The above warning was given to me when I first met Orthodoxy in 1986. Today [2009] it is even more perilous, even more difficult to find the Royal Path. For one thing there is a far greater abundance of misinformation. And many materials are missing, and other materials are being rapidly rewritten. For another thing there are fewer than ever guides remaining on the Royal Path, especially who speak English. Hopefully this website will be a place where Newcomers to the Faith can keep at least one foot on solid ground, while they are "exploring."

blog owner: Joanna Higginbotham


jurisdiction: ROCA under Vladyka Agafangel

who did not submit to the RocorMP union in 2007


05 August 2007

Lives Of Saints Not Completely Safe?

Generally we should be able to expect that a newcomer could freely read any and all Lives of Orthodox Saints found on the internet or elsewhere. And basically this is true. I would only want to warn that the left wing has been very selective in which lives they offer in their stores and libraries. They tend to overlook saints who were against the liberal innovations they use. An example is that they ignore the saints who fought against the new calendar. Or they will overlook certain things about certain saints, such as St. Seraphim of Sarov's Diveyevo Mystery [19th century].

The right wing is good about including these Confessors who speak out against heresies, and about including Prophets who teach about the antichrist; but they tend to distort a saint to their right wing advantage. An example is St. Philaret [†1985] who held a private opinion that supports their ideas, so they present St. Philaret's opinion as if it were a canonical law. The left wing has done their share of distorting, too - recently with St. John Maximovitch [†1966]. They took something he did totally out of context and used it to justify a false union with Moscow.

A newcomer should be safe reading any and all lives of Orthodox saints, if he is aware of these tendencies of the extremes and aims to keep one foot on the solid ground of the royal path. Also it best to stick to Orthodox sources [not Roman Catholic, even for pre-schism saints], and to aim for a variety of types of saints: ascetics, confessors, martyrs, theologians, prophets, monastics, laymen, from different countries and all centuries including our most recent saints such as St. John Maximovitch 1966†, St. Philaret 1985†.

Avoid any new "elders" (past 150 years).  Too many are pseudo.  Study first the Optina elders, and then once you know the true elders, then you won't be fooled by the false ones.

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