Dear Readers: A long time supporter of the Mystagogy Resource Center has informed me that they would like to donate $3000 to help me continue the work of this ministry, but they will only do it as a matching donation, which means that this generous donation will only be made after you help me raise a total of $3000. If you can help make this happen, it will be greatly appreciated and it would be greatly helpful to me, as I have not done a fundraiser this year. If you enjoy the work done here and want to see more of it, please make whatever contribution you can through the DONATE link below. Thank you!
(Total So Far - Day 11: $2740)

October 31, 2014

Daimonologia Posts From October

Having concluded the first month of posts over at my new website, I am sharing links to all the posts from this past month to encourage those interested in these topics to visit it and like my Facebook page for it as well as follow its Twitter page.

Halloween Safety Tips and Crime Myths

The Monsters Among Us

Jesus Likes Halloween a Little Bit, Doesn't He?

Tricks in the Treats: The Myth of Poisoned Halloween Candy

The Truth About Halloween

Who’s Afraid of Halloween?

The Halloween Debate In Russia

Popular Christian Myths About Halloween

How Christians Made Halloween A Satanic Holiday

Ten Things I Won't Do On Halloween

The True Origins of the Jack O' Lantern

The Christian, Not Pagan, Origins of Halloween

Orthodoxy and Halloween: Separating Fact From Fiction

Book Review: "The Undead and Theology"

Zombies and God

Lycanthropy (Werewolves) in Byzantine Times

St. Gregory of Nyssa on the Apparitions of Spirits of the Dead

St. John Chrysostom on Ghosts and Wandering Spirits

St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite on Vampirism

Halloween: An Orthodox Christian Perspective

The Haunted Cell Of A Heretic

Saint Gerasimos of Kefallonia and the Demon Possessed

On the Stench of Demons and Sin

Monastics Even Pray For Demons!

Fear of the Devil in the 1980's and Today

The Origins of Idolatry

"The Raven": Demon of Despair (On Poe and Death)

Book Review: "Very Short Introduction to Paganism"

Book Review: "Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation"

Magicians Who Converted to Orthodox Christianity

Saints Cyprian and Justina the Martyrs

A Secret History of Satan in America

What Is Occultism? An Orthodox Christian Response

Orthodox Demonology 101

An Image of Death's Relentless Approach

About This Website

The War Against Evil Spirits

Question: How do evil spirits war against us?

Answer: You should first of all know, that in the demonic warfare against man, each evil spirit has its role. Every sin takes place either through motivation of or our working together with a certain demon, and every passion is supported by a certain demon.

October 30, 2014

The Liturgy of Saint James: the Trojan Horse of "Liturgical Renewal" (7 of 7)

Papal Mass - Liturgy of James

D) Press Release of the Sacred Church of Saint John the Theologian in Peristeri

"In the Sacred Church of Saint John the Theologian in Peristeri there will be performed the archaic Divine Liturgy of Saint James, outside of the Holy Sanctuary, on 10/29. It is performed every year and the faithful have the unique opportunity and blessing to receive the body and blood of the Lord separately, as it was done by the early Christians."

It is emphasized here that the Divine Liturgy will be performed outside of the Holy Sanctuary. They are thus emphasizing that they are violating the rules of the Sacred Canons. They are emphasizing that they are advertizing arbitrariness. Does this not, therefore, make it clear that the purpose of this Liturgy is the "renewal" of our worship? It is surprising that they consider it a "blessing" to receive the elements of Communion separately. In fact is it not a blessing that they are receiving the Lord Himself? Is it thus a greater blessing to receive Communion separately, and if so, why? Is not such an observation blasphemous to the Body and Blood of the Master? Do we not show by this that we are wrongly catechizing our faithful and leading them into errors? Many times we have received complaints from good and innocent people who have participated in this Liturgy where the priest first gave them antidron! This means that these good and innocent people thought the Body of the Lord was antidron and they received Communion completely unprepared. Instead of catechizing our faithful we confuse them with our tricks and novelties.

October 29, 2014

The Liturgy of Saint James: the Trojan Horse of "Liturgical Renewal" (6 of 7)


In the following pages we will practically support all that has been written in this text regarding the so-called Divine Liturgy of James. We will demonstrate in the most incontrovertible way the facts, that the restoration of this Liturgy has no other purpose than to bring a forced liturgical renewal into the life of our Church, a renewal that in turn is solely intended to remove liturgical differences with Catholics in order to bring about faster and with the least possible resistance from the faithful the union of "churches". But the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church is not an organization, a company or a religion that requires the discussion of union for it is the very Body of Christ, Truth itself. The liturgical life as it developed in our Church is so perfect that it does not require the slightest change, rather, it is only required to live it and leave it be so we can understand how easily it brings us into communion with God.

Saint Anna the New, Who Was Renamed Euphemianos

St. Anna the New (Feast Day - October 29)

Anna was born in Constantinople, in the area of the Blachernae, possibly around 750. She was the daughter of a deacon called John, who served at the Church of the Blachernae. She was left orphan at an early age and was raised by her grandmother. Her two uncles, her father’s brothers, contributed to her upbringing. The one was a monk at Olympus of Bithynia and, as a defender of icon veneration in the first period of the Iconoclastic Controversy, in the years of Emperor Leo III the Isaurian (717-741), had suffered a tongue excision.

October 28, 2014

The Liturgy of Saint James: the Trojan Horse of "Liturgical Renewal" (5 of 7)

Christ the Great High Priest

Priestly Vestments

Another novelty introduced by the Liturgy of Saint James concerns the originality of the vestments. The innovators have often sought for the abolition of the cassock and the change of the sacred vestments. What they essentially want to achieve, as much as possible, is the outer resemblance with Catholic vestments so that the steps towards union will be even less. What is sought for with this Liturgy, therefore, is coming closer since, according to them, many liturgists and even hierarchs take care to wear different vestments during its performance. For example, the Archbishop of Athens often performs this Liturgy not with the standard hierarchical sakkos, but with the phelonion and omophorion of a priest, like we see in iconography, on the basis that these were the vestments of the time. What they who use this argument forget is that the priests of the time also did not drive to Liturgy in expensive cars. It seems we want to imitate the times of the saints only in clothing and not imitate their life and works.

The Protection of the Theotokos in the Life of the Church

By His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas
of Mesogaia and Lavriotiki

The celebration of October 28th, which is known as the Feast of the Holy Protection, is essentially a rearrangement of the feast honored by the Church on October 1st that is now on October 28th. All other non-Greek speaking Churches honor the Feast of the Holy Protection on October 1st.

However, since the event of 28 October 1940 is combined, which recently took place in the life of Hellenism, and since the Church through the testimonies of saints and simple people felt that this new page in the history of the glory of Hellenism had as a basis the intervention of the Theotokos, the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece asked the then Great Hymnographer Monk Gerasimos Mikragiannanitis to slightly adjust the Service of the Holy Protection, and in 1953 the Feast of the Holy Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos was transferred from October 1st to October 28th, combining the national celebration with the great feast of the Mother of God.

October 27, 2014

The Liturgy of Saint James: the Trojan Horse of "Liturgical Renewal" (4 of 7)

The Participation of the People

While all the above complaints are ignored by the aspiring "innovators", they also claim that during the Liturgy of Saint James the people are more involved because they are able to see and hear everything. This serves the purpose of the "liturgical renewal", which among other things seeks greater participation in the Liturgy, meaning, together with hearing and seeing, common chanting as well. Another Protestantized misconception!

A Narration on the Conversion of the Iberian Nation by a Woman

St. Nina, Equal to the Apostles (Feast Day - January 14 and October 27)

The following narration of the conversion of the Iberians by a woman, not named in the account but popularly known by the name of Nina, in 332 A.D. was given by Theodoret in his Ecclesiastical History (Bk. 1, Chs. 23,24), and placed for commemoration by St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite on October 27th. Below is the account of Theodoret, together with the Verse of Praise by St. Nikodemos.

A Narration on the Conversion of the Iberians, otherwise Called Georgians, Brought to the Knowledge of God by a Woman


The modest woman did a great work,
She converted the entire nation of the Iberians.

Saint Nestor, the Daring Disciple

By Fr. Vasilios I. Kalliakmanis

A. Discipleship under a capable instructor and experienced spiritual father is considered essential for anyone who wants to be initiated in the Christian life. This cannot simply be transmitted through sermons or books. It is transferred by example. In the Synaxarion of Saint Demetrios it says that he came from "the city of Thessaloniki, pious towards the things above by his parents, and an instructor in the faith of Christ." At the same time he was a general of the Roman army in Thessaly and Proconsul of Greece. But this did not prevent him from cultivating Christian piety and to be a mystagogue of many students in evangelical truth.

October 26, 2014

Saint Demetrios of Thessaloniki Resource Page

Dt. Demetrios the Myrrhgusher (Feast Day - October 26)


Lances, my Christ, pierced through Demetrios,
Emulating the passions of your lance-pierced side.
On the twenty-sixth spears pierced the side of Demetrios.

Holy Martyr Loupos of Thessaloniki, Servant of the Holy Great Martyr Demetrios

Saint Demetrios of Thessaloniki as a Monastic

By His Eminence Metropolitan Hierotheos
of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

The fact that the monastic life is the evangelic life and that a monk is one who lives evangelically can also be seen in St. Gregory Palamas's homily on St. Demetrios of Thessaloniki, in which St. Demetrios is presented as a monk. Naturally in the time of St. Demetrios there was no monasticism as we know it today, but every Christian who kept the will of God was essentially a monk.

In his homily on St. Demetrios, the divine Gregory presents the chastity of his body and soul. He lived in general chastity even though he was the highest officer in the Roman army.

October 25, 2014

The Liturgy of Saint James: the Trojan Horse of "Liturgical Renewal" (3 of 7)

The Reading of Prayers13

Another innovation sought for by the innovators, which is presented as part of the "archaic" Liturgy of Saint James, is for the people to be able to listen to the secret prayers of the Divine Liturgy being recited out loud. Even clergy who read the secret prayers silently during the regular Divine Liturgy, when they perform the Liturgy of Saint James, they become lured by the novelty of it and recite the prayers out loud in order to better impress and move people. Yet the prayers of the Liturgy are to be read silently, and this tradition has been maintained from the first century until today.

Saint Tabitha, Who Was Raised From the Dead by the Apostle Peter

St. Tabitha (Feast Day - October 25)

"She was always doing good works and acts of charity." In this way Luke the Evangelist praises Saint Tabitha. The name Tabitha is Syriac and in Greek is translated as Dorcas, which means "deer". Such was name of this most-pious and philanthropic woman, who lived in Joppa.

October 24, 2014

The Liturgy of Saint James: the Trojan Horse of "Liturgical Renewal" (2 of 7)

The Veil (το καταπέτασμα), the Sanctuary Doors (τα βημόθυρα) and the Beautiful Gate (Η Ωραία Πύλη)

...continued from part one.

The Place and Position of the Holy Altar

It has become customary for this Liturgy to be performed not on an established and sanctified Holy Altar, but on a table placed in the middle of the church. This act is certainly contrary to our Sacred Tradition and the Sacred Canons of the Church. But it is the long-standing demand of certain "professors", clergy and laity who have been educated in the West (Fr. Vasilios Thermos,5 Fr. Demetrios Tzerpos,6 Mr. Peter Vasiliadis,7 etc.), who persistently seek the abolition of the icon screen and therefore the distinction of the Sacred Sanctuary.

Saint Senoch of Tours the Healer

St. Senoch the Healer (Feast Day - October 24)

By St. Gregory of Tours

"Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, all is vanity" (Ecclesiastes 1:2). Is it true that everything which is done in the world is vanity? Because of this it happens that the saints of God, who are burned by no ardour of passions, who are pricked by no goad of concupiscence, who are not polluted by the filth of lust, and who are not even brought down, so to speak, in their thoughts, are nevertheless carried away by the wiles of the Tempter, regarding themselves as perfectly just and in consequence being swollen by the pride of an arrogant presumption. Thus those whom the sword of great crimes has not been able to slay have been easily ruined by the light smoke of vanity. This happened to the man of whom we are going to speak, who, although he shone by many virtues, would certainly have fallen headlong into the abyss of arrogance if he had not been restrained by the careful exhortations of his faithful brothers.

October 23, 2014

The Liturgy of Saint James: the Trojan Horse of "Liturgical Renewal" (1 of 7)

By Fr. Vasilios Spiliopoulos

In recent years, more often and more priests celebrate the so-called Divine Liturgy of Saint James the Brother of God. The celebration of this Liturgy and its sudden appearance in the life of our Church on the one hand shows the secular spirit that pervades many clergy, and on the other hand it serves the plan of the "reformists" of our liturgical life, the self-appointed saviors of the Church. The plan is simple: this Liturgy has been "baptized" by the reformists as "archaic". However, when it is performed, it is performed in a manner envisioned by the reformists, so that the faithful people are thrilled by the originality and effects, and they conclude, quite wrongly, that this is the archaic and traditional way it is supposed to be performed. This leads people to ask their priests to liturgize this same way when they perform the Divine Liturgies of Saints John Chrysostom and Basil the Great. But is this really so? Can any priest perform any Liturgy they want and how they want? Let us analyze this in detail.

Saint Makarios the Roman of Mesopotamia

Venerable Makarios the Roman of Mesopotamia (Feast Day - October 23)

The account below of the life of Saint Makarios the Roman contains the elements accepted by the Church to be read by the faithful, yet there is a longer life of Saint Makarios that contains many embellishments of strange and mythical elements, and according to Saint Nikodemos the Hagiorite, "this should not be read to the Orthodox, being spurious".


Truly Makarios you were not only called,
But chosen by Christ who was pleased by your life.

Three holy men who lived in asceticism in the Monastery of Saint Asklepios in Mesopotamia decided to walk up and down the world in search of a sign from God for their salvation. As they approached a cave, deep in the wilderness, they became aware all at once of a marvelous scent and saw an old man coming towards them covered only by his hair and the beard that fell to his knees. He cast himself to the earth and remained there for a while, until he was sure the three strangers were not demons. Then he brought them into his cave, where he lived with two lions. They asked him to tell them his story, which he did.

90% of Orthodox Christians in Iraq Displaced, According to Orthodox Bishop

Instability and conflict raging in Iraq have led to the displacement of as many as 90% of Orthodox Christians, according to the new bishop for the country.

Ghassan Rifi
October 21, 2014

Greek Orthodox Bishop for Baghdad, Kuwait and their surroundings, Ghattas Hazim, realizes that the position assigned to him by the Holy Synod of Antioch, presided over by Patriarch John X Yazigi as patron of that diocese (the area under supervision of a bishop), is not easy.

October 22, 2014

The Sayings of Abba Lot

"If you will, you can become all flame." - Abba Joseph spoken to Abba Lot

Abba Lot was an early desert father who reposed in peace. He is commemorated by the Orthodox Church on October 22nd. The following sayings are attributed to him in the Paradise of the Fathers:

Lot was a simple Coptic monk, a disciple of Joseph of Panephysis and a friend of Arsenius. He lived as a solitary at Arsinoe near Abba Anthony. Like the majority of the Copts he was opposed to the teaching of Origen.

1. One of the old men came to Abba Lot's dwelling, near to the little marsh of Arsinoe and he asked for a cell, which Abba Lot gave him. Now the old man was ill and Abba Lot took care of him. When anyone came to see Abba Lot, he made him visit the sick old man also. But the sick man began to quote the words of Origen to the visitors. This made Abba Lot anxious and he said to himself, 'The Fathers must not think that we are like that too.' However, he was afraid to drive him away because of the commandment. So Abba Lot got up and went to Abba Arsenius and told him about the old man. Abba Arsenius said to him, 'Do not drive him away, but say to him: look, eat that which comes from God and drink as much as you like, only do not make such remarks any more. If he wants to, he will correct himself. If he does not want to change his ways, he will ask to leave this place of his own accord. Thus his departure will not come from you.' Abba Lot went away and did this. When the old man heard these word he did not want to change, but he began to ask him, 'For the Lord's sake, send me away from here, for I can no longer bear the desert.' So he got up and left, accompanied to the door with love.

The Sayings of Abba Rufus

Abba Rufus was an early desert father who reposed in peace. He is commemorated by the Orthodox Church on October 22nd. The following sayings are attributed to him in the Paradise of the Fathers:

1. A brother asked Abba Rufus, 'What is interior quietude, and what use is it?' The old man said, 'Interior quietude means to remain sitting in one's cell with fear and knowledge of God, holding far off the remembrance of wrongs suffered and pride of spirit. Such interior quietude brings forth all the virtues, preserves the monk from the burning darts of the enemy, and does not allow him to be wounded by them. Yes, brother, acquire it. Keep in mind your future death, remembering that you do not know at what hour the thief will come. Likewise be watchful over your soul.'

October 21, 2014

How It Benefits A Christian To Face Death

By Archimandrite Demetrios Politakis

The Gospel passage that refers to the miraculous resurrection of the only begotten son of the widow by Jesus gives us the opportunity to stand before the sudden visitor called "death", and to see how Christians benefit from facing death and how we should stand against it as conscious members of the Church.

Man in every era feared and fears death, because it always caused him fear and disgust, and this is reasonable since death is foreign to the natural state of man, because man was fashioned for immortality, which is a gift of God for the living soul.

October 20, 2014

How Christians Can Avoid Tangents and Fanaticism

By Dan Delzell

Some movie stars are fanatics. So are some politicians. Even some famous athletes are fanatical. So it shouldn't surprise us that some Christians have to work hard at avoiding their tendency toward fanaticism.

Saint Mnason of Cyprus, the Old Disciple

St. Mnason of Tamasos, the Old Disciple (Feast Day - October 19)

"After this, we [Paul and Luke] started on our way up to Jerusalem. Some of the disciples from Caesarea accompanied us and brought us to the home of Mnason, where we were to stay. He was a man from Cyprus and one of the old disciples" (Acts 21:15, 16).

Saint Mnason was a native of Tamasos in Cyprus and a child of idolaters. When he grew up his parents sent him together with his friend Theonas to Rome to settle the dispute that existed at that time between the Cypriot pagans of Politiko and the village of Pera as to which patron pagan god was the greatest. In Rome the two friends met some of the Apostles who were of the Seventy that had fled to Rome following the stoning of Stephen in Jerusalem, and from them they were taught about Jesus Christ. The few things they heard about the new religion was enough to inflame within them a deep desire to know about it even more. For this reason they shortened their stay in Rome and went to Jerusalem. Their journey had one purpose: to meet the chief apostle Peter and John the Evangelist, of whom they heard many good things and were told could teach them more things about their beloved Jesus.

October 19, 2014

Joel, the Prophet of Pentecost

By Angelo Asiminakis, theologian

The Church honors the memory of the Prophet Joel on October 19th. The name "Joel" means "Jehovah is God". He is fourth in the series of the so-called Twelve Minor Prophets of the Old Testament. The son of Bethuel of the tribe of Reuben (but this is not clear, as some have him being of the tribe of Gad), Joel prophesied during the reign of Joash who was King Of Judah (878-838 B.C.). It is not known exactly when he lived.

His prophetic book is distinguished for its poetic style, ornateness, liveliness and it is a jewel of Jewish literature.

October 18, 2014

Where the Apostle Luke Wrote His Gospel and Celebrated the Divine Liturgy

According to Byzantine historians and the imperial chryssobull issued to the Monastery of the Great Cave (Mega Spelaion) in Kalavryta of the Peloponnese in Greece, the Apostle Luke wrote his Gospel in this cave fifteen years after the Ascension of Christ. The Theophilus to whom the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles is addressed is believed by many to have been the governor of this region of Achaia. Here also the Apostle Luke celebrated the Divine Liturgy on an altar of stone and left behind an image of the Virgin Mary which he made of wax, mastic and other substances.

October 17, 2014

Barlaamism in Contemporary Theology (3 of 3)

3. Significant Barlaamite Views

When one reads the theological criticisms of Saint Gregory Palamas towards Barlaam, some interesting points are observed which indicate the similarity between various contemporary theologians and Barlaam.

Saint Gregory Palamas refuted Barlaam and ascribed to him many characterizations, one of which was "self-made monk", by which he meant that Barlaam did not become a monk after lawful endurance under a spiritual father from whom he learned the monastic life and Orthodox theology. This is manifested by his views, which are differentiated from Orthodox Tradition. We will indicate some important points.

October 16, 2014

Barlaamism in Contemporary Theology (2 of 3)

2. The Views of Barlaam That Are At Variance With Saint Gregory Palamas

The theological arguments by Saint Gregory Palamas against Barlaam appear strongly in his work "Triads for the Defense of Those Who Practice Sacred Hesychasm". In the first Triad he answered the arguments of Barlaam based on the questions posed to him by a certain monk, but when he acquired the texts of Barlaam, which had been carefully concealed, then he specifically replied to these in his second Triad. And when Barlaam read the writings of Saint Gregory Palamas and accused him in his reply titled "Against Messalians", then Saint Gregory Palamas replied with his third Triad, and in this way he completely overturned the views of Barlaam, which, if they prevailed today we would be Uniates in theory and practice. This is how the work "Triads for the Defense of Those Who Practice Sacred Hesychasm" came to be.

October 15, 2014

Barlaamism in Contemporary Theology (1 of 3)

By His Eminence Metropolitan Hierotheos
of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

Barlaamism is a certain movement that preceded Barlaam and followed after him. In fact it is the theory and practice of scholasticism that was developed by the eleventh century in western lands and proved to be the primary expression of Latin theology. The Orthodox East came to know this movement for the first time through the person of Barlaam. The majority of the East, with Saint Gregory Palamas as a defender, dealt with it successfully, but certain others were influenced by these scholastic views.

Because I do not want to wrong particular persons or cultures, I will attempt a broader analysis about what the views of Barlaam were, which have affected and continue to affect certain contemporary philosophizing theologians, who can be characterized as Barlaamites or Barlaamists. The term "Barlaamite" was first used by Saint Gregory Palamas to characterize the followers of Barlaam, among whom was Gregory Akindynos.

October 14, 2014

The Immorality of Moralism

By Archimandrite Paul Papadopoulos

Moralism is the cancer of general morality. The "letter" of moralism kills the "spirit" of life in man. In this way moralism kills the ethos, because it fossilizes life. This is why eventually moralism negates morality. General morality is one thing while moralism and moralizing is quite another.

October 13, 2014

St. Pachomios of Chios on the Frequent Reception of Holy Communion

The Frequent Reception of Holy Communion

By Saint Pachomios of Chios 
(1839 - 10/14/1905)

Founder of the Skete of the Holy Fathers in Chios
and Spiritual Guide of St. Nektarios of Aegina

Who will not lament the ignorance, and pity the state of our priests today? Where has it ever been heard for Christians to go to church, ask to receive Communion, and the priests to prevent them, saying that "Communion is not tomato soup"? They say: "It hasn't even been forty days since you last communed, yet you come to receive again?" Even during the first week of Great Lent, I know many men and women who uphold the three-day fast, and on Wednesday they go to the Presanctified to commune, yet they are prevented by the priests who say: "You were eating meat until yesterday, and today you come to commune?" And secondly they say: "The Presanctified is for the priests, and not for the laity." Alas! our ignorance and folly! Although you, O clergyman, eat meat in the evening, and often happen to be drunk, yet you go and liturgize, but the one who fasts with such reverence you prevent? And you deny them such benefit and sanctification.

October 12, 2014

Saints Probos, Tarachos and Andronikos as Models for our Lives

Sts. Probos, Tarachos and Andronikos (Feast Day - October 12)

By Protopresbyter Fr. George Papavarnavas

Saints Probos, Tarachos and Andronikos lived and were martyred during the reign of Diocletian, who was one of the cruelest persecutors of the Church. They came from different places. Probos was from Pamphylia, Andronikos from Ephesus and Tarachos from Illyria. The Synaxarion says they were captured together while in the desert. They were of one soul and companions in life and death, or better, on earth and in heaven, since by the Resurrection of Christ death was trampled and abolished, and because the soul is immortal by Grace and life is not cut off with the temporary dissolution of the soul and body. "For there is no death, O Lord, to Thy departing servants who cast off their bodies and come unto Thee, O God, but a transition from sorrowful things to the pleasant and benign, to repose and joy" (Pentecost Prayers for Kneeling).

Commemoration of the Seventh Ecumenical Synod


Your champions O Word with words as weapons,
Trounced the enemies of the revered icons.

The Sunday after the eleventh of October, we commemorate the Holy Fathers of the Holy and Ecumenical Seventh Synod.

The Seventh Ecumenical Synod was held in Nicaea of Bithynia from 24 September until 13 October 787, at the initiative of Empress Irene, who was acting as regent. Under the presidency of the Patriarch of Constantinople Saint Tarasios (Feb. 25), three hundred and fifty Orthodox bishops gathered, and to them were added seventeen other hierarchs who denounced the heresy of the iconoclasts.

October 11, 2014

Saint Theophanes the Graptos, Who Was Branded With Twelve Iambic Verses

Holy Confessor Theophanes the Graptos and Poet (Feast Day - October 11)

Saint Theophanes together with his brother Theodore (who is celebrated on the 27th of December) lived during the reign of Theophilos the iconoclast in the ninth century. He was born in 808 to pious parents in Palestine, who were distinguished for their virtue of hospitality. The wise and virtuous Theophanes was distinguished for his learning of the Holy Scriptures and sacred theology, but he also had a precise knowledge of ancient Greek writers. Both became monks and then priests and struggled greatly for the honor and veneration of the holy icons. In 829 the most-wise brothers were sent by the Patriarch and went to meet the Emperor in the holy city of Jerusalem. They rebuked him for his impiety and called him a hater of Christ and a fighter against God. Wherefore they were imprisoned for a long time and beaten without mercy. Then, according to the commands of Theophilos, they were released from prison and with sintered iron there was inscribed on their foreheads the following twelve iambic verses describing their condemnation:

The Holy Theologian of the Mountain (Kos)

The Catacomb of St. John the Theologian

By Fr. John Perantonakis

Legend says that Saint John the Theologian would appear frequently in the plains of Kardamaina on the island of Kos.

Aspasia Sophianos would see him hovering over the crops, sitting on a throne, while others would see a meteor-like vigil lamp that would make circles and left the scent of incense.

October 10, 2014

Did St. John the Theologian Recently Appear to a Muslim in Kos?

Eva Papadatos
October 7, 2014

The community of Kardamaina in Kos is shocked by the rumors that in recent days Saint John the Theologian appeared in the seaside village! Some believers are talking about a miracle, while rationalists maintain their reservations about the words of a Muslim who brought to the fore the appearance of the Saint on the stairs of the church that bears his name.

Speaking to Espresso, Father John Perantonakis, a parish priest of Kardamaina, said: "The Holy Apostle and Evangelist, the beloved friend of his Teacher, seems to have great sympathy for Kardamaina and he shows this by his frequent appearances. Besides those that are described in my book titled The Churches of Kardamaina, one other, a recent incident, makes us believe what I initially said.

October 9, 2014

"Cephalophore" and "Self-Cephalophore" Saints

By His Eminence Metropolitan Hierotheos
of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

Nowadays we are also experiencing this great barbarity, where journalists and other people are publicly decapitated and the camera captures this barbaric act. At the same time there takes place something shown by the cameras, where jihadists hold the severed head, and so they are "cephalophores" [head-carriers]. No one is able to write about something like this.

October 8, 2014

Patriarchal Pilgrimage to the Church of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus in Constantinople

Nikos Magginas
October 8, 2014

The Byzantine Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus, which was constructed by Emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora between 527 and 536, was visited yesterday, on the feast day of these two Saints, by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

Abba Isaac the Syrian, the "Unjustly Accused" Saint (7 of 7)

Fr. John Photopoulos

(The letter below refers to only two volumes of the works of Pseudo-Isaac that were published by the Monastery, as the third had not yet been published. Instead of a response to this letter, the third volume was published.)

March 15, 2006

To the Abbot of the Sacred Monastery of the Prophet Elias in Thera,
the Reverend Archimandrite Damaskinos Gavalas

I do not know you, but I take courage to bother you about a serious issue, in my opinion. This is in regards to the publication by your Monastery of The Ascetic Discourses of Saint Isaac the Syrian vols. B1 (Discourse 1 - 3) and B3 (Discourse 12 - 41), which were translated by Nestor Kavvadas.

A Prophecy of St. Nektarios of Aegina about St. Anthimos of Chios

St. Anthimos of Chios

Every Sunday, young Argyrios (later known as St. Anthimos of Chios) would attend church services at the Monastery of Saints Niketas, John and Joseph, otherwise known as Nea Moni, in Chios. There he met St. Nektarios, who was a Deacon at the time. After a conversation with the 8 year old Argyrios, he told the Abbot of the Monastery, Pachomios:

Book Review: "The Struggle for Virtue: Asceticism in a Modern Secular Society"

These thirteen lectures by Archbishop Averky, former Abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, were delivered shortly after the end of World War II in Western Europe to help introduce the Orthodox method of asceticism as a means of healing and transformation of the human person to the modern world not acquainted with it. It accomplishes its goal and is an excellent book of introduction for those who desire to root out evil and the passions within us in order to live a life of virtue in Christ.

October 7, 2014

Abba Isaac the Syrian, the "Unjustly Accused" Saint (6 of 7)

6. Abba Isaac on Eternal Life and Eternal Hell

All of the above cacodoxies of the Pseudo-Isaac writings have nothing to do with Abba Isaac and his all around Orthodox teachings.

A) Regarding the Nestorian cacodoxies, despite the best efforts of Alfeyev and those with him, they cannot prove that such delusions exist in the authentic works of the Saint.

B) Regarding the apokatastasis of all, the following must be said:

October 6, 2014

A Miracle of the Skull of the Apostle Thomas in Symi in 1978

The entire island of Symi in the Dodecanese, except for Panormitis Monastery, was filled with locusts that would not go away with any pesticide. Then the locals went via the Metropolis of Rhodes to the Sacred Monastery of Saint John the Theologian in Patmos and asked for the wonderworking Skull of the Apostle Thomas, which is kept there, in order for a procession to take place to prevent further devastation. The same thing, as they had heard, had taken place in the olden days with successful results.

Saint Kendeas the Wonderworker as a Model for our Lives

St. Kendeas the Wonderworker (Feast Day - October 6)

By Protopresbyter Fr. George Papavarnavas

Saint Kendeas was an Alemanni in origin and at the age of eighteen he became a monk in Palestine. The continuous raids of bandits in that area led him to emigrate, together with other monks, to Cyprus. After much suffering due to the rough seas, they arrived at the coast of Paphos and Saint Kendeas took refuge in a cave. There he was tested by many and varied temptations. One of the greatest of these was the presence in the region of a thief, who would harass the Saint for a long time until he was arrested by the authorities. Later, he was informed that his friend and fellow ascetic Fr. Jonah was in the region of Famagusta and he rushed to meet him. After much wandering it pleased God for them to meet and they embraced each other, they discussed various spiritual issues and "and were comforted in no ordinary measure" (Acts. 20:12). Saint Kendeas then lived his ascetic life in the region of Famagusta, near the village of Avgorou. In this region today a Sacred Convent exists, and there is also a sacred church in Paphos, that honor his name. It is to be noted as well that the Saint has the gift of working remedies and cures, primarily neuralgia.

October 5, 2014

Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos the Vourliotissa

Panagia Vourliotissa (Feast Day - First Sunday of October)

According to the tradition of Asia Minor, the Sacred Icon was found by a shepherd. He would take his goats to a field where there were rushes and reeds (vourla), for which the village of Vourla was named after. At one point a goat cut off from the herd and when it returned the shepherd noticed it had a wet beard. The next day the shepherd returned to the field without his goats to find the place with the water in order to open it so that his animals could drink. While searching and unable to find the source he discovered the icon of the Panagia.

October 4, 2014

Abba Isaac the Syrian, the "Unjustly Accused" Saint (5 of 7)

Metropolitan Kallistos Ware

5. The Appalling Intervention of Bishop Kallistos Ware

In 1998 Bishop Kallistos Ware of Diokleia wrote an article for the journal Theology Digest (1998) titled: "Dare We Hope for the Salvation of All?" He concludes by writing: "Our faith in God’s love makes us dare to hope that all will be saved."

With this article the foundation of Orthodox Eschatology is debated, in fact the very words of Christ. Bishop Kallistos asks if an eternal hell will exist. He places the reader before the philosophical dilemma: ultimate dualism or ultimate restoration and reconciliation. Here's his reasoning:

Fourth Century Image of Jesus Discovered in Spain

One of the world's earliest representations of Christ has been unearthed in southern Spain by a team of archaeologists, a glass plate which shines new light on the arrival of Christianity in Spain.

October 2, 2014

The green glass paten, the plate which holds the Holy Eucharist in churches, is the earliest depiction of Jesus found in Spain and is in excellent condition compared to similar pieces discovered around Europe.

“We know it dates back to the 4th century, in part because popes in the following centuries ordered all patens to be made out of silver,” Marcelo Castro, head of the Forum MMX excavation project, told The Local.

October 3, 2014

14 *New* Items from the Mystagogy Bookstore

MYSTAGOGY BOOKSTORE is offering 14 new publications for the support of this Ministry and the development of its future projects. I am especially excited to offer the unpublished until now text of Fr. John Romanides titled Theosis - The Aim of Creation, together with some of his other writings that have not been widely read or distributed like some of his other writings. Metropolitan Hierotheos' Homilies on the Lord's Prayer has never been translated into English until now, and there are other unique offerings of interest. In the coming months more writings will be offered for purchase.

Please visit the link to the page for the MYSTAGOGY BOOKSTORE for instructions on how to purchase these items and to see our other offerings (now 41 altogether).

1. Theosis - The Aim of Creation
By Protopresbyter Fr. John S. Romanides

This previously unpublished lecture of Fr. John Romanides examines theosis not only as the aim of our lives, but as the aim of all creation.

2. Leo of Rome's Support of Theodoret, Dioscorus of Alexandria's Support of Eutyches 
and the Lifting of the Anathemas
By Protopresbyter Fr. John Romanides

An important lecture delivered by Fr. Romanides that puts his other writings on the historical and theological background of the Fourth Ecumenical Synod into clearer perspective.

3. Scripture, Synods and Soteriology: 
Select Papers Presented in the Lutheran-Orthodox Dialogue
By Protopresbyter Fr. John Romanides

Among the lectures of Fr. John Romanides contained here are an appended version of his lecture on Christ and the Old Testament and the Ecumenical Councils as well as a lecture on the Soteriological Presuppositions of the Seven Ecumenical Councils.

4. Homilies on the Lord's Prayer
By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

A series of homilies on the Lord's Prayer that will help the reader pray this prayer taught to us from the Lord in a deeper Orthodox way.

5. The Life and Teachings of St. Macarius the Great
By Prof. Ivan Michailovich Kontzevich

Prof. Kontzevich presents the life and teachings of St. Macarius the Great and demonstrates the folly of those who accuse the Homilies attributed to him to be of Messalian origin.

6. The Dionysian Authorship of the Writings of Dionysius the Areopagite
Various Authors

Western scholarship is almost unanimous that Dionysius the Areopagite did not write the works attributed to him, but they were produced in the sixth century. Yet there are some who argue for the authenticity of the claim that they are indeed a late first century or early second century text. Some of these latter arguments are presented in this study.

7. Homily on the Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John
By St. Gregory Palamas

A homily that examines the life and core teachings of St. John the Baptist.

8. Confession - Confessor - Confessing
By Monk Moses the Athonite

A book to inspire repentance through a good confession.

9. The Community of the Desert and the Loneliness of the Cities
By Monk Moses the Athonite

Monk Moses shows that the city could be more lonely than what a monastic experiences in the desert when Christ and ecclesiastical life are absent from our lives and are a source to our existential questions and longings.

10. Constantine the Great and Historical Truth
By Protopresbyter Fr. George Metallinos

A transcript of the lecture of Fr. George Metallinos that exposes the errors of many modern scholars regarding the person and intention of Constantine the Great.

11. The Enemy Within: An Interview with Archimandrite Dionysios

This is a transcript of an interview with an Athonite Spiritual Father on the ego that was published in What Is Enlightenment magazine.

12. "Papoulakos": Venerable Christophoros Panagiotopoulos
By Archimandrite Nektarios N. Pettas

The life of Papoulakos, one of the most influential Greek missionaries of the 19th century.

13. Dostoevsky's Spiritual Therapy
By David Starr

This short study is best explained from the first paragraph: "Dostoevsky did not mean to write fiction as ordinarily conceived. What did he intend? I think he wrote investigations of the soul, hypothetical analyses of the sickness and healing of the human spirit, with himself as primary experimental subject."

14. The Historicity of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus
By John Sanidopoulos

Could the tale of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus have historical credibility, or is it just an allegorical tale? This study demonstrates the former.