"The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom"
(Proverbs 9:10; Psalm 111:10)
A homily by a hieroschema monk that can apply to the transmission of wisdom to our children:
The first 2 verses in today's Gospel read: "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!"
St Anthony the Great once commented on this excerpt from the Gospels and his words are preserved for us in the writings of St John Cassian in the talk of the Egyptian monk Abba Moses on discretion. So Abba Moses spoke as follows:
"I remember that while I was still in my youth, in the region of Thebaid, where the blessed Antony lived, the elders came to him to inquire about perfection, and it was discussed at great length what virtue or observance could preserve a monk always unharmed by the snares and deceits of the devil, and carry him forward on a sure and right path, and with firm step to the heights of perfection. And each gave his opinion, and some said it consist in zeal in fasting and vigils, because a soul that has been brought low by these, and so obtained purity of heart and body and are more easily united to God, others said in despising all material things, as, if the mind were utterly deprived of them, thus it would come more freely to God, as if from then on there were no snares to entangle it; others thought that withdrawal from the world was the thing needful, i.e., solitude and the isolation of the hermit's life, since living in this way a man may more readily commune with God, and cling more especially to Him; others laid down that the duties of charity, i.e., of kindness should be practiced, because the Lord in the gospel promised more especially to give the kingdom to these; when He said 'Come ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was an hungred and ye gave Me to eat, I was thirsty and ye gave Me to drink, etc..'"
"Then at last the blessed Antony spoke and said: 'All these things which you have mentioned are indeed needful, and helpful to those who are thirsting for God, and desirous to approach Him. But countless accidents and the experience of many will not allow us to make the most important of gifts consist in them. For often when men are most strict in fasting or in vigils, and nobly withdraw into solitude, and aim at depriving themselves of all their goods so absolutely that they do not allow even a day's allowance of food or a single penny to remain to them, and when they fulfill all the duties of kindness with the utmost devotion, yet still we have seen them suddenly deceived, so that they could not bring the work they had entered upon to a suitable close, but brought their exalted fervor and praiseworthy manner of life to a terrible end.'"
"'Therefore we shall be able clearly to recognize what it is which securely leads to God, if we examine with greater care the reason of their downfall and deception. For when the works of the above mentioned virtues were abounding in them, discretion alone was lacking, and did not allowed them to continue to the end. Nor can any other reason for their falling off be discovered except that as they were not sufficiently instructed by their elders they could not obtain judgment for Christ says, "if the light which is in thee be darkness, how great will that darkness be!" For no one can doubt that when the judgment of our heart goes wrong, and is overwhelmed by the night of ignorance, our thoughts and deeds, which are the result of deliberation and discretion, must be involved in the darkness of still greater sins.'"
Here St. Anthony is speaking of discretion in reference to ascetic labors but today we find ourselves in such an atmosphere both in the world and the Church that we need discretion concerning correct understanding of our Orthodox Faith. Yes, are we holding fast to the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints? We find ourselves in the midst of varying conflicting opinions even in the Church. So we need discretion, the eye of our souls must be whole. How can we acquire this discretion? What can safeguard our hearts from error?
Something very helpful which can be expressed in one word is piety, or evsevia in Greek or blagochestiye in Slavonic. This is a holy humble blessed fearless fear of God in which there is peace. It is the core of our life in Christ. St. Theophan the Recluse explains it like this: "the standing in awe before God in the heart. This fear is the guardian and defender of the state of grace." And he goes on to instruct: "Steep yourself in this godly fear, reflect deeply upon it, and impress it firmly upon your conscience and heart. Revivify it constantly within yourself, and in its turn it will fill you with life."
In another place he says: "We should always hold fast to the fear of God it is the root of all spiritual knowledge and all right action. When the fear of God rules in the soul everything goes well both within and without. Try to kindle this sense of fear in your heart every morning before you do anything else. "
Let us, then strive to fulfill St. Theophan's instructions. And remember this is not an intellectual acknowledgement that he speaks of, or a working of the brain but rather that of the heart. For he said, "Try to kindle this sense of fear in your heart" and "stand in awe before God in the heart." Then we shall be able to perceive with our heart, again I want to stress that this is not to understand with the brain but to perceive with the heart--as our Lord shows us in the parable of the sower for He says that the word is sown in the heart and those that understand with their heart bear fruit. May God grant us this and so discern the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. Amen.
Wild elderflower in bloom.
Following Charlotte Mason's educational philosophy makes implementing a classical style of education much easier for the larger or more stressed homeschool family. Her philosophy also harmonizes well with Orthodox patristic teaching. Paidea Classics is working to put together resources to support the implementation of a Charlotte Mason style education for the Orthodox Christian homeschool. To watch slideshow presentations, go to:
Books are on an antique camel bag from Tarsus, Anatolia.
An initial book list for Ancient history, upper elementary through middle school (there will likely be additions to this list over time):
Ancient History for the fluent reader,
late elementary through middle school
The Old Testament
The Bible and the Holy Fathers for Orthodox
The Law of God, by Fr. Seraphim Slobodskoi
The Law of God, by Fr. Daniel Sysoev
Our Young Folks’ Josephus: Antiquities of the Jews and the Jewish Wars
Our Young Folks’ Plutarch (a children’s versions for Greek and Roman lives):
A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys (Greek mythology)
Tanglewood Tales (Greek mythology)
DK Eyewitness Books: Mesopotamia
DK Eyewitness Books: Ancient Egypt
DK Eyewitness Books: Ancient Greece
Ancient Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Persian Costume
Ancient Israelites and Their Neighbors, by Marian Broida (activity book)
Ancient Egyptians and Their Neighbors, By Marian Broida (activity book)
Gilgamesh the King (I recommend this version for high school as well, because the original is quite pornographic in nature)
The Revenge of Ishtar (I recommend this version for high school as well, because the original is quite pornographic in nature)
The Last Quest of Gilgamesh (I recommend this version for high school as well, because the original is quite pornographic in nature)
The Golden Goblet, by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
Mara, Daughter of the Nile (some romantic content)
The Riddle of the Rosetta Stone
The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt
The Wanderings of Odysseus, by Rosemary Sutcliff
Black Ships Before Troy, by Rosemary Sutcliff
Archimedes and the Door of Science
Galen and the Gateway to Medicine
God King: A Story to the Days of King Hezekiah
Herodotus And the Road to History
Victory on the Walls, A Story of Nehemiah
Book of Centuries:
Actual bound book as Charlotte Mason used in her schools
Book of Centuries Source Book: The Ancient World (in development)
Ancient History Portfolio and Timeline (A curriculum inspired by the book of centuries idea though not actually following Charlotte Mason’s philosophy. Developed by an Orthodox Christian. Recommended for ages 9 and up)
Ancient History Portfolio Junior (recommended for ages 5-10)
Poetry and Copywork:
Lives of Old Testament Saints in chronological order from the prologue including Troparia for copywork is in development.
Quotes from Proverbs, hymns from Exodus.
Glory to God for All Things! Nature Journal
From I-ville to You-ville, by Angeliki Delecha
Lives of Old Testament Saints
Books are on an antique camel bag from Tarsus, Anatolia.
Here is a listing of free e-texts of classic children's literature covering ancient history from Baldwin Project. I have not read most of these and cannot speak for their quality, appropriateness, or intended age. But having them separated from the general list may aid in lesson planning. It would be nice to have these arranged chronologically in the future with a short description. Maybe I can get that done at some point. There are other sites with public domain children's literature as well. Hopefully, in time, I can also include them in a master list in chronological and geographic order.
The first book in this list is "Our Young Folks' Josephus," a book Paidea Classics has published with illustrations.
Our Young Folks’ Josephus (From Abraham until the Fall of Jerusalem)
Cyrus the Great (Persia 600 BC)
Darius the Great (Persia 550-486 BC)
Xerxes (Persia 519-466 BC)
The Hammer (Jerusalem 174 BC)
Our Young Folks’ Plutarch (Greece and Rome 820 BC-69 AD)
Plutarch’s Lives for Boys and Girls (Greece and Rome 820 BC-69 AD)
Children’s Plutarch: Tales of the Greeks (820 BC-69 AD)
Aesop’s Fables (Aesop’s life: 620-564 BC)
The Aesop for Children (Aesop’s life: 620-564 BC)
The Story of the Greek People
The Illiad for Boys and Girls (8th or 7th century BC)
The Odyssey for Boys and Girls (8th or 7th century BC)
The Iliad (8th or 7th century BC)
The Odyssey (8th or 7th century BC)
Stories from Plato and Other Classic Writers (428-348 BC)
Stories from the Greek Comedians
Stories from the Greek Tragedians
Old Greek Stories
The Story of Greece
A Story of the Golden Age of Greek Heroes
Historical Tales: Greek
The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Before Achilles (Greek Mythology)
Gods and Heroes (Greek Mythology)
Four Old Greeks
Greek Gods, Heroes, and Men (Greek Mythology)
Tanglewood Tales (Greek Mythology)
A Wonderbook for Girls and Boys
The Golden Porch
The Heroes (Greek Mythology)
Old Greek Folk Stories Told Anew
Stories of the Ancient Greeks
Stories of the East from Herodotus
The Story of the Persian War
The Story of the Greeks
Stories from Greek History
Callias–The Fall of Athens (5th century BC)
Three Greek Children
A Young Macedonian
Our Little Athenian Cousin of Long Ago
Pictures from Greek Life and Story
Pyrrhus (318-272 BC)
Famous Men of Greece
Alexander the Great (356-323 BC)
Cleopatra (69-30 BC)
Lords of the World
Children’s Plutarch: Tales of the Romans
Famous Men of Rome
Lucius. Adventures of a Roman Boy
Pictures from Roman Life and Story
Roman Life in the Days of Cicero (106-43 BC)
Stories from Ancient Rome
Stories from Livy (59 BC-17 AD)
The Story of the Romans
Stories in Stone from the Roman Forum
The Story of Rome
Historical Tales: Roman
The Aeneid for Boys and Girls
Stories of Beowulf Told to the Children (ancient English poem)
St. Paisios' hermitage in Sinai, Egypt
(Father Paisius was a noted Athonite elder. The following conversation with Father Paisius took place in August 1990.)
Q. Yeronda (Gk. for elder), there are so many temptations and dangers for young people today. And although we see to it as much as we can to have our children within the church, we worry. Is this concern justified?
A. For children who have been watered from a young age on piety-do not have fear for them and if they stray a little due to their age or because of temptations-they will come back...
Q. From which age, Yeronda, do you believe that children become "receptive" and how can we as parents take action without endangering them by chance of excessiveness?
A. First of all, children imitate us and of course it starts from infancy. From there onwards we have to have the same concern over them as with watches. We wind them as quickly as their spring will take andthen later on slowly, being careful not to break their spring with force.
Q. Many times they aren't obedient on some important issues and they rebel very badly for their age. Shouldn't we insist especially on things like piety?
A. When something isn't going well, something is always to blame. Maybe our example is to blame? Maybe it's some bad issues, some bad actions, or bad words within the home. However, piety is given to children with their milk and not with solid food. Never with pressure or force. And especially by example.
Q. In cases of wrong actions does spanking bring good results?
A. We must avoid it as much as possible. And also all those continuous "no's" and "don'ts". Make the child understand why he shouldn't do something. Only then can we bring them around.
Q. Even though we try and follow all these things as much as we can, they become rebellious and disobedient. Do you think that it could be because of bad company at school-perhaps it is our fault?...Sometimes, however they surpass every limit and we don't know what to do.
A. Why don't we give the screwdriver to Christ sometimes-let him take care of things and tighten a few screws. Let's not expect to do everything ourselves.
Q. In the case where the child is in the church yet at a certain age he starts to change his ways and stray, how should we handle this?
A. Calmly. If they do something serous, we should intervene. With younger children we should overlook something so we don't turn things around and make things worst.
Q. When a child gets involved with a bad crowd and deserts his home and in the meantime doesn't have much of Christ with him, because unfortunately we are weak- do you think there is much hope that they'll come round?
A. Did they take love with them? Where there is love in the home and the child himself was surrounded by love himself, even if he leaves and gets involved with bad crowds and having a good time, he will see eventually that there is no love outside. He'll see that there is hypocrisy everywhere and he'll return home. But if he remembers hostility and hatred he won't have it in his heart to return home.
Q. When we ourselves have come to know Christ late, that is, when our children have already grown up, what can we do to put them on the right path?
A. In this case, only prayer can bring results. We must ask God with a lot of faith to have mercy on these children who are not responsible for their unbelief. We must recognize that the responsibility is totally ours to humble ourselves and to have genuine repentance, and God will help. He has His way. He'll send them a life jacket to save them.
An excerpt from "Conversations with Children," by Sister Magdelen of the Stavropegic Monastery of St. John the Baptist, Essex, United Kingdom.
THE HEART, THE SPIRITUAL CENTRE OF A PERSON
'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all they mind' (Luke 10:27). Christ put the heart first in His Commandment. The heart is the most personal component of a human being. Our brains and our minds reflect in their way the state of our heart; as the Lord said, thoughts proceed out of the heart (Matt. 15:19, Mark 7:21). 'Our ideas, our philosophical systems, our cosmologies, our world views, are nothing else but the history of our hearts.'* As we develop spiritually, our intellect no longer remains separated, exiled in the brain. Mind and heart are united in a re-integrated person.
The heart is cleansed and awakened by grace and by life according to the Gospel; that is why so many of our contemporaries are only aware of the heart's physical functions. Sometimes they acknowledge also its emotional facet, though in the case of the emotions many consider the term 'heart' to be symbolic or metaphorical. Those who follow a Christian path will discover that the heart is the meeting place between the real 'I', the human hypostasis, and the living God. The pure in heart see God there. Knowledge of Him originates there. The cultivation of the heart is a task beyond any secular educational system. Intellectual ability is now deemed the criterion of knowledge. Because we are spiritually frozen we do not recognize a thought until it has taken a cerebral form. In reality, moral and spiritual judgments are decided in the heart.
Child to a spiritual father: 'What shall I do about [personal problem]?' Elder: 'I think you should decide about that yourself'. Child: 'But I can't' Elder: 'That's because you tried to decide here [hand on forehead] rather than here [hand on heart].'
Obviously this was a personal answer. But the fact that it was given to a child is significant. It also shows us that in Christian life, deciding by the heart does not mean being guided by the emotions rather than by reason. Neither does it mean that feelings are superior to thinking. Nor do we deny the value of reasoning. Deciding by our heart means opening the core of one's being to God's enlightenment, and letting the effect of that prayer colour our decision-making.
In the spiritual education of children, our first concern is not to train their wills, but to attract grace by our life and prayer to their environment, and to let each child's heart become attached to grace. Theological discussion with children is a very small proportion of Christian education. Prayer that God will touch them with grace is a permanent dimension of all our dealings with children, even when they are not with us.
Protopresbyter George Metallinos, recalling the holy Elder Porphyrios: 'He told me that I must deal with one of my children by praying a lot more. He specifically said to me about that child, "Whatever you would say to that child, say it to God. Kneel before God and through the grace of God, your words will be conveyed to your child." About my other child, he said to me: " He listens, but he easily forgets. Therefore, again you will kneel and you will ask for God's grace, so that your fatherly words will fall upon good soil and will be able to bear fruit."**
*Fr. Theokletos Dionysiatis, "Between Heaven and Earth [in Greek], (Athens, 1955), p. 130.
**Klitos Ionnidis, "Elder Porphyrios, Testimonies and Experiences," (Athens: Convent of the Transfiguration, 1997), p. 77.
A Prayer for Children
Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
All-plenteous Lord Jesus Christ, Who was once even Thyself a child and Who used to love and bless children, have mercy upon the children of our time, and save them - so that unbaptized children may be baptized, and so that baptized children may be strengthened in their faith in Thee, Who art Truth eternal, and in their love for Thee, Who art Love ineffable.
Save, O Lord, those children whom unbelieving parents corrupt with atheism and turn away from Thee, their Savior and salvation.
Save, O All-meek Lord, also those children whom evil teachers, without God or soul, alienate from Thee, their Savior and salvation.
Save, O Lord, also those children whose pure soul is defiled by all the immorality in the streets, in the theater, and on television -save them from the impurity of the streets and the theater and from every impurity.
Save, O All-merciful Lord, also those children who are orphans and have fallen into the hands of cruel guardians, or bad stepfathers or stepmothers, or those who are supposed to rear them but do not -- save them from hearing blasphemous words and from seeing malicious deeds.
Save, O Son of God, the sons of the sons of men, whom the world tugs here and there into many physical trainings and occupations, without giving them any training in Thy Holy Law, training in proper thoughts, in truth and mercy, and in all deeds of goodness and righteousness.
Help the children of this age, O Almighty One, so that they may grow up and mature to Divine sonship and heavenly citizenship, for their eternal salvation and for Thy glory and praise. Amen.
From The Struggle for Faith and other writings of Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich and Archimandrite Justin Popovich, Vol IV of A Treasury of Serbian Orthodox Spirituality
Prayer of Contrite Repentance
Prayer of Contrite Repentance (St. Seraphim of Sarov advised people to say this in moments of despondency and as an antidote to despair.)
Master and Lord of Heaven and Earth and King of the ages. Deign to open the door of repentance to me, for in anguish of my heart I pray to Thee, our true God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Light of the world. Look upon me in Thy great loving-kindness and accept my prayer. Incline Thine ear to my prayer and forgive me all the evil that I have done by the abuse of my free will.
Behold, I seek rest, yet I do not find it, for I have not received forgiveness from my conscience. I thirst for peace, but there is no peace in me from the dark abyss of my transgressions. Hear, O Lord, a heart which cries to Thee. Regard not my evil deeds, but consider the agony of my soul and make haste to heal me who am badly wounded.
By the grace of Thy love for men, give me time for repentance and deliver me from my shameful deeds, lest I finally perish. Hear me, O Lord, in my despair. Behold, I am bereft of my will and of every thought of amendment. Therefore, I have recourse to Thy compassion. Have mercy on me, cast down and condemned on account of my sins.
O Lord, rescue me who am enslaved and held by my evil deeds, as if I were shackled with chains. Thou Alone knowest how to set prisoners free; and as Thou Alone knowest secret things, Thou healest wounds that are known by no one but seen by Thee. Therefore, being tortured in every way by cruel pains, I cry only to Thee, the Physician of all who are afflicted, the Door of those who knock without, the Way of the lost, the Light of those in darkness, the Redeemer of those in bonds, Who ever restrainest Thy right hand and withholdest Thy anger prepared for sinners, but Who givest time for repentance through Thy great love for men.
O Thou Who art quick to show mercy and slow to punish, shine upon me, who have fallen badly, the light of Thy countenance, O Lord. In Thy loving-kindness stretch Thy hand to me and raise me from the depth of my transgressions. For Thou Alone art our God, Who dost not rejoice at the destruction of sinners, and Who dost not turn away Thy face from those who cry to Thee with tears.
Hear, O Lord, the voice of Thy servant who cries to Thee, and manifest Thy light to me who am deprived of light, and give me Thy grace, for I have no hope whatever, that I may always trust in Thy help and power. Turn my weeping into joy, rend my rags and gird me with gladness. Grant that I may rest from my dark deeds and enjoy the morning calm with Thy chosen, O Lord, whence all pain, sorrow and sighing have fled away. May the door of Thy Kingdom be opened to me, that I may enter with those who rejoice in the light of Thy countenance, O Lord, and that even I may receive eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
An Index of Lives of Saints Arranged in Chronological Order
For the five volumes now currently available of the "The Lives of Saints," published by Chrysostom Press.
Note: Dates are approximate (there is some variation among different sources) and generally mark the repose of the saint.
O.T. The Holy Prophet Moses, the Godseer (Sep. 4)
O.T. The Holy Prophet Daniel and the Three Youths Ananias, Azarias, and Misael (Dec. 17)
O.T. The Holy Prophet Hosea (Oct. 17)
O.T. The Holy Prophet Joel (Oct. 19)
O.T. The Holy Prophet Obadiah (Nov. 19)
O.T. The Holy Prophet Jonah (Sep. 22)
O.T. The Holy Prophet Nahum (Dec. 1)
O.T. The Holy Prophet Habakkuk (Dec. 2)
O.T. The Holy Prophet Zephaniah (Dec. 3)
O.T. The Holy Prophet Haggai (Dec. 16)
O.T. The Holy Prophet Malachi (Jan. 3)
O.T./N.T. The Synaxis of the Holy Archangel Michael and the Other Bodiless Powers (Nov. 8)
N.T. The Holy Prophet Zacharias, Father of the Forerunner (Sep. 5)
N.T. The Conception of St. John the Forerunner (Sep. 23)
N.T. Synaxis of St. John the Forerunner (Jan. 7)
Narrative Concerning the Hand of the Forerunner (Jan. 7)
N.T. The Holy Ancestors of God, Joachim and Anna (Sep. 9)
N.T. The Conception of the Most Holy Theotokos (Dec. 9)
N.T. Nativity of the Most Pure Theotokos (Sep. 8)
N.T. The Entrance into the Temple of Our Most Pure Lady, The Theotokos (Nov. 21)
The Protection of our Most Pure Lady, the Theotokos (Oct. 1)
N.T. The Holy Righteous Joseph the Betrothed (Dec. 26)
N.T. The Nativity of our Lord, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ (Dec. 25)
N.T. A Narrative of the Nativity of Christ (Dec. 25)
N.T. A Homily by St. Demetrius of Rostov (Dec. 25)
N.T. A Narrative of the Adoration of the Magi (Dec. 25)
N.T. Homily on the Circumcision of the Lord (Jan. 1)
N.T. The Meeting of the Lord: Homily by St. Demetrius of Rostov (Feb 2)
N.T. The Righteous Symeon the God-receiver (Feb 3)
N.T. A Narrative of the Flight into Egypt (Dec. 25)
N.T. The Holy 14,000 Infants Slain in Bethlehem (Dec. 29)
N.T. The Theophany of Our Lord, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ (Jan. 6)
N.T. Synaxarion for Theophany (Jan. 6)
N.T. Homily by St. John Chrysostom (Jan. 6)
N.T. Homily by St. Demetrius of Rostov (Jan. 6)
N.T. The Holy Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen (Dec. 27)
N.T. The Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called (Nov. 30) [Greece, Russia]
N.T. A Homily on the Holy Apostle Andrew, written by St. John Chrysostom (Nov. 30)
N.T. The Honored Chains of the Holy Apostle Peter (Jan. 16)
N.T. The Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke (Oct. 18) [Beothia]
N.T. The Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew (Nov. 16) [Ethiopia]
N.T. The Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian (Sep. 26)
N.T. The Holy Apostle James, Brother of the Lord (Oct. 23) [Jerusalem]
N.T. The Holy Apostle Thomas (Oct. 6) [India]
N.T. The Holy Martyr Longinus, the Centurion Who Stood by the Cross (Oct. 16)
N.T. The Holy Apostle Philip (Nov. 14)
N.T. The Holy Apostle Quadratus of the Seventy (Sep. 21)
N.T. The Holy Apostle Timothy, One of the Seventy (Jan. 22)
N.T. Synaxis of the Holy Seventy Apostles (Jan. 4)
N.T. The Holy Hieromartyr Cornelius the Centurion (Sep. 13)
N.T. and (Apostolic) The Holy Apostle Onesimus of the Seventy (Feb 15)
(Apostolic) The Holy Protomartyr and Equal-to-the-Apostles Thecla (Sep. 24)
(Apostolic) The Holy Apostle Ananias (Oct. 1)
(Apostolic) The Holy Apostles Evodus and Onesiphorus (Sep. 7)
(Apostolic) The holy Hieromartyr Hierotheus, Bishop of Athens (Oct. 4)
(Apostolic) The Holy Apostle James, Son of Alpheus (Oct. 9)
(Apostolic) The Holy Apostle Phillip, One of the Seven Deacons (Oct. 11)
(Apostolic) The Holy Apostles Stachys, Amplias, Urban, Narcissus, Apellas, and Aristobulus of the Seventy (Oct. 31)
(Apostolic) The Holy Martyrs Nicander, Bishop of Myra and Hermas the Presbyter (Nov. 4)
(Apostolic) The Holy Apostles Olympas, Herodion, Sosipater, Erastus, Quartus, and Tertius (Nov. 10)
(Apostolic) The Holy Apostles Philemon and Archippus and the Martyr Apphia (Nov. 22)
1st c. The Holy Martyrs Nazarius, Gervasius, Protasius, and Celsius (Oct. 14) [Emperor Nero]
81-96 A.D. St. Zosimas the Desert-dweller (Sep. 19) [Emperor Domitian - Nazareth, Palestine]
96 A.D. The Holy Hieromartyr Dionysius the Areopagite (Oct. 3) [Domition]
98-117 A.D. The Holy Great Martyr Eustathius Placidas (Sep. 20) [Emperors Titus and Trajan - Rome, Egypt]
98-117 A.D. The Holy Martyrs Romulus and Eudoxius (Sep. 6) [Emperor Trajan, Armenia]
98-117 A.D. Translation of the Relics of St. Ignatius the God-bearer (Jan. 29) [Trajan]
98-117 A.D. The Holy Martyr Phocas, the Gardener of Sinope (Sep. 22) [Emperor Trajan - by the Black Sea]
101 A.D. The Holy Hieromartyr Clement, Pope of Rome (Nov. 25)
106 A.D. The Holy Hieromartyr Ignatius the God-bearer (Dec. 20) [Trajan, Antioch]
120 A.D. The Holy Hieromartyr Eleutherius and His Mother Anthia (Dec. 15) [Hadrian]
117-138 A.D. The Holy Martyr Eupsychius (Sep. 7) [Emperor Hadrian]
117-138 A.D. The Holy Martyr Ariadne (Sep. 18) [Emperor Hadrian - Phrygia]
126 A.D. The Holy Martyrs Faith, Hope, and Love, and their Mother, Sophia (Sep. 17) [Emperor Hadrian, Rome]
138-161 A.D. St. Abercius, Equal-to-the-Apostles, Bishop of Hierapolis (Oct. 22) [Emperor Antoninus]
138-161 A.D. The Holy Martyrs Victor and Stephanida (Nov. 11) [Emperor Antoninus]
161-180 A.D. Martyrs Speusippus, Eleusippus, and Meleusippus (Jan. 16) [Marcus Aurelius]
Before 167 A.D. St. Bucolus, Bishop of Smyrna (Feb 6)
167 A.D. Holy Hieromartyr Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna (Feb 23)
225 A.D. The Holy Virgin-martyr Tatiana (Jan. 12)
230 A.D. The Holy Martyr Cecilia and the Martyrs Valerian, Tiburtius, and Maximus (Nov. 22)
236 A.D. The Holy Hieromartyr Hippolytus of Rome (Jan. 30)
250 A.D. The Holy Hieromartyr Babylas (Sep. 4) [Emperor Numerian, Antioch]
250 A.D. The Holy Martyr Tryphon (Feb 1)
250 A.D. The Holy Martyr Epimachus (Oct. 31) [Decius]
250 A.D. The Holy Martyr Paramon (Nov. 29)
250 A.D. The Ten Holy Martyrs of Crete (Dec. 23) [Decius, Crete]
250 A.D. The Holy Martyrs Thyrsus, Leucius, and Callinicus (Dec. 14) [Decius]
25? A.D. The Holy great Martyr Mercurius (Nov. 24)
249-251 A.D. The Holy Martyr Anastasia the Roman (Oct. 29) [Decius]
251 A.D. The Holy Martyr Myrope (Dec. 2)
251 A.D. The Holy Martyrs Carpus, Papylas, Agathadorus, and Agathonica (Oct. 13)
251 A.D. The Holy Virgin-martyr Agatha (Feb. 5)
253 A.D. The Holy Martyrs Galacteon and Episteme (Nov. 5)
259 A.D. The Holy Martyr Polyeuctus (Jan. 9) [Valerian]
262 A.D. The Holy Martyr Eugenia the Virgin (Dec 24)
266 A.D. The Holy Martyr Plato (Nov. 18)
270 A.D. St. Gregory the Wonderworker, Bishop of Neo-Caesarea (Nov. 17)
275 A.D. The Holy Martyr Mamas (Sep. 2) [Emperor Aurelian, Caesarea]
277 A.D. The Holy Martyrs Trophimus, Sabbatius, and Dorymedon (Sep. 19) [Emperor Probus, Antioch]
285 A.D. The Holy Hieromartyr Zenobius, Bishop of Aegae, and His Sister Zenobia (Oct. 30)
290 A.D. The Holy Martyr Euphrasia (Jan. 19) [Maximian]
Late 3rd c. The Holy Hieromartyr Cyprian and the Holy Martyr Justina the Virgin (Oct. 2)
298 A.D. The Holy Martyr Hieron and His Companions (Nov. 7)
284-305 A.D. The Holy Martyrs Onesiphorus and Porphyrius (Nov. 9) [Diocletian]
284-305 A.D. The Holy Martyr Orestes (Nov. 10) [Diocletian, Maximian]
284-305 A.D. The Holy Great Martyr Parasceva (Oct. 28) [Diocletian]
284-305 A.D. The Holy Martyrs Tarachus, Probus, and Andronicus (Oct. 12) [Diocletian]
284-305 A.D. The Holy Martyr Theodula (Feb. 5)
286-305 A.D. The Holy Martyrs Menas, Mermogenes, and Eugraphus (Dec. 10) [Maximian]
286-305 A.D. The Holy Martyrs Eulampius and Eulampia (Oct. 10) [Maximian]
286-305 A.D. The Holy Martyr Theotecnus (Oct. 10) [Maximian]
284-305 A.D. The Holy Martyrs Eustratius, Auxentius, Eugene, Mardarius, and Orestes (Dec. 13) [Diocletian, Maximian]
284-305 A.D. The Holy Martyr Neophytus (Jan. 21) [Diocletian]
284-305 A.D. The Holy Martyrs Valerian, Candidus, Aquila, and Eugene (Jan. 21) [Diocletian]
284-305 A.D. The Holy Martyr Philemon and Those With Him (Dec. 14) [Diocletian]
286-305 A.D. The Holy Martyrs Eustace, Thespesius, and Anatolius (Nov. 20) [Maximian]
287 A.D. The Holy Martyr Sebastian and Those With Him (Dec. 18)
290 A.D. The Holy Martyr Boniface and St. Aglaida (Dec. 19)
298 A.D. The Holy Martyr Anysia the Virgin (Dec. 30)
298 A.D. The Holy Martyrs Theopemptus and Theonas (Jan. 5)
302 A.D. The Holy 20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia (Dec. 28)
303 A.D. The Holy Martyrs Sergius and Bacchus (Oct. 7)
303 A.D. The Holy Great Martyr Euphemia (Sep. 16) [Proconsul Priscus, Chalcedon]
303 A.D. The Holy Hieromartyr Anthimus, Bishop of Nicomedia (Sep. 3) [Diocletian and Maximian]
303 A.D. The holy Martyrs Romanus and Barulas (Nov. 18)
303 A.D. The Holy Martyrs Gurias, Samonas, and Abibus, the Confessors (Nov. 15) [Diocletian]
304 A.D. The Holy Martyr Juliana the Virgin and Those With Her (Dec. 21)
304 A.D. The Holy Great Martyr Anastasia, the Deliverer from Bonds, and Those With Her (Dec. 22)
304 A.D. The Holy Martyr Lucia the Virgin (Dec. 13)
304 A.D. The Holy Martyr Sozon (Sep. 7) [Maximian, Silicia]
304 A.D. The Holy Great Martyr Menas (Nov. 11) [Egypt]
304 A.D. The Holy Martyr Vincent the Deacon (Nov. 11)
304 A.D. The Holy Martyr Barlaam the Elder (Nov. 19)
304 A.D. A Homily on Barlaam, written by St. Basil (Nov. 19)
304 A.D. A Homily on Barlaam, written by St. John Chrysostom (Nov. 19)
304 A.D. The Holy Martyr Varus and the Seven Christian teachers with Him, and the Blessed Cleopatra and Her Son John (Oct. 19) [Maximian]
305 A.D. The Holy Virgin-martyr Agnes (Jan. 21)
305 A.D. The Holy Martyrs and Unmercenaries Cosmas and Damian of Arabia (Oct. 17) [Diocletian and Maximian]
303-311 A.D. The Holy Virgin Martyrs Menodora, Metrodora, and Nymphodora (Sep. 10) [Governor Fronton - Asian Bithynia]
306 A.D. The Holy Martyr Nestor (Oct. 27)
306 A.D. The Holy Great-martyr Barbara (Dec. 4)
309 A.D. The Holy Virgin Martyr Basilissa of Nicomedia (Sep. 3) [Diocletian and Maximian]
310 A.D. The Holy Great Martyr Catherine (Nov. 24)
311 A.D. The Holy Hieromartyr Peter, Archbishop of Alexandria (Nov. 25)
311 A.D. The Holy Unmercenary Healers Cyrus and John, and the Holy Martyrs Athanasia and Her Three Daughters (Jan. 31)
311 A.D. The Holy Martyr Peter the Absalomite (Jan. 12)
312 A.D. The Holy Martyr Lucian, the Presbyter of Antioch (Oct. 15)
312 A.D. The Holy Martyrs Clement, Bishop of Ancyra, and Agathangelus (Jan. 23)
312-323 A.D. The Holy Martyr Severian (Sep. 9) [Emperor Licinius, Sebaste]
312-323 A.D. The Holy Hieromartyr Autonomus (Sep. 12) [Diocletian - Italy, Bithynia in Asia]
313 A.D. The Holy Martyrs Julian and Basilissa (Jan. 8)
Early 4th c. The Holy Martyr Callistratus (Sep. 27) [Carthage]
Early 4th c. St. Niphon, Bishop of Constantia in Cyprus (Dec. 23) [contemporary of St. Athanasius]
4th c. The Holy Martyrs Acepsimas the Bishop, Joseph the Presbyter, and Aethalas the Deacon (Nov. 3) [King Sapor, Persia]
4th c. The Holy Martyr Nicetas the Goth (Sep. 15)
4th c. Massacre of the Holy Fathers at Sinai and Raithou (Jan. 14)
320 A.D. The Holy Martyr Gordius (Jan. 3)
324 A.D. The Holy Martyrs Hermylus and Stratonicus (Jan. 13) [Emperor Licinius]
(Pre-Constantine) The Holy Martyrs Eusebius and Priscus (Sep. 21)
(Pre-Constantine) The Holy Martyr Theodotus of Alexandria (Sep. 13)
(Pre-Constantine) The Holy Martyrs Terence and Neonilla and Their Seven Children (Oct. 28)
325 A.D. The Dedication of the Temple of the Resurrection in Jerusalem (Sep. 13)
325 A.D. The Elevation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross (Sep. 14)
330 A.D. The Holy Hieromartyr Gregory, Bishop of Armenia (Sep. 30)
335 A.D. St. Sylvester, Pope of Rome (Jan. 2)
340 A.D. Our Holy Mother Thais the Nun (Oct. 8)
340 A.D. Our Holy Father Paul the Simple (Oct. 4)
342 A.D. Our Holy Father Paul of Thebes (Jan. 15)
(Unknown Desert Father) A Certain God-fearing Recluse (Feb 4)
343 A.D. St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra (Dec. 6)
348 A.D. St. Spyridon, Bishop of Tremithus (Dec. 12)
350 A.D. St. James, Bishop of Nisibis (Jan. 13)
350 A.D. Our Holy Mother Syncletica the Nun (Jan. 5)
350 A.D. Our Holy Father Ammon (Oct. 4)
350 A.D. Our Holy Father Chariton the Confessor (Sep. 28) [Emperor Aurelian, Iconium]
351 A.D. St. Paul the Confessor, Patriarch of Constantinople (Nov. 6)
355 A.D. The Holy Martyrs Acindynus, Pegasius, Anempodistus, Elpidephorus, and Aphthonius (Nov. 2) [King Sapor, Persia]
355 A.D. The Holy Martyrs Marcian and Martyrius (Oct. 25)
356 A.D. St. Anthony the Great (Jan. 17) [Egypt]
360 A.D. Our Holy Father Abramius the Recluse and His Niece, Blessed Mary (Oct. 29) [Edessa, Mesopotamia]
362 A.D. The Holy Martyr Artemius (Oct. 20)
364-378 A.D. The Holy Martyrs Urban, Theodore, and Medimnus (Sep. 5) [Emperor Valens - an Arian]
372 A.D. Our Holy Father Hilarion the Great (Oct. 21)
373 A.D. Our Holy Father Ephraim the Syrian (Jan. 28)
373 A.D. St. Athanasius the Great, Archbishop of Alexandria (Jan. 18) [Egypt]
377 A.D. Our Holy Father Euthymius the Great (Jan. 20)
379 A.D. St. Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia (Jan. 1)
379-395 A.D. Our Holy Father Andronicus and His Holy Spouse Athanasia (Oct. 9) [Emperor Theodosius the Great]
379-395 A.D. Our Holy Mother Euphrosyne the Nun of Alexandria (Sep. 25)
389 A.D. St. Gregory the Theologian, Patriarch of Constantinople (Jan. 25)
390 A.D. Our Holy Father Macarius of Egypt (Jan. 19)
395 A.D. St. Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa (Jan. 10)
395 A.D. St. Amphilochius, Bishop of Iconium (Nov. 23)
397 A.D. St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan (Dec. 7)
400 A.D. The Holy Martyr James the Persian (Nov. 27)
407 A.D. St. John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople (Nov. 13)
(Pre-Nestorian, before 428 A.D.) Our Holy Fathers Barlaam and Joasaph of India (Nov. 19)
431 A.D. St. Paulinus the Merciful, Bishop of Nola (Jan. 23)
436 A.D. Our Holy Father Isidore of Pelusium (Feb 4)
438 A.D. Our Holy Mother Melania the Roman (Dec. 31)
438 A.D. Translation of the Relics of St. John Chrysostom (Jan. 27)
446 A.D. St. Proclus, Patriarch of Constantinople (Nov. 20)
450 A.D. Our Holy Mother Xenia the Nun (Jan. 24)
450 A.D. Our Holy Father Nilus the Faster (Nov. 12)
450 A.D. Our Holy Father John the Hut-dweller (Jan. 15)
450 A.D. Our Holy Monastic Father Isidore of Pelusium (Feb. 4)
(Pre-Chalcedon, >451 A.D.) Our Holy Fathers Karion and Zacharias (Dec. 5) [Egypt]
5th c. Sts. Xenophon and Mary, and Their Sons John and Arcadius (Jan. 26)
5th c. Second Massacre of the Fathers at Sinai and Raithu (Jan. 14)
453 A.D. St. Pulcheria the Empress (Sep. 10)
460 A.D. St. Symeon the Stylite (Sep. 1)
461 A.D. Our Holy Mother Pelagia the Nun (Oct. 8)
470 A.D. Our Holy Mother Apollinaria (Jan. 5)
471 A.D. St. Marcian the Presbyter (Jan. 10)
474 A.D. Our Holy Mother Domnica the Nun (Jan. 8)
486 A.D. Our Holy Father Markellus, Abbot of the Monastery of the Sleepless Ones (Dec. 29)
489 A.D.) Our Holy Father Daniel the Stylite (Dec. 11)
490 A.D. Our Holy Mother Theodora of Alexandria (Sep. 11)
492 A.D. Our Holy Mother Matrona (Nov. 9)
Late 5th c. St. Gregory, Archbishop of Homer (Dec. 19)
523 A.D. The Holy Martyr Arethas (Oct. 24)
529 A.D. Our Holy Father Theodosius the Coenobiarch (Jan. 11)
530 A.D. St. Romanus the Melodist, Author of Kontakia (Oct. 1)
532 A.D. Our Holy Father Sabbas the Sanctified (Dec. 5)
553 A.D. St. Gregory, Bishop of Agrigentum (Nov. 23)
556 A.D. Our Holy Father Cyriacus the Hermit (Sep. 29)
558 A.D. Our Holy Father John the Silent (Dec. 3)
6th c. St. Boniface the Merciful, Bishop of Florence (Dec. 19)
6th c. Our Holy Father David of Egypt (Sep. 6)
6th c. St. Peter the Publican (Sep. 22) [Emperor Justinian]
6th c. St. Dometian, Bishop of Melitene (Jan. 10)
586 A.D. The Holy Martyr Hermeningilda, Prince of the Goths (Nov. 1)
595 A.D. St. John the Faster, Archbishop of Constantinople (Sep. 2)
620 A.D. St. John the Merciful, Patriarch of Alexandria (Nov. 12)
628 A.D. The Holy Martyr Anastasius the Persian (Jan. 22)
640 A.D. Our Holy Father Alypius the Stylite (Nov. 26)
Our Holy Father Acacius of Sinai (Nov. 29) [found in the "Ladder of Divine Ascent," by St. John Climacus +649 A.D.]
662 A.D. St. Maximus the Confessor (Jan. 21)
7th c. Our Holy Father Patapius of Thebes (Dec. 8)
7th c. Our Holy Father George the Chozebite (Jan. 8)
7th c. Our Holy Father Eumenes, Bishop of Gortyna (Sep. 18)
8th c. Our Holy Father Cosmas, Bishop of Maiuma (Oct. 12)
8th c. Our Holy Father Theophilus the Confessor (Oct. 10) [Leo Isaurian-iconoclasm]
(Holy Icons/Iconoclasm) The Miracle Worked by the Icon of Our Lord Jesus Christ at Beirut (Oct. 11)
730 A.D. The Holy Hieromartyrs Hypatius and Andrew (Sep. 21)
749 A.D. Our Holy Father John of Damascus (Dec. 4)
767 A.D. The Holy Martyr Stephen the New (Nov. 28)
767 A.D. The Holy Martyr Andrew of Crete (Oct. 17)
797 A.D. The Holy Righteous Philaret the Almsgiver (Dec. 1)
Late 8th c. St. Stephen the Confessor, Archbishop of Surrentium (Dec. 15)
9th c. Our Holy Father Gregory the Decapolite (Nov. 20)
9th c. Our Holy Father Nicholas, the Former General (Dec. 24)
9th c. St. Euphrosynus the Cook (Sep. 11)
9th c. Our Holy Father Eustratius (Jan. 9)
826 A.D. Our Holy Father Theodore the Studite (Nov. 11)
845 A.D. St. Theodore the Branded, Brother of St. Theophanes the Hymnographer (Dec. 27)
846 A.D. Our Holy Father Joannicius the Great (Nov. 4)
847 A.D. Our Holy Father Theophanes the Confessor and Composer of Canons (Oct 11)
868 A.D. Our Holy Monastic Father Nicholas the Confessor, Abbot of the Studium (Feb. 4)
881 A.D. Our Holy Mother Theoctista of Lesbos (Nov. 9)
892 A.D. The Blessed Empress Theophania, Consort of Leo the Wise (Dec. 16)
Late 9th c. Our Holy Father Euthymius the New (Oct. 15)
10th c. Our Holy father John of Rila (Oct. 19) [Bulgaria]
911 A.D. St. Andrew, the Fool for Christ's Sake (Oct. 2)
11th c. Our Holy Father Damian, Presbyter and Healer of the Kiev Caves (Oct. 5)
11th c. Our Holy Father Jeremiah of the Kiev Caves (Oct. 5)
11th c. Our Holy Father Matthew of the Kiev Caves (Oct. 5)
11th c. Our Holy Mother Parasceva of Serbia (Oct. 14)
11th c. Synaxis of the Holy Three Hierarchs, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom (Jan. 30)
11th c. Our Holy Fathers Mark and Theophilus of the Kiev Caves (Dec. 29)
1065 A.D. Our Holy Father Barlaam of the Kiev Caves (Nov. 19)
1093 A.D. St. Gregory, Wonderworker of the Kiev Caves (Jan. 8)
1096 A.D. Our Holy Father Ephraim the Eunuch, Bishop of Pereyslavl (Jan. 28)
12th c. Our Holy Father Abramius of Rostov (Oct. 29)
1101 A.D. Our Holy Father Nicon the Withered (Dec. 11)
1108 A.D. Our Holy Father Nicetas, Recluse of the Kiev Caves (Jan. 31)
1114 A.D. Our Holy Father Nestor the Chronicler (Oct. 27)
1143 A.D. Our Holy Father Nicholas Sviatosha, Prince of Chernigov (Oct. 14)
1148 A.D. Our Holy Fathers Spyridon and Nicodemus, Prosphora-bakers of the Kiev Caves (Oct. 31)
1176 A.D. Our Holy Father Athanasius of the Kiev Caves (Dec. 2)
1185 A.D. Our Holy Father John, Archbishop of Novgorod (Sep. 7)
1190 A.D. Our Holy Father Arethas of the Kiev Caves (Oct. 24)
1193 A.D. Our Holy Father Barlaam of Khutyn (Nov. 6)
1194 A.D. Our Holy Father Lawrence, Recluse of the Kiev Caves (Jan. 29)
1244 A.D. The Holy Martyrs Michael, Prince of Chernigov, and His Boyar, Theodore (Sep. 20)
1326 A.D. St. Peter, Metropolitan of Kiev (Dec. 21)
1359 A.D. St. Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica (Nov. 14)
1392 A.D. St. Sergius of Radonezh (Sep. 25)
1406 A.D. Our Holy Father Sabbas of Storozha (Dec. 3)
1426 A.D. Our Holy Father Nicon of Radonezh (Nov. 17)
1441 or 1451 A.D. Our Holy Father Gregory, Wonder-worker of Vologda (Sep. 30)
1505 A.D. Our Holy Father Ephraim, Wonderworker of Novotorzhok (Jan. 28)
1540 A.D. Saint James the Wonderworker of Borovichi (Oct. 23)
1570 A.D. St. Jonah, Archbishop of Novgorod (Nov. 5)
1575 A.D. Sts. Gurias, Archbishop of Kazan, and Barsanuphius Bishop of Tver (Oct. 4)
1581 A.D. The Holy Great Martyr Demetrius (Oct. 26)
(Date Unknown) The Holy Unmercenaries and Wonder-workers Cosmas and Damian (Nov. 1)
Gateway into the hermitage of St. Paisios, Sinai Egypt.
- an excerpt from the writings of Blessed Elder Paisios the Athonite
"...The fathers of those days had great faith and simplicity. Although most of them were basically illiterate, they, nevertheless, received constant divine enlightenment because of their humility and zeal for spiritual combat. While, in our own days, knowledge has increased, unfortunately, logic has shaken people's faith from the foundations and filled their souls with questions and doubts. So, it is only natural that we should be deprived of miracles, because miracles are experienced and cannot be explained by logic..."
"...How could anyone have known that in a few years most people would become deformed by too much education since they are being taught in the spirit of atheism and not in that of God, which can sanctify external education? And faintheartedness will reach such a point that miracles will be considered fairy-stories from bygone days? Naturally, when the doctor is an atheist, however many tests he performs on a saint with his scientific equipment (X-rays and so on), he will not be able to discern the grace of God. Whereas if he, too, has holiness in him, he will see divine grace radiating..."
"...A great evil is it when we theologise cold-heartedly with our mind, passing off our mind for the Holy Spirit. This is called "encephalogy" [theology of the brain], which gives birth to Babel (confusion). In theology, however, there are many tongues (many gifts), but all tongues are in agreement because they have one Master, the Holy Spirit of the Pentecost, and the tongues are of fire? He, who disregards divine enlightenment, gives primacy to the mind and creates an impressive sermon with beautiful wording, is related to the Arians who believed that Christ is a creature of God. We, the Orthodox, believe and confess that the Word of God was not created, but was born "of the Father before all ages" and was incarnate "of the Holy Spirit" and the Virgin Mary and brought salvation to the world. The word of the mind does not bring change to souls, for it is flesh. The word of God that is born of the Holy Spirit has divine energy and changes souls..."
~ Blessed Elder Paisios the Athonite (+1994)