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These Readings have been delivebed 


in THE Presence of the 
Most Reverenb Bishop Nicholas 

The Muedock Pkess 








Dedicated to the Sacked Memory of 


Who served the Church of God for sixty-seven years; 
Who presided in the Most Holy Synod of the Russian 
Orthodox Church for thirty-two years; Who was the most 
faithful friend, spiritual adviser, and material support, 
under God, of the young Church in North America in 
lier many serious trials, temptations, and persecutions; 
Who, in the midst of Episcopal Ordinaries, was the Chief 
Consecrator of all the Bishops of the Orthodox Ameri- 
an Church down to the present worthy Successor of 
ihe first great Missionary and Bishop of Alaska, and 
Who, steadfast in the work of his Master to the very last, 
t>eacefully commended his soul to God, (having com- 
;)leted his ninety-third year,) on the 7-19 of September, 
J 892 — by the 

Translator and Author, 

who had the good fortune of obtaining his 
first official appointment to service in'the 
ranks of the Clergy from the Most Reverend 
Isidorus, Metropolitan of Novgorod, St. 
Petersburg, and Finland, and who further- 
more had the spiritual consolation and 
privilege to obtain his personal blessing 
and to kiss the hand of the greatest Prelate 
of the day. 



In this, our second book, we cheerfully offer 
to our brethren and children of the Holy- 
Orthodox Church in the English-speaking 
world the Lives of the Saints, together with 
some lectures and a few of our sermons, — 
mindful of the command of our Master, who 
said : Freely ye have received, freely give. We 
have no comments to make ; let the facts in 
the histories of the lives of holy men and 
women speak for themselves ; we only repeat 
that, the Spirit breatheth where He will Let our 
lectures and sermons likewise speak for them- 
selves, as they are strictly founded upon Holy 
Scripture and the writings of the Holy Fathers 
of the Church in her early days. 

San Fbanoisco, September 14-26, 1898. 



St. John the Baptist .... 9 

St. Mary Magdalene . . . .17 

St. John the Evangelist . . . .22 

St. Panteleimon, the Great Martyr . 30 

St. Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia 46 

St. Nina, the Missionary of Georgia . 57 

A Sainted Brother's History of a Saint- 
ed Sister 68 

St. John Chrysostom 77 

Something About an Evening Hymn . 84 

St. Pelagia 92 

St8. Cyril and Methodius, the Apostles 
OF THE Slavonians . . . .99 

St. Sabbas, the First Archbishop of the 

Servians 120 

St. Alexander Nevsky .... 123 

St. Philip, Metropolitan of Moscow . 135 

Why Christians Bring Loaves to the 
Divine Liturgy 152 



Address at the Celebration of the One 
Hundredth Anniversary of the Great 
Missionary in North America . . 164 

Sincere Religion 174 

Sermon on Orthodox Sunday . . . 184 

Sermon for the Fifth Sunday After 

Trinity 192 

Sermon on Twentieth Sunday After 

Trinity • 198 

How THE Church Cares for Her Sheep 

AND Lambs 209 

Beloved, while I was giving all diligence to write 
unto you of our common salvation, I was con- 
strained to write unto you exhorting you to contend 
earnestly for the faith which was once for all 
delivered unto the saints. (Jude^ 3.) 


SAINT JOHN THE Baptist was the son of 
the Jewish Priest Zacharia. His mother 
was Elizabeth, a blood-relation to the Most 
Blessed Virgin Mary. This righteous couple 
were childless, for Elizabeth was barren. They 
prayed much and long; as true Israelites they 
desired the consolation of being blessed with 
children, aspiring, — but in this instance with 
an humble and holy resignation — to the birth 
of the great Messiah, who was coming to save 
mankind, and, as they thought, to free and 
unite Israel. Although Zacharia and Eliza- 
beth sorrowed in their old age to a day which 
was beyond the natural limit of child-bearing, 
still they continued hopefully praying. The 
prayers of faith of this priest and his patient 
spouse ascended on high, from whence came 
down an angel with the message telling them 
that the Creator of nature and the God of won- 
ders had been pleased to fulfill their desire. 


Accordingly, Elizabeth bore unto her husband 
Zacharia a male child, who was called John. 
This John was called by God to be the fore- 
runner of his Divine Son, to usher Him into 
the world, and to prepare mankind by repent- 
ance to receive the Redeemer, whom the proph- 
ets had foretold at a distance through every 
age from the beginning of the world, never 
ceasing to instill in the people of God faith 
and hope in Him by whom alone they were 
to be saved. At first St. John led a most 
austere life in the wilderness, exercising him- 
self in prayer and meditating on the high mis- 
sion he was called to perform. In the thirtieth 
year of his age, John came from out his seclu- 
sion. This was also the age at which the priests 
and Levites were permitted by the Jewish 
law to begin the exercise of their functions. 
Clothed in camel's hair, held to his person by 
a girdle of raw leather, the man of the desert, 
who knew not the luxuries of a dwelling-house, 
nor the taste of cooked food, himself subsisting 
on locusts and wild honey, comes to the thinly 
settled banks of the river Jordan, and preaches 
repentance, baptizing all comers. Make ye the 
ivay straight, says he; for cometh He whose 


sandal-strap I am not worthy to unloose; He shall 
baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire. 
John was received by the people as the true 
herald of the Most High God. All classes of 
people carae and listened to him. Among 
them were many Pharisees, whose pride and 
hypocrisy, which rendered them indocile and 
blinded them in their vices, he sharpl}^ re- 
proved. The very soldiers and publicans, or 
tax-collectors, who were generally persons 
hardened in habits of immorality, violence, 
and injustice, flocked to him. He exhorted 
all to works of charit}^ and to a reformation 
of their lives, and those who addressed them- 
selves to him in these dispositions, he bap- 
tized in the river. 

The baptism of John differed entirely from 
the great Christian sacrament of baptism, as 
the first was an emblem of the effects of living 
in the fear of the justice of God by abstaining 
from evil deeds, whilst the latter wholly de- 
livers us from the original sin and the conse- 
quences, and makes us the children of God, 
by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

When St. John had already preached and 
baptized about six months, the Lord Jesus went 


from Nazareth, and presented Himself, among 
others, to be baptized by him. The Baptist 
knew Him by a divine revelation, and, full of 
awe and respect for his sacred person, at first 
excused himself, but at length acquiesced out of 
obedience. The Saviour of sinners was pleased 
to be baptized among sinners, not to be cleansed 
Himself, but to sanctify the waters, and to mani- 
fest Himself to the world, which was repre- 
sented in the great mass of people which 
came to John. And John bear witness of Him. 
Pointing Him out before the Jews, John said. 
Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the 
sin of the world/ John the Baptist reproved 
the vices of all men, no matter who they were, 
with an impartial freedom and in a fearless 
spirit. He disclosed the hypocrisy of the 
Pharisees, and uncovered the profaneness of 
the Sadducees ; he denounced the fraud of cer- 
tain government officials, — i. e. the publicans, — 
the rapine and licentiousness of the soldiers, 
and the incest of King Herod himself. Now, 
Herod had unlawfully taken unto himself 
Herodias, the wife of his own brother Philip, 
who was still living. When the saint said to 
the king. It is not laivful for thee to have her, 


Herodias set herself against him, and desired 
to kill John. Herod reverenced John as a 
holy man; therefore he dared not harm him. 
Nevertheless he had the saint within his 
reach, in prison, for he could not bear to have 
the sore spot of his weak conscience tampered 
with. St. John faithfully completed his mis- 
sion, and he understood when his time was up; 
even before this, he said, Jesus must increase, 
but I must decrease. While in confinement 
the righteous preacher was still anxious to 
bear testimony to the glory of the Saviour ; 
we read furthermore in the Gospel that, on 
hearing in prison of Christ's wonderful works 
and preaching, John sent two of his disciples 
to Him for their information, not doubting 
but that Christ would satisfy them that He 
was the Messiah; and that by His answers 
they would lay aside their prejudices, and 
join themselves to Him. 

Herod continued to respect John ; he would 
sometimes send for him, and listen to him with 
pleasure, though he was troubled when he was 
admonished by him for his faults. In the 
mean time Herodias sought an opportunity to 
compass the Baptist's destruction. An occasion 


at length fell out favorable to her designs. It 
was on the birthday anniversary of the king, 
when he made in his castle a splendid enter- 
tainment for the nobility of Galilee. During 
a sumptuous repast, Salome, a daughter of 
Herodias by her lawful husband, danced be- 
fore the guests, and so pleased the king by her 
dancing, that he promised her, with the sacred 
bond of an oath, to grant her whatever she 
asked, though it amounted to half of his 
dominions. The damsel consulted with her 
mother, and she dispatched her daughter with 
haste, to demand that the head of John the 
Baptist be brought in to her at once on a 
charger. This strange request startled the 
drunken tyrant himself. He, however, assented, 
though with reluctance, but for the sake of his 
oaths, and of them that sat at meat, he ordered a 
soldier of his guard to strike off the head of 
St. John. In this way the bloody head of the 
holy prophet was brought into the hall, where 
they ate and drank and made merry with 
music, and it was given to the young dancer, 
who took it and carried it to her mother. No 
doubt Herod had no thought of the oath, while 
giving it, that it was a sinful one, but he com- 


mitted a much greater sin by keeping his oath. 
And thus it was that John the Baptist, the 
man of the desert, ended his life, one of the 
chief causes of his death being a sinful sup- 
per. But, by God's mercy, he was not put to 
death before he had fulfilled his great duty as 
the forerunner of our Lord Jesus Christ. The 
many virtues of St. John, those of a martyr, a 
virgin, a teacher, and a prophet, were exalted 
in praise by Christ Himself, when he said to 
the multitudes of the people: Verily, I say 
unto you, there hath not risen among them that 
are born of women a greater than John the Bap- 
tist. When his disciples hearing that John was 
executed in prison, they came and took his body 
and laid it in a tomb. 

The misfortunes which befell Herod after 
the death of John the Baptist, the Jews said 
were punishments from God for the murder of 
his servant, as their historian, Joseph Fla- 
vins, records. Aretas, the King of Arabia, and 
the father of Herod's first wife, struck a deadly 
blow at the army of the Galilean ruler. Soon 
after this the Roman emperor banished Herod 
into exile. The holy relics of St. John did 
not remain for all time in their tomb at 


Sebastia. When the holy apostle Luke visited 
this city, he took the right arm of the saint 
and brought it to Antioch, where the Chris- 
tians treasured it for a long time. When, in 
956, the Mohammedans took possession of 
Antioch, a deacon by the name of Job carried 
the relic to Halcedon, from which place it was 
brought, on the eve of the Epiphany, to Con- 
stantinople. The Turkish sultan, Bajazet, de- 
siring to please the Crusaders, presented the 
Knights of Malta with the arm of the great 
Baptist. In 1799, this order of knights sent 
the relic of St. John to the Emperor Paul I. of 
Russia, and the great prophet's arm may be 
seen to this day in the royal palace in the 
" Chapel of the Saviour's Uncreated Image." 
The Holy Church celebrates the birth of St. 
John the Baptist on the 24th of June. On the 
29th of August, she commemorates his behead- 
ing. And on the 7th of January, the Church 
praises the great saint for his whole life, his 
works, and his mission, as he was selected to 
be the baptizer of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 



July 22. 

ONCE when the Lord Jesus Christ went 
about Galilee creating miracles and 
signs by His divine power, a woman who was 
known by the name of Mary Magdalene 
approached Him and implored for His mercy. 
The Lord cast out from her seven demons, 
and liberated her entirely from the disease 
with which she suffered. From this time on 
the grateful Mary served the Lord, heard His 
teaching, and followed Him even to the cross- 
death. Together with other holy women, 
she looked upon the sufferings of Christ, and 
wept for Him. She, in company with the 
Mother of our Lord, stood by the cross, and 
beheld where they laid His body in the tomb. 
The holy women, overwhelmed with grief 
at the death of the Lord, prepared a sweet- 
smelling myrrh in order to anoint the body of 
Jesus Christ, as was the custom with the Jews 


at the burial of their dead ; and after the Sab- 
bath was past, early in the morning, they came 
to His grave ; but before the others, yet before 
it was daylight, Mary Magdalene came, and, 
to her surprise, she found that the stone 
had been rolled away, and the tomb was 
empty. She hurriedly ran to John and Peter 
and said to them : They have taken the Lord 
from out the tomb, and I do not know wher^ 
they have put Him. John and Peter immedi- 
ately followed her, and on entering the tomb, 
saw that the body of Jesus was not' in it, but in 
a corner lay the linen cloth in which the body 
was enveloped. At that they went away; but 
not Mary — she remained by the grave, and 
stood weeping. On stooping and looking into 
the tomb, she suddenly saw two angels in shin- 
ing white apparel, sitting, one at the head and 
the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus 
had lain. 

They said to her. Woman, wherefor weepest 
thou f They have taken away my Lord, answered 
she, and I do not know luhere they have put Him. 
As she spoke thus, she turned backward again 
and saw Jesus Himself standing there; but as 
the hour was early she did not know Him 


and she thought that He was the keeper of 
the garden. 

Woman, said He to her, luhy loeepest thou, and 
who is it thou seekest f If thou hast taken Him, 
said she, do tell me where hast thou laid Him. 
The Lord then called her by name. Mary, 
said He. On hearing His voice, she knew 
Him, and cried joyfully, Rabboni, In the 
Hebrew language this means "my teacher." 
Touch me not, saith Jesus, but go unto My breth- 
ren, and say to them I ascend unto My Father 
and your Father, and My God and your God. 
In the mean time other women came to the 
tomb; Mary Magdalene returned with them 
also. They all had seen two angels, who said 
to them: Why seek ye the living among the 
dead ? He is not here ; He is risen ! Go and tell 
His disciples and Peter that He is risen from the 
dead. Filled with joy and fear, the myrrh- 
bearing women went from the place, and on 
their way they, on a sudden, met with Christ 
Himself, who said to them: All hail! They 
fell upon the ground and worshiped before 

In this way, the holy women, who served 
the Lord so generously during His earthly life. 


were counted worthy to become the first her- 
alds — proclaiming His glorious resurrection. 
Mary Magdalene, the first one to see the 
resurrected Lord, consoled the grief-stricken 
disciples with these joyful words: Christ is 
risen/ As the first bearer of the glad tid- 
ings of the resurrection, she has been honored 
by the Church with a name synonymous 
with "co-equal with the Apostles." After the 
ascension of the Lord, St. Mary continued in 
prayer together with the Most Holy Mother of 
God and the Apostles, and she was a witness 
of the first fruits of the Christian teaching in 
Jerusalem. Her great faith was manifest in 
the lively zeal with which she preached the 
Word of God, visiting different countries. 
Church tradition tells us, that she also came to 
Rome, and here she presented the Emperor 
Tiberius with an egg, which was colored red, 
while saying to him, " Christ is risen ! " After 
this she told the emperor of the crucifixion of 
Christ the Lord, and accused Pilate of the 
unjust death-sentence which he pronounced 
against Jesus, the innocent Jesus. From olden 
days it was a custom, still kept by the Jews, 
especially by the poor people, to present their 


friends, acquaintances, and protectors on the 
anniversary of their birth and on New Year's 
Day with red eggs. They were received as an 
expression of joy and the show of respect on 
the part of those people who were not able to 
offer a more precious gift. Since the time of 
this offer of St. Mary Magdalene, it has become 
a custom with Christians to present one 
another eggs which are colored red, in remem- 
brance of the resurrection of Christ. From 
Rome St. Mary, the co-equal with the Apostles, 
went to Ephesus, where she assisted St. John 
the Divine until her death. In the fifth cen- 
tury her holy remains were transferred from 
Ephesus to Constantinople. 


ONCE, when our Lord Jesus Christ walked 
by the shores of the sea of Tiberias, 
He saw two brothers, James and John, who, 
with their father, Zebedee, were mending nets ; 
for they were fishermen. He called them, and 
they leaving all, immediately went after Him. 
The Lord foretold that they would possess 
special zeal for His law, by naming them the 
sons of thunder — "Boanerges." From that 
time they did not leave Him. They, together 
with Peter, were present at the raising of the 
dead daughter of Jairus; they were with the 
Lord at the time of His transfiguration on 
Mount Tabor; previous to the passions of the 
Lord they were with Him in the garden of 
Gethsemane. Jesus Christ loved John espe- 
cially. During the mystic supper John occu- 
pied a place near Him, and when Jesus men- 
tioned that one of His disciples shall betray 


Him, John leaned upon His breast and asked 
to be told of whom He spoke. Finally, when 
the Lord Jesus saw the most pure Virgin Mary 
and the beloved disciple stand by His cross 
before His death, He recommended one to the 
other by saying to His dear mother. Behold 
thy son; then to John He said. Behold thy 
mother. John took the Most Holy Mother of 
God to his home, and from that time served 
her as his own mother — up to the time of her 
holy assumption. 

After the ascension of the Lord, John lived 
together with the Apostles in Jerusalem, prayed 
in the temple, and received the gracious gift 
of the Holy Ghost and the understanding of 
languages. Henceforth he earnestly preached 
the Gospel and converted both Jews and Gen- 
tiles, notwithstanding the constant persecu- 
tions he underwent for the same. After the 
Blessed and Ever- Virgin Mary was taken unto 
Her Son and God, John — in company with 
his disciple Prochoros — went into Asia Minor. 
The ship on which they took passage was 
wrecked. But John and Prochoros were 
miraculously spared, and so they came to 
Ephesus. But here, being without means 


they hired themselves as servants in the house 
of a certain land-owner. The master and his 
house-people were pagans. And the servants 
were obliged to labor hard, and to put up 
with much, while no mercy was shown to 
them. The apostle and his fellow worker bore 
all with patience. It happened that in the 
same house a young man died, who was the 
son of one of the city rulers, and the boy's 
father, Dioscoridus, stricken with grief at his 
loss, quite suddenly died himself of a broken 
heart. The whole community became trou- 
bled. But it was in this instance that God 
showed His favor to His servants. John 
prayed, and God returned Dioscoridus and 
his son to life. All became stricken with fear, 
and the}^ looked upon John as upon a divine 
being. But the preacher of the Gospel ex- 
plained to them, that it was done b}^ God's 
power, and that he was sent to them to tell 
them of God's Son, Jesus Christ, who had 
revealed Himself and come to save mankind. 
They listened with much attention, and took 
the apostle and his attendant into their good 
keeping. In this way the Church of Ephesus 
had its birth. And the Word spread and 


became confirmed in that country. St. John 
continued to teach, but his words were not as 
effective as was his life, by which he showed 
what a Christian should be. The change of 
religion by so many people in a city like 
Ephesus could not escape the notice of the 
emperor of Rome, who at that time was Do- 
mitian. The disciple of Jesus Christ suffered 
much from the tyrant. But when John 
remained whole after being thrown into a 
vessel of boiling oil, the emperor gave up 
the task of killing him, and ordered that 
the apostle be exiled to the island named 

Here St. John lived and worked for several 
years. He was not successful immediately, but 
the Lord Jesus finally rewarded him for his 
patience. The inhabitants of Patmos gradu- 
ally came to Christ by John, and this was the 
cause of much trouble to the preacher on the 
part of jealous leaders in the religion of idols. 
Yet the apostle persevered, and also subdued 
these foes by prayer and love. 

After the death of Domitian, Emperor Nerva 
came to the throne of Pome. This was a good 
man, for he did not take delight in the suffer- 


ing of his fellow-beings. Now John was free 
to go withersoever he desired. He decided to 
return to Ephesus. On hearing this, the whole 
population of the island were grieved, for they 
loved their teacher. To console them he prom- 
ised to write for them the Gospel of Jesus 
Christ. He therefore ordered them to pray 
and fast, while he took himself with his as- 
sistant up into a mountain. He remained in 
prayer and fasting for three days, when sud- 
denly the earth quaked, and a violent thun- 
der-storm seemed to disturb all the heavens. 
Prochoros fell on his face in fear, but the elder 
took him by the arm and told him to sit and 
write down what he dictated. John lifted his 
eyes to heaven, and being inspired with the 
Holy Ghost, he commenced the Gospel with 
these words: In the beginning was the Wordf 
and the Word was ivith God, and the Word luas 
God. Thus was written the Gospel of St. 
John. For the high theology for which this 
Gospel is especially noted, its writer was sur- 
named "the Divine." It was also on Patmos 
that John put in writing the revelations given 
him from heaven. The Book of Revelations 
in a mystical way tells of the destination of 


mankind and of the terrible last judgment. 
The Gospel of St. John is supposed to have 
been written in A. D. 102. 

On the return of St. John to Ephesus the 
Christians of all Asia Minor were made very 
happy. By this time the venerable apostle 
was an old man. Still he took delight in going 
all over the country, through cities and vil- 
lages, comforting the faithful, and strengthen- 
ing the new converts. In one of the cities of 
Asia Minor St. John selected a certain young 
man, whom he desired to take into his special 
guidance. The favored young man was care- 
fully taught while the apostle abode in that 
place ; but when he was obliged to go farther 
on his mission, St. John delivered him to the 
care of the bishop of the city. On another 
occasion this messenger of Jesus Christ hap- 
pened to visit this city again. When St. John 
inquired of the bishop about his charge, and 
he had lost the young man given him, it 
was a sad story to be told. The young man 
having made the acquaintance of bad asso- 
ciates, wandered ofi with them to the moun- 
tains, and became himself the captain of a 
band of robbers. Notwithstanding his old age. 


the apostle went himself to the mountains to 
seek the bandits. The chief on seeing his men 
lead an old man toward himself, recognized 
the apostle and the disciple of love. This 
meeting was too much for his reproaching 
conscience. He turned to run ; but the white- 
haired apostle followed him as best he could, 
calling out in a pitiful voice, " Come, my son, 
my son, come back to j^our father; I will take 
your sins upon myself; the merciful Lord had 
sent me Himself." The young man was taken 
with emotion; he stopped, but dared not look 
up; he fell at the feet of the saint. John 
kissed him as a loving father, and brought 
him back rejoicing, as does a shepherd who 
had found his lost sheep. 

St. John lived more than a hundred years. 
He died quietly, being surrounded with the 
love of many faithful ones. After him, his 
beloved disciple Prochoros became the chief 
pastor of the Christians in Asia Minor. This 
apostle's memory is kept by the Church on 
two days in the year, namely, the 8th of May 
and the 26th of September. Besides the two 
books mentioned before, there are also three 
general epistles which belong to St. John the 


Divine. During his last days upon earth, 
when he was too weak to do much service, he 
continually kept saying. My little children, love 
ye one another. In the epistles of St. John we 
find these passages: He that saith I know the 
Lord, and keepeth not His commandments, is a 
liar, and the truth is not in him; but whosoever 
keepeth His word, in him verily hath the love of 
God been perfected . . . Whosoever hath the 
goods of this world, and beholdeth his brother in 
need, and shutteth up his compassion from him, 
how doth the love of God abide in him f . . . 
Herein was the love of God manifested in us^ that 
God hath sent His only begotten So7i into the 
world that we might live through Him."^ 

*The words in italics throughout the book are taken from 
the Holy Bible. 


July 27. 

SAINT PANTELEIMON, the Great Martyr, 
was born in the city of Nicomedia, during 
the third century ; at his birth he was given 
the name of Pantoleon, which signifies, in all 
things a lion. But as we shall see after in 
his life he was given the name Panteleimon 
which signifies, all-merciful. "We shall call him 
by this last name. The name itself already 
explains for us — telling by what virtues 
especially the holy martyr had become cele- 
brated. And in reality the Church praises St. 
Panteleimon as a healer who never took pay ; 
a most kind physician of both bodily and 
spiritual ills. 

Panteleimon's mother was a Christian, but 
she died while he was yet very young. His 
father, being a pagan who worshiped the 


Roman idols, educated his child in the same 
false customs and religion. Eustorgius, the 
father, gave his son Panteleimon to one Eu- 
phrosinius, who was a renowned physician, that 
he might teach the boy the science of medicine. 
The new pupil of this learned master showed 
himself clever and at the same time indus- 
trious, with a quiet disposition. The great 
doctor became attached to him, and he always 
had the boy with him. As he was the medical 
adviser of the emperor, Panteleimon went with 
him to the palace, and the Emperor Mak- 
simian also took a liking to the bright lad. 

Panteleimon visited his teacher every day. 
His path lay by the humble dwelling of an old 
man, whose name was Ermolaus. This old 
Ermolaus was a Christian priest. There were 
other Christians also who lived with him, con- 
cealing themselves from the unbelievers, for at 
that time the Christians were persecuted, and 
the Bishop of Nicomedia, Anthemus, was put 
to death a little before this. The aged saint 
loved Panteleimon, and the Lord filled his 
heart with a desire to enlighten the youth with 
the light of the true faith. Once he invited 
the lad to enter his house, and here Ermolaus 


opened a conversation with him. He com- 
menced by inquiring of the youth who his par- 
ents were, which religion was theirs, and what 
their occupation was. Panteleimon readily 
answered these questions of the good old man. 
" My mother was a Christian," said he, " and 
she served one God ; she is now dead ; my 
father belongs to the religion of the Hellenes, 
and he worships many gods." On perceiving 
that the open-hearted youth was anxious about 
the truth, and inquired for explanations, the 
presbyter at once spoke of the beautiful order 
of the universe, of the great and wise and good 
Creator. Then in brief he reviewed the history 
of mankind ; of its fall, its corruption, and the 
different false ideas of religion. He told him of 
the coming into the world of the Son of God — 
as a man like unto ourselves, sins excepted, 
that He might by His teaching, His goodness, 
and His death, open unto us again the happi- 
ness of Paradise, and return us to our God. 
The words of the old man reminded Pantelei- 
mon of the first teaching of his good mother, 
who thus also spoke to him of the Lord when 
he was a little child. He listened v/ith care, 
and so loved these instructions that he came 


every day to visit the presbyter, after leaving 
his medical lessons. The holy man continued 
to explain for him the commandments of Jesus 
Christ, and the heart of Panteleimon became 
inflamed with love to God. The Lord in His 
mercy strengthened his faith by a wonderful 

It happened that, when he was once return- 
ing from his master, Panteleimon saw a little 
child lying dead upon the road. The cause of 
the death of the child was lying there next to 
its body — a live venomous serpent. At first 
the youth was frightened. But he suddenly 
remembered what the old man had told him 
of the might and goodness of God. He com- 
menced to pray to the Lord Jesus Christ, call- 
ing upon His holy name and all-powerful 
assistance, when, to the delight of his pure 
heart, he saw the child awake as if from a deep 
sleep. This miracle completed the first instruc- 
tions of the presbyter; for Panteleimon be- 
lieved from the depth of his soul, and rejoi- 
cing and praising the Lord, he hurried to meet 
Ermolaus, to tell him all and to beg him for 
his baptism without delay. 

Having become a Christian, Panteleimon 


prayed God that his father also might be made 
to understand the truth, as he loved his father 
and sorrowed because he still remained a 
pagan. The youth often tried to convince him 
that his gods were false and had no power 
whatever; Eustorgius heard him and began to 
waver in his religion of many deities ; finally 
the merciful Lord opened his understanding 
by divine grace. In course of time Pantelei- 
mon had become a celebrated physician, and 
many sick people appealed to him for relief. 
Once a blind man was brought to him, who 
said that all the healers in the city had doc- 
tored him in turn, but in vain. " I only 
wasted my wealth upon them," said the un- 
fortunate man; " but I will cheerfully give you 
what I have left to me, if you will but cure 

Moved by the Spirit of God, Panteleimon 
said to the blind man : " The Father of Light, 
the true God, will heal you by me. His un- 
worthy servant; all that which you have 
promised me, distribute among the poor." 

On hearing this conversation, his father, 
Eustorgius, complained: "My son, do not un- 
dertake to do that of which thou art incapa- 


ble," said he. ''Hearest thou not, that no 
physician was able to restore him his sight? 
how canst thou hope to succeed in this?" 

" Those physicians could not cure him," an- 
swered Panteleimon; " but there is a great dif- 
ference between their teachers and my teacher." 

Eustorgius thought that his son spoke about 
the celebrated doctor, Euphrosinus, upon which 
he replied : "I have heard, my son, that your 
master, Euphrosinus, attempted to cure this 
blind one, but without success." 

" You will now see the power of my healing, 
father," said Panteleimon. 

He approached the blind man, and touching 
his eyes, said : " In the name of my Lord Jesus 
Christ, I say to thee, receive thy sight." And 
in the same instant the eyes of the blind were 
opened, and he could see. Greatly wondering 
at the exhibit of such power and the grace of 
God, both Eustorgius and the formerly blind 
man believed in the Lord. When, soon after 
this, Panteleimon acquainted them with Ermo- 
laus, the old priest instructed them in the 
Christian law, and baptized them in the name 
of the Most Holy Trinity. 

It was not long before the father of our 


youthful saint had died, leaving him a rich in- 
heritance. Panteleimon immediately liber- 
ated all his servants and slaves, rewarding 
them abundantly, and then he commenced to 
distribute his wealth among the needy. He 
visited on each day those who were confined 
in bonds, the sick, the unfortunate, and he suc- 
cored them. The Lord gifted him with power 
to heal all diseases with His name ; not one 
stricken with misery had left him without 
obtaining relief or assistance ; the sick flocked 
to him in multitudes, and all the people praised 
the talented and unmercenary ph3^sician. This 
fact aroused the jealousy of all the medical 
men. Once some of them met upon the way 
the blind man whom they could not cure. 
The}^ were surprised to see him in possession 
of his sight ; they questioned him to learn who 
had cured him. When he told them that it 
was Panteleimon, they retorted : " It is no 
wonder, for he is the great pupil of the great 
master, the celebrated physician, Euphrosi- 
nus." But, loudly applauding him, they 
secretly hated Panteleimon, and endeavored to 
seek a means by which to injure him. 

Continually watching his actions, they dis- 


covered that he often visits the prisons, in which 
at that time many Christians were confined ; 
that he heals their infirmities and offers them 
money, and that he believes in Christ himself. 
His enemies lost no time in accusing him be- 
fore the Emperor Maksimian. "Sire," said 
they to him, " the young man who was by 
your order educated in the art of healing, now 
abuses your kindness by using his abilities to 
a disgraceful advantage. He often visits the 
enemies of our gods, he helps them; and he 
himself believes in one Christ, and offers to 
Him the glory of his cures. If thou dost not 
take some measures against him, he will do 
much evil, and lead many astray from the 
true religion." At the same time, to uphold 
their complaint, they brought before the em- 
peror the blind man who had been healed 
by Panteleimon. 

" Tell me," inquired of him the ruler, " how 
was it that Panteleimon restored to thee thy 

" He touched my eyes, and called upon the 
name of Jesus Christ, and I began to see," 
answered he who was blind. 

" Thinkest thou that it was Jesus Christ who 


healed thee, or our gods?" asked the ruler. 

" Many physicians endeavored to cure me, 
and they invoked the aid of Esculapus, but 
I received no benefit whatever from them. 
When Panteleimon called the name of Christ, 
only then was it that I could see. And now, 
sire, thou mayst decide thyself which was 
it that cured me." The emperor found no 
words for reproach to this reply : however, he 
began to advise him who was blind to worship 
the gods. But he with all his heart believed 
in the Lord, and no advice nor command, not 
even persecution, could compel him to renounce 
himself of the Lord Jesus Christ, who healed 
him. At last the emperor, filled with anger, 
condemned him to die. After the execution 
Panteleimon bought of the soldiers the body 
of this firm confessor of his faith, and gave it 
a Christian burial. 

Panteleimon hardly had time enough to put 
away the dead, when a summons came that he 
should appear before the emperor. He, of 
course, correctly surmised why he was sent 
for; but persecution and death for the name 
of Christ frightened him not, and he calmly 
and joyfully went before the sovereign. Mak- 


simian concealed his anger, and received him 
apparently with kindness. " What is it I hear 
of thee, Panteleimon? It is said that thou 
despisest the gods and dost offer praise to some 
Christ, who died the death of a criminal. Can 
it be possible that thou hast forgotten all my 
attention and kindness, and hast become my 
enemy? No, I can not believe this, and hope 
that thou wilt thyself disarm thy accusers, and 
before all offer a sacrifice to our great gods." 

" Sire, believe what they have told you of 
me," fearlessly answered the young man. " I 
in truth did renounce your false gods, and I 
offer glory to Christ, for according to His 
works I have become convinced that He is the 
true God. He created the universe. He raises 
the dead. He restores sight to the blind ; to 
the infirm He gives strength and health." 
Panteleimon desired to prove for the emperor 
that his false gods were nothing, he there- 
fore recommended to have an extremely sick 
one brought in, and that the priests of the 
pagan temples should be invited to pray for 
the return of his health. All was done as he 
desired. The ministers of the gods prayed to 
their idols in vain. But when Panteleimon 


called upon the sick one the name of the Lord 
Jesus Christ, he was healed at that instant. 
Many of those who witnessed such a wonder, 
believed in the Lord ; but grace had no access 
to the heart of Maksimian. The idolatrous 
priests said to the emperor : " If Panteleimon 
remain alive, he will deceive many, and we 
will be made a laughing-stock for the Chris- 
tians; we therefore demand, sire, that you give 
the order to seize him." The emperor requested 
St. Panteleimon to bend the knee before the 
gods, at the same time warning him of the ter- 
rible tortures for his refusal ; he also reminded 
him of the death to which the aged Anthemus 
was condemned. 

" If Anthemus, an old man, could bear suf- 
fering with such fortitude, then I should be 
the one to fear the least, young and strong as 
I am. To die for Christ would be for me a 

Hearing these remarks of the young Chris- 
tian, the emperor ordered his servants to tor- 
ture him, which they did by tearing his body 
with sharp instruments, and then burning 
the sores with a torch. Panteleimon prayed : 
" Lord Jesus Christ," said he, " be Thou near 


to me, and give me patience, that I may 
bear this torture to the end." The Lord heard 
his prayer and revealed His person to him, 
strengthening and cheering him in the midst 
of suffering. Although the persecutor's wrath 
was horrible, yet it was feeble; in vain he 
sought out the most terrible tortures; he 
ordered the saint to be thrown into a vessel 
filled with melted lead ; the martyr remained 
alive and whole. Ascribing this to the art of 
a sorcerer, Maksimian commanded that the 
Christian have a large stone tied to his neck 
and then be cast into the sea. But it was the 
Lord's pleasure to manifest in Panteleimon His 
power and goodness; the martyr remained 
alive and whole, preserved from danger by the 
almighty hand of God. 

The emperor resolved to rid himself of 
Panteleimon by giving him as food to the wild 
beasts. The theater was prepared at the out- 
skirts of the city ; on an appointed day all the 
people gathered to see how the wild beasts 
would tear the body of the young Christian ; the 
ruler himself arrived on the scene, and point- 
ing to the hungry, fierce beasts, said to Pante- 
leimon : " Save thy youthful life, and off'er a 


sacrifice to the gods." But the Christian would 
rather die than renounce the Lord. The 
ferocious animals were let out at him ; again 
the Lord rescued him, as He rescued Daniel 
of old ; it seemed as though the jaws of the 
beasts were guarded when they came around 
Panteleimon, as so many meek lambs. At this 
many voices in the multitude called out : 
" Great is the God of Christians." All this 
only increased the anger of Maksimian. Those 
who dared to praise Christ he put to death. 
But for Panteleimon he invented new tortures. 
He ordered the saint tied to a wheel covered 
with sharp spikes; again God revealed His 
mercy, even to Maksimian, by showing His 
greatness in preserving Panteleimon in this 
terrible trial. 

^' Who has taught you to be a sorcerer ? " 
asked the infuriated emperor. 

" It is not magics, but in Christian piety, I 
have been taught by the priest, Ermokus," 
replied the holy martyr. Panteleimon knew 
well that Ermolaus feared not to die for the 
name of Christ, so therefore he did not conceal 
his teacher's name. 

The emperor sent Panteleimon himself to 


bring Ermolaus before him. "Thou hast 
come for good, my son," said the aged saint, 
when the young man entered his house ; " the 
time has come for me to suffer and to die for 
the Lord, for I have this very night seen the 
Lord, who told me of it. Let us go." 

On coming into the presence of the emperor, 
Ermolaus without fear declared that he was a 
Christian. When questioned if he had any 
more associates, he named two, Ermina and 
Ermocrata, who lived in the same house with 
him. These also were summoned before the 

" You have turned Panteleimon away from 
our gods ? " said the emperor to the Christians. 

" Christ, the God Himself, calls those whom 
He finds worthy," answered they. 

" Endeavor to convert Panteleimon to our 
gods once more," said the ruler, " and then the 
first fault will not only be forgiven you, but 
you will receive a reward from me." 

" We cannot do this. We would rather die 
for the name of our God," with firmness replied 
the Christians. Thereupon they began to pray, 
and the Lord revealed Himself to them, so 
that they were strengthened for that which 


awaited them. Suddenly a shock of earth- 
quake was felt, soon after which it was reported 
to the emperor that the idols in the temple fell 
from their places. Not perceiving in this the 
almighty hand of the great Creator, Maksimian 
exclaimed : '' If I do not put to death these 
sorcerers, the whole city will be destroyed ! " 
He then commanded that Panteleimon be 
taken to prison, and Ermolaus, Ermina, and 
Ermocrata to be flogged and then beheaded. 
The Church keeps the memory of these three 
martyrs on the 26th of July. 

Not being able to deceive Panteleimon, 
either by bribes or threats, the emperor, at last 
baffled in his design, ordered the martyr to be 
heavily flogged, and then killed at the block. 
The saint went to his death joyfully, chanting 
the Psalms of David. AVhen they had come 
to the place of execution, he was tied to an 
olive-tree. A soldier let the blade down, but 
no harm came to the holy martyr, who had 
not yet finished his prayer. Seeing this, the 
guard that was there became terrified, and fell 
at the feet of St. Panteleimon, exclaiming : 
" Great is the God of Christians ! " The soldiers 
beseeched the martyr to forgive and to pray 


for them. At this there came a voice from 
heaven, which named the martyr Panteleimon, 
instead of his former name, Pantoleon. Hav- 
ing pra3^ed, the saint requested the soldiers to 
carry out their bidding. Finally St. Pante- 
leimon was beheaded. The olive-tree to which 
he was tied was filled with fruit. Many by- 
standers became believers. The emperor com- 
manded that the olive-tree be cut down, and 
that the body of St. Panteleimon be burned. 
In this instance, another miracle again proved 
that Panteleimon was God's faithful servant 
— his body was not burned in the fire. Chris- 
tians took the body and buried it honorably ; 
at the same time they made a record of the 
life, suffering, and death of the great martyr, 
and sent it, for their edification and his mem- 
ory, to the holy churches. This took place 
A. D. 296. 

At the present day, there is a part of the 
relics of St. Panteleimon in a monastery on 
Mount Athos, which is called St. Panteleimon's 
monastery. From olden times this convent 
was inhabited mostly by Russian monks, al- 
though there always have been also brethren 
of different nationalities. 


DURING the first ages of the Christian era, 
the Church suffered much persecution 
from wicked persons and pagan governments. 
To spread the faith of Christ, as well as to 
uphold the struggling Church, it pleased God 
to send into the field specially chosen men, 
His servants, tried in the faith, and powerful 
both in life and in the Word. Such, among 
others, was Saint Nicholas, whose memory we 
celebrate on the 9th of May, the occasion on 
which his incorruptible relics were carried 
from the city of Myra to the city of Bari, and 
also on the 6th of December, the day of his 

St. Nicholas was born in the second half of 
the third century, in the city of Patara, of the 
country of Lycia. From early childhood the 
beginnings of those virtues by which he after- 
wards was glorified by God before all the 
people, could be seen in his person and be- 


havior. After his studies at home, having 
attained the age of manhood, his uncle, whose 
name was also Nicholas — he being the bishop 
of Patara — raised him to the dignity of a pres- 
byter. During the sacrament of the laying on 
of hands, the bishop, being inspired with a 
spirit of prophecy, turned to the congregation, 
and showing the young man, exclaimed : 
" Brethren, I see a new sun, rising above the 
earth, and promising comfort to all the suffer- 
ing. Blessed is the flock which shall have him 
for its pastor ; for he will bring the wandering 
sheep to the truth, he will pasture them in the 
meadows of piety, and be a helper to all which 
sorrow." The whole life of St. Nicholas was a 
fulfillment of these prophetic words. He 
never ceased to help the suffering, defend the 
innocent, uphold the weak by the word of 
truth and faith,|and to set himself as an exam- 
ple of all Christian virtues. 

After the death of his parents, the whole of 
his rich heritage he gave in good works, en- 
deavoring at that not to be known by those 
whom he befriended ; for he remembered the 
commandment of God— to do good in secret, 
and not to seek for it the glory of men. 


Here, for an instance, is one of the great 
many benefits shown by St. Nicholas. 

A very rich citizen of Patara had suddenly 
lost the whole of his property, and fell into 
extreme poverty. Having been accustomed 
to riches, he did not find the strength to battle 
with the temptations of poverty, and he had 
commenced thinking already of procuring 
means for a living for himself and family, 
which consisted of three grown-up daughters, 
by a dishonorable practice. But he had not 
yet the opportunity of carrying out his evil 
intention, when he was saved by the timely 
help of St. Nicholas. Having heard of his 
troubles, St. Nicholas, under the cover of night, 
threw into his window a large amount of gold, 
tied up in a sack. On awakening in the 
morning, the unhappy father scarcely could 
believe that he unexpectedly became rich. 
His business was restored, and he soon gave his 
eldest daughter in marriage. St. Nicholas de- 
cided to settle in life the two other daughters in 
the same way, and after some time cast another 
sack of gold into the house of their father. 
The second daughter was honorably settled, 
and the happy father poured out before the 


Lord his grateful feelings: "Merciful God, who 
redeemed us with Thy blood, and now saving 
me from sin and dishonor," thus he prayed, 
'^ show us the one who serves as the instrument 
of Thy goodness ; show unto us this Thy earthly 
angel, who keeps us from sin, and delivers us 
from evil thoughts." This desire was granted. 
One night he heard the window opened, and 
the sound of a bundle thrown into the house, 
as before. He hurriedly arose, went in pursuit 
of his benefactor, and discovered Nicholas, who 
at that time administered the affairs of the 
diocese of Patara, in the absence of his uncle, 
who went to Jerusalem. He fell at his feet, 
and with tears of gratitude, he said : " If the 
Lord hath not sent you for our deliverance, I 
would not have withstood temptation, and 
would have enticed into sin and dishonor my 
innocent daughters." 

After the return of his uncle, St. Nicholas 
himself went to pay his reverence at the tomb 
of our Lord, and during the voyage he stilled 
the stormy sea by his prayer, and brought to 
life a sailor who was killed by falling from the 
top of the mast. Continually growing more 
fervent in his love toward God, he settled in a 


monastery, desiring to devote his whole life to 
the Lord, and serve Him in the labors and pri- 
vations of a monastic life. But the will of 
God prepared for him another field. One 
night, whilst praying, he all at once heard a 
voice say to him : " Nicholas, if thou wouldst 
have a crown from Me, enter thou in the way 
of labor among the populous crowd." In fear 
and doubt, Nicholas pondered about the mean- 
ing of such a calling. The same voice said 
again : " Nicholas, this is not the field in which 
you may reap the expected fruit. Turn to the 
people, that My name may be glorified in 
thee." Then it was that Nicholas understood 
that the Lord desired another service of him, 
in place of the monastic life he was leading. 
Submissive to the will of God, he left the 
place he had selected for his abode, and 
went to Myra, the principal city of Lycia, not 
knowing yet what the Lord would of him, but 
ready to fulfill His commandment. 

At this time an election in Myra was taking 
place, in order to elect an archbishop in the stead 
of John, who died. Having gathered from all 
the cities, the bishops were anxious about the 
election. Understanding, of course, that God 


alone could enlighten and guide them, they 
therefore approached the election in prayer 
and fasting. The Lord heard their prayer, 
and to one of them he revealed His will. Dur- 
ing prayer, a man, shining with a heavenly 
glory, appeared to this bishop, and told him 
to remain at the door of the church that night 
and to wait for the people. " The first one 
that enters," said he, " is the elected of God ; 
his name is Nicholas." This bishop told this 
to the others, and stopped by the church doors, 
while the council of bishops were gathered in 
the church. In the mean time, St. Nicholas, 
having arrived in Myra, spent most of his 
time in prayer, and during this night, as usual 
with him, he went to the temple to hear matins. 
Hardly had he entered the door, when the 
bishop stopped him and inquired about his 
name. " Nicholas, the servant of your holi- 
ness, sir," he humbly answered. At that the 
bishop took him by the hand, and led him 
into the temple, where he placed him in the 
midst of the bishops. A rumor of this incident 
very soon spread around, and consequently a 
great multitude of people had come to the 
church. Having been strengthened by the 


vision, the bishop mentioned before addressed 
the people, and pointing out Nicholas, he said : 
" Brethren, accept your pastor, who is anointed 
by the Holy Ghost, and to whom He entrusted 
the ruling over your souls, who is elected, not 
by a body of men, but appointed by God." 
The people rejoiced, and thanked the Lord. 
St. Nicholas, in deep humility, did not con- 
sider himself worthy of so high a dignity, and 
he wished to refuse to accept the office, but he 
submitted to the will of God and became an 

Having become the pastor of the Church of 
Lycia, St. Nicholas, always strict unto himself, 
multiplied his labors with the thought that, 
in his new place, he must not live for him- 
self, but for others. He selected two worthy 
presbyters to be his advisers and assistants, 
and with untiring devotion gave himself to 
care for those who were given to his charge. 
As a father, he received every one; he lis- 
tened with sympathy to anybody's troubles, 
gave advice and help, and with strong de- 
termination defended the innocent and the 
ones offended. In the midst of such work he 
was taken by a sense of great danger which 


had come upon the Church, namely, the per- 
secutions of the emperors Diocletian and Gale- 
rius. These fearful times of suffering lasted for 
ten years, and they were commenced in the 
city of Nicomedia, where about 20,000 Chris- 
tians were burned to death while at prayer in 
the church. From this place the persecutions 
spread to every part of the empire. Not only 
in the cities and villages were Christians sought 
after, but they were hunted down in mountains 
and caves. Not fearing the danger, St. Nich- 
olas continued to preach Christ, and therefore 
he was taken, with many Christians, and cast 
into prison, where they were kept for a long 
time, suffering hunger, thirst, and all sorts of 
trials. But the bishop, for all that, never ceased 
to console them with the Word of God. Now 
the Emperor Constantine came to the throne, 
and as he had known the true God, he gave 
all Christian prisoners their liberty. At the 
same time he destroyed the temples of the 
idols, and built many churches in honor of 
God Almighty. And so St. Nicholas was at 

In the year A. D. 325, the first universal 
council of the Church was held. The chief ob- 


ject of this gathering was to testify to the truth 
against Arius, who impiously taught that the 
Son of God was made. Nicholas was one of the 
saints and teachers of the Church who had 
come to Nicea. Fervently testifying to the 
truth, he for a moment seemed to be trans- 
formed into a being resembling the Divine 
Wrath, when he struck a blow at the false 
mouth of the insolent Arius. For this act the 
holy fathers condemned him to be deprived of 
the episcopal insignia. But in the very same 
night many of the worthier ones had a vision, 
in which they saw the Lord Jesus Christ on the 
right side of St. Nicholas, who gave him the 
Book of the Gospels, and the most pure Mother 
of the Lord on the left of St. Nicholas, as she 
gave him the omophorion. By this it be- 
came known to them that the Lord Himself 
and His Holy Mother regarded Nicholas to 
be worthy of the holy office ; they accordingly 
restored him, and thenceforth, nowithstanding 
his audacious conduct, they honored him as 
God's elect servant. 

Soon after his return to his diocese, St. 
Nicholas saved from an unjust execution three 
citizens who were condemned to die by a 


wicked judge, who was bought over to the 
side of the false accusers by gold. 

Among other good works and miracles per- 
formed by St. Nicholas, he at one time deliv- 
ered from a criminal's death three army officers 
of high rank, who were under the ban of 
the emperor at Constantinople through suspi- 
cion aroused by envious persons. These three 
officers were personally acquainted with St. 
Nicholas. In their prayers to God, they men- 
tioned Nicholas as a lover of justice, and, 
although St. Nicholas was a great distance 
away from them, he made his influence spiri- 
tually felt, through God's powerful grace, by 
the emperor and the prefect of Constantinople. 
He also saved some seafaring people in a 
storm ; but when he noticed that they were 
addicted to bad habits, he admonished them 
in a way which made them repent. Wonder- 
ful was the power that his words had in 
winning the hearts of people; likewise his per- 
son, bright with the grace of God, influenced 
the very stubborn pagans, whom he converted. 
Many are the miracles of St. Nicholas, per- 
formed by him in sickness and other troubles 
of poor mankind, which are recorded in 


history, since the time in which he left this 
earthly abode, and of which we often hear 
in Russia, where many beautiful churches are 
dedicated to his blessed memory. He died in 
his very old age, and was buried in the cathe- 
dral of Myra, in the year 342. His holy body, 
which still seemed to be the temple of the 
Holy Ghost, was moist with a kind of aromatic 
oil, and Christians who were anointed with 
it in their sickness were healed. 


January 14. 

WE often see that God selects weak per- 
sons, such as are apparently incapa- 
ble of accomplishing great and dijSicult works, 
for the purpose of fulfilling His will, and He 
makes them the agents who continue the work 
of the Saviour. And strengthened by the grace 
of God, they succeed in the labor and calling 
in which they are placed. No hardship should 
be considered too difficult in our good under- 
takings ; only, in the commencement of a work, 
we should ask ourselves : Is the undertaking 
worthy of the Lord's blessing ? and, if it be so, 
then we must undergo the labor with a firm 
hope in God's help, without which we may do 
nothing. It was a difficult task that the Lord 
committed to His disciples, when He com- 
manded them to preach the Holy Gospel. 
Wise and learned men, nations, and kings 
arose up against the simple, untutored fisher- 


men of Galilee, but the right hand of God up- 
held the Apostles, and the teaching of Christ 
spread rapidly, notwithstanding prohibitions 
and persecutions. 

In the fourth century, to just such apostoli- 
cal labor the Lord called a virgin ; she was 
nothing more than a lonely, weakimaiden, and 
her name was Nina. She was the niece of the 
patriarch of Jerusalem ; in the holy city she 
obtained her education. From her young 
days she learned to love God with her whole 
heart. Understanding and feeling that the 
faith in an almighty and all-loving Heavenly 
Father was filled with grace ; that it comforts 
man in sorrow ; that it gives peace and a quiet 
firmness — Nina deeply felt for those who were 
still ignorant of the Holy Gospel. At this time, 
there were many countries with much people 
who were not as yet enlightened by the true 
religion ; among them were the people who 
inhabited Eberia (i. e. the country now known 
as Georgia). Nina often heard the Jews speak 
about this land, when they came from thence 
to worship, in Jerusalem, on the feast of the 

Repeated stories told about Eberia created in 

ST. NINA. 59 

Nina's heart a strong desire to visit Georgia 
(situated around the Caucasian Mountains), 
and enlighten the people with the Gospel teach- 
ing. She became encouraged in this desire 
by wonderful visions also. In a dream, she 
once saw the Mother of God, who gave her a 
cross made of grape-vines ; at another time 
the Saviour appeared to her, and gave her a 
scroll, upon which she read the words. Go 
and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name 
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost (Matt, xxviii : 19), the same as were 
addressed to the Apostles. Her desire was 
fulfilled. With a female acquaintance she 
went to Ephesus; here she found herself in 
the midst of the persecution which was car- 
ried on by the Emperor Diocletian. Compelled 
to flee, she found refuge in Armenia — in the 
abode of a certain Ripsimia. In the biography 
of St. Gregory, the great missionary of Arme- 
nia, we read, concerning this same Ripsimia, 
the following : " Ripsimia, who offered herself 
to the service of God, fled from the persecutions 
of Diocletian, and concealed herself in Arme- 
nia. Tiridat, the King of Armenia, endeav- 
ored to obtain her consent to a marriage with 


Jiimself ; but as he could not succeed in having 
her willingly leave her virginal life, he con- 
demned her to a horrible death, together with 
her thirty-seven sister followers." By the mercy 
of God, Nina escaped the end of these Christian 
sisters. She fled to Eberia, the neighboring 
country. There is another tradition, which 
says that she was captured by some Eberian 
soldiers, who often made raids upon the sur- 
rounding country. However it may have 
been, still her arrival in Eberia served to evan- 
gelize that whole country. The Lord God did 
not cease to help her; He showed His won- 
ders, creating miracles by her faithful word 
and hand, thereby bringing the whole race to 
the knowledge of Himself. 

Soon after Nina's arrival in Eberia, there 
took place a great celebration in honor of one 
of the chief gods. Following the crowd, Nina 
came to the place where the idol stood, before 
which incense wasburned, and sacrifices offered. 
Miriam, the king, together with his queen, the 
militia, and a multitude of people, was present 
at the feast, and reverently worshiped before 
the idol. Nina, with sorrow, looked upon the 
heathen holiday, and fervently prayed that 

ST. NINA. 61 

God might enlighten these people, who walked 
in the darkness of idol-worship. Suddenly, 
during a clear da}^, a mighty storm filled the 
air, and the idol fell, stricken by lightning. 
In fear, the crowd scattered, but Nina blessed 
the Lord, who answered her prayer by destroy- 
ing the idol. This happened on the same day 
when Christians commemorate the Transfigu- 
ration of Jesus Christ. 

After this, Nina went to live in the home of 
a woman who had her house in the king's 
vineyards, and it was not a very long while 
before she became known in the neighborhood, 
as she off'ered a miraculous assistance to all 
the suffering. The sick came to her in large 
numbers ; she healed their diseases by her 
prayers, and taught them the true religion of 
the one God, who created the heavens and the 
earth, and she told them of Jesus Christ, who 
died for the salvation of the human race. The 
words of the stranger, the miracles which she 
performed, her life, all given up to prayer and 
good actions, greatly influenced the surround- 
ing population, and many of them believed in 
God. Some of the people who were healed by 
Nina off'ered her rich gifts, and invited her to 


live with them ; but the gifts she refused, and 
as to the poor hut in which she dwelled, she 
did not wish to depart from it, because the spot 
was sacred to her, through a tradition she had 
heard while yet in Jerusalem, from the Jews, 
who came there from this place. It was said 
that the cloak of the Lord Jesus was hidden in 
this same vineyard, and that it was brought 
hither in the following manner : 

In the ancient past, as far back as the Baby- 
lonian captivity, several of the Jewish fami- 
lies, which were scattered into different coun- 
tries, settled in Eberia. Sacredly preserving 
the ancient customs, they annually sent their 
selected men to Jerusalem to keep the Pass- 
over. The Jews of Eberia learned from these 
men that Jesus Christ was preaching in Jerusa- 
lem. They heard of His teaching, and of His 
miracles; they learned also that the scribes 
and the Pharisees hated Him, and that they 
sought to kill Him. These conversations 
aroused deep sympathy in the family of an 
old woman, who implored her son, with tears, 
not to take part in the unrighteous council 
against Jesus Christ, when he, Elioza, the old 
woman's son, was about to start on his journey 

ST. NINA. 63 

to Jerusalem. While Elioza was in Jerusa- 
lem, Jesus Christ was delivered up. Elioza 
witnessed the sufferings of the Saviour, and he 
bought His (i. e. Jesus') cloak of the soldier 
who obtained it by the casting of lots. On his 
return home, the son did not find his mother 
among the living. Tradition tells, that at the 
same time when Christ the Saviour died on 
the cross, the old woman suddenly exclaimed : 
" The kingdom of Israel is no more ! " and, 
with these words, she fell dead. Elioza was 
met by his young sister, Sidonia. When she 
saw the Lord's cloak in the hands of her 
brother, she quickly drew the sacred garment 
from him, and, pressing it to her breast, she 
died, then and there. They buried her in the 
king's garden, together with the cloak, which 
they could not loose from her embrace. On the 
spot of her grave, says tradition, a great cedar- 
tree grew up. 

This cedar was in the vineyard where Nina 
now lived. Under its shade she often passed 
whole nights in prayer, beseeching God to 
bring the people of Eberia to the knowledge of 
Him. Wonderful visions strengthened her 
faith, revealing that she would be successful in 


this holy work. She saw, as it appeared to her, 
a flock of blackbirds flying from the king's gar- 
den, and, after washing in the waters of the 
Aragva, they became as white as snow, and 
from the high branches of the cedar they filled 
the surrounding country with heavenly music. 
The wonders that were worked by Nina 
became heard of in all the land. It happened 
that the queen was taken sick ; when she saw 
that the physicians could give her no assis- 
tance, she decided to send for the pious stran- 
ger, of whom she had heard so much. But 
Nina did not go to the royal palace ; she in- 
vited the queen to come to her poor hut ; and 
when she came, she recovered her health upon 
the prayer of Nina. " It is not I who heal 
thee, but Jesus Christ," said the religious re- 
cluse to the queen, " the Son of God, the 
Creator of the universe." The queen believed 
in the Lord. King Miriam, grateful for the 
healing of his consort, sent rich gifts to Nina ; 
but she returned them, and sent word to the 
king that she had no desire for riches, only 
she hoped and wished that he would believe 
in the true God. A wonderful cure was also 
effected upon a relation of the king of Persia, 



who was a guest of Miriam's ; and he also be- 
lieved. Upon that, Miriam, fearing the anger 
of the king of Persia for the conversion of his 
relation, became dissatisfied with Nina, and 
decided to banish her; but the Lord showed 
His power upon the king himself, and turned 
his heart. 

Once, while on a hunting tour, the king 
suddenly became enveloped by an impenetra- 
ble darkness ; in fear, he called to his com- 
panions, but they, without interruption, con- 
tinued the chase, not noticing anything, as the 
dark haze surrounded the king alone. At 
last, the king, in terror, thought of the words 
of Nina, and he called to God, whom Nina 
confessed. The darkness at once disappeared. 
Terrified by such a miracle, the king went to 
Nina; after obtaining instructions in the law 
of God, he believed with his whole heart, and 
decided to receive holy baptism. He sent to 
Constantinople with the intention of obtaining 
bishops and priests; he also commenced to 
build a church, upon the place where the 
sacred cedar stood, as Nina pointed out. 
The first timber put into the building was 
made out of the cedar-tree, and, likewise, four 


crosses were made out of it, which were sent 
to the different parts of the Iberian country. 
A number of wonders, which took place dur- 
ing the building of the new Christian temple, 
confirmed the faith in the Almighty God 
among the inhabitants. 

The Emperor Constantine, who was con- 
verted to the true religion not long before this, 
by a miraculous appearance of the cross, made 
haste to send the patriarch of Antioch to 
Eberia. The patriarch consecrated a bishop 
for the new Christians. The first temple was 
dedicated in honor of the holy Apostles, and 
the Church of Eberia appointed the celebration, 
in honor of the discovery of the cloak of the 
Eedeemer, to be on the first day of October. 

Nina, who had no desire for honor and glory, 
went to live in a mountain; here, in seclusion, 
she offered her grateful praise to the Lord, 
who helped her to convert the idolaters. After 
some time, she left her seclusion, in order to 
continue her apostolical labors, and visited 
other parts of Eberia, where she converted to 
God, the queen of Kachetia, whose name was 

In this way, St. Nina worked as an apostle 

ST. NINA. 67 

for thirty-five years, when she felt that she 
would soon die; having sent for King Miriam 
and his wife, she blessed them, gave them her 
last instructions, and quietly gave up her soul 
to the Lord. In the place where she died, in 
Kachetia, Miriam built a church, which he 
dedicated in honor of the great martyr, St. 
George, who — according to tradition — was a 
relation to Nina, and he is considered to be 
the protector of Georgia. 


THE histories of the lives of God's saints are 
precious to us. The stories relating to 
the way by which they reached the kingdom 
of heaven are instructive for us. But more 
instructing, more touching, are these stories 
when they are told, not by some unknown 
writer, but by God's holy ones, — the veritable 
witnesses of the truth. We offer our readers 
the sainted brother's story of a sainted sister, — 
the narrative about the holy Makrina, by St. 
Gregory, of Nice. 

"Our parents named the child Makrina 
because there was a famous Makrina among 
our ancestors, namely, our father's mother, 
who suffered for Christ during the persecu- 
tions. The child was raised by its mother. 
Having passed the infant's age, she learned 
her childhood lessons with much zeal, and at 
the same time disclosed a rare talent. The 


mother took no pains in teaching her the 
worldly arts, but chiefly tried to have her 
acquire the wise sayings of Solomon and the 
Psalms. Did she arise from bed, or commence 
her work and finish the same ; did she go to 
her meal, or leave the table ; did she lie down 
to sleep, or kneel in prayer, — she continually 
had a song of the Psalms on her lips, and 
never was without it. And so Makrina reached 
her twelfth year, the age when the flower of 
youth especially begins to bloom. The fortu- 
nate beauty of the maiden could not be con- 
cealed, and many desiring to wed her came to 
her parents with their proposal. In the coun- 
tries of the East, as is yet the custom, chil- 
dren are betrothed (not wedded) at an early 

" The wise father selected one who came 
from a celebrated race, a young man known for 
his good morals, and to him he decided to wed 
his daughter when she became of age. But 
fate suddenly destroyed these beautiful hopes, 
snatching him away from this life at a much- 
to-be-mourned-for youthful age. Then it was 
the maiden decided to lead a lonely life; and 
when our parents would touch upon the ques- 


tion of matrimony, she would say that her 
betrothed did not die, but is alive with God; 
therefore, it is unreasonable for me to break 
the promise. 

"She never separated from jher mother, and 
the daughter's services substituted the work of 
many servants. The mother did service bene- 
fiting the maiden's soul, but she worked for 
her mother physically. For instance, she 
often prepared the bread for her mother, and 
took part in all the cares of the household, 
together with the mother, as the father had 
now left this life, and the mother had four 
sons and five daughters (Makrina being the 

" When our mother settled her other 
daughters, there returned home to us, after a 
long absence at institutions of education, our 
brother, the great Basil (Basil the Great). 
Finding him thinking profoundly of oratory, 
Makrina soon attracted his attention to Chris- 
tian philosophy, for which he cast aside the 
wordly vanity, and commenced a laborious 
ascetic life. Finally she induced our mother 
to lead the same kind of life, and she also com- 
menced the pious labor on equal terms with 


the virgins. Their life was so holy that 1 do 
not know how to describe it. 

"Reaching a very old age, our mother died 
on the hands of her children. In the ninth 
year of his prelacy the eminent Basil goes to 
God. Hearing of this from a distance, 
Makrina's soul sorrowed much for this great 
loss. Yet, under such weighty strokes of mis- 
fortune, she remained as firm as an invincible 
warrior. Soon after this, I, Gregory, became 
desirous of visiting my sister; for, during eight 
years, severe circumstances which I suffered 
prevented the meeting before. 

" On the day before my arrival at the place 
where she lived, I had a vision in a dream; it 
seemed as though I carried on my hands the 
relics of a martyr, and from the relics shone 
forth such a light that I could not look upon 
them. I saw the same three times in one 
night. A kind of melancholy filled my soul. 

" Coming near to the abode of my sister, I 
questioned one whom I met about my sister. 
He told me that she was sick. I hurried ; my 
heart seemed to shrink away. When I entered 
her sacred apartment [cell, in the original], I 
found her not lying on a bed, or on a litter, 


but on the floor, on a board covered with a 
hair cloth ; another board, placed slantingly, 
served as a pillow. Raising herself on her 
elbow, — for now she could not get up — she 
offered me the salutation at meeting. I ran 
to her, consoled her, and helped her back 
again ; then, outstretching her arms towards 
heaven, she said : ' And this joy also Thou 
didst grant me, God! Thou didst not de- 
prive me of what I so desired ; Thou didst send 
Thy servant [minister] to visit Thy hand- 
maid.' To lighten our sorrow on her account, 
she tried to conceal the difficulty of her breath- 
ing; forcing herself to smile, she talked of 
pleasant things, telling us of all that hap- 
pened to her since her childhood, as if she read 
from a book. She blessed God from the bot- 
tom of her soul for all His mercies. I com- 
menced to tell of how much I suffered when I 
was exiled for the faith by the Emperor Valent ; 
but she said : ' Will you not cease being un- 
grateful towards God ? He rewarded you with 
His favors more than our parents. They say 
that you are become known to cities and whole 
provinces ; they summons you and send j^ou to 
aid the Church. . . . You must know that 


the prayers of parents elevate one to such a 
height.' Listening to her, I was sorry to see 
the day declining towards evening. After the 
nocturnal prayers and rest, when the morning 
came, it became clear to me that this morning 
was the last for the sick one ; the fever con- 
sumed the remaining strength of the sufferer. 
My soul was full of sadness, because the ten- 
derness of my sister called forth softness on 
my part for her — a saint ; but, at the same time, 
I wondered at the ineffable tranquillity with 
which she awaited the end. The sun was 
nearly setting, but the happy state of her 
spirit did not leave her. She stopped speak- 
ing to us, and her eyes fixed towards heaven 
(her poor couch was turned towards the east), 
she sweetly and softly conversed with the 
Lord, so that with difficulty we could catch 
some of the words. 'Thou, Lord,' she said, 
' destroyed for us the fear of death. . . . 
Thou givest rest to our bodies in sleep of 
death, and again awakenest them at the sound 
of the trumpet at the end of ages. ... 
Eternal God, to whom I belong from the 
womb of my mother, whom I love with all my 
soul, to whom I gave my body and soul I 


Grant me a bright angel who would bring me 
to the holy fathers in the place of freshness 
and repose. . . . Thou that forgavest one 
of them that were crucified with Thee, having 
only recourse to Thy mercy, remember me also 
in Thy kingdom May not the spirit- 
en vier prevent me from fleeing to Thee; let all 
my sins disappear before Thee. Thou that hast 
the power to forgive sins, forgive the sins of 
my weakness, and receive my soul as a bless- 
ing before Thee ! ' 

" Saying these words, she made the sign of 
the cross over her mouth, eyes, and heart. . . . 
It became dark ; the candles were brought 
in ; she opened her eyes and began to repeat 
the Psalms, but her voice failed her, and she 
continued her prayer mentally. Having fin- 
ished, she tried to raise her arm, in order to 
make the sign of the cross, — a deep, heavy 
sigh came from her breast, and her life ended, 
together with her prayer ! 

*' Until now all who surrounded her re- 
mained silent, suppressing their emotion ; but 
now there were to be heard wailings, and I 
myself wept bitterly. . . . But glancing on 
her that fell asleep, and, as if chided by her 


for the disorder, I sent them all out, leaving 
such of my sister's fellow workers as were the 
most intimate. One of them, by name Vesti- 
ana, clothing the poor body of Makrina with 
vestments, called me, and disclosing a part of 
the breast, while showing with the light of a 
candle, she said to me: 'Do you see that 
hardly visible mark? Once there appeared 
on that spot a painful swelling, and danger 
threatened lest the disease should reach the 
heart. Her mother often begged her to con- 
sult medical advice. But she, deeming the 
baring of any part of the body before a stran- 
ger's eyes more unwholesome than the disease, 
did not agree to do so. 

'"Withdrawing to the church [temple] she 
remained there all night in prayer, and min- 
gling her prayerful tears with the earth, she put 
this tearful dust to the sore breast instead of 
medicaments. And to her mother she said that 
it would be enough for her if she, her mother, 
would make with her own hand a sign of the 
cross over the swelling. Her mother satisfied 
her desire ; the sore disappeared, and here — 
in remembrance of this grace of God— there 
remained onlv this mark.' 


" Vesting the reposed one [Oriental expres- 
sion — is it not appropriate?], Vestiana found 
on her neck a small iron cross and ring 
attached to a cord. ' Let us divide the inheri- 
tance/ said I ; * keep for yourself the saving 
cross, and for me this ring is sufficient, as on 
its stamp there is the sign of the cross also.' 

* You did not make a mistake,' said Vestiana, 

* for in this ring there is a particle of the life- 
giving wood.' 

" Tidings of the demise of the revered one 
brought a multitude of people of all classes to 
the abode [convent]. So did the bishop of 
that place come with the clergy. Slowly and 
with appropriate hymns did we, the ministers 
of the altar, bear the funeral bier to the Church 
of the Hol}^ Martyrs ; where the body of my 
sister was laid by the side of our mother's re- 
mains, according to the desire of them both. 
. . . Once more I prostrated myself before 
the coffin, and, kissing the remains, in sorrow 
and tears I left the church." 


THIS great teacher, on account of the 
fluency and sweetness of his eloquence, 
obtained the surname of Chrysostom, or Gold- 
en-Mouth, which we find given him by St. 
Ephrem, Cassiodorus, and others. But his 
tender piety, and his undaunted courage and 
zeal in the cause of virtue, are titles far more 
glorious, by which he holds an eminent place 
among the greatest pastors of the Church. 
He was born during the first half of the fourth 
century in the city of Antioch. His mother, 
Anthusa, left a widow at twenty years of age, 
continued such the remainder of her life, 
dividing her time between the care of her 
family and the exercises of devotion. From 
their cradle, she instilled into her children the 
most perfect maxims of piety, and contempt of 
the world. The better class of Romans, as well 
as the ancient Greeks, dreaded nothing more 
in the education of youth, than their being ill 


taught the first principles of the sciences. 
Therefore Anthusa provided her son the 
ablest masters in every branch of literature 
which the empire at that time afforded. The 
progress of the 3'oung scholar surprised the 
philosophers. Yet, all this time, his principal 
care was to study Christ, and to learn His 
Spirit. He laid a solid foundation of virtue, 
by a perfect humility, self-denial, and a com- 
plete victory over himself. 

Our saint, by circumstances ordered by the 
Lord, left the desert, where he abode for a 
number of years, and returned to the city. 
Bishop Flavian, foreseeing the Church's good 
fortune and opportunity, ordained John to the 
priesthood, at the same time making him his 
vicar and preacher. The saintly ascetic had 
reached by this time his forty-third year. 
Now, as a champion of the truth, his fame 
spread throughout the empire. It seemed as 
if nothing could withstand the united power 
of his eloquence, zeal, and piety. 

St. Chrysostom had been five years deacon, 
and twelve years priest, when Nectarius, 
Bishop of Constantinople, dying in 397, the 
Emperor Arcadius, at the suggestion of Eutro- 


pius the eunuch, his chamberlain, resolved to 
procure the election of John to the patriarchate 
of the ro3^al city. He therefore dispatched a 
secret order to the Viceroy of the East, enjoin- 
ing him to send John to Constantinople, but 
by some stratagem, lest his intended removal, if 
known at Antioch, should be opposed to by his 
devoted flock. On being brought to Constan- 
tinople, although it was against his will, John 
was consecrated archbishop for the capital — 
with the powers of a patriarch in that whole 
region. It might be expected that John, a 
holy man of God, had enemies who were on 
the alert to injure him, either personally, or 
by defaming his noble character. Among 
such wasTheophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, 
who strove against the elevation of John. 

On becoming the chief-pastor in this new 
charge, our saint turned his attention first 
toward the helpless and poor sufferers, for 
whom he founded hospitals and asylums. It 
was the body of clergy next which caused 
him much anxiety and watch in his endeavors 
to keep it at the height of its calling. Nothing 
escaped the eagle eye of this zealous teacher of 
Christianity. Knowing well the importance 


of the position held in society by the mothers, 
wives, and sisters of homes, he addressed the 
ladies and women of Constantinople who 
neglected to cover their necks, or used a foolish 
and unnatural fashion of dress, in this way: 
" Immoral persons hide their baits at home 
only for the wicked; but you," said he, "carry 
your snares everywhere, and spread your nets 
publicly in all places. You allege that you 
never invited others to sin. You did not by 
your tongue, but you have done it by your 
dress and manners more effectually than you 
could by your voice. When you have made 
another sin in his heart, how can you be inno- 
cent ? You sport yourselves in the ruin of 
the souls of others, and make their spiritual 
death your pastime." 

As at Antioch St. John did, he likewise sup- 
pressed the wicked custom of swearing in 
Constantinople. His eloquence and zeal com- 
bined tamed the fiercest sinners, and changed 
them into meek lambs ; he also converted a 
large number of idolaters and heretics. To 
the repentant he was a most tender father. 
On one occasion, his indignation was roused, 
we can fearlessly say, to a height which was 


divinely inspired, by some professed Christians 
who desecrated the holy days by leaving the 
house of prayer to go to see horse-races, and 
then, only a short time after they had im- 
plored in humility for God's mercy to stop the 
heavy rainfall, which endangered the grain 
crop. The holy bishop appealed to the sinners : 
"Are these things to be borne? Can they 
be tolerated?" The saint grieved the more, 
because, after all, they said they had done no 
harm, though they had murdered not only 
their own souls, but also those of their chil- 
dren. " And how will you," said he, " after 
this, approach the holy place? How will you 
touch the heavenly food? Even now do I see 
you overwhelmed with grief, and covered with 

St. John laid out to the poor all his reve- 
nues. His own patrimony he had given to 
the poor, long before, at Antioch. This great 
man's labors and influence became felt in the 
remotest countries of the earth. He sent a 
bishop to instruct the nomads, or wandering 
Scythians ; another to the Goths, and so on. 
He was himself endued with an eminent spirit 
of prayer; this he knew to be the great chan- 


nel of heavenly blessings, the cleanser of the 
affections of the soul from earthly dross, and 
the means which renders men spiritual and 
heavenly, and makes them angels, even in 
their mortal body. 

In the mean time, the enemies of the holy 
Chrysostom were lying in wait for their vic- 
tim. The}^ succeeded in gaining the favor of 
the imperial court — especially those members 
of it who accused John for personal insult, 
because for such did their lame conscience 
take his expositions of the commandments of 
God. The good patriarch was banished. 
Twice was he compelled to leave Constanti- 
nople. Now, in his old age, when sickness 
and physical pains seized him, he was forced to 
travel on foot in the night-time. Being 
deprived of every necessary of life, he was 
greatly refreshed if he got a little clear water 
to drink, fresh bread to eat, or a bed to take a 
little rest upon. But all he lamented was the 
impenitence of his enemies — for their own 
sake. Finally, the soldiers reached as far as 
to Cucusus, and here they left him to the 
mercy of the simple villagers. This poor town 
in Armenia was not the home of the sufferer 


for any length of time. His letters from this 
place could reach the great cities; and, truly, 
they did thrill the souls of many thousands of 
the faithful. This great light of the Church, 
who enlightened the path of so many Chris- 
tians, could not be endured by a few impi- 
ous enemies. They resolved to rid the world 
of him. Two officers were dispatched to con- 
vey him to the distant shores of the Black 
Sea. They led the old bishop over very rough 
roads, under a scorching sun. When they 
arrived at Comana Pontica, he was very sick. 
Seeing him in a dying condition, they left him 
with the priest of that place. Now, in this 
place the relics of the martyr St. Basilicus 
rested. This saint appeared to John at night, 
and said to him: "Be of good cheer, brother 
John; to-morrow we shall be together." The 
good pastor was filled with joy at this news, 
and begged that he might stay there till the 
following day. He washed and prepared him- 
self as if for a great feast. He received the 
holy sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and 
shortly after gave up his pure soul with these 
words: Glory he to God for all things. 


O Joyful Light, of the holy- 
Glory of the Immortal Father; 
Heavenly, Holy, Blessed Jesus Christ, 
We — having come to the setting of the sun — 
Beholding the evening light, 

Hymn our God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost— 
Worthy art Thou at all times 
To be hymned with reverent voices, 
O Son of God, Giver of life: 
Wherefore the world glorifieth Thee. 

[Vesper Hymn— Orthodox Church.] 

BEAUTIFUL words ! AVhat a fullness of 
expression this soft Light, that came 
even unto the setting of the sun, conveys to 
us, inhabitants of the extreme West, Chris- 
tians — who live just where the sun goes down 
after shining over the last continent of earth. 
I wish all of you could enjoy the sweetness of 
harmonious phraseology that glides all 
through this sublime hymn, as we have it in 


the Greek, or in its Slavonic translation. The 
poetry suffers in order to preserve the sense of 
the original words when translated into the 
English. But the thought itself is so elabor- 
ate that you catch a faint echo of the sacred 

The reason why this hymn is appropriated 
to evening devotion is plainly expressed in 
the hymn itself. The thought of Christ, the 
soft Light, is naturally called forth at sight of 
the sunset and the mellow light of lamps. 
Christ, by the Godhead, is cm ever-existing Light, 
as He is the eternal brightness of God the Father, 
and the express image of His Being (Heb. i : 3). 
But for the salvation of humankind, He con- 
cealed His Divine glory beneath the form of a 
man, and in this way He became as the soft 
light of the evening. A comparison very 
striking! The haze that generally fills the 
evening air lessens the brightness of the sun- 
light. In the daytime the light of the sun is 
unbearable, so that one cannot look at it with 
an unarmed eye. But look at the same sun in 
the evening, and see how softly he shines. 
Every one may look at him plainly, admire 
his beauty, and the beauty of those gorgeous 


pictures that he forms in the clouds by the 
reflection of his light. And thus it is that the 
Son of God, unapproachable according to His 
divinity, has made Himself accessible to us 
by His humanity, through which the light of 
His Godhead had lessened so that we could 
see the Word of life with plain eyes, hear and 
feel Him (John i: 1); and having made Him- 
self accessible for all. He also made the way 
approachable for all, through Himself, to 
the Heavenly Father, the Holy, the Blessed, 
so that they who have seen the Son have seen 
the Father Himself (John xv: 9). 

The Eastern light has come to the West — 
to the uttermost Western end! And blessed 
be they who, with a clear vision, perceive this 
light just as it shines in the East. This light, 
although it came from the East, did not 
change, but while it shines in the West, it 
continues to be the light of the East ; it is the 
Eternal Light. Christ, who is the East Him- 
self, laid down Himself as the chief corner- 
stone of His Church, which he established in 
the East, and they in the West who receive 
this light of the East, must so shine as the 
light of the East would have them be enlight- 


ened ; but not allow themselves to be dazzled 
with the glare of a false fire ; I say fire, but 
not light, as no light cometh from the West. 
Praise and glorify the Good God! See, He 
comes to the West from the East, that all may 
see by that One Light, and be saved in the 
bond of union, which is Love ! 

For many centuries this evening hymn has 
been heard in Christian temples; nor has it 
through all these ages, nor in the temples, lost 
its freshness and tenderness. It seems, rather, 
that with every going-down of the sun it 
becomes new again; at every eventide to 
which it pleases God to prolong our life it may 
stimulate our souls with new vigor, with holy 
thoughts, with heavenly aspiring emotion. 
Do we sing this praise ourselves, or do we hear 
others hymn, we always feel a hallowed sweet- 
ness of heart, an elevated feeling inspires the 
soul. But where does the evening sun go? 
He does not fade away ; but, hidden from us, 
he lights up with the same brightness the other 
side of our earth. And so, without a doubt, 
does our spiritual sun, which is hidden from 
our eyes, always, and in like manner, shine and 
is seen in all His glory in another world, 


whereas here the eye of faith may see only the 
reflection of His never-setting Light. 

The historic tradition which tells how this 
hymn was composed is most interesting: On one 
of the hills of Jerusalem — very likely on the 
same mount from which the Saviour of the 
world looked down upon Jerusalem in the mel- 
low twilight, and sorrowfully conversed with 
His disciples of the approaching fall of the city 
of God — there sat, all alone, an old man, wise old 
Sophronius; he was the Bishop of Jerusalem 
— patriarch of the earliest Eastern Church : 
he sat, and his meditative gaze was fixed on 
the setting sun of Palestine. The profound 
stillness, the fading light of the evening, the 
cool and invigorating air, and other impres- 
sive pictures of nature at eventide, with which 
the wise Sophronius loved to enjoy himself, so 
fixed the attention of the servant of God that 
he fell into a deep meditation. Before him 
lay Jerusalem, with which great memories of 
so much is connected ; the rays of the sun 
now, as oft before, fell on that glorious city, 
but they never more shone down in it to light 
up the temple of Solomon, nor the palace of 
Herod, nor the strong walls and high towers 


of Sion. It looked dreary and desolate, — as 
desolate as it is in a house when the host, dead 
a long time, leaves no one to keep house after 
him. The wise Sophronius did not grieve for 
the ruins of the walls and temple of Jerusa- 
lem. He knew that from the fragments of the 
old the new Jerusalem arose, which shone out 
in all the world, and over which shineth the 
glory of the Lord ; for he had once, before be- 
coming patriarch, with a pilgrim's staff, 
wended his way through Greece, Palestine, 
Syria, Egypt; seeing everywhere Christian 
cities, and everywhere finding temples conse- 
crated to the name of the Saviour. 

And so the evening light, softly falling over 
the remains of the ancient Jerusalem, directs 
the thought of the wise, grand old man and 
prelate to objects of more importance than 
the ruins of the city. As Elias of old in the 
still small voice (1 Kings xix : 12) recognized the 
presence of Jehovah, so does old Sophronius, 
philosopher and historian, orator and poet, 
patriarch and saint all at the same time, in the 
soft light of the evening twilight, mentally feel 
the touch of another, higher Light. The ma- 
terial sun, declining in the West, inclines the 


mind of the bishop to conceive the immate- 
rial sun, — and the image of the holy, life- 
conceiving Trinity, was borne before his spiri- 
tual eyes. The Western destination of the sun 
brought to his memory the gloomy West of 
the fallen nature of mankind ; the soft light 
of the setting sun, softly bathing in its rays 
tired nature at eventide, lively represents to 
him the descent of the Son of God unto dark 
humanity, that He may enlighten and resur- 
rect it, and with it all nature. In the cool 
breath of the evening air he perceives the type 
of that grace by w^hich the Holy Ghost, in 
consequence of the redemption accomplished 
on the Cross by Jesus Christ, quickens and 
spiritualizes man and the universe. The soul 
of the wise old man abounds in pious emotion, 
and wdth a trembling voice, a saintly voice, he 
sings an evening hymn to the Creator of the 
universe : Thou soft Light of the holy glory ! 
Christ, my Saviour ! Thou that revealed unto 
us the glory of the Heavenly Father! soft 
Light of the holy glory, upon which the spiri- 
tual eye so loves to gaze, as the eyes of the 
body upon the mellow twilight! Thou wouldst 
save the world, and Thou hast come once upon 


a time unto the dark West — yea, even down unto 
our nature; therefore, each time when we 
reach the going-down of the sun, day by day, 
when we behold the light of the evening, we 
praise Thy Father, Thee the Son we praise, 
praise we the Holy Ghost, glorifying the 
Triune God. Son of God, that givest life 
unto us and all creatures ! we should sing to 
Thee with reverential voices, we should fall 
down before Thee not only at the setting of 
the sun, nor only when we see the twilight, 
but at all times of the day and the year. 
Thou art the life of the world, and Thee there- 
fore the whole world glorifies. Amen. 


SAINT PELAGIA was born at the close of 
the fourth century, or at the very begin- 
ning of the fifth century. She lived at 
Antioch, which at that time was one of the 
richest and greatest cities of the whole East. 
The extraordinary beauty of Pelagia drew 
many admirers after her. She did not marry, 
but occupied herself by entertaining the 
pleasure-seeking crowds in public places. Her 
house was open to rich lovers. It happened 
at this time that several bishops had come to 
Antioch to hold a conference, together with 
the archbishop of the capital. Among them 
was Nonnus, the Bishop of Heliopolis. The 
prelates were lodged in the neighborhood of 
the Church of St. Julian the Martyr. One 
day, whilst they were sitting before the church 
with Nonnus, whom they were questioning, 
and whom they listened to with much atten- 
tion, for he was a wise and holy man, Pelagia 


came down along the street and passed before 
them in great pomp, decked with gold, pearls, 
and precious stones, accompanied by a nu- 
merous train of young men, women, and 
servants. Her beauty, with the lustre of her 
jewels and rich attire, drew the eyes of all the 
fond admirers of these empty toys upon her ; 
but whilst the prelates turned aside their 
faces, because having no veil over her head, 
and her very shoulders being uncovered, they 
were offended at the immodesty of her dress, 
Nonnus only seemed to take notice of her, and 
to consider her with great attention. After 
she had passed by, turning to his fellow 
bishops, he said to them, with many sighs 
and tears : " I fear God will one day bring 
this woman to confront us before the throne 
of His justice, in order to condemn our negli- 
gence and tepidity in His service, and in the 
discharge of our duty to the flock He has 
committed to our care. For how many hours 
do you think she has employed this very day 
in washing and dressing herself, adorning and 
embellishing her whole person to the best 
advantage, with a view to exhibit her beauty 
to please the eyes of the world, which to-day 


is, but to-morrow passes away ? Whereas we, 
who have an Ahnighty Father, an immortal 
Spouse in heaven. His Son, and the sanctify- 
ing Holy Ghost, in whose name we were bap- 
tized, and whom we should serve — we, to 
whom the immense and eternal treasures of 
Heaven are promised as the reward of our 
short labors upon earth, are far from taking 
as much pains to wash and purify our souls 
from their stains, and procure for them those 
bright ornaments of virtue and sanctity which 
alone can render them truly agreeable in the 
eyes of God." Having spoken to this efiPect, 
St. Nonnus returned home, and, prostrating 
himself, implored the divine mercy for the 
forgiveness of his negligence. 

On the next day the bishops assembled in 
the great church to offer the liturgy. St. 
Nonnus was requested by the archbishop to 
deliver an exhortation to the people. Strange 
as it may seem, it happened that on this very 
day Pelagia visited the cathedral. The 
bishop's sermon was on repentance. His 
words, inspired by a holy unction, made so 
deep an impression on her soul that she could 
not refrain the whole time from sighing and 


shedding tears, through the deep sense she 
conceived of her sins. As soon as the divine 
service was over, she sent a letter to the holy 
prelate, begging him to receive her into the 
fold of those who seek salvation. Nonnus 
sent her word that if she was sincere in her 
desires of instruction and conversion, she 
might come to him to the Church of St. 
Julian, where he would receive her, but on 
condition to speak with her in the presence of 
the other bishops. When Pelagia received 
this permission, she came with all speed, and 
cast herself at the feet of the holy man, ear- 
nestly beseeching him, through the example of 
his great Master, Jesus Christ, to receive the 
worst of sinners, and cleanse her from the filth 
and abomination of her crimes in the fountain 
of baptism. Nonnus told her that she must 
first be tried, to assure the Church of her sin- 
cerity. But she would not arise from the floor, 
where she continued to weep bitterly, and 
repeatedly promising to be a new creature if 
they would but take her away from the power 
of the Devil. Thus she was allowed to be 
baptized, all the bishops witnessing her 
repentance and approving. The Patriarch of 


Antioch sent Romana, the first deaconess of 
his diocese, to be godmother to Pelagia. The 
hope in the mercy of God which this great 
sinner had was marvelous. And for the love 
of Jesus Christ she was saved. 

After her baptism, Pelagia, having taken an 
inventory of all her plate, jewels, rich clothes, 
and other goods, put it into the hands of St. 
Nonnus, saying : " Reverend Father ! here 
are the goods I acquired from the Devil; take 
them, and do what 3^ou will with them. As 
for me, I now desire nothing but the grace of 
my Saviour, Jesus Christ." The saint deliv- 
ered the inventory into the hands of the treas- 
urer of the Church, and charged him, as he 
would answer for it before God, not to apply 
any part of her property either to the service 
of the clergy or the Church, but to distribute 
the whole to poor widows and orphans, and 
such like charities ; that as they had been ill- 
gotten, they might now at least be well applied. 
At the same time, Pelagia set all her slaves at 
liberty, earnestly exhorting them to shake off 
that yoke of servitude by which they, as well 
as herself, had been slaves to a corrupt world. 

On the eighth day, when those who had been 


baptized, according to the ancient custom of 
the Church, put oS the white garment they 
received at their baptism, Pelagia rising pri- 
vately in the night, exchanged her baptismal 
robe for a habit of haircloth, and without com- 
municating her design to any one but Him, 
she withdrew from Antioch, and going into 
the Holy Land, took up her habitation in a 
narrow cell upon Mount Olivet, where she 
lived as a hermit, shut up in such a manner 
as to have only a small window through 
which she might receive necessary food, and 
spending her whole time with the Lord in 
fasting and prayer. The other religious in- 
habitants of this holy mountain were so per- 
fectly ignorant who she was, as not even to 
know whether she was a woman, so effectually 
had she concealed her sex, calling herself by 
the name of Pelagius; but they all admired the 
great austerity and sanctity of her life. 

Not many years after this, James, a deacon 
of the Church of Heliopolis, paid a visit of de- 
votion to the sepulcher of our Lord at Jerusa- 
lem. This James had seen Pelagia before ; for 
he was with St. Nonnus at the time of her con- 
version. While in the Holy Land he profited 


himself by visiting celebrated monasteries, and 
obtaining advice and information from the 
holy fathers who led a secluded life. In this 
way he found Pelagia, to whom he had come 
for a blessing, not knowing who she was. St. 
Pelagia spoke to him for a few moments through 
her small window, but soon closed it, for her 
time to pray came with the third hour. Be- 
fore returning home from Palestine, James re- 
solved to see once more the holy hermit. On 
coming to her cell, he knocked at the window. 
No one opened it to him ; and when he called 
no one answered. After calling and knocking 
for a long time, he forced open the window, 
and looking in he perceived the saint to be 
dead. Having conveyed the news of her death 
to the neighboring religious, they immediately 
came, and opening the cell took out the body, 
in order to its being interred with all the 
honor due to so great a servant of God. The 
secret of her sex being now discovered and 
noised abroad, all the holy virgins that dwelt 
on the banks of the Jordan, came out with 
lighted candles in their hands, singing the 
Psalms at her funeral. The Church celebrates 
the memory of St. Pelagia on the 8th of October. 


May 11. 

IT 13 with gratitude and reverence that we 
mention the names of St. Cyril and his 
brother Methodius, the first teachers of the 
Slavonic people, who gave us the Word of God 
iu the Slavonian language. '' God, in His 
mercy, gives to every race and time its 
teachers, and to us He gave Constantine (and 
his brother Methodius), who enlightened our 
people." This is the way in which an old 
Slavonic history commences to relate the life 
of the philosopher Constantine (the name 
Cyril was given him not long before his death, 
in taking the final vows of an ascetic), who 
was the inventor of the Slavonian alphabet, 
and the preacher of the Word of God in the 
Slavonic countries. Constantine (or Cyril) 
lived in the ninth century ; he was the young- 


est son of a rich and noted nobleman of the 
Greek city of Salonica. His father's name was 
Leo, and his mother's Mary. The family was 
a large one ; and it was brought up in all 
gravity, according to the faith. The Greek 
emperor installed Methodius, the elder brother, 
as governor of the Slavonic tribes, which, at 
that time, lived in the neighborhood of Salon- 
ica. But, after a few years, Methodius desired 
to leave the world. He left the Slavonic prin- 
cipalit}^, after which he settled in Mount Olym- 
pus, w^here he was tonsured a monk, and 
devoted his days in prayer and the study of 
the Holy Scriptures. 

In the mean time, Constantine was occupied 
with his studies in the homes of his parents. 
While yet a little boy, he saw in his dreams 
that the ruler of the city had once gathered a 
great many maidens, and told him to select 
for himself a bride ; at that, he selected the 
most beautiful one ; her name was Sofia. Now 
the meaning of this name is wisdom. Constan- 
tine truly did obtain wisdom, for he w^as clever 
and diligent in his studies. One of the emi- 
nent tutors of the young Emperor Michael, in 
Constantinople, had heard of the bright lad, 


Constantine, for he knew the family of Salon- 
ica. On securing the parents' consent, he at 
once sent for the boy, to study with the young 
emperor in the palace. Under the guidance 
of the most learned men of the empire, but 
especially the celebrated Photius (who after 
became the Patriarch of Constantinople), the 
young man made rapid progress in his studies, 
which gained for him the name of Philosopher. 
But Constantine was not taken with pride, nor 
did he make a display of his learning and 

When he had reached the full age of man- 
hood, Constantine was appointed librarian of 
the cathedral of Santa Sophia. He did not 
remain long in this position, however; for, 
renouncing all ties, he secretly left the city, 
and became a monk in a monastery not far 
from the Bosphorus. But he was soon found 
out, and after the emperor's personal request, 
he consented to return to the metropolis. At 
the age of twenty-four, he was sent as 
an envoy from the court of Constantinople 
to the ruler of the Saracens. Constan- 
tine's position was a very dangerous one, as 
the Mahometans, proud in their victories and 


growing possessions, and as ignorant fanat- 
ics, especially at this time, were most dan- 
gerous to the personal safet}^ of Christians. 
The religious leaders of the Saracens con- 
fronted our Christian philosopher with the 
question : " Why is it, that among you Chris- 
tians, who worship one God, there are so many 
differences in faith and in life, while we 
Mahometans strictly adhere to one law, and 
do not transgress it?" "Our God," replied 
Constantine, " is as a vast ocean, whose depth 
is immeasurable, inconceivable to the human 
mind. Many probe into the immense greatness, 
seeking for the Lord ; some, strong in mind and 
faith, and supported by the grace of God, find 
riches of wisdom and salvation ; others, weak, 
and deprived of the help of God for their 
pride and self-conceitedness, endeavor to sail 
across this vast region, but they fail for the 
want of strength ; they either get lost or ex- 
hausted by the hardships. God, having 
created man, adorned him with a free will. 
He may select his way ; he may rise with his 
mind, and resemble the angels, serving God 
and fulfilling His law. He also may lower 
himself to the equal of animal, feeding his 


desires, and binding himself in passions. In 
order to serve God, one must struggle with 
himself; he must endeavor to grow in perfec- 
tion, to conquer his passions, and bridle his 
evil habits ; but this is a difiBcult task. Now, 
your religion, as a small stream, is compre- 
hensible to any one; everything in it is human, 
and nothing divine. It does not demand of 
you any struggles or hardships. It does not 
make it your duty to constantly advance to a 
higher perfection, and, therefore, it is easily 
accessible to any one; without any labor one 
may fulfill the whole of your law." 

After his return home, Constantine went to 
live with his brother Methodius, in Mount 
Olympus. Away from the vanities of the 
world, they constantly strengthened themselves 
in wisdom and in the faith, going deeper 
into the study of Christ's law. Not a very 
long time went by thus, when the holy broth- 
ers were called forth to live and work among 
the people. They were sent as missionaries 
by the Church at Constantinople to convert the 
people living along the northern coast of the 
Black Sea, and who were called Chozars. It 
took considerable time for them to master the 


language. The missionaries worked incessant- 
ly. Their labors were made the heavier for 
the opposition that the Jews and Samaritans 
showed them, who also greatly strove to con- 
vert the inhabitants. St. Cyril was constantly 
occupied in sharp disputes ; but St. Methodius 
aided none the less, by his fervent prayers to 
God. And God blessed the work of the 
brothers. The prince of the Chozars believed, 
and was baptized. A large number of people 
immediately followed his example. When 
Sts. Methodius and Cyril were about to 
return to Constantinople, the prince would 
have them accept rich gifts ; but they refused 
to accept anything in return for the grace of 
God in the Gospel, which they had brought 
to the people, and in place of the gifts, they re- 
quested that some Greek captives be given 
their freedom. On their way, the brothers 
visited another tribe living by the Sea of Azov. 
This people they also brought to Christ. The 
missionaries were triumphantly greeted in 
Constantinople as apostles. These true ser- 
vants of the Saviour would accept no hon- 
ors or dignity. St. Cyril took up his living 
by the Church of the Holy Apostles, and 


St. Methodius became the abbot of a monas- 

It was about this time that the sister of Boris, 
the king of Bulgaria, had returned home from 
Constantinople, where she was held a captive. 
Being now a Christian, she prevailed upon the 
king to at least apply to Byzantium for learned 
teachers in the faith. St. Methodius at once 
■went over to Bulgaria, and in a comparatively 
short time had converted Boris, who, through 
his sister, was already acquainted with the 
teaching of the Gospel. 

Soon after this, Rostislav and Sviatopolk, 
princes of Moravia, and Kotsel, a prince of 
Blaten {i. e. in Pannonia, which is the country 
we know now as Hungary), petitioned the em- 
peror of Constantinople to send them a bishop 
and teacher. The emperor referred the matter 
to the patriarch, who at that time was the 
celebrated Pliotius. At a council of bishops 
it was decided to give this great undertaking 
to the charge of Sis. Cyril and Methodius, as 
to such who were from Salonica, and conse- 
quently who knew the Slavonic language. 
Notwithstanding his failing health, St. Cyril 
agreed to go to those who were seeking the 


truth. He was anxious that the Christian 
religion should take a firm hold upon the 
many kindred tribes of a young but great 
race of people. For this purpose he put to the 
emperor the question : " Have not the Slavon- 
ians any letters? " " Both my grandfather and 
father sought for them, but did not find any," 
answered the emperor. " How can I preach 
to them?" said St. Cyril; ''it is the same as 
though one wrote upon the waters. If I 
should invent letters myself, I fear I may be 
called a false teacher." " The Lord will guide 
thee and give thee His help," replied the em- 

Firm in the hope of obtaining God's blessing 
for his labors, St. Cyril set himself to the task 
of constructing an alphabet for the Slavonic 
people, that they may retain the Word of God 
written down for them, as teaching by word 
merely could soon become forgotten. He very 
earnestly prayed, besides putting himself un- 
der an obligation of fasting for forty days; and 
shutting himself in his cell with a few disciples, 
who were to share in his future apostolic jour- 
ney, he commenced the work of inventing 
letters. In this way the Slavonic alphabet had 


its origin. The language now being adapted 
to writing, St. Cyril translated the Gospel of 
St. John for the first book. The first words 
written in the Slavonian language were these : 
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word luas 
with God, and the Word was God. 

When this great work had been accom- 
plished, A. D. 862, the whole religious coun- 
cil, at a grand public praise, gave thanks to 
the Lord. The philosopher Constantine was 
now consecrated a bishop, and, in company 
with his brother Methodius and several dis- 
ciples, he went to the Slavonic countries. He 
carried a letter to Prince Rostislav from the 
Emperor Michael, which read as follows: "The 
Lord, who commands every one to learn the 
truth, hath wrought a great work by showing 
your language in letters. We send to you the 
same honorable man through whom the Lord 
gave this writing, a philosopher both religious 
and very learned. He carries to you a gift 
more valuable than gold and precious stones. 
Help him to confirm and promote your lan- 
guage, and seek God, not minding the labor of 
any undertaking; and thyself, having brought 
thy people to the mind of God, wilt receive thy 


reward in this age, and in that which is to 

The brothers' teaching went on prosperously. 
During four years and a half they went through 
all Moravia and Pannonia, calling on the 
people to believe in the one true God, and ex- 
plaining for them His law. Prince Kotsel 
himself began to learn to read and to study 
the Slavonic language, while he recommended 
fifty young men to study with St. Cyril. This 
new apostle, untiring in labor for the benefit of 
his neighbors, translated the Book of Psalms, 
a part of the Bible, and all the Church services 
into the Slavonic language. Now divine wor- 
ship was offered in the Slavonian countries in 
a language which was understood by all, 
while in the Roman Catholic countries the 
Latin language is used in the Church services 
up to this day. As it was before, in convert- 
ing the Chozars, likewise on this occasion St. 
Cyril would take no gifts or acknowledgments 
from the new Christians for his labors ; but 
he begged Prince Kotsel to liberate nine hun- 
dred captives. 

Such was the beginning of the spread of 
Christian learning by the newly invented lit- 


erature of the Slavonic language. The gram- 
mar of this language was formed principally 
for the purpose of explaining and spreading 
the AVord of God ; from its birth it was the 
instrument of true civilization. When St. 
Cyril intrusted this most precious gift (i. e. 
the Word of God) to the Slavonian people in 
their own language, he said to them in his 
preface to the Gospel : " Ye Slavonian peoples, 
hear ye the Word which feeds the soul of 
man, the Word which strengthens the heart 
and mind." God grant that our literature 
always remains worthy of its holy origin ; 
that it may serve a good purpose in explain- 
ing the law of God, science, and true wisdom ! 
Sts. Cyril and Methodius, as other Christian 
evangelists, suffered not a little from calami- 
ties and persecutions. German and Latin 
bishops, who also preached to this people, 
envied the work of the orthodox brothers, and 
they arose against the translation of the Holy 
Scriptures into the Slavonic tongue. They 
said that the Gospel should be read only in 
the three tongues, which writings were nailed 
to the cross of Jesus Christ, viz: Hebrew, 
Greek, and Latin. St. Cyril replied that, as 


the Lord came upon the earth for the salva- 
tion of all people, consequently all should 
glorify and thank Him, and strive to under- 
stand His will. He said that God, in His 
mercy, gives the air and rain for all, and com- 
mands the sun to shine for all ; thus, therefore, 
He does not desire to deprive any one of a 
greater gift, i. e. to know and understand His 

But the bishops would not accept this an- 
swer, and they complained to the Pope against 
the teachers of the Slavonians. It was about 
this time that the great division in the Church 
began to show itself. The Greek Church, 
which remained faithful to orthodoxy, did not 
approve of the innovations introduced into 
the Latin Church, and opposed chiefly an un- 
necessary and heretical addition to the Creed 
itself, and the tendency of the Roman clergy 
to attain temporal power. Besides this, there 
was a misunderstanding between the Patriarch 
of Constantinople and the Pope of Rome con- 
cerning the young Church of Bulgaria ; but as 
yet there was no open rupture, and the Church 
now as before continued to recognize, not the 
power of the Roman bishop, but his piece- 


dence, as the first among equals. Therefore, 
Sts. Cyril and Methodius, obeying the sum- 
mons, went to Rome for an explanation. 
They took with them a part of the relics of 
St. Clement, who was one of the first bishops 
of the early Church in Rome. These relics 
the holy brothers brought from the shores of 
the Black Sea, where St. Clement was drowned 
by order of the Emperor Trajan. On their 
way the missionaries taught the Slavonian 
people in their own language, and in Venice 
they were challenged to dispute with the 

In the mean time Pope Nicholas had died. 
His successor, Adrian XL, who endeavored to 
restore harmony and peace to the Church, did 
not give ear to the accusations brought against 
the Slavonian teachers. On the contrary, he 
said that those who maintained that the Gos- 
pel should be read in three languages were 
not right, and they preached a new heresy. 
When the Pope heard that the brothers were 
nearing Rome, and that they were bringing 
the relics of St. Clement, he went out of the 
city, with all the clergy and a multitude of 
people, to meet them. Sts. Cyril and Metho- 


dius were greatly honored during their stay in 
Rome. Adrian, the patriarchal bishop of the 
West, showed them every attention. 

The long journey and many hardships in a 
laborious life told on the health of Cyril. 
While in Rome his health completely failed 
him. He understood that his time now had 
come to its close; therefore, he made prepara- 
tions, and he wished to take the final vows of 
an extreme recluse. He awaited the end in 
calm repose, with a happy conscience. His 
illness continued for two months. Although 
he left the world without sorrow, yet the suc- 
cess of the work he had commenced was near 
to his heart. To Methodius, his brother, he 
expressed his last will in these touching words : 
" We two, brother, have been as a contented 
yoke of oxen, working the same field ; and 
now I fall in the harness, having early finished 
my dsiy. Thou hast desired the quiet of 
Mount Olympus, but, I pray thee, leave not 
the work commenced ; for in this labor thy 
salvation may be secured the sooner." The 
dying philosopher and pastor for some time 
continued in prayer, asking for the grace of 
firm conviction in the faith for all the many 


people he visited, after which he peacefully 
gave up his soul to the Lord, at the early age of 
forty-two years — we raight say, on the thresh- 
old of complete life of a man, but overcome 
by labors and sickness. He died on the 14th 
of February, A. D. 869. 

Adrian, the bishop of Rome, with all the 
prelates and dignitaries of the Western Cap- 
ital, with a great throng of Christians, carry- 
ing lighted candles, attended the funeral of 
the sainted teacher of the Slavonians, follow- 
ing the holy remains to their place of rest in 
the Church of St. Clement. Methodius desired 
to carry the body of his brother to their 
native country, in accord with the last will of 
their mother, but the Church of Rome would 
not consent to it. 

St. Methodius returned to the Slavonian 
countries again to superintend the great work 
of Christianizing and developing the new 
literature. Very soon the need of a bishop 
for the Slavonic people compelled him to 
return to Rome. This minister of Christ, 
while spreading the Gospel, endeavored to 
remain true to the characteristics of a great 
race, we might say, left to his guardianship, 


by preserving its history, native culture, and 
future identity. For this reason he was 
anxious to obtain letters of authority from the 
Pope of Rome, who presided in the West, 
whence came a number of foreign Latin mis- 
sionaries into his spiritual field. Accordingly 
St. Methodius was consecrated bishop by the 
Pope of Rome. Now he came back to his 
people with power from the West, as St. Cyril 
had done before, coming from the East, 
having been consecrated bishop in Constanti- 
nople. At this time the Church of Rome was 
in communion with the Orthodox Church, 
and this fact proved to be a blessing, coming 
from the different ancient Apostolic Churches 
to the young Slavonic Church, insuring her 
peace and future progress. But by Provi- 
dence the Slavonic Church was destined to 
prove her faith in many difiicult trials after a 
little peace. By this time the German war- 
loving emperors had made their arms felt in 
southern Europe, and when Rostislav was 
conquered, in whose stead Sviatopolk gained 
the ascendency, thanks to the protection of 
the Germans, the German bishops interfered 
with the work of St. Methodius in a more 


arrogant attitude than ever before. They 
even sought the life of the saint. Prince 
Kotsel would save him, but in vain. At last, 
in order to retain for himself the favor of the 
Germans, Sviatopolk banished Methodius to 
Shwabia (i. e. present German}^). Our apostle 
was a prisoner for two years, until Pope 
John VIII., influenced by the example of his 
predecessor, Adrian, as well as by the constant 
appeals on the part of the Slavonian Chris- 
tians, demanded the liberty of Methodius. 
The Pope went so far as to excommunicate 
those German bishops who were the cause of 
the Slavonic teacher's overthrow, until his 
freedom was secured. 

Methodius returned to his Church. It 
seemed as though he worked now with greater 
zeal than before. God blessed his efforts for 
the Gospel. The Slavonians in their content- 
ment prospered not a little. Christian faith, 
hope, and love was taking a hold on many 
large provinces. In the mean time, false re- 
ports followed one after another to Rome. It 
must be understood that the new doctrine 
concerning the procession of the Holy Ghost, 
which was the cause of the new word filioque, 


that was introduced into the hitherto ortho- 
dox creed, had been spread throughout near- 
ly all the churches of the West. Pope John 
himself did not recognize this innovation. 
Nevertheless, he sent for St. Methodius on 
pretext of examining his faith, but in reality 
it was the Pope's intention to set forth as an 
example the submission of Methodius and the 
recognition of papal authority. After ques- 
tioning him as to the orthodoxy of his teach- 
ing, the Pope let him go with a warm 
commendation. When the enemies of our 
teachers discovered that they had failed in 
Rome against him, they now accused St. 
Methodius before the Emperor of Constanti- 
nople, Basil the Macedonian, saying that he 
was unfaithful to the Orthodox Church, and 
that he adhered to Rome. The hoary-haired 
bishop had now to make his way to Constan- 
tinople, to defend the work of his glorious 
brother, and to save their dear Slavonian 
Church. Our saint's envious intriguers failed 
again, for he was received with much atten- 
tion by the emperor and the Patriarch of Con- 
stantinople. The patriarch gladly accepted 
the Slavonic books brought by Methodius; 


for he desired to use them in converting the 
Bulgarians. Once more the people of Pan- 
nonia and Moravia were rejoiced to see their 
beloved pastor. The triumphs of Methodius 
helped to raise the energy of his disciples, who 
were continually preaching and translating. 
Just before the day of St. Demetrius of Salon- 
ica, Methodius had completed the translation 
of the Old Testament, and on the day of the 
patron saint of his native city he held a grand 
celebration, all the services being sung in the 
Slavonic language. 

Now the Slavonians from Dalmatia and 
Croatia to Poland had the privilege of learning 
the law of God, and hearing His Word, and 
praising Him in their own tongue. During 
the sixteen years of his episcopal service, 
Methodius traveled through all the Slavonian 
provinces, and, with saintly patience, spread 
the faith. In Bohemia, for instance, he bap- 
tized the Princess Ludmila. While German 
warriors and Latin monks went through 
Europe together with fire and sword, St. 
Methodius labored hard here and there, in 
small communities, establishing his disciples 
as teachers and pastors. On another occasion, 


when the Cheh people, together with their 
prince, Borivai, of Bohemia, were prepared, 
they were baptized by Methodius himself. 

Sviatopolk, together with the German 
bishops, by this time feared the great influence 
of the holy man ; but, they waited for his 
death, in order to persecute his disciples. St. 
Methodius for several days foretold his own 
death. He made preparations, and selected a 
religious and learned man, whose name was 
Gorazd, to continue the work as his successor. 
The burial service of the great missionary was 
held in the Slavonian, Greek, and Latin lan- 
guages. The loss of their dear teacher was 
keenly felt by all the people, who wept much. 
Sviatopolk was about to wreak his vengeance 
against the disciples of Sts. Cyril and Method- 
ius, when they fled, most of them finding 
protection and a home in Bulgaria, under King 
Simeon. From here, they continued to spread 
enlightenment to many Slavonic countries. 
They founded schools, and sent out mission- 
aries. Unfortunately, a few provinces, like 
Poland, for instance, came entirely under 
the influence of the German bishops and for- 
eign culture. As other Slavonian peoples, 


Russia likewise owes much to the translations 
of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, and also to the 
work of the disciples of these two great teach- 
ers. And Russia, so richly blessed with tem- 
poral power and spiritual prosperity, openly 
acknowledges her sincere gratitude. We also, 
thank God, have the privilege of praising the 
blessed names of Cyril and Methodius, who 
were the beacon-lights of a race whose de- 
scendants are now your and our guides in the 
path of orthodoxy. 


January 14. 

SABBAS, or Savvo, was born A. D. 1169. 
He was the youngest son of Stephan 
Nemanja, who united the Servians in their first 
kingdom. Leaving his home secretly, he 
secluded himself, at the age of seventeen years, 
in the holy Mount Athos. Finally, on being 
discovered, and yielding to the tears of their 
son, his parents allowed him to remain there 
in prayer and study. It was after the death 
of his father, when the wise Germanus, Patri- 
arch of Constantinople, heard of the holy life 
of this hermit ; and on examining him as to 
his ability, and consulting with the episcopate 
of his patriarchate, he desired to consecrate 
Savvo archbishop for the Servians. But 
Savvo, in his humility, declined the dignity, 
and said he was willing to go to his people as 

ST. SABBAS. 121 

a worker, but for an archbishop a better and 
more qualified man should be sought. How- 
ever, being prevailed upon by his brothers, the 
people, and the patriarch, Savvo consented, 
and he became the first archbishop of the Ser- 
vian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, which 
ever since has been in full communion with 
the Eastern Apostolic Church. St. Savvo's 
greatest work was the opening of schools, 
which he multiplied throughout the country. 
He educated a new choir of faithful clergy, in 
place of the few Greek missionaries left in the 
country. It was in 1222 when the apostle of 
the Servians crowned his brother Dushan as 
the emperor of the Srbs and Slaveni, his 
dominion having been spread from the Adri- 
atic to the Black Sea, and from the Danube to 
the Southern Archipelago. The great and 
good archbishop fixed a firm foundation for 
the Orthodox Christian Church in the Balkan 
country by creating twelve dioceses and con- 
secrating for them twelve Servian bishops. 

The holy life of this great Servian, St. 
Savvo, is attested to by Dositheus of Jerusa- 
lem. (See his Twelve Books; see, also, the 
history of the renowned Shaffarik.) Likewise, 


many ancient landmarks and hand-written 
parchments attributed to St. Savvo personally 
and to his times, may now be seen in the cele- 
brated Mt. Athos and other places. Also sev- 
eral noted Russian authors mention his name 
and acts. In Greek books of Church service 
we find hymns which were sung in honor of 
St. Savvo five hundred years ago. 


ALEXANDER is a name well known. 
We read in history of warriors and 
statesmen who bear the name. But greater 
are the saints, who were glorified by God for 
their virtuous and self-sacrificing life, among 
whom are also several Alexanders. In the 
great Russian Empire it is almost impossible to 
find a family in which some one member is not 
named Alexander. 

Of all the emperors of Russia, the three 
Alexanders are among the greatest. When 
you read the life of St. Alexander Nevsky, 
you will understand why this name is so dear 
to the Russian. 

In the thirteenth century, Russia did not 
occupy as much country as she does at the 
present time ; Finland belonged to the Swedes, 
Livonia was ruled over by the Germans ; 
while, to the southwest, the fierce Lithuanians 
bordered on the Russian provinces. All of 


these neighbors were at enmity with Russia: 
the Swedes continually quarreled with the 
citizens of Novgorod ; the Livonian Germans 
attacked the neighboring provinces, and espe- 
cially the city of Pskov, with the intention of 
introducing the Latin religion ; and the Lith- 
uanians sacked the towns of the quiet Rus- 
sians from their side. Besides this, there was 
no inward peace in Russia, among the differ- 
ent principalities, but more precisely between 
the ruling dukes. Each province had an in- 
dependent prince. The most powerful one 
was the grand duke, or the great prince of 
Vladimir — the most important city. His in- 
fluence, being the greatest, was of untold 
benefit to the kindred Russian tribes, never- 
theless the princes quarreled, and seldom gave 
ear to his counsel. It was at this time that 
God permitted the horde of Tartars to over- 
run Russia. These Tartars passed through all 
Russia, burning and sacking the towns and 
villages, treading under foot and hoof, mead- 
ows and gardens; they took thousands of 
the inhabitants, together with their wives 
and children, into captivity ; they laid waste 
the whole land as far as the city of Novgorod. 


The neighboring nations, whom we mentioned 
before, took as an opportunity this misfortune 
of Russia, and they renewed their attacks 
from on all sides. The Russian princes were 
compelled to defend their home against them. 
Among them w^as Alexander, the second son 
of the great prince Yaroslav II. Alexander 
was born in 1220 ; from his childhood, he was 
distinguished by his understanding, meekness, 
wisdom, and piety. He knew how to fulfill 
his duty sacredly, and deserve the love of the 
people. God who helped him in life, also 
glorified him by miracles after he passed into 
eternity. Devastating the land of the Rus- 
sians, the Tartars went south, and occupied the 
steppes along the rivers Dnieper, Volga, and 
Ural, as far as the Black and Caspian Seas. 
Here Batee set up his golden horde, or empire, 
and built the city known as Sarai, not far from 
the mouth of the Volga. Henceforth the Rus- 
sian princes must pay tribute to the Tartars. 
Batee, the new dictator of Russia, confirmed 
Yaroslav II (Vsevolodovicha) as great prince 
of Vladimir; Alexander was given him the 
country of Novgorod, which had remained 
free and unharmed by the Tartars. 


Although Novgorod was not spoiled by the 
touch of the Tartars, still it suffered misfor- 
tune of another kind. Great fires destroyed 
churches and houses, and defaced whole streets 
of the city. From droughts and the failure of 
crops the inhabitants often suffered terrible 
hunger, as a result from which epidemic dis- 
eases also mutilated the populace. The Ger- 
mans and Lithuanians were prepared to fall 
upon Novgorod any day. Having become the 
prince of Novgorod, Alexander endeavored to 
shield his people from misfortune and their 
enemies. He took care that the judges ruled 
their courts with justice; he taught the in- 
habitants to live in peace and help the poor; 
he built posts on the frontier for their defense 
against the Germans and Lithuanians. In 
the mean time the King of Sweden gathered a 
large force, which he sent on barges to the 
river Neva, under the command of his kins- 
man, Birger. The daring general, hoping to 
take Novgorod, sent the prince word : " Come 
against me, if thou art courageous." The peo- 
ple were stricken with fear ; they could not 
count on their small force against so numer- 
ous an enemy; but Alexander put his trust 


in God, and the justice of his cause inspired 
him with courage. He prayed earnestly in 
the church of St. Sophia, received the bishop's 
blessing, and then cheerfully exclaimed as he 
set out with his men : " We are not many, 
and the enemy is strong; but the power of 
God is not in numbers, it is in the right." 

At night they came near to the banks of 
the Neva, to the place upon which the city of 
St. Petersburg was built later, and here they 
camped for the night. In the morning, a 
warrior approached Alexander, and told him 
that, as he stood on watch during the night, 
in view of the sea, toward morning — when the 
sun was rising — he suddenly heard a loud 
voice come from the sea, and on turning in that 
direction, he saw a ship sailing; upon the 
deck of the shi[) he saw the holy martyrs, 
Boris and Gleb, who held each other in em- 
brace while conversing; he heard St. Boris 
say : " Brother Gleb, let us go quickly to the 
help of our kinsman Alexander; a great dan- 
ger threatens him." After these words, the 
holy brothers and the ship disappeared. 

This vision raised the spirit of the soldiers. 
About noontime Alexander met the Swedes 


on the banks of the Neva. The battle was a 
long one. Alexander, personally, brought 
down Birger, with a spear, and toward even- 
ing, completely overcame the foe, who took to 
his ships and passed over to his own land, but 
not until after leaving many dead comrades. 
For this victory the people gave Alexander 
the name of Nevsky. 

Alexander returned to Novgorod in triumph ; 
but here a greater trouble awaited him. The 
Novgorodans revolted against their prince. 
Offended by their unfaithfulness, Alexander 
did not wish to remain any longer with them ; 
and, taking his family and property, he went 
to Suzdal, his native place. As soon as the 
Lithuanians and Germans heard of Alexan- 
der's departure, they fell upon the Novgorod 
and Pskov countries. Then it was that the 
Novgorodans thought of their behavior; they 
repented and sent their bishop to solicit Alex- 
ander's pardon, and to petition him to return 
and deliver them from their enemy. Alexan- 
der had forgotten the wrong done him; he 
summoned his field companions, and came to 
Novgorod, from which the intruders fled. 

But the Germans did not give up their pre- 


tensions. After some time, they again raised 
an army to march on Novgorod. This time 
they had in their long columns many Ger- 
mans, who came to them upon invitation from 
their native land. Their legions were many 
times greater than Alexander's company; 
nevertheless, the brave prince sallied forth, 
and met the Germans on the ice of Lake 
Chindckoe, where he dealt them a severe blow. 
Many were slain on the enemy's side, and 
many more were captured. This encounter is 
known as the " Ice Battle." Still the Lithu- 
anians and Germans continued to assault the 
Russians, and each time Alexander conquered 
or drove them away. God visibly helped the 
strictly religious prince. 

In the mean time, Alexander's father (Yar- 
oslav, the great prince of Vladimir), died while 
he was returning home from the Tartars' horde. 
The Chan appointed his brother to succeed 
him, i. e. Sviatoslav, uncle to Alexander. But 
it was not long before the younger brothers of 
Alexander began to quarrel with the great 
prince, with the view of obtaining the throne 
of the province of Vladimir. Alexander ad- 
vised them to decide the case by the Chan's 


judgment. The princes agreed, and Alexan- 
der, with his younger brother, Andrew, w^ent 
to the Tartars. They first came to the Golden 
Horde; but from here they were obliged to 
travel beyond the Volga, to the steppes of 
Mongolia, where Mengoo, himself, was reign- 
ing, to whom even Batee was subjected. After 
a long journey, the two princes came back 
again. Andrew w^as appointed great prince 
of Vladimir, and Alexander of Kiev. Sviato- 
slav, the old uncle, must, against his will, give 
the country of Vladimir to Andrew, yet he 
never made peace with him. He tried by all 
means to regain the throne of the great prince. 
With this intention, he reported to the Chan 
that Andrew was not faithful, and that he did 
not obey the Chan's orders. The Tartars sent 
a numerous band of barbarians. Andrew 
met it with his force, but he was repulsed with 
great loss, and he himself fled to the Germans. 
The province of Vladimir was trampled over 
and robbed. Alexander knew that the Chan 
would punish all Russia for Andrew's behav- 
ior. To save his people and their homes, he 
went to the capital of the horde to intercede 
for Andrew and the whole land of Russia. 


The Chan received Alexander graciousl}^, and 
appointed him great prince of Vladimir, Kiev, 
and Novgorod. 

Having ascended the throne of Vladimir, 
Alexander's labor and cares multiplied. Now 
he became the only defender of the orthodox 
faith, and the people before the Tartars. He was 
obliged to act with patience and submission, 
but not with saber in hand. He understood 
that his force could not withstand the great 
bands of Tartars, and that each opposition 
would bring greater trouble upon the people. 
Alexander was great prince for eleven years, 
and in that time, he succeeded in doing much 
good, both for the Church and the people. 
On his petition, the clergy, as the servants of 
God, were freed from paying tax to the horde; 
he also obtained a grant by which he could 
install an orthodox bishop in the capital of 
the Tartar Empire itself. Alexander gained 
for the Christian religion the respect of the 

One of his greatest cares was to relieve the 
inhabitants somewhat in their tax-payments, 
and save them from poverty. Having con- 
quered Russia, the Tartars left her to the rule 


of Russian princes, while they only demanded 
tribute. The people of Novgorod caused Alex- 
ander much anxiety. With great difficulty, 
he scarcely dissuaded them on several occa- 
sions from sending back and even killing 
the tax-collectors. He was mindful of the 
evil which endangered the whole land of Rus- 

The prince was to accomplish one more 
laborious task ; and it was his last. The Tar- 
tars took into their service, the Chozars, and 
sent them out as revenue assessors. These new 
collectors were more avaricious than the for- 
mer ones; they spared no one, and they were also 
disrespectful before the altars and holy places. 
The people bore this for a long time, but at 
last they lost their patience. Such cities as 
Vladimir, Suzdal, Rostov, arose and destroyed 
their oppressors. Already great legions in the 
horde were preparing for the punishment of 
the disobedient. The great prince set out to 
journey to the horde. He decided to die for 
his country, or save it. God blessed with suc- 
cess this last undertaking of Alexander, and 
the Russian provinces were freed from another 
overrunning of Tartars. 


Returning from the chief camp or capital of 
the Tartars, Alexander became ill on reaching 
the town of Gorodets, on the Volga (in the 
province of Nijni-Novgorod), and perceiving 
that his end was not far ofiP, he desired to be 
tonsured a monk. Upon taking the vows, the 
name Alexis was given him. The dying 
prince called to his bedside the princes that 
could be summoned from the neighborhood, 
the noblemen who accompanied him on his 
journey, and a number of the people, and 
spoke to them of his last wishes; then blessing 
all present, he forgave all every offense, and 
asked in return to be forgiven himself. After 
this, he confessed before the priest, and par- 
took of the holy mysteries, dying soon after, 
on the 14th of November, 1263, being about 
44 years of age. 

The inhabitants of Gorodets wept over the 
body of the holy prince. As yet no informa- 
tion of this event reached Vladimir. St. Kirill 
(Cyril) only, the metropolitan of Vladimir, 
during the church service felt a heavy sad- 
ness oppress his soul, and turning to the peo- 
ple said : " The Russian nation's sun has set." 
No one understood his words. Then his eyes 


streaming with tears, he said : " The great 
prince, Alexander, is now dead." 

The funeral procession moved from Gorodets 
to Vladimir. The metropolitan and the peo- 
ple met with it at a distance of ten versts from 
the city. It was a sad, weeping multitude. 
The burial service was held in the cathedral, 
after which the body was lain to rest in the 
large church of the monastery of Our Blessed 
Lady. The glory of the miracles of St. Alex- 
ander spread from hence throughout all Rus- 
sia. Many sick and crippled ones came to his 
tomb, and were healed. During the reign of 
the Emperor, Peter the Great, the relics of St. 
Alexander were brought to St. Petersburg, on 
the banks of the Neva, and placed in the 
Alexandro-Nevskaia Lavra, which was erected 
to his honor, and where they lie to the present 
day. The Church celebrates St. Alexander 
Nevsky Day, on the 23d of November, and 
also keeps the memory of the day when his 
holy remains were carried from Vladimir, to 
St. Petersburg, which is the 30th of August. 



January 9. 

SAINT PHILIP came from an ancient 
noble family known by the name of 
Kolitchev. His own name while in the world 
was Theodore. He was born in Moscow, in 
the year 1507, and, after receiving ,a good 
education, he was appointed to a position in 
the imperial service. High honors awaited 
the fortunately established young nobleman ; 
moreover, he was a favorite with John, the 
Grand Duke, who was still in his minority. 
But Theodore was not taken by earthly gran- 
deur; for early in life he aspired to live for 
God alone. Once, when attending the public 
worship of the Church, his whole being, we 
might say, was penetrated with the power of 
the Holy Ghost on hearing these words of the 
Holy Gospel: No man can serve two masters: 


for either he will hate the one^ and love the other ; 
or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. 
(Matt, vi : 24.) He resolved that he would not 
serve the world and riches, but leave all and 
enter the Solovetsky monastery, on the is- 
lands of the White Sea, in the north of 
Russia, which especially attracted him by its 
distance and severity of rule. 

Theodore was about thirty years of age 
when he carried out his intention. He went 
on his journey empty-handed. Because of 
insufficient means, and being wearisome of the 
road, he was compelled to stop on the way for 
a while, and hire himself out as a workman. 
Having earned some money, he continued his 
journey, and finally reached the Solovetsky 

The aged abbot, whose name was Alexis, 
received him kindly, and made him a be- 
ginner. Without complaining, Theodore 
eagerly did all that was required of him ; he 
carried water, cut w^ood, worked in the 
kitchen, in the garden, and in the mill. He 
meekly served all ; he sometimes suffered 
sharp words, and was even beaten; yet he 
bore all patiently. It might appear that such 

ST. PHILIP. 137 

a life was a difficult one for the son of a rich 
nobleman who was brought up in all comfort; 
but the desire to please God b}^ labor and 
obedience conquered all. Theodore did not 
lose courage in the tiresome undertaking. A 
year and a half thus had passed, when the 
superior tonsured him, giving the new monk 
the name of Philip. 

After a few 3'ears it became evident that 
Philip was capable in all the branches of work 
in a large monastery, and he was esteemed as a 
worthy and pious monk. The abbot Alexis was 
old, and he desired to be retired in favor of 
St. Philip. But Philip would not hear of it. 
It was after the whole brotherhood unani- 
mously elected and entreated him to become 
their superior, that Philip consented to be 
elevated to the abbotship; still he would not 
take into his hands alone the rule, while 
Father Alexis lived. 

When Philip came to Novgorod to be 
ordained by the bishop of that city, some 
circumstances disclosed the fact that he 
belonged to the well-known family of Moscow. 

As a superior, the abbot Philip ruled with 
a firm hand, yet with discretion and love. He 


enforced discipline, but he was the first to set 
the good example. The monastery was a 
poor one, while the brotherhood increased in 
numbers by new-comers, and it became diffi- 
cult to maintain them, notwithstanding the 
few simple wants of the monks. By this time 
St. Philip came into possession of his ancestral 
inheritance. He spent it in renovating and 
enlarging the monastery ; he built churches 
which were more secure and warmer for the 
brethren on those sea islands in the extreme 
north. Besides this, he exerted himself and 
obtained from the emperor himself grants of 
valuable land situated on the mainland. 
Now Philip invented and introduced new 
industries for the support of his monks, and 
likewise for the prosperity of the surrounding 
settlements with their inhabitants. 

In the mean time John, the Grand Duke, 
had come to the throne. On two occasions, 
important in the history of both the Russian 
Church and Empire, the Emperor John sent 
for Philip to be present in Moscow, and lend 
his counsel. After each return, Philip brought 
good tidings from Moscow which were full of 
encouragement for the future of the state and 

ST. PHILIP. 139 

John's reign. However, the following course 
of events, brought about a fearful change. 

In the midst of his building schemes and 
quiet work among the praying brethren of the 
distant north, St. Jr*hilip received a sudden 
order from John the Terrible, as the king was 
by this time known, to come at once to 
Moscow and occupy the Archiepiscopal-Metro- 
politan chair. To leave the holy abode where 
he had lived for eighteen years was not an 
easy thing for Philip to do ; moreover, he felt 
that he was going to a very thorny labor. 
Everything had changed since he was in the 
capital. The fact that the spiritual confessor 
of the Terrible John, a priest by the name of 
Sylvester, was banished and confined in this 
same Solovetsky monastery was itself a loud 
witness as to the nature of daily occurrences. 
It now seemed as though it was an impossi- 
bility to speak the truth in the face of the 

In order to explain his relations with Philip, 
we must briefly review the history of John. 
He was but three years old, when, after the 
death of his father, he came to the throne of 
Russia. It was not long either before John 


had lost his mother also. His relations, to- 
gether with the foremost nobility, did not ful- 
fill their duty toward the royal child ; i. e. 
they were careless, and did not educate him in 
the strict rules of virtue; but they indulged 
his whims, letting him have all, as his own 
inclination swayed to, thinking thereby to be 
favored by him when he would be the inde- 
pendent ruler. Having reached the seven- 
teenth year of his age, John proclaimed him- 
self of age, and the independent sovereign ; 
he discharged his guardians, putting some of 
them to death, and abandoned himself to wild 
passions. This was a grievous time for Rus- 
sia. It was a pastime for John to witness the 
most fearful sufferings; his own pleasure was 
the paramount consideration. The sufferings 
of the population were greatly added to by a 
fire which almost entirely destroyed Moscow. 
Many people were lost, and a larger number 
were bereft of all their belongings. John, in 
his anger, sought for the offenders, when sud- 
denly a priest came before him, whose name 
was Sylvester. Pointing to the city enveloped 
in flames, he fearlessly announced that the 
emperor himself was the cause of all the mis- 

ST. PHILIP. 141 

fortune ; that God punished them with calam- 
ities, for the severe and unrighteous govern- 
ment. The words of truth, which readied 
John so seldom, made a strong impression 
upon him. He acknowledged his guilt, shed 
tears of repentance, prayed God for forgive- 
ness and help, and firmly resolved to correct 
himself. After some days, having first re- 
ceived the Holy Communion, John called the 
people to assemble in the square. Bowing on 
all sides, he asked to be forgiven for the past, 
and promised that in the future he would care 
for the happiness of his subjects, and that he 
w^ould govern them with love and justice. 

Thus for thirteen years the Russians enjoyed 
prosperity ; and John greatly widened the 
confines of his empire by successful conquests. 
But a change took place. John, tired of the 
good advice of Father Sylvester, and his coun- 
selor, by the name of Adashev. At this time 
the good empress died, the virtuous Anastasia, 
who strongly influenced John for good. The 
sovereign became dejected ; again his evil 
mood led him to be wicked. He banished 
Sylvester and Adashev, declaring that they 
infringed upon his freedom. John soon found 


excuses for breaking the rules of morality. 
He surrounded himself by flatterers. Each 
day he became more ferocious ; and he fully 
deserved the epithet of Terrible, as he is known 
in history. 

As John became more dark and suspicious, 
he continually accused his subjects of treason 
against him ; and so he formed a bodyguard, 
in whom he put all his confidence. These 
men, John called his Opritchina (select), while 
every other class of people not belonging to it, 
was termed the Zemshtchina (belonsjing to the 
land or country). The Opritchniki were at 
liberty to do as they pleased. The Zeaishtch- 
ina were at the mercy of men who had no 
respect for the law, and no conception of mor- 
ality. The Opritchniki murdered people 
without the fear of prosecution. This is the 
condition in which Russia was at the time 
that Philip, the abbot of the Solovetsky Mon- 
astery, was summoned by John to be appointed 

The brothers of Solovetsky, with sorrow, 
bid farewell to St. Philip. On his way the 
citizens of Novgorod tendered him a reception 
and begged him to be their advocate with the 

ST. PHILIP. 143 

emperor, whose vengeance they feared, as they 
had fallen under the ban of John the Terrible. 
In Moscow, all trembled before the OpritcJiina. 
Philip resolved to tell the sovereign the whole 
truth, though he would be obliged to sacrifice 
his life for it. Having arrived in Moscow, his 
first care was to obtain the co-operation of the 
bishops ; but even they feared the penalty for 
opposing the evil will of the sovereign. "Your 
silence allows the emperor to fall into sin," 
said he to them ; " and by not speaking, you 
lose your own soul, for you prefer the vanish- 
ing glory of the world and your safety, and 
not the fulfillment of your duties." 

While persuading Philip to accept the arch- 
bishop's chair in the imperial capital, John 
often quoted words of the Holy Scriptures, for 
he was one of those kind of men who think 
they can only by the use of words and out- 
ward signs of religion, even fastings and 
nightl}^ prostrations, obtain the grace of God, 
which is a power communicated to. the heart 
regenerated. But John did not repent sin- 
cerely ; he was not truly humble before God, 
and his prayer was unfruitful. 

St. Philip was horrified when he saw tlie 


sovereign, for he remembered him, a man 
beautiful to behold. Now, his face was marked 
with lines of dissipation ; his hair turned gray 
before the time; cruelty and sin were expressed 
iu his features; he was hideous. 

Philip began to persuade the ruler that he 
might disband the Opritchina; he explained 
to him all the evil which it brought upon 
Russia. He even refused to become Metropol- 
itan, if John would not destroy the Opritch- 
ina. "0 sire!" said he, in conclusion, "I 
once knew thee as a pious defender of the 
truth, and a successful ruler of 3^our country. 
Believe me, even now, no one thinks aught 
against thee ; put away the cause of offense, and 
hold to your former piety. The Lord himself 
had told us. If a kingdom be divided in itself, 
it luill come to naught. Christ, our common 
Master, bids us love one another; the whole 
law is included in the love to God and our 

John listened with apparent attention to the 
words of Philip, but they had not the desired 
effect. He would not give up his Opritchina, 
and demanded that Philip without any con- 
ditions accept the office of Metropolitan. The 

ST. PHILIP. 145 

hope that lie might be of use to his fatherland 
moved Philip to submit, and he was compelled 
to sign a promise that he would not meddle 
with the affairs of the court and the Opritch- 
ina. Accordingly, Philip was consecrated 
bishop, and installed Metropolitan of Moscow 
on the 25th of July, 1566. 

Quiet reigned for a very short time. Nat- 
urall}', the wicked Opritchniks feared Philip's 
influence over the emperor ; and, they endeav- 
ored by all means to injure him. John was 
not successful in his Livonian campaign, and 
he returned angry and downcast. One of 
Philip's relations took part in a diplomatical 
consultation with the king of Poland, which 
failed ; of course, this incident was treasured 
as evidence against the Metropolitan by his 
enemies. At the same time the Opritchniks 
accused many of the higher nobility, whose 
estates consequently were confiscated. Sus- 
picion easily entered the dark soul of John ; 
again persecution and torture hunted down 
many an innocent one; blood flowed in 
streams; the population was panic-stricken. 
Philip resolved to approach the sovereign with 
a bitter exhortation. 


John became impatient. When he had seen 
that Philip was in earnest, and feared not his 
anger, John departed in a rage. The time 
was now gone when the words of truth could 
awaken repentance in the soul of John. He 
hardened his heart against all that was good, 
and truthful reprimands only aroused his 
anger. But St. Philip in fulfilling his holy 
duty, and in order to save John, was prepared 
to die for it, if needs be. 

Once, on a Sunday, when St. Philip offered 
the liturgy in the cathedral of the Blessed 
Repose of Our Lady, John came into the 
temple with a crowd of Opritchniki at the end 
of the service. John had on a black habit, 
such as monks wear, while his drunken fol- 
lowers were dressed also in different unbecom- 
ing apparel. The emperor stood close to the 
Metropolitan and waited for his blessing : 
but the archbishop kept his gaze upon a sacred 
picture, as though he did not see or recognize 
John. At this, one of John's favorites said : 
" Holy father, the sovereign asks for your 

Philip then looked upon John, and said; 
" I do not recognize the Tsar in this strange 

ST. PHILIP. 147 

dress, nor do I recognize him in the acts of 
government. sire! we offer here the un- 
bloody sacrifice, but over against the altar 
flows the innocent blood of Christians. Even 
the heathen have laws, justice, and mercy, but 
there is none in Russia. The property and 
life of citizens have no protection ; robbery 
and murder are committed in the name of tlie 
ruler. Thou art elevated upon a throne, but 
there is one who is the Most High, our com- 
mon Judge! How wilt thou appear at the 
trial before Him, stained as thou art with the 
blood of thy subjects? Sire! as a pastor of 
souls, I say to thee, fear God ! " 

John became wild with anger; he heavily 
struck the floor with his staff and cried out : 
" Thou black-hood \_i. e. monk] is it our power 
that thou wouldst contradict? We shall see 
thy strength!" 

Life with its circumstances went on from 
bad to worse. The country was filled with 
iniquity and fear. Now tlie Opritchnina were 
set on putting Philip out of their way. 
During a holy day, in the midst of the service, 
they made their way into the cathedral, and, 
dragging the old Metropolitan from the altar, 


they tore away from his shoulders the sacred 
vestments, and putting a ragged cassock upon 
him, they drove him out of the holy temple. 
The enemies of St. Philip, after much endeav- 
oring, found a monk, a certain Paisius, who — 
partly bought, and partly out of a sinful fear 
— agreed to be a witness against the arch- 
bishop. The Tsar called a council of bishops, 
and he himself sat in tlieir midst, as the pre- 
siding judge of the pseudo-ecclesiastical court. 
The bishops feared to defend Philip. Only 
one, German, the Bishop of Kazan, raised his 
voice, declaring the innocence of Philip. 
Even John dared not to sentence Philip to 
death at once; but he gave orders that the 
Opritchniki take him to prison, knowing well 
that his evil companions would carry out his 
secret desire, and sooner or later murder 
Philip. And truly the tortures that they put 
him to are too numerous and horrible to be 
repeated. The saint, who had accustomed 
himself to a strict and severe life from his 
youth, with patience bore all suffering, and by 
God's grace remained alive. After his impris- 
onment he was transferred from monastery to 
monastery, by order of John, who was afraid 

ST. PHILIP. 149 

of the multitudes that gathered from all parts 
to receive the blessing of the aged bishop. 

Philip continued to bear his unbearable life. 
John tortured and put to death his relations 
in the mean time. A year had thus gone by. 
Now Philip was kept under a rough guard in 
a monastery of Tver. At this time John the 
Terrible was passing by Tver on his way to 
Novgorod, in order to wreak his vengeance on 
a number of citizens there. He did not forget 
Philip. He sent one Maliuta Skooratov to the 
monastery in which the Metropolitan was 
confined. St. Philip had foreseen that his end 
was near, for in the morning of this same day 
he partook of the Holy Communion. He was 
praying when the bandit entered his cell. 
" Holy father, give the Tsar a blessing for his 
journey to Novgorod," said the Opritchnik. 
" Only the good obtain blessings for good 
purposes," answered Philip ; " but go about 
your work, wherefor you have been sent; do 
not deceive me by asking for God's gift." 
Then Philip exclaimed : " Almighty Lord, 
receive my spirit!" Skooratov threw himself 
upon the prelate, and choked him. When he 
had committed the crime, he coolly walked 


out and informed the superior and monks 
that Philip had died from a stroke of paral- 
ysis, and that he should be buried at once. 
This happened on the 23d of December, 1570. 
Twenty years after the death of St. Philip, 
during the reign of Theodore, the good son of 
John the Terrible, the brethren of the Solo- 
vetsky monastery petitioned the Tsar to be 
allowed to carry the body of their beloved 
abbot to their home in the far north. This 
was granted, and when they opened the grave 
in order to remove the remains, they found 
the whole body of St. Philip in a perfect state 
of preservation. It was a fete da}^ in the 
Solovetsky monastery, when the holy relics 
arrived there. Many wonderful cures were 
effected at the casket of the prelate. In 1640, 
in the time of Alexis Michaelovich, Philip 
was proclaimed by the church as a saint of 
God, in whose memory a certain day was set 
aside in the calendar. In 1652 the relics of 
St. Philip were brought to Moscow. Nikon, 
the Metropolitan of Novgorod, himself sailed 
to the Solovetsky convent, and informed the 
superior with the brethren, that it was the 
will of the Tsar "to bring the relics of St. 

ST. PHILIP. 151 

Philip to the imperial city, that he again may 
be installed in his diocese, and that by his 
coming he may absolve the sin of his ancestor, 
the Tsar John." The transfer of the holy 
relics of the Metropolitan is commemorated 
on the 3d of July. 

Up to this day there can be seen in the 
Moscow Cathedral of the Blessed Repose of 
Our Lady the remains of the holy martyr, 
who zealously fulfilled the different duties 
required of him; who set an example of obe- 
dience and humbleness by his monastic life; 
an example of untiring energy during his 
abbotship, undaunted courage in his relations 
with John, and a Christian patience in suf- 


Orthodox Christians at Divine Liturgy 
BRING Bread Loaves, and the Particles, 

WHICH are cut out FROM THEM, ARE OF- 
FERED FOR THE Living and Dead, and the 
Meaning of this Rite. 

IN the Orthodox Church there is a reb'gious 
and salutary custom, which we, unfortu- 
nately, seldom see practiced in this country. 

When you go to Holy Liturgy, for instance, 
in the churches throughout the broad land of 
Russia, you cannot help observing how the 
faithful eagerly enter, and there, by the church 
doors, buy a church loaf, or two, have it 
(or them), brought into the sanctuary, together 
with a paper (or a small blank-book) upon 
which some names are written ; then, after 
particles have been cut out from these breads, 
they take them again, and on leaving the 
church, they bring the loaves home with them. 


During the great holy days, and on the days 
when the dead are remembered, also during 
Lent when a great many people receive the 
holy sacraments of Christ, a large number of 
these church breads are brought into the sanc- 
tuary. An especially large quantity of loaves 
are brought during the year by the faithful in 
those temples to which thousands of pilgrims 
flock in order to offer their devotion to the 
holy relics, to the holy icona of the Lord, the 
Mother of God, and to the saints of God. 
Having received back their prosphora, or loaf, 
after a particle had been taken from it in the 
sanctuary, the faithful carefully handle it, 
and, crossing themselves, kiss it; then, after 
the Liturgy, they carry it to their homes, and 
here, with all the members of the household, 
they eat it before they partake of their regular 
meal, i. e. upon an empty stomach. 

This custom is hardly ever practiced in this 
country among our Orthodox Christians, and 
yet this ceremony is an ancient and religious 
act ; it is very important and salutar}'. That 
it is really such, we will now consider. 

Let us, first of all, mention the fact that five 
bread loaves are used in offering the Divine Lit- 


urgy in the Orthodox Church. From the first 
one a conveniently large piece is cut and put 
on the paten, which at first is a representation 
of the Lord Jesus Christ; and after, during 
the hymn. Thee we siiig, Thee we bless, it is 
transubstantiated (i. e. mystically changed) 
into the true Body of Christ. Even so does 
the wine with water which was poured into the 
chalice during the offertory or first part of the 
Liturgy, become at the same time the real 
and life-giving Blood of the Lord. This 
larger particle is therefore called the Holy 

From the second prosphora a particle is taken 
and put on the paten to the right side of the 
Holy Lamb, " in honor and in remembrance 
of the Most Blessed Lady and Mother of God." 

From out the third loaf nine particles are 
cut and put to the left of the Holy Lamb 
on the paten, in honor and in remembrance of 
the nine orders of saints. 

From the fourth one (i. e., /jrosp/iora, which is 
a Greek word, and means offering) several par- 
ticles are taken and put before the Holy Lamb, 
for the health and salvation of the living. 

First of all, the priest makes mention of the 


Orthodox Patriarchs, the Most Holy Synod, 
the bishop of his diocese, with all the clergy, 
and then lays down upon the paten a particle ; 
after this another, when he mentions the name 
of his sovereign, the whole of the royal house, 
and finally he names others and all the living, 
and those by name who asked to be remem- 
bered. At each name, the priest takes a small 
particle and puts it down before the Lamb. 

From the fifth loaf particles are cut out and 
put on the paten in remembrance and for the 
forgiveness of the sins of all the departed, 
commencing with the patriarchs and kings. 
The priest makes mention of each departed 
one whom he wishes or whom he has been 
requested to mention by name, and for each 
he places a bit of the loaf before the Holy 

In this manner parts are taken from the five 
breads, which are necessary in offering the 
Divine Liturgy. 

What is done with those loaves which the 
faithful bring, and why are they brought? 

From these also particles are taken for the 
living and the dead. Their names are read 
(from each family's book or list), and the priest 


cuts out a particle for the health and salva- 
tion of each one, if the name be of those 
among the living, or for the remembrance and 
forgiveness of the sins of one, if the name be 
of those among the departed. All these par- 
ticles must be put on the paten together with 
those taken from the fourth and fifth loaves. 

In this manner in the beginning of the Lit- 
urgy a great many particles lie upon the paten 
around the principal part or bread, i. e. the 
Holy Lamb. These particles represent the 
souls of the saints and all the Orthodox, in 
whose name they were put there. When during 
the singing — Thee we hymn, Thee we bless — the 
principal part, which was taken from the first 
bread, becomes transmuted into the Real Body 
of Christ, and the wine in the cup becomes 
the Very Blood of Christ; then it is plainly 
understood, that from that moment the parti- 
cles lying upon the paten, and the souls of the 
people whom they represent, do stand before 
the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, invisibly and 
mystically present upon the holy table in the 
holy sacrament. Finally, after the clergy and 
laity partake of the Holy Communion, all the 
particles are put from off the paten into the 


chalice, and they absorb of the Life-giving 
Blood of Christ; consequently the souls of the 
living and the dead are brought into a mutual, 
gracious communion with the Lord Jesus 

To the spiritual view of all standing and 
praying in the temple at that time, the follow- 
ing should be pictured: Upon the heavenly 
throne He, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, is 
seated, our Redeemer and Saviour, and before 
Him stand: the Most Holy Mother of God, 
" ever constant in prayer" before Her Son and 
God for the whole race of mankind ; then all 
the saints, also our intercessors and media- 
tors; and all the living and the departed of the 
faithful, in whose names parts have been set 
aside, who are expecting from the Lord for 
themselves, through the prayers of the Mother 
of God, all the saints, and all the believing, 
mercy, forgiveness of sins, and eternal salva- 
tion. At that moment to all before the Lamb 
the saving grace of God is communicated from 
the throne. When the particles absorb of the 
Life-giving Blood, at the time the priest prays : 
Wash, Lord, the sins of all those mentioned 
here by Thy precious Blood, and the prayers of 


Thy saintSf the souls, which are represented by 
the particles, are brought into a mutual com- 
munion with the Lord Redeemer, and thereby 
the saints of God obtain a greater glory and 
happiness in heaven, while the living and the 
dead, washed in the most Precious Blood of 
the Son of God, receive the forgiveness of sins 
and inherit life eternal. 


The significance of the particle taken out by 
the priest for some one of our relatives or ac- 
quaintance is such. The soul of the one men- 
tioned appears before the throne of God and 
prays to the Lord in devout fear, and its prayer, 
strengthened by the intercessions of the 
prayers of all the blessed in heaven, and the 
earnest prayer of all the faithful present, espe- 
cially of those who brought the loaf and 
asked for the prayers of a priest, and also by 
the prayers of him who offers the sacrament, 
i. e. the priest, such a prayer of the soul be- 
comes efficient and powerful. The Lord mer- 
cifully accepts such a prayer of the soul. Sin- 


ners themselves have appeared from the other 
world, and revealed to their relatives how 
great a relief they have experienced in their 
condition beyond the grave after the Divine 
Liturgy has been offered upon earth, in which 
a particle was set aside in remembrance and for 
the forgiveness of their sins. 

And the living? The living also receive 
forgiveness of sins, and by this all that which 
is necessary for life and piety. 

Our offering of loaves in the temple of the 
Lord, so that particles may be cut from them, 
is of much importance for ourselves likewise. 

And for ourselves we must pray and put 
before the Lamb a particle of the bread. The 
priest at the offertory must put upon the paten 
a particle for himself also, at the same time 
praying in these words : Be mindful, Lord, 
of me an unworthy one, and forgive me all sins, 
voluntary and involuntary. We should each one 
of us put our own names in the "book of re- 
membrance," so that the priest may take out 
a particle for us also, and thereby move in 
prayer for us the whole Church, so that, when 
we stand before the face of the Lord, we may 
enter into a gracious communion with Him at 


the time our particle, together with the others, 
becomes immersed during the Liturgy in the 
Life-giving Blood of the Son of God. 

Besides this, a prosphora is brought into the 
temple as an offering to God. Any gift of ours, 
any sacrifice of ours is pleasing to God when 
it expresses our gratefulness, our love to God, 
from w^hom we ourselves receiye every good and 
perfect gift. On coming into the Church we 
buy and light before an holy icona a candle. 
This is our offering to God, and it shows that 
we came into the temple — the place of God's 
habitation, to pray as constantly and fervent- 
ly, as brightly and warmly as our candle burns 
before the holy icona. The prosphora, which 
we buy and give into the sanctuary that par- 
ticles be taken from it, though it is returned 
to us, yet it is our gift to God also, which testi- 
fies to our desire to pray with greater zeal for 
ourselves and for those who are dear to our 
hearts. This little gift of ours reminds us of 
Christian custom in the early days of Christ's 
Church. At that time all the faithful, when 
they came to church for Holy Liturgy, brought 
bread and wine. From all that was brought, 
the priest selected what was necessary for the 


sacrament, and the remaining bread and wine 
was divided after the Liturgy among all those 
present. A brotherly table was spread, which 
showed that the faithfullived in love and close 

Now we offer only a small loaf in the Church; 
yet this bread is our gift to God, our offering 
to the Divine Liturgy, wherefore the very 
name of it is prospJwra, which in the Greek 
language means offering. From it is taken 
but a small, necessary particle for our com- 
munication with the Grace of God, while near- 
ly the entire loaf is returned to us from the 
altar, which we for our sanctification eat with 

As a gift of God, brought to the holy table, 
which was used in taking the particles which 
have such an important signification, then 
given to us as a blessing and for our sanctifi- 
cation by partaking of it, — the prosphora 
should be received as a bread blessed, with 
appropriate religious consideration. Hereby 
is explained the custom for taking back again 
the loaf from the sanctuary, making the sign 
of the cross upon one's self, and kissing it, after 
the service carefully bringing it home, and 


dividing it among the members of the family, 
to be eaten before other food. Below is an in- 
cident told in the life of St. Zosima — the won- 
der-worker. St. Zosima once gave to a mer- 
chant a prosphora as a blessing, but the mer- 
chant on his way home carelessly dropped it. 
A dog running up was about to eat the bread, 
but each time, when it was about to take it, a 
flame came forth from out the prosphora and 
kept it back. A monk of the Solovetsky Mon- 
astery saw this (his name was Makarius) ; he 
drove away the dog; devoutly crossing himself, 
he took the loaf and brought it to St. Zosima, 
who recognized the prosphora given by him to 
the merchant. And so the church loaf is holy 
bread, and we should handle it carefully and 

Such, then, is the significance of the prospho- 
ra, which we offer in church. Therefore, who 
desires for self, or one's relatives, and for ac- 
quaintance, health and salvation, and for the 
departed forgiveness of sins and the kingdom 
of heaven; let such a one earnestly pray to 
God, especially during the Liturgy, and not 
neglect, on account of carelessness, to bring 
into the church a, prosphora, let such a one not 


begrudge a few cents for the loaf. When the 
priest takes from the loaf particles, for the one 
who brought it, and for those who are men- 
tioned in the book of remembrance brought 
with it, and puts the particles on the paten 
before the face of the Lord, so that they may 
after absorb the Life-giving Blood of the Lord^ 
such a prayer then must be more real and 
profitable, as for the one who brought the offer- 
ing, likewise also for those in whose name or 
memory prayers may be asked for. When this 
loaf is brought home and eaten, thereby such 
a person with his or her family partake of the 
blessing of God. 


Delivered in the Presence of His Right 
Reverence Nicholas, Bishop of Alaska 
AND the Aleutian Islands, the Members 
AND Friends of the Orthodox Church 
AND the Parish School of St. Sergius, in 
San Francisco. 

AS I stand here in the midst of this gather- 
ing, I picture in my mind another 
company, greater than this, filling the 
spacious halls of a more magnificent structure 
in the capital city of the Russian Empire — 
Matushka Moskva (dear mother Moscow). My 
imagination reaches still farther out, and I 
behold another throng of busy citizens, 
together with young Seminarians and prayer- 
fully inclined Christians, away off in Siberia, 
in the city of Irkoutsk. Methinks I hear 
them speak the very name of him whom they 
have come to honor, Innocentius. My whole 


being thrills with a veneration at the sound 
of that name. My heart is filled with glad- 
ness when I think of the pure joy and reason- 
able pride of the country folk in rural Angin- 
skoe of the Province of Irkoutsk — the native 
home of the Most Reverend Metropolitan 

Yet all these multitudes and territorial 
distance are but a part of the whole, celebrat- 
ing a great event. Look you, the tribes of 
Kamchatka with the Yakout race sing of him, 
while the Aleut and the Alaskan Indians 
gratefully commemorate their teacher on this 
day — the one hundredth anniversary of his 
birth. While the great Orthodox Missionary 
Society in Russia, which to-day upholds our 
prosperous Church in Japan and in other 
parts of the world, is paying honor to the 
sacred memory of its founder, we too bless 
this one hundredth birthday of our first 
Bishop in America — the same Innocentius, 
Metropolitan of Moscow. 

This great Missionary, who passed away 
from this visible world eighteen years ago, 
and rests with his remains in the holy Troitse 
Sergiev Monastery, still dwells in the loving 


hearts of the different peoples of his spiritual 
charge. I understand and feel the special 
privilege which I enjoy to-night, and for which 
I most heartily thank thee, Gracious Bishop 
and Most Reverend Father in God. Deeply 
feeling the love of our Archpastors, I become 
bold and venture to look into the unseen, 
where I behold the spiritual eyes of our first 
hard-working Missionary, with kindly light 
beaming upon this gathering and approving 
of the feeble words of your son (to the Bishop), 
and your brother (to the Clergy), and your 
pastor (to the Congregation) — one of the first 
born of the young American Orthodox 
Church ! 

John Veniaminov, indeed, was a great man. 
As one of the first priests in Alaska, he labored 
for fifteen long years in several parts of that 
vast region, making his home, principally, 
first in Ounalashka and then in Sitkha. In 
those pioneer days of Alaska an Aleutian 
badairka or small canoe made of the skin of a 
walrus w^as the only means he had for his 
constant locomotion, and not seldom for his 
voyages of a longer course. It often hap- 
pened that, in a mean, wet climate, his only 


comfort for whole months would be found in 
an earthen dug-out. I will not detain you by 
repeating; you w411 soon hear, and also read 
for yourselves, of his life, and then you will 
know how in the Providence of God the Rev- 
erend Father John became to be known by 
the name of Innocent, and how he returned 
to Alaska — as the first bishop there, and like- 
wise our first bishop in America! Brief 
accounts of his life are now printed in 
English, as well as in Russian and other 
languages, and may be had for nothing, com- 

There are several people in this city who 
have personally seen him, and remember well 
the wholesome instructions of their gentle 
pastor — Bishop Innocent, later the Metro- 
politan of Moscow. Besides the elder brethren 
and the elder sisters among you, some of the 
people mentioned are also fathers in their 
community. Our present Bishop and beloved 
Father in God was at one time under the 
spiritual rule of the Most Reverend Innocen- 
tius, and that was during his student life in the 
Academy of Moscow, when Innocent was the 
Bishop of the Church of God in that Province. 


I have strong reasons for maintaining my 
assertion that this Missionary Priest, John 
Veniaminov, also landed on our shores here, 
and — how I love to dwell on the thought! — he 
bestowed God's blessing upon our beautiful 
California. It was in the fall of 1838 that 
this God-fearing worker left Sitkha in a 
sailing vessel — to voyage down the whole 
length of the great Pacific, and make his way 
around Cape Horn to Europe and St. Peters- 
burg. At that time the government of 
Alaska, following the wise counsel of Baranov 
(another great man), obtained and held land 
in California, where it had a flourishing 
colony in the part now known as Sonoma 
count}'. Baranov was well aware of the worth 
of Alaska, but he needed California as a store- 
house of grain for the Great North with its 
many resources and grand coast. The globe- 
circumnavigating vessels, coming from the 
north, certainl}^ must have anchored in Cali- 
fornia waters, in order to take on supplies and 
make a final preparation before setting sail to 
round the Cape for Europe. And so it is 
possible that our dear Missionary may have 
even ofi'ered the Divine Liturgy in the chapel 


at Fort Ross, and also baptized the Indians in 
Russian River. I do not attempt to speculate 
on the idea that our apostle trod the sands 
where now our splendid city of San Francisco 
is built. For memory's sake I simply ask: Is 
there not a history attached to Russian Hill in 
San Francisco? 

A most remarkable man was this Russian 
priest from Siberia. He was a mechanic, nav- 
igator, school-teacher, administrator, and a 
preacher of the Gospel. A poor orphaned boy, 
too young to earn his own bread, must depend 
upon the charity of poor relatives and even 
strangers for his very existence. From a little 
town in the heart of Siberia he finds his way 
into the city of Irkoutsk, where he becomes a 
pastor, beloved by his devoted people. Then 
he goes, as he thought, to give up himself with 
his entire strength and knowledge to the sim- 
ple Aleuts, who sat in darkness in the distant 
islands of the ocean. It was he, as he after- 
wards sat in the councils of the Most Holy 
Governing Synod of our Church, who moved 
the proposition that the Orthodox Bishop in 
America should transfer his residence from 
Sitkha to San Francisco. 


God selected the priest, John Veniaminov, 
to bear the light of Orthodox Christianity 
from the East to the West, from Asia to America ! 
And nobl}^ did the Great Russian Church 
prove herself worthy of the apostolic power of 
rightly dividing the Word of Truth by carrying 
out the work in all its detail. She faithfully 
keeps the apostles' will as expressed in these 
words: Let the elders that rule well be counted 
tcorthy of double honor, especially they who labor 
in the word and teaching ; she elevates her Mis- 
sionar}" to a high post. In his new office as an 
archpastor, the M. Rev. Innocent created two 
more dioceses in Eastern Siberia, besides the 
church of Alaska. He was ever sailing over 
the ocean, or driving in reindeer and dog 
sledges over a country thousands of miles in 
extent, everywhere baptizing the natives, for 
whom he has introduced the use of letters, and 
translated the Gospel into their native tongues. 

It has been, and still is, the habit of some 
who are unfriendly to the Orthodox Church 
to speak of her as a dead church. Such a dar- 
ing charge could be uttered for three reasons, 
and they are these : Such persons are either 
determined upon a certain course of public 


policy, with no respect for the truth, or they 
are not inclined to think well of Eastern 
Christians, whom it would be inconvenient to 
recognize as brethren while enjoying personal 
comfort through social connections ; but if it 
be not that, it is then because of a light head 
and total ignorance of the facts in universal 
history. In modern times the Russian Church 
has proved, in more instances than one, that 
she is alive with the missionary spirit. May 
we condemn the Slavonic Orthodox Church in 
the Balkan States, and in Austria, simply be- 
cause she is struggling for her existence in 
spite of the aggressive intrusion on her own 
ground of the brethren of the Society of Jesus? 
Nor is the influx of American Sectarian 
preachers in Arabia and in Palestine, a reason 
which could justify any one in sa3ang that the 
Church of Christ in those parts is dead ! In 
these days we know something of what en- 
slavement to the Turk involves. And what, 
in common justice, to say nothing of Chris- 
tian charity, have we a right to expect from 
those groaning under such bondage? Have 
we the conscience to ask that they should 
make converts, when now for five hundred 


years they have been struggling, as in a bloody 
sweat, to keep Christianity alive under Moslem 
tyranny? And, in that time, how many 
martyrs of every age and condition have 
shed a halo around the Oriental Church? 
Not less than a hundred martyrs of these 
later days are commemorated in the ser- 
vices of the Church, and countless are the 
unnamed ones, who have suffered for the 
faith, in these five hundred years of slavery. 
In 1821, Gregory, Patriarch of Constantinople, 
was hung at the door of his cathedral, on Easter 
Day. Many other prelates and prominent 
ecclesiastics were put to death in Adrianople, 
Cyprus, the Ionian Islands, in Anatolia and 
Mount Athos. And yet, none apostatized from 
the faith of Christ. Are not such martyr- 
doms the best way of making converts ? It 
was thus that, in the first three (and more) 
centuries of our era, the Church was founded 
in those lands by the apostles and their im- 
mediate successors. How can it be said that, 
among people who could so die for the faith, 
there was no real spiritual life ? Has not the 
Greek Church shown by her deeds the stead- 
fastness of her faith ? 


But it is not our purpose to lecture on his- 
tory. Nor is it that out of mere curiosity we 
are here. Let us now look to the duty we have 
before us this hour. We are gathered here to 
show our gratitude to our benefactor, and also 
in a becoming way to honor the memory of 
our dear Archpastor, Metropolitan Innocentius. 
Remembering Mm who has had the rule over us 
and our fathers — the Christians of this Diocese ; 
remembering him ivho had spoken unto us the 
Word of God, let us now, according to the 
Divine commandment, consider his end, so that 
we may be able the better to follow the ex- 
ample of strong faith, which he gave us 
throughout his whole life. Although he was 
much weakened in his last days by old age 
and sickness, yet the venerable prelate retained 
his mind clear up to the last, and truly his 
course on earth was appropriately crowned 
with a bright Christian end. Tell them, he 
said, as he was about to sleep, that no eulogies 
be pronounced at my funeral, they only contain 
praise. Let them rather preach a sermon, it may 
be instructive; and here is the text for it: The 
ways of man are ordered by the Lord. 


WE live in a peculiar age. No time has 
ever dawned upon the earth like the 
present era. Startling developments in the 
world of truth keep the minds of men, to 
some extent, constantly reaching out after it. 
More light! greater knowledge! is now the 
almost universal cry. Great discoveries in 
science have opened many new and hitherto 
unknown avenues to the greater physical de- 
velopment of the human family ; and at the 
same time it may be said to be true, that the 
mental development of man has, to some extent, 
kept pace. In all this onward movement in the 
world of material and mental research, men 
turn to the representative of God among men, 
and inquire if in the religious world there are 
any developments ; and we find that there are 
many and great changes in the religious world. 
Mark you — many and great changes in the 
world of religious opinion, but very little de- 
velopment in religious life ! 


Many a searching, although blind, mind has 
mistaken religion for some philosophical sys- 
tem. Too irreverent and profane handling of 
religion often makes of it a science, a pastime 
study. Now and again we come by the way 
of such who make religion a speculation ; yes, 
and a speculation without a question as to its 
nature. Do you not know that religion is one 
of the qualities of your soul ? An essential 
substance, I might say, to be plain, of your 
self-recognizing, self-satisfied, living spirit ? 
Those who are convinced of this fact are not 
indifferent to religion. Indifferentism has 
no place in the serious life of one who seeks to 
be right-minded. 

We hear it frequently remarked that it mat- 
ters not what one believes if he does right. 
But if one does not believe right, he does not 
do the right thing — that is, if his belief is sin- 
cere and carried out in practice. If one be- 
lieves that which is wrong, and still acts 
otherwise from force of circumstance, he is 
wrong in heart. A man may believe in polyg- 
amy, but the law and common custom may 
forbid its practice. He would be in outward 
life aright, but in heart would be a virtual 


polygamist. And if circumstances were favor- 
able, his life would bear its legitimate fruit. 
And this is just as true of every other moral 
evil. It is all-important to believe right. 
Every false religion which has cursed mankind 
has started in a wrong belief. It might not 
have affected practical duties for a time, but 
the fruit finally developed. Thus belief in 
that first lie of Satan's (Gen. iii : 4) has borne 
its legitimate fruit in — first, the deification of 
the beautiful, and unnatural curiosity; second, 
self-love, delusion, and idol-worship; third, 
free-thinking, protesting, infidelity, and anar- 

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto 
you of the common salvation, it ivas needful for me 
to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should 
earnestly contend for the faith which ^uas once 
delivered unto the saints — (Jude, iii). It is wor- 
thy, and more, too, it is a duty, to mention 
the fact that the large number of Bible-wor- 
shipers, who daily read the Holy Scriptures, 
will not see such passages as this. It is strange, 
yet it is plain to those who understand the 
human soul. What do those people think 
of such texts, and also of these : I will build 


my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail 
against it (Matt, xvi : 18). There is one body, 
and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope 
of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one bap- 
tism. One God and Father of all (Ephesians, iv : 
4-6). And there shall be one fold, and one Shep- 
herd (Jolni, X : 16). Therefore, brethren, stand 
fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been 
taught, whether by word, or our epistle (2 Thessal. 
ii: 15). 

To read the Bible does not mean to be a 
Christian. One ma}^ go to church and also 
study the Holy Scriptures, and yet not be 
religious. One may be religious, and yet be 
laboring under false impression, and also un- 
truthful doctrine. If your friend requests you 
to do sometliing for him, and you, knowing 
wliat he said, would still hesitate, had you not 
been positive of his own opinion of the request. 
If you are not always positive of a man's idea, 
even when you have his words, are you sure 
of God's opinion? Are you so elevated that 
you can read God's mind? 

" Obey and believe in my doctrine," says 
Rome. " Be free and strive to create a belief 
for yourselves," say the Sects. But the Church 


calls to her own, " Let us love one another, 
that we may with one mind confess Father, 
Son, and Holy Ghost." 

What is the Orthodox Church? This is 
the thought, which is repeated more than 
once in the closed closet of the heart; the 
question silently asked by the inquiring 
mind; and, beyond doubt, it is a proof of the 
quickening presence of the "Spirit of Truth, 
which abideth everywhere," stirring our souls 
to action superhuman, and to the contempla- 
tion of things which are above our compre- 

Of late, the One Holy Catholic and Apos- 
tolic Church is often heard of, and the exis- 
tence of an Orthodox Catholic Church has 
come before the notice of the reading masses 
in Western Europe and America. A grand 
revelation ! And a heavenly blessing is 
reserved for all religious people who are striv- 
ing in these latter times to be right-minded. 

In the midst of Romanism and Protes- 
tantism, free from the fanaticism of a Pius, or 
the indifferentism of a so-called liberalism, 
clear of modern Congregationalism — almost 
daily crumbling into isms — we can see a glow. 


in the midst of this chaos, as if of a new spark 
created in a combustible mass, which is none 
other than the light once revealed to Adam, 
then faithfully preserved in the Church of the 
old dispensation, and finally intrusted to the 
One and only Church of God — the Alpha and 
Omega; this spark we now see illuminated to 
perfection by the new covenant of God with 
man, the pledge of which is no less than the 
Eternal Word, the Onlj^-begotten Son of 
God Himself — the man Jesus, who is the chief 
cornerstone of the Orthodox Catholic Church, 
which rests on the foundation of the Apostles, 
chosen and put into their places by the 
Supreme Architect — the Lord Jesus Christ. 
And behold, this is the Holy Orthodox and 
Universal (Catholic) Apostolic Church — still 
the ark of salvation for mankind. Could this 
stronghold, planned by God the Almighty, 
be obliterated, because of persecution and 
temptation, and because of the many that will- 
fully stray away, which of themselves break 
into numerous sects, as the body deprived of 
life turns to dust? The gates of hell shall 


We are all obnoxious to error and mistakes, 


and it is but natural that we should make 
due allowance for human weakness and igno- 
rance. If God had left us in our higher con- 
cerns to our devices, we should be still groping 
in the dark like the heathen of old, whom God 
left to themselves, in order to show how 
utterly unable the natural man is to find and 
grasp the supernatural truth. God mercifully 
revealed to us His truth, and expects us to 
thankfully accept it, neither doubting nor 
denying it. Therefore, what in human con- 
cerns might be called a liberal concession to 
our opponents, would in religion be a foul 
treachery, opposite God's truth intrusted to 
His Church. It is not liberal, but indifferent, 
to regard all sorts of religion as equivalent; 
not to care to what religion one belongs, just 
as if one was as good or as bad as the other ; 
or, to put it more forcibly, that the claim of 
one church to teach Christ's truths purely 
and completely, to the exclusion of all other 
churches, is not true, and is simply humbug. 
This is the principle of all worldly people, 
and it is a fashion to consider a conscientious 
religious church-life a downright nuisance, 
though one is still afraid to call it so. The 


crowd call it liberal not to make any dis- 
tinction between the teaching of the different 
churches, just as if truth and untruth could 
exist one at the side of the other without any 
disrespect to God, the Author of truth. It is 
want of faith and conviction, or rather want 
of taking an interest in religion, that produces 
this baleful indifference. 

It stands to reason that it is sinful to care 
so little for the revealed truth as to place it on 
a level with error. You will say, shall we 
then condemn our erring brethren? By no 
means. Christ forbids us to judge anybody, 
for only God knows whether our brother 
culpably holds the error, or whether he be- 
lieves it to be the truth. But even if he 
believes his error to be the truth, error 
remains error, and never can become truth. 
Therefore, we must always condemn error, 
though we may not condemn the person 
erring, but must pity him that he takes error 
for truth. If you think it is all the same 
what a man believes, provided he is convinced 
that it is the truth, you are mistaken, for the 
heathen of old, the Jews, the Mohammedans, 
and the professors of all other religions, 


believe they possess the truth. Why, then, 
did God send His only-begotten Son, Jesus 
Christ, into the world, if mankind could be 
saved without him ? Christ commanded His 
apostles and their successors to convert the 
world to Christianity, not to that sort of 
vague Christianity which we find in the num- 
erous seditions which appropriate this name, 
but to His one Church, ichich is the foundation 
and pillar of the truth, and against which the 
gates of hell can never prevail. He who 
believes in these words of Christ can never be 
indifferent to which Church he belongs, nor 
can he be indifferent whether his friends or 
acquaintances continue in error. Therefore, 
it is his first duty never to countenance 
religious indiff'erence. 

Those who will study the doctrine of the 
Church, not in the errors and weakness of 
human superstitions and failings, but in her 
own divinely inspired rites and institutions, 
will appreciate the matchless purity of our 
beloved Church. Let us not be misunder- 
stood. We do not assume to ourselves any 
prerogative of goodness ; on the contrary, woe 
unto us who have so little profited by the 


perfect holiness of our Mother Church. The 
best among us fall grievously short of the 
ideal of the Church, which towers high above 
us, bearing aloft the standard of the cross. 

Truly glorious and divine is the plan of our 
Church, but beware of judging her by the 
failures and errors of her unworthy children. 

In her daily Liturgy our Mother — the 
Church — calling the faithful to prayer, teaches 
us thus: Let us pray to the Lord for the peace 
of the whole world, the good estate of the holy 
churches of God, and the union of them all. 

For the unity of the Faith, and the communion 
of the Holy Spirit making request, let us commend 
ourselves and one another and all our life to 
Christ the God. 

SUNDAY, February 11-23, 1896. 

•* Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising: of 
many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken 
against." {St. L^ike, ii, 34.) 

OUR young metropolis of these Pacific 
shores in the New World is troubled. 
Some one has aroused the spirit of strife. The 
minds of thinking people are not at rest. The 
thoughts of philosophers are caught in a wind 
of putrid air and blown over the country 
helter-skelter. The ignorant and vulgar lovers 
of sensationalism are fired with the fever that 
heated the brain of the citizens of Ancient 
Rome when, in the arena, they called : " More 
men! more beasts! more blood!" And all 
this in the name of religion ; yea, were it in 
the name only of religion ; but scandal is 
trumped loud and wide in the name not of 
that mental disease called religion (as a certain 

SERMON. 185 

person named it s. few days ago in the Morn- 
ing Call), but in the name of the religion of 
the followers of Jesus Christ. When we see 
the enemy come upon us, we must strengthen 
our armaments. We need not fear for our fort, 
though the walls get scraped and there be 
some that fall over them, as the gates of hell will 
not prevail against the Church. When a serpent 
has lain its eggs in a fowl's nest, we must cast 
them out before the simple chicks are devoured. 
When the wolf is on hand, the shepherd pro- 
tects all those sheep which he can gather under 
his care. 

While witnessing these unfortunate scenes 
of contention and discord in which the sacred 
homes of Christians are assailed, and by which 
brother is set up against brother, and neighbor 
against neighbor, we are reminded of the words 
of Simeon the Just : Behold, this child is set for 
the fall and rising of wxmy in Israel ; and for a 
sign which shall be spoken against. The pro- 
phetic vision of Simeon is one of the many 
proofs of the authenticity of the Holy Gospels. 
And so is the sacred tradition concerning this 
devout man in harmony with history. 

Early history tells us that one of the Ptole- 


mies, — namely, Philadelphus — who came in 
possession of some of the acquirements of 
Alexander the Great, and who would have a 
firmer hold upon the different peoples, studied 
their different beliefs, and became impressed 
with the religion of the Jews. Therefore, 
Philadelphus invited seventy learned scribes 
in Israel to translate the Holy Scriptures into 
the official language of his new empire. Holy 
Tradition tells us that Simeon was one of the 
seventy ; that he was sorely grieved while 
translating the Prophets, because he could not, 
in a natural w^ay, understand a passage which 
he must literally translate, and which was 
written by the Spirit of God, who is the Lord of 
both created nature and the laws that sustain 
nature ; furthermore, that it was revealed unto 
Simeon, by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see 
death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And 
when, at the extreme end of a long earthly 
life, he comes into the temple and sees the child 
Jesus, he takes him up in his arms and utters 
that sublime farewell of a grateful soul for the 
merciful Providence of God : Lord, now lettest 
thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy 

SERMON. 187 

Yes, the propliecy of this just and devout 
man has been fulfilled. For Jesus has been set 
up for a sign which shall be spoken against. Do 
we not see it ourselves, and in a most conspic- 
uous and public manner in this city of San 

Jesus on the cross, planted again high up on 
Calvary, that all may see him ! Behold, the 
man ! The soldiers who would not tear the 
cloak of our Saviour, but cast lots for it, are 
worthy of pity when compared with these dis- 
senters who would rend asunder the Church ; 
yea, the very body of Jesus Christ. Have 
these destroyers of Faith a mission to fulfill in 
this world ? What is their object in destroy- 
ing the hope of Christians ? Do these boast- 
ful humanitarians tell of love? Do they know 
what is love ? Can they give an example oi 
perfect love? What kind of a hereafter do 
they picture? In what consists their spiri- 
tuality ? Are they not pantheists, with the ex- 
ception of their masks? What! they deify 
human kindness ? Do they confound the 
natural instinct of kindness (that we see, even 
in the lower animals,) with love? Christians, 
do not be discouraged by these jests, but par- 


take of that Divine Love, that complete, per- 
fect love, that eternal, that burning love of 
Jesus, and pray for your enemies ! 

Do not think it strange when an Antichrist 
comes before the great mass of daily newspaper 
readers and endeavors to undermine their 
faith in a divine religion. We ought to expect 
such trials. We must remember that such 
people are not fundamentally acquainted with 
the complex make-up of themselves. It may 
take longer time, if it is necessary, to pick up 
the separate stones that have been scattered 
than it did to break down the wall. To deny 
the Divinity of Jesus Christ and the Gospels, 
together with the time and character of their 
authorship, etc., does not prove that a man is 
learned, not only in theolog}^ but even in pro- 
fane history. It is useless, and for the major- 
ity of mankind it is dangerous, to listen to one 
talking on the subject of faith, when that one 
does not himself believe in his own personal 
spirit, which spirit should be subject to the 
will of a higher and likewise personal spirit. 
Faith is not controlled by the worldly. It is an 
implanted function of the soul, which must be 
developed, and when faith rightly and freely 

SERMON. 189 

grows in its spiritual sphere, it is a powerful 
agent for good to the soul; hence the miracles 
in the Christian Church. 

Again, in our day, Jesus Christ is set for a sign 
which shall be spoken against Are we, beloved 
brethren and sisters, prepared to share these 
calumniations and suffer with our Lord ? Are 
we of those ivho ivill rise again in Israel? Which 
are those who belong to the company that is 
to fall ? If we be not of those who are already 
lying in the bottom of the abyss, and who 
have never risen, can we flatter ourselves that 
we are not of those who will, or of those who 
may, fall? The Word of God, in this instance, 
does not mention those who have been lying in 
the depth of condemnation, but those who will 
fall and those who will rise when they step on 
the stand, face to face, before Jesus Christ ? 

Beware of self-delusion! Beware of the de- 
ceptions of the enemy ! Do not think that a 
man is a real scholar of the Bible because he 
can quote by memory ever so many passages. 
Did not the first one who fell from the most 
elevated condition into the lowest hell, did not 
Satan know the Word of God ? Yea, before it 
was written into a book by human hand. 


Look and see how the Devil quotes from the 
Bible when he tempted the Lord in the wilder- 
ness, and said : He shall give His angels charge 
over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They 
shall hear thee up m their hands, lest thou dash 
thy foot against a stone. The Devil withheld 
the words that follow immediately after these, 
which read : Thou shalt tread upon the lion and 
adder ; the young lion and the dragon shalt thou 
trample under foot. 

Now, in these days of comfort, and luxury, 
and civilization, an affliction is come upon 
you, Christians ! Now, in these days, when 
many voluntarily and involuntarily worship 
the golden calf, you are tempted, Christians ! 
Now, in these days of enlightenment, when 
reason is fixed up above all else as a god, set 
apart from the moving faith of the individual 
soul, and devoid of the longings of a heart, 
you are made to feel the abnormal condition 
of the world you live in, and also to carry a 
heavier cross for the sake of your weaker 
brethren, Christians ! Now, in this age of 
doubt, conflicting claims, and diverse opinions, 
the eyes of all sincere seekers of the truth are 
looking toward us who are of the Orthodox 

SERMON. 191 

religion. Let us attend. Let us stand well, 
and be true to our great trust ! Let us feel our 
great responsibility, that we may live up to 
the holy principles of the Orthodox Church of 
Christ. Let us avail ourselves of this special 
privilege. Let us profit by the opportunities 
that this special season affords. I mean this 
time of fast, — i. e. Lent. This is our day of 
salvation. This is the time for Christian work 
and prayer. Let us examine ourselves in con- 
fession and enrich our experience. Let us 
renew ourselves in repentance, sanctify our- 
selves in constant prayer, in order to become 
worthy of the closest union with our Saviour in 
partaking of His holy body and precious 
blood, and thereby live in communion with 
God. And then, coming into harmony with 
the all-just, all-wise, all-good Spirit of God, 
which abides in His Church, no afiliction, no 
persecution, will remove us from the Rock of 
Salvation, and with a clearer comprehension 
we will sing with the Church of God : 
The Heifer and Protector has been unto my sal- 
vation ; this is my God, and Him will I praise ; 
the God of my father, and Him ivill I exalt ; for 
he hath been wonderfully glorified. Amen, 


{St. Matthew, viii : 28 ; ix : 2.) 

TO-DAY'S Gospel is a short one, but it 
contains much instruction for us. The 
examples and lessons which are to be had 
from these few words are sufficient to supply 
those of us who will live the longest with 
enough thought to last us all our lives. For 
the present, it is our purpose to point out the 
most important, that which is for our spiritual 
good. Here we have offered to us pearls; and 
it is our duty to invest them in such a manner 
as to gain a large profit. Our Lord Jesus 
Christ tells us not to cast our pearls before the 
swine, else loe ourselves bear the consequences of our 
foolishness. Devils are for the swine ; rather, 
the swine are for the devils. But pearls are for 
Christians. So then, what are these precious 
pearls we have here offered to us? They 
are the Word of God, faith and repentance, 

SERMON. 193 

hope and prayer, love and good works. We 
must not only behave well, but we must also 
do good works and love disinterestedly. We 
must not merely hope, but hope firmly and con- 
tinue in prayer. We must not have some faith, 
but we must have a luhole faith, and we must 
fully believe. 

I have heard people say that there are no 
demons or devils. Some of them say that 
their existence is an abstraction ; while others 
say devils are the wicked people we have 
about us in the world. We cannot say that 
such people are unbelievers, for some of them 
have some faith; but it pleases their whim and 
satisfies their conscience to formulate "their 
own creed," which suits them, just as his warm 
bed-cover does the drowsy schoolboy on a win- 
try morning. Yet there are a few such people 
who do not believe that there are any personal 
spirits. But we cannot stop now to discuss 
the abnormal condition of those opinions, upon 
which they think they have a foundation for 
knowledge, and which, at the same time, ex- 
clude the possibility of localizing an individ- 
uality. In returning to the subject of our 
remarks, we affirm that, of his own will, the 


Devil surely will not reveal himself to people 
who do not believe ; for, should he do so, they 
might believe, and that would be against his 
own sly, diabolical policy, as he would have 
all in the dark, so terrible is his enmity against 
the Eternal Source of Light and Treasure of 
Goodness — God Almighty. 

Now, for the benefit of those of whom it is 
said that they have some faith (which, by the 
way, is a logical absurdity) : You have the 
ability of your spiritual faculties; you have 
the means of grace for your support ; you must 
have a whole faith ; you have room for it, if 
faith, but only as a mustard-seed, will move a moun- 
tain ! Rouse yourselves ! The world which 
you worship only flatters you. The heaviness 
of your flesh should not keep you back from 
our Saviour — the God of spirits and of all 
flesh. If you continue to drowse, you will 
imperceptibly fall under the influence of the 
evil spirits, who are anxious for the company 
even of swine. Be careful that you become 
not possessed by a devil. 

Yes, the two men of the Gadarenes were 
possessed with devils. They were not com- 
mon maniacs, nor persons with a disordered 

SERMON. 195 

function in the cerebral region ; for they knew, 
while the inhabitants of that country did not 
know, that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. 
The devils knew that a time was coming when 
their freedom, which they abused and made 
such evil use of, would be checked. The devils 
would not give up the darlings which so read- 
ily gratified their passions. It was torment for 
them when the merciful Lord liberated poor 
mankind. The two unfortunate ones, that 
w^ere possessed by demons were exceeding fierce^ 
so that no man could pass by that way. If the 
evil spirits torment those whom they possess 
in such a horrible manner, then what must 
be the suffering of sinners in hell, where they 
are bound in company of the devils for all 
eternity ? 

Thus it is that some who are supposed to be 
Christians, and who deceive themselves by 
thinking that they are believers, while spiri- 
tually drowsing console themselves with substi- 
tute beliefs, such as superstitious guessings 
of fortune, communication with the dead, or 
so-called spiritualistic seances; and there is yet 
a finer cult, which satisfies the whim iof the 
esthetically inclined; it has an abstract philos- 


ophy, and for this reason it is difficult to 
name it; but nowadaj^s it is often wrongly 
called theosophy. And, again, we see that there 
are such people, who have no faith whatever, 
notwithstanding the great number of miracles 
performed in the Church of Christ, during 
nearl}^ nineteen centuries. Between Heaven, 
the habitation of saints, and Hades, or the 
lower regions, the habitation of the unbeliev- 
ing sinners, who during their life have trodden 
underfoot the blood of the Son of God, and have 
done despite unto the Spirit of Grace (Heb. x : 
26-30), and died in their sins unrepented, there 
is fixed even now an impassable gulf ; the 
prayers of the Church, and Christ's unbloody 
sacrifice of the Altar itself are of no avail for 

The land of the Gadarenes was a place fav- 
ored by the legion of darkness. The people 
disobeyed the law of Moses, if not by using as 
food the flesh of swine, then by keeping swine 
for commerce. These people were ungrateful, 
malicious, and mercenary. When the Lord 
Jesus Christ delivered the two possessed with 
devils, and the people lost their herd of many 
swine, they did not think of the sin of break- 

SERMON. 197 

ing the law, nor did they even wonder at the 
pity shown by the great Miracle- Worker, but they 
came out, in a matter of fact way, and besought 
Jesus that he would depart from their borders. 

My dear brethren and sisters, let us look to 
ourselves, that for the appetites of the flesh, 
the pleasures of frivolous society and false 
philosophy, and that for gain and business, we 
lose not Jesus, our Saviour, and fall a prey to 
the adversary of our eternal salvation. Amen. 


m. Luke, vii : 2-17.) 

IN the three years and several months that 
Jesus Christ went from town to town, 
from the hamlets in the hills of Judea to the 
city of Jerusalem, not having a place to rest his 
iveary head, but resting at whatever place 
offered by the chance of circumstance, without 
inconveniencing any of His followers or 
neighbors (do we not find Him asleep in a 
fisherman's boat?), or feeding on what is 
offered Him by the love of His disciples or 
the good women who followed Him in much 
significant silence and humilitj , Siud preachiyig 
the commandment of love, the Word of God, the 
Kingdom of Heaven, doing good to all sorts of 
people that He came in contact with, and 
helping in one way or another the vast multi- 
tude that was so sorely in need of help — and 
at that, in want of the Only Helper who was 

SERMON. 199 

able to assist them once and forever in their 
several strange conditions, and One whom it 
seems many waited for, — He, on one occasion, 
had just come into the town of Capernaum, 
when a Roman military officer, whose confi- 
dential servant was dying, sent a delegation 
of the elders of the Jews, beseeching Jesus that He 
ivould come and heal his servant. Seeing the 
great faith in this Gentile, He would prove it 
to the stiff-necked Jews, for their instruction, 
because they could not perceive it in its luster 
of natural simplicity; and so Jesus dismissed 
them ; and they that were sent, returning to the 
house, found the servant whole that had been sick. 
The Redeemer does not stop here ; He stays 
not to enjoy the praise of the inhabitants of 
Capernaum. St. Luke tells us, that on the very 
next day after. He went into a city called Nain. 
The same evangelist tells us that many of His 
disciples went with Him, and much people. 

As a weary traveler He goes along the 
dusty road, seeking another opportunity, 
going into another city to glorify His 
Heavenly Father, to benefit His fellow-men, 
fulfilling His mission of redeeming the world 
from sin, death, and the Devil. 


Now, luhen He came nigh to the gate of the city, 
behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only 
son of his mother, and she ivas a widow: and 
much people of the city ivere ivith her. And 
when the Lord saw lier. He had compassion on 
her, and said unto her. Weep not! How for- 
tunate for the poor widow that Jesus Christ 
came nigh to the gate of the city at the very 
moment when they carried out her dead and 
only boy ! Yes, Jesus Christ is ever ready to 
be there at the very moment; there, where 
His consolation is needed ; He is always there, 
where His help is wanted. How many of us 
are in need of such comforting words ! Some 
among us mourn the loss of dear ones. 
There are such ones even whose hearts seem 
to be shriveled to naught from suffering; 
and it may follow, that they will mourn other 
losses ere long. But the loving Jesus says. 
Weep not! The power exercised on earth by 
the God-man was delivered — not stintedly, but 
gifted freely and wholly — to His Church ; and 
over the expanse of ages this same voice bears 
the sweet words of comfort to us Christians: 
Weep not, for I am the Way and tlie Life; 
and to convince the coarse Jewish multitude, 

SERMON. 201 

which it seems could never satisfy its sinful 
hunger for outward signs or miracles appeal- 
ing to the eyes of flesh, and having compas- 
sion on them as well as on the widow, whose 
only son was dead, Jesus came and touched the 
bier: and they that hare the dead stood still. 
And he said. Young man, I say unto thee, 
arise! And by His touch and command 
the living soul reanimated that form of dead 
matter, and again housed in its narrow 
sphere, and I might say, as a holy man had 
said before, its prison. And he that ivas dead 
sat up, and began to speak. And He delivered 
him to his mother. There was something 
in the serene countenance of this Teacher, 
who walked with the common people as 
freely as He could sit with the chief scribes 
of Judea, a something in the simple country- 
habited, long-haired Nazarene, who spake 
great things through one of His glances, so 
majestic in their silence, that compelled them 
who bare the dead to stand still. But when 
the corpse became a living man, there came a 
fear on all ; and they glorified God, saying, thai 
a great prophet is risen up among us ; and, that 
God hath visited His people. 


Who should glorify God more than we? 
Was not a great prophet risen, had not Christ 
himself come, that we should be Christian ? 
Hath not God visited His people that He 
should abide in us ? For now He verily lives 
in His Church as He once walked with Adam 
and Eve in Paradise. Yes, beloved Christians, 
we should be deeply grateful to God for all 
His works, whether we comprehend them or 
not, and humble ourselves before the great- 
ness of His glory, and with low and meek 
hearts pray Him to enlighten our understand- 
ing: Blessed art Thou, Lord: teach me 
Thy justifications. 

When we attentively listen to what is read 
or sung in the church, then we are the more 
readily prepared to praise the Lord in a right 
sense, as the Spirit of God breathes in all the 
expressions of Christ's Church. Let us illus- 
trate an instance, by recalling to your memory 
the words you heard here a few weeks ago, at 
the exaltation of the cross. Let us attend ! 
" This day, the Master of Creatures, and 
'' Lord of Glory is nailed to a cross and pierced 
" in the side ; He, who is the sweetness of the 
" Church, tastes gall and vinegar; He, who 

SERMON. 203 

" adorns the firmament with clouds, is crowned 
" with a wreath of thorns ; He, who created 
" man, is smitten by a perishable hand ; He 
" is spit upon ; He is buffeted ; and he suffers 
" all for the sake of me who am condemned, 
" my Redeemer and God, that He may save 
" the world from seduction, as he is the Merci- 
" ful One." Cannot such words of the church- 
service fill a Christian with a sorrow that is 
unto salvation, with gratitude for the great good- 
ness and wonderful condescension of the Most 
High, and also with joy for now being able, in 
a measure, to understand the Supreme Being? 

Anything rather than believe in miracles — 
at the close of the nineteenth century; I, and 
3^ou yourselves, have heard this saying of the 
world. The world sees no miracles — it repels, 
not only the very enthusiasm, but it sometimes 
is a stumbling-block, even before serene, spir- 
itual reflection — which might work them. 
" Give a positive sign," the world says, " and 
I, in spite of new theories, will believe." The 
answer to such a request was spoken long ago 
by the Saviour himself : A faithless and perverse 
generation askethfor a sign, and no sign shall be 
given it. 


Where there is no possibility of a miracle of 
the mind, or of the heart, there is no possibility 
of a miracle to satisfy the wavering vision of 

Unbelievers often think, or they seem to 
be anxious to have others think, that they 
have gained an important point when they 
wrongly take upon themselves a self-imposed 
duty of tormenting Christians with such ques- 
tions as this one : " Why do we not see mir- 
acles now?" But if you explain why, which 
the Christian, with God's help, may do, the 
unbeliever's reason will not be able to grasp 
the subject in its entity, and his stone heart 
will not be moved, as the stiff necks of the 
Jews did not bend, when, instead of the dis- 
tinct commands of that imperious, awful voice 
on the quaking, fiery Mount Sinai, the very 
Love of God itself came to them, gently knock- 
ing at the doors of their hearts — in the person 
of the crucified Messiah. 

For the true Christian, there is no necessity 
for an answer to this question ; he observes, 
almost daily, the supernatural phenomena 
w^orking independently and apart from the 
machinery of the periodical course of natural 

SERMON. 205 

events, and glorifies the God that doeth wonders. 
The good Christian can be likened unto a 
candle whose flame burns steadily; but he 
knows that no one is perfect but God, that he is 
dependent upon God's grace for steadfastness in 
the faith, and he does not despair if his flame 
of light should now and then flutter in the 
wind of trials and temptations, but he prays 
to God the more fervently, yea, until, under the 
heat of battle, the very material of the candle 
is no more, and his whole existence is ofi"ered 
up to God as a holocaust. Furthermore, the 
orthodox Christian is conscious of the fact 
that sometimes we do not see miracles, or 
we see or hear of them rarely, either because 
they are invisible to us, as unworthy of trust, or 
because they are not even accomplished, on 
account of the doubts we sometimes allow to 
enter our minds. How can the Word preached 
to us work miracles in us, when our heart, like 
a field wild with tares, is thickly sown with 
idle words, and overgrown by carnal desires 
and unlawful thoughts? How can the sacra- 
ments work miracles in us, if we approach them 
but out of absolute necessity, without a careful 
previous purification, without an ardent aspi- 


ration to be united to God? The Apostle 
Paul, convicting the Corinthians of an unwor- 
thy communion of the Body and Blood of 
Christ, concludes : For this cause many are 
weak and sickly among you, and many sleep; 
that, is, many are struck with sudden 
death for insulting holy things. I think 
that unto some of us it is already a mir- 
acle of divine mercy if on such occasions 
we are not visited with similar punishments. 

It is not so surprising that the infidel wijl 
not perceive the power of God's grace in His 
Church, as it is, when he will not see the hand 
of the Creator in all the natural, outward 
beauty of the universe. Yet the Church, as 
the Bride of Christ, is unchangeable — as her 
Lord. The Church shall continue unto the 
end of time — as liveth her Eternal Head. 

He that helieveth on me, the loorks that 1 do 
shall he do also; and greater luorks than these shall 
he do ; said Jesus Christ. And in truth, the 
deeds of an Elias, a Moses, the works of a 
Peter, a Paul, and the wonders of a Pantelei- 
mon, a Nicholas, are not a strange thing in the 
Holy Orthodox Church. The like is repeated 
again and again in the Church, whether you 

SERMON. 207 

see it or not. You must remember that the 
Kingdom of God cometh not with observation. 
Some generations after our day the Church on 
earth may read the records of and treasure 
the memory of holy lives and mighty deeds 
accomplished in our day, if not here, then 
somewhere else, and of which most of us 
have not the slightest knowledge {?). True 
miracle-workers do not like to make a show 
of the miracles. For Jesus Christ Himself, 
the chief and most perfect type of miracle- 
workers, who came upon earth that men 
should know through Him the saving, miracle- 
working power of God, who, working openly 
for the sake of divine glory, had no need to 
guard Himself against the temptations of 
human glory, possessing against this tempta- 
tion divine power and glory, and yet seem- 
ingly He not so much revealed as hid His 
miracle-working power. 

Now, to return to the words of to-day's 
Gospel. When we are obliged to bury our 
loved ones, let us be comforted ; loee^p not, says 
Jesus, for they are not lost to us, for— if they 
died in communion with the Church— they 
are still in the fold of Christ. Shall we be 


selfish and tempt the already boundless 
mercy of God, which many of us cannot 
understand, and desire to have all things just 
to suit ourselves, instead of bowing in submis- 
sion to the all-wise providence of God ? Is it 
not even now a miracle of divine charity that, 
being in communion with Christ's Church, 
and partaking of the same unbloody sacrifice 
of the body and blood of the Son of God, to 
which the departed souls look forward, some 
with anxiety and some with joy, as to an 
offering on their behalf, an offering most 
acceptable to the Heavenly Father, that we 
are in communion with them ? And likewise 
that we shall see again "our fathers and 
brethren; also the orthodox that lie here and 
everywhere, who have gone to their rest 
before us ? " For all Thy great mercies and 
unspeakable love we give thanks to Thee, our 
God— The Father, the Son, and the Holy 
Ghost, to whom be all glory, honor, and 
worship unto the ages of ages. Amen. 


•* I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing 
upon thine offspring ; and they shall spring up as among 
the grass, as willows by the water-courses. One shall 
say, I am the Lord's, and another shall subscribe with 
his hand unto the Lord." {Isaiah, xliv : 3, 4, 5.) 

WE often hear the Church spoken of as 
our Mother. I will now explain to 
you in what way and for what reason the 
Church truly is our Mother. All of us Chris- 
tians have two births : one is according to the 
flesh, of nature ; the other is spiritual, when a 
person receives the Grace of God, and through 
baptism becomes a member of the Church. 
Therefore, the Church, by right of spiritual 
birth, becomes our Mother ; then, again, she is 
entitled to that right by the religious instruc- 
tions which she offers to us ; she also enjoys 
the full right of motherhood, by virtue of the 
care she has for us, and of the Providence 
with which she is gifted for our salvation. 
Can a luoman forget her sucking child, that she 


should not have comjoassion on the son of her 
womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not for- 
get thee. Behold, 1 have graven thee upon the 
palms of my hands ; thy walls are continually 
before me. (Isaiah, xlix, 15, 16.) With these 
words, the Prophet of old comforted the peo- 
ple, who bitterly coraplained of their con- 
dition, as they needed the Grace of God, and 
waited the Saviour, who was to give it to 
them. And now, thanks to that love of God, 
which we cannot describe with our human 
tongues, we live in the good age of opportun- 
ities; the Grace of God has touched u^; yea, the 
Son of God lualks ui the midst of men. 

Yet the Grace of God is not like the air, 
which is poured out alike for all nature and 
all mankind ; the merits of the suffering 
and death of Jesus Christ on the cross are not 
appropriated to men against their will. The 
virtue of our Lord's glorification does not sanc- 
tify every one of us alike ; His Apostle says : 
There is one glory of the sun, and another glory 
of the moon, and another glory o^ the stars: for 
one star differeth from another star in glory. So 
also is the resurrection of the dead. (1 Cor. xv : 


Jesus, who gave Himself as a price for to 
redeem man from the Devil, from the sufifer- 
ings of sins, from spiritual and therefore eter- 
nal death, He, our Saviour, demands, that 
we be faithful followers of His word, in order 
to retain the new life while we yet walk in the 
dangerous path of this material world, while 
we yet may fall a prey to the changes of time. 
Jesus Christ, our Lord and God, will, at the last 
terrible Judgment Day, exact of us who call 
ourselves Christians an account as to how 
we have fulfilled His commandments. / will 
build my Church, He said ; and we who have 
the privilege of being members of His organ- 
ization, must be obedient and keep within the 
bounds, for He has fixed a limit, as well as He 
has beautifully reared the whole of parts. He, 
the anxious shepherd of His flock, has also 
said : If thy brother neglect to hear the Church, 
let him be to thee as an heathen man and a publi- 
can. (Matt, xviii : 17.) Likewise, the faith- 
ful servant of Jesus Christ, St. Paul, who 
jealously guarded the purity and wholesome- 
ness of the Church, has said : For there are 
unruly ones, vain talkers and deceivers, lohose 
mouths must be stopped ; who subvert whole houses, 


teaching things which they ought not, for filthy 
lucre's sake. (Tit. i : 10, 11.) 

Now, I think, the object of to-day's lesson 
can be explained more clearly for you ; i. e. 
that the Church is our Mother, and that we 
ought, with stronger faith, give up ourselves 
to her care, earnestly studying her services 
and law, and the measures of discipline by 
which she seeks to benefit all of us in this 
earthly life, as well as to prepare us for our 
everlasting home. Time and again you have 
been told from this holy altar how the Holy 
Church, our Mother, besides giving spiritual 
birth to her children, and confirming them in 
moral strength by the Holy Ghost, then feed- 
ing them with the body and blood of the 
Lamb of God ; how, besides this, she guides 
them in all those things which are neces- 
sary in every-day home-life, and likewise 
for the prosperity of sober and honorable 

The true Christian asks the Church to extend 
her blessings over his fields, his cattle, his 
vineyard, his fishing-boat, and over the mate- 
rial and place where he intends to build a 
home or a house of business, that he may be 


reminded that Christian laws are to rule the 
establishment where a Christian earns his 
living; likewise his sleeping and cooking 
apartments. Parents ask the Church to invoke 
God's blessing over the heads of their young 
children who are just commencing their 
school-days ; and public thanks are offered up 
when young people have successfull}^ gradu- 
ated. When the inhabitants of a province or 
state celebrate the anniversary of some noble 
patriot, or when, in general, Christians com- 
memorate the virtues of a holy man, a hero of 
the Cross, their holiday (feasting and innocent 
merry-making) is crowned with the prayer and 
blessing of the Church of which the saint 
himself is still an active member ! The sick 
are brought before the altar where the Church 
of Jesus Christ assembles ; prayers are asked 
for those who are making voyages by sea or 
land, and the poor are remembered. Com- 
mending ourselves, and one another, the beat- 
ings of many hearts are heard in the one voice 
of our Mother, the Church, when she offers 
her prayers, together with the saints, for the 
weak members of the body who are given to 
sinful passions, and for those who, by their 


sacrilegious stubbornness, have fallen from the 
Grace of God ! Yes, the Church is the only 
school where man may learn how to grow to 
the full measure of true manhood, unto the 
measure of the groioih of Christ. Should we not 
then give more attention to the little children 
in our congregation? Ah, yes! This is an 
obligation required of all Christians. The 
Church is particularly anxious concerning the 
welfare of children. The responsibility of 
parents for their children is very great. They 
are, in fact, the earthly guardians in custody 
of the children of Almighty God, their Heav- 
enly Father. Teach the little ones. Yet 
before their minds are capable of retaining 
impressions — speak to their hearts, mould 
them to the form of the beautiful and holy. 
Make over them the sign of the life-giving 
Cross. Teach them to distinguish from other 
pictures a painting of our good Lord, or His 
Holy Mother, and some Biblical sketch. At 
first, the child may not know, but it can easily 
be made to feel that God always sees it, when 
it is naughty, etc. While He was on earth, 
working out for us our salvation, the Son of 
God said : Suffer the little children to come unto 


me, for of such is the Kingdom of God, (Luke, 
xviii : 16.) Take heed that ye despise not one of 
these little ones; for I say unto you that in heaven 
their angels do aliuays behold the face of My 
Father luhich is in Heaven. The teaching of 
the Gospel plainly tells us that the children of 
the Select have their angels in heaven, which 
— as their representatives — can rejoice on their 
account, as well as they can become offended 
for any wrong done to them. When it becomes 
possible for you to teach your little children to 
pray together with the angels, then you will 
experience a better change in the moral and 
spiritual, condition of your family. 

Ah, yes ! Parents are ever anxious over 
their children ! They 'give much of their 
strength, of their time, and of their money in 
order to make of their children mechanics, 
merchants, laborers, artists. Some — but not 
many — add to this their patriotic zeal, so as 
to give to their country good citizens. This 
is necessary, and very good. But do we not 
also see around us great abuse in the education 
and bringing up of children ? We now and 
then see children, dressed in fine and soft 
clothing, who do not know how to greet a 


friend, or who have no consideration whatever 
for an old person. 

Yes, luxury has harmed many a son and 
cursed the life of many a daughter. If you 
are Christians, then give your children, above 
all, a Christian education. Many books and 
papers are now printed which sell for little 
money. Do not allow them to select their 
own reading. The food for their minds must 
be given with great discrimination, else they 
develop passions, false characters, and, with 
their poisoned minds, create disturbances in 
society. Does it not make you feel happy 
when any one praises you, or your children, 
and exclaims, " What a clever person ! What 
a beautiful person!" This happiness is not 
enough for the Church. She strives to give 
us a higher name ; she strives to instruct her 
children so, that when each one of them is 
looked upon, one who cannot read will be able 
to read in their faces and actions their holy 
name : A man of God, a nohle Christian woman! 
And those which do not shine with the light 
of God's life within them are not Christians at 

" Ah ! I do not think/' says St. John 


Chrysostom, "that there are many among the 
priests which will be saved. I think, rather, 
there are many more among them which will 
be condemned ! " Therefore, the holy Church, 
which is also anxious for her ministers,' 
requires the aid of parents in giving their 
children a wholesome Christian education. 
Especially the sponsors— i. e. the godfather 
and godmother— are responsible for the moral 
and religious welfare of their children accord- 
ing to the Spirit. Living together in the 
Church of God, with all the opportunities 
before us to-day, let us hope that the words of 
the holy prophet will be fulfilled for us also : 
1 will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my 
blessing upon thine offspring ; and they shall 
spring up as among the grass, as luillows by the 
water-courses. One shall say, 1 am the Lord's, 
and another shall subscribe ivith his hand unto 
the Lord. Amen. 


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