The most recent orthodox saints are a collection of people who have helped shape the Church and who are still revered by many Christians. Whether you’re new to the faith or you’re a longtime devotee, there is something to learn from these men and women.
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St Gregory the Theologian
Saint Gregory the Theologian, a Saint of the Orthodox Church, is known for his brilliant works on the Holy Trinity. He is considered one of the Three Holy Hierarchs of Eastern Christianity. His writings continue to be regarded as spiritually deep.
A theologian by profession, St Gregory’s works are characterized by his thorough knowledge of Scripture and his insightful analysis of the Trinity. In addition to his orations, he also composed numerous epigrams and epistles. Among these are the Five Theological Orations, which expose the teachings of the Holy Trinity.
Gregory was born in the village of Arianzus in Cappadocia. His parents were saints and pious Christians. They had a great love for books and aspired to raise their child as a right believing Christian.
St Athanasius the Great
Athanasius was born in Alexandria, Egypt during the time of Christian persecution in the Roman Empire. He was influenced by the teachings of his ancestors, and defended the Catholic faith against the Arian heresy.
At age 28 he was consecrated Bishop. After his death, he was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. During his life, he wrote a number of works, including On the Incarnation of the Word of God and Letter to the Monks.
The Christian Church recognized Athanasius as a great theologian and teacher. His work in defense of the faith inspired many people. This is one of the most important orthodox saints of the past.
St Basil the Great
Saint Basil the Great is one of the most revered Church Fathers of the fourth century. He was born around 330 in Caesarea in Cappadocia, Asia Minor. The family was wealthy, famous for its business acumen. It also was a prominent Christian family during the persecutions.
As a youth, Basil fought against the prostitution trade and organized famine relief efforts. When he was older, he became a priest. In addition to his responsibilities in the church, he founded a hospital for the poor in Caesarea. This hospital included hospices and workshops for artisans.
His health was weak from the extreme bodily austerities that he practiced as an ascetic. However, he died shortly after Valens’s death in the Battle of Adrianople.
St Vissarion the Agathonite
The recent orthodox saint of the year is Saint Vissarion the Agathonite. This priest and monk became a cult hero after his tomb was opened.
Vissarion was a quiet elder who impacted many in Balkan lands. He helped children who were captured by Axis invaders during World War II. His work of charity was in Karditsa.
At the time of his death, Father Vissarion was already Archimandrite. But, at the very end, his health declined and he suffered from pulmonary edema. On January 22, 1991, he fell asleep at the age of 83.
It was only after 15 years that the body of the quiet Elder was found intact. The coffin was in excellent shape. Having visited the tomb, many people reported that they had received amazing experiences.
The Armenian Orthodox Church has many saints who are honored. Some of these saints are known for their role in the early history of the church. Others are famous for their work in the modern era.
St Cyril is known for his writings on the Trinity and Incarnation. His work helped prevent the spread of Nestorianism. He was a brilliant theologian of the Alexandrian school.
Saint John of Orodni was an Armenian priest who was part of a monastic community in Kailitzor. He was a great supporter of education and encouraged the study of theology. At one point, he moved to Datev.
Another Armenian priest was martyred during the time of Julian the Apostate. Ghevont, a priest, was born in the village of Ichevan in the late fourth century.
Syncletica was one of the Desert Mothers. This means that she was one of the women who went to the desert to pray and ascetically live a life close to God. She was a beautiful, spiritually-oriented woman. Her life was a source of inspiration to many other women who followed her.
The first monastic convent for women was founded by Saint Syncletica. She lived her entire life in a crypt and spent all of her time in prayer. During her lifetime, she received spiritual gifts of healing and discernment.
She is often referred to as the “Desert Mother”. Known as a virtuous and compassionate woman, she was a saint of great influence. A biography of her life has been preserved by Pope Athanasius.