The Monastic Grades

When one desiring the monastic life enters a monastery, he normally passes through three steps or stages: 1) Probationer (Novice including Riasaphor), 2) Monk of the Lesser Schema (Cross-bearer or Stavrophore), and 3) Monk of the Great Schema (Russian Skhimnik). The Probationer who enters a monastery desires to do so in order to acquit himself worthily in the angelic state, so called because Monks renounce all wordly things, do not marry, do not acquire and hold property, and live as do the Angels in Heaven, glorifying God night and day and striving to do His Will in all things.

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Swiss Theologian Gabriel Bunge Becomes Orthodox

Fr. Gabriel Bunge was a Benedictine monk in Switzerland who had been living the eremitical life since 1980. As a Patristics scholar, he has contributed many articles and books to numerous spiritual and monastic journals.

On August 27, 2010 Fr. Gabriel converted to Orthodoxy in the presence of Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk and Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia during an All-Night Vigil at the Church of the ”Joy of All Who Sorrow” Icon in Bolshaya Ordynka Street in Moscow.

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