2009 - Vol. 29
Crucifixion by Michael
Happened on the Cross?
John of Damascus
nothing else except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ has death been brought
cross all these things have been set aright...
sin of our first parent destroyed,
power given us to despise the things of this world,
road back to the former blessedness made smooth,
gates of paradise opened,
nature seated at the right hand of God,
we made children and heirs of God.
is a seal that the destroyer may not strike us,
raising up of those who lie fallen,
support for those who stand,
staff for the infirm,
crook for the shepherded,
guide for the wandering,
perfecting of the advanced,
for soul and body,
deflector of all evils,
cause of all goods,
destruction of sin,
plant of resurrection,
a tree of eternal life.
from Orthodox Faith, 4]...
to > Next
Happened on the Cross? by John of Damascus
Few Drops of Blood Renew the Whole World, by Gregory Nazianzen
Lamb That Was Slain Has Delivered Us from Death and Given Us Life,
by Melito of Sardis
Death of Death, by Augustine of Hippo
to > Next
of Damascus, also known as John Damascene, was born in 676. He was brought
up in Damascus Syria in a Christian family living under Muslim rule. His
father was a government official under both the Byzantine emperor and the
Muslim rulers of Damascus. John received a classical education. His fields
of interest and contribution included law, theology, philosophy, and music.
He was fluent in Arabic as well as Greek. John worked in the Muslim court
until the hostility of the caliph toward Christianity caused him to resign
his position, about the year 700.
Saba Monastery, Judaean dessert
by Shay Shtickgold
moved to the vicinity of Jerusalem and became a monk at Mar Saba Monastery
located in the Judaean desert hills near Bethlehem, 18 miles southeast
of Jerusalem. He taught in the monastery, preached many sermons in Jerusalem,
and wrote both theological treatises and hymns.
he lived in the midst of political and theological turmoil, John wrote
a great deal to clarify true doctrine and to do his part in spreading the
gospel. He is recognized as one of the principal composer of hymns in Eastern
Orthodoxy. His most important theological work, The Fount of Wisdom,
is a summary of Eastern theology. He was a key defender of the use of icons
during the iconoclast controversies.
is considered the last of the Greek church fathers and the first of the
East to formulate a comprehensive synthesis of Christian Dogma. John died
in 749. He worked to the very end and was beloved by his fellow monks and
revered by the people. He was buried at the Monastery of Mar Saba.