Thursday, December 29, 2016

Orthodox Fresco Condeming Witchcraft and Traditional Folk Magic

A fresco of the Rila Monastery in Bulgaria, condemning witchcraft and traditional folk magic.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Saint Dionysios of Zakynthos and the Dead Woman Under Excommunication

One one occasion, when Saint Dionysios found himself in the city, a funeral was being conducted in the cemetery of the Church of Saint Nicholas of the Strangers. The church was named this way because many strangers were buried in that plot of land. This church was also the Metropolitan Cathedral of Zakynthos. It happened that the people opened a certain grave, so that they might bury someone else inside. There they discovered a woman who had long been dead, but whose body and clothing had not decomposed. The reason for this was because this wretched woman had died under the ban of excommunication.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Saint Patapios and the Demon Possessed Boy

St. Patapios of Thebes (Feast Day - December 8)

There was a youth who was possessed by a terrible demon. At times, the demon tore at the young man's garments, leaving him totally naked; on other occasions, the youth was cast over precipices and into ditches. He was also thrown into water, where he was in serious danger of drowning.

As the youth was walking on the road one day, the demon seized him and was about to cast him into the sea. However, by God's providence, at that very moment, the great Patapios passed by and saw the attempt to drown the youth. As the demon beheld Patapios, it violently shook its victim, causing the young man to twist his eyes and foam at the mouth. Next the demon had the young man gnash his teeth and cast a fierce look at the Saint.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Krampus, the Demonic Companion of Saint Nick

In German-speaking Alpine folklore, Krampus is a horned, beastly figure who punishes children during the Christmas season who have misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards well-behaved ones with gifts. Regions in Austria feature similar figures and, more widely, Krampus is one of a number of Companions of Saint Nicholas in regions of Europe. The origin of the figure is unclear; some folklorists and anthropologists have postulated a pre-Christian origin for the figure.

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Near-Death Experience of St. Athanasius the Recluse

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

St. Athanasius died after a long life of asceticism and was bathed, clothed and prepared for burial by his brethren. Athanasius lay dead for two days and suddenly came to life. When they came to bury him, they found him sitting up and crying. After that, he closed himself in his cell and lived for twelve more years on bread and water, not speaking a word to anyone. He entered into rest in the Lord in the year 1176.