Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Saint Paraskevi and the Dragon

In the Life of Saint Paraskevi we read how she entered a certain city outside the Roman Empire to evangelize the people there. The ruler of this city was King Asklepios, who when informed of her activities had her arrested and brought before his judgment seat. After inquiring what brought her to their city, she boldly confessed that she was a Christian and proclaimed Christ as the true God who made heaven and earth and in these latter days was incarnate, crucified and resurrected for our salvation. At the same time she denounced the soulless idols of paganism, quoting from the Prophet Jeremiah: "Let the gods which have not made heaven and earth perish from off the earth, and from under the sky" (Jer. 10:11).

Monday, July 18, 2016

St. Marina and Satan: A Syriac Dialogue Poem

Syriac authors took over and adapted the ancient Mesopotamian genre of precedence dispute, transforming it into a dispute or dialogue, with theological overtones, which is normally between biblical characters. A small number of these dialogue poems concern saints, rather than biblical characters, and it is one of these, where the protagonists are St Marina and Satan, which is re-published here in a critical edition, together with three soghyatha which concern the life of St Marina. All are taken from the Maronite Office for the Commemoration of St Marina (July 17th).

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Saint Paisios the Athonite on Sorcery

Having spoken to you many times about Paradise, the Angels and the Saints so that you may be helped, I shall now also say a few words about Hell and the demons, so that you can be aware of who we're fighting against: again, so that you may be helped.

A young sorcerer from Tibet once visited me at my cell and told me a lot of things about his life. This child, no sooner was he weaned from his mother than his father dedicated it - at the age of three - to a group of thirty, high-ranking sorcerers in Tibet, in order to initiate it in their art. He reached the eleventh degree of sorcery - the twelfth being the highest. At the age of sixteen he left Tibet and went to Sweden, to see his father. While there, he happened to meet an Orthodox priest - a very devout one - and invited him to a conversation. In the room where they had sat down to talk, he began to do some of his magic, in order to show the priest his powers. He invoked an initial(1) demon, Menas, and said to it: "I want water". A glass rose up from the kitchen, it went to the tap on its own, the tap came on, it filled the glass with water, then it passed through the glass screen and entered the room they were in. He took the glass and drank the water. Then he "showed" the priest all the universe: the skies, the stars, etc. He used magic of the fourth degree and intended to continue, up to the eleventh degree. He asked the priest what he thought of all those things.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

How a Scientist Learned to Work with Exorcists

Richard Gallagher is a board-certified psychiatrist and a professor of clinical psychiatry at New York Medical College. He is at work on a book about demonic possession in the United States. On July 1, 2016 The Washington Post published an interesting article of his titled As a Psychiatrist, I Diagnose Mental Illness. Also, I Help Spot Demonic Possession. In this article he describes how he as an academic physician came to diagnose and treat demonic possession in people, and why it is important to treat people assailed by demons.

Read the article here.