also...are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses" (Hebrews
12:1). This great cloud of witnesses which are the saints are watching
us, feeling what we feel, they hear our prayers and they offer our
prayers as incense before the Lord.
In our church, we
have six types of Orthodox heroes: the Repentants, the Saints, the Monks
and Nuns, the Evangelists, the Scholars, and the Martyrs.
- The Repentants are examples of saints who led very sinful lives, and
then later repented from their sinful ways to spend the rest of their
lives in purity and holiness. Examples of repentant saints are: St
Augustine, St Mary the Egyptian, St Moses the Black, and St Thais.
THE SAINTS - This category is the largest because it consists of
both married and celibate saints. The word Saint means 'consecrated to
the Lord'. Everyone anointed with the holy Myron, is consecrated to be a
saint and the function of the Holy Spirit is to sanctify the human
being. We consider this category to be the largest category because
there are so many of these beautiful saints whom we do not know now, but
we will meet them and know them in heaven.
THE MONKS AND NUNS - Examples of saints who were Monks and Nuns
are: St Anthony, St Demiana, St Bishoy, St Marina the Ascetic, St
Macarius, and St Sarah.
THE EVANGELISTS - Not only is the Coptic church the Mother of
Monasticism, but she evangelised Egypt and beyond. She evangelised North
Africa, Sudan, and Ethiopia through Bishop Ebromentios, who was ordained
by Pope Athanasius. She evangelised India and Asia Minor through St
Clement, she evangelised Switzerland through St Maurice of Egypt, and
she evangelised Ireland through eight Coptic monks.
SCHOLARS AND THEOLOGIANS - Examples of saints who were Scholars
and Theologians are: St Athanasius, St Dioscorus, St Timothy and
THE MARTYRS - Examples of saints who were Martyrs are: St George,
St Marina, St Mina, St Barbara, Abu Sefain, St Rebecca (Refka), St
Abanoub, St Demiana, and St Keriakous.
Having now read about these saints, what is required of me??
Perfect ? Study
We must REPENT with
the Repentants, PERFECT ourselves with the Saints of the church, we must
STUDY with the Scholars, and we must WITNESS with the Martyrs. This is
the Christian Orthodox way of life.
? Start by repenting from your sins.
? After regretting and repenting from
your sins, you can proceed positively to sanctification in order to be
perfect, because in this way, you are following in the footsteps of the
saints. Therefore, we must take care of our senses, our deeds, and our
way in order to be saints.
? Then we must study the Bible, and
read a lot about church topics. We must know our church doctrines and
rituals, the history of the church, the stories of saints, and we must
also study the different currents and philosophies around us. We are the
sons and daughters of the most prominent scholars in the world and in
Christendom; we are the children of St Athanasius, who at the age of
eighteen, wrote the book 'The Incarnation of the Logos'. Therefore we
must probe deeper into the Bible and into church topics.
? Lastly, we must witness with the Martyrs. These Martyrs
witnessed for the Lord with their blood, but we must witness by offering
a good Christian example among our friends and colleagues. It is very
important to witness for the Lord in the society. Witnessing is a kind
of martyrdom, because at times people may mock us for being Christian,
but we must be strong enough and powerful enough and brave enough to
stand fast in what is right and direct people against doing wrong. We
must be strong, convinced witnesses for the Lord.
therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow
citizens with the saints, and of the household of God and have been
built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ
Himself being the chief corner stone, in whom the whole building being
joint together grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also
are being built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit"