Q. I noticed that we call the angels Michael and Gabriel "Saint." I thought the title "Saint" was only given to humans who have proven themselves Godly. Do you mind clarifying this for me? Is there a deeper meaning to "Saint" that I am not aware of?
A. There are a lot of concepts in English that have two or more words to describe them. Often this is because one word comes from Old English, while the other entered in through French, after the Norman conquest of England in 1066. Our language absorbed a lot of these French words, but didn't always do away with the original English words. Over time, some of these synonyms took on different shades of meaning; so for instance, we "eat pork" but we "heard swine."
The word saint and the word holy are both translated from the same Greek word, ἅγιος (hagios). So when we chant the Trisagion hymn "Ἅγιος ὁ Θεός..." we translate that into English as "Holy God..." and when we refer to "Ἅγιος Θεοδόσιος" we translate it into English as Saint Theodosios.
For this reason, we can give the title Saint to the angels, because they are holy. In fact, the name Michael in Hebrew means, "Who is like God."
“Trust ye not in princes, in the sons of men, in whom there is no salvation.”
We mustn’t have absolute trust in human beings for our salvation, no matter what dignity they have. Human beings are changeable. Today they are saints, tomorrow—deniers. Today—sinners, tomorrow—righteous. We must have absolute trust in God, and in Him we must base our hopes of salvation. “Blessed is he of whom the God of Jacob is his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God” (Psalm 145:5). Read more...
Jonesboro is a town located near the Eastern border of Arkansas, with a population of approximately 60,000. From a human standpoint, it’s not the most likely candidate for a traditional Orthodox mission, but for an Orthodox Christian who orders his priorities around Christ and His Church, it makes perfect sense. Read more...
Q. Are the prayers in the blue prayer book [A Prayerbook for Orthodox Christians by the Holy Transfiguration Monastery —ed.] compulsory for everyone? I mean their morning prayers and the service of Small Compline. My confessor gave me a special rule but wasn’t clear about whether this replaced the book prayers or was in addition to them. Read more...