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


Christ is Risen!

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and to those in the tombs bestowing life! (Troparion)

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

Although You descended into the tomb, O Immortal One, * You destroyed the power of Hades; * You arose as the victor, O Christ God, * proclaiming to the myrrh-bearing women: “Rejoice!” * And granting peace to Your Apostles, * O, You, Who gives resurrection to the fallen. (Kontakion)

Teachings of Christ

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10 ESV)

Entry into Jerusalem

As we were buried with You through Baptism, O Christ our God, * we were made worthy of immortal life by Your Resurrection, * and we praise You in song, crying out: * “Hosanna in the highest! * Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord.” (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.

As you were carried upon a throne in heaven and upon a colt on earth, * O Christ God, you accepted the praise of angels and the songs of children who cry out to You: * “Blessed are You Who has come to to call back Adam!” (Kontakion, Tone 6)

Random Proverb

"The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing." (Proverbs 9:13 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

BROTHER: What is purity of soul?

OLD MAN: Remoteness from anger and from the error of the remembrance of evil things, and being weaned from the bitter nature, and reconciliation with our enemies, and peace which is beyond troubling, and simplicity of love which is above this world; with these things is the inner man cleansed, and he puts on Christ and is redeemed.


E. A. Wallis Budge, "The Paradise of the Holy Fathers"