The Holy Relics of the Saints





The Holy Relics of the Saints

Holy Relics are portions of the earthly remains of Orthodox believers, usually saints. Relics may also include clothing and vestments worn by saints, or items such as pieces of the True Cross. Particles of relics of saints usually are embedded in altar tables during consecration of churches.

The relics of the saints are venerated because in Orthodox belief the body remains temple of the Holy Spirit even after death.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem writes:

“Though the soul is not present a power resides in the bodies of the saints because of the righteous soul which has for so many years dwelt in it, or used it as its minister.”

God also performs miracles through the holy relics of saints, in this way revealing his glory and glorifying his saints in whom he is pleased. One example is the relics of Saint Nektarios, which emitted a sweet-smelling sweat after he had passed away and showed no sign of decay until 20 years after his death.

In North America, the Church is blessed to have three complete sets of relics: St. Herman of Alaska, St. John Maximovitch, and St. Alexis Toth.


Orthodox Wiki


Concerning Angels – Saint John of Damascus (+749)




Concerning Angels

by Saint John of Damascus (+749)

He is Himself the Maker and Creator of the angels: for He brought them out of nothing into being and created them after His own image, an incorporeal race, a sort of spirit or immaterial fire: in the words of the divine David, He maketh His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire: and He has described their lightness and the ardor, and heat, and keenness and sharpness with which they hunger for God and serve Him, and how they are borne to the regions above and are quite delivered from all material thought.

An angel, then, is an intelligent essence, in perpetual motion, with free-will, incorporeal, ministering to God, having obtained by grace an immortal nature: and the Creator alone knows the form and limitation of its essence. But all that we can understand is, that it is incorporeal and immaterial. For all that is compared with God Who alone is incomparable, we find to be dense and material. For in reality only the Deity is immaterial and incorporeal.

The angel’s nature then is rational, and intelligent, and endowed with free-will, change. able in will, or fickle. For all that is created is changeable, and only that which is uncreated is unchangeable. Also all that is rational is endowed with free-will. As it is, then, rational and intelligent, it is endowed with free-will: and as it is created, it is changeable, having power either to abide or progress in goodness, or to turn towards evil.

It is not susceptible of repentance because it is incorporeal. For it is owing to the weakness of his body that man comes to have repentance.

It is immortal, not by natures but by grace. For all that has had beginning comes also to its natural end. But God alone is eternal, or rather, He is above the Eternal: for He, the Creator of times, is not under the dominion of time, but above time.

They are secondary intelligent lights derived from that first light which is without beginning, for they have the power of illumination; they have no need of tongue or hearing, but without uttering words they communicate to each other their own thoughts and counsels.

Through the Word, therefore, all the angels were created, and through the sanctification by the Holy Spirit were they brought to perfection, sharing each in proportion to his worth and rank in brightness and grace.

They are circumscribed: for when they are in the Heaven they are not on the earth: and when they are sent by God down to the earth they do not remain in the Heaven. They are not hemmed in by walls and doors, and bars and seals, for they are quite unlimited. Unlimited, I repeat, for it is not as they really are that they reveal themselves to the worthy men to whom God wishes them to appear, but in a changed form which the beholders are capable of seeing. For that alone is naturally and strictly unlimited which is uncreated. For every created tiring is limited by God Who created it.

Further, apart from their essence they receive the sanctification from the Spirit: through the divine grace they prophesy: they have no need of marriage for they are immortal.

Seeing that they are minds they are in mental places, and are not circumscribed after the fashion of a body. For they have not a bodily form by nature, nor are they tended in three dimensions. But to whatever post they may be assigned, there they are present after the manner of a mind and energize, and cannot be present and energize in various places at the same time.

Whether they are equals in essence or differ from one another we know not. God, their Creator, Who knoweth all things, alone knoweth. But they differ from each other in brightness and position, whether it is that their position is dependent on their brightness, or their brightness on their position: and they impart brightness to one another, because they excel one another in rank and nature. And clearly the higher share their brightness and knowledge with the lower.

They are mighty and prompt to fulfill the will of the Deity, and their nature is endowed with such celerity that wherever the Divine glance bids them there they are straightway found. They are the guardians of the divisions of the earth: they are set over nations and regions, allotted to them by their Creator: they govern all our affairs and bring us succor. And the reason surely is because they are set over us by the divine will and command and are ever in the vicinity of God.

With difficulty they are moved to evil, yet they are not absolutely immovable: but now they are altogether immovable, not by nature but by grace and by their nearness to the Only Good.

They behold God according to their capacity, and this is their food.

They are above us for they are incorporeal, and are free of all bodily passion, yet are not passionless: for the Deity alone is passionless.

They take different forms at the bidding of their Master, God, and thus reveal themselves to men and unveil the divine mysteries to them.

They have Heaven for their dwelling-place, and have one duty, to sing God’s praise and carry out His divine will.

Moreover, as that most holy, and sacred, and gifted theologian, Dionysius the Areopagite, says, All theology, that is to say, the holy Scripture, has nine different names for the heavenly essences. These essences that divine master in sacred things divides into three groups, each containing three. And the first group, he says, consists of those who are in God’s presence and are said to be directly and immediately one with Him, viz., the Seraphim with their six wings, the many-eyed Cherubim and those that sit in the holiest thrones. The second group is that of the Dominions, and the Powers, and the Authorities; and the third, and last, is that of the Rulers and Archangels and Angels.

Some, indeed, like Gregory the Theologian, say that these were before the creation of other things. He thinks that the angelic and heavenly powers were first and that thought was their function. Others, again, hold that they were created after the first heaven was made.

But all are agreed that it was before the foundation of man. For myself, I am in harmony with the theologian. For it was fitting that the mental essence should be the first created, and then that which can be perceived, and finally man himself, in whose being both parts are united. But those who say that the angels are creators of any kind of essence whatever are the mouth of their father, the devil. For since they are created things they are not creators. But He Who creates and provides for and maintains all things is God, Who alone is uncreate and is praised and glorified in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

From his Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Book II, Ch. 3.

What does the daily invocation of the saints signify? – Saint John of Kronstadt, Russia (+1908)

What does the daily invocation of the saints signify?

Saint John of Kronstadt, Russia (+1908)

What does the daily invocation of the saints signify — of different ones each day, during the whole year, and during our whole life? It signifies that God’s saints — as our brethren, but perfect — live, and are near us, ever ready to help us, by the grace of God. We live together with them in the house of our Heavenly Father, only in different parts of it. We live in the earthly, they in the heavenly half; but we can converse with them, and they with us. God’s saints are near to the believing heart, and are ready in a moment to help those who call upon them with faith and love.”

From the Book: St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ



What is the Orthodox Church? – Saint Sebastian Dabovich of Jackson & San Francisco, CA, USA (+1940)


What is the Orthodox Church?

Saint Sebastian Dabovich of Jackson & San Francisco, CA, USA (+1940)

WHAT is the Orthodox Church? The Orthodox Church is a body or community of people, who, 1—correctly believe in divine revelation; and 2—who obey a lawful hierarchy instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ himself, through the holy apostles. In order to belong to the Orthodox Church two principal conditions are required: First—to accurately accept, rightly understand and truthfully confess the divine teaching of faith; and secondly— to acknowledge the lawful hierarchy or priesthood, to receive from it the holy mysteries or sacraments, and generally to follow its precepts in matters concerning salvation.

From the Book: +St. Sebastian Dabovich, Preaching in the Orthodox Church: Lectures and Sermons by a Priest of the Holy Orthodox Church



When you sit down to eat, pray – Saint Basil the Great (+379)


When you sit down to eat, pray

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Saint Basil the Great (+379)

When you sit down to eat, pray. When you eat bread, do so thanking Him for being so generous to you. If you drink wine, be mindful of Him who has given it to you for your pleasure and as a relief in sickness. When you dress, thank Him for His kindness in providing you with clothes. When you look at the sky and the beauty of the stars, throw yourself at God’s feet and adore Him who in His wisdom has arranged things in this way. Similarly, when the sun goes down and when it rises, when you are asleep or awake, give thanks to God, who created and arranged all things for your benefit, to have you know, love and praise their Creator.



Eastern Orthodox worship



Eastern Orthodox worship

Eastern Orthodox worship in this article is distinguished from Eastern Orthodox prayer in that “worship” refers to the activity of the Christian Church as a body offering up prayers to God while ‘prayer’ refers to the individual devotional traditions of the Orthodox.

The worship of the Orthodox Church is viewed as the Church’s fundamental activity because the worship of God is the joining of man to God in prayer and that is the essential function of Christ’s Church. The Orthodox view their Church as being the living embodiment of Christ, through the grace of His Holy Spirit, in the people, clergy, monks and all other members of the Church. Thus the Church is viewed as the Body of Christ on earth which is perpetually unified with the Body of Christ in heaven through a common act of worship to God.

This article will deal first with the various characteristics of Orthodox worship, aside from its theological foundations as laid forth above, and will then continue to give the services of worship themselves and their structure.

Characteristics of Orthodox worship


As explained above, the Orthodox draw no distinction between the Body of Christ in heaven and that on earth, viewing both parts of the Church as inseparable and in continuous worship together of God. Orthodox worship therefore expresses this unity of earth and heaven in every possible way so that the earthly worshippers are continually reminded through all their senses of the heavenly state of the Church. The particular methods for doing this are very far from arbitrary but have been passed down from the earliest periods in Christian history through what the Orthodox call “Holy Tradition”.


Probably the most striking aspect of Orthodox worship are its visual characteristics. These are many and varied always conveying in the most striking colors and shapes possible the various phases and moods of the Church both as they change throughout the year and in individual services.


Icons are used to bring the worshippers into the presence of those who are in heaven, that is, Christ, the Saints, the Theotokos and the angels. The Orthodox believe these icons do more than visually remind the viewer of the fact that there are saints in heaven, they believe that these icons act as ‘windows’ into heaven through which we see those saints, Christ and the Theotokos. It is for this reason that God the father is traditionally not Continue reading

Is there biblical evidence in support of Icons?



Is there biblical evidence in support of Icons?

In the Holy Bible, Cherubim are Angels. Icons (images) of Angels.

Exodus 26:31 > “Make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, with cherubim woven into it by a skilled worker.

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Exodus 25:17-21 > 17 “Make an atonement cover of pure gold—two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. 18 And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. 19 Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. 20 The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover. 21 Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law that I will give you.

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Hebrews 9:5 > Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.

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Acts 5:15 >As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by.

Peter’s shadow is an icon (image) of Apostle Peter.

Abel Gkiouzelis

Ko Ihu te Atua? I a Ihu ake titau ki te waiho i te Atua? ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Maori (New Zealand)


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Ko Ihu te Atua? I a Ihu ake titau ki te waiho i te Atua?

Kua kore i tuhituhia i roto i a Ihu i te Biblia rite mea te kupu pau, “Ko ahau te Atua.” E kore e tikanga, Heoi, e kore i te kauwhau i ia e he ia te Atua. Tikina hoki tauira kupu e Ihu ‘i roto i John 10:30, “Ahau me te Matua, kotahi.” Me anake tatou ki te titiro i te Hurai ‘hohenga ki tona parau ki te mohio i te kī e ia ki te Atua hei. Tamata ratou ki te kohatu a ia mo te take tenei rawa. “…koe, he tangata mere, titau ki te waiho i te Atua” (John 10:33). I matau ki te Hurai rite te mea i a Ihu e kereme-atua. Ite e kore e Ihu whakakahore tana kerēme ki te waiho i te Atua. A, no ka korerotia e Ihu, “Ahau me te Matua, kotahi” (John 10:30), I mea ia e ia, me te Matua, ko o tetahi āhua me te ngako. John 8:58 Ko tetahi tauira. a Ihu whakaaturia, “Korerotia e ahau ki a koutou i te pono, i mua i whanau a Aperahama i, Ko ahau!” Ko te whakautu o nga Hurai te hunga i rongo i tēnei tauākī, ko ki te tango ake kohatu ki te whakamatea ia mo te kohukohu, ka pera me ta te Ture a Mose ki a ratou ki te mahi (Leviticus 24:15).

Reiterates John i te ariā o te atua a Ihu’: “ko te Atua ano te Kupu” me te “ka te Kupu kikokiko” (John 1:1, 14). Āta tohu teie mau irava e, o Iesu te Atua i roto i te kikokiko. Mahi 20:28 parau mai ia tatou, “Kia hepara o te hahi o te Atua, i hokona e ia ki ona ake toto.” Ko wai ka hokona e te hahi-te hahi a te Atua,-ki ona ake toto? A Ihu Karaiti. Mahi 20:28 ta e hokona te Atua tona hahi ki te tona ake toto. Na reira, a Ihu, ko te Atua!

Thomas korerotia te akonga mo Ihu, “Toku Ariki, e toku Atua,” (John 20:28). E kore e whakatika ia Ihu. E akiaki ana Titus 2:13 ia tatou ki te tatari mo te tae mai o to tatou Atua, me te Faaora, a Ihu Karaiti (vakai foki, 2 Pita 1:1). I roto i Hiperu s 1:8, e ai ta te Matua o Ihu, “Ko e pā ana ki te Tama a te kupu ia, ‘Tou torona, e te Atua, ka mau tonu a ake ake, me te tika, ka hei te hepeta o tou kingitanga.’” Kōrero i te Matua ki a Ihu rite “e te Atua” whakaatu i te mea pono a Ihu te Atua.

I roto i te Apokalupo, whakaakona tetahi anahera i te apotetoro ko Ioane ki te koropiko ki te Atua anake (Apokalupo 19:10). E rave rahi mau taime i roto i te karaipiture a Ihu whiwhi koropiko (Matthew 2:11, 14:33, 28:9, 17; Luke 24:52; John 9:38). Kore ia riria iwi mō te koropiko ki a ia. Ki te kore i a Ihu e te Atua, kua korerotia e ia ki te iwi ki te kore e koropiko ki a ia, kia rite ki nga mahi a te anahera i roto i te Apokalupo. He maha atu irava, me irava o te karaipiture e tohe mo te atua a Ihu ‘.

Ko te take i tino nui e kua a Ihu ki te waiho i te Atua, ko e ki te he e kore ia te Atua, tana mate e kore i nava’i ki te utu i te utu mo te hara o te ao (1 John 2:2) kua. He oranga i hanga, i pai kia a Ihu, ki te kahore i ia te Atua, e kore e taea te utu i te utu e hiahiatia ana mo te hara faito ore ki te Atua mure ore. Te Atua anake i taea e utu i tētahi taua whiu e taea. Anake i taea e tangohia e te Atua i runga i te hara o te ao (2 Kolinitoó 5:21), mate, a faahou, whakamatautau ana i runga i te wikitoria hara, me te mate.

What are Seraphim? Are Seraphs Angels?



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What are Seraphim? Are Seraphs Angels?

The seraphim (fiery, burning ones) are angelic beings associated with the prophet Isaiah’s vision of God in the Temple when God called him to his prophetic ministry (Isaiah 6:1-7). Isaiah 6:2-4 records, “Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’ At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.” Seraphs are angels who worship God continually.

Isaiah chapter 6 is the only place in the Bible that specifically mentions the seraphim. Each seraph had six wings. They used two to fly, two to cover their feet, and two to cover their faces (Isaiah 6:2). The seraphim flew about the throne on which God was seated, singing His praises as they called special attention to God’s glory and majesty. These beings apparently also served as agents of purification for Isaiah as he began his prophetic ministry. One placed a hot coal against Isaiah’s lips with the words, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for” (Isaiah 6:7). Similar to the other types of holy angels, the seraphim are perfectly obedient to God. Similar to the cherubim, the seraphim are particularly focused on worshipping God.


C. Fred Dickason, Angels: Elect & Evil, Revised, MOODY PUBLISHERS / 1995 / PAPERBACK

Fasting – Orthodox Catechism


Orthodox Catechism


Seeing that bodily disposition is important in worship and spiritual life, in general, great emphasis is placed in the Orthodox Church on fasting; if one should add up all of the fasting seasons and days of the Church calendar, he would find that more than half of the year is devoted to this ascetic labor. The question might rightfully be asked, then, as to why this is so.

According to St. Basil the Great, Adam, the first-created man, loving God of his own free will, dwelt in the heavenly blessedness of communion with God, in the angelic state of prayer and fasting. The cause of this first man’s fall was his free will; by an act of disobedience he violated the vow of abstinence and broke the living union of love with God. That is, he held in scorn the heavenly obligations of prayer and fasting by eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Lack of abstinence, then, was the cause of the Fall and, as a result, because of this original greed, the soul becomes dimmed, and is deprived of Continue reading