Friday, January 31, 2020

Saint Nikita the Solitary, Who Had Been Seduced By the Devil and Thereby Became Famous as a Prophet

St. Nikita of the Kiev Caves, Bishop of Novgorod (Feast Day - January 31)

(Paterikon of the Kiev Caves Lavra, 25)

While the venerable Nikon was superior [of the Kiev Caves Lavra], there was a brother named Nikita. He wished to be honored by men and conceived a great deed, but not for God’s sake: he began to ask the superior to allow him to withdraw into solitude. The superior forbade him to do so, saying, “My son, it is not profitable for you to sit idle, since you are young. It is better for you to stay among the brethren and work for them. You will not risk losing your reward. You yourself have seen how our brother the holy Isaac the Cave-Dweller was seduced by demons. Had he not been saved by God’s grace, through the prayers of the venerable fathers Anthony and Theodosius, who to this day work many miracles, he would have been lost.” Nikita said, “I will certainly not be seduced by such a trick. I will ask the Lord God to grant me the gift of working miracles.” Nikon answered, “What you are asking is beyond your powers. Take care, brother, lest you exalt yourself and then have a fall. Our humility orders you to serve the holy brotherhood, for whose sake you will be crowned as a reward for your obedience.” Nikita remained unmoved by the superior’s words and did exactly what he wanted: he shut the door behind him and remained in the cave without going out.

Monday, January 27, 2020

The Tale of Saint Natalis and the Ossory Werewolves

Saint Natalis of Ulster (also called Naile) died in 564 A.D. He was a monk, abbot of monasteries in northern Ireland and disciple of Saint Columba. According to legend, Saint Natalis placed a curse on a clan which transformed their members into werewolves. Here is the tale:

The Tale

An unnamed priest was traveling from Ulster to Meath on an important mission with his assistant, a young boy. The two stopped for the night near woods at the edge of the See of Ossory. As they lay down to sleep, the priest hears a human voice calling from the nearby forest. He gets up and looking out into the darkness he sees a giant wolf draw near. The priest and boy draw back in horror, but the wolf speaks in a human voice and tells them not to be afraid.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Testimony of How a Demon Possessed Monk Was Healed at the Tomb of St. Euthymios the Great

Life of Euthymios

Ch. 50

By Cyril of Scythopolis

In this same period a monk called Paul, who came from the village of Tomessus in the first province of Cilicia, and who was grievously troubled by an impure spirit, was brought along from the monastery of Abba Martyrius and placed in the burial vault by the tomb of our holy father Euthymios. After a few days Euthymios appeared to him in the middle of the night and expelled the impure spirit. Going to the church at the hour of the night office, Paul made confession to God in the presence of all, announcing the miracle that had happened to him. Hearing of his cure, the members of his own cenobium came to fetch him; he, however, did not consent, but with eagerness joined in the labors of the cenobium. Once, when we were outside in the desert to collect faggots, we asked Paul about the nature and cause of his complaint and how he had been cured. Deriving confidence from his frank love for us, he gave us the following account:

Friday, January 17, 2020

The Church of Saint Anthony the Great in Melnik, Bulgaria - Popularly Known as the Church of Miracles

They call it the Church of Miracles because it helps those who have lost hope find healing. The church was built in memory of St. Anthony the Great in the small Bulgarian town of Melnik, more famous for its natural surroundings and fine wine than its churches. Yet thousands of pilgrims flock here every year from all over the world, the sick and the healthy, to visit the famed Church of Miracles.

Реорlе ѕееkіng ѕаlvаtіоn frоm еvіl dеmоnѕ аnd vаrіоuѕ аddісtіоnѕ, ѕuсh аѕ аlсоhоl аnd drug аddісtіоn, vіѕіt Меlnіk tо ѕееk hеаlіng from Ѕt. Аnthоnу thе Grеаt.

Тhе еldеrlу оf Меlnіk саn tеll аt lеаѕt а fеw ѕtоrіеѕ оf реорlе whо hаvе lеft healed аftеr hаvіng ѕlерt іn the сhurсh оr рrауеd fеrvеntlу fоr Ѕt. Аnthоnу tо gіvе thеm hеаlth аnd hеаlіng. He especially helps those who suffer from mental illness and demon possession. In the church is a column with heavy chains attached, which is where the unruly possessed would be tied overnight to receive healing, usually attained by morning.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The Holy Water and the Magical Potion

By Manolis Melinos

A priest in Russia, after the Sanctification of the Waters on Theophany, was filling bottles of Holy Water for his parishioners. A middle-aged lady approached him and gave him a beautiful bottle. However, as soon as he put Holy Water in it, the bottle shattered!

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Why Orthodox Churches Sanctify Water at the Beginning of Each Month

It is a tradition mostly in Greek Orthodox churches to begin the month with the Lesser Sanctification of the Waters ceremony on the first of the month. This Holy Water is then taken by the priest and the people to be consumed and to bless the homes of the faithful. It is believed the origin of this practice can be traced to Canon 65 of the Synod in Trullo which took place in 692 in Constantinople. Canon 65 reads:

Monday, January 6, 2020

Two Early Christian Testimonies of the Use of Holy Water in an Exorcism

The first recorded testimony of the use of Holy Water in an exorcism can be found in the Panarion of Saint Epiphanios of Salamis, in his chapter on the Ebionites, where he writes about a Jewish man named Josephus in Tiberias, whom the Lord was calling through visions to be a Christian, but who at the same time was reluctant to convert due to doubts. At one point he encounters a possessed madman, and this is what Epiphanios writes: