Saints and Traditions

Saints and services. Feasts and fasts. Traditions that are as diverse as the people who are struggling towards salvation in the Orthodox Church.



St. Susanna, Deaconess and Martyr

St. Susanna, Deaconess and Martyr

St. Susanna was born in Palestine in the year 286. Her father was a wealthy pagan priest named Arthemius, her mother a Hebrew woman named Martha. Diocletian had been emperor only two years at this point, and the most severe persecution of Christians had not yet begun....
St. Stylianos, Guardian of Children

St. Stylianos, Guardian of Children

St. Stylianos was the child of wealthy parents in Paphlagonia, a region in what is now Turkey. No one is quite sure when he lived; it may have been the fourth century, or the sixth, or some time in between. But, like so many other saints, he had no use for the wealth...
The Life of St. Brigid: A Review

The Life of St. Brigid: A Review

The Life of St. Brigid by Jane G. Meyer is not a conventional storybook. It is, as the title says, the life of a saint. In the Orthodox Church, lives of saints are stylized accounts, just like icons are stylized images. The conventions of the story, or the image, is...
St. Maria, the Niece of St. Abramius the Recluse

St. Maria, the Niece of St. Abramius the Recluse

Although St. Abramius and St. Maria are glorified together, their story almost always focuses on him. She comes in like an afterthought. But I think it’s really her story. Everything in St. Abramius’s life before he took her in was just preparing for her....
The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus

The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus

For a thousand years, from the fifth century until the late 16th century, the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus was one of the most popular saint stories. It was told, not just among the Orthodox, but among the Monophysites and Nestorians and even among the Muslims. And...
The Protection of the Theotokos

The Protection of the Theotokos

Today is the feastday of the Protection of the Theotokos. In parts of the Slavic world, it is celebrated almost as if it were one of the twelve great feasts. It commemorates an event that happened in the 9th century, in a year when October 1 fell on a Sunday, as it...

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