Friday, October 4, 2019

Relics of Ancient Superstitions in Modern Greece (An Essay from 1856)

By Prof. Henry Martyn Baird (1832–1906)
Author of Modern Greece, A Narrative of a Residence and Travels in that Country (1856)

It is not my intention, in the present paper, to investigate the nature of superstition; nor shall I attempt to account for its origin and prevalence. In some form or other, it has existed in every country with which we are acquainted, and, at the present day, it can boast of as many slaves as in the most remote antiquity. This is a fact which Mr. De Quincey, in his admirable essay on Modern Superstition, has exhibited in a clear light. The European as well as the Asiatic, the inhabitant of Christian England, equally with the pagan, are firm believers in the reality of a vague and mysterious influence exercised over man, and the natural objects with which he is connected, by a superior order of beings.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

How A Famous Greek Astrologer Became an Orthodox Priest

Nikos Chortareas, the self-proclaimed "best astrologer in Greece and Cyprus," was a famous Greek astrologer known to people in Greece and Cyprus mainly through his after midnight psychic television program. Not only would he predict people's future based on their astrological sign, but he would promote other superstitious beliefs popular among the Greek general public like reading coffee cups and warding off the evil eye.

Apart from astrology and divination, another area in which Nikos Chortareas was active in was singing. In fact, he has also released his own album.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

A Miracle of Saint Cyprian of Antioch in 1966

By Archimandrite Haralambos Vasilopoulos

In 1966 there was a 29 year old young man, a soccer player from Athens, who was at the brink of death. He was the victim of a magical spell.

The young man had asked for the hand in marriage of a modest and good maiden. But there was another woman who was a rival that gave into satanic envy, so she went to a sorceress in order to drive the young man crazy and kill him.

The spell attached itself to the young man. This is because the young man had no connection with the Mysteries of the Orthodox Church. At first he no longer wanted to go to work and his large store fell to ruin. He also didn't want to see his family and in the end he suffered from horrible headaches. He even reached the point of attempting to commit suicide.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

How the Prolific Serial Killer Countess Elizabeth Bathory Fits Into a Feast of the Orthodox Church

Portrait of Countess Elizabeth Bathory

In August of 1581 the Russian city of Pskov was held under siege by the Polish king. On August 27th of that year the Virgin Mary appeared in a vision to a holy elder and blacksmith named Dorotheus, and she informed him that the siege was taking place due to the sins of the people of Pskov. When he interceded on behalf of the city, and the people repented and processed a miraculous icon of the Holy Virgin along the city wall for the days leading up to the battle, the Mother of God forgave the people and protected the city from the invading Polish king. To commemorate this event and the deliverance of the city, an icon was painted called the Pskov-Pechersk Icon, and to honor her Protection over the city, the feast was established for October 1st, which is the feast of the Protection of the Mother of God.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

A Brief History of Halloween for Orthodox Christians

By John Sanidopoulos

In one or two words, what do you think of when you hear the word Halloween? This is a question I once asked some Orthodox Christian children, and they responded with the following words: Trick-or-Treating, Candy, Costumes, Fall, Pumpkins, Orange, October, Fun, Scary Movies and Stories, Haunted Houses, Hay Rides, Corn Mazes. For the children, these were all seen as positive things, though some didn't like scary movies. When this was asked of Orthodox young adults and young parents, the answers were very similar, though some added that it was just a holiday for children. But when I asked some Orthodox Christian adults and clergy, sometimes I got a positive answer similar to those above, but other times words like "pagan" and "devil's holiday" and "commercialization" were added. Largely what you get is a positive outlook on the holiday, though some who don't like Halloween, or have outgrown it, especially as adults, tend to express their negative attitudes by demonizing it, even calling it evil, and they justify their opinions with a lot of falsehoods and misinformation that have very little to do with the truth. With this guide, I hope to clear things up in a short summary, without going into all the details.