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Lives of Saints Last Updated: Feb 8th, 2011 - 05:50:02

Dear Readers,
We are happy to announce plans for a new design for our website Orthodoxy and the World. We will be diverting all our efforts to introduce our new design March 1st, and so will be unable to make new posts at this time. We have many new translations lined up that we hope you will like, so there is much work ahead! Keep us in your prayers, and continue to support our efforts at Orthodoxy and the World.

Lives of Saints
Messiah's Foster Father an Impressive Example of Manhood
I love my children, but they sometimes push my buttons to the point where I fear I’ll lose my mind. I can't imagine the depth of love and patience it must take to assume responsibility for a child not your own by blood.

Jan 8, 2011, 10:00

Lives of Saints
A Convert’s Heritage – Western Saints
Those of us whose ancestors are French, Irish, Scandinavian, German, Italian or other British or European nationality, would do well to remember that we too have a rich Orthodox heritage. Unhappily, it has in many cases been buried under a thick layer of Catholic and Protestant history.

Nov 6, 2010, 10:00

Lives of Saints
Saint Romanos Melodos: The Lyric Poetry and Drama of Great Friday
How did the poetry and music of the Church develop and how do they differ from secular arts? No account of this subject would be complete without mention of Saint Romanos Melodos, whom many scholars consider to be not only the preeminent poet of the Byzantine period but the greatest poet of the early Middle Ages in any language.

Oct 14, 2010, 09:59

Lives of Saints
Heirs of Saint Innocent
St. Innocent of Alaska (at the time Fr. John Veniaminov) was an amazing man. In a time when travel was thought to be long when someone went to the next town, he journeyed across the whole continent of Asia, crossed the Bering Sea and came to Sitka, Alaska as the priest in charge of the Alaskan Mission of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Sep 30, 2010, 05:34

Lives of Saints
Six Encounters with St John of Shanghai and San Francisco
Vladyka's eyes brightened, as they had done earlier and, turning to me, with an affectionate and approving voice, said: "Look! 'He' has disappeared and won't come back again! Remember this once and for all: never turn away from a good intention!"

Jul 3, 2010, 10:00

Lives of Saints
Orthodox Saint a Missionary to be Proud of
America's first Orthodox saint was a failure by American standards. He never possessed anything more than the clothes on his back. He had no formal education or career. He never achieved sexual fulfillment.

Jun 8, 2010, 10:00

Lives of Saints
The Miraculous Intercession of St. Herman of Alaska
Some time ago, in the1990s, our parish invited a local "tree surgeon," Leo M., to cut down a couple of dead trees in the back of the church property. He came and worked with his wife, Kathleen, doing the job quickly and with kindness to the rest of the surroundings. But they strongly resisted being paid, insisting on offering their work gratis to our church. They were non-Orthodox, and we wondered about the reason for such generosity.

Jun 7, 2010, 01:51

Lives of Saints
St. Herman of Alaska
In an obscure corner of what is now Alaska, on an Aleutian island called Spruce, a monk labored from the late 1700’s until his repose in 1837. Braving subzero temperatures, plagues and storms, ill treatment from fellow Russians who resented and misunderstood him, St. Herman lived a life marked by astonishing ascetic labor that gave birth to a deep love and concern for all with whom he came in contact. Strangely, despite the miracles associated with him not only throughout his life but also, after his death, he was all but forgotten after he reposed

Aug 8, 2009, 10:00

Lives of Saints
A Comparison: Francis of Assisi and St. Seraphim of Sarov
From the above points taken from a comparison of the two visions and of what Francis and St Seraphim experienced in these, there is a sharp difference in the mysticism of the two. St Seraphim's mysticism appears as a purely spiritual ecstasy, as something bestowed on the ascetic, as a gift of a spiritual vision, as an enlightenment of his higher intellect, while Francis' spiritual experience is a mysticism induced by his will, and obviously darkened by his own imagination and sensuality.

Aug 1, 2009, 10:00

Lives of Saints
Notes of a Pilgrim on the Glorification of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco, 1994
After the singing of the psalms, the Cathedral was absolutely silent. Everyone's attention was focused on the sarcophagus. First His Eminence Metropolitan Vitaly removed the cloth from the icon of the saint (the icon lay in the sarcophagus), and two priests (one monastic, one from the lay clergy), raised it for all to see. Then, the mantle was removed from the coffin, and finally, a key opened the locks, the cover was opened, and the very relics of St. John were visible through the glass. There are no words to describe the feeling of humility and love which overcame all who saw the incorrupt relics of the saint in his white Paschal vestments.

Jul 4, 2009, 10:00

Lives of Saints
Blessed Matrona
People came to her with their troubles, with their spiritual and bodily ills. She refused help to no one, except those who came with malicious intentions. Some thought that Matushka was a folk healer, capable of removing a curse or the evil eye, but after speaking with her they realized that she was a person of God and turned to the Church and its salvific Mysteries. Her help was unmercenary; she took nothing from anyone.

May 2, 2009, 10:00

Lives of Saints
Answered Prayers at St. Matrona’s
On Friday night, Oct. 25, three days after they had been captured, I had the dream. It was as if I could see inside the theatre, and close to the roof I saw St. Matrona with her arms outstretched in protection, accompanied by all of those who were praying for the captives’ release. I awoke in the night with a great sense of relief that St. Matrona was there, and that God would help, until I suddenly realized that it had only been a dream.

May 2, 2009, 10:00

Lives of Saints
On Saint Mary of Egypt
For in that single moment on the steps of the church, Mary was both changed in herself, and found worthy in the eyes of the Lord. Her response was entirely in character: with perfect freedom and perfect love, Mary turned the whole of herself to God - her heart, her body, her very life. With the huge courage that had once enabled her to lead her life of sin with clear self-understanding, she now lived her life in the presence of God.

Apr 5, 2009, 10:00

Lives of Saints
The Veneration of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco: Recollections of a Spiritual Son
From the day of his monastic tonsure, Vladyka slept sitting up. As a result of this he had swelling of the feet and it was painful for him to wear shoes. Therefore, Vladyka wore sandals. At home in his cell, or when he served in the church of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk [at the orphanage], he often went barefoot — not out of foolishness-for-Christ, but because it was easier on his feet.

Mar 11, 2009, 10:00

Lives of Saints
The Life of St. Valentine
Of all the Saints that the Church remembers throughout the year, this Saint that I want to talk about today is probably recognized more than any other. With the exception of one other Saint, St. Nicholas, whose feast day is commemorated on Dec. 6 (during the same season as the birth of Christ), the name of this Saint is well-known throughout all of North America - and on his Feast Day, millions of people, both Christian and non-Christian, get involved in one great celebration - a celebration of love.

Feb 13, 2009, 10:00

Lives of Saints
The Life of St. Nina
When the apostles had drawn lots to determine who was to preach where, the Theotokos had received the lot for Iberia, but she had been held back from going and was assured that someone would later enlighten it. In a dream, the Theotokos came to Nina and urged her to preach the gospel in Georgia. The Mother of God assured Nina that she would protect her and as a pledge, left a cross of grape vines.

Jan 27, 2009, 10:00

Lives of Saints
St. Basil the Great
To the pen of St. Basil the Great belong commentaries on Sacred Scripture, a treatise on the Holy Spirit, epistles, sermons and rules for monastic life. He did much for the establishment of the order of the Liturgy, and wrote numerous prayers. The Church reveres him as a fighter for the purity of the faith, a great hierarch and theologian, calling him a "universal teacher." Only on two other saints - John Chrysostom and Gregory the Theologian - is such a great honor bestowed.

Jan 14, 2009, 10:00

Lives of Saints
St. Nicholas
St. Nicholas followed the words of our Lord, Lay up treasure for yourself in Heaven, by saying his prayers every day, by fasting, and by performing many good deeds. God was so pleased that He worked many miracles through him. Because he was able to calm storms on the sea he became known as the patron saint of sailors. Because he protected children (he even raised 3 children from the dead!), he is also a patron of young people.

Dec 19, 2008, 10:00

Lives of Saints
The Saint Who Was Santa Claus
Dominating our Christmas, rather “holiday” season, (we do not want to be offensive to our non-Christian and non-believing friends) , is the Santa Claus legend. The Santa figure and the gift giving displays find their source not in Jesus Christ as much as in the story by Clement Moore, “The Night Before Christmas.” which is itself a distorted derivative of the actual life of the great Orthodox bishop Nicholas who lived in the small coastal town of Myra in what is today Turkey.

Dec 19, 2008, 10:00

Lives of Saints
Foolishness for Christ
Being baptized into Christ means putting Him on and living our lives according to His teachings and His example. If we have truly done so, then the same rejection and cries of ridicule await us as those that greeted His coming. When we look at the lives of the saints from this perspective, we can see, even in the most dignified of hierarchs and noblest of martyrs, the clear and unmistakable signs of Foolishness for Christ's sake

Nov 19, 2008, 10:00

Lives of Saints
Mission Notes: Saint Nicholas of Japan
Saint Nicholas of Japan was a unique and notable example to all Orthodox Christian missionaries. First, he threw himself wholeheartedly into understanding the language and culture. When he was found reading non-Japanese books, his Archbishop rebuked him, and he resolved to only read Japanese literature. He got out into the community and listened to Buddhist and Shinto storytellers and preachers. He researched the history of Japan. He knew it better than most Japanese.

Nov 14, 2008, 10:00

Lives of Saints
Saint Sergius, wonderworker of Radonezh
It is to this moral instruction of the people that St. Sergius dedicated his life, to this end applying the means of a moral discipline accessible and comprehensible to all men – a living example, a visible embodiment of moral rule. He began with himself, and by a lengthy period of solitude, full of labors and privations, in the midst of a primeval forest, he prepared himself to become a guide for others.

Oct 8, 2008, 10:00

Lives of Saints
Saint John of Kronstadt - one of the most unique Russian elders
How did he manage to do it all? He had the ability - acquired, no doubt, by prayer and patience - to snatch a short period of deep sleep wherever and whenever he got the chance; and he had a great love of the early morning hours for prayer and meditation, but his early morning walks in his garden were soon discovered, and then - farewell to solitude! Often, indeed, he could barely save half-an-hour for his own prayers.

Jan 2, 2008, 15:03

Lives of Saints
St. Seraphim of Sarov
St. Seraphim was once again healed by the Most Holy Virgin Mary, Who appeared to him accompanied by several saints. Pointing to the venerable Seraphim, The Holy Virgin said to the apostle John the Theologian: "He is of our lineage." Then, by touching his side with Her staff, She healed him.

Dec 6, 2007, 01:52

Lives of Saints
St Seraphim of Sarov
S t. Seraphim (born Prohor Moshnin) was born in 1759 to a merchant family in Kursk. At the age of 10, he 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.
Jul 11, 2007, 07:38

Lives of Saints
Spiritual Father and Chief Shepherd of His Nation
Saint Ambrosi the Confessor (in the world Besarion Khelaia) was born in 1861. He received his primary education at the theological school in Samegrelo and graduated from Tbilisi Seminary in 1885. He graduated and was ordained to the priesthood in the same year. Fr. Ambrosi served as a priest in Sokhumi (in northwestern Georgia) for eight years, at the same time teaching the Georgian language in schools and directing the activity of various philanthropic societies.

Jun 3, 2007, 18:47

Lives of Saints
Optina Elders
Elder Makary's face was scarred by smallpox, he stuttered and was always poorly dressed, but he was distinguished by a very refined personality. He was born to a landed gentry family, loved music and was a talented violinist.

Mar 6, 2007, 20:55

Lives of Saints
On Glorification of the Saints. A talk with archpriest Georgiy Mitrofanov
Glorification of saints is a very difficult issue. History of the Church is, first of all, the history of sainthood, and the twentieth century in this regard is one of the saddest periods of our church history. The Russian Church, having given the world an enormous number of saints, had no opportunity to complete the glorification .

Feb 13, 2007, 04:34

Lives of Saints
Symeon the Stylite of the Mountain
Saint Symeon, the "New Stylite," was born in Antioch; John his father was from Edessa, and Martha his mother was from Antioch. From his childhood he was under the special guidance of Saint John the Baptist and adopted an extremely ascetical way of life.

May 24, 2006, 10:27

Lives of Saints
Translation of the relics of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker from Myra to Bari, in 1087
Our beloved holy Father Nicholas is, along with St George (and second to the All-holy Theotokos), probably the best-loved Saint of the Church. His numberless miracles through the ages, on behalf of the countless Christians who have called on him, cannot be told. He was born in Lycia (in Asia Minor) around the end of the third century, to pious Christian parents.

May 8, 2006, 15:08

Lives of Saints
Holy Gloriuos Great-martyr, Victory-bearer and Wonderworker George
The Great­martyr George, for his manliness and for his spiritual victory over the torturers, who could not force him to renounce Christianity, and likewise for his wonderworking assistance to people in danger is additionally called the "Victory-bearer".
Neither the Great Horologion nor the Prologue, nor the Church's services to St George, mention the most popular story of St George, his slaying of a dragon.

May 6, 2006, 00:09

Lives of Saints
ST. John the Baptist
St. John the Baptist is the man who recognizes in Jesus of Nazareth the Lamb of God, God Incarnate, the Man of sorrows. He is the one who in God’s own name declares to those who surround him who He is, and who prepares His way. The greatness of St John the Baptist lies, perhaps more than in anything, in the fact that he so loved, so believed, so completely wanted to serve God, who had come into His world to save it, that his whole service can be put in the words he uses himself: “ I must diminish, I must decrease, that He may increase.”

Sep 11, 2005, 00:26

Lives of Saints
The Ancient Fathers of the Desert: (Section 1)
Abba Antonios said: “The time is coming when people will be seized by manias and will behave like madmen. And if they see anyone acting reasonably, they will rise up against him saying: ‘You are insane.’ And they will have accurately said this to him, for he will not be like them.”
May 16, 2005, 01:46

Lives of Saints
Sts. Cyril and Methodius
In the middle of the 9th Century, Patriarch Photius initiated large scale missionary labors in these regions by sending out the two brothers Constantine (in monasticism Cyril - 869) and Methodius (885 - both are commemorated May 11), first to the Khazar State north of the Caucasus (this was largely unsuccessful) and then to Moravia (Czechoslovakia) in 863.

May 10, 2005, 02:38

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