Posts Tagged ‘coptic’

Little known facts about the dedication to Saint Martyr George The Glory-Bringer and his veneration across contries and religions

Saturday, May 8th, 2021

Reading Time: 6 minutes

saint-George-Fanuilska-icon-Zographous-Monastery-Mount-Athos

  • Largest part of body holy relics of the saints are kept in the town of Lod city 15 km (9.3 mi) southeast of Tel Aviv in the Central District of Israel. Back in the history due to the emerging veneration for saint George by both Christians and Muslims the town was temporary holding the name Georgioupolis, while his head relics is kept in Rome. There is a coptic monastery in Cairo pretending to hold personal belongings of saint George. In Saint Catherine Monastery (Mount of Sinai) are kept the three fingers of the arm of st. George. Churches dedicated to the saint started being built across the Roman empire even in the fourth century quite soon after his martyrdom, highest concentration of monasteries in his honor were born in Palestine. Biographics (Living) of saint George are written by the Byzantine authors saint Andreas of Cretes (written in 8-th century), Arcadius of Cyprus, Teodoris Quaestor, saint Gregory of Cyprus, saint Saint Symeon the Metaphrast (written 10th century).


saint-Simeon-Metaphrastes-icon

Saint Simeon Metaphrast (μεταφράξειν – translator and a historian of Byzantine empire passed on to Christ, 960 year famous for collecting and systemizing biographies of many saints, his works are important source of history on Byzantine empire)

  • Hundreds of Apocrypths are dedicated to the glorious living of the saint and his amazing miracles, written mainly in Latin, Greek, Syrac, Arabian, Coptic, Ethiopian and other multitude of other languages. The most famous apocrypha on saint is so called "Greek Vienna's Palimpsest" (5th century). as well as the "The Deeds of Saint George" (from 6-th century., as well as "The Martyrdom of George" etc. The Apocrypha's text are evidently full of hyperbolas and many unhistorical facts different from the true living facts of the saint. The fallacies and apocryphas have been condemned by the Decretum Gelasianum ( thought to be Decretal of the prolific Pope Gelasius I, bishop of Rome 492–496 ) as heretical and blemish for the memory of the saint.


Saint-George-The_Miracle-saving-of-princess-from-the-Dragon-Decani_monastery_Serbia_Circa-14-century
The miracle of Saving the Princess from the Dragon (one of the many apocryphas tradition about st. George) – Depiction Decani Monastery Serbia

  • Saint great martyr George together with The Holy Theotokos Mother Mary is a protector of Georgia (the country near Russia and not the State of the US :)).


Georgian_icon_of_Saint_George_521

Georgian Metal carved ancient icon of saint George

In Georgia the local verbal tradition assigns a family relation with the first missionary and Baptizer of Georgia saint Nino. The first Church dedicated to saint George in Georgia is built in year 335 ! by King Mirian on the burial place of Saint Nino. In 1098 year saint George has been proclaimed protector of England, after appearing in a vision to the participants to Crusades of that time. One hundred years later during reign of Richard the Lion Heart the status of protector of the Army becomes an official in the West. In year 1222 The Synod of Oxford decides, that saint George is to be venerated throughout the whole kingdom of England on 23 of April (old style calendar) – 6th of May in the current Gregorian public calendar we use – still venerated on the same date in Bulgaria even to this day, while the remembrance day of the saint has been publicly proclaimed as labor free.

Byzantine-orthodox-icon-of-saint-George-XIV-century

  • In 14th century he is proclaimed a protector of England. In the beginning of 20th century the creator of the Scout Movement Lord Baden-Powell choose saint George for a protector of the Scouts. Saint George is considered protector of Moscow and Catalonia, until 18th century he was officially venerated as a protector of Portugal. In Greece he is venerated as agios Georgios, in Russia he is venerated under alternative names Jurij / Yurij (Юрий) and Egorij (Егорий). In year 1030 Grand prince of Kiev Yaroslav established in Kiev and Novgorod monasteries in honour of saint George (Yuriev Monastery) and gives an order the remembrance of saint George to be considered throughout Russian on 26th of November. The saint has been commonly depicted in Kings coins and seals. In Islam Saint George is famous under the name Djordjis (Djordjic).


saint-George-icon-what-infidel-saw-that-believer-did-not

  • His Living is translated in Arabian in the beginning of 8th century and through Arabian-Christians becomes popular among Arabian-muslims. In Arabian apocrypha text his biography is included in "The History of Prophets and Kings" from the 10-th century, where he is presented as a pupil of one of the apostles of Isa Īsā ibn Maryam (Jesus son of Mary). In the Islamic apocrypha st. George is said to have been put to tortures, but even though killed multiple times he always have been resurrected by Allah as a faithful servent. In some Arabian icons on the horse of saint George there is a small human figure with a muslim clothes and a water vessel at hand.


saint-George-Islam-manuscript-depiction

  • The iconography depicts also the miracle in Ramela that happened during a Church being built in dedication of Saint George, where one of the bought from far a stone pillar for the Church by a poor widow has been transferred by saint George miraculously via the sea by his all powerful prayer and placed to be the second Church holder right sight holder as well as the miracle when a Saracen Muslim soldier shoot towards the icon depiction of st George as an attempt to show that the saint icon is nothing more than a painted tree and immediately onwards his hand started unbearable hurting.


saint-George-Araviiska-Miracle-making-icon-Zograph-Monastery-Holy-Mount-Athos-Sv_Georgi_Aravijska_icona

Saint George's (Aravijska)'s Miracle Making icon of Holy Mount Athos Zographous Monastery St. Mrtr. George the GloryBringer

  • The healing of the unberable came only after a Christian priest give the adive to the soldier to light up a sanctuary lamp in front of the same icon of saint George and to annoint himself with the oil from the burning chancel-lamp. After the miraculous healing the soldier confessed to be Christian and has been immediately punished with a maryrdom death. The name of the martyr is not preserved but the miraculous event is depicted on the arabian ancient icons.


saint-George-the-glorybringer-in-Church-of-saint-George-village-Zlatolist

Saint George the glorybringer in Church of saint George village Zlatolist (Bulgaria)

saint-George-icon-Hadji-Dimovo-monastery-Bulgaria-ikona-sv-Georgi

The Famous Miracle making icon of saint George from Hadji-Dimovo Monastery Bulgaria

  • Another interpretation of why there is depiction of a figure on the backside of the horse of saint George is the so called "Miracle of saint George with the Paphlagonian" that is connected with my homeland Bulgaria. The history says a young-man of Paphlagonia, who has been taken as acaptive by the bulgarians and given as a slave to a wealthy bulgarian nobleman from Preslav. Once when the slave was carrying vessel with a hot water to his master towards the second floor of the house, out of nowhere appeared saint George, he put him backwards on his horse and bring him back to Paphlagonia. In Paphlagonia at this time his parents were already serving a Memorial service for the forgiveness of the sins of their boy thinking he has been already killed in captivity. Being reunited with his parents the youngster thought he has been dreaming to see his parents again out of a sudden and what show him that the miracle translation of the boy from one location back to his parents was a reality was the vessel with water which was still held in his hand, thus as a remembrance of the miracle the boy is depicted on the back of saint George's horse.

 

There is much more to be said about this glorious saint, as there is plenty of miracles and stories monasteries and Churches events and venerations facts over the last 21 centuries in which the East and The World become Christian,  but as the Gospel says it looks all the books on the world written won't be able to contain it.

Saint Anthony’s Cave and the Coptic Orthodox Church / Extreme Pilgrim – Ascetic Christianity movie

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Reading Time: 5 minutes

saint Anthony icon and desert Christian hermit fathers saint Anthony Cave and monastery

 

I held interest in Coptic Orthodox Church. As I had meet a Coptic Orthodox Christian and his faith has significantly impressed me. Before some time I've found on youtube a video talking about one Australian person who from Atheist become Coptic Christian and later choose a living as Desert Monk Father in  one of the most ancient Christian monasteries monastery  Saint Anthony The Great. Father's Lazarus until this very day lives in Saint Anthony's Monastery. You can see an interesting documentary about fr. Lazarus "different life"  in the Last Anchorite a Movie about Coptic Oriental Orthodox hermit life.

Every Orthodox Christian as well as any Christianity historian should know very well the name of st. Anthony the Great. St. Anthony is probably the father of Monastic life and the monastic tradition started by his followers is living in various Christian monasteries (predominary Eastern Orthodox and Coptic Orthodox) all around the world. The monastery was established in year 356 by direct followers of the Great saint. Saint Anthony himself was illiterate but same time achieved holiness and God knowledge which only few in whole human history did. Recently my personal thoughts on Human Progress, ProgRes = (Programmed Resources), were leading in the same path testifying myself that the the path of "Higher Education" and big knowledge we all took, though leading us to big inventions and "fleshly developments" is more and more depriving us of the path of Truth and Love for God, which in its essence is a life of simplicity and humility.
 Saint Anthony's desert Monastery is one of the oldest Christian monasteries  in  history of mankind. It is  one of the innumerous God miracles that the monastery built by saint Anthony's pupils is existing until today for already ABOUT 17 centuries (1700 YEARS!!!!)! It is located deep in the Red Sea Mountains (334 km from egypt Capital Cairo) very near to the Saint Catherine's Eastern Orthodox Monastery.

Saint Anthony the Great, is among the most venerated Christian saints also for  the reason he fearlessly defended true Christianity from the heresy of Arius during  first Ecumenical Council in Nicea A.D. 325. Arianism used to be one of the most deadly spiritual  heresies since the Birth of Christ's Church. Arians rejected the Godly nature of Christ. Many protestant Christian sects nowadays are matching teachings taught by Arians. 

Below movie BBC Extreme Pilgrim – Ascetic Christianity was produced by a Protestant (Anglican) Priest Father Peter Owes. From an Eastern Orthodox Christian perspective it is interesting  to see his easy digestive "pinky" view on Christian faith and general life as it is typical for most western people.

Saint Athonoy's Cave and Saint Anthony Monastery – Extreme Pilgrim – Ascetic Christianity

During watching the movie some of his sayings are quite inappropriate and very much displaying the protestant bloated view of Christianity that is ruling over England, however near the end of the movie one can see Peter's change for good (the monastery and monks prayers changed him); he talks more spiritually wise and he started changing his understanding of Christianity and life. As the Extreme Pilgrim Ascetic is a few parts documentary the other 2 parts are exploring the Wondering Mystics of the Himalayas Mountains and a Confu-Monks of Central China (Buddhism) etc.

As most of the people in the Western World, though Peter being a devoted Christian and priest in the Church of England (Anglican Church), "pater" Owes does not have obviously clear understanding on True Christian belief system. In his complete sequelmovie he is putting on the same plane Buddhism, Mysticism and Christianity lowering truthfulness of our Christian faith to the other religions! This is no strange as this tendency is quite evident in Western European Countries (mixed Roman Catholic / Protestant countries). The previous Roman Catholic Pope himself John Paul II was for unification of all world religions not in the name of Jesus Christ but in the name of  a fake (anti-Christian) World Peace.

For Christians not aware of the existence of Ecumenical World Religious Unification movement check Ecumenism – A terrible treat to Orthodox Christianity see here.
It is great Father Peter made this video so we Christians can have a look on how a hermit christian life is like. Though the movie is so nice the general message it spreads sadly is  very much in the spirit of World Religions Ecumenism that is so popular in these days, so Christians has to be careful with that.

Hopefully after he experienced some authentic hermitage Christianity, Peter Owes spiritual eyes will re-open for the true Christian Church and faith tradition kept  in , the One Holy Apostolic Church – the Orthodox Church. I should also mention, that though Coptic Spirituality is on such a high level, Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria is sadly officially not  in eucharist communion with  Easter Orthodox Church due to their rejection of the Ecumenical Councils after the III-rd Ecumenical Church Council (gathering). Along with preserving a very ancient Church tradition practices in the Coptic Church, from what I've saw in further researching about Coptic Orthodox Church has a bit of inclanation in iconography towards Roman Catholicism iconography. Of course some of this Roman Catholic iconography  fragments are also evident in some of 19th century iconography in Russia, but in general in rest of Eastern Orthodox world this is much less than what I see in Coptic Church.

Most of the belief system and feast days of Coptic Orthodox Christians is almost identical to the rest of the Eastern Orthodox Church, making our Churches core teaching identical, however we're not officially one Church in holy communion unionl.

From what I've saw also it is evident that Coptic Church adopted a lot of arts along with the Greek language for their liturgy, as they sing the Kyrie Eleison prayer in Greek = (Lord Have Mercy). Also something to be noted is some of early Christian traditions in Copts were unchanged, they make the sign of the cross (from left to right) – little similar to Roman Catholics, whether we the Eastern Orthodox Christians, make the sign of the cross from right to left – you might want to see at my previous article why Orthodox Christians make the sign of the Cross different from Roman Catholics.

In any means, I'm mostly thankful to God will blessing me to have a look at the Cave of Saint Anthony  – where he spend most of his life and the Great monastic life they still thankfully lead in this spiritual cloister  ! I also hope my little post will be of help of people searching for Authentic Christianity and interested to strengthen their faith.

Here is the Church prayers saint Anthony the Great Glorification Hymns (Troparion and Kontaktion) as we sing them in the Eastern Orthodox Church:

Troparion (Tone 8)

You are most glorious, O Christ our God!
You have established the Holy Fathers as lights on the earth!
Through them you have guided us to the true faith!
O greatly Compassionate One, glory to You!

Kontaktion (Tone 8)

 

The Apostles' preaching and the Fathers' doctrines have established one faith for the Church.
Adorned with the robe of truth, woven from heavenly theology,
It defines and glorifies the great mystery of Orthodoxy

Let by the Holy Prayers of Saint Anthony the Great, God have mercy on all of us Orthodox Christians.

The last Anchorite – A documentary (interview) movie about a Coptic Oriental Orthodox Hermit

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Reading Time: < 1 minuteSome time ago, while checking spiritual related videos on youtube, I’ve stumbled on nice movie about probably one of the last left desert hermit monks.
Our age is an age of decaying spirituality and seeing something as hermitage is something absolutely unique.
The movie interestingly shows the desert near Cairo and st. Anthony’s coptic Christian monastery. The monastery is named after saint Anothony – The Great (who is well known in whole Christian dome as a forefather of monastic life. It is interesting fact that still 17 centuries after the creation of the monastery by St. Anthony this spiritual fortress continues to function as an open “Window to Heaven”.

The Last Anchorite – the true story of one of the last left Hermit monks (Part 1)

The Last Anchorite – the true story of one of the last left Hermit monks (Part 2)

Enjoy!