learned to read or write.
Today, a monastery bearing the name of Saint Anthony stands in the Eastern desert.  The cave, in which the saint spent most of his life, is located beside it on the top of the mountain. Many monks live there, and many people from all walks of life visit it every day.May the prayers and supplications of this great Saint Anthony, the Father of the Monks, be with us. Amen.

Manastirea Sfantul Antonie cel Mare

Manastirea Sfantul Antonie cel Mare

St. Antony’s Cave (magharah), where he lived as a hermit, is a 2 km hike from the monastery and 680 m. above the Red Sea. It offers stunning views of the mountains and the sea, and the chance to see a wide range of bird life.

Sayings Of Anthony of Egypt


1. When the holy Abba Anthony lived in the desert he was beset by ‘accidie’ – lethargy – , and attacked by many sinful thoughts. He said to God, ‘Lord, I want to be saved, but these thoughts will not leave me alone. What shall I do in my affliction? How can I be saved?’ A short while afterwards, when he got up to go out, Anthony saw a man like himself sitting at his work, getting up from his work to pray, then sitting down and plaiting a rope, then getting up again to pray. It was an angel of the Lord sent to correct and reassure him. He heard the angel saying to him, “Do this and you will be saved.” At these words, Anthony was filled with joy and courage. He did this, and he was saved.

2. When the same Abba Anthony thought about the depth of the judgments of God, he asked, “Lord, how is it that some die when they are young, while others drag on to extreme old age? Why are there those who are poor and those who are rich? Why do wicked men prosper and why are the just in need?” He heard a voice answering him, “Anthony, keep your attention on yourself; these things are according to the judgment of God, and it is not to your advantage to know anything about them.’

3. Someone asked Abba Anthony, “What must one do in order to please God?” The old man replied, “Pay attention to what I tell you: whoever you may be, always have God before your eyes, whatever you do, do it according to the testimony of the Holy Scriptures; in whatever place you live do not easily leave it. Keep these three precepts and you will be saved.”

4. Abba Anthony said to Abbe Poemen, “This is the Great Work of a man: always to take the blame for his own sins before God and to expect temptation to his last breath.”

5. He also said, “Whoever has not experienced temptation cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” He even added, “Without temptation, no one can be saved.”

6. Abbe Pambo asked Abba Anthony, “What ought I to do?” and the old man said to him, “Do not trust in your own righteousness, do not worry about the past, but control your tongue and your stomach.”

7. Abba Anthony said, “I saw the snares that the enemy spreads out over the world and I said groaning, ‘What can get through from such snares?” Then I heard a voice saying to me, “Humility.'”

8. He also said, “Some have afflicted their bodies by asceticism, but they lack discernment, and so they are far from God.”

9. He also said, “Our life and our death is with our neighbor. If we gain our brother, we have gained God, but if we scandalize our brother, we have sinned against Christ.”

10. He said also, “Just as fish die if they stay too long out of water, so the monks who loiter outside their cells or pass their time with men of the world lose the intensity of inner peace. So like a fish going towards the sea, we must hurry to reach our cell, for fear that if we delay outside we will lose our interior watchfulness.”

11. He also said, “He who wishes to live in solitude in the desert is delivered from three conflicts: hearing, speech and sight; there is only one conflict for him and that is with fornication.”

12. Some brothers came to find Abba Anthony to tell him about the visions they were having, and to find out from him if they were true or if they came from the demons. They had a donkey which died on the way. When they reached the place where the old man was, he said to them before they could ask him anything, “How was it that the little donkey died on the way here?” They said, “How do you know about that, Father?” And he told them, “the demons showed me what happened.” So they said, “That was what we came to question you about, for fear we were being deceived, for we have visions which often turn out to be true.” Thus the old man convinced them, by the example of the donkey, that their visions came from the demons.

13. A hunter in the desert saw Abba Anthony enjoying himself with the brethren and he was shocked. Wanting to show him that it was necessary sometimes to meet the needs of the brethren, the old man said to him, “Put an arrow in your bow and shoot it.” So, he did. The old man said, “Shoot another,” and he did so. Then the old man said, “Shoot yet again,” and the hunter replied “If I bend my bow so much I will break it.” Then the old man said to him, “It is the same with the work of God. If we stretch the brethren beyond measure they will soon break. Sometimes it is necessary to come down to meet their needs.” When he heard these words the hunter was pierced by compunction and, greatly edified by the old man, he went away. As for the brethren, they went home strengthened.

14. Abba Anthony heard of a very young monk who had performed a miracle on the road. Seeing the old men walking with difficulty along the road, he ordered the wild asses to come and carry them until they reached Abba Anthony. Those whom they had carried told Abba Anthony about it. He said to them, “This monk seems to me to be a ship loaded with goods, but I do not know if he will reach harbor.” After a while Anthony suddenly began to weep, to tear his hair and lament. His disciples said to him, “Why are you weeping, Father?’ And the hold man replied, “A great pillar of the Church has just fallen but go to him and see what has happened.” So the disciples went and found the monk weeping for the sin he had committed. Seeing the disciples of the old man he said, “Tell the old man to pray that God will give me just ten days and I hope I will have made satisfaction.” But in the space of five days he died.

15. The brothers praised a monk before Abba Anthony. When the monk came to see him, Anthony wanted to know how he would bear insults, and seeing that he could not bear them at all, he said to him, “You are like a village magnificently decorated on the outside, but destroyed from within by robbers.”

16. A brother said to Abba Anthony, “Pray for me.” The old man said to him, “I will have no mercy on you, nor will God have any, if you yourself do not make an effort and if you do not pray to God.”

17. One day some old men came to see Abba Anthony. In the midst of them was Abba Joseph. Wanting to test them, the old man suggested a text from the Scriptures, and, beginning with the youngest, he asked them what it meant. Each gave his opinion as he was able. But to each one the old man said, “You have not understood it.” Last of all he said to Abba Joseph, “How would you explain this saying?” And he replied, “I do not know.” Then Abba Anthony said, “Indeed, Abba Joseph has found the way, for he has said: ‘I do not know.”

18. Some brothers were coming from Scetis to see Abba Anthony. When they were getting into a boat to go there, they found an old man who also wanted to go there. The brothers did not know him. They sat in the boat, occupied by turns with the words of the Fathers, Scripture and their manual work. As for the old man, he remained silent. When they arrived on shore they found that the old man was going to the cell of Abba Anthony, too. When they reached the place, Anthony said to them, “You found this old man a good companion for the journey?” Then he said to the old man, “You have brought many good brethren with you, father.” The old man said, “No doubt they are good, but they do not have a door to their house and anyone who wishes can enter the stable and loose the ass.” He meant that the brethren said whatever came into their mouths.

19. The brethren came to Abba Anthony and said to him, “Speak a word: how are we to be saved?” The old man said to them, “You have read the Scriptures. That should teach you how.” But they said, “We want to hear from you too, Father.” Then the old man said to them, “The Gospel says, ‘if anyone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also.'” (Mt 5:30) They said, “We cannot do that.” The old man said, “If you cannot offer the other cheek, at least allow one cheek to be struck.” “We cannot do that, either,” they said. So he said, “If you are not able to do that, do not return evil for evil,” and they said, “We cannot do that, either.” Then the old man said to his disciple, “prepare a little brew of corn for these invalids. If you cannot do this, or that, what can I do for you? What you need is prayers.”

20. A brother renounced the world and gave his goods to the poor, but he kept back a little for his personal expenses. He went to see Abba Anthony. When he told him this, the old man said to him, “If you want to be a monk, go into the village, buy some meat, cover your naked body with it and come here like that.” The brother did so, and the dogs and birds tore at his flesh. When he came back the old man asked him whether he had followed his advice. He showed him his wounded body, and Abba Anthony said, “Those who renounce the world but want to keep something for themselves are torn in this way by the demons who make war on them.”

21. It happened one day that one of the brethren in the monastery of Abba Elias was tempted. Cast out of the monastery, he went over the mountain to Abba Anthony. The brother lived near him for a while and then Anthony sent him back to the monastery from which he had been expelled. When the brothers saw him they cast him out yet again, and he went back to Abba Anthony saying, “My Father, they will not receive me.” Then the old men sent them a message saying, “A boat was shipwrecked at sea and lost its cargo; with great difficulty it reached the shore; but you want to throw into the sea that which has found a safe harbor on the shore.” When the brothers understood that it was Abba Anthony who had sent them this monk, they received him at once.

22. Abba Anthony said, “I believe that the body possesses a natural movement, to which it is adapted, but which it cannot follow without the consent of the soul; it only signifies in the body a movement without passion . There is another , which comes from nourishment and warming of the body by eating and drinking, and this causes the heat of the blood to stir up the body to work. That is why the apostle said, “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery.” (Ep 5:18) And in the Gospel, the Lord also recommends this to His disciples: “Take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness.” (Lk 21:34) But there is yet another movement which afflicts those who fight, and that comes from the wiles and jealousy of the demons. You must understand what these three bodily movements are: one is natural, one comes from too much to eat, the third is caused by the demons.’

23. He also said, “God does not allow the same warfare and temptations to this generation as he did formerly, for men are weaker now and cannot bear so much.”

24. It was revealed to Abba Anthony in his desert that there was one who was his equal in the city. He was a doctor by profession and whatever he had beyond his needs he gave to the poor, and every day he sang the Sanctus with the angels.

25. Abba Anthony said, “A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, “You are mad, you are not like us.”

26. The brethren came to Abba Anthony and laid before him a passage from Leviticus. The old man went out into the desert, secretly followed by Abba Ammonas, who knew that this was his custom. Abba Anthony went a long way off and stood there praying, crying in a loud voice, ‘God, send Moses, to make me understand this saying.’ Then there came a voice speaking with him. Abba Ammonas said that although he heard the voice speaking with him, he could not understand what it said.

27. Three Fathers used to go and visit Blessed Anthony every year and two of them used to discuss their thoughts and the salvation of their souls with him, but the third always remained silent and did not ask him anything. After a long time, Abba Anthony said to him, ‘You often come here to see me, but you never ask me anything,’ and the other replied, ‘It is enough for me to see you, Father.’

28. They said that a certain old man asked God to let him see the Fathers and he saw them all except Abba Anthony. So he asked his guide, ‘Where is Abba Anthony?’ He told him in reply that in the place where God is, there Anthony would be.

29. A brother in a monastery was falsely accused of fornication and he arose and went to Abba Anthony. The brethren also came from the monastery to correct him and bring him back. They set about proving that he had done this thing, but he defended himself and denied he had done anything of the kind. Now Abba Paphnutius, who is called Cephalus, happened to be there, and he told them this parable: “I have seen a man on the bank of the river buried up to his knees in mud and some men came to give him a hand to help him out, but they pushed him further in, up to his neck.’ Then Abba Anthony said this about Abba Paphnutius: ‘Here is a real man, who can care for souls and save them.’ All those present were pierced to the heart by the words of the old man and they asked forgiveness of the brother. So, admonished by the Fathers, they took the brother back to the monastery.

30. Some say of Saint Anthony that he was “Spirit-borne”, that is, carried along by the Holy Spirit, but he would never speak of this to men. Such men see what is happening in the world, as well as knowing what is going to happen.

Manastirea Sfantul Antonie cel Mare

31. One day Abba Anthony received a letter from the Emperor Constantius, asking him to come to Constantinople, and he was wondering if he ought to go. So he said to Abba Paul, his disciple, “Ought I to go?” He replied, “If you go, you will be called Anthony, but if you stay here, you will be called Abba Anthony.”

32. Abba Anthony said, “I no longer fear God, but I love Him. For love casts out fear.” (Jn 4:18)

33. He also said, “Always have the fear of God before your eyes. Remember Him Who gives death and life. Hate the world and all that is in it. Hate all peace that comes from the flesh. Renounce this life, so that you may be alive to God. Remember what you have promised God, for it will be required of you on the Day of Judgment. Suffer hunger, thirst, nakedness, be watchful and sorrowful; weep, groan in your heart; test yourselves, to see if you are worthy of God; despise the flesh, so that you may preserve your souls.”

34. Abba Anthony once went to visit Abba Amoun in Mount Nitria and when they met, Abba Amoun said, “By your prayers, the number of the brethren increases, and some of them want to build more cells where they may live in peace. How far away from here do you think we should build the cells?” Abba Anthony said, “Let us eat at the ninth hour and then go out for a walk in the desert and explore the country.” So they went out into the desert and they walked until sunset and then Abba Anthony said, “Let us pray and plant the cross here, so that those who wish to do so may build here. Then when those who remain here want to visit those who have come here, they can take a little food at the ninth hour and then come. If they do this, they will be able to keep in touch with each other without distraction of mind.” The distance is twelve miles.

35. Abba Anthony said, “Whoever hammers a lump of iron, first decides what he is going to make of it, a scythe, a sword, or an axe. Even so we ought to make up our minds what kind of virtue we want to forge, or else we labor in vain.”

36. He also said, “Obedience with abstinence gives men power over wild beasts.”

37. He also said, “Nine monks fell away after many labors and were obsessed with spiritual pride, for they put their trust in their own works and being deceived they did not give due heed to the commandment that says, ‘Ask your father and he will tell you.'”

38. And he said this, ‘If he is able to, a monk ought to tell his elders confidently how many steps he takes and how many drops of water he drinks in his cell, in case he is in error about it.”

St. Gregory of Nyssa, Early Nicean Father

  In the roll of the Nicene Fathers there is no more honoured name than that of Gregory of Nyssa. Besides the praises of his great brother Basil and of his equally great friend Gregory Nazianzen, the sanctity of his life, his theological learning, and his strenuous advocacy of the faith embodied in the Nicene clauses, have received the praises of Jerome, Socrates, Theodoret, and many other Christian writers. Indeed such was the estimation in which he was held that some did not hesitate to call him `the Father of Fathers’ as well as `the Star of Nyssa’. Gregory of Nyssa was equally fortunate in his country, the name he bore, and the family which produced him. He was a native of Cappadocia, and was born most probably at Caesarea, the capital, about a.d. 335 or 336. No province of the Roman Empire had in those early ages received more eminent Christian bishops than Cappadocia and the adjoining district of Pontus.

More on St.Gregory’ life at:





(The following is a translation from J.P. Migne’s Patrologia Graeca, volume 44, columns 61-124 (Paris, 1858). Scriptural references follow those of Migne’s text). 


by Gregory of Nyssa at: Hexaemeron


More on St Gregory, pl. see:






The relics of St. Gregory of Nyssa, 4 th century

Jaw bone of St. Gregory of Nyssa, 4th century at VISOKI DECANI


MENAION (Jan 10/23) St Theophan the Recluse



Saint’ Life at:

Quotes by St. Theophan the Recluse

<<Examine yourself to see whether you have within you a strong sense of your own self importance, or negatively, whether you have failed to realize that you are nothing.  This feeling of self-importance is deeply hidden, but it controls the whole of our life.  Its first demand is that everything should be as we wish it, and as soon as this is not so we complain to God and are annoyed with people. >>

<<“In general, Loquacity (rambling talk) opens the doors of the soul, and the devout warmth of the heart at once escapes.  Empty talk does the same, but even more so… Empty talk is the door to criticism and slander, the spreader of false rumors and opinions, the sower of discord and strife.  It stifles the taste for mental work and almost always serves as a cover for absence of sound knowledge…>> 

The Path of Prayer by Saint Theophan the Recluse

O Theophan, thou man of God and faithful servant of Christ,

Lover of stillness, who didst converse alone with the one God:

Be thou mindful of us who honor thy holy memory,

And bear thy fervent supplications to the Lord,

That he may save our souls.

(From the Canon of St. Theophan the Recluse, from the Praises.)

Ark with a relic of St. Theophan the Recluse


  The cave of St. John the Baptist is a relatively new place of pilgrimage in the Holy LandIsrael. Many archaeologists have researched the place and its data, then the its authenticity. Archaeologist Shimon Gibson is the one who discovered the place and also the one supporting its authenticity.

The cave of St John1

  Shimon Gibson discovered the place in 1999, through an extensive archaeological research. To get here, pilgrims can take the bus from Jerusalem to Ein Karem and the holy cave is but about four kilometers from Ein Karem..

St John the Baptist

 St. John the Baptist – The last prophet of the Old Testament – had a divine mission hard to imagine: he, the servant of God, had to baptize his Master, Jesus Christ.

  But until the time of Baptism of our Lord, St. John had lived an unspeakable ascetic struggle into the wilderness.

  Even from the time of his birth, Saint John was seen as a work of God and a great mystery. Many words of wonder were said about John: “What will this child be? For the hand of God was with him.” (ad. from Lk). No one knew what would happen with this child, even though his father – priest Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied saying:

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,

for he has visited and worked redemption for his people;

and has raised up a horn of salvation for us

in the house of his servant David

(as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets who have been from of old),

salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us;

to show mercy towards our fathers,

to remember his holy covenant,

the oath which he spoke to Abraham, our father,

to grant us 74that being delivered out of the hand of our enemies,

we should offer him divine services  without fear,

in holiness and righteousness before him,

all the days of our life.

And you, child, [you] will be called a prophet of the Most High,

for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways,

to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the remission of their sins,

because of the tender mercy of our God,

by which the dawn from on high will visit us,

to shine on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death;

to guide our feet into the way of peace. (Lk. 1, 68-79)

 The Gospel would not tell us much about the life of Saint John. St John lived in the time of our Savior Christ, and so more focus is placed on Him. The Scripture of Luke, however, referring to St John it ends saying: “The child was growing up and became strong in spirit, and he was in the desert until the day of his public appearance to Israel.” (Luke 1, 80)

(see Eastern Orthodox New Testament translation at: for the biblical passages)

  It is believed that the cave of St. John the Baptist is a place in the “wilderness” where the saint lived up to the time of his preaching and baptism of our Lord. The rocky place that still preserves today the ancient cave, is on the land of Tzuba, which is the nearest settlement to the famous Ein Karem (the place where St. John the Baptist was born), slightly west of Jerusalem.         

  In a legend about this place, it is said that Elisabeth had fled with baby John, the night when crazy king Herod ordered the killing of all infants from his land, two years and younger… (Matthew 2, 16). A cave similar to this, it was portrayed as a souvenir from the Byzantine era – found in the Holy Land and brought later to Italy. It is a disc engraved with a picture and the words: “God’s blessings for the refuge of St. Elizabeth.”

  In mid IV-V centuries, the Byzantine monks blessed the cave and used it as a holy place, dedicated St. John the Baptist. On the interior walls of the cave are found some of the oldest Christian mosaics (scenes from the life of the saint, the saint body, a disembodied head, crosses and other Christian symbols).

  The man is portrayed standing, with one arm raised and a pastor rod in another hand, waering some very poor clothes. The aghiografice drawings still preserved today on the rocky walls of the cave, indicate that a great Christian preacher lived there, which is believed to be St. John the Baptist. .

  In 800’s, the cave was first used as a water storage tank. It was found as late as the first century, that the cave was used as a place of ritual bathing and cleaning. This is one of the largest of its kind in the entire Israel.

  The Church of the Birth of St. John the Baptist from Ain Karem

  Ain Karem is a town in Israel, located within walking distance of Jerusalem. This is particularly important for Christians because, according to tradition, it is the homeland of Zechariah and Elizabeth, parents of St. John the Baptist. Here St. John the Baptist was born. Ain Karem village lies at a distance of approximately 8-10 km to the west of Jerusalem and about 150 km distance from Nazareth.

Ain Karem - the church of the Nativity of St John the Baptist

  Inhabited since the Bronze Age, Hebrew leader Joshua assigned Karem to the tribe of Judah, as we read in Holy Scripture (OT): This is the heritage of the sons of Judah after their families (…) Maarit, Bet-Anote and Eltecon: six fortresses with their villages. Teco, Ephratah or Bethlehem, Peoria, Etam, Culon, Tatami, Sores, Carema (Karem), Galem, Betir and Manah: eleven fortresses with their villages.” (Joshua 15, 20 and 59)

  With the emergence of Christianity, in this Jewish town of Ain Karem a strong Christian community dweled. This community was mostly dealing with carpentry and guidance of pilgrims. Today, with the exception of some small Christian community, the entire population of Ain Karem consists of Hebrew.

Ain Karem

  The city of Ain Karem still preserves seven Christian worship places. Among them are: the Franciscan Monastery, built on the place where St. John the Baptist was born, the Church of Visitation of the Virgin Maryby Elizabeth; the Monastery of Saint Zechariah; the Church of the Lady of Sahyun, together with a number of graves.

(Translated and adapted by blog’ author)


River Jordan is mentioned in the Bible more than 150 times, but the most important episode is involving undoubtedly Epiphany: “The Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ”; this is reported by all 4 Evangelists (Matthew 3: 13-17, Mark 1: 9-11, Luke 3: 21-22 and, John 1: 29-34).

The Old Israel attributed the crossing of the river Jordan to coming to the Promised Land, that was the end of slavery in a foreign land.

For the Christian Church – the New Israel – Jordan represents flowing to a new spiritual state and the purification through baptism in order to enter the kingdom of God.

Those who have visited the Holy Land or those who plan to visit in the future, should know that when one stands on the Israeli side, the current of the Jordan always flows toward the right. This can be confirmed by anyone who visits the Jordan at any time of the year.

Every year, however, on the day before Epiphany (according to the Julian Calendar, January 18), during the blessing of the waters, the miracle of the River Jordan reversing its flow takes place. The miracle repeats every January 18 – some years with more intensity.

According to our Holy Orthodox Church, the miracle occurred when Jesus entered the Jordan River to get baptized by the Great Prophet and Saint: John the Baptist when “the Jordan reversed its flow!”



Ambvon Prayer on the Feast Holy Theophany

(From an ancient Amvbon Prayer.Orlov, no. 52, p. 326)

  Ineffable is Thy love towards us, and boundless is the sea of Thy good will, O Lord our God;

for it was pleasing unto Thee for Thine Only-begotten Son to be born of a chaste woman, and to become man;

and to be like unto us in all things, save sin:

and to be baptized as a man for our sake by John, though needing no baptism: so that, in sanctifying the element of water, He might grant us rebirth by water and the Spirit.

And in these things discerning Thee to be God eternal, we worship Thee, Who hast from the heavens proclaimed Him that was baptized to be Thy Son.

We glorify Thy Holy Spirit, Who descended upon Him and revealed Him to John:

for Thou hast sealed us, and endowed us with the grace of Baptism;

Thou hast made us communicants of Thy Christ:

of Whom deprive not us sinners, but by His Grace support us against every force of evil;

and strengthen the Orthodox Christians against every assault, and lead us all into Thy Kingdom:

that in us may be glorified Thine all-holy Name, and that of Thine Only-begotten Son, together with the most Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.


Holy Epiphany Troparion – Russian


A Sermon On The Day Of Theophany

by St. John Maximovitch

StJohnMaximovitch <<Our father among the saints John Maximovitch, Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco – The Wonderworker (d. 1966), was a diocesan bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) who served widely from China to France to the United States. Countless miracles have been attributed to this holy bishop, both during his lifetime and since his repose. He guided souls in many places across the globe during his earthly sojourn.>>

Today the nature of the waters is sanctified. Today the Son of God is baptized in the waters of the Jordan, having no need Himself of cleansing, but in order to cleanse the sinful human race from defilement.

Now the heavens open and the voice of God the Father is heard: This is My beloved Son. The Holy Spirit descends upon the Savior of the world, Who stands in the Jordan, thereby confirming that this indeed is He Who is the incarnate Son of God. The Holy Trinity is clearly made manifest and is revealed to mankind.

The waters of the Jordan are sanctified, and together with them all the waters of creation, the very nature of water. Water is given power to cleanse not only the body, but also man’s whole soul, and to regenerate the whole man unto a new life through Baptism.

Through water all of nature is cleansed, for out of water the world was made, and moisture penetrates everywhere, giving life to everything else in nature. Without moisture neither animals nor plants can live; moisture penetrates into rocks, into every place in the world.

The waters are sanctified and through them the whole world, in preparation for renewal and regeneration for God’s eternal Kingdom which is to come.

Every year on this day the glory of God is revealed, renewing and confirming what was accomplished at Christ’s Baptism. Again the heavens are opened; again the Holy Spirit descends. We do not see this with our bodily eyes, but we sense its power. At the rite of blessing, the waters which are thereby sanctified are transformed; the become incorruptible and retain their freshness for many years.

Everyone can see this- both believers and unbelievers, both the wise and the ignorant.

Whence do the water acquire this property?

It is the action of the Holy Spirit.

Those who with faith drink these waters and anoint themselves with them receive relief and healing from spiritual and bodily infirmities. Homes are sanctified by these waters, the power of demons is expelled, God’s blessing is brought down upon all that is sprinkled with these waters. Through the sanctifying of the waters God’s blessing is again imparted to the whole world, cleansing it from the sins we have committed and guarding it from the machinations of the devil.

Today the Holy Spirit, descending up on the waters when the Cross of Christ is immersed into them, descends up on all of nature. Only in man He cannot enter without his will.

Let us open our hearts and souls to receive Him and with faith cry from the depths of our souls:

“Great art Thou, O Lord, and marvelous are Thy works, and there is no word which sufficeth to hymn Thy wonders.”

Taken from The Preachers Institute (an online Orthodox Christian homiletics resource) website: http://preachersinstitute.


Our father among the saints Seraphim of Sarov was a Russian ascetic who lived at the Sarov Monastery in the 18th century, and is considered a wonder-worker. The Church commemorates St. Seraphim on January 2, and the opening of his relics on July 19. St. Seraphim of Sarov is one of the most beloved Orthodox saints of recent times (1759–1833). He is credited with acquiring in a most full way, the grace and the Spirit of God. He spent 1,000 days and nights on a rock praying to God for forgiveness. He was a hermit, spiritual guide and priest. He led many christian souls along the path in of apostolic Christianity in Russia during the 19th-century. Born on July 19, 1754, at Kursk, Russia.  His parents, Isidore and Agathia Moshnin, lived in Kursk, Russia; Isidore was a merchant. At the age of 10, Seraphim became seriously ill. During the course of his illness, he saw the Mother of God in his sleep, who promised to heal him. Several days later there was a religious procession in Kursk with the locally revered miracle-working icon of the Mother of God. Due to bad weather, the procession took an abbreviated route past the house of the Moshnin family. After his mother put Seraphim up to the miracle-working image, he recovered rapidly. While at a young age, he needed to help his parents with their shop, but business had little appeal for him. Young Seraphim loved to read the lives of the saints, to attend church, and to withdraw into seclusion for prayer.

He started as meek and labor-loving monk but later on as a ascetic recluse and finally a spiritual guide to thousands of souls in Russia, St. Seraphim remains one of the most beloved saints in his own land, and is known universally as a miracle-worker and a glorious bearer of God’s grace.

Orthodox spirituality has produced many holy and famous men, but none in recent centuries to compare with Seraphim of Sarov. He started as a monk working with people and then he was led to become a hermit. He lived deep in the forest and was all alone with only his pet bear, Misha, to keep him company. But, his solitude was interrupted when he was attacked by bandits. So he returned to the community and in 1825, after fifteen years in silence, he began to receive visitors again and to spend his energies in their spiritual direction. By means of his faith and asceticism he performed a number of miracles. His fame and humility brought a steady stream of visitors, religious and royalty alike, to him for advice. Tsar Nicholas wanted to appoint Seraphim as the Metropolitan of St. Petersburg. This was not to the austere monk’s taste. He remained a private meditative counselor until his death. The church proclaimed him a saint in 1903. His humility and concern for people made Sarov a center of pilgrimage until the events of the 1917 revolution.

For 45 years he led the life of a contemplative, first in the monastery and then in an isolated hut. Eight years before his death he opened his cell to visitors so that they might seek his advice. It was said he could supply answers before visitors had time to ask their questions. He counseled tough cases of conscience and reportedly worked miracles, healing the sick. Gentle but firm with others, he was very severe with himself. He spent many nights in continual prayer. Depth in spiritual prayer was open, he said, to all Christians. Through his teaching and his life, he revived monasticism as a helpful force to common believers in the Russian Orthodox church.

For St. Seraphim emphasized that the whole purpose of life was to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Doing good in Christ’s name was but a means to this end. He saw contemplation, self-denial and meditation as means of bringing oneself to ecstatic prayer.

Once while discussing the topic with his disciple Motovilov, he became so shining that Motovilov could not at first look at him. His eyes were flashing like lightning, and his face shone like the sun. When finally able to lift his eyes to gaze upon his master, Motovilov was filled with peace and joy. This peace and joy, said Seraphim, was the peace and joy Christ promised the disciples at the last supper when he said, “My peace I give unto you,” and “your sorrow will be turned to joy.”

The interior of St. Seraphim’s cell at his Far Hermitage

QUOTES from St. Seraphim of Sarov

“Maintain a spirit of peace and you will save a thousand souls.”

Kingdom of God awaits those who have patiently endured. And all the glory of the world is nothing in comparison.“The reading of the word of God should be performed in solitude, in order that the whole mind of the reader might be plunged into the truths of the Holy Scripture, and that from this he might receive warmth, which in solitude produces tears; from these a man is wholly warmed and is filled with spiritual gifts, which rejoice the mind and heart more than any word.”

God is a fire that warms and kindles the heart and inward parts. Hence, if we feel in our hearts the cold which comes from the devil—for the devil is cold—let us call on the Lord. He will come to warm our hearts with perfect love, not only for Him but also for our neighbor, and the cold of him who hates the good will flee before the heat of His countenance.

The body is a slave, the soul a sovereign, and therefore it is due to Divine mercy when the body is worn out by illness: for thereby the passions are weakened, and a man comes to himself; indeed, bodily illness itself is sometimes caused by the passions.

Without sorrows there is no salvation. On the other hand, the

Those who have truly decided to serve the Lord God should practice the remembrance of God and uninterrupted prayer to Jesus Christ, mentally saying: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

When despondency seizes us, let us not give in to it. Rather, fortified and protected by the light of faith, let us with great courage say to the spirit of evil: “What are you to us, you who are cut off from God, a fugitive for Heaven, and a slave of evil? You dare not do anything to us: Christ, the Son of God, has dominion over us and over all. Leave us, you thing of bane. We are made steadfast by the uprightness of His Cross. Serpent, we trample on your head.”

“It is necessary that the Holy Spirit enter our heart. Everything good that we do, that we do for Christ, is given to us by the Holy Spirit, but prayer most of all, which is always available to us,”

“Prayer, fasting, vigil and all other Christian practices, however good they may be in themselves, do not constitute the aim of our Christian life, although they serve as the indispensable means of reaching this end. The true aim of our Christian life consists in the [increasing] acquisition of the Holy Spirit of God. As for fasts, and vigils, and prayer, and almsgiving, and every good deed done for Christ’s sake, they are only means of acquiring the Holy Spirit of God.”

“…the people who, in spite of the bonds of sin which fetter them and hinder them (by constraint and by inciting them to new sins), come to Him, our Savior, with perfect repentance for tormenting Him, who despise all the strength of the fetters of sin and force themselves to break their bonds – such people at last actually appear before the face of God made whiter than snow by His grace. ‘Come, says the Lord: Though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them whiter than snow’ (Isa.

“Every success in anything we should refer to the Lord and with the Prophet say: ‘Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory’ (Ps. 113:9).”

“The true aim of our Christian life consists in the acquisition of the Holy Spirit of God… But… only the good deeds done for Christ’s sake bring us the fruits of the Holy Spirit.”

“…only the good deed done for Christ’s sake brings us the fruits of the Holy Spirit. All that is not done for Christ’s sake, even though it be good, brings neither reward in the future life nor the grace of God in this life. That is why our Lord Jesus Christ said: ‘He who gathers not with Me scatters’ (Lk.

The stone on which St. Seraphim stood and kneeled for 1000 days and nights


Acquiring The Holy Spirit, the goal of Christian life

St. Seraphim of Sarov Links

Seraphim of Sarov: Orthodox Wiki
St. Seraphim of Sarov Life and Teachings: Orthodox Photos . com by Bishop Alexander (Mileant), translated by Nicholas and Natalia Semyanko
St Seraphim of Sarov – Life and Teachings:
Missionary Leaflet # EA08 Copyright © 2001 Holy Trinity Orthodox Mission
Saint Seraphim of Sarov On Acquisition of the Holy Spirit: Missionary Leaflet # E88 Copyright © 2001 Holy Trinity Orthodox Mission
Repose of the Venerable Seraphim the Wonderworker of Sarov: Orthodox Church of America
Uncovering of the relics of the Venerable Seraphim of Sarov: Orthodox Church of America

A Wonderful Revelation to the world: Orthodox Info . com – by New Sarov Press.
Lives of the Saints – St. Seraphim of Sarov: Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
St. Seraphim of Sarov: Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America – by Aaron Farha (Jan. ’02)
The Story of St. Seraphim of Sarov:
On Earth As In Heaven
St Seraphim of Sarov:
from Orthodox Saints Vol 1, by Fr. George Poulos Holy Cross Orthodox Press
Seraphim of Sarov (1759-1833) Saint of the Russian Orthodox Church: Monk, ascetic, and starets
80 Miracles Worked by St. Seraphim of Sarov: Published by, June 23, 2003
Life of Saints For Children – Saint Seraphim of Sarov: by Father Nektarios Serfes. (c)Father Nektarios Serfes
LIFE OF ST. SERAPHIM OF SAROV (1759 – 1833): written by Jane M. deVyver, M.Th., Ph.D.
Saint Seraphim of Sarov On Acquisition of the Holy Spirit: Greek Orthodox Church . org
The Prayer Rule of St Seraphim of Sarov: Ukraine Orthodoxy – Dr. Alexander Roman
Saint Seraphim of Sarov – Russian Saints: Orthodox World . ru
ST. SERAPHIM OF SAROV, HERMIT: From Orthodox Saints, Vol. I, by Fr. George Poulos (Holy Cross Orthodox Press)
St. Seraphim of Sarov on Receiving Holy Communion: by Archimandrite Lazarus Moore. New Sarov Press,
The 100th Anniversary of the the Glorification of St. Seraphim: Priest Sergei SVESHNIKOV – ROCOR
A Righteous Man Lives Forever…100th anniversary: by Archbishop Averky (Taushev)

Reliquary with the relics of St. Seraphim today


  This fearless champion of the Orthodox Faith, the pillar of fire that lights Christianity today, St. Basil the Great, was born in Caesarea in 329. His family was adorned by many saints, including his paternal grandmother, his father, his mother St. Emmella, his sister St, Macrina, and his brothers St. Gregory of Nyssa and St. Peter of Sebaste. 

  At the age of 23 he formed a life-long holy friendship in Athens with St. Gregory Nazianzen who, together with St. Maerina, zealously encouraged and guided him to renounce the world and live the angelic life of a monk. The saint had already come to love holy poverty and feel contempt for human praise, following the example of Christ, and so he gave away his estate to the poor and traveled extensively, receiving instruction from holy monks and hermits. Later he founded many monasteries, among them one opposite the convent established by his mother and sister, and composed his ascetic works and rules for monastics, called the “Longer” and “Shorter Rules,”

  From time to tine he was summoned to offer courageous defense of the Orthodox Faith against persecutors of the truth, but otherwise he quietly divided his time between prayer, the study of Holy Scripture, and manual labor. According to his friend, St. Gregory, he lived at all times cheerfully and in such great poverty–even after he was made bishop–that when he died in 379 there was not enough even for a small tombstone. Not only had his monument already been long erected in the hearts of Orthodox Christians, but the Church chose to honor him as one of the great “Three Hierarchs,” together with St. John Chrysostom and St. Gregory the Theologian (their feast is celebrated on January 30).    

  The following excerpt from his “Introduction to the Ascetical Life” is an intrepid call to arms, such as the Orthodox Church has sounded in every age.

“Come, then, soldier of Christ…! Set before  yourself a life without house, homeland, or possessions. Be free and at liberty from all worldly cares,  lest desire or anxiety fetter you ….Follow the Heavenly Bridegroom; withstand the onset of invisible  foes; wage war against principalities and powers, driving them out first from your own soul ….

Earth did not accept you as a citizen, but heaven will welcome you. The world persecuted you, but the angels will bear you aloft to the presence of Christ. You will even be called friend by Him and will hear thelonged for word of commendation: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant, brave soldier and imitator of the Lord, follower of the King, I shall reward you with My own gifts and I shall pay heed to your words even as you did to Mine.’

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone

Your voice resounded throughout the world that received your word by which, in godly manner, you taught dogma, clarified the nature of beings, and set in order the character of people. Venerable father, Royal Priesthood, intercede to Christ God to grant us great mercy.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone

For the Church art thou in truth a firm foundation, granting an inviolate lordship unto all mortal men and sealing it with what thou hast taught, O righteous Basil, revealer of heavenly things.




“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.”

“The bread that you store up belongs to the hungry; the coat that lies in your chest belongs to the naked; the gold that you have hidden in the ground belongs to the poor.”

“A good deed is never lost. He who sows courtesy, reaps friendship; he who plants kindness, gathers love; pleasure bestowed on a grateful mind was never sterile, but generally gratitude begets reward.”

On Poverty: “The harshest form of covetousness is not even to give things perishable to those who need them.  “But whom do I treat unjustly,” you say, “by keeping what is my own?”  Tell me, what is your own?  What did you bring into this life?  From where did you receive it?  It is as if someone were to take the first seat in the theater, then bar everyone else from attending, so that one person alone enjoys what is offered for the benefit of all-this is what the rich do.  They first take possession of the common property, and then they keep it as their own because they were the first to take it.  But if every man took only what sufficed for his own need, and left the rest to the needy, no one would be rich, no one would be poor, no one would be in need.

Did you not fall naked from the womb?  Will you not go back naked to the earth?  Where is your present property from?  If you think that it came to you by itself, you don’t believe in God, you don’t acknowledge the creator and you are not thankful to Him who gave it to you.  But if you agree and confess that you have it from God, tell us the reason why He gave it to you.

Is God unjust, dividing unequally the goods of this life?  Why are you rich, while the other is poor?  Isn’t it, if for no other reason, so that you can gain a reward for your kindness and faithful stewardship, and for him to be honored with the great virtue of patience?  But you, having gathered everything inside the empty bosom of avarice, do you think that you wrong no one, while you rob so many people?


Who is the greedy person?  It’s him, who doesn’t content himself with what he has.  And who the thief?  He who steals what belongs to others.  And you think that you are not greedy, and that you do not rob others?  What had been granted to you so that you might care for others, you claim for yourself.

He who strips a man of his clothes is to be called a thief.  Is not he who, when he is able, fails to clothe the naked, worthy of no other title?  The bread which you do not use is the bread of the hungry; the garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of him who is naked; the shoes that you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is barefoot; the money that you keep locked away is the money of the poor; the acts of charity that you do not perform are so many injustices that you commit.”

His monumental work on the origin of the Holy Spirit was called Hexæmeron (plus other writtings) can be found at:

Basil: the pillar of fire 

Vesperal Liturgy of St Basil:




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