Monday, July 21, 2014

The Days of the Schism of 1054 (3 of 6)

Pope John XVI the Benevolent

2. The Stages of the Schism

The Schism was in fact gradual. However, influenced by papal propaganda for many centuries, historians often refer to "schisms" of the 5th, 7th and especially of the 9th (under Photios) centuries, which never happened. Nowadays, thanks to the extensive research of Francis Dvornik and Fr. John Romanides, the truth is gradually being restored. So the stages that led to the Schism of 1054 are not the iconoclastic stance of Constantinople in the 8th century, nor some mythical excommunication of Photios in the 9th century. All these, as well as prior disputes, were resolved over time and validated formally in Synods with the participation of the Eastern Patriarchates and the Pope.

The actual stages that led to 1054 were the following four:

The Miraculous Grave of St. Theoktistos Discovered in Novgorod

Archaeologists in the city of Novgorod, during excavations at Yuriev Monastery, discovered the grave of St. Theoktistos (otherwise known as Theoktist or Feoktist), who was Archbishop of Novgorod from 1299 to 1308 and is commemorated on December 23 (repose) and January 23 (translation of relics).

The Marvelous Death and Translation to Heaven of a Holy Fool

St. Symeon the Fool for Christ (Feast Day - July 21)

By St. Leontius of Neapolis

Now the time calls, O Friends, to narrate to you the marvelous death, or rather sleep. For his death does not present ordinary edification, but it was more remarkable than everything I said before. It became both seal and guarantee of his triumph and confirmation that his behavior did not defile him. 

Video Footage of Jerusalem in 1896

The video footage below captures the harmony between Palestinians of all faiths - Muslims and Christians - with Jews in Jerusalem in 1896. This is the first film footage of Jerusalem taken by the Lumier Brothers. It was discovered in Paris in February of 2007. This video excerpt was extracted from "Palestine: Story of a Land" by Simone Bitton.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

What Sirach Said About Elijah the Prophet

Below is an excerpt from the Book of the All-Virtuous Wisdom of Joshua ben Sirach, also known as Ecclesiasticus, chapter 48:1-12. Note how this excerpt, written approximately 200 years before the coming of Christ, addresses the Prophet in a manner like most Orthodox hymns to saints. It is a direct address of praise.

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