The Holy Angels

The nine orders of the angels are divided into three heirarchies, each of which is divided into three orders: the highest, the intermediate, the lower.

The first hierarch, the highest and closest to the Most Holy Trinity, consists of the SERAPHIM, CHERUBIM, and THRONES.

The God-loving six-winged SERAPHIM stand closer than all before their Creator and Mker, as the prophet Isaiah saw, saying: «And the seraphim stood around Him, each having six wings» (Isaiah 6:2). They ar fire-like since they stand before That One of Whom it is written: «For our God is a consuming fire.» (Heb 12:29); «His throne was a flame of fire» (Dan 7:9); «the appearance of the Lord was like a blazing fire» (Ex 24:17). Standing before such glory, the seraphim are fire-like, as it said: «Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire» (Ps 103:4). They are aflame with love for God and kindle others to such love, as i shown by their very name, for «seraphim» in the Hebrew language means: «flaming».

After the seraphim, before the All-knowing God, Who resides in inaccessable light, stand the many-eyeed CHERUBIM in ineffable radiance. More than the other lower orders of angels, they are always radiant with the light of th knowledge of God, with the knowledge of the mysteries of God and the depths of His Wisdom; being themselves enlightened, they enlighten others. Their name «cherubim» in translation from the Hebrew language, means: «great understanding» or «effusion of wisdom», because throught the cherubim wisdom is sent down to tohers and enlightenment of the spiritual eyes is given for the seeing of God and knowledge of God. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Venerable Seraphim of Virits

Basil Muraviev (the future St Seraphim) was born in 1865 in the town of Cheremovsky in the Yaroslavl province. His parents, Nicholas and Chione, were peasants. When Basil was ten years old, his father died, and he was left to care for his ailing mother and his sister Olga.

A kind neighbor took Basil with him to St Petersburg, and found him a job as a store clerk. The boy had a secret desire to become a monk, so one day he went to the St Alexander Nevsky Lavra to speak to one of the Elders about this. The Elder advised him to remain in the world and raise a family, then after their children had grown, he and his wife were to serve God in the monastic life.

Read more…

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«Satan, the Great Deceiver»

God will judge The Prince of evil on the last day - The Day of Judgment

«Satan can only deceive he cannot pluck us out of the hand of God»

Deceive – to mislead by a false appearance or statement

By Fr. Timothy Evangelinidis

When I was much younger and attending university in my home-town of Sydney (in those days a much smaller and less busy place), I was allocated a particular lecturer who prided himself on being an atheist. «Religion is something for weak people, those who cannot think or live for themselves». Arriving at his first lecture this man proudly announced that with a few premises, sub-conclusions and a watertight conclusion, he would prove beyond any doubt that God did not exist. It went something like this: Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Hagia Sophia’s angel uncovered! (With video)

hagia-sofia8217s-angel-uncovered-2009-07-24_l

Watch the video here (about 3-and-a-half minutes)

SERKAN AKKOÇ
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet
Friday, July 24, 2009

Experts have uncovered one of the six angel mosaics within the world-famous Hagia Sophia Museum in Istanbul after it had been hidden for 160 years behind plaster and a metal mask.

The mosaic, which measures 1.5 meters by 1 meter, was last seen by Swiss architect Gaspare Fossati, who headed restoration efforts at the museum between 1847 and 1849, and Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid. Experts were surprised to see that the mosaic, believed to date from the 14th century, was so well preserved. 

Hagia Sophia, built by the Byzantine emperor Justinian between A.D. 532 and 537, was originally a basilica before it was converted into a mosque when Ottoman Turks conquered the city in 1453. During the conversion process, the Ottomans covered the mosaics with plaster instead of removing them.  Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

«The Seraphim, six-winged, many-eyed, soaring with their wings, singing the victory hymn, proclaiming, crying out, and saying…»

seraphim«And it came to pass in the year that king Uzziah died I saw the Lord seated upon a high and lofty throne, and the house became full of his glory. And Seraphim were standing round about; six wings had each one; and with twain they covered their faces, and with twain they covered their feet, and with twain they hovered aloft. And one cried one unto the other and they said: «Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts! All the earth is filled with his glory!» And the frame of the door shook from the sound wherewith they cried, and the house was filled with smoke.» (Isaiah 6:1-4)

This vision, perceived by the holy prophet Isaiah, give us a wonderfully vivid description of the throne of God and how those who are before this throne act. The Seraphim, one of the orders of Angels, cover their faces at the sight of the glory of God, humbling themselves before the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. In their modesty they also cover their bodies, knowing that no one, not even they, are worthy to stand in the sight of God. But even so, they also hover before God, eager to be in that presence and to study the might and wisdom of Him. They continually glorify God, calling out to each other and any who will hear that God is holy, God is set apart from every created thing, God is over and above wholly different from anything that has, does, and will exist.

How often do we today act like this? How often do we show the reverence and respect to the Almighty? Instead we speak casually about God, we refer to God incarnate as “JC” or as merely a “friend” whom we have a relationship with. We speak about what God has done for us, how he has helped us, what we hope he will do for us. This is a backwards way of thinking! We should instead be thinking about what we can do for Him, we should talk about His glory, and every sentence we utter about Him should be worshipful. Let us take a cue from the Angels and ceaslessly sing of His glory!

The Holy Angels

SynaxisAngels

The following is from the Minea of St Dimitry of Rostov and appeared in the November/December 1968 issue of Orthodox Life. This is taken from a reprint included in the booklet _Orthodox Teachings on the Holy Angels_ compiled by Fr Demetrius Serfes (It may still be available through St John of Kronstadt Press)

The nine orders of the angels are divided into three heirarchies, each of which is divided into three orders: the highest, the intermediate, the lower.

The first hierarch, the highest and closest to the Most Holy Trinity, consists of the SERAPHIM, CHERUBIM, and THRONES.

The God-loving six-winged SERAPHIM stand closer than all before their Creator and Maker, as the prophet Isaiah saw, saying: «And the seraphim stood around Him, each having six wings» (Isaiah 6:2). They ar fire-like since they stand before That One of Whom it is written: «For our God is a consuming fire.» (Heb 12:29); «His throne was a flame of fire» (Dan 7:9); «the appearance of the Lord was like a blazing fire» (Ex 24:17). Standing before such glory, the seraphim are fire-like, as it said: «Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire» (Ps 103:4). They are aflame with love for God and kindle others to such love, as i shown by their very name, for «seraphim» in the Hebrew language means: «flaming». Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »