What do you mean, “Pray to the Saints”? – Video

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FREDERICA MATHEWES-GREEN

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What Do You Mean, “Pray to the Saints”?

Frederica Mathewes-Green, Maryland, USA

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Welcome to the Orthodox Church! Join Frederica Mathewes-Green, in this video series, on a journey into the Eastern Orthodox Church. Learn about Orthodox teachings and dogma, Orthodox architecture and terminology, and what it means to live an Orthodox life.

In this video, “What Do You Mean ‘Pray to the Saints?’,” Frederica explains that the English word “pray” in this sentence is a little misleading. So, what does it mean to pray to the Saints and what does the Orthodox Church practice? Watch to find out!

 

 

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Why do we venerate Constantine the Great as a Saint?

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SAINTS OF MY HEART

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Why do we venerate Constantine the Great as a Saint?

The very name of Constantine is enough to move the heart of any Christian. It moves us because the first to bear the name Constantine I, the Great, was not merely one of the greatest men in world history, but he was something more besides: a saint.

And when they hear the word “saint”, the trumpeters of atheism and unbelief start to sound off. Is he a saint? General, yes. King and Emperor, yes. Great, yes. But saint? No, he’s not a saint, they say. Because, they say, Constantine the Great committed crimes: he killed his son Crispus; he killed his second wife Fausta; and so shouldn’t be considered a saint*.

What can we say in response to those who are against Constantine the Great for no other reason than that he was a Christian? Had he not been a Christian, but an idolater like Julian the Apostate, who betrayed the Church, then they would be praising him. But, no. Constantine, who supported the Orthodox faith and established firm foundations, is slandered and hated by the enemies of Christ.

We would answer: they either forget or do not know that, in our faith, there is a great thing called repentance. One tear from a sinner, whatever act they’ve committed, one tear at the sacrament of confession, redeems any fault. Were there no repentance, paradise would be empty, we wouldn’t have a calendar of feasts nor any saints, because there isn’t a saint who hasn’t cried and hasn’t repented sins. There’s no other way to Paradise, beloved, than the door of repentance. Constantine wasn’t born a saint, he became one. He made mistakes, but he repented. Let’s not forget that he was brought up in the Continue reading “Why do we venerate Constantine the Great as a Saint?”

What is the meaning of the Orthodox reverence of the holy servants of God?

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SAINTS OF MY HEART

What is the meaning of the Orthodox reverence

of the holy servants of God?

Source:

http://orthochristian.com

http://orthochristian.com/113415.html

During baptism, a person is given a name in honor of one of the saints, who from that moment becomes his heavenly patron. Each Orthodox Christian should know the “life” — the history — of his heavenly patron and turn to him in prayer for help and guidance. Our devout ancestors tried to commemorate the day of their saint’s memory—their “angel’s day”—by partaking of the Holy Communion and celebrating this day more festively than their birthday.

What is the meaning of the Orthodox reverence of the holy servants of God? Do the saints in Heaven know our needs and difficulties and are they interested in us? Do they hear our prayers to them and do they try to help us? Indeed should we turn to saints for help, or is it enough to pray only to the Lord God? Sectarians, who have lost the apostolic traditions, do not understand the essence and purpose of Christ’s Church and thus deny the necessity of prayers to the saints in Heaven. We will briefly outline herein the Orthodox teaching concerning this.

Orthodox reverence of the holy servants of God comes from the conviction that all of us, those seeking salvation or those already saved, living and dead, form a single family of God. The Church is a great society, encompassing the visible and invisible world. It is a huge, universal organization, built on the principle of love, in which each member must care not only about himself, but about the well-being and salvation of others. Saints are those people who during their life more than others expressed love to others.

We orthodox believe that when a righteous person dies, he does not sever his ties with the Church, but crosses over to its higher, heavenly domain—into the Church triumphant. Once in the spiritual world, the soul of the righteous person does not stop thinking, wanting, feeling. Just the opposite, these characteristics are revealed more fully and completely.

Modern non-Orthodox Christians, having lost the active connection with the heavenly-earthly Church, have the most vague and contradicting ideas concerning the afterlife. Some of them think that after death the soul of the person falls asleep and is as though shut off from everything; others—that the Continue reading “What is the meaning of the Orthodox reverence of the holy servants of God?”

Why is it hard to believe that Mary (Mother of Jesus) gave birth in a way contrary to the law of natural birth and remained a virgin?

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HOLY VIRGIN MARY MOTHER OF GOD

Why is it hard to believe that Mary (Mother of Jesus) gave birth in a way contrary to the law of natural birth and remained a virgin?

Saint Ambrose of Milan (+397):

“Why is it hard to believe that Mary (Mother of Jesus) gave birth in a way contrary to the law of natural birth and remained a virgin, when contrary to the law of nature the sea looked at Him and fled, and the waters of the Jordan returned to their source (Ps. 113:3). Is it past belief that a virgin gave birth when we read that a rock issued water (Ex. 17:6), and the waves of the sea were made solid as a wall (Ex. 14:22)? Is it past belief that a Man came from a virgin when a rock bubbled forth a flowing stream (Ex. 20:11), iron floated on water (4 Kings 6:6), a Man walked upon the waters (Mt. 14:26)? If the waters bore a Man, could not a virgin give birth to a man? What Man? Him of Whom we read: ‘…the Lord shall be known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day; and they shall offer sacrifices, and shall vow vows to the Lord, and pay them’ (Is. 19:20).

In the Old Testament a Hebrew virgin (Miriam) led an army through the sea (Ex. 15:21); in the New testament a king’s daughter (the Virgin Mary) was chosen to be the heavenly entrance to salvation.”

+ St. Ambrose, Synodal Letter 44, Letters, 1-91 (Fathers of the Church Patristic Series)

Source:

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com

ORTHODOX CHURCH QUOTES

What joy does the Nativity of the Mother of God bring us?

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HOLY VIRGIN MARY MOTHER OF GOD

What joy does the Nativity of the Mother of God bring us?

Saint John of Kronstadt, Russia (+1908)

What joy does the Nativity of the Mother of God bring us? Let us explain in more detail the Church hymn which explains the meaning of this feast’s joy. Through the birth of the Ever-Virgin, through Her only-begotten Son and God, cursed and outcast mankind makes peace with God Who is immeasurably offended by man’s sins, for Christ became the mediator of this peace (cf. Rom. 5:10-11). Man is freed from the curse and eternal death, made worthy of the blessing of the Heavenly Father; he is united and co-mingled with the Divine nature; he is raised to his first inheritance by this co-mingling, according to the Church hymn. Mankind, once an outcast, has been made worthy of sonship to the Heavenly Father, received the promise of the glorious resurrection and eternal life in the heavens together with the angels.

This has all been and is being wrought by the Son of God incarnate from the Most Pure Virgin from the Holy Spirit, and by the intercession of His Most Pure Mother. How honored and magnified is mankind through the Holy Virgin Mother of God, for it has been made worthy of renewal and sonship by God; She Herself was made worthy by Her immeasurable humility and exceedingly great purity and holiness to be the Mother of the God-man!

+ St. John of Kronstadt, Sorrow and Joy: A Homily on the Day of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God

Source:

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com

http://www.orthodoxchurchquotes.com/2015/09/18/st-john-of-kronstadt-what-joy-does-the-nativity-of-the-mother-of-god-bring-us/

ORTHODOX CHURCH QUOTES