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Nonsense from the Prologue


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#1 Algernon

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 02:14 AM

From today's (Old calendar) reading of the Prologue from Ochrid:

 

Examples of how the saints themselves reveal their hidden relics to men justify the honor rendered to the relics of the saints-not to mention the miraculous action of these relics, which doubly justifies them. For a long, long time, no one could locate the grave of St. Parasceva. Then it happened that a sailor died, and his body was carelessly laid in the proximity of the saint's grave. When the body turned into carrion and began to emit an unbearable stench, a monk who lived nearby summoned the peasants to help him bury the corpse. It happened that they buried him in St. Parasceva's own grave. That night, St. Parasceva appeared in a dream to one of those peasants (George by name) who had buried the corpse. She appeared as a beautiful and exquisitely-adorned queen, surrounded by many glorious soldiers. She said: ``George, exhume my relics at once, and lay them in another place; for I can no longer endure the stench from that corpse.'' Then she told him who she was, and where she was from. The same night a local peasant woman named Euphemia had the same dream. The next day, the peasants began to dig and in fact found the relics of St. Parasceva. They were extraordinarily fragrant, and soon proved to be miracle-working."

 

Come on. This can't be real. There are obviously major problems with this. Someone please explain what this is really supposed to be about. Is the saint making a joke?

 

Thanks,

A



#2 Angie

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 02:47 AM

Algernon

 

Saints don't make jokes, especially about death.  This is real.

 

There is nothing wrong here, I have heard of this story before.

 

Could you please be more specific what you have a problem with, so someone can guide you?


Edited by Angie, 28 October 2014 - 02:53 AM.


#3 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 08:40 AM

Like Angie, I don't see what the problem is here though as she says we need Algernon to say specifically what his problem is with this passage.



#4 Kosta

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 09:11 AM

Just as the bodies of the saints emit a pleasant fragrance, those of the impious sinners rot quicker and sometimes emit foul odors for a long period of time.  There are many examples of this including modern day monks and clergy who needed closed casket funerals due to their impiety in life. 

 

 

 

 

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#5 Algernon

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 12:32 PM

For this saint no longer to be able to endure the stench of the corpse, she would still have to be in the grave. Is this what we believe in the Orthodox Church? That the saints are still in their earthly bodies as they lie in the tomb and can smell the decomposing corpses around them? We believe that people after their repose are trapped in their bodies? Trapped in their graves? That their earthly senses are still active?

 

Just as the bodies of the saints emit a pleasant fragrance, those of the impious sinners rot quicker and sometimes emit foul odors for a long period of time.  There are many examples of this including modern day monks and clergy who needed closed casket funerals due to their impiety in life. 

 
Thanks Kosta, but my problem isn't with rotting corpses giving off a foul odor, or with saints giving off a pleasant fragrance. It is with the belief that a saint lying in the grave could "no longer endure the stench" of a rotting corpse because she is still enclosed in her earthly body with her earthly senses still going.



#6 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 01:19 PM

I think, Algernon, that you are approaching this in the wrong way. What St Paraskeva meant was that she was troubled that her holy relics were mixed with the impure relics of the sailor. Not in any context do we mix the holy and the impure, the sacred with the profane. Clearly, St Paraskeva, like any saint or reposed holy person, is not still physically in the grave but would feel the spiritual effect of her holy relics being with that sailor's corpse. Do the saints have senses or faculties like those we all have in this life? Yes, they do: they can certainly speak - as St Paraskeva clearly did! - and saints like incense offered to their icons. Their communications with us operate, though, on a spiritual level in ways we (or at least I) cannot understand.

 

PS I think you should be VERY careful not to accuse a highly regarded saint such as St Nikolai Velimirovich, author of The Prologue, of writing 'nonsense'. I would suggest that this is a matter for confession.


Edited by Reader Andreas, 28 October 2014 - 01:23 PM.


#7 Algernon

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 08:13 PM

What St Paraskeva meant was that she was troubled that her holy relics were mixed with the impure relics of the sailor. Not in any context do we mix the holy and the impure, the sacred with the profane.  

 

Thank you. That makes sense.

 

A



#8 Michał

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 05:13 PM

 Saints don't make jokes.

 

Really?



#9 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 05:51 PM

Who was it said, 'oh, God, give me patience - quickly!'






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