Friday, July 31, 2015

Elder Nikolai Gurianov and the Demon Possessed Woman (videos)

Below is a video showing Elder Nikolai Gurianov blessing people while a demon possessed woman named Nadezhda is yelling. The demon calls Elder Nikolai "Kol'ka" which is a disrespectful form of his short name "Kol'ya". Apparently he had blessed this woman to go to the churches of Russia and confess the power of Orthodoxy.

In the first video she yells: ""I hate you, Orthodox. Orthodoxy is the most disgusting religion. All other religions will go to hell... We like when you cross yourself in a wrong way... You all think that Nad'ka (disrespectful form of "Nadezhda", which means "Faith" by the way) is crazy. But she is not. If any of you will offend her, you will answer before God for this. She is blessed. She is blessed and got a blessing to go to the churches to make you wiser... The whole country soon will know her... She (Nadezhda) will pray for those who drink and they will stop being alcoholics, those who she will sign with the cross will be healed..." and then at the 2:09 mark of the video she continues: "She was blessed for this, by this Kol'ka, who I hate!"

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Saint Irene Chrysovalantou's Power Over Demons

The following two stories come from the Life of Saint Irene Chrysovalantou, who is celebrated on July 28th.

St. Irene Casts The Demons Out Of A Nun Under A Spell

A noble and beautiful woman from Cappadocia, the home-city of St. Irene, was engaged to a certain man. Later on, however, she thought better of it and decided against marriage. She decided instead to become a nun at the famed monastery of Chrysovalantou. The demon grew jealous, however, and filled her ex-fiancé with tremendous sexual passion. However, the man knew well that he would not be able to enter the monastery. Instead, he hired a powerful magician, a most able servant of the devil to whom he gave him a large amount of money for the deliverance of the woman he wanted as his wife. The magician wrought his evil art in Cappadocia and the woman in the monastery went completely out of her mind. She began to run around the convent screaming and crying out the name of her ex-fiancé and swearing that if they did not open the doors of the convent she would suffocate.* Our venerable mother heard the up-rise and cried, "Woe to me the wretched one, if by the carelessness of the shepherds the wolves snatch the sheep away. However, in vain do you labor, O sly devil, because Christ will not allow you to swallow my lamb." She then called the sisterhood together and instructed them to guard themselves against the snares of the demons and she ordered them all to fast for the entire week while praying to God and each one of them to make a thousand prostrations a day with tears for this sister of theirs who was undergoing temptation. Our venerable mother prayed in her cell daily for this sister and on the third day, she saw St Basil the Great in front of her and he said to her, "Why do you deride us, Irene? We have left our homeland and all the vile and impious acts take place there now. When the sun rises take your sick disciple and bring her to Blachernae and there the mother of our Master Christ who is powerful will make her well." Having said this, St. Basil disappeared. St. Irene took the sick sister along with two other nuns and arriving at the Church of Blachernae, they prayed the entire day with tears in their eyes. At about midnight, St. Irene fell asleep and in her sleep she saw many people dressed in brilliant golden clothes and preparing the roads with the most fragrant flowers and incense. Our venerable mother then asked why so much preparation was taking place. They answered that the Mother of God was coming and warned her to prepare herself that she might be accounted worthy to venerate God's mother. Then the Mother of Life arrived followed by a vast crowd. So much did the face of the Virgin radiate that it was not possible for a mere mortal to gaze upon her. Our Lady having looked at all the ill, assembled in the church, looked at the disciple of St. Irene. Our venerable mother Irene fell at the spotless feet of the Mother of God, full of fear and trembling. The Mother of God then called on St. Basil the Great and asked him what Irene needed. St. Basil explained to the Theotokos exactly what St. Irene's need was. Hearing this the Theotokos said, "Call here, Anastasia!" When St. Anastasia had arrived, the Mother of God said to her, "Go with Basil to Caesarea, and study carefully the situation in order to cure this girl, for to you my Son and God has granted this grace." Venerating the Theotokos, St. Anastasia and St. Basil left in all haste in order to perform the ordained task. Our venerable mother Irene then heard a voice saying. "Go to your convent and she will be made well." On awakening, Irene explained to the sisters what she had seen and they went on their way rejoicing greatly. When they arrived at the convent it was Friday at the time of vespers and all the nuns were gathered at the church. St. Irene explained her vision and then ordered them all to raise their hands and eyes towards heaven and with all their hearts and burning tears to cry out, "Lord have mercy!" After a long time, when the entire floor of the church had become wet from the tears of the sisters, St. Basil and the Great and Anastasia the Martyr appeared floating in the air and the sisters heard them say, "Irene open your arms and receive this, and don't grieve us needlessly again." (St. Irene had been praying before the icon of St. Basil and begged him to free Caesarea from magicians). Stretching out her hands, St. Irene received from the midst of the air a package weighing about three liters and containing a host of charms including strings, hair, and lead, bound together with the names of demons written upon them. It also contained two small idols made of lead, one in the shape of the ex-fiance and the other in the shape of the sick nun, stuck together as if they were committing a sin. The nuns were amazed and remained praying the entire night. They thanked the Theotokos. In the morning, St. Irene sent the sick nun, along with two other nuns to Blachernae. Taking with them the charms, oil and prosphora, they attended the Divine Liturgy. After the liturgy, the priest anointed the sick nun with oil from the vigil lamp and later put the magical charms on live coals. As the charms burned, the nun became well and regained her senses. When the spell of the charms was totally broken, a crying sound came forth from the coals that resembled the squealing of pigs at their slaughter. The nuns returned to the monastery glorifying God that He does such strange and magnificent things and on entering the monastery they told all what had happened.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Seven Demons of Mary Magdalene

By John Sanidopoulos

"Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out" (Luke 8:2).

Based on this passage from the Gospel of Luke, it had been assumed by the medieval Church in the West that Mary Magdalene was to be identified with the sinful woman from Luke 7. The Greek Fathers, however, made no such error in confusing the identities of these women. Hence, Mary Magdalene was not a prostitute, but ill.

In her Greek life, which is kept in the Great Lavra Monastery in Mount Athos and begins with the verse from Proverbs 8:17 ("I love those who love Me, and those who seek Me find Me."), the following is said regarding the seven demons:

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Demonology of the Life of St. Symeon the Fool

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

Below are excerpts from the Life of Symeon the Fool by Leontios of Cyprus that concern topics of demonology. To read the entire text, see here.

The Battle Against Temptations

When they had stayed a few days, the Devil, the enemy of our souls, unable to bear the virtue of Christ’s servants, began to war against them: against John concerning his wife, and against Symeon concerning his great love for his mother. When one of them saw himself afflicted, immediately he said to the other, “Get up, brother. Let us pray.” And they prayed the prayer of the monk who prayed, “Grant them, O Lord, in their hearts the words of this prayer.” And immediately the two found that they knew it by heart. And they prayed it all the time in each temptation and in each of their requests to God. For it was the Devil who inflamed them, as the God-bearing Fool related, as he did when they ate meat and wine. And from the beginning, he suggested to them cowardice and despair concerning their asceticism, so that from time to time they sought to return from the desert to the monastery. And in their dreams, and sometimes in a delusion, the polymorphous snake made them see their own families weeping, driven mad, and many other things which it is not possible to narrate, unless someone has had the experience of such temptations. But as soon as they remembered the crowns which they had seen on one another and the teaching and tears of the old man (Nikon), their heart was soothed by them and encouraged, just as with holy oil.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Can Demons Suffer Physical Harm?

By John Sanidopoulos

Some have asked how is it that demons or evil spirits can suffer as we do in the body, citing St. Paul who wrote: "For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of this dark age, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12).

Thursday, July 16, 2015

St. John Climacus: On Demons and Dreams

By St. John Climacus

- A dream is a movement of the mind while the body is at rest. A phantasy is an illusion of the eyes when the intellect is asleep. A phantasy is an ecstasy of the mind when the body is awake. A phantasy is the appearance of something which does not exist in reality.

- The reason why we have decided to speak about dreams here is obvious. When we leave our home and relatives for the Lord’s sake, and sell ourselves into exile for the love of God, then the devils try to disturb us with dreams, representing to us that our relatives are either grieving or dying, or are captive for our sake and destitute. But he who believes in dreams is like a person running after his own shadow and trying to catch it.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Beware of Demonic Biblical Exegesis!

St. John of the Ladder (Ladder, "On Expert Discernment", Step 26:152) writes:

"At the beginning of the monastic life some of the unclean demons instruct us in the interpretation of the Divine Scriptures. And they are particularly fond of behaving in this way in the case of vainglorious people and of those who have been educated in secular studies, so that by gradually deceiving them they may lead them into heresy and blasphemy. We can recognize this diabolical theology, or rather, theomachy, by the disturbances and the confused and unholy joy which are felt in the soul during the instruction."

Illustration: a Slavonic-language manuscript of The Ladder of Divine Ascent, Russia, 1560.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Christian Mysteries and Magic

By Dionysios Farasiotis

Having personally experienced both the Christian Mysteries [Sacraments] and magic, I can affirm that there is nothing magical about Holy Communion or the other Mysteries of the Christian Faith. The Mysteries are performed with the power of Christ and require conscious and voluntary participation. In order for Christ to act within the Divine Mysteries, the communicant has to will to participate in the Mystery consciously: he must yearn for it, and he is required to prepare for it with personal struggle. This is why those who nonchalantly approach the Mysteries out of habit experience very little change, if they experience anything at all. When, however, a person manifests his desire for God and his assent to being united with Him by taking pains to repent sincerely, God in turn will approach the genuinely repentant one to the extent and degree that He knows will be beneficial for that person's soul.