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St. Herman the Wonderworker of Alaska & First Saint of America

St. Herman the Wonderworker of Alaska & First Saint of America

“Herman of Alaska was a Russian Orthodox monk from Valaam Monastery in Russia who traveled with eight other monks in 1793 to bring the Gospel to the native Aleuts and Eskimos in the Aleutian Islands. As part of the Russian colonization of the Americas, Russians had been exploring and trading there since at least 1740. Thus, he marks the first arrival of Orthodox Christian missionaries in North America. He preached the love of Christ to the Aleutians and drew many to the Church through his charitable life, caring for their orphans, building a school, and frequently defending them from the injustices and exploitation of the Russian traders. He was known to them as Apa which means “Grandfather.” He lived most of his life as the sole resident of Spruce Island, a tiny wooded island near Kodiak Island.” (OrthodoxWiki)

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Put on the Armor of God: Commentary on Ephesians 6

Put on the Armor of God: Commentary on Ephesians 6

“Let us put on the whole armor of God. Do you see how he banishes all fear? For if it be possible to do all, and to stand, his describing in detail the power of the enemy does not create cowardice and fear, but it shakes off indolence. That ye may be able, he says, to withstand in the evil day. And he further gives them encouragement too from the time; the time, he seems to say, is short; so that you must needs stand; faint not when the slaughter is achieved.

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St. Gregory the Theologian on Holy Baptism

St. Gregory the Theologian on Holy Baptism

“Do you have an infant child? Allow sin no opportunity; rather, let the infant be sanctified from childhood. From his most tender age let him be consecrated by the Spirit. Do you fear the seal [of baptism] because of the weakness of nature? Oh, what a pusillanimous mother and of how little faith!” St. Gregory the Theologian – Oration on Holy Baptism 40:7 [A.D. 388]

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Fear and Death

Fear and Death

I would argue that the most troubling and obvious issue plaguing Christianity today is the fear of death. Coronavirus has ripped cover off that secret. It’s been exposed and there is no hiding this terrible and shameful fact. We, the people of the resurrection are afraid, nay, terrified of inevitable death. Our treasures have been stored here in our temporal life and we shake our fists when an aged person beyond 80 years old dies. “It isn’t fair,” we cry in anger. It is as though we believe that death is a punishment and that earth is heaven.

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