Orthodox theology

Fr. Rodney Torbic: Hidden Valley Sermons

imageMeditations on Great Lent


The Sunday of Orthodoxy. The Meaning of Holy Icons

The Triumph of Orthodoxy. Byzantine icon, 15th c.Brethren, already we are at the first harbor of Great Lent, the Sunday of Orthodoxy. The Church stops here after one week of fasting and ascetic struggles for piety’s sake to celebrate an important victory: the Triumph of the Orthodox Faith. This occurred in the eighth and ninth centuries when a terrible heresy overtook the Church and shattered the peace of Christians. This heresy was called Iconoclasm and those who followed it were called Iconoclasts, that is, “those who break or destroy icons.”

Apostles of the Seventy Archippus and Philemon, and Martyr Apphia

Saints Archippus, Philemon and Apphia, Apostles of the Seventy were students and companions of the holy Apostle Paul. In the Epistle to Philemon, the Apostle Paul names Saint Archippus as his companion, and mentions him again in the Epistle to the Colossians (Col. 4:17).

Saint Archippus was bishop of the city of Colossae in Phrygia. Saint Philemon was an eminent citizen of this city, and the Christians gathered in his home to celebrate church services. He was also made a bishop by Saint Paul and he went about the cities of Phrygia, preaching the Gospel. Later on, he became archpastor of the city of Gaza. Saint Apphia, his wife, took the sick and vagrants into her home, zealously attending to them. She was her husband’s co-worker in proclaiming the Word of God.

Theology of the Icon, and Recognizing Saints

A conversation with Anatoly Aleshin, iconographer. Part 1

In our conversation with iconographer Anatoly Aleshin, the instructor of the Icon Painting School of Moscow’s Theological Academy, one of the leading specialists in the area of fresco painting, we discussed why it is incorrect to speak about the icon painting canons; what inspires today’s iconographers in the absence of heated theological disputes of old times, and how to decorate a large church in two months. Among some of his projects are the wall paintings in the crypt of the Holy Hierarch St. Gregory of Novgorod in the St. Sophia Cathedral (Veliky Novgorod), the Trinity Cathedral of St. Pachomius monastery in Nerekhta, St. John of Kronstadt Cathedral in Hamburg (Germany), the church at the Russian Pilgrim’s Residence at the site of Baptism of Jesus Christ (Jordan), the churches in Diveyevo, and others

Anatoly Alyoshin, the iconographerAnatoly Alyoshin, the iconographer  

A word from the Patriarch on unity, grace, and life after death

November 20 marked the birthday of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. Pravoslavie.ru congratulated him on that day, and OrthoChristian.com would also like, albeit belatedly, to congratulate His Holiness and wish him many more profitable years in service to God’s Church!

The Patriarch’s homiletic and epistolary heritage is vast. We publish here in English translation select citations from His Holiness, taken from his sermons delivered in early November 2020. We also express our heartfelt thanks for his inexhaustible wellspring of edification!

Homily on the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God

O Mother of God, sheltered by Thy coming /
we faithful people today keep feast in joy, /
and looking at Thy most pure image, /
moved to the depths of our hearts, we say: /
Protect us with Thy precious Veil /
and deliver us from every ill, /
by entreating Christ, Thy Son and our God, /
to save our souls.

(Tropar in tone 4 - Protection of the Mother of God)

Early one morning, two sisters were getting ready for school, as one sister walked out of her room with one pillow on her back and one pillow on her chest. Her sister asked, “why do you have pillows on you?” “Well,” she said, “the pillow on my chest is to protect from all the boys that will break my heart. And the pillow on my back is to protect me from all the friends that will stab me in the back."