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Author Topic: Saints with a past?  (Read 1369 times) Average Rating: 0
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TristanCross
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« on: September 02, 2012, 05:33:19 PM »

Are there any saints who have battled sin either before or after they became Orthodox?
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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2012, 05:38:22 PM »

Holy Prophet Jonah
All the kings of Israel

St. Paul
St. Peter
St. Constantine
St. Justinian

St. Mary of Egypt
St. Symeon the New Theologian
St. Olaf

Well, you know, all the holy, really.
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2012, 05:45:49 PM »

When St. Macarius the Great died, his soul traveled to Paradise.

As he reached the gates of Paradise, he heard a voice crying out to him. He saw that it was the devil.

"You have conquered, O Macarius!" shouted the devil.

"I HAVEN'T CONQUERED YOU YET!" Macarius replied.
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2012, 05:49:24 PM »

Are there any saints who have battled sin either before or after they became Orthodox?

All of them, IIRC.
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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2012, 06:02:22 PM »

When St. Macarius the Great died, his soul traveled to Paradise.

As he reached the gates of Paradise, he heard a voice crying out to him. He saw that it was the devil.

"You have conquered, O Macarius!" shouted the devil.

"I HAVEN'T CONQUERED YOU YET!" Macarius replied.

one of my favorite sayings of Abba Macari, look how humble he is, and look how the devil fights even to the very end, and his all time preferred arrow: pride.

such humility even when he sees the gates of paradise accompanied by the angels of light. the proud one, the liar, could not win such a man over.

may the intercession of Abba Macarius the great, be with us.
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« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2012, 07:33:46 PM »

St. James the Faster.
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« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2012, 07:55:17 PM »

St. Moses the Black was a robber, I think.

And St. Augustine led a wild life for a while.
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« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2012, 03:16:15 AM »

St. Sylvanus the Athonite, St. Anthony of Supraśl...
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« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2012, 03:07:26 PM »

St. Augustine of Hippo, my patron. He was a pretty wild guy before his conversion; drinking, partying, fornicating, living with a concubine for most of his life, making fun of Christianity and lying to his mother, making her cry when he decided to travel to Milan I think. The man got more behind than a toilet seat. But then he converted and became one of the most influential saints of all time.
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« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2012, 04:34:57 PM »

Any saints that battled with sin after converting?

And I'd love to know what sins these saints were actually dealing with. It's hard to figure that out because most biographies don't fixate on the sinful parts of a saint's life.
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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2012, 05:07:49 PM »

She has already been mentioned, and I don't have a wide or deep knowledge of the Saints (yet), but I think Saint Mary of Egypt is a strong example of God taking something that looks like nothing but ruins to mankind and turning it into something wonderful.
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« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2012, 05:14:22 PM »

Didn't Saint John Chrysostom lead a base and vein life before finding Christ?
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« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2012, 05:17:43 PM »

Didn't Saint John Chrysostom lead a base and vein life before finding Christ?

No. St. John Chrysostom is like the most overrated Saint ever. He was raised in a wealthy family practicing Christianity all his life. All he did was give some great sermons that pissed some people off and gave some of his money to the poor. Not much else. Yet he is still honored as like the greatest saint ever.
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« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2012, 05:22:03 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

St. Augustine of Hippo, my patron. He was a pretty wild guy before his conversion; drinking, partying, fornicating, living with a concubine for most of his life, making fun of Christianity and lying to his mother, making her cry when he decided to travel to Milan I think. The man got more behind than a toilet seat. But then he converted and became one of the most influential saints of all time.

Interestingly, when I read Saint Augustine's Confessions I didn't particularly find his pre-Catholic Church life to be necessarily all too scandalous.  After all, he wasn't a Christian so how could we hold him to Christian values of marriage, besides of which he didn't mention being promiscuous.  He did mention drinking, but not to some kind of excess and didn't mention any kind of debauchery.  Further, he didn't seem to make fun of Christianity so much as scrutinize heavily.  If anything, he seems to have given several Christians some benefit of the doubt and had some respect for others, he just didn't agree with the Catholic Church.  After all, this is common even today, I'm sure in Saint Augustine's time Rome offered the similar doubts.

As to Saints with a past, I came to this thread expecting the cliched Saint with a past to be the number one posted, but I will take the liberty then of honoring him first.
St. Moses the Black was a robber, I think.



Saint Moses the Ethiopian:



straight OG gangsta before being so blessed to come to the Church Wink

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« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2012, 05:23:18 PM »

Any saints that battled with sin after converting?

And I'd love to know what sins these saints were actually dealing with. It's hard to figure that out because most biographies don't fixate on the sinful parts of a saint's life.
Saint Silouan the Athonite battled against pride as a monk and he came close to despair several times.
Here is a link to a very good website, describing his life in details Smiley

http://silouan.narod.ru/indexe.html
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« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2012, 05:23:42 PM »

Didn't Saint John Chrysostom lead a base and vein life before finding Christ?

No. St. John Chrysostom is like the most overrated Saint ever. He was raised in a wealthy family practicing Christianity all his life. All he did was give some great sermons that pissed some people off and gave some of his money to the poor. Not much else. Yet he is still honored as like the greatest saint ever.
Oh, OK. It's just that I watched one of those cheesy Saint movies (Tongue) made by the Coptic Church which stated that he was an immoral person before his mother led him back onto the Christian path.
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« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2012, 05:28:46 PM »

Didn't Saint John Chrysostom lead a base and vein life before finding Christ?

No. St. John Chrysostom is like the most overrated Saint ever. He was raised in a wealthy family practicing Christianity all his life. All he did was give some great sermons that pissed some people off and gave some of his money to the poor. Not much else. Yet he is still honored as like the greatest saint ever.
I wouldn't say that. He did fight corruption in the Church, among many other things, and was very well liked by the people.
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« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2012, 05:36:35 PM »

Didn't Saint John Chrysostom lead a base and vein life before finding Christ?

No. St. John Chrysostom is like the most overrated Saint ever. He was raised in a wealthy family practicing Christianity all his life. All he did was give some great sermons that pissed some people off and gave some of his money to the poor. Not much else. Yet he is still honored as like the greatest saint ever.

Didn't he also compile some little liturgy or something?
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« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2012, 05:41:13 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

St. Augustine of Hippo, my patron. He was a pretty wild guy before his conversion; drinking, partying, fornicating, living with a concubine for most of his life, making fun of Christianity and lying to his mother, making her cry when he decided to travel to Milan I think. The man got more behind than a toilet seat. But then he converted and became one of the most influential saints of all time.

Interestingly, when I read Saint Augustine's Confessions I didn't particularly find his pre-Catholic Church life to be necessarily all too scandalous.  After all, he wasn't a Christian so how could we hold him to Christian values of marriage, besides of which he didn't mention being promiscuous.  He did mention drinking, but not to some kind of excess and didn't mention any kind of debauchery.  Further, he didn't seem to make fun of Christianity so much as scrutinize heavily.  If anything, he seems to have given several Christians some benefit of the doubt and had some respect for others, he just didn't agree with the Catholic Church.  After all, this is common even today, I'm sure in Saint Augustine's time Rome offered the similar doubts.

I read his autobiography by Peter Brown which sheds light on much of his early life and the sins he committed. He mocked Christianity very often. Including his dying friend's baptism.
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« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2012, 05:43:57 PM »

Oh, and for the record, St. Moses the Ethiopian is boss Smiley straight up G who became religious. And, I love St. John Chrysostom, but I just think that he is kind of overrated.
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« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2012, 05:56:02 PM »

Didn't Saint John Chrysostom lead a base and vein life before finding Christ?

No. St. John Chrysostom is like the most overrated Saint ever. He was raised in a wealthy family practicing Christianity all his life. All he did was give some great sermons that pissed some people off and gave some of his money to the poor. Not much else. Yet he is still honored as like the greatest saint ever.
Oh, OK. It's just that I watched one of those cheesy Saint movies (Tongue) made by the Coptic Church which stated that he was an immoral person before his mother led him back onto the Christian path.
Probably. Don't take James' take on hagiographies too seriously.
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« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2012, 05:58:52 PM »

I just cannot relate to St. John Chrysostom because he grew up rich and had everything handed to him in life. It's easy to be religious when you had everything going for you. I prefer the less fortunate Saints like Augustine whose family had to go a year without buying clothes just to pay for his schooling.
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« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2012, 06:00:40 PM »

I just cannot relate to St. John Chrysostom because he grew up rich and had everything handed to him in life. It's easy to be religious when you had everything going for you. I prefer the less fortunate Saints like Augustine whose family had to go a year without buying clothes just to pay for his schooling.
ITT: saying one of the church's strictest ascetics had it easy.
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« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2012, 06:01:05 PM »

Didn't Saint John Chrysostom lead a base and vein life before finding Christ?

No. St. John Chrysostom is like the most overrated Saint ever. He was raised in a wealthy family practicing Christianity all his life. All he did was give some great sermons that pissed some people off and gave some of his money to the poor. Not much else. Yet he is still honored as like the greatest saint ever.
And what have you done?
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« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2012, 06:02:20 PM »

Didn't Saint John Chrysostom lead a base and vein life before finding Christ?

No. St. John Chrysostom is like the most overrated Saint ever. He was raised in a wealthy family practicing Christianity all his life. All he did was give some great sermons that pissed some people off and gave some of his money to the poor. Not much else. Yet he is still honored as like the greatest saint ever.
And what have you done?

Absolutely nothing to even be worthy of belonging to the Church.
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« Reply #25 on: September 03, 2012, 06:04:28 PM »

Didn't Saint John Chrysostom lead a base and vein life before finding Christ?

No. St. John Chrysostom is like the most overrated Saint ever. He was raised in a wealthy family practicing Christianity all his life. All he did was give some great sermons that pissed some people off and gave some of his money to the poor. Not much else. Yet he is still honored as like the greatest saint ever.
And what have you done?

Absolutely nothing to even be worthy of belonging to the Church.
And debasing a Saint is going to improve that status?
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« Reply #26 on: September 03, 2012, 06:06:11 PM »

Didn't Saint John Chrysostom lead a base and vein life before finding Christ?

No. St. John Chrysostom is like the most overrated Saint ever. He was raised in a wealthy family practicing Christianity all his life. All he did was give some great sermons that pissed some people off and gave some of his money to the poor. Not much else. Yet he is still honored as like the greatest saint ever.
And what have you done?

Absolutely nothing to even be worthy of belonging to the Church.
And debasing a Saint is going to improve that status?

You're right; I repent. Judging another person is not going to help anyone at all. I just don't find St. JC as inspiring as certain other Saints. But to attack his sainthood was uncalled for.
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« Reply #27 on: September 03, 2012, 06:09:22 PM »

Didn't Saint John Chrysostom lead a base and vein life before finding Christ?

No. St. John Chrysostom is like the most overrated Saint ever. He was raised in a wealthy family practicing Christianity all his life. All he did was give some great sermons that pissed some people off and gave some of his money to the poor. Not much else. Yet he is still honored as like the greatest saint ever.
And what have you done?

Absolutely nothing to even be worthy of belonging to the Church.
And debasing a Saint is going to improve that status?

You're right; I repent. Judging another person is not going to help anyone at all. I just don't find St. JC as inspiring as certain other Saints. But to attack his sainthood was uncalled for.
Thank you, brother.  Smiley
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« Reply #28 on: September 03, 2012, 06:37:14 PM »

St. John Chrysostom is like the most overrated Saint ever. He was raised in a wealthy family practicing Christianity all his life. All he did was give some great sermons that pissed some people off and gave some of his money to the poor. Not much else. Yet he is still honored as like the greatest saint ever.

Put a muzzle on it, James.  Your comments are disrespectful, whiny, and ignorant.

Have you ever read about his exile and death?  Or does that not get any cred from you, because you aren't rich by opulent Western standards?

You want to be treated like an adult? Post like one.

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« Reply #29 on: September 03, 2012, 06:58:33 PM »

I just cannot relate to St. John Chrysostom because he grew up rich and had everything handed to him in life. It's easy to be religious when you had everything going for you. I prefer the less fortunate Saints like Augustine whose family had to go a year without buying clothes just to pay for his schooling.
Considering what our Lord said about rich men I would think you should re-read some scripture before making such inane comparisons.
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« Reply #30 on: September 03, 2012, 07:31:13 PM »

Didn't Saint John Chrysostom lead a base and vein life before finding Christ?

No. St. John Chrysostom is like the most overrated Saint ever. He was raised in a wealthy family practicing Christianity all his life. All he did was give some great sermons that pissed some people off and gave some of his money to the poor. Not much else. Yet he is still honored as like the greatest saint ever.
And what have you done?

Absolutely nothing to even be worthy of belonging to the Church.
And debasing a Saint is going to improve that status?

You're right; I repent. Judging another person is not going to help anyone at all. I just don't find St. JC as inspiring as certain other Saints. But to attack his sainthood was uncalled for.

Learn more about him.
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« Reply #31 on: September 03, 2012, 07:51:38 PM »

Didn't Saint John Chrysostom lead a base and vein life before finding Christ?

No. St. John Chrysostom is like the most overrated Saint ever. He was raised in a wealthy family practicing Christianity all his life. All he did was give some great sermons that pissed some people off and gave some of his money to the poor. Not much else. Yet he is still honored as like the greatest saint ever.

So I guess our answers weren't particularly persausive  angel
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« Reply #32 on: September 03, 2012, 09:00:31 PM »

Google Books has free collections of the sermons of St. John Chrysostom. Just do a search there for his name. Smiley
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« Reply #33 on: September 03, 2012, 09:03:32 PM »

I hope that when I become a saint that they create an elaborate legend surrounding me.
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« Reply #34 on: September 03, 2012, 09:05:06 PM »

Persuasive. Not persausive.
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« Reply #35 on: September 03, 2012, 10:04:34 PM »

I hope that when I become a saint that they create an elaborate legend surrounding me.

Why not locate the Menologion application, install it, and read what the Synaxarion says first (November 13)?
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« Reply #36 on: September 04, 2012, 04:06:44 AM »

I hope that when I become a saint that they create an elaborate legend surrounding me.

A man came to father Achronos and asked him, "father, what should I do to be good?", to which father Achronos replied, "everything... and nothing."
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« Reply #37 on: September 04, 2012, 04:18:58 AM »

I hope that when I become a saint that they create an elaborate legend surrounding me.

Abba Achronos was peeling a sugar cane when brother Apophis came to him lamenting, "Abba, I am in great travail. I have slept with a man's wife and now everywhere I go, I am assaulted by ticks!'

At that moment, the sugar cane snapped, and when the sweet sugar fell from within, it drove away the brother's ticks.

Abba Achronos said, "As the stalk cannot withstand the pressure of my peeler, so a woman yields willingly or unwillingly; such is her lot through Eve. It behoveth man to guard the peeler for the sake of woman, for whom he has reponsibility. The pure sugar produced from a broken and contrite spirit gives us only what is required, without excess or waste."

At this, the brother wept bitterly and his tears turned to amber. Upon each stone was written the word "metanoia". This is why it is said in Egypt: "It is May, the Nile runs amber like brother Apophis."
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« Reply #38 on: September 04, 2012, 04:29:04 AM »

I hope that when I become a saint that they create an elaborate legend surrounding me.

Abba Achronos was peeling a sugar cane when brother Apophis came to him lamenting, "Abba, I am in great travail. I have slept with a man's wife and now everywhere I go, I am assaulted by ticks!'

At that moment, the sugar cane snapped, and when the sweet sugar fell from within, it drove away the brother's ticks.

Abba Achronos said, "As the stalk cannot withstand the pressure of my peeler, so a woman yields willingly or unwillingly; such is her lot through Eve. It behoveth man to guard the peeler for the sake of woman, for whom he has reponsibility. The pure sugar produced from a broken and contrite spirit gives us only what is required, without excess or waste."

At this, the brother wept bitterly and his tears turned to amber. Upon each stone was written the word "metanoia". This is why it is said in Egypt, "It is May, the Nile runs amber like brother Apophis."
Brilliant.
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« Reply #39 on: September 04, 2012, 09:23:21 AM »



Saint Moses the Ethiopian:



straight OG gangsta before being so blessed to come to the Church Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Though it's not at all what it is depicting, I have had many people say this icon looks like St. Moses is about to throw a punch.



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« Reply #40 on: September 04, 2012, 10:58:51 AM »

Though it's not at all what it is depicting, I have had many people say this icon looks like St. Moses is about to throw a punch.





Serious Saint Moses is serious.
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« Reply #41 on: September 04, 2012, 03:38:45 PM »

As serious as anyone of us should be.
We all have a past. What matters is what you do with the now and the future.

This might sound like something a buddhist would say, but it is worth thinking over. For example during prayers.
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« Reply #42 on: September 05, 2012, 05:02:37 PM »

Are there any saints who have battled sin either before or after they became Orthodox?

All of them, IIRC.

Early entry for post of month!
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« Reply #43 on: September 06, 2012, 05:59:03 PM »

One doesn't become a saint without realizing just how stuck in sins one is. It's from this realization that the saints turned to Christ, and He freed them, time and again, up until the moment of their repose.
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« Reply #44 on: September 09, 2012, 01:13:31 PM »


Though it's not at all what it is depicting, I have had many people say this icon looks like St. Moses is about to throw a punch.





 Grin  beautiful!

I think it is a matter of great worth and a blessing to note what Abba Moses was doing on this icon for the sake of those who might not know the story and for those of us who would benefit from being reminded of it, while reading this thread. Here is the paraphrased version of the story.
 
Among his brothers the monks , one brother was found committing a personal sin.  the Abbott of the monastery called Abba Moses to come and judge this brother’s action. Abba Moses, came in obedience to the Abbot’s summon, however he came to the meeting carrying a basket  full of sand with a hole in it, so that the sand trailed behind him from that hole. The brothers asked what Abba Moses was doing; his reply was one of bravely imitating Christ, in the face of such brothers who were incited by the Evil One to become a gang of moral police who in the name of good were demanding the condemnation of their brother for his personal sin.  his reply was that of sincere humility of someone who has never forgotten of what kind of chain he was set free from, of what kind of Forgiveness he has received from Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Crucified and Resurrected; it was a reply of one who in matters of personal sin choses only to look at and judge the state of his own heart, and not another’s who is also a sojourner in this world, let alone one who is engaged in the good fight.

So what was his reply? He said ‘my heavy and innumerable sins that trail behind me are just like this innumerable sand which is trailing behind me, so how can I while still having all these sins of my own judge my brother the monk for his sin? such imitation of Christ with sincerity resulted in the Spirit doing what He has done in the hearts of those who condemned that adulterous woman caught while committing adultery i.e. none of the monks condemned their brother, however because of the hearts of those monks were like fertile ground to bear the Fruits of the Spirit, they not only stopped their condemnation but in complete obedience to the Will of the Spirit, they truly forgave their brother the monk and asked the forgiveness of Abba Moses who is also a  Priest that stood with humility foiling  the Evil One’s plot to snare the brotherhood in such a deadly snare of spiritual pride.

The seed of wisdom planted by the Holy Spirit on that day still is capable of bearing Fruit,be it  30, 60 or 100 in the hearts of those who love the Son of God who came to call sinners into repentance, Jesus the Savior who would stretch his loving healing hands to touch the leaper the outcast, the reject of society and the world, He who would stand between the accused and the accusers and kneels on dirt to save the condemned. the Eternal who took on  for himself the body of a Slave to liberate all captives of sin and death. The Life: who laid down His Life for the life of Sinners whom He loved even unto death and a death that of on the Cross. The Way: who brings the sinners back to the Father in sincere repentance. The Truth: that annihilates all lies that are the brood and snares of death. To all those who worship God not in outside appearances and putting on of airs , but in Truth and Spirit, they bear the yoke  and manifest the Image and Likeness of the Son of God who is humble and meek. Those are the Saints!

The Priest Saint Abba Moses imitates Our High Priest, thus he remains the Living Icon of Jesus Christ Crucified and Resurrected! Glory be to God Who is Glorified in His Saints! Amen!


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