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Latter-day Fathers

Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain

Gerontissa Gabrielia

Elder Germanos of Stavrovouni

Stories from the Desert Fathers

On Good and Evil

On Lasciviousness

On Avarice

On Repetance

On Prayer

On Fasting

On Labour

On Confession

On Matrimony

On Holy Communion

Gerontikon of
Mt. Athos

Elder Joseph the Hesychast and the teaching of mental prayer which flowed
from his letters

Prayer of the heart for the Faithfull Living in the world

With the Fathers

On the Necessity of Constant Prayer for all Christians

Hermas: The Shepherd

First Vision

Second Vision

Third Vision

Fourth Vision

Fifth Vision

First Commandment


Third Commandment

Forth Commandment

Fifth Commandment

Sixth Commandment


Eighth Commandment

Ninth Commandment

Tenth Commandment



First Similitude

Second Similitude

Third Similitude

Forth Similitude

Fifth Similitude

Sixth Similitude

Seventh Similitude

Eighth Similitude

Ninth Similitude

Tenth Similitude

St. John Chrysostom - Homily on the passage <Father if it be possible...>

Symeon of
Thessaloniki -
All should pray in the
name of Jesus Christ

Basil of Caesarea - Letter 234 to Amphilochius

Basil of Caesarea - On the Holy Spirit 66-68

The Martyrdom of St. Polycarp

St. John Chrysostom Instructions to Catechumens

First Instruction (1)

First Instruction (2)

First Instruction (3)

First Instruction (4)

First Instruction (5)

Second Instruction (1)

Second Instruction (2)

Second Instruction (3)

Second Instruction (4)

Second Instruction (5)

St. John Chrysostom Three homilees concering the power
of demons


Homily 1

Homily 2





Abba Antonios

Many have tormented their body with labours, but because they did not manage to acquire discernment, they found themselves far away from God.

Abba Isidoros the elder

If you are fasting in the proper manner, do not boast, otherwise, it would be better if you ate meat. Because it is far more beneficial to man to eat meat, than to be proud and arrogant.

Abba Poemen

Abba Joseph asked Abba Poemen how one should fast. And Abba Poemen replied :

"I would prefer one to eat every day, a quantity so small that would not be enough to satisfy his hunger."

Abba Joseph then said to him :

"When you were younger, abba, did you not fast for two consecutive days ?"

And the elder replied :

"Naturally, and for three and four days consecutively, even for a week. All these have been tried by the fathers, because they had the strength; however, they deemed it better for one to eat every day, but in small measures; they have therefore bequeathed to us the royal path, which is much lighter."

Abba Dorotheos

One must also be careful not to interrupt one's fasting if there is no great emergency, nor to seek tasty food, or to load one's self with large quantities of food and drink.

There are two kinds of gluttony:

Thus, one person's adversary may be delicacies, in which case, he will not continuously seek to eat large quantities, but instead hunt for flavoursome food. And it so happens that, when eating a food which he likes, he becomes so overwhelmed by the enjoyment of it, that he will leave the food in his mouth and chew it for some time, not having the strength to swallow it, for enjoyment's sake. (Lemarghia)

Another person's adversary may be quantity, and in this case, he does not care for good foods or for flavour; if it is good or bad he does not care, except only to eat it, and will not examine what it is, as long as he fills his belly. (Gastrimarghia)

I will explain the origin of these meanings. Philologists tell us that the Greek word "marghia" means "to become mad", and "marghos" is a person who has become mad. So, when a person becomes sick from the madness of filling his belly (gastric region), this sickness is called "gastri-marghia". If he should become sick only because of his obsession to satisfy taste in the throat (lemos) , it is called "lem-margia", because of the mania of the throat.

Vasileios the Great

Do not, however, restrict the benefit of fasting to the abstinence from food. Because true fasting is to abstain from doing anything unjust.

"Undo every bond of injustice".

Forgive your neighbour for the evil he has done to you, and forget whatever he owes you. "Your fasting must be free of judicial acts and conflicts". You do not eat meat, yet you devour your brother. You do not partake of wine, yet you are a squanderer of injustices. You wait for nightfall to eat, but you spend all your day in courtrooms". Woe to them that do not become drunk from wine, but from injustices.

I think that no advice can touch the soul of a glutton and change it, as one chance encounter with a continent person. And I think this means to eat and drink in such a way that would honour God, so that even at the table, a good deed may make our life shine, and our Father in heaven be glorified.

Monk Evagrios

You should fast with all your might, before God. This fasting will cleanse you of your iniquities and sins; it brings your soul to conformity, it sanctifies your convictions, it expels demons, and it makes us worthy to approach God. If you eat once a day, do not seek to do it a second time, lest you become exceedingly expensive and risk jeopardizing your convictions.

In this way, you will have wealth enough to spare for charity, and you will also subdue the passions of your own body. And if you happen to meet with any brothers and must eat, two or even three times, do not worry, but on the contrary, be joyful that you have responded to a need, and thank God that you have obeyed the law of love, and that God Himself has undertaken to direct your life. You will also at some time fall sick and will necessarily have to eat two, three, or many times, but do not be sad; it is not imperative to continue with your labours in times of sickness, instead, you may retreat in some things, in order to be able to later continue with your labours. As for abstaining from certain foods, the word of God did not ban any, but said : "I have given you everything, as if it were a vegetable, so that you may eat without hesitation" and "it is not foods that pollute man".

Abstinence from certain foods is therefore our own choice, and an excercise for the soul.


He that troubles his mind and comforts his body, is similar to him that torments his body and scatters his mind.


When you abstain from wine, do not bloat yourself with water, because by doing this, you offer the same sustenance to fornication.


Some people are very careful about the intake of foods, but are indifferent to the output of words. They have not learnt to expel anger from their heart, nor the desire from their flesh, as the Ecclesiast says;

however, this is the only way that a pure heart can be built, by the rejuvenating Spirit.


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