Moscow, Russia - St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, New York, published an English version of the book “Christ the Conqueror of Hell. The Descent into Hades from an Orthodox Perspective” by Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for external church relations.

Christ’s descent into Hades is a most mysterious event in the New Testament history. The book includes texts from the New Testament, apocrypha, and early Christian poetry dealing with the theme, a review of the relevant works by the Holy Fathers and a short discourse into the Western theological tradition. Hymns by St. Ephraem the Syrian and St. Romanus the Melodist that have formed the basis of other liturgical texts and are still used in the Orthodox Church are reviewed, as well as the liturgical texts from the Octoechos, the Lenten Triodion, and the Festal Triodion telling about Christ’s descent into Hell and His victory over death. The author’s studies into the dogmatic contents of the texts are very important to the comprehension of the Orthodox faith, as the dogmas become an object of contemplation in prayer for Christians rather than abstract speculative truths.

There are many Greek, Syrian, and Latin texts never translated into Russian in the book. Some of them have not been used by the authors working on the theme of Christ’s descent into Hell.

The book was first published in Russian in 2001and reprinted in 2005. It has been translated into Italian and Romanian.

Source: www.mospat.ru Press Release


Teachings of Christ

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12 ESV)

Holy Prophet Elias

The glorious Elias, * an angel in the flesh, the foundation of prophets and the second Forerunner of the coming of Christ * sent grace from on high to Elisha * to drive away sickness and cleanse lepers. * Wherefore, he pours forth healings for those who honor him. (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

O Prophet and foreseer of the great works of our God, * O renowned Elias, who, by your word restrained the clouds of rain, * pray for us to the only One Who loves mankind. (Kontakion - Tone 2)

The Church celebrates the memory of the Holy Prophet Elias on July 20th.

Random Proverb

"My son, do not lose sight of these — keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul." (Proverbs 3:21,22a ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

"'And [Naaman] dipped himself . . . seven times in the Jordan' [2 Kgs. 5:14]. It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized, but [this served] as an indication to us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean, by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord, from our old transgressions, being spiritually regenerated as new-born babes, even as the Lord has declared: `Except a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.'"

St. Irenaeus of Lyons (190 AD), Fragment 34