Monday, June 17, 2019

Yoga and the Case of Saint Hypatios of Rufinianes

St. Hypatios of Rufinianes

By John Sanidopoulos

In the 33rd chapter of the Life of Hypatios, which was written around 450 by his disciple Kallinikos, about the abbot of Rufinianes Monastery in Chalcedon in the early fifth century, we read about his attempt to rid Chalcedon of what he considered its final remnant of paganism - the Olympic Games.

The story is as follows: Leontios, the prefect of Constantinople from 434 to 435, decided to establish the Olympic Games at the theater of Chalcedon. When Hypatios heard the news, he wept because he thought that he was going to see the rebirth of idolatry, crying: "My Lord, will I ever see idolatry revive during my lifetime?" Then, he assembled twenty monks and went with them to see Bishop Eulalios. Hypatios announced to the bishop that he was ready to die in the theater before permitting such a return of idolatry. Eulalios did not agree, because they were not obliged to offer sacrifices, and asked Hypatios to keep calm. But the monk replied that if Eulalios did not do anything to hinder the celebration, he would go to the theater with his monks and, when the prefect held the presidency of the games, he would throw him from his podium, even if this assassination meant that Hypatios and his followers would be executed; they preferred to die as martyrs before permitting the rebirth of pagan religion.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

How A Hindu From Fiji Became an Orthodox Priest

By Fr. Barnabas Nair

Greetings to all my beloved Orthodox Christians. I am Fr. Barnabas from Labasa, the second largest island in Fiji. I am taking the opportunity to convey to you how I found the truth in the Orthodox Church.

When I first met His Eminence Mr. Amphilochios on my island Vanua Levu in the city of Savusavu it was a Saturday morning on the 18th of June in 2010. When he visited me in my store, he was standing near my door. I thought he was an ordinary man, but then I saw that he wore a pectoral cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. I took him into my shop. I was very happy and my tears were rolling when I shook hands with him. With his smiling face he called me outside and we had a pleasant conversation.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Philoumenos of Jacob’s Well: The Birth of a Contemporary Ritual Murder Myth

“Philoumenos of Jacob’s Well: The Birth of a Contemporary Ritual Murder Myth”

By David Gurevich and Yisca Harani

Israel Studies
Volume 22, Number 2, Summer 2017
pp. 26-54


In 1979, the Orthodox monk Philoumenos Hasapis was violently murdered in Jacob’s Well Church in Nablus. His death was described as a ritual murder performed by a fanatical Jewish-Israeli group. Philoumenos was later sanctified by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The story gained publicity among Orthodox Christian communities around the world and was accredited by various NGOs and scholars. However, the factual basis of the event dismissed any ritualistic motives or collective accusations for the murder. The development patterns of the popular narrative are assessed against the backdrop of similar accusations levied against medieval Jewish communities in Europe, as well as contemporary framing of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict in the media. The conclusions suggest reasons for the wide publicity that the narrative received, based on the cultural context of its target audience, the interests of the Orthodox Church, and the role of political actors involved.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

A Buddhist Woman Who Became an Orthodox Christian After a Vision on Holy Thursday

Holy Monastery of Saints Marina and Raphael in Xylotymbou

By K. Triantaphylou

From my five-day stay in Cyprus I will record due to brevity only what lessons I learned at the Holy Monastery of Saint Marina and Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene in Xylotymbou of the Holy Metropolis of Kition. The spiritual father, serving priest and founder of this Monastery was Protopresbyter Kyriakos Panagiotou, who among other things has a sweet voice. Because of his sweet voice, the late Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus had him ordained as his deacon, but he refused, saying he preferred to serve as a priest in his village.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Relationship Between Orthodoxy and Karate

Nobuyuki-Gheoghe Nukina, Japanese karate fighter and teacher, in the second part of his interview (see first part here about his conversion to Orthodoxy) to Pemptousia, talks about the relationship between Orthodoxy and karate, as he sees it and how he teaches it to his students.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The Conversion of a Japanese Shintoist/Buddhist to Orthodox Christianity

Nobuyuki-Gheoghe Nukina, a Japanese karate fighter, was interviewed by Pemptousia upon a recent visit to Mount Athos, in which he speaks about how he became Orthodox, and briefly talks about Orthodoxy in Japan.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

"For the Sake of the World: The Spirit of Buddhist and Christian Monasticism" (Book Review by Fr. John Romanides)

For the Sake of the World: The Spirit of Buddhist and Christian Monasticism

By Patrick G. Henry and Donald K. Swearer

Reviewed by John S. Romanides

The authors of this valuable and interesting book understand "contemplation" and an "urge for transcendence" to be a basic similarity between Buddhist and Christian monasticism. This is true for Augustinian neo-Platonism, which is the position adopted by this book as normative for the Christian monastic tradition.

However, the Augustinian synthesis between neo-Platonism and the Bible was never accepted in the East, and was rejected in the West by both Celtic and Gallo-Roman monasticism. It did not, finally, take hold in Merovingian Gaul; this is why St. Gregory of Tours, an admirer of Sts. Basil and John Cassian, never mentions Augustine. That is to say, such Gallo-Romans as Sts. Martin of Tours, Aridius, Patroclos, and the Lombard Stylite Vulfailac belong to the same biblical tradition as the fathers in the East. In 529 Emperor Justinian closed the Platonic school of Athens, and when Augustine's writings became known in the East he was dropped from the list of "fathers of the church," as these were understood there.

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Birth of Christ Celebrates the End of the Sickness of Religion

By His Eminence Metropolitan Hierotheos
of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

The feast of the Birth of Christ cannot be confined to a few sentimental situations: festive decorations, an intellectual and rationalistic interpretation of events, a moralistic framework; rather it has a very profound meaning and existential significance. If one remains at an external level, then they are leaving themselves hungry and thirsty, deprived of a life of meaning and existential freedom.

The incarnation of Christ was considered and was celebrated by the Fathers of the Church and the worshipping ecclesiastical community as the abolishing of religion and its transformation into a Church. In fact, the ever-memorable Father John Romanides had said in the most categorical way that Christ became human, in order to free us of the sickness of religion.