~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After my death our beloved Church abroad will break three ways ... first the Greeks will leave us as they were never a part of us ...

then those who live for this world and its glory will go to Moscow ... what will remain will be those souls faithful to Christ and His Church. ~St. Philaret of NY

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~





Vladyka Agafangel Paschal Epistle

2021: Paschal Epistle – Metropolitan Agafangel: CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN!

(English translation by Daniel Olson)



 

Paschal Epistle

of the

First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

 

Christ is Risen!

 

Dear archpastors and pastors, monastics and laity, brothers and sisters!

 

We are awaiting the Second Coming of Christ to our sinful earth, the Coming of the Almighty One of the Kingdom of God and with Him the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven itself with its countless angelic incorporeal powers.

 

The Kingdom of Heaven is the perfect and eternal world that will soon replace our earthly world, annihilate the sin of this world and reveal forever the gold of the virtue and grace of God in all its purity.

 

Only through Christ is it possible to overcome the earthly world and not perish with it, inasmuch as in Him is contained the power that raises the dead and gives eternal life  this is the action of God, this is God Himself, in Whom there is no death: "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live" (John 11:25).

 

We believe, O Lord, in our universal resurrection and Thine imminent Second Coming!

 

We hope, O Lord, in Thy love for us – Thy weak creation, for the sake of which Thou didst endure willing suffering and death, and didst vanquish death by Thy miraculous Resurrection for our sakes! May Thine eternal will also abide in us!

 

Truly, Christ is Risen!

 

+ Metropolitan Agafangel 

Pascha of Christ, 2021

 

more Pascha Epistles on Reader Daniel Sharing blog

Russia Yesterday - America Today (11)

Feds Search & Seize Esquire Rudy Giuliani's apartment

https://www.ntd.com/federal-investigators-search-rudy-giulianis-apartment-seize-laptops-lawyer_604768.html


     lawyer for Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and attorney to President Donald Trump, said federal investigators executed a search warrant at his home and seized electronic devices.

     Giuliani’s attorney Robert Costello told Fox News that seven FBI agents arrived at his apartment at 6 a.m. Wednesday and remained at his home for about two hours.  They seized laptops, cell phones, and other electronic devices, said Costello.

     “This is totally unnecessary,” Costello told Fox News, adding the raid was carried out “make him look like he’s some sort of criminal.”

     The New York Times was the first to report on the search, claiming that it may have at least partially stemmed from his dealings in Ukraine over the years. Giuliani was not arrested or charged with a crime.


     “What they did today was legal thuggery,” Costello told the paper. “Why would you do this to anyone, let alone someone who was the associate attorney general, United States attorney, the mayor of New York City and the personal lawyer to the 45th president of the United States.”

     Costell also told the Wall Street Journal that in recent years, he had offered to answer investigators’ questions but they declined. “It’s like I’m talking to a wall,” he said.

     The Epoch Times has contacted the FBI and Giuliani’s team for comment.

     In 2019, in the midst of the first House impeachment inquiry into Trump, prosecutors charged two alleged former associates to Giuliani, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, with unrelated crimes regarding alleged campaign finance violations.  Their trial is scheduled for October 2021.


     On Jan. 20 of last year, Giuliani appeared on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” and said he’s no longer close to Parnas, a former client, and claimed that Parnas was lying about some of his claims.

     One example, according to Giuliani, was a claim that Parnas met with Trump at the White House during Hanukkah and was deputized by the president.

     “The meeting never took place,” Giuliani said. “The records indicate that it never took place.  He lied.  The man is a demonstrated liar.”

     “Lev is someone I was close to.  Obviously, I was misled by him.  I feel very bad. I still feel sorry for him.  I’m not going to respond to him for each and every one of the misrepresentations he’s made because there were so many,” he said.  “If I’m called as a witness, I’m prepared to do it.”


From The Epoch Times

Russia Yesterday - America Today (10)

Gestapo came again attacking a Church in Canada


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2Xbo-RB70A&t=249s

How many... ?

sharing 

Bridegroom Matins


(after the 6 psalms Matins) Then the Choir sings the Troparion in Tone VIII: 

Behold the Bridegroom cometh in the middle of the night; * and blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching, * but unworthy is he whom He shall find in slothfulness. * Beware, then, O my soul, and be not overcome by sleep, * lest thou be given over to death and shut out from the Kingdom. * But rise up and cry aloud: Holy, holy, holy art Thou, O God: ** through the Theotokos have mercy upon us. (Thrice) 





Exapostilarion (Svetilen) Sung slowly with compunction, in Tone III: 

Thy bridal chamber do I see all-adorned, * O my Savior, * yet I have no wedding garment that I may enter therein. * Make the robe of my soul * to shine forth, O Giver of Light, * and save me. (Thrice) 

Stickies

.
Biden Effect Continues Unabated, deluge of future votes for radical left cross border wearing Biden t-shirts

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7fApPi8FAE




Deadly Defiance in the Kingdom of Fake News


https://tv.faluninfo.net

(higher quality on website)

Nobody Should Be Forced


Trump: "Nobody Should Be Forced" to take the CCP virus vaccine

https://www.theepochtimes.com/mkt_morningbrief/trump-nobody-should-be-forced-to-get-covid-19-vaccine_3788392.html

Obvious Evil of CCP virus

WARNING FROM ISRAEL ABOUT VACCINE PASSPORTS

April 22, 2021

https://va.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_qrz7ipEVKC1z7alf9.mp4


related:

https://goldenageofgaia.com/2021/03/30/israeli-rabbi-chananya-weissmans-31-reasons-why-i-wont-take-the-vaccine/


Golitsyn warned America about Today

old ROCOR already knows this


COUNTERPUNCH 

Trevor Loudon

https://www.theepochtimes.com/ex-soviet-agent-who-warned-america-about-today-the-importance-of-anatoliy-golitsyn_3766160.html


Ex-Soviet Agent Who Warned America About Today: The Importance of Anatoliy Golitsyn


     Was the collapse of communism a gigantic ruse to lull the West into a false sense of security? What if Russia and China are working together right now to implement communism worldwide?


     Trevor Loudon explains the warnings of Anatoliy Golitsyn, who defected from the KGB, the main security agency of the Soviet Union. This brave man predicted the collapse of communism when most believed it would never happen. Golitsyn helped plan the Russia–China long-range plan to conquer the West, a plan fast approaching completion. This is Trevor Loudon’s most shocking exposé to date.

Fed Up

So, who are the real lunatics?

.


https://vidmax.com/video/203930-total-lunatic-destroys-supermarket-with-an-a


Total Lunatic Destroys Supermarket With An Ax After A Mask Dispute


If you think you've seen plenty of videos featuring people fed up with masks, you ain't seen nothin yet.


This man in Ukraine got word from his wife that a store employee attacked her over not wearing a mask. It's not clear if by the attack she meant verbal or physical but either way, the store is going to pay.


The man destroys the entire front of the store where all the checkouts are with his wife in tow.


It is being reported the man has been arrested and faces 3 to 7 years in prison.

In a nutshell, what Fr. Seraphim said about Christian Socialism

From "Signs of the Times"

  Fr. Seraphim Rose, 1978


". . . women's liberation can be traced back at least two hundred years. Of course, you can go back even before that, but its present from goes back at least two hundred years, to the forerunners of Karl Marx, the early Socialists. These Socialists were talking about a great new utopian age which is going to come when all the distinctions of class and race and religion and so forth are abolished. There will be a great new society, they said, when everybody is equal. This idea, of course, was based originally upon Christianity, but it distorted Christianity, and amounted to its opposite. . . " 


http://startingontheroyalpath.blogspot.com/2009/08/signs-of-times_04.html


Christian Socialist more terrible than Atheist Socialist

from the book Brothers Karamzov


"We are not particularly afraid of all these socialists, anarchists, atheists and revolutionaries .... But there are a few peculiar men among them who believe in God and are Christians, but at the same time are socialists. Those are the people we are most afraid of. They are terrible people! The socialist who is a Christian is more to be feared than the socialist who is an atheist." 

   ~ Fedor Dostoevskii, The Brothers Karamazov 


     https://app.box.com/s/jxk5dls3eqyv6hzmludftskfxmh6ojcb

    https://ccel.org/ccel/dostoevsky/brothers

     page 54 of the book

     page 61 of the PDF


Stickies

.
2019 was the lowest ever poverty level in USA .  It was mainly due to immigration regulation.


Roundtable Discussion Public Health Experts Conference 

          https://odysee.com/@BNN:6/See-The-CENSORED-Gov.-Ron-DeSantis-Public-Health-Roundtable-Discussion-In-Tallahassee:1?r=6PDVWyxVkW7vqs5boMwJo74Vqf3Ss4Gv


Lockdown Documentary soon to be released.

fully-vaccinated-will-dominate-deaths-in-3rd-wave-and-they-will-blame-unvaccinated-for-it

Red Priests, by Edward Roslof
     "Parish churches were also closed when they refused to register clergy or because of the threat of 'epidemics,' that is, on the pretense of preventing the spread of disease by parishioners who gathered together for worship."     p. 207 of pdf, p. 186 of book

Worldview of Americans not Judeo-Christian
     "Our studies show that Americans are neither deep nor sophisticated thinkers," he said. "We've become selfish and emotion-driven, leaving logic behind."

authentic UFO sighting minute 9:52 - 11:26

Has anyone noticed how in the news it is always, "Biden-Harris Administration"?
It was never, "Trump-Pence Administration"...

Oklahoma Makes It LEGAL For Drivers To Run Over Antifa & BLM Protestors

Chinese-produced cartoon for American kids about CCP virus — back in 2016

Mike Lindell's Social Media website opened Monday, immediately cyber-attacked.


ST. PHILARET SERMONS Lazarus Saturday

Joke of the day
 Cuban:  I want to move to America.
 American:  What's wrong with Cuba?
 Cuban:   I have no complaints.
 American:  Then why do you want to move to America?
 Cuban:   Because in America I can have complaints.
.

Russia Yesterday - America Today (9)

Acceptance Address by Mr. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

May 10, 1983

https://www.templetonprize.org/laureate-sub/solzhenitsyn-acceptance-speech/



Over half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: 


‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.’



Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: ‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.’


What is more, the events of the Russian revolution can only be understood now, at the end of the century, against the background of what has since occurred in the rest of the world. What emerges here is a process of universal significance. And if I were called upon to identify briefly the principal trait of the entire twentieth century, here too, I would be unable to find anything more precise and pithy than to  repeat once again: ‘Men have forgotten God.’ The failings of human consciousness, deprived of its divine dimension, have been a determining factor in all the major crimes of this century. The first of these was World War I, and much of our present predicament can be traced back to it. It was a war (the memory of which seems to be fading) when Europe, bursting with health and abundance, fell into a rage of self-mutilation which could not but sap its strength for a century or more, and perhaps forever. The only possible explanation for this war is a mental eclipse among the leaders of Europe due to their lost awareness of a Supreme Power above them. Only a godless embitterment could have moved ostensibly Christian states to employ poison gas, a weapon so obviously beyond the limits of humanity.


The same kind of defect, the flaw of a consciousness lacking all divine dimension, was manifested after World War II when the West yielded to the satanic temptation of the ‘nuclear umbrella.’ It was equivalent to saying: Let’s cast off worries, let’s free the younger generation from their duties and obligations, let’s make no effort to defend ourselves, to say nothing of defending others — let’s stop our ears to the groans emanating from the East, and let us live instead in the pursuit of happiness. If danger should threaten us, we shall be protected by the nuclear bomb; if not, then let the world go to hell! The pitifully helpless state to which the contemporary West has sunk is in large measure due to this fatal error: the belief that the only issue is that of nuclear weapons, whereas in reality the defense of peace reposes chiefly on stout hearts and steadfast men.


Only the loss of that higher intuition which comes from God could have allowed the West to accept calmly, after World War I, the protected agony of Russia as she was being torn apart by a band of cannibals, or to accept, after World War II, the similar dismemberment of Eastern Europe. The West did not perceive that this was in fact the beginning of a lengthy process that spells disaster for the whole world; indeed the West has done a good deal to help the process along. Only once in this century did the West gather its strength — for the battle against Hitler. But the fruits of that victory have long since been lost. Faced with cannibalism, our godless age has discovered the perfect anaesthetic — trade! Such is the pathetic pinnacle of contemporary wisdom.


Today’s world has reached a stage which, if it had been described to preceding centuries, would have called forth the cry: ‘This is the Apocalypse!’


Yet we have grown used to this kind of world; we even feel at home in it.


Dostoevsky warned that ‘great events could come upon us and catch us intellectually unprepared’. That is precisely what has happened. And he predicted that ‘the world will be saved only after it has been possessed by the demon of evil.’ Whether it really will be saved we shall have to wait and see: this will depend on our conscience, on our spiritual lucidity, on our individual and combined efforts in the face of catastrophic circumstances. But it has already come to pass that the demon of evil, like a whirlwind, triumphantly circles all five continents of the earth.


We are witnesses to the devastation of the world, be it imposed or voluntarily undergone. The entire 20th century is being sucked into the vortex of atheism and self-destruction. This plunge into the abyss has aspects that are unquestionably global, dependent neither on political systems, nor on levels of economic and cultural development, nor yet on national peculiarities. And contemporary Europe, seemingly so unlike the Russia   of 1913, is today on the verge of the same collapse, for all that it has been reached by a different route. Different parts of the world have followed different paths, but today they are all approaching the threshold of a common ruin.


In its past, Russia did know a time when the social ideal was not fame, or riches, or material success, but a pious way of life. Russia was then steeped in an Orthodox Christianity which remained true to the Church of the first centuries. The Orthodoxy of that time knew how to safeguard its people under the yoke of a foreign occupation which lasted more than two centuries, while at the same time fending off iniquitous blows from the swords of Western crusaders. During those centuries the Orthodox faith in our country became part of the very patterns of thought and the personality of our people, the forms of daily life, the work calendar, the priorities in every undertaking, the organization of the week and of the year. Faith was the shaping and unifying force of the nation.


But in the 17th century Russian Orthodoxy was gravely weakened by an ill-fated internal schism. In the 18th, the country was shaken by Peter’s forcibly imposed transformations, which favoured the economy, the state, and the military at the expense of the religious spirit   and national life. And along with this lopsided Petrine enlightenment, Russia felt the first whiff of secularism; its subtle poisons permeated the educated classes in the course of the 19th century and opened the path to Marxism. By the time of the revolution, Russian educated circles had virtually lost the faith; and amongst the uneducated, its health was threatened.


It was Dostoevsky, once again, who drew from the French Revolution and its seething hatred for the Church the lesson that ‘revolution must necessarily begin with atheism.’ That is absolutely true. But the world had never before known a godlessness as organized, militarized, and tenaciously malevolent as that preached by Marxism. Within the philosophical system of Marx and Lenin and at the heart of their psychology, hatred of God is the principal driving force, more fundamental than all their political and economic pretensions. Militant atheism is not merely incidental or marginal to communist policy; it is not a side effect, but the central pivot. To achieve its diabolic ends, communism needs to control a population devoid of religious and national feeling, and this entails a destruction of faith and nationhood. Communists proclaim both of these objectives openly, and just as openly put them into practice. The degree to which the atheistic world longs to annihilate religion, the extent to which religion sticks in its throat, was demonstrated by the web of intrigue surrounding the recent attempts on the life of the Pope.


The 1920s in the U.S.S.R. witnessed an uninterrupted procession of victims and martyrs amongst the Orthodox clergy. Two metropolitans were shot, one of whom, Veniamin of Petrograd, had been elected by the popular vote of his diocese. Patriarch Tikhon himself passed through the hands of the Cheka-GPU and then died under suspicious circumstances. Scores of archbishops and bishops perished. Tens of thousands of priests, monks, and nuns, pressured by the Chekists to renounce the word of God, were tortured, shot in cellars, sent to camps, exiled to the desolate tundra of the far North, or turned out into the streets in their old age without food or shelter. All these Christian martyrs went unswervingly to their deaths for the faith; instances of apostasy were few and far between. For tens of millions of laymen access to the Church was blocked, and they were forbidden to bring up their children in the faith: religious parents were wrenched from their children and thrown in prison, while the children were turned from the faith by threats and lies. One could argue that the pointless destruction of Russia’s rural economy in the 1930s, the so-called dekulakization and collectivization, which  brought death to 15 million peasants while making no economic sense at all, was enforced with such cruelty, first and foremost, for the purpose of destroying our national way of life and of extirpating religion from our peasants. The same policy of spiritual perversion operated throughout the brutal world of the Gulag Archipelago, where men were encouraged to survive at the cost of the lives of others.


And only atheists bereft of reason could have decided upon the ultimate brutality being planned in the U.S.S.R. today, to be perpetrated against the Russian land itself, whereby the Russian North is to be flooded, the flow of the northern rivers reversed, the life of the Arctic Ocean disrupted, and the water channelled southward, toward lands already devastated by earlier, equally foolhardy, ‘feats of communist construction.’


For a short period of time, when he needed to gather strength for the struggle against Hitler, Stalin cynically adopted a friendly posture toward the Church. This deceptive game, continued in later years by Brezhnev with the help of show-case publications and other window dressing, has unfortunately tended to be taken at its face value in the West. Yet the tenacity with which hatred of religion is rooted in communism may be judged by the example of their most liberal leader, Khrushchev: for though he undertook a number of significant steps to extend freedom, Khrushchev simultaneously rekindled the frenzied Leninist obsession with destroying religion.


But there is something they did not expect: that in a land where churches have been levelled, where a triumphant atheism has rampaged uncontrolled for two- thirds of a century, where the clergy  are utterly humiliated and deprived of all independence, where what remains of the Church as an institution is tolerated only for the sake of propaganda directed at the West, where even today people are sent to the labour camps for their faith, and where, within the camps themselves, those who gather to pray at Easter are clapped in punishment cells—they could not suppose that beneath this communist steam roller the Christian tradition would survive in Russia! It is true that millions of our countrymen have been corrupted and spiritually devastated by an officially imposed atheism, yet there remain many millions of believers: it is only external pressures that keep them from speaking out, but, as is always the case in times of persecution and suffering, the awareness of God in my country has attained great acuteness and profundity.


It is here that we see the dawn of hope: for no matter how formidably communism bristles with tanks and rockets, no matter what successes it attains in seizing the planet, it is doomed never to vanquish Christianity.


The West has yet to experience a communist invasion; religion remains free. But the West’s own historical evolution has been such that today it, too, is experiencing a drying up of religious consciousness. It, too, has witnessed racking schisms, bloody religious wars, and enmity, to say nothing of the tide of secularism which, from the late Middle Ages onward, has progressively inundated the West. This gradual sapping of strength from within is a threat to faith that is perhaps even more dangerous than any attempt to assault religion violently from without.


Unnoticeably, through decades of gradual erosion, the meaning of life in the West ceased to stand for anything more lofty than the pursuit of ‘happiness’, a goal that has even been solemnly guaranteed by constitutions. The concepts of good and evil have been ridiculed for several centuries; banished from common use, they have been replaced by political or class considerations of short-lived value. It has become embarrassing to appeal to eternal concepts, embarrassing to state that evil makes its home in the individual human heart before it enters a political system. Yet it is not considered shameful to make daily concessions to an integral evil. Judging by the continuing landslide of concessions made before the eyes of our very own generation, the West is ineluctably slipping toward the abyss. Western societies are losing more and more of their religious essence as they thoughtlessly yield up their younger generation to atheism. What other evidence of godlessness does one need, if a blasphemous film about Jesus is shown throughout the United States, reputedly one of the most religious countries in the world? Or if a major newspaper publishes a shameless caricature of the Virgin Mary? When external rights are completely unrestricted, why should one make an inner effort to restrain oneself from ignoble acts? . . .


Or why should one draw back from burning hatred, whatever its basis — race, class, or zealous ideology? Such hatred is in fact corroding many hearts today. Atheist teachers in the West are bringing up a younger generation in a spirit of hate for their own society. Amid all the vituperation, it has been forgotten that the defects of capitalism represent the basic flaws of human nature, freed from all limitations just as the various human rights are; that under communism (and communism breathes down the neck of all moderate forms of socialism, which are unstable) — under communism the very same flaws become completely unbridled in any person with the last degree of authority; and that everyone else under that system truly does attain ‘equality’ — the equality of destitute slaves. Such incitements to hatred are coming to characterize today’s free world. Indeed, the broader the personal freedoms are, the higher the level of prosperity or even abundance, the more vehement, paradoxically, is this blind hatred. The contemporary developed West thus demonstrates by its own example that human salvation can be found neither in the profusion of material goods nor in merely making money.


This unquenchable hatred then spreads to all that is alive, to life itself, to the world with its colours, sounds and shapes, to the human body. The embittered art of the 20th century is perishing from this ugly hate, for art is fruitless without love. In the East  art has collapsed because it has been forcibly knocked down and trampled, but in the West the fall has been voluntary, a decline into a contrived and pretentious quest where the artist, instead of attempting to make known the divine plan, tries to put himself in the place of God.


And here again, the same result is produced both in East and West, through a world-wide process, by the same cause: that men have forgotten God.


Confronted by the onslaught of world-wide atheism, believers are disunited and frequently bewildered. And yet the Christian (or post-Christian) world would do well to note the example of the Far East.


I have recently had an opportunity to observe in Free China and in Japan how, despite the apparently lesser precision of their religious concepts, and despite the same unassailable ‘freedom of choice’ that exists in the West, both the society and the younger generation have preserved a moral sense to a greater degree than is true in the West, and have been less affected by the destructive spirit of secularism.


What can one say about the lack of unity among the various religions, if Christianity has itself become so fragmented? In recent years the major Christian Churches have taken steps toward reconciliation. But these measures are far too slow: the world is perishing a 100 times more quickly. No-one expects the Churches to merge or to revise all their doctrines, but only to present a common front against atheism. But for such a purpose the steps taken are much too slow.


There also exists an organized movement for the unification of the Churches, but it presents an odd picture. The World Council of Churches seems to care more for the success of revolutionary movements in the Third World, all the while remaining blind and deaf to the persecution of religion where this is carried through most consistently — in the U.S.S.R. Not to see the facts is impossible; must one conclude, then, that it is deemed expedient not to see, not to get involved? But if that is the case, what remains of Christianity?


It is with profound regret that I must note here something which I cannot pass over in silence. My predecessor in receipt of this prize last year — in the very months that the award was made — lent public support to communist lies by his deplorable statement that he had not noticed the persecution of religion in the U.S.S.R. Before the multitude of those who have perished and who are oppressed today, may God be his judge.


It seems more and more apparent that even with the most sophisticated of political maneuvers, the noose on the neck of mankind draws tighter and more hopeless with every passing decade, and there seems to be no way out for anyone — neither nuclear, nor political, nor economic, nor ecological. That is indeed the way things appear to be.


Before the mountains, nay, the whole mountain ranges of such global events, it may seem incongruous and inappropriate to recall that the primary key to our being or non-being resides in each individual human heart, in the heart’s preference for specific good or evil. Yet this remains true even today, and it is, in fact, the most reliable key. The social theories which have promised so much have demonstrated their bankruptcy, leaving us in a dead end. The free people of the West could reasonably have been expected to understand that their environment includes numerous freely nurtured falsehoods, and not to allow lies to be foisted upon them so easily. All attempts to find a way out of the plight of today’s world are fruitless without a repentant return of our consciousness to the Creator of all: without this, no exit will be illumined, and we shall be unable to find our way. The means we have left for ourselves are too impoverished for the task. We must first recognize the horror perpetrated not by some outside force, not by class or national enemies, but within each of us individually, and within every society. And particularly in a free and highly- developed society, for in that case we have surely done everything by ourselves and of our own free will. We ourselves, in our daily unthinking selfishness, are pulling tight that noose.


Let us ask ourselves: Are not the ideals of our century false? And is not our glib and fashionable terminology just as unsound, a terminology which leads to superficial remedies being proposed for each difficulty? In every field of endeavour they all must be subjected to a clear-eyed review while there is still time. The solution of the crisis will not be found along the well-trodden paths of conventional notions.


Our life consists not in the pursuit of material success but in the quest of worthy spiritual growth. Our entire earthly existence is but a transitional stage in the movement toward something higher, and we must not stumble and fall, nor must we linger fruitlessly on one rung of the ladder. Material laws alone do not explain our life or give it direction. The laws of physics  and physiology will never reveal the indisputable manner in which The Creator constantly, day in and day out, participates in the life of each of us, unfailingly granting us the energy of existence; when this assistance leaves us, we die. In the life of our entire planet, the Divine Spirit moves with no less force: this we must grasp in our dark and terrible hour.


Instead of the ill-advised hopes of the last two centuries, which have reduced us to significance and brought us to the brink of nuclear and non-nuclear death, we can only reach with determination for the warm hand of God, which we have so rashly and self-confidently pushed away. If we did this our eyes could be opened to the errors of this unfortunate 20th century and our hands could be directed to set them right. There is nothing else to cling to, in the landslide: all the thinkers of the Enlightenment can give us nothing.


Our five continents are caught in a whirlwind. But it is during such trials that the highest gifts of the human spirit are manifested. If we perish and lose this world, the fault will be ours alone.


© World copyright by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Transl. A. Klimoff.

Saint Efstathios of Antioch 4th century

This post is dedicated to President Trump.  After you read it, you might see why...  ~jh

download PDF https://app.box.com/s/uv8i5a7j4u2c3dvhhq2987g1pq1n3h1k


On the 21st of February, the holy Church commemorates 

our holy father among the saints, Efstathios, 

Archbishop of Great Antioch. 6


Efstathios (Eustathius), for whom the Orthodox of Antioch mourned, was originally from Side 7 in Pamphylia. 8  He was born in ca. 270.  He acquired a good education, and was known for his eloquence and moral excellence.  Due to his virtuous life, he was consecrated as Bishop of Verea (Beroea) of Syria. 9  He was in much favor with the people, who honored their loving chief shepherd.  At length, in ca. 323, he was transferred to the empty see of Antioch, which in dignity was next to Alexandria and was the third in the world.  While he labored tirelessly for his flock, he also strived to sanctify his soul with the memory of God.  The teaching of Orthodox doctrine was paramount for him.  He was a learned theologian who also possessed a broad knowledge of the mundane sciences.  When the Arian heresy spread, which denied the coessentiality of the Son and the Father, he preached for the purity of the Orthodox Faith.  He dispatched capable teachers to other dioceses, which were subject to his jurisdiction, that they might instruct the faithful in the true and correct Faith.  He was alarmed when he discovered that Evsevios (Eusebius), Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, had Arian tendencies.


The First Œcumenical Synod Under Emperor Constatine (324-337)


Emperor Constantine I the Great (b. 273/274) summoned the bishops of the empire to a council.  He said afterward that he deemed it his primary duty to preserve the one Faith.  Though present at the sessions, there is no evidence of his voting at the ecclesiastical synod.  He only confirmed the decisions of the bishops and made them binding under Roman law.


In a work of Saint Theophanes (b. 760-817), entitled The Chronicle, he writes that in 323/324, "there took place the first holy and œcumenical synod of the three hundred and eighteen fathers, of whom many were miracle-workers and equal to the angels, carrying the marks of Christ on their bodies from previous persecutions.  Among them were Paphnoutios, Spyridon, Makarios, and Jacob (Iakovos) of Nisibis, miracle-workers who had raised the dead and done many wondrous things.  The holy synod was held at Nicaea in Bithynia and was presided over by Makarios of Jerusalem and Alexander of Alexandria, 10 with Vito and Vicentius (Vincent) representing the Bishop of Rome.  As the Church of Antioch was vacant, the synod appointed over it Efstathios, Bishop of Beroea in Syria.  Alexander of Byzantium was not present at the synod because of his extreme old age and ill-health; presbyters, therefore, took his place.  Paul of Neocaesarea was present at this synod, as was a great crowd of other holy men distinguished by their lives and culture." 11


Socrates Scholasticus (ca. 380-450), a Greek historian, writes: "The bishops who were convened at the Synod of Nicaea included Bishop Hosius of Cordova in Spain, Vito and Vecentius, presbyters of Rome; Bishop Alexander of Egypt; Efstathios of Antiochia Magna; Makarios of Jerusalem; and Harpocration of Kynopolis; the names of the rest are fully reported in The Synodikon 12 of Athanasios (b. 294-373), Bishop of Alexandria (328)." 13


Saint Theophanes tells us that "the most Christian emperor liberally provided for everybody's needs.  This holy and œcumenical synod, with the cooperation of the holy and coessential Trinity, deposed Arius and his sympathizers, Evsevios of Nikomedia, Theognis fo Nicaea, and those with them.  The exception was Evsevios Pamphilos (Pamphilou, Pamphili), who for the present accepted the term 'coessential (homoousios).'  As for the others, they were sent into exile." 14


Evsevios (b. 260; d. before 341), Bishop of Caesarea, known for his Ecclesiastical History, studied under the scholar and martyr Pamphilos.  Evsevios, during the Arian controversy, was the leader of the moderate party.  At the Nicaean Synod, his beliefs were on trial.  He produced the baptismal creed of Caesarea as a proposed compromise, but the omission of the critical word homoousios caused it to be rejected in favor of the Nicene Creed.  Evsevios then acknowledged that Arius, whom he had hitherto supported, was actually a heretic.  Although he feared Sabellianism, 15 still he never gave Saint Athanasios the Great of Alexandria his full support. 16


There were bishops at Nicaea, however, who did not consent to the confession of the Faith in sincerity, but only in appearance.  Theodoretos (ca. 393-ca. 466), Bishop of Kyros (Cyrrhus), affirms this, saying, "This was afterwards shown by their plotting against those who were foremost in zeal for religion, as well as by what these latter have written about them.  For instance, Efstathios, the famous bishop of Antioch, who has been already mentioned, when explaining the text in the Proverbs, 'The Lord made Me the beginning of His ways for His works [Prov. 8:22],' wrote against them, and refuted their blasphemy." 17  Efstathios denounced the Arians as theists for denying the full divinity of the Son.  He also charged them to be sycophants on account of their excessive devotion to the emperor.


Theodoretos of Kyros also records: "I (Theodoretos) shall now proceed to relate what occurred.  A general council was summoned at Nicaea.... When the fathers began to inquire into the nature of the Faith, the formulary of Evsevios was brought forward.  It contained undisguised evidence of his blasphemy.  The reading of it before all occasioned great grief to the audience, on account of its departure from the Faith, while it inflicted irremediable shame on the writer.  After the Evsevian gang had been clearly convicted, and the impious writing had been torn up in the sight of all, some amongst them by concert, under the pretense of preserving peace, imposed silence on all the ablest speakers.  The Ariomaniacs, fearing lest they should be ejected from the Church by so numerous a synod of bishops, sprang forward to anathematize and condemn the doctrines condemned, and unanimously signed the confession of the Faith.  Thus they retained possession of their episcopal seats through the most shameful deception, although they ought rather to have been degraded.  They, therefore, continued, sometimes secretly and sometimes openly, to patronize the condemned doctrines, plotting against the truth by various arguments.  Wholly bent upon establishing these plantations of tares, they shrank from the scrutiny of the intelligent, avoided the observant, and attacked the preachers of godliness.  But we do not believe that these atheists can ever thus overcome the Deity.  For though they 'again strengthened themselves, they shall again be conquered [cf. Is. 8:9].'  These are the words of the great Efstathios.  As for Athanasios, his fellow combatant, the champion of the truth, who succeeded the celebrated Alexander in the episcopate, he added a letter addressed to the Africans." 18


Saint Theophanes then tells us that "the all-praiseworthy emperor Constantine was present at the synod and was an associate in all its actions that were agreeable to God.  He ordered that others be ordained to replace those banished, and published a written exposition of the Faith that is today recited in every Orthodox church.  Now the impious Arius was at that time present at the synod.  As he was being condemned, Evsevios of Nikomedia, Theognis, Maris, Narkissos (Narcissus), Theophantos, and Patrophilos contended on behalf of Arius.  They put together a blasphemous statement of faith, presenting it to the synod.  When this was torn up, its authors, except for Secundus of Ptolemais in Egypt and Theonas of Marmarike, wheeled about and condemned Arius.  Secundus and Theonas were expelled and anathematized with Arius.  All then dictated, subscribed to, and acclaimed the holy Creed of the Faith, including the all-pious emperor.  The assembly was then dismissed." 19


The synod had assembled against Arius, who was blaspheming that the Son and Logos of God was not of the same essence as the Father, but that He instead was a creature and "ktisma (something built)."  The sessions lasted three and one-half years, though some say six and one-half years.  The result was the promulgation of most of the articles of the Symbol of our Faith or the Creed.  Also, at this synod, Bishop Efstathios was officially established as Archbishop of Antioch. 20


During the reign of Constantine I the Great, the partisans of Evsevios and Theognis returned from exile and were reinstated in their churches.  They were received by the emperor as those who had returned from error to Orthodoxy.  They, however, abused the license afforded them.  They expelled those who had been ordained in their stead.  The crypto-Arians also harbored intense hatred toward Saint Athanasios the Great of Alexandria and Saint Efstathios.  As one of the most prominent opponents of Arianism from 325-330, Efstathios continued to engage in a warfare of words, written and verbal, against the Arians.  His unappeasable denunciation of Arianism and his refusal to appoint any Arian priests in his diocese, incurred the hatred of the Arians.


"During this period," remarks Sozomen (an early fifth century historian), "the bishops had another tumultuous dispute among themselves concerning the precise meaning of the term 'consubstantial' (coessential, homoousios).  Some thought that this term could not be admitted without blasphemy: that it implied the nonexistence of the Son of God; and that it involved the error of Montanos and Sabellios.  Those, on the other hand, who defended the term, regarded their opponents as Greek pagans, and considered that their sentiments led to polytheism.  Evsevios, surnamed Pamphilos, and Efstathios, Bishop of Antioch, took the lead in this dispute.  They both confessed the Son of God to exist hpostatically, and yet they contended together as if they had misunderstood each other.  Efstathios accusesd Evsevios of altering the doctrines ratified by the Synod of Nicaea, while the latter declared that he approved of all the Nicaean doctrines, and reproached Efstathios for cleaving to the heresy of Sabellios." 21


Saint Efstathios and the Baptism of the Iberians


According to the Life of Saint Nina, the Enlightener of Georgia (Iberia), commemorated by the holy Church on the 14th of January, King Miran (265-342) of the Iberians sent envoys to Emperor Constantine.  Thereupon, the emperor, in ca. 330, sent Bishop Efstathios of Antioch and an embassy of two priests and three deacons carrying with them all the ecclesiastical vessels necessary to perform the Mysteries for the newly-converted Iberians.  Afterward, King Marian dispatched orders to all provincial governors, military commanders, and courtiers that they were to come to him in the capital.  They all assembled and recieved holy Baptism from the bishop.  The bishop then baptized the commanders of the army, the nobles, and the lords.  Downstream from this place, two priests were baptizing the people who presented themselves for divine illumination with great enthusiasm and joy.  Afterward, the priest went about the cities and villages, baptizing the people.  In this manner, the country of Kartvelians received Baptism in one year's time.  Thus, with the help of God, the word of the Gospel soon took hold in Iberia.  In this work of God, Archbishop Efstathios toiled with Saint Nina for the enlightmentment of all of Iberia.  After the archbishop established the order for divine services in the Greek language, he consecrated the newly built church in Mtskheta.  It was dedicated to the names of the Twelve Apostles, and was modeled on the church in Constantinople.  Efstathios then blessed the newly established Church, commending the faitful to the peace of Christ, and made plans to return to Antioch.  He consecrated for the new Church, a priest, Father John, as Archbishop John I (334-363), who was dependent on the see of Antioch.


The Arian Council of Antioch Deposes Saint Efstathios


Bishop Efstathios returned to Antioch.  It was not long before he found that his enemies had rallied and united against him.  Socrates then speaks of the council held at Antioch, which deposed Efstathios, and on whose account sedition broke out and almost ruined the city.  "Having therefore convened a council at Antioch, they (the Arians) deposed Efstathios, as a supporter of the Sabellian heresy, rather than of the tenents which the Nicaean Synod had formulated.  Some affirm this measure was taken for other and unsatisfactory reasons, though none others have been openly assigned.  (This is a matter of common occurrence; the bishops are accustomed to do this in all cases, accusing and pronouncing impious those whom they depose, but not explaining their warrant for so doing.)  George, Bishop of Laodikeia in Syria, one of the number of those who abominated the term homoousios, assures us in his Encomium of Eusebius Emisenus, that they deposed Efstathios as favoring Sabellianism, on the impeachment of Kyros (Cyrus), Bishop of Beroea.... George had written of Efstathios somewhat inconsistently; for after asserting that he was accused by Kyros of maintaining the heresy of Sabellios, he tells us again that Kyros himself was convicted of the same error, and degraded for it.  Now how was it possible that Kyros should accuse Efstathios as a Sabelliam, when he inclined to Sabellianism himself?  It appears likely therefore that Efstathios must have been condemned on other grounds.  At that time, however, there arose a dangerous sedition at Antioch on account of his deposition; for when they proceeded to the election of a successor, so fierce a dissension was kindled as to threaten the whole city with destruction.  The populace was divided into two factions, one of which vehemently contended for the translation of Evsevious Pamphilos from Caesarea in Palestine to Antioch; the other equally insisted on the reinstatement of Efstathios.  Now the populace of the city had become so infected with the spirit of partisanship in this quarrel that a military force was arrayed on both sides with hostile intent, so that a bloody collision would have taken place, had not God and the dread of the emperor repressed the violence of the multitude.  For the emperor, through letters, and Evsevios, by refusing to accept the bishopric, served to allay the ferment.  Evsevios, by means of this, was exceedingly admired by the emperor, who wrote to him commending his prudent determination, and congratulating him as one who was considered worthy of being bishop not of one city merely, but of almost the whole world.  Consequently it is said that the episcopal chair of the Church at Antioch was vacant for eight consecutive years after this period; but at length, by the exertions of those who aimed at the subversion of the Nicene Creed, Ephronios was duly installed.  This is the amount of my information respecting the council held at Antioch on account of Efstathios.  Immediately after these events, Evsevios, who had long before left Berytus, and was at that time presiding over the Church at Nikomedia, strenuously exerted himself in connection with those of his Arian party." 22


Theodoretos of Kyros adds his account of the events that took place at Antioch, beginning with Bishop Evsevios of Nikomedia, who had seized the diocese of Constantinople by force.  "He, consequesntly, acquired great power in that city, frequently visiting and holding familiar intercourse with the emperor.  Evsevios, saying that he was going on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, then took along Theognis of Nicaea.  Now when they arrived at Antioch, they put on the mask of friendship and were received with the utmost deference.  Efstathios, the great champion of the Faith, treated them with fraternal kindness.  When they arrived at the holy places, they had an interview with those who were of the same opinions as themselves, namely, Bishop Evsevios of Caesarea, Bishop Patrophilos of Skythopolis, Bishop Aetios of Lydda, Bishop theodotos of Laodikeia, and others who had imbibed the Arian sentiments.  They made known the plot they had hatched to them, and went with them to Antioch.  The pretext for their journey was that due honor might be rendered to Evsevios; but their real motive was their war against religion.


"They bribed a low woman, who made a traffic of her beauty, to sell them her tongue.  Then they reparied to the council.  When all the spectators had been ordered to retire, they introduced the wretched woman.  She held a babe in her arms, of which she loudly and impudently affirmed that Efstathios was the father.  Efstathios, conscious of his innocence, asked her whether she could bring forward any witness to prove what she had advanced.  She replied that she could not.  Nonetheless, these 'equitable' judges had her take an oath, although it is said in the law, that 'by the mouth of two witnesses, or by the mouth of three witnesses, shall every word be established {Deut. 19:15]'; and the apostle says, 'Do not be receiving an accusation against an elder, unless in the case of two or three witnesses [1 Tim. 5:19].'  But they despised these divine laws.  They admitted the accusation against this great man without any witnesses.  When the woman had again declared upon oath that Efstathios was the father of the babe, these 'truth-loving' judges condemned him as an adulterer.  When the other bishops, who upheld the apostolical doctrines, being ignorant of all these intrigues, openly opposed the sentence, and advised Efstathios not to submit to it, the originators of the plot promptly repaired to the emperor.  They endeavored to persuade him that the accusation was true and the sentence of deposition just.  They, thereupon, succeeded in obtaining the banishment of this champion of piety and chastity, as an adulterer and a tyrant.  He was conducted across Thrace to a city of Illyricum." 23


Banishment for Saint Efstathios


Saint Athanasios affirms for us that Saint Efstathios confessed the Faith of Christ before the persecutors, and that he was banished: "Antioch is in mourning for the Orthodox Confessor Efstathios." 24  Athanasios writes of the Arian outrages: "There was one Efstathios, Bishop of Antioch, a confessor, and sound in the Faith.  This man, because he was very zealous for the truth, and hated the Arian heresy, and would not receive those who adopted its tenets, was falsely accused before the Emperor Constantine.  A charge, furthermore, was invented against Efstathios, that he had insulted Constantine's mother, Helen, by calling her a chamberlain (stabularia).  Straightway, Efstathios was driven into banishment, and a great number of presbyters and deacons with him.  And immediately after the banishment of the bishop, those whom Efstathios would not admit into the clerical order, on account of their impiety, were not only received into the Church by the Arians, but were even appointed, the greater part of them, to be bishops, in order that they might have accomplices in their impiety.  Among the Arians were: Leontios the eunuch, now of Antioch; his predecessor Stephen; George of Laodikeia; Theodosios of Tripolis; Evdoxios of Germanicia; and Efstathios (another), now of Sebasteia." 25


Sozomen writes: "It was most generally believed that Efstathios was deposed merely on account of his adherence to the Faith of the Synod of Nicaea, and on account of his having accused Evsevios, Bishop Paulinos of Tyre, and Bishop Patrophilos of Skythopolis, whose sentiments were adopted by the eastern priests, of favoring the heresy of Arius.  The pretext resorted to for his deposition, however, was, that he had defiled the priesthood by unholy deeds.... Those who had deposed Efstathios, and who on this account were assembled in Antioch – imagining that their sentiments would be unversally received, if they could succeed in placing over the Church of Antioch one of their own opinion, who was known to the emperor, and held in repute for learning and eloquence, so that they could obtain the obedience of the rest – fixed their thoughts upon Evsevios Pamphilos for that see.  They wrote to the emperor upon this subject and stated that this course would be highly acceptable to the people.  He had, in fact, been sought by all the clergy and laity who were inimical to Efstathios.  Evsevios, however, wrote to the emperor refusing the dignity (A.D. 331).  The emperor approved of his refusal with praise; 26 for there was an ecclesiastical law prohibiting the removal of a bishop from one bishopric to another.... In addition, he dispatched another epistle to the synod, in private session, and similarly commended Evsevios for having refused the bishopric; and being convinced that Ephronios, a presbyter of Cappadocia, and George of Arethusa were men approved in creed, he commanded the bishops to decide for one or other of them, or for whomsoever might appear worthy of the honor, and to ordain a president for the Church of Antioch.  On the receipt of these letters from the emperor, Ephronios 27 was ordained.  And," comments Sozomen, "I have heard that Efstathios bore this unjust calumny almly, judging it to be better, as he was a man who, besides his virtues and excellent qualities, was justly admired on account of his fine eloquence, as is evinced by his transmitted works, which are highly approved for their choice of words, flavor of expression, temperateness of sentiments, elegance, and grace of narration."


Saint Theophanes the Confessor writes that "in a letter to his fellow citizens which interpreted the sense of the words, Evsevios Pamphilos testified to the total Orthodoxy of the Creed of Faith published at Nicaea by the fathers.... Theodoretos, 28 however, says that Evsevios Pamphilos was in agreement with the Arians, such as Evsevios of Nikomedia and his associates.  For this reason, Evsevios lent his support to the deposition of the divine Efstathios of Antioch; and, having joined with them in persuading the emperor that Efstathios was rightly deposed, he caused Efstathios to be exiled to Illyricum."


Saint Efstathios had attacked Evsevios Pamphilos over his interpretaiton of the Nicene Creed.  Evsevios, as we mentioned earlier, counterattacked with a charge of Sabellianism.  It should be noted that Evsevios presided over the Council of Antioch which deposed Efstathios.  The decision was reviewed and endorsed by Constantine, who examined Efstathios in person. 29  Emperor Constantine, for reasons unknown to us, gave credence to the scandalous tales of Efstathios.  As we said, the people of Antioch, who loved and reverenced their holy bishop, were filled with righteous indignation at the unjustice done to their saint.  They were ready to take up arms in his defense, but Efstathios kept them in good order.  Before his departure from his see he assembled the flock.  He exhorted them to remain steadfast in the true doctrine of the Orthodox Faith.  His admonistions so deeply affected them that, after he left, they took it upon themselves to refuse recognition of the bishops appointed over them by the Arians.  They kept to themselves as a community.


Theodoretos writes that one Arian bishop after another held the bishopric thereafter.  "Evlalios was the first consecrated in place of Efstathios.  But Evlalios survived his elevation only for a short period.  It was then intended that Evsevios of Palestine should be translated to this bishopric.  Evsevios, however, refused the appointment, and the emperor forbade its being conferred on him.  Next, Ephronios was put forward; but he also died.  After a lapse of only one year and a few months, the see was conferred on Plakillos. 30  All these bishops secretly clung to the Arian heresy.  Hence it was that most of those individuals, whether of the clergy or of the laity, who valued the true religion, left the churches and formed assemblies among themselves.  They were call Efstathians, since it was after the banishment of Efstathios that they began to hold their meetings.


"The wretched woman, above mentioned in the paternity suit, was soon after attacked by a severe and protracted illness.  She then avowed the imposture in which she had been engaged.  She made known the whole plot, not only to two or three, but to a very large number of priests.  She confessed that she had been bribed to bring this false and impudent charge, but yet that her oath was not altogether false, as a certain Efstathios, a coppersmith, was the father of the babe.  Such were some of the crimes perptrated in Antioch by this 'most excellent' faction." 31


After Saint Efstathios


It would not be until 360, during the reign of Emperor Constantius (337-361), when Saint Meletios, commemorated by the holy Church on the 12th of February, would be translated from the see of Sebasteia to Antioch, when both Arians and Nicenes looked for his support and leadership.  On account of Meletios' Orthodox belief, the Arians and Emperor Constantius exiled him.  He returned under Julian's reign, only to be banished twice under Emperor Valens.  The schism at Antioch, called by his name, arose from the presence of two rival Orthodox parties at Antioch, which failed to cooperate with one another.  The supporters of Efstathios, who had reposed much earlier, 32 suspected the theology of Meletios and advanced the schism by securing the consecration of Paulinus (362). 33  The resistance of Saint Efstathios' followers in Antioch created an Efstathian faction (which survived until ca. 485) that developed into the so-called Meletian Schism.


Exile in Thrace


Saint Efstathios, with several priests and deacons, was banished to Trajanopolis in Thrace. 34  From the third to the seventh century, the population of Thrace was altered greatly by repeated Gothic, Visigothic, and Slavic invasions and immigrations.  The place and date of his repose remain uncertain.  The account by Socrates 35 and Sozomen 36 of Saint Efstathios' ongoing anti-Arian activity until the time of Valens is not supported as credible by all.


The holy pastor demonstrated his virtue well by his shining forth with patience in suffering vile accusations, and then unjust deposition and exile.  The man of God bore his banishment with resignation and submission, while he abided uncompromising in his Orthodoxy in the face of the Arian madmen, as he was wont to call them.  During his time in exile, Saint Constantine the Great had died (May of 337).  His son, Constantius II (caesar from 324 and agustus from 337), had been originaly assigned Oriens, Pontica, Asiana, and Thrace.  He was influenced by moderate Arians, who persecuted the Orthodox, and patronized the Arian bishops.  He resisted the urging of his brothers (Constantine II and Constans I), who wished to recall Athanasios of Alexandria to his see.  Constans I (caesar from 333 and agustus from 337) was the youngest son of Constantine I and Fausta.  He was initially given control of Italy, Africa, Pannonia, Dacia, and Macedonia.  He opposed Arianism.  Constantine II (caesar from 317, and agustus from 337) ruled Britain, Gaul, and Spane.  He was a strong opponet of Arianism and eventually returned Athanasios from exile in Gaul, despite Constantius' opposition.  Even in exile, Saint Efstathios struggled with all his same zeal for Orthodoxy.  He died in exile, in the city of Philippi 37 or Trajanopolis. 38  The precise year is unknown. 39


Writings of Saint Efstathios


Fragments of the saint's dogmatic writings show that his theology foreshadows the Antiochene Christology.  His principal extant work is De Engastrimytho, in which he maintains against Orgen that the apparition of Prophet Samuel was not a reality, but rather a mere phantasm called up in the mind of King Saul by the witch of Endor [1 Kgs. (1 Sam.) 28:7-23].  Therefore, he rejects Origen's interpretation of the account as too literal.  He also attacks Origen's allegorical exegesis of the Bible. 40  Most of the numberous dogmatic and exegetical treatises of Saint Efstathios have been lost. 41


Conclusion


The holy and œcumenical Second Synod was held during the reign of Theodosios the Great (381) at Constantinople.  The holy fathers anathematized every heresy that had arisen during the reigns of Constantius, of Julian, and of Valens.  The synod also renewed the doctrine of the Nicene Synod, in the formulation of which Saint Efstathios had a prominent role, on the ground of its being thoroughly Orthodox in all repsects.  Thus Nicene doctrine, which Saint Efstathios so assiduously defended and for which he endured misfortunes and pangs, was vindicated, while the false teaching fo the Ariomaniacs was once again rightly anathematized as heretical.


In the year 477, during the reign of Emperor Zeno (474-491), the relics of Saint Efstathios were reverently translated fro Philippi to Antioch.  This was an occasion of exceeding joy and exaltation for the people of Antioch, who had not ceased to honor and love their confessor and bishop.  It was a moving sight to behold multitudes, in orderly fashion, for eighteen miles, lined up on the road leading to the city, that they might greet the saint's return and progress into his city with hymns, lamps and incense.


Saint Efstathios was esteemed by the renowned hierarchs of the fourth century: Saint Athansios of Alexandria, Saint Basil the Great, Saint John Chrysostom, Saint Epiphanios of Cyprus, Saint Anastasios fo Sinai, and Blessed Jerome.  Thus, our venerable Father Efstathios, who was blameless in virtue, showed himself to be glorious in word and life.  With his winnowing fan of Orthodox teaching, he threw off like chaff the error of Arius.  Though he finished his earthly sojourn in the west, with the true confession of the Faith on his lips, still he shines forth radiately upon his flock in the east, emitting the splendor of piety unto the ages.


Source: The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church - February     2004 Holy Apostles Convent, Buena Vista, CO     ISBN-13: 978-0-944359-24-2     pp. 801 - 814